Are You Happy That Your Tax Dollars are Going to Crush #OWS and Other Occupations?

Jon Walker at FireDogLake teases out an issue that has probably occurred to many of you: how exactly have these big, and now coordinated, crackdowns on OWS been paid for? In cash-strapped Oakland, for instance, the first big raid, the one in which Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen was critically injured, the city called in forces from 17 different operations. In New York, as the Grey Lady reported in loving detail, the police engaged in extensive, secret rehearsals before going live. This wasn’t policing. It was a military operation.

As Walker writes:

In these bad economic times, cities and other local jurisdictions have been struggling hard to find funds to pay for even the most basic public services, including police. They have been forced to make extremely painful cuts at every level to stay within budget. They simply don’t have large pools of funds to spare.

Either cities like Oakland have decided using massive police force to break up peaceful demonstrations is worth wasting money that could have gone to fund needed city services like schools, public transit and infrastructure repair, or the cities are getting federal money from agencies like the Department of Homeland Security to pay for these military style crackdowns.

It’s even worse than Walker suggests. As we’ve discussed at length, austerity policies backfire economically, by slowing economic growth, which means GDP falls faster than the debt burden does, making debt to GDP ratios worse. Recessions typically hit the lower orders much harder than the rich. And while these crackdowns were nominally about getting rid of the OWS as a eyesore and alleged threat to public safety, it is not hard to see this as an effort to quash a developing mass organization that could stand up to bank/creditor friendly austerian policies.

Look at this video, courtesy Lambert Strether. The number of police involved is stunning, something that has not been adequately conveyed in print media reports. This for a group of maybe 2000 people at 1 AM? There were clearly other considerations at work besides simply clearing the park. A big one, as we have stressed, was keeping the media and anyone with a camera well away from any police manhandling. Another is the “resistance is futile” message, that those who oppose authority will lose when it is roused to show force.

From Casey Neistat, who made the film:

My office isn’t far from Zuccotti Park and when I heard it was being cleared I went down with my camera. I ended up filming for 18 hours until the Park was reopened at 6pm on November 15, 2011. The police presence was overwhelming, more than I’ve ever seen – more than during the blackout, more than the days after September 11th.

If you watch to the end, he also has footage of the woman who was punched, from a different camera angle than we showed earlier. Sobering stuff.

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  1. rafael bolero

    Job creation: riot police, military, private security contractors, body guards: these are the bank-fascism domestics, like private Roman guards in end-of-republic decades. The sobering fact is how many boys and girls, men and women, want these jobs clubbing for money. Depressing, actually. Soon, people loaded into semi trailers, taken to detention sites, driven by whom? Police Van Lines. Maybe hook up the exhaust right. There is no justice system in the USA anymore, just a police state. The processing will be used to create a Three Strikes, Lock You Up list, like used at School of Americas protests. Thus, the patience, followed by the placid logic of incarceration.

    1. SH

      Thanks for saying what I was thinking. I didn’t want to say it. I hate being a jerk but I can’t help but think that we’re burying gold and digging it up here, at least on a theoretical level. On paper, this is employment.

      For those fighting for a better life, I hope we don’t have to resort to burying gold just to dig it back up. I truly hope this all leads to more productive lives. Good luck.

      1. KnotRP

        Uh, how’s that police pension fund doing?

        Going to be interesting when that reality penetrates
        the blind trust of authority and team spirit.

          1. KnotRP

            Ah, yes…the Superman Solution….just spin the earth backward in time, legislatively, until the
            furniture is no longer burned. Because, if we need the
            furniture now, it must be possible to unburn it.

          2. Evelyn Sinclair

            naaaah — not really. The Powers that Be trust their minions to be pitifully stupid. As soon as “we” sent the first Brave Soldiers off to Iraq, “we” cut their pensions and other benefits.

            Remember this?

            April 15, 2003 “As the war began, members of the House of Representatives gave speech after speech praising our soldiers, and passed a resolution declaring their support for the troops. Then they voted to slash veterans’ benefits.” By PAUL KRUGMAN

    2. TheDick

      Thank God my efforts in organizing and executing the false flag attacks on the World Trade Center are starting to bear fruit. It has been the greatest dissapointment of my career that we failed to fully capitalize upon the histeria and subdue Iraq to get oil production flowing in our direction after successfully nullifing the French and Russian contracts. Oh well, at least my company, Halliburton, was able to skim off an extra 13 billion in profit from the affair.

      The real benefit of our actions is only now starting to become apparent. By dismantling the constitution and putting the Homeland Security State in its place using the cover of terrorist threats, we are now fully prepared to supress the insurections that inevitably will result from our liquidation of the middle class and the accumulation of all their previous wealth into our hands.

  2. tawal

    This is just the beginning. I am so proud of my brothers and sisters. A new golden age will result. Give whatever you can. The movement needs all positive contributions. The spirit of the 99ers lives forever. Our anthem adheres to Jasiri X’s rap: Occupy.

    1. Ozzie Maland

      LEG up. The memes continue to occupy our minds — “the 99%,” “OWS” etc We have to think of those memes as being the way to rally a huge majority, if not 99%, in favor of some major changes. Voltaire said that things work out for the best in this best of all possible worlds. I hear the 99% suggesting that if this is the best of all possible worlds, then phooey, world suicide should be an option on the table. Of course, world suicide is probably the worst of all possible worlds, but if no changes are possible, then maybe that worst world is thinkable as an alternative, a choice, an exit where Sartre said there is none. To avoid world suicide as our choice I think we have to rein in excessive greed. Let people have private property, let them have obedience to law which makes it possible to enjoy private property, and let parents and teachers teach the young — but society has to put limits on excessive greed. Why should we get the Supreme Court to split up Standard Oil of NJ and NY, and let them reunite? Why repeal Glass-Steagall, the only limit on a bankster class that can now, after repeal, keep investment winnings and be made whole by taxpayers for losses, an undeserving class feeding at the public trough. As a minimum, the US needs an estate tax and a 100% rate of tax on all annual incomes to the extent of the portion exceeding one billion dollars, with so-called tax-exempt sources such as municipal bond interest being included in the taxable income. The hardest problem is getting people in office who will enforce laws, especially anti-trust, labor, and democratic voting and vote counting laws. The most eligible candidate for capital punishment in my mind is a vote tabulator who takes a bribe or promise of advancement in return for tampering with vote counting. At some point the deep corruption in our system has to be reined in, and excessive greed is the basic affliction of the corrupt vote counter. Another meme to help the possibility of change might well be “Limit Excessive Greed” and don’t let anyone pull your LEG.
      //Walnut Creek, CA

      1. Evelyn Sinclair

        “Voltaire said that things work out for the best in this best of all possible worlds.” — correction, and in defense of Voltaire, that was his character Pangloss, speaking in Voltaire’s SATIRE, Candide. The satire demonstrates a much darker reality — much like the one we find ourselves living in.

  3. Parvaneh Ferhadi

    Isn’t is amazing. There usually are not enough resources to go after real criminals. They can’t get drug dealers, they can’t get criminal bankers, they can’t police the neighbourhood to stop crime, they can’t respond to distress calls within a reasonable time-frame, but they can find the resources to suppress a protest movement in the middle of the night.
    The veneer of democracy is only very thin. Currently is is so thin, that you can already see the totalitarian apparatus hidding behind it.

  4. Tao Jonesing

    No. Not happy about it at all. But how do you “progressives” propose to stop this kind of “crushing” through your BS incremental change?

    Capitalism naked is revealed as nothing more or less than fraudulent usury. It can’t be fixed incrementally. The only reason you insist on “progressive” change is that it keeps the illusion of your wealth safe.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      You are aiming your ire at the wrong person. And honestly, who are you to criticize? Have YOU put your body on the line and risked arrest?

      The sort of changes I want and have advocated are not incremental. If they were implemented, they’d produce radical change in our financial and political order. Start with regulating banks like utilities and reducing the tight coupling in the financial system. Just because I can say it in a sentence does not mean that it does not represent root and branch change, and in more than just the financial arena.

      1. Wayne Martin

        > Have YOU put your body on the line and risked arrest?

        No .. but then I was in the US Army, stationed in a combat zone .. where I put my body on the line and risked DEATH!

        Don’t know that you will see the difference .. but real people will.

        1. chris

          Well, let me be the first to burst your bubble of hubris – the one manufactured by an “America is Great” militaristic herd mentality as the desired result of our utterly compromised consumer culture – by reminding that some of us do NOT inherently respect the “soldier” for putting his body on the “line” anywhere, especially if it’s for a paycheck. That many of us, especially at a time when there is no draft (suggesting that anyone who ends up a soldier WANTS to be a soldier) never bought into the myth of “Pax Americana” and have been resisting the very war machine you need to be a part of for most of our lives.

          Assuming anyone should respect you for fighting in our wars of choice and aggression is an enormous act of vanity, in my humble and unpopular opinion.

          But go ahead and enjoy your bullets and pom-poms… whatever floats your boat.

          Peace, dude.

          1. Strove

            Hey, I’m no fan of the military, and clearly militarization of our community police is a huge problem.

            BUT . . . please don’t blame the soldier. Tao may feel like he doesn’t get sufficient respect after what he’s been through.

            And he’s right. Soldiers are being made to be burned, no matter what anyone pretends. Then they come back here and people don’t even know what’s really going on in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc., etc., etc.

        2. Susan

          Well, I, for one, do not respect you for volunteering to be a part of America’s wars of aggression against foreigners who never hurt us.

          I think – at best – you are misguided and uninformed. And – at worst – you are an immoral and evil person.

      2. CS

        “regulating banks like utilities” is, within the framework of capitalism, the only answer. Is the essential infrastructure in the service of the public or of “privateers”?

        1. Carla

          “regulating banks like utilities is the only answer”

          And when was the last time you saw utilities regulated in this country? Seems to me it’s been a while.

          But money? Money should not be “regulated like a utility”.

          Money properly IS a public utility. It represents the productive capacity of the people. (And please remember: investors produce nothing.)

          End fractional reserve banking; end the Fed; insist that Congress fulfill its Constitutional responsibilty and issue debt-free fiat money into the U.S. economy for the benefit of the American people. All of us, not just the top 1%.

    2. psychohistorian

      Hey Tao,

      How many times have you seen me write:

      Laugh the global inherited rich out of control of our society and into rooms at the Hague.

      Saying that “you progressives” is representative of the folks commenting and posting here is a bit cheeky my good man.

    3. YankeeFrank

      Who is talking about incremental change? Obama and his disgusting friends, like Cass Sunstein, talk about incremental change all the time. What they really mean is befriending the criminal and fascist 1% who have wrecked our country, and begging them for crumbs, when not actively pushing their agenda. Its cover for not really doing anything progressive at all. If you are new to this site you shouldn’t make ignorant statements about NC. If you aren’t, you should know that Obama is not a friend of NC, and this community has no respect or regard for him and his “progressive” agenda. Don’t get hung up on words, they can and are twisted to suit corrupt ends.

    4. Skippy

      The Tea party is 3 doors down on the left and the Pol Pot reunion at the grand ballroom was canceled due to lack of interest.

