News

VIDEO: Crowd gathers Saturday for 'Occupy Palo Alto' event

Participants take a 'tour of shame' through downtown

Members of the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center led an "Occupy Palo Alto" event Saturday (Nov. 5) at noon, beginning at King Plaza in front of Palo Alto City Hall.

Participants walked a "tour of shame" in downtown Palo Alto, passing the local offices of Citibank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase -- the so-called "big four" national banks targeted as symbols of corporate greed and power, according to a press release distributed prior to the event.

The event was held as part of the ongoing national "Occupy Wall Street" protests. After the walking tour, participants returned to King Plaza for an open-mic "speak out."

Karla Kane

Comments

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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 6, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Wow -- what a funny little event.

I guess that there is nothing more "diabolical" than banks who hold our money for us. Of course, the accusations of "greed" are silly anyway. It is always easy to demonize and vilify businesses or banks when you don't have faces of employees and those who use their goods or services to look at.

And, of course, it is easy to forget the good things that corporations, businesses and even banks provide when we focus only on ambiguous accusations about "greed."

If protesters don't like the banks...then they should have a credit union hold their money.

If the protesters want to make a REAL difference (other than an attempt to try and sway public sentiment), then they should take the protest to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. and just up the road at Capitol Hill. After all, in exactly ONE YEAR, there will be an election.


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Posted by Cam
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm

What a pathetic affair. Why is the Weekly giving this old group of protesters so much coverage? They are so retro, that they are like the dinosaurs.


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Posted by Phil
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm

What 99% . . . these demonstrators are just another 1% on the other end of the spectrum. Most everyone else is out working and taking care of their business. Enough already. Get a life.


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Posted by Crap peddler
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 6, 2011 at 3:54 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Big Al
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2011 at 6:18 pm

While i like to support the "people" and think that the banks don't necessarily act in the best interest of the common folks, this event did look to me like these guys were going through the motions, and it almost looked a little bit like the movie "the night of the living dead." Indeed, this tired act only serves to give a bad name to the original movement. We need some new life out there, not another rerun knee jerk protest.


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Posted by I was there
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 6, 2011 at 10:12 pm

"Greed" is ambiguous? Nayeli, perhaps you need to read the papers or the web news to update your information about the multimillion dollar salaries and bonuses the banks and brokerages are giving their executives. And at the same time refusing to renegotiate housing loans.
I was at the march. It was lively, orderly and there was a big crowd. It is part of the national Occupy Wall Street movement which is just beginning. Haven't you heard about this international movement?
And oh yes, Nayeli, FYI, one of the major chants was MOVE YOUR MONEY from the big banks to locals and credit unions. I'm doing it tomorrow. You republicans are so... out of it.


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Posted by Alex
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Maybe I shouldn't be so shocked at the comments so far, considering how many one-percenters live around here. Findabetterbank.com is a good website to find a more responsible bank or credit union to do business with. I'll be moving my money soon.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2011 at 9:03 am

@ "I was there:"

You don't have to march down the street in order to move your money from banks to credit unions.

The point behind this entire movement is that it is based upon ACCUSATIONS.

"Greed?" Really???

Businesses, corporations and other organizations are there to provide service and make a profit simultaneously. Guess what? SO ARE CREDIT UNIONS!

Somewhere along the line, members of the FAR left (and I emphasize the word "far" -- because they are NOT the 99% and are certainly out of the "mainstream" of America) have decided that BUSINESSES are the "evil." Businesses (including large businesses) provide jobs, goods, services and ingenuity (through research and development) upon which this nation is built. Yet, some people think that they can demonize and vilify them just because they make profits?

Of course, the "big" businesses or industries that are demonized are often refined to a certain list of non-donors. WE never hear the far left complain about "big" Hollywood, "big" media, "big" green (businesses), "big" lawyers, or, of course, "big" government.

And, if you can't understand, I am NOT a "republican" or "out of it." I simply vote my conscience. I don't owe my allegiance to anything but what I feel to be true.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2011 at 9:11 am

@ Alex:

I am most certainly NOT in the top 1%. Heck, I am much closer to the bottom 1%. And, of course, I am one of those 47% of Americans who have no federal tax liability.

However, I can't support a movement that is based upon nothing more than an accusation of greed.

If you don't like the status quo in one way or another, then I suggest that these protesters take it away from "main street" (or University Ave.) and move it to Washington -- to the people who actually create the laws and policies that businesses and banks follow.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2011 at 11:20 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

I would assume that one could hire a perfectly acceptable CEO for any business for under a million dollars a year. Those bosses making more are generally there because of laws that reduce the effectiveness of the boards of directors to rubber stamps.
In an ideal world, a board of directors would be independent of managerial influence, and would run shareholder meetings independent from management, and would hire and fire CEOs. In that ideal world no CEO would presume to recommend directors. As long as CEOs recommend directors and run shareholder meetings, directorships are just decorations.


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Posted by Watcher
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 7, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Nayeli is the apologist for corporations and huge banks.

