Occupy L.A. ♥ L.A.P.D.

Can the Occupy movement survive an onslaught of bandwagon-joining politicians? 

Yesterday, the Los Angeles City Council approved a resolution supporting the Occupy L.A. tent city that has sprung up around City Hall. Yet this lethal stamp of mainstream approval was generally applauded by the Occupation forces. 

People we spoke with during coverage of the Council vote and the reaction to it (among those Occupiers who were even aware of it) indicate something uniquely laid-back and Californian about Occupy L.A.: 

Where Occupy Wall Street got its original burst of energy thanks to opposition from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York Police Department; Occupy D.C. has a notably prickly relationship with former Marines; and Occupy Atlanta's greatest traction has come from the admirable-but-oddly-handled decision not to let a U.S. congressman speak, most of the folks we spoke with at Occupy L.A. think government — including the corrupt and embarrassing government of Los Angeles — is A-OK. 

The Occupiers have settled in for a long stay, with an encampment that includes a first-aid station, a food tent, a circulating library, and a full complement of mainstream media attendants. 

I would estimate the number of tents at around a hundred. There's also an interesting bifurcation in what are essentially two encampments: one at the north end of City Hall and one at the south end.

The northern encampment facing Temple Street is slightly spiffier, with most of the facilities described above and a very noticeable labor union presence. I was encouraged to find a copy of J. Neil Schulman's Alongside Night in the library, so if you think libertarians aren't getting the message out, consider yourself corrected. 

The southern camp facing First Street has more of the feel of a Burning Man satellite camp set up by pioneers who never made it past Gerlach. The campers are more fragrant and dirt-tattooed, and at least a few good Angelenos were spending the warm, sunny day getting wasted. 

That having been said, the Occupiers — most of whom seemed to hail from L.A., with a smattering of day trippers in from Orange and San Bernardino Counties — have things pretty well organized. A tent of bicycle advocates has a functioning rotation among tent-guarders and go-homers, allowing everybody to shower at least semi-regularly.

The potty situation in public gatherings being a source of constant reader interest, you'll be relieved to learn that there is a full complement of portable toilets. City Hall has clean restrooms and is not enforcing a shoes-must-be-worn policy during work hours, thus allowing Occupiers to do their business while the city's leaders conduct the people's business.

While almost everybody at Occupy L.A. self-identified as part of the 99 percent, most of the people we talked with are among the 12.7 percent of L.A.'s population who are currently unemployed. 

Since unemployment is always the fault of the free market and never has anything to do with politicians, regulation or unions, it was unsurprising that the Occupiers and the political leadership have found common ground. Responses will be seen in an upcoming Reason.tv video, but for right now I'll just say that when we asked if they were worried about local pols trying to co-opt the movement, a surprising number of people replied that they actually wanted politicians to get more involved with the Occupiers. 

Here are some local politicos and well known gadflies in action prior to the Council's vote in support of the Occupation: 

And here is a picture I took a few weeks ago of Council Member Paul Koretz at picnic sponsored by a local Krishna temple. 

What explains the cozy relationship between some of America's most mediocre politicians and a politically eclectic movement that is at least in part functioning as a challenge to politics as usual? 

Part of it might be that state power has so far been exercised with a light touch. While the early part of the local occupation involved some now-forgotten arrests, the police are clearly taking it easy. So are the politicians. We heard quite a few compliments for the Los Angeles Police Department from the scrufty Occupiers. Thanks to some last-minute maneuvering by Council Member Bernard Parks, the support-Occupy-L.A. resolution was decoupled from a measure that would have involved some new regulation of banks, so pols could vote for it without having to make any commitment.

In fact, given the airy nature of the Occupiers' goals, it's surprising that they are getting any resistance at all. Representatives of local banks and the Chamber of Commerce showed up to speak to the Council, arguing that banks are big local charitable givers, generate a lot of tax revenue, blah blah blah. Why bother making the argument when the people on the other side are holding out to, as one Occupier told me, "arrest all of Wall Street and put them in jail"? That sounds menacing but it's pretty unlikely. Since I was a child I have been hearing that the United States is a republic in its death throes and perpetually ten minutes away from Kristallnacht, but I just don't see a massive roundup of stock brokers in our future.

Speaking of Kristallnacht, I heard two full-throated anti-Semitic rants yesterday, along with a lot of anti-bank stuff, a smattering of libertarianish commentary, one shout-out for Bill O'Reilly, and many calls for redistribution of wealth "but not socialism." When I volunteered that this last goal might be accomplished by not expanding the money supply and allowing real wealth to be distributed from spendthrifts to savers, I got a couple of nods.

It was a diverse set of views. The guy in the lower right in the picture above was a self-described "free market economist" conducting an econ class in cooperation with Occupy L.A.'s education ministry. I have to confess I had a hard time following this economist's theories, but he did produce one choice interaction.

During the Q&A section of the class, the tree-dwelling gentleman at right descended from his perch to accuse the economist of racism. It took a while to sort out what the issue was. It turned out that a black guy had asked the economist to answer some questions about the bible and the economist replied that that topic should be addressed at a seminar on theology rather than one on economics. You see the insidious bigotry? In this racist country a black man can't even ask a simple question without being put in his place by the white power structure. 

Having expressed his concerns, the tree guy went back up. He also demanded that we not take his picture. 

Since Occupy Wall Street heated up, journalists have been trying to discern the movement's "demands" (an open-minded approach that I just can't recall seeing in the media back when the Tea Party was in the streets). The consistent desire of Occupy L.A. seems to be for "change," but a form of change that is not political in nature. They're looking for a change in people's hearts, and this being Southern California, there's a dose of impulse-buy spiritualism in the mix. This, I think, is the fallacy of trying to discern political content in what is essentially a chance to go camping without having to leave town. 

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  • PeopleABOVEProfits||

    The movement is about wealth fairness, widening income gap and governments in the pocket of corporations.

  • Suki||

    The "movement" is about whiny children who think they deserve an allowance from all, rather than just from their stupid parents.

  • PeopleABOVEProfits||

    Spoken like a man that just doesn't get it. This is about inequality, not bailouts. The income gap between rich and poor is rapidly reaching the levels that triggered the French Revolution. It is comments like this, ignoring the reality of the inequality, that led to the nobility losing their heads.

  • ||

    why is someone else's income your business? Why is it anyone's business? Rich folks did not become that way by stealing your cash; most became that way by working their asses off AFTER first having been through at least one failure. Did you prop them up after those failures?

  • Bingo||

    EARTH TO MORONS:

    Stop responding to the fucking troll.

  • Bingo||

    And I'm not talking about wareagle, I'm talking about the social parasite that this comment board has acquired.

  • PeopleEngaged||

    These are not people asking for a handout and they are also productive members of society, as you claim you are.

