It's raining

It was raining last night (Friday) here in Menlo Park. We have moved to a small apartment on El Camino Real (the “Kings Highway”). On this part of El Camino the street acts like a railroad track separating Menlo Park from the second wealthiest zip code in the country, Atherton. Now this a town of “old” money garnered the ‘old fashioned’ way, they earned it. Not to be confused with the money guys on Wall Street who didn’t work for their money, nor did they produce anything. No, Atherton is a quiet, tree abundant community with low crime and huge houses. They are definitely part of the 1% the Occupy movement talks about but aren’t specifically the target. My late uncle and aunt lived on an estate not too far where I am sitting. As far as I remember my mother telling me, my uncle made a ton of money cooking and selling hooch during Prohibition. He found a need and supplied the demand. He earned his money.

When I was little I often spent time in their home with their growing family. I didn’t know it then, but in a few decades, I would be living in the neighborhood albeit “across the tracks” within waving distance. I don’t begrudge the people who live there. The Tea Party has a foothold in the community and from time to time they set up their overused Hitler Obama signs on Santa Cruz Avenue, makes for interesting conversations when I’m on my way to Ace Hardware. I love chatting with uninformed and history-challenged voter-citizens…sometimes it’s too easy…

Speaking of the Occupy movement, it’s interesting to hear the push back from the Republican candidates (and extremist “news” channels like FOX and the utter distain in their voices. The louder they get and the bigger flags they way really mask a deep fear that the movement is resonating and that people are beginning to take the various messages of the movement to heart). What could be more democratic? Not so long ago, people in tricornered hats with tea bags hanging from them stirred the selfish in people and garnered a wave of change in the House in 2010. The rest of us were amused at the antics of a Beck and second amendment remedy solutions. In 2011-12 we have buyers regret and the sleeping giant of the 99’ers is pushing for reform in a slightly different direction, their target is crony capitalism, the very golden egg of the selfish movement. How dare they! Imagine thinking we are all in this together! Oh horrors! The “blame yourself” rhetoric is falling flat. And the “anti-capitalism…uncivilized” remarks from Newt are also very hollow. Actually “when Jack Abramoff is appalled by your corruption, you are doing something wrong”.

So I sit on my porch looking across El Camino thinking of starting a one-person “Occupy Atherton.” I also know, that the powers that be, in time (it always takes time for ideas to take root) will implode. Time for public financing of candidates and getting the quid pro quo out of politics all together. The American field of the last 30 years has been slanted toward the very wealthy and needs some grading so all really have a chance at success. The very idea of America has been morphed over decades into a corporation or business…but it is its people…it is a democracy and democracies are messy. (Yes, Virginia, corporations are not people, my friend) We do not need a business guru to run this country…we need someone who reads.

and so it goes…