Banks and credit unions have different uses for consumers. It's good to be educated about both. I know many people, home owners, who're switching to credit unions because they're so disgusted with banks. That's the point that this movement is making. B of A has had to listen, but the consumer will stay pay.

I don't agree with PP&J's stance on everything, but they walk their talk and I admire them for that. It's easy to just jump onto this thread and complain about them, but they have a thoughtful board of directors and they know what they're up against. They're not a bunch of outside anarchistic troublemakers. They're locals with families, extensive community ties, local jobs and they put their money with their mouths are. You don't have to agree with their positions to appreciate that they walk their talk.


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Posted by Cam
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 7, 2011 at 5:23 pm

I deposited some money into Wells Fargo on Saturday morning. I think the big banks provide a very useful service to ordinary people. I would much rather put my money into a Wells Fargo account, instead of burying it under a mattress. I don't put much money into a local credit union, because they are relatively weak. Ever try to get a real mortgage or refinance one, through a credit union? The best I ever got out of one is a car loan. Yet, I have done several deals with big banks, and I am very middle class, not rich.

The big banks are on the side of about 75%; the other 25% is whining about it.


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Posted by s
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2011 at 6:09 pm

It is not surprising so many comments are inane, trifling, uninformed, and hateful. If you speak of something you neither understand, nor care to become informed about, it is likely stupid things will be said. OWS is much bigger than about "greed", or about banks, or corporations even. Typical political perspectives will not give insight. "There's a strange wind a blowing," ala Dylan.

We are here witnessing the beginnings of momentous change, a sea change, as it were, in thinking about politics, personal responsibility, social responsibility, and inter-relatedness. Capitalism now is more successful in "communist" states, witness China. Democracy is not functional in the US,let alone voting. The systems that engender greed, war, hate, and self-aggrandizement are beginning to be recognized for what they are -- oppressive. Either join in and help make the change or be left in the dust.


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Posted by 516
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2011 at 6:19 pm

"The big banks are on the side of about 75%; " No, they are on their own "side" to be profitable, period. Get a grip.

"I would much rather put my money into a Wells Fargo account, instead of burying it under a mattress."

"S" is absolutely correct. I recommend the above statement as a hat trick: "inane, trifling, uninformed"

Neyali posts on every Occupy thread and claims she doesn't understand, yet keeps posting as if she is informed on something she admits she doesn't understand.

The topper? "Businesses, corporations and other organizations are there to provide service and make a profit simultaneously. Guess what? SO ARE CREDIT UNIONS!"

Dude: look up the definition of CREDIT UNIONS. As for the others, they are there for profit, whether or not there is a service.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2011 at 8:51 pm

@ "516:"

First of all, I don't post on "every Occupy thread." Besides, so what if I did? Are you the ranking member of the anti-free speech squad?

Further, I am informed on many of these things (as well informed as the time and effort that I put into it). I simply don't understand the rationale behind the protests. I understand what they are saying...and I have listened to their accusations of "greed." However, these are just stereotypes of the motivation of employees in entire sectors of business and banking. And, of course, the "solutions" are even less agreed upon than specific accusations.

Moreover, I am NOT a "dude." I am a woman: Hear me roar. ;-)

Finally, the credit unions are not charities any more than banks are. They both provide services. In fact, the banks provide services that most credit unions cannot...which is why more people store their money with banks.

:-)


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm

@ "516:"

BTW, I don't know if you did this on purpose, but those quotes that you attributed didn't come from me. Maybe a retraction is in order?

:-)


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 7, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Great job neighbors and fellow Palo Altans. The 99% are quick to spew their sharp replies ... since they are just sitting around doing nothing while everyone else is at work ... so just ignore them.


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 7, 2011 at 10:41 pm

OOPS, sorry, I meant to say the .1% ... are quick to spew their sharp replies ... since they are just sitting around doing nothing while everyone else is at work ... so just ignore them.


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Posted by 516
a resident of South of Midtown
on Nov 8, 2011 at 8:40 am

Nayeli: I did not attribute those quotes to you. It was a new paragraph.

A quick review of Occupy threads shows that you posted on every one of them (link us the ones you haven't if you deny that.)

My point was "Neyali posts on every Occupy thread and claims she doesn't understand, yet keeps posting as if she is informed on something she admits she doesn't understand."

ANd you admiteed it in the next post: "I simply don't understand the rationale behind the protests"

So leave it at that - you don't understand. Or continue to bash them and suggest that those you do not understand should do what you want - protest at Congress.

"Finally, the credit unions are not charities any more than banks are." Dumb statement. Straw man fallacy. No one ever said CU's were charities. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by Perspective
a resident of Meadow Park
on Nov 8, 2011 at 8:50 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Perspective
a resident of Meadow Park
on Nov 8, 2011 at 8:59 am

Dear "I was there"...greed is wanting to have something you didn't earn.

Hmm.....think about it. Who are the greedy ones? Who prevents you or anyone else from working and earning and risking and saving and investing?

