Salt and pepper
Salt 'n' Pepa
George W. Pepper
William Pepper Jr.
William F. Pepper
Sgt. Floyd Pepper
Sgt. Leann "Pepper" Anderson
A woman in California was shopping.
Shopping, as you might recall, is considered a patriotic activity.
In 2001, after a band of criminals perpetrated the most heinous violent crime ever committed against American citizens, the President told us we should stand-up to the criminals, show that we believe in our way of life, and we should go shopping.
So, shopping we went!
Americans shopped themselves silly from 2001 - 2008, and our President spent the same years bankrupting our treasury, and standing idly by as big business gutted our economy.
As a nation, however, we stood proud, knowing that our way of life is the best, and that no socialists or liberals or Muslims (or Jews, blacks, queers, or abortionists) were going to be allowed to interfere with the Constitutional freedom of corporations to profiteer at any cost.
Sadly, this hasn't worked out very well. The years 2008 - 2011 saw the American way of life disintegrate from the land of opportunity to the land of haves and have-nots.
I am lucky, I landed on the side of the haves (for the time being).
I know many people who weren't so lucky - through no fault of their own.
It seems to have just been dumb luck, not intelligence, work ethic, patriotism, or moral standing that has landed some on the side of the haves and some on the side of the have-nots. It just seems to have been dumb luck.
Many who have landed on the side of the have-nots are regular middle-class, college educated Americans who made foolish decisions like taking a student loan, and securing a mortgage on a home. They financed a car, maybe two. They started socking-away money for retirement and kids' college funds. They took an annual vacation. They coached their daughter's soccer team, and took their sons to karate. They went to church on Sunday. They maintained a manageable credit-card debt. They went to work everyday. They were living the American Dream.
By mid-2011, those who had landed on the side of the have-nots were at wits-end. Many had been out of work for two years, lost their retirement funds, homes and cars. Some of the things they've heard from their elected officials are: corporations are people too, the President is failing to create jobs, Congress is impeding the President's attempts to create jobs, government programs are socialism, big government (whatever that is) is bad, more government services need to be privatized, etc. Basically, more of the same we have been hearing for thirty years.
It has became clear that the only solution available in a nation where the economy is based on supply-side economic theory is more of the same. Mechanisms to check and balance our economy have been dismantled in the name of freedom, and we are now expected to just sit by and hope that the people at the top of the economic food chain will allow some of the profits generated by the American way of life to trickle-down. That those at the top will create jobs for the jobless and opportunities for the young, as we have always been promised will happen with supply-side economic policy.
Those who landed on the side of the have-nots decided to Occupy Wall Street to air their grievances. A nationwide, then global movement of the have-nots began to shine light on the dark underbelly of our civilization: the failure of re-engineering the domestic (and global) economy of the past three decades.
At first, the Occupy movement seemed to be successful. People were talking about some of the policy changes that have hurt America.
After a couple of weeks of these public demonstrations of personal failure, the haves had had enough.
In New York, the police were ordered to put an end to the public demonstrations and were left to use whatever devices they chose.
The police chose military tactics that we generally see during television broadcasts from second- and third-world nations.
People were beaten with batons (billyclubs as we used to call them) and attacked with military grade gasses.
The televising of these tactics succeeded emboldened the haves, and set the stage for a typical media ploy: get the haves to blame the have-nots.
Public opinion switched from a somewhat sympathetic view of destroyed American families to a series of expletives and degrading statements about those who dared to question the authority of a newly-exposed police state, and question the Constitutional freedom of corporations to generate any profits at any cost at anytime.
Images of helmeted and armored police beating and spraying citizens engaged in peaceful public protest have become commonplace, and the haves accept the media analysis that these protesters are dirty, bad criminals trying to destroy America.
The most disturbing images have been uniformed police spraying chemicals directly into the faces of American citizens. Images of gas canisters being lobbed into an unruly crowd are sort of commonplace during civilian protest; but this new imagery of individual policemen choosing to spray gas directly into the faces of individual citizens is a new image.
It's a frightening image.
The action is so personal that I find it disturbing; and it looks like the cops are enjoying the task.
Tear gas, or pepper-spray as it is now called, is a major part of the American dialog; and the images in the ether are both disturbing and humorous.
One upshot of all of this is a new set of guidelines that says: American citizens are not allowed to congregate in tents and sleeping bags to exercise their Constitutional rights.
The pepper-spray dialog is now so prevalent, that an incident that probably would not have made the local news last Thanksgiving is an international story: an American patriot shopping for a game console made in Asia injured 15 shoppers by attacking them with pepper-spray.
The woman was only trying to exercise her Constitutional right to shop, and others were in her way. She did what any reasonable American should do: go for the kill!
Next is a video report discussing patriotism (shopping).
Please note that people have congregated in tents and sleeping bags to exercise their Constitutional rights, but they are not being beaten or gassed:
Happy Thanksgiving. Can I get you a cup of tea?
Kyle G. Brixton
Kyle G. Brixton