    What they're asking for is for some regulation and some fairness in the economic system that we humans have devised. Fair taxes, closing loopholes and a level playing field so that those without millions of dollars have a chance at owning a home, building a business, raising a healthy and happy family. The chance to have any of this is being eroded by greed and corruption by those who control the wealth.

    As for suggesting that the answer is to share the wealth with everyone else on earth, isn't that what the great boondoggle called globalization was supposed to do? Globalization is a failure partly because it is not economically sound policy but mostly because the interests involved, i.e., corporations and their puppet politicians, could not imagine using wealth for the greater good but can only see it as concentrating power. Power can be toppled by ballot or bullet.

  • sevo||

    PeopleEngaged|10.13.11 @ 11:25PM|#
    "These are not people asking for a handout..."

    Bullshit.
    Anyone asking for their loans to be forgiven is asking for a handout.

  • Bingo||

    Seriously dude, you just had to make that comment?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Equality of outcome.

    It doesn't work.

    Go back to foraging for berries and field mice, White Idiot.

  • robc||

    The only fair taxes is no taxes. And that will be fair and equal for everyone.

  • ||

    So what you're saying is that you deserve other people's property, and you would like to have the government use their coercive power to take it from these people and give it to you.

  • PeopleABOVEProfits||

    Even you must recognize that their is something terribly wrong with a world where the wealthiest 1%-2% of society reap nearly 40% of the wealth. It is simply unfathomable to imagine that they actually work SO HARD as to merit that kind of profit.

  • ||

    I recognize that a situation of income inequality with some people doing exceptionally well, and some people not but the average person getting by is preferable to one in which we are almost all equally miserable (except for those even more few insiders who use their political power to live the good life. See also: North Korea).

    I don't really care how hard someone else works to get what they have. I find it healthier to refrain using others as a measuring stick for my life.

    You'll find that no matter what there will be people who are more accomplished than you that don't deserve it, and there will be those that you have more than that don't deserve to have less than you.

    This is called life.

  • PeopleEngaged||

    ou come across with that comment like a greedy person who won't share. Would you not help someone who is down on their luck? But granted, and it is unfortunate, that there are those who abuse the system. The problem seems to be that the abuses are costing us way too much on the richer sides of society, not the system abusers on welfare and EI etc... The people who scam welfare and other services like workman's comp or EI are by proportion a lot less than the rich bankers who are scamming the people. People like you too I might add. It has nothing to do with being jealous and bitter.

  • sevo||

    PeopleEngaged|10.13.11 @ 11:26PM|#
    "ou come across with that comment like a greedy person who won't share."

    You come across as a greedy parasite looking for a handout.

  • Brandon||

    Yeah, if you can't make a better point than a kindergarten teacher to a 6 year old, you really have no case.

  • ||

    I also find it terribly wrong when a corporation in Hollywood pays a marginally talented actor $15-20 million to play pretend, but as long as each side willingly enters the contract, it is not my business. This country has always had the wildly wealthy and most got that way by filling a particular market need better than other folks.

    Rockefeller made oil accessible and affordable; Ford did likewise with the automobile; Microsoft dominates the PC market, and Apple crafted itself a highly profitable niche.
    Each person and company is rewarded at a level commensurate with the value the marketplace puts on their product/service. When you start debating the rightness or wrongness of percentages of wealth, you are opening the door to govt being the arbiter.

  • PeopleABOVEProfits||

    This is a global movement and there will be protests in hundreds of cities around the world on Saturday - this is a real opportunity to make a statement that can not be ignored.

    As for the naysayers - well, there were always those who loved monarchies and there were always those who believed the monarchy couldn't be overthrown. Both groups still exist, just sustitute corporations for monarchy. At least monarchies were more honest, they admitting they were running the show!

    The people do hold the power, we just sometimes forget. We got lazy and didn't stop it when capitalism turned into corporatism. We need to stop the madness now.

  • ||

    When capitalism becomes corporatism, I suggest blaming the government, after all THEY are the ones confiscating your money and spending it poorly.

    Though you've already made it clear that it isn't about bailouts, so that shouldn't bother you. Apparently the corporatism would actually be ok, so long as there was income redistribution to go along with it.

  • sevo||

    PeopleABOVEProfits|10.13.11 @ 10:10PM|#
    "This is a global movement..."

    Of parasites.

  • ||

    try and remember that when monarchies got tired of the rabble, they executed a few and imprisoned others in order to send a message to the rest. So far, the worst that has happened is a couple of minor citations.

    Yes, the people have power. Demanding things that are not theirs, however, is a poor exercise of it.

  • cynical||

    It's not a question of working hard, it's a question of improving society. Ideally.

  • BigT||

    Right. The 27,757,656 corporations in the US are exactly like a monarchy. Right.

    ...asshole

  • ||

    They are when they're all run by Jews. It's clearly a Jewish monarchy.

  • RationaleThought||

    Why do I have to work for improving society? Why can't I just work for pursuing my own happiness?

    If the purpose of my life is to work to improve society, is my life really my own?

    For that matter, why let me make my own decisions at all? There is an inherent risk that as a human being, I will act in my own self interest first.

    Therefore, in order to improve society efficiently, I should NOT be able to make my own decisions, someone far smarter than me should tell/force me to work in a manner that improves society to the greatest degree.

    No thank you, my life is my own. My happiness is my own. Through my free will I will live according to my own self interest, because I like being me and not a slave to society. I like being my own individual and not some cog in a grand machine whose only purpose to keep the machine functioning.

  • ||

    "deserve's got nothing to do with it"

    get that through your head and you will be happier. By the way, NOTHING will ever change to address the 'wrongs' you are worried about while government has power to do so. Do you see why?

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    Do you seriously believe that people should be rewarded in direct proportion to expenditure of effort? If I spend all day every days shovelling sand back and forth between two piles do I deserve to be rewarded as well as someone who invents something useful and lives off the patent for the rest of his life?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    This is about inequality, not bailouts.

    Bullshit. This is about a bunch of hippie burnouts and SWPL Millenials looking to join an administrative mandarinate of the managerial class, getting your lifestyle subsidized by the people who actually produce for a living.

    Your whole fucking solution to the credit bubbles of the last 30 years is to create a government jobs bubble, as if the exponential growth of the government over the last 70 years is something that can be sustained forever.

    You and the rest of the Millenials in these protests are a bunch of marks who think that being class valedictorian + masturbatory libarts degree from a school you can't afford = easy street. You actually think you're above monkey work like a blue-collar factory job, yet have the arrogance to presume that you speak for those same blue-collar workers and small business owners whose taxes you sponge off of, because you're too fucking lazy to get your soft, pink hands dirty doing anything resembling menial labor.

    You want respect, but you're all just a bunch of Fredos with neckbeards and an entitlement complex the size of the Grand Canyon. You want to cry about inequality, perhaps you should have realized that a government which promises to take care of EVERYONE includes the perjorative "1%" in that definition of EVERYONE. A government that shovels 55% of its spending on social welfare programs is going to eventually get the fat cats rolling up to the trough as well.

