Justify

It is ironic that the day I read the reply from Vigilant Vicky Hartzler’s ‘office’ to my letter in the Lake Sun Leader, the House voted to pass the NDAA, allowing the US military to come into our homes, in the middle of the night, without cause or warrant, zip tie us up and take us away to a secret military detention center.  As I read the condescending, dismissive tone used by ‘the office of Vicky Hartzler’, in an attempt to somehow justify the arrest of an admittedly peaceful Missourian who chose to wait for her in the office we provide her, and as she prepares to cast a vote in favor of SOPA which will allow the government to shut down any website under vague and broad jurisdiction, I am left with only one response.

This is what a police state looks like.

 

Members of Occupy KC in on Capitol hill during a week of solidarity actions in Washington, D.C.

To the ‘Office of Vicky Hartzler’, whatever that is supposed to mean:

I have to ask what ‘responsibilities’ you think come with our First Amendment rights as you prepare to make a vote to shut down internet web sites?  That, I think, might be good for us to know.  Do we have the ‘responsibility’ to practice our freedom of speech and talk with our officials directly?  Wait, that is a right still, isn’t it?  I must say that your ‘office’s’ attempt at setting the record straight really seems to provide more questions than answers.  In fact, given my own disapproval of your having Missourians arrested, I wonder how long will it be, Vigilant Vicky, before you have the military snatch me up for dissent?  Do you accept revised history’s version of ‘enhanced interrogation’?  Never mind.  The NDAA authorized torture too, so it’s a mute point.

I reject your pro-corporate policies and agendas.  You serve your masters who threw millions into the race in 2010, getting you elected on an overwhelming wave of propaganda.  Since taking office, you have done nothing, other than lead the rally cry for ending all rules for big business and the banks, although you call it a ‘moratorium on job-killing regulations’ and an end to ‘government overreach’.  The regulations we used to have would have protected us from 2008 and what we are still facing now.  Those regulations were removed by those of your kind.

This ‘office’ you have doesn’t represent the majority of this district because we are the 99%.  Rep. Hartzler, you and the people you represent certainly aren’t us.  If we were, you might have had guts enough to justify the arrest yourself.

The Phantom Menace

The Phantom Menace

In a full week that included having Missourians arrested for petitioning her office for a meeting, Vicky Hartzler provided yet another piece of evidence of her incompetence in office.  The following is a direct quote from our very own Vigilant Vicky, Thursday afternoon:

”The House passed a bill to stop the runaway EPA’s crazy new proposed regulation regulating farm dust-another exp. of Washington’s over reach.”

Vigilant Vicky, in all her glory, was swinging her flaming sword at

Vicky Hartzler is beginning to forge quite a history with the events of the past week. Hartzler is moving forward with her pro-corporate agenda, even if lying is necessary.

Washington and their needless rules and regulations, fighting hard to free corporations from the shackles of rules.  She sounded especially proud of herself for this particular bill, trumpeting her efforts for all Missourians to be proud of.

But the picture is not complete.

From the Washington Post:

‘The EPA’s new dust rule did not exist. It never did.

Still, the specter of this rule has spurred three bills to prevent it , one of which was approved Thursday by a House subcommittee. It sparked a late-night battle on the Senate floor. GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain cited it in a debate as a reason to eliminate the EPA.

The hubbub over this phantom rule — surely one of the most controversial regulations that never was — involved a slow-moving federal agency and a Republican Party with the EPA in its crosshairs.’

The victory claimed by Vigilant Vicky and the rest of her pro-corporate, deregulation cabal is absolutely and completely false.  Ms Hartzler approved a bill to countermand a rule that isn’t in place.  The EPA has no farm dust rule.

I can take a lot of things, Ms Hartzler.  I am used to a certain built-in level of corruption where our public officials are concerned.  But to be so bent on inventing and promoting a political win that would seem to ‘create’ momentum for even more corporate deregulation is a special kind of frightening.  This, of course, during a week that has earned you the title of Vigilant Vicky, after having been so pro-active as to arrest Missourians in your office instead of, you know, talking to them.  Many things I can stand, Ms Hartzler, but to be both a bully and to be ignorant of what you are voting on,  that I cannot.  We will not allow the lowest common denominator to be the sole voice of this District of Missouri.  You represent the lunatic fringe of corporatism run amuck and we the people, the 99%, are quite tired of that

Vicky Hartzler.  Do us a favor.  Don’t make another vote on something you don’t know the facts on.  It is that kind of careless behavior that has brought our democracy here.

