Some Excellent Questions Raised Here

My buddy Doogman shared a link in a tweet recently that had some videos of the OWS in Denver.   Doogs tweet was simply “some excellent questions raised here”.  I decided to check out the videos and see  just what exactly those questions were…

Here is the first video.  What I notice most about this is that the crowd seems to act like zombies.  At about the 0:50 mark, a woman is preaching to them about Gandhi and the use of non-violence.  Certainly this is an admirable goal, but the crowd just mindlessly repeats every word she says.  Chants seem to be prevalent at all of these protests, and they further make those saying them look like…zombies.  (The one I hear so often in Longmont is “Tell me what’s democracy look like?  This is what democracy looks like!”  Just so…mindless.)  I can admire the OWS desire to be nonviolent.  I would even go so far as to say that the majority of them probably are not violent or destructive.  But it is also a fact that more violent elements seem to infiltrate all of these protests, and the police have to respond as if any of the crowd could turn violent…they’d be stupid not to.  That’s what happens when you start having large groups who challenge authority.  The intention of the leaders may (generally) be peaceful, but human nature in many of the sheep following them is to tear everything down.  And when a group you are preaching to starts to turn violent, then you as the leader are going to be implicated, as unfair as that may be.  But that is the risk you take when you join a protest group like that.

Here is the second video.  It is titled “excessive force by police?”  As one starts the video, you won’t get two seconds in before you hear someone screaming “fuck you!” to the cops.  And then the mindless chants…”the whole world’s watching!  the whole world’s watching!”.  At about :30, some woman starts calling the police “chicken shit” and is ranting like a raving lunatic.  Then at 0:40, a “gentleman” in a plaid sweatshirt who can barely walk straight starts to move forward to challenge the police.  The police shove him back.  He comes again, and he is shoved back.  Mindless.  At 1:00, a buddy of his (a rather large fellow) also starts to confront the police, and he’s pushed back.  A woman in the crowd, obviously trying to be peaceful, yells at the police calling them “fucking assholes”.  This situation has become extremely volatile, and the cops I’m sure are not at all comfortable about the demeanor of the crowd around them.  Again, it takes one idiot (and judging from the people I saw and heard, there were many in the crowd who potentially fit the bill), and hundreds of people go into full blown anarchy mode, with the police being an obvious primary target.  As an officer in that mix, I’m certainly not going to quietly ask the people to kindly, please calm down and let’s talk about this rationally.  And if you are in that crowd and keep pushing and end up getting hurt, then sorry, it is your own fault.  You may not agree with the police, but they are…the police, and as law abiding citizens, we obey them, or things get violent (and not necessarily by fault of the police).

And finally, this video.  In it, an Iraq war veteran goes on a tirade to the police that hurting unarmed US citizens doesn’t make them tough.  He repeats this over and over, getting more and more agitated as he does.  Soon, a crowd starts to gather to listen to him yell at the police, and he soon becomes a hero to them.  A couple of things stand out to me here.  First, I’m sure that none of the cops are out there trying to hurt people so they can feel tough.  If you think this is why they are there, then you need to reexamine the whole “police called to deal with an angry mob” scenario.  My guess is that none of those cops really want to be there at all.  Just think of the fun of being ordered to control an angry and often unreasonable mob of people who are trying to make a point by being disruptive and rebellious.  Ummmmm…no.   The other point is that there was a vet who was recently badly hurt during a clash at one of the protests.  Now I’m the first to say I’m forever grateful to the men and women who put their lives on the line for my freedom.  They do something that not everyone could do, and the conditions in which they must protect freedom are some of the most inhospitable that you’d find anywhere in the world.  They are special people.  That said, even special people take a risk when they participate in a mob that is being lawless.  While it is exceptionally unfortunate that this guy was injured, he took a risk being there.  He could have walked away, as could have any of the other protestors, and he would have been just fine.  But when you choose to challenge the police, or become part of a mob that is challenging police, then I’m sorry, you are risking being seriously hurt or killed.  Don’t act like you had no idea it could come to that, and don’t act like it is the police who are always at fault for stirring up the violence.

So one question raised was….does this make the city proud?  Of course not, but many of us would claim that the reason is not b/c of the actions of the police, but rather because of the actions of the protestors.  Frankly, you embarrass my city by the actions of some of your members.  Another question was “tell me why these people deserved bully clubs, guns and riot gear”.  I explained that above.  When the police have to control an angry mob, why on earth wouldn’t they go in with as much force as possible just to make sure they wouldn’t be overrun?  People say the same thing about SWAT teams that completely decimate a target only to find out he maybe wasn’t armed, or he was high, or he had mental problems.  Should the police go in one on one, just b/c there is a possibility that the target might be subdued by one person calmly?  Of course not.  And the same with the protesting crowds.  A few hundred people can do a hell of a lot of damage if it is so inclined.  No police force in their right mind would do anything less than meet it with as much force as they had to make sure they had the upper hand.

