The hardest political choice…

Yeah, I gotta hard choice for ya...

Compassion…

That’s right, compassion… I keep hearing politicians talk about hard choices, about tough decisions and being realistic…you know, their usual line and all of it typically means only one thing…but I’m getting ahead of myself here…

Let me start over…

So, few days ago I was blocking traffic on a bridge as part of a national day of action. Good time, didn’t necessarily agree with the tactic but felt it important enough to be a part of the overall message, the anger at the destruction wrought by income inequality in this country, the idea that people, wealthy people and corporations need to pay their fair share for a society they reap untold benefit from yet seem to feel they have little to no responsibility towards, this despite all the assistance they get, be it the use of roads, protection from the police, fire, maybe even generous financial subsidies from the government. Would seem pretty simple. If society goes to shit, wealthy people and corporations are going to be affected same as anybody else…perhaps not as severe but affected nonetheless. In any case, on the bridge, good feelings of doing something active, being a part of things and making a positive choice, myself and everybody else made a choice to be on that bridge…don’t know what everybody else gave up but I gave up needed sleep, some time to myself and it turned the better part of my day into a rush job so I could get back to work: third shift all night talking to and assisting people who have reached their end of it, either with thoughts of suicide, or actual attempts…and that night, like last night, like tonight…finances are a tremendous stressor and in these hard financial times, this is precisely when many people need help the most…but then, in between my time on the bridge and going to work I read in the news about how the mayor has passed a new budget, and surprise, surprise…the talk is about “hard choices,” about an “honest budget,” and while he and the city council talk solemnly about their honesty…they lie their asses off, either that or they are absolute bastards and either way, it doesn’t speak much to any of their character.

Why?

Simple…

Their “hard choices” meant they chose to close budgetary holes by attacking the needs of the poor and middle class.

These politicians chose to privatize city health clinics, thus ensuring fewer people get medical care and those that do,wait longer…all so someone else gets a profit and the city saves money. They chose to close half of the city’s mental health clinics, thus ensuring people with mental health issues either cannot get treatment or also must wait much longer. They also chose to lay off people working the 911 lines, this ensuring people who call for help, they too will wait longer…and they chose much more…higher city fees and penalties which will affect those of meager means far more than their wealthier neighbors…and by neighbors, I mean the people who live on the other side of town, far away.

These austerity measures are the politicians’ “hard choices,” for their “honest budget,” but in truth, there wasn’t anything hard about it at all. That’s just a vernacular they use at get togethers, or with the press to make themselves feel better for the damage they cause to real people.

You see, these politicians have been making these choices for forty fucking years and these politicians, and the corporations and the wealthy? They are the ones who benefit the most from these “hard choices.” Everybody else? Yeah, screwed just a little more, year after year after year…budget cut after cut after cut… The only way these choices would really be hard for the politicians who make them is if they truly cared about those who suffered as a result, but I would argue they don’t care, not really for if they did they simply wouldn’t do it. They would raise taxes, they would cut spending on subsidies for wealthy corporations, they would do a number of things that might even be the kind of hard choices to jeopardize their future electability…all in the name of compassion, and doing the right, moral thing.

Yes, compassion is the hard choice, the choice they are unwilling to make…and because of that people will suffer.

Some who are mentally ill will lose jobs, alienate family, abuse drugs and alcohol, or only receive treatment in prison where some will wind up as a result of their symptoms and what they do to alleviate them, which is especially sad as the city will pay more to lock them up then they would to provide treatment in the first place. Some people will die from physical illness or perhaps not go to the doctor until their ailments grow far worse and even more expensive, again to the city. Longer response time for 9-11 calls…again, suffering and some will die.

How many degrees of separation need to occur before these politician can sleep at night, distancing themselves emotionally from the blood on their hands as a result of their ballyhooed “honest budget?”

Hard to say, you’d have to ask the politicians themselves, but not just the politicians in my city, go across the country because these same decisions are happening nation wide and the same people are suffering as a result throughout the entire country.

Oh…but some will say we just can’t afford compassion anymore.

Yeah? Why is that?

