How the People’s Climate March Became a Corporate PR Campaign (arun gupta)

Or: Business as Usual in Manhattan

2013-12-20-eco-capitalism“I’ve never been to a protest march that advertised in the New York City subway. That spent $220,000 on posters inviting Wall Street bankers to join a march to save the planet, according to one source. That claims you can change world history in an afternoon after walking the dog and eating brunch.

Welcome to the “People’s Climate March” set for Sunday, Sept. 21 in New York City. It’s timed to take place before world leaders hold a Climate Summit at the United Nations two days later. Organizers are billing it as the “biggest climate change demonstration ever” with similar marches around the world. The Nation describes the pre-organizing as following “a participatory, open-source model that recalls the Occupy Wall Street protests.” A leader of 350.org, one of the main organizing groups, explained, “Anyone can contribute, and many of our online organizing ‘hubs’ are led by volunteers who are often coordinating hundreds of other volunteers.”

I will join the march, as well as the Climate Convergence starting Friday, and most important the “Flood Wall Street” direct action on Monday, Sept. 22. I’ve had conversations with more than a dozen organizers including senior staff at the organizing groups. Many people are genuinely excited about the Sunday demonstration. The movement is radicalizing thousands of youth. Endorsers include some labor unions and many people-of-color community organizations that normally sit out environmental activism because the mainstream green movement has often done a poor job of talking about the impact on or solutions for workers and the Global South.

Nonetheless, to quote Han Solo, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

Environmental activist Anne Petermann and writer Quincy Saul describe how the People’s Climate March has no demands, no targets,and no enemy. Organizers admitted encouraging bankers to march was like saying Blackwater mercenaries should join an antiwar protest. There is no unity other than money. One veteran activist who was involved in Occupy Wall Street said it was made known there was plenty of money to hire her and others. There is no sense of history: decades of climate-justice activism are being erased by the incessant invocation of the “biggest climate change demonstration ever.” Investigative reporter Cory Morningstar has connected the dots between the organizing groups, 350.org and Avaaz, the global online activist outfit modeled on MoveOn, and institutions like the World Bank and Clinton Global Initiative. Morningstar claims the secret of Avaaz’s success is its “expertise in behavioral change.”

That is what I find most troubling. Having worked on Madison Avenue for nearly a decade, I can smell a P.R. and marketing campaign a mile away. That’s what the People’s Climate March looks to be. According to inside sources a push early on for a Seattle-style event—organizing thousands of people to nonviolently shut down the area around the United Nations—was thwarted by paid staff with the organizing groups.

One participant in the organizing meetings said, “In the beginning people were saying, ‘This is our Seattle,’” referring to the 1999 World Trade Organization ministerial that was derailed by direct action. But the paid staff got the politics-free Climate March. Another source said, “You wouldn’t see Avaaz promoting an occupy-style action. The strategic decision was made to have a big march and get as many mainstream groups on board as possible.”

Nothing wrong with that. Not every tactic should be based on Occupy. But in an email about climate change that Avaaz sent out last December, which apparently raked in millions of dollars, it wrote, “It’s time for powerful, direct, non-violent action, to capture imagination, convey moral urgency, and inspire people to act. Think Occupy.”

Here’s what seems to be going on. Avaaz found a lucrative revenue stream by warning about climate catastrophe that can be solved with the click of a donate button. To convince people to donate it says we need Occupy-style actions. When the moment comes for such a protest, Avaaz and 350.orgblocked it and then when it did get organized, they pushed it out of sight. If you go to People’s Climate March, you won’t find any mention of the Flood Wall Street action, which I fully support, but fear is being organized with too little time and resources. Nor have I seen it in an Avaaz email, nor has anyone else I’ve talked to. Bill McKibben of 350.org began promoting it this week, but that may be because there is discontent in the activist ranks about the march, which includes lots of Occupy Wall Street activists. One inside source said, “It’s a branding decision not to promote the Flood Wall Street action. These are not radical organizations.”

Branding. That’s how the climate crisis is going to be solved. We are in an era or postmodern social movements.

The image (not ideology) comes first and shapes the reality. The P.R. and marketing determines the tactics, the messaging, the organizing, and the strategy. Whether this can have a positive effect is a different question, and it’s why I encourage everyone to participate. The future is unknowable. But left to their own devices the organizers will lead the movement into the graveyard of the Democratic Party, just as happened with the movement against the Iraq War a decade ago. You remember that historic worldwide movement, right? It was so profound the New York Times dubbed global public opinion, “the second superpower.” Now Obama has launched an eighth war and there is no antiwar movement to speak of.

Sources say Avaaz and 350.org is footing most of the bill for the People’s Climate March with millions of dollars spent. Avaaz is said to have committed a dozen full-time staff, and hired dozens of other canvassers to collect petition signatures and hand out flyers. Nearly all of 350.org’s staff is working on climate marches around the country and there is an office in New York with thirty full-time workers organizing the march. That takes a lot of cheddar. While the grassroots are being mobilized, this is not a grassroots movement. That’s why it’s a mistake to condemn it. People are joining out of genuine concern and passion and hope for an equitable, sustainable world, but the control is top down and behind closed doors. Everyone I talked to described an undemocratic process. Even staffers were not sure who was making the decisions other than to tell me to follow the money. It’s also facile to say all groups are alike. Avaaz is more cautious than 350.org, and apparently the New York chapter of 350.org, which is more radical, is at odds with the national.

But when the overriding demand is for numbers, which is about visuals, which is about P.R. and marketing, everything becomes lowest common denominator. The lack of politics is a political decision. One insider admitted despite all the overheated rhetoric about the future is on the line, “I don’t expect much out of this U.N. process.” The source added this is “a media moment, a mobilizing moment.” The goal is to have visuals of a diverse crowd, hence the old saw about a “family-friendly” march. Family friendly comes at a high cost, however. Everything is decided by the need for visuals, which means organizers will capitulate to anything the NYPD demands for fear of violence. The march is on a Sunday morning when the city is in hangover mode. The world leaders will not even be at the United Nations, and they are just the hired guns of the real climate criminals on Wall Street. The closest the march comes to the United Nations is almost a mile away. The march winds up on Eleventh Avenue, a no-man’s land far from subways. There is no closing rally or speakers.

An insider says the real goal was to create space for politicians: “If you can frame it as grandma and kids and immigrants and labor you could make it safer for politicians to come out and support. It’s all very liberal. I don’t have much faith in it.”

When I asked what the metrics for success for, the insider told me media coverage and long-term polling about public opinion. I was dumbfounded. That’s the exact same tools we would use in huge marketing campaigns. First we would estimate and tally media “impressions” across all digital, print, outdoor, and so on. Then a few months down the road we would conduct surveys to see if we changed the consumer’s opinion of the brand, their favorability, the qualities they associated with it, the likelihood they would try. That’s the same tools Avaaz is allegedly using.

