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We Don't Need No Stinkin' Press Passes

 

By John Grant


A Comment on Occupy Wall Street's First Statement

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

While this statement by Occupy Wall Street is a powerful list of grievances against capitalism, it fails to even once mention the word "war." This is a significant failing, and cannot have been an oversight. The activists in Liberty Park and in cities across the country, if they want to make this a mass movement to confront the corporate domination of American politics and society, must be willing to confront head on the reality that the corporate elite have made the U.S. into the world's greatest war-monger. It is not just "colonialism," an outmoded term, that is the problem. It is a vast web of imperialism, imposed by a war machine that is bigger and costlier than all the rest of the world's armies combined, and it is the single biggest reason that this country is descending into a state of social and economic decay and decline.

The Sluts Shall Lead Us: Before, During and After the Deluge on the Brooklyn Bridge

 

By Charles M. Young

 

I took the subway down to Zuccotti Park on Saturday morning to go on the Slut Walk. Since it was on the official schedule of Occupy Wall Street, and since I had heard it promoted by various members of the Ad Hoc Caucus of Non-Male Identified Individuals, I figured that the Slut Walk was an official Occupy Wall Street event. I envisioned a few dozen Non-Male Identified Individuals raising a ruckus and making a spectacle and wreaking havoc in and around Zuccotti Park.

Instead I found the park to be stuffed with an unusually large proportion of Male Bodied Individuals of unknown identification who were preoccupied with revolutionary pursuits other than the Slut Walk, which was nowhere in evidence. I asked several Male Bodied Individuals where I might find the Slut Walk, and none of them knew.

A Poem: Weak Bridge Ahead

Weak Bridge Ahead

 

By Gary Lindorff


Wall Street Buys Protection from the NYPD

 

By Dave LIndorff

 

It's no accident that the New York Police have been so assiduous in their protection of the big banking establishments that are housed on Wall Street and environs.

 

The banks don't like paying taxes, but they know how to buy the protection they need, as <a href="http://www.jpmorganchase.com/corporate/Home/article/ny-13.htm?TB_iframe=true&height=580&width=850">this page from JPMorgan Chase's website</a> makes clear.

 

It boasts that the company has bought the police a bunch of toys for their squad cars, and that is has financed spying software (they call it "security monitoring software") for the NYPD's main data center. 

 

Heroes to Pigs: The Shapeshifting of New York's Cops Took Only 24 Hours of Porcine Behavior

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

 

Probably the biggest accomplishment of the Occupy Wall Street movement to date has not been the light these courageous and indomitable young activists have shined on the gangsters of Wall Street, as important as that has been. Rather it has been how they have exposed the police of the nation’s financial capital as the centurions of the ruling class, and not the gauzy “people’s heroes” that they have been posing as since some of their number, along with many more firefighters, nobly gave their lives trying to rescue people in the World Trade Center towers on 9-11.

 

Pick-Pocket: Ignored Costs of Death Penalty

 

Linn Washington

 

The controversial execution of Troy Davis last week in Georgia ignited outrage around the world while injecting renewed attention across America into the propriety of the death penalty, particularly in Davis-like cases where there is evidence of innocence or serious reason for doubt about guilt.

Despite the outrage over the execution of Davis though, an overarching reality is that most people don’t give a rusty-darn about debates over the death penalty.

Most folks don’t give a flick about conceptions of justice because they are just trying to make it, often barely, day-to-day.

13 Ways To Look at the Occupation of Wall Street

 

By Charles M. Young

 

1) I had brunch on Sunday in Chinatown with a friend who works in local television news. He complained that the Occupy Wall Street people had sent over video that they said showed demonstrators getting maced. It didn’t show any such thing, my friend insisted. After brunch I walked over to occupied Zuccotti Park (two blocks north of Wall Street) and told somebody at the Media table that they had to be careful about claiming more for their video than it actually showed. Then I went home and looked at the video, and it clearly showed several young women, who presented no physical threat, getting wrapped up by police in a plastic net and pepper sprayed in the face.

Everyday is Flag Day

 

By Ron Ridenour


Europeans Incensed Over Execution of Troy Davis

 

By Linn Washington, Jr.

 

 

London -– Hearing hard-core Republicans applaud the use of the death penalty during a recent televised forum for GOP presidential candidates incensed Sara Callaway, an African-American living in London for the past 25-years.

 

“It was like a declaration of war against all of us committed to justice,” said Callaway, one of over two hundred people who gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in London’s upscale Mayfair section for a silent, candle-lit vigil protesting the execution of U.S. death row inmate Troy Davis.

 

Judge Freeman Joins Rogue's Gallery of Political Killer Jurists

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

 

There is a whole rogues’ gallery of charlatans, cowards, racists and liars involved in the 22-year lynching of Troy Davis, the black man who whose life was summarily terminated by the state of Georgia and by the United States of America last night, but one of them, Chatham County Superior Court Judge Penny Freesmann, will have a special place of honor in the growing pantheon of criminal jurists who have overseen the execution of innocent men in the course of America’s bloody legal history.

 

Some Resonance Please!

By Charles M. Young



America is Diseased: Mocking the Dying, Profiting off the Work of Uninsured Artists

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

The first thing that needs to be said to the heartless boneheads who, at the last Republican presidential debate, cheered at the idea of letting a hypothetical 30-year-old cancer victim who hadn’t bought health insurance die, is that this is no mere  hypothetical situation. The second thing that needs to be said is that most such people in real life don’t “refuse to get” health insurance. They either cannot afford it (and their employer doesn’t provide it), or they are rejected by insurers because of pre-existing conditions.