      Skippy…yep people baying for blood, yet fear a stubbed toe from entering the paddy wagon. There’s always someone in the back of the crowd…yelling…FIGHT!

      1. Psychoanalystus

        Hey Skippy,
        The Tea Party is all but gone. I guess their godfathers, the Kock brothers, aren’t bankrolling their stupidity anymore.

        1. skippy

          Hay I thought you knew the congress was actually the Borg collective, whilst the Senate was the Romulan high command.

          Skippy…please leave the Holo deck…and all will be revealed.

          1. Psychoanalystus

            I get the feeling Congress is more like a Mafia Borg Collective. Everytime I see John Bohner on the idiot tube it reminds me of the Godfather movie.

          2. skippy

            @Valissa… from the the wayback… Funnily enough the script writers had ample material to work with, not to much time spent staring at block walls, locked in a room…eh. I’m still waiting to see someone rub Timmy ears, in a congressional hearing!

            Skippy says:
            October 9, 2009 at 9:16 am

            Rotfl back at ya. I submitted that link and another one from ABC (Aussie one) online for the high-jinks value see:

            Britain has toppled the United States as the world’s leading financial center, according to the latest league table from the World Economic Forum (WEF), but the gloss was tarnished as the UK scored worse than Nigeria, Panama and Bangladesh for financial stability.

            BTW WEF is the davos gang.

            Now for the Aussie take see:

            The New South Wales Government’s hopes of turning Sydney into a global financial hub have been delivered a boost by the World Economic Forum.

            In its latest assessment of 55 of the world’s leading finance systems the forum has ranked Australia second only to the United Kingdom and ahead of the United States.

            The state Treasurer Eric Roozendaal says it is a great vote of confidence in Sydney as it accounts for nearly half of Australia’s total finance and insurance output.


            My take on the story see: Dear world we would like to be the next ground zero like Wall St as it looked like such a good time, so please send all your financial enterprises our way with their amazing ability to blow them selves, and any one with in spitting distance to kingdom come.


            Skippy…has anyone checked in to the possibility that anyone with stinky finger syndrome *SFSGFC* are actually Ferengi (pronounced [fɛˈrɛŋɡi]) are a fictional extraterrestrial race from the Star Trek universe. They and their culture are characterized by a mercantile obsession with profit and trade and their constant efforts to swindle people into bad deals. They are also known for their business acumen and for exploiting females. Notable Ferengi characters include Quark (ben), Rom (timmy), Nog (larry), Ishka (M.Schapiro ), Zek (henry), and Brunt (rubin).

            Their home planet, Ferenginar, is the center of the Ferengi Alliance and is governed by the Grand Nagus and a Commerce Authority made primarily of the Council of Economic Advisor’s (formerly Board of Liquidators). Like most of their culture, their religion is also based on the principles of capitalism: they offer prayers and monetary offerings to a “Blessed Exchequer” in hopes of entering the “Divine Treasury” upon death, and fear an afterlife spent in the “Vault of Eternal Destitution”.

            Sound familiar eh eh.

            Skippy says:
            October 9, 2009 at 9:27 am

            sorry forgot definitions see:

            Grand Nagus = Treasury

            Commerce Authority = FED

            Council of Economic Advisor’s (formerly Board of Liquidators) = Former GS Exec’s

          3. skippy


            John Bohner… isn’t that the guy under the gimp suit in Pulp Fiction? Always locked up until his masters need him, too help screw someone over.

            Skippy…Mafia lol…he’d pee his pants in a real Mafia fight.

    5. Paul Tioxon

      Tao, when has there ever been any wholesale radical change, other than the French Revolution and the Russian, requiring the murder of as much of the aristocracy as possible and then only short lived change while the bourgeoisie rose to power in their stead?

    6. ambrit

      Dear Pseudo Tao;
      Are you spoofing the real Tao?
      If not, then I guess it’s the anger speaking. Fall back, regroup, and start again. It’s a lot like “Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy.)”

        1. ambrit

          Mr Tioxon;
          Yeah you rite there bud. Real politics is based on the most basic of needs, and fears. It takes motivation to heed the call. “What’s the matter with you guys? You want to live forever?” “Well Sarge, actually, we do!”

    7. Walter Wit Man

      I share your anger at liberals who are supposedly on the side of the 99% but still consider the Democratic party and/or capitalism salvageable (“progressives” is close enough).

      I like Yves and this site even though I agree that many of the people, including Yves, can be described as “progressive”, in the manner that you use the word.

      For me it’s hard to find common ground with people that:

      1. Aren’t anti-capitalist. I don’t know how one can watch a presentation like this (11 minute video by David Harvey), for instance, and not be an anti-capitalist.

      2. Still support Democrats. Sure, Elizabeth Warren is slightly less evil than Obama or the other Democrats, but the Democrats all support a right-wing agenda behind the scenes so Warren and the other “progressives” are actually supporting right-wing policy. The Elizabeth Warrens and Dennis Kuciniches and Alan Graysons keep progressives in the Democratic party, yet pose no real threat. These progressives are actually doing more harm than good. We need a radical change from the two party system and supporting Democrats, even seemingly good ones, takes us farther from that goal.

      3. Want to attack people that can be allies like libertarians (like Ron Paul supporters), or anarchists, or homeless people, or Tea Party people. Or prison rights activists and civil libertarians. Or young people that engage in petty vandalism or rioting, etc., to express their anger (both the more white Black Bloc people and minority youth that do the same).

      With that being said, of course I realize the progressives are about the only allies the left sort of has in broader America. It just saddens me because the “progressive” failure to act strongly enough will ensure the fascists win. We need a much stronger(read: radical) response if we want to change anything. I’m seeing too little too late.

      Prancing around a Disneyfied free speech zone with no signs and having to “protest” in shifts, with the police only allowing a few people i and then penning them in there, is not going to work. It’s playing by their rigged rules.

      As soon as the “progressives” concede that all civil disobedience is terrorism (which they basically are), then the police will be free to lock up or kill or attack the left at will, starting with environmentalists and vandals and other disenfranchised people. The “progressives” will come later–or more likely simply join the fascists out of self preservation. Of course there is also a huge class divide as it’s the more privileged mostly white people that make up the “progressive” protesters while the people they want to excise from the movement are largely disenfranchised poor, homeless, formerly incarcerated, mentally ill, addicted, and minorities (like the Oscar Grant rallies the “progressives” ignored).

      They’ve already conceded as such.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Who said I or this site support the Democrats? Where did you get THAT one from?

        Re capitalism, it takes MANY forms, and this site is more in favor of the Swedish/Danish version than the Anglo version. Many in the US would deem it to be socialist, but that label is off. I’m also in favor of worker ownership of enterprises. The few times it’s been done in the US (only with small and midscale companies), it has been very successful.

        And I am sorry re the Tea Partiers, they are FIRMLY opposed to a role for government. The only way a Tea Party version of the world works is when the only enterprises are small scale and local reputation matters (ie, the community can detect fraud and bad practices). We are in a world of large scale enterprise. Hence you need government with some muscle as a counterweight. Plus many of the Tea Partiers as individuals are rigid, not amenable to reason or compromise. That makes for bad allies.

        You can run capitalism with state imposed checks and balances. Harder to impose checks and balances in a pure socialist model

        1. Crazy Horse

          Reason #1 (of many) why Capitalism is not sustainable and contains within it the seeds of its own destruction, be it Swedish model coattail capitalism or US style Vampire Capitalism:

          -Exponential growth of anything in a finite world is impossible.

          -Capitalism requires continual growth of debt in order to pay interest to capital and support the growth of the class that lives upon that revenue.

          -Debtors are by definition a finite resource, limited by availably of energy, food and natural resources.

          Debt in a fractional reserve private banking system is theoretically unlimited since it requires no production to create, but it is constrained by the finite ability of debtors to pay interest. When the debt burden for necessities and luxury goods they have been trained to want reaches an unsustainable level the debt bubble collapses and with it the financial reserves of the debtor class and their ability to purchase goods and services. Debt burden must be adjusted downward by some combination of currency devaluation, income redistribution, mass starvation and depopulation, paradigm changing technology creating a new source of wealth, or temporarily successful wars of resource conquest.

          The internal dynamics of the capitalist aspects of welfare capitalism drive it toward becoming Vampire Capitalism, not toward sustainability and political democracy as the recent European experience demonstrates. Fascism and the National Security State is the historically likely political outcome of middle class capitalist collapse as the dominant elite seeks to secure a greater proportion of a dwindling pie for themselves.

          1. Nathanael

            In theory, you can construct a “market capitalist” system without requiring exponential or unlimited growth of anything, including debt.

            The key is to expropriate, through taxes, the wealth of the richest people, and continuously redistribute it to the poor (through the welfare state and through bankruptcy). As long as you keep doing that, you can keep the system going.

            If wealth is allowed to accumulate, on the other hand, you’re absolutely correct, it’s inherently unsustainable and will denegerate (in one of several different ways) collapse.

            This means that the *single biggest danger* to a functioning market system is the rich people convincing the poor people that rich people “deserve” to keep their money. Every time this happens, the market system collapses. (Which profits *some* of the rich people, who would rather be feudal lords.)

        2. Elena

          Dear Yves,
          I read you every day.Thank you for your support and coverage of OWS. Just sent you money.
          All the best,

      2. Walter Wit Man

        The form of capitalism you propose sounds nice Yves. I just don’t think it’s possible. The fascists have control of the levers of power and there is no sensible Captain of Capitalism that is able to take control, nor will he or she be allowed to take control. The fascists have a nice shiny perpetual power/death machine at their disposal and they are not going to be reasoned with.

        They will not end corporate person-hood. They will not end systemic inequality. They will not end the racist war on drugs. They will not end the endless global wars for empire. There is no new, New Deal possible that will fix capitalism. Only something new. Maybe we should get away from words like capitalism and socialism altogether . . . but we need radical change from American capitalism.

        I don’t mean to characterize you as something you’re not. Sorry for creating the inference that you are a Democrat.

        I’ve just taken it a further step and think the Democrats are actually hostile to me and I think they are complicit in the crimes of the top 1% so any support, even a lessor-evil-type of lukewarm support, is destructive, imho. So I guess I’m partial to people that are antagonistic to Democrats . . . . and I guess you’re antagonistic as well, but just have better manners and better skills than me :)

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Ugh, and I don’t mean I’m partial to people who have a more in your face style than your style . . . . just on this issue I prefer the in your face style. Everyone offers something different . . . .

        2. Nathanael

          “The fascists have a nice shiny perpetual power/death machine at their disposal and they are not going to be reasoned with.”

          No, they’re going to self-destruct, as their machine is not a perpetual motion machine.

          After a while various squads of their vaunted military and paramilitary forces will either refuse to obey them, join one of the protests, or actively organize coups. And that’s the end for them.

          I fear the current fascists’ replacements. Their replacements might actually be *competent* authoritarians who know how to provide bread and circuses, unlike the clowns currently in power in both the Democratic and Republican parties.

      3. Joe Firestone (LetsGetitDone)

        Hi Walter,

        I don’t agree that a third party is the way to go; not because I disagree with you about the party and how its office holders have acted. I’m in complete agreement about that. I simply believe that as a matter of sheer mechanics it would be easier to get you Walter Wit Man nominated in a Democratic Senate Primary and then elected against a Republican; then to get you elected as a third party candidate.

