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Friday, October 14, 2011

DO YOU STAND OR SQUAT WITH THE PROTESTERS?



"If I can take it there
I'll take it anywhere
I'll dump on you
NewYork, New York!"

The term 'squatter' used to refer to a person who occupied an area of land that they did not own. This would certainly be an applicable term for those involved in the Occupy Wall Street protests. Recent events have added a whole new level to the definition as it applies to the group.

In the photo above, a protester is caught on camera in the act of defecating
outside, in public, on a New York city police vehicle.

I can only speak for myself, but...I don't think this is the kind of behavior that will help most of America to be sympathetic to their cause or earn respect for their position.

Aside from the obviously crude and filthy behavior depicted above,
there are legitimate health and safety concerns developing as each day goes by.

Although many of the protesters are understood to be making strenuous efforts to clean up after themselves, after three weeks of occupation, the strain of hundreds of people living on the street has begun to take its toll.
Brookfield Office Properties, which owns Zuccotti Park, the site of the New York demonstration, have already railed against protesters, who they claim are creating sanitation problems.

"Sanitation is a growing concern," Brookfield said in a statement.
"Normally the park is cleaned and inspected every week night...because the protesters refuse to cooperate...the park has not been cleaned since Friday, September 16th and as a result, sanitary conditions have reached unacceptable levels," CBS News reported.









Unsanitary conditions prompted New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to order the park closed in stages on Friday for a cleanup. Bloomberg says the city is trying to protect the rights of protesters, as well as the rights of people who live and work in the area.



The protesters, who have camped out in a city park for more than three weeks, will be forced out Friday so that city crews can help clean the area.


“After it’s cleaned, they’ll be able to come back. But they won’t be able to bring back the gear, the sleeping bags, that sort of thing will not be able to be brought back into the park," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters.

Brookfield Properties, the owner of the park, gave the protesters notice on Thursday that it will begin enforcing park regulations, which prohibit everything from lying down on benches to leaving personal property on the ground.


Park regulations on the notice includes no tents, tarps or sleeping bags on the ground, no lying on benches and no personal property stored on the ground. All these practices have been common at the park, where protesters have lived, slept and eaten for nearly a month.

"They're going to use the cleanup to get us out of here!" said Justin Wedes, 25, a part-time public high school science teacher from Brooklyn. "It's a de facto eviction notice."

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan on Wednesday evening and made the cleaning announcement, citing sanitation concerns from the park’s owner, MyFoxNY.com reports.


Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said in a statement Wednesday that,“The Mayor is a strong believer in the First Amendment and believes that the protesters have a right to continue to protest. At the same time, the last three weeks have created unsanitary conditions and considerable wear and tear on the park. This situation is not in the best interests of the protesters, residents or the City."


Some protesters questioned the need to clean the park in the first place.

"This is the cleanest protest I've ever witnessed," said Emilio Montilla, 29, a laid-off teacher's assistant. "We take care of ourselves. We're self-sufficient."

But Brookfield told police that it had received “hundreds of phone calls and emails” from locals complaining about "lewdness, groping, drinking and drug use, the lack of safe access to and usage of the Park, ongoing noise at all hours, unsanitary conditions and offensive odors,” NBC New York reports.

Stacey Tzortzas, the owner of Panini Company Café, said the protest is driving away her regulars. That business dropped 30 percent, and there are more basic problems.

"Protesters come in demanding to use the facilities to bathe. They spend hours in there just bathing. They destroyed the bathrooms," said Tzortzas.


The Occupy Wall Street protest has not actually occupied the street that is synonymous with American finance, but rather Zuccotti Park several blocks away. The area's small business owners and residents feel under siege. Virtually constant drumming from mid-morning until late at night, for nearly a month now. Neighbors are not pleased. Steven Abramson is among them.

“There are families in this building with young children,' he said. "There are some older people who live here as well that would like some peace and quiet.”

The lobby of Steven Abramson’s apartment building is pungent with the smell of disinfectant to disguise the stench of urine outside. He says some protesters relieve themselves in the area at night. The problem - no portable toilets at the park.

