Tag: Activism

Nazca Attack

Dear Greenpeace: I accept the reality of climate change. I think environmental protection is important. So understand where I’m coming from when I tell you to fuck off:

Peru says it will sue activists from the environmental pressure group Greenpeace after they placed a banner next to the Nazca Lines heritage site.

The activists entered a restricted area next to the ancient ground markings depicting a hummingbird and laid down letters advocating renewable energy.

Peru is currently hosting the UN climate summit in its capital, Lima.

A Greenpeace spokeswoman said the group was investigating but its activists had been “absolutely careful”.

Like hell they were. First of all, Greenpeace and other environmental radicals have made it abundantly clear that they have no regard for anything created by humans. If they thought it would save an endangered snail, they’d raze the Pyramids tomorrow. Second, you can check out video of Greenpeace activists bumbling around the Nazca site. Their smug self-satisfaction will radiate through your computer. And the Nazca lines are the sort of thing you have to be careful about:

[Peruvian Deputy Cultural Minister] said the Nazca Lines, which are an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 years old, were “absolutely fragile”.

“You walk there and the footprint is going to last hundreds or thousands of years,” he said.

The Nazca lines are delicate, created by the removal of pebbles to expose the lighter soil beneath. Simply walking around the site can destroy a 1500 year old monument. If radical Muslims did this — as they did Bamiyan or in Timbuktu — we’d call it an act of terrorism.

Greenpeace has issued one of the standard garbage “we’re sorry you were offended” non-apologies and are saying they will “take responsibility” for any damage. Good. I can think of no better way of taking responsibility than going to prison.

And just a reminder that Greenpeace is not some impoverished grassroots org:

Did this embattled scrappy activist group have no other means to get their message out other than casual vandalism of a historical site and the accompanying “earned media”? Guess not with their meager total assets, according to their financial reports for 2013, of just 54 million euros.

Organizations like Greenpeace are, by far, the biggest impediment in environmental policy. For all the “evil oil money” out there, nothing turns people off of climate policy faster than the rabid anti-capitalism and mindless destructive stunts of organizations like Greenpeace. Forty years ago, when Lake Erie was almost dead and the Cuyahoga caught fire, there was a need for environmentalist organizations. There isn’t any more. Everyone supports a clean environment, with their actions and with their votes. The Western world is cleaner and healthier than it has been in centuries. So what we’re left with is “evaporative cooling” where mainstream sensible environmentalists like Patrick Moore have left the environmental orgs and they’re left with radical watermelons who pull stupid stunts like marring a world treasure.

Go away, guys. We’ve got this.

Antisocial Movements

If there’s one thing we are going to need in the modern era, it is a term to describe these new, asinine forms of protest currently being used to further political and ideological goals. This type is different from terrorism in that the acts aren’t violent and sometimes not even unlawful. For lack of a better imagination term, I will dub such acts as “churlism.”

These tactics are designed to draw attention to a cause simply by being the biggest prick imaginable and getting a sufficient number of other pricks to go along with it to piss people off on a grand enough scale to accomplish your goals. Case in point: blocking bridges and freeway overpasses with human prick barricades. I think it was the Occupy Movement that really pioneered this one. Do you really want to strike a blow for your cause, deal out economic hardship on individual Americans, tie up police resources, and make everyone hate your cause as they become more aware of it? Keep them from getting to and from work.

Churlists like the Westboro Baptist Church mastered this years ago with their funeral protests and Anonymous loves to show how cyber-churlism can punish bad actors beyond simple Internet insults. In fact, churlists can often best terrorists, as Anonymous has recently proven against the KKK (an organization that has itself become more churlish with each passing decade). Hell, Obama has even practiced a rare form of state-sponsored churlism for years now by mocking invited guests at public events (Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, the entire Supreme Court, etc), laughing at commuters when his motorcades cause traffic gridlock, or golfing just to show how little he cares about his critics’ views on his lack of action on foreign or domestic policy. And all of those crass people get away with it and even do succeed at getting their message across. So we know it works.

My own viewpoint is that incredibly crass acts like blockading traffic and taking over public parks are inconvenient, but they are far preferable to destruction of property, assault, and other nasty acts that asshats with no purpose for breathing other than their pet causes do when they don’t think they’re being listened to.

