Zuccotti Park Cleanup Standoff

A plan to clean the park at the center of the Occupy Wall Street protests has been postponed.

The epicenter of the Occupy Wall Street protest is Zuccotti Park, a privately owned but public park. The overnight campouts, particularly the erecting of tents, is illegal but being overlooked for reasons of obvious practicality. The owners had ordered the protestors out this morning for a cleanup and had requested police assistance in the likely case the crowd resisted. What many feared would be an ugly standoff has been, for now at least, averted.

David Chen, NYT (“Protesters Told to Vacate Park, for Its Cleaning“)

Responding to what he called unsanitary conditions at the private park in Lower Manhattan that has served as home base to the Occupy Wall Street protest for more than three weeks, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Wednesday night that protesters would be made to leave temporarily as the property was cleaned in stages.
Mr. Bloomberg made the announcement after visiting the park, Zuccotti Park, for the first time and informing the protesters in person that the cleaning would begin Friday, a statement released by his office said.

He cited deteriorating sanitary conditions as the reason the park’s owner, Brookfield Properties, wrote a letter to the city conveying its concerns “about its inability to clean the park and maintain it in a condition fit for public use.”

“The mayor is a strong believer in the First Amendment and believes that the protesters have a right to continue to protest,” Caswell Holloway, the deputy mayor for operations, said in a statement.

“At the same time, the last three weeks have created unsanitary conditions and considerable wear and tear on the park. This situation is not in the best interests of the protesters, residents or the city.”

Amenona Hatocollis for NYT City Room (“Facing Eviction, Protesters Begin Park Cleanup“):

Young people in knit hats and jeans scurried around Thursday wielding brooms and trash bags, moving mountains of sleeping bags, backpacks and jackets out of the way.

By cleaning up Zuccotti Park on their own, they were trying to persuade the park’s owner, Brookfield Properties, to back down from its plan to send in cleanup crews Friday morning and begin to enforce new rules on the use of the park that would end the Occupy Wall Street protest, at least in its current form.

But as the day wore on, it seemed that the protesters’ efforts to placate Brookfield might, in the end, not matter, and all sides were girding for a Friday showdown. The police said they were ready to step in if the company asked for help in removing protesters or enforcing the new rules, while protesters planned to form a human chain around the park and, using Facebook and Twitter, called on sympathizers to join them.

Some protesters saw the cleanup as tantamount to an eviction notice, and they vowed to stand their ground, even if it meant being arrested. “This is a public park privately held — I don’t even understand what that means,” Travis Nogle, a 32-year-old protester and “earthship builder” from San Francisco said as he changed his shoes and prepared to pitch in with the cleanup. “We have a constitutional right to protest.”

Colin Moynihan and Cara Buckley, NYT City Room (“Cleanup of Zuccotti Park Is Canceled“)

The cleanup of the Lower Manhattan park that has been occupied by protesters for nearly a month was canceled Friday shortly before it was supposed to begin, averting a feared showdown between the police and demonstrators who had vowed to resist any efforts to evict them from their encampment.

The announcement was made by the Bloomberg administration around 6:20 a.m., about 40 minutes before workers were scheduled to enter Zuccotti Park, which has been the home base for the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators angered by what they see as an unfair and corrupt financial system.

“Late last night, we received notice from the owners of Zuccotti Park — Brookfield Properties — that they are postponing their scheduled cleaning of the park, and for the time being withdrawing their request from earlier in the week for police assistance during their cleaning operation,” Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said in a statement.

Essentially, by announcing the cleanup in advance, the city created an untenable situation. Rather than just the relatively few dedicated campers who occupy the place overnight, there were already more than a thousand protestors there by 6 am and more were streaming in. Trying to evict and arrest all those people could have gotten ugly.

But this raises legitimate questions about how to balance the right of people to peacefully demonstrate–and most of what I’m reading indicates that, aside from the inevitable yahoos, this is in fact that–and the rights of the community. Even a relatively conscientiousness group occupying a park is going to turn it into a dump in four weeks. And that’s to say nothing of the fact that a community has been deprived of its park.

FILED UNDER: General,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    Amusingly, #Occupy has made it to Bozeman, Montana.

  2. Meanwhile, a community is deprived the use of a park and a private property owner control of its property.

  3. john personna says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I’m pretty sure you are welcome, Doug. Take your frisbee.

