Posts Tagged ‘Police’

USA As A Police State

August 10, 2016

Many rage against Donald Trump, while singing the praises of Obama. They overlook that the Donald duck is what the Obama cat dragged home. How? Those who like false explanations call Trump supporters racist. However, Obama is personally popular, with a favorability rating of more than 50%, something rare for a president finishing his mandate. Meanwhile their anti-establishment rhetoric is strong (they detest Hillary Clinton, a blonde). So what irks Trump supporters is not so much the color of one skin, but the fact they have little skin in the game. For seven years, I wrote that the Obama’s administration, plus the Federal Reserve, deliberately favored the richest and especially the financial sector (say through Quantitative Easing, which directed money to the biggest banks).

Now the poorest are enraged. And the (plutocratically owned) media tell us that this “populism” is a dangerous form of racism. You want to see racism? Here it is:

Living While Black Is A Dangerous Condition. Obama Has Nothing To Do With It.

Living While Black Is A Dangerous Condition. Obama Has Nothing To Do With It.

Whereas, the obvious explanation is that average people are suffering as they see their median income, the median social fabric, their median everything go down, except for Obamacare copays, and for huge inflation striking not just healthcare, but education, and lack of upwards mobility. 

My friend John Michael Gartland told me that: “The American middle class pays 20%+ more every year in medical insurance payments and gets 40%+ less benefits. The political elite has no idea what regular people pay for anything. President Obama says fanciful things with sincere oratory but very little of it is true. At best, it is good intentions not backed up by reality.”

Another class of low lives experience discontent: those who are directly under the brunt of the police state. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arY3gtdNhjY

More and more videos are showing how ugly the system is.

Suppose the following. You are stuck somewhere, you don’t have the means to move. Somebody in the neighborhood comes to you and accuses you to have shot at them years ago, and you missed. Suppose also that you have never touched a gun in your life. You are accused of a complete lie. What to do? Apologize? But an apology would acknowledge that what did not happen, happened: it would make you an accomplice of your own victimization, and a culprit in two ways (of an act of violence that you did not commit against someone else, and of an act of violence you did commit against yourself).

So, what is the wisest course? Get a gun. It may seem counter-intuitive that arming oneself for ultimate violence is the wisest course. And for the individual, it is not, if the individual is willing to forgo all dignity. But, for a community, arming oneself is generally better than harming oneself.

There are two ways to abuse people: neglect them, or directly assault them. If one can get abused people to apologize, they will join in their own abuse, and take a beaten dog mentality. Making them even easier to abuse.

Another trick to rule is to divide by dividing patterns of abuse. The rage of more and more young African-Americans is a healthy reaction to a pattern of abuse meant to destroy self-worth. The abuse has increased with the repression. A Darwinian system has been set-up to subdue rebellious low lives.

Philando Castile was pulled over in July by a police officer in a car. It was at least his 46th traffic stop. Nearly all for minor traffic violations. It was his last.

After the stop — over a broken tail light — the police officer was told by Castille himself, that he, Castille carried, legally, a gun. Apparently scared that Castile could grab said gun, the officer shot and bled to death the 32-year-old. Castile’s girlfriend then live-streamed the dialogue she had with the officer on Facebook, sternly retelling the story of how a traffic stop for a low-level offense turned into a legal execution… while making sure of calling respectfully the assassin “Sir”.

Castile’s story has been the rule, for decades. Simply, good thinking people ignored it. Only now, thanks to modern technology, does the method become hard to deny. Eric Garner, Samuel DuBose, Sandra Bland — these are just a few of the victims of police and the criminal justice system over the past several years, but they all fall into the same basic framework: a routine stop or arrest for a low-level offense goes horribly wrong, leaving someone dead after they were accused of a misdemeanor or crime that doesn’t even involve any prison time.

Why? The police in the USA is trained to terrify the population into respectful subjugation (notice the analogy with Islam). That keeps said population focused on eating sugar (subsidized), corn syrup (subsidized), and watching sport on TV (subsidized) happening in the stadium (subsidized). Instead of having the population daydreaming about changing the system into a better place.

