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Occupy Wall Street On The Verge Of Fizzling Out?

It’s getting cold in Downtown Manhattan:

“Winter is coming,” announced an organizer at Saturday’s Occupy Wall Street General Assembly. “And I am cold.” But it’s worse than that. Organizers admit that the protests may not be able to survive the winter in their current form. As temperatures drop, the bustling mini-community downtown will probably be reduced to a small group of shivering, hard-core occupiers. And when that happens, the 99 percent will start looking less like a movement, and more like a winter survival course.

The occupation has already seen more than a half-dozen cases of hypothermia as nighttime temperatures have dipped into the forties. As relayed by Occupy’s very own meteorologist, rain is due on Wednesday and there could even be snow this weekend.

“It’s a combination of being wet and cold that starts the hypothermia,” said Ed, a 56-year-old volunteer medic from Maine. “We patrol at night looking for people shivering.” Even before the weather turned cold, Occupy medics were seeing cases of trench foot among those who failed to keep their lower extremities dry. With no power to adopt broader proposals, the occupation’s medical group is doing what it can in terms of preventative care, including “boosting peoples’ immune systems.” Translation: orange juice galore. Ed’s bottom line, “We just can’t stay here in the winter.”

“If you don’t give us tents, you’re going to have hypothermia and chaos,” said Michael Glaser, a 26-year-old Chicagoan helping lead winter preparation efforts. But cots and tents are explicitly forbidden by Brookfield rules. Without some kind of shelter, and an ongoing FDNY ban on fires, it’s hard to see how occupiers will be able to weather the weather. The city has little incentive to relax its rules — Mayor Bloomberg has even predicted that the protest will wane once the cold sets in.

Anyone who’s been in downtown Manhattan in the winter, or especially in the midst of a storm coming off the coast, knows that Bloomberg is right. Some people might stay behind, but the bulk of them aren’t going to hang around much longer with those kind of conditions on the way. Moreover, it would be irresponsible of the city to allow an encampment like this to continue under conditions where disease can spread easily, as it apparently has already started to.  Moreover, it’s becoming clear that from New York to California, the Occupy protests are beginning to outlive their welcome with city officials:

The Occupy Wall Street protests that started last month in New York City and spread across the USA appear to have worn thin the nerves of downtown denizens, neighbors and businesses as police in several cities are cracking down on demonstrators or preparing to do so.

From coast to coast, there were signs Wednesday that the Occupy demonstrations, which began in a Lower Manhattan park to protest corporate greed and other economic issues, face a growing backlash over concerns ranging from issues such as noise and sanitation to public safety and general cleanliness.

Poor food storage exacerbated a rat infestation in Oakland. Inspectors found open human waste in Philadelphia. Hypothermia cases developed in Denver after a snowstorm hit.

Disease is the chief concern with so many people living in close proximity without proper sanitation

“Any time you have a large number of people in an event like this, there’s potential for illness to spread rapidly,” said Angelo Bellomo, director of environmental health for Los Angeles County. “Conditions can change within an hour or two.”

“I think what they’re doing is cool, but I like to sit in the park on nice days, and I haven’t been able to go since they’ve been there,” Karen Sanders, 34, who works downtown, says of Occupy Atlanta protesters. “Maybe it’s time they tried another approach.”

At Zucotti Park itself, the odd social order that has existed there appears to be breaking down as some people realize they’re working all for the benefit of others:

The Occupy Wall Street volunteer kitchen staff launched a “counter” revolution yesterday — because they’re angry about working 18-hour days to provide food for “professional homeless” people and ex-cons masquerading as protesters.

For three days beginning tomorrow, the cooks will serve only brown rice and other spartan grub instead of the usual menu of organic chicken and vegetables, spaghetti bolognese, and roasted beet and sheep’s-milk-cheese salad.

They will also provide directions to local soup kitchens for the vagrants, criminals and other freeloaders who have been descending on Zuccotti Park in increasing numbers every day.

Some protesters threatened that the high-end meals could be cut off completely if the vagrants and criminals don’t disperse.

Unhappiness with their unwelcome guests was apparent throughout the day.

“We need to limit the amount of food we’re putting out” to curb the influx of derelicts, said Rafael Moreno, a kitchen volunteer.

A security volunteer added that the cooks felt “overworked and underappreciated.”