    (And if you are actually excluded, you can come back and make that claim.)

  4. Coogan says:

    Send them all over to the local union halls or to George Soros’ house. Let them stay there. How many of these people would actually take a job if it were offered to them?

  5. @john personna:

    No real desire to hang out with poseurs like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qaVvzTyMcls

  6. john personna says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Youth is wasted on the young, eh Doug?

  7. Coogan says:

    If these “99%” (actually less than 1%) want to really help try these constructive ideas instead of having a big drug party, walking up and down the streets, begging for someone to pay off their graduate school loans, and creating a big mess for the tax payers to clean up; try one or more of these:
    1- Go to a local school: be a mentor or tutor, 2- Paint, caulk lower income houses, 3- Volunteer at a homeless shelter, 4- Adopt a pet, 5- Rake leaves, clean up the yards of older people, 6- Organize a Halloween block party for kids: businesses will donate candy and prizes. Put those Halloween costumes to some use! 7- Get involved in a local church, 8- Organize a job fair: this was done at a local church by two people who were unemployed, resulting in a lot of job placements, even for the two who organized it! Prayers answered!, 9- Work with neighborhood patrol groups to monitor and report crimes, 10- Teach adult literacy, this can help someone get a job: put those degrees to some real use.
    While these may not seem glamorous or exciting, at least you would be actually helping people instead of sitting around a park surfing the net all day..

  8. They’re not serious people John.

    If they want to “change the world,” hanging out in a park playing jazz hands isn’t the way to do it.

  9. michael reynolds says:

    Bloomberg might try allowing porta-potties if he really cares about sanitation. It was a ruse, just not a very clever one.

    I’m in NYC for the day. I’m going to try to get down there later.

  10. john personna says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    If they want to “change the world,” hanging out in a park playing jazz hands isn’t the way to do it.

    They want their protest to be fun, darn fool kids.

  11. john personna says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I’m in NYC for the day. I’m going to try to get down there later.

    I look forward to your report!

  12. michael reynolds says:

    This:

    WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s former President Lech Walesa says he supports the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York that protests corporate greed.

    The Nobel Peace laureate told The Associated Press that he is planning either a visit or a letter to the protesters.

    “I am weighing now how and when to best support them, without doing any harm,” Walesa said Thursday.

    Hmmm. Mataconis. . . or Walesa? Disdainful libertarian propagandist . . . or man who helped bring down communism?

  13. @michael reynolds:

    I don’t really care about Walesa Michael, and neither do his fellow Poles these days.

  14. michael reynolds says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I don’t really care about Walesa Michael

    No, why would you? Just one of the great heroes of human liberty in recent memory. Stood up against the Polish communists and the Soviet Union at great personal risk and liberated the Polish people while weakening tyranny.

    Doug, it’s clear to everyone who reads you that you don’t care about much of anything. Your indifference to the truth, to justice, to anything that falls outside your cramped, calcified Objectivism is obvious. Depressing, but obvious.

  15. Michael,

    Please note that I am done responding your comments. Disagreement I can deal with, personal insults will cause me to ignore you

  16. john personna says:

    Please note that I am done responding your comments. Disagreement I can deal with, personal insults will cause me to ignore you

    Man, I’ve got to step it up. I want that kind of total capitulation as well.

  17. john personna says:

    On a serious note, one thing that blogs cover every year as data rolls around is:

    Denmark Is Happiest Country, U.S. Misses Top 10

    I submit that this is not just indirectly related to OWS, it bites directly at our concept of the 1% and the 99%.

    The Scandinavian approach is quite different from ours, it works, but we ignore it totally (like the “Poles”) while insisting that “we are the greatest country on earth.”

    What, is our unhappiness a burden of “the greatest?”

  18. Herb says:

    The Denver Post is reporting that the DPD are clearing out the OWS protests at Civic Center Park as we speak….

  19. Terrye says:

    Why can’t they clean up after themselves? People are giving them free food, maybe they should be giving them trash bags and porta potties too..along with maid service.

    They want this, they want that..but they can not even clean up their own mess.

    Ridiculous.

  20. john personna says:

    @Terrye:

    You aren’t reading the news, are you ….

