Category Archives: The Other 95%

Occupying the Occupy Narrative

The title describes what I’ve done all day.  I don’t recommend it.

“Why hasn’t the ‘Occupy Movement’ died out yet?” I asked myself yesterday.  You see, I’m a rube.  Once news about the crime, violence, and general mayhem started trickling (then pouring) in at a steady pace, I figured the Occupiers would pack up and go home.

In the early days, the mainstream media tidily airbrushed the movement, but surely they couldn’t keep that up.  Not when words like “rape” and “murder” began popping up.  The media would be forced to ignore Occupy.  Without media attention, the whole affair would wither and die.

So I thought.

Analyzing news coverage is harder than it used to be, thanks to Google’s elimination of the “timeline” search feature.  Still, I found more than enough to fill a longer-than-usual post.  Settle in with some popcorn, readers.  Today, I googled “occupy.”

My search for current news produced predictable results.  The top four hits are for larger news entities, whose articles still sound like a whole lotta airbrushing:

  1. Occupy Wall Street Plans Return to Spotlight – But in What Form?
  2. Occupy’s Six Month Anniversary Promises a Revival
  3. Legal or Not, ‘Occupy’ Movement Comes to Fort Greene Park on Sunday
  4. Occupy Movement Seeks Renewed Physical Presence

One has to click onto local news, or a blog networking site Gothamist, or the town hall site Gather, or even (gasp) Faux News to get the latest sordid details.  You know, details like the Great Poopy Dumping, the Clever NYPD “Piggy” Taunting, and the Artistic Renderings on Stupid Boring Monuments.

Of course, Andrew Breitbart’s site tells it like it is:  Media Ignores Occupy’s Violent Hijacking of Trayvon Martin.  This hijacking occurred on Wednesday, March 21, when Hoodie Marchers fused with Occupiers.  Large crowds became “increasingly raucous.”  One guy walked over (thereby damaging) a slowly moving car.  (How frightening for the driver and any passengers.)  Others removed barricades.  A couple of glass bottles got thrown at NYPD when they cleared Union Square’s plaza.

Folks not informed enough to follow The Bigs, however, are not likely to hear these details.  They are more likely to read this bland article on Yahoo, where the fecal matter is discreetly buried at the bottom of the page.  They may see this photo on Yahoo, depicting the conflict between NYPD and Occupy as a mild verbal debate.  Possibly, the public at large will stumble onto AP’s announcement of Occupy’s upcoming “spring training:”

“Activists inspired by Occupy Wall Street are gearing up for spring training. They say they will teach thousands of people to lead nonviolent protests aimed at reinvigorating the spirit of the movement against economic inequality.”

Uh-huh.

Now let’s look at the other side of the coin.  The Occupiers themselves are not using mild terms.  No sirree:

” . . . we are fearless in the face of state violence. . . . the police department broke up a peaceful Spring celebration in Liberty Square by kicking, punching and beating . . . .  Since then, NYPD has conducted nightly raids . . . to enforce arbitrary rules as an excuse to harass, intimidate, brutalize, and arrest those gathered peacefully . . . .”

This violence allegedly occurred on Saturday, March 17th, when Occupiers attempted to reoccupy Zuccotti Park in honor of their six-month anniversary.  (Cute.  Like teenagers in love, they can’t wait a whole year to celebrate.)

I say “alleged” because the video used to back up this claim is curiously devoid of kicking, punching, and beating.  (Also, it ate up seven minutes of my life that I can never get back.)  The police attempt to restrain a man.  He resists, and in the ensuing shuffle he careens into a door hard enough to crack the glass.  It’s impossible to tell who instigated what from this video, however.

The overall impression is that of a crowd trying to antagonize and provoke the police.

The Occupiers also claim Cecily McMillan as a victim of police brutality that same night.  A video at the link began with some real fightin’ words from protester Jen Waller:

“It is when we speak out against the 1%, and defy them, by fighting for public space that we are brutalized.”

Ms. Waller spoke of “bloodthirsty cops” who “stomped on their faces” at Zuccotti Park.  Yikes!  The Democracy Now! lady then interviewed a bruise-brandishing Ms. McMillan (who has either a broken or bruised rib, depending on who is speaking) ostensibly to expose all this violent, face-stomping bloodthirstiness with a little dose of actual, you know, evidence:

“I have an open case so I can’t talk about it, and I’m sure you can tell that it would be difficult to remember some things . . . .”

Or, not.

Well, scene footage is featured in the background of the interview, so maybe that has some evidence in it . . . hey, what?  The footage stopped playing.  At 6:40, the interviewer says to Ms. McMillan:

“We’ve also turned off the monitors because you said you couldn’t see the footage.  Why?”

