USuncutMN says: Tax the corporations! Tax the rich! Stop the cuts, fight for social justice for all. Standing in solidarity with http://www.usuncut.org/ and other Uncutters worldwide. FIGHT for a Foreclosure Moratorium! Foreclosure = homelessness. Resist the American Legislative Exchange Council, Grover Norquist and Citizen's United. #Austerity for the wheeler dealers, NOT the people.



We Are The 99% event

USuncutMN supports #occupyWallStreet, #occupyDC, the XL Pipeline resistance Yes, We, the People, are going to put democracy in all its forms up front and center. Open mic, diversity, nonviolent tactics .. Social media, economic democracy, repeal Citizen's United, single-payer healthcare, State Bank, Operation Feed the Homeless, anti-racism, homophobia, sexISM, war budgetting, lack of transparency, et al. Once we identify who we are and what we've lost, We can move forward.



Monday, November 28, 2011

Tomgram: Peter Van Buren, Thought Crime in Washington

November 27, 2011     Tom Dispatch

When I arrived at Zuccotti Prison one afternoon last week, the “park” was in its now-usual lockdown mode.  No more tents.  No library.  No kitchen.  No medical area.  Just about 30 leftover protesters and perhaps 100 of New York’s finest as well as private-security types in neon-green vests in or around a dead space enclosed by more movable police fencing than you can imagine. To the once open plaza, there were now only two small entrances in the fencing on the side streets, and to pass through either you had to run a gauntlet of police and private security types.

The park itself was bare of anything whatsoever and, that day, parts of it had been cordoned off, theoretically for yet more cleaning, with the kind of yellow police tape that would normally surround a crime scene, which was exactly how it seemed.  In fact, as I walked in, a young protestor was being arrested, evidently for the crime of lying down on a bench.  (No sleeping, or even prospective sleeping, allowed — except in jail!)

Thanks to Mayor Bloomberg’s police assault on the park, OWS has largely decamped for spaces unknown and for the future.  Left behind was a grim tableau of our distinctly up-armored, post-9/11 American world.  To take an obvious example, the “police” who so notoriously pepper-sprayed non-violent, seated students at UC Davis were just campus cops, who in my college years, the 1960s, still generally wore civvies, carried no weapons, and were tasked with seeing whether students had broken curfew or locked themselves out of their rooms.

Now, around the country, they are armed with chemical weapons, Tasers, tear gas, side arms, you name it.  Meanwhile, some police departments, militarizing at a rapid rate, have tank-like vehicles, and the first police surveillance drones are taking to the air in field tests and capable of  being weaponized.

And keep in mind, when it comes to that pepper-spraying incident, we’re talking about sleepy Davis, California, and a campus once renowned for its agronomy school.  Al-Qaeda?  I don’t think so.

Still, terror is what now makes our American world work, the trains run more or less on time, and the money flow in.  So why should we be surprised that, having ripped Zuccotti Park apart, destroyed books, gotten a rep for pepper-spraying and roughing up protesters (and reporters, too), the NYPD should propitiously announce the arrest of yet another “lone wolf” terrorist.

And can anyone be shocked that we’re talking about a disturbed, moneyless individual — he couldn’t even pay his cell phone bill, no less rent a place to live — under surveillance for two years, and palling around with an NYPD “informant” who smoked marijuana with him and may have given him not only a place to build a bomb but encouragement in doing so.

It was a police-developed terror case that evidently so reeked of coaching even the FBI refused to get involved.  And yet this was Mayor Bloomberg’s shining moment of last week, as the NYPD declared his home a “frozen” zone, the equivalent of declaring martial law around his house.

And who was endangering him? An OWS “drum circle.”  In the United States, increasingly, those in power no longer observe the law.  Instead, they make it up to suit their needs.  In the process, the streets where you demonstrate, as (New York’s mayor keeps telling us) is our “right,” are regularly transformed into yet more fenced-in, heavily surveilled Zuccotti Prisons.

This may not be a traditional police state (yet), but it is an increasingly militarized policed state in which the blue coats, armed to the teeth, act with remarkable impunity — and all in the name of our safety from a bunch of doofuses or unhinged individuals that its “informants” often seem to fund, put through basic terror courses, and encourage in every way until they are arrested as “terrorists.”  This is essentially a scam on the basis of which rights are regularly abridged or tossed out the window.

In twenty-first-century America, “rights” are increasingly meant for those who behave themselves and don’t exercise them.  And if you happen to be part of a government in which no criminal act of state — torture, kidnapping, the assassination of U.S. citizens abroad, the launching of wars of aggression — will ever bring a miscreant to court, only two crimes evidently exist:blowing a whistle or expressing your opinion.

State Department official Peter Van Buren, whose new book about a disastrous year he spent in Iraq, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, is a must read, learned that the hard way. So did Morris Davis. So may we all.       Tom

 

MF Global Looted Customer Accounts

MF Global Looted Customer Accounts

November 25th, 2011 
 
By Stephen Lendman

Wall Street's business model is grand theft. Jon Corzine was MF Global's CEO. Earlier he headed Goldman Sachs, America's premiere racketeering organization.

He also was one of legions of corrupt politicians as US senator and New Jersey governor. His extreme, longstanding criminality warrants putting him in prison for life. No restitution can reverse his harm. It's true also for many others like him.

Before its collapse, MF Global (MFG) faced a run on its holdings. On October 31, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

On November 19, Reuters said the firm "moved hundreds of millions of dollars in customer money from its US brokerage unit to Bank of New York Mellon Corp. in August, just months before filing for bankruptcy...."

In other words, MFG lawlessly looted customer accounts. It used client money for its own purposes to speculate, as well as cover debt obligations and losses. At issue is grand theft.

In fact, it's one of the most brazen acts in memory in a business notorious for outrageous criminality. What ever's gotten away with incentivizes Wall Street crooks to steal more. Why not! At most, they're slap on the wrist punishments mock rule of law justice.

On November 19 on the Kaiser Report, Barry Ritholtz commented on the big lie, hyper-leveraged banks, the MFG scandal, and congressional political whores, saying:

People responsible for creating these problems shift blame to others. Facts say otherwise. Wall Street speculators take big risks. They use hyper-leverage that's only effective when it works.

