[Please] sign the following pledge before it’s too late. Please pass it on
to fellow members.
I do solemnly swear to uphold the principles of a socialism-free society and
[hereby] pledge my word that I shall abstain from the use of and
participation in any socialist goods and services including but not limited
to the following:
*State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP)
*Police, Fire, and Emergency Services
*US Po Postal Service
*Roads and Highways
*Air Travel (regulated by the socialist FAA)
*The US Railway System
*Public Subways and Metro Systems
*Public BusBus and Lightrail Systems
*Rest Areas on Highways
*All Government-Funded Local/State Projects
*Public Water and Sewer Services (goodbye socialist toilet, shower,
dishwasher, kitchen sink, outdoor hose!)
*Publiic and State Universities and Colleges
*Public Primary and Secondary Schools
*Publicly Funded Anti-Drug Use Education for Children
*Public Parks and Beaches
*State and National Parks
*Municipal Garbage and Recycling Services
*Treatment at Any Hospital or Clinic That Evver Received Funding From Local,
State or Federal Government (pretty much all of them)
*Medical Services and Medications That Were Created or Derived From Any
Government Grant or Research Funding (again, pretty much all of them)
*Socialist Byproducts of Government Investment Such as Duct Tape and Velcro
*Use of the Internets, email, andd networked computers, as the DoD’s ARPANET
was the basis for subsequent computer networking
*Foodstuffs, Meats, Produce and Crops That Were Grown With, Fed With, Raised
With or That Contain Inputs From Crops Grown With Government Subsidies (most
*Clothing Made from Crops (e.g. cotton) That Were Grown With or That Contain
Inputs From Government Subsidies
*If a veteran of the government-run socialist US military, I will forego my
VA benefits and insist on paying for my own medical care
*I will not tour socialist government buildings like the Capitol in
*I pledge to never take myself, my family, or my children on a tour of the
following types of socialist locations, including but not limited to:
*Smithsonian Museums such as thee Air and Space Museum or Museum of American
*The socialist Washington,, Lincoln, and Jefferson Monuments
*The government-operated Statue of Liberty
*The Grand Canyon
*The socialist World War II and Vietnam Veterans Memorials
*The government-run socialist-propaganda location known as Arlington
*All other public-funded socialist sites, whether itt be in my state or in
I will urge my Member of Congress and Senators to forego their government
salary and government-provided health care.
I will oppose and condemn the government-funded and therefore socialist
military of the United States of America.
I will boycott the products of socialist defense contractors such as GE,
Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Raytheon,
Humana, FedEx, General Motors, Honeywell, and hundreds of others that are
paid by our socialist government to produce goods for our socialist army.
I will protest socialist security departments such as the Pentagon, FBI,
CIA, Department of Homeland Security, TSA, Department of Justice and their
Upon reaching eligible retirement age, I will tear up my socialist Social
Upon reaching age 65, I will forego Medicare and pay for my own private
health insurance until I die.
SWORN ON A BIBLE AND SIGNED THIS DAY OF __________ IN THE YEAR ___.
Signed Printed Name/Town and State
Re: The Absolute Necessity of the Public Option in Health Care
Dear President Obama and Staff, Monday, August 17th, 2009
This so-called democracy-but-really-an-oligarchy of ours is not working…there are just too many woefully uniformed, insanely misinformed and downright stupid-to-the-point-of-being-dangerous lunatics; these people do not know anything at all about any issue, particularly this nemesis, the health care industry. They, these utterly brainless, totally uneducated, irrational gun-toting and idiotic fear-mongering masses that comprise a full and startling HALF of this country’s population, have nothing constructive to say or do as they and their unconscionable Republican SS commanders lie and bait and hate and monger incessantly. This is insanity.
My question to you, President Obama, and to your staff: Do you really think it is in the peoples’ best interest to cave in on and waste time bickering with fools? The paramount importance of the public option in health care reform is undeniable and must be irrevocable. That is why we, the rational and intelligent ones, i.e. the other half of the country, voted for you to be the supreme ruler and further, for you to steamroll heavily over the crazed nutcases who oppose you.
