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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
Big Greed Beats On

Freedom Reoccupied

by MISSY BEATTIE

“Bankers – pillars of society who are going to hell if there is a God and He has been accurately quoted.”

~John Ralston Saul

First, I’d like to thank reader R who provided a Saul quote so relevant to our predicament that I searched for more and found the one above, so relevant to our predicament.

Allow me to speechify and address what I’ve just read on Occupy Wall Street’s website:

On April 4th, we will stand together to demand public transportation for the 99%. If our call is not answered and the necessary funds redirected, it will only add to the growing body of evidence that our government no longer represents us.

Here, on the sidelines, I’m bewildered.

Because, really, there is nothing to “add to the growing body of evidence that our government no longer represents us.”

Counting another outrage would be superfluous.  “Our leadership” ignores the housing crisis, economic inequality, unemployment, and opposition to maintaining military presence in Afghanistan.  We need no more evidence or exhibits to provide proof that this is not a government by the people, for the people.

If government acted on behalf of the majority, we would be witness to justice served.  Take notice, please, that “served” is past tense.

Nothing has changed.

Banks were bailed out (rewarded) for criminal behavior that resulted in economic chaos, and no one has been held accountable.  Glass-Steagall has not been reinstated.

BIG GREED beats on, accumulating wealth. BIG GREED beats down, crushing opportunity.

Now, I direct you to a blog by activist Kevin Zeese, one of the original organizers of Occupy Freedom Plaza and an organizer of the National Occupation of Washington, DC. Zeese nails some truths:  “The corporate media is anointing a false leader of the Occupy Movement in Van Jones of Rebuild the Dream.”

Also: “Democrats need to derail and co-opt the Occupy Movement because it calls attention to what’s really happening.”

And this:

The Occupy Movement is not part of either corporate-dominated party and Van Jones is not our leader. It is corporate rule we oppose. The Obama administration and the Democrats as well as the Republicans maintain the rule of Wall Street. Occupiers have organized an independent movement that challenges the rule of the 1% and their Republican and Democratic lackeys. …Obama and the Democrats are part of the problem, not the solution.

Think about it.  Each of us has a finite amount of time to make a difference for this planet. What we decide and undertake will affect the future of the world’s children.

I leave you, now, with the other John Ralston Saul quote (again, thanks, R), which I mentioned in my opening.

“Freedom – an occupied space which must be reoccupied every day.”

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore, Maryland.  Email:  missybeat@gmail.com