Looks Like We Might See Some Excitement @ CPAC

According to the Labor Union Report, the Occupy crowd and their union supporters are attempting to orchestrate a party crash:

Next weekend, political conservatives from all over the nation will be descending on Washington, DC to attend the annual Conservative Political Action Conference—better known as CPAC. Across town, however, union bosses and their adopted #OccupyDC progeny appear to be planning to disrupt and lay siege to the conservative conference.

According to the AFL-CIO’s Washington DC Metro Council website, “Actions are currently being planned for noontime and after work on Friday, February 10.”

Don’t worry, though. Your intrepid onsite CPAC reporter will be careful — though she is bringing her video camera just in case.

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Yay!

NYPD raiders roust OWS rabble
@ the New York Post

The NYPD arrested 200 protesters as they moved in on Zuccotti Park early this morning and cleared out the thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters who had taken over the space for nearly two months.

Mayor Bloomberg, who called the decision to boot the protesters “mine and mine alone,” said protesters would be allowed back into the Lower Manhattan park but not with their tents and sleeping bags.

The OWS hippies will fight the eviction, of course, but I’m glad Bloomberg finally found his backbone.

The Richmond Tea Party Is Full of Win

Occupy Richmond’s special treatment weakens democracy
@ the Richmond Times-Dispatch

On Friday, Oct. 28, Corky Mann, treasurer of the Richmond Tea Party, hand-delivered an invoice to the City of Richmond for the total costs incurred from three separate April 15 events at Richmond’s downtown Kanawha Plaza.

The annual Richmond Tea Party Tax Day Rally, a major venue through which we both alert and educate Virginians on fiscal and other policy issues, has been a mainstay event for the organization each year since the 2009 inaugural rally.

For each event at Kanawha Plaza we filed timely applications for governmental review and paid all required permit fees. We arranged for toilets, first-aid care, staging, lights and sound, off-duty police officers for security, event insurance and volunteers trained to support an orderly day of protest. We always left the property as clean as — or cleaner than — we found it.

The Occupy Richmond group met none of these benchmarks while camped out in the same Kanawha Plaza between Oct. 15th and Oct. 31 (the morning they were finally evicted). So in the spirit of our founding principle of equal application of the law, the Richmond Tea Party is requesting a full refund from the City of Richmond for city-imposed costs related to these three rallies.

Hilarious! Let’s hope these folks continue harassing the Richmond government over this. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a strategy which brilliantly highlights the enormous difference between us Tea Partiers and the lice-infested Occupiers. We are law-abiding; they are parasites.

They Seriously Need to Go Home

Good news: OWS sets up women-only tent to help cut down on rapes
by “Allahpundit” @ HotAir

This can’t be repeated enough: With a few exceptions, foremost among them the New York Post, the coverage of OWS protests compared to the coverage of tea-party protests is the worst media double standard in recent history… We began the year with tea-party pols being smeared as killers over a shooting they had nothing to do with and we end it with actual rapes being shrugged off by the press because they’re bad PR for a movement they support. Disgrace.

Of course, these reported sexual assaults are merely alleged at this point, but still: If the women at OWS feel that their bodily integrity is being threatened to the point that they need to set aside a “women only” tent, that’s a sign that there’s something seriously wrong with this protest. And personally, I think it’s high time that New York City finally take down the tents and kick these people out. Yes — we all have a right under the First Amendment to assemble and express our grievances, but that does not include squatting on what is in fact private property for weeks on end. We get it. You’re pissed off. Message received. Now get a life, hippies, and go home.

On the Woes of the Middle Class

As Rep. Paul Ryan noted in his recent speech at the Heritage Foundation, it is extremely misleading to speak of the “rich” and the “poor” as if they are fixed classes. In reality, most people move up and down the income scale throughout their lifespan. Kids in their teens and twenties are at the bottom because they’re just starting out in entry-level positions. People in their forties and fifties, meanwhile, have generally hit their peak earning years, so they are more likely to occupy the top brackets. Then people retire in their sixties and seventies and their income drops again. People in the fabled “1%” one year may not be there a few years later. And if you’re on the bottom? The chances are still very good that you will not be there forever.

But it is also true that we are not quite as economically mobile as we used to be. The unfocused expression of anger that is the Occupy [Your City] movement is based on something valid. We need to be very careful, though, when it comes to identifying the sources of our distress — and their potential solutions.

