published Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Barrett: Occupy Wall Street’s demands: Open borders, free stuff

If I may reconfigure a line from “Tommy Boy,” doesn’t it seem that you can actually hear civilization getting dumber?

I refer, naturally, to the Occupy Wall Street enthusiasts.

I’m struggling to criticize them properly, mainly because I can’t find an intelligible principle behind their protests. Sheer pity for the walnut-crusted lunacy of these self-assured buffoons urges forbearance: Spelling out all that’s moronic and contradictory in the demonstrations is a bit like writing a hard-hitting review of a kindergarten presentation of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

But compared with a 6-year-old trying to get in touch with his inner Snoopy, there’s something less endearing about 20-somethings who — three years after they put Obama in office — pompously declare that all the world needs to do in order to right itself is follow their latest instructions, which might as well be in Sanskrit.

Let us contemplate a few of the choicer demands issued by some of the leisurely if confused agitators in New York and elsewhere.

They want:

* Free stuff — namely, a college education paid for by somebody else.

* A $20-per-hour minimum wage — based, I suppose, on the discovery that collegiate years squandered reading the selected gripes of Rigoberta Menchu didn’t equip them with skills for employment requiring anything beyond a headset and the ability to ask, “Did anybody salt the fries yet?”

* “People before profits,” a perennial non sequitur that makes as much sense as “Line dancing before egg salad.”

* The criminalization of private health insurance.

* An end to fossil fuels and nuclear energy.

* The erasure of national borders.

* Immediate forgiveness of all debt, everywhere. You just took out a mortgage for that oceanfront mansion? It’s yours free and clear. You borrowed $120,000 to pursue a degree in oppression studies, and now the only job you can get is teaching oppression studies? Don’t fret. Somebody else will foot the bill for that four-year vacation from reality.

* An end to the death penalty. Actually, this proposal has a spooky logic: With ObamaCare knocking on the door, capital punishment will become remarkably redundant.

* The firing of any police officer who does not photograph a crime scene. OK, now the tofu brigades are just making stuff up as they go. These demands couldn’t get any more disjointed if they included a call for more amazingly insightful documentaries narrated by Matt Damon. Oh wait ...

* More amazingly insightful documentaries narrated by Matt Damon.

* And my favorite: “Demand investigation into the source of secret funding for CIA occupation programs since WWII, the cover up of the trillions of dollars that aided in the collapse of the Soviet Union and may have ultimately instigated the 911 attacks as well as their cover-up.”

I’d like to say something snarky about that, but in this case truth is stranger than snark. So just savor the freakish insinuation behind that last talking point: that Cold War espionage had something to do with 9/11 — and that the Soviet collapse was a bad thing.

It goes without saying that the shiftless, pampered youths making these “demands” — as if they had the leverage of a hydrogen bomb hidden in one of their grimy sleeping bags — want a bigger federal government to handle the pesky details of conjuring into existence avenue after avenue of frosted gingerbread houses and endless fields of frolicking baby unicorns.

But their wish list is so scattered that critiquing it is like nailing gravy to a fence post — and I’m not talking about thick, rich bacon gravy, but the thin, dark brown kind that brutalizes many an innocent mashed potato.

Toss in the support that the demonstrators are getting from the likes of Cuba apologist Michael Moore and former Obama administration official and self-described communist Van Jones, and you have the makings of a fiasco of AlGoreithmic proportions.

Pass the popcorn.

Reach Steve Barrett at 423-757-6329 or

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
joe said...

Yet another willfully ignorant column by Monsieur Barrett. Too bad you spend so much time, vainly, trying to be clever instead of insightful. If you've actually read anything that the Occupy Wall Street folks have put out you might not come off sounding like such as ass-wipe, but again, one can only hope. While it may be a vain hope, please allow me to try to enlighten you. The political system in this country is broken. Powerful interests run roughshod over those less powerful. And yes, I know that's the way of the world. But it doesn't mean we have to behave like sheep and blindly accept it. Revolutions begin when people get fed up with the status quo, ask the Tea bagger folks, they'll tell you the same thing. It just so happens that folks on the other side are speaking up. Get used to it there's more coming. While you try to put down the 'demands' that you've managed to dredge up, you ignore the context from which they arise. I don't have the space to refute all your points, which I doubt you'd read, and I am confident I can, I'll choose just a couple. The notion of a free college education is a way to invest in our country. The U.S. is falling behind in the battle to educate our own people to countries that heavily invest in their education system. Part of our problem is the insanely high cost of a higher education. Many so-called leaders and opinion makers don't have a problem investing in a new football stadium, but balk at subsidizing higher education. I don't know about you, but I think that's wrong and ultimately detrimental. Our private health insurance system has succeeded in creating the most expensive health care system in the world. Yet one where millions are shut out because of the cost. We're innovative, yes, but I can't afford most of the treatments protocols out there, and neither can most Americans. Personally, I don't consider that the 'best health care system' in the world. While many folks on the Right malign Canada, and it does have its share or problem, basic access isn't one of those problems. If you need a tummy tuck, well, you might have a wait on your hands. Not in the U.S. of course, but again that's not my priority. I leave you with those two counter arguments, and one other plea. Try doing 'some' research before you put pen to paper, or fingertips to key pad. Whatever floats your boat.