  • ||

    Bravo, RRR. Much love for that (no homo [NTTAWWT]).

    Speaking for myself, I don't think that I am ready to ascribe any single, unifying philosophy or set of political statements to these people. I don't have time to study them up close; from the snippets I've seen and read about them, they seem to be a diverse bunch, with a variety of opinions. Perhaps the loudest protesters- naive children or Jew-haters or entitled neckbeards- are dominating the conversation, instead of the most reasonable.

    Crony capitalism and government diddling the economy are ugly things, but I'm not sure a lot of the protesters know that that is what they are talking about, not an actual free market.

    Then again, some of them would probably just accuse me of being a "free market fundamentalist" and make fun of my assertion that the level of to which our government distorts various markets is worthy of their attention, and may even be at least one of the main causes of many of their gripes. But that's what usually happens when I talk about "free markets" with most people.

  • ||

    +99%

  • Not a dirty commie||

    Molon Labe, Mofo

  • ||

    1. Before the French revolution, the peasants were starving.

    2. The wealthly French nobility derived their income from taxation of the peasants, not private enterprise.

  • ||

    what exactly is "wealth fairness" and how does the alleged income gap lessen without govt force? Here's a clue: without profits, the US becomes the type 3rd world backwater people risk their lives to flee.

  • PeopleABOVEProfits||

    the role and duty of any govt to look out for and protect the best interests and well-being of its citizens, to the least of these. It is not the role of govt to ensure that everyone of its citizens eats filet mignon, but that they eat; that they have access to basic services; the right to life and liberty.

  • ||

    It's actually not the role of government to ensure that ANYONE eats anything.

  • ||

    no, the rule and duty of govt is to protect individual liberty and rights. There is absolutely NO role in govt mandating certain economic or gastronomic outcomes.

    No to be lawyery, but terms like "best interests" are so wide open to interpretation as to be meaningless. Govt further has no role in whether its citizens eat well or not at all.

    It does, as you point out, have a duty to protect rights to life and liberty, along with the one about pursuing happiness. Govt is under no obligation to ensure that happiness be attained.

  • PeopleABOVEProfits||

    Governments are not working for the people. They are owned by Big Oil, the Military Industrial Complex, large corporations, the mainstream media etc, etc. People are fed up and they are not going to take it anymore.

  • Britt||

    Listen here commie, you want my stuff, come and get it. But don't pretend like you're some kind of noble crusader for justice. You're a thief who lacks the balls to actually point a gun at me. So you promise that if someone takes money from me, you'll split half the take.

    That's all you are, that's all you'll ever be.

  • ||

    if people are truly fed up, then they should put forth candidates of like mind and work for their election, THEN hold those candidates' feet to the fire. The tea party did just that and look how both the Dem and Repub establishments reacted, not to mention a wide swath of the sit-on-its-ass population. Simply hanging out and chanting vapid slogans does not accomplish change.

  • ||

    shhhhh. I thought we weren't going to reveal our secrets here!

  • BigT||

    "the role and duty of any govt to look out for and protect the best interests and well-being of its citizens, to the least of these"

    Who decides the 'best interests'?

    ...asshole

  • ||

    It's so depressing that there are so many people like you who almost get it. you're so close. You're almost there. Think about it just a LITTLE longer. You might make it.

  • Ted S.||

    People like the boards of Small Oil are trying to own Big Government because Big Government has favors to sell.

    I don't see how giving Big Government more favors to sell solves the problem.

  • non||

    The movement is about wealth fairness, widening [the] income gap [by destroying low end jobs] and governments in the pocket[s] of corporations.

  • PeopleABOVEProfits||

    All leading politicians in the corporate-capitalist state(s) championed the policies of ruin - deregulation, privatization, 'free' trade, etc. - joined by corporate directors and a business-owned press, and forced them onto us under the guise of 'Globalization', using all manner of violent repression against anyone who tried to warn about what this would result in.

    After forcing schemes on their populations that destroyed workers' rights and much of the Middle Class, they've now turned their attention on the public sector and unions, the last vestiges of power facing the Corporate State.

    After the inevitable crash arrived, as it has so many other times throughout capitalism's dirty history, they emptied the public coffers into private hands in order to prop up their house of cards, and in doing so, rewarded those most guilty in this disaster.

    Now, they expect the public to sit idly by as they slash social programs and remove further protections, under much the same pretexts as those used to force these policies on us in the first place, the one that created this mess.

    If they want us to play nice, then perhaps we should demand the imprisonment of those responsible, and a shift away from the bankrupt economic theory they've treated as fact for far too long, which claims that infinite growth and unbridled consumption is possible on a floating rock with finite resources, and relegates its ill-effects and anything else that contradicts it to the realm of 'externalities'.

    We need a real dialogue, designed to acknowledge the failure of the current economic system to provide for the majority, and examine alternatives that could help to develop a more sustainable, representative system, to the benefit of all, not simply for the aggrandizement of a tiny minority of companies and officials.

  • ||

    --please outline the economic policy that you believe superior to capitalism. Global history reveals none though several are pretty good at sharing the misery.
    --please demonstrate the "violent repression" wrought against protesters. The real thing is on display in Syria and has previously been seen in places like Prague, Tianamen Square, etc.
    --please show the social program being slashed or even mentioned for slashing. That Medicare and SS are usustainable in current form is not even debatable, but reform does not equal destruction.
    --please list who should be imprisoned and what laws they broke. As you name various businesses, consider that president hopium is the all-time largest recipient of Wall St campaign money. Don't hear much about within this movement.
    --please explain why "if they want us to play nice" should be taken as anything other than a threat to commit violence and why it should be dealt with in any other way.

  • PeopleABOVEProfits||

    The movement is not about finding solutions yet. It's about pointing out the flaws. Only when the flaws are revealed can solutions be hashed out.

  • ||

    lol, all you have is complaints.

    "Wahhh, why wont anyone hire me? I went to college, I have a BA in communications/sociology/psychology/literature and I still can't get a job. Someone needs to forgive my loans because I made some poor choices."

    "Murrr that man has a bigger penis than me and a bigger car, that's not fair! I think one or both of these inequalities should be rectified immediately!"

    This is what your movement sounds like when you don't offer solutions. The actual 99% doesn't want to hear a bunch of crybabies bitching about their idea of fairness. If you have solutions, by all means present them, but leave the bitching at home.

  • PeopleBEATProfits||

    Wow, what a powerful argument.

    I'm not going anywhere.

  • ||

    It wasn't an argument, it's an observation and a piece of advice. Class warfare isn't as effective as you think it is, and even at its most effective doesn't produce the results that you hope it will.

