Webster Quote

Webster Quote

Friday, December 30, 2011

Occupying the Iowa Caucuses

Occupiers, forced out of "Zucotti Park" in New York, are in some sense re-convening in Iowa in an effort to impact the caucus process there. It is an interesting idea, one explained at the link below. The Occupation movement explains the invovlement in the Presidential political process as an effort to highlight the strong ties of both political parties to the oligarchs and plutocrats. Surely this point is obvious to all who look closely at the situation.

This "Occupying" of the Iowa caucuses is at least twelve years over-due. Remember the errant campaign of Nader and how he tried to call attention to this issue, only to enable the election of the President of Corporate America -- G. W. Bush? For 2012, it appears we have with us the kind of campaign we should have had then. This is a campaign which can make the point that America and its government are controlled by big money -- without acting as a spoiler in the Presidential voting itself. This is nearly the most hopeful development imaginable as America moves into an important, though deeply flawed, Presidential nominating process.


http://www.occupyiowacaucuses.org/iowa-caucus-faqs

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Message from Founder of The Patriots

This message landed in my e-mail box and I felt it was valuable enough to share with you. I heard Bob Bowman, retired military officer and advisor to the White House, speak a few years ago and was very impressed. His is a non-partisan, heart-felt and fairly effective message for all Americans living in these days.

The message I have repeated almost in its entirety below, is re-assuring in a way many messages I have received this year have not been. So if you are looking for hope keep reading. While the message is from a Christian's perspective, it is general enough to be appreciated by everyone.

And to Dr. Bowman's message I add my own: Peace and Good Will to All.

-- The Musical Patriot






Bob Bowman


This note will have to suffice for a Christmas card for friends
and family, a pastoral letter to those in our Church, and a message of
encouragement to the Patriots.

We spend most of the year dwelling on what is wrong with the
world and with our beloved country – and there is indeed much to be
concerned about. In my “Inaugural Address,” I try to give a vision of an
alternative and better future. It is meant as an awakening for those who
have been lulled into acceptance (if not comfort) by our consumer society, a
reminder that things could be (and should be) so much better. It is a call
to those who have been on the sidelines to get involved and help bring about
the better world we seek. But it is also meant as an inspiration to those
already struggling on behalf of all of us, and encouragement to those who
have given up or have considered doing so. Above all, it is meant as a
message of hope that the kind of nation and world we envision is indeed
possible. (If you haven’t heard it or read it, you can do so on our web
site www.thepatriots.us http://www.thepatriots.us .)



At Christmas, the season of joy, it is especially fitting that
we hold fast to that hope, in the firm faith that God is indeed in His
Heaven. We may not see how we can succeed in our efforts. (Lord knows,
fighting the moneyed elite, the corporate media, and the brainwashed masses
can be frustrating.) But we must remember that we are not called to succeed
– only to be faithful in our struggle to serve God by serving His people.
Success is God’s business, not ours. It’s above our pay grade. In God’s
time, success will come.



As Maggie and I look back 55 ½ years to when we started our
married life together, we see a better, simpler time – the time of “Happy
Days.” “Leave It to Beaver,” and “Father Knows Best.” The vibrant middle
class of 1956 has disappeared into the great divide of 2011. Workers’ wages
are now a third of what they were then. Our children and grandchildren work
more hours for less money, have fewer freedoms and less fun, and face an
uncertain future.



On the other hand, if we look back 100 years, or 500 years, or
2,000 years, we see that the last 50 years have been but a tiny blip in a
long, steady improvement for all of humankind. God has been working through
His people for centuries … indeed for millennia. Even the last 50 years
have brought progress and blessings to most of the people on the planet.
The 1950's were not “Happy Days” for everyone. Those in China , India ,
South Africa , and Europe are immeasurably better off now than they were
then. Even in our own country there have been gains. People of color
(though still behind the rest of us) are better off today. Their standard
of living and their freedoms have increased considerably.



So if we take the broader view (in both time and geography),
success is not only possible, it is CERTAIN.



Let us give thanks for all the many blessings we have received,
and for being given the grace of having the opportunity to serve God’s will
in difficult times, in the sure knowledge that our efforts are not in vain.
When we pray “Thy Kingdom Come,” we are not just praying for the end of the
world. We are praying for the transformation of the world (the same thing
we are working for), and we know that our prayers will be answered (though
probably not as quickly as we’d like). When we pray “Thy Will Be Done,” we
are not asking God to do it all by Himself (it doesn’t work that way). And
we are not praying for somebody else to do it (Our neighbors? Our
coworkers? Our enemies?). No, the only way that prayer makes sense is with
our recognition that WE have to do God’s will. If we don’t, who will??
Those of us who are Christians believe that we are the Body of Christ.
We’re His hands, His feet, His voice in the world. If WE don’t do His will,
how on earth (no pun intended) is it to get done???



By the way, our loved ones who are Jews, Muslims, and whatever
believe the same thing. Most of the phrases in the Lord’s Prayer appear
also in prayers of other faiths. The humanists feel the same compulsion to
do good and serve their fellow human beings. (Some of them do it better and
more consistently than many of us.)



But we people of faith have a distinct advantage. We believe
that our efforts are inspired and guided by an all-loving God who likewise
inspires and guides others toward the same ends. We therefore are assured
of the efficacy of our efforts and the inevitability of our success. We can
therefore look forward to our renewed commitment in the New Year. Those of
us called to comfort the afflicted can do it with renewed empathy. Those of
us (like yours truly) called to afflict the comfortable can do so with
increased vigor.



For today (Christmas Eve), and tomorrow, however, let us dwell
on our blessings. In my daily prayers, I start by thanking God for all His
many blessings, for this day, for all of creation, for life, for Jesus and
the Church, for friends, family, and loved ones, and especially for Maggie
and our marriage. I thank God for preserving and blessing our marriage.
Then I pray for God’s blessing on each and every one of you (it takes a
while). And remember, the purpose of prayer is not to get our will done in
Heaven, but to get God’s will done on earth. When I walk our German
Shepherd, Sadie, through our community of well-kept homes, green grass,
lakes, trees, flowers, birds, squirrels, rabbits, and friendly neighbors, I
can’t help but be overwhelmed by the goodness of God and by the enormous
bounty he has heaped upon us all. As we celebrate the birth of the One who
came to bring us Abundant Life, let us savor it, drink it in, be thankful
for it, and share it as best we can.



A joyous Christmas and a most blessed New Year to you all.



Bob & Maggie

Friday, December 23, 2011

Heading Toward Capitalism's Alternative

The solution for this denial of democracy is to Occupy the Corporation.


America is groping its way toward Non-Capitalism. It used to be that if you were anti-capitalist you were called a socialist or a communist. I for one don't believe we all need to live on a commune, though it is a free country and the nation can stand a commune here or there. If socialism means people cooperating together in everything from church choirs to the Rotary, then I think human beings are social beings. In that since perhaps we can proclaim our belief in "associationalism."

What is becoming clearer is that at a minimum unbridled capitalism is noxious. And a brave few are seeing and saying essentially that the profit system tends toward self-aggrandizement and self-aggrandizement tends toward plutocracy. And that, dear friend, is simply un-American.

Read more here:
http://www.truth-out.org/occupy-corporation/1324391711

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Today's Featured Video

In this beautiful short film, the words of Charlie Chaplin ring clear and strong with the accompaniment of video and images of our time. At this special time of year, I can think of no better message than the one given here. (In English with subtitles)

Occupy Wall Street at a Crossroads Makes Choices, Tries to Move Ahead



The Occupy Wall Street movement, still alive even with the loss of Zucotti Park, is attempting to move forward even without a physical headquarters. The article at the accompanying link describes some of the questions the protestors face now.

What comes across is the determination of persons to continue to make their case. It seems to me that, as part of such a process, criticism of a church is not out of bounds, although a church might not be my first choice as a target.

However, if the movement needs space and if an institution which is one of the biggest land-owners in Manhattan has no room in the inn for the protestors, certainly the church can be questioned and even criticized. The image of an Episcopal bishop scaling a church fence in his robes is surely unprecedented in anyone's memory.

The church can indeed do better. While perhaps not the most obvious offenders in the selfishness department, the major churches have, nevertheless, embraced capitalism these many years sometimes in egregious ways. If the issue can be framed this way -- as an economic choice -- I think the discussion will fare better.




http://www.nationofchange.org/why-occupy-calls-sanctuary-1324311777

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Occupy Movement Addresses Attack on Civil Rights

While adjustments have been made in backdoor meetings after President Obama’s threat of veto, none of these primary concerns were directly addressed. The NDAA in its present form could still allow for an indefinite military detention of a US citizen on American soil without trial.

-- From Occupy Together




Is the Bill of Rights still in effect in America? When one learns of all the laws Congress is passing circumventing the Bill of Rights, one wonders whether America is still America. The Occupy Movement is fighting back. While we cannot say they have yet met total success, they have at least opened up the discussion.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Congress Said Set to Eviscerate Bill of Rights Protections

The web site of the American Civil Liberties Union is reporting that the Senate is expected to pass a bill attempting to allow the government to detain citizens in prison indefinitely in spite of Constitutional protections. Here is a portion of the ACLU statement:

Our government must not enshrine permanently into law the power to militarily detain people indefinitely without charge or trial. Tell the president to listen to the American people and veto any bill that contains indefinite detention. If the president fails to veto the bill, ask him to publicly commit to limiting his use of this authority to actual battlefields only. The whole world is not a battlefield and the president should make that clear.


