Going into its 14th day, the Occupy Wall Street protest is not only not fading out, it’s about to get a big injection of support and bodies. The established New York City labor and community groups who normally organize local marches, rallies and sit-ins, have announced they plan to join up next week.
Crain’s reports that the groups include The United Federation of Teachers, 32BJ SEIU, 1199 SEIU, Workers United and Transport Workers Union Local 100. The Working Families Party will help organize it, and MoveOn.org will help promote it.
“We’re getting involved because the crisis was caused by the excesses of Wall Street and the consequences have fallen hardest on workers,” a spokesman for TWU Local 100 told Crain’s.
“We’re not trying to grab the steering wheel or to control it,” Michael Kink, executive director of the Strong Economy For All coalition told Crain’s. “We’re looking to find common cause and support the effort. It’s the right fight at the right time and we want to be part of it.”
Modeled after this summer’s demonstrations in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in which protesters occupied the area 18 days, the Occupy Wall Street’s objectives are multifarious, but they generally all object to corporate influence in American politics and decry Wall Street’s contributions to the recent global economics crises.
This week celebrities Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon paid visits to the movement. Roseanne Barr, Russell Simmons, and Lupe Fiasco have also popped their heads in.
We’re talking about a democratic awakening. We’re talking about raising political consciousness, so it spills over; all parts of the country so people can begin to see what’s going on through a different set of lens. And then you begin to highlight what the more detailed demands would be, because in the end we’re really talking about what Martin King would call a revolution; a transfer of power from oligarchs to every day people of all colors, and that is a step-by-step process. It’s a democratic process, it’s a non-violent process, but it is a revolution, because these oligarchs have been transferring wealth from poor and working people at a very intense rate in the last 30 years, and getting away with it, and then still smiling in our faces and telling us it’s our fault. That’s a lie, and this beautiful group is a testimony to that being a lie.
When you get the makings of a U.S. autumn responding to the Arab Spring, and is growing and growing—-I hope it spills over to San Francisco and Chicago and Miami and Phoenix, Arizona, with our brown brothers and sisters, hits our poor white brothers and sisters in Appalachia—-so. it begins to coalesce. And I tell you, it is sublime to see all the different colors, all the different genders, all the different sexual orientations and different cultures, all together here in Liberty Plaza; there’s no doubt about it.
Cornel West, interview. Democracy Now!, 29 September 2011
A good response to people who keep demanding that the OWS protestors draw up some sort of platform of demands. That rarely happens in the early stages of liberation movements. At the moment, it’s about raising the consciousness of everyday Americans who have thus far accepted the notion that the U.S. is a democratic, fair, and equal society. It may be a strange notion to most Americans, but our country is one that—like the countries involved in the Arab Spring—is crying out for a democratic revolution.
“Going to a demonstration in New York City? Know your rights! The New York Civil Liberties Union has two guides that can help you know what to do if you’re protesting or if you have a police interaction.”
“Obama may have flown by the fail-safe line, especially when it comes to waterboarding. For many civil libertarians, it will be virtually impossible to vote for someone who has flagrantly ignored the Convention Against Torture or its underlying Nuremberg Principles. As Obama and Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. have admitted, waterboarding is clearly torture and has been long defined as such by both international and U.S. courts. It is not only a crime but a war crime. By blocking the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for torture, Obama violated international law and reinforced other countries in refusing investigation of their own alleged war crimes. The administration magnified the damage by blocking efforts of other countries like Spain from investigating our alleged war crimes. In this process, his administration shredded principles on the accountability of government officials and lawyers facilitating war crimes and further destroyed the credibility of the U.S. in objecting to civil liberties abuses abroad. In time, the election of Barack Obama may stand as one of the single most devastating events in our history for civil liberties. Now the president has begun campaigning for a second term. He will again be selling himself more than his policies, but he is likely to find many civil libertarians who simply are not buying.”—Jonathan Turley (via azspot)
“When viewers in the UK attempt to watch videos of the protest, they are met with the message, ‘This content is not available in your country due to a government removal request.’”—Paul Watson on YouTube’s new partnership with the UK government over protest videos • The British government is hoping the removal of certain protest images from the popular video sharing website will prevent copycat demonstrations from forming in the future. The British government isn’t the only one requesting YouTube pull demonstration videos: A geographic search reveals the US government has also requested YouTube remove certain videos along with keyword searches. source (via • follow)
Manicchill asked me earlier about the recent killing of al-Awlaki by U.S. drones in Yemen. Below is a rebloggable version of my response in which I identified WHY THIS IS REALLY BAD AND YOU SHOULD BE VERY CONCERNED. I have done my best to describe many of the disturbing legal issues (certainly not all) surrounding the Obama’s administration’s decision to assassinate the first American citizen on foreign soil without any 5th Amendment-guaranteed Due Process.
