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Has America’s Stolen Election Process Finally Hit Prime Time?

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman @ Common Dreams - It took two stolen US Presidential elections and the prospect of another one coming up in 2012.

For years the Democratic Party and even much of the left press has reacted with scorn for those who’ve reported on it.

But the imperial fraud that has utterly corrupted our electoral process seems finally to be dawning on a broadening core of the American electorate---if it can still be called that.  Read more.

The Year Dissent Came Back

Joe Macare @ Truthout - The title is wrong, of course. Dissent never really goes away. And the last twelve months are an arbitrary time period, the United States far from the only country affected and perhaps not even the site of the most significant changes wrought by protest.
But it's hard to deny that 2011 should be known as the year that dissent came back with a vengeance to the USA.

Low Friends in High Places: Triad of Business, Cops and Politicians Attack Occupy

CounterPunch - A political campaign by San Francisco’s well-heeled “property owners” was launched to influence police and politicians to aggressively demobilize Occupy SF and to dismantle their encampments. And, there are documents to prove it.

Things did not start out this way.

When the Occupy movement first took root on Saturday, September 17, 2011 in New York’s famously renamed Liberty Square, it took the country and the whole world by surprise.  Read more.

When Medicare Isn't Medicare

Wendel Potter @ Common Dreams - Let's say you have a Ford and decide to replace everything under the hood with Hyundai parts, including the engine and transmission. Could you still honestly market your car as a Ford?

That question gets at the heart of the controversy over who is being more forthright about GOP Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to "save" Medicare, Republicans or Democrats.

If you overhaul the Medicare system like you did your Ford and tell the public it's still Medicare, are you doing so honestly?  Read more.

Corporate Education Reform Has Turned Kids into Commodities

Fred Grim @ Miami Herald - Compared to modern school kids, I was a downright worthless student.

I don’t mean worthless as a pejorative. (My father would have used a more colorful term to characterize my scholarly pursuits.) But worthless as a commodity. Us kids at Montrose Elementary School weren’t making anyone rich. Not like today’s pupils, particularly those in Florida, who’ve become valuable cogs in a burgeoning industry.  Read more.

Debt Forgiveness: The Bible and Ethical Economics

Toronto Star - I’d like to join the war against the war against Christmas: a cause bravely championed by muffled voices in the catacombs like Bill O’Reilly at Fox News and Rex Murphy on CBC. So here are some Christmas presents from the Judeo-Christian tradition that I hope will find favor with deniers and those who just don’t care if there’s a God since it would make no practical difference. I’ll draw from the Judeo part, since it’s my background. You can call me Santa. 
The early books of the Hebrew Bible contain some amazing laws from biblical times (packaged as divine commandments) that read like Christmas cards to people today who are drowning in debt or who’ve lost cherished homes. Take the law of the Sabbatical year: every seventh year, all debts are forgiven.  Read more.

Christmas Is No Time to Talk About War and Peace

Jim Rigby @ Truthout - "Clergy who want to talk about real events in the world are seen as too political for the religious section, and too religious for the political section. Of course, if a minister gets in the pulpit and waves the flag and prays for the troops, that's not called 'political,' but if a minister questions any war, then it is considered mixing religion and politics." Read more.

Tens of Thousands Gather in Moscow to Protest

NY Times News Service @ Truthout - Tens of thousands of protesters gathered here on Saturday afternoon for a second large antigovernment demonstration, as a wave of new activists struggle to convert an inchoate burst of energy into a durable political force.

Organizers hope to build on the success of the Dec. 10 protests, which mobilized a broad collection of previously apolitical middle-class Russians angry over parliamentary elections earlier this month that many rejected as fraudulent and slanted in favor of the ruling party, United Russia. If the movement can sustain its intensity, it could alter the course of presidential elections in March, when Vladimir V. Putin plans to extend his status as the country’s dominant figure to 18 years.  Read more.

Activists say 111 killed in Syria's "bloodiest day"

Reuters - Rami Abdulrahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 111 civilians and activists were killed on Tuesday when Assad's forces surrounded them in the foothills of the northern Jabal al-Zawiyah region in Idlib province and unleashed two hours of bombardment and heavy gunfire.

Another 100 army deserters were either wounded or killed, making it the "bloodiest day of the Syrian revolution," he said.  Read more.

Can a Montana Program to Reduce Veteran Suicide Succeed at the National Level?

Truthout - As America closes out its mission in Iraq, the Pentagon is gearing up to provide hundreds of thousands of returning soldiers with a new safeguard: intensive screenings for mental and emotional problems caused by combat.
But military suicides - on average, one soldier has taken his or her own life every 36 hours between 2005 and 2010 - aren't slowing down yet, according to an alarming new report this fall that saysthe suicide rate could threaten the United States' decades-long reprieve from conscripted service.  Read more.

Adobe’s Cloudware Announcement Stirs Pricing and Privacy Concerns

Art Digital Magazine - Adobe Corporation, these are two words that every contemporary photographer, architect, artist and designer knows well. And it would not be an understatement to describe Adobe’s suite of software applications as ubiquitous to everyday 21st century life. For as is the case with Google, America Online (AOL), Yahoo, Youtube, WordPress and other iconic Internet technology brands, Adobe’s presence seems to be everywhere—fundamental threads to the digital fabric of cyberspace.  Read more.

Oakland council adds debit-card ability to city ID Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/20/BA3I1MF1SO.DTL#ixzz1hEgvI97X

SF Gate - The Oakland City Council authorized drafting a contract Tuesday to put a debit-card function on the city's proposed municipal identification card.

The debit-card function had proved to be a major hurdle to issuing the cards, which are designed primarily to give undocumented immigrants a way to prove their identity.  Read more.

Image of Unknown Woman Beaten by Egypt's Military Echoes Around World

Guardian UK - The woman is young, and slim, and fair. She lies on her back surrounded by four soldiers, two of whom are dragging her by the arms raised above her head. She's unresisting – maybe she's fainted; we can't tell because we can't see her face. She's wearing blue jeans and trainers. But her top half is bare: we can see her torso, her tummy, her blue bra, her bare delicate arms. Surrounding this top half, forming a kind of black halo around it, is the abaya, the robe she was wearing that has been ripped off and that tells us that she was wearing a hijab.  Read more.

Tens of Thousands of Pakistanis Rally Against US

Agence France Presse @ Common Dreams - Tens of thousands gathered in one of the biggest-ever protests in the Pakistani city of Lahore Sunday to condemn NATO and United States over the killing of 24 soldiers along the Afghan border.

The protestors, mainly from Islamist groups and political parties, vowed they would march to the capital Islamabad if the government did not cancel agreements between the US designed to fight terrorism.  Read more.

