The occupy movement is not just a passing fancy. People are pissed. When interviewed for the mainstream news they give relatively mild answers to why they are there. Out of the camera view, there is real anger toward the 1% that controls everything. George Carlin said it best when he proclaimed that “The country is run by one big club “And you ain’t in it!” he also told us “They own you. The corporations and the rich own this country and they don’t give a shit about you. They don’t care. They don’t give a shit about you!” and everyone laughed. Now they aren’t laughing anymore.
It just isn’t funny anymore. People are hurting. Yesterday I saw a young man with his wife and baby shopping at the local Bi-Lo here. They had a list and went down the list and put what was on the list in their cart. I thought to myself that the couple were good shoppers, buying only what they decided they needed before going shopping. When I went to check out the young couple was before my wife and I. I saw them separate items into two groups. The first small group of goods was then paid by food stamps. The second group of goods was paid with cash. It really bothered me. This was a young strapping man of about 19 with a young wife and a year old baby.
Apparently he wasn’t working, and if he was, his job wasn’t paying him as living wage because the qualified for food stamps. Believe me; I have nothing against people that use food stamps. This economic climate makes food stamps something indispensable for some people. A woman I knew most of my life confided in me when she came down to South Carolina from New York. She said “Timmy, I’m on food stamps. I’m so embarrassed to tell you this. I have to apply for HEAP too (Heating Energy Assistance Program). She is on Social Security and I know she worked all of her life as a practical nurse at a local hospital on Long Island. She has a small pension, but even after moving off Long Island to cheaper digs in the Upstate She still is at the poverty level.
I’m sure that anyone reading this can share stories worse than this. People in the U.S. are losing everything. We used to be the World’s top producer of steel. We don’t make it here anymore. We stopped producing many things in the United States. In fact we’ve shipped out just about every type of industry overseas except for Earth moving vehicles, automobiles (but they are outsourcing much of that too), and the Industrial Military Complex. We make weapons of mass destruction on a massive scale. We are the World’s largest arms merchant and our military budget is six times as large as our nearest competitor.
This list is based on the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Military Expenditure Database for 2010 (in constant 2009 US$). It also includes military expenditure data as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009.
The world's top 7 largest military budgets in 2010. Figures sourced from SIPRI
Military spending as percentage of GDP
Rank Country Military expenditure, 2010 % of GDP, 2009
1 United States 698,105,000,000 4.7%
2 China 114,000,000,000 2.2%
3 France 61,285,000,000 2.5%
4 United Kingdom 57,424,000,000 2.7%
5 Russia 52,586,000,000 4.3%
6 Japan 51,420,000,000 1.0%
7 Germany 46,848,000,000 1.4%
8 Saudi Arabia 39,200,000,000 11.2%
9 Italy 38,303,000,000 1.8%
10 India 36,030,000,000 1.8%
11 Brazil 27,120,000,000 1.6%
12 Australia 26,900,000,000 1.9%
13 South Korea 26,550,000,000 2.9%
14 Spain 25,507,470,000 1.1%
15 Canada 21,800,000,000 1.5%
16 Israel 16,000,000,000 6.3%
17 United Arab Emirates 15,749,000,000 7.3%
18 Turkey 15,634,000,000 2.7%
19 Netherlands 11,604,000,000 1.5%
20 Afghanistan 11,600,000,000j 1.8%
The fact is that the United States spends 42.8% of the entire Worlds military spending. Is that figure OK with any of you? Why do we have a military budget that is six times the amount of China’s? Why are we in wars all over the globe? Was Libya a threat to national security?
This government we have today is totally out of control. The President has had four people killed without any judicial presence. It was by executive order. This President has killed two American citizens in Yemen without any legal charges against them. If they had committed crimes that could be proved, they could have been tried in absentia and if convicted, could have gotten the death penalty. Instead, the President declares them a menace to the State and orders their execution. Is this the democracy our founding fathers envisioned? I think not.
The occupy movement in Oakland saw the police in riot gear shooting tear gas canisters, rubber bullets and concussion grenades at the protesters that were exercising their First Amendment rights. They hit a former Marine that had served two combat tours in the Middle East. His brain swelled and they put him in a medical coma. We can only hope that Scott Wilson will recover. This hasn’t stopped the occupy movement in Oakland; they are back larger than before. We should all salute them.
I have over 400 articles on Op-Ed. I’ve been trying to explain what’s happening to as many people as I possibly can. Now I feel a bit useless. So many people now know the truth about this country. The government is a sham. Congress and The President have been bought and paid for by Wall Street and the corporations. When the primaries went on in 2008 I warned everyone about Obama. I did a little research at OpenSecrets.org. I found out that Obama’s largest campaign contributor was Goldman Sachs. Now the cabinet and other parts of the Administration are filled with Goldman Sachs alumni. Is this ridiculous or what?
I don’t write much anymore. It’s because the majority of the people “Get it” and there is really not much more for me to say. Every time I think of an article that should be written, I see an article on the subject, and I have nothing else to add. It really makes me happy though. Everything I’ve written about is now being said and written about by others. By no means do I believe I started this, there were many others writing about the same things as me. Now we are so successful we are really unnecessary at this particular junction. Everyone is on the same sheet of paper.
This is why I hope that this movement succeeds. There is absolutely no chance of changing the status quo by electoral politics. The game is rigged and we can’t win. We need these war criminals and power brokers out of Washington. I believe that the people are speaking. This won’t go away. It will only get larger with each decision by the government to wage more wars and cut down our civil liberties. We don’t want to live under a fascist “security state”. We want to live in a free society where laws are passed for the peoples benefit and not just for the rich and powerful.
Tomorrow I’ll be at Occupy Greenville, yeah it’s here too. If you live around Greenville, SC, maybe you should come too. I’m making preparations to go to Wall Street in the next couple of weeks; maybe I’ll find something I will want to write about. Meanwhile, I hope you all will keep this movement going. It’s the only chance we have.
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|Allen L. Jasson|