Today in Dallas

From Another Old Woman:

By Tina
November 17, 2011

Reposted with Permission

We went to the demonstrati0on scheduled for today in Dallas. At first we could not find them. So, we went by the Occupy Dallas site — it was not only empty, it was as if there never had been ANYTHING there — just an empty park. No people, no tents, no energy, no remnants, no NOTHING. All gone.

We doubled back a few times, and finally found “the usual suspects”, just a small group of folks in the middle of a bridge — far from parking, and too far for me to walk these days — just a pale shadow of the hope and energy of a few weeks ago.

I woke up early this morning — and could not go back to sleep. I was gripped by fear — terrified of “police action”, afraid of falling, being herded, being gassed, unable to breathe, being brutalized before being arrested. Suzy calmed me down — told me I had NOTHING TO FEAR — then made sure I had my cell phone (I rarely carry it), made sure I did not have the little folding knife I always have in my purse, etc., etc., etc.

So very comforting.

In other words, “everything is going to be O.K. — but get ready for the worse case”.

On the way home, we stopped at Whole Foods (a store I HATE), to look at their bulk foods. We looked at some of their other stuff also — their fish did not look that good, they had totally unsustainable “Chilean Sea Bass”, and their prices were outrageous.

Whole BS is what they are.

I guess that as long as folks can PRETEND to be “green”, as long as they can AFFORD those prices, and feel oh so good about themselves — the rest of the country can STARVE. As long as their kids can find a decent job through Uncle Bob — screw those 99% LOSERS.

It’s only when YOU become one of those “LOSERS” that you might begin to understand.

Oh yeah, they are now TICKETING folks who HONK THEIR HORNS IN SUPPORT OF DEMONSTRATORS!!! Is THAT “America”?

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Occupy Dallas Becomes the Latest Target for Eviction

From The Atlantic Wire:

Dashiell Bennett
November 17, 2011

Taking a page out of other cities’ books, police in Dallas launched a 1:00 a.m. raid on the local Occupy Wall Street protest Thursday morning, removing tents and arresting about 20 people. The camp, which was relatively small compared to some other cities, was cleared out in less than an hour with little resistance.

About 100 people had been camped out in City Hall Park a few days before, but police showed up around midnight local time and announced that protesters would have to leave or face arrest. Most went voluntarily and only about 20 or 30 remained when police in riot gear moved in, going tent to tent to seek out and remove stragglers.

City Councilwoman Angela Hunt called the heavy police response “vast overkill,” but added later that cops were “very respectful & professional. Protesters responded peacefully.” Hunt also said they she and rest of the council only learned of the raid minutes before it happened. and that the 20 minute notice was hardly sufficient.

The eviction is the latest in what appears to be a coordinated effort to put an end to the encampments all across the country this week. New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, and Portland were are scenes of confrontation between protesters and police since Monday. Thursday marks the 2-month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement and several large events are planned by organizers. The biggest of them will be an attempt to shut down the New York Stock Exchange in advance of this morning’s opening bell.

It is a misstatement to describe the coordinated attacks on the demonstrators of the Occupy Movement as though they are just following the example laid down in other cities rather than a systematic attack on the protestors freedom of speech.

Time to end Homeland Security and repeal the PATRIOT ACT.

We want our Freedom back.

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Police clear Occupy Cal encampment

From SF Gate:

Justin Berton, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, November 17, 2011

(11-17) 06:55 PST BERKELEY — Police in riot gear surprised campers with an early morning raid on the Occupy Cal encampment in Sproul Plaza today, arresting two protesters and removing about 20 tents.

Police surrounded the 40 or so campers at 3:30 a.m. in front of Sproul Hall, UC Berkeley’s main administration building, and gave them 10 minutes to grab their gear and go. All but two did.

Alex Kim, 24, an English major, was arrested after he stood in front of police officers and flashed peace signs with both hands.

“We’re coming back,” said Kim, who confronted officers with his cat on his shoulder. Other protesters took the cat as Kim was being led away.

Mike Porter, 24, who identified himself as an Occupy Oakland member, was arrested without incident after he refused to get up from the stairs leading up to Sproul Hall. Both he and Kim were booked into an Alameda County jail in Oakland on suspicion of unlawful assembly and failing to disperse.

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Los Angeles: Occupy protesters take over Bank of America Plaza

From The LA Times:

November 17, 2011

Protesters at Bank of America Plaza in the downtown financial district locked arms Thursday afternoon and refused to leave.