In addition to sanitation concerns at the park, the NYPD has spent over $2 million in overtime to keep cops stationed at the protests, according to a public statement by Commissioner Ray Kelly made last week.


Han Shan, 39, of New York, a spokesman for Occupy Wall Street, said it was clear to everyone that the plan is to shut down the protest.

"There is a strong commitment to nonviolence, but I know people are going to vigorously resist eviction," he said. "I think we're going to see a huge number of supporters throughout New York and the surrounding area defend this thing ... I'm hoping that cooler heads will prevail, but I'm not holding my breath."


Some protesters said they would resist; others planned to cooperate but engage in nonviolent civil disobedience if they were not allowed back in the park.

Asked if it had or would file a lawsuit, Brookfield offered no comment, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg is riding the fence.

"If the protesters, however, leave Zuccotti Park, the question is will they disband or go someplace else. From a practical point of view, I think we want to let some of this, not play out is quite the right word, but let them express themselves," said Bloomberg.

Protesters said they're staying. Opponents, if they want them to leave, may have to wait until winter to freeze them out. That’s not about to happen, though, as pleasant weather is expected all weekend long.



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

THE "WHY ME" GENERATION



Protests.
Free speech.
The 1st amendment.

These are a part of our American culture. The 1960's in particular are well-known for their many protests and gatherings where well meaning people, mostly young college age people, took stands and spoke out against various injustices. The thing is, back then, there actually were real reasons to protest. Issues like civil rights, womens rights, the Viet Nam war, violence against others, racial discrimination, and so on. Back then, our country was divided on many of these important issues, and a very real social change was necessary, and in most cases, acheived by these types of protests.


How many of these poor underpriveleged young people have iphones and Blackberries, do you think...life can be so hard.

 
Today we have a very different kind of protest going on. It's not protest that necessarily speaks of injustices to a particular cause, race, or creed, or an outcry against violence perpetrated upon innocent victims. No, it is moreso a whiney, rather self-indulgent cry akin to a spoiled child who wants more candy and can't have any.

eloquent and informed

They aren't wrong about things being screwed up. They aren't wrong to want  a better way of life. I just happen to feel they are wrong about how they intend to bring about any positive change. Even though there is a core of truth inside the message being expressed, it is extremely difficult for the rest of America to identify with the images of youthful fringe types spouting widely varying extremist reasons for the protests, as well as any offered solutions, in mostly inarticulate and semi-rational ways. Many who speak to interviewers have expressed rather ignorant and simplistic views concerning the issues.

video
*video taken from Fox News - a biased selection but a representative cross-section nonetheless




The age of the protesters appears to average about 21 years old, the age of a person who is starting out in their adult life and may be discovering the harsh realities of working hard for low wages, or struggling to find work at all. Also the age of inexperience, naive idealism, and frivolous self indulgent excess.



Don't get me wrong, I know all too well the unemployment rate is high. Believe me, I know, I've struggled mightily every month to make bill payments and survive for the past 2 1/2 years since I lost my own job. I do not receive unemployment or any other benefits from the government. Sure, it isn't easy, but I do whatever I can to make money (legally) mostly by extreme effort. By working with my own two hands, and looking for work constantly, continuing to look, and keep knocking on doors, and keep applying for every available job out there, and if and when I'm offered a job, I take it and work hard at it, even if it is for lower wages than I've previously had to work for. Simply said, I do whatever I can to take care of myself. I am responsible for my own life, not anyone else.
Not the government, not any corporation, and certainly not Wall Street, just me, myself, and I.



Life is hard sometimes. Okay, most of the time, especially lately.  But railing against Wall Street because you can't find a well paying job isn't going to fix your problems. That's why I agree completely with presidential candidate Herman Cain. When asked about the protests, Cain said, "If you don’t have a job and you are not rich, don't blame others, blame yourself.” Cain rightly suggested that those participating in protests nationwide against corporate greed and a lack of jobs are merely doing so out of "jealousy." Jealousy over seeing others that have something that they do not themselves, and they want some of it. One way or another.

