Friday, November 25, 2011

The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy | Naomi Wolf | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

From Evernote:

The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy | Naomi Wolf | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

Clipped from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/nov/25/shocking-truth-about-crackdown-occupy
Occupy Wall Street protester Brandon Watts lies injured on the ground after clashes with police over the eviction of OWS from Zuccotti Park. Photograph: Allison Joyce/Getty Images

US citizens of all political persuasions are still reeling from images of unparallelled police brutality in a coordinated crackdown against peaceful OWS protesters in cities across the nation this past week. An elderly woman was pepper-sprayed in the face; the scene of unresisting, supine students at UC Davis being pepper-sprayed by phalanxes of riot police went viral online; images proliferated of young women – targeted seemingly for their gender – screaming, dragged by the hair by police in riot gear; and the pictures of a young man, stunned and bleeding profusely from the head, emerged in the record of the middle-of-the-night clearing of Zuccotti Park.

But just when Americans thought we had the picture – was this crazy police and mayoral overkill, on a municipal level, in many different cities? – the picture darkened. The National Union of Journalists and the Committee to Protect Journalists issued a Freedom of Information Act request to investigate possible federal involvement with law enforcement practices that appeared to target journalists. The New York Times reported that "New York cops have arrested, punched, whacked, shoved to the ground and tossed a barrier at reporters and photographers" covering protests. Reporters were asked by NYPD to raise their hands to prove they had credentials: when many dutifully did so, they were taken, upon threat of arrest, away from the story they were covering, and penned far from the site in which the news was unfolding. Other reporters wearing press passes were arrested and roughed up by cops, after being – falsely – informed by police that "It is illegal to take pictures on the sidewalk."

In New York, a state supreme court justice and a New York City council member were beaten up; in Berkeley, California, one of our greatest national poets, Robert Hass, was beaten with batons. The picture darkened still further when Wonkette and Washingtonsblog.com reported that the Mayor of Oakland acknowledged that the Department of Homeland Security had participated in an 18-city mayor conference call advising mayors on "how to suppress" Occupy protests.

To Europeans, the enormity of this breach may not be obvious at first. Our system of government prohibits the creation of a federalised police force, and forbids federal or militarised involvement in municipal peacekeeping.

I noticed that rightwing pundits and politicians on the TV shows on which I was appearing were all on-message against OWS. Journalist Chris Hayes reported on a leaked memo that revealed lobbyists vying for an $850,000 contract to smear Occupy. Message coordination of this kind is impossible without a full-court press at the top. This was clearly not simply a case of a freaked-out mayors', city-by-city municipal overreaction against mess in the parks and cranky campers. As the puzzle pieces fit together, they began to show coordination against OWS at the highest national levels.

Why this massive mobilisation against these not-yet-fully-articulated, unarmed, inchoate people? After all, protesters against the war in Iraq, Tea Party rallies and others have all proceeded without this coordinated crackdown. Is it really the camping? As I write, two hundred young people, with sleeping bags, suitcases and even folding chairs, are still camping out all night and day outside of NBC on public sidewalks – under the benevolent eye of an NYPD cop – awaiting Saturday Night Live tickets, so surely the camping is not the issue. I was still deeply puzzled as to why OWS, this hapless, hopeful band, would call out a violent federal response.

That is, until I found out what it was that OWS actually wanted.

The mainstream media was declaring continually "OWS has no message". Frustrated, I simply asked them. I began soliciting online "What is it you want?" answers from Occupy. In the first 15 minutes, I received 100 answers. These were truly eye-opening.

The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics. Most often cited was legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling, which lets boundless sums enter the campaign process. No 2: reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act – the Depression-era law, done away with by President Clinton, that separates investment banks from commercial banks. This law would correct the conditions for the recent crisis, as investment banks could not take risks for profit that create kale derivatives out of thin air, and wipe out the commercial and savings banks.

No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.

When I saw this list – and especially the last agenda item – the scales fell from my eyes. Of course, these unarmed people would be having the shit kicked out of them.

