Tuesday, March 6, 2012

On Moving the G8 to Camp David

This move really is a surprise. The rationale is fairly obvious as there is no way for the public to get anywhere near Camp David under any circumstances.

So the question naturally arises: just how fearful are Our Rulers at the boiling Wrath of the People?

The concerted efforts to co-opt and undermine Occupy have become ludicrous, but they continue just the same. The latest Congressional efforts to restrict and suppress public protest in the presence of Important People are bizarre. The excuses and legal justifications for summary execution of Americans reach surreal proportions.

If I were paranoid, I'd suspect we are witnessing the unfoldment of a Plan.

Who'd a thunk, right?


  1. I think this is the "no broken glass" method. Can't remember exactly, but I think Giuliani introduced this in New York? Basically, zero tolerance for anything even remotely resembling dissent. The powers that be figure if they crush even the most orderly and quietist of gatherings -- like the women in Richmond -- it will eventually suppress, repress and oppress everything else out of existence. They must see this as a domino theory of sorts, so if they allow anything, their entire strategy breaks down.

    They've bought into it. They own it. Apparently, they're not going to back down.

    . . . .

    Where we have a major disadvantage in our dissent is via our media. In the Arab world, for instance, "the people" already knew that state media was not to be trusted. They knew they were not being told the truth.

    In America, OTOH, all too many Americans basically trust some form of corporate media -- though we are more and more polarized regarding this, with no Uncle Walter to unify the nation. Still, most Americans basically take as gospel some kind of corporate media, even though it's no more trustworthy than state media in various autocracies. So we're never going to be told the truth regarding Occupy or any other kind of dissent in America. It's always going to be presented from the point of view of the authorities.

    IOW, our supposed "free press" which is anything but . . . is a liability when it comes to the entire population "awakening."

  2. Bumped into this very interesting article on Sweden and Norway's struggle against the 1% decades ago. From Alternet, by way of Bookforum.com

    How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the '1 Percent'

  3. No, they're not going to back down; they're going to go further into hiding. I'm hearing and reading chatter about protesting at Camp David... uhhh. Do people even know where this place is? Hello? An no, nobody will be allowed to get within miles of it. If they try to breach the perimeter, they will be shot.

    Your comment about the media is interesting. Some of what I've been seeing, reading and hearing in the media about yesterday's events at the California Capitol might mirror some of what you've heard about the necessity for the SWAT teams and RoboCops at Virginia's Capitol the other day. It's all lies. Even on the NPR station; I saw the reporter all over the place doing interviews. None of them aired. And his report was one lie after another. Anybody who wasn't there would have a completely erroneous impression of what happened and who was involved and why.

    Our Rulers are pumping out the propaganda at a furious pace. Divide and conquer is the operational plan for now.


    I read the George Lakey piece on Sweden and Norway at "Waging Nonviolence" a while ago. It's a good story, one that shows there is (or at least was) hope, even in seemingly hopeless circumstances. And it demonstrates some of what it takes -- and how long it takes -- to make substantive changes in a corrupt and calcified system of exploitation and rule.

    Some of the criticisms of the story, however, focus on the fact that the "system" itself wasn't changed, it was taken over. Others have pointed to the fact that the total combined population of those two countries is about that of a large county in the United States, besides the fact that the populations are nearly homogeneous. Other critics -- from Norway and Sweden, no less -- point out that the situation was and is far more complex than Lakey makes it out to be (which a Swedish actress friend of mine will most certainly verify!)

    Nevertheless, the Scandinavian example shows that the task is not impossible, and the People eventually can take control of their own fate.

  4. I agree with you. Camp David is an armed camp. Not the place for protest, if one's life matters.

    Good work again on anarchism and diversity of tactics. It is a tragedy that OWS is being riven by an internal battle that is both unnecessary and destructive of its larger aims. More than ironic, given the strong anarchist roots of the movement in the first place. You point to the likely psychology that pushes black bloc folks into adhering far more fiercely to non-violence than others in the movement who see them as a threat to non-violence. Those trying to force these people out need to do more than reassess.

    . . . .

    Reading all kinds of things these days, but mostly about Zen Buddhism. When I take a break, it's to read David Graeber's Debt. Really fascinating, and in part, ground-breaking. I highly recommend it, if you haven't already gotten to it. As of page 220 . . .