Now, I’m not saying that I want to be vexed in my daily life. Far from it. Also, recognize that churlism is different from civil disobedience, which is generally pretty focused on specific people and circumstances. Churlism is utterly random and basically has a way of pissing off people who even hear that it’s being done. Even people who agree with with the Ferguson protestors hate the thought of being caught in a traffic jam while police kick street people and privileged young white hipsters off of a freeway ramp. On the other hand, they like the thought of other people being inconvenienced, because fuck you, whitey.

What I am saying is that I find protest techniques such as these to be potentially highly effective, more so than anything we’ve seen before. In a society as passive-aggressive and disconnected as ours, it simply has to work. Also, I think a good distinction is needed to protect civil liberties by properly differentiating asshole protest activities from extreme or dangerous ones.

Some of my proposed churlist tactics:

1. Fart-Ins. Exactly what you think it means.
2. Sidewalk Jamming. Police can clear you off of a street, but what can they do if you’re just walking on the sidewalk reeeeeeeeeeeallllllllly fucking slowly?
3. Urinal Funnel. I have to explain this one. Some guy at my workplace figured out how to remove the urinal pad and roll it up into a cone. He’d then set it back in the drain so that when the automatic flush engaged, the water would spray back toward the person who had just pissed in it. The guy is a genius, but he lacks the vision to fulfill the destiny of a great cause.

What do you think of such protest tactics? Fair or over the line?

Progressing Toward the Victorian Era

If you ever thought that the Nanny Staters were going to stop with cigarettes and alcohol, Baylen Linnekin is here to remind you that the progressive Nanny State knows no bounds:

Earlier this year I warned in a column that food freedom – the right to grow, raise, produce, buy, sell, share, cook, eat and drink the foods you want – would be “under attack” in 2014. But even I couldn’t have predicted the crushing regulatory assault that’s hit American consumers and food producers in just the first quarter of this year.

In fact, 2014 may go down as the worst year for food freedom since the New Deal era, when Congress, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Supreme Court conspired to strip Americans of many basic food rights. Just how ludicrous was that period? In 1942, the Supreme Court actually upheld a New Deal law that prohibited farmers from using wheat they grew on their own farms to bake bread to feed their own families.

While we haven’t matched that historic low yet, there are still nine months left in the year. Here are just nine examples:

I’ll leave you to click through for the examples, which includes everything from the FDA trying to ban trans fats to a government advisory committee thinking the government should text “encouraging messages” to fat people. That’s all we need: more texting spam.

Something about this story has been bothering me though and it took me a while to figure out what it was. It finally came together when I remembered that the vast majority of the Nannies are self-styled “progressives” (including Uber-Nanny Michael Bloomberg, who has now moved on to flogging gun control with truly repulsive anti-gun ads). This theme came up a couple of weeks ago in a great article by Matt Welch:

When I first started hearing people on the political left describe themselves with some frequency as progressive back in the 1990s, the term did not seem tethered to the epoch-defining, early-20th-century spasm of moral crusading and government centralization that helped give us everything from trust busting to Prohibition to the Federal Reserve. As articulated by champions like Ralph Nader and Molly Ivins, the progressive label was both a way to get out from under the generation-old baggage of liberal-a term Ronald Reagan and others had turned into an epithet-and to differentiate lefties from seemingly apologetic triangulators like Bill Clinton and that now-vanished tribe known as the New Democrats.

If you could put a date on when modern-day progressives fully re-inhabited the moral rigidity of their Progressive Era forebears, it might be September 24, 2012. That’s when Village Voice Media, the country’s biggest chain of alternative newsweeklies, split off its online classifieds site Backpage.com after a years-long, progressive-led campaign to shutter the site over claims that it facilitates “sex trafficking.”

In addition to their campaign against all sex work — not just trafficking — the progressives are campaigning against e-cigarettes. Their “fact-based” campaign includes bogus stories that e-cigs are just as dangerous as cigarettes (they aren’t). Campaigns against alcohol sales, free markets, free trade, fatty foods, regular cigarettes, sugar, guns and a host of other “evils” are proceeding apace.

It’s not just the Nanny State; puritanical attitudes infect almost all “progressive” policy. Tax policy is oriented toward attacking conspicuous consumption and “greed”. Global warming policy is oriented less around scientific approaches to the problem than around ending Western consumption. Healthcare policy is devoted to the notion that we are using too much healthcare and that has to stop. Almost every economic policy from the -so-called progressives hinges on the notion that some people simply have more wealth than is good for them.

(Needless to say, it’s always the plebs that need to sacrifice for the greater good. The elites will always still enjoy their good doctors, their private jets and their mountains of income.)