And Another thing:
Subject: ON BEING REPEATEDLY RAPED…I, for one, am sick of it…
Insurance, particularly health care insurance, is the greatest scam in history. We pay thousands upon thousand of dollars each and every year and, increasingly, we get NO GOODS OR SERVICES. In essence, we pay out billions of dollars each and every year for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. We are in fact, making a handful of these huge industry titans, i.e. the top echelon CEO’s CFO’s, etc. of the so-called health care industry, a veritable FORTUNE.
Simply stated, when any industry is driven by profit and profit alone, AS IS HEALTH CARE, they, the greedy and unconscionable controllers of the industry, reap dizzying and obscene amounts of money. WE, on the other hand, LOSE consistently and constantly. Profit-driven health care is an absolute NEMESIS.
As this health care industry makes record profits from not providing health care to those who pay for health care, the industry also becomes much stronger and much more influential (witness the ULTRA-powerful and ULTRA-wealthy lobbyists who fight tooth and nail to keep things the way they are).
How long does it take the average person to figure out that we are all getting UTTERLY and UNABASHEDLY RAPED????
And by the way…
To the Politicians, Republican and Democrat alike:
It is unthinkable that there are so many Democratic obstructionists, not to mention the old fear mongering by the Republicans and Democrats alike. We, the American people, voted for OBAMA, in large part because he promised to effect systemic and CONCRETE change in several areas, not the least of which is the health care system which is utterly failing us all; all, that is, except for you politicians who enjoy full, lifetime health care benefits on our tax dollars. This is simply criminal that there are so many belligerent obstructionists in both parties. I will never forgive any of them who are casting their lot with the insurance and pharmaceutical corporations. It is simply disgusting. Did you not read the recent WSJ poll which stated that a full 76% of American citizens want the public option? And is it that you really don’t care WHAT we want?
P.S. PLEASE, NO MORE MISTER NICE GUY!!
Posted by: Christina Marlowe | August 25, 2009 3:12 PM
Posted: Sunday, December 05, 2010
Rank: Advanced Member
Location: United States
First of all, it is useful to keep in mind that, as America goes to war every year in the name of Ha!! FREEDOM, I am merely a PRODUCT of all this so-called FREEDOM. As I personally see now, it is clearer to me that many things that I have learned throughout my life have been bald-faced, outright, intentionally deceitful LIES; LIES manufactured and dispensed, to a mostly unwitting public in order to retain the so-called status quo of the ELITE, through nonsensical, abject fear of nearly everyone else, and thus, through sheerly ignorant hatred toward others. And it has worked like a charm, apparently.
Here is some of my learning in small part; my own unique experience as a white, privileged, formally educated American…monkey:
America, my country of origin, is one of the worst, most violent, greedy and power-mongering, imperialistic nations in all written history; it all goes with the territory of pretending you stand on superior, high moral principles when you are, in actuality and in fact, brutalizing any one or any thing that has different viewpoints. Facts seem out of place, but they do still exist. America, and it’s revered U.S. Constitution, that incidentally these teabagger-morons just love to throw around in total and stunning ignorance (i.e. do you think they are fighting for, say, MY freedom of speech), along with all the supposed “rights” therein, America and the Constitution written by our ever-revered “founding fathers” was founded for and by and written for and by…WHITE, wealthy, Anglo-saxon SLAVE-OWNERS, the very same racists who considered black people 3/5 of an “actual” person. See? NO ONE CAN WASH OFF FACTS…no matter how hard they try; It is still THERE for all to see. The Blatant HYPOCRISY, among other things.
Further, it seems that every group of people, no matter who they are or where they reside, tend to do this: that is, together, they, as a (strength in numbers) group, pit themselves against (weaker) anyone else that may differ from their own notions, the very same notions that are most likely FALSE. They do target, demonize and mercilessly victimize certain groups of people who are actually just living their own lives and minding their own business. Maybe they (the big bullies) do it in order to make themselves more, um, RIGHT. And on it goes without much question. I happen to have a few questions. I am only trying to ferret out some truth out of all those HORRIBLE LIES that I have learned here in America…
These mega-corporation titans want to run the entire show!! And to run it as a business and/or corporation!! Has anyone yet figured it out that these business and/or corporate models have proven to utterly fail the miserable and struggling huddled masses that now comprise the majority of US citizens; all while the top 1-2 percent of our total population can and do flourish in obscene wealth and ghastly corporate entitlements?!?