Getting straight to the issue: the basic, perfunctory legal analysis is as follows: Bush gave the CIA the authority to kill any U.S. citizens overseas if “strong evidence existed” that the citizen was carrying out or planning terrorist activities against the United States. Of course, what constitutes “strong evidence,” “terrorist activity,” “carrying out,” “planning,” or even how you define “against the United States” is left undefined. Which is problematic for obvious reasons.
All of this is very clearly forbidden by the 5th Amendment. ”No person shall…be deprived of Life, Liberty, or Property without due process of law.” Al-Awlaki was, by definition, deprived of Life without Due Process of law. He was not charged. He had no trial. The White House made a unilateral determination that he needed to die. And of course, the “strong evidence” on which that determination was made is isolated from judicial review on the basis of the “State Secrets” doctrine. So we have no way of knowing what the evidence was. And even if we did, “strong evidence” remains nebulously defined, and our friendly Counterterrorism Czar John Brennan thinks we should be “flexible” with our definitions in this area. So you can do the math on that one.
The problem with cases like this is they are hard to argue to the public at large: the perennial challenge of Civil Liberties’ advocates is protesting unjust policies as applied against “deserving” or “evil” targets victims. Al-Awlaki clearly was anti-U.S. It is more likely than not, simply based on the evidence available to the public, that he was involved in planning terrorist activity or wanted to be. But as I’m sure all of us who will be shouting at our friends and family that are shrugging their shoulders right now: that’s not the frigging point. Power granted without meaningful restrictions and limits is also power that can and will be abused. This is a legal precedent. What the Obama administration has done is made it ok for the President of the United States to unilaterally order the assassination of an American citizen without any judicial review or access to criminal justice whatsoever. That is a power which can be applied to anyone who meets the “flexible” criteria initially given under Bush’s original Executive Order to the CIA. So the President is limited only by his own conscience. There’s not a judge in the nation that can stop him. That means nobody can stop the President from killing anyone he wants to label a terrorist. Nobody can stop him. No one.
This is a problem, of course, because most people just shrug their shoulders and say “Well i’m a good person. I’m not a terrorist, so what do I have to worry about?” No. YOU think you’re not a terrorist. But the government doesn’t know that when you go to visit that mosque down the street, you’re just trying to learn more about Islam. They don’t know that when you check out a book from the library on Arabic, you’re just trying to learn a new language. They don’t know that when you try to find Al-Qaeda’s website on-line, you’re just trying to see what they’re saying so you can understand what they’re really about. They don’t understand that when you travel to the United Arab Emirates, you’re only there to experience the culture and learn more about the Middle East. The government doesn’t know that you’re completely ignorant of the well-known terrorist who’s standing next to you at a streetcorner in Dubai.
All of a sudden, an innocent and easily explainable chain of events becomes grounds for killing you. Events you could explain if you were allowed to be put on trial instead of unilaterally assassinated by a President you might have voted for.