    Occupy Wall Street Protesters Clean Park

  21. WR says:

    @michael reynolds: “I don’t really care about Walesa Michael

    No, why would you? Just one of the great heroes of human liberty in recent memory.”

    Yeah, but what’s he done lately?

  22. Just nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: You need to quit wasting your time on Doug. On this issue (as well as others) he’s about as thoughtful as G.A. or Jay Tea.

    (Unless you’re pigmy baiting again–in which case, carry on.)

  23. James Joyner says:

    @WR: @michael reynolds: @Doug Mataconis:

    Walesa has become something of an embarrassment in recent years. But he’s a powerful symbol of opposition done right and standing up for freedom.

  24. anjin-san says:

    personal insults accurate observations will cause me to ignore you

    FTFY

  25. anjin-san says:

    @JP

    Denmark Is Happiest Country, U.S. Misses Top 10

    Denmark? A nest of dirty, pot smoking socialist hippies.

    You sir, are NOT a great American.

  26. john personna says:

    @James Joyner:

    The best thing would probably be to agree, or disagree, with Walesa’s OWS statements. Rather than you know, making it just about him.

    My choice of highlights would be (snipping from this):

    “I am weighing now how and when to best support them, without doing any harm,” Walesa said Thursday.

    “We cannot accept a situation when capitalism is making huge money and then does not know what to do with it,” Walesa told the AP. “It should invest in new jobs.”

    “People are most important,” he said.

    “For now, capitalism is working to produce more money but does not see the people,” Walesa said. “This problem is getting worse across the world.”

    I think those are all pretty humane statements. There is nothing to really disagree with, as he doesn’t offer policy. He certainly does not recommend policy for the USA.

  27. James Joyner says:

    @john personna: But “capitalism” has always been about making money, with job creation being a happy if reluctant byproduct. Capitalists have always sought efficiencies to prevent having to shell out more for labor.

    The problem–and I fully endorse Walesa’s sense that it is indeed a problem–is that globalization has created a race to the bottom that we haven’t been able to absorb. For the most part, I think globalization has been a good thing. Some 2.5 billion Chinese and Indians are much better off, for one thing. But I don’t really know how to fix the jobs thing.

  28. anjin-san says:

    Interesting article at TPM detailing who exactly does not pay federal income taxes:

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/10/chart-of-the-day-these-are-the-47-percent.php?ref=fpb

  29. Rob in CT says:

    But “capitalism” has always been about making money, with job creation being a happy if reluctant byproduct.

    And if that happy byproduct stops happening, we have a problem. I know you know this. Like you, I don’t know what to do about it.

    We live in a world where capital can move around pretty easily. There are barriers left, yeah, but the trend is clear. You can invest all over now. The Iron Curtain is down and the big former communist countries are all about making money now. Labor, on the other hand, does not move around like that. In theory (Econ 101-style), if the jobs go, you could go with ’em. In practice, it’s not nearly that easy.

  30. Ron Beasley says:

    @James Joyner: Nouriel Roubini
    The Instability of Inequality

    ...free markets don’t generate enough final demand. In the United States, for example, slashing labor costs has sharply reduced the share of labor income in GDP. With credit exhausted, the effects on aggregate demand of decades of redistribution of income and wealth—from labor to capital, from wages to profits, from poor to rich, and from households to corporate firms—have become severe, owing to the lower marginal propensity of firms/capital owners/rich households to spend.

    The problem is not new. Karl Marx oversold socialism, but he was right in claiming that globalization, unfettered financial capitalism, and redistribution of income and wealth from labor to capital could lead capitalism to self-destruct. As he argued, unregulated capitalism can lead to regular bouts of over-capacity, under-consumption, and the recurrence of destructive financial crises, fueled by credit bubbles and asset-price booms and busts.

  31. Rob in CT says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Uh-oh. He said “Marx” without following with a spittle-flecked rant. He must be a socialist (prolly a Kenyan one).

  32. Andre Kenji says:

    No one denies that the size of the financial industry in the US is a problem. But I doubt that a even more childish version of the Tea Party is going to solve anything.

  33. Jay Tea says:

    I think it worth noting that it took the threat of police intervention to get the OWS to talk about cleaning up after themselves. Further, notice that they obtained some pressure washers for cleaning before they bothered to find out if there was water available in the park — there wasn’t.

    How long ago did they “liberate the park in the name of the people?” That’s how long they spent without bothering to show the slightest respect for the property and its owner.

