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Showing posts from December, 2011

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.

"I Know How to Beat Republicans": Interview With Former GOP Staffer Mike Lofgren

Leslie Thatcher @ Truthout - Retired Republican House and Senate staffer Mike Lofgren spoke with Truthout in Washington, DC, this fall. Lofgren's first commentary for Truthout, "Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult," went viral, drawing over 1.2 million page views. 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…

Unemployed, Liberal Groups to Hold 4-Day DC Protest

McClatchy Newspapers - Roughly 3,000 unemployed workers from around the country are expected in the nation's capitol next week for four days of protests with labor, religious and social justice groups that say Congress cares more about America's wealthiest 1 percent than it does the masses of struggling middle-class families.  Read more.

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.