A Philosopher's Blog

The Ethics of Protesting

Posted in Business, Ethics, Law, Philosophy, Politics by Michael LaBossiere on October 28, 2011
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This past year has witnessed many protests ranging from those in the Middle East to the latest Occupy protests that are spreading around the world. Most recently Melissa Brookstone of the Tea Party Nation decided to get in on the protesting by calling on America’s small business owners to take the following pledge:

I, an American small business owner, part of the class that produces the vast majority of real, wealth producing jobs in this country, hereby resolve that I will not hire a single person until this war against business and my country is stopped.

This is being presented as an act of protest rather than as being an attempt to damage the American economy more in an attempt to lower Obama’s chances of being re-elected in 2012. Rather than debate this issue, I will, instead assume (for the sake of the discussion) that this is an act of protest. Likewise, I will take the Occupiers as being engaged in an act of protest rather than attributing to them any sinister motives.

In some cases protests raise little in the way of ethical concerns. To be specific, a protest that does not cause any meaningful harm or interference can generally be regarded as morally inoffensive. For example, if a group of people peacefully assemble on private property and make a statement of protest against some perceived injustice, that would most likely be morally inoffensive. However, some protests do cause actual harm or interference and this would tend to make them of greater moral concern.

For example, the Occupy protestors occupy areas and thus interfere with access on the part of other people. Police are often deployed in response to the protestors and this uses up police resources. As another example, people who protest by going on strike or by boycotting a business can do harm to that business (and the employees of that business). As a third example, if small business owners decide to take Brookstone’s pledge, they would presumably be harming the people they would have otherwise hired.

In the case of protests that interfere with others, these can clearly be such that they violate other people’s legitimate rights. For example, if protestors occupy a park, then other people are denied access to do what they would otherwise do. As another example, if protestors occupy a business, they are interfering with the rights of the owner and the employees.  As such, these sorts of protests would seem to require some moral justification.

One rather obvious and sensible standard is that the harm done by the protest should be proportional to the harm that is being protested. It also should go without saying that the harm needs to be real rather than merely imagined or a fabrication. Another reasonable standard is that there should not be a less harmful redress available that could be reasonably expected to solve the problem. After all, if the conflict can be resolved with less harm by these means, that would certainly seem to be the right (and sensible) thing to do. A third standard worth considering is whether or not the harm of the protest is suffered primarily by the target of the protest or by others. After all, protesting a wrong by  primarily  harming  people who are innocent of wrongdoing (or who are less significantly less responsible than others) would certainly seem to merely create more wrongs than it would protest them.

To use a simple example, imagine that a student fails my class because s/he never does the work and then disrupts my office hours and classes with shouts of “LaBossiere is unfair!” This  would seem to be unacceptable. After all, the harm was self-inflicted and would hardly warrant interfering with the education of other students (who had no role in the student’s failure). Also, there is an established process for disputing grades that do not require such behavior.

In the case of protests that are boycotts or non-hiring protests, these would seem to be well within the rights of the individuals involved in said protests. After all, I am under no special moral obligation to patronize a business or, if I owned a business, to employ anyone. As such, these protests would seem to fall clearly withing the realm of being morally acceptable (although there could be some exceptions).

That said, it does seem reasonable to hold that a person could be acting within his/her rights, yet still be acting unfairly and thus perhaps in a way that is at least somewhat wrong. Such protests, it would seem, could still be evaluated by the suggested standards given above.

For example, suppose that people are protesting a business that practices racial discrimination (such as giving minorities worse rates on loans simply because they are minorities). Provided that the protest is aimed primarily at the decision makers and the harm inflicted is in balance with the offense (for example, boycotting the company as opposed to fire bombing their offices), then the protest would seem to be morally acceptable (and perhaps laudable).

As another example, suppose that people are protesting an oil  company that has poor environmental practices. The protestors focus on not patronizing the independently owned gas stations (which follow the rules regarding the environment) that fall under the brand name of the company and end up putting some of them out of business, but this has almost no impact on the parent company’s bottom line. In this case, there would certainly be some very reasonable doubts about the morality of such protests.

As a final example, consider the call to not hire people to protest the alleged war on business and America. Even if it is assumed that such a war exists this sort of protest would seem to inflict the actual harm on the innocent potential employees rather than the alleged perpetrators of the war. To use an analogy, this would seem to be like protesting against a business not by boycotting or protesting that business, but by going after individual employees in the hopes that the protest would someone impact the business.  Also, there is a clear means of redress in regards to this problem, namely the upcoming elections. As such, this sort of protest would seem morally dubious (at best).

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  1. ajmacdonaldjr said, on October 28, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Good post!

  2. dhammett said, on October 28, 2011 at 11:42 pm


    The subject of abortion fits here, as long as you stick with the protesting aspect. :)*


    * Just yankin’ yer chain. . .

  3. T. J. Babson said, on October 29, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Good one, dhammett! A good example of a misleading photo, as well. The photo doesn’t really do justice to the story:

    “No arrests were made at the protest or at one on Aug. 29, the first day of school, when two protesters holding antiabortion posters stood for about an hour at the school’s entrance.”

  4. dhammett said, on October 29, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Don’t forget to quote this part of the article:
    “Antiabortion activists who have sought for months to shut down a Germantown clinic picketed its landlord outside a Montgomery County middle school where his daughter is a student, school and police officials said Monday.
    A small group of protesters stood outside Robert Frost Middle School in Rockville on Thursday, holding signs and a banner, during back-to-school night, officials said.
     Carhart began working in Germantown after Nebraska made it illegal last year to perform most abortions beyond 20 weeks of gestation.
    The student’s father, who did not want to be named to protect the safety of his daughter, a SIXTH-GRADER at the school. . .”
    “During Back-to-School Night, Frost’s principal made an announcement, telling parents the protests had NOTHING to do with the school, she said.”

    Now ,if I understand this story, the protesters were protesting the landlord who rents to the doctor. But the landlord owns the property. Most everyone on here would agree that it’s his right to rent to whomever he wishes, within the law. And of course the protesters can protest whomever they wish. In this case they’re protesting—wait for it- – – – -, The Landlord’s Daughter! That would make a great horror movie title.

    Ah. Take me back to the 80’s. The good ol’ days of grunge and firebombings:
    “Ames said the landlord, whose father operated a College Park abortion clinic that was firebombed in the 1980s, was a part-owner of the clinic and should not be allowed to ‘hide under this cloak of anonymity’.”

    • T. J. Babson said, on October 29, 2011 at 9:51 am

      For completeness. It sounds like they were not allowed to protest in front of the clinic.

      “Jack Ames, director of a regional antiabortion group called Defend Life, said his group organized the protest at the school because it was a “very good public venue.” Previous demonstrations at the Germantown clinic have been hampered because the clinic is on private property inside an office park.”

      • dhammett said, on October 30, 2011 at 11:13 am

        Sounds to me more like they were not allowed to protest on “private property inside an office park.” So they took a more measured and mature approach and chose to protest outside the middle school where the landlord’s middle-school-age daughter attends.

        • T. J. Babson said, on October 30, 2011 at 12:52 pm

          Exactly. But you have to admit it is preferable to public masturbation 🙂

          • dhammett said, on October 30, 2011 at 1:24 pm

            “measured and mature” 🙂
            The middle school protest was arguably even less ‘measured and mature’ than public masturbation. If you do something inane and potentially hurtful to a child (and let’s let the fetus/ child argument behind here, ‘cuz it’s still way up in the air) on purpose, I could argue that that act is worse than a mildly offending ‘sperm-of-the-moment’ act .

            • T. J. Babson said, on October 30, 2011 at 8:19 pm

              “The middle school protest was arguably even less ‘measured and mature’ than public masturbation.”

              You’ve jumped the shark, dhammett.

            • dhammett said, on October 31, 2011 at 12:07 am

              TJ: Don’t quote only part of my post: “I could argue that that act is worse than a mildly offending ‘sperm-of-the-moment’ act .”

              First, however, I’m looking for, but failing to find, proof that this masturbation allegation is anything more than just that, an allegation, at this point.The temporary lifting of the permit seems to be based on failure to renew a permit and violating UNspecified “public health and safety conditions.”
              The Daily Cardinal, a student newspaper, reports:
              “A neighboring hotel’s staff alleged voiced concerns about having to recently escort hotel employees to and from bus stops late at night due to inappropriate behavior, such as public masturbation, from street protesters.”

              What exactly does that mean: “alleged voiced concerns”? Someone claimed they saw masturbation, they reported it to the staff, and the staff alleged that they heard the concerns? “Voiced” by whom? Do I hear the word “hearsay”?If I say I heard “hearsay” what’s the word for what I say?

              This is the age of 4G phones that take 6 megapixel images. Surely someone can provide a super-sharp pic or two of some protester playing with his dingus in public in Madison.

              Now back to the relative seriousness of the two acts—protesting outside a middle school to hurt a living child by attacking her father through her, or a mildly offending masturbatory act (this would imply rubbing, but not likely ejaculation) I’ll still say the first is the worst, until someone presents some proof that the ‘reported’ “public masturbation” was not merely an allegation made by some inebriated Wall Street execs attending some convention at the hotel in question or a group of Tea Partiers going to a party at the hotel. The Cardinal didn’t even give the name of the hotel in question. Their news coverage is worse than our local 5 o’clock news. And tell be who those people were who were offended and the specifics of the public masturbation while you’re at it.

              TJ, if you’re in a crowded place and you go behind a wall to masturbate, should you be prosecuted if someone happens upon you relieving your urge? Should you be punished as ‘stiffly’ as the guy who exposes himself in front of school children? If a woman is discretely masturbating in a public place by rubbing herself inside her raincoat and under the large pocket book in her lap how culpable is she? Pee Wee Herman did it in a porn theater in 1991. 15 years later, kind of like Newt, he began to resurrect his career.

              Again, I’d be grateful if you’d find me something, anything , that isn’t some viral outgrowth of The Daily Cardinal article. You can start by Googling “public masturbation Occupy Wall Street”. Eliminate all blog articles and responses that don’t provide good, fresh, reliable material to flesh out the story.

              If you find the facts and I’m wrong about the story, I’ll admit it here. I won’t however, change my statement that “I could argue that that act is worse than a mildly offending ‘sperm-of-the-moment’ act .”

  5. magus71 said, on October 30, 2011 at 3:43 am

    One of my least favorite protests of all time, right here. Can you explain this, Mike?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on October 31, 2011 at 1:52 pm

      Wasn’t that explained long ago?

      • magus71 said, on October 31, 2011 at 3:17 pm

        I looked for an explanation and found many different things, but only one dubious answer from Obama himself, and a lot of slanted reports in mags like Slate talking about the law concerning saluting the flag.. What could possibly be the explanation other than the obvious; he didn’t want to do it. It is difficult to do? Is there some complex reason that he didn’t do it? Interestingly enough, the closest things I found to explanations were contradictory:

        Here, he says that he states that he was taught that you sing during the National Anthem, not put your hand over your heart. Well, he wasn’t singing, either. Plus, I’ve watched hundreds of baseball games in my lifetime. People put their hands or their hats over their hearts. All the other politicians, who I believe are well versed in such things, are putting their hands over their hearts.

        Here’s his “sing during anthem” explanation:


        In another report, a spokesperson for Obama states:

        “Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t [put his hand on his heart]. In no way was he making any sort of statement, and any suggestion to the contrary is ridiculous.”

        Which is it? Does he sometimes salute the flag, or does he not do it because his granddad told him not to?

        In another statement concerning Obama not wearing am American flag pin, Obama states:

        “You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a pin. Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we’re talking about the Iraq War, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest. Instead, I’m going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism.”

        What does wearing the American flag have to do with Iraq? Either you support the values that you *believe* America stands for, or you don’t. If you don’t support what you believe is a tyrannical regime, I guess you refuse to wear a flag pin in order to make a statement.

        I’ve done some research. Ok–Obama is an American citizen ( I always said he was). He’s also heavily influenced by people in his past hung out with many Marxists in college and after, befriended many people who hated the American government such as Ayers and Reverend Wright (and several others such as Professor Peter Dreier, a full-blown communist back in the 70s who’s now safely ensconced, predictably, in full tenure at Occidental College and also rights borderline anti-American stuff for the Huff Post.

        Obama is also heavily influenced by his father, and so bears an anti-colonialism scar which he believes America is partially responsible for. He is also a borderline racist against whites, which he speaks of in his books. He says several times that he resented his mother for her whiteness. And that he hung out with blacks not whites because he didn’t view whites in a good light.

        Obama has done an incredible job making people pay no attention to the man he was behind the curtain while in college and while acting as a community organizer.

  6. magus71 said, on October 30, 2011 at 6:59 am


  7. magus71 said, on November 1, 2011 at 2:39 am


    Democracy Versus Mob Rule
    By Thomas Sowell
    In various cities across the country, mobs of mostly young, mostly incoherent, often noisy and sometimes violent demonstrators are making themselves a major nuisance.

    Meanwhile, many in the media are practically gushing over these “protesters,” and giving them the free publicity they crave for themselves and their cause — whatever that is, beyond venting their emotions on television.

    Members of the mobs apparently believe that other people, who are working while they are out trashing the streets, should be forced to subsidize their college education — and apparently the President of the United States thinks so too.

    But if these loud mouths’ inability to put together a coherent line of thought is any indication of their education, the taxpayers should demand their money back for having that money wasted on them for years in the public schools.

    Sloppy words and sloppy thinking often go together, both in the mobs and in the media that are covering them. It is common, for example, to hear in the media how some “protesters” were arrested. But anyone who reads this column regularly knows that I protest against all sorts of things — and don’t get arrested.

    The difference is that I don’t block traffic, join mobs sleeping overnight in parks or urinate in the street. If the media cannot distinguish between protesting and disturbing the peace, then their education may also have wasted a lot of taxpayers’ money.

    Among the favorite sloppy words used by the shrill mobs in the streets is “Wall Street greed.” But even if you think people in Wall Street, or anywhere else, are making more money than they deserve, “greed” is no explanation whatever.

    “Greed” says how much you want. But you can become the greediest person on earth and that will not increase your pay in the slightest. It is what other people pay you that increases your income.

    If the government has been sending too much of the taxpayers’ money to people in Wall Street — or anywhere else — then the irresponsibility or corruption of politicians is the problem. “Occupy Wall Street” hooligans should be occupying Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.

    Maybe some of the bankers or financiers should have turned down the millions and billions that politicians were offering them. But sainthood is no more common in Wall Street than on Pennsylvania Avenue — or in the media or academia, for that matter.

    Actually, some banks did try to refuse the government bailout money, to avoid the interference with their business that they knew would come with it. But the feds insisted — and federal regulators’ power to create big financial problems for banks made it hard to say no. The feds made them an offer they couldn’t refuse.

    People who cannot distinguish between democracy and mob rule may fall for the idea that the hooligans in the street represent the 99 percent who are protesting about the “greed” of the one percent. But these hooligans are less than one percent and they are grossly violating the rights of vastly larger numbers of people who have to put up with their trashing of the streets by day and their noise that keeps working people awake at night.

    As for the “top one percent” in income that attract so much attention, angst and denunciation, there is always going to be a top one percent, unless everybody has the same income. That top one percent has no more monopoly on sainthood or villainy than people in any other bracket.

    Moreover, that top one percent does not consist of the “millionaires and billionaires” that Barack Obama talks about. You don’t even have to make half a million dollars to be in the top one percent.

    Moreover, this is not an enduring class of people. Nor are people in other income brackets. Most of the people in the top one percent at any given time are there for only one year. Anyone who sells an average home in San Francisco can get into the top one percent in income — for that year. Other one-time spikes in income account for most of the people in that top one percent.

    But such plain facts carry little weight amid the heady rhetoric and mindless emotions of the mob and the media.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm

      I would hardly characterize such protests as mobs. After all, they seem to be mainly peaceful and do not seem intent on seizing power. Rather, most of the folks seem to be expressing legitimate concerns about actual problems with our political and economic system.

      • magus71 said, on November 2, 2011 at 2:33 am

        “Rather, most of the folks seem to be expressing legitimate concerns about actual problems with our political and economic system.”

        I must have missed that one. Is it their demand for free tuition you’re talking about?

  8. T. J. Babson said, on November 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    The truth of the matter is that nobody really cares about the small businesses.

    FINANCIAL DISTRICT — Twenty-one restaurant workers lost their jobs last week because of the Occupy Wall Street protests, the cafe owner said Tuesday.

    Marc Epstein, owner of the Milk Street Cafe at 40 Wall St., said he had no choice but to let nearly a quarter of his staff go last Friday after he saw his sales drop by 30 percent in the six weeks since the protests started.

    “What are [the protesters] trying to accomplish here?” Epstein asked Monday.

    “The end result is that I and all the wonderful people who work for me are collateral damage.”

    Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/20111101/downtown/financial-district-cafe-lays-off-21-workers-because-of-occupy-wall-street#ixzz1cTssZ1IY

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm

      But surely you care?

      It is unfortunate that the Mike Street Cafe suffered a loss of business and this does raise an ethical concern, namely the harm being done by the protest to this business.

  9. magus71 said, on November 3, 2011 at 9:25 am

    More of Mike’s “peaceful” protesters:


    I’m sure they’re not representative of the greater portion of Occupiers. Just like Tea Partiers, really…

    • WTP said, on November 3, 2011 at 1:19 pm

      I’d say this about sums it up…


      • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 3, 2011 at 4:31 pm

        So, anything that happens in the area when there is an OWS protest is the responsibility of everyone who is involved in the protest? Does this same condition hold in regards to, for example, sports fans?

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 3, 2011 at 2:20 pm

      They are not. Only a small number of people (relative to the original peaceful protest) were engaged in such behavior. The mainstream of the movement has not advocated or engaged in violence. To say that the Occupiers are violent because some people who claim to be associated with the protest engaged in violence is on par with saying that all sports fans are violent because there have been cases of sports fans wrecking things after events.

      After all, one would not say that all folks on the right are plotting to take out the government just because four people were accused of such a plot.

      • WTP said, on November 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm

        Yes, Mike, let’s compare this to sporting events. I would be willing to guess that during the time of the Occupations, there have been far more sporting events than days * instances of occupation. Yet how many rapes have occurred at those sporting events? How much antisemitism displayed? How much public defecation? How much vandalism? How much violence? How many calls for beheading of opponents? …Well, maybe from some Philly fans, but still…

        As for your link, an argument worthy of a 15 year old. One could argue, has anyone of consequence on the right spoken up in support of those losers? Much of the Democratic party has tied itself to the Occupiers. And far more of the occupiers have called for similar violent overthrow of the US government, along with direct in-their-face threats to the lives of police officers.

      • magus71 said, on November 4, 2011 at 4:42 am


        “To say that the Occupiers are violent because some people who claim to be associated with the protest engaged in violence is on par with saying that all sports fans are violent because there have been cases of sports fans wrecking things after events.”

        So what exactly would it take for you to call the protests violent, Mike? Do you have a measurement in mind? The violence and crime seems to be happening at alsmost every protest in every city right now. Please tell me when to consider it violent or not violent. If a riot breaks out at a soccer game here in Germany in which 100 people are arrested, I’d call that violent even though 30,000 people were at the game. I’ve been to several Red Sox games and saw noone get arrested, no flaming bottles thrown, no cops pushed off motorcycles. I’d call that non-violent. But the violent acts I just listed happened all over the US yesterday at Occupy protests. I’d call them violent.

        Admit you’re wrong about Occupy Wallstreet. Actually, what the hell *is* your view on Occupy? What is their greivence? Have they joined the military to pay off their tuitions? Why not? The Army loves people with college degrees. So does the Chair Force. You’re merely using the same artful dodger tactics you use when talking about Islamist terrorism. These protesters are a bunch of frauds. Throwing a couple of real down and outers in there to make it “real” is like throwing 3 combat veterans into a platoon of 30 new recruits and calling it “The Veteran Platoon”.



        “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men, women, and transgendered—and any other human who is able to elude the tyranny of work for a couple of weeks—are created equal. We gather to be free not of tyranny, but of responsibility and college tuitions. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that a government long established and a nation long prosperous be changed for light and transient causes. So let our demands* be submitted to a candid world.

        First, we are imbued with as many inalienable rights as a few thousand college kids and a gaggle of borderline celebrities can concoct, among them a guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment and immediate across-the-board debt forgiveness—even if that debt was acquired taking on a mortgage with a 4.1 percent interest rate and no money down, which, we admit, is a pretty sweet deal in historical context…

        …but down with the modern gilded age!

        We demand that a Master of Fine Arts in musical theater writing, with a minor in German, become an immutable human right, because education is crucial and rich people can afford to fund unemployment checks until we find jobs or in perpetuity, whichever comes first.

        We demand a minimum wage of $10, no … make it $20. We earned it. And we demand the end of “profiteering,” because there is no better way to end joblessness than stopping the growth of capital. We also demand a maximum wage law, because selfish American dreams need a firm ceiling.

        We demand the institution of direct democracy, because if a bunch of people say it’s OK, it’s OK. And everyone deserves to have his or her voice heard. Except Mr. Moneybags, who we demand stop contributing his own money to candidates we disagree with, to issue groups we loathe, and to lobbyists who do not work for organizations featuring “Service,” “Employees,” “International” and/or “Union” in their title.

        We demand the end to bailouts and corporate subsidies, unless we’re talking about companies that feature sunflowers or sun rays in their logos, because that’s the kind of morally gratifying institution we approve of, and thus, they should totally be fast-tracked and bailed out with your money to bring the fossil fuel economy (“the economy”) to an end.

        We demand the end to a corrupt Wall Street (“Apple” “your 401(k)”) because banks hold too much power. We demand that government consolidate authority so that elected officials can make prudent choices for us. All that cash in banks was printed by the war god Mars and has nothing to do with the voluntary deposits by ordinary Americans, so we do not consider this theft.

        We demand the end to corporate censorship, because if we can’t force private news organizations to run the types of stories with which we agree, there can’t be a healthy democracy. So actually, we demand the end of all corporate news organizations in the name of free speech.

        We demand the end to health profiteering, because everyone knows that all the wondrous and lifesaving advances in modern medicine were invented in the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos. Smart people work for the good of humanity, not because they’re greedy.

        We demand these rights because of the mass injustice of being able to freely protest against racism and corporatism without any real fear of imprisonment in the most diverse city on earth. And to the wiseguy who walked by the other day and claimed that I’d be writing this manifesto with a quill pen on parchment paper if it weren’t for capitalism, we have two words for you: Koch brothers. Think about it.

        This is the fifth communiqué from the 99.9 percent. We are occupying Wall Street, and we’re not going home until it gets really cold.

        *These grievances are not all-inclusive.”

  10. magus71 said, on November 4, 2011 at 4:22 am

    This gets better everyday. Leaks say ACORN is paying peopel to protest. I’m shocked! Shocked I say!


    “He also deflected a question about the allegation that staffers were being told to blame the report on disgruntled staffers, telling this reporter to contact him later via email.

    Responding to reports of pushback from staffers who said they were being paid to go to the protests, and reports NYCC had recently hired people as canvassers or organizers and then sent them to the protests, Westin replied repeatedly “We don’t pay people to protest.”

  11. wtp said, on November 15, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Care to speculate what is happening here:

    • magus71 said, on November 16, 2011 at 11:39 am

      Gee, look at all the Occupiers running to stop the guy or reprimand him. Good job taking a dump on Wall Street, Comrade!

  12. magus71 said, on November 16, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Finally. Common sense and decency — not to mention ordinary rules of sanitation — reign downtown.
    For two months, the lunatics had taken over the asylum, as if the right to use a park as a public outhouse was in the Constitution.
    But yesterday, in a display of courage I didn’t think he possessed, the mayor got it.
    He ordered the cleansing of festering Zuccotti Park.
    Sexual assault, rape, thievery and the scamming of gullible people into donating their hard-earned cash for nefarious purposes — including the possible purchase of drugs — had become not the exception but the norm at the Occupy Wall Street enclave. For weeks.

    Yesterday evening, Supreme Court Judge Michael Stallman proved he got it, too. He upheld the ban on tents, bedrolls and all manner of paraphernalia there.
    It will no longer be easy for the Occupiers to occupy. Not if they don’t want to catch pneumonia or tuberculosis, which has broken out at Occupy Atlanta.
    Still, giddy protesters yesterday showed little sign of slowing down.
    A hard-core throng of Zuccotti denizens vowed last night to remain in the recently decontaminated encampment until the end of time.
    Tommy Fox, 54, has slept in Zuccotti, he believes, 51 days.
    Make that “52 days,’’ he corrected. “I’ve been here two months. I’ve been here seven of the eight weeks.’’
    Fox said he organized the donation of apartments to protesters who didn’t care to sleep outside.
    Makes him sound curiously like a member of the dreaded 1 percent of richest Americans.
    For most of yesterday, until way after dark, a depleted number of Zuccotti protesters milled around, whining.
    A bunch of them had spent the day holding up signs or shouting at the infinitely patient cops, who should be rewarded, not maligned, for taking abuse from silver-spoon sickos. For New York’s Finest, it’s all in a day’s work.
    One man marched around the park, evidently forgetting that he was holding the hand of his young daughter. He hurled abuse at Department of Sanitation workers stationed inside Zuccotti.
    Earlier, these same workers had cleaned up the filth and disease that scum like him left behind.
    “Sanitation Department is scabs!’’ he railed.

    At that moment, a young woman with a pierced nose and lips walked by, proudly displaying a sign that said, “F–k Bloomberg!’’
    I asked a woman standing next to me with a baby in a stroller if she approved of the message. She muttered something about her baby needing to learn to read and write sometime. Nice.
    The protest has run out of gas, ideas and reason for existence. But few, it seems, want the drug-and-hook-up party to end just yet.
    “Hey, you got any money?’’ a tattooed, foul-smelling man went around the park asking. It wasn’t clear if he was a protester or one of the many hangers-on who have become indistinguishable from the supposedly noble breed.
    The party is over at Zuccotti, but for the whining.

    Good riddance

    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/sanity_prevails_but_loons_just_don_pheywxlvfehKba7UrsZSgJ#ixzz1dso6Cris

  13. wtp said, on November 17, 2011 at 7:18 am

    They’re gonna burn NYC to the m*f*g ground tonight. Apparently hasn’t heard that fire can’t melt steel…unless…

    • magus71 said, on November 22, 2011 at 3:12 am

      Both conservatives and liberals have issues with Nietzsche, and understandably so. However, he was spot on on some issues.

      These Occupy Wall Streeters are displaying Nietzsche’s “slave-morality” to the max.

      “Slave morality is the inverse of master morality. As such, it is characterized by pessimism and cynicism. Slave morality is created in opposition to what master morality values as ‘good’. Slave morality does not aim at exerting one’s will by strength but by careful subversion. It does not seek to transcend the masters, but to make them slaves as well.”


  14. wtp said, on November 17, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Forgot to include this, for those scoring at home:


    • magus71 said, on November 17, 2011 at 9:33 am

      Seems like perfectly reasdonable and respectful crowd. Just like the crowds we see at Tera Party rallies, really. Everything they do really brings me to their way of thinking. I’d love to have some Occupiers over for dinner. Of course, my dog is trained to not crap on the rug, so he has some moral authority over the Occupiers.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm

        Interestingly, the Daily Show did a mocking piece on the class divisions among the occupiers. As might be expected, there are the “foo foo” elites who drink Lattes while updating their Facebook status. There are also the “protesters” who are actually criminals using the protests as cover. And, of course, there are the homeless folks who join in to get out of the cold.

        • Anonymous said, on November 20, 2011 at 1:16 am

          I saw that. It was really funny.


        • T. J. Babson said, on November 20, 2011 at 10:16 am

          Four legs good, two legs better!

  15. wtp said, on November 17, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Need anything more be said?

    http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:video:thedailyshow.com:402475 width=”512″ height=”288″

    • magus71 said, on November 18, 2011 at 1:31 am

      Dude. That was awesome. I need say no more.

  16. magus71 said, on November 20, 2011 at 9:18 am

    • wtp said, on November 20, 2011 at 6:21 pm

      I blame the banks. If I were a banker, I would never, NEVER loan money to a fool so stupid that after 12-16 years of edamucation, he can’t even spell the word “money”. There’s a part of me that hates the banks even more than these damn fools, but for the opposite reason. Apparently there actually was more to be said…

      Hey Mike, what percent of your students do you suppose can spell the word “money”? Try putting it on the next test, you may be surprised.

      • wtp said, on November 20, 2011 at 6:25 pm

        OMG…I just noticed the fool spelled “loans” l-o-n-e-s. Might wanna put that one on the test too, perfesser.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 20, 2011 at 9:03 pm

        I think they can all spell “money.” “Socrates” has presented some challenges-I have gotten “Sackretes” and “Secrates.” I’m rather forgiving of spelling errors these days. While there is spell-check, typing words seems to make it easier to make and miss errors. When I write by hand I find that I seem to be better focused on each word than with typing.

        Interestingly, I had no texting style papers this semester. For a while students were writing things like “id lk 2 tel u abt sacretes.” I’m fine with texting style when texting, but not in actual papers.

        Some banks did what seems to be foolish spending. But many of them made out well-they got to gamble on the loans, top dogs made money and then many banks got bailed when these “stupid” loans imploded. As the critics have said, the order of the day has been private gain and public handling of the risk. Not a good strategy for the rest of us.

        • wtp said, on November 21, 2011 at 9:26 am

          Yes, but in the defense of SOME of those bankers, the lending rules were taken out of their hands by CRA and similar intrusions by government into student loans, warping the market. Such changes to the lending rules that were trumpeted by Keynesians and worse.

          And given what you’ve related here about your students, it sounds to me like some of them are just as ill educated and unprepared for college level work as the young man in Magus’s link. Such people are seriously mislead when they are encouraged to spend additional years of their lives on “formal” education.

          • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm

            Some people are not well prepared for college and some folks do fail out. Some learn the classic strategy of getting by despite the lack of preparation.

            Fortunately, most of my students are ready for college and do what they need to do.

            A friend of mine postulated the Peters’ Principle: 10% of students cause 90% of the problems. This seems true across life.

        • magus71 said, on November 21, 2011 at 11:12 am

          Banks made bad loans but there were also laws that required them to loan to high-risk people. Freddie and Fannie were made for just such a thing.

          Who bailed the banks? I mean, if you ran the bank and the government said, we’re going to bail you, you’d take the money.

          I’m against anything that rewards bad behavior. So much bad behavior was rewarded by the bailouts and our debt is so colossal, it makes me want to cry. I’m trying to figure out what America got from the bailouts. We’re basically handing the world to China, and the world will be worse for it.

          • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 21, 2011 at 8:15 pm

            Well, if I was a banker I would take the money. But, if I were a drug dealer, I’d be selling drugs. The question is whether they should have done that.

            • wtp said, on November 21, 2011 at 10:31 pm

              Good point, but the difference is that banking is, at its base, an honorable business. The problem is that the government got involved in the market and warped it. I have no problem with the government requiring reasonable regulations that ensure that banks are solvent and thus running an honest business. I do have a problem with the government telling businesses how to run their business or showing favoritism for who they do business with. Same with the insurance business. An insurance commissioner’s sole job is to make sure that if a major disaster occurs, the insurance companies have sufficient reserves to pay their obligations. The insurance commissioner has no business telling insurance companies that they are charging too much, which is what Bill Nelson did during his tenure and Charlie Crist did as governor.

              What the government has done in both instances (both in Florida at least) is either force financial institutions to ignore their responsibilities or absolve them of their responsibilities. They are the players who know the market far better than the government and will behave accordingly or go out of business. I will agree that many in both sectors have lobbyists paid to work the government. But if the government would just stay the hell out, the institutions wouldn’t need the lobbyists in the first place. Once the government commits to trying to make things “fairer”, it is perfectly reasonable for these institutions to lobby to try to make the best of a bad situation. It is government action that puts them at risk. Can you blame them too much for trying to manage that risk? Granted, this degenerates into a chicken-egg discussion, but the government holds the cards. But whenever insurance or banking builds up the necessary reserves, the people scream and the government moves in playing the populist card concerning what executives and shareholders are earning instead of paying attention to the ONE and ONLY thing they should care about…solvency.

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm

              Banking is supposed to be honorable. After all, a person who is going to be handling all that money should be a person who has integrity. Unfortunately, some folks in finance are more focused on personal profit rather than honorable service with just compensation. Witness Jon Corzine and his MF Global. I can only assume that “MF” stands for “Mother F@cker.” Jon shows that this sort of misdeed is indeed a bi-partisan sort of thing.

            • wtp said, on November 22, 2011 at 6:48 pm

              Well, exactly Mike. Yet perhaps you’ve seen the video of Sheriff Joe praising Corzine’s financial acumen? How they consulted him as to what they should do ABOUT the mess we’re in?

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 23, 2011 at 12:28 pm

              I’ve seen some of the interviews with Corzine. Ironically, he seems to have done most of what he said we needed laws to prevent. He thus provided evidence of his own claims. It reminds me a bit about how Spitzer was caught using the same methods he described in an interview.

              Perhaps the old tale about the scorpion is true: things simply cannot go against their nature, even when they know it will destroy them.

              On an unrelated note, keep an eye on Newt. 🙂

  17. wtp said, on November 20, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Since there’s still more to be said…

    • magus71 said, on November 21, 2011 at 11:22 am

      Pelosi’s the ultimate Moonbat.

      Here she’s seen having an orgasm at the sound of Obama’s voice (either that she saw the abortion statistics for America scrolling across Obama’s teleprompter):

  18. magus71 said, on November 21, 2011 at 11:42 am


    Gingrich may have earned my vote.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 21, 2011 at 8:19 pm

      It is good to see Newt back in action. Watching Perry and Cain was hurting my brain a bit. While I might disagree with Newt, he is a sharp guy and clearly does not consider ignorance a virtue.

      It would be interesting to see Newt debating Obama-professor versus professor…

      • magus71 said, on November 22, 2011 at 2:53 am

        You can see Cain sitting next to Gingrich, actually trying to learn something. He probably wasn’t quite sure what occupy Wall Street is, since he’s a Leader, not a Reader.

    • wtp said, on November 21, 2011 at 10:04 pm

      That was outstanding. My wife hates Newt Gingrich. Her father lived in his district and could not stand the man. I played this for my wife and she thought it was outstanding. What say you Mike?

      • wtp said, on November 21, 2011 at 10:06 pm

        Hey, my apologies Mr. LaBossiere. I see you replied, it just wasn’t there when I hit the back button but was after I posted.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on November 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm

        Newt is a smart guy, but seems to lack compassion and sympathy. He also has shown a tendency to have challenges with self-control.

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