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Occupy Wall Street without being pepper sprayed

Occupy Wall Street without being pepper sprayed

Most of us have seen the infamous video of protestors being pepper sprayed at UC Davis without cause by officers on campus. Appalling. Maybe the officers love control and were on a power trip. Maybe they were instructed by their higher ups. Maybe, like most of us working, struggling Americans, they are sick of watching people ask for handouts and got fed up.

<Pause to let you curse at me>

I don’t condone the actions of those officers. What they did was wrong. In other recent and more local (to Utah) pepper spray incidents, I haven’t agreed with the police actions but also think people should evaluate the inappropriate conduct of those that were pepper sprayed that led to police pepper spraying them in the first place. However, in the college campus Occupier incident, it appeared to me, as I watched the video, that this pepper spray incident was completely unwarranted.

Here is where I, and many others are struggling: an unemployed, poor community does not help our society. An uneducated society affects us all. The family down the street who cannot feed their children is not only heartbreaking, but also hurts the community as a whole. (If I need to pull up some data to show you, I will. Or you can Google it.) We want a thriving a community that is healthy, employed and not starving. Not to mention that my heart and conscience cannot watch a child go hungry. However, as a single mother working two jobs (down from three), taking money from one to pay for another is also not right.

Those who are working to feed their families, paying their taxes and keeping their jobs are fed up feeling like 50 percent or more of their hard-earned income is going to undeclared wars, parents who spend money on alcohol or drugs instead of food for their kids and foreign aid to countries that hate us.

The majority of us are not the 1 percent, but we’re not the 99 percent either; though we might be soon as the middle class is fading away.

So I agree with you Occupiers on many things. Despite your lack of organization, your unclear demands (which makes you sound more like terrorists) and your frustrating protesting tactics that hurt the general population far more than it hurts the supposed 1 percent, I actually agree with some of your points.

The big banks, the corporations, the greedy bastards who took our taxpayer money and bailed out the failing corporations (that’s the politicians we elected if you were wondering) have me so angry that I want to occupy a Senator’s office – not a park or a bridge.

We have some decent politicians taking office trying to turn things around, and then they are blasted as “not electable” or “crazy.” But then we Americans complain about the injustice of how much money the corrupt ones take in fundraising efforts, we complain about their morals (how the heck is Newt Gingrinch doing so well in the polls?) and we complain about them taking our money to bail out corporations that should have failed. And then we re-elect them. (Again on Newt)

I’m fed up. I am. And here is what I’m going to do about it – I’m going to hit them where it hurts.

I’m going to live within my means.

I’m not going to use credit cards.

I’m not going to get a mortgage I cannot afford.

I’m not going to overdraft my bank and incur fees.

I’m going to use credit unions so that banks like Bank of America that charge enormous fees and kick hardworking people out of their homes will not collect more money.

I’m going to look into a community garden and make friends with my neighbors.

I’m going to go debt-free as soon as I possibly can so I don’t owe the government or their greedy corporate friends any money as they tack on more fees and higher interest rates.

I’m going to shop at businesses that donate to local programs, such as our local high school.

And while it may not solve the problem quickly, I’m hoping that the less money they take from us, they will slowly go out of business.

And then I’m going to keep on eye on my government just as they are keeping an eye on us. Did you know the Senate just passed a bill that allows them to detain American citizens indefinitely? Senator Mike Lee of Utah opposed it. But it still passed. Our government, the people we elected to do the right thing, is willing to label you a terrorist with no proof and hold you indefinitely without a trial. Sounds pretty unconstitutional to me. Why aren’t more citizens appalled over this? Why aren’t we calling out those who voted “yes” and doing everything in our power to remove them from office?

Stand on a bridge if you want to, occupy a park and use taxpayer-paid police resources (which you are pulling away from responding to real and dangerous crimes) if that’s what makes you feel better.

Or do something that counts.

I gave you a list of ideas, share some of yours.

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Posted by on December 4, 2011 in Politics

 

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War on Drugs: DEA focuses on the innocent

When we hear that the bad guys are selling drugs to our 11-year-old middle schoolers, we are grateful for the protection of the police department. When we hear that an innocent man was shot as a drug dealer fled police, we are grateful for the justice system that locks up the drug dealer. When a 28-year-old mother is killed in Philly after being the innocent victim in a shootout intended for someone else, we mourn and ask what more can be done. When Mexican Drug Cartel come to our unsuspecting, quiet towns in Utah and put citizens in danger by starting marijuana grows in the places we hunt and camp, we celebrate the local police and DEA who hunt them down. When the DEA seizes the property of a rancher who unknowingly rented a room at his hotel to a drug user, we … wait, what?

The War on Drugs is meant to fight the bad guys, isn’t it? Our taxpayer dollars are being used to hunt out the gang members who ruin the lives of children and illegally cross into our country to sell drugs to those who should be in treatment, right? It’s not possible that the DEA and our own Attorney General Eric Holder would do something out of these guidelines, is it?

Sadly, it seems so.

While 51% of Americans are paying for 49% of Americans (does not include non citizens) to be on welfare programs, while protestors are storming the streets and bridges of the cities around the country begging the government to intervene in unfair corporate practices (even though it’s the government’s fault), while Eric Holder continues to deny his involvement in Fast and Furious, a retiring couple who was trying to live the American Dream is having their land unfairly taken from them by the very organization that is supposed to protect them: the DEA.

Sound disturbing? Read the story.

http://bostonherald.com/news/opinion/op_ed/view.bg?articleid=1372187

Russell and Patricia Coswell are hard-working Americans now victim of civil forfeiture laws, which say that because some of the people who rented rooms at the Motel Coswell were drug users and arrested for drug practices, the DEA can now seize the property estimated to be worth over $1 million – even though the DEA admits the Coswell’s have done nothing wrong.

The Coswells themselves have tried to keep drugs off their property, installing cameras and calling police to report suspicious activity.  And now the federal government has filed papers in court to seize the property.

“But civil forfeiture laws treat property owners worse than criminals. Criminals must be proven guilty before their property is taken. Once the government targets a property for civil forfeiture, however, the property owner must prove his innocence. For the Caswells, that means squaring off against the U.S. attorney’s office in federal court to make the difficult if not impossible case that they did not know that guests brought drugs into their rented rooms.

Even more shocking, local police and the federal government have a direct financial stake in the forfeiture. Through so-called ‘equitable sharing,’ Washington pays local police departments 80 percent of what they seize and keeps the rest.”

I’m wondering why they don’t come for our local Motel 6. Guess there isn’t as much profit in it.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 13, 2011 in In Jen's Opinion

 

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