The criminal justice system in the US has become profit generating: there are private prisons, their companies are on Wall Street.

But local communities also share in the profits the abuse generates.

The law enforcement system make these encounters with the law happen frequently, and with increasing weight in a person’s life, once that person has been detected as a low life, and especially a low life who does not respect orders well.

It begins with one ticket or a traffic stop. But if someone can’t pay that fine, police will stop or arrest him or her again to get that someone to pay up. This leads to that someone getting fined again for not paying up already. And again. And again. One ticket brings a vicious cycle that can destroy a life.

With each of these encounters, someone’s record piles up — giving officers more reason, in the view they have been trained to have, to stop him or her, because they see the person’s record when running a license plate. Each time the arrests happen, the exasperation of the victim augments. At some point, they snap (we have videos testifying to victims saying they had enough, after being arrested dozens of times; they were then killed, one way, or another).

Neighborhoods with poor people of color are heavily policed, so miscreants are more likely to catch a cop’s eye if they run a stop sign, fail to signal on a turn, have a broken tail light, or sell untaxed cigarettes.

This isn’t just about a few police killings. It’s a criminal justice system that’s biased towards a Prussian like discipline for low lives. That’s even true with drugs: for an equal mass of the offending product, the sentences are ten times harsher on the sort of cocaine poor people use, than on the refined powder the rich use.

The USA is a multiracial society where low lives can keep on living, as long as they obey the system strictly. Otherwise the police’s ominous presence is there to remind them they can be shot. Appearances of fairness abound. Obama was made president and a Nobel laureate, but then was told, as he knew he would be, to obey the system strictly. Being smart, and all that, it’s exactly what he did. That’s why Obama gave so much to the hyper wealthy, the same who now embrace Hillary Clinton. (To compensate for his loss of dignity, he is an expert at looking full of it.)

When lauding the US model, with its ultrapowerful financial pirates, its high inequality, its performance oriented work ethics (certainly the highest, by far, of the countries which view themselves as most decent), supporters forget to mention the police state aspect. Even more striking, they forget to mention that it was roughly multiplied by ten, after Bill Clinton passed severe laws which set a very stern ambiance… And nearly doubled the incacerated population. US_incarceration_timeline-clean.svg

(This is only the tip of the iceberg; total population under “judicial supervision” in the US, is now more than eight millions.)

This will not end well. But when will it end? The nasty plutocratic Roman system was the sorry predecessor of the present one. It ended as total degeneracy of everything. The alienation of Roman “populus” (people) from themselves lasted up to eight centuries (in the parts which were invaded by the Islamists, and the Oriental Part, Pars Orientalis). In the Occident, the system collapsed when the Franks and other Germans took control around 480 CE. In other words, the corruption of democracy into plutocracy can last extremely long before the plutocracy loses control: a generation of dummies brings up another generation of dummies, etc.

(Archeology has shown, that, at least in the east, and until the devastation of war set in, the Roman empire was very prosperous, economically speaking; what decayed was its intelligence, obviously from an excess of fascism and theocracy. That defect, in turn, brought the invasions. Something to meditate as hordes of Islamists try to enter Europe; at this point, in the last year, at least four millions, with three millions held up by the Ottoman sultan Erdogan, in a deal with the EU…)

Planetary devastation will probably precede plutocratic collapse. Because there is so much We The People has to understand, before attempting any revolution, and it is very far from evern knowing what all the dimensions of understanding are. The otherwise excellent article “The Tyranny Of A Traffic Stop” fails to understand the root of the big picture completely: the tyranny we have now, extending all the way down to traffic stops, is one of the means to impose a tyrannical ambiance. Such a satanic ambiance being the essence of plutocracy, when the law violates goodness, decency, and everything human, everyday, just because it can. One falls again in the dominion of that old instinct, perversity, for perversity’s sake.

