Facebook Bitch: Why America Doesn’t Deserve Democracy

 


America simply does not deserve good government. We fulfill our civic duty of whining to our virtual friends, retweeting #occupy solidarities and Liking Obama’s fan page, but when it comes to the one opportunity to directly change the system — voting — we simply… uh, what’s on The Daily Show tonight?

On Tuesday, the country saw an insanely low turnout for the US Congressional primaries, with California being no exception. Case in point: the winner of District 2 had just 48,001 votes, second place 19,636 and third place 18,257. That’s $26.50 spent per vote (plus an embarrassing $68 per vote for self-funded fourth-place finisher Stacey Lawson), plus countless volunteer hours of blood, sweat, and now a whole lot of tears.

Results? In November, Californians will have to choose between a PAC-funded Democrat, and a Republican stock broker with literally no specific plans for what he’d actually do — there’s not even an issues page on his site — and whose community engagement is so low that he highlights Morgan Sports Car Club on his list of association membership.


“Apathy Party 2012: Because voting is for suckers”

The people had the rare opportunity to vote in someone like Norman Solomon, who actually has an understanding of national and world issues — written thirteen books, one of which was made into a documentary — and a strong track record of standing up and doing something on the issues of civil liberties, environmentalism, corruption, unjust wars and more. Organizations from MoveOn.org to Progressive Democrats of America all sent emails urging their members to turn out for Solomon. Californians blew it.

So much time, money, and effort goes into elections, so much at stake at the just the beginning of our world ecological, energy and economic crisis, yet too few care enough about themselves, their families, fellow citizens and habitat to vote.

Blame it on America’s corporate-backed culture of complacency. Blame it on some biological phenomenon that states democracy isn’t a proper governance format for humans. Blame it on Internet access, hair-color appointments, socio-economic blah blah blah.

Face it: When it comes to responsibility, Americans suck.

Conclusion?

1. Your vote really does make a difference.

2. Get-Out-The-Vote activism does not make the difference, be they positive, negative, pretty, ugly, or from this post.

3. Voluntary voting does not work. Perhaps it’s time for compulsory voting or the opposite extreme — have a benevolent council decide for us; maybe the latter is already happening in our current voting participation, but the results are typically not benevolent.

4. Lobbying is quite necessary, as there is no mandate from the people. The only way to affect government is to get a bunch of good or evil friends and force the government to do something; evil people are better at it.

Wake up America!

Just kidding. All the venti mochas at your local quad-corner Starbuckses combined aren’t enough to pry open your eyes, get you out of bed, and vote this year. Go back to sleep and dream of a dreamy tomorrow, because when your circumstances finally jolt you awake, you won’t like your waking world.

This was commentary that does not necessarily reflect the opinion of OccupyEducated.org. What do you think?

Americans Trade Their Right to Habeus Corpus For Marriage Equality?


Let us get this straight. The government has the right to jail us forever, for no reason, as long as we can get married there?

How quick Americans and the media are to forget about the stripping of our basic human rights, as seen so casually and easily with indefinite detention made permanent law by the National Defense Authorization Act.  Throw us a social bone — the basic right to marry — and the country’s most atrocious crime against its people is a distant memory, even though groundbreaking progress against the nasty 2012 NDAA provisions by Occupy activist Chris Hedges is going on right now.

As it stands, Section 1021 is open to an interpretation that could subject anyone who has ever come into contact with Al Qaeda or “associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States,” to indefinite detention. Considering Al Qaeda is just a convenient legal name for a non-grouping of groups that have similar distaste for US foreign policy, it was easy for the judge and even the government’s own lawyers to see how just about anyone can fall into a zealous government’s definition of “any person”.

(Judge) Forrest found the language too vague, and repeatedly tried to get government attorneys to say that the reporters’ fears were unfounded. The lawyers declined.

“At the hearing on this motion, the government was unwilling or unable to state that these plaintiffs would not be subject to indefinite detention under [section] 1021,” Forrest wrote. “Plaintiffs are therefore at risk of detention, of losing their liberty, potentially for many years.

“An individual could run the risk of substantially supporting or directly supporting an associated force without even being aware that he or she was doing so,” Forrest wrote. “In the face of what could be indeterminate military detention, due process requires more.”

We are all caught up on a man’s stated opinion on a social issue directly affecting some of us*, when in fact it is that same man’s actions that affect all of us, but on a much deeper level.  Why are social issues so much more important to us than foundational issues — the foundation upon which we can afford to debate these social issues at all?

Why is there so much back-patting for Obama on social media, while his actions are backstabbing to the same fans/base?

Bread and circuses.  Join us on Facebook and read The Shock Doctrine.

*Indeed, marriage equality does affect all of us, some more directly than others. Debate over this perspective is best discussed outside of jail, so feel free (because you currently are) to comment below.


Port Shutdowns on West Coast, Oakland & Beyond – Reports

Books have the advantage of hindsight, filtered information from journalists and broader historical context, so as far as most useful information goes, it’s most efficient to go with the book medium. At the same time, what’s exciting about Occupy is that our history is now, and there’s something about the power of now that’s hard to resist. Here’s why many Occupiers feel that today the ports are at the heart of why we must occupy.

Check out a few of the Ustream and LiveStream videos of the port shutdowns around the country.

UPDATE: Here’s a SlideShow of Oakland Port Shutdown submitted by @GlennRecon(thanks!)

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

If you find more streams where you can follow shutting down ports in Occupy San Francisco, Occupy Oakland, Occupy Long Beach, Occupy Portland, Occupy Seattle, Occupy Tacoma, Occupy Vancouver, Occupy Anchorage, Occupy Denver or more, please put the link in the comment section below. If you want all the streams, click here.

Occupy Oakland – HOT NOW!

Occupy Portland

OccupySF Magicmint @doditwo

We Are the 99!
Tim at Long Beach this morning; may be live soon

Occupy Denver – Wal-Mart Action – Intro Video on Wal-Mart Action Here

Further links:
VIDEO: Police Make Arrests at Port of LA Occupy Protest – Eric Spillman reports

Can Occupy Continue Beyond Occupation?

Occupying The Sidewalk

Occupy The Streets or The Stream?

Sami Grover, frequent sustainability blogger on TreeHugger.com, wrote an article arguing Occupy tactics should far beyond just physical occupationof public spaces.

Certainly it seems unlikely that the movement would have grown with such ferocity had it not quickly and successfully created a physical presence in cities around the world. But as the weeks turn into months, many communities are asking how long the protests will continue, and what happens next. In Bristol, for example, protesters are planning a public meeting to discuss their tactics, and appear to be willing to move on from their city center camp ground if an alternative space can be found. Meanwhile talks between Occupy LA and the mayor’s office seem to have broken down, despite early signs that the city might offer cheap office space and a community garden in exchange for protesters dismantling their tents.

OccupyEducated seeks to help bring the physical occupations to reach the virtual world everyone shares — facebook, twitter, forums — and then use their new, shared knowledge to spark real-world action.

Where do you see occupy going from here – physically or virtually — as of today?