        In many States all I’d need to get you on the ballot in the primary would be 10,000 votes, and if you won, you’d carry the Democratic brand which depending on the State would carry many votes with it. Running as a D, you’d be free to do all the condemning of the system you wanted while running against the Republican and your chances of winning would be much better than if you were running on a third party ticket.

        In short, if the anti-capitalists want to take over, then taking control of the D Party would be a lot easier than starting a whole new one.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Fair argument Joe. Especially since the electoral barriers for third parties are so high and the media propaganda is nearly impenetrable anyway.

          But I don’t think co-opting the Democrats is a viable because I don’t see how one wrests control of the party from the fascists that control it. It’s a maze where you may enter with good intentions but will never see the light of day again. They will trick you–making it seem like you have a voice or say in the party and then totally punk your ass (like with the public option or reversing the Bush tax cuts). I can’t think of a single Democrat I respect.

          Plus, during the time it takes to take over the party one is lending support to a right-wing party. So, in essence, you will have to help them commit their fascist crimes while you take over the reigns of power (hopefully). No, it’s over. The Democrats are fatally corrupted.

          Hell. No one is even trying to primary Obama . . . let alone impeach him or really “hold his feet to the fire.”

          We don’t have any viable options actually–I just think a third party would be the best electoral strategy. But I really don’t see anything changing electorally, anyway. We need radical change if we are going to save ourselves from fascism.

    8. rotter

      Many people who comment here agree with you about the futility of trying to “fix” global finance capitalism. The Marxixst critique is that its beyond repairing, that its reached its terminal stage. Looking around at the exploding rate of environmental detruction and human exploitation and misery, add to that the capitalists themselves no longer make any pretense about hiding the inescapable totalitarian brutality, of the system they claim has no alternative. Its becoming harder to deny the Marxist explanation.
      A big problem is that people in the West, especially the in U.S. are only just now starting to admit that. Capitalism provided millions of people with a comfortable life and they will cling with white knuckles to the hope that this will simply pass and life, for them, will go back to normal. At this stage, the movement is not ready to take over, not ready to even think about taking over. Its not barricade time yet, we still have many, many, many more people to convince, to reach. Police violence and overreach will help greatly.

  5. David

    I used to think that “Brave New World” and 1984 were different types of dystopias. Now I think that one simply precedes the other. The former describes the situation when there is still sufficient money to pacify the public with
    bread and circuses. After the elite squander that money, the
    lies become easier to see through and so the elite have nothing left but the iron fist to keep the public in line.It looks like we have reached the latter stage.

    1. YankeeFrank

      Interesting point. I would refine it a little by saying the USA can be described well by 1984 and Brave New World at the same time. It depends on what class you come from, and how you appear to the fascists powers. We have endless war against a shadowy enemy, police state thugs controlling the poor and rebellious, but we also have soma (literally) and a tidy caste system of corporate drone workers and hollow and barbaric “entertainments” for the masses. Its a nice hodgepodge of the two, and its quite horrifying. At some point soon its going to become very clear to mostly everyone that you are either abetting this horrific system or you are in rebellion. The fascists are showing more and more of their depravity every day, and soon, as the illusion of a free society completely disappears there will no longer be a middle ground.

      1. Goin' South

        You stated a core truth:

        “At some point soon its going to become very clear to mostly everyone that you are either abetting this horrific system or you are in rebellion.”

        We are in the “Which Side Are You On?” era. There are perpetrators, collaborators and the resistance.

      2. Psychoanalystus

        Indeed, the US is a combination of “1984” and “Brave new World”. The endless war, the surveillance apparatus, the prison archipelago, legality of torture, the political demagoguery, the extreme levels of poverty, extreme individualism, lack of a social safety net, are all elements from “1984”. On the other hand, the lack of culture and literacy, generalized ignorance, extreme levels of drug use, moral depravity, are elements of “Brave New World”.

        Here’s an article that appeared just today about the extreme levels of psychiatric drugs in America:

        1. rotter

          The spectacle of this preseidential election cycle is surreal. Sometimes Im tempted to splash cold water on my face to see if Ill wake up. How about the complete realization that NO ONE whos considered qualified to compete in the “upper class twit olympics”
          that we call a presidential campaign, is even barely qualified to hold the job of president. Contemplate the reality that probably(at least) 50% of our elected reps cant even read for comprehension the bills they vote on, which are written by lobbyists, and God knows who else.
          Consider that the supreme court who define the legal universe we inhabit, come entirely from the same class of capitalist elite,are thoroughly screened for idealogical homogenity,exist completely isolated from the effects of thier decisions, but give free unlimited access to memebers of thier own class, who are the only people allowed to effect thier opinions.Consider also that the excutive branch at all levels of society are free to ignore court orders in the name of “security” anyway, and have taken to doing so anytime they are presented with an order they dont like.

          1. Psychoanalystus

            Indeed, it’s like a total freak show. I wonder where did the Koch brothers and rest of the oligarchs found such a bunch of weirdos. I mean, really, I don’t know anybody in my personal life that is that crazy.

            But then again, Obummer is probably worse than all of them put together, just that he’s got that silver-tongue of his… you know, the “hope” and “change” bullshit. Which makes him even scarier.

  6. mcarson

    Up until now I’ve been bothered about how much money NY is running through ‘policing’ a group that is significantly less dangerous than a bunch of 12 year old boy scouts on a camp out. The ‘stockpiling weapons’ bit in court had as their ONLY EXAMPLE a bit of pipe in a paper tube? That’s a homeless persons defensive weapon, you sleep with it under whatever passes for your pillow, and you thump whoever tries to steal your shoes while you are sleeping.
    March everywhere, anyone who can, get arrested, ask for a jury trial, gum that city up so bad it begs for mercy.
    Also, is there anything dumber than forcing them out of the ‘playpen’ right before they’re going to shut down the city? At least you’d know where they were Thursday morning, now how are you going to stop them, they’ll be coming in from every part of the city. You just quadrupled your police needs.
    At least Kelly is going to look too stupid to elect after Bloomberg.

    1. Strove

      Wow, I think you nailed it.

      I just have to laugh at the bitching and moaning on mainstream sites (Yahoo, for one) that publish AP propaganda pieces and illicit an endless stream of bitches and moans about how inconvenient OWS is making everything.

      Yeah, democracy is pretty inconvenient . . . and messy.

      Here is Wisconsin, we’re too busy getting our neighbors to sign these recall petitions to go out and get arrested. At least not yet.

  7. Middle Seaman

    Oakland is poor but New York is rich. In New York the establishment, 1% plus it supporters, is eager to win the fight with OWS. For them it’s a core value. They are guarding the safe.

    In Oakland the fight stems from a brutal PD, mainly white, that opposes the black city. It seems to me that OPD is winning against the city and against OWS. Someone will have to get rid of most of OPD and start from scratch. OPD is against the poor, against progress and with the right wing machine. Mayor Quan has given in.

    For any establishment, the tax payer money is its to use to strength its hold.

  8. Richard Kline

    What we saw Tuesday, 16 December has been in the works at least since the anti-globalization mass action in Seattle in 1998. The 1% _knows_ that their policies are extremely unpopular. This police response has ALWAYS been on their agenda as a private police with public liability exclusion. I’m not being paranoid when I say that 9/11 was simply used as an excuse for heightened public control in public places that was already eagerly sought by the 1%, but which they could not achieve with private hired goons because of liability concerns. I mean, consider: are _terrorists_ going to stage a mass demonstration in Chicago or Boston? No, of course not—but cizitens opposed to extreme corruption, thieving clowns of politicians, and endless disgusting military actions abroad had a demonstrated history of gathering to oppose the oligarchy we now well know is functionally (if not formally) in place in this country. So massive police response was the order of the day.

    And my intitial response is, “Is that the best they’ve got?” I don’t mean to be facetious when I say that. Consider Berkely-Oakland, it took everything in a large, metropolitan county to shut down, temporarily, _one_ base camp of several hundred people. The cops on Berkely campus are _not_ getting back up from the City, and may well be getting back-up from the County only if things really get bad . . . and so after the University Cops went apeshit on the Berkely Occupiers a few days before they are ‘studying the situation’ after thousands showed up now.

    NYC is a special case, and they have lots and lots of manpower, with doubtless money being found behind that. But how many of these mass police mobilizations do they think they can have? How often to they think that the Occupiers will conveniently mass in one location at one time making tactics simple. I make no prediction about the nature of actions this Thursday, 17 Nov in NYC, but this foolish thuggery will be a disaster for the NYPC _if it succeeds_, that is if the Occupiers choose to become mobile and tactical in response.

    Escalation is all about achieving superior force and the ‘resistance is useless’ mentality Yves mentions. The police action to seize Liberty Square and deliberately provoke the Occupiers by wantonly destroying their materials, will achieve exactly the opposite, think about it. Those arrested are already out. Many more are angry and looking for a way to achieve counter-action. Does the NYPD seriously think it can contain rolling actions over weeks and months which only aggravate more of the citizenry? My point is that escalation in this instance is unlikely to achieve containment of the demonstrations, speaking strictly from a tactical perspective quite before the questions of moral force and public opinion come into play.

    If Michael Bloomberg, Mayor 1%, thought her could win by a coup de main, than yes, he made the right move because that was what was effected. But Bloomberg really doesn’t get it: the camp was a Briarpatch, and he just hurled the NYPD into it. It has meaning only in the symbology that the Occupiers and the government give it. The Occupation _is_ the Occupiers, and they are free, in motion, and in action. Mayor 1% is unlikely to be able to succeed by this coup de main. I make no predictions about strategy, numbers, chance transformations, or any of that; that’s all to come. But I think I can say this: The Occupiers have not yet begun to fight, and now _they_ have the initiative. The NYPD just took their best shot, and achieved nothing but knocking the hornets’ nest to the ground. I don’t think the cops are going to like Phase Two of the Movement as much as they like Phase One.

    1. craazyman

      Actually Richard, here in New York the OWS crowd doesn’t seem to have much broad-based support at all. I’m the only person on my commute who wears an OWS button on my jacket. And that’s out of thousands & thousands of people.

      Most folks here don’t know and don’t care. The whole city runs on child prostitution (metaphorically) and so they ignore the Wall Street brothels and live off the money stream. There’s an abstract level of support for the right to protest, but it doesn’t manifest in a broad-based rejection of police tactics, it seems to me anyway.

      The so-called “people of color” at my office think the whole thing is a bunch of college kids. That’s something of a charicature, but my office buddies who live in Bed Stuy or Bronx or Queens, they just ignore the whole thing. And they tell me the folks in their neighborhoods don’t have time for camping out in parks or taking days off to go march about financial institutions doing this or that. They’re working too hard just to survive and don’t have illusions about how the world works.

      Most of the white collar folks I work with, they mostly think the park should have been cleaned by the police and the protesters put in jail. Seriously. They couldn’t care less about this “fascist police state yada yada”. They don’t buy it at all. They actually mock and tease me about my support of OWS and think I’m some sort of Che Guevera. It’s amazing, really. There are a few firebrand liberal types at work too, and they OWS supporters in the abstract but don’t get riled up about a bunch of tatooed hippie types put in the plastic handcuffs for a few hours while a park gets washed.

