I spent some time around some Occupy Wall Street protests at Union Square Park yesterday and I’d like to say:
Protesters would be better served to be more inclusive and strive to unite all people, especially those counted amongst the 99%. There is a lot of anger to be felt in these protests but let’s not forget where it should be focused: the irresponsible 1% and the apologist government.
Not the police.
Those people are part of the 99% and they’re doing insanely dangerous jobs to keep you safe, even while you’re deriding them. That doesn’t mean they’re all awesome, but hearing anti-police chants as part of a protest meant to establish a distrust for the financial situation in our government doesn’t jive.
Eighty-four-year-old activist Dorli Rainey tells Keith about her experience getting pepper-sprayed by the police during an Occupy Seattle demonstration and the need to take action and spread the word of the Occupy movement. She cites the advice of the late Catholic nun and activist Jackie Hudson to “take one more step out of your comfort zone” as an inspiration, saying, “It would be so easy to say, ‘Well I’m going to retire, I’m going to sit around, watch television or eat bonbons,’ but somebody’s got to keep ’em awake and let ’em know what is really going on in this world.”
This minor scandal about Pizza being a vegetable is full of all kinds of stupidity but it’s also indicative of the single largest problem with the way our country is run.
By now, you’ve probably heard about congress voting to deny new standards which would require healthier meals to be served in public schools. One part of the rejection of the new standards includes allowing tomato paste on pizza to be considered a vegetable, basically allowing pizza to be counted as a vegetable in school lunches.
The stupidity of this alone is enough to annoy, but the process behind it speaks to the biggest problems in our country. The reason these otherwise common sense standards (pizza isn’t a vegetable) are being rebuffed is because it’s bad for food companies. Ask school officials, parents, or any relatively intelligent people and I’m betting they’ll agree that kids eating healthy is a good thing. But none of that matters. That doesn’t matters because parents don’t have lobbyists in Washington pushing for legislation that personally advantageous.
This small change is symptomatic of the larger problem: congress only does what corporations tell them to do, not what is good for their constituency. If you think your government representative will make you a priority over the company whose campaign contributions will get them re-elected, I think you’re wrong.
This is corporatocracy. This is where we live. This is what needs to change.