So again, it is admirable that many of the protestors are trying to be nonviolent.  I disagree with many of OWS’s points, but if they have nothing better to do then chant mindlessly on a street corner and hold signs and not interfere with anyone’s lives in the process, then go for it.  But some of the bigger protests are bound to get violent, and people are going to get hurt when that happens.  They’re taking a risk by being there, and they are the only ones who can decide if it is worth the risk.  To many, it is.  And in that case, don’t act shocked and surprised when you find yourself on the receiving end of one of those clubs b/c  you wouldn’t move when the police asked you to.

Thank you, doogman, for reinforcing my beliefs about the composition of these protests.

Find Them a Home!

Just came across this tweet from Kaye Fissinger from a few days ago:

“Denver mayor groans about homeless sleeping on the streets”. Here’s a solution–find them a home and they won’t have to be on the streets.”

I could not have summed up any better my (and many people’s) objection to the whole “occupy” movement.  “Find them a home”, as if it is the government’s responsibility to provide for everyone.  Liberals call it “compassion”, conservatives call it “hand outs”.  Conservatives call it “taking responsibility”, liberals call it “being heartless”.  I’m sure the answer is somewhere in the middle.  What I do know is this…this country has gone so far down the “government will provide” road that there is going to be no way out of it without massive rebellion from many of those who have come to expect the handout.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand and know people who truly would provide for themselves and are trying to do so, but I think those people are unfortunately in the minority.  The occupy movement may be a manifestation of this rebellion…in general, the people in it are griping that they aren’t being provided for and there are others that are prospering.  If this movement gets what it thinks it wants, this country is going to go someplace that is going to be far worse than anything they are currently experiencing.

Saw a fantastic letter in the TC today from Dick Piland that makes some great points:

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.

You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence.

You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

Rev. William John Henry Boetcker

Exactly right.

The Doug, er, Dog is Barking

Well, the proverbial sh!t has blown from FRL towards the fan.  The Times Call today actually printed the story about the Baum’s court case regarding their dog attacking another dog….from over a year ago.  For some reason, M. Douglas Wray was interviewed about this story, which still has me scratching my head considering this gem he offered in the story:

“Wray said he knows he hasn’t kept the political discourse civil on his blogs and did not feel any obligation to update the blog with information about the judgment being paid because he is a blogger, not a journalist.”

I guess he felt bad after the interview, b/c he did make a comment about the story saying the settlement was paid (as opposed to actually editing the original post).  But with the above comment, he couldn’t have driven home his oft uttered point any better about “take into consideration where the information is coming from”.   As I’ve said many, many times…we know, Doug, that when it comes from you, it shouldn’t be taken seriously.  At least you are admitting that you are nothing more than a writer of bitter fiction, so that’s a great first step.   Why the TC has chosen to make a story out of anything driveled from this admitted fiction writer is beyond me.

Longmont politics definitely has a sleazy side to it, but this whole story is a bit sleazier than I had ever considered giving FRL and Doug Wray credit for.  It is really a shame that the TC has given it any air time at all when it was obviously a completely orchestrated political attack piece.  I can see renowned fiction write M. Douglas Wray’s head growing bigger by the moment.

Thanks for shedding the light on this, FRL.  I think your intentions are going to backfire dramatically, but at least  you’ve shown more of the public how you really play.

Dog Bites

Seriously Doug?   This passes for progressively better news on Free Range Longmont?

Context…Learn to Use It

Hello Charles Hanson.  I noticed a letter to FRL tonight in which you said:

“In a recent Times-Call article, “Backers don’t want outsiders in debate” (Sept. 24), Mayor Baum publicly described himself as a “capitalist pig.” The exact quote as printed is, “I’m a free-market guy. I’m a capitalist pig.” What that means is that the mayor has represented, tirelessly, in the past two years, only those folks in Longmont who think of themselves as capitalist pigs.”  *

Mr. Hanson, I think if you looked a little closer at the context of the quote, you’d realize that 1) it was said tongue in cheek (although Mayor Baum is definitely pro business, which is not a bad thing to be at all), and 2) this does not mean that he represented only those who think of themselves as capitalist pigs.

No labels.  Have a nice day!


* (This quote is taken from FRL .  All rights reserved to M. Douglas Wray at Free Range Longmont.  All opinions expressed in said post are the property of Free Range Longmont, and all reactions directed toward the content of said post, positive or negative, should be directed at Free Range Longmont.  The short quote above is not my own, but rather was referenced from Free Range Longmont so as to let readers of this blog better understand the context of said post.  The author of this blog is eternally grateful to Mr. Wray for allowing him fair use of an idea from FRL that warrants a response here, as the author has been banned from responding on FRL).

People of Occupy Wall Street (POWS)

Came across this blog today…great commentary, and so much truth in it. 🙂

People of Occupy Wall Street

And here is some video posted over at the Times Call from the protest.

Longmont protest

A Response To Robert Miner

Robert Miner recently wrote a letter to the editor in support of Dennis Coombs:

Letters to the Editor, Oct 5

I’ll start by saying I do not know Mr. Coombs, have never met him, but I frequent Pumphouse and Red Zone often.  He seems like a personable enough fellow, and I believe his intentions are good.