Many of those being fed “are professional homeless people. They know what they’re doing,” said the guard at the food-storage area.

The frustration it hardly surprising. A month and a half into this thing, whatever it is, it’s still completely unclear what the “Occupy Wall Street” movement is all about, what it wants, or if it even can be considered a movement unified by anything other than a bunch of people with enough time on their hands to hang out in parks and sleep under the stars, something that the average American simply cannot relate to. It’s said that they are against “crony capitalism, ” but the statements from participants make it seem as though they are against the very idea of capitalism itself. Moreover, if it’s crony capitalism they’re against then why don’t they seem very upset by a President who has violated his own promise not to take money from lobbyists? It’s said that they are complaining about economic inequality. That’s all well and good, but what exactly do they propose to deal with the problem? There are two alternatives, one involves making the rich poorer, the other involves giving the poor and middle class the ability to become richer. Again, based on the rhetoric one sees from the people who claim to speak for “Occupy,” one gets the impression that they are more interested in the first alternative than the second and that their movement is based as much on resentment and envy as it is on a desire for a better life for themselves.

Kevin Drum, while sympathetic to the movement itself, expresses doubts that it is engaging in tactics that have any real chance of success:

As weeks drift into months, and the OWS movement continues to shun the very idea of alliance building, political action, or stronger messaging, it looks more and more as if it’s going to drift into irrelevance without accomplishing anything. Heavy-handed police action could change that, of course, but at this point it sort of looks to me as if its most promising destiny is to be v1.0 of whatever springs up in its wake. If things go well, OWS will inspire someone else to create a similar group that’s better at mobilizing public outrage, but OWS itself won’t be part of it. That’s no bad thing if it happens that way, but not what OWS’s creators were hoping for.

Realistically, I think the most likely outcome is that OWS ends up being something that energizes the Democratic base heading into 2012. The odds of this turning into some kind of mass social movement, as some on the left seem to hope, seems slim, especially since the movement seems to be continuing to draw far more active support from the far left than from the middle of American politics. It’s unfortunate, really. There are some real grievances here worth talking about. Crony capitalism is an issue that ought unite people across political aisles, for example. However, much as the Tea Party quickly turned from a populist rant against bailouts, which are the essence of crony capitalism, to a wing of the Republican Party, it seems pretty clear the Occupy Wall Street represents in the political sense little more than the left wing of the Democratic Party. As such it will, as all such movements tend to be once election years come around, be used by the powers-that-be for their own purposes, and then it will largely disappear.

Update: The impractical utopianism of the Occupy movement can also be found in its Washington, D.C. iteration:

The explicitly political content of the occupation shows up on signs and during daily forays into surrounding areas for protests. But the occupiers don’t actually spend much time talking about what they want from government. Having specific demands would just legitimize the system, some say—not to mention alienate participants who might not agree with them, and set the standards by which they might succeed or fail.

What they do spend time talking about is how to keep everyone housed, fed, safe, healthy, and entertained. With this protest, logistics are political too: By creating a self-contained, self-governing, radically transparent and egalitarian community, they’ll model how the rest of society ought to work.

Matthew Yglesias comments:

There’s long been a strain of utopianism running through American life, and various radical movements have decided to go off to different places and form communes rather than trying to change the political system. These utopians are, in important ways, sources of inspiration to broader movements. But they never really work. Electoral politics matters a lot.

If “Occupy” continues to eschew traditional politics in favor of this neo-boehemian love fest, I suspect it’s going to become very boring very quickly.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    No, there have been slow moments in the OWS saga, but it is no where near fizzled. It is still, after all this time, on the memeorandum front page. It is currently (yet again) floating at top item.

    Other than that:

    It’s unfortunate, really. There are some real grievances here worth talking about.

    Buy some self-awareness for a dollar. You could have written a dozen posts about those real grievances, rather than two dozen sniping from the edges.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 6

  2. John,

    I’ve been talking about the problem of crony capitalism for awhile, well before there was an Occupy Wall Street

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 15

  3. john personna says:

    OK … so why was OWS not a time for you to focus on that?

    It’s a funny choice right? These folk are all about special favors (“cheating”) by the one percent, but you’ve been down on them for the guys who drum, and the guy who pooped, etc.

