The theory is that the Republicans will be so scared of losing their seats that they will do anything to avoid agreeing to this proposal. Except for one thing–who’s REALLY gonna get the blame for this? Why, the guy who proposed it, of course. President Obama. You know, the guy who DOESN’T HAVE TO RUN FOR ELECTION AGAIN?
Why all this “save Social Security” nonsense when it is solvent for the next 30 years? Why all this “entitlement reform” bullshit when Social Security has nothing to do with the budget? For that, we have to go back eight years (and actually more) to when President BUSH proposed “privatizing Social Security.” That’s right, this one has a long history–and the reason for privatizing SS was? So the money boys, the banks, the oligarchy, the plutocracy, could get their hands on that money and drain it from our senior citizens faster than any drug addict by stealing your Grandma’s Social Security check.
But wait–how does the chained CPI do THAT? Remember back then–the seniors, the AARP, everybody and their brother decided that the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) was good enough to keep them going so please do not do us the favor of letting us make bad investments, please. So the money boys–whom Barack Obama is as beholden to as any Republican, any blue dog Democrat, hell, almost every “progressive” Democrat as well–said to themselves, “If the COLA is good enough, then let’s screw the COLA. Then they’ll be clamoring to let us invest the money for them.”
And that, kiddies, is how the sky turned blue. So remember, when Grandma, when Ma and Pa, when YOU start having to eat catfood, it wasn’t just Congress, it wasn’t just Obama…
It was the banks, too big to fail, too big to jail, who wanted your money.
“Allons enfants de la Patrie, le jour de gloire est arrivé!”Well, Barrie Antoinette–excuse me, President Barry Obama, delivered his proposal for a budget and yes, indeed-y, there was the much hated-by-the-constituency-but-loved-by-Wall-Street “chained CPI”. According to one writer, Barry has called the Republican bluff–they have said they will brook no tax increases unless something is done about “entitlements”–you know, the money you’re entitled to because, well, you GAVE it to the Fed to invest throughout your working career! Well, the Prez has proposed chained CPI–the cost of living mal-adjustment that assumes that if you can’t afford steak, you’ll buy chicken and everything is still jake. Or if you can’t afford Chicken of the Sea, you’ll buy canned skipjack mackerel. And if you can’t afford canned mackerel, you’ll just go to Friskies.
Accounts state that he had brandished the can of spray like Thor and his hammer drawn before the incident. A very heroic action against these dangerous terrorists, who were threatening to mat the grass under their butts. Perhaps he was listening to Chris Wallace, Fox News’s poster boy for clueless minion, who’s been trying to get the Corporate Masters’ message out that America is tired of the #occupy movement (at least according to the way he tried to shut up Juan WIlliams from talking about it during the Sunday talking heads roundup). In any case, the incident ended with the cops being told by the protesters that it was time to leave and so they did, dragging their tails behind them–along with the arrested group.
I’m sure that Wallace is right in some ways. Yes, there have been polls that indicate that people are tired of the occupy movement. But we all know that polls can be cooked–ask the right question and you get the answer that you want. And there has never been a law against taking several polls but only publicizing the one that gives the right answers. I suspect that a lot of Fox viewers disagree with the aims of the movement, since Fox paints it as lawless and un-American at every given opportunity.
However, it is true that a lot of Americans have difficulties with the concept of cause-and-effect. People like Newt Gingrich, the stupid person’s idea of what a smart person thinks like according to Paul Krugman. Newt, the latest contender for title of “At least he’s not Mitt” has angrily dismissed the protesters by saying they should get baths and get jobs. He seems to have neglected to notice that one of the things the occupiers are protesting is that THERE ARE NO JOBS. But it’s easy for someone with a job–historian for Freddie Mac?–to tell someone else to get a job when no one is hiring.
Anyway, I’ve decided to add my own effort to the Occupy movement, a graphic poster satirizing the situation. Shepard Fairey-like but done for real instead of photoshopped from photos Please use it for free with my permission–just leave on the copyright and ivcaffeine notices. The full file can be downloaded HERE. Right click and download the file, or on Macs, control click and select download.I’m writing this between AnimeUSA and a funeral for an old dear friend who was a great drummer, Juan Dudley, so I’m going to keep things brief (I always say that and it never comes true). Seems like the cops have been busy busy busy with the pepper spray this week. After the Seattle cops peppersprayed an 84-year old grandma and a pregnant teen, you’d think that someone would have gotten the message to lay off the rough stuff. But this is the new post-9/11 America–who told YOU you could think? Now the net is a-viral with shots of these cops at UC-Davis spraying a bunch of seated protestors with the orange blast with about as much passion as if he was watering the lawn.
So, the #Occupy Movement decided to hold a world-wide demonstration on the weekend of the New York Comic Con. AAAaaaauuuuggghhhh! as Charlie Brown would have said. Or as Dick Cheney said, other priorities. I’d already spent mucho bucks not just for the convention tickets, but add in train fare to and hotel in New York City and oops, sorry, I have to be a cartoonist this weekend, not an activist. Please don’t hold anything important on the weekend of AnimeUSA, thank you.
