October 29, 2011

"Are you just occupying space?"

The Occupy Wall Street — or Occupy [Your City] — movement made me remember an old expression: "Are you just occupying space?" It was normally preceded by another question. For example: "Are you getting any work done or are you just occupying space?" In the expression, to "occupy" is to be irritatingly passive and ineffectual. In my experience, it was a relatively mild insult, usually deployed by mothers and schoolteachers.

Should protesters want to convey an aura of inaction? Perhaps! Think of the old protest slogan: "We're here/We're queer/Get used to it." The message is: look, we exist. The onlooker is challenged to stop denying the existence of the people who are making their existence apparent by just occupying space. That's all.

What's perplexing about Occupy [Your City] is that the onlookers already know that people affected by the economy exist. Everyone is affected. The onlookers don't feel that they are at any sort of distanced relationship to the problem the protesters are attempting to highlight. The protesters are simply the people who have taken up urban camping as a manifestation of concern about the problem.

The onlookers might admire the protesters for their stamina and hardiness, but they might also be annoyed by the filth and chaos, especially if it undermines their ability to pursue their own livelihood. Why do these people who are just occupying space think they are heroic when I work all day and go home at night to take care of my family?

The protesters should be able to connect with the nonprotesters, since the economic problems are shared and there's little emphasis on solutions. (Did you see this Onion piece: "Nation Finally Breaks Down And Begs Its Smart People To Just Fix Everything"?) There shouldn't be an us/them relationship between the protesters and onlookers. It's a shared predicament, and the protesters don't have superior knowledge about the problems or what to do about them. But they are there, out on the street. Then what?

They could turn inward and resist communication, like the Occupy Oakland protesters who wore masks and then turned their backs on a reporter who wanted to interview them about what they were doing. But it would be better for them to turn outward, adopting a demeanor that would allow onlookers to talk with them and have real conversations about shared problems. Of course, a conversation goes both ways. You can't just harangue people. There must be back and forth, and since the protesters don't really know what to do about the problems, they can demonstrate their good faith by really engaging.

An outsider to the protest should be able to move into the crowd and get a dialogue going, the way investment guru Peter Schiff did the other day:



Last March, during the height of the occupation of the Wisconsin Capitol, we were impressed by a man — we call him "The Man in the Middle" — who was not one of protesters, who took a seat in the center of the rotunda and invited people to sit down and talk to him one on one. That was one of the best moments in the protests.

Why don't people talk to each other? There was a popular chant last winter — now taken up by the Occupy crowds — "This is what democracy looks like." But democracy should look like people talking to each other. Not staring each other down from a secure distance.

362 comments:

1 – 200 of 362   Newer›   Newest»
Mike_K said...

Yes, they are just occupying space.

franglo said...

Could it be that dialogue is hampered by a constant drumbeat of distortion and hate emanating from professional right-wing grievance mongers?

Nahhhhh.

edutcher said...

Apparently, a lot of the Occupation is illusory. People are noticing that many of the tents on Wall Street and London are unoccupied at night.

franglo said...

Could it be that dialogue is hampered by a constant drumbeat of distortion and hate emanating from professional right-wing grievance mongers?

Nahhhhh.


More like, how can you have a dialogue when all the Occupiers ever say is pre-digested slogans?

Not to mention the fact that the Occupiers don't want to listen to any inconvenient facts that might interfere with their cozy little worldview that absolves them of all responsibility for their futures.

Ann Althouse said...

If there is drumming and chanting, the message is very clear: We're not having any conversations, even within the group. We are driving out reason and contemplation even within our own heads. We're all one big machine now and if you're not part of the machine, you cannot be here. This is our space. Whose house? Our house!

Tyrone Slothrop said...

@franglo

Hey great dialogue. I can see you're really interested in talking this through and reaching consensus. to quote the Bard:

In a soldier’s stance, I aimed my hand
At the mongrel dogs who teach
Fearing not that I’d become my enemy
In the instant that I preach

Sue D'Nhym said...

It's a shared predicament, and the protesters don't have superior knowledge about the problems or what to do about them

Except for the fact that the protesters are being organized by community organizers and union leaders and socialist/anarchist/communist revolutionary dreamers.

The protesters are not, despite their claim to being the 99%, representative of us as a whole.

They are radical left wing revolutionaries who are hoping to become the vanguard to topple the country.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy R. said...

But it would be better for them to turn outward, adopting a demeanor that would allow onlookers to talk with them and have real conversations about shared problems.

I'm not sure why you don't think this has been happening all over the country. This has been my experience as an onlooker at Occupy Los Angeles and Occupy Atlanta and then from the other side of the equation as a supporter and participant in Occupy Atlanta trying to engage with people about what we are doing and why we are doing it.

I have found that most of the criticisms and mistaken information about the Occupations has been coming from people who have not been there for a visit. I'm not sure reading about it really captures what is happening at the various Occupations. I would encourage you (plural) to go visit and spend some time engaging with the people there.

Michael said...

Franglo. But how can the 99% be overwhelmed by a few conservative voices. Or is the 99% all liberals in which case it is clearly not the 99%. Math and logic not yor deal, i know, but this is sily

Paco Wové said...

There was a popular chant last winter — now taken up by the Occupy crowds — "This is what democracy looks like."

Of course, that's not what democracy looks like. It's what a chanting mob looks like.

Michael said...

Andy R. Where do you get those cool hats? Every place i go has hats with the bills facing forward. Let me know would you?

Paddy O said...

"Could it be that dialogue is hampered by a constant drumbeat of distortion and hate emanating from professional right-wing grievance mongers?"

Are they passive victims of everything that happens? Everything is someone else's fault?

Wow. What a sad, self-victim embracing mentality.

And that is precisely the trouble with these protests. It's not really about the other people experiencing the financial problems. These people are in it for themselves, throwing a tantrum about their troubles, when in fact by the very nature of their being able to spend all this time there, they are among the oppressor classes. They are privileged. They are comparatively rich. They have life choices that a small fraction of 1% of people throughout history have been given.

And what do they do with this freedom. They sit in their own filth and yell at passersby.

It's very sad, because it's not just about the issues, it's a whole mentality of privilege and assumptions of wealth that cause such displays of issueless angst.

Canuck said...

The where matters.

Sitting in front of a video console in your parent's basement? Watching a movie? Hanging out in a bar? Gathering with a bunch of other people in a public space and refusing to leave?

Agree or disagree -- it's no longer a "just" when people get in public spaces and refuse to leave.

The rest of society has to decide:
What do we do about it? How do we respond? What do these people want? Do we agree with these people? Do we disagree with these people? Do we use force to remove these people? Does that force make the protest bigger? Will it stop the protest? How do we get these people to go home peacefully?

EDH said...

In my experience, it was a relatively mild insult, usually deployed by mothers and schoolteachers.

Because that derision usually related to inactivity that was presumed to be merely temporary, and was meant to be corrective.

Still, one can move to the more street-wise aphorisms: "waste of space" and more the permanent and existential "waste of sperm".

Paco Wové said...

"This has been my experience..."

No offense, but you generally come off as kind of a douchebag here, so I don't think you have a whole lot of credibility.

Just sayin'.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy R. said...

These people are in it for themselves, throwing a tantrum about their troubles, when in fact by the very nature of their being able to spend all this time there, they are among the oppressor classes.

The homeless and unemployed are part of the oppressor class?

Bruce Hayden said...

Apparently, a lot of the Occupation is illusory. People are noticing that many of the tents on Wall Street and London are unoccupied at night.

Apparently, according to Byron York, the protesters in D.C. have found an even better solution - they loan out the tents to the real homeless at night. That is win-win - the protesters get the appearance of occupying D.C., the homeless get a much nicer place to stay, and the protesters get to feel good about themselves, while getting to sleep in their own warm beds at home.

I must say that I was underwhelmed when I drove by that protest last Sunday on my way out of D.C. A couple dozen nice tents, and fewer people. The absurdity though is that that is the place where the protesters should be protesting. That is where all that crony capitalism that they are protesting happens. It is where the payoffs are made, and the money squandered. Yet, the protesters seem to be occupying much of the rest of the country, instead of where the problem really is.

Browndog said...

I found it interesting that the #occupiers first inclination was to scream and yell at Schiff-

Yet, by answering their "grievances" directly, it forced them to disarm and engage him on a human level (SLAVERY! Rage Boy not withstanding)

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Class factotum said...

I would encourage you (plural) to go visit and spend some time engaging with the people there.

I walked past the San Francisco group last Saturday. They were across the street from the Ferry Terminal - maybe 30 or so people. The two I got close to smelled very bad. It's hard to have a dialogue with someone who stinks - the smell distracts from the message.

J said...

"political power flows out the barrel of a gun"--kumbayah liberals don't quite get Mao's point....tho' many Billy Bob Teabuggers do.

(The sockpuppet has its usual s-names on here too--crass idiotic meaningless, both left and right--that's it (incluing "60 grit"--typically stupid ham-fisted dreck)

Paco Wové said...

