To service members protesting in the Occupy Wallstreet movement: Get Real

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On today’s front page of the Stars and Stripes paper, a “sailor” sporting lug-nut sized earrings marches proudly beside a “soldier” whose chin is carapaced under a bushy goatee.  The article carrying this photo says that military veterans have joined the Occupy Wall Street movement and some are protesting the much higher wages that “corporate contractors” made in relation to what service members made while in war zones.

First of all, if money is the primary reason that someone is in the military, they should get out.  There’re easier ways to make money outside the military.  Secondly, the complaint about the contractors is ridiculous, at least in the context of what these protests are supposedly about.  Most of the contractors–a huge majority–are former military personnel with specialized skills.  The military hires them to fulfill two needs: 1) The specialized, technical skills those contractors possess aren’t easily found in 22 year old E4 Specialists.  2) Force Caps, or the maximum number of troops that Congress allows in Afghanistan and Iraq, hinders operations, and in order to get around that, the billets are filled with contractors whom have to pay for their own insurance, their own house back home.  With the contractors level of experience and college education, they’d be making similar money in the military if we counted benefits such as housing, training pay and TRICARE insurance.  Plus they could look forward to federal retirement pay.  And did military pay go down when we began paying a lot of contractors? Not to my knowledge.

These contractors also almost always have college degrees, or decades experience in a specialized field, such as law enforcement persons training foreign national troops.

I’m assuming that the two people marching in the protest are not currently in the military, because neither met the grooming or dress standards for anyone in the US Navy or Army.  And since they are protesting, it may be safe to assume that they are having a difficult time with finances.  In fact, below the photo in Stars and Stripes, the writer cites a complaint about service members having a difficult time after service.  Why did they leave the military? Even if the military is not the best situation for many people, it would seem better than being unemployed.  But I guess our government has made unemployment so comfortable an existence that it’s preferable to a real job with great benefits.  And you can always protest in hopes the government will give you the benefits you had when you were working.

Speaking of which.  The protesting service members should know that one of the things the Wall Street mob wants, is a free ride through college, and all their college debts paid off by–who else–the government.  Otherwise known as all the people who aren’t protesting but are actually working so as to generate taxable income.  As military veterans they have access to a fantastic thing called the GI Bill.  Have they used it?  Or did they throw away a job with no plan for the future?

To tell the truth, I have no idea if the two people in Stars and Stripes are really current or ex-service members.  Since ACORN got caught paying people to protest, it would actually be pure genius to pay some people to pose as disgruntled vets, just begging for more dole.

But if they are real, I’m embarrassed for them and by them.  If they’re not in the military anymore, I’m glad.  If they are they should spend more time studying for the next promotion board so they can make more money. And they got more free stuff in the military than they’ll get anywhere else.

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13 thoughts on “To service members protesting in the Occupy Wallstreet movement: Get Real

    WTP said:
    November 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Here’s one for ya…

    http://tinyurl.com/6yzajkl

    magus71 responded:
    November 4, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    That’s awesome; where’d you find this?

    anon said:
    November 4, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Acorn can’t be paying people to protest if Acorn doesn’t exit. Logic fail.

    Royce said:
    November 4, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Thank you for this rebuttal that very few will see and read — unfortunately. To be in the military is an honor and a small price to pay for the priviledge to live here. I served with several men who were in the Army for the purpose of becoming citizens and who intended to make the Army their careers. I come from a working class family and while they helped I would not have finished college except for ROTC. When I left my civilian job to fulfill my military obligation I took a 50% reduction in pay – so you are totally correct in claiming that money is not the motivation for anyone in the military. I was recruited out of the Army at more than twice what I was earning as a Captain in order to work on a secret project for NORAD. So once again you are right — the military hires contractors to capitalize on skills not readily available. I am as incensed as you are about those ridiculous protesters with their fried brains and pointless existence. The two protesters you cited should be ashamed of themselves — assuming of course they are real and haven’t been forced out of the military.

    WTP said:
    November 5, 2011 at 12:04 am

    My cousin, who had a desk job in the Navy for a few years, posted it on FB. She got it from some Fox news reporter, in Atlanta I think. Some Doug Evens from FOX 5.

    WTP said:
    November 5, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Doug Evans…duh.

    magus71 responded:
    November 5, 2011 at 6:15 am

    anon,

    You really got me there. I…I…just don’t know how to reply except that ACORN changed its name to New York Communities for Change (NYCC) kind of like some people convicted of felonies change their name to lessen the chances people find out about past crimes.

    So all you got out of this article was a semantics argument?

    By the way: I knew ACORN changed their name and the article I link to gives their current name.

    magus71 responded:
    November 5, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Royce,

    I’d like to see you write something on your thoughts on this Occupy movement.

    anonymous said:
    November 8, 2011 at 7:27 am

    “The protesting service members should know that one of the things the Wall Street mob wants, is a free ride through college, and all their college debts paid off by–who else–the government.”

    Some. I believe a more commonly voiced perception is that college tuition fees are simply too high to begin with. A lot of people want education to lift themselves out of poverty, but the expense is such that it usually just sinks them into debt. Many people would like nothing more than to “actually work,” but the only work open for their level of education may be dead-end jobs that feature long hours and subsistence-level pay.

    And as far as linking Fox News is concerned, you should be aware that the integrity of their reporting has often been called into question. I’ve included a link here with some description.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox_News_Channel_controversies

    magus71 responded:
    November 8, 2011 at 7:56 am

    anonymous,

    Is there anyone other than Fox News that’s investigating NYCC’s involvement? Whatever you think of Fox News, I’d say any allegations that Fox is lying or falsifying evidence need to be backed with facts specific to this case.

    I’m well versed in what some (the left) think of Fox News. As with most news organizations, Fox shows its bias by what it chooses to report or not report, not by lying about facts.

    anonymous said:
    November 8, 2011 at 8:32 am

    “As with most news organizations, Fox shows its bias by what it chooses to report or not report, not by lying about facts.”

    True that…although, that’s generally the worst kind of bias at all. When you read some wing nut reporting on some kind of political event, you can generally filter enough of their partiality to figure out what really happened. But when events aren’t reported it all, it’s like they never happened. The viewer is not even given the chance to form his or her own opinion of it.

    It isn’t falsifying of facts I’m concerned about, really, it’s just the hyping of certain stories and the downplaying of others. With those kind of techniques, it’s easy to project some kind of narrative on current events that might not even exist.

    anonymous said:
    November 8, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Also, can you explain to me why it’s bad that NYCC is paying poor people to protest?

    magus71 responded:
    November 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Well, it’s certainly deceptive. If we assume that they are paying protesters, and that the Fox investigation revealed true information, then NYCC itself tried to hide the fact that it paid protesters. It was destroying evidence that it did so and putting gag orders on its employees. Why? Obviously the people in the organization felt they were doing something wrong.

    As for why it’s wrong–it’s because it gives a false impression to people watching the news and to politicians who may be trying to follow the will of the will of the people.” For instance, suppose a small group (10 people) decided that they think the government should give them free twinkies. Hostess likes this idea because it can get a governmnet contract. So Hostess pays 300 people to prtest with the 10 original people, thus giving the impression that a lot more people want free twinkies.

    Why should you have to pay people who have little knowledge or opinion on the subject to protest? Why doesn’t the message stand on its own? If the people really felt strongly about the issue, they’d already be protesting. What if the day after the NYCC protest they poor person paid to protest got paid by the Tea Party to protest high taxes? I’d have problem with that, too.

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