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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 11-23-2011, 09:54 PM   #46
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

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Originally Posted by Bond View Post
Okay, I think we all agree these people have a right to protest (in public places) for a period of time. The question is do you allow the protests to naturally die down (we all know they eventually will), or do the police eventually step in and break up the protests? If the police do step in, how long should they wait to step in, and what means are appropriate for the police to use? If the protesters throw rocks are the police allowed or not allowed to use pepper spray? And this could go on and on ... it's just one giant cluster fuck if you ask me.

More importantly, I really don't think these protests are effective at all - they're just preaching to the choir.
Yep...time limit on free speech.



Why is everybody crying about corporation's private property? Is no one aware that if nobody stands up and complains, nothing will ever change.

One of the biggest complaints is that the protestors don't have a concise message or vision. Well guess what: neither do most legislative bodies. If you can barely get congress to agree to not let your country default, how do you expect a bunch of random angry people to reach an easy to understand consensus?

I get annoyed that everyone just shits on protestors based on where they themselves shit. In a lot of interview footage, you see that many protestors have a very clear idea of what they're upset about and what they wish was different. There are some rather eloquent points that are being made but people tune this out because they're invading corporate space or because some homeless people get in the mix. You know how to make it so homeless people don't start hanging out with people on the streets? Attempt to do something to resolve the homeless problem.

The fact is that things are pretty fucked up right now, and law makers pretty much only pass laws that protect the rich. So fuck the argument about a nation of laws before a nation of people. That's lunacy, a logical fallacy of retarded proportions. How can the rights of people not be first? We've seen that the police are more concerned with how to get protestors to shut up and go away than they are to protect first amendment rights.

But you guys are right. These protests can't accomplish anything. Politicians aren't listening. Politicians don't care. The only hope the occupy movement has is if this turns into a general strike at which point things will get a whole lot more disruptive.

Or hell, let's all just stop the protesting right now. Let's just trust that politicians who are owned by lobbyists will put the needs of the people first and fix the spiral that we're headed for.

I expect this shit from The Professor, but I'm disappointed with some of the rest of you.
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 11-24-2011, 08:35 AM   #47
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

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Originally Posted by Dylflon View Post
Why is everybody crying about corporation's private property?
The problem with your view on "laws", if I can call it a view, is that you believe you can pick and choose who they apply to. If property rights laws are broken for a corporation, then they are broken for EVERYONE. This is the difference between having laws that protects people and a nation of "laws" that are enforced on a case by case basis. This is also called "tyranny". But I get the 'impression that you wouldn't mind tyranny as long as those who oppress do so from your point of view. Very short-sighted.

Quote:
One of the biggest complaints is that the protestors don't have a concise message or vision. Well guess what: neither do most legislative bodies. If you can barely get congress to agree to not let your country default, how do you expect a bunch of random angry people to reach an easy to understand consensus?
The focus of their complaints has nothing to do with their right to complain. My biggest compaint is that they are destroying private and public property.

Quote:
I get annoyed that everyone just shits on protestors based on where they themselves shit.
Well, let's put a few hundred vagrants in front of your home 24/7, piling up garbage and human waste, and then see how you feel.

Quote:
In a lot of interview footage, you see that many protestors have a very clear idea of what they're upset about and what they wish was different. There are some rather eloquent points that are being made but people tune this out because they're invading corporate space or because some homeless people get in the mix. You know how to make it so homeless people don't start hanging out with people on the streets? Attempt to do something to resolve the homeless problem.
I agree many make good points, and I agree with many of their complaints about the involvement of corporations in government, but the distractions you mention are of their own creation. By choosing to "occupy" rather than protest on a daily basis they have made the conversation about all of the problems we have mentioned in this thread. In fact, a large portion of their time seems to be spent on organizing ways to legally remain on public property, and not on their message.

Quote:
The fact is that things are pretty fucked up right now, and law makers pretty much only pass laws that protect the rich. So fuck the argument about a nation of laws before a nation of people. That's lunacy, a logical fallacy of retarded proportions. How can the rights of people not be first?
You seem to confuse an individual's "rights" with "whatever the fuck I want to do as long as I think my goals are just". Laws exist to protect people's rights. Remove laws, rights cease to exist, such as property rights. You have the right to free speech, but you don't have the right to express it on my front lawn.

You mention a logical fallacy of recognizing laws in today's environement, but you fail to follow your own argument down the rabbit hole. If laws don't mean anything, then obviously voting doesn't mean anything, and if voting doesn't mean anything then the only step left is revolution. This is your argument in a country that still maintains one of the highest standards of living in ther world and dwarfs the world in terms of wealth and production. Our impoverished people live like kings compared to many other countries. Are things perfect, or even good (compared to our standards)? No, there needs to be change if America is going maintain at its current level or grow. But I'm not sure Che needs to be resurrected quite yet.

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I expect this shit from The Professor, but I'm disappointed with some of the rest of you.
Dyflon, you make political decisions based solely on outrage. That is your choice, but don't always expect everyone to agree with it.
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 11-24-2011, 02:44 PM   #48
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

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The problem with your view on "laws", if I can call it a view, is that you believe you can pick and choose who they apply to. If property rights laws are broken for a corporation, then they are broken for EVERYONE. This is the difference between having laws that protects people and a nation of "laws" that are enforced on a case by case basis. This is also called "tyranny". But I get the 'impression that you wouldn't mind tyranny as long as those who oppress do so from your point of view. Very short-sighted.
I guess since I argued rather angrily it's easy to say that I feel you can suspend any law you want if the ends justify the means.

This is not how I feel.

However not every law is constructed in a way to facilitate democracy. Take for instance the situation that some workers find themselves in where they have to occupy their work space in order protest to maintain worker's rights or to receive money they are owed when a company is shutting down. To ask them to leave and protest in a public park will ensure that their message remains ignored.

The thing about "free-speech zones" is that they are always where someone doesn't have to pay attention to you.

So yes, in some cases I will be willing to concede that I take little issue with laws about private space (concerning commercial areas, not a random person's home as you imply later in your post) when the issues at stake are about the basic rights and freedoms of a population being put second to the interests of corporations and financial institutions.

To imply that I support tyranny is a very childish jump in logic and a very weak way to try and invalidate my opinion.

Quote:
The focus of their complaints has nothing to do with their right to complain. My biggest compaint is that they are destroying private and public property.

Well, let's put a few hundred vagrants in front of your home 24/7, piling up garbage and human waste, and then see how you feel.
They're occupying the space where those responsible for the destruction of thousands of lives reside. This is of course specific to OWS, and not people in other cities who are camping out at their own financial sectors which are also part of the broken system. Really, they should be camping outside government buildings.

I don't shed a tear for the mound of human feces on corporate property. Call me cold hearted I guess. But to argue my point by saying how would I like it if people were outside my home is equating corporations to people who can have their feelings hurt or their lives disrupted. That kind of argument is exactly the problem. Don't imply that corporations have homes or feel feelings.

Also, ask yourself why there are "vagrants" in the first place that have the time to occupy any place for an extended period of time. It's not because they're lazy, many are victims of a broken system.



Quote:
I agree many make good points, and I agree with many of their complaints about the involvement of corporations in government, but the distractions you mention are of their own creation. By choosing to "occupy" rather than protest on a daily basis they have made the conversation about all of the problems we have mentioned in this thread.
Point taken on this matter. But most protesters who have homes to go back to will do so at night. A lot of people who camp out don't have a place to go.

Quote:
In fact, a large portion of their time seems to be spent on organizing ways to legally remain on public property, and not on their message.
And people in power spend more time trying to convince everyone that protesters are lunatics or criminals than they do listening to what they have to say.


Quote:
You seem to confuse an individual's "rights" with "whatever the fuck I want to do as long as I think my goals are just". Laws exist to protect people's rights. Remove laws, rights cease to exist, such as property rights. You have the right to free speech, but you don't have the right to express it on my front lawn.
You're once again blowing what I feel out of proportion. I am not arguing for the suspension of all laws. You only get to bend the laws if you're rich, I know. If they're poor or oppressed, you need laws to protect everyone else from their tent city in Zucotti Park.

Nobody is protesting on your lawn or the lawn of ordinary individuals. Come off it.

Furthermore, we're talking about non-violent demonstration. It's sad that you hold more value in the property rights of corporate outdoor space than you do in people who fight for equality which is one of the democratic principles your country was founded on (correct me if I'm wrong).

Quote:
You mention a logical fallacy of recognizing laws in today's environement, but you fail to follow your own argument down the rabbit hole. If laws don't mean anything, then obviously voting doesn't mean anything, and if voting doesn't mean anything then the only step left is revolution. This is your argument in a country that still maintains one of the highest standards of living in ther world and dwarfs the world in terms of wealth and production. Our impoverished people live like kings compared to many other countries. Are things perfect, or even good (compared to our standards)? No, there needs to be change if America is going maintain at its current level or grow. But I'm not sure Che needs to be resurrected quite yet.
Where the logical fallacy lies is saying laws before people because laws protect people. When you say that, you say that the laws as they are have to be upheld no matter what. This fails to account for humanity and the need to sometimes protect them from laws that are wrong.

When you put people first in the equation, then laws are thought of as in place to protect people in a way where they can be adjusted to better protect rights and freedom. That's why I say that "nation of laws before nation of people" is retarded.

It's the most backwards way to look at it. If people aren't first in the equation even semantically then what is the point?

You saying that I think voting is irrelevant is annoying because in no way is that what I imply. Frankly, it's an asshole argument to assume I think that (although sadly since so many politicians are owned it does make the process feel hollow at times).

I'm not saying that Americans have it the worst but you do have a broken system that is so out of control that when it fails due to greed and corruption, it drags the rest of the world with it. The heart of the argument is that corporate rights come before people's rights in your country and my country and much of the developed world.

Don't ever for a second think that I don't have faith in our ability to act as a society through democratic process. However I don't have faith in what the system has become and sometimes people who feel the same way will occupy a wall street park so that they can force people to hear them be angry about it. In the end, I'm willing to not care if the financial institution that brought your country to its knees has people camped out in their concrete park.



Quote:
Dyflon, you make political decisions based solely on outrage. That is your choice, but don't always expect everyone to agree with it.
If I sound outraged it's because I am. However, go right to hell if you think you can discredit an opinion because I'm pissed off. My "political decisions" come from hours of thinking about these problems and talking about them with others. I don't feel these things in a knee jerk way.

I don't expect people to agree with me, but I expect those I argue with to be above putting words in my mouth that I did not say.
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 11-24-2011, 05:26 PM   #49
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

I know you're going to say I'm disagreeing with you for the sake of it, but I'm not - [really, I'm not even disagreeing with you] While I'm down with the message of spreading wealth, corporations not being people etc, I don't like the idiocy behind OCW. I don't like how other idiots started disrupting their communities as well, especially if their community is in another country which is undoubtedly not part of "The American 99%".


Quote:
I don't shed a tear for the mound of human feces on corporate property.

The problem (in this sense) is that some of the ralliers just flat out don't give a shit about what they do and where they do it. So 'mom and pop' shops everywhere are being torn apart because pseudo-anarchists who want to feel like part of something bigger are getting caught up in the framework of someone elses message. Have you ever heard of the phrase "You're only as strong as your weakest link?"


Quote:
That's why I say that "nation of laws before nation of people" is retarded.
I agree. But I believe this is because we're Canadain. We live in a country of people before laws. Our country betters it's laws to protect it's people. Preserve the people. American law betters it's law to better America. Preserve the country.

But the thing is the people are definitely breaking laws. And I know you said "Whats the point of having laws if they dont protect the people" - but what about the people who are being disrupted by the Occupy movement? The thing is, since the occupy movement people are opposing the government (more or less), the laws cease to be on their side, and then begins to solely be on the side of the residents in the communities that the occupy movement people are in. THAT is why they have to get out. The law IS protecting the people. Just as those people have the right to be wherever-they-are, the people in those communities (the people who pay for those homes, apartments, stores, have jobs outside the movements) have just as much right to carry on with their life being entirely disrupted. And since both groups (protesters and people in the communities) are all people, and all equally protected by the law, the thing that tips the scale to one side is that one group of people is not shouting while shitting on a street/in a store.

By no means am I saying our country doesn't try fuck us over when it gets the chance. Our leaders are just nicer about it. They'll at least lube up and give us a call a few days later to make sure we're okay. Maybe send over a muffin basket or something.
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 11-25-2011, 10:17 AM   #50
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

Okay, yeah I'll admit maybe I idealize the movement based on what it stands for and not on how they're doing it.

It's a tough line to walk because I do believe that these protests need to be as public and "in your face" as possible for anyone to pay attention. But it's also not good to turn people against you.


They need to do a fundraiser for some portapotties maybe.
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 11-25-2011, 12:42 PM   #51
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

1) Dyflon, thank you for providing a more reasoned argument.

2) This entire "people before laws" argument makes zero sense, especially when you defend it by saying Canadian laws exist to protect people. If that is the case the Canada puts laws before people, because the laws protect the people.

"Laws before people" isn't a statement that denies people rights, it maintains them from the power of the mob which is ruled by emotions and not reason.
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 11-25-2011, 02:09 PM   #52
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

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Originally Posted by Professor S View Post
1) Dyflon, thank you for providing a more reasoned argument.

2) This entire "people before laws" argument makes zero sense, especially when you defend it by saying Canadian laws exist to protect people. If that is the case the Canada puts laws before people, because the laws protect the people.

"Laws before people" isn't a statement that denies people rights, it maintains them from the power of the mob which is ruled by emotions and not reason.
The ideological notion of people before laws doesn't strip away laws.

I believe that the number one standard that a country should be held to is the extent to which its citizens can live their lives with dignity. Right now, with growing unemployment and a focus on maintaining corporate tax breaks at the cost of stripping away social programs, the emphasis is definitely not on dignity. Your common citizen is living in a climate where they can be forced out of their homes and have nothing to fall back on because the free market gets to pick winners and losers.

The idea of laws before people (semantically) puts the emphasis on preserving laws as written as if that is always what is best forever.

I believe that laws as they are upheld are not always in the interest of the general public. Therefore, as a country, you would have to be flexible on changing the laws to suit the needs of the public. This is what I mean about people before laws. Laws should exist and change to protect the well-being of your citizens rather than citizens have to conform to what the laws are no matter what.

I feel the idea of the emphasis on laws over the people they are supposed to protect is a very inflexible way to look at society and therefore not useful in maintaining the dignity of your citizens. Whereas when you put people first in the equation (even semantically), the ideological notion becomes that society conforms around preserving the dignity of your citizens even if it requires adaptations to your laws.
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 11-25-2011, 02:51 PM   #53
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

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Originally Posted by Dylflon
So yes, in some cases I will be willing to concede that I take little issue with laws about private space (concerning commercial areas, not a random person's home as you imply later in your post) when the issues at stake are about the basic rights and freedoms of a population being put second to the interests of corporations and financial institutions.

To imply that I support tyranny is a very childish jump in logic and a very weak way to try and invalidate my opinion.
So, the scenario you support begs two questions: who decides when it is acceptable to overrule laws? Who decides the definition of "basic rights and freedoms of a population?"

Quote:
They're occupying the space where those responsible for the destruction of thousands of lives reside.
Please explain.

Quote:
And people in power spend more time trying to convince everyone that protesters are lunatics or criminals than they do listening to what they have to say.
What are they saying? It seems as though we've agreed that the protesters do not have a concise or clear message, so how is one supposed to discern what they are saying in a coherent fashion?
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 11-25-2011, 03:25 PM   #54
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

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So, the scenario you support begs two questions: who decides when it is acceptable to overrule laws? Who decides the definition of "basic rights and freedoms of a population?"
I didn't say anyone was overruling a law. But in cases of civil disobedience groups will ignore some laws. I'm not saying a mob should be able to kill people or rape or commit fraud or anything. But the police force has to decide if property rights for multi-billion dollar companies are more relevant than a group's desire to protest in that space.

And asking me who defines basic rights and freedoms isn't directly related to my argument. Explain to me what you're getting at so I can respond to the question.


Quote:
Please explain.
Would you like me to summarize the events of the recent stock market crash wherein those who worked for financial institutions bundled and sold people's debts and then bet against those people's ability to pay back those debts based on confusing mortgage terms buyers were duped into? If I've gotten any details wrong please correct me, but I'm pretty sure Wall Street is directly linked to the financial and housing collapse with correlates to thousands of families losing their homes.