I must say, I am enjoying this cold sunny morning, and an Althouse thread that Ritmo hasn't found yet.

Andy R. said...

No offense, but you generally come off as kind of a douchebag here, so I don't think you have a whole lot of credibility.

Yeah, I realize I like to make fun of Perry/Cain/Bachmann, but if there is something serious to talk about, I can be serious.

Althouse said there was a problem with Occupation activists not engaging with onlookers. It would be kind of ironic if all of you refused to engage with someone involved with Occupation Atlanta when the opportunity presented itself.

Althouse: have you spent much time around an occupation? Do you have any questions about what it is like?

AllenS said...

I have yet to figure out the concept of the Occupy Whatever is trying to accomplish.

PatCA said...

"Why don't people talk to each other?"

Well, the OWS is emulating the '60s anti-war movement, which was designed to bully the country into a leftward tilt, not to convince anyone of the superiority of their worldview. It was very successful--but now it seems staged (bc it is).

The innocents there don't realize they are being used, nor did we in the'60s. So hats off to Peter Schiff, who knows his stuff and how to hold an audience. It might just be the beginning of wisdom down there.

Paddy O said...

So, do you know the deadly sin acedia. That's the sin of our era I think.

Essentially it's a spiritual malaise, a driving discontent about life that makes one blind to blessings and opportunities, spurring a complaining listlessness. It can be expressed in giving up on life, or in constant frenzy, going here and there to find some relief.

It can come up with real issues that seem to validate the malaise, but ultimately it is something that comes from the inside, a frenzy of soul that lashes outwards.

And this is precisely what is being celebrated now. A whole generation of pampered students, catered to by student loan provided college niceties, as students every whim and concern was treated as momentous. When such people encounter real life, and it doesn't care much about them or their comforts, people want to climb back in the comfort of their college womb. Only they're pushed out, crying and wailing and suffering a discontent that none of us can ever address for them.

Because we all have to deal with the life they're having trouble dealing with. Crying about it isn't the answer.

Getting up, getting moving, doing manual labor or working in a way that benefits others rather than prioritizes one's own self. That's the only helpful way to respond to acedia. There's no talking through it, because it's not about logic or reason.

Andy R. said...

It's no wonder you are unemployed

I personally have a job. It is one limiting factor on the amount of time I can spend engaging in social justice issues. Other people I met at Occupy Atlanta and Occupy Los Angeles had been laid off from their jobs and hadn't found new ones yet.

edutcher said...

Andy R. said...

These people are in it for themselves, throwing a tantrum about their troubles, when in fact by the very nature of their being able to spend all this time there, they are among the oppressor classes.

The homeless and unemployed are part of the oppressor class?


The Welfare Industrial Complex.

ic said...

The funny thing in the video clip is the Occupier yells that Schiff, a self-made multimillionaire, is a fool.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr Weevil said...

I thought the second comment was going to be profound until I got past the first half a sentence: "Could it be that dialogue is hampered by a constant drumbeat . . .?" Then I read the second half and realized that franglo was not talking about the literal "constant drumbeat" of the OWS goons, which seems designed to hamper or even prevent dialogue (as Ann noted in the fourth comment).

I guess I should have read the author's name first and known not to bother with the comment.

wv: funwe - are having yet?

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clyde said...

"Are you just occupying space?" is good, but it's no "Do you want something or are you just practicing your Cyrodiilic?"

And yes, I AM counting down the days until 11.11.11!

ElPresidenteCastro said...

Occupy K Street.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The homeless and unemployed are part of the oppressor class?

I hope you have been paying some attention. You notice that the OWS people are getting tired of the homeless and 'professional' bums and are oppressively kicking them to the curb because they are freeloading.

The protestors are part of the 1%. They just don't want to recognize it.

Regarding having a dialogue with the Occupy space people: it is hard to have a dialogue with people who are chanting, think in pre-programed mantras and refuse to listen to anything that challenges their narrow world view.

J said...

Superficial, Paddy--what of other sins, like usury greed exploitation. I don't agree with all the protesters' tactics per se (tho' the protesters are not the same as the street people hanging out), but they are addressing legitimate issues--ie corporate excess, corruption , financial predation (and...apathy on the part of political leaders). For that matter--Christ hisself protested Caesar and jewish leaders of the day. The Kochocracy is Evil, P-O.

ic said...

"Nation Finally Breaks Down And Begs Its Smart People To Just Fix Everything"

That's exactly what happened in 2008, that's why the "smartest", the "most brilliant", the "most eloquent" TOTUS-reader is now in the White House.

Andy R. said...

Regarding having a dialogue with the Occupy space people: it is hard to have a dialogue with people who are chanting, think in pre-programed mantras and refuse to listen to anything that challenges their narrow world view.

Is this the experience you had when you visited an occupation?

Paco Wové said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

Other people I met at Occupy Atlanta and Occupy Los Angeles had been laid off from their jobs and hadn't found new ones yet.

Well, it doesn't seem like they are looking very hard. Not many employers hanging out in the filth and crime infested occupations taking job applications.

If they were serious (which they aren't) about getting a job, get off of their dead asses and go apply.

If they ARE collecting unemployment, every last one of them who is photographed at an Occupy event should be prosecuted for unemployment fraud!

J said...

their narrow world view.

No, that's you Dust Nixon gal. Your typical uninformed TP-ish generalizations aren't worth ca ca.

rhhardin said...

The problem won't end until Obama's term ends, is why.

Americans are passive until then by the rules, at least the right is.

The left would have a recall.

Paco Wové said...

Goddamn typos.

"my experience ... trying to engage with people about what we are doing and why we are doing it.

The pattern I have seen over and over again in most political/social debates is:
· Party A presents what it thinks is unassailable, unquestionable case.
· Parties B, C assail and question it.
· Party A responds snarkily.
· Party B responds more snarkily.
· Party A responds with schoolyard insult
Downward spiral ensues.

So, can you present your case and take the criticism rationally and actually "engage"? If so, I will be impressed.

Quaestor said...

franglo wrote:
... professional right-wing grievance mongers?

To understand the issue one must start by living in the real world. Grievance mongering is a wholly-owned franchise of the Left, franglo. How did you miss this?

Dr Weevil said...

Class factotum:

The smell is not a recent development. A high-school student I know passed the D.C. demo three weeks ago and told her mom (who was driving) that she thought it was really cool and she'd like to join it. Her mom didn't argue, just quietly said "Roll down your window".

The result, as the girl reported it a few days later: "OH MY GOD, THEY STANK! THEY SMELLED SOOOOOO BAD!!!" (Imagine that said in a 16-year-old girl voice.)

Andy R. said...

If they were serious (which they aren't) about getting a job, get off of their dead asses and go apply.

How much time does someone have to spend applying for jobs before it is also ok to spend time at a social justice protest targeted toward ending the conditions that contributed to their unemployment?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Is this the experience you had when you visited an occupation?

It is my experience at every protest event that I participated in and attended from 1965 forward. Same morons (of which I was once one) different time-- different place. Nothing changes.

It is my experience in viewing the videos of this existing current protest.

I would rather put my hand in the garbage disposal then try to 'engage' with or visit with any of the protests.

Besides. WE are too busy making a living and paying our bills for this sort of masturbatory accomplish nothing and present no solutions kabuki theatre.

Paddy O said...

"what of other sins"

See that's exactly my point. Dwelling on other people's sins is very rarely healthy for one's own spirit or rational or social self.

That's precisely what the Christian Right did, make their own frustrations and inadequacy about what the gays were doing or the feminists or Clinton.

If you see that as shallow, to address one's own position in life rather than rage about someone else, then that says a lot about your own awareness of depth.

"Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself"

Acedia is one of the most pernicious of sins, because it's so easily embraced and justified, even celebrated when turned to its frenzy state. Because a persons seems so involved! But they're not pursuing a righteous cause, they're exhibiting deep inner dishevelment.

And yes, the charge could turn back against me for talking about their sins rather than my own. But, maybe I am in fact also talking about my own, so don't judge them as wish they had wiser counsel who could help them address their driving discontent rather than inflame it further.

And that's the thing with so much marxist rhetoric. Because it is based on a generalizing approach to humanity, any particulars get brushed aside, little flowers stepped on and crushed. Even the those following such movements are pawns, not people, for those who are pressing for their own power.

So, I'm not saying all this because I hate those in these protests, I think they're following a wrong counsel and I want them to find their real contribution to society in a way that fulfills them and their community.

This OWS stuff ain't it.

E.M. Davis said...

We've already figured out who Andy and his avatar is.

Clyde said...

And that, Dr. Weevil, is effective education.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Real American said...

the left doesn't desire "dialogue". They desire to impose their will. That Onion headline really isn't that satirical. It accurately describes the mindset of the left: that experts should run society and our lives. Of course, who they consider experts is problematic, as in, people from the oil industry shouldn't be considered experts, but some lefty professor or technocrat should be.