    J.

  34. MBunge says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “Disagreement I can deal with, personal insults will cause me to ignore you”

    What personal insults? Saying “Doug, it’s clear to everyone who reads you that you don’t care about much of anything. Your indifference to the truth, to justice, to anything that falls outside your cramped, calcified Objectivism is obvious. Depressing, but obvious” is a personal insult? In what way?

    Let me try and clear something up. Harshly describing your attitude and pronouncements on this subject is not a personal insult. Saying “That hippie chick who broke Doug’s heart in college would have done everyone a favor if she’d just given him that hand job, sparing us all his Cartman-like commentary on OWS”…THAT’S a personal insult.

    Mike

  35. Eric Jaffa says:

    RE “a community has been deprived of its park”

    It’s like the old joke, “Nobody goes to that restaurant anymore. It got too crowded.”

    Hundreds-of-people enjoying the park since the protest began is more important than dozens-of-people enjoying the park pre-protest.

  36. Drew says:

    Heh. Being the pragmatist I am. After the protests die out, and the self important, self congratulatory comments of the Reynolds of the world and OTB are forgotten, I’m wondering how many more jobs will be available.

    I’m thinking an integer somewhere between -1 and 1……………

  37. Chuck says:

    @john personna:

    Delta is ready when you are.

  38. john personna says:

    @Rob in CT:

    “But ‘capitalism’ has always been about making money, with job creation being a happy if reluctant byproduct.”

    And if that happy byproduct stops happening, we have a problem. I know you know this. Like you, I don’t know what to do about it.

    Right, and these protests coincide with some very disappointing numbers, both absolute numbers (loss of income by the middle class) and relative numbers (increasing income inequality).

  39. ponce says:

    One messy park isn’t much of a price to pay for refreshing the tree of liberty.

    We’ve become a nation of cranky old men like Doug.

  40. john personna says:

    @James Joyner:

    Re. globalization, did you see the results of this question, asked in the US and in China?

    “Have there been times in the last 12 months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?”

    In a shocking turn to history, Americans say “yes” more than Chinese.

  41. JKB says:

    @ponce:

    You really think they are refreshing the tree of liberty with their rhetoric of theft redistribution of the productive earnings of others?

    Now the the useful tools have begun the violence originally planned. Just as Breitbart at Big Government starts his expose of the anti-American goals of the Occupy concept.

    And again, I wonder why these terribly put upon workers are not protesting for an easing of regulation and fees that would permit them to form enterprises to transform their own stock with their own labor into products.

    Thus they could escape the clutches of the evil corporations and the idea of hiring a person who only has their labor to offer, paying them with money the individual could then accumulate into a capital base to acquire their own stock upon which to apply their labor, permitting them to claim both the wages and profit from the enterprise. We live in an age when great capital investment is not required to start a business and reap the profits.

  42. Jay Tea says:

    @ponce: Ain’t you cavalier with other people’s property.

    Seems to be a theme on the left. Kind of like the Warren Buffett thing — “I should pay more taxes, but I won’t unless you make me and a lot of other people too.”

    J.

  43. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    And again, I wonder why these terribly put upon workers are not protesting for an easing of regulation and fees that would permit them to form enterprises to transform their own stock with their own labor into products.

    Probably because very few people believe that claim at this point.

  44. MBunge says:

    @Jay Tea: “You really think they are refreshing the tree of liberty with their rhetoric of theft redistribution of the productive earnings of others?”

    How much “productive” earning is going on in Wall Street?

    Mike

  45. george says:

    personal insults accurate observations will cause me to ignore you

    I don’t know, a lot of civil discourse revolves around not calling someone an asshole even if they are one (not suggesting that either Doug or MR is that).

    What was Hamlet’s line? If we were all treated by our just deserts, none of us would escape whipping? Probably true for insults as well – almost all of us could be accurately insulted in pretty severe terms, but it wouldn’t make for useful discourse.

    In terms of the cleanup, my understanding is that the protesters are cleaning up after themselves, and as a practical matter, the city should provide porta-potties – I’m sure that even if they charged for them the cost would be quickly covered.

  46. MBunge says:

    @Jay Tea: “Ain’t you cavalier with other people’s property. Seems to be a theme on the left.”

