Occupy Wall Street VIII (Foley Square and Brooklyn Bridge)

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    Well, I went to OWS this afternoon and made it back home safe and sound.  The protests I attended started out very tense (bloody pavement, pissed-off police officers, the girl who was standing next to me getting arrested in a most unpleasant fashion–details and pics to follow), but it smoothed out just fine.  Everyone was cool (except for the girl standing next to me…and a few others, I guess).  

      OWS “clashed” (media word of choice) with police around Wall Street and Liberty Square this morning and afternoon.  Descriptions of the violence vary depending on where you get your news. In one well-publicized incident, a 20-year-old guy got his head busted open and was arrested.  The cops claim that he did it to himself resisting arrest; some say that the cops beat him up.  I must admit that I’m siding with the cops on this one, because 1) he sounds like an immature asshat, and 2) if that arrest was anything like the arrests I saw tonight, the cops wouldn’t dare lie because EVERYTHING was caught on digital video or photos.  

       I missed all of that, myself–didn’t get there till past 3 PM.  I didn’t attend the Subway Occupation because after I thought about it I decided that it was obnoxious and ill-conceived.  What is the point of occupying the subways?  We already occupy the subways! Use em every day!  Shit, if they put a cot down for me at my local station, I’d probably move in!  It’s like saying, “Occupy the $.99-Store!”  Already there, dude.  Also: nobody likes to  be bothered when they’re riding the trains–period.  Panhandlers, evangelists, loud drunks, people eating meals (as opposed to SNACKS), blaring iPods, groping pervs–the bane of every straphanger’s existence.  Nobody is going to be receptive to your ideas when you’re rudely violating their boundaries and impeding their commute!

     Wouldn’t it make more sense to occupy a yacht club?  I don’t mean to imply that everyone who belongs to a yacht club deserves to be confronted and reproached–just because you have an expensive boat does not mean that you unapologetically torture and exploit your fellow man! 

     Wait..where was I?  Oh, yes.  I dressed warmly (but not warmly enough), stored some extra cash in my shoe in case of emergencies, charged my cell phone and told two people where I was going, just in case.  I left my handbag and wallet at home and just carried ID and a credit card in a zip pocket.  I wore bright red gloves, thinking that police would be able to see them in the dark.  I considered bringing a flashlight or votive candle, as the internet statement urged protesters to do, but quickly rejected that idea.  I did not want to have ANYTHING in my hands that police might later be able to claim that I was using for a weapon.

      I took the bus downtown around 3 PM.  It was running very late; I was waiting for almost half an hour and I was trying to hail a taxicab when the bus came into view.  While I was waiting, I witnessed about 30 police cars (no exaggeration) running downtown at full speed with their lights flashing.

     During the trip, I sat next to two old ladies who were also going to the protest.  They were very nice and they reminded me of my Mom for some reason.  One of them had blue eyes and fluffy white hair.  From behind, her head looked just like a Q-tip.  She was wearing a pin that said “99%.”  The other lady was African-American and she was wearing a floppy denim hat.  She had a white  cane, so I guess she was visually impaired.  I talked to both of them as we went through Chinatown.  

     As the bus approached downtown, the traffic became very congested.  Some streets were closed off for the protests.  The waiting was making me anxious, so I bid the ladies good luck, exited the bus, and hoofed it over to Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park).  

      THERE WERE TONS OF COPS EVERYWHERE.  There were cops everywhere.  Did I mention that there were cops everywhere?  Because there were.  Cops in cruisers, cops on foot, cops on horseback, cops riding motorcycles.  I’ve been to many protests in my life, but I have never seen a police presence of that magnitude.  Not even close.  Hundreds of them.  Thousands.  So many that it made me wonder how large the police force in NYC really is (I looked it up–God Bless the Internet!–wikipedia says 34,500).  

     The ones around Liberty Square looked very pissed off.  Usually, most of them are approachable and somewhat relaxed (as relaxed as cops ever get–which is not very.  Trust me, I know).  They weren’t chatting with each other.  Nothing.  I said thanks to one who was directing traffic and he looked at me like my dog had just crapped on his living room carpet.  

     The protesters were pissed right back.  They weren’t relaxed or chatting with each other, either.  They seemed very strained.  On two different occasions, I saw puddles (no exaggeration) of fresh, bright red blood on the pavement.  I guess I could have taken a photo, but I was self-conscious about it.  It seemed like a jerky, voyeuristic thing to do.  So I didn’t do it.  I did think it was weird that nobody was cleaning it up.  Spilled blood is a public health hazard.  