Hmmm...

Anyone upset at the 'banks' or "corporations" making profits in ways you don't like need look no further than the DC and California laws which are the rule of the game..played by the players...

Occupy DC, Occupy Sacramento..but why "occupy" against those who only follow the game rules?

Banks were bailed out..by our tax dollars..after being forced to give bad loans by..DC laws re: Community Reinvestment Act through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and by being sued by ACORN ( at least once we know of with Obama's signature on the suit) for 'discrimination". ( Web Link )

Look at the bad laws distorting tried and true business and risk management, not the businesses following the laws.

BTW, the top 10% make $113,000/year. Think about it..a married couple, each making about $60,000/ year ( 2 teachers, for example) are in the top 10% of the USA. So..when do we have a "90%" ers OWS??? That one is next.
Web Link


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Posted by s
a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2011 at 9:34 am

Perspective, have you ever heard of "guilt by association"? It is where an ideologue attempts to smear someone(s) by the fact that others approve or feel sympathetic to the person being criticized. This is not an appeal to reason, but to emotion, i.e. illogical.

Your other post, vacuous mud slinging, misses the essence of what OWS is about, rendering it unworthy of a response.


Like this comment
Posted by Hank
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 8, 2011 at 9:45 am

@Perspective:

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff due to referencing a previously removed comment.]

The community reinvestment act was passed in 1977. A law passed in 1977 caused a crisis 30 years later? Nonsense. This is just a way to blame black people for the mortgage meltdown. The biggest offenders in the subprime debacle were independent mortgage companies like Countrywide, which were never regulated by the community reinvestment act.

The Commodities Futures modernization act (1999) allowed for all these derivatives and credit default swaps. The Graham-Leach-Bliley act allowed banks that held peoples' mortages to gamble on the stock market. It was these two bills that caused the mortgage crisis. But since you're rabidly partisan, you can at least take some solace in the fact that Bill Clinton signed both of these.


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Posted by crisis
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Nov 8, 2011 at 9:52 am

This movement is not about mortgage,nor is about those two bills, it is about the fact of the society where the extreme greedy took over our jobs which affects our foundation of this society.


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Posted by crisis
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Nov 8, 2011 at 9:59 am

History will be repeated exactly the same over and over again.From big to small, take a look at this crossing guards' contract in pa,would it resemble this again? The officials go for the cheaper service regardless of appeal from the community,for what? for cheaper less perfect service,it is exactly like the us companies go overseas to seek cheap labor inferior products.So the same thing is repeating here over and over again.


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Posted by Hank
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 8, 2011 at 10:03 am

@crisis

I didn't say the 99% movement was about those two bills, though the 99%ers are in favor of bringing back the Glass-Steagall act, which was repealed by Graham-Leach-Bliley. You can see many signs referring to Glass-Steagall at OWS and other occupy protests. Look it up!

I said that the mortgage crisis was caused by the two bills I mentioned in my prior post. This was in response to the foolish notion that the mortgage crisis was caused by the Community Reinvestment Act, a law passed nearly 35 years ago.

Greed did cause corporations to move the bulk of American manufacturing jobs overseas, so I agree with that part of your comment.


Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 8, 2011 at 10:15 am

@ "516:"

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Yes, I do not understand the RATIONALE behind those who line up to protest when their most prevalent rationale (from everything that I see on television, hear on radio or read in the news) is based upon an accusation of "greed."

If this concept about "unable to understand" is too difficult to understand, it is akin to me saying that many of us don't "understand" the dietary habits of some people. In addition, I don't understand a person who uses a "I had a bad childhood" defense when they are being sentenced for a violent crime. I understand the crime...the motivation...and the legal process. However, I just can't understand using such a petty motivation as a defense.

Similarly, I read about ACCUSATIONS of greed. While I am sure that there are some greedy people in Wall Street or on bank row, the truth is that there are greedy people EVERYWHERE. The motivation behind crime is largely said to be based upon "greed" (whether it is a thief who mugs old women, a burglar or a rapist who wants what he cannot rightly attain).

In these protests, we keep hearing about "greed." Such an accusation is stereotyping ALL such workers and, of course, is based upon a MORAL issue. No one is accusing Wall Street or banks of violating the law. No one is accusing them of violating fiscal, corporate, tax or trade policies. So, they are operating according to the rules set for them. By who? People in Washington.

So, I just don't "understand" why they are marching on Main Street USA or in front of the homes of those 1% who are operating according to the rules -- when those rules are designed by people in Washington D.C.

As for what you called my "dumb statement" and "straw man:" I was responding to what was already said on the signs in video and what others said about credit unions. No one is protesting credit unions, but they largely operate under the same rules as banks. Sure, they aren't large enough to make as much in profits, but neither entities are charities.

BTW, I am not "defending" the banks or corporations. I am defending the FREE MARKET. If you have a legitimate gripe or grievance, then you march against those who mold the free market through policies.