I know…because for the past thirty plus years, politicians have been deregulating the markets, signing free trade agreements that are anything but, deregulating the banks and lowering tax rates on the wealthiest all so they can get elected, and as a result all the money that used to be used to pay for people, for compassion has been concentrated, hoarded, moved out of the country by the constituents these politicians actually do care about…the people who are not you or me and certainly not anyone who needs anymore help…They only really care about the job creators, those same job creators who aren’t creating any jobs…

And how long until this bullshit charade ends in the United States?

I don’t know…look in the mirror and ask yourself that question, because it really is up to you, up to all of us…and we’re all going to have to be patient in this fight because great change takes a long time…so if you’re game, settle in and let’s rebuild a nation that again gives a damn about the people living in it, and when this fight is over, it will be worth it…and if you have kids they’ll thank you for your trouble…everybody will except the 1% that loves it the way it is now…

Just a thought.

Oh, and on a more personal note…

Rahm?

You are truly pathetic and it’s easy to see how you were Obama’s chief of staff…the both of you only pay lip service to helping those who need it…especially around election time you lying sons of bitches…

And Boeing?

I lived in Seattle back when you played your corporate lottery to see which city would give you the sweetest deal for the headquarters of your corporate offices. Yeah just the latest company at the time to play community blackmail, thus forcing “hard choices” and “honest budgets” so you can line your coffers with blood money. You were a part of Seattle’s history and once a vital part of its community and identity, and you just betrayed them for profit.

Oh, and Twitter?

The progressive company…right. You threatened San Francisco with moving your company out of the city until they gave you a huge break on payroll taxes amongst other goodies that cost the city millions, all the while the city is forced to cut back on services, cut bus routes, cut, cut, cut…but hey, as long as you greedy assholes and frauds are getting wealthier…who cares, right?

Okay then, everybody else…

Have a nice day.

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BP and Zucotti Park, the divide ain’t just about money…

Nope, nothing at all, because we told you so...

Last summer, when the Macondo Well was still flowing, the US government allowed British Petroleum to keep the press out of the immediate, oil impacted areas. A number of reasons were given at the time…encroachment on private property, safety of cleanup workers, or keeping press boats from running over boom meant to contain the oil.

These reasons were all bullshit, of course.

Hell, at first they even tried to deny they were attempting a media blackout, but what it all comes down to is a private company, with government ascent was allowed to restrict the rights of the press, thus negating much information and imagery that we, as American citizens have a right to read and witness, to be informed about.

And this media blackout is not an anomaly, it is part of a larger overall pattern, evidenced again by the eviction from Zucotti Park of the Occupy Wall Street protestors. When the NYPD entered the park, they also attempted to keep the media out, keep them from documenting the raid:

At a news conference after the park was cleared Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg defended the police behavior, saying that the media was kept away “to prevent a situation from getting worse and to protect members of the press.”

Some members of the media said they were shoved by the police. As the police approached the park they did not distinguish between protesters and members of the press, said Lindsey Christ, a reporter for NY1, a local cable news channel. “Those 20 minutes were some of the scariest of my life,” she said. Ms. Christ said that police officers took a New York Post reporter standing near her and “threw him in a choke-hold.”

Journalists were arrested, pepper-sprayed and beaten by the police, to keep them safe, protected, out of harms way…again, bullshit. It was an obvious attempt to hide what the police were doing, and how they were doing it. Much like British Petroleum tried to keep images of the oil spill from the mainstream press, or limit them however they could to better enable BP to construct the narrative, Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD do a similar thing, keeping images from the press knowing full well that more images of the NYPD beating down or pepper spraying protestors would provoke greater sympathy and hamstring their ability to say whatever they like about how the events occurred.

Facts and law are not important…in fact, laws are mere guidelines, something for lawyers to argue about later…

Laws are something for the people to follow, not for those who see themselves in charge…

Press freedom and the rights entailed therein are handed down, controlled from on high – not from the courts, but by larger business interests, politicians and their police departments…

Yes, the great wealth divide in this country is not just about money and who has it, it’s also about who must follow the rule of law, who gets to be heard and by whom and who gets to be on the blunt end of the ongoing militarization of this country’s police departments.

