Please use this discussion to offer your suggestions for Core Conversations to be hosted here on the Cafe website and on our Cafe Calls.  We suggest you consider framing a topic in terms of a "powerful question."  This monograph by Eric Vogt, David Isaacs and Juanita Brown, courtesy of The World Cafe, provides some excellent guidelines.

NOTE!!! This discussion is intended to be about the range of topics we might want to focus on ONLY.

It is NOT intended to be the place where we actually HAVE those discussions.  If something that is proposed here grabs you, by all means start a thread about it in Member-Initiated Discussions.  Or, if it's a really big and juicy subject, perhaps you might even want to start a group to discuss it--each group has its own forum, as well as "pages" that can be created and edited together.

Thanks for helping us keep our discussions organized.  And thanks for all the great energy and ideas that you have been posting here so far!


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Perhaps general consensus or at least a large majority agreement could be reached 

on a variety of issues presented as online referendums to vote on or as polls;

People’s Polls or Peoples Referendum. 


Should there be an immediate moratorium on home foreclosures?

Yes___   No___


Should we allow the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline to the Texas Gulf to be built?

Yes___   No___


Should we allow the license of any existing nuclear power plants to be extended?

Yes___   No___


Should funding of the US war in Afghanistan and Iraq be extended?

Yes___   No___


Should there be an immediate moratorium on “mountain top removal” coal mining?

Yes___   No___


Should there be an immediate moratorium on capital punishment?

Yes___   No___


Should there be an immediate moratorium on the use of drone warfare?

Yes___   No___


Should inalienable rights be granted to nature?

Yes___   No___


Referendums or polls could address issues such as: 

  • rights of all people to clean air, food & water
  • rights of basic health care
  • accountability and liability of undue injury or death inflicted on world citizens by police, military, corporations, government officials, etc.
  • conversion from oil, coal, gas and nuclear to renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, tidal, ocean thermal, etc.
  • massive government infusion of capital investment into a new green economy


These are just ideas. Does anyone care to brainstorm?


Bob, please see above. We are trying to shift this conversation over to a new thread:

May I suggest reporting your poll over there?



One conversation could be about truth in journalism. Corporate controlled media forever spins the truth to serve their agenda. To form clear collective visions we, as a society, need honest, non biased reporting. 

Dennis Bernstein & Flashpoints on KPFA, Pacifica, Free Speech Radio, Berkeley, is a great place to start. In the years that I have been a member & listened to KPFA, I have become a fan of Greg Palaste, Cris Hedges, Michael Patrenti, John Pilger, Kevin Pina, David Swanson, Robert Reich, Richard Wolff, to name a few. 

There is a growing number of reputable online news sites. Here are a few:


One issue that I think would be particularly appropriate for Occupy Cafe would be:

What is happening to our people on the front lines of Occupy America (& beyond)? So for those who don't know, here's a story from Occupy Oakland that unfolded this Tuesday:

Oakland Spends Millions in Attack on Occupy Protesters, Closes 5 Schools Next Day



A healthy viable ( eg independent) 4th estate is a core need for democracy and for maintaining both transparency and objectivity. And we as individuals have to be responsible for freeing ourselves from  What Tom Atlee calls "the commodification of ego" ( see his wonderful essay by this title at his posterous blog). 

 At TED Conversations over the last several months we have many discussions on th degradation of the 4th estate including an excellent two by Alisa Miller, head of foreign news for NPR.(who do you trust in the news, what do you want from the news), several examining how the news cobered specific major events ( the death of bin laden, occupy wall street) and truth in the news.  These can be read in the archives at TED Conversations are an excellent resources.

If we all agree that our 4th estate is corroded and corrupted and needs to be rebuilt as part of rebuilding democracy then we should create a new thread to develop this conversation " Restoration of the 4th Estate: Rebuilding a Free Press".  I would also suggest that the hosts out reach to Alisa to have her join us in that core conversationas well as to Democracy Now and perhaps to the few truth seekers and truth tellers in media like Rachel Maddow and Chris Celizza..


Bob, you are invited to start a thread about journalism. A worthy topic, for sure.

Meanwhile, there is more about Oakland here.

Sounds good Gary. Thank you. 

How would that work?

Do we decide on the wording of the topic or question, then an administrator posts it as a thread?

Such as:

How can this growing movement towards non biased, non corporate journalism challenge the stories of main stream media and reach our society as a whole?


Bob, after you click on the "forum" button on the top of the page, you'll see a "+" sign in the upper right area. Click on that and you get to name and start a new thread.

Your wording above might appear in the initial post of your thread.

But in answer to your question, I would say that social media and the internet in general are already undermining MSM simply because print media don't get the advertising they used to. Newspapers have been dropping like flies for years or hanging on by a thread.