For the terrible insight to take away from news that the Department of Homeland Security coordinated a violent crackdown is that the DHS does not freelance. The DHS cannot say, on its own initiative, "we are going after these scruffy hippies". Rather, DHS is answerable up a chain of command: first, to New York Representative Peter King, head of the House homeland security subcommittee, who naturally is influenced by his fellow congressmen and women's wishes and interests. And the DHS answers directly, above King, to the president (who was conveniently in Australia at the time).

In other words, for the DHS to be on a call with mayors, the logic of its chain of command and accountability implies that congressional overseers, with the blessing of the White House, told the DHS to authorise mayors to order their police forces – pumped up with millions of dollars of hardware and training from the DHS – to make war on peaceful citizens.

But wait: why on earth would Congress advise violent militarised reactions against its own peaceful constituents? The answer is straightforward: in recent years, members of Congress have started entering the system as members of the middle class (or upper middle class) – but they are leaving DC privy to vast personal wealth, as we see from the "scandal" of presidential contender Newt Gingrich's having been paid $1.8m for a few hours' "consulting" to special interests. The inflated fees to lawmakers who turn lobbyists are common knowledge, but the notion that congressmen and women are legislating their own companies' profitsis less widely known – and if the books were to be opened, they would surely reveal corruption on a Wall Street spectrum. Indeed, we do already know that congresspeople are massively profiting from trading on non-public information they have on companies about which they are legislating – a form of insider trading that sent Martha Stewart to jail.

Since Occupy is heavily surveilled and infiltrated, it is likely that the DHS and police informers are aware, before Occupy itself is, what its emerging agenda is going to look like. If legislating away lobbyists' privileges to earn boundless fees once they are close to the legislative process, reforming the banks so they can't suck money out of fake derivatives products, and, most critically, opening the books on a system that allowed members of Congress to profit personally – and immensely – from their own legislation, are two beats away from the grasp of an electorally organised Occupy movement … well, you will call out the troops on stopping that advance.

So, when you connect the dots, properly understood, what happened this week is the first battle in a civil war; a civil war in which, for now, only one side is choosing violence. It is a battle in which members of Congress, with the collusion of the American president, sent violent, organised suppression against the people they are supposed to represent. Occupy has touched the third rail: personal congressional profits streams. Even though they are, as yet, unaware of what the implications of their movement are, those threatened by the stirrings of their dreams of reform are not.

Sadly, Americans this week have come one step closer to being true brothers and sisters of the protesters in Tahrir Square. Like them, our own national leaders, who likely see their own personal wealth under threat from transparency and reform, are now making war upon us.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cab Ride

Mark the cab driver told me about a homeless man he once knew, who was once offered a job right there out on the street, by some man who stopped while walking along the street.
He wondered... "now why would some guy just walk up and offer me a good job for good money not knowing him from anybody else on the streets"
"I need to do something good"
"Never heard of such a thing man... I been where you at, part of the workforce and all anybody ever does is try to beat you down, beat you down right back to where I am right now. So why would I put myself where I was before and end up right back here... I can survive just fine how I am and no one can do anything to push me down cause I'm as far down as anybody can get." The man on the street said, "you could be dead..."
Yes I could, but death is salvation, it is as low and as high anybody can get, what's between is how you get from one to the other..."

The homeless man walked away without elaborating any further leaving the man on the street, the man with the job to offer, behind. Mark, the cab driver, for as long as he could remember, had seen the homeless man everyday until after that day, then never again.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mystery

Well sort of...
I think I understand the mechanics of reality, machine, clockwork being an ideal metaphor...
It all depends on which gear, where on that gear you're on, which gear you mesh with, when and at which point...

