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.
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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.
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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.