Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2011

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. 

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 .

Egyptians Cast Ballots in Post-Mubarak Polls

Al Jazeera - Egyptians have started casting their ballots in the first parliamentary elections since former president Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a popular uprising earlier this year. Long queues were seen outside many polling stations amid tight security arrangements as voters flocked to the polls on Monday morning.  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

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 eac

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

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 - 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

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 o

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.  Read more .

Airline strands passengers, demands cash for fuel

CBS News - Airlines have already begun charging for food, drinks, seat assignments and baggage. Now one is demanding that passengers cough up extra cash on board for fuel. Hundreds of passengers traveling from India to Britain were stranded for six hours in Vienna when their Comtel Air flight stopped for fuel on Tuesday. The charter service asked them to kick in more than 20,000 pounds ($31,000) to fund the rest of the flight to Birmingham, England.  Read more .

Occupy clashes on Wall Street in day of action

CBS News - Thousands of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators took to the streets around the U.S. on Thursday to mark two months since the movement's birth and signal they aren't ready to quit, despite the breakup of many of their encampments by police. At least 175 people were arrested in New York for blocking streets near the New York Stock Exchange... read more .

How Progressives Won the Labor Rights Showdown in Ohio

Truthout - Last week, the labor movement and its allies scored a major victory with the repeal of Ohio Senate Bill 5 (SB5), a piece of anti-union legislation signed by Republican Gov. John Kasich. In a referendum that gave voters a chance to speak on the issue, Ohioans resoundingly rejected the law, which would have gutted the bargaining rights of 350,000 public-sector workers. In a landmark defeat for Republicans, voters turned out in large numbers and voted 61 percent to 39 percent to strike down SB5.  Read more .

This Is What Revolution Looks Like

Chris Hedges @ Truthdig - Welcome to the revolution. Our elites have exposed their hand. They have nothing to offer. They can destroy but they cannot build. They can repress but they cannot lead. They can steal but they cannot share. They can talk but they cannot speak. They are as dead and useless to us as the water-soaked books, tents, sleeping bags, suitcases, food boxes and clothes that were tossed by sanitation workers Tuesday morning into garbage trucks in New York City. They have no ideas, no plans and no vision for the future. Our decaying corporate regime has strutted in Portland, Oakland and New York with their baton-wielding cops into a fool’s paradise. They think they can clean up “the mess”—always employing the language of personal hygiene and public security—by making us disappear. They think we will all go home and accept their corporate nation, a nation where crime and government policy have become indistinguishable... read more.

The Brave New World of Occupy Wall Street

Amy Goodman @ Truthdig - We got word just after 1 a.m. Tuesday that New York City police were raiding the Occupy Wall Street encampment. I raced down with the “Democracy Now!” news team to Zuccotti Park, renamed Liberty Square. Hundreds of riot police had already surrounded the area. As they ripped down the tents, city sanitation workers were throwing the protesters’ belongings into dump trucks. Beyond the barricades, back in the heart of the park, 200 to 300 people locked arms, refusing to cede the space they had occupied for almost two months. They were being handcuffed and arrested, one by one.  Read more .

Lawyer Says Alleged Sandusky Victim Will Testify to Severe Sexual Assault

Bill Pennington @ NY Times - Ben Andreozzi, a Pennsylvania lawyer representing one of eight alleged victims in the Penn State sexual child abuse case, called Jerry Sandusky a “coward” on Wednesday and said that Sandusky’s recent comments on television had emboldened his client to pursue sexual assault charges against Sandusky. Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach who has been charged with 40 counts related to sexual abuse of boys over a period of 15 years, said he was innocent of all charges in a telephone interview with NBC’s Bob Costas on Monday. His lawyer, Joe Amendola, indicated there were doubts about his accusers.  Read more .

