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Selfish Protestors Unfairly Victimize the Honest Business Man



The Occupy Wall Street protesters are a mindless rabble of envious deadbeats. When they aren’t doing drugs and breaking laws, they’re busy defecating on police cars and marching on the private homes of businessmen, who dedicate their lives to hard work, entrepreneurship and lawful citizenship. They exude hatred for and jealousy of the most honest and responsible members of our society. They wish to punish those who have done nothing but obey the law and plunder the wealth of those who have done nothing but skillfully utilize their talents.

These rabble-rousers hate the businessman, the man who wakes up at 5 a.m. every morning and works until 9 p.m. six days a week, and only gets to see his lonely wife and precious son and daughter before sunrise as they sleep in bed. The man who risks his very livelihood and the livelihood of his family — his private savings and property, — putting it on the line every day to explore new business ventures. The man who is personally responsible for the success of a firm more complex and efficient than a government agency.

This man’s heart aches over how to ensure that the actions of his company always honor his town, his country, his planet and his God. He provides jobs to thousands of men and women — employees who work half the time, face no personal economic risk, have no responsibility over other men, face no moral dilemmas in their economic decisions and get to come home at 5 p.m. to a smiling family.

He is proud of the wealth of his firm because he knows that his employees, his shareholders and the consumers of his ideas and products have all shared richly in his wealth. Indeed, he is certain that, by the sweat of his brow, he’s brought far more wealth to the world than what he receives in the measly bonus check sitting on his desk at home.

He doesn’t think about that check much, other than what philanthropies, private schools, homeless shelters and local parishes he can give it away to, lest he dishonor his accomplishments by selfishly keeping it all to himself. And what he does have left he spends on his family, the education of his children and the health care of his elderly parents — the immigrant father who worked three menial jobs just to send him to college and the caring mother who taught him to always love God and love his neighbor as himself.

When he comes home, his mind swirling over how to cut costs to avoid laying off more employees — one of whom he knows has cancer and can barely pay his home mortgage — he sees a mob of dirty, drugged-out youths climbing over the fence of his home, frightening his family and threatening to destroy his property.

He notices that one of the kids is a college student at Harvard University and a beneficiary of a private scholarship that he funded through his firm’s unexpectedly high profits last year. He thought he saw potential in that kid. He was polite, went to church, obeyed his parents and wanted to start a business right out of college. Now reeking of alcohol and looking like a vagrant, the kid acts like a common criminal, demanding even more money for less work. What the businessman doesn’t know is that the kid’s professor is giving the kid extra credit for his participation in the protests.

These wastrels stand against everything we treasure as Americans. They seek to destroy the very society that puts clothes on their back and food in their stomachs. They wield the very freedoms that their government protects in order to demand that the government rob the honest, hardworking man of his freedom. They seek to legalize theft in order to subsidize their loathsome behavior.

They are counterrevolutionaries against the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and they must be discredited as such. The Occupy Wall Street crowd, and all the media and academic elites that support them, ought to be shunned by all decent Americans so that they may suffer the shame and stigmatization that their destructive ideology deserves. We must never allow their vision of an America divided by envious hatred to become a reality.

Steven Begakis is a fourth-year political science major and president of UCSB’s College Republicans club.

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69 Responses to Selfish Protestors Unfairly Victimize the Honest Business Man

  1. Gregory N. Rice Reply

    December 21, 2011 at 12:24 am

    The killing of Al-alawaqi seems just right. But killing is never an answer towards peace.

  2. Joshua Reply

    October 24, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Editors at the Nexus, I implore you! Think about how the decisions you make every day, carry weight!

    Whenever a group, a position, an idea is attacked by a writer in the paper, many, i repeat MANY students, do not bother responding to the attack, because they already see the Nexus as an institution that is part of the problem. The barriers the Nexus has, whether they are by choice or by design, discourage student submissions. And every submission you DONT publish, is an opportunity lost. How many students whose submissions where not accepted, felt ignored and immediately discouraged from participating in one of the most important aspects of a thriving democracy! Free Speech, Public Forums and Journalism.

    I tell you, the best you can do for the students now, is NOT good enough!

    “The job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” – Finley Peter Dunne

  3. Riley Schenck Reply

    October 24, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Dude, Joshua, you need to chill out man. If you are so concerned about transparency at the Nexus, I would encourage you to go down to the Nexus office and talk with Jenna and Janna about your concerns(they are the opinion editors and I can assure you they are in no kind of collusion with Steven). I personally would be interested in reading about why you think the Nexus shouldn’t have printed this article, as ridiculous as it was. I think you may have some basis for your argument based off of Baxter’s own comment that the editors tend to reject “pieces that are absurd simply for the sake of absurdity.” Obviously the editors felt that in the end Steven’s piece fell short of that threshold, but I’m sure they would welcome a piece that addresses the issue of censoring absurdity vs. upholding free speech and where to draw the line, and how they erred in their judgement on Steven’s piece.

    However, if you go off and write your own extremely provocative piece with no basis in reality just to try and get the nexus to censor you so you can prove a point, what good does that do for anybody? Do you want to be just an angry Daily Nexus comment board “troll” (to use your own words) fumming about how fucked up the world is or do you want to add to the discussion in a way that Steven didn’t and actually make a difference?

    • Joshua Reply

      October 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm

      This is the problem with the choices that the editors make. By actually printing his article, they have given him credibility! undue credibility!
      Someone like me, that can only respond in this forum, can easily be dismissed, regardless of how good a point I bring up. I have not been given credibility by the editors as Steve Begakis has.

      I know friends and community members that have contributed pieces to the Nexus, and many a times, their pieces have been rejected for god knows what. Some of them spent a great deal of effort researching their topic, others poured their heart out. and more often than not, these pieces have been put aside for the great pillars of journalism that the Nexus has to offer.

      • Joshua Reply

        October 24, 2011 at 6:43 pm

        ei the police blotter, the sex column, the debauchery column. idk, just think of the most prolific columns in the nexus, and I guess thats what the nexus prefers to write about weekly.

