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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Exiles off Main Street

It appears that the Portland police have reopened the street that was being blocked by the Occupy Portland protesters. According to KGW, eight people were arrested.

UPDATE, 9:38 a.m.: The O's version is here.

Comments (21)

I guess I just "don't get" the occupy protests.
I do not understand how sitting around in a park is going to change the behavior of large corporations, lower the salaries of big bank CEOs, work to change the tax laws that enable and support the large corporations, or create jobs for the currently unemployed.
As an "old knee jerk hippie liberal from the 60's" who did do some protesting, it seems to me that this current crop of protesters need to get focused and narrow down their objectives to specific goals and objectives that have some chance of success. Just saying that one is unhappy is not a solution to the very real and complicated set of circumstances and problems.
As with most things, one has to work! to change the status quo, sitting around is not going to achieve anything.

I don't blame them for sitting around. There will be plenty more of this in the months and years ahead. As the Obama administration has proven time and time again, except on a few issues, the two major parties are the same. The political process offers no real hope of changing the status quo.

It makes sense. It was a little ironic that protests against the government for helping Wall Street over Main Street would involve blocking Main Street.

These are tremendous times if you want to get a view of mainstream media's ownership by the oligarchs who now run America. From TV sets across the land, the Occupy Wall Street movement is presented as some sort of immature mystery: "Why are these people so angry? Why do they hate us for having done well fair and square? There was no crime here."

The story is selling partly because you did have to dig into some rather tedious financial stuff to realize there was massive fraud involved here. That fraud put a real hurt on the country and the world. This movement is a response to the damage done to America by misrepresenting the value of security swaps. It's only a mystery if you don't look and rely on FOX Business News to explain it to you. Or any of the media channels.

One interesting sidelight: Congress's approval rating is so far in the toilet that they'd have to build a septic tank on the roof. Yet, they go right on because they're not really working for the American People.

In a similar way, I read that a FOX poll showed 70% of Americans side with the Wall Street protesters, but FOX doesn't really present that side of the story, and they certainly don't get into specifics about what Wall Street did wrong. They are presenting the point of view the oligarchs want them to present.
These are the times the big creatures at the bottom of the swamp surface and are in plain sight. It's sort of fascinating, really.

Incidentally, the people who were warning about the subprime mess would often mention the impending problems for another type of loan. To be fair to the media, "60 Minutes" had an informative piece on this back a few years ago.

The word I see on some of these financial sites is that we are now entering a second subprime-style meltdown with these other instruments.

There's 2 ways to look at it: Either we didn't correct our problems after the last time, or we were already locked into another "too big to fail"-style bailout so all we could do is delay the inevitable.

From what I read by people who've had a good track record, we are now entering the inevitable.

Occupy Wall Street hates the comparison, but the early Tea Party movement was similarly disorganized, disparate, and chaotic. It was a meeting of somewhat (but not completely) like-minded people who were angry at stuff -- details to come later.

[Yes, I know there was some big right-wing money that helped organize the Tea Party, but the thousands who showed up weren't getting paid -- they were legitimately, personally angry.]

The Tea Party has turned itself into a formidable movement that is having a real impact on government policy. Occupy Wall Street could do the same. Both movements are tapping into the public's anger at institutions generally, they're just doing it from different sides of the political spectrum.

Jack -- Do you really believe the two parties are the same? I guess the fact that Obama hasn't been aggressively left-wing enough does not mean that he is right-wing. Compare him to Romney or Perry, and there is just a world of difference on almost everything.

If Occupy Anyplace wants to be taken seriously, they need to move the Anarchists, drug addicts, and mentally ill away from the cameras.

They should also remove their masks and any poster or clothing that "starts with F and ends with k"(anybody/anything) if they want a place at the grownups table.

Failing that, they will be marginalized.

The mayor has given them carte blanche to camp/destroy/pollute the parks.

Congratulations Portland - you are officially one, giant homleess camp.

There is an excellent article by Michael Lewis in the November, Vanity Fair Mag about the financial crisis and how it directly affects and effects California. Lewis' bottom line, as I read it, is that all of us are greedy. We want the government services, but we are unwilling to pay for them, and that few of us are willing to make any sacrifices for the greater good of society in general. That attitude is as pervasive on Main street as it is on Wall street.
I do empathize with the 'occupy' folks, but I just don't see how they are going to change anything.
On the other hand...the Hoovervilles of the 1930's did get the attention of some in Congress eventually, but were those in congress as heavily subsidized by lobbyists then as they are today?

PS: I don't watch TV at all...we discontinued the satellite service last April.

Why are they required to be coherent? The Faux News guys act like any Americans exercising their freedom are supposed to look like and have lines fed to them like Shaun Hannity. I think everyone gets the general idea of what the protests are about: our government puts way too much effort into making the top .01% richer. Duh. That's why even 70% of Fox viewers agree.