Allright, this is how the West was conquered. However, the empire now extends from sea, to shining sea. It’s not the empire which has to be extended further, inasmuch as the planet, to be saved. Besides, one can hardly present the US as a model, when it is so much about terrorizing the innocent.

Patrice Ayme’

 

Great Cities A Must, So Tax Superrich Hard, Everywhere.

December 2, 2015

Shallowness of thinking is a sin. Many view it as a creature’s comfort., though (“Thus spoke the Tyranosopher”). OK, not a sin in the Bible (otherwise the Bible would have put itself out of business!). But it’s a dangerous consequence, and temptation from the Internet and “multitasking”. For shallow thinking one of my reference is Paul Krugman, the most respected “liberal” (USA) or “progressive” (anywhere else) in America and Europe.

Krugman wrote “Inequality and the City” an editorial, where he depicted the success of New York, and pointed, all too moderately, and somewhat disingenuously to its features. Here he goes, with a striking disinformation hook at the end:

“New York, New York, a helluva town. The rents are up, but the crime rate is down. The food is better than ever, and the cultural scene is vibrant. Truly, it’s a golden age for the town I recently moved to — if you can afford the housing. But more and more people can’t.

Rich Gets Into More Expensive Housing, Low Lives Sleep Outside

Rich Gets Into More Expensive Housing, Low Lives Sleep Outside

And it’s not just New York. The days when dystopian images of urban decline were pervasive in popular culture — remember the movie “Escape from New York”? — are long past. The story for many of our iconic cities is, instead, one of gentrification, a process that’s obvious to the naked eye, and increasingly visible in the data.

Specifically, urban America reached an inflection point around 15 years ago: after decades of decline, central cities began getting richer, more educated, and, yes, whiter. Today our urban cores are providing ever more amenities, but largely to a very affluent minority.

But why is this happening? And is there any way to spread the benefits of our urban renaissance more widely?

Let’s start by admitting that one important factor has surely been the dramatic decline in crime rates. For those of us who remember the 1970s, New York in 2015 is so safe it’s surreal. And the truth is that nobody really knows why that happened.”

Did he really say that? “Nobody really knows why” New York became safer? Really? Never heard of Mayor Giuliani? (Giuliani was several times presidential candidate.) He was tough on crime, strong on “profiling”.

The USA has the highest incarceration rate in the world (with the Seychelles islands). Eight million people are under justice supervision. Police brutality helped. This may be why nobody Politically Correct knows why New York is so much safer; nobody wants to know why. Hard thinking is always uncomfortable.

As soon as plenty of police brutality videos surfaced, and the police was reined in, crime rates exploded. That was in 2015. That is, a few months ago.

Paul Krugman does not want to praise the virtues of daily fascism as far as direct repression is concerned. Not PC. However, he dares to be a little bit, very delicately, NON PC:

“But there have been other drivers of the change: above all, the national-level surge in inequality.

It’s a familiar fact (even if the usual suspects still deny it) that the concentration of income in the hands of a small minority has soared over the past 35 years. This concentration is even higher in big metropolitan areas like New York, because those areas are both where high-skill, high-pay industries tend to locate, and where the very affluent often want to live. In general, this high-income elite gets what it wants, and what it has wanted, since 2000, has been to live near the center of big cities.”

I already mentioned this: the new young elite is less dumb and wasteful that the one which preceded it. Krugman, correctly playing psychologist:

“Still, why do high-income Americans now want to live in inner cities, as opposed to in sprawling suburban estates? Here we need to pay attention to the changing lives of the affluent — in particular, their work habits.

To get a sense of how it used to be, let me quote from a classic 1955 Fortune article titled “How Top Executives Live.” According to that article, the typical executive “gets up early — about 7 a.m.. — eats a large breakfast, and rushes to his office by train or auto. It is not unusual for him, after spending from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. in his office, to hurry home, eat dinner, and crawl into bed with a briefcase full of homework.” Well, by the standards of today’s business elite, that’s actually a very relaxed lifestyle.

