Over the last few months, thenation.com has made an effort to foster a robust and thoughtful comments section befitting the mighty intelligence of our readership. We’re pleased to report that the shoe ads are gone, the name-calling is at a minimum and astute and witty commentary is on the rise. Here are our favorite comments from the last week. Let us know what you think — in the comments!

07rescue: Greider lauds the strengths and excitement of the newly birthed OWS movement. I have often felt very fortunate that I lived in a time when the LGBT movement was born, in a climate where, despite our fear and oppression, we experienced the empowerment and gritty vitality of stepping up as tiny individuals to help change the world. I have often wished others could experience that raw and vibrant joie de vivre that comes from having the winds of change at your back, and pushing forward despite huge odds. It connects one to life and time and bestows meaning beyond mere survival. Perhaps OWS could ignite that spark of life in the American public, long grown too numb and inured to despair.
In response to William Greider’s “The Democratic Promise of Occupy Wall Street.” November 22, 2011.
 
 
kevin chamow: I don’t think they’re trying to turn this into a strictly political movement. It’ll be more successful in the long run if they try to change the culture, discourses, etc. This isn’t ancillary to democracy, but has and continues to be it’s main artery.
In response to William Greider’s “The Democratic Promise of Occupy Wall Street.” November 22, 2011.
 
 
Jimdandy77: My primary purpose in writing is to give advice to all peaceful protestors of OWS.
1. Do not become involved with troublemakers, nor allow them to take refuge in your ranks.
2. Do not become confrontational with the police, they are only doing what they are ordered to do and there is a real concern for the safety of the officers, the public and the demonstrators.
3. If you do not intend to get arrested, obey any order issued by any officer.
4. If you decide to be arrested, do not resist or force the officers to carry you to the vehicle. When told you are under arrest, place your hands behind your back palms facing submit to being cuffed and do as ordered without comment. .

If all protestors conduct themselves in this manner, they will minimize if not completely remove any need for force by any law enforcement agency. Furthermore, I believe conducting yourself in this manner almost guarantees a positive resolution to your demands. The incident at UC Davis was outrageous and a disgrace. It was offensive to every man and woman that wears or has worn the uniform of a police officer. I am a retired Correction Captain and if I were in command of any operation and anyone under my command were to act in such a manner I would have suspended him or her on the spot and referred the matter to the DA. I am not soft on crime nor have I ever hesitated to use whatever force was necessary under the prevailing circumstances. There are rules governing the use of force. Pepper Spray is a non-lethal weapon, its contents are under pressure and the officer is not supposed to spray directly into the eyes of the offender, as this can cause severe damage to the eye. Also, persons with respiratory ailments can be severely compromised. Every department that I know of instructs the user to issue in short bursts, which is almost always all that is necessary.

Bottom line: the students offered no threat to the officers and, in my opinion, there were sufficient personnel on the scene to have handled the situation without any harm coming to either students or officers. In my opinion, the actions of the officers were the actions of cowards. I am not second-guessing the officers, and in most cases I support the effort of all law enforcement officers. I have been in more than one riot, beginning with when I was a Military Policeman with the 287 MP Company in Berlin Germany. In 1956 when the Russians invaded Czechoslovakia, we had to keep the West Germans from crossing into East Germany. I know the rules of engagement and the progression of levels of force when confronted with a need for crowd and/or riot control.
In response to Katrina vanden Heuvel’s “The Occupy Movement Can’t Be Sprayed Away.” November 22, 2011.

crabwalk: Still waiting for a logical explanation of why, when unions are at historic low membership and taxes are the same, and the top earners are doing better than ever…where the "trickle down" is? If supply-side theory worked, should we not have high employment and more money coming into the pockets of the middle class? Despite a slow recovery, corporate profits ––– after tax and unadjusted for inventories or capital consumption ––– rose at a 6.5 percent seasonally adjusted rate compared with a year earlier, the Commerce Department said in its first estimate for the quarter.
In response to George Zornick’s “Are Republicans About to Kill the NLRB?” November 22, 2011.
 
curiousbutwithvalues: I am proud of many of the faculty in the UC system. I am a graduate of a university in California, and taught for many years in several universities there. I do believe that the university system in California attempts to combine the best of "critical objective observation, research, analysis and evaluation" with the best of "value based research for humanity; value based pursuit of knowledge for the common good and value based practice and development". It is shocking how much has changed. This is why I left Southern Cal. and moved to the North. Southern Cal universities had become infiltrated by corporatists, rich alumni who wanted to control curriculum, students who wanted A because they pay, and faculty who were being replaced by a bunch of mediocre managers and administrators.

And people like me who were pointing this out, and wanted students to get more political, were disliked, distrusted and distanced. So some of us were struggling at the bottom as perpetual tenure-only-in-track, adjunct or part-timers. Of course, if we so much as raised concerns, keeping our cool, then we were manipulated into "you will not receive any support." And sometimes we found our papers deliberately distorted by people who wanted to ruin our reputation or our image. I had one moron circulate a paper that I had not edited around ––– to embarrass me. How do you deal with that kind of evil? Most of us were over worked, underpaid and stretched to the max. It became a good ole boy clan of a different sort…like that in Wall Street. We had very good applicants, including I, who rejected several jobs in Cal because we could not live close to the university due to high mortgage and rental costs. Some young faculty shared apartments in rotation (can you imagine?) because they could not afford decent shoes, while some of their students came in convertibles, and the managers got free parking next to their building. Tuition for students has gone up, and I saw kids who should be reading in libraries and having fun with their friends working two jobs just to pay the tuition. I saw smart students doing badly or dropping out because they did not get support, while all the money went to administration, technology that rotted in rooms and rich kids who wanted expensive tennis courts.

Are you kidding me? Can you imagine hospitals where doctors, who know medicine, don’t run the show? Do you know a Congress where non-elected members run the show? I guess you do. We’ve been dealing with this crap for the last twenty years. Transformation of education: in curriculum, in priorities, in teaching styles, in value-based research…have all got to be reformed! But above all that we have to take back our universities (by students and faculty). No more domination by administrators and corporatists.
In response to Jon Wiener’s “Berkeley Faculty: No Confidence in Chancellor Over Campus Police Violence.” November 25, 2011.