Bloomberg Personifies What the Occupation Opposes

Glen Ford @ Black Agenda Report - New York’s mayor Michael Bloomberg justified clearing the tents and other materials of Occupation from Zuccotti Park, saying the protesters will now “have to occupy the space with the power of their arguments.” This is a strange kind of logic from the 12th richest man in America, who occupies City Hall for one reason only – because he has bought the office three times since 2001. Mr. Bloomberg’s $20 billion fortune maintains him in the Executive Mansion, not the power of his arguments. Bloomberg was a lifelong Democrat until he found it more convenient to run as a Republican, and then as an independent – thus proving that money, not party, is what counts in New York, as in all American politics. Everything else is a diversion, and a lie. Bloomberg has used the mayor’s office to make the city more hospitable to his fellow economic one-percenters from all around the planet. But, in that sense, he is no different than the mayors of other American cities

A Self-Immolation in Tiananmen Square Is Reported

NY Times News Service @ Truthout - A man set himself on fire in China’s heavily policed Tiananmen Square last month, according a report in The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, in the first known case of a self-immolation at the politically sensitive site in Beijing in nearly a decade. China has experienced a spate of such grisly protests this year in the country’s western regions by Tibetan monks challenging Chinese rule . At least 11 Tibetans have set themselves on fire, and six have died.  Read more .

Europe Bans X-Ray Body Scanners Used at US Airports

ProPublica - The European Union on Monday prohibited the use of X-ray body scanners in European airports, parting ways with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, which has deployed hundreds of the scanners as a way to screen millions of airline passengers for explosives hidden under clothing. The European Commission, which enforces common policies of the EU's 27 member countries, adopted the rule “in order not to risk jeopardizing citizens’ health and safety.”  Read more.

Fukushima Fallout Fears Over Japan Farms

BBC News - New research has found that radioactive material in parts of north-eastern Japan exceeds levels considered safe for farming. The findings provide the first comprehensive estimates of contamination across Japan following the nuclear accident in 2011. Food production is likely to be affected, the researchers suggest.  Read more .

Beyond The Occupation: Why the Clearing of Zuccotti Park Doesn’t Matter

Richard Schiffman @ Common Dreams - It happened, as we guessed it would, at midnight when the TV crews had gone home and the weary activists would put up the least resistance. In retrospect, it seems inevitable. Even before the eviction last night, it was getting cold, folks were falling sick, squabbling, over turf, stuff was being stolen, nerves were fraying. The mood in the Wall Street camp was coming to seem less like Eden before the fall and more like the trenches of the Somme. That was the bad news. The good news is that the Occupy Wall Street is not going anywhere. It is here to stay.  Read more .

Judge Upholds Eviction of New York 'Occupy' Camp

MSNBC - A New York judge has upheld the city's dismantling of the Occupy Wall Street encampment, saying that the protesters' first amendment rights don't entitle them to camp out indefinitely in the plaza. Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman on Tuesday denied a motion by the demonstrators seeking to be allowed back into the park with their tents and sleeping bags. Police cleared out the protesters in a nighttime sweep early Tuesday. The judge upheld the city's effective eviction of the protesters after an emergency appeal by the National Lawyers Guild.  Read more .

Occupy the Press

In These Times - So here’s the question: Despite the media’s appalling coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement, is a more sustained and sustainable assault on the injustices of corporate capitalism gaining a foothold? With the emergence, and spread, of the Occupy movement, the first scandal was the mainstream media’s ignoring the story (until the NYPD got violent). Many noted, rightly, that if the demonstration had been organized by the Tea Party, the press would have been all over it from the start. The second scandal, once the media did start to pay attention, was the dismissive, marginalizing coverage—the New York Times possibly being the worst—casting the demonstrators as clueless, leaderless neo-hippies simply looking for a way to pass sunny autumn afternoons.  Read more .

The Story of Broke

Greg Palast Tracks the Vultures of the 1 Percent

Mark Karlin and Greg Palast @ Truthout - Near the front of his new book, "Vultures' Picnic," Greg Palast quotes BuzzFlash at Truthout as calling him "a cross between Seymour Hersh and Jack Kerouac."  He also quotes a White House spokesman as saying about him, "We hate that sonovabitch." During its first several years, Palast was the most interviewed resource on BuzzFlash. That was and is because he drives the global elite crazy, not to mention the mainstream corporate media. He's a one-person investigative junk yard dog, who chomps down and doesn't let go.  He's indefatigable, as the subtitle of his book indicates, "in pursuit of petroleum pigs, power pirates, and high-finance carnivores."  Read more .