Like this comment
Posted by Central park
a resident of Southgate
on Nov 8, 2011 at 10:17 am

hank - quit bringing facts in to explain the financial crisis. That just makes it sooooooo complicated!

If you would just turn on Fox, they would be happy to explain to you that Capitalism was almost brought down by a bunch of poor persons of color lying on their loan aps. Oh, and Acorn, too.

They can't explain why the Vastly Superior system of "Unregulated, Free Market Capitalism" was so susceptible to some bad subprime loans from po' black folks, though, can they?

The Fox sheeple, er, viewers just buy it hook, line and sinker. Like the fantasy that the Tea Party is a grassroots movement. It just happens to be funded by Dick Armey (uber lobbyist) and big oil money slushed through his Freedomworks lobbying PAC.


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Posted by crisis
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Nov 8, 2011 at 10:29 am

I like a system that can let people have "greed" yet there must be a machnism that limit it in case it runs out of control, look at dot com boom,the internet boom, the housing boom, if there were such machnism put there, they would have been pulled the string and would not let "greed" go too far.


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Posted by Hank
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 8, 2011 at 10:35 am

@Nayeli

"So, they are operating according to the rules set for them. By who? People in Washington."

Oh please. The "rules set for them" are bills often literally written by lobbyists for Wall Street and the big banks. Our government and both major parties are totally beholden to these big money interests.

If rapists and muggers were allowed to write the laws regarding mugging and rape, mugging and rape would also be legal.

There is no "Freemarkit" and there never has been. Even Adam Smith spoke about the necessity for regulating the market.


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Posted by Watcher
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 8, 2011 at 10:46 am

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Most of Palo Alto will continue to slumber on while many other places are aware of what's troubling the masses. As much as people here want to pretend that OWS is filled with rabble rousers, let me share my truth: Those I know who are involved are all employed professionals who join in after work, side by side with those who are staying over night. It's a varied group of people - all over, like those in Atlanta working to save the cop's house. Will it work? Unknown at this time. But they're putting their energy where their mouths are.


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Posted by Central Park
a resident of Southgate
on Nov 8, 2011 at 11:09 am

"Finally, the credit unions are not charities any more than banks are." Dumb statement. Straw man fallacy. No one ever said CU's were charities. Is that the best you have? Did you look them up as suggested, or just type up a straw man as a knee-jerk reaction? "

did you look it up as 516 suggested? It *was* a dumb statement. Once you do as advised, you'll be better informed about your inane statement "but they largely operate under the same rules as banks. Sure, they aren't large enough to make as much in profits, but neither entities are charities."

Dearie - charities and CU's are NON-profits. They can't "make as much in profits" no matter how large. Also - early numbers indicate that $60 billion was moved to CU's in the last month, a mere pittance to Goldman and BofA, but a nice slice for the CU's to reinvest in the community.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 8, 2011 at 11:18 am

For all of the accusations of "greed," I think that I would prefer businesses that provide goods and services and development for the majority of this nation than the hateful comments directed by the proponents of this movement.

After all, it isn't "tolerance" if you only "tolerate" yourselves and those who agree with you.


Like this comment
Posted by Central Park
a resident of Southgate
on Nov 8, 2011 at 11:28 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 8, 2011 at 11:44 am

@ Central Park:

No, 516 ACCUSED me of using a fallacious straw man argument. It was just an accusation...and it wasn't even true. In fact, I pointed out that I was not the person who brought up the credit union (it was on a sign held by the protesters in the video)...and I pointed out that people can move their money without a protest. So, the notion that it was a "straw man" was pure nonsense.

And, yes, I often do feel like a victim here. I have shared some of my opinions here at PaloAltoOnline. As long as they are agreed with by a group of loud chronic posters, things are fine. However, if I ever utter a disagreement, I get attacked by the same small group of multiple username people. Most of their comments end up getting removed because of content or the fact that they write under several pseudonyms.

However, the viciousness of their remarks are the things that are most surprising. They cry out for "tolerance" but are often the most intolerant of anyone who disagrees with their views.

Just go back and look at the comments here and in other threads. Afterward, let me know if you think that people are being "civil" in their remarks or if they are resorting to personal attacks. Even review the subtle insults hurled against me in this very thread! I was even accused of defending Paris Hilton. How silly is that?

Yeah, even your own "tolerant" and "educational" post implies that my opinions, views and notions are not "informed" and lack "factual statements." The hypocrisy of these sort of subtle attacks reminds me of the overall "Occupy" protest group. The essence of much of this movement is based upon subtle accusations about "greed" labeled at those who work hard according to the rules written in Washington.


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Posted by Hank
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 8, 2011 at 11:47 am

I tend to agree with Nayeli to a certain extent when it comes to her complaint that the discourse isn't civil.

Mind you, I'm certainly guilty myself; I get angry when I read posts like Nayeli's and others who insulted the Palo Alto protesters and the larger 99% movement, but we don't reach these people or make our side more attractive by stooping to their level.