"Their models were wildly optimistic. Banking is supposed to be very boring." Decisions are supposed to be made about who's credit worthy and who isn't. Instead, reckless speculation replaced investing and sound lending policies.

Wall Street's ideology is bankrupt, "and it's causing global damage to the economy. For investment banks, the five biggest houses got waivers on leverage rules."

SEC collaborators rigged the system for them. These banks also "happen to be the five biggest donors to Congress," or among the largest. Over time, successful lobbying removed everything affecting profits, no matter the risk. The SEC, Fed, FDIC and CME rigged the system for them.

Brazen fraud became standard practice. Criminals deserving prison keep stealing. The dirty game involves grabbing "whatever the hell you want and run for the hills. No one will prosecute you."

"MF Global is another order of magnitude. If anyone is going to jail over this whole period, it has to be" their top officials. Don't bet on it, especially a power broker like Corzine.

He's directly responsible for stealing $1.2 billion in client funds. He looted them brazenly. According to Bloomberg:

"Examiners from CME Group Inc., the world's largest futures exchange, found unexplained wire transfers" and $1.2 billion missing "during the weekend the failing broker was talking with possible buyers, a person briefed on the matter said."
Multiple investigations began, including by Justice Department lawyers. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) were responsible for overseeing MFG. They knew what went on but did nothing.

Huffington Post writer Daniel Dicker said the Koch Brothers were tipped off in time to get out safely. Others weren't as lucky.

MFG is America's eighth largest bankruptcy, the first major one the Eurozone crisis caused. Expect more ahead.

Practices cratering economies in 2008 continue. Nations teeter on bankruptcy. Corzine bet heavily that Spanish and Italian debt wouldn't collapse.

Using 40 to 1 leverage, he bet massively the wrong way. His second quarter $190 million loss drove investors away. Those remaining lost everything. Corzine and top executives pocketed millions.

In 1999, he was worth an estimated $400 million when he left Goldman Sachs. Perhaps its double that now, including funds looted from MFG. We may know more later on.

From 1994 - 1994, Corzine headed Goldman Sachs during the time banking became deregulated. Carter began it late in his tenure. Reagan did much more. Clinton completed unfinished business. James Petras calls the 1990s "the golden age of pillage," the decade of anything goes.

It persists in the new millennium because political Washington and regulators look the other way, profiting handsomely by doing it. Everyone feathers nests belonging to others. Self-sustaining corruption continues. Only little people and unknowing investors get scammed. Power brokers make out like bandits.

After losing his 2009 gubernatorial reelection bid, government regulators welcomed Corzine back on Wall Street. New York Fed president William Dudley (a fellow Goldman alumnus) made MFG a "primary dealer." Despite its size and a former trading scandal $10 million fine, it became one of a handful of firms marketing US Treasuries.

At the behest of Corzine and other power brokers, CFTC head Gary Gensler suspended implementation of new rules imposing limits on broker-dealer use of client funds, especially for foreign sovereign debt. In other words, they were freed to commit grand theft. MFG took full advantage.

Wall Street Journal Money & Investing editor Francesco Guerrera wrote about "Three Lessons From the Collapse." He quoted University of San Diego Professor Frank Partnoy, saying:

MFG's "failure illustrates how much financial markets are about trust and confidence. Once you lose those, you are done."

Guerrera's three lessons include:
* closing accounting loopholes and strengthening oversight;
* establishing lead regulators for nonbank financial firms; and
* writing new rules for "nonsystemic" firms as well as "too big to fail" ones.

Dodd-Frank financial reform left a broken system in place. The entire law needs rewriting. Better still, scrap it and start over. Stiff regulations with teeth are needed, including mandatory prosecution of crooks, especially those highest up to let others know invulnerability days are over.

When culpable CEO heads roll, it'll be a good start. However, game-changer differences won't happen until all high level Wall Street swindlers wear numbered striped suits.

Trends forecaster Gerald Celente lost $100,000 in an MF Global gold futures account. He told Russia
Today:

"I really got burned. I got a call," saying "I needed to have a margin call. (W)hat are you talking about," he asked? "I've got a ton of money in my account. They responded, oh no you don't. That money's with a trustee now."

His advice for everyone holding gold ETFs is cash out because "they are going to steal all our money." Angry about MF Global's theft, he called Corzine a "cheap SOB." He's that and much more.

"How come he's not in Jail," railed Celente. It's "because he's one of the white shoe boys from the Goldman Sachs crowd." He added that "the merger of state and corporate power" brought "fascism" to America.

The entire system's too corrupted to fix. Only tearing it down and starting over can work. It's high time the process started. Hopefully, OWS protests began it.

Rumor has it that JPMorgan Chase and perhaps other Wall Street banks are involved. Judge Martin Glenn is handling MFG's bankruptcy. HL Camp, Proprietor of HL Camp Futures, wrote him as follows:

"Our firm is a registered introducing broker with the CFTC. I have written to you previously on behalf of our customers."

"Here is a comment this morning from one of our former customers in Europe," saying:
"I will never do business in the United States of America again."
According to Camp, "(t)he system is to protect futures accounts is broken. And the whole world knows it."

"What started as a failure of one FCM (Futures Commission Merchant) that quickly gave a black eye to the CFTC and especially the CME has now made our United States of America a very bad joke to commodity futures traders all over the world."

"The problem this morning is not just excess margin equity."

"The problem this morning is the reputation of the United States of America."

"Thank you very much for your time and for listening."

Forbes staff writer Robert Lenzner said traders and clients didn't know about MFG's unscrupulousness.

He said a CFTC loophole lets firms speculate with segregated client accounts. Few know it without carefully reading contract fine print or getting sound legal advice.

Lenzner's lesson one is CFTC Rule 1.29 must be scraped. It lets futures commission merchants gamble with client funds.

Lesson two is knowing personal funds aren't safe in futures metals, energy, precious metals, or agricultural futures accounts.

Lesson three is resolving which regulator oversees firms like MFG - the CFTC or CME. One should have primary responsibility and be held accountable for fraud.