Its the "smart people' who have been fucking things up by imposing their "solutions". They shouldn't be part of the solution except to the point they are part of the "people." For all the left wing's supposed love of "the people" they don't want people to run their own lives. They want smart people/experts to do it for us. Millions of people making economic decisions in the marketplace fits perfectly into what they say they want, but no. They work for the opposite. Millions of people collectively are smarter than all the "experts" combined, but the idiotic left doesn't see that. Or they're just full of shit.

So yeah, they're not being productive. They're just occupying space.

Andy R. said...

So, can you present your case and take the criticism rationally and actually "engage"?

I feel like I've been engaging respectfully so far in these comments, although let me know if you disagree and I'll reconsider my words and tone.

Are there any specific questions you would like me to answer, or just to speak generally about the Occupation(s)?

Paddy O said...

"a social justice protest"

Social justice involvement is much more fruitful than social justice protest. Especially when they won't even dare challenge the leaders in their own political party.

Be the change they believe in. Get involved with helping the poor, with helping the outcasts, go to other countries where conditions are significantly more vile, and an educated person could bring great aid in teaching or service.

The problem is they trusted Obama to do the work and wanted only to offer the rhetoric. He doesn't do the work, and they only still have rhetoric.

Don't protest. Work. If they have time to protest, they have time to volunteer, to get involved in the lives of people who are in the 1% at the bottom. Stop raging at those who are above you in class, and give a hand to those who are below. And that requires a whole lot of energy and effort and work, that is being wasted raging against issueless, nameless, vague frustrations.

franglo said...

Paddy O-- Ironic that you see this Occupy phenomenon-- one of the strongest counter-acedia events I've seen lately!-- as a manifestation of acedia.

People should ask themselves, what about a group of people who want to stay in one place-- a public place-- for 24/7 makes me so angry? Of all the things to be angry about? People in a park who are there to talk to each other about citizenship and make the unfairness of our system a topic of conversation. Why does that burn some people up inside? I doubt it's because they would normally be using the parks.

AllenS said...

Andy R. said...
How much time does someone have to spend applying for jobs before it is also ok to spend time at a social justice protest targeted toward ending the conditions that contributed to their unemployment?

What conditions are those? Can you name them?

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...

You used the word "sin" Paddy. A better term would be...Injustice.

There may be marxist elements--don't see any red flags flying (as you do say in LA when the workers march)--but I don't think it's a marxist-labor protest. There are students, sort of suburbanite people.

Then, as the yippies once said, Revolution..might be for the hell of it. Kicks, man. Like getting Dust Nixon girl really stoned at an Occupy event and...well..popcorn for the Peoples, yall.

Quaestor said...

Bruce Hayden wrote:
[T]he protesters seem to be occupying much of the rest of the country, instead of where the problem really is.

But that would mitigate against the Democratic Party in general and Obama in particular. The money behind the movement can't allow that to happen, it spoils the whole strategy.

Paddy O said...

Again, by the very nature of their being able to spend their time at these protests, these people are showing they are privileged. They have options in life and choices.

They worry about the 1% in this country, but these people are among the 1% in this world, in history, given an education that billions of others would do just about anything to have.

And now these children of privilege want us to fret about the fact that life isn't what college was like.

The very fact they don't have a unifying cause shows how absolutely spoiled they are. They only have frenzied discontent.

Paco Wové said...

"Are there any specific questions you would like me to answer, or just to speak generally about the Occupation(s)?"

Me personally? While I think I understand the frustration and anger -- apparently unlike many commenters here I think both are justified -- I am mystified by what you expect these demonstrations to accomplish. As Althouse said, we already know things suck. What do you propose to do about it? This is where the whole phenomenon looks like an unfocussed temper tantrum to me.

Andy R. said...

Social justice involvement is much more fruitful than social justice protest. Don't protest. Work. If they have time to protest, they have time to volunteer, to get involved in the lives of people who are in the 1% at the bottom.

This makes it sound like you would be really supportive of the actions that participants of Occupy Atlanta have taken around the Peachtree Pines homeless shelter, critical mass, Atlanta c7, and other issues.

It's not just sitting in a park banging on drums all day.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Are there any specific questions you would like me to answer, or just to speak generally about the Occupation(s)?

Perhaps instead of speaking in mantras and sound bites you could expound on what "social justice" actually is and how you think that "social justice" could be accomplished.

Just parroting slogans and mindless chanting and beating drums is not communication. Neither are those actions offering any solutions.

I don't disagree with some of the ideas that have been (rarely) cognitively presented. There just doesn't seem to be much in the way of deep thinking, or any thinking, evidenced in the protests.

And again, this has been my life experience with these types of movements.

So...Andy. Instead of barfing up canned talking points. How about some rational explanations and persuade us.

franglo said...

Paddy O: you are talking entirely out of your ass. Your idea of what "those people" are doing and asking for is entirely fabricated. You have not made the effort to have an actual conversation with an actual human. You are reading second hand reports.

In short you are everything you appear to not want other people to be.

Andy R. said...

What conditions are those? Can you name them?

To start with, the failure of the Federal Reserve to uphold it's dual mandate.

Carol_Herman said...

Media hype.

Plus some very rich people are making donations. Raising a lot of money. And, while you're told "it's all leaderless," there's still someone with the big bank account. Who can sign checks.

But the drummers who were really getting to be annoying ... found one morning that "unknown people" with razor blades walked through the (public) encampment. And, the drums were stabbed. And, ripped. Didn't make a sound.

Then? The drummers asked for new drums. But "whoever" signs these checks wouldn't give them $8,000 to buy new drums.

And, then there's the "free" food.

And, on top of it all sits private property that "must" be kept "open" 24/7. Because the builders made a "deal" with the city, here ... to allow the building to be built two stories higher than "code."

And, the POLITICIANS have told the cops to "leave the protesters alone."

You can't do this in Central Park! Even when Central Park has free concerts; the cops are there to make sure everyone clears out ... when the music stops.

Now, I've heard that prisoners released from Rikers ... go to Zoocotti park. To park themselves. And, to get free food.

At some point the "free food" stops.

But the mess, itself, belongs to Bloomberg. And, the media. Who've rushed in to do "photo-ops."

Also, those who sell drugs pay no taxes.

Maybe, the pack of collected animals, could focus on that?

edutcher said...

Social justice is a Lefty euphemism for some people, who listened to the Lefties and threw their lives away on drugs and booze and sex, taking what somebody else, who worked and studied and stayed out of trouble, earned.

The real social justice is the ones who stayed clean get rewarded and the ones who spent their lives partying don't.

The grasshopper and the ant comes to mind.

Paddy O said...

"You used the word "sin" Paddy. A better term would be...Injustice."

No, sin is the right word. We are all victims of injustice and purveyors of it. When we want it to be about our own complaints, though, we like to use words that have significant meaning and that doesn't fit here. These are not chinese political dissidents nor Syrian opposition leaders. These are men and women who have had significant amount of choices in life and have significant amount of choices even still. They have a right to vote, a right to run for office, a right to work, a right to be educated and trained. But still they rage? Because of the injustice. No. That's they're excuse. Everyone experiences problems in life and these problems being expressed here aren't something new to Americans throughout history.

"There may be marxist elements"

I didn't say communist, and I'm using marxist in its appropriate academic way. It's portraying a class struggle in terms of generalized population, and demanding broad societal laws that are really just reductionistic attempts to manage a generalized population. It's precisely the dominating approach to most every humanities subject in higher education.

Carol_Herman said...

You know what's funny?

As a group, this collection of "yoots" look unemployable.

Yet, one of the major "facts" that have been obtained by the media ... is that most of them have student loans! Minimum of $150,000.

Doesn't look like they got much of an education with their loan money.

new york said...

Yes. let's talk ! Let's actually listen to each other, without trying to make a pithy clever comeback. let's listen, observe, and think. If we can put our egos away for the moment and open our hearts a little maybe the human race can actually save the human race.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

What conditions are those? Can you name them?

To start with, the failure of the Federal Reserve to uphold it's dual mandate.

Well, that certainly explains everything!!! and why the guy from Noodles was laid off and can't find a job. Or why the local garbage company isn't hiring.

Is it possible for you to break out of your programmed answers?

Big Mike said...

Nice picture at the top of this article in the November 2011 Washingtonian magazine. Sweet young 20-something holds up a homemade sign saying that she needs work, then there's a bullet list of her requirements:
- Wear what she wants
- Fun atmosphere
- Lots of autonomy
- Flexible hours
- Higher purpose
- Interesting assignments

And no doubt if the job opening doesn't have at least 5 of the 6 items in her list, she isn't much interested.

I'm equally certain she's on her way downtown to join Occupy DC in McPherson Square, if she isn't there already.

We have lots of college hire openings at my company, but they're for people with degrees in computer science, and mathematics, and electrical engineering, Not much use for somebody with a degree in gay and lesbian studies -- nobody much cares about gender orientation as long as you can write good code.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Paddy O said...

So, do you know the deadly sin acedia. That's the sin of our era I think.


