53 thoughts on “Occupy Charlottesville Protesters Arrested”

  1. I watched the eviction via Ustream last night. While the police were for indeed calm for the most part, there was one notable exception where a protester named Shelly was apparently choked by the police. The Ustream is still available as an archive at this address:


    At the 23 minute mark you can see and hear protesters loudly complaining that Shelly is being hurt by the police. At 26 minutes someone who I presume to be a legal observer (green hat) states that she was dragged by her neck, had her mouth covered and could barely breathe. Just before 40 minutes you can hear somebody on the police radio reporting that a detainee (presumably Shelly) is complaining of neck pain. At 43 minutes, someone announces that a group was allowed to meet with Shelly and that he was able to confirm her treatment, that she was indeed hurt (though not severely), and that “the captain said that it would not happen again, she’s not sure why that hold was implemented.”

    While it’s unfortunate and despicable that this mistreatment occurred, I have to admit that overall the police response was much more reasonable and level-headed than what I’ve seen occur here in New York. I was particularly impressed with Chief Longo speaking directly to the protesters, explaining to them what would be happening and answering their questions. We could use more officials like him here in big cities where our police forces are much more rough and standoffish.

  2. Now it is time for them to get the butts back to the park and clean it up, replace the sod and leave it the way they found it.

    Or are their civic consciences to busy for such things?

  3. with a little slack on the numbers, it seems like+dislike for the Occupy movement is @ 50/50. yet many folks who obviously fall in to the ‘99%’ category also fall into the 50%-dislike group. why?

    don’t believe the disparity=power theory?
    don’t like the Occupy-ers representing you?
    *do* believe if you work hard enough you’ll be in the 1%?

    I’m fascinated by some of the mean and disparaging comments made to+about the Occupy group coming from ‘working Joes’, who OWS and others say they represent.

  4. It seems to me that it is a classic case of effective messaging by the opposition. The tool they use is dehumanization. Reagan was very adept at this in the ’60s (see the Tarzan/Jane/Cheetah applause line he used over and over). With the Occupy movement they have been flooding the TV with reports of defecation, public sex, rape, crime, drugs, throwing anything against the wall to see if it sticks. At many protest sites around the country (Charlottesville included), the addition of homeless folks at the camps adds more fuel to that fire. All of this very effectively drives a wedge between the movement, and the 99% whose interests are at the heart of it all.

    Divide and conquer. A tried and true strategy.

  5. To answer Rick’s comment, I am certainly among the 99% — my pay is well above the poverty line but many, many thousands below 100,000, and likely to stay that way. I am positively disposed toward the folks who I think are the heart of a lot of the Occupy movement. There are real things to be outraged by out there, things that people think of as part of “business” but that trickle down and affect all of us from the standpoint of education, housing, and plain old opportunity.

    Where I tend to feel disconnected from the Occupy movement — where they alienate me — is when, being given the opportunity for balanced discourse, they decline it in favor of a sort of cut-rate, low-impact martyrdom. I want to see OC accomplish positive things. I want them to develop a more focused plan for their movement. But I don’t care whether they’re camping out.

    I’ve never spoken out about this before, so I wouldn’t have been the source of any angry or disparaging comments — but here’s one perspective on why Occupiers might lose the support of some of the 99%.

  6. Is it really so hard for them to clean up after themselves and leave the park the way it was when the first arrived at it?

    “Tea party” protests in DC with far more people at least could clean up after themselves.

  7. Like Real 99%er, I am also positively disposed towards the Occupy movement in general. I’m critical of the way the U.S. has turned into a state that favors corporatecitizens over real people, that bows down before the Free Market as if it were God, etc. But what I saw happening with our local Occupy movement (and I’m basing this on my readings of the minutes of GA meetings, visits to Lee Park, various media reports which include statements from Occupy members to the media) is a shift of focus from “here are the problems with the U.S. society and here are things we can ALL do to ameliorate the problems” to “you HAVE to let us camp in Lee Park, and if you don’t, we’ll call the police pigs and make them drag us out.” It went from being about all-of-us to being about what the OccuCampers wanted. The two are not the same thing.