      I just don’t see the energy for social and political change in the air right now at a broad-based level. It will take a lot longer, in my view. And probably another financial crisis.

      1. Andrew not the Saint

        That’s exactly my sentiment too – it would take a couple of years for OWS to educate themselves about what the root causes of the problems are, and then a couple of more years until they can propagate this view to the mainstream American public.

        And I suspect that massive economic collapse will come sooner than that.

        Don’t get me wrong – I do support OWS, but don’t count on it making a difference. Prepare for the worst (e.g. read the likes of Charles Hugh Smith and Dmitry Orlov). And if it doesn’t turn out that bad after all, consider yourself lucky – you’ll just look like an idiot to the average Joe.

        1. K Ackermann

          Would it kill you to support them and hope for the best?

          Maybe they all don’t have a perfect grasp on the macro aspects (as I’m sure you don’t), but they know how to read a chart, and when that chart shows an engorged financial sector sticking its blood funnel into the face of humanity… a Fed advising BofA to transfer its risk to the deposit-taking holding company sure to get a bailout… the robosigning, habitual criminal offenders who never have to admit wrongdoing or pay fines larger than their theft… who OWN the political spectrum, and a good deal of the judicial…

          Well, you’d have to be a spineless jellyfish not to stand up and roar for OWS, if not get your own ass into the fray.

          Or are you a bloodsucker, too?

          1. craazyman

            If you took a general survey of the population, I’d bet that about 1 out of 600 people would know about the derivatives transfer.

            I was in a meeting several weeks back where a large institutional investor with a big B of A position was presenting about their portfolio and talking about B of A.

            I asked about the derivatives transfer (that I knew about thanks to Yves reporting here on NC) and the presenter had not heard of it. This gentleman is a portfolio manager at a firm with decades of investment history and he has access to a research staff.

            If he didn’t know, how in heck could the general public be expected to know. And even if they did know, what are the to think?

            It’s totally unrealistic to expect the public at large to get riled up about such technocratic three card monte.

          2. Andrew not the Saint

            A bloodsucker, i.e. a banker? No, I’m not one of those and I don’t see what exactly gave you the impression that I am. I am distinctly getting a W vibe from you – “either you’re with us or against us” which by the way is not going to win you any hearts and minds, but I digress.

            OWS is very much immature. The people blame the bankers for corrupting their political system. Guess what – the system was corrupt for decades and decades, arguably from the very beginning. It’s just that the current highest parasitic bidder is extremely destructive to its host and there is virtually no counterbalance to it.

            However, I think it’s still worth protesting because of one thing only – the elites look like they are very panicky and very stupid. They could have just let the “dirty hippies” protest and ignore them completely. The silent Dancing With the Stars majority would still vote for the mainstream RepDem politicians and the status quo would keep ticking as usual, until the inevitable self-implosion. Instead, they decided to use the baton card and if they keep using it the public sentiment could really turn against the authorities. Idiotic thugs…

            But then again, the size of OWS is still tiny – perhaps a few hundred thousand people in a country of 300 million. Judging by the recent overthrows (Arab Spring, Serbia…) protesters need to reach about 5-10% of the adult population across the nation to be effective. And even then, look at the results: Egypt got rid of Mubarak but the military rule and the economic problems remain. The protesters got played, just like I fear that a clever Washington scumbag could easily play the OWS movement if it does become a serious threat. Throw them lots of bigshot banksters on a spit to calm them down and proclaim the demonstrations a big success. After all, there industries other than banking which are very happy to be No. 1 in campaign donations.

            Will OWS grow to be more than just about Wall St, and to turn their anger at Washington, the MIC, the media, big pharma, big energy and so on? Perhaps, certainly hope so, but one cannot expect that to happen overnight. In the meanwhile, the clock for the economic collapse keeps ticking. So my view is – prepare personally for the “realistic worst”, i.e. losing your job, losing cheap petrol and even losing your home if you’re heavily in mortgage. Try to educate your family and close friends on what’s happening. If and only if you still got time and energy left, go to an OWS protest.

          3. Walter Wit Man

            BofA transferring its derivative risk to the U.S. taxpayer is like JoPa transferring title of his house to his wife for $1.

        2. LAFAYETTE

          Don’t get me wrong – I do support OWS, but don’t count on it making a difference.

          You are right to take the Long View of history. We, in America, have become spoiled. We think naively in terms of Quick-Bucks and Quick-Fixes.

          Which is why we are so outraged that 9% unemployment has remained for the past three years. Get used to it – three years are needed to come out of the profound recession we are in. So, next year unemployment rates will start coming down – but not fast enough to please everybody by November, 2012.

          The Long View of History shows how post-war Ayn-Randian Individualism succeeded in convincing American political leadership that the individual was more important than the collective. Atlas Shrugged, but not for the plight of the poor or middle class.

          Later, Ronald Reagan came to power in 1980 and what we are witnessing finally is the final convulsions of Atlas’s death-throes. Ronnie was perhaps a brilliant communicator, but the substance of what he conveyed was idyllic and delusional.

          Emphasizing personal aggrandizement went over well in a naive nation that dreamed the American Dream – becoming a millionaire and living off one’s rents. And to hell with the rest, because they can wait for that wealth to trickle-down.

          Except that, as Congress allowed Ronnie to tweak marginal income and capital gains taxation, the income trickled upwards to create a glaring Income Unfairness. That piece of magic is Ronnie’s hallmark.

          And it is the reason why so many Americans are desperately incarcerated in poverty – with at least 600,000 sleeping outside and 44 million (about 15% of our population) who are classed as “poor” – that is living below the poverty threshold. (See here.)

          Those on the Rabid Right will insist that “that’s the way the cookie crumbles” – the same sort of nonsense that wanted us to believe that “wealth trickles downward”.

          So, what? So it time to wake up to the fact that taxation is and will remain the principle economic policy that determines the general level of well-being in our nation. Yes, like the Social Democrat societies of Europe, we must get back to Tax & Spend upon Public Services.

          Aside from creating jobs, the results will be to enhance the well-being of our people.

          (Even if it is necessary to bring down the National Debt as well. Which will happen as the economy improves and tax revenues increase.)

          1. Foppe

            So, next year unemployment rates will start coming down – but not fast enough to please everybody by November, 2012.

            Ah, the oh you impatient little children defense of the policy choices made during the past 3 years. Yeah, that’s bound to go down well here. There Was No Alternative, Obama Did The Best He Could; We Must Take The Long View.
            I guess you somehow managed to miss the recent posts on the coordinated raids of OWS going on, and the state violence perpetrated to keep the people complacent, and to scare them back to the couch to watch TV.

        3. patricia

          “…it would take a couple of years for OWS to educate themselves about what the root causes of the problems are, and then a couple of more years until they can propagate this view to the mainstream American public. And I suspect that massive economic collapse will come sooner than that.”

          I agree,except that it won’t take that long for them to learn/propagate. Learning curves steepen in times of great stress. If OWS stays light on its feet, being already very practiced at camping gracefully in cities, and making an effective ruckus, it might be very useful in equipping the 99% on how to live through massive collapse.

          Methods on how to proceed together against great odds is one of its core values to us all, I think.

          1. Andrew not the Saint

            Now that’s creative multitasking – attending OWS while learning how to survive the collapse.

            Growing veges in Zuccotti Park, no industrial-made tools, no artificial fertilizers… Cool! But there’s way too little space in Manhattan, should move down to DC where there are big open lawns for everyone to participate.

      2. Richard Kline

        So craazyman, I agree with you on some of the micro-grain here, but take a different perspective on the systemic ordering of society in general and of change at the macro-level. [Note: I know that sentence sounds like pseudo-intellectual bullship, my friend, it was just the easiest way to say it without using a lot more and smaller words. : ) ] I’m in a very liberal city, in the Downtown core where the major actions of the Occupiers here, Seattle have all take place within a mile of where I live and less of where I work. I’ve seen only perhaps one or two 99% stickers on people even so walking around. I go into my quite large an moderately posh athletic club situated between where I live and the camps, wearing my sticker. No one has ever even mentioned it to me, let alone voiced support. Now, is that evidence of ‘failure of the movement’ or what does it mean in a larger sense?

        I’ll back off a step and ask you this: How many people do you think were _personally, physically involved_ in the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s? The numbers who were personally involved were likely less than those personally engaged in Occupation actitivities right now. And keep in mind that for everyone who tells you, now that they ‘sympathized’ with civil rights at the time, likely three out of four are fibbing. And there was quite a large section of the population who were vigorously opposed to any civil rights legislation, many of whom were _not_ in the South; a problem that the present Occupation movement dos not face at all. This committed numbers to overt support to eventual impact holds in most situations of radical change. It’s very much the exception that there is mass _activistm_ at the start as opposed to broad sympathy of with critiques and grievances. It’s easy to confuse the confusion of the mass about the active minority with the impact _on the mass_ of the contest of needs and actions. I could go on in this vein but I’ll stop there.

        Something which we all know though it’s inelegant to say, my friend is that the large bulk of the public are just looking for a comfortable place to park their ass out of the action and so they usually use their head for a pillow since it’s the softest thing handy. Most people go with the flow and don’t want to be bothered, even if they do have sympathies that go one way or another, or material interests snagged up in things. Large social change always is driven by a few. A critical issue is who has legitmacy and who doesn’t. Yes, many of those folks you talk to for example may not in any way come to any action of the Occupiers, and in fact wish they would just go away. And yet, they’d drop Bloomberg like a shot if he screwed things up, and would lean away from another candidate who identified with a failed activity.

        One has to erode the legitimacy of those in the wrong before public opinion shifts sufficiently for their efficacy to sag. This isn’t a linear process, which is why polling is really, really stupid about things most of the time. Supposing some of your friends went down and cop just hauld off and slammed them in the kisser with a baton. Do you think they’d sue? Of course. They wouldn’t see the cop as just doing his job: they only see that when he’s doing his job on somebody else. So in fact, they’re _not_ indifferent to injustice but insulated from it. Part of a social change movement is pulling out handfuls of insulation—or more often about the police burning it. I know that this isn’t a very satisfying rebutal to your concerns, which are real, but the fact is that you do influence people wearing that symbol simply by being a reasonable person endorsing something which isn’t the same tired bullshit. You can’t know the incremental effect you have until the shift comes. And yes, it may take years. In Egypt, they’d been organizing (in far more difficult conditions) for five years before The Big Unwind. The point is for the Occupation Movement to maintain intitiative and keep the pressure on. The authorities only have a limited playbook, and no solutions whatsoever.

        1. skippy

          Richard may I have a barrow of your second to last paragraph. I could use it down here, with attribution of course.

          Skippy…pillows and batons ha!

          1. Richard Kline

            So skippy, yeah, use what you want. Part of my purpose here is to turn out boilerplate and wind chimes of rhetoric and perspective which others can take and plug into their own whirligigs. If you like your ideas, set them free . . . .

        2. craazyman

          I hear ya Richard. All good points, and I won’t put my button down.

