Rev Dr Jude

Where Does Occupy Wall Street Go From Here? …an excellent proposal from Michael Moore
November 30, 2011, 5:40 pm
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Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011
This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and goals of the movement. It was attended by 40+ people and the discussion was both inspiring and invigorating. Here is what we ended up proposing as the movement’s “vision statement” to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street:

We Envision: [1] a truly free, democratic, and just society; [2] where we, the people, come together and solve our problems by consensus; [3] where people are encouraged to take personal and collective responsibility and participate in decision making; [4] where we learn to live in harmony and embrace principles of toleration and respect for diversity and the differing views of others; [5] where we secure the civil and human rights of all from violation by tyrannical forces and unjust governments; [6] where political and economic institutions work to benefit all, not just the privileged few; [7] where we provide full and free education to everyone, not merely to get jobs but to grow and flourish as human beings; [8] where we value human needs over monetary gain, to ensure decent standards of living without which effective democracy is impossible; [9] where we work together to protect the global environment to ensure that future generations will have safe and clean air, water and food supplies, and will be able to enjoy the beauty and bounty of nature that past generations have enjoyed.

The next step will be to develop a specific list of goals and demands. As one of the millions of people who are participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement, I would like to respectfully offer my suggestions of what we can all get behind now to wrestle the control of our country out of the hands of the 1% and place it squarely with the 99% majority.

Here is what I will propose to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street:

10 Things We Want
A Proposal for Occupy Wall Street
Submitted by Michael Moore

1. Eradicate the Bush tax cuts for the rich and institute new taxes on the wealthiest Americans and on corporations, including a tax on all trading on Wall Street (where they currently pay 0%).

2. Assess a penalty tax on any corporation that moves American jobs to other countries when that company is already making profits in America. Our jobs are the most important national treasure and they cannot be removed from the country simply because someone wants to make more money.

3. Require that all Americans pay the same Social Security tax on all of their earnings (normally, the middle class pays about 6% of their income to Social Security; someone making $1 million a year pays about 0.6% (or 90% less than the average person). This law would simply make the rich pay what everyone else pays.

4. Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, placing serious regulations on how business is conducted by Wall Street and the banks.

5. Investigate the Crash of 2008, and bring to justice those who committed any crimes.

6. Reorder our nation’s spending priorities (including the ending of all foreign wars and their cost of over $2 billion a week). This will re-open libraries, reinstate band and art and civics classes in our schools, fix our roads and bridges and infrastructure, wire the entire country for 21st century internet, and support scientific research that improves our lives.

7. Join the rest of the free world and create a single-payer, free and universal health care system that covers all Americans all of the time.

8. Immediately reduce carbon emissions that are destroying the planet and discover ways to live without the oil that will be depleted and gone by the end of this century.

9. Require corporations with more than 10,000 employees to restructure their board of directors so that 50% of its members are elected by the company’s workers. We can never have a real democracy as long as most people have no say in what happens at the place they spend most of their time: their job. (For any U.S. businesspeople freaking out at this idea because you think workers can’t run a successful company: Germany has a law like this and it has helped to make Germany the world’s leading manufacturing exporter.)

10. We, the people, must pass three constitutional amendments that will go a long way toward fixing the core problems we now have. These include:

a) A constitutional amendment that fixes our broken electoral system by 1) completely removing campaign contributions from the political process; 2) requiring all elections to be publicly financed; 3) moving election day to the weekend to increase voter turnout; 4) making all Americans registered voters at the moment of their birth; 5) banning computerized voting and requiring that all elections take place on paper ballots.

b) A constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people and do not have the constitutional rights of citizens. This amendment should also state that the interests of the general public and society must always come before the interests of corporations.

c) A constitutional amendment that will act as a “second bill of rights” as proposed by President Frankin D. Roosevelt: that every American has a human right to employment, to health care, to a free and full education, to breathe clean air, drink clean water and eat safe food, and to be cared for with dignity and respect in their old age.

