The Government Accountability Board in Wisconsin voted unanimously to recall Governor Scott Walker following the submission of a petition with 900,000 signatures. (Only 540,208 signatures were required.)
Walker was targeted for recall after he pushed through a law last year that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most state workers. It also forced the workers to contribute more to their pension and health care costs, which amounted to a cut in pay.
Walker told reporters he would be willing to mobilize the National Guard in order to address potential repercussions from unions.
On Saturday, Occupy Oakland re-entered the national spotlight during a day-long effort to take over an empty building and transform it into a social center. Oakland police thwarted the efforts, arresting more than 400 people in the process, primarily during a mass nighttime arrest outside a downtown YMCA. That number included at least six journalists, myself included, in direct violation of OPD media relations policy that states “media shall never be targeted for dispersal or enforcement action because of their status.”
After an unsuccessful afternoon effort to occupy a former convention center, the more than 1,000 protesters elected to return to the site of their former encampment outside City Hall. On the way, they clashed with officers, advancing down a street with makeshift shields of corrugated metal and throwing objects at a police line. Officers responded with smoke grenades, tear gas, and bean bag projectiles. After protesters regrouped, they marched through downtown as police pursued and eventually contained a few hundred of them in an enclosed space outside a YMCA. Some entered the gym and were arrested inside.
As soon as it became clear that I would be kettled with the protesters.
Clashes between police and protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square continued into a second day on Saturday, with 10 left dead over the two days and hundreds injured. Most of the casualties came late Friday or early Saturday as chaos reigned in the Square, only days after the first free election in recent memory for Egypt. Reuters and Al Jazeera reported that police chased retreating protesters—and local television showed one soldier pulling down protesters’ tents and setting them on fire. An Army official said the troops targeted thugs, not protesters, after shots were fired at soldiers and bombs destroyed a nearby archive building that was more than 200 years old. Health Minister Fouad el-Nawawy told Egyptian television that 10 people had been killed, and 441 injured, while state media reported 200 people had been taken to the hospital.
And this video which is rather disturbing. If you happen to know written Arabic, please feel free to summarize what the text says in the comments: Continue reading Deadly Cairo→
Gene Marks, you wrote an essay for Forbes that has gotten a lot of people rather upset. People are upset because you display insensitive unchecked privilege and, essentially, you blame an entire class of people as the victims of what is mostly not their fault but rather, your fault and the fault of the modal Forbes reader, as well as society more broadly, history, culture, economics, racism and all sort of other things that are largely beyond the control of the Poor Black Kids of the Inner City of whom you write.
LA Occupy Protesters (and observers) will be forced to attend a political re-education program in which they will be forced to learn about their First Amendment rights. I am not making this up. Continue reading #Occupy Common Sense→
The Republican Governor’s Association met in Florida this week and featured pollster Frank Luntz, who … told attendees that he’s “scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death.” The pollster warned that the movement is “having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.”
Apparently, there are some interesting changes going on in the current culture of politics. According to Luntz, people still prefer “capitalism” to “socialism” (we all know the average American has no clue what either one is, so when we say “capitalism” and “socialism” we speak not of the systems but the words themselve… but I digress). But, he says, people know that capitalism is immoral. That’s an improvement! He suggests to his Republican mentees that they avoid the word “capitalism.” Continue reading Top GOP Strategist: “Occupy Matters”→
Five people, now known as the brave five, refused to do their jobs at an Egyptian port facility; They refused to sign for an incoming shipment … from the US .. of tons and tons of CS Gas, the tear gas used to disperse and injure protesters. An investigation into the behavior of these five port workers was initiated. Then cancelled.
I’m not sure what the current status of the tear gas is. Story here.
…These days, when I drive out Route 55, also known as the Olsen Highway, most of the buildings I see were built since I stayed in that run down little motel, which by the way was long ago torn down and replaced with new development. Nothing about that drive is familiar now, except for the Rainbow which had just been built when I stayed there, and an old beat up strip mall from the mid 20th century. There was once wilderness, a few farms, the usual lakes. Then, Boom! Building everywhere.
And the funny thing is that today, many of those buildings are for sale, vacant, for lease. There are even buildings built in the last ten years that are at risk of deterioration through misuse. And that isn’t a particularly depressed part of town.
It seems that civilization, and its economy, are like the proverbial river that you can’t step into twice: It is always there, but never is it the same. This has been true since the Industrial Revolution: Cheap hydroelectric power harnessed by modern turbines under emerging brick mills filled with rural transplants, mostly women and children, losing the occasions finger or hand to the machinery but driving a brave new economy with the production of cloth or flour. But the water allowed only a certain amount of growth, so it was supplemented with coal-powered steam engines running the mill’s machines. Then the coal became the main form of energy. Homes lit by burning tallow and whale oil became brighter with the introduction of gas lines and lamps, and the streets glowed at night in London and New York and Minneapolis, and eventually liquid petroleum found its use to drive more industrial engines, and eventually cars, and eventually furnaces in our homes, and eventually along side coal power stations that produced the electricity that made our homes even brighter….