[This "blame someone else for your failures"attitude has been promoted now by our great leader Obama, who has been blaming his opposition party for the fact he can't get anything done(when in fact he had two years in full party control), and blaming the rich and successful for not contributing enough (when in fact the wealthiest Americans already pay an inordinant amount of tax compared to people like the protesters and myself). Obama's whiney victimesque stance has falsely portrayed himself as the good guy who can't help you because the bad guys (Republicans) are so mean and evil, they won't let him do all the wonderful great things he wants to do. What an utter crock of sh*t. His 'blame others' policy and constant 'tax the wealthy more' rhetoric has fostered and produced this class divisive attitude that is at the heart of the occupy Wall Street protests. That is just one reason why we desperately need a president who doesn't use his office and his words to divide our country like this lazy, arrogant, double-talking trickster who cares about only one job, his own.]


Back to Herman Cain and what he said. This isn't some silver-spoon born Donald Trump type billionaire saying these things to the protesters, this is a man who grew up in poverty, faced racial discrimination, and by his own hard work and effort, over many years he built his own successes, and after several successful business endeavors, I think he has the right to say what he said. Because the "American Dream" isn't supposed to be an easy road. No, it is a road of opportunity that you have to forge for yourself. That road is always an uphill one.

Like him or not, Herman Cain spoke the truth. Calm down and listen to him.

Herman Cain knows hard times and what it takes to become successful. Says Cain, "No one has to tell me about the challenges involved with pursuing success when you are born without a lot of advantages, or to a family without a lot of money. That is the story of my life. I achieved success in business because I worked hard, studied hard, set goals, honed my strategy, weathered setbacks and kept at it no matter what. Sometimes those setbacks occurred because, at least it seemed to me, someone didn’t treat me fairly. But I quickly learned that this, too, is part of life. Complaining about it won’t help you. Devising strategies to overcome it will."

Sounds like the truth to me, and a reasonable bit of wisdom offered to the young and disenchanted protesters.

So why the anger over his comments, accurate and straight forward as they may be? Because hard work and sacrifice is something very unfamiliar to this "Why Me" generation. Having had life relatively easy thus far, and now facing tough times, they would rather hold their breath and stamp their feet until mommy or daddy gives in and lets them have their way. Just like spoiled brats.

video
Attrocious behavior caught on camera as an elderly Jewish man asks a protester why here is there
"For $7.00 an hour?"..."You got the MONEY!..."



Anarchy will not bring about order. By it's nature, anarchy destroys order. If you seek your own destruction, go to it, but leave the rest of us out of it.

Look, I am not unsympathetic to people who are genuinely suffering. I am one of them. I am unhappy about lots of things too. I need a good paying job, better healthcare, and all the trappings of the so-called american dream. We all want a better life. I don't deny that life is hard for most of us right now. But, people, listen to reason: Months long protests on the streets of New York isn't going to make any of that better! How can anyone expect that these protests will change any of these issues for the better? You want to fascilitate change for the better? Do it the way the rest of America does it, let your voice be heard in the realm of local and then national government elections, and vote for the people that you want to represent you. That's democracy, plain and true. If you don't like the candidates, then run for yourself. If you don't want to have your voice heard that way, then just go home and pack another bong hit and be quiet, won't you? Get out of the street so the rest of us can use the sidewalks to look for the jobs you won't take. And take a shower already.


For those involved who believe they are doing the right thing, who want a better way of life, who are looking to do good, I can dig it. I don't have a problem with speaking out for what you believe. I am fine with free speech and protests. Some causes are worthy. This one, not so much. I get it, and I understand the driving desire for something better. I just totally disagree with your methods.
Please think again.
 Please.
Think.
Again.


NYPD is being forced into confrontations such as the march over the Brooklyn Bridge. The police are only trying to do their job.

Whatever these new protesters are hoping to achieve by occupying Wall Street, it is probably inevitable that the change they will actually affect is a widening social gap and a larger police state needed to crack down on such civil unrest and displays of anarchy. Thanks, protesters. Great. Your little stink party in the streets is going to f*ck up everything for the rest of us, if you aren't careful. And clearly, you aren't. The government already has scores of empty containment camps just waiting for any anti-American deemed type elements to be ushered into them. Do you want the top bunk or the bottom bunk? Soon, none of us will be able to speak out without immediate repercussions and silencing. So, keep beating those drums, rainbowhead. Beat them as we all get marched in line to the new American dream you're about to usher in.