Quote:
What are they saying? It seems as though we've agreed that the protesters do not have a concise or clear message, so how is one supposed to discern what they are saying in a coherent fashion?
I've always understood that the easiest way to listen is by listening. I'm not suggesting that the protest movement can at this point deliver a concise message but there's been more than enough opportunity for protestors to voice many concerns through the media. Valid points I might add.

They're trying to change the discussion in politics, but that's not happening at all. Nobody's listening.

You're the person who confused me the most, Andrew. From what I know about you, you seem to me like the kind of person who would at least recognize politician's needs to talk about some of the issues the protestors bring up (like perhaps the expanded role money and corporations play in politics). Because I find you to reasonable. However, I'm concerned that you feel they have nothing relevant to say and should just go away. You never struck me as the kind of guy who would support such marginalization. I really hope I'm completely off base with how you feel.


Edit: I phrased that last bit wrong. It's unfair for me to assume your position on the politicians and I see in this thread that you agree with some things I say. But my concern remains that you don't find the protestors worth listening to.
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 11-25-2011, 04:53 PM   #55
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

I'm very much enjoying this discussion, so I'm merely dropping in some random facts/thoughts/tangents as a partial observer. I don't want to break up this discussion, but there's some stuff worth thinking about below.


Examples of laws/policy that have failed because the law came before human rights:

-Prohibition and the War on Drugs, really
-Sex offender laws and statutory rape
-Anything slavery and civil rights, duh

Examples of current laws that undermine basic Constitutional Rights:

-namely the Patriot Act and all the warrant-less wiretapping.
-a number of people have been arrested/detained without the fair right to a trial, which is also supposed to be protected by the Constitution
-you could argue that the TSA impedes certain rights, but flying is a private industry and flying isn't a right, it's a privilege; so gray area

The US Prison population, which far exceeds everyone else, is padded by silly drug laws and laws that really don't consider the basic rights of humans:

Quote:
The United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population. But it has almost a quarter of the world's prisoners.

Indeed, the United States leads the world in producing prisoners, a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment. Americans are locked up for crimes — from writing bad checks to using drugs — that would rarely produce prison sentences in other countries. And in particular they are kept incarcerated far longer than prisoners in other nations.

Criminologists and legal scholars in other industrialized nations say they are mystified and appalled by the number and length of American prison sentences.

The United States has, for instance, 2.3 million criminals behind bars, more than any other nation, according to data maintained by the International Center for Prison Studies at King's College London.

China, which is four times more populous than the United States, is a distant second, with 1.6 million people in prison. (That number excludes hundreds of thousands of people held in administrative detention, most of them in China's extrajudicial system of re-education through labor, which often singles out political activists who have not committed crimes.)

San Marino, with a population of about 30,000, is at the end of the long list of 218 countries compiled by the center. It has a single prisoner.

The United States comes in first, too, on a more meaningful list from the prison studies center, the one ranked in order of the incarceration rates. It has 751 people in prison or jail for every 100,000 in population. (If you count only adults, one in 100 Americans is locked up.)

The only other major industrialized nation that even comes close is Russia, with 627 prisoners for every 100,000 people. The others have much lower rates. England's rate is 151; Germany's is 88; and Japan's is 63.

The median among all nations is about 125, roughly a sixth of the American rate.

There is little question that the high incarceration rate here has helped drive down crime, though there is debate about how much.

Criminologists and legal experts here and abroad point to a tangle of factors to explain America's extraordinary incarceration rate: higher levels of violent crime, harsher sentencing laws, a legacy of racial turmoil, a special fervor in combating illegal drugs, the American temperament, and the lack of a social safety net. Even democracy plays a role, as judges — many of whom are elected, another American anomaly — yield to populist demands for tough justice.

Whatever the reason, the gap between American justice and that of the rest of the world is enormous and growing.
https://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/23/w...pagewanted=all

These are mostly social issues, I'm less familiar with the financial sectors. The current SOPA act is on par with the Patriot Act, only for your Internet. If SOPA passes, for all we know this very forum could be blacklisted. America will be the next China. Many of the pro-SOPA folks are getting big kickbacks and funding from the RIAA and other large corporations.