    And the free rider attitude of “let somebody else pay for society” has become an anthem for the right.

    Mike

  47. ponce says:

    You really think they are refreshing the tree of liberty with their rhetoric of theft redistribution of the productive earnings of others?

    I really do.

    The more the fringe right tries to lie about OWS’ goals like you are trying to do, the more I think they are heroes.

    I’m really curious to see what lower class corporate toadies will try next now that their “53%” campaign has become a joke and the “OWS’s goals are unfocused” meme is getting stale.

    I see a few tools of the elite trying to push the “OWS is really hurting average Americans” shtick, but that’s practically an admission Wall Street’s hand is up your bum.

  48. MBunge says:

    @george: “Probably true for insults as well – almost all of us could be accurately insulted in pretty severe terms, but it wouldn’t make for useful discourse.”

    That’s true, but what do you do in a situation where there’s no governing authority on discourse? When people can lie, malign others and spin fantasies built on rejections of historical fact and they suffer no consequences for it, why not call them an a-hole?

    Mike

  49. JKB says:

    @MBunge: And the free rider attitude of “let somebody else pay for society” has become an anthem for the right.

    Not at all like the anthem for the draft dodging left, who even now spit on Coast Guard women to show their courage and honor. How many of those at these protests would answer the call to defend our freedoms? It seems more like the “pay for society” crowd only want cash and only want the bill to fall upon someone else.

  50. Jay Tea says:

    @MBunge: I didn’t say that, git. Take it up with JKB.

    J.

  51. Jay Tea says:

    @MBunge: So, according to the current doctrine, no one owns their own successes — the owe it to the collective? And no one owns their own failures — it’s the fault of the collective?

    Interesting social theory — I wonder how it works when implemented?

    Oh, yeah, it has been tried. “From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs” and all that. Last time I heard, the body count was measured in nine figures.

    Totalitarianism — “we didn’t get it right with the first hundred million we killed, but we swear we’ll get it right this time!” Pass, thanks.

    J.

  52. David M says:

    @Jay Tea: Best take down of a straw man in this thread yet.

  53. MBunge says:

    @JKB: “Not at all like the anthem for the draft dodging left”

    Draft dodging left? Dick Cheney? Rush Limbaugh? Tom Delay? Dick Armey? Karl Rove? Phill Gramm?

    Mike

  54. mantis says:

    @David M:

    Best take down construction of a straw man in this thread yet.

    FTFY

  55. MBunge says:

    @Jay Tea: “So, according to the current doctrine, no one owns their own successes — the owe it to the collective? And no one owns their own failures — it’s the fault of the collective?””

    Was America a communist hellhole in the 1990s? No. The 1980s? No. The 1970s? No. The 1960s? No. The 1950s? No. the 1940s? No. Yet all of those eras had levels of taxation and sometimes direct state control of the economy that went far beyond anything today.

    What sort of a country do people like Jay Tea want to have? ‘Cause whatever it is, it clearly has no connection to the United States as it has ever actually existed.

    Mike

  56. Rob in CT says:

    @MBunge:

    It was called the Gilded Age.

  57. mantis says:

    What sort of a country do people like Jay Tea want to have?

    Based on their dislike of functioning government, one can only assume something similar to Somalia.

  58. MBunge says:

    @Rob in CT: “It was called the Gilded Age.”

    Except that wasn’t an era where JUST the rich got richer and it wasn’t an era where the rich got richer by doing things that did nothing to improve the lives of others.

    Mike

  59. bandit says:

    john personna says:
    Friday, October 14, 2011 at 08:59
    @Terrye:

    You aren’t reading the news, are you ….

    Occupy Wall Street Protesters Clean Park

    After Dad told them to gtf out they decided to clean up their room

  60. Rob in CT says:

    I thought this was a pretty good, if relatively short, interview:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/financiers-for-occupying-wall-street/2011/08/25/gIQAypFwjL_blog.html#pagebreak

    There isn’t any detail there about preferred policy, though. He identifies serious problems. Well, yeah. How to fix those problems is the open question.

  61. Ron Beasley says:

    @Rob in CT: The entire world financial system is going to come crashing down long before any problems are fixed. Governments have been putting band aides on scalp wounds while the real problem is a bullet lodged in the brain.

  62. Rob in CT says:

    I certainly hope not, Ron.

