Big Smoke

’cause it’s hard to see from where I’m standin’

Bravo NYPD

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Another potential attack is foiled by the NYPD – this time a carbomb parked in Times Square – and just like last time they didn’t have to go all Jack Bauer about it. The bag vendor who tipped the cops even proved the boon of the much-advertised suggestion, “If you see something, say something.”

Moreover, the trial on the Critical Mass incident has concluded with a conviction against Pogan – if not for assault than for falsifying records. That’s right: A pot-smoking wise-cracking activist who admitted he hates the police won a case against a cop son of a cop.

While Obama is continuing Bush’s policies against civil liberties and the racist xenophobia still reigns supreme in the South and Southwest, at least NYC still believes in the rule of law. Hurrah!

Free Floating Anger

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The trial’s begun over a cop knocking a Critical Mass participant off his bike two years ago and it looks like the biker might win this one.

Now, I’m by no means a fan of Critical Mass, but herein lies the dangers of indicting a whole movement in a legal trial that demands the specificity of one single actor: Sure, on the whole they’re counter-productive to their cause and incendiary, but policemen must always be consummate professionals else they look like dicks, and in this case officer Pat Pogan looks like a dick. Mainly because he is one.

While I’m calling people dicks, I’d like to get something else off my chest after n+1 arguments about this, where n is too many: Yes, people protested George W Bush, myself among them. Yes, a number of them did things slightly less than savory, tho specific instances outside of shouting matches with parade police elude me at this moment. (They certainly didn’t brandish loaded firearms in Town Hall meetings.)

But there’s where the similarities end. The anti-war and anti-globalization protests were attacking Bush’s policies. The anti-tax protests today are attacking Obama.

Never mind the hypocrisy of claiming the illegitimacy of Obama’s status as a citizen as he won a mandate majority of the vote, when the previous president actually got fewer votes than his competitor and was handed the election in an unprecedented decision by a state governed by his brother. Never mind the Tea Partiers claiming taxation without representation after they voted (and lost). Never mind the hypocrisy of Medicare recipients protesting against government health care, unemployment and welfare recipients protesting against government spending, and anti-tax zealots protesting tax cuts. Never mind the deficit hawks who voted for two wars right after a massive upper class tax cut.

Because they’re not attacking Obama on his policies. That’s the difference. They’re attacking Obama. When liberal protesters had placards comparing Bush with a monkey, they were criticizing his judgment, not his heritage. Just like Clinton, where a year’s worth of policies were held up not because of any legitimate reason of governance but because of the political ramifications when he tripped and fell into an intern. Except this time Clinton’s not just “Black” but Black. Which apparently makes all the difference in the world with some people. Or to quote Gene Wilder in Blazing Saddles:

You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.

Just Desserts

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We need a new WPA. Wasn’t that one of Obama’s basic promises?

Also, Critical Mass got what they always wanted: Attention. Serves ‘em right.

This and That

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There could be a rant about the counterproductive methods of Critical Mass, the Bike Clown Posse or cyclist activists in general (who are, to a man, all nutcases above and beyond their pedestrian counterparts).

There could also be an insinuation that such is far too limiting a subject when Mexico’s declared an actual war on drugs (with actual fighting) or how Pakistan’s imploding, but without focus the blog would lose its voice.

There could thus be a rant about alternative school methods – Charters and other public funding of private education – and how they work in the political short term but fail to address the problem of universal public eduation as a whole.

But right now there’ll be a nod to a general malaise over lack of focus at work, as handily illustrated by this comic from Subnormality.

Or this.

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