OCCUPY Wall Street!
OCCUPY ALL OVER THE WORLD!
Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% who will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OCCUPY Wall Street!
OCCUPY Wall Street (Adbusters)
- GAP / SFMOMA http://t.co/5ng9YqniwZ 07:16:42 AM June 04, 2013 from LinksAlpha ReplyRetweetFavorite
- Google Will Find You http://t.co/4gbxQpiwuw 10:01:43 PM May 16, 2013 from LinksAlpha ReplyRetweetFavorite
- The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts "Dream House" http://t.co/u3sAYgeYXi 05:51:18 AM April 11, 2013 from LinksAlpha ReplyRetweetFavorite
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CIO has been informed that the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has commissioned the guerrilla art group Together We Can Defeat Capitalism (TWCDC) to paint a giant mural on the exterior wall of the future museum extension. The extension is being constructed to house the art collection of Fisher family, founders of the GAP clothing empire. It is scheduled to open in 2016.
TWCDC’s design for the mural is quite simple: it is the GAP logo itself. In a brilliant conceptual twist the mural both honors GAP and the Fisher family, and at the same time presents a stunning critique of the role of wealth and privilege in the art world. Collaborations between arts organizations and corporations are nothing new of course. For some time SFMOMA has openly courted such partnerships and its website proudly declares that “recent research indicates that corporate philanthropy yields returns of 200 to 300 percent.” Existing sponsors include Wells Fargo, Google, and of course the GAP. It is illuminating to learn that the museum sees itself as an engine for the creation of capital.
The piece is in the the tradition of Warhol’s simple re-presentation of popular brand names such as Campbell’s soup. Warhol’s works were displayed in museums, as a statement about the conflation of advertising and art. The TWCDC piece cloaks the museum itself in a statement about the conflation of fine art and corporate capitalism.
The museum must be complimented on allowing such a statement to be made. Or, is it a savvy move by the museum, knowing that the best way to deflate a critique is to embrace it? A critic with with close ties to the the museum, speaking on condition of anonymity, stated that the public would most likely see the GAP mural as pure advertising and without any artistic merit.
A TWCDC spokesperson explained that the term “gap” also references the gap between the old SFMOMA and the new, between the incomes of the rich and the rest of us, between institutional art and the art of the street, between oppressor and oppressed.
In a nod to Matthew Barney, the mural will be painted by a single TWCDC member rappelling from the roof of the new extension. A TWCDC spokesman estimated the mural would take over a year to paint and should be considered a performance to be viewed by museum attendees and spectators in the vicinity of the museum. The method of execution also hints at that other great icon of the USA, Mount Rushmore. Painting of the mural is scheduled to start immediately after completion of the new extension.
SFMOMA and GAP are also collaborating with several local artists on the design and production of custom-designed t-shirts. In a similar conceptual judo throw to the mural, TWCDCs t-shirts will be adorned simply with a silkscreened GAP logo. The t-shirts will be sold through the SFMOMA gift shop. Similar versions of the GAP logo shirt will be available at GAP stores for a fraction of the price.
TWCDC’s previous exhibition at SFMOMA, ingeniously titled Together We Can Defeat Capitalism consisted simply of posters and postcards with Botta’s graphic image of the museum and the bold caption: TOGETHER WE CAN DEFEAT CAPITALISM, harking back nostalgically to an era when art was involved in fomenting real social change. TWCDC also parked an electronic traffic sign outside of SFMOMA and delivered a pertinent warning.
This is along the lines of what I’ve been thinking about recently. And it will not be long……
Through its “Dream House Raffle” http://www.sfraffle.com/. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts extracts capital from the red hot property market in San Francisco to finance its local art programs. Prizes in the raffle include the multi-million dollar “Dream House” and a slough of other luxury prizes, including luxury cars, luxury vacations, jewelry, and other capitalist trinkets. The raffle’s web site has the “look and feel” of a shopping channel site or a seedy internet scam. Indeed the whole venture is bathed in sleaziness. (Full disclosure: I am an artist who does not own property in San Francisco and has purchased raffle tickets in previous years.) The “Dream House Raffle” has run for the last five years.
The irony is that this avowed supporter of the local arts is profiting from the obscene property and rental market that has driven many artists out of town. In addition YBCA’s celebration of exclusive, expensive luxury goods, absent of any balancing position on the housing situation in San Francisco and the Bay Area, destroys any pretence it had to represent a cross-section of diversity in the City. And guess who buys the tickets? Artist suckers like me!