Authorities repeatedly warned the group to disperse, but they refused to move tents set up on a grassy area in the plaza. The group began its second march about noon at the Occupy Los Angeles encampment near City Hall Park and headed back toward the financial district.

Ten protesters, locked arm in arm, faced off against a barricade of police.

Nathan Lucero, 30, said he took time off work Thursday to come to protest.

“I sympathize with these guys, but I’m not in a situation where I can get arrested,” Lucero said. “I have to pick up my kids at 5. I wish more people in my situation could come out and show support.”

The arrests came after 23 other protesters were taken into custody Thursday morning after they erected tents in the middle of a downtown street.

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N17: Teenage Girl Among Early Morning Arrests @ #OWS

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All American Football Hero Role Models From Penn State… Or Why The NCAA Should Give Penn State Football the Death Penalty

This entire sordid story has me extremely angry.  For way too many years jocks on our campuses have been treated as though they are some sort of demigods.  Students and alumni are supposed to worship these macho assholes and excuse their misbehavior.

This isn’t the first incident.  There have been too many stories of women being raped first by the jocks and then called sluts by the media and athletic supporters, (double entendre  intentional)  who have turned football into a religion and these over privileged jocks into saints.

I hope this is the final straw.  The wake up call that comes crashing through the front window tied to a brick.

Sports have become the gladiator games of a decadent and seriously sick society, a society where compassion has been replaced with mercilessness.  A society that calls itself Christian while it has replaced Jesus with John Galt.

No excuses.

Just as every single pedophile in the Catholic Church or other religious denominations should face criminal charges so too should everyone involved in the cover up of these incidents of alleged child rape should face obstruction of justice charges at the very least.

Perhaps they should be charged with being accomplices.

Universities should not exist to field athletic teams.  Nor should their players be more athlete than scholar.

Time for the NCAA to step in and at the very least end Penn State’s participation in any further games this year.  Permanently banning Penn State from inter-collegiate football  participation should be considered.

Penn State, police: No record of McQueary report

From USA Today:

By Michael Winter
November 15, 2011

Penn State and the State College police say they have no records to support assistant football coach Mike McQueary’s contention that he told police about the alleged rape of a 10-year-old boy by Jerry Sandusky in an athletic facility shower in 2002.

McQueary’s claim is contained in a Nov. 8 e-mail to a friend that surfaced Tuesday. He also spoke briefly with CBS News.

Update at 4:03 p.m. ET Wednesday: The university has released a statement saying it has no record that McQueary filed a police report.

“Since hearing of the news reports, we are looking into this matter,” said Lisa Powers, director of public information for Penn State. “Right now we have no record of any police report filed by Mike McQueary. This is the first we have heard of it.”

State College Police Chief Tom King echoed that in a conversation with NBC’s Philadelphia affiliate.

“Absolutely not. We don’t have any records of him coming to us,” King said.

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Jerry Sandusky’s lawyer, Joe Amendola, got a 16-year- old client pregnant and later married her

From New York Daily News:

Girl was seeking emancipation from her parents in 1996

BY Teri Thompson , Michael O’keeffe & Kevin Armstrong

Tuesday, November 15 2011

Joe Amendola, the State College, Pa., attorney representing accused child molester Jerry Sandusky, has an interesting back story himself: He got a teen-age client pregnant during the mid-1990s.

Amendola, 63, married the girl several years after the birth of their child, The Daily reported Monday night, citing documents filed at the Centre County, Pa., courthouse.

Amendola represented a 16-year-old girl then known as Mary Iavasile when she filed an emancipation petition in September 1996. The emancipation petition said the girl had graduated from high school in two years with a 3.69 GPA and held a fulltime job at Amendola’s law office.

The girl gave birth to Amendola’s child when she was 17 years old, her mother, Janet Iavasile, said. Amendola would have been about 49 years old at the time. The age of consent in Pennsylvania is 16.

The World Joe Paterno Made

The Nation:

Dave Zirin 
November 14, 2011

Meet John Matko. John Matko is a 34-year-old Penn State class of 2000 alumnus, distraught by the recent revelations that Coach Joe Paterno and those in charge at his alma mater allegedly shielded a serial child rapist, assistant Jerry Sandusky. He was livid that students chose to riot on campus this week in defense of their legendary coach. He was disgusted that the Board of Trustees decided to go ahead as planned with Saturday’s Nebraska game just days after the revelations became public. John Matko felt angry and was compelled to act. He stood outside Saturday’s Penn State–Nebraska game in Happy Valley and held up two signs. One read, “Put abused kids first.” The other said, “Don’t be fooled, they all knew. Tom Bradley, everyone must go.” (Tom Bradley is the interim head coach.)

