Sometime the Lights are Shining on Me

I know I am going to get flamed for this, but I just don’t understand what the goal is for the occupy Wall Street crowd. I confess that I don’t have much use for crowds, so that always has to be factored in as part of my cynicism. And, I suppose, at least these folks are doing something, as opposed to sitting on their asses behind a computer bitching about Wall Street, which is all I have done. But you know what I think when I see shit like this:

I see that, and I don’t think of a coherent message to talk about how Wall Street and the Financial sector and their political influence are ruining the country. I see a bunch of trustafarian nitwits who should be braiding hair and drinking wheat beer in the parking lot of a Phish concert, weaving in a few bong hits and a couple games of hacky-sack. We’re just making it too easy for Wall Street and the money boys if this collection of motley fools is the opposition. It’s so fucking depressing.

Which gets me back to at least they are doing something. Having said all that, this kind of bullshit is outrageous:

There is no need for this kind of behavior from the cops. That man needs to be fired, promptly. Of course he won’t even be penalized in any way.

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250 replies
  1. 1
    MAJeff says:

    There is no need for this kind of behavior from the cops.

    Whether there’s a need or not, this is who cops are.

  2. 2
    beltane says:

    If those young women were maced for just exercising their 1st Amendment rights in the most basic of ways, I shudder to think of what would happen if there was a movement with an angrier, more coherent message. Something like the Bonus Army would bring out the PTBs inner Qaddafi in no time at all.

    Imagine if the gun-waving teabaggers were treated even a fraction as harshly as this.

  3. 3
    delphi_ote says:

    100% agreement, John.

  4. 4
    beltane says:

    @MAJeff: Strangely enough, the cops are not cops when it comes to dealing with violent, neo-fascist Tea Trash.

  5. 5
    Corner Stone says:

    Maybe getting maced by the cops was the entire point.
    Because some god damn harmless non violent protestors got penned and sprayed for hanging out by the money shrine.

  6. 6
    BenSix says:

    That man needs to be fired, promptly.

    *Clears throat*

    Arrested.

  7. 7
    Brachiator says:

    I know I am going to get flamed for this, but I just don’t understand what the point of the occupy Wall Street crowd. I confess that I don’t have much use for crowds, so that always has to be factored in as part of my cynicism.

    There is a long tradition of physical demonstration and protest. Don’t quite understand your cynicism even if public protest is not your thing.

    I wonder though. Has “The whole world is watching!” been replaced with “Some folks are blogging!” as the standard for expressions of public sentiment and protest?

  8. 8
    doofus says:

    I think the protesters would be more effective if they were in suits and ties.

  9. 9
    Corner Stone says:

    We’re just making it too easy for Wall Street and the money boys if this collection of motley fools is the opposition.

    Who else would you suggest? Obviously you’re not going to do it.

  10. 10
    Corner Stone says:

    I see that, and I don’t think of a coherent message to talk about how Wall Street and the Financial sector and their political influence are ruining the country. I see a bunch of trustafarian nitwits who should be braiding hair and drinking wheat beer in the parking lot of a Phish concert, weaving in a few bong hits and a couple games of hacky-sack.

    Authoritarians gotta authoritariate.

  11. 11
    cathyx says:

    Unless bankers are getting hurt in the pocket, they won’t change a thing. Protesters need to take their money out of the big banks and put it into credit unions or small local banks. The banks will definitely hear that protest loud and clear.

  12. 12
    Carol from CO says:

    I don’t understand this protest either. In fact I have wondered if it might be a bunch of breitbart’s gang dressed up like hippies so they can say: see, those libruls are scum.

  13. 13
    John Cole says:

    @Brachiator: I just don’t like crowds, is all. I mean, god bless people who went to the capitol in Wisconsin, all the people who take to the street to protest this or that, but when I see a crowd, I go in the other direction. Hell, I couldn’t live in NYC or anything else with that kind of population density.

  14. 14
    TFinSF says:

    @BenSix:

    Clears throat
    Arrested.

    Absolutely. Walk up to someone, spray them with mace and then flee like a coward? Sounds like assault to me.

  15. 15
    scav says:

    Like all crowds, protesters are usually a mixed lot. Fair number of the UCSB crowd protesting Apartheid seemed more immediately interested in their tans. Didn’t alter the justice of the cause (certainly added a je-sais-exactement-quoi to the local ambiance). Not all bankers kick their dogs nightly: doesn’t mean the BigCashBoys are all nice people and deserve tax breaks.

    ETA: I somehow have come the conclusion that democracy is neither graceful nor dignified but there it is.

  16. 16
    beltane says:

    @Corner Stone: It’s always been the motley fools who start these things anyway. The young man who set fire to himself in Tunisia would certainly have been considered a “loser” by middle-class standards here.

    Look at the expression on the face of the bald man carrying the briefcase. He is uncomfortable. That is the whole point, to make his type feel uncomfortable.

  17. 17
    WaterGirl says:

    Holy crap. That cop just sprayed those women for the hell of it? That’s completely crazy and wrong. Is this getting any traction?

    I hope that guy’s wife / daughter / girlfriend / family sees that video. I lived next to a cop who was one of the good guys – serve & protect – not like these cops who like to spray and taser people, who are in it for the power, just bad guys with a badge. SIck.

    Is this a male abuse of power thing? Does anyone know if any women cops have maced tasered people unnecessarily?

  18. 18
    Cacti says:

    When you understand that the role of the police is to control the proles and protect the rich, you can pretty much count on the fact that they’re going to manhandle protesters like these.

  19. 19
    geg6 says:

    Having been, at one time about a decade ago, one of the motley fools, I can’t say I disagree with a single thing you wrote. DFHs don’t get anyone fired up except for cops and the rest of the country just points and laughs. Get some firemen, some nurses, some teachers, and other assorted middle class professionals out there and I’ll be right there with them. That might get some attention. But this sure won’t except for the train wreck factor.

  20. 20
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .

    There is no need for this kind of behavior from the cops.

    Of course there is – 1) A threat to the police state anywhere is a threat to the police state everywhere; 2) Firebaggers deserve to be beaten, if not executed by presidential decree, as all balloonbaggers here have cluck-clucked in agreement repeatedly; and 3) U.S. police and soldiers are the biggest pussies on the face of the earth, outside of Ginni after our marriage.
    .
    .

  21. 21
    Donald G says:

    Ask not for whom the hippie is punched, the hippie is punched for thee.

  22. 22
    ruemara says:

    The protest silly, IMHO, because if it was going to do something, it would be in the halls of power, ie Washington. Or it could be really doing something and doing a massive voter registration rally. How about a teach-in? But, like you say, at least they are doing something. And Officer Brutus there is acting criminal. I have some hope that he’ll suffer a consequence. Hopefully one that gives pause to more of this.

  23. 23
    Corner Stone says:

    For Cole and others who are waving these people off as dirty hippies. Take a look at the video of the women who got maced.
    Who do you think they are? They are Cole’s sister. They are the female half of The Ills. They are human beings who recognized this shit has to stop and if not them, then who?
    Take a look at them and then tell me this protest is about some dirty fucking hippies who are kooks.
    There are many blogs covering this protest (even though your favorite trusted anchor may not be). And according to samples they are a huge chunk of 50+ somethings scared to death of what’s next for them. There’s also a significant amount of well educated 20-somethings who can’t find work.
    It’s disgusting that authoritarians here are writing them off as insignificant fringe actors.

  24. 24
    BGinCHI says:

    I’m with Cole. I don’t like clouds either.

    Went for an innocent bike ride this morning and we got rained on like hell.

    Fuck Wall Street and fuck clouds.

  25. 25
    Corner Stone says:

    @ruemara:

    The protest silly, IMHO, because if it was going to do something, it would be in the halls of power, ie Washington.

    The power isn’t in Washington. That’s where the results are manifested, but the decisions are being made elsewhere.

  26. 26
    Uriel says:

    But how can you deny the potent political symbolism of playing drums on a plastic arm with red paint splashed on it? Why, I can physically feel the overton window slamming leftward as I type this. I give it two days before the public option and nationalized banking are formally added to the bill of rights- hell, I woldn’t be suprised if they weren’t retroactively inserted as the first of the new 12 commandments. It’s just that powerful a message.

  27. 27
    Arundel says:

    I agree in that I think it’s rather pointless symbolism; but at least it’s something. Just want to say that that NYT piece you linked to was a pretty shameless hatchet job out to make them look utterly foolish, dirty hippies heh, indeed. Maybe that’s why you think they’re all trustafarians goofing off- that’s the whole point of the article. Making the left look like fools and dreamers. Mission accomplised, I guess. And if they are as ineffectual and laughable as that article sets out to show (by focussing on the most outré characters there) why were 80 people arrested today?

    Tea Partiers are a pretty ridiculous-looking bunch, too. But of course the media treats them with grave solemnity. This Wall St protest, small as it is, is only covered in terms of scorn and mockery. Which is a way of utterly ignoring the point they’re trying to make.

  28. 28
    delphi_ote says:

    Can anyone

    a) Tell me in a short sentence what the hell goal of this protest is
    and
    b) Explain how forming a drum circle on Wall Street relates to this goal?

    The whole thing is an incoherent mess.

  29. 29
    Corner Stone says:

    @beltane:

    It’s always been the motley fools who start these things anyway. The young man who set fire to himself in Tunisia would certainly have been considered a “loser” by middle-class standards here.

    Some people have nothing left to lose. I guess they’d qualify.

  30. 30
    James says:

    White shirt means command staff. Command staff cares about the dollars. Dollars get doled out by the Mayor. Kids get hosed down with chemical weapons for fucking with said dollars by racking up extreme amounts of overtime to maintain the police presence.

    If you can’t see that, you deserve to be frog-marched into a Koch brothers workcamp one day.

  31. 31
    delphi_ote says:

    @Arundel:

    Which is a way of utterly ignoring the point they’re trying to make.

    What point ARE they trying to make?

  32. 32
    Corner Stone says:

    @Uriel: Nobody would doubt your position on this.

  33. 33
    James says:

    @delphi_ote:

    The dollars own us all. You’re the epitome of ‘dumbfuck’.

  34. 34
    joeyess says:

    Abbie Hoffman used the same tactics. The only difference between now and then is that Hoffman rallied college kids that were watching their friends from high school come home in body bags and he impressed upon them that the same fate awaited them when they graduated from college. There is, thankfully, no threat like that now, so these tactics won’t have the same effect today.

  35. 35
    Corner Stone says:

    @joeyess: I’m not sure. Obviously the existential threat of death was more pervasive then. But IMO younger people these days seem to get they have had something vital stolen from them.
    And for nothing they’ve done.