The False Equation: Religion Equals Morality

Gwynne Dyer @ Common Dreams - Last Friday, in Oxford, Prime Minister David Cameron declared that the United Kingdom is a Christian country “and we should not be afraid to say so.” He was speaking on the 400th anniversary of the King James translation of the Bible, so he had to say something positive about religion – but he went far beyond that.  Read more.

The War on Drug Addicts - and Everyone Else

Maya Schenwer @ Truthout - When Congressional Republicans rammed through their disastrous consolidated spending bill on Friday, subsidizing abstinence-only education and granting $2 billion per week for the war in Afghanistan, they also locked in a regressive funding cut that would endanger the lives of many thousands of Americans. The bill reinstates a ban on federal funding for needle exchange programs - a ban that was repealed just two years ago, due to overwhelming evidence that the programs dramatically curb the spread of blood-transmitted diseases like HIV and hepatitis B.  Read more.

President Obama Richly Deserves to Be Dumped

John R. MacArthur@ Harpers - As evidence of a failed Obama presidency accumulates, criticism of his administration is mounting from liberal Democrats who have too much moral authority to be ignored.

Most prominent among these critics is veteran journalist Bill Moyers, whose October address to a Public Citizen gathering puts the lie to our barely Democratic president’s populist pantomime, acted out last week in a Kansas speech decrying the plight of “innocent, hardworking Americans.” In his talk, Moyers quoted an authentic Kansas populist, Mary Eizabeth Lease, who in 1890 declared, “Wall Street owns the country.. . .Money rules.. . .The [political] parties lie to us and the political speakers mislead us.”  Read more.

Climate Apartheid

Amy Goodman @ Truthdig - "You’ve been negotiating all my life,” Anjali Appadurai told the plenary session of the U.N.‘s 17th “Conference of Parties,” or COP 17, the official title of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa. Appadurai, a student at the ecologically focused College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, addressed the plenary as part of the youth delegation. She continued: “In that time, you’ve failed to meet pledges, you’ve missed targets, and you’ve broken promises. But you’ve heard this all before.”  Read more.

Ethics of Drone Strikes Questioned

Revealed: Huge Increase in Executive Pay for America's Top Bosses

Guardian UK - Chief executive pay has roared back after two years of stagnation and decline. America's top bosses enjoyed pay hikes of between 27 and 40% last year, according to the largest survey of US CEO pay. The dramatic bounceback comes as the latest government figures show wages for the majority of Americans are failing to keep up with inflation.  Read more.

Surviving the Second Gilded Age

Henry Giroux @ Truthout - It has become difficult to not recognize that we are firmly in the grip of a second Gilded Age. Not only is this return obvious in the homage - if not hysteria - that marks a return to the dream worlds of consumption, commodification and a survival-of-the-fittest ethic, but also in the actions of right-wing politicians who want to initiate policies that take the country back to the late 19th century - a time in which the reforms of the New Deal, the Great Society and the Progressive Era did not exist.  Read more.

Lehman Brothers: Financially and Morally Bankrupt

Richard D. Wolff @ Guardian UK - Last week, federal court Judge James M Peck approved the final phase of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, which began with the investment bank's collapse on 15 September 2008. That bankruptcy, the largest in US history, precipitated the credit markets' disintegration that cascaded into the global economic meltdown that has deepened ever since. With roughly $450bn still owed by the bank, Judge Peck approved that Lehman Brothers has only $65bn left to settle creditors' claims. The latter must thus accept just over 14 cents for every dollar Lehman Brothers owed them. "Thieves," they are probably muttering.  Read more.

Current crop of California college grads can't find jobs they want

Sacramento Bee (California) - Call them the underemployed generation.

Since the start of the recession, the number of new college graduates in California working as cashiers, office clerks, retail salespersons, bartenders, secretaries, child care workers, tellers and customer service representatives has jumped by 40 percent, or 12,000, according to a Bee review of census data.

Meanwhile, the number of new grads employed in their chosen professions as schoolteachers, architects, accountants and myriad other careers has fallen. Read more.

Prime Minister al-Maliki to US Chamber of Commerce: Iraq is Open for Business

The Hill - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Tuesday that his country is welcoming all U.S. corporations with open arms as U.S. troops leave at the end of the month.

Al-Maliki said U.S. corporations in all economic sectors could find opportunities to help rebuild in Iraq, in a speech delivered with many business leaders in attendance.  Read more.

Los Angeles and Occupy LA Agree: It’s Time to End Corporate Personhood

Brooke Jarvis @ YES! Magazine - On December 3, just two days before Occupy L.A. was evicted by police, the General Assembly of the occupation passed a unanimous resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood.

Today, the City Council of Los Angeles also voted, also unanimously, for a resolution making the same appeal.  Read more.

Three Women’s Rights Leaders Accept Nobel Peace Prize

NY Times News Service @ Truthout - In a ceremony in Oslo that repeatedly invoked gender equality and the democratic strivings of the Arab Spring, the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize was presented to three female activists and political leaders on Saturday for “their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights” as peacemakers. Read more.

Time to Save the Post Office

Ralph Nader @ Common Dreams - The battered national consensus behind a national universal postal service--conceived by Benjamin Franklin--is heading for a free fall due to bad management, corporate barracudas and a bevy of editors and reporters enamored with the supremacy of the Internet which makes up their world.  Read more.

Listen to the People, Not the Polluters

Amy Goodman @ Truthdig - High above the pavement, overlooking Durban’s famous South Beach and the pounding surf of the Indian Ocean, and just blocks from the United Nations Climate Change Conference, where up to 20,000 people gathered, seven activists fought against the wind to unfurl a banner that read “Listen to the People, Not the Polluters.” It was no simple task. Despite the morning sun and blue sky, the wind was ferocious, and the group hanging the banner wasn’t exactly welcome. They were with Greenpeace, hanging off the roof of the Protea Hotel Edward.  Read more.

What Can Save the Euro?

Joseph Stiglitz @ Project Syndicate - Just when it seemed that things couldn’t get worse, it appears that they have. Even some of the ostensibly “responsible” members of the eurozone are facing higher interest rates. Economists on both sides of the Atlantic are now discussing not just whether the euro will survive, but how to ensure that its demise causes the least turmoil possible.  Read more.

Eurozone crisis: Late night summit talks to save euro

BBC - European Union leaders are locked in late night talks at a summit called to tackle the eurozone debt crisis and save the single currency.

The key item on the agenda in Brussels is a Franco-German plan on budgetary discipline, with automatic penalties for eurozone nations that overspend.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the euro has "lost credibility".  Read more.

