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Need to Know, October 14, 2011: The politics of resentment

This week's host Jeff Greenfield

This week, host Jeff Greenfield examines the politics of resentment throughout American history, culminating in the Tea Party movement and the “Occupy Wall Street” protests of today.

Check your local listings for details.

Watch the individual segments:

The politics of resentment

Jeff Greenfield explores the “Occupy Wall Street” and Tea Party movements in a report that examines the politics of resentment throughout American history. Included are interviews with Tony Perkins of the conservative Family Research Council and liberal author Thomas Frank, author of works including “What’s The Matter With Kansas.”

Kate Zernike on disaffection and the tea party

New York Times journalist Kate Zernike joins us to discuss her work covering the tea party beat.

Fixing America: Fran Lebowitz

Author Fran Lebowitz weighs in on our ongoing series, Fixing America.

Watch more full episodes of Need to Know.



  • TJ McCann

    Money, Power and the ALEC are all wrong, hopefully these items will be exposed.

  • jan

    Resentment?  Is that how conservatives are trying to spin it? 

    Try tired and overworked and underpaid.  

  • Nick B

    The most recent description on the news hour about the Occupy movement and the Tea Party was quite disappointing. Unable or perhaps unwilling to really understand, an expert was found to say that it was all about individualism and a “belief in strong forces.” This weak analysis was disappointing from the simple fact that the Occupy Wall Street movement is very non-individualistic, think about the General Assembly and the call response system. This is much more about reforming and recreating community. With respect PBS, this was a disappointing characterization.

  • Mas

    Please. The Tea party will disappear the moment a Republican is in the White House.  It is funded by the Koch brothers. 

  • Holly Culloton

    I think people are the roots of our problems.  And I’m one of them.  If we all begin to make changes in our personal lives and within our own small communities by volunteering, giving back, helping others, using less, working together instead of against each other, maybe then we’ll see improvement in the big picture.

  • Phyllis Mowry

    How would I fix the National problem?    I would immediately remove all party affiliations from all representatives in the Senate and Congress.  I would vote in each as a “whole” without  senate or congress party affiliations.    Once elected, the affiliation sign should no longer be used!  Just call me Mr. Senator, or Mr. Congressman from Alabama or wherever.  Vote as one BODY!

  • Kathy Tankersley

    The author of the Tea Party book, stated that Wall Street was bailed out by Obama which is wrong.  Bush was still in the White House and he bailed out Wall Street.  Leaving President Obama with quite a mess to deal with.

  • Mescott02

    The problem with our government and how to fix it?  It’s all about priorities it seems to me.  Why is it the government is giving billions to foreign governments and corporate bailouts, but does not have enough money to fix social security, medicare, and jobs program?  

    We don’t need 300 military bases in 60 countries when we have tent cities of people who are homeless in the USA — over 150 thousand homeless in Los Angeles alone. Why can our senators and congressmen make over 200 thousand annually with limosines and private jets, but teachers are being eliminated so that classrooms are too full to be effective and we don’t have enough firemen and police officers in most cities? 

    Why is it that many corporations in this country pay no taxes, but enjoy the benefits of doing business here? 

    The priorities of our politicians seem messed up to me and they depend on corporations and their contributions to get re-elected, so they give benefits to the corporations (making for crony capitalism). The system is broken.   

  • Citizen Charles H. Blake

    To solve our Economic Problems:

    1) Take the corrupting influence of money out of politics by only allowing natural persons to contribute and limiting contributions to $50,000 per person.2) No longer legally require for profit corporations to profit maximise.3) Require corporate board to be compose 34% Share holder representatives 33% Consumer representatives and 33% Non-executive employees

    P.S. Your FB connect is buggy. My FB is

  • Perseph

    Occupy Wall Street isn’t so much about the anger towards the 1% as empowering the 99%. It is the General Assembly and moving towards consensus that is revolutionary. OWS isn’t about electoral politics where as the Tea Party was about taking over the Republican Party as designed by the Koch brothers.

  • Martha

    I hate it when news guys act like the Tea Party just sprang up, when it was manipulated into being by Dick Armey and the Koch brothers with help from Fox News. Definitely Astroturf!

  • Burnysmom

    To fix our country, we first need to impose terms limits on Congress and the Presidency.  Then we need to limit spending for political campaigns.  The federal government needs to take care of the big picture interstate items such as defense, infrastructure, and public health.  The states should take care of issues within the states.  We should abolish the department of education, the IRS, and any of the other departments that duplicate matters best handled by the states.  We need a Fair Tax that would encourage businesses to invest and to create new jobs.  We need to create a tax environment that would bring back companies that have been outsourced.  As citizens, we need to start concentrating on personal responsibility as opposed to focusing mainly on rights.  Frivolous lawsuits should not go to trial.  Parents need to discipline their children without fear of the government interfering.  They need to supervise their children more closely and to consider carefully what their children view on tv, in movies, and what they listen to as far as music.  Parents need to model a love for education, respect for people, and a good work ethic.  We need to look beyond partisan politics and toward helping our neighbors.  We can do all of these things if we have the will to renew and to restore our country.

  • Sparky

    Jeff, you made tonights show (10/14/11) into a lightweight souffle filled with clueless non-insights. Please don’t call yourself a “news person” or Edward R. Murrow will be rolling in his grave. 

  • Jakeandfatty

    I agree with your statement… But the real issue is how to legislate ethics to people… 

  • Merle K.

    I was totally mystified that PBS could do a program about the Tea Party and make absolutely no mention of its having been started by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey and funded by the Koch brothers.  This was a totally disappointing program, had nothing to say of any consequence, and was a total waste of time.   Are the Koch brothers funding you too?

  • Altondhammer


  • Johanna

    The late, great social critic, Christopher Lasch said, “Bureaucracy takes social grievances and labels them personal problems.”  There are collective problems that are unrelentingly labeled personal:  People have trouble sleeping (duh – why is that now?), obesity, diabetes, divorce, suicide (more people die from their own hand than are murdered – somehow that never makes it on to the evening news), drug and alcohol dependance.  All of these “personal problems” are the blights of chronically conforming to a culture that cripples all of us emotionally, mentally, psychologically, sexually and physically.  

    Nobody in the media seems to ask the question behind these “personal problems.”  How and why are so many people sleepless?  Why are so many people obese (could it be that they are so broke that they sit their kids in front of a TV while they go off to work through the night scrubbing toilets?) and why are so many people killing themselves?  Most of the suicides are directly or indirectly related to financial ruin.  A personal problem?

    Where religion once established a base line (“do unto others”) at the start of the establishment of this nation, it has been replaced by unending consumerism, the culture of the elite, the haves and the have mores and the the promise of fulfillment is represented 24/7 as that new car, that new house, those screaming reality 15 minutes of fame.  How would I change things?

    This may sound slightly scatter-brained and left-field but in two words, I believe we could change our world completely with two words:  Animal Rights.  We have an earth that is bleeding, industries continue to illegaly dump toxins into our air and water, BP’s oil disaster is still ongoing while Shell Oil pitches more drilling and dangerous creation of a pipeline through the heart of the mid-west.  The USDA takes our tax money to aerial shoot wolves in Montana, and meets yearly to determine how many millions of other animals they can get away with anihilating — but all of this is not only impacting animals, it is destroying our world.  Pollution, extermination, pesticides, toxins and over-development — and more — have created a world that is deaf, dumb and blind to our need to connect with a natural world and to live in harmony with each other and with our environment.  Two words:  Animal rights would turn our world upside down.  Suddenly we couldn’t do the things we are doing right now.  No more suburban sprawl (raccoons would have rights, you couldn’t destroy their homes with bulldozers), no more toxic spills, rapid destruction of the Amazon, and on and on and on.

    This disregard and hostility and holocaust being committed against our animals and our environment is the base line for the insane way we have structured our society.  Living in glass and steel towers or in one-family homes where second and third generations are stored in senior facilities — and the reified two parents, two children household only satisfies corporate interests (they can sell more toasters, blenders, washers, dryers, et al when people don’t share) but leaves so many disconnected and alienated.  Every day we consume millions of trapped, tortured animals (see:
    and we have a bipolar inhumanity that allows the institutionalized torture of farmed animals but caters to pedigree canines and felines.  It is all connected.  We have to stop.  It has to end.

