Monday, October 17, 2011



While I stand in theory with those who are occupying wallstreet in the many states, I do have to speak ill of a few things. First off, I noticed that when the news interviews a random protester, they're faced with a tough choice. Specifically when asked if they feel capitalism isn't a equitable economic system, what they want to replace capitalism with? At that moment you can sort of see it in the hearts, minds and eyes of all the people around them. "Don't say it bro, don't say it!" they proclaim as the guy on camera just fumbles along in front of the Fox news camera. But you and I both know that they're trying to prevent people from saying the word socialism to any media.

To do so would label the occupy movement as communist socialist and we all know how much Americans hate socialism. What with your medicare and social security and what not. Besides that, these folks are far from socialist. They are at best liberals. Look at this article talking about if Liberals should support the OWS movement.
How should liberals feel about Occupy Wall Street? If you post here and you think of yourself as a liberals, then you have undoubtedly been grappling with that question in recent weeks. At first blush, it would be difficult not to cheer the protesters who have descended on lower Manhattan—and are massing in other cities across the United States—because they have chosen a deserving target. Wall Street should be protested. Its resistance to needed regulations that would stabilize the U.S. economy is shameful. And, insofar as it has long opposed appropriate levels of government spending and taxation, it has helped to create a society that does a deeply flawed job of providing for its most vulnerable, educating its young, and guaranteeing economic opportunity for all.

But, to draw on the old cliché, the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. Just because Liberals are frustrated with Wall Street does not mean that we should automatically find common cause with a group of people who are protesting Wall Street. Indeed, one of the first obligations of Liberals is skepticism—of governments, of arguments, and of movements. And so it is important to look at what Occupy Wall Street actually believes and then to ask two, related questions: Is their rhetoric liberalist, or at least a close cousin of liberals? And is this movement helpful to the achievement of liberal aims?

One of the core differences between Liberals and radicals is that liberals are capitalists. They believe in a capitalism that is democratically regulated—that seeks to level an unfair economic playing field so that all citizens have the freedom to make what they want of their lives. But these are not the principles we are hearing from the protesters. Instead, we are hearing calls for the upending of capitalism entirely. American capitalism may be flawed, but it is not, as Slavoj Zizek implied in a speech to the protesters, the equivalent of Chinese suppression. “[In] 2011, the Chinese government prohibited on TV and films and in novels all stories that contain alternate reality or time travel,” Zizek declared. “This is a good sign for China. It means that people still dream about alternatives, so you have to prohibit this dream. Here, we don’t think of prohibition. Because the ruling system has even oppressed our capacity to dream. Look at the movies that we see all the time. It’s easy to imagine the end of the world. An asteroid destroying all life and so on. But you cannot imagine the end of capitalism.” This is not a statement of Liberals values; moreover, it is a statement that should be deeply offensive to Liberals, who do not in any way seek the end of capitalism.

Zizek is not alone. His statement is typical of the anti-capitalist, almost utopian arguments that one hears coming from these protesters. A recent debate about whether to allow Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights icon, to speak to Occupy Atlanta was captured on video and ended up on YouTube. As Lewis looked on, arguments on both sides were bandied about. “The point of this general assembly is to kick-start a democratic process in which no singular human being is inherently more valuable than any other human being,” argued one protester. Ultimately, because no “consensus” could be reached, Lewis was turned away. Yes, like the Zizek speech, this was just one data point. But surely it was an indication that liberals skepticism about this movement is not unwarranted.

And it is just not the protesters’ apparent allergy to capitalism and suspicion of normal democratic politics that should raise concerns. It is also their temperament. The protests have made a big deal of the fact that they arrive at their decisions through a deliberative process. But all their talk of “general assemblies” and “communiqués” and “consensus” has an air of group-think about it that is, or should be, troubling to Liberals. “We speak as one,” Occupy Wall Street stated in its first communiqué, from September 19. “All of our decisions, from our choices to march on Wall Street to our decision to camp at One Liberty Plaza were decided through a consensus process by the group, for the group.” The air of group-think is only heightened by a technique called the “human microphone” that has become something of a signature for the protesters. When someone speaks, he or she pauses every few words and the crowd repeats what the person has just said in unison. The idea was apparently logistical—to project speeches across a wide area—but the effect when captured on video is genuinely creepy.