Murder-suicide revisits Virginia Campus

Reuters - Authorities declared the campus safe and lifted a lock-down after a nearly four-hour manhunt, seeming to lend credence to television news reports that a body found in a Virginia Tech parking lot was that of the shooter.

Police at a televised news conference declined to say whether they suspected a murder-suicide and offered no motive for the crime, citing an ongoing investigation.  Read more.

Social Contract Unravels in Rich Countries as Widening Income Gap Favors Bankers, Executives

Pat Garofalo @ ThinkProgress - According to a new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, income inequality — which has sparked the Occupy Wall Street movement in the U.S. — is increasing all across the developed world, led by bankers and executives reaping bigger and bigger income gains. In the OECD countries, the richest 10th of the population makes about nine times as much in average income as the poorest 10th , a significant increase from the gap in the 1980s:  Read more.

Marching Off the Cliff

Noam Chomsky @ Truthout - A task of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, now under way in Durban, South Africa, is to extend earlier policy decisions that were limited in scope and only partially implemented.

These decisions trace back to the U.N. Convention of 1992 and the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, which the U.S. refused to join. The Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period ends in 2012. A fairly general pre-conference mood was captured by a New York Times headline: “Urgent Issues but Low Expectations.”

As the delegates meet in Durban, a report on newly updated digests of polls by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Program on International Policy Attitudes reveals that “publics around the world and in the United States say their government should give global warming a higher priority and strongly support multilateral action to address it.”  Read more.

Who's More of a Joke? Herman Cain, the Republican Party, or the U.S. Media That Enabled Him?

Brad Blog - The corporate U.S. media, as well as the non-corporate U.S. media --- Right, non-Right, and Center --- have all wasted months of precious time filing millions upon millions of words in regard to the fake candidacy of Herman Cain, one which was never meant to lead, and wouldn't have ever led, to his Presidency in a million years. They've done that in lieu of reporting on things that actually matter in this county, at one of the most crucial moments in our nation's history.  Read more.

Where Were You When They Crucified My Movement?

Chris Hedges @ Truthdig - The Occupy movement is the force that will revitalize traditional Christianity in the United States or signal its moral, social and political irrelevance. The mainstream church, battered by declining numbers and a failure to defiantly condemn the crimes and cruelty of the corporate state, as well as a refusal to vigorously attack the charlatans of the Christian right, whose misuse of the Gospel to champion unfettered capitalism, bigotry and imperialism is heretical, has become a marginal force in the life of most Americans, especially the young. Outside the doors of churches, many of which have trouble filling a quarter of the pews on Sundays, struggles a movement, driven largely by young men and women, which has as its unofficial credo the Beatitudes:  Read more.

America's army of jobless

LA Times - When President Obama announced that 40,000 troops now in Iraq would come home by the end of the year, the initial excitement quickly turned to concern that our already struggling economy couldn't easily handle the shock of an additional 40,000 job seekers.

Although we should, of course, care deeply about returning Iraq war veterans, we ought not to think for a moment that adding 40,000 workers to the job-seeking pool will break the back of the economy. It's already broken.  Read more.

Are Americans in Line for Gitmo?

Ray McGovern @ Consortium News - Ambiguous but alarming new wording, which is tucked into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and was just passed by the Senate, is reminiscent of the “extraordinary measures” introduced by the Nazis after they took power in 1933.
And the relative lack of reaction so far calls to mind the oddly calm indifference with which most Germans watched the erosion of the rights that had been guaranteed by their own Constitution. As one German writer observed, “With sheepish submissiveness we watched it unfold, as if from a box at the theater.”  Read more.

Hundreds of OccupyLA Demonstrators Held for Days Without Charges on $5,000 Bail in Often Deplorable, Illegal, and Unconstitutional Conditions

Brad Blog - Much of the good will and plaudits earned by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck for their "minimal use of force" tactics employed to clear OccupyLA demonstrators from City Hall Park earlier this week has been quickly squandered in the hours and days since. The BRAD BLOG has learned that hundreds of peaceful arrestees were kept in often deplorable conditions in the hours following their apprehension.
According to new interviews with some of the arrestees following their release, men and women alike were held without charges for hours on end, forced to urinate in their seats on a holding bus while handcuffed, cut off from attorneys, medical supplies, and drinking water, and locked away with punitively high bails while being deprived of both humane and Constitutional rights.  Read more.

Iran shoots down US drone

Guardian UK - Iran's armed forces have shot down an unmanned US spy plane that violated Iranian airspace along its eastern border.
An unidentified military official quoted by the official Irna news agency on Sunday warned of a crushing response to any violations of Iranian airspace by US drone aircraft.  Read more.

Derrick Jensen Speaking at Occupy Oakland

Wal-Mart Circles Indian Markets, and Indians Push Back

Michele Chen @ In These Times - The marketplace has always been at the heart of India--exuberant bazaars brimming with local hawkers and traditional wares and foods. But the country’s old-fashioned markets may soon be eclipsed by the towering “free market” of globalization, as multinational superstores push the government to open the gates.

The India Cabinet wants to enable businesses with 51-percent foreign direct investment to enter India's retail sector--basically inviting in big box behemoths like Wal-Mart under the banner of efficiency and consumer choice. But many Indians aren’t buying it. This week, UNI Global Union reports that shops went on strike:  Read more.

$7.7 Trillion to Wall Street - Anything to Keep the Banksters Happy!

Thom Hartman @ Truthout - Do you know who Elizabeth Duke is? How about Donald Kohn or Kevin Warsh? No? Well - you should. Because while Congress was debating back in 2008 whether or not to bailout banksters with a $700 billion blank check - these guys and girls were just doing it. They were funneling $7.7 trillion to Wall Street under the table - without one constituent phone call - without worrying about one election - without having to give one explanation.  Read more.

OWS "Truth-Force" Obliterates New York Police Department Barricade at Lincoln Center Plaza

Truthout - Last night, I saw the power of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) at Lincoln Center Plaza, a public space that activists were barricaded by the New York Police Department (NYPD) from entering. From behind a police-patrolled barrier, I witnessed the power of the people first hand and had a taste of authentic democratic practice. I also caught a glimpse of the possibility that the burgeoning consciousness of OWS has the potential to unleash across this nation and perhaps the world.  Read more.

The 99 Percent Takes Office: Lessons From a Rhode Island Special Election

Amy Dean @ Truthout- If labor and other progressive groups are going to rebuild an economy that works for the 99 percent in America, they need to do great organizing in workplaces and communities and they also need to build deep coalitions among themselves. But that's not enough.
They also need to translate their organizing muscle into political power. And that means looking at electoral strategies in a new way.  Read more.

