People’s World |Occupiers message to Congress: All we want for Christmas is good jobs

From People’s World: 

WASHINGTON-“All I want for Christmas is JOBS!” 

That was the message on a placard carried by a Philadelphia Unemployment Project (PUP) member as he marched with about 50 other PUP members to join a “People’s Camp” on the Capitol Mall Dec. 6. 

PUP brought a busload to join rallies, speak outs and other mass actions during a rainy but mild week in the nation’s capital. It included sit-ins outside lawmakers’ offices demanding that they extend jobless benefits and create jobs by approving a multi-billion dollar public works program.
A coalition including Rebuild the American Dream movement, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) USAction and many other unions and community organizations are sponsors of the mobilization. 

Protesters from Ohio sat down in the corridor outside House Speaker John Boehner’s office, “bearding the corporate Grinch in his den.” It was one of dozens of impromptu sit-ins at congressional offices to protest Republican obstruction of President Barack Obama’s jobs program. 

It’s time to be scared of the Republicans again

This is among the best explanations why I left the two-party, “lesser of two evils” system when I left the Democratic Party in 2001. We’re never going to get parties that represent our interests as Leftists if we keep funding the Democrats as the only “realistic” choice.

The message is clear: You might be achingly disappointed by the first three years of the Obama presidency–by the bailout of Wall Street while millions of homeowners face foreclosure, by the failure to push for a real jobs program, by the betrayal of the promise of universal health care, and by the capitulation to the Republicans’ deficit hysteria, even while the Bush-era tax cuts for the super-rich were preserved. But it’s time to set that aside, and be scared of the Republicans again–and work for Obama and the Democrats in order to stop the “greater evil.” 

Occupy Xmas?

So, AdBusters, which served as the original impetus for Occupy Wall Street, is now calling for occupations and demonstrations at major retailers:

You’ve been sleeping on the streets for two months pleading peacefully for a new spirit in economics. And just as your camps are raided, your eyes pepper sprayed and your head’s knocked in, another group of people are preparing to camp-out. Only these people aren’t here to support occupy Wall Street, they’re here to secure their spot in line for a Black Friday bargain at Super Target and Macy’s.

This is in line with AdBusters’ usual opposition to commercialism, which I generally support, but I agree with this piece from SocialistWorker dissecting the implications of this, and finding it ultimately counterproductive:

It should also be pointed out that at some of these holiday sales, people may be buying presents, but some may be buying for themselves what they can’t afford at any other time of the year.

In no time at all we will enjoy bountiful harvests

You have associated with a friend in the orchid room and have become as straight as mugwort growing among the hemp. If you will truly give consideration to the troubles I have been describing and put entire faith in these words of mine, then the winds will blow gently, the waves will be calm, and in no time at all we will enjoy bountiful harvests.

The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, page 23
On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land
Submitted to Hojo Tokiyori on July 16, 1260

Faith is the secret to happiness

Daily Encouragement by Daisaku Ikeda:

Faith is the secret to happiness for all people. When you truly forge your mind of faith, you will become an eternal victor throughout the three existences of past, present and future. Strong faith enables you to display your wisdom appropriately, so that you can take advantage of change and move forward in the direction of victory and hope.

SGI President Ikeda: Compassion is the very soul of Buddhism

SGI President Ikeda’s Daily Encouragement:

Compassion is the very soul of Buddhism. To pray for others, making their problems and anguish our own; to embrace those who are suffering, becoming their greatest ally; to continue giving them our support and encouragement until they become truly happy—it is in such humanistic actions that the Daishonin’s Buddhism lives and breathes.

SGI President Ikeda: A Life Free of Work?

SGI President Ikeda’s Daily Encouragement:

Nichiren Daishonin discusses the meaning of the Chinese characters for the word benefit (Jpn Kudoku) as follows: “The ku of kudoku means to extinguish evil and doku means to bring forth good” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 762). We fight against those who try to destroy the True Law. That struggle purifies us and brings forth benefits in our lives. Justice or happiness without a battle is just an illusion. Thinking that happiness means a life free of hard work and effort is fantasy.

from SGI-USA
“For Today & Tomorrow”

Socialist | Occupy’s Next Struggle

If you think the Occupy crackdowns we’re seeing across the country are really about keeping order, cleaning up ‘unsanitary conditions’ or any of the other weak excuses from the empowered elite, think again.

The raids, the arrests and the police violence are about trying to silence a movement that is giving voice to the accumulated discontent of the working-class majority in U.S. society. They’re also about showing who’s the boss–the political and business establishment.

What we’re seeing is as old as the rise of the moneyed elite itself. A working-class, populist movement gives voice to widespread discontent with the status quo, and after a few perfunctory claims to respecting ‘free speech,’ the reaction from the elite is swift and violent. This is the way the elite maintain power: they do not respect the needs of the working class (that’s a given), and any talk of respecting the rights of that class is ultimately for show.