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Saturday: Cranky, old Christians

Nurses' Union members in Zuccotti Park

I found this prayer request from The Family Research Council from a link at Hullabaloo.  The religious right is using every trick in the book to keep the Christians from defecating.  Er, defecting.  I don’t know which.  Every time I’ve been to Occupy Wall Street at Zuccotti Park in Manhattan, I see a lot of perfectly normal looking people in the middle of the park, talking, laughing, socializing, having spontaneous meetings.  Oh, sure, there’s a thin layer of some bizarre looking “occupiers” hired straight out of central casting, no doubt.  I give Rove and his disciples the credit for that and no one will convince me otherwise.  Those creatures don’t really have a point they want to discuss.  They’re just there to frighten away the cranky old Christians.

But listen to what the Family Research Council says about the Occupations:

Days of Rage Turn Violent — The expanded Wall Street Occupation is endorsed by labor unions, liberal mayors, governors, the White House, the American Nazi and Communist parties, ACORN, Hollywood enertainers and a long list of supra-liberal and liberal groups, not the least of which is the liberal media. Encampments in major cities, including Washington, DC, are not only a nuisance, a health hazard and an embarassment to thinking Americans, they are increasingly becoming violent. Ideological anarchists intimidate and abuse bystanders, damage automobiles, jump on and in front of moving vehicles, urinate and defacate on private and public property, go naked and perform sex acts in public, produce tons of garbage that taxpayers have to collect and haul away, etc. Yet the mainstream press, which villainized the Tea Party movement, after long ignoring it, flagrantly idealizes the Occupiers and ignores the damage and ugly crimes happening in most places where an occupation is in progress. Fortunately the movement is “losing its bloom,” and beginning to die out. The honeymoon among these diverse activists may be coming to an end (see ViolenceMedia Ignores Violence,Bloom FadingSplitTime to EndOriginal PlanBroken Windows).

  • May the movement simply fizzle. May God protect those who live nearby and must encounter these raucus groups. May God harvest souls for Christ from among them just as He did discontented youth in  the Jesus Movment of the 60’s and 70’s (1 Sam 22:1-2; 2 Chr 15:4-7; Ps 18:40-50; Is 42:14-18; Lk 19:39-40; Rom 8:15-16; 10:20).

How come I always miss the orgies?  And how did we ever get the Nazis AND the communists to collaborate?  Jeez, doesn’t the Family Research Council know anything about the difference between Nazis, *real* socialists and communists?  Or are they just repeating trigger words in order to provoke a trance like response in the target audience.  Nazis, pray, defecators, socialists, nuisance, communists, violence, Nazis.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  I’ve got an idea!  Let’s go through the right wing literature and talk radio and tv broadcasts and count how many times and in what context the words “nazis”, “fascists”, “socialists” and “communists” turn up.  We can compare it to the lead up to the Iraq War where Bush and his lackeys made sure to say “Al Qaeda”, “weapons of mass destruction” and “Saddam Hussein” together all the time.  If I heard that all day long on the news, I might be scared stupid into thinking that Saddam Hussein had trucked off a bunch of chemical weapons to the desert where he and his Al Qaeda buddies were going to launch them on missiles that would reach the United States in 45 minutes.  Can you believe people actually got suckered into believing that crap?

The technical word for that is psychological manipulation and it works.  Skillful practitioners can make even perfectly rational people putty in his hands with the right reframing and trigger words.  That’s why I tell people to never get their news from TV or radio.  I think it’s easier to reframe with an audio format, much harder to do when you read it because your eye can spot the pattern.

I can say with pretty good authority that I have never seen tons of garbage at Zuccotti park.  The occupiers are almost anal (maybe a bad choice of words) in their committment to cleaning up and recycling.  They’ve even built  trash and recycle stations out of recyclable cardboard.

And another thing they did was start a kitchen.  Yep, it smells delicious.  You can walk right up and get something to eat.  No one will read a bible to you or make you feel ashamed of your plight or pray over you to ask you to accept Jesus as your personal savior in return for a meal.  If you have a problem because you are angry or frustrated or unemployed, there is a counselor available you can talk to.