And as several recent papers have argued, the modern high earner, with his or her long hours — and, more often than not, a working partner rather than a stay-at-home wife — is willing to pay a lot more than the executives of yore for a central location that cuts commuting time. Hence gentrification. And this is a process that feeds on itself: as more high earners move into urban centers, these centers begin offering amenities: — restaurants, shopping, entertainment — that make them even more attractive.”

Notice Krugman does not mention the Darkest Side: having the rich living only among the rich… Let alone correctly colored. I have observed this many times: entire neighborhoods, cities, islands, secluded enclaves of the 1%.

On this Krugman is a bit naive:

“We’re not just talking about the superrich here, or even the 1 percent. At a guess, we might be talking about the top 10 percent. And for these people, it’s a happy story. But what about all the people, surely a large majority, who are being priced out of America’s urban revival? Does it have to be that way?

The answer, surely, is no, at least not to the extent we’re seeing now. Rising demand for urban living by the elite could be met largely by increasing supply. There’s still room to build, even in New York, especially upward. Yet while there is something of a building boom in the city, it’s far smaller than the soaring prices warrant, mainly because land use restrictions are in the way.”

It is true that land use restrictions are a huge problem (in the San Francisco Bay Area, cities which want to build skyscrapers next to train stations, have been blocked… Mostly by the superrich, who do not want the poor, mediocre and thoroughly medium to rise up in the sky. The result has been the greatest gridlock in the USA).

Here is how Krugman concludes: “But will that understanding lead to any action? That’s a subject I’ll have to return to another day. For now, let’s just say that in this age of gentrification, housing policy has become much more important than most people realize.”

Trust Krugman to be as hard as a soft-boiled egg. Krugman, or why moderation is a sin. All what Krugman said was true, but it is “non-controversial“, namely everybody knew it already. Is that what the top thinking on the left can be? With moderates like that, who needs Republicans?

Something Krugman does not say:

NO HIGH TAXES ON SUPERRICH, NO GOOD CITIES:

Housing policy, thus the built-up of infrastructure, is crucial for the economy… and for comfort: infrastructure deteriorates, and has to be worked on continuously. Let alone modernized.

Private infrastructure in a city, depends upon PUBLIC infrastructure (water, electricity, basic transportation, basic police, justice, schools, government).. Thus, because of the necessary involvement of public infrastructure, PRIVATE infrastructure requires more PUBLIC spending.

Hence a thriving PRIVATE economy requires more PUBLIC economy, hence more taxes on the wealthy (Canada’s Trudeau, the new PM, advocates just this).

An example is schools: they can be made profitable, thus private, as long as they cater to the top 10% To cater to everybody, thus make a sustainable city, taxes will have to be augmented and redistributed to public schools. So sustainable cities will require a change in the philosophy of the socio-economy.

Ah, something else: taxes cannot just be restricted to the cities, as then the superrich will escape again. So they have to be national. And even international. And “Dark Pools”, “Shadow Banking”, Tax Havens, Delaware, have to disappear.

Building thriving cities is about not destroying the planet: cities are more efficient. Most of humanity lives now in cities, and the proportion will have to go up.

Don’t trust the superrich, don’t let them call themselves “philanthropists”, as if they could tax themselves. Latest clown here is the Facebook founder, who got free advertising everywhere, for his pledge to “give 99% of his fortune away“. Meanwhile he will keep on enjoying it, while claiming he does not, before he can convert it into tax-free vehicle, for himself, his wife, and child, Bill Gates’ style. It is rather sad to see so many applauding some clowns whom I do not find funny.

Politics is named after cities, so is civilization. Cities can, and will have, to save the biosphere, as they can be made more efficient, and smarter, than any alternative. And what is cities’ greatest historical enemy? Plutocracy.

One must crush infamy, and thus plutocracy, and it’s exactly why taxes were (mostly) invented.

