The New Edge of Cedar Mesa

Donegal Descendant

Donegal Descendant
December 04
As of December 1, 2012 I will also be posting on Our Salon. Note that I am unable to open any pm's I receive due to software dysfunction here.


Donegal Descendant's Links

No links in this category.
OCTOBER 6, 2011 12:37AM

New Light Shining on Wall Street

Rate: 4 Flag

What will it lead to? Will it last? Will this movement grow and evolve, spreading across the country? Where is it going? Where will it end?

I don’t know. As I once wrote in a professional court report to a judge, my crystal ball doesn’t work any better than anyone else’s. I hope this popular uprising grows, evolves, develops and never ends.  It is the latest American manifestation of  a grassroots struggle for freedom, a struggle  that never ends.

The news says the cops pepper-sprayed dozens of people indiscriminately, and arrested 20. A newsman on the scene says the number arrested was much larger.  The growing number of demonstrators can’t fit in  the park or on the streets anymore. Their numbers are overflowing their target area, their government-designated token “free speech area.”

What would happen if they took a leaf from the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and filled the jails? If 20,000 nonviolent demonstrators participated in a sit-in, risking or inviting mass arrests,  a nonviolent act of civil disobedience that overwhelmed the jail capacity and the police capacity of New York City–and made headlines worldwide?

I do know that if this movement grows it will be denounced by its enemies as a nihilistic criminal gang  rather than a revolutionary movement, and as a conspiracy hatched by a foreign power hostile to the interests of the U.S.  You can count on those smears arising. They always do. “Divide and conquer” strategies will arise right and left.

I know that if this movement is crushed by police and military forces of repression it will be worse for everyone in the long run. If people’s frustrations and righteous anger cannot be productively channeled into coherent protests and movements for positive change, that volcanic frustration, surging energy, increasing desperation and despair  will inevitably resurface as riots and criminal violence. The social fabric is seriously fraying. It’s coming apart.  People are rapidly losing faith in playing by the rules, in honest labor, and self-discipline when they see it leads to nothing but further intensified oppression and humiliation.  In short, if this mounting desperation and anger is  suppressed, is not able to express itself constructively, it will inevitably come out in destructive and self-destructive ways.  That is one more reason for hoping for a sustained coherent movement for major reform: the alternative is increased despair, drug abuse, suicide,  crime, and mindless violence. It has gone too far to simply subside and evaporate. It’s too late for that. It is, as Martin Luther King said in the title of his last book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?  Those are the only two alternatives I see.

But what do I know?

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
"The social fabric is seriously fraying. It’s coming apart. People are rapidly losing faith in playing by the rules, in honest labor, and self-discipline when they see it leads to nothing but further intensified oppression and humiliation."

I think that says it all, no? It's hard to "play by the rules" when you've no job from which to play.

Still, if nothing else this uprising--and that's what it is--accomplishes 2 goals: (1) American citizens are just beginning to open their eyes, and they can no longer un-see what's happening to them.

And (2) if that doesn't scare the shit outta Wall Street and the criminal corporatacracy, nothng will--and I'm willing to bet that they are, and probably don't have enough shorts to change into.

Too many people are hungry, and when you've got nothing to lose anymore then all bets are off. Maybe this is what it took, though, to wake up America...
elsmao3, I agree this uprising is long overdue and welcome. No doubt there will be difficulties, setbacks, and defeats along the way. There always are. And protesters are facing much more militarized police forces now than in the 1960s. The complaint that protesters don't have enough concrete demands echoes the AP story published in February 1965 entitled "Negroes Don't Know What They Want." This was wo months before the Selma March. (I happened across a reference to that on page 587 of Taylor Branch's book "Pillar of Fire"). The more things change....
Cantor has already made his divide and conquer tactics clear, with a somewhat common twist; he has indicated that his opponents are trying to create divisions. this is not uncommon; they often figure out what their strategy is going to be then since it doesn't sound good if they attribute it to themselves they often attribute it to their opponents. However in many cases in the past they have done this in a more subtle way; his attempt to deceive is so bad it is embarrassing. It will still fool some people that are inclined to believe anything the appropriate leaders tell them but it won't fool as many people as if they actually did a better job spinning it.
I don't usually follow political posts, but what I've read here makes much sense to me. Your perceptions are quite reflective of what seems to be happening.
I think you know a lot and I agree with the argument you make here.
When there is more despair than joy in a society it must protest.
rated with love
Sorry this is so long, Donegal, but the following quote speaks to your questions so well. By Wendy McElroy in 2005. Very relevant to now, I'd say, and to your important question. I have been around anti-war protesters willing to be jailed for principle and there is a glow and nobility and strength about them that is magnetic. They are the free-est people I have ever been around. I am not there yet but they role model an important transcendence for sure.

"“Civil Disobedience” was Thoreau’s response to his 1846 imprisonment for refusing to pay a poll tax that violated his conscience. He exclaimed in “Civil Disobedience,”

"'Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.'

