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Monthly Archives: October 2011

What Occupy Should Learn From A Little Girl

“Anything that is wasted effort represents wasted time” -T. W. Engstrum

And so the great general strike is to take place on November 2.

I think that as much as anything else, it is the complete lack of an original idea coming out of the Occupy protest that is the most boring of all.
The tweets are frantic. Day after day, hour after hour they’re sent out into the great cloud reminding people to strike on Wednesday and if you can’t strike, call in sick and if you can’t call in sick, well then, don’t buy anything. Talk about leaving yourself some wiggle room for when the thing falls flat on its face.
The strike of course is against the 1% or at least that’s the slogan.
How much more stupid can you get than in believing that everyone works for the 1% and therefore a general strike is the way to go? More than half the country works for small businesses owned by members of the 99%. So just who is most likely to strike?

The self-employed won’t strike, there’s no point in striking against yourself. Most stockbrokers, lawyers, doctors and law enforcement are all part of the 99% and are unlikely to strike in great numbers nor will fire fighters or paramedics. Some teachers and university academics might but not all and I suspect there won’t be too many in minimum wage jobs who will risk losing their jobs to support some ridiculous call to action which has no real purpose either.

It stretches the imagination to believe that radio and televisions stations will shut down or that those who work behind the scenes at communications companies and the Internet will be out there walking the line either Government employees will go to work for the most part although some will take advantage of the call for a general strike to take the day off and go shopping.

Retailers, banks, hospitals, restaurants will pretty much stay open. Good thing too because hungry strikers need a place to get a quick coffee and some donuts or a burrito while they’re busy rallying to improve the world. In the end, a general strike is just one more mindless waste of time that proves nothing and accomplishes even less.
So who benefits from a general strike? Well, unions and the radical left benefit because it allows them to do a little muscle flexing. Those in Occupy who have never felt empowerment before will benefit because it makes them feel like they are doing something without actually pressuring them to think for themselves.  Those who need an excuse to bugger off for a day will benefit because a general strike kind of legitimizes being lazy and that is always a good thing for those who hate getting out of bed to go to work.

What will be achieved by a general strike? Occupy Oakland is convinced that if they successfully shut down the port, they will have scored a blow against the 1% although I’m not clear on how one arrives at that thought. /It seems to me that all that proves is that a mob can intimidate workers.

The simple fact is that nothing of value will be achieved. Even if the strike was 100% effective in that absolutely nobody in the country went to work, what happens on November 3rd? Does everyone just go back to work on November 4th like nothing happened? Fortunately, Occupy doesn’t pressure it’s organizers to think  beyond the event so they don’t have to deal with November 4th until November 4th,

All that will be accomplished is that a bunch of footloose and pointless radicals will get to drown us in more empty rhetoric about how successful their one day of striking was. See the difference? The strike is the objective for Occupy, not a tool to be used to accomplish real and significant change. If the strike were to be successful, they have no clue what to do about it after the strike. It is the strike that matters, not the issues we are all trying to address.
What a waste of time and energy.
The really sad part of it is that for those within Occupy who are sincere in their desire to bring about change, the failure of a general strike will just be one more nail in the coffin of Occupy’s credibility. It is incredibly stupid to have risked what is left of the protest’s reputation on such a pointless venture.
But we didn’t really expect anything else did we? This is a protest movement that had the power of the Internet at its disposal. It squandered opportunity after opportunity to unite people and groups through effective use of the medium instead of falling back on the same tired and shopworn tactics of a thousand failed protests that went before it.
Calling for a general strike which will disrupt more in the 99% than it will harm anyone in the 1% makes about as much sense as the Occupy protester who defecated on a police car in New York City. In the end, it’s the same thing. It’s just a pointless protest masquerading as something important that leaves behind it nothing but dung .
In Buffalo NY, a ten year old girl went door to door in her neighbourhood and collected more than 1,000 lbs of donated food for the Western New York Food Bank. After she finished collecting and donating that half ton, she sat down and wrote and then hand delivered thank you notes to everyone who had donated. Contrast that effort with all the energy being used to call for a general strike and ask yourself which is the waste of time.