    The folks at Crooked Timber had a web seminar on the book recently.


    Also, this very interesting article on Lincoln and Marx:

    John Nichols

  5. Che,
    You know (right?) that the website you link to about Camp David is a spoof site, not the real WH website. Nobody gets into Camp David and there is no such thing as renting a cabin there, as the spoof site claims to offer.

    I live near Camp David - have lived in several houses over the past 15 years on one side of it or the other. Camp David is inside Cunningham Falls State Park, which is a very popular hiking, camping, and swimming area. The road to Camp David runs off the main road through the park, and is an unmarked dirt and gravel road that looks like a logging road or a park ranger access road. All the locals know which road it is and also know not to even think about going down it.

    The main road through the park is a two-lane paved road. Locals use it every morning and evening to commute between two smallish towns. They also use it as a short-cut to go shopping in the larger of the two towns, if they happen to live in the smaller one...ain't much of nothin' in the smaller one.

    The park road is twisty and full of steep grades and hairpin turns; long sections of it are pegged at 15 MPH. It is bordered on both sides by heavy woods and small cliffs going down to creekbeds and rivers, but no shoulders. In other words, there is no place to pull over (except in the marked parking areas to leave your car while you hike) and no room for driving errors. Run off the road and you are 20 feet down in a creek. The point of giving all this description is to say - there will be no protesters when the G8 is held there. There is simply no place to stand and protest anywhere near Camp David.

    The Camp David access road is heavily guarded, if you get far enough along it to reach the guards; but even if you got that far, you couldn't see any of the camp from where they would stop you. The big-wigs helicopter in. There is a secondary access road from the other side where they bring in supplies and such, but there the situation is the same.

    Immediately after 9/11, the main road going through the park was shut down for about a month as part of the "gov't emergency response" - what a pain in the behind for the people using it as a short-cut, who had to add about 20 miles to their commute each way. But it is easy to shut down - it's only a two lane road, as I said, and I have no doubt they will simply block it off again for the G8 weekend.

    I can't believe anyone thinks they are going to protest at Camp David. Physical impossibility.


  6. Che,
    I just saw a few "twitter feeds" (I don't do the stupid twitter thing and don't even have a cell phone, but I see them on the webs) from some Occupy people who really do think they are coming to Camp David to protest in May.

    Camp David is on a mountain. The nearby towns are tiny, with long stretches of farm land or huge privately-owned estates going up into the mountainside in between little hamlets of settlements. I.e.; it's in the middle of nowhere. They can shut down all the ingress/egress roads to this whole section of Md for the week-end by closing just a couple of roads, and keep people 10 miles from Camp David.

    If you happen to be talking to anyone who is thinking of participating, please let them know it is futile and not to waste their time, which would better be spent elsewhere. Hate to be a bummer about a good protest, but this one is a dumb idea.


  7. Yes, teri49, I do know what kind of site I linked to re Camp David. ;-) I thought it was hilarious, and I hope others do too.

    I haven't been to that area of Maryland but I've known for quite a while just how inaccessible Camp David is. That's the whole point of it, of course.

    I hope you don't mind, but I posted your information about the location and inaccessibility (without identifying you as the source, just mentioning it was a comment) to a Occupy national strategy group I'm part of. Some of the participants are organizers with NOWDC (successor to Oct2011) who are -- apparently -- trying to strategize protest at Camp David as we speak. To you and me, it's a total waste of time. Do something else to protest rather than trying to get to a place you cannot get to -- without getting shot. It seems so obvious to us, but they want to march and carry signs at Camp David. (And damn, they're in DC. They should already know they -- well, we -- can't get there from here.) Thanks for the info. I will certainly spread the word whenever I run in to folks wanting to "go to Camp David."

    Strategically it seems to me the better way to deal with this turn of events is to turn away from the G8 leaders and conduct a truly Global People's Summit. Steal their thunder as it were.


    From what I can tell, the internal struggle over "violence"/nonviolence has pretty much petered out -- though there is still a lot of fallout. I was at a strategy session over the weekend where there was an attempt to bring it up (again), and it had been so beaten to death nobody had anything productive to add.