          But really, no need to waste your money on a posh health club. I do pushups and various shoulder, arms and lat exercises with a $20 elastic athletic band and I jog along the East River. That keeps me buff.

          And what I save, I invest in penny stocks, hoping for the big 10 bagger. Not sure what I’ll do if I hit it, because I don’t see anything in the world worth spending money on, except basic food. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out just what to do, and I end up sitting around trying to figure it out. I guess that’s doing something.

          1. Richard Kline

            My decision for the gym is a measured one. The social contact is important given I have a weird schedule. I have a good yoga instructor, and adequate power cycling, and for me the quality of workout for both is much better in a group setting. And I play squash, and that is not something I can replicate in the context of my apartment. There’s the mood maintenance aspect too of a five-a-week schedule, though if you run or cycle regularly you may duplicate that without the gym, true.

            It’s a quality of life choice, is what I’m saying. Consider: if you win that 10-bagger, could you buy something with the proceeds that improved your quality of life to a level comparable to the cululative impact of an optimal, cross-train, exercise situation? If you can, you’ve made the right choice. For me, I can’t. And the quality of life ‘feel good’ keeps me at an optimal focus for the intellectual pursuits which aremy main concern, so it’s not a time suck either; more a fine tuning for optimal output. I don’t necessarily need the ‘posh’ part, but it happens to be the only close place with courts, and is in fact so close to my home it makes my schedule work much better. Quality of life . . . but I stay pretty buff too, kinda ridiculous.

        3. eclair

          Thank you, Richard. I am stealing some of your picturesque phrases, such as:

          “Part of a social change movement is pulling out handfuls of insulation—or more often about the police burning it. “

        4. wanabbruin

          This is a perfect rebuttal. Not that Craazyman was in any ways insincere, but you are correct about the way change happens. This instance may indeed flameout after awhile but still leave a mark. The essential thing is not to get discouraged or bored and give up.

      3. Walter Wit Man

        I haven’t seen the polls, but my understanding is something like 40% support OWS (very roughly). So it’s probable that most of the professional world isn’t sympathetic.

        But it doesn’t mean they can’t be sympathetic in the future or aren’t in principle. It means the Occupy Wall St. movement has been tagged as a hippy movement and when presented with an abstract morality play these professionals are initially siding with authority. Which makes sense.

        It doesn’t mean they aren’t down with the cause. If it was a white professional centrist being beaten by the police they would probably be spitting mad. If it they were asked about the issue hypothetically, without reference to hippies, a lot would be supportive of civil liberties.

        The left should embrace the hippies. Make the fence sitters, the centrist professional white people, confront their prejudices and the reality. Pushing hippies out of Occupy simply reinforces these prejudices in the future. Stand up for the hippies getting beat. Stand up for the homeless, the addicted, and the vandals. You may not like their life choices, their addictions, or their petty crimes, but they are citizens and they have rights and don’t deserve to be beaten for property crimes or trespassing, etc.

        1. K Ackermann

          I remember Colin Powell giving his speech to the UN in the runup to the war. I remember it well because I almost passed out screaming, “He’s holding up a vial of air! It’s air, not a weapon!”

          All I got was scorn and ridicule for believing my own eyes.

          It took a while, but people finally started seeing my reality. I wasn’t, in fact, crazy.

          I think plenty of people are hiding from change, but I’d bet most people, at some level, understand perfectly what OWS is all about. Even the most detached know that something is fundamentally wrong with America.

          What I wish most is for people to lose their political party bias and unite. There is a kneejerk reaction by some to see OWS as a purely liberal play and denounce it for just that reason.

          This is their chance too. Democratic politicians are uncomfortable with OWS… much more than republicans – they can safely denounce it… for now. What would happen if they had to reluctantly embrace it.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          The polls were actually showing nearly 70%, then they started changing the wording to reduce the approval rates. It went from something like “Do you approve of the goals of OWS” or something like that to “Do you think most people approve of the goals of OWS?”

          That is a HUGE change and the second question is guaranteed to produce lower results. Poll results are very sensitive to how the question is posed (I used to do survey research).

          In private clubs that have restrictive policies, when members are polled privately, they almost always without exception say they are in favor of letting women/blacks/whatever in. But then you ask them if they think the membership would vote for it, they say no. Most poll results show the AVERAGE person believe other people are more conservative/bigoted than they are.

        3. Walter Wit Man

          K Ackermann,

          Check out the scorn this AP article heaps on the protesters, :

          “There’s little benefit to Democrats in opening their arms wide to a scruffy group that has erupted in violence, defied police and shown evidence of drug use while camping in public parks across the country — much as the prospect of such a pairing delights Republicans.

          Many protesters, in turn, are contemptuous of Democrats, arguing that both political parties are equally beholden to corporate interests and responsible for enacting policies that have hurt the middle class.”

          Yves, thanks for the information. I should have expected the polling I glanced at but didn’t look at closely to be biased. Of course broad swaths of Americans support more economic equality.

          1. Jeff


            Here’s the meme to describe the Republican/Democrat
            schism, especially relevant for sports addled Americans:

            “Two teams, one owner”

    2. andrew hartman

      the photo op nature of the OWS was its strongest
      point, and even that was problematic as propaganda: the drumming and
      the “peoples mic” were truly stupid looking. the failure to see how they
      appeared to most americans was the biggest failure of the movement.

      let’s get to work on bringing pressure on congress to re-regulate banks.
      the tea party scared the crap out of congress. why can’s OWS?

      1. patricia

        “…was the biggest failure of the movement”

        All that past tense and measuring the extent of failure. Wishful thinking, andrew?

        Go ahead, gather your peeps to bring that pressure on congress. No one is stopping you. There are plenty enough Americans still sitting at home.

        1. aet

          Both you guys watch too much television.

          No original thinking here.

          Television harms people’s health. Especially through its effects on political life, and on people’s thinking about political life.

          For the best politics – reasoned discussion, amongst those comprising society, who seek thereby to compose their differences – are not “dramatic” enough for those who decide what gets shown on television. They need war.

          What’s this in the “opinion pages” of the news? Time for another American attack on another nation? And how would that improve American’s lives?

          Does China “expand or exert its influence” by stationing soldiers abroad?

          Then… why oh why does the USA feel that it must needs do so?

          Keep those TVs on, and your mouths and minds shut!!

      2. Walter Wit Man

        It’s foolish to think that you can get favorable PR by kicking out the homeless, the dreadlocked, the Black Bloc, the formerly incarcerated, and anyone that doesn’t look like a white “progressive.”

        The NY Occupy definitely seems to be more “cleaned up” than other cities–I see a lot of white and fewer untouchables. But it doesn’t matter. You might as well accept the dirty hippies as human beings and fellow Americans with something to add rather than try to hide them from polite company.

    3. Walter Wit Man

      I suppose it’s good to encourage people and give them hope.

      But I think you crossed the line into wishful thinking. Reality is more important.

      The fascists are winning. The crackdowns the last week were a huge success. Precedents have been set. The politicians and media all went along with the fascist tactics and covered it up. Both parties are almost completely silent about police brutality.

      And the protesters in NY are penned in a Disneyfied free speech zone.

      I wish I still had hope in our political system or that “protesting” the way DHS and the Democrats want you to protest will amount to anything.

      1. Nathanael

        Indeed, precedents have been set.

        The next set of protestors in New York will be larger and better organized, and even harder to disperse.

        The fascists have already lost, they just haven’t noticed yet. They lost the moment they failed to provide jobs for 10% of the population, and the moment large numbers of people started to have trouble paying for food and shelter. That is the underlying fact.

        An Egyptian Pharoah could rule with absolute power as long as he maintained full employment and fed everyone. When that stopped happening, overthrow came quick.

        That’s the situation we’re in now. A fascist who made a point of employing everyone or at least 95% of everyone (*like Hitler did*) could win easily — but we are facing fascists who *refuse* to do so. The result is that they will generate more and more and more and more and more protests — there are too many people who feel that they have nothing to lose, and that is a dangerous position to put people in.

        The Arab Spring revolutions were finally triggered by a lack of jobs and a rise in the price of basic foods.

        No government can last if it does not keep the people fed. Emperor Augustus bragged about how many people he gave the dole ration too — now that’s a model for an authoritarian with *staying power*.

    1. reslez

      First they say, “no tents or structures” and claim it’s because they can’t see what people are doing inside them. When people don’t leave they say “no transparent structures” because… just because. And when people still don’t leave they say “no sleeping” because, having banned tents and structures, all that remains to do is freeze to death.

      Minnesota in winter can be a cruel place, and the weather isn’t half of it.

  9. RT

    I am just curious: Can’t watch the video here because of copyright restrictions placed upon it by the GEMA (German holder and enforcer of copyrights for the music industry).

    Does this video footage really have any copyrighted background music added to it??? If so – why???

    1. Tony

      It’s got the song ‘New York, New York’ as background music. Unfortunately, the same thing you have in Germany is coming to the US. There is something called SOPA that has the overwhelming support of our oligarchy-supporting congresspeople and Dear Leader. SOPA is basically Internet censorship and will give copyright holders the power to take all of Youtube offline for potentially minor copyright violations like the use of ‘New York, New York’ as background music in a home-made video.

      More about this bill can be found here:

      Bye, bye creativity and hello state-approved content.

      1. aet

        Corporate-held copyrights which never expire by law are a form of tyranny and thought control.

        Corporations ought to be dis-allowed from holding copyrights – natural persons only!! And that purely personal copyright ought to die with them.

        Then we’d all be better off – monopolies always result in prices higher than they otherwise would be – and copyrights are no different in economic action from any other state imposed – and enforced – monopoly.

        And the USA nowadays does enforce copyright by the criminal law for the holders, does it not? It used to be a civil matter, and damages had to be proven – but no longer!!

        What’s the fine imposed by Federal Law risen up to now – $250,000 per downloaded song, is it not?

        Why doesn’t that fine reflect the actual monetary damage suffered – if any? And why ought the public purse, instead of the copyright holders themselves, pay for that enforcement of their rights?

        Oh yeah – cruelty and excess in legal penalties and fines are now the USA’s preferred means to enforce social controls on disapproved behavior. (Disapproved by whom? Why?)

        I note that that thinking is echoed by those who demand prosecutions and heavy sentences for financial fraud, too.
        Like hanging people for stealing things, kind of.

        Righteous cruelty is yet still cruelty: and is just as bad, and perhaps even worse, in its effects on us as a society.

        For cruelty is NEVER justifiable. Particularly in the actions of the powerful.

        1. Jeff

          One way to defeat the fiction of corporate person hood is to sue them in small claims court continually.

          No attorneys may appear and since they are a “person” the corporation is free to show up, or send their toady across the country and spend five times more than the limit on the judgment that you can get from them.

      2. Walter Wit Man

        Plus, as a practical matter, it’s really difficult for the average Joe to litigate or negotiate copyright claims. It’s much more specialized and expensive than other litigation.

        You will get crushed unless you sped a lot of money. And even then you can get crushed.