    I realize that the local movement is a complex and diverse group made up of individuals who have differing ideas about tactics, strategy, goals, etc. I realize that not everyone wanted to make a huge fuss about leaving Lee Park. I realize that you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. I’ve taken part in multi-night illegal occupations in the past.

    I just think that if you are part of a relatively small group of radical thinkers (e.g., Occupiers) amidst a much, much, much, much larger group of bourgeois, non-radical, politically and intellectually timid/conservative people (the rest of Cville’s 99%ers), and you GENUINELY want to bring members of that larger group at least partway to your way of thinking, then you HAVE to go meet them on their turf, and their turf is not an encampment in a public park. Yeah, it’s not fair, they SHOULD be more open-minded, they SHOULD be able to see beyond the tents and cardboard boxes, they SHOULDN’T be freaked out by what looks like communal living, but THEY ARE. And I repeat, if you GENUINELY want to work on them, you have to meet them on their terms. If you decide that’s no fun or not “genuine” enough or too compromised an approach, then fine, but don’t wonder why most of the 99% is turned off by your approach.

  8. From your post, I’m pretty sure you’re genuinely a good, concerned citizen, Claire. And you are “positively disposed” for real change. But you do not see yourself camping out. To be frank, neither do I.
    That’s because I have a comfy home and a family that needs me. But also because I don’t give the occupiers much chance for success. The game is WAY too rigged. But the worst is there’s equally as many brain-washed – that’s an accurate term IMO – right-wingers out there.
    I do know this: you can’t “tweak” the system because the system is designed to counter every little move forward with effective 2 moves backwards.
    So back to the occupiers. Well, what do you expect them to do? You want them to meet you “on your turf”? Have you invited them? You say you’re “turned-off”. Yeah, I get it. Loud, youthful, mostly smelly poor folk don’t turn me on either. But again, what do you expect them to do?

  9. I think that you are right on the money, Christian. How should they protest to make people feel all warm and fuzzy about them? What is frustrating about this whole process is that even folks who are “positively disposed to the movement” are joining in the chorus of critics, usually because the Occupiers are not protesting correctly, or are smelly, or have drum circles, or do not comply with the police heartily enough. Feeling icky about the occupation at Lee Park because it will turn off people who disagree doesn’t accomplish anything.

    I am certainly happy that our elected officials bent over backwards to accommodate the movement, but protests aren’t about accommodation, they are about civil disobedience. The purpose of the movement is to bring awareness to the disgusting level of income inequality in our country, and they have certainly done that. However, the Murdochs and Kochs of the world are hell bent on convincing us that the Tea Party protests that they sponsored were super awesome, despite the racist imagery and heavy weaponry, but the Occupy protests are the worst thing to hit the world since the Plague, because hippies smell. It would be funny if not for the fact that well-meaning and intelligent people are buying their BS.

    I think that we have been playing on “their turf” for far too long. Obama makes a living at compromising before negotiations begin. As the previous poster put it, the system is rigged, and expecting those who voice their frustrations to be polite, orderly, and compliant, especially when you share their frustrations, keeps the rigged game as is.

  10. First of all, Christian, I’m not saying I want the Occupiers to meet me on my turf–I’m already sympathetic to the general movement. I’m already in the choir, to a large degree. My mind doesn’t need to be changed regarding the economic problems in the U.S. Moreover, Christian, I didn’t say that I was turned off by youthful, mostly smelly poor folk. I spend most of my days with youthful people, a surprising number of who are smelly, and many of whom are poor. I was talking (as should have been pretty clear, really) about the 50% of the 99% who are turned off (per Rick’s question above). So this isn’t about me.