     I talked to a few people.  They said that there’d been confrontations with the police all day.  Then the police had ringed the perimeter of the park, forbidding people to enter or exit.  Everyone thought that mass arrests were imminent.  That scared people.  Then they got furious.  

approaching Foley Squre…see the heads of the crowd?  

      It was dark when I got to Foley Square around 5:15 PM.  I’d never been there before, but I found my way by following the streams of people.  I was passed by a contingent of police on horseback.  The horses were beautiful.  They looked incongruous among the glass skyscrapers.  I like the sound horses make when they walk.  I looked at the metal hose shoes on the bottom of their hooves.  I have horse shoes on the bottom of my boots, too.  The kind soldiers wore in World War I (I think there should be more written about that war.  Why isn’t more written about that war?  It was tremendously significant.).  

         Foley Square was packed!  There must have been 20,000, 30,00 people there.  As I edged around the parameter of the crowd, craning my neck to see, I didn’t notice the police pull up behind me.  It happened really fast.  I guess that was intentional.  A couple dozen of them ran right up to the crowd on motorcycles and braked to a halt.  One of them was not two feet away from me.  He had blonde eyebrows and a complexion like my own.  His face was red, though.  He looked pissed.  

      The crowd, including myself, tightened and drew back, like a school of fish.  Holy shit! I thought.  

     A few people started shouting at them.  One of the shouters was a young woman immediately to my left.  She had brown hair and was wearing a hooded coat.  

     I made eye contact with the officer in front of me and asked, “What do you want?”  

     “Get onto the sidewalk!” he shouted.

      An eminently reasonable request! I looked down and saw that, indeed, I was standing on blacktop (I think this was Centre Street).  I immediately nodded at him, put my camera in my pocket and made for the curb.  I don’t think anybody else heard him, however.       

      The woman who was standing next to me shouted, “What are you going to do, run us over?  Are you going to run us over?”

      Oh wow, I thought.  That is probably not a good idea. I’d looked that cop in the eyes, and I could tell that he meant business.  He was serious as a heart as a heart attack. 

     “Go ahead!  Run us over!” I heard the woman shouting.

     When I got to the curb, I heard everyone around me shout or hiss in breath.  I looked back and saw the police falling on the crowd, including the girl who’d been standing beside me.  I have to hand it to them: the move looked very professional.  No hesitation.  Overwhelming force.  They worked in coordination with one another.  Fast, economical movements.  They looked like they did this sort of thing all day.  

     The woman shouter’s arm was being twisted around her back and she was forced belly-down on the pavement.  She had zero chance.  She was small and weak. She was cuffed in the blink of an eye.  The cop kept his body weight on her, pressing her down.  It looked like it hurt.  It was totally excessive.  She was shouting.  Everyone around was shouting.  While we stared, streams of cops walked in fast.  Some of them, dressed in riot gear, formed a line.  Others assisted in the arrests (they seemed to be picking people at random–whoever was within reach).  Others carried hand-held video cameras and documented the crowds and the arrests.  One of them was right in front of me.  He was looking at the  video capture screen of his camera; his concentration was intense but otherwise his face was expressionless.  Like I said, the operation was very professional.  Very well-executed.  

     I thought: Jesus, these guys could kill us all!  

      They could have, if they intended to.  Would have been easy pickings.  

     I have never had that thought before.  It was a totally novel experience.  Still wondering what to make of it.  I was definitely afraid, but it was more than that.  It was several emotions at once.  I’ll come back to it later if I can–probably in another post (though–note to self–if I do, I should do it today, while the feelings are still fresh).  

     All of a sudden, via cell phone and iPhone, a zillion cameras were documenting the action.  People were filming the police, who were filming the protesters.  It was weird.

      “The whole world is watching!” some people shouted.  Also, “Shame!  Shame!”  

      The cop in front of me, with the camera, did not look ashamed.   He didn’t look like he was feeling anything at all, other than ‘It is imperative that I film this as well as possible.’  He was a youngish guy, about my age, maybe younger.  He was Asian.  My height.  Looked slim, but it was hard to tell because of his uniform.  

      Then, the chant picked up: “This is what a police state looks like!  This is what a police state looks like!  This is what a police state looks like!”   Camera flashes everywhere.  More police had brought in bright lights to aid them and their photography.  The arrested protesters, once restrained and subdued (not that there was much resistance), were quickly lifted up and brought to paddy wagons.  