Perfect Scapegoat

Perfect Scapegoat

While reading Vigilant Vicky’s tweets regarding former CEO of Goldman Sachs and Governor of New Jersey Jon Corzine’s testimony today, I couldn’t help but notice the familiarity of Corzine’s lines when questioned about the whereabouts of at least $1.2 billion in customer funds that cannot be located. He simply doesn’t know where the money went off to, he said

Jon Corzine will be an easy sell as the poster child for all that's wrong with the world. It's highly likely that Corzine will be exactly what Wall Street and Washington needs: a scapegoat.

and further, that he didn’t know what accounts were reconciled and which weren’t. This comes as no surprise. Corzine is the latest in a long list of those in the 1% ignoring our laws and is another example of the glaring inequalities in our country.

Whether it is Ford pardoning Nixon, Iran-Contra, or Bill Clinton repeating “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”, we are used to the method of operation known as denial. We saw it in dozens of examples in the Bush administration. We see it in daily doses from the Obama administration. We see it in the fact that not one single Wall Street CEO has been held accountable for defrauding our Treasury of unknown amounts of money while our prisons are at maximum capacity. There is a new frontier in the American economic future. There is an entire corporate arm building up around the Prison Industrial Complex and with what we’ve seen recently in our streets, business is about to boom.

But not for the 1%. For they are truly above the reach of the law in today’s society. Look around you at the evidence. Think of the inconceivable audacity it takes to admit on the Sunday morning talk show circuit that you violated the Geneva Convention and committed war crimes. There is no fear of retribution. Glenn Greenwald, blogger at Salon.com, has taken a long hard look at the two-tiered justice system in America and how it contradicts the most basic, most fundamental edict held by our founding fathers about the rule of law being equally applied in society. I will only say this, that the denials are a monotonous refrain to my tired ears.

Still, in this case, I believe we have found ourselves a scape goat. I believe that Jon Corzine is going to be the sacrificial lamb on the altar of public opinion. The 1% know that they must give something up, after all. The people are in the streets and, as the reality of a new America begins to settle over the landscape like winter’s heavy gray mantle, their numbers are growing.

The 1% knows that Corzine has caught his hand in an unfortunate cookie jar. It is the cookie jar they themselves gorge at and together, the CEO’s on Wall Street are breathing a collective sigh of relief, that it is Corzine’s grubby fingers that have been found in our pockets this time, and not their own. Not when the mob is becoming restless. Not when people seem to have had enough of the same old song and dance.

To maintain their rule, the 1% have purchased our law making systems and rule with a tyrannical fist. They have no accountability and no responsibility for their actions.

No, those fortunate enough to have avoided Corzine’s fate are counting themselves among the lucky ones, this evening. They are sitting back, congratulating themselves silently on not having been unlucky enough to have been caught. In fact, Ms. Hartzler, you seem to have more in common with Corzine than most. Right about now, Representatives Graves and Cleaver, who elected to talk to the Missourians who visited their DC offices this week instead of having them arrested, are having a sigh of relief at your expense.

You provided the perfect example of this inequality for us in your very own version of an Occupy movement favorite, the teach-in. You made yourself the poster child for what is wrong with our country’s institutions. While the protesters were waiting in your office, your staff barely looked at them. You treated them as though they weren’t there. You showed them the utter disgust the 1% really has for the rest of us. You even called the police to have them muscled from your sight. The fact that one of them was arrested is just an unfortunate side effect of a visit to the Hill.

I don’t know if you have noticed who the people of your district are, but look around. I’ve lived in this District most of my life. I grew up outside of Sedalia in Otterville. Lived outside of Warrensburg and Knob Noster and Whiteman AFB. I bleed Chiefs red and gold and watch my team at home in the Lake of the Ozarks. All around me, in our neighborhoods, in our towns, are the 99%. We are all people who work hard, want to provide for our families and want a fair shake. We are poor, mostly, but we’ve been lied to and made to feel like we are middle class to disguise our reality. We are a lot of things, but we aren’t dumb. We know what it looks like when the 1% and their politicians and their police start cracking the whip on the rest of us. We get the message. We see how you think things are supposed to be.

I imagine you and Jon Corzine will have many things in common, Ms. Hartzler, before this is through. You too, have been caught in a shameful act and you too, may find yourself a perfect scapegoat for further bolstering the Occupy movement by bringing to the fore the basic problems we the people face in trying to free our democracy of you and the hard line, corporate agenda you represent.

