Jimmy Zuma

Jimmy Zuma
Washington, District of Columbia,
August 01
After ten years haunting online political forums and much longer as a disability rights advocate, Jimmy Zuma started the online political journal, Smart v. Stupid. Since then, he has emerged as one of the left’s most direct new voices. Almost immediately, Jimmy was offered the opportunity to join the political team at Technorati where he writes DC Water Cooler, a weekly feature on what the politicians and pundits are talking about. Most recently, his columns began appearing in the Tucson Sentinel in Tucson Arizona. He is also an occasional contributor to OpEd News. Jimmy's goal is to return vetting to the marketplace of ideas, by elevating the status of smart ideas and debunking dumb ones.

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Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 27, 2011 11:31PM

Occupy Wall Street—Victory in 45 Days

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In just six weeks, Occupy Wall Street protesters have won. They can now rightfully declare victory, having changed the substance of our national  conversation. Before OWS, the political narrative centered on made-up notions that taxes are too high and that the rich are paralyzed by oppressDay_14_OWS David_Shankbone 300x attribive government regulation. Today the debate is about whether our government favors a wealthy few at the expense of everyone else.

Like common sense, “economic justice” is an unfortunate term because it means, well, whatever to whomever. But despite the lack of a clear manifesto—or perhaps because of it—Occupy Wall Street has carved out its very own political niche. Occupy promotes equal influence of government and equal benefit from government for all citizens. This includes the rich, the poor and everyone in the middle.

Occupy Wall Street—the national movement—can celebrate complete success in establishing a brand. “Occupy,” formerly a transitive verb, has become a well-known proper noun. “The 99” has a clear identity, everyone but the very rich. And even the acronym “OWS” is near universally known, at least among people who read.

All of this happened without the corporate underwriting that feeds the “tea party.” No wonder front organizations like Tea Party Express are apoplectic. Despite fierce attempts to ridicule it, Occupy is already twice as popular as the tea party. Teabaggers are left to argue that they are cleaner, better dressed and better groomed. In reality, they are simply better funded, better directed, and easily manipulated. (But they do look spiffy in those teabag hats, I suppose.)

More importantly Occupy—this ragtag band of social revolutionaries—has managed to change the public conversation. While some Republicans—notably young-curmudgeon Paul Ryan—continue to scream “class warfare,” the claim has lost much of its vitality. Two thirds of Americans no longer believe the rich are victims as has been promoted by Republicans for years. That’s a huge change.

Smarter Republicans like Eric Cantor have noticed. Cantor (leader of the Vader wing of the Sith Lord Party) recently expressed sympathy for those frustrated by the distribution of wealth in the country, on FOX News no less.

"We know in this country right now that there is a complaint about folks at the top end of the income scale, if they make too much, and too many don't make enough. We are about income mobility and that's what we should be focused on to take care of the income disparity in this country"

Take a moment to let that quote wash over you. Insincere pandering? Sure. But incredible nonetheless.

Before OWS, corporate manipulators of the dumbass class—like the Koch Brothers—were in charge of defining the discussion. Sure we still have the incidental political stories—like whether Parry is a moron and whether Rubio is a pathological liar. But the largest part of our political narrative has shifted to the substantive question of whether our tax and regulatory policies are fair. Occupy deserves all of the credit for that.

No less than the Congressional Budget Office has now weighed in with inequality data. You’ve probably heard how the CBO found that the top 1 percent enjoyed income gains of 275% while everyone else’s income declined. But there is another important graph in the CBO Study. It reveals who has the money after taxes are paid and poor people receive assistance.


shares of income after taxes


The poor lost income share, the working poor lost income share, the middle class lost income share and the upper middle class lost income share. Only the top twenty percent gained income share. And the top one percent got most of that. We are a less equal, less generous country than we were in 1979.

We wouldn’t be talking about that unless Occupy Wall Street had changed our discussion. In only forty-five days. OWS has utterly destroyed at least two entirely phony arguments. And it replaced them with a critically important one.

Congratulations Occupy Wall Street. You’ve won the first big battle. Now go win the war.

