The Jefferson Tree - A platform for debate and discussion of current events and politics...

Palestine Borders and Demographics Prove to be A Ghetto

Thanks to a good idea given to me by my partner here at STL, I started to research and analyze some geographic information regarding the Jewish land-grab in Palestine. I then followed by studying some demographic info on the Gaza Strip and drew some interesting conclusions. Here’s what I found: First, some great maps over at Wikipedia with adjoining historical context info and links portraying the boundaries of Palestine/Israel since the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement (The linked information could have you reading ...

Social Protest Lit: Ebenezer Elliot, “The People’s Anthem”

A poem from Ebenezer Elliot entitled The People’s Anthem from Book IV called “Out of The Depths.” This chapter is focused on man’s pursuit of remedy for social injustice: When wilt thou save the people? O God of mercy! when? Not kings and lords, but nations! Flowers of the heart, O God, are they! Let them not pass, like weeds, away! Their heritage a sunless day! God save the people! Shall bring crime for ever, Strength aiding still the strong? Is it thy will, O Father? That man shall toil for wrong? “No!” ...

Stephen Moore’s Ridiculous Anti-Clean Energy Rant

Hard right-winger Stephen Moore took a break from pushing debunked trickle-down economic policies to take a pathetic shot at clean energy.  Let the stupid begin. …radical Greens, one of the most influential political forces in America today… Seriously?  He goes on to mention the famed Sierra Club as one of these forces.  And where did they rank in 2013 on lobbying: 755.  In fact, if we look at the top 50 interest groups giving to members of Congress this year, no sign ...

Anti-Israel Policies/Actions Is Not Anti-Semitsim

There have been growing protests in Europe against the mass murder of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by the State of Israel. These actions are in response to the IDF killing 500 Muslims there with the vast majority of them being civilians. But what is troubling about these movements is, according to this article in the NYT, an anti-Semitic tinge has taken place at these protests. The story reads that in France: Several recent pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Paris have boiled over ...

Warren For President?

Today at the the annual Netroots Nation conference in Detroit, the nation’s largest gathering of liberal activists and organizers, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) reportedly drew an applause that Hillary could only dream of. According to NYT and Politico reports, Warren was a rock-star while Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic candidate for President, was absent. Warren’s populist talking points and her history of taking Wall Street to task (remember that Warren was an early advocate for the creation of a new Consumer Financial ...

Social Protest Literatue at Sparking The Left

Here at STL we are starting a new feature. In between our political-insight posts, I will start publishing excerpts or entire pieces of great literature that speak to crucial social and political issues which span the centuries. Though almost all in the Western tradition, the subject matters are transcendental. Now first to name my source, I am taking pieces from Upton Sinclair’s selected and edited collection “The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Great Social Protest Literature of All Time.” ...

Pulitzer-Winning Journalist Detained for Being Undocumented

I was first brought aware of Jose Antonio Vargas’ story last week in a piece he penned in Politico. He explained that he was in the Rio Grande Valley, in the city of McAllen, just north of the Mexican border. He was there to see first hand the tens of thousands of undocumented children, most of them from Central America, and observe how they were being treated. The trip was also used for a news conference appearance and vigil organized by United We Dream, ...

GOP Refuses Funding for Border Children Projects

A humanitarian crisis unseen before at our borders is becoming more and more urgent everyday at Rio Grande Valley, TX, and other Southwest locations. And yet the GOP is arguing over numbers. Yesterday President Obama requested an amount of $3.7 billion from Congress to help aid the 57,000 unaccompanied minors who illegally crossed the border from the Mexico side since October. They are mostly from violence-ridden Central American countries, like El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (Honduras has the world’s highest murder ...

Selective Outrage

War is hell.  All we have to do is look around the world to see its toll.  That being said, I don't understand the lack of outrage coming from this President and his administration other than that aimed at our one ally - Israel which is doing no more than trying to protect it's people from rocket fire and constant raids from Hamas. The fact that Palestinian civilians are getting killed is a tragic yet unavoidable aspect of this war.  Why ...

Why Are We So Full Of Hate?

What has happened to human kind?  No matter where you look we find ourselves surrounded by a world filled with hate. What puzzles me is how it's combined with political correctness.  Take this country where so many words are now frowned upon and even forbidden because they are hurtful to certain people.  Redskins, squaw, savage plus a whole lot applying to blacks, orientals and hispanics not to mention middle easterners.  Has it dawned on anyone banning the names has done nothing ...

