Burden of proof

Who are these people?

I’ve been catching heat from a few people lately because I’m not a Wallbagger fan. I’ve raised a number of concerns I have and the response seems to be “You can’t prove it.”

That gets it completely backwards. I don’t have to prove a damn thing.

I don’t trust the Occupy Wall Street movement. My reasons are simple – I don’t know who these people are or what their goals are. I don’t trust everyone I do know, I’m damn sure not going to trust total strangers.

I’ve been accused of parroting right-wing talking points, but but that’s bullshit because I began forming my opinion of OWS before the wingnuts were even talking about them.

I know this – the original organizers of OWS were Adbusters and Anonymous.

Here are some of the things I want to know:

1. Who is leading the movement? Don’t give me that happy horseshit about horizontal leadership by consensus. What are the names of the people who make the decisions? Who controls the money?

Which brings us to

2. Show me the money. Like the Obama campaign they claim to be supported by lots of small donors. Maybe that’s true or maybe it’s not. Where are the books? How much money has been raised, what has it been spent on, and who controls it?

3. What are their goals, ideology and purpose? That’s another thing I don’t believe for a second – the idea that they have no goals or ideology. Of course they do, that’s why they’re there. Why keep it a secret?

I’ve been trying to get answers to these questions for over a week now. Not only have I not found the answers, I have learned other things that raise concerns.

Now if you don’t share my concerns and want to drink from the Wallbagger punchbowl, then go ahead. I won’t stop you. But I will remain skeptical until my concerns have been addressed to my satisfaction.

Don’t tell me I’m wrong, prove it.

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43 Responses to Burden of proof

  1. crawdad says:

    Why SHOULD we trust them?

  2. foxyladi14 says:

    trust but verify.. 🙂

  3. imustprotest says:

    I don’t get Adbusters. They run ads condemning advertising. They are anti-consumerism….and they organize themselves using cell phones, ipads, via “social networking” sites that have ads all over the place… and search engines like google that track all of your internet surfing in order to strategically spam and pop-up you into buying stuff.

  4. HELENK says:

    I posted this link downstairs. i do not know too much about anonymous but from the threats they are making it does not sound good.
    You get groups of people with various purposes and then manipulate them and it can get ugly.
    The Anti-war protests of the 1960s started out with good intentions and for a good cause, then they were taken over by people who did not have the best interest of the country at heart and it turned ugly and people got killed.


    • myiq2xu says:

      I used your link in my post.


      • HELENK says:

        you are more than welcome.
        Groups like this can be so insidious and dangerous

      • Red Dragon says:

        Brother Clown….

        I understand your mistrust..really I do. I am not one to jump on wagons and I sure as hell hate me some “Kool-Aid.”

        Personally….I was am still am, mistrustful of the police. I have my reasons as I shared them openly.

        I have spoken yo many folks here in Chicago..Those that were at the Occupy Wall Street..Chicago edition and many I have known since childhood so I know why THEY are out there.

        I enjoy your writing and I sure as hell love the way you think but we differ on the police response brother.

        • Red Dragon says:

          sorry for the misspelling..this damn “smart” phone has a mind of it’s own.

        • DeniseVB says:

          Reddragon…My son is a fed and your original “story” of being abused by a police officer “for no reason” set off my Bullsh*t*o*meter.

        • Red Dragon says:


          I am glad your son is a Fed and I am sure he has never sacked anyone around when they questioned his authority but NEVER accuse me of spouting Bull@#%$ to further a story!

          You do not live in my world and I doubt you have ever been “roughed” up simply for asking why you were stopped at a red light!

          I don’t know you and you sure as hell don’t know me so your Bull@#%@ meter is just that…..Bull@$#!!

          I shared something that happened to me many years ago. something my wife and three children witnessed…something that shamed me as a man in front of my family as I could do nothing to defend myself and here your so-called BullS@^$ meter goes off because you’re son is a FED?

          Now…Look who has their head in the sand.

          No need to respond Denise. I won’t be back here to debate you and your “meter.”

        • Three Wickets says:

          Red Dragon, I got mugged and beaten at knifepoint by some minority kids way back when, more than once. And you know, I have never held those specific experiences and generalized against same group. Different strokes.

    • Michael Teuber says:

      I know nothing about the religious feelings of any of this site’s posters and I don’t want to offend. By politics and cultural background I am not predisposed to be sympathetic to ‘Wallbaggers’, but I feel I should point something out.