  36. 36
    Alex S. says:

    So that’s why you were a republican in the first place.

  37. 37
    scav says:

    @delphi_ote: well, the Tea Party is throwing a tantrum for the first part of your question (although in any number of incoherent and often internally inconsistent directions) and their short sentence would likely be word-salad at best — and then what possible good is dressing up in a tricorn? So we seem to have matching sets, o! shock! Reality is both complex and silly and many of those sitting on the sidelines looking smug and wise are merely proving the adage of “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

  38. 38
    Corner Stone says:

    @Alex S.:

    So that’s why you were a republican in the first place.

    Yeeouch.

  39. 39
    joeyess says:

    Also, too, there is this:

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

  40. 40
    MaximusNYC says:

    @delphi_ote:

    What point ARE they trying to make?

    THIS. I was having almost the same thoughts as John before I sat down and read this post in my browser.

    I am not opposed to protest — I’ve taken part in a number of them myself. I’m not here to punch hippies. But what I want to see is smart, goal-oriented protest.

    What is the agenda of Occupy Wall Street, besides, well, occupying Wall Street (or actually, a nearby park)?

    What concrete difference do they hope to make? Have they endorsed proposed legislation or regulations? Are they calling for investigations of specific people, events, or institutions?

    What made the protests of the civil rights era so effective was that they were strategic. It wasn’t just people showing up somewhere and engaging in civil disobedience to lodge a grievance against the Man. Each action was coordinated and calibrated as part of an overall strategy to push for specific reforms. Rosa Parks didn’t sit in the front of the bus spontaneously — she was a trained, disciplined activist whose actions were planned in advance.

    I heartily support the Occupy Wall Street folks exercising their 1st Amendment rights. I work nearby, and I went over and checked out the scene a few days ago. They seem like good people, on the whole. I just lament that they seem to have little or no sense of strategy*.

    (*Or timing! This idea would have really caught fire about 2 years ago.)

  41. 41
    ppcli says:

    @BGinCHI:
    So many things I would have done.
    But clouds got in my way.

  42. 42
    pete says:

    At this point, in this country, I’m happy to see almost any sign of rebellious life, no matter how incoherent.

  43. 43
    joeyess says:

    @Corner Stone: True. I believe that change can only come from young, fresh legs, so I support these kids and cheer for them to continue.

    I’m too old and rickety to get out there and mix it up with cops and chemical weapons.

  44. 44
    doofus says:

    @James: So the “dollars own us all?” That is the statement being made here? Really? Ok. I believe it. So Why the protest? Why now? How would the protesters know if they were succcessful?

    I can’t find any actual goals here but maybe I am looking in the wrong place.

  45. 45
    nancydarling says:

    Well, John. There’s the gladiator in the arena and all that. One of our household saints is Doris “Granny D” Haddock. She walked across the country when she was NINETY for campaign reform. Did it happen? No. But she is a helluva inspiration for countless thousands who knew her and about her. These aren’t all young kids out there. They may not accomplish much that it is obvious, but if they inspire people to make a phone call, write a letter, move their bank accounts or any other action, they are successful.

  46. 46
    bemused says:

    The protest hasn’t grabbed my interest either even from the beginning. I was immediately caught up in the Madison protests, a visceral feeling, and I checked out what was happening daily. There’s plenty of reasons to try to send Wall Street a message but this is a mishmash of a thousand frustrations.

    On Friday, Rachel Maddow showed some news videos of people hanging banners from bridges in several cities supporting Obama’s ‘fix bridges, put people back to work’ message. That caught my attention and I’d like to see more of this happening.

  47. 47
    chopper says:

    that’s the issue with most demos i’ve been to. there are some that are probably very good and effective in what they attempt to do (wisconsin), but so many times it turns into a bunch of hippies walking around with puppets pushing a totally different subject. i’ve worked a number of these things, the biggest one was the A16 protests in DC way back in the day (aiming at shutting down the WB/IMF meetings), and about 40% of the crowd were either anarchists looking to break something or hippies screaming about eating meat and wearing fur.

    meanwhile, i mention this shit to my israeli friends who demonstrated this summer against high rent and they’re confuzzled. they’re like ‘why is it so difficult to stick to the damn theme with you guys?’

  48. 48
    greennotGreen says:

    Yes, the cop should be arrested, and if not, would ACLU please file the suit now against the NYPD? Yes, the message should be more coherent, but we are progressives; message discipline isn’t our thing.

    That said, Cole, did you just dis wheat beer? Even New Belgium Sunshine? No wonder you’re single. You are a bad, bad man.

  49. 49
    Guster says:

    I think the theory is that first you get the freaks out in the street, then sometimes shit happens. It’s the Shirtless Dancing Guy theory of social change.

    I mean, I’m like Cole. I’m too old and agoraphobic, conservative and straight-laced for that shit, myself. But if some cop loses his shit completely and shoots two of those white kids in the face, then we’ll maybe pull Half a Tahrir Square, or something. And things will maybe change a tiny bit–if only attitudes.

    Frankly, without an overreaction, nothing will happen. Sure, I’m embarrassed at how well my politics dovetails with that of children who wanna drum on mannequin arms–but all I do is donate and vote. Donating and voting will never change shit.

    God bless the Patchouli Rangers.

  50. 50
    nalbar says:

    To those obtuse people asking ‘what is the point’?

    The point of any protest is to get a reaction. Preferably an over-reaction. A protest does not need ‘coherence’ to get that reaction. WTF does ‘coherance’ even mean anyway? That everyone should look the same, have the same goals in life?

    Frankly, there are bunch of silly people in this comment section. And if you ever wonder what is REALLY wrong with the progressive movement read some of these comments. Non- perceptive people falling back on their authoritarian roots. ‘don’t fuck with the man if you look funny’.

    nalbar

  51. 51
    jwb says:

    @Corner Stone: I’ve been fighting about this on Twitter, arguing in favor of the protesters, but this statement really irked me because it made the protesters seem exceptionally clueless: “New York City General Assemblies are an open, participatory and horizontally organized process through which we are building the capacity to constitute ourselves in public as autonomous collective forces within and against the constant crises of our times.”

  52. 52
    Corner Stone says:

    What’s with the demands for “goals”? And other stupid shit.
    Since when did it become more complicated then showing up?
    Now they gotta have a fucking spokesman? A powerpoint?
    Why? Because the NYT made fun of them for not having one? Fuck that.

  53. 53
    Guster says:

    @chopper: Because the people who are protesting the most are very rarely the people who are hurting the most.

  54. 54
    James says:

    @chopper:

    Those participating in a genocidal aparthied regime often have a sense of ‘togetherness’. It’s one of the perks.

  55. 55
    Corner Stone says:

    Goals. Gaols. GOALS!!
    Gotta have goals motherfucker! Or nobody gives a shit what you gotta say! GOALS!
    Fuck you Republican assholes.

  56. 56
    doofus says:

    @Corner Stone: Then they will get exactly what they are asking for, which as far as I can tell is nothing.

  57. 57
    jwb says:

    @Corner Stone: Well, they fell for that bait, and yesterday provided an organizational structure and principles.

  58. 58
    Corner Stone says:

    @doofus: What makes you think they’re demanding anything from the galtian pop?

  59. 59
    John Cole says:

    Cornerstone, why do you take everything I ever write and turn it into a malicious caricature? I’ve clearly written “Good on these folks for doing something while I haven’t dojne jack shit, but what are they trying to accomplish?”

    That’s not meanspirited, evil, or nasty. It’s just asking a fucking question. Yet you have managed to turn this whole fucking thread into another one of your emo outbursts about how Cole hates the left. If I didn’t think I’d have more Anne Laurie drama I’d ban you for just being a trolling douchebag. The suck factor of every thread you participate in triples.

  60. 60
    Corner Stone says:

    @jwb: yeah, anonymous usually conforms pretty well to structure.

  61. 61
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole: Why so sensitive? Ban me if you want to tough guy.
    Your post here is bogus, in all respects and has nothing to do with me.
    You’re an authoritarian at heart. There’s no escaping that.
    It ain’t just me that thinks it, or recognizes it.

    Don’t hide behind AL. Do what you gotta do tough guy.

  62. 62

    I love that top picture. The look on that guy’s face — and I’m just assuming he’s a Wall Streeter, he could be a limo driver for all we know — but the look on his face as he travels through a thick crowd of the great unwashed is just priceless.

    We’ve been treated to a a couple years of Wall Street moaning about how hard it is to make a go of it on a couple million or ten a year, how the rest of Main Street America doesn’t appreciate all of their sweet sweat and how they keep this country humming, goddamit! And frankly, I’m thrilled to see the great unwashed come in and crap in their punchbowl and remind them who they really work for. I want to see more. I want to see busloads of newly homeless people who have been foreclosed on. I want to see every 99 there, too.

    Dammit.

  63. 63
    doofus says:

    @Corner Stone: Ahh, I was confused. I thought they were trying to change something or another. I guess I was wrong. Thanks for clearing that up.

  64. 64
    joeyess says:

    @John Cole:

    The suck factor of every thread you participate in triples.

    Oooh…. That’s gonna leave a mark!

  65. 65
    John Cole says:

    @Corner Stone: Didn’t address one thing I said, then started in with the internet tough guy stuff.

    9/10 for trolling, but it wasn’t a very smooth transition from taunting jeers to the “other people think so too” before a twisting dismount into internet tough guy, so I didn’t gie you a complete ten.

  66. 66
    joeyess says:

    @Corner Stone: that sounds an awful lot like a GBCW to me.

  67. 67
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole: Well, I did call you “bogus”. I thought that was righteous.

  68. 68
    Scott Supak says:

    I don’t know if you saw the Daily Show segment on this, but some of those “trustafarian nitwits” actually gave good, coherent answers on our corporate overlords.

    Why isn’t someone down there teaching them what to say (to what little media they get) on things like a Wall Street transaction tax and the like? Don’t these kids read the blogs? The Daily Show answers were good, general criticisms, but it could be so much better. They could ask that cop why he’s against taxing Wall Street to help pay for his union job, for example.

  69. 69
    Hewer of Wood, Drawer of Water says:

    @joeyess: We can only hope

  70. 70

    @John Cole:

    John:

    Gotta agree with corner stone on this one. If you were trying to solicit some information without dissing the protestors, you didn’t succeed. When I read your post, I felt that its purpose was to point out how undignified those bums look.

    What the hell is a trustafarian anyway?

  71. 71

    Raven, where are you? Come in and help defend our little brothers and sisters on wall street.

  72. 72
    Elie says:

    @John Cole:

    That is just Corner — exaggerated and persistent outrage —

    He is entitled, doncha know? Watch yourself.

