Various Direct Links

11 November 2011

Repudiation: Rena Lindevalvdsen Objects to Occupy DC

Rena Lindevalvdsen is a Liberty University law professor, Liberty Counsel attorney, and the author of a book about and in support of baby kidnapper Lisa Miller and blog, both by the name Only One Mommy.  This caught my attention because of how far off Ms. Lindevalvdsen is from reality.  Of course, I expect that from one involved with one of the Southern Poverty Law Center's hate groups.

She complains about the guidelines adopted by the general assembly of Occupy DC.
Rule 1: “Respect each other, each others’ stuff and space.”Hmm, the irony of this one speaks for itself: a group of illegal squatters on publicly-owned property are demanding respect for the stuff and space of others. Well, then, get off property that does not belong to you and go home and go to work. Then you won’t find yourself in the situation of the occupier in New York who threw a hissy fit in a McDonald’s restaurant after they refused to give her free food.
It is public property.  In the United States of America we have the right to assembly and the right to access our public property.  Many who are party of the Occupy movement do not have jobs.  They would like to.  We have a system in place that rewards malfeasance among the richest (with notable exceptions like Bernie Madoff who stole from others who are rich).  Without reasonable oversight, many corporations run roughshod over individuals.  We hear in the news that corporations are sitting on a lot of money but not hiring.  Where are the jobs?
Rule 5: “We consider working class police officers a part of the 99%. However we will not carry out or enforce their orders that jeopardize the safety of other residents of McPherson Park. We will strive to maintain each other’s safety without relying on the police.” The working class reference immediately reminded me of the Communist Manifesto with its reference to the plight of the working class who needed to rise up against the oppressive bourgeois class.
There is a similarity.  That similarity does not mean that the Occupy movement is a facade for Communists.  Looking out for the safety of one another is not a Communist ideal, it is a human ideal.
Rule 10: “Don’t assume anyone’s gender. When possible go with gender neutral pronouns and nouns, such as friend/comrade instead of brother/sister.” After quickly highlighting the good communist reference to “comrades,”I’d like to point out the wholesale adoption of the idea that gender is fluid –you are what you think you are. I guess it should come as no surprise in today’s culture that those seeking to further entrench socialistic ideas in America also seek to legally sanction a view of human sexuality that is directly contrary to the binary nature of sexuality created by God. All forms of lawlessness travel together and work hand in hand to destroy the true meaning of liberty.
Those of us blessed with gender certainty have difficulty understanding that it is not so for everyone.  Ignorance can be cured with some education.  Given the religious nature of Ms. Lindevalvdsen's group, one might think charity would be in order instead of animus, except that religion is their excuse for hate.  God creates us in far more diversity than the "Liberty" folk are ready to accept.
Rule 13: “Be an ally. Take care of yourselves and your friends/siblings/homies in the struggle.” I had to include this one for two reasons. First, the “ally” language reminds us yet one more time of the socialistic tendencies of this group. Second, I’m a bit surprised that the best the “Guidelines Super Committee” could come up with is a rule that refers to taking care of one’s “homies.”
Allies was the term used for those who fought against the National Socialist party of Germany called the Nazis.  There is nothing wrong with the word ally.  Unlike ally, homies is not part of normal academic discourse.  Some in the Occupy movement are academics, but most are regular people.  Many regular people say homies.
Perhaps you have struggled as I have with understanding the purpose of the group or, even more so, the mentality that would cause a group of people to pitch tents on public property for more than a month.
I am among those who were initially unsure about the Occupy movement.  A group having no explicit platform of demands is difficult to categorize.  With time, I have come to see that there is a common set of complaints without a common set of solutions.  Even without agreement as to the solutions, the complaints must be addressed for the sake of our culture and economy.
Their signs only further confound me. Here’s one: “Cancel All Debt.” It specifically lists student loans, electricity bills, and mortgages. The facebook page for Occupy DC K Street states that the occupiers allegedly represent the 99% of the people in the nation who pay the taxes and maintain the economy. Without even turning to statistics – how can I possibly believe that people who sit around all day carrying signs asking that the government cancel all their debt somehow actually pay 99% of the taxes. I do believe you’d have to work in order to pay taxes.