It may soon make little difference how coherent or camera-friendly their spokespeople are. I saw an article talking about all the "Boomerang Kids" now: 85% of college graduates are now moving back in with their parents. The unemployment rate for recent graduates (not accounting for fuzzy government math) is as high as 30%. This is just the young people who "should" have opportunities. My guess is that the recent upsurge in gang activity is how the have-nots are responding to a growing reality. In the not-so-distant future, the appearance of the protestors may well be the least of the establishment's concerns--they're just hoping to keep the public thinking that way in the mean time.

It seems HIGHLY unlikely that 85% of any large group of people are moving back into their parent's homes. Even unemployed recent grads will figure out a way to live with peers, if only to maintain their social lives.

The 30% unemployment rate for recent grads may be accurate if you include those who are p/t workers or underemployed.

Mister Tee, I think your post is valid. In the last month of sipping my coffee shop coffee, I've experience three conversations of student/past students catching up on "what's happening?"
"Well, I'm going part-time to school, but my 2 years of unemployment is about out, so I'm thinking of sending out some resumes",

"I don't really want to work, but my other three roommates are getting tired of my freeloading-I'll see what happens",

"Yea, hanging loose, taking eight years or more to get a masters at PSU isn't a bad gig in this down economy. I just get a few part-time jobs occasionally and I survive-food stamps isn't all that bad".

OWS and Tea Party are all populists mad at elites. OWS thinks the elites are plutocrats. Tea Party thinks elites are government overlords.

They're both right. What we have is collusion between a corporate plutocracy and their bought-and-paid-for agents in Washington DC.

Note that our well-entrenched political tropes ("enemies of business" vs. "enemies of government") are perfectly designed to keep these two populist groups divided and convinced that they are actually opponents of eachother.

It's almost as if the people with real wealth and power benefit from keeping the 99% divided... hmmmm.

Jack, I stayed up in the wee hours and watched... Ladies and gentlemen, the Supremes

we are organized to grid lock. The Supreme of Reaganomics, Scalia....

portland native: thanks for the pointer to Michael Lewis' Vanity Fair piece. I think, though, it is about more than wanting government services without wanting to pay for them; it is about their unsustainable levels of cost (and debt).

Jack, I think you would find this worth the read.

there is just a world of difference on almost everything.

Like on war? Wrong.

Like on privacy? Wrong.

Like on health care? Wrong.

Like on taxes? Wrong.

The Democrats and Republicans talk different lines, but in the end there's little difference on any of the above.

Abortion, gay rights, death penalty -- there are a few things they differ on. But on the basic quality of life for the average American? No meaningful difference.

From the Merc's comments:

"What do we want!"

"We don't know!"

"When do we want it?"


My take on why Adams is being “helpful” to these occupiers.

He wants to keep them at bay across the street, not like in Wisconsin where they came into that state capitol.

He wants to also present himself as “friend”, however, his policies have benefited the few at the expense of many in our city. His part in pushing the perks for insiders, such as light rail, urban renewal areas, etc. has taken money from social services, schools, public safety needs. His motivation then may be to deflect that he has been a major part of the assist to the 1% even though he PRs and spends some money that he is for other causes.

Another possible reason for the camps is this helps through the media to
portray those who protest legitimate causes to illustrate what appears to some in our community to be a negative visual scene with the focus on anything negative.

Those who then have reasons to protest can then be perceived/associated as being negative, and especially if this turns ugly, some will think twice about being part of any future protest. This too helps Adams to keep others at bay.

Whatever the comments or reasons listed here, hasn't it been that whatever Sam does is for Sam?

Glad you liked the VF article Sally. Ther is a great deal of good coherent stuff in all of Michael Lewis's writing.

Like on war? Wrong.

Do you really think Obama would have taken us to war with Iraq? Continuing the two wars started by Bush and engaging in a slow drawdown is very different than starting them yourself. As a responsible president, you are hamstrung by many of the decisions made by your predecessors. The left's desire to just pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan was wrong.

If you're referring to Libya, I think that's an excellent example of how American power can be used in conjunction with others (NATO) to take appropriate action to avert slaughter. So far, the Libyan action has been a success.

Like on privacy? Wrong.

Agreed. I still think Obama's instincts on this are better than any past Republican president or current Republican candidate, but he's not that far from them.

Like on health care? Wrong.

I haven't seen many Republicans lining up in support of Obamacare. Or Obama lining up in support of the "free market" (aka "state of nature") approach favored by Republicans.

Like on taxes? Wrong.

Obama wants to raise taxes on the wealthy, Republicans don't want to raise taxes on anyone.

In addition to abortion and gay rights, which are important issues, you can also include the environment (massive differences) and public safety. Plus education. Oh, and overall issues of regulation, which impact every area of life.

If you're referring to Libya

Come on. I'm referring to the six or eight countries he's waged war on -- I lose track of the number. I'll let others supply the list.

And Gitmo. We were going to close Gitmo, right? He did a hell of a job with that.

Obama wants to raise taxes on the wealthy

Baloney. He had complete control of both houses of Congress and didn't do it. Try to pay attention.

Obama has completely. Sold. Out. He has proven Nader right -- they are all alike.

Make that 7-9 countries jack; They announced today that we are sending combats troops to Uganda.


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