One little girl has achieved more on her own through a positive action than six weeks of posturing by thousands. It makes you wonder what could have been achieved if the self-indulgent protesters had redirected their efforts to something more productive. What this world needs is less Occupy’s and more ten year old little girls who don’t talk about making the world a better place, they just go ahead and do it.

© 2011 Maggie’s Bear
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The content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it may be of interest to others.

Courage. Honour. Dignity. The Words Speak For Themselves.

“The security of our nation depends on the men and women
who are willing to sacrifice their safety, and possibly their lives, to protect the freedoms the rest of us enjoy.” – Ben Nelson


Thirteen NATO soldiers were killed in Afghanistan today by a suicide bomber. This brings the total to just over 450 who died in Afghanistan defending the innocent from those who would oppress them. Tragically they are only some of those who have died in defense of what they believed in. They like those who have and who continue to serve, put themselves in harm’s way to help others achieve the freedom we have. They serve with honour. They serve with courage and they serve with dignity.

These are words that nobody connected to the Occupy protests understand.

There is no honour in Occupy, merely self-aggrandizement. There is no courage, merely the empty bravado of a mob and there is no dignity, just selfishness.

I haven’t seen whining tweets from the men and women who serve in the armed forces of their countries. I don’t hear them shouting accusations and looking for excuses to justify their existence. They have no need. They have stepped up. They put their lives on the line each and every day. They overcome their fears in order to protect those who cannot protect themselves and they serve with a quiet pride in themselves and their colleagues because they know they are the first line of defense for those who cannot defend themselves.

They bring hope to those who are oppressed. They help others win the freedom from oppression that most of us will never have to experience and they understand the meaning of the words honour and duty. They are ordinary people who do heroic things every day.

Occupy has stolen the language of war to enhance the image of its protest but they haven’t earned that right. Having tents torn down and equipment confiscated is not the same as being shelled by artillery and rockets. Rubber bullets are not the same as real bullets and flash-bang crowd-dispersal noise makers are not the same as grenades and mortar shells. It takes no courage to face law enforcement ordering you to disperse. It takes nothing but courage to face an enemy who wants to take your life with suicide bombers, roadside bombs and the weapons of war.

People have the right to protest their government but Occupy is not about protest. It is a self-indulgent rabble with no respect for the rights of others. It is a mob of poorly informed, self-righteous hypocrites who cheapen our democracies and demean the sacrifice of so many who gave their lives to guarantee that we would live in freedom.

We are a free society and there is room even for those who are incredibly stupid and who abuse the rights we all share. I resent what they do but it is not them I am ashamed of.

I am ashamed of those who have allowed this squalid imitation of an exercise in democracy to continue.

I am ashamed of that handful of politicians who have voiced cautious support for Occupy in the hopes it might save them at election time. I am ashamed of those bright lights that never bothered to inform themselves about the issues and their underlying causes before shouting out slogans they barely understand. I am ashamed   (although not surprised) by those celebrities and others in the public eye who dropped by for a photo op without regard for what they were doing and who have already gone back to their estates and the next cause. I am ashamed of municipal governments that don’t have the courage to defend their cities and its citizens from a squatting rabble.

But most of all, I am ashamed of all those citizens and media who have chosen to ignore Occupy, who have not bothered to follow what they are saying and what they are doing. I am ashamed of them for complaining about the protests over coffee at work but do not speak out to defend their communities.

We get the government we deserve by not bothering to inform ourselves when we vote and we are getting the disorder and disruption in our cities we deserve through our apathy. What offends me most is that it cheapens the meaning of the lives that were sacrificed to provide us with the rights we enjoy. I am ashamed of that most of all.

Men and women from democracies all over the world have served, and continue to serve, our democracies with honour, with courage and with dignity and too often with their lives. It is shameful that we do not have the same courage or the dignity to honour that service by how we use the freedom they gave us.

© 2011 Maggie’s Bear
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The content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it may be of interest to othersFollow The Bear on Twitter: @maggsbear or connect with a friend request on Facebook: Maggie’s Bear

Occupy: A Revolution Of Tired Ideas

“The police evicted us because they said we didn’t have a permit.  Our permit is the first amendment!” 

