Note: The first episode shown during the Fourth Quarter 2011 was a rerun of #552 on September 19, 2011.
Episode #584: Slowly Devolving
First Broadcast: 9/26/11
The decline of the U.S. space program, and a parallel decline in the quality of air travel dominate most of our discussion this week. After that, we talk about the horribly unjustified execution of Troy Davis, and Amy Goodman's excellent coverage of that event for Democracy Now! Hopefully, things won't decline much further before the next episode...
Episode #585: Occupied Territory
First Broadcast: 10/10/11
#OccupyWallStreet occupies our thoughts this week. We discuss the protestors downtown, where the idea came from, the spreading protests nationwide, and the great service being done by the New York Civil Liberties Union and the National Lawyers Guild protecting the right to protest here in the city and elsewhere throughout the country. Do yourself a favor and visit there if you get a chance! You might find it as interesting as I did.
Episode #586: False Idol of Wall Street
First Broadcast: 10/17/11
#OccupyWallStreet is our subject once again! This episode, we highlight a letter sent from Brookfield Properties to the NYPD, urging them to evict the protestors from Zuccotti Park ASAP, on the grounds that the protestors' continuing presence is violating the "rules" that Brookfield put in place. To me, this seems unconstitutional, since "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" is explicitly guaranteed by the First Amendment. Forcing these peaceful protestors out of a public park in New York city sounds just as absurd to me as prohibiting Food Not Bombs from feeding people in a public park in Orlando (which actually happened, I'm sorry to say). What will the General Assembly decide to do next? At this point, Twitter might be your best source for that...
Episode #587: Not Exactly Cheese Product
First Broadcast: 10/24/11
We're not watching the World Series; we can't watch any basketball; and football only gets interesting if the Jets make the playoffs. So what's got our attention this week, other than #OccupyWallStreet? This time, it's Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain's "9-9-9" tax plan, a plan which would raise taxes on 84% of Americans, while giving one hell of a windfall to the richest 0.1% of the population. Obviously, not a good idea. Is it any wonder the other 99% are so pissed off?
Episode #588: Pie for the Renegade Hordes
First Broadcast: 11/7/11
Let's dispell some myths about #OccupyWallStreet, shall we? Number One: The Milk Street Cafe is not losing business because of the protestors downtown, who have actually been documented as increasing business for at least one restaurant in the area. The cafe is most likely losing business because of barricades put up on its block by the NYPD; the fact that most restaurants fail within their first three years of opening, and this place has only been open for less than six months; and the possibility that their food might not be all that good. Number Two: STD's are not "running rampant" at Zuccotti Park, despite what a salacious article in the New York Post might imply. The only facts one can glean from this article is that the Occupiers are helping people go to nearby clinics to get tested for STD's--something that PSA's have been urging everyone to do for several years now. Number Three: The fact that one person in Zuccotti Park threatened to stab a reporter from Fox 5 News in no way means that all the protestors there are violent. As that same reporter said about the incident, "I donít think this person represents the whole... Overall, it has been peaceful in the park." So, instead of spreading rumors about protestors, shouldn't we all be more concerned about documented violence by police? I'm sure we'll have more questions like this in the weeks to come.
Episode #589: On A Clear Night
First Attempted Broadcast: 11/21/11 MNN showed our rerun from the previous week instead, #579 "Flash Mobs of Zombie Truman."
First Actual Broadcast: 11/28/11
The Deep Space Network, and its relation ship to the Pioneer and Voyager missions captures our attention at first. Then, we get on with the main subject: the sudden eviction of Occupy Wall Street from Zuccotti Park by Mayor Bloomberg, where the NYPD and DSNY together destroyed the "People's Library"--a collection of over 5000 books donated to the protestors--as well as several laptop computers, tents, and other assorted belongings. Several journalists, with and without NYPD press passes, were forcibly prevented by police from covering the event. Subways and at least one bridge were closed, and news helicopters were told to move away from over the park, as if to prevent anyone from trying to see for themselves what damage the police were doing. The end result? Seems to me like the entire Occupy movement is even stronger now than it was before. Bad call, Mike. Bad call.
Episode #590: Put Everything in Doner Kebabs
First Broadcast: 12/5/11
What to discuss, besides Occupy Wall Street, and how it's exposing--as someone once said--"the violence inherent in the system"? Maybe a nice doner kebab? Hold the pepper spray...
Episode #591: That Ice Costs Money
First Broadcast: 12/12/11
First, we have a brief discussion of how the style of broadcast news reporters has evolved from the days of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite to those of Roger Grimsby and Bill Beutel, culminating today with Roger Clark. After that, we wonder why politicians of all stripes are trying so hard to cut back or eliminate services offered by the Postal Service and public libraries--services vital to people who can't afford to pay for private shipping companies or to buy every book they want to read. Is it more than a coincidence that USPS cutbacks in service began not long after the Postal Savings System ended, and the USPS stopped being a cabinet agency? Why are branches of the New York Public Library open for less hours now than they were during the Depression, when the economy was in much worse shape than it is today? Was the People's Library of Occupy Wall Street destroyed by the same impulses that want to drown government in a bathtub? Could the money that we've wasted on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and on the bank bailout, have been better used to keep these services afloat? So many questions!