  73. 73
    Corner Stone says:

    @joeyess: Why are you trying to hurt my feelings? I don’t think that’s called for.

  74. 74
    Corner Stone says:

    I know I am going to get flamed for this

    Wow. It’s really odd that you then, in fact, did get flamed for such a stupid and ignorant post.
    But I guess it’s just me that made you post that as your opening sentence.

  75. 75
    joeyess says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Why are you trying to hurt my feelings? I don’t think that’s called for.

    Jesus. You can’t be serious.

  76. 76
    Corner Stone says:

    @Elie:

    He is entitled, doncha know? Watch yourself.

    That sounds kinda racist.

  77. 77
    hamletta says:

    I’m with Cole. I don’t see how a protest can be effective if it doesn’t have any sort of goal.

    The Wisconsin protests were well-organized with very clear goals; this one, not so much. They’re not communicating, which I thought was the main reason for a demonstration.

  78. 78
    catpal says:

    I want to know why the Women-hating Forced-Birther crowd gets to protest and harass in front of a Child’s School but No One got arrested.

    but for us there is No Freedom of speech to protest the wealthy and Corrupt Banksters — instead they get beaten and maced by our taxpayer-paid police.

    so Freedom of Speech is NOW only allowed for the Right Wing Nuts.

    That is what We ALL need to be angry about.

  79. 79
    Corner Stone says:

    @joeyess: I’m a very sensitive man.
    But let’s get back to Cole’s on point post about why the Wall St Protestors are such disorganized trustafarian idiots.

  80. 80

    @John Cole:

    I see that, and I don’t think of a coherent message to talk about how Wall Street and the Financial sector and their political influence are ruining the country. I see a bunch of trustafarian nitwits who should be braiding hair and drinking wheat beer in the parking lot of a Phish concert, weaving in a few bong hits and a couple games of hacky-sack.

    Very entertaining and witty. But can you see the ridicule you threw at the protestors?

    Bearing in mind that the behavior of the cops that you are so rightly condemn is a common risk of protesting in any form. So why ridicule protestors who are at risk anyway?

  81. 81

    @hamletta:

    Okay. Maybe they are unorganized and unclear about their message. Perhaps we olds should scurry down there and help them get it together.

  82. 82
    Linnaeus says:

    When you say this, John:

    And, I suppose, at least these folks are doing something, as opposed to sitting on their asses behind a computer bitching about Wall Street, which is all I have done.

    and then follow with this:

    I see that, and I don’t think of a coherent message to talk about how Wall Street and the Financial sector and their political influence are ruining the country.

    ..it seems to me that it’s worth thinking a bit more – and discussing a bit more – 1) what the content of a coherent message would be, i.e., what values do you want to express to counter the ones that the right promulgates and 2) how do we build institutions, come up with mechanisms, etc. to get that message out?

  83. 83
    gnomedad says:

    but I just don’t understand what the goal is for the occupy Wall Street crowd.

    My question is: who is the audience supposed to be? The Goopers are gonna be cheering for the cops.

  84. 84
    joeyess says:

    @Corner Stone: I don’t really agree with his description of the protesters, however, like Cole, being a world-class misanthrope myself, I tend to be a bit of a prick. Having said that, do agree with him on this matter:

    Yet you have managed to turn this whole fucking thread into another one of your emo outbursts about how Cole hates the left.

    On that score, he’s absolutely correct.

    See? I told you I was a prick.

  85. 85
    b-psycho says:

    Teabaggers have what little message discipline they muster up because most of their planning is done for them, all they have to do is show up and wave the signs and/or guns. The closest element to an organized actual grass roots with them is the bible-thumper types.

    What you’re seeing is what happens after you destroy or co-opt virtually any source of agitation from a discernible Left. The few who do show up don’t have much to build on.

    BTW: That of the crowd there that does have a coherent view, they span the spectrum from social democrats (who presumably want the government to act against Wall Street on their behalf) to anarchists (who see the government as little more than accomplices to Wall Street and would sincerely rather both fuck off) isn’t the confusing factor you’d think it would be. Both have points of agreement that can be focused on.

  86. 86
    Corner Stone says:

    @joeyess: I’m gonna take a couple minutes to think about this.
    That hurt.

  87. 87
    James says:

    @b-psycho:

    The idea that a divergent group of people are supposed to march in lockstep with controlled messaging is pretty much anti-thetical to freedom of association.

    The irony is lost on most here. I appreciate your clarity.

  88. 88
    Commenting at Ballon Juice since 1937 says:

    Remember when black people were attacked with fire hoses? Its similar. Get the establishment to show their colors. At least Occupy Wall Street seems to be in it for the long haul as opposed to the Tar Sands operation that was designated for a certain time period when they had thousands of people willing to be arrested and clog up the D.C. system.

  89. 89
    gnomedad says:

    @gnomedad:

    who is the audience supposed to be?

    DougJ says it’s the banksters. That actually makes some sense. Many likely still believe nobody of significance opposes them. Whether this will help is another question.

  90. 90
    ellenelle says:

    hm. have not read all the comments, but surely someone has already pointed this out to you:

    I see a bunch of trustafarian nitwits who should be braiding hair and drinking wheat beer in the parking lot of a Phish concert, weaving in a few bong hits and a couple games of hacky-sack.

    simply sub “hippy” for “trustafarian” and “Dead” for “Phish,” and you have yourself a very Sir Real deja vu to one of our parents from 1970. dude.

    think about it. dude. had this been uber-organized, even i would be suspicious; it’s just (a)happening, man.

    the organic, spontaneous, loosey goosey thing about this is what i love so much. the madison WI sing and sit-ins started spontaneously, and grew into a more organized movement, even including the food and cleanup duties, all very natural and grass roots.

    you can put that double entendre in your pipe and smoke it. and yeah, the dead/phish time warp sure makes your headline so apropos.

  91. 91
    joeyess says:

    @Corner Stone: I wonder…. Does Atkins over at Digby’s place “hate the left” too?

    That sounds awfully close to what Cole was getting at.

  92. 92
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Southern Beale:

    Fred Thompson should totally play that guy in the movie version.

  93. 93
    Corner Stone says:

    @joeyess:@joeyess: I never said Cole “hates the left”. That’s his concoction.
    I just think he’s an authorization at heart and approaches many things he doesn’t understand from that perspective.
    Clearly his language and terminology in just this one piece would prove my point.

    And I don’t speak for Digby or anyone who posts there. So don’t try and hang that on me.

  94. 94
    catpal says:

    @Linda Featheringill: I agree that it is not helpful to dismiss the OccupyWallStreet protest without reading more than the Corporate-owned NYTimes.

    Please read and support this effort here and more here and even Reuters at least reported “We Want Money for Healthcare not Corporate Welfare” instead of the insult of the NYT.

    I support any chance to get a message out that Wall Street Greed and Corruption needs to stop.

  95. 95
    Brachiator says:

    @John Cole:

    I just don’t like crowds, is all. I mean, god bless people who went to the capitol in Wisconsin, all the people who take to the street to protest this or that, but when I see a crowd, I go in the other direction. Hell, I couldn’t live in NYC or anything else with that kind of population density.

    (odd, the Intertubes ate my reply, or I got my buttons confused) I totally understand. A coworker, born in a small town, got accepted to NYU, but dropped out after a couple of months because she could not adjust to the big city.

    On the other hand, I love a maximum city (like the title of Suketu Mehta’s book, Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found); but I have two young cousins who live in a small city. One will probably live close to home all her life. The other can’t wait to get out and see the world.

    But profound social movements and revolutions have been sparked by what initially appeared to be insignificant, ragged, small protests. And so while I understand your personal preferences, I think your cynicism may be misplaced.

  96. 96
    PeakVT says:

    The third video down here sort of shows the pepper spray incident from another angle.

  97. 97
    LT says:

    Shorter John Cole:

    I know i’m going to get flamed for this, and I know those people are actually standing up and doing something at least for a cause that I believe in, while I do, well, nothing, but I’m going to mock these people anyway. You know why? Because it makes me feel better about doing nothing.

  98. 98
    Genine says:

    Since when is suggesting that protesters have a coherent, solid message a controversial thing?

    Since where is a desire for effective protest and getting a message about to people a sign of left hatred?

    One of the many factors in right-wing success has been message coherence. It may be stupid, an outright lie and damaging but it’s simple and repeated and created to sway people to their side.

    To dare suggest we use a strategy is tantamount to hippie-punching?

    Sheesh.

  99. 99
    PeakVT says:

    @PeakVT: If you slow it way down, you can see the two white shirts come from 15-20 feet away, and the guy who sprays appears to draw his spray as he is walking.

  100. 100
    catpal says:

    at least the unnecessary Violence by NYPD Police is getting attention

    from ABC News
    ” ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Protests Turn Violent; Video Shows Police Macing Women”

  101. 101
    delphi_ote says:

    @MaximusNYC: THANK YOU! At least someone here understands my issue with this protest.

    Everyone here knows exactly what the Tea Party wants. Everyone knew what the Wisconsin protestors wanted.

    WHAT DO THESE PROTESTERS WANT? The fact that nobody bothered to give a coherent answer to that question the first time proves my point. This is just theater. It’s acting without thinking. Without direction, the well meaning hippies show up with their incoherent nonsense, and the whole thing just becomes a street performance.

  102. 102
    LT says:

    @John Cole:

    @Brachiator: I just don’t like crowds, is all. I mean, god bless people who went to the capitol in Wisconsin, all the people who take to the street to protest this or that, but when I see a crowd, I go in the other direction. Hell, I couldn’t live in NYC or anything else with that kind of population density.

    That is straight up bullshit. You even said in the post that it’s partly about crowds, and, well, alright, I guess, but that’s a bit hard to understand – as you’re not fucking there. What does a distant crowd have to do with you? Are you confessing that you wish you were there, and looking for an excuse for not being there? And then going one sad step further by belittling those people to make yourself feel even better?

    A really large section of American society just cannot stand vocal public protest. Not just the thought of doing it themselves – but of other people doing it. That is fucked up on several psychological levels.

  103. 103
    delphi_ote says:

    @chopper:

    THIS! Thank Christ some people commenting here see what I see!

  104. 104
    John Cole says:

    @LT: The reason I wrote “I know I am going to get flamed for this” is because any time I say anything that is not reverential in nature about any kind of protest, the usual nitwits come out and accuse me of hippy-punching.

    Since when is suggesting that protesters have a coherent, solid message a controversial thing?

    Since where is a desire for effective protest and getting a message about to people a sign of left hatred?

    Why do you hate America?