Yes, it looks a bit disorganized.  Getting 99% of the population together to discuss what the hell happened to them in the last 30 years is hard.  You’ve got people from all different walks of life, young people, old people.  No, really, there are older women in Zuccotti park that are indistinguishable from the ones who volunteer for after services potluck lunches at church complete with cream of mushroom soup hot dish casseroles.  And you don’t need a PhD.  There are a lot of very smart people who never went to college.  They may be entertainers or union people or anyone.

But the Family Research Council wants to make their members terrified to go anywhere near those occupations.  That’s why their friends in the Republican party pay the weirdos to go hang out there.  Or ask them to stir up trouble.  Because if a cranky old Christians actually went to an occupation, they might find themselves right at home among the 99%, provided they can refrain from making converts.

In fact, the surest way the Family Research Council has to make the occupation “fizzle” is to send Christians down to occupation sites to convert the occupiers.  Yep, nothing like a bunch of pain-in-the-ass, persistent, self-righteous, hyper-religious evangelicals for breaking up a good thing.  Just a heads up to the occupiers.  They may be headed your way and are harder to get rid of than violent anarchists.  Well, I’m sure you can handle this.  😉

What kind of messed up people would pray for the downtrodden to lose hope in their struggle against the rich?  That doesn’t sound even remotely Christian to me.  What the cranky old Christian may need is some mind altering drugs, not that they’re going to find them at an occupation (unless Rove’s droogs are selling them).  I’ve read studies of the effect of magic mushrooms on people in controlled experiments.  Psilocybin can lift moods, has long term psychological effects and tends to make people more compassionate afterwards.  Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to spike their tea to mellow those people out and rejuvenate them and make them nice.  Because compassion is what they seriously lack even as they have an excess of prayers.

47 Responses

  1. Thank you for your first-handing reporting on OWS– it is difficult to get good information when even “liberal” websites are flogging OWS for rape, murder, and other atrocities, mostly to the ever perpetuating dirty hippy myth.

  2. Hey RD; as my comment belongs in a previous thread it’s somewhat ot … but then that’s my one weakness 🙂 , you know, when back in the days, I first read your “It’s only pixels. They can’t hurt you” I tried it on for size, but it didn’t fit. Still doesn’t. If it’s “only pixels”, then what’s the whole point of blogging? If it can’t hurt me, then how can it move me? Which it does. Reading blogs moves me; it both enrages, engages and enlightens me.

    Except for trolls I believe most of us are blogging as ourselves and the only “Persona” we hide behind is our moniker and (gr)avatar. So of course if someone attack or ridicule us or our opinions, we take it personal and can get hurt. I’m ever grateful for the moderation policies here and on other blogs where I participate. If sites weren’t moderated I wouldn’t care to comment, and for the same reason I long since stopped even reading comments at mainstream media blogs. Too much bile that – even as it’s not directed at me – affects me; in a negative way.

    To me the most daunting moment in blogging was making my first comment. Flustered, with pounding heart and sweaty palms, I for the first time clicked “Reply”, asking you if I, a foreigner, would be allowed to comment. And alas, you unequivocally welcomed me! So having made the plunge, suddenly there was nothing stopping me, and for that I’m ever grateful to you. If you had either neglected my comment or showed reluctance I might never have tried again.

    So that said, having followed The Confluence practically from the start, it pains me, as someone who still comment both here and at Crawdad’s place, to see how few of us still do just that. I mostly don’t agree with the praise of any Republican Presidential candidate but perceive it more as an ‘out of spite position’, as a “See! We do have somewhere else to go!” But apart from that – and “you here” being pro OWS and “we there” being very skeptical/ against, but why not argue your different approaches instead of letting that disagreement separate you? – I see much more that unite you, posters and commenters at both places, than divide you.

    It’s not my business to be a mediater (wouldn’t mind if I succeeded though. A girl can dream. 😉 ), but how I wish those two blogs would realize that actually you’re mostly on the same page and that this division hurts your common goals. You know “United we stand, divided we fall”. I for one would love to see more commenters commenting – devoid of personal attacks and bashing – at both places.

    Just my – extremely devaluated I’ll readily admit – 2 ører.

    • Oh and RD, I understand more and more about “where you’re coming from” re Dem. ~ Rep. For someone used to at least half a dozen different political parties to choose from – at the moment there are 8 represented in our Parliament! – it took me quite a while to “get it”. I do believe I’m “getting there”.

