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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stand

Well it has finally happened.  Early this morning the NY Police Department conducted an operation designed to remove the inhabitants of Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.  Over 200 people were arrested during this operation.  For almost two months the park had been occupied by the Occupy Wall Street movement.  Since the start of this movement, OWS, there has been like-minded groups protesting in other cities throughout the US and around the globe. 

NY Times coverage of OWS eviction from Zuccotti park

It remains to be seen if the New York OWS will reorganize or regroup in Zuccotti Park but the inevitable police ouster this morning confirms my beliefs that our 1st Amendment Constitutional Right to Free Speech is threatened in 2011 America.  The OWS movement did express legitimate concerns and points regarding the sorry state of our economic situation.  They pointed out, if any else forgot, that the "too big to fail banks" and auto industry received billions from the US taxpayer in late 2008 but not one banker went to jail for their role in playing the finacial markets like a drunk spring breaker gambling big in Las Vegas.

Also, perhaps that message was too threatening to the powers that be that an example needed to be made before there was an even greater consumption of the OWS message by the masses.  In the press, particularly Rupert Murdoch's New York Post has called for this day to occur for several weeks.  Murdoch who controls the mass media entities of Fox, Wall Street Journal, and the Post among others has been the beneficary of our government easing of media cross ownership rules for the last 20 years.  His media machine in England has been found that it used illegal wiretaps on government officials and private investigators to follow and dig dirt on political candidates.  Do you think the control of news information and entertainment should rest in the hands of a few?

Finally, I think the ones who wouldn't benefit from any prolonged continuation of the OWS movement are our representatives in Washington D.C.  The political axis and ties between the special interests (the big banks) and our leaders has been brought into greater scrutiny from the OWS movement.  In fact, a movment called Occupy Congress has highlighted the financial windfall made by our elected leaders.  Members of Congress profit from inside information regarding bills and legislation and they are not subject to insider trading laws.  Typically, a freshman representative reaps the benefits of his time in Congress and when he leaves office, I'm sure he leaves with a lot more money than when he arrived.

Congressional Insider Trading

Didn't Deep Troat say "follow the money" in All the President's Men?  Our dysfunctional government doesn't work for the average citizens who work hard and follow the rules.  Our elected leaders seem to to put themselves above their constituents and use their office to enrich themselves and as a result a vast gulf now exist between our leaders and the people and movements such as OWS or OC emerge.



It will be interesting to see what happens going forward and in several months, the campaign for 2012 will be in full swing.  In 2012, not only will there be a Presidential race but all 435 House of Representative seats will be contested as well as 1/3 of the Senate.  You and I have seen the stand made by the Occupiers.  Now and next year, it will be the time for us to make our stand.  However large or small, just make a stand.  As the REM song Stand so eloquently puts:

Stand in the place where you live
Now face North
Think about direction
Wonder why you haven't before


What will your stand be?