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Occupy Everything — Did We Ever Give It Back?

10:40 am in Uncategorized by David Swanson

When the Pentagon ends an occupation, crawling home from Vietnam or Iraq or Afghanistan with its Tomahawk missile dragging between its legs, it declares victory every time. And, depending on how you define victory, it certainly leaves lasting effects. The cancer and birth defects and poisoned water supplies bear witness: there was an occupation here.

Cover of Thank You Anarchy

Nathan Schneider’s new book

When the Occupy Movement lost its presence on television and therefore in real spaces that are never quite as real as television, it too left a lasting impact. But it was a positive lasting impact, difficult as yet to measure fully, but observable in many areas.

I’ve just read Nathan Schneider’s new book, Thank You, Anarchy: Notes From the Occupy Apocalypse, with a foreword by Rebecca Solnit. I consider this book one of the lasting benefits of Occupy. We need a movement as badly as ever, but we now have great experimental lessons to draw on, and collective experience to benefit from.

Veterans of the Occupy encampments have added their strengths to the antiwar and environmental movements, and the growing movements against predatory home loans, foreclosures, student loan sharks, etc.

But primarily, Occupy has changed minds, some dramatically and some slightly — the sum total impossible to discern.  But there is no doubt that opposition against the war on Iraq, denounced as futile by many who took part in it, laid much of the groundwork for successful opposition to missile strikes on Syria. Occupy can be expected to bear similar fruit.

I recommend reading Schneider’s story and considering yet further some of the strategic questions debated without end by General Assemblies — those debates recounted in Schneider’s book.

We’re going to need to know how and why we are committed to nonviolence. We’re going to need to consider how and whether we can build something national or international without the corporate media. We’re going to need to develop further our ability to combine our disparate movements against the giant triplets of racism, militarism, and extreme materialism. We’re going to have to be capable of engaging in big-picture political action while becoming service centers to the homeless or avoiding doing so. We’re going to have to further refine our ability to have fun without becoming foolish. We’re going to have to appreciate unpredictable chaos and learn to generate and steer it without ever knowing what it is. We’re going to have to decide whether we grow by hating the police or by meeting their antagonism with our own jiu-jitsu. We’re going to have to become more international, more non-national, and more local, all at once. We’re going to have to create a movement that grows and grows and grows prior to winning and regardless of winning, while directing its energy toward the most likely winning path.

As I was writing this at Millers bar in Charlottesville, Va., the waiter saw my book, started talking to me about Occupy, and told me that Global Friend Bombs are the way to build connections and “organize the masses.” I had never heard of global friend bombs, but I had had many previous experiences of the word “Occupy” opening up conversations about changing the world in place of “do you want fries with that?”

Newspapers are the first draft of an imperial eulogy. The first draft of history is our books. Read them. Debate them. Mic-check them. Expect the unexpected. Occupy Wall Street. Occupy Main Street. Occupy Everything and Never Give It Back.

The beginning is near!

Veterans to Stand Firm as Afghan War Enters Year 12

1:00 pm in Uncategorized by David Swanson

Day 12 Occupy Wall Street September 28 2011 Shankbone 32

(Photo: David Shankbone/flickr)

Dedicated and disciplined nonviolent activists, and in particular military veterans, are being openly invited to join members of Veterans For Peace in a peaceful vigil in New York City that will as likely as not result in their wrongful arrest and prosecution.

The time will be 6 p.m. on October 7, 2012, as the United States and NATO complete the eleventh year of the current occupation of Afghanistan and launch the twelfth.  The crowd at the Republican National Convention cheered for complete immediate withdrawal, but the nominee’s plans don’t include it.  The crowds at rallies for President Obama’s reelection cheer for both the continuation of the war and its supposed status as “ending,” even though the timetable for that “ending” is longer than most past wars, and a massive occupation is supposed to remain after the occupation “ends.”  Veterans For Peace, an organization dedicated to the abolition of war, is hoping to inject a discordant note into this happy discourse — something that the ongoing reports of deaths just don’t seem to manage.