  63. de stijl says:

    @Rob in CT:

    The Gilded Age minus an enforced 14th Amendment.

    Plutocracy + Oligarchy and given recent voting “reforms” a heaping portion of (Jim) crow.

  64. de stijl says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Sometimes when I read the words “Doug Mataconis” my brain registers “Grima Wormtongue.”

    If you’re gonna mix it up in the comments in a post written by someone else, expect to be treated like the rest of us hoi polloi.

    Effing lick-spittle.

  65. john personna says:

    @bandit:

    After Dad told them to gtf out they decided to clean up their room

    The “day one” report I read talked about people carefully using trash cans, and general good order. Certainly though with that many people over that much time “misses” are going to add up.

  66. john personna says:

    @Rob in CT:

    That was very good.

  67. G.A.Phillips says:

    Hundreds-of-people enjoying the park since the protest began is more important than dozens-of-people enjoying the park pre-protest.

    lol, ya they are!Many,many,many reports of illegal drug use and sex acts not to mention all the violence and anti semitism and I hear their is flying monkey as far as the eye can see…

    Its a nasty, rasty. dirty, stinky, pinko mob of useful idiots having a month long kegger!

    Hope you do go see that crap for yourself Harry, and them I double dare you to go to a T.E.A. party, so can can get a sense of reality and know what the hell your talking about when it comes to these two subjects.

  68. Ben Wolf says:

    Reading this and many other threads at OTB leads to the conclusion conservatives and libertarians defend the financial insitutions because they don’t know a single damned thing about them. Arguing that bankers’ productive earnings are being robbed from them is indicative of the most coarse economic ignorance possible, so let me clue you guys in on a fundamental economic truth: Banks cannot generate productive economic activity. Period.

    Banks only act as facilitators for growth, “greasing capitalism’s wheels” as Cullen Roche would say. If a banker is making hundreds of millions, they’re coming from fraud. Period.

  69. michael reynolds says:

    I went to see Occupy Wall Street today and donated a bit of cash.

    It may be the cleanest outdoor location in NYC. The flowerbeds were spotless, the flowers as happy as they can be in mid-October. It had just rained quite hard and was still drizzling as I walked through.

    Probably a third of the people there were tourists passing through, or press. There were a couple of the people that Doug likes to focus on. I did see one guy smoking weed. (Something unknown in Marin County where I live.)

    Most things were under blue tarps. There was an aid station, and and information booth. At one end there was drumming and dancing. The rest of the park was just people in tents or under tarps or walking through.

    In half a dozen areas impromptu debates were going on, people arguing this or that. Rather like this blog, or Speaker’s Corner in London. There were signs, some strident, some witty or self-deprecating.

    Saw a guy with dreadlocks. Saw a guy who was probably a street person. Saw young and old. People who looked prosperous. Others who looked poorer. All ages, tnot even especially young for an urban scene. A fairly typical New York crowd. There were even some young guys in suits. Around the park stood cops, bored, yawning.

    It was all quite mundane.

    Not quite sure why Republicans are in a panic over it.

  70. michael reynolds says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Please note that I am done responding your comments. Disagreement I can deal with, personal insults will cause me to ignore you.

    I described what I think are your views and philosophy. I didn’t call you a name, curse at you, compare you to Hitler, diss your wife or suggest that you were a criminal.

  71. Ben Wolf says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Please note that I am done responding your comments. Disagreement I can deal with, personal insults will cause me to ignore you.

    Don’t worry about it, Michael. The notion he “only” turns his back on people who insult him (which you didn’t) is a real scream, as he’s ignored every person who’s confronted him with a fact he didn’t like.

  72. Nikki says:

    And no one owns their own failures — it’s the fault of the collective?

    That certainly appears to be true with regards to the banksters on Wall Street. That’s something for which the protesters are protesting.

  73. Coogan says:

    @Nikki: The bank where I do business is very nice and personable. They know me and I know all of them. No excessive fees and if I have a problem, they always return my calls personally. I don’t know about all banks, but ours is the best and has been around for years. I don’t do business with these big banks. If these protesters are having trouble with their bank, they can always withdraw their money and shop around for a better one. There are plenty around that will treat them right. Now who can argue with that?

  74. Ben Wolf says:

    @Coogan:

    There are plenty around that will treat them right. Now who can argue with that?

