Occupy Together: The Kids are Alright

At Daily Kos, Big Tent Democrat interviews his 17 year old daughter about why she joined Occupy Wall Street. What a smart, articulate young woman.

Q: What do you think the goals of Occupy Are?

A: To help wake America up to the fact that the country can't go on focused on the needs of the few over the needs of the many.

The movement has passed its one month anniversary, raised $300,000.00 and grown globally into Occupy Together. Reuters reports a new poll shows most New Yorkers support the protest. [More...]

Protesters in Greensboro voted and are asking President Obama to meet with them. It would be a great chance for added media attention to his pitch for the American Jobs Act. And it would be interesting to see if the Secret Service under Obama is any different than that for Bush when it comes to handling hecklers.

< Monday Morning Open Thread | Slate: Protests Are "Anti-Democracy" >
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    She is a lot smarter (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:12:07 PM EST
    than I was at 17. Way smarter!

    BTD should be very, very proud of her. And probably is.

    She would have made a good hippie 45 years ago. ;-)

    NYPD hassled them so they (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:14:01 PM EST
    decided to check out OWS.  Hear that, kdog?

    I like this kid:) (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by kdog on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:34:54 PM EST
    But asking a cop for directions?  Never me!  I'd attempt to navigate by the North Star to the nearest slice first.

    Plus there's gotta be a pizza app for NYC. (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:43:51 PM EST
    NYPD maybe (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:16:51 PM EST
    is really on OWS side, and this is the only way they can help grow the movement while at the same time making Bloomberg think they are really crackin' down?

    Ha. Reverse psychology or something. (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:20:34 PM EST
    Well, (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:22:52 PM EST
    I'm sure they're getting a least a little concerned about their pensions by now... and the protesters keep reminding them of it.

    The people they have to fear on that (none / 0) (#10)
    by tigercourse on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:43:53 PM EST
    score are the voters, not Wall Street.

    Not sure about that. Public pension funds (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:46:37 PM EST
    lost a ton of money invested via Wall Street.  

    The New York City pension funds (none / 0) (#13)
    by tigercourse on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:52:55 PM EST
    have a 10 year annualized return of about 5.5 percent. They had a nearly 25% return last year.

    It's a very well run fund.


    after a crash like that (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by CST on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:09:37 PM EST
    the whole stock market had nowhere to go but up, way up.

    My 401k went up like crazy last year too, shoot I did better than 25%.  Of course the year before that it lost about 50% of it's value and this year it is back down again.  You just described what happened to the entire market.

    They have plenty to worry about.


    nice link........... (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:01:07 PM EST

    Here, (none / 0) (#16)
    by tigercourse on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:01:52 PM EST
    That was not only (none / 0) (#17)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:09:32 PM EST
    for only one of NYC's FIVE pensions funds, it was also last month.

    Try a little honesty and something a little more current...

    Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- New York's 8 percent assumed rate of return on its pension investments is so unrealistic that the city may have to spend even more than the $1 billion it has in reserve for its retirement plans, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

    Officials are waiting for chief actuary Robert North to recommend how much the city can expect to reap on its pension assets, which were valued at $120 billion as of June 30. North hasn't issued a recommendation in more than a year. A lower assumed rate would mean the city would have to contribute more to shore up its five pension plans.

    "We keep talking to the actuary; I would have thought by now he would have made a decision," Bloomberg told reporters during a news conference in Manhattan today. "The more you see returns in the stock market or in the debt market being negative or zero, the more unrealistic an 8 percent assumption is."


    U.S. public pension funds have 76.1 percent of the assets required to pay retirement benefits, according to a survey of 215 plans by the Washington-based National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems released in June. The plans surveyed held about $900 billion and covered 7.6 million workers.

    LOL. (none / 0) (#12)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:46:49 PM EST
    On second thought, they don't have much to (none / 0) (#14)
    by tigercourse on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:53:51 PM EST
    fear from voters either.

    I think the majority of the cops (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 04:17:17 PM EST
    are on the side of the OWS.  I saw the video of the Iraq veteran yelling at them, you can clearly see their faces....and they know.  There is always at least one sociopath in uniform out there though.  They are in a difficult spot, that's for sure.  Constantly addressing them as the protesters have as well as the 1,000+ sitting down when the cops were getting all fried and freaky Saturday is a thing of beauty in dealing with all of this.  DKos put a photo up of the people sitting, I thought it was truly beautiful. Up to that point I had only read about it happening in nyceve's diary.