The response to Matko gives lie to the media portrayal of last Saturday’s game. We were told the atmosphere was “somber”, “sad” and “heart-rending”, as “the focus returned to the children.” The crowd was swathed in blue, because, we were told, that is the color of child abuse awareness (also the Penn State colors). The team linked arms emerging from the tunnel. They dropped to a knee with their Nebraska opponents at midfield before the game. Once again, broadcasters told us, “the players were paying tribute to the victims of child abuse.” We were told all of this, and I wish to God it was true.

I don’t doubt the emotions in Happy Valley are genuine. I don’t doubt the searing shock and pain that must be coursing through campus. But this is the pain of self-pity not reflection. It’s the pain of the exposed not the penitent. Let’s go back to John Matko. Matko stood with his signs behind a pair of sunglasses. He wasn’t soapboxing, or preaching: just bearing silent witness. It was an admirable act, but no one bought him a beer. Instead, beer was poured on his head. His midsection was slapped with an open hand. Expletives were rained upon him. His signs were also kicked to the ground and stomped.

As the Washington Times wrote, “Abuse flew at Matko from young and old, students and alumni, men and women. No one intervened. No one spoke out against the abuse.”

One disapproving student said, “Not now, man. This is about the football players.”

And with those nine words, we see the truth about Saturday’s enterprise. It was about the football program, not the children. It was morbid theater where people were mourning the death of a jock culture that somewhere along the line, mutated into malignancy. It’s a malignancy that deprioritized rape victims in the name of big-time football.

The signs of this malignancy did not emerge overnight. Looking backward, there are moments that speak of the scandals to come. In 2003, less than one year after Paterno was told that Sandusky was raping children, he allowed a player accused of rape to suit up and play in a bowl game. Widespread criticism of this move was ignored. In 2006, Penn State’s Orange Bowl opponent Florida State, sent home linebacker A.J. Nicholson, after accusations of sexual assault. Paterno’s response, in light of recent events, is jaw-dropping. He said, “There’s so many people gravitating to these kids. He may not have even known what he was getting into, Nicholson. They knock on the door; somebody may knock on the door; a cute girl knocks on the door. What do you do? Geez. I hope—thank God they don’t knock on my door because I’d refer them to a couple of other rooms.” Joanne Tosti-Vasey, president of Pennsylvania’s National Organization for Women in Pennsylvania, was not amused. With chilling unintentional prescience, Tosti-Vasey responded, “Allegations of sexual assault should never be taken lightly. Making light of sexual assault sends the message that rape is something to be expected and accepted.” They called for Paterno’s resignation and short of that, asked to dialogue with Paterno and the team. Neither Paterno nor anyone in the power at Penn State accepted the invitation.

Dave Zirin proves once again why he is perhaps the most important sports commentator in America today…

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Farage: What gives you the right to dictate to the Italian people?

The Villain Occupy Wall Street Has Been Waiting For

From Truth Dig:

By Robert Scheer
Posted on Nov 17, 2011

In the pantheon of billionaires without shame, Michael Bloomberg, the Wall Street banker-turned-business-press-lord-turned-mayor, is now secure at the top. What is so offensive is that someone who abetted Wall Street greed, and benefited as much as anyone from it, has no compunction about ruthlessly repressing those who dare exercise their constitutional “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” that he helped to create.

You would think that a former partner at the investment bank Solomon Brothers, which originated mortgage-backed securities, a man who then partnered with Merrill Lynch in the high-speed computerized trading that has led to so much financial manipulation, would have some sense of his own culpability. Or at least that someone whose Wall Street career left him with a net worth of $19.5 billion would grasp the deep irony of his being the instrument for smashing Occupy Wall Street, the internationally acknowledged symbol of opposition to corporate avarice.

But only in America is the arrogance of the superrich so perfectly concealed by the pretense of democracy that the 12th richest man in the nation can suppress dissent against corporate rapacity and expect his brutal actions to be viewed not as a means of preserving his own class privilege but as bureaucratically necessary to providing sanitary streets.