A man, two women vie for his attention but only one other, a third, has his heart and thinks nothing of the two and awaits the one...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Chase

https://www.evernote.com/shard/s9/sh/97f9fe58-b80c-45d9-bf25-7537f0497a5b/a61a42ad8f4b36104ded71d982d8b25d

Why are you running? What? Why are you running? I'm not running! Well you aren't now cause you've stopped to talk to me... but you were, you're sweating, you're out of breath, you don't seem to ever rest...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dream

From Evernote:

Dream

So many dream of a life at least different if not better than the one in which we exist when in truth the life we lead is of our own making... Instead dreaming of a new life, remake the one you've spent years creating and living in...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Who's Fault Is It Anyway?

From Evernote:

Who's Fault Is It Anyway?

It isn't one man's fault alone, despite our need to blame someone other
than ourselves... the whole of the system we vote to represent us, to
manage the economy, the infrastructure has failed out of greed and the
misguided belief that it can control the whole of society. Some want
total anarchy, a zero year start, which I think is foolish and yet
others prefer to blame others, hide the truth that we are all to
blame... I've seen not one person, politician, pundit pose an answer to
our dilemma after laying blame on another. If you can't provide a
solution to a problem we all have a hand in then don't bother
commenting... we are all at fault and only together can we find the
answer... part of the answer isn't about infrastructure, about social
security, about bad money management... its literally social, deeply so
and how we see ourselves and the people around us... in the end this is
all about greed and the need to have... without care for how we get what
we covet...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

All this posturing in DC is foolish... Obama doesn't have a solid enough plan to help and the GOP keep backing off having a plan of their... but none of this helps because they are more interested in themselves than is producing something workable. Posturing! Who are they trying to look to, us! They look like fools as it is, fix the problem! 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Unfinished...

we live under the influence of three...
ourselves
our loves
and the world without...

we struggle to balance the influence... the gravity of all three

eventually coalescing to one from three
or tearing us apart...

born and torn from a singularity, an instant from nothing to something...
torn from us we seek what is missing...
before the struggle ends to know ourselves the struggle begins to seek the missing

we burst forth a quantum plurality from the nothingness of singularity...
lost to us the conformity of the whole we seek...
desire hindered by the chaos of others torn apart...
we flounder & wander among existence, passengers in terminal seeking a way...
lurching forth we discover love is the gravity we all seek...
that binds & tears us apart...
mired in a swamp the waste of which we once knew as one...
reaching out to grab hold of what attracts...
then letting go that which we can't bind...
until the one that seems to be us, we hold & torment in desire 

awake in the afterglow we struggle to become aware, what we are
self aware we become aware of the afterglow, a sea of sentient existence like ourselves...

Friday, April 29, 2011

STORY OF THE MOTH / ANECDOTE OF JOSE RIZAL

When I had not yet seen other rivers except the river of my town, crystalline and gay in its winding course, shaded by murmuring bamboo groves; when my world was only circumscribed by the bluish mountains of my province and the white surface of the lake that I discerned from after through some ruins, sparkling like a mirror and filled with graceful sails, I like stories very much and I believed with all my heart everything the books contained, convinced that what was printed must perforce be the truth. And why not, since my parents, who punished me for the smallest lie, emphatically enjoyed me to attend to my books, to read them diligently and understand them.

My first remembrance concerning letters goes back to my earliest age. I must be very small yet because when they polished the floor of our house with banana leaves, I would still fall slipping on the shiny surface as did the little skilled skaters on ice. It was still difficult for me to climb up a chair, I went down the stairs step by step, holding on to every baluster, and in our house as in the whole town, petroleum was unknown, or had I seen until that time any quinque, (34) nor had any carriage ever passed through the streets of my town that I believed to be the summum (35) of joy and animation.

One night, when everybody at home was already asleep, when all the lights in the globes (36) had already been put out by blowing them off by means of a curved tin tube which seemed to me the most exquisite and wonderful toy in the world, I don’t know why my mother and I had remained watching beside the only light that in all Philippine houses burned all night long, and that went out precisely at dawn waking the people with its cheerful hissing. 