      • Jana Barrett (Opinion Co-Editor) Reply

        October 24, 2011 at 7:06 pm

        Joshua, we would be happy to consider running anything you submit to us. It’s upsetting to know that you find our editorial standards to be so low, because I, as well as Jenna, would never disregard a piece solely because we disagree with its perspective. If your friends and acquaintances have been rejected in the past, it is likely that it had nothing to do with the quality of their writing or the validity of their statement. Our schedule for Opinion is chaotic, and we aren’t able to run pieces that we wish we could. The amount of space we receive each day is not up to us. I completely agree that these pieces that don’t make it into the paper should at the very least be posted online, and that is something we are working toward. Our roadblock has been, most simply, the fact that we too are students with demanding class schedules as well as extra jobs besides the Nexus. We couldn’t possibly read every piece that comes our way and then place extra work upon the copy team (who practically lives at the office already) to edit those pieces when they won’t appear in print form. We have a set schedule of columns that run weekly, and we try to fit letters to the editor in as often as possible – especially if they are applicable to current events and we see some quality in them that needs recognition or, in this article’s case, represents a viewpoint that we believed the student body should know is out there, no matter our opinions on it. I apologize that you feel dismissed and unrepresented. That is certainly not mine or Jenna’s intention, and we work each day to better ourselves as editors and more justly represent the student body. I hope that in the future you feel compelled to voice your opinion directly to us, because we are more than willing, as Riley said, to meet with anyone who feels that we are not doing our job as we should.

        • Joshua Reply

          October 24, 2011 at 7:34 pm

          The Nexus is an important part of our community here at UCSB, in fact it has been and should always be the nexus of public forum for any and all campus issues.

          If you as employees of the Nexus wont advocate for yourselves, then who do you expect will? You’ve given me a set of problems, problems which many newspapers are facing today. I suspect ad revenue is hard to come by, I suspect that doing the entire operation, every day, is already extremely demanding and taxing. But, what is the point of doing all of that, if in the process of keeping the body of the nexus alive, that is, keeping the entire Nexus alive, by cutting out student submissions, sticking to sensationalism to sell ad space and having most of the paper be full page ads, what is the point of doing all of that, if in the process you lose the soul of the Nexus!

          Im sure there is a solution to those problems! Does anyone in the Nexus fundraise or ask for donations? Has the nexus considered a volunteer program for the copy team? Have you considered reducing the font? Reducing the size of student submissions? Do you ever think of publishing student artwork online? Have you considered just publishing student submissions without copy editing with a caption that explains that it has not been copy edited?

          I dont know what would work or what wouldnt work.

          I cant imagine how hard it must be to do it all.

          But I am here to tell you that its not working now.

  4. Joshua Reply

    October 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    To Baxter:

    Wow, it is amazing to me that the ramblings of a mere troll have been elevated to the level of Nexus editorial staff. To think that one of them would have to succumb and condescend to the level of a troll like me and actually have to respond and defend the Nexus from the baseless accusations of a troll.

    To the Nexus:
    Shame on you! Shame on you for printing this article.

    1. Your first obligation as a student newspaper, is to the student body at large. That means, looking out for the interests of the student body as a whole.

    2. Your selection process is not open and transparent. Has no accountability. Editorial decisions about what is published, is done in private, and at the discretion of the editors.

    3. A lack of transparency over the process, and a lack of standards over which editors can appeal to when making an editorial decision, leaves the process open to conflicts of interest and/or favoritism.

    Throughout the years, Ive seen instances of biased news reporting, shoddy journalism or people just blatantly reporting with an agenda on the Nexus.

    This is why I feel the time has come to fight back! I demand that the Nexus become transparent, with an open process, with clear guidelines over what the requirements are so that a submission may be accepted.
    A process that will insure that there can be no viewpoint discrimination! That ensures that as long as these guidelines are met, every piece submitted by a student will be accepted by the Nexus!
    The Nexus Cabal will need to end! Favoritism, bias and conflicts of interests have no place in a paper funded by student dollars!

    I for one, will not vote to reinstate the lock-in fee for the Nexus, and I for one encourage every other student to vote no on the student lock-in fee, until transparency, openness and clear editorial guidelines are established by the paper!!!

    The nexus should know better! any member of the nexus who was at the editorial meeting, that was involved in the decision making process, should have recused himself from making that final decision! Because of the mere possibility, the mere appearance of a conflict of interest!!!

    What a lack of ethics, what a lack of accountability! I am DISGUSTED!

    • Joshua Reply

      October 24, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      I lack an understanding of freedom of speech. Rabble Rabble Rabble…

    • Editor in Chief Reply

      October 24, 2011 at 6:13 pm

      For clarification purposes, please see the following excerpt from the Daily Nexus Editorial Code:

      “Realizing the need for diverse viewpoints, we open our editorial pages to all opinions. We are not a representative of the university or of the students, but are editorially free and independent under the rights granted to us by the First and Fourteenth amendments to the United States Constitution — a freedom we will defend with unceasing vigor. We will defend the rights of any member of the university communities if those rights are abridged, and present all sides of the case. We feel that it is more than just a privilege to publish a student newspaper, but a duty demanded by a democratic society.”

      In addition, yes; editorial decisions are made in private at the discretion of the editors. As an independent entity, this is our right.

      In regards to accusations of bias, I encourage you to read the several other articles we’ve printed regarding the OWS movement which represent a wide range of perspectives and opinions on the matter.

      Lastly, it would be spatially impossible for a paper that receives over 90 percent of its revenue from advertising and less than ten from a $3.85-per-quarter lock-in fee to print every student submission. However, the Bottom Line is an alternate campus publication entirely funded by Associated Students. I encourage you to also send your opinions their way.

      • Joshua Reply

        October 24, 2011 at 6:34 pm

        Thats no excuse. Your own staff admits there is almost no submissions from students. On top of that, you have a website that could provide endless amount of space for those opinions.

        In my view, if you are funded by the students, you at least owe them that much. Whether it be because of topics you as an editorial staff deem hot or not hot, relevant or not, educated or not, some voices are not being heard.

  5. Dean Reply

    October 19, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Mr. Steven Begakis,

    Seeing as an overwhelming majority of the comments on this piece confront you on factual and logical grounds, do you anticipate responding to any of these critiques of your opinion?

    I certainly hope you do as the dialogue would be both enjoyable and informative. Please reference to facts, rather than “facts”, when writing your response to ensure that it is not skewered like your original piece.

    Thanks,

    Dean

    • upvote Reply

      October 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm

      UPVOTE!

      • Joshua Reply

        October 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm

        agreed, upvote

  6. Mike Reply

    October 19, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    For the sake of journalistic integrity, I hope the Nexus selects a few of the more effective comments and reprints them in the paper. It’s rare that an article gets so much attention and feedback; students on campus should know that everyone agrees with them about how crazy this article is.