These are not just substantive complaints. They also beg the strategic question of whether the protesters will help or hurt the cause of Liberals. After all, even if the protesters are not liberals themselves, isn’t it possible that they could play a constructive role in forcing Americans to pay attention to important issues such as inequality and crony capitalism? Perhaps. But we are hard-pressed to believe that most Americans will look at these protests, with their extreme anti-capitalist rhetoric, and conclude that the fate of the Dodd-Frank legislation—currently the best liberal hope for improving democratically regulated capitalism—is more crucial than they had previously thought.
The Dodd-Frank legislation is currently the best liberal hope for improving democratically regulated capitalism? Why yes, let's pin our liberal hopes and dreams on a piece of legislation that doesn't change the status quo one bit. Then again, what else could you pin a liberal hope on. That's sort of the point. Perhaps I'll be happy pinning my hopes on these movements taking note of what Greece does.

From the OWS movement that's all I seem to be seeing. A big mass of liberals bouncing off each other chaotically like gas molecules in an enclosed system, begging, PLEADING for the merciful trot to infiltrate and show them the way...

Just look at this report from Boston about the movement and their reaction to the homeless. You know, those people who aren't even good enough to be counted as the 99%
Another issue that has grown in importance as the occupation has grown is that of what to do with the homeless people who are attracted to Dewey Square by our presence.

As the occupation strives to represent the 99%, their presence has made for a really difficult juxtaposition. On one hand, we don't want to turn anyone away. On the other hand, many are homeless for very specific reasons – mental health and substance abuse issues being two major ones.

This has lead to the group attempting to walk a knife blade on this issue – allowing them access to our food and supplies, but only allowing the ones with true medical conditions allowed to stay in the camp. Such interactions and decisions have lead to a variety of notable situations.

For instance, while the camp has a strict no drugs or alcohol policy, displaced people have stumbled on Dewey square already under the influence. Leading to this* widely disseminated vomiting incident, a heroin overdose, and several medical emergencies.

Additionally, the homeless we have allowed to stay in camp are disabled in various ways and so have a difficult time moving around. This has lead to them relieving themselves right next to their tent.

As they have been positioned adjacent to the medical tent, this has caused a general urine odor emanating from the area and unsanitary conditions nearby (obviously not what one would consider ideal for any medical facility).
How dare those homeless try to come to the 99%'s turf. Look at this first hand account....
It was a rough night on Dewey Square.

A group of homeless people have attached themselves to Occupy Boston, and its pillows, blankets and surplus tents.

My tent happened to be very close to them.

So I work up at 3 a.m. to a horrible sound.

Someone was outside my tent, throwing up!

My mind started to spin.

It went from, “Would the wharf rats come over here? And “Is my tent rat-repellent?” to “Why am I here, with a $1,000 computer at my feet?”

Dayllight never looked so good!
Yeah! Smelly homeless people? Pfft. Not in *MY* 99 percent! Which I guess is the real beef I have with the group. You essentially walk on the street and say words while holding up your sign and suddenly it's like you feel as if you did something of importance before you go home and log onto Facebook to talk about what you accomplished.

When really it amounts to nothing more than trolling Wallstreet hot shots. Which if you saw from the Chicago board of trade, they can troll like the best of them right back.

Which was as brilliant as when Marie Antoinette put up the [LET][THEM][EAT][CAKE] posters in the windows of Versailles. Which I have to say is getting a bit more crazy in that eventually the people will rise above. But at the same time the police force will do exactly the same as well.