“My friends have told me that I might want to refrain from watching because some of them have cried or even gotten sick when watching, and my therapist has said that if I were to watch . . . it might trigger further psychological damage.”

Whoo boy.  The footage must be awful.  As a public service, I have found, viewed, and embedded it below.  All six minutes and forty-three seconds.  Ms. McMillan is absolutely right:  this video features frightening and sickening behavior.

Just not the behavior of the police.

Let me guide you through it.

The police were arresting and loading onto a bus all protesters that refused to leave their new Zuccotti encampment.  Ms. McMillan apparently has a seizure.  She hits the pavement at 1:15.  You can’t see her, but you can see the police reaction.  Within the next ten seconds, she comes into view.  She is twitching and jerking on the ground.  The crowd gets angry at the way policemen are standing about.

By 2:33 (a whopping 93 seconds later), the crowd is screaming things like “you f***ing scumbag!”  At 3:10 they are screaming “call 911!” A policeman answers, “we’re on the phone ma’am; it’s already happening.”  At 3:14 they carry her off the street and to the sidewalk.  At 3:23 you can see that her hands are no longer cuffed.

4:02 is the point at which the crowd, quite simply, goes berserk.  For the next minute or two, they unleash a vile display of hatred and rage:  “f***ing animals!”  “these c**ks**ker f***ing police!”  “f***ing scumbag mother f***ers!”  “you incompetent mother f***ers!”

And the piece day la resistance?  The threat at 5:14:

“. . . check it out on the website!  Your faces!  And your family’s faces!  On the internet!  At the pizza shop!  At the bar!  Twenty four hours a day!”

 

What do the police officers do in the face of this barrage?  Nothing.  The stony, stoic looks on their faces made me feel both sadness and pride.  They have to just stand there and take it.  At least they are taking it like men.

The only other useful footage I found was another Democracy Now! report, which at 1:07 briefly shows Ms. McMillan rousing from her unconscious state on the sidewalk.  She looks more like a lady with a bad case of vapors than a victim of police brutality.  (If you click over to see it, be sure and stop viewing by 1:43, or you’ll get an eyeful of Michael Moore.)

Well, there you have it in a nutshell:  a frightening and volatile group that will continue provoking law enforcement as long as they are allowed, and a mainstream media that will continue to overlook and airbrush this group’s antics no matter what.

Not a good combination.  After reading and watching the Occupiers’ own words and actions for the better part of a day, I am well and truly disturbed.  These folks seem comfortable with lawlessness.  They seem comfortable demonizing a faceless, unknown Other.  They unblinkingly demand to be more equal than everyone else:  “This is god**** our park!  This is our park!  The real people’s park!”

If the situation is allowed to fester indefinitely, Occupiers will find the breaking point they seek.  Let’s just hope that local news reports and the blogosphere provide enough daylight to disinfect the whole dirty, sorry mess first.

Isn’t There A Saying About This?

Something about doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results . . .

I know:  it’s the definition of insanity!

Let’s see.

The Coffee Party.

Crash the Tea Party.  (The creator of this silliness lost his job over it, by the way.)

The Tea Party Is Over.  (I liked the original spooky look better, though.)

The Other 95% 98%.  (Also covered in my post here.)

The Teabusters.

The Brownbaggers.

Have I missed anything?  Good grief, I almost forgot that whole F*ck Tea thing.

Here’s the left’s new plan.  They are going to track the Tea Party Movement with a brand new Tea Party Tracker, sponsored by the NAACP and George Soros.

It’s bound to work this time, right?

Of course I perused the site, and followed the link that promises “photos of tea party extremism.”  This link leads to a Flickr group with a pretty daggum unimpressive collection of extremism. 

As of today, tea party types are the more active members of this Flickr group.  While there, I followed a link to a good video response over at Washington is Broke.

Way to go, statists.  With the Tea Party Tracker, you’ve managed to make the left look even sillier, while at the same time providing another place for tea party types to connect with each other.

UPDATE:  The heavens parted, the sun’s rays shone down, and an angel chorus sang:  “Instalanche!”  Thanks, Professor Reynolds.

What is The Other 95%?

First was The Tea Party is Over.org.  (They have freshened up their look by the way.  I did not save the original page but a peek is found here.   Originally stark and mysterious, now all-American, Uncle Sam, and red white & blue.  Huh.)

Then came that caffeine sensation, the Coffee Party, which I discussed in this post

Third to hit my radar was Crash the Tea Party.org.  I cannot provide the link because the site is already defunct.  Learn more at dancingczars, who I need to add to my blogroll.

Now we have, drumroll please . . . theother95.com.

What is that, you ask?  To whom does that 95 refer?  Who are the other 5?

Well.

