Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A life is an asset

Aaron Swartz chose to hang himself two years after his felony indictments. He had exhausted his technical skills, his skills of persuasion, and his dollars. His life was his last asset. It is disrespectful and undermining to impose a more palatable world view on his action, to pathologize his hanging as illness, depression that could have been treated. And what might treatment have done? Still his passion; soothe his dismay. Let us not corrupt his last message.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. 

Max Planck

A police officer testified to expectations of hostility, aggression, a superbowl-like atmosphere, that vandalism was inevitable. I wonder locally what events he based that on, what crowds, what rallies, what demonstrations at the Town Clock that turned negative. Even trained observers can see what they expect to see. Disorder was expected; police arrived in riot gear and had tear gas on call. Local activists were expected; police identified and charged one person – she was only on the grass. The judge believes vandalism is a 'natural and inevitable consequence' of trespass. 

Social change is about changing the historic consequences, setting new expectations and results. The police looked at the bandanna masks and saw attempts to evade identification. I saw the bandannas as symbols of cohesion and support, like the pink ribbons, yellow ribbons, other cause identifiers. Law enforcement seems to be looking for leaders, individuals to blame and punish -- a leaderless group doesn't fit the structure: the success or blame goes to the project. 

There had been federally orchestrated enforcement and suppression - this lens created the view. Santa Cruz Police Department was compliant --
 not only did it find what it expected, it helped create it. 

Assembly as Terrorism

Just as with Secure Communities, Santa Cruz is spending local dollars to implement another federal mandate. Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation positioned the Occupy movement as anarchist before the first gathering in New York in 2011, and mobilized local mayors and through them local law enforcement. Kamila Harris states that local enforcement of Secure Communities is optional and discretionary. Here in Santa Cruz, Bob Lee keeps prosecuting the 75 River St sleep-in. January 22 will be the 30th court date I've noted.

A lavish deployment of resources. Think judge, bailiff, reporter, district attorney, defense attorneys times 30 court dates ; add staff preparation time, hard drives and disks, Rebekah Young has been sanctioned for the delays, and fined. And add social costs to supporters and the weakening of social cohesion. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Oiling the hinges

As soon as the stuckedness of one body part works better, there's a compensation, and another connector begins to ask for ease …  

God is a totalitarian solution.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Warming and change

That weather is not acting as expected is creating great social and personal anxiety. More even than the anticipated impact of new weather patterns is that the sequence of seasons cannot be assuredly anticipated.