Inside Occupy Los Angeles: A Photo Essay

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It was a bizarre juxtaposition.  This Monday, I found myself in downtown Los Angeles while my wife, an Israeli green card holder, took her test for citizenship.  “It is a privilege to become a citizen of this country,” she told me before heading into the immigration office.  Across the street, hundreds of American citizens protested American capitalism at the Occupy Los Angeles protests.  Their tent city stretched for blocks.  Fortunately for me, I now had a couple of hours to kill and a camera in my car.  Thus began my journey into the heart of moral and intellectual vapidity.

A member of the 53% drives past the tent-sitting members of the 47%.

The romantic walkway of OLA. Just don’t walk it at night.

Yogi Bear’s heart rate just jumped exponentially.

The self-aware portion of OLA rightly labels this “skid row.”

It was a beautiful day.  The sun was shining brightly in the sky.  Nobody was starving in the streets.  Showers were widely available.

And yet at the Occupy Los Angeles protest, the look was dirty grunge, the smell Mary Jane, and the atmosphere one of pathetic desperation tinged with utopian unreality.

I began my journey at the corner of Main and Temple.  The light poles were festooned with the celebratory beauty of this spiritually uplifting movement:

Despite its boasts, 99% of Los Angelenos do not care about OLA.

So, who are these supposed 99%?  As we’ll see, they’re generally college students who took their professors’ rhetoric about “safe spaces” too seriously, and homeless people and/or losers who are looking for an excuse to live in tents out in the open, without being harassed by the police.  These are not former employees of Countrywide – or former mortgagers of Countrywide.  They are people hungry to hang out in the SoCal sunshine with the approval of the local government and the paternalistic go-ahead of the President of the United States.

As for the notion that these rallies have not been astroturfed by existing organizations … not so much.  In case you can’t read these posters, they were provided by the AFL-CIO, the National Association of Letter Carriers, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.  That means that our taxpayer money is, in backdoor fashion, subsidizing the Occupy movement, since these unions all collectively bargain with the government.

The grassroots all have enormous contracts with the government.

The most obvious theme of Occupy Los Angeles is that there is no theme.  While President Obama proclaims that Occupy Wall Street is a concerted movement for social change, and while the media tries to liken it to the single-message Tea Party, the Occupy movement is really a random agglomeration of radical leftist causes meshed under the banner of anti-establishment thinking.  The signs reflected this ideological schizophrenia – as well as artistic and basic linguistic incompetence:

The LGBT movement stakes out its claim.

The composting crowd is there.

So are the class warriors, whose probable public school education gave them just enough literacy to misspell “billionaires” and beg for cash for their unclean gas generators.

What’s Yemen got to do with it?  Who knows?

Indiana Jones and the Protest of Doom.

Remember that guy looking for cash for the gas generator? He should have a little discussion with this fellow.

Don’t forget animal rights.

Hint: Take the bike repair.

Bill Clinton’s tent.

Correction: This is Bill Clinton’s tent.

Most of the tents seemed to be empty.  At least, the native life hadn’t yet made itself apparent.  Those who were sitting outside didn’t look much different from the unfortunate homeless who dot streets all over Los Angeles.  They had just relocated.  But the smell of pot told the story as I approached the local hotbeds of activity.  Most of the activity took place in larger tents, where small groups of younger people crowded together to toke up.  I heard one random man shout in drug-induced ecstasy, “You motherf——!  I love you motherf——-!”  The unity was palpable.

This would be labeled “urban renewal” by liberals.

I didn’t expect that the protest would actually be dominated by hippies – honestly, I thought it was conservative name-calling.  As it turns out, this wasn’t labeling, it was journalistic accuracy.  Many of those walking around were filthy, hair unwashed for weeks, living on the dirt ground.  If these are the seedlings for Obama’s socialistic revolution, he’s going to have to delouse first.

This is what equality looks like.

The army of the useless and the misguided.

Their parents must be so proud.

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  • BS77

    Read Ann Coulter's DEMONIC for timely insight into the OWS mob mentality

    • UCSPanther

      As always, she hits the nail right on the head and grinds them to dust.

  • Larry

    Money for nothing and their drugs for free is what it's all about (with apologies to Mark Knopfler).

    • BS77

      Also read Steyn's After America for a terrific description of the entitlement mentality…people who produce nothing, do nothing and create nothing who want everything….especially the product of everyone else's labor, investments, property etc.

      • Jeanne

        Well, maybe they would if someone would hire them

        • diann

          maybe they could be creative, as were our ancestors, and make their own job. Lots of people do it and have a decent living from it. Rather than waiting for others to spoon feed – why not step out as adults and do it themselves?

