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November 17, 2011

"This cannot be the way Occupy ends"

Occupy Wall Street Violence - This Cannot Be the Way Occupy Ends - Esquire
There is no excuse for the militarized assaults on the various encampments around the country earlier in the week. Hell, there's not excuse for the kind of militarized police forces we have in this country, period. But this can't be the way this movement ends. It cannot end in reciprocal violence. If the general message of this movement becomes embattled cops preserving public safety, my god, that's the whole ballgame, and all the thieves go free. Cops are dragging kids away by the hair. They're whacking people around and then preventing medical personnel from responding to treat their wounds. The whole world is, indeed, watching. And it's trying to make up its minds. It's easy for all of us to say that. We didn't get our heads cracked. We didn't get our belongings trashed. We didn't have our free library tossed gleefully into dumpsters. (An action which, to call it philistine, is to insult the cause for which Goliath gave his life.) We don't have the anger rising in us, except by proxy. Nevertheless, it can't end in images of bleeding cops and tossed barricades, and a CNN spokesmodel named Alison Kosik telling all of here at Gate 29 about how the brave brokers of her acquaintence have accepted these inconveniences as "business as usual." CNN is posing the members of the financial-services industry as the last gunners at Fort Zinderneuf. This is not good. What I know is that John Lewis nearly got killed at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and he never threw a punch back in anger. I empathize with the feelings of the people who have been subject to the ludicrous reaction of hyped-up cops with new military weaponry, and then subject to the contempt and condescension of a greasy little plutocrat like Michael Bloomberg. But this cannot be the way it ends. A few days of ghastly videos — and photos like those below — and out comes a new narrative that in a dozen different ways excuses the bloodletting and then minimizes it, while strangers wait for airplanes, silent applause in their eyes. . . .

November 11, 2011

David Brooks is a liar

There is no way this ever happened. The Inequality Map - NYTimes.com
Foreign tourists are coming up to me on the streets and asking, “David, you have so many different kinds of inequality in your country. How can I tell which are socially acceptable and which are not?”

November 03, 2011

On the man who brought archery to Detroit

Me and my arrow - Culture - Detroit Metro Times
Eric Tomlinson loves bows and arrows. Has since he was a kid. And for years, Detroiters into archery had to head to the suburbs for target practice, because there was nowhere in the city for them to go. So he'd shoot at archery clubs in places like Lake Orion or Birmingham, where he'd see parents putting their kids through vigorous lessons, training them like they were trying to earn a spot in the Olympics. These parents, he soon learned, weren't just trying to create expert marksmen. It turns out there's such a thing as an archery scholarship at several colleges around the country, and those parents were training their kids so they could earn scholarships at those schools. There's a lot less opportunity for kids in Detroit to go to college, Tomlinson reasoned, than there is out here among better-off families. Those scholarships could really go to use in the city, where hard-working kids sometimes have good grades but not the means to go to a good school. "I said, man, I'm gonna take that to the inner city," the 62-year-old says. But archery? In terms of street cachet, it ranks somewhere alongside rowing or fencing. Tomlinson would have his work cut out for him getting kids from Detroit interested in something so foreign to urban culture. "You know, it was a battle, because most of the inner-city kids do not even know what archery is," he says. . . .