The place will be Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza, 55 Water Street, New York City.  It was there that some of the same veterans gathering this October were arrested last May First.  The memorial is normally open around the clock, but on that day the New York Police Department decided to close it at 10 p.m. in order to evict the Occupy Movement’s nonviolent general assembly.  Eight members of the Veterans Peace Team and two members of Occupy Faith were arrested for refusing to leave.  Since that day, a small metal sign has been posted at the park stating that it closes at 10 p.m.  This October 7th, the veterans have a permit for sound equipment lasting until 10 p.m., but they intend to remain overnight.

Vietnam vet Paul Appell says, “War veterans, loved ones of the fallen, and certainly those living in war zones do not have the option of closing down their memories at 10 p.m. There is a good reason why suicide is an attractive option for many. It is truly the only sure way of ending the memories. For a memorial to shut down at some convenient time for the city is an insult to all those who do not have the luxury of shutting down their war memories at a specific time. I know that many want us war vets to go out of sight and not bother them, except when we are needed for some parade. Some of us are not going away at 10 p.m. or any other time. If they do not like it, maybe they should have thought of that before they sent us to war.

Tarak Kauff, U.S. Army, 1959-1962, and one of the organizers of VFP’s Veterans Peace Team, says, “We will be there standing together and getting arrested again if necessary for our right to remember the fallen, to oppose and ‘abolish war as an instrument of national policy’ and to affirm our right to do so in a public place of remembrance that has great meaning for all veterans.”

The plan is not for a mass demonstration.  In fact, many are explicitly not invited.  Non-veterans are enthusiastically welcome, including associate members of Veterans For Peace and anyone else dedicated to ending violence in the world.  But “diversity of tactics” is unapologetically rejected.  Anyone inclined toward violence, provocation, or threats, including violence to inanimate objects, is kindly asked on this day, to respect the Memorial, the veterans, and the commitment to nonviolence.  This event will involve hundreds of activists who intend to peacefully vigil all night, and who will not respond to police violence with any violence of their own.

Speakers at the vigil will oppose a single additional day of U.S. warmaking in Afghanistan.  Speakers will include Leah Bolger, Margaret Flowers, Glen Ford, Mike Hastie, Chris Hedges, George Packard, Donna Schaper, Kevin Zeese, and Michael Zweig. Dr. Cornel West has also been invited.  At 9:30 p.m. participants will lay flowers for the fallen.

The purpose of this action, which will succeed whether the police interfere or not, is well expressed by several vets planning to take part.  Mike Ferner, Navy Corpsman 1969-1973, and past president of Veterans For Peace, says, “I’m coming to NYC October 7th because I need to do more for myself and the world than just get angry at the misery and suffering.  Being with my comrades again and standing up for peace uplifts my spirit.”
Read the rest of this entry →

American Autumn: An Occudoc

6:26 am in Uncategorized by David Swanson

Dennis Trainor, Jr., has produced a full-length movie of the Occupy movement, and he’s done a hell of a great job.

The Occupy movement was created, as are all movements in the United States, in large part by the corporate media.  They didn’t understand it.  They didn’t want it.  They didn’t originate it or take part in it or develop its brilliants insights, effective techniques, or inspiring courage.  They transmitted what to them was an indecipherable code that reached their viewers and readers with the obvious clarity of a crack on the head.  They got huge assists from brutal cops and incompetent mayors.  But it was the corporate media that took something in one city and made it big and made it national.

Then, as always, the corporate media turned hostile and lost interest and went away.

The Occupy movement goes on.  It is growing and developing.  But even many within it talk about it as existing only when it’s on television.

What’s missing is purely the will to actually think as if a revolution can go untelevised and be a revolution.

That’s it.  Don’t blame something else.

We have the capacity to communicate .  And that capacity just expanded dramatically.  Because we now have a film of our own.

This is not amateur hour.  This is a movie as well made, in technical terms, as any Hollywood blockbuster with Pentagon funding.  But this is a movie with us in it.  I don’t mean our little group of activist friends.  I mean us, the people of this country, our stories, our hardships, our triumphs, our injustices, our tragedies, our humor.  This is radically different from what you’ll see at your local movie theater.

Read the rest of this entry →

The Spread of Sacrifice Zones

12:02 pm in Uncategorized by David Swanson

Chris Hedge’s and Joe Sacco’s new book, “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt,” is a treasure. Hedges wrote the plain text. Sacco produced the text-heavy cartoon sections and other illustrations, which even I — not a big fan of cartoon books — found to enrich this book enormously.