 

Denmark's Election: The Left Wins, but Denmark's Militarism Continues Unabated

 

By Ron Ridenour

 

 

It was with joy that I watched television coverage of election day, September 15. According to all the nine political parties running, and the mass media, there were no wars in the world and Denmark no longer was involved in three wars—Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya--alongside the USA.

 

In fact, all through the three-week long election campaign, none of the parties spoke of war, or of that most fundamental of moral questions a society must ask: do we kill other people who do not attack us?

 

Protecting Americans? President Obama's Shameful Silence in the Face of Israel's Murder of a Young American

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

Among the many shameful and cowardly things that President Barack Obama has and has not done, few can rival his complete unwillingness to express outrage at the Israeli military’s murder of a young American teen executed at close range during the Israeli Defense (sic) Force assault on the Turkish-flagged aid ship the Mavi Marmara in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea back on May 31, 2010.

 

Furkan Dogan, born in the US to Turkish parents, both legal residents of the U.S., and educated in the US, was a volunteer on the Mavi Marmara, the flag ship in a six boat aid flotilla that tried to sail  with humanitarian aid from Turkey to the Israeli prison colony known as Gaza only to be stormed and captured and pirated to Israel.

 

War Spending: The Idea Whose Name Cannot be Mentioned at The Times

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

When you are the New York Times, or in this case, one of the only real liberal columnists working for the Times anymore, there are apparently some things you just cannot mention.

 

How else to explain how a seemingly intelligent economist like Paul Krugman can scorch the Republicans in Congress and President Obama for failing to deal with the crisis of joblessness and deepening economic collapse in the U.S., but never once mention the endless and pointless wars into which the country is pouring hundreds of billions of dollars a year?

 

Here’s Krugman:

 

Nothing to Celebrate: This Labor Day, don't Party, Organize and Raise Hell!

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

 

This faux workers’ holiday on Monday is not a day for celebrating for American workers.

 

The official unemployment rate, just released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.htm), showed unemployment in July to be 9.1%, which is exactly the same as the rate was in June, and which is an increase from the months in the spring. But that’s not even the real picture.

 

Return of the Malaise: Up to Our Asses in Alligators

 

By John Grant

 

It’s a sad reality of our day that denial and bullshit seem the most useful talents to getting elected and to govern in America.

Bullshit is meant in the sense used by Harvard philosopher Harry Frankfurt in his popular book titled On Bullshit. He defines bullshit as language with no basis in truth or fact focused on obtaining power. A liar knows the truth and tries to sell falsehoods; bullshitters simply don’t care what the truth is.

Some of the most popular candidates for the Republican Party (think Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman) are classic bullshitters who completely disdain rational analysis. For them it’s OK to say anything, like Perry and others' denial of evolution and global warming. Reason and responsible history are for the weak.

Vermonters Build a Direct Action Anti-Nuke Movement They Hope Will Go National

By Dan DeWalt


Newfane, VT -- A classic David vs. Goliath battle is taking shape in the courtroom and in the streets and fields of Vermont as Entergy Nuclear of Louisiana tries to overturn Vermont law in the federal courts. 


The state has thoughtfully and repeatedly voted no to the extension of Entergy's Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor's license, which is due to expire on March 21, 2012. Results of Town Meeting votes, a 26-4 vote by the Vermont Senate, and a pivotal gubernatorial race all have shown that the state does not see Vermont Yankee as a reliable or economical partner for its energy future. Forty years' accumulation of radioactive waste on the banks of the Connecticut River is enough.

Cynthia McKinney's Anti-War Tour Comes to Philadelphia

 

by Ron Ridenour

 

Leading black-skinned representatives of the “hegemon”, as Cynthia McKinney calls President Barack Obama and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, could hardly expect to win any votes from the standing-room-only crowd at her anti-war tour Friday night at Calvary Church in Philadelphia.

 

Speaking before nearly 300 people--two-thirds of them black, the remainder white and hispanic--in her T-shirt proclaiming that “war kills”, the former U.S. congresswoman said: 

 

“We need someone in the White House who thinks like us and not just one who looks like us. We have to act like we’re free if we want to be free. We have to liberate ourselves from war-mongering political parties.”

 

TCBH! Staff Tell the Philadelphia Inquirer to Start Acting Like a Real Newspaper

 

Journalists from ThisCantBeHappening! took on the Philadelphia Inquirer, the nation’s third oldest surviving daily, this morning, conducting a leafletting “happening” in front of the paper’s soon-to-be-sold headquarters building on Broad Street.  

 

A one-page flyer, written in old English and featuring a replica of the masthead of Benjamin Franklin’s original one-page broadsheet, the Pennsylvania Gazette, accused the oft re-sold and steadily downsized and gutted Inquirer of abandoning its Fourth Estate role in favor of entertainment and profits.

 

Punishments Don't Fit the Crime: In Pennsylvania, It Costs $2 for 'Access to Justice,' (But You Still Might Not Get It)

 

By Dave Lindorff

There is a basic concept when it comes to justice that the punishment should fit the crime. It’s a concept that in Law-and-Order America has long vanished. Some states, like California, have done this with brutish “Three-Strikes-You’re-Out” policies that have ended up sentencing young men to life in prison for something like stealing a video, because it was the perpetrator’s third crime. Others, like Florida, have done it by sentencing a pre-teen kid to life in prison for a killing because he was tried as an adult.

Special Ops: The New Face of War

 

By John Grant


Reading Nietzsche in Starbucks

By John Grant

When the human waste of politics gets to piling up so deep you want to run screaming into the night, a good remedy is to fall back to the powerful historical minds and immerse yourself in some great writing. I ran into this dilemma last Sunday, after a morning of reading The New York Times about the continuing blackmail antics of Rep. John Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell and their merry band of Teabag Republican cutthroats.

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