The acrimony allows Nayeli and others to evade a fact-based discussion and instead focus on their own hurt feelings. I advise others not to give them this excuse to evade a reality based discussion.


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Posted by Hank
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 8, 2011 at 11:56 am

I should note that I'm posting for on PA Online for the first time today. I don't know about personal animosities that have been building over time. I don't mean to preach to people who have been here for a while, just to communicate my view that descending into discussions based on personal animosity tends to empower people who don't want the discussion to be based on facts, but would prefer it to be about personal rancor because that makes it easier to ignore inconvenient truths.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 8, 2011 at 12:01 pm

@ Hank:

Even in your effort to keep the conversation civil, you still felt the need to throw in a subtle accusation that those who disagree with this protest group are looking for "this excuse to evade a reality based discussion" or that you and others are simply "stooping to their [our] level."

Where are the insults that we uttered against the movement?

BTW, I am very much a part of the actual 99% -- just not the "99%" who are, in reality, just a much smaller group of people who are protesting (often aggressively or worse) in streets in several cities. However, like many of us in the real 99%, we just don't agree with the accusations and goals of the protesters.


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Posted by Central Park
a resident of Southgate
on Nov 8, 2011 at 12:01 pm

""Finally, the credit unions are not charities any more than banks are." Dumb statement. Straw man fallacy. No one ever said CU's were charities. "

I'm with 516 on this. Uttering the statement "Finally, the credit unions are not charities any more than banks are" is a fallacious argument. You can play the victim card all you want.

Your other statements showed that you were unaware CU's are non-profits, therefore the antithesis of Wall St big banks, showing that lumping them together was a continuance of your fallacy.

As for "a group of loud chronic posters" I'm unaware of whom you're referring, but one notes in other Occupy threads, you seem quite verbose and willing to put up a great deal of voluminous posts.

Pot, meet kettle.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 8, 2011 at 12:03 pm

I will say this: I appreciate the fact that protesters in Palo Alto are much more civilized than what was happening in Oakland, San Francisco or even New York.

I may disagree with their accusations and ultimate goals, but I think that their civility does reflect upon the sentiment of this city to avoid harsh conflict whenever possible.


Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 8, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

@ Central Park:

More words in my mouth, eh?

It is NOT a straw man to say that credit unions are NOT charities. I was responding to someone in this thread...who responded to something that I said in my first post in regard to a sign in the video. It was relevant in the fact that both the bank and the credit union provide the same service -- holding and safeguarding our money.

My point was that if someone doesn't like big banks, then they could always move their money into credit unions. And, of course, they can move their money without resorting to a protest.

And, contrary to the notion that Credit Unions are entirely "non-profit," a very good friend lost a car that was put up for collateral for a loan at a credit union when she missed her payment by 15 minutes. So, they can engage in the same businesses tactics as bigger banks do.

As for the "other" threads: Again, are you the editor of the Palo Alto Online? I don't insult people under multiple usernames. I don't get angry when someone has an opinion that differs from my own. In fact, I welcome the differences in opinion. It allows for great conversation and thought.

However, just like the old HSR discussions, some people think that they are "more equal" than others in such conversations and label those who disagree with them. We are labeled "NIMBYs" and even "defenders of Paris Hilton." This sort of stereotyping is unnecessary and, as Hank said, detracts from the conversation.


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Posted by Hank
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 8, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Hank is a registered user.

@Nayeli

I think you should take a look at the first four posts on this thread.

There's your own, where protestest is described as a "funny little event" and the protesters are described as "silly."

Then the 3 following posts throw various other insults at the protesters, referring to their age ("old" "dinosaurs" "night of the living dead") tell them to "get a life" and calling them "pathetic."

Surely if I were to look at your other postings I would find further insults and insinuations.

So if you would like to engage with some of the facts I presented earlier, I'd be glad to discuss them with you. My post was intended for others here. I think they do give people who don't want to talk about facts a way to evade that discussion by focusing on hurt feelings.


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Posted by Hank
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 8, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Hank is a registered user.

Banks are not even remotely the same as credit unions. Here is an article to help inform you on this topic, Nayeli.

Web Link


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 8, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

@ Hank:

After watching the video, I do think that it was a funny little event. I apologize if the word "funny" was a insulting, but it was not describing the people. Nor did I call the protesters "silly." I simply said that "the accusations of 'greed' are silly."

As for the posts that used words like "dinosaurs," "night of the living dead," etc... -- those were NOT my posts (or my words). So, you have struck out with trying to lump me together with the insults that were hurled at me.

And, AGAIN, we are ALL wanting to talk about facts. It is insulting to suggest otherwise in regard to those that you disagree with.

As for your constant claim about "credit unions:" I don't know how I can make myself any clearer. I wasn't trying to compare apples and oranges. As I said in my first post, I am saying that people who don't like banks can always opt to put their money in a credit union.

Obviously (yes, OBVIOUSLY), they aren't the same type of organization. However, they provide a very similar service...and can be operate just as grievously when it comes to policies with customers. Like banks, they aren't charities. They provide a set of services and operate with a "bottom line" too.