Even before he ordered the smashing of dissent by citizens peacefully assembled, Bloomberg denigrated their heartfelt message: “It’s fun and it’s cathartic,” he said of those huddled against the cold in a makeshift encampment, “… it’s entertaining to go and blame people. … It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis. It was, plain and simple, Congress who forced everybody to go and give mortgages to people who were on the cusp.”

It is mind-boggling that Bloomberg still hypes the canard that the banks were forced to reap enormous profits from toxic securities. It is an embarrassing, dishonest position when the record of banker fraud in creating the housing bubble is so well documented in Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuits. Is Bloomberg unaware that the major banks have agreed to pay hefty fines in a meager compensation for their schemes? That he blames the victims of the securitization swindles and then orders the arrest of those who dare speak the truth is a tribute to his belief in the enduring power of the big lie.

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Christo-Fascist Dominionist Newt Gingrich Says No Atheists in the White House

Just Say No to Christo-Fascist Dominionist Sharia!

Harry Belafonte on Occupy Wall Street

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San Francisco Police Arrest 100 in Bank of America Protest

From Truth Out:

by: Maura Dolan, The Los Angeles Times
Thursday 17 November 2011

Officers end four-hour standoff after Occupy movement demonstrators, mostly UC students, take over a bank lobby in San Francisco’s financial district.

Reporting from San Francisco—

Protesters in the Occupy Wall Street movement seized a Bank of America branch in the city’s financial district Wednesday, a demonstration that forced jittery customers and employees to flee and ended in nearly 100 arrests.

It took about 40 police officers in riot gear nearly four hours to clear the bank, but no one was injured. Police said many of those arrested were UC Santa Cruz students who were protesting fee increases and budget cuts.

Police removed the protesters methodically, placing them in plastic handcuffs, citing them for misdemeanor trespassing and sending them off in police wagons for further processing.

“You’re the 99!” the protesters told them as the arrests began.

They scrawled messages in chalk on the bank walls — “Greed!” and “Give Us Back What You stole!” — and plastered pink phone message slips on desks and computer screens. One man was seen urinating in a corner.

The siege began after several hundred protesters gathered for a rally at noon in a plaza near the waterfront and proceeded to march across town to the Civic Center. The route was designed to take marchers past buildings where members of the UC Board of Regents have offices.

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#OWS calls for nonviolent solidarity on November 17th

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UC Berkeley Mario Savio Memorial

I was a senior in High School the fall of the Berkeley Free speech Movement.

I wasn’t expecting to go to college due to poverty but I was already committed to the Civil Rights Movement and the anti-Nuke Movement>

I was captivated by the courage of the students who stood up to the power of the University and the Police that fall of 1964.

That winter I would go on to win a New York State Regents Scholarship.  I was surprised as were my counselors, who frantically rushed to find a school with in the SUNY system that would accept me.

I went to Cortland State, sight unseen.

That spring the war in Vietnam escalated to the point where SDS had led a national demonstration in Washington.

I arrived at Cortland, which was a jock school.  Fortunately it was close to Cornell and I went there for my introduction to the student movement.

Politics and other things took a higher priority in my life at that point than classes.

I deliberately failed out and by late 1967 I was in the Bay Area, the Haight Ashbury.

In 1968 after participating in two Berkeley riots and several SF riots my collective moved to Berkeley.

Berkeley and its radicalism helped shape my life.

From The Daily Cal:

Lost and found: Mario Savio’s reflections

By Robert Cohen | Special To The Daily Cal
Tuesday, November 15, 2011

“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part … and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears … and make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free the machine will be prevented from working at all!” These words, from Free Speech Movement leader Mario Savio’s historic speech outside Sproul Hall just before that movement’s culminating sit-in on Dec. 2, 1964, are among the most famous uttered by any campus radical in that decade of student revolt. But while this speech and the mass sit-in it helped inspire at Sproul Hall have been well remembered (and are discussed in many history books), other Savio words from this same critical point in the FSM’s history were lost for decades and have only come to light this September with the discovery of an important Savio letter.
The lost letter was penned by Savio on Dec. 4, 1964, from Santa Rita Prison, where he and hundreds of students had been sent after being arrested for nonviolently sitting-in at Sproul Hall. The letter, which Savio had sent (or intended to send) to his parents, brother and grandmother, was discovered by Barbara Stack as part of a project — funded by FSM veteran Thom Irwin of the Free Speech Movement Archive — to gather and inventory the papers of FSM activists.