     I took out my crappy camera and took a few pics.  It made me feel like a tool, so I didn’t take many.  That’s not to say that I don’t believe that people should have documented the arrests.  That is all well and good.  
      Sorry that the photos are not good. I am a mediocre photographer in the best of circumstances.  When I got home and looked at the pics, I saw that most of them were of people taking pics.  

     To be continued…right now, I have to go to work!!!


Occupy Wall Street VII (#N17 Actions Tomorrow…and What About Gov’t and the Cops?)

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     I’m not working tomorrow so that I can attend the Gathering and Foley Square and the March Across Brooklyn Bridge.  I do have a meeting at noon, but I should be able to leave in time to also Occupy the Subway at 3 PM.

     I intended to post a blog about my suddenly ambivalent attitude towards the police (NYPD in particular), but after three hours of writing, the essay is overlong and still unclear.  I’ll share it if I can tighten it up.  The sentiments I’m wrestling with are important and, I think, worth discussing at length.

     For now, suffice it to say that, for the first time in my life, I have an attitude problem with the cops.  It’s not antagonism or blanket hostility.  More like a crisis of confidence, if you will.  I have a big problem with this picture:

A New York City police officer scuffles with Occupy Wall Street protesters after they were evicted from Zuccotti Park on Nov. 15.  Image: Don Emmert  AFP/Getty Images

This one bothers me, too:

New York Police Clear Zuccotti Park–NY TIMES

       You see, I’ve never had a problem–personally or philosophically–with the police.  I’ve had major misgivings about various societal and cultural institutions since I developed a political consciousness in my adolescence, but cops–the idea of their function--never concerned me, even during the brief and unhappy times when I was the (deserving) object of their scrutiny.  If anything, I felt empathy towards them–they provide crucial services, and their job is not easy.  One of my beloved family members was a police officer.  Whenever there’s a story about police conduct in the news, my impulse is to give the cops the benefit of the doubt and wait for more information.  I never thought I would last long in their role–and not because I tend to think too much, or because I’d feel conflicted about doing their job.  Quite the contrary, in fact.  I’d be worried that I’d blow a pimp or incorrigible drunk driver to smithereens, and that would be all she wrote for little Miss Margo.  And as I’m sure we can all agree, we can’t have cops doing something like that!

Protesters Return To Zucotti Park/Todd Heisler- NY Times      http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/11/15/nyregion/20111116_Zuccotti_GoBig.html?ref=nyregion#7
Brent Schmidt, of Brooklyn, was arrested near the Occupy Wall Street encampment. Mary Altaffer/Associated Press  

      That said, I think we have a major problem on our hands when government–or whoever is running the show–dispatches thousands of police to monitor, bully, intimidate, and arrest hundreds of average non-criminal American citizens.  Demographically average people just like you and me–effectively poor, precariously employed, indentured servants fucked for life by the credit bureaus and criminal banks who ran the economy into the ground and got filthy rich doing it.

      Occupy Wall Street is logistically, at most, a pain in the ass nuisance for the City to deal with.  But you can see with your own two eyes, good reader, just how seriously and intolerantly the regime deals with it, and the respect to which it is accorded.  

      The police were not sent to swarm or forcibly vacate the offices of Goldman Sachs.  

       Seven hundred protesters were arrested while peacefully walking over Brooklyn Bridge on October 1–how many white-collar, Wall Street lawbreakers have been arrested for their role in crashing the economy?  

      I don’t know about you, good reader–but it’s enough to really make me think.  About priorities.  And loyalties.  And to what and whom deserves my respect, allegiance, support, time, and cash.  

     Consider:  what values does OWS preach, and what do they embody and practice?  

     Now: what about Bloomberg, the Fed, and the financial institutions that did this?  Yes, the ones who charged you $6 in fees today for using the ATM at the drugstore, said you didn’t need a fixed-rate mortgage (when you still had your house), and kept your young son in Iraq for two tours more than his contract stipulated.  What values have you seen them demonstrate?  What priorities?  

     OCCUPY WALL STREET THIS THURSDAY!!!  If the cops don’t do it, WE WILL!

     I will be there to march across Brooklyn Bridge.  I’ll follow the rules and I have no intention of antagonizing law enforcement–but I am prepared to be arrested.  Arrest, for doing this, carries no stigma for me.

    Their respect and esteem are no longer prizes that I covet.  