    • Joshua Reply

      October 19, 2011 at 11:00 pm

      yeah, about that. It seems they decided to put up some weak sauce bs article. fucking WEAK

  7. max Reply

    October 19, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Cash is made out of cellulose fibers, mostly cotton and flax. Who wants to go grow some cotton and flax?

    <3
    max

  8. John Reply

    October 19, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I don’t even know politics but this is terrible writing. No support to the argument, just pointing fingers and babbling.

  9. Joshua Reply

    October 19, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Here’s a good idea! Lets ask businesses to STOP hiring, as a way to protest Obama’s failed policies! YEAH! THATS THE TICKET! LETS STOP HIRING as a PROTEST agasing Obamas “WAR against business and my country”.

    This is the kind of partisan lunacy, Steve Begakis belongs to!

  10. VE Reply

    October 18, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    I’m not sure if this satire is intentional or not.

    Well done, sir, on demonstrating the ignorance of yourself and those that think similarly. I don’t mean that as an insult, because you seem intelligent and write coherently. Intelligent but misinformed. But like others have said, your appeal to emotion and lack of a well-reasoned argument really detracts from your persuasiveness. It hurts your cause. Stop watching Fox News and do some research.

    Start with gini coefficients, Citizens United vs FEC, the Glass-Steagall Act, regulatory capture, and the relationship between productivity and income in the last, oh, sixty years. And stop with the sweeping generalizations of the protesters – it’s very poor form and reflects badly upon you. Democracy does NOT mean “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge”. Get some facts (Fox News does not count).

    Hateful rhetoric is counterproductive.

    • Joshua Reply

      October 18, 2011 at 11:49 pm

      it is not, Steve Begakis has been writing for this paper for 3+ years now.
      He was a right said columnist, then he was an opinion editor, now he is doing god knows what else inside the nexus.
      He was a good campus republican, brought us David Horowitz last year. now he is campus republican’s new president. we have quite a celebrity writing this shit.

      He is a good butt boy for the right wing crazies. he likes regurgitating right wing lunacy.

      • Jack Reply

        October 20, 2011 at 12:53 am

        Mr. Begakis is no longer employed by the Daily Nexus. This article was submitted as an independent column to our opinion section. Also if you are going to criticize someone for being radical and having potentially offensive views, calling them a “butt boy” isn’t the best way to go about it.

        • Joshua Reply

          October 20, 2011 at 12:25 pm

          oh, did my little comment sting?

          I stand by my comment. Even if Begakis has left the nexus, it is still clear that he still has ties to the Nexus, and that he calls on those ties as a way to gain a platform from which to speak and voice his opinion.

          He is clearly partisan and biased. And unlike other “independent” columns, his has a clear conservative/republican agenda. All the more obvious by the fact that he is the president of college republicans, and a former writer of the right said column.

          This is the kind of writing I despise the most, it throws out several claims that he fails to support with evidence. He refuses to be charitable to the other side. He refuses to even engage with plausible objections or counter arguments. As other people have pointed out, he resorts to name calling, appealing to emotion and straw mans, with a host of other fallacies to boot. It mimics the ideological bent of propaganda artists at Fox News and other internet blogs.

          It is not that he has “radical” or “offensive” views, it is the way that he takes a shit on critical thinking. His entire approach aims to forward someone else’s agenda and his words are someone else’s. He regurgitates talking points, like any good butt boy in the republican party.

          • Geoffrey Reply

            October 20, 2011 at 1:13 pm

            I agree with everything you’ve said except this:

            “Even if Begakis has left the nexus, it is still clear that he still has ties to the Nexus, and that he calls on those ties as a way to gain a platform from which to speak and voice his opinion.”

            I’m not perfectly sure that’s true. To be honest, although I am not an editor, I don’t get the feeling that he’s competing against a lot of other submissions on any given day. Because the Nexus is a daily publication with a relatively small circulation rate (compared to most dailies), I don’t think they are swamped with letters and op-ed pieces every day.

            Whether you think his pieces deserve to be published is another matter, but the Nexus takes a pretty laissez-faire approach to printing different opinions, unless they are unarguably offensive (though I’ve read some that really, really push it).

            • Joshua Reply

              October 20, 2011 at 1:24 pm

              When you work at an institution and leave. You still have an advantage over others, because you know how the institution operates. I have to wonder if his letter would have been accepted had he used a different alias.

              • Baxter Reply

                October 24, 2011 at 2:26 am

                So that means you think that this piece gives Steven an … advantage? You think he manipulated the editorial staff into printing this, which they agreed to in order to further the aims of … Steven? Joshua, sir: Please check yourself before you wreck yourself.

                • Baxter Reply

                  October 24, 2011 at 2:31 am

                  Also, I believe the Nexus’ complex “institutional operations” consist of receiving emails that contain opinion submissions. These submissions are encouraged in one line of text that explains the email submission process and graces the top of each day’s opinion page. Yep, that institutional knowledge really boosted him to the top with this one.

                  • Joshua

                    October 24, 2011 at 2:42 am

                    you seem to misunderstand the way institutions work.
                    there might be an explicit set of rules, but there are also implicit rules.

                    for example, a submission that is 250 words might not be taken as seriously as a submission that is 750 words.

                    Some submissions might be picked, simply because they fit the theme the editor wants, or because there is extra space available for say a 500 word piece rather than a 750 word piece.

                    some pieces might be rejected on an editors own view of what good writing is or isnt. or on their subjective taste for topics, writing style or on their idea of what a good argument is or isnt.

                    someone who knows or is known withing the nexus, prob has a better chance of getting his piece out there, simply because he has already written for the nexus, which might alter opinions from the editors, on whether or not the piece submitted is of good quality or not.

                    more likely than not, the mere fact that he has written for the nexus before, gives him less scrutiny from other nexus staff.

                    Id say all of these statements are at least plausible scenarios in which being a former daily nexus employee, gives him an edge over other writers.

                • Joshua Reply

                  October 24, 2011 at 2:34 am

                  Please check yourself before you wreck yourself.

                  If you are not going to bother reading my comments carefully, then Im not going to bother responding to your comments.

                  Quote me, and show me how I apparently accused Steve of manipulating the editorial staff.

              • L Reply

                October 24, 2011 at 3:27 am

                Letters to the editor are way different than weekly columns. They’re often intended to stir up conversation, both by the writer (which is pretty obvious in this case) and the editors. Clearly this article is ridiculous, but look at the intelligent discussion that has come out of it. Probably the most comments I’ve seen on a single post here in I don’t know how long. Stuff like this prompts way more thought and discussion than some news article outlining the occupy protests. Just because Steven worked for the Nexus doesn’t mean that they’re more likely to be swayed by his opinion. Take a look at any other article about Occupy they’ve printed and you’ll see that if there’s any bias it’s fully in the other direction.

