Tag Archives: OWS

Unanimity

She was the mayor
Of course
Chief of the cops
Dog catcher
And sometimes ran
The sewer plant
Owned the bar
The grocery store
The factory
And bank.
Although the berg was small
It always seemed larger
When the yes-men
Those yes-men she served
Those little people
Saluted

Old Jules

Occupy Someplace Warm and Cogitate

I’m not just any old dumb-ass.  I’m a dumb-ass with a lot of hats, cats and a few chickens.  But I’m also a dumb-ass who’s lived long enough to recognize tripwires and the sound of impending silence tromping around in the nether regions.

I’m a dumb-ass with a pair of ears I can hear with and eyes I can see with.

What I see and hear are the forces of ‘the other side’ are dragging out the heavy artillery and the Magnificent Seven.  The propagandist litany of dirty sexual organs, dirty clothes, dirty underwear and dirty Communism is already coming through the loudspeakers of surround-sound. 

You’re being demonized, but they’re also planting pamphlets they claim are circulating among you about what circumstances it’s okay to kill cops.  Claiming your promiscuity’s worse than that of a politician or vice cop.  Claiming you’re getting your funding from any organization they think anyone hates.

These tactics have always worked for them in the past.  They’re not too different from those used by the USSR against Polish Solidarity to keep it down almost a decade.  They’re not, for that matter, too different from those used once in Germany to acclimatize the population to some reason behind a segment of the population vanishing.

Meanwhile it’s going to get cold nights and those who have somewhere warm to go are going to find all manner of important reasons to go there.

Generally it makes better PR to go voluntarily than to be driven out by having been discredited so badly as to seem a justifiable target for physical abuse.  And it’s better to go voluntarily than just to fade from something that can be labelled ‘lack of support’, or ‘lack of interest’.

I’ve never quite been dumb-ass enough to think this OWS business is likely to bring about any positive change, but I have been dumb-ass enough to hope it doesn’t get steamrollered.  Enough to allow a microscopic hope that what’s being done could get the attention of some piece of the power structure enough to get them thinking.

But now the clock is running.  There’s more than a hint that both political parties have realized allowing all these folks to quietly sink back into the population when a national election’s looming on the horizon might be worse then having them out where they can be discredited and infiltrated by provocateurs, inflamed and accused.

I’m a dumb-ass who thinks the smart ones are filling up the address books with email addresses and phone numbers, packing their dirty sex, dirty underwear, and dirty Communism as carry-on luggage for a trip below the horizon, off the radar.

But I’m not dumb-ass enough to think anyone’s going to do it.

Old Jules

 

 

Affordable Art

Left to right:  Left, Democrats.  Middle center, banks, multi-nationals, defense contractors.  Bottom middle, US public.  Right, Republicans, Tea Party.

Occupy the Great American Success Story

I had a friend for a few years who lived everything the American Dream used to think it was.  He was working for a steel fabrication company in Silver City, New Mexico during the 1970s doing grunt labor, but thinking.  He saw around him some flaws in the ways the process sequences were performed, believed he could advance in the company by suggesting improvements.

Marsh, I’ll call him, went home nights and worked in his garage inventing a tubing bender far more efficient than the one used where he worked.  After it was complete, he took it to the company, expecting praise and rewards.  They shrugged, brushed him off and kept him busier at work.

So Marsh applied for a patent, began manufacturing his bender in his garage.  He couldn’t keep up with the orders, so he quit his job and expanded, meanwhile inventing other improvements on what he’d seen, manufacturing and selling those, also, becoming a surprisingly wealthy man within a decade or so.

His business flourished, his children matured, and one of his sons started another business, inventing, patenting, marketing.  His son became wealthier than Marsh, far more rapidly.  The son, carefully examining his conscience and human needs, his business thriving, spent a million dollars and several months in Afghanistan during the early 2000s building housing, providing shelter for those left homeless by the wars there.

But during those same years Marsh began seeing his patented designs showing up in Harbor Freight and other Chinese import outlets priced lower than he could manufacture them.  His patents were being violated and the US government was allowing those violations to be imported with impunity.  During a Republican administration.  His own inventions competing with him in stores all over the US.

Marsh was outraged and gradually the business he’d built was being destroyed by theft with the complicity of the US government.

Marsh listened to daytime talk radio a lot during those years.  He got daily doses of opinion telling him the source of his problems, and those problems were caused, he allowed himself to be persuaded, by liberals in politics.  When the Tea Party emerged, he attended meetings and demonstrations hoping to bring about political change, hoping somehow to save his business, his livelihood.  Furious, frantic, determined, certain now, this president, this administration was out to destroy him.

Last I heard, it was doing so.  His business was declining to such an extent he was being forced to lay off longtime employees vital to continued operation.

All the years I knew him Marsh was an honorable, honest, solid, hard-working man, dedicated to the betterment of himself, his employees, his country and humanity. 

But somehow he missed the point, maybe because he was standing too close to the problem.  Maybe because he was holding to a dream of how things are that no longer was.

Marsh, to this outsider looking in, was destroyed by a government comprised of the illusion  of two parties.  Both were bought-and-paid-for by people bigger than Marsh.  Neither of those parties cared what happened to Marsh, to his family and employees, to the dream, the innovation, the drive, the ideal he represented.