This is very good, but can be put more simply -- and more accurately. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land and anything which contravenes the Constitution is simply not law. We all know Washington loves to make things complicated. Sometimes laws do need to be written in a most comprehensive way. But the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution to rule out the kinds of abuses which England had practiced in the recent Revolutionary War, including indefinite detentions. There is no need to lose sight of our heritage and our American values. Any diminishing of our rights diminishes America. It is now an old story: "terrorism" can and must be fought without changing the very fabric of the country. If that happens the terrorists (whoever they may be) will have already won.


More here:
http://www.aclu.org/blog/content/president-obama-should-listen-american-people-not-his-advisors-ndaa

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fall-out from Michigan Republicans' Assault on Democracy

The article linked to here tells the truth about the assault on democracy in Flint, Michigan. Who asked the governor of Michigan and his minions and co-conspirators in the State Legislature to disempower elected officials in Flint and thus disembowl democracy?

The fingerprints are at the crime scene. Is there more evidence needed? All that remains is the proper forensic investigation to determine just who is funding this totalitarian putsch in Michigan.

Where is the U.S. Justice Department?


http://www.eclectablog.com/2011/12/flints-new-emergency-manager-starts-off.html

Michigan's Governor Rick Snyder Least Popular Governor Says Poll

A recent Michigan State University poll shows Gov. Rick Snyder's approval rating at just 19.3%. Those calling his performance fair or poor amounted to a whopping 80.6%. (The missing 0.1% was not explained in this article.)

Snyder and Republican legislators enacted a shockingly un-Democratic and effectively racist law, enabling the Governor to appoint "managers" in cities who then have been "dismissing" mayors and council members, as if democracy were no longer in force in America.

My hat is off to those who have launched a recall effort against Snyder. If this poll is any indication, it would seem they have a ready audience for their message.

http://www.a2politico.com/?p=11498

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Occupying the Halls of Congress

...or at least a small portion of them

A group of protestors not officially connected with the Occupy movement but with a sympathetic message, arrived on the mall in Washington, D.C., yesterday to visit offices of members of Congress and demand jobs for Americans. Their experiences in a couple of offices make for some interesting reading.

The righteousness of the anger coming from people now is beautiful -- and important in American history. Not since the Viet Nam war have we seen such marches as have occured in various places during the last two months. Zucotti Park may have been forcibly evacuated, but that brutal event has only encouraged the movement to become more entrenched, its members more committed and persistent.

As one web page said, people have lost their apathy and their cynicism -- at least to some extent. We may be heading into our winter of discontent, but discontent hasn't seemed this energized -- or hopeful -- in a long time.

http://www.truthout.com/unemployed-confront-congress-take-back-capitol/1323267728

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

U.N. Official Derides U.S. Government for Not Protecting Protestors' Rights

As I mentioned in a previous post, the United Nations official responsible for tracking human rights violations has criticized the U.S. federal government for not standing up for the rights of protestors in the Occupy Movement to demonstrate. While upholding the need for civil authority, he asks if persons cannot peacefully demonstrate in the United States where can they?

Consult this web page for further information:
http://www.truth-out.org/news-thom-hartmann/1323104477

Friday, December 02, 2011

Occupying the Colleges

Students across America are leaving the comfort of their dorm suites, their library nooks, and their cloistered classrooms in a clamor of protest from California to who-knows-where.

I hope to have news of the latest protest at University of California at Davis soon.

In the meantime, this web site satisfies with great information.


http://occupycolleges.org/

Also at this site: Report on the declaration of the U.N. special commissioner for human rights on the U.S. Occupy movement

Thursday, December 01, 2011

L.A. Protestors in Their Own Words


The web site of the Occupy L.A. movement tells of the forcible police removal of the Los Angeles protest site. As the web site says, the entire United States is a free speech zone. If the Occupy movement is not supported now, the free speech rights of an entire country could be in jeopardy.


See L.A. Occupy web site here:
http://occupylosangeles.org/

Poster in photo says "The revolution will be crowd-sourced." (ed.'d)

U.S. Scene of Widespread Retaliation Against Occupy Camps

Police in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, appearing in full riot-control gear, have moved to shut-down two of the most prominent camps of the national Occupy movement. Allegations of police violence were made on yesterday's Democracy Now! program.

While details are still emerging, it is clear authorities are moving to crack down on a protest movement which is hitting too close to the truth for the existing power structure. This effort to squelch protest will not work. As the protestors have said, You cannot squelch the truth.

I plan to have more details on these latest police crack-downs soon.


http://www.democracynow.org/2011/11/30/occupy_wall_street_camps_in_los

Thursday, November 24, 2011

"Occupying" Thanksgiving


As television presents the Thanksgiving Macy's Parade, and the self-same store plans to open its doors at midnight tonight (!), the Occupy movement of Wall Street fame plans a different kind of event. At < http://www.occupywallst.org/article/occupy-wall-street-thanksgiving/ > you can learn about a special Thanksgiving Day feast in Manhattan's Liberty Square. This dinner will combine good food plus "stories and inspiration." People will gather at 2:00 p.m. today for a different kind of Thanksgiving feast, one with an appropriate theme and purpose for the times.

I say, "Thank God for Occupy Wall Street."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fahrenheit 1115

On 11/15, the Police Department of Mayor Michael Mubarak engaged in the destruction of the property of hundreds of people encamped in Liberty Square, a.k.a. Zucotti Park. This park, formerly the property of the people of New York, and recently confiscated by Wall Street interests, had become the focal point of the nation-wide, and world-wide Occupy movement. This movement has sought to oppose government of, by, and for the plutocrats and oligarchs.

Becoming an increasing threat to the power and prerogatives of the super-wealthy, New York Mayor Michael Mubarak, otherwise known as the Mayor from Bloomberg, acceded in the forcible removal of peaceful protestors and their equipment from the Square. Among the many possessions was a library filled with a goodly number of books. As in Ray Bradbury's novel, Fahrenheit 451, officials found cause to confiscate and make useless the books of a society or culture of people.

Today at noon Eastern Time, those interested in this destruction will gather in a press conference to describe this destruction and properly mark the passing from use of these books.

-- via Occupy Wall Street --

What: Press conference to address the destruction of the OWS People's Library by Mayor Michael Bloomberg during the 11/15 raid.

Photo Opportunity — All of the recovered, destroyed books will be at the press conference.

Where: 260 Madison Ave, 20th Floor, between 38th and 39th St

When: Wednesday, November 23, at 12:00 noon

Who: Norman Siegel will host and moderate. Speakers: Gideon Oliver of the National Lawyers Guild, Hawa Allan a Fellow at Columbia Law School, and Occupy Wall Street Librarians from the People's Library. Law professors from Columbia, members of the American Library Association, various writers and others have been invited.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Success and Meaning of November 17

While I must be brief for now, it is clear the Occupy and workers' movements achieved a major success two days ago in their actions in New York and across America. Far from being intimidated by the forcible eviction from Liberty Square, protestors metastasized and grew stronger than ever. Below is what the protestors themselves wrote.


via OccupyWallSt.org --



Tens of thousands took action Thursday, November 17 to demand that our political system serve all of us — not just the wealthy and powerful. The NYPD [New York Police Department] estimated tonight’s crowd at 32,500 people, at the culmination of the day of action. Thousands more also mobilized in at least 30 cities across the United States. Demonstrations were also held in cities around the world.

"Our political system should serve all of us — not just the very rich and powerful. Right now Wall Street owns Washington," said participant Beka Economopoulos. "We are the 99% and we are here to reclaim our democracy."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

An Extraordinary Day in America

On Monday, I posted here a notice of a Day of Action against the way of doing business represented by Wall Street. I was hopeful there would be a half-way decent turn-out. After the clearing of Liberty Square on Tuesday night, chances for a successful event today seemed slim.

That's not the way things are turning out, as thousands even as I write are marching across the Brooklyn Bridge. Cable TV Shows such as "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," are reporting the largest event yet sponsored by the Occupy movement.

Video from today's New York protest

For those who do not mind amateur work, here is video from today's protest in New York. The people's mic, as it is called, shouts forth news of the effects of our economic downturn as a random voice begins "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Not professional, but appealing in a gritty way. Makes points for truth-telling.


Blogging the Day of Action: CNN Reporting on New York Protests

The Cable News Network is reporting live from New York and Los Angeles on the various occupy protests. They are reporting 170 arrests in New York and 25 in Los Angeles.

The CNN reporting is fair.

Rush Post: Police and Protestors Clash in New York Says Occupy Site

The web site of Occupy Wall Street is reporting clashes between police and protestors today as demonstrators respond to a day of mass resistance in New York City. For recent up-dates click on this post's title above or see < www.occupywallst.org >.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wall Street Occupiers Return After Forcible Eviction

Importantly, the Occupiers of Wall Street have elected to return to Liberty Square and re-establish what we might call their domain. Below is a statement from their web site. The irrepressible energy and might of this movement is wonderful and ever so encouraging. It is the social unrest which many had predicted, but orderly unrest, characterized by non-violent dissent and civil disobedience with the accent on "civil."

Long live the Occupiers of America -- we the people!


via OccupyWallSt.org --


From Tuesday evening, November 15, 2011:


Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement Persevere

The feeling here at Liberty Square tonight is the feeling of a movement that is rising, building, and making headway.

Following the 1:00 am eviction of Liberty Square early this morning and a long day of legal wrangling, the park was reoccupied late this afternoon. This evening, just after 7:00 pm, the first General Assembly at the re-occupied park began. Using our 'people's mic', we declared together:

"They showed us their power. And we're showing them ours."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Announces Major Action


The poster almost says it all. The Occupiers are more ambitious and, it seems, better-organized than ever. Occupying the subways seems a daunting task, being the former New Yorker that I am. But the occupation of Foley Square (wherever that is) somehow seems more possible.