  105. 105
    LT says:

    And I think someone who claims to hate crowds – when it comes to things like this – might need to explain how they managed to join the military. THAT is a fucking crowd, just a different kind of one. A little neater. (At least by outward appearances.)

  106. 106
    Ronbo says:

    Is this now a Republicon blog? It’s moving that direction.

    All this moving to the right – following the teatards is getting tiresome.

    Someone should explain how that creates a vaccum on the left and only seems to appease the wealthy corporate class.

    Nixon looks like a flaming liberal from BJ perspective (revenue sharing, EPA, Title X, etc…)

  107. 107
    LT says:

    @John Cole: That doesn’t begin to address what I wrote.

  108. 108
    Ronbo says:

    Is this now a Republicon blog? It’s moving that direction.

    All this moving to the right – following the teatards is getting tiresome.

    Someone should explain how that creates a vaccum on the left and only seems to appease the wealthy corporate class.

    Nixon looks like a flaming liberal from BJ perspective (revenue sharing, EPA, Title X, etc…)

  109. 109
    John Cole says:

    That is straight up bullshit. You even said in the post that it’s partly about crowds, and, well, alright, I guess, but that’s a bit hard to understand – as you’re not fucking there. What does a distant crowd have to do with you? Are you confessing that you wish you were there, and looking for an excuse for not being there? And then going one sad step further by belittling those people to make yourself feel even better?

    Are you drinking?

    I don’t like crowds. They make me nervous. I try to avoid them at all costs. So, whenever I see a crowd of any type for this kind of thing, I recognize that part of my thinking about what they are trying to accomplish may be tainted by MY FEAR AND LOATHING OF CROWDS.

    That’s not excuse making. That’s fucking introspection- recognizing that I may not be clearly thinking about something because of who I am.

    There really are a few of you who, no matter what I write, will turn it into the most negative thing possible.

    Me: “I love Lily.”

    LT, Cornerstone, etc.: WHAT? WHY DO YOU HATE ROSIE SO MUCH? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? QUIT MAKING EXCUSES FOR YOUR BEHAVIOR AND MAN UP AND ADMIT YOU ARE AN AWFUL DOG HATING WRETCH.

  110. 110
  111. 111
    Linnaeus says:

    @John Cole:

    The reason I wrote “I know I am going to get flamed for this” is because any time I say anything that is not reverential in nature about any kind of protest, the usual nitwits come out and accuse me of hippy-punching.

    Sure, I get that. But let’s think about taking the next step, i.e., not just identifying the wrong way to protest, but also the right way and how to get there.

  112. 112
    LT says:

    @scav:

    Like all crowds, protesters are usually a mixed lot. Fair number of the UCSB crowd protesting Apartheid seemed more immediately interested in their tans. Didn’t alter the justice of the cause (certainly added a je-sais-exactement-quoi to the local ambiance). Not all bankers kick their dogs nightly: doesn’t mean the BigCashBoys are all nice people and deserve tax breaks.

    Yep.

  113. 113
    John Cole says:

    @LT: ? The military isn’t a crowd. What are you even talking about?

  114. 114
    delphi_ote says:

    @catpal: “We Want Money for Healthcare not Corporate Welfare”

    Yes, that rhymes, but what does it MEAN? What action are they trying to advocate? Do they want Doc Brown to create a time traveling Delorian so Marty McFly can stop the bank bailouts?

  115. 115
    catpal says:

    good coverage by the Guardian

    Police have been accused of heavy-handed tactics after making 80 arrests on Saturday when protesters marched uptown from their makeshift camp in a private park in the financial district.

    Footage has emerged on YouTube showing stocky police officers coralling a group of young female protesters and then spraying them with mace, despite being surrounded and apparently posing threats of only the verbal kind.

  116. 116

    @Genine: #98

    To dare suggest we use a strategy is tantamount to hippie-punching?

    I submit:

    “I see a bunch of trustafarian nitwits who should be braiding hair and drinking wheat beer in the parking lot of a Phish concert, weaving in a few bong hits and a couple games of hacky-sack.”

  117. 117
    LT says:

    @John Cole:

    You ask ME if I’m drinking? You didn’t just talk about crowds, you straight up mocked those protesters. You called them

    “a bunch of trustafarian nitwits who should be braiding hair and drinking wheat beer in the parking lot of a Phish concert, weaving in a few bong hits and a couple games of hacky-sack.”

    What the fuck game are you up to?

  118. 118
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole: This is pretty weak. Kinda pathetic, actually.

  119. 119
    LT says:

    @John Cole:

    @LT: ? The military isn’t a crowd. What are you even talking about?

    What is it about crowds that you don’t like? And how were those things not present in boot camp, or whatever functions you had to do with fellow soldiers at an army base? How could you possibly NOT characterize those as crowds?

  120. 120
    delphi_ote says:

    @LT: How do those photographed NOT fit that description? Do you not give a shit what the people DO at the protest? As long as you show up, LT gives the participation award?

    By those standards, the guy in the suit is one hell of a protester! I hope you’ll be sticking up for him in the future.

  121. 121
    ABL says:

    @Linnaeus: the point, i think, is that these folks should have thought about that before they started “occupying” cities.

  122. 122
    ABL says:

    other times i can barely see…

    damn, that took me far too long to process.

  123. 123

    Stopped by, and LOL, LT is like a fucking buzzard circling around Balloon Juice, 24 7, scoping out possible incidents of hippie punching, to get all fussed up about. Teaming up with resident clown corner stone, for some dynamic duo of trollering.

  124. 124
    LT says:

    @nancydarling:

    Well, John. There’s the gladiator in the arena and all that. One of our household saints is Doris “Granny D” Haddock. She walked across the country when she was NINETY for campaign reform. Did it happen? No. But she is a helluva inspiration for countless thousands who knew her and about her. These aren’t all young kids out there. They may not accomplish much that it is obvious, but if they inspire people to make a phone call, write a letter, move their bank accounts or any other action, they are successful.

    Hell yes.

    And what John doesn’t acknowledge (and it’s true about ABL bigtime too, and with what they both do with people like Dan Choi) is that their mockery adds to the mockery from the Right. They claim different purposes – but serve the same end. And that’s just depressing.

  125. 125

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Fred Thompson? I’m thinking Kelsey Grammer.

    :-)

  126. 126
    LT says:

    @delphi_ote:

    @LT: How do those photographed NOT fit that description? Do you not give a shit what the people DO at the protest? As long as you show up, LT gives the participation award?

    Almost hilarious. Please – what else can you tell me about those people in the photograph? Can you tell me how their parents died?

  127. 127
    LT says:

    @General Stuck: Where the hell were you in John’s Lily post yesterday?

  128. 128
    John Cole says:

    @LT: Did you look at the god damned picture? Tell me- exactly what message is being advanced, what priority, what good, is coming out of a guy playing a fake arm like a drum.

    One of the things about protests is you want to convince the public to empathize with you. That is why we all instinctively flocked to protests in the middle east- because we could empathize with their plight. You know who people are going to empathize with in that picture? Not the drum line or the guy going all Tito Puente on the body part.

    The public will look at the guy in the suit trying to get to work with this freak show going on around him. It’s disastrous.

    Now “fortunately,” the cops being the brutish pigs we’ve grown to expect, have over-reacted and there are now lots of videos of them beating down and macing people who were doing nothing wrong, so that might help the cause.

  129. 129
    Chuck Derperton says:

    @ruemara:

    Wallstreet is the halls of power.

  130. 130
    TuiMel says:

    @LT:
    Ouch.

  131. 131
    delphi_ote says:

    @LT:
    Your responses are as incoherent as their marching band protest. Do you give a shit what they’re actually DOING in their protest or not?

  132. 132
    doofus says:

    Teabaggers run for PTA, dog catcher, and Congress. Leftier-than-me folks protest on Wall Street without an agenda. Yet another in the long list of reasons the Left continues to get its clock-cleaned.

  133. 133
    TuiMel says:

    @delphi_ote:

    Everyone here knows exactly what the Tea Party wants.

    Really? I’m not sure I do. Enlighten me.

  134. 134
    Joel says:

    Bills in lone possession of 1st in the AFC East.

  135. 135
    James says:

    @ABL:

    We had no concrete list of demands when we took Seattle. ‘Anti-globalization’ is straight up word salad and means anything you want it to.

    @TuiMel:

    ‘Money for us, fuck you’ is about the only coherent statement I’ve seen them make.

  136. 136
    TuiMel says:

    @John Cole:

    Sorry. But the “I hate crowds” thing is weak sauce, IMO.

  137. 137
    LT says:

    @John Cole:

    @LT: Did you look at the god damned picture? Tell me- exactly what message is being advanced, what priority, what good, is coming out of a guy playing a fake arm like a drum.

    There ere thousands of people there. Why are you trying to use this one still-photo to characterize the entire protest? (And why can’t a good protest have some good fun silliness in the first place? There’s not just one homogenous “public” out there. And I swear to god, if they were just serious – you’d be going “EMO! EMO!EMO!)

    One of the things about protests is you want to convince the public to empathize with you.

    What the fuck would you know about public protests? Honestly. What’s your experience with them? And why do you think they have to appeal to you?

    The public will look at the guy in the suit trying to get to work with this freak show going on around him. It’s disastrous.

    The segment of the public that will react like that will never react any differently to ANY protest. They reacted like that to MLK and gang walking quietly in crowds down streets.

    And: Some people who wouldn’t have reacted like that might now – because one of the most-trafficked Lefty sites on the Tubes went out of its way to say “Screw the big picture, I’m gonna mock the protesters!” And the trained fucking seals – like many in this thread – will clap along.

    Now “fortunately,” the cops being the brutish pigs we’ve grown to expect, have over-reacted and there are now lots of videos of them beating down and macing people who were doing nothing wrong, so that might help the cause.

    Maybe, if you really want to “help the cause,” you could just point to the police brutality. Why kick the people on your side of this cause? Even if they’re not performing up to your very high culture standards?

  138. 138

    Protesting private business has a lot of limitations for being useful. Wallstreet is only doing what the government let them do, so the problem lies in government which is where the protests should be, imo. But more power to them, for getting out there and putting their bodies into the legal breach. The only advice I might give, is the protesters should leave one person behind with a “Jump, You Fuckers” sign and hitail it to some congresscritters office, or some other government entity.

  139. 139
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole:

    Now “fortunately,” the cops being the brutish pigs we’ve grown to expect, have over-reacted and there are now lots of videos of them beating down and macing people who were doing nothing wrong, so that might help the cause.