Avaaz has pioneered clickbait activism. It gets people to sign petitions about dramatic but ultimately minor issues like, “Prevent the flogging of 15 year old rape victim in Maldives.” The operating method of Avaaz, which was established in 2007, is to create “actions” like these that generate emails for its fundraising operation. In other words, it’s a corporation with a business model to create products (the actions), that help it increase market share (emails), and ultimately revenue. The actions that get the most attention are ones that get the most petition signers, the most media coverage, and which help generate revenue.

Avaaz has turned social justice into a product to enhance the liberal do-gooding lifestyle, and it’s set its sights on the climate justice movement.

The more dramatic the emails the better the response. It’s like the supermarket. The bags and boxes don’t say, “Not bad,” or “kinda tasty.” They say “the cheesiest,” “the most delicious,” “an avalanche of flavor,” “utterly irresistible.” That’s why climate change polls so well for Avaaz. It’s really fucking dramatic. But it’s still not dramatic enough for marketing purposes.

One source said the December 2013 email from Avaaz Executive Director Ricken Patel about climate change was a goldmine. It was headlined, “24 Months to Save the World.” It begins, “This may be the most important email I’ve ever written to you,” and then says the climate crisis is “beyond our worst expectations” with storms and temperatures “off the charts.” Then comes the hook from Patel, “We CAN stop this, if we act very fast, and all together. And out of this extinction nightmare, we can pull one of the most inspiring futures for our children and grandchildren. A clean, green future in balance with the earth that gave birth to us.”

Telling people there is 24 months to save the world is odious, as is implying an online donation to Avaaz can save the planet.

The same overblown rhetoric is being used for the People’s Climate March: It’s the biggest ever. There is “unprecedented collaboration” with more than 1,400 “partner” groups in New York City. Everything comes down to this one day with the “future on the line and the whole world watching, we’ll take a stand to bend the course of history.”

Presumably the orderly marchers behind NYPD barricades will convince the governments of the world that will meet for the Climate Summit that won’t even meet for another two days that they need to pass UN Secretary­ General Ban Ki-­moon’s “ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution.”

Moon is now joining the march. But it’s hard to find details, including on the Climate Summit website, as to what will actually be discussed there. The best account I could find is by Canadian journalist Nick Fillmore. He claims the main point will be a carbon pricing scheme. This is one of those corporate-designed scams that in the past has rewarded the worst polluters with the most credits to sell and creates perverse incentives to pollute, because then they can earn money to cut those emissions.

So we have a corporate-designed protest march to support a corporate-dominated world body to implement a corporate policy to counter climate change caused by the corporations of the world, which are located just a few miles away but which will never feel the wrath of the People’s Climate March.

Rather than moaning on the sidelines and venting on Facebook, radicals need to be in the streets. Join the marches and more important the direct actions. Radicals need to ask the difficult questions as to why for the second time in fifteen years has a militant uprising, first Seattle and then Occupy, given way to liberal cooptation. What good is your radical analysis if the NGO sector and Democratic Party fronts kept out-organizing you?

Naomi Klein says we need to end business as usual because climate change is going to change everything. She’s right. Unfortunately the organizers of the People’s Climate March didn’t get the memo. Because they are continuing on with business as usual that won’t change anything.

One prominent environmental organizer says that after the march ends, “The U.N. leaders are going to be in there Monday and Tuesday and do whatever the fuck they want. And everyone will go back to their lives, walking the dog and eating brunch.”

The future is unwritten. It’s not about what happens on Sunday. It’s what happens after that.”

Arun Gupta contributes to outlets including Al Jazeera America, Vice, The Progressive, The Guardian, and In These Times.

See also: Tweeting While the World Burns or: Elites Against the XL Pipeline and Green Capitalism and the ‘Peoples Summit’ at Rio+20 by wd.  Or anything on 350.org by this author: Brought to You by Wall Street: The Corporate Money Behind McKibben’s Divestment Tour
by CORY MORNINGSTAR

‘350: Agent Saboteur:  The Bolivia Debacle‘  by CORY MORNINGSTAR, Sept. 19, 2014:

(Morningstar is speaking about the organization’s deeds at the same People’s Climate Summit and the Rights of Mother Earth side-meetings in Bolivia I wrote about above):

It was during this conference that American 350.org co-founder, Kelly Blynn, had a tantrum. The People’s Agreement was calling for a maximum of 300 parts per million of carbon dioxide. When pressed (by the former Green Party Canada leader and activist, Joan Russow, and myself) to consider the necessity of changing the 350.org logo (by crossing it out with an x and placing the new number/logo “300” beside it), an irritated Blynn stated that she and her co-founders would never agree to do so as 350.org was “the most powerful brand in the world.” (For the moment, let’s ignore the fact that “the most powerful brand in the world” aside, 350 ppm is a death sentence for coral reefs, small island developing states, and billions of people living along low lying coastlines. A fact disclosed in an Alliance of Small Island States Briefing prior to COP15.)

Whiteness & Aversive Racism

In the ultimate display of arrogance, it was clearly demonstrated that 350.org’s sole purpose for attending the conference in Bolivia was to literally undermine the host country’s official policy position on climate change (300 ppm, 1ºC limit, etc.). After exhausting all resources to have the “brand” (numeral 350) adopted as the official target cited in the evolving text of the draft document (350 ppm rather than 300 ppm), their efforts were finally defeated after both Russow and I challenged the 350.org colonial superiority at that evening’s plenary, which was packed with Bolivian citizens. Ultimately, the pre-industrial measurement of 280 ppm was rightfully added to the document”….etc..

A post on how integral capitalism itself is to the deep causes of climate change,  ‘Resisting the Logic of Capitalism: Capitalism and Climate Change Redux’ by ROB URIE

Bonus cartoons:

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46 responses to “How the People’s Climate March Became a Corporate PR Campaign (arun gupta)

  1. this is the deep green resistance strategy wayoutwest had mentioned on another thread: ‘Decisive Ecological Warfare’

    Decisive Ecological Warfare (DEW) is the strategy of a movement that has too long been on the defensive. It is the war cry of a people who refuse to lose any more battles, the last resort of a movement isolated, co-opted, and weary from never-ending legal battles and blockades.

    The information in the DEW strategy is derived from military strategy and tactics manuals, analysis of historic resistances, insurgencies, and national liberation movements. The principles laid out within these pages are accepted around the world as sound principles of asymmetric warfare, where one party is more powerful than the other. If any fight was ever asymmetric, this one is.

    The strategies and tactics explained in DEW are taught to military officers at places like the Military Academy at West Point for a simple reason: they are extremely effective.

    When he was on trial in South Africa in 1964 for his crimes against the apartheid regime, Nelson Mandela said: “I do not deny that I planned sabotage. I did not do this in a spirit of recklessness. I planned it as a result of a long and sober assessment of the political situation after many years of oppression of my people by the whites.”

    We invite you to read this strategy, and to undertake that same long and sober assessment of the situation we face.”

    Time is short.

