OWS May Day NYC Protests

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Why Are We Striking?

From Ad Busters:  http://www.adbusters.org/blogs/adbusters-blog/why-are-we-striking.html

Or to put it another way – what’s wrong with the world?

Mike David ,
30 Apr 2012

Of course, most of us know what’s wrong with the world. We know about the poverty, war, violence and disease. We’re conscious of the injustice, but not fully conscious of it, because frankly, we have enough to worry about in our own lives. As such, we’ve come to accept these injustices as simple facts of life – prepackaged side effects of the human condition, as natural and intertwined with our existence as water to a stream, beyond our capacity to effect in any significant way. This collective sense of powerlessness and default apathy is why we’re striking.

Our growing sense of isolation and disconnection, whether from ourselves, from those next door to us, or from those producing our food and products halfway across the globe, is why we’re striking. Our forced support of perpetual war waged for and by the 1% – whether explicitly with speech, or implicitly with inaction and tax dollars – without ever paying mind to the true causes and motives behind it, is why we’re striking. Our failure uptil now to connect the dots and realize that the benefits of a cheap iPod, lovely as it may be, would be far outweighed by the benefits of a truly just world free of exploitation, is why we’re striking.

The fact that most of us are too busy being exploited to realize we’re being exploited – too busy greasing the cogs of our economic system to notice how the fruits of our labor never fail to float up and out of our reach – is why we’re striking, as is the fact that most aren’t able to do anything about this exploitation even when we do notice it. While some of us are lucky enough to have jobs and careers that give real meaning to our lives, allowing us to take full advantage of our talents and fulfill our destiny, most of us have jobs devoid of meaning and dignity, yet full of the feeling that we are fulfilling someone else’s destiny. Our recognition that the ruling class’s seat at the top of the pyramid is prepared and propped up by the working class is why we’re striking. Our knowledge that it’s actually the CEO who is the most dependent among us, and that the ones truly indispensable to our society are not bankers, lobbyists and politicians, but workers, teachers and engineers, is why we’re striking.

Indeed, the fact that we have an economic system which functions in the same manner as a virus is why we’re striking. Just as a virus’s only reason for existence is to expand, without regard or awareness of the effect of its expansion on its host body, our economic system pursues its infinite expansion without regard or awareness of its effect on human welfare or the environment. Though the earth is finite, it is sustainable, so we reject, in the words of Michael Nagler, “the inherent contradiction of an economy based on indefinitely increasing wants – instead of on human needs that the planet has ample resources to fulfill.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.adbusters.org/blogs/adbusters-blog/why-are-we-striking.html

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Catholicism and the GOP: An Awkward Tango

From Truth Dig: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/catholicism_and_the_gop_an_awkward_tango_20120501/

By William Pfaff
Posted on May 1, 2012

A novel aspect of the Republican campaign for the party’s presidential nomination has been the importance placed by some candidates, their admirers and some voters on the Catholic religion and certain claims to formal academic certification or endorsement.

Begin with Newt Gingrich, who for a time was a leading figure in the race for the Republican nomination. Like the president himself, Congressman Gingrich possesses academic credentials, his in modern European history from Tulane University. He makes the double-barreled claim that America under a continuing liberal Democratic administration will become “a secular atheist country … dominated by radical Islamists.”

In Washington, his Ph.D. degree in history earned him—according to his account—$1.6 million as an adviser on historical matters to the government-sponsored Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation—Freddie Mac. As the value of the agency’s possible concerns with European history seemed unlikely to justify such a sum, Washington opinion assumed that his connection with the agency was closer to that of a Washington “fixer.” In this he seemed more successful than in his well-publicized marriage entanglements, although the latter left his religious admirers apparently unperturbed.

The “bunkum” artist is a familiar figure from the folklore of the American 19th century who makes up “facts” as required in the sale of the all-healing snake oil liniment he sells (the vaudevillian and film star W.C. Fields made a career from his impersonation).

Another familiar American figure is the earnest swot who knows less than he thinks he does, but does know more than a lot of voters, and indeed in the following case, and in a sensitive matter, more—apparently—than most of his Republican campaign-trail cohorts, as well as some serious national commentators. He has dazzled them with economics and moral theology as well.

Continue reading at:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/catholicism_and_the_gop_an_awkward_tango_20120501/

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Police clash with protesters in Oakland and Seattle on May Day

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Richard Grenell hounded from Romney campaign by anti-gay conservatives

From The Washington Post:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/exclusive-richard-grenell-hounded-from-romney-campaign-by-anti-gay-conservatives/2012/05/01/gIQAccGcuT_blog.html


Richard Grenell, the openly gay spokesman recently hired to sharpen the foreign policy message of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, has resigned in the wake of a full-court press by anti-gay conservatives.

