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By Dave Lindorff
The growing number of video clips and photos showing police in Darth Vader-like riot gear assaulting peaceful demonstrators with everything from tear gas and mace to truncheons, point-blank shots with beanbags and rubber bullets, and of course the ubiquitous fist and club, have made a bad joke out of claims that America is either the land of the free or the home of the brave.
The bill contains one worthy anti-terrorism provision: a reaffirmation of the president’s authority to detain and to use military force against those responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, as well as those who are members of or who support al-Qaeda, the Taliban and associated forces.
So, who's to say the next nation the President wants to bomb doesn't support those associated forces? Not that the president wouldn't go ahead and bomb anyway, not that he would ask Congress's opinion, but this "legalizes" unconstitutional war in a manner that RootsAction.org and the ACLU had supposedly stopped months ago.
Add this horror to the reasons for opposing this bill provided by http://unitedforpeace.org below:
Egyptian Military Power Grab - by Stephen Lendman
Last February, euphoric celebrations followed Mubarak's ouster. Across the Middle East and North Africa, people rejoiced.
Activist Saed Karazon told AFP:
"What happened in Egypt is not only for the Egyptian people, it is for all Arabs. The whole Arab world is going to change."
Israel Steps Up Police State Crackdowns - by Stephen Lendman
Israel never embraced democratic values. More than ever today that's true. Many Jews understand. As a result, they're voting with their feet and leaving.
Gideon Levy remarked that "(i)t's really an irony of history, because Israel was established to become a shelter to the Jewish people. Now Europe becomes a shelter for the Jews living in Israel."
In a hastily thrown together press conference Sunday afternoon, several months in the planning, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said his efforts to spread freedom beyond New York City had included the deployment of 1,000 NYPD officers to Schenectady, where they have just apprehended a young man inspired by Al Qaeda and Occupy Wall Street propaganda provided to him by the NYPD on a regular basis since September.
Tariq Aziz (centre, second row) attending a meeting about drones strikes in Waziristan, held in Islamabad, Pakistan on 28 October 2011. Three days later, the 16 year old was reported killed by a drone-launched missile.
"Veterans' Day" is used almost universally in this country as a day to honor imperialist wars and "warriors," But today we honor our friend Anthony Wagner, an Iraq veteran who spoke out against the war, including as part of the We Are Not Your Soldiers tour.
It is heart breaking when we lose someone who tried to change the world for the better, for all humanity. In his short time Anthony Wagner, World Can’t Wait activist and Iraq Veteran Against the War (served in Iraq March 2004-March 2005), tried to do just that. It is with profound sorrow that we of the Chicago World Can’t Wait chapter share that Anthony has died.
Ann Wright Detained for 5 Hours in Cairo Airport with 100-Person European Parliamentary Delegation to Gaza
This according to text messages from Ann.
Is this the new Egypt?
Email from Ann:
I'm finally out of the Cairo airport after 5 hours of being detained. Egyptian authorities told me that I was on a security risk list and they needed the approval of the US government before letting me in!!
I called the Operations Center of the State Department who then connected me to the Consul General of the US Embassy in Cairo whom I met in December, 2009 during the Gaza Freedom March (wonder if he put me on the security risk list?) He said the US government has nothing to do with whom the Egyptians keep in or out of the country.
I reminded him that I was kept out of Canada because the US put me on the NCIC list and gave the list to the Canadian government. He was suddenly silent.
We are off to Gaza tomorrow. Pam Bailey and I are the only Americans with about 100 persons from 15 countries on the Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR).
More to follow.
For consolidation with overlapping demands lists. Following straw poll is at media site coupmedia.org. Voting software prevented repeat voting from the same IP. Voting closed on Oct. 21, 2011. Total of around 1/4 million votes cast. Following that are proposed demands by Matt Taibbi, political and financial writer for the Rolling Stone, which have gained broad attention. Finally there is a proposed “one demand” to “get the money out of politics,” and additional proposed demands.
COUP MEDIA OCCUPY WALL STREET STRAW POLL DEMANDS PASSED, VOTING CLOSED ON OCT. 21, 2011 (2/3 “YES” VOTE THRESHOLD FOR INCLUSION INTO FINAL LIST)
Dear friends of Jeju Island,
Thank you so much for your efforts of solidarity with the villagers of Gangjeong! We did it! We stopped the blast of Gureombi—at least for the time being.
We’ve been informed that the Jeju police have turned down the companies’ request for blasting Gureombi for three reasons: insufficient documents, safety concerns, and the go-ahead from Jeju Governor Woo.