California Refuses to Accept Obama’s Banking Sellout

Robert Scheer @ Truthdig - There is no three-strikes law for crooked bankers, not even a law for a fifth strike, as The New York Times reported in the case of Citigroup, cited last month in a $1 billion fraud case. Unlike the California third-striker I once wrote about whom a district attorney wanted banished forever to state prison for stealing a piece of pizza from the plate of a person dining outdoors, Citigroup executives get off with a fine and by offering a promise not to do it again, and again and again. As the Times reported when Citigroup agreed to settle SEC charges last month: “Citigroup’s main brokerage subsidiary, its predecessors or its parent company agreed to not violate the very same antifraud statue in July 2010. And in May 2006. Also as far back as March 2005 and April 2000.”  Read more.

The Right Wing's 2011 Shellacking

E. J. Dione Jr. @ Washington Post Writer's Group - This week's elections around the country were brought to you by the word "overreach," specifically conservative overreach. Given an opportunity in 2010 to build a long-term majority, Republicans instead pursued extreme and partisan measures. On Tuesday, they reaped angry voter rebellions. The most important was in Ohio, where voters overwhelmingly defeated Gov. John Kasich's bill to strip public employee unions of essential bargaining rights. A year ago, who would have predicted that standing up for the interests of government workers would galvanize and mobilize voters on this scale?  Read more .

We Are the One Percent ... And We Stand With the Ninety-Nine Percent

Jesse Estrin @ YES! Magazine - I first realized that I came from wealth when I discovered that not everybody’s family had more than one house.  It was a further revelation when, growing up, it dawned on me that not everybody else went to the same kind of school I did. I began to understand that my experience of elementary and high school – going to nicely furnished schools with state-of-the-art facilities in a safe neighborhood of West L.A., and with very little diversity and an obsession with getting students into Ivy League colleges—was not the experience of the majority of other children my age.  Read more .

Re-imagining Work in the Motor City

Olga Bonfiglio @ Common Dreams - It was a serendipitous weekend of soul-searching, collaboration, information sharing, and problem solving as activists “occupied” Detroit, one of the world’s most de-industrialized cities, to re-imagine “work” and ways it can reinvigorate local communities. Over 300 participants from around the country converged on the Focus: Hope facility October 28-30 to address our nation’s accelerating decline of the jobs-based industrial economy where over 14 million Americans are unemployed and another 9.3 million hold “involuntary part-time” jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “We never anticipated Occupy Wall Street or the Arab Spring when we planned this conference,” said Richard Feldman, from the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership. “Nevertheless, we are here to show the world that Detroit is the place where we can imagine what the 21st century can look like.”  Read more .

No Speedy Trial for Bradley Manning; Now in Pre-Trial Confinement for 560 Days

Ann Wright @ Common Dreams - Five months ago, on April 22, 2011, over 400 citizens converged on Quantico Marine Base to protest the pre-trial conditions of alleged Wikileaks whistleblower US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning.  Manning was arrested on May 26, 2010, on a U.S. military base in Iraq on suspicion of giving classified material to the website WikiLeaks.  Read more .

You Can't Evict an Idea Whose Time has Come

Occupy Wall Street PR Team - Two months ago, just 200 of us set up an encampment at Wall Street's doorstep. Since then, Occupy Wall Street has become a national and even international symbol – with similarly styled occupations popping up in cities and towns across America and around the world. A growing popular movement has significantly altered the national narrative about our economy, our democracy, and our future. Late into last night, we on the Occupy Wall Street PR team were reflecting on the successes, challenges and the aims of our movement up to this point. Over the weekend, some 20 writers sent us their thoughts on their experience with direct democracy and the evolution of the movement. We sat in awe for a moment at the various perspectives, backgrounds and motives of each OWS contributor and their journey through this burgeoning movement.  Read more .