        • johnnywoods


        • Oleg

          Maybe someone would if they had degrees in engineering or at least a ticket from a trade school, instead they have worthless degrees in things like feminist studies or a master's degrees in puppetry. I've seen interviews with the ones at Occupy Toronto, some won't even apply for a job at McDonalds because they think it's beneath them, one claimed he had an IT degree but didn't want to work for a corperation, so he couldn't go and work for a charity?

  • Geneww


  • Big Irish

    looks like you had a wonderful day Ben!….I better get down to St. James Park here in Toronto because the BUMS down there are on thin ice – heres an idea – seeing as these losers dont like to "buy" their food – or pay their own rent – or contribute in any way to a civilized society, lets herd them all up and throw them in the damn slammer – give them I day, to be fair, to move their pathetic sorry asses or herd them all into wagons and cart them off with all the garbage they have ammassed….just an idea

  • Kim

    I think if you had a time machine and could get a snapshot of the Bolshevik supporters or Mao's foot soldiers –you would see they were the very same people for that time. The lazy, the addicted, the disconnected from reality, the misfits and those looking for an easy way. Just as dangerous too. Nothing new under the sun.

    • Herman Caintonette

      As if the bat-guano-crazy Teabaggers have anything between the ears….

      • coyote3

        No just constitutionally correct. There is no enumerated and delegated power for Congress to do much of what it is doing now, much less anything regarding redistribution of wealth. If you want to give them that power, and make difference, as you advocated, then advocate for constitutional amendments to do the things you want done. Should be a pretty straight forward and easy task.

        • Herman Caintonette

          The power to tax is virtually boundless, and you are forgetting the treaty power. Interpreted literally, it can empower the feds to do everything you hate,

          • coyote3

            That is a lie. The power to tax "is" limited. The limitation may be ignored, but it is limited to purposes enumerated and delegated. There have, indeed, been actual limitations on this power. Likewise, that is a popular myth about treaties.

  • Rifleman

    Just call it parasite central or disease central. The occupy Atlanta crowd is coming down with TB, and the one's in NY are coming down with some sort of respiratory infection. The lice and fleas are having a field day on them wherever they are. "Flea Baggers" turned out to be accurate.

    • truckwork

      No I believe the correct term to be "Pee Baggers".

      What is really wrong with all of this is that those elected officials who are supposed to be enforcing the laws in their cities have completely ignored these laws by allowing these folks to "occupy" any public space beyond the boundries of their permits, if they even have them.

      How long does it take to get their message out? When does free speech degenerate into something other than speech?

      I think when rape, robbery, and other crimes are happening, as well as sanitary and other safety issues arise, it's time to call it a day. Clean em out. All of them. Time for city halls all around the US to grow a set and establish law and order which they should have done long ago.

      • matismf

        Well actually, it is the "Law Enforcement" who have sworn an oath and who have the nightsticks, Tasers, and guns. But instead it seems their pension is worth more to them than their oath…

        • truckwork

          Law Enforcement take their orders from those above who are elected. Don't believe me?

          What happened in Katrina with police and national guard troops confiscating guns? What happened in Oakland when they originally took the Occupy Oakland out of the park and then let them back in? Who ordered the police to let them back in? What happens when good ATF agents are told to let weapons walk?

          Those who have legitmate power (elected officals) routinely remove those who served prior administrations in leadership positions in most big cities like the Police Chief/Commissioner, Fire Chief/Commissioner, Code Enforcement, Streets and Sanitation officials, etc, so that they can put in the people who they know will be loyal to them.

          • matismf

            Elected officials only have "legitimate power" if they honor THEIR oath of office, which is the same as that of "Law Enforcement". The "Law Enforcement" oath is NOT to the elected officials, but instead to the Constitution. To the extent that elected officials operate IN ACCORDANCE WITH the Constitution, then indeed "Law Enforcement" should follow their orders. However, as soon as an elected official orders something that is NOT constitutional. then "Law Enforcement" by their oath are bound to NOT obey. Yet instead "Law Enforcement" spit on their oath (as do the elected officials), bow and scrape before their Masters, and then do WHATEVER they are told.

            Civil war is coming, and soon. If there is ANY justice, "Law Enforcement" will be the first to die.

      • tagalog

        Why struggle with scumbags when they'll publish pictures of you doing that for the next 40 years and call you a pig oppressor, while they teach your children in school that the scumbags were the force for ordered liberty and you were the instrument of the capitalist?

        Who remembers piles of garbage and rapes and assaults and robberies when the message is license portrayed as freedom? Does anybody still show the pictures of the piles of garbage left when Woodstock was over? Would anybody look at them if they were shown?

