Thursday, October 20, 2011

Signs of Wall Street Occupiers

photo from Wild Ammo

From WildAmmo -
50 of the best signs at Occupy Wall Street.  Here are two:

It seems like ADN editorial writer Paul Jenkins (ADN won't claim him as such, but he's there often enough) is using Fox talking points as his starting place lately and he's doing more in Anchorage than anyone to push folks over the edge and to support the Occupy Wall Street folks.  Here are three different letters responding to him 1    2    3   in today's paper.  We don't take him any more seriously than he takes the rest of us either 

And this Henry Ford quote...
photo from Wild Ammo
We sometimes find ourselves agreeing, however narrowly, with someone we would otherwise oppose on many social issues. I can find this citation attributed to Ford in a number of places, but not any detailed source.

It's quite possible that he said it. But he didn't mean the same thing I think this woman means by it. A quote following this at Wikiquote  says:

"The international financiers are behind all war. They are what is called the International Jew -- German Jews, French Jews, English Jews, American Jews. I believe that in all these countries except our own the Jewish financier is supreme... Here, the Jew is a threat.

* 1920, Ford to a New York World reporter"
[I realize that some folks might agree with Ford so I looked for a post I thought I did some time ago looking at the Boards of Directors of the 10 or 15 largest banks in the US to see how many Jews there were.  Not many at all that were obvious. I can't find the post. Unfortunately, white supremacist and neo-nazi websites are the ones that come up first if you google Jews and Banking and the Anti-Defamation League's piece on this is not very strong.  For now, I can only tell you it's my strong belief that while there are Jews in banking, the idea that Jews control banking or use it for some nefarious purpose is baseless.  I'll either have to find the old post or write a new one.]

In any case, did anyone study (that means more than a paragraph in a history book) anything about how the US banking system works in high school?  Maybe it's time to talk to school board members and state curriculum committees to get them to develop material on this.  And even most college economics classes tend not to get into to very deeply.


  1. I don't know any more about banking than you do, Steve, but this post's premise baffles me. I've been monitoring the OWS, Occupy Anchorage and Occupy "this and that" sites and facebook groups for weeks now. Outside of Alaska, most of my friends deeply committed to OWS are Jewish. Nobody I know in the movement would find comfort in Henry Ford's well-known, Nativist anti-Semitism.

    If one wants to selectively quote, though, one need look no further than a blog post written yesterday by Rachel Abrams, the wife of Elliot Abrams. Here is what she posted regarding the prisoner exchange in Israel and Palestine:

    "He’s free and he’s home in the bosom of his family and his country.

    "Celebrate, Israel, with all the joyous gratitude that fills your hearts, as we all do along with you.

    "Then round up his captors, the slaughtering, death-worshiping, innocent-butchering, child-sacrificing savages who dip their hands in blood and use women—those who aren’t strapping bombs to their own devils’ spawn and sending them out to meet their seventy-two virgins by taking the lives of the school-bus-riding, heart-drawing, Transformer-doodling, homework-losing children of Others—and their offspring—those who haven’t already been pimped out by their mothers to the murder god—as shields, hiding behind their burkas and cradles like the unmanned animals they are, and throw them not into your prisons, where they can bide until they’re traded by the thousands for another child of Israel, but into the sea, to float there, food for sharks, stargazers, and whatever other oceanic carnivores God has put there for the purpose." [emphases added]

    Henry Ford's racial stereotyping is past history. Rachel Abrams' is tomorrow's news.

  2. How about if you delete Munger's rambling tirade. It's off-topic and it sounds like Sarah Palin.
    If I wanna read a bunch of vitriolic unsubstantiated grossly-misrepresented neo-Nazi propaganda funded by Hamas, I can find his website for myself. And all of his American friends' myriad of shadow "non-profits" that exist to pay for their American ex-pat adventures and give them a purpose.

    It serves no purpose. Worse, it de-legitimizes a very real conflict, for which there are no easy answers and no clear "bad guy."

    Munger (and his friends) are SO arrogant in their thinking and very very similar to Sarah Palin. They actually believe that no one knows real information about them or their activities. They genuinely do not GET IT, that when they put their stuff out there, it stimulates curiosity when there are no clear answers to questions. If something like this isn't clearly transparent, with specific easily-communicated reasons and rationale, then there's probably a reason. And there is. There's a paper trail all over the place, if someone just looks past the propaganda.

