Thuggery

"Mike Keane, who owns O’Hara’s Restaurant and Pub, said that the theft of soap and toilet paper had soared and that one protester had used the bathroom but had failed to properly use the toilet."

"In a widely distributed pamphlet, 'Welcome to Liberty Plaza: Home of Occupy Wall Street,' participants were instructed where to find relief. 'After you’ve dined,' it reads, 'feel free to refresh yourself in the restrooms of neighboring businesses like Burger King and McDonald’s without feeling obligated to buy anything'

Is this really the example of behavior that Democrats are going to try and metastasize across the country and adopt as their own?  Stealing soap and toilet paper, shitting on the floor, destroying private property and dancing naked in the streets.  This can't possibly end well for them and perhaps this story featuring prominently in the New York Times indicates that at least some on the left are waking up to their peril.

This behavior is a microcosmic example of what Republicans constantly accuse Democrats of trying to foster with their policies of wealth redistribution and class warfare.  The targets of Democratic entitlement are lazy, belligerent, freeloading, unmotivated miscreants who want nothing more than a free handout in exchange for their continued privilege to do nothing at all and be compensated for it.  That is certainly a generalized stereotype but reinforcing that stereotype with actual real life examples seems like a bad idea.

The question most frequenlty asked is: what do these protesters want?  There is a great deal of speculation and confusion surrounding this question and some general consensus that these people really don't know the answer to that question.  Acutally...

Here is the official statement of the movement, a sort of Declaration of Entitlements not sent to the King of England but rather directed at The Corporate Forces Of The World (read that again in Don LaFontaine's voice).

This really isn't a list of demands since the only actual demand to be found is:  "our system must protect our rights."  The implication is that the system in its current form fails to do this; though in the same run-on sentence they proceed to announce that "we have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known."  If the "system" were not protecting their rights, these people would long ago have been ejected from the site.  But I digress.  The arrogant lead in to the document announces:

"...let these facts be known."

Not a single item on the subsequent list is a provable fact.  There are plenty of references to actual events and generalized accusations directed at nobody in particular or everyone in general.  Take your pick.  "Corporate forces of the world" could be Warren Buffett, Barack Obama, The International Monetary Fund, my boss in IT or anyone who is invested in a 401K.  Banks.  Governments.  The military.  Rich people.  Businesses.  Repubilcans.  The Evil Forces of Skeletor.  Who knows who makes up this shadowy group of individuals?  The only thing we can be sure of is that Dick Cheney must be their leader. 

What have these evil forces done you ask?  Oh, the usual things.  They've raped the Earth, killed harmless animals for no reason, poisoned our food and water supply, stolen money from the middle class and generally conducted themselves like comic book villains.  This is the other problem with the list.  Evertything is so black and white.  There's no room for grey areas, not a thought that CEO's, bankers and rich people also live in the same country raising children and families.  By reading this list, you wouldn't know that "they" vote for the same public officials, drink from the same water supply, drive on the same highways, attend the same schools and community events.  Basically, the protesters have expunged all the humanity and individuality from the people they consider to be the enemy, thus making it much easier for them to evade the very obvious question:  why.

Greed, money, power... the usual vague culprits are generally the answer to this question.  Certainly such vices exist but stop and think for a second.  How many people have you ever met in your life that couldn't care less about poisoning the oceans and drinking supply, stealing money and food from poor people, throwing teachers out in the street, refusing to aid sick and dying people.  Where are all these evil people?  Are they living in their secret hideouts, plotting more crimes and mayhem?

Of course there are people and organizations who make foolish decisions to put profit ahead of responsibility but it is almost always far more complicated than the intellectually lazy, Lex Luthor style evil that people seem so ready to believe in.  Futhermore, we have a society and a system in place to address irresponsible behavior and it may no be perfect but it certainly works as well as any system of government that humanity has yet come up with. 

My question to the protesters is this:  what are you doing about it?  If your answer is standing in the park, playing your ITunes playlist, getting drunk and high and shouting at people going to work then why should I give a damn what you think?  Making a difference means working within the system for change, not standing around insisting other people do it for you.  Who knew affecting real change was as awesome as attending a Rage Against the Machine concert?  Perhaps this movement will evolve into something more serious but for now, it's nothing more than a bunch of intellectual laziness and a vehicle for people to feel like they are doing something so they have a credible excuse for them to continue to do nothing.