      The logic of the article (at Pajamas Media) and its structure seem propagandistic. Anonymous (a group whose actual, not feigned, membership is hard to demonstrate) is hostile to Scientology and seeks to use illegal methods to attack a perceived evil. This same group is accused of pulling what amounts to a sick practical joke, using scripts to induce seizures among users of an epilepsy forum. The author observes that Anonymous does not attack sexual traffickers, insinuating that they therefore sympathize with such scum. Classic.

      A cursory Google search for ‘Rob Taylor Scientology’ seems to suggest that the Pajamas Media article is not the first Mr. Taylor has written in apology for, or critical of opponents of, Scientology. See what I did there? Just as Mr. Taylor has no way of knowing whether the ‘Anonymous’ that went after Scientology is the same ‘Anonymous’ that went after the epileptics, I don’t know (and could care less} if the Rob Taylor writing for Pajamas Media is the same one writing apologia for Scientology all over the interwebs.

      For those conversant with Scientology theology the following should seem familiar:

      “Anonymous is Legion, perhaps not in the literal sense, but in a cosmic sense. These individuals coalesced into one entity which has no physical form and exists only to inflict pain on others.”

      Body Thetans anyone?

  5. crawdad says:

    Eyewitness to History!
    Hanging out with Spooky the anarchist, Amy the gender-bender, Sid the Nazi, and other occupiers of Wall Street.

  6. alice223 says:

    I share your questions. I love a good ruckus and I cherish an earnest civil disobedience. However, I can be appalled by Wall Street (as well as K street, media, the White House and Congress) and yet *still* have questions about OWS. Furthermore, the very instant someone reacts strongly to a few simple questions (about funding, organizers, goals), I immediately take a step back and wonder what’s in the punchbowl.

    As someone who spent a political season or two in the Adbusters world, I’m open to the possibility that there isn’t a profound or coherent set of goals behind OWS at all. However, the money angle does make me wonder. As well, I frankly think it’s impossible to oppose Wall Street and then pretend to transcend the politics — the current administration and congress are on the same exact team as Wall Street.

    • I’ll wager that in the end they’ll be on the side of some set of politicians. Just a wild guess, but I’d say Obama will somehow fit the bill. But it will be after much soul searching, mind sharing, and consensus.

    • propertius says:

      I’m not sure the OWS folks are particularly effective, and whether or not they had their origins in astroturf, the astroturfers are certainly out in force trying to co-opt them (at least judging from my mailbox). I do have a few observations as a crotchety old geezer:

      1) For all the hooplah about social media, etc, OWS has been remarkably ineffective at amassing large crowds. Those of us who remember King’s March on Washington or the Moratorium Day demonstrations during Vietnam can recall when it was possible to generate mass demonstrations of hundreds of thousands with only leaflets and word-of-mouth. Twitter seems to be astonishingly useless as an organizational tool.

      2) Yeah, most of them are pretty inarticulate. That’s hardly a surprise. If you’d grabbed a person at random from the big demonstrations of the late 60s and stuck him or her in front of a camera I doubt if you would have heard anything more impressive. I’m sure that the same was true of the anti-globalization marches. There’s a lot of inchoate rage out there, perhaps someone will emerge to give it a voice. Preferably, it won’t be a paid operative (or an agent provocateur).

      3) Your point about K street is well taken. I was discussing this with Mrs. Propertius this morning, and as she wisely observed, if your aim is to see the MOGW punished, then occupying (a park on a side street near) Wall Street is probably not as useful as occupying the DoJ or the SEC. Doubtless the demonstrators just look like ants when seen from the Goldman helicopter.

  7. WMCB says:

    Perhaps it’s an unfair, tinfoil hat suspicion, but all the anonymity on who is putting up websites (most of them are behind anonymous firewalls), and the traces of organizing-that-is-not-organizing, ring alarm bells for me.

    There is too much whiff of anarchists and LaRouchies around the edges of this, as well – more so than the usual few crackpots that are always around.

    The lack of any clear goal, of any clear message, of any attempt at all to pressure elected officials to actually DO anything concrete, is another warning signal for me. It seems to me that keeping it all oddly unfocused is a deliberate thing. Why?