Today’s Ragged Dicks (that’s a Horatio Alger reference, not an insult) run up against several roadblocks on the path to success. They include:

  • Family breakdown. Success in school requires parental involvement — but due to the rising rates of divorce and illegitimacy, many well-meaning parents simply don’t have the time to look over little Johnny’s homework. And by the way, said parents also don’t have the time to ensure that Johnny gets healthy things to eat, and bad nutrition can lead to childhood obesity and inhibit cognitive development.
  • A severely dysfunctional lower education system. Our public education establishment has prioritized fads over effective instruction and union demands over our students’ well-being. Consequently, when Johnny graduates from high school (assuming he does graduate, which is not a certainty), he may still be functionally illiterate and innumerate.
  • An increasingly dysfunctional higher education system. Let’s say that Johnny manages to graduate from high school with a B average and a 1500+ on his SAT (out of 2400). At this point, he will probably apply for a student loan and go to college. But will Johnny actually learn anything while he’s there? Is a college education really worth racking up thousands of dollars of debt? That really depends on the major Johnny selects. If he earns a BS in, say, chemical engineering, it’s likely he’ll be able to find a good job when he graduates and start moving up the income ladder. But our colleges also offer an array of fruity “do you want fries with that?” majors like women’s studies and sociology — majors that don’t reflect what the outside economy actually needs. And because all student loans are guaranteed by the federal government, our institutions of higher learning feel no compunction in jacking up their tuitions to astronomical levels so they can support their own top-heavy bureaucracies. Is the Assistant Dean of Student Diversity and his staff of 37 really going to add anything to Johnny’s college experience? No, but Johnny is going to pay for them anyway.
  • The pervasive – and wrong – belief that a college degree entitles you to a comfortable middle class lifestyle. If Johnny decides to major in something useless (like sociology), he’s in for a rude shock when he graduates, as there will be no jobs available for him in his field. Now, if Johnny is suitably humble, he will take his lumps and accept any employment he can find without complaint. Unfortunately, if the Occupy [Your City] protests are any indication, humility is not something we teach in school these days. Instead, we lie to our kids and tell them that all degrees are created equal — that it’s okay to “follow your bliss.” We are breeding a generation of spoiled brats who believe a credential – any credential – erases the need for personal industry. Is it any wonder that employers are reluctant to hire young people?
  • A culture that devalues the trades. We still need plumbers and mechanics and carpenters – indeed, some employers are crying out desperately for people with that kind of experience – but these days, we’re not really encouraging kids to go to trade school. Plumbers and mechanics and carpenters can definitely earn good money and establish themselves as members of the middle class, but right now, kids hear “college, college, college!” and aren’t presented with any alternatives.
  • A regulatory structure that pushes manufacturing jobs offshore. The dose makes the poison — yet we continue to heap costly burdens on our businesses in a ridiculous quest to ensure 100% safety and environmental purity. Yell at the eeeeevil corporations all you want, but they’re building their factories in other countries because their consumer goods would be too expensive for their customers if they were manufactured here.
  • Public policies which favor big, established businesses over small and newer ones. While I understand the economic reason why our bigger corporations have moved some of their operations out of the country, I don’t think those corporations are entirely blameless here. After all, over the years, they’ve collected billions of tax-payer dollars in corporate welfare to fund politically-favored boondoggles like “green” energy. Moreover, because they have the resources to move if they need to, larger corporations tend to like regulation because it handicaps their smaller competitors. If Johnny happens to have an entrepreneurial spirit, he may have a tough time getting his new business going.
  • Burdensome property taxes. If Johnny is successful enough to buy a house and a car or two, he may find himself paying quite a sum to fund local government services. Why? Because during the housing boom, the public sector unions managed to snag some sweet deals for themselves. There are retired public sector workers in California who receive six figure pensions, for example. And are these unions willing to give up some of their benefits now that we’ve hit hard times? Forget about it. They want the private sector to continue forking over the cash, and they’re willing to throw temper tantrums at their state capitals to make that happen. The upshot? Unless Johnny has a public sector job, he’s hosed.

I think you probably get the picture at this point. There is rampant social injustice in our system, but that is not entirely the fault of “the rich.” No — our problems are primarily government-related. It is the government that imposes regulations that prevent entrepreneurs from creating new jobs. It is the government that picks winners and losers in the business world and hands our taxes to big corporations to fund things we don’t want. It is the government that makes promises to the public sector unions that it ultimately cannot keep without going bankrupt or screwing the private sector. It is the government that grants our colleges the liberty to rip people off. It is the government that has enabled 40% of our kids to be born out of wedlock.

