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SueInCa On October - 29 - 2011


Yes, that is what I said, Occupy is the finest form of patriotism for any citizen in this country. I know we all hear the chants from the right and the wealthy that these people don’t know what they want, that they don’t have that all important leader, that they need to find a job, that they are a lowlife collection of drug addicts, communists, and militant anarchists.

And because the right can never get it right, they are also socialists and want the rich to just give them their fair share.  I have read a lot on these people and never once saw any one of them asking the rich to give up their wealth to the 99%.  Well I say to them if patriotism is supporting your government’s policies without question, supporting all the wealth going to the top 1%, then we are on our way to a totalitarian state of government.  The Robber Barons have returned, if they were ever gone in the first place, and people are fed up.  And yes, you can be fed up and still a Patriot.

If we take our “Declaration of Independence” seriously, patriotism in a democratic society cannot possibly be unquestioning support of our government IF we take seriously the principles of democracy as set forth in that document.  In the Declaration of Independence there is a clear distinction between government and the people.

Governments are artificial creations, the people are not.  The Declaration also says the government is established by the people with the obligation to protect certain ends: the equal rights of all to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”.  When any government becomes destructive of  these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.  Surely if it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, it is also their right to question policies that they see as destructive of the ends for which government has been established.  In fact true patriotism lies in support of the values the country is supposed to cherish: equality, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and when our government compromises, undermines or attacks those values it is the government who is unpatriotic.

That characterization of governments expressed in the Declaration  as “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” has been understood by generations of social justice warriors.  Mark Twain understood the difference between Country and Government as he explained in the words of the main character in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court……

“You see my kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s country, not to its institutions or officeholders.  The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become raggged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease and death.  To be loyal to rags, to shout for rags, to worship rags-that is a loyalty of unreason, it is pure animal, it belongs to monarchy, was invented by monarchy, let monarchy keep it”.

That is what has happened to our government, to our institutions.  They have become worn out and ragged for the 99% and the “monarchy”, in our case the plutocracy, want to keep things just as they are, I mean aren’t they TBTF?  They will do anything to protect what is theirs, what they most fear taken away from them.  No one is asking for anything to be taken away from them, but yes we are asking them to pay their fair share.  We are asking them to stop shipping jobs overseas in order to obtain cheap labor.  We are asking them to worry more about human life than their bottom line.  We are asking them to honor life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to all citizens as guaranteed by our Declaration of Independence.

If they and the government cannot see their way to providing that for all citizens, then yes Patriotism will continue to flourish on the streets and in the cities of this country and Occupy will remain.

Written by SueInCa

I am a soon to be 59 Nana to Anthony who is 11. I live in Benicia CA with my husband and Shih Tsu. I worked in Banking and the Financial Industry for 24 years in Fraud, Risk Management, Account Management, Program Management, Project Management and Customer Service. I was a Fraud Investigator for Credit Card and Merchant Business and investigated internal fraud and responded to Bank robberies. I was also management in most of these positions. Now I am content to find a part time job where I am just a worker bee, no more corporate BS for this gal. I also make jewelry. I can spend hours in a bead shop just touching all the fine baubles. Only another beader would understand that one.

30 Responses so far.

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  1. Nirek says:

    I’m proud to be a 99%er .
    How about anyone else.

    • SallyT says:

      You bet. And, I will even be more proud if I reach the age of 99 and this country is back in shape because there had been 3+ decades of Dems in the White House and Congress.

  2. ADONAI says:

    Each of you, for himself, by himself and on his own responsibility, must speak. And it is a solemn and weighty responsibility, and not lightly to be flung aside at the bullying of pulpit, press, government, or the empty catch-phrases of politicians. Each must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, and which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide it against your convictions is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may. If you alone of all the nation shall decide one way, and that way be the right way according to your convictions of the right, you have done your duty by yourself and by your country--hold up your head! You have nothing to be ashamed of.

    ~Samuel Clemens

  3. jjgravitas says:

    We really are at a tipping point, aren’t we? We should be focusing an extremely bright light on those who argue against a.) new taxes on corporations and the wealthy and b.) corporations in this country whose jobs are not located in this country. An extremely bright light on the Republican party and on their “no new taxes not ever” pledge that they force all republican politicians to agree to. And while we’re at it, we should force -- yes I said force -- the Supreme Court to reverse their ruling that allowed for unlimited amounts of money to be donated to election campaigns because it is obvious which party that ruling was designed to be helpful for: the republican party aka the support-the-rich-at-all-costs party.