    Anyone who understands that banks do a lot more than process your paycheck will argue with that. You persistently ignore problems with debt issuance, investment bank access to the discount window and siphoning of capital from productive businesses. Nor do you appear willing to acknowledge that the global derivatives trade has grown so massive it cannot possibly be sustained and is generating tremendous financial instability.

  75. anjin-san says:

    Not quite sure why Republicans are in a panic over it.

    Possibly their nerves are shot after a decade of living in abject terror of Muslims.

  76. Janis Gore says:

    Thanks for the report, Michael.

  77. anjin-san says:

    no one owns their own successes

    Tell me Jay, have you ever had any success? I get the sense you are talking about something that is kind of a hypothetical to you.

  78. Coogan says:

    @Ben Wolf: I am not sure what all of that means, but I can testify that our banks treat everyone as a valued person and not just a number. As far as I have experienced, the banks that I have been associated with over the years have always been very courteous, friendly, and have gone the extra mile to help me with my problems. It is a pleasant place to be , plus the free snacks they have are great!

  79. David M says:

    @Coogan: Talk about not seeing the big picture. Your local bank basically isn’t even related to the problems in the financial sector. Although this does bring up the question why so many conservatives commenters here have trouble understanding that most national issues are bigger and more complex than their limited personal experiences.

  80. Modulo Myself says:

    Now who can argue with that?

    No one. No one can ever argue with authentic frontier gibberish. That’s the point. That’s why it’s in your head; that’s why Doug is bitter about lazy art history majors who want to take his money. That’s why the right flips out about the class-warfare socialistic repression via the raising of capital gains rates to where they were in 1994. That’s why many Americans nod their heads when the corporate media suggests that the road to empowerment, respect, and success follows the path of the poor and middle-classes bailing out the catastrophic mistakes of the ultra-rich.

    Authentic frontier gibberish, a hundred years past its prime.

  81. Ben Wolf says:

    @Coogan:

    I am not sure what all of that means, but I can testify that our banks treat everyone as a valued person and not just a number.

    This is akin to arguing the termite infestation in a house couldn’t be a bad thing because they have a good work ethic.

  82. Coogan says:

    The people who work at my bank and the banks in my town are not “super rich”. I know where they live and their houses are modest, middle class. That is the way it is around where I live. I don’t care about ceo’s, Wall Street, or “pro” ball players. I do care about the rising price of groceries, the ridiculous price of gasoline that affects people who have to drive, and the high price of movie tickets/popcorn. A person can’t afford to take his family out to a movie these days.

  83. WR says:

    @Coogan: I’m currently wondering if “Coogan” is literally mentally retarded, or if he’s been trolling and is now dying with frustration over the fact that no one has busted him yet…

  84. Ben Wolf says:

    @Coogan:

    I don’t care about ceo’s, Wall Street, or “pro” ball players. I do care about the rising price of groceries, the ridiculous price of gasoline that affects people who have to drive, and the high price of movie tickets/popcorn. A person can’t afford to take his family out to a movie these days.

    Then I suggest you spend an hour every night learning why wages have stagnated for over thirty years, and the role CEOs and Wall Street have played in it. Just because you can’t see the connections doesn’t mean others can’t.

  85. jan says:

    Poster Coogan seems to be shot down by supplying his anecdotal perspective of banks. For instance, David M. talks about national issues being so much bigger, insinuating how naive it is for others (mainly conservatives) to interject their satisfaction with smaller community banks, inferring it is an inauthentic comparison to bigger financial institutions:

    “Although this does bring up the question why so many conservatives commenter’s here have trouble understanding that most national issues are bigger and more complex than their limited personal experiences. “

    Actually, rejecting big banks, establishing one’s banking accounts with smaller institutions, instead, is what a Catherine Austin Fitts, blogging for the The Solari Report, has been advising people to do for some time —> removing financial assets from the large Wall Street banks and supporting your local more cautiously-run community banks. She also believes that people should be reverting to local commerce in most of their daily activities, when at all possible, whether it’s farmer’s markets, supporting your brick and mortar businesses near where you live, independent book stores etc. Basically, pulling out of giving money to those you abhor in the financial sector (BofA Wells Fargo, Citibank), and giving it to people more trustworthy and probably in need of more local business in order to thrive and survive.

