Skip to comments.Occupy Whatever!
Posted on 11/26/2011 10:49:22 AM PST by hocndoc
Naomi Wolfe has written a screed for the UK's Guardian, "The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy," that is sympathetic to the OccupyWhatever movement, in response to several events where occupiers where pepper-sprayed or arrested. She claims to have received emails that list the wishes of the occupiers and to be privy to a government conspiracy to "suppress" the movement.
I believe that the wish list is Wolfe's, and that she has inflated the cohesiveness of purpose around her favored agenda:
The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics. Most often cited was legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling, which lets boundless sums enter the campaign process. No 2: reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act the Depression-era law, done away with by President Clinton, that separates investment banks from commercial banks. This law would correct the conditions for the recent crisis, as investment banks could not take risks for profit that create kale derivatives out of thin air, and wipe out the commercial and savings banks.(The Wall Street Journal reports a much less focused OccupyWhatever, today.The demands among various New York State occupiers include reparations for slavery and local city political disagreements. College students from the New School, who have "occupied" an art gallery, are demanding gender-neutral bathrooms and no more tuition increases.)
No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.
Ms. Wolfe seems to miss the implication that it is her imagined "suppressors" are the powerful on the Left. She inflates the power of Congress, ignoring the true chain of command within the Department of Homeland Security, which is run out of the Executive Office of the Obama White House. Instead, she asks, "[W]hy on earth would Congress advise violent militarised reactions against its own peaceful constituents?"
But mostly, she ignores the fact that the Occupiers are not "peaceful," innocent, or harmless activists. They are obstructing traffic, knocking down little old ladies and interfering with school children. They are incubating disease and violence among themselves, which spreads to anyone who comes near them. Private businesses in some of the cities have been harassed and shut down - for example, restaurants and food vendors who cannot give away their product and make a profit(horrors!) that allows them to stay in business and take money home to their families.
The video of the chanting at Walmarts on "Black Friday" are great examples of the ridiculous nature of the objections. Very young, well-dressed and -fed men and women (just look at those jeans and sweaters - where do you think they bought them?) telling the employees and the customers that they are slaves, and decrying consumerism is hypocrisy.
Civil disobedience has always carried with it the very probable risk of being arrested and prosecuted. Frankly, those of us who have avoided certain parks or who have been heckled while minding our own business are not sympathetic to those arrested or pepper sprayed.
The agenda that Ms. Wolfe reports is not pure, either. For example, the Citizens United opinion supports and protects free speech. Just as the occupiers join in a group on the street or in the aisles of Walmarts across the nation, those of us who wish to do so, voluntarily give our money to support Political Action Committees (PACs) that represent our desired political speech in ads and to pay lobbyists. The difference is that I have to give my name and occupation when I donate, the PAC must organize and file reports. The OccupyWhatevers refuse to do so and since they don't like the speech that my money enables, they try to limit my freedom to walk down the street, in addition to my organizing with others in political speech.
However, what concerns me the most is the purposeful submission of individuality by the OccupyWhatever organizations. There is nothing normal or healthy in the chanting and parroting of the words of a leader as the protesters do. They voluntarily turn themselves into interchangeable units of the mob, automatons who apparently do not think for themselves. Watch the videos of a leader who speaks a few words, which are then repeated in unison by the group.
Tell me Occupiers: are these speeches worked out in advance in a truly democratic manner? What happens if one of you has an original thought in reaction to what is going on around you?
40% fed tax + 7.5% social security... plus match. 55% tax if you have no real write offs... and that’s if you do not have state income tax, which can range from 5-10%
out of all that money, 50-65% of your time, about 60% of what you send in goes to pay entitlements... these losers
“Whole Foods” always looks “occupied”. I swear if you don’t have a blue streak in your hair and at least 50% of your body covered in tats you can’t work there.
Thank you, Sir.
Another commenter at the Guardian told me to leave my “echo chamber” and referred me to video of a retired New York City police Captain who has joined the OWS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apP7nZJIKEY
Hillarious: a fairly young man with a pension and life time health insurance complains that others are greedy. He might take a look at how his union reps are paid. His contract should be enforced as long as the City can afford it, but he shouldn’t be shocked that the City cannot continue to make such generous contracts.
Most people don’t have unions and are forced to make do with Social Security and Medicare, if they are lucky enough to retire at 65!
He claims millionaires want to become billionaires in order to have gold plated toilet seats! And yet, he acknowledges that those millionaires support jobs and the taxes that he wants the City to have. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a millionaire or a billionaire.
In fact, the Captain is wrong in assuming that because some are millionaires, others are harmed. That’s like looking at a fat man next to a thin man and claiming that the fat man took food from the thin man. It’s not likely except in a very closed system.
New York City is doing its best to run off the millionaires with taxes and regulations. Our Nation is not a closed system - the millionaires are free to move to another City or State and even to another country where they can make a profit. The Captain should understand - but obviously doesn’t - that it’s those taxes that kill the jobs and the tax base.
At least he calls Obama correctly.
Ping to some who might be interested.
Within the past few days, I've heard that this is only batting practice for what is coming next year. Hold on tight.
I’m concerned that you are right.
We in the Tea Party - and the FReepers’ Freeps before that - never went after public gatherings and conventions other than the specific meetings organized by/for the specific people we were protesting.We came, we hollered and waved our signs for a couple of hours and left the place better than we found it.
These occupiers takeover buildings and parks, tear up, destroy and won’t leave except to stalk the Republican Women or Walmart shoppers.
Look at the labels on their jeans and sweaters, look at their sneakers and boots - where did they buy them? Some “local” store like the Gap, Abercrombies or Old Navy?
Ms. Wolfe should be very careful for what she wishes for as the young ‘Lady “ just might get it good & hard.
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