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Oakland's Quan Song
Gertrude Stein was wrong about Oakland. In fact there's a lot of political there there, most of it incoherent, violent and reeking and all of it is being encouraged and prolonged by the country's most incompetent and blubbering political executive, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. She stands with the 99% (and against her decent, taxpaying constituents) whose city infrastructure is being defaced or destroyed:
The "conflict" Quan referred to relates to her first decision to order the Oakland police (who were forced to deploy tear gas) to disband the Occupy Oakland camp in Frank Ogawa Plaza. She quickly reversed that sensible, sanitizing urban renewal policy having wilted under the kind of intense radical outrage endemic to most of the San Francisco Bay area. The marauding vermin immediately made their way back into the Plaza brimming with the confidence of having forced the government of a major American city into anarchic submission.
Quan went on in a statement, one of the most shameful and cowardly of any public official since the Occupy movement began in Zugatti Park in New York, to say that
Why would any rational political leader side with depraved anarchists who attach the word "Occupy" to their political movement? Occupation is the term applied to the military takeover of land or property through the use or threat of force. The Nazis occupied Poland in 1939 and France in 1940. Imperial Japan occupied Manchuria in the early 1930's. Is this the company that our feckless politicians wish to keep?
One of the Occupiers, an SEIU member, was obviously elated that the Occupiers succeeded in their subsequent violent closure of the Port of Oakland, saying that "Obviously it [the closure] sends a message to the corporate world that we're not going to sit by and take it anymore."
Since Quan proudly stands (or slouches) with him and the other 99% perhaps her next statement should be directed at Clorox and Kaiser Permanente demanding that they immediately shutter
their headquarters and operations to help rid the moribund city of any hint of corporate greed or economic injustice.
Of course losing more business is that last thing this tottering metropolis needs. The city is saddled with 15% unemployment, a $76M deficit and has the fifth highest crime rate in America.
Though most of the pathologically progressive Oakland City Council shares Quan's supportive stance, the Council President Larry Reid, does not. "We've given up control of the city" to the occupiers, Reid said. "We don't call the shots anymore -- they do." And Oakland Chamber of Commerce head Joseph Haraburda has warned that "two businesses have pulled out of downtown spaces since the protest began and a third has decided not to relocate to Oakland."
In exhilarating contrast to this Athens-like mayhem, 30 miles south in Silicon Valley, thousands of 20-something engineers are writing Java code and designing circuits to help their enterprises deliver innovative products to global markets. But these men and women are non-union, and they have real skills and have studied real subjects. They have little time or interest in committing crimes alongside the aggressive Occupiers. And if a wayward engineer did take the day off to join the occupiers out of sympathy he'd likely be summarily fired. Getting a software release out on time trumps the setting of urban bonfires and the smashing of storefronts.
As conservatives and tea partyers, there are ways to react to the Occupy Oakland occupiers that go beyond arrests and mockery. One satisfying approach is to become an Un-Occupier by shunning visits to the cities that wholeheartedly embrace the anarchists and boycotting the enterprises that attempt cravenly (and unsuccessfully) to avoid reprisals from them.
Mark Steyn has pledged to never visit a Men's Warehouse again after the firm declared solidarity with the goals (whatever they are) of the Occupiers. And if travelling to Manila you might try to avoid flying on Philippine Airlines whose ground staff union expresses "solidarity with the Oakland general strike on November 2 especially the blockade of the Port of Oakland.
John Edwards was right. There are two Americas: the productive and justly rewarded and the parasitic and bitterly entitled. The OWS contagion represents the worst of the latter. And the widespread support the movement enjoys from the media and political elite reveals a deep cultural rot that makes it seem at times that America's only hope for survival rests with a profound moral awakening delivered by a loving God.
Until then vote Republican.
Claude can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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