Eurozone crisis: countries may be ‘pushed out’ of single currency

From The Guardian UK:

Debt crisis intensifies as the Netherlands and France come under pressure from rising cost of borrowing, Tuesday 15 November 2011

The prospect of a eurozone breakup intensified on Tuesday night as borrowing costs around the region soared and the Dutch prime minister said it should be possible to expel some members from the currency union.

Investors are rapidly losing hope that a solution to the sovereign debt crisis will be found, and their fear was demonstrated by rising bond yields – the rate of interest governments have to pay to borrow – across almost all single-currency countries. The Dutch premier, Mark Rutte, stoked fears that a collapse could become a reality as he aired the prospect of countries being ejected, albeit as a last resort.

“We would like countries to be able to be pushed out of the eurozone,” Rutte said on a visit to London, adding member countries must “put out the fire” of the debt crisis. As analysts warned of “terror taking hold”, even some of those countries until now regarded as safe havens, such as the Netherlands, came under pressure as fears about countries’ creditworthiness spread from peripheral countries such as Greece into Europe‘s core.

One bond expert described this as the most worrying day yet in the crisis. Mike Riddell, manager of M&G’s international sovereign bond fund, said France was now suffering a “full-blown run” on its debt, with investors dumping French bonds to move their money to safer havens. Riddell added that the credit default swap (CDS) market – where investors in effect bet on the prospects of countries going bust – now indicates that the chance of France losing its coveted top AAA rating is a near certainty.

“Even the Netherlands, which the market perceives to be the second strongest eurozone sovereign, is coming under

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Kansas City Bishop Makes Deal to Avoid More Criminal Charges

From The New York Times:

By and
Published: November 15, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In a deal to avoid a second round of criminal charges, a Roman Catholic bishop in Kansas City has agreed to meet monthly with a county prosecutor to detail every suspicious episode involving abuse of a child in his diocese for the next five years.

Bishop Robert Finn spoke with other clergy members at the annual fall assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore on Monday.

The bishop, Robert W. Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, was indicted in October by a grand jury in Jackson County for failure to report a priest accused of taking pornographic pictures of girls. Bishop Finn is the first American prelate to face indictment on charges of mishandling an abuse case.

The agreement announced on Tuesday between Bishop Finn and the prosecuting attorney of neighboring Clay County, Daniel White, leaves the bishop open to prosecution for misdemeanor charges for five years, if he does not continue to meet with the prosecutor and report all episodes. But victims’ advocates criticized the deal as cozy and ineffectual, compared with previous agreements between bishops and prosecutors.

The investigations in Kansas City stem from the bishop’s supervision of the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, who has been accused of taking photographs of the crotches of girls as young as 6 in local parishes and homes over many years. The bishop learned of the photos last December after a technician fixing the priest’s computer expressed serious alarm, but the diocese did not turn them over to the police until May. In that period, Father Ratigan is accused of taking more lewd photographs of girls at places including a church-sponsored Easter egg hunt.

Mr. White said in an interview that the agreement would build accountability and protect children, saying that a four-month grand jury investigation showed that “good people were having difficulty making good choices.”

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NYPD Assaults Man & Punches Woman in Face at OWS / Liberty Plaza

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Perpetual War For Perpetual Peace: Australians divided over more US troops Down Under

We have always been at war with East Asia… Haven’t we?

From The Global Post:

If and when President Obama announces an increased US troop presence in Australia, all eyes will be on China

November 15, 2011

BRISBANE, Australia — When President Lyndon Baines Johnson went looking for more support for US military escalation in Vietnam, newly installed Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt announced that his country would go “all the way with LBJ.”

The slogan had appeal in late-’60s Australia, which at the time subscribed to the American concern about the rapid spread of Communism should South Vietnam be overtaken by the communist North.

Ever since the British ceded Singapore to the Japanese in 1942, Australia has sought protection from perceived aggressors to its north, particularly Indonesia — the world’s most-populous Muslim nation, situated less than an hour’s flight from Darwin.

Having provided military support for all major US-led campaigns this century, including Korea, both wars in Iraq, and — despite widespread public opposition — Afghanistan, Australians could be forgiven for thinking that they’ve been going all the way with LBJ ever since.

When a report emerged on Nov. 11, Veterans’ Day, that President Barack Obama might soon announce a new, permanent US military base Down Under, reactions ranged from sullen resignation to outrage to tacit approval.

Citing “heightened concern about China,” the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper wrote that the US would establish a Marine Corps in Darwin, in the country’s far north. Obama would make the announcement during an official visit to Australia this week that includes a stopover in Darwin, the first by a US president.

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Major Conflict of Interests: Scalia and Thomas dine with healthcare law challengers as court takes case

Time to remove Scalia and Thomas from the Supreme Court as they are obviously corrupt.

