November 18, 2011

Tents Down, Shuttle Up

Occupy Wall Street got the boot,
They got kicked out when Five-0 came through.
Zuccotti Park got cleaned like it's brand new,
Now some dudes are behind bars like a zoo.
Syria, got told it's not cool,
To kill protesters
- that's what it shouldn't do.
Syria - you have legitimate haters,
Not just the west, now your Arab neighbors.
The NBA'll get sued by the players,
It's all about power, right Darth Vader?
Did you hear about the MA mayor?
22 year's old, wow, that's major.
This grad will run his home town,
He got the most votes, that's how it goes down.

But if you want to go up,
And want to fly NASA, well you're out of luck.
NASA has no more shuttles,
So to get up to space on the double,
They asked Russia for a ride,
Success! I'll see you cosmonauts on the other side.
Some in the Midwest have been stressed,
About the pipeline that would have run right by 'em,
And maybe messed with the water supply,
The pipeline's moving, y'all can wave it buh-bye.
Obama wants to get specific,
And boost trade across the Pacific
He toured Asia, and if you missed it,
Our troops will be in Australia - to visit?
No to stay, and that's kinda,
A way for us to keep an eye on China.
The GOP debate, what did we see?
Cain wasn't able to maintain a lead.
Those who find Rob Pattinson dreamy
Camped out for Twilight
in tents and teepees.

We dream a lot but we're never sleepy,
Wait a week and we'll be back on your TV.

Occupy Wall Street protesters after the Zuccotti Park eviction

Occupy Wall Street protesters had been camped out in Zuccotti park for two months, speaking out against income inequality in a largely peaceful way. And during that time, the occupy movement spread to cities around the world. But on Tuesday, New York authorities cracked down on protesters, evicting them from Zuccotti park. Hundreds of protesters were arrested as they resisted removal. A judge decreed that the protesters could return to the park, but they couldn't set up tents. On Thursday, protesters marched to the New York Stock exchange, where at least 75 people were arrested in clashes with the police. Do you think people should have the right to camp out in public spaces? Learn more.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

The Syrian government, under the leadership of President Bashar al-Assad, has been on the offensive...against its own people. The government has killed dozens of civilian protesters in the recent weeks. Now the Arab League, an international peacekeeping group of 22 Arab nations, is taking a stand against its violent neighbor. The league voted to suspend Syria's membership, and is working to find a more peaceable solution to remove Assad than a Gaddafi-like violent takedown. What actions do you think neighboring nations should take to stop the Syrian violence? Learn more.

Peace dudes.

NBA players and owners have been at the bargaining table for months, arguing over salaries and revenue sharing. But what matters most to fans is where their favorite players have not been: the courts. Well this week, fans got their wish granted in that well-meaning-but-confused genie kind of way. The NBA players have given up on trying to bargain, disbanded their union, and filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NBA owners. Some say that this move to the legal courts is a bluff to get the owners to meet player demands and get started playing sooner. But if the lawsuit is real, it's possible that the next professional tip-off could be years away. How do you think players should best spend their time during this lockout? Learn more.

While many of his peers are struggling to find jobs in this tough economy, 22-year-old Alex Morse took an unconventional route to employment. The recent Brown University graduate ran for mayor in his home city of Holyoke, Massachusetts. And he won, beating out his 67-year old opponent. He's told the press that he is optimistic about working to improve Holyoke, where a third of the residents live below the poverty line. What unique challenges--and perks--do you think Morse will face as a result of his young age? Learn more .

The Soyuz spacecraft

If you had told people 50 years ago that an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts were blasting off into space together, they would have assumed--at best--that you were setting up a joke, and--at worst--that you were crazy. (Want to know why? Listen to our Cold War song .) But the Cold War is over and NASA has shut down its shuttle program. So for the time being, the only way for Americans to get to the International Space Station is to hitch a ride with the Russians. This week, the Russian shuttle, Soyuz TMA-22, successfully lifted off, and its international crew will remain at the Space Station till March. Do you think that the United States should resume its own space shuttle program? Why or why not? Learn more.

The Canadian energy company TransCanada had been planning to lay an oil pipeline through Nebraska. But residents balked because the planned route sent the pipeline straight through an environmentally sensitive region called the Sandhills, which supplies water to Nebraska and seven other states. After originally claiming that they simply could not change the path, TransCanada agreed to reroute the pipeline away from the crucial aquifer. The company plans to work with the state of Nebraska to find a more suitable route. What pros and cons for Nebraska are there to building a major oil pipeline? Learn more .

President Obama in Hawaii

The United States has put much of its international focus on the Middle East for the last decade. But now President Obama is looking to shift that focus to Asia to help grow the U.S. economy. Obama traveled to Hawaii to meet with 20 nations in the Asia-Pacific Cooperation forum. Considering that people of Asia make up 3 billion of Earth's now 7 billion person population, Obama said, "we're not going to be able to put our folks back to work and grow our economy and expand opportunity unless the Asia Pacific region is also successful." How do you think the United States can work with Asia to improve its economy? Learn more.

United States troops are headed to Australia. But no worries, mate: we're not heading to war with the world's only continent nation. As the U.S. is in the process of phasing troops out of wartime efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, it's looking to divert military resources to peacekeeping. And considering that Asia accounts for half of the world's economy, the U.S. doesn't want to miss out. President Obama said that the U.S. is aiming to protect its trading interests in the area, and weaken China's dominant economic influence there. Do you think it is a good idea to send U.S. troops to Australia? Learn more.

A depiction of the Cain and Abel story...or the cut-throat nature of politics?

With exactly one year to go until the 2012 Presidential Election, Republican candidates completed their 12th debate this week. And they have 15 more to go! The Republican Primary election is truly a marathon and not a sprint. And as with all marathons, it's hard to tell early on who will win. Rick Perry was a popular candidate, until he embarrassingly forgot his own policy plans a few debates ago. Herman Cain had pulled ahead in the polls recently, but accusations of sexual harassment have affected his popularity. And now Newt Gingrich's star is on the rise. But that's just this week. Stay tuned. This race is far from over. Do you think a long presidential primary is race is better or worse for democracy? Learn more.

It's not just the Occupy Wall Street protesters who were camping out in cities. "Twi-hards," who are mostly teenage girls, set up tents outside the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, where the film will premiere next week. But in keeping with a theme of the week, authorities made the Nokia Theatre occupiers take down their Robert-Pattinson-speckled tents on Monday. Is there any sort of entertainment -- like a movie, a sports game or a concert -- that would compel you to camp out for days before the event? Learn more.

Actually, we'll be back in two weeks. We're off for Thanksgiving next Friday. We wish you and your families a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.
What happened to the Occupy Wall Street protesters this week?
Police evicted them from Zuccotti Park.
The Arab League condemned the actions of which nation?
What did NBA players decide to do this week?
Sue the NBA
How old is the new mayor in one Massachuseets town?
The United States teamed up with which nation to go to space?
Where was an oil pipeline planned to go through, before it got moved?
The Midwest (Nebraska)
Where does Obama want to boost trade?
Asia and the Pacific region
Where will U.S. troops be going next?
Super fans were camped out in L.A. for which upcoming movie?
Breaking Dawn, Part I (part of the Twilight series)
Flocab dreams a lot, but we're never...
Sleepy! Except when we're eating turkey. We're off next week for Thanksgiving. Have a great one.

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