    So if an Occupier is, as I said, GENUINELY interested in changing the minds of as many individual sheeple as possible (as opposed to being interested in building an alternative community, which is a different goal entirely, and one that won’t change the minds of very many sheeple at all), then I would say his best bet is to infiltrate the communities where the sheeple are already living. I’m not being sarcastic when I say that having a job is really helpful in this regard; you work with people who perhaps think very differently about the U.S. economic system than you do (they believe in bootstraps, think Marx is the antiChrist, etc.), you become friendly with them, you chat a lot, and you’d be amazed how much shifting you can do with work-friends if you approach it the right way. It’s kind of a tedious way to go about changing someone’s mind — it’s more of a long-term strategy — but I find it works better than any of the short-term/burn-the-motherf*cker-down/epater-the-bourgeoisie kind of actions I’ve been involved in. It’s not as fun, that’s for sure. But I’ve made way more inroads with Fox-News types through work relationships, PTO relationships, that kind of thing. Because that’s where the sheeple ARE — they’re all at work, or at PTO meetings. They’re not in Lee Park.

    So what I expect them to do depends on what they’re claiming to be committed to doing. If they claim to be committed to building bridges with the rest of the 99%, to spreading a message in such a way that the message actually takes with as many people as possible, then I expect them to not alienate those people. And to not be surprised when the alienated people say “ick, yucky people in the park.” It’s really not rocket science.

  11. Dubie – Agree completely. I particularly feel disheartened when “positively disposed” folks cave in and become critics.

    Claire – We seem to agree on the premise on the protests but we disagree on how changes can take root. I too, talk to folks and generally speaking, they get what I’m saying. But that really doesn’t change many minds if at all. Why? Because their dysfunction serves either their real-world designs or their emotional structure (or both!).

    When the US had unions, you know, the ones that actually had effective negotiating powers and which leaders actually cared about their members… their ‘powers’ came from the threat of retaliation. Certainly not from empty chitchats with folks. The fact is, occupy protesters have ZERO power and they have none because the 99% aren’t a 99% force but only a tiny fraction of that.

    Honestly, many folks are relieved they are gone or in jail, even those that are “positively disposed”. I personally hope it’s just a winter die-down and spring will have them come back out double their numbers. I will join them when I feel there is a chance that my participation could tip the balance. Until then, I will just support them in spirit. Whether that hope is founded, time will tell. Probably not, but I’m keeping my eyes peeled.

  12. If the minimum wage had kept up with the cost of living, it would be about $15/hour now.

    The following opinion piece on CNN helped me understand why I, too, am generally, positively disposed toward the various ‘Occupy’ movements:


    The deck is stacked & stacked bad. We generally feel it, but can’t really figure out why, because the stacking happens way out of our sight. In those money/power places that are home to the 1%.

    I heard an interesting statistic the other day: about 40% of Americans don’t even know that the ‘Occupy’ movement exists.

    I’m also interested in just how vitriolic the anti-Occupiers are. Feels vastly reactionary to me.

    And here in America, we think we might one day be a 1%-er and don’t want to limit that seemingly limitless dream.

  13. “When the US had unions, you know, the ones that actually had effective negotiating powers and which leaders actually cared about their members… their ‘powers’ came from the threat of retaliation. Certainly not from empty chitchats with folks.”

    Yes, unions, exactly. Unions matter. Do you know the only way we can ever hope to get unions back in this country? By getting the Sheeple-People at whom Occupiers sneer (and I can provide a list of quotations from a wide variety of local sources to illustrate what I mean, if you like) to vote for people who will do the political work to shift this country back to a more union-friendly place. Do you know the only way we can ever hope to get those Sheeple-People to vote for those politicians rather than for TeaPartiers? By persuading them to think differently about unions and corporations and economic inequality than they currently do. Do you know the best way to persuade them to think differently? By befriending and talking to them — idle chit-chat, I suppose.

    Do you know what WON’T persuade them to think differently about those topics? Naked ladies getting arrested in Lee Park. Obsessively focusing on “police brutality” when our local cops remove protesters from Lee Park. Calling for Dave Norris’s resignation instead of talking about corporate control of our political system. Etcetera and so forth. All of that is just a big fat slow grapefruit sailing over the middle of home plate, perfectly positioned for Fox News to smash out of the ball park.

