Friday I went down to Occupy Wall Street to immerse myself in the cause…I wanted to see solidarity and democracy in it’s pure and simple form. A rather small number of people banning together to speak their piece. To bring various issues to light. Issues that our democratically elected officials seem to have turned a deaf ear. The exception being: politicians are using these issues as their platforms for election campaigns. Long speeches that say nothing. They have no plans. I heard on the news that another major corporation is laying off workers. In an effort to bring the bottom line down in the only way they know how (so much for being leaders and visionaries or trying to find better ways)… Fire one top exec and void his contract so that he doesn’t receive the balance of contract years in pay, stocks, bonuses, benefits and those thousands of jobs could be saved. After all those are the people who are buying your products. Christie in NJ has tried to break unions – he has no qualms about ignoring the right to collective bargaining or honoring state workers contracts. Teachers, cops, have given up some past wage increases in order not to have their benefit packages touched. Under the guise of balancing the budget, he went back on his word to the unions after they backed him at election time. No loyalties there. Business has been trying to break unions for years, now they have the ear of the politicians who think that’s the way to cutting spending.
I for one am tired of campaign funds being filled by corporations or individual special interest groups. Election campaigns have become big business in itself. The campaign ads have become nothing but mud-slinging, name- calling, back-stabbing venues within their own parties before the primary nominees are selected. IMO: Each candidate should be given an equal amount of money (like a budget) to spend on their nomination campaigns. Maybe if the first step in getting elected into your position was keeping to a budget, you may realize that governing on each level should also be done that way. But if you think the skies the limit, will you ever curtail spending. NO! Especially when it’s not your own money…
There should be news coverage (I mean real news coverage – where they report the substantiated facts, not rumors. It’s becoming “reality news” just like the “reality shows” and people are accepting this level of mediocrity in all areas of their lives.
During elections – what the news needs to report on for each candidate is what bills were passed or voted against and the reason why. I want their history. I want intelligent interviews. I want transparency and disclosure. (Which leads me to another question about reporting news – how does a newspaper back a candidate and still try to be perceived as unbiased?)
Time to climb down off my soapbox and get back to the cause of Occupy Wall Street. To me, the commonality of all the various issues is greed. We are getting collectively tired of greed becoming the norm. (I have nothing against the rich except for the way some of them acquire their wealth – I just think they should be held to the same standards as the rest of us and should pay their share – if 1% hold 40% of the money they should pay 40% in taxes – period – case close – the economic woes of the world will disappear – seems fair to me)
In today’s news, the NYPD thinks that ticket fixing is not a crime but a professional courtesy and just because it has happened for decades does not mean it is just or right. WTF! Because of this investigation the Sh_t has hit the fan and a few heads will roll… But will this end the misconduct? I doubt it. Remember Serpico?
Isn’t that the same favoritism that happened in turning a blind eye to what happened on Wall Street and the financial collapse. The wrong doing was overlooked because it brought in lots of profits and so many were benefitting. Most of the execs responsible walked away unscathed. What ever happened to the saying crime doesn’t pay – is that meant only for petty crimes. Crime is crime and supposed to be punishable by law. Too many lawyers involved and what was once black and white has become way too many shades of grey – enabling those who can afford the finest lawyers, to walk away. Yes, there are the few scapegoats that are crucified so that all our attention is directed away from the “man behind the curtain”
I entered the park, weaving my way past tents, signs, hundreds of cameras, videos and people. With Jene’s little G12 camera in hand, I started snapping some pictures which started a conversation with another observer.
I told him I was blogging about the OWS and he took my my name and weblog and gave me his. Interesting man- Thezog.com is his blog. We chatted briefly about the movement and my feelings of how I thought it was a long time coming, disjointed but trying to be united and hopefully that it is definitely going global and not going away. What good will come of it. Who knows… but it is moving forward and hopefully in the right direction.
Finally people figured out that this corruption “Greed” is pandemic and are uniting. The issues span all levels of socio-economic unrest. Health care, job loss, housing, student loans.
I spoke to several protesters today and thought I would see what the men in blue thought about the occupation of the park. The 3 officers I chatted with all told me that they are just doing their jobs. One told me that every morning he puts his uniform on – he goes where he is told. His job is protect the people – those in the park and those outside. That’s his job. He understands their rights and repeated that he is doing his job. I didn’t witness any confrontations between the police or the protesters.
Also today the protesters are targeting 5 big banks with letters from thousands of people who want to tell their stories of how the financial collapse has effected their lives. Many lost their jobs, others are students who after graduating with thousands of dollars of student loans can’t get jobs, other lost their retirement funds. Different stories, same outcome. 99% are speaking.