    {Boehner: “It would lock in the largest tax hike in history — at least $800 billion — and then add an additional $400 billion in job-killing tax hikes without pro-growth tax reform,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio).}

    Yep, the above shows how the Replicants are “concentrating on jobs”. With their eyes firmly fixed in a dark spot far up their backsides. If the American people want to believe this Obvious Bullsh*t, then they truly deserve the consequences – even more time spent before we see the light at the end of the recession tunnel.

    The Replicants have got one thing Right – it IS about taxation. Too little taxes paid by too few Americans – not just the 1-percenters but the 20-percenters who hold 93% of America’s wealth. If you don’t believe that untaxed Income becomes lopsided Wealth sharing then I invite you to access this site here – scroll down to the pie charts showing the breakdown of wealth.

    How does that glaring Wealth Imbalance occur? It derives from the 1980s when Reckless Ronnie brought down marginal income and capital gains taxes from above 70% (where they had been from 1935 to the early 1960s) to an effective rate, after deductions, somewhere between 22/25%. (See here.)

    That rate is applied to all household income above $380K a year.

    1. Foppe

      I think you forgot to mention this, but Clinton, Bush and Obama also, and quite happily, did their part to keep the top tax rates (and especially the cap gains tax) as low as possible. Which is not to say that “Ronnie” (I think most people prefer calling him Ronald Reagan, btw, rather than the smug superiority-exuding ‘ronnie’ — he was not a child, and his actions were far from childish) did not take any bad actions, of course.

      1. ambrit

        Dear Foppe;
        A quibble if I may. Even though I’m a hybrid Citizen, the practice of referring to ‘the Prince of Darkness Lite’ by the diminutive of his first name does indeed stem from a need to belittle him, and the elites for whom he shilled. Ronnie was always a creature of the ‘American Ruling Class.’ Look up his early political career, with emphasis on his ‘kitchen cabinet’ of advisors from the rentier class of California. To give him the respect that is his due is laudable. To give him the respect that his acolyites and postulants expect is pure absurdity.
        Your brother in Keynes, Ambrit.

        1. Foppe

          Oh, I do not wish to give him any respect; my point is simply that to belittle him is to focus overmuch on the man, and too little on the policies he enacted. The problem wasn’t that he was a “bad politician” (as the use of the diminutive seems to imply), but that he was a successful politician who pushed through destabilizing policies.
          Using diminutives to refer to him strikes me as a way to distract from the latter by suggesting the former is somehow the better way to frame what was wrong about the guy.

          1. ambrit

            Dear Foppe;
            I fear I was somewhat vague there. An expansion: I once worked for a small to mid level businessman who quite literally worshiped the man. Had signed pictures of the Prez all over his office. This sort of adulation is typical of religious movements, ie. cults. Since most people involved in cult like activities have little or no sense of humour about the objects of thier desire, making fun of the Shoboleth is often the best tactic. It plants the seeds of doubt in the ‘in group members’ mind. Thus do we strive towards that ‘shining city upon a hill.’
            Affectionate greetings, Ambrit.

          2. Foppe

            Dear ambrit/hyphenated American,
            In the hope I’ve understood your point correctly, let me venture that it is my strong impression that Lafayette is best understood as what Yves would call a Fauxgressive, and one who is very much intent upon maintaining the status quo and on “incremental change” (see, e.g., his post above). This is why I object to his choice to call Ronald “Ronnie”: it does not strike me as a tentative attempt to mock Reagan at all; but rather as an attempt to make people think of presidents merely as media figures or puppets. But regardless of whether they are puppets, it strikes me as quite wrong to encourage thought of Reagan as being a (moral) child, as to do so is to exculpate him.
            Respectfully, Foppe

            (See this or this for earlier iterations of the same.)

          3. ambrit

            DeaR Foppe;
            I’m a day late and a Euro short, but I do finally get your point. The line between the legitimate uses of levity and the ilegitimate is fine and golden. I often resort to humour to try to put across a feeling when hard facts are scarce. A personal weakness I fight whenever I think of it. Keep on introducing rigour into the conversation; the subjects are too important to slight.
            Keep up the good work.

      2. Jeff

        Yes, but his mind was that of a child for a good part of his second term and his child like mind was used by clever people to get bad laws passed. So President Reagan is the appropriate title but after a certain indeterminate point
        “Ronnie” becomes appropriate.

      3. LAFAYETTE


        The top-tax rates have become the “game rules” in the arena of modern politics.

        The Plutocrats know full well that they must pay their “tithe” to the political process – and, in fact, most due so in a fairly even distribution amongst candidates. Meaning they cover all their bases.

        The SuperPACS, the dogs of hell, unleashed upon the political process by a Robert’ Supreme Court where the conservative judges took complete leave of their senses, are the worst of all. Since they directly pay campaign funding and exact their pound of flesh.

        We all know too well that the political system is warped, but it is not beyond repair.

        The question at hand is, “How do we repair it?” Certainly, doing away with gerrymander redistricting is one. Limiting corporate funding to only “get out the vote” PACs is another. And government funding of candidates on a dollar per dollar basis (one matching dollar for each citizen dollar donation capped at some reasonable amount per voter-age citizen).

        It would, I suggest, also call for a Poll-Tax, one that is paid if a voting-age person does NOT vote in local, state and national elections. Our voter turnout running typically at less than 50% is shameful.

        This will greatly restrict campaign funding, but does anyone think – aside from those who profit – that a PotUS electoral campaign should cost half a billion dollars (as did the last one)? I don’t.

        A campaign is about issues, but Americans love all the hoopla – it must remind them about the Rose Bowl game or some NBA championship. Sorry, boys and girls, but politics is only a sport when you make of it a sport.

        It is otherwise, in a republican (small “r”) nation, Very Serious Business. The Media Messaging Madness must end and we should get back to basics – that is, the issues of the day. (Like jobs, budgets, debt, rights, education, housing, transportation, ecology, etc. Boring stuff, huh?)

        And we can do that very well without corporate/plutocrat largess in the process.

  11. K Ackermann

    In Portland, one of the complaints by the city was that homeless people were beginning to congregate around OWS, and brought with them crime.

    So, by breaking it up, what have they done?

    I would think they’ve scattered the still-homeless, and disbursed their “crimes” over a wider area out of the watch of the police.

    1. ambrit

      Mz Ackerman;
      It was always thus. Look into the occasional ‘lower classes cleansing’ efforts in major cities and counties. Dade County Florida, home to Miami etc., has had a ‘glorious’ record of taking homeless types from off the streets just before big publicity opportunities, think Super Bowl, and bussing them north to the Broward County line and kicking them over the border with the gentle admonition; “Don’t come back or you’ll get your head busted!” Thus is ‘homelessness’ cured.

    2. Paul Tioxon

      Occupy Philly is on the plaza that fronts our city hall. The mayor and city council see the protest encampment everyday and it is full of homeless, even from outside the city who were drawn to the social services from the city and charities that provided outreach, food, medical, a place to live and get yourself together. The political message from OP drew many homeless there. It is safer to camp with activists under the watchful eye of the police who are not instructed to violate the dissidents.

      Today, a formal eviction notice has been given, and an alternative site, right across the street from city hall is being offered. So far, the mayor is not barking too loudly and there is more of a social worker initiative by a special police squad called the civil affairs unit. This civil unit is the soft power of the police, present for political events of community and neighborhood activists, to protect them as much as keep tabs on them. They have been operating for decades since the civil rights and anti war movement of the 60’s. They have a very good rep, they are not head breakers, but conflict managers who know how to de-escalate conflict for the most part.

      So far, unconfirmed reports have the local construction trades union and Cong Bob Brady(D), a union carpenter, attempting to broker a move to Thomas Paine Plaza, across the street from city hall, on municipal property. The unions want to begin a $50 million project for subway/transit improvements as well as landscaping the plaza to turn it into a park with rain storage cisterns and a lawn, elevators for the elderly, handicapped, women with strollers, etc, public art, part of a stimulus job package.
      People will be put to work and the protest can continue across the street.

      There is real division among the protesters. The city, politicians and unions are very supportive of the political actions. Most of the unions are involved with public actions of picketing, protesting and information leafleting in front of work sites in and around the city. I would like to say that this would be a model for the rest of the country, but it is unlikely, because the people with political power in the city, mostly come from unions, neighborhood groups, civil rights and other more blue collar row home backgrounds, and are not blue bloods or millionaires that you see, such as Bloomberg.

      There is a lot of smearing the OP people as wasting taxpayers money on PD overtime, health and sanitation issues and criminal activity. After a folksy feel good story 2 weeks ago about a cute couple getting married because of the protest gathering, a story about a rape appeared, human defecation quickly followed up, but not to much public outrage. Of course, the homeless live in LOVE park across the street on another plaza from city hall, and several murders a year are committed there, usually by one the severely mentally ill homeless, who outreach does not seem to be able to make progress with helping. Of course, that is all forgotten and nothing but bad is attributed to the unruly, unfocused, disorganized, disheveled too unsophisticated to know they are wasting their time and their lives. At least that is what the editors are letting go to press more often than not.

  12. Tony

    It wouldn’t surprise me to see these cops start goose-stepping in unison and throwing up the Hitler salute. Heil Hitler!

    On a related note, I read that that the authorities are expecting to see tens of thousands of protestors in New York today. I hope OWS is able to shut down the NYSE. That would be a major statement.

      1. ambrit

        Much more better than fleeing in terror from ‘duly constituted security officers’ with big ol Homeland Security strap-ons in place. “Assume the position!”

  13. Woodrow Wilson

    “Another is the “resistance is futile” message” –

    That’s because it is.

    CONgress Members are probably laughing at this over glasses of bourbon.

    In Oakland’s case, isn’t it ironic that the police union stated they too are the 99%, yet look what they did there. Maybe they were just following orders?

    Good luck with harsh language and “peaceful” protesting, I’m sure it will work.


    1. aet

      Yeah, Christ didn’t get far with that “turn the other cheek, ask then to hit that one too” stuff either, right?

      Because violence is soooo moral and useful – so long as you are not the one getting beaten , right?

      Shouldn’t you be invading Mexcio?

        1. aet

          Or do you actually support the commencement of a new American civil war? Political change ONLY through violence?

          Tell me, Woodrow, when in history has the use of violence EVER had a good outcome?

          I mean, besides in nationalistic or tribal fairy tales and myths?

          Really – wtf do you know about violence?

          This “only violence is effective” meme is from psy-ops, from the war-mongers, right?

          And if violence is needed for political change at home
          …how much more, then, is the use of violence justified abroad?

          Time for another American war abroad – since “only violence will make them see reason” – is that it? Is that what you mean to say?

          1. Woodrow Wilson

            “Tell me, Woodrow, when in history has the use of violence EVER had a good outcome?” –

            Depends on who you ask.

          2. reslez

            Tell me, Woodrow, when in history has the use of violence EVER had a good outcome?

            Well, the Boston Tea Party wasn’t exactly a peaceful event. I mean, property was destroyed. And the American War of Independence involved violence, though I personally think the outcome was worth it. Maybe that counts as a tribal fairy tale to you. The Greeks who fought at Marathon probably saved Western civilization as we know it, which I’d view as a plus overall. At any rate it marks the difference between those eras of history and the Occupations as they stand today. The Occupations have been resolutely nonviolent aside from a minuscule number of incidents, all of them minor. The violence is all coming from the state.