I’m not sure NYCC was worth it tho. There were so many people there, it’s a wonder I found anyone I knew, let alone make any contacts–which, besides seeing the new Makoto Shinkai anime, was the reason I went for. One woman I heard talking was saying she had a panic attack from the crowd and I believe her. The convention now takes the entire Javits Center and was completely filled, wall-to-wall, with people in or out of costume. Not to mention so many exhibitors that I don’t think you could have seen all of them if you’d been there for the entire 4 days–not if you had any other things to do–like eat. Shoutouts to my friends Brad Guigar, Murder Nurse and Moxiecat–and if anyone else was there that I know: What? didn’t you see me wave?
Now, the last time I’d been to New York for any time over a hour had been 2 and a half years ago. I grew up in New Jersey. I KNEW New York was expensive. I knew what the hotel cost. I knew what the train cost. But I had no idea HOW expensive it had become until I actually arrived there. You can’t take a step outside the hotel without spending five dollars. Seriously, a little man comes up to you and collects a “breathing charge.” If you actually do anything–like buy a hot dog–you’re out 10. Down here, panhandlers come up to you and ask for a couple of bucks because they need busfare. One came up to me outside Penn Station and asked for $20 for the train.
The reason, I think, has something to do with trickle-down. All the money in the world has trickled down–to the southern tip of Manhattan. And just like in a gold rush, the closer you get to the mother lode, the more expensive things get, just because they can, because that’s where the money is. One politician said recently that $150K a year in New York wasn’t wealthy because of the expenses. It’s true. And at the same time, that’s just f#$%^& insane. He has my sympathy. But I have no sympathy for the conditions that make that true.
The Occupy Movement has reached an extremely crucial stage–it’s been going on so long and has achieved world-wide status that the politicians can no longer afford to ignore it. The robber barons and their Republican minions have started attacking the protesters as unwashed hippies, college students looking for a thrill, commies and socialists. This kind of thing is un-American (not like the Boston Tea Party). The Democrats are now trying to co-opt the movement so they can lead from behind in the hope that this will result in votes. But what they don’t get is that this isn’t about politics as they are in the US. This is about a totally corrupt culture where money talks and both political parties jump. The Republicans may be the primary abettors, but the Democrats are the enablers. After all, when the Supreme Court decided that money was speech and that corporations could not be fettered in their exercise of free speech, they legalized bribery–as long as it was disguised as a campaign contribution.
In 1984, Orwell predicted perpetual warfare. What he didn’t foresee was the perpetual election, a feature peculiar to these United States. In the UK. a national election can be held within a month of its necessity. Here, the campaign for the next election begins the day after the voting. The need for campaign contributions doesn’t end, but like a junkie’s addiction, grows as the amounts needed for campaigning grow less effective, so that you need more and more, until the purpose for holding office and the need to raise cash for it are indistinguishable. Politicians are addicted to the process and the only cure is cold turkey.
And that’s why we need to Occupy Wall Street. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the YouTube of Sgt. Shamar Thomas at Times Square, scolding the NYPD for their lack of honor :
I WILL BE POSTING A NEW CARTOON ON TUESDAY OCT 18, TO RECOVER FROM THE NEW YORK COMIC CON.
No cartoon this week because it is the October 12th holiday (celebrated on October 10 this year). It’s not very PC to like Columbus Day anymore and for some very good reasons, like celebrating the introduction of slavery and genocide to the New World. On the other hand, it is the official start of Western civilization in the Western Hemisphere and that, for good or for ill, is something worth remembering. In the interests of full disclosure, I must admit that I have an emotional attachment to the holiday since it is my birthday and I LOVE to get a day off for my birthday, even if the actual date falls on a Monday only once out of every seven years–3 out of 7 if you include the weekend. Nevertheless, I do not have any emotional attachment to Columbus himself, since he seems to have been something of a jerk, so I would not be adverse to anyone changing the celebratory intent of the holiday. Unfortunately, no one is going to call it Greg Day, so let’s call it American Culture Day. Just leave it in the second week of October, thank you. I don’t want to have to go changing my birth records to make my birthday July the 4th–you not only get a day off ON the day, but you get fireworks too! And Happy Birthday to all the other October 12ers out there–you’re special people since you partake in MY DAY!
Anyway, since I knew I was going to take some time off today, I decided belatedly to try to find out what was happening at #OccupyDC sometime BEFORE whatever it was they were going to do got done so I could actually get down there and do it with them. #OccupyDC is our local version of the #OccupyFillInTheBlank movement that is slowly gathering momentum throughout the country. The most well-known of these is, of course, #OccupyWallStreet which was finally discovered by the mainstream news the other week when some cop decided to randomly pepperspray some of the protestors on camera and then several days later when 700 people were induced to take paddywagon rides at the City’s expense. I have mentioned OWS a few times in here, but well, quite frankly I was kind of unaware of the DC branch until it had been in existence for a few weeks. This is what I get for getting so much of my news from the Huffington Post–there weren’t any Kardashians taking part in it so it never made the Front Page (THX Arianna for selling out to AOL).