Vigilant Vicky

Vigilant Vicky

Today, our good Representative Vicky Hartzler sent out a tweet to remember Pearl Harbor and to give us all a “reminder to stay vigilant”.  I was happy to hear from her so soon, after having had a Missourian arrested in her office for wanting to talk to her.  I tweeted right back (I’m starting to get a better handle on this Twitter thing now) if she thought she was being vigilant when she had that young man arrested.  She didn’t answer which kind of leaves me hanging although I’m almost certain she thought she was setting a good example with her behavior.

You see Vicky, days like today that remind me how precious my rights truly are to me, especially the First Amendment you fear so much.  Raising a voice in contradiction to yours is my sovereign, God-given right as a citizen of the United States of America.  I will do so loudly, madam.  You have yet to give us an explanation for your actions.  Want to get up close and

Vicki Hartzler arrests the 99% when they ask to speak with her.

personal to the dreaded ‘anti-capitalist’ hippie movement, Vicki?  You ‘occupy’ the office we allow you to ‘occupy’.  You cannot arrest us because we want to talk to you.  And if you think you must arrest them, then what is it that you fear?  A conversation, like the one Rep. Graves had with the Occupiers in his office?  You are a shameful, small person who likely wouldn’t have been able to match the informed dialogue presented in your office yesterday.  Arresting Missourians is not in your mandate, Vicky.

You have made a decision that goes far beyond a sexual harassment scandal or an affair with an intern.  You had peaceful young Missourians manhandled out of your office.  You had one arrested.  Because you were too busy to deal with them. Your schedule was too full.  I know these details because I called and spoke with your staffer.  We will not forget what you have done here, Ms. Hartzler, because the truth is this.  You didn’t arrest a Democrat, a Republican, an Occupier or a Tea Party member.

You arrested an American, a Missourian, in the House we built.

Seventy years ago today, this country was attacked by an enemy that stood in opposition to free will and free determination.  They attacked us then, as they do now, under cover of lies and deceptions designed to hide a series of awful, paralyzing blows.  Then, as now, when the smoke clears and the truth is revealed, it is the steel of the American people, not its officials, that makes this land what it is. It gives us our shared strength in the face of odds too daunting for weaker hearts.

We have seen your kind before, those who would silence dissent.  We have been warned of these times and warned against people like you, Vicky Hartzler, by Thomas Jefferson himself.

“When governments fear the people there is liberty.  When people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

Vigilant Vicky.  Maybe that’s good advice, politically speaking, for you.   Now that you have taken to arresting us, perhaps you should be vigilant.

Hartzler’s Folly

Hartzler’s Folly

On the National Day of Action conducted by the Occupy movement on December 6th, several delegations visiting the nation’s capital from Occupy camps around the country made their way to Capitol Hill.  There, they attempted to meet with their elected officials in an effort to present them with lists of grievances and promote conversation with our congressional

Vicki Hartzler. Has taxpayers in her district jailed who dare speak to her.

representatives about the issues of economic injustice and the host of problems facing our country today.  When members from the Occupy Kansas City delegation arrived in Vicki Hartzler’s office, they were met with  handcuffs and disdain.

Hartzler would not speak to her constituents.  She was not interested in listening.  She called the police, who manhandled the taxpaying citizens of Missouri from her office.  One young man was arrested for sitting in a chair in the politician’s office.   To you, Ms. Hartzler, I would suggest you lean in close.  I don’t want you to miss a single syllable of what I have to say.

You work for us.

It is not the other way around.

I certainly hope that you take the time to consider what you have done today.

You had one of the people you represent put in cuffs because they wanted to talk to you.

You work for us, although it would certainly seem you have forgotten that.

Ms. Hartzler, I hope you sleep well tonight, while a citizen of your district sits in jail for having the audacity to talk to you.  If we needed you to clearly define where you stand, you have certainly obliged.  You have shown you do not want to be bothered with the nonsense of the 99%.  Not that this comes as any surprise, mind you.  We see right through your thin veneer, your flimsy rhetoric, your false interest.  You are no different than the rest, interested only in your own self-promotion and the gains you reap from the office we allow you to hold.  Pay close attention to that last part, Vicki, because it is the gospel truth.

You hold that office because we allow you to.  You have only the power we allow you to have.  You work for us.

Remember that, Ms. Hartzler, and remember the old parable about slaves in the Roman Empire.  It was once suggested, by an elite with a large ego, that it would be a good idea to have the slaves wear arm bands in order to signify their slavery to the world at large.  After it had been suggested, an older elite immediately hushed his enthusiastic young friend and warned him of the folly of such an action.

If you make them all wear arm bands, said the elder, they will realize how many of them there are and how few of us.

I hope, Ms Hartzler, that you grasp the lesson.