From The LA Times:,0,7978224.story

By James Oliphant
November 14, 2011

The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors to consider the politically divisive question of whether it would hear a challenge to President Obama’s healthcare law, two of its justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, were feted at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court.

The occasion was last Thursday, when all nine justices met for a conference to pore over the petitions for review. One of the cases at issue was a suit brought by 26 states challenging the sweeping healthcare overhaul passed by Congress last year, a law that has been a rallying cry for conservative activists nationwide.

The justices agreed to hear the suit; indeed, a landmark 5 1/2-hour argument is expected in March, and the outcome is likely to further roil the 2012 presidential race, which will be in full swing by the time the court’s decision is released.

The lawyer who will stand before the court and argue that the law should be thrown out is likely to be Paul Clement, who served as U.S. solicitor general during the George W. Bush administration.

Clement’s law firm, Bancroft PLLC, was one of almost two dozen firms that helped sponsor the annual dinner of the Federalist Society, a longstanding group dedicated to advocating conservative legal principles. Another firm that sponsored the dinner, Jones Day, represents one of the trade associations that challenged the law, the National Federation of Independent Business.

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Occupy Wall Street will fight on

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OWS banned from camping at Zuccotti Park

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GetEQUAL TX confronts Corrections Corporations of America

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Occupy Wall Street: you can’t evict an idea whose time has come

From The Guardian UK:

The police may arrest us, force us from Liberty Plaza, but the movement of the 99% cannot be suppressed

JM Smucker, Rebecca Manski, Karanja Gaçuça, Linnea M Palmer Paton, Kanene Holder and William Jesse, Tuesday 15 November 2011

Two months ago, just 200 of us set up an encampment at Wall Street’s doorstep. Since then, Occupy Wall Street has become a national and even international symbol – with similarly styled occupations popping up in cities and towns across America and around the world. A growing popular movement has significantly altered the national narrative about our economy, our democracy, and our future.

Late into last night, we on the Occupy Wall Street PR team were reflecting on the successes, challenges and the aims of our movement up to this point. Over the weekend, some 20 writers sent us their thoughts on their experience with direct democracy and the evolution of the movement. We sat in awe for a moment at the various perspectives, backgrounds and motives of each OWS contributor and their journey through this burgeoning movement.

At exactly 12.54am – as the PR working group was culling final articles for this very editorial page, the Outreach team nearby was developing orientation materials for the new initiative “Occupy Your Block”, and the Movement Building working group engaged in a conference call about national plans for the Day of Action on 17 November – an alert rippled room to room. At 1.20am, our phones started buzzing off the tables, overloaded with text messages. Three blocks away, and within seconds, we knew that hundreds of riot police were arriving, dump-trucks rolling in, subway stops shutting down, and the Brooklyn bridge had been closed. Via Twitter we knew our fellow Occupiers were chanting, “This is what a police state looks like.” Half the people in the off-site office space ran to Liberty Square, leaving their laptops, their wallets, their phones even, behind.

PR working group member Jason Ahmadi texted the team from a police van full of 13 arrestees, and we soon discovered that NYC council member Ydanis Rodríguez had been arrested and was bleeding from the head. One after another text message alerted us to the effect that those not yet arrested at Liberty Square were being chased up Broadway, towards Chinatown. Some of our people headed to Foley Square by City Hall, some to Washington Square, and others to Judson Memorial Church, where so many of our meetings have been held these past weeks.

Occupiers undeterred by the unprovoked brutality rained on them by police instantly regrouped and launched a fresh General Assembly, which took place at Foley square. More General Assemblies are planned throughout the day. An interfaith gathering planned for 9.00am aimed to offer comfort and encouragement to the occupiers.

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Bachmann Endorser Grant Says “It Is Dominion We Are After. World Conquest”

From Right Wing Watch:

by Kyle Mantyla on November 15, 2011 – 4:27pm

For months now, all we have been hearing is that there is no such thing as “Dominionism” and that nobody on the Religious Right has ever even heard of it and even if it did exist, it was something believed only by a tiny minority of activists who have no ties to the Religious Right or leading Republicans.

Grant, it should be noted, reportedly supports the death penalty for homosexuals and just so happens to be a pretty vocal advocate of Dominionism:

Which is all very confusing, because here is a video of Dr. George Grant endorsing Michele Bachmann for president:

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Bishops Open Drive to Institute Christo-Fascist Sharia

Time to stand up to the Christo-Fascists and tell them loudly to fuck off. 

No more Christo-Fascist oppression of women and LGBT/T people.

No more pandering to special interest groups li8ke Catholics when it come to passing out “religious exemptions” that permit them to exercise their bigotry and discrimination.

Tax the Churches and the “priests”.

