So Lincoln, Nebraska has a growing tent Shanty Town, occupied by a band of intentionally helpless Lincolnites. Ironically, Shanty Town Lincoln is located squarely on one of the best spots in the City to serve as a symbol of that city government’s, and therefore, elected officials’ and bureaucrats’ mismanagement of taxpayer dollars for a very long time. I refer, of course, to the Centennial Mall, which, by the City’s own admission, has been so neglected over the last forty years that it now requires restoration to the tune of at least $7 million.
Inquiring taxpayer minds wonder…
Just where have all those park fees gone? And how about a long (and growing) list of taxes (which have just been increased), other fees, bonds, aid from the State (before it was cut due to a worsening overall economy), federal grants, federal stimulus dollars etc., etc.?
I say it’s ironic that there is an occupied encampment (the group actually calls it that) on the crumbling Centennial Mall because, according to whatever stated grievances one can discern from the group’s statements and the movement generally, it is actually government that is responsible for the problems about which they are complaining.
Their chief complaint is corporate greed, another, a desire to see student loan debt forgiven.
And another biggie….wait for it…I think it’s my favorite…they say they want…
Democracy1 I cannot use the word “democracy” in an article without noting, firmly, that the U.S. is NOT a democracy, it is a republic. As Linda so beautifully articulated, in two of our most popular articles, ever, the men who wrote the Constitution believed democracy was dangerous. They knew their history – democracies always fail. See “A Republic If You Can Keep It” and “Majorities Don’t Always Know Best“!
That one is also very ironic since the original organizer stated that she does not vote 2 Mary Ann Shiech, in the printed version of the article to which I’ve linked, stated that she does not vote. The online version does not include the same statement.. Instead of engaging in any way in the political process available to her as a citizen, getting involved in any efforts to learn about how government works, discovering the sources of problems she thinks should be addressed, or undertaking any other such efforts, she just skipped straight to creating a Facebook page for a Lincoln, Nebraska, based version of Occupy Wall Street.
Is that because she would like to just skip through some of the stuff associated with the democracy the Occupiers say they want and go straight to mob rule?
One thing is very clear – OccupyLincoln really wants to eat the rich.
The following logo has been used by OccupyLincoln for various purposes since it was created; first on Facebook as its overall logo for the first several days of its existence and then as the symbol for the weekly (yes I said weekly) Saturday marches :
Oh, the hypocrisy. In one of our recent articles, we wrote about how, in January, one very leftist Nebraska group accused us here at GiN of creating an atmosphere leading to violence…because of our metaphorical “Deserving of Darts” series. It’s been a running theme; the right-wing tea partiers are fomenting violence! But it’s pretty weird; I’ve been to a few tea party events and I’ve never seen anything like OccupyLincoln’s cannibalistic graphic. It seems less metaphorical and more vitriolic…or is it just me? After all, they just want to peacefully squat on, I mean, occupy City property indefinitely, right?
But speaking of hypocrisy, the same people who levied the accusation of violence at GiN were scheduled to speak to the squatters about the pipeline project…umm…huh? What, considering all of the known information about the project and actions or lack thereof by Nebraska officials, has that got to do with this Occupy thing? Could Jane Kleeb’s interest in the Occupiers be, perhaps, an example of how she is grinding multiple leftist axes all the time, and therefore, not focusing on the real sources of problems? I guess, then, she is boldly on board with the whole eat the rich thing, too?
The mantra of a growing number of Occupiers everywhere is that they are the 99%.
I know I love it when other people attempt to speak for me, don’t you? Are Shanty Town squatters representative of “the 99%”? Uh, I know I’d like to be part of this fantasy 1% we’ve been hearing so much about, but, um, my family is not part of that. But I also know that I’m definitely not part of anything that uses a logo of a school of piranhas eating another fish, disturbingly implying that I’d like to destroy 1% of my fellow citizens.
Speak for yourselves, OccupyLincoln.
I do know I am definitely part of another percentage – you know, the what is it now? – 53% of citizens that pays federal income tax. I bet a lot of our readers are part of that shrinking, but special club.
I wonder how many of the squatters on the Mall are also part of the 53% who pay federal income taxes?
Hard to say, but, so much for that 99%, at least according to one participant. It isn’t really the whole 99%, because the “upper-middle class” should be excluded, along with people who have political differences of opinion. Occupier Rosa posted on the Lincoln group’s Facebook wall, lamenting that the OccupyOmaha group can’t take on a “working class perspective” because it is full of “upper-middle class liberals and Ron Paul Tea Partiers. Hopefully, it’s not too late for Lincoln.” (below, left)
Does that sound like the proletariat not wanting to mingle with the bourgeoisie, or is it just me?
Another participant, Bryan, took the proletariat versus the bourgeoisie rhetoric further in response to a Friday statement by a Tennessee based group regarding small business’ disgust with class warfare. Bryan responded (image below):
“Typical petty bourgeois tripe. Employers do not create wealth, they extract it from their workers.