No matter the location, the purpose is the same: to call attention to the vast power of corporations, foundations, media, and government all operating in a web of power and financial exploitation of the average American worker. At this time I am reviewing a history of America put out in 1975 by the Reader's Digest Association, which was capable of putting out quite wonderful books. At this point in the history the colonists are rebelling over the attempt of Britain to dominate the American economy. Those who have looked at the current situation in the United States see similarities to late colonial times. The economic royalists as FDR called them are still among us stronger than ever, yet more vulnerable than ever, too. Let us thank the occupiers who have shown remarkable resilience and solidarity in their effort to stand up for an America which is truly a land of economic justice for all.

Friday, November 11, 2011

"Occupying" Harvard

The statement from one of the latest "occupations," Occupy Harvard, is below. This statement is an interesting recitation of grievances which grows in strength and power as it goes on. It has been clear for some time that institutions of higher education have been more and more adopting corporate models of operation. This group of students and faculty members waves a red flag and demands, Stop.


via Occupy Boston --


Occupy Harvard Joins the Occupy Movement

10 November 2011, Cambridge, MA—At 10:30 pm on Wednesday, November 9, hundreds of Harvard students and affiliates put down tents to begin an occupation of Harvard Yard. Currently, thirty tents occupy the Yard in solidarity with the global Occupy movement. Earlier Wednesday, around 800 Harvard students, faculty, staff, and community members gathered in a rally, general assembly, and march to Occupy Harvard. Harvard is a diverse community that includes both the 1% and the 99%; we occupy here in solidarity with the global Occupy movement and with Occupy Boston.

We are Occupy Harvard. We want a university for the 99%, not a corporation for the 1%.

We are here in solidarity with the Occupy movement to protest the corporatization of higher education, epitomized by Harvard University.

We see injustice in the 180:1 ratio between the compensation of Harvard’s highest-paid employee—the head of internal investments at Harvard Management Company—and the lowest-paid employee, an entry-level custodial worker. We see injustice in Harvard’s adoption of corporate efficiency measures such as job outsourcing. We see injustice in African land grabs that displace local farmers and devastate the environment. We see injustice in Harvard’s investment in private equity firms such as HEI Hotels and Resorts, which profits off the backbreaking labor of a non-union immigrant workforce. We see injustice in Harvard’s lack of financial transparency and its prevention of student and community voice in these investments.

We stand in solidarity with Occupy Boston and the other occupations throughout the country. We stand in solidarity with students at other universities who suffer crushing debt burdens and insufficient resources. We stand in solidarity with the students who occupied Massachusetts Hall one decade ago, and we continue their pursuit of justice for workers. We stand in solidarity with all those in Boston and beyond who clamor for equity. We are the 99%.

A university for the 99% must settle a just contract with Harvard’s custodial workers. A university for the 99% must adopt a new transparency policy, including disclosure of Harvard’s current investments as well as a commitment to not reinvest in HEI Hotels & Resorts or in land-grabbing hedge funds like Emergent Asset Management. Further,

A university for the 99% would offer academic opportunities to assess responses to socioeconomic inequality outside the scope of mainstream economics.
A university for the 99% would implement debt relief for students who suffer from excessive loan burdens.
A university for the 99% would commit to increasing the diversity of Harvard’s graduate school faculty and students.
A university for the 99% would end the privilege enjoyed by legacies in the Harvard admissions process.
A university for the 99% would implement a policy requiring faculty to declare conflicts of interest.

Our statement of principles is subject to change by the Occupy Harvard General Assemblies.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Occupy" the Legislatures?

The Huffington Post rightly points to a new movement building partly in response to the Occupy movement now sweeping the country. People are tired of being shunted into low-paying jobs and dead-end careers. People are tired of hearing of relatives unemployed. People are tired of themselves possibly becoming unemployed.

So it is perfectly understandable that rage is turning into action, and even constructive action. Read more at the article linked below.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/10/progressive-state-lawmakers-ballot-2012_n_1085193.html?ref=politics

Monday, November 07, 2011

The Constitution Working Group of Occupy Wall Street

The new Constitution Working Group of Occupy Wall Street has produced a document under the leadership of Bob Schulz, long an active voice on Constitutional issues. Whether the protestors know of his association with certain Libertarian movements, his imprint is upon the statement found at the link below.

Overall, it is a fine document. There is even beauty in its lines. I do wonder what a Constitutional historian and expert would say about the statement that "All Elected Officials are limited by our written Constitutions - If Not Authorized in writing, such acts are UNLAWFUL." That seems overly broad and vague to me. Otherwise, I don't have any questions about the document at this point. Perhaps further scrutiny will give rise to more questions.

It is good to see the Occupy movement developing. Let us hope the original energy and purpose will be maintained. We the people are amazed and grateful it has lasted this long already.



http://www.givemeliberty.org/occupy/

Thursday, November 03, 2011

On the Road

I am currently visiting out of town, enjoying myself, and staying up with the news. America continues in a slow-boil economically, with the pot now sometimes boiling over as in Oakland, California.

When I have more time, I will up-date the news here. In the meantime, the rousing of America continues.

Monday, October 31, 2011

New York Times Lays Out Statistical Reasons for Supporting the Occupy Movement

Yesterday's Times carried an article full of statistics backing the main argument of the Occupy movement that the top 1% is getting more than its fair share of breaks under our system. Actually, said the Times, the top 1/10 of 1% is even more of a winner in this hyperbolic profit system.

Perhaps the slogan for the Occupy movement should be we are the 99.9%, an even more convincing indictment of our economic model.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Occupied with the Weather

Bravely, the Occupiers of New York are remaining in Liberty Park, enduring snow and its accompanying cold. These courageous and kind people are suffering in unseasonable conditions and need assistance. I have seen fit to turn their requests for items into a poem. Surely the graceful music of a poem is appropriate for these very real needs. Perhaps a poem can double as an entreaty. Can you help, dear reader?




Needs

Insulated gloves, wool hats, scarves;
Long underwear, smart wool thermal socks;
Three hundred hand warmers, three hundred foot warmers;
Thermal heaters.

Disposable shoe covers;
Waterproof boots in all sizes;
Winter coats;
Hot beverages.

All-weather, sub-thermal sleeping bags;
Tarps;
All-weather tents;
Foam padding; insulation for inside of tents.

Wooden pallets to get tents off the ground;
Cots to get people off the ground.*

Dropping Off In Person In New York City

Daily until 9:00 p.m. -- at the OWS storage space at 52 Broadway Ave, ground floor.

After 9:00 p.m. -- at the OWS Comfort Station on the east side of Liberty Square (a.k.a. Zuccotti Park).


Where To Ship

Occupy Wall Street/118a Fulton St/PO Box 205/New York, NY 10038

Please show your support for the stalwart occupiers who are braving the winter storm!


*don't currently have any - could really use these.

**********************

http://occupywallst.org/article/urgent-winter-donation-needs/

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Police Actions Solidify Occupy Movement

The Occupy Movement continues to grow. Evidence appears to show the movement growing in spite of recent repressive police actions. The latest actions include the forcible removal of power generators in Liberty Park, New York City.

The resilience of the Occupy Movement at this point is amazing. As I have said here before during the past month, this movement shows the failure of the profit system, that once-vaunted system which robs the poor to pay the rich. This vast inequity is clearer than ever. Protestors from Oakland to New York have bravely shown us all what it means to stand up for justice and stand against deprivation and inequality.


http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/28/us/occupy-wall-street/index.html

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

More on the Horror in Oakland

The following quote is from the Occupy Oakland web site. It is clear something went badly wrong in Oakland last evening. In the interest of reporting fairness, Oakland police are claiming projectiles which could cause injury were thrown at police.

via < occupyoakland.org > --

Just before 8pm the police began throwing concussion grenades and tear gas directly into the crowd, injuring several nonviolent protesters. Weapons were aimed and fired at people as they attempted to help the injured and bring them to safety. The crowd reconvened a block away and continued to peacefully occupy the streets outside the plaza. For several hours this scenario was repeated as citizens tried to gain entrance to the plaza while the police held their line using “non-lethal” rifles, tear gas, and barricades.


http://www.occupyoakland.org/2011/10/oakland-spends-millions-in-attack-on-occupy-protesters-closes-5-schools-next-day/

Headline: Oakland Police Brutalize Peaceful Protestors

Headlines at < OccupywallSt.com > complain of police tactics involving violence to peaceful protestors in Oakland, California, acting under the Constitutional right of peaceful assembly. I have not read the police account of events, but photos and details about police actions in California are cause for grave concern.

http://www.occupywallst.org/article/ows-response-government-violence-occupyoakland/

Monday, October 24, 2011

Two Women of Little Rock




As described in yesterday's Washington Post, this book tells the story of two very young women caught in a Civil Rights struggle, who later tried a reconciliation. Although I haven't read the book, I have read the review and found the story compelling and moving, even though the out-come to date is less than what some might consider ideal.

How do these two women feel now? How do they feel so many years after this contentious scene -- the one shouting in anger at the other? The one -- a white student enraged that an African-American simply wanted a good education.

The review of the book is too pessimistic in my view. Certainly, interracial friendships can be a challenge. Perhaps the reviewer is himself of another generation and place -- I don't know.

The review left me wondering just how hard it is to establish a friendship across race lines. Surely it is easier for the young, than for the old, in general. But I think it can be done and can be well worth the effort.

Chicago Occupiers Under Duress

Occupy Chicago has put out a distress call for those willing to stand in solidarity with their cause. It appears that over one hundred protestors were arrested, although most have been released.

The quote below from their web site gives a sense of the kind of support they are attracting. I am most interested in the involvement of the National Nurses United who have been standing with not only nurses but all those suffering now in our country due to a strained and unjust economy. "Where does it hurt?" the nurses have asked. In this case, they are asking the unemployed and the under-employed to voice their hurts and frustrations.

