I read one story criticizing how an 82 year old woman got pepper sprayed in the face in Seattle's crackdown. Now whether that should have happened brings another question-- was she using good judgment being there and not leaving when the police said to do so? Do we get a blank check when we get old and can behave however we want in ignoring the laws? Then there is the lady who was two months pregnant and was there also getting pepper sprayed... When I was pregnant, my first priority was protecting my baby and basically it's hard for me to justify a woman who would go somewhere like that, remain when told to leave, and not first concern herself with the health of that new life within. Her motivations for staying escape me. Maybe they all thought police can't do anything. They should read the newspapers of other incidences where the police must subdue an unruly individual or a mob.
Basically, like a lot of people, I think, when Occupy Wall Street began September 17th, I was in more or less sympathy with the reasons the demonstrators had gathered. I was unsure though about what they had named their movement. Occupy Wall Street means exactly what? Take it over? I also remembered many other anarchist melees where they claimed a lot of the same things but with violence as their answer. Sounds like the media who loves to stir this up with-- oh my what will they do now-- will get their answer and what they want for a bigger story!
I never liked the idea of tent cities being equated with freedom of speech. I don't really get how a demonstration morphs into setting up living quarters on someone else's property. And don't give me that the public parks belong to them. The public parks belong to all of us, not just squatters which is what this movement was evolving into. To me then can homeless people also set up tents downtown? It's not like they don't also have a grievance that the system is keeping them from being successful-- never you mind if it's true.
I think this whole movement got a pass from a lot of ordinary citizens for a long time as we understood the frustration at an economic system that is totally out of whack for fairness. We also want regulations or things to be done to get manufacturing back in this country, tax fairness, and having a government with reasonable policies. The big debate is over how to get such things especially given how our country is divided for what we think should be done by government. We might all see a problem but we don't see the answer the same.
As the mayors began to order the demonstrators to leave I heard statements from these young people (and yes, despite the exceptions, most there or at least arrested have so far been under 40) about how they were going to come back and reclaim what they own. Wait a minute!! They own the park where they're camped? Does that mean any rules about living anywhere have to be thrown out? Sanitation regulations kaput? Squatting is back? Begging is in on a huge scale as these places need somebody else to fund them.
Then I read how Keith Olberman called the mayor of NYC a tyrant. I wasn't there the night of the removal, to know if a polite please leave was going to work, but the mayor was a tyrant for trying to maintain law and order? I wonder how Olberman would feel about it being a tent city to end abortion or from tea party types? Somehow I think his response wouldn't be the same. The mayor was doing his job for the rest of us whether that's what the demonstrators or Olberman want. Everybody can still gather there every single day for their demonstrations. That's their freedom. Living there comes under a different category.
What I don't understand (and I didn't get it when the Supreme Court labeled a corporation a citizen for purposes of giving money) is how does setting up a tent equal freedom of speech? Does freedom of speech mean someone can set up a tent on my farm and say they should have it not me? The Native Americans who were here first might have some basis for doing that.
Some said they think the taking back of the parks will be a benefit for the movement and it might well be if they understand they have to have goals and show their strength in numbers not by disrupting everybody else's lives or threatening violence in a temper tantrum if they don't get what they want. They either evolve into more than a tent city or they are not even a comma in history-- no matter how self-important they want to think they are.
As I wrote earlier, I don't want these occupiers saying they are doing it for me. No, they are doing it for themselves and those who think like them. Even though left wing media is spreading it on thick about how it's for the country, many of us over the age of fifty anyway have a physical stake in Wall Street ourselves. I guess we are the bad guys.
The stock market is where most of our investments are centered. Now if we have been responsible in investing, we didn't put it into shady operations nor things like hedge funds or derivatives. But we are investing and people over forty do have a lot of money there. Even for those who don't have direct accounts, they have pensions funds through government or corporations that are invested there.
To the young (those under forty) that's apparently wrong. Perhaps this is now a war between young and old? Over 60 and you're the enemy if you have anything material at all?
The youth do have a problem because they are at 50% unemployment and it's not hard to see how that's going to lead to protesting or worse. Roving bands of youth who have no job and feel they have been exploited is a good way to have a lot worse violence than downtown encampments. Talk of a mayor being a tyrant won't help.
