Who's they? That's a very good question, and one you really need to begin asking, because 'They' is made up of a lot of people, from a lot of walks of life - 'They' are anybody with enough friends who don't mind breaking the law 'for the people!', 'They' are anybody who has been filled with so much false self esteem that they think they know better than you do, how you should live your own life.
But don't make the mistake of thinking that 'They' are only the unkempt vagrants stinking up your public places, 'They' are all of those who are willing to use the persuasion of power to get what they want, including those who are actually in power, and are sympathetic to 'the cause' which they themselves see as 'progress', but who still feel restrained by the law and your respect for it, from openly violating the laws they were elected to uphold.
Mayor Slay's Sleighride down the slippery slope
Here in St. Louis, after enough people from the actual people, the actual 99% who don't like unwashed activists occupying their public places, complained about their doing so, and doing so on the people's electricity bill, Mayor Slay offered up a feeble response on his blog:
"The participants in the nation’s Occupy movements, including those in St. Louis, are saying some important things about the direction of the country. I support their right to say them."I certainly support their right to say what they want to say also, but that isn't the issue, and the Mayor should know it. They can say all they want, what is at issue here is where they stay and what they do, while staying and saying it. Occupiers are substituting 'free camping' for 'free speech', without a shred of legitimacy to support their actions, they are simply occupying the law at the expense of the rule of law.
Anybody see the teensiest possiblity that "The Law" and "Equal protection under the Law" might suffer if such practices have a blind eye turned to them?
Mayor Slay doesn't see it that way:
"I emphatically disagree with those who say that allowing the encampment to remain during those national events showed St. Louis in a bad light. Instead, I think it showed us to be a reasonable and compassionate place to live and work. Moving the Occupy residents simply to deny them a chance to tell their story to a large audience would have been wrong-headed and wrong-hearted."Who is buying this load of manure? No one wanted to deny them the 'chance to tell their story', they simply expected an unsightly and unlawful menace to be dealt with. Is it really now considered to be reasonable and compassionate to let thugs take over your public parks? Thugs whose stated goal is the overthrow of your government? Not only is that not unreasonable, but, if your government is based upon the rule of law, what can it possibly mean to allow a mob to violate your laws, other than actually aiding them in overthrowing your government?!
Good lord, wake up people, Halloween is over!
The Mayor goes on,
"From the first week they arrived in Kiener Plaza, I have reminded the people who have gathered there to obey the law or accept the consequences – citations, arrest – of not doing so. That is the basic formula for civil disobedience in this country."Obey the law? That's the issue here Mr. Mayor, they aren't obeying the law right now! But maybe what the Mayor means to say, is that he is going to pick and choose which laws he feels comfortable with allowing them to violate, and in doing so, ladies and gentleman, he is announcing his particiapation in the occupation of St. Louis. Mayor Slay is effectively using the Occupy Wall Street to enable him to Occupy the Rule of Law, unceremoniously shoving equal justice for all out of the building.
He as much as admits this... and for those of you who never seem to be able to grasp the concept of the slippery slope, here it is:
"In the intervening weeks, some arrests have been made; but, for the most part, the City’s ordinances regarding encampments in parks have not been enforced.And there is the real meaning of 'toleration', when voiced by those in power, 'toleration' means enabling the passions of men to rule in place of the rule of law. If you've ever found yourself looking around for the proverbial slippery slope, there it is, and Mayor Slay is taking a sleigh ride down it.
(This is the kind of tolerance with which the City tries to handle minor matters about which no one complains and which do not threaten life or public safety. Food trucks operating outside the vending zones and the Gus’s Pretzel guy vending on Jamieson are other examples of that philosophy.) "
"But, we went a little further than just ignoring the Occupy encampment. The City offered a permit and, even wrote one, but Occupy’s occupiers declined it."Allow me to translate:
BTW, just a little bit off topic, but I'm not aware of the city offering, let alone writing permits for other groups to express their opinions for free, the Tea Party for instance. And, no, it would not have been ok in that case either.'We offered to fudge appearances by offering a permit - but the occupiers chose to fully and blatantly thumb their nose at even making a pretence of respecting the law - and I, as your Mayor, decided that that was just fine with me. After all, hey, I'm only here to uphold and enforce the laws I choose to, for the benefit those we like, so... why pretend that it has any meaning anymore at all? Whatever.'
Unhappily for the Mayor, the actual 99% who are disgusted by these hippie retreads, have been letting the Mayor's office know that they're starting to notice the smell of something rotten in Denmark,
"Over the past several days, there has been a rising tide of complaints. I know, and the Occupy participants know, that they cannot stay there forever. Bad weather and other programming for Kiener Plaza are racing each other to mark the end of their tenure.Are you serious? The Mayor of St. Louis expects to 'reach an accommodation' with lawbreakers? Would he seek to reach an accomodation with drug gangs who decided to occupy the streets of their neighborhood? Why not? What, may I ask, in principle, is there left still standing to prevent them?
The City’s Parks Department has prepared a list of ordinances and regulations which it believes Occupy is in current violation. We will present that list to Occupy.
I expect that we will reach an accommodation that allows Occupy to use Kiener Plaza, to exercise its First Amendment rights, but to follow City ordinances and regulations. "
A more supliant and craven response they could not have hoped to receive from the government which you thought you had. And together with offering "We will present that list to Occupy.", the Mayor of St. Louis is legitimizing a lawless group of wannabe hippies and thugs, to pick and choose the laws they wish to ignore or obey, and give them standing from which they will deign to peruse the wishes of the government of the 100%, whose lands they are forcibly occupying, and by deigning to allow them to, he is gelding the law.
Here's a thought from a century ago, upon the actions of leaders a thousand years earlier. Hint to Mayor Slay - the Anglo Saxon kings dissappeared within a century after paying the Dane-geld.
Do any of you see anything that could possibly go wrong with that scenario?
Think you should be considered capable of driving home without making a political statement? Not if They think otherwise.
Think you'd like to listen to someone's point of view? Not if They think otherwise.
Think you'd prefer to make your own decisions? Not if They don't approve.
Think you'd go to your bank in peace? Not if They would rather use it as a toilet.
Think you'd like to get a burger? Not if They want theirs for free.
Think you'd like to... Not if They think you should't. And what's to stop them... the Law?!
Getting the picture here?
Do you really not see a problem when those in power tacitly authorize the breaking of the law, because they approve of what the law breakers are doing?
If not, then there's another angle you ought to look at this form - does the name Richard Millhouse Nixon ring any bells for you?
From 'A School History of England (1911)' by Rudyard Kipling:
Occupiers are any of those who feel that the law is preventing them from doing what needs to be done now!, and the call of the Occupiers can be heard coming from Wall Street, to City Hall, to the Whitehouse, and what they are all saying is We Can't Wait!
Hint to St. Louisans, and the nation as a whole - the Occupiers aren't new... they've been occupying your schools for a century... what is new is that they now feel that they've successfully occupied enough of the minds of your neighbors and kids, that they can now bring their troops out of hiding. The Dane-Geld has been paid.
This is a nation of ideas will you allow it to be occupied?