The funny thing is that puritanical attitudes are something we are always told are right wing. It is always those troglodyte conservatives who are seething with rage over the immorality of society. Surely the left wing, with their enthusiasm for abortion and gay rights, could not be described in those terms?

But it can be and it should be. Because, as I have often said, politics isn’t a spectrum, it’s a circle. If you move far enough to the left, you’ll find yourself in bed with those who are too far to the right. You might claim different motives; but in the end, you will embrace the same policies.

Think about how puritanical the progressive movement is getting. You could easily squeeze the entire progressive agenda into a campaign against five of the seven deadly sins:

  • Gluttony: Progressives support a slew of laws designed to force Americans to eat less, including mandatory calorie labeling, restrictions on sugar, making sugar a controlled substance and taxing high-calorie foods.
  • Greed: Progressives support high income tax rates, luxury taxes on expensive items and have lately been talking about how the real problem in America is wealth inequality. This is an addition to their distaste for the “greed” of free markets and their support of controlled markets.
  • Sloth: Many progressives favor mandatory “volunteerism” (as do many neo-conservatives; the Right Wing equivalent of progressives).
  • Lust: Most progressive want to keep prostitution illegal. Many would like to outlaw porn. This is a a view they share with much of the Religious Right.
  • Wrath: Our courts can give out mandatory anger management classes. And opposition to the progressive agenda is frequently written off as the rage of “angry white males”.
  • Pride and Envy don’t fit well into that but that’s probably because these are the principle sins of progressivism itself, which is consumed with envy for anyone who has “too much” and take great pride in being so enlightened compared to the antediluvian masses.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed this. Back in the 90’s, the campus feminists wanted to ban porn. When I pointed out that this put them on the same page as religious zealots, they would reply that the Jerry Falwells were worried about smut; they were worried about exploitation. But I don’t see that motive matters in this scenario. Sure, you want to have a good through process when it comes to policy: a smart way of thinking about issues will lead you astray less often than a dumb one. But, practically, when your ultra-enlightened mega-sensitive thinking leads you to the same conclusions as the Playboy burners, what difference does it make? Why is banning porn because it makes Baby Jesus cry worse than banning it because it makes Gloria Steinem cringe?

    In the end, this boils to simple prudery in all its manifold manifestations. Progressive puritanism, like all puritanism, was best described Mencken as the the fear that someone somewhere may be happy. It is not new or original or enlightened or forward-thinking. You can trace it back not just to 19th century Victorian prudery but to 20th century communism, which saw all things as serving a function to the state, eschewed pleasure (for the masses anyway) and saw drab colorless lives as ideal for the plebs.

    This prudery is the result of any political philosophy that sees government as a force with which to change human nature. Whether you want government to make people less gay or make people less anti-gay, you are paying homage to the same demon idol of government power. That your pews are different colors make no practical difference to the heretics being thrown into the fire.

    I’ve had it with blue-noses of every political stripe. If they want to live like monks, more power to them. But I see no reason why we should allow them to enshrine their priggish mores into law. Whether they are grabbing our porn, our cigarettes, our booze, our hookers, our drugs, our food, our money, our sugar or our gay lovers, they are all the enemies of real freedom. And it’s time to stop pretending that one side is better because they call themselves “progressives” rather than “prudish ninnies”.

    Vets March on Washington

    Yesterday, military veterans marched on Washington in protest of the closure of open-air memorials. Some conservative activists also joined in and gave speeches, which the Million Vet March has did not appreciate as they wanted this to be a non-partisan event.

    As you might expect, the media and the Left focused all their attention on the political speakers (and a few confederate flags that were displayed) than on the quite reasonable and mostly apolitical demand that open-air memorials be opened. In fact, they’ve put more attention on a few speeches there than they have on just about any of the petty bullshit going on with the shutdown, such as forcing people out of private homes and closing private businesses because they happen to sit on federal land.

    (The excuse being given for these closures is safety and liability. I’ve addressed this before, pointing out that the government has sovereign immunity from most lawsuits and no one is going to slip and fall at the Vietnam memorial who wouldn’t have slipped and fallen before the shutdown. The goes the same for the Lake Meade situation: the Lake is in no danger of flooding. Quite the opposite actually.)

    The protest — which was about as non-violent as you could get — has provoked the usual shock and outrage from the usual quarters. The political protesters made this easy with the confederate flags and a demand that Obama “put down the Koran”, which was unfortunate. But it’s also a deliberate confounding of the protesting veterans with a group of tag-along politicians.