So the question then becomes: if this is so blatantly unconstitutional, then why hasn’t the Supreme Court ruled it so? A couple reasons: a) someone needs to bring the case first. The Supreme Court cannot declare laws unconstitutional Sua Sponte (by the Court’s own motion). They can only rule on cases which come before them; b) anyone who brings the case has to have Standing to sue, and there is a vicious trend in the Federal judiciary right now of blowback against public-interest lawyers which the Obama administration has been using to its advantage. Jon Turley explains:
Because of his high-visibility status, we were informed of al-Aulaqi’s killing. However, nothing in this policy requires a president to be informed of such assassinations and the congressional oversight committees are widely viewed as rubber stamps for intelligence operations. It is not simply a question of whether a president can order such a killing of a citizen (which Bush also previously ordered), but the circumstances under which such an order can be given. Obama put al-Aulaqi on a hit list many months ago. There is no process, however, to secure any judicial review or to satisfy any showing despite over a year of such targeting. These questions remain unanswered because the Obama Administration has been successful in blocking public interest lawsuits seeking judicial review of his assassination list.
Turley goes further to explain the Standing issue:
Previously, the Administration succeeded with an almost mocking argument that al-Aulaqi’s family could not file a lawsuit seeking review of the power to assassinate because al-Aulaqi himself should appear to ask for review. Thus, after saying that it would kill al-Aulaqi on sight, the Justice Department insisted that he should walk into a clerk’s office and ask for declaratory judgment. Even if his family were to sue for wrongful death, the Administration would likely use the military and state secrets privilege to block the lawsuit. Thus, the President has the authority to not simply kill citizens but to decided whether they can sue him for the act.
In other words, the Supreme Court has yet to rule on the unconstitutionality of the issue because the Obama administration (and its predecessors) have been fantastically successful in arguing that nobody can bring suit over these policies because they don’t have Standing. So even if Obama’s new “assassination power” is blatantly unconstitutional, it will never be declared so until a federal court grants someone standing to bring suit. And even if the Plaintiff appealed the Standing issue all the way to the Supreme Court, the standing question would be decided on a motion-to-dismiss, meaning they someone has to get all the way to the Supreme Court and WIN on the standing issue, then go back down to the District Court level and argue the case on the merits all the back up to the Supreme Court, who can then deny a Writ of Certiorari (decline to hear the case), which may leave the Plaintiff with an adverse ruling from an unsympathetic Federal Circuit Court panel.
In other words, it’s fucking tough to get these kinds of laws ruled unconstitutional, which is part of the reason that Civil Libertarians like myself freak out so much over them. If a lawsuit was filed today, it could take years just to litigate the Standing issue all the way to the Supreme Court. And then several more years to litigate the case on the merits.
So that’s why this is such an awful precedent. That’s why this is one more reason Liberal, Progressive voters should not vote for Obama out of conscience. Pragmatic, Lesser-of-two-evils voting? I can understand that. But I, for one, cannot in good conscience cast my vote for a man who has willfully participated in laying the 5th Amendment to waste, and potentially giving a much more bloodthirsty, unscrupulous future president the power to assassinate anyone he wishes.
Via Reuters, from an Internet Governance Forum in Nairobi:
Internet companies such as Google, Twitter and Facebook are increasingly co-opted for surveillance work as the information they gather proves irresistible to law enforcement agencies, Web experts said this week.
Although such companies try to keep their users’ information private, their business models depend on exploiting it to sell targeted advertising, and when governments demand they hand it over, they have little choice but to comply.
Suggestions that BlackBerry maker RIM might give user data to British police after its messenger service was used to coordinate riots this summer caused outrage — as has the spying on social media users by more oppressive governments…
…Demands from governments for Internet companies to hand over user information have become routine, according to online privacy researcher and activist Christopher Soghoian, who makes extensive use of freedom-of-information requests in his work.
“Every decent-sized U.S. telecoms and Internet company has a team that does nothing but respond to requests for information,” Soghoian told Reuters in an interview.
Soghoian estimates that U.S. Internet and telecoms companies may receive about 300,000 such requests in connection with law enforcement each year — but public information is scarce.
Somewhere arguments about Internet privacy just got more academic.
This morning, we were alerted to the possibility of Radiohead playing an impromptu show at #OCCUPYWALLSTREET at about 4pm this afternoon.
The New York Times’ City Room Blog reports that the band’s spokesperson has said that the band is “definitely not” going to perform at Liberty Plaza, contrary to initial reports. This is contrary to the “confirmed” information we received earlier from Gothamist and the OccupyWallSt.org website, and we are not quite sure where that information came from.
