Kiev in in flames and Caracas is rioting.
Here are some pictures from protests happening around the world via Instagram.
Change is in the air.
The phenomenon occurs among activists on the Left and the Right. Regardless of their ideological perspective or particular cause, amateur activists sabotage their own effort at every turn. Whether due to ignorance of processes or – more likely – stubborn defiance of reality, citizen activists focus too much on grinding their axe and not enough on achieving a goal.
Three recent examples warrant consideration. First, in Maine, a group of libertarian Republicans including a National Committeeman authored an open letter to the state party secretary tendering their resignation from the GOP following a rules fight which didn’t go their way at a meeting of the RNC. Dave Nalle, former national chair of the Republican Liberty Caucus, an organization working within the party to steer it toward greater advocacy of individual rights, called the mass exodus a “betrayal” in a public Facebook post:
After years of working to gain those positions of influence and as a key component of a liberty coalition which controls the state party, they have thrown everything away because of losing one battle over the rules with the RNC leadership.
Did they go into this thinking it was going to be easy to change the Republican Party? I respect their efforts and commitment up to this point, but what they have done puts liberty movement control of their state party in jeopardy and hands additional victories to the malefactors who run the national party. It weakens the movement nationwide and sets a terrible example for others.
In Minnesota, the Occupy movement has splintered as Occupy MN announced that it was cutting ties with a spin-off organization called Occupy Homes MN on account of the latter becoming “commercialized” and “profitable.” City Pages reports on the schism, citing a public statement from Occupy MN:
Many of us helped create, volunteered with and were arrested with Occupy Homes, until unethical tactics serving the goal of evolution into a profitable Non-Governmental Organization achieved dominance.
Last but not least, activists made a stink following an incident at the Republican Party booth at the Minnesota State Fair. Volunteers arrived to work a shift at the booth wearing campaign t-shirts supporting a libertarian challenger to Congressman John Kline. The state party chair, fulfilling his fiduciary responsibility to protect the party brand, required the volunteers to turn their shirts inside-out while representing the party in an official capacity. The move sparked a firestorm of protest from liberty activists within the party. A former candidate for the state chair position rallied support on Facebook by noting:
Neither Kline nor Mr. [David] Gerson [the challenger] is endorsed for the 2014 race to keep MN CD 2 in GOP hands.
Apparently, political parties have no vested interest in promoting their elected officials or protecting their brand by not associating it with non-endorsed challengers. So goes the protesters’ argument.
Each of these examples and many more which could be cited indicate an activist mindset which I refer to as anti-activism. Like a gerbil running on its wheel, anti-activists expend tremendous energy toward getting nowhere. That becomes problematic for more thoughtful activists who focus on affecting public policy rather than protest for its own sake. Let’s consider 6 ways activists sabotage their cause.
On Wednesday, a woman packaged in plastic wrap and fake blood held a PETA demonstration outside Dreamland Bar-B-Que in downtown Montgomery, Ala. Because, you know, nothing says “meat is murder” like a mostly naked chick.
Time to break out the Southern hospitality!
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
Related at PJ Lifestyle:
In your email, say who you are, explain exactly what happened, and attempt to be succinct. Make it clear that you will not be doing business with them if this is where things are left. I wanted to do business with this store because it was the easiest choice, so I was trying to get a win-win solution: I get the customer service I want so I can buy the product I want, and they get my money.
I’m pretty adept at figuring out what people’s emails are. This is because I’m also a journalist, and I have to do that on occasion. Can’t find the CEO’s email? Identify the email format company for others at the company. Is it email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org? Identify the email template and the CEO’s name, and you can probably figure out what his or her email is. After you think you have it, run it through Google and see if you get a hit.
Why would you email the CEO if you don’t expect a response? Because you’re going to use this email to get what you want.
But really start from the beginning and read the entire post. It’s another example of why Susannah Breslin — a woman undergoing chemo therapy for breast cancer and still churning out fun, inspiring career and life advice every week — should be on your “Read Everything They Write” list.
I’ve been a movie buff all my life, but the way I consume movies (as the kids put it these days) has evolved.
Sure, the technology has changed. Good thing I didn’t “follow my dream” and become a film projectionist, because I’d be on the unemployment line. And I finally dumped my last box of old VHS tapes on the sidewalk the last time I moved.
But I’ve changed, too.
I’ve written about these changes here before, like how fogeyish it made me feel when I realized I no longer automatically identified with the teenagers in movies.
Sometimes I miss the old me: the weird girl who scanned the new TV Guide with a red pen, hoping All About Eve was coming on, and who practically lived at our city’s only “rep” cinema…
10. The Walking Dead: Season 2: The first season of The Walking Dead was the best thing to happen to sci-fi fans since Buffy the Vampire Slayer went off the air. People loved the series so much that the second season premiere set a ratings record. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there. A group of disparate people desperately trying to escape hordes of zombies is exciting. A group of disparate people hashing out their feelings about each other on a relatively safe farm while they venture out to put down the occasional stray zombie they run across is not. At this point, the show is like a relationship that’s going bad. It starts out magnificently, but then you slowly realize it’s not as much fun as it used to be, but you’re still hoping against hope that things will turn around before you have to break it off. If the Walking Dead keeps this up, a lot of its fans are going to have a “It’s not you, baby, it’s me” conversation with the show.