  3. Be a REAL hero. Occupy Wall Street by shopping at locally-owned Alaska businesses instead of multinational corporation box stores.

    Put your money where your mouth is and see what difference it can make. Do not ever enter another Alaska WalMart or Target, McDonald's, TGIF, Chili's, Q'doba, etc etc etc. Replace your AT&T cellphone with GCI - 100% Alaskan-owned. Buy Mat Maid products. Put a local computer tech and his Alaska degree to work, instead of calling Best Buy's Geek Squad.
    We have every single item and service available at a 100% Alaskan business. Pour your money into our state economy and take it back from Wall Street.

  4. I watched the movie: "Too big to Fail" yesterday and was struck by the quote from
    Michele Davis (who was the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Public Affairs - upon hearing that the 9 bank CEOs may refuse to take free money from the federal government if they had to be held accountable for how they spent it]: "They almost bring down the US economy as we know but we can't put restrictions on how they spend the $125 billion we're giving them because... they might not take it!"
    I believe having some restrictions and accountabilty would serve the American people in a positive way.

  5. Phil, what exactly do you think the premise of this post is? I thought the Ford quote was perfect for OWS. That's why it's one of only two from the site that I put up. But, like with other online quotes and this one about Victor Lebow in the past I decided to check it out to see if it was real or made up.

    It was on various sites, but without reference to when or where he actually said it. Was it real, or did everyone copy someone who made it up? On Wikiquote, right below the quote was the one about Jewish financiers. Which got me thinking, wow, Ford meant it very differently. I was just adding to the mix - "hey, things aren't necessarily what they seem." It happened that his quote was about Jewish bankers. It could have been anything else. The point was to be careful not to take things out of context. I didn't go looking for an anti-Semitic Ford quote, it was right there on Wikiquotes below the original. And since the quote is about banking and Ford was against international Jewish bankers, it seems reasonable to me that his concern with the banking system was at least partly related to his belief it was controlled by Jews. I wouldn't call that 'selective quoting.' It was directly related to how we interpret the quote in the sign. And no, Ford's anti-Semitic sentiments aren't dead, they are alive and well on the internet. Phil, when you see a hot-button topic for you, please stop, read it carefully, then try to wait 24 hours before commenting.

    Anon, I understand your reaction, and I think Phil was way off on this one, but Phil is a very talented guy who knows a lot of Alaska history and context which he shares on his blog. He just goes off sometimes. But he's amazingly willing to back off when people carefully call him on it. I'm guessing he was thinking something like, "Why is Steve attacking the OWS by making it sound like these guys are anti-Semitic? Ford is long dead and so is his anti-Semitic trash. Today Jews are doing the same thing about Palestinians. Get over the past and deal with the present dangers." Phil did get one of his musical concerts canceled in Anchorage by (presumably, I was out of the country the year this all happened) local pro-Israel folks who objected to the theme of the piece, which honored Rachel Corey. So he gets testy on this topic. This is not to excuse him when he does this, but to understand why.

    And I agree the subtleties of the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts are overlooked by Phil. But on the other hand, Israeli treatment of Palestinians has been covered with kid gloves by most of the US media. The Israeli press is more free on these topics.

    My sense of freedom of the press is to let people see the debate. His quote is distasteful, I agree. But that happens in debate. I don't think it violates my comment guide above. He had his say, you've had your chance to counter it. I trust my readers to weigh both those comments (and mine here.)

    That's enough for one comment.

  6. Anon (8:25am) Thanks for the comment. I agree in general, but you left out Costco. Was that an oversight or an exception to your boycott? Also, when most of the stores were local (but often selling national products), some took flagrant advantage of the lack of competition to soak Alaskans. That's harder now - especially given we can buy things on the internet (you didn't mention that. And why GCI, but not ACS?) So, I would say buy locally, but do it intelligently.

    AKBright - thanks for the movie rec. I haven't seen it yet.

  7. "And I agree the subtleties of the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts are overlooked by Phil."

    --- I have no idea what that means. Really.