BUT! Gawker is reporting the following:
However, an Occupy Wall Street spokesman we spoke to insists the show will go on and that organizers have email confirmation from members of the band that Radiohead will be playing an acoustic set at 4pm. “What we think is happening is they don’t want a lot of people to come,” he said. “Trust me, we have confirmation.” CNN’s Jeremy Ryan is now reporting that the show is a go as well; what might happen if Radiohead doesn’t show up could be more interesting than if they did.
It is still unclear exactly what will (or will not) happen, but we apologize for any confusion caused by the announcement on this blog earlier today. We thank you for your patience and understanding — obviously getting dependable information is difficult, given the nature of this event.
“You killed my son and now you are giving me a tree?”—An Iraqi farmer to Peter Van Buren of the US State Department after his team tried to give away fruit tree seedlings to replant ruined orchards (x)
President Obama was asked by Michael Smerconish just now whether he ordered the strike on the anti-American cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki, but he declined to get into it.
“I can’t talk about the operational details, Michael,” Obama said. “This is something we had been working with the Yemeni Government on for quite some time. There’s been significant cooperation with the intelligence levels with a lot of countries in the region.”
He added, “We are very pleased that Mr. Awlaki is no longer going to be in a position to directly threaten the United States homeland as well as our allies around the world.”
Somewhere in the West Wing, Emperor Palpatine is cackling wildly as White House Aides redact the 5th Amendment with a $5,000 oversized magic marker made in China by Halliburton subsidiaries with Stimulus funds. Meanwhile, Obama has begun construction of a “shovel-ready” Deathstar, which Republicans claim will be used for Class Warfare.
Stay tuned for next year’s Easter Egg roll, during which Hillary Clinton will kill the last Jedi in the galaxy as Honorable Guest Dick Cheney zaps the kids with force lightning and siphons their life energies to sustain his blackened mechanical heart, and Obama routes out the leaders of the Rebel Alliance with delayed-notice Warrants under the Patriot Act.
Be careful at the polls in 2012, folks. It’s a trap.
If the government of Norway decided, after just the accusation (without evidence reviewed in a court of law) that they were involved in or incited the violent acts of terrorist Anders Breivik, to pilot a drone aircraft into the United States, in violation of state sovereignty, to assassinate Pam Gellar or Frank Gaffney, would this be acceptable?
Please disregard your personal feelings for either Gellar or Gaffney when considering an answer.
To be declared innocent in a country where the rule of law means nothing, where we have undergone a corporate coup, where the poor and working men and women are reduced to joblessness and hunger, where war, financial speculation and internal surveillance are the only real business of the state, where even habeas corpus no longer exists, where you, as a citizen, are nothing more than a commodity to corporate systems of power, one to be used and discarded, is to be complicit in this radical evil. To stand on the sidelines and say “I am innocent” is to bear the mark of Cain; it is to do nothing to reach out and help the weak, the oppressed and the suffering, to save the planet. To be innocent in times like these is to be a criminal. Ask Tim DeChristopher.
Choose. But choose fast. The state and corporate forces are determined to crush this. They are not going to wait for you. They are terrified this will spread. They have their long phalanxes of police on motorcycles, their rows of white paddy wagons, their foot soldiers hunting for you on the streets with pepper spray and orange plastic nets. They have their metal barricades set up on every single street leading into the New York financial district, where the mandarins in Brooks Brothers suits use your money, money they stole from you, to gamble and speculate and gorge themselves while one in four children outside those barricades depend on food stamps to eat. Speculation in the 17th century was a crime. Speculators were hanged. Today they run the state and the financial markets. They disseminate the lies that pollute our airwaves. They know, even better than you, how pervasive the corruption and theft have become, how gamed the system is against you, how corporations have cemented into place a thin oligarchic class and an obsequious cadre of politicians, judges and journalists who live in their little gated Versailles while 6 million Americans are thrown out of their homes, a number soon to rise to 10 million, where a million people a year go bankrupt because they cannot pay their medical bills and 45,000 die from lack of proper care, where real joblessness is spiraling to over 20 percent, where the citizens, including students, spend lives toiling in debt peonage, working dead-end jobs, when they have jobs, a world devoid of hope, a world of masters and serfs.
