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Each Friday, LA Progressive presents a comment we editors find to be most profound, insightful, or just plain irritating.

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This week, Hollis Steward comments on Joe Palermo's article, "Occupy Wall Street’s “Gullible” and “Unsophisticated” Protesters."

A thoughtful article but the following paragraph is more telling than it would seem to be: “There’s something inherently wrong with a political economy where those in power sell the people a bag of goods: Tax cuts for the rich and corporations; deregulation; “free trade” bills; wars and excessive military spending; slashing social programs.

We were told these measures were for our own good. They would be helpful to the lives of the 99 percent. But they never work.” I would submit that they in fact do work for the rich and powerful — they become more rich and more powerful while the smoke and mirrors of our supposed democracy keeps the 99% of us docile and under control as we dream the American Dream and hope that our boat will come in though it never does.

It is not in the interest of capitalism to take care of the working class, the 80 or 90%, and the marginal working classes such as the poor and disabled because they eat up profits and dividends. Now in the old USA, perhaps before Reagan, there was still a mass producing working class working in decent paying jobs building actual goods and probably had a union so that wages were negotiated and a family could live on one good income.

But the destruction of PATCO demonstrated that this docile nation would tolerate the destruction of the union system and it has been all downhill since then. In other countries where working people have not succumbed to the myth of the American Dream or its equivalent people fight back because they know they are working class, not some mythical “middle class” that is part of the smoke and mirrors of self deception.

Maybe Wisconsin and the OWS is the beginning of a resurrection of we the people as a fighting mad, collective action minded, take no prisoners attitude toward those who steal from us every day in the name of “financial capitalism”.

Hwood007 offered this rejoinder:

I tend to judge folks by their actions, not by what they say they will do but by what they actually did.

If I were to visit some recent protest sites, those that had tea party members and those that had occupy groups, I could tell who had been there just by the appearance of the protest site.

The tea party sites would actually look better and cleaner than when the tea party arrived. Those people have an opinion of self worth and would not want to be judged to be such a person who would trash another person’s property. Even though they protested a cause, everyone they came in contact with would be treated with full respect.

The occupy folks sites would look worse than when they arrived and would be in need of a detailed clean-up. The individual members of occupy groups do not have the same individual view of self worth as do the tea party groups so they will leave the clean-up to others. This will happen and has already happened all over the world. When they become organized and have some leadership, perhaps then the sites will be cleaner but not as clean as tea party sites. They do not respect others as they protest, so I wonder if they have any respect for themselves.

This can not be denied as the truth as it has already happened at multiple sites, on several contents, as I have written. Ask them how many voted in the last election.

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We then entertained these correctives based on actual observation:


If you were to visit, which you haven’t, you would know that you are wrong in your opinions. I have been at occupy sites several times and in more than one city. The people clean up after themselves, care about one another, and show wisdom way beyond what you exhibit when you make comments based on if you had been there when you weren’t.

It is better not to speak when you don’t have a factual base for what you say unless you label your comments as conjecture, prose, or rumor.

-- oldsonofthewest


“hwood007″ – a moniker perhaps more revealing that the user intended – is comparing apples to oranges, or, more appropriately, Corniches to Camrys. Tea Party “protests” are ephemeral events – as are most progressive demonstrations. The Occupations are encampments intended to last as long as it takes to effect major change.

I was at Occupy LA yesterday evening. I was impressed with the CLEANLINESS of the grounds: After 15 days, there was virtually no litter on the ground, and both the individual tents and the group areas were remarkably tidy. There are no official groundskeepers – certainly no one being paid – yet the residents and visitors seem to spontaneously pick up after themselves and each other. I even saw someone picking up used tissues and cigarette butts which weren’t his. I challenge any Tea Party group to match this kind of commitment to community.

More disturbing, and more telling, is this poster’s attempt to spin this fantasy of littering into a general condemnation of the occupiers’ ethics. I can’t help but wonder about his motive for sharing such a threadbare tale, but to post my wonderings would be to commit the same error he or she made.