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Occupy Doesn’t Have a Platform – It Is a Platform PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Kevin Carson   
Saturday, 17 December 2011 05:53

The Occupy movement comes under frequent attack from the institutional Left (and, it goes without saying, from the liberal establishment) for not offering a clear list of official demands – for, in other words, not offering a platform.

But that criticism misses the point. Occupy doesn’t have a single platform, in the sense of a list of demands. But it is a platform – a collaborative platform, like a wiki. Occupy isn’t a unified movement with a single list of demands and an official leadership to state them. Rather, Occupy offers a toolkit and a brand name to a thousand different movements with their own agendas, their own goals, and their own demands – with only their hatred of Wall Street and the corporate state in common, and the Occupy brand as a source of strength and identity.

Mr. Potter’s Offer: Occupy “It’s a Wonderful Life” PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Karoline Steavenson   
Thursday, 15 December 2011 11:52

This time of year the classic film It’s a Wonderful Life comes out of storage and is broadcast on TV, or pulled out of a video collection. In some places, including the Quad Cities, it will be shown in a theater. It’s showing at the Galvin Fine Arts Center at St. Ambrose University on Saturday, December 18, at 1 p.m., with audience response encouraged.

As was typical with director Frank Capra’s later films, it wasn’t made primarily to be a blockbuster the way Hollywood films are often planned today. It was made so that Frank Capra could teach a few lessons. His later films always included morals.

One crucial lesson in It’s a Wonderful Life is taught when Mr. Potter, the most powerful and intimidating man in Bedford Falls, offers George Bailey, his do-gooder nemesis, a job. Potter wants to destroy George’s family-owned company, the Bailey Building & Loan. So driven by that most basic of sins – greed – Potter offers to make Bailey his paid lackey.

Electability: Ron Paul Soundly Defeats Obama for These 11 Reasons PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Dave Trotter   
Thursday, 08 December 2011 06:04

(Editor's note: This is one of three articles on Ron Paul in the December 8 issue of the River Cities’ Reader. The package also includes Kathleen McCarthy’s “Ron Paul Personifies Iowa GOP Party Platform” editorial and Todd McGreevy’s “Media Manipulation and Ron Paul.”)

Establishment political personalities are quick to claim poor “electability” to diminish Ron Paul’s chances because they presume that Paul holds no positive advantage in a head-to-head matchup against President Barack Obama in the general election. That’s an apparent premise of their calculation.

This is either a sublime miscalculation or a profound deception. If Ron Paul can win the Republican nomination, the path to the White House could seem downhill by comparison. Why?

Unprecedented debt circumstances demand an unprecedented re-imagining of U.S. government priorities and obligations. The U.S. national debt is categorically unsustainable and, literally, it’s now mathematically impossible to repay, too. That the debt, banking, and finance system is increasingly proven to be a rigged Ponzi scheme in mainstream media only underlines Ron Paul’s tenured criticism of the oligarchical Federal Reserve system itself. Further, increasing numbers of voters awaken daily to the direct correlation between endless foreign interventionism and that categorically unsustainable debt that vexes the nation.

Indeed, because of wars, rumors of wars, a fading dollar, climbing prices, hopeless unemployment, and an overreaching federal police state, the time is ripe for Ron Paul’s small-government message.

The Evil 1 Percent PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.   
Tuesday, 25 October 2011 05:54

Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.The “occupy” protest movement is thriving off the claim that the 99 percent are being exploited by the 1 percent, and there is truth in what they say. But they have the identities of the groups wrong. They imagine that it is the 1 percent of highest wealth-holders who are the problem. In fact, that 1 percent includes some of the smartest, most innovative people in the country – the people who invent, market, and distribute material blessings to the whole population. They also own the capital that sustains productivity and growth.

But there is another 1 percent out there, those who do live parasitically off the population and exploit the 99 percent. Moreover, there is a long intellectual tradition, dating back to the late Middle Ages, that draws attention to the strange reality that a tiny minority lives off the productive labor of the overwhelming majority.

I’m speaking of the State, which even today is made up of a tiny sliver of the population but is the direct cause of all the impoverishing wars, inflation, taxes, regimentation, and social conflict. This 1 percent is the direct cause of the violence, the censorship, the unemployment, and vast amounts of poverty, too.

Wall Street Couldn’t Have Done It Alone PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Sheldon Richman   
Friday, 21 October 2011 07:41

The spreading Occupy Wall Street movement, despite a vague worldview and agenda, properly senses that something is dreadfully wrong in America. The protesters vent their anger at the big financial institutions in New York’s money district (as well as other big cities) for the housing and financial bubble, the resulting Great Recession, the virtual non-recovery, the threat of a second recession, and the long-term unemployment – which averages more than 9 percent but hits certain groups and areas far more severely than others.

The protest is understandable, even laudable, but there’s something the protesters need to know: Wall Street couldn’t have done it alone. The protesters’ wrath should also be directed at the national government and its central bank, the Federal Reserve System, because it took the government or the Fed (or both) to:

• create barriers to entry, for the purpose of sheltering existing banks from competition and radical innovation;

• then regulate for the benefit of the privileged industry;

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