    Let's say they enact this millionaires tax. What do you think will occur? First of all, it will almost certainly fall short of it's expected revenue increase since such calculations never allow for any change in behavior.

    Secondly, that tax will be used to pay for some very short term and ineffective policies. So what's next? Another tax increase? Great. As you keep raising their taxes you will notice a diminishing return. What are you going to do when the tax rate on income over $1mill is 99%? Why you'll move on down to the next group, and then the next and the next. Believe it or not, people simply wont continue to produce when they receive very little direct result from their efforts. The more you take and distribute the greater this phenomenon becomes, and the lower everyone's standard of living becomes. This is not a pretty picture.

  • ||

    The movement is not about finding solutions yet.
    ----------
    then it is technically to call it a movement. More like a bitchfest. Movements generally entail solutions, no matter how fanciful. We can all point out flaws. Some of us get involved in addressing those flaws by getting involved in the process.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    There are only three choices:

    Capitalism

    Socialism

    Communism

    Of the three flawed systems, capitalism is the only good choice.

    End of argument.

  • Tony||

    Only if you are oblivious to the last 3 years. Any system taken to extremes will fail. We're witnessing the failure of Reagan capitalism.

    But as you're no better than a dedicated marxist, you'll never see its flaws no matter how obvious they are.

  • ||

    "The movement is not about finding solutions yet. It's about pointing out the flaws. Only when the flaws are revealed can solutions be hashed out."

    The flaw is thinking that politicians are the solution to our economic problems.

    When you guys finally figure that out, let us know.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Tony, I acknowledged the flaws in all three systems.

    As for your last line, *anyone* is better than a "dedicated marxist".

  • herp derp||

    On one hand, you admit that the govt is in the pockets of the wealthy and powerful (no argument from me here), on the other hand, you wish to give the gov more power over our lives...lol

  • Mr Whipple||

    AKA: Intellectual dishonesty, intellectual inconsistency, or just plain stupidity.

  • ||

    AKA: cognitive dissonance ... or, yeah, just as you called it- stOOpidity.

  • ||

    It's just good intentions divorced from any knowledge whatsoever about how the world really works.

    In a word, it's childish.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    You do realize that many corporations want nothing more than to be regulated...Right?

    THIS. People who insist that corporations hate regulation are economic and social idiots. They thrive off of regulations because it enables to have government mandated advantages in their market. Why else would industry have a heavy hand in EVERY regulation written?

  • ||

    The correct word isn't "deregulation", it's "dirty capitalism."

  • mad libertarian guy||

    You do realize that many corporations want nothing more than to be regulated...Right?

    THIS. People who insist that corporations hate regulation are economic and social idiots. They thrive off of regulations because it enables to have government mandated advantages in their market. Why else would industry have a heavy hand in EVERY regulation written?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    You do realize that many corporations want nothing more than to be regulated...Right?

    THIS. People who insist that corporations hate regulation are economic and social idiots. They thrive off of regulations because it enables to have government mandated advantages in their market. Why else would industry have a heavy hand in EVERY regulation written?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    A thought so nice, it needs said thrice.

  • EcoDude||

    You do realize that many corporations want nothing more than to be regulated...Right?

  • BigT||

    "All leading politicians in the corporate-capitalist state(s) championed the policies of ruin - deregulation, privatization, 'free' trade, etc. - joined by corporate directors and a business-owned press, and forced them onto us under the guise of 'Globalization',"

    Your predecessor crybabies were all in favor of globalization as the solution. Now you are on the other side.

    All still ....assholes.

  • sevo||

    PeopleABOVEProfits|10.13.11 @ 10:05PM|#
    "All leading politicians in the corporate-capitalist state(s) championed the policies of ruin - deregulation, privatization, 'free' trade, etc."

    Lying sack of shit.

  • ||

    "The movement is about wealth fairness, widening income gap and governments in the pocket of corporations"

    I don't know what 'wealth fairness' is but governments and corporations are in each other's pockets. You're half way there to realizing that giving government all power to dictate to industry means that industry will get in bed with government and collude to quash competition and consumers.

    If you diminish the power of government to regulate banks, then banks will not get the special favors from government. It's not that hard to understand but all these OWS folks only get it half way. It's too bad.

  • PeopleIMPORTANTProfitsNOT||

    People are not protesting for equal distribution of wealth but FAIR distribution of wealth. How fair is it to have the top 10% controlling 50%+ of the wealth of the country. Where is the balance? Where is the motivation in knowing that the top 10% earn in a day what most people earn in their lifetime? The fact that the gap between the top 10% and everyone else seems to be growing means "Occupy Wall Street" is just the beginning.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Notice how it couches things in terms of "fair" and "just the beginning"...

    This shit keeps up, there's going to be riots... and don't think Obama isn't above slapping some martial law on our collective ass. He'd do it just as quick as any Team Red president.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    You seem to be confusing wealth with money. That is a sad concept of life and wealth.

  • Zeb||

    "wealth of the country"

    There's your problem. "The Country" does not collectively own all of the wealth of its citizens.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Give 'em time, Zeb... Obama still has at least a year and a few months to confiscate everything.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    How about corporations in the pocket of government?

  • Suki||

    The LA bunch appears to bathe more often than the NYC bunch.

  • Ice Nine||

    Yeah, but the fact that they apparently walk into public restrooms barefoot way cancels that out.

  • Tman||

    Best line so far about the "Occupations"

    Allahpundit at Hotair talking about the upcoming cleanup on zucotti park tomorrow-

    Occupy Wall Street vows to resist NYPD’s efforts to clear park for cleaning tomorrow...It’s not just a clean-up, in other words. The landlord’s telling them they can’t stay overnight anymore. Said one OWSer, very much off-message, “I’m worried there is going to be a riot.” Said another, “There’s a lot of stuff we wouldn’t have to clean up if the city provided basic human rights, like a Port-A-Potty.” Good point. Think how much cleaner the park would be right now if the city had provided the basic human right of building a hotel for them on the site where they could stay free of charge.

    What's the average time for a nice cholera-threatening sewage problem to break out in a place like this, three months? A year?

    Just hurry up and build them a hotel already.

  • Suki||

    Your fear cannot come true too soon.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Remind me: do Tea Partiers riot when told to get off public lands? Did they cause mass obstructions of traffic? Did they essentially take over city hall (non-metaphorically, of course)?

    No. Oh.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Don't judge the occupiers by the actions of the crowd, judge them on their message. Which is incoherent.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    The actions of the crowd speak to the philosophy of its members.

    From this, I conclude that the Tea Party is better than Occupy.

    Still don't like the socons who hijacked it, though.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    There is nothing wrong with rioting when jackboots try to herd you around (on public property).

  • ||

    Last I read, the park was owned by Brookfield Properties == NOT PUBLIC PROPERTY!

    http://occupywallst.org/forum/.....bergs-gir/

  • kilroy||

    Ahh, but zucotti park is private. And the limp dicks called off the cleanup.

