Tag Archives: right wing extremists

Pictures and video of Occupy Arkansas March of 10-15-11

Dan Mitchell is right about the “Occupy Wall St crowd”

Here is some video and pictures of the Occupy Arkansas March of October 15, 2011 followed by an excellent article by Jason Tolbert. Steve Brawner has rightly said:

For now, the Occupy movement doesn’t seem to be offering a lot of concrete solutions for the nation’s problems, and until it does, it won’t accomplish much.

In this video clip there is mention of the peaceful march. It was peaceful but one of the targets, the Bank of America, did get attacked with a large rock that busted the window out front.

Tea Party envy

Posted on 16 October 2011

By Jason Tolbert

Few will deny that the Tea Party has had a dramatic impact on politics the last couple of years. What has been interesting to watch is the reaction from the left, which has gone from dismissing them, to demonizing them, to finally trying to copy them.

The Tea Party — which stands for Taxed Enough Already — began around the country on April 15, 2009. Although it is a movement made up of a number of viewpoints, its participants are united behind one simple idea — taxes are too high and government spending is too big.

When this group burst onto the scene, they were dismissed by most as a flash in the pan — little more than Republicans disgruntled over President Obama’s landslide 2008 election.
But then curiously they did not go away. So instead, we were told that they must be right-wing extremists or, worse, racists. But little to no evidence of that ever turned up.

A recent poll conducted by Talk Business and Hendrix College showed that at least in Arkansas the Tea Party movement is quite popular, with 41 percent having a favorable view compared to 37 percent with an unfavorable view. Among self-identified independent voters, the favorable rate goes up to 50 percent and unfavorable, 30 percent.

So if you can’t beat them, imitate them. By all appearances, that is what the new Occupy Wall Street movement is attempting to do. But they are going about it all wrong.

For one thing, Occupy Wall Street and their local spin off protests, Occupy Arkansas and Occupy Little Rock, have little idea what they are protesting. It appears to be a group of angry liberals spurred on by liberal groups such as MoveOn.org and labor unions that are mad about the general poor state of the economy.

Videos from the organizational meetings in Little Rock showed them debating what they are upset about and what they want to advocate.

But they did not let that get in the way of a good march. So perhaps I could offer some suggestions, lest this new group become little more than an urban hiking club.

First, if Occupy Wall Street really wants to be as effective as the Tea Party, the protesters should learn from the Tea Party’s successes. The Tea Party’s primary influence has been to move the political discussion to the right. They have done that by not just holding big rallies and marches but by getting involved in the political process, many for the first time.
Occupy Wall Street could do the same thing by moving the political discussion to the left.

Republican officials became increasingly aware that a move toward the middle could get them a primary Tea Party challenger forcing them to battle a flank from their right. The mere threat of that has been strong enough to force most of them to shift markedly to a more conservative position.

If Occupy Wall Street wants to have the same impact, they should quit marching on the stock exchange and corporate headquarters and move their attention to the White House and the statehouse. If they want to shift the country to their left-leaning positions, go recruit some primary opponents for some moderate Democrats. Candidates definitely will listen then.

Second — and this is key — the OWS folks should figure out what they are for and keep it simple. The Tea Party’s success was largely because it was organized around one simple idea with broad appeal. It is not hard for many to understand that Americans are over taxed and that government has grown too big.

If Occupy Wall Street figures these two things out, perhaps they will have success. In the meantime, my Tea drinking friends, sit back and enjoy the show. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.


Related posts:

Crowd at Occupy Arkansas pales in comparison to annual pro-life march

Demonstrators march through the streets of Little Rock on Saturday in a protest organized by Occupy Little Rock. (John Lyon photo) Occupy Arkansas got cranked up today in Little Rock with their first march and several hundred showed up. It was unlike the pro-life marches that I have been a part of that have had […]

Occupy Wall Street vs. Steve Jobs

COUNTER-DEMONSTRATION: At Kappa Sigma house in Fayetteville. The Drew Wilson photo above went viral last night — at least in Arkansas e-mail and social media users — after the Fayetteville Flyer posted it in coverage of an Occupy Northwest Arkansas demonstration in Fayetteville. The 1 percent banner was unfurled briefly on the Kappa Sigma frat […]

Big Bad Wall St Corporations

I found this article interesting from the Wall Street Journal: OCTOBER 10, 2011 The Corporate Exec: Hollywood Demon Nazis are getting old, moviemakers don’t want to offend foreign audiences, so corporate types top the list of evil stereotypes By EDWARD JAY EPSTEIN It is not surprising that pop-culture protesters are now intent on occupying Wall […]

Jim Lendall of “Let them Pay” Guillotine fame shows up at “Occupy Arkansas” group meeting

Left leaning blogs like Blue Arkansas have praised the “Occupy Arkansas” but I wonder if they know about some of the crazy things the leaders of this movement have said. Jason Tolbert noted on October 7, 2011: Max Brantley with the Arkansas Times reports on the efforts currently under way to organize an “Occupy Arkansas” […]


These pictures are from liberal Blue Arkansas website:

Marching on in front of B o A….