Arundhati Roy: "The People Who Created the Crisis Will Not Be the Ones That Come Up With a Solution"

Guardian UK - Sitting in a car parked at a gas station on the outskirts of Houston, Texas, my colleague Michelle holds an audio recorder to my cellphone. At the other end of the line is Arundhati Roy, author of the Booker Prize-winning The God of Small Things, who is some 2,000 miles away, driving to Boston.
"This is uniquely American," I remark to Roy about interviewing her while both in cars but thousands of miles apart. Having driven some 7,000 miles and visited 23 cities (and counting) in reporting on the Occupy movement, it's become apparent that the US is essentially an oil-based economy in which we shuttle goods we no longer make around a continental land mass, creating poverty-level dead-end jobs in the service sector.  Read more.

Cops Invade Occupy Boston to Seize Its Sink

Brad Johnson @ Think Progress - This evening, riot police invaded the Occupy Boston encampment to seize the protestors’ kitchen sink. The action, which led to the arrest of three protesters and a police officer accidentally stepping on a college-age female protester, was in evident violation of the restraining order that forbids the seizure of personal belongings extended today by Suffolk Superior Court Frances McIntyre.

Police seized the newly donated graywater sink and tossed it into the back of a police wagon...read more.

Romney's Billionaire Threatens BBC Investigative Reporter

Greg Palast @ Truthout - Last Monday, a call came in to BBC Television Centre, London, from the office of Mitt Romney's billionaire backer and "advisor" Paul Singer. Singer, top donor to the Republican Senate Campaign Committee had a message for the news chiefs at the prestigious broadcaster: "We have a file on Greg Palast." I bet they do.  Read more.

Vermont's Push to End Corporate Personhood

Greg Guma @ Media Maverick - Over the last decade more than a hundred cities and towns across the country have passed ordinances putting citizens' rights ahead of corporate interests. They have banned businesses from dumping toxic sludge, building factory farms, mining, and extracting water for bottling. Some have also refused to recognize corporations as people. On Jan. 21, 2010, however, the US Supreme Court firmly rejected that idea in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case, ruling that corporations are “persons” with First Amendment rights and cannot be prevented from spending unlimited funds on political campaigns.  Read more.

Deranged Senate Votes for Military Detention of All Terror Suspects and a Permanent Guantánamo

Yesterday the shameful dinosaurs of the Senate — hopelessly out of touch with reality, for the most part, and haunted by specters of their own making — approved, by 93 votes to 7, the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (PDF), which contains a number of astonishingly alarming provisions — Sections 1031 and 1032, designed to make mandatory the indefinite military detention of terror suspects until the end of hostilities in a “war on terror” that seems to have no end (if they are identified as a member of al-Qaeda or an alleged affiliate, or have planned or carried out an attack on the United States), ending a long and entirely appropriate tradition of trying terror suspects in federal court for their alleged crimes, and Sections 1033 and 1034, which seek to prevent the closure of Guantánamo by imposing onerous restrictions on the release of prisoners, and banning the use of funds to purchase an alternative prison anywhere else. I have previously remarked on…

Twenty Examples of the Obama Administration Assault on Domestic Civil Liberties

Bill Quigley @ Common Dreams - The Obama administration has affirmed, continued and expanded almost all of the draconian domestic civil liberties intrusions pioneered under the Bush administration. Here are twenty examples of serious assaults on the domestic rights to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, the right to privacy, the right to a fair trial, freedom of religion, and freedom of conscience that have occurred since the Obama administration has assumed power. Consider these and then decide if there is any fundamental difference between the Bush presidency and the Obama presidency in the area of domestic civil liberties.  Read more.

7-7-7: Jobless? Face It. Obama's Not That Into You

Ted Rail - Forget Herman Cain's 9-9-9. The battle cry for every American ought to be 7-7-7.

7-7-7: for the $7.7 trillion the Bush and Obama Administrations secretly funneled to the banksters.

Remember the $700 billion bailout that prompted rage from right to left? Which inspired millions to join the Tea Party and the Occupy movements? Turns out that that was a mere drop in the bucket, less than a tenth of what the Federal Reserve Bank doled out to the big banks.  Read more.

British Public-Sector Strike Threatens Airports, Closes Schools

SF Gate - Members of 30 U.K. public-sector unions walked out in a dispute over pensions with Prime Minister David Cameron's government that's set to close schools and disrupt airports and hospitals.

As many as 2 million government staff, including immigration officials, nurses and civil servants, are expected to take part in today's one-day strike, the Trades Union Congress said in a statement. London's Heathrow airport, Europe's busiest hub, and Gatwick, the capital's second airport, warned passengers they will face delays and Education Secretary Michael Gove said more than 90 percent of schools will be shut.  Read more.

3 Protesters Hit With Taser at Occupy Protest at Washington State Capitol

Associated Press @ KomoNews (Washington) - Thousands of protesters greeted lawmakers beginning a 30-day special session to address the state's budget woes, with a rowdy group disrupting a hearing Monday and police later using Tasers in a skirmish as a large crowd refused to leave the Capitol building at the end of the day.  Read more.

Senate Keeps Controversial Detainee Policy in Defense Bill

The Hill - The Senate on Tuesday rejected an effort to strip divisive provisions from a defense bill that deal with the capture and handling of suspected terrorists, setting up a showdown with the White House.

The resounding 61-37 vote sent a strong message to the Obama administration, which has threatened a veto of the bill over the requirement of military custody for captured terror suspects and limitations on the ability to transfer detainees from the naval prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The clash underscores the ongoing dispute between the executive branch and some in Congress over whether to treat suspected terrorists as prisoners of war or criminals.  Read more.

V for Vendetta: Alan Moore – Meet the Man Behind the Protest Mask

Guardian UK - The comic-book writer Alan Moore is not usually surprised when his creations find a life for themselves away from the printed page. Strips he penned in the 1980s and 90s have been fed through the Hollywood patty-maker, never to his great satisfaction, resulting in both critical hits and terrible flops; fads for T-shirts, badges and shouted slogans have emerged from characters and conceits he has dreamed up for titles such as Watchmen and From Hell. "I suppose I've gotten used to the fact," says the 58-year-old, "that some of my fictions percolate out into the material world."  Read more.

A Tale of Two Portlands: Occupy vs Subsidizing Developers

Barbara Dudley @ The Oregonian - Contrast these two stories from The Oregonian: In Saturday's (11.19.11) Business section, "A disgruntled California developer is suing Portland's urban renewal agency (Portland Development Commission) for more than $1.7 million" after an upscale remake of an old mill along the waterfront falls apart, and "after taxpayers have already invested $12.5 million into the site, which is no closer to development today than when the (PDC) bought it in 2000. " And then the ongoing story of how the City has allegedly spent some $750,000 on a clearly over-armored police response to Occupy Portland, aggressively clearing several hundred protestors and numerous homeless people out of two downtown encampments.  Read more.