  14. I couldn’t disagree more. What restored union collective bargaining in Wisconsin? Civil disobedience. By dirty hippies. I am not sure what place you are living where those of us who have pro-union and progressive ideas have the resources to compete with Fox News and the message machine of the Right that pounds its talking points into every media stream in existence. Causal conversations with your co-workers can not compete with the machine they have in place.

    Income equality has been rising for 30 years, however, it has been mentioned in the mainstream media on a regular basis for 2 months. What started two months ago? The Occupy movement. As distasteful as you find their tactics, it is keeping the issue in the nation’s consciousness. Fox News creates their own softballs to hit out of the park. Idle chit chat just preserves the status quo.

  15. Again, I agree with Dubie. I do understand what you’re saying Claire, and the chitchat is well-intentioned and even marginally effective, but the *machine* is much more potent and has easily been winning. For 30 years.

    The only reason there are some who see it ‘as it is’ is because they are hurting. The relatively few intellectuals – like Dubie and Barbara maybe – are exceptions to the rule and can’t make much of a dent in the machine.

    You ridicule naked ladies protesting… I don’t. I see that as desperation and I empathize. I couldn’t care less how Fox News would position it. Claire, you need to get your battle boots on and forget about being nice. We need to overwhelm the oppressor. I am waiting for mass.

  16. “What restored union collective bargaining in Wisconsin? Civil disobedience. By dirty hippies.”

    Are you thinking of Ohio when you say “restored”? Because from what I can tell — and I am very open to being corrected here — collective bargaining rights for public employees in Wisconsin have not been restored. Update me on that if necessary.

    If you are thinking of Ohio (my home state), where collective bargaining rights were restored, I don’t believe that victory can be attributed to civil disobedience by dirty hippies. Here too I’m happy to be corrected.

    Christian, more from me in a bit, but for now, I don’t know why it’s “ridicule” to point out that naked ladies getting arrested is off-putting to the placid majority and thus counterproductive if the goal is to gain the support of that placid majority. How is that “ridicule,” exactly?

  17. I stand corrected, I had forgotten that Scott Walker did manage to cram his bill through, however, my point remains. Because of the protests, there were a number of successful recalls of Republican lawmakers, Walker faces a recall, and the tide of public opinion turned immensely. It seems pretty clear to me that the bill that just got soundly defeated in Ohio (my home state, too) would likely have passed without the backlash that was centered around the protests in both states. My point is that the other side (the 1% and their apologists) is organized, uncompromising, well-funded, and in control of both parties. The placid majority is the problem, not the solution. If street theater and a bit of insanity is what it takes to wake them up, I welcome it. Maybe if they get angry enough they will realize that getting screwed by the ultra-rich is a lot worse than being offended by a naked chick in the Hook.

  18. “Because of the protests, there were a number of successful recalls of Republican lawmakers…” The number is two. Which is good, don’t get me wrong, but the number is two. Four attempted recalls failed. The Republicans kept control of the state senate.

    Do you know anyone who was active in Wisconsin? Those protests differed dramatically from what we’re seeing here in Cville. They were focused, foremost. There was a clearly stated goal. They dovetailed with legislative actions. They got legislators to work with them. The numbers were huge, of course, but I would argue that those thousands of people weren’t inspired to participate because of they saw a zany bit of street theater. It seems much more likely that the clarity of the message and the prospect of a pragmatically useful outcome — repeal of the bill –was within reach. They felt like like their time wasn’t going to be wasted, in other words. Also, the bill was overreach on the part of the governor in the first place. By which I mean he picked a fight that was primed to piss off a big chunk of the placid majority, thus making them more sympathetic to the protests.

    Regarding Ohio: same deal. Protests very different, a galvanizing issue.

    “The placid majority is the problem, not the solution.” Wow. Here is where you and I sharply part company. As soon as we identify the placid majority/sheeple-people as the problem, we’re led, ineluctably, it seems to me, to begin demonizing and othering them in our rhetoric and actions. And as soon as we do that, we’ve lost them. And without them, IMO, we can’t achieve much of anything valuable in the long-term.