    I would think (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 04:52:30 PM EST
    that that most of them are, yes. The ones that did the caging and pepper spraying last week were probably a "special" unit of wannabe Luca Brasi's...

    Leadership is in white shirts (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 05:01:08 PM EST
    That much has been made obvious to me watching all the vids.  The police all in blues are taking orders, I saw that in eve's vids and it was the white shirts that ramped up and calmed the forces down and ordered them to back away from the barricades.  If I'm not mistaken, Mr. Pepperspray was in a crisp white shirt.  Don't have his name on the tip of my tongue but he has been named.  He has a history of police brutality complaints against him.  I think it is safe to say there are some cops that the protesters will face that are obviously part of a certain 1% too.

    Good call (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 05:07:33 PM EST
    No reason the police wouldn't have the same - or probably slightly higher - percentage of socio/psycho paths that general society has.

    It would have to at least be equal (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 05:12:34 PM EST
    Wall Street can't get all the highly functioning ones :)

    They have to leave a few (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 05:29:06 PM EST
    of the less bright ones to troll blogs, too.... :-)

    The pepper spray cop is Anthony (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by caseyOR on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 05:12:38 PM EST
    Bologna, now known far and wide as Tony Baloney. Yes, he is one of the white shirts.

    How about that guy that spun the protester (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 05:04:20 PM EST
    around from behind and clocked them, thinking he was punching out a tall thin guy only to discover that he had clocked a woman.  His hand flies to his mouth in disbelief but it is way too late to not hit a girl.  As if clocking a man in that fashion is any more palatable.  

    Congrats, BTD (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Yman on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:30:11 PM EST
    She sounds like a very smart, articulate, young lady.

    I rather doubt that the Greensboro (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:27:27 PM EST
    occupiers' vote to ask Obama to meet with them is or was intended to give Obama a microphone, or give him another platform to talk up the Jobs Act (which, as near as I can tell, is already DOA and being broken into parts, which we pretty much know the GOP will block, too), or anything else, but to give the protestors an opportunity to be heard, directly, by Obama.

    That being said, I think Obama going to listen to the Occupy participants has about as much chance of happening as me having a winning PowerBall ticket...

    President Obama had a chance (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by KeysDan on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 04:07:39 PM EST
    and would have been warmly  welcomed at Madison (or even   Oshkosh)   But, no.  That was judged too  politically risky and too controversial, supporting teachers and other public employees' right to collective bargaining and all.  The president may have gotten out in front of the frustration and anger rather than now scrambling and angling  to do so from behind.

    I dunno... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by lentinel on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 04:41:57 PM EST
    Obama is a lost cause alright, but you just might just get a winning PowerBall ticket.

    I've always said that if I were ever (none / 0) (#38)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 05:17:30 PM EST
    fortunate enough to win something like that, I would want to do some good with the money.  Yes, I would want to secure my family's future, but there are just so many people who need help, and who are running out of hope of ever getting any.

    I'll (none / 0) (#40)
    by lentinel on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 05:53:44 PM EST
    keep my fingers crossed for you.

    NYC "voters" approve of OWS: (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:47:49 PM EST

    Interesting (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by MO Blue on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:53:18 PM EST
    "It's a free country. Let them keep on protesting as long as they obey the law, New Yorkers say overwhelmingly," Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement accompanying the poll results. "Critics complain that no one can figure out what the protesters are protesting. But seven out of 10 New Yorkers say they understand and most agree with the anti-Wall Street views of the protesters."

    The "very serious people" need to catch up. Ordinary people have no problem understanding the protest.


    The Very Serious People... (none / 0) (#24)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 04:04:33 PM EST
    ... can't figure it out fork their perches high in the sky.

    fork s/b from (none / 0) (#25)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 04:05:13 PM EST
    How many years was it that we were protesting (5.00 / 6) (#45)
    by Peter G on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 07:35:31 PM EST
    the war in Vietnam, before any poll said a majority of Americans of any slice agreed with us?  Here, 80% (of New Yorkers, I'll admit) agree after just 30 days with an anti-Establishment position.  Very impressive.  And with the media largely against them.