Anyway, I made my way over to McPherson Square on Friday where the Washington Post had said a march to the IMF building was to start. There was a small crowd there, since, I was told, the MAIN group which was actually starting the demonstration was at “Liberty Plaza”, a place I had no idea existed, unless he meant Liberty Square in Manhattan. Which I later found out was actually “Freedom Plaza”, a place I had actually heard about in my 40-odd years in the DC area. We really need some originality in naming our landmarks and parks. What the heck, since it was starting down there, I had time to get new batteries for my camera and a chili dog–it’s my only weakness. Anyway, a few minutes after the introduction of food to my digestive system, the main group arrived and the forces swelled to about 300-400 people and off we went, alternately chanting “Occupy Wall Street, Occupy K Street,” and singing “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land.” It almost felt like the 70s–well, a hallucinogenically-deprived version thereof.
We had a big police escort–something like a dozen police cruisers and a few dozen officers on foot or bicycle. But it was not an NYPD situation–there was a respect between the protestors and the police. Partially because the group has not hit the size necessary for over-reacting and partially because, I suspect, many of the police unofficially sympathized with what the protest was about. Besides, most of the bigwigs at IMF had already absconded for the weekend, rather than face all those “people.”
Despite the snide remarks of some of the pundits and professional pooh-poohers, it is not unknown what the demands of the #Occupiers are. Pace President Obama, we are not frustrated with a system that doesn’t seem to work, we are DISGUSTED with one that only DOES work for the top 1%. We are disgusted that the banks which caused the economic mess the entire world is in because of their greed were deemed too important to allow them to bear the brunt of their sins. That they were bailed out to the tune of 3/4 of a trillion dollars while the victims of their greed were allowed to go bust and get thrown out of their homes. We are disgusted that we, the taxpayers, had to bear the brunt of this cost while the banksters themselves were not only not punished, but rewarded themselves with billions of dollars in “bonuses” and didn’t even get their taxes raised or even get regulations prohibiting their worst activities. We are disgusted with “corporate personhood” which has enshrined political dependency on corporate largess. We are disgusted that corporations are so much more important than people that so-called health care reform was formulated around the institutionalization of parasitical health insurance companies. We are disgusted that so much importance is laid on the deficit at a time when government spending is needed for the American people that important job supporting programs like rebuilding the infrastructure and education are being cut left and right to satisfy a small bunch of yahoos who want to “drown government in the bathtub.” And we are disgusted that so much of our resources are being wasted by wars that we seem to be fighting solely so that we “don’t lose.” And finally, but most of all, we are disgusted that no one is listening to us.
Anyway, here’s a few of the pictures I took while on the march. You can see the entire album at my Flickr pages. Have a great holiday and happy birthday to all my astrotwins out there!
However, this change is due to two events–the eminently nightly-news worthy march titles, “The Slut Walk”–ahhhh, nothing like sluts walking to titillate the cockles of the anchorperson’s heart–and the mass arrest of 700 protestors on the Brooklyn Bridge. Captain Jack McCarthy and Officer Joe Bolton were on hand to explain:
“It was for the kids you know. Them poor children shivering in the park with nary a TV camera on them, except for the iPads and cell phones they brought themselves. We thought a few days ago when we peppersprayed a few and arrested a few others for resisting arrest, the news would finally take notice, but we gave up when we’d arrested 80 and no throngs of reporters descended.”
“So we thought–what if we trick a few of them into stepping off the walkway into the road on the Brooklyn Bridge and arrested them for obstructing traffic? That might do the trick. So we had Officer Joe stand at the entrance of the Bridge with a sandwich board and light stick directing people who didn’t want to be arrested to stay on the walkway, and those who didn’t mind it to walk down the vehicular path to the paddywagons. And sure ’tis, we thought we have 400 of them, but by the time we got them all processed, 700 had been miraculously arrested. That got a little bit of front page–but we suspect nothing more will be noticed until there’s another slut walk.”
I’d like to thank the NYPD for their generosity and altruism in helping to obtain some media exposure. But it isn’t going to help. Last I heard, Wall Street officials were making plans for over-the-street walkways and heliports to ensure that the gods of finance never come in contact with the people who actually earn the money they manipulate. Except of course the help. As one broker explained, “Oh, dear, the noise … and the PEOPLE!”
This is Greg Uchrin for IRONY NEWS signing off for now.
This just in (well, I just noticed anyway) JPMorgan Chase recently donated an unprecedented $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation. The gift was the largest in the history of the foundation and will enable the New York City Police Department to strengthen security in the Big Apple. Quelle Surprise!