Art And Response

FREE SPEECH *KINDA

February 29th, 2012

EVENT

House Passes Bill That Will Make Protesting Illegal at Secret Service Covered Events

The House of Representatives approved a bill on Monday that outlaws protests in instances where some government officials are nearby, whether or not you even know it.

The US House of Representatives voted 388-to-3 in favor of H.R. 347 late Monday, a bill which is being dubbed the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. Under the act, the government is given the power to bring charges against Americans engaged in political protest anywhere in the country where there is any person protected by the Secret Service.

VENT

The first amendment has been taking a beating in the last couple of years and sure isn’t what it used to be. In 2010, the Supreme Court extended it to corporations, giving their CEOs  free reign to spend unlimited amounts to fund campaigns, and effectively drown out the voice of their employees, who might not agree and can’t afford that kind of free speech

GRAND OLD PARTY taking a GRAND from average middle class families

December 22nd, 2011

EVENT

House GOP to reject stopgap payroll tax cut

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the Senate adjourned for the holidays, House Republicans are moving to shelve a bipartisan two-month extension of the Social Security payroll tax cut that cleared the Senate over the weekend and are demanding instead that their fellow lawmakers return to the Capitol for negotiations. (more…)

Now Newt … Really?

December 7th, 2011

EVENT
Gingrich Is Gaining Favor, New Poll Shows

DES MOINES — Newt Gingrich enters the final four weeks of campaigning before the Iowa caucuses with as the Republican frontrunner, beating Mitt Romney by a 15% margin, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.Gingrich is rated more favorably than any of the other six remaining candidates in the race among voters who say they are likely to attend the Republican caucuses in Iowa. He would be supported enthusiastically as his party’s presidential nominee by more voters than any of his rivals.

VENT

Searching for the Great White Hope to beat Obama in 2012, Republican voters have gone through a whole Disney-like list of cartoon characters. They went crazy for Sarah Palin (Hottie), Donald Trump (Trumpy), Michele Bachman (Crazy), Rick Perry (Dopey) and Herman Cain (Sexy). After suffering multiple disillusionments about those untested candidates, Republican voters who have been desperately looking for an alternative to Romney are now turning to someone who’s jaded past they are already familiar (and apparently comfortable) with. They are willing to overlook the fact that Newt is ethically challenged and suffers from acute hypocrisy.

My brother sent me this speech of Newt’s on YouTube, certain that after viewing it I would finally see the light and be converted to the wonderfulness that is Newt. I agree that Newt’s the smartest character running for the Republican nomination (which would hardly qualify him for Mensa.) He’s also the only one skilled enough to give Obama a challenging debate. I’ll even admit that Newt makes a good point about the wrongness of Fannie May and Freddie Mac. Unfortunately, he lacks credibility on the issue considering received $1.6 million from them.

It’s not the only time he’s been a wee bit hypocritical. Let’s not forget that he sanctimoniously led the charge of impeachment against Clinton for having sex with an intern, even though he himself was having an affair with a House of Representatives staffer. Not too surprising considering that he had previously had divorced his wife who was suffering from cancer for a chick he was fooling around with. So much for family values.

In the same speech he admonishes those who were against a cross being put up in the Mojave Desert for being fanatical fascists, meanwhile he was whole heartedly against a Mosque being built in Manhattan.

He’s a hell of a guy, that Newt, if you forget those little bouts of hypocrisy and the fact that before he retired from Congress in shame, he was charged with 84 ethics violations, including violating federal tax law and lying to the House Ethics Panel. After all he’s done, the man should be in the Big House, not the White House.

#Corpocracy #OWS #Newt

Rising above the spray

November 30th, 2011

EVENT
California Campus Police Pepper-Spray Students

The University of California at Davis has placed two police officers on administrative leave after video of them pepper-spraying non-violent protesters at point-blank range sparked outrage at school officials. Friday’s incident has led to calls for the resignation of UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, who announced the action in a written statement Sunday. Katehi said she shares the “outrage” of students and was “deeply saddened” by the use of the chemical irritant by campus police.

“I am deeply saddened that this happened on our campus, and as chancellor, I take full responsibility for the incident,” she said. “However, I pledge to take the actions needed to ensure that this does not happen again.”