7:00am — Shut Down Wall Street
We will gather in Liberty Square at 7:00am, before the ring of the Trading Floor Bell, to prepare to confront Wall Street with the stories of people on the frontlines of economic injustice.
3:00pm — Occupy the Subway
We will gather at 3:00pm at 16 central subway hubs and take our own stories to the trains, using the “People’s Mic”. Details here.
5:00pm — Take the Square, Festival of Lights on Brooklyn Bridge
At 5:00pm thousands will gather at Foley Square in solidarity with laborers demanding jobs to rebuild this country’s infrastructure and economy. They will encircle City Hall and march across the Brooklyn Bridge, carrying thousands of handheld lights, as a festival of lights to celebrate two months of a new movement to reclaim our democracy.
Resist austerity. Rebuild the economy. Reclaim our democracy.

Occupy Wall Street VI (Re-Occupy Liberty Square)

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TyRANTosaurus Margo!

Under order from the Mayor, the NYPD raided Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park) last night at 1 AM and forced everyone to evacuate, arresting many.  

As of 6 PM this evening, OWS is re-occupying the Square.  I visited after I got off work.  There were thousands of OWS and many, many police.  The air was electric; full of tension.  

If I have any local readers:  it is imperative that you join the strike THIS THURSDAY!

Here are a few photos–sorry, not great–no time to edit and cull yet.  

Evicting OWS is NOT ALLOWED!!!

Fuck! My phone blew up– OWS might have to move again!  I gotta hit the bricks, good reader–I’m sure you understand–more pics to follow…

If Not Now, When?

Occupy Wall Street V (Get Martin Luther On Its Ass)

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TyRANTosaurus Margo!

What a fantastic poster!

N17 Direct Action

      A fellow I know who’s been attending a lot of the OWS protests is optimistic about the movement’s potential to make policy change. I, however, remain skeptical.  There is no doubt that the movement has gained incredible momentum.  A slew of thoughtful journalism pieces have finally emerged about it–check out this piece at The Atlantic Magazine’s website and another at The New York Review of Books.  About fucking time.  The condescending attitude of the press toward OWS has really rankled me–not sure why, since I never had any reason to expect they would treat us any differently.  I’ve stopped being polite about defending OWS.  The other day, someone asked me, “What are you protesting, really?  What are you trying to stop?  GREED?”  

      Sorry, asshole, I know what a CDO-squared is.  How about that?  And what’s wrong with protesting greed?  Disgrace and public shaming are effective mechanisms of social control.  You would realize that if you had even rudimentary powers of observation.  

      I’m sick and tired of hand-wringing.  I personally do not object to the use of force–in fact, I feel absolutely pitiless.  I disagree with the Right about many things, but they are absolutely right when they say that the Left is destructive.  The Left is destructive.  Destruction is its essence–destruction and the ceaseless urge forward, toward some idealized future (The Right goes the other way–backward, a return to some idealized past).  

       Some things deserve to be destroyed.  

       Occupy Wall Street.  Take it, seize it, appropriate it, scrutinize it, investigate it, abolish it, humiliate it, pick it apart, break it and put it back together as it should be.  Get Martin Luther on its ass.  People say, oh, it’s a huge institution, it can’t be changed, but that’s bullshit.  Like all institutions, it is comprised of individuals.  They have name and addresses.  

Occupy Wall Street IV (Solidarity with Veterans and Occupy Oakland)

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TyRANTosaurus Margo!

     I’m downtown around Wall Street today, all day.  Between the march, my student, and whomever else I see today, I expect to kick a lot of ass.

     Occupation out of principle, staying for profit.

     Click any photo to enlarge.

Brooklyn Bridge, obviously.
Set up in Liberty Park


Don’t let anyone tell you OWS is a “rabble”–they’re not–it’s clean and organized, not a hobo camp.  

This dude was very popular.  Amen, brother.
MOST WANTED List–Call the Sheriff…

Sweep out zombie politicians
10 years is long enough–and Iraq was predicated on a fucking fraud
Take it.  It belongs to us; it always did.
Not going anywhere.

