Random Thoughts

Clearing out the brain on Occupy Riverside (and the Riverside PD), Herman Cain and the NBA lockout.

Every once in a while, the brain needs a good cleansing to start a week. This is one of those times.

I was wondering when one of the local Occupy movements would get violent. Should've guessed it would be in Riverside.

It was the right mix: Younger protesters and a police department with a reputation (earned or not) of these type of things. They came under fire just last year after alleged rough treatment at the break up of a homeless encampment. And let's not forget their checkered past, and a community that was slowly regaining trust after the installment of a new chief last year.

So, going after a bunch of kids armed with all kinds of cameras was probably not the best thing to do from a PR standpoint.

I wasn't there, so I don't know exactly what went down. But the timing of all this seems a little suspect.

It might've been a show to discourage a unified Occupy protest in the city (groups from around the region were meeting there today). Or could it be a push to get this under control in time for the downtown to prepare for its big Festival of Lights?

Whatever the case may be, it will be interesting to watch.

* * *

Memo to Herman Cain: You're running for president. The scrutiny: it comes with the job.

You can talk about getting "back on message" all you want, but in the current media environment, good luck.

And I don't say that because of liberal vs. conservative media. I say this because of the tabloid and gossip mentality that pervades us all.

Bill Clinton and the cigar and the blue dress ring a bell? John Edwards, his mistress and love child and the National Enquirer? Both liberal targets that were taken down a notch (remember, Clinton was impeached for lying about the affair, and it sank John Edwards' political career) was because of the insatiable appetite people have for digging into public figures' lives.

So, remember Herman, you came into this world voluntarily. You could've sat back and had your pizza franchise and been able to make these things go away.

But it doesn't work that way in this arena. Every little sneeze or hiccup is going to be played for as much damage as possible. And this is starting to look like a pretty big sneeze.

You want to get back on message: Be open and honest. Don't change your story three times during the day. Have the message right the first time. The more you fidget and change your story, the more the hounds are going to attack.

* * *

Last thing bounding around is the NBA lockout. I'm not a big enough hoops fan to be missing the games - especially at this point of a season.

But I am an interested observer since my favorite league - the NHL - is in the final year of its Collective Bargaining Agreement, and well, there are already rumblings that things might get ugly for the hockey players.

That's still months away, so let's turn back to the tall guys.

First off, with any league's CBA negotiation, I've always felt a little more for the players. Because it's the owners who say yes to paying these guys. No one ever made the Texas Rangers' owner pay Alex Rodriguez more than $200 million a year. Sure, an agent went in and asked and negotiated it, but he could've said no, and let Steinbrenner do it (which, of course, he ended up doing anyway).

But beyond that, this whole negotiation is actually playing out like many a basketball game we've seen over the last few years. It goes back and forth for a while with little flashes here and there. Then, with about two minutes remaining, it really starts to get interesting ... and it takes 20 minutes to finish.

So, I'd say we're somewhere in that last two minutes of any NBA playoff game you might've watched the last couple of years. The team trying to catch up is fouling to stop the clock, and hoping the other misses their free throws. And coaches are calling their last four timeouts to draw up plays. And the network takes the opportunity to show more commercials.

For the hoops fans out there, you can only hope this thing doesn't go to overtime, because it's usually a crap-shoot, you never know what you might get - either a blowout or another hurry-up-and-wait last two minutes.

Either way, it could end up costing you a season. And trust me, having lived through that with the NHL in 2004-05, no one wants that.

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steve l November 08, 2011 at 03:00 AM
nice to read some reasonable opinions here. i look forward to your next article. did i spell everything correctly?
Judi November 08, 2011 at 03:21 PM
The congress on the latest attempts to annihilate the middle class, is saying 51% of citizens don't pay taxes. One of the reasons they don't (if this is even accurate) is because they are just above, at or below the poverty line, directly related to the availability of "good" jobs. They are trying to turn this around on the poor folks for more money. The violence related to OWS could be contributed to the attitude and actions of those that have "police" status. Could it be that the conservative factions in this country don't realize they are being played? The contributor to Mr. Cains campaign is API (American Petrolium Industries) big oil, and the Abermoff crew. Follow the money.
Diego Rose November 08, 2011 at 04:14 PM
I think it is sad that as America watches these protest around the world,(Except the 500,000 who took to the streets of Israel to protest the same things that OWS is) that very few people see the correlation between all of the worlds dictators and how we handle protest here. We have essentially legislated away our right to protest through "tic-tac" laws. When people stand up to the status quo, it seems ironic that they be required to follow procedural technicalities. Permitted protest!!?? Oxymoron! Anyone who thinks that any of the world's dictators don't have some kind of justification for taking action against their protestors is mistaken. How is it any different here? Peaceful protest should always be supported because the alternative is never wanted!! I hope my spelling is correct too. I enjoyed the commentary.
Blather Ben November 09, 2011 at 07:12 PM
I remember the loss of a professional hockey season...not!!! Yes, I do remember, but I sure didn't care. Same will be for the loss of a professional basketball season. Only a few will care. The rest of us will hardly notice. Just a bunch of one percenters trying to get more rich off the rest of us. Give me college basketball any day of the week. Far more interesting game. They actually run plays in college basketball and some teams even play defense BEFORE the last two minutes. As far as violence at Occupy protests. It has been there from the start. The media is finally starting to report it, that's all. Just as the media hoped the Tea Party events would turn into what the Occupy movement has turned out to be. Most Americans agreed with the concerns over giant corporations (big oil, big pharmacy, big banks, Wall Street, etc), big government and big public employee unions are just as dangerous and damaging to this nation. We need to keep a watchful eye on them all. Comment on Herman Cain, who has handled the aftermath of the accusations rather unprofessionally: The most dumb thing he has said is that he has never acted inappropriately. That was a very stupid comment to make. All of us have done things that should bring us shame. To those who feel ashamed, God bless you, let's move forward and as long as no real lingering harm was done, we will forgive if not forget. To those sociopaths who just morve forward? Just keep moving, keep moving away from me and my line of sight.
Blather Ben November 09, 2011 at 07:31 PM
God bless the peaceful protestors, now and then. Rosa Parks didn't throw a brick through a bus window or firebomb a hot dog stand by the roadside. She planted her black backside where the stupid people of the day felt it didn't belong and the result of her peaceful statement was heard around the nation and the world. Tea Party patriots wouldn't put up with the few racists who tried to infiltrate the movement early on, and after cleaning house, got down to getting behind conservative candidates and look what happened in the 2010 elections, local, regional, statewide and nationwide. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was repulsed by violence, preached peaceful protesting, and will be remembered and revered by this nation for as long as we remain a great nation. Martin Sheen has been arrested dozens of times in protests for his various causes. He has never been arrested for violence and has, to my knowledge, never participated in violent protests of any kind. He didn't carry a swastica flag, preach hate and promote violence in his protests. He usually just planted his own butt down in order to make a statement, and was thus orderly removed. Point made, point taken, message delivered.


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