    The way it is shaping up, it seems to be geared more towards putting pressure (and they really don’t care from what quarter or group it comes) on the system to crack it and create a void than anything else. What is NOT clear is who wants that void there, and what they plan to fill it with.

    I’m a student of history. Vague anger and unrest with no real goals in mind (or with a lot of diverse, unrelated in any way goals) very, very, very rarely results in anything I’d want to see. My observation is that in almost every case, there is someone behind the scenes waiting to take advantage of the pot, once all these various utterly unrelated groups have gotten it nice and boiling for them.

    I’m not proposing that anyone has full-scale unrest and revolution in mind. That’s way too extreme, and I’m not THAT tinfoil hat. But enough generalized anger coming from strangely unrelated, disparate quarters to create a distraction of sorts? You betcha. But to what end? Why are all these groups not being encouraged to find agreement in some measurable, concrete way toward a common goal? In fact, there is a sense of subtle discouragement of any specifics, or plan. It’s just applying pressure. The message, if there is one, seems to be:

    “Whoever is pissed off, come be pissed off with us. It doesn’t matter what you want, that’s not what it’s about.”

    Again – WHY? Why have a movement with no measurable goals, or 20 goals that are mutually exclusive? “Inclusiveness” doesn’t cut it for me as a reason – that’s the window dressing on what seems a calculated attempt to keep it all vague and generalized. WHY?

    Who benefits from that?

    *shrug* No, there is not ONE thing I can point to that proves there is anything wrong with this “movement”. But it’s all adding up to alarm bells for me.

    • The Penguin says:

      It would be one thing is this was a coalition of groups with different grievances but this is more like a spleen venting party.

    • Betty says:

      myiq – I don’t trust the Occupy Wall Street movement.

      WMBC – No, there is not ONE thing I can point to that proves there is anything wrong with this “movement”. But it’s all adding up to alarm bells for me.

      Some times your gut just tells you. For some reason that moment for me was when I heard that Joe Biden pretend he didn’t know Van Johnson – right then I knew something was up.

  8. Saudyssey says:

    myiq, How do you “know: the original organizers of OWS were Adbusters and Anonymous? Anyone can make assertions. How do we know this is not paranoid raving?

    Here’s an assertion: some Obama people (Van Jones) have been trying to get on the bandwagon, and supporters mostly see that as a problem. (not mine, so don’t ask me any details.)

    • myiq2xu says:

      Who do you think organized it?

      • From here in Riyadh, the question of who organized the violence at Al-Awamiyah seems more timely, at least from the point of view of my own personal safety. 🙂

        I have no way of evaluating these crowds from here, but if you remember the Oct 5 movement from a couple of years ago, in spite of heavy advertising, and I believe, heavy funding, the crowds that turned out were unexpectedly tiny and composed of the usual suspects: card-carrying communists and the like. Yes, I talked to quite a few of them.

        These core people will turn up at any event, I don’t doubt that, and may even try to jump on the bandwagon and steer it, but the crowds look bigger to me, and from here at least, are more like the Wisconsin group.

        The people trying to discredit them all have that corporatist teabag agenda.

        For now I support them, perhaps Obama and Pelosi can use them to break free of their corporate handlers long enough to accomplish something.

    • DeniseVB says:

      This group’s in DC and thumping their chests about the air and space museum.


  9. yttik says:

    I’m highly suspicious and skeptical.

    I think these protests are good, in terms of people exercising their voice. I also love America. This is the only country where a bunch of misfits can camp out on public streets and everyone is committed to protecting their civil rights. In most places, if you’re blocking the sidewalk, they just shoot you.

    I don’t know why people are always in denial about other people’s intentions and they always demand that you believe. Yeah right, Obama is good and noble and pure. Yeah right, there’s no astroturf on these pure and noble protests. Give me break, people. I can see what’s going on with my own eyes.

  10. DeniseVB says:


    • 1539days says:

      The 53% idea is an amusing way to strike back at this idea that 99% of Americans think they are at the mercy of the top 1%. Tell that to Steve Jobs or Herman Cain. They went from the bottom 10% to the top 10%.

      • WMCB says:

        I see the biggest problem as the corruption and collaborating of govt and certain favored corporations and wealthy, not ALL corporations and wealthy. I really dislike class envy.

  11. Saudyssey says:

    moderation, huh. It doesn’t like me when I’m not signed in to WordPress.

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