Tag: Occupy Wall Street

The Left Wing’s Anti-Left Conspiracy

First Michael Moore and now Naomi Wolf are speculating that the recent crack-downs on OWS were … are you sitting down? … coordinated by Obama. Citing a single unnamed source (actually, citing the same source twice through two different bloggers, so that she can claim confirmation), she alleges that DHS has coordinated the crackdowns. The sinister right-wing Obama Administration did this because OWS was threatening politicians’ ability to make money from campaign donations.

So, when you connect the dots, properly understood, what happened this week is the first battle in a civil war; a civil war in which, for now, only one side is choosing violence. It is a battle in which members of Congress, with the collusion of the American president, sent violent, organised suppression against the people they are supposed to represent. Occupy has touched the third rail: personal congressional profits streams. Even though they are, as yet, unaware of what the implications of their movement are, those threatened by the stirrings of their dreams of reform are not.

Wait a minute. Only one side is choosing violence? What about those who tried to disrupt a conference held by the eevil Koch brothers? Or those who turned on food vendors when they stopped giving them free stuff? Or the allegations of rape and sexual assault? That’s just what I remember off the top of my head. That’s not to mention the tradition that OWS has inherited from previous violence in Seattle.

Now the government’s response has been more organized. And while I think some of it has gone too far, organized violence is the government’s job. Leftists like are Wolf are wont to forget this. They forget that the healthcare mandates and taxes and regulations that they so love are, ultimately, enforced by the threat of violence.

And this is the first threat against the Congressional money train? Give me a break. The entire Iraq War protest was centered around “no blood for oil”, the idea that Congress and the President were invading Iraq for huge oil company profits. The last time the “get money out of politics” crowd go their way, we got McCain-Feingold. It was passed without violence and it was completely effective in decreasing the power of special interests to … stop that laughing back there. The protesters do want to overturn Citizens United and eliminate corporate personhood (even though, as Bainbridge points out, corporate personhood is a good thing if you believe in regulation). But the likelihood of that happening is pretty close to zero.

Further deconstruction of Wolf’s idiocy can be found here and here. The most that can be said is that the small number of cities had crackdowns after asking the protesters to leave multiple times and these crackdowns may have involved some consultations with experts, including maybe some at DHS. That’s about it. The evidence of a national coordinated campaign simply does not exist.

Look, I’ve said multiple times I’m somewhat sympathetic to OWS. But let’s be honest. They are not complaining, as Wolf speculates, about some obscure provision affecting corporations in Delaware. The most common hue and cry is for a bailout of their student debt. I’m sure what few private interests remain in the student loan market would love for the government to pay off loans in full.

And I drew fire last week for objecting to some of the violent tactics used by police. But how desperate to you have to be to believe that this was the idea of Barack Obama and a bunch of liberal Democrat mayors?

Of course, a complete lack of either evidence or logic has never been a problem for Wolf (or Moore, for that matter). It’s usually just proof that we need to dig deeper!

UC Davis Spraying

Video here:

Story here. What do you think? I can’t help but think that these kind of responses only provoke more protests. As far as I can tell, the UC Davis occupy encampment was unsightly but not dangerous. Spray them and they’re martyrs. Ignore them and they’re spoiled college students living in tents to demonstrate …. something.

Inequality gap got bigger under… Obama?

Yup, you heard that right. In fact, it is even more damning because, well read for yourself:

In his weekend radio address, President Obama decried that “over the past three decades, the middle class has lost ground while the wealthiest few have become even wealthier.” Although he was trying to leverage the Occupy Wall Street movement, the income gap has been a longstanding concern of his.

During the 2008 campaign, Obama said, “The project of the next president is figuring out how do you create bottom-up economic growth, as opposed to the trickle-down economic growth that George Bush has been so enamored with.”

But it turns out that the rich actually got poorer under President Bush, and the income gap has been climbing under Obama. What’s more, the biggest increase in income inequality over the past three decades took place when Democrat Bill Clinton was in the White House.

Frankly, when you understand what the leftist politicians definition of “social justice” really translates into – they pick who wins and who loses – it comes as no surprise that their friends & donors, the ones pushing whatever idiotic things the left tells us are the must have of the future, end up getting enormous amount of wealth transferred from the US tax payers to them.

Solyndra was just an obvious example of what the left’s “social justice” politics does: it throws other people’s money at bad things, enriching those that cozy up to the leftists. There is a reason that companies like GE and money bundlers like that Kaiser fella behind Solyndra love leftist big government types.

The wealthiest 5% of U.S. households saw incomes fall 7% after inflation in Bush’s eight years in office, according to an IBD analysis of Census Bureau data. A widely used household income inequality measure, the Gini index, was essentially flat over that span. Another inequality gauge, the Theil index, showed a decline.

In contrast, the Gini index rose — slightly — in Obama’s first two years. Another Census measure of inequality shows it’s climbed 5.7% since he took office.

