"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

Picture Blog 15th October Occupy Wall Sreet Protest in Los Angeles

Judging from the diverse composition of the Occupy Wall Street movement, is it time for politicians to worry?

The Republicans are starting to dismiss and criticize the movement, was it in recognition of the fact that the Tea Party movement will never fit into this movement? Is it a cause for concern for Republicans on how the movement will influence the outcome of the 2012 election? Who should be concerned more, the Republicans or the Democrats? The extent of the influence and effectiveness of the Occupy Wall Street narrative will determine which party will benefit from these developments?
The Tea Party depending on how one looks at it has been co-opted, absorbed, herded or used by the Republicans to forward an almost Libertarian ideology while the Occupy Wall Street movement in contrast has varied agenda supposedly "lacking" a unified or clearly defined agenda. On the other hand perhaps we are looking at all the wrong places in wanting to see a unified message when the frustration while varied as it seem, represents what they see as a broken system. There is no single magic bullet that can cure America's predicament of the widening gap between the rich and the poor because life as we know it is not just a simple black and white but a kaleidoscope of colors.....

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15thOct at Occupy Wall Street Los Angeles Stronger & Louder

To view Occupy Wall Street protest as the rebirth of the hippies of the 60's psychedelic drug trips, love in, and free love has not been at the occupation ground to actually paint an accurate picture of an Arab Spring inspired protest. There is a similarity in terms of the commune spirit but that is more of instituting a system in addressing the immediate needs of the crowd of protesters adapting to a spartan existence of living in a tent. If pictures are said to be worth a thousand words being there 24 hours a day does not an image replace in gauging the actual conditions and sentiments of those protesters. Below are some of the images from the Occupy Wall Street Los Angeles:
The day starts with hot breakfast for the occupiers while drummers and musicians play their music for the crowd.
Kid Village where children are cared for and nurtured by adults in the occupied area of City Hall.
This is not exactly what you will expect from what others would like you to believe to be the 60's hippies all over again out for free love but instead urges you to love your neighbor... BIG difference!
While there are some wearing gas mask, it is still the Guy Fawkes V for Vendetta Mask or just cloth with or without the 99% printed on it that is the preferred outfit by quite a few occupiers. Majority of the protesters are not wearing mask but just the same would like to be heard among the multitudes.

Is this a class warfare as others would like us to believe particularly the conservatives at the Fixed News errr Fox News or a Robin Hood type rebellion of robbing the rich as others would like us to believe? 
As crowds are getting charged up to march towards the financial center, Los Angeles will never be Los Angeles without some film or model shoot that goes on amidst the protest.
The protesters are clearly frustrated and most of the gripes centered on corporate greed, but not the type espoused by the Tea Party advocating for capitalist free reign with minimal government interference or regulation. 

One thing that separates the OWS from the Tea Party is that politicians will have a hard time co-opting this movement unlike the Tea Party where they welcome quite a number of characters as their celebrity leaders. The more controversial (some says crazier) they get the better their chances of being idolized as their messiah errr leader. 

OWS will definitely have a major impact on the 2012 presidential election, who will benefit the most would depend on how the administration deals with the current job crisis. Definitely the OWS are more popular and accepted by the people compared to the Tea Party, for one the absence of guns as if they are ready to resurrect the confederacy civil war is not included in the mix. Although there are points where the frustrations from the left and right seems to have turned to a circle and somehow seems to have crossed paths as in opposites attracts each other there is no way they will be unified into one movement. For one praying away the gay is not exactly what the crowds at OWS feel like doing or even have the stomach to witness such display of aberration. 

The beauty of OWS is the varied sentiments and advocacy that is being discussed and presented at the occupied zone and they seem fine with it, ahhhh participatory democracy at its best.  I see no reason for OWS to be on the side of the Republicans but it does not mean that they are automatically with the democrats and if the current economic and political situation worsens, what I fear the most is the sentiments of this group as pictured below may catch on and we may end up with a Republican President, Senate and Congress.....
If majority of the OWS protesters and sympathizers gets so frustrated there is a likelihood that they will not turn out to vote. Less turn out from this sector will definitely help the Republicans who may just succeed at frustrating likely voters for Democrats with their ID requirements. If OWS stay the way it is unlike the Tea Party that allowed themselves to be co-opted by the Republicans, recent polls suggest majority of voters in NY agrees with them tilting towards the Democrat side. One thing seems to be certain OWS is here to stay and starting to get organized and with different sectors and minorities getting into the picture, OWS will be in for the long haul ........

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Food, Blog Action Day 2011

Today 16th of October is the World Food Day and Pedestrian Observer GB in solidarity with bloggers the world over joins BAD (Blog Action Day) in focusing on FOOD.
I am proud to take part in Blog Action Day Oct 16, 2011 www.blogactionday.org

Food in the Filipino culture is seen by some to be of superstitious sacredness meant to be consumed without waste or be damned to suffer from want resulting in its scarcity.