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Nice writing.! We are at war. Our corporate controlled government is out of the peoples control. People want government control back. Makes sense to me... I feel US corporate capitalism (corporatism) is based on an economic fascism: To have a corporate being where the chain of command eventually muddles all responsibility to any human being. These corporate beings are running your life and controlling your government. Enough to really make an individual mad and protest. The corporate being does not exist, and when it comes to face it's corporate responsibility, it is a piece of paper. That is plain and simply wrong. Restore capitalism to individual responsible chains of command, or this war will be lost.

LLC writing inc..
We need to find you a wider reader-ship, Jimmy Zuma. I think you need to spend more time on here reading and commenting on other's work, because it seems to be the surest way to be read. And you need to be read. Thank you for this great piece, and for laying out for those of us who need it, clear and tangible evidence of the change this movement has wrought.
Great piece, spot-on, and inspiring.
I agree with Susica. But the EP should help. Great post - I hope your optimism is warranted.
no one but the rich thought the rich were victims. i'll give americans that much credit.

the structure of the state remains what it was: the 'losers' remain supplicants, cap in hand asking for 'more, please.'

so long as final power remains in the hands of 535 people, they will be bought, and will return political favor to the people who buy them.

get democracy, or learn to enjoy the status of 2nd class person.
Interesting how these things happen behind one's back, so to speak. And you're right, they've changed the direction and content of the discussion, much to the frustration of all sides in the theater known as national politics. Now they just have to resist the temptation to take the first offer of help from above that comes along--quick friends are often false ones.

The American hoi polloi are terrified of the OWS movement. They've been unable to co-opt it, so now they're trying to shut it down, intimidate it, shout at it, pretend it'll go away, even censor news about it--Facebook has been rearranged so many times lately, it's impossible to say whether anything shows up and where, and Google just got caught giving into dirty cops trying to cover up their own dirtiness. So the blaming will now commence...it's all their fault, they shouldn't a been there in front of my club, what's wrong with them, why are they being so RUDE? And so on and on and on...

Lovely. Glad to see it's all comin' apart. About time--the rest of the world was beginning to think you'd all gone to sleep permanently over there.
The rich in this country are rotten to the core. Several generations of people telling them they're little gods, and they believe it. In the way back yonder they were made to feel small, very small, and things were much better. You figure it out.
And even Hoover (Hoover my god!) taxed them at 60%.
Im rooting for em/us but unfortunately, maybe nowhere is it more true that Talk is Cheap.

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"
--sinclair louis

"One withstands the invasion of armies; one does not withstand the invasion of ideas."
--victor hugo

occupy party reaches critical mass/seismic effect--now what?
One person in my local paper wrote pettishly "What is the point of (OWS) demonstrating in parks?"

I'd say, forcing people to look, and SEE the evidence, is one of the biggest points. Forcing the 1% to look out their high rise windows and see that public frustration with them is mounting, is another.

But yes, I think--or at least hope--that enough people in this country are ready to stop believing the load of utter fertilizer that pampering the rich and making them richer at our expense is good for us all.

Succinct analysis and summary of the impact of OWS. Thanks.
Victory? What victory? People talking is no victory. The bashing in of heads of people demanding their constitutional rights to object the the ass kissing bastards in Congress, the judicial and executive branches has barely begun. When the cops start shooting to kill, then will people realize how vicious the establishment can get. The airport home security people are moving out into buses, traffic stops and other areas of public life. The American Gestapo is well on its way.

Talking is nothing. How about some real legislation.
Well written. Very uplifting. I don't think that Occupy can claim victory until substantive changes in our political, legal, and economic system take place. We can't let up.
The momentum needs to keep building and more protests should be held on the Capitol steps.
Thanks man! You posted data that I referred to in my OWS post and put a slightly finer point on it. My intent was to reflect the truth of what's being said versus what's actually going on *in the streets* and I obliquely refer to the income losses and gains the CBO presented after a four year study and reasearch effort.