    Maybe that was the point? To demonstrate outrageous actions by authority?
    It’s not like there’s no precedent for their physical behavior. How do we see them mace seemingly innocent screaming women if they aren’t there?
    It’s like some believe a disequilibrium resolves itself with no outside action.
    Maybe those nice ladies should have handed out USB flash drives with their Bed Bath & Beyond sponsored talking points. Or maybe Ulta sponsored their refreshment stands where you could find convenient handouts with a coupon for 10% off any fashion-pack purchase.

  140. 140
    jeff says:

    I consider that assault with a weapon. There should be a straightforward way to press charges and have it brought before court. I understand little about our laws, but if someone assaults me, can’t I call the police? Actually, can’t I call the police if the assaulter is police?

    Did anyone try to press charges? Anyone know?

    I detest crowds, and I can’t join any demonstrations, because, even if I agree passionately with the supposed cause, you can be damned certain that the demonstration will also (maybe “really” is the right word) be about a bunch of marginal stuff that is intended to elevate the protestors’ spirits by alienating everyone else.

  141. 141
    Genine says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    That’s a comment about optics- or lack there of. NOT the fact that there are protesting.

    See comments about messaging.

    Suggesting there might be a more effective way to do something is NOT hippie punching.

    Did John use irreverent language? Yes. But, really? This is John Cole we’re talking about here.

    But what John said is kind of the point. IF the protesters want to start a conversation or create some kind of change then how they come across to the public is important.

    During civil rights’ protests, people were old how to dress and how to act when confronted. Why? Because Martin Luthur King and others knew the importance of optics. And don’t tell me optics aren’t important. There were many people swayed by the visual of a black person sitting at a lunch counter, silently while people yelled at them, threw things at them. Many people were swayed by the visual of people, even black ones, walking down the street wearing white shirts and dark pants and looking “normal” except for the color of their skin and having dogs and water guns blasted at them.

    And while this will not stop SOME people from suggesting it, I am NOT saying that the protesters need to wear Brooks Brothers Suits and sip tea. What I AM saying is that the success of the protest culture, even in the 60’s, was based on a coherent strong message and a knack for understanding optics.

    Yes, it may suck that we can’t scream at the top of our lungs about doing “the right thing” and have the country be behind us but there is it.

    Protest, yes. Yes, yes, yes. No one is saying don’t protest or to shut up and sit down. All John and some other people are saying is do the best you can to make it work. One of the ways to make it work is to tell people what it is you want.

    Just like in Wisconsin and what the Ohio people are doing.

  142. 142
    Kola Noscopy says:

    God, Cole…your authoritarian-loving wingnut/military roots are showing clearly in this post.

    Why is it the fault of the protesters that our government hasn’t done shit to punish Wall STreet or prevent another debacle?

  143. 143
    LT says:

    @Joel:

    Bills in lone possession of 1st in the AFC East.

    I swear to god we got more passing yards today than in the last four years combined.

    3 and 0. Motherfucking hell.

  144. 144
    handy says:

    Hey protestors, it’s time to get serious for once, put down your signs and megaphones and start working on re-electing Barack Obama. He’ll show those bankers who’s boss!

  145. 145
    LT says:

    @handy:

    Hey protestors, it’s time to get serious for once, put down your signs and megaphones and start working on re-electing Barack Obama. He’ll show those bankers who’s boss!

    yikes

  146. 146
    James says:

    @General Stuck:

    Dude… bro… the very fact this violence was being carried out by ‘white shirts’ is a very fucking clear indication this rattled the government itself. You don’t get command staff going around unironically and literally ‘hippie punching’ unless you’ve fucked with what Bloomberg and Kelly want.

    Was there a schism in the NYPD ranks? Were the rank and file unwilling to carry this brutality out? Those shirts mean Lieutenant or above and they rarely get their hands dirty, if ever.

  147. 147

    @handy:

    I suspect the protesters are smarter than you, and will find a way to do both.

  148. 148
    handy says:

    @LT:

    What, too thick?

  149. 149
    doofus says:

    @handy: Or they can also work to infuse their local Democratic party apparatus with more Progressive values. Getting involved locally gave a lot of strength to the wackaloons of the Teabagger variety.

  150. 150
    Corner Stone says:

    @handy: That is too good.
    Hey Protestors! You want a unified message!? Sign up for OFA and fight back against Wall St!! Show those banksters you mean it!

    Otherwise you’re just dirty fucking trustafarians who should set up road carts to start braiding hair.
    And we can safely ignore and/or ridicule you.

  151. 151
    LT says:

    @handy: Not at all. You can’t hold back at BJuice.

  152. 152
    delphi_ote says:

    @TuiMel:
    Come on. It’s even in their stupid acronym.

  153. 153
    Corner Stone says:

    @doofus: Doof, I could not get elected to local dogcatcher here. And not because I’m an asshole. Because I’d need a Republican Daddy to sponsor me.
    I’ve had a few initiatives get passed, but only by asking a friend of mine who’s a wingnut to propose them and manage them.
    There’s nothing done here that doesn’t start with an R getting the ball rolling.

  154. 154
    licensed to kill time says:

    I always thought it was ‘Sometimes the lights all shining on me’.

    I’m glad to see a few banksters made nervous and uncomfortable. They certainly have made millions of folks feel a lot worse than that.

    That is all.

  155. 155

    Oh, and I want to congratulate my Browns for a most excellent come from behind win. GO Cleveland!

  156. 156
    doofus says:

    @Corner Stone: That does make local action more difficult for you. Point taken. New York may be more amenable to Progressives burrowing more into the Democratic party establishment, and I hope the protesters on Wall Street move on toward more productive methods.

  157. 157
    TuiMel says:

    @delphi_ote:
    You buying that? I’m not. But, cheers to you for it.

  158. 158
    ManMaschine says:

    I love it when rich white kids from Columbia wear their Che shirts. Nothing says ‘down with the man’ like having Daddy pay your way through a school that costs $50K a year.

    Occupy Wall Street…ok, occupy and do what exactly?

    It’s like the dog that catches the bus story. What is next?

    What do the protesters want? Is Wall Street just supposed to have a change of heart and play nice from now on? Do they want to destroy Wall Street?

    Nothing makes the executives of the largest financial institutions laugh harder than seeing a bunch of trust fund hippies and flakes and angry vegans play with their puppets and bang on their djembes. Yea, that’s a real threat to the power structure in this country.

    They do this shit everywhere they go. It’s so fucking predictable, boring, and most importantly utterly useless.
    Half of these little assholes just want the chance to smash out a Starbucks window to bolster their hipster pseudo anarchist cred with all the other trust fund Maoists.

  159. 159
    WaterGirl says:

    Maybe I missed something, but I’m trying to figure out what was controversial about what Corner Stone said to upset Cole. I complete agree with all of these statements:

    Cornerstone @ #5
    __
    Maybe getting maced by the cops was the entire point.
    Because some god damn harmless non violent protestors got penned and sprayed for hanging out by the money shrine.

    Cornerstone @ #9
    __
    In response to: “We’re just making it too easy for Wall Street and the money boys if this collection of motley fools is the opposition.”:
    __
    Who else would you suggest? Obviously you’re not going to do it.

    Cornerstone @ #10
    __
    Authoritarians gotta authoritariate.

    Cornerstone @ #23
    __
    For Cole and others who are waving these people off as dirty hippies. Take a look at the video of the women who got maced.
    Who do you think they are? They are Cole’s sister. They are the female half of The Ills. They are human beings who recognized this shit has to stop and if not them, then who?
    Take a look at them and then tell me this protest is about some dirty fucking hippies who are kooks.
    There are many blogs covering this protest (even though your favorite trusted anchor may not be). And according to samples they are a huge chunk of 50+ somethings scared to death of what’s next for them. There’s also a significant amount of well educated 20-somethings who can’t find work.
    It’s disgusting that authoritarians here are writing them off as insignificant fringe actors.

    Cornerstone @ #25
    __
    The power isn’t in Washington. That’s where the results are manifested, but the decisions are being made elsewhere.

  160. 160
    WaterGirl says:

    @PeakVT: I felt sick to my stomach when I watched the third video down. It was like being transported back in time to 1968 and Kent State and all the travesties committed by the police.

  161. 161
    WaterGirl says:

    At this point I may just be talking to myself, but the only thing missing from the wall street protesters is the big sign that says JUMP! you Fuckers! That would get their point across.

  162. 162
    Corner Stone says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Maybe I missed something, but I’m trying to figure out what was controversial about what Corner Stone said to upset Cole.

    I’m not sure either. What’s your opinion to this point?

  163. 163
    James says:

    @ManMaschine:

    Wow… look at this jackass eating his young.

    Glad you took some time out of your day to hate on some young women who just got hosed down with chemical weapons. Manly as fuck, bro.

  164. 164
    Jamus4 says:

    I am also perplexed by the knee-jerk hippy punching. Apparently John was bitten by a Deadhead as a toddler, and has an irrational fear of jamband aficionados, though the bands themselves get grudging approval. Get over it.

    These folks care enough to be out there. It’s qualitatively different than pecking on a keyboard, even without the mace. God bless them.

  165. 165
    WaterGirl says:

    @Corner Stone: Not sure what you’re asking.

    My opinion on the protests? I’m glad they’re out there. Just knowing they are there gives me hope that people are starting to figure out where the problem lies. If the protesters had the JUMP! you fuckers! sign that might make their purpose clear.

    My opinion on the police tackling that guy in the street (see video 3 recommended above) and macing these women? It makes me sick. As I watched that video, I realized that watching that kind of shameless use of power and brutality by the police in the 60s was what turned my politics against my republican upbringing. It just wasn’t right, and that was the moment I became a DFH.

    My opinion on what upset Cole? I usually agree with Cole, but I have no idea.

  166. 166
    delphi_ote says:

    @James:
    Eyes… rolling so hard… I can see the back of my skull. Someone call an ambulance!

  167. 167
    chopper says:

    @James:

    yeah, by that logic demonstrators in america should be focused like a laser beam, given that we killed 100,000 civilians and displaced millions in iraq “just for the fuck of it”.

    yet they aren’t. huh, that’s fuckin’ funny. maybe it has nothing to do with israel being teh devil?

  168. 168
    Commenting at Ballon Juice since 1937 says:

    @ManMaschine:

    Half of these little assholes just want the chance to smash out a Starbucks window to bolster their hipster pseudo anarchist cred with all the other trust fund Maoists.

    Nice projection, asshole.

  169. 169
    Maura Cavaleri says:

    I don’t see anything wrong in what John was saying. I see a lot of people in my business who are confused about what’s happening in politics today, they are scared and they don’t know what to believe anymore. They paid attention to the Wisconsin protests because they could relate to unions. They were no masks, anarchists, drummers and such.

