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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wallstreet writers need to put the crackpipe down...

You know you're getting under their skin when they can't ignore you anymore and instead go negative with their reporting:

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Occupy Wall Street: An Utterly Pointless, Meaningless, Futile Exercise

By Palash R. Ghosh | September 28, 2011 10:45 AM EDT

For the past week or so, hundreds of protesters have descended on the Wall Street area in lower Manhattan to express their anger at corporate greed and the behavior of corporate executives whom (they believe) have grounded the global economy to a halt with their parasitic ways.

The whole affair is called "Occupy Wall Street" (although, in reality, they are actually concentrated a few blocks away at Zuccotti Park).
Meanwhile, police have blocked off Broad Street (the road in front of the New York Stock Exchange) as well as various other streets in the vicinity. As a result, this has inconvenienced thousands of Wall Street-area workers (traders, brokers, statisticians, secretaries, construction workers, retail workers, administrative assistants, shopkeepers, etc.), the overwhelming majority of whom have no say whatsoever in the policies of the corporations they toil for, nor can they be remotely held culpable for the 2008 global economic meltdown that has thrown millions of people out of work and into poverty.
The police I have seen on duty typically are either bored or bemused by the protesters. Most police officers (especially in New York City) are themselves of working-class backgrounds -- that is, they are hardly the "corporate elite" that the protesters are targeting. Thus, the cops are caught in the middle of a socioeconomic, ideological battle in which they have no stake and no real authority to resolve.
I have heard that the obligatory "celebrities" – namely Susan Sarandon and Michael Moore – have made their appearances at this protest demonstration. I know who Moore is very well since he seems to always be in the news for one thing or another and I have even seen a few of his films. As for Sarandon, all I know is that she is an aging actress who was married to actor Tim Robbins and has done TV commercials for hair shampoo or something.
I’m not really sure what “qualifies” to make any statements about the economy or bankers or the stock market or much of anything else. Come to think of it, I’m not sure what qualifies Moore, either.
I also read in the paper that right after her appearance at the rally, Sarandon jetted off to Italy. (I am fairly certain she will fly first-class and likely will stay in a four-star hotel in Rome or wherever). So much for the proletariat.
According to CNBC, Sarandon said: "I came down here to educate myself. It's been really informative and I'll be back. There's a huge void between the rich and the poor in this country."
(I think we can easily guess what side of the wealth gap she is on).
She also said: "Greed is widespread all over the world. We have to start making human decisions and put people at the top of the line."
I’m not quite sure what she means by “human decisions,” but I’m going to assume her heart is in the right place.
I don’t know much about Sarandon, so I will refrain from further criticizing her, but I will say that this multi-day protest seems to have no focus, no direction and no point.
If they are protesting the nebulous, ambiguous concept of “corporate greed,” then they may as well protest such other human foibles as lust, gluttony, jealousy, anger and mendacity, as well.
But if the protesters are proposing specific reforms – like, say, cuts on bankers’ bonuses or concrete tax breaks for companies that hire American employees, then I would support them wholeheartedly and not be annoyed by the modest disruptions they are causing.
However I don’t believe the protesters have thought about it that deeply. I saw one protester carrying a homemade sign that simply said “no peace, no justice, no rights” (perhaps not in that exact order), and wondered what his objectives really are.
Another thing that annoys me about these types of protests is that in the United States such demonstrations carry almost no risk whatsoever (as long protesters behave peacefully). Try protesting in Syria or pre-revolution Egypt and see what happens – the security forces there use much deadlier tactics than pepper spray.

Occupy Wall Street protesters are behaving like a bunch of spoiled brats

And for sleet and torrential rains - anything that might convince the precious insufferables who have taken over Wall Street that they have had enough of exercising their First Amendment rights to the inconvenience of tens of thousands of people who actually have to work for a living.
This bunch ought to get down on their knees in thanks that America's capitalist Founding Fathers saw fit to protect the privileges of the dumb and obnoxious along with everyone else.
They should also salute the NYPD and all its officers for paying diligent attention to ensuring that peace and harmony reign in their daze of rage. But no.
Instead, in a disgraceful attempt at intimidation, partisans of Occupy Wall Street, as the micromovement calls itself, posted on the Internet the name, address and telephone number of a ranking cop who dosed a couple of upstarts with pepper spray - along with the same information about the officer's family members.
If the NYPD has made any tactical error in this episode, it was in being too tolerant.
Rather than require protesters to secure a permit to demonstrate - as the NYPD asked of the 10,000 people who massed peacefully outside the United Nations - the department arranged for campout accommodations in Zuccotti Park, which happens to be privately owned, although open to the public.
Police also closed major intersections to traffic, forcing pedestrians to take the long way around. Further, the cops cordoned off the statue of the Wall Street bull, depriving tourists of upclose-and-personal inspections.
On Saturday, these guests of the municipality decided to march north to Union Square. Again, they did so without a permit. Had they asked for one, the NYPD would have secured a parade route that upheld both the right to protest and the public's ability to move.
As it was, the NYPD went with the flow, allowing the parade so long as the walkers did not interfere with sidewalk or street passage. Soon enough, a couple hundred marchers took too much of the real estate and became unruly.
People dodged in and out of traffic, sometimes surrounding cars to halt them. Officers began to break the throng into smaller groups, occasionally using plastic nets. Chaos ensued as the crowd now wailed about being victims of oppression.
Amid arrests, that senior officer was photographed applying pepper spray in a video that is being held up as evidence of a human rights violation worthy of trial in the International Criminal Court. It is conceivable that he could have kept his spray holstered - then again, he was surrounded by chaos. He made a judgment call. The rest is second-guessing.
The right to free speech comes with responsibilities. It does not encompass a right to do just what you want wherever you want, as these juveniles may one day learn.

WWAAAAAAHHHH!!!  Do this in despotic countries and see what happens, cops should be able to do whatever they want if people are protesting and they have to make a judgement call!

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