That quote, which was a tweet from a member of the Occupy protest, pretty much says it all. The rules don’t apply to Occupy; they make them up as they go along. If they don’t agree with a law, they ignore it and claim it is their constitutional right to do so. But when they don’t like something, like the police enforcing the laws of their city, then they turn around and claim the action is illegal. It’s schizophrenic.

A society without laws is anarchy and anarchy is just another word for chaos. That’s what Occupy is now. Chaos! It is so out of control of its message and purpose that it tweets contradictions daily.

I saw a great tweet this evening from a bright young thing who was just terribly excited to be sitting with her friend at the OWS general assembly. She and her friend were discussing whether or not to do a block because they didn’t like the process the meeting was following. Besides the tragic indecision, what made me laugh was the oxymoron. They were discussing whether or not to block democratic free speech in a meeting of a protest movement that is supposedly all about democratic free speech.

But I understand. As Occupy continues to learn but doesn’t want to admit publicly. This democracy thing is complex and often messy.

As their own legal advisors are now telling them, there is a difference between protesting on public property and trespassing on property that is privately owned. The first is legal, the second isn’t. Oops! They’re now being reminded of the difference between peaceful protest and provoking violent confrontation and warned to tone it down. Within their own ranks, there is growing discontent between factions and even a few who are now admitting publicly on Twitter that they don’t support some of the methods of their own movement.

There is an incredible amount of back-pedalling going on now. Much of the “we shall overcome” rhetoric is being toned down. Family Fun and Kids Days are planned in some cities and tweets are being posted about being non-violent. The revolutionary war with the enemy language is quietly being shelved for a bit and it appears that there is a realization in Occupy that despite the bravado, they haven’t got as much support as they claim. And that’s true. I don’t see very many tweets supporting the movement any more and an increasing number opposed to it.

Still, the quasi-leadership is trying to put a brave face on it all and you have to admire them for that if nothing else and there really is not much else for which to admire Occupy.

One of the most interesting tweets today was from a woman who tweeted about getting ownership of big corporations into public hands. I guess she’s never heard of the stock market and is blissfully unaware of the fact that almost all large corporations are publicly owned and traded.  It betrays a complete lack of understanding of what she and the rest of the brain trust in Occupy are protesting. The big corporations aren’t owned by a couple of rich guys down the street, they’re owned by investors and here is the most ironic part. Many of those investors are unions and pension funds representing some of the very people supporting the Occupy protests, along with countless thousands of every day folk in the 99%.

But then, that’s been the problem. Occupy hasn’t got it from the beginning. It looks for simplistic solutions to complex issues and in the process ends up attacking the very people it claims to represent. It begs for financial support from the broader public and then disrupts their cities and turns their parks and civic squares into squalid KOA camp grounds. It intimidates innocent employees of banks, disrupts traffic and shouts down those with whom they don’t agree.  It has demonstrated a remarkable lack of respect for public order, respect for private property rights of others and overall has become a nuisance rather than a movement.

Occupy Oakland is calling for a general strike to shut down the port. Now there is a worthy objective although I’m still trying to connect the dots on how shutting down the port for a day will change corruption and greedy practices in the financial securities sector. It’s small wonder that so many look at Occupy now as nothing but a tired joke.

There is no thinking in Occupy, just rhetoric. The words come out without benefit of having travelled through the brain first. They’re just words and said more to shore up weak arguments than to advance the debate.

There is no attempt to research facts and understand the real issues, just a constant parroting of the same tired slogans and half-truths among themselves. Saying something that is untrue repeatedly doesn’t eventually make it the truth.

There is no respect for others because there is no self-respect, just arrogance and mindless posturing like guys trying to prove who has the bigger male equipment.

There is no accomplishment because there is no purpose to the protest. It is self-indulgent twaddle by a group of people with no real purpose in their lives.

We’ve seen it all before. We’ve heard all the same rhetoric and slogans and are watching again the same tired approaches to addressing the injustices in the world but here’s the thing. People aren’t poor simply because others are wealthy. Wealth isn’t unevenly distributed because it was never distributed in the first place. There isn’t a wealth distribution committee sitting somewhere deciding who gets what, it’s all about opportunity and if you want to improve things, you have to stop whining about the 1% and start looking for ways to increase opportunity for more people. A good place to start would be in simply taking the time to get some of the facts right.