A supplicant joined a strict order of monks who were allowed to speak only two words every ten years. After the first ten years, the abbot called him to his quarters. "You may speak," the abbot said. "Bed's hard," he said. Ten years later the abbot called him in again. "Food sucks," he said. Ten years passed and the abbot called him in again. "I quit," he said. "I'm not surprised," said the abbot. "You've been here for thirty years and all you've done is complain."

traditionalguy said...

When you are hungry enough, a "Kill the pig, kill the pig" chant seems like a good idea.

All Revolutions start with a doctrine, like the Harvard Professor who wants Scott Brown's Senate seat in LaLa Land, North.

But all revolutions start only when people get hungry enough for food...then why not go out and destroy things rather than starve. The French Revolution is a good example.

So Sweet Old Obama and his mentors for World Revolution have developed a sudden hoax policy demanding that we triple energy costs which doubles food costs and then finish that off by sending half of the corn production into unneeded ethanol production while the world starves.

Arab Spring, my foot. It's deliberate chaos.

Egypt is starving, 30% of the US citizens are on food stamps, and
Mrs Obama says that we better grow our own food in gardens, while she takes world tours every year among the wealthy who are not starving.

His seductive Re-distribution is only a need when the normal distribution system ( called capitalism and free markets )has been assassinated by enemies.

What the world needs now is a New Pizza Deal of good food delivered on time.

AllenS said...

Andy R. said...
To start with, the failure of the Federal Reserve to uphold it's dual mandate.

Shouldn't you be trying to occupy the White House instead? Why all of these other cities? What do they have to do with the Federal Reserve?

Also, are you still located in Israel?

Andy R. said...

Perhaps instead of speaking in mantras and sound bites you could expound on what "social justice" actually is and how you think that "social justice" could be accomplished.

Each city's Occupation has some local issues that are particularly important to the people that gathered there. In Los Angeles, I noticed that immigration seemed to be relevant to many people, and I consider the treatment of undocumented residents to be a social justice issue and that they should have access to adequate health care and social services. I consider that a social justice issue.

In Atlanta, there is a lot of attention being paid to anti-racism and the death penalty (and the criminal justice system in general). I think the racism inherent in our justice system is a social justice issue. Occupy Atlanta (unofficially) renamed the park we were staying in Troy Davis Park in recognition of someone recently executed by the state of Georgia.

Andy R. said...

Also, are you still located in Israel?

No, I live in Atlanta.

deborah said...

"If there is drumming and chanting, the message is very clear: We're not having any conversations, even within the group. We are driving out reason and contemplation even within our own heads."

I never thought of it that way. I wonder what the evolutionary psychology progression of choosing the drums was. That is, all the way from caveman days, through to Native Americans, etc. to current protest organizations. Also, I'm a packrat:

http://qik.com/video/38023144

Paddy O said...

"In short you are everything you appear to not want other people to be."

How do you know what I know? I am conservative hereabouts because it helps me let off steam when most of my friends are precisely the sorts who are aligned with these movements. These are the people I engage with throughout most of my life.

Indeed, I have every complaint I've ever heard mentioned in these protests. I have a lot of debt, a lot of education, low job prospects, etc. and so on. I have lived among the very poor, and I have been educated among the very wealthy.

Because I am exactly the kind of person who is out there, those are my peers. I could agree with them on just about every issue that's wrong with society.

Yet, I'm not in fact out there. Why? Because what I've said here isn't just something I think those people should do. It's how I have chosen to respond to the exact same realities in life as the protesters are expressing.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr Weevil said...

I know Ann is extremely reluctant to ban even the most revolting commentators, but I do believe 'J' just suggested that he would like to see a fellow-commentator gang-raped.

That seems to me the most obvious reading of the last two sentences of his 11:21 comment: "Kicks, man. Like getting Dust Nixon girl really stoned at an Occupy event and...well..popcorn for the Peoples, yall."

He can probably come up with a more socially-acceptable and not entirely implausible reading for deniability, but I would not be inclined to believe any such excuse, given the vileness of hundreds of his previous comments.

'J' desperately needs professional help, though it's not clear whether a psychiatrist, a drill instructor, a prison warden, or an exorcist would be best able to help him. Perhaps an interdisciplinary team would be best?

wv: ingancho - colloquial Spanish for an utterly revolting party guest who never leaves.

Paddy O said...

Tyrone, ha!

Andy R. said...

Shouldn't you be trying to occupy the White House instead? Why all of these other cities?

One important goal of the Occupy movement is to begin to engage with and mobilize people. Empowering people and convincing them that it is actually possible to work for positive change in ways beyond voting for and giving money to one of the two political parties is actually surprising difficult.

It seems most effective to do that in person and to be in as many places as possible. As I said before, I think it's actually really helpful to be able to stop by a public gathering of activists and talk to them rather than reading a short newspaper article or blog post.

While I personally think it would be great if the Federal Reserve placed more emphasis on policies that would lower unemployment (and I was responding to someone's question), pressuring Bernanke is not the point of the movement.

J said...

these people are showing they are privileged.

Got some demographics/data to prove that? A common teabug accusation, offered without proof. Why, you nearly sound Snitch-Butt-Bunny Queen-like Paddy. Some of the protesters-students may be "bourgeois" so to speak (tho' some Teamsters have been out there) yet when they take on say JP Morgan and other NY financial swine--they're making a legitimate point, however unsavory to like...Rush Limblows. Jeebuss, no pal of the oligarchy, would agree, in spirit my brutthhhrr.

Andy R. said...

you are seriously concerned about the death penalty being applied to a murderer?

1) Yes, I am opposed to the death penalty on principle, with possible exceptions for genocide/crimes against humanity.

2) I'm not convinced that Troy Davis was guilty.

3) The racist application of the death penalty system concerns me.

Paco Wové said...

"convincing them that it is actually possible ... is actually surprising difficult."

I think to a large extent that is because the OWS phenomenon seems like the application of the Underpants Gnomes philosophy to the political sphere:

1. Protest against everything
2. ?
3. Utopia!

I'm just not seeing step 2.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...

Heh heh. Yo Dr Weevil-snitch --yr usual stupid emotional non sequitur-yr online as a TP snitch in bay area, now Byro Bellami, wit yr little scientology gang--yr going down baybe boy. Gotthat, puto?? Cops won't help ya punk byatch (and Sac mental health on you too, psycho)

franglo said...

The game is rigged. A tiny minority of wealthy people are using their wealth to ensure they remain wealthy. It's not capitalism. It's oligarchy. "We are the 99%" is not a marxist slogan. Free market capitalism is a given. But our market is not free! It's rigged! That's what Occupy Wall Street is saying. So stop arguing as if they are demanding a communist state. You are fighting a never-ending battle in 1969. I want to live in 2011.

traditionalguy said...

Thoughts on Drum Circles:

Continual loud rhythmic Drumming has long been used an intentional numbing assault on the free will part of the brain. It has a drug like effect.

Its purpose has been to merge the group mind with a called upon war like demon spirit that overcomes individual resistance and decisions.

The key was to pick out a demon spirit that has more power than the other tribes demon spirit.

Andy R. said...

Did you protest when the white guy got executed the other day?

If you're talking about the guy in Texas who dragged the black guy behind his car, yes, I made sure to note that I didn't support his execution when it was happening although since I'm not in Texas, there was little I could do other than post about it on facebook

Dr Weevil said...

Just for the record, I haven't set foot in any part of California since 1982, and live in Virginia, so J's threats are even more idiotic than usual.

Paddy O said...

"these people are showing they are privileged."

Absolutely they are privileged. And I include myself as privileged in the same way.

Not in terms of money in the bank. Not in terms of having a house or car or lawn of their dreams.

In terms of opportunity and education and the ability to make choices in life, not just now but throughout their whole life. Which is something much of the world, throughout all of history, doesn't have.

Privilege is relative, and if you're just comparing yourself to the richest 1% you're setting yourself up for very destructive discontent. They are privileged, which isn't shown through studies of income (as if that's the only measure of identity), but by their vague complaints. They're expressing a vague rage at the Other, whoever that might be.

But, they're privileged in almost every respect of the word. We all are. We have choices to make in life, not necessarily one's that will make for a life of ease and constant entertainment, but choices nevertheless about where to live and work and what to study. Getting a humanities degree is itself a massive suggestion of privilege. Choosing to go to college or not to go to college and do something else is a huge suggestion of privilege.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

While I personally think it would be great if the Federal Reserve placed more emphasis on policies that would lower unemployment

While some of the actions of the Fed may affect the ability of companies to obtain capital... See the following explanation of Monetary Policy: In the United States, the Federal Reserve is in charge of monetary policy. Monetary policy is one of the ways that the U.S. government attempts to control the economy. If the money supply grows too fast, the rate of inflation will increase; if the growth of the money supply is slowed too much, then economic growth may also slow. In general, the U.S. sets inflation targets that are meant to maintain a steady inflation of 2% to 3%.

The Fed may be able to do a small amount to decrease unemployment by making money less 'tight'....but the REAL driver behind high unemployment is Governmental Policy at the Federal and State levels, tax policy and regulations from non elected departments (EPA etc) that are coming fast a furiously at businesses.

