Thought of the Day/Open Thread
Austin native Dave O'Brien said something on Facebook recently in response to a link that someone had put on their wall. It was to a WaPo editorial entitled, "OWS is Over." Oh, really? I'd asked. And who wrote that? Their right wing ombudsman who'd replaced the late Deborah Howell? Then Dave chimed in with a rant of his own that was more cogent, precise and coldly furious than perhaps anything I could've written. This is what Dave said in full:
I do not find here, nor have I found in Sean Hannity and other detractors of the OWS movement, any thoughtful discussion of the issues that OWS broached. It is easier to point out the fact that persons who live in tents don't shower every day (this hygienic argument, blunt though it is, seems to be the sole arrow in the detractors diminuitive quiver) than it is to address the causes and reasons why it is done in the first place: the financial meltdown of 2008 brought on, in significant measure, by the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the passage of Gramm-Bliley-Leach; the concentration of wealth within fewer and fewer hands conjoined with the purchase of influence at all levels through unlimited campaign contributions, et al. Should we raise the issue of high unemployment which is in part the result of the gutting of American manufacturing productivity and the location of corporations in off shore locations and a work force that has been procured in underdeveloped countries? Or the fact that the mortgage industry has sold its paper to Wall Street speculators, short-ciruiting the process of foreclosure of homes which is occurring at record levels? Or the fact that the banking industry has been bailed out at taxpayer expense with funds which are not loaned back to the persons who are making the bailout possible? Talk about pouring salt on a wound. Small business loans are rare because bankers find more lucrative returns elsewhere. And because of the infrequency of these loans, employment levels have been stagnant if not sinking. (Let's not discuss the high bonuses that are given to these predators while the persons making it possible, one in three of them, are living at the poverty level.) This list, while not exhaustive, might well provide the stimulus to revolutions, in other countries and in other times. Some revolutions, I dare say, were initiated for far less. Why it should be different for us, only time and will can tell. While this article is short, the time required to read it is not time well spent and is palpable evidence of a cynical catering to a populace that is perceived as ignorant, unwilling to delve beneath the surface because of an inability to retain an attentiveness toward any given issue that exceeds that of a two-year old.
Not to be outdone, I then went off on a different tangent, making a distinction that I've never seen made anywhere in the MSM:
Another very important distinction, one you'll never hear in political, financial and RW pundit circles, is that OWS is not a flash mob like the fat, pasty racists of the tea bagger movement. OWS and its various analogs all over the country (the world, even) are crucially distinguished in that they're occupying #1 strategic strongholds of financial and government power and #2, they're holding their ground or occupying new ground day after day, and month after month. The flash mobs of the Tea Party would show up for an hour or two then go home. They suffered no privations, made no sacrifices, experienced no discomfort and, because they were never around at their own events long enough for the punditry or the cops to get sick of them, no persecution. When people like Obama and Biden compare OWS to the Tea Baggers, it elevates the Tea Baggers to a position more exalted than they deserve and immediately undermines what the OWS movement is all about. Anyone comparing OWS to the Tea Baggers is doing so from a criminally stupid and shallow presumption.
Thoughts, comments, complaints, suggestions, lost or stolen items such as $700,000,000,000 in taxpayer funds?
Sorry for the open thread. It's wash day for the missus and me, thereby reducing me to recycling Facebook comments.