This is an actual news headline and story.

I am NOT making this up, Internet.

If authorities come to Mellon Green to break up the Occupy Pittsburgh encampment, the protesters have a plan to fight back — by rickrolling.

At a hearing this morning on an injunction to have the group ousted from the park owned by BNY Mellon, occupier Mike Lawson said the group decided to play the 1987 Rick Astley song “Never Gonna Give You Up” if confronted by authorities.


Second: Yes, this will get you taken seriously as a legitimate movement with legitimate demands.

Third: It’s not a Rickroll if YOU TELL THEM FIRST.

Fourth: You guys! Click this link to see a video about Occupy Pittsburgh but it’s not really a video about Occupy Pittsburgh. It’s Rick Astley’s video for Never Gonna Give You Up.

Fifth: Since they’re doing things that used to be cool, but aren’t anymore, I assume they’re working on a raging flash mob dance that includes planking.


  1. geysergirl
    January 12, 2012 4:28 pm

    What I really want is to see anything that doesn’t bleed can’t donate to a political anything, anyway, anyhow. K-street shut down. No money from anything that doesn’t bleed. Things would change to “more fair.” Every single person that bleeds (and I do mean this different ways) needs to work together to get non-bleeding money OUT of our politics. Corporations would be changed by the lack of effectiveness at buying politicians. Corporations should be reinvesting profits instead of spending it on politicians. Its wrong. Morally wrong what we have let them (the non-bleeders) do to us. Jesus upset the money-changers for a reason. Lets follow his lead and get the monied non-bleeders out of our system.

  2. Lauren
    January 12, 2012 4:29 pm


    This chart shows an increase in educational spending over the last several years and is what I was referring to. I would also recommend the documentary “Waiting for Superman” if you would like to see correlation between spending vs. results and expectations vs. results. I am not saying we should NOT spend on education, but I do think that we need to reevaluate how we are educating before we throw more money at a problem and expect it to fix everything.


    I completely agree that the federal budget has put too much priority in certain expenditures (defense acquisitions, for example) and not enough in others (roads and bridges.) I just wonder whether these goals could be accomplished more rapidly and with better results at a state level. I think most can agree that Washington bureaucrats are, for the most part, out of touch with what goes on outside the beltway aside from their own districts. If the feds took a step back and the states were allowed more authority in matters such as education and healthcare, I think we would see better results overall. This is where my issues with Occupy come in. If you are unhappy with the status quo, why ask for more government when government has caused the vast majority of the current problems (i.e. crony capitalism from both parties.)?

  3. nunya
    January 12, 2012 4:36 pm

    pretty sure they didn’t volunteer this sinister plan of humor voluntary.
    the occu-peeps were asked a direct question by the bny lawyers and answered the question truthfully and honestly.

    secondly,they should be taken very seriously how many times have they shut oakland down or even grant street during rush hour on tuesday. and not only that they are standing up for what they believe in something i don’t see much of nowadays.
    they also have the support of all the unions in the town. your own father used to be a steel worker right? guess what the steel workers are op’s biggest supporter.

    thirdly: you used to write about things that were cool, but now you don’t anymore. this blog used to be very entertaining but now it’s just pictures with stupid sayings put on them.

    fourth: why don’t you go down to occupy pittsburgh and talk to them?
    seems you do enough bashing of them and no real”reporting” or even any attempt to actually talk to these folks.

    fifth: roethlisberger does look like a douche in a fedora

  4. geysergirl
    January 12, 2012 4:40 pm

    @nancy Government is part of the problem because the elected ones (House and Senate) are mostly part of the 1% and want to keep things as they are or even make them worse. Let alone the revolving door that keeps those guys even happier. That door would go away if non-bleeders couldn’t donate or do anything in politics. I’m not expecting government to change the system. It has to be done in the streets by all of us that bleed. When the big guys think we will make a revolt, then we will have change…same as the 60’s. It took blood. Same as the union movements. It needs done. Either now or when it is even worse for the average guy.

  5. Bram R
    January 12, 2012 4:42 pm

    @Nancy (#48) – I love everything about your comment!

    @Lauren (#52) – I’ve no problem with the feds handing over resources to the states, and letting the states figure out how to tackle these issues. I like the laboratory that is states’ rights. Of course, when I think of Pennsylvania and its bloated Bonusgate Casablanca casino I’m not entirely inspired of confidence in that organ. :) I don’t like talking about “more government” and I agree we need “more efficient government,” but I’m afraid we need more energy in “government” if only to do things the private sector cannot and will not do and individuals and communities do not have the resources and wherewithal to do alone.