    I think Felix Salmon, for example, get higher marks for cutting through all that and talking about what’s RIGHT about the “we are the 99%” meme.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3

  4. I was writing about the Obama Administration’s crony captialism a/k/a Solyndra months before those people decided to play camp.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 18

  5. john personna says:

    You do understand that “AKA” means “also known as.” You probably wanted “e.g.” for “exempli gratia” citing an example. At least I hope so.

    Otherwise you are saying that the specific example of Obama cronyism (to be adjudicated) is the only one you are interested in.

    So, how hard have you been on those banks, and their fraud against the taxpayer?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  6. Liberty60 says:

    All movements have tactics that shift and change over time, and this will be no different.

    If the purpose of OWS is to raise awareness of inequality and injustice then by that it has succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

    They nearly singlehandedly changed the national dialogue from “how much should we cut for austerirty” to “why is there such inequality and what can we do about it”

    So having acheived victory, it will be time to move on to other tactics to further the goal of repairing the middle class and shifting the balance away from the 1% to the 99%.

    ETA:
    I must admit, however, that I will miss the nudity, drum circles and drug orgies. But I will soldier on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  7. john personna says:

    BTW, re. Solyndra’s failure, you do know that Chinese dumping charges for solar panels are proceeding apace, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

  8. Drew says:

    What!? You mean chanting to the sky and polly parroting inane platitudes doesn’t have staying power?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 15

  9. Rob in CT says:

    Winter’s coming, yeah. So?

    From where I sit, they’ve already changed the conversation and thus had a positive impact.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  10. ponce says:

    What!? You mean chanting to the sky and polly parroting inane platitudes doesn’t have staying power?

    It works well enough for the Christians…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 5

  11. MBunge says:

    “it’s still completely unclear what the “Occupy Wall Street” movement is all about”

    It’s would be perfectly clear what it’s all about if you could just stop having hippie-hating flashbacks to college.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 5

  12. @MBunge:

    It would be perfectly clear if they spent more time putting forward a practical idea that could be debated in the manner normal public policy proposals are, and less time chanting during the drum circles.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 20

  13. ponce says:

    Speaking of debating:

    Do you think this is why the Republicans are now will to accept cuts to the once sacred defense budget?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/gay-marriage-army_n_1019813.html

    Has Obama driven a permanent wedge between right wing America and the U.S. military?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  14. Ron Beasley says:

    The problem is Wall Street. It used to be the engine that drove wealth creation. No more – it creates no wealth – it is a casino that moves existing wealth around, usually up the food chain. It only got worse when Glass-Steagll was repealed and the commercial banks become part of the casino. Commodities gambling made things even worse. A transaction tax on stock and commodities trades would kill the casino and return Wall Street to it’s original function.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  15. jan says:

    @Liberty60:

    I must admit, however, that I will miss the nudity, drum circles and drug orgies. But I will soldier on

    …..sigh…it’s too bad you live in OC where all those peripherals were but a fantasy in the mind’s eye.

    If the purpose of OWS is to raise awareness of inequality and injustice then by that it has succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

    Getting serious…I think you do have a point here, albeit, some of the so-called ‘inequality’ and ‘injustice’ may have been somewhat unfocused and/or misdirected, IMO. Nevertheless, a conversation has been opened and highlighted, which is the first step in addressing any problem, either personal or worldly ones.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  16. Ron Beasley says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Many of us have been talking about what needs to be done for many years – campaign finance reform. Of course the current SCOTUS has made that impossible. Nothing will change as long as “the people’s” representatives are for sale to the highest bidder out of political necessity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  17. george says:

    I think the peace camp on Parliament Hill in Ottawa back in the 80’s made it through the winter, which was probably at least as cold as Wall Street. Not sure if the Canadian authorities allowed them tents though … cold weather definitely changes things.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  18. john personna says:

    Related:

    Delaware joined what is becoming a growing legal battle against the mortgage industry today, charging in a Chancery Court suit that consumers facing foreclosure were purposely misled and deceived by the company that supposedly kept track of their loans’ ownership.

    I first warned on MERS here some time back, and it relates because we are no longer equal under the law. The banks did what they wanted, they destroyed the most important thing in a “home ownership society.” They destroyed the chain of title.

    Guy recently had his home taken away. He’d done everything right, but he’d bought a foreclosure you see … and the foreclosure had been based on a false MERS title.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  19. Ron,

    If by “:reform” you mean anything approaching public financing, then you’ve lost me. I see no justification for using taxpayer dollars to fund political campaigns of candidates those taxpayers oppose.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

  20. john personna says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    What if we limited all contributions to individuals with a SSN, and capped individual contributions at $10K per calendar year?