        Especially when the politicians are backing the scumbags?

        • truckwork

          There doing that now anyway.

          The fact that they are there are a testament to the fact that the public school system has failed, including colleges and universities. It is not the responsibility of the State to educate your children. It is your responsibility to do so.

          It is however the responibility of the state to enforce the laws on the books evenly. Not that the Tea Party would ever do such a thing, but what would the media coverage be if the Tea Party was doing what these idiots are doing? And you know that the elected officials in these cities would have cracked down on them long ago.

          There is plenty of alternative media that is covering what these people have done and continue to do in the name of Free Speech. Those who look for truth get their news from several sources and know what to trust and what not to trust.

          • Herman Caintonette

            Hardly. The OWS is there partly because there is one set of laws for the oligarchs, and another for us. BillO bought the police, putting pressure on a detective who was allegedly having an affair with is wife. Bush #43 and Cheney oversaw torture, and should be prosecuted immediately — but they are "too important to jail." Bill Clinton committed perjury — but he was too important to jail. They don't have a say in their own governance, not unlike our Founding Fathers. Unlike you compulsive selfish Tea Partiers, they see that the solution to the societal problems of our age must be collective and comprehensive.

            Our trade, tax, and immigration policies have obliterated jobs on a massive scale, which is why young OWSers can't find work, and wages have fallen so precipitously. These are legitimate grievances, only made possible by the plutonomy we have devolved into.

            If it comes to violence — and if you have your way, it WILL — and you are in the line of fire, you will have earned your fate.

          • truckwork

            And another set of laws for AG Eric Holder, President Barak Obama, his whole cabnet and a whole lot of other useful idiots who think that a failed system of collectives and communism would work here when it never has.

            Our economy, trade, tax code and immigration system has been so fouled up by our government because our elected leaders have failed to live up to their oaths of office. There is no right for any man to take from me what I have worked hard for all my life. Wages have fallen because there is a much larger work force now available due to the failed Kenysan policies of the previous and now present administrations.

            And if you saw any of my other posts, I hope for peaceful (not what the "peaceful occupy Oakland crowd calls peaceful) resolution. But I'm prepared to meet violence with violence if that's what it takes to protect my family and my home.

          • Herman Caintonette

            You're not even within sight of the harbor of reality, TW.

          • coyote3

            And you not even within sight of a competency determination, but you are funny.

          • FrankWye

            Collectivists are tyrannical.

          • tagalog

            Yes, quite right, one set of laws for the oligarchs and another set for the rest of us. Just ask President Obama, for example, just after he gives a speech where he says that if Congress won't pass the laws he wants, he'll take action by himself, or when the law interferes with something Congress wants, so they just pass a new and more permissive law.

      • Rifleman

        That’s basically what the democrat Mayor of Atlanta did, truckwork. He was very accommodating until the problems could no longer be ignored. He then told them a date they had to leave by, and when they didn’t, told them they had overstayed their permit. They then embarrassed and made a fool of him by pointing out they never had a permit, never asked for one, and weren’t going anywhere. That’s when he had Atlanta PD run them out of the park, they took over an abandoned homeless shelter, and started catching TB.

  • NotaBene

    Gosh, if only there was some 'final solution' for this useless and unproductive segment of society…

  • StephenD

    Everone remembers and often quotes Khruschev's promise to defeat us from within (without firing a single shot). He being the representative of Soviet Russian Communists made real the goal of "defeating" America. It seems from the grave his mission lives on.
    The problem is that Communism has NEVER worked. So until they come up with a better system than what we have they should…shut up, wash up, and grow up.

  • Doug

    You say their parents must be so proud. 10 to 1, their parents are there WITH them!

  • diann

    If Western style capitalism is such an atrocity – why does the entire world want to come to our country? and for those who say capitalism is the enemy – I ask which other form of government would they prefer? And which country on the planet would they like to relocate to – and how soon can they leave? I'm fed up with the whole occupation thing – look around the world and see how well off people in the west are – and realize there are more important issues than pitching a tent on city streets and making trouble for the city and it's hard working inhabitants.

    • Questions

      I support capitalism, but I don't want the whole world coming to our country, as if that were some sort of accomplishment for us. It would be a maginfied immigration disaster. Let other countries fix their own problems. OWS and offshoots are creating enough headaches for us as it is.

  • anonymous

    Take a look at I just saw one of their occupy fliers today with a picture of Che Guevera on it.

