The first few minutes are a half-decent news summary on the worldwide solidarity demonstrations with Occupy Wall Street this past weekend. It does seem to give undue attention to rowdiness in Rome.
The groaner lines start quickly. At about 3:35, the AJE reporter makes the rather remarkable statement that the purpose of the Glass-Steagal act was to give the Federal Reserve the right to regulate interest charged by banks. Whether or not Glass-Steagal affected that, the key regulatory component of it was the separation of investment banking from commercial banking. You can make pretty theoretical cases out of the air on whether regulation of probelms arising from their combination is possible without that. But the experience of both the US and Europe these last 10 years tells me that allowing them to be combined is as bad as an idea as it was when Glass-Steagal was first enacted.
Then they bring on two (and only two) commentators to discuss the protests and their significance, both of whom parrot standard bobblehead Republican economic talk. Bobblehead 1 is Charlie Wolf of the Daily Mail. Bobblehead Charlie looks like the kind of chronically constipated sort who wears his jackboots to bed.
Bobblehead 2 is Sam Bowman, who looks to be about 19 years olf from something called the Adam Smith Institute. I'm guessing he was severely traumatized by reading an Any Rand novel just as he hit puberty; this is known to have severely retarding effects on adolescent mental development.
Both the bobbleheads seem to be particularly disturbed that some of the protesters use mobile phones and post on Twitter. Somehow this is supposed to make the protesters contemptible hypocrites. Would the two Bobblehead Brothers really give them more respect if they were all people who lived "off the grid" like the Unabomber? ROTFLOA, as they say on the Internet.
Bobblehead Charlie at about 5:50 begins working himself up for an orgasm with this:
I think for the majority of them, and I don't say this disparagingly towards them, but they are useful idiots. [A reference to Lenin's description for liberals - meant to be disparaging] I, I understand and I empathize there are people out of work and times are tough. But I think they are being used and, as Sam Bowman said, it is a rather inchoate, diverse, uh, protest. It really makes no sense. It, ruh, you can't get anywhere politically as to what they want.Bobblehead Charlie offers no proof whatsoever for this latter charge, except "as you just listed" (see below), nor does he describe the "very nefarious means and desires" of those people who he says (against without a shred of evidence) are controlling this now-worldwide protest movement.
However, the masses aside, the quote-unquote useful idiots, [Bobblehead Charlie really likes that one] are being controlled by a bunch of people who have some very nefarious means and desires, as you just listed, on wanting to change the Constitution of the United States. That's an anathema to the thinking of the United States. They want to turn it into some kind of Communist, or socialist, Marxist, uh, uh, entity. That's not going to happen.
Bobbblehead Charlie is just regurgitating John Birch Society boilerplate, of course. I wonder if he knows the Soviet Union doesn't exist any more?
It's hard not to be completely sarcastic about this kind of stuff. Amending the Constitution is anathema to Americans? His ulcers would probably start acting up if he were to here that the very first Congress quickly sent Constitutional Amendments to the states, where they were quickly approved, becoming the Bill of Rights. They include that Second Amendment that our Republicans claim to love so much.
The Constitutional change to which he refers was reported by the anchor starting around 2:45 said that some protest group called the General Assembly of New York City, of whom I've never heard before, suggested some specific demands for the protests to adopt. One is "the imposition of a Robin Hood tax," which he describes as a tax on financial transactions (i.e., a "Tobin tax", from the late Nobel laureate James Tobin who long advocated it). They also called for "re-writing the Constitution", which he presumes is a plan to "put forward a new, progressive US Constitution by the year 2020". The final demand was to "reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act", which as I mentioned above he bungles describing. He didn't mention Communism, socialism and Marxism being part of that group's demands. Nor did such demands appear in the opening minutes during the news report. (I believe I saw a Ché Guevara t-shirt, though. Oh, Miss Mellie, bring the smelling salts, quickly!)
Starting around 3:40, Hannah interviews a Mark Bray, who is identified as a spokesperson for Occupy Wall Street and one of the organizers of the group. Unlike Bobblehead Sam Bowman, he not only looks old enough to have face hair, he actually has a nicely-trimmed beard. Mark says:
Well, fundamentally what we're looking for is economic justice. [Lawdy, lawdy, bring me those smellin' salts!!]Even Bobblehead Sam was a little embarrassed by his Bobblehead Brother's rant about Communism conspiracy. But he seems to think it's the Tea Party protesting on Wall Street, worrying about bailouts and gubment regulation.
We want to create a society where the needs of the vast majority of the people are prioritized over the profits of a small number of corporations which have an undue influence on the organization of our society.
And, moreover, we're looking for a more democratic structure, where the people can actually hold those officials that make these decisions accountable. Those are the two fundamental things we're looking for.
The Bobblehead Brothers make David Brooks looks like an actually sensible person!
Tags: aljazeera english, occupy wall street