An interesting conversation.
If you’ve done nothing wrong, then what have you got to hide?
If libertarianism only benefits the mega-rich, then why don’t the mega-rich support Rep. Ron Paul?
And this is particularly noteworthy against overall totals:
1. Obama - $99,527,681
2. Romney - $32,605,827
3. Perry - $17,200,232
4. Paul - $12,787,448
5. Bachmann - $7,547,471
7. Cain - $5,380,841
8. Huntsman - $4,514,189
9. Gingrich - $2,910,879
10. Santorum - $1,289,725
Paul isn’t sitting at ZERO billionaire contributions because he’s had meager fundraising; he’s 4th overall.
So who really represents the “1%”?
Occupy Miami Founder, Executive Director for Florida's CAIR Chapter, Led Rally Chanting “Nuke Israel” And “Go Back To The Ovens”… →
The recent executive director of the controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations’ South Florida chapter is a founder and spokesman of Occupy Miami, WND has learned.
Mohammad Malik currently is as an activist with several other Islamic groups.
He has led hate-filled anti-Israel protests in which participants were filmed wearing Hamas paraphernalia while chanting “Nuke Israel” and “Go back to the oven” — a reference to Jews being killed in the Holocaust.
Malik has been widely quoted in the Florida news media in recent weeks speaking for Occupy Miami.
The Miami Herald identified Malik as one of the organizers of Occupy’s Miami’s downtown campsite headquarters.
This strikes me as little more than sloppy - and seemingly dishonest - fear-mongering. Blaming Malik for signs held by others is just as deplorable as when the left disparages all small- (or anti-) government activists for the words/signs of some random nuts.
There is plenty of anti-capitalist rhetoric and collectivist ideology to legitimately and intellectually counter; there’s no need to try to connect dots with some possible affiliations and divine some greater meaning - especially when this individual is ultimately a tiny player in this movement.
We’re awaiting confirmation from UC-Davis police, but after examining photos and videos of the incident, this is what we believe campus police used against the Occupy Wall Street protesters at UC Davis this weekend. It’s nasty.
This here is the MK-9 stream canister, one of the strongest available forms of pepper spray. How peppery your spray is can be measured by its Major Capaicinoid content, and you can determine the amount based on the coloring of the can. In this case, cops appear to have used a 1.3 percent solution. The only time a spray is more potent? When it’s meant to stop a freaking bear.
Assuming it’s 1.3 percent—or even if it was the slightly less-crazy 0.7 percent, as some pictures indicate—that’s some heavy duty stuff. It’s much stronger than the 0.2 percent that’s authorized for tactical deployment, making this a very large hammer for this particular nail. And even if it were an appropriate dose, it was sprayed at near point-blank range. The recommended minimum distance? Six feet, and it remains effective at 18-20 feet. Translation: The usage on Friday would probably be a little excessive even when used in the field against someone a lot more violent.
At that crazy-strong dosage, the burning, boiling eye sensation and difficulty breathing would obviously be amplified. Any form of pepper spray can be serious trouble—even lethal—for someone with asthma or a heart condition, and we’re talking the stuff the Marines train with here.
Caption: “IF ONLY THEY ENFORCED BANK REGULATIONS LIKE THEY DO PARK RULES, WE WOULDN’T BE IN THIS MESS.”
You mean inappropriately violent and without any measure of respect for human liberty or sense of restraint against non-offenders?
How about we just don’t reward the failing banks and other corporate miscreants with bailouts and crony corporatist protections paid for with our tax dollars and autonomy? Let the bastards fail. Not doing so only prolongs and worsens any possible negative externalities to the greater economy.
3. This comes down, once again, to you disapproving of how other people use their liberties: free assembly and free speech. I make a distinction between their right to speak and what they say and I commend this course to others who value our civil liberties.
What’s more, where the police have made the effort to reach an accommodation it has usually been successful - except on the critical matter of demanding people disperse and not return to parks.
For example, let’s visit an alternate universe where Mayor Bloomberg had offered to meet with a committee at Zuccotti Park and had asked them to agree to move to another park, or agree to something short of permanent residence? Who knows where it would have lead, but not to human chains in the streets of lower manhattan, beatings, kettling and the rest. Or even just wait for snow and ice to end the matter on its own? What’s the harm of a little patience?
1. You don’t have a constitutional right to trespass on other people’s property or physically block them from entering or leaving a building. You just don’t. That’s not liberty. Stop pretending that it is.
2. Of course I think Bloomberg is terrible, and has he has handled all of this in the most authoritarian way possible. That is the least surprising thing about all of this. This is a man who banned smoking, banned transfats, wants to ban salt, changed the law so he could serve an extra term … and everyone is suddenly surprised he is an authoritarian? Again, when Bloomberg was the darling of the progressives, they never stopped to once to think, “hey, maybe all this power he’s amassing could actually be used against us.” YES—he should have let them congregate on actual public property. YES—he should have tried to talk with [them]. He is a terrible human being. But just because he has treated the movement in an awful manner doesn’t mean that the movement hasn’t treated local businesses and residents and blue collar workers trying to get to their jobs in an awful manner too.
