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    Changing My Occupation

    Update:  I read the following and thought hey Occupy the Supreme Court is a really great idea.  There are members of congress that have called for the investigation of Justice Clarence Thomas as well as seeking a retroactive recusal(definitely a very longshot) to remove him from ruling on Citizen's United which would make the decision fail.  I love the idea of more attention brought directly the door of the Supreme Court.


    As I said in my update on the blog about Denver Arrests (by the way, there were apparently a couple of arrests today, so they have been daily since the decision by some to express their civil disobedience over the right to camp in the state park outside the capitol), I have decided not to Occupy Denver any more.  I feel that the decisions, actions, and inactions of the inner group have not been supportive overall of the group.  I wish them the best.  Their numbers are actually growing as the global participation day brought thousands to the Occupy Denver March yesterday but I have spent the week talking people into staying and getting involved instead of pointing fingers and now myself after many things - but the final straw was the decision made by some behind-the-scenes people never to post the forum on Vision, Mission, and Goals today and then to cancel it and decide themselves we would have a GA instead.  It was not the end of the world but just the last straw for me in the handling of many, many issues. 

    I wish them well.  I donated my sign.  I never realized how much money, time and energy a sign could take to make, lol.  I realize my relative insignificance in the overall scheme of things.  I may look into Occupy Boulder or other Occupy's to see how they are faring but I need a break and some rest as I haven't slept much since Thursday night when many made the decision to express civil disobedience with regards to camping in the park Thursday night was an all-night-into-the-morning affair with state troopers. 

    I am weighing whether I will participate in Occupy or just focus on the things that I feel need to happen before any of the other issues can ever be addressed like undoing the effects of Citizens United (Occupy might actually do some good if they occupied there to bring attention to Justice Thomas and a move that was made to get retroactive recusal from him on the Citizens United decision), to support the movement to amend the constitution to Get Money Out of Politics (see, and I think we need another effort across the board along with these to make our elections verifiable and to make sure that all citizens eligible to vote are able to vote. 

    I know some say you have to get the money out of politics before you could amend the constitution to get money out of politics and I say that is a chicken/egg argument and I would rather start climbing the mountain of effort it will take to pass an amendment to do so than wait for a corrupted congress to do so.


    Can you summarize the VM & G, or was it still amorphous?

    There was just an intention to have a forum on them but I put structure to that forum in the form of intending to use modified open space technology which would have at least put some unifying energy into the group.  It would have allowed people to start to see commonality and it may have led to a unified vision beginning to appear.  My biggest hope was that we might have discovered a unifying vision that we could have proposed at a later General Assembly.  It would have taken more simliar forums to actually do all of the work.  thbe first forum we had was a completely nebulous discussion where other than my offerings people did not understand the distinctions and just talked about randome ideas for goals which is mostly all that ever gets talked about in the group and are the most divisive aspect as a whole. 

    I realize my relative insignificance in the overall scheme of things

    I think you are significant and so are your reports along with the other reports we are receiving here.

    I also ask for a translation of the 'aims' of the controlling group(s).

    I think these people are very well intended and trying to be 'in service' to the group.  I don't think they are aware of the way they are 'holding' things that is not best for the group in my opinion.  Groups reflect their leaders.  Even the press has called these people 'leaders' of the group so there is an energetic that is obvious about it.  As Chris says in his comment below it  is natural for us to fall into that but these are not elected leaders and at some point the energetci will be addressed.  It may already be coming out because I looked at the facebook page last night and they had shut down comments on the page.  Before they would post things like announcements or requrests and people could comment there and there would be a long thread of comments and it was a way to communicate to 'them/'.  Now it is shut down so that there is just information on that page and no where to comment.

    What you have reported Sync, is not surprising to me. I have read of other such situations in the OWS movement. This is NOT to suggest any belittlement of it at all.

    Quite the contrary. I am encouraged that it is holding together considering the where most have come from.

    Let me explain.  Our culture is based almost entirely on a top down authoritarian model where those at the top give directions (orders ?) to those underneath who follow those orders. They in turn give orders to those beneath them etc. where those on the bottom have the least, if any, say.

    From out families to our church to the work place to our educational system and on and on.

    Putting into place a system that is not based on this but rather a participatory democracy - as the OWS protests have done -  and have it last as long as it has gives one hope. Since most people are now out of their comfort zone in it. We are not use to not having a definite leader to tell us what to support in simplistic terms, yet it is what we have come to expect.

    It will take a good deal of time to adjust too. There are few examples of groups that have used this participatory approach and it has been very successful so we know that it does work and work very well. But overcoming the years - decades - of being told is a daunting task.

    With luck and a lot of work the movement will overcome these difficulties and maybe take this approach beyond the protest themselves.

    I agree Chris.  I think it takes a great deal of trust to allow for the agreed upon level of participation to take place and there is a general lack of self awaareness of those reacting and pushing back on letting unification take place so they don't realize that they are 'controlling' the situation and in fact are unaware of what they are doing.

    I've referred to the OWS movement as a mob, not as an insult but as an fact based on my understanding of history. I'd say they share a lot of common ground.

    "... One of the main causes for the Fall of the Roman Empire was the Failing Economy and high inflation. The Government was constantly threatened by bankruptcy due to the cost of defending the Empire, the failing economics, heavy taxation and high inflation was another Causes for the Fall of the Roman Empire. The majority of the inhabitants of the Roman Empire failed to share in the incredible prosperity of Rome ..."

    Another cause for the fall was the unemployment of the working classes :

    "... Cheap slave labor  (seems they had outsourced labor too)  resulted in the unemployment of the Plebs in Rome who became dependent on hand-outs from the state. The Romans attempted a policy of unrestricted trade (free trade anyone ???but this led to the Plebs being unable to compete with foreign trade. The government were therefore forced to subsidize the working class Romans  (unemployment benefits ???)  to make up the differences in prices. This resulted in thousands of Romans choosing just to live on the subsides sacrificing their standard of living  (mortgage meltdown ???)  with an idle life of ease. The massive divide between the rich Romans and the poor Romans increased still further ..."


    "... The 'Mob' needed to be amused - spectacular gladiatorial games had to be provided  (casting one party as being unAmerican/Socialist/or whatever is necessary to make them politically illegitimate) . The cost of the gladiatorial games was born by the Emperors, and therefore the state, and corrupt politicians who sponsored the games to curry favor and support with the 'Mob'. The cost of the gladiatorial games eventually came to one third of the total income of the Roman Empire ..."

    The Roman Senate often referred to the Plebs of Rome as a mob and they figured as long as they were being fed bread to eat and circuses to enjoy, they wouldn't be too concerned with the real problems of the empire. Same with our government and others today. We've all been on a diet of bread and circuses. And all of a sudden ... 2008 ...  the bread stopped coming and there were no more circuses to keep us amused. Now the mob is getting agitated and irritable asking questions governments aren't prepared to answer knowing if they did all hell would break loose and chaos would rule the roost.

    That satisfies my concern why there's a lack of coordination about what everyone is PO'd about ... government catering to the business elites is a variable not a constant so the effects of their clout varies depending on locale and the goods and services.

    I think it would be safe to say all OWS protests are basic populace demands their government rein back in the capitalist in favor of modest social control concerning salaries, benefits, medical care and coverage and retirement security.

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