From British Petroleum to Michael Bloomberg to one more police beat down of Berkeley college students…at what point do the laws of this country protect us and our freedoms, instead of protecting those who move so quickly to take these freedoms away in order to protect themselves?

Have a nice day.

An open letter to the President, and both the Democratic and Republican Parties…

Hell, even GW Bush is impressed with how far to the right you managed to push budget negotiations… you know, to help the people you uh, you promised to help?

Hello…

So, I might as well address this to the highest ranking of you, though I’m not so sure that’s something to be proud of these days…in fact, from where I sit it’s something to be rather ashamed of but nonetheless, this goes out to Obama, Pelosi, Boehner, Cantor, Reid, Geithner, Bernanke, McConnell…

Yeah, all of you public servants(?)

Okay, something is happening in this country that none of you really seem to understand…I mean, have you looked around yourselves lately? In the cities? Have you read the polls? Have you bothered for a moment to look past your office walls, your meeting rooms and political staffers and handlers and their gratuitous nods of the head?

I don’t think you have…

You see, I and a lot of other Americans read the news and I don’t know about you politicians, but what I’m reading lately simply doesn’t make sense.

Poll after poll shows that Americans want taxes raised on the wealthy and the safety net? They want it left alone. It’s almost universal, bipartisan…consider these headlines of late: 68% of Millionaires support raising taxes on millionaires and Poll: Tax the rich, corporations and Vast Majority Of Americans Favor Buffett Rule’s Millionaire Tax: Poll Also consider these: Washington Post/Bloomberg poll: Even GOP majorities say tax rich, protect Social Security, Medicare and New Poll shows Republicans have it all wrong with Social Security and Attacks on Social Security called “un-American” and Faith groups target ‘Super Committee’ on poverty

That all seems a pretty clear message.

Yet, then I read this bullshit: Boehner Dismisses Democratic Super Committee Proposal As Unserious

Now, I happen to agree with Boehner about this, but me and the majority of Americans? Our reasons are quite different from Boehner and the GOP’s reasons for disagreeing with the proposal. Boehner says the Dem proposal is unserious because it raises taxes on the wealthy whereas I disagree with the Democratic’s proposal because it proposes billions in dollars in cuts to Medicare, even more extensive cuts than the Catfood Commission’s proposal. The cuts however, Boehner is almost fine with except he wants them to go deeper than the Democrats have proposed…

Okay, so…in light of all this, what the hell is wrong with you politicians?

You’re not listening…or maybe you are. Maybe you are listening quite intently, you’re just not listening to the majority of Americans, instead keeping your focused ear intently on your campaign donors, the financial institutions, big money lobbyists…essentially anyone but the American people.

Seems fairly evident, but I suspect you all might disagree with this assessment. Yeah, two words to that…fuck you. I’m not stupid, please stop treating me as such.

So then, if you are there in DC to do the work of the people, why is it you choose to ignore the people completely? This is why you have a 9% approval rating, Congress. Oh, and Boehner, Cantor, McConnell and the rest of you GOP hacks, what the American public really wants are jobs. Jobs!!!! And jobs aren’t created by lower taxes on the wealthy. Stop your bullshit, they aren’t. Jobs are created by demand. Demand is created by people with money to spend, keeping the social safety net and unemployment benefits puts money in people’s pockets, which they then spend which creates demand, which creates jobs. Know what else creates jobs? Spending on infrastructure, which again puts money in people’s pockets…and so on and so forth. Austerity makes everybody broke, nobody spends, no demand…it ain’t that hard to figure out…are you all just fucking stupid? Now, I know you have said that you’re spending cuts thus far enacted have created jobs, but they haven’t. In fact, they have done the opposite: REPORT: House GOP’s ‘Job Creating’ Spending Cuts Destroyed 370,000 Jobs.

Oh, and Barack and Nancy? Let’s not get all full of righteous indignation on this one. Last week, the GOP decided to put you guys in the corner by agreeing to one part of your jobs agenda, while linking it with a budget cut item: House GOP Lays Trap For Obama On Jobs Plan. Yeah, the GOP agreed to end a three percent withholding tax on private contractors intended to keep corporations from cheating the government on taxes, and in return the GOP proposed to pay for this by limiting Medicaid eligibility for people who also receive social security benefits.

