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 ...

The mobs of the great cities add just so much to the support of pure government as sores do to the strength of the human body. It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution. Thomas Jefferson
Please visit the authors blog by clicking on the link below!


OWS Updates for the Week of April 4

The #AmericanSpring is here, so ‘Take a Chance’ with us. Below you will find a Great Meeting, Kiss-in against Corporate Greed, Eviction Theater and many other chances to assemble, learn and celebrate.

This Week in Occupy

Is Education an “Asset”?
Wednesday, April 4th 1230-2pm
Union Square, the Gandhi statue in the southwest corner of the park
Join Occupy University and Occupy Student Debt Campaign for a lunch-time discussion about education-as-asset. This discussion is part of a series of events leading up to the day that student debt reaches $1 Trillion, to be (mis)celebrated on 4/25. Meet at the Gandhi statue.
These discussions about the crisis of higher education are sponsored by Occupy University. It is also a lead up educational event for 1T day.

The Great Meeting
Wednesday, April 4th 630-930pm
Union Square, the large assembly area at the northmost end at 17th street
After weeks of arrests and wounds, amazing actions and incredible solidarity, we want to come back together to discuss political questions surrounding anything ranging from economic equality to food and health care justice to upcoming actions to the Spanish general strike, to dream together of the new world that we think is possible enough that we’ve stuck it out for all of these months, and perhaps to discuss practical concerns about our shift toward Union Square as a reclamation of the Commons.

NY State Public Campaign Financing Town Hall
Brooklyn: Wednesday, April 4th 530-8pm. Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon St.
Manhattan: Thursday, April 5th 530-8pm. NY Hotel Trades Council, 707 8th Avenue
It’s time Albany finally returns to government of, by, and for the people – not government bought and paid for by CEO campaign contributors. But, as long as politicians are accountable to corporations and lobbyists who finance their campaigns, they’re never going to be accountable to us. Join us to learn more about this exciting campaign to win fair elections for New York in 2012 and to let our elected officials know that we support strong public campaign financing in NY State!
Gather outside at 5:30pm for a pre-meeting mini rally to show support. Bring a mop or a broom if you can.

Occupy University Horizontal Pedagogy Workshop
Thursday, April 5th, 8pm-10pm
Public Atrium at Trump Tower (56th St & Madison Ave)
Join the Empowerment & Education Working Group – Occupy University subgroup for a discussion experiment/pedagogy workshop for Occupy University. Open to all. Horizontal / facilitated / consensus-model learning with a dose of problematization. We promise the Trump Tower is not as scary as it sounds. It’s empowering to Occupy the Trump Tower, please join us! We’ve been doing it every Thursday evening for weeks now.

Stand for the poor at St. Patrick’s on Good Friday
Friday, April 6th, 1:00pm
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 14 East 51st Street on 5th Avenue
Join Catholics United and Occupy Catholics this Good Friday as we take a stand for the poor among us at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Catholic Congressman Paul Ryan’s 2013 budget proposal doesn’t do it, and Cardinal Dolan won’t do it either. As Catholics, at one of our country’s most visible places of worship, we will prayerfully speak from the social justice tradition of our faith. We will deliver a petition asking Cardinal Dolan to use his influence as shepherd of the American church to oppose Ryan’s proposal.

Spring Training: Weekly Wall Street Marches
Friday, April 6th, 2:00pm
Liberty Square
Every Friday at 2PM, Occupy Wall Street will converge in the streets once again and launch the first in a series of spring training marches from Liberty Square to Wall Street in preparation for May Day, a day of massive economic non-compliance and strike. These marches will occur weekly and will allow occupiers to practice various street tactics and theatrics. The schedule is as follows: Meet at 2 PM in Liberty Square for sign making and a short march tactics training. At 3 PM occupiers will march to Wall Street and descend on the New York Stock Exchange to counter the closing bell with “The People’s Gong.” Following the march there will be a potluck dinner at 60 Wall Street.