If you want to offer solutions, you need to target the correct source of the problem and while I think the Fed Reserve should be abolished or more strictly under control....they are not the source of the problem.

Paco Wové said...

"Privilege is relative..."

Somewhat OT, but I recently watched the movie "Last Train Home" (a documentary about Chinese migrant factory workers), which I recommend. It is very sad, but a useful insight into the human lives used up to power the global economic machine.

Quaestor said...

Andy R. wrote:
To start with, the failure of the Federal Reserve to uphold it's dual mandate.

Where do you get your talking points, Andy R. From bumper stickers?

Of all the possible complaints #OWS could level this has to be the most demonstrably specious. If employers aren't expanding employment it's not because the prime rate is too high. QE has stimulated inflation, that's an unavoidable consequence, but since the Great Recession has been generally deflationary, the net inflation rate for 2009 was -0.34%, QE-1 and QE-2 are leading to a net rate in 2011 of about 3.5%, which was approximately the average rate in the prosperous 1990s.

Michael said...

Andy R.

I have visited Occupy Atlanta and would dub it an abject failure to communicate anything other than slogans that are not understood by the sloganeers. Most of those i spoke with have no understanding of the capitalist system and a romantic view of how they would like the world to work. They were in no way willing to have a conversation with me about banking and capital formation and generally seemed to think that every dime held by "rhe rich" or "the corporations" was a dime that was taken from them personally or a dime they could not then earn. I could go on but you, of course, know exactly what i mean

In what way has the Federal Reserve neglected one or both of its dual roles and during what periods did this failure occur? Name one of the roles.

edutcher said...

franglo said...

The game is rigged. A tiny minority of wealthy people are using their wealth to ensure they remain wealthy. It's not capitalism. It's oligarchy. "We are the 99%" is not a marxist slogan. Free market capitalism is a given. But our market is not free! It's rigged! That's what Occupy Wall Street is saying. So stop arguing as if they are demanding a communist state. You are fighting a never-ending battle in 1969. I want to live in 2011.

Somebody tell franglo he's recycling Richard Gephart and his, "the fortunate few who won life's lottery", nonsense from the 90s.

And I love the line, "A tiny minority of wealthy people are using their wealth to ensure they remain wealthy."

How do the Lefties - and by that I mean the useless idiots - think they got wealthy in the first place? And how do they stay wealthy, and how do they accumulate wealth (I know, on the backs of the poor, downtrodden masses)?

And how do they explain the IRS statistic that 80% of the millionaires in this country are self-made?

J said...

Another of Byro-tard's names/s-pups "60 grit" now getting his cheap white trash anti-semitism on too. Go away before the Sac SEIU shows up on yr doorstep scab-boy. got that AZ acid-head, snitch go back to AZ-land McCain trash

Paco Wové said...

Now that I think about it, the one overriding message of "Last Train Home" is: It sucks to be a Chinese peasant, either in town or in the countryside.
And apparently the countryside sucks worse.

Andy R. said...

Of all the possible complaints #OWS could level this has to be the most demonstrably specious.

That's not an #OWS complaint, I was responding to someone's question about unemployment with my own personal view.

As far as I know, Occupy Atlanta has not made any specific demands or supported any specific solutions yet, but I have not been to all the General Assembly meetings or read all of the meeting minutes.

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm not sure why you don't think this has been happening all over the country."

I didn't say it wasn't.

J said...

Edu-Nixon trying to discuss the labor theory of value--IM sure many of the student protesters are aware of that issue, snitch. How did a JP Morgan get wealthy?? Why by monopolies,robber baron capitalism, unfair labor practices--ripping off the working/middle class in short.

DADvocate said...

The game is rigged. A tiny minority of wealthy people are using their wealth to ensure they remain wealthy. It's not capitalism. It's oligarchy. "We are the 99%" is not a marxist slogan. Free market capitalism is a given. But our market is not free! It's rigged!

For the most part I agree with this. Trouble is that the OWS folks will support much of that oligarchy to the end. Chelsea Clinton running for Congress? The Kennedys? Micheal Moore (who at least admits his role), John Kerry, etc, etc.

Don't expect the 1%, liberal or conservative, (with a very few exceptions) to give you anything more than crumbs. Most of what they'll do is try to placate you by offering tiny insignificant decreases in student loan payments in return for you vote and such. But, be sure they'll continue to write the laws and tax codes to benefit themselves, the 1%. Don't look to them of aid to your cause.

Warren Buffett had some good ideas about solving the deficit problem and Congressional privilege. Guess in his old age he's not that worried.

Michael said...

Franglo. The game is not rigged except in favor of those who finish school, stay sober, stay married and get and keep jobs. It is rigged in favor of those who work 12 or 15 hour days against those who work six or eight. It is rigged against those who are cry babies and whiners and against those who view themselves as victims. It is rigged against those who borrow and do not save, against dopers and drinkers and dipshits. It is rigged against the lazy and the incompetent, against those who favor video over books and sanctimony over action. The game is rigged in favor of families who have fathers and mothers who value education, and it is rigged in favor of those who buy used cars when they could afford new Mercedes.

So, yes, the game is rigged.

Andy R. said...

I didn't say it wasn't.

Ok, I wasn't sure with your post how much you were discussing what could/should hypothetically be happening as opposed to describing the protests.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mitochondri-Allie said...

Althouse, brava!! One thought though, do we live in times in which the divide has grown so far, that even if we haven't grown weary of trying to communicate, we simply can no longer hear each other? I guess we need to keep trying, move closer together again, then maybe .....

Quaestor said...

Andy R. wrote:
That's not an #OWS complaint, I was responding to someone's question about unemployment with my own personal view.

Well, my apologies to #OWS, but since the general tone of your comments here has been consistent with a general Occupy Wall Street apology, I think my assumption was a natural one.

So the failure of the Federal Reserve to up hold its dual mandate is your own personal opinion, eh? Perhaps you ought to get your own personal brain familiar with some facts before forming opinions.

Paco Wové said...

My un-engaged question stands:

we already know things suck. What do you propose to do about it?

Quaestor said...

To the #OWS supporters generally:

Are you proud of this? Have fun defending it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Absolutely they are privileged. And I include myself as privileged in the same way.

@ Paddy O

I agree. We are privileged as a country and as a people.

Free to travel where we want, live where we like. As a woman, free to be treated with the respect and dignity denied millions of women elsewhere in the world. Free to chose who to marry and how many children I will have.

We have the ability to chose what we want to do in our lives (within our God given abilities). There are no hereditary castes of Brahmins and Untouchables. People can aspire to rise to whatever levels of success they can.

Freedom doesn't mean entitled to success or guaranteed success. Freedom doesn't mean taking the success of others just because you think you want it.

With freedom also comes the responsibility to help those who don't have the ability to help themselves through charity and sharing. That also doesn't mean the obligation to give entitlements to those who DO have the ability but just don't want to take advantage of the freedoms. Hands up....not hand outs.

Instead of beating drums and whining about what you think you do NOT have and thinking that you are being robbed or oppressed, think of what you DO HAVE and be thankful that you were lucky enough to be born here and now. If you have more than you need...give to others. I donate to our local non profit food pantry monthly.

And now.....off to make some more apple butter and chinese plum sauce and give thanks that we were blessed with such an abundance of food, personally and in this country.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
franglo said...

Do you really think that the tiny minority of very wealthy people in this country-- I'm talking about the 1%-- got there by working harder than everyone else, Michael?

You inject moralism into a debate that's simple numbers. The free market system is supposed to enrich everyone-- if unequally-- but the trend lines should go up for every group.

We live in a country that is creating wealth all the time. A powerhouse of economic activity unmatched in world history.

Yet only 1% of the population is seeing any benefit from it! That's the facts jack! Everyone else is running in place or sinking! And that's because 99% of people are shiftless drug addict teen parents, Michael? Give me a break.

Andy R. said...

we already know things suck. What do you propose to do about it?

Are you asking for my personal opinion or the viewpoint of Occupy Atlanta/Occupy Wall Street/the Occupy movement?

If you're asking about OWS, are you asking more about concrete policy goals or strategic/tactical ideas about how to move toward those solutions?

edutcher said...

franglo said...

Do you really think that the tiny minority of very wealthy people in this country-- I'm talking about the 1%-- got there by working harder than everyone else, Michael?

...

Yet only 1% of the population is seeing any benefit from it!


That's why nobody's buying all the iPhones and Wiis and XBoxes except the wealthy and Althouse.

Quaestor said...

Andy R. wrote:
As far as I know, Occupy Atlanta has not made any specific demands or supported any specific solutions yet...

Suppose you're right, that they have no specific demands or specific solutions? Doesn't that make Occupy Atlanta less of a movement and more of a collection of dumb-ass cry-babies in tantrum mode?

Tim said...

"But democracy should look like people talking to each other. Not staring each other down from a secure distance."