                • Joshua Reply

                  October 24, 2011 at 7:53 am

                  This is ridiculous! I cant believe how many seem so keen on defending this opinion piece. Discussing the “collateral merits” of it.
                  L, you are very naive if you really think that the article is “clearly ridiculous”. You are even more naive if you think that any of the comments on this page, have had the same amount of circulation that the article with his ridiculous opinion did.

                  The only other article Ive seen on OWS, has been weaksauce. And no where near as radical.

                  All of you grieving over my accusation that the Nexus doesnt handle submissions fairly. Id challenge you to submit an equally ridiculous 750 word piece sometime this week. If you, a no name, anonymous average reader of the nexus can get your submission to be printed in the nexus, then I will take it back.

                  I will be writing my own submission, and I intend to make it as ridiculous as steve begakis did his. If in 2 weeks I see an opinion piece talking about how we should go back to communism, then Ill admit defeat. Any equally ridiculous or outrageous submission will count in my eyes, all you have to do is take credit.

                  If in 2 weeks time, I see nothing of the sort, I will declare my point proven.

                  • Masada

                    October 24, 2011 at 10:49 am

                    Hahahaha dude Steven must be thrilled about how much time and attention you’ve wasted on his article. Keep fighting the good fight Joshua maybe you will be inducted into the Nexus commenter hall of fame as a reward.

                  • L

                    October 24, 2011 at 11:31 am

                    Seriously, I’m gonna have to second Masada on that one. Every time I see your name on these message boards it’s the regurgitated intelligence of someone else in a previous comment. If you’re going to call other people naive for having less hateful and more optimistic views on things, then maybe it’s time to “check yourself.” Trolling the message boards to criticize every single thing possible (including any article that opposes Begakis’s, which, by the way, couldn’t possibly be as radical because NORMAL thought in itself is not radical) isn’t exactly a mature, intellectual way to state your point. On top of that, you entirely misconstrued my point by stating that I’m “defending” Begakis’s piece and assuming that I believe the circulation of these comments is a great as this article. Both of those are blatantly untrue. Geoffrey also makes a great point: well crafted submissions probably aren’t just flying out of the student body’s fingers and into the Nexus’ email. And if you plan on submitting an article on communism, which is neither comparative to this article as a current issue nor relative in its intention, then you aren’t trying to put forth an intelligent argument, you’re just trying to satisfy your sad view of the world. If you’re so heated over this, send in your own retort!!!!!!

                  • Baxter

                    October 24, 2011 at 1:53 pm

                    Thank you, L, for providing some logic. Joshua, I’ll leave it at this: you have no idea how the Nexus works. There was extensive debate regarding whether or not to print Mr. Begakis’ piece; the editorial staff eventually decided to run it because they felt it would spark intelligent debate on a relevant issue (which it did). I’m intrigued by the process that you feel will prove your “point” as it has no basis in reason that I can discern. If you were more involved in the situation, you would understand quite clearly why your claim that the Nexus editorial staff went out of its way to unfairly promote Mr. Begakis’ point is truly ridiculous. Feel free to send in a nonsensical piece of your own, but the opinion editors have no obligation to publish any submissions and choose the articles at their discretion, which generally includes ruling out pieces that are absurd simply for the sake of absurdity. You have so much to learn about the world.

  11. Aleks Reply

    October 18, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    I really hope this a joke…

    • Joshua Reply

      October 18, 2011 at 11:49 pm

      not a joke, hes the real deal

  12. Michael Reply

    October 18, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    This is the biggest joke I’ve ever read. No wonder the College Republicans are such a pathetic club.

    • Joshua Reply

      October 18, 2011 at 11:50 pm

      not a joke, he is the real deal. in fact, he is the president of the college republicans. he is a complete embarrassment, I know. but he is fo reals

  13. Andrew H. Reply

    October 18, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    -Sir,

    Though you do raise a fair point that many corporate officers are honest and hardworking people, you can not deny the legitimate claims of the OWS protesters.

    There can be no argument as to whether real wages for the middle class have dropped over the last thirty years. Furthermore, corporate profits are as strong if not stronger than they have ever been. All the while, middle class Americans are increasing seeing their jobs being automated and shipped overseas. When you consider the amount of tax-payer money pumped into the private sector as of late and the lack of respect and humility that these firms have shown in light of that, it is small wonder that so many are taking to the streets.

    That being said, there is quite a bit of unnecessary regulation and waste in the economy today. Consider the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002), which has heaped numerous wasteful and unnecessary restrictions onto the already exhaustive reporting requirements on financial statements. However, it was the de-regulatory trends of the last 30 years that undoubtedly lead us down this path to recession. What we really need is more effective regulation that does things like remove the ability to reward corporate officers with bonuses for bringing up let income by decreasing salaries expense. Laying off a thousand workers to make the other 500 do three times the work. Employees are the most valuable resource in a firm and this too often applied way to cut corners just to scrape an extra hundred million of profit will be disastrous in the long term.

    Unfortunately, Congress and really government in general is too responsive to the purse and not responsive enough to the people. Those who have the money, make the rules, thus the private sector will always have a louder voice than the people. Thus, while none of the acts of the private sector have been illegal, they certainly have been ethically questionable. The people are right to feel that they should be heard. However, you’re right in that these protests are counterproductive.

    Protests in the street, while not a terrible thing, ultimately will not change the current system. Unless there is some sort of bloody coup, at the end of the day, these protests will be forgotten. What the people need to do is collectively gather their resources together and speak in a voice that congress and the private sector can hear. If every one of the OWS people put in even a few dollars, that would be an effective way to raise a large amount of capital. If there are immoral firms out there, purchase their stocks on the open market. Vote at their shareholders meetings and throw the immoral bums out of office. Speak to the private sector on a level that they can understand. That is the real way to accomplish real change.

    However, as a closing comment, I must address the tone in which you wrote the article. The sweeping generalizations you made about the OWS protesters are crass and in poor taste. Many of the protesters at this event are non-violent and are merely exercising their first amendment rights. Though there are undoubtedly violent and unruly protesters, but there are certainly immoral and corrupt corporate officers.

    Though I recognize what you’re trying to accomplish with these unfair and slanted appeals to emotion, they fundamentally are a poor substitute for well reasoned thought. Please try to be more respectful of your contemporaries, because after all, we’re all in this together.