The aforementioned Occupiers are demanding the expansion of an already unsustainable public sector, but their proposals are akin to trying to cure someone’s chlamydia by giving them gonorrhea. We don’t need more government; we need less. Moreover, we need to restore the culture that allowed us to be prosperous to begin with. Kids need to be taught that there is no such thing as a free lunch and that they have to work – and work hard – to get the things they really want.

The Oakland Protesters Started It

As you may have heard, the Occupy Oakland protest finally – perhaps inevitably – descended into a riot last night. “Zombie” has posted several videos of the conflict between the protesters and the Oakland PD here.

The usual suspects will certainly paint this as an incident of “police brutality” — but, of course, it is nothing of the sort. The force used was entirely non-lethal, and it was also provoked by the radicals themselves. Certain numbskulls need to get it through their thick heads that if you throw water bottles and paint bombs at the police, the police are going to throw tear gas and bean bags at you. The cops have a right to defend themselves. So you got bruised by a rubber bullet, eh? Let me whip out the world’s smallest violin so I can play my heart bleeds for you.

The Occupy Protests vs. Human Nature

If you need a good laugh, read the following:

The Organizers vs. the Organized in Zuccotti Park
by Alex Klein @ New York Magazine

As the protest has grown, some of the occupiers have spontaneously taken charge on projects large and small. But many of the people in Zuccotti Park aren’t taking direction well, leading to a tense Thursday of political disagreements, the occasional shouting match, and at least one fistfight.

All belongings and money in the park are supposed to be held in common, but property rights reared their capitalistic head when facilitators went to clean up the park, which was looking more like a shantytown than usual after several days of wind and rain. The local community board was due to send in an inspector, so the facilitators and cleaners started moving tarps, bags, and personal belongings into a big pile in order to clean the park.

But some refused to budge. A bearded man began to gather up a tarp and an occupier emerged from beneath, screaming: “You’re going to break my fucking tent, get that shit off!” Near the front of the park, two men in hoodies staged a meta-sit-in, fearful that their belongings would be lost or appropriated.

Daniel Zetah, a 35-year-old lead facilitator from Minnesota, mounted a bench. “We need to clear this out. There are a bunch of kids coming to stay here.” One of the hoodied men fought back: “I’m not giving up my space for fucking kids. They have parents and homes. My parents are dead. This is my space.”

Radical left-wing principles are hard to live by, aren’t they?

President Goldman Sachs

My apologies for interrupting the Herman Cain discussion, but I think this article from the Washington Post is definitely worth highlighting:

Obama still flush with cash from financial sector despite frosty relations

Obama has brought in more money from employees of banks, hedge funds and other financial service companies than all of the GOP candidates combined, according to a Washington Post analysis of contribution data. The numbers show that Obama retains a persistent reservoir of support among Democratic financiers who have backed him since he was an underdog presidential candidate four years ago.

Obama’s ties to Wall Street donors could complicate Democratic plans to paint Republicans as puppets of the financial industry, particularly in light of the Occupy Wall Street protests that have gone global over the past week.

To quote Jack O’Neill from Stargate: SG1: “Ya think?”

The article goes on to note that once the DNC’s funds are taken out of the equation, Obama is receiving fewer donations from the financial sector than Mitt Romney, but I think Glenn Reynolds’ point still holds. Obama is an outrageous hypocrite if he takes any money from the financial sector, let alone $3.9 million.

In reality, both parties are happy to accept campaign cash from financiers, bankers, and corporations. If you look at the list of top donors for the 2008 election, for example, you’ll find that quite a few “moneyed interests” leaned Democratic. Are the Occupy Wall Street folks aware of this? Maybe, but they’ll probably still vote for Obama.

Fighting Capitalism One Food Cart at a Time

Occupy Wall Street: Fighting Capitalism, One Food Cart at a Time
by Alex Klein @ New York Magazine

Even as Occupy Wall Street protesters are decrying the grip of big business on America, they are causing angst for some small business that are well within the 99 percent: The New York food carts and tourist stands that surround Zuccotti Park. And while the occupation has been compared to the Arab Spring and Tahrir Square, the mostly Egyptian kebab cookers and breakfast sellers who are losing their livelihoods aren’t too sure.

Zizi Elnagouri, a voluble native of Alexandria, Egypt, has spent five years selling pastries on the corner of Cedar and Broadway. She whirled her hands as she spoke, flapping her apron to make a point. “From the beginning of this, we lost all our business,” she lamented… Unsurprisingly, she employs a smart breakfast metaphor: “Here, they’re not fighting to eat, say, regular bread, but … special bagels or something.”

Ouch!