    Downloads available at the link:

    http://deepgreenresistance.org/en/deep-green-resistance-strategy/decisive-ecological-warfare

  2. Thanks for the post wendy, checking out the DEW link.

    Through power granted by the R majority in the WI legislature since Walker emerged as gov, the executive was given final rule-making authority over every facet of state government except for public education. There is also “emergency,” rule making authority with no clear definition of what constitutes and emergency. The gov decided the emergency powers were needed when constituents wanted DNR evaluation of frac-sand mining of in terms of groundwater use, dust (silicosis), hill-top removal etc., etc., and the gov took away the right of citizens to redress their grievances against said state agency in court, about Aug 27. Appeals to higher authorities are being constructed. Always appreciate additional tactics and approaches to consider.

    “Charming as a cherub,” I may be just imagining analogies to the “Peoples’s” corporate organizers? Anyway, some music for the thread.

    Then we have news of tactics from people not likely marching today, fighting for their immediate environmental lives, on the ground in WI.

    http://malcontends.blogspot.com/2014/09/wisconsin-town-to-encircle-proposed.html

  3. Wendye Davis.

    Rock on. As always ya get to the heart of the matter. Quite frankly folks like Bill McGibbons, 350.org, Sierra Club etc etc etc, the now infamous Foundation Grant funded well heeled 501c3 Industrial Complex need to get the hell out of the way.
    In Minnesota 350.org MN actually sabotaged a direct action that Occupy Minnesota was trying to mount at a Public Utilities Commission hearing in St Paul.
    When the PUC went ahead and shoved the Enbridge XL Tar Sands increased pipeline through, they stood with mouths agape and whined about the “betrayal.” Then did a meaningless, symbolic candle protest.

    They are a HUGE part of the problem.

    LONG LIVE OCCUPY MINNESOTA and IDLE NO MORE

  4. Did I mention that the 350 folks are loyal, ever obedient Democratic party supporters and voters? Just like Bill McGibbons and Company.

    Time to throw these Foundation grant funded “progressive” folks aside.

    DIRECT ACTION is the only option available now

  5. some crazy-ass level of ‘unitary executive power’ there, nonquixote. i love the catch-22 that the emergency law didn’t say what exactly constituted an emergency, though. guess they reckon walker ‘will know it when he sees it’, though. ;)

    whoosh; no recourse to challenge his powers, yes, the DEW pdf’s might just give some good tactics. (hat tip wayoutwest). and what an hilarious song, lol.

    well, maybe folks will get radicalized and hit ‘flood wall street’ tomorrow?
    i confess i got my fill of mcKibben when i wrote ‘tweeting while…’, and man, did i get some pushback to that thread! now that cory morningstar and others have dug into 350.org’s funding streams: meh, i am burnin’. a true industry and democrat veal pen organization.

    i almost used this boots riley and companion video (didn’t care much for healey, whoever he is) Yes magazine sent in their newsletter to advertize this march even tho it was made for another movement. i’d embedded neil young’s song democracy now is touting, but i liked it so little once it was late enough to finally play this mornin’ that i deleted it. :)

  6. that’s just the thing, michael cavlan. and if he and avaaz click-bait activism block radical activism, and more importantly, perhaps, hoist themselves up as the ‘Doing Something about climate change’ saviors, nothing changes for the better, and folks get depressed and resigned to having no power.

    when i clicked into earth first’s website, their advice was to go to NYC, and make contacts with folks that would participate in direct actions and projects like the one at nonquixote’s link. and of course, it’s all too little, too late, but even when ya know you’re dying, ‘how you fall matters greatly’ (as in: don’t give up!) (say i, limited to being a keyboard activist, ach…)

    long live ALL occupies and idle no more…whose members have sadly been far too idle recently. but they’re fighting for their own sovereignty and right to exist, so…i don’t mean to chastise them unduly.

  7. Bread and mischief today, if we get any more rain I’m going be in the front lines of advocating that we pipe-lining it out of the Great Lakes basin to your area and on to CA. Siblings in need. And as a clue to readers who might already know my real name, I actually used to tune pianos to pay the rent. Love ya, wendyedavis. (perfect pitch is a burden sometimes)

  8. yes, if you’ve ever heard of ‘Pianus Tunus’, nonquixote’s yer guy. :)

    i’d take the rain, but oh, my: california does need it even more. i just saw a drought map of the state yesterday…oof! i never saw if the baja hurricane headed up-state or just veered toward tucson as predicted. a NM e-friend said they’ve gotten drenched so often that the ground is soggy now. can’t imagine it.

    love ya too, nonquixote, and ack! i was once accused of perfect pitch, lol.

  9. With all DEW respect, I say proceed directly to Phase 4 (~: acronym :~), EMP:

    Dr. NO? Anyone? …
    Just as I suspected: none willing To MARCH, Anymore; much less form underground cadres of ‘disruption’, but for Zer0bama, “our” SPECTRE* Army of one, spreading BaracKaos worldwide on behalf of the Yellen BERNANK$TER$ !
    (*SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion)

  10. This rather reminds me of the MLK civil rights march on Washington and how that was co-opted and dumbed down so that we had to fight to restore memory of what happened next whilst Oprah and the like assured us (and yes, I bought it) that Obama was the answer, the dream incarnate. Sure got disabused with his Nobel speech, so that award was not in vain after all.

    Hopefully (she says tongue in cheek) Mother Earth’s not gonna take this one lying down.

    Thanks, wendye; this was an important message.

  11. By the way, I haven’t yet advanced the uniparty theory down under, though it’s looking more and more like it. Best let them come to it on their own, maybe. Definitely some sordity lagtime down there – we were about 20 years behind when I was young–er. Supposedly learning from sophisticated civilizations’ errors, something like that. Someone asked ‘why these five countries for five eyes? My answer would be, ripe for corporate dominance. Telephones used to take months to hook up; in moved the telecoms – prestochangeo.

    I grew up tapping on the neighbor’s door to ask to use the telephone once in a while; alone with my thoughts vast stretches of uninterrupted tranquillity.

    Those were the days, my friend.

  12. Indeed, Doprah and Smoking ChumpChange uber ALLES. (Some of US knew the JEB Was UP*, the moment the Big 0 pinned a Poppy Old Gory flag on his lapel).
    *Simply wait for 2016, after 0 sacrifices the Senate this November (‘Honey 0badger jest don’ care!).

  13. oh, gads, juliania. very much like the obomba cooptation of the mlk march. hearing mlk’s words on his lips was srsly distressing, although iirc, he only repeated the ones that were made for comforting da white folk, as in: the ‘i have a dream’ speech. no condemnation of war or capitalism, no call to arms for revolution of any sort.

    well, come to think of it, this march was *designed* to be the LARGEST EVAH, superlatives galore! Bring the bankers, brink the politicians who can do a sound bite or two, then go do…nothing. eeep.

    sorry, bruce; can’t quite decode that comment. ;)

  14. “WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Rockefellers, who made their vast fortune on oil, and other philanthropies and high-wealth individuals on Monday will announce pledges to divest a total of $50 billion from fossil fuel investments.
    The Global Divest-Invest coalition will announce new pledges and members one day before 120 heads of state address the United Nations on how their countries will contribute to a global effort to halt a dangerous rise in temperatures.”