You all whom are the Rapacious Primates, will further decay and further destroy each and every state in the Union; each and every nation in the world. Who are you people? And are there really any people with discernible I.Q.s that enjoyed the glorious eight year reign of that, well, that IDIOTIC MORON, George W. Bush?!?! Incredible!! And NOW, just to be fair, we are stuck with another one; Barack Obama, who loudly and clearly promised CONCRETE SYSTEMIC CHANGE…well, NOTHING; He is, in fact, the corporate titans’ greatest friend and ally; A veritable QUISLING FOR THE BANKERS!!!!!
Doesn’t anyone see that these truly monstrous [corporate] empires have been crumbling left and right, while the ever-shrinking middle class of America, or actually, the WORKING POOR, have been left footing every last dime of their huge bills?!?!? State and Federal governments can not and should never be run like some filthy corporation; that has been tried and has FAILED virtually EVERY SINGLE PERSON in this godforsaken country. Look around you and look at the FACTS.
These people, the likes of Meg Whitman, Republican and Democrat alike, are nothing but dangerously delusional power mongers and megalomaniacal dictators, the very same dictators that have worked tirelessly to keep most Americans as stupid, uneducated and as crazily misinformed as possible; and apparently these people want to put another nail in the coffin. And the unforgivably and increasingly thoroughly ignorant morons that now make up the overwhelming majority of the U.S. population, they, whether Republican or Democrat, will, of course, just keep on voting for these vile and reprehensible pathological LIARS, all the while shooting themselves in their very own filthy feet.
So it is that these people, the likes of Meg Whitman, the crazy Mormon guy, et al, are so drunk on power and privilege and truly obscene wealth that they truly think that they and they alone know how to fix this MESS, the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Well, in fact, it is those very people that CREATED THIS MESS!!
And they, these truly sociopathic demagogues continue reveling in their 25 mansions and 25 yachts, and repulsively rolling around in their own self-made FILTH and in whatever other inane, ultimately USELESS STUFF they’ve so steadfastly acquired; and all the while viscously calculating just how to run the entire world; And they do this while totally disregarding ALL FACTS, ALL history, and every last one of history’s most important lessons. Furthermore, I do indeed think that playing politics is nothing but a GAME to these people. Just another challenge to conquer so they can put another notch in their gold-gilt belts. It is all utterly appalling. Go ahead: Enjoy your filthy ill-gotten and ultimately WORTHLESS spoils as you RUIN THE ENTIRE WORLD. IDIOTS.
The argument is no longer about Republican versus Democrat; the argument NOW brings us straight back to the 1920’s era of MONOPOLIES and TRUSTS, wherein it is once again the top 1% of the HAVES–and they HAVE EVERYTHING– versus the 99% of the HAVE NOTS. It’s the old sharecropping system where 99% of the miserable and huddled masses are quite literally enslaved by the elite and stuck in constant and rising debt to the corporate whores in cahoots with the Kleptocratic government(s). Nearly all of these wretched politicians are CORRUPT and very nearly all of them do whore themselves to the CORPORATE ELITES. All the destruction can be traced directly to CORPORATE PERSONHOOD. THAT is a FACT and an absolute TRAVESTY!!! MORONS.
*Please Note: Nearly all those primates who seek to enthrone themselves to power are virtually interchangeable; They are Whoring, Lying, Treacherous, Thieving (and don’t forget Rapacious) Sellouts to the Corporate Whore Masters who see nothing at all, really. We are now officially DOOMED. I do hope that you each get just what you deserve in return for your decimating the entire planet whilst screwing each species including your own…That’s Politics, I guess. Actually, that’s the wholly undeveloped brain of the ruling-class-type of the entire human species.
How Swedes and Norwegians broke the power of the ‘1 percent’
George Lakey January 25, 2012
A march in Ådalen, Sweden, in 1931.