Hedges and Sacco visit Pine Ridge, South Dakota, to examine the misery of the Native Americans who remain there. It’s nice to think that we’ve corrected our crimes through political correctness, and yet they continue uninterrupted — unconscionably, intolerably, tragically. Here the human stories are told, and told by those affected and by those resisting and struggling to set things right. Ironically, the victims of the United States’ first imperial slaughters are now disproportionately suffering the pain common to veterans of recent U.S. wars. That same pattern of widespread military experience is found in each of three other sections of the book as well, while other communities in this country have virtually no participation in the military.

Hedges and Sacco go to Camden, New Jersey, to examine the world of impoverished and ghettoized African Americans, whose lives have worsened by many measures over the past generation, despite the successes of the civil rights movement. Poor whites and others figure into the story as well, with special attention to those struggling to improve the world, whether on a small or large scale. Michael Doyle’s voice is one of those from Camden residents that tell the story of decline and devastation that city has experienced:

“You hear people my age get up and say, ‘We were poor. We put cardboard in our shoes.’ We talk like that. But we didn’t know we were poor. Today you do. And how do you know you’re poor? Your television shows you that you’re poor. So it’s very easy to build up anger in a, say, a high-voltage kid of seventeen, and, he knows he’s poor, he looks at the TV.”

Doyle went on to say that the cause was unclear, the “enemy” was unclear to people, and “so you take it out on your neighbor.” Young men with no education have no employment anymore, he said, no opportunities to be worth anything — except through the military.

The authors went to Welch, West Virginia, to speak with those suffering from and resisting mountain-top removal by the coal companies. Larry Gibson, who lives with death threats and other health hazards, has saved a fraction of his family’s land from the surrounding devastation. “You heard about the World Trade Center terrorists?” he asks.

“You heard about them? Bombing, three thousand people dying, but have you heard that with the emissions of coal we lose twenty-four thousand people a year in this country? You know, eight times bigger than the World Trade Center. Nobody say anything about that. Then you have the something like six hundred and forty thousand premature births and birth defects, newborns, every year, EVERY year, and nobody’s doin’ anything about that. Coal kills, everybody knows coal kills. But, you know, profit.”

Gibson points out that cities have passed laws restricting cigarette smoking in public, but families living near coal fields breathe the dust.

Julian Martin, a retired high-school teacher and son of a coal miner, says, “It’s a sacrifice zone. It’s so the rest of the country can have electric toothbrushes and leave the lights on all night in parking lots for used cars and banks lit up all night long and shit like that.”

Finally, the authors headed down to Immokalee, Florida, to meet with immigrant farm workers, tomato pickers, new slaves, resisters, and organizers. The wages for picking tomatoes have dropped by half over the past 30 years. An unlimited supply of cheap and vulnerable labor has meant less concern for workers than there may have been in some cases for slaves of old. “Before the war, we owned the negroes,” a planter said in 1883. “If a man had a good nigger, he could afford to take care of him; if he was sick, get a doctor. He might even put gold plugs in his teeth. But these convicts: we don’t own ‘em. One dies, get another.” From 1883 to today, what’s changed is that many of the workers are effectively owned and in some cases literally enslaved, chained up, confined, and threatened should they attempt escape. What has not changed is the expendability, a product of corporate global trade and unregulated greed. With less work for women in the fields, many are essentially enslaved as prostitutes. But these most powerless of immigrants — the farm workers of Immokalee — have organized, resisted, and won major improvements from massive corporations, inspiring others across the country and around the world.

The fifth and last section of the book is focused on resistance, and in particular on Occupy Wall Street. It includes an excellent discussion of the occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., with Kevin Zeese, a persuasive case that a nonviolent revolution is coming — that conditions are all aligned — and a great summary of Hedges’ recent thinking on activism and rebellion. But if you were part of Freedom Plaza, and if you’ve kept up on your weekly Hedges reading, it is the first four sections of the book that you will find most valuable. In many ways, there is greater organizing and activism found in those sacrifice zones than what we have seen thus far from the Occupy movement.