    Still, even given that, the reaction to the political protest is disproportionate, to say the least. Andrew Sullivan said it was an act of rebellion and we are in a “cold Civil War” (as with most commentators he is taking the views expressed by the likes of Larry Klayman as representative of every conservative within a 3000 mile radius). Funny enough, these adjectives were not thrown out when much more aggressive and hysterical protests were held to protest the Iraq War. Or the Contract with America. Or for abortion rights. Or for gun control. Or all the way back to the Vietnam protests (when we really were in a cold civil war). To throw such epithets at a small group of political protesters is ridiculous. To throw them at a bunch of people who just want the memorials re-opened is absurd and offensive, no matter what you think of their cause.

    Even if you disagreed with what Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz were saying, so what? People peacefully marching on Washington for whatever reason is a good thing. It’s not revolution or disobedience: it’s our right and duty as Americans to express our views. Abortion protesters have been protesting Roe v. Wade for forty years. They know they have little hope of ever overturning the law. But they feel the issue is important enough that they have to say their piece and maybe persuade some people to their side. What on Earth is wrong with that? That Obamacare is “settled law” means nothing. As far as I’m concerned, if you think a law is bad, you can peaceful protest it all by yourself until the Sun goes dark. You don’t need anyone’s permission, approval, or sanction to go to Washington and say you think our leadership stinks.

    As far as the politicians go, I agree with Friersdorf, with the caveat that I only think this about the sub-protest with the politicians, not the main protest with the veterans. After supporting their overall intention of re-opening the monuments, he notes:

    What actually bothers me most about this little rally is what it says about the priorities of Tea Party leaders like Cruz and Sarah Palin, and the rank-and-file conservative activists who trudged out to the World War II Memorial to protest its closure. They speak the language of liberty in expressing outrage at the metal barricades, insisting that it’s an insult to soldiers who risked their lives to beat the fascists.

    Meanwhile, the Veterans Affairs Department has furloughed almost 8,000 employees (half are veterans). Its backlog of disability applications has been increasing for the duration. “The Pentagon says it no longer has authority to pay death gratuities—which is typically a cash payment of $100,000—to the survivors of servicemembers killed in action,” CBS reported last week. (Since then, Congress has passed and President Obama has signed a bill reinstating the benefit). And even when the federal government is functioning normally, it fails to adequately care for the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, who are suffering from high rates of suicide, PTSD, and joblessness, in large part due to the wars of choice they were asked to fight and that conservatives, who are still allied with a faction of haws urging even more wars of choice, overwhelmingly backed.

    What I think, when I see that memorial closures are the thing that gets conservatives in the streets, is that movement leaders and rank-and-file activists alike cannot be counted on to identify and take on the most serious issues facing veterans, or the most serious threats to liberty. Instead they spend their time seizing on symbolic issues that promise to result in the best optics for a given news cycle—World War II veterans traveled to Washington and can’t visit the memorial dedicated to them! Think what victory would mean in this instance: The barricades would come down, which will happen anyway as soon as the government reopens. In other words, there’s no substantive upside for this particular rally, whether you’re concerned about benefitting veterans or safeguarding liberty. It was held so that Cruz and Palin could aggrandize themselves, so that conservatives could revel in their self-image as liberty loving patriots who honor veterans, and so that the Obama Administration would look bad. Protests are nothing more than political theater for these people. Or if they actually intend to effect change, their strategy verges on nonsensical.

    Veterans marching on Washington is great. I hope they come out more often … not just for this but for all veterans issues. I hope they also come out whenever our leaders are flogging a stupid pointless war or shredding our liberty with ever more surveillance. Good on them.

    Opportunistic politicians who helped create the problem in the first place preening for the cameras? No thank you.

    Nader Off the Deep End … Well Deeper

    Let’s be clear: there is no evidence that violent video games cause real-life violence. None. There are a few people with axes to grind who will wave a handful of studies in your face. But the comprehensive studies, including the US government’s own study, have shown, at best, a tenuous link to mildly aggressive behavior.

    Every time a mass shooting comes up, the video game thing surfaces because the shooter has usually played some. Of course, that’s like saying he also went to the bathroom. Almost everyone plays video games these days and almost all men (and criminals are almost all men) have played some violent video games. Trying to ban a game because a spree shooter played it is like trying to ban tennis shoes because he wore them.