    That would give the rich a huge advantage. Is that enough, or you demand that the rich get more?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  21. Ron Beasley says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I think public financing would be best and would end up saving taxpayers money. In addition the lawmakers would actually be making laws rather than seeking campaign funds most of the time or wasting time with lobbyists – that is doing what we pay them to do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  22. @Ron Beasley:

    Saving or not is irrelevant to me. Forcing me to contribute to candidates I disagree with is, as I see it, a violation of my rights.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  23. Hey Norm says:

    The conversation has changed from a phony debt crisis to a very real demand/jobs crisis…where it should have been all along but for the Teavangelicals with their mis-guided and counter-factual ideology. Ipso facto the folks of OWS has already been more productive than the silly people with tea bags dangling from their tricorns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  24. @john personna:

    I see no reason for any restrictions on contributions other than full disclosure on a more immediate basis than we have now with quarterly FEC reports

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  25. john personna says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    So you like Freddie and Fannie lobbying?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  26. Lobbying and contributing are two different things.

    And as quasi-government entities I’m personally not even sure either of those entities should exist

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  27. john personna says:

    What I’m proposing is something so radical that it would cut off both the aerospace companies and the unions. Sure anyone could *talk* to a congressman, but to make a contribution to a political group they’d have to cough up a SSN and have it count against their cap.

    Someone couldn’t say get a $50K bonus at Freddie Mac and then coincidentally make a $50K donation to Barney Frank’s reelection campaign.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  28. john personna says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Lobbying and contributing are two different things.

    Heh, got any data on how often lobbying firms take up an issue without also contributing to corresponding candidates?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  29. @john personna:

    I’m saying no caps, just full disclosure

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  30. john personna says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I’m saying no caps, just full disclosure

    I used to be there. Now I’m not so sure. Basically the reality, huge benefits to Wall Street and huge contributions from Wall Street, is trumping the abstract ideology.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  31. john personna says:

    (It is kind of funny that I gave you such a high cap, with contributions levels “the peoples” could not reach, and it was still rejected.

    With a $10K cap it would still be a peoples democracy, with some people more equal than others.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  32. Drew says:

    Chant with me now:

    “I’m for good things, I’m against bad things.”

    “I’m for good things, I’m against bad things.”

    Is the world perfect yet?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 10

  33. Moosebreath says:

    Doug,

    “I see no reason for any restrictions on contributions other than full disclosure on a more immediate basis than we have now with quarterly FEC reports ”

    So your objection to the current electoral system is that the rich don’t have enough power now. Duly noted.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  34. Ron Beasley says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Doug: every time you purchase a good or a service you contribute to a candidate you may or may not support or even care about because you are paying for that company’s campaign contributions. It’s just invisible. Your argument makes no sense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

  35. Ron,

    No, I buy a good or service, and I do so voluntarily. What happens to the money after that isn’t my business. With government, it is a different story. The last thing I’d want is to think that any of my tax dollars ended up in the hands of Nancy Pelosi or Michele Bachmann

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  36. Moosebreath,

    If the government wasn’t completely involved in the economy to the point that it is, then I don’t care how much money which rich person gives to which candidate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  37. Wayne says:

    Re ” If the purpose of OWS is to raise awareness of inequality and injustice then by that it has succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.”

    Only in the opposite way than they intended. As soon as it came to them sacrifices and giving to the less fortunate, they change their minds and started whining. They even form their own internal police force. They just exposed themselves as being the” it is all about me me me crowd”. If you richer than me you must give me money. If you are poorer than me, tough luck.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

  38. Ron Beasley says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Like most Randians (objectivists) you sound like a teenager.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

  39. john personna says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    No, I buy a good or service, and I do so voluntarily. What happens to the money after that isn’t my business. With government, it is a different story. The last thing I’d want is to think that any of my tax dollars ended up in the hands of Nancy Pelosi or Michele Bachmann

    There’s no way you can expand that to a message of democracy. There’s no way your tactical position (“it isn’t my business”) can be translated to an argument of government by and for the people.

    You are only just for status-quo because you think status-quo favors your [other positions].

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  40. I hate the status quo, John. I despise it.