Basically, these protesters are occupying the wrong street. They should be gathered at Pennsylvania Ave., to protest no jobs and a failed economic policy. The buck stops there, or so I've been told.

Why blame Wall Street? Go set your tents up on President Obama's doorstep


No, it is Obama's policies that have caused this mess

Who is behind the mask, people?
"I want to manipulate you with propaganda...dance, puppets!"

Dear protesters:
You don't want to be sheeple, you want to be people, right? Then why do you jump like a puppet on a string when some online ad tells you to go to Wall Street? So, ever think about who's pulling those strings?
 Think for yourself much? Try it, it's liberating.

Great slogan...now put it to use

The Origins of the Occupy Wall Street protests

Before the protest began, as far back as July, it was vaguely planned and vague messages were posted, tweeted, and forwarded to every would-be anarchist, saying basically, it's time for us to have one of those awesome Tahrir Square (Egypt) type protests...so let's go protest something....we'll figure out what exactly what later, but when we do, it'll change our democracy for the better... this effort is a contrived type of 'spontaneously' organized event, with no clear aim or agenda, other than to protest something. Anything.
That's why there's no clear of cohesive message even after months of planning and over 3 weeks of protesting!

This Freudian poster graphic implies that even the protesters don't know what they are protesting about

Here is the actual call to arms, if you will, posted on July 13, 2011.
Take a close look at some of the language:

Adbusters Blog

#OCCUPYWALLSTREET

Are you ready for a Tahrir movement?
On September 17th, flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents,
kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street.
____

Alright you 90,000 redeemers, rebels and radicals out there,

A worldwide shift in revolutionary tactics is underway right now that bodes well for the future. The spirit of this fresh tactic, a fusion of Tahrir with the acampadas of Spain, is captured in this quote:

"The antiglobalization movement was the first step on the road. Back then our model was to attack the system like a pack of wolves. There was an alpha male, a wolf who led the pack, and those who followed behind. Now the model has evolved. Today we are one big swarm of people."
— Raimundo Viejo, Pompeu Fabra University
Barcelona, Spain

The beauty of this new formula, and what makes this novel tactic exciting, is its pragmatic simplicity: we talk to each other in various physical gatherings and virtual people's assemblies … we zero in on what our one demand will be, a demand that awakens the imagination and, if achieved, would propel us toward the radical democracy of the future … and then we go out and seize a square of singular symbolic significance and put our asses on the line to make it happen.

The time has come to deploy this emerging stratagem against the greatest corrupter of our democracy: Wall Street, the financial Gomorrah of America.

On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices.

Tahrir succeeded in large part because the people of Egypt made a straightforward ultimatum – that Mubarak must go – over and over again until they won. Following this model, what is our equally uncomplicated demand?

The most exciting candidate that we've heard so far is one that gets at the core of why the American political establishment is currently unworthy of being called a democracy: we demand that Barack Obama ordain a Presidential Commission tasked with ending the influence money has over our representatives in Washington. It's time for DEMOCRACY NOT CORPORATOCRACY, we're doomed without it.
________
________

Who would think this was a good idea?
I mean, really?

By the way, did you read it correctly? Yes, they plan to stay for MONTHS...


Even though there was originally no clear agenda decided other than to protest SOMETHING, the best idea they could think up was a lame slogan like Democracy Not Corporatocracy. And even with this, after blowing the radical anarchist trumpet call to arms, when every protest loving person showed up, they showed up with their own ideas and perceptions of what they were protesting anyway. That is why the movement is an incoherent, incohesive conglomeration of every known radical thought ever protested before.










Here's a soundbite from one protester that tries to explain why the protesters are there:

"I've heard the word 'demands' a lot here and I don't care for the word 'demands'. Makes it sound like a hostage situation. I think what's going on here - I like it more that we're accumulating a 'things-to-do' list. There are hundreds of agendas here and that people are able to come and speak to those agendas is what's going on. There's a large sign over here that says, "The medium is our message". I made that sign, over that way. The medium is this gathering, the medium is painting a sign. That's what people are doing, people are speaking out and saying something is not right. I think that is the most important thing right now. Agendas can come later."


