* FINDING YOUR PLACE WITH OCCUPY WALL STREET: A GUIDE FOR DIGITAL STRATEGISTS AND ONLINE ORGANIZATIONS
By clencher, Daily Kos diarist
The Occupy Wall Street movement, now in its second month, is a protest force of nature. Unions, progressive organizations, community organizers, even big ‘D’ Democrats are coming out in support. If your nonprofit or political organization hasn’t come out with a public position on the #occupy movement, maybe you should check for a pulse.
But never mind our organizational homes. As individuals we can jump right in without further ado. And what better way than with our skill sets as digital strategists, online organizers, social media gurus, and branding experts? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Joining the movement can be a challenge. Existing systems are designed with full time occupiers in mind, not volunteers with an hour, a day, or a specific task in mind.
So here’s a guide, by a digital strategist, for digital strategists. If I’ve missed some useful tips, add them below.
* WARTIME CONTRACTING PANEL SEALS RECORDS FOR NEXT 20 YEARS
By Noel Brinkerhoff
Established by Congress to investigate and expose government waste, the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan has decided to not reveal its volumes of materials to the public for another two decades.
After three years of work, the commission officially shut down last week, having concluded that the U.S. misspent between $31 billion and $60 billion in contracting for services in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But it won’t allow its records to be opened for public review at the National Archives until 2031, because some of the documents contain “sensitive information,” according to one official.
Steven Aftergood, an expert on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, told The Wall Street Journal that the 20-year term “seems like a long period of time, particularly for a commission whose whole purpose is to improve accountability and expose waste.”
* FURY MOUNTS AMONG GREEK PEOPLE
By Patrick Cockburn
… “The problem is that nobody trusts the government or the opposition because people blame them for starting the crisis in the first place,” he said.
The sense that those who caused the crisis are getting away with it is damaging the government. One banner carried at the march yesterday said: “When injustice prevails, then resistance is a duty.” Vasilis Zorbas, a doctor who is Mayor of the Agia Paraskevi district of Athens, said: “The Greeks are unhappy because of the impunity of those who made money at their expense.” He said he had two unemployed children, whose only option may be to emigrate.
A former minister from the ruling Pasok party, who requested anonymity, said: “It is this feeling of a lack of justice that is making people very angry. Everybody knows the names of ministers who helped themselves [to money] and took bribes but nobody touches them.” It is repeatedly alleged that ministers and MPs have not cut their own salaries significantly, though the system of bonuses and allowances is so complex that this is difficult to confirm.
* OWS’s BEEF: WALL STREET ISN’T WINNING — IT’S CHEATING
By Matt Taibbi
… Cain said he believed that the protesters are driven by envy of the rich.
“I find the one thing [the protesters] have in common revolves around the human emotions of envy and entitlement,” he said. “What you have is more than what I have, and I’m not happy with my situation.”
Cain seems like a nice enough guy, but I nearly blew my stack when I heard this. When you take into consideration all the theft and fraud and market manipulation and other evil shit Wall Street bankers have been guilty of in the last ten-fifteen years, you have to have balls like church bells to trot out a propaganda line that says the protesters are just jealous of their hard-earned money.
Think about it: there have always been rich and poor people in America, so if this is about jealousy, why the protests now? The idea that masses of people suddenly discovered a deep-seated animus/envy toward the rich – after keeping it strategically hidden for decades – is crazy.
* THE REIGN OF THE ONE PERCENTERS
Income inequality and the death of culture in New York City
By Christopher Ketcham
Published in the November/December issue of Orion magazine
… New York, the FPI informs us, is now at the forefront of the maldistribution of wealth into the hands of the few that has been ongoing in America since 1980, which marked the beginning of a new Gilded Age. Out of the twenty-five largest cities, it is the most unequal city in the United States for income distribution. If it were a nation, it would come in as the fifteenth worst among 134 countries ranked by extremes of wealth and poverty—a banana republic without the death squads. It is the showcase for the top 1 percent of households, which in New York have an average annual income of $3.7 million. These top wealth recipients—let’s call them the One Percenters—took for themselves close to 44 percent of all income in New York during 2007 (the last year for which data is available). That’s a high bar for wealth concentration; it’s almost twice the record-high levels among the top 1 percent nationwide, who claimed 23.5 percent of all national income in 2007, a number not seen since the eve of the Great Depression. During the vaunted 2002–07 economic expansion—the housing-boom bubble that ended in our current calamity, this Great Recession—average income for the One Percenters in New York went up 119 percent. Meanwhile, the number of homeless in the city rose to an all-time high last year—higher even than during the Great Depression—with a record 113,000 men, women, and children, many of them comprising whole families, retreating night after night to municipal shelters.
But here’s the most astonishing fact: the One Percenters consist of just 34,000 households, about 90,000 people. Relative to the great mass of New Yorkers—9 million of us—they’re nobody. We could snow them under in a New York minute.