I don't think we need to argue that the RIAA is more interested in money than anyone's rights.

At any rate, no one has really touched on why corporations are allowed to lobby, why running for President costs almost a billion dollars, or things like that. I'm curious what everyone thinks.

Relative to the rest of the world, I'm pretty sure the US spends waaaaaaaaaaaaaay more on campaigning. And I'm 100% okay with politicians being required to publicly air out who they get money from. You oppose healthcare for everyone, do you? Oh, you're getting a couple million dollars from Big Pharma every year! Well, fuck you!
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 11-25-2011, 05:19 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Dylflon View Post
I didn't say anyone was overruling a law. But in cases of civil disobedience groups will ignore some laws. I'm not saying a mob should be able to kill people or rape or commit fraud or anything. But the police force has to decide if property rights for multi-billion dollar companies are more relevant than a group's desire to protest in that space.

And asking me who defines basic rights and freedoms isn't directly related to my argument. Explain to me what you're getting at so I can respond to the question.
I was trying to show that alleviating some laws because some people think it is right to do so is a slippery slope. The reason why Professor alluded to tyranny is because history is riddled with examples where this happens (often with original good intentions). I agree the prospect of the United States falling into tyranny is basically zero, but it is an important historical point that we shouldn't forget.

I also was trying to understand the crux of what you're saying. These discussions tend to get rather confusing and difficult to follow, so I only wanted to focus on a few points.

Quote:
Would you like me to summarize the events of the recent stock market crash wherein those who worked for financial institutions bundled and sold people's debts and then bet against those people's ability to pay back those debts based on confusing mortgage terms buyers were duped into? If I've gotten any details wrong please correct me, but I'm pretty sure Wall Street is directly linked to the financial and housing collapse with correlates to thousands of families losing their homes.
I would generally agree with that, but I would add the caveat that I think the government is also culpable in addition to Wall Street, and that just blaming "Wall Street" is probably an unfair generalization (it was more so likely the malicious intent of a few, and the ignorance of many). The core problem is that who was responsible and what exactly happened is extremely complicated (this is also why it happened in the first place). Loans that homeowners had no chance of paying back were treated as AAA bonds, and were then re-packaged, packaged again, even sometimes once more, into pools of mortgage loans (mortgage-backed securities). When you have so many financial layers of re-packaging (aka. a creative way of hiding what the underlying asset infact is, and its risk-level), things simply become way too complicated to understand what is truly going on any more. When you couple this with the fact that the majority of these securities resided in major commercial banks, you have an extremely dangerous consolidation risk.

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I've always understood that the easiest way to listen is by listening. I'm not suggesting that the protest movement can at this point deliver a concise message but there's been more than enough opportunity for protestors to voice many concerns through the media. Valid points I might add.

They're trying to change the discussion in politics, but that's not happening at all. Nobody's listening.

You're the person who confused me the most, Andrew. From what I know about you, you seem to me like the kind of person who would at least recognize politician's needs to talk about some of the issues the protestors bring up (like perhaps the expanded role money and corporations play in politics). Because I find you to reasonable. However, I'm concerned that you feel they have nothing relevant to say and should just go away. You never struck me as the kind of guy who would support such marginalization. I really hope I'm completely off base with how you feel.


Edit: I phrased that last bit wrong. It's unfair for me to assume your position on the politicians and I see in this thread that you agree with some things I say. But my concern remains that you don't find the protestors worth listening to.
See, I think this is maybe the crux of what we're trying to talk about. I'm not disagreeing over the message of the movement (I agree that increasing inequality is a very serious and major systemic issue that needs to be dealt with), but the method of the movement -- I just don't think it's effective. The problem with these kinds of protests is that they rarely convert anyone. The protest eventually becomes more concerned and focused on the preservation of the protest over the actual message. This ends in the protest re-empowering itself and converting hardly anyone to its message.
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 11-25-2011, 05:37 PM   #57
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I was trying to show that alleviating some laws because some people think it is right to do so is a slippery slope. The reason why Professor alluded to tyranny is because history is riddled with examples where this happens (often with original good intentions). I agree the prospect of the United States falling into tyranny is basically zero, but it is an important historical point that we shouldn't forget.