    They would relate to this protest a lot if it didn’t resemble absolute chaos. The chaos undermines and obliterates the message they are trying to send. People can’t see past it, to the message.

    Which is what again?

  170. 170
    delphi_ote says:

    @Commenting at Ballon Juice since 1937:
    Insert Inigo Montoya reference here.

  171. 171
    delphi_ote says:

    @Maura Cavaleri:
    *bows*
    It couldn’t have been stated more clearly than your post.

  172. 172
    Brachiator says:

    @John Cole:

    One of the things about protests is you want to convince the public to empathize with you.

    I have noted that I completely understand your antipathy for crowds, so I am not just trying to bash you.

    However, you seem to have a poor grasp of history here.

    Protesters ultimately have always tried to turn the tide of negative public opinion. It’s risky business. Consider the British suffragettes:

    “One of the problems was the effrontery which people felt that the Suffragettes were behaving. People felt very threatened by them, because they were stepping out of their sphere; and people were very angry and took it as a rather personal challenge. And it wasn’t just a male reaction; it was a female reaction, too. And once you have Suffragettes smashing windows, and burning down churches and attacking works of art, a great mass of society had a very negative view of them, which is, perhaps, not surprising.

    The later horrific practice of force feeding suffragettes was an indirect consequence of public uproar over the police releasing arrested women, instead of holding them in jail as “common criminals,” which is what an angry public demanded.

    The public will look at the guy in the suit trying to get to work with this freak show going on around him. It’s disastrous.

    Not much different to the reaction of many to the protesters outside the Democratic Convention in 1968, or the attempt by some to dismiss all the recent British rioters as hooligans.

  173. 173
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @James:

    We had no concrete list of demands when we took Seattle. ‘Anti-globalization’ is straight up word salad and means anything you want it to.

    What did you accomplish with that? Did you effect any change? Is anything in the world different because of that?

  174. 174
    jay says:

    @ellenelle: No offense, but as much as the right needs to get over the 1960s, so does the left.

    Some other commenter asked why this protest movement has to have goals. I’m sure we can all remember how the Civil Rights movement eschewed goals or how the Suffragettes were just getting together for a “happening” or how progressive reformers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries had no clearly articulated goals. If you want to compare the reform movements of the 20th century, I’m sorry but the DFH’s got nothing–NOTHING–on the progressives who preceded them. They’d be smart to learn a lesson or two from them.

  175. 175
    chopper says:

    @James:

    We had no concrete list of demands when we took Seattle.

    yeah, and look how that turned out. seattle was a clusterfuck and nothing in terms of policy came out of it. yeah, let’s carry some puppets over something different and smash a coffeehouse, that’s real messaging.

  176. 176
    Genine says:

    @Jamus4:

    It’s hippy punching to wonder suggest the protesters might tell us WHY they’re out there?

    They’re protesting Wall Street- sure. But WHAT about Wall Street? The salaries? The bailout? The lack of regulations? More? All of the above?

    WHAT?

    And to wonder what they want to accomplish and suggest that they make it obvious to everyone… that’s hippie punching now.

  177. 177
    Cat Lady says:

    @Maura Cavaleri:

    I agree with this. I think the optics would be WAY better if there were more protesters like the well dressed guy holding the “not economically viable” sign in Falling Down – people who but for the grace of god go you. Good for these kids for showing up, but they’re way too easy to dismiss. My hope is that it’s the beginning of something more coherent.

  178. 178
    Auldblackjack says:

    I know I am going to get flamed for this, but I just don’t understand what the point of the occupy Wall Street crowd. I confess that I don’t have much use for crowds, so that always has to be factored in as part of my cynicism.

    Yeah, they should be at home blogging.

  179. 179
    delphi_ote says:

    @James:
    As an adult, I feel you should probably understand that making a coherent protest is not the same as making one you agree with. The Tea Party is protesting taxes and government spending. We all know that. The fact that we all know that is one reason they’ve managed to push significant policy changes while The Battle in Seattle accomplished nothing.

  180. 180
    Maura Cavaleri says:

    I would also share that my sister, who is an active, protesting progressive, was in MN for the convention on behalf of the homeless. They were organized, had done the work of lining up media and had their messaging ready.

    They were completely hijacked by the far left. Puppets, thuggery, anarchists – that’s all that was shown. People running for cover, police everywhere.

    People who normally could have connected with their message were left with images of chaos that completely overwhelmed anything my sister had set out to do.

    Now is the time to rally people and get our message out. I just think, IMO, this is the way to do it.

  181. 181
    Dr. Morpheus says:

    @cathyx:

    Unless bankers are getting hurt in the pocket, they won’t change a thing. Protesters need to take their money out of the big banks and put it into credit unions or small local banks. The banks will definitely hear that protest loud and clear.

    Abso-fucking-lutly. I’m trying to convince my girlfriend to close her Bank of America account and move it to the credit union we both have an account at but she keeps it open because she’s been brainwashed into thinking that her credit rating will be ruined because “‘they’ look at how long you have a bank account and this is the one I’ve held the longest”.

    Nevermind the fact that BofA is the banking equivalent of Wolfram and Hart.

  182. 182
    OzoneR says:

    @Dr. Morpheus:

    Abso-fucking-lutly. I’m trying to convince my girlfriend to close her Bank of America account and move it to the credit union we both have an account at but she keeps it open because she’s been brainwashed into thinking that her credit rating will be ruined because “’they’ look at how long you have a bank account and this is the one I’ve held the longest”.

    Except they know you’ve had a bank account in another bank. It’s not like they think you started having an account when you opened a new one.

  183. 183
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    Of course you feel that way about them John; that’s how they’re being presented to you. You’re not there, you’re trusting the words and images of others to tell you what the protesters are like and are about.

    You know what this protest is about? It’s not about any particular thing. It’s not about some technocratic fix that will allow the current extremely unjust situation limp along for a while until the next crisis hits. They’re at Wall Street because that’s where the decisions that /really/ effect most people’s lives (and usually very negatively) are taken. You Americans have a major blind spot; if the state wants to put a hidden camera on a corner where people are getting murdered nightly everybody gets all het up about the “surveillance state”, but private corporations videotape every square inch of the places where most of the public gathers (malls, arenas, stadiums, bars, casinos, etc) and everybody shrugs. There is more than just one centre of power in this world, and the one that’s really powerful is the one that has no country. These kids know they’re getting fucked, and they know that the brown people who make all the shit you wear and watch are getting fucked even harder, and they know where the people who benefit the most from all fucking that’s going on work, and that’s why they’re there.

    As for how it’s being presented to you, well… why would you be surprised that your journalistic institutions, wholly owned by the red white and blue fist that’s jamming all of you in the ass, would attempt to present them in that way? After all, it’s hard to get someone to understand something when their salary depends on them not understanding it.

  184. 184
    James says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    Nothing, no and no.

    If you think a single protest is going to change anything or have any tangible effect, you’re insane.

  185. 185
    Dr. Morpheus says:

    @John Cole:

    Cornerstone, why do you take everything I ever write and turn it into a malicious caricature? I’ve clearly written “Good on these folks for doing something while I haven’t dojne jack shit, but what are they trying to accomplish?”

    That’s not meanspirited, evil, or nasty. It’s just asking a fucking question. Yet you have managed to turn this whole fucking thread into another one of your emo outbursts about how Cole hates the left. If I didn’t think I’d have more Anne Laurie drama I’d ban you for just being a trolling douchebag. The suck factor of every thread you participate in triples.

    I must say that you get to the point rather well.

  186. 186
    ellenelle says:

    @jay:

    hm. i don’t get the sense that there are no goals in place in these protests. taxing the rich and creating jobs toward wealth equality is a start; punishing the criminal activities that got us in this mess, and outlawing those tricks that aren’t already crimes; etc.

    these all seem at least implicit here. and so obvious. at least to the most of us out here, as opposed to those sipping champagne on the balcony. that would be the distinction between the protesters and the protested.

    you’re right, those movements to get the vote for women and basic civil rights for blacks, even the right to bargain collectively, these had all become very specific and sophisticated by the time push was coming to shove. but initially these folks just needed a voice. there were random events that expressed that frustration for what became those causes prior to their getting organized; they didn’t start out fully formed, nothing does. in fact, most of those movements started out simply as a resistance against the powers that discriminated, the powers that diminished and denied.

    right now, it’s enough for wall street to be protested against; it’s glorified gambling and they’re all running the numbers with our money in a cesspool of sanctioned immorality and acceptable greed. we have a front seat to history in watching how coherent organization emerges organically from this random resistance born of frustration.

    or better yet, we can be an active part of it.

    this is not be the first time the earliest noises were made by students and youth. hey – they’ve still got the energy and the audacity of both hope and risk to tackle it. needs some adult gravitas to hold, so why not join up?

  187. 187
    Dr. Morpheus says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    So why ridicule protestors who are at risk anyway?

    Because they’re actually ridiculous and don’t seem to be accomplishing very much with the ridiculous tactics they’ve chosen?

    MaximusNYC is EXACTLY on point, there has to be a coherent, planned organization to any protest or call for change OR NOTHING CHANGES.

    Is that clear enough for you?

  188. 188
    Lysana says:

    Cole, CS and LT and their ilk are just pissed you let a black woman yell at them. Nothing you say will be worthy of respect until you put her in her place. Especially if you’re trying to be, you know, logical about something they can cheer from their armchairs and think they’re helping.

  189. 189
    Joeyess says:

    Jeeeeesus keeeeeerist. look, I avoid Digby’s place because I’m afraid that if I read too much of what is posted there I’ll end up in a psych ward with self-inflicted, life threatening wounds on my wrists, but I posted a link upthread by David Atkins that says essentially the same thing that Cole said minus the misanthropic humor. Stop with the “he’s punching hippies!” whine already.

  190. 190
    Samara Morgan says:

    a bunch of trustafarian nitwits

    like me, right Cole?

    you know what Cole?
    we see the whole of the moon.

    the old ways are FAIL.
    the world is changing. Pax Americana is no more.
    the demographic singularity is coming. your nice safe world of football and the “freed” market and Murrikkkan exshepshualism is crumbing.
    l’wingularity menace.

  191. 191
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @James:

    Nothing, no and no.

    Kind of what I figured.

    If you think a single protest is going to change anything or have any tangible effect, you’re insane.

    What other action came from the Seattle protest? Did any sort of coherent organization, with a plan for future actions designed to actually effect change, come out of it? I have seen no evidence of it.