Cablegate One Year Later: How WikiLeaks Has Influenced Foreign Policy, Journalism, and the First Amendment

Electronic Frontier Foundation - One year ago today, WikiLeaks started publishing a trove of over 250,000 leaked U.S. State Department cables, which have since formed the basis of reporting for newspapers around the globe. The publication has given the public a window into the inner workings of government at an unprecedented scale, and in the process, has transformed journalism in the digital age.

In recognition, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was just awarded Australia’s version of the Pulitzer Prize, in addition to the Martha Gellhorn journalism prize he won in the United Kingdom earlier this year. As Salon’s Glenn Greenwald observed, “WikiLeaks easily produced more newsworthy scoops over the last year than every other media outlet combined.” Yet at the same time, the Justice Department has been investigating WikiLeaks for criminal violations for doing what other media organizations have been doing in the U.S. for centuries—publishing truthful information in the public interest.  R…

Egypt's Election Can't Be Trusted

CNN -  "The people and the army are one hand," the chant of Egypt's January 25th revolution on the eve of President Hosni Mubarak's resignation, has yielded in the face of toxic gases, rubber bullets and live ammunition from the security forces, composed of army and police, to "the army and the police are one dirty hand."
The trust and gratitude the Egyptian people once felt toward the military for their solidarity in ousting Mubarak has evaporated as the brutality of the army and police has caused scores of deaths and thousands of injuries.  Read more.

Citigroup-SEC Settlement Rejected by New York Judge

Guardian UK - Citigroup faces a day of reckoning in court after a New York judge struck down a $285m settlement the bank reached with its financial regulator, arguing that the deal obscured an "overriding public interest in knowing the truth."

Last month Citigroup agreed to settle claims that it misled clients in a $1bn collateralised debt obligation (CDO), an investment linked to sub-prime residential mortgages. Investors lost about $700m from the CDO, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), while the bank made $160m in fees and trading profits.  Read more.

WikiLeaks Wins Walkley for Revealing 'Inconvenient Truths' in Global Coup

The Australian - WIKILEAKS was last night awarded a Walkley for outstanding contribution to journalism for what was described by judges as a global publishing coup that achieved "justice through transparency".

"WikiLeaks applied new technology to penetrate the inner workings of government to reveal an avalanche of inconvenient truths in a global publishing coup," the Walkley trustees said.  Read more.

Obama Granted Fewer Requests for Clemency Than Any Other President in the Last Century

Alternet- President Barack Obama’s Nov. 21 pardons of three marijuana offenders are extremely unlikely to indicate any shift in the White House’s pot policies. The three had already served their sentences.

More important is his commutation of crack dealer Eugenia Jennings’ sentence, the first clemency request Obama has granted since he took office. Groups that advocate eliminating the difference between penalties for crack and powder cocaine pointed to her case as an example of the system’s injustice.

"Her case screamed out for commutation,” said Kara Gotsch of the Sentencing Project in Washington, DC.  Read more.

Would Jesus Join the Occupy Protests?

Rev Howard Bess @ Consortium Times - When the Martin Luther King Jr. monument was dedicated recently in Washington DC, I was reminded that the civil rights movement in America was led not by a politician fulfilling campaign promises, nor by a popular evangelist bent on saving souls, but by a highly trained theologian who put his religious teachings into practice with a demand for justice for those who had suffered at the hands of the rich and the powerful.

The Rev. King was a Baptist preacher who took his religion into the arena of racism, economics and social disparity. However, hatred caught up with him, and he was killed.  Read more.

Hunger in America, By the Numbers

Think Progress - Last year, 17.2 million households in the United States were food insecure, the highest level on record, as the Great Recession continued to wreak havoc on families across the country. Of those 17.2 million households, 3.9 million included children. On Thanksgiving weekend, here’s a look at hunger in America, as millions of Americans struggle to get enough to eat in the wake of the economic crisis.  Read more.

Syracuse fires assistant basketball coach Fine

Marlen Garcia - USA Today - Syracuse University announced Sunday night that associate men's basketball coach Bernie Fine, under investigation for child molestation, has been fired.

The decision was Chancellor Nancy Cantor's and came in a statement from the school. It came just days after a third man went to police to accuse Fine of child sexual abuse and on the same day ESPN's Outside the Lines aired an audio recording of an accuser's 2002 telephone conversation with Fine's wife, Laurie.

On the recording, a voice identified as Laurie Fine's told accuser Bobby Davis, "I know everything that went on, you know. … Bernie has issues, maybe that he's not aware of, but he has issues. … And you trusted somebody you shouldn't have trusted."  Read more.

The Under-Examined Story of Fallujah

Foreign Policy In Focus - Seven years after the U.S. invasion of Fallujah, there are reports of an alarming rise in the rates of birth defects and cancer. But the crisis, and its possible connection to weapons deployed by the United States during the war, remains woefully under-examined.

On November 8, 2004, U.S. military forces launched Operation Phantom Fury 50 miles west of Baghdad in Fallujah, a city of 350,000 people known for its opposition to the Saddam regime.

The United States did not expect to encounter resistance in Fallujah, nor did it initially face any in the early days of the war. The first sign of serious hostility appeared in April 2003, after U.S. soldiers from the 82nd Airborne division fired into a crowd of protesters demonstrating against the occupation and the closure of their local school building, killing 17 civilians and injuring 70. The following February, amid mounting tensions, a local militia beheaded four Blackwater employees and strung their bodies from a …

Another Helping of FDR, Please

"May we ask guidance in more surely learning the ancient truth that greed and selfishness and striving for undue riches can never bring lasting happiness or good to the individual or to his neighbors"

- Franklin Roosevelt
John Nichols @ The Madison Capital Times (Wisconsin)  - President Obama’s Thanksgiving proclamation for 2011 reprises the boilerplate language employed in his previous seasonal statements. His messages have been a bit more historically and anthropologically detailed than those of his immediate predecessors — for instance, this year’s proclamation makes reference to how the feast of 1621 “honored the Wampanoag for generously extending their knowledge of local game and agriculture to the Pilgrims, and today we renew our gratitude to all American Indians and Alaska natives.”

Obama’s 2011 proclamation is even more religious in tone than Obama’s earlier ones — abandoning his previous bows to universalism in favor of more references to God and grace.