Occupy is national, even international, and — at least at first — had much greater attention from the corporate media (which is what made it national). It is also more middle-class and less-rooted in a community. If it can build one massive movement out of all the pockets of resistance, and move on from resistance to creation and substitution, it may indeed turn this avalanche of horror and misery around and push it back up the mountainside. “I have no interest in participating in the traditional political process,” says John Friesen, occupier of Wall Street. “It’s bureaucratic. It’s vertical. It’s exclusive. It’s ruled by money. It’s cumbersome. This is cumbersome, too, what we’re doing here, but the principles that I’m pushing and that many people are pushing to uphold here are in direct opposition to the existing structure.”

Hedges notes, importantly, I think, that the governmental response we have seen to the Occupy movement, the militarized police brutality, and the passage of federal legislation allowing the military to engage in domestic policing, is not a sign of weakness in our movement, but rather one of strength — a sign of fear by Congress and its corporate bosses. Now we have to turn that fear into realization that the spreading of sacrifice zones will absorb us all unless radical change comes soon.

Occupy Bilderberg

7:30 am in Uncategorized by David Swanson

We protest the G-8 and NATO, but not Bilderberg.  Why?

A photo of the original Hotel Bilderberg.

The original Hotel Bilderberg. Photo by M.M.Minderhoud / Wikimedia Commons.

Do you have to be xenophobic, paranoid, isolationist, or libertarian to protest a secretive gathering of over 100 billionaires, industrialists, media barons, and politicians working to shape our public sphere, or has the left dropped the ball?  Is it time for Occupy to step in?

From May 31 to June 3, 2012, at the Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles Hotel, in Chantilly, Va., the Bilderberg Group is expected to gather behind closed doors.  This exclusive club will rent the entire hotel, encircle it with armed guards, and keep everyone far away, including the media — except for those special members of the media who will take part but never report a word of what goes on.

Wikipedia calls Bilderberg: “an annual, unofficial, invitation-only conference of approximately 120 to 140 guests from North America and Western Europe, most of whom are people of influence. About one-third are from government and politics, and two-thirds from finance, industry, labour, education and communications. Meetings are closed to the public.”

Bilderberg calls itself: “leading citizens on both sides of the Atlantic that Western Europe and North America” who hold “regular, off-the-record discussions” of “common problems – from trade to jobs, from monetary policy to investment, from ecological challenges to the task of promoting international security. . . . There usually are about 120 participants of whom about two-thirds come from Europe and the balance from North America. About one-third is from government and politics, and two-thirds from finance, industry, labour, education and communications.”

Does this group of “leading citizens” look representative of the people’s interests?

Bilderberg says this was its agenda four years ago:

Read the rest of this entry →

To the NYPD Officers Reading My Emails

3:50 am in Uncategorized by David Swanson

On Thursday I was on a train to New York and received an email announcing a protest at the offices of New York’s two U.S. Senators over their cosponsorship of an AIPAC-driven bill that would move the United States closer to war on Iran.  I wrote back, saying, hey, I happen to be on my way to New York and will try to get there.

When I got there, there was a very small gathering of protesters, divided into two groups, those choosing to comply with police requests to stand inside a free-speech-cage that they had set up, and those refusing.  I joined the latter.  Two days later, one of the protesters who had been making his point from within the metal barricades told me that a police officer had approached him with this question:

“So, are you bringing people up here by train?”

Assuming the most likely explanation for that question, let me say this to those of New York’s finest with nothing better to do than read my emails:

You are not going to find in my emails any planning of any violence or cruelty.  If you want to know what I’m planning, you can ask me.  I’ll be glad to tell you.  I plan to protest the bankers whom you guard while they defund your future and erode your rights, the war profiteers who now arm you while they destroy our economy and our environment and our government, and the elected misrepresentatives who tolerate your lawless law enforcement while doing the bidding of the bankers and the war profiteers.

Have you sworn an oath to defended the Constitution with or without the Fourth Amendment? Have you sworn the law enforcement oath of honor? It reads:

On my honor, I will never betray

my badge, my integrity, my

character or the public trust.  I

will always have the courage to

hold myself and others

accountable for our actions.  I will

always uphold the Constitution,

my community, and the agency I


Do you mean that?  Then who read my email? Why? Justified by what Constitution? Do you have the courage to hold yourself and/or others accountable for your actions?

What community are you upholding? Are you and I in the same community? It doesn’t feel like it.