From The New York Times:

Published: November 14, 2011

BALTIMORE — The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops opened a new front in their fight against abortion and same-sex marriageon Monday, recasting their opposition as a struggle for “religious liberty” against a government and a culture that are infringing on the church’s rights.

The bishops have expressed increasing exasperation as more states have legalized same-sex marriage, and the Justice Department has refused to go to bat for the Defense of Marriage Act, legislation that established the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.

“We see in our culture a drive to neuter religion,” Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the bishops conference, said in a news conference Monday at the bishops’ annual meeting in Baltimore. He added that “well-financed, well-oiled sectors” were trying “to push religion back into the sacristy.”

Archbishop Dolan also came prepared to answer questions about the sexual-abuse scandal at Penn State University, which has reminded so many observers of the Catholic Church’s own abuse scandal. He said that the accusations against a former university football coach were a reminder that sexual abuse is a universal problem that affects most institutions.

“Every time that once again takes over the headlines we once again bow our heads in shame,” the archbishop said. “We know what you’re going through, and you can count on our prayers.”

The bishops are struggling to reclaim the role they played in the 1980s and into the ’90s as a nationally recognized voice on the moral dimension of public policy issues like economic inequality, workers’ rights, immigration and nuclear weapons proliferation. Since then, however, they have reordered their priorities, with abortion and homosexuality eclipsing poverty and economic injustice.

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Brookfield Properties Security Calls Me a Faggot at Zuccotti Park

Not me but a reporter. Goes to show though how the corporate pigs are not only engaged in class war against the working people and the poor but how they are racist, homophobic and misogynistic to boot…

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Luke Rudkowski explains what went down during Occupy Wall Street eviction

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OWS witness: Brutal lockdown in Zuccotti Park to fuel new protests

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Occupy Wall Street: police violence reveals a corrupt system

From The Guardian UK:

Better-off Occupy Wall Street protesters are learning something about the relationship between citizen and state
, Tuesday 15 November 2011

At four in the morning in lower Manhattan, as what remains of the Occupy Wall Street encampment is loaded into trash compacters, some protesters have still not given up on the police. Kevin Sheneberger tries to engage one NYPD officer in a serious debate about the role of law enforcement in public protest. Then he sees them loading his friend’s tent into the back of a rubbish truck. Behind him, a teenage girl holds a hastily written sign saying: “NYPD, we trusted you – you were supposed to protect us!”

The sentiment is a familiar one. Across Europe, over a year of demonstrations, occupations and civil disobedience, anti-austerity protesters have largely shifted from declaring solidarity with the police – as fellow workers whose jobs and pensions are also under threat – to outrage and anger at state violence against unarmed protesters. Following last month’s police brutality in Oakland, and today’s summary eviction of the Occupy Wall Street camp, American activists too are reaching the conclusion that “police protect the 1%”.

The notion that law enforcement is there to protect a wealthy elite from the rest of the population is not news to those protesters from deprived and ethnic minority backgrounds, many of whom have been subject to intimidation in their communities for years, but for those from more privileged backgrounds, the first spurt of pepper spray to the face is an important education in the nature of the relationship between state and citizen in the west. “Who do you guys work for?” Shouts one Manhattan protester, as police load arrestees into a van. “You work for JP Morgan Bank!”

In times of economic and democratic crisis, it makes sense for faltering governments to use police violence and the threat of arrest to bully citizens into compliance. In the context of protest, however, police harassment has three other, important effects. The first and most important of these is consciousness-raising.

The spectacle of police beating and brutalising unarmed civilians for the crime of sitting on the pavement and demanding a fairer world brings home the point of the struggle to public and protesters alike. The second is galvanising: attacks on peaceful protesters rarely make the police or government look anything but weak and cowardly, and have tended only to increase public support for civil disobedience. “This is going to explode now,” 26-year-old Katie tells me, as we watch demonstrators marched out of Zuccotti Park one by one. “They don’t realise what they’ve done.”

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The Police State Makes Its Move: Retaining One’s Humanity in the Face of Tyranny

From Common Dreams:

by Phil Rockstroh
Published on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 by

For days now, we have endured demonstrably false propaganda that the fallen soldiers of U.S. wars sacrificed their lives for “our freedoms.” Yet, as that noxious nonsense still lingers in the air, militarized police have invaded OWS sites in numerous cities, including Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, and, in the boilerplate description of the witless courtesans of the corporate media, with the mission to “evict the occupiers”.

These actions should make this much clear: The U.S. military and the police exist to protect the 1%. At this point, the ideal of freedom will be carried by those willing to resist cops and soldiers. There have been many who have struggled and often died for freedom–but scant few were clad in uniforms issued by governments.

Freedom rises despite cops and soldiers not because of them. And that is exactly why those who despise freedom propagate military hagiography and fetishize those wearing uniforms–so they can give the idea of liberty lip service as all the while they order it crushed.