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.
As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.
They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage. They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses. They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation. They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization. They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices. They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions. They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right. They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay. They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility. They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance. They have sold our privacy as a commodity. They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit. They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce. They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them. They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil. They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit. They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit. They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media. They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt. They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas. They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts. *
To the people of the world,
We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.
Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.
To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.
Up until this announcement, the Occupy Wall Street movement has been unwieldy and somewhat lacking in a coherent voice, but that’s all about the change. New York City labor unions have decided to descend upon the streets of Lower Manhattan on Friday.
The leadership of the Transit Workers Union Local 100—comprised of subway and bus workers—voted unanimously to support the protestors. With a membership of 38,000, 5 Oct. will easily be the largest day yet in the protest. On 12 Oct., SEIU 32BJ, representing doormen, security guards, and maintenance workers around the city, is also staging a rally in support of the cause.
It’s unclear for now whether the transit system will be completely shut down while the 38,000 workers are participating in the protest. If it is, the Occupy Wall Street movement will definitely make its mark in history. And either way, it now has a substantial footing to make a real statement about American economy policy.
Jackie DiSalvo, an #OccupyWallStreet organizer, summarized the movement’s policy as such: “Occupy Wall Street will not negotiate watering down its own message.”
It was first reported in January of last year that the Obama administration had compiled a hit list of American citizens whom the President had ordered assassinated without any due process, and one of those Americans was Anwar al-Awlaki. No effort was made to indict him for any crimes (despite a report last October that the Obama administration was “considering” indicting him). Despite substantial doubt among Yemen experts about whether he even has any operational role in Al Qaeda, no evidence (as opposed to unverified government accusations) was presented of his guilt. When Awlaki’s father sought a court order barring Obama from killing his son, the DOJ argued, among other things, that such decisions were “state secrets” and thus beyond the scrutiny of the courts. He was simply ordered killed by the President: his judge, jury and executioner. When Awlaki’s inclusion on President Obama’s hit list was confirmed, The New York Times noted that “it is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing.”
After several unsuccessful efforts to assassinate its own citizen, the U.S. succeeded today (and it wasthe U.S.). It almost certainly was able to find and kill Awlaki with the help of its long-time close friend President Saleh, who took a little time off from murdering his own citizens to help the U.S. murder its. The U.S. thus transformed someone who was, at best, a marginal figure into a martyr, and again showed its true face to the world. The government and media search for The Next bin Laden has undoubtedly already commenced.
What’s most striking about this is not that the U.S. Government has seized and exercised exactly the power the Fifth Amendment was designed to bar (“No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law”), and did so in a way that almost certainly violates core First Amendment protections (questions that will now never be decided in a court of law). What’s most amazing is that its citizens will not merely refrain from objecting, but will stand and cheer the U.S. Government’s new power to assassinate their fellow citizens, far from any battlefield, literally without a shred of due process from the U.S. Government. Many will celebrate the strong, decisive, Tough President’s ability to eradicate the life of Anwar al-Awlaki — including many who just so righteously condemned those Republican audience members as so terribly barbaric and crass for cheering Governor Perry’s execution of scores of serial murderers and rapists — criminals who were at least given a trial and appeals and the other trappings of due process before being killed.
We killed a man because we didn’t like the words he said, and no one seems to care.
New York City labor unions are preparing to back the unwieldy grassroots band occupying a park in Lower Manhattan, in a move that could mark a significant shift in the tenor of the anti-corporate Occupy Wall Street protests and send thousands more people into the streets.
The Transit Workers Union Local 100’s executive committee, which oversees the organization of subway and bus workers, voted unanimously Wednesday night to support the protesters.