    • Pips! Long time, no see.
      Here’s the thing about OWS: I don’t want to argue about it. I’ve been there and seen it for myself and urge others to do likewise. You don’t have to join. There’s no registration. If you don’t like it, you can write about why you didn’t like it and never go back again. I don’t have a problem with people going there and deciding it’s not for them.
      What I DO have a problem with is people condemning OWS as being violent, dirty, co-opted or whatever but they have never actually gone there in person.
      I don’t think it is an Obama operation. No one has asked me for a donation for anything or even my email address. What does OWS have that makes it so powerful? It has a message that you are part of the 99%. That we’re all in this together. That the 1% consider everyone below them to be expendable and working class regardless of education level, where you went to school or what your profession is. In fact, minus the slogan, this is the message that I have been saying for the past 3 years. That is all there is to it. It is a eureka moment. Nothing more, nothing less.
      What exactly is there to argue about? No one over there at the Crawdad Hole is going to make me believe something different than what I have seen with my own eyes. And I’m not in to condemning anyone who protests as a potential lawbreaker and threat to police. I’ve marched with 50,000 people in Manhattan and never saw anyone misbehave. They were all nice, normal middle and working class people. If some people at various sites behave badly, should it be guilt by association that everyone else is bad?
      All I can tell people at the crawdad hole is to go check it out for themselves. The energy barrier for doing so is very low. There are occupation sites all over the country. What is stopping them??
      I’m a scientist, Pips. I believe in checking things out for myself, gathering my own data and forming my own opinions from that data. I refuse to listen to anyone who condemns OWS who has not actually been there. In fact, I am becoming ever more suspicious of people who seem to condemn the movement a priori. Why are they so quick to jomp on the Republican talking points bandwagon? If this were a single data point with myiq, I would just write it off as him being cantankerous. But he was also a She-who-must-no-be-named supporter and wouldn’t take no for an answer when I told him to chill. Two data points is a trend. Three is a correlation. I’d go over there and look but it distresses me to see someone who I used to have such admiration as a writer spewing right wing rhetoric. I guess everyone has to appeal to their audience to get commenters. Everyone but me. If I’m the only one here, that’s OK.
      As for commenters coming here to comment, I am always happy to see people come here. But if they don’t, that doesn’t mean I have to curl up in a ball and die. I’m not desperate for company. If anything, I am more concerned with the lack of attention to the fate of the R&D industry than anything else. If myiq wants to come over here and argue about that, I’ll be happy to take him on. But if he’s not going to get off his fat ass to Occupy Sacramento, then he can just pop off any stupid nonsense he wants over at the crawdad hole.

      • My feelings exactly. I’ve spent time at my local Occupy and found it to be remarkably like what you described for OWS.

        Why bother to argue with those who won’t go look for themselves, especially when their only sources seem to be the NY Post and right wing bloggers. It would be a waste of time and, frankly, wouldn’t be worth the effort.

      • RD I hear you! And I know I can’t judge the OWS movement by what’s going on at the City Hall Square in my own city where a bunch of young wanna-be hippies, 40plus years late for Woodstock, chant “The whole World is watching” (no, they’re not, Doodz!) and scream at the cameras “Look! Police brutality!” when 4 policemen, not much older than themselves, very carefully carry them one by one to the waiting police van as they, the protesters (most probably Autonomes), seem to have difficulty understanding what “You can protest at your hearts’ delight all day long but you’ll have to clear the square at sundown” means.

        Remember when here at the Confluence, commenters were talking about, and as I recall there were even whole threads dedicated to that subject, how since childhood they had been loners/ different/ single-minded/ out-siders and had never been afraid of standing up for their convictions, never needed to pander to be part of any inner circle? For many that was the probable explanation to why they hadn’t been sucked into the Obama movement. I could relate to that. As long back as I can remember, I’ve been unable to reflexively follow a movement. If someone said “go there” pointing in one direction and everybody else started walking, I, almost as a law of nature, would either stay put or, more likely, would start walking in the opposite direction. This skepticism, regarding Obama, was also what brought me to blogging in early 2008.

