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

Is This The Real Reason Congress Wants To Sue Obama?

President Obama Swearing In Ceremony I have heard reports saying that President Obama’s “approval rating” with the American People is somewhere in the range of 45%. Looking at that 45% figure I figured out that it means the President has an approval rating 9 times more than that of Congress. The last time I looked Congress had an approval rating of 5%. Maybe that is the real reason the Congressional Leadership wants to “Sue” the President!  Maybe they are simply uptight in the a** ...

I really think our activist Supreme Court has done something truly unique!

I really think our activist Supreme Court has done something truly unique with their recent decision allowing certain corporations to opt out of obeying the law if they think the law violates their religious rights – - and beliefs. I always thought The First Amendment of The Constitution of The United States made it pretty clear that the government was not to involve itself in passing laws concerning the establishment or exercise of religious beliefs. So from where I stand it looks ...

Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl

Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has reportedly been venturing out into the public to visit a library, a few stores of his choosing and some fast food restaurants according to news reports. These trips are reported to be designed to help the Sergeant re-integrate himself into American Life after having been incarcerated as a Prisoner of War at the hands of his Taliban captors for five long years. From what I have been reading Sergeant Bergdahl is always accompanied by his attending medical ...

SCOTUS goes religious big time!

At the top of a press briefing on the decision by The Supreme Court about whether or not employers have a legal right to withhold contraceptive care from their employees’ health care coverage based on the religious beliefs of the employer Press Secretary Josh Earnest delivered a statement about where the President stands on this ruling, noting: “President Obama believes that women should make personal health care decisions for themselves, rather than their bosses deciding for them.” I happen to agree with ...

Gas Prices Are Taking You To The Cleaners And Here’s The Reasons

The photo above is a country store on a Sunday afternoon . .note the gas pump. Remember back a few years ago when all the Righties and their allies were screaming “Drill Baby, Drill” because unrestrained, unregulated drilling for oil and natural gas in every square inch of everybody’s back yard was supposed to be the magic carpet that took us all to “Energy Dependence Land?” Well we drilled and we mined and we drilled onshore and offshore and in as many ...

White House Says Obama Will Ask Congress For Money To Stem Immigrant Flood!

One of my loyal and highly valued Readers reminded me a short while ago that we have always had Immigrants come to The United States and this old photo from Government Archives attests to the fact. My source for this article is something I read on the New York Times website. The article on New York Times is entitled: “Obama to Seek Funds to Stem Border Crossings and Speed Deportations” You can look it up on your computer search window if you want ...

Supreme Court Strikes Obama Appointments: What Does It All Mean?

The National Labor Relations Board Helped Stop Child Labor In The U.S. DOES IT MEAN THE “DO NOTHING” CONGRESS WILL ACTUALLY GET SOMETHING DONE NOW? WILL THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD BE ABLE TO DO ITS WORK AFTER THE SCOTUS ACTION? I read something somewhere that seemed to be saying that the reason the Supreme Court struck down some appointments President Obama made to The National Labor Relations Board was because he made the appointments at a time when Congress was technically still ...

One Of The Biggest Jokes On America

Republicans are fond of claiming that they always do what is best for America. If doing nothing but obstructing the President and causing total government gridlock is “what is best for America” then I have to confess they have been doing one helluva job for the past few years! I sometimes think the current crop of Conservatives in Washington,D.C., have spent more Taxpayer money (Billions of dollars) on trying to stop things from getting done for The American People and on ...

Solar Freakin’ Roadways

Since two independent teams of scientists independently concluded that ice sheets in West Antarctica are past the tipping point — behaving independently from ostrich-in-the-sand dreams — maybe it’s time we get independent in our thinking. A possible path toward such independence (play the video):

Katharine Hayhoe named as one of the world’s 100 top influencers — and we’re pleased

We’re blowing the party whistles at the latest news: TIME magazine selected climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, a bonafide evangelical Christian, as one of the world’s one hundred most influential people.  It couldn’t have happened to a better person. Hayhoe’s honest-to-goodness awe-shucks demeanour speaks of alternatives to the intense and conniving office hound. There’s a different way to live. And she defies Lynn White’s 1967 essay that portrayed Christianity as the source of environmental evil (Alistar McGrath underscores White’s one problem ...

An island of blue in a sea of red

The Eastern Region’s headquarters of the US National Weather Service posted the following graphic on this year’s global temperatures on Facebook. Rather than wax ineloquent, I’ll supply their explanation and then the graphic: “Some interesting perspectives on global temperatures thus far during 2014. March, and the first 3 months of this year (January-March) were much colder than normal across most of the eastern half of the US. However, temperatures across the rest of the planet tell a different story. Warmer than normal ...

Viewing Good Friday Through Luther, Augustine, and Barth

First, a confession: I wasted too many years as a pastor trying to ratchet up the statistics by reading books on church growth, which almost invariably had me laying prostrate before the Almighty Flow Chart.  Apparently, Jesus died so we could fill the pews – not necessarily change lives – and the Holy Spirit could do His work as long as He was marketable. I’ve since seen my error.  I’m racing through the literature and making up for lost time, grabbing ...