    2. ambrit

      I’m getting suspicious here about all these people ‘warning’ the Occupiers against a resort to violence. We can get into an arguement about kinds of political action and their relative merits on some other thread. Doesn’t anyone notice that it is precisely the ‘Authorities’ who are raising the level of violence? This is a classic ‘provocation’ tactic. No matter that a violent response will bring down the wrath of the “duly Constituted authorities.” Someone from ‘on high has decided to spark conflict early so as to discredit and marginalize this movement. “Kill it before it grows.” Now is the time for effective public relations by the Occupy movement.
      The ‘poor opressed protestors’ meme is good as far as it goes. It garners public sympathy and potential support. Now is the time for someone to start planning, yes, planning, for the next phase. What are we going to do when the ‘Authorities’ start to shoot people down in the street?
      I remember watching film of the Kent State shootings, on the Nightly News. That was when the ‘Media’ had already started thier rejection of the Political Elites Vietnam Meme.
      Now that the ‘Media’ is larely captured by the Rentier Class, this Internet Information Network had better be closely protected from the ‘Internet Cleansing and “Protection” Acts’ being promoted. Otherwise, live streaming videos by ordinary people from the ‘action sites’ may become a charming footnote in communications history.

      1. Woodrow Wilson

        “Doesn’t anyone notice that it is precisely the ‘Authorities’ who are raising the level of violence?” –

        Which was partially my point, and it’s because they can with the full backing of the government. They know that OWS stands zero chance against their numbers & tactics. They’re herded like sheep to where the government tells them to be and so far, have done so obediently.

        1. ambrit

          Mr Wilson;
          Too right! I’ll channel a lost commenter a bit and direct one and all to Hannah Arendts’ “Eichman in Jerusalem” for a clearsighted explication of the methods used by tyrants everywhere to trap and ‘neutralize’ dissident elements.

        2. Nathanael

          The ‘authorities’ numbers are negligible, and their tactics are laughable.

          I could tell them better tactics, but better tactics would require, y’know, feeding people and giving them jobs. Anyway….

          ….right now, it is tactically correct to continue to show that the protestors are behaving themselves and the authorities are thugs. If-and-when the authorities murder more innocent people and it gets on YouTube, we can see what the next stage of reaction will be — presumably it will be crucial to attempt to oust the authoritarian government at the ballot box and demonstrate that they steal elections, next.

      2. LAFAYETTE

        Doesn’t anyone notice that it is precisely the ‘Authorities’ who are raising the level of violence? This is a classic ‘provocation’ tactic.

        Yes, we notice. But that should not be the objective.

        The inherent principle of Civil Disobedience is one of violence avoidance. To indulge in violence, to provoke it for media attention, may obtain some pity and sympathy along with coverage on the nightly news, but the movement loses credibility.

        Cred is more associated with dispassionate non-violent disobedience and develops more sympathy for the cause. Which Ghandi proved time and time again.

        It is the disobedience that matters, not the violence. Violence simply begets violence.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          Don’t you get that the government now claims that the very act of civil disobedience is terrorism? Check out the Patriot Act and the police tactics the government is using against civil disobedience. According to our laws, as currently composed (from what I can discern, we have a secret police state so it’s unclear how far these fascists have actually gone):

          Blocking the Port of Oakland=terrorism
          camping illegally=terrorism
          blocking streets, jaywalking=terrorism
          occupying buildings=terrorism
          breaking windows, spraying graffiti=terrorism

          You’re running around pointing a finger at your fellow protesters for committing terrorism. You think your government is going to come after the Black Block people committing vandalism but not come for you for stopping port traffic? You want the government to enforce some laws against civil disobedience but not others?

          As Elizabeth Warren says, she’s mostly worried about you dirty hippies committing crimes. So is Obama and so evidently so are many of the “progressive” liberals.

          You are doing the fascists’ work for them by trying to purge the ranks. There is no violence being committed by any protester in American. The vast, vast majority of violence is being done by the police.

        2. Walter Wit Man

          Don’t you get that the government now claims that the very act of civil disobedience is terrorism? Check out the Patriot Act and the police tactics the government is using against civil disobedience. According to our laws, as currently composed (from what I can discern, we have a secret police state so it’s unclear how far these fascists have actually gone):

          Blocking the Port of Oakland=terrorism
          camping illegally=terrorism
          blocking streets, jaywalking=terrorism
          occupying buildings=terrorism
          breaking windows, spraying graffiti=terrorism

          You’re running around pointing a finger at your fellow protesters for committing terrorism. You think your government is going to come after the Black Block people committing vandalism but not come for you for stopping port traffic? You want the government to enforce some laws against civil disobedience but not others?

          As Elizabeth Warren says, she’s mostly worried about you dirty hippies committing crimes. So is Obama and so evidently so are many of the “progressive” liberals.

          You are doing the fascists’ work for them by trying to purge the ranks. There is hardly any violence being committed by protesters in America. It’s a non problem. The vast, vast majority of violence is being done by the police.

    3. Short-sighted fools

      When California and NY go broke and slash police salaries, cut pensions, and decimate benefits, who is going to go to bat for them — the same people they beat up, tasered and tear-gassed?

      I think not.

      The police declared war on the people. Now, when their masters turn on them (and they will, since it’s profitable), they’ll be all alone and on their own. Within two years, we’ll be reading sob stories from cops whose pensions and benefits are decimated, and I will just point and laugh.

      1. Jeff

        I LIKE IT. How about signs that say


  14. steak

    An additional note on the topic since I commented on the last video a day late. The woman who was punched works with OWS’s PR Working Group. She went directly to the hospital and the doctors said she had a concussion. Several people were coming into that hospital and she described the doctors being very disturbed by the inflow. The doctors were wonderful in that they informed her of her rights and encouraged her to immediately file a report on the assault. It will take a week or so for all the legal teams to get their things in order, but there will be legal action pursued for the police reaction in Liberty Plaza the other day.

  15. niat holder

    It’s a crying shame what the Dub wrought……The day I read that he’d signed this I wondered what else? Did you know( certifieded) rent-a-cops at an entertainment venue(inside or outside) can shoot to kill unruly uncompliant customers. Not being in compliance could be the rent-a-cop having to repeat a command. Is this the Patriot Act?

  16. mr derp

    You ever going to mention the rapes, murders and other crimes at these peaceful protests? Just as a reminder, civil disobedience meant to get a physical reaction to incite reactionary violence by the protestors is not good. This is not MLK peacefully walking through the streets of Alabama. I support the idea behind OWS, which is TBTF reform, but the execution has been terrible.

    1. dejavuagain

      Seems to me that 10,000 storm troopers should have been sent to Penn State to quell the 5000 rioters overturning and burning cars in support of child rapists.

    2. just a thought...

      Was the civil disobedience intended to get a violent reaction or was is simply intended to get a reaction? Most of the documented violence so far has been perpetrated by the police largely because they don’t have the skill set/capacity to react in any other way.

      Don’t know jack about the rapes but I suspect the numbers aren’t nearly as high as suggested by the attention given to the ‘story’ by conservatives. As far as murders(?) not too much to that story. As of a few days ago, the deaths being tied to OWS movement were 1 drug overdose, 1 suicide (self-inflicted gun shot by a military veteran) and a person getting shot in Oakland near the camp. The first two clearly don’t suggest OWS violence while the latter’s relationship to OWS is suspect. If I typed someone was shot in Oakland and didn’t mention it was NEAR the camp no one would flinch. I believe the murder was number 101 for the city of Oakland this year.

      Anything more concrete to cite with respect to the evidence of OWS violence?

      1. mr derp

        Here’s a nice list of OWS issues here…

        MLK’s work was successful because he used TV to show the firehose and police dog tactics used on peaceful marchers. The OWS crowd has not done a good job of filtering out the riff raff. Eric Janszen has even mentioned this in his report after his walk through the Occupy Boston crowd. The Occupy protest in my city (top 20 metro area US) has been well behaved and well organized even if it is small.

        I also love the moral relativism mentioning the riots at Penn St. The police definitely should have used force to control that crowd of drunken college students.

        I just find it odd how fast Yves is to point out police gestapo instances yet remain silent with regards to the number of problems at these protest sites.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          These undesireables are your fellow citizens and human beings.

          Vast Left had did an awesome job of actually talking to some of them rather than repeating stereotypes which is what many are doing:

          I say embrace the hippies and give them the mic. Trying to clean up the Occupy movement will never work. The media will never change the pre written story line . . .

          1. vastleft

            Walter, thanks for the kind words and link!

            I’ve heard many “progressives” complain that Occupy folks aren’t “the right kind of people” to win friends and influence people. Too scruffy, etc.

            Such thinking from the supposed left helps class markers and connections continue to win the day, as ever.

            The 13 people I interviewed didn’t, collectively, feed any of the convenient stereotypes. Yet, as you observe, “the media will never change the pre written story line.”

          2. Walter Wit Man

            My pleasure. Excellent idea to interview people. I was interested to hear the views on Obama as well.

        2. Walter Wit Man

          Also, I note that double standard. Even though I think it’s horrible the Penn St. students “rioted” in support of rape, I think the police response should be the same.

          These are still citizens breaking fairly minor property laws for political reasons. You may not like their cause, and neither do I, but it’s a slippery slope to starting putting more weight to your cause, or your style of civil disobedience, rather than going with objective rules.

          In general, the police should not use force to defend property in these situations. Especially deadly force (as was used against Occupy protesters). Plus, the state needs to stop inventing new felonies or turning traditional misdemeanor property crimes into felony “terrorism” crimes.

        3. Yves Smith Post author

          This is the second post you’ve ever commented on, and the last was over a typo. Your comments here are pretty troll like.

          I have a buddy doing security at OWS. There have been some problems, but none of the claims made by the officialdom have been substantiated as being done by OWS people as opposed to people in the area who have no connection to OWS. This is a classic smear campaign, and you are amplifying it.

        4. JTFaraday

          “Here’s a nice list of OWS issues here…”

          You’re right. Living on the streets is nothing like a tea party. That’s why we all needed organized crime to start f***ing with the housing market.

          Congratulations on your early enlightenment.

    3. ambrit

      My Dear Mr Derp;
      Political change from the outside of the elite cadres is always messy. Remember “United Fronts?”
      A quiet change of course implys an ‘inside job,’ generally described as a coup.

  17. Gil Gamesh

    Our governments: millions for defense (from the people); zero for tribute (to the people). It will be increasingly difficult for those Americans who may be still inclined to deny that we have devolved into a fascist state. If the cops aren’t bothering you, then you are not poor, homeless, a person of color, or a threat, perceived or actual, to the vaunted, non-negotiable American Way of Life. It will also be well nigh impossible, absent cognitive dissonance, for those apologists for that Way of Life to intone of its inevitability, irresistibility, the pleasing-to-God nature of American Capitalism, the mighty free markets, unbridled competition, U.S. style democracy (demos need not apply). If we have truly reached history’s end, then why so much fucking force, coercion, violence?

  18. Psychoanalystus

    I suspect that a lot of those “cops” are actually thugs employed by Blackwater (or “Xe”, or whatever the hell they call themselves today), and paid by the federal government, courtesy of Obummer.