        I always figured you “functioned” the same way, and I actually still do, so it surprised and disappointed me to see how easily, so it seemed, you were “sucked” (no offense intended) into the OWS movement. But I do listen. And I do believe what you’re telling about your perception and experiences. But I also believe the less flattering news. No way everything would be … ahem “sunshine, roses and ponies for all”, when so many people are gathered and for so long. And I remain skeptic.

        Having watched how the capital “O” has been … yes capitalized to the point where it’s almost even monopolized by Obama’s campaign and followers (Aiaiai, even the Irish embrasing him by naming him O’Bama!) to me choosing the word “Occupy” was a warning sign. As “Adbusters” are behind, why not BustWallStreet? Or as “Attack” is involved AttackWallStreet? Ok, the latter probably too harsh but there’s any number of verbs that doesn’t start with an “O”, that would even make more sense. I, apart from getting really bad vibes from the word “occupy”, still don’t know what it means, what the goals are. But it seems to me that by choosing that word the movement was from the start set up to – if it suited them and it would be profitable – being co-opted by OFA.

        The skeptic in me also has to ask: Do the OWS speak for all the 99%? And: Do all the 99% accept OWS speaking on their behalf?

        And why do they have to camp out? Not that there’s anything suspicious about it, I just don’t get it? To show endurance perhaps? But doesn’t this “camping out” somehow mostly benefit the young ones and in extension attract attention to their concerns – and their bad behaviour?

        As for checking out the OWS by going there yourself, as you advise, you’ll have to admit that for millions that just isn’t an option, so we’ll have to check it out via news and blogs. Just as we checked out the OFA movement by following news and – as it turned out much more reliable – blogs. So that’s what I’m doing even now. And I listen to you RD, really I do. But I’m still confused as to what it’s all about. And I’m still skeptical.

        “If I’m the only one here, that’s OK.”
        I believe you. But besides being by nature sceptical I’m also romantic and nostalgic, and I would love to see The Confluence being again what it used to be, seeing both new commenters and those who presently feel like “disenfranchised Conflucians” come together here. I know RD, as you still sign off with, “Come together at The Confluence” you do too. 😉

    • Bravo Pips…. and Thank you.

      I haven’t taken a ‘firm’ stand on OWS for this reason – I haven’t been to an Occupation Site yet. I’ve driven by, and it doesn’t appeal to me, and I do suspect the worse – that it’s a co-opt – but I have no proof, so I won’t err on either side.

      However – my position on our Wall Street President is that I will work diligently to excise him from office – I will even protest by voting R to make sure the Dems have to make up two votes. If all the candidates are going to force me to set aside my principles as ‘the lesser of evils’ then I’ll take the one who will create the most damage to the Dem Party – because it needs fixing. So far it looks like Herman Cain can do this, not because he is/will be the Greatest President Evah, but because his being black has the most likely effect of destroying the Dem coalition if he is elected President.

      … and yes Pips, you may call this spite, but I want my working class liberal party back – because right now, I have no where to go.

      I’m not looking at Republicans to help or solve any problems the way I would like, but could they be any worse than the Party then spat on my vote & treacherously changed the rules to accommodate one faction? – and worse – DOES NOT COUNT MY VOTE EQUAL TO OTHERS IN MY PARTY – it should be one person one vote…. period.

      Now that you know my position – I will give you my last concern about OWS. Why are they not protesting Obama?… if you tell me you’ve been there, and they are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore regarding Obama, that might influence me – because you have seen with your own eyes… but so far, I see no evidence of this or anger directed at Obama, and it reinforces to me that this is a co-opt distraction.

      I have some down time from business after Thanksgiving to go to Occupy Los Angeles, and I will go take a look for myself and report – but until then, I would like to know how Obama and the Dem Party are the 99%?

      • Ok, having been there? I can say that Obama is not well loved by occupiers. That isn’t to say that there aren’t Obama fans there but let’s put it this way, if you go there thinking that you’re going to go all soft and gooey from the O-love around you, you would be very, very wrong. Going to an occupation is not going to turn you into an O-bot, I guarantee it.
        If they ever start heading off in that direction, I’ll call them out and never go back.
        My sense is that the occupiers know very well whose team Obama pitches for and they see him as part of the problem.
        But don’t believe me, park the car and go talk to some the next time you drive by.
        As for me, I will not be voting Republican in 2012. I don’t think Democrats get the point when you do that. There has to be a huge, yawning absence of Democratic votes before they get the point.
        I will be voting out of office every incumbent I can find.