Occupy Wall Street III (Sotheby’s Protest)

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       I went to the protest tonight about sending off two job applications. Being underemployed made me feel extra mad at The Man. Took the train up to the Upper East Side, Land of insane welt-leaving narcissistic Surgeons, posh retail shops, and elaborately coiffed old ladies with equally elaborately coiffed tiny dogs.

crossing Park Avenue. Click to enlarge 

      The protest was outside 820 5th Ave. The crowd was not very big but it was not embarrassingly small, either. The cops made us clear the sidewalk pathway, so we were squished between the sidewalk and the wall of Central Park. This had the effect of making the crowd look a lot bigger, because it was more spread out–it went way down the block. The bad part of this was that the chanting was yelling and speeches were supposed to be directed at the building across the street (photo below), and instead it kinda “leaked over” to the nearby residences.

I told myself, “Well, maybe that will annoy the neighbors, and they’ll call these assholes up and say, ‘Skip, it’s your old pal from Princeton–the rabble your men refuse to negotiate with is screaming across the street while we’re trying to watch Lawrence Welk…could you do something about this?”

But, if anything, I think that their neighbors are much more likely to send them a nice sympathy fruit basket.

Here are photos–sorry, not very good ones–as I mentioned, I’ve decided not to show faces from the crowd–I thought that the organizers and union members addressing the crowd would be fair to photograph, though.  Click to enlarge:

Blow-up rat in pinstripe suit holding honest worker by the neck.

Luxurious residence of union-busting millionaires. 

      Representatives from five different unions (that I could tell) showed up.  I like union rallies.  They mean business.

      I got to talking with some guys from the MTA.

     “People are worried about terrorist attacks,” one of them told me, gravely.  “I work on the train infrastructure every day.  Let me tell you, you shouldn’t be worried about terrorist attacks.  You should be worries about crumbling subway tunnels and ceiling supports.”

    “Really?  It’s that bad?  But there are safety standards, right?  I mean, you know when something is about to fall down, right?”  I asked nervously.

     He wouldn’t look me in the eyes.  “You should be worried about the infrastructure,” he repeated.


F-train tunnel…OF DOOM..?!?!

       I have to work tomorrow (thank God) but there’s another rally Wednesday morning that I’ll attend if I don’t have to be at work.

Occupy Wall Street II

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       By the time I got to the General Assembly rally tonight, the crowd was pretty small–the time of day (after dark) and the rain probably had something to do with it.  The F, 6, and 4 trains were skipping stops all over downtown and the East Village/Lower East Side, which is a huge pain in the ass as well.  I got down there via train, but then couldn’t take the train back uptown.  I had to hoof it about two miles home.  It was okay; I was wearing good shoes.

     I took photos–not very good ones, because it was night outside.  Also, after thinking about it, I decided against posting pictures of the crowd where faces are visible.  I took photos without peoples’ consent.  I also recall when police intelligence forces would analyze crowd photos to identify individuals.  Not that I think cops are reading this blog (I can be paranoid, but I am not grandiose, thank you).

“Trains?  Tonight?  What made you think that we would be running trains tonight, other than the complete lack of signs  informing you and every else that service was in any way interrupted?”  

You and me both, buddy.

      On one side of the park was a sort of sign mosaic.  I hate puppets, music, and theater, but I think that signs are important in the media age.  Anyway, here are a few (the rain ruined a lot of them):

My personal favorite.  Here’s to you, Banksy.  I hate some of these assholes so much it makes my hair bleed (the banks, not the signs).  They are evil, evil institutions.  

More signs.  I like the “all I got was this lousy summons!” one.  No idea what that one is on the left.  
Does WikiLeaks have official “units” like this?  For real? 

        I’d estimate the crowd at about 500 people–that’s the protesters, not the police and media.

        It was well-run and surprisingly tidy, given that some people are basically camping there.  There was a first aid station set up, a sanitation station, a few others.  I took a phone pic of the first aid station and texted it to the Surgeon with the message “WHY AREN’T YOU HERE?” (it’s a joke).  
      Tomorrow there is a big protest at 5:30 pm–a rally for the locked out Sotheby’s workers.  Teamsters Local 814 is planning on being there, so it should be good.  And important.  820 5th Avenue (between 63rd and 64th)  
        Here is another picture of Parrot, because parrots are good for the soul.
“Hello!  I’m the most awesome parrot ever! Come to the protest tomorrow!”
  P.S.  Did anyone watch Ken Burns’ “Prohibition” on PBS?  I missed it, of course, but I got a copy and have been watching it.  It’s good!  “The Civil War” was his best, of course–I have that one on DVD–and I also liked “Jazz” and “Unforgivable Blackness” (even though I think that Jack Johnson was not so much defiant out of principle than out of character disorder, but whatever, it was still a great story and snapshot of the nation at that time).  I am sorry to say that “The War” failed to catch my imagination, even though I really wanted to love it.  I didn’t watch “Baseball,” I think most sports are for meatheads.  I am death on meatheads.  

