Tag Archives: wall street protests

Thursday Morning Ramblings

There are so many things I want to write about, but at this point of the semester, I simply don’t have the time.  Instead, I’m going to post a few links to articles I’ve found interesting recently.  Many thanks to Philip Hopkins, who originally pointed me in the direction of many of these.  Hope you enjoy:

GOP Presidential Candidate Defends Constitution:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/11/15/gop-presidential-candidate-buddy-roemer-bloomberg-on-the-wrong-side-of-history/

How 300 “got it wrong” and reflects a disdain for citizenship:  http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2011/11/move-over-frank-miller-or-why-occupy.html

Which tier are you in:  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45319319/ns/us_news-the_new_york_times/#.TsUotT2VrlY

Why the USPS is being run into ground:  http://redtape.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/10/07/8191425-twisted-government-accounting-behind-postal-service-woes

A tragic example of the failures of our current healthcare system:  http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2011/11/07/tragic-tale

Monday Morning Ramblings

I’m all for personal accountability.  We should all be responsible for our actions as adults, and even to some degree as adolescents.  Personally, I maintain that people who choose to abuse our systems should be punished accordingly.  However, recently, I’ve heard many conservatives, some friends others politicians or pundits, say that in our current economic situation, the people who are unemployed or under-employed should not blame Wall Street or Corporate America for the economy.  They should blame themselves and hold themselves accountable for their conditions.  After all, there are successful people, even in this economy, and many of them are self-made.  If they can do it, anyone can, or so they say.  Nevermind about outsourcing or offshore bank holdings or toxic assets.  Those have not contributed one iota to our current economic situation, they maintain.  Therefore, following that logic, I’ve decided to apply the laissez-faire model to other areas of society, and here is what I’ve come up with.

Drug dealers should not be punished for selling drugs, even to minors.  After all, dealers are only responding to market conditions.  The demand exists, so they should have the opportunity to peddle their wares in whatever manner produces a profit.  The blame lies squarely with the users.  If people were not so lazy and ignorant as to get involved with drugs in the first place, there would not be a need for dealers.  As to the act of selling drugs to minors or on school grounds, again the dealers are only responding to market pressures.  Competition requires that they expand their markets to maintain profitability.  Therefore, the government should keep the meddling to itself and leave dealers alone.

Drunk drivers should not be punished for driving intoxicated, even if they murder a family on its way home from dinner.  The sober should be more aware that drunks occupy the highways and should take appropriate action to avoid being struck by someone who is merely trying to get home after a fun night on the town.  What right does the government have to tell a person what they can or cannot do behind the wheel of their own car?  No, the responsibility clearly falls on the sober to avoid putting themselves in situations where a drunk driver may be occupying the road.

Teachers should not be held accountable for failing to instruct their students properly in the classroom.  The fault lies solely on students and their parents for choosing to take a course from an incompetent teacher.  If students do not receive a quality education, they should have taken the course from someone else.  There are other schools out there.  Parents and students should be more proactive in finding out ahead of time if the teachers in their schools are up to standards.  The government has no right to encroach on a teacher’s right to conduct class in whatever manner seems fit.  They were hired for the job, so there should be no oversight into how well they are performing in those roles.

I could keep going, but clearly, I’ve made my point.  Only the victims of improper behavior should be held accountable for their actions.  They need to learn to be more aware of their environments and not put themselves in situations where a drug dealer or drunk driver can cause them harm.  After all, I made it home safely last night without being killed by an impaired driver, and if you didn’t, it’s all your fault.

Tuesday Afternoon Ramblings

It’s curious to me how when the wealthy and well-to-do grab for more, that’s just capitalism.  Greed is good, they espouse.  But when we peasants ask for anything, it’s class warfare.  Get a better job, they grouse, while simultaneously making decisions that create jobs overseas.  They’ve manipulated every law, every regulation, every facet of government to benefit their best interests, and then seem offended when we simple folk complain about the absurd pressures being placed on us today.  They hide wealth in offshore accounts to avoid taxes, and then blame cops, firefighters, and teachers for the deficit.  They sit on their balconies, sipping champagne and mocking the protesters crowding the street below.

Their pomposity, so smug in self-righteousness, angers me.  They have crippled the wealthiest nation in the history of mankind, depleting nearly every advantage we once held, yet act as if because they themselves prosper, all is well in the mighty empire.  Well, all is not well.  We are fed up with the Big Lie.  We are fed up with rising prices and falling wages.  We are fed up with the blame being placed on those of us who go to work every day yet can’t afford basic healthcare.  We are fed up with crumbling infrastructure and pathetic excuses for leadership.

