The Entitled Bastards -- Occupy Your Street

The 1% atop his spoils.
There they are, outside the Humboldt County courthouse.  Placards raised.  Banners flapping in the wind.  It's part of Humboldt's very own Occupy Wall Street movement, and it's right on 101 as you head north out of town.

Reading comments to local news stories and blog posts gives you a clear sense that some people feel that these fine folks exercising their First Amendment rights (look it up) are nothing more than whiners who won't get jobs and who feel like they are entitled to something.

The national mainstream media isn't much better.  As soon as the movement got too big to ignore, the media was reporting it and putting it down.  Mystified by the lack of leadership.  Stumped by the entire process.  Looking for a single soundbite message.  Fox, of course, was quick to say the Occupy Wall Street movement signaled the end of the world.  All the usual suspects have chimed in with their two cents as well, and they are saying exactly what you would expect of them.

I am here to say the protesters are whiners, they need jobs, and they do feel entitled.

They are whining about what corporate America, in league with the Federal government, has not only done to the U.S. economy, but to the world economy.  They need jobs, too.  That's why they're out there.  They want sustainable jobs for a sustainable future.  When corporations outsource everything, and businesses sit on money that can be used to create jobs, and the unemployment rate shows little signs of deflating -- yes, people need jobs.  Listen to them, critics, they are telling you that.  If you are telling them they need to get jobs, you also need to tell American businesses they need to start hiring.  Pretty fucking fair, wouldn't you agree?

I also agree that they do feel entitled.  They feel entitled to a future that isn't destroyed by corporate greed.  They feel entitled to have the people who helped tanked the economy behind bars.  They feel entitled to have the FCC be on the side of the people instead of corporations.  They feel entitled not to be kicked out of their homes due to faulty paperwork and rubber stamping.  They feel entitled because they spent their lives playing by the rules, knowing the deck was stacked against them.  They spent their lives paying into a system they thought had their best interests in mind.  They want justice to be served because if they pulled off the same stunts that the people in corporate America have pulled off, only on a smaller scale, they'd be in jail.  Yes, they feel entitled, and they have every right to feel that way.  After all, the people at the top of the food chain also feel entitled, and they have the actual power to act on it, which they do, and this is what we get.  Occupy Wall Street is saying, "No more."

Maybe it's time to put the 1% to sleep.
Humboldt County is a pretty unique place.  Any day of the week you can find someone protesting something somewhere.  Marijuana drives our economy the same way logging used to until the greed that manifested itself as clear cutting caused activists to go into overdrive.  We have just as many liberals as we have conservatives, and yet banks aren't being burned down, and businesses are rarely boycotted.  Maybe that should change.  Not just in Humboldt, either, but throughout the country.

Warren Buffet acknowledges that this is class war.  It's something many activists have known for decades.  The Class War group came out of the United Kingdom, but its activism style needs to be adopted here.  The 1% is starting to worry.  It should be worrying.  If this keeps up, things will be very bad for those people.  They are starting to worry they may need to make concessions.  If they don't, concessions will be made for them.  There is strength in numbers, and Occupy Wall Street exemplifies that strength.  If those people in New York suddenly turned violent ... wow.  700 arrested on a bridge could easily turn into 700 office buildings destroyed.  700 brokers hung by light poles.  700 business web sites hacked.  Take the lessons learned from Class War and turn them up to 11.

Goldman Sachs -- Another fucking parasite.
The protests have been fairly peaceful as of this writing (I don't have the news on, so I could be wrong).  But that may eventually change.  If the government won't agree that the engineers of this financial crisis need to face some sort of penalty, and not another bail out (reimbursed or not), maybe a peaceful movement will grow angry.

Occupy Wall Street.  Occupy Bank of America.  Occupy Fox News.  Occupy Goldman Sachs.  Occupy the Pentagon.  It's class war.  Treat it as such.


Deep in the Bowels of the Eureka Police Department

The reason as to why I was there is less important than the fact that I was there ... or at least outside of there.  But there I was, nonetheless.  Right outside the Eureka, California building that houses the Eureka Police Department.  It's a nondescript brick building that looks like it was built in the '80s.  As I stood outside its doors, I hesitated.  Going in filled me with a small sense of dread.  If you had my past, you'd feel the same.

I was tempted to go to the front desk and say, "I'm here to report a murder." Humboldt is no stranger to this kind of confession.  It's how the world learned of Wayne Adam Ford.  I didn't do it, though.  I went in, stated my business and then had a seat in the empty lobby. 

I waited just a few minutes until a woman came and got me.  "Follow me," she instructed.

She led me through halls that were lined with photographs of police officers.  Some I recognized.  Some were before my time here.  Eventually the halls became more sparse, and I was at my destination.

It was a cold room with a high ceiling.  Its walls, unlike the rest of the building, were red brick.  It gave it an almost medieval in feel.  What was against the far wall made it even moreso.

There were three cells with thick metal doors.  In the upper center of each door was a single window with a metal pane that could be pulled across it.  Each door had a little color-coded symbol on it.  The doors looked like they could withstand a bomb blast.

"Do you want to look inside them?" the woman asked.

I walked over to the first cell. 

"Don't let the door close behind you," she warned.

I wasn't going in.  I feared the worst if that happened.  I peered through the window, though.  The walls of the cell were the same red brick as the rest of the room.  This was a given.  Since it was a cell, though, the brick took on a different feel.  The cell itself was small.  There was a bed attached to the wall and a steel sink and toilet.  The only comfort in the room was a roll of toilet paper on the sink.

"It looks like a home for Hannibal Lecter," I commented.  A million ideas were running through my head.  I would be using these in a story sometime.

"We don't use them much," the woman told me.  "We'll often just use them to hold someone here for questioning, or if we have a juvenile we'll keep them in there until their parents get here.  Scares them a little bit.  Their parents usually get here pretty quick."

"Oh, I can imagine," I said.  I had been in that situation one too many times.  A lot of parents freakin' fly to the police station once they learn their kids are there.

My business finished, I left the building and sat in my car across the street, right under a sign that said, "Parking for Police Business Only."  I looked one last time at the building I have passed hundreds of times in the past.  I wondered what dark business had happened in those three cells.  The Holy Trinity of the police department.  What violations had occurred?  What blood had been spilled?  Now that the police could easily transport people to the jail downtown, the cells would only have to be used for "special" occasions.  Special occasions, indeed.