Those who wish to do so, may use the comment button below to tell of their plight for an international audience.

In the meantime, I stand in solidarity with the Occupiers in Chicago. Chicago is my kind of town!


In addition, we are joining National Nurses United to picket the mayor’s office at 10 a.m. Monday (10/24), at City Hall at the LaSalle entrance. Nurse leaders of NNU who set up a nurses’ station to provide basic first aid to Chicago protesters – as NNU has done peacefully in five other cities across the U.S. – were among [some of] those arrested. We appreciate their service to this movement and stand in solidarity for everyone’s right to practice free speech.


http://occupychi.org/2011/10/23/important-update-show-solidarity-for-our-arrested-brothers-and-sisters/#more-1450

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"It Should Be Like This Everywhere"

So said one commrade at Liberty Park in New York where a free economy has developed to support those demonstrating. More about this free economy needs to be written, for it shows what can be in America, which has really only been free for capitalists. Now, something new is coming into being, although in proto-final form. Let us celebrate this new way of sharing and caring for one another.

While it is true that nothing in life is free, the Liberty Plaza demonstrators seem to be saying that if the purpose is right, people will be willing to donate to support persons who are worthy. The verdict is in: this protest is not only right but badly needed.

Hurrah for a more just America!

http://www.truth-out.org/it-should-be-everywhere-free-economy-liberty-plaza-park/1319217053

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Occupying Wall Street as a Moral Act

Writer George Lakoff comments aptly about the true force behind the Occupy Wall Street movement. It is a moral force more than a political one, says Lakoff. He is surely correct. His comment below epitimizes his view.



It seems to me that the OWS movement is moral in nature, that occupiers want the country to change its moral focus. It is easy to find useful policies; hundreds have been suggested. It is harder to find a moral focus and stick to it. If the movement is to frame itself, it should be on the basis of its moral focus, not a particular agenda or list of policy demands. If the moral focus of America changes, new people will be elected and the policies will follow. Without a change of moral focus, the conservative worldview that has brought us to the present disastrous and dangerous moment will continue to prevail.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Occupiers Speak

I am excited to be able to offer this report from my Saturday visit to the "occupation" of McPherson Square in Washington, D.C. (See previous post.) On a beautiful early fall late afternoon, I had the pleasure of speaking with several individuals in the park about the movement and its concerns.


The first person I spoke with was Ms. Sarah Tatoun at the information desk. Keeping in mind that no one is a designated spokesperson for the movement, the comments of Ms. Tatoun were representative of what I have read on the group's web site. Her comments were in response to questions of mine. Tatoun first learned of Occupy D.C. and the Occupy movement from Spanish participants she was in contact with. They told her about the movement and the fact that a related occupation movement was being planned for the United States.

"Corporations are not people," declared Tatoun, "and we shouldn't have people out of college with $100,000 debt."

"Is there a goal [of Occupy Wall Street]?" I asked. "There is no one goal," was the reply.

Tatoun stated, "I've been blown away with what allows everyone a say, but does come up with a result everyone can agree on." This is the vaunted consensus-based decision-making process in use among the occupiers world-wide.

I also spoke with a trio of attractive young people sitting crossed-legged along one of the east-west sidewalks of the park. One young woman had a "Free Tibet" sign propped against her legs. Another young man had a piece of artwork of a smiling face done in minimalist caricature style and with a vaguely Oriental feel. All three live in the area, they said. This was a good way for them to promote awareness without having to go to Occupy Wall Street, they told me.

I also met and spoke with a Viet Nam veteran with graying long hair who was not shy about showing me the scars of entrance and exit wounds around his knee. His was an anti-war message.

Other details:

The park features several tents with a helpful purpose: a tent for information, one for fresh food, and a medical aid tent. Tents for sleeping were set up along sidewalks.

There was the continous sound of enthusiastic honking as motors showed their solidarity and agreement with the demonstrators.

I have never felt so safe in a big city as friendly police had parked around the square and participants in the event were most hospitable overall, yet with individuals who were watchful. One announcer twice reminded everyone that this was a drug-free park.

I was treated to some newly-made garden soup, tasty French bread, and some water -- enough to fill me up for the rest of the evening.

The remarkable thing about this event and my visit, was seeing eager, intelligent, and loving young people succesfully occupying a public park, making people feel safe and welcome, and advancing the dialog about who should own America. The Occupy Movement is a way of saying the people who live and work in America should own America, both North and South. Being connected person-to-person with occupiers world-wide makes for a powerful, if still small force sure to make its presence known with ever-increasing force over the coming weeks and months.

Power to the 99%!

In-Person Report from Occupy D.C. in McPherson Square, Washington, D.C.

On Saturday I visited the on-going Occupy D.C. event in Washington, D.C. This visit was thrilling and deeply encouraging, as scores of "occupiers" peaceably and joyfully spent their time in discussing and providing for the needs of each other. The occupation is being run like a well-organized encampment. Because it is a public park anyone is free to come onto the park grounds. There was plenty of room for visitors on Saturday and I even saw at least one family with young children.

The web site of Occupy D.C. gives useful information of the event along with recently up-loaded video. I recommend a visit to their web site for a better over-view of what the movement is about.

For now, I can say this visit was a distinct pleasure and honor due to the hospitality of everyone I met and spoke with. As with any young movement, there was not much in the way of organizing in terms of "plugging people in" to specific actions. However, just being on the scene and catching the spirit of the place was enough for now.

In a follow-up post I will tell about a few of the conversations I had with participants at this amazing live-in demonstration.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

World-Wide Protests Called for Saturday


An effort called United for Global Change seeks to unite the people of the world in a series of protests all on the same day. This Saturday, demonstrators are set to express their desire for a just world and their disdain for a world dominated by wealthy financial interests. The web site address can be found on the Occupy Wall Street home page.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Lesson in Hubris

Writer Chris Hedges describes the opening of the Occupy Wall Street movement on September 17:


The lords of finance in the looming towers surrounding the park, who toy with money and lives, who make the political class, the press and the judiciary jump at their demands, who destroy the ecosystem for profit and drain the U.S. Treasury to gamble and speculate, took little notice of Ketchup or any of the other scruffy activists on the street below them. The elites consider everyone outside their sphere marginal or invisible. And what significance could an artist who paid her bills by working as a waitress have for the powerful? What could she and the others in Zuccotti Park do to them? What threat can the weak pose to the strong? Those who worship money believe their buckets of cash, like the $4.6 million JPMorgan Chase gave a few days ago to the New York City Police Foundation, can buy them perpetual power and security. Masters all, kneeling before the idols of the marketplace, blinded by their self-importance, impervious to human suffering, bloated from unchecked greed and privilege, they were about to be taught a lesson in the folly of hubris.

-- from Truthout.org

Up-dating and Expanding October 2011

Over the last several days American viewers and readers have thrilled to reports of protestors filling public squares in almost every part of the country from Boston to New York. From Atlanta to Des Moines and on to L. A. It is a season of moment and foment as people from all walks of life begin to reclaim the public space, one which has been dominated by often shrill and bellicose voices from the right and far right.

As a Columbia University professor said today on Democracy Now, this is the first time since the 1930s America has seen a populist street movement of the political left.

Soon I will have more to say about the protests.

And I will be up-dating the links on this blog to include links to the budding Occupy Together movement.

It is indeed a season of excitement and hope.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Developing Story: Arrests Tonight on Wall Street, Say Witnesses

Keith Olbermann reported tonight on his program Countdown (Current TV), that protestors in the Occupy Wall Street movement decided to move onto the Street itself this evening and were quickly met by a phalanx of policemen who pushed back and shot pepper spray into the air in a random dispersal. Olbermann at first said he was awaiting confirmation, then quickly offered that confirmation from both Alternet and The New York Daily News. A reporter from Alternet who witnessed the action confirmed the basic facts.

There Is a Demand

There is a demand in America now which has been present for ever so long. What is different is that this demand is rising to the surface of every-day life with increasing speed and spread. For instance, one pertinent web site, occupytogether.org , is listing 281 places in America which are in process of being "occupied." Whether the occupation is literal or figurative, it is clear to people in places all over America that there is something terribly unjust in our financial system. And they are moving now to claim something which is theirs -- the money which was used to finance the bank bail-out of three and less years ago. Without tax-payer money numerous financial institutions would not now be in business. Moreover, people realize that the money they gave to the banks has not been re-invested back into their communities. The injustice of this is simply seen. And now, ordinary Americans are willing to speak out in organized fashion on behalf of justice for all. Haven't I heard that phrase ("justice for all") somewhere else?


http://showdowninamerica.org/pay-us-back

Monday, October 03, 2011

Occupying America

As the mainstream media begins to print standard-length reports of the Occupy Wall Street protests, the movement itself has spread to other major American cities, including Boston, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

This blog has been reporting regularly since the beginning of the demonstration and occupation seventeen days ago. These reports will continue.

Today, I ask: Why is it that in all these past days of protest the only reports of violence have been about police violence. For sure, the physical violence has been committed by only a few law enforcement officials. Yet, the greater violence is to the public, many members of which have received the message that public protest is dangerous. "You cannot be safe anywhere," is the message received loud and clear.

Yet on they come, the protestors of every stripe and age. Justice is on the march, love is on the wing, and soon hearts will be on the mend.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Hundreds of Peaceful Protestors Arrested in New York City

Reports from several sources say hundreds of peaceful protestors were arrested in New York in connection with the Occupy Wall Street demonstration. It is alleged that New York police may have led Brooklyn Bridge marchers into a trap.

I will have details later.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/30/occupy-wall-street-protests-new-york_n_989221.html

Friday, September 30, 2011

Swan's Original Poem from Occupied Wall Street

Note: This presentation of the poem may be the premiere edition of the revised version.