Patrice Ayme’

Shoot Them All, God Will Recognize His Own

April 8, 2015

A (white) police officer shot in the back, eight times, a fleeing, somewhat corpulent middle age man, who was obviously not dangerous (he just had some child support payments due, on some of his 4 children).

The first shot was fired at least 5 meters away. After the victim is fatally shot, the officer screams hysterically at him: “Put your hands behind your back.” Three times. Then handcuff him. I saw the video several times. It gets more instructive, the more it is watched.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/09/us/video-of-fatal-shooting-of-walter-scott-reignites-debate-on-police-use-of-force.html?&target=comments&hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&modref=HPCommentsRefer&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news#commentsContainer

The obviously unarmed victim had served in the Coast Guard. The police officer then handcuffed the agonizing victim, and went back 50 fifty feet to plant fake evidence.

The (black) family of the victim offered with tremendous dignity that “not all policemen are bad…” Yes, but. But we are dealing with a system here. A system of institutionalized violence. Racism is just one aspect of it.

Disobey Police In The USA, Die!

Disobey Police In The USA, Die!

[Disobedient father of four Walter Scott shot like a rabbit. The police officer, in the window, up left was charged with murder. However, to parody a dim witted American philosopher’s pontification: is that Justice As Fairness? Namely the white, thus fair, officer, shots, thus administers justice?]

Police and judicial violence in the USA is pretty much in evidence, to whoever has looked at statistics, or lived in the USA. I have seen many times, in the USA, scenes that belonged straight out of a violent movie. Roughly anything, including several violent car chases with lots of sparks, collisions, etc. I have seen roughly anything, but for large explosions.

All right, with all the guns out there, the police can take no chances. All right, in that particular city, about half the population is “black”, and 80% of the police force is white (a de facto racial situation).

Yet, police brutality is not restricted to non-whites. It is a global attitude, although black tend to be more victimized. To change this global attitude is the fundamental problem.

John Michel from South Carolina replied that:

“No one wants to look at the fundamental problem. Go ahead, take a look at the foundation of modern-day human violence.”

My reply to John Mitchel:

Violence in general is one thing. However, the level of lethal and judicial violence in the USA is much higher than in any other developed nation.

What I am saying is that, although racism amplifies it, the problem is not just racial. It is about exploiting others, violently, and imposing the existing established order, violently.

And I am saying this has become a habit, and if one questions it, as I do, it has been suggested by lesser souls that I wanted to turn the USA into Libya, or Syria and Iraq, as if only violence, from police or justice, was the one and only way to hold the USA together.

I disagree.

I believe that Americans are smarter than lethally violent Islam Fundamentalists.

I also think it’s a world problem: all too many people in the USA, including among the so-called “leaders” perceive that only violence holds the country together.

In particular the violence on the rest of society which flows from very high income and wealth, and very low taxes experienced, by the .1%

That theory, usage and practice of force, is a satanic approach to society.

It is a model for, and an expectation about, the entire planet.

It is not a debate, a conversation. It is a will to extermination. Granted, the Will To Extermination is a core human characteristic. Granted, it makes the USA strong, pitiless, successful.

However, now the whole planet is watching. There is no more frontier to push. All this violence is the bad paradigm for conflict resolution. It is not just a question of justice, it is a question of prudence. Worldwide we have to teach subtlety and restraint, not madness, vengeance, and lethally efficient authority.

That’s dangerously obsolete (besides being the Islamists, and, or, Putin’s model).

Patrice Ayme’

Violent Politics, Violent Police

December 7, 2014

There were demonstrations in several cities in the USA, against police murders. Police induced deaths are a problem in the USA. Yet they are part of a system, which, by some measures, is the fiercest police state in the world. As the well-known Marxist newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, largest daily in the USA, revealed: Hundreds of Police Killings Are Uncounted in Federal Stats. FBI Data Differs from Local Counts on Justifiable Homicides.” The WSJ gives examples:

“WASHINGTON—When 24-year-old Albert Jermaine Payton wielded a knife in front of the police in this city’s southeast corner, officers opened fire and killed him. 