    It's very encouraging reading this (none / 0) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 09:13:53 AM EST
    I was a baby the last time my country had to be awakened to this degree.  I grew up with that feeling in the air, but I was too little to know what it took to bring it about.  Here we are, with this many agreeing this soon.  It is very encouraging.

    Any chance at a cross-post (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Left of the Left on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 04:06:16 PM EST
    I prefer to stay away from the bigcheeto as much as possible.

    Very well-spoken indeed, bravo (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Dadler on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 05:09:01 PM EST
    A credit to her mother.  Ahem.


    Also, I'll have a piece on the SF/Bay Guardian website tomorrow or the next day about my experiences with the Occupy SF camp.  I'll make sure to link to it when it's up.

    Peace, y'all.

    so (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by cpinva on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 05:14:40 PM EST
    when are the police, filmed committing egregous acts of assault, battery and theft of civil rights under color of law, going to be charged criminally, and sued civily?

    i have yet to hear of any local DA having criminal warrants issued for any of these people. i assume it's because they themselves are scared to death to do so, fearing a "blue" backlash. as well, when is the ACLU going to stand up for the civil rights being stolen by mayors and police, and bringing suit against them?

    Prosecuted criminally? Not likely. (none / 0) (#44)
    by Peter G on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 07:31:33 PM EST
    Sued civilly?  Very likely.  When?  Anytime in the next year, or perhaps two years.  Whatever is the applicable statute of limitations.  After the suit is carefully researched and prepared.  As for the ACLU, they (we) bring these cases more when they can have a systematic impact on standards of police training or otherwise set a precedent.  There are plenty of private plaintiffs' civil rights lawyers, particularly in places like NYC, to bring individual cases.  It's a type of case that can generate fees for the lawyer as well as money damages for the plaintiff.

    As Susan Gardner said, (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Compound F on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 06:17:42 PM EST
    the kids are kicking a$$ these days.

    Seems some parents are cottoning on, too.

    I understand why the approach worked (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by sj on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 10:03:48 PM EST
    [Referring to the text quoted in the dKos link]

    I believe that you found it to be awful, but it is speaking to the emotional body not the mental body.  People have been feeling bad and worried and even frightened.  But they're being inundating with messages about taking care of the "job creators" and made to think that they could become of the 1% so we can't start "penalizing" them.  

    Addressing those mixed messages straight on with logic gets you nowhere.  That can be validated on this very board.

    But even if one doesn't agree with everything, chances are good that at least one of those "one demands" will hit you straight in one of your chakras.

    And most young people haven't yet dug in their heels when it comes to their beliefs.  They just know something is very, very wrong.  I can't imagine what it must feel like to have done everything you're supposed to.  You've gone out and gotten that college degree that you've grown up thinking is a life requirement and are now $100,000 in debt.  With no prospects. It must feel like indentured servitude.

    This obviously very bright, thoughtful, (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 02:33:08 PM EST
    and articulate almost 18-yr. old doesn't speak in the Urban Dictionary phrases of the day.  Is this edited?  

    No (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 03:14:47 PM EST
    Let's See at 17... (none / 0) (#23)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 04:03:27 PM EST
     ...I was smoking cigs trying to figure out how to buy weed, booze, and find a little companionship while having the absolute lowest amount of responsibility humanly possible.

    That summer, '88, I would estimate I had 15 jobs, and gave 50 gallons of plasma.  Worked till I got a paycheck, quit, and found a job when those funds ran out and the plasma center said enough.  
    It was my favorite summer.

    We complain about kids these days and here is this bright shiny star speaking for generations beyond her own.

    It's interesting they're getting tax deductible (none / 0) (#42)
    by jpe on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 06:33:01 PM EST

    Some NYC lawyers did setup pro bono (none / 0) (#46)
    by Towanda on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 07:58:04 PM EST
    for OWS a couple of weeks ago, setting up the tax-exempt org.  You can trust it, so you can be one of them and make your deductible donation now.

    They applied for it; didn't get it yet. (none / 0) (#47)
    by jpe on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 08:23:39 PM EST
    Right now they're funneling funds through another charity.  IMHO, it's a stretch that it's charitable; exemption under 501(c)(4) would've been a much better fit to.  (another NYC lawyer that's set up his share of charities)

    Seems to me that OWS is organized (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by Peter G on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 10:35:53 PM EST
    and operated for educational purposes, and is not designed to participate substantially in electoral politics.  Why doesn't that fit 501(c)(3), in your view?

