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As I watched and read the news accounts of the recent breakdown of the Occupy camps in New York and Los Angeles, I couldn't help but recall a little sticker I kept on my bookcase for years - a memento of a Grateful Dead weekend in 1987 that read - "Deadheads Leave Only Footprints". For that event, some 15,000 Deadheads descended on Telluride Colorado, population (at the time), less than 1,000. Locals marveled when the horde migrated on to the next venue after a week that they left the landscape nearly as pristine as when they arrived, and in some cases, cleaner.
Contrast that to the remnants of a few hundred 'occupiers' and the detritus of their two month campout in Los Angeles where clean-up crews yesterday moved in wearing haz-mat suits to remove some 25 - 30 TONS of garbage. Among the souvenirs left in the tents - hundreds of 2 liter bottles of urine and shopping bags filled with 20 pounds of human feces. City Hall employees were cautioned to use side entrances to get to work as workers dealt with lice, maggots and other infectious pestilences.
Add to that an estimate by LA Mayor (and Occupy ally) Antonio Villaraigosa, that it will cost the city close to, or more than, $1 million dollars to bring the park back to its previous condition for public use, replacing sod and sprinkler systems and general other repairs and destruction caused by the Occupiers. That's just repair work - it doesn't include the cost of clean-up and the hundreds of overtime man hours by the LAPD, or the up-tick in crime in other areas because police were concentrated on the Occupy area rather than doing their customary patrols.
All that to accomplish...? There was never a coherent message posited by the group. While costing taxpayers millions, they ranted about income inequality. While reviling the wealthy 1% they took hand-outs from union organizers, the same people bankrupting the state with their fat-cat pension plans. Free education? Free healthcare? Free housing and no more foreclosures? Who pays for that?
Oh yeah, that would be the 98% who are not the wealthy 1% or the <1% Occupiers - us poor dunderheads paying the tab for your summer campout in our public parks.
Here's a thought - this winter, while the cold weather makes it 'inconvenient' to carry on your heartfelt protest - DO SOMETHING POSITIVE! Maybe read up on the capitalist system you seem to despise so much and find out why, with all its imperfections, it still appears to be superior to any other economic model that's been tried around the world.
You might also read some history and maybe the biographies of those 1% you despise. Because you know what? With few exceptions those people weren't always rich. But instead of hanging out in parks demanding that somebody else clean up after them they pulled themselves up and got rich on their own. They had an idea. They started a company and put people to work. They saw a need for a product or service and took steps to fill that need. That's what this country is about - not free handouts to the disaffected, lazy and useless.
If you don't want to do what's necessary to enrich yourself on Wall Street, don't disparage those that have dedicated their lives to that pursuit. If you don't have the foresight to see a market niche, or the courage and conviction to pursue it, don't bitch about those who take that extra step. If you don't like the inequality of income in the country today, develop your skills as an actor or an athlete and make way more money than your talents might deserve. Or become a Kardasian or a Snookie and make millions for no apparent reason at all. The opportunities are endless for those with imagination and desire. Fortunately for them (and you), intelligence is optional.
Oh, and here's another thought to ponder during the long winter of your discontent - maybe cut your hair, remove some of your more visible facial piercings, don't get any more tattoos on your face, take an occasional shower and learn to speak reasonably comprehensible English. All of those things will go a long ways toward helping you cope with reality. After all, in spite of what you would like to believe, life really isn't fair. Sometimes it downright sucks - been there, done that, got the T-shirt.
My Dad, a miner by trade, died when I was 10. I worked in that same mine to put myself through college. A MINE! Think that's fun? Easy? What I wanted to be doing with my summers while friends with richer families went to camp or just hung out? And I'm proud to say that both my kids, neither of whom has attended college (much to my chagrin), are both entrepreneurs and have carved out niches where they are happy and successful, if not exactly rich.
So I'll close with some quotes from Thomas Jefferson. He was our third President, you know, and was an activist during our country's founding. He didn't camp out in parks and crap in a baggie, he had a goal and started out to effect real change in a system that did not work.
If you think corporations are bad today, here's what old Tom had to say about them back then - "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." We didn't crush them then, but the effort to control their hold on our government continues.
To those of you who think hanging out in the park for months on end is actually accomplishing something, Tom had this to say - "Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing."
And finally, as to your demands that everything should be free, here's some sound advice from Tom - "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."
Of course that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.