A Maundy Thursday Prayer

I can feel your broken heart, O Lord, as you watched the fingers reach for food in your final Earthly meal with your disciples.  You saw the gulf between them and you.  Some banally argued over rank and prestige while one tabulated his silver reward.  All missed your foot-washing portrait: Brawls over crowns and garlands are for Gentile leaders and would-be CEO’s and partisan kingpins ruled by the latest opinion polls.  Such spats are worse than irrelevant.  They’re spiritual tear ...

Vladimir Putin and strict pacifism’s false comfort

Cross published on the Huffington Post.  The full article is found here. It’s suddenly clear. We now see why Eastern European countries hustled in their NATO applications after the Berlin Wall tumbled: Mother Russia is a brooding matriarch coveting the children she once kidnapped, and Vladimir Putin stands in the tsarist lineage of thuggish, self-appointed successors of the Byzantine Caesars. Bare your chest and steal Crimea — and throw in that 97 percent vote as homage to yesteryear’s Soviet elections. Obviously, a ...

Saint Patrick would be proud

Many will celebrate the great Saint Patrick on March 17, which is tomorrow as of this writing. My heritage primarily lies with the Anglo Saxons, who oppressed the Irish for centuries, but I plead my Americanism: We sympathize with the Irish despite our ancestors.  In that spirit, here are two videos — one of Ireland’s president, Mary McAleese, in 2008. She greets all Irish the world over. The second is presents a nun saying the Lord’s Prayer in Irish Gaelic. Ireland’s president ...

Words from Robert Reich on Citizens United

Robert Reich — teacher, author, and President Clinton’s Secretary of Labor — shared the following on Facebook.  No other explanation is needed: Four years ago today, on January 21, 2010, the five Republican appointees on the Supreme Court — either oblivious to the concentration of income and wealth at the top of America or conspiring with it — declared that the First Amendment protects corporations because corporations are “people,” and that the government therefore may not keep corporations from spending money ...

Please visit the authors blog by clicking on the link below!

OccupyWallSt
April 11, 2012, 11:51 am

Why We Need Free Media

Free and independent journalism is under attack. From violent police suppression to corporate media censorship, the need to create and defend movement-based journalism has never been greater – especially as we prepare for May Day and beyond — see below for a partial list of Occupy media.

Last weekend, Minneapolis police charged a peaceful march, beating protesters and arresting a dozen people. As described by Occupy Minneapolis:

Videos show officers pulling several people off public sidewalks, slamming one violently into the street and deliberately censoring the mainstream and independent press. [...] We had hoped to reestablish an occupation to bring attention to social and economic inequality, corporate greed, and the foreclosure crisis, but instead were met with a crackdown by the Minneapolis Police Department.

During the assault, police were caught on video violently arresting a journalist:

In a rare admission, Minneapolis Police Chief Timothy Dolan conceded on record that an officer had ¨unnecessarily interfered¨ with a KSTP news cameraman, and the news director at KSTP said that it was not an appropriate way for police and media to interact. Occupy Minnesota further describes the attack on the journalist:

Minneapolis Police Officers had grabbed onto the camera of a local reporter from KSTP. The reporter himself claims that he was assaulted. They threw his camera onto the ground and kicked it despite the fact that he had vocalized that he was with KSTP. The camera itself was ruined and his footage could not be salvaged.

Undeterred, Minneapolis Occupiers plan to re-occupy again this Saturday. But this incident is only the latest in a string of targeted attacks on journalists covering the Occupy movement. Police intimidation and violence toward journalists has been routine since the earliest days of Liberty Square. The NYPD is perhaps most notorious for censoring media and brutalizing journalists, as captured here in one of many recorded incidents of NYPD violating media freedom:

The problem is not limited to New York or any city; it is as endemic as it is unaddressed. When Oakland police casually shot a videographer with a less-lethal firearm at point-blank range last year, no significant disciplinary action was taken.

Individual police officers may be sympathetic 99%ers, but the police as an institution nonetheless uphold inequality by defending the abuses and wealth of the 1%. Similarly, those working within the mainstream media are not our enemies, but the mainstream media is no more a free press than mainstream politics is true democracy. Like politicians, corporate-financed media is controlled by moneyed interests. At the highest levels of decision-making, the mainstream media is beholden to corporate funders whose financial interests are aligned with the 1%. Objective journalism is a myth. The people who control what is printed and discussed in the media care about the same thing as Wall Street bankers: profit. As such, they are inclined to discredit and ignore any challenge to the status quo – especially the Occupy movement.

In response to the need for real coverage of our movement, independent journalists have worked tirelessly to document Occupy since the beginning. OccupyWallSt.org was one of the first movement-based sources of information to arise even before the Occupation of Liberty Square. Thanks to our horizontal, participatory structure, we are now just one of many – more than we could count. Dozens of other media sources have arisen since, across virtually every type of media from print magazines to Tumblr. While the mainstream media may claim that our movement in waning, the truth is that there far too much happening across the country and the world for one website to cover – even one focused on the Occupy movement like ours. We not only encourage people to read movement-based journalism, we also encourage anyone who is interested to get involved with existing projects, donate resources, or start making your own!

In addition to the main websites of General Assemblies, Occupy-related projects, and countless working group Twitter accounts and other social media, here is a brief list highlighting some of the active media projects and excellent sources of information around #OWS.

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.

Leave a Reply