  • mrbean

    What is it with these leftist-occupiers obsession with pooping in public? They poop and pee on cop cars, they lay pipe in banks, and now they are dropping loaves in holy sites like churches and on residental door steps. Let’s see them try that in a Muslim mosque, or in Red China in a public place.

  • Ward Dorrity

    OWS – Quigley's "Pakistani-Peruvian axis" in action.

    Or, if you prefer, your favorite zombie movie.

  • Lady_dr

    My suggestion, everyone who reads this needs to learn all they can about one thing e.g. the lie of global warming, economic history, the lie of the unions. Then tactfully, and authoritatively start talking to people, young, old, it doesn't matter. And if you have someone in your life who doesn't understand, start educating them. If each one of us will take it upon ourselves to defeat these lies – well, we might get somewhere. Just dispising this morons, and complaining among ourselves doesn't work. Also try getting on the school board or the library board, or whatever, where ever you can make a difference. WE MUST DEFEAT THE LEFT!

  • BLJ

    Loserville 2011.

  • Ben

    I see the weakness of conservatives in debates with occypiers: no debates! Any ex-Soviet would tear them to pieces. Lefists are affraid of honest discussion,they are demagogs. But conservatives have weak points like greed,Christian social justice.
    Ayn Rend would tell them better.

  • phillyfanatic

    Ben ; a great take. Now you should print this in every…Jewish American literary outlet to let all of those Jewish voters who keep voting Dem, that his is the end of that type of voting and who we get to rule us when Dem-libs and socialists like Obama are voted in. Tell the Jewish voters to think a bit,and stop voting Dem like lemmings. Time for a real change and that is back to our American heritage, history and values not onward to the failed socialist European secular ….Muslim filled nations.

  • crypticguise

    So many useless human beings in one location at one time. What is sad is that each of them has some sense of meaning to their being a part of the Occupy Squatville.

    Filthy parasites, spreading disease and rancid odors in the community. Mayors UNITE, clean up the TRASH.

    • Herman Caintonette

      Hitler had a plan for those useless eaters — they were called "Jews." So does Paul Ryan — he is telling Nana to hurry up and die, already.

      • Ghostwriter

        Well HC,we finally know where your sympathies like. You seem to like Hitler. You'd probably love to see concentration camps for Jews set up in every major city in America. That is,if you had your way,of course.

        • Herman Caintonette

          The author is calling people "useless" and by implication, unfit to live. Hitler had the same sentiments, and you seem to be part of his intellectual progeny.

          • FrankWye

            Useless does not mean unfit to live. It just means they are non-productive.

      • HoR_Emperor

        Godwin's Law violation — you lose.

  • Ringo

    I've been photographing and making videos at Occupy LA since day one. If you want to see my reports check out my website:

    The reason Occupy LA get less coverage than some of the other encampment is because the City Council and the LAPD have given the occupiers free reign…They openly flout the law – smoking marijuana in public, blocking traffic on a daily basis – yet the police do nothing. It's a disgrace.

    • Herman Caintonette

      If Wall Street can do it, why not them? That is the problem: Banking behemoths which are too big to fail, and well-placed corporate and government officials who are too important to jail.

      • coyote3

        Well if you have "evidence" that they have committed a crime, i.e., violated a criminal statute, you can always present your evidence to the prosecuting attorney. Oh, Ah, the prosecutor wouldn't do anything with it, because they are all in on it, right? I thought so.

        • FrankWye

          They never answer when you just ruined their whole reasoning and belief system.

  • sinanju

    Ben, it's the suspense that's killing me.

    Nobody seems to talk about it, but I am enjoying heartily the fact that all these Democrat city mayors, who so proudly embraced the "occupiers," now have their cullions (or paps as the case may be) in a wringer. I can only imagine the angry calls and emails they are receiving from their infuriated, fed-up, suffering constituents; swearing to defenestrate them as soon as they're next up for re-election. As the citizen outrage builds, eventually, they are going to have to get tough with the same goateed, dreadlocked darlings they initially handed the keys to the city to.

    I hereby prophesy that 2012 is going to see a local electoral bloodbath that will match the national one. Furthermore, Obama will not be in any position to give them the cushy jobs and sinecures that the Dem congresscritters who nose-thumbed their constituents to vote for Obamacare were no doubt promised.

    Hmmm… that's a good subject for some shoe-leather reporting. During the leadup to the Obamacare vote, I was conjecturing that the wavering Dems were being secretly made all sorts of promises by the Obama crew that they would be well cared-for if they were booted from office in 2010. It would make for an interesting investigative piece if someone could follow up on how these guys and gals are making out now, i.e. if they are living the high life with cushy jobs, board and advisory positions with the various Obama cronies.

