Paul’s Perambulations

October 19, 2013

Princeton Graduate School Alumni Conference — and Paul makes some waves

Filed under: Education,Peace,Politics — admin @ 10:08 pm

I wore my “Peace” vest today and it garnered some attention not just for the buttons I wore on the front but particularly for the large OccupyPhilly flag sewn on the back. A few well-honed activists came over to speak with me, and we exchanged contact information.

At the time of the Conference group picture, I wore my Peace/Occupy vest and made a peace sign for the camera (made sure to be in a visible place – that should be interesting). (The picture does not show this…wonder if it was removed? — ed)  Right after the picture taking, I heard a voice directly behind me addressing another alum behind me. “Hello. I’m Norman Augustine and believe we were on a committee together when I was CEO of Lockheed- Martin.”  It didn’t seem appropriate to ask why wasn’t I allowed to carry a petition against making nuclear weapons to his King of Prussia facility and kept getting arrested instead, but I’m sure my visual message was obvious to him). His talk at lunch was on the topic of improving American education and was relatively reasonable. At one point he spoke of the challenges of funding improved education. I was grateful/relieved that during the question period, one alum suggested that funding might be found if the military budget were reduced (I made a point of speaking with that individual immediately afterwards).

And then, there was General Petraeus, the featured Princeton Ph. D alumnus. He seems an intelligent and thoughtful person, and his talk was moderate in tone. EXCEPT, he did sing the praises of energy sufficiency and independence via fracking, which he described as quite safe. It was a large group, and this was not the time/opportunity to discuss aspects about which he seemed unfamiliar.  HOWEVER, to do what I could to let him know that there were quite different opinions about this topic, I made a point of walking alongside him from the auditorium to the dinner tent. He was gracious in speaking with well-wishers along his route. I shook his hand and thanked him for his talk, while also noting that based on my studies I held a quite different opinion about the safety and desirability of fracking. He acknowledged that there were differing views and readily agreed for this picture of us, complete with my No Fracking button.

1 Comment »

  1. A Highlight of today’s (10/18) event at Princeton was my questioning Paul Krugman in the Q&A after his lecture on economics, with about three hundred graduate alums present. I stood up and challenged him with “You identify yourself as ‘The Conscience of a Liberal’ and said that we have ‘gone through the looking glass’ and reached ‘the limits of intellectual analysis’ for economics and that the current system is not working. Our electoral system has become perverted, and when Occupy attempted to present another model for consideration, it was shut down by the ruling powers. When will it be time to consider new economic models, and why not now?”

    Ahem. In answering me, he said something about the situation being admittedly dire but not beyond reform, and spoke of Roosevelt during the depression (what I consider an inappropriate and inadequate comparison), and asked who had the “troops” to offer another version and who would decide it. At that point, I responded loudly from my seat facing him at the front of the audience “THE PEOPLE.” A simply response that I could have expanded if he had wished to hear more, but his question was meaningless when done rhetorically in that manner, and I responded in kind (the speaker always gets the last word….NOT in this case).

    At the end of his lecture, I was the first on the speaker’s platform as he was quickly packing up his laptop. I thanked him for listening to me and put a book in his hands, Eisenstein’s ‘Sacred Economics,’ saying that the author proposed a new economic system that he might find interesting. A quick thank you, and he was heading toward the exit while others were trying to press their business cards on him as he was leaving.

    Oh, and I wore my Occupy vest all day, along with a ‘Bring the Troops Home’ button and had other buttons on the freebee bag that we all received. The point is to make oneself distinctive and recognizable, and a number of folks spoke with me during the day.

    Comment by admin — October 19, 2013 @ 10:10 pm

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