    “If street theater and a bit of insanity is what it takes to wake them up, I welcome it.” But street theater and insanity aren’t waking them up. They’re not being radicalized by the antics of the Merry Pranksters. There is no logical connection in their minds between a “naked chick” getting arrested in the park and the Koch brothers.

    It’s like when Howard Dean said “I want to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks.” YES. THAT. Because we need their help. Those guys can be brought to understand that secret $$ from the Koch brothers shouldn’t be influencing legislation. They can agree that collective bargaining rights shouldn’t be wiped out. They don’t want insurance companies to be allowed to use pre-existing condition clauses to exclude their child with a chronic illness from coverage any more than a dirty hippy does. But, Christ, we (progressives) f*ck up this incredibly important relationship with the placid majority every. f*cking. chance. we get.

  19. Does placid majority equal people who go to work, pay their bills without complaint, mow their lawns, paint their houses, save a little for the future and worry about their kids?

    Cause, yes… the occupiers are no where near in touch with those folk.

    Those folk would just as soon die as leave a public park looking like a dump.

  20. FWIW, I’m with you on this, Claire.

    There’s a story I often tell to illustrate this point, especially when talking to political candidates. If you want to let a friend know that his mother has taken up prostitution, you can’t just walk up to him and say “your mom’s a whore.” You’ll get a fat lip, he won’t believe you, and he’ll never talk to you again. Instead, you’d want to start by saying “Hey, I saw your mom the other day! She walking along Broad Street, all dressed up, late at night. I guess she’d been at a fancy party or something.” Then, a few days later, you might say “I saw your mom again, but she looked pretty weary—is she feeling OK?” And then you might be able to say, shortly after that “Are you sure your mom’s OK? I saw her with a bunch of rough-looking girls on a street corner in Richmond again, late at night. Maybe she’s helping them get off the streets or something…?” If he hasn’t yet figured this out, then the next interaction is when you might say “I’m worried that your mother might be involved with prostitution.”

    Stripping naked and being carried out of Lee Park by police is like telling your friend his mother is a whore. It probably seems really raw and authentic, but as a form of messaging, it’s a total failure.

  21. I love Howard Dean, but that was a pipe dream. Those guys with Confederate flags want nothing to do with progressives, and never will. No more than the majority of Americans wanted anything to do with civil rights workers, anti-war demonstrators, gay rights activists, or any other social justice movement throughout our history. No more than Fox News viewers want to acknowledge why the Occupy movement is valid. And the political and media system are stacked against that changing.

    How exactly are we to bring that group to understand the things you identify as reasonable, mutually agreed upon priorities? Maybe we could elect a world class orator and constitutional scholar as president, then that person could rationally explain to the country progressive values and solutions. That should bring them around, eh? Oh yeah, we did that, and the vast majority of Republicans think he is a Muslim socialist out to ruin their lives.

    It is incomprehensible to me how progressives can look at the last 50 years of obstruction, know-nothingness, prejudice, and downright manipulation that is so prevalent on the Right, and come to the conclusion that is is our fault. That we f*cked up the relationship. Forgive me for not buying into that. I prefer to fight. And yes, the street theater and smelly hippies of Occupy are part of that fight, so is Madison and Columbus, and all organic protest that is and will continue to be coming from people who are fed up with the 1% and their apologists. It might help to focus on the demonization coming our way, instead of the imagined demonization coming from our side.

  22. So Waldo, what is the equivalent to dropping the hints that their mother is a whore? It seems to me that we have been making the case for years that the rich are getting richer and that average Americans are voting against their best interests. What will it take to compete with the message machine that the Right uses so well?

  23. So Waldo, what is the equivalent to dropping the hints that their mother is a whore? It seems to me that we have been making the case for years that the rich are getting richer and that average Americans are voting against their best interests. What will it take to compete with the message machine that the Right uses so well?