Occupy Wall Street

Oh, my.  Look what happened yesterday while I was puttering about and being self-absorbed:

Police Arrest More Than 700 Protesters on Brooklyn Bridge

Updated, 11:59 a.m. Sunday | In a tense showdown above the East River, the police arrested more than 700 demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street protests who took to the roadway as they tried to cross the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday afternoon.

and from the horse’s mouth:

Brooklyn Bridge Occupied 

Posted Oct. 1, 2011, 4:56 p.m. EST 

Police have kettled the march on the Brooklyn Bridge and have begun arresting protesters. At least 20 arrested so far.

     See, everyone–this is what happens when you’re not paying attention.  
     There is no reason why I should not have been there.  

      Well, better late than never–I’m going to Occupy WS @ Liberty Square tonight after my job.  I should be there at least an hour before the call for general assembly at 7 pm.  

       I have done a lot of protesting in my life.  My first political memory if of attending a pro-union rally with my mother when I was tiny.  My mother’s no bomb-thrower–the union was hers (and it was defeated and remains defeated to this day).  But I certainly grew up to be a little bomb-thrower.  I cut my teeth at the protests in Seattle against the WTO in 1999 (that was hot stuff–thrilling–we were absolutely stunned that so many people showed up) and it was off to the races from there.  The leadup to the invasion of Iraq and the beginning of the occupation there occurred at a time when I was intensely and unapologetically radical.  It is true that I may have been cartoonish, but I was serious as a heart attack for all that–dutifully slogging through volumes like Trotsky’s “My Life” and tear-assing around the country protesting and writing (nothing you’ve never read, I assure you).  

        Since then, I have mellowed somewhat (or completely sold out, depending on who you ask).  I’m not sure exactly how it happened (the story of my life)–fatigue, perhaps, and the fact that I could never see that the protesting actually changed anything.  The self-congratulatory vibe at the protests started to gall me–it seemed to me that a lot of people were having way too much fun.  The drums, the rock concerts, the paper-mache puppets.  Liberals making serious comparisons, completely without irony, of the USA and Nazi Germany.  (I mean, come on–I despised that president with the passion of a thousand suns–but Nazi Germany?  REALLY?  If yhou think that, I have some BOOKS you can read.  And See Matt Taibbi’s article “A March to Irrelevance.”  He nails it, as usual.)  

     Add to that the handful of other personal reasons that caused my life to jump the track in the last few years, and there you go.  

     I don’t believe that street protest contributes much of anything anymore.  At least, not within this context.  The State is largely immune to individual or group action like this.  Bomb-throwers don’t accomplish much.  You have to be a bomb-maker.  

       But from a personal and ethical standpoint, it doesn’t matter whether the protests cause anything to happen.  The fact is: if the cause is just, then it is right and necessary to protest.  The act of protesting is righteous in and of itself.  
        I don’t think that I have any local readers–nobody in any of my regular lives knows that I blog–but if I do, by all means, come to the protest tonight.  I’ve traded in my romper stompers for Prussian army boots, but I will be there.  It’s the least I can do.

   P.S.  Sorry about the font changes.  Still learning blogger.  

   P.P.S.  If you’re not using Google Chrome as your web browser, I want you to go download it right now.  Be kind to yourself.  Life is too short for bad browsers, especially Internet Explorer (Microsucks Unexplorer).  Trust me on this.  I suffered with Microsucks Unexplorer for practically all of my adult life, just because I have an irrational fear and hatred of technology.  When it comes to computers, I am like a crabby old lady.  Upgrade?  Why upgrade?  I’m comfortable with the one I have, thank you!  If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!  It’s embarrassing.  Anyway, my friend finally got  me to switch to Firefox and I never looked back until last week, when I upgraded to the newest version, which doesn’t support the google taskbar.   That was just totally unacceptable to me.  A deal-breaker.  Miss Margo loves her some Google and Google Scholar.  Yahoo!’s search engine sucks bigtime.  So I tried Chrome.  CHROME, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!  Do don’t be like me.  Go get chrome.  It’s easy, I swear to god.  I did it in 90 seconds.  Totally improved my quality of life (because that is what I need for personal growth and happiness…MORE INTERNET.).