My mother then was still young. After a bath her hair which she let down to dry, dragged half a handbreadth on the floor, by which reason she knotted its end. She taught me to read in Amigo de los NiƱos, a very rare book, an old edition, which had lost its cover and which a very industrious sister of mine had covered again by pasting on its back a thick blue paper, the remnant of the wrapper of a bolt of cloth. My mother undoubtedly annoyed at hearing me read pitifully, for, as I didn’t understand Spanish, I could not give meaning to the phrases, took away the book from me. After scolding me for the drawings I had made on its pages, with legs and arms extended like a cross, she began to read asking me to follow her example. My mother, when she cold still see, read very well, recited, and knew how to make verses. How many times during Christmas vacation afterwards, she corrected my poems, making very apt observations. I listened to her full of childish admiration. Marveling at the ease with which she made them and at the sonorous phrases that she cold get from some pages that cost me so much effort to read and that I deciphered haltingly. Perhaps my ears soon got tired of hearing sounds that to me meant nothing. Perhaps due to my natural distraction, I gave little attention to the reading and watched more closely the cheerful flame around which some small moths fluttered with playful and uneven flight, perhaps I yawned, be it what it might, the case was that my mother, realizing the little interest that I showed, stopped her reading and said to me: “I’m going to read to you a very pretty story; be attentive.” 

Upon hearing the word story I opened my eyes expecting a new and wonderful one. I looked at my mother who leafed through the book as if looking for it, and I got ready to listen with impatience and wonder. I didn’t suspect that in that old book that I read without understanding, there could be stories and pretty stories. My mother began to read to me the fable of the young and the old moths, translating it to me piece by piece into Tagalog. At the first verses my attention redoubled in such a way that I looked towards the light and fixed my attention on the moths that fluttered around it. The story could not have been more opportune. My mother emphasized and commented a great deal on the warnings of the old moth and directed them to me as if to tell me that these applied to me. I listened to her and what a rare phenomenon the light seemed to me more beautiful each time, the flame brighter, and I even envied instinctively the fate of those insects that played so cheerfully in its magical exhalation. Those that had succumbed were drowned in the oil; they didn’t frighten me. My mother continued her reading, I listened anxiously, and the fate of the two insects interested me intensely. The light agitated its golden tongue on one side, a singed moth in one of these movements fell into the oil, clapped its wings for sometime and died. That assumed for me that the flame and the moths were moving far away, very far, and that my mother’s voice acquired a strange, sepulchral timbre. 

My mother finished the fable. I was not listening; all my attention, all my mind and all my thoughts were concentrated on the fate of that moth, young, dead, full of illusions. 

“You see?” my mother said to me taking me to bed. “Don’t imitate the young moth and don’t be disobedient; you’ll get burned like it.”

I don’t know if I replied, promised something, or cried. The only thing I remember is that it took me a long time before I could sleep. That story had revealed to m e tings unknown to me until then. To me moths ceased to be insignificant insects; moths talked and knew how to warn and advise as well as my mother did. The light seemed to be more beautiful, dazzling, attractive. I understand why moths fluttered around lights. Advices and warnings resounded feebly in my ears. What preoccupied me most was the death of the imprudent, but at the bottom of my heart, I didn’t blame it. My mother’s solicitude didn’t have all the success that she hoped it would. 

Now many years have elapsed; the child has become a man; has plowed the most famous foreign rivers and meditated besides their copious streams. The steamship has taken him across the seas and all the oceans; he has climbed the region of perpetual snow on mountains very much higher than the Makiling of his province. From experience he has received bitter lessons, oh, infinitely more than the sweet lesson that his mother gave him, and nevertheless the man preserves the heart of a child and he believes that light is the most beautiful thing there is in creation and that it is worthy for a man to sacrifice his life for it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Listen

Why does it seem so much easier for so many to listen to, to allow themselves to be guided by the words of a television talking head, these perfunctory malcontents, whom no one really knows speak as of they are your friend when more often than not your friends, your conscience bestows greater wisdom... no one seems to listen to those closest... Who is closer than yourself?
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