There are parts of the world that are suffering famine and this attitude can be seen as positive in terms of consuming what needs to be consumed minimizing the waste where others don’t even have the luxury of having food in itself.

Consuming without waste is a good thing until the Philippines became part of a globalized market where fast food became almost the staple food for most of its population. The undesirable result is the problem of obesity unheard of before in a country where most of the people has ideal weight and build. The problem is exacerbated when fast food chains in their intense competition outdo each other in serving super-size foods and drink. Coupled with a mindset that food should not go to waste, obesity suddenly becomes a Philippine version reality show of the Biggest Loser with an equally big host that has a problem losing her extra weight while the contestants successfully loses it.

One may argue that fast food is not readily available to most of the Philippine population since a big portion of the population are marginalized and subsist on less than US$2.00 a day. This is true but this blog post that we did July 27, 2008 on the subject of poverty for the Blog Action Day will explain the extent that fast food creeps into even the marginalized in a different way…….
Pagpag, A disgusting Glimpse on Poverty

There is no question that poverty has existed in Philippine cities since its inception, nothing new or nothing unusual about that. Crowding, congestion, low level of living standards and desperation are so common that it has numbed people of its existence especially the leaders and the shrinking middle class.

Rapid urbanization in the midst of development brings along increase in high cost of living. Despite the advent of technology, poverty still persist in massive proportion and the potential to increase rapidly should have alarmed the nations’ leaders. if indeed they truly care you would have seen some semblance of effort to improve their lot but it seems greed and corruption prevails over the welfare of its suffering people. Instead of improving or at the least prevent the rapid increase in the marginalization of people, the government would rather promote and encourage people to seek greener pastures in distant lands unaware of their rights or if they even have one in those strange places.

The video on Pagpag is a testament or an exclamation point to the stark reality of massive poverty in the urban jungle of the
Philippines. Pagpag is a verb in Filipino language meaning an act of shaking the object to rid it of dust and "germs." Pagpag, a disgusting glimpse on poverty as seen up close, documented on the TV screen is one revolting scene that will be etched in one’s consciousness to hopefully compel people to do something concrete to rid society of this stark reality

The extreme poverty in the Philippines means a surge in urban population coming from the influx of migrants escaping poverty in the countryside seeking better opportunities only to end up trapped in misery and desolation. You would think finding themselves in such dire consequences they would have opted to return to the villages they left behind, easier said than done. When you are poor with virtually no possession except perhaps the cloth on your back going back is not an option. With the influx of more people comes the proliferation of shanties and squatter colonies transforming the city they migrated into an urban jungle where survival of the fittest dictates the quality of life if ever we can even use that term for the poorest of the poor in the Philippines.

In order to survive in a city that can employ and accommodate only so much there are some among the poorest of the poor resorting to the grossest gut wrenching indescribable scavenging like bottom dwellers to fill their hungry stomach eating food leftovers from restaurants' trash bins, recycled, washed, and re-cooked.

The disturbing video shows a scavenger gathering recyclables in restaurant trash bins looking for plastics, glass, papers and anything they can sell to recycling plants. Part of the hunt was leftover food thrown in the trash which a scavenger collects and once back home with the help of the whole family sort and separate the trash to be sold.

Most of these leftover food came from junk fast food restaurants as if eating them is not bad enough the same refuse and leftover is then sold to a local Carinderia (eatery) which the cook then washes three times in hot water and then cooked and sold at a “bargain” to regular loyal customers.

The sight is just so disgusting enough to make one squeamishly nauseated that will shock even the most boldest of the bold viewer. I am so dumbfounded not really sure how to react at this indescribable existence and wondering how can we allow people to live such miserable life. What is so amazing is that these people who eat this junk they call food are able to rationalize and even joke about it. I can understand people in the streets doing this out of desperation but what I fail to understand is how and what kind of enterprising people can make a living out of garbage serving them for profit? Is this an indication of the bleak future of Philippine society?

Philippine leaders especially the corrupt which comprises the majority of the politicians should see this and maybe just maybe they still have a sliver of conscience to change the course and destiny of the nation. It makes you wonder if these people will be included in the dole out program of Gloria Arroyo's anti-poverty program........ but then again will the dole out solve the problem?

Warning the video contains extremely disgusting materials!

From the gross to the macabre the stark reality of poverty in the urban jungle, this video shows an alarming shortage of housing transforming the cemetery into a village.

While the praise brigade errr press are busy trivializing the upcoming Screw Our Nation Again errr State of the Ration errrr State of the Nation better known as SONA for another bola bola (ball ball errr lies) with speculations and description of her designer "Maria Clara" gown for the event poor people in the Philippines are literally eating garbage and living with the dead......................

Blog Action Day on October 15. The launching of Blog Action Day-Poverty
is where bloggers all over the world will discuss the same topic on that day in hopes of triggering global change. If you have not registered your blog for this event please register here or check them out here.
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