    These facts do not stop the game grabbers, of course, because they’re interest is not in facts (or violence, for that matter). What drive them is a dislike for violent games. And so they will do and say whatever they can, take advantage of any tragedy, use any invective to get what they want. I had thought the rhetoric had reach a low when David Grossman called first-person shooter games “murder simulators”. But Ralph Nader found a new bottom:

    Speaking of today’s presidential inauguration, Nader let loose on President Obama and threw a wild punch at video games while he was at it.

    “Tomorrow I’ll watch another rendition of political bullsh-t by the newly reelected president, full of promises that he intends to break just like he did in 2009,” Nader said. “He promised he’d be tough on Wall Street, and not one of these crooks have gone to jail—they got some inside trading people, but that’s peripheral.

    “We are in the peak of [violence in entertainment]. Television program violence? Unbelievable. Video game violence? Unprecedented,” Nader said. “I’m not saying he wants to censor this, I think he should sensitize people that they should protect their children family by family from these kinds of electronic child molesters.”

    We might be at the “peak of video game violence”. But you know what else we are at, Ralph? The trough of real-life violence. Real-life violence has fallen by more than half in the last 20 years, at the precise time gaming was surging. Not much of a correlation, is there, Ralph?

    (I’m calling a new rule: whenever anyone talks about violence and does not acknowledge the precipitous drop over the last two decades, you can ignore anything else they have to say. By ignoring one of the most important facts about violent crime, they have waved a big red flag that they are not really interested in violence; they are interested in whatever ideological issue they are pushing. With government-worshiping Ralph, it’s clearly censorship.)

    You know, I tired of Ralph Nader. I tiring of hearing about how principled he is. Ralph Nader is a wealthy man who, according to Schweizer’s Do As I Say, Not As I Do has made tons of money off monopolists, outsourcers and businesses that benefited from his activism. He has fought against unionization of his organizations, which are infamous for using “balloon payments” to pay their employees sub-minimum wage. He himself is infamous for overworking and underpaying his own people. He made his name on claims that the Corvair was unsafe; claims that proved to be true of most other cars at that time. He was a apologist for Communism, claiming he admired the austerity of the lifestyle.

    There were always reasons to just ignore him. Now we’ve got one more.

    Occupy Yawn Street

    I just can’t take these guys seriously. That’s what it amounts to. I’ve seen them run this dog and pony show out there too many times: for Republican conventions, for IMF meetings, for the Iraq War, for Earth Day. And they fall into an all-too-familiar pattern.

    Step One: Identify an actual issue.

    This can take time, since your professional protester can find issue with just about anything but it’s hard to find an issue the general public cares about too. Usually, they will find something legitimate to be concerned about so they can get a lot of well-meaning but vacuous people to support them. It might be racism — the first time I saw this was the 1992 student protests after the Rodney King verdict. It might the environment, homelessness or poverty. There’s usually a legitimate issue, even if their solutions are complete bullshit.

    For Occupy Wall Street, it’s legitimate anger over the free pass bankers and traders have gotten for the financial crisis. Whatever the role the Left played in ramping up housing, it was the financial class who created derivatives they didn’t understand, lied about what was in their securities and made tens of millions of dollars doing it. I’m currently reading Michael Lewis’s The Big Short and it’s astonishing how stupidly and criminally people in finance acted and how scott-free they got off. And it was only recently that Obama signalled, maybe, that he’ll investigate some of the ratings companies, perhaps.

    Remember, anger about this issue was a key motivation for the Tea Parties. Corporate bailouts were a rallying cry. So I sympathize, a little, with the anger. But Wall Street/government corruption is only the cassus belli. The key point, as they said early on in Obama’s presidency, is to ever let a good crisis go to waste. The Occupy Wall Street people would be protesting gravity if they thought it would bring a crowd.

    That brings us to:

    Step Two: Gather a mob.

    This is the easy part. First, there is a whole class of people out there who are professional protesters. I’m being literal: unions have hired people (at below minimum wage) to hold signs in marches. But there are also certain academics, community organizers and politicians who have no reason for existing other than protest. And unions — who are now saying they will join the Occupy Wall Street crowd — devote enormous amounts of time, money and energy to protests.