Some people just aren't worth talking to. Does anyone who has paid any attention to left-wing protests since Vietnam really think dialogue with these people remotely possible, let alone possibly productive?

These people, alienated from modern norms and understanding, are less representative of the "99%" than the 1% they are futilely protesting against. They, not the "1%" they protest, are the outliers: they take up space but offer no value; they chant slogans but but haven't thought anything through; they are angry but want things they'll never earn.

Why should I or any other sane person waste time talking to them? It's just an extended temper tantrum, and eventually it will run out of gas. Meanwhile, serious people who haven't allowed themselves to be distracted by this clown show will have been working all along to make things better.

wv: unwak - the 99+% who aren't urban camping and shitting in street gutters are the unwak.

Michael said...

Franglo. Most of the 1% who comprise the hated cohort are self made. You can look that up. Do they work harder than most? Absolutely. They are entrepeneurs and do not punch clocks. You can read avout the work habits of the very successful in many places. You might emulate the disciplines you read about and see if that helps you.

It is stupid and absurd to believe that the one percent are preventing you from achieving what you would like to achieve. Idiotic in fact.

You should also think about the difference between wealth and income. Someone making in the top one percent in income may not be in the top one percent of wealth. Wealth will takenyears to build. There is a moral component which you are right to recognize. Most people who do well are not fuckups.

Quaestor said...

franglo wrote:
The game is rigged...

Michael put down your argument in detail, but allow me to generalize: Evolution is rigged.

madAsHell said...

threw their lives away on drugs and booze and sex

I guess I had my cake, and I eat it too!!

Seeing Red said...

The homeless and unemployed are part of the oppressor class?



I'm from the government and I'm here to help.


A lot of us here were born during the Cold War. We've been thru this before.

franglo said...

Michael, you talk as if THE ONLY virtuous people are rich.

If you're poor, it's due to your personal character flaws.

Let me ask you: do you know any poor people?

You come off like a cliche... Daddy Warbucks.

Seeing Red said...

I personally have a job. It is one limiting factor on the amount of time I can spend engaging in social justice issues. Other people I met at Occupy Atlanta and Occupy Los Angeles had been laid off from their jobs and hadn't found new ones yet.



Maybe they should search out job opportunities in North Dakota.

Tim said...

"Most people who do well are not fuckups."

And that, in a nutshell, is the problem the Shit In Gutters people will never understand.

Nor is government, obviously, equipped to fix fuckups.

Fuckups have to fix themselves.

For too many fuckups, it's too hard.

Being a fuckup is just easier.

Eventually, there will be another thing for fuckups to protest.

There always is.

MayBee said...

One important goal of the Occupy movement is to begin to engage with and mobilize people. .....

It seems most effective to do that in person and to be in as many places as possible. As I said before, I think it's actually really helpful to be able to stop by a public gathering of activists and talk to them rather than reading a short newspaper article or blog post.


There's a problem with a model that wants to engage with people and yet expects people to stop by and talk to them in their encampment.

Andy R. said...

There's a problem with a model that wants to engage with people and yet expects people to stop by and talk to them in their encampment.

Occupy Atlanta is meeting today and tomorrow at 3pm to head out in groups around Atlanta to engage with people in their own neighborhoods. If I go tomorrow, as planned, I'll let you know how it goes.

deborah said...

An interesting article on China:

http://web.stratfor.com/images/GEOPOLITICS%20of%20China%20080615.pdf

Quaestor said...

franglo wrote to Michael:
You come off like a cliche... Daddy Warbucks.

Hah! Pot, meet kettle.

Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.

Michael said...

Franglo. I am in the one percent. I got my first flat screen tv six months ago. My car has 165,000 miles on it. I do not take extrqvqgqnt vacations. I save more than i spend and have since i was in THE BOTTOM 25%. I was there for a number of years. Then i found myself where i could have been perfectly content, in the top 25%. I kept at it and i worked a hell of a lot more than my buddies who golf. I do not golf. I work hard and i pay my taxes and i give to charity and i go to church and i send my kids to private schools. And i am not keeping you from one fucking thing. Nothing. Not one fucking thing. Get off your ass.

Meanwhile i see lots of people in the 99% that are driving bigger cars and living in bigger houses. I see people who appear poor lugging electronic gear out of the stores that are high end.

The truth is that the bottom half of Americans live better than most have during the whole of human history. The 1% meme is just a war cry to fire up the ignorant to do....what?

MayBee said...

Occupy Atlanta is meeting today and tomorrow at 3pm to head out in groups around Atlanta to engage with people in their own neighborhoods. If I go tomorrow, as planned, I'll let you know how it goes.

So once you knock on someone's door, what are you going to say?

MarkG said...

I have yet to figure out the concept of the Occupy Whatever is trying to accomplish.

They're just expressing their natural urges to agitate in society. That's a part of growing up. (The bums & old hippies are just being exploitive).

Does anyone seriously think that youth won't find a way to protest? And that the ten year-olds of today won't be rebelling about something in 2020?

J said...

Do they work harder than most? Absolutely. They are entrepeneurs and do not punch clocks.

Unbelievably naive, even for you Mikey. Look at some data regarding Ivy League students--most are children of the wealthy (and alums). At times, the very wealthy. It wasn't rags to riches--it was riches to riches--same for any good university.. They didn't start with level-playing fields. Entrepreneurs start in luxury ,attended the best schools, had frats, sororities, etc. For that matter--what sort of work do broker/financiers/execs do? They aren't doctors or engineers, or skilled tradesmen (ie electricians). The average schoolteacher has more knowledge and skills than a stockbroker. In effect, the financial class work as bookies for ..other wealthy investors (usually business owners, etc). .

Michael said...

Franglo. I know lots of poor people. I volunteer a good bit. Most of those i interact with have very predictable histories. They drink too much. They dope. They are late to work (see above).

The working poor that i know are not planning to stay poor. after any 10 year period the bottom 25% only has 16% that have been there for the term. The working poor get my help bigtime. I give them business, i triple their tips, i refer them to people who need help. Etc

madAsHell said...

Did anyone see the church lady admonishing Peter Schiff toward the end of the video??

She self-identified as a 1%-er, and then proclaimed that she paid 10% of her income as taxes. DAMN!! I think I need to talk to her accountant.

....or maybe she doesn't understand this 99% thing.

w/v: reeker - how does it know??

Andy R. said...

So once you knock on someone's door, what are you going to say?

I think the plan is to engage people in public places, not knock on doors.

Then, it's about having a conversation, not delivering a speech. I would probably start by asking how they feel about the direction our country is going and whether they currently feel like there are practical ways for them to engage in a process of change.

After that, it woud depend on their answer.

Tim said...

"Let me ask you: do you know any poor people?"

I know the question wasn't directed to me, so I apologize, but yes, I know many poor people.

My observed correlation between the duration of poverty and degree of being a fuckup is nearly one-to-one.

Those poorest the longest are usually extreme fuckups - unwed pregnancies; high-school drop outs; drug or other substance abuse; frequent interactions with law enforcement; constant unemployability; life is usually one self-caused train wreck after another, yet it is always someone else's fault.

The constant demand for help, on their terms, for money, transportation, bail, or whatever, is quite tiresome, but not nearly as tiresome as the constant rejoinder that it is the fault of people who aren't fuckups - you know, the ones who stayed in school, didn't get pregnant before marriage, don't abuse drugs, don't commit crimes, don't get fired for cause - are the cause of all their heartache and troubles.

However, if you aren't a fuckup, one's bullshit detector can be nearly broken and you can still see the fuckup from a mile away.

I also know people who are broke, but not poor - they're economically dispossed by Obama's great recession - but they aren't fuckups - you know, they stayed in school, didn't get pregnant before marriage, don't abuse drugs, don't commit crimes, don't get fired for cause - and are working to find employement. They aren't shitting in gutters, banging on drums, demanding things they did not or never will earn with thoughtless, counter-productive slogans. In short, they aren't fuckups.

Michael said...

J. Wrong again. Prone to stereotypes.

franglo said...

I want Glass Steagall reinstated! I want heavier regulation of derivatives trading! I want to lessen the influence of money in politics (public financing of elections would be nice)!

Does that have anything to do with stealing your fucking money, white boy?

I don't want to take anything away from your rich ass, Michael. I just want you and your puppets in Congress to get the fuck out of the way of reforms that will stop the greedy horde of do-nothing financial geniuses from further destroying the country.

DADvocate said...

Do you really think that the tiny minority of very wealthy people in this country-- I'm talking about the 1%-- got there by working harder than everyone else, Michael?

All the research, and my personal observations, I've seen show they did. Working harder and smarter.

Some, like my ex-wife's later father, worked harder. Born into a dirt poor farming family, he worked virtually every day of his life for 12-16 hours and died with an estate worth over $10 million including over 5,000 acres in Kentucky and Ohio. He'd been worth more if it hadn't been for the recession. He always voted Democrat because Democrats gave farmers more freebies.

Carl Lindner was born the son of dairy farmers. He dropped out of school the age of 14 to sell milk and ice cream. While he worked hard, he also worked smart. He recently died with a worth of $1.7 billion, I believe.