A revolution does strange things, I see the change it brings,
My pain just sings in the waves of people that chant change is king.
While our battle for fair wages wages on we see the storm that tries to divide our
cause like the
grey uniform facade, but we see change as god.
Not to speak ideology but my democracy results in blatant hypocrisy,
So we rose up consciously against this rape and sodomy.
They've corrupted my land; their care for
the people measures up to one grain of sand,
So we stand up.
I've never seen a check mark next to the checks and balances gimmick,
instead i see checks being written to balance out politicians.
For we need to believe the struggle that we perceive is to
denounce corrupt politicians and corporate greed, our need for a unified
land never expires, like our resolve.
TO prevail,
Unveil the broken and
beaten,
console the neglected mistreat-in, our fate is freedom and their image
is treason.
They try to drop the "V for Vendetta" out of poverty and move
the r behind the t to leave us 99% with nothing more than broken hope poetry.

We the people congregate to contemplate our next step,
We the people are the 99%,
We the people are livid and we need to vent.
We don't need the empire state's consent to invent ideas worth giving,
redemption and a life worth living.
If we are dispatched from this
state,
We will leave alive, Through poetic verse our ideas survive....

-- Swan of Occupied Wall Street

Unidentified Wall Street Workers "Toast" Wall Street Protestors

In this photo several unidentified Wall Street workers appear to mock protestors while drinking champagne high above the madding crowd below.

September Goes Out with a Bang

The web organization Truthout has a good summary page of the Occupy Wall Street protest. The exciting news now is major trade unions are endorsing the protest and planning to join the demonstration on site soon.

It is hard to see how this movement will end other than to cause a wide-spread heightened visibility of the inequities inherent in our economic system, the profit system.

This movement has been a very long time coming -- almost forty years since wages began to stagnate. We should not miss this unmistakeable sign of hope.



http://www.truth-out.org/occupy-wall-street-day-12-poised-take/1317390200

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Famous Speaker Scheduled to Address Occupiers of Wall Street

Cornel West, famous philosopher and activist, was to have addressed the Occupiers of Wall Street at 7:00 Eastern Time tonight. I am currently awaiting late up-dates on this appearance.



From "The Devil's Advocate": The web site of Occupy Wall Street declares that several U.S. cities are "occupied" by their group "We Are the 99%." Is this really true or is it a bit of hyperbole? If it is hyperbole, the reporters might want to re-think the way they are using the language. With so much hyperbole and spin in Washington, D.C., we don't need more elsewhere. -- from a friendly voice

Monday, September 26, 2011

Communique from the Occupiers of Wall Street

There is a certain language and tone coming from the Occupiers of Wall Street. The words come from a deep place, spring out quite effortlessly and forcefully, telling of events large and small on Wall Street and beyond Read these words and feel encouragement and life.


via occupywallst.org. September 26, 2011 --

Yesterday was a day of action, and today was one of healing, discussion, and preparation. Working groups met in small circles around the plaza, planning their work and preparing to report back to the General Assembly as a whole. The Assembly debated, as always, the hows and whys of being here. In the morning, we talked about the occupations rising up in cities around the United States, joining us in what we're doing, as people begin rediscovering the power in themselves against the powers looming over them in buildings. We talked of calling more people to do what we're doing. In the evening we talked about staying, or leaving, and what this space means for us. We love it, we're almost addicted to it, but what we are is more than this.

We strolled around the plaza. We wrote songs with new friends. We argued about politics with each other, but not a politics of puppets: a politics for us. We fed the hungry and gave sleeping bags to the cold. We roughhoused. We talked to the world on our live stream. Most of all, we kept on organizing ourselves. Our library grew.

Drums blared for hours into the night when the Assembly wasn't in session, until the time came for quiet. The drummers ended by reciting from the Principles of Solidarity we approved in Friday's General Assembly, in the rain. Before the police lined along the Broadway side of the plaza, they cried together, "We are daring to imagine a new socio-political and economic alternative that offers greater possibility of equality." And more.

"Safety in numbers!" a sign by them says. "Join us."

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A protestor who was said to be blogging from a police van --

photograph via @PulseofProtest

Time Out for a Poem from Wall Street

News from Wall Street about week-end events there raise grave concerns about the safety of the peaceful protestors in that Capitol of Wealth. These are individuals who have struck a note for freedom from corporate domination of our financial system. These are brave individuals -- men and women -- who have risked limbs if not exactly their lives to stand up for an America where all truly are created equal. This high goal has not been achieved as yet in spite of all the many years since the establishment of the Republic.

I will be gathering details from the Wall Street protest, but for now I am proud to present a recent poem from Swan, the poet from Occupied Wall Street. Swan is becoming a friend for he stands for truth and is willing to work for it under duress, but peacefully. Such people deserve our utmost respect and gratitude. Here, then is the poem composed at the time of the death of Troy Davis (see earlier posts here).



I am standing on the peak of the tallest mountain, and there is a storm forming. The illusion of media-diluted minds in the days leading to my physical constitution's execution.
Reincarnate me as revolution,
Let me become the storm,
Make my hands into rain drops that rain and rust the old machine's cogs.
Form my arms as the fogs and shroud the unjust in clouds of shame.
Proclaim my name as thunder,
Rolling fields of dropped badges and shields revealing men and women kneeling down, Inspired by my form,
The perfect storm.
Let the lightning be my legs stomping down with unrelenting fury,
My Freedom will not be decided by racist judges and jury. Such a wasted bit of fate,
Though there is no hate in my heart,
I have done my part, martyrdom has made me a storm,
Over-shadowing a nation.
I feel the clouds feed my thunderous voice,
My brain is racing.
Long live the revolution because I embody it.
Wherever there are brothers and sisters who fight for what is right
I will bring the rain,
Because the truth is light,
And a flash can change the world.....
-Swan

Friday, September 23, 2011

We Are the 99%

The group which calls itself "We Are the 99%" continues to occupy Liberty Square according to information I am receiving. I am looking for news of whether Wall Street itself remains occupied. In the meantime here is news posted this morning and referring to yesterday, Thursday, September 22, 2011.


via occupywallst.org --

Tonight we were joined by a protest against the for-profit legal lynching of Troy Davis. We are all Troy Davis. If Troy Davis had been a member of the 1% he would still be alive. Together we numbered nearly a thousand strong and marched on Wall Street. The police arrested six of us and attempted to incite violence by splitting the march and boxing in protesters, in spite of this, we remained true to our principles of nonviolence. After the police arrested our members we marched on their First Precinct as phone calls from supporters flooded in, urging the police to release the jailed peaceful protesters.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Uproar Over Execution in Georgia

As I write I am listening to the report on Democracy Now of the execution last night in Georgia of Troy Davis after a long battle to stay the death warrant against Davis, who had originally been convicted of supposedly killing a police office over twenty years ago.

This execution was carried out in spite of statements by former Pres. Jimmy Carter, former FBI director William Sessions, former Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia advocating a permanent stay of the execution.

Likewise, people all around the world were watching this execution situation and deploring it. The argument against the execution was that there was too much doubt that Davis did, in fact, commit this crime.

The fact that the state of Georgia carried out this execution in the light of such doubt, and in the light of statements from these important leaders, is evidence that darkness reigns in Georgia. Georgia, the state of peaches, and pecans, is now a state of unjust punishment. This is not enlightenment; this is not America.

If anyone can show me the proof that Troy Davis committed this crime I will be glad to retract my strongly-held statements in this post.

Troy Davis








In Memoriam

Wall Street Occupiers: We Are Still Here

Wall Street protestors say they are still there and doing well. The following message to readers everywhere is found on their official web site.


via occupywallst.org --


You have fought all the wars. You have worked for all the bosses. You have wandered over all the countries. Have you harvested the fruits of your labors, the price of your victories? Does the past comfort you? Does the present smile on you? Does the future promise you anything? Have you found a piece of land where you can live like a human being and die like a human being? On these questions, on this argument, and on this theme, the struggle for existence, the people will speak. Join us.

We speak as one. All of our decisions, from our choice to march on Wall Street to our decision to continue occupying Liberty Square, were decided through a consensus-based process by the group, for the group.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Good Photos of New York City Protest

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2011/sep/19/wall-street-anti-capitalist-protest#/?picture=379236184&index=1


At the link above are numerous high-quality photos of the Occupy Wall Street protest, courtesy of the Guardian newspaper.

Complaint and Question

Can somebody please answer: Why is it so hard to get up-to-date news on the occupation of Wall Street? So much of what I am finding is several days old. Are there not any alternatives? Even the official Occupy Wall Street web site has scanty information. What is happening today? Does anyone know? Please use the comment button below if you have bona fide information. I will be most grateful.

Occupiers of Wall Street Persist

Despite a struggle to find up-to-date information, thanks to Democracy Now, I have some news about the effort to maintain a protest presence in the Wall Street area of New York.

From today's Democracy Now web site:

Jason Amadi, Occupy Wall Street protester: "I was chalking on the sidewalk, when I was surrounded by police officers, and they told me to put my hands behind my back, and they cuffed me, and they took me to the police station. And I was really upset by this. But really what it did was it empowered me to continue to be here, because this is more about our government being taken by the banks and exploiting all of us. This is about our First Amendment rights, our right to assemble, and really just taking back our government for the people.”

News Sources Not Covering Wall Street Protests

Two bits of information --

1) Citizens for Legitimate Government reports that MSNBC is not covering the protests on Wall Street but is spending time, instead, on fluff;

2) I can find no report of the events in New York on the main news list of the morning's Huffington post.

Other outlets such as CBS and the Washington Post have, however, at least offered some reports.

More later.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Report on Day Four of the Occupation of Wall Street

via occupywallst.org --

Day 4: At least five arrested, one may be in critical condition
Photo: democraticunderground.com



Published 2011-09-20 05:01:04 UTC by OccupyWallSt


Early this morning at least five protesters were arrested by NYPD.