    • Herman Caintonette

      I expect that the Republicans will be on the losing end this time, as their blind faith in the Market Fairy hasn't created a single job in the past twelve years. The rage will be mostly anti-incumbent, and there are more incumbent Republicans these days.

      • Steeloak

        I say let the OWS crowd rave on! Let them camp out, do drugs, have sex, and defecate & urinate in public. Let them trash parks & break windows. Let them riot & burn & fight the police. Let Obama and the Dems identify with and support them. Let them rail against capitalism and America. Let the media sing their praises to the heavens. Let's proudly display them for all the world to see.

        Then on November 7th, 2012 lets all celebrate the obliteration of the Democrats and Obama as they shake their heads in a daze and wonder "What Happened?"

      • FrankWye

        Blind faith in freedom, how terrible.

        Just for a factoid thrown in to your purely opinion driven comments. Bushes lowest unemployment rate was…. drumroll… 4.4%!!!!!!! Read it and weep but I would like to see how you dismiss this.

      • FrankWye

        Oh, and then there is the capitalism boom in China.

  • UCSPanther

    Here in Canada, our parody of the OWS is going downhill too. There have been complaints of assault, theft and sexual assault. Halifax, NS is cleaning out theirs after finally getting tired of them infesting the parks, and Vancouver, BC is trying to clean theirs out after two people OD'ed (One died).

    It should be called the "Leech movement", but that would be an insult…

    …to leeches.

  • R.Lopaka

    Caption…..Their parents must be so proud………Their parents are in the next tent!!

  • Major Keyhoe

    Hello??? Have any of you been paying attention to what is happening in this world? I am conservative and believe there are obvious problems with left wing ideals and politics but it is disheartening to see the hateful judgement of those who are desperately attempting (unsuccessfully) to change a society that is so obviously sick. You disgust me.

    • HoR_Emperor

      I do not believe for a second that any real "conservative" would make excuses for the OWS trash.

  • Ghostwriter

    Ben,how would your Israeli-born wife feel about the incredible anti-semitism of the OWS movement. Old Herman Caintonette seems perfectly happy with it. That's probably one reason she supports it. I doubt your wife would support it,mainly because of people like HC,who'd love to see Jews like your wife dead.

    • Ghostwriter

      You wanted a response,HC? Here it is. You swallow whole the Palestinian viewpoint but never check out what they really are like. They shoot rockets into places like Sedrot so they can traumatize schoolchildren. They celebrated the killers of an Israeli family months ago. The killers butchered an innocent baby lying in her crib. They also show anti-Jewish propaganda like "Tomorrow's Pioneers" and market it to kids. The PA's anti-semitic propaganda would make Joseph Goebbels proud.
      Also,many of them celebrated 9-11 and the deaths of innocent Americans. You can support the Palestinians and their anti-semitism all you want. The Israelis at least care about Americans and they care about life itself. The Palestinians don't want peace with Israel. They just want to kill Israelis.

      • FrankWye

        He/she really does not care. These types prefer to remain ignorant of these sorts of facts.

  • FrankWye

    Ann has a way with making people see what they are saying, if they were open minded.

    • Herman Caintonette

      Ann has a plank in her eye so large, she could hide behind it.

      • FrankWye

        Namecalling. Any facts?

      • Tanya

        Who is this cretin Caint… oh whatever!

  • PhillipGaley

    Dear Mr. Shapiro,

    About your: "Their parents must be so proud." caption—aren't you being just a little bit cutting, there?

  • PhillipGaley

    As a direct reference from our author's inclusion of: "There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery.", from Bob Avakian, while I don't know just how his thought might directly relate to any difference in the price of oolong in Berlin and Cairo, indirectly, well sure, his statement is acceptable; and, The Ronettes are but one example of how first the US, and thence, in a normal process of change and development, the world also, is now richer. And to be complete, that is, to make a direct answer to Avakian's indirectness: I've neither met nor heard any people of African extraction express even a wishful thought that, their forebearers had remained somewhere in that continent. And for any or all of this, I suppose, I could throw in: "And that is the simple and basic truth."; except that, that sounds maybe a little too much like: "And if you don't believe me, I'll say it again.", . . . but it was good filler for Avakian—could I get away with it?

    • FrankWye

      Phillip – a little too roundabout not very direct.