The real corruption is in government. Politicians offering favors or threats. It wasn't a mistake the Gibson guitar was raided and Martin wasn't. Do you think corporations want to give money away to politicians? Ho way. It's a protection shake-down run by dirty politicians.

Quaestor said...

J wrote:
The average schoolteacher has more knowledge and skills than a stockbroker. In effect, the financial class work as bookies for ..other wealthy investors (usually business owners, etc)

If lack of knowledge and skills is all one needs to prosper as an investment banker you ought to submit your resumé to Goldman/Sachs first thing Monday morning. Riches await you, J.

You never fail to disappoint.

MayBee said...

I think the plan is to engage people in public places, not knock on doors.

That's probably wise.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Funniest blog post ever.

Since when has Ann Althouse ever had an honest discussion with anyone who ever disagreed with her?

Mischaracterization of other viewpoints is the whole raison d'être of this blog. It confuses the aesthetic of art with the aesthetic of caricature, and its obsession with the distorted funhouse mirror perspectives achieved through a wide-angle lens is the best metaphor for its distorted political observations.

Quaestor said...

Michael wrote:
J. Wrong again. Prone to stereotypes.

Correction: Prone to fantasy.

Seeing Red said...

Each city's Occupation has some local issues that are particularly important to the people that gathered there. In Los Angeles, I noticed that immigration seemed to be relevant to many people, and I consider the treatment of undocumented residents to be a social justice issue and that they should have access to adequate health care and social services. I consider that a social justice issue.



IF they want the money to provide for those things, then they need to Occupy Hollywood.

Hollywood Accounting needs to go.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Re-Animated said...

The working poor that i know are not planning to stay poor. after any 10 year period the bottom 25% only has 16% that have been there for the term. The working poor get my help bigtime. I give them business, i triple their tips, i refer them to people who need help. Etc.

How noble of you, Michael.

And does it work?

Not in America it doesn't.

The reason why is shitty regulation, and most of your colleagues (and an increasing number of "average" Americans) understand this.

Seeing Red said...

While I personally think it would be great if the Federal Reserve placed more emphasis on policies that would lower unemployment (and I was responding to someone's question), pressuring Bernanke is not the point of the movement.



Federal Reserve?


When did the FR get control of the Exec & Legislative branches?

Did I get to vote on this?

MayBee said...

they should have access to adequate health care and social services. I consider that a social justice issue.

They do have access to adequate health care and social services.

Michael said...

J. You would be surprised to find that most of the one percent went to public or community colleges and are engaged in businesses that are mundane and in no way connected to wall street or financial services.

Quaestor said...

Seeing Red wrote:
I consider the treatment of undocumented residents to be a social justice issue and that they should have access to adequate health care and social services.

By "undocumented residents" I take it to mean the same people who could also be described as illegal aliens. Please explain why person who are not citizens of this country, who pay no income taxes or property taxes, should be entitled to freeload?

n.n said...

Every interest, beginning with individuals, seeks to increase their leverage in order to gain advantage over their competition. This is an unavoidable artifact of living in a world with limited resources and existing as mortal entities. It is a progressive challenge as there are individuals in each generation who succumb to corruption and others who choose to fail, thereby defying both the natural and enlightened orders.

This existential issue can be traced to individual dignity and specifically ego; but, it is for good cause, because not everyone can live in Hawaii, and too many people want to.

Seeing Red said...

The game is rigged. A tiny minority of wealthy people are using their wealth to ensure they remain wealthy. It's not capitalism. It's oligarchy.


Did J. just have a breakthru?

Bastiat beat you to it.

And they're aligned w/the community organizer in chief.

J said...

You're wrong Mikey, and obviously never made it to Adam Smith--who says nearly the same re Labor theory of value (ie quite some times before Marx). Brokers and financiers merely facilitate orders ,contracts, ..bets. Producers run the economy--whether via farms and manufacturing or ...real professionals(doctors,engineers, educators, so forth), and skilled tradesmen (ie the real proletariat). A broker or manager's expendable--trades/deals can be done electronically now. The electrician who runs the building,not.

A bit deep for an A-tard but maybe yll get it--unlikely (and check the data on ivy league students--not stereotypes but fact--the rich stay rich)

MayBee said...

Quastor- Seeing Red was quoting Andy R.

I'm wondering why he asserts illegal immigrants do not have access to social services or adequate health care in Los Angeles.

Michael said...

Franglo, in addition to spouting cliches (Glass Steigel is a new one for you, do you know what it has to do with income "inequality"?) you appear to be upset. Why would derivitive trading bother you? Do you want to prevent the farmer from hedging? Why would you be against the farmer?

And you call me a white boy. Are you a person of color,Franglo? Did you march with us in the sixties in the south boy?

Michael said...

J, you fucking dope you really are susceptible to bullshit.

J said...

Byro Sac tard--you were told to stay offline, AZ acidhead wicca trash.You have nothing to say flunkie , hijo de puta

Got that yet ?

Quaestor said...

Some crude but effect satire from The Daily Kos (of all places!) via Instapundit here.

Andy R. said...

I'm wondering why he asserts illegal immigrants do not have access to social services or adequate health care in Los Angeles.

You think an illegal immigrant without a job can go see the doctor if he gets sick?

Michael said...

Seeing Red. You clearly do not know what the Federal Reserve does.

Quaestor said...

Apologies to Seeing Red. However you might consider using either quote marks or italics or attributive wording to indicate your words from others.

Seeing Red said...

Then, it's about having a conversation, not delivering a speech. I would probably start by asking how they feel about the direction our country is going and whether they currently feel like there are practical ways for them to engage in a process of change.



This is the change most of them voted for in 2008. It actually started in 2007 w/the Dem congress, tho.


That's what's hysterical about this.


We could have told you what was going to happen.


And use the Bamster's own words.

You wanted this, you voted for this, now you have to learn your lesson.

Michael said...

Andy r. Yes, an illegal immigrant can go to the doctor if he is sick. Where in the hell have you been?

AprilApple said...

If only smart people didn't make so much money. That would save the OWS crowd. If only the government would remove the money from the productive job creators, siphon it through an inefficient government sieve, and dole it out evenly so we can all be equally miserable until the evil golden goose is dead. Then we can all slip into abject poverty. Imagine. Justice. Vote regressive.

franglo said...

Michael-- there you go, making the same dumb mistake as the rest of these conservative pinheads. Wanting greater regulation of derivatives DOES NOT MEAN GETTING RID OF DERIVATIVES TRADING. Criticizing the fact that we are living a version of capitalism that has become a gangster's paradise in which there is less and less accountability DOES NOT MEAN ENDING CAPITALISM.

Get it? Wanting to improve the way something works is not tantamount to wanting it gone? Is that so hard to grasp?

Michael said...

Franglo. Be a bit more specific with what throttles you would like to see on derivitives and on which underlying assets your derivitives concerns lie and then i can be more specific in a discussion with you.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Andy r. Yes, an illegal immigrant can go to the doctor if he is sick. Where in the hell have you been?

Thanks for clarifying, Michael.

So does that mean you prefer the socialism that allows (and pays for) him to get emergency care or the kind of socialism that would provide him primary care?

Because one of those forms of socialism is much cheaper to the taxpayers than the other.

But then, who am I kidding? If I recall correctly, you lectured me a mere few months ago about how boring any career in health care is, despite its growing importance to the American economy. Maybe I should assume you feel the same way about how that sector is affected by policy.

MayBee said...


You think an illegal immigrant without a job can go see the doctor if he gets sick?


Then the problem is his unemployment, not his legal status.

And yes, he can go to a doctor if he is sick. Is it a perfect system? No. But MediCal is already breaking our emergency rooms in California. People on MediCal are the biggest users of emergency rooms as doctors offices and it doesn't pay enough to cover the costs of their care.
You have to come up with answers-- how do we pay for unemployed people to get free health care without encouraging more unemployed people to stay here?

Michael said...

AprilApple. Actually we would get it all back in ten years

MayBee said...

Because one of those forms of socialism is much cheaper to the taxpayers than the other.

There is no form of cheap socialism that allows unrestricted illegal immigration.

Michael said...

Ritmo. I dont recall describing healthcare as boring. I do believe we have a pretty compassionate system in healthcare at the moment as far as the poor and indigent ( including immigrants legal and otherwise) go but we could probably do more without tearing down the entire structure in place now. I am not confident our current leadership csn find the way and am generally pessimistic as far as health care going forward.

Andy R. said...

Yes, an illegal immigrant can go to the doctor if he is sick. Where in the hell have you been?

Do you mean "can" in the sense, that he can schedule an appointment with a doctor if he can afford it?

Or by "go to the doctor", do you mean go the emergency room?

Seeing Red said...

Seeing Red wrote:
I consider the treatment of undocumented residents to be a social justice issue and that they should have access to adequate health care and social services.

By "undocumented residents" I take it to mean the same people who could also be described as illegal aliens. Please explain why person who are not citizens of this country, who pay no income taxes or property taxes, should be entitled to freeload?



