2. In my late teens and early 20s I was pretty much a summertime mountaineer. Growing up in the shadow of Sequoia Park (Visalia) my friends and I determined to be rock climbers. In the early 1960s we had no teachers other than a few books that we were able to find – mostly published in Great Britain. Our equipment came from the Army Surplus store and a new start up company in Seattle – REI – that at that time only sold carabineers, pitons, and climbing ropes (120 feet of 5/8" Hemp rope!). We had fine adventures testing our skills to the limit.
Winter shut down our rock adventures because everything was covered with ice and snow – but we had read about ice climbing – Ah ha!! – just the thing… So three of us determined to climb a sequence of frozen cataracts in Sequoia Park. We rented bear-paw snow-shoes, packed backpacks for snow camping, acquired crampons from somewhere, and between us had one ice ax. The cataracts were a series of waterfalls – all well frozen over – no free flowing water – composed of crystal clear ice –
2. This quote by Vaslav Havel the first elected president of the Czech Republic was made at the time when the Czech people were dreaming of a free country. The same quote is suitable for all those who are boldly making a statement in our time about corporate greed and dealing with worldwide economic disparities.:
“Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Either we have hope or we don't; it is a dimension of the soul, and it's not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation. Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, and orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons ...Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. The more propitious the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper the hope is. Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”
In most ways I see it is a positive movement. But I also want to share with you my questions about the movement...
The root causes are the same as when "Occupy" first surfaced– many Americans feel left out – There is bitter anger at Wall Street and the Banking industry that continue to make shameful profits, often overstepping legal bounds, and taking their profits at the expense of “the rest of us”.New data from the Commerce Department shows employee pay is now down to the smallest share of the economy since the government began collecting wage and salary data in 1929. Meanwhile, corporate profits now constitute the largest share of the economy since 1929. Read more: http://www.salon.com/topic/taxes/
Something is seriously out of whack when corporations disparage workers and labor, and at the same time prevent the workers from earning a living wage so that the workers can buy the products being produced!
Graphs showing the disparity in America today:
This is an anger that is not going to go away just because Occupy encampments are shut down. The movement is not fading – only evolving. The “genie will not be put back into the jug” – the hundreds of thousands of angry disgruntled people will not suddenly change their mindset – we have a national issue ( in international issue ) here and it will continue to evolve and take form.
What is happening is in the American tradition of citizens raising their concerns within the legal bounds of the Constitution – The test will be whether out institutions support the constructional challenges before us. Powerful financial interests are seem to be doing what they can to crush the movement. It comes down to this: – are we a government of the people - by the people - for the people…? Or are we are government of the corporations - by the corporations - for the corporations…?
1. Decision making within the Occupy meetings is free and democratic - decisions are made by vote. I wonder,though, if the group often isn't just speaking to itself... What would it take to make the message know to a wider base? Many of the very people that the 99% is seeking to serve are alienated because of the reporting on FOX news. Up to this point the "occupy" settlements have been in big cities and exchanging views in long meetings - how can the message become more populist ? Being forced out of the camps may in fact be a good thing for stimulating new approaches.2. There is great danger from elements that would like to coopt the occupy movement - and turn it into something that it is not today. By judiciously avoiding stated goals or stated leaders the large gatherings of participants are open to change. However every successful movement that I can remember has stated objectives and leaders - Many in the land are confused about who there movement is and what they stand for...
3. The long term success of the program depends on maintaining a Gandhi like peaceful resistance. I admire the discipline that I have seen thus far by the vast majority... and the efforts of the movement to control the few problem makers. There have been multiple occasions where police provocateurs have attempted to incite the demonstrators. Insight and discipline are required to deal with them.