Letters to the Boston editors, March 9, 2012
The Seamus incident is a stunning display of Mitt Romney's indifference (see "Demand Seamus Photos," February 16, Talking Politics blog post). Romney is certainly not the first person to transport a dog on the roof of a car or in the bed of a pickup truck. But most people don't do it for a 12-hour trip. Furthermore, after the dog relieved himself, any person with a sense of humanity would have put the dog in the car, and the luggage on the roof.
This incident will prevent Romney from becoming president. Far too many people of all political affiliations own dogs, and consider their dog a member of the family. I expect that if Romney is the Republican nominee, the Seamus story will explode later this year, and Crategate will become the top election story.
Chris Faraone's "Organizing Chaos" (News and Features, February 24) makes some good points, but his reference to Occupy Boston's general assembly becoming bogged down in procedure misses some of what's going on. We did have a two-hour discussion of GA process, but that was a one-time discussion, not "two hours per week." Perhaps he meant the Facilitation Working Group, which is scheduling longer meetings?
My sense of what's going on is that Occupy Boston has spent five months nitpicking process because we've never taken a step back to think about what kind of process we want to have. We use the language of consensus in a process that is not very consensus-like. Because lots of details adopted in the beginning were poorly thought out or not thought out at all, we do a lot of tinkering without much consistency or context. The inconsistencies and ambiguities are generally manageable with routine or boring proposals, but they tend to break down under stress.
Some of our process problems were predictable from the beginning. But now that our system's flaws are more obvious, many of us are hoping we can do less nitpicking in the future if we engage in more thoughtful restructuring now. Aligning our process with our broader principles is fully consistent with the Occupy movement's effort to reshape public debate about unequal access to resources and power.
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