  14. Alumni Reply

    October 18, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Steven Begakis,

    I’m sure you’ve stopped reading these comments because no one likes to be publicly chastised, but in the glimmering hope that you will come across these words, I want you to know that you exemplify everything wrong with the prevalent journalistic practice of news organizations today. Consequently, it is falsified, self-proclaimed “journalists” such as yourself, that have made the public distrust of journalism sadly widespread. (And even more sadly deserved)

    Common Sense: Steven, you will fail in this profession. Give up before you find yourself the Jayson Blair of your generation.

    In that vein, I think the Times’ quote regarding Blair’s actions ring eerily true for your short-sighted analysis of OWS: “a profound betrayal of trust and a low point in the 152-year history of the newspaper.”

    Do us all a favor, and never write again.

    The public gives you the right, and you just shit on the public.

  15. Emperor Norton Reply

    October 18, 2011 at 1:11 am

    A number of points have been made here, and I will endeavor to repeat none of them. Others, good people all, have explained that you are making a straw man of the arguments of a vast number of disenfranchised people, and a lot of heated words have flown out about how you’re living a dream. Not my place to say more about it, mister Begakis.

    But if I may, Mr. Begakis, I’d like to talk to you a little bit about your methods of argumentation. You see, what you’ve done is taken a large number of people angry about a lot of things and compared them to a single hypothetical businessman. You haven’t named any businessmen who are like this. I don’t think you’ve interviewed any. You’ve just described a person who you and I would like to believe exists and is the majority- or maybe even the totality- of people running big corporations.

    The problem with doing that is that you’re presenting the goodness, honesty and work ethic of a hypothetical man as possessing greater validity than the struggles of a whole lot of people who have actually spoken to reporters. Their grievances are on record. They are unequivocally real.

    I’m not saying your hypothetical businessman doesn’t exist. I’m saying that you’re making up a person and saying his life is more important than all the people out there that weren’t made up. That doesn’t fly in argument.

    And then you do something that really makes me upset, Mr. Begakis. You commit a No True Scotsman fallacy.

    Anyone who disagrees with your viewpoint is not a decent American, eh?

    You’ve studied political science, Mr. Begakis. Do you remember anything about the McCarthy era? About how easy it was to brand anyone whose political ideology you didn’t agree with as not being a “Decent American”? And about what that did to this country?

    So why are you doing it?

    You want to take the title “American” and make it into a weapon. You want to take a small group of people and say “We’re the real Americans, and we’re under attack.” And that’s not right.

    People who stand up for what they believe is just… That’s what real Americans are. That’s what you’re doing. You think that the government needs to take a step back from controlling people, because the people know best how to take care of their lives. You believe in self-reliance, and you’re standing up for that principle.

    Except you’re the one who started off his little diatribe by poisoning the well. “A mindless rabble of envious deadbeats.” Really.

    Don’t write again. Go to your professors and demand a refund, because what they have taught you is certainly not how to participate in politics. What you seem to have picked up is how to throw feces at people in the sandbox.

    • Karl Reply

      October 18, 2011 at 11:04 am

      Thank you, I hope you send this in to the Nexus to be published. We can’t let his accusations go unanswered

  16. Beaner Reply

    October 17, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Ig’nant fuck.

  17. Geoffrey Reply

    October 17, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Before I say anything, let me say that my feelings on the OWS protests will be expressed in next week’s “Left Said” column. They are by no means 100% positive…although they do contrast with this article’s viewpoint quite a bit.

    Steven, this is one of the best (and by that I mean worst) examples of the strawman argument I’ve ever seen in my life. Nearly 70% of this article–do a simple word count to confirm–is dedicated to rhetoric extolling the life of a typical American Dream hero, perfect in every way. First off, that’s a shitload of space to allocate to something which essentially amounts to an extremely long and exclusively emotional argument about a hypothetical person who bears very, very little resemblance to the people this movement is protesting against.

    “The Occupy Wall Street protesters are a mindless rabble of envious deadbeats. When they aren’t doing drugs and breaking laws, they’re busy defecating on police cars and marching on the private homes of businessmen, who dedicate their lives to hard work, entrepreneurship and lawful citizenship.”

    Let me sum that up more concretely: “Get off my lawn! The kids these days!”
    Seriously, what a sweeping statement of a broad-based movement. Do you judge all classifications of people on such narrow, apple-picked stereotypes? I have no idea if this is true, but I wouldn’t find it hard to believe that there are outspoken racists in the Tea Party movement. Do I care? No. They do not stand for the feelings of most TP protestors.

    Steven, I know you are probably thinking right now, “Ah yeah, they’re so pissed. Look at them squirm.” I know you probably feel as it’s you’re doing your job right about now.

    But pissing people off isn’t any good unless you’re in the right. Being controversial alone is NOT a virtue.

    • Riley Schenck Reply

      October 17, 2011 at 11:31 pm

      “Pissing people off isn’t any good unless you’re in the right.”

      Careful there Geoffrey, don’t give Steven that cop-out; obviously he believes that he is in fact “in the right” ideologically. But writing just for the sake of pissing people off (while it may be in line with his personal ambitions to be a conservative blogger or the next Karl Rove) is counterproductive overall to his cause as a conservative. Polls show over 50% of Americans support the Occupy Wall Street movement. If anybody was swayed by this foolish piece of propaganda (Last time I heard “counterrevolutionaries” was from the mouths of Ghadaffi and Ahmadinejad), they were swayed in the direction of finding out more about the movement.

  18. rick hauer Reply

    October 17, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    This child is an idiot and its sad that he is a 4th year student Can you imagine whom he gets his values from and thats the problem we have in our country today. He will probably end up working for Christopher Cox…….

  19. Dean Reply

    October 17, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Steven,

    I believe, quite simply, that OWS is the symptom of a disease. That disease can be called “the undue influence of money in politics”.

    Stick with me for a second: Do politicians regularly grant lunch audiences to constituents who do not donate sizable amounts of something valuable (time / money, for instance) to their campaigns? Why not?

    How often does the “normal” constituent have the chance to sit down with their elected representative and, in a personal and one-on-one setting, tell that person what they think is wrong with x or y? Why are these interactions so rare?

    OWS is a populist, frustrated, response to a lack of perfeived representation by our elected leaders. Special interest groups (From Move On to the Koch brothers) have hijacked this country’s government and future and have direct-dial lines to our leaders while individual voters cannot even get a hand-signed letter back from their elected representatives.