October 16, 2011 at 12:08 p.m.
Livn4life said...

Joe, you got it all figured out and it wreaks of anti-Americanism. Let the protesters protest. Our broken political system continues the carousel of broken promises from both parties who know what needs to be done but do not see that as expedient in doing the right thing if it does not fit in with party agenda which is to maintain power at any cost. If you, or Barrett for that matter, think there is anyone on the horizon who can change that, good luck. Oops I don't believe in luck. But this I know for sure. The US moving more in the direction of Socialism is not and will never be the answer UNLESS...the question is do we want to destroy life and freedom as we know it in this country?

October 16, 2011 at 9:06 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Joe "wreaks (sic) of anti-Americanism?" Oh for god's sake, man, I have seen your many other libertarian-tainted, pompous posts, and you and your libertarian fringe are as anti-American as they come. You don't give a rat's ass about this country, all you care about is your slice of the pie and to hell with everyone else. Your concept of liberty is so self-centered that the idea of “liberty and justice for ALL” (like in the pledge to our flag, ya know) doesn’t even register on your radar screen. As long as you've got yours (which you think, in your ignorance and arrogance, that you attained all on your own, with no benefit whatsoever from government rules and policies that helped to pave the way for you), you turn a blind eye to those who are less fortunate and truly suffering through no fault of their own. Do you have any idea how many people are unemployed, homeless, and/or without health insurance right now who played by the rules, worked hard, set up retirement accounts, and paid their taxes but still lost everything?

If you are cushy and comfortable financially right now, certainly part of the reason can be attributed to your own initiative, hard work, and wise decision making; but everybody - and I mean EVERYBODY - has to have a little luck on their side sometimes. You say you "don't believe in luck." Well, then, you're an idiot. If you have no clue that fate, luck, the grace of God or whatever you want to call it has not had a hand in shaping your life, you are simply too full of yourself to be able to be aware of it.

We are just a double-dip recession or a full-blown depression away from the next upper level of society feeling the hurt that so many felt from the last recession, which is to say, this recession that we are still in. Maybe you are well enough off, or will be LUCKY enough, that you won't hurt then either, but there will probably come a time soon when the dollar will become completely worthless, and no amount of money or status or hubris, such as you have, will protect you. I will be curious to see how far your half-baked libertarian ideals and your flaunted rugged individualism get you when America is just a scrap heap and you find yourself having to mingle with us “socialist” ninety-nine percenters. Good luck, then, dude. Oh yeah, you don’t believe in luck.

October 17, 2011 at 4:33 a.m.
EaTn said...

The point of the occupiers was that they were there in numbers representing all Americans who feel the system has failed for all but a select few. The fire has been lit and won't smolder out until real change happens.

October 19, 2011 at 4:34 a.m.


THIS NEWS IS RELATED TO "WHITES AREN’T WELCOME IN AMERICA ANY LONGER" !!! <== OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009. Facts about lunatic ZIONIST Obama/Bush's twilight zone administrations(HORROR) or genocide against white population.




October 19, 2011 at 6:05 p.m.
Dumbledore403 said...

Steve- Instead of just reading of what is being said about Occupy ...Why don't you come to a meeting...with your ears open and your mouth shut....I would say that to any of the other are getting info from groups that don't even try to be fair...that is not fair either.

October 21, 2011 at 12:11 p.m.
jberry21 said...

You're suggesting that the fall of the Soviet Union had no impact on the countries directly within the regional influence of the U.S.S.R.? That's incredibly against what history would suggest, but that's obviously just your opinion and not history. Perhaps Russian was never in Afghanistan either?

The one uniting principle behind this movement is opposition to corporate welfare. These demands are made in the context of large amounts of tax-payer money going to corporations. The demands present an alternative to corporate welfare, instead investing in our population instead of large corporations that are too insolvent to even exist except in some magical political unreality. So to be clear, you're saying you'd rather give your tax-dollars to a General Motors or Bank of America instead of helping someone pay off their college debt or rebuilding roads or something useful?

I'm going to guess you're also one of those fellows that supports unlimited military spending, judging by your comments about spending during the Cold War. I bet you also love tax cuts, because they promote business? It's naive ideologues like you that need to leave politics alone. Your simple, absolute black and white world is not what reality is composed of. It seems impossible for complexity to exist for you.

October 21, 2011 at 1:41 p.m.

wut a gud collum steve! yur funni smert an ya no yur stuf! I do luv ya boy

now i say ameikins likey tha wons up thar commintin are shor dum--dum an danjerrus--witch isn a verrry baad combanashun

why sum uv yous up thar ur tha wons hoo neeed ta cheq yur FAX! kanaduh! rite! wut doo ani uv yall no abowt Kanaduh er U-Rope er livin thar! stoopid is as stoopid duz and yur awl stoopid wit yur beeg wurds tha meen nuttin! Jes won beeg Ajenduh boyz

Won beeg marxist ajenduh! Git yur butts ovr ta tha Soveet Yoonyun and liv thar fur 2 yars--ur git ovr to Si-beer-eeya whar mullyons uv peeples war keelld by thar gubbermint--fur yars

why try thet on fur siz!! Stoopid dimmmiewitties--mrSteeve is Kor-ek-to!

October 21, 2011 at 5:55 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.