From Katherine Purcell:

From Scott White: Chanting “This is no recession; this is a robbery” on march to Capitol. #occupylittlerock #ows

More from Katherine!   “we are the 99%”

From @ms.cameralady!  The 99% Arrive at the Capitol in Little Rock!

Ebony Blevins…”Arriving at the Capitol”

More from Ebony “The Capitol Steps”

Brummett: Tea Party is “right-wing extremists” and are causing debt ceiling crisis

Ernest Istook at the Saint Paul Tea Party Rally 4/16/2011 Part 1

John Brummett in his article “Taking a stand  upside the face,” July 30, 2011, Arkansas News Bureau, asserted:

The problem is that hard-right, tea party-inspired Republicans ought to be marginalized in the debate, paid no attention, while mainstream Republicans and Democrats fashion a practical compromise of strategic spending cuts and routine agreement to pay our debts, which ought to go without saying. But mainstream Republicans have been cowed by these right-wing extremists, leading to a potential debt default and likely lowering of our country’s credit rating. This could well cause harm to all of us economically. We are left only with the option to get behind the bipartisan last-gasp efforts of the Senate leaders, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, while tea party types get invited to go take the proverbial flying leap.


What is the root of the problem? Is it the Tea Party right wing Republicans? Or is it the uncontrolled spending? Why can’t we eliminate the Dept of Education and cut out the food stamp program that has doubled in the last 3 or 4 years?

My response is very simple. I saw a video clip by Reason TV on the debt ceiling and it showed a husband and wife at the dinner table looking over a pile of credit card bills. She  tells her husband that they are 14 trillion in debt and his response is, “We will get more credit cards!!” Her expression is classic when he says this. It is also very humorous when he walks into the next room and tells his one year old son who is now standing, “I need you to grow and get a job.” His son’s puzzled look is also very funny.

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 Here are some thoughts from Reason TV below followed by an article on food stamps.

Uploaded by on Mar 1, 2011

[Editor’s Note: Go to http://reason.com/blog/2011/03/01/raising-the-debt-limit-it-just for details, charts, and links]

Some say the world will end in fire and some say in ice.

But in Washington, a lot of people say it will end if we don’t continually raise the debt ceiling.

The statutory debt limit, or debt ceiling, represents the maximum amount of debt the federal government can carry at any given time. The limit was created in 1917 so that Congress wouldn’t have to vote every time the government wanted to increase the amount of debt (which was becoming a more and more frequent occasion). Since then, the Treasury Department has had the authority to issue new debt up to whatever the limit is to fund government needs. Last year, the limit was raised to $14.3 trillion, an amount that is about to reached.

As it approaches, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has said failing to raise the limit would likely mean the U.S. would default on its debt, creating “real chaos” in place of the fake chaos that’s out there now. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said that failing to raise the limit would be “deeply irresponsible” and and Austan Goolsbee, President Obama’s chief economic adviser, has said that not raising the limit would create “the first default in history caused purely by insanity.”

Eh, maybe.

As Reason columnist and Mercatus Center economist Veronique de Rugy, has pointed out, we’ve maxed out the nation’s credit card in the past without such dire results. In the mid-1980s, the mid-1990s, and in 2002, for instance, the debt limit wasn’t raised for months at a time and the government got along just swell. The government has a big bag of tools it can use, ranging from playing around with the amount of spending that is liable to the limit to prioritizing interest and debt payments over other outlays. Interest on the debt for this year is projected to be about $225 billion and government revenue is expected to be around $2.2 trillion, so the government can easily pay the vig and avoid defaulting.

What it shouldn’t do is simply keep piling on the debt. The limit has been raised no fewer than 10 times in the past decade. When Republicans ran the White House and the Congress, they voted overwhelmingly to charge it and Democrats, including Sen. Obama, hollered bloody murder. In 2006, he called the need to yet again increase the debt limit “a sign of leadership failure.” Now that Dems run the show, the GOP has suddenly rediscovered its inner cheapskate.

So it goes.

