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Will Babbit's profile photoBrian Wanamaker's profile photoMikey Clark's profile photoKevin Lapagna's profile photo
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Yeah, but... I mean... those things? I don't mean cast a pall over the lofty idealism of that quote, but those aren't "rights" that are "universal". Those are rights (or better put, privileges enabled by law) granted us by our constitution, and upheld by the courts through laws. They are not universal simply by virtue of being born. They can be stripped away. That is why they're so precious. That is why we must fight for them with constant vigilance. I'm losing faith and confidence in President Obama.

Now, if the Egyptian people construct a government that grants those rights, then yes, President Obama approaches accuracy. However, if the Egyptian government does not grant those privileges, then we can either elect to step in and help overthrow that government, or we can back the F off and mind our own business.
 
Those are the spirit of the rights granted us in the Constitution, however, and that is the ideology we claim to profess when we stick our noses in other people's business. For me, the message of this picture with these words isn't that "Everybody should be FREE!" The message is "The U.S. government is full of slime-exuding hypocrites."
 
Ha! Then we are of the same mind (should have known, eh?). I read it the first way, and offered my critique thusly. You read it the second way (likely the way intended by the juxtaposition of quote and image) and jumped ahead of me.

And this is further support then, of "I don't want to live on this planet anymore."
 
Then we are of the same mind (should have known, eh?).

Neither time nor distance can break some bonds.
 
I'm not trying to downplay the way the OWS people have been treated, but you're comparing apples to oranges here. People are openly shot and murdered in the streets in those protests, while people are arrested then released here...
 
I don't think we're comparing anything. We're just saying that our politicians are hypocrites, and that Obama doesn't understand the meaning of the concept "rights". This particular picture just illustrates both, regardless of degree.
 
But aside from that, what you said. :)
 
+Will Babbit , by "arrested then released," do you mean those silly little episodes of minor American police brutality like this:
http://www.observer.com/2011/09/occupy-wall-street-update-alleged-police-brutality-caught-on-film-video/

or perhaps this:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/19/uc-davis-police-pepper-spray-students_n_1102728.html?ref=impact&ir=Impact

But hey, maybe we should wait for another Kent State tragedy before we start speaking out against the corrupted power of so many members of the police force. After all, it doesn't really count if nobody's shot dead.

Complaining that the situations aren't equal is bullshit. Who cares if the situations aren't equal? Quite frankly, I hope that we never have equal circumstances to theirs. Don't you? Isn't that the whole point of the protests?
 
It's still apples and oranges, or at least apple seeds vs. apples (though apple seeds can grow into apple trees). Police are shooting LIVE AMMO into these crowds, and snipers are executing people that are protesting.

Like I said, I'm not trying to downplay the way the OWS people have been treated. For this country it is a travesty. Police brutality has always existed in this country, it's nice that it's getting more coverage now. But it does not compare to what the people in the Arab Spring have dealt with.
 
+Will Babbit - "There is no slippery slope toward loss of liberties, only a long staircase where each step downward must first be tolerated by the American people and their leaders." - Alan K. Simpson
 
I think everyone's points here are valid. +Will Babbit is right in that imminent threat to life and limb through the use of lots of bullets is more immediately severe than the threat of arrest and even beatings that go along with it. Our entire legal system, and the underlying beliefs that feed and inform that legal system are based, in part among many other things, on the concepts of proportional punishment. Killing people > arresting and beating people.

At the same time +Chris McKitterick and +Lydia Ash are right in that we cannot downplay the severity of the imminent threat to our constitutional rights of freedom of assembly and speech through arrest and police brutality. Though not as immediately severe, the potential severity is just as potent, (if not moreso) and those small, almost invisible steps, can very very quickly lead to lots of bullets and worse.

It may be apples and oranges right here and right now. But if we don't recognize the potential that they can become the same damn thing in no time at all, we are not worthy of the very freedoms we claim to hold so dear.
 