  4. bito says:

    Sue, not to be OT but perhaps as a tangent to your thoughtful post.
    I watched an historian on the “founding fathers” on C-Span and he touched on this issue. He said that the best of the framers were those that were the most and attempted to be, “disinterested” and that G. Washington was at the top of class.

    Yes, I went “huh?” and he went on to explain what it meant to them and how they often used that term in their writings.

    disinterested
    unbiased by personal interest or advantage; not influenced by selfish motives: a disinterested decision by the referee.

    Far from uninterested but disinterested was the highest form of patriotism to them. What is best for the country, society, not me my party or enhancing ones personal wealth.

    Is that what many politicians lack in these times? I think so.

    • SueInCa says:

      Bito
      I think so. They are elected to office based on the idea they will represent all the people in their district, state or country. By very definition of their party’s platform this is flawed from the get go. They are human and despite acting like they will be bi-partisan, their own party affiliation usually defeats that ideal.

    • Very interesting bito. A very good point to bring up. The GOPers are far from being “disinterested.” They are so blatantly selfish in their actions and statements. They favor the uber rich, because the uber rich keep them in office. They truly don’t care one bit, even for their own constituents if those constituents aren’t also in “The Big Club.”

  5. “You measure a democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.”
    Abbie Hoffman

    “Revolution is not something fixed in ideology, nor is it something fashioned to a particular decade. It is a perpetual process embedded in the human spirit.”
    Abbie Hoffman

    “Become an internationalist and learn to respect all life. Make war on machines. And in particular the sterile machines of corporate death and the robots that guard them.”
    Abbie Hoffman

    • SueInCa says:

      KT

      “If patriotism had been taught in the schools years ago the country would not be in the position it is to-day … I would teach patriotism in the schools and I would teach it this way: I would throw out the old maxim, “My Country, Right or Wrong,” etc., and instead I would say, “My country when she is right.”

      I would not take my patriotism from my neighbor or from Congress. I should teach the children in the schools that there are certain ideals, and one of them is that all men are created free and equal. Another that the proper government is that which exists by the consent of the governed … I would raise up a lot of patriots who would get into trouble…” -- Mark Twain, 1901.

      • Wise words indeed. I remember, in grade school we were required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, while holding one hand over our hearts. But that is about as far as it went concerning patriotism. We were like little machines who all had the same programming. No one dared to not participate in the Pledge. We were raised with the impression that questioning the government was unpatriotic and that there was no allegiance to the flag if one did oppose.
        I don’t know what goes on in grade schools today, but I doubt that much has changed. Do the kids still have to stand up and say the Pledge in grade school?

        • SueInCa says:

          KT
          I just asked my daughter and she says they stopped when she was a sophmore or junior in HS because of the words, one nation, under god, and that was back in 1989 or 1990

          • Thanks Sue. Well I certainly hope these kids are being taught that dissent is not always a bad thing. That this nation was born out of dissent.

            • SueInCa says:

              KT if the school did not teach my kids, they learned it at home. My daughter participated in a march as early as her senior year. The kids left school, marched down Alhambra ave to Main Street in solidarity with a teacher who had been let go for dubious reasons, so I taught my kids well.

        • SueInCa says:

          KT You know I do not know. I will ask my grandson although he goes to a private christian school so I am pretty sure they do.

  6. Kalima says:

    Sue, a very passionate and thoroughly honest post. This is how millions more Americans should be feeling right now, and if not, why not?

    If they are unable to march in the streets, then they should still voice their support, the silence of the elected Dems is deafening.

    • SueInCa says:

      Kalima
      Thanks. There has been some approval by certain Dems in congress, they have just not been real vocal. As with any politician you can be sure any of them(d&r) will use it in re-election if they can gain ground with it.

  7. Occupy Wall Street Protesters are American Patriots

    “It’s downright disgusting to listen to conservative and Republican lawmakers, presidential candidates, business owners and media commentators use such vitriol to describe the Occupy Wall Street protesters as hell-bent on destroying America.
    How in the world can anyone even form their lips to say such a thing when this very country was founded on the basis of dissent?
    Self-professed rodeo clown Glenn Beck castigates the Occupy Wall Street protesters, but he’s always running off at the mouth about the Founding Fathers and how brilliant they were.
    Without dissent and protest, there is no United States of America! It’s as if these folks never picked up a history book to understand how this nation was formed. The very notion of a United States of America started with someone saying, writing and screaming, “Enough is enough!” And when more and more of the early settlers became enraged at the heavy-handed actions of the British, that’s when we were on our path to the American Revolution.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/08/opinion/martin-occupy-wall-street/index.html

    • Nirek says:

      I also agree, the media is also not reporting as much as they should. They need to realize that most of them are also 99%ers.
      We need to convince more regular people that they are NOT being represented in congress because congress belongs to the multinational corporations (which have no allegiance to the USA) and the 1%ers. We can out vote them if we get more people to see that they are 99%ers.

