Thoughts from Exec, Week of 10/16

Brett Cline, President

For those of you looking for more background information on the recent plot to kill the Saudi Ambassador in the United States , this article describes how Iran and Saudi Arabia view each other in terms of foreign policy and how the U.S. should react to this Development.

The Cold War between Saudi Arabia and Iran

Michael Baharaeen, Vice President

The Occupy Wall Street protesters faced a new challenge over the weekend as New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, threatened to kick everyone out so the city could clean the park. Instead of packing up camp and conceding to the powers that be, the protesters huddled all of their gear together, shoved it to the sides of the downtown NYC park, and cleaned it themselves (through methods of sweeping, mopping, picking up litter, power-washing, etc.) In the end, the city withdrew its threat, and the protesters were allowed to continue exercising their First Amendment rights. In the above link, Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks down the story.

Occupy Wall Street Earns an Epic Win

In a show of continued protest by the Occupy Wall Street crowd, several protesters entered a branch Citi Bank in downtown New York City and requested to withdraw their money from their accounts. When the bank refused, they asked the protesters to vacate the premises, but many protesters refused. The police then showed up and began arresting them, even the ones who voluntarily left the bank. The movement is nowhere near dying, and it is now starting to spread to cities in other countries, including London, Madrid, and Rome.

NY Citibank Customers Arrested for Closing Accounts

Matt Seyer, Secretary

For those who found “The Science of Why We Don’t Believe in Science” interesting, here’s a nice follow-up.  Dan Kahan, of Yale Law School, is doing some of the most cutting edge work on how our deep-seated values determine which experts, and consequently what information, we trust.  In this interview, conducted by Chris Mooney (the author of the aforementioned article), Kahan discusses his research on what he has dubbed “The American Culture War of Fact.”

The American Culture War of Fact

Occupy Wall Street is a growing movement that is only just now focusing its message: frustration at the extreme power and influence of the Wall Street banks.  But the banks are by no means the sole monopolistic corporate entity.  Tom Philpott draws our attention to the parallels in the food industry and builds a case that the food industry has a similar grip on public policy.

Foodies, Get Thee to Occupy Wall Street

Connor Stangler, Campaign Coordinator

This is yet another take on the Occupy Wall Street movement. It brings back down to Earth those liberals who had been waiting for a progressive populist movement and saw in OWS a promising campaign, one that would affect serious change and exact justice on the greedy capitalists who foster inequity. Most importantly, the article is a rebuttal to the “counterbalance” argument: that liberals needed an equally vociferous populist movement to challenge the conservative Tea Party movement. The author avers that the gap between the strength of conservative and liberals voters is not due to a lack of passion. Liberals must instead seize the middle ground: they must persuade moderate voters instead of wooing the far fringes of their party. The movement needs to convince the middle-ground voters that government can work effectively and that partisan cant ultimately leads nowhere.

How Occupy Wall Street will Hurt Liberals

Alex Witt, Webmaster

North Carolina implements an interesting approach to education reform that all college students should consider.

A State Grooms Its Best Students to Be Good Teachers