    By the way, I think one interesting Naked Capitalism article would be something uncovering the connection between Erik Prince, Blackwater’s founder, the Crown family of Chicago, and the fact that they were the largest contributors to Obama’s 2008 campaign. Elements of focus could be Crown’s ownership of General Dynamics (one of the largest weapons manufacturers in the US), their major stake in JP Morgan Chase, etc., and the implications (e.g., increased US war-munging activities since Obummer took power, rampant bank bailouts, etc.).

    By golly, I think Obummer will go down in history as the worst president ever. A total solver-tongued sellout snake. Now, that’s change I can believe in…LOL

    1. Crazy Horse

      So Psycho,

      You are sitting at home with the family having Thanksgiving dinner. At the very last moment a nephew clandestinely came in through the back door to join you. Seems he was photographed by the Homeland Security cameras at one of the illegal OWS demonstrations, so he is in hiding. There is a brief sound of something rushing through the air, and your home and that of the neighbors is vaporized by a direct hit from a missile launched from a Boeing drone remotely flown by an 18 year old kid in Nevada.

      Sorry to raise your concern, that kind of thing only happens in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, North Africa—–.

      Obummer’s score is 2,500 and rising by the day. Some of his victims were Al-Qaeda operatives, the rest people like you who happend to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

      Define Terrorism.

  19. steelhead23

    Governments all over are delegitimizing themselves by aggressively oppressing dissent. If Mr. Obama truly wishes to restore the legitimacy of the U.S. Government, tossing We the People around is NOT the best approach. Instead, he should take a clue from the great state of Nevada which just issued lengthy criminal indictments against some small fish in Lender Processing Services, Inc. This is the first chink in the armor. I disagree with Yves a tad as regards regulation of banking. I am so done with that. Instead, we should accept that they serve a utility function in the economy and force any institution which wishes to obtain federal insurance for deposits to be organized as a not-for-profit enterprise and those institutions that wish to remain outside of the system should be regulated like a wayward child. Yves approach might work to reduce risk-shifting, but the profit motive would, over-time, work to erode regulatory fervor. Kill profit and you kill the motivation to risk-shift.

    1. Psychoanalystus

      “tossing We the People around”

      What? Haven’t you heard? My friend, it’s “We the Corporations” now.

      As such, humans are now “non-persons” designated to EITHER be shipped off to private prisons in order to be used as free corporate slave labor, OR to be shipped abroad to fight in endless corporate wars. Additionally, some of the latter (the ones with the lowest IQ) are retained in the United States as policemen or prison guards.

  20. Schofield

    The 1% in their heart of hearts know they’re morally derelict but they would rather kill you than admit it.

  21. red tide

    It would be a mistake to talk about OWS in isolation. Greenwald today describes one of the movement’s most important features, the kitchen. The kitchen integrates newcomers right away: you come in and wash pots or serve or prepare, whatever you can do. You have a practical reason to be there. That makes it not an advocacy NGO but a programmatic NGO. Programmatic NGOs come under much more authoritarian repression because their practical benefits build stronger bonds. That was the first line of defense against OWS: WHAT ARE YOUR DEMANDS, WHAT, WHAT? The intelligentsia were trying to force it into the advocacy mold and make it petition the authorities. That failed, so they gave it the Hezbollah treatment (Hezbollah is a very successful programmatic NGO.)

    Thing is, the kitchen is a standard feature of most of the thousands of social-justice NGOs out there. These organizations don’t conform to a template, but to someone who takes part in that society they are as predictable as a McDonalds. The communication and coordination among them is overwhelming in volume and scope. Mass apathy is counterbalanced by the very tight integration of this nascent civil society. Having once experienced OWS, these people can travel around and get fed and housed and work together. Think of the threat that poses to our pretend democracy, to the state that trains us to vote for predigested, irrelevant options in isolated privacy. Unlawful state repression of OWS will just swell other social-justice NGOs.

    1. reslez

      Also you’d have to be bat blind not to see the parallels to very early Christianity, which welcomed slaves and the poor to share their bread and named as saints the wealthy who donated their possessions. As Christianity grew it gradually overtook the existing imperial structures by providing needed services to people the state ignored. Now draw a straight line from the closed libraries in California to the 5,500 volume library OWS had, and another line from the millions who lack dental care in the U.S. to the dentistry tent in ODC where you can “occupy your cavities”. 16% unemployment is a heck of a lot of people with time on their hands. Rome had the same problem with plebs who couldn’t compete against slave labor on the latifundia. The Christians provided communities for people with nowhere else to go. You don’t need an imagination to see the possibilities.

    2. Jeff

      Bravo for that. We gathered up all the old cans of spray paint, long sticks, pieces of foam board and thin plywood out of our garage, rounded up the work coats and clothes we were about to donate to the Salvation Army, rolls of plastic and roofing paper for ground cloth, extra pots and pans, canned food that was going to go to the Boy Scouts and drove it down to our local OWS where it was gratefully received and will be used by hundreds for signs, camping and other activities.

      No OWS should suffer for lack of material.

  22. Seal

    No one seems to have picked up on the input and maybe even training or planning given to some of these police Depts by DHS and perhaps even the US military. I’m sure there a re some dark connections here.

    1. steelhead23

      Oh yes, we are very aware of the induced training of local law enforcement for the “war on terror.” Homeland Security spent a fortune training and equiping our police force – things like tanks, assault rifles and riot gear. I guess the best intelligence money can buy has determined that terrorists will show up as mobs in the streets. From the perspective of the 1%, they’re right.

    2. Walter Wit Man

      And there is a legal framework allowing them to do whatever they want. The PATRIOT act arguably classifies Occupy protesters as terrorists. Our government has spent lots of money. There appears to be a coordinated response that looks like they are responding to terrorism. And the politicians and media are noticeably silent.

      I’d say there is more than enough to be concerned about. In fact, it’s probably our secret government is using the powers it has openly claimed, trained for, and funded. Indeed, they are using these forces now on extremely peaceful protesters!

  23. rf

    Attacking the right to free assembly is clearly worrisome but at what point does this become basically annoying to the locals. Granted my source is the NY Post but it seems pretty clear that the local businesses and the local residents are not very happy about OWS. Please don’t say its “bigger” than the locals – I’m not talking about trying to get into Starbucks.

    Come out and stand in front of the stock exchange every day OWS, its why America is great, but can it happen without spreading Zucotti lung all over downtown?

  24. Susan the other

    We just installed a military (marine) base in Australia in order to protect our free trade interests in the Pacific. That’s a very big job, policing the Pacific. It may resolve our high unemployment but the money that will go to the military will impoverish us for a generation. So I think it is unlikely that the Occupy movement will be successful in gaining any equality even if society breaks down completely. In which case we will simply follow Greece into Marshal Law. I am starting to feel more and more that we cannot ask this nation for anything but we can change our own lifestyles. We will have to reject the things that do not work.

    1. Psychoanalystus

      Let’s be realistic here. 100% of Australia’s coal export goes to China, as does its iron, uranium, and other raw materials. So Australia’s true allegiance rests with China. Besides, should it come to it, the 250 low-IQ thugs that the Pentagon plans to station in Australia would be squashed like a fly by China’s military.

      Let’s face it. The American empire has already collapsed. All that we will see and hear over the next few years is its final death rattle, as it drowns in its own pool of corruption, violence, and deceit. What is likely to follow now for America is not a generation of poverty, as you write, but a long, dark, several hundred years of true Dark Ages. This is exactly the trajectory of the Roman Empire.

      1. Jeff

        Sir, before you insult Marines as low I.Q. thugs
        I suggest that you Google USMC General Smedley Butler,
        “War is a Racket”. He was the most highly decorated Marine ever.

        It may well be a Marine Colonel that leads the populist
        resurrection of America. Think of the damage that Oliver North did. Then think of the good that a charismatic and well trained man could do.

        The military are suffering more than you know. No jobs at Walmart so you go to Iraq and get your brains addled by an IED and come back to what? No jobs, Bush era finanical parasites preying on your family and maybe if your lucky, food stamps because the food pantry on base has run out of grub.

        Now the Republicans are suggesting that veterans lose their V.A. coverage to be replaced with insurance vouchers. PTSD, catfood in the pantry and no job and insufficient health care vouchers as well as magnificent military training is not something that the 1% are going to want to have to face.

        1. rotter

          Many of the Milltary are suffering but its because they are poor and working class enlisted, NOT because they are millitary. With all due respect to to working class millitary, many of them need to realize they arent a class unto themselves. Being a working class vet entitles you to being screwed over like all the rest of the working class. Figure out where your true allegiance is. And Butler was great, but that was a long long time ago. Do you think our millitary culture has produced any Smedley Butlers since the end of WW2? I cant even imagine Smed being promoted from captain these days. Actually, I doubt someone like Butler would even feel welcome enough in the corps, to stay there long enough to be promoted.

  25. Eugene

    Yes, I am very happy the trash is being picked up and people not interested in this farce can go about their business; can now make lunch purchases and get to their desk in order to do their jobs.

  26. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

    “Sire, you take and spend millions on troops and arms, but not one bit to lighten the suffering of the citizens.”

    “Yes. When the revolution comes, I will be ready.”

    1. Psychoanalystus

      That’s the spirit, Johnny boy… :)

      Can you get me one of them petite NYC policewoman to fuck?… Preferably blond… And non-violent, please, cuz I ain’t like no violent bitches…LOL

      1. rotter

        “Petite blonde NYC policewoman”?? I think the few of them that may exist are all screwed out arent they? Schedules all full up with people who can buy them cars and or get them promoted?

  27. Abnre

    Wow the footage of the woman punched in the end of the film was for real!!!

    It must have been terrible!!!

    Get over it!

    Visit Crumblrr

  28. TC

    Watching remotely today, the police presence at #OWS was being reported as larger than ever. Add this to a college basketball game hosted on an aircraft carrier, and it appears money can’t be pissed away fast enough.

    1. Psychoanalystus

      The Romans emperors had “bread and circuses”.

      The American kleptocrats have “pepper spray and circuses”.

      I think the Roman formula was superior.

  29. tz

    You wish a strong government hand? Do not complain when you are punched or slapped.

    They don’t have time to arrest those guilty of control fraud.

    Meanwhile, where were all you theokeynesians during the boom demanding austerity to create surpluses and to ameliorate the excesses?

    Every bust has has its preceeding bubble, and those who should have said to play Aesop’s ant during the boom were silent.

    1. F. Beard

      Meanwhile, where were all you theokeynesians during the boom demanding austerity to create surpluses and to ameliorate the excesses? tz

      Excellent question but it betrays a gold standard mentality. Why should government store money during the boom (to spend during the bust) when it can create money at will at any time?

    2. Nathanael

      There were lots of us advocating raising taxes and cutting spending during the boom. Go look at the history, seriously. Get a clue.

      Perhaps you were reading only right-wing publications — George W. Bush decided to increase military spending and cut taxes on the rich during the boom. Every brainwashed Republican idiot went along with it, and all too many idiot Democrats went along with it too — but *KEYNESIANS* opposed this stupidity. Of course right-wing publications, being dishonest, simply didn’t even quote the Keynesians.

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