    Based on current activities, it's a lobbying (none / 0) (#52)
    by jpe on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 06:58:35 AM EST
    & propaganda org.  The education has been limited to shouting punchy slogans, which is propaganda under the code.  Propaganda is a term of art in the tax code that means putting forward a position unsupported by facts.  We don't see developed analysis during the protests: "banks got bailed out we got sold out" is a true enough statement, but it's not "educational" in any sense of the word.  Rather, OWS's mission can only be attained by legislation, which is one of the tests for a 501(c)(4) organization.  

    And they're coming up w/ specific demands now (transaction taxes, etc), that they'll demonstrate in favor of, which is grassroots lobbying.  To the extent either is more than an insubstantial % of their activities, then they're not charitable.  


    You mean, based on news reports? (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 07:27:17 AM EST
    Thanks for the typically bitter analysis, based on less than in-depth reporting; while you may have a good grasp of the requirements for tax-exempt classification, I think your knowledge of the organization itself is so limited that your conclusions have little value.

    Educate me, then: (none / 0) (#55)
    by jpe on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 08:14:34 AM EST
    What are the educational activities and what percentage of overall activity is it?

    South Korea has a college class (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 08:54:42 AM EST
    that is required that is nothing but protesting.  Usually they protest outside the gates of OSAN.  They consider it part of "teaching" democracy.  All this is so friggin loopy crazy...calling OWS anything other than an act of democracy.  I have sat outside the gates of OSAN unable to go inside because I had to wait for protesters to march past and leave a gap large enough for us enter. Okay, I rolled my eyes a little....and I sighed dramatically out of impatience.  I did not declare what they were doing undemocratic or propaganda.  It is a college course, and being able to organize and protest is important.  The ideas that protesting is silly or undemocratic or propaganda or illegal are all very new to my own country and my fellow countrymen, and people who make those claims embarrass me as an American but I'll deal with it.  

    I'm not saying protesting banks is silly (none / 0) (#60)
    by jpe on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 09:31:59 AM EST
    or undemocratic; only that it isn't charitable.

    I'll agree, it isn't charitable (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 11:58:51 AM EST
    I'm feeling very uncharitable where banks are concerned :)  I won't deny that fact :)

    That you are asking me to tell you (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 08:57:55 AM EST
    what are the "educational activities and what percentage of overall activity" they represent means only one thing: you don't know.

    Which was my point, actually.  

    You are the one making pronouncements about OWS's qualification for tax-exempt/charitable/501(c)(3) status, and doing so on the basis of nothing more than what you are seeing from the outside via the media; I didn't say you were wrong about what does or does not qualify an organization for tax-exempt status - I questioned the basis for your opinion.

    You may well be exceedingly well-versed in the finer points of what does and does not qualify an organization for special tax treatment, but until you can speak to OWS's organizational structure and/or mission with actual knowledge, your opinion about whether it does or does not qualify falls into the category of "interesting, but not definitive."


    I've read plenty, gone through their (none / 0) (#61)
    by jpe on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 09:32:42 AM EST
    minutes & web site, walked around the park, etc.  Very little of it - an insubstantial part of their activities - are "educational" as defined in the Internal Revenue Code.

    Always take a while for the paperwork (4.50 / 2) (#51)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 12:29:05 AM EST
    to be approved, but if I remember right, the gummint itself tells you to go ahead and act as if you already had the official permission because they virtually never deny it if your paperwork is filled out correctly.

    IOW, not to worry.  There's nothing remotely partisan about what they're doing, which would be the only reason to deny the non-profit status.


    They have to be charitable; (none / 0) (#56)
    by jpe on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 08:37:36 AM EST
    refraining from political activity is only one component of that.

    Tell that to the fundy churches (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Towanda on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 10:29:48 AM EST

    Until your reading of the rules is enforced on all who already get tax-exempt status, well, what I saw on Saturday was thousands of folks who were being very charitable -- sharing food and other supplies with anyone who asked, only marching on the banks in my town instead of doing what the banks deserved. . . .


    Thanks for updated info (none / 0) (#50)
    by Towanda on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 10:54:41 PM EST
    In my state, the app process allows funds to be held until approval.  I'll look up NY's.  Thanks!

    What the commenter meant is that exempt (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by jpe on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 06:59:40 AM EST
    status is retroactive back to the date of application.  This is an IRS rule.