The spoiled children are back, and are throwing a tantrum. After police moved in and finally evicted the squatters in Zuccotti Park, Occupy Wall Street is now preparing for a "Day of Action," where they essentially plan to make life difficult for average New Yorkers in a massive temper tantrum. The official OWS organization is calling it a "Mass Non-Violent Direct Action,"
yet already a Zuccotti Park protester has been arrested for making terrorist threats
when he threatened to "burn New York City to the f--ing ground" and said "In a few days, you're going to see what a Molotov cocktail can do to Macy's." Sounds exceptionally peaceful and non-violent to me.
**Author's Note: Since writing this opening paragraph, the "Day of Action" has come and gone, and while there were no major acts of violence, we were treated to the same antics typical to OWS protests: protesters attempting to provoke law enforcement officers into violence, and disrupting people's jobs and livelihoods. They even went so far as to terrorize children who were doing nothing more than going to school in the morning.
The truth is, after being kicked out of the park, OWS feels they have something to prove. This whole "day of action" was a lame attempt to prove that kicking them out of Zuccotti Park didn't shut the protest movement down. The kids are throwing a temper tantrum, and it's only a matter of time before we start seeing Oakland and London-style riots in the streets of the Big Apple.
But even more notable than Occupy Wall Street itself is the people in Washington and elsewhere who are still supporting this misguided movement. Occupy protests across America have been dens of drugs, rape and disease. Sanitary conditions were so bad in Zuccotti Park that they had their own respiratory disease, which was dubbed "Zuccotti Lung."
The protests have done little other than to cause property damage and economic hardship to hardworking people. I was appalled when I heard columnist Robert Scheer waxing eloquent on KCRW Radio's program "Left, Right and Center" about how the right to free assembly had been trampled upon after police dismantled the Occupy Oakland camp. People in America do have the right to assemble freely, but since when does "the right of the people peaceably to assemble" give people license to squat for an indefinite period of time in public and private parks? How does "the right of the people peaceably to assemble" somehow allow illegal drug use, the unchecked spread of disease and unsanitary conditions on public property, and continued confrontation with law enforcement? Since when is public urination and defecation protected under the First Amendment? There is even plenty of evidence that the OWS organization was trying to cover up the rapes that were occurring in several of their protest camps across the nation. Is that now part of free assembly?
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who was a very vocal critic of the non-violent, non-criminal Tea Party movement, justified her continued support for Occupy Wall Street, despite the continuing evidence of criminal behavior by saying "That's life and it happens, whether it's with protesters or other efforts that go on in this country." In her statement,
she called the violence and deaths "a distraction" and tried to blame it on "homeless people." Where's your evidence, Congresswoman?
It astounds me that the same people who falsely criticized the Tea Party for being too white and too well-dressed are now supporting OWS
. Apparently, unwashed, smelly hippies doing drugs and committing rape in the park is more in line with the Left's idea of what a protest should be like.
And while I'm on that rant, can we please stop with the cries of "this is what democracy looks like?" If the Left's idea of democracy doesn't extend beyond angry mobs, then perhaps it is time for liberals everywhere to consult the nearest dictionary. Democracy looks like people exercising their right to vote. Democracy looks like people protesting against corrupt politicians or for specific causes -- but the Occupy movement is protesting such a diverse array of causes, about the only way to satisfy the protesters is to completely dismantle our financial system and turn America into a Communist dictatorship (and legalize marijuana, rape, and random property destruction).
The most laughable argument I've heard coming out of Occupy comes from young people complaining about having to pay off the ridiculous student loan debt they racked up getting a worthless degree. Now that times are tough, there isn't a big demand for Masters in Medieval Antarctican Literature or Trans-Siberian Architecture. I saw a video of a woman at Occupy Wall Street who was lamenting the fact that she had an advanced degree to be a librarian, but couldn't find a job as a librarian. She was protesting with Occupy Wall Street not because she couldn't find a job -- she was gainfully employed -- but because she couldn't find the specific job she was looking for, and had to use the income from her not-so-dream job to pay off the student loans she had racked up.
How is that a reason for wealth redistribution, exactly?
I know what it's like to have a useless degree... because I have one myself. I got my BA in Liberal Studies, and I must say that majoring in Liberal Studies is one of the few real regrets in my life, because the degree is absolutely useless to me. But by the time I had gone to school for five years to get my BA, I recognized how useless that degree was, considering I had no desire to be a public school teacher, and I went back to school to get an advanced degree that would actually be useful. Now I have a Master's Degree in Information Systems, and am working in a vibrant and growing field. If you got an obscure degree or a degree that will only land you a job that nobody is hiring for, that doesn't mean that the rich should give you money. A college education is an investment, and like every other investment in life, it carries with it a certain amount of risk. If you chose the wrong major, that doesn't mean that America's taxpayers should bail you out of the student loan debt you racked up.
Unfortunately, no matter how long this protest movement goes on, the protesters just don't get it. It's not about the super-rich. Redistribution of wealth will not help our nation's economic situation. Virtually all of the problems that OWS is protesting have been caused by government's entanglement with big business. The problem isn't corporate greed, the problem is government greed. But OWS refuses to see the truth. They are planning to "Occupy Congress"
next month, but it looks like that protest will amount to nothing more than the Occupy movement being co-opted by the Obama campaign, as the protest will be geared toward pressuring Republican lawmakers into passing President Obama's abortion of a jobs bill. Never mind the fact that Democrats in Congress don't support Obama's bill either... we shouldn't let the truth get in the way of a good protest.
According to the OWS web site,
the movement is about protesting "fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations." Never mind the fact that most of the politicians currently voicing solidarity with Occupy Wall Street are the true culprits behind that economic collapse.
Peter Schweizer's expose "Throw Them All Out" has generated a lot of headlines recently because it describes in great detail how members of Congress have abused their positions to enhance their personal wealth. The problem is bipartisan, crossing both party lines and ideology. People and politicians talk about how much they want bipartisanship, but the only thing in Washington that is truly bipartisan is greed.
The sad thing is, Occupy Wall Street is setting itself up as a sort of anti-Tea Party... and while it's true that the two movements are ideologically irreconcilable, it would be much better if the two groups could work together to effect some real change in Washington. I don't hold any illusions that it will actually happen, but if Occupy and the Tea Party got together, say, to push for term limits in Congress so that the politicians can't just gerrymander their districts so they have what essentially amounts to lifetime appointments, or start pushing for the criminalization of insider trading by members of Congress, we might actually get something done. But besides ideology, linking the two groups will never happen because I doubt anyone from the Tea Party would be willing to put up with the foul smell emanating from OWS's protest camps.
The problem is that, although the Tea Party has made some headway, electing some candidates at the local, state and national levels, they face an uphill battle, both against the Left and the political establishment in the GOP. The Occupy movement, on the other hand, has garnered quite a bit of support from Leftist politicians who want to use the movement to shift focus away from their own complicity in our economic crisis and shift the focus onto Republicans, who they blame for anything and everything.
But when it gets right down to it, Occupy is a group of individuals coming together in the name of personal greed. They don't like the fact that others have more than they do, and they want a slice of the pie. But the overriding theme on the Left is greed -- whether it's the greed of politicians using the system for their own personal gain, or people protesting in the streets, destroying private and public property because they believe they deserve money they have not earned; everyone wants their government cheese
. It's difficult to tell just how much momentum Occupy will gain, or what the long-term effects will be for America, but one thing is for certain: if the United States starts running things the way the Occupiers want us to, we're all doomed.