3 Occupier Bryan’s remarks are actually particularly disturbing since his use of Marxist rhetoric is sophisticated in that it displays a depth of knowledge in present, typically in a true student of or believer in a particular political philosophy. I say this because his labeling of a small business owner as “petty bourgeois” is a technically and highly specific term used in Marxist philosophy. Bryan goes much further than Rosa in his derision of small business owners; under the Marxist paradigm, petty bourgeois are considered lower middle class“
Such remarks are among the big absurdities (albeit increasingly disturbing ones) within this movement.
It’s a very mixed bag; there are some who seem to believe they are perpetually entitled and others who are very confused. And then there are the true believers. The entitled and the confused are clearly angry about the economy, and they think it’s Wall Street and the big corporations who are to blame. The true believers are just looking for an opportunity to ride a wave of anger.
Occupier Rosa’s lament about the inclusion of the “upper-middle class” in Omaha definitely indicates true believer-ism, but whether it’s the true believers or the confused, the ignorance is absurd. The fact is that “the middle class” are today’s Forgotten Man. They are the people who earn enough to pay federal income taxes, who own their homes and who have not asked for nor received any of the several mortgage bailouts or any other government assistance. They are the actual group, arguably, who have been pinched the most since 2008.
I think Linda found the correct analogy; the Occupiers are very much like the drunkard in the old joke, “The Drunkard’s Search”:
“A police officer finds a drunk man late at night crawling on his hands and knees on a sidewalk under a streetlight. Questioned, the drunk man tells her he’s looking for his wallet. When the officer asks if he’s sure that he dropped the wallet here, the man replies that he actually dropped it across the street. ‘Then why are you looking here?’ asks the befuddled officer. ‘Because the light’s better here,’ explains the drunk man.“
How is “the Drunkard’s Search” a metaphor for the Occupy movement? Their beef with college tuition rates is a perfect example. If the Occupiers are upset about the amount of money they’ve borrowed to pay for college, shouldn’t they be camped out in front of one of those bastions of higher education? After all, it is the colleges and universities that set tuition rates. If the college or university is publicly owned, it is the State Legislature that approves any tuition increases, not rich people or those greedy corporate types or, even, the insidious bankers on Wall Street. But it is far easier to target corporations, bankers, and rich people than it is to exert yourself to identify the root cause of the tuition problem. After all, corporations, bankers, and the rich are “the usual suspects” scapegoated by leftists, regardless of the problem of the day, because it suits their ideology and appeals to emotions rather than reason.
In other words, leftists are on their hands and knees, searching under the street light for the source of their problem, while the wallet, in this case, the root cause of their problem, is actually across the street. Over and above colleges and universities, government is that root cause. Student loan rates are set by government, not banks. And the federal government commandeered the entire student loan industry via the February 2009 Stimulus bill. The accusation of corporate greed seems exactly like “The Drunkard’s Search”.
Ironically, by sheer accident, OccupyLincoln is exactly where it belongs, though. On one end of the Centennial Mall stands the symbol of State government, the State Capitol, and on the other end stands a State run university, the University of Nebraska. The property on which they squat belongs to City government.
It is the government that is responsible for their grievances. But they are too ignorant, too incoherent, too entitled, and operating on too much emotion and too much ideology to appreciate the irony.
Unfortunately, picking the wrong, but convenient target is not the only problem here. More to come.
(E-mail subscribers, click HERE to watch the included video.)
Important Note: Anyone wishing to quibble with the inclusion of comments on OccupyLincoln’s Facebook page wall as somehow grossly misrepresenting the group’s ideology need take note of a couple of relevant facts. First, I note that remarks are made by individuals. Second, if particular remarks were to be considered as not representing the group, or the group did not want to be associated with certain ideology or remarks, they have the option of blocking or removing such statements, or at least deciding to comment regarding particularly radical or incendiary language. There is plenty of discourse occurring on the page, so any of these options exist. There is also a history of the group blocking people with whom they disagree, both currently on the page as evidenced by comments, and in direct information given to me earlier this week; a respectful but critical individual’s questioning was apparently not wanted, and she was blocked.
References & Notes [ + ]
|1.||↑||I cannot use the word “democracy” in an article without noting, firmly, that the U.S. is NOT a democracy, it is a republic. As Linda so beautifully articulated, in two of our most popular articles, ever, the men who wrote the Constitution believed democracy was dangerous. They knew their history – democracies always fail. See “A Republic If You Can Keep It” and “Majorities Don’t Always Know Best“|
|2.||↑||Mary Ann Shiech, in the printed version of the article to which I’ve linked, stated that she does not vote. The online version does not include the same statement.|
|3.||↑||Occupier Bryan’s remarks are actually particularly disturbing since his use of Marxist rhetoric is sophisticated in that it displays a depth of knowledge in present, typically in a true student of or believer in a particular political philosophy. I say this because his labeling of a small business owner as “petty bourgeois” is a technically and highly specific term used in Marxist philosophy. Bryan goes much further than Rosa in his derision of small business owners; under the Marxist paradigm, petty bourgeois are considered lower middle class|