Lenzner added that Justice Department attorneys are determining whether federal crimes occurred. He expects a lengthy process because MFG's books "are in a state of chaos," deliberately no doubt.

Whether anyone ends up indicted isn't sure. At most perhaps, expect lower level patsies hung out to dry to let crime bosses like Corzine stay free to steal more. It's how it always works.

-###-

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


This Is The Report That Caused Banks To Tank today

Bank stocks plummeted after Fitch Ratings released a statement about U.S. bank exposure to Europe.
Goldman sachs fell fell $4.21, or 4.16%, to close at $95.60 a share.
JPMorgan dropped 3.76%.
Bank of America fell 3.75%,.
Morgan Stanely tumbled $1.27, or 7.97%.
Here's the key part of the report:
U.S. banks have manageable direct exposures to the stressed European markets (Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain), but further contagion poses a serious risk, according to a Fitch Ratings report.
Fitch believes that unless the Eurozone debt crisis is resolved in a timely and orderly manner, the broad credit outlook for the U.S. banking industry could worsen. Fitch’s current outlook for the industry is stable, reflecting improved fundamentals at most banks combined with ratings lower than at pre-crisis levels. However, risks of a negative shock are rising and could alter this outlook.
U.S. banks have reduced direct exposure to stressed European markets considerably over the past year in Fitch’s view. Direct exposures appear manageable in the context of banks’ capital positions and diverse earnings streams. Public disclosure of direct exposures has generally improved recently but varies from bank to bank

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/bank-stocks-hammered-after-fitch-report-2011-11?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+businessinsider+(Business+Insider)#ixzz1duLFyfpC


http://www.americanindependent.com/204647/what-women-want-from-the-super-committee

By Sofia Resnick Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 5:23 pm

 The subject of a recent episode of the NBC comedy series “The Office” was about a doomsday device created by devious employee Dwight K. Schrute (played by Rainn Wilson). If his fellow co-workers committed five errors in a single workday, the device was wired to send an email to their CEO with information likely to result in the staff’s firing.
In the case of today’s long-term deficit-reduction negotiations in Congress –- currently being deliberated by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or “super committee” –- Congress is Dwight, Nov. 23 is Dwight’s 5 p.m. (the sequester deadline, i.e., the trigger mechanism that would make $1.2 trillion across-the-board cuts), and both scenarios can be nipped in the bud by their respective creators.
Time is running out for the super committee, appointed to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit over the next decade, and if — as many news outlets are predicting — they fail to come up with a solid plan within the next nine days, Congress will plan to slash $600 billion from defense spending and $600 billion from domestic programs excluding Social Security and Medicaid, including cuts to Medicare payments to hospitals and other providers, come the 2013 budget.
The American Independent recently reported on how certain GOP presidential candidates’ proposed tax-policy plans would disproportionately affect women, who tend to earn lower wages and depend more on entitlement programs than men. This week, TAI takes a look at how the super committee’s proposal could disproportionately impact women.
What’s on the table?
Reporting that has emerged from the closed-door super committee meetings reveals the six Democrats on the panel are generally insistent on raising revenues from tax increases; wish to end the Bush-era tax cuts; and preserve Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The six Republicans, meanwhile, have slowly begun to discuss revenues but are opposed to achieving them through tax cuts; want to make permanent the Bush-era tax cuts; and are pushing to restructure how Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are paid for in the future.
Roll Call details the latest in negotiations: Last week panel member Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) proposed a $1.2 trillion plan comprising $700 billion in cuts and $500 billion in revenues (half of the revenues would come from $250 billion in “tax code reform’). The most recent Democratic offer is a $2.3 trillion reduction plan over 10 years involving $1 trillion in revenues (including tax hikes) and $400 billion in “entitlement reform.”

Still they remain at an impasse.

But as Politico recently reported, despite having the power to dismantle the doomsday device, the president won’t take it. According to a White House statement, on Friday Obama called super committee co-chairs Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Jeb. Hensarling (R-Texas) to tell them he will refuse attempts to override the automatic cuts if the panel can’t complete the task. (In the “Office” episode, Dwight makes the same promise after the staff does fail, but he caves at the 11th hour.)
“The sequester was agreed to by both parties to ensure there was a meaningful enforcement mechanism to force a result from the Committee,” Obama said in the statement. “Congress must not shirk its responsibilities.”
Lobbying ladies
One prediction if the super committee fails is that industries and special-interest groups will spend a year before the trigger takes effect lobbying Congress to reconsider cuts to specific programs. The Hill forecasts heavy lobbying from the Pentagon, defense contractors, liberal activists and labor unions.
Women’s advocacy groups have already begun voicing suggestions as to how to trim spending without devastating the neediest Americans, many of whom happen to be single women with children.
Early this month, National Organization for Women (NOW) President Terry O’Neill blasted the super committee’s “irresponsible proposals,” referring to assumptions the Republican members on the committee are pushing for Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan-style changes to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security while, at the same time, opposing tax increases on corporations and millionaires. O’Neill similarly censured proposals she had heard from the Democratic side:
[I]t’s beyond distressing to see some Democrats knuckling under and now embracing plans that would cause great hardship on retirees — mainly women, particularly women of color, as well as people with severe disabilities and our oldest seniors. The Democrats’ proposal would change the [Social Security Cost-of-Living adjustment] (COLA) so that monthly benefits are dramatically reduced, further impoverishing the millions of seniors who depend exclusively on their Social Security check. Medicare would be cut by $400 billion (on top of the $500 billion savings adopted in the Affordable Care Act), and Medicaid would be cut by $75 billion. … There’s not much worse than taking from the most vulnerable in society to pay for a deficit caused by a failure to tax millionaires and billionaires and waging two unfunded wars.
So what does NOW want the super committee to do?
  • Preserve COLA and minimize cuts to programs that disproportionately serve and employ women, among them Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly referred to as food stamps; college-tuition-assistance programs, child care; and family planning programs.
  • End Bush-era tax cuts.
  • Eliminate the payroll tax cap, which would raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), a think thank that focuses on women’s domestic issues, has ideas of how to improve women’s economic standing in this country — ideas that likely contradict proposals the super committee members have been tossing around. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, although men have regained nearly 30 percent of the jobs they lost during the recession, women have regained only 10 percent of the jobs they lost. In July, men earned 136,000 jobs; women lost 19,000.
Among IWPR proposals, as laid out in a September 2011 report titled “Recommendations for Improving Women’s Employment in the Recovery”:
  • Make federal transfers available to state and local governments to replace lost revenues and allow them to hire back the teachers, case workers, nurses and others they have laid off.
  • Expand the length of the school day and school year.
  • Create an “Urban Conservation Corps” — programs partnering labor unions with inner-city youth with the goal of bring skills and employment opportunities to young women and men.
  • Fund child care.
  • Adopt tax incentives for businesses that offer their employees “work-life balance.”
  • Expand unemployment insurance benefits for workers with reduced working hours.
  • Expand employment for women in male-dominated fields, such as construction, transportation and green energy
  • Increase funding for jobs that provide direct care to children, disabled adults and the elderly. (According to the Economic Policy Institute (PDF), investments in physical infrastructure and human capital, such as early childhood development, education, health care, job training, would create jobs for women and men and contribute to long-term economic growth.)
Over at the National Women’s Law Center, the general position on the super committee proceedings is that the panel should promote job growth and strengthen the economy while simultaneously protecting programs that women and their families depend on now and in old age — women in general depend on Medicare and Medicaid at higher rates than men, and two-thirds of SNAP recipients are female, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (PDF).
Specifically the NWLC wants:
  • Reduced tax breaks for oil and gas industries and corporations that move jobs and profits overseas.
  • New tax brackets for annual income starting above $1 million and taxing income from capital gains and dividends at the same rate as income from work for taxpayers with income above $1 million.
  • A small tax on financial transactions such as stock trades — to raise revenue but also to discourage short-term speculation. According to the Economic Policy Institute and the Century Foundation, a 0.5 percent tax on stock transactions would raise about $77 billion per year; a 0.5 percent tax on all financial transactions (options, futures, swap transactions) would raise approximately $150 billion per year.
  • An extension on federal emergency unemployment benefits.
But for now, what women want — what all Americans want, and they all want different things — is in the hands of 12 under-pressure representatives and senators. And the clock is ticking.
Photo: Flickr/AMagill

