- Written by Michael Z Williamson
If you know me, you know I can get along and debate with people from every political, religious and social stripe. You also know I regard mockery as an art form. This doesn't mean I'm not sympathetic, or lack understanding.
In this case, I see a need, so I'm going to offer some free advice. It's worth at least what you pay for it, but beggars can't be choosers.
Dear Occupussies: This is where you went wrong:
Really, that's where you went wrong. A "Leaderless" protest isn't a protest. It's a bunch of whining infants throwing a tantrum. I blame your teachers. That you don't realize they've failed to teach you anything useful, and want instead to blame "the banks" or "big ag" or whoever you're blaming this time around just shows how badly they've failed you. People who make a lot of money need knowledgeable employees to get things done, and you're just not going to be those employees. This situation is not ideal for you, or them, either.
Here's how it works:
DETERMINE THERE IS A PROBLEM. Right now, the problem is "the 1%." Very good. Except your definition of the 99% and the 1% is so vague that half the people you'd like on your side hate you. Really. That constitutes failure of both definition and message on your part, not failure on their part to "understand" your brilliance. If you're so smart, why are the 1% so rich? They have an agenda. You need one, too. Yes, really.
ORGANIZE WITH AN EFFECTIVE LEADER. Democracy has leaders. Anarchy does not. If anarchy is what you crave, stop making demands that someone else fix your problem for you, and be an anarchist.
HAVE A STAFF TO MANAGE, DIRECT, COORDINATE. Have set start and stop times. Show up, state your case, thank people for listening, go back and plan the next battle. (This is how militaries win wars. Troops get tired. Equipment wears out. The landscape takes a beating—yes, the military uses ecologists. You just learned that from me. You're welcome.) Be glad you do live in America. Half the countries in the world would have called out troops to machine gun you for being a mob.
HAVE A PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER. Find someone with PR experience and charisma. Let them work your message into an appealing shape. This is the person who pro-actively meets the press and expresses your concerns and looks good doing it. They're the go-to person the media and everyone else will see instead of some frothing doped-up hippie who hasn't showered in a week. http://orangwutang.com/2011/10/18/where-do-i-sign-up/
HAVE HANDOUTS WITH CONCISE BULLET POINTS. See what I did there? It works. Politicians win elections like this, and this is an election—you're trying to convince enough people to join your movement and put pressure on [someone] to effect a change. They have to have some idea what you stand for, and it needs to be official.
OFFER ALTERNATIVES. This will put you ahead of the politicians, if you can offer actual, useful alternatives. "Forgive all debt by anyone ever" is not useful. That moron has obviously never taken Economics 101, or even Econ 089. Or any business course. Yes, I realize he's a moron, but because you didn't have any of the above points, he got to be the most visible and self-appointed spokesman by default. Want to know who to blame for the opposition latching onto him as your figurehead? Look around you.
BRING IN THIRD PARTIES TO OFFER RESEARCHED OPTIONS. Every position of every group has a research paper about it somewhere. One of your staff needs to be digging these up, and asking the authors to make presentations and comments your PR person can use.
MEET WITH THE OPPOSITION AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES TO DEBATE AND RESOLVE. Not everyone agrees with you. In fact, 99% (see what I did there?) of the country does not agree with you, including people you wish would. Start off with the understanding that anyone getting by with the status quo is going to be reluctant to change it, especially on the advice of a bunch of self-admitted failures. The first question anyone with anything to lose is going to ask themselves is, "Will I be better off with these freaks in charge than the bastard who's there now?" If the answer is hysterical laughter, you've failed.
