Friday, October 14, 2011

Bad Link

The link to the Wikipedia account of the crime (see here) committed by Steven Hayes and Joshua Komasarjevsky has been fixed.

OWS and the TP

Are the protestors comprising the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement a mirror image of the Tea Party (TP)? Not hardly says George Will in a column at the Union Leader:
The Tea Party’s splendid successes, which have altered the nation’s political vocabulary and agenda, have inspired a countermovement — Occupy Wall Street. Conservatives should rejoice and wish for it long life, abundant publicity and sufficient organization to endorse congressional candidates deemed worthy. All Democrats eager for OWS’ imprimatur, step forward.

In scale, OWS’ demonstrations-cum-encampments are to Tea Party events as Pittsburg, Kan., is to Pittsburgh, Pa. So far, probably fewer people have participated in all of them combined than attended just one Tea Party rally, that of Sept. 12, 2009, on the Washington Mall. In comportment, OWS is to the Tea Party as Lady Gaga is to Lord Chesterfield: Blocking the Brooklyn Bridge was not persuasion modeled on Tea Party tactics.

Still, OWS’ defenders correctly say it represents progressivism’s spirit and intellect. Because it embraces spontaneity and deplores elitism, it eschews deliberation and leadership. Hence its agenda, beyond eliminating one of the seven deadly sins (avarice), is opaque. Its meta-theory is, however, clear: Washington is grotesquely corrupt and insufficiently powerful.
There's more at the link. One vast difference between OWS and the TP, of course, is the media reaction to it. Despite the inchoate nature of the OWS demands, the disturbing expressions of anti-semitism, the law-breaking, debauchery, and general squalor, the media, like doting grandparents, smile at OWS's foibles and outbursts and act as deferential, patient enablers.

The TP, on the other hand, has demonstrated far more focus and political power, no hatred, no bigotry (Nancy Pelosi's ridiculous claims notwithstanding), nothing whatsoever untoward, and the media treats them like the neighborhood bully.

Perhaps the reason is that the OWS crowd reminds many in the media of their own youth, marinated as it was in the culture of Woodstock with no clear plan to accomplish anything they wanted to accomplish and no clarity at all about what it was they wanted to accomplish except ending the war in Vietnam. The TP, on the other hand, probably reminds the erstwhile flower children in the media of their parents - stolid, staid, responsible citizens calmly calling for rational solutions to our problems.

Perhaps that's not at all a fair comparison, but it occurred to me as I read recently a fawning letter to OWS from Sojourners editor Jim Wallis who wanted the youthful demonstrators to know that he, too, once walked in protest marches - as if any of today's denizens of Zuccotti Park would be impressed or should even care. Wallis seemed nostalgic for his own youthful infatuation with the sixties version of hope and change as he offered advice to the young progressives and seemed to be trying to recapture, if only vicariously, the thrill of being in solidarity with the vanguard on the barricades. That seemed to me to capture pretty well what I think is part of the progressive attitude toward coverage of this event.

There are, to be sure, grievances being aired in these protests that most Americans would endorse. To the extent the "occupiers" are incensed that too many bankers speculators, and politicians who are responsible for the collapse of our economy have been given a pass, I'm certainly with them, but unfocussed spasms of outrage, civil disobedience, and generalized spoiled brattery with no serious, rational plan to remedy the problems is just an exercise in silliness, futility, and juvenile exhibitionism.

The Demands of Justice

Joshua Komisarjevsky has been found guilty and will join his accomplice Steven Hayes on Connecticut's death row. I invite anyone who is opposed to the death penalty to read what these two men did to the Petit family in July of 2007 and explain to Viewpoint readers why it would be wrong to execute them.

If dissenters from the death penalty wish to argue that these men don't deserve to die (actually they deserve far worse), or that regardless of what they deserve the state should nevertheless refrain from taking their lives, then they're saying that the lives of these men are far more valuable and precious than the lives of Mrs. Petit and her two daughters and that no crime could ever be bad enough, no act could ever be evil enough, that a criminal should be executed for it.

Such a view is, in my opinion, dehumanizing. It devalues the victims and devalues innocent life.

Joshua Komisarjevsky (left),  Petit family (right)
Good luck trying to make the case. You can use the Contact Us button to send it to us.