Court Order: City Can’t Keep Occupy Wall Street Protesters and Their Stuff Out of Zuccotti Park

NY Daily News - Hours after baton-wielding cops cleared Occupy Wall Street protesters and their tents out of Zuccotti Park, a judge signed an order Tuesday saying the demonstrators can return with their stuff. Mayor Bloomberg said the city was trying to clarify the restraining order signed by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lucy Billings, a former civil liberties lawyer.  Read more .

Smear Campaigns Fuel Shutdowns of Occupations Across Country

Michael Corcoran @ Truthout - City officials in Burlington, Vermont, recently used the suicide of a 35-year-old man as an excuse to deceptively close down the occupation. In New York City, just this morning, police threatened arrest to anyone who did not clear Zuccotti Park - the birthplace of the Occupy movement. Across the nation the media, right-wing critics and city officials are wrongly blaming Occupy for seemingly any crime or incident that occurs anywhere in their respective cities in an especially sinister smear campaign that aims to discredit and ultimately try to destroy the movement. Other occupations are in jeopardy of being shut down by the police. Organizers and supporters must act bravely and quickly to save - and expand - this movement as we head into the dead of winter.  Read more .

28 Members of Rupert Murdoch's Staff Linked to Phone Hacking Scandal

Guardian UK - The full scale of phone hacking at News International, Britain's largest and most powerful newspaper group, finally began to emerge on Monday when the Leveson inquiry into press standards heard that 28 of the company's staff are named in notes seized from a private investigator who specialised in the practice. On a dramatic opening day at the high court in London, Robert Jay QC, counsel for the inquiry, said evidence held by the Metropolitan police for five years showed "at least 27 other NI employees", in addition to the former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman, appear in notes taken by Glenn Mulcaire.  Read more .

Plans to Sabotage "Recall Walker" Effort

The Brad Blog - The effort to recall Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker begins in earnest tomorrow, November 15. As TPM's Eric Kleefeld reports , Democrats and other opponents of the WI GOP's big government removal of public union collective bargaining rights will have just 60 days to collect more than 540,000 signatures in order to put the controversial Governor onto a recall election ballot early next year.  Read more .

Wall Street v. Elizabeth Warren

Simon Johnson @ The Baseline Scenario - Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS group has launched the first attack ad against Elizabeth Warren, presumably because she is now running hard for the Senate in Massachusetts. This ad is not a big surprise, but the line that Mr. Rove takes could well backfire. The ad states, “we need jobs, not radical theories and protests,” so we can break the argument down into three separate parts. First, who destroyed more than 8 million jobs in the United States – and plunged us into the deepest and longest lasting recession since the 1930s? Surely this was not Ms. Warren, who was just a law school professor, in the run-up to 2008. Mr. Rove is opening the blame game and this is going to go badly for his presumed supporters... read more .

This Is What Revolution Looks Like

Chris Hedges @ Truthdig - Welcome to the revolution. Our elites have exposed their hand. They have nothing to offer. They can destroy but they cannot build. They can repress but they cannot lead. They can steal but they cannot share. They can talk but they cannot speak. They are as dead and useless to us as the water-soaked books, tents, sleeping bags, suitcases, food boxes and clothes that were tossed by sanitation workers Tuesday morning into garbage trucks in New York City. They have no ideas, no plans and no vision for the future.  Read more .

Veterans at Occupy Sacramento Speak Out Against War, Arrests

AlterNet - Sacramento area veterans, including many appearing in uniform or military garb with ribbons and medals, spoke out against wars that they said only benefit the 1 percent during a news conference held by Occupy Sacramento at Cesar Chavez Park on Veterans Day, 2011. Jerry Pedersen, a Lutheran minister, was only 17 when he was drafted to serve in the US. Army in the Pacific during World War II. He was a member of the honor guard that served at the surrender of the Japanese army aboard USS Missouri on September 2, 1945. “I was standing only 30 feet away from where the table where General Douglas MacArthur and officials of the allies and Japanese government met,” said Pederson. “McCarthur said to the crowd, ‘We preserve in peace what we won in war.’”  Read more .

