Our Plea to our San Jose City Officials On hearing that the brave and patriotic citizens of Occupy San Jose are being threatened with imminent closure of their assembly.
As citizens of San Jose, we say, "Not good, San Jose City Officials, Occupy San Jose, in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, is what democracy is all about.
We support Occupy San Jose in conjunction with Occupy Wall Street.
Remember, the Bill of Rights, the right to free speech and the right to assemble. Wasn't that some of the vision of Architect, Richard Meier that this would be a gathering place for the expression of democracy. What? This was Okay for Cairo, Tunisia and Libya, but not for USA?
Remember the Bill of Rights, and it is "We" who are the citizens of our country.
Occupy San Jose is all about democracy in America, which, unfortunately, has recently been bought and sold by the highest lobbyist bidder, and we say, enough is enough!
Two Citizens of San Jose and the USA
Karita and Paul Hummer
To protest to San Jose Officials, go to: http://occupysj.org/, get the contact information and make your protest for the Common Good.
On September 8th, President Barack Obama introduced his plan to create jobs and curb unemployment; The American Jobs Act.
A tough road lies ahead for the American Jobs Act, with Republicans lining up against it and some conservative Democrats publicly expressing concerns. But behind the political chatter there is a bill and whether you like it or not it is important to know what is actually in it.
You've got 90 seconds, so please check out this week's episode. And as always, more information below the fold.
Like a lot of people these days, we have come to the conclusion that it's time to change our lousy bank.
And it wasn't even like we chose badly, either - we were customers of Washington Mutual for almost two decades, and we loved 'em: they were nice people to deal with, they didn't constantly hammer you every time you came in to the branch with desperate sales pitches, and they didn't even charge you for using another bank's cash machines.
It turns out, however, that all that beneficence came at a cost: WaMu made a lot of money making sketchy mortgage loans, and when it all came crashing down, we found ourselves customers of JPMorgan Chase, who we now hate with the fire of a thousand suns.
But it turns out choosing a new bank ain't all that easy - and that's where you come into today's conversation.
Well, today, my husband and I were inspired to join the movement in support of Occupation Wall Street, called here in San Jose, Occupation San Jose, which in turn has inspired me to return to my affinity group here on Progressive Blue, having worked in the trenches with you during the Primary of 2008, having been inspired by the same general values and concerns, articulated so well by JRE. We attended our first general assembly and heard the
"Declaration of the Occupation of Wall Street"
which utterly enthralled us.
I joined Occupation San Jose's Communications Committee, because as usual, MSM is missing the message. Standard MSM wilful avoidance.
That's right. Unless you are on NY AG Eric Schneidermans' side here, one can't claim to care about the abuses of Wall Street and the overall fraud behind the subprime mortgage meltdown and the foreclosure crisis. It's really that simple. You have to criticize this White House for pressuring him to side with the dirty banker deal they still support or factually one really can't claim to care about a functioning financial system or economy at all.
For instance, it occurs to me that as our brave brothers and sisters are getting beaten and maced while occupying Wall Street, we must not forget that there is a real chance for some accountability.
There is also a chance for us to submit the idea that more attention should be paid to this story among the protesters so the media can't say there is no unifying message. Like Susan Sarandon said, there should be some unifying messages that tie everything together like campaign finance reform and ending Too Big To Fail. I would argue the same not that I don't think there are already unifying messages by occupying Wall Street in general now that the movement is spreading to more cities. Prosecuting fraud is also at the core of all of which #occupywallstreet is protesting, so why not draw attention to the fight Eric Schneiderman is bringing forth against the banks?
NY AG Eric Schneiderman like Elliot Spitzer before him is not budging despite this administration's attempts to get him to basically sign onto the dirty banker deal and paltry 20 billion dollar settlement for crashing our economy and taking a big part crashing the global economy, municipalities and the like. This dynamic might rock the markets soon with the prospects of Greece defaulting causing insolvency with their bond holders in France and elsewhere as well. This is behind the joblessness and the sickening austerity measures prolonging it all of which is being protested.
Republicans continue their coordinated effort to label the Buffet Rule that President Obama introduced last week "class warfare." This predictable line of attack is worthy of derision. Paul Krugman, Jared Bernstein, and Rebecca Thiess have the details.
The laughable assertion that things like the Buffet Rule constitute "class warfare" is a useful example of how the GOP operates. The Republican response to the president's mainstream proposal should be a catalyst for a broader Democratic realization that we shouldn't let baseless accusations of "class warfare" deter us from making accurate contrasts that resonate broadly. The right's "class warfare" charge is both inevitable and eminently beatable.
