Occupy It. Occupy Something.

2011 October 7

by Roy W. Bakos

The headline from the AP reads, “Feds to announce Calif. pot dispensary crackdown.”  We are spending Federal money and court time to escalate the failing war on drugs at a time when should be paying attention to everything else.  The Ken Burns documentary on PBS this week could not have come at a better time.

Billions of dollars stolen by the banks and the financial industry and we are worrying about closing down stores that sell pot to people in a State that allows this to happen?  Really?  Here is why I am so pissed about this right now and why you should be too.

A bailout that lent trillions at no or low interest to the largest banks in the world (yes, world…not just US banks but Deutschebank and others as well) while small businesspeople couldn’t get loans and regular folks were being foreclosed upon and thrown out of their homes.  Administration after Administration and Congress after Congress adopting policies that encourage companies to move overseas and abandon the American worker.  The same watchdogs presiding over an economy that has watched middle class wages and benefits decrease over the last 41 years while the income of the top 3% in this country has risen fivefold.  Continuous warfare in the Middle East that starts almost immediately after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union.  Where is my “peace dividend?”  It is in stacks of cash on pallets that went missing in Iraq and in billions of dollars in military spending for a plane that even the Pentagon does not want.

Richard Nixon.  You have failed.  Jimmy Carter.  You have failed.  Ronald Reagan.  You have failed.  George Bush I.  You have failed.  William Jefferson Clinton.  You have failed.  George Bush II.  You have failed.  Barak Obama.  You have failed.  Democrats.  You have failed.  Republicans.  You have failed.  All of our political leaders over the last 41 years have failed to secure a sound economy for the working class people of the United States.  During this same time they have succeeded in presiding over of the greatest redistribution of wealth in the history of the world.  Unfortunately for us, that redistribution came from the hands of the many and went into the pockets of a very, very, very, very few.  To paraphrase Warren Buffet, one of the top five richest guys in the world, “over the last four decades there has been class warfare going on in this country and my class won.”

At least if I were stoned right now it wouldn’t seem as bad.  Wait, I am stoned right now.  Stoned on football and prozac and the Michael Jackson Doctor trial and Casey Anthony and baseball and shopping and beer and low interest rates on a second vehicle and Immigrants and Gay Marriage and Bieber and Fox and MSNBC and CNN and Prime Time and 150 channels in HD and netflix and iStuff and and internet porn.

Look around.  Open your eyes.  Occupy some space in your city.  Occupy someone’s brain with discourse and conversation.  Start a dialog and come up with some ideas to fix things.  Stop waiting for our leaders to do something and demand that they do something or kick them out of office.  Locally.  Statewide.  Nationally.  If a bank charges unfair fees pull out of that bank.  Join Credit Unions or find local banks that offer better terms.  Demand justice.  Demand that those around you are aware.  Engage people in thoughts and discussion.  Don’t be afraid to talk and don’t be afraid to say no.  After all, ask Mr. Jefferson…Revolutions start with ideas and words.

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