    “One of the signatories is the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Stephen Heintz, an heir of Standard Oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, said the move to divest away from fossil fuels would be in line with his wishes.
    “We are quite convinced that if he were alive today, as an astute businessman looking out to the future, he would be moving out of fossil fuels and investing in clean, renewable energy,” Heintz said in a statement.”

    This is from today Yahoo news.

    This is McKibben’s divestment movement.

  15. i can appreciate that you believe in mcKibben, or in his ‘divestment’ movement, mafr. to me, it’s just a feel-good operation that never addresses the systemic causes of either carbon emissions, but instead shifts the destruction of carbon trading onto the third and fourth wolds thru mechanisms like REDD.

    here’s just a little bit of cory morningstar had to say about it (and she brings many similar takes in on the piece i linked to above:

    “People may ask themselves just why the financiers of climate destruction would give a flying fuck about the climate. One may wonder just why McKibben and friends went to the Wall Street billionaires to solicit their input (and permission) on exactly just what type of divestment would be suitable to their liking. Yet, the answer is astoundingly simple: the “Do the Math” divestment tour is not a campaign meant to impair (let alone destroy) Wall Street, big energy, or finance capital – rather it is a strategic public relations campaign, another well-orchestrated distraction for the masses.

    A key design element within the non-profit industrial complex is that “movements” are created top down. In the case of Rockefeller’s 350.org/1Sky, the game is simply this: 350.org locals take their marching orders straight from the top (350.org International) while “the top” (McKibben et al) take their marching orders directly from their funders – and in the case of 350.org’s Do the Math Tour, those funders are Wall Street investors.

    McKibben, along with key 350.org staff, developed the divestment campaign in consultation with Ceres Investors – referred to fondly as their “Wall Street friends.”

    Such loyalties are par for the course in the corporate enviro world where Wall Street execs can be referred to as “our Wall Street friends.” Never mind that Wall Street is the very root cause of our multiple and ever accelerating ecological and economic crises, not to mention the global food crisis. These crises are not truly “crisis” in a spontaneous sense, rather they are strategic by design with the aim of furthering corporate profit, which is simply insatiable.”

    Corporate Watch’s comments on 350.org were also relevant.

    It’s corporate PR without the great libraries that rockefeller built. those actually had value, and was old-style noblesse oblige. obomba will mouth some pretty phrases, too, as will many other candidates who are up for re-election soon, be assured.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/05/17/mckibbens-divestment-tour/

  16. look, i know how hard it is to let in information about those we reckon are The Good Guys. but as buffy sainte marie said so memorably: “if the bad guys don’t get ya, the good guys will”.

    it was hard for me to look past my regard for glenn greenwald to begin to grasp what and who he really does seem to be about; snowden as well. there would be plenty of parallels, but one that springs to mind is how many folks are still so sparkle-eyed about obomba that they can’t let it go. but as the evidence mounts up, i’d reckon myself a fool if i stayed willfully blind, and seriously a part of the problem if i were to stay silent and not say the truth as i know it.

    you may never read these links, but cory morningstar did a lot of investigative work to uncover what she calls ‘the non-profit industrial complex to manufacture discourse’, as in: Potemkin and controlled dissent. Like Steve Horn keeps trying to tell us, the whole ‘stop the XL pipeline’ is a feel-good exercise (except on the ground in different locales) because Berkshire Hathaway has bought up so many railroads and trains that the tarsands oil has been being shipped to gulf coast for quite some time already, and if obomba never approves it…it’s of small matter, really.

    but anyhoo, here is the series where she follows the money from industry to umbrella ‘eco and social’ organizations to be disbursed to all those Good Guy eco organizations that…really aren’t.

    well, i can see that i have the order wrong, but i can’t sort it out; still lots of miles to go before i sleep. but the way you care so much about climate change, i’d hope you might read some of them. bonus: on one thread, i saw metamars saying he doesn’t have the ability to post. perhaps he never made the ‘whitelist’ of those who still have the privilege. maybe jane hamsher took your emails to heart? but anyway, there sure aren’t many people commenting, as you said. but fewer than before the Big Change, not that i understand any o it, really.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/14/350-orgs-friends-on-wall-street/

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/04/12/keystone-xl-the-art-of-ngo-discourse/

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/10/28/keystone-xl-the-art-of-ngo-discourse-2/
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/06/04/manufacturing-discourse/

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/12/keystone-xl-the-art-of-ngo-discourse-3/

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/28/mckibben-red-white-blue-and-goldman-sachs/

  17. I can see some results from McKibben, not aware of anything accomplished by arun gupta as far as combatting climate change goes. Maybe he has something you can point to, other than articles he’s written critical of Bill.

    And Snowden is now a sell out or bad in some way? cause you don’t like something he wrote or said? Or some point of view?

    If you’re just writing and talking, I guess that’s ok. Like a conversation in English class, or Philosophy 120. Might be fun, but

    If you’re trying to get something done, get behind somebody it’s not effective.

    This guy helped get three hundred thousand people out on a march, but he’s a sellout, and should be ignored.

    this makes no sense.

  18. the links were to cory morningstar’s investigations as in: follow the money, so you may not have even clicked into one. the rest of your comment is so hostile that i’ll wait and respond tomorrow. but i won’t be silent in order not to vex ether you or juliania.

  19. These ‘folks’ didn’t get to the UN, either; 2/15/03 NY anti-Iraq BushWar protest march:
    “As people tried to reach the rally area they ended up constituting an unplanned march, stretching twenty blocks down First Avenue and overflowing onto Second and Third Avenue.[25] In total estimates range from been 300,000 to 400,000 protesters (WSWS estimate) …” (Wiki)
    We know the contra-indicated results thereof.
    Now comparable numbers here and worldwide demonstrated for effective action on behalf of US and Gaia. Perhaps that’s the way to look at the two. Before it was what we were against; this time it’s what We’re FOR!
    Tomorrow, we can hope for more than serial Obamanable BushHog lip-schtick on global warming; expecting efficacious measures to actually effect atmospheric carbon content less than the 350 tipping point threshhold (which at 400+ we’ve Already EXCEEDED*), hereafter.
    (*Hoping 0 don’t add a few more degrees with typical prattle, tomorrow!>)_

  20. yez, see the cochamamba declaration and the hissy fit pitched by the 350.org-ers, unwilling to dial down that number as silly-high.

    or: jon stewart’s march on washington about nothing:

    “Daily Show’ host Jon Stewart announced Thursday that he’ll lead a rally on Washington that aims to encourage angry citizens on both sides of the aisle to take it down a notch, or in his words, “stop shouting, throwing and drawing Hitler mustaches on people other than Hitler.”

    The event has been dubbed the “Rally to Restore Sanity” and will be held on the National Mall on Oct. 30. “It’s real,” he told his maybe-thinking-he-was-joking audience. “We are gonna do this.”