There are numerous misconceptions here.  First, taxation is not limited to employment.  I pay taxes on my home, on products that I purchase, on capital gains and dividends, and in various other ways such as on my continued ownership of a car.  Second, we used to have affordable higher education.  That was a large part of what built a great economy in the United States after World War II.  Student loans are too onerous for many to repay.  This needs to be addressed.  Third, a large part of our Great Recession was caused by the sub-prime mortgage market.  There are too many Americans who have homes underwater and no prospect for financial recovery while they have been doing their best to follow all of the rules and be good citizens.  The American dream of home ownership became a nightmare based on the lies and cheating of too many in the banking industry.  This third point is a large part of why the Occupy movement exists.  Without government intervention, people are carrying signs because they feel they have run out of possibilities for other recourse.
Putting aside the obvious error in their position statement, statistics further disprove their point. A number of sources restate the statistic that the top 5% or the rich in America actually pay 50% of the taxes. So – how is it that the occupiers lay any claim to paying 99% of the taxes and therefore demanding that government use the tax money to forgive all of their debt?
No, the premise is incorrect.  The Congressional Budget Office has real data that shows what is happening.
CBO finds that, between 1979 and 2007, income grew by:
  • 275 percent for the top 1 percent of households,
  • 65 percent for the next 19 percent,
  • Just under 40 percent for the next 60 percent, and
  • 18 percent for the bottom 20 percent.
homepage graphic
The share of income going to higher-income households rose, while the share going to lower-income households fell.
  • The top fifth of the population saw a 10-percentage-point increase in their share of after-tax income.
  • Most of that growth went to the top 1 percent of the population.
  • All other groups saw their shares decline by 2 to 3 percentage points.
The disparity in income growth is counter to the American ideal of a growing middle class.  The solution is not, as Ms. Lindevalvdsen alleges, Communism.  The solution is complicated but needs to include reparations for those stolen from by cheaters and liars, the point of the sign to which Ms. Lindevalvdsen objects, and regulations to prevent future cheating.  Back to her blog article
At its core, we are watching the results of mankind’s sinful nature: we’d rather have a handout than to have to work for our keep; we’d like to have someone come along behind us and clean up our mess (our debt); and we believe that others owe us something (rather than realizing that we deserve absolutely nothing and that anything we have is purely a gift from God).
No.  The majority of those in the Occupy movement are not seeking handouts.  They are seeking a fair playing field in which they are able to earn their keep.  Those who are responsible for the debt need to repay it (particularly fraudulent mortgage dealers on that part of the problem).  God did not force big banks, mortgage firms, and parts of Wall Street to lie and cheat.  God told us to not bear false witness.  Perhaps Ms. Lindevalvdsen should listen more to God.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m a big fan of First Amendment rights. But, these occupiers have as their goal to destroy the very fabric of this nation.
Wrong.  The Occupy movement seeks to rebuild this nation from the damage wrought by some of the 1%.
During a week honoring all those who have died protecting our God-given unalienable rights, I find this movement particularly offensive because they seek to eradicate the Biblical principles upon which our nation was founded and put in its place a socialistic system that attempts to make big government the savior of all.
Removal of government watchdog systems during the 1990s and 2000s resulted in too many among the 1% ignoring the messages of God to tell the truth and to not cheat one's neighbors.  Ms. Lindevalvdsen and the Liberty Counsel work to prevent equality for all American citizens, all of whom are children of God.  The messages of the Bible are far more socialistic than the Occupy movement.
Why is it people will look every place for a savior yet reject the One who came to save mankind from its sins? Perhaps it’s the same pride and arrogance that leads people to refuse to work, ask me to pay their debts, and squat on land not belonging to them.
The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution prevents me from being forced to worship your "savior".  The United States is a nation with a majority of Christians which is not the same thing as a Christian nation.  We are a nation that claims to ensure the rights of minorities.  It is pride and arrogance that has Ms. Lindevalvdsen mischaracterizing the Occupy movement's nature, goals, and aspirations.

Thanks to Joe My God for the heads up and to the Rachel Maddow blog for the link to the CBO.

No comments:

Post a Comment

No longer open for freely commenting.