OWS Open Space
Friday April 6, 2012, 6pm to 10pm
Unity Hall, 235 West 23rd Street between 7th Avenue and 8th Avenue
What’s the conversation that you want to have? Come start a new conversation, or continue an ongoing one, at the OWS Open Space. (Check out pics from past Open Spaces here.) In the Open Space format, all participants are welcomed to host conversations on whatever topics interest them. Participants only take part in the conversations that awaken their passion and interest. You are free to leave a conversation at any time, and join another one or start your own.

NYC Kiss-in Against Student Debt and Corporate Greed
Saturday, April 7th, 10am-12pm
Union Square
If the banks can make out like bandits, so can we. On April 7th at 1pm, students and folks with student debt in groups around the country will kiss in public spaces to protest the out of control tuition hikes and education cuts that are plaguing the country. This is a creative and effective way that we as students can bring awareness to this issue that is so often ignored.
Spread the word, invite your friends, let’s get on the news and get the country talking! Find out more at and

Train the Trainers, Educate the Educators, Facilitate the Facilitators w/Jason Ahmadi
Sunday April 8th, 5pm-8pm
220 E 23rd St. 7th Floor
This Easter Sunday, member sof Direct Action will be hosting a workshop to share skills in giving what is known in the activist scene as Non-Violent Direct Action trainings. The workshop will cover issues of popular education, non-hierarchical learning, radical pedagogy and direct action. We will teach each other skills and practice exercises and role plays in the theme of direct action as well as develop tips and tools for facilitation. The goal is giving away our skills so folks can return to their affinity groups to explore new ways of knowledge creation and practice direct action.

Occupy Yoga Meditation Class
Every Monday-Friday, 630pm.
Union Square, on the steps of the south end
A new age of change is upon us. We all sense it universally in the movement. It is a new time to lead with new values, compassion, perseverance, integrity, and kindness. We all want to overcome oppression and change the world, but what practice can we teach to improve our personal awareness and strength to keep up with the changes? Join this seated movement & meditation class for Occupiers and experience how yoga, meditation, and these specific Aquarian Age teachings can take humanity through this time of change with strength, intuition, courage, and open hearts.

Eviction Theatre
Every evening we are at Union Square Park, 1130pm – 1230am
Union Square
Join the NYC Community as they bear witness to a nightly mini-raid eviction that begins at the stroke of midnight. Witness comedic feats of strength as NYPD & The Occupy Movement say goodnight to one another in a theatrical setting. This week’s themes are:

WEDNESDAY: We Hide and Seek While Cops Pick up Goofy Stuff
THURSDAY: The Runaround (aka Modified Portland Lap)
FRIDAY: Rap Battle III (with special Pre-Battle Maneuvers)
SATURDAY: Banker Pirates v. Anti-bank Ninjas
SUNDAY: Who Can Occupy More Parks? Contest

Check out our Facebook page for more updates!

Save the Date

Spring Awakening 2012: Occupy NYC People’s Assembly: April 14, 2012
Join Occupy Wall Street on #A14 to kick off exciting spring and summer events. On April 14th, New York City will converge on Central Park to unite with organizations and activists to create a transformative, citywide, mass movement. The day will give individuals an opportunity to connect with organizations and foster ongoing collaboration of groups working on common issues.
Join us at our Facebook event for updates!

**A Day Without the 99%: May Day 2012
The 1% needs us to continue reaping their profits, but WE DON’T NEED THE 1%.
This May Day, Occupy Wall Street, in coalition with numerous other organizations and occupations, calls for a Day Without The 99%: No Work, No School, No Shopping, No Housework, No Compliance. Let’s take the streets, reclaim our communities, and support each other. NOT the 1%. On May 1st, let us stand together to reclaim our jobs, our communities, our lives. Withdraw your consent and strike!
If you’d like to be added to the announcement and/or discussion listserv or have any questions regarding meeting time, location, structure, please contact [email protected] or learn more at


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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