"I pray to God that I shall not live one hour after I have thought of using deception."
Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603)
I owe my readers an apology. I'm sorry.
In one of my last columns, where I went down to try and chronicle the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) muddle, I found only a handful of what I called "intelligent life forms."
One of my favorites was "Stacy," a Florida mother of four. Stacey, as I later learned her name was spelled, "made me proud to be a human being" as I said in the piece.
Her name was Stacey Hessler.
Well, once again I am surprised at my own poor ability to judge people. I don't know about you reader, but sometimes when I'm very excited to meet someone new and I try to assess their motivations or sincerity, I just completely misjudge them.
I went way off the deep-end in misjudging Stacey. I was stupid, naïve and desperate to find any good people to write about and talk up in my article. I wanted to see some good, any good down at OWS, something positive. But I was wrong and what I wrote was wrong.
What's happening down at Zuccotti Park is not good in any way, shape or form.
You see, I never figured Stacey for the kind of person to leave her banker husband (how ironic is that?) and four children ages 17, 15, 13 and 7.
First I saw a TV report on her. Not good, I thought.
Then a NY Post article; worse.
The Post quotes Stacey as saying she was staying at Zuccotti Park "indefinitely ... forever," which was a heartbreaking thing for me to hear. Unfortunately, Stacey went on, "Military people leave their families all the time, so why should I feel bad? I'm fighting for a better world," she said insolently. There are millions of American families who sent their children into battle who are righteously indignant and furious with Stacey's comments; and they should be.
When I asked Stacey if her family supported her being in New York and away from them, she was all smiles and roses. "Yes," she bubbled, "and it's so wonderful to have the support of my husband and kids." When I asked when she was returning to Florida and her family, she told me very soon and that she "missed them so much."
In the meantime, a second NY Post article quoting some of Stacey's neighbors in Florida came out; they were not supportive.
I don't want to judge anybody. It's true I liked Stacey when I met her and spent the better part of 30 minutes talking with her. As I wrote, I thought she was a tremendous human being.
But she didn't let on when she was telling me that she was "staying as long as it takes," that she had taken up with some waiter sleeping under a tarp with him at the OWS campsite and was never going home to her husband and four children.
I'm flabbergasted. I'm disappointed in myself, and in Stacey.
Cut to disappointment #2 for me. As if to really add insult to injury for me, there was yet another man whose photo I took and who was apparently in very good cheer when I took this photo.
I even put the caption "What A Nice, Kind Man!!" to his photo in my slide show.
Well, he wasn't so nice and kind the next time I saw him. I was sickened to see this same older veteran, berating and trying to intimidate another member of the media.
This man, who seemed so affable and on his best behavior with other media, was shrieking at John Stossel when Stossel, a Libertarian a lot closer in political affiliation to the OWS crowd than to a Conservative went down to the park to see what the protestors might tell him.
So, I apologize to my readers for not accurately writing about how bad things really are down at OWS. It was my responsibility to accurately portray the protestors down there and I flubbed it. No excuse, but I really did want to balance my column and write about a few people with their heads screwed on straight.
Finally, to cap off my feelings about how the few protestors dealt with me and their deception, I feel defecated upon. Just as this OWS protestor is doing to a NYPD police car.
"Liars when they speak the truth are not believed."
Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC)
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