Archive for September, 2011

26
Sep
11

Submitted to #OccupyWallStreet For Consideration: New And Improved Messaging

I love the #occupywallstreet protests. You’re on the right side of a historic moment.

But because it’s early in the movement, the protest’s messaging is a mess right now. As a group, your dedication and resolve are so great, I realize it’s a challenge to produce focused communications to match.

I can’t be there with you to participate in a General Assembly. So I tried to help refine, sharpen and prioritize protest appeals from here in Chicago.

The following is my draft declaration for #occupywallstreet. It was built to be short, sharp, focused, repeatable, and of most importance, unassailable. I submit it in solidarity for consideration by the group. Use any of it, or none of it, whatever.

No matter the outcome, I urge that we work on refining the protest’s messaging, because last week’s media blackout is coming to an end. Even Megyn Kelly, Fox News’s perkiest cheerleader for poverty, couldn’t pass up running the NYPD-macing-protesters video this afternoon.

It’s time.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
WHY ARE WE HERE?

WE WANT OUR ECONOMY BACK

The bloated and reckless financial sector harms the real economy. 40 years ago, the financial sector commanded 2% of all the economy’s profits. Today, it commands over 40%. We, in the real economy, demand a 1% tax on all securities transactions. We call for the nationalization and breakup of all “too big to fail” financial institutions. We call for the nationalization and de-privatization of the Federal Reserve Bank. WE WANT OUR ECONOMY BACK.

WE WANT OUR DEMOCRACY BACK

We will no longer pretend we are well-represented by a government corrupted by runaway financial and commercial interests. We demand public service. We demand an end to the normalized corruption of our democracy by 1) instituting public financing of elections, 2) ending all lobbying for changes to the tax code, 3) the end of audit-less electronic balloting systems. WE WANT OUR DEMOCRACY BACK.

WE WANT OUR JOBS BACK

Wall Street’s political power has far exceeded Washington’s. The economy’s biggest players have the biggest say in its outcomes. Now, we want our say. Corporate profits and cash reserves are near all-time highs. Yet, unemployment is effectively well over 15% while “job creators” create only excuses. WE WANT OUR JOBS BACK.

WE WANT OUR HOMES BACK We signed on the dotted line. But Wall Street banks didn’t. We didn’t want a housing bubble. Wall Street’s banks and derivatives traders created one. We are not in default, we are victims of massive financial fraud. We demand an immediate cessation of foreclosures. WE WANT OUR HOMES BACK.

WE WANT ARRESTS AND PROSECUTION OF FINANCIAL TERRORISTS

Too big to fail is too big to jail. We demand immediate indictments on charges of securities fraud for Lloyd Blankfein (Goldman Sachs), Vikram Pandit (Citi), John Stumpf (Wells Fargo). Jamie Dimon (JPM/Chase), Ken Lewis (BoA), Martin J. Sullivan (AIG). WE WANT ARRESTS AND PROSECUTIONS OF FINANCIAL TERRORISTS.

WE WILL NOT LEAVE UNTIL WE REGAIN OUR ECONOMIC CIVIL RIGHTS.
—————————————————————————————————————-

21
Sep
11

Elizabeth Warren: Patiently Explaining Civics And Capitalism To Free-Market Fundamentalist Morons Since 1999

Elizabeth Warren for Senate. Because the “free market” was always a fantasy.

20
Sep
11

Yahoo: Did A Second-Rate Search Company Resort To Third-World Censorship Tactics?

[UPDATE: Roughly two hours after this post went up, @YahooCare announced an apology for the misconfiguration of the spam filter in Yahoo! Mail.]

What exactly does Yahoo! think it’s doing by apparently filtering its Yahoo! Mail service to prevent the sending of links to the protest website occupywallst.org?

As the multi-day protester occupation of Wall Street unfolded, watching today’s developments on the Twitter hashtag #occupywallstreet brought many things to light. We saw video of police dragging, kneeling on and cuffing peaceful protesters, of police confiscating tarps protecting video and electronic gear from the rain (prompting me to write this joke in the morning and to watch it be lifted and repurposed w/o attribution by beat-biters around the world. You’re welcome, guys.)

Then a disturbing screencast video caught my eye, wherein a Yahoo! Mail user showed an apparent instance of Yahoo! preventing his sending an email containing the string occupywallst.org. This was presented as evidence of anti-protest censorship on Yahoo’s part and Twitter people took it as prima facie evidence of concerted corporate censorship aimed at protecting the financial class’s status quo.

I wasn’t so sure. As a software tester and technical writer, I spotted that the video had a flaw in its methodology. I felt it was possible that the URL in question was triggering a spam filter in a general way, because the text in the guy’s message that was stopped read “[…] go here: occupywallst.org” while the next message’s text was constructed using some linefeeds (meaining the new URL was off by itself on its own line and might therefore not trigger a spam filter.)

So I decided to try my own experiment at how Yahoo! Mail handled the string occupywallst.org. I made my own screencast video of it. And I found that Yahoo! Mail prevented my sending of mail containing that string alone while passing other mail with other lone URLs. In my experiment, Yahoo! Mail treated as spam only the message containing occupywallst.org.  I was being effectively censored from sending such an email through Yahoo! Mail.

My testing method still isn’t technically complete. But it did remove variables from the test I saw earlier, and I think at this point, it’s on Yahoo! to explain how or why the string occupywallst.org has ended up in its spam (or any other) filter.

There is a big irony in the bigger picture: Given the Yahoo! board’s legendary mistake in declining Microsoft’s 2008 buyout offer, you might guess the company would welcome instead of hinder any protest-related interruptions in trading at NASDAQ in the hope of temporarily arresting its plummeting share price.

Apparently they’re just not devious enough for a plan like that.




Categories

Email

rob [at] warmowski [dot] com

@warmowski on Twitter

Rob at Huffington Post

Rob on Chicago White Sox Baseball

Rob on Chicago foibles at True/Slant

Rob’s Bands

Rob Warmowski entry at Chicago Punk Database
1984-89: Defoliants
1991-94: Buzzmuscle
2001-05: San Andreas Fault
2008- : Sirs
2008- : Allende
September 2011
M T W T F S S
« Aug   Oct »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930