    OWS wants to hand back the power to the people from the group of corporate and private entities backing the two entrenched political parties.

    OWS is a “takes all comers” movement. You have your SINGLE vote just like every other American citizen. Use it.

    OWS wants to see a more equitable distribution of wealth in the country. Labeling a person with a desire to see equitable distribution of wealth as a “mob of drugged-out, dirty… wastrels” only does a disservice to what you can contribute to this dialogue.

    Are you arguing that the current distribution of wealth is the best possible thing for this country? I see you are a political science major – have you taken advanced coursework in Math-based economics? How do your models predict that maintaining the status quo will help our country from the current slump in our economy and our morale? How does the widening gap between the 80th, 95th, and 99th percent of income earners, coupled with our fluctuating economy in the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s, reconcile with the supply-side argument that the “trickle-down” group makes?

    How do you imagine we should address food insecurity and “poverty” wages for people who were not born into families fortunate enough to support their children? Should we force sterilization? Prison camps? Re-institute slavery?

    Steve, you paint a very pretty picture of your idea of the perfect (godly, pious, community-service minded and successful) business man. Are you truly so delusional as to believe all executives and business leaders are cut from the same stock? What of those that are not?

    I am in the 90th percentile of household income, Steve. I, perhaps, am the man you write of in your article. I see that there is something wrong with the system and the frustration of the masses will not go away simply because the establishment attempts to discredit them with straw-man arguments.

    Occupy Wall Street is gaining global momentum because people are fed up with privatized gains, public losses, and golden parachutes. If someone piloted a jet full of nuns into a pit of fire, why should they be able to jump to safety before the explosion?

  20. Jazz Reply

    October 17, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    I can’t wait ’til this guy graduates and can’t find a job.
    CAN’T FUCKING WAIT.

  21. Castorp Reply

    October 17, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    He provides jobs to thousands of men and women — employees who work half the time, face no personal economic risk, have no responsibility over other men, face no moral dilemmas in their economic decisions and get to come home at 5 p.m. to a smiling family.

    Steve,

    That’s a lovely dream world you’ve concocted for yourself.

    May you never awaken from your slumbers.

  22. MTSchneider Reply

    October 17, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Can I get an actual source of the of mentioned student and Harvard proffessor giving extra credit and relationship to the honest buisinessman who gave money to Harvards scholarship who atteneded the same church. Thanks.

    Protesting what is wrong with our government institutions is as American as baseball and apple pie. Whereas, the ‘conservatives’ call protest anti-American reduces the arguement to be…”don’t even think of protesting or criticising this poor wall street banker”.

    I don’t think the protestors have problems with banks as a whole, but, instead, they aren’t accepting the common practice of corporations sending jobs overseas, not paying their taxes, lack of econmoic opportunities for people of color or other minorities in the USA. For the conservatives to look the other way is to say, “that bank robber has such a sweet smile and couldn’t see his family as a fugitive” instead of evaluating the real actions of the bank robber. In wall streets case, the banks have, to put it mildly, fucked up the global financial system. Yes banks do give loans and spur growth but thats not to say they claim a natural right of which they do not have to be “to big to fail”.

    Even though I am indifferent about the OWS I think you are entirely missing the point or ignoring it. It is possible to lie by ommision, but i’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

    • Common Sense Reply

      October 17, 2011 at 12:54 pm

      A couple points about the OWS.
      First, and most the obvious: what is the objective of OWS? I have never seen a more disorganized and disillusioned set of individuals before. The list of demands that were released were ideological at best. OWS fails to realize how our government is structured and what is under State and Federal control. Even if their demands were partially met, which they won’t be, it would topple our economic system and we all would be way worse off then we are now.

      Second point: What is the point of occupying Wall Street and blaming corporations and stock brokers? If any of these protesters actually went to class to get an education, they would know that simple economics explains that employers cannot hire more individuals when they do not have the money to do so. Also, without government incentive (lowering taxes) why should corporations hire?

      Third point: Granted corporations and “to big to fail” banks initially caused the economic downturn, the current administration has vastly made the problem worse. Passing the three largest spending bills when we didn’t have the money to do so…opps! Bet they regret that one. Instead of protesting Wall St. this should be directed at the Obama administration. However, this will never happen because the first thing liberals learn in How to be a Liberal 101, is to never accept that your wrong, even when Common Sense AND the Media is shouting it in your face.

      All of these points are Common Sense…too bad they don’t have any, otherwise this anger and motivation could be directed at something productive instead of sitting on their asses smoking pot.

      • Riley Schenck Reply

        October 17, 2011 at 3:23 pm

        To Steven and “Common Sense,”

        The article above is, in all due respect, disgusting and sounds more like what you would expect to hear from the propaganda arm of an authoritarian government, than an opinion piece dedicated to opening discussion in a democratic environment.

        You have some gross misconceptions about what the Occupy Wall Street protests are about. While we can argue over ideological differences, what you wrote above adds absolutely nothing to the discussion and makes you look incredibly ignorant and foolish. The above piece is the clearest example of the straw man fallacy I’ve ever seen, while lacking any semblance of empirical evidence to back up your assumptions. If I hadn’t already read some of your previous articles, I would have wondered if the piece was a satire.

        I’ve posted the article I wrote on the protests last Tuesday below. I would love to hear an intelligent response. However, what you wrote above is nothing more than baseless rhetoric dripping with hatred and contempt.

        As you may or may not know, for almost a month now there have been thousands of people occupying a park near Wall Street in New York City as part of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. This is not a few hippies camping out in a park smoking dank and singing Kumbaya; this is thousands and thousands of people from all walks of life protesting on Wall Street every day against corporate greed, and around the rallying cry of “We are the 99 percent.” However, the mainstream media has paid little attention to the protests, and what coverage there has been typically revolves around the supposed “unclear aims” of the movement.

        Take new CNN anchor Erin Burnett on her show OutFront, for example. In a segment she calls (be sure to use your best Valley-Girl accent) “Seriously?!” Burnett goes down to Wall Street in order to find out what, exactly, the protests are about since, according to her, “nobody seems to know.” After smugly characterizing the protesters as banjo-playing, bongo-drumming, designer-yoga-pant-sporting hypocrites, she tries to make a fool of a gullible, unemployed computer software developer named “Dan.” Dan is frustrated with the bank bailout, but instead of letting him explain why, Burnett condescendingly informs him that the banks paid back all their bail out money plus interest, so there isn’t any good reason for the continuing “unrest.”