With each passin…

Berkeley Faculty: No Confidence in Chancellor Over Campus Police Violence

Jon Wiener @ The Nation - Berkeley is not only a school with an honored history of campus protest; it’s also our greatest public university, and its faculty include some of the country’s most brilliant and accomplished people. So when those faculty members meet to debate police violence against the “Occupy” movement on their campus, it’s big news.

On Monday, the Berkeley Academic Senate will vote on a resolution expressing “no confidence” in their chancellor, Robert Birgeneau, because of police violence against Occupy Cal campus activists there on November 9. The chancellor’s defense of police conduct was particularly outrageous: “It is unfortunate that some protesters chose to obstruct the police by linking arms,” he declared the day after the police confrontation. “This is not non-violent civil disobedience.”  Read more.

Ask the Candidates Real Questions — Like These

Ray McGovern @ Common Dreams - Pity the pundits. It must be hard to pretend to be a journalist and live in constant fear of being one question or comment away from joining the jobless.

This Thanksgiving holiday weekend we can be thankful for the obscene transparency of the “mainstream” pundits’ efforts to avoid at all cost offending the corporations that own and use them.  Read more.

The Shocking Truth About the Crackdown on Occupy

Naomi Wolf @ Guarian UK - US citizens of all political persuasions are still reeling from images of unparallelled police brutality in a coordinated crackdown against peaceful OWS protesters in cities across the nation this past week. An elderly woman was pepper-sprayed in the face; the scene of unresisting, supine students at UC Davis being pepper-sprayed by phalanxes of riot police went viral online; images proliferated of young women – targeted seemingly for their gender – screaming, dragged by the hair by police in riot gear; and the pictures of a young man, stunned and bleeding profusely from the head, emerged in the record of the middle-of-the-night clearing of Zuccotti Park.  Read more.

Crowds Swell in Cairo as New PM Appointed

Al Jazeera - Cairo's Tahrir Square is once again filling with protesters despite reports that the country's military rulers has appointed a new prime minister in an apparent concession to activists' demands for a civilian government.

Ganzuri is an economist who previously served as Egyptian prime minister under former president Hosni Mubarak between 1996 and 1999.  Read more.

Why Iceland Should Be in the News, But Is Not

The South African Civil Society Information Service - An Italian radio program's story about Iceland’s on-going revolution is a stunning example of how little our media tells us about the rest of the world. Americans may remember that at the start of the 2008 financial crisis, Iceland literally went bankrupt.  The reasons were mentioned only in passing, and since then, this little-known member of the European Union fell back into oblivion.

As one European country after another fails or risks failing, imperiling the Euro, with repercussions for the entire world, the last thing the powers that be want is for Iceland to become an example. Here's why:  Read more.

Thousands of Egyptians Press Demand for Military Council to Step Down

McClatchy Newspapers @ Truthout - Egypt on Friday appeared on the cusp of a protracted battle for control of the country’s once-promising revolution, with military rulers and protesters staging rival demonstrations and showing preferences for different prime ministers.

“The republic of Tahrir,” as some pundits call the iconic square in downtown Cairo, held an informal election in which thousands of protesters “voted” for Nobel laureate Mohammed ElBaradei, 69, to steer the country from an abyss just three days before scheduled parliamentary polls.  Read more.

The Fascinating History of How Corporations Became "People" -- Thanks to Corrupt Courts Working for the 1%

Joshua Holland @ Alternet - Perhaps there were truly free markets before the industrial revolution, where townspeople and farmers gathered in a square to exchange livestock, produce and handmade tools. In our modern world, such a market does not exist. Governments set up the rules of the game, and those rules have an enormous impact on our economic outcomes.

In 2007, the year of the crash, the top 1 percent of American households took in almost two-and-a-half times the share of our nation's pre-tax income that they had grabbed in the 40 years folliwing World War Two. This was no accident – the rules of the market underwent profound changes that led to the upward redistribution of trillions in income over the past 30 years. The rules are set by Congress – under a mountain of lobbying dollars – but they are adjudicated by the courts.  Read more.

Petroleum Junkies of the World, Unite!

Chris Collins @ Truthout - I'm a fossil fuel junkie. I drive a car and use electricity. My computer, TV, telephone, refrigerator, stove, lights, water and sewage all run on carbon-based energy.(1) All of the materials used to build my house and furniture were made with hydrocarbons. The wood, sheetrock, cement, metals, glass, wiring, PVC pipes, and other plastics were all manufactured with carboniferous energy. My high-energy lifestyle mainlines fossil fuels.
The petroleum coursing through the veins of our global economy allows me to do miraculous things. Read more.

Foreclosed Homeowners Re-Occupy Their Homes

New American Media @ Truthout - Carolyn Gage was evicted from her foreclosed home in January. Earlier this month, she moved back in.

“I’ve been in here for 50 years. I know no other place but here. I left and it was just time for me to come back home,” said Gage, who is in her mid-50s.

Gage’s monthly payments spiked after her adjustable rate mortgage kicked in, and she could no longer afford the payments on her three-bedroom house in the city’s Bayview Hunters Point district. She says she tried to modify her loan with her lender, Florida-based IB Properties, but to no avail.  Read more.

New Documentary Tracks Cultural Genocide of American Indians

Rose Aguilar @ Truthout - In 1892, US Army officer Richard Pratt delivered a speech in which he described his philosophy behind US government-run boarding schools for American Indians. "A great general has said that the only good Indian is a dead one," he said. "In a sense, I agree with the sentiment, but only in this: that all the Indian there is in the race should be dead. Kill the Indian in him, and save the man."

From 1879 until the 1960s, more than 100,000 American Indian children were forced to attend boarding schools. Children were forcibly removed or kidnapped from their homes and taken to the schools. Families risked imprisonment if they stood in the way or attempted to take their children back.  Read more.

Police Crackdowns on Occupy Camps are Real Threat

Linda Lye @ San Francisco Chronicle - Around California and all over the country, we have been told that Occupy encampments must come down because of "health and safety concerns." But all around the country, we have seen the police take down these encampments with an overzealous use of pepper spray, tear gas and flash-bang grenades. The real "health threat" we should be concerned about is the threat to the health of our democracy when the government reacts to peaceful political expression with police violence.
UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi cited "health and safety concerns" on Friday when she called for tents at the fledging Occupy UC Davis encampment to "be peacefully removed" by 3 p.m. Later that day, students sat cross-legged and peacefully linked arms. But the UC Davis Police Department, charged with creating a "safe and secure environment" on campus, proceeded to methodically and repeatedly douse peaceful student protesters wit…

NYPD Raid on Occupy's Zuccotti Park Camp Destroyed Thousands of Books

McClatchy Newspapers - What started in September as a few piles of books on a tarp in Manhattan's Zuccotti Park, the de facto headquarters of the Occupy Wall Street movement, had grown into a full-fledged outdoor library with 5,000 volumes and an online catalogue by November.
On Wednesday, a group of library workers and supporters of The People's Library, as it's known among Occupy protesters, gathered in midtown Manhattan to discuss what had become of the library during the Nov. 15 eviction of protesters from Zuccotti Park ordered by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Read more.