  • PhillipGaley

    I'm wondering—I'm not all that strong in history—for our author's: "There was a silent undercurrent of violence, . . . suggestions of cannibalizing “the rich” and “bankers”; and overthrowing the U.S. government in favor of Marxist thuggery, abounded.", the thought has crossed my mind, I'm kind of wondering whether—though in another time and place—something similar gave rise to the Khmer Rouge. I'm kind wondering, . . . what if these people sensed an irrepressible wider latitude to their expressions, . . . into some nightmarish actualization. I would kind of like to have maybe a couple of pistols, but they're awfully expensive. In such a situation, I don't know whether the police would welcome any assistance, or not. The other day, they had a little march here in OKC, too. One of them said that, you could be paid. I wouldn't mind making some money, but, . . .

  • BS77

    OWS….get a job, get a life. You do not represent the 99%–you represent yourselves….your filthy tent villages and hippy encampments are now getting very little support…people are frankly tired of you and wish you would go away.

    • Maxie

      Not so fast. The Left always needs a Martyr to use as a symbol of their "Struggle" and as an emotional rallying point for the "Cause". Simple, if superficial, but effective. Ideally it must involve "police brutality" and the death of an "innocent". That "symbol" remains to be created so the BS must continue until then.

  • Flipside

    I am amused that a guy who wears the badge of being an Israelite on his head, whose religion is his nation, who went to a Yeshiva school, who took an Israeli wife, who does nothing but advocate Israel all day long and vilify Americans who do not advocate Israel all day long — could in the process of making fun of people take umbrage at being mistaken for an Israeli.

  • Ozzy

    Couldn't find a American to marry you, Huh?

  • Chris Rehr

    Thank you, Major — it's refreshing to see an open-minded conservative on this blog. Ben, we are fellow UCLA Alums, but I'm surprised to see you characterize the Occupy LA movement as youth run and leftist. It is neither.

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  • Herman Caintonette

    Cheezy: "There are after all the product of a public-school education." [sic]

    And you earned your superior private-school education where, Cheez? Tell me that your undergrad degree wasn't in English….

    My graduate degrees are from a private institution, Cheez. And no, they were not in underwater basket-weaving (cf., David Horrorwitz).

    The core thesis of OWS is that corporate oligarchs have bought our government, and we are no longer represented therein. Read Jack Abramoff's new expose and get up to speed. Capitalist systems inevitably degenerate into plutonomies, and excessive concentrations of wealth invariably stall capitalist economies. If you know anything about economics — this can be demonstrated by simple Arthur Laffer graphs, though it does take time to educate the ignorant — you know this to be true. Read Ravi Batra on this point.

    What has been accomplished so far? In less than two months, OWS has managed to change the terms of the debate. And if you know your Alinsky, you'll know that the tactics will change. Showing up and demonstrating at Republican meetings. Flash mobs, sent at hours' notice. Bachmann has already had a taste of it. The anti-war movement in the '60s had the same free spirit (you saw a lot of Che back then, too), but the end result is what matters.

    My solutions come directly from the wisdom of the Framers. George Washington counseled that congressional districts should never be allowed to become larger than 30,000 constituents, a plan first implemented by Solon of Athens. Why? Solon reasoned that if you made the assembly large enough, no one could bribe 'em all. And Thomas Jefferson proposed a geometric tax on wealth, applying the principles of Adam Smith to pre-Revolution France, essentially predicting the Revolution. The regime of trade protectionism that transformed us into an industrial power was the progeny of Alexander Hamilton; China has stolen our playbook, and has been using it against us.

    We have tried your trickle-down (back in the day, we called it "voodoo") economics, and it has failed miserably. Exactly why should we double-down?

    Remember the verdict of history: If peaceful revolution does not bring about change, violent revolution becomes inevitable — and such revolutions are usually destructive. Avoiding that outcome is a desirable goal. This why I am OWS.

  • Lady_dr

    ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. When I taught college students I could tell within a week the difference between the public school "graduates" and the rest (and no you don't have to be rich to get an alternative, and better, education. All the worst students were products of a public education. I said all the worst students. I never had a student in the bottom half of the class who was a graduate of a private or religious school, or was home-schooled, or was a product of a religious home. They were ALWAYS in the upper half, and the top ten percent were almost exclusively from this sort of background.

  • Arclighter

    "Corporate oligarchs" can't buy our government unless our government allows itself to be bought. So simply elect people that can't be bought. Tea Party candidates would be a good start.

    It is funny, you just admitted the problem is politicians being bought, but instead of going after the politicians, you go after the bribers. If you really cared about the bribers, you would be going after your own OWS sponsors – the unions. They are the biggest bribers in politics. Look at the millions they shovel at politicians.

  • Herman Caintonette

    You can't. You have to raise eight figures in jack to compete, and the people who can raise it from you are going to want a return on their investment.