        Seriously, Burnett? Seriously? “OMG, Seriously can you dirty hippies puuuhleease just, like, go away, ‘cuz ur totally making my Citigroup Executive fiancé like, serially P-O’d…”

        Hey, Burnett, there’s a reason why all these protestors chose to protest on Wall Street, the financial capitol of the world, and not Madison Square Garden. I’m also fairly confident that when you hear a crowd chant, “We are the 99 percent,” they are not claiming they are the 99 percent of people that like ice cream. Put two and two together and it’s really not difficult to decipher the motive behind “Occupy Wall Street.” It’s not about whether or not the banks have paid back the bailouts. It’s about the fact that the banks received bailouts while regular folks lost their homes. Wall Street’s always got Wall Street’s back. Main Street’s? Not so much.

        So, just to be clear, when the protesters on Wall Street chant, “We are the 99 percent,” this is what they are referring to:(see artwork)

        Wall Street and the small number of super-rich continue to grab more and more of the American pie while the rest of the country’s portions get smaller and smaller. Currently, the top 1 percent of Americans own 42 percent of the financial wealth of the nation, and the top 10 percent owns 93 percent of all financial wealth. Common sense can tell you that having so much power in the hands of so few is probably not the greatest idea.

        While the majority of Americans are facing pay cuts or cuts to benefits, an Institute for Policy Studies report shows that corporate CEOs have seen their average pay rise in relation to the average worker’s by 81 percent over the past year. Bloomberg reports that, despite the recession and high unemployment, the number of millionaires in the U.S. increased by 8 percent last year to constitute 2.7 percent of the U.S. population.

        This intense concentration of wealth among a few individuals more closely resembles a third world country than a developed, democratic society. According to the CIA, the United States ranks 39th worst in the world when it comes to economic inequality. The four countries immediately above us on that list are Uganda, Cambodia, Iran and Cameroon.

        To address any Fox News viewers fuming over how I’m unfairly targeting the “job-creators” that pay more than their fair share in taxes, the facts is that the same richest one percent that owns 42 percent of all the wealth in America pay only 28 percent of the nation’s tax burden.
        And before anyone asks the stereotypical, “But why would you punish those who work harder?” consider that in the United States, the average CEO of a corporation makes 325 times more than the average American worker. Are those corporate CEOs working 325 times harder every day than the average American? Are those corporate CEOs 325 times smarter than the average American?

        “The Occupy Wall Street” movement is fueled by increasing economic inequality in the U.S., and whether or not the media decides to take them seriously, “Occupy Wall Street” and movements like it will continue to grow until this underlying problem in America is addressed.

      • Joshua Reply

        October 18, 2011 at 12:00 am

        To the COWARD who doesn’t have the balls to stand by his words:

        Lets debunk point number 1: http://occupywallst.org/forum/first-official-release-from-occupy-wall-street/

        OWS put up a coherent Declaration of Grievances 2 weeks ago! READ UP you ingrate!

        They have also posted up a list of Demands to Congress: http://occupywallst.org/forum/proposed-list-of-demands-please-help-editadd-so-th/

        How would REINSTATING GLASS-STEAGALL ACT “Topple” our economic system?

        How would FULLY investigating and Prosecuting Wall Street CRIMINALS “topple” our economic system?

        How would REVERSING CITIZENS UNITED “topple” our economic system?

        WHY would ENACTING the BUFFETT RULE, CLOSING TAX LOOPHOLES and PROHIBITING OFFSHORE ACCOUNTS to EVADE TAXES “topple” our economic system?

        How would Revamping the S.E.C. “topple” our economy?

        How would LAWS Limiting the influence of Lobbyists and eliminating the practice of Lobbyists writing legislation that ends up on the floor of congress “topple” our economic system?

        How would eliminating the Revolving Door between Lobbyists, Government Officials and Corporations “topple” the government?

        How would eliminating “Personhood” Legal Status for Corporations “topple” the economic system?

        I ask you! HOW WOULD IT “TOPPLE” OUR ECONOMIC SYSTEM?

      • Joshua Reply

        October 18, 2011 at 12:08 am

        To your second point:
        Wall Street Brought you the Recession. Wall Street got the Bailouts!
        Wall Street bought our politicians, deregulated itself and caused the 2008 crisis.

        YOU need to READ UP, ECONOMICS happens in a VACUUM, this is the REAL WORLD, and we are under CRONY CAPITALISM.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crony_capitalism)

        The Talking points you keep getting from your national news giant, FAVORS the current system. They dont want JUSTICE, they dont want ACCOUNTABILITY, they dont want TRANSPARENCY. THEY WANT TO MAKE MONEY, MORALLY OR AMORALLY, they DONT CARE!!!!

        GOVERNMENT SETS THE RULES, AND THEY’VE BEEN BOUGHT!!!

      • Joshua Reply

        October 18, 2011 at 12:21 am

        To your third point:

        You are ignorant or delusional.
        1st, its great that you want to make this a partisan issue. But by trying to make this about democrats v republicans, you FAIL to see the POINT of OWS. They are protesting the SYSTEM, the ENTIRE thing. WE understand that the entire system is failing.

        MOST of Obama’s policies, where taken from Republican’s own textbook. Obama’s Health Plan, MIRRORS Mitt Romney’s plan.
        He ESCALATED the WARS, in a move to appear more CONSERVATIVE, something which ANGERED his BASE.
        His stimulus plan was just a big TAX CUT. He EXTENDED the BUSH TAX CUTS. He OFFERED UP Social Security & Medicare & Medical to the cutting board. He REFUSED to walk next to UNIONS, when they where in need.
        He has EXPANDED Executive Power and DEPORTED more undocumented immigrants than BUSH.

        HE IS CRAZY CONSERVATIVE LIGHT. He is no socialist, he is no Marxist, he is part of the system, he is part of the problem. He Defends Wall Street, he caves to conservatives and panders to corporations.
        He was never the messiah, he just helped us realize that fixing the system is not a 1 man job, it takes a whole country.

        • Geoffrey Reply

          October 18, 2011 at 7:51 am

          A few notes on Obama…

          1. Healthcare reform in this country was pretty moderate compared to most countries, yes. It wasn’t a “Republican” plan, however, and it didn’t originally mirror Romney’s until it got watered down by months of debate and controversy. It’s not that the Affordable Care Act was a conservative move because it was similar to Romney’s bill; it’s that Romney’s bill was already a liberal move on his part.