No Justice Without Peace

8:25 am in Uncategorized by David Swanson

(image: flahertyb/flickr)

(image: flahertyb/flickr)

By David Swanson,  Remarks at Left Forum

Last night in New York City, by my unscientific estimate, two-thirds of the people on the streets had alcohol in them.  A young man celebrating his wedding engagement was stabbed to death.  A party a third floor apartment to collapse into the second floor.  And the NYPD was busy beating the only sober people in town, the nonviolent activists at Occupy Wall Street.  When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the Louisiana National Guard was busy killing people in Iraq.  We’ve done something worse than get our priorities wrong when we’ve moved resources to harming people rather than helping people.

The Military Industrial Complex is a banker bailout every year.  It’s over a trillion dollars a year through various departments and as much as all other nations’ militaries combined.  It’s over half of federal discretionary spending every year.  And that’s not counting the sales to foreign democracies and dictatorships that make the United States the top weapons supplier to the globe and allow our military the odd distinction of fighting most of its wars against weapons produced in the Homeland formerly known as our own country.  But it IS counting the weapons we give to other countries. Yesterday even the Washington Post said we should stop arming Egypt.  It made no mention of Israel.  And it IS counting the transformation of our local police forces into mini-militaries.  With due respect to Mayor Bloomberg the NYPD is not the seventh largest military in the world, but it thinks it is.  And we don’t get the trillion dollars a year back.  In fact, we borrow it and pay interest on it, hollowing out our economy, creating a giant trade deficit with China, keeping interest rates super low, and periodically crashing Wall Street and bailing it out.  And when we have big wars we borrow and spend more money on top of the standard budget.  The trillion dollars is to make us ready in case we have a war, but then the war costs are extra.

And the money, for the war preparation and for the wars, goes in large part to a department free from effective oversight, a department that routinely misplaces, loses, or otherwise cannot explain the location of piles of cash larger than what we spend on most other functions of government.  Whatever you think of the recent bombing of Libya, the key fact is not that the President never got Congressional approval but that he didn’t need to, financially speaking.  The cost of bombing Libya was covered by spare change lying around in a drawer at the Pentagon.  And when the Pentagon spends money, it spends a growing share of it on so-called private corporations through contracts that are increasingly awarded without any pretense of competition whatsoever.  And the war profiteers, the 1% of the 1% rake in that loot, but turn around and feed a little pinch of it (it doesn’t take much) to congress members and presidents by funding their campaigns (this is, in large part, who paid for all the TV ads that Marcy Kaptur could afford and Dennis Kucinich could not).  And then the profiteers do something else; they build their weapons in little pieces in as many separate congressional districts as possible before assembling them in yet another district.  And our misrepresentatives in Washington defend those weapons, even the ones that won’t kill anybody, even the ones designed for 19th century wars, as jobs programs.  A Bloomberg News columnist named Amity Shlaes goes so far as to claim that U.S. troops based in over 150 other countries are there as economic aid, and withdrawing them would hurt foreign economies because soldiers buy stuff. Read the rest of this entry →

Why I’ve Refused to Endorse DNC and RNC Protests

9:07 am in Uncategorized by David Swanson

Don’t get me wrong.  I want the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in Tampa and Charlotte protested, denounced, shamed, nonviolently occupied, and ideally prevented from occurring, at least until they credibly support peace, justice, and democracy — or pigs fly, whichever comes first.  I’ve said so and encouraged such organizing for months.  I hope to be a part of it.

But when asked to endorse and I have said no twice, and for the very same reason.  The former lists this as among its principles:

“Our solidarity will be based on respect for the widest possible diversity within the struggle for social, economic and environmental justice. As individuals and groups, we may choose to engage in a diversity of tactics and plans of action but are committed to treating each other with respect and working towards a common goal of peace and justice.
“As we plan our actions and tactics, we will take care to maintain appropriate separations of time and space between divergent tactics.”

The latter says:

“The actions and tactics used will be organized to maintain appropriate separations of time and space between divergent tactics. We will commit to respecting each other’s organizing space and the tone and tactics they wish to utilize in that space.”

This is weasel wording for “We will use violence.”  When you gather a whole bunch of activists into a general assembly and the vast majority of them favor a strictly and publicly, reliably and credibly nonviolent movement, that just doesn’t mean much if you’ve already prioritized “consensus” over democracy, “respect” for everyone’s opinion over success.  So, when a few people favor violence, the “consensus” is to include violence, as if including nonviolence somehow satisfies those who wanted a strict commitment to nonviolence.