    But the larger part of this is that you can get young people to turn out for jus about any protest. College students and graduates without jobs (of whom there are a lot right now) love to go to protests and march. They like to think it’s for a good cause, but they usually have no fucking clue what it’s about. Penn and Teller did a great schtick at an Earth Day Rally where they interviewed a slew of people who knew nothing about environmental issues. This included at least one of the organizers. In 1992, my campus common was flooded with students protesting the Rodney King verdict. And most of them were doing what college students to — hanging out, hitting on each other, playing frisbee. I talked to people who didn’t even know what the protest was about; they just knew it was on, man.

    And now? Weigel:

    I hung out with Occupy Wall Street on Friday and Saturday, which wasn’t enough time to figure out what the movement is about, because no one knows what it’s about. The professional radicals who provided the jargon and call-and-response technique had not pressed their agenda onto the protesters. The union members who’d started to show up, like the SEIU volunteers who dropped off free ponchos and food, admired the protest without co-signing it. They’re saving that for an Oct. 5 march, which will bring dozens of unions in league with the nascent movement.

    Read this article from the LA Times about a sympathy march:

    Blake Digangi, 20, a community college student from Menifee, said he heard about the Occupy Wall Street protests from friends in New York.

    “I started looking at YouTube videos and got really fascinated by it,” Digangi said. Although he said he’s “not really an activist,” Digangi and his cousin, Logan Riley, 23, of Murrieta, said that as students, they are frustrated by the lack of jobs and opportunities they see before them. The two drove to Los Angeles for the march Saturday and spent the night camped out in sleeping bags on the sidewalk.

    “I always wanted to be around in the 60s when this kind of stuff was going on, and even though it is on a smaller scale, it’s still cool to observe,” Digangi said.

    Bingo. Most of these people could give a shit what they’re protesting. It could be protesting against whale tails on fat women. They’d still show up because it’s just like the 60’s, dude! Hey, some chick was even maced the other day!

    The slowly growing crowds for Occupy Wall Street have a vague idea that they don’t like Wall Street. But they have real clear idea of is that they like protesting and feeling like it’s the 60’s. They mean well. But they are serving…

    Step Three: An unrelated agenda.

    Although most of the protesters have little clue what they’re about, the organizers usually do. They’re using the blissfully ignorant protesting of bored college students to advance an agenda that frequently has nothing to do with whatever it is they’re protesting and most of the protesters would object to if they heard it.

    In this case, you can read Alex’s post below on the agenda of at least one of these cretins (although others have more modest agendas). Here is the link. Note the comments: even people sympathetic to the movement are furious that this is being pushed and want no part of it.

    You can now see the familiar pattern emerging. It’s tried-and-true: a handful of radical idiots capitalize on public anger to push an agenda with the ignorant support of thousands of people who aren’t really paying attention. I’ve seen this strategy executed a hundred times, from my early college days to every Earth Day Rally to Occupy Wall Street.

    But the thing is that it rarely goes anywhere because of…

    Step Four: Lose interest once we turn to the dull difficult business of governing.

    The Earth Day protesters usually have no idea how energy works. The aforementioned Rodney King protests vanished when it came time for the difficult business of running a college on a budget. I suspect that when these guys run into the hard reality that not even Democrats will push their agenda, they’ll fade away. They’ll talk of a third party and how the Democrats aren’t really liberal. And they’ll vote for Obama anyway. I mean, if Barack Obama, with huge majorities in Congress, can’t get a public option done, what chances does a “living wage for the unemployed” have?

    That’s why I can’t take Occupy Wall Street seriously. This is what the professional agitators do: make a big stink and disappear. It’s a pity, really, because sometimes legitimate issues get swept away because of their uselessness. We could have used a real debate the Iraq War but these guys were sucking the oxygen out of the room with “No blood for oil!” There are some World Bank and IMF policies that need to be reconsidered, but that possibility vanished once these twerps turned up to protest against people in third world countries getting jobs.

    It’s not that protest doesn’t have a place. DADT was recently repealed, at least in part, because gay activists refused to let the Democrats back down. But you have to be focused on doable policy. Your goal can’t be protesting for it’s own sake. And your agenda can’t be so looney that Bernie Sanders would shy away.

    I fear that Occupy Wall Street is going to accomplish the opposite of what they claim to want: insure that no one in the financial industry is ever brought to justice for their criminal acts.

    PS – As I was finishing this post, I saw something on Twitter about students walking out of college classes in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. There could not be a better illustration of the vacuousness of your typical college-age protester than pointlessly skipping classes at institutions that have nothing to do with the financial meltdown.

    But … dude! It’s like the 60’s all over again! We can say we were part of it! We might be on the news! Plus, there could be some hot chicks skipping classes too!