Has Putin Over Reached Once Too Often?

My, oh my.  We've watched this man make mince meat of Obama over the past several years.  Each time you could see the smirk broaden and the swagger get more pronounced. He and his allies - Iran, China, Syria and North Korea were truly enjoying themselves. But as happens with a lot of bullies, they get over confident and suddenly everything around them collapses. I'm wondering if this is the case with the downing of the Malaysian passenger jet. With the death ...

If Only It WERE The Heat!

What a day.  A passenger plane has been shot down over Ukraine uncomfortably close to the Russian border. Hamas reneged on the humanitarian cease fire so Israel launched their ground offensive. Children still pour across the border while Congress dithers. It's now being reported parents are giving them birth control in case they are raped during the journey. Along that line former member of Congress, Todd Aiken, who once talked about legitimate rape and the idea that women's bodies protected them from becoming ...

Hannity's Histrionics

For a person who doesn't have much faith in the intellect of pundits, I wonder why I watch them so often.  I wonder even more why the cable outlets and networks that employ them don't take more care in who they hire. Many of them get on crusades that bear no resemblance to reality.  Sean Hannity is one of the most prominent. The night before last  he was on his Bowe Bergdahl kick demanding to know why he was returned to ...

Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?

If the President could run away from the border mess any faster I'm sure he would. It's being said it's because being seen in the setting of kids crammed into confined spaces with their scabies and lice would reflect badly on him.  It could even be his Katrina.  Well, maybe.  But who's fault is that? It goes to show his handlers aren't as smart as they think they are.  For one, drinking beer and shooting pool in Colorado, a state where ...

The Kids Always Went Home

Watching the immigration mess going full bore brought to mind a lot of things that have involved children from other nations.  The first thing that comes to mind is the Disney song It's a Small World After All that speaks to all we have in common. Hopes, dreams, all the warm fuzzy stuff. We've had exchange student programs where a student from another country lives with a local family to learn not only academics but what life in American and Americans ...

The Militia Is Coming, The Militia Is Coming!

That's all we need! News has it a call has gone out for militia, both unarmed and armed, to gather along the border to help private land owners protect their property in something called Operation Save Our Borders.  Terrific! Remember how well it went when militia turned out to help to  help Cliven Bundy in his fight over Federal grazing rights in Nevada?  It came within a hair's breadth of turning violent. I really feel for the border towns who are the ...

It is always better to have no ideas, than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what is wrong. In my mind, theories are more easily demolished than rebuilt. Thomas Jefferson
Please visit the authors blog by clicking on the link below!

OccupyWallSt

LIVE: Occupy Greensboro joins Occupy Raleigh to reclaim an evicted family’s foreclosed home

Video streaming by Ustream

12:45pm Eastern: About 60 Occupiers are risking arrest to help keep a family in a home that is being taken by an unjust foreclosure. Unconfirmed reports that a SWAT team has been called to the site. Livestream is up!

From Occupy Greensboro:

A family in Raleigh has been evicted and forced from their home through an illegal foreclosure. They have been ordered to remove all personal property from their home by Sunday April 8, 2012. The family has bravely chosen to fight eviction and foreclosure and is requesting community support. Evidence of robo-signing by the bank, which is a fraud, has been uncovered and the entire foreclosure process is under attorney review.

It is up to us to send a clear message that we will not allow this to happen.

On Monday, April 9th, community participants will enter the house and refuse to leave as an act of civil disobedience. Another 10 families in this predominantly African-American neighborhood are facing similarly illegal foreclosure and eviction.

A coalition coordinating with Max Rameau of Take Back the Land and including; Mortgage Fraud NC, Occupy Raleigh, Save Our Homes and Occupy Greensboro are quickly mounting a public protest and home defense. The objectives of this action are: We demand that Nicole and her family be allowed to reclaim possession of their home. We call for a NATIONAL MORATORIUM on all foreclosures, evictions, and utility shut-offs. We demand that banks negotiate loan modifications that include principal reduction. We call for the creation of a community land trust.