When anyone tells you that dead soldiers and veterans died for your freedom, it is your duty to occupy reality and inform them of just how mistaken they are. And if you truly cherish the concepts of freedom and liberty, you just might be called on to face mindless arrays of fascist cops and lose your freedom, for a time, going to jail, so others might, at some point, gain their freedom.

I was born in Birmingham Alabama, at slightly past the mid-point of the decade of the 1950s. Many of my earliest memories involve the struggle for civil rights that was transpiring on the streets of my hometown.

My father was employed at a scrap metal yard but also worked as a freelance photojournalist who hawked his work to media photo syndicates such as Black Star who then sold his wares to the major newsmagazines of the day. A number of the iconic photographs of the era were captured by his Nikon camera e.g., of vicious police dogs unleashed on peaceful demonstrators; of demonstrators cartwheeled down city streets by the force of fire hoses; of Dr. King and other civil rights marchers kneeled in prayer before arrays of Police Chief Bull Connor’s thuggish ranks of racist cops.

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The Paradigm Shifts

From In These Times:

Occupy protests have focused the nation’s attention on inequality. But how can this movement be sustained?

BY James Thindwa
November 15, 2011

The day after “Occupy Wall Street” began on September 17, GOP budget chief and austerity ideologue Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) warned on Fox News: “Class warfare will simply divide this country more, [it] will attack job creators.”

The two events were not related (the media was ignoring the protesters), but their contrasting messages reaffirmed a reality of American life: The elites—the real instigators of class warfare—inhabit a different universe than the rest of us. In that universe, they have gorged on ill-gotten riches while skillfully blocking serious debate about rising inequality and worsening poverty.

What worries Ryan and the 1% is that “divide-and-conquer” might be running its course, and the majority class might unite around some dangerous ideas—like tackling inequality; taking on banks; bringing Wall Street criminals to justice; taxing the rich; privileging job creation over deficit reduction; removing big money from politics; and boosting government investment in infrastructure, healthcare, education and anti-poverty programs.

The establishment is worried not about the absence of clarity of message, as media elites insist, but rather the movement’s potentially broad reach. Occupy is a vessel for a spectrum of grievances that could unite heretofore divided struggles.

Though the Occupy movement is only a starting point, it has already animated our political discourse. It is now common knowledge that in 2010, 400 individuals possessed more wealth than 155 million of their fellow citizens.

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Court order allows Wall Street protesters’ return to evicted camp

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The spiritual heritage of the Occupy movement

The Universal Unitarians are perhaps the most worth while religious organization in this country.

From UU World:

The Occupy protests have much in common with political movements of the 1840s, 1890s, and 1930s—including a spiritual dimension.

By Daniel McKanan

Almost two hundred years ago, shoemakers, tailors, and other “working men” gathered at Philadelphia’s First Universalist Church to protest the increasing inequality of their society. Wealth was becoming more concentrated, workshops were growing into factories, and artisans could no longer hope to rise from apprentice to journeyman to master craftsman. “When we look around us, my fellow workmen,” declared leader William Heighton, “we behold men on every side, enjoying wealth in all its luxuriant profusion . . . while we, comparatively, receive nothing but the crumbs which fall from their tables.” The situation betrayed the revolutionary promise that all people are created equal, and Heighton proposed a revolutionary solution. He called on workers to educate themselves, to join a federation of unions, and to vote only for other workers. The resulting “Working Men’s Party” was the first of its kind in the world, and it prodded the major parties to expand voting rights and create the public school system.

Heighton would fit right in at the “Occupy” demonstrations in cities across the United States. Once again, Americans are standing up to declare that economic inequality is a grave threat to democracy. Once again, people who have been disempowered by economic changes are finding new power by coming together, sharing their stories, and promising to work together. And once again, they are claiming a new identity that underscores their common cause: the “Working Men” have become the “Ninety-Nine Percent.”

Heighton’s Working Men and today’s Occupiers stand in a continuous tradition of struggle for economic justice. The tradition includes the Knights of Labor, the Industrial Workers of the World, and the Congress of Industrial Organizations, labor movements that challenged the traditional division of workers into specific “crafts.” It includes the Populist movement of the late nineteenth century, the Socialist party of Eugene Debs, and the Popular Front of the Great Depression, political movements that challenged the major parties’ dependence on corporate wealth. It includes “Coxey’s Army” of unemployed workers who marched from Ohio to Washington, D.C., in 1894, and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Poor People’s Campaign” of 1968, in which poor people of all races established a tent city in the nation’s capital. Remembering this history is one way to deepen our commitment to justice struggles today.

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Max Keiser: Gold & silver stake for Wall St. zombie bankers!

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