    I don’t think that case has been made very effectively up until quite recently—the past six months, really. Occupy movements have been great at one thing, and that’s getting across this concept of the 99% and the 1%. Those were not concepts that existed in most people’s minds until now, but now they’re a framework that are used as a convenient basis for stories and visualizations by media outlets. To answer your question, the best example of good messaging in this arena is coming from Elizabeth Warren. If you haven’t yet, watch this video somebody took of her speaking off the cuff at a house party. She’s brilliant at this stuff, because she knows more about this topic than anybody else out there.

  24. Those folk would just as soon die as leave a public park looking like a dump.

    That point seems to have been exaggerated by local media. Their own coverage didn’t back up the headlines. For NBC-29, Derick Waller said that they “left a big mess behind them,” but then went on to say:

    The clean up was separated into three groups: about 20 workers handled hauling out the trash, another group tended to the vegetation and a third handled items that were not considered trash. City workers say they’ve seen worse.

    Doug Ehman with Charlottesville Parks and Recreation said, “We were here for about an hour. If it had been a real mess, it would have been much longer than that.”

    The only thing left to clean up here is the dead grass. Charlottesville Parks and Recreation says they will be re-seeding in the next week or so but that’s just a part of their normal fall landscape maintenance.

    So Parks and Rec says it wasn’t “a real mess,” and yet somehow the story leads with that it was “a big mess”?

    I’ve got a bit sympathy for one aspect of this, too. The people there didn’t want to leave, and had no intention of leaving. Their goal was to make it tough for the city to force them to leave. So I don’t know why they would get rid of their tents, etc. when they had every intention of staying there. (I say a “bit” of sympathy because surely they knew that they were going to be arrested that night, having been warned quite clearly, and that the effect of that was that their junk was going to be left in the park for somebody else to deal with.)

  25. Your story about the mother whore and you gently trying to say something is real funny Waldo. A bit like ‘you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar’? I’m with Dubie: the placid majority will never ever be able to see the forest from the trees because they’re too busy lapping up everything corporate America sells them.

    You would think, for instance, in the land of the Free, there’s no f*ckin’ way TSA would be feeling little girls up the skirt whenever they damn well feel like it. Well, no way Jose means actually “no way it’s gonna happen to me”. Delusions don’t dissipate because of gentle chitchats. They crumble only when reality hits like a premeditated upper-cut out of nowhere. Ya’ll like movies, right? One I like for its message, but was of course sold to the American public as an ‘action movie’ and ended quasi Hollywood style, was Denzel Washington in John Q. Never would he have thought all his hard work and loyalty to business would he have been confronted with his beloved son’s spreadsheet calculated death (that’s the Hollywood part because he doesn’t actually die). And this was a hard-working good family man!

    No, only severe personal loss will ever wake up Mr. and Mrs. Placid from their delusions.

  26. And about that mother prostitute… That profile of letting a friend know about his mother taking up prostitution’ is not reality! What, is this some after-hours scenario for the next Desperate Housewives? Come on! Much more realistic is your friend was brought up on the street after they got evicted for drugs in their section 8 housing, he never finished high-school and is in a gang. Are you acquainted with this friend? Do you still feel like breaking it to him gently?

  27. And about that mother prostitute… That profile of letting a friend know about his mother taking up prostitution’ is not reality!

    It’s a joke, Christian, a metaphor—it’s not supposed to be reality. :)

  28. Although I don’t call myself a 99%er, I’m unemployed and have been for the entire time OB has been in office. The difference between me and the occupiers, is that I don’t want the government’s help. I’ll take care of myself thank you. I manage to pay my property/real estate taxes, put food on the table and live just fine. How can this be? Cause, I get off my a** and make it happen. The difference is lazy vs not!

  29. Claire – Let’s try the soft approach on Steve here…

    So, Steve, that’s fantastic! You sound like a real ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going” kind of guy. I am thrilled you have managed to make ends meet while you’ve been unemployed for almost 3 years!

    I’m curious because I’d like to understand how you could pay all your bills and keep food on the table and live just fine without income. I know it’s possible. Heck, I also could be unemployed for at least a decade and make ends meet too. But I’ve got substantial savings and many of my friends and acquaintances do not have that. Is that your case too? Is that how you do it?