Eviction @ #Occupy Wall Street, LRAD used Journalists kicked out as police beat sitting protestors

http://www.twitter.com/LukeRudkowski

Senate announces Vikings stadium hearings


There may not be a special legislative session for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium, but there will be public hearings.
 
Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, who heads the influential Senate Taxes Committee, announced Wednesday she would hold two informational hearings on the Vikings stadium on Nov. 29 and Dec. 6.
 
“We are holding these hearings to invite the public and interested parties to come and testify and offer their views. It is an issue that people are very passionate about,” Ortman said.
 
“Based on information provided to these committees, we will determine if there is a consensus for further action,” she added in a statement.
 
Details related to the hearings, according to Ortman, would be released at a later time.
 
Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, the lead Senate author of stadium legislation, hailed the announcement.  "Senate Republican leadership has taken a bold and necessary step," she said.  But Rosen added that "it is obvious that this issue will not have a simple solution or an easy consensus."
 
Gov. Mark Dayton also said he welcomed the hearings, calling them a "very positive step forward."  Speaking to reporters after meeting with Arden Hills city officials Wednesday -- the Vikings want to build the stadium in Ramsey County's Arden Hills -- the governor said that "hopefully those hearings will present a clear picture, to at least the senators, as to what the options are and where to go from here."
 
House Republicans -- the party also holds a majority in the House -- have not announced any stadium hearings.
 
The Nov. 29 hearing would be a joint meeting of the Senate Taxes Committee and the Senate Local Government & Elections Committee. The Dec. 6 hearing would be a joint meeting of the Senate Taxes Committee and the Senate State Government Innovation & Veterans Committee.
 
The announcement comes as Dayton, who has pushed to resolve the Vikings stadium issue, acknowledged that a special legislative session to address the topic was now unlikely. The Legislature is scheduled to meet in regular session beginning Jan. 24.
 
The Vikings, who have played in the downtown Minneapolis Metrodome since 1982, want to build a $1.1 billion stadium in Arden Hills. The project would be funded by $407 million from the team, with the remainder coming from undetermined public subsidies.

Next Move to Amend organizing meeting, Nov. 21

What: Move to Amend  organizing meeting regarding volunteer strategy, action, and other volunteer opportunities. 
 
Where:  Rice Street Library.  1011 Rice St., Saint Paul, MN.
 
When:  Monday, November 21st 5:30 – 7:30 pm.
 
Additional Information:  Free.  Snacks and drinks will be provided.  Please RSVP / Register in advance. To register, just respond to this email with a commitment to attend.  The meeting room holds 35 people, so we want folks who are dedicated to contributing to Move to Amend on a volunteer / action basis.  Participation with Move to Amend is democratic.  As a group we will decide what actions are taken and how to best reach our goal through individual roles. 

SuperCommittee! Listen to us "- no dirty energy!"


The deficit reduction supercommittee has a November 23 deadline to finish its work. One of the first places lawmakers should look for cuts is the dirty energy sector.

From 2008 through 2010, Big Energy industries were among the top recipients of government handouts, second only to the financial industry.

Big Oil alone racks up $4 billion a year, while the corporations that make up the Big Oil industry post obscene profits quarter after quarter. In the first quarter of 2011, the world’s six largest oil companies reported combined profits of $38.1 billion - up 42 percent from the same period in 2010.

Tell the supercommittee to eliminate subsidies for dirty energy industries.

Eliminating these subsidies would shave $122 billion off our deficit over the next 10 years – and would improve the environment and public health.

It’s a no-brainer. The vast majority of Americans of every party want these subsidies to end. Yet Congress is loath to push dirty energy away from the government trough.

Big Energy influence over our democracy certainly has played a role in previous attempts to eliminate these subsidies. This time, the 12 members that have the authority to make the cuts have received at least $4.2 million in campaign contributions from dirty energy interests.

Remind lawmakers on the supercommittee that their constituents’ voices should trump campaign contributions.

Beyond helping reduce our deficit, eliminating dirt energy subsidies is crucial to shifting us toward a clean energy future.