And you're right, the #OWS and supporting Occupy Actions are taking up more and more headline space each day. Not all of it is moving in the direction of greater understanding and increased actual investigative journalism, but you're right, the discussion is changing.

In the upcoming months, the conservative right and their authoritarian followers will express their scorn, ratchet up the rhetoric and continue to stick their heads in the sand, like good little soldiers. Right now the main line they're leaning back upon is that, "It's getting colder, when winter comes, they'll just fade away and disappear."

So the next step for those who can manage it, is to support the Occupy Actions with doses of warm beverages, coats, blankets, and other things to help those who can stay for prolonged periods of time to stay warm and as comfortable as possible.

You don't have to camp out to show your support. You just do whatever you can. We know who the 99% are and its in our best interests to support each other as much as possible.

This is worth sticking around and hanging in there for the long haul.

I would caution, though, that we should keep our own rhetoric to a respectful and or neutral tone. Don't hand those in opposition any more ammo than absolutely necessary. Stick with facts and avoid hyperbole. In this way, we don't sink down to the same level.

"Before OWS, the political narrative centered on made-up notions that taxes are too high and that the rich are paralyzed by oppressive government regulation. " ...

Brilliante, my friend and well-said, too.
Since we are heading into an election season we will soon see if you are right. If you are then people will be running claiming support from OWS supporters. If you are correct then we will see them in Congress. If you are wrong, they will go down in flames.

You are right. HHS just had a traffic stop with TSA and others in TN. You can thank President Obama and his administration for that.
The election system in the us is pretty much totally corrupted by the financial powers in control of both the Democratic and Republican parties. Th spreading bankruptcies, poverty, joblessness, homelessness, corruption, and totalitarian tactics of the officials will not suddenly vanish with whatever election results come in the coming elections. These extreme pressures are, if anything, increasing and becoming more intolerable. And they will result in more extreme measures on both sides.
Excellent! I only hope that the consciousness they've raised doesn't dwindle as time passes. I've been to the Occupy Philadelphia site, and I see roiling democracy there. No doubt a cogent message platform will eventually rise out of it all, as well as a leadership that will win this civil war.
This may be a partial victory but if we stop here then it will be no better than Bush's aircraft carrier declaration. There still needs to be major reform with the participation of the public and the majority of those in power need to be replaced along with the system that kept them in power.
Real change only occurs out of some sort of threat. What kind of threat can OWS offer to incite change? Pissing and moaning doesn't do it. And since all elections are controlled that is no avenue for change either.
All of this happened without the corporate underwriting that feeds the “tea party.”

Are you totally blind? What do you think MediaMatters, George Soros, the Unions, and others too humorous to mention have been doing? On the other hand, what concrete evidence have you that the Tea Party has received corporate support in any comparable measure?

OK, now we're talking about how bad corporations are, how wrong it is for the successful to be rewarded, and how great is the need of the unproductive elements of society. What is anyone going to do about it, other than pitch another putrid tent?
The Tea Party is nothing but a fully funded extension of the Rwing media. A bunch of nice folks brainwashed by Glenn Beck and other elements of the new quasi-libertarian Fox ensemble.

Right-wing movements are always well-funded Gordo. Ask anyone in the Thyssen family. I'm sure 80 years isn't enough to allow them to forget. Somebody had to pay to tell the brainwashed dupes they were mad and in what way and why. You don't buy that kind of mass stupidity cheaply in today's world. I suspect yours, however, didn't cost you a dime.

I always enjoy your "horrified patrician" kvetching. It's like intelligence, but without the follow-through.