While many of us are working to ensure that the Occupy movement will have a lasting impact, it’s worthwhile to consider other countries where masses of people succeeded in nonviolently bringing about a high degree of democracy and economic justice. Sweden and Norway, for example, both experienced a major power shift in the 1930s after prolonged nonviolent struggle. They “fired” the top 1 percent of people who set the direction for society and created the basis for something different.
Both countries had a history of horrendous poverty. When the 1 percent was in charge, hundreds of thousands of people emigrated to avoid starvation. Under the leadership of the working class, however, both countries built robust and successful economies that nearly eliminated poverty, expanded free university education, abolished slums, provided excellent health care available to all as a matter of right and created a system of full employment. Unlike the Norwegians, the Swedes didn’t find oil, but that didn’t stop them from building what the latest CIA World Factbook calls “an enviable standard of living.”
Neither country is a utopia, as readers of the crime novels by Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell and Jo Nesbø will know. Critical left-wing authors such as these try to push Sweden and Norway to continue on the path toward more fully just societies. However, as an American activist who first encountered Norway as a student in 1959 and learned some of its language and culture, the achievements I found amazed me. I remember, for example, bicycling for hours through a small industrial city, looking in vain for substandard housing. Sometimes resisting the evidence of my eyes, I made up stories that “accounted for” the differences I saw: “small country,” “homogeneous,” “a value consensus.” I finally gave up imposing my frameworks on these countries and learned the real reason: their own histories.
Then I began to learn that the Swedes and Norwegians paid a price for their standards of living through nonviolent struggle. There was a time when Scandinavian workers didn’t expect that the electoral arena could deliver the change they believed in. They realized that, with the 1 percent in charge, electoral “democracy” was stacked against them, so nonviolent direct action was needed to exert the power for change.
In both countries, the troops were called out to defend the 1 percent; people died. Award-winning Swedish filmmaker Bo Widerberg told the Swedish story vividly in Ådalen 31, which depicts the strikers killed in 1931 and the sparking of a nationwide general strike. (You can read more about this case in an entry by Max Rennebohm in the Global Nonviolent Action Database.)
The Norwegians had a harder time organizing a cohesive people’s movement because Norway’s small population—about three million—was spread out over a territory the size of Britain. People were divided by mountains and fjords, and they spoke regional dialects in isolated valleys. In the nineteenth century, Norway was ruled by Denmark and then by Sweden; in the context of Europe Norwegians were the “country rubes,” of little consequence. Not until 1905 did Norway finally become independent.
When workers formed unions in the early 1900s, they generally turned to Marxism, organizing for revolution as well as immediate gains. They were overjoyed by the overthrow of the czar in Russia, and the Norwegian Labor Party joined the Communist International organized by Lenin. Labor didn’t stay long, however. One way in which most Norwegians parted ways with Leninist strategy was on the role of violence: Norwegians wanted to win their revolution through collective nonviolent struggle, along with establishing co-ops and using the electoral arena.
In the 1920s strikes increased in intensity. The town of Hammerfest formed a commune in 1921, led by workers councils; the army intervened to crush it. The workers’ response verged toward a national general strike. The employers, backed by the state, beat back that strike, but workers erupted again in the ironworkers’ strike of 1923–24.
The Norwegian 1 percent decided not to rely simply on the army; in 1926 they formed a social movement called the Patriotic League, recruiting mainly from the middle class. By the 1930s, the League included as many as 100,000 people for armed protection of strike breakers—this in a country of only 3 million!
The Labor Party, in the meantime, opened its membership to anyone, whether or not in a unionized workplace. Middle-class Marxists and some reformers joined the party. Many rural farm workers joined the Labor Party, as well as some small landholders. Labor leadership understood that in a protracted struggle, constant outreach and organizing was needed to a nonviolent campaign. In the midst of the growing polarization, Norway’s workers launched another wave of strikes and boycotts in 1928.
The Depression hit bottom in 1931. More people were jobless there than in any other Nordic country. Unlike in the U.S., the Norwegian union movement kept the people thrown out of work as members, even though they couldn’t pay dues. This decision paid off in mass mobilizations. When the employers’ federation locked employees out of the factories to try to force a reduction of wages, the workers fought back with massive demonstrations.
