Monday, November 21, 2011

It's the institutions, stupid

And while it's his finger pulling the trigger, the police system is what put him in the position to be standing in front of those students. I am sure that he is a man like me, and he didn't become a cop to shoot history majors with pepper spray. But the current policing paradigm requires that students get shot in the eyes with a chemical weapon if they resist, however peaceably. Someone has to do it.

And while the kids may cough up blood and writhe in pain, what happens to the man who does it is in some ways much, much worse.

Read the whole article at The Atlantic

Why I Feel Bad for the Pepper-Spraying Policeman, Lt. John Pike
by Alexis Madrigal, a senior editor at The Atlantic
(h/t Mario in the comments)

We ask now how the holocaust could ever have happened. Those who study the history realize full well how the German people could allow such a thing to be perpetrated in their name. First, Nazi propaganda pictured the Jews as vermin. The obvious next step was to exterminate them.

This iconic picture of non-violent students — in police lingo when protestors sit it is a signal that they are non-violent — being prayed with pepper gas like bugs is only too reminiscent of humanity's dark past being replayed in the present. 

Pepper gas and tear gas are outlawed for use in war under Article 1.5 of the Chemical Weapons Convention, but apparently use of them to control citizens of one's own country is OK. In fact, the police official in charge justified its use as "standard procedure."

Something is deeply wrong with our institutions. Our intelligence services and military tortures, our financial industry commits massive fraud, and our domestic security forces violates the Chemical Weapons Convention, all with impunity.

America's moral authority in the world is being trashed, and American "democracy" is made mockery of by officials sworn to uphold it.


El Viejo said...

Mario said...


Tom check this video may like this one too....this could be one of the "messages" of OWS which everyone thinks if not present. Love the ideas but the action steps I'm not too sure would be cool for him to say more about that....regardless though I still couldn't agree more. Knowing your destination and knowing how to get there are two separate issues.

Mario said...

interesting how he talks about the present political discourse and the limitations of the words and lexicon....MMT provides new ideas to inset into the society and help to accomplish these goals.

Mario said...

this guy's website is really good too at:

and it was there that I found this video....another GREAT one too.

We need to get MMT into these discussions and general assemblies....although it may be that OWS really doesn't want to talk about money and how to work with it....they may want to talk about some other economic fundamentals....I am okay with that as I don't think it's a threat to anyone's sustenance.

Mario said...

here's the link to the video:!

El Viejo said...

Letsgetitdone said...

Great post, Tom. And all too true!