    Tea Party candidates are all in Grover Norquist's pocket. They would rather gnaw their arms off than raise taxes, and are mired in the idiotic bliss of trickle-down; Ronald Reagan (who raised taxes on an as-needed basis, but didn't raise them enough) wouldn't be ideologically pure enough for them.

    As for OWS, the brilliance of this movement is that there are no leaders. Dick Armey basically owns the Tea Party, and many are Moron Majority misfits who would vote for Ol' Scratch himself if he was anti-abortion. No intelligent life in that universe, I'm afraid.

  • matismf

    Quite frankly, "Law Enforcement" is no more likely to protect you from "the likes of those we see in Oakland" than they are to honor their oath of office. They WILL protect their Brothers in Blue, however…

  • Herman Caintonette

    Public officials only have the power they are invested with by virtue of their enabling statute. Period. Any exercise of authority outside those bounds is prima facie unlawful. As Alexander Hamilton explained in Federalist 78:

    "There is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid."

  • FrankWye

    I agree with you until you get to raising taxes. Businesses don't pay taxes. All costs are passed on to the consumer or employee.

  • FrankWye

    And its not trickle down unless you are talking about the government taking from Peter to give to Paul. Its more about freedom and merit.

  • FrankWye

    I think the discussion should be about how much workers get paid as a percentage of management pay.

  • FrankWye

    And, instead of corporatism – more competition.

  • Herman Caintonette

    Taxes are the price to be paid for living in society. Capitalism cannot exist without infrastructure, and the most efficient way to deliver it is usually via government — unless, of course, Republicans are doing the running.

    We have to pay for your godd*mned wars somehow, and the Republican prescription of "don't tax and spend" is what put us in the poorhouse.

  • Herman Caintonette

    To you, this is a religion — not economics. All rational capitalists want to be monopolists; the rational government ensures that they never get there.

  • Herman Caintonette

    More like, it should be about the proper allocation of the benefits of societal output between capital and labor. Where imbalances occur, stability of that society goes out the window. This is a fact of history.

  • Herman Caintonette

    And you are OWS? You are out there on the picket lines, talking to the people? My guess is that the closest you have ever gotten to OWS is a 30-second video from the FAUX Propaganda Channel. I'm part of the movement, and speak for myself. But as for your charges, you obviously live in a parallel universe, where reality is an undiscovered country.

    To you, capitalism is a religion, and your blind faith in the Market Fairy defies logic, evidence, and reason. I'm more of a Calvinist and an accountant, who looks at the weaknesses of systems that will cause them to fail.

    There is no such thing as a pure capitalist society and even if there were, it would soon collapse of its own weight. Ours is in danger of doing precisely that, and unless we take prudent corrective action, it will fail.

    And yes, there will be blood in the streets. Maybe yours. I don't see this as a good thing, and counsel that we do take prudent corrective action.

  • Jim_C

    "The core thesis of OWS is that capitalism is evil."

    Not hardly, Chezwick. Nor is it about hating rich people.

  • Herman Caintonette

    Methinks the lady has her nose too far up in the air. Fact is, the average I.Q. of Evangelical Christian believers is 6 points less than that of atheists, and is under 100.

    Case in point: Mississippi.

  • WSK

    Lady :
    I am the product of public school education in Philadelphia. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania…..Watch the generalization and anedoctal evidence

  • truckwork

    I'm prepared to protect myself and my family. However I do expect them to enforce the laws consistently. In major cities all over the US, the local leaders aren't doing that.

  • Herman Caintonette

    It is nothing more than the objective judgment of history, Cheez. From the French Revolution to the Arab Spring, Professor Santayana's admonition qualifies as a truism. In the words of JFK, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

    Read Jefferson's letter to his nephew ( ), and get back to me.

    Cheez: "You want to know what OWS REALLY is, Herme?"

    You seem to know more about Jerry Sandusky's activities than OWS.

  • Chezwick_Mac

    HERME: "You seem to know more about Jerry Sandusky's activities than OWS."

    Gee Herme, why would you degenerate into hurling such a vicious slur? My guess is that your lame arguments don't even convince yourself, so you feel compelled to resort to such vile mudslinging.

    Meanwhile, only a very confused political neophyte would compare American Democracy with the autocracies of 18th century France and the modern Middle East. Believe it or not, there actually ARE mechanisms for social change in the USA.

    You see Herme, what you don't understand is in one of your posts above, you are projecting your own pathologies onto others. It is YOUR belief system that is RELIGION…impervious to all reality. For example, I just presented you with an objective fact…that after decades of socialism achieving nothing but the equality of poverty, China and India embarked on capitalist reforms and in the short span of a decade and a half, hundreds of millions have been economically enfranchised and now belong to the middle class.