As a result, the movement officially backs violence, meaning that violence committed by its members, by provocateurs, and by police can credibly be depicted as originating with the movement.  This strategic failure can be fatal to the cause.  We’ve been inclusive, but included everyone in a movement that won’t prevail.  Who wants to be included in THAT? Read the rest of this entry →

My New Year’s Resolutions

11:38 am in Uncategorized by David Swanson

New Year Resolution (photo: alafista/flickr)

New Year Resolution (photo: alafista/flickr)


Lose weight.

Be nicer.

Work with not just this year but many future years and generations and centuries in mind.

Work with an international perspective as much as possible.  Collaborate internationally as much as possible.

Work to turn last year’s Arab Spring into this year’s Worldwide Spring-Summer-Fall-Winter.

Help to create a worldwide movement against plutocracy and violence.

Stop thinking of defeating horrendous proposals as the only kind of “victory” possible.

Within the United States, help to advance the organization of a student loan debtors union large enough and strategic enough to both refuse payment and to build a campaign that will make education free going forward — in the United States and around the world.

Help to advance a nonviolent resistance campaign to halt foreclosures on homes, one by one, and through legislatures and courts.

Work to build a movement against the military industrial complex and for economic conversion, inclusive of libertarians and internationalists, civil libertarians, environmentalists, economists, labor, educators, humanitarians, local governments, state governments, and international allies.

Make U.S. residents aware of local struggles against U.S. bases around the world, and see fewer U.S. troops at fewer bases outside the United States and within the United States by the end of the year.

See reduced military spending in the 2013 U.S. budget.

See fewer drone strikes, fewer bombs, fewer assassinations, fewer prisoners, fewer torture victims, and less talk of a “war on terror” this year than last.

Use Iran war promotion as another opportunity to build resistance to predictable propaganda. Read the rest of this entry →

Stop Picking on the Poor Plutocrats

8:10 pm in Uncategorized by David Swanson

Do you know the money man? (image: badjonni/flickr)

Do you know the money man? (image: badjonni/flickr)

I stopped by a corporate chain bookstore this week and checked out the “Current Affairs” section. I was a little surprised to discover that according to a dozen or more books dominating the display we are all under a vicious life-and-death assault from a raving, drooling mob of communist devils led by that well-known pinko guerrilla Barack Obama.

Of course, further investigation tends to reveal that the crimes of this mythical nouveau-Soviet assault by Democrats in D.C. are a combination of tasks performed for their masters on Wall Street and tasks they would never perform even under enhanced interrogation technique. The Obama-gang of rabid leftists stands accused of bailing out banksters and mega corporations, as of course they have eagerly done, just as have their Republican partners in crime. And they stand accused of taxing the rich and cutting the military while providing healthcare, education, retirement security, renewable energy, and affordable housing to the least well-off among us, as of course they will do the day Newt Gingrich turns monogamous.

I’ve just read a forthcoming book whose publisher I doubt will pay to place it in prominent display among the breathless coverage of the coming commie apocalypse. It’s called “Pity the Billionaire” by Thomas Frank. On its surface, the book is a rather blatant argument for self-publishing, since the delay that traditional publishers create has rendered the book out-of-date before it’s publication. Frank’s book treats the Tea Party as the latest thing and has never heard of Occupy.

In the dated world of “Pity the Billionaire” an explanation is sought precisely for the absence of something like Occupy, as well as for the bizarre presence of the Tea Party:

“Now, There is nothing really novel about the idea that free markets are the very essence of freedom. What is new is the glorification of this idea at the precise moment when freemarket theory has proven itself to be a philosophy of ruination and fraud. The revival of the Right is as extraordinary as it would be if the public had demanded dozens of new nuclear power plants in the days after the Three Mile Island disaster; if we had reacted to Watergate by making Richard Nixon a national hero.”

Frank compares the response to the crash of 1929 with the response to our latest Great Recession and suggests that, “should you happen to hear an homage to the spirit of the Boston Tea Party nowadays, the demands that follow will be the opposite of those striking farmers of 1932. What makes the rebel’s blood boil today is not the plight of the debtor but the possibility that such ‘losers’ might escape their predicament — that the government might step in and do the things those Iowa farmers wanted it to do eighty years ago.” Read the rest of this entry →