This is what I wrote about Bloomberg two years ago, when he was trying to force businesses to put up his anti-smoking signs:
Bloomberg is the perfect embodiment of modern villainy. He’s the billionaire who wasn’t content running his own business, but now wants to run yours. New York isn’t his hometown; it’s his sandbox, and New Yorkers are the sand. His quest for a third term is more than weird; his Hertz rental is up, but he won’t take his hands off the wheel, insisting that it’s his car, and he’ll get out of it when he so chooses.
When the Government forces you to put large signs up in your business, it’s not just the cost that’s troublesome. It’s not just the aesthetic which is ruined. No, the worst of it is that the Government is forcing speech upon you. It was one thing for the Government to tell a business owner that he can’t allow smoking, regardless of the business owner’s own preferences; it is something wholly different, and even worse, for the Government to force him to denounce smoking even if he likes it.
Bloomberg doesn’t believe in autonomy, he believes in autocracy. Autocracy is fine for the autocrat—it’s lousy for everyone else. Perhaps that’s why he’s so desperate to keep his job, lest he find himself on the less desirable side of the divide.
When we libertarians talk like this, we aren’t fighting for just our liberty, we’re fighting for yours too. It would have been nice to have had some of the OWS folks on our side against Bloomberg back when it mattered, but they were all too entranced by his remaking of society in his image.
Police Launch Coordinated Beating at Occupy Berkley
Adam Kokesh put it wonderfully: “Occupy Wall Street continues to prove two things: liberals don’t know shit about economics and we live in a police state.”
Despicable, deplorable, and all-too-typical behavior from
Wall Street bankers armed agents of the state.
Please direct your attention to this typical grievance:
She is college educated, probably in debt, and unemployed.
A central complaint for occupyers is that they (1) have student loan debt and (2) don’t have jobs or don’t have good jobs. That makes sense.
Over the last 25 years, the total number of university students in the US has risen by over fifty percent. A lot more kids are going to college. However over that same time, the total number of students majoring in the most in-demand fields (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) has decreased. What are students majoring in instead?
Why are students majoring in soft-studies degrees that are not in demand and don’t pay? In part because government subsidizes all degrees. Government subsidizes (and sometimes guarantees) all student loans, regardless of what degree they’re in. You get grants regardless of what you major in etc. So lenders and universities have no incentive to really care what you major in. They get the $$. It doesn’t matter.
That distorts the natural information signaling of the higher-education market. Private lenders would otherwise offer much lower-interest loans more readily to biochem majors than queer theory majors. Many of these occupyers likely have degrees in fields with little-to-no career value, all of them government subsidized at least in part.
So what’s the lesson you should learn? It’s clear. College is expensive and the generic “college degree” doesn’t necessarily help much if at all. For most people:
- If you do go to college, do not major in a field that is not in demand unless you’re sure you want higher risk of a much harder life.
What majors are not in demand? Avoid:
- we don’t need more psych majors
- arts (visual, performing, studio, theater, whatever)*
- social services
- area “studies”
Obviously this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn about these subjects or even take classes in them—maybe do a minor. Just don’t major in them if you’re considering career prospects. And if the fields that are in demand absolutely do not appeal to you, consider putting off college or dropping out rather than racking up pointless debt and wasting your time.
That chart speaks volumes.
*For example, puppeteering.
Dear statists: please explain what this individual did to deserve being shot by a rubber bullet.
The Occupy Cycle
Like the Tea Parties, the Occupy movement comprises a hodgepodge of voices, some of which are aimlessly calling for change, some with good rhetoric but not so good an agenda, some who simply favor one faction of the bipartisan American state, and some who would replace current policy with something much worse. The folks in both camps who rail against corruption but oppose key pillars of the free society have no better a vision than Obama or Bush. Occupiers who wish to expropriate the entrepreneurial class, nationalize the economy, and abolish private property are flirting with totalitarian ideals, just as Tea Partiers who reject civil liberties, demonize Muslims, and cry for war with Iran are embracing the very worst components of modern American governance, and are in fact calling for a program even worse than the current president’s.
But… like millions of other Americans, [many] are simply frustrated with the undeniable corruption running through the state-corporate nexus. Seeing this common ground, some conservatives have defended the Occupiers, just as Noam Chomsky has humanized the Tea Partiers as “people with real grievances.” And surely there is a lot to be angry about. Like some of the disenchanted Tea Party types, the Occupiers include many who have played by the rules and work hard to scrape by in a system that seems gratuitously rigged in favor of corporate fat cats, which of course it is. A faction of the Occupiers have been waving End the Fed signs, as they among the crowd understand that the government’s money monopoly – anathema to Austro-libertarians, Old Right conservatives, and Tuckerite anarchists alike – has created a crooked system that gradually seizes money from the poor and middle class and funnels it to the banking establishment, government contractors, and the military-industrial complex. And beyond this, nearly the whole economy is dominated by the corporate state. …
When establishment hacks like Paul Krugman and Robert Reich cozy up to the protesters, many of whom take them with open arms, we know something is wrong, because the very New Deal-Great Society style of governance that has ruled America for four generations is exactly what is responsible for the very disease the Occupiers wish to cure.