The first arrest was a protester who objected to the police removing a tarp that was protecting our media equipment from the rain. The police said that the tarp constituted a tent, in spite of it not being a habitat in any way. Police continued pressuring protesters with extralegal tactics, saying that a protester on a bullhorn was breaking a law. The protester refused to cease exercising his first amendment rights and was also arrested. Then the police began to indiscriminately attempt to arrest protesters, many of them unsheathed their batons, in spite of the fact that the protest remained peaceful.

The new residents of Liberty Square continued to serve as shining examples of law abiding behavior in spite of police harassment and the loose interpretation and selective enforcement of New York’s laws by the NYPD.

***********

N.B. This report is unverified, but reports from this source so far seem to have been accurate. What is not clear from the above is whether Wall Street itself remains "occupied." I will try to find out. -- TMP

Jesse Jackson Opposes Primary Challenge to Barack Obama

In an interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now this morning, The Rev. Jesse Jackson opposed the announced effort by certain prominent Americans to mount a challenge to Pres. Obama in next year's Demcratic nomination effort. Jackson reminded listeners and viewers that it was Ralph Nader's candidacy in 2000 which, in effect, defeated Al Gore, the sitting Vice-President and sent George W. Bush to the White House. We must not give up on Barack Obama, Rev. Jackson declared.

I support Rev. Jackson in his statement. Far better to support the peaceful and smart demonstrators now occupying Wall Street. Other protests are happening or planned in other cities according to the Occupy Wall Street web site. Small actions decided upon to the best of one's ability and carried out quickly can do more good than doomed efforts at opposing Barack Obama at this time.

N.B. This blog has been sharply critical of Pres. Obama in the past, but with his strong, powerful statement yesterday that the wealthy must contribute their fair share in the deficit-reduction efforts, Mr. Obama is, in fact, speaking truth to power. This is a voice we desperately need. (The notion that seniors and the poor must somehow share a burden in reducing the deficit -- as the President also proposed yesterday - is certainly ridiculous. Nevertheless, the stakes are too high -- we cannot afford a Rick Perry or any other of the Republican candidates in the White House.)

Statement from the Occupiers of Wall Street

via occupywallst.org


Third Communiqué: A Message From Occupied Wall Street
Published 2011-09-20 12:50:30 UTC by OccupyWallSt

We're still here. We intend to stay until we see movements toward real change in our country and the world. This is the third communiqué from the 99 percent.

Today, we occupied Wall Street from the heart of the Financial District. Starting at 8:00 AM, we began a march through the Wall Street area, rolling through the blocks around the New York Stock Exchange. At 9:30 AM, we rang our own "morning bell" to start a "people's exchange," which we brought back to Liberty Plaza. Two more marches occurred during the day around the Wall Street district, each drawing more supporters to us.

Hundreds of us have been occupying One Liberty Plaza, a park in the heart of the Wall Street district, since Saturday afternoon. We have marched on the Financial District, held a candlelight vigil to honor the fallen victims of Wall Street, and filled the plaza with song, dance, and spontaneous acts of liberation.

Food has been donated to the plaza from supporters all over the world. Online donations for pizza, falafels, and other food are coming in from supporters in Omaha, Madrid, Montreal, and other cities, and have exceeded $8,660. (Link to donate: www.wepay.com/donate/99275)

On Saturday we held a general assembly, two thousand strong, based on a consensus-driven decision-making process. Decisions were made for the group to occupy Liberty Plaza in the Wall Street corridor, bedding down in sleeping bags and donated blankets. By 8:00 PM on Monday we still held the plaza, despite constant police presence.

We speak as one. All of our decisions, from our choices to march on Wall Street to our decision to camp at Liberty Plaza were decided through a consensus process by the group, for the group. We are building the world that we want to see, based on human need and sustainability, not corporate greed.

Planned and spontaneous actions will continue throughout the coming days. Expect us.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Occupy Wall Street -- Official Site

The official site for the Occupy Wall Street effort contains good information, the kind I have been looking for. Somehow, this has the look of thoughtful planning and rather expert execution. There is a dignified beauty about this protest. I like it very much.

https://occupywallst.org/

Audio Report of Wall Street Occupation

http://nyc.indymedia.org/media/2011/09//116120.mp3

At this link is an audio report from a Washington-based pirate-type radio station. If the claimed number of protestors is suspect, it is interesting to hear the voices of some of the protestors.

Warning: Contains obscene epithet. If I knew how to bleep such, I would, believe me. In this case I think the content otherwise is worth the risk of ruined ears, as we might say.

Blogging the Occupation of Wall Street

As the article at Truth-out explains, the protestors have already achieved their objective. Wall Street was blocked off all week-end and reports are that only those with identification were permitted beyond the barricades today, whether to protest or to go to work. The importance of this event symbolically is not to be under-estimated.

I plan to keep abreast of events as best I can and am currently seeking a decent source of accurate hourly reports.



http://www.truth-out.org/another-liberty-plaza-taken-and-held-near-wall-street/1316451716

"Occupy Wall Street -- All Week"

-- So chanted hundreds of protestors on and near Wall Street over this past week-end. Democracy Now! reports on the protest and its meaning. Click on the blog title. More later.


http://www.democracynow.org/2011/9/19/occupy_wall_street_thousands_march_in
Photo by David Shankbone

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Follow-Up to Story on Hershey's Jobs Gone Sour

Here is a link to a story which up-dates the strike story below. It seems students from abroad are not as gullible as some avaricious middle-men and Hershey's company executives would believe.

Hurray for the students!



http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/opinion/americas-sweatshop-diplomacy.html?scp=1&sq=Hershey%27s%20workers%20strike&st=cse

Foreign Students Find Hershey's Job Not So Sweet

Foreign students who thought they were signing up for a summer cultural exchange program were instead put in a Hershey's factory, sometimes standing for hours wrapping candy bars. The young people -- future doctors, teachers, and diplomats -- contacted labor leaders who advised them and gave them support. Evidently, Hershey's is not the only company using students from abroad who are essentially working for slave wages, unable even to pay expenses for the trip to America.

Certainly this is not the image of America we want to project to the world. Later reports indicated news of such practices have created quite a stir.

I plan to report more on this important matter soon.



http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/18/us/18immig.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=Hershey%27s%20workers%20strike&st=cse

Friday, September 16, 2011

Judge Defies Constitution

The Accused Treated Unfairly by Judge

In a state that seems to have recently become a leader in assaults on democracy (see previous post here), a Michigan judge has pretended the Fifth Amendment allows for an exception due to "national security." Everyone understands the need to protect citizens of the U.S. from harm. But undermining the signature document of the country is no way to do it. Experience shows that the Miranda warning, in the end, does not weaken the cause of justice, but rather strengthens it. Shame on Judge Edmunds.

Judge Edmunds



http://www.freep.com/article/20110916/NEWS06/109160374/Judge-s-ruling-Miranda-rights-terrorism-case-touches-off-legal-debate

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What Is Most Needed?


Today people around the world are remembering the killings of the innocent at the World Trade Center ten years ago. Besides all the other victims of mass tragedies -- such as the shootings last January surrounding a Gabrielle Giffords event, or the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City or ever so many others -- what should we also be focusing on? Should we not be remembering the shocking lack of oversight on the part of our leaders? Or was it -- just maybe -- something more than mere negligence?

Friday, September 09, 2011

More on Billy Bragg's Passion-Filled TV Appearance

At the link below, you can watch the appearance of British folk/rock singer Billy Bragg on the U.S. alternative news show, Denmocracy Now! Not only does Bragg sing as well as talk about his own life, he offers cogent commentary on the current British and American political scenes.

Interesting, Billy Bragg speaks about the tendency of those on the left to tear down politicians who offer an alternative to far-right candidates. Though this is a complicated issue, with differences of opinion abounding, Bragg counsels caution so as not to hand to the merchants of gloom the highest public office in the world.



http://www.democracynow.org/2011/9/5/billy_bragg_british_rocker_on_labor

An Economic Hit Man Tells His Story

At the moment I am writing, Link-TV is presenting a partially-dramatized documentary on an economic hit man.

The film is already dramatic. This post is not a film review. Rather, having already heard John Perkins on radio, I am familiar with his story.

So based on what I already know and what I have already seen in the first ten minutes, I can enthusiastically commend to you "Apology of an Economic Hit Man."



This is the 700th post of this web log.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Labor Day Week-end Brightened by Two Sanguine Voices

In a time of rising discontent for workers two voices of hope were raised over American air-waves this past week-end. Speaking eloquently, with both seriousness and hope, the head of the National Nurses Committee, and singer Billy Bragg spoke to program hosts about the promise of renewed hope for labor.

Soon I will have more details. For now, it is clear there is hope amidst the despair. The nurses and musicians are leading the way!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Young Adults Heading Back to the Land

There's apparently a growing trend toward farming among the the non-ag set as well, with young college graduates sluffing off their urban or suburban lifestyles to get back to the land.

That trend might not be enough to compensate for the wave of retirements among current farmers, but it is a step in the right direction.


So says a writer at a U.S.D.A. web site. With farmers among my ancestors, I can attest to the value and hard work of farmers. It is indeed a noble profession, one which an increasing number of young people appear to be discovering. Read more here:

http://weblogs.nal.usda.gov/infofarm/education/index.shtml

Gallup Explodes Social Networking Myths

Does on-line social networking really attract and retain customers? Gallup says it may, but not in the way companies think. In a plaudit for old-fashioned friendship and deep relationship, Gallup says companies can build on a relationship on line, after the relationship has been established off line first. Read more in the fascinating article whose link appears below.


http://gmj.gallup.com/content/148694/Social-Media-Three-Big-Myths.aspx#2

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Change in Climate Change Opinion?

http://www.truth-out.org/bill-mckibbens-afterword-eaarth/1314648614

At the link shown above is a good polemical essay on the issue of global climate change. I admire this article, though I always find it difficult to get my mind into the actual science of the situation. In high school I chose not to fit physics into my schedule, opting to go on the newspaper staff instead. So I got experience in writing for a journal. However, my science knowledge has suffered. I suspect most adults today are in the same boat regarding science.

