Posts Tagged ‘occupy wall street’

English: The Seal of the United States Federal...

Today I read in the Huffington Post that the “FBI Investigated ‘Occupy’ As Possible ‘Terrorism’ Threat.” I guess the reason was that the FBI figured that economic inequality, the rallying cry of the Occupy movement, had the potential to disrupt the social order, and that the constitutionally protected right of the people to assemble and demonstrate peaceably has limits.

Now, suppose for a moment that the Occupy Movement did to the economy and to families what the banks and Wall Street firms pulled off when they knowingly sold toxic assets all over the world.  What do you think would have happened to the leaders of the Occupy Movement? Guantanamo comes to mind. Then why the hell aren’t those who actually sold those toxic assets and actually brought the world’s financial system to its damned knees treated like the terrorists they are? Of course I know the answer to that question: Over-the-top greed isn’t bad, but demonstrating against it is.

There is an overarching message in this; the people’s interests don’t matter nearly as much as the interests of those who make money off the peoples’ blood, sweat and tears. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

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English: Helen Keller. Français : Helen Keller.

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While listening to the Ed Schultz show on radio, I heard an exchange with a listener who identified himself as a conservative. He offered that participants in the Occupy Wall Street movement should, as he did, take steps to improve their own lives and not blame others for their problems. That kind of talk infuriates me, because it’s an easy way for Republicans to avoid taking a hard look at issues that broadly affect millions upon millions of Americans.

Well, as fate would have it, later that afternoon I came across some words written by Helen Keller, a person who knows a thing or two about overcoming life’s obstacles. She wrote:

“I had once believed that we were all masters of our fate–that we could mold our lives into any form we pleased… I had overcome deafness and blindness sufficiently to be happy, and I supposed that anyone could come out victorious if he threw himself valiantly into life’s struggle. But as I went more and more about the country I learned that I had spoken with assurance on a subject I knew little about… I learned that the power to rise in the world is not within the reach of everyone.”  

Helen Keller became an avowed socialist and fawning apologist for the nascent Soviet Union…an unpopular position to be sure…but it does not diminish the implicit humanity and compassion in her words. She understood the influence of circumstance and, more importantly, she  felt no joy at the misfortune of others.

I confess to being ideologically driven; I find little that I am willing to compromise with those whose selfishness and greed overwhelms any sense of compassion and caring. But, more importantly, I am deeply saddened that my country’s fundamental immorality is on display for the rest of the world to see. America and Americans should be better than this.

Michael Bloomberg was affiliated with Salomon ...

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November 20, 2011.

I’m sitting on a park bench near the corner of 79th and 5th in New York City. It’s not far from Mayor Bloomberg’s home. A few hundred drum-pounding Occupy Wall Street (OWS) demonstrators, assembled behind police barricades, line the west side of 5th Ave. Noisy, passionate and well-behaved, they run the gamut from seniors (like this writer) to teens. They appear to be evenly split between males and females. What they all share is a belief that the system is broken, and that the Mayor supports the system and not the people. I’m here because I believe that, too.

Unfortunately, explaining why the system is broken doesn’t yield to a few sound bites or easily voiced talking points except, maybe, for this one: OWS is the opposite of the I’ve-got-mine-and-to-hell-with-everyone-else, top-down, trickle-down belief set that aids and comforts the 1%, while wage earners, what’s left of the middle class, and the poor eat cake. Not exactly a sound bite, but it works.

The passion that drives the OWS movement is something you feel, whether for yourself, your children and grandchildren or for those who have lost hope that tomorrow will be any better than today. OWS owes no allegiance to any political party; money drives political parties and moneyed interests fear the people. For the first time since the ’60s and ’70s, people have seen the power of democratic and collective voices raised to protesteconomic and political injustice. OWS demands an end to this injustice. We all should demand it, becauseAmerica, as it now exists, is unsustainable.

November 22, 2011.

Despite what OWS has been able to accomplish after only 2-plus months, Mayor Bloomberg says that OWS doesn’t know what it wants but wants it now. Great line, isn’t it? I’m tempted to say that he just doesn’t get it, but that would be unfair to the mayor who, most assuredly, gets it. He knows that fixingAmerica’s political and economic system requires the restoration of our democracy…a frightening prospect for the greed-is-good set, as well as the corporate and special interests that pullAmerica’s strings. No, Mayor Bloomberg knows quite well what OWS wants, and it scares the hell out of him.

My objective in offering these thoughts for consideration is to urge people to reject the contentious, sound-bite rhetoric that seeks to demonize and trivialize a long-overdue, democratic, peaceful, passionate, diverse, and patriotic movement that seeks to reawaken the American Dream for all people. After all, don’t our children and their children deserve what we had?