Let me know what you think. Occupy Wall Street enjoys the support of millions. It is a movement that cannot be stopped. Become part of it by sharing your thoughts with me or online (at Get involved in (or start!) your own local Occupy movement. Make some noise. You don’t have to pitch a tent in lower Manhattan to be an Occupier. You are one just by saying you are. This movement has no singular leader or spokesperson; every participant is a leader in their neighborhood, their school, their place of work. Each of you is a spokesperson to those whom you encounter. There are no dues to pay, no permission to seek in order to create an action.

We are but ten weeks old, yet we have already changed the national conversation. This is our moment, the one we’ve been hoping for, waiting for. If it’s going to happen it has to happen now. Don’t sit this one out. This is the real deal. This is it.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Michael Moore

I Am Troy Davis
November 30, 2011, 12:57 am
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A Witness for Troy Davis: a Legalized Lynching
Thomas Ruffin, Jr., Esquire © October-November 2011

“Stand Up! Testify! We Won’t Let Troy Davis Die!”
The militant chant of hundreds of mainly black, but also many white, protesters marching on the state capitol building to a somber NAACP-Amnesty-International prayer vigil in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, the night before the Troy Davis execution on September 21, 2011.

On September 21, 2011, I witnessed the legalized lynching of my client, Troy Anthony Davis, who died by “lethal injection” shortly before his forty-third birthday. A funny man, and, indeed, a religious and politically sensitive black man, Troy Davis assumed a very public role that he never wanted: that of facing execution for a crime someone else committed. Before then, he braved through the ordeal of being falsely accused and tried in Savannah, Georgia, for the senseless murder of a white police officer. After being convicted and sentenced to death in August 1991, Troy realized that, notwithstanding this nation’s simplistic claims of equality and fairness, American courts do not provide an invisible barrier called “justice” as protection for the wrongly accused, especially those who are black and poor. After all, in the United States, poor people, especially blacks and Latinos, face imprisonment and suffering, including execution, at a rate vastly disproportionate to our numbers in American society.
For example, in Georgia, where black males make up no more than about 15% of the state’s population, black men comprise about 48.4% of Georgia’s death row. In fact, in Georgia, where black people in general constitute about 30% of the state’s population, we make up about 61.5% of Georgia’s prison population. That is to say, about 33,669 of Georgia’s prison population are black. After a close reading of history, we should not be surprised. After all, from 1882 through 1923, white mobs in Georgia publicly lynched 458 people, 95% or 435 of whom were black people of African descent. Afterwards, from 1924 through the present, Georgia “legally” executed 471 people, 74.9% or 353 of whom were black. Most, if not all, of the executed, like the lynched victims before, never received the protections in the law that well-to-do whites receive in Georgia. However, in a system based in its origins on a form of white capital supremacy, elected policy makers and other such elites seldom worry about adequate legal protections for blacks and the poor.

In fact, in the United States, black people of African descent, or rather those born in this country and whose first language is English, comprise an estimated 12.2% to 13% of the American populace. However, black males make up about fifty percent of the American prison population and, as of January 1, 2011, about 41.8% of America’s total death row population. To be sure, for every 100,000 black males living in the United States on June 30, 2009, about 4,749 were imprisoned. Hence, a total of perhaps 1,021,000 black men (not including Hispanic black men) were imprisoned in June 2009. As of August 27, 2011, federal prisons incarcerated about 217,582 people, about 37.9% of whom were black. As a matter of fact, by January 1, 2011, the federal government imprisoned sixty-seven people on its death row, about 50.7% or thirty-four of whom were black men.

