(Subhead): Anti-Occupy Crackdowns Highlight Lack of Services
by Ted Rall
Governments are supposed to fulfill the basic needs of their citizens. Ours doesn’t pretend to try.
Sick? Too bad.
Can’t find a job? Tough.
Broke? Can’t afford rent? We don’t give a crap.
Forget “e pluribus unum.” We need a more accurate motto.
We live under a f— you system.
Got a problem? The U.S. government has an all-purpose response to whatever ails you: f— you.
During the ’80s I drove a yellow taxi in New York. Then, as now, there were no public restrooms in the city. At 4 in the morning, with few restaurants or bars open, the coffee I drank to stay awake posed a significant challenge.
It was—it is—insane. People pee. People poop. As basic needs go, toilets are as basic as it gets. Yet the City of New York, with the biggest tax base of any municipality in the United States, didn’t provide any.
So I did what all taxi drivers did. What they still do. I found a side street and a spot between two parked cars. It went OK until a cop caught me peeing under the old elevated West Side Highway, which later collapsed due to lack of maintenance. Perhaps decades of taxi driver urine corroded the support beams.
“You can’t do that here,” said the policeman.
“Where am I supposed to go?” I asked him. “There’s aren’t any restrooms anywhere in town.”
“I know,” he replied before going to get his summons book from his cruiser.
The old “f— you.” We create the problem, then blame you for the results.
I ran away.
In recent days American mayors have been ordering heavily armed riot police to attack and rob peaceful members of encampments allied with Occupy Wall Street.
Like NYC, which won’t provide public restrooms but arrests public urinators, government officials and their media allies use their own refusal to provide basic public services to justify raids against Occupations. (continued)