  192. 192
    Sharl says:

    @Maura Cavaleri @180:

    I would also share that my sister, who is an active, protesting progressive, was in MN for the convention on behalf of the homeless. They were organized, had done the work of lining up media and had their messaging ready.
    __
    They were completely hijacked by the far left. Puppets, thuggery, anarchists – that’s all that was shown. People running for cover, police everywhere.
    __
    People who normally could have connected with their message were left with images of chaos that completely overwhelmed anything my sister had set out to do.

    This is an informative account, along with some of the other posts above that address the issue of effectiveness. {Or am I a hippy-puncher for bringing up the ‘E’ word?}

    Having said that, are you certain that commercial media – national and local – would have done the professional thing by conducting proper reporting, even if the purely theatrical lefties had not shown up?

    One of the reasons I am grateful for the internet is that I no longer have to rely on broadcast media news that is controlled by crusty old farts who own the TV and radio stations, who get to choose what few bits make it to air, and what large chunks of raw footage end up never seen outside the editing room.

  193. 193
    chopper says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    well, some of the people behind seattle ended up organizing later demos like A16, and others later. all of them added up to fuck-all, because they were hijacked by puppet-toting douchebags who couldn’t even tell you what ‘IMF’ stood for, or thought the World Bank was just a big, international bank.

    i think a lot of the people who have been a part of this shit get this attitude like ‘well i was fuckin there, how about you?’. because they think the experience of smelling tear gas and running from the cops, on its face, is what get shit done in this country.

    i’m sure if you put these guys in a time machine and sent them back to the 60’s they’d be marching around the south demanding everyone stop wearing leather.

  194. 194
    ManMaschine says:

    I don’t approve of the way the NYPD has been handling this at all. I am not a sadist nor do I wish any hippie chicks to be sprayed with OC for no good reason. That’s just horrible.

    However when your protest is so unorganized like this, it usually descends into chaos and that is what the media will fixate on, not the actual message of the protesters.

    Either way, rather than acting like the businessman in the photo is the problem, he’s not. He is the guy they should be try and reaching out to.

    As long as Mr Business man takes one look at the crappy drum circle and walks on and says to himself, Get a job hippie, then the entire movement is doomed really.

  195. 195
    kay says:

    Wel, I might have agreed with John, except I think they are trying to create something new, so good for them.
    They could model it on civil rights or unions, but they didn’t, they chose a much looser structure, looking at their charter, or whatever that statement is they put together.
    I think they will draw close together as a result of standing with each otther, and that can be really powerful, if they can hold it together and build on it.
    I’m much more traditional, so it would drive me nuts, to re-invent the wheel, but I do think they have the right idea in terms of creating something of their own instead of splitting and dividing or co-opting an existing group.
    I think that’s the right general idea, to make or add rather than divide or subtract.
    I wish them luck, and I love them for showing up.

  196. 196
    kay says:

    I don’t think the police actions will draw sympathy, however, and I want them to succeed, so they have to avoid police contact, thru no fault of their own, but still, I think that hurts them.
    We live in a country where people turned a brutal tasering into a joke. Don’t tase me bro became a JOKE that supposedly normal people found HYSTERICAL, so, no, I don’t think that will work in their favor,sadly.

  197. 197
    Genine says:

    @kay:

    Now that’s a good counter-argument.

  198. 198
    TuiMel says:

    @delphi_ote:

    he Tea Party is protesting taxes and government spending.

    There you go again. You “know” that. “They” may tell themselves that. I do not accept it based upon my own observations.

  199. 199
    Corner Stone says:

    @Lysana: I am so tired of your racist diatribes.

  200. 200
    Corner Stone says:

    @WaterGirl: I asked you a pretty specific question. I answered yours last night.

  201. 201
    Roy G says:

    This was a totally lazy post with an inverted lede. The story is the authoritarian police thuggery. The lazy part was the stereotyping – what, was “cheese eating surrender monkeys” already taken?

    It’s a dodge, plain and simple, to whine that they are dirty hippies with no coherent message; after all, in 2002 I was part of hundreds of thousands of non-hippies marching in NYC with a goddam coherent message: No War in Iraq – and look at all the good that did.

    Good on these people – even if they get snubbed by the Dem bourgeoisie. And that may be a high falutun’ word, but it’s pretty fucking apt for some of the people around this blog.

  202. 202
    Corner Stone says:

    @Roy G:

    It’s a dodge, plain and simple, to whine that they are dirty hippies with no coherent message; after all, in 2002 I was part of hundreds of thousands of non-hippies marching in NYC with a goddam coherent message: No War in Iraq – and look at all the good that did.

    And Cole called you a trustafarian idiot who should be braiding hair then, as well.
    Everything old is new again.

  203. 203
    OzoneR says:

    @kay:

    I don’t think the police actions will draw sympathy, however, and I want them to succeed, so they have to avoid police contact, thru no fault of their own, but still, I think that hurts them.
    We live in a country where people turned a brutal tasering into a joke. Don’t tase me bro became a JOKE that supposedly normal people found HYSTERICAL, so, no, I don’t think that will work in their favor,sadly.

    Unfortunately, you’re going to need another Kent State, If the NYPD took out 20 protesters, that would get some eyes.

  204. 204
    suzanne says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    What the hell is a trustafarian anyway?

    In short, FourLoko_chan.

  205. 205
    James says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    Some of us went on to form No One Is Illegal and The Portland Hotel Society as well as getting Insite up and running.

    You phonebanked for a Goldman Sachs whore.

  206. 206

    Well, here’s the thing. What if the Occupy Wall Street folks don’t accomplish anything. Will they still not have found a group of like-minded people who, if and when there *is* something to accomplish, possibly accomplish something?

    Or, perhaps another way to look at it is this: if you had a really good idea for what to do about Wall Street, where else could you be right now, and be certain to have a chance of speaking to people who might be interested?

    Sometimes, getting enough people together to make some noise is exactly the right thing to do, not because it makes things better, but because it helps lay the groundwork for the next thing.

  207. 207
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @James:

    You phonebanked for a Goldman Sachs whore.

    If that’s all you can see when you think of Obama, well, you have some serious problems with your sense of perspective.

  208. 208
    James says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    He’s also condemning the Palestinians to continued aparthied. Earning that Peace Prize day in, day out.

    There’s a very long list of why he’s shit…

  209. 209
    OzoneR says:

    @James:

    He’s also condemning the Palestinians to continued aparthied.

    Boy, if that’s one of your reasons, you must hate Anthony Weiner, Alan Grayson and Russ Feingold.

  210. 210
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @OzoneR: And, Bernie Sanders, who voted to deny funding for closing Gitmo. Is he “shit” as well?

  211. 211
    Sharl says:

    Yeah, I think Kay and LongHairedWeirdo have a point, about having to start somewhere, and the definite though somewhat intangible benefit of early group efforts, disorganized though they may be. Apparently big progressive changes don’t happen until enough people realize that, hey, we’re not the Privileged Ones, we’re on the same sinking boat as those yucky people we’ve been pitying/mocking/ignoring!
    We ain’t there yet.

  212. 212
    Anne Laurie says:

    @LT:

    And I think someone who claims to hate crowds – when it comes to things like this – might need to explain how they managed to join the military.

    Crowds are disorganized. By everything I’ve read of Cole’s over the past several years, John hates & fears disorganization.

    The whole point to “the military”, what sets it apart from a mere “mob”, is that the military is very, very organized. I’ve known many people, including some I respect a lot, who find the military’s respect for the values of organization deeply satisfying.

    Given the stories Cole’s told about his accident-ridden personal history, it’s not hard to see why the kind of random disorganization associated with the word “crowd” would distress him…

  213. 213
    Joey Maloney says:

    @chopper:

    meanwhile, i mention this shit to my israeli friends who demonstrated this summer against high rent and they’re confuzzled. they’re like ‘why is it so difficult to stick to the damn theme with you guys?’

    SQUIRREL!

  214. 214
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Sharl: I think you, and they, are correct. Movements need to start somewhere. My main problem with many of these types of protests is that they end up going nowhere.

    @Anne Laurie: Well, LT is another one of those few people who will take anything Cole says and turn it on its head for the sake of being an asshole.

  215. 215
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    If that’s all you can see when you think of Obama, well, you have some serious problems with your sense of perspective.

    I voted for Obama in 2008 because he was the best available candidate. Barring something extraordinary happening, I will vote for him in 2012 because he will once again be the best available candidate. That does not alter my belief he has, since 2009, run the nation primarily for the benefit of Goldman Sachs, Wall Street and the banking sector at the expense of everyone else. It merely reflects the reality that the GOP would do all those things as well, plus start more wars, impose more ruinous tax cuts, and erode civil liberties at an even faster pace than Obama has. Because “best available candidate” is usually a polite way to say “lesser of two evils.”

  216. 216
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @chopper: Sorry, I missed your comment earlier. You’re probably right in the first part, and I suspect the second paragraph is what is motivating someone else in this thread.

    ETA:

    @Citizen Alan: While I disagree with some of your characterization of Obama, you have the “perspective” I was talking about.

  217. 217
    ruemara says:

    All of you guys having a meltdown over why people aren’t cheering this as the March on Washington reborn, are idiots. People who aren’t plugged into politics have no idea what these people are doing in their sit-in. They have no way to connect these actions to problems. It is far away from Washington-where, coincidentally to all of you who’ve told me that this is not so, the decisions still get made. It has no galvanizing creed that these people can draw others to. It’s like a Whole Earth Fest but with less expensive tchotckes. I have no problem with the protest, but it’s a bigger version of the senior protesters who gather every Friday holding a peace sign at the corner of our largest park. Sure I support them. It’s still not much more than symbolism. Yay glitter bombs, yay giant puppets, yay macrobiotic pies. In the end, the actual people you’d like to reach are happily kept away from you/unaware of wtf you hippies are doing in the park. I’d love a good protest that takes down wall street. This isn’t it. I can guarantee you, somewhere else on Manhattan Island, some other protest is going on too. If you want to get effective, check out the Tea Party. Those idiots didn’t sit outside in a park, they went to DC and joined Bachmann on her walk the halls of Congress thing. Sure the picketbook of wall street is important, but DC is where things happen. And unless these guys get bigger or, as has occurred, the goon squads of the monied get overeager for blood, average people won’t pay attention.

  218. 218
    LT says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Crowds are disorganized. By everything I’ve read of Cole’s over the past several years, John hates & fears disorganization.

    Fair enough. I think the fact that they’re strangers has to be added to that, and going off to join a mob of strangers on a military base has to be insanely disconcerting to someone who has a dislike of the phenomenon of “crowds.” But, again, fair enough.

  219. 219
    kay says:

    Rmara, all due respect, but this is revisionist history on the Tea Party.

    The Tea Party didn’t make anything new. They simply cleaved off half the GOP.

