I consider myself to be a moderate liberal.

I believe people should work hard toward achieving their goals and not blame others if they fail.  I also believe that society has the duty to help those in need of assistance (whatever form that may take).  I would much rather see people striving to make the community around them better instead of trying to achieve some personal gain.

I believe it is fine to remain neutral or have no firm opinion on an issue.  If you are not well informed or just don’t care it is fine to say “I don’t know.”  Not everything has to be “us” vs “them.”

I do not support any political party or religious denomination.  In fact, I support very few “isms.”  I have a general distrust for most organized groups.  When I join a group or organization it is because I wholeheartedly support and believe in most everything the group or organization stands for.  I have not found very many.

That being said, I do not support the “Occupy ______” movement.  I am also not against them.  The Occupy Iowa City group has been hanging out in some park downtown for a number of days now.  They plan to hold a rally Saturday morning.  I plan to check it out (after I go to the farmer’s market and before the Michigan vs Michigan State game.  GO BLUE!!!!).

I am not for or against public demonstrations or protests.  Protesting has produced a lot of positive change in this country (also a lot of bad).  In fact, the formation of the United States is in due in large part to protest movements.

But if you are going to protest you should do so for a reason and with a desire to produce actual change; positive practical results.  Don’t just protest because others are and you’re upset, but not sure why or where to direct your anger.  I am a solution driven person.  If you are having a problem and just want to vent I am not the guy to turn to.  I am the type of person who will respond with, “here’s what I think you should do…”

As far as I can tell, the Occupy movement doesn’t have a clear or unified agenda, goal, or even reason for protesting.  If you are angry, direct that anger in a useful manner.  Don’t just be angry to be angry.  Don’t be this guy:


Or these people:


I’ve been following the Occupy Iowa City movement on Facebook.  Thus far, as far as I can tell, they don’t seem to know what they are about or what they want to do.  They have passed meaningless resolutions that will have no impact on anything (kind of like Congress passing a non-binding resolution; pointless).  They don’t seem to have a common message or unified theme to anything they are doing.  They have had music and poetry readings.  The purpose?  Thus far, the most practical thing I have heard of them doing is giving out free pizza this evening.  Now that is something I can get behind.

Just so that I’m not misunderstood, I don’t support Wall Street either.  There was an NPR show a number of months ago that highlighted what Wall Street people thought of themselves.  Many banks and businesses have failed in the last few years.  The people they interviewed were employees of businesses that weathered the crisis.  Their explanation for why they were so successful when others had failed….drum roll please…they claimed it was because they were smarter than everyone else.  They are not.  If you are working on Wall Street chances are you have some kind of business degree from some highly ranked business school.  Business schools are the joke of the academic world.  No one in academia takes anyone with a business degree seriously.  You might as well tell me you just passed third grade.  Their standards are the lowest of any other university college, school, or department.  Being able to memorize a lot of business terms and take a lot of scantron tests does not make you smart.  You may have been a smart person prior to entering business school, but from the second you stepped into that first business class your mind began to deteriorate.

But Jason, business schools bring in a lot of money and people with business degrees make a lot of money.  Of course they do.  Doesn’t that make them smart and successful?  No.   Monetary wealth is not everyone’s standard of success.  It certainly isn’t mine.  I would not have pursued my chosen profession if it was.  And making money is certainly not a sign of intelligence.  Any idiot can make money if that is all they care about.  George W. Bush has a degree from Harvard Business School and he’s a moron (that is not opinion by the way, that is hard fact).

Many of the financial institutions in this country have done a lot of terrible things in this country in the past few years, and there doesn’t seem to be any repercussions for their actions.  Should people be pissed off at them.  Yes.  But if you are going to do something about it make it positive and meaningful.

It is interesting to see the conservative media criticizing the Occupy movement, yet supporting the Tea Party.  I see little difference between the two.  Both are unhappy with the way things are.  Both blame the “establishment.”  Both have very very vaguely defined goals.  Both have a lot of weirdos.  The main difference is that they see the other group as illegitimate.  Not because they are so different from them, but because they are so similar.  The other group is the proximate other.

I hope you have enjoyed the rant.  I don’t think it’s the best expression of my opinions to date, but there it is.  You don’t have to agree with me on any of this.  Many of you probably don’t.  Some of you are probably better informed and better able to articulate your opinions on the issue than I am.  I am willing to change my opinion of the Occupy movement if I was better informed.  Perhaps I will learn a little more on Saturday.

Maybe the Occupy people should join the Avengers (I REALLY can’t wait to see that movie!).