    People are going to do what they are going to do.

    The folks who would do Black Bloc -- at least the ones I've met -- are whip-smart and if anything they are more self-critical than any Maoist ever dreamed of being. They are not at all the kind of wild vandals they are made out to be.

    I've been taking a stronger stand challenging those who try to divide the Movement on the basis of who "belongs" and who doesn't... not that anybody listens to me! ;-) We've heard the arguments.

    Thanks for the links; I will check them out. I haven't read "Debt" yet, but I have seen the summaries!

    The challenge of Zen is never ending... but the challenge is also ever rewarding...


  8. Teri,

    I grew up in Maryland, in the College Park area. Graduated from U of M with a degree in Art and returned in the next decade to get a Masters in Lit. That didn't work out, thanks to financial issues. But I had a great experience both times.

    Recently read about a serious dust up at Northwestern High School, near U of M. Sort of a mini-Occupy moment. Do you know the scoop?

    . . .


    Glad you're in the thick of things. Occupy needs someone with your experience and sense of the long-view, etc. I hope they're reading this blog as well . . .

  9. Cuch,

    Hey, Terp! I grew up in Kensington and then Gaithersburg. I have several siblings who graduated from UMd; I did the MC route myself - art and art history. And ended up being a bookkeeper. My daughter was accepted at UMd, but the tuition is stupendous, so she is doing the community college up here instead.

    The thing at Northwestern High was the Westboro Baptist Church idiots protesting the "immoral deviants" in the public school system. The kids and parents set up a counter-protest. I don't know what happened the day they were there, just that both sides were preparing. (I guess I could go check. Must have been one of those days when I couldn't take the evening news.) The Westboro people took the time to come up here last year, to my daughter's high school. We got rainbow armbands for all the kids who wanted them and the teachers let them skip homeroom to go out front and stand with the parents.

    I don't think Westboro picks a school for any particular reason - they just hate everyone. They are a strange bunch.

    Where are you now, if you don't mind my asking?


  10. Teri,

    I'm in Virginia now. Very conservative country. Like a fish out of water down here.

    Pretty much as a result of a long struggle finding decent work . . . my Art degree (minor was Art History too) did not impress the business world . . . I moved to NC and got another degree, at App State (Boone), this time in Communication . . . then sought a middle ground in Charlottesville. Hoped to get an MFA at UVA, but couldn't finance it . . . So, back into the workaday world. Have been in Central VA since 1997, but would prefer to be in Europe. Hope to retire there . . .

    Anyway, thanks for the scoop about Northwestern. Westboro? Disgusting. Makes the suppression of the students even more unconscionable.

    If you ever want to get in touch, Ché has my email address.

  11. Cuchulain,
    I do not. Have Che's e-mail address, I mean. If you think it would be okay to talk outside of school, you can leave a comment on my blog at teri.nicedriving.org

    The wordpress system requires that you leave an e-mail address with your comment, which does not show up to the public. I think the first time you comment there, your comment won't show up at all until I approve it - after that, the commenter is pre-approved. In any case, your e-mail would never show up to anyone except me.

    I actually dislike that part of the wordpress thing; asking for an email address seems so nosy. :)


  12. Teri -- my email address is listed in "View my complete profile" in the righthand column under About Me. I would put it in a comment here, except I know they get mined by various commercial scourbots, and my inbox is bulgy enough thankyouverymuch. At any rate, if you ever do feel inclined or need to email me, the information is only two clicks away!

    Meanwhile, if you haven't already heard, it appears that NOWDC is trying to set up a protest action for the G8 festivities in Thurmont. I guess they figure that's close enough...

  13. Che,
    In Thurmont? It IS the nearest town to Camp David, but still miles away as the crow flies (over dense woods). I am sure their voices will NOT carry to Camp David and they will be completely invisible and ignored....except to the good stanch Republicans who live there and who will be a tad put out by the protesters blocking access to the only grocery store. Still, it is better than getting shot by the Marine guards at the Camp.

    If they stay late enough, there's dancing at the local VFW hall of a Saturday night.....