    The #OWS people, however, strike me as just wanting to reinforce the status quo by giving more power to the government in the name of so-called “democracy”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

  41. john personna says:

    @Wayne:

    Actually, it works badly for you. You are saying that the unemployed youth should be responsible for feeding the hungry and homeless.

    That is TOTALLY the GOP position. Tax the bottom 20% to feed the bottom 1%

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

  42. john personna says:

    Man, I totally love how that meme hangs the right. Don’t tax the rich, that’s class warfare, but take those kids who have no jobs and $50K in loan debt … make THEM feed the homeless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  43. john personna says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    So what are you embracing that is transformational, if you seek to replace the status-quo?

    Should we complain about the drums again?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  44. Eric Florack says:

    No, there have been slow moments in the OWS saga, but it is no where near fizzled. It is still, after all this time, on the memeorandum front page.

    Only because the automated process that is memeorandum sees the lefty blogs still screaming about it. Outside of those however….

    You are saying that the unemployed youth should be responsible for feeding the hungry and homeless.

    They’re unemployed?
    Hmm. From what Ive been hearing a goodly number are getting paid to protest. That aside, perhaps some question should be paid to the idea that four years of remedial basket weaving, Gender Studies, and whatever else makes up the Art Major anymore, couldn’t provide the six figure salary they need to pay the loan they signed for. Instead of being annoyed at the financial institutions and asking government for a handout, (Which seems to be what Obama has on his mind… Meltdown 2.0) how about questioning the government run schools that told them such puss doesn’t make for a useful education?

    But no, that wont do will it? Because Obama won’t be able to buy votes while putting the country further in the hole, and anyway blaming the government run- union infested educational system wouldn’t do the image of liberals any good, huh?

    You see, one thing the colleges don’t teach anymore is critical thinking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 10

  45. Wayne says:

    Most of those kids are much better off than the homeless. They are eating good food, have cell phones, laptops, etc. They want to share the wealth as long as it is not their wealth that is being shared. They want others to sacrifice but not themselves.

    If they really believed in the stuff they spew, they would trade in their organic chicken, etc for beans and rice. That way they would have enough food to feed them and the homeless. They want others to give but not themselves. “Me me me” is all they all about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 9

  46. Lomax says:

    This “movement” has not been focused and disciplined enough. It is more like the ’70’s protestor that took over college campuses and did more harm than good. There is little or no comparison to the discipline of the 1960’s civil rights movement. The OWS has over stayed its welcome, becoming a rude neighbor that has created a lot of trash, damage, and disregard for working people of the area they are occupying. The behavior has been a big turnoff to families. In talking to some of them in my city, I cannot get a coherent message about anything. This is the result of reading Harry Potter books for most of their school life. Their opinions are inane and run the gamut from populist to Marxist to Tea Party. They have reached a “mid life ” crisis in their twenties. A few were so out of it the only solution to me is some quick shock treatment at the local lunatic asylum. (Maybe they can do that on an out patient basis.) These people have missed a golden opportunity by not trying to be involved in the debates. They could pick one of their people who can articulate and speak coherently (maybe not possible after all) about the issues. They could persistently persuade the networks to involve them, if they are truly the “99%.” We could then, perhaps, maybe, possibly get some clue about what they are thinking (I use that term very loosely here).
    But I think the time for any intelligent actions such as political involvement, community action, third party movement, etc. has slipped past as they have now turned on themselves, gotten tired of each other (too many nights in the same tent) and are turning increasingly to violent behavior.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  47. john personna says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Only because the automated process that is memeorandum sees the lefty blogs still screaming about it. Outside of those however….

    Actually, you just did your part to keep it up there.

    @Wayne:

    Most of those kids are much better off than the homeless.

    There is probably some overlap, but let’s go with that. One man has money for his dinner, the other guy has none. Oh, except there’s another guy up town with money for 1000 dinners.

    And then 1000 dinner guy laughs ant the guy who has to share his.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  48. ponce says:

    Only because the automated process that is memeorandum sees the lefty blogs still screaming about it. Outside of those however….

    Haaha,

    The wingnut blogs are the ones whining “What does OWS Want??????!!” day in day out, Eric.

    Have you ever been right about anything?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  49. john personna says:

    @Lomax:

    There is little or no comparison to the discipline of the 1960′s civil rights movement.