Savio’s letter from Santa Rita sheds new light on his mood and thoughts in the wake of the police invasion of the campus, which ended the Sproul sit-in via the largest mass arrest in California history. The letter evokes the special meaning of being jailed for an act of civil disobedience. Unlike conventional arrests, where people are caught committing a crime that that they sought to conceal, the activist arrested for sitting-in courted arrest by defying the law publicly in an act of conscience, seeking to air a political grievance and promote a lofty cause.

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The Best Possible Memorial for Mario Savio

Occupy Cal Makes Occupy History at Berkeley

From The Atlantic:

Tina Dupuy
Nov 16 2011

After their tents were pulled by the university, UC Berkeley students turned the school’s celebration of a ’60s icon into massive Occupy meeting

Mario Savio was a UC Berkeley student in the ’60s and a key member of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. He’s become an activist icon; Mario Savio Youth Activist awards are given out by his memorial fund. By the ’90s, the steps of Sproul Hall on the UC Berkeley campus where he gave his now famous “put your bodies upon the gears” speech were renamed the Mario Savio Steps. It was there last Wednesday that police raided an hours-old Occupy Cal protest and pounded student activists with batons. Yes, the chancellor of the university that celebrates Savio in its brochures, Robert J. Birgeneau, waited mere minutes before setting in motion a response that saw students beaten on the very steps bearing Savio’s name … just for setting up tents.

As the massive Occupy crackdown unfolded nationally, students facing yet another tuition hike — in a UC system that has seen its tuition triple in 10 years — took note and took to organizing.

In less than a week the campus had a general strike. Tuesday most classes were cancelled. And it just so happened to be the day the annual event Mario Savio memorial at Sproul Hall was going to take place. Which in turn led to the largest General Assembly (GA) in the history of the Occupy movement.

An amazing coincidence. One of those historical ironies that should make the school administration cringe indefinitely.

Some 4,000 (if you were to be really conservative) participated in a massive direct democracy meeting, now commonly referred to as the GA. The sea of students was tutored in the now identifiable consensus hand signs used by the movement. The facilitators laid out the ground rules: They were going to vote on whether or not to bring back the tents and set up an Occupation on campus. Yes, it was against the rules. Would they all (80 percent anyway) agree this was the right course of action? The GA attendees broke up into groups of 20 to discuss. That’s right: 4,000 people broke up into groups of 20 with at least three helicopters hovering just above to discuss the merits of the action. And then the facilitators clarified: just because you vote “yes” doesn’t mean you’re obligated to sleep there.

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84 year Old Seattle Pepper Spray Victim, Dorli Rainey – Countdown with Keith Olbermann

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Why the First Amendment Won’t Protect Occupiers

From Truth Dig:

By Bill Blum
Posted on Nov 16, 2011

From Oakland to Chapel Hill, from Portland to Zuccotti Park, the message to the Occupy movement is clear: It’s time to fold up your tents and retreat from the public square or be carted off to jail.

From coast to coast, protesters have responded to the edicts with largely passive physical resistance and, in some cities, court challenges rooted in the First Amendment and animated by the popular mythology surrounding the amendment’s depth and reach. The movement, we’re told, is shielded by the rights of freedom of speech and assembly and those rights trump whatever interests (whether legitimate or feigned) that municipalities may have in maintaining public health and safety.

It’s impossible at this early stage of the crackdown to predict how each local legal case will play out. Depending upon the precise wording of city ordinances, state statutes and the manner in which police raids are conducted, the Occupiers may score some litigation victories, such as the short-lived temporary restraining order issued by a state court judge after the early morning police attack Tuesday on Zuccotti Park in New York City. But most of the legal challenges are likely to end in defeat, as occurred in New York when another judge ruled after a lengthy hearing that the overnight camping must end even though protesters may return to the park.

Those who believe the courts will come to the rescue with long-term comprehensive First Amendment remedies for the Occupy encampments are buying into a legal myth not unlike the economic myths of income fairness and equal opportunity the movement has done such a good job thus far of exposing. As Columbia Law School professor Theodore M. Shaw said in a paraphrase in an International Business Times article earlier this month in commenting about the movement’s legal tactics, “… there is a cultural assumption in the U.S. that First Amendment protections are broader than case law suggests.”

It’s easy to see where the assumption comes from. The wording of the First Amendment seems absolute: “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.” Since at least 1925, the U.S. Supreme Court has held the amendment applicable to states and local governments. (See Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652.)