  14. Teri,

    The theory behind having some sort of mass protest in Thurmont seems to be that the media will be there, they will be bored and cranky, and therefore a Protest will get Lots of Coverage. As we know, media coverage is the most important thing about any protest./s

    Myself, I tend to be of the "turn your back" school about these things. If Our Rulers are going to be hiding away like that, then I say have a very public, very open, and very festive People's Summit, everywhere around the world, with maybe a central collection point in NY or DC or somewhere else. By all means, denounce the G8, but primarily dig into the things that really matter and can improve people's lives.

    "Dancing at the VFW of a Saturday..." I could tell you stories. '-) But it was a long time ago!

    Meanwhile I looked on the map, and sure enough, I have been sort of in that area... once. We decided to take a road trip out of Baltimore, headed north on I-70, beautiful day, beautiful country, having a grand time, when all of a sudden traffic stopped just past Frederick... we waited. And waited. And waited. For two hours or more. Stalled. Some people said we could get off onto a side road just up ahead, but there was no way to get there; traffic was stalled for miles in every direction. Finally, after all that wait, traffic slowly started moving again, and then a storm came up. A fierce, lashing, gale-rain storm that made it impossible to drive so we pulled off at a Waffle House in Hagerstown, where we waited it out amid the locals and had a wonderful time, truly. When the weather was decent again, we thought we might do better if we sought out a different destination, so we headed over to Harper's Ferry, and I still get cold chills remembering it. We were practically the only people there. After touring the sites and contemplating what happened there -- talk about insurrection! -- we went over the bridge and gazed down that stunning gorge at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac... it was in its own way as memorable a trip as I've ever been on.

  15. Che,
    Hagerstown is my home. If you were at the Waffle House (or the Denny's or the IHOP) at the right time, you would catch the local young 'uns, as well as the older locals. There is nothing for the kids to do here at night really, except hang out at the food places. So they do. They drink a lot of coffee, our youth - which is better, I suppose, than drinking a lot of alcohol.

    It's a mixed bag, like any smallish city; these people always vote Republican but on the other hand, we have one of the largest Muslim mosques on the Eastern seaboard here, and nobody cares. That particular and peculiar Republican hatred doesn't filter through here. And very few are bothered much about the gay issue one way or another. Yet, we can be very dumb. Some beauty magazine voted Hagerstown's men as the second or third ugliest men in the US (can't remember which), citing numbers of cigarette smokers and fat asses. So the local paper decided to hold a "Hagerstown's Hottest Man" contest in retaliation. This was a couple of years ago. The final top list of 25 included a fellow who had died 10 years prior, Mr. Copy Qwik (a store logo), and 13 guys who did not live in H'town. I am not making that up.

    Now here is a cute story: last Halloween, the local skating club decided to hold a "zombie party" at a ballroom in one of the hotels (free of charge to the kids), so that the teens who were too young to drink and too old to trick-or-treat had a place to play. My daughter and some friends decided to go, to which end, my kid did everyone's makeup and we dyed some old clothes, etc. But when they arrived at the hotel, the room was already overcrowded and they were turned away. They went instead to one of the local restaurants, not wanting to waste all their costuming efforts. The only customers that night were about five old couples, the younger couples being busy taking their little ones out trick-or-treating, I suppose. Instead of muttering about the wild, outlandish youth of today, these people asked the kids about their costumes and make-up, etc. When they found out the kids had had to miss their dance, they said, well, let's give you a dance here. They asked the wait staff to move the tables to clear a space, which they did, and then the oldsters kept feeding quarters into the jukebox so the kids could dance. (They started with "Werewolves of London", natch.) My daughter came home exhilarated.

    So this can be a pretty nice place.


  16. Yep, that sounds like the Hagerstown we imagine from our relatively brief experience at the Waffle House -- we were there maybe an hour and a half with a few other stranded drivers, but there were more locals who were a just a joy to be among. They didn't want to stay out in the weather either. So it was a storm party at the Waffle House. In a way, it felt like an old home reunion, though of course we'd never been there before.

    Then there's Baltimore. But that's another story for another time. I'll just say this: shortly after we got back to our hotel, the fire alarm went off, and we had to evacuate to the parking lot. There was no fire, surprisingly enough, but our room was robbed during the time we were standing around awaiting developments and the ladder trucks to arrive. Dealing with the hotel staff over the robbery was, to put it mildly, a trial...