Letters

Letters

  • The Occupy Movement – Roxanne Brown
  • Why Occupy Venice Makes Sense – Marco Mannone
  • Santa Monica Airport – Dave Doctor

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The Occupy Movement

Dear Beachhead,

People wonder what the 99% want – what their solution is – here’s mine.

I want to RESTORE ORDER.  Currently we are out of ORDRE – Our Representatives Don’t Represent Everyone.  They represent the 1%.

As Marie Antoinette said, “LET THEM EAT CAKE” – Let our congressional representatives, try to live:

 

– on minimum wage

– with no health insurance

– no pension

– a one or two week vacation

– a tax system based on income

– costs incorporating income

 

SOOOOOOOO what I would be looking for is

– a livable minimum wage

– health care for all – as western Europe and Canada enjoy now

– a livable pension/social security system

– 4 – 6 week vacations as western Europe and Canada enjoy now

– a higher tax on the most wealthy – as we see in Europe and Canada

– free checking for the person who has $200 in their checking account – checking account fees for the person with $2 million in their account – allowing one to subsidize the other – duh.

 

In Japan, it used to be that the highest paid person in a corporation could only make 6 times more than the lowest paid person. This make sense.  No one person is worth multi- millions per year in my opinion.

In France, it used to be that people could not charge more than what was in their bank account – loans were different. Makes sense.

The New Yorker published a great article long ago – if you can research it – on we in America came to pay for insurance – WHILE our exporting of the Marshal Plan gave Europe a wonderful socialized medicine plan?!?!?

A friend from England, a sociology professor, once said to me, “If American didn’t have Medicare, they would have a revolution.”  Duh.  I’ve lived overseas and seen how wonderful socialized medicine is. If our system was so great, they would have it. When I talked with people who had socialized medicine, yes, they complained.  However, once I told them that they might be paying $500 a month (that was my premium at age 50 with no medical conditions) – and that they would still have to pay a deductible, and 20% of the cost and the insurance company may say “We won’t pay that” – none of them wanted our system.

Has anyone noticed that the most socialistic democracies are doing the best in the worldwide Great Recession – and their people are the happiest?  That would be Denmark and the Scandinavian countries. Hmmmmmm

So I say we are out of ORDER!  Let Washington eat cake.  Our representatives are OUT OF TOUCH (OOT) with the people that they allegedly represent..

Roxanne Brown

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Why Occupy Venice Makes Sense

Dear Beachhead,

Only a few weeks in, and Occupy Venice has already formed, occupied, imploded, scattered and regrouped in a different form like some shape-shifting apparition. It went from camping out at Windward Circle, to now meeting three times a week behind Ananda on Abbot Kinney (friend OV on Facebook for more info). So far, OV is small, intimate and offers a unique microcosmic glimpse into the Big Picture currently unfolding across the country, and much of the world. And, like fellow Occupations, OV has not been without its own controversies. Critics have argued that OV was less than hospitable towards some of Venice’s original occupiers — the homeless — when they started turning them away from Windward Circle. Such a move was considered to be very “un-Venice” and deemed antithetical to the Occupy movement in general. However, what these critics fail to understand, is that Occupy anything is not just about the physical placement of bodies in a specific space, but rather, a congregation of progressive ideas that aim to shed light on our current cultural Dark Age. In order for this vital exchange of minds to be successful, there needs to be peace and respect, both of which were in short supply at Windward Circle.

Yes, Venice is nothing less than a magical community, a haven for creative free spirits — whether they are movie stars or transients. Many of these beach dwellers are unsung artists, poets, musicians and overall gentle human beings in need of nothing more than some eye-to-eye compassion.

But, some of these people are bat-shit insane.

For example, it’s hard to constructively discuss effective strategies for localized protests and events when there’s a 6’2” bearded man staggering around you with soiled pants, screaming at no one in particular that he got “space AIDS from aliens” when they gang-raped him in their UFO. Entertaining? Perhaps. Productive? Not so much. As the Venice Occupiers dug their heels in, Windward Circle became a swirling whirlpool of drifters, drug addicts, drunks and people who thought they were being environmentally-conscious by defecating in the recycling bin. Do these colorful Venetians have every right to wander around 90291 at will? Absolutely. But when it comes to any revolution, there needs to be order. Without it, things efficiently devolve into nothing more than spirited anarchy — which has unfortunately become the case up in Oakland, when people decided to push back. You can’t exactly blame them, but breaking windows and setting trash on fire will accomplish precisely nothing, other than the complete opposite of what Occupied America stands for.

After having visited Occupy Wall St at Zuccotti Park and Occupy LA down at City Hall, it is the opinion of this freelance journalist that the Occupations have served their purpose and it is now time to pack it up and move on. The grass is rotting under the tents at City Hall, and the stench has become so bad, people need to wear surgical masks to bear it. Revolutions must become evolutions. We need to take all of this amazing energy and channel it into efficient means of direct action, and no one needs to camp out in a tent to do this. Occupiers in Zuccotti Park and City Hall cannot elevate any message to the mainstream media, or middle America, by progressively getting dirtier and more emaciated. Furthermore, banging on drums and smoking pot didn’t accomplish much 40 years ago, and it will accomplish even less today. What the Occupiers nationwide need to understand, is that all the dreadlocks and tie-dye in the world doesn’t amount to anything in the 21st century. If we want to be taken seriously, we need to look serious, plain and simple. Otherwise, this will all just turn into Woodstock and nothing more.

Now, in their defense, I would like to also clarify something for the outright critics of these protesters. I’ve heard snide remarks about how the Occupiers are “hypocrites” because they are using cell phones, laptops and other “corporate paraphenalia” while camping out. What these critics seem to misunderstand, is that the Occupy movement is not protesting civilization. I haven’t met an Occupier yet who believes things like telecommunication and infrastructure should be banished from our society. It really needs to be spoon-fed to these smirking cynics: the Occupations are protesting the greed and corruption of Wall Street and Washington that has devastated our economy and undermined our ability to seek justice for crimes of treason. Occupiers are not luddites. They are modern citizens who are rallying against an incredibly powerful minority who have bled the American Dream dry like a cluster of vampire leeches.

That said, Occupied America needs to stop being so literal and realize that holding down the forts has gotten the ball rolling hard and fast, but it is now time to take the action home with us and to regroup locally and frequently. This is exactly what Occupy Venice is doing in their own, intimate way, and I believe this should serve as a model for everyone else. After all, when Egyptians flash-mobbed their country, we’re talking about 386,659 square miles. Compare that to Texas alone, which accounts for 268,581 square miles, and we can put our situation in perspective. America is the largest country in the world undergoing a social uprising, and in order for it to keep moving forward, we need to adopt smaller, more localized General Assemblies. We need to make Occupy a way of daily life at school, in the office and during Happy Hour. Ultimately, every time you purchase something you are essentially voting for something. In this respect, every day is Election Day in America and it’s time to show the greedy bastards who’s really running this show.

In short, Occupy Venice has made it abundantly clear: it’s time to pack up the tents, take a shower… and start kicking ass.

Marco Mannone

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Santa Monica Airport

Dear Beachhead

So that everyone, by every airport, in every major city, can benefit, airlines must only purchase planes that emit dramatically less noise. The technology either already exists or would be invented soon if this was the law. The cost? The mufflers would simply shift the actual cost from residents to the people who own and use the planes. No new cost. Just shifting of costs to the people responsible.

Dave Doctor

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Categories: Letters

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