This foreclosure eviction protest is one of a growing movement across the country. Take Back the Land, the Occupy movement and others are partnering with homeowners to demand that housing be recognized as a human right. In the last year, successful eviction resistance has been used nationally from Los Angeles to Atlanta and Washington DC. This will be the first use of civil disobedience in defense of foreclosed homes in North Carolina.

The time is now. SAVE OUR COMMUNITIES: FIGHT FORECLOSURE!

Updates posted to: http://occupygreensboro.org and http://twitter.com/occupygso

Background

When Nikki and her husband purchased their house in Raleigh in February of 2006, the future was bright. They looked forward to raising their 3 children and eventually growing old together in their home . Nikki has been a licensed in-home child care provider for the last 12 years. She and her husband both worked full time to provide for their children. In October of 2007, they were late on their mortgage payment. U.S. Bank National Association, who accepted $27 million in bailout money, asked that the family “catch up” on payments. In October of 2007, they paid $1156.00; in November of 2007, they paid $1300.00; and in December of 2007, they paid $1500.00.

On December 13, 2007, Nikki’s husband was injured in a head-on collision. In January of 2008, Nikki advised ASC (the servicer of her loan) that her husband was still out of work due to injuries he sustained in the December car accident. ASC advised Nikki that her husband’s condition qualified her for a loan modification. From January to April of 2008, Nikki diligently called ASC monthly to check on the status of her loan modification. She never received any paperwork, but ASC assured her that her case was “under review.”

In April of 2008, Nikki’s grandfather passed away. Nikki took the loss of her grandfather very hard. He had been the man who raised her, the most important figure in her childhood. While Nikki grieved for her grandfather, she received the first acceleration letter in the mail. By May 2, 2008, U.S. Bank National Association appointed a substitute trustee. That document was signed by a known robo-signer, Sean Nix. Nikki felt overwhelmed, but she knew she had to save her home for her family. She took the only option left to her and filed Chapter 13 Bankruptcy; that filing automatically stopped foreclosure proceedings. She and her husband kept up with their structured payments for a full 14 months until Nikki’s husband lost his job. In October of 2009, the bankruptcy was dismissed because they could no longer keep up with the payments.

On November 22, 2010, Nikki’s home was sold back to the bank at a foreclosure auction. On December 5, 2010, a Wells Fargo representative offered Nikki $3,000 in a “cash for keys” scam. Nikki refused the offer and stayed in her home with her family. Nikki was told she should consult a HUD approved housing counselor. With the assistance of Freedom Financial Services, Nikki filed a “motion to set aside judgment and cancel sale” on Dec. 20, 2010. Two days later, her motion was denied by the Wake County Clerk of Courts.

The eviction date was set for April 24, 2011. Nikki did not want her children to witness a forcible eviction by the police. Instead, she and her family packed up their belongings into a “POD” that weekend and took shelter at a neighbor’s home.

When Nikki left her home, she also lost her livelihood. She had been running a licensed day care out of her home. She dutifully followed every step the bank, servicers, and housing counselors told her would save her home. When all of those efforts failed, the prospect of no home for her family and no income to provide for her children was simply overwhelming. In July of 2011, she and her family sought refuge with relatives in Washington, D.C.

Nikki and her family returned to Raleigh on Feb. 2, 2012. They have been staying at Nikki’s mother’s home. She received a notice from GMAC on March 15 stating “anything left within the premises after 4/8/2012 will be considered trash.”

This notice did not close the book on Nikki’s struggle. Instead, with renewed determination, Nikki decided to fight to save her home. When Nikki’s family was evicted, her community lost more than a neighbor. Nikki provided a valuable child care service to her community. The property taxes and state and local taxes that create revenue were lost. Every time a house is foreclosed upon, the property value of the surrounding houses is reduced. Nikki and her family are not alone. There were 66 thousand foreclosures in the state of North Carolina in 2011. How many homes must be abandoned, how many neighborhoods torn apart, how many families must be displaced, before the public wakes up?? The time is now. SAVE OUR COMMUNITIES: FIGHT FORECLOSURE!

OccupyWallSt

Author: OccupyWallSt

Occupy Wall Street is a people-powered movement that began on September 17, 2011 in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District, and has spread to over 100 cities in the United States and actions in over 1,500 cities globally. #ows is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations. The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and aims to expose how the richest 1% of people are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future.

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