        • Occupy is international. Obama isn’t on the radar here.

          • Very good point. The financier class is global. Voting for Obama doesn’t change that nor does it affect the protests around the world.

            Besides, you guys know me. I’m hardly a corporation basher. Yeah, many of them are turds but that’s because they’re run by turds. When I first started out in pharma, the companies were still run by guys who worked their way up from the labs. Once they got take over by the professional management class, things started to change drastically. It’s like what happened to Apple computer in the years when Jobs wasn’t there. Exactly like that, as a matter of fact. I shudder to think of what might have happened to Apple had Jobs not come back and focussed attention on the product.

            So, anyways, I’m not anti-corporation (completely) and I’m not anti-rich people. I’m anti screw-the-working-people just because we can. We work hard and deserve a living wage and our deferred compensation. 20 years ago, that wasn’t too much to ask. Now, apparently, it is. That’s gotta change. That’s why I support OWS.

          • Occupy is international.

            But wouldn’t you say, and I’m asking in earnest, that the goals and the aims of the European movements are clearer and more obvious?

          • “the professional management class”

            Or as they used to be called, “overseers”. 👿

        • Like I said, I’ll take some time when I can after the Holiday – I’m not usually driving by anywhere that isn’t on my way somewhere else due to business.

          But I appreciate that Obama is not adored… It allows me to take them more seriously that they care about opposing Wall Street.

        • As for me, I will not be voting Republican in 2012. I don’t think Democrats get the point when you do that.

          Honk. I think the only clear message is to vote third party. Unless I’m in a state where I know a Hillary write-in will be counted and announced.

      • Well, I’m certainly not voting for Obama but I also wouldn’t be caught dead voting for Herman Cain. In fact, none of the members of the republican clown show are worth a vote.

        • I don’t expect him to solve some or any of the problems the way I want (but it’s not like I’m going to get that with Obama either), I have a different motive – that my vote will take two votes to overcome. That Cain could take away the AA coalition stranglehold by the Dems just puts him at the top of my lesser evils list.

          Everyone owns their own vote – I certainly respect yours whether you do mine or not.

          • Good point. I haven’t been keeping up with blackagendareport lately. What do Blacks think of Cain vs Obama?

          • I have no problem with however you decide to vote. It belongs to you and you should use it as you see fit. No explanations are due to anyone in our democracy.

          • I loathe Obama but having watched the GOP debate on foreign policy tonight, it’s clear that most of them, including Herman Cain, are likely to get us into a nuclear confrontation with their chest thumping, ignorance, and xenophobia.

            I don’t know what I’m going to do next November but I’m not sure that any of my principles matter if we’re all dead.

          • Bemused, I’m particularly interested as to what the Dem establishment would do if they lost their stranglehold? – maybe they’d actually have to earn the votes…? you know, that old fashioned art of writing and passing legislation that actually affects the constituents who vote for you (especially time and time again).

            I think Cain is the only candidate that would force Dems to be Dems again some day. Outside of that, I don’t see how these two parties ever become different again.

      • Thank you Jeffhas.

        I will even protest by voting R to make sure the Dems have to make up two votes. If all the candidates are going to force me to set aside my principles as ‘the lesser of evils’ then I’ll take the one who will create the most damage to the Dem Party – because it needs fixing.

        This is exactly how I perceive the position of many commenters presently posting at Crawdad’s.

        If I personally were to vote in the next US election I would be devastated as I know I wouldn’t be able to vote for anyone and certainly not any on the Republican ticket. Out of more than 300 million people, this is the best they can come up with? Depressing. And worse: They almost make Obama look dignified and presidential. 😦

        That said, I find the media’s obsession with Perry’s now infamous “53 seconds” equally deplorable and found Obama’s “57 States and two to go” much more worthy of ridicule. I actually found Perry’s “Oops” quite endearing. Which I wouldn’t normally write. Not at Crawdad’s for fear of being seen as Republican friendly. And not at Riverdaughters for fear of … being seen as Republican friendly.

    • it pains me, as someone who still comment both here and at Crawdad’s place, to see how few of us still do just that.