  • Altondhammer

     Another huge hurdle for the national economy is the exorbitant insurance premiums. 
     There should be a national guideline for the pricing of medical procedures and steep penalties for ‘padding’ of bills by extra or unnecessary medical testing. 

  • Randi

    I am tired of the media trying to make OWS into part of the Democratic party.  As a previous post stated, the movement is not interested in electoral politics.  To improve society we need a separation of corporation and state.  This is not currently a condition of only one party.  

  • Anonymous

    “Are the Koch brothers funding you too?”  They probably are.  Have you noticed  how “Need To  Know” has changed its political perspective very recently? 

  • Mevaustin

    re: need to know 11.14.2011.  you only had 1/2 hour, but it was not nearly in depth enough or to the point.
    so the tea party blames congress, or government.  i doubt if there are a handful of honest politicians in D.C.  i’m talking individuals with integrity.  nearly all of them are bought and paid for.  come on!  that’s a given.  vote’em out?  you end up with another kettle of the same sorry fish indebted to the moneychangers.  that’s one end of the game that needs to be overturned.  Jesus, we need you now.
    the “occupy wall street-ers” seem to be blaming the economic powerhouses, the banksters.  personally, i believe capitalism, with some regulation for the common good, is the golden goose of prosperity.  but that’s not what we have today.   the Bosses of the world economic cartel control fiscal policy, banking and international banking, currency and stock trading all around the world.  evidence of their influence is especially evident in upper levels of governments and even in the “justice” systems.  they’ve taken a decent concept and turned it into a casino… for themselves.  their apparent objective is to amass for themselves all the wealth and power in the world.  that’s one kind of evolution.

    there are many, many players in the game.  many of them behaving badly.  a few are thrown to the lions as a distraction.  coliseum circus justice for the hoi polloi.  but the true architects of all the injustice are not being held accountable.  they are being protected, and rewarded!  sic semper evolution.  apologies for my latin.  i’m only a hi-school congratulate. 

    regarding wealth and power, human nature is what it is.  apparently it will never change.  therefore, it can’t be trusted.  like fiat currency, it’s not worth face value.  so, pay attention:

    for all that’s decent, blame the game.  then change the game.  

  • Herb Bengelsdorf

       The immediate problems are jobs and the recession. The Tea Party blames the government. Occupy Wall Street blames Wall Street and the banks. They are both right and there is a way to fix things that will satisfy both of them: ELECTORAL REFORM.
       Presidential nominees get $75 million taxpayer dollars apiece. Qualified candidates for the House get $10 million apiece and for the Senate $20 million apiece. They must use only this money and cannot accept contributions of any other kind. No advertisements using the names or photos of the candidates made by others will be permitted. “Issue” commercials made by individuals or groups will be permitted, allowing individuals or corporations or unions or other  groups to speak freely as long as they don’t allude to a candidate. And, of course, individuals can say or write anything they want to in support of a candidate. Broadcast media are encouraged to mount debates in the public interest.
       It will cost us perhaps more than two and a half billion dollars but we will have a President and a Congress beholden to no person or group other than the constituents who elected them. Congress can enact any laws the see fit to without having to spend time soliciting for money. Lobbyists can lobby all they like: they can talk and persuade but they can’t give money or anything else of value. Then, and only then, can we change from a plutocracy ruled by those with money to a democracy ruled by us, the electorate.

  • Mevaustin

    way to go herb

  • Charles D. Del Papa

     Since Congress is problematic we should report how members vote weekly, monthly, and yearly. This information could be provided on a user friendly net page or on TV. The list could provide how every member voted on every vote during each session, when they do vote on legislation.
     For more “acountability”, and “transparancy” as they say, the site would list “ALL” donors for each member with contributions from corporations, labor unions, and interest groups. To keep objections from our representatives and senators the long lists of small donations could be put into one accurate amount of money received for any given amount of time. 
     Another important item on each list would be the lobbyists actively meeting with congressional offices. Does the legislative body of government wish to keep such things from scrutiny and difficult for any and all Americans to view? If so – tough. They have cost us a credit downgrade and the honor of being considered the best at running a country.

  • Altondhammer

    yes Charles..and they should have to wear their sponsors corporate logo like in NASCAR.

  • Mevaustin

    i agree.  that should be in the “New Rules”

  • Barbara

    I have some good ideas on how to start “chipping away” at the budget fiasco.  Since Regan’s “trickle down” idea did not happen, we don’t have to tax any one group to find revenue.  Just stop payment to ANY millionaire from collecting Social Security.  They “skirted” paying taxes, now the 99% will MAKE you pay by trickling it down … a win-win, no new taxes (heavens to Betsy) and the 1% will never feel it.  The financial stability will start there.  Then, after the election (the Republicans are NOT going to allow anything to happen before this) start pushing hard for the 1% taxes that Mr. Buffet suggested, Use that stream of dollars to put this country back on its feet, again a win-win.  And the last stream of cash, sue all the banks that got the TARP monies (thanks Bush) force them to give the money back and with interest. The only thing they are doing is ”sitting on it”  so we’ll show them how  trickle down works.  An ethical group would do this, but we are not dealing with integrity or ethical people here.  REMEMBER: A Democratic majority in Congress is the next hurtle to jump — the ones in there now should be sent to the woodshed!  The first two years they even messed it up, yikes people. If we change that dynamic you will see the change in this country – Take Back America.  

  • Anonymous

    Once again PBS bows to the false god of “balance.”

    The largely astroturf, ignorant Tea Party is given the same credibility as the truly grassroots, well-informed OWS movement. 

    The Tea Party’s thesis that the problem is socialists in Washington, the labor movement, environmentalists, lazy poor people, and liberal college professors is ludicrous.  The OWS position that the problem is that corporations and the super-rich have perverted our economy, our political system (including both major parties), and our media – and that we have no choice but to take to the streets – is spot-on.

    I would love to see a survey done on those who self-identify with the two camps, demonstrating their knowledge of provable facts.  My guess is that Tea Party adherents would not perform very well.

    Moreover, the assertion that racism does not play a major role in the Tea Party is laughable, as is the assumption of some sort of connection between OWS and the democratic party.

    I marched in support of OWS in my town today, and plan to march on my state capitol tomorrow.  I believe that increasingly, my fellow Americans will do the same.  We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.  Let’s create a federal government that really is ‘for the people,’ and an economy that works for all of us, not just the fortunate few.

  • RoBo

    What?! Zernike said ” Had we had a Republican president in the White House when the economy collapsed…”   Well, we DID have a Republican president, George Bush, when the $700B in bailouts were made and when the Dow-Jones Plunged 40%. She’s already rewriting history.
    Despite her credentials, her analysis of the Tea Party was very shallow. She did point out that two of the tea-baggers she talked two did not have their facts straight. I think that is the basis of the movement, not having the facts straight.

  • Bob

    In my experience,
    1. Fixing a problem before it is defined will most likely make the problem worse.2. Defining the problem requires consensus around the Goals and Objectives.3. Guiding Principles keep the process on track.We have Guiding Principles articulated by our Founding Fathers.  Such greatness in Leaders and Citizens is needed, once again.  These are those who are willing to sacrifice for the long term common good of our Nation and Planet.  Sacrificing and compromising, we could agree on Goals and Objectives. Then, define the problem and begin the never ending process of “….mending her every flaw.”The fundamental questions in my mind are:1. Can USA find civilian Citizens and Leaders willing to make a sufficient sacrifice to keep it great?2. Can such a force for change attain critical mass, given the 21st Century USA system of politics, economics, news cycle and other special interests?I have more confidence in #1 than in #2 but both are required. 

  • Martin Schwartz

    One of the first things we need is a Constitutional convention.  Many things need to be changed.  The first is an amendment that clearly states that corporations are not people and do not have the same rights as a “citizen”:  The people who work for corporations are people and they should have the same rights as anyone else.  Unfortunately the corporations have “bought” the politicians.  There needs to be a change in the way we finance elections so that everyone running for office has the same financial assistance as everyone else…or there should be an absolute limit on the amount of money that can be spent on a campaign.  Further there should be a change in the laws so that members of Congress have no better pension benefits or health benefits as a common citizen.  The disparity between a what a one term congressman gets and a regular citizen is appalling.  If congressmen did not have to go about “selling their soul” to make sure they keep on getting elected a great deal would change.  Next there needs to be a change in the tenure of judges on the Supreme Court.  One of the major problems this country has is that the judges on the Supreme Court contributed mightily to our current state of affairs by declaring that corporations were people.  Which allows the corporations to contribute huge sums of money…in essence, allows them to buy what they want from Congressmen. 
    There is also the problem which is rarely mentioned that the so called peoples party, the Tea Party, is owned lock, stock and barrel by the Koch Bros who essentially control what the Tea Party does. 
    I personally would also be in favor of reducing the size of Congress to one house…in essence a Parliament.  The reasons that the Founding Fathers  had for establishing two houses are not valid anymore.  Giving tiny states the same powers as large ones has been a major contributor to tying up the Congress in doing anything.  Also the requirement of having 60 members of the Senate, which does not constitute a majority but a super majority gives the minority party control of the workings of government.  It should be changed.  The Occupy Wall Street movement appears to be truly a movement of the people whereas the Tea Party movement is a party of the Koch Bros.  As I originally stated in my opening sentence we need a Constitutional Convention and some major changes to our country so that it becomes a true democracy.

  • Anonymous

    I believe it is the Governments responsibility to teach people how to evolve emotionally.  We have evolved intellectually, which is evident by what is around us.  We are emotionally immature, which is also evident by all of the problems we create in this country and around the world.
    Government has forgotten that they were put in place to lead.  Leaders are responsible for leading people.  Ultimately it is a leader’s responsibility to teach.  One of the best ways to teach is to teach by example.
    Government as it currently exists is set up for failure.  While it may have worked a hundred plus years ago, it doesn’t work.  When you put such an emphasis on parties you instinctively create competition.
    Let me use professional football as an analogy.   I am a Dallas Cowboys fan.  As a Dallas Cowboys fan I have watched them play against many teams.  One of them is the Washington Redskins.  When Dallas (Democrats) and the Redskins (Republicans) meet on the football field (Washington and every other Government arena) they are both there to accomplish one thing and one thing only – WIN!  The Dallas Cowboys (Democrats) are not meeting with the Washington Redskins (Republicans) to help them WIN!  They are meeting for one singular purpose, to be competitive and WIN for their team (Party)!
    Our Government is set up to compete with each other.  The parties are not there to work together.  They can’t!  It is not set up for that purpose.  The purpose of Government today is to WIN!  If your soul focus is on winning then it is impossible to make the right choices for the people. 
    I believe it’s time for the Government to dissolve from parties and focus on the greater good for the majority of the people.  When they dissolve the parties the childish, immature bickering and finger pointing goes away.  The competition and the need to WIN will go away.  Government “LEADERS “can teach the people, by example, what it is like to evolve emotionally.  When Government stops bickering and pointing the fingers, they evolve emotionally and grow.  They then can make decisions that aren’t about winning, but about what is right for the people.  When they start doing that, the people will follow. 

  • JeanM

    Can we ever have Democracy without Capitalism? We really need to get money and finance linked to the real reality, not this invented situation where we depend on profits to provide labor and wages. Herman Daly has written about a Steady State economy.

    So I blame the problem on economists who have pushed globalization, and business that raced around the world in competition for profits without global constraints of social, labor, or environmental standards that many in our country had sacrificed and fought for in this country in the last century. Capitalism needs ethics to survive. If we think the current crisis is bad, I believe the coming environmental crises and costs will be even greater.

  • michel

    Robo is
    right on.  Zemike’s attempt to make the recession look like an Obama
    financial disaster confirms my opinion of tea party and right wing in general.
     There’s no reason to believe her or them.  Obama and the Democrats
    elected to congress in 2008 took office in 2009. The official start date of the
    recession was in 2007, and the economic data, according to Krugman, shows the
    beginning to be in 2006. I’m sure that the tea party experts, whom Zemike
    referred to at the end of her interview, who critiqued the intellectual and
    educational level of the Occupy Wall Street group as being sub-normal have the
    economic facts well at hand.  I was surprised that your discussion didn’t
    include equal time for the Wisconsin protestors, which at times were well over
    100,000.  Don’t they and their views count?  Out of state tea
    partiers were bused in by moneyed interests to confront the Wisconsin
    group–how did that turn out? Who was in the majority (count the in state tea
    partiers if you want. 

    As far
    as who’s to blame consider the following. 

    Republican congress passed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1991, this act
    specifically separated investment banks from commercial banks, leading to
    reduced oversight of investment banks, which in turn led to the sub prime
    mortgage crisis.  After leaving the Senate in 2002, Senator Gramm joined
    UBS Warburg as a Vice-Chairman of their Investment Banking division. He also
    registered as a lobbyist in 2004, and lobbying disclosure forms filed by UBS
    refer to Senator Gramm as their lobbyist dealing specifically with legislation
    regarding the mortgage crisis. It is also noteworthy that Gramm was one of five
    co-sponsors of the Commodity Futures Modernization (CFM) Act of 2000, which
    contained the “Enron loophole” that permitted the Enron scandal to
    occur.  Gramm’s wife, Wendy Lee Gramm, was on the board of directors of
    Enron when it collapsed. In short, Sen. Phil Gramm has taken money from Enron
    and UBS in return for helping them with advantageous legislation while in the
    Senate, and lobbied for both organizations once he was out of the Senate. The
    Gramm bills have been the center of almost every recent crisis in the U.S.
    financial system, starting from the California energy meltdown to the sub prime
    mortgage crisis, high gas and energy prices fueled by speculative commodity trading
    and now helping clients evade taxes in multiple countries, including the U.S.
    and German with off-shore tax evasion.  

    the money and it’s easy to see whose fault it is.  The best analogy is the
    Mafia at its prime.  The Godfather (i.e. Wall Street, AIG, Countrywide
    Loans, UBS, etc,) has the money and the power. The Mafia family is made up of
    the “for hire” lobbyists and government officials bought out by the
    Godfather and who are in the congress or on the Supreme Court.   The
    latter gives us a unified group of Republicans and some Democrats who are
    pushing for more deregulation, lower taxes for the Godfather, feudalistic
    control of labor to keep the Godfather’s costs minimal, increased taxes on the
    middle class and bottom 95%, privatization so that the Godfathers can rip of
    $60 billion or more by fraudulent contracting (see Wartime Commission on
    Contracting report), more offshore drilling, and the rest of the proposed
    economic plans that you get from the Republican Presidential candidates.
     The Godfather gives the orders and provides the resources to make these
    things happen. The bought off foot soldiers in the government who make up the
    family are guilty but the source of the problem is absolutely, without any
    question, the “Burn, baby, burn” Godfathers.

  • Anonymous

    I used to watch this show regularly, but I think I have seem enough today. They have this guy, Jeff Greenfield from the MSM, trying to pretend he is progressive. 

    Why didn’t they make Ben Wattenberg the host and have done with it? Ben Wattenberg btw is a right wing commentator who has been pretending to be a Democrat for many years.

  • PlowsharesCathy

    Right now, I think what is wrong with America is authors of right wing books who lie and  interviewers who do call them on it.  Kate Zernike said, “If there had been a republican in the White House when the economy colapsed, there would not have been a Tea Party.”  Actually, there was a republican in the White House when the economy collapsed.  You could almost tell beforehand that Kate Zernike intended to lie, by the grim, angry look on her face.  Money controls politics and money knows that if you tell a lie often enough, people start to accept it.  It sounds old and familiar.  The brain no longer examines it.  The brain just accepts it as true.  So now we know that one of the lies that will be repeating over and over during the 2012 election is that a democrat was president when the economy collapsed.   Not true.   

  • Jgelles3

    The power of debt based money and profit and loss accounting to defeat common sense needs is almost complete. If we would consider productive output of necessary goods and services as a better base for some new money, and cost accounting as a necessary approach to economics based on need (to elevate equity over blind law,) we might break our habits that have us now in chains.

    Can we get together to implement reforms that include output based money, inflation protected savings, debt-free liquidity and an end to all taxes on production that are counter-productive — where all of us are unchained from unnecessary debt, etc.? is a wiki aimed at such results.  

  • Green Tea

    We are too divided as populist movement(s). Where can the Tea Party and Occupy Wall St find common ground? The common ground is that lobbyists have bought off BOTH parties. Much of the lobbying is some corporate group wanting a special tax-code tinkering (to recoup their ”investment” in political contribution/lobbying). Other lobbying are government employee unions and forced unionization (violates the 1st amendmentof right to assemble) and forced collection of union dues and dispersal to politicians and PACs (a lobbyist money-laundering operation), which FDR opposed. This results in above-average bennies and early retirement for a priveldged class. Some solutions?

    Abolish the 16th Amendment. Get rid of the income tax (restore our financial “right to privacy”) and replace it with a sales tax. Provide a stipend to CITIZENS to cover the sales tax on the basics (food, etc). It is progressive as the rich will buy more and pay more tax. The cash economy, off-shore corporations do not pay income tax, illegal aliens, etc will pay their fair share. This will bring back jobs to our homeland. 

    Abolish complusory membership. 

    Establish a minimum retirement age at the same age as social security, with one pension. No double-dipping.

    50% of the population pays no income tax. How much should they pay?

    Reform immigration so that productive immigrants can become citizens. No welfare for illegals.

    Repeal Davis Bacon which inflates the cost of public projects. Combine this with fair and open bidding for public project work. We’ll build a lot more infrastructure (bridges, schools, etc).

    Stop paying so many people not to work. We do not have the money.

    Change amendment 14, article 1 by eliminating birth as a path to citizenship, unless one or both parents are US Citizens.

    Require voter ID to vote in elections and provide an ID at no cost, if needed. 

  • Green Tea

    Renewable energy is one answer to many of the JGelles concerns. Once installed, energy is produced for decades, is tax-free and is inflation protected. This is the ideal form of wealth (investment that produces automatic income) creation, which helps our environment by reducing the need for dinosaur-energy purchased from terrorists, huge oil companies and strip miners..

  • Green Tea

    The Wisconsin people had a self-interest: Keeping their above-average bennies (BTW, their health benefits were to be lowered to Massachusetts levels, still above the private sector) brought by the public union money-laundering operation. Problem is, the politicians on the take got voted out and were replaced (by other pols on a different take? We’ll see.). Let’s have free and open bidding for public jobs.

  • Green Tea

    Yes we can, and do regardless of what the power brokers are up to. Small business capitalism trumps the power brokers. To beat agribiz and the healthcare industry, buy from local farmers at farmers’ markets, to help family farmers. They will be necessary when oil goes to $300 + per barrel. Buy from small local business, not big chain stores.

  • Jeremy Cate

    Wow. No more “Need to Know” for me, thank you. Used to be a pretty decent show.

  • AdamSmith

    Some Tea Partiers may be  confused about history, church-state separation, gun rights, gays,etc, etc, etc BUT they DO tend to understand the importance of American manufacturing in our economy, and often act on that understanding, which is more than I can say for your average Prius liberal.

  • Altondhammer

    Define”liberal”’s easy just to throw out labels .. isn’t it? 
    Need somebody to blame not in your ‘club’? 

  • AdamSmith

    A Prius liberal is someone who supports petroleum fueled shipping of cars half way around the world when we make perfectly good cars here.

  • Green Tea

    NO! Under our system, the public sector is supposed to SERVE not lead us. The Constitution supposedly LIMITS what government can do to us.

    Did you see 20/20 and how the US government has marginalized and practically destroyed the Lakota Sioux nation??? The government has taken them from their homeland and replaced their heatlhy buffalo protein diet with fat and starch, resulting in 50% of the people being diabetic. (The fast food industry is doing this to the rest of us, if we let them.) There is too much gov red tape, so it is practically impossible for them to start businesses and create jobs.

    If we have a one-party government, guess what happens? Communism. We see the partisan fighting and that grabs attention, but the REAL destruction is from the back-room deals. A good example of this is “No Child left Behind”, a Bush/Ted Kennedy collaboration, which has been a disaster. Instead of teaching, the teachers now have to fill out forms and teach to a test.

    You want real enlightened leadership? Jesus changed the world by servant leadership. Read Matthew 5, the Sermon on the Mount to see enlightened leading by example.

  • Altondhammer

    Labels are divisive…let’s see if we cant try to solve our problems together…novel idea, huh?

  • Green Tea

    Only individuals have rights. Please do not leave out the government unions, which are controlled by the bosses, not the rank and file. People should not be forced to join a union or contribute politically if they do not want to.

    The Tea Party is not owned by anyone; there is no one leader. Both OWS and the Tea Party are populist movements and constitute the “99%”.

    If you limit the power of government, you limit the power of lobbying $. As power has grown, so has the lobbying and corruption.

    The Supreme Court also created the concept of group rights (discrimination based on color, ethnicity, etc).

    I agree with you, we need a constitutional convention, but to do that, we need an almost complete cleaning out of the Congress and Senate at the voting booth as well state governments. To amend the constitution requires a supermajority of Federal and states to ratify.

    “Separated we are but fingers. Together we are one powerful fist” – Chief Sitting Bull

    “Either we hang together or we’ll hang separately” – Benjamin Franklin

  • Green Tea

    I think you learn more from people you disagree with. After watching a show, check into the background, inform your friends, get active locally. Don;t give up!!

  • AdamSmith

    Nevada had 0% corporate tax; 0% income tax and all the inexpensive labor you can shake a stick at; where are THEIR jobs? Oh, I know, they’re in Macau, China!

  • Altondhammer

    thanks Adam..the phrase was foreign to me…we must support American manufacturing..That is…American manufacturing using American labor. Good point, sir.

  • AdamSmith

    In addition, ALL domestic manufacturers making cars here are UNION. ALL foreign brands making cars here are NON-UNION. The newest Volkswagen plant in Alabama will be paying the LOWEST car manufacturing wages we’ve seen in a LONG time; just $12/ hour.

  • Green Tea

    Much of the problem lies with the FEDERAL tax code. Right now, there are foreign corps and US multinationals who pay no tax, because the profits are off-shore. These goods end up in big-box stores, where they are cheaper. This paradigm shifts the advantage and some US jobs to foreigners. Replace the income tax with a sales tax, which will make the foreign goods more expensive and US-made goods cheaper. This will bring some of our jobs back. Added bonus: The cash economy tax scofflaws will pay their “fair share”.

    Another problem: Cut back welfare and tell the able-bodied welfare people to pick vegatables and fruit or take a construction job, instead of illegal aliens. Some of us do not want to work, because we are paid not to work.

    While I am opposed to tariffs, we should charge tariffs on goods that come from countries that trash the environment or provide substandard worker pay and benefits. This will need to be gradual, so as not to disrupt the economy.

  • Altondhammer

     Yes..and Ford plants now “enjoy” (lmao) the newly devised “two tier” payment plan…in which, the older union members approved an agreement that limited the top out pay at @ 15 /hr. Now, there are people doing the same job at the same position on the assembly line for half or less of their pier…and with fewer benefits.

  • AdamSmith

     Where did you get that?

  • Green Tea

    The union wages and benefits are unsustainable. Allow right-to-work shops, so the price of american cars come down. More people will therefore buy them. The unions should become educational/training based, not based on force. Alabama has a low cost of living, so a $12/hour entry wage is not bad. Better than paying someone $12/day in a foreign country.

  • AdamSmith

    The $15/hr is the LOW for U.A.W. plants.

    And Green Tea, you ARE aware that 41 of 46 0f China’s Fortune 500 companies are State Owned? Don’t you wonder how that gets by the unelected WTO?

  • Jeremy Cate

    I agree with that, but I at least want honesty from people I disagree with. It’s perplexing that this show made no mention at all of the Fox News and Koch influence on, and establishment of the Tea Party “movement”. I don’t think there is any comparison to be made between the two. The Tea Party was populist reaction that was easily co-opted and manipulated. Occupy Wall Street is everything Fox News told us the Tea Party was; genuine, grass-roots and real. When that’s actually the truth about a movement, we see how hard it is for the media (even public media) to wrap their heads around it.

  • nyny3a

    Reform our gamed electoral process: Call for a Constitutional Convention!!Eliminate the electoral college, money in politics, gerrymandering, etc..
    According to Article V, Congress must call for an amendment-proposing convention, “on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States”, and therefore 34 state legislatures would have to submit applications. Once an Article V convention has proposed amendments, then each of those amendments would have to be ratified by three-fourths of the states (i.e. 38 states) in order to become part of the Constitution. Congress has the power to choose between two methods of ratification: ratification by the state legislatures, or instead ratification by state conventions called for that purpose. In contrast to those separate state ratification conventions, a convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution would be a single federal convention.Even though the Article V convention process has never been used to amend the Constitution, the number of states applying for a convention has nearly reached the required threshold several times. Congress has proposed amendments to the Constitution on several occasions, at least in part, because of the threat of an Article V convention. Rather than risk such a convention taking control of the amendment process away from it, Congress acted pre-emptively to propose the amendments instead. At least four amendments (the Seventeenth, Twenty-First, Twenty-Second, and Twenty-Fifth Amendments) have been identified as being proposed by Congress at least partly in response to the threat of an Article V convention. Wikipedia

  • Green Tea

    Also gets OK’d by the 1-party CHI-Comms….

    The free market will bring the AVERAGE wage up.

  • AdamSmith

    Let’s see, they make our silverware, our iron castings, they are shipping whole bridges here, our toy making is gone, they are making some of our military hardware, electronics-GONE; furniture-ALMOST gone, rare earth minerals-GONE.

    You should rename yourself The Black Knight

  • Green Tea

    I “LIKE” your feedback, except both movements are populist, not governed, led or influenced by special interests. I am a member of both and the Tea Party.

    For real change all elected officials and their cronies need to be replaced.

    VOTE the bums OUT!

  • Altondhammer

    Adam ..this was done around 8 years ago at the Louisville plants…I got this from people who work or worked there. Also from watching the real news on PBS. 

  • AdamSmith

    That’s 8-yr old news. The Big 2.5 all lust made new contracts with the UAW. Heard that on the REAL, real news; Democracy Now!

  • Altondhammer

    It’s like this guys…the Unions successfully negotiated a cost of living wage for more thatn 80 years….the rest of the workforce was simply left behind. As loong as we are willing to regulate what people can negotiate for…let’s limit the prices a doctor or hospital can charge….set a ceiling on automobile prices…..heck…let’s just pay everybody the same wage..wth?

  • AdamSmith

    Your point?

  • Jeremy Cate

    I’d love to vote the bums out, but as the 2010 elections show, that mostly just results in voting in a group of bigger and badder bums. The cycle will never end unless somehow real campaign finance reform is enacted.

  • AdamSmith

    My point is this:  China, with the collaboration of the WTO and Wall St, is  successfully gobbling up the most important sector of our economy- MANUFACTURING. For every 2 manufacturing jobs, there are 5 more created, the smart countries; Germany, Korea, Brazil, etc, know this, and are CREATING NEW wealth and are GROWING, we think we can “service” our way to prosperity; WE CAN’T!

  • Jean

    Greenfield should hang his head as well as PBS for this farce put on as REAL journalism. TP bought and paid for by Corporate Koch brothers, ALEC etc. The Media is as responsible for not doing their job! The news as we knew it is now mostly owned by Corporations that have an agenda. PBS is so afraid to offend anyone and they rely on the “Cokie” Roberts to tell the public the truth! Ha
    How can we trust the media to inform us of facts? 80% of the airwaves tout right wing talking points in this country. Fear is what they sell. Fox was not granted a license in Canada. The people in Canada are just like here except they’re not full of fear. They have guns but few murders. Most don’t even lock their doors. Fear is ruining our country.
    Need to Know needs to know they don’t know their audience.
    Boston resident

  • Jean

    Excellent comment! I agree.

  • Citizen Charles H. Blake

    I’m not interested in legislating ethics or morality. I don’t think this can or should be done. I’m interested in establishing “Checks and Balances” that insure that all STAKEHOLDERS have a voice in determining Corporate Governance. Corporation are a LEGAL creation, that grant the benefit of LIMITED LIABILITY to the natural persons that own them. Our government creates corporations, and because our government was established by the PEOPLE for the BENEFIT of our PEOPLE, our corporations should operate under rules that benefit all CITIZENS not just the CAPITALISTS.

  • AdamSmith

    Try Democracy Now! PBS is pretty neo-liberal, now.

  • Awaken

    Once you are aware of the left and right gate keepers
    designed to splinter… can read between the lines and see how informative this doc zone really is !! When you close off your mind you defeat yourself and they win !!!
    WAKE UP !!

  • AdamSmith

    Here’s what I’m doing do help rectify this partisanship. I’m literally calling EVERY member of the house and senate and informing them that State Owned Capitalism, with limitless capital, and the collaboration of the WTO and Wall Street, is dooming us to 3rd worldom.

    Solyndra? Undercut by Huadian and other Chinese State Owned Companies.
    Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries, a Chinese State Owned Enterprise, is shipping A WHOLE bridge to San Fransisco from China    -as we chat!

    China State Construction Engineering is building a high school, a railway station, AND THE ENTIRE CHINESE EMBASSY in New York!

    100% of the $800 billion Chinese stimulus bill (they had one, also) went to China owned, China made firms. Why don’t WE do that?

    Meanwhile, GE, GM, HP, et al, are not only manufacturing in China, but divulging TECHNOLOGY to this dictatorship! CHINA REQUIRES THEM TO DO THIS….AND THEY ALL COMPLY!

    SO,Call YOUR Red or Blue Team members of the Congress and Senate, and tell them we consumers can’t be 70% of the economy, IF ALL OUR JOBS AND TAXPAYER MONEY GOES OVERSEAS, ESPECIALLY TO CHINA!

    (I’m all done with the A’s; Even American Samoa. It’s a start. Good therapy, anyway)

  • Citizen Charles H. Blake

    The Koch brothers may be the ORGANIZERS behind the Tea Party, but they seem to have tapped into the feelings of many of our fellow CITIZENS. The LEFT is unwise to dismiss our counterparts on the RIGHT as the dupes of demon oligarchs. We have to see them as humans suffering the same frustration we are! We need to friend them on FB and in the real world to dialogue with them…  

  • roccom3

    No!!  Wow, I must be living is some sort of bizzaro world.  Apparently in your world the government works well.  Maybe I’m dreaming when I see government constantly bickering and pointing the finger at each other for no reason but to solely represent the best interest of their party.  I thought Government was developed for the people? 
    I don’t care about any parties or groups.  They all have their own personal agenda.  Capitalism, Communism, Socialism, and every other ism have no relevance to me.  Do corporations have political parties in them – NO!  They succeed because they are run by like minded people who (for the most part) make decisions that are in the best interest of the company. 
    Ultimately it is about teaching.  Leaders take on the challenge of teaching people.  I pride myself in leading people where I work.  I am compassionate and not self absorbed with my own personal gain.  I believe my success is solely derived by the success of my people.  That is the philosophy that should be embraced by all people in leadership positions.
    My point is very simple – as long as we have parties getting in the way of true emotional evolution we will never grow up.  Since it is imperative to have a strong central government it is imperative that they grow up!  That won’t happen when they are constantly making decisions that are selfish!  Take away the catalyst behind all of this bickering (political parties) and you begin to grow up!  That’s what I mean by leading by example.  Maybe if the Government grows up the people will finally grow up.  It certainly isn’t going to happen the other way – people aren’t emotionally mature enough to push that kind of movement. 

  • Mescott02

    I agree.  I was expecting more from PBS. The OWS movement is on target with the causes of pubic disgust.  They were watching an unaccountable finance industry take the economy down, then get rescued while millions of American were gasping and grasping for anything to keep them afloat.  These protesters were watching as corporations have gained more and more power over our government. They are saying “enough!”

  • Samuel Johnson

    I watched the episode that aired with Kate Zernike from the Tea Party.  She is a liar.  The Tea Party is so cunning that I heard from a very credible source that they hired some blacks to be on there side, so that it wouldn’t look as if they were racist against Barack Obama.  They used reverse tactics that businesses used during the labor movements in the late 19th and early 20th century when they hired scabs.   They even paid people to say things on television and in other forms of media that would not have otherwise have been said.   The whole movement is racist based.  It is not a movement started out of the discontent with what is going on in Washington (politics) or the economy.  The economy and politics among other ideals are what they use as a base in arguments to say that Barack Obama should be ousted.  They use the problems that are going on at present, as a proof in argument that Mr. Obama should not be President, when much of their proof, the President has no control over.   The movement’s main focus is to get rid of Barack Obama because he is the first black President.  
    The truth of the matter is that President Obama has been trying to help with the issues facing America but the Tea Party along with many other factions in society try and block every effort that he makes.  When he fails because of their deceitful works and practices, they hide their hand and say “see I told you so, he does not need to be president because he doesn’t know what he is doing”.   They use such tactics and many more.  The tea party is based on lies and racism.   Be wise and see what they are doing.  Do not be duped by their tactics or games. 
    The Tea Party has reached way up into Washington. They employ many to help with the effort of making sure that Barack Obama is a one term President.  They scare politicians by telling them that they will vote them out of office if they don’t do what they say.  They use the farce or disguise that they represent main stream America, but in actuality they are not that big. 
    The present movement against Wall street has the potential of becoming very large and wide spread.  The majority of Americans are not rich while the mega rich are reaping the rewards of hard work of the common man.  They do not pay their fair share of taxes because of loop holes in the tax law.   The leaders of big business raise prices in almost every industry because of greed.  Take home pay is falling for the common man due to the rise in prices and many other ideals such as the reduction of pay.  People are earning less because they have less to live off of.  Many people are living pay check to pay check while the rich grow richer from the poor peoples efforts.  These are not mere clichés but the truth.  These ideals are not just happening to the uneducated but to the educated alike. 
    I am an educated man with a MBA from the University of Texas in Austin.  I make $14.67 an hour on my job at present.  It took me a year to find this job.  It is not just about job creation that Washington needs to focus on, it should be about the quality of jobs being offered and created out there.  It took me a year to find my present job.  The job market is bad. Pay is important to me and many others.  I did not struggle through school for years to make $14.67 an hour.  I graduated at the top of my class from a major university and I can only find a part time job making $14.67 an hour, this is crazy.   I am not a new graduate, I am 45 years old.  I graduated from college years ago.   Things need to change.  I got laid off of my last job because they were downsizing. 
    I mentioned my personal situation in order to state that the present movement against Wall Street will have more emphasizes than the tea parties movement, because it is based out of need.  The leaders of the Occupy Movement need to be as cunning as those who lead the Tea party.  Think like the Tea party leaders, as if you are at war.  In warfare, the art and science of fighting battles. It is concerned with the approach to combat, placement of troops, use made of weapons, vehicles, ships, or aircraft, and execution of movements for attack or defense. In general, tactics deal with the problems encountered in actual fighting. Tactical thinking attempts to coordinate personnel with the existing weapons technology and apply both to the terrain and enemy forces in a way that uses the fighting force to their best advantage.  The leaders of this new movement need to be wise and be tactical about their approach to the issues that effect the movement. 
    They need to think also about their approach on how to gain the publics fair opinion of the organization.  It want be hard because there are many in the same boat as I, barley working or not working at all.

  • AdamSmith

    The Detroit News, 9/18/11

    “Under the agreement, GM also has agreed to reopen its Spring Hill, Tenn.
    plant; base profit-sharing checks on North American profits, rather
    than on U.S. earnings; and give entry-level workers a $2-$3 an hour
    increase. Those so-called tier two employees, who are paid $14-$16 an
    hour, will be boosted to $16-$19 an hour.” GM posts $2.5 billion profit, led by North America – AutoweekYou were saying?

  • AdamSmith
  • nyny3a

    Reform our gamed electoral process: Call for a Constitutional Convention!!
    Eliminate the electoral college, money in politics, gerrymandering, etc..
    According to Article V, Congress must call for an amendment-proposing convention, “on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States”, and therefore 34 state legislatures would have to submit applications. Once an Article V convention has proposed amendments, then each of those amendments would have to be ratified by three-fourths of the states (i.e. 38 states) in order to become part of the Constitution. Congress has the power to choose between two methods of ratification: ratification by the state legislatures, or instead ratification by state conventions called for that purpose. In contrast to those separate state ratification conventions, a convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution would be a single federal convention.Even though the Article V convention process has never been used to amend the Constitution, the number of states applying for a convention has nearly reached the required threshold several times. Congress has proposed amendments to the Constitution on several occasions, at least in part, because of the threat of an Article V convention. Rather than risk such a convention taking control of the amendment process away from it, Congress acted pre-emptively to propose the amendments instead. At least four amendments (the Seventeenth, Twenty-First, Twenty-Second, and Twenty-Fifth Amendments) have been identified as being proposed by Congress at least partly in response to the threat of an Article V convention. Wikipedia 

  • AdamSmith

    Here’s what I’m doing to rectify this partisanship. I’m calling literally
    calling EVERY member of the house and senate and informing them that
    State Owned Capitalism, with limitless capital, and the collaboration of
    the WTO and Wall Street, is dooming us to 3rd worldom. Neo-liberal economics PREFERS fascism; it’s more efficient than Democracy.

    Solyndra? Undercut by Huadian and other Chinese State Owned Companies.
    Zhenhua Heavy Industries, a Chinese State Owned Enterprise, is shipping
    A WHOLE bridge to San Fransisco from China    -as we chat!

    China State Construction Engineering is building a high school, a railway station, AND THE ENTIRE CHINESE EMBASSY in New York!

    100% of the $800 billion Chinese stimulus bill (they had one, also) went to China owned, China made firms. Why don’t WE do that?

    GE, GM, HP, et al, are not only manufacturing in China, but divulging

    SO,Call YOUR Red or Blue Team members of the
    Congress and Senate, and tell them we consumers can’t be 70% of the

    (I’m all done with the A’s; Even American Samoa. It’s a start. Good therapy, anyway)

  • Dave Watson

    I agree with Flag that this is poor journalism. Why? They state the obvious, over and over again. Anyone with a brain knows that people are angry now, in part because they are hurting financially. Plus I thought the montage that tried to find a common theme (anger at “elites”) between FDR and George Wallace was a poor comparison. Then the professor that said such anger means “civil war” is exaggerating. Finally, trying to rise above the anger from both the tea party and occupy wall street implies that the narrators and “Need to Know” can condescend to these “rabble rousers” from the higher perspective of rationality. It is easier to take this high road when you have a good, high paying job. I wonder if PBS staff are trying to keep their jobs by straddling the middle and spouting cliches. Maybe they should take a few more risks.

  • Kecastle

    I totally agree with Sparky!  And, Jeff, another person who is no doubt rolling in his grave is Robert F. Kennedy, for whom you worked.  Too bad.

  • Merle K.

    And Bill Moyers must be livid.  I’d like to see the program he would do on the origins of the Tea Party, and who picks directs, funds, and promotes their candidates and issues.  No more Need to Know for me.  They have nothing to say that I need to know.

  • Citizens Petition





    PREAMBLE, Government is instituted for the common
    good, for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people and
    not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family or class
    of men; therefore the people alone have an incontestable and unalienable right
    to institute government; and to reform, or alter the same, when their
    protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.


    We, as citizens of the United States of America,
    submit to our state legislatures the following petition as redress of


    I.  We petition our state legislatures to submit
    an application to Congress for delegation 
    at a convention of the several states for the purpose of studying for
    recommendation to the several states, amendments to the constitution of the
    United States of America.


    II.  When it becomes necessary for one people to
    amend or redefine the political bands which have connected them to their government,
    a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare
    the causes which impel them to petition their government for redress of
    grievance.  Our grievance will be found
    in the following reports.  These reports
    will constitute the agenda for review at the convention of the several states:


    [In the final petition this space will contain the
    names of reports submitted by citizens, for example: Argument for Equal Rights;
    Argument for the Right to Life; Argument for the Freedom of Conscience;
    Argument for Tort Law, 1992; Argument to elect Special Interests to The House
    of Representatives; Further Definition of the Impeachment Procedure, 1998]


    III.  We petition that our state delegation to this
    convention shall be composed of delegates chosen by the people and shall have
    the qualifications requisite for electors of our state; the number of delegates
    will be the same as allowed our state in The House of Representatives, United
    States Congress.  The election sponsors
    will pay the personal expenses of the individual delegates at the convention.


    IV.  We petition that this convention will adopt
    the following standing rules of order thereby guaranteeing to the people a just
    and orderly convention.


    1.  When so
    convened, each participating state will be allowed one vote, as a consensus of
    the state delegates, in all matters put to question.


    2.  The
    recommendations of this convention will reflect a minimum two‑thirds majority
    vote of the several states.


    3.  Agreement
    among the majority of the several states qualifies other reports to be reviewed
    by this convention.


    4. _______________________________________shall act as
    Chairman of the Convention Arrangements Committee and is the nomination of the
    people for temporary Chairman of the Convention.


    We are a people who seek the abiding security of a government of laws, where
    the ultimate freedom to act as a democracy rests with the people of the United
    States of America, One Nation under God.


    Drafted by

    Linda L. Hawthorne, independent paralegal, May 1, 1984

    [Not affiliated with any political party,
    organization, or PAC]

    11/9/92, 10/27/94, 11/7/96, 1/10/97, 12/2/97, 5/27/98, 7/26/98, 12/15/98

    Copyright 1999

    Permission is granted to any media outlet or
    organization to reproduce this Petition.







    I call the citizens of the United States of America to
    the service of your country.  I am asking
    you to unite as one people in a single campaign to petition our government for
    redress of grievance.  Now is the  time for all good citizens to come to the aid
    of their country. 


    1) I am asking each one of you to pledge one dollar to
    this campaign.

    2) I ask that you volunteer your time to advance this

    3) I ask that each of you submit to the will of the



    My interest in politics began in the 1960′s. I
    transferred from Oakland City Civil Service to the Oakland Economic Development
    Council, Inc. staff, under the supervision of Percy Moore.  This awakened me to another side of
    reality.  Here I was introduced to the
    Black Panthers.  When I left the agency,
    I got involved in the underground press. 
    We had to attend the people’s meetings to plan riots.  From there I got involved with the people at
    People’s Park.  I heard the cry for Power to the People and I took this to heart.


     In 1978 I
    observed that most of our rights and freedoms were under attack; that the
    battle fields were many.  I concluded
    that the we were being divided as a people; that we were being divided by our
    grievances.    I determined that the
    greatest public need was to give equal opportunity and equal consideration to
    the complaints of the people. 


    The founders of our constitution wrote into the
    political process the right to call a constitutional convention when the
    citizens cease to find redress of their grievances through the normal channels
    of our political process.   Article V
    of The Constitution of The United States reads as follows: “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both
    Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or
    on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States,
    shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case,
    shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when
    ratified by the Legislatures of three‑fourths of the several States, or by
    conventions in three‑fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of
    ratification may be proposed by the Congress;….”   So the
    question became, ‘What is the process to get the people to a constitutional
    convention?’ Article I of The Constitution of The United States reads
    as follows: “Congress shall make no law respecting… the right of the people,
    peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of


    For the last 25 years I have researched, written and
    edited the attached Petition.  I did not
    collaborate with any political organization or institution.  The inspiration for the wording of this
    Petition came from our political scholars beginning with the founders of our


    Our voices will be heard by the acceptance of information
    and commentary as “Redress of Grievance” submitted by any citizen of
    the United States of America.  These
    reports will be grouped into appropriate topics of discussion and listed on the
    petition as the agenda for review.  I
    propose a $5000 processing fee for each report submitted to discourage
    “comic book commentary.” 


    The desired effect of this petition is to unite the
    people in one single campaign, and to unite the state legislatures in a
    constituted and public forum to review the public concerns.  This proposed convention will balance the
    grievances of the citizens with the common interests of the United States. 


    This Petition represents a concerted campaign of the
    people, by the  people, and for the
    people.  Our mark of excellence will be a
    new perspective in the evolution of our democracy.  This new perspective will come about through
    free enterprise, the freedom of conscience, the freedom of speech, the freedom
    to publish, and the right to assembly.

    petition fully exercises the citizen’s constitutional rights, as in


    Linda L. Hawthorne

    JULY 10, 1985 (Updated 11/93, 12/96, 2/97, 10/97,
    12/97, 3/98, 5/98, 7/98, 9/99)  


    15, 2011


    is the time to advance this campaign.  I
    invite you, the reader, to join in the start-up of this campaign.


    am asking citizens with established services to answer my call.  You can send me a preliminary draft as to how
    your organization would fit into this organizational draft, herein detailed.  The first five services to be accepted will
    also fill a director’s seat.  The
    deadline is the end of the month.  If the
     Board is not complete at the end of the
    month, the deadline will go the end of the next month.


    I  am asking citizens with every skill it takes
    to establish a new political action committee, to volunteer your services.


    volunteer, it is your liberty and freedom we are preserving.


    one has failed, all of us together will succeed.  Power to the People!



                                                     PROPOSED ORGANIZATION


    order to organize a national campaign to bring the United States of America to
    a Constitutional Convention, I PROPOSE, 
    the establishment of a political action committee.


     The purpose of this committee is:

    I.          Educating
    the public on the merits of a constitution convention.

    II.         Soliciting
    reports to be listed on the Petition for review.

    III.       Collecting

    IV.       Authorizing

    V.        Coordinating
    individual and organized volunteer effort.


    The above list constitutes the principle activity of
    this committee.     


    name of this committee will be::

    CONVENTION. (symbol C4)


    motto of this committee will be:

    “VIA MEDIA,” The middle road between two

    Or in the alternative, NOW OR NEVER!


    committee is neither affiliated with, nor controlled by any other organization
    or legally organized committee, and will not support nor oppose any ballot or
    non‑ballot issue of concern.

    member of this committee or professional staff is an incumbent or candidate for
    public office as defined by the Fair Political Practices Commission.


    committee will contract with an American institution of higher learning to
    process the reports submitted by the citizens.


    committee will be dissolved when two‑thirds of the state legislatures have made
    application to the Congress of the United States of America for a
    constitutional convention.


    fund this campaign, I believe a one-dollar contribution from every American
    citizen would be appropriate.  The surplus
    campaign funds will be used to organize a convention arrangements committee and


    suggest the following policy statements in advancing this campaign:


    1.         The
    policy goal is to stimulate investment of individual time and money in an attempt
    to reassert our democracy as a people. 


    2.         Educating
    the public also includes providing relevant information to the state
    legislatures.  No member of this
    committee will act in the capacity of lobbyist as defined by the Fair Political
    Practices Commission.  This does not
    preempt the possibility of retaining the services of a lobbyist if the
    committee deems it advisable.


    3.         Monetary
    contributions to this campaign will be solicited from individual citizens in
    the form of United States currency, money orders, bank drafts and personal
    checks.  This committee will not solicit,
    nor collect, contributions authorized by credit cards or in‑kind service for
    dollar amount, from any citizen.     


    4.         This
    committee will not solicit, nor collect, monetary contributions from any
    legally recognized organization such as: political parties, political action
    committees, corporations, governmental agencies, trusts, or endowment
    funds.  This committee reserves the right
    to consider, on individual merit, contributions of in‑kind services or goods
    from legally recognized organizations.


    5.         This
    committee will not accrue assets that would result in a capital gain.        


    6.         Honorarium
    earned by any committee member or professional staff will be considered as
    income to this campaign.  The expenses
    for this activity will be an acceptable expenditure subject to approval by the
    fiscal officer.


    7.         Payment
    will be made for goods and services requisitioned by members of this committee
    and the professional staff, when authorized by the fiscal officer.


    8.         Any
    citizen of the United States of America is invited to participate in this
    campaign on a volunteer basis.  This
    campaign will only succeed through volunteer effort and the citizen
    contributing his or her time is the mainstay of a democracy.

    L. Hawthorne

    10, 1985 (Updated 11/93, 12/96, 2/97, 10/97, 12/97, 3/98)

    City, Nevada County, California 



    email me at


    you for your time.

  • Dmarkelm

    Congress representing it’s own interest and or Corporate America and Wallstreet is why both conservatives and liberals distrust and want many changes.  Political parties have stated that the protesters are uneducated, uncultured and uninformed is typical and disrespectful to all citizens.
    Congress and Senators are supposed to be Americas best (Educated?) yet they knowingly over the past decade over spent and have created astronomical debt that will have to be payed off by our children,grandchildren and thier children. Who is uneducated? The leaders of our nation are controlled by their campaign contributors, Corporate lobbyists and their own agenda not the citizens.
    The Government in order to save America must first stop deficit spending period, stop fighting wars that we cannot afford, concentrate on fixing our nation and not every problem around the world pay off the debt faster than 2 trillion in 10 years. At that rate we might have it payed off in 70 years.
    Cains idea of 999 may be flawed but I do believe that a flat tax rate for all is the only fair way to tax.
    We could reduce many government jobs at the IRS by the simple math of a flat tax rate system.
    At least everyone would be treated equal and fair.

  • Dmarkelm

    Both Democrats and republicans have had a hand in the demise of our country. They should have called the “free trade act” the ”Foreign Trade Advantage Act” not long after it started corporations started to move manufacturing plants to Mexico, Guatamala, Honduras etc. then the exporting of American jobs began and hasnt stopped. We trained tech students for almost 15 years for computer manufacturing jobs those jobs when to China, and parts factories to any number of foreign countries.
    No the GOV says go back to college!!! Our Government is not proactive they are only reactive after the fact. Couldnt see the housing bubble? Sure they couldnt.
    There are so many facets of the Government that are so dysfunctional it is no wonder the occupy walstreet protesters are having a problem with a specific agenda. The problems span throughout the Government from the congress to the perpetual agencies and programs they slap on the back of taxpayers every year non stop. We cant afford them to pass any more laws because they cost us money forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

  • Anarchismj

    The lady you had on had the whole occupy movement summed up as a left wing movement and it is not the case. she singles out only a small portion. we think it is the corruption between government and corporations. We have alot in common with the Original Tea party started by Ron Paul supporters in 2007 not the hijacked tea party that the kock brothers co-opted. This coverage is a attempt by the left to hijack this movement which we will not have because it is both sides that have caused the trouble. It is the corruption between government and corporations. STOP TRYING TO TWIST IT FOR YOUR POLITICAL GAINS WE DON”T TRUST THE GOVERNMENT!

  • Michael

    An article posted on Henry Makow, is worth examination on the Wall Street protests. There are legitimate issues raised, but the prospect of controlled opposition is an often done and overlooked fact of world and US politics. There will be no substantive change in the US till Americans wake up to who is really running the show here. Massive amounts of energy, money and lives involved in US wars over what is unquestionable a “false flag” operation, ie the attacks of 9/11. See Military Officers for 911 Truth, Where the nation is REALLY going is spelled out in Aaron Russo’s “America Freedom to Fascism” The tail wagging the dog Corpaorate Amerca, via, Bilderbergers, Trilateral Commision, and the Council on Foriegn Relations, unquestionable working for a world government, not the vision of the founders of America. America needs a debt free money system and gold standard, see the book ” Debt Virus”, no nation ever survived the eventual implosion of a “fiat” currency, except private banks and the government iteslf. “Federal Reserve” is a Rothschild owned entity. Thomas Jeffferson saw. “Banks are more dangerous than standing armies” I believe the deception to seeing the real sitation is tied to the need for spiritual awakening, Proverbs: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”

  • AdamSmith

    70% of the economy is consumer spending.  While SOME can afford investments or a vacation or a health spa (services) ALL American consumers NEED a stapler or shoes or a vacuum cleaner (STUFF).  RETAILERS like Walmart buy most of their durable goods from China because it’s undervalued currency, state owned means of production (where’s WTO and GATT?) and fascist disregard of human and environmental rights can undercut most manufacturers.Now, ENOUGH WITH THE RED/BLUE TEAM GARBAGE! WHY WON’T PBS SHOW US HOW CHINA’S STATE OWNED CAPITALISM REALLY WORKS? Go in to some factories, play voice distorted interviews, show us the people who can never work again, the mutated kids. In short, PBS, DO YOUR JOB!

    Amazing Pictures, Pollution in China
    China admits organs removed from prisoners for … –

  • AdamSmith

    Here’s the link which didn’t post for some reason.

  • J Eric Murphy

    This PBS News show is really crappy I hate the new Need to Know.  Your journalism is awful the Tea Party was an astro-turf job and the Occupy Wall Street is much larger and more organic.  Also OWS is not partisan as you are portraying them! 

  • Anonymous


    When education and experience are considered, public workers don’t make any more in total compensation than comparable private workers.

    Moreover, the Wisconsin public unions were very flexible and ultimately agreed to virtually everything Walker demanded, except for the loss of collective bargaining rights.

    Here is a pretty good description of what went down, per Politifact:

  • Freedog70

    “no movement have captured the sense of disaffection like the Tea Party?” This TOOL!the Tea Party recyled “don’t tread on me” which was a 60s hippy anti-government slogan! They stole and co-opted the ultra left’s slogan and are now using it for their own silly misunderstood protest! One protest is saying they don’t want government healthcare while on Medicare and the other is saying give us healthcare and get us out of the grips of blood sucking vampire insurance company death panels – this is such BULL***T!! How long did OWS have to go on before it was covered – meanwhile, if 3 people show up with a tea party sign it all over every TV station – “Need to Know” has been taken over by the corporate elite kock bros! – Where is the expert on OWS? Why are you talking about the Tea Party when OWS is out and about? What is this lady talking about? – we will not be brianwashed by PBS or anyone else who try to make us stop voting for Obama – he’s waaaay better than anyone else the republicans have – and Ron paul wants us to not have a FEMA – they are all nuts!!! 

  • Doubleagentmango

    Excellent comment!

  • Doubleagentmango

    This latest episode of “Need to Know” is YET ANOTHER example of PBS/NPR kowtowing to conservative/corporate interests.  It was galling to see the false equivalency of the Occupy Wall Street & Tea Party movements.  The people of OWS know the true cause of our economic situation – the insatiable greed of Wall Street & a government bought & paid for Wall Street to do its bidding.  The Tea Party, OTOH, is full of ignorant people manipulated by well-heeled, extremely selfish super wealthy patrons (e.g., the Kock brothers) to do their bidding, to continue to advocate for a system of lower taxes & fewer regulations that have PROVEN to destroy our country.

    Furthermore, PBS/NPR continues to go down the MISGUIDED road that having someone from both the Left & the Right will produce the truth, that their views are equally valid.  Thomas Frank was given little air time, whereas Tony Perkins, WHO IS HEAD OF AN ORGANIZATION DEEMED BY THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER AS A HATE GROUP, the so-called Family Research Council, was given a lot of time to air his lies.

    When PUBLIC broadcasting does a LOUSY job of giving people the truth left out by corporate media, no wonder why so many Americans are ignorant of the facts.

  • B

    Economy collapsed during a GOP president, not Democrat.  This piece is kind of scattered.  

    Really too early to tell what the wall streeters will become and stand for, as well as how long it will last.  

    Consider myself a moderate, seems this piece was right leaning.  still processing this fact.

  • AfterForever

    Service work is the future of America, along with the return of manufacturing. But the labor unions won’t be there to ensure fair wages. Nor the minimum wage.

    The ‘American Dream’ is dying and will soon be dead. Politicians are already preparing us for this eventuality. All you have to do is listen.

    Like water, money follows the path of least resistance. Look to China, India and Brazil to see where it is pooling. Wages in these countries are slowly going up, as they are going down in our country. Just as the jobs slowly went to these countries and left America.

    Do you see a pattern? The reversal of rolls?

    Do you see America’s future?

    The protests here in America are just beginning.  But they are doomed to failure. Americans will eventually accept their fate. They will be given no other choice. Gas and grocery prices are on the rise. Think back just two years ago how much you paid for a loaf of bread, gallon of milk or to fill your car up with gas.  The prices have doubled, and they seem to be going up at every visit to the grocery store or gas pump.

    No, the protests will wane and die as the need to house and feed themselves grows stronger than the protester’s desire to fight back. And America will settle into its new third world status.

    The real enemy is not the republicans or the democrats. Politics is simply a tool. Nor is it a country or person. It is an entity. A vast and powerful entity. More powerful than all the countries of the world combined.

    An entity that controls everything from the shadows and impacts every corner of the globe. And it does so without military might.

    It is a multi-headed beast with many identities and facades. It has one goal – to make money.

    Big money.

  • AfterForever

    America needs big money – but big money no longer needs America.

  • Fairoaks

    Right wing Koch brothers are pouring money into PBS. Need To Know is now another arm of Republican propaganda.

  • Fairoaks

    PBS sold out by becoming part of the Right Wing lie machine in exchange for government money which they don’t need. Urge PBS to stop taking gov. money so they will end the false equivalency reporting that legitimizes right wing lies.