Because I can't let this go, and I get SO VERY ANGRY when someone pulls the "but it's not as bad as it could be" line, let me just put this out for everyone to see:

http://gawker.com/5861191/how-egypt-justifies-its-crackdowns-occupy-wall-street

""We saw the firm stance the US took against OWS people & the German govt against green protesters to secure the state," an Egyptian state television anchor said yesterday."
 
So tell me this, what is OWS about now? Police Brutality? Bank bailouts? Student Loans? All of the above? Nothing will change without a coherent message.

If you really want to get into the posting links contest, have you checked out anything that has happened in the middle east this week? At all?

I was trying to let this die, as obviously we're on the same side of the issue. But you insist that it's a "with us or against us" thing. Its arguments like this that is preventing the movement from getting more popular support.
 
Will, you're missing the point. This isn't a pissing contest between who has it worse. My point is that the American people and politicians who shriek about FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY and THE AMERICAN WAY are a bunch of hypocritical asswipes.
 
But you're acting like I disagree with you, which I never have in this conversation...
 
You might not be disagreeing with me, but I disagree with you when it comes to maintaining or encouraging the mindset of comparing protests in the U.S. with protests abroad. They shouldn't be compared at all. It does nobody any good to be analyzed against someone else's situation. This goes for almost any circumstance (the idiots on http://whitewhine.com/ are an exception). Saying person A's troubles (my car got totaled) aren't as bad as person B's (my house burned down) is a pointless exercise.

Even if I didn't agree with some of the complaints of the OWS people, I would be furious with the treatment of the protesters. That has been the whole point of my comments here, and the original post. The protests themselves are not my point here. My point is that our government and police force are blatant crooks and liars who have completely failed to protect and serve us.
 
+Will Babbit, I suspect* you're against the Occupy movement, so I'm taking this opportunity to ask one of your kind: Why? Why in the world would anyone who is not a CEO or billionaire be against it?

The anti-Occupy media and their dittoheads harp on OWS' lack of a unified message - but why? It does have a coherent message with many voices and many concerns, all of which represent the 99% (us), and if you don't support them, why the hell would you care if they have a unified message or not? They'd be easier to dismiss is not, right? So hooray if they don't! And yet.

The anti-Occupy media and their dittoheads scream about how OWS is dangerous and violent and so forth, but that's total bullshit. Measure their population against the general population and you get less crime at the occupation sites than in the general population, especially when you factor in the police brutality against them.

The Constitution and its Amendments guarantee the citizenry the right to the pursuit of happiness and to peaceably assemble and protest. Why is the government so against this movement? Why do college campuses and civic leaders recoil at people exercising their rights and duties as Americans? Because someone is out there infecting their minds in the ways that I mentioned above, and that someone is not the 99%.

* Yes, I'm being sarcastic.
 
Umm, I didn't do the initial comparison to the middle east protests to OWS, I was answering a comparison brought up earlier.

+Chris McKitterick I am certainly not against the Occupy movement, I'm just saddened that they are continually shooting themselves in the foot by not having a unified message. I'm not saying they CAN'T have all the messages they want and all the protests they want, but they will never get the traction to bring about real change if the message changes every 15 minutes. And if they don't want change...what's the point?
 
There's a lot more than one thing wrong in this country today, so who says they only need a single message? Those T-party jokers don't have a single message (and were just as dispersed when they started), yet the media doesn't attack them for lack of unity. The 1060s Civil Rights movement didn't have a single message, either, and people generally agree that what they did was worthwhile.

Want some examples of the awesomeness that the Occupy movement is protesting? This is full of charts and details, and it's a month old:
http://www.businessinsider.com/what-wall-street-protesters-are-so-angry-about-2011-10?op=1

And I love this Rolling Stone article by someone who also didn't understand at first but who came to love OWS:
http://m.rollingstone.com/entry/view/id/19309/pn/all/p/0/?KSID=8774e77e79439eb2a20d60d91adc97c5
 
No one took the Tea Party seriously until they had such a huge effect on the elections. If OWS can have that same effect (which I sincerely doubt, sadly), it would be taken just as seriously.
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