POLITICS IS THE ART OF NEGOTIATION. Once you know what you want, ask for 150% of it. You won't get it, but that's the point. If you get 70%, be ecstatic. If you get 30%, be happy. If you get 10%, be gracious and polite, accept it, go back, reorganize, and come back again for more
DECIDE WHO GETS TO PLAY. Just because someone supports you doesn't mean they're entitled to face time. The retarded kid means well, and you should welcome him, but he's probably not suited for the camera. Have him fetch sandwiches and maintain the line. The bully should be told to piss off. He's not going to improve your image or numbers. The psycho should be actively opposed, and you should have him arrested if need be. This tells everyone that you have standards. Substitute "Communist Party" for bully and "Nazi Party" for psycho. No, you really don't want their endorsement. If you think those endorsements are good ideas, step down and let someone else be leader. No, they won't go away if you ignore them.
Likewise, having people worth tens or hundreds of millions of dollars supporting you sort of negates the argument that you're against those filthy rich bastards. You're only against certain filthy rich bastards, but, if you look at the ones promoting you, they have agendae, are making money off you, and make you look like suckers, because you are. Don't just take the pittance they toss you. Require them to cough up morally. They should be acting according to your values, not dumping all over you and tossing you a quarter now and then.
DON'T HAVE A POWER VACUUM. Remember that CPUSA and the Nazis I mentioned? They DO have existing organizations with paid, professional leaders, and believe it or not, they've been successful at what they do for a long time. If they think they can move in and suborn your march for their purposes, they will, and they have. The enemy of your enemy is not your friend, they're just the enemy of your enemy. Remember WWII? We allied with the Stalinists. The Nazis allied with the Fascists and Imperialists. None of us liked each other, and kept each other at arm's length. Remember what happened to Italy once things went south? If not, go read a history book.
DON'T DILUTE YOUR MESSAGE. Is this about health care? Or banks? Or schools? Or jobs? Or what? Yes, there are multiple problems, but multiple front wars are tough. Have a holding action on most while you attack one, then switch later. All out offense has no staying power.
GOOD LUCK, YOU'RE GOING TO NEED IT. All of this information is readily accessible in junior high school. Really. Certainly high school. Two generations back in the 60s, a lot of this was refined, and the unions had a hand on it a century ago. That you haven't had this from the start and haven't been using it means your teachers and professors have UTTERLY FAILED TO DO THEIR JOBS. You might want to put that on your agenda.
RETREAT IS A STRATEGY. What you're facing here are what are called "sunk costs." The time and money you've poured in so far really haven't done anything. Pouring in more is only going to waste money, time, energy and accomplish more nothing. Fixing the engine on your sinking ship just means you lose a more expensive ship. Go get another ship, put on a fresh coat of paint, get a trained crew and come back stronger.
Next time: Some observations on who you should be fighting.
- Written by Michael Z Williamson
The loans and the "Everyone must go to college" philosophy are the driving force of the Education Industrial Complex.
There are more potential students than there can ever be slots in college.
All those who attend have to earn a degree in something.
The college actuaries figure out how much money is there, from student, Daddy, grants, loans, jobs, and price the tuition accordingly to get most of it (Hey, those football teams aren't cheap, and we have to remember that's what college is REALLY about).
The students get ummarketable degrees, because not everyone gets to be a rocket scientist, doctor, engineer or lawyer. (Let's take Women's Studies--the few potential jobs mostly would be helping some capitalist enterprise market toward women, which is anathema to the kind of mentality that gets that degree, and the job is better done by a real sociologist.)
They complain about how tough it is to get the loans and grants.
The government raises the loan amounts, and GUARANTEES THEM.
The schools raise their tuition to account for the increase in potential income in the market.
This is first year, hell, first week, hell, junior high economics of the "supply and demand" type. Anyone who gets to, much less through college and can't grasp this should have their degree fed through a shredder.
- Written by Michael Z Williamson
"I never am upset [misplaced modifier] when someone makes a profit," said Golden-Hogan. "I am upset when the ratio of a CEO's pay to a worker's pay is 475 to one. Somehow those guy's [wrong use of apostrophe] don't seem smarter to [suggest "than"] me."
Okay, you've defined income as a measure of worth. You've demonstrated a poor grasp of English usage. You've contradicted your own absolute of "never." You've defined a certain income ratio as unacceptable to you. You've implied that ratio as a standard. There are, at most, 500-1000 CEOs earning that level of income. That is far less than 1% of the population. A quick google suggests that, approximately, anyone earning under $1 million, or with a net worth of under $3 million, is part of the "99%." The number of billionaires is far less than 3 million people. Your standard fails analysis. If the CEO's efforts generate 475 times more profit for the company, and its employees and investors as you could, then it would be worthwhile to pay him commensurately. Looking at the balance sheets of the Fortune 500, it appears they do so. Your standard fails for poor comparison.
Now, you and 150ish of your friends showed up in downtown Indy today, and walked around for an hour or so before most of you got tired and left. The police report your friends complaining about the 80 degree F heat. Having done construction in the Arabian Desert in a war zone for 12-16 hours a day during sandstorms at 115F, I can totally sympathize with your plight. However, it could be that a dedicated CEO would benefit from a little more dedication to the cause.
I noticed a number of Starbucks cups, McDonald's bags, Gap shirts, even a couple of name-brand backpacks. It seems you do appreciate the corporation.
It also seems you had to juggle your busy schedule to take a day off, and parade around with signs on my behalf. I can totally dig the difficulty. I wanted to be there myself, but my kids wanted to do something as a family, and I had some income-generating contracts to work on. I didn't see a sign with my message on it, so you'll have to do it for me next time. Please make one that reads, "I'M PROTESTING DADDY'S MUTUAL FUND!"
Okay, seriously now: Why is your protest doomed to fail? Because you're not too bright, not too dedicated, have no coherent position, and are shallow and lazy, as well as enjoying a standard of living that 99% (See what I did there?) of the people on Earth can only dream about. You can't pay your student loans? That mother of 8 in Bangladesh totally sympathizes. You have a car, but it's tough to make payments on time? That guy in Zimbabwe with the wheeled cart feels your pain. You had to work overtime? The Egyptian contractors we had overseas understand. If they'd had overtime on top of their 72 hour workweeks, they'd have been sad.
Your attitude, intellect, self-chosen education or lack of same, self-created debt and lack of determination won't get you a job as a CEO. It might not get you a job as anything.
The whole thing looks much like wetting one's pants in a dark suit. It gives one a warm feeling, but no one notices or cares.
I am the 99%. And you don't speak for me.
- Written by Michael Z Williamson
Item The First
You live in a city. You don't know how to change a tire or oil. You don't know how to build a fire. You can't communicate without a cell phone. You can't fix your plumbing. You can't set up your own wifi. You're untrained in basic economics, chemistry, physics and history. You can't prepare food without packages, and aren't even aware that food has to be processed from root or bone before that. You only know and get paid for one very specialized task.
Yet you call me a "hick."
Item The Second
Said threat is probably departing from Newark, Long Island or the Hamptons.
So, by the time they get CONCRETE PROOF OF CRIMINAL INTENT, get THE FEDS TO AUTHORIZE THE SHOT, because sure as hell the FAA and USAF ain't letting urban hick trash make that call, scramble a bird and a sharpshooter, intercept, take the shot, take another shot, take a few more shots, the plane will crash in Times Square just as the pilot intended after spraying whatever he was going to spray, and there'll be a few holes in buildings as well.
If I turned that in as a plot outline I'd be laughed at.
Sounds like this hick was talking out of his ass to try to impress the media on a question he really couldn't answer. In the meantime he's just told every dedicated hostile "No, we really don't have any plans, they're screwed." Capital! Bravo!
But don't worry, because:
"Kelly also told "60 Minutes" that the NYPD has intelligence officers stationed in cities around the world, including Abu Dhabi, Amman, Montreal, Toronto, Singapore and Paris."
And the CIA is okay with this?
Officials said it is now nearly impossible to walk a block in lower Manhattan without being on surveillance camera.
"Nobody has a system like this," said Jessica Tisch, the NYPD's director of policy and planning for counterterrorism.
That's supposed to make us feel better? What exactly do these camerae accomplish? Enable fat donut munchers to watch more crime?
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