In a statement obtained by Right Turn, Grenell says:

I have decided to resign from the Romney campaign as the Foreign Policy and National Security Spokesman. While I welcomed the challenge to confront President Obama’s foreign policy failures and weak leadership on the world stage, my ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues has been greatly diminished by the hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes comes from a presidential campaign. I want to thank Governor Romney for his belief in me and my abilities and his clear message to me that being openly gay was a non-issue for him and his team.

According to sources familiar with the situation, Grenell decided to resign after being kept under wraps during a time when national security issues, including the president’s ad concerning Osama bin Laden, had emerged front and center in the campaign.

Pieces in two conservative publications, the National Review and Daily Caller, reflected the uproar by some social conservatives over the appointment. [UPDATE, 4:30 p.m.: Although Grenell also raised the ire of liberal commentators with now-deleted tweets about certain prominent women, none of the sources I spoke with mentioned the tweets as a factor in his resignation decision.]

Continue reading at:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/exclusive-richard-grenell-hounded-from-romney-campaign-by-anti-gay-conservatives/2012/05/01/gIQAccGcuT_blog.html

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Organising against the enemies of internet freedom

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/apr/27/organising-against-enemies-internet-freedom

There are powerful state and corporate interests ranged against an open internet. We need a global movement to check them

guardian.co.uk, Friday 27 April 2012

On 24 April, a group of internet entrepreneurs sought to get the future into a single conference room in Chelsea, and have it talk. “Hacking Society” was hosted by Union Square Ventures – the venture capital firm that was an early investor in Zynga, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, Etsy, and Kickstarter. The mission:

“[To] discuss how the economics of networks might help solve challenging social and economic problems; examine how incumbents use their influence over the current policy process to stave off competition from networks; define a proactive, network-friendly ‘freedom to innovate’ policy agenda; and examine how ‘net native’ policy advocacy works and how it can be harnessed to promote a positive agenda as well as overthrow bad policy and bad regimes.”

A tall order but desperately needed: in an era when revolutions start on Facebook but are ended by internet surveillance; when activists in China connect by tweets but are stalked and arrested by tweets; and when we are seeing copycat legislation in democracies around the world, from Australia to Britain, to Canada and the US, to grab the internet in the hands of the state … many people around the world would want this group to hammer out a successful self-defense agenda.

Present were all sectors needed for lift-off: internet freedom champions John Perry Barlow and Cindy Cohn of the Electronic Frontier Foundation; network theory gurus Clay Shirky of NYU and Yochai Benkler of Harvard ; commercial success stories such as Craig Newmark of Craigslist and originators of Mozilla, Reddit and Kickstarter; campaign finance reform champion Larry Lessig; even the Hill was represented by Representative Jim Cooper of Tennessee, and a trade aide for Representative Ron Wyden of Oregon.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/apr/27/organising-against-enemies-internet-freedom

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Neo-Nazi Texas Republican Attorney General Compares Planned Parenthood To Terrorist Organization

It’s time to stop pretending the Republicans haven’t become the Nazi Party of America. Their hatred of women and LGBT people makes them completely un-American

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/01/texas-ag-planned-parenthood-terrorist_n_1468838.html

05/ 1/2012

Just two hours after a U.S. district judge stopped a Texas law that would have eliminated Planned Parenthood’s participation in the state’s Women’s Health Program, Federal Appeals Judge Jerry E. Smith issued an emergency stay that lifted that order.

In the appeal for the emergency stay, a team of attorneys led by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott compared Planned Parenthood to a terrorist organization.

“Planned Parenthood does not provide any assurance that the tax subsidies it receives from the Women’s Health Program have not been used directly or indirectly to subsidize its advocacy of elective abortion,” Abbott wrote in his motion to stay the injunction. “Nor is it possible for Planned Parenthood to provide this assurance.”

“Money is fungible, and taxpayer subsidies — even if ‘earmarked’ for nonabortion activities — free up other resources for Planned Parenthood to spend on its mission to promote elective abortions … (because ‘[m]oney is fungible,’ First Amendment does not prohibit application of federal material-support statute to individuals who give money to ‘humanitarian’ activities performed by terrorist organizations).”

The “federal material-support statute” that Abbott mentions makes it a felony to give money to a terrorist organization, even if the funds are specified for nonterrorist activities. Abbott makes the argument that giving Medicaid money to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings, pap smears, STD testing and birth control is akin to giving a terrorist organization money for humanitarian activities.

Planned Parenthood responded Tuesday to the terrorist comparison in a statement to the Huffington Post.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/01/texas-ag-planned-parenthood-terrorist_n_1468838.html

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