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    The OB Media Rundown for 6/27/12

    National Occupy Gathering a Turning Point for Movement

    Unlike those who support fascism and corporative rule, supporters of the OWS movement and its branches aren’t going to go away any time soon. In fact, it’s safe to say that they’re here to stay indefinitely. Negative reports exaggerating crimes and other nonsensical things only draw away from the point that is being pushed by the protesters — the banks need to stop reaming its customers and the top one percent of the nation need to start paying their fair share. Period.

    http://tinyurl.com/855uu5b

    Fragmented Unity at Philly’s Upcoming Occupy National Gathering

    The National Gathering will last from June 30 through July 4, and representatives from 92 occupations are expected to be present. Caravans from the south, west and north will converge on the city on Saturday, June 30. The Gathering will be packed with actions, workshops and speakers, including Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, influential New York Occupier Alexis Goldstein, organizer Alexa O’Brien and David Gespass, president of the National Lawyers Guild. Activists from the massive demonstrations in Quebec will be in attendance.

    The fragmentation of the Occupy movement will be on display as well; alongside the National Gathering, there will be two other concurrent events. The Radical Convergence, based in West Philadelphia, is being held by largely local activists who no longer identify with the “Occupy” brand, if they ever did. “It is a space for those who have felt Occupy in its current form demonizes and excludes radical dialogue, strategy, and action,” the website reads. The Radical Convergence, however, will collaborate with the National Gathering on food and actions.

    There will also be an Anarchist Anti-Summit, although it is not clear who is organizing it, where it will be held or what they will be doing. Organizers of the National Gathering and the Radical Convergence, as well as this reporter, have all tried to find out, only to reach cordial, anonymous and uninformative spokespeople.

    http://tinyurl.com/782z7qq

    How to Save Our Homes

    A Minneapolis family’s fight to save their home has become a national struggle after police arrested 13 protesters, including hip-hop artist Brother Ali. Earlier police raids resulted in dozens more arrests as Occupy Minneapolis and activists in 18 other cities have called on the PNC Bank to renegotiate mortgage terms with the Cruz family and to rescind a foreclosure and eviction order. The family had been current on payments until a bank error caused a payment to be recorded as late, triggering extra fees.

    The Cruz family is just one among millions that has faced uncertainty, eviction, and homelessness since 2008 when the economy began to unravel. The hardships faced by these families is one reason many in Occupy have joined a growing Occupy Our Homes movement.

    But there’s one part of the housing market that’s remained stable, and it may offer a way forward. In community land trusts across the country, you won’t find sheriffs dragging people’s belongings out to the curb and arresting their supporters. No homes sit abandoned. Neighborhoods remain intact.

    http://tinyurl.com/7mztko6

    Continue reading “The OB Media Rundown for 6/27/12” »

    The OB Media Rundown for 6/26/12

    Occupy Members Protest During President Obama’s Visit to Boston

    Protesters plan on planting themselves outside of Symphony Hall today during the President’s campaign-fundraising visit to Boston.

    At least fifty protesters said on Facebook they intend to rally outside of the music hall, where President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver a speech and meet with supporters.

    Members of Occupy Boston have organized the anti-Obama event along Massachusetts Avenue, and will hold signs voicing their discontent with the Democratic elected official.

    http://tinyurl.com/7xfw5y2

    More Revelations of Favorable Stock Trading By Members of Congress

    One-hundred-thirty members of Congress or their families have traded stocks collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars in companies lobbying on bills that came before their committees, a practice that is permitted under current ethics rules, a Washington Post analysis has found.

    The lawmakers bought and sold a total of between $85 million and $218 million in 323 companies registered to lobby on legislation that appeared before them, according to an examination of all 45,000 individual congressional stock transactions contained in computerized financial disclosure data from 2007 to 2010 . . .

    http://tinyurl.com/82gco2u

    Banned TED Talk video: ‘Job creators’ language chosen to deify capitalists, entrench their status and privilege

    (video)

    http://tinyurl.com/d33fnsy

    Background on banned TED talk: http://tinyurl.com/bn7e77p

    Postal Workers Launch Hunger Strike To ‘Save’ Agency

    A group of U.S. Postal Service employees and supporters launched a hunger strike Monday on Capitol Hill, urging action from lawmakers in order to save an agency they said was imperiled by Congress itself.

    The postal workers and boosters said they were trying to draw attention to a wonky yet crucial element of postal service reform being considered: the repeal of what’s called the “prefunding mandate,” a 2006 requirement from Congress that the USPS prefund the retiree health benefits for its workers 75 years in advance, to the tune of about $5.5 billion per year.

    “Congress created the problem, Congress can fix it,” said Jamie Partridge, a retired letter carrier who worked in Portland, Ore., for 27 years and is taking part in the hunger strike. “We’re just frustrated. We’re indignant, we’re outraged, we’re here to shame Congress into doing the right thing. We’re willing to suffer, to go on a hunger strike in order to show our indignation.”

    http://tinyurl.com/73hwpy9

    Continue reading “The OB Media Rundown for 6/26/12” »

    The OB Media Rundown for 6/24/12

    Corporate Profits Just Hit An All-Time High, Wages Just Hit An All-Time Low

    (charts)

    In short, our current system and philosophy is creating a country of a few million overlords and 300+ million serfs.

    That’s not what has made America a great country. It’s also not what most people think America is supposed to be about.

    So we might want to rethink that.

    http://tinyurl.com/82z8ska

    America’s long slope down

    A broad swath of official economic data shows that America and its people are in much worse shape than when we paid higher taxes, higher interest rates and made more of the manufactured goods we use.