Yet according to national statistics intended to track police killings, Mr. Payton’s death in August 2012 never happened. It is one of hundreds of homicides by law-enforcement agencies between 2007 and 2012 that aren’t included in records kept by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A Wall Street Journal analysis of the latest data from 105 of the country’s largest police agencies found more than 550 police killings during those years were missing from the national tally or, in a few dozen cases, not attributed to the agency involved. The result: It is nearly impossible to determine how many people are killed by the police each year.

Public demands for transparency on such killings have increased since the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Mo.”

These are the first demonstrations since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 (which produced a large demonstration in San Francisco, with more than 4,000 arrests). Freeways even got momentarily occupied by demonstrators.

The protests are about the police killing people who should not have been killed: a 12 year old playing with a plastic gun here, a teenager there, a guy brandishing a pocket knife (the latest, today in the center of Hollywood, where so-called “stars” are supposed to parade during “Academy Awards”). Or then the police smothers a suspect to death, for the camera, in New York.

WSJ again: “Law-enforcement experts long have lamented the lack of information about killings by police. When cops are killed, there is a very careful account and there’s a national database,” said Jeffrey Fagan, a law professor at Columbia University. “Why not the other side of the ledger?”

Police violence is not directly about racism, it is worse. It is about the plutocratic order, where brute force is supposed to rule, rather than polished, policed, behavior.

Racism can be more easily remedied than a way of life. Or a way of fight.

How does the USA work? It’s a policed jungle. A jungle, with a police, a jungle adapted police. A jungle, with a justice, yielding the law, the law of the jungle.

One third of households in the USA are in possession of guns made to kill people. As the police are people too, this means that one third of potential arrests can result in a gunfight.

Thus American police views as prudent to shoot first and ask questions later. The police is also keen to arrest drivers for speeding (more than ten millions are arrested each year for speeding in California alone; quite a few of these arrests are bogus: I asked once an officer why he had stopped my friend, considering that other cars were driving at the same speed. He replied: ”Because there is only one of me.”

A speeding arrest can bring nearly a thousand dollars in the coffer of some jurisdictions (fines vary wildly, and are cashed, in part, locally). In any case, you are best advised to leave your hands on the wheel, fully visible, and dig in the glove compartment for your papers, only if asked to, by the always vigilant and trigger happy officer. Any other behavior is “extremely dangerous”, as a police officer explained to me.

Officers hold themselves in the dead angle, their hand on their gun. Just in case they have to engage in cautionary shooting.

Violent American police is the answer to violent American society. It’s a symbiosis.

So is American Justice.

Both police and justice are there to keep an aura of terror over all of society. And thus discipline. A Prussian discipline.

***

The Prussian Paradigm:

Now, all right, Prussia was violently, officially and legislatively racist against Jews, Poles and Slavs. It was part of its Satanic nature as a country a tenth the size of France, demographically, but with an army nearly as large, imbued by a tradition of mayhem.

The conquest of the Pagan natives of Prussia by the Teutonic Knights had been exemplary in its total ferocity on both sides; then the Knights themselves got annihilated by the combined Lithuanian and Polish nations… before rebounding as the Prussia of Frederik the Great, much admired by Hitler, but actually supported by Russia and Britain, and enormous ferocity.

In the end, Prussia defeated France, united all of Germany under its malevolent empire, before giving us the Kaiser, Hitler, and three wars with France, the last two of which it lost, leading to its eradication.

However, this Prussian show demonstrate that absurd, racist, unfair violence can work for generations, and build an empire.

A milder form of the Prussian “solution” was Great Britain itself: less racist, less ferocious, worked very well.

***

Why is Prussian discipline and exemplary punishment so important in the USA?