If we continue to prop up this old dirty energy economy, we can’t invest in something better. To learn how shifting government spending toward investments in clean, green solutions—renewable energy, safer chemicals and materials, zero waste and more—can deliver jobs AND a healthier environment, watch The Story of Broke, by Public Citizen board member, Annie Leonard. After you watch the short program, don’t forget to sign the petition to the supercommittee.




Thank you for all you do,

Allison Fisher
Outreach Director
Public Citizen's Climate and Energy Program

DO IT NOW ! Recall Bloomberg!!

Mayor Bloomberg's "sensible compromise" is to spend $50 million to deny the movement its symbol in the midst of the financial district. This is an absurd amount of money for the mayor to spend to "clean" a single city block when the social services the city provides are being bled dry as the same man cries poverty to the voters.

But there is always money for what the rich want, isn't there? And t
he rich want the veneer restored that says everything they do to be rich is OK, and Mayor Bloomberg, after all, works for and is one of them. But what will he do when the people come back renewed and prepared to force a different outcome when he sends his goon squads in to silence them?

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.” -- Karl Marx

www.bloomberg.com
Let’s get the complicated part out of the way: This subject (Occupy Wall Street) for this editorial section (Bloomberg View, part of Bloomberg LP, majority-owned by Michael R. Bloomberg, mayor of New York) has “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” written all over it.
 
Read it and weep!  So distorted!  SO distorted!

All NYC Residents: RECALL MAYOR BLOOMBERG NOW

 

 http://www.change.org/petitions/all-nyc-residents-recall-mayor-bloomberg-now

Why This Is Important
He is turning NYC into an armed police camp and has repeatedly ordered acts of extreme violence and theft (i.e., coordinated confiscation of personal belongings) against people engaged in peaceful protest. HE BROKE THE LAW IN ORDER TO "SERVE" THIS THIRD TERM AND SHOULD NOT BE IN CONTROL OF THIS CITY IN THE FIRST PLACE. HE MUST BE REMOVED NOW.


 

 

DO IT NOW! Join the 99% at Capitol, 2 pm, Thursday

We Are The 99% event

We Are The 99% event


Capitol Building Rotunda, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (Map)

St. Paul, MN 55155

Thursday, November 17th, 2:00 PM 

Let's keep the momentum going! Please sign up for this gathering right away!      

  http://civic.moveon.org/event/events/event.html?event_id=124552


Message from your host, Henry C.: Join Occupy St. Paul & US Uncut in bridging the gap between Supercommittee politicians and the needs of the 99%
http://occupysaintpaul.org/2011/11/14/usuncutmn-bridge-the-gap-march-rally/

Show Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street

Show Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street

Selected By: MoveOn Henry
Capitol Building Rotunda
75 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard., St Paul, MN 55155 (map)
Selected by: MoveOn Henry
Join Occupy St. Paul in bridging the gap between Supercommittee politicians and the needs of the 99% http://occupysaintpaul.org/2011/11/14/usuncutmn-bridge-th...
Rally in Rotunda from 2-3pm, and maybe the media area and the Governor's office, then head over to the U of M to occupy the 10th Ave bridge that runs parallel to the I-35 bridge. Occupy Minneapolis, Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, and student groups will join together there at 4pm, then march back to the People's Plaza for a rally in solidarity with #OccupyWallStreet.
Additional Web resources:
http://www.OccupyMinneapolis.mn
http://www.mnfaireconomy.org/2011/11/06/bridge-the-gap-ma...
http://www.moveon.org/event/events/attendees/index.html?e...

How to Liberate America from Wall Street Rule

erica from Wall Street Rule

by New Economy Working Group
Type: Report [title]
Published July, 2011
visit website
NEWGroup Launches Report on U.S. Money System Restructure
How to Liberate America from Wall Street Rule is a report of the New Economy Working Group produced in collaboration with the New Economy Network; it is an outcome of a series of conversations focused on building a policy agenda for transforming our money system. David Korten is the lead author; participating organizations include Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, Capital Institute, Democracy Collaborative, Green America, Institute for Policy Studies, Living Economies Forum, New Economy Network, New Rules Project, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Public Banking Institute, RSF Social Finance, and YES! Magazine.

The report calls for building a money/banking/finance system of local financial institutions that are transparent, accountable, rooted in community and dedicated to funding activities that build community wealth and meet community needs. The proposed system will look quite similar to the one that existed in the United States before the wave of financial deregulation that began in the 1960s. The How to Liberate America from Wall Street Rule report briefly traces that history, outlines its devastating consequences, and presents an agenda for corrective action to change the system rules, structure, and culture.

To read the report online, click HERE; to download the high-resolution version for printing (9MB file), click HERE. It may be freely shared, reproduced, posted, and distributed in whole by any means without specific permission so long as it is presented in its entirety and is not altered or used for commercial purposes. (We encourage sharing via websites, newsletters, and social networking media. Follow #moneyreport and #neweconomy on Twitter for the latest news.)
 
Resources: The implementation of the "liberate America" policy agenda depends on effective broad-based citizen action from outside the establishment to build public consciousness and engage public participation. Please visit our Resource page for an abundance of references and links to campaigns and public initiatives converging in the movement to build a New Economy through financial system restructure.

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What Is the New Economy?

The New Economy is an emerging system of values, practices, institutions, policies and laws that support an economy designed to maximize current well being and social justice without sacrficing the natural world or the resources available to future generations.

Although there is no blueprint for the new economy, if you want to explore key ideas of  visionary thinkers and organizations, please read: Neva Goodwin, Allen White and Richard Rosen, eds., Core Principles for a New Economy , Gus Speth, Toward a New Economy and a New Politics, David Korten, Seven Steps for Action toward a New Economy,  The Tellus Institute, The Great Transition, and from the new economics foundation, another version of the The Great Transition. We also encourage you to explore NEN’s Resource pages and the websites of our member organizations.



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The mission of the New Economy Network (NEN) is to support a transition to a new economy where the priority is to sustain people and the planet, social justice and cohesion are prized, and peace, communities, democracy and nature all flourish.


