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 man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors Thomas Jefferson
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OccupyWallSt

Risk of Mass Solidarity On May 1st: SEVERE

severe solidarity

In a move reminiscent of Bush era fear-mongering, the Obama Administration has issued a vague bulletin warning of possible terrorist attacks on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death. While the actual date of bin Laden’s death is May 2nd, many media outlets (including the Huffington Post, Fox News, the New York Post, and Gothamist) have reported the date as May 1st. In reality, President Obama announced the successful mission just before midnight on May 1st EST, but bin Laden was killed on May 2nd Pakistan time. The Associated Press, who announced the bulletin, correctly cited the date as May 2nd.

While both the FBI and Dept. of Homeland Security (who released the bulletin), as well as the White House and top NYPD officials, have said there are no “credible” or “specific” threats, New York Congressman Peter King told local media the public “might notice increased security” on May 1st. He went on to say, “Obviously if police or anyone questions you or asks you questions, understand why it’s being done.” The same day, DHS Secretary Napolitano told a Senate hearing that her agency was helping coordinate local policing efforts:

During a Senate hearing Wednesday morning, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said DHS efforts “to get information, tools and resources out of Washington, D.C., and into the hands of state and local officials and first responders” have “led to significant advances” in protecting the homeland.

Meanwhile in Chicago, the Sun Times reports the head of the NATO Host Committee was “blindsided by the federal government’s decision to create a militarized ’Red Zone’ in the Loop [downtown Chicago]” weeks before the NATO summit, which is expecting massive protests from a coalition of Occupy, peace, labor, and immigration activists. The paper goes on to say (emphasis added):

The image of federal agents on downtown streets far from McCormick Place — in battle gear, weapons slung — three weeks before the summit is certain to have a chilling effect on those who live and work in the Loop. It also calls into question Host Committee Executive Director Lori Healey’s oft-repeated message that Chicago will remain “open for business” during the summit. [...]

The Federal Protective Service will deploy additional personnel beginning May 1, bringing in more people from out of town and outfitting them in “battle dress uniform.” They will be carrying “non-lethal” long guns — bean bag weapons — in a show of force that at the same time will allow people to move in and out of the zone freely, federal employees were told.

Just months after Obama signed the NDAA “indefinite detention” legislation into law, federal official’s intentions to drastically increase security for May 1st conveniently coincide with the May Day General Strike in over 120 cities across the U.S. President Obama has already deported more immigrants than the Bush Administration; failed to close Guantanamo; continues to prosecute whistle-blower Pfc. Manning for taking an ethical stand by exposing horrendous U.S. war crimes; frequently invokes “state secrets” to carry out unaccountable, covert spying on U.S. residents; and continues the widespread use of unilateral drone strikes and targeted political assassinations. In response to the U.S. government’s escalating repression, thinly-veiled Islamophia, and attempts to militarize our cities and borders while scapegoating immigrants, OccupyWallSt.org hereby issues our own warning: A Solidarity Warning to the 1% and their beneficiaries and bodyguards in government. The 99% will not be intimidated. We will stand together and protect one another. We will not be terrorized. We will not be afraid.

Further, we reject any attempt to co-opt May Day — an historic, international celebration of labor and immigrants rights — by the government or media. For over a century, May Day has been a day of militant resistance against economic inequality. In the 19th and 20th century, the 1% used the imaginary threat of an immigrant-led Communist conspiracy to ensure May Day (which commemorates events in Chicago) would not become a federally-recognized holiday in the U.S., as it is in over 80 countries. Through the Red Scare to the War on Terror, we must honor the true history of May 1st. As we have seen countless times throughout history, we cannot rely on politicians from any political party to sincerely look out for our interests. They serve only the wealthy financial elite. We must stand together as the 99%.

However, we must also recognize that the State’s “anti-terrorism“ efforts target particular communities within the 99%. As such, this May Day, organizers are taking precautions to ensure the fullest amount of protection possible for undocumented and/or criminalized communities who wish to express their right to free speech on May Day. See here for more information on ways everyone can take part in May Day festivities!

And remember: If you notice suspicious people in uniform carrying weapons or plotting to spread fear through well-coordinated violent attacks on civilians on May 1st, alert your local Occupy community. If you see something wrong with racism and vast income inequality defended by a militarized government in this country, say something with us in the streets this May Day!

where the blame lies
¨ [In 1891] fear of immigrants was widespread in the United States. In this cartoon [titled ¨Where The Blame Lies¨], published five years after the Haymarket Square riot and one year before the Homestead Strike, illustrator Grant Hamilton placed a judge scolding Uncle Sam: “If Immigration was properly Restricted you would no longer be troubled with Anarchy, Socialism, the Mafia and such kindred evils!” From New York Harbor behind them comes a horde of arriving immigrants labeled “German socialist,” “Russian anarchist,” “Polish vagabond,” “Italian brigand,” “English convict,” and “Irish pauper.” ¨ – The Library of Congress

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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