In the 60’s people like Jerry Rubin who was one of the Chicago 7 that protested during the Democratic Convention riot in Chicago went on to become an entrepreneur and one of the early investors in Apple. He started out as an extreme left-wing radical who later acknowledged that a real revolution was in helping others achieve the American dream and be successful.

It is the politics of division and its stupidity and meaningless purpose simply helps those Occupy thinks it is fighting…..win. Even redneck hunters know that when you go deer hunting but keep shooting at rabbits, the deer don’t feel too threatened, they just chuckle at you.

It’s small wonder that there is a counter-revolution. Somebody has to bring some sanity back to the debate because Occupy has demonstrated more than admirably that it isn’t capable of it. Occupy Occupy so we get on with making our societies more successful for all of us.

© 2011 Maggie’s Bear
all rights reserved
The content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it may be of interest to othersFollow The Bear on Twitter: @maggsbear or connect with a friend request on Facebook: Maggie’s Bear

The Weekly Stupidity Awards: 28/10/2011

“Think of how stupid the average person is and realize that half of them

are stupider than that.”-George Carlin

In a world that is constantly in motion and full of change, the one thing you can always count on is the stupid things that stupid people do. This week was no exception and I’m pleased to report that stupidity is not constrained by nationality. It is an equal opportunity employer. So sit back, grab a coffee because here we go with this week’s awards for outstanding achievement in stupidity.

Gold Award: Man Accused Of Bestiality

A man in Zimbabwe was arrested and charged with bestiality for having sex with a donkey. In court, he told the judge that he had hired a hooker who transformed herself into a donkey overnight and that he had no idea he was having sex with a donkey when he was arrested. It’s one thing to have sex with an ass and quite another to make an ass of yourself in court. The whole story kind of takes the concept of a piece of ass to a whole new place doesn’t it?

Silver Award: Couple Check Back Into Motel Room To Retrieve Crack

A couple in Florida were arrested by the police after they attempted to check back into the room they occupied the night before in order to retrieve the crack they had left in the room’s refrigerator. Unfortunately for the couple, the motel cleaning staff had already found the drugs and notified authorities who were waiting for the couple when they arrived. Next time, they should try tying a string around their finger and perhaps the other end to the bag of crack so they don’t forget it.

Bronze Award: Man Arrested For Trying To Turn Poop Into Gold

In the middle ages, alchemy was all the rage and wizards and others spent their lives trying to turn base metals into gold. Following in the grand tradition, a man in Northern Ireland tried to take it one step further with his plan to turn his own feces into gold. His scientific theory (and we use that term loosely) was that sufficient heat would turn poop into the precious metal and make him wealthy. He was arrested after causing $4,500 damage by placing his steaming raw material on a heater in his apartment. Some people just don’t know jackshit apparently.

Honourable Mention:  Birmingham Prison Loses Keys To Prisoner Cells

Just after privatizing the prison, the new security firm now running the prison lost the keys to prisoner’s cells. Nobody is sure how or why the keys went missing but they are clear that all of the prisoners remained locked in their cells. When the primary thing prisons do is lock people up, losing your one set of keys is a pretty strong signal  that just maybe you’re in the wrong business. Isn’t it sort of like Dunkin Donuts not having any donuts?

Honourable Mention:  Shame On The Moon

A frightened man in Hertfordshire, England called 999 to report that bright lights were flashing and flying over his house.  He explained that the UFO was now hovering above his home and he was afraid for his safety. He called back shortly and with some embarrassment told the police emergency operator that he had been mistaken. It wasn’t a UFO after all, it was the moon.  Wait until he gets his first look at the Northern Lights.  That ought to send him into a tizzy.

Congratulations to all of this week’s winners, they have reassured us that regardless of how much change goes on in our world, stupidity is a constant fact of life. No matter what happens there will always be stupid people doing stupid things. God bless ‘em, they help to reassure most of us that our lives aren’t so bad after all.