    After the event: “Jon Stewart’s ‘Rally to Restore Sanity’ drew 200,000, beating estimated attendance at Glenn Beck’s”

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/jon-stewart-rally-restore-sanity-drew-200-000-beating-estimated-attendance-glenn-beck-article-1.188108

  21. Blondie's Dumpling

    “My head is full of fire and grief and my tongue runs wild, pierced with shards of glass.” – Lorca channelled by Morningstar.

    Woman salvation has been foresworn, comrade W. What are the masterminds up to? I recall luxury bunkers being a lucrative business, what, a half-decade ago? Private “lifeboat” islands were hot too.

    With the anxiety growing, I wonder, what are the loose—lipped lumpenbourgeoisie revealing? Are they prepped for eugenocide or escape? Or are they luxuriating in a finacialized fantasy?

    Ah, yes, they are anesthetized by the artists of annihilation. Thank you for recalling the beautiful Morningstar, comrade.


  22. otoh, Stewart/Beck:

  23. and thank you for reminding us that cory does keep a bit o’ garcia lorca to guide her way, dumpling.

    what do they imagine? t’would depend on their individual fantasies, or group schemes, i reckon. but wouldn’t staying on the ocean on floating towns be one idea? are they the same folks who believe that nuclear war is survivable? ha; brings new meaning to ‘bunker mentality’, though, you’re right.

    as to the highly profitable avaaz newsletter about ‘saving the planet in the next 24 months’, someone said that hey, ho, the planet’s not at risk, just human- and animal-kind. yeah, some days ya jut wanna give it back to the dolphins and cockroaches…

    (i’m still trying to formulate an answer to mafr; i’ll start one, although the next in a chain of appliance repairmen is due in about 10 minutes…

  24. I’m not vexed, wendye, (sorry, my reply to your last email got rejected your end, will try snail mail) and I don’t think mark/mafr would be either – it’s a good difference of strategeries for your place to air I think. I’m so thrilled you are doing your diaries here in the face of home duties – bravo to you! mark/mafr and I can bring what’s needed in what we see as positive developments and it will all make for a great discussion as you bring your points forward – maybe not the same path but parallel? Something like what is happening with these two protest demonstrations you are covering here – the massive energies of both must be scaring the corporate ptb to bits.

    I join with the thought that it would have been great for that Sunday march to divert to the UN – one of these times it will, I feel sure. The Rockerfeller divestments may be a sign that the bad guys are running hard to get to the front of the parade. They’ve got a lot of catching up to do and if they try to send folk in the wrong direction those thousands marching are not going to stop now. They’ll just let them go off on their own.

    This is a case of power shift. Divestment is huge, especially if it can affect the war machine. Oh, I am all for that.

    Time to rejoice but combine marching! (I’m waiting for the tractors to join the parade.) I have to reference Flannery O’Connor’s ‘Revelation’ once again – she has a parade at the end of that story which has all the poor and misbegotten folk dancing and carrying on at the front, and the upright citizens marching at the rear – I’ll put a quote here next. It so very much applies.

    As I said somewhere else, John Key may have bitten off more than he can chew. His ‘win’ was so startlingly large even the BBC questioned it (according to a comment at dailyblog – and there are SO many comments. Plus, they are seeing the duplicity of Labour – good!)

  25. This is Mrs. Turpin’s final vision in Flannery’s story:

    ” . . . At last she lifted her head. There was only a purple streak in the sky, cutting through a field of crimson and leading like an extension of the highway, into the descending dusk. She raised her hands from the side of the pen[pig pen] in a gesture hieratic and profound. A visionary light settled in her eyes. She saw the streak as a vast swinging bridge extending upward from the earth through a field of living fire. Upon it a vast horde of souls were rumbling toward heaven. There were whole companies of white trash, clean for the first time in their lives, and bands of black niggers in white robes, and battalions of freaks and lunatics shouting and clapping and leaping like frogs. And bringing up the rear of the procession was a tribe of people whom she recognized at once as those who, like herself and Claud, had always had a little of everything and the God-given wit to use it right. She leaned forward to observe them closer. They were marching behind the others with great dignity, accountable as they had always been for good order and common sense and respectable behavior. They alone were on key. Yet she could see by their shocked and altered faces that even their virtues were being burned away. . . “

  26. GG must have a seastead option, no?

    An answer to mafr: PC is a dangerous weapon. You sure you can handle that thing?

  27. mafr (for what this is worth, i’ll give it a go):

    arun gupta has been an active journalist and eoc-activist since at least 1990; his new critique and report from #floodWallStreet is here:
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/23/to-fight-the-unpredictable-effects-of-climate-change-we-need-an-unpredictable-movement/

    his cv: “Arun Gupta contributes to outlets including Al Jazeera America, Vice, The Progressive, The Guardian, and In These Times.”

    Cory morningstar’s profile from one website at which she’s been a contributor:
    ““When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do.” — William Blake

    Cory Morningstar is an independent investigative journalist, writer and environmental activist, focusing on global ecological collapse and political analysis of the non-profit industrial complex. She resides in Canada. Her recent writings can be found on Wrong Kind of Green, The Art of Annihilation, Political Context, Counterpunch, Canadians for Action on Climate Change and Countercurrents.” (wrongkindofgreen may have been abandoned at some point)

    http://thebiggestlieevertold.wordpress.com/about-the-author/

    now i printed the entire piece, so you can see that gupta is NOT condemning the march as it will bring many grassroots activists together and feel energized for the fights ahead, or close to it.
    but: you indicate that it’s a bit of conversation like in english class, and i’d submit much of what journalists’ jobs are supposed to be is to critique the zeitgeist, offer analyses that could prove useful, and so forth.

    the thrust of gupta’s critique seems self-evident: avaaz creates *brands*, and profits from them; 350.org joined the brand, paid staff, and made all the decisions about the march behind closed doors. morningstar’s investigations are simply about the fact that the same climate chaos creators fund NGOs that disperse money to mainstream eco-organizations that do not EVER challenge the system, whether it be capitalism, rule by oligarchs, yada, yada, thus makes deals with the alleged Devils, but are friendly allies in fact.

    as stephanie miller quipped about the symbiotic relationships of NGOs and big greens in her piece ‘NGOs are Cages’, “With NGOs, capitalism has set up a great mechanism for itself both to generate revenue, and to pacify people who might otherwise be fighting to break the framework. “The unity of the chicken and the roach happens in the belly of the chicken.” It sure made me laugh.

    The words or ideas i object to? it likely started with ‘mission accomplished, we’re having a conversation’. benign enough to most, and echoed by gg. but during the Moment of Truth two hours, from Jillian York:
    “There’s a somewhat odious quote floating around from Edward Snowden that was tweeted, then expanded by the Guardian, but both come up short. I compared the Guardian’s quote against the video here; here’s what he actually said (1:09:35):

    “Maybe the people of New Zealand think that’s appropriate. Maybe they think that they want to sacrifice a certain measure of their liberty and say, ‘It’s okay if the government watches me, I’m concerned about terrorism, I’m concerned about foreign threats.’ We can have people in each country make that decision because that’s what democracy’s about, that’s what self-government’s about, but that decision doesn’t belong to John Key or officials in the GCSB making these decisions behind closed doors without public debate, without public consent. That decision belongs exclusively to the people of that country and I think it’s wrong [applause] I think it’s wrong of him, of any politician, to take away the public seat at the table of government and say ‘you’ll just have to trust us’.”