    They were handed a national Party, with all the infrastructure and powerful backers that go with that.
    It’s hardly a fair comparison.
    They stormed e halls of congress with 100 GOP members in their pocket.

    This is, what, 100 people who wrote t their own rules when they got there?
    They’re never going to have wealthy backers or slick marketing. . Why would they get that support? It is no accident the Kochs back the Tea Party. Their goals align.

  220. 220
    James says:

    @OzoneR:

    Naw, when failures take care of themselves it’s fine. What is that trio doing anyways? Washing the car? Mowing the lawn? Hitting on seventeen year-olds over Facebook? Must have a lot of free time.

    Last time I checked, Sanders wasn’t calling the shots on the veto at the security council. That’s Obama’s call, his alone.

    Lots of reasons to think the man rents himself out as a meat puppet, to various bankers and foreign powers. Just never to you because you can’t pay. Sorry bro.

  221. 221
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @James: Okay, tough guy, what’s your plan for 2012?

    How do you think we can get more-progressive legislation and policy enacted?

  222. 222
    harlana says:

    During the early years of the Iraq war, I wanted to round up a band of ladies and protest wearing business suits, looking and behaving professionally and together, so would could not be dismissed as nutty hippies. Any any rate, in my geographical area, I would never have found enough women to form a posse, because they were either too scared or just didn’t give a damn.

    That was my bright idea, as opposed to getting all painted up and beating on drums and such. I give of props to the protesters but we don’t wanna relieve the 60’s do we? That’s a big part of the problem right now, whether anyone wants to believe it, I was there, so I know.

    Sorry to sound like such an old fart, but I wonder if that’s where John is coming from.

  223. 223
    harlana says:

    i always end up commenting on the old threads, eeeeaaarly in the morning. lol. Well I can’t very well join the sports threads, now, can I?!

    Why doesn’t someone leave a “before the crack of dawn” post just for lil ole me?

  224. 224
    BrianM says:

    @ManMaschine:

    As long as Mr Business man takes one look at the crappy drum circle and walks on and says to himself, Get a job hippie, then the entire movement is doomed really.

    Um, that’s actually what they’re protesting. See this Guardian article: Wall Street protesters: over-educated, under-employed and angry

  225. 225
    BrianM says:

    @harlana:

    During the early years of the Iraq war, I wanted to round up a band of ladies and protest wearing business suits, looking and behaving professionally and together, so would could not be dismissed as nutty hippies.

    In The Glass Teat (I think it was), Harlan Ellison describes a group of protestors who dressed in suits and such to attend a demonstration in the late 60’s or early 70’s. The zealousness with which the cameras avoided them was inspiring.

    The media ye shall always have with you…

  226. 226
    kay says:

    @Sharl:

    Right. We can put it in a more conventional frame, if we want, and compare this with events or actions we’re familiar with. We could say it’s an “organizing event” or a “visibility event” and neither of those are about persuasion, they’re about (respectively) seeing how many people one can turn out or becoming visible to like-minded people who see you.
    To me, it seems as if they’re winging it. They’re “out of order” in the conventional sense, because I (suspect, reading them) the “goals” and organizational structure shifted and came after they realized they could turn out some people, but there’s nothing completely “wrong” about trying it that way.
    The first coupla lines look like the organizational aspects, the “plan” and if that’s what they are, they’re very decentralized and vague. But that’s the easy part, compared to turning people out.
    They’re never going to lack people who will step up and run it :)
    There’s always “too many chiefs”, in my experience, at liberal or Democratic events. Nothing wrong with starting with assembling the people at the bottom, who do the showing up.

  227. 227
    Corner Stone says:

    This isn’t hard to figure out. The media has a virtual blackout on this protest and 99% of what little coverage they do deign to write about is carefully constructed to make the protestors sound and look like kooks. And the protest to be “disorganized” with “no goals” or leadership.
    I find it amusing the amount of people here who have spent thread after thread dissing the media, talking non stop about how they suck and the way they destroy discourse.
    Yet those same people have swallowed the media’s line on this protest, hook and line.
    How many times did we scream about 100 TP’ers getting days of press when 100K in Wiscy didn’t get squat or doodly? And Wiscy had some powerful organization once the unions put their weight into it.
    These guys aren’t running the same protest. They don’t have the money or sustainability.

  228. 228

    […] barrons but so far, Tahrir Square, Madison, Wisconsin, and the statehouse in Ohio it ain’t. I’m with John Cole on this, hippy punches and all: I see that, and I don’t think of a coherent message to talk about how Wall […]

  229. 229
    Samara Morgan says:

    at least they are doing something

    as compared to hosting glibertarian poseurs as frontpagers and refusing to apologize for your blatantly colonialist position on Libya?

  230. 230
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Corner Stone: The media has a virtual blackout on this protest and 99% of what little coverage they do deign to write about is carefully constructed to make the protestors sound and look like kooks.

    because any other coverage might impact Our Glorious Freed Market.
    you believe in it too, claquer, dont pretend you dont.

  231. 231
    Corner Stone says:

    @Samara Morgan: That is too funny. I’m a “clap louder” commenter?

  232. 232
    Samara Morgan says:

    and please note, at Balloon Juice, stalwart supporters of Troy Davis, nary a mention of how the the Troy Davis march hooked up with the 5-day-old occupy wallstreet protests, forcing the NYPD to “escort” the Davis protestors back to Liberty Square where they had their permit.

    you guys fail.
    /spit

  233. 233
    Pat says:

    If you don’t want “trustafarians” (adorable: erstwhile yuppies remain suspicious of anyone without a Saab and Nordstrom’s card) representing your politics, I’m sure another sternly worded letter will do it. Nothing short of another 9/11 style attack will get the Serious People in America off their doughy asses.

  234. 234
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Corner Stone: Pardon, that is the colloquial use in french….you are a claquer, aka a toady, of the freed market, just like the media.

  235. 235
    Corner Stone says:

    @Samara Morgan: You are hilarious.

  236. 236
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Corner Stone: and you are old.

  237. 237
    Corner Stone says:

    @Samara Morgan: I have $100 that says I’m within 3 years of you. 36 months or less.

  238. 238
    harlana says:

    wow, i just realized i canNOT type in the early morning! typos all up in my comment

  239. 239
    Lex says:

    @BenSix: +1.

    And his supervisor. And his supervisor’s supervisor.

    But it won’t happen. “Nuremberg” means nothing to people anymore.

  240. 240
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Corner Stone: /shrug

    not in your head.
    you are still bogged down in 20th century thinking.

  241. 241
    Duckest Fuckingway: Ask not for whom the Duck Fucks. . . says:

    Wait, John Cole hates crowds, but loves the Dead, whose shows he attended regularly . . . to hang out in crowds?!

    Sense, you ain’t makin’ it.

  242. 242
    different-church-lady says:

    Dude, dude, dude… none of them are doing it because they have a clue how to change things. They’re doing it because it makes them feel good.

    Which, as you’ve already pointed out, is better than doing nothing, or being a keyboard anarchist.

    That being said, I think we’re missing the question: what are they doing that manages to put off and irritate even the people who are on their side? Maybe it’s the lack of a long game, or a larger strategy. Or maybe it’s the narcissism. Maybe it’s the naivety.

    At any rate, you’re not the first person to take a hammer to this nail:
    http://www.dailykos.net/archiv.....tml#001149
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....updated%29

    There was another one out there somewhere I read a few years ago, which can be summarized as “And what’s with the puppets?” I can’t find it, of course, since Google totally hates me. It might even have been here. Anyrate, I heartily hope that “What’s with the puppets?” becomes a category.

  243. 243
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @Corner Stone: I think she’s right. A lot of what’s driving the animus against ABL is racism. It’s just a more polite racism.

    And hey, I’m as white as I come, and I come from a place where there weren’t any black people AT ALL until the mid-seventies.

  244. 244
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @OzoneR: Yeah, pretty much. They are assholes. Just because I think they’re slightly more reasonable on economic issues than R-Nutjob doesn’t mean I don’t understand that everyone at the top of the US pyramid is an asshole, with the possible exception of Bernie Sanders.

  245. 245
    Corner Stone says:

    @polyorchnid octopunch: What? ABL is…black?

  246. 246
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole:

    Yet you have managed to turn this whole fucking thread into another one of your emo outbursts about how Cole hates the left. If I didn’t think I’d have more Anne Laurie drama I’d ban you for just being a trolling douchebag. The suck factor of every thread you participate in triples.

    One of these days you’re going to be on the right side of a disagreement with me. It won’t be soon, and it will most likely herald the coming of Gozer. But still. You’re going to get one right one day.
    I can feel it.

    Today was not that day.

  247. 247
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @polyorchnid octopunch:

    I think she’s right. A lot of what’s driving the animus against ABL is racism. It’s just a more polite racism.

    What percentage of the “animus” do you misunderestimate is from people who are not racists but are being convicted in ABL’s mind and in print of racism – and don’t appreciate it, what percentage is from people who think ABL is racist herself and shouldn’t be accusing others of it so hypocritically, what percentage thinks she uses the charge for the primary purpose of inoculating President Obama from criticism on every issue, and what percentage is from those who think that U.S. culture is so steeped in underlying racism that ABL’s cheapening kangaroo court exhibitionism is not relevant or helpful because everyone is struggling with it to some degree? Thanks, I’m writing a book on the subject.
    .
    .

  248. 248
    H J says:

    I never stop expecting this kind of idiocy from someone who still thinks George Bush I was honorable and that Chuck is a good TV show. You are one hell of a retarded old man.

    Handjob

  249. 249

    […] Street” protests began to attract notice last week, the initial reaction was to scoff at the “Trustafarian nitwits who lacked leaders, spokespeople, a policy agenda, or even much of a philosophy beyond anarchy, its […]

  250. 250

    […] Street” protests began to attract notice last week, the initial reaction was to scoff at the “Trustafarian nitwits” who lacked leaders, spokespeople, a policy agenda, or even much of a philosophy beyond anarchy, […]

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  1. […] Street” protests began to attract notice last week, the initial reaction was to scoff at the “Trustafarian nitwits” who lacked leaders, spokespeople, a policy agenda, or even much of a philosophy beyond anarchy, […]

  2. […] Street” protests began to attract notice last week, the initial reaction was to scoff at the “Trustafarian nitwits who lacked leaders, spokespeople, a policy agenda, or even much of a philosophy beyond anarchy, its […]

  3. […] barrons but so far, Tahrir Square, Madison, Wisconsin, and the statehouse in Ohio it ain’t. I’m with John Cole on this, hippy punches and all: I see that, and I don’t think of a coherent message to talk about how Wall […]

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