Freedom of assembly

While Fox News promotes the belief that some cities have treated the Occupy Wall Street activists better than they treated their Tea Party protesters, we have had numerous incidents like this (h/t Eclair) falsify such propaganda:

Teach your children well….

A Brad DeLong tweet points to this outrage:

The Playmobil Security Check Point

Ahhhhh, Andrew Ross Sorkin

I found it noteworthy that Mr. Sorkin, currently a New York Times financial ‘journalist,’ quickly responded to a lament made by a member of his key audience (h/t to Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism):

“I think a good deal of the bankers should be in jail.”

That is what Andrew Cole, an unemployed 24-year-old graduate of Bucknell University, told me Monday morning in Zuccotti Park, the epicenter of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Mr. Cole, an articulate young man dressed in jeans, a sweatshirt and with a blue wool beanie on his head, had just arrived by bus from Madison, Wis., where he recently lost his job.

There was nothing particularly menacing or dangerous about Mr. Cole. He said he had come to participate in Occupy Wall Street because he believed in its “anticapitalist” message. “I see Wall Street as responsible for the mess we’re in.”

I had gone down to Zuccotti Park to see the activist movement firsthand after getting a call from the chief executive of a major bank last week, before nearly 700 people were arrested over the weekend during a demonstration on the Brooklyn Bridge.

“Is this Occupy Wall Street thing a big deal?” the C.E.O. asked me. I didn’t have an answer. “We’re trying to figure out how much we should be worried about all of this,” he continued, clearly concerned. “Is this going to turn into a personal safety problem?”

As I wandered around the park, it was clear to me that most bankers probably don’t have to worry about being in imminent personal danger. This didn’t seem like a brutal group — at least not yet.

Well, I do wish the protest will not turn into a personal safety problem for this Bankster or for any other Bankster. After all, illegal killing is wrong when a mob commits the act or when a President authorizes the act.

That said, my strongest wish has the #OccupyWallStreet protest creating the conditions under which the Banksters will eventually confront a serious legal-political problem, one specific to their situation. This problem would include prison-time for those Banksters found guilty of crimes by legally rational courts. Although it should not need to be said but I shall say it anyway that wanting jail time for those Banksters guilty of crimes is a much different wish than wanting them guillotined or sent to reeducation camps, as suggested by Roseanne Barr, a celebrity given to hyperbole whom Sorkin quoted in order to focus attention on and thus to enhance the physically menacing features present in any protest movement seeking justice for institutional crimes. Thus does a ‘responsible journalist’ (“lapdog to bankers,” Yves Smith) recklessly impute criminal motives and a capacity for violence to a protest action that has been peaceful till now and remains committed to seeing justice done. Sorkin furtively sought to achieve this transformation by a sleight-of-hand trick: It’s the uppity unemployed, not the Banksters, who are dangerous. Well…. No!

“Lapdog to bankers” — it’s good work if you can get it.

Cross posted to Fire Dog Lake

Quote of the day

From Paul Krugman‘s latest:

You can’t make any sense of American political discourse if you give everyone credit for really wanting what they claim to want. My sense is that there are very few true deficit hawks; the vast majority of those who claim that title are really just using the deficit to pursue the goal of a more unequal society.

George Carlin — They’re coming for Social Security (NSFW)

Let us thank Glenn Greenwald for bringing this gem to the attention of his readers.

An ironic consequence produced by the bin Laden assassination

(Some) Americans have danced in the streets in celebration of a political murder. Bin Laden is dead, the Boogeyman is dead, and Uncle Sam killed him. Once more America is whole…vital…effective…. The blood of “the other” has unburdened Uncle Sam of his many failures. From blood comes purity, perfection, unity.

And yet, David Swanson offers this caveat:

Imagine the propaganda that the U.S. media could make of video footage of a foreign country where the primitive brutes are dancing in the streets to celebrate the murder of a tribal enemy. That is the propaganda we’ve just handed those who will view bin Laden as a martyr. When their revenge comes, we will know exactly what we are supposed to do: exact more revenge in turn to keep the cycle going.

We need not use our imaginations for this. We only need to do an internet search where we will find this footage:

It seems America and Americans are not at all exceptional. We are like “the other” we despise. Blowback awaits Uncle Sam. By now he has to expect consider blowback normal. Surely he does not expect to win this endless, expensive and repulsive war?