  • ||

    so a toilet provided at someone else's expense is a basic human right? At this point, even folks in Haiti have to look at a motley crew like this and laugh.

  • Max||

    The moronic Tea Party has survived libertarian apologetics. Some stupid cunt has posted something about Herman Cain's candidacy giving lie to the notion that the Tea Party Dimwits are racist. Then there's Ron Paul's fake eybrows.

  • Apologetic California||

    Your cunt is showing.

    Also ARF ARF ARF ARF ARF ARF

  • MaxiePad||

    Drools over Killer Obama and gets wet when Barry kills another Asian.

  • sevo||

    Max|10.13.11 @ 9:29PM|#
    "The moronic Tea Party has survived libertarian apologetics..."

    Max, *I'd* piss in your mouth if you were drowning.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You're way too kind, sevo.

    Besides, it ain't piss he wants in his mouth...

    I'm not sure that's an authentic Max post, though, as there is no reference to the racist newsletters which Ron Paul never wrote. Maybe Max is having a bad run of days lately... off his feed, not on his game.

    Have some more pudding, Max. Your mom just came out of the bathroom with a fresh batch.

  • Apologetic California||

    It was fucking blazing hot in LA yesterday, today, and this being LA, for the next 6 months. That can't be good for hippie smell.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Patchouli oil is wonderful when mixed with the stench of trip sweat.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    When I volunteered that this last goal might be accomplished by not expanding the money supply and allowing real wealth to be distributed from spendthrifts to savers, I got a couple of nods.

    Cavanaugh has broken the Prime Directive by coming out of his duck blind and engaging the subjects, thus queering their natural development. Also, if he loves the goddamn smelly hippies so much, why doesn't he marry them.

  • ||

    You sound bitter, Fist. Did you just finish watching the game?

    Don't get too down though, boy wonder has been cleared for contact.

    Between the hippy articles and the awful trolls I think I'll spend more computer time streaming hockey.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Meh. Sure, Johnson went home early, but they got a point off your namesakes. And I'll wait until Cooke sucker punches 87 in practice to declare him cleared.

  • PantsFan||

    They said Lovejoy would be the first one to hit him tho

  • ||

    When they plan it all like that it takes all of the romance and spontaneity out of it.

  • PantsFan||

    I missed the 3rd Period in favour of the Jets game. What exactly happened?

  • ||

    Nothing really, a lot of back and forth, then Malkin found Neal on the PP with about 3min left.

    Neal has looked real good this year so far.

    I was doing homework and had the game streaming so I didn't see every minute, but that's what I basically saw.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "Favour"? Are you going to let that Canadian accent go unchallenged, Cap?

  • PantsFan||

    lol
    Pens @ Jets on Monday
    and I am hoping to be there if some kind soul donates me their tickets.

  • ||

    occupy moves to Winnipeg and adds new demand - free hockey tix.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Stands full of Canadian hippies. Hoserippies.

  • PantsFan||

    It probably is on their list

  • ||

    Why doesn't this entertaining and informative blog post have a by-line? Just asking.

  • ||

    It was written via consensus. The people will not be silenced, and they will not have the kind of inequality that comes with attaching only one name to an article when that article is the product of the masses.

  • ||

    Dennis Ritchie for whom we wouldn't be here, {cyberspace} that is, has died.

    RIP

  • Chris||

    Shit. Cut my teeth on C and it returned the favor, but paid the bills.

  • ||

    Just in case anybody was wondering, the Occupy Aspen movement is now in full effect.

    "Instead of shouting, the 10 protesters were asked to write their class grievances on an announcement board. The diamond-ring protester wrote “Tax private jet owners.”

    http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/20.....yingaspen/

    I can only assume that Occupy Martha's Vineyard, Occupy Palos Verdes Estates, and Occupy La Jolla are just around the corner...

    The Occupy Martha's Vineyard people will no doubt protest for higher taxes on private jet owners--from the decks of their pleasure craft. Occupy PV will want to tax plastic surgery--and they'll have plenty of time to protest since their nannies are takin' care of their kids. The Occupy La Jolla people will no doubt protest for taxing the hell out of country club memberships--from the backs of their polo horses...

    'cause it's always about raising somebody else's taxes.

    Meanwhile your local soup kitchen could really use your help. Anybody who wants to volunteer to help feed homeless or hungry people?

    There's an opportunity to volunteer in your hometown--guaranteed. Google it.

  • Marie Antionette 2011||

    Let ME eat cake.

  • ||

    Yes, we've already seen Occupy The Berkshires, in the too-precious-for-words town of Great Barrington. Since at least 50% of the crowd probably lists Manhattan as their primary place of residence, I'm not sure why they didn't just stay home and head for Wall St., although I'm guessing it had something to do with the beautiful weather over the Columbus Day three day weekend giving them what is probably the last chance this year to open up the summer place during summer weather. Is there anything more annoying than rich people embarrassed to own up to being rich?

  • ||

    FUCK GREAT BARRINGTON!

    /Jeselnik

  • Colonel_Angus||

    And fuck Barrington, IL.

  • ||

    +1

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Speaking of Kristallnacht, I heard two full-throated anti-Semitic rants yesterday, along with a lot of anti-bank stuff, a smattering of libertarianish commentary, one shout-out for Bill O'Reilly, and many calls for redistribution of wealth "but not socialism."

    Right. What they want is full on Father Coughlin populist fascism.

    FUN FACT: Father Coughlin's extremely anti-Semitic newspaper was titled Social Justice. Hmmm...

  • ||

    Exactly, as the db above has pointed out, it's not the bailouts that bother them, it's the lack of redistribution. They'll be happy to have government work hand in had with companies, just so long as they're the "right" companies.

  • ||

    unfortunately, as evidenced by the likes of Solyndra, the "right" companies are often the wrong investment.

  • ||

    But they have the right intentions, and that's all that matters.

  • Mail me my check NOW!||

  • Mr Whipple||

    Command economists love to say how badly deregulation has turned out.

    Then they need to be reminded of the telecom, rail, trucking, airline, and homebrew industries. And, of course, George Stigler.

    http://web.missouri.edu/~podgu.....lation.pdf

  • Mr Whipple||

    Shit. That was a response to Doktor Kapitalism, below.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    No, no, no... Ron Paul wrote Father Coughlin's racist newspapers! Didn't Max teach you anything??1!?

    Hint: A time machine was involved.

  • yogi||

    I live about 10 miles from downtown LA. I almost never go there. Aside from one cousin who works for the City, no one I know ever goes there any more often than I do. Downtown LA isn't like other US cities.

    The purpose of a protest would seem to be to get the attention of passers by. 99% of the passers by in downtown LA would be recent immigrants from Central America, South America, and Asia who don't give a rat's ass about politics. And the media.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Wrong. There are plenty of business people, some of who are mighty fine capitalists. Good thing is, they don't give a rat's ass about politics or the media, too.