    The numbers since the turn of the millennium point to even worse times ahead if we stay the course. Let’s look at the official numbers in today’s dollars and then what can be done to change course.

    http://tinyurl.com/89fzycf

    Census Bureau Report Shows Shared Households Increased 11.4 Percent from 2007 to 2010

    “Although reasons for household sharing are not discernible from the survey, our analysis suggests that adults and families coped with challenging economic circumstances over the course of the recession by joining households or combining households with other individuals or families,” said Laryssa Mykyta, an analyst in the Census Bureau’s Poverty Statistics Branch and one of the authors of the report.

    The report compares official poverty rates to personal and household poverty rates. Official poverty rates compare total family income with a threshold that varies with family size and composition. Household poverty rates compare household income with the relevant threshold.  Personal poverty rates compare the income of the individual, couple or subfamily with the relevant threshold.

    http://tinyurl.com/7dksafy

    Continue reading “The OB Media Rundown for 6/24/12” »

    The OB Media Rundown for 6/23/12

    The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia

    This just-completed trial in downtown New York against three faceless financial executives really was historic. Over 10 years in the making, the case allowed federal prosecutors to make public for the first time the astonishing inner workings of the reigning American crime syndicate, which now operates not out of Little Italy and Las Vegas, but out of Wall Street.

    The defendants in the case – Dominick Carollo, Steven Goldberg and Peter Grimm – worked for GE Capital, the finance arm of General Electric. Along with virtually every major bank and finance company on Wall Street – not just GE, but J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, UBS, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Wachovia and more – these three Wall Street wiseguys spent the past decade taking part in a breathtakingly broad scheme to skim billions of dollars from the coffers of cities and small towns across America. The banks achieved this gigantic rip-off by secretly colluding to rig the public bids on municipal bonds, a business worth $3.7 trillion. By conspiring to lower the interest rates that towns earn on these investments, the banks systematically stole from schools, hospitals, libraries and nursing homes – from “virtually every state, district and territory in the United States,” according to one settlement. And they did it so cleverly that the victims never even knew they were being _cheated. No thumbs were broken, and nobody ended up in a landfill in New Jersey, but money disappeared, lots and lots of it, and its manner of disappearance had a familiar name: organized crime.

    http://tinyurl.com/7uptgpq

    Occupy and 350.org – You Come Down Here and Embrace!

    Embrace

    You see from the title of my little sermon, that I am asking the people from two movements, 350.org and Occupy Wall Street, to do the same.

    These two groups are difference-makers in the world. In the last year and a half – who has had more impact in our country? OWS and 350 share the view that entrenched power is only stopped by people power. In fact, they both call themselves “movements,” right up front in their introductory remarks, like they’re writing their own history. They both have galvanized thousands of citizens who hadn’t necessarily planned to work so hard, to make so much contact with strangers, to feel such exhilaration.

    But it is time for the two families to “come down here and embrace.” I have frequented both worlds, and communication between 350 and Occupy is spotty at best.

    http://tinyurl.com/7gwhoo6

    Occupy vs Eviction: Radicals, Reform, and Dispossession

    In the first part of this post I discuss the anti-eviction work of Occupy Homes. In the second part I discuss some of the demographics of home ownership in the U.S.. In the third part, I discuss political reformism. In the fourth I take up radicals acting in reformist movements, and in the last part I discuss the current push by capitalists and their politicians to impose worse live on many people.

    http://tinyurl.com/6szqu3f

    Continue reading “The OB Media Rundown for 6/23/12” »

    The OB Media Rundown for 6/22/12

    How the 99 percent are cannon fodder for America’s wars

    They are the One Percent who have the best weapons, the best training, and the lion’s share of victories. But when the war is over, One Percent Warriors return home. Once decommissioned, they are no longer triumphant.

    They face free-fall into the group where one out of six people cannot find a full-time job, where mortgages turn to dust along with the houses they had secured, and all the good jobs require the education they do not have. Without their weapons, they control nothing. When the One Percent Warriors arrive home, do they realize that they have spent their tours of duty killing those who mirror themselves: the 99 Percent who Occupy the world? Our enemies have endured lives of vast inequity, where the wealthy control power, corruption assures power, and the military enforces power. Now they are restless, refusing to defer to the One-Percent. Could it happen here?

    http://tinyurl.com/7ea346z

    Occupy effect on the rich

    When world events show us brewing meltdown (Spain), total meltdown (Greece),  and full blown revolution (Arab Spring), the super wealthy in the U.S. might have imagined a life locked in their Beverly Hills mansions  – afraid to go out into the street and enjoy the culture of Los Angeles. Perhaps they imagined being afraid to even let the servants in to maintain their mansion.

    Also, the harsh realities of Greece’s situation and ensuing austerity measures must have stuck a chord with wealthy investors in this country who realize that if things really fall apart in the U.S. their fortune will take a huge hit.

    So even though it’s for their own well being, which might not seem like the “right reason,” it’s nice to know that the ‘powers that be’ are more open to policy that can assuage the situation that the struggling poverty level citizenry is faced with.

    http://tinyurl.com/852c5ge

    How Austerity Is Hurting State Economies

    The effect of austerity in Europe has been decidedly detrimental, stifling growth and needlessly prolonging economic pain for the continent’s residents. And in America, many states are doing the exact same thing, slashing spending and laying off workers in an attempt to cope with collapsed revenue.

    As Center for American Progress economist Adam Hersh found, such austerity has been counterproductive for states as well. In fact, the states that have cut spending during the recession have higher rates of unemployment, lower rates of growth, and ultimately fewer private sector jobs. In the median “spending cut” state:

    http://tinyurl.com/7yjfom6

    Continue reading “The OB Media Rundown for 6/22/12” »

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