    You didn't comment on it, because what can you possibly say? It's a fact….and you don't dare let facts get in the way of your religion.

  • Maxie

    Actually Marxism is a secular religion of nihilism. Marx had no idea how his post revolutionary "dictatorship of the proletariat" would form or function and he didn't care. His Manifesto was nothing more than a declaration of revolution. Your statement that all capitalists want is a monopoly is too stoopud (sic) to deserve response but it does show your ignorance of economics. Totalitarianism, i.e.; a Leftist, form of government is when you have a monopoly. Look up the Black Book of Communism.

  • Steeloak

    Actually, a monopoly can only exist when enforced by government.

    In a free market, although businesses would like to be a monopoly & fix prices to maximize profits without competition, the reality is that it is impossible.

    It IS possible to dominate a market by being the best competitor, but you can only stay there as long as your product or service is better and cheaper than the competition.

    And before you bring up price fixing & trusts – they always fail because the incentive to cheat is too strong. Ony government can enforce a monopoly.

    Real Life 101

  • Herman Caintonette

    Where do you get larger profits? From a business in a competitive industry, or a monopoly? Econ 201, Maxie.

  • Herman Caintonette

    Just giving back what I'm getting, SleezyCheezy. You behave, and I won't have to hand it back to you.

    A premise of OWS is that the instruments for social change have essentially been rendered inert. Social mobility is much lower in the US than in Europe; the Horatio Alger story is largely dead.… Without reasonable access to the ballot box and little chance of finding a decent job, how do you move up the ladder? In 1971 or 1981, it wasn't a problem; today, it is.

    Hundreds of millions of Red Chinese, belonging to the middle class? Really, Cheez? That is news to people who actually know what they are talking about, according to BusinessWeek. "China doesn't have a middle class," said Arthur Kroeber, director of Dragonomics Research and editor of China Economic Quarterly."

    I'm seeing things as they are, Cheez. You are the one with the proverbial green eyeshade on.

  • Steeloak

    Cute blog Hermie – is it yours? Nice links to all sorts of nutjob lefty websites.

    You link to the ADL dosen't work. Perhaps this is the one you wanted:… Seems it was the Nazi's who were trying to infiltrate the Tea-party rallies, without much success as the article makes clear. So many disappointed Nazi's, so many disappointed lefties who can't find any racism.

  • FrankWye

    Part of the ploy of OWS is to not be interviewed and not talk much about what they think should be done because they have a lot to hide. I would be willing to make a bet that larger than 10% of occupiers believe the signs that you occasionally find about Jews control of wall street.

  • FrankWye

    Every president was involved in a war since, hmm, Ford? And we have never stopped spending, not even slowed. And lastly, self-defense is in the Constitution.

  • FrankWye

    Actually, government is the most expensive way of doing it.

  • FrankWye

    Socialism, Keynsianism, communism are all unsustainable.

    In a free society you go off with your comrades and form whatever society you like but don't force the rest of us through the Fed Gov.

  • FrankWye

    I agree, private monopolies and government monopolies are all the same. We do need a government to promote competition. My job is to contract services through bidding. It works great.

  • WSK

    You sir, are the ultimate mucking foron!

  • WSK

    Is that what they taught you in your evening community college course?

  • FrankWye

    Imbalances are a judgement call unless its free market.

  • Steeloak

    Your thesis demands a planned economy. The Soviet Union tried central planning, it was a miserable failure.
    You desperately need to read "The Road to Serfdom" by F. A. Hayek to understand the fallacies of your thinking.

  • FrankWye

    Our government spends the largest share of GDP than ever before, how can we be closer t capitalism.

  • FrankWye

    Right, but Athiests, Mormons and Jews are all on par.

  • WSK

    Case in point: Herman Caintonette

  • FrankWye

    Bologna. There is no recourse to the Feds overstepping their bounds. For example, if SCOTUS upholds ObamaCare this will be the first time that government can force me to enage in commerce against my will.

  • coyote3

    That same constitution does not permit the federal government to engage in even the kind of social just work it does now.

  • Herman Caintonette

    Historically? No.

  • Herman Caintonette

    You do know what the phrase "mixed results" means, don't you? Sounds like they had some success with their fellow-travelers in the Tea Party, which was not the case with OWS.

  • Herman Caintonette

    … in your uninformed opinion.

  • coyote3

    No, a lot of the core questions regarding these issues have never been directly addressed. My opinion is no worse, but probably better than yours on issues like that.

  • FrankWye

    She didn't say all public school educated people were anything. Can't you read?