Occupy Oakland camp gone, but standoff remains

SF Gate - Mayor Jean Quan's chief legal adviser resigned early this morning after what he called a "tragically unnecessary" police raid of the Occupy Oakland camp. Dan Siegel, a civil rights attorney and one of Oakland's most active and vocal police critics, said the city should have done more to work with campers before sending in police.  Read more .

Harvard Students Join the Occupy Movement

Richard Woolf @ Monthly Review - Over the last 10 days, Harvard students twice stopped business as usual at this richest of all US private universities. An Occupy Harvard encampment of tents followed a large march of many hundreds through the campus protesting Harvard's complicity in the nation's extreme inequality of income and wealth. A week earlier some 70 students walked out in protest of Harvard's large lecture course in introductory economics . They too explained that they were acting in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movements.  Read more .

Bank of America Makes Millions Charging Fees to Withdraw Unemployment Benefits

Marie Diamond @ Think Progress - Late last month, a national backlash forced Bank of America to abandon its plan to charge customers $5 a month to use their debit cards. But Huffington Post reports that the corporation has quietly been mining other sources of fees, preying on its most vulnerable customers to rake in millions in revenue:  Read more .

Ten Ways the Occupy Movement Changes Everything

YES! Magazine - Before the Occupy Wall Street movement, there was little discussion of the outsized power of Wall Street and the diminishing fortunes of the middle class. The media blackout was especially remarkable given that issues like jobs and corporate influence on elections topped the list of concerns for most Americans. Occupy Wall Street changed that. In fact, it may represent the best hope in years that “we the people” will step up to take on the critical challenges of our time.   Read more .

Undercover Cop at Occupy Oakland Condemns Police Brutality, Supports the Movement

Think Progress - Across the country, police have used undercover and/or plainsclothed police officers to monitor occupations and protests that are a part of the 99 Percent Movement. Earlier today, the Tennessean published excerpts from emails sent by the Tennessee Highway Patrol that confirmed not only that police were infiltrating Occupy Nashville but that they were hoping for the movement’s demise.   Read more .

Berlusconi Steps Down, and Italy Pulses With Change

NY Times News Service @ Truthout - Marking the end of a tumultuous week and of an era in Italian politics, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi resigned Saturday evening after Parliament approved austerity measures sought by the European Union. The lower house passed the measures on Saturday by a vote of 380 to 26, a day after they were approved by the Senate, trying to keep a step ahead of market pressures that sent borrowing rates on Italian bonds skyrocketing last week to levels that have required other euro zone countries to seek bailouts. The vote, and Mr. Berlusconi’s resignation, come amid the biggest crisis facing the European Union in decades , in which the power of financial markets has upended traditional democratic processes.  Read more .

Mystery Radiation Detected 'Across Europe'

ABC News - The hunt is on for the source of low level radiation detected in the atmosphere "across Europe" over the past weeks, nuclear officials said today. Trace amounts of iodine-131, a type of radiation created during the operation of nuclear reactors or in the detonation of a nuclear weapon, were detected as early as three weeks ago by Austrian authorities and then two weeks ago by the Czech Republic's State Office for Nuclear Safety . Today the International Atomic Energy Agency released a statement revealing similar detections had been made "in other locations across Europe." The IAEA said the current levels of iodine-131 are far too low to warrant a public health risk... read more .

US Court Verdict 'Huge Blow' to Privacy, says Fomer WikiLeaks Aide, now Icelandic MP

Birgitta Jónsdóttir @ Guardian UK - Before my Twitter case, in which the US Department of Justice has demanded that the social media site hands over personal information about my account which it deems necessary to its investigation of WikiLeaks, I didn't think much about what rights I would be signing off when accepting user agreement in my computer. The text is usually lengthy, in a legal language that most people don't understand. Very few people read the user agreements, and very few understand their legal implications if someone in the real world would try to use one against them. Many of us who use the internet – be it to write emails, work or browse its growing landscape: mining for information, connecting with others or using it to organize ourselves in various groups of the like-minded – are not aware of that our behavior online is being monitored.  Read more .