    Later, at 1:15:43, he says “It doesn’t matter, necessarily, if there’s mass surveillance in New Zealand if the people say they want it.”
    now coupled with another quote i’d saved from an NYT interview, “”So long as there’s broad support amongst a people, it can be argued there’s a level of legitimacy even to the most invasive and morally wrong program, as it was an informed and willing decision,” he said. “However, programs that are implemented in secret, out of public oversight, lack that legitimacy, and that’s a problem. It also represents a dangerous normalization of ‘governing in the dark,’ where decisions with enormous public impact occur without any public input.”

    i can’t even imagine how many words it might take to make counterarguments to either of those passages. no, sorry, young man: we don’t have a seat at the table of government in the US, dunno how kiwis stack up in the same metric, but we have a constitution and a bill of rights in which privacy is sacrosanct, free speech enshrined, and he believes some plurality of imagine voters can rob the rest of us of those same rights ; or enact programs even if they are morally wrong’?

    to me, this is exactly the kind of thing that more folks should be critiquing, but as ever, too many seem to have their eyes and ears hazed over in adoration. *that* makes no sense to me. he and gg still mainly object to bulk collection, but not so much to ‘spying on al qaeda’ and ‘bad guys’. (and how many of *them* and their 3-steps removed in communication are there?)

  28. oh, my yes: i remember either you or aitchd bringing the o’connor passage before (via email?) it gave me a shiver again to ghost dance imagined outcomes in a way. but it’s luminous prose bumping against a raw reality that manages to be inspirational as all giddy-up; i’ll have some of what she had!

    at least you were honest enough to say that you didn’t want your mellow harshed by reading the piece at pando, but i found out quite a bit more about kim dotcom (or the author’s take on him) than i’d known, and discovered why yves called him ‘naughty’. she may have low-balled it really, but narratives have caused him to act the part of folk hero to some in NZ. i dunno the truth of it.

    the divestments could be good, although i’ve read conflicting accounts for how much rockerfeller bros. money’s involved ad whatnot, and of course it depends what they consider ‘clean energy alternatives’, eh? some believe fracked gas is, or nukes (hope not). but john kerry says that the US will fund IF loans to developing nations for carbon reductions (wonder what sort of pre-austerity will be built into those?) :)

    and given that rockerfellers fund 350.org, a deal may have been cut; who can say? they also fund nrdc iirc, the sole ‘eco group’ at davos two years ago (last time they listed invitees by nation).

    odd your email was returned. i’m still wendyedavis@msncom i’ll zip you one, and hope you got my last one with an attached photo as an experiment

  29. “even their virtues were being burned away.”

    Ah, to have their solicitudes lifted is the ultimate relief for the righteous! But, will their sweet morsels of vengeance be obsoleted on the Lord’s return or will that candy always be at hand until they are obsoleted?

    ‘Tis a smuggishness of virtue to glory by the trembling of power-devils.

  30. You got it, comrade W. Every “leader” in this hegemonstrosity is suspect of gatekeepering. That exact passage of Eddie’s – “It doesn’t matter, necessarily, if there’s mass surveillance in New Zealand if the people say they want it.” – was the moment of recognition in the Moment of Truth. Like you say, something sacrosanct is not decided by referendum.

    Ol’ Eddie must have turned off his self-monitoring equipment, or maybe it’s already been turned off and his puppeteers were hoping that you’d turn yours off ’cause “Eddie said it”.

    You have earned a commendation, comrade.

  31. ok,

    thanks….

  32. ‘(*Hoping 0 don’t add a few more degrees with typical prattle, tomorrow!>)_’
    Hope … NOOOP! :
    A Y’0bama ‘executive order’ will require federal agencies to “factor climate resilience into the design of their international development programs and investments.” What mean weasel words, ‘factor’, ‘design’, ‘international’ (ZERO in the Homeland?), ‘development’ (Not EXISTING?) “efforts?”
    W.T.F. ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un_HgZ512FU

  33. to bundo mondo: i took the passage to have had ‘virtues’ in parentheses or italics, even. as in: burned away their hubris about their goodness…or something.

    as to the passages i quoted, i didn’t come close to expressing the reaction to thoughts like those when i first read them, and have wondered how their fans manage to breeze right by them in their adoration. perhaps it’s a huge reason i don’t have heroes; it’s too easy to go with the group ethos of lack thereof while celebrating them. or something.

    to mafr: okay; welcome.

    to bruce: i confess, the white house stuck a livestream of O prattling at the UN onto the floodwallstreet twitter thang (iirc), but i clicked in, gagged looking at him, and backed out. guardian also has a livestream of the speechifying. yep, always the can-kicking. but the US just made 12 bombing runs over syria and cameron indicates britain may soon join in.

    wish the cochabamba accords had been enacted, myself. apparently cory morningstar was there helping to derail 350.org’s ‘help’ making the target protocols. kinda wish i’d known all that back in the day i covered those meetings. as with the paris one coming up next year, the basic premise is ‘doomed to fail’, and no doubt those expectations will be met.

  34. Thanks for your answer @ 10:26 to mafr’s question and mine on Snowden. That’s a great point, wendye, and I totally agree with you on the issue of the ignorance of the masses and crowd coercion of privacy rights. It’s what I love about this country (having had some contact with American civics classes back when there were such animals) – that there is a Constitution in which those rights have been clearly presented.

    So that was very fuzzy stuff from Snowden indeed – unless he was aware that a clear presentation of such questions before an alert and questioning public might initiate the kind of dialogue, say, that the founders had when the Constitution was written – New Zealand doesn’t have one, never has had such a conversation. That might be putting too much awareness into the mix on behalf of Snowden, but having a Constitution is a mighty great thing and was one factor in my thinking I’d rather be a US citizen. (Of course, if the Constitution is just a piece of paper, maybe I’d better go back to kiwiland.)

    The emphasis on the secrecy issue and proof that the PM lied in describing the law that was passed without a public debate on the true elements of said law seems to me what the fuzzy passage was aimed at – but it wasn’t the people themselves who then had the power to decide yay or nay but their representatives in Parliament, presumably with the clarity of issue commented on by their constituents aroused enough to be voicing their objection. And if, after hearing the facts they didn’t do such, and their representatives didn’t on their behalf object, bad on them indeed, and they need some serious civic lessons, but hey, wendye – no seat at the table? Isn’t the Bill of Rights our seat at the table? And “We the people…”etc.,, etc.”

    I don’t know if that helps explain why no objection was raised at the time Snowden proffered that quoted passage but it sounded okay to me in the context in which he said it.