Marsh was betrayed by the people who own the talk-radio host he listens to, who own the Tea-Party, who own every facet of this country where the decisions are made as to whether US citizens work, prosper and are rewarded for their labors rather than being merely consumers of foreign products.

Marsh didn’t belong in the Tea Party.  He belonged in Occupy Wall Street.

Old Jules

The Forbidden Door of the Occupy Protests

The politico dependent portion of the US population has gone to enormous effort to keep the boundaries of dialogue within a poured concrete septic tank for an awfully long time.  Those boundaries have confined what can be expressed by the totally disfranchised, the largely disfranchised, the mildly disfranchised and the slightly disfranchised safely outside platforms for discussion.

Two dominant political parties, lobbyists, government contractors, financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies and the health industry, multi-national corporations and defense industry entitlement organizations have all found comfortable niches to work within that structure and prosper.  The symbiosis benefits the yin of government officials, both elected and hired-hands, and furthers the interests of the yang of anyone with the financial backing to feed the gargantuan resulting from it all.

Technology and communications at a grassroots level have conspired to abruptly allow voices outside that structure to be heard in the context of peaceful assembly by citizens with little in common besides their frustration with being locked outside the box.  Evidently enough of that dissatisfaction exists to spread their numbers over a surprisingly wide area.

Enough to set off the burglar alarms across the spectrum of the comfort zones of those accustomed to doing precisely as they wish quietly in warm and friendly waters.  Probably their best strategy would have been to ignore it all and almost certainly it would have gone away.  It would have faded without the tsunami of indignation the bought and paid for elements of mass communication rattling denouncement through every channel, calling out the cavalry, piling insult and venom on those peacefully expressing themselves in harmless ways.

This ‘movement’ wasn’t created by the seedlings who began it.  The Occupy Wall Street movement would have died on the vine if it hadn’t been nurtured and fertilized by the shrill cries of the safe and comfortable denouncing it.  And by continuing to do so they provide the life blood for future expansion.

The protests on wall street are those coming from inside the buildings.  Someone’s opening a door they believed they had locked.

Me thinks the lady [inside the buildings] protests too much.

Old Jules

Mobs, Violent Protests, and Riots

I find my views about rioting to be possibly artificially drawn away from magnetic north by several personal experiences with them, as well as having been an adult during the giant city burning episodes around the time of the MLK killing. 

From personal observation and experience I feel a high level of certainty that every riot since the 1960s was and is heavily infiltrated by police or other government provocateurs, pushing, inflaming and instigating to direct events toward violence.  I’m not suggesting the riots wouldn’t have happened without them.  The riots would almost certainly have happened anyway.   I honestly don’t have a clue why they’re doing it.

But my first experience with it was Halloween, 1960, in Borger, Texas. During the days before Halloween the kids in high school were all gearing up for it, but I was a newbie in town, had no reason to anticipate what they saw as the normal way to celebrate Halloween. Wild and wooly oil-field worker traditions combined with a boys-will-be-boys tolerance on the part of adults left the options wide open.

The newspaper the next day described it as a quieter than usual Halloween with the main damage being someone starting a bulldozer at a construction site and driving it through a house, nobody hurt.

A few hundred teenagers drunk on main street armed with eggs, veggies, rocks, jars of gasoline, cornering police paddy wagon with barrage after barrage, following them back to the station house and setting fire to the lawn was just a beginning.  I never saw anything like it, even during the riots at the University of Texas I was a part of a decade later.

My point is, rioting is fun, it’s joyful, it’s seductive if the anonymity of a mob can be maintained and when there are no consequences. It doesn’t take much to get people rioting under those circumstances.

On the other hand, the day after Kent State and afterward throughout the remainder of the Vietnam War the temptation to riot was always there so long as it was someone else stepping off the curb into the street. The police and a lot of the rest of the country made it plain by word and attitude they felt tolerance for what happened at Kent State and wouldn’t mind seeing it again.

I recall what a letdown it was when I realized I wasn’t the gutsy hotshot I had people thinking I was, that I was just a loudmouth coward when it came to offering myself up for what I claimed I believed in by making myself a target for all those cops to practice on.

I don’t think things are much different now. My near-certainty about riots in the US is that the government response will determine whether there are riots, or won’t be.  I don’t give advice, but if I did I’d suggest anyone involved in a peaceful demonstration immediately remove himself/herself from the area as rapidly as possible at the first sign of violence.

I’d suggest carefully exploring the route and area of the demonstration on maps and on the ground beforehand.  Pre-arranged escape routes memorized to allow getting the hell out of dodge.  Cell phones set with standby text messages to friends and cohorts to get the message out immediately that things are going sour.  But I won’t suggest it.

But I don’t have a lot of reason to think having a riot going on and being in the center of it is a place I’d want to spend a lot of time.

Old Jules

 

Occupy 40 MPH – a successful protest

Protesting people being uncivil to senior citizens

I’m back from town and today I began my Occupy 40 Miles per Hours Protest of people saying and doing ugly things to senior citizens.  A long line of sympathetic protestors formed behind me, sometimes dozens joined me in the protest.  Many even honked their horns and flashed their lights on and off.

I doubt most of them knew what we were protesting, but they joined me anyway, slowing down and enjoying themselves on those hilly, curving roads.

I could tell which ones I was justified in my protesting of them because they yelled at me and shot me the bird as they finally went around me.

An uplifting, community-like experience all in all.

Old Jules