Many people then found that their mortgages were in jeopardy. (Sound familiar?) The Depression continued, and farmers were unable to keep up payment on their debts. As turbulence hit the rural sector, crowds gathered nonviolently to prevent the eviction of families from their farms. The Agrarian Party, which included larger farmers and had previously been allied with the Conservative Party, began to distance itself from the 1 percent; some could see that the ability of the few to rule the many was in doubt.
By 1935, Norway was on the brink. The Conservative-led government was losing legitimacy daily; the 1 percent became increasingly desperate as militancy grew among workers and farmers. A complete overthrow might be just a couple years away, radical workers thought. However, the misery of the poor became more urgent daily, and the Labor Party felt increasing pressure from its members to alleviate their suffering, which it could do only if it took charge of the government in a compromise agreement with the other side.
This it did. In a compromise that allowed owners to retain the right to own and manage their firms, Labor in 1935 took the reins of government in coalition with the Agrarian Party. They expanded the economy and started public works projects to head toward a policy of full employment that became the keystone of Norwegian economic policy. Labor’s success and the continued militancy of workers enabled steady inroads against the privileges of the 1 percent, to the point that majority ownership of all large firms was taken by the public interest. (There is an entry on this case as well at the Global Nonviolent Action Database.)
The 1 percent thereby lost its historic power to dominate the economy and society. Not until three decades later could the Conservatives return to a governing coalition, having by then accepted the new rules of the game, including a high degree of public ownership of the means of production, extremely progressive taxation, strong business regulation for the public good and the virtual abolition of poverty. When Conservatives eventually tried a fling with neoliberal policies, the economy generated a bubble and headed for disaster. (Sound familiar?)
Labor stepped in, seized the three largest banks, fired the top management, left the stockholders without a dime and refused to bail out any of the smaller banks. The well-purged Norwegian financial sector was not one of those countries that lurched into crisis in 2008; carefully regulated and much of it publicly owned, the sector was solid.
Although Norwegians may not tell you about this the first time you meet them, the fact remains that their society’s high level of freedom and broadly-shared prosperity began when workers and farmers, along with middle class allies, waged a nonviolent struggle that empowered the people to govern for the common good.
Correction: In an earlier version, Henning Mankell was mistakenly referred to by the name of Kurt Wallender, the protagonist in several of his books.
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Topics: Blockades Corporations Economic policy Europe History Labor Land rights Protests
George Lakey is Visiting Professor at Swarthmore College and a Quaker. He has led 1,500 workshops on five continents and led activist projects on local, national, and international levels. Among many other books and articles, he is author of “Strategizing for a Living Revolution” in David Solnit’s book Globalize Liberation (City Lights, 2004). His first arrest was for a civil rights sit-in and most recent was with Earth Quaker Action Team while protesting mountain top removal coal mining.
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The coming ‘tsunami of debt’ and financial crisis in America
Forces that caused the world economy to collapse, including income inequality and debt, are again in action, and could drag corporations down in their wake
theguardian.com, Sunday 15 June 2014 12.58 EDT
According to research, sectors of the American economy are building to a bubble of parallel and possibly larger scope than the conditions preceding the 2008 financial crisis. Photograph: Tony O’Brien/Action Images
The US Congressional Budget Office is projecting a continued economic recovery. So why look down the road – say, to 2017 – and worry?
Here’s why: because the debt held by American households is rising ominously. And unless our economic policies change, that debt balloon, powered by radical income inequality, is going to become the next bust.
Our macro models at the Levy Economics Institute are showing that the US economy is about to face a repeat of pre-crisis-style, debt-led growth, based on increased borrowing. Falling government deficits are being replaced by rising debts on everyone else’s ledgers – well, almost everyone else’s.
What’s emerging is a new sort of speculative bubble, this time based on consumer and corporate credit.
Right now, America is wrestling a three-headed monster of weak foreign demand, tight government budgets and high income inequality, with every sign that these conditions will continue. With that trio in place, the anticipated growth isn’t going to be propelled by an export bonanza, or by a government investment boom.
It will have to be driven by spending. Even a limping recovery like the one we’re nursing along today depends on domestic demand – consumer spending not just by the wealthy, but by everyone else.
