It’s been a while since we reported on any new developments with the Occupy Wall Street movement. Many people think that OWS is over and has been for some time; on the contrary, the only thing that has been lacking is media coverage. It’s easy to forget about something when you don’t hear about it—and when journalists are routinely beaten and arrested while covering these protests … well … it’s no wonder that they steer right clear.
As many of you know, Secret Laboratory originates in Minnesota. While we primarily deal with national and global affairs, every once in a while something noteworthy happens here. For instance, last weekend Minneapolis police trashed a peaceful march on Nicollet Mall, beating some, arresting at least a dozen, and assaulting a KSTP cameraman, which resulted in the destruction of his equipment. Naturally, the whole thing was caught on tape and Chief Timothy Dolan was forced to admit that one of his officers “unnecessarily interfered” with a member of the press.
Huh. Occupy Minnesota describes it like this: Minneapolis Police Officers had grabbed onto the camera of a local reporter from KSTP. The reporter himself claims that he was assaulted. They threw his camera onto the ground and kicked it despite the fact that he had vocalized that he was with KSTP. The camera itself was ruined and his footage could not be salvaged.
I mention all of this now because spring is upon us—and while OWS might have quieted down during the winter months, we’ll be hearing a lot more from them now. Last year was the spark that lit the fuse, but the bomb goes off in 2012. For months now, there have been ominous rumblings about a massive, worldwide general strike on May 1, which we’re less than a month away from. Exactly what is planned and how much of a blow will be dealt to the status quo is unclear at this point.
Also, many of you might remember last year on November 18 when Lt. John Pike of the UC Davis police department doused seated protesters with pepper spray, leisurely walking past them while he literally soaked them with the foul stuff. Well, after the whole world lost its shit when the videos and pictures went viral, University of California President Mark G. Yudof put together a task force, headed by retired state Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso. They have since released a report condemning the actions of the police in general and Lt. Pike’s in particular, calling them all liars and cowards.
“On balance, there is little basis supporting Lt. Pike’s belief that he was trapped by the protesters or that his officers were prevented from leaving the Quad,” the report said. “Further, there is little evidence that any protesters attempted to use violence against the police.”
And according to MSNBC: The Kroll report added that UC Davis police are not authorized to use such powerful pepper spray, the MK-9.
“The MK-9 is a higher pressure type of pepper spray than what officers normally carry on their utility belts (MK-4),” the report said.
Nor was Pike trained in using that type of pepper spray, the report continued. It appeared he sprayed the protesters at closer range than six feet, as advised. (Pike refused to be interviewed for the report.)
You have to take your news where you can find it, which is why we here at Secret Laboratory pride ourselves on providing you with videos, news reports, and links to sites that are not only entertaining, but not beholden to mammoth corporate interests.
In other news, religious officials have confirmed that Jesus is in mourning now that Rick Santorum has dropped out of the GOP race. Last month, we reported that Santorum and The Almighty were hatching a plan to upset Mitt Romney’s campaign, but apparently even God couldn’t stop Romney’s mediocre stroll to victory. In a comical move, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are still insisting that they are viable candidates even though the game was over last Tuesday when Romney won in Wisconsin. It took Santorum an entire week to come to grips with his defeat, but these other two yahoos just don’t know when to give up. It’s over. Go home.
Meanwhile, President Obama renewed his push today for the Buffet Rule, which would see million-dollar households subjected to a minimum effective tax rate of 30 percent. “Most Americans agree with me, so do most millionaires. One survey found that two-thirds of millionaires support this idea. So do nearly half of all Republicans across America,” Obama said.
And according to MSNBC: Obama also noted that the concept of closing tax loopholes used by the rich is historically not a strictly liberal idea and that Ronald Reagan—whom Obama jokingly called a “wild-eyed, socialist, tax-hiking class warrior” for his support of the idea—called the loopholes “crazy.”
He mused about changing the rule’s nickname to the “Reagan Rule” if that might encourage more Republicans to support it.
Right. And then there’s Rep. Allen West (R-FL), who says that perhaps as many as 81 members of Congress are card-carrying communists—which of course is ludicrous, but even if it were true … well … so what? Communism isn’t any worse than capitalism—in the end, a few people wind up with all the money while everyone else lives like paupers.
Finally—and this is tragic—a 6-year-old Connecticut boy was killed while helping his father with his tree-removal business. The boy was sucked into a wood chipper. So, if you’re having a rotten day, just remember that things could always be worse.
Here’s your wisdom:
John T. Schmitz is the editor & publisher of Secret Laboratory; he is the founder of Maple Hills Press and has also freelanced as a writer and photographer, contributing to various local and international publications. Mr. Schmitz lives in Minnesota with his son, Calvin; he is the author of four books.
E-mail Mr. Schmitz at firstname.lastname@example.org.