Wasn’t that nice of them?

Private contractors get the a-ok to cheat on their taxes, paid for by kicking grandma and the disabled off their health insurance.

Well, it would seem this GOP proposal was tailor-made for the Democrats to stand up, just say no, go to bat for those less fortunate and tell the GOP to blow while explaining to the American people what the GOP was trying to get away with…except the Democrats didn’t do this. Nope. Instead, they agreed.

More money for the wealthy, more costs for the poor.

I seem to be picking up on a pattern here…Barack, Nancy, Harry…who are you standing up for?

You agree to Medicare cuts on the poor and kicking some people off Medicaid, which runs counter to what the American people have said they wanted. And you…Eric, John, and Mitch…you are giving more and more money to the wealthy, at the expense of the poor, which again, is the opposite of what the American people have said they want to see happen…

Yes, a pattern.

And then you wonder why thousands of people are hitting the streets nationwide, fueling the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Oh wait, I forget, many of you have said you understand the people’s frustrations. Yeah, great…well I understand that you’re all a bunch of self-righteous assholes, but that don’t turn you into good people, now does it? Nope. And none of you are doing much about that frustration you claim to understand either, except presenting proposals that either do nothing to address income inequality, or will only serve to make it worse.

In these occupy demonstrations, in all of these different cities, stand Americans of every race, age, class and creed. And you know what else they are? They are the disenfranchised of this country. Do you think these people would be suffering the elements, the police brutality if they really felt that voting for one of you frauds would change anything? Doubtful. These protests, these people are the fruit of your labors, those who believe the system to be broken, or if it is working, it sure ain’t working for them…and not for me either. I’ve attended a few of these rallies in different cities and you know what I see? I see middle-aged couples, the elderly, the young, white, black, hispanic…and all these different members of society, they are uniting against you, against your bullshit ways, your bankrupting ways…your Republican power-grabs and your Democrat craven cavings to the financial industry and the banks…

And speaking of banks…

Hey Bernanke and Geithner, do you honestly think we haven’t been paying attention to what you’re currently letting Bank of America get away with?  And Barack, these assholes were appointed by you…so you’re on the hook as well. Right now, your crew, with GOP assent, is seeing fit to allow Bank of America to set up American tax-payers for another huge debt, all so this bank doesn’t have to pay for their own investment mistakes, again. Yes, Bank of America has moved 75 trillion dollars in potentially bad derivatives from its holding company, into Bank of America proper…want to know why?

Because unlike its holding company, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America is FDIC insured, so if these 75 trillion dollars in bad derivatives fail, the government (FDIC) will have to pay out, which of course means, the taxpayers have to pay out, bail out Bank of America for more bad investment decisions. Bernanke, Geithner and Obama are allowing this to happen. They are allowing this to happen to you… once again taking the money from the middle class and potentially giving it to the wealthy to compensate for their poor choices.

So back to that pattern:

The Democratic leadership, in the form of Pelosi, Reid and Obama have shown they are quite willing to cut the social safety net, to cut benefits to the poor and disabled, to the elderly so long as the Republicans are willing to allow some marginal taxes on the rich. The Republican leadership in the form of Cantor, Boehner and McConnell are of course unwilling to do this, no how, no way, and in return for their refusal, they want even deeper cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security than the Democrats are willing to offer. Meanwhile, the Fed is letting Bank of America off the hook for bad investments again, with American tax-payers potentially footing this bill if the derivatives go bad…again moving money from the poor and middle class to the wealthy.

Yes, a pattern.

These politicians, elected by the American people only agree on one thing, doing whatever it is the American public doesn’t want you to do while at the same time, doing very little about job creation.

Yet all of you feel you should be reelected.

Why is that?

Since the occupation protests have begun, thousands of protestors have been arrested across this country…but of the people working in the financial institutions who caused the recession that led to millions of lost jobs, of bankrupted pensions, savings, cities and states?

Nobody arrested. None. Zero.

Again, why is that?

Are you simply admitting in cold hard arrest statistics that the rule of law is dead, provided you are wealthy enough to have received a Bush tax cut, extended further by Obama? Is that the established line in the sand? If you qualify to receive a tax break due to wealth, the law no longer applies to you?

I’m thinking that rather than being reelected, what should really happen here is Obama, Reid, Pelosi and Bernanke, Cantor, Boehner, McConnell and Geithner, all of you need to wind up in a cell right next to the heads of the major banking institutions in this country. You all, who have taken it upon yourselves to damn your children’s futures for your own selfish gain.

Pathetic, all of you.

Off to jail, lock them in the Bastille…why not? What do we really have to lose anymore?  This way, the rest of us can try this again, we can have our country back, see if we can do better and I’m betting we can. After all, you pathetic politicians have lowered the bar so far…be pretty damned impossible to do worse.

Or better yet, get involved with the Occupy Protests in your city, what else you gonna do? Sit bitching on the sidelines? Vote? Yeah, good luck with that…the people currently in power, and the politicians too would like nothing better than for you to just stay home and vote at the appropriate time for one of the politicians they’ve hand-selected to serve (them) you…

Think about it.

And have a nice day, even the aforementioned politicians…right before you trip down your front steps and chip your tooth on the sidewalks our taxes paid for…and if you bloodied your nose, that’d be cool too. Okay…I’m sorry about that last part, not that I didn’t mean it…I’m just sorry about being petty sometimes, trying to work on that…kind-of.

Oh, and P.S. – To the mayor of Oakland, Jean Quan…resign, and take the members of the Oakland Police Department who caused the violence with you…you’re all one collective disgrace…and to San Francisco (interim) mayor, Ed Lee and Police Chief Greg Suhr, stop with the games already…you really want another Oakland on your hands? Seriously…let it go.

I am the 99 and the 53 percent…

Upper Class Tool

Hello…

I am a former boy scout, altar boy, baptized and confirmed atheist.

I make around $35,000 a year.

I am a committed social worker and divorced, college graduate.

I work out every day, but really like Popeye’s chicken so sometimes, one step forward, two steps back.

I rent. I have no debt. I own a car. I don’t want a car but I need it for work, oh and I’m kind of a workaholic.

I am a Taoist, and an Anarchist. I dislike the police. I really do, but because of my job I work with the police every day so go figure…ah, life…funny.

I own almost no furniture, but I have a lot of books, and I read them…

Republicans and Democrats…I am hard pressed to think of a politician from either party you could put in front of my car where I wouldn’t speed up…

I would only agree that British Petroleum, TransOcean, Anadarko, Nalco and Halliburton, or any other corporation should be entitled to corporate personhood if we could put them on trial and sentence their person to the death penalty.

My life? Well, it’s pretty good…can’t complain, actually.

I got plenty of money, don’t want for much, am productive, artistic, meditative, and on a really good day, have enough disgust with people and society to melt a piece of glass at one hundred yards…with one eye.

It’s a gift.

Oh, but why am I so angry?

Well, some people, so I understand, want to have children, houses, health care, credit cards, family, labor day picnics, pay for weddings, funerals, even cancer treatment.

Oh, and you know what else?

These people? These entitled people not only want kids, they actually want to have time…yeah, actual time with those actual kids.

I dunno. I don’t get it either.

Oh, and check this out…these people with their kids and their houses and their family get-togethers?

Yeah, they also don’t want to be buried in debt. They don’t want to have to choose between electric bills and tetanus shots, groceries and physical exams, rent and a decent night’s sleep.

Slackers.

These neo-hippies think it would be a good idea to actually have the time to raise their families and I’m sorry, as a member of the the 53%, who feel to demand changes in the way our institutions operate, to demand the ultra-rich make a little less money, maybe pay their share in taxes in hope for a more equitable society, well, me and Eric Erickson, we recognize that for what it is…

Unamerican.

Seriously.

These bastards actually want the time to make their marriages work, time with their wives or husbands…and not just time over their bills, at the plasma donation center or out picking up aluminum cans, but times on vacation, maybe an hour in the park, go to a movie, go to church, play a board game…Life, Monopoly, Sorry, Clue…anything.

And that demand for time and equality is nothing more than lazy Socialism.

Look, it’s not that I don’t treasure the family, the house, the two cars, the whatever…it’s just that hell, I am a social worker. I have two college degrees, I have no debt or health problems, and very little chance for unforseen expenses. I have no desire to live outside my means, no desire for kids or furniture, time to myself or groceries for more than one person. I have no desire to work more than 47 hours a week, car insurance beyond what’s legally required, a house of my own or new clothes, dental care and fresh food, or gas…nope.

I don’t need any of those uppity trappings.

And since I don’t…

Why in the hell do you think you should?

Look…the American Dream is a subjective moment of subconscious paralysis, and the quicker you realize this, the happier you will be…

Like me.

Financial fraud isn’t a crime, it’s simply being creative. As a modern day American, I recognize my patriotic duty as a simple willingness to play host to every financial parasite and politician.

So to the banks, to those who would deregulate, to their political enablers I lie prone and smile.

Have your way with me. I recognize I have no right to complain.

I may be of the 99%, but I am more inclined to be the 53%.

So, I’m yours.

God Bless America.

Read the articles…

Open Letter to that 53% Guy

Have a nice day.

Occupied thought, beyond demands – from the desk of Chris Hedges…

"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein

From Chris Hedges at Truthout…concerning the Occupy Movement…

“…These protesters have not come to work within the system. They are not pleading with Congress for electoral reform. They know electoral politics is a farce and have found another way to be heard and exercise power. They have no faith, nor should they, in the political system or the two major political parties. They know the press will not amplify their voices, and so they created a press of their own. They know the economy serves the oligarchs, so they formed their own communal system. This movement is an effort to take our country back.

This is a goal the power elite cannot comprehend. They cannot envision a day when they will not be in charge of our lives. The elites believe, and seek to make us believe, that globalization and unfettered capitalism are natural law, some kind of permanent and eternal dynamic that can never be altered. What the elites fail to realize is that rebellion will not stop until the corporate state is extinguished. It will not stop until there is an end to the corporate abuse of the poor, the working class, the elderly, the sick, children, those being slaughtered in our imperial wars and tortured in our black sites. It will not stop until foreclosures and bank repossessions stop. It will not stop until students no longer have to go into debt to be educated, and families no longer have to plunge into bankruptcy to pay medical bills. It will not stop until the corporate destruction of the ecosystem stops, and our relationships with each other and the planet are radically reconfigured. And that is why the elites, and the rotted and degenerate system of corporate power they sustain, are in trouble. That is why they keep asking what the demands are. They don’t understand what is happening. They are deaf, dumb and blind…”

Read the article:

Why the Elites Are in Trouble

Have a nice day.

Hello, Mitt? It’s me, Drake…go fuck yourself!

Caucasian cake is my favorite...

So, Mitt Romney, running for president on the GOP ticket…that same all encompassing candidate who said he didn’t find the booing of a gay soldier to be reprehensible, that same guy who said he knew what it was like to be unemployed, the very same multimillionaire who pays a lower tax rate than I do, whose $12 million dollar mansion is inadequate, you know, small, so he’s tearing it down to build a bigger one…

Yeah, this elitist…he came out today and said that the Wall Street Protests are “dangerous,” that “this is class warfare.”

Yeah right…class warfare…and this is troubling to you now, why, because a growing percentage of Americans are waking up and realizing your class, Mitt, the top 1% of wage earners aren’t the only ones capable of waging this war? And you don’t like that at all so now it’s suddenly “dangerous.” You mention class warfare like it’s something brand new, like corporations, banks and politicians haven’t been waging this war for decades, but a few thousand people camp in a New York City park or march on Bank of America in Boston and plan nationwide protests on October 15th, and because there are 99% more of us than you, and we’re getting news coverage…now we’re dangerous, now it’s a war, and all because we want a bit more equality, fairness, jobs, food, healthcare, a place to live, an education, security, a pension?

Well, if you want to call that class warfare?

So be it, job creator.

Oh, and by the way, you’ve raised more than twice as much from the Wall Street Banks as that other corporate shill, Barack Obama, so pardon me if I think your opinion is just one more chattering jack-ass on the GOP news stations. You ain’t listening to anybody but your donors, so why the hell should anyone of passion, the passion for the American Dream listen to you at all? Especially when the Wall Street Occupation is more patriotic than anything you’ve ever done, said or breathed…

Consider what the Wall Steet Occupations have in common with the actual Boston tea Party:

1.) The Original Boston Tea Party Was A Civil Disobedience Action Against A Private Corporation

2.) The Original Boston Tea Party Feared That Corporate Greed Would Destroy America.

3.) The Original Boston Tea Party Believed Government Necessary To Protect Against Corporate Excess.

4.) The Original Boston Tea Party Was Sparked By A Corporate Tax Cut For A British Corporation.

5.) The Original Boston Tea Party Wanted A Stronger Democracy.

Have a nice day Mitt…oh…and while we’re at it…Mr. Cain? Herman?

Yeah, you can go fuck yourself too.

When asked about the Wall Street protests by the Wall Street Journal, Herman Cain said,  “if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself!”

This, despite there being over 4 unemployed applicants for every job, that unemployment and massive income inequality shrinks the economy and decreases job opportunity…oh, and then Herman went on to add, “I don’t have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration.”

Really, you came to that conclusion despite admitting you “don’t have facts to back this up?”

Herman, you probably should have stopped right there, you know, when you admitted you had no proof, that you really didn’t know what the hell you were talking about. It’s a thought…course you were talking to the Wall Street Journal so it’s not like they’d challenge any statement you decided to make, factually incorrect or not and…well, hell…

Why don’t you just join Mitt and have a slice of fucking cake…

Everyone else, have a nice day.

Setting aside my cynicism…Occupy Wall Street

Whatever man...it's your pensions, your jobs, your savings, your energy assistance, medicaid, medicare, social security, school lunches, pell grants...etc...

I freely admit, I can be cynical…really cynical.

Which is probably why when I heard of the Occupy Wall Street protest, my first question was: if they are trying to cause trouble on Wall Street, why the hell are they doing the protest on a Saturday? At the time, I didn’t know it was going to be an ongoing thing, but even when I found that out my cynicism remained. I expected the usual mish-mash from the left, individuals with individual signs representing each and every cause, from PETA to Anti-Police Brutality, from ending the wars to ending whatever else they now wanted to end. I used to live in San Francisco and it would oftentimes seem not a week could go by without some kind of march down Market Street, just like it also seemed that the same people came to every protest; there was no unified message, just everybody cradling their pet cause, making a lot of noise, but really, doing very little.

After all, the civil rights era is long over and the police/government have had forty plus years to figure out how to marginalize a march into nothingness. Sure, maybe marches help build community, but what do they actually accomplish?

So, Occupy Wall Street…cool, yeah…okay.

Well, I’ve been working on my cynicism of late, trying to mute it a bit, which doesn’t mean I now feel protest marches are effective.

I don’t.

But this occupy Wall Street thing?

Been watching it build over the past couple of weeks and yes, their appears to be no unifying message beyond anger at the banks for screwing over this country and anger at the government letting them do it, and believe me you, I get that. I personally wouldn’t have a problem if Wall Street erupted in flames, burned all the way to the ground. Nope. I’d bring beer and marshmallows, celebrate…just like I celebrate these rumors about Bank of America being in real financial trouble, especially now that Kamala Harris and California have backed out of the mortgage fraud settlement. Good. Bank of America belly up? No problem. Fuck ’em. All those bank bail-outs, too big to fail? Government gives the money directly to the banks rather than giving it to the people in trouble with their mortgages so they could then give the money to the banks…you know, banks still get rescued, plus the people get to keep their houses too. Might have been a good idea. Apparently, politicians thought not, you know, because banks give politicians way more money than home-owners and banks wanted to cut out the middle man so yeah, okay, fuck the politicians too, but…I digress. Point is, hell yeah I get it.

So like I said, I been watching the occupation protests, the arrests, the developments, the growth, the union endorsements, the increase in news coverage, their unwillingness to be moved and over time I realized something…

I don’t want to sit around and be a cynic anymore.

That cynicism is too self-defeating.

True, at the end of the day…after the occupation is all said and done, who ya gonna vote for, whatever sociopath the GOP puts up or Barack Obama’s austerity-lite? Those choices won’t change, but something else could, something more important than two political yahoo’s running for president, and that something is the narrative.