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Posted by Hank
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Hank is a registered user.

You seem to be very willing to excuse your own snide remarks, and certainly unwilling to chastise people for insulting language as long as they agree with you. All of that seems very hypocritical if you are then going to complain about incivility.

I'm glad that you can now see that there are many very real differences between big banks and credit unions. My credit union charges me no ATM or debit card fees, doesn't charge me a fee because my balance is less than 20k. My credit union doesn't engage in trading credit default swaps and doesn't have 75 trillion in derivatives exposure (as Bank of America does). My credit union sends out information on loans that community businesses can get, as opposed to the big banks who no longer loan money to small businesses.

This protest was focused on drawing attention to "move your money day." It was all about moving money to a credit union. I'd estimate that there were 200+ people in the march, it took 3 city blocks for us to pass. People got up from their brunches to join us. Pretty good for a Saturday morning in Shallow Alto.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 8, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

Hank, those were NOT my "snide" remarks. I didn't call anyone "dinosaurs" or anything like that. I described the activity as a "funny little event." If it insulted you, then I apologize. I certainly didn't mean "funny" in a condescending way.

However, I do see that your comments directed at me (or in regard to me) have always be condescending -- insinuating that those of us who do not agree with this protest don't like "facts" or a "reality based discussion."

And, of course, I have ALWAYS see the differences between banks and credit unions. However, I think that the point -- from my FIRST post -- went way over your head. It wasn't about the differences. It was the fact that they both offer similar services.

So, if one group doesn't like big banks, they can always put their money in credit unions. However, you might find that the motivation of such criticism is very much at play at smaller institutions too. My good friend lost her car (put up for collateral) for being 15 minutes late with her loan payment -- which was used to help cover the cost of her college education.

Oddly enough, previously, I was criticized as being "old," "uneducated," an "out-of-touch NIMBY" and even part of the "1%." In truth, I am young (in my upper 20s), highly educated (please don't let me grammar fool you), extremely low-income and not even from Palo Alto (or, as you call it, "Shallow Alto"). In fact, I wasn't even born in the United States (although I am a citizen).

As a person who spent much of my life as a migrant farm worker in REAL poverty (and not of the living-on-unemployment-or-food-stamps variety), I do have a unique perspective when I see people who are doing very well in life pointing the accusatory finger at those who are more successful or at entities that are fully operating in accordance with the law as written by politicians. For me, we never knew that we were poor. I used to think that people who had new, store-bought clothes, shoes and toiletries were "rich." I didn't spend my time complaining about those who had such things. I aspired that I would make something of my life so that I could provide such things to my family.

It certainly isn't a sob story. It is just a perspective from my own life experiences. Still, I do think that Palo Alto is big enough to think outside of the comfort zone and consider the views of others.


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Posted by Hank
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Hank is a registered user.

You said:

"Where are the insults that we uttered against the movement?"

I then enumerated the insults and snide remarks ("funny little event" certainly was intended to be disparaging, no matter what you say now) that the opponents of the 99% movement made on this thread. I answered your question.

I can't take your friend's example very seriously. This is a personal story, uncorroborated. I think it is highly unlikely that this occurred as you say it did. So lets stick to facts that can be verified, okay?

When employed or retired persons living in Shallow Alto participate in the protest, you write them off as "doing very well in life." When young and unemployed people protest (in SF, Oakland or NYC) you write them off as uncivilized. At what point do you stop writing people off and recognize that this is a broad-based movement including people from many different classes?

"pointing the accusatory finger at those who are more successful or at entities that are fully operating in accordance with the law as written by politicians."

First of all, these big banks (and their execs) are not successful. They are very unsuccessful. They are trillions in debt, and have shifted that burden to the taxpayers by bribing elected officials.

Secondly, I already pointed out that these laws were in fact written by lobbyists from the big banks. This was one of the facts you didn't want to address. Here's what I wrote:

"The 'rules set for them' are bills often literally written by lobbyists for Wall Street and the big banks. Our government and both major parties are totally beholden to these big money interests.

If rapists and muggers were allowed to write the laws regarding mugging and rape, mugging and rape would also be legal.

There is no 'Freemarkit' and there never has been. Even Adam Smith spoke about the necessity for regulating the market."

The 99% movement is about the greed and incompetence of the big banks, but it is also about the massive corruption going on at the highest levels. If you didn't know that, now you know.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

Hank, I never said who was my friend and who wasn't. I agree with the President of the United States with several things, but he certainly isn't my "friend." We aren't even on speaking terms. :-)

Still, I don't agree with any snide remarks -- including those that appear perpetually condescending toward those with whom them disagree. After all, we all want to discuss "FACTS" and hope to engage in a "REALITY BASED DISCUSSION" -- even if some insinuate otherwise.

