I have great respect and admiration for Karl Denninger, also known as "the ticker guy". Some of his posts, like a recent one in response to a Bloomberg op-ed on healthcare, are positively genius. He tends to be short, precise, and focused on the real-world math behind what is happening in the finance and politics. Sometimes mathematics can get pretty theoretical. When it does, the relationship between the equations and reality is tenuous at best. However, it is important to recognize that there are just as many times when mathematics is simple, profound, and directly related to events in the real world. For example, the Debt Clock is a doomsday clock counting down to the implosion of modern civilization. If we do not make different choices, and make them immediately, then the end result of spending more than we produce is as inevitable as the sunrise and will be as destructive as a Category 5 hurricane. Karl Denninger has been pointing this out for almost a decade now. If by some strange fluke I wound up President, I would beg and plead until he agreed to be Secretary of the Treasury.
That doesn't mean I always agree with him, and thus brings today's post. As I mentioned yesterday, things at the Oakland version of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement have gotten way out of hand.
Oakland has long been a war zone. A major contributing factor to it's devolution into the dystopian land it has become has been a massive "poverty relief" agenda driven by five decades of progressive politicians. Oakland has city benefits exceeding the already excessive California benefits, which when piled on top of Federal benefits, all work together to provide massive incentives not to work. By staying home and having children, a young woman in Oakland can make five or six times what she could earn starting at a part-time job and working her way up into management. What does she do with all that money? She buys drugs and booze and has parties with all of her friends. The local newspaper and media all tell her that there are no jobs out there anyway, so she shouldn't bother looking. Much better to sign up for every government benefit under the sun and then supplement that assistance with prostitution and drug sales.
There are still a few neighborhoods that have not fallen into ghettos. The people who live there are sheltered by rank upon rank of police, local security, and other "defenders". They never see nor interact with the results of their constant electoral affirmation of progressive politicians. They live off of old royalties from books, movies, and music published three generations ago, or from dividends earned by careful stock investments made by their grandparents back when Oakland derived most of its income from military bases and defense industries. Being both of good conscience and stable economic position, they vote for every politician who promises they can fix the myriad problems in the other half of city by raising their taxes just a trifle and using the money to finance some new progressive anti-poverty scheme. After five decades of this combination of naivete and utopian planning, the city has fallen into these two camps, the one forever impoverished and the other forever stable.
Yesterday Karl wrote an enlightening article about police pensions. On November 1st, the Oakland Police Officer's Association wrote an "open letter" to the public. I don't know if Karl read the letter before or after his article on pensions. Regardless of whether the letter inspired the article or vice versa, the letter itself is not really intended for the entire citizenry of Oakland. The audience for the letter is the economically stable, taxpaying, progressive-voting half of the city that funds the police payroll. Notice, for example, this sentence from the opening paragraph:
We are severely understaffed with many City beats remaining unprotected by police during the day and evening hours.
Those "unprotected" neighborhoods compose the vast majority of the dystopian side of Oakland. The police dare not enter them, pretend they do not even exist, and try to go through life hoping that they are not on duty when something major happens and they actually have to drive into those neighborhoods to pick up dead bodies, conduct interviews, or perform some other required task. These neighborhoods receive almost no routine patrols. When police do enter on unavoidable police business, they travel in groups and exit again as quickly as possible. Naturally the residents trust the police even less than the police trust the residents. The incident involving a Mercedes running over two protestors took place at 11th and Broadway, smack dab in the middle of one of these dystopian neighborhoods.
Today Karl Denninger wrote this article: "The Mentality of the Cops." He lives in Florida and has spent his life working in internet-related jobs. He founded a couple of very successful companies and now speaks at a variety of events and rallies. Finance is something he excels at. I assume that is because it has been a lifelong passion of his even though his work was only partially related to the financial industry. He understands the number side of capital markets better than just about anyone I know. On the other hand he is only human and like all of us there are limits to both his knowledge and experience. As far as I know he has never been to Oakland and yet he has the temerity to blame the rapidly escalating violence on the police. Either through ignorance or his own political bias, he does not realize that the violence in Oakland has as much to do with the publically stated demands and concerns of the folks in Zuccotti Park as he himself does with the current Tea Party.
You see, Karl Denninger originally inspired the movement that eventually became the Tea Party. The Occupy Wall Street movement may or may not have inspired the protests in Oakland. It could just as easily be that the connection between Oakland and Zuccotti Park is deliberate, planned in advance, and has nothing at all to do with either inspiration or politics. If we peek behind the curtain of Occupy Wall Street we find something entirely unconstitutional, revolutionary in nature, and decidedly Marxist in orientation: the US Day of Rage. This group is directly connected to Europe's "Invisible Committee", which is turn finds implementation through the activities of "AdBusters" and "Anonymous", both of whom helped in the planning stages for many of the "Occupy" protest sites and even now oversee the communications channels.
The "Occupy Wall Street" movement has nothing to do with restoring the Constitution to prominence, preserving our freedoms for future generations, and insuring that everyone in America has equal opportunity to realize their full potential. The Occupy Wall Street movement was created by and is even now backed by global anarchists and Marxists. Once in awhile they succeed in hiding this backing, but as soon as we scratch below the surface we find the global anarchists making key decisions, providing logistics, and making sure Occupy Wall Street has a global audience. Consider their sudden surge in financial support. Nearly a million dollars from "anonymous" supporters, which in turn is being used for logistics in Zuccotti Park and nowhere else. At least, not officially.
Another point to consider, whenever a celebrity shows up at Occupy Wall Street or one of the supporting protests, they are welcomed with open arms. But when famed civil rights leader John Lewis showed up at the Atlanta protest, he was denied permission to speak. Granted, after realizing their mistake they invited him back, but still, why refuse a genuine civil rights icon after accepting multiple celebrities who are dedicated members of the economic 1% the protesters are claiming to be against? If this kind of delusional, reputation-dependent rationalization is indicative of "free-thinking", then I want no part of it!
Karl is often elitist and condescending in his remarks, but so am I. We are both human, after all. The real problem is that I see the Occupy Wall Street movement continuing to descend into violence and chaos while he is blind to the sometimes violent and often illegal actions of the protesters. I expect the violence to continue escalating because that is the stated goal of the people who organized it and brought it to fruition. Anarchists and Marxists are not "taking over" the movement, they created it! For some reason, Karl Denninger and much of the mainstream media does not see the connections between the relatively peaceful protest in Zucotti Park and the daily more violent protest in Oakland. They grab every hint of sanity or every straw of lucid thinking the movement publishes, ignoring as they do so that the channels this information comes through are controlled, managed, and supported by the most radical and extreme globalists out there.
It is no coincidence that AdBusters and Anonymous are providing the logistics for the Occupy Wall Street movement. They were instrumental in its planning and they laid the foundations it is built upon. The only way for the Occupy Wall Street movement to not become more violent is for the more rational minority to snatch control away from the organizers and force the movement onto a peaceful track. Unfortunately, I don't see any evidence of that happening.