For similar examples, we should look at Maryland and Virginia, two mid-Atlantic states. In Maryland, where black males make up about 14% of the state population, and where the total black population constitutes no more than about 28% of the state populace, the total prison and jail population equals about 23,285 people, with about 77% of that number being black. In the meantime, Maryland’s death row imprisons five men, 80% or four of whom are black. Similarly, in Virginia, where black people constitute about 20% of the state’s population, we make up about 68% of the state’s prison and jail population of about 35,564. Furthermore, black men, who constitute about 10% of Virginia’s population, make up at least 45.4% of the condemned on Virginia’s death row. In sum, for every 100,000 black people in Maryland, 1,579 live in Maryland prisons or jails. As for Virginia, for every 100,000 black people, 2,331 are imprisoned by the Virginia commonwealth. In contrast, for every 100,000 white people in Maryland, merely 288 are incarcerated by the state. Similarly, for every 100,000 white people in Virginia, merely 396 are imprisoned by the commonwealth.
This pattern of racial bias persists throughout much of the United States, at least where black people make up a sizable percentage of the state population. In North Carolina, where black people make up about 21.5% of the population, we make up about 51.5% of its death row population and about 64% of its prison population. In South Carolina, where black people constitute 29.5% of the populace, we comprise about 52.4% of the state’s death row population and about 69% of its prison population. While these and other examples from the south may be instructive, little difference will come from a review of the north. In Ohio, for example, where black people constitute about 11.8% of the population, we make up about 51.5% of Ohio’s death row. Similarly, we make up about 52% of the state’s prison population. Likewise, in Pennsylvania, where black people make up about 10.8% of the population, we provide a little more than 60.7% of the state’s death row population and about 56% of its prison population.

Despite these numbers, black people do not commit most of the crimes in the United States. As a matter of fact, black people never committed most of the felony or misdemeanor offenses in the United States. Rather, we simply faced in a racially disparate fashion deliberate targeting by American police. In fact, according to a U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics report titled Race of Prisoners Admitted to State and Federal Institutions, 1926-86, black people, in 1926, during some of the harshest conditions of so-called “Jim Crow” or apartheid segregation, constituted no more than about 21.4% of the American prison population. By 1950, the percentage increased to 29.7%. Apparently, the trend towards focusing the government’s police powers on black communities for prosecution and imprisonment gradually increased over the last century, probably as lynch-law and racial segregation waned while more discreet forms of oppression became preferable. Over the years, this racially bigoted pattern of policing resulted in a number of injustices.

At the end of the day, these injustices included the wrongful prosecution, the twenty-two-year imprisonment, and, ultimately, the legalized lynching of Troy Anthony Davis. As a result, many of us proclaim as an act of solidarity that “I am Troy Davis”. Meanwhile, the insidious nature of the machine that poisoned Troy to death can best be identified by the politicians, the judges, the lawyers, the police, the prison employees, the lobbyists, and the contractors who benefit from the system and who make sure that it functions. These people long for a morally acceptable forum for their constituencies’ blood lust. While never admitting to racial bias, they can never escape the statistics that outline their collective ambition for racially disproportionate executions. Nor can they credibly dispute the sworn recantations by seven of the nine surviving witnesses who, at first, testified against Troy Davis in August 1991 on the murder charge,
but who later confessed that they lied at trial against Troy and often did so because of illegal pressures or suasion from local police. In addition, the Georgia politicians and judges who maintain the death penalty ignored the sworn proof offered by additional eyewitnesses who saw Officer MacPhail’s murder, or who heard a confession to the crime, and who ultimately disclosed under oath that Sylvester “Red” Coles, a police informant, actually committed the murder or confessed to the crime, not Troy Davis.

For those offended by Troy’s murder, we should honor the words “I am Troy Davis” by working to abolish the American death penalty, and we should insist upon achieving that goal within three to five years of Troy’s execution. While pursuing this goal, we should also eliminate racially disparate imprisonment in American society. As a partial remedy to the fiscal troubles of the United States, we should demand that racially disparate imprisonment and policing come to an end within three to five years, if not immediately. As a matter of conscience and sound public policy, the two causes must be linked. After all, the scourge of America’s death penalty must end, and the pervasive system of police state apartheid must be crushed into nonexistence, if the United States would atone for its biased prosecutions against those who, because of incarceration, embody the words “I am Troy Davis”.

At the end of the day, racial minorities should not be targeted for prison. Innocents and the poor should not be legally lynched on America’s death row. The American police state, with its history of racial slavery and other forms of oppression, should not be trusted with seemingly unlimited power to torment the poor and peoples of color. In other words, the enforcement of the law should not be based upon its violation by the state. Hence, if constitutional precepts such as “due process” and “equal protection of the law” mean anything, then racially disparate prosecutions and callous indifference to innocence should not be the norm. We should oppose these evils until they no longer exist. In his last words, Troy Davis issued more or less this same mandate late at night on September 21, 2011, while strapped down to a gurney in a rural Georgia prison. Many of us heard Troy’s mandate. The question before us today is whether we will fulfill it.

