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November 04, 2011



whatever happened to Left in the West?


I'm not sure whether the Occupy movement will work. I joined it in Butte and Helena as a sort of existential gesture. For me, it was a sort of "act as though you're acting for all mankind" thing.

The early phases of any movement are often disjointed and ineffective. But if we keep slogging away, maybe something good will eventually happen. I think we have to be hopeful and patient.


Lizard, I got busy.

Turner, Gary Trudeau had a terrific story arc in his Doonesbury comic with an interview of one of the non-leaders of OWS. This guy, with a paper bag over his face, kept insisting that OWS was a movement without leaders and without goals. Fair enough, what they do have are 'demands' (threats) and absolutely no method of actualizing those save a camp-out. I think Trudeau was pretty spot-on in his take.

Tokarski holds that voting is useless, and that people have to 'organize' to bring change. I've never disagreed with the latter proposition, and celebrate the Occupy movement because of it. But all the organization in the world won't affect change if no one will pick up a tool to build it. The only thing I've been pointing out is that the toolbox is somewhat limited. The three most effective tools are money, violence and voting. Money is what the Occupiers have little of and violence is what our side wants to avoid. So, if one actually thinks voting is useless, there really isn't much left, is there?

Imagine how humorous I found it when JC called for a Constitutional Convention (a very worthy call) in the same post where he describes voting as useless.


Actually, I'm always in trouble over at 4 & 20 because I still believe in voting. And I'll almost always vote for Democrats, warts and all.

But when you think about successful movements you need to remember that the one that caused LBJ to resign and that led eventually to our withdrawal from Vietnam started with a rag-tag group of demonstrators occupying Columbia University. They were disparaged in the same way the Occupy Movement is being disparaged today.


Turner, you're being melodramatic.

Rob, go check out left in the west. looks like the time for the domain name is up.


It is, Lizard. But that's Matt's business not mine. And speaking of melodrama, didn't you rather publicly proclaim you didn't want anything to do with that site anymore? ;-)

Turner, it's my opinion, of course, but with the exception of FAUX news and the right-wing blogotubes, it appears that a majority of organizations and folk are either supportive or at least hopeful for the Occupy movement. I don't confuse that for thinking that it is gaining strength. Without any direction for it to go, there isn't much strength for it to gain. The police violence is helpful as exhibit to show how far we've gone towards being a security state, but it doesn't change much of anything until direct action is taken. A recall of Oakland mayor Jean Quan would be a nice start. (Notice, that involves voting.)

All in all, though, I think your commitment to patience is probably the best path. That's ironic, I admit, given that this movement started because patience wore out.


Write something of substance or write nothing at all. I have no patience for you, "stumpy", nor am I required to. - W

Big Swede

"Greater Transparency and Better Government"????

Is stonewalling Fast and Furious and Solyndra with redactions and refusals a feature of transparency?

Big Swede

Speaking of "transparency", see below.

A philosophy professor asked his students just one question for their final exam.

"How are you going to make me believe that this chair in front of you doesn't exist?"

All the students but one took the full hour to write several page answers. The one, a known slacker, took just 10 seconds to finish and turn in his "A+" paper. He wrote:

"What Chair?"


Hey Turner, you ever notice how those folk don't read this site anymore, but they quote it directly to slam on you, me and "lame"ocrats? That isn't "phishing". It's pointing out the obvious.

Hey JC, you still haven't answered two questions:

If you can't get people to vote for candidates of your choosing, exactly how do you expect to get them to vote for a Constitutional Convention ... or even what you want put into the document?

And how is that Occupy Missoula thingy working out for you?


Swede, I had a philosophy professor who got an A on a test about existentialism by submitting a blank page. That anecdote doesn't make your comment any more sensible.

There are ongoing hearings about Solyndra and Holder testified today about Fast and Furious. Do try to keep up, and while you're at it, stay on topic, kitten.

Big Swede

"Greater Transparency and Better Government" was a bullet point of your last link.

Big Swede

Regarding transparency. Daily Caller article, Boyle author 11-10

"Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley said Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder is continuing to stonewall congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious. This time, Holder is refusing to provide 11 of the 12 witnesses Grassley and House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa have requested be made available for interviews.

“We have requested 12 Justice Department witnesses be made available for transcribed interviews,” Grassley said in a Thursday Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting. “Despite the department’s promises of good faith cooperation, only one witness has been provided so far — former U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke. The department has refused to schedule interviews with any of the other 11 witnesses. That’s not the good faith cooperation I was promised, and it is unacceptable.”

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