    Or perhaps you have downgraded everything you owned to live on a low-wage job? But then, even with such little income, you would be considered employed.

    Can you explain how you do it so I can pass that vital survival info along to others in your situation? Thanks so much.

  30. Christian, I think your palpable sarcasm and insincerity is going to come through loud and clear to Steve, who is probably not quite the full-on idiot you seem to think he is. But thanks for trying.

  31. @ Steve. Christian made a post that at least one other has called sarcastic, asking how you can be unemployed for 3 years, pay all your bills and “live just fine”. without sarcasm, I’d love to know how you do it. some of us, unemployed and living solo, without another income in the house, are struggling to “live just fine”. certainly laziness can lead to lack of income, but how are you doing it while still unemployed? or are you just referring to a non-career, lower-paying job as being unemployed?

  32. I think that’s a good question, although it is best phrased as Rick did. :)

    (I’m reminded of the UVA professor who declared in a local online forum about a decade ago that he had a grad student who was married, with a young child, whose sole source of household income was the $2/hour that he was paid as a stipend, and he was doing just fine, so what was all this talk about a living wage? I challenged him to do the math on how one could even pay their rent on that kind of income, but he demurred.)

  33. I guess I don’t have the female touch. I tried real hard. That said, my sincerity is all there. And maybe Claire you can give training courses? You could sell that profitably to the occupy folks. Okay, strike that. They’re angry and destitute.

    PS @ Rick – “at least one”. Is that some kind of new math? ‘Cuz at the time you posted, Claire was singular. Oh yeah, it’s the marketing approach… I gotta get used to all this….

  34. @ Christian – not to get off the OC+work conversation but…… ““at least one”. Is that some kind of new math? ‘Cuz at the time you posted, Claire was singular.”

    we should all know by now the theory of retail business; for every person who makes the effort to complain there are a few more who feel the same way, but don;t take the time to make it known.

  35. Many of the 99% do not believe the political agenda of the Occupiers will bring any positive change for them and think that camping out in a public park and fighting with the police is a pretty stupid and ineffective way of bringing about political change anyway. We are also turned off by the arrogance that dismisses any political disagreement as the result of ignorance or “false consciousness” and that “education” (i.e., having propaganda shoved down our throats with enough enthusiasm) will inevitably lead to a change in beliefs. What’s so hard to understand about any of that? Not everyone agrees with you on politics, that’s part of living in a democracy.

    Specifically, Rick, in response to your questions:

    (1) I don’t see income inequality as a problem. I’d rather be well-off and have a neighbor who is super-rich than be poor with an equally poor neighbor.

    (2) I don’t like anyone claiming to speak for me when they not only don’t represent my view, but don’t accept it as legitimate or even admit that it exists. The Occupiers are NOT the 99%. At BEST they’re the 51% – half of the 99% don’t agree with them.

    (3) I have no ambition to be in the top 1%, but I also don’t feel that policies designed to punish the top 1% out of envy and spite will make my economic situation any better – in fact, they’re more likely to worsen it. This goes back to (1) above. Of course you’re entitled to disagree. If you do, I won’t call you an idiot, a Neanderthal, or a class traitor. How about you folks who support the Occupiers (this means you, Dubie) showing the same respect?

  36. I have no ambition to be in the top 1%, but I also don’t feel that policies designed to punish the top 1% out of envy and spite will make my economic situation any better – in fact, they’re more likely to worsen it.

    I don’t know of a strong movement that propose punishing the wealthiest. The policy proposals that I’ve been hearing about instead object to the laws and practices in place that exist to benefit them to the strong detriment of the 99%, and propose to eliminate those laws and practices. For instance, there’s a law in place that allows hedge fund managers and only hedge funde managers to defer the payment of their taxes indefinitely, without any additional cost to them. The rest of us, of course, must pay our income taxes annually, and we accure interest and penalties for the failure to do so. I don’t think it’s “punishing” the 1% to require that they pay taxes just like we do. Do you?

  37. (1) I don’t see income inequality as a problem either. In fact, I see it as a necessity to allow top performers… to perform. What I do have a problem with is obscenely huge incomes that are 99.9% disconnected to value.