The New Economy Network newsletter is intended to inform NEN members about new developments in the field of just and sustaining economics. Newsletter content is organized into the five main fields of work linked under NEN’s mission: Sustainable Community Development; Economic Policy; Environment and Energy; Social Justice and Civil Rights; and Democracy and Corporate Accountability. In keeping with our charter, we will try to lead each category with a success story each month.
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Occupy Oakland's new target - foreclosed buildings


Now that their general strike is over, Occupy Oakland activists are looking for a new initiative to keep the momentum rolling - and their gaze is turning toward taking over foreclosed or abandoned buildings.
The subject came up in earnest in group meetings over the past couple of days, and conversations have narrowed down not to whether Occupy activists should take over empty buildings, but when and how.
"It's a very important front for the Occupy movement all over this country, and if any one city can set a precedent for taking over foreclosed buildings, the idea will then quickly spread," said Adrian Dyer, an Occupy organizer. "The key is to improve what we occupy, to do it right, to set a good example."

'It will not be tolerated'

City officials are predictably unenthusiastic. The one takeover so far of an empty building left a bad taste.
That takeover came late Wednesday after tens of thousands of people had staged a largely peaceful general strike, shutting down the Port of Oakland. As many as 100 black-clad protesters took over a vacant building at 16th Street and Broadway, and when police moved in, the activists heaved rocks and other missiles. Police responded with tear gas, and more than 100 people were arrested.
Oakland City Administrator Deanna Santana had a blunt statement about the proposed occupation of buildings: "It will not be tolerated."
Business groups were confounded that campers would sanction such an activity.
"It's lawlessness," said Joe Haraburda, president of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. "How about if you were a building owner and somebody took over your property? What gives them the right to do that?"
Occupy activists largely disavowed the violence of Wednesday's takeover, saying it undercut the movement's central message of denouncing corporate greed and economic inequity. They also disavowed a riot that broke out the week before but said it was largely a result of police overreaction.

Attracting support

The challenge in seizing foreclosed buildings is how to do it in a way that attracts support, many in the 165-tent Occupy Oakland camp at Frank Ogawa Plaza agreed in meetings and interviews Monday. That means appealing to everyone from the homeless Occupy campers to the soccer moms who show up for marches.
"One idea is to contact the people who were foreclosed upon and enlist them in the effort," said Kevin Seal, an Occupy organizer. "We want to have a plan before we do anything."
Oakland has been one of the hardest-hit California cities in the foreclosure crisis of recent years. Several real estate websites list hundreds of foreclosed properties for sale in the city.
There are plenty of examples portraying the success or failure of seizing buildings to be found in other movements.

Previous actions

In the 1980s and early '90s, a campaign to take over foreclosed houses in Oakland resulted in confrontations between police and homeless activists who chained themselves inside homes, but arrests were made peacefully. Since 1992 in San Francisco, the group Homes Not Jails has taken over more than 100 vacant buildings, usually quietly, to use as squatters' shelters.
Paul Boden, organizing director for the Western Regional Advocacy Project poverty relief group and a veteran of building takeovers, said he is willing to help Occupy activists if they want it. But he thinks they've already got a good deliberation process in place.
"One of the great things about Occupy is they are creating things as they go along, and I would not want to advise them on what to do," Boden said. "The talking heads and politicians can't stand it because they can't control it."
Chronicle staff writer Matthai Kuruvila contributed to this report.

E-mail Kevin Fagan at kfagan@sfchronicle.com.

DO IT NOW: Kucinich petition re #OWS to mayors

Dear Friends,

At 1:00 AM Tuesday night, after two months of peaceful protest against the people and institutions that wrecked our economy, police officers under direct orders from the Mayor of New York City raided Occupy Wall Street and evicted protestors from Zuccotti Park.

The First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees all of us - including these protestors - the right to peacefully assemble and express our views. But over the past week, similar nighttime raids executed by mayors in Oakland, Portland and Atlanta have cast a dangerous shadow over our liberties.

Today, I am asking you to join me in standing with Occupy protests everywhere and demanding that the Mayors of America respect the First Amendment and the rights of our citizens to assemble and express themselves. Click here to sign the petition and demand that the mayors of America respect the Constitution and the rights of Occupy Wall Street to exist.

Right now, corporations are spending unlimited amounts of money to influence our election system under the guise of free speech. Yet when people like you and me gather in parks across America to protest this broken system, we are deemed a threat by local mayors.

Stand with me, Occupy Wall Street and all Americans who wish to defend our disappearing liberties in demanding that America's mayors respect the Constitution and rights guaranteed to all Americans in the First Amendment. Sign the petition today.

With respect,

Dennis
Dennis

P.S. We need to get the word out. Please forward this email to your friends and family, and share it on Facebook and Twitter. We need to stand strong for the Constitution tod

I/We stand with Occupy Wall Street and all Americans who wish to defend our disappearing liberties in demanding that the Mayors of America respect the First Amendment and the rights of our citizens to assemble and express themselves.


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Outcry as 84-year-old hit with pepper spray

Pregnant teen, elderly woman among pepper sprayed

 NSFW :)  Marine Sgt Thomas had a run-in with non-uniformed NYPD officer at Zuccotti Park Nov 15 ning.it/uVXYEq
  
  Police crackdowns at Occupy sites stir debate | Seattle Times Newspaper ning.it/rXg7YV


 Michael Moore Says Obama's DOJ & DHS Are Coordinating The Destruction The Occupy Movement ning.it/u31uQp

 The Police State Makes Its Move: Retaining One's Humanity in the Face of Tyranny ning.it/tDMyFX

Occupy Wall Street - Free speech - Hate speech - Martial Law ow.ly/1fFTFV

 One Veteran’s Rough Path from Killing and Torturing to Peace ning.it/sMrjgJ


 
PROTECT IP Act Breaks The Internet - Tell Congress not to censor the internet NOW! -  ow.ly/1fGsnH

 
SEAL Team 6 Assassinated, Dead men tell no tales ning.it/u9wWgt
 

Non-profit group linked to Homeland Security promotes absurd fear of non-existent threat of terrorism -End the Lie ning.it/sEgErN

 
Animal Farm - MP3 Audio- pdf  ning.it/tSeelf

 
 