I also was trying to understand the crux of what you're saying. These discussions tend to get rather confusing and difficult to follow, so I only wanted to focus on a few points.
I just got annoyed by the tyranny bit because the invasion of corporate property by protesters couldn't lead to tyranny. It's only the circumvention of laws by the government that can do that.


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I would generally agree with that, but I would add the caveat that I think the government is also culpable in addition to Wall Street, and that just blaming "Wall Street" is probably an unfair generalization (it was more so likely the malicious intent of a few, and the ignorance of many). The core problem is that who was responsible and what exactly happened is extremely complicated (this is also why it happened in the first place). Loans that homeowners had no chance of paying back were treated as AAA bonds, and were then re-packaged, packaged again, even sometimes once more, into pools of mortgage loans (mortgage-backed securities). When you have so many financial layers of re-packaging (aka. a creative way of hiding what the underlying asset infact is, and its risk-level), things simply become way too complicated to understand what is truly going on any more. When you couple this with the fact that the majority of these securities resided in major commercial banks, you have an extremely dangerous consolidation risk.
The government is responsible in that it deregulated the banks. While I believe that this was a horrifying and reckless mistake, more blame does fall to the financial institutions. The guy who gave the crazy person the gun is partially responsible; just not as responsible as the crazy guy who did the shooting.

However, I will agree that more focus should be put on the political system that allowed this to happen.


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See, I think this is maybe the crux of what we're trying to talk about. I'm not disagreeing over the message of the movement (I agree that increasing inequality is a very serious and major systemic issue that needs to be dealt with), but the method of the movement -- I just don't think it's effective. The problem with these kinds of protests is that they rarely convert anyone. The protest eventually becomes more concerned and focused on the preservation of the protest over the actual message. This ends in the protest re-empowering itself and converting hardly anyone to its message.
When you have to go into survival mode to keep your protest from being disbanded, that should tell you a lot about the current situation.

People need to be publicly upset in a way that forces politicians to take notice. I think we know that it doesn't matter what party is in power. The system is broken in a way that we can't trust politicians to fix on their own. Especially since at the heart of the problem is the greed and short-sightedness of the very politicians we rely on to make things better.
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 11-25-2011, 05:46 PM   #58
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Especially since at the heart of the problem is the greed and short-sightedness of the very politicians we rely on to make things better.

And you voted for....Obama, right?

Sorry, I forgot which American politician you rely on.

That is joke, comrade.


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When you have to go into survival mode to keep your protest from being disbanded, that should tell you a lot about the current situation.

To be honest, what that tells me, is that the protest doesn't have a strong enough organized message, and is just full of people with nothing to do. No credible protest really needs to struggle to keep itself alive.
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 11-25-2011, 05:59 PM   #59
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Default Re: Occupy Wallstreet

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Originally Posted by Dylflon View Post
I just got annoyed by the tyranny bit because the invasion of corporate property by protesters couldn't lead to tyranny. It's only the circumvention of laws by the government that can do that.
I never said that the invasion of corporate property by protesters leads to tyranny. I said that ruling by the will of the enlightened few, rather than the will of the people (reflected in laws passed in a government determined by self-rule) can lead to tyranny. If you ignore or refuse laws in a self-determined government, you are rejecting the democratic process, not protecting it. Hence my comments about following your argument down the rabbit hole. Your reaction to this specific set of events reveals a troubling distrust of lawful self-rule, IMO.

That said, in American there are inalienable rights; rights that cannot be removed even through a democratic process (life, liberty, pursuit of happiness). In that way I agree with KG that we may have stepped on some of them, but that would be for the courts to decide (and a lesser extent, elections).
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Re: Occupy Wallstreet
Old 11-25-2011, 06:36 PM   #60
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I'm only going to comment on this specific quote because I literally just finished smoking a joint - no intention of derailing, or arguing etc.

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That said, in American there are inalienable rights; rights that cannot be removed even through a democratic process (life, liberty, pursuit of happiness)
That's a whole other can of worms, though.

George Carlin put it best: man doesn't have rights by birth, you have privileges.

I don't think the "pursuit of happiness" is a right. Anything that is conditional is not a right. Rights are things like Free Speech, Free Religion, Free Sexuality. Those are rights.
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