  35. On Kim Dotcom, yes indeed he has a past and a record and all of the above, something on which court cases are imminent – it’s all been thoroughtly fleshed out in NZ news, especially as the latter used discrediting him to obscure very important issues of co-option by the NSA which were illegalities under NZ law. There are court cases over these matters, and he has, no doubt, personal reasons for highlighting the illegalities. But that should be a side issue. Most who supported the InternetMana party apparently loved the Mana candidate and what that party stood for – I’m too far out of the loop to know. But I don’t think anyone could possibly see Kim Dotcom in heroic terms.

    The issues were Five Eyes, the TPPA, and spying on New Zealanders, plus the unfolding coverup over the two security laws passed in 2012. Oh, and the ‘dirty politics’ scenario as well. (I’m sure if they could have found dirt on Nicky Hager that would have been ‘the story’ as well, since all his communications were X-keystroked too.)

  36. The Bill of Rights is our seat at the table, but the entire table’s been removed, leaving just(ly) the 2nd Amendment’s militial musketry supporting the original parchment:

    And with carbon dioxide approaching 451, the paper it’s written on and its sustaining martial musketry’s set to combust spontaneously:

  37. to juliania: if i had to guess, i’d think mr. snowden didn’t know that NZ operates without a constitution (shoot, ours was modeled on the Iroquois confederation’s, so maybe it’s time the kiwis wrote one, eh?)… but it hardly matters to the discussion given that any post-enlightenment citizen should be wedded to in(un)alienable human rights and natural law rights in any event, which certainly could not be waived by anything like mob rule voting pluralities.
    i’d also mention that this bit from the nyt interview was NOT directed at a kiwi audience: “”So long as there’s broad support amongst a people, it can be argued there’s a level of legitimacy even to the most invasive and morally wrong program, as it was an informed and willing decision,” he said.” morally bankrupt idea, imo.
    no, it can’t be argued, mr. snowden, that those programs can ever be ‘legitimate’. but sure, it worked for you, as it worked for the whole hall of folks. given that jillian york had mentioned [applause] and given the time stamp, i went to the video earlier, and yeppers, applaud they did. Pfffft. but later he said a couple other things that were quite disturbing. speaking of the gcsb, ‘they are theoretically constrained by policy, and i do believe they do their best to use these policies appropriately to manage them, they aren’t *really* overseen…’ No, don’t want to criticize them unduly; and of course *some spying and snooping* is just fine with both him and gg; they’ve often said so.
    but remember when i expressed amazement that assange seemed to be in some solidarity with them now given the crap they’ve thrown about ‘good whistleblowers, bad whistleblowers’? OMG. while doing his bit about john key declassifying stuff ‘to defend himself’, he said “and throwing up classified documents in the air like julian assange”. then: “no offense, julian! hee hee”. assange was not amused; had i been he, i’d have blinked off my skype connection then and there….
    as bruce says, we the rabble don’t have a seat at the table of democracy; only the uber-wealthy do now, and the rest of us live in the ‘suspect class’, especially if we write or physically protest our fascist government. and the NSA was a terrible idea when it was created, and should be abolished period, imo.
    i’ll leave the kim dotcom stuff alone, because i think the part he’s played in all this matters quite a bit; maybe he’s been using his quarter of a billion bucks to buy him and his allies ‘a seat at the table’. from the little poking around i’ve done, i think i would not care for him.

    cool painting, interesting song, bruce.

  38. Wow, wendye, you did find an issue, maybe because you were looking for one. Indeed, we all have personal problems, I am sure. Bravo to Assange for overlooking Snowden’s to appeal to public awareness in this important matter. I think that your issues, eloquently raised will prevent the unity we so badly need on these important matters; the ptb must be rejoicing in the divisions. To me that the different admittedly flawed as are we all personalities that came together in ‘my’ town hall were a sign of hope for the future. Not, as you have seen it, some dastardly co-option of purity.

    I respect Edward Snowden for his role in bringing to public awareness matters that left unsaid (but maybe discerned by experienced web users like yourself) could have kept the lid on and enabled manipulations of privacy issues far into the future.

    The issue of ‘mob rule’ is totally outside the parameters of the discussion which took place in the Auckland town hall – you are taking the impressions you got second hand and blowing them up into a tirade against two individuals who may indeed have issues with their presentation and even with their ideologies – I say again it is the matters they came to inform upon that were the issue for an uninformed (obviously) public; you go with the army you have (to quote someone who shall remain in the lower regions for a very long time we hope.)

    Snowden’s comments were phrased to not offend a sovereign state – New Zealanders are prickly about others telling them what to do, even civil rights advocates like yourself. The importance of this town hall was not these two segments of Snowden’s presentation. As with Dotcom, the message in its entirety is what matters, not the messenger! And that message was, I have information that contradicts what the Prime Minister is saying about these laws. He is lying to you. You need to know what is happening.

    I’ll put in the next comment an article that denigrates the town hall meeting(I know, you don’t have time to read it). But any interested folk who have the time might scroll down to a comment made by Booker, who is a New Zealander in country, which I am not. It is eloquent, and says far better than I can what was at stake for New Zealand and will be in the future. The domination of Key’s neocon party is very, very bad news not only for New Zealand but for us all.

    Sorry to stay on this, just my take as a native New Zealander.

  39. Sorry – this was garbled:

    “To me that the different admittedly flawed as are we all personalities that came together in ‘my’ town hall were a sign of hope for the future.”

    It should read:

    “To me, that the different (admittedly flawed as are we all) personalities came together in ‘my’ town hall was a sign of hope for the future.”

    I need a good editor :~(

  40. no, juliania, i did not *need* to find an issue with any of this, and may i remind you how many of the ‘revelations’ i posted and worked hard at? it’s just that the evidence is accumulating as to what gg’s and snowden’s *ideologies* really are, as is the same problem i have with 350.org and the big greens.

    ‘mob rule’ has often been used to describe the event in which a hideous vote for crap policy becomes law, and it used to be that that why the framers built in three discrete bodies of govt. to act as checks and balances. of course, this is no longer, or seldom true.

    that you chide me for adding to the divisions, and the ptb loving it, all i can do is call crap on that. it seems to me that what the two of them are now in aid of is more akin to normalization of nsa spying (as long as it’s just so much) given what they promote. that is all.

