One big, fat, glaring hypocrisy within the Occupy Wall Street movement

Occupy Wall Street photo courtesy of Joe Marino for NYDNI was on Twitter tonight conversing with friends about the whole craptastic Occupy Wall Street movement and how it’s turned into your standard garden variety grab bag of liberal whines & gripes. The pretense is that it’s about “the economy” and “corporate greed” but in reality you could take your pick of any number of far left complaints about “the system” (aka: conservatives/Republicans). Example: Condi Rice is in Charlotte tonight for a speaking engagement at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and the Occupy Charlotte Twitter account tweeted a message for people to join them in protesting “war criminal” Condi and demanding her arrest, in part, because, “”The Iraq War is major reason for this economic mess!” It’s like playing “Six Degrees to the Sucky Economy.”

Anyway, as I wrote last week, the local Occupy movement here has more or less been co-opted by the Anon global hacktivist group, which is not exactly surprising anymore as there is an Anon presence in your major big city Occupy “camps.” You’d think that an underground group responsible for hacking into the Pentagon, hacking into the Boston PD computer system to release the names of over a thousand police officers, hacking into major bank files and exposing hundreds of thousands of customers to invasions of privacy, etc would turn “Occupiers” off of Anons, but it’s just the opposite. In fact, “Occupiers” view Anons as “heroes” – as “modern day Zorros” – for allegedly doing what they can to help “restore the balance of power and fairness” or some other such similar liberal nonsense. Occupiers view Anons as “vigilante justice” types who bravely hack into the computer systems of international banks and corporations in order to “bring CEOs to JUSTICE!11!!!!111!!” When you explain to these people (and I’m not just talking about Occupy Charlotte, but other “Occupiers”) just how vile and invasive and criminal this type of behavior is, not to mention harkens back to an uncivilized Wild Wild West style of justice that is rejected by the vast majority of Americans (certainly not “the 99%”), they are quick to point to you that “Anonymous hackers exposed a porn ring!” and the like.

While it’s certainly good news that a porn ring has allegedly been busted up thanks, in part, to Anonymous hackers, there’s glaring hypocrisy component to their newfound support for vigilante justice that comes from Anons and bank occupiers – which I’ll get to in a minute.

Remember the shocking Occupy Oakland video I linked to yesterday where thuggish protesters stormed into a local Chase Bank lobby and essentially took it over, turning over furniture, throwing around bank papers, and making parasites of themselves while scaring bank visitors and employees? That’s NOT a bad thing, according to Occupiers, because, well, Chase Bank got bailout money but allowed homes to be foreclosed — and because of that, “they must be punished, and occupying a bank lobby is just one way we’re going to punish them!!!!!” These people have turned themselves into their own judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to banks. Frightening.

I wish I could tell you I’m kidding, but I’m not. There is a disturbing mob-rule, devil-may-care mentality to this crowd (surprise!) that, if it were a Tea Party trait, would be broadcast 24-7 all across the major news nets for weeks on end as part of a “national discussion” on the “decline of civil discourse.” But because “Occupiers” are mostly far left liberals who have “legitimate grievances” – according to President Obama himself – you see some of this on local news broadcasts, if at all, but certainly not nationwide. It doesn’t fit into the narrative liberals in the media want you to have of the Angry Left, so you’re not going to get to see it revealed in all its ugliness most of the time unless a “citizen journalist” gets documentation themselves and makes it available for viewing/reading to the general public.

It’s fascinating, when you think about it – the glaring hypocrisy on display here. Remember during the Bush era when liberals screamed bloody murder about terrorists at Gitmo like KSM not getting their “due process”? They decried that these Islamofascist thugs – who were captured on or close to the battlefield or in the act of helping plan, organize, and/or carry out the brutal murders of innocent people – were not given lawyers, a trial, and presumed innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law. Anyone who pre-judged these country-less murderers was viewed as a hateful, bigoted “Islamophobe” who supported a subversion of Constitutional law because we didn’t want to give non-citizen terrorists the same “rights” enjoyed by actual citizens of America. Eventually, as we know now, the system changed as liberals wanted it to, thanks in part to SCOTUS, and we’ve been none the better for it.

Fast forward to now: Liberals who called conservatives “Islamophobes” for supporting the Gitmo prison system for the types of brutes who wanted me and you dead, and “racists” for opposing the bailouts as proposed by President Obama (even though they also opposed them under Bush) are now against bailouts themselves … but not for the same reasons Tea Partiers were. It’s because they haven’t been “bailed out” themselves – and are demanding “justice.” What kind of justice, you might ask? Not via the US justice system, as we were told was the American way” and “imperative” for Gitmo terrorists to go through “back in the day.” Not by having bankers and other CEOs (who ARE US citizens) being given the due process they demanded we give non-citizen Gitmo terrorists. But by being the judge, jury, and executioners themselves. If they perceive you’ve wronged them, they feel they have the right to disrupt your life at home, at work, and anywhere else – all in the name of “social justice” … and all in spite of the “due process” system they were so fond of referencing when Bush (with the evil Condi as National Security Advisor) was in the WH. When you point out the dangers of this brand of vigilante “justice”, you are accused of being part of the problem and are more or less branded as unpatriotic.

In short: Non-pre-judgment, and due process for country-less Gitmo terrorists who want to kill us is a good thing. Non-pre-judgment and due process for fat cat bankers and CEOs who ARE US citizens?! UnAmerican!

This, my dear readers, is the bizarre country we now live in. Expect it to get worse.

Oh, and today’s fun-filled Occupy video comes from Occupy San Diego. Watch as some of the Occupiers encourage a dog to … chew up an American flag.

Can we question their patriotism yet?

Occupy Wall Street photo courtesy of Joe Marino for New York Daily News.