  • yogi||

    Wrong about what?

    LA's financial district is on the Miracle Mile, a good 10 miles west of LA, the film studios are in Burbank, 5 miles NE of Hollywood, the filthy rich white people live in Bel Aire, not in Beverly Hills, industry is concentrated in little Kingdom's like Vernon, just outside of LA, Eli Broad is still alive, so is Abe Vigota, and the kooks still live in Venice.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Propably not entirely relevant, but I feel like ranting:

    Command economists love to say how badly deregulation has turned out. I want to whack these people with a hardcover copy of Atlas Shrugged. Just because you cut 0.5% of the regulation they're subject to does not mean they'll automatically create [JOBZ!]. No one has tried full on deregulation. *EVER*! The Gilded Age was replete with cronyism and government handouts. The 1920s were dependent on subsidies and tariffs. The 1980s were engineered by the Federal Reserve.

    The best example is the 1950s, which was driven by wartime profits and didn't suffer from terribly high regulations. Military contracts were still high. The notable thing about the 1950s is the boom was caused, not by a crash, but LBJ's socialist policies, which led the the stagflation.

    In summary: give free markets a chance before you condemn them. We've tried everything else:
    communism
    socialism
    fascism
    moderation

    and none of them worked!

  • yogi||

    The only unregulated business enterprise left in the US is computer programming and this is only area where the US dominates. Coincidentally.

  • ||

    And film.

  • yogi||

    You don't mean film, literally. But Pixar and Disney do dominate the children's entertainment market. I left that out. What else? Unmanned, high-tech, military hardware. Check. The US is strong on pharmaceuticals and bio-tech products, but not dominant. Half-check.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Booze? Porno? Fried chicken?

  • ||

    Unregulated? Computer programming? Haven't checked into patent law much, have you?

  • Brandon||

    Laser eye surgery and cosmetic surgery, relative to other medical fields, are extremely unregulated, and have been increasing in quality and decreasing in price for years.

  • Mr Whipple||

    The potty situation in public gatherings being a source of constant reader interest, you'll be relieved to learn that there is a full complement of portable toilets.

    So, who is paying for that? They're about $100/week each.

  • Mr Whipple||

    PeopleABOVEProfits

    What exactly is that supposed to mean? Shareholders are people, too. Many of them are Middle Class workers with 401(k)s and pensions.

    Some of the people on the left are so utterly clueless it's embarrassing.

  • ||

    Some of the people on the left are so utterly clueless it's embarrassing.
    -----------------------
    some on the left are among the shareholders. Public union employees come to mind.

  • Seize all 401K plans NOW!||

    and mail me my check...

  • Have a 401K, get arrested!||

  • 401K? Off to jail.||

  • ||

    Whichever unions are participating are paying for the toilets. I'll lay 2-1 on this.

  • Mr Whipple||

    No bet. But I'll bet you 2-1 that the people cleaning them are non-union. If they are union, it would double the price from $100 to $200.

  • No digas nada a nadie...||

    ....quiero conservar me chamba.

  • rather||

    Having expressed his concerns, the tree guy went back up. He also demanded that we not take his picture.

    I guess he didn't want mommy and daddy to see what he was doing with his allowance

  • shorter white indian||

    let's hunt and gather! derp!

  • Almanian||

    TIMMEH!

    Lucy Steigerwald was just cursing you on The Twitters. I just love her - she's adorable. And hilARious. And pithy.

    Also, fuck California.

    That is all.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Muck Fichigan!

  • Almanian||

    In Soviet Russia, government engages people in movement - to SIBERIA!

  • Almanian||

    In Soviet Russia, ARMY occupy city!

  • Almanian||

    In Soviet Russia, government hunt and gather YOU!

  • Binky||

    Serious question: How will the occupiers know when it is time to leave?

  • Old Man Winter||

    I'll whisper in their ears.

  • Frost||

    I'll bite

  • Bingo||

    Permanent tent cities springing up around city hall is wonderful, metaphorically speaking.

  • F Zappa||

    We look pretty sharp in these clothes (yes, we do)
    Unless we get sprayed with a hose
    It ain't bad in the day
    If they squirt it your way
    'Cept in the winter, when it's froze
    An' it's hard if it hits
    On yer nose

  • PeopleEngaged||

  • Bingo||

    The worst part of the OWS protests is the lack of scantily clad raver girls.

  • Nipplemancer||

    pink panty girl FTW

  • Bingo||

    She's cute... pretty representative of da yoof for libertarianism. Believe me, reason.tv did not even close to capitalize on the T&A with raves. It's pretty much an excuse for cute girls to show a little skin and dance their asses off. Or on. Or off. I respect reason.tv's modesty in the thing. Let's just say that furry leg warmers are more than enough clothing to a lot of girls.

    As for the music itself, it all starts to sound the same after a while, but it's damn good for butt-swinging around in your chair while coding and zoning out. Utilitarians gotta appreciate that at the very least!

  • Nipplemancer||

    I remember the 90's club scene in NYC. I think I still have glitter stuck to me. These ravers are just the same thing with worse music. The chicks are still hot but I'm married & a stay at home dad. I live vicariously through you youngins.

  • Bingo||

    I'll try to do you proud old man, current girl has too many piercings but the most beautiful smile. God, I fucking hate piercings. Ladies: do not ruin your tongue/nipples/vag with that shit. It's not an ornament, it's a goddamn obstacle when you get down to business.

  • ||

    Clearly you've never been felated by woman with a tongue piercing, just sayin'.

  • Nipplemancer||

    tongue piercings are great. clittoral ones, especially within the first few months after the piercing are instant orgasm machines and quite fun. I can take or leave the nipple piercings, they're fun but the novelty wears off quickly. I fucking hate facial piercings though.

  • Chris||

    The northern encampment facing Temple Street is slightly spiffier, with most of the facilities described above and a very noticeable labor union presence. I was encouraged to find a copy of J. Neil Schulman's Alongside Night in the library, so if you think libertarians aren't getting the message out, consider yourself corrected.

    Seriously would the editors of Reason just. stop. with that nonsense? The nature of libertarianism is that it can only appeal to individuals through either their individual capacity for reason, or desire to make decisions for themselves.

    No matter how laid back you think they may be, this is a mob. Mobs form over a desire for power. Libertarianism is the antithesis of political power because it is about choice which diffuses power. That is why no matter how sympathetic the Tea Party may be, on balance the weight of political power in their actions will always be much heavier than any desire on members parts to protect liberty and individual choice. That goes at least double for those motivated to seize wealth no matter the ideological justification for doing so.

  • Chris||

    on members parts to protect

    On the part of individual members

  • yogi||

    You're an Eagles fan, aren't you?

  • ||

    God, I fucking hate the Eagles.