EPA Finds Compound Used in Fracking in Wyoming Aquifer
November 11, 2011, 3:27 pm
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by Abrahm Lustgarten
ProPublica, Nov. 10, 2011, 1:10 p.m.

As the country awaits results from a nationwide safety study on the natural gas drilling process of fracking, a separate government investigation into contamination in a place where residents have long complained [1] that drilling fouled their water has turned up alarming levels of underground pollution.

A pair of environmental monitoring wells drilled deep into an aquifer in Pavillion, Wyo., contain high levels of cancer-causing compounds and at least one chemical commonly used in hydraulic fracturing, according to new water test results [2] released yesterday by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The findings are consistent with water samples the EPA has collected from at least 42 homes in the area since 2008, when ProPublica began reporting [3] on foul water and health concerns in Pavillion and the agency started investigating reports of contamination there.

Last year — after warning residents not to drink [4] or cook with the water and to ventilate their homes when they showered — the EPA drilled the monitoring wells to get a more precise picture of the extent of the contamination.

The Pavillion area has been drilled extensively for natural gas over the last two decades and is home to hundreds of gas wells. Residents have alleged for nearly a decade [1] that the drilling — and hydraulic fracturing in particular — has caused their water to turn black and smell like gasoline. Some residents say they suffer neurological impairment [5], loss of smell, and nerve pain they associate with exposure to pollutants.

The gas industry — led by the Canadian company EnCana, which owns the wells in Pavillion — has denied that its activities are responsible for the contamination. EnCana has, however, supplied drinking water to residents.

The information released yesterday by the EPA was limited to raw sampling data: The agency did not interpret the findings or make any attempt to identify the source of the pollution. From the start of its investigation, the EPA has been careful to consider all possible causes of the contamination and to distance its inquiry from the controversy around hydraulic fracturing.

Still, the chemical compounds the EPA detected are consistent with those produced from drilling processes, including one — a solvent called 2-Butoxyethanol (2-BE) — widely used in the process of hydraulic fracturing. The agency said it had not found contaminants such as nitrates and fertilizers that would have signaled that agricultural activities were to blame.

The wells also contained benzene at 50 times the level that is considered safe for people, as well as phenols — another dangerous human carcinogen — acetone, toluene, naphthalene and traces of diesel fuel.

The EPA said the water samples were saturated with methane gas that matched the deep layers of natural gas being drilled for energy. The gas did not match the shallower methane that the gas industry says is naturally occurring in water, a signal that the contamination was related to drilling and was less likely to have come from drilling waste spilled above ground.

EnCana has recently agreed to sell its wells in the Pavillion area to Texas-based oil and gas company Legacy Reserves for a reported $45 million, but has pledged to continue to cooperate with the EPA’s investigation. EnCana bought many of the wells in 2004, after the first problems with groundwater contamination had been reported.

The EPA’s research in Wyoming is separate from the agency’s ongoing national study of hydraulic fracturing’s effect on water supplies, and is being funded through the Superfund cleanup program.

The EPA says it will release a lengthy draft of the Pavillion findings, including a detailed interpretation of them, later this month.

Dream Reality New Earth Radio Bara Webre Eisenhower 11/08 by Dr DREAM | Blog Talk Radio
November 10, 2011, 3:39 am
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Dream Reality New Earth Radio Bara Webre Eisenhower 11/08 by Dr DREAM | Blog Talk Radio.

Michael Jackson
November 9, 2011, 4:26 pm
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“I’m not going to spend my life being a color!”

18 Arrested in Wisconsin Assembly for Using Cameras; Guns Still Allowed | Common Dreams
November 6, 2011, 12:48 pm
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18 Arrested in Wisconsin Assembly for Using Cameras; Guns Still Allowed | Common Dreams.

Stephen Colbert said Governor Walker was bringing “a new freedom to America’s dairyland” with the concealed carry law, but said people would not see “images of gunfire in the statehouse” because of the camera ban. “Thank God. Cameras are dangerous!”