What we (those of us not demonstrating) don't know is why those kids don't have jobs. Did they go to college and get a degree in theater arts or something where there simply aren't the jobs? Are they part of the sizable population who, even in the past, never went to college, really couldn't and needed manufacturing jobs to build their homes-- and those manufacturing jobs went overseas thanks to elder mismanagement and lack of government vision?
It's not just this youth movement that doesn't have a set of goals. Our country as a whole doesn't have one either if we ever had a unified one (I've been reading a lot of history recently and it's not like this kind of conflict is new.)
We really don't know why so many of the young are unemployed in comparison to the population at large. Believe me with four grandchildren growing up, I am asking myself that question how do mine get jobs when they reach that age? What will it take to get them lives like I had? Will such opportunities even be possible? If it is, it's going to take government working to get manufacturing back here and if that means Wall Street takes a hit in stock values, I am okay with that. It needs to be balanced between investment and jobs with jobs the priority and when it's not, Houston, we have a problem.
Now with these unemployed kids, maybe it's not their doing, but then again maybe they don't want to do a job beneath their dignity and therefore aren't working not because they couldn't but because they can't find one big enough for their egos. We really do not know (their families may); but we know they have very high unemployment numbers and that leaves them with a lot of time to lie around. Doing it in a tent downtown when food is donated and they are told by cable news pundits that they are doing it for the 99% probably sounds good to them-- except they aren't doing it for me and how many others (not in the media) really don't like their method.
My age group believed you played by the rules. We believed in our ability to change the government. Now we are told the government cannot be changed. We evidently are supposed to be donating to a tent camp with no clear goals for how to change anything or else down there ourselves, resisting arrest and being beaten with rubber batons; and if we don't, we evidently are part of the 1%-- even if we are a long way from rich.
When they talk (as the above article clams) about Molotov cocktails for Macy's who is that hitting at? Now I get how 1% own more resources than the whole other 99% but I don't get how that means that 99% all agree with these kids and the pundits behind them. nor what they mean when they say they want income equality. If that's fixing the tax rates, fine it makes sense, but it takes government to do that, doesn't it?
Generally I like left wing media pretty much but about now I've had it with them as my opinion is they are stirring this up for their own ratings. I am for now getting my news from the papers online because to listen to the cable news outlet is to hear pushing of this as though it was justified and had a good purpose to it.
Rachel has been saying that these squatter camps for demonstrating purposes were like Hoovervilles before the New Deal. Well I had to go look that one up as I didn't remember any protest settlements like that. She was wrong or she lied. Hoovervilles were homeless camps where the people built shanties to live in. They were building them on government land though or private property and often did get their villages broken up for being illegally occupied.
Hoovervilles are more like today's homeless camps or really those my grandmother talked about being down in the brush around Portland after WWII. It's not like homelessness is new to after Reagan. It comes and goes. The supposed freedom of speech claim for the tent cities can't be linked to Hoovervilles-- at least until people like Rachel reworked the definitions for her own purposes.
Any city of any size has some kind of homeless camps. I guess if these kids want to go down and join them with their tents, it might be tolerated. It's occupying downtown that turns off people who are actually going to be voting in the next election, who will be turning out to work for the causes these kids
For the demonstrators, I suggest they get a job. Yes, there are jobs, just not at the wages they want, not with benefits maybe, but there are jobs advertised all the time. Go where they are if required, forget if your degree fits it. Just convince that boss you know how to work, and then work for real change through candidates-- get people to challenge the existing party leaders in the primaries. It can be done. One man-- one vote. It won't be done by whiners.
As for them taking over Wall Street, that pretty near infuriates me. So they want the money average people like me and mine saved and invested? They want what they didn't work for? What they should want is meaningful regulation on Wall Street, a tax on stock trades that would discourage short trading by those who swing the market so badly on any word of crisis. Regulation is what Wall Street needs, not having it taken over by a loud mouthed bunch who disobey the police and consider the park to be theirs because an equally loud-mouthed commentator like Keith Olberman said it should be .................
You know it's things like this that mean I'm not a liberal or part of any one group. I see what I believe is right and it's often not what the extremes want from either side. I am though that middle who actually usually determines what happens. Scream at the police and the likelihood is you will find yourself on the losing side of the next election. Wonder who that benefits!