      Pips, I won’t clutter RD’s blog with the details, but some of us got ‘stealth banned’ at Crawdad. Miq admitted it at

      • He actually is stealth-banning people?

        If that be the case, then to Areinnye with the Klown, and the rest of his Tea Bircher Agnew Holers. I don’t mind being banned, but I do mind that the unexpectedly wimpy buffoon doesn’t have the cojones to tell me I’m banned. I fart in his general direction. His mother was a hamster, and his father smelt of elderberries. Joe Paterno just became the second-newest member of my $#!+ list.


        • Well, here’s what Miq said at crayfisher.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/blogging-is-my-hobby/
          I don’t have to put up with anyone who makes my blogging experience unpleasant.
          So if you spend a few weeks getting on my last nerve and suddenly your comments start vanishing into the ether, that’s why.
          OTOH – I don’t hold grudges. After a few weeks of not being annoyed I usually forget what I was annoyed about.

          That fits the pattern of suddenly every post from me going into aether without even a ‘moderation’ or ‘banned’ autoresponse, and then after some days new posts would go through — for a while.

          • I hope you know that any of your comments that go into moderation here are strictly a function of the moderation queue. I’ve added only a few people to the moderation list in the past 6 months or so. Abbeysbooks was one because I could never figure out what the f#$@ she was talking about and I got sick of hearing about DeLillo and deconstructionism.
            The other, oddly enough, was myiq. And it’s not because his POV is that offensive. It’s just that I don’t want to argue about every fricking comment I make. One or two exchanges are ok. But if it goes on for 15 rounds and he hasn’t changed my mind, then what’s the point?? I could just choose to not answer him but then he crows about that as if he’s won some point, when in fact he has proven the point that he’s just being a stubborn pain in the ass and hasn’t won anything except his well earned reputation.
            But, whatever. It’s his blog. He can do what he wants. I usually don’t ban people unless they’re 1.) talking points trolls from either party, 2.) (probably) mentally ill or 3.) acting like adolescents with oppositional defiant disorder. Myiq falls into the latter category. He’s an extremely intelligent person who probably did not get the kind of attention he deserved when he was younger. Parental negligence can do that to a person and I wouldn’t be surprised if his parents’ church had something to do with that. But you know what? At some point in time, you need to tell those assholes who blew you off as a kid to go stuff it.
            Once you do, you’re free.

        • Actually, I shouldn’t have said “$#!+ list”.

          “People I Used To Respect List” would be more accurate. :mrgreen:

  3. I brought some supplies to the occupation in Paris today, at La Défense. It’s a smaller occupation, well-ensconced but tentless. The population is white and heavy on youth & hippies, not that there’s anything wrong with that. There is a kitchen, snack bar, friperie (clothing pile), librairie, bedding, a children’s corner and a reception desk. The CRS (riot cops), who had the courtesy/temerity to show up at the housewarming and remove the tents, were posted around the encampment’s perimeter, but the atmosphere was relaxed. A working group on a Charter of International Rights was in progress; I noted with pleasure equal numbers of men and women, with a woman addressing the group and men listening attentively. Passers-by (numerous as there is a shopping mall there) read a large collection of signs created by the indignés. And of course Monsieur 1% was there with a sign, I lost everything in 1929, never again!

    • Wow, I thought you were much younger.
      Yeah, it seems like a youth movement until there is a demonstration or march. Then all the gray hairs turn out en masse.

      • Nope, I’m your generation. I did participate in a march on October 15 from Belleville to Hôtel de Ville. Definitely a mixed-age group.

        • It’s just funny when you said you lost everything in 1929. Well, not *funny* just amusingly confusing.
          Golly, I wish I lived in Paris. Do you need a roommate? Or two? My kid speaks French fluently.

          • That was Mr 1%’s sign. He was wearing a top hat and tails and smoking a big cigar. Sorry about the sloppy writing.

            I like it here but Paris is an intense place to live, and I often wonder if I’ll ever fully adapt.

            France is wracked with problems. For example, there’s a critical shortage of affordable housing. The cops just broke up a homeless camp in La Courneuve. The homeless have steady jobs and legal status–France obviously needs their labor–but they can’t find a place to live. They sleep in tents and go to work in the morning as security guards and receptionists. It’s criminal.

            I won’t taunt you now, but when you get a research job in Europe I would be glad to have you over.