University chancellor under pressure after campus police pepper-spray students at Occupy camp

Washington Post - Linda Katehi was a college student in her native Greece in 1973 when the government used guns and tanks to crack down on campus demonstrations against military rule.

Thirty-eight years later, the chancellor of the University of California, Davis is under intense pressure following a crackdown last week on student protesters who set up an Occupy camp on campus.  Read more.

Yemen's Leader Signs Power-Transfer Deal

Al Jazeera - Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has signed a deal to hand over his powers under an agreement brokered by the Gulf Co-operation Council.

The deal signed on Wednesday, will see Saleh leave office in 30 days, making way for Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, the Yemeni vice-president, to negotiate a power transfer with the opposition in return for a promise of immunity from prosecution.  Read more.

Portugal Holds General Strike Against Austerity Measures

Reuters @ Common Dreams - Portuguese workers launched a general strike today to protest against austerity measures imposed as the price of an EU bailout designed to keep Portugal afloat and stem a deepening euro zone debt crisis.

Planes were grounded, trains halted and public services interrupted as workers across the nation of 11 million protested against job losses, tax hikes and pay cuts agreed between Portugal and the troika of lenders - the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.  Read more.

BPA Spikes 1,200 Per Cent After Eating Canned Soup: Study

Agence France Presse @ Common Dreams - People who ate canned soup for five days straight saw their urinary levels of the chemical bisphenol A spike 1,200 per cent compared to those who ate fresh soup, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.

The randomized study, described as "one of the first to quantify BPA levels in humans after ingestion of canned foods," was done by Harvard University researchers and appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association's November 23 issue.  Read more.

Washington’s Debt Panic and the Real Social Debt in America

Michele Chen @ In These Times - In the wake of the Congressional Supercommittee's collapse, we finally have consensus on both sides of the aisle: the lawmakers orchestrating the partisan drama are, behind the scenes, happy to collaborate on destroying economic security for all but the wealthiest Americans.

Though the debt hysteria made good political theater, the main immediate impact on the budget is simply to prolong the sense of doom hovering over struggling households. The budget problem those families face isn't some theoretical future debt crisis but the possibility of losing unemployment checks when a year-end legislative deadline hits. Read more.

Let Me In

Ralph Nader @ Common Dreams - From New York City to Oakland, and several cities in between, the police, on orders from city officials, have smashed the Occupy encampments and evicted the protestors from public parks and spaces. More politicians from Congress to the state and local level want the Occupy people OUT! Well, why don't they start letting them into the places where decisions are being made against their legitimate interests?  Read more.

UN Chief Slams Rich Nations' Plans to Delay Climate Change Treaty

Guardian UK - The United Nations' environment chief has slammed plans by the world's richest nations to put off a global treaty on climate change to 2020, saying the proposals were "very high risk".

Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN environment program, said postponing an agreement – which was meant to be signed in 2013 – to the end of this decade was a "political choice" rather than one based on science.  Read more.

Cities With Budget Woes Sell Out to Highest Bidder

Associated Press @ Common Dreams - Seven vinyl banners draped this month along one of Chicago's most iconic bridges, advertisements some have dubbed "a visual crime" and "commercial graffiti," are reviving a debate about how governments raise money in tough economic times.

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, a public school district in Colorado is selling ads on report cards and Utah has a new law allowing ads on school buses. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration, straining to fill a $600 million budget hole, is looking to raise $25 million from ads on city property — including bridges, electrical storage boxes and garbage cans.  Read more.

Occupy Protesters 'Mic Check' Obama in New Hampshire

Army schedules Dec. 16 pretrial hearing for PFC Bradley Manning

BradleyManning.org - This will be PFC Manning’s first appearance before a court and the first time he will face his accusers after 17 months in confinement. In a blog post this morning, Manning’s lead counsel, David Coombs, notified supporters that the pretrial phase is scheduled to last five days.

Today the United States Army scheduled an Article 32 pretrial hearing for PFC Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence specialist accused of releasing classified material to WikiLeaks. The pretrial hearing will commence on December 16 at Fort Meade, Maryland.  Read more.

The Christian Spirit Rests with Occupy Protestors

Chuck Currie @  The Oregonian - I went directly from the events that occurred on the night of Nov. 12 and early Sunday morning the 13th at Occupy Portland to the pulpit of Ainsworth United Church of Christ to repeat what I have said over and over again since the beginning of the Occupy Wall Street movement:

Supporting Occupy America is a Christian act born out of the call we have received to help build-up the Beloved Community. Our churches should seize this movement as a new Great Awakening and once again preach a Social Gospel that lifts up the common good of all and firmly rejects prosperity theology and other movements in our churches that have allowed us to ignore the fundamental principles of biblical justice.  Read more.

US Firm's Teargas Used Against Tahrir Square Protesters

Guardian UK - The teargas used by interior ministry troops in Cairo's Tahrir Square is supplied by a US company. Demonstrators say cartridges retrieved from the scene are branded with the name and address of Combined Systems Inc (CSI).

The firm is located in Jamestown, Pennsylvania. It specializes in supplying what it calls "crowd control devices" to armies and "homeland security agencies" around the world. It also manufactures lethal military equipment.  Read more.

Occupy Oakland: Footage Shows Police Beating 'Peaceful' Iraq War Veteran (VIDEO)

Guardian UK - Video footage has emerged of a police officer beating an Iraq war veteran so hard that he suffered a ruptured spleen in an apparently unprovoked incident at a recent Occupy protest in California.

The footage, which has been shared with the Guardian, shows Kayvan Sabehgi standing in front of a police line on the night of Occupy Oakland's general strike on 2 November, when he is set upon by an officer.  Read more.

Occupy Colleges Now: Students as the New Public Intellectuals

Henry Giroux @ Truthout - The police violence that has taken place at the University of California campuses at Berkeley and Davis does more than border on pure thuggery; it also reveals a display of force that is as unnecessary as it is brutal, and it is impossible to justify. These young people are being beaten on their campuses for simply displaying the courage to protest a system that has robbed them of both a quality education and a viable future.