America's Student Loan Debt Bondage - by Stephen Lendman
Higher education today isn't like it used to be. US students face crisis conditions. Washington and lenders wage financial war on them. In addition, dozens of budget-strapped states cut funds to public colleges and universities.
Students are directly impacted by sharp tuition hikes (double-digit at some schools) and less financial aid. As a result, many thousands are entirely shut out. Others relying on student loans face permanent debt bondage.
America's Media War on OWS - Stephen Lendman
Early reporting was scant, dismissive, and offensive. Much still belittles, denigrates and marginalizes a significant movement.
Fox News claims protesters don't pay taxes or know what they want, are supported by Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei and Hugo Chavez, and represent the lunatic left wing.
By Dave Lindorff
With Congress no longer performing its sworn role of defending the US Constitution, the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee and the Partnership for Civil Justice today filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) asking the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the CIA and the National Parks Service to release "all their information on the planning of the coordinated law enforcement crackdown on Occupy protest encampments in multiple cities over the course of recent days and weeks."
You walk into a large, bright gallery full of large colorful portraits, portraits of men. They are fairly ordinary looking men. They could be from Western Asia or the "Middle East."
You approach one and look at him for an instant. He looks normal, relaxed, almost expressionless, certainly expressing no very strong emotion.
Before you can look long, your eyes are drawn to the curving lines of words swirling around the canvas like leaves in water. You read words like these, twisting your head almost upside down to follow them:
"FROM THE TIME OF MORNING PRAYERS THEY WOULD DRAW A CIRCLE ON THE WALL, AND I HAD TO STAND ON MY TOES TWO HOURS WITH MY NOSE TOUCHING THE CIRCLE."
You read on as more words flow around this one canvas. You read about dogs and cattle prods and death threats and harm to loved ones, sleep deprivation and confinement in a box and living human beings piled up like suitcases in a truck.
I'm thankful that a growing number of us reject the idea of a mysterious being to which we should be thankful, and for the concomitant growing assumption of responsibility for our own fate.
I'm thankful that there are so many people doing so many things for which I am thankful.
I'm thankful for the best family I can imagine. Scratch that. I'm thankful for a better family than I could merely imagine.
I'm thankful too for better employers than I could merely imagine.
I'm thankful that so many other people have families and friends and allies and bosses and colleagues that facilitate work that benefits us all.
I'm thankful to those who are alone and find the strength to push on productively.
I'm thankful that when friends and allies disagree they can reconcile.
I'm thankful that when activists burn out they can revive.
Criminalizing OWS Protesters - by Stephen Lendman
On November 14, the Northern California ACLU and National Lawyers Guild (NLG) sued the Oakland Police Department (OPD) in federal court for "egregious constitutional violations" against Occupy Oakland protesters.
America's Media War on Syria - by Stephen Lendman
Replicating Libya's model, Western generated uprisings began in March. Since then, Syria's been ravaged by violence. Hundreds have been killed, many more injured.
Civilians and state security forces have been affected. Conflict rages daily. Casualties mount. Regime change is planned to establish another US client state.
By John Grant
With a $55 million construction contract “imminent” for Dilworth Plaza -- home since early October for Occupy Philadelphia – the city trade unions and those in Occupy Philly determined to hold-out in the Plaza have come to a showdown.
Everything in life is a dialogue with something, and that goes for the bottom-up/top-down dialogue known as the Occupy Movement. The Philadelphia Police are the well-armed arbiter in the middle of this dialogue with the city. The dialogue, however, just got more complicated with the entrance of the job-hungry trades union.
By Dave Lindorff
The scripted excuses provided by mayors around the country to justify their police-state tactics in rousting peaceful occupation movement activists from their park-based demonstrations now stand exposed as utter nonsense, and, given their uncanny similarity in wording, can be clearly seen as having been drawn up for them by some hidden hands in Washington. the same can be said of the brutal tactics used.
David Swanson discusses his new book When the World Outlawed War in Charlottesville, Va., November 16, 2011.
Constitutionally Protected Symbolic Speech - by Stephen Lendman
Symbolic speech examples include leafleting, picketing, demonstrating, marching, speaking publicly, flag burning, displaying t-shirts, armbands, banners and placards, sit-ins, as well as camping out in public places.
With some exceptions, all have First Amendment protection. Numerous Supreme Court decisions addressed the issue. Some agreed. Others didn't.
Deepening Debt Contagion - by Stephen Lendman
With pressure building on Europe and America, something's got to give. Progressive Radio News Hour regular Bob Chapman says Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Nicolas Sarkozy search for solutions that don't exist.