Second, great tech in the hands of citizen media is having an increasing influence on the resonant memes and undermining the dominant narrative. The most recent signature example was the frame by frame analysis of the pepper-spray incident, widely seen online, that identified the officer involved and forced the NYPD to investigate and punish the perp. Can you imagine that happening without digital video recorders? NFW!

Getting hard to correctly place comments in this thread so they make sense to others joining or can be followed by those already participating.

 Here is what Tom Atlee has said about the importance of mobiliizing and engaging and sticking to what binds us as the 99%, as the whole

Also in that post he outlines an experiment in achieving wholeness..recognition of wholeness..of being the 99% ..can that be translated into an expereience we an build here.?

It isn't a question of how many people it takes to change is a question though of building and nurturing an identity of ourselves as the 99%..we have to become and stay engaged as the 99% civically engaged going forward, on watch going forward. 

 It does take an identity as the 99% to stay the course , imagine and emanate new futures that serve humanity, serve life, serve our planet..

Occupy Texas..

Snowing on my island in Maine today and getting colder at Liberty Plaza and all the occupy sites in the northeast and in northern europe.

 I think it is time to occupy Texas To specifically occupy where the Keystone pipeline is to terminate. (Too late in the season  to occupy the place where the pipeline is to originate)

I am hearing a seed planted by the white house creeping into media and seeping into all kinds of places. At a town hall kind of forum several weeks back I caught a brief clip in which Obama suggested homeownership " for everyone" ..that we should be looking more and more to rental housing so the jobs base stays resilient and mobile and can get to were the jobs are.

Since then it has been repeated by many white house officials and is starting to creep into media coverage as if they are trying to get us used to this idea.  This is partly about about the Keystone Pipeline ..this is about convincing us this huge project which benefits the investments of two different business groups..realizes and makes possible what these two have been about, is good for the world, good for us, good for jobs.  That we should let our homes foreclose, leave our communities,  pick  up stakes with whatever we have left and head to wherever the jobs are, and after that move where the nex wave of jobs are  There's a hint in that that we shouldn't think about jobs as long term prospects anymore..even if we have careers..we should go where the jobs are, stay as long as the jobs are there and move on.

Occupy Wall Street has to become occupy Texas  occupy the oil fields.  What has happened on Wall Street , the financialization of America's economy, is about oil. the trillions of dollars robbed from the 99% to be in Iraq has been about oil.  The billions we spend on our allies in the middle east is about oil and dominance in the middle east.  It's time to occupy the oil fields.  Take back the 15 billion we give oil in direct subsidies..Reallocate the $14 billion we take in in licensing and drilling fees.

Occupy Wall Street has to become occupy  agribusiness.  Occupy the public spaces around the headquarters of Monsanto, Cargill  and the big five who through privatization of agricuture now dominate world food supplies and food prices (are any of these in areas wheer its warm??)   Take back the billions given to subsidize these huge companies; take back or own food supply and food security.  Take back the soils and water while we can still rebuild them.

Occupy Wall Street has to become Occupy Pharma..everyone should head to Washington and camp out at the FDA to focus light on the billions we give to perpetuate a food and drug industry that is about the big guys making money, not the 99% being well and having access to affordable health care.  Take that money back, break that system down.  Build a new system that is about sourcing of researching  new treatments.and bringing them to market..take research and development out of private compaies..put it back in universities so that our young people graduate as leaders already in the industries of the future.

Occupy Wall Street has Occupy Aquifers  --privatization and financialization of water has to stop.  Water is a common resource. It has to be managed by and for the common good.  We can't sacrifice our world's water for oil (tar sands used lots of water) , for agribusiness, for the global bottled water companies. 

 The Wall Street center of Occupy Wall Street is pointing at part of what is broken..the financialization of America, the global financialization of wolrd economies..but that is ultimately about and serves the decades long trasnition to complete privataization of all that belongs to the public, to we the 99%.  It is important to start poitbting outward from Wall Street to these four major sectors where the keys to change lie.   

So I guess the core conversation I am putting out for consideration is whether the cold weather in the northeast is a chance to Occupy some of the key sectors of the economy to which our soverignty has been surrendered..on our nickel.  To brainstorm what the most visible and viable winter occupy sites might be.  How Occupy can point to the key gordion knots we have to unloose to build new democracies,new economies.

can i add to this: it's impossible to describe fully the deep power of confession. Personally, I'm about to invest in going to church soon, maybe on time.

but i really only go because of my personal connection to the church lineage. I love it so much.

it's possible i will choose to go. yes.

you've gotta experience it yourself. there's no way i can help otherwise. it's the relation from remorse to the power to forgive-it's really exclusively catholic in far as my opinion. There are others invested.

I am not going today. I commit

to explain the difference:


this is the answer. you already know this.



check it out if you care to know more

myself, Shikha, personally, I don't know, and I don't care. This is some need I guess. Faith.

I actually do need her to stay. I already trust myself. Thank you, God.

This difference doesn't vary.

my suggestion is: you are probably just hungry.


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