Eyewitness Report "Occupy" Rally
The lamestream media told you:
Whatever you saw, read or heard about the "occupy" movement,
compare it to this eyewitness report from the Phoenix event on Oct. 15, 2011.
There is a very GUN connection here, read on --
Comparisons with the Tea Party fall apart when you notice the average age of attendees was mid 20s. Average age at Tea Party rallies is somewhere between bald and pacemaker. My impression was of a bunch of youthful middle-class people filled with angst, politically uneducated or naive but angry at something, looking for a way to vent their rage. Check out the cool neck tattoo on the guy on the left looking left.
Some of the people were creative, and more than a little nutty, without any clear philosophical grounding, out for a good time. Many of the signs were bizarre. It seemed as if many of the "occupy" people were imitating The Tea Party by making handmade signs, they just didn't have poignant things to say.
Case in point. Sure, funny. Meaningful? Only to a moron. Will it affect change? No chance. Change to what?
The important point here is the guy in pink in the background with the partially obscured sign, "Lobbying is legal bribery. End it now." I struck up a conversation with this fellow, as I had done with many sign carriers, to see what they stood for.
Alan: So why do you want to outlaw lobbying?
Weird Old Odd Kook Incoherently Explaining (WOOKIE): Because lobbying is destroying the country.
Alan: But lobbying is the heart of democracy -- you go to the legislature and you plead with lawmakers to do things as you see fit.
WOOKIE: Oh, it's OK for you to go down there, but it's not right to pay people to do it.
Alan: But a person has to live. So, if a bunch of my writer friends say, "Alan you go down there and argue for us, here's a day's pay," that's not OK?
WOOKIE: You're trying to pick nits, man. You can do that. It's wrong for Morgan Stanley and multi-billion-dollar international corporations to lobby.
Alan: But some big players go to argue for railroads, let's say, and some argue against railroads, why isn't that fair?
WOOKIE: The big money is ruining everything, they're all corrupt.
Alan: So where do you draw the line? How much money is allowed? Who should have the power to say how much money is allowed?
WOOKIE: Hey man, you've got your mind made up, talking to you is no use.
Alan: I'm just trying to understand your position. Would you outlaw any organized contact with our elected representatives? When is lobbying OK and when is it not?
WOOKIE: I'm not talking to you anymore. Go away.
Alan: You're just like the rest of these people I've spoken to -- your position makes no sense and you can't defend it.
WOOKIE: I am not like the rest of these people.
Alan: Then explain to me what your sign stands for and how you propose doing it.
WOOKIE: I am not like the rest of these people.
Some of the signs were worth a chuckle. This clever one had no one attached to it that I could find for the three hours or so we were there. Although this attacks republicans, there was a sentiment present at the gathering that it's not the republicans vs. the democrats, it's the government vs. you. That's a theme I can relate to. But that of course was undercut completely by the dominant theme of tax the rich. Who gets the money when you raise taxes? Not the poor that these people imagine they are fighting for.
I tried to ask the Money Back lady what money she wants back.
Alan: How much money did they take from you?
Some people lost their homes.
Alan: Did you lose your home?
Alan: So how much money did you lose?
The banks are taking people's money.
Alan: Which bank took your money?
Alan: How much money did they take, and how did they take it?
The bailouts were robbery.
Alan: We agree. Obama should not have done that; how should we get that money back, and who should we give it to?
You're just a trouble maker. You're with them.
I tried the Parasite lady:
Alan: The rich got rich by building companies and providing jobs. Why are they parasites?
She gave me a nasty scowl and walked off.
We traded glances from time to time.
I didn't get a picture of this particularly incomprehensible sign.
I asked the young girl carrying it what it meant.
"I'm just holding it for my brother."
I think it was a complaint about personhood.
People were angry at corporations, like the ones that made the clothes they were wearing, the phones they were carrying, the containers for their water bottles, you name it. One side said 'CORPORATIONS AREN'T PEOPLE."
Alan: I agree. Corporations aren't people. So what?
Woman In Nerdy Dress (WIND): In the Citizens United case, the Supreme Court said corporations are people and have the right to free speech.
Alan: The Court said the same for unions too in that case.
WIND: But the corporations could now say whatever they want and pour tons of money into campaigns.
Alan: And unions can too.
WIND: But corporations aren't people.
Alan: We agree. And neither are unions. In Citizens United v. FCC, the Court said corporations and unions can spend what they want, how they want, and, while declaring their expenditures, spend money which is the equivalent of speech. But the court said individual people like you and me can't do that, that doesn't seem right.
WIND: Corporations aren't people.
I approached a seemingly intelligent young fellow
and his apparently intelligent friend, who said
he believes we should tax the hell out of the rich to fix our problems.
Alan: What do you do?
Dope Ostensibly Pursuing Education (DOPE): I'm an engineering student at ASU.
Alan: So you stand to make a lot of money when you graduate.
DOPE: Yes, that's true.
Alan: So you're in favor of taxing away a lot of what you earn? That would make life fair and resolve these issues, give all those fruits of your labor to the government?
Alan: All that money?
DOPE: Even more.
Alan: So let's say you invent some new bridge design, and it's better, stronger, uses less materials than anything else, and everyone worldwide starts using your patented design, from here to communist China, and you make a billion dollars. What then?
DOPE: (Softly) Then all these people would be rallying against me.
Alan: And that's OK?
DOPE: I think so.