Nothing's agreed on to be implemented. Austerity weakens failing Eurozone economies. French and other banks are selling bonds. Yields are rising. So isn't economic, financial and political uncertainty.
Whistleblowers To Be Honored on Nov. 21 at American U.
In recent decades, information – the lifeblood of democracy — has often been cut off from the American body politic on “national security” grounds or because insiders feel it wouldn’t be “good for the country.” To counter that benighted view, a group of ex-U.S. intelligence officials honors brave whistleblowers, this year Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack.
By Ray McGovern
Charlottesville Event with David Swanson's New Book: "When the World Outlawed War"
WHAT: David Swanson with his new book "When the World Outlawed War" and thoughts on activism past and present
WHEN: Wednesday, 7 p.m., November 16, 2011
WHERE: Random Row Books
315 West Main Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902
THIS EVENT IS A DICK CHENEY FREE ZONE
NO ALUMINUM TUBES OR YELLOW CAKE ALLOWED
Occupy City Council
At 5 p.m. on Monday rally at Lee Park.
March at 6 p.m. to City Hall.
At 6:30 everyone sign up for 3 minutes of speaking time at the 7 p.m. City Council meeting.
The first amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees that "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." But Congress has abridged freedom of the press by giving our air waves to international mega-conglomerates and granting them monopolistic control over what an overworked undereducated populace learns. Our local governments have abridged the right to peacably assemble by forbidding gatherings in public places without special limited permits. How are we to petition our government in Washington for a redress of grievances? Mail, faxes, telephones, and emails don't seem to be working. The government is radically opposing super-majority opinion on taxing the wealthy, taxing corporations, ending wars, cutting military spending, protecting the environment, enforcing laws against the powerful, criminalizing bribery and otherwise reforming the election system. Not everyone can move to Washington, D.C., to exercise their First Amendment rights. And if they did, how would their particular mis-Representative and Senators pick them out in the crowd? Local Occupy camps are a means of petitioning the national government and identifying the petitioners.
Occupy Cville is located across the street from Wells Fargo, to which the occupiers have brought their message. Wells Fargo is arguably a branch of the U.S. federal government. Wells Fargo is one of the largest institutions in the nation. It pays negative taxes. That is, it is richer after taxes than before. It receives funding from our tax dollars. To be specific, Wells Fargo has been given $18 billion in tax breaks during the past three years, resulting in its negative tax rate despite its massive profits. Our federal government is also committed to bailing out Wells Fargo when it runs into trouble and has given it tens of billions of dollars in recent years. Unlike human beings, schools, the economy, the natural environment, our health system, our grandparents, our children, the ill, the hungry, or the unclothed, Wells Fargo is guaranteed protection and assistance whenever it is in need. Wells Fargo pays for our elections, funnelling millions of our tax dollars back into the campaigns of its preferred candidates. In return, Wells Fargo is free to ruin families and neighborhoods through predatory lending, housing cost inflation, insider trading and speculation without any risk of criminal prosecution.
It is in the interests of the City of Charlottesville not to interfere with the First Amendment rights of flesh and blood human beings in assembling and petitioning our corporate-congressional complex for a redress of a great many grievances. —D.S.
Targeting Iran and Syria - by Stephen Lendman
America, key NATO partners, and Israel target both countries.
Israel wants regional rivals removed. Washington and key NATO partners want independent regimes ousted, replaced with subservient ones.
Gaza's Suffocating Siege - by Stephen Lendman
In early November, the Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement published a report titled, "Scale of Control: Israel's Continued Responsibility in the Gaza Strip."
It explained little changed after its alleged 2005 "disengagement."
By Charles M. Young
After watching the Packers beat the Vikings on Monday Night Football, I had insomnia, so it was kind of an accident that I checked my email at 2 a.m. and discovered the police were clearing Zuccotti Park. Everyone had been expecting an eviction since it all started on September 17, but not expecting it at that particular moment. On my cell phone, there were several frantic texts from Occupy Wall Street begging for community support. So I hopped on a slow subway and arrived at Chambers Street about 3 a.m.
Police State Tactics: Signs Point to a Coordinated National Program to Try and Unoccupy Wall Street and Other Cities
By Dave Lindorff
The ugly hand of the federal government is becoming increasingly suspected behind what appears to be a nationwide attempt to repress and evict the Occupation Movement.
Across the country in recent days, ultimatums have been issues to groups occupying Portland, OR, Chicago, IL, San Francisco, Dallas, TX, Atlanta, GA, and most recently New York, NY, where the Occupation Movement began on September 17. The two most recent eviction efforts, in Oakland and New York, have been the worst.