    Classic historic fallacy.

    History always looks clean because history is summarized.

    Someday this will be summarized, and it will sound a lot neater and more focused as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  50. An Interested Party says:

    It’s rather amusing that, on the one hand, Doug complains about crony capitalism, but then, on the other hand, complains about publicly financed elections…surely he sees the connection between the gobs of money funneled into elections and the crony capitalism that comes from that? Or is this yet another example of a libertarian living in fantasy land and being unaware of how the real world works…

    Only because the automated process that is memeorandum sees the lefty blogs still screaming about it.

    Who could have guessed that this very blog was part of the left, with all the posts about OWS that one can find here…

    You see, one thing the colleges don’t teach anymore is critical thinking.

    Oh? Eric Florack must be a recent college graduate…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  51. Moosebreath says:

    Doug,

    “If the government wasn’t completely involved in the economy to the point that it is, then I don’t care how much money which rich person gives to which candidate.”

    And if the wooden horse of Troy had foals, horses would cost a lot less to feed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  52. Liberty60 says:

    @Lomax: The only thing missing in your post is a “Harumph!” at the end.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  53. jukeboxgrad says:

    doug:

    I’ve been talking about the problem of crony capitalism for awhile

    No, you haven’t. Starting in August you took a few shots at Perry regarding his crony capitalism, and recently you took a couple of shots at Obama. Show us where you ever mentioned that subject prior to August. Or where you ever discussed the problem as being broader than just Perry or Obama.

    I see no justification for using taxpayer dollars to fund political campaigns

    Except that’s what we already have. “Taxpayer dollars” are used to give Wall St a bailout, and then Wall St uses that money “to fund political campaigns” of candidates whose top priority is to serve Wall St. Likewise for corporate welfare that’s ultimately paid for by taxpayers. From today’s WP: “K Street is playing an increasingly central role in the 2012 presidential race, as hundreds of lobbyists representing some of the world’s largest corporations and trade groups pour money into Republican coffers.”

    Taxpayers are already paying for these campaigns, ultimately, so the money flow might as well be direct and transparent. Until we fix this problem, we’ll continue to have the best government money can buy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  54. anjin-san says:

    From what Ive been hearing a goodly number are getting paid to protest.

    Considering how often the things you hear turn out to be wildly wrong, one would think you might develop a healthy skepticism. But then that might require… critical thinking.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

  55. Ron Beasley says:

    Good argument here that the OWS folks are the real conservatives. An added benefit – a Venn Diagram showing the overlap of the Tea Party and OWS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  56. WR says:

    @Eric Florack: “From what Ive been hearing a goodly number are getting paid to protest. ”

    A nice tinfoil hat should silence those voices, Bit…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  57. WR says:

    @Wayne: Does it hurt to be so loathesome?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  58. anjin-san says:

    “From what Ive been hearing a goodly number are getting paid to protest. ”

    Scott Olson, a Marine vet who served two tours in Iraq while bithead was sitting at home scratching his ass and trying to sound tough on blogs, had his skull fractured by the Oakland Police the other night. When friends came to his aid as he lay bleeding on the pavement, they were tear gassed.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/10/27/BAD61LN3LM.DTL

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  59. Rob in CT says:

    Priceless line from the Janbot:

    so-called ‘inequality’ and ‘injustice’

    Denial, folks. It ain’t just a river in Egypt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  60. Wayne says:

    @JP
    Pointing at a wrong doesn’t make a wrong right. The liberal concept is that a person should share with the less fortunate. The only difference between the guys uptown who has money for a 1000 dinner and the protesters who has money for 5 is the degree. If the protestors kept true to their principles, they would share what they can as well. However when it come to them sacrificing a little, it is hell no.

    So in the end they are not principle people but greedy people looking to get as much as they can for themselves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  61. john personna says:

    @Wayne:

    So, you just admitted that the conservative principle does not include helping the poor and homeless?

    You seriously just put it all on “teh liberals?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  62. ElviN says:

    This article is total bullshit, bias publication.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  63. Eric Florack says:

    The wingnut blogs are the ones whining “What does OWS Want??????!!” day in day out, Eric.

    Have you ever been right about anything?

    There are far more left wing blogs, Ponce. That’s a numerical fact. And every damn one of them ahs been signing the liberal line daily. And numbers of hits are what drives Memeorandum.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0