VENT

Call me a bleeding heart liberal, but as far as I’m concerned, using pepper spray like weed killer on peaceful protesters should be considered use of excessive force. Officer John Pike, who can be seen on YouTube casually spraying the non-violent Davis students with vast amounts of pain inducing chemicals is not the only one who should be held accountable for his heinous actions. Considering that he and his fellow officers have been equipped with Kosco amounts of spray when the were sent implies that they were probably given permission to use it by their “superiors”. I heard a police spokeswoman saying that the protesters were sprayed for their own safety. As Sarah Palin says, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

While the horrifying video image of the cop spraying the Davis kids rivals the tape of the Rodney King beating or the protests of 1989 in Tiananmen Square, itis by no means the only example of police brutality against OWS protesters captured on film. Here are a just few more examples.

We are supposed to be the land of the free not, Communist China. I can understand authorities not wanting people camping out, using public parks as their rent free living space, but in this country we are supposed to have a right to assemble in peaceful protester without being tortured by the officers who are supposed to protect us. The authorities use all kinds of excuses to keep the protesters out of the parks like unsanitary conditions. Isn’t it nicer and more American to install a few porta-potties than beat the shit out of peaceful citizens? Oh, and next time, hold the pepper.

The Wild Wild Wisconson Governer

November 3rd, 2011

EVENT
18 Arrested in Wisconsin Assembly for Using Cameras; Guns Still Allowed

Eighteen people were arrested Tuesday for using cameras in the Wisconsin Assembly gallery. Concerned citizens had gone to the capitol to protest a series of arrests in recent weeks of individuals who carried signs or took photos or video in defiance of an Assembly ban. The event coincided with the implementation of Wisconsin’s new concealed carry law, which allows residents to carry a concealed firearm — including inside the Assembly gallery.

On the agenda in Tuesday’s session was a bill to institute the Castle Doctrine, a “shoot first, ask questions later” bill that gives a person immunity from civil and criminal liability if they shoot another in self defense in their home, work, or vehicle.

VENT

Ok, this one is so ridiculous, even Charlton Heston would have to think twice before defending it. You can shoot anyone in Wisconsin without consequence … just not with a camera. Texas move over, there’s a new kid in town taking over your title as the craziest frickin’ state in the nation. Why does Governor Walker think cameras are more dangerous than guns. Could it be because they can record what’s going on in the State Assembly? Which begs the question, ‘What’s going on in the State Assembly that’s more crazy than allowing people to kill each other?’

Maybe Governor Walker is just an old fashioned type of guy. He wants to return to simpler times. I thought Walker’s issuance of the union-busting law to strip state employees the right to collective bargaining was regressive. But now it’s the wild, wild west in Wisconsin. Which of course explains why there would be no cameras.

Now wait just a cotton pickin’ minute there Gov. If there’s not anything in the constitution given’ folks the right to bear cameras, you can be darn tootin’ it’s only because there weren’t invented yet when they done wrote it.

May the Force be with us

October 27th, 2011

EVENT

OAKLAND, Calif. — A clash between Oakland police and Occupy Wall Street protesters left an Iraq War veteran hospitalized Wednesday after a projectile struck him in a conflict that came as tensions grew over demonstration encampments across the San Francisco Bay Area.

Scott Olsen, 24, suffered a fractured skull Tuesday in a march with other protesters toward City Hall. The demonstrators had been making an attempt to re-establish a presence in the area of a disbanded protesters’ camp when they were met by officers in riot gear. Deeply disturbing video

VENT

The aforementioned event could be considered an accident, an isolated incident. Unfortunately, while it’s the most obviously egregious, it’s just part of a bigger pattern of the “authorities” doing everything in their power to stop peaceful citizens from protesting against corporate control of our government. Seems freedom of speech is only fine for some people like corporations. We the people are not being represented by the government and the “authorities” don’t want us to complain. Hence, we the people are also not being served nor protected by the police. It seems we need protection from them. A common chant I’ve heard from the protesters to the police was “Who are you protecting?” A good question indeed. Another chant was “Cops are  the 99%.” That may be true but they are the part of the 99% with the guns and they want to keep their jobs in this economy. That’s also true of of the politicians passing laws that help the 1% and rob the rest of us from a fair opportunity of achieving the American dream. Only we get to vote those politicians (and the mayors responsible for their police) into those jobs. All we have to do is threaten to kick the mayors out of office and their police forces will stop being so … forceful. The cops themselves aren’t such a bad lot. After all, when I participated in the OWS events in NY, I found the police officers to be reasonable and somewhat empathetic overall. They were just people following orders and doing their jobs. Of course the same could also be said of Nazi SS officers.