  41. “(I know, you don’t have time to read it)”

    guess i *took the time* to read it, and read all of the comments. yes, ‘your town hall’, and while i do try to understand that you are first a kiwi, and know that the main values of the snowden revelations (for at least a time) were tanking certain tech stocks, and the hopes that brazil and germany would really create some alternatives to this internet system. hasn’t happened yet, as far as i know.

    it was a hit piece, yes, and not all that clever. i don’t know the genesis of kim dotcom’s asking for more illumination on the gcsb than had already been presented, but elliss may have been right that kiwis didn’t care much to see that many dotcom hirelings on the stage; as someone pointed out, kiwis are not monolithic, but clearly the revelations or the livestream didn’t have the anticipated electoral shift he’d hoped for. i thought the scoop had lots of posts about nsa and five eyes, but i may not remember correctly.

    upstream you said i was not acting ‘in unity’ or something. unity for what exactly, may i ask? do you know of some legislation that i should be backing or something? i’m sincerely buffaloed by your comment, but perhaps you have an over-inflated sense of my personal or blogging power. is DiFi reading me now? ;)

  42. Let me clarify my statement on unity – ” I think that your issues, eloquently raised will prevent the unity we so badly need on these important matters…”

    Your issues…will prevent the unity…we

    We, the citizenry in general. The issues you eloquently raise, of the feet of clay of those messengers we have, is clearly one that resonates with those who actually voted in this election, and that’s unfortunate since ‘we’ the citizens need unity. I felt New Zealand had a chance to lead the way in resisting corporate domination; instead, that didn’t happen.

    I really do understand you don’t have time to read all links we provide, so that was not a snark – I wanted to provide it to any that might have more time, as I expressed.

    The value of the meeting for me was to bring public awareness of the importance of New Zealand in the Five Eyes scenario. And yes, scoop has covered those issues and they are and have been covered by various blogs. The Southern Cross intercept and X-keystroke revelations have been denied by the present Prime Minister, and clearly people still believed his denial, or thought it wasn’t important. Isn’t the TPP important? Isn’t subservience to the US NSA important? I really don’t know what we are arguing about here, as I think we are on the same page, basically. I pointed above to one important comment on the thread I linked to – I will revisit and post it below.

  43. Here’s the part of the comment by Booker at dailyblog I really wanted to emphasize above:

    “At the time when the Snowden leaks started appearing, and Greenwald, The Guardian, and later Washington Post and Der Speigel started a rolling blow by blow that represented a complete paradigm shift in the way we see ‘spy agencies’ and the internet, two things happened in NZ:
    – complete silence.
    Sure, there were reprinted articles about ‘the NSA is doing this’, but there was no comprehension or reflection of what this meant for NZ, what NZ’s role in this was, or what this meant for our international standing, our national or economic security for being outed as being so hand in glove with US hegemonic practice, or our foreign relations. Anyone (and I really mean ANYONE with an internet connection) can look over those documents and see NZ marked in the header as one of the members of the 5 eyes who shared those documents and intelligence. There was NO discussion of this in NZ – not from politicians nor media. And while NZ may live happily with its head in the sand, I can tell you I have a lot of foreign friends and acquaintances and it was clear that people overseas were noticing with some shock and consternation that NZ was eyeballs deep in all of this.
    So I really want to drive this point home – almost A YEAR AND HALF LATER, after no media coverage or analysis of our role in all of this, it took the same journalist breaking these stories to come down here to NZ and spell it out. SPELL OUT WHAT HAD BEEN OBVIOUS FOR A YEAR AND HALF AND NO JOURNALIST IN NZ HAD BOTHERED TALKING ABOUT.

    – We took steps that no other country made
    The other thing which happened was this: while this rolling blow by blow coverage was going on, while people in the US were protesting about whether their government was spying on them, NZ passed a new GCSB bill with hardly a flutter – and one of the reasons for doing so was to enable the GCSB to spy on NZers legally after being caught out already doing so on KDC [Kim Dotcom]and 88 others. Everyone should take the time to think about this.
    These two events both show the same shortcoming – both were done with blinkers on, with NZ acting oblivious to what was taking place in the wider world. That wider world arrived at our doorstep at the Moment of Truth.
    – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/09/23/guest-blog-kelly-ellis-the-reptile-room/#sthash.NTsEhqeu.dpuf

  44. May I ask again: Unity on which issues? you seem to be speaking about the NZ election, but just before that: ‘the citizenry in general’. in the states? on turtle island? then i would ask you: unity to what purpose? to take baby steps that the gatekeepers of these issues prefer, say by way of the big greens? or should we name capitalistism’s and the multinational powers’ extraction from the citizenry as culprit and just aim to shut it all the fuck down with massive civil disobedience? ‘jam the machine’, iow, not beg power for crumbs. will the UN come up with more promises for green capitalism? hint: it’s a total ruse that rebounds too often on the global indigenous, and they were the ones who taught me its dangers. will the group saying they and the rockerfellers will soon divest in oil and coal invest in truly renewable energy sources (wind, solar, geothermal, maybe hydroelectric if NO new dams are required)? we can hope so, eh? but we’ll know sometime down the road, i expect.

    http://my.firedoglake.com/wendydavis/2012/06/14/green-capitalism-and-the-%e2%80%98peoples-summit%e2%80%99-at-rio20/#more-80923

    no, juliania, you keep mentioning ‘personalities’, ‘feet of clay’, and how mr. snowden was performing for kiwis. i doubt it, but you blow right by his interview in the nyt saying that even immoral policies are okay if a preponderance of citizens vote for them. does he really believe what that shit he said MEANS? do you want me to find unity with that? or that gg’s drip-drip stopped for so long cuz he was bored with al that NSA stuff it ended the debate, for all intents and purposes. Meh. but again, how were he and mr. snowden called back into service? did kimdotcom ask gg, then fund the flights and town hall? and why did they never tell the public long ago that the gcsb was collecting everything, including emails, on kiwis? although mr. snowden said metadata was more important…

    yes, i realize that you and kim dotcom (iirc) believed that the revelations could topple the key government. and somehow you implicate me in that failure or some other failure to unite with…who or what? fwiw, australia just passed similar legislation today, if you add in jailing whistleblowers as well.
    er…i can’t say how many posts i’ve written on the hideous TPP and TAFTA. did i somehow undermine them by failing to like the ideologies snowden and greenwald do? dunno about snowden’s political brand, but gg believes that citizens united was decided justly. Pfffft.

    but no, i don’t believe that any of the security agencies, including the fbi, dhs, private corporate spies (wall street) have a right to spy on citizens, *even if a plurality of citizens (mob rule) vote for it*. that’s one of the hallmarks of…FASCISM. and i shouldn’t have asked for further explanations; this is wearing the hell outta me, and i need to get more chores done.

  45. holy crow; i just twigged (maybe). i was watering the garden, and as often happens to me when i’m near water, i made a bit of an intuitive leap of grokking. One was: that you are peeved that i’m tarnishing the *brands* of either snowden/greenwald, or bill mckibben. if so, i’d say they can certainly handle some brand-tarnishing/halo dimming from one lone writer.

    it also occurred to me that you mentioned ttp and the fight against multinationals: you may sincerely believe that in your omnipresent can-do spirit, the NZ 99% share that same bravo! spirit, and could be the nation that topples the whole trade compact. who can say? but there are 11 other potential signatory nations with the US, and i dunno what amount of power the multinationals in say chile, canada, australia, have, but i’d guess more than we NZ. then again, obomba had targeted the first part of 2014 to finalize the deal.

    those small epiphanies don’t really explain all your other contentions about my disaffections for the stars of the various shows, but i thought i’d mention the glimmer of possible understanding i’d gleaned.

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