9. Righthaven: Righthaven is a group of “copyright trolls” that have been the scourge of bloggers and forums across the world. Its modus operandi is to buy the right to stories from various newspapers and then use a loophole in the law to sue anybody and everybody it can for “copyright infringement.” There are no requests to take the material down, no harm done to the papers, just demands for ridiculous cash sums under dubious legal circumstances. After profitably settling a number of cases, Righthaven started losing in court. Happily, things have gotten so bad that “$225,000 in attorney fee awards have been assessed against Righthaven. Righthaven has pleaded poverty and said that it may be forced to file for bankruptcy, but the court in the Hoehn case issued an order allowing the seizure of Righthaven’s assets to satisfy the award.” Personally, I’m rooting for everyone associated with Righthaven to end up eating out of garbage cans. It couldn’t happen to nicer guys.
(Update: Righthaven’s URL is being auctioned off here. Bidders are expected to be mostly defendants trying to keep the Righthaven name and everything about it out of circulation. — Ed Driscoll.)
While finding photos to illustrate a post about inventor Siegfried Marcus, I found this photo on Flickr of one of the memorials to Marcus in Vienna. The photographer had tagged it with the caption, “Siegfried is made an example of”. I think it’s safe to assume from the green peace symbol that the vandals who defaced the monument to Marcus were environmentalists eager to show their hatred for Marcus and the automobile. You see, at the base of the plinth is “Inventor of Gasoline Automobiles 1864″. Siegfried Marcus was the first person on record to power a vehicle with a gasoline engine. I suppose I could snark about the hypocrisy inherent in the vandals using ozone depleting or carbon dioxide increasing propellents in their can of green spray paint but there’s really a more curious coincidence involved in this graffiti that’s impossible to ignore, Godwin be damned.
In the National Post, Rex Murphy writes that by “limiting their wrath to the sharks and swine of Wall Street,” the assorted Occupy gangs may be “shortchanging themselves:”
There are many venues and theatres of greed other than the stock market. And they are tenanted by agents of ferocity and appetite equal to any gold-lusting shill at an investment bank. Greed has many McMansions, and they are all worth the “occupying.”
Has anyone, for example, apart from her jilted “husband,” thought of occupying – Kim Kardashian?
Of course, I mean “occupy” purely in its fashionable protest sense. Occupy her, not for being even more formidably vulgar and avaricious than Paris Hilton, a truly Olympic distinction. No – occupy her for running a tawdry TV spectacle called (hand over mouth, please) Kim’s Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event, selling the rights, drowning in the publicity and then announcing the “divorce” a mere 72 days into the staged connubial farce.
Various reports – one from the New York Post, for instance – put the revenues from this mockery, the flow of cash to Kardashian Inc., at something over $17-million. Is it possible – yes I’m reverting to the great cliché without the smack of an apology – that we live in a world where children starve for want of a dime a day, while this bloated, vacuous ego gets to rake in $17-million for a gaudy, inane travesty? If greed’s the target, and vulgarity a bonus, then Occupy Kim Kardashian. Occupy the whole dam clan of Khardashians for their shameless cupidity.
Occupying Hollywood would have an additional economic benefit — lowering energy costs:
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, known for her role as Elaine on the popular sitcom “Seinfeld,” has released a video urging President Obama to reject the permit for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. She joins a number of other celebrities and activists who have spoken out against the pipeline, and will be participating in the November 6 Tar Sands Action protest at the White House.
You can’t complain about Big Oil keeping energy prices high, when Big Hollywood is determined to artificially prop them up. But then, as PJM CEO Roger L. Simon learned the hard way earlier this week, Hollywood isn’t too thrilled with the notion of freedom these days.
Or as Arthur Chrenkoff once wrote, Mr. Gorbachev, bring back that wall!
The Occupy Wall Street kids complaining about large student loans think they’re emulating 1960s era protests but one thing that students did in the 1960s, occupy the dean’s office or the school president’s office or the administration building, the OWS kids won’t do. Much of that money has gone into the pockets of a bloated college bureaucracy, filled with Assistant Deans of this and Associate Provosts of that. University administrative employment as grown at twice the rate of faculty. Of course one of the effects of those 1960s era protests was that the radicals literally ended up taking over the campuses. The OWS protesters and university faculty and administrators see each other as kindred political spirits, so we’re not likely to see student protests move to the campuses, though we have seen some professors show up to express their support for OWS and similar “occupations” around the country. All of those administrators and faculty members who have been riding the student loan gravy train have a good reason to point the protesters at Wall Street and away from their own selves. As for the financial side of the loans, the OWS crowd should be protesting in Washington, because student loans are a racket that benefit mostly the government and SallieMae, not Wall Street. SallieMae issues most student loans, with the Federal Government guaranteeing them. When a borrower defaults on the student loan, the Feds pay SallieMae the loan amount plus interest to make SallieMae whole. The gov’t then turns over the debt to a collection agency, General Revenue Corp., which is, in fact, owned by SallieMae. GRC tacks on a 25% collection fee, which the Feds pay, and a 28% commission, which the borrower pays. Those fees have meant $400 million in revenue for SallieMae. GRC has the power to garnishee paychecks, tax refunds and Social Security checks so the Feds eventually get their money back plus interest. Since the Feds and Fannie Mae profit from it, there is no incentive to keep tuition costs down. Actually, because the Feds and Fannie Mae both profit from the 8.8%/yr interest and all those fees and commissions, it’s in their interest for the student to default. Just like your bank doesn’t want you to pay off your credit card, when a government agency is a creditor, it’s in their interest to have you in arrears. Banks don’t have nearly the garnishee and seizure powers that the government does.