Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
A New York State of Mind: Armed Paramilitary Police Guard Penn Station - and Other Small Observations
|This is not America|
Today I sit with Dr. Dan Winchester at Starbucks. Dan and I have seen each other a few times over the past few weeks, but just today made proper introductions to each other. Dr. Dan is disabled with Cerebral Palsy and works from a wheel chair without his hands - just an iPad and a mouth held stylus. But still he writes a blog and has his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the Ferauf Graduate School of Psychology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. So Dr. Dan is no dummy - and he talks about how there are people in America who are trying to take away everything we have fought for - the freedoms, the liberties, the opportunities - the concept of America. He speaks in the context of how disabled people are marginalized in our society. But he speaks for us all - in this, today's New York state of mind. You don't see armed police in anything but third-world countries and even in them, not often. You certainly don't see them in Asia or Europe. Why here? This is not America, this police state. This is not proud, nor free nor us. This is just plain wrong.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
And the land of the free passes another day. Metro New York reports that not only was a man arrested for using a bullhorn, but gasoline for an electric generator was confiscated by police and cited as a 'fire hazard' - fuel that would be otherwise legal if used for a lawnmower, chainsaw or motorbike. Welcome to America, where freedom of speech is ok, so long as you don't use a bullhorn and petroleum products, the ones we wage wars over, are reserved for those who don't have a problem with the current economic situation. I have personally seen the protest and can tell you that activities are entirely peaceful, but it certainly seems as if the police are being brought in to disrupt things. And they are doing a fine American job of that. Luckily, attorney Samuel Cohen supports our right to free speech and is representing the protesters. "What these people are doing is the essence of the First Amendment. We want to make sure this is allowed to continue", he said. For video of police brutality against peaceful protesters, click here.
In other news, Mayor Bloomberg warns of "Panic in the streets if companies don't start hiring". Maybe finally, somebody in some position of power is getting it. Maybe.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
|Make Jobs Not War|
According to CBS News protesters have been occupying Wall Street and surrounding streets since Saturday in an effort to call attention to the real terrorists of the world financial crisis - the banks themselves.I and a friend walked down Sunday to lend support only to find the police had blocked off Wall Street itself and shuttled them into less obvious areas. We found a town hall meeting with protesters in a small park featuring a speaker with a bullhorn and a rather calm and reasoned discussion of the current financial mess. Whatever suspension of disbelief the participants might have originally brought to the subject of the financial crisis was firmly dissolved and replaced by indignant condemnation of the unhealthy bed partners of big bank business (read Goldman Sachs) and government. Geithner and Paulson as wolves guarding the hen house comes to mind.
|Make Jobs Not War|
According to CBS News protesters have been occupying Wall Street and surrounding streets since Saturday in an effort to call attention to the real terrorists of the world financial crisis - the banks themselves.I and a friend walked down Sunday to lend support only to find the police had blocked off Wall Street itself and shuttled them into less obvious areas. We found a torn hall meeting in a small park featuring a speaker with a bullhorn and a rather calm and reasoned discussion of the current financial mess. Whatever suspension of disbelief the participants might have originally brought to the financial crisis was firmly dissolved and replaced by indignant condemnation of the unhealthy bed partners of big bank business (read Goldman Sachs) and government. Geithner and Paulson as wolves guarding the hen house comes to mind.
"Protest organizers seek to persuade President Barack Obama to establish a commission that would end "the influence money has over representatives in Washington.'" Their website isoccupywallst.org.
"According to The New York Times, New York City Police confirmed that arrests were made under provisions which make it illegal for two or more individuals to wear masks. (You're shitting me right?) Another woman was arrested as she wrote on the sidewalk in chalk." (You're shitting me again right?)
If you haven't figured it out yet, since the Patriot Act, we are all living in a police state. Peacefully protest in whatever way you can, but protest for sure. I traveled to ground zero on Sunday with a Navy vet who served in Afghanistan and on the way he said to me, "Terrorists? Nah. I think we did all this ourselves to distract the people while Wall Street robbed all the money."
And the new Skidmore Owings and Merrill Freedom Tower? It's ugly and uninspiring, from a firm who specializes in precisely that kind of building. I also overheard a 9-11 tour guide telling a group of visitors that jet fuel burning and burning building contents brought the towers down - a fact that any first year structural engineering student knows is not true. Wake up America. Things are not exactly as you have been led to believe.
Friday, September 16, 2011
|Those little town blues|
Flying from Asia to New York is punctuated by an announcement on the PA from the pilot leaving Taiwan that says they are required by US law to tell passengers that they are not allowed to congregate in groups of more than two, anywhere on the aircraft during flight. It is only a small notion of the American paranoia to follow. You don't hear that going to China. On the flight from San Fran to NYC the first sign that America is in deep shit is that there is no free food on the flight as there had been from Saigon to Taipei and Taipei to San Francisco. Nope. You can buy a breakfast cookie for $3 on American Airlines or a limp shrink-wrapped croissant with ham and cheese for $6. It sucks. Welcome to the good ole US of A. Time to pay for everything - including the free-everywhere-else carts that you use to get your luggage out of the airport. In America, those cost $5. In Europe, Asia and Africa, all of which I visited in the past two years, they are free - and supported by advertising on said carts. "Sorry, we're fresh out of money in America because all the war and shit over the past 10 years", reads the idea and fresh out of things like 'freedom' and 'liberty' too according to the press I read.