That's why there's a De-escalation Guide

Posted on September 30th, 2011 by Bob inNo comments

  • When confronted by law enforcement or security, it is absolutely critical to remain calm, and to not escalate tense situations. Sometimes, that’s not as easy as it looks. This handy guidebookthing is here to help you. Read it, memorize it, love it. This is your bible for when things get tense.
  • Back off! Literally. Take at least one to two steps back, to show you are not being aggressive.
  • Take a deep breath. This is not for screaming. This is to make you pause before saying something in anger.
  • Do take your hands out, in clear view, in front of you, showing you are not holding a weapon. Not in your pockets.
  • Do not point, shake your finger, make fists. These are aggressive and threatening. Bad idea.
  • Do not turn your back at any time. This makes it look like you are ignoring them. Not cool, bro.
  • Do apologize. Even if you aren’t in the wrong, apologize. This can go a long way to de-escalating the situation.
  • Do not be defensive or judgmental. Nobody is automatically in the wrong.
  • Do not accuse or threaten. If you do this, rest assured, you are in for a world of trouble.
  • Do not yell or scream. Raise your voice CALMLY if you need to do so to be heard.
  • Do respond calmly to questions, no matter how rude the other person is.
  • Do empathize with feelings even if you disagree with the behavior. Cops have it rough too.
  • Do not argue or try to sway them to your side. We’re de-escalating here, it’s not the Oslo Accords.
  • Do listen to what the other person is saying. Don’t just dismiss it or tune it out. Seriously. Listen.
  • Do acknowledge the other person’s concerns. You’d expect them to acknowledge yours – so you better do the same.
So you know, if someone was to even touch or paint graffiti on that bull, the cops would beat them to death right there like a divine sacrifice to the gods of capital while everyone looks on and cheers hoping it will be enough to bring the DOW back up.

Not to mention that it will be a great moment for television news history when someone does something to that bull and the police shoot them, they will be able to air the headline "When you mess with the bull you get the horns"

Some of the S.F. protesters were very adamant defending the cops who showed up in riot gear to destroy the camp last night.
"They're just doing their jobs guys!! They're on our side, honest!! You just wait!"
I just don't understand how anyone can possibly think this way yet still be angsty enough to turn out to a protest to begin with. Maybe my hope is that some real agitators will show to these lily-white college students how its done with maybe a moltov cocktail or some gas mask.

But not everywhere is reacting the same to the 99% as was faced with many cities getting their tents raided. In Los Angeles it's a very funny situation. In that apparently the LA city council is going to end up endorsing the occupy L.A. folks.

Which I'm guessing shouldn't be something to rave about since it could just be them trying to coopt them. Let's just break down what happened. Bill Rosendahl tore ass to break away from the city council when this happened just to get before the cameras in the protest. He is also best known for having been elected by Venice activists then getting the po-po to crack down on the RV's of homeless folk littering his district.

Then there's Eric Garcetti. He's another council member who couldn't get in front of the cameras quick enough. he is a dynasty of do-nothing democrats who want to run for higher office. Eric Garcetti can kiss my ass.

Just look at how Mayor Bloomberg and other politicians elsewhere are handling this situation:
Mayor Bloomberg Claims ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Protesters Are Targeting Bankers Who ‘Are Struggling To Make Ends Meet’

This morning, while on local radio host John Gambling’s show, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg was askedabout the demonstrations on Wall Street. Bloomberg condemned the protests, claiming that the protesters are targeting people who making “$40-50,000 a year and are struggling to make ends meet.” He then went on to say people are focusing too much on the causes of the financial crisis and that we need to be nicer to the banking industry so that it starts lending again. He concluded by saying that we are “blaming the wrong people” by “blaming the banks” for the recession:
Ha! That has got to be the funniest shit possible. Hey guys, this protest is costing the cops too much money. Maybe it's time to wind this mofo down.

All of this just leads to the protecting of capitalism..
Hundreds of cops, some on horsebacks, are now protecting Wall Street 24 hours a day. At Bowling Green Park, they have also blocked access to the Merryll Lynch bull. To be warmed by the methane gas of a healthy market, no doubt, a group of New York’s Finest gathered near their sacred bovine’s digestive exit, just below its up-lashing tail.

“They’re all guarding the bull’s asshole,” I said to this middle aged black woman standing across the street.

“Yeah, they’re all guarding the bullshit!” She laughed.
shoot them all, shoot them all,
shoot all the bourgeois reactionary swine
shoot all the bosses and their hangers-on
shoot all the dems and republican scum
'cause we're saying goodbye to them all
as we put their backs to the wall...

But you know this group isn't going to do any of that. They will not get uppity and they will lay down when the police come for them. I guess I should just ask what the harm is in people having a big anti-capitalism-themed block party.

Because maybe I'm being too harsh. There's really a lot of people there with a massive amount of debt, no career prospects, poverty, etc. and maybe it would be good of me to think of them as people that need help and direction rather than contempt for being silly and disorganized and not nearly Marxist enough.

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