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 ...

I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to Heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all. Thomas Jefferson
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#TakeTheSpring – Today in Chicago, Minneapolis, Philly and Beyond

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Occupations across the country are taking action today; here are a few exciting events to follow!

The #ChicagoSpring Begins

Occupy Chicago is hosting a day packed with community events and demonstrations throughout the city. Dubbed the beggining of the Chicago Spring by local organizers, today will be a celebration of the upcoming spring of resistance worldwide! Smaller neighborhood events will be happening throughout the day, with a 1pm Central Time gathering at LaSalle and Jackson and march to Butler Field at Grant Park for an evening of workshops, panel discussions, and more. For the full list of all the impressive actions and endorsers for today´s events in Chicago, see or the Occupied Chicago Tribune and follow @OccupyChicago on Twitter.

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#OccupyElBarrio rally outside a federal correctional facility, one of many of today´s #ChicagoSpring actions

Occupy Philly Moves In to Independence Mall

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Occupy Philly tents next to a plaque commemorating the First Amendment

On their six month anniversary since Occupying next to City Hall, Occupy Philadelphia and homeless supporters from Camp Liberty gathered yesterday to protest an outrageous city policy that criminalizes poverty and homelessness by banning feeding of the hungry in public places or serving meals in parks. Afterward, Occupiers set up a new camp on Independence Mall, near the famous Liberty Bell that draws thousands of visitors. Park rangers have agreed not to evict them as long as they stay awake and adhere to a long list of arbitrary rules – for example, Occupiers must leave their tents open at all times so rangers can see inside.

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Occupiers in Philly link arms at last night´s march against criminalizing feeding the hungry

The Twin Cities Re-Occupy Today

Today, Occupy Minneapolis has big plans as well:

At noon on April 7th, members of Occupy Minneapolis will set up encampments at Peavey Plaza and Loring Park. The sites will become the new homes of the local branch of the movement and the official move in, tents and all, will begin at 12pm on Saturday. The date is also the 6-month anniversary of the initial occupation of Government Plaza in downtown Minneapolis. Organizers hope that having multiple spaces will offer many benefits and boldly reinforce the desire to one day occupy all available spaces within the city.

Reoccupy Minneapolis organizer Sam Richards said, “We are calling for everyone to bring their families, friends and tents, and together we can usher in the American Spring in our city.” Occupy Minneapolis has significant momentum coming out of a winter filled with training for organizers and the formation of a number of action oriented groups. Richards hopes that the new spaces will help facilitate dialogue between the growing network of groups that are working diligently.

“Over the winter, we’ve had many successes, engaging in anti-foreclosure struggles and organizing towards a mass day of action on May 1st, as well as plenty of other exciting actions and projects,” said Ben Egerman, another organizer, adding, “But this is just the beginning. We hope the lessons learned since last October have allowed us to form an approach that will create a strong community and platform for people to demand social and economic justice.”


And So Much More!

In New York City, an active Occupy community is continuing to grow in spite of constant police harassment, arrests, and nightly evictions at Occupy Union Square in midtown. Meanwhile, in the financial district, Occupy Wall Street celebrated another #SpringTraining action yesterday in preparation for a massive show of solidarity on May Day, May 1st. At the conclusion of last night´s action, Occupiers read aloud a court case citing their legal right to sleep on the sidewalk. Occupiers in Washington, DC and other cities continue nightly camp-outs in front of branches of Bank of America and other ¨too big to fail¨ institutions in protest of their policies which leave millions of homes empty and millions of people without homes. Meanwhile, Occupy Boston continues to hold Camp Charlie on the State House Steps in defense of public transportation.

Also today, more Occupiers are once again standing with communities and survivors of racist and police violence to march in solidarity with Trayvon Martin, Rekia Boyd, Shaima Alawadi and all others in the latest wave of Million Hoodie and Million Hijab marches. In DC, the march will begin at Malcom X/Meridian Hill Park. (Follow live!) In Oakland, Occupiers will leave after the weekly barbecue.

This year will be a spring to remember – and it has already begun!


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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