The gimmick stems from the idea that only the rich are suffering tax increases, and everyone else (the other 95% of Americans) are getting tax cuts.  The site now includes a brand new YouTube video.  It’s precious.  The video creators found a poor guy out of the many frustrated, unsophisticated folks in any given Tea Party crowd to act as fall guy for their dog-and-pony show:  “See, they are all angry and extreme and we are moderate, reasonable, and nice.”

NOTE to all Tea Party attendees:  this is an important lesson.  YouTube has a small genre of videos featuring Tea Party folks who are lost for words, mistaken in facts, and worst of all, losing their temper.  Swearing, yelling, the whole bit.  Make sure this YouTube genre remains small.  If you cannot remain calm, please walk away from the situation until you can.

Back to that Other 95.  Erick Erickson inquired on RedState yesterday, whether the Obama Administration itself is behind this new anti-Tea Party Movement (TPM) website.  His reasoning: 

Cass Sunstein had championed creating fake websites and using outside 501(c)(3) interest groups to act as alleged independent champions of government policy and to “cognitively infiltrate” opposition websites.

See, Mr. Sunstein is head of the federal Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.  And his 2008 idea is to provide information while pretending to be something that you are not. 

Hmm.

I snooped around the Other 95 website awhile.  The site has evolved since this morning.  The little rant about “the angry and scared members of the radical fringe dominat[ing] the news cycle every night” has been removed from the front page.

The creators of this website are thus far anonymous.  The “About” section does not share who they are.  The question “Who are the Other 95?”  is answered in laughable, unresponsive prose:  “We are teachers, military, doctors, nurses, small business owners, moms and dads, disenfranchised Tea Partiers, we are everywhere and we are hopeful.”

Did you almost gag too?

The section called “The Facts” seems pretty much like a memo straight from Whitehouse.gov.  Emphasis is on Pres. Obama’s tax cuts, which are actually tax credits, by the way.  Uncommon Misconceptions make a great point about the cuts/credits.

You know what?  A Knoxville news blogger recently posted about an astroturf letter to the editor.  When parts of the cut-and-paste letter were googled, the search result included the White House Web site and my.barackobama.com.

Not that the President himself is up late at night, making cut-and-paste letters-to-the-editor for nationwide newspapers.  Chuckle. 

But still, I got to thinking about Mr. Erickson’s hypothesis.  You know how distrustful we are about government nowadays, after all. 

Some searches on the Whitehouse.gov website were illuminating. 

I chose some prominent factoids from the “other 95%” facts page.  First, the simple percentage “95%” gave several results with the “We cut taxes for 95 percent of working Americans” mantra. 

Searches for “recent healthcare reform includes tax credits and savings for small businesses and working people” and also “stimulus package included $300 billion in middle class tax cuts” brought many matches as well.

The “other 95%” facts page closely mirrors this White House 12 April Fact Sheet about “Tax Savings by the Numbers,” and this White House 10 April Press Briefing about “Tax Credits Available to American Families.”

Both of the above documents contain, in virtually the same order, every bullet from the “other 95%” facts page:  1)Making Work Pay Tax credit, 2)Tax credits for college expenses, 3)Homebuyers Tax Credit, 4)Tax credits for energy-efficient renovations, 5)Vehicle sales tax deduction, 6)Expanded family tax credits, and 7)Tax-free unemployment benefits.

Oh and also handy reference to the new Recovery.gov Tax Saving Tool.  We mustn’t forget that handy new tool.

What is my point?  Not that the above similarities prove that the President, Mr. Sunstein, or other staff are in the White House right now, monitoring their fake grassroots website, reading comments, and commenting back at those tea party trolls.  (Funny to imagine though.)

My point is the answer to that first question:  what is The Other 95%?

The website’s claim that its creators are hardworking, everyday, middle-class Americans is complete garbage. 

Like the Coffee Party, the Other 95 is an attempt to siphon populist sentiment away from the TPM.  It is no different from Organizing for America or any other liberal mouthpiece.  It cannot add anything new to the debate.  All the Other 95 can do is parrot the talking points of the White House. 

Who is actually doing the parroting?  At least the Coffee Party offers Annabel Park as its spokesperson.

Shoot.  I don’t even want the answer.  I prefer to imagine the President and First Lady poring over the website and responding to trolls themselves.

UPDATE:  My research is clearly lacking.  Key information at Riehl World View:  The Other 95% website was started by Andrew Boyd, creator of Billionaires for Bush.  Dang, there goes my vision of folks in the White House hovering over their laptops.  Left Coast Rebel has good info too.

UPDATE 22April:  The full background of The Other 95 here.

UPDATE 05 May:  I notice the frequent tweaking of these goofy anti-TPM sites.  This one is now “The Other 98%.”  Ohhh-key-dokey then.

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