  6. Monty
    January 12, 2012 4:43 pm

    Yes, Monkey Blogger, dance for us. Your levity completely ignores a bunch of stuff about a stairway. How you can sleep at night is a mystery to me, you witless turd.

  7. Yinzer
    January 12, 2012 4:51 pm

    Lauren, those charts don’t say what you think they say. For example, look at the chart for “Total Expenditures per Pupil (for Fall Enrollment).” The text at the bottom of the chart states: “This graph shows that average education expenditures per pupil (for fall enrollment) rose from $3,400 in 1965 to $8,745 in 2001.”

    Well, see, there is this thing called inflation. So if you go to a handy internet-based inflation calculator like this: and plug in 1965 you bought something for $3,400 – it turns out that you’d spend $19,104.76. So, please explain to me about how this shows that we are spending more on educating our children?

  8. Bram R
    January 12, 2012 4:58 pm

    #56 Monte – Just a bunch of stuff about a stairway, and millions of taxpayer dollars in economic development subsidies and tax breaks, and laws and BNY Mellon perhaps being serious about its commitment to the citizenry to provide “open public space”.

    I missed it if anybody called Her Royal Highness a witless turd. Ginny’s manifestly witful and only occasionally turdlike — and even then only of the finest turd-caliber. This is the first time I’ve been tagged an Annoying Burgher.

  9. Butcher's Dog
    January 12, 2012 5:10 pm

    @Nancy: you’re right; NCLB is terrible. Basically a way for Bush to channel public education funds to his cronies in private education. Please help your two kids by being involved in their education, both at home and by bugging school officials at every occasion.

    @bucdaddy: I’m not the one to set arbitrary limits on income. But having read Reckless Endangerment and Throw Them All Out, I’m convinced that much of the wealth accumulated by head honchos is done by means that are illegal in every way except, um, the legal one. Meaning that laws protect behavior that would be illegal if you or I did it. Again, Bullshit. Remember that the Insider Trading bill before Congress languished with only a couple of sponsors and no chance in hell of passage until 60 Minutes ran their story. The longer this crap goes on, the better Throw Them All Out looks to me.

  10. Lauren
    January 12, 2012 5:29 pm


    Second chart. In 1990, 248.9 billion was spent on education. Using your inflation calculator, that equates to 430.8 billion in 201l dollars. 536 billion was spent in 2004, and I would assume more has been spent in each subsequent year (although I could be wrong, and would be happy to be corrected.) So overall spending has gone up. Also, the chart you referenced refers to “Constant dollars” which I would guess are adjusted for inflation. The charts don’t specify either way. (BTW–I have an economics degree. I have an idea what inflation is, LOL :))


    Well, if you aren’t happy with how Pennsylvania is running it’s state, you could always move (says she who has lived in 5 different states in the last seven years) ;) I think the states are fairly beholden to the Feds when it comes to funding certain projects, and are constantly having to deal with Washington telling them what to do and how it should be done or else funding dries up. If they were given more autonomy, not only would they be able to focus more on issues, but perhaps the overall populace would be more interested in their state representation instead of their federal representation, and feel more connected to their say in government (pollyanish, I know.)

    I guess I just question the wisdom of throwing money (from any source) at problems from a federal level and expecting things to change. One thing is for certain: If taxes on corporations rise, prices for everyone will rise and unemployment will rise as companies compensate for lost revenue. Are we willing to make that sacrifice for programs as they are now constructed?

  11. Bram R
    January 12, 2012 6:41 pm

    @Lauren – I get a little hesitant to defend “throwing money at a problem” in the context of Occupy, because I’m a progressive Democrat and that’s how *I* roll *personally* — but that’s not true of all Occupy. We’ve got our Libertarians and our anarchists and Libertarians and independent thinkers and more; lots of people can see the general problem but we’re not voting people off the island for differing on complex prescriptions. But I personally think that people try so hard to amass wealth because it’s *really useful* and *you can do a lot with it*. So in a representative democracy, there must in addition to sluggish waste also be *wise ways* to invest liquidity into problem-solving. Roads and bridges and preventative medicine and other things we can all use together.

  12. Bram R
    January 12, 2012 6:42 pm

    Didn’t mean to write Libertarians twice. Figure one of them is plain old Libertarians and the other one is Ron Paul’s fearsome army.