          • Oh, that was cruel. My projects were shipped to France. Alas, I was not. 😦

            Yeah, I’ve been in Paris traffic jams. Pretty bad. LOVE the Metro and the RER. I had no idea the housing issue was so severe. Most of my Parisian colleagues never mentioned it. Of course, there were sections of Paris that they said they wouldn’t want to move to even if the apartment was free. Like some areas of Bercy, near the railroad tracks. I loved Bercy but then again, I was in the fancy, shmancy section where the wine merchant warehouses were turned into shops and restaurants. You know the place I’m talking about? Here it is, Bercy Village . They even complained about Vitry, which in my humble opinion wasn’t that bad. Then again, I come from Pittsburgh where residential and industrial sections of town were not that far apart. I couldn’t understand what they were complaining about.

            The grass is always greener…

          • Oh gosh, and I was trying so hard not to be cruel.

            Yes, I know Bercy, we took one of our Sunday strolls there. And heavens, it’s a nice enough section of town.

            There’s a whole underclass that barely scrapes by. The private housing market has become out of reach and waiting lists for public housing are years long. The working poor has become as much a phenomenon here as in the US.

          • Yeah, but in France you can get healthcare when you’re homeless. In this country, you can be homeless and not have healthcare. No one cares. In fact, there are people who think you’re freeloading if you need treatment but don’t have the money to pay. Like it’s YOUR fault for getting sick without insurance.
            But I’m sure you know this.
            Yes, France has problems. But a poor French person is still better off than a poor American.

          • Re the situation for many jobless, foreclosed, homeless Americans, veterans too, a reporter at Swedish television has made some excellent reports visiting real people, real families and not just showing statistics. Seeing the situations those people, suddenly find themselves in and how little help they can expect is truly devastating and heartbreaking. One example was a well off, well educated couple with three kids who had lost their home and now was forced to huddle together in one room with a kitchenette due to medical costs for their seriously ill middle child.

            I wish reports like that would go viral instead of Perry making a fool of himself.

      • “The gray hairs” aka “Q-tips”. 😉

  4. You must have lived a much more sheltered life than I did growing up. I knew those folks you are convinced are infiltrators when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s. Most of them slept at least one night on my family’s living room floor. I got to listen to their bullshit theories on how pot made them brilliant…rolf.
    Karl Rove didn’t have to invent these people you think have been sent to make the movement look bad. He didn’t have give them their marching orders. They are a pain in the ass subset of liberal and/or leftist movement culture.

    • Yes, because nothing has changed since the 60s and 70s. If I had to guess, I would imagine most of them were part of the general street culture and probably some of the more outrageous are provacateurs.

    • I wasn’t referring to the clueless potsmoker. I’m referring to the big scary looking guy with the tattooed face. Or the one who looks like grim reaper crossed with an alien who had a corner all to him (her?) self. Or the skinhead with the swastika denim jacket. THOSE people are not lefties, I’m sorry. I don’t know where they came from but I smell a rat. They are especially irritating because they line the perimeter of Zuccotti Park. Once you get past them and enter the interior of the park, everyone looks perfectly normal. But the freaks on the outside will definitely scare away the timid.

      Reecently the occupiers had discovered that the cops were starting to send addicts and aggressive homeless people down to Zuccotti park. When the occupiers complained, the cops said they had a right to be there as much as anyone else. Which is true. Still, it was a dirty deed.

  5. Uh-oh, what has Spammy got its knickers twisted about THIS time? 🙄

  6. Riverdaughter, it’s so great to come out of my cough-syrup fog (due to another round of bronchitis) to find all your wonderful posts!

    • Hey, Kbird! I wondered where you’d been. I was going to call you to make sure you weren’t trapped by a giant ball of yarn.

  7. Oh, those cranky christians…I drove by the huge local christian high school the other day only to notice their billboard read: “Thanksgiving Day services – 10:00 AM” — nearly drove off the cliff at the shock. Can anyone tell me just when Thanksgiving became a christian holiday?

    I am forever amazed at what that group decides to take ownership of.

    • Well, it was first celebrated by the Pilgrims and their Native neighbors, and the Pilgrims were a Christian sect, so I don’t think that it’s inappropriate–unless they’re saying the holiday is only for Christians.

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