US Court Verdict 'Huge Blow' to Privacy, says Fomer WikiLeaks Aide

Dominic Rushe @ Guardian UK - Icelandic MP and former WikiLeaks volunteer Birgitta Jonsdottir has slammed the decision by US courts to open her Twitter account to the US authorities and is taking her case to the Council of Europe. On Thursday a US judge ruled Twitter must release the details of her account and those of two other Twitter users linked to WikiLeaks. Jonsdottir learned in January that her Twitter account was under scrutiny from the Justice Department because of her involvement last year with WikiLeaks' release of a video showing a US military helicopter shooting two Reuters reporters in Iraq. She believes the US authorities want to use her information to try and build a case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.  Read more .

Veterans Day Began as a Pledge to End All Wars

David Swanson @ War Is A Crime - Believe it or not, November 11th was not made a holiday in order to celebrate war, support troops, or cheer the 11th year of occupying Afghanistan.  This day was made a holiday in order to celebrate an armistice that ended what was up until that point, in 1918, one of the worst things our species had thus far done to itself, namely World War I. World War I, then known simply as the world war or the great war, had been marketed as a war to end war.  Celebrating its end was also understood as celebrating the end of all wars.  A ten-year campaign was launched in 1918 that in 1928 created the Kellogg-Briand Pact, legally banning all wars.  That treaty is still on the books, which is why war making is a criminal act and how Nazis came to be prosecuted for it.  Read more .

Start a Business?! How 'Bout Occupy Entrepreneurship?

Chris Rabb @ Tech & Sensibility - I recently came across a pithy, anti-Occupy Wall Street column in Entrepreneur Magazine that encouraged protesters to go home and create start-up ventures instead of standing up for social and economic justice. I say we express our dissent and commitment to community wealth-building by occupying entrepreneurship. The column was just under 400 words, but I can summarize it for you: Stop complaining and start a business. Though the conservative argument behind it was neither new nor particularly well-founded, it was aggressively inane and patently misguided all the same.  Read more .

Now Is the Time for an Economic Bill of Rights

Ellen Brown @ Truthout - Henry Ford said, "It is well enough that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning." We are beginning to understand, and Occupy Wall Street looks like the beginning of the revolution. We are beginning to understand that our money is created, not by the government, but by banks.  Read more

Former Narcotics Detective Admits Drug Planting Common

Allison Kilkenney - Stephen Anderson, a former New York Police Department (NYPD) narcotics detective, recently testified that he regularly saw police plant drugs on innocent people as a way for officers to meet arrest quotas. While the news may shock many civilians, the custom is so well known among officers that it has a name: "flaking." This practice has reportedly cost the city $1.2 million to settle cases of false arrests.  Read more .

The Devil in the Tar Sands

Desmond Tutu and Jody Williams @ Project Syndicate - On Sunday, November 6, thousands of people encircled the White House as part of the ongoing effort to press US President Barack Obama to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. If the nearly 1,700-mile pipeline were to be built, it would run from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, through the heartland of the US, all the way to the Texas coast on the Gulf of Mexico. Should the project go ahead, Obama will have made one of the single most disastrous decisions of his presidency concerning climate change and the very future of our planet. In August, some 1,250 people were arrested in front of the White House while protesting against Keystone. One of them was James Hanson, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies... read more .

Finding Freedom in Handcuffs

Chris Hedges @ Truthdig - Faces appeared to me moments before the New York City police arrested us Thursday in front of Goldman Sachs. They were not the faces of the smug Goldman Sachs employees, who peered at us through the revolving glass doors and lobby windows, a pathetic collection of middle-aged fraternity and sorority members. They were not the faces of the blue-uniformed police with their dangling cords of white and black plastic handcuffs, or the thuggish Goldman Sachs security personnel, whose buzz cuts and dead eyes reminded me of the East German secret police, the Stasi. They were not the faces of the demonstrators around me, the ones with massive student debts and no jobs, the ones whose broken dreams weigh them down like a cross, the ones whose anger and betrayal triggered the street demonstrations and occupations for justice. They were not the faces of the onlookers—the construction workers, who seemed cheered by the march on Goldman Sachs, or the suited businessmen who

The War Against the Poor and Occupy Wall Street

Frances Fox Piven @ Tom Dispatch - We’ve been at war for decades now -- not just in Afghanistan or Iraq, but right here at home.  Domestically, it’s been a war against the poor, but if you hadn’t noticed, that’s not surprising. You wouldn’t often have found the casualty figures from this particular conflict in your local newspaper or on the nightly TV news.  Devastating as it’s been, the war against the poor has gone largely unnoticed -- until now.  Read more .