See the article above for one perspective on the subject.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August In and Out

August came in like a lion and is going out like a -- lamb?


August came in with the nation distressed over Republican intransigence and grand-standing over some arbitrary debt ceiling. Most Americans rightly saw the whole episode as a rather shoddy attempt by far-right partisans to make political points and set policy through a manufactured crisis. Or, at the least, Americans blamed Republicans more than Democrats for the fiasco. Again, this was right.

The last day of the month reigns notably quiet in most areas. But this is after rather significant earthquakes struck the eastern seaboard and Colorado, and after a low-rated but large hurricane struck the East Coast, wreaking havoc due to its size and slow-moving pace -- especially in Vermont and regions south.

The one bright spot in this otherwise rather fright-filled month was the relief of having our Congress (read "House") in recess. I will gladly be among the first to predict a change in party leadership come January 2013 in the House, barring a tanking on the part of the Democratic Presidential nominee -- or some other manufactured disaster.

Let's hope one of these years (must we wait for 2013?) will provide more honesty and more true compassion for the people who inhabit these shores and other shores near and far around this dear yet crisis-ridden globe.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Series on Harry Truman

I am currently reading the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Truman, by David McCullough. This fine book is not new, but is new to me. Over the next days I will be presenting various tid-bits of information from this book.

At the moment I am reading about the famous whistle-stop campaign of 1948. The thing I like best about this book besides its engaging
style, are the quotes of Harry Truman. The statements of "Give-'em-hell Harry" are often pithy and full of energy and spritz.

Please check here for further reports on this campaign which has relevance to today's Presidential campaign.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Government of the People -- Without Congress

This post is no far-right tea party diatribe. But it is a statement of relief. The government at Washington still lives, as James Garfield once famously said after the Lincoln assassination tragedy. But so do the people live on -- and now without Congress as that august body is in August recess.

It's not that I disesteem the institution of Congress. In fact I do value it highly in the purpose and intent for which it was designed -- as the premiere branch of government, doing the people's business.

Instead, my observation is a simple one. Even with no Congress in session, the country seems to do quite well, perhaps better than before.

Still, returning to the previous caveat. And now with a qualifier of a more partisan nature. Unlike many, my relief is the absence of the scorching, seering and sneering ravings and rantings of nihilistic nabobs of negativism careening through the right-wing halls of Congress. The silence is sweet indeed. Suddenly there is no more the voice of Boehner and Ryan. Neither are there Cantor nor McConnell.

So for small favors we give thanks, O Lord. And in this case, I really do believe the Almighty is not slighted by being Himself associated with Relief.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chinese Express Criticism of Own Team

It was heartening today to learn that many Chinese citizens had criticisms of their own basketball team for their poor behavior in an exhibition match with the team from Georgetown University on a goodwill tour of the land of Confucius. It seems there may have been faults on both sides, but the Chinese team evidently has a reputation of being aggressive.

So, it was encouraging and edifying to see the Chinese expressing displeasure with their own nation's team. Perhaps we can learn something from these thoughtful persons.


Source: The New York Times on line.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bill Clinton Calls Perry a Rascal, Albeit a Good-Looking One

Former Pres. Bill Clinton had some choice words yesterday on the subject of new candidate, Rick Perry. “I got tickled by watching Governor Perry announce for governor, for President. He’s a good looking rascal.” The remark drew laughter from the audience at a fire fighters' convention.

Clinton continued: “And he’s saying ‘Oh, I’m going to Washington to make sure that the federal government stays as far away from you as possible -– while I ride on Air Force One and that Marine One helicopter and go to Camp David and travel around the world and have a good time.’ I mean, this is crazy.”

Agreed, Mr. President.


Source: Observer.com

Monday, August 15, 2011

James Galbraith Describes the Real Barack Obama

In this article on the web site of Deutsche Welle, American economist James Galbraith gives a fascinating and accurate assessment of the politics of the true Barack Obama. The honesty here is breath-taking, never mean-spirited, but biting nonetheless.

There is talk of impeachment over the Libya air bombing campaign (a strong case) and the so-called "Super Congress" (not as strong a case, but still important). Far more deserving of impeachment was George W. Bush. But in his own way, Mr. Obama has furthered the aims of the world's over-stimulated financial houses.



http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15295143,00.htm






Friday, August 12, 2011

Recent Union Victories Bring Good News to a Beleagured Public

At the link shown below, Truthout presents an article detailing several union organizing victories over the past several months.

I agree there is a new spirit in the air. There is a realization that things are out of control and that the federal government, including Pres. Obama and Congress, is not stepping up to the plate.

Union organizers on the street, however, have succeeded in bringing a bit of relief to weary workers.

(Article contains a word of praise for the newly-re-constituted National Labor Relations Board.)



http://www.truth-out.org/8-union-victories-progressives-should-be-watching-and-learning/1313160895

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wisconsin Recall Results Expected to Re-cast Wisconsin Legislative Politics


State Sen.-Elect Jennifer Shilling of Wisconsin


"On Tuesday night, Wisconsin spoke loud and clear with the recall of two entrenched Republicans. This is an accomplishment of historic proportions...," said Democratic Party of Wisconsin chair Tate.


To be brief on this occasion --

As writer John Nichols explains, there is more than meets the eye in the battle for control of the Wisconsin legislative and political agenda. With two new Democratic seats and a newly-emboldened moderate Republican, the outcome of efforts by far-right Wisconsin governor, Scott Walker, to weaken unions in the state, is suddenly far from certain.


Friday, August 05, 2011

King Memorial to Be Dedicated

The Washington Post reported today that ceremonies dedicating the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial will be held on August 28 in the nation's capital. The date is the 48th anniversary of King's famous "I Have a Dream Speech" at the Lincoln Memorial.

There are more details at the memorial foundation's web site: dedicatethedream.org .

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Former Special Agent Reveals Lead-Up to September 2001 Events

From Veterans Today --

Special to THE MUSICAL PATRIOT


The Missing Security Tapes from the World Trade Center

by Susan Lindauer, former U.S. Asset and 9/11 Whistleblower


Late on the night of August 23, 2001, at about 3 a.m. security cameras in the parking garage of the World Trade Center captured the arrival of two or three truck vans.

Visual examination determined the vans were separate and unique from trucks used by janitorial services, including different colors and devoid of markings. More curious, all the janitorial trucks had pulled out of the Towers by about 2:30 a.m—about half an hour before the second set of vans arrived.

According to my high level State Department source with a top security clearance, who disclosed the unusual nightly activity, no vans matching that description had entered the World Trade Center at such an hour in any of the weeks or months prior to that date. It was a unique event.

Security cameras caught the vans leaving the Towers at approximately 5 a.m—before the first wave of AAA personality types on Wall Street, driving Mercedes and BMWs, arrived to track the markets.

For the next 10 to 12 nights, the same mysterious truck vans arrived at the World Trade Center at the same mysterious hour— after the janitorial crews had left the building and before the most fanatic robber barons on Wall Street showed up for work. The vans appeared at the World Trade Center from approximately August 23, 2001 until September 3 or 4, 2001. After that last night, they never appeared at the Towers again.

The vans were never heard of again, either. The 9/11 Commission was never informed of their surprising presence in the Towers three weeks before the 9/11 attack. Most of the 9/11 Truth Community has no knowledge of this extraordinary nightly activity, either.

For all the public’s ignorance, video from the security cameras could be the most significant missing part of the 9/11 puzzle. This State Department source was convinced the mysterious trucks were used to transport explosives into the building, and that an unidentified orphan team wired the World Trade Center for a controlled demolition in those late night hours. He has stayed quiet to protect his job, his retirement pension and his reputation—knowing that others who spoke up have gotten fired or thrown in prison (myself included).

Controlled Demolition

Other evidence supports a controlled demolition of the Towers, as a supplement to the hijackings. Firefighters and maintenance crews reported hearing explosions popping through the Towers on 9/11. And previous reports indicate that dust from the World Trade Center tested positive for “thermate explosives–” a derivative of a thermite bomb.

A thermite reaction involves a mixture of iron oxide and aluminum, while thermate adds an element of sulfur. When the iron oxide-aluminum mixture is ignited, a super vigorous reaction occurs, creating molten metal—and dust, in the case of thermate. The reaction is extremely exothermic, meaning that a great deal of heat is given off, making for an incredibly powerful reducing agent.

Even so, as the 10 year anniversary of the 9/11 attack approaches, the majority of Americans continue to be confused as to how a controlled demolition scenario fits with the airplane hijackings and aerial strike on the World Trade Center—which the whole world witnessed on play back over and over in the media, until the image was seared like a brand on our collective consciousness.

Until now, there has been a false dichotomy that only one or the other style of attack could have occurred, but never both together. Some parts of the 9/11 Community itself vigorously dispute that both could have occurred as synchronized events. And most of the corporate media refuses to acknowledge the controlled demolition theory whatsoever.

When the public understands 9/11 as a series of Real Time events throughout the month of August, 2001, the unfolding sequence of this tragedy makes a lot more sense.

The difficulty is throwing out everything the public has been taught about 9/11—created for the convenience of politicians and corporate media, who simplified the story for public consumption.