“So when we build those bases on that global field of screams, when we send our armadas of drones out to kill, don’t be surprised if the rest of the world doesn’t see us as the good guys or the heroes, but as terminators. It’s not the best way to make friends and influence people, but once your mindset is permanent war, that’s no longer a priority. It’s a scream, and there’s nothing funny about it”—Tom Engelhardt
“Well, I’ve changed the course of music five or six times. What have you done except fuck the president?”—Miles Davis to Nancy Reagan at a White House dinner in 1987 after she’d inquired as to what he’d done with his life to merit an invitation. source (via theadrianflores)
Why is it more moral for a federal bureaucrat in a state-supplied SUV to shut down an offshore oil rig on grounds that it is too dangerous for the environment than for a private individual to risk his own capital to find some sort of new fuel to power his government’s SUV fleet?
Answer “what’s morality got to do with it, cloth-ears?” (rather than the correct “You got me there, Senex Gloriosus!”) and VDH will not let you pass, but will block the hallway and forcibly regale you, no matter how badly you say you need the bathroom, with his proposed solution to our nation’s low, mean state: Tax the Poor (“Their noncompliance bothers the foundations of our society far more than that of the stingy, but minuscule, number of grasping rich”) and restore “a different popular culture that honors character rather than excess,” presumably by throwing non-Christians to the lions.
On and on it goes, with awkward modern correlations (“the elite have responsibility to use their largess wisely and not turn into the Kardashians”) and stretches of senile dementia (“In our strange culture, that someone drives an overpriced BMW apparently means that our own Toyotas don’t have air conditioners or stereos” — what?). You may wonder how he gets published. Well, they can’t all be bellowing goons like Chris Christie or Mr. Reasonables like David Brooks — sometimes the avatars of the New Feudalism must have a schoolly look, so that the half-educated may look upon them and think, aha, the rage I feel when I see impertinent minorities and nubiles on TV is not just a gut reaction, but the judgement of history!
[Muhammad] Yunus is surprisingly tiny. Despite his diminutive size, he radiates an enormous amount of warmth and bonhomie. He wore a green tunic and gray vest, his silver hair gleaming in the church spotlights. After a brief standing ovation, he fielded questions from the crowd, which were almost worshipful.
All but one questioner began by thanking Yunus for his work pioneering micro-credit—the policy of lending small amounts of money to the poor, for which he won his Nobel prize in 2006. Several asked how they could help his cause. Yunus explained that he had established a micro-credit bank in New York called Grameen America (which has 6,000 borrowers, I was surprised to hear), and so they should inquire there.
[Director Holly] Mosher sat, beaming, to Yunus’s right.
Although Mosher mentions it only in passing, Bonsai People could be seen as a response to Tom Heinemann’s Caught in Micro Debt, the 2010 documentary that focused on micro-lending horror stories and accused Grameen Bank of an illegal transfer of Norwegian aid money. Heinemann’s film sparked an investigation by the Norwegian government, and though Yunus was cleared of wrongdoing, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed’s administration fired Yunus as Grameen’s director soon afterward. [read more]
FRANK Luntz is like a serial killer of the English language.
As soon as I heard the term “job creators,” I said to myself, “that sounds like Frank Luntz talking.” And sure enough, it’s right in there in Frank Luntz’s latest book, Win: The Key Principles to Take Your Business from Ordinary to Extraordinary. Here are Luntz’s exact words: “You don’t create jobs by making life difficult for job creators.” That’s under the heading “The Ten Rules for 2012: What Americans Really Want to Hear from Their Representatives.”
Here is Luntz’s list of what we all “really” want to hear in 2012:
I will never accept the status quo.
I will never apologize for America.
I will find at least one penny of waste to cut from every dollar of spending.
I will never raise taxes in a recession.
You don’t work for me. I work for you.
I will fight for the public’s right to know the cost and consequences of every piece of legislation and regulation.
I will always prioritize American rights over the rights of those who wish to do us harm.
I will work with anyone who will work with me.
I will always support freedom.
I still believe in the American principle: of the people, by the people, for the people.
Note the absence of anything even resembling a policy, a program, or a solution to anyone’s problems. So, for instance, the Luntzified Republican Party’s health care plan really is, “don’t get sick.”
And leaving Ron Paul aside, doesn’t that Luntz list sound like every single Republican candidate for President?
And almost every Republican Governor? And almost every Republican Senator? And, of course, Sarah Palin?
Which suggests this startling possibility: If they all read Luntz’s book, then they all know how to read.