That was Andy's comment, I just repeated it.

I'm sure BECAUSE IT'S NOT FAIR! with the usual footstomp and sourpuss face.

Michael said...

Andy r. Read your query at 1;19 and then my answer.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... How much time does someone have to spend applying for jobs before it is also ok to spend time at a social justice protest targeted toward ending the conditions that contributed to their unemployment?..."

You mean the conditions in which consumers aren't consuming enough to create conditions in which companies hire more people to keep up with consumption?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

franglo said...

The game is rigged. A tiny minority of wealthy people are using their wealth to ensure they remain wealthy. It's not capitalism. It's oligarchy.


I actually think you are correct here, but you are not identifying the true mechanism. A large majority of the extremely wealthy, George Soros, Jeffery Immelt, Warren Buffett, et al., are distinctly big government types. This is because they have large enough resources to actually push governments in directions that are profitable to them. They do this by intensive lobbying for regulations that favor them at the expense of businesses farther down the food chain. You're right, this is not capitalism. It is a consequence of a government that has penetrated every aspect of the economy. Every government regulation creates winners and losers and the ultra rich have methods for guaranteeing that they stay on the winning side. Chief among these methods is donating heavily to leftist candidates who will facilitate "rigging" the system in their favor. The #OWS think this can all be rectified by more regulations, while the Tea Party demands that the unholy alliance between megabusiness and government be ended. This includes such things as bailing out Goldman Sachs and General Motors. A lot has changed since 1867 when Das Kapital was published. If there is an oligarchy in this country it is miniscule and a vestige of an age that has vanished. It has been replaced by a symbiosis of business and government that defeats the benefits provided by capitalism. This is what OWS should be protesting, and their solution should be voting for Tea Party candidates.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

I find it pretty remarkable how a simple point about emergency care being exponentially more expensive than the primary care that helps prevent medical emergencies (regardless of who receives it) goes missed in a predictable din of noise regarding disputes over immigration, policy inertia and other irrelevant distractions.

(BTW, Michael, what scared the Baggers shitless was the threat of expanding congressional health care to anyone who wanted it - as they concluded that the market couldn't lower its administrative overhead sufficiently to compete with the government. Instead of "tearing the system down", payouts to the existing johns ensured slower reform. Trust me, conservatives I have to see every day bitch about this. It's probably one of the few facts they bother to get right).

Seeing Red said...

Seeing Red. You clearly do not know what the Federal Reserve does.


Unless I missed something I thought Congress was the only lever to raise the minimum wage laws?


The Federal Reserve writes all these EPA laws?


IF they do all that, then it's time for everything to be folded into that entity.

Monkeyboy said...

Get it? Wanting to improve the way something works is not tantamount to wanting it gone? Is that so hard to grasp?

Wait so all those comments about Tea Partiers not wanting firemen or roads was so much bullsh!t?


Who knew?

Canuck said...

I think a lot of people's response to OWS is the following:

I hate drum circles.

I hate crony capitalism.

Which do I hate more?

Quaestor said...

franglo wrote:
Wanting greater regulation of derivatives DOES NOT MEAN GETTING RID OF DERIVATIVES TRADING.

This may be news to you, but the class of investment instruments which have come to be known as derivatives derive from the climate created by regulations and government mandates generally, that's why they're called derivatives. If it weren't for market and credit risk distortions created by mandates such as the CRA and impossibly lucrative public employee pensions derivatives would be much less attractive and therefore much less of a problem.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... I consider the treatment of undocumented residents to be a social justice issue and that they should have access to adequate health care and social services. I consider that a social justice issue..."

So do I but not the way you do. I don't think my tax dollars should be providing such services for people who broke the law by coming here. I think rewarding illegal aliens who break the law is a social justice issue.

cubanbob said...

franglo said...
Michael, you talk as if THE ONLY virtuous people are rich.

If you're poor, it's due to your personal character flaws.

Let me ask you: do you know any poor people?

You come off like a cliche... Daddy Warbucks.

10/29/11 12:40 PM

Do I know any poor people? Yes. And why are they poor? Because they are fuck-ups. Not because they are stupid in an IQ test sort of way but because they consistently make the wrong choices. But its a free country and people have a right to screw up and they also have the obligation to suffer their foolishness.

Most people have no problem helping the deserving poor, that is people who are poor due to circumstances beyond their control. For example those with mental or physical handicaps or a woman with children who is suddenly widowed. But the notion of constantly bailing out people of normal or above IQ's who are in their position because of their choices is simply beyond the pale for the overwhelming majority of the country and will always be. Gimme, gimme, gimme because I deserve it isn't going to win any hearts and minds. But it sure is going to help the republicans in next years electoral sweep.

Seeing Red said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MayBee said...

I find it pretty remarkable how a simple point about emergency care being exponentially more expensive than the primary care that helps prevent medical emergencies (regardless of who receives it) goes missed in a predictable din of noise regarding disputes over immigration, policy inertia and other irrelevant distractions.

This is about primary care IN emergency rooms.
That's what the current system encourages.
And no, I'm not sure the State suddenly paying for all unemployed illegal immigrants to have primary care would be infinitely cheaper than paying for real emergency care.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Andy R. said...

You think an illegal immigrant without a job can go see the doctor if he gets sick?


Yer fuckin' A, bubba. You are a little removed from the reality of uncontrolled immigration, but here in Southern California I witness this nearly every day. The law says that emergency rooms in this state treat everyone who comes in, regardless of their ability to pay. The illegals, armed with bogus identities, avail themselves of this law whenever they have a sniffle or a stubbed toe. You should see the ER at County General in LA on a Saturday night. The illegals seldom pay, and the cost is piled on those who do. Hospitals all over this state have been closing their ER's because they just can't afford the constant drain of treating the "undocumented". So, yes, even an "undocumented immigrant" without a job can see a doctor if he gets sick, and the rest of us are paying for it.

cubanbob said...

franglo said...
Do you really think that the tiny minority of very wealthy people in this country-- I'm talking about the 1%-- got there by working harder than everyone else, Michael?

Not only harder but smarter. You have a problem with smart people being successful or should we 'redistribute' intelligence as well?

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Geez bob. With illogic as self-righteous as yours, one could argue that the Cubans you left behind once you let a communist takeover occur aren't worth helping either. Because, you know, the political conditions they created and sustained are of their own making. And yours, too, if you stayed up until any point leading to Comrade Fidel's rise to power.

I understand that self-glorification helps an FOB like yourself feel justified in your chosen nationality. Not very useful for solving real life problems, though. But you came from a country with a self-imposed problem, so perhaps that's the way you view everything in life.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... The game is rigged. A tiny minority of wealthy people are using their wealth to ensure they remain wealthy...."

In a previous thread you said someone who makes $350k a year is rich. That's more than a few doctors, lawyers and small business owners. You seem to think its all faceless suits sitting in corner offices making financial trades.

MayBee said...

People who are not legal residents of an area should be very mobile.
That's the very reason countries allow work related visas, student related visas, tourist visas, and the long path to permanent visas. People are expected to be productive members of the society they've chosen to enter. When they are no longer are, they are expected to move on rather than be net drains on that society.

You want to encourage people who can move on to move on rather than stay. You can call it social justice to make their stay here easier for them, but it comes at the expense of someone else. That's the practical problem with the idealist's idea of justice.

MayBee said...

I'm not sure the State suddenly paying for all unemployed illegal immigrants to have primary care would be infinitely cheaper than paying for real emergency care.

Should say ..."to have insurance covering primary care"

This was part of the ObamaCare debate. The magical notion that giving an unlimited number of people a bunch of free insurance would somehow be a money saver.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Oh Geezus Christ. Does MayBee still think anyone's still talking to her about immigration? I realize that Althouse is a kooky place, but Cedarford's out fishing and the Stormfront website shouldn't be restricting her traffic today, if she's interested.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... I have found that most of the criticisms and mistaken information about the Occupations has been coming from people who have not been there for a visit...."

You know that's funny cause I said the same thing.to left wingers like you about the Tea Party rallies. Except your kind saw one poster with Obama as a witch doctor and concluded we were all racists. Well I've seen lots if hammer and sickles, signs saying Eat the Rich, people defacating on police cars and really a lot of incoherent rage. So ill follow the left's same standards and conclude they're just human waste and shun them.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Hoosier's coronary arteries are filled with the products of defecation. In the name of freedom.

ricpic said...

Schiff trys to talk sense to them but all these occupiers want is the big rock candy mountain.

franglo said...

Monkeyboy, re: My point about the Tea Party being hypocrites for driving on roads. The point is that THEY ARE NOT ACTUALLY HYPOCRITES for doing that.

And NEITHER are OWS protesters for using iPhones and patronizing corporations.

Criticism of something IS NOT THE SAME as wanting something gone.

The government, or capitalism.

It's not a difficult point to grasp. And yet it seems beyond many around here.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

My my, was that fun.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 362   Newer› Newest»