October 1, 2011 1 Comment
Unless you’ve been living under a rock like an old Geico commercial, or you just don’t give a damn, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the “Occupy Wall Street” protests. Seems it fills the InterWeb discussions and it has various hashtags on Twitter; one being #occupywallstreet. Every time I open one of my email accounts on those services that preview what they think is news, I see the stuff.
Those who follow me know that I am passionate about business and politics, but you couldn’t call me a “Wall Streeter”. I’ve only visited the NYSE twice; once in the 1970′s, the other in the 90′s. Just because I write in another venue about finance, world markets and investing doesn’t make me part of that team.
I’m all for protest … I love my Country, but fear its Government. I served to preserve the rights of all Americans to speak their minds, whether I agree with them or not. It would be a real shitty world if pricks like me ran everything.
You also know that I was an MP. Not all of the time was spent as a Combat Cop. I did my share of garrison and civilian law enforcement duties. I’ve always been ready to crack a skull when needed, but prefer to find peaceful ways to settle situations. I believe that resorting to violence only proves that I wasn’t good enough as a negotiator. The first level of force should always be presence. Anybody can swing a baton … it takes skill to overcome conflict with words.
So, I’m going to comment on this activity from two angles. First, anytime cops choose abject violence to control what appears to be a mere annoyance is a travesty. I watched a choppy video of some misguided, youthful girls who had been corralled with plastic fence. They were already confused and crying. They weren’t violent … they were just kids going with the flow of their peers. Then, they were pepper sprayed.
I’ve watched the piece several times and have read the commentary from both sides about the incident. I can’t tell who juiced them. What I can tell is that there was no need to escalate the situation further. If some cop sprayed non-violent protesters who were already detained, that guy needs to spend a couple years in prison being Bubba‘s Butt Boy.
In another video, some stupid jerk turned around to address a cop who was giving a crowd the “bum’s rush”. The kid wasn’t violent and the cop was a supervisor. This “White Shirt” grabbed the kid, dropped him to the ground (not very efficiently, I might add … been eating doughnuts in an air-conditioned patrol car for too many years) and with the assistance of other pigs, roughed and cuffed the kid.
Okay, if you turned around on me I would be alerted. If you made a threatening move I would drop you. But, if your only weapon was your lips, you’re just flapping your gums, not endangering me or anybody else. That supervisor and the other thugs with badges need to get on Bubba’s hit list, too.
I’ve also seen some of the pukes with signs just objecting to any and all forms of the establishment. Some kids are crying that they have a college degree and can’t get a job. Well, you spent thousands of dollars buying into the crap those professors filled you with and you’ve completely lost touch with reality. My Dad used to say “Those who can’t do, teach”. He was right. If they were such experts, what the hell are they doing hanging out with children handing out drivel with a spoon? Why aren’t they teaching by example and getting into the areas about which they profess to be so knowledgable? Reminds me of another of Dad’s quotes … “An expert is a has-been drip under pressure” … you’ve got to be a bit more intelligent than those protesters to understand that one (ex spirt … get it?).
I grew up in the days of protest. I saw everything from sit-ins, to race riots and assassinations. Lest you get caught up in revisionist history by listening to some professor or watching Forrest Gump, don’t believe that the hippies gave a damn about the soldiers. They didn’t just protest the war, they hated the warriors.
I’m old enough to have manned a recruiting table at the University of Oregon that was overwhelmed by hundreds of protesting students and the local cops had to escort us out. I’m also fortunate enough to have worn the uniform and been thanked for serving by another patron in my local convenience store.
While I will get into the whole subject of “Debt Equals Slavery” in another post, I’ll just conclude with an observation: Quit whining about what you believe is injustice, start working to change it and vote. Hanging out with a bunch of un-washed pukes on Wall Street won’t get you much farther than those who did the same thing 40 or 50 years ago on Haight-Ashbury.
Another thing about trying to get ahead in this world with your college degree … if you look like either of these guys, the Red Cross won’t take your blood, the military won’t take your ass and I wouldn’t hire you to sweep my driveway.
Edit October 3, 2011: The cheap hotel we stayed at when in Seattle for the Seahawks game didn’t have CNBC on TV. I flipped back and forth between the Communist New Network and the Fanatically Obtuse eXtremist networks for news. FOX sent a reporter to Wall Street to interview the protesters. One guy was asked “If you don’t want Capitalism, what system would you replace it with?” … he had no reply, only the “deer in the headlights” look. Another girl was asked “If a CEO came down here and offered you a job, would you take it?” She said “No … No way”. Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon were down there. Guess that says it all.
Edit October 9, 2011: My wife’s 21 year old daughter called to borrow a tarp to take down to the “Peace Protest” #occupyportland downtown. First, the idea that she thinks it is a march for peace is interesting. It goes to the fact that many of the participants are not focused on a particular subject or mission. We’ve watched the protesters around the country waving differing banners and signs, so it is no surprise that many aren’t sure what this is really about. Next, I thought it humorous that protesters accepted TARP from a confirmed Capitalist.