    (2) The 99% do not claim to represent 99%. The 99% is a class versus the 1%. You think ‘Republicans’ represent the republic?

    (3) The 1% are in no way being “punished” even if marginal tax rates were to return to 91%. For an historic perspective, check out this concise table here: http://ntu.org/tax-basics/history-of-federal-individual-1.html

    Respect is a two-way proposition. Always has, always will. Were I do agree with many conservatives is in the question of what we do with tax dollars. Public education, for instance and of essential importance, is a disaster.

  38. I would suggest that Waldo’s post at 9:37 a.m., which is a response to Bruce’s Point #3 about “punishing” the 1%, is an exemplar of how you talk to someone with whom you disagree BUT with whom you still want to keep a productive conversation going. Bruce holds a belief about policies designed to, in his mind, “punish” the 1%. Waldo disagrees that “punish” is the right word to use, and he responds with a fairly detailed description of policies that Bruce might find reasonable. Waldo stands a reasonable chance of getting Bruce to acknowledge that perhaps at least some of the policies the Dems support aren’t punitive. It’s a respectful response; he gave Bruce something to think about, invited Bruce’s response, and avoided insulting or condescending to Bruce.

    And it didn’t really take a “female touch.”

  39. I was just kidding when I suggested you sell your ‘communication skills’, Claire. Frankly, I think your ‘way’ is more the problem than the solution. Bruce et al don’t respect pandering and they absolutely do not respect weakness. Alea jacta est.

  40. Oh, and for what it’s worth, I don’t think Waldo is trying to do anything but discuss stuff. He is, to me, a fan of discourse, nothing more, nothing less.

  41. Oh, and for what it’s worth, I don’t think Waldo is trying to do anything but discuss stuff. He is, to me, a fan of discourse, nothing more, nothing less.

    Um. No. That’s not even vaguely in the neighborhood of true. I’ve been accused of many things, but of being somebody who talks a lot but doesn’t actually do anything? I think this is a first.

  42. @ Steve — this might have gotten lost as the commentary went on, but I’m truly curious. “I’d love to know how you do it. some of us, unemployed and living solo, without another income in the house, are struggling to “live just fine”. certainly laziness can lead to lack of income, but how are you doing it while still unemployed? or are you just referring to a non-career, lower-paying job as being unemployed?”

  43. I didn’t mean it that way Waldo. But it did come out a bit like you say. I meant to say rather that to me, you are passionate about proper discourse.

    Without further ado, let me not interrupt Rick’s query…

  44. Bruce has said some true words. My observations of this group has revealed quite a few are emotionally disturbed and some are chronically depressed. Two of the women have said publicly that they have given up their jobs and apartments and joined the encampment. Is this rational and positive behavior?

  45. Been away from this conversation for a few days, life intrudes…

    @Bruce – Please let me know where I claimed that people who disagree with the Occupiers are idiots, Neanderthals, or class traitors. I did say that there was obstruction, know-nothingness, prejudice, and manipulation prevalent on the Right, and I stand by that.

    My point is that calm conversation does not compete with a media machine that is well-funded, organized, and extremely effective. The Occupiers are not demonizing their opponents, in fact, by the very nature of the term 99%, they are trying to be inclusive of almost all. Instead, the right-wing media machine is using the same tactics of dehumanization that they have used for years, which clearly is effective, since the discussion is focused on “emotionally disturbed” and “chronically depressed” individuals, and a naked chick. Any amount of independent research will show that the Occupy movement is incredibly diverse, innovative, and have been very effective in keeping the issue of income inequality in the consciousness of the country.

  46. Please continue repeating my phrases. Maybe they will sink in. What is “income inequity?” Many in Lee Park are not working and have no income. No workee, no payee. Somebody named Ashley quit her job in food preparation and another quit her job on the way to Baltimore to join the music scene but never made it there.

  47. You totally misunderstood my comment. I definitely was not saying “Pretty please.” Since that is an expression used by a lot of children, you must not have a command of English.

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