The high property values have been fueled primarily by the booming tech sector that is threatening to turn San Francisco into a playground for the young rich technocrati and their heavily pampered dogs [there are more dogs San Francisco than children]. In it’s “Dream House Raffle” the nightmare hypocrisy of this so-called liberal city is brought into sharp focus.
Advertisements for the “Dream House” are cropping up all over San Francisco – on billboards, on buses and bus shelters, and in BART stations. Along the platform at Powell Street station a long line of Dream House billboard advertisements disappears into the distance. Strangely, none of these ads mention YBCA as if, indeed, there is something shameful and embarrassing about the enterprise.
In its advertising, YBCA gives the general location of the “Dream House” but the address is a closely guarded secret. This year, the house is in Pacific Heights. After two hours using Google Maps with Street View, combined with pictures of the house itself and the views from it as shown on the raffle web site, I found it at 2508 Green Street.
Some artists and activists are attempting to raise awareness of the contradictions surrounding the raffle. In January of this year, a group called “Occupy the Dream House” staged a demonstration at the 2012 Dream House in Menlo Park.
The whole sordid venture is scheduled to reach its conclusion June 21, 2013 when the lucky winner of the “Dream House” will be announced and they will join the rich property owners on top of the hill.
Megan Wilson’s Installation at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ Occupy Exhibition – from her project 99%.
There was a homeless guy face down on the sidewalk right next to the Google bus line on 24th Street. Everybody was just walking past him or ignoring him as they peered into their smart phones. I walked past too but turned around and went back. I tapped him on the shoulder, “Man, are you OK?” He looked up and grunted. He seemed alright. Perhaps I should have done more, called somebody, but who? but feeling too tied up with my own problems. The Google line; the collapsed homeless guy – could there be a more poignant portrait of our times?
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
July 7 – October 14, 2012
Opening: Occupy Bay Area Night
Jul 7, 2012 6:00pm
Grand Lobby $5 general admission/ FREE for YBCA members
Since its inception in September 2011, the Occupy Movement has generated both praise and condemnation. A direct response to the financial instability, subprime mortgage crisis and the decline of trust in the government’s ability to effectively address the problems in the labor market, it continues to resonate in the American consciousness. In response to the significant output of art and documentation produced in support of the Occupy Movement in Oakland and San Francisco, YBCA has put together an exhibition of works that have proven to be particularly effective in supporting the goals and aspirations of the Movement. Impressively, various political poster artists devoted their talents to messaging the politics and culture of the movement by creating iconic images — designs that were a call to action, or posters announcing an upcoming event. In many ways these works, by twenty-five Bay Area artists, carry forward the region’s long tradition as a leader in political struggles, from the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s, to struggles by communities of color in the 1970s, to AIDS activism in the 1980s. The exhibition also includes a selection of photojournalistic and documentary photography and video that serve as a record of the events around the Occupy Movement.
Additionally, to connect to earlier movements and provide a historical context for the project, the exhibition includes posters and photographs from other political struggles, including the Black Panther Party, I-Hotel in Manilatown (1968–77); the ARC/AIDS Vigil at City Hall (1985–95); the Occupation of Alcatraz (1969–71); the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley (1964–65); and the San Francisco State University protests, to gain an Ethnic Studies program and Black Student Union demands (1968–69).While these earlier movements certainly differ in ways from Occupy, they all are the result of a deep desire for marginalized peoples to be represented and treated fairly.
This exhibition is not meant to represent a fully executed social history, but is a testament of the power of images to evoke the emotional expression of popular and wide-spread sentiments. By localizing our efforts, we also pay special tribute to the role that Bay Area artists have played in giving voice to the 99% and utilizing art as an effective vehicle for social change.
Poster artists: Rich Black, Zerena Diaz, Cannon Dill, Digniad Rebelde (Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza), Eric Drooker, Alexandra Fisher, Dave Garcia, Ronnie Goodman, Jason Justice, Gabby Miller and Miriam Klein Stahl, Nuclear Winter Art, Occupy Design, Political Gridlock (Jon-Paul Bail), Cristy C. Road, Faviana Rodriguez, Chris Shaw, Colin Smith, Winston Smith, Chuck Sperry, Xavier Veramontes, Gregoirire Vion, Fred Zaw, Anonymous artists
Aligned artists: Sergio de la Torre, Kota Ezawa, Eric Drooker, Megan Wilson, Suzanne Lacy, Sanaz Mazinani
Artists of historical posters & photographs: Robert Bechtle, Emory Douglas, Rupert Garcia, Ilka Hartmann, Steven Marcus, “Indian Joe” Morris, Rachael Romero, Sheila Tully, Anonymous artists
Photojournalism and video artists: Li Chen Ewen Wright
By Rebecca Tarbotton, Rainforest Action Network, Executive Director / reposted from SFGate / originally posted May 28, 2012
This has been one of the worst years ever for Chevron. From it’s ongoing massive legal losses in Ecuador, to offshore disasters in Brazil and Nigeria, to the tragic deaths of its employees in several locations, including right here in California.