US Bill Creating the Great Firewall of America ning.it/uCpzjp

 
Police crackdowns at Occupy sites stir debate | Seattle Times Newspaper ow.ly/1fG1bv
 
 
The Police State Makes Its Move: Retaining One's Humanity in the Face of Tyranny ow.ly/1fFYGU
 
 
Attacks on Occupy: “Revenge of the 1%” - WASHINGTON - November 15 - The New York Daily News is reporting: “Hours aft... ow.ly/1fFYGT
 

Movement Moves On After Police Occupy the OWS Park: Danny Schecter

Movement Moves On After Police Occupy the OWS Park

By (about the author)

  What now after the Police Trash the OWS Camp? Danny Schechter dissects

::::::::


The Police May Have Seized The Park But The Movement Moves On
By Danny Schechter, author of The Crime Of Our Time

It was strange, after all these weeks, to be on the outside looking in at a new set of occupiers that were there because they have the guns and we don't.
When Mao said that "power grows out of the barrel of a gun" he most assuredly did not have anything like Occupy Wall Street on his mind, but somehow the insight applies.  
The recent attacks on Occupy encampments may have their origins in decisions by federal agencies. It has been reported that the Mayor of Oakland admitted that 16 cities consulted or coordinated with the Department of Homeland Security. Many of the cities deny it. Activist Van Jones asked on MSNBC why they don't coordinate on creating programs to satisfy needs expressed by Occupy Wall Street.
Liberty Square/Zuccotti Park had now been power cleaned and was pristine when activists were allowed to reenter without tents or sleeping bags,  More than 200 had been arrested in the takeover that included teargas and selective physical violence against resisters.
The Police operated under the cover the darkness. Press was not allowed despite press cards that permit journalists to operate behind police lines. Even helicopters were banned from the air space over the Park.
Soon, all the tents were  trashed and gone: Medical, Media, The Kitchen and The Library, as well as all the work group locations that I showed in a film I made a week earlier.  To defend the property rights of the owner, the property of protesters was thrown into the garbage.
Now there were cops in command, barricades on the outside and contractors employed by Brookfield Properties, the Park's owner, on the inside,   looking all corporate and regimented,
Activists with badges calling themselves the "99%" were soon watching the triumph of authority with pains in their hearts from behind the barricades while a dozen TV trucks set up their antennas to broadcast live on this latest confrontation. They were finally allowed back in through checkpoints set up by representatives of the realty company enforcing rules that did not exist  when they moved into the part in mid September.
The tabloid media were gloating earlier in the day, "BEAT IT" was the headline in the Daily News, Rupert; Murdoch's   NY Post had been tipped in advance and covered the expulsion like a cheerleader.

Earlier in the day, a liberal judge had temporarily ordered the Police to allow the protesters to return to the Park with their stuff, but the case went back to State Court The cops ignored the ruling and by late afternoon had a new one that exonerated their eviction.
CBS reported, "A New York judge has upheld the city's dismantling of the Occupy Wall Street encampment, saying that the protesters' first amendment rights don't entitle them to camp out indefinitely in the plaza.
State judge Michael Stallman   (A liberal who had worked for a liberal City Council member) on Tuesday denied a motion by the demonstrators seeking to be allowed back into the park with their tents and sleeping bags.
CBS News legal analyst Andrew Cohen reports that the key paragraph in the judge's ruling is as follows: "Here, movements have not demonstrated that the rules adopted by the owners of the property, concededly after the demonstrations began, are not reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions permitted under the First Amendment."
"Time, place and manner" restrictions on speech like the demonstrators had petitioned against have a long history in American law, going back at least to the 1960s. It is unlikely that this ruling will be overturned on appeal, if it is appealed at all.
"At the end of the day, if this movement is only tied to Liberty Plaza, we are going to lose. We're going to lose," said Sandra Nurse, one of the organizers, referring to another name for the park. "Right now the most important thing is coming together as a body and just reaffirm why we're here in the first place."
The predictable verdict by a politically connected Judge reminded me of an old joke that Lenny Bruce often told,   "In the halls of Justice, the only justice is in the Halls."
The Post reported, "With tensions simmering all day, demonstrators had spent hours surrounding the now-closed park near Wall Street as they waited for the judge's decision.
Hours after the city forcibly evicted protesters, scrubbed down the park and closed it, Occupy Wall Street protests scattered across downtown Manhattan."
Earlier in the day protesters thought they had a new space to occupy, a mile away at 6th Avenue and Canal Street on a property owned by Trinity Church, a religious institution with vast holdings in Downtown Manhattan. They called for a new mobilization at the site, an unused playground that is a now site for new construction.
Hundreds showed up with banners but so did the police in riot gear. Soon a "White Shirt" commander named Esposito arrived to take command. He ordered the occupiers off the site. Apparently someone else at Trinity had reneged on the earlier invite, or so it was said.  
Some of the protesters left but at least 16 were swiftly arrested with one set of cops telling us to get off the sidewalks and others to get on them. Some journalists were also taken into custody. One woman in a wheel chair was let go.
Most of the demonstrators left the site and headed back to the Park which, later, let some back in after searching them, They are being told they cannot sleep there.
Clearly there is a new challenge here--to build the movement without a residential base. Two New York churches are now offering out of town demonstrators places to stay and others will no doubt extend hospitality.
Other sites may be found, but their "liberated zone" has been lost for now.
Richard Trumka, the head of the AFL-CIO issued a statement calling for more protests on November 17th   when some activists vow to shut Wall Street down. The police action will do doubt incite more support for this international day of action.
His statement seemed unusually militant:
"They can take away the tarps and the tents. But they can't slow down the Occupy Wall Street movement. The 99% is undaunted. Occupy Wall Street's message has already created a new day. This movement has created a seismic shift in our national debate--from austerity and cuts to jobs, inequality and our broken economic system."
So, clearly, despite the loss of power over the Park, this movement will move on. The question remains: where is it moving---and how can bring the large number of Americans who support it along?
When the police were doing their thing, no doubt,   only following orders, demonstrators chanted, "This is What Democracy Looks Like" and "No Riot here, take off your riot gear." 
News Dissector Danny Schechter covers OWS daily on his News Dissector.com blog. He also writes for Al Jazeera. He made the film Plunder about Wall Street crime and writes regularly for OpEd News.




