Obtuse Observer

December 7, 2011

OWS Unlawful Surveillance?

Filed under: Jerry Nadler,OWS — Tags: , — Obtuse Observer @ 10:17 pm

Representative Jerry Nadler (D) NY has written Attorney General Eric Holder asking for a federal investigation into police conduct during activities at Zuccotti Park.  I’m including one paragraph here because I find it annoying:

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Finally, I am concerned by reports that police might be monitoring houses of worship where OWS protestors have obtained shelter and sanctuary. Police surveillance of activities protected by the First Amendment must conform to the guarantees of the Constitution. Care must be exercised in the conduct of those investigations so as to protect constitutional rights. Matters investigated must be confined to those supported by a legitimate law enforcement purpose. At the very least, such investigations must not be based solely on activities protected by the First Amendment. These principles have been recognized both by the FBI’s guidelines, and NYPD guidelines arising from the consent decree in Handschu v. Special Services Division, 475 F.Supp.2d 331 (SDNY 2007).

Speech and public assembly to redress grievances are fundamental rights and part of our American fabric.  In so far as the OWS are exercising those rights I support them fully even though I find the substance meritless and embarrassingly naive on their behalf.  However, occupying public property is not lawful and on this I do not support them one iota.  Speech and assembly may be legally regulated as to time place and manner.  As such, observing those who are engaging in ongoing unlawful activity is a legitimate law enforcement purpose.  Police are not required to stop watching law breakers because they went into a church.  Further, OWS protesters are protected by the fourth amendment restrictions on searches.  Nadler’s legal point is dulled round but his political point is sharp.  Nadler is embracing the OWS movement.  Will it pay off or bite him in the tail?  Who knows.

December 3, 2011

OWS Explained by Adam Carolla

Filed under: Adam Carolla,OWS,Taxation — Obtuse Observer @ 4:00 am
YouTube Preview Image

Thanks to my friend Juan Dingo for posting this to Face Book for me to steal and repost.  Adam Carolla explains the OWS.

CAUTION – This is Adam Carolla so the language is NSFW funny too



November 17, 2011

OWS Video – Violence?

Filed under: OWS — Obtuse Observer @ 3:45 am

Here’s a compilation of video from the OWS ordeal post eviction.  WARNING there is a great deal of vulgar language.

Why drums btw?  People show up with drums.  I don’t get it.  Don’t much care either but it seems odd.


November 16, 2011

OWS: Zuccotti Park Cleared and Closed by Bloomberg – but wait… a Judge Stepped in

Filed under: Michael Bloomberg,OWS,Zuccotti Park — Obtuse Observer @ 1:53 am

Mayor Michael Bloomberg shut down Zuccotti Park early this morning (late last night.)  This morning a judge issued a temporary restraining order halting the removal that had already begun. 

Apparently Bloomberg is reviewing the order and deciding what to do about it.

From the article linked above:

The park had become a health and fire safety hazard and that “unfortunately … (it) became a place not to protest, but to break the law,”

“Inaction was not an option,” he said. “We could not wait for someone in the park to get killed.”

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said around 200 were arrested overnight, including dozens who tried to resist by linking arms at the center of Zuccotti Park or chaining themselves together with bicycle locks.

Also from the article

Ryan Peters, 29, from Chicago, who took a leave of absence from the advertising agency where he works to tour different Occupy protests, cried as he told msnbc.com’s Miranda Leitsinger that about 30 people had chained themselves up inside the Occupy protest’s kitchen area.

“People want to fight for something that’s really important,” he said. “It makes me cry every time I think of them (the people in the kitchen) getting locked down in the park … these guys are patriots.”

Cried?  He cried?  Good lord.  In any event what is it that is really important that they are fighting for?  So far no actual list of what they want?  Only these unofficial demands that have been eviscerated by people with a modicum of common sense and a basic understanding of economics?  This guy is a symbol.  The OWS crowd doesn’t do much thinking.  They do a lot of feeling.  I can sympathize with a lot of that feeling.  I’m in my 40s and still paying off student loans from the 80s.  It sucks that good jobs can be hard to find.  Who wouldn’t like to see greater harmony of wealth.  However, when we move beyond feeling and start thinking we recognize that forgiving all debt would destroy our economy, that free college effects a huge wealth transfer from the poorer to the wealthier, that harmonizing wealth requires totalitarianism, and thought it has been tried and it works it has a proven track record of killing over a hundred million and making everyone that survives equally poor and that jobs are none too common for literature majors the OWS bunch reveal themselves as perhaps well intentioned but ill informed people making a great big mess in many cities and effecting none of the change they feel would be good… but wouldn’t.  Pretty sure that was just long and not a run-on sentence.  Maybe an OWS English major can review it for grammar.

November 12, 2011

Quote of the Day for the OWS Crowd

Filed under: Columbia University Protests,Mark Rudd,OWS,SDS,Weather Underground — Obtuse Observer @ 12:07 am

We’ve got a good thing going here.  Now we have to find out what it is.

Mark Rudd – 1968

Columbia University Protests


Rudd Letter to Columbia University President Greyson Kirk


Of his time with the Weathermen Rudd said in 2003

These are things I am not proud of, and I find it hard to speak publicly about them and to tease out what was right from what was wrong. I think that part of the Weatherman phenomenon that was right was our understanding of what the position of the United States is in the world. It was this knowledge that we just couldn’t handle; it was too big. We didn’t know what to do. In a way I still don’t know what to do with this knowledge. I don’t know what needs to be done now, and it’s still eating away at me just as it did 30 years ago.
They charged our government and society with much loftier “crimes” than what appears to be not much more than a generalized complaint from the OWS amounting to:  those faceless other people have too much money, debt forgiveness and free college, i.e. gimme what they got… for free.  Kinda makes OWS allegations of greed sound a bit hypocritical doesn’t it.  Anyway, remember you live in the greatest society ever to occupy earth.  The world that was collapsing, and the society that the Weatherman thought needed over throwing to prevent it, has fared pretty well in spite of their efforts to wreck it.  So too, as a sugar and caffeine free version of these events from the 60s you will fade away… kinda like a stale burp.

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