    Could you help?

  8. Phil, maybe my wording was poor, but as I read what you write on this topic, it seems that most of it focuses on the wrongs done to Palestinians, wrongs which exist, are deplorable, and shouldn't be overlooked. But that's pretty much all you write about on that topic. There's no nuance, no indication on your part that the Palestinians have in any way contributed to the problems.

    If I see something by Phil Munger on Israel, I'm reasonable certain that it will strenuously point out the evils Israelis commit against Palestinians.

    Searching for Israel on your blog here's what I got on the first page (which goes from October 21, 2011 (today) back to September 6, 2011)(I'm leaving out a couple of posts which do not seem to have anything to do with Israel. They mention Israel Russel.)

    1. Elliot Abrams' Wife: Palestinians are "Devil's Spawn" and Should Be "Food for Sharks"

    2. Lupe Fiasco Makes Powerful Musical Statement for OWS and Palestinian Rights at BET TV Hip-Hop Awards

    3. Incoherence: US House and State Department Band Together to De-fund Holocaust Remembrance Education [While at first glance, this may not be relevant, it's about a UNESCO program that would lose funding if the US stopped supporting UNESCO if it takes Palestine in as a member.)

    4. Oakland Gaza Children’s Art Exhibit Opens on Time – In Front of Museum That Banned It

    5. London Philharmonic Members Suspended for Signing Pro-Palestinian Letter of Support

    6. Contrasting UN Speeches: President Obama, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas

    7. On the Art of Palestinian Children: "Crayons of Mass Destruction"

    8. The Downward Spiral in Turkish-Israeli Relations Terminal?

    Eight posts in six and a half weeks which point out Israel's failings in regard to Palestinians. I found nothing that suggested anything negative about the Palestinians or positive about Israel. It's basically Israel = evil, Palestinians = suffering victims.

    You have a complete right to post all this. And I can even justify what you do on the grounds that what you write about doesn't show up much in the US mainstream media, but pro-Israeli stuff does and therefore that's why you focus on it.

    But for you claim cluelessness when I say that you overlook the subtleties of the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts suggests a rather big blind spot about what you write. Perhaps I used the wrong word. You overlook the differences in major, obvious facts, let alone very small details.

  9. "Eight posts in six and a half weeks which point out Israel's failings in regard to Palestinians."

    Of the eight, only the earliest directly addresses local (as in the Levant and Eastern Med) ramifications of these failings. The other seven are about how this downward spiral of stupidity plays out globally, especially in the USA.

    Don't you think that when I cite Israelis who are concerned about this stupidity that I am writing something positive about the country?

    I despise Hamas and its fake religiosity so damaging to women. I have written about that too many times to recount. I also despise the corruption of Fatah over the generations. I have written about that, again and again, since long before I had a blog.

    Back in the 1980s, in on-line discussion groups about global politics, I felt no need to write fatuous positive things about Afrikaaners. How is this different, Steve?

    "You overlook the differences in major, obvious facts, let alone very small details."

    The hyperlinks most of my articles provide go to other articles which often reflect the expert opinions or knowledge of some of the best writers today on Mideast politics. (As I pointed out above, many of therm are Israeli. Many of the others, from around Europe and the USA, are Jewish)

    Beyond that, I'm not sure how much creds you have to put me in my place on this. You've pretty much been voiceless on this issue, and we could all use your help more often.

  10. Sorry to read this heat on your blog, Steve, and while Phil is an angry (older) man, I must agree that you are silent on the Palestinian conflict. My two cents (pence)? The USA stepped into a partition policy of a failing colonial power (Britain) in the middle east as it did with the French in Vietnam.

    That’s a brutal comparison, but to bring this home, European migration to the ‘new world’ overturned settlement in the Americas, just as a UN resolution uprooted settlement claims to land in Palestine.

    And while I may be charged of sophism, holy books do not justify land claims, agreed settlement does (absent that ready artifice of peacemaking: war). Unfortunately, in all too many conflicts around our world, selfish justice makes us acolytes as we retreat to self-inflicted orthodoxy.

    I find myself more and more, less willing to harbor compassion for the Israeli position in this matter. Phil, Israel is loosing support for its side.


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