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Rising above the spray

November 30th, 2011

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.”


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

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.


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


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


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.

From a Pig’s Eye (View)

October 18th, 2011

EVENT (according to Buck Sexton of The Blaze)

Zuccotti Park Occupiers marched to Washington Square around 2:00PM. It was a leftist protest version of a tailgate party, with all the various factions joining together before the big Times Square event. It felt like they were preparing for radicalism’s Super Bowl.

Socialists/Communists/Anarchist:The storm troopers of the Occupy movement, the statists and anti-statists have linked arm-in-arm (literally) to bring down the system as we know it. Whenever I talk to these guys, they are quick to rail against capitalism. More than any other group, they openly call for the collapse of the financial system, the end of America as we know it, and the implementation of a Marxist mobocracy.


I’ll admit that I’ve felt increasingly despondent and hopeless over the last several years as I realized that my children were going to be the first generation in my family that were going to have it tougher than the generation before it. And it was even more disheartening to know that it is all because of the unrelenting greed of the few, the powerful and the corrupt. Our country and economy have been gaining momentum in a downward spiral due to the mutation of our democracy into a corpocracy and there was nothing we could do about it … until now.

I was there at the big march from Zuccotti Park to Chase bank to Washington Square passing out free posters and taking pictures (as Wall Street Wally) with supporters of the movement. I was in the thick of it when we took Times Square. My recollections of the Oct 15th event are a little different than Bucky boy’s. By the end of the day my hoofs were killing me but I was in hog heaven because I felt like we, the people (sound familiar?) successfully spoke up for ourselves. The other 1% and those they pay to represent their interests (like Mr. Sexton) will try to discredit the OWS movement in an effort to keep the status quo. After Saturday, I’m feeling like they won’t be able to do it. Their propaganda media machines aren’t going to be loud enough to drown out the voice of the people, not 99% of us anyway. They can try to divide us with wedge issues and such, but we aren’t going to fall for their old tricks anymore. We’ve had a taste of victory on Saturday in the fight to get a fair and equal opportunity to earn a slice of the American pie and that’s only wet our appetite and made us more resolute. One recurring chant/invitation from the protesters to the crowds watching was “ Don’t watch us, join us.” I suggest you take us up on it, you’ll feel better doing something about it.

Life Imitating Art

October 11th, 2011


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sure knows how to make a press conference interesting. When formally announcing his endorsement of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential bid, Christie drew a long metaphor on the difference between Obama and Romney’s approach to the American dream — using pie.

“I know that Mitt Romney believes that the American pie can be grown bigger — that it can be an infinite size — because of the infinite nature of American ingenuity, and effort, and character.” he said. “That’s what this election is gonna be about.”


We’ve all heard about art imitating life but this is an uncanny case of life imitating art. A friend of mine sent me this article of Chris Christie (photo upper right) talking about American pie because he was familiar with my painting titled ‘American Pie’ (photo upper left). Even though the painting is particularly timely considering the current wave of “Occupation Wall Street” mania, it was indeed completed over a year ago. When the painting was conceived, neither I, nor most people had ever heard of Governor Christie, the man many desperate conservatives have since considered the great white (hope) of the GOP presidential primaries. I swear. I’ve got the copyright certificate to prove it.

Let’s for now try to ignore the obvious likeness between our reluctant non-presidential candidate and the protagonist of my painting and instead concentrate on the substance of Christie’s metaphor. By the look of him you would assume Christie would be an expert on pie and the ability to “grow to an infinite size”. The Governor said that he and his new best friend Mit believe the American way of life was built on entrepreneurship and allowing the unleashing American spirit and inventiveness. While that was greatly true once upon a time, somewhere along the way some of those entrepreneurs became so rich powerful that they stared buying the favors of politicians  who would then rig the system and literally rewrite the laws in their favor. This has taken the freedom to compete out of the free market and put the spirit of competition on a short leash. Companies are taken over by corporations who are taken over by larger conglomerates until they are too big to fail. That makes for no competition for them and no choices for consumers and employees). And the government lets it happen. I don’t know about you, but that lack of opportunity kinda hurts me right in my American spirit.

Christie also said that Obama wants to tell Americans who are not doing well that the pie is only so big and that if you want more you have to take it from others. Isn’t that what those with have been doing to those without since time began (or at least since Reagan). Like the old Ray Charles song “Them that’s got, shall get. Them that don’t shall lose.” There must be a finite amount of pie because the republicans want to cut Grandma’s medicare and social security so they can give tax breaks to their rich donors. In New York at the end of this year, they will be cutting jobs and services so they can give 5 billion dollars in tax breaks to billionaires. Isn’t that taking some pie from someone and giving it to someone else? Someone who has obviously had more than their fair share of pie? Yeah, I’m looking at you Governor Crisco.

Above The Law – Beneath Contempt.

July 2nd, 2011


June 29, 2011- Former Halliburton employee and gang rape victim, Jamie Leigh Jones is seeking justice for herself and all other women who have been raped and can’t sue due to binding mandatory clauses in their employment contracts while working overseas for government contractors. Jones is one of a group of women who claim they were harassed or assaulted while working for KBR and former parent company Halliburton in Iraq.


The more details you hear about this story the more enraged you get. It seems Ms. Jones was savagely gang raped by her co-workers who had no fear of facing legal consequences. Instead of compassion, her Halliburton/KBR employers imprisoned her in a container denying her access to the outside world. An Army doctor’s examination that verified that Jones was a victim of gang rape has mysteriously disappeared. It doesn’t matter much anyway since