Finding our way to a more humane future demands a new politics, a new set of values, and a renewed sense of the fragile nature of democracy. In part, this means educating a new generation of intellectuals who not only defend higher education as a democratic public sphere, but also frame their own agency as intellectuals willing to connect their research, teaching, knowledge, and service with broader democratic concerns over equality, justice, and an alternative vision of what the university might be and what society could be…

Washington Lobbyists Crafted $850,000 Secret Plan For Bank Lobbyists To Undermine Occupy Wall Street

Think Progress - This weekend, the MSNBC show Up! With Chris Hayes broke a stunning story about how Washington lobbyists are scrambling to undermine the protesters on Wall Street and across the country.

Hayes’ report, which can be viewed here, details how the Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford (CLGC) compiled a secret plan to undermine Occupy Wall Street for the American Bankers Association (ABA).  Read more.

Egypt Protesters Stage Mass Anti-Military Rally

Agence France Presse @ Common Dreams - Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Tahrir Square on Friday for a mass rally aimed at pushing Egypt's ruling military to cede power, 10 months after an uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak's regime.

As legislative elections draw near -- the first polls since Mubarak was ousted in February -- protesters are demanding more control over the constitution the new parliament is set to draft.

They want the withdrawal of a government document that proposes supra constitutional principles, which could see the military's budget shielded from public scrutiny.  Read more.

We Are All Occupiers

This is the text of a speech given by Arundhati Roy at the People's University in Washington Square, NYC on November 16th, 2011.

***

Arundhati Roy @ Common Dreams - Tuesday morning, the police cleared Zuccotti Park, but today the people are back. The police should know that this protest is not a battle for territory. We're not fighting for the right to occupy a park here or there. We are fighting for justice. Justice, not just for the people of the United States, but for everybody.  Read more.

If You Lived in Iran, Wouldn't You Want the Nuclear Bomb?

"The best way for the US to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons is to dial down the rhetoric and adopt some diplomacy"
Medhi Hasan @ Guardian UK - Imagine, for a moment, that you are an Iranian mullah. Sitting crosslegged on your Persian rug in Tehran, sipping a cup of chai, you glance up at the map of the Middle East on the wall. It is a disturbing image: your country, the Islamic Republic of Iran, is surrounded on all sides by virulent enemies and regional rivals, both nuclear and non-nuclear.

On your eastern border, the United States has 100,000 troops serving in Afghanistan. On your western border, the US has been occupying Iraq since 2003 and plans to retain a small force of military contractors and CIA operatives even after its official withdrawal next month.  Read more.

Standing Against Militarism and Violence: From Haiti to Fort Benning

Father Roy Bourgeois @ Common Dreams - On November 18, thousands of people will gather outside the gates of the U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA, now renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) to stand in opposition to our government’s involvement in coups, assassinations, torture, disappearances, and other atrocities in Latin America and the Caribbean. Meanwhile, in Haiti, the new president, Michel Martelly, will officially present his plan for the reconstitution of the Haitian army. Although these two events will be separated by over 1000 miles and occur in two different countries, they are directly related.

Twenty-one years ago, the School of the Americas Watch was founded when a small group of friends and I carried out a hunger strike at the gates of Ft. Benning to call for the closing of this school.  Read more.

At least one founding father would support OWS

The Oregonian - Herman Cain and other conservative politicians are calling the Occupy movement "extremist" and "un-American." But with its message of concern about wealth inequality in the U.S. and the corruption of government by special interests, Occupy is a movement that definitely would have been supported by the Founding Fathers. Perhaps not necessarily by the ones most of us are familiar with, but with the group known as the Anti-Federalists and, in particular, their spokesman, Robert Yates.

Robert Yates was a New York lawyer who organized against the British for American independence and then was a delegate at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Unlike the Schoolhouse Rock image of the Founding, not all Americans were unified and in favor of adopting the Constitution.  Read more.

Billionaire Media Moguls vs. Occupy Wall Street

Eric Alterman @ Center for American Progress - Hundreds of police officers, many wearing riot helmets, marched into lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park early Tuesday morning to clear out the Occupy Wall Street protesters. The operation required boroughwide task forces and “scores of mobile officers who are usually used to flood high-crime neighborhoods.” According to the police, 142 people were arrested, largely for “disorderly conduct and resisting arrest,” though it turned out that according to a judge’s ruling, the police did not have the right to clear the park at all, but merely to dispose of its tents and sleeping bags.

The first thing the police did was clear out the journalists so that they could not see what was going on—just as they routinely do in totalitarian nations. At least 10 reporters were arrested. Ironically, the owners of at least three New York newspapers could not have been happier. Of course, all three are not merely members of “the one percent” but the 1 percent of …

Human Rights Group Concerned Over Journalists’ Arrests at Occupy Wall Street

AP @ Common Dreams - A human rights office for the Americas on Thursday criticized the arrest and assault of journalists during Occupy Wall Street protests in New York and other U.S. cities in recent weeks.

The Washington-based Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights called for authorities to guarantee and protect the practice of journalism at public demonstrations.  Read more.

Occupy Prepares for the Onslaught

David Wheelock @ Common Dreams - Two months in, and it appears the 1 percent have had it up to here with free speech, free assembly, and probably democracy itself. They're just not accustomed to the concept. Mayor Bloomberg's (“B” for billionaire) charm offensive has failed; New York's Liberty Square has been cleared and reoccupied (but no sleeping over!), the tent village at Oakland's city hall dismantled. Everyone can just go home, get over it, and still have plenty of time to prepare for Black Friday shopping at WalMart, et. al.

Unfortunately for the 1 percent, 99 percent of us 99 Percenters were never in Zuccotti Park anyway - nor in Oakland, nor Albuquerque. Millions of us don't live in big cities, but we are here, in solidarity.  Read more.

Rebellion is in the Air: Quan’s Quackery and Bloomberg’s Bullshit

This Can't Be Happening! - The scripted excuses provided by mayors around the country to justify their police-state tactics in rousting peaceful occupation movement activists from their park-based demonstrations now stand exposed as utter nonsense, and, given their uncanny similarity in wording, can be clearly seen as having been drawn up for them by some hidden hands in Washington. the same can be said of the brutal tactics used.

If Mayor Jean Quan in Oakland, or Mayor Mike Bloomberg in New York, had been genuinely concerned about the health and well-being of the people in the encampments in their cities, they would not have dispatched police suited up in riot gear and armed with pepper spray and big clubs...read more.

NYPD blast LRAD Sonic weapon against OWS protest

San Francisco Police Arrest 100 in Bank of America Protest

LA Times - Protesters in the Occupy Wall Street movement seized a Bank of America branch in the city's financial district Wednesday, a demonstration that forced jittery customers and employees to flee and ended in nearly 100 arrests.

It took about 40 police officers in riot gear nearly four hours to clear the bank, but no one was injured. Police said many of those arrested were UC Santa Cruz students who were protesting fee increases and budget cuts.