I don't feel very good about this country this morning, and as so many of us are I'm thinking of how Troy Davis was hustled off this mortal coil by the State of Georgia without a lot of thought of what it means to execute the innocent.
And given the choice, I'd rather see us abandon the death penalty altogether, for reasons that must, at this moment, seem self-evident; that said, it's my suspicion that a lot of states are not going to be in any hurry to abandon their death penalties anytime soon now that they know the Supreme Court will allow the innocent to be murdered.
So what if there was a way to create a compromise that balanced the absolute need to protect the innocent with the feeling among many Americans that, for some crimes, we absolutely have to impose the death penalty?
Considering the circumstances, it's not going to be an easy subject, but let's give it a try, and see what we can do.
Earlier this year, the Center for Media and Democracy released documents detailing some 800 model legislations crafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Included in those documents was the Prison Industries Act, legislation that had already been established in dozens of states across the country.
Like much of the model legislation created by ALEC, this bill is designed to help private corporations increase profits. In this case, those profits come from the use of prison labor. As Mike Elk and Bob Sloan wrote in The Nation, "prison labor for the private sector was legally barred for years, to avoid unfair competition with private companies."
In addition to this legislation, ALEC crafted numerous pieces of legislation that resulted in harsher sentencing in the courts, meaning more prisoners and longer sentences. That, in turn, means more laborers off which to profit.
Thanks to my close friend, conservative Alexander Q. Nottingshire, I was able to interview Scott Brown. I spoke with the Republican Senator about his record, his campaign for re-election, and Elizabeth Warren.
Once again The Fates have come our way to provide a story, and once again, we have a contender for the "Ironic Story Of The Year".
It's got everything you need for serious irony: an irascible comedian who mocked religion at every opportunity, a city that loved him, and the rich coincidence of his having been born at the crossroads of New York City's communities of religious education.
And that's why, today, we'll be talking about the effort to name the street right next to Manhattan's Seminary Row...Carlin Street.
(And before we go further, a language warning: we'll be quoting George Carlin liberally, and that means there may be present today certain of the seven words with which he created one of his best known routines. You are now officially warned.)
Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence
Yeah, OK, its not Sunday, but I got called on Saturday morning after a Friday night class to substitute for a colleague, and that threw me off completely. Fortunately for the Sunday Train, I am massively underemployed, so there is Monday afternoon available to finish composing what I been thinking about this week.
If spread evenly across a calendar year, "just under half a million new jobs" would be 40,000 new jobs per month. If 150,000 new jobs per month is needed to bring unemployment down, that is relying on our stuttering economy to create 110,000 or more ~ close to what we have often been achieving, but there is substantial concern that we might not keep it up, after a month with about 0 (zero, zilch, nada) new private jobs created.
So the aim here is to look for something that can add some more "pop". And having read the title, you know that a 1 penny Oil Tariff is involved. Hopefully raising the question in our mind: "uhmmm, where's the 'pop' in that?"
I am teaching a college course on research methods and last week, I taught a lesson on ethics in research. This is one of my favorite lessons in the course because I get to discuss the details of some of the greatest abuses in the history of science--the Nazi medical research and the Tuskegee syphilis study.
While nearly all of my students are familiar with the Nuremberg trials, most have only a vague familiarity of the Tuskegee syphilis study and few have knowledge of the Nazi doctor trials. The details usually arouse some emotion in the classroom and I often end up in email conversations following. This week, a student contacted me to inform me of a documentary about a survivor of the Nazi medical experiments. Her story is amazing.
When the Senate notoriously voted down both the President's budget (unanimously) and the House-passed Ryan plan in May, it also rejected a proposal by freshman Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) by a tally of 42-55. With Toomey recently named to the so-called "Super Congress", we chose to examine his proposal in this week's episode.
This proposal represented the Tea Party-aligned right flank of the Senate Republican Conference, a group ostensibly led by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), and it aimed to improve upon perceived structural flaws in the plan of ideological ally Paul Ryan. As a result, while this budget leaves Medicare and Social Security largely intact, it contains many close similarities to the Ryan budget. Most notably, its claims of debt reduction rely heavily on draconian budget cuts (without accounting for economic fallout) and tax cuts that spur very optimistic economic growth projections over the next decade. In other words, this budget reflects the supply-side fundamentalism of Toomey and his brethren. It will be interesting to see whether Toomey will push for tax cuts on the Super Committee in order to actually raise revenue.
Also notable in the Toomey budget is its repeal of the coverage increases in the Affordable Care Act while leaving the Medicare cuts, cuts candidate Toomey actively campaigned against, in place.
Without further ado, here's episode 20: the Toomey Budget.