    However, I wonder how many of you sophisticated socially progressive people put any extraordinary efforts to have solid actions follow rebellious words? After all, in that one thread, comparing and contrasting self-check out versus having a human being employed to serve customers, most here opted for the non-human method, because it was faster and less frustrating (for you) than dealing with real people. I kind of imagine the same thinking may be present by ordering on-line, doing business with Wall Street versus main street merchants/bankers. And, then we have all those OWS people, occupying city parks and ranting in front of the Cameras. But, aren’t there other less flamboyant ways to rebuke the ‘system’ and crony capitalism, like what Coogan is doing, by developing loyalties, financial ties and satisfying relationships with the smaller local business community,building them up, instead of the big boys?

    The power of ‘one’ starts with one, and then grows from there. It seems to me Coogan is the one who is putting his money where his values are.

  86. Coogan says:

    I am sorry if I offended anyone.

  87. Modulo Myself says:

    Jan–
    Generally, when you ask questions, do you ever listen or wait for an answer, or is that an immaterial inconvenience that distracts from your rant?

  88. An Interested Party says:

    I am sorry if I offended anyone.

    You shouldn’t worry so much about offending anyone with what you have typed on this thread, but rather, what you have written elsewhere

  89. David M says:

    @jan: How does moving a checking or savings account to a local bank help address the increased financialization of American economy?

    I don’t think anyone here thinks it’s a bad idea to switch to a local bank or credit union if you can, but the solutions need go far beyond that.

  90. anjin-san says:

    Tell me Doug, are you picking up on the lack of respect that the readers here at OTB have for you?

    It’s too bad, because I think a lot of us view you as a bright, talented guy.

    On the other hand, the people who don’t respect you are also bright and talented. A lot of them are also older, more experienced, and quite possibly wiser than you. It’s something worth reflecting on.

  91. G.A.Phillips says:
  92. G.A.Phillips says:

    lol…….

  93. Ben Wolf says:

    @jan:

    Basically, pulling out of giving money to those you abhor in the financial sector (BofA Wells Fargo, Citibank), and giving it to people more trustworthy and probably in need of more local business in order to thrive and survive.

    Other than losing fees they may charge you, this will have no effect on the large banks. It certainly doesn’t affect their lending. Laws must be changed, not routing numbers.

  94. jan says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Other than losing fees they may charge you, this will have no effect on the large banks.

    How I’m looking at it, Ben, is if more people capitalized the smaller banks it would leave the larger ones with less finanacial assets and consequently power. Or, am I missing something here?

    Look, I am a small fish in a big national pond. However, I am mindful to support the little guys, as much as I can, over the bigger ones. It’s not that I necessarily dislike Wall Street, it’s just that I have always felt the real foundations of America were created on Main Street.

  95. jan says:

    @David M:

    Ben basically asked the same question. So, you can read my response there.

    I don’t have any illusions that people, by individually moving assets to local commerce and banking, would necessarily revolutionize our system. But, it would start putting more money, loyalty, longevity and jobs back into the community at large, rather than in the high-powered business sectors. In my novice way of looking at things, there needs to be a re-balancing of ethics, seats of power, and equities in a way where ordinary people will have their efforts and voices matter — and, not just at protests, but in the marketplace as well.

  96. jan says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    Generally, when you ask questions, do you ever listen or wait for an answer, or is that an immaterial inconvenience that distracts from your rant?

    What question?

    No one. No one can ever argue with authentic frontier gibberish. That’s the point. That’s why it’s in your head; that’s why Doug is bitter about lazy art history majors who want to take his money. That’s why the right flips out about the class-warfare socialistic repression via the raising of capital gains rates to where they were in 1994. That’s why many Americans nod their heads when the corporate media suggests that the road to empowerment, respect, and success follows the path of the poor and middle-classes bailing out the catastrophic mistakes of the ultra-rich.

    Now that’s what I would call an A+ rant! Thanks for the fine example.

  97. Ben Wolf says:

    @jan: The large banks control too much of the global financial infrastructure for simply closing accounts to be effective. It’s too late for that. Nor will the big banks find their ability to lend limited by moving your assets out; they can simply go through the Fed Funds or discount window to acquire any reserves they need.

    The only way to break their hold on the economy is to break them up into lots of little banks and permanently cap their size, and that takes legislation.