The Republican Party continues its search for the dumbest candidate that isn’t Mitt Romney–who unfortunately seems to have demonstrated a few brains back when he was governor of Massachusetts, for which the Tea Party refuses to forgive him. Now, of course, the emphasis has shifted to how dumb the constituency is as we try to determine how many people actually believe Herman Cain. Herman, of course, wants everyone to believe that he never sexually harassed those three women–maybe four or five by next week. That’s not the stupid part–the stupid part is that he wants people to take his word for it. “Trust me,” he says. “Trust my wife–she was so upset about the allegations that she can’t come on the TV and tell you how upset she was about the allegations.”
I have no doubt that that’s good enough for some people. After all, lots of people thought that Hermie’s 9-9-9 plan made a lot of sense–especially those whose tax rates would have dropped. And most of them didn’t know who the president of U-beki-beki-beki-beki-(do I have the right number of beki’s?)-stan-stan is either. They also believed that the harassment allegations against Arnold Schwarzeneger were just a lot of hot air too. Cute kid your housekeeper has, Ahnold–kinda looks like you.
But the more important news is in banking. Seems Bank of America decided to relent on its avaricious move to charge a monthly fee for debit cards and the other megabanks are following suit. They and the media are surprised that Occupy Wall Street is still continuing–hey, wasn’t THAT what they wanted? On the other hand, Wells Fargo, candidate for the most evil bank in existence, has decided to open a NEW bank for the super-rich…something called Abbot Downing, named after the church official most likely to have his hand in the till: “The abbey keeps getting these donations and the monks can’t use it, so …” You can bet THEY’RE not getting 0.5% interest on their savings.
Police in various cities have started more repressive measures against the Occupy groups, bolstered by anonymous sources claiming that they are using and selling drugs, having illicit sex, holding cookouts and entertaining substantial rodent populations. In DC over the weekend, a guy in a Lexus struck several protesters whom he claimed had dived in front of his car, so the police let him go without a ticket. The police gave citations to the protesters who’d been taken to the hospital for injuries and then tried to explain the incident as “Drunk Diving.” Without having taken statements from the injured protesters. Obviously, the DC metros think they’re in Oakland. When asked if the motorist had the right to run into protesters, the police spokesman was ummm spokeless. He couldn’t say that guys in Lexuses have more credibility than the people they’d run over, now could he?
Thank God, the finish wasn’t damaged!
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 :It seems a corner has been turned in the 2 week old protest “Occupy Wall Street”–the media has actually discovered that it has been taking place. No, I take that back–the news media has been aware for some time–it’s just that they haven’t said anything about it. After all, it’s not like they were wearing tricorn hats to advertise an anachronistic mindset paid for by the Koch Brothers?
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!
Now, back to business. I thought I might do something about the incredibly tacky game show beauty pageant known as the second Republican Debate last week with Wolf Blitzer seemingly oblivious to his role as successor to Bert Parks (There they are–the next US Presidents!) Bob Barker or Monty Hall. Was that a debate? Then I thought, oooooooo the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, a much more IMPORTANT thing to celebrate. Darn, we finally will let patriotic Americans fight for their country without prying into their private lives! But then something that seemed to be slipping through the cracks came to my attention. SOMEONE FINALLY decided to protest against WALL STREET.
Due to getting ready for three conventions on three successive weekends, plus the disaster of the basement deluge (not to mention the death of my printer), the knowledge of the existence of OCCUPY WALL STREET seems to have slipped past me. As well as most of the mainstream news! As anyone with any common sense has realized, Wall Street went through a recovery after the banking bailout, but Main Street never did. That’s because Wall Street has usurped the reins of power in the United States and the common people no longer have a voice. President Obama promised to be a force for change, but his moneyed advisors led him by the nose to ignore the plight of the people. The Republican Party fights tooth and nail to protect each and every dollar of them, their true constituency, calling tax hikes on the luckiest of us “class warfare” when the REAL class warfare has been waged on the American middle-class since the days of plaster saint Ronald Reagan. The Democrats are little better, since our endless campaign season requires them to be funded by the money boys. Too long have the media paid attention to the faux populism of the Tea Party which is more intent on punishing their neighbors for a crust of bread than taking it from the bankers who have repossessed the bakery!
I am not anti-capitalist. Bankers and brokers–like the bacteria that live in the body and are necessary to digestion–they are a good thing when regulated. They provide the grease that the wheels of commerce need to turn. But when unregulated they turn into a cancer that sucks the life from the body, from the hearts and minds and hands of the American people. And that’s where we are today, and we’re dragging the rest of the world down with us. It’s about time to stop, to re-regulate commerce, to prosecute the miscreants for the crimes they have committed, to return power to the “little people” like you and me. Whether or not you agree with me, I urge you all to watch what is happening on the streets of New York.
But you might have to really look for it–it ain’t making front page. The money boys don’t want it there.