We believe that Americans will keep consuming at the same ever-rising rates of past decades, during good times and bad. But for the vast majority, wages and wealth aren’t going up, so we’re anticipating that the majority of Americans – the 90% – will once again do what was done before: borrow, and then borrow more.
By early 2017, with growth likely to stall even according to CBO predictions, it should be apparent that we’re reliving an alarming history. Middle- and low-income households have been following a trajectory of an ever-higher ratio of debt to income. That same ratio has been decreasing for the most well-off 10%, who are continuing to see debt decline and wealth rise.
Forces that prompted Occupy movements protesting income inequality and financial misconduct are again in action, according to research. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Why is the relationship between the debt of the 90% and the gains of the 10% so significant?
The evidence demonstrates that the de-leveraging of the very rich and the indebtedness of almost everyone else move in tandem; they follow the same trend line.
In short, there’s a strong and continuous correlation between the rich getting richer, and the poor – make that the 90% – going deeper into debt.
That the share of income and wealth to the richest has skyrocketed is certainly not a new revelation. The heralded data tabulations of Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez have demonstrated just how spectacular the plutocrats’ portion became in the run-up to the Great Recession. They codified the belief that no one else can ever catch up with the very wealthiest.
One important explanation for that consolidation of wealth emerged from our latest research: The more – proportionally – that the top 10% has prospered, saved and invested (naturally, the gains found their way into the financial markets), the more the bottom 90% has borrowed.
Look at the record of how these phenomena have travelled in lockstep. In the first three decades after the second world war, the income of the 90% rose at the same pace as its consumption. But after the mid-1970s, a gap formed – the trend lines on earning and outlays spread apart. Spending continued apace. Real income, meanwhile, stagnated. It was lower in 2012 than it had been forty years earlier. That ever-increasing gap between income and consumption has been filled by borrowing.
In less than 30 years the richest 20% became twice as wealthy. Photograph: Jan Butchofsky-Houser/Corbis
These were the debt dynamics in the lead-up to the recession. But they are also the dynamics leading out of the crisis, and continuing today with no end in sight.
Before and after the crash, the fortunes of the most fortunate sped upward. Between 1983 and 2010, for example, the richest 20% increased in wealth by 100%. But their proportion of debt to wealth fell.
The bottom 40%, meanwhile, lost 270% in wealth.
It was much applauded when households began to rapidly pay down debt after 2007. And yet, despite this, their debt to equity ratio actually rose. With incomes plunging and the value of their assets – notably, housing – in a free-fall, they couldn’t de-leverage fast enough. Debt outpaced everything else.
Insolvency for the 90% – the overwhelming majority of Americans – has become, in the decade’s catch phrase, “the new normal”. Unsustainable? Of course.
The debt picture is also changing dramatically for corporations. Historically, the private sector, which often goes by the moniker Corporate America, had not, overall, been borrowers. They increased their revenues far more than they borrowed money. Their net lending was exceptionally low, hovering at around 4% of GDP between 1960 and the mid 1990s.
Corporations are increasing their debt in the same way households did before the 2008 crisis, which left many families homeless and erecting tent cities, like this one in Sacramento. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
After the crisis, corporations, like households, pulled way back on borrowing. But, also like households, they are now increasing their debt. The steep rise began for non-financial corporations in 2010 (for families and individuals, debt levels began to go upwards again in 2013). We think these businesses will add another $4tn of debt between now and 2017.
Under the current disastrous economic and tax policies, we can look forward to rapid increases in debt for both corporations and households from at least 2015 to 2017: a tsunami of debt.
Alternatively, a teeth-gritting brake on household and corporate spending would be no help at all.
That’s because if levels of debt and consumer consumption go down, the nation would move into what’s called secular stagnation: anemic growth, if any, and higher unemployment. The CBO projections for growth can’t possibly be met unless Americans take on massive liabilities, piling debt upon debt. Without debt accumulation, there wouldn’t be enough demand – spending – to keep the economy moving.
To paraphrase Voltaire’s words on God, even if bubbles and debt did not exist, it would be necessary to invent them. And that is exactly what we are doing.