As for the credit union taking the car: You certainly don't have to take my word for it (although it is silly to insinuate that someone would exaggerate about something like this). However, I imagine that she wasn't the first person who ran into trouble with credit unions because a manager or employee took a hard-line stand on a loan. I guess that someone could even argue that she deserved it because she violated the condition of the loan when she was 15 minutes late with her monthly loan payment. Of course, that would make some credit union employees just as unsympathetic as bank employees. We wouldn't want that now, would we?

The point that I am making is in accordance with the old American idiom that the "grass is always greener on the other side." Sometimes, it takes a bad experience to make us realize that the grass (or business practices) may have, in fact, been the same hue. Both industries will safeguard your money, but both industries also operate with a "bottom line."

Still, my overall point was that any individual who is upset at banks could easily move their money to a credit union. For many, it might be a great decision! They could alleviate any conscientious objection with banks and still have their money safeguarded by a financial institution. For others, they may not appreciate the limited services offered by many credit unions. But, again, "to each their own."

As for the "facts that can be (selectively?) verified:"

When I spoke of "successful," I was pointing at the PEOPLE and not the business or industry. The people in this country have a right to try and be as successful as they possibly can and even try to (God forbid?) leave an inheritance for their children or grandchildren. The accusatory finger that was pointed at people (by protesters outside of their homes) who have worked hard according to the law to make their businesses successful were just doing the best they could with the cards that they were dealt. For every successful businessman, there are many others who fell by the wayside due to poor decisions. It is all a part of the free market.

Just because Netflix is the top home video provider today, it doesn't mean that they will be in a decade. One (or a series of) bad decisions could turn a company upside down. The executives try to prevent that from happening while they still work supply and demand to provide the best services and goods at maximum profit. Banks are no different. They should certainly be regulated -- but that regulation comes from POLITICIANS and not a moral code of each competing banker.

As for the success of banks: I do believe that they should have been safeguarded via limited forms of regulation to prevent them from meandering in the future in a way that would cause them to be fail. Of course, the entire bank crisis was a much larger story than just a few decisions by a few top executives.

You claim that these laws were "in fact" written by lobbyist from big banks. Care to provide a citation of one bill that was signed into law that was signed by one of these lobbyists? Nope. The laws may have been influenced by lobbyists, but that is another matter altogether. And, of course, it is a matter that should be taken up in Washington and not bank row.

Like I said, I am a member of the REAL 99% -- and not a fringe protest group. I cannot support a group whose main focus is based upon an accusation of "greed and incompetence" or "massive corruption" that is VERY short on specifics.

Maybe you can enlighten us? Better yet: Perhaps you can enlighten those who really matter in this debacle -- the people who design laws and regulation in Washington. If you want to expose the great conspiracy of "greed, "incompetence" and "massive corruption at the highest levels," then maybe you can spell it out clearly and stick to the facts (citing examples of policy, law, and anecdotal evidence) and come up with a way to improve the situation.


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Posted by Hank
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 8, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Hank is a registered user.

You don't seem to understand what is happening up on Capitol hill. The politicians don't actually write many laws at all. Many of them don't even read legislation. They hire lobbyists as staffers and then those lobbyists/staffers write the legislation.

Web Link

An excellent example is the Health Care reform bill. Sen. Baucus thanked Liz Fowler, former VP at Wellpoint for writing the "Obamacare" law. The failed repeal attempt was also written by a lobbyist, as noted in the first article from the WaPo. SO there's a very specific example for ya.

Web Link

Another example is the NBC/Comcast merger. The FCC approved the merger, and then (just 4 months later) one of the commissioners who approved the merger accepted a lobbying job with Comcast.

Web Link

Another example is a bill I mentioned earlier. Phil Gramm was assisted by lobbyists from the financial sector to write the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Commodities futures modernization act. Gramm had already accepted millions in campaign donations from the financial services sector, and he now works for the Swiss Bank UBS as a lobbyist.

"Both industries will safeguard your money, but both industries also operate with a 'bottom line.'"

You still seem unable to accept or understand the difference between a for-profit entity and a non-profit entity. The "bottom line" is quite different for these respective entities.

"Like I said, I am a member of the REAL 99% -- and not a fringe protest group. I cannot support a group whose main focus is based upon an accusation of "greed and incompetence" or "massive corruption" that is VERY short on specifics."

99% of us are members of the REAL 99%. You aren't special. The evidence for greed, incompetence and corruption is abundant. I offered you two specific examples above. A large majority of people want to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the wars continue (yes, we still have mercenaries in Iraq) because our government is corrupted by $$$ from military technology companies. The vast majority wants to end subsidies for fossil fuel companies, but nothing is done because so many politicians are bribed by the fossil fuel industry. The vast majority wants to raise taxes on the wealthy, but nothing is done because he biggest individual contributors are wealthy individuals.


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Posted by Hank
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Hank is a registered user.

"Like I said, I am a member of the REAL 99% -- and not a fringe protest group."

The Occupy movement polls higher than the republican party, every republican presidential candidate and WAY higher than the congress. It polls just below the Democratic party and Mr. Obama. So if this is a fringe movement, then the republican party is a fringe movement.