Your implied support of Mr. Zuma's shaky thesis will do more than any observations of mine to cause Mr. Zuma to question his premises and conclusions. Thanks.
Great article! In my opinion, it's too early to declare victory, but changing the national discussion is a huge step forward. It is not necessary or desirable to have a French or Russion Revolution. The game is also not to get Wall Street players and corporate CEOs to be altruistic nice guys -- their role is properly to deliver profits to their shareholders. The game is to restore, and strengthen, oversight and regulation to ensure a level playing field for business; consumer, worker, and environmental protection; and the chance for all Americans, including the least affluent and least lucky, to live decently . This may look like "socialism" to today's ranting pseudo-conservatives, but -- like the New Deal in the 1930s -- is necessary to preserve the American way of life, including free enterprise that actually works. I may be hopelessly naive, but I think that in raising consciousness about gross inequality of wealth we could muster the political will to vote in candidates who will restore the relative sanity we enjoyed up until a few decades ago -- when for unfathomable reasons we scuttled our own industrial base, made taxes more regressive, and deregulated everything. I am grateful to the OWS people of all political persuasions for their commitment to this country.
As much as I admire the peaceful solution of restoring sane controls on the inbuilt ravenous appetite for profits by the financial and corporate sector despite its undermining of all rationality on the operating system of a country that must provide for all members for things to function properly there seems to be no reference to reality as to how we get from here to there. The current system of diversion of most wealth to the already wealthy has been the rabid goal of the upper classes ever since Franklin Roosevelt conceded to the nation in general that some sort of decent living standard was necessary for the proper function of the economy. From the Taft-Hartley Act to the departure of the Glass-Steagall regulations the upper classes have been gleefully disassembling any possibility of decent government to their own enrichment and their disbursement of huge funding to turn all the sectors of government, the executive, the judicial and the legislative into a bunch of ass kissing prostitutes. To believe this can be reversed by mere popular opinion is to believe in the second coming. There will be a crunch and considering the initial forays of the police tear gassing and brutally beating peaceful demonstrators with no provocation, it will get much bloodier before it gets any more rational - if it ever will. It is not a contest of reason, it is a contest of power.
"Observation" implies something being observed. "Something" indicates an object, action, consequence or any thing that is being observed. You observe nothing, therefore you do not observe. You try to imitate intelligence by using only the snooty part of the intelligence-snooty combination.

After threatening to unleash this intelligence upon others for some time and not producing this intelligence, it is safe to say a trend has been established. Now we can disregard Snooty when we see it, as it's just a lagging indicator of an apparition that haunts your imagination, taunting your cerebral cortex for its imbalance of adequacy across a spectrum of thoughts and abilities.

After briefly pondering your situation, I have come to the conclusion I was wrong to say you supply something resembling intelligence without a follow-through. You do indeed and exclusively produce the follow-through part.

This leaves you stranded with Snooty, which only works well in the rare instances of Snooty-Off contests. In this one you lose again, as it's not difficult to out-Snooty you.

So...what is your point?
Isn't it genius? It just makes my heart happy to watch the news and see what's going on. Brilliant.

... and therefore they are no longer entitled to taxpayer supported police protection.

Who do you imagine is paying the lion's share of the cost of police protection?

The grinding on of this thread provides increasing evidence that the OWS supporters haven't a clue about where and how value is created.
I am a product of the 60s, and this talk of fighting the system is making me feel young and powerful despite my age and infirmities. It's exciting, hopeful, and long overdue. I think I'll bake some cookies and take them down to Occupy Portland. I can't sleep on the ground in a tent anymore, but I still have ways to support those on the front lines.
Feel free to raise the "Mission Accomplished" banner. It works every time.
I agree with Janice-it makes my heart happy. And by changing the national conversation OWS has already won. My neighbors in a very conservative western city are talking about the one percent. They weren't, just last month.
mea culpa, correction----
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"
--upton sinclair
Dear Mr. President,

(I have also sent it to every Washington State Lawmaker I could find, the Washington State Patrol and city government. I have hopes Seattle will do better than WTO...

There is a very large demonstration being planned for January 20th, 2012 at the Federal Courthouse at 700 Stewart street in Seattle, - and at every Federal Courthouse in the United States.. There are many groups organizing and "gearing up" for this demonstration. I will be promoting and advertising it. This "occupy movement" has only just begun. I suggest you figure out your plan of action and response; The rules of engagement; - Need a way better understanding of what is going on; - than during WTO in Seattle. Treat the people like they are the enemy, and they will become it.

