The week began with the clearing out of ‘Occupy’ protesters from Zucotti Park Tuesday morning, and the subsequent re-occupation (minus the tents and camping accouterments) of members of the two month old movement against what they say is corporate advirace and income inequality. Nearly 200 were arrested by police during the eviction.
- Structures were dismantled and some property was confiscated by police. Among those entities taken apart, was the so-called ‘People’s Library’, an accumulation of books and periodicals set up for public consumption at the camp site. After Police took down the initial library and confiscated the books, a new collection was begun at Zucotti Park. Then that library was also dismantled and its materials destroyed. The American Library Association has expressed alarm over the incident.
- In New York City and other communities and college campuses around the globe, ‘Occupy’ demonstrators participated in what was deemed a ‘National Day of Action’ to condemn the crackdowns, rail against austerity measures, and celebrate the two month anniversary of the movement. Marchers took part in acts of civil disobedience attempting to shut down financial centers, tie up traffic, fill subways, protest in large banks, and march across bridges and landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge. Hundreds were arrested by police including a retired Philadelphia Police Captain and a New York City Council member. I will also be posting a slightly belated article on events correlated to the ‘Day of Action’ that took place in Amherst on Thursday.
- In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), banking lobbyists reveal their desire to derail the ‘Occupy movement’ and help defeat any Democrats that might sympathize with their calls to reign in the power of large financial institutions that many blame for the 2008 meltdown. They also express fear of a populist alliance between the ‘Occupy’ movement and the ‘Tea Party’ that could be detrimental to them.
In other news.
- For all those that thought ‘God Father’s Pizza’ CEO Herman Cain was a serious GOP Presidential candidate, a big blow was dealt to that image when Cain made another gaffe in the arena of Foreign Affairs. In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Cain gropes (perhaps a bad choice of words there), for his answer and seemingly any knowledge of President Obama’s Libya policy.
- In another Libya related error, Cain also said that the Taliban will likely be part of a new Libyan government, thereby conflating the war in Afghanistan with the totally separate efforts at forming a government in Libya. The Taliban is the Al-Qaeda allied theocratic entity that governed Afghanistan before their ouster as a result of the U.S invasion in 2001.
- Browsing the internet I stumbled upon what must be the most comical and strange website of the 2012 GOP primary race so far, in the form of a tea party minded organization of presumably white Herman Cain backers calling themselves ‘Honkies for Herman’. The website is pretty bare bones but they say they are calling themselves Honkies for Herman’ “we thumb our noses at Obama and the left, who play the race card and play class warfare while fostering identity politics. Honkies For Herman makes fun of leftist identity politics simply by existing’. In other words its a piece of performance art, much like many would say Cain’s candidacy is fast becoming itself.
- The American Farm Bureau Federation reports that the traditional average Thanksgiving dinner will come to a total of $49.20 in 2011, which is a $5.00 rise in price from last year. The cost of the turkey itself was shown to be what hiked the overall cost the most, with a 16 pound turkey coming to $21.57,$3.91 more than the previous year.
- After thirty years, actress Natalie Wood’s death from what was officially called at the time in 1981 an ‘accidental’ death while aboard a boat with her actor husband Robert Wagner and fellow actor Christopher Walken, will be reopened by the LAPD.
- A New CBS Poll shows that 77% of Americans endorse the legalization of medical marijuana, an issue that could be on the ballot in Massachusetts next year. However, a plurality still oppose full legalization.
- Regulators this year have closed a total of 90 banks so far this year. While that may sound like a large number of bank failures, a total of 157 were closed last year, of which 149 had already closed by this time in 2010.
- The Holiday season begins,as it customarily does, on ‘Black Friday’, but eager shoppers are already camping out in front of a Best Buy in St. Petersberg, Florida.
- I always thought that the Baby Boomers began as an idealistic justice seeking force for good that shunned materialism and demanded accountability in the beginning, only to ultimately fall into the steaming miasma of selfishness, crude materialism, and narcissism, they once decried. Whether it be in terms of politics, governing, policy, savings, economic opportunity, advancing culture, or leadership in general: Walter Russell Mead in a post in the ‘American Interest’ (H/T: Michael Barone), warns there could be a backlash forming against the Peter Pan generation that prides itself on its youth, short-sided slef interest, and over confidence.
- Mentioned in Mead’s piece is a post written by Thomas L Day. The 31 year old Iraq War Veteran, Penn State graduate, and Catholic; who as a child knew Jerry Sandusky from his charity the second mile, explains how in the scandal’s aftermath he has lost faith in the baby boomer generation’s leadership and morality.
Posted this past week:
- Elizabeth Warren launches first TV ad.
- South Hadley Voters give nod to Proposition 2 1/2 override, to fund a new public library.
- ‘Wolfman Conspiracy’, live at the Iron Horse in Northampton, Massachusetts