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Rudy Takala's Columns

OccupyDC's Travails -- Largely with the Grass

This is a picture of a sign taken from McPherson Square (taken over for weeks by OccupyDC) currently hanging on the wall at the Cato Institue. It is particularly entertaining given that Charles Koch co-founded Cato. Unfortunately, the protesters have killed $419,000 worth of grass in Washington's McPherson Square by trodding around the premises incessantly. That grass was paid for earlier this year out of federal stimulus funding. Oops.
Fortunately, it looks like the protesters managed to find some grass seed at the local Wal-Mart. (Okay, it probably was not Wal-Mart as I doubt they shop at Wal-Mart. However, the main point is that it was probably not valued at the same $400,000 at which the original was valued.) It looks like someone threw it on the ground and staked a sign in the center, seemingly written by the same person who wrote the sign pictured at left, asking people not to walk on the freshly-planted grass.
That should fix the problem.
Another observation I had is that the protesters do not like protesters. They look like drug users, ex-convicts, occultists (one middle-aged female protester had numerous astrological symbols tattooed across her face, from pentagrams to symbols I would never be able to identify), but not like people who temporarily deviated from a given lifestyle to object to injustice. They looked like people who were tired of moving their tents around night-to-night and thus came up with an excuse to set up on a more long-term basis. It is an ingenuous way to call filth (literally) free speech.
They even set up an "OccupyDC Library" for interested parties. You can stop by, take a book or newspaper, and (presumably) return it when you're done. I found a great newspaper called "Socialist Worker" to take home.
Related to this topic, I interviewed for an internship with another organization in the city and, as soon as I took the elevator up, the organization shut the elevators down. Apparently OccupyDC was coming to protest the organization on the sidewalk, and they were worried about having their lobby invaded. The Occupy folks are certainly an intriguing group. (In this case, intriguing may also be taken to mean nutty.)
On that note, I was accepted for the internship with that organization. If I accept the offer, it is to begin January 3. That means I would be in Minnesota for two or up to three weeks prior to the internship. I am also applying for legal positions here; I would prefer to be paid more reliably than an internship will pay.
On a closing observation, my site traffic indicators suggest that I am receiving about 300 hits a month from Miami (the region from which I get the most traffic). That wouldn't surprise me as it is a large, conservative city, and I am sure people in Florida are reading my periodic articles online. However, it does surprise me that it is reporting 200 hits a month out of Kiev, Ukraine. I have no idea how anything I do online enters the Ukraine, so if anyone could help me in figuring this out, I would appreciate the help in alleviating my confusion.
On an aside, the picture at right is me with former attorney general Michael Mukasey.

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