Honest folks, we don’t make this stuff up. We’re not that clever.



© 2011 Maggie’s Bear
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The content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it may be of interest to othersFollow The Bear on Twitter: @maggsbear or connect with a friend request on Facebook: Maggie’s Bear

Who Is Really Escalating The Occupy Movement Towards Violence?

“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is
only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.” – Gandhi

So far this morning I’ve read tweets that call for civil war against the establishment, expanding the Occupy protest into the suburbs in some cities and calling for a general strike across the world. I’ve seen tweets and posts demanding the resignation of Oakland’s mayor, calls for more rallies and accusations that the Mayor of New York and the police have escalated the situation.

I don’t actually recall any statement, official or otherwise, from either the police or the mayor calling for more action and confrontation but as can be seen in the representative examples above, there is a lot of it coming out of the Occupy Movement.

Where there was once a peaceful protest established to draw attention to the unregulated and greedy practices of the securities industry, there is now a confused call to action. What action remains to be seen but clearly this protest has allowed itself to go into free-fall and is either drunk on the little bit of power it thinks it has or has been taken over by political activists with an agenda that goes far beyond the demonstrators’ original intent.

People on all sides are starting to get hurt. As I wrote in an earlier post, a woman in the Occupy movement was raped. Scott Olsen, an American vet, was seriously injured in the confrontation between police and protesters in Oakland while he was trying to help someone else who had been injured. And there are countless others who’s names and injuries we don’t know.

Hundreds have been arrested, primarily because they were deluded into thinking that the protest was for something worthwhile but is it?

What is Occupy’s real purpose? It clearly isn’t what was originally stated. People living in the suburbs are part of the 99%, why would Occupy start an occupation protest there? Originally, Occupy was about non-confrontational demonstration, why the change? What is the objective of all this increased confrontational rhetoric?

I don’t think anyone, including the Occupy protest itself, can answer that because I think it has been overtaken by events. Not having a real and defined purpose, it is constantly escalating events in an attempt to find one. Officials react and respond which leads to confrontation which only leads to more escalation.

Innocent people have been hurt and if this continues in the direction in which it is headed, there is a very real possibility of someone being killed on either or both sides of this protest. The only question everyone on all sides of this issue should be asking themselves right now is this. “Is this what we really want?”

If it is, the only other question each person needs to ask themselves is, “Do I want to be a martyr for the cause?”



© 2011 Maggie’s Bear
all rights reserved
The content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it may be of interest to othersFollow The Bear on Twitter: @maggsbear or connect with a friend request on Facebook: Maggie’s Bear

Occupy Can No Longer Justify Its Existence

I read an interesting document this morning about the Occupy Movement.  It was tweeted by Occupy England and while I don’t fully agree with the content, I respected the fact that it put forward a position in an articulate and thoughtful manner. Unfortunately for the movement, it also betrayed the fact that Occupy has not been anywhere near as successful in attracting the support it wants everyone to believe it has. The document attributes that to the fact that people who would support them are too busy working during the week and calls on them to protest on Sundays. Self-delusion is the cruelest delusion of all.

Occupy has become a parody of a protest movement. It has no real purpose now other than to feed its own existence. It does not represent anything meaningful, it is merely a rabble trying to defend its lack of purpose under old clichés about democracy, rights and freedom. Increasingly, it is overwhelmed by special interest groups, professional anarchists and those who find a sense of personal empowerment that is missing in their regular lives. There have even been reports that OWS has been paying homeless people to participate in some of its marches but who knows if that is true or not. Like so much else about Occupy, nobody really knows the truth any more, including the people in Occupy itself..

What started as a protest against greed in the securities industry has become a protest that shouts out the new enemy of the day. In a desperate attempt to attract members to the cause, it has added nuclear power, government policies, profit, student tuition and long list of other issues to the things to demonstrate against.

The rhetoric has been ratcheted up to the point where everything is a crisis. Everything is bigger than life and everything and everyone except Occupy is wrong. This is a protest movement that is protesting against a moving series of targets but when you protest everything, you stand for nothing. It is also a protest movement that has no respect for the rights of others, especially those with whom they don’t agree.

