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PROTESTS: Enough already with Occupy camp

Letter by Helen S. Arnestad, Tacoma on Feb. 3, 2012 at 10:56 am with 22 Comments »
February 3, 2012 10:56 am

While I agree that the lower the income, the lower the ability of the person to do more than tread water financially, this Occupy thing is just not working anymore.

You have all said your piece, and for the most part, the citizens living in homes and apartments (and paying for them) agree with you on the need for change.

However, where did you – who do not work for a living – get the funds to buy the nice Carhartt jackets and warm clothes I see in the pictures in the paper? And how do you feed, relieve and clean yourselves if you’re living in a tent in the middle of the city?

What makes you think you deserve to be there and not working? Am I missing something?

I believe in stating your purpose and beliefs in a straightforward and honest manner and for conducting public meetings, including elected officials, for that purpose.

Don’t you understand that citizens need to provide for themselves and their loved ones? No one should be living in an encampment in the middle of the city or on someone else’s property outside the city limits.

As citizens we are all granted life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but it doesn’t come free! Why do Occupiers think they should be able to live rent-free on someone else’s property? How do you go to the bathroom and shower? Of course the downtown workers and dwellers are complaining.

Leave a comment Comments → 22
  1. You believe in stating your concerns and then quietly going away when your concerns aren’t addressed.

    As citizens we are all granted life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but it doesn’t come free!

    It is really sad that you equate money only to investing in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

  2. MarksonofDarwin says:

    bB,

    “It is really sad that you equate money only to investing in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

    Why is that sad? Money affords freedom to pursue happiness. To get money, one needs to work.
    I suspect many of the warm clothes seen in any photos were purchased with money that OWS participants earned through work. There’s dignity in providing for oneself.

    It’s too bad that OWS didn’t focus their message. I found myself agreeing with many of their complaints, but the solutions offered were disjointed and frankly divorced from reality.

    Just last week the protesters in Oakland were demanding that all mortgages be forgiven, and that people should just be given the homes they originally promised they would purchase.

  3. slugoxyz says:

    OK. This is America. America is a capitalist society right? Much of our success as a nation comes from the sense of competition created in a capitalist society. Would America be if we operated differently? I know. It feels a bit like we’re in a slump these days but didn’t Obama say in his state of the union address that we were still better than everyone else? I know. We seem to be outsourcing a lot making trickle down a little more like trickle overseas but as far as a nation goes, we’re still doing all right aren’t we? I know. Unemployment is bad but doesn’t that tend to be a cyclic thing (along with the economy). I believe the wave will rise again. I guess I’m not that gloom and doom.

    I too agree with a couple of the messages. I think college tuition should be made affordable for the middle class. The rich get to go and the poor get subsidized but the middle class…they pay. Not sure what the solution is to that but I feel it’s a problem. Maybe we could re-distribute all that government money being given to the poor (financial aid, need based scholarships and grants etc.). Some of that should be taken out of the poor’s hand and passed up to the middle?

    Can things be made better? I tend to believe that America is great because we find our flaws and improve them (slavery, job safety, etc. etc) but the whole redistribution of wealth thing… I don’t quite get it.

    I was hoping someone might explain it to me.

  4. sincere says:

    The pursuit of life ,liberty and the pursuit of happiness will cost someone.Apparently it is costing the Taxpayers plenty.The ones that appear to be getting a free ride are the Occupiers.Unfortunatly I feel the free ride will continue until the Occupiers say they are tired and go their own way.

  5. alindasue says:

    “However, where did you – who do not work for a living – get the funds to buy the nice Carhartt jackets and warm clothes I see in the pictures in the paper? And how do you feed, relieve and clean yourselves if you’re living in a tent in the middle of the city?”

    Aside from the obvious answer that a large number of the protesters do work for a living, it is actually quite easy to get to get nice warm brand name coats at second hand shops – and in the case of the homeless, from donated clothing drives.

    As for your second question, they relieve themselves in rented porta-potties and… Have you never been camping?

    A little water from a 5-gallon container poured into a pot and heated on a Coleman stove along with a rag and a bar of soap makes a great camp bath. That same stove is used to cook and heat dish water. It works great – even in the middle of the city.

    Also works great when the power goes out during a storm…

  6. beerBoy says:

    MoD – the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness requires so much more than having a big bank account – it requires a much larger investment, like the willingness to take a stand, risking ridicule and/or imprisonment or even the sacrifice of one’s life. To reduce it to being able to pay one’s bills is an inversion of what is demanded by “eternal vigilance” and is more the slogan of “Good Germans” than patriots who demand that our Constitution is followed.

    You may, or may not, think the OWS movement is wrong-headed (I have very mixed feelings about them) but to equate “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” to having a job so you can go shopping at Wal*Mart or Target is just bizarre.

  7. denismenis says:

    …this letter is an all too common refrain about encouraging judgement by appearances but not inquiring about principles.

    How ’bout visiting the camp, Helen, and asking them in person?

    More interesting would be the take on the letter writer a few days ago inciting “civil disobedience” because insurance companies require family planning coverage? How ’bout if they camped out?

    “It’s easy to hate groups, that way we don’t have to get to know them as individuals.” – Dave Ross

  8. so if poor people are wearing clothes in the dead of winter, then obviously our society suffers no ills?