In first analysis, one can say that it is because people come from all over the world in the USA, forming a “nation of immigrants” to use the trite expression. To cement them together, discipline is needed. That and bondage of the mind through obsessive behavior pertaining to basketball, American football, baseball, charities, god, a reverence for paying for everything, and Thanksgiving.

In second analysis, though, Prussian discipline is also a paradigm for the reign of a force oriented society. Just as the power of police guns, the power of the powers that be, is unlimited: such is the mood imparted on the populace.

I am sympathetic to the cause of diminishing American violence, but asking the police to do it first, and believing that only the police needs fixing, is unrealistic.

Demonstrators know this, and protested “Justice” decisions, not just police action.

Advancing the cause of care, instead of the cause of profit, ought to have been the cause of the Obama presidency, but it did not happen.

***

Plutocracy Lite, Also Known As Congress:

Instead we got Obama-care, a parody. But also a paradigm for the hypocrisy of the ruling class, the CEO class, and professional politicians with business connected families and immense riches. The two most powerful politicians in California, under Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Diane Feinstein, are extremely rich.

Feinstein’s personal worth is 45 million dollars: not bad for somebody who only did politics all her life.

But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Her husband, Blum, has been doing a lot of business with the top plutocrats in China.

As Roll Call puts it:

“Feinstein’s a classic case of one of the biggest faults in the reporting requirements: assets in Blum’s name may be reported in a broad category of more than $1 million, so the calculated minimum net worth may be a significant understatement.

Blum’s assets include holdings in Current Media, the company headed by former Vice President Al Gore that was sold to Al Jazeera. He has significant holdings through Blum Capital Partners in an array of businesses, including the Carlton Hotel chain and OZ Fitness.”

We can safely say that the Feinstein couple made hundreds of millions from political trafficking.

Out of the ten richest members of the Congress of the USA, eight are “Democrats”. So much for the Republican Party being the party of money.

The tenth fortune in Congress, an ex-Microsoft executive, is personally worth AT LEAST 40 million dollars. Her husband oversees the federal government’s online health care enrollment website, healthcare.gov. In other words, Obamacare. Need I say more?

This whole American picture would be interpreted as corruption in most European countries (except for Byelorussia, and Putin’s kingdom). However, in the USA, this is not interpreted as corruption, but as legitimate business, so the Perceived Corruption Index of the USA is low.

Some young people are getting agitated, as they realize that they have been had. Paul Krugman can tell them ad nauseam, that the USA is doing better than the rest of the world, but people in the street guess that the GDP is going up, because of all the money going to the richest of the rich, has been increasing in leaps and bounds.

And simple young people are right to be angry: a few weeks after bogus elections, it’s clear nothing will change. Another long term “Democratic” Senator lost her seat today, confirming the Republican wave, the greatest in sixty-five years.

On the positive side, now Obama will be able to genuinely claim that he cannot do a thing because of the Republicans.

On the negative side, because the President selected by Wall Street (greatest source of financing of Obama in 2007-2008), did not deliver, the street may have to deliver itself through less conventional means: a demonstration in Berkeley saw violence by well-organized demonstrators, some of them hiding behind “planet of the apes” masks. Tear gas, rubber bullets were flying, stores got vandalized, demonstrators sat in front of my car, my five year old asked questions (A U turn resolved the situation).

Fixing a violent plutocracy has never been done without even greater violence, history shows (even the Athenian Republic was re-established after the intervention of a Spartan army, an enormously significant detail often overlooked by conventional historians).

Fortunately, the USA is not all the way there.

But, as the ballot box has failed to deliver change, just as the Federal Reserve had to use unusual means of rekindling economic activity (namely by giving trillions of dollars to the banks which had caused the 2008 crash), it is high time to engage in unusual means of re-establishing democracy. Meanwhile getting the old corrupt bosses out is not a bad way to start.

Overall, the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress which accompanied it, constituted a gigantic lie. And a lie to exert abuse and violence on We The People. So now push is turning to shove, and democracy is fighting back, so far timidly. Hope we can believe, at last?

Patrice Ayme’