"Imprisonment was Thoreau’s first direct experience with state power and, in typical fashion, he analyzed it:

"'The State never intentionally confronts a man’s sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength. I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest.'

"Prior to his arrest, Thoreau had lived a quiet, solitary life at Walden, an isolated pond in the woods about a mile and a half from Concord. He now returned to Walden to mull over two questions: (1) Why do some men obey laws without asking if the laws are just or unjust; and, (2) why do others obey laws they think are wrong?

"In attempting to answer these questions, Thoreau’s view of the state did not alter. It was that view, after all, which led him to prison in the first place. Judging by the rather dry, journalistic account of being in jail, his emotional reaction did not seem to alter significantly; he was not embittered by the experience. The main criticism he expressed was aimed at those who presumed to pay his fine, an act that the jailer said “made him mad as the devil.”

"Toward the men who were his jailers, Thoreau seems to have felt more disdain than anger, stating,

"They plainly did not know how to treat me, but behaved like persons who are under-bred. In every threat and in every compliment there was a blunder; for they thought that my chief desire was to stand the other side of that stone wall.... I saw that the State was half-witted, that it was timid as a lone woman with her silver spoons, and that it did not know its friends from its foes, and I lost all my remaining respect for it, and pitied it.

"It was the reaction of the townspeople of Concord, his neighbors, that distressed Thoreau and made him dissect the experience so as to understand their behavior. He ended his short, matter-of-fact account of his night in prison with a commentary on the townsfolk, which expressed how his eyes had been opened:

"'I saw to what extent the people among whom I lived could be trusted as good neighbors and friends; that their friendship was for summer weather only; that they did not greatly propose to do right; that they were a distinct race from me by their prejudices and superstitions.'

"There is no cynicism in Thoreau’s description of his neighbors, whom he admits he may be judging “harshly,” since “many of them are not aware that they have such an institution as the jail in their village.” Instead he was unsettled by the realization that there was a wall between him and the townsfolk, a wall to which Gandhi referred in an account of his second imprisonment in South Africa. Gandhi wrote,

"'Placed in a similar position for refusing his poll tax, the American citizen Thoreau expressed similar thought in 1849. Seeing the wall of the cell in which he was confined, made of solid stone 2 or 3 feet thick, and the door of wood and iron a foot thick, he said to himself, “If there were a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was still a more difficult one to climb or break through before they could get to be as free as I was.”

"Thoreau may have also brooded over the reaction of Emerson, who criticized the imprisonment as pointless. According to some accounts, Emerson visited Thoreau in jail and asked, “Henry, what are you doing in there?” Thoreau replied, “Waldo, the question is what are you doing out there?” Emerson was “out there” because he believed it was shortsighted to protest an isolated evil; society required an entire rebirth of spirituality.

"Emerson missed the point of Thoreau’s protest, which was not intended to reform society but was simply an act of conscience. If we do not distinguish right from wrong, Thoreau argued that we will eventually lose the capacity to make the distinction and become, instead, morally numb."
[r] Donegal. I appreciate your sensibility on this and your concern that "divide and conquer" will once again be evoked by the bastards of the universe and their henchpeople in the media and government. DFH-labelling and also using high profile punishment on moral leaders, as they have and are doing with brave whistleblowers, inflicting Orwellian punishments on them as the perpetrators cake walk along continuing to perpetrate. MLK when he expanded his civil disobedience to include US military violence abroad made many of his followers take a giant step away from him for that decision and application of his conscience and principle. Yes, post assassination he was celebrated as heroic, but what a tough sell, to those without a strong conscience or those with conscience but FEAR of the power of institutionalized evil used by those in power to punish those who are righteous and moral.

Tonight my sister-in-law's sister in her late forties lies in a hospital between life and death, because she had no money for insurance and could not take care of her struggling heart. The family hovers around her praying desperately, she will be comatose for several days at least post a very serious operation. If she survives the emergency operation, can she survive insuranceless thereafter? She had been looking physically haggard for some time, but was a long-suffering, pragmatic and devoted mother who again was and is NOT INSURED. The death panels have turned out to be Congress and the Executive branch. More and more people will be discovering that.

We fight theoretically in cyberland but more and more what the conscienceless leadership has wrought will touch our lives more and more violently and mercilessly and tragically more close up and personal.

I think of the Sons and Daughters of Liberty back in Revolutionary Times and what they must have been able to sacrifice and what courage to rally to fight for justice and freedom. Their lives, their freedom, their comfortable futures to help others after them to achieve and a just and more empathetic society. We need our own serious crew of the Sons and Daughters of Liberty (unless the Tea Party has a lock on that label as well!) best, libby
Libby, you raise so many issues that I don't know where to begin. I myself was deeply influenced in my college days (I'm thinking 1964-66 especially) by Bob Moses and John Lewis, both of whom I met and heard speak to small groups of Friends of SNCC activists that included myself. They too believed, like Thoreau, that taking the moral stand was more important than political calculations about the probable impact on the mass media.They did what they believed was right rather than what was politically expedient.