First and foremost, contrary to all media reports and official claims, U.S. and foreign intelligence absolutely expected the 9/11 attack to occur— citing airplane hijackings and a strike on the World Trade Center. Even the time frame was identified precisely—known to be late August through mid-September.

I relate here my own experience as evidence. It has been corroborated in courtroom testimony by Parke Godfrey, a computer science professor at York University in Toronto. He delivered his statement under oath in the Federal Courthouse of the Southern District of New York—1000 yards from where the World Trade Center once graced the skyline.

On August 2, the date of Robert Mueller’s Senate confirmation hearings to become Director of the FBI, my CIA handler, Dr. Richard Fuisz warned me not to travel to New York because the attack on the World Trade Center involving airplane hijackings was “considered imminent,” with the potential for “mass human casualties” and a “possible miniature thermo-nuclear device” (thermite).

Our team aggressively tried to block the conspiracy. But not everyone was on board.

Threats to Iraq

As far back as April and May of 2001, a decision had been made at the top levels of the government that War with Iraq would be in play in the aftermath of a 9/11 scenario.

As the primary Asset covering the Iraqi Embassy in New York, I myself was ordered to threaten Iraqi diplomats with War, if it was determined that Iraq possessed actionable intelligence about the airplane hijacking conspiracy and failed to hand it over through my back channel.

After initially balking at the message, I was informed the threat originated at the highest level of government, above the CIA Director and Secretary of State. That could only be President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Iraqi diplomats threw up their hands: They had nothing to give us, they said. But go ahead, they told me. “Send your FBI. They are welcome in Baghdad. We want peace with America. And maybe they will find something.” For all the brouhaha after 9/11, the fact remains that George Bush took no action on Iraq’s invite.

There was chatter about the 9/11 conspiracy throughout the Intelligence Community all summer long. The greatest part of the Intelligence Community abhorred the scenario. My own Intelligence team, triangulating the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency pushed and pushed for actionable intelligence from Baghdad. However, though we could not understand what the hell was going on, our efforts kept running into a wall of interference from the Justice Department, with only superficial outward support.

For the integrity of history, Americans and the world community have a fundamental right to understand what actions the Intelligence Community did undertake prior to the attack—because it exposes the high level opposition running interference.

August Timeline

On Thursday, August 2, 2001— my CIA handler, Dr. Richard Fuisz and I discussed over the telephone our belief that the attack would be imminent.

On Saturday, August 4– I visited the Iraqi Embassy in New York for the final time before 9/11, pushing for any fragment of actionable intelligence from Baghdad that could pinpoint the conspiracy.

On the weekend of August 4-5—spooky NSA types “visited” the office where I had a part time consulting job. Of course the office was closed for the weekend, and I won’t speculate how they got inside. However, while snooping, they took a “proof of life,” for want of a better expression. It is a physical copy of the Wall Street Journal dated July 30, 2001—the same week as my conversation with Dr. Fuisz— addressed to the company, with the street address and name of the man I had been working for.

The copy of the July 30, 2001 Wall Street Journal surfaced on my desk at home—Nine Years after the attack— while I was traveling in Japan on a speaking tour for the advance release of my book, “Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq,” which features a detailed analysis of our team’s 9/11 warnings, the 9/11 investigation and a comprehensive peace framework developed with Iraqi diplomats. Given the upheaval in my life throughout the intervening decade—including a year’s stint in prison on a Texas military base, while the government covered up my team’s 9/11 warnings and the true facts of Iraqi Pre-War Intelligence— there’s no way a copy of the Wall Street Journal could have survived as desk clutter.

Other Intelligence officers will recognize the significance at once. That hard copy of the Wall Street Journal proves beyond any question that other spooks were tracking our team’s conversations about the conspiracy in “real time” fully 6 weeks before 9/11 occurred. A newspaper would have been thrown out of an office weeks before the attack. Somebody had to grab it up almost immediately after my conversation with Dr. Fuisz.

See? Other teams tried to put together the attack scenario, too.

All of it points to the frenetic activity in advance of 9/11. There was a lot of action behind the scenes. And Intelligence folk are anything but passive individuals. Quite the opposite, there’s a lot of creative risk-taking and proactive problem solving. None of these people sit on their hands.

Americans still don’t know that:

On Monday, August 6, I met with Dr. Fuisz and we hammered out a plan of action for alerting the White House that this hijacking conspiracy should move to “emergency status.”

That same Monday, August 6, the CIA handed President Bush a memo warning about an expected terrorist conspiracy involving Al Qaeda. Though I could be mistaken, I have always believed Dr. Fuisz contributed to that report. If not, it proves again that a broad spectrum of U.S. intelligence was moving to high alert status, far enough in advance to block the attack.

Following instructions from Dr. Fuisz, on Tuesday, August 7 or Wednesday, August 8, I placed an emergency call to the private staff of Attorney General John Ashcroft. Identifying myself as the Chief U.S. Intelligence Asset covering Iraq and Libya at the United Nations, I delivered our warning about a conspiracy involving airplane hijackings and a targeted strike on the World Trade Center.

I requested an emergency broadcast alert through all Federal Agencies seeking any fragment of intelligence involving airplane hijackings and a strike on the World Trade Center. I warned the attack was “imminent” with expectations of “mass casualties,” and that it should be regarded as Emergency Status.

Attorney General John Ashcroft’s private staff immediately gave me a telephone number at the Office of Counter-Terrorism, and told me to repeat what I had just told them to the person at that number. Immediately I complied.

Later that week on August 9 or 10, I drove over to the Arlington, Virginia home of my second cousin, Andrew Card— Chief of Staff to President George Bush— ready to deliver the same message. I waited two hours in my car outside of his home. Occasionally neighbors peeked outside their curtains, while I chain smoked cigarettes in the hot car. (Yes, I have quit smoking.) Driving away, I remember thinking that I might be making the greatest mistake of my life.

My Own Private Hell during the Cover Up

I am extremely proud of our team efforts before 9/11 and throughout the 9/11 investigation. For all that, Americans are learning about this very late because I got into great big, bad trouble with the Feds when I tried to talk. I suffered five (5) years of indictment on the Patriot Act and one year of prison on a military base without a trial, when Republicans decided to reinvent the facts about 9/11 and Iraqi Pre-War Intelligence, denying Iraq’s contributions to the 9/11 investigation and the existence of a comprehensive peace framework.

Our relationship soured as I became convinced Republicans at the top echelons allowed 9/11 to happen, killing thousands of innocent Americans and international citizens, so they could build a phony case for War against Iraq and Afghanistan.

I was outraged that the American government has done this to itself—as a pretext for military aggression and massive deficit spending in support of the military industrial complex, which is bankrupting the Middle Class. And I was quite vocal in expressing my belief that Americans have a right to full disclosure about our activities before 9/11 and the Iraqi War. And the devil take politicians!

Without question I posed a grave threat to political grandstanding on 9/11 and the myth of Washington’s “outstanding leadership performance on terrorism.” Many times I have thought of myself as Dorothy in the Land of Oz pulling back the curtain on the Wizard, and exposing his deceit before the hapless, trusting Munchkins.

In truth, the spooks did a great job before 9/11. Everything moved with lightning speed ahead of the threat. We could have stopped 9/11 easily if the Justice Department had fulfilled requests for inter-agency cooperation. There was plenty of time to alert NORAD or post an anti-air craft battery on top of the World Trade Center buildings.

That’s why the GOP leadership had to take me out—because I refused to back off that point. If I had been free, the American people and the world community would have learned the truth much sooner.

Controlled Demolition

Unhappily for all of us, because of private conversations with sources like my State Department colleague, I have reached additional conclusions that our team was not the only one at work before 9/11.

Though none of us expected this to happen, I have come to believe that our efforts collided with a force of equal resistance, in the form of an orphan team also watching the events unfolding like us.

As a long-time participant in multiple terrorism investigations, I have personal knowledge that most terrorist attacks are noisy, smoky and chaotic— without achieving maximum destruction of the target. The 1993 World Trade Center attack by Ramzi Youseff and Sheikh Abdul Rahmon of Egypt killed 5 people. The bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in the Port of Aden, Yemen killed 12 people. Without extra push, this 9/11 attack would never have killed so many people either—100 people at the very most.

Add to that a recipe of incompetent pilots— who functioned as Intelligence Assets themselves in a few cases— Again from personal experience, I know that Assets are heavily scrutinized at all times by handlers from multiple agencies. I am convinced that an inner circle anticipated the event, and saw that their boys flying those planes could not achieve maximum damage sufficient to achieve their War agenda in Iraq.

I cannot blame Americans for feeling overwhelmed, even heart-broken by these revelations. But bottom line jet fuel fires could not have collapsed both of those Towers, or Building 7, pretty much evaporating the entire steel frame of the buildings into dust and molten steel. Add to that the CIA’s urgent reports that a miniature thermo-nuclear device would be used in the attack—and that’s why I had to stay out of New York City.

The strange nightly activity at the World Trade Center three weeks before the attack clinched it for me. I am 100 percent convinced those Towers were wired for explosives.

Yes, hijacked airplanes struck the towers. But bringing down the Towers to secure War with Iraq required some extra umph.

I cannot speculate who wired the towers with explosives. I could make a guess, but my training as an Asset requires me to stay focused on what I have observed first-hand, and to recognize my own limitations.

So why should the world care? At this point, it is most critical for Americans to stop politicians in Washington from using 9/11 for grandstanding and personal ambitions. The War on Terrorism has perpetrated a fraud on all of us. Those who support the War on Terror are destroying our fiscal economy and our Middle Class.

That’s why Americans must learn the truth about 9/11. It’s reached a crisis point where we must get off this merry-go-round of defense spending. We must end the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Otherwise this fraud of 9/11 is going to ruin our great country for all time.

I only hope it isn’t too late already.


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