          2. Obama escalated one war, Afghanistan, after years of national consensus that this country’s national security priorities laid in that country (removing a government that supports al Qaeda), and he did so after campaigning on that same platform.

          3. The stimulus plan was not as much of a tax cut as you’re giving it credit. It gave a tax cut to middle-income workers, and I think it may have given some to small businesses as well. It injected money into the economy as Keynesian economics dictates…problem is, it didn’t go far enough.

          4. Extending the Bush tax cuts happened through a different piece of legislation altogether and were passed over A YEAR AND A HALF after the stimulus package. Not the same thing. They happened after a long and arduous negotiation where the Republican leadership did the same thing they always do during this administration: hold everything hostage until they get exactly what they want.

          5. How has he expanded executive power? I don’t get this. I hear it all the time. I still don’t get it.

          6. Obama has not deported more illegal immigrants that Bush. This is a common misconception. It was in a Times op-ed recently…and sure enough, a correction appeared days later.

          I will agree that Obama’s helped us realize that one man cannot fix the system, but he was never elected to fix this country by himself. His election was a popular MOVEMENT, and again and again he’s cited the need for us to come together and work things out as a country. Unfortunately, as soon as he became part of the system, people suddenly stopped supporting the day.

          America: in love with Obama the day he took office, and hating his guts the very next morning.

          • Castorp Reply

            October 18, 2011 at 12:20 pm

            No comment regarding offering up Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare to the cutting board, or refusing to support public sector worker?

            5. How has he expanded executive power? I don’t get this. I hear it all the time. I still don’t get it.

            – Assassinating US citizens who have not been charged or convicted of any crimes. This has of course been done previously, but never openly. A clear violation of the US Constitution.

            – Not going back to Congress to get continued approval for waging war against Libya, as required by the War Powers Act.

            6. Obama has not deported more illegal immigrants that Bush. This is a common misconception. It was in a Times op-ed recently…and sure enough, a correction appeared days later.

            Maybe the Washington Post needs to issue a correction also:

            Deportation of illegal immigrants increases under Obama administration

            By Peter Slevin
            Washington Post Staff Writer
            Monday, July 26, 2010

            In a bid to remake the enforcement of federal immigration laws, the Obama administration is deporting record numbers of illegal immigrants and auditing hundreds of businesses that blithely hire undocumented workers.

            The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency expects to deport about 400,000 people this fiscal year, nearly 10 percent above the Bush administration’s 2008 total and 25 percent more than were deported in 2007. The pace of company audits has roughly quadrupled since President George W. Bush’s final year in office.

            • MTSchneider Reply

              October 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm

              I believe the killing of Al-alawaqi is entirely justified, the President of the United States need to protect from enemies foreign AND DOMESTIC! Hiding outside of any known jurisdiction and treasonously calling for terrorist acts on US soil deserves two bullets between the eye (a bin laden).

              • Joshua Reply

                October 18, 2011 at 4:36 pm

                But he stripped an american of the due process of the LAW.

                • MTSchneider Reply

                  October 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm

                  So you are saying you would rather he be able to plant weapons of mass destruction on the next airplane you board. This is concrete. Tell that the families of the fallen brave fort hood shootings next time you think of the law. I’m sure they would rather have their family members.

                  • Joshua

                    October 18, 2011 at 5:50 pm

                    “He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.” – Benjamin Franklin

                  • Joshua

                    October 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm

                    There is also no evidence that Al-alawaqi was actually engaged in terror plots. He was their external operator, meaning he was in charge of internet operations to try and recruit new members into the terrorist organization.

                    This was an assassination! This was an execution, where Obama was trial, jury and executioner. you might feel comfortable giving that unconstitutional power to Obama, but would you feel comfortable giving it to Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman? Rick Perry?

                    Imagine Rush Limbaugh with that power? Dont you see the consequences of that action? its ramifications?

          • Joshua Reply

            October 18, 2011 at 5:49 pm

            1. Remember that Obama did his own backroom negotiations with Big Pharma,. No negotiation on drug prices and even an extension on drug patents, going from 5-7 years during the Bush era, to 12 years under Obama’s reform package. Dont forget how “campaign” obama promised a public option, and president obama gave it the cold shoulder during the year long struggle to pass the health care reform bill.
            Overall, I think it is very fair to say that president Obama wsa simply concerned with passing a health bill, rather than passing real substantive reform. Rather than passing a game changing piece of legislation, he passed something that was marginally better, which should have had very broad bi-partisan support. But he did it expending great political capital, he played the same backroom deals and negotiations that he campaigned against, he got in there and simply started playing the Washington game. this health bill illustrated how easily he got swallowed up by the system.

            2. In Iraq, he has done little to change what Bush was already going to do towards the end of his presidency. Obama 1st term = Bush 3rd term as president with regards to withdrawal from Iraq. Not only that, but his administration keeps looking for ways or excuses to justify staying there longer. And even now as troops are preparing to wind down, it is only because the Iraqi government is demanding the US leave.

            3. agreed

            4. I already know this, I was listing it as a grievance not as part of the stimulus bill. Blaming the republicans would not acknowledge the way the white house dragged its feet in supporting progressive priorities, or acknowledge the way in which they where more interested in pandering to republican demands that ultimately opposed the bill anyways.

            5. Castorp addressed this issue already

            6. yes, ICE has definitively deported more people under Obama than Bush. On many issues, Obama has made it a point to be strong on conservative priorities. Look at not just immigration, but also drug enforcement, national security, etc.

            • Joshua Reply

              October 18, 2011 at 5:55 pm

              I would also add that Obama has had a terrible record for transparency, limiting executive power or civil liberties for Americans.

            • Joshua Reply

              October 18, 2011 at 5:55 pm

              I stand by my comment, Obama is Crazy Conservative Light

          • eyerag Reply

            October 18, 2011 at 7:26 pm

            U.S. deportations reach historic levels
            By Jim Barnett, CNN
            updated 4:22 PM EST, Tue October 18, 2011

            Washington (CNN) — Nearly 400,000 people were deported from the United States in the past fiscal year, the largest number in the history of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, the government announced Tuesday

      • Emperor Norton Reply

        October 18, 2011 at 12:34 am

        Also, for future reference, can we please avoid using “Common Sense” as a user nickname when posting? It isn’t conducive to rational argument.

      • AsksQuestionsWithObviousAnswers Reply

        October 18, 2011 at 8:37 am

        Steven Begakis, why are you posting under the tag “Common Sense?”

        • hahahahahah Reply

          October 18, 2011 at 9:48 am

          haahahahhahahhahahaha

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