This is the fourth in a series of statements we’re posting as we prepare for a week of what is sure to be inspired 99% Spring protest against Chevron’s irresponsible and destructive business practices (read the first statement, by Kazakhstan’s Sergey Solanyik, here; the second, by Ecuador’s Luz Trinidad Andrea Cusangua, here; the third, by Communities for a Better Environment about Richmond, CA, here; and the fourth, by The Wilderness Society in Australia, here).
These statements are by people from around the world (and from right here in the Bay Area) letting us know what it really means to live in the communities where Chevron operates. Many will travel to San Ramon, CA to bring their calls for justice directly to the company’s executives, board members, and shareholders at Chevron’s annual shareholder meeting on May 30. You can view all of the statements at TrueCostOfChevron.com. If you want to join the protest on May 30, RVSP and find details here.
Today we have two statements from Nigeria, where Chevron was responsible for one of the worst oil disasters of the past year when one of the company’s offshore rigs exploded and burned for over a month. Chevron was never able to contain the fire, but it eventually went out on its own. Large numbers of fish were killed by the oil that was spilled as a result, and the air and coastline were badly polluted.
The first statement is from Emem Okon of the Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre, the other is by Nnimmo Bassey, executive director of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth in Nigeria, and Laura Livoti of Justice In Nigeria Now!
CHEVRON FIRE AND THE PEOPLE OF KOLUAMA 1 AND KOLUAMA 2 IN BAYELSA STATE
I will travel over 6000 miles to attend Chevron’s annual general meeting because I want the Chevron CEO, John Watson, and the Board to know about the devastating impact of the raging fire from Chevron’s Gas Wellhead in Bayelsa State. During the 2011 AGM in San Ramon, I requested that Chevron leadership meet with Niger Delta women and their international allies to discuss issues of environmental justice and the impacts of Chevron’s activities on the peoples’ livelihoods in the Niger Delta. To date, they have not done so. This request is even more vital now considering the impacts of the 46 days of fire on the people of Koluama 1 and Koluama 2 communities in Bayelsa state.
Oil and Gas related incidents in Nigeria’s Niger Delta are unending. The record of environmental devastation was updated in the early hours of January 16, 2012 when the people of Koluama 1 and Koluama 2 communities in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa state were awakened by the explosion from the CHEVRON’s Apoi North Gas Wellhead. Their world stood still for moments when the communities vibrated; the people were alarmed, terrified and frightened. Later, they found out that yet again, the oil industry has manifested their trademark of destruction.
A Chevron oil rig burns in the waters off the Niger Delta
The Koluama people are fisher folks as their communities are mainly riverine, taking more than three hours boat drive from Koluama to Yenagoa the Bayelsa state capital. The implication of this is that the primary occupation of the people is fishing; the Atlantic Ocean and the Koluama River contribute to the main sustenance of life in these communities. The Koluama River empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Life in these communities is very challenging; the Chevron fire incident has made it worse. The water has been poisoned; the environment has been devastated; the livelihood destroyed; the people are wrecked, busted and helpless.
The incident has impacted on the health and livelihoods of community members. As result of the toxic fluid flowing from the fire, fishes and other aquatic lives are dying in great numbers in the ocean. Besides it is not healthy to eat anything from the ocean or the Koluama River since they have become polluted by the toxic fluid. Chief Christian Munghanbofa-Akpele, Chairman, Koluama 1 Council of Chiefs said helplessly, “our lives are now endangered”. There is no health care facility in the community to handle any health casualties.
Chevron has operated in Koluama community since 1953, when they started with seismic operations. The impacts of the explosives led to the dislocation of the communities to the present site. In 1963, the company struck oil and have continued operations ever since. Community members recounted that they are yet to benefit positively from the existence of Chevron in the communities. This negates Chevron recently released corporate responsibility report that they have invested over $200 million to support community programs around the world, with a focus on health, education and economic development. Why have Koluama 1 and Koluama 2 communities in Nigeria’s Delta not benefitted from these programs?
