July 18, 2012 : America 2012...No Threat is Too Small!

Video streaming by Ustream

Dateline : America 2012, where there's no limit on perceived threats. At what point do the cops cross the line between protecting the peace into suppressing the dissent upon which the country was founded?

A short list of the latest threats :



Grandmothers (especially ones who “knit”)

Bike Stands (especially those that repair neighbors' bikes for free)

Guitarists (who march = guitarmy)

the Homeless (restrictions on public “camping” hurt them more than anyone)


No doubt that occupiers have taunted cops in meaningless, unproductive face-offs. A small minority have “thrown things” and an even smaller number vandalized property. The police meanwhile have fired projectiles on citizens and US veterans. The human tendency to “push back” when you're being “pushed” is strong. But no one wins fighting city hall, not even the immortal Lizard King, who had his own prominent police run-ins (re-enacted here by actor Val Kilmer)

The Occupy beat down administered by LAPD, along with menacing photos of city police brandishing weapons and shields vs. their own citizens, continues to gain traction. Occupiers show no signs of letting the matter drop, as 17 core Occupy LA members voice complaints to Police Affairs about their ill treatment and request an investigation.

Upshot : LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck tells the police commission he'll submit a standard incident report within 60 days as per policy, and Commish Richard Drooyan says he will have the Inspector General review the report.

Occupy for its part wants the California's Attorney General involved. Stay tuned. Scpr.org

Cops say dissent is fine, so long as you don't break the law. However, when the law is interpreted and at times customized to specifically suppress dissent, does it lose legitimacy.

A key Occupy gripe : the law is essentially impotent in dealing with the complexities of financial misdeeds, since it doesn't understand what the nature of the crime is – and probably wasn't meant to. In some cases, the government itself may have tacitly approved the illicit conduct : So financial perps walk free, or settle, rewarded with fat salaries and a new gig. Rollingstone.com

Better to focus on the nickel and dime stuff : clearing the homeless - and the dangerous grannies - from the parks, and busting occupiers for civil disobedience and small civil infractions. Easier to arrest and process those than go after Lords Blankfein, Dimon, et al.

And yet, once they reach court, the cases are mostly dismissed since these actions de facto form the core of the rights and privileges granted by the United States' constitution.

As such, NYCLU has urged the city of New Paltz to drop charges against 4 members of Occupy New Paltz, saying their encampment represented an expression of free speech. The city says the campers/occupiers broke the law by not obtaining an outdoor permit. Ah, but to obtain the permit takes $1M in liability insurance and the group could not afford it. Recordonline.com

Tracy Turner comes to the Occupy discussion by way of botany. The writer is a 1977 Graduate of Tri-Cities Horticultural Trade School and a formerly licensed pesticide applicator who now works for what he calls “true sustainability, not astro-turf.”

Turner digs into the issues mentioned above, taking on specifically DHS which he views as an out of control organization staffed by conspiracy-minded technocrats (he puts it a little less politely) who'll stop at nothing to conduct surveillance on America citizens, citing his own personal experience.

The science background enables Turner to make the following analogy of contemporary surveillance methods : “picture the Hubbell telescope aimed at a crowd of occupiers” Opednews.com

What's up at Zuccotti Park these days? Not much, unless you count a security guard passing a mind-numbing shift playing solitaire as news. And hey, if it's a slow day, why not?

When the surveillance tables are turned (ever so slightly), the authorities are not so understanding. Picture the scene : a livestreamer passes a hot night on a bench near the edge of Zuccotti, chewing the fat with the area's denizens. They look bored and pass the time chatting about occupy (video, above). One of the men, lying on a bench, points out an older security guard playing solitaire. Suddenly, lights, camera, action! The roving Brookfield security team comes over and confronts the guy. A guard says he doesn't want to be video'd on a live stream and it's illegal. Is he right? Gothamist.com

Finally, Hollywood dramas, particularly those of the block buster variety, are meant to entertain, and usually weave “status quo” messages into their themes So far it sounds like titan Christopher Nolan's follow-up to the Dark Knight is no exception. Dark Night contained murky subject matter, pasting an ambiguous ending message of solidarity over content that suggested heightened security measures and brute force as necessary to combat pathological violence and terror.

It appears the latest installment of the series (and boy does Hollywood love a series!) removes the ambiguity entirely and comes down firmly in the camp of the 1 percent. Sure, it's all theater and spectacle. But what to make of this spectacle : A summer hit that will feature the 99% spending an significant portions of their stagnant incomes on the high-tech spectacle of a good guy billionaire smashing the anarchist masses who take on the New York Stock exchange. Guardian.uk

Absurd? Not in 2012 America...where no threat is too small!!

image :unionwebservices.com

Submitted by M-Bed for UWS Digital News

Updates for this space should be sent to UWS Press

Follow here