  13. VAgirl
    January 12, 2012 7:09 pm

    Bram R thank you for voicing my similar viewpoints. Very interesting viewpoints stated here but this is just another result of Occupy. The movement is bringing conversation amongst us and hopefully a change in this country. WAKE UP PEOPLE!

  14. Yinzer
    January 12, 2012 8:02 pm

    Lauren, the problem with those charts is that you can’t get an apples to apples comparison. The 2nd chart claims to show “Total U.S. Expenditures for Elementary and Secondary Education” – but you see underneath the fine print – “This graph shows that federal funding for Title I, which provides grants to help disadvantaged children, rose from under $3 billion in 1980 to more than $7 billion in 2000 and nearly $14 billion in 2005.” So this chart only shows Title I funding. Title 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 is for “meeting the educational needs of low-achieving children in our Nation’s highest-poverty schools, limited English proficient children, migratory children, children with disabilities, Indian children, neglected or delinquent children, and young children in need of reading assistance”. Title 1 expenditures have gone up because a greater and greater percentage of our school children live in homes with incomes in the poverty range. Today about 21% of our nation’s children live in poverty. That rate has been going up over the past 20 years. Largely as a consequence, Title 1 funding has gone up.

    But Title 1 education funding does not equal all education funding – and so I don’t find that 2nd chart to say what you are saying.

  15. Yinzer
    January 12, 2012 8:27 pm

    Lauren, you’re right on the constant dollars, and my last post isn’t accurate. It appears the 2nd chart shows Title 1 as the federal share. It is still a confusing chart – but my post above is inaccurate. However, it does not appear that the 2nd chart is adjusted to inflation.

  16. bucdaddy
    January 13, 2012 1:19 am

    I’m hoping that because of the latter (and the fact that I’m a Buccos-supporting, beer-loving girl) you still love me.

    You know I do. *swoon*

    You know which industry has something like 34 top executives who make more than $1 million a year and whose individual business entities pay ZERO taxes?

    Yep. The secondary-education industry, running young adults into a lifetime of debt in return for largely worthless pieces of paper. What a scam! So where’s the outrage?

  17. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    January 13, 2012 10:39 am

    Thanks @bucdaddy! I thought of you as last night as I was enjoying a wonderful cask-pulled Victory Uncle Teddy’s Bitter!

  18. Lauren
    January 13, 2012 1:25 pm


    Word. Extremely good point.


    I think the disjointed constituencies that make up Occupy are confusing. People are protesting similar entities, but have very different ideas about how to best change the situation. As somewhere in between the “Libertarian” and the “Ron Paul army” you referenced, you can guess where my sensibilities lie :) I do disagree with how both sides of the media have presented the movement and feel as though the media has completely dropped the ball in examining some of the legitimate issues Occupy has brought up. They’re either too busy kissing Obama’s ass or coming up with reasons he should be impeached. It’s ridiculous.


    I am certainly not against increasing funding for education. The only reason I made the argument I did was that I was trying to illustrate my point that funding doesn’t always equal results. We need to pay our teachers much better than we currently do (especially in states like Arizona that aren’t as union-centric as Pennsylvania) and provide the technology necessary to prepare kids for what they’re going to see in the work place. But we also need to figure out why the current system continues to leave us lagging behind other countries in achievement. Again, I’ll bring up the issue of differences among states as to why I think the Feds need to leave education to the states. There are a hell of a lot more ESL students here in Arizona than in Pennsylvania. Should classes be the same? Should expectations be the same?

  19. Virginia
    January 13, 2012 1:29 pm

    Just a big fat BRAVO for everyone keeping things mostly calm and informative here.

    Lots of good info. Also, I don’t care who you are, a headline about rickrolling is hilarious and that’s what I do here on this blog. I point out the hilarious and the ludicrous.

    I’m honestly shocked the story didn’t go viral on the national news sites, it’s that awesome.

  20. bucdaddy
    January 15, 2012 2:59 pm


    Victory for your taste!

    As I type this I have the remnants of a sampler case (Golden Monkey/Hop Devil/Prima Pilsner) in my beer fridge.

    Tonight, though, I’ll be sipping Mountain State B.C. product (before I go see Johnny Winter at Mountain Stage), and I’ll tip one in your direction. Not sure which direction you are from here, though, so to be on the safe side I better tip one of each in EVERY direction. ;-)