Finally, a protester holds up a clear list of demands



Later, another protester came up with 13 demands to try and attach to the protests.
Ready? Here they are:

Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending "Freetrade" by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr.

Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. To do this all private insurers must be banned from the healthcare market as their only effect on the health of patients is to take money away from doctors, nurses and hospitals preventing them from doing their jobs and hand that money to wall st. investors.

Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.

Demand four: Free college education.

Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.

Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.

Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America's nuclear power plants.

Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.

Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.

Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.

Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the "Books." World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the "Books." And I don't mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.

Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.

Demand thirteen: Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union.
__________
__________

I've taken the liberty of adding 2 more demands to round it up to 15.


Demand 14: Cookies and ice cream whenever we want.

and

Demand 15: We can stay out as late as we want, and watch TV all night if we want to, and not have to go to school the next day if we feel like it. And you can't make us go over to Grandma and Grandpa's when we have plans with our friends. And we want a new pony...and the new Twilight DVD.






We're so oppressed and poor we play dress up...what fun
_________
_________


Protesters in Chicago join the protests around the country


Anger issues

So basically, if you are angry or upset about something, anything at all, go to Wall Street and join with hundreds more just like you who are not content with their life, and are looking for someone to blame for their problems, or if you are young and aimless and feel you deserve some of all that money that you've heard so much about, if you've been going to college and now after drinking hard and partying harder and now that you've joined the real world and discovered it isn't as easy as you thought it should be, and you can't afford to pay back your student loans, then by all means, pack up your pup tent and your patchouli, put in your best nose ring and slip on your hemp hoodie and head over to Wall Street and, if you shout loud enough, if your sign is clever enough, maybe, just maybe, those mean rich people with all that money will give you some, too.

 After all, they have lots of it, and you don't have any. It's only fair, right?

video
This sums it all up




Sunday, October 9, 2011

RESPONSIBILITY, ACTION, and CONSEQUENCE



Have you ever played with dominoes as a child? Can you recall witnessing a row or rows of dominoes placed upright in a linear pattern, and the result after one domino falls against or into another?

This is what is referred to as "the Domino Effect", where there is a series of similar or related events occurring as a direct and inevitable result of one initial event. Another term for this is a "Chain Reaction". Sir Isaac Newton stated in his Third Law of Motion, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction".

Simply stated, everything we do, every moment of every day, has an irreversible effect upon our own lives as well as the lives of everyone in the world around us. Every action, every word, no matter how small or great that word or action may be perceived, is setting in motion what is to become a series of spiraling events that continue to radiate outward through our time/space continuum, just as a pebble dropped into a pond causes endless ripples moving away from the original action.


This is also known as "Cause and Effect", where one action or event produces a certain response to the action in the form of another event. Another way I like to sum up these descriptions is this:

 "Every EFFECT will AFFECT".

That is to say, every word or action you do is an "effect", and the result of that word or action is causing an "affect", that is, it affects someone or something in some way, including yourself, either positively or negatively.




The conclusion is inescapable.

Every action will have consequences.

Action obviously includes words, either spoken or written.
Now, after considering these things,
ask yourself this question:

"Do I have a responsibility to others, to control my actions so that I do not affect others in a negative way?"

After you ponder that question, the next question is this:

"Am I a responsible person, or an irresponsible person?"

For the purpose of this exercise, please choose one or the other.
While there are likely varying shades of gray when it comes to responsibility, draw an imaginary line and put your overall decision on either one side or the other, either fully "YES", or fully "NO".

Be completely honest.

Now then...
One of the greatest gifts that each of us possess is the gift of free will,
or the ability to choose.
No one can make us do anything we do not choose to do ourselves.
Even under threat of death or violence, the choice remains our own.

You chose to eat that particular food, or to get out of the chair and walk into the next room, to open that door, to speak those words, to work at that job, to lie or tell the truth, to create or to destroy, to seek order or to seek anarchy, to offer help or to turn away, to accept or to reject, to smile or to frown, to laugh or to cry, to believe in God or to not ...the list is endless, as are our choices.

All I ask of you is this:

CHOOSE WISELY.