I’m for civil disobedience, for peaceful demonstration.  In a democratic republic such as ours, we should be able to enact change without bloodshed.  We should be able to reclaim our government with our voices and votes.  But the feeling I get is that the wealthy and well-to-do are so convinced of their own turgidity that they will not listen to reason and rational discourse.  I’m afraid that the peaceful protesters will soon be supplanted by the angry mob, and once that happens, things will get uncivilized and messy in a hurry.  Anger and frustration are dangerous fuels and can ignite rapidly.

Monday Morning Ramblings

If you watch Fox News or listen to conservative talk radio, you probably believe the Occupy Wall Street protest and the subsequent demonstrations springing up around the nation are nothing more than a collection of neo-hippies, drugged-out radicals, welfare leeches, and uneducated rabble intent on hijacking the government for their own socialist ideology.  These disorganized radicals are at the same time undisciplined lawbreakers and highly trained agents of some secret Leftist cabal planted by Karl Marx himself.  If you believe the far right, this is how totalitarianism begins.

Of course, two years ago, when Tea Party Activists were conducting similar protests, these same pontificators praised protesters as true patriots attempting to save the nation from the evils of government.  Then, protests were our God-given right, guaranteed by the Constitution and paid for by the blood of the Revolution.  It was the duty of concerned citizens to protest the injustices of Death Panels and government bailouts of irresponsible corporations.

I’m not physically there on Wall Street, so I can’t intelligently speak about the people who are protesting.  I also can’t intelligently describe their methods or activities because I haven’t seen them firsthand.  All I’ve seen are video clips and sound bytes from major news outlets, and we all know that the media can manipulate those to fit whatever suits their needs.  What I do know and can speak about intelligently is that the vast majority of us “average” Americans are fed up with corporate greed and government bureaucracy.  We’re  sick of watching laws and regulations manipulated to favor the few and harm the many.  We’re sick of feeling like the entire system is rigged against us.

The other day, I wrote about my hopes for the protests.  Nearly every person I know, regardless of political affiliation, feels like our country is slipping away from us.  Maybe, it’s already too far gone to save.  Maybe, we can salvage our democratic republic and restore liberty to the masses.  Only time will tell, but what is certain is that this current round of protests is fueled by an overwhelming sense of frustration we all feel.

Thursday Morning Ramblings

I only speak for myself and don’t purport to know the motivations and aspirations of the protesters at Wall Street, but if I were among their ranks, the following would be my clearly stated goals of the protest:

I want to live in a nation that respects and rewards a person’s contribution to society fairly and justly.  I would like to earn enough money to pay off my student loan debt, save for retirement, have access to adequate healthcare, and send my children to college, not feel at the end of the month as if I have to choose between food and gas.  I would like to know that my contribution as a professional educator is respected and appreciated, not just by my students and colleagues, but by society as a whole.

I want to live in a nation that holds corporations and CEO’s accountable for moving jobs overseas and hiding billions in profits offshore to avoid paying taxes.  I’d like to see CEO’s punished for bankrupting companies, not compensated with multi-million dollar severance packages.  I want companies to be held accountable if they poison our water supply, make our air unbreathable, taint our children’s toys with lead paint, contaminate our food supply with lethal bacteria, or in any other way recklessly endanger our lives in the name of profit.

I want to live in a nation that once again embraces innovation and ingenuity and doesn’t allow other countries to outpace us in technological advancement.

I want to live in a nation that respects all people who are willing to work full-time, regardless of occupation.  There is dignity and honor in contributing to society, whether that be as white collar, blue collar, or red collar.  All jobs are important, and anyone who is willing to work and be productive should be viewed, not with cynicism and disdain, but with appreciation and admiration.

I want to live in a nation that embraces diversity and respects everyone’s rights to freedom.  Liberty is our birthright, guaranteed by our Constitution, and these freedoms are granted to all citizens of this country regardless of sex, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or any other artificial stratification created to keep us divided and bickering.  We are all American citizens, born with certain unalienable rights.

I want to live in a nation that celebrates and aspires to greatness, not promotes and rewards mediocrity.  Not so long ago, our music, our movies, our books were the best in the world.  Today, we create paper-thin melodies with no soul, recycle worn-out franchises, and cheer poorly written, cliche-riddled narratives.  We have half-baked reality shows rewarding talent-less jackasses and washed up celebrities.  We promote buffoonery and incivility, while creative geniuses play street corners for handouts.

I want to live in the America I was promised as a child, a land of freedom and opportunity, a place where if you built a better mouse-trap, the world would beat a path to your door.  Today, if you build a better mouse-trap, Corporate America and government bureaucracy will trample your aspirations with a myriad of confusing regulations and a maze of overbearing documentation, stifling your innovation in name of preserving the status quo.

Those would be my goals for the protests.