Health Watch: San Francisco may ban restaurant nudity

Another one from the “You Can’t Make it Up” department:

San Franciscans who prefer to have their food in the nude are facing opposition. Last Thursday, the ironically named Supervisor Scott Wiener proposed an ordinance on public nudity etiquette that would require nudists dining in restaurants to forgo their naturalist ways and don clothing.

Public nudity is legal in San Francisco as long as the nude individual is not in a state of arousal. But last Thursday’s meeting of the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee resulted in a ruling that, if approved by the full Board, will ban practicing nudists from public eateries, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Wiener’s proposal also requires those in the buff to place down a towel or barrier of some sort before they sit down on public seating.

“San Francisco is a liberal and tolerant city, and we pride ourselves on that fact,” Supervisor Wiener said in a statement. “Yet, while we have a variety of views about public nudity, we can all agree that when you sit down naked, you should cover the seat, and that you should cover up when you go into a food establishment.”

“Tolerant city”?? Not if you’re sane and conservative – even worse if you’re both at the same time. Also interesting is the fact that they only find public nudity a “health issue” at restaurants.  What about at grocery stores? Concerts? Any place where you have to sit down for, ahem, service?   Plus, some people you can have a “health issue” just by looking at nude. And – well, I’ll try to be delicate here – if you can’t be nude while in a ‘state of arousal’, that’s kinda hard (pun intended), right? I mean, from the way guys describe it, those situations can happen at the most inopportune times …

This quote, from the SF Chron article, is priceless:

Interest “may have peaked, climaxed” prior to the City Hall hearing on the proposal, said Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.

Er, um … ;)

Only in San Francisco, folks, only in San Francisco.

See 20-20? Dial 9-9-9? Which plan is the right plan? — Updated

**Posted by Phineas

One of the big issues on the Right side of American politics is large-scale tax reform: not just tinkering with rates or eliminating this or that deduction, but massive changes that would amount to junking the current byzantine progressive tax code that punishes wealth creation and saving and hobbles our economy by replacing it with something much simpler and, in the mind of most Americans, much fairer. Generally a flat income tax or a “fair tax” — a national sales tax.

Today Governor Rick Perry issued his proposals for tax reform to spur economic growth — the 20-20 Plan:

The plan starts with giving Americans a choice between a new, flat tax rate of 20% or their current income tax rate. The new flat tax preserves mortgage interest, charitable and state and local tax exemptions for families earning less than $500,000 annually, and it increases the standard deduction to $12,500 for individuals and dependents.

This simple 20% flat tax will allow Americans to file their taxes on a postcard, saving up to $483 billion in compliance costs. By eliminating the dozens of carve-outs that make the current code so incomprehensible, we will renew incentives for entrepreneurial risk-taking and investment that creates jobs, inspires Americans to work hard and forms the foundation of a strong economy. My plan also abolishes the death tax once and for all, providing needed certainty to American family farms and small businesses.

My plan restores American competitiveness in the global marketplace and provides strong incentives for U.S.-based employers to build new factories and create thousands of jobs here at home.

First, we will lower the corporate tax rate to 20%—dropping it from the second highest in the developed world to a rate on par with our global competitors. Second, we will encourage the swift repatriation of some of the $1.4 trillion estimated to be parked overseas by temporarily lowering the rate to 5.25%. And third, we will transition to a “territorial tax system”—as seen in Hong Kong and France, for example—that only taxes in-country income.

20-20 would also end the taxation of Social Security income, qualified dividends (It’s unclear what “qualified” means here), and long-term capital gains. A family of four would see their first $50,000 of income exempt from taxes, and the end of the death tax would mean that small family businesses wouldn’t have to be broken up to meet taxes.

One thing not often noted in reports I’ve seen is that 20-20 would cap spending would both cap spending at 18% of GDP, the modern historical average for tax revenues, and seek a balanced budget amendment. I consider these strong selling points, a simple fiscal restraint will take advantage of normal economic growth to balance the budget.

20-20 is in reply to Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan, which would impose a 9% personal income tax, 9% corporate income tax, and 9% national sales tax.

Let’s stipulate three things at the beginning: either plan would be better than the current mess, both have their strong points, and both have criticizable aspects.

Cain’s plan has been accused of disguising a Value-Added Tax (VAT) as a corporate income tax, and for giving the government an added revenue stream by creating both an income and a national sales tax. I also have constitutional questions about a national sales tax: where is the federal authority to tax any sales transactions, especially if they stay within the boundaries of a single state?

Supporters, on the other hand, correctly point out that Cain’s plan is a transitional phase to a single Fair Tax.

Perry’s plan, meanwhile, retains more deductions (home mortgage, charitable, &c.), which leaves room for special interests to game the system, as they do now. However, I don’t think it’s likely, politics being the art of the possible, that one will be able to eliminate the home mortgage exemption, for example, especially in bad economic times. In that regard, 20-20 may be more practical than 9-9-9.

So, which is better? I’m not sure (no one would ever accuse me of being a numbers-guy), but, like Dan Mitchell, I lean toward 20-20 because it aims for the same goals while avoiding the VAT and tricky constitutional questions. And I’ll note the Club For Growth has endorsed 20-20.

Like I said, though, in the end, either would be better than what we have.

Which do you prefer?

LINKS: Ed Morrissey on the Perry conference call about 20-20. Tom Maguire thinks it’s a gimmick. Perry supporter Bryan Preston provides more details.

PS: I looked through the Romney site and could find no mention of a tax reform plan. If I’ve missed it, please post a link in the comments and I’ll add an update.

UPDATE: Okay, I found Mitt’s tax plan. It’s on page 37 of his Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth. The first thing I see is that it retains the current marginal rates and sets a “flatter, fairer, simpler structure” as a long-term goal. Ummm…. No, thanks.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)