Koluama community members alleged that they suffered similar disaster in 1980 when there was a major oil spillage from Funiwa 5, about 300 metres from the Apoi North Wellhead, the site of the raging fire. The Koluama people decry the negative impacts from Chevron’s operations on their environment. Dead fishes were noticed floating on the water; some were seen struggling to stay alive. The peoples economic activities were disrupted and will remain so for a long time. The Koluama people demand for justice, while they wait for Chevron to act and government to ascertain the extent of damage and conduct a proper clean up of the environment.
On behalf of women in Niger Delta communities, I appreciate Chevron’s reported successes and achievements in Nigeria’s Delta, where they claim ‘to have provided jobs and sustainable economic development while fostering innovative multistakeholder partnerships and socioeconomic investment models’. It is possible to deliver more than 200 projects in 425 communities, villages and chiefdoms only if these projects are not water-boreholes with dry taps; power generating plants that do not provide electricity; completed schools buildings and health centres that are abandoned because they are not equipped with relevant facilities. We will like to know how the 850,000 people from the 425 communities are utilizing the projects. What are the sustainability plans for these projects? Are some of the over 200 completed projects in the Niger Delta located in Koluama 1 and Koluama 11 communities? Are people from Koluama 1 and Koluama 11 communities part of the 850,000 Niger Delta people that are benefitting from Chevron’s largesse? Why are they complaining of neglect and Chevron’s insensitivity. However, there are over 20 million people in the Niger Delta, impacting only on 850,000 persons is very insignificant, that is less than 5% of the population; the impact is not felt. Chevron needs to do more in the Niger Delta.
Anna Orumo says “We are not happy about what is happening to our environment”.
Doris Okorodudu says “I have the intention to tell Chevron my mind – this thing that happened is threatening us; it has stopped us from going to fish in the ocean. We are known for fishing and when you take that away from us, what else do you want us to do? WE ARE ANGRY AND CHEVRON SHOULD KNOW THIS.”
We call on Chevron to clean up their mess in the Niger Delta!
Read more from Nnimmo Bassey and Laura Livoti here
by Arundhati Roy
Re-posted from Outlook India
Rockefeller to Mandela, Vedanta to Anna Hazare…. How long can the cardinals of corporate gospel buy up our protests?
Is it a house or a home? A temple to the new India, or a warehouse for its ghosts? Ever since Antilla arrived on Altamont Road in Mumbai, exuding mystery and quiet menace, things have not been the same. “Here we are,” the friend who took me there said, “Pay your respects to our new Ruler.”
Antilla belongs to India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani. I had read about this most expensive dwelling ever built, the twenty-seven floors, three helipads, nine lifts, hanging gardens, ballrooms, weather rooms, gymnasiums, six floors of parking, and the six hundred servants. Nothing had prepared me for the vertical lawn—a soaring, 27-storey-high wall of grass attached to a vast metal grid. The grass was dry in patches; bits had fallen off in neat rectangles. Clearly, Trickledown hadn’t worked.
But Gush-Up certainly has. That’s why in a nation of 1.2 billion, India’s 100 richest people own assets equivalent to one-fourth of the GDP.
The word on the street (and in the New York Times) is, or at least was, that after all that effort and gardening, the Ambanis don’t live in Antilla. No one knows for sure. People still whisper about ghosts and bad luck, Vaastu and Feng Shui. Maybe it’s all Karl Marx’s fault. (All that cussing.) Capitalism, he said, “has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, that it is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells”.
In India, the 300 million of us who belong to the new, post-IMF “reforms” middle class—the market—live side by side with spirits of the nether world, the poltergeists of dead rivers, dry wells, bald mountains and denuded forests; the ghosts of 2,50,000 debt-ridden farmers who have killed themselves, and of the 800 million who have been impoverished and dispossessed to make way for us. And who survive on less than twenty rupees a day.
Mukesh Ambani is personally worth $20 billion. He holds a majority controlling share in Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), a company with a market capitalisation of $47 billion and global business interests that include petrochemicals, oil, natural gas, polyester fibre, Special Economic Zones, fresh food retail, high schools, life sciences research and stem cell storage services. RIL recently bought 95 per cent shares in Infotel, a TV consortium that controls 27 TV news and entertainment channels, including CNN-IBN, IBN Live, CNBC, IBN Lokmat, and ETV in almost every regional language. Infotel owns the only nationwide licence for 4G Broadband, a high-speed “information pipeline” which, if the technology works, could be the future of information exchange. Mr Ambani also owns a cricket team.