    Which really sucks, cause I live in Philly.

  • The Dude||

    I feel your pain man....

  • Chris||

    Management philosophy has been retarded for at least a decade, so I try not to be. Phillies broke my heart but they'll be back.

  • Bingo||

    This alone makes me wish for a +1 button on posts

  • ||

    I think Tim was being facetious here. It speaks more to the inchoate nature of the gathering than any libertarian leanings.

  • ||

    There are a lot of libertarian lunatics at Occupy LA. A lot of them have "End the Fed" signs and other things that indicate they're gold bugs.

  • D. Letterman, Esq||

    Oh those Republicans, they're so dumb...

    Well, do you really need a punchline?

  • Chris||

    Unfunny man became a comedian. That's the punchline.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Oh, he USED to be funny... back in the NBC days, the first few years.

    Back when neither he nor Paul were raging, ego-fueled pricks.

  • D. Letterman, Esq||

    Chris Christie is so fat, he can't stop eating.
    Or thinking about food.
    Isn't Mitt a dumb name?

  • Paul S||

    hah!

  • rsi||

    When these people start showing up in front of the White house and Congress I'll listen.

  • PantsFan||

    What's so interesting about the protestors is that they have no defined goals. They aren't represented by any one view. So if you chastise them for a particular issue, they can just reply with "that's not why all of us are here."

  • sevo||

    "PeopleABOVEProfits"
    That is all you need to know to understand you're dealing with a gold-medal ignoramus.

  • PeopleIMPORTANTProfitsNOT||

    Because it's better to make money than to treat your employees with dignity.

  • ||

    Yeah, I dunno. Greenpeace does a pretty good job of not doing both. I know the assholes collecting money for them on every street corner certainly have no dignity.

  • sevo||

    Yes, it is. That's the way people get jobs.
    Gotcher loser alternative right here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solyndra
    They treated their 'people' to showers with LCD read-outs for the temperature.
    And then laid off 1100 'people', asshole.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Yeah, but those few weeks Solyndra was in business were fuckin' fantastic!

  • ||

    dude...Reasonable really needs to consider my regexp idea for matching "the list". If you know what I mean.

  • Bingo||

    Elaborate

  • ||

    Elaboration will enable evasion. A savvy reader will understand my meaning.

  • ||

    I was attempting to write a thing of my own to do the regexp thing and sort comments in chronological order rather than nesting. Unfortunately it's not my day job.

  • Bingo||

    Hah, I just called for Amakudarai to make a whitelist for reasonable, which is pretty similar.

  • ||

    That's a good idea too.

  • The Ron Paul Occupation Report||

    If Martin Luther King were alife today he would spit on these people. And then expose himself to them because he was a sex deviant.

  • sevo||

    Remember: Vermin + food = vermin shit. WI is vermin shit.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    IT'S ALIFE!!!

  • Gonna slap you, bitch...||

    ...you don't shut up!

  • PeopleIMPORTANTProfitsNOT||

    If every worker would just accept $0.20/hr, and we got rid of all those annoying environmental regulations, everything would be just fine.

  • ||

    Do you really believe that a minimum wage is what allows people to make the wages that they do? Are you so naive as to think that's the line that's keeping the system from collapsing?

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    Seriously, would you rather work for $.20 an hour than not work at all?

  • Mr Whipple||

    If every worker would just accept $0.20/hr

    Then bread about 2 1/2 cents a loaf.

  • Hobie Hanson||

    Looks like someone at Reason discovered how to arrange 4 pictures into one image. I can barely communicate how proud I am of you.

    But I'd invest in more logic classes than graphic design tutorials if I were you.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Hey, look, everyone... Hobie came out of the basement closet to visit with us!

  • Whore-bee....||

    ....ward of the State.

  • PeopleIMPORTANTProfitsNOT||

    It is high time that people stood up and started screaming bloody murder about the rich and elite in this country and others. About the scammer Speculators and scum bags they work for. Go for it, raise Bloody Hell folks.

  • yogi||

    Let's compromise. For every eleven Wall Street hedge fund operator we hang, we'll also hang two teachers, three janitors, four lawyers, and two adorable puppies.

  • cynical||

    Leave the poor janitors out of it. How about we replace the janitors with 5 more higher ed teachers?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Not the puppies!!!

    Kittens... maybe.

  • ||

    Scammer speculators?

    Do you even have any idea as to why markets exist?

    Here's a homework assigment, go read up and then write an essay explaining the importance of selling and buying risk in a marketplace. That oughta kill 2 birds with one stone cause then you might also understand how insurance works.

  • Sidd Finch||

    I found out when Rectal's life started the tailspin.
    http://i.imgur.com/JEcO1.jpg

  • Nipplemancer||

    awesome

  • Nancy P-neverdiddied||

    Remember the good old days when women never lied about rape?

    http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wi.....t-protests

    Then suddenly some traitors to the sex began to make up lies about Democratic politicians that the media and the rest of us on the left should just ignore and let those public servants go on with their lives.

    On that note. Thank God for Al Gore! Horrible false accusations have not slowed him down from pressing for change.

  • NotSure||

    PeopleEngaged, the biggest owners of wealth is the government, they are also the biggest debt creators, they ultimately are the greatest power. Unless you are saying there is a vast conspiracy, your 99% will always outvote the 1%.

    People like you have voted for free stuff for decades, you also have more voters than those that oppose government. Your policies have been enacted for decades, more money is spent on welfare and all the other crap you demand than ever before, yet you still think it is not enough ! You are the problem, grow a spine, speak for yourself and stop cowering like a worm behind "the people".

  • jtuf||

    This, I think, is the fallacy of trying to discern political content in what is essentially a chance to go camping without having to leave town.

    Well, t'is the season for that. Happy sukkot everyone.

  • Tony||

    I see the "I've got mine, FUCK YOU HIPPIE!!!!" political philosophy is in full gear.

  • As opposed to the Statist....||

    ....."Fuck you, wage earners", everything you earn and have is ours and we'll give it so Tony can have a tax credit and two hybrids in his garage.

  • Tony||

    everything you earn and have is ours

    Funny how a return to Clinton-era tax levels so quickly becomes this straw man.

  • Zeb||

    You presume an awful lot about what we have and our relationship with hippies. It is possible to have principles, you know.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    It's okay, Tony. We already know you can't read.

  • Tony||

    Libertarians think government exists to protect every cent of worth a hedge fund manager has acquired, by whatever legal means (even if he wrote the laws), that no matter the condition of the status quo, that property is his without question for all time--but it's not supposed to ensure that people aren't starving.

    Libertarians are hopeless. I've yet to meet one who isn't a shameless apologist for every inch of oligarchy the oligarchs have instituted.

  • ||

    "Libertarians are hopeless. I've yet to meet one who isn't a shameless apologist for every inch of oligarchy the oligarchs have instituted."