Koch Brothers: Secretive Billionaires With Eye on 2012 Creating Vast Database

Guardian UK - The secretive oil billionaires the Koch brothers are close to launching a nationwide database connecting millions of Americans who share their anti-government and libertarian views, a move that will further enhance the tycoons' political influence and that could prove significant in next year's presidential election.  Read more.

Seniors Join Occupy Chicago, Protest Cuts To Medicare, Social Security

Huffpo @ Activist News - More than a thousand seniors and advocates marched from Chicago's Federal Plaza to the intersection of Jackson and Clark St. Monday morning to protest proposed cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Housing and Urban Development (HUD). At the intersection, more than 40 protesters, 15 of them seniors affiliated with the Jane Addams Senior Caucus, stood or sat in the street, arms linked, blocking traffic. Amid chants demanding that the cuts be forestalled--with suggestions for alternatives, including tax hikes--43 demonstrators were escorted from the intersection (see video, above) by police and issued citations for pedestrian failure to "exercise due care," or for blocking traffic. Those cited included four protesters using assisted mobility devices and at least one centenarian.  Read more .

Here comes the sun

Paul Krugman @ NY Times - For decades the story of technology has been dominated, in the popular mind and to a large extent in reality, by computing and the things you can do with it. Moore’s Law — in which the price of computing power falls roughly 50 percent every 18 months — has powered an ever-expanding range of applications, from faxes to Facebook. Our mastery of the material world, on the other hand, has advanced much more slowly. The sources of energy, the way we move stuff around, are much the same as they were a generation ago. But that may be about to change. We are, or at least we should be, on the cusp of an energy transformation, driven by the rapidly falling cost of solar power. That’s right, solar power. If that surprises you, if you still think of solar power as some kind of hippie fantasy, blame our fossilized political system, in which fossil fuel producers have both powerful political allies and a powerful propaganda machine that denigrates alternatives.  Read more

London Bankers 'Find Rich-Poor Divide Too Wide'

Agence France Presse @ Common Dreams - Financial sector workers in Britain believe the gap between rich and poor is too wide, according to a survey by a think-tank published on Monday. The report, by an institute linked to St Paul's Cathedral in London where anti-capitalist protesters have been camping since mid-October, said 75 percent of respondents thought the wealth divide was too big.  Read more .

How Wall Street Occupied America

Bill Moyers @ The Nation - During the prairie revolt that swept the Great Plains in 1890, populist orator Mary Elizabeth Lease exclaimed, “Wall Street owns the country…. Money rules…. Our laws are the output of a system which clothes rascals in robes and honesty in rags. The [political] parties lie to us and the political speakers mislead us." She should see us now. John Boehner calls on the bankers, holds out his cup and offers them total obeisance from the House majority if only they fill it. Barack Obama criticizes bankers as “fat cats,” then invites them to dine at a pricey New York restaurant where the tasting menu runs to $195 a person.  Read more .

No Arrests Inside Goldman Sachs, Though We Were Arrested Outside

Chris Hedges @ Truthdig - Goldman Sachs, which received more subsidies and bailout-related funds than any other investment bank because the Federal Reserve permitted it to become a bank holding company under its “emergency situation,” has used billions in taxpayer money to enrich itself and reward its top executives. It handed its senior employees a staggering $18 billion in 2009, $16 billion in 2010 and $10 billion in 2011 in mega-bonuses. This massive transfer of wealth upwards by the Bush and Obama administrations, now estimated at $13 trillion to $14 trillion, went into the pockets of those who carried out fraud and criminal activity rather than the victims who lost their jobs, their savings and often their homes.  Read more .