RIL is one of a handful of corporations that run India. Some of the others are the Tatas, Jindals, Vedanta, Mittals, Infosys, Essar and the other Reliance (ADAG), owned by Mukesh’s brother Anil. Their race for growth has spilled across Europe, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America. Their nets are cast wide; they are visible and invisible, over-ground as well as underground. The Tatas, for example, run more than 100 companies in 80 countries. They are one of India’s oldest and largest private sector power companies. They own mines, gas fields, steel plants, telephone, cable TV and broadband networks, and run whole townships. They manufacture cars and trucks, own the Taj Hotel chain, Jaguar, Land Rover, Daewoo, Tetley Tea, a publishing company, a chain of bookstores, a major brand of iodised salt and the cosmetics giant Lakme. Their advertising tagline could easily be: You Can’t Live Without Us.
According to the rules of the Gush-Up Gospel, the more you have, the more you can have.
The era of the Privatisation of Everything has made the Indian economy one of the fastest growing in the world. However, like any good old-fashioned colony, one of its main exports is its minerals. India’s new mega-corporations—Tatas, Jindals, Essar, Reliance, Sterlite—are those who have managed to muscle their way to the head of the spigot that is spewing money extracted from deep inside the earth. It’s a dream come true for businessmen—to be able to sell what they don’t have to buy.
Read more here
OCCUPY THE SCREEN!
March 29, 2012, 7pm
3117 16th Street
San Francisco, CA
Co-Organized by: Christopher Statton, Roxie Theater; Julie Gilgoff & Alex Tonisson, IFPTE Local 21; Megan Wilson, CAPITALISM IS OVER! If You Want It
Thursday, March 29th The Roxie Theater will host a film series and panel discussion to help bring historic context to social and economic protest movements, beginning with the Civil Rights’ Movement, and extending to other movements that have reclaimed public spaces to protest injustice. The film night will serve as a continuation of the discussion brought to the forefront by the Occupy Movement. Now that the encampments have been dispersed, what are communities around the Bay Area doing to challenge social and economic inequities?
A segment of Newreel’s documentary series of the Black Panther Party, What We Want, What We Belive will be featured with several short films, including AFT 2121: The Movie, Art Strikes Back, Yes Men’s Guide to High Level Pranking, and Occupy SF – Veterans Day: Amos Gregory. The screening will be followed with a panel discussion. Panelists include:
Kiilu Nyasha, San Francisco-based journalist and former member of the Black Panther Party.
Amos Gregory, Veteran Artist (US Navy, Submarine Force), Founder, Veterans’ Alley, San Francisco.
Reverend Paul Gaffney, Marin Interfaith Street Chaplaincy
Ramneek Saini, Community Services Director for the San Francisco Labor Council
The People’s Federal Credit Union (based out of Oakland) will also have a table set up to provide information on how to transfer your money from a big bank to a credit union.
The event will be FREE to the public with a suggested donation. 7pm
On What We Want, What We Believe:
“The invaluable Movement documentaries Newsreel produced furthered the work of the Black Panther Party and now provide the esdentail visual record of the Party’s early days. The collection offers an extraordinary compilation that includes historic behind the scenes details taken from a wide range of interviews and contemporary events as well as the classic Newsreel films.”
—Kathleen Cleaver, Communications Secretary, Black Panther Party, 1967–1971
“Society is used in the service of capitalism,” says Baudrillard. Any number of deconstructions concerning the common ground between class and truth may be discovered. Therefore, Lyotard suggests the use of the dialectic paradigm of context to deconstruct hierarchy.
The main theme of Hubbard’s model of material narrative is a neocapitalist whole. Bataille’s analysis of dialectic Marxism suggests that language may be used to reinforce colonialist perceptions of class. In a sense, Derrida uses the term ‘Debordist situation’ to denote the role of the observer as writer.
Material narrative states that narrativity is capable of significance, given that Baudrillard’s critique of dialectic Marxism is invalid. However, Bataille promotes the use of material narrative to attack truth…………………..