Alan: So let's say the government taxes you at 50% and takes half of what you have. You'd have $500 million, so you'd still be OK, even filthy rich.
Alan: But you'd have given $500 million to the government. Why would you ever want to give $500 million to the government? How would that help anything? You know how the government squanders money. The last thing you want to do is pour more fortunes into the government's hands!
DOPE: But then they could take care of the needy, and spread the wealth around.
Alan: [Like everyone else I met at this rally, he had no understanding of even the most basic economics, a product of the government schools.] So you think it's OK for government to take the fruits of your labor and give it to whoever they think needs it? And you think that's what they'd do with all your hard-earned money? Why aren't they doing that now with the trillions they have?
Guy Nearby Adds Thoughts (GNAT): The government should feed the poor.
Alan: Well, government only governs legitimately if it's with the consent of the governed, right? (Heads nod.) Where does government have consent to take money from us and give it to other people?
GNAT: Well they should do that. They don't need permission. (DOPE: Yeah, what he said).
Alan: But there is a list of what we the people have said the government can do. It's called the Constitution. Limited delegated powers we give them.
GNAT: There's no such list.
Alan: Sure there is. It's in Article I, Sec. 8. [I rattle off some -- post office, build post roads, defend the borders, weights and measures, copyright and patent...]
GNAT and DOPE: Deer-in-headlight silence... Then it should be added.
Alan: I'd support that. Amend the Constitution to say it's OK to take money from people who earn it, and give it to people who are hungry. Give them clothing too?
GNAT and DOPE: Oh, that would never get done. You'd never get that passed.
Alan: Then you can't take our money for that. That would be tyranny. Government taking whatever it wants, for whatever it wants, without the people's consent.
It was obvious this was going nowhere, and I drifted off to some other interesting something, while John and Laurie stuck around for a while.
Not much to talk about here.
I think he thinks he was funny.
He embodied the spirit of many people here.
Many people had better-made signs.
They had help. Union-made signs.
"Look for the union label..."
Remember that quaint old jingle?
So if this is the problem, why aren't these people picketing
Oprah Winfrey, Yoko Ono, Bono and people like that?
Well, this one is at least true. I sent it to Grover, who seemed flattered, and said thanks.
Note the sign in the background: "Get money out of politics," with "NO" republican and democrat symbols. The protesters have said they will not leave until their demands are met. This was about the most rational demand I saw. I said rational, not feasible. If they stick to their demand, they'll be here until the sun cools.
I asked this fellow what he meant by his day-glo-green sign.
He had some beef about Norquist's "No New Taxes" pledge many politicians have signed.
Alan: So what's wrong with getting politicians to pledge their support to a cause?
Norquist Is Not Elected (NINE): The only pledge they take is to the Constitution.
Alan: You're saying they can't pledge themselves to anything they like? What about free speech?
NINE: OK, I see your point. But Norquist is not a politician.
Alan: We agree. So what? A plain old person can't act?
NINE: You should see my other sign! (he flips his sign around)
I've sent that one to a friend who can maybe get it to the Kochs.
I figured it's time to stroll around some more.
The sign on the right is a dig at Tea Partiers who are indeed spelling impaired.
Of course, this sign was spelled right, but it was not speaking for everyone present.
I didn't bother snapping the bad grammar and bad spelling, only the bad mentalities.
Now take this women with the red-lettered energy-conspiracy pitch.
This is best handled by a letter I got from a correspondent, who would normally appear at the end of one of my reports, but fits oh so perfectly right here, reproduced for you here without any editing for spelling or grammar:
"U really have too much time on your hands pal. Did u know that there is a massive steel ball at the bottom of the ocean that is guarded by the military? Within it's structure lays enough free electricity to power every home in the u.s.but the government is keeping it a secret so they can for canada's free health care. Home schooled...huh? -Russell S."
Hey, I can't make this stuff up. I'm not creative enough.
Some signs speak for themselves.
Now here's one that got me thinking.
Alan: I didn't know God hates anything.
GREED: Oh, He hates alright.
Alan: God doesn't hate. Ours is a loving God.
GREED: No, God hates the greedy.
Alan: How do you know?
GREED: Trust me, he hates greed.
Alan: It's not good to hate.
She went on to chat with her friend.
I told you there was a gun connection to all this.
I asked some cops (scores of them in black battle gear everywhere) if these military guys were part of their detail. That would be a posse comitatus violation (you can't use the military to enforce civilian law) and major news.
These perfectly decked out, AR-15-carrying battle-ready soldiers were actually civilians, part of something called the U.S. Border Guard, Counter Narco-Terrorism Division. This is the next generation of the Minutemen (no affiliation), carrying out patrols, search and rescue, and volunteering to keep the borders under surveillance.
They were here this day, as one of them said, "To show that the Second Amendment is alive and well, and that you can bear arms for peaceful purpose." He continued, "The Second Amendment protects the First Amendment, and we're here to exercise that right and safeguard the 99% and the 1%." That refers to the "occupiers" incessant grousing that they are the 99% (the silent majority, so to speak), aligned against the so-called "1%" money barons who control everything and should be forced to give their money to the government.
Which leads rather naturally to MY sign. Why let these vagabonds get away with a campaign to pour money into government hands, by shouting "Tax the rich," without realizing what they're doing? They had every complaint imaginable about the government, but then paradoxically and hypocritically called on government for feed, and control. So, co-opt the message I say, and I left this behind on the grassy knoll --
That's all folks!