Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

99 percent VS OWS

Commentary By Ron Beasley

John and BJ have covered the latest developments in the OWS movement.  I'm going to give a slightly different take.  We learned today that public support for the OWS movement is falling.  It's easy to blame the media for this but I think that's simplistic. I am 65 years old and remember the the protests against the war in Vietnam.  The protests of the flower children/hippies scared people even if they were opposed to the war.  The majority felt threatened by those who appeared to reject everything they considered good and normal.  The DFH syndrome still exists 40 years later.  Initially the 99 percent movement had a great deal of support but as the camp outs became increasingly disruptive to people's lives the legitimate message was lost.

The occupation of parks in cities like New York and my town of Portland brought attention to the movement and were initially useful giving news time to the movement.  The camps were made up of people who believed in the cause in the beginning.  But it was predictable that the camps would become magnates for the homeless, many of which had mental health and drug issues.  Of course the anarchists will join the party at some point and they did.  In the area around occupy Portland crime increased by 80 percent.  With the Christmas shopping season approaching the downtown Portland retailers. most of whom are part of the 99 percent, were afraid that the protest would scare away customers. 

The occupation part of the 99 percent movement had served it's purpose after three weeks and should have voluntarily been ended then and less disruptive actions should have been initiated.  The movement failed to recognize the lesson of the Vietnam war protests.  The message was lost in filth and anarchy.


  1. Whatever this was to begin with, they have allowed it to turn into a battle over whether or not they will be allowed to "occupy" a public park, and that is an utterly trivial issue. Had they had a central theme to begin with perhaps it would not have devolved into this, but they were intent on not having a central issue, so the only thing for authority to push back against was the interference that they were creating with the rest of the public's ability to use public space and/or the "mess" they were creating.

  2. The opening chapter of Occupy may be coming to an end but the important part is just beginning. I never imagined when it began in a park in New York that the Occupy movement would flourish and spread as much as it has. In the short space of a few weeks the phrases and consciousness has permeated the culture, both social and political, in a way I never thought possible. Last night on the X-Factor, Simon Cowell's latest iteration of American Idol, one of the most exciting performances was by a singer wearing an Occupy Wall Street shirt, the set was festooned with peace symbols and his act was met with enthusiastic support from both audience and judges. And when I came across this link to all the places now claiming to have Live Feeds I knew that Occupy is just getting started.
    The camping out part was a set-up to attract all the elements that would come to any big gathering for all the wrong reasons (food, drugs, hell-raising, whatever) so it's not a bad development to have that part put to bed. After all, an ordinary picket line can be very effective and takes a lot less time and energy, space and other resources than camping out. Simple is not only good but far more practical. Besides, five hundred people make a good mass demonstration, but it's over in a few hours.
    The same five hundred can staff and maintain a ten-person presence around the clock (eight-hour shifts) at multiple locations and everybody can see each other, bathe, rest and pee at their leisure. Scheduling isn't rocket science and is far more practical and less boring than just hanging out all the time.
    These logistics may or may not become part of the movement, but I toss them out as an example of how effective a large and growing bunch of people can become. I'm encouraged by the imagination and energy of this part of the next generation.