The modal Occupier appears to be some kind of social democrat who can easily be used as a pawn for Obama’s left-corporatist schemes like job plans and infrastructure Keynesianism. The Occupy Wall Street Demands Working Group unanimously approved a horrible “Jobs for All” proposal, reportedly angering anarchists and others who see it as an obvious call for Obama-style liberal corporatism. As for the more radical and yet more clueless camp, I previously wrote about one list of socialistic demands and was criticized on the Web for tarring all Occupiers with the same brush, although I didn’t really intend to, but it really does seem that insofar as the Occupiers are calling for anything, it is channeled into a statist demand. I still stand by my concern that this movement, at least on its current trajectory, will ultimately serve as pressure from below to enhance the ruling class’s power. …
[T]he president probably loves the demonstrations to the extent that they serve as pressure for his jobs, student loan, and stimulus programs, but in any altercation between the protesters and the police state, the president of course represents the side of power – not just represents it, but serves as its chief executor and figurehead.
The Obama administration and domestic liberal government are the police state. The same police power involved in tear-gassing and critically injuring dissidents is used to implement national health care. The same statist force behind war and the corruption on Wall Street is behind taxation and liberal social democracy. It is also this force that has extracted the nation’s wealth for the benefit of a few, so that now the Washington, DC, area is the richest in the country. Mao was right: All political power flows from the barrel of a gun. To ask for the state to tax anyone more or regiment society in any way is to give another tool to the true power elite to punish enemies, give advantage to the politically connected, and threaten those who don’t go along with the central plan with imprisonment and state violence.
Entrepreneurs, taxpayers, and everyday Americans should see one another as being on the same side, with big government, the fascist financial system, the empire, and corporate state being on the other, and as long as the establishment divides us against each other, liberty will be lost and Obama’s cronies will laugh all the way to the bank. …
I think it’s time for the Occupiers to take sides: Do you oppose police brutality? Do you oppose state capitalism [aka corporatism]? If so, you must oppose the government power that makes them both possible. Reject any and all calls for more government for any reason, and instead only focus on reducing and abolishing the state’s control.
Divorcing the ruling class from state power, using political power to equalize the economy, is the most fanciful aspiration humans have ever considered. Lord Acton was right that no class is fit to govern. It is why when the disenfranchised grab the reins of the state, they almost always become as despotic as those they have supplanted. Instead, we must all reject the state and all its works. Government is the iron fist, and its promises of welfare and universal humanitarianism always come with nightsticks, tear gas, and rubber bullets, at best. When the state offers you a hand up or a handout, notice the blood dripping from its fingers.
The “occupy” protest movement is thriving off the claim that the 99 percent are being exploited by the 1 percent, and there is truth in what they say. But they have the identities of the groups wrong. They imagine that it is the 1 percent of highest wealth holders who are the problem. …
But there is another 1 percent out there, those who do live parasitically off the population and exploit the 99 percent. Moreover, there is a long intellectual tradition, dating back to the late Middle Ages, that draws attention to the strange reality that a tiny minority lives off the productive labor of the overwhelming majority.
I’m speaking of the state, which even today is made up of a tiny sliver of the population but is the direct cause of all the impoverishing wars, inflation, taxes, regimentation, and social conflict. This 1 percent is the direct cause of the violence, the censorship, the unemployment, and vast amounts of poverty, too. …
The 1 percent do not generate any wealth of their own. Everything they have they get by taking from others under the cover of law. They live at our expense. Without us, the state as an institution would die.
Here we come to the core of the issue. What is the state and what does it do? There is vast confusion about this issue, insofar as it is talked about at all. For hundreds of years, people have imagined that the state might be an organic institution that develops naturally out of some social contract. Or perhaps the state is our benefactor, because it provides services we could not otherwise provide for ourselves.
In classrooms and in political discussions, there is very little if any honest talk about what the state is and what it does. But in the libertarian tradition, matters are much clearer. From Bastiat to Rothbard, the answer has been before our eyes. The state is the only institution in society that is permitted by law to use aggressive force against person and property. …
Cop throws flash bang grenade directly at a crowd mobilizing to help a protester previously injured by police, possibly by a rubber bullet.
This should anger everyone, even those suspect of the generally socialist leanings of the group; this is unacceptable.
I hope the protesters keep in mind a point I previously made regarding the NYPD’s brutality in New York:
[The protesters] were not aggressed against by Wal-Mart managers, McDonald’s franchise owners, bank executives, wall street speculators, or corporate CEOs - they were aggressed against by agents of the state.
Perhaps these agents of the state were indirectly acting at the behest of said corporate bad guys - but said bad guys are powerless to aggress with impunity without the protection of the state. Clamoring for a bigger role for the state to play in order to ostensibly “control capitalist greed” only gives the same greedy corporatists the very system and mechanisms they use to extract more wealth and protection for themselves.