Meanwhile, during Clinton’s eight years, the wealthiest 5% of American households saw their incomes jump 45% vs. 26% under Reagan. The Gini index shot up 6.7% under Clinton, more than any other president since 1980.

Want to know what else has grown disproportionally during the Obama years? The misery index. The dollar is worth shit, US debt is up $5 trillion in a short 3 years, people sucking at the government’s teat are at a record high, and those looking for something paid by other people now don’t even feel shame when they demand more and are called on it. But the LSM isn’t going to report that. Not when the guy in the WH has a (D) next to his name, and certainly not when they rigged the candidate coverage during that election to get him there.

To the extent that income inequality is a problem, it’s not clear what can be done to resolve it. Among the contributing factors:

Here is a hint: income inequality isn’t a problem. Admit that we are not all equal and work from that. We are never ever, all going to cross the finish line at the same time because human nature makes that impossible. Some people think that shit like this is what should determine income, while others, the ones with the income, actually feel work – and yes, work that doesn’t involve manual labor is work and not ignoble as you Marxists fuckwads want to pretend it is – makes the difference. The later are right. The former are envious and greedy. How much wealth is enough? None of you fucking business. Espeically when it is crooks in government trying in an obscene way to dictate that. Class warfare sucks ass.

Making Indolence Profitable

The good news is that it appears all that yammering done by the OWS crowd on the evils of capitalism, is just that, yammering, and when the rubber meets the road, they understand the value a buck as much anybody, whew, I was worried there for a while.

The 99%, no, not this guy:

but those Che wearing Mao quoting souls actually braving the elements (hey, it beats working for a living), have come up with an idea that could put a little scratch in their pockets:

Occupy Wall Street is looking to make its mark — on everything from tote bags to t-shirts.

The Occupy Wall Street movement applied for the trademark to its name on Oct. 24, filing for the use of the mark on its website, in periodicals and newsletters, and on clothing and bags

Hawking T shirts and tote bags, is there anything more capitalistic then that?

What’s that old saying ,”If you can’t beat then, join them”?, depending on the profitability of this new venture, some of these guys just might graduate to the 1%, then they could be the enemy.

Once this idea grows roots and the OWS stores are as ubiquitous as Starbucks, you think if I went inside and bought a bunch of crap on my new OWS credit card, then, in keeping with the spirit of debt forgiveness (one of their big platforms) I tell them ,”Hey guys, I’m with you, credit cards are extensions of the power banks have over us, they keep us down and impoverished, debt forgiveness for all”, then stiffed them on my bill, I’m sure they would understand. Power to the people.

The Warren Commission

Elizabeth Warren is now claiming that she provided Occupy Wall Street with its “intellectual foundation” (stop that laughing back there).

I guess she’s talking about her famous rant, which I fisked here. But honestly, this is more of a delusion of grandeur. Warren has a very clear agenda — more government in the financial sector, higher taxes and a government that treats non-rich citizens like children. OWS is neither that coherent nor that organized.

Any way you spin it..

I am sure that the usual suspects in the LSM have to be heart broken by the results of this USA Today poll about whom Americans blame for the depressed economy. Here is how the USA Today writer tries to salvage the day:

Most Americans blame Wall Street for the nation’s economic predicament — but they blame Washington more.

And in the democracy that fancies itself the capital of capitalism, more than four in 10 people describe the U.S. economic system as personally unfair to them. A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken last weekend, as the Occupy Wall Street protest movement completed its first month, found that:

Oh hell! Only 4 out of ten people are good enough to believe the left’s idiotic talking points. Erm, that’s not entirely accurate either. The author is seriously embellishing. It’s a poll, and it’s a poll conducted by a member of the LSM, so I am sure the questions where seriously skewed to illicit the response they wanted, and even then, the numbers are far worse for the “Blame Wall Street” class warriors as the next statement shows:

•When asked whom they blame more for the poor economy, 64% of Americans name the federal government and 30% say big financial institutions.

So 64 out of 100 say blame government. Only 30, or 3 out of 10 – not the 4 this author would like you to believe unless you want to talk the 6% that voted “present” into the later group out of desperation – blame those evil corporations. And that’s despite the following revelation:

•Only 54% say the economic system is personally fair to them; 44% say it is not.

I will stress how funny I find it that the economic system seems to be the fairest to people that work hard and avoid the usual pitfalls, short-cuts, and bad decisions that lead to economic problems. There are exceptions of course, but they are just that: exceptions.

The last reported pair of statistics makes me wonder. This author hopes to confound people by again combining the results in such a way that it leads one to believe the opposite of what the study finds. Here you go.

•78% say Wall Street bears a great deal or a fair amount of blame for the economy; 87% say the same about Washington.