    You're not really under the impression that libertarians supported the bank bailouts, are you?

    No, you're not.

    Now you're just makin' shit up.

    How can opposing Congress making our choices for us--be apologizing for the oligarchs and the oligarchy?!

    You gotta start thinking about what you write before you write it.

  • Tony||

    You were against the bailouts but for every ill-gotten cent staying just where it is post-bailouts. The central flaw, to my mind, is thinking that the distributive status quo is somehow the product of fair and free market forces.

    Perhaps you don't believe that, but you don't feel the government has any right to redistribute, no matter how unfair the system that led to the current distribution. But I fail to see where you go from there.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Liberal pussyhurt, ladies and gentlemen!

  • and you will not shed a tear..||

    ....for all the innocent asians and africans slaughtered by Obama Death Drones. on the contrary, you will defend obama while condemning bush for the EXACT same thing...you are running out of room for denial...

  • Tony||

    Life is about imperfect choices.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I don't support Obama, so the answer to your pathetic question is "fuck off, White Idiot".

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Oh, and I didn't support Bush, either.

  • ||

    "I've yet to meet one who isn't a shameless apologist for every inch of oligarchy the oligarchs have instituted."

    That's what you wrote.

    Now you want the oligarchy to redistribute wealth differently.

    You're supporting the oligarchy.

    This is called "projection".

    "Projection": a defense mechanism in which one attributes to others one’s own unacceptable or unwanted thoughts.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P.....projection

    Libertarianism is about DElegitimizing oligarchy and DElegitimizing oligarchs making our choices for us.

    Glad we had this conversation.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    Nope, I'd be fine with the government taking back the bailout money it gave... as long as it then gave it back to the people it stole it from originally.

  • ||

    That's a good point.

    Unfortunately, they raised the money mostly through the sale of ten year treasuries. So they've been taking the interest out of our paychecks right now--but the principal they took isn't coming out of our for another ten years!

    So, not only have they not paid it back to the people they took it from--the people they took from still have that outstanding bill hangin' over their heads. The principal hasn't come out of our paychecks yet.

    OH, and to add insult to injury? Instead of retiring the debt when TARP recipients paid their money back? Congress voted--specifically--not to pay the money back--but to use it for stimulus!

    Most of the TARP money was paid back--to the government--but there's no way that money's ever gonna make its way back to the people who are paying for it.

    That money's gone forever, and the taxpayers will never get it back. And the protestors think the solution to our problems is giving Congress a bigger share of our incomes to spend?!

    They're three years late on the Wall Street rage--and they still haven't figured out how they got screwed! ...to the point that they still think the politicians who ripped them off are the solution to their problems!

  • ||

    It's like getting ripped off in a pyramid scam after it collapses--and then thinking the way to get your money back is to put even more money into the pyramid scam?

    I feel for these people, but I can't quite reach them. It's like I feel for people who are so dumb, they wander out into the street and get hit by a car. I feel sorry for them in a way, for being so dumb, but I don't know what society's supposed to do to protect people from their own stupidity.

    If the politicians ripped me off once? Shame on them.

    If I think politicians are the solution to being ripped off by politicians?

    Shame on me!

  • ||

    Despite a few thousand years of examples to the contrary, they still believe they can elect The Right People.

  • ||

    Perhaps you don't believe that, but you don't feel the government has any right to redistribute, no matter how unfair the system that led to the current distribution. But I fail to see where you go from there.

    This is so not hard, Tony. We strip from the government the power to redistribute resources, regardless of anyone's opinion on the fairness of the current distribution.

    Over time, the unfairness of that distribution will fade as nature takes its inevitable course.

    But, you are firmly in the camp that the current distribution, as enabled by government, is unfair, so the only solution is another government (re)distribution.

    Rinse and fucking repeat.

  • Tony||

    Over time, the unfairness of that distribution will fade as nature takes its inevitable course.

    Who says the inevitable course isn't further concentration? Once we get rid of government, seems like the wealth will go to whoever has the power to secure it.

    Social darwinism is not equitable.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    The selection pressures in nature are not the same as the selection pressures in the free market. In nature, organisms that are 'successful' are those which replicate themselves the most (or to be more accurate, organisms aren't successful, genes are, and their success is defined by increased frequency in the gene pool - althouh by 'success' we mean frequency... so, yeah). In the free market, the businesses that are successful are those which provide such services or commodities as people are willing to pay for. That is, the selection pressures in a free market are the desires of the actors therein. Conflating this with natural selection is either a) dishonest or b) very, very stupid. Take your pick.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Egalitarians are stOOpid, RC. You just can't talk sense into 'em.

  • Tony||

    Without rules a market is just nature taking its course.

  • Sigh||

    I miss Four Loko. And cops shooting dogs.

    Good times.

  • Arbol de La Barranca||

    BLAH BLAH BLAH......George W Bush's and Barack H Obama's virtually identical roles in the bailouts, the wreckage of the economy through ill-thought over-regulation, and military expansionism, all of which are root causes of the present conditions. It looks like Obama's global military ambitions are on course to surpass Bush's wildest wet-dreams.

    All that being said, IMPEACH OBAMA, OBAMA LIES: PEOPLE DIE, FUCK THE BILLIONAIRE OBAMA/BUSH BANKER BUTT-BUDDIES, FUCK GOVERNMENT-EMPLOYEE UNIONS, FUCK CORPORATIONS THAT SURVIVE ONLY BY SUCK-UP SUBSIDIES, FUCK OBAMA, FUCK BUSH, FUCK THE WARS, FUCK THE GUN RUNNING DOJ. AND FUCK YOUR 401K (or rather, your 401K is fucked, CAUSE THEY'RE GONNA RAID your retirement TO PAY FOR A GOVERNMENT CUBICLE WORKER'S PENSION THAT IS FATTER THAN YOUR PALTRY ONE.)

  • You forgot to mention....||

    the Mega-Billionaires like Buffett and Soros that are lobbying to get taxes raised on their less-wealthy competitors....

  • ||

    PEOPLE ARE STRANGE WHEN YOU'RE A STRANGER.

  • And WOMEN SEEM WICKED||

    ...cuando no te quieren...

  • ChrisO||

    I would think that in downtown L.A., the easiest way to disperse the protesters would be to deny them police protection at night. I haven't been down there in 20 years, but even back then it wasn't someplace you really wanted to be after dark.

  • ||

    The way to disperse the protestors is to set up a job fair right next to their little tent cities.

  • Chris||

    Death Metal and bars of soap

  • Invisible Finger||

    Isn't the purpose of a job fair to attract qualified candidates? Seems like these tent cities would drive qualified candidates away.

    IOW, the market is working.

  • ||

  • Paul ||

    This post covers well the questions I've been hunting at in other posts, that the ows movement, like so many progressive movements wants the approval of the establishment. They are truly in the camp of "tax us, regulate us, set us free"

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