Mr. Miner has characterized Bryan Baum as someone who “has broken promises, bullied members of the community, and proven that his hostile ideology is wrong for Longmont.”  I think I see where Mr. Miner is coming from with these, but I think they are a bit misleading and not really true.  Miner claims Baum campaigned on one promise, that he would fix the mall.  My recollection of that campaign was that he campaigned on many more issues than just the mall, and I’m sorry if anyone thinks that the mayor even has the power to fix ANY business himself.  All he can do is work with the council and the appropriate city groups to make the environment more friendly (which he’s done on many occasions).  The mall is still a disaster, but Baum certainly didn’t claim he could fix it just so he could get elected, then decide he’d wash his hands of the situation after that (ie. broke his promise).

As for bullying members of the community, the one rallying point for most of the anti-Baum crowd focuses around Baum’s response to a gentleman who was pushing solar power in Longmont (his name escapes me unfortunately), and my understanding is that that same gentleman later apologized for the way he acted, and the two essentially shook hands and made nice.  Considering some of the utter contempt and disrespect Baum is forced to put up with from a handful of squeaky wheels daily, I give the man credit for being as professional as he’s been.   Many of Coombs supporters have contrasted him to Baum, saying he can work with everyone and is well liked.  Again, I have zero beef with Coombs, and if he has that reputation…awesome.  There should be more people like that in the world.  But look at the issues facing our city.  NO ONE is going to please everyone every time.  There are too many things that are exceptionally polarizing that are always going to piss off one side or the other.  Every time I hear “this candidate works well with others” or “will bring both sides together”, I always think that he is engaging in complete campaign-speak.  It sounds like a great thing of course, everyone working together towards a common goal, but the reality is that there are too many strong willed people on both sides of many issues, and the chances that they’ll ever agree on the way to get to those goals is usually very remote at best.  If I recall, Obama campaigned on the same promise.  How’s that working out?

Finally, Baum’s “hostile ideology is wrong for Longmont”.  Again, this phrase has always seemed like simply a rallying cry for the anti Baum crowd.  I would be interested in hearing some concrete examples (Kaye, Doug, feel free to point me towards links on  your site) that aren’t simply someone disagreeing with a position Baum has taken.  My guess (again, just a guess), is that certain people would say Baum’s vote to do away with inclusionary zoning is “hostile” and “wrong for Longmont”.  If that is the kind of thing that brings about the hostile ideology response, then we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

Again, I have nothing against Dennis Coombs and would love to meet the guy sometime.  He’s got great intentions, but I don’t think his perception of what he can do is realistic, and consequently, I don’t think he’s the best choice for mayor.   Mr. Miner…thank you for giving us the chance to respond to your opinion!


Occupying Wall Street

Apparently some of the local Longmont crowd is planning a “gathering” in support of a “historic movement that is sweeping the country”. The gathering is scheduled for this Monday, Oct 10, from 5:00-6:30 at the corner of 7th and Main. These are always a good time, and I intend to be in the area to see what all the hubbub is about. (To FRL…no charge for the free advertising on my blog).

In reality, I have absolutely no idea what this historic movement is hoping to achieve. Bringing awareness to and stopping corporate greed? Making the rich “pay their fair share”? Ending capitalism? Everything I’ve seen from these demonstrations suggests that the majority of people in them are simply mad that they aren’t making as much money as they think they should be, while there are others (I guess the main target is usually the evil CEO) who are making too much and not giving enough back. It is really sad to see how many people in those demonstrations just truly don’t seem to get it, and in reality, I think most of them really aren’t trying to make the world a better place. From what I’ve seen (and I’m generalizing somewhat), most of these people seem to want to punish success. Kids graduating from college today are in for a really rude awakening…jobs aren’t just being handed out these days. People actually have to put some effort into making a living, and it appears most of the protestors just think it is unfair that a CEO (or any “rich” person) actually is earning a decent wage regardless of how he got there. You want to be as successful and make the money that you think the CEOs are unfairly making? Go out and work for it! This country has all kinds of opportunities for those who truly want to find them. When people put their minds to it, many actually do achieve success, as unfair as that might be to those in the OWALL crowd.

Money does not equal evil. All corporations are not evil (quite the contrary, many of the most reviled corporations in the minds of that group actually EMPLOY the most people). All CEOs are not greedy. Most big companies started out as small businesses and actually became successful (gasp!). At what point do these protestors think that the corporation has become too successful and must be knocked back into place? And if that is how we are expected to treat success, what is the motivation to actually become successful in this country? That kind of thinking leads to people believing they are entitled to have what the other guy has, which leads to laziness and jealousy, which leads to protests like Occupy Wall Street.

I’ll leave with a really entertaining video which highlights some of the brilliant reasoning going on in one OWALL crowd. (WARNING….it is a piece from Bill O’Reilly, which tends to make the OWALL types tune out. Those of you actually planning to participate in the Longmont event will probably not want to bother watching, as I would imagine you wouldn’t really want to see the kind of person you are about to be associated with. You’ve been warned). 🙂