Submitters Bio:

News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at Amazon.com. See Newsdisssector.org/store.htm.

This Is What Revolution Looks Like:Chris Hedges

By (about the author)


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

Our decaying corporate regime has strutted in Portland, Oakland and New York with their baton-wielding cops into a fool's paradise. They think they can clean up "the mess" -- always employing the language of personal hygiene and public security -- by making us disappear. They think we will all go home and accept their corporate nation, a nation where crime and government policy have become indistinguishable, where nothing in America, including the ordinary citizen, is deemed by those in power worth protecting or preserving, where corporate oligarchs awash in hundreds of millions of dollars are permitted to loot and pillage the last shreds of collective wealth, human capital and natural resources, a nation where the poor do not eat and workers do not work, a nation where the sick die and children go hungry, a nation where the consent of the governed and the voice of the people is a cruel joke. 

Get back into your cages, they are telling us. Return to watching the lies, absurdities, trivia and celebrity gossip we feed you in 24-hour cycles on television. Invest your emotional energy in the vast system of popular entertainment. Run up your credit card debt. Pay your loans. Be thankful for the scraps we toss. Chant back to us our phrases about democracy, greatness and freedom. Vote in our rigged political theater. Send your young men and women to fight and die in useless, unwinnable wars that provide corporations with huge profits.  Stand by mutely as our bipartisan congressional super committee, either through consensus or cynical dysfunction, plunges you into a society without basic social services including unemployment benefits. Pay for the crimes of Wall Street. 

The rogues' gallery of Wall Street crooks, such as Lloyd Blankfein at Goldman Sachs, Howard Milstein at New York Private Bank & Trust, the media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, the Koch brothers and Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase & Co., no doubt think it's over. They think it is back to the business of harvesting what is left of America to swell their personal and corporate fortunes. But they no longer have any concept of what is happening around them. They are as mystified and clueless about these uprisings as the courtiers at Versailles or in the Forbidden City who never understood until the very end that their world was collapsing. The billionaire mayor of New York, enriched by a deregulated Wall Street, is unable to grasp why people would spend two months sleeping in an open park and marching on banks. He says he understands that the Occupy protests are "cathartic" and "entertaining," as if demonstrating against the pain of being homeless and unemployed is a form of therapy or diversion, but that it is time to let the adults handle the affairs of state. Democratic and Republican mayors, along with their parties, have sold us out. But for them this is the beginning of the end.

The historian Crane Brinton in his book, "Anatomy of a Revolution," laid out the common route to revolution. The preconditions for successful revolution, Brinton argued, are discontent that affects nearly all social classes, widespread feelings of entrapment and despair, unfulfilled expectations, a unified solidarity in opposition to a tiny power elite, a refusal by scholars and thinkers to continue to defend the actions of the ruling class, an inability of government to respond to the basic needs of citizens, a steady loss of will within the power elite itself and defections from the inner circle, a crippling isolation that leaves the power elite without any allies or outside support and, finally, a financial crisis. Our corporate elite, as far as Brinton was concerned, has amply fulfilled these preconditions. But it is Brinton's next observation that is most worth remembering. Revolutions always begin, he wrote, by making impossible demands that if the government met would mean the end of the old configurations of power. The second stage, the one we have entered now, is the unsuccessful attempt by the power elite to quell the unrest and discontent through physical acts of repression.


I have seen my share of revolts, insurgencies and revolutions, from the guerrilla conflicts in the 1980s in Central America to the civil wars in Algeria, the Sudan and Yemen, to the Palestinian uprising to the revolutions in East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Romania as well as the wars in the former Yugoslavia. George Orwell wrote that all tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but that once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force. We have now entered the era of naked force. The vast million-person bureaucracy of the internal security and surveillance state will not be used to stop terrorism but to try and stop us.

Despotic regimes in the end collapse internally. Once the foot soldiers who are ordered to carry out acts of repression, such as the clearing of parks or arresting or even shooting demonstrators, no longer obey orders, the old regime swiftly crumbles. When the aging East German dictator Erich Honecker was unable to get paratroopers to fire on protesting crowds in Leipzig, the regime was finished. The same refusal to employ violence doomed the communist governments in Prague and Bucharest. I watched in December 1989 as the army general that the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu had depended on to crush protests condemned him to death on Christmas Day. Tunisia's Ben Ali and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak lost power once they could no longer count on the security forces to fire into crowds.

The process of defection among the ruling class and security forces is slow and often imperceptible. These defections are advanced through a rigid adherence to nonviolence, a refusal to respond to police provocation and a verbal respect for the blue-uniformed police, no matter how awful they can be while wading into a crowd and using batons as battering rams against human bodies. The resignations of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan's deputy, Sharon Cornu, and the mayor's legal adviser and longtime friend, Dan Siegel, in protest over the clearing of the Oakland encampment are some of the first cracks in the edifice. "Support Occupy Oakland, not the 1% and its government facilitators," Siegel tweeted after his resignation. 
There were times when I entered the ring as a boxer and knew, as did the spectators, that I was woefully mismatched. Ringers, experienced boxers in need of a tuneup or a little practice, would go to the clubs where semi-pros fought, lie about their long professional fight records, and toy with us. Those fights became about something other than winning. They became about dignity and self-respect. You fought to say something about who you were as a human being. These bouts were punishing, physically brutal and demoralizing. You would get knocked down and stagger back up. You would reel backwards from a blow that felt like a cement block. You would taste the saltiness of your blood on your lips. Your vision would blur. Your ribs, the back of your neck and your abdomen would ache. Your legs would feel like lead. But the longer you held on, the more the crowd in the club turned in your favor.

No one, even you, thought you could win. But then, every once in a while, the ringer would get overconfident. He would get careless. He would become a victim of his own hubris. And you would find deep within yourself some new burst of energy, some untapped strength and, with the fury of the dispossessed, bring him down. I have not put on a pair of boxing gloves for 30 years. But I felt this twinge of euphoria again in my stomach this morning, this utter certainty that the impossible is possible, this realization that the mighty will fall. 

Cross-posted from Truthdig

Chris Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio