Saturday, October 29, 2011

More on the Occupy Wall Street Movement

First they ignore you; 
then they ridicule you; 
then they attack with 

Then you win.
Do not doubt that a small committed group of people can change the world.  It is, in fact, the only thing that ever has changed the world.
                                                 Margaret Mead


T he Oregonian's Saturday editorial, Point Made, Occupy Portland, is a perfect example of far right fear and trembling.  No doubt police violence is on the way despite Mayor Sam Adams courageous stand against the loud and obnoxious Tea Partiers' insistence that he use force to disband the protesters' encampment.  And they want it NOW!  This tells us 2 things.

  • One, Those far right wing extremists are really terrified of the Occupy movement. OWS brings the TP right to face with reality.  It threatens to tear the veil of illusion they wear over their eyes in their hatred of Truth. And... 
  • Two that the Mayor is a humane, reasonable, man of honor who does not respond to the badgering of his enemies.  I watched a clip on KATU in which the reporter badgered the mayor to the point where he was disrespectful.  Adams gave him clear answers but the man refused to accept them. And kept at it.  Myself I would have clipped the asshole in the face and hope that I'd broken some bones.  But a mayor can't do that.      
Bravo, Your Honor!


Whether the far right wishes to acknowledge it or not, and one can be certain that they don't, the Oakland police department, as well as the Atlanta Police, and the Chicago police department, have lost the moral imperative.  This innocuous sounding phrase, this moral imperative, is the central foundation of what Kant called the Categorical Imperative, the ultimate morality, of any culture at any time, any where, as Kant showed in his milestone of philosophical writings, The Critique of Pure Reason, (that's the one where Kant's mentor, the professor who was overseeing the writing of his dissertation,  after 2 weeks returned his manuscript, wherein he found on page 16, a red line drawn across the page; and under that was written, "This is as far as I can read.  I think I am going insane.")

That one.

(If you have ever skimmed the pages of The Critique Of Pure Reason then you know that Kant dismantles reality, creating his own neo-linguistic argument that   existence itself  is void of  properties.  Then he puts it back together again, not merely as it is, but by creating the Categorical Imperative, as it ought to be, if we are to have a civilization at all.  Otherwise, we are back to the jungle.) 

When you have lost the moral imperative, you have lost the argument, the contest, the battle, the war; everything.  That is how Gandhi defeated the British.  The Brits finally could not bear to gaze upon their own moral failure; but finally, had to come face to face with the fact that they, the greatest rulers of the most glorious empire since Rome, were morally unfit to rule what they deemed a backward people.  At least in their eyes, India was inhabited by a people fit only to serve the Whitehall officers and their wives.

So it is with this moment in History.

The police and the oligarchs with them, have lost the moral imperative.  So it appears that the aggressors are the losers not the "unwashed" hippies.  

Even if somehow the protesters had stepped over the line of their First Amendment Rights, which guarantees the right to peaceably assemble the cops are still thugs. They used ordnance, weaponry on unarmed citizens.  That's as immoral as it gets.

Even if the protesters had stepped over the imaginary line, the police department's violent assault on unarmed citizens transformed the cops work, in a heartbeat, from being protectors of the peace--- to criminal thuggery.  No ideology on earth can support such baldfaced thuggery.  This is the law of the jungle so well beloved by the Tea Party folks.  Of course, the Mad Tea Party people, seem always to be in need of a reflection of their own hatred.  So now they have an object to hate: namely, the horribly inconvenient and "unwashed" dissidents who are peacefully gathered to inspire and encourage a change of heart, which would signal an awakening of the Wall Street banksters who have consistently stolen taxpayer money and homes from the poor and middle class.  

But this is not new.  The cops act with impunity because they know one thing:  the media, and the general public will forget it within days.  So brutality and murder is easily tolerated in America as long as the perp wears a navy blue uniform and sports a metal badge.  Don't believe me?  Take a look at the footage of police beating up the unarmed demonstrators of the 1920s and 30s.  These were people peacefully protesting the corporate bosses' actions to destroy unions.  We see the same thing in an earlier time when Women protested for the right to vote.  The media portrayed such women as immoral, subversive and traitorous.  They handcuffed and jailed the women. And worse. Some were wounded and some were killed.



In their rebuttal to the unarmed protesters, the OWS people in NYC and across the globe (more than 2000 Occupy camps,) the far right is whining that the oligarchy is being unfairly attacked, demonized by losers who are merely envious of the oligarch's success in accumulating their riches.  Whew!  That sort of thinking, if you can call it so, is so breathtakingly simplistic, one blushes for them.  Such an argument is disingenuous; and smacks of a staggering intellectual dishonesty that begs one to wonder at the dismal level of intelligence of those who spout this sort of drivel.  It's as if they did not get it--- that the Bush administration and the eight years of Republican total control of Congress, every move of which was dictated by the corporations and banksters through their lobbyists--- removed protections designed to protect the public from unethical exploitation by corporate interests.  

The Republican Party in exercising their ideology, at last unencumbered by federal law, virtually burned the house down.  Instead of a country which moved forward as a result, we saw instead the loss of tens of millions of homes to fraudulent foreclosure,  banksters who offered triple A rated bundles of liars loans then turned around and bet on the failure of that product, and made billions as the product turned to dust in the hands of their Main Street clients; not to mention the bail out of failed corporations, with taxpayer dollars.  And last, but far from least, the trillions of dollars given as a gift to the banks in a benevolent under the table, backroom style by the Federal Reserve.  And all of this, ALL OF IT, was done on the backs of the poor.

Corporations privatizing profit and socializing losses.  Business as usual in this climate of crony capitalism has become a criminal enterprise.  Business as usual must stop. 

It is proof positive that crony capitalism does not and can not work with out regular gifts from government; i.e. Main Street.  It is a fact that the far right, those who love to quote from Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations, wherein he promises that the Free Market will bestow happiness on all due to the magic invisible hand which will guide all enterprise surely, that they, not a one of them, have actually read the entire work.  After describing the benefits of Free Markets, Smith then warns that it can only work when all citizens are equal.  You won't hear that phrase fall from the lips of a far right-winger.   

My fondest hope and wish is that the good folks of the Occupy Wall Street movement will not go home until at least the Banksters responsible for the mess in which America now finds itself, go to jail for a long, long, time.  

If I were less respectful of the moral imperative, and possessed of a deeply religious nature, as a result of being brought up in the Catholic Church, I would demand that such people be flayed alive and then burnt at the stake.     

Unfortunately, this police violence did not begin in a vacuum.  Violent reprisals against the OWS people began with the Federal Government.  How dare the 99% talk back to their betters?  They must be put down, contained.  And to this end the Feds offered a $15, 000 grant to police departments around the country which had but one stipulation. Disband and dismantle the movement with violence.  But some refused to play patty cake.

The District Attorney in Syracuse, NY, showed himself to be a man, or, as is said in Yiddish, a mensch.  (I had a Jewish room mate for years.  His mother was a second generation yenta. After six years I spoke Yiddish as fluently as they did.)

Back to our Syracuse DA.  Bless him!  In a stunning act of absolute integrity, he returned a $15 million dollar grant the Federal government had offered the city. It seems that, very quietly, the Feds are offering that much money in taxpayer dollars to cities where there is an Occupy movement.

There's just one little catch.

The Federal Agency which is so generously spreading this manna throughout America, stipulates that whichever city accepts the money, that city's police department must use violence to dismantle the protesters camps.

This is America today.  Right?



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