    • SueInCa says:

      KT
      And I agree with Roland Martin. It is hypocritical of people here criticizing Occupy when they praised other countries for their ME Spring. But they are the same people who will swear there is not a huge gap between the haves and have nots here in our country.

      • Sue, what really bothers me is that the RW mouthpieces and politicians don’t even care that they are being hypocritical. I just can’t believe that people who have college educations could really be that dense. They know, they just don’t care. Anything to protect their uber rich masters is OK with them.

        • SueInCa says:

          KT
          They get away with it, that is why. I, too, am amazed. If I acted that way, I would be ashamed to show my face again, not them, they seem to revel in acting stupid.

  8. The Outlier says:

    There is a sweet spot of greed. It is located within a regulatory schematic that ensures the rich get richer, the middle class get to keep their homes and the working class mostly stays employed. When below the sweet spot, the rich maintain their relative economic superiority, there is a little too much upward mobility and near full employment results in greater bargaining power for labor. This situation necessitates a corrective increase in greed. When above the sweet spot, disparity in wealth accelerates to the speed of national attention, there are too many middle class foreclosures, the unemployment rate reaches a critical dimension…and there is marching in the streets.

    The old guard of the plutocracy understood this. http://outlierideas.com

  9. Emerald1943 says:

    Brava, my friend! Good going! I especially liked the quote from Mark Twain. How appropriate! Rags indeed!

    The OWS movement is winning! With their signs and slogans, sleeping in the cold and the rain, marching and chanting, they have awakened the great American masses! I’ve wondered so many times what it would take to make the people see how badly they were being taken advantage of. This has done it! In my opinion, WE THE PEOPLE are winning! And the whole world is watching!

    I’m a big fan of the music and story of “Les Miserables”. The story of the French Revolution is so compelling, but it is also very relevant at this point in our history. History is full of stories of the repressed common people rising up and taking liberty for themselves from those who would take everything from them. I believe that we are at that point now in the United States. Unless we can “win” and turn the tide in this country, we will no longer recognize it in a few years. The OWS movement will survive…the winter, the police tactics, the ridicule of the MSM…none of that can stop it now!

    Thanks, Sue! You are a patriot too! I appreciate your writing this! You made me feel really good today! :-)

    • SueInCa says:

      Em
      Thanks, glad I could make your day. I like making people feel good too. I loved Les Miserables and am going to see it next year with the senior citizens group here in Benicia. It will be coming to the Orpheum Theatre in the city. I cannot believe I am old enough (58) to join a senior group. But not too old to participate in Occupy, never too old to stand for what you believe in.

  10. atdnext says:

    Thanks, Sue! Great rant. Since the vast majority of us are “The 99%”, the 99% movement is out to give us a voice and restore “small d” democracy in this country. I just hope they can develop an overarching message and stick to it. The radical right is working overtime to derail them.

  11. kesmarn says:

    BFF, well done!

    Just by chance I happened to re-read your profile description and I realized how having that attached to your post really does lend gravitas (to use that over-worked word) to what you say. I’m so glad it’s there.

    I mean — you were a fraud investigator, forgawdsake! That puts you on the side of the law, of personal responsibility, of hard and conscientious work — with attention to detail. And still, you clearly recognize the injustice of the current situation. You support OWS with all your heart.

    I guess what I’m saying is that you are not coming from a place of wild-eyed extremism. You’re coming from a place of logic and solid American values, with a long career of respectable and responsible employment behind you.

    If the 1% have managed to piss off a lot of solid, rational, hard working citizens like yourself, they have really screwed up royally.

    And they have.

    Fight the good fight and stay safe, BFF.

    • SueInCa says:

      BFF
      Thanks for your kind words. You know you are right alot of people ask me how I could have worked in that industry for years and still be involved in activism. Perhaps it is because I was in that industry that I can. I saw alot during those years of people trying to game the system and not just your regular criminal. Rich people, poor people and middle class people gaming the system. So in that, we are all equal. Crime is not a class thing, it is a state of mind. And crime involves the justice system sometimes seen as fair, sometimes not.

      I do understand what these people want, they want the same things I want for everyone, not a small group. No country who allocated all the wealth to the top has ever gained long term viability or credibility with the majority of the citizens of the world.


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