The post you have been reading is totally meaningless. To read the rest of this essay, follow this link. The essay was generated automatically by the Postmodernism Generator using the Dada Engine. To generate a new essay, follow this link. It makes me laugh out loud and reminds me of reading The Archeology of Knowledge by Foucault.
by Willie Osterweil, published on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 by Shareable.net, re-posted from Common Dreams
The differences are slight: one decade, one president, one letter out of four. “Change the q to an n, don’t use the phrase ‘WMD’ or ‘pre-emptive strike’”; each incoming Press Secretary should just pass out a style guide. It’s so absurd that the first reaction is a feeling of nauseau, surreality, perhaps madness. Nuclear weapons? State sponsored terrorism? Did we fall into a time warp? Do they really think we’ll buy any of this? It hasn’t even been long enough for the talking heads to turn over: it’s the same crooks delivering the same empty lines on CNN, in the New York Times, on the floor of the House. It’s 2003 all over again.
But Washington DC can be occupied, the plutocrats are served by employees who can strike, and the pundits screaming for Iranian blood are just people in a studio that can be taken over. Recognizing this is part of overcoming that politically impotent mode of expression that defined the left under President Bush: outrage. Outrage, as distinct from anger and rage, has always been a weak political position. Outrage is a reaction, the recognition and/or expression of offense or hurt and generally addresses itself to the people committing outrageous acts. Outrage reflects surprise and shock, which is why outrage can be so easily faked and manufactured to cover malicious intent. “I had no idea the corruption in my office had gotten this far! I’m outraged!” Outrage laughs angrily at Jon Stewart’s mugging, outrage signs a Moveon.org petition, outrage threatens to move to Canada. Outrage is individuated and alienated, it is an expression of the powerless.
The politics of outrage did have one tremendously hopeful moment. In February of 2003, as official, patriotic hatred for Iraq built to an orgiastic frenzy, millions of the outraged appeared on the streets of cities all around the globe, culminating in the largest single day of protest, at least in numbers, that the world has ever seen. But once war began, the movement, such as it was, collapsed. That such a tremendous explosion of popular angst failed to even register with the contemptuous and misanthropic executive would have come as no surprise to a movement with a better analysis of power, nor would it have been a death blow to a movement with a stronger creative impetus than outrage. Rather than manifesting our power, it turned out we were merely registering our offense, ‘voting with our feet’. We were asking the imperial machine not to go to war, and it didn’t even blink. Defeating outrage is as simple as ignoring it.
We are angry, certainly, but we are not shocked, not offended, not surprised. We’ve seen this show before, and while the 1% gathered in Washington may insist on repeating the past’s mistakes, we are not nearly so foolish. We can’t relive 2003, and no one outside of the DC bubble wants to. How do we respond to the hawks screaming for war? First, we could emphasize that the media teams, politicians, and commentators act in bad faith, that they lie without remorse or fear of consequence. We’ve seen this all before, the same lies from the same mouths, and, as W. said: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me, can’t get fooled again.” As the Obama administration pushes for yet more Middle East adventurism, it should be clear to all but the most stalwart denial artists that, at least in the realm of executive powers and warmaking, there is only an aesthetic difference between Democrat and Republican, between Obama and Bush. Neither voting nor voicing our outrage to our representatives will keep us out of war.
All across the country right now, local and state governments are finding they can’t pay their bills. Schools are losing teachers, street lights are going dark, garbage is piling up in public parks, and cops are suddenly an optional expense.
This week we travel to Colorado Springs, to Trenton and to the office of Grover Norquist to ask: Is the kind of country we want? One where government gets smaller? Or should we all pay higher taxes, and keep government bigger?
In the town of Nowthen, MN, residents held meetings to debate whether a police force is worth the cost. And in Springfield, IL, the state police motorcycle division has been cut, leading to an increase in highway fatalities. Host Ira Glass talks about these and other examples of the battle between proponents of small government and those fighting to maintain public services. (4 minutes)
New Jersey governor Chris Christie has led some of the most sweeping budget cuts in the country. Producer Sarah Koenig reports from Trenton, where one third of the police force has been laid off, leading to dramatically increased crime. (14 1/2 minutes)
Perhaps the biggest proponent of smaller government in the United States is lobbyist and activistGrover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform. He envisions a government reduced in size by half, and has compelled scores of conservative politicians take pledges to never raise taxes. Host Ira Glass speaks with Norquist about his strategies and beliefs, and learns which side seems to be winning. (14 1/2 minutes)
After the recession hit, Colorado Springs was in rough shape. City services were being cut left and right. Then one man wrote a manifesto—a blueprint for how the city could solve its problems. Planet Money‘s Robert Smith tells the story. Robert is a member of the Planet Money team. (27 minutes)