I am hoping that what I say makes sense to someone, and they will start writing and treating this "occupy movement" with the respect it is going to earn. Did you see where Israel had a demonstration of 500,000 people demanding concessions from their government? It worked. Listen to Martin Luther King, his words are as meaningful today as they were then. This struggle for economic justice and government control will be won by the people! (It is very old..).

I feel the occupy movement does have a basic underlying message; Stop letting money decide political elections; And regulate corporate lobbying (and all lobbying) making it a public forum. Right now lobbying is mostly two old white guys sitting across from each other in an office. "They" have probably worked with each other or went to the same school; And "they" have promised you a job when you get out of politics, -- tripling your present salary!. The "lobbyist" used to be a "politician", it worked for him!. Who owns who? - That's a "Person-hood".

I lived in the Glenn Hotel in downtown Seattle when the WTO protests happened. It happened at my front door. I was a part of it, promoting it, and involved in it. There is something going on, and I am going to be a part of it again. I have helped organize and promote protests in Bellevue, Olympia, and Seattle Washington; another big one is coming. I feel it will be a “WTO” sized protest in multiple cities.

"I" was at the WTO protests in Seattle Washington, (with thousands of "other" really awesome "people", and a few "freaks") when a bunch of "anarchists" started busting windows with crowbars. We surrounded them, and they got in a circle with their crowbars. I tried to get the "Seattle police" to come arrest "these anarchists”, that were only fifty feet away and threatening violence and breaking windows… The "Seattle police" would not budge from their “police line”, making all of "us" the "enemy".... (There were thousands of "union" and "other" people sitting and standing in the street, - it was a relatively peaceful protest until the windows started breaking…). " I" am not the "enemy".

I will be in Seattle at 700 Stewart street at the Federal courthouse January 20th, 2012!!! I know we can do this better than last time.

The Corporate Occupation of the United States

Our corporate controlled government (through corporate lobbying and election funding ) is out of the peoples control. People want government control back. Makes sense to me… I feel US corporate capitalism (corporatism) is a type of economic fascism: To have a corporate being where the chain of command eventually muddles all responsibility to any human being. These corporate beings are running your life, and controlling your government. (Enough to really make an individual mad and protest.) In reality, the corporate being does not exist, and when it comes to face it’s corporate responsibility, it is a piece of paper. (Or a CEO saying; “I do not recall that”, “I did not have that information”, “that was not my responsibility, I was running the company, and not just that department”,,, and on and on. It has bred a corporate culture of abuse, because they keep getting away with it..), Corporate person-hood is plain and simply wrong: A corporation is not a human being. Restore capitalism to individual responsible chains of command, or this struggle will be lost.

Please Sign the petition to amend the Constitution for revoking corporate personhood at:


(I feel January 20th, 2012: will be a bigger day in US history than WTO in Seattle. The battle continues, rage against the machine is real.)

January 20, 2012 – Move to Amend Occupies the Courts!

Move To Amend is planning bold action to mark this date — Occupy the Courts — a one day occupation on Friday January 20, 2012, of the Federal Courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States and as many of the 89 U.S. District Court Buildings as we can. (I am inspired by Doctor Martin Luther King who said; "a true revolution of values", ... "there comes a time when silence is betrayal"., "people are not gonna be silenced".). Move to Amend will lead the charge on the judiciary which created — and continues to expand — corporate personhood rights.

It's Time to GET MONEY OUT of politics
Bailouts. War. Unemployment. Our government is bought, and we’re angry. Now, we’re turning our anger into positive action. By signing this petition, you are joining our campaign to get money out of politics. Our politicians won’t do this. But we will. We will become an unrelenting, massive organized wave advocating a Constitutional amendment to get money out of politics.

Please sign the petition!




My friend and I put on a protest in Olympia for World Can't Wait Oct. 5, 2006 at the capitol. Here are some photos...


I also coordinated and promoted a protest in Bellevue when Bush was there.


Happy to say both worked out without arrest, injury or property damage! I worked with the Washington State Patrol in Olympia, and Bellevue Police beforehand, and we pretty much understood the rules of engagement. Medina police were not good partners..