In New York, the movement that demands the right of freedom of assembly holds flash mobs to shut down meetings of a school board and despite its claim to support freedom of speech successfully shouts down the CEO of Wal-Mart in his attempt to speak at an event later in the day.  In Canada, Occupy demonstrators trespass on private property by jamming into banks and leaving innocent tellers and other employees feeling threatened.

In Oakland, Occupy was ordered to vacate the area they were occupying. They were given proper warning that they would be forcibly evicted if they did not comply. This was not police-state tactics, this was law enforcement giving advance notice to a group of people that they were in violation of a municipal bylaw and were being asked to disperse. Occupy Oakland was given a choice and they chose confrontation which ultimately led to violence and claims of police brutality. It didn’t have to happen.

Later in the same day, Occupy escalated an already tense situation by holding a protest rally and march through the down town core. Ultimately it led to more confrontation and violence although I read in one of the Occupy tweets that the police only took action after some member of a rogue element in Occupy threw a bottle at the police. How can Occupy possibly think that most of us would believe it is credible when it can’t even control it’s own members.

What absolutely astounds me is that some people brought children to the second march. What level of lunacy has so little regard for the safety of their kids that they would bring their children to a place where there was a very real possibility of violence?

In Glasgow an Occupy demonstrator was raped. In Boston, members of Occupy’s finance committee were fired. Occupy lost whatever credibility it ever had when it lost its ability to protect and control its own membership.

In the past decade, cities including Toronto, Vancouver, London, Manchester, Athens and a host of others have seen large groups of demonstrators turn into riots resulting in burned cars, smashed windows and significant destruction to property and personal injury. I am not suggesting that was Occupy’s intent but the police have no recourse but to be prepared for a mob to become a riot. Anything less would be irresponsible and a threat to public safety. Whatever leadership exists in Occupy should have been cognizant of that possibility and considered other means to make their point. Instead, they reacted just like so many others have in the past by provoking confrontation which ultimately led then violence. In doing that they put themselves in the same category as those who went before them.

In a recent exchange of tweets with some member of Occupy “England, I indicated that I was part of the 99% but neither he nor his movement represented me. He tweeted back that Occupy represents me whether I like it or not. Now there is democracy in action. His tweet seemed more like the kind of message coming out of the mouths of people like Qadaffi and Assad than a peaceful, democratic protest movement.

The simple truth is that Occupy has not only been successful in uniting the lunatic fringe on the extreme right and left, it is now uniting the 99% to demand its municipal governments end the protest. People recognize that our societies have issues that need addressing but Occupy has failed to put forward solutions to those problems. It does not demonstrate in support of new ideas, it protests against things and holds rallies to try and justify its weakening existence and influence.

Camping is not protest, it’s squatting. Using flash mobs to deny others the rights of free speech and assembly you demand for yourself is not democracy, it’s hypocrisy. Demanding that government provide things like free tuition is not the demand for a right, it is greed and claiming to represent the people when you can’t pull together world-wide as many people as attend the Super Bowl is merely self-delusion.

Occupy does not represent the 99%. It only represents itself and increasingly is nothing more than a disorganized organization looking to justify its existence. The Occupy Movement is creating an increased level of confrontation by its very existence in the streets. It has accomplished nothing and the longer it hangs around the less it accomplishes and the potential for more violence grows.

The reason is because Occupy is about the very thing it protests. It is about winning rather than resolving things. It is about ego and the cost to our cities and to the quality of life of others has become irrelevant. When that happens, it is no longer about issues. It is its own form of greed and selfishness and means that Occupy has over-stayed its welcome and its time for it to go.

One thing is certain, it will end and soon. Winter is coming and when the temperatures plunge to below zero and the snow is two and three feet deep in many cities, principles and rhetoric will fall by the wayside. At that point most of the Occupy Movement will have vacated the parks and moved indoors to those warm places heated by equipment manufactured by the hated corporations.



© 2011 Maggie’s Bear
all rights reserved
The content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it may be of interest to othersFollow The Bear on Twitter: @maggsbear or connect with a friend request on Facebook: Maggie’s Bea