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Obama and the Bishops: Is the White House Caving on Birth Control Coverage?

From RH Reality Check:

by Jodi Jacobson, Editor-in-Chief, RH Reality Check
November 16, 2011

This week, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) threw itself a pity party in Baltimore. According to the bishops, their “religious liberty” is threatened unless they are able to ensure that every single person in the United States (well, actually the world) is made to follow Catholic canon law to the letter. According to the New York Times, the bishops are “recasting their opposition” to same-sex marriage, birth control, and other fundamental aspects of public health and human rights, because they view both government and culture as infringing on the church’s rights.

“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.”

But the sacristy is where the vast majority of Catholics appear to believe the bishops should be focusing their efforts. The Times notes that in light of the ongoing evidence of massive cover-ups by the Vatican and the USCCB of the priest pedophilia scandal, the bishops’ “pronouncements on politics and morality have been met with indifference even by many of their own flock.”

The bishops issue guidelines for Catholic voters every election season, a document known as “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” which is distributed in many parishes. But the bishops were informed at their meeting on Monday that a recent study commissioned by Fordham University in New York found that only 16 percent of Catholics had heard of the document, and only 3 percent had read it.

Nonetheless, the Bishops believe their own right to practice their religion is threatened by your right to practice yours or to act as a moral agent in your own life. Their freedom of religion is threatened unless they can ensure that all LGBT persons are denied the right to marry or adopt children. It is threatened unless all women are denied the rights to decide whether and when to have children. It is threatened unless a Catholic hospital can let a woman die from complications of pregnancy rather than provide her with or even refer her on an emergency basis for a life-saving abortion. It is threatened unless a two-celled fertilized egg has more rights than the living, breathing woman in whose body it floats.

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DC the highest concentration of “poorest of the poor”

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How Occupy Wall Street Can Help Revitalize Environmental Justice

From New Deal 2.0:

by David Weinberger
Wednesday, 11/16/2011

By sparking a national dialogue about inequality, Occupy Wall Street is highlighting the link between economic and environmental justice.

It would seem that progressives have finally found in the Occupy movement the kind of populist momentum for which they have long hungered. Health Care for America Now, Green for All,, and a number of unions have come out in support of Occupy Wall Street, fashioning different narratives that would tie their organizations’ various missions to the values espoused by the protesters.

No sector of the progressive movement has yearned for this change more than the environmental movement, whose claims to populist underpinnings have long been met with skepticism. The arrival of populism on the left and the attention that is now being paid to institutionalized inequality align well with the heightened priority that environmentalists in and out of Washington are now placing on environmental justice issues.

Environmental justice is premised on a simple notion: that everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background, is entitled to a healthy environment. In the United States, the majority of hazardous waste sites, power plants, and truck depots are sited in low-income neighborhoods, where the land is cheap and the communities’ political capital is weak. As a result, these communities are subject to heightened frequencies of chronic illnesses, including asthma and obesity, that most often preclude long-term economic mobility. Environmentalists, seeing these historical inequities that have come with traditional, market-based patterns of infrastructure distribution, advocate for land-use solutions that account for externalities in the host communities and ensure equality of opportunity across class lines.

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CIA urged to be more open about climate change

From The Guardian UK:

US government agency says CIA should abandon its traditional culture of secrecy and begin sharing its intelligence on the issue

, US environment correspondent, Monday 14 November 2011

After a year of epic weather, drought, heatwaves, hurricanes and floods, America’s intelligence establishment has come out with a bold new suggestion: maybe it’s time the CIA stopped treating climate change as a secret.

A new report from the Defence Science Board – a US government agency – urges the CIA to step outside its traditional culture of secrecy and begin sharing the intelligence it has been gathering on climate change.

The report, Trends and Implications of Climate Change for National and International Security, goes as far as to recommend the establishment of a new agency devoted to the study of climate change – one that would operate in the open and transparent manner so alien to the CIA.

The report is the latest in the series of blows to CIA’s climate centre, which has been struggling to justify its existence to the public since its establishment in 2009.

Republicans in Congress have derided the very notion of climate change as a national security threat, despite the Pentagon’s view that it is a threat multiplier. Now it faces criticism that it has been hoarding data.

The report does not call for scrapping the CIA climate centre, but it does suggest that CIA’s climate experts have been going about their business the wrong way.

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Occupy Melbourne video: New OWS arrests in Australia

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