The boldest plan to rein in spending and debt comes from newcomer Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), a Tea Party favorite who dispatched Republican incumbent Bob Bennett in the primaries before coasting to victory in the general election last fall. Lee has vowed to block passage of a debt-limit increase unless Congress signs on to his balanced-budget amendment which would cap annual federal spending at 18 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The amendment would require a super-majority of two-thirds in the Senate and House of Representatives. Lee’s bill is competing with another Republican proposal from Sens. Hatch (Utah) and Cornyn (Texas) to cap spending at 20 percent of GDP. The Hatch-Cornyn bill has weaker rules on its higher cap as well.

In 2010, spending came to about 24 percent of GDP and it’s expected to come in around 25 percent of GDP in 2011. Since 1950, total federal revenues have averaged 17.8 percent and have reached higher than 20 percent exactly once. Spending over the same time has averaged just under 20 percent.

Whether Lee’s proposal carries the day — and there’s a strong case that its passage would do more to calm financial markets than simply bumping up the federal credit line — neither the Democratic nor the Republican leadership has yet to advance a serious proposal to cut spending and reduce outstanding debt. Indeed, both the president’s budget proposal for 2012 and the generally non-existent Republican response are not only deeply irresponsible but clear signs of insanity.

That ain’t right. But it does help explain why a government that has increased spending over 62 percent in real dollars can no longer get by on a $14 trillion debt ceiling.

For more info, go to http://reason.com/blog/2011/03/01/raising-the-debt-limit-it-just

Video written and produced by Austin Bragg. Article text by Nick Gillespie.


Food Stamp Price Tag Rising


Food stamp usage is at record levels according to the New York Times, with one in eight Americans now receiving benefits. There are several reasons for the upswing, including expanded eligibility in the 2000s and the severe economic downturn. The following chart shows the dramatic rise in spending for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as the Food Stamp program until 2008 when Congress changed its name to sound more palatable.  


Most Americans think that we should aid those in real need, but individuals should do so voluntarily without resorting to forced government transfers.  
The Times gives three examples of people who recently started receiving food aid. Each offers some food for thought.
The first is a 45 year-old Harlem widow with an annual income of $15,000. A food bank had encouraged her to apply for the benefits:
A big woman with a broad smile, Ms. Bostick-Thomas swept into the group’s office a few days later, talking up her daughters’ college degrees and bemoaning the cost of oxtail meat. “I’m not saying I go hungry,” Ms. Bostick-Thomas said. “But I can’t always eat what I want.” The worker projected a benefit of $147 a month. “That’s going to help!” she said. “I wouldn’t have gone and applied on my own.”
I don’t know this woman’s exact circumstances, and there’s no reason to doubt she needs assistance. But aren’t her college-educated daughters in a position to help their mother? Government welfare undermines the traditional role the family played in mutual assistance.
Here’s the second example: 
Juan Diego Castro, 24, is a college graduate and Americorps volunteer whose immigrant parents warned him “not to be a burden on this country.” He has a monthly stipend of about $2,500 and initially thought food stamps should go to needier people, like the tenants he organizes. “My concern was if I’m taking food stamps and I have a job, is it morally correct?” he said.
But federal law eases eligibility for Americorps members, and a food bank worker urged him and fellow volunteers to apply, arguing that there was enough aid to go around and that use would demonstrate continuing need. “That meeting definitely turned us around,” Mr. Castro said.
This fellow’s annualized monthly stipend is more than I made in my first job in Washington. And for Mr. Castro, who was warned not to be a burden on this country, he ought to be told that the federal Americorps program is exactly that. But more disconcerting is the fact that the food bank worker urged him and his colleagues to go the dole in order to advertise it.
This anecdote illustrates Michael Tanner’s argument that government poverty programs serve vested interests:
Among the non-poor with a vital interest in anti-poverty programs are social workers and government employees who administer the programs. Thus, anti-poverty programs are usually more concerned with protecting the prerogatives of the bureaucracy than with fighting poverty.
The last example from the Times is a Columbian immigrant who missed three months of work as a janitor because she fell and had to have knee surgery:
Last November, she limped into a storefront church in Queens, where a food bank worker was taking applications beside the pews.
About her lost wages, she struck a stoic pose, saying her san cocho — Colombian soup — had less meat and more plantains. But her composure cracked when she talked of the effect on her 10-year-old daughter. “My refrigerator is empty,” Ms. Catano said.
Last month, Ms. Catano was back at work, with a benefit of $170 a month and no qualms about joining 38 million Americans eating with government aid. “I had the feeling that working people were not eligible,” she said. “But then they told me, ‘No, no, the program has improved.’”
This is precisely the sort of person that is deserving of charity. But the federal government isn’t a charity; it is a forced transfer machine. The less fortunate, and society as a whole, would be better off if the taxes paid to support inefficient, counterproductive government programs were instead left in the hands of supportive individuals and organizations. 

See this essay for more on government food subsidies.