That’s what the Occupy Wall Street protests seem to be changing right now.

For the past few months all we have been hearing from politicians, both Democrat and Republican is how this is the age of austerity, cutbacks, tightening our belts. The mainstream media outlets echoed it, the commercials preached it, the banks and corporations nodded their heads in assent…but that is beginning to change. The occupation is helping to prompt questions, getting people to think about Wall Street greed just a bit more. Fucking Sean Hannity actually called in and interviewed/trashed a protestor on his show, so yeah, even the corporations/banks/GOP apologists are now paying attention to the occupation, at least inasmuch as they are trying to discredit the whole thing, and that acknowledgment is change.

And it isn’t just 5000 people in the park in New York anymore, yesterday it was also 3000 people marching against Bank of America in Boston.

The narrative is altering, and the narrative can be more urgent and more important than both the politicians and corporations combined.

People, in their homes, in the bars, in the parks, in the restaurants and at the grocery stores…people talking about the wealthy, the top 1% and how they don’t pay their fair share. People are talking about Wall Street, not as that faraway place with the stock markets and the investors and whatnot, they’re talking about the role of Wall Street, of those markets, of the costs those who work there are exacting on the rest of the country. People are talking about the banks, about withdrawing money from the big banks and going local to their community institutions.

It’s much more talking than usual, and that ain’t a bad thing. This could be the beginning of something bigger and this is not the time for cynicism. Alas, true, this whole episode could fizzle out rather quickly, kind of fade into just another series of left wing war story, like more lost tales from the Seattle WTO uprising, but it doesn’t have to. Much will depend on our cynicism, both individual and collective…yours, mine and theirs.

If you want to write these protests off, dismiss them as nothing, as hopeless, you certainly can, just as you can slag the protestors because maybe you don’t particularly care for their methods…or because they look funny, they’re disorganized or more importantly…maybe you trash them because they haven’t given up. Well, if that’s the case, then you have two choices really, you can leave well enough alone and go figure out why you thought it better to complain from the sidelines, or you can suspend your doubts and get involved, be creative, help, give it a chance and be a part of building a newer narrative because really, what else we got going on?

What?

Sitting around, waiting to vote next year?

Besides, cynicism is precisely what politicians and Wall Street are counting on and I’d rather not give them what they want.

From the Occupation’s first statement, voted on and approved this past Thursday night, here are just a few of their grievances against the wealth that is Wall Street and their practices:

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage. They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses. They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions. They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay. They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce. They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them. They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil. They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit. They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

Seems pretty reasonable, these and many other concerns, most based on problems with a system and its institutions that place profits over the lives of people, both at home and abroad, oftentimes accomplished through the contribution of large sums of money from the banks and corporations, and the wealthiest few of this country, making sure they are heard by the politicians…not the other 99% of us.

So yes, the protestors are out there getting heard, and asking for others to join them in being heard and yes, we can certainly make fun and do nothing, but when done with that, what do we got but the same fucking problems we had before so…

Nah, don’t want to be cynical anymore.

Rather read up on what’s going on, be a part of it and think about change with an open mind and a sense of the possible as opposed to the safe self-conceit of the negative…

It’s our choice, they’re our freedoms.

And we might want to think hard, because if this should continue to grow, if this should eventually provoke change, if this should teach a new generation about what they can do, what they can make happen…do you really think the banks, the mainstream media and the powers that be are going to let something like this ever happen again?

Nope.

Sometimes all you get is one shot.

So, make it count, seek solutions and let’s all change this narrative for good.

Read on:

Occupy Wall Street Begins Third Week With Greatest Numbers Yet, Aims Still Uncertain

Union president: We and ‘Occupy Wall Street’ are ‘singing the same song’

Hot off the Press: The Occupied Wall Street Journal

As movement grows, thousands protest in Boston protest against Bank of America’s Greed

Labor Movement Rolls Into Wall Street Occupation

No Excuses — Join the Occupy Wall St. Movement or Stand on the Wrong Side of History

United Steelworkers announce support for ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protest

Occupy Los Angeles

Have a nice day.