  9. denismenis says:

    Exactly, jellee! Owning a cell phone while living in a cardboard box counts as “middle class”.

  10. denismenis says:

    Sarcasm intended…..

  11. @ jellee and denismenis

    :-)

  12. Anyone complaining that out-of-work homeless people shouldn’t have cell phones haven’t ever tried to look for work without a phone number they could put down on their job application.

  13. bBoy, the weakness of your point is embedded in the “so that” of this statement: “but to equate “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” to having a job so you can go shopping at Wal*Mart or Target is just bizarre.”

    Clearly you hold a prejudicial attitude towards consumers, perhaps in particular, middle class or lower middle class consumers? Why do you presume that their acquisitions are at the heart of their happiness? Pretty one dimensional thinking about your fellow man.

    What’s the story? That is IF you want to share where you’re coming from.

  14. beerBoy says:

    sozo – as someone who was raised Catholic I value good works rather than work that has no other purpose than to be able to acquire more (disposable) material goods than one needs in a vain attempt to fill the emptiness of one’s life.

    I would think that you, more than any other conservative commentator would have some appreciation for this given your strong religious beliefs that are a recognition that there is much more than empty materialism as the meaning of life. I would think that you, of all people, would understand that there is far more to life than the bumper sticker philosophy “He who dies with the most toys, wins”.

    But, instead, you adopt what has become a common right wing website device and attempt to challenge my motivations as somehow being class-based bigotry.

  15. muckibr says:

    Helen S. Arnestad wrote in her letter, “Don’t you understand that citizens need to provide for themselves and their loved ones? No one should be living in an encampment in the middle of the city or on someone else’s property outside the city limits.”

    No American should be living in their cars, and washing up in the local gas station wash room, but they do.

    No American should be living under freeway overpasses, in cardboard boxes, dumpster diving for clothes and food, but they are.

    No American should be living in a makeshift tent on the grounds of a local church, cooking over campfires, because the city won’t allow them to camp anywhere else, but there are Americans who do that.

    And none of these three groups of Americans I mention here are the OWSers who are camping out in the public parks.

    These folks I mention are the former middle-class who were laid-off, foreclosed on, and thrown out into the street with only the meager belongings they could carry with them and that’s all. The OWSers are speaking for them, and are practically the ONLY people in America who are getting noticed for speaking-up for them. Mitt Romney isn’t “concerned about the very poor.” He thinks they have a “safety net.” Some safety net!!!

    Yes, “citizens need to provide for themselves,” but how the hell are they supposed to do that when the “job creators” the “1%ers” are only creating jobs for Chinese slave labor and NOT for hard working American citizens? (Think Apple Corp. which has stated flatly it will not manufacture its iPads in the U.S. because it’s too expensive. They are not the only corporation that feels that way.)

    More power to the OWSers, and I hope they keep on keepin’ on, until they get some things changed for the rest of Americans who are camping out not because they want to, but because the have to!

  16. ReadNLearn says:

    Parasites will do anything and everything to continue their drain on society. There’s a divide, those who work and those who draw. It’s evident in the different perspectives shown here.

  17. muckibr says:

    Yes, I would agree with those who say that some of the 1%ers are parasites on American society. They are sucking the life-blood out this country and depositing it in cash in their Cayman Island and Swiss bank accounts.

  18. MarksonofDarwin says:

    bB,

    I had composed a brilliant reply for you.
    The server squirells ate it.
    In a nutshell, and not nearly so eloquent, my point was:

    It’s a mischaracterization of my post to say that I believe over-consumption will bring happiness.

    To pursue happiness one needs to put a bit of effort into it. There is nothing dignified or laudable in expecting others to take care of your needs.

    I found myself agreeing with OWS in the beginning when their complaints went far deeper than the handouts they seem to want now.

  19. beerBoy says:

    Frankly I am not paying that much attention to OWS – there are about 3 or 4 tents near an intersection that doesn’t put them in the center of anything here in this little town in SE Idaho – I have some admiration for their perseverance (especially when it gets cold) and in general support the overall thrust of their protest.

    But….I have little hope that any change that occurs in response to them will go beyond Obama appropriating their language for the SOTU while continuing to be firmly supportive of continued Wall St. and Industrial/Military Complex skating past any meaningful regulations to ensure actual competition that would be of benefit to consumers/wage workers.

  20. MarksonofDarwin says:

    Well said bB.
    I’m happy the squirrels didn’t make off with your last post…sad but true….

  21. Pacman33 says:

    [However, where did you – who do not work for a living – get the funds to buy the nice Carhartt jackets and warm clothes I see in the pictures in the paper?]

    alindasue surmises ~
    “Aside from the obvious answer that a large number of the protesters do work for a living, it is actually quite easy to get to get nice warm brand name coats at second hand shops”

    The obviously brand new Carhartt (brown)coats were donated by FireDogLake.

  22. Pacman33 says:

    denismenis proposes ~
    “How ’bout visiting the camp, Helen, and asking them in person?”

    I’m awfully busy partaking in evils of Capitalism and paying taxes to a bloated, incompetent government the #Occuriers wish to grow or overthrow depending on which of them you’re talking to.

    Is there anyway we could expedite your suggestion? Couldn’t I just stab myself in the foot with a hepatitis infected needle, read an excerpt from the Communist Manifesto and forgo the horrible stench?

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