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The message of Occupy
By Dave Winer on Thursday, October 06, 2011 at 9:23 PM.

A picture named manInBlack.gifIt's really simple. The United States has been run for the benefit of a very small group of people. That was never the idea of this country. This must change.  #

Occupy Wall Street is not part of any party. It's not left or right, although many of the people that are part of it look left. But if you look at the groups that are forming around the country, you'll see that it looks more like America than it does any single political discipline. If it works, it should be equally comfortable for a Republican who yearns for real representative government in the United States as it is for a labor union member, student or retiree. It should be the thing that we all agree on. The principle that Lincoln spoke of in the Gettysburg Address. A government of the people, by the people and for the people. Whether it perishes from the earth is the question. Imho. #

The 99 percent message is brilliant, but it's problematic. What if I were a member of the 1 percent (I might be). Would my participation be welcome?  #

Is it measured by net worth or income? What are the actual numbers? #

Here's a test. Would Warren Buffett be welcome if he wanted to march? I don't think there's any doubt the Buffett is already part of the movement. But he's also part of the one percent.  #

Is this movement against success? If so, we have a problem. Because the self-reliance of Emerson is a core American value. And the ideal of opportunity for all. But the playing field must be level, and we must extend help to each generation as it was extended to previous generations. If you study the history of this country you'll see those are also core values. #

I've heard some borderline ageist things. Not surprising. When I was young and we were marching in the streets, some people said Don't trust anyone over 30. I wasn't one of them, and I didn't believe it. But it was said. Ageism is the one "ism" that seems to be tolerated. I personally am not tolerant of it, and I call it out when I see it. On Twitter today, after I changed my icon to a tribute to the young Steve Jobs, a correspondent excused himself as being old (I'm guessing he thought I was younger than I am). I asked how old. He said he was born in 1958. I said he was the same age as my kid brother. I especially don't like ageism when it's accepted by people who are victimized by it. It reeks of segregation. It's unacceptable. It breeds fear. It's anti-inclusive. #

Another idea that people have picked up from the 60s is The Whole World is Watching. That one is good. Let's make sure that remains true. In the 60s that was about TV. Things have gotten better, the media is more distributed now. You definitely can't trust TV. But hopefully we can trust each other. #

Again, the only movement worth supporting is one whose sole principle is inclusion. Of representative government. Of a society built for the benefit of everyone, not just a few.  #

So far the Occupy movement has been very disciplined. And that's good. I'm watching and listening carefully before deciding whether to support it. I imagine others are as well.  #

I would suggest clarifying the 99 percent position. Since that is one of the few platforms that has emerged, they should say exactly what that means. #

Now, I think it's totally okay to call out the people who accepted a bailout from the American taxpayers and feel no obligation to listen to the people who bailed them out. They should never have been bailed out in the first place, but once it happened, we are entitled to make sure it doesn't happen again. Once we bailed them out we owned their ass. That's how bankruptcy works, financially, morally and legally. It's the ultimate of chutzpah to act superior to your rescuers. That too is unacceptable. #

And that value is one that is shared by the Tea Party people. I know to some they're not welcome, but they should be. I think they started with similar idealism but were usurped by people with an ugly agenda. At the core, if you take them at face value, and why shouldn't we -- their ideas are very similar. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt. Again, inclusion is the right way to go. Building walls is what we're opposed to. Yes?  #

Christmas Tree
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