"maybe you can spell it out clearly and stick to the facts (citing examples of policy, law, and anecdotal evidence) and come up with a way to improve the situation."

I'll note, first of all, that you have provided no facts whatsoever, but merely offered your opinions.

What would I propose? Here are a few ideas that would address specific problems.

Bring back the Glass-Steagall Act. Outlaw derivatives trading. These restrictions served us well from 1933-2000. Impose a financial transactions tax; this would eliminate "high speed" trading, which is another word for "insider trading." Pass a law that makes it illegal for congresspersons and their staffers to work for K street lobbying firms.

Then we also need public financing of elections. There are several proposals on the table. Another good idea here is to pass a constitutional amendment eliminating corporate personhood.

Yeah, there are lots of changes needed. That's why we need a movement that focuses on many ideas and not just one law.


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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 8, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

Hank,

This is going no where. It doesn't seem like you even comprehend how you are hurling mean insinuations within the body of your rebuttals -- including those that call for greater civility.

Simply put: I disagree with this movement. I do believe that it is fringe too.

You are accusing the 1% and certain sectors of the economy (like banks) of "greed." There is a difference between a board that attempts to strengthen the "profit margin" and "greed." It would be silly to argue that Steve Jobs was "greedy" because he sent production of Apple products to China. Rather, he realized that the cost of production would drive up the prices in the United States (because of current laws, regulation, unions and trade policies). So, he knew that few people would buy an iPhone that costs $1500, so production was shipped overseas. Is that "greed" or demand curve strategy that also takes into account the profit margin?

Now, you are arguing that the occupy group is more popular than the Republican Party. How is that even a part of the discussion? Who cares?

So what, you saw a poll? Participation in a poll doesn't mean that people belong. I participated in a poll yesterday about my favorite college football team. I chose Stanford -- but it doesn't mean that I am a Stanford football player. Just because this small organization polls better than one group (in its current ambiguity), it doesn't mean that it the group is comprised of the 99%. In fact, most polls indicate a dropping level of support. In addition, the goals for the group (by most polls that I have seen) show support lower than 50%. That is higher than Obama's current 39-43% approval rating.

There are many people who might disagree with the group overall but still approve of its right to exist. I just happen to be one of the real 99% who disagree with the whims of this movement although I fully support their right to protest -- even if I disagree with their ambiguous motives, possible goals, or targets of their protests (Main Street and Wall Street instead of Pennsylvania Ave. and Capitol Hill).

There is no need to guess what I "seem" to misunderstand. To be clear: I have read extensively about this movement and I do agree with some of the things that they want. However, I simply disagree with a notion of a group that is motivated by an assumption of "greed" short on specifics and even less specific remedies.

Now, your goals are more specific than most who participate in the loose protest organization. When I have time, I will look over them and see if I agree. However, I think that even you know that your goals and desires for remedy aren't reflective of the overall movement. They may be good ideas...that are largely ignored by the overall ambiguity of the movement.

At this point, I will try and bow out of the discussion. I wish you well and great success -- and if you achieve that success, I won't accuse it as having been motivated by "greed."


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Posted by Hank
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Hank is a registered user.

I sense that we are "going nowhere" because you don't have much of an argument.

You asked me for specifics on corruption, which I provided. You didn't even acknowledge them. Not much of an argument.

I pointed out that the most recent polling indicates that the Occupy movement is more popular than the republican party and the congress to prove that it is far from a "fringe" movement. You then restated your "feeling" that it is fringe and countered with "so what, you saw a poll." Not much of an argument.

Steve Jobs was an extremely greedy individual. He could have chosen to be a simple, humble multimillionaire, but because his greed demanded multiple billions, he decided to have his products assembled by slave laborers. He didn't develop the software, he was just a pitchman. Workers, in China and in the US did all the heavy lifting and he didn't want to pay them, only himself and his cronies. Now he's dead and his billions are worthless to him. He could have offered Apple products much more cheaply if he had not been so very greedy.

Many of the specific remedies I mention are central themes of the Occupy movement. I didn't invent these ideas. It seems to me that the occupy protesters are significantly more informed, as a rule, than their detractors.

I'm glad that you wish me success. Right back at ya. Hopefully you will learn to measure success not by the dollars in your bank account but by the effect you can have in the world. After all, our legacy will not be determined by our wealth and our toys but by our positive or negative impact on the world in the short time we have here.


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Posted by That User Name is already
a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm

That User Name is already is a registered user.

good lawdy almighty!

The man cites polls that show that Occupy Wall Street is more popular than many institutions and the response is.... wait for it.....

"I participated in a poll yesterday about my favorite college football team. I chose Stanford -- but it doesn't mean that I am a Stanford football player."

Brilliant. Utterly brilliant. Makes Herman Cain's lie detector response pale in comparison and I thought Herman's response was an amazing bit of work.

Great job. You should write for politicians when they're in scandal mode.

Hank, sir, you are wasting your time. I appreciate your links - good stuff.


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