I feel that you have to interpret this obscenely weird cobbled result, which otherwise adds up to numbers over 100 as the result of 2 sets of questions. Obviously the first part deals with a question where they illicit people to lay blame on Wall Street, but it looks like they are combining two buckets, fair amount and great deal, to achieve that higher, close to 8 in 10 if you want to go there. However, if you assume they did the same and combined those 2 buckets like they did for the wanted the high answer for, when added up based on a question directed at D.C, the amount is 9 out of 10 blaming D.C. the most. No way to spin it: most Americans understand the root of the problem.

I wish they had asked people if they thought letting government write more regulation to address the problem so many see with Wall Street would put an end to the problem or just make it worse. My guess is when the problem is posed showing this relationship for what it is, all but the dumbest would think that handing government – the people that have wrecked the economy according to the majority – even more power, will not fix things. Some people seem to get it, even if you have to read through the nonsense to see it.

“You see the frustration that there’s some serious things wrong with capitalism in America, but you also see the conundrum — how do we change it?” says Terry Madonna, a political analyst and polling expert at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa. “This crisis coincides with a huge debate over the role of government.” He says some of the 64% who place primary blame on Washington fault it for too little government regulation, while others blame it for too much regulation.

First off, the problem isn’t capitalism at all, but government trying to subvert capitalism to the onerous beliefs one group of ideologues have that it’s government’s job to level the playing field, social engineer results so we all cross the finish line at the same time, and that it is an injustice that life isn’t fair to some people. I could add how obvious it is that the people life is the least fair to tend to be the ones that do the dumb things, but I expect that to be obvious.

And yes, the big problem we have is that the same ideologues that feel government should pick winners & losers, to make life fair, are never going to understand/accept that the best way to roll this problem back is to roll back the power and ability of government to rig the system, so those “evil rich” whom now have to come to the politicians to buy privileges – look at who gets excluded from travesties like Obamacare for example, and by whom – from them, can’t do that anymore, by drastically reducing government and the power of what government can do.

As we can see the usual suspects are already advocating for giving the politicians even more power over who wins and who doesn’t, and they will be the ones complaining the loudest when this has exactly the opposite effect that they are hoping for. Queue the next crisis due to social engineering followed by politicians promising to fix it all if they are given even more power.

Occupy Washington

I dismissed the OccupyWallStreet crowd last week as the usual medly of agitators, rent-a-mobs and students. That might still be the case. But there is something very deep that they’re tapping into that I wanted to unwind while I still can. The movement is already being hijacked by unions and Democrats. Even Obama is trying to claim he’s on OWS’s side, which is, needless to say, hilarious:

Despite his rhetorical attacks on Wall Street, a study by the Sunlight Foundation’s Influence Project shows that President Barack Obama has received more money from Wall Street than any other politician over the past 20 years, including former President George W. Bush.

In 2008, Wall Street’s largesse accounted for 20 percent of Obama’s total take, according to Reuters.

When asked by The Daily Caller to comment about President Obama’s credibility when it comes to criticizing Wall Street, the White House declined to reply.

But before OWS founders beneath its “People’s Front of Judea” organizing principles, there’s something worth noting. As Tim Carney and Jim Harper note, OWS is tapping into the same vein of public anger that the Tea Party is. OWS is mad because business has too much influence in Washington. The Tea Party is mad, by contrast, because Washington has too much influence on business. The thing is, these are not opposing views. And we should not let our political establishment, lazy media and dipshit talk show hosts persuade us that they are. These are the same problem, seen from different angles. Like the blind men and the elephant, we are groping about the same awful mess, just from different perspectives.

Consider his graphic from Harper:

Consider just a few things we’ve seen over the past decade:

  • A lead toy scandal produced CPSIA regulations that crush small toymakers. Meanwhile, Mattel was given a dispensation for in-house testing.
  • The Minerals Management Service proved to quite literally in bed with industry, favoring powerful players in exchange for sex and drugs.
  • Wall Street banks got themselves hundreds of billions in trouble through insane financial policies. I’m currently reading The Big Short and what these guys did was unbelievably stupid. But instead of going bust, they got an unconditional bailout. Democrats made sure executive bonuses were protected and the subsequent regulations were written by two of the biggest banking shills in Washington.
  • Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank are strangling innovation, preventing IPO’s and making sure that only the rich “investor class” can invest.
  • Our energy problems have produced a slew of useless but heavily subsidized businesses like ethanol and Solyndra.
  • This isn’t capitalism; it’s a poor man’s mercantilism. Connected (usually but not always big) businesses donate to Washington; Washington protects connected businesses. And the rest of us get screwed.

    Left and right need to figure this out. The Tea Party should not be fighting OWS. We do that and the politicians will laugh their way to our bank accounts. We do that and they’ll become just another arm of the Democratic Party (assuming they’re not already.) We don’t have to agree with even 10% of what OWS wants. But if that 10% includes pulling government’s claws from our economy — creating, as Carney says, a separation beween business and state — let’s go.

    The long twilight struggle is not between Left and Right. It’s between the citizens and their government. It’s between those with pull and those without.

    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!