1% vs. 99% 2300 Years Ago

Socrates is not frightened, he continues to ask rather than answer; and after a minute of parry and thrust he provokes the unwary Thrasymachus to commit himself o a definition:

“Listen, then,” says he angry Sophist, “I proclaim that might is right, and justice is the interest of the stronger, . . . The different forms of government make laws, democratic, artistocratric, or autocratic, with a view to their respective interests; and hese laws, so made by them to serve their interests, they deliver to their subjects as ‘justice’ and punish as ‘unjust’ anyone who transgresses them . . . . I am speaking of injustice on a large scale; and my meaning will be most clearly seen in autocracy, which by fraud and force takes away the property of others, not retail but wholesale. Now when a man has taken away the money of the citizens and made slaves of them, then, instead of swindler and thief, he is called happy and blessed by all. For injustice is censured because those who censure it are afraid of suffering, and not from any scruple they might have of doing injustice themselves”

(338-44) Republic

Seattle mayor “sorry” Occupy Seattle protesters were pepper-sprayed

Posted by  on November 16, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn apologized Wednesday to peaceful Occupy Seattle protesters who were pepper-sprayed by police officers on Tuesday.

The mayor said the city will review the use of pepper spray and try “to ensure appropriate commanders are on the ground at these kinds of events.”

“Last night, the police used pepper spray in two separate incidents, and many are now questioning whether the police use of force was appropriate to the circumstances,” McGinn said in a statement. “I have seen video and written descriptions of the incidents.

“To those who engaged in peaceful protest, I am sorry that you were pepper sprayed.”

McGinn said he had met with Police Chief John Diaz and the command staff.

Police used pepper spray to clear streets in Belltown and near Westlake Park as protesters marched in sympathy for Occupy Wall Street activists who had been evicted from a park in New York City. Among those pepper-sprayed Tuesday night were a 19-year-old pregnant woman and 84-year-old activist Dorli Rainey.

Police said pepper spray was used only against demonstrators who refused orders to disperse or who assaulted police officers.

McGinn said tensions appear to be getting higher as Occupy Seattle heads into its sixth week of protests and added the city does “not want overly aggressive enforcement to exacerbate the situation.”

Read more:
http://today.seattletimes.com/2011/11/mcginn-says-sorry-for-pepper-spraying-protesters/

Poet-Bashing Police

OPINION
By ROBERT HASS
Published: November 19, 2011

Activists raised a tent in front of Sproul Hall on the Berkeley campus as police officers in riot gear retreated on Nov. 9.

…The deputy sheriffs, all white men, except for one young woman,… had black truncheons in their gloved hands that reporters later called batons and that were known, in the movies of my childhood, as billy clubs.

Earlier that day a colleague had written to say that the campus police had moved in to take down the Occupy tents and that students had been “beaten viciously.” I didn’t believe it. In broad daylight? And without provocation? So when we heard that the police had returned, my wife, Brenda Hillman, and I hurried to the campus…

Once the cordon formed, the deputy sheriffs pointed their truncheons toward the crowd. It looked like the oldest of military maneuvers, a phalanx out of the Trojan War, but with billy clubs instead of spears. The students were wearing scarves for the first time that year, their cheeks rosy with the first bite of real cold after the long Californian Indian summer. The billy clubs were about the size of a boy’s Little League baseball bat. My wife was speaking to the young deputies about the importance of nonviolence and explaining why they should be at home reading to their children, when one of the deputies reached out, shoved my wife in the chest and knocked her down.

My wife bounced nimbly to her feet. I tripped and almost fell over her trying to help her up, and at that moment the deputies in the cordon surged forward and, using their clubs as battering rams, began to hammer at the bodies of the line of students. It was stunning to see. They swung hard into their chests and bellies. Particularly shocking to me — it must be a generational reaction — was that they assaulted both the young men and the young women with the same indiscriminate force. If the students turned away, they pounded their ribs. If they turned further away to escape, they hit them on their spines.

NONE of the police officers invited us to disperse or gave any warning. We couldn’t have dispersed if we’d wanted to because the crowd behind us was pushing forward to see what was going on….A couple of students had pushed forward in the excitement and the deputies grabbed them, pulled them to the ground and cudgeled them, raising the clubs above their heads and swinging. The line surged. I got whacked hard in the ribs twice and once across the forearm. Some of the deputies used their truncheons as bars and seemed to be trying to use minimum force to get people to move. And then, suddenly, they stopped, on some signal, and reformed their line. Apparently a group of deputies had beaten their way to the Occupy tents and taken them down. They stood, again immobile, clubs held across their chests, eyes carefully meeting no one’s eyes, faces impassive. I imagined that their adrenaline was surging as much as mine.

Read more:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/opinion/sunday/at-occupy-berkeley-beat-poets-has-new-meaning.html?pagewanted=all

Occupy Wall Street protesters face eviction in several cities, Zuccotti Park tent ban

Published: November 16

The Occupy Wall Street camp in Zuccotti Park in Manhattan was cleared by police in an hours-long action Tuesday afternoon, yet by evening’s end a judge had ruled the protesters could return with one major difference: no tents. As AP reported :

Crackdowns against the Occupy Wall Street encampments across the country reached the epicenter of the movement Tuesday, when police rousted protesters from a Manhattan park and a judge ruled that their free speech rights do not extend to pitching a tent and setting up camp for months at a time.

After being ordered to leave Zuccotti Park, Occupy Wall Street protesters took to the streets of Lower Manhattan. They have been told they can return to their longtime encampment once it has been cleaned. (Nov. 15)

It was a potentially devastating setback. If crowds of demonstrators return to Zuccotti Park, they will not be allowed to bring tents, sleeping bags and other equipment that turned the area into a makeshift city of dissent.

But demonstrators pledged to carry on with their message protesting corporate greed and economic inequality, either in Zuccotti or a yet-to-be chosen new home.

“This is much bigger than a square plaza in downtown Manhattan,” said Hans Shan, an organizer who was working with churches to find places for protesters to sleep. “You can’t evict an idea whose time has come.”

Read More:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/occupy-wall-street-protesters-face-eviction-in-several-cities-zuccotti-park-tent-ban/2011/11/15/gIQA3cNsRN_story.html

Occupy the Agenda

OP-ED COLUMNIST
Occupy the Agenda
By Published: November 19, 2011

YOU have to wonder: Could Mayor Michael Bloomberg and police chiefs around the country be secretly backing the Occupy Wall Street movement?

The Occupy protests might have died in infancy if a senior police official had not pepper-sprayed young women on video. Harsh police measures in other cities, including a clash in Oakland that put a veteran in intensive care and the pepper-spraying of an 84-year-old woman in Seattle, built popular support.

Just in the last few days, Bloomberg — who in other respects has been an excellent mayor — rescued the movement from one of its biggest conundrums. It was stuck in a squalid encampment in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park: antagonizing local residents, scaring off would-be supporters, and facing months of debilitating snow and rain. Then the mayor helped save the demonstrators by clearing them out, thus solving their real estate problem and re-establishing their narrative of billionaires bullying the disenfranchised. Thanks to the mayor, the protests grew bigger than ever.

I watched in downtown Manhattan last week as the police moved in to drag off protesters — and several credentialed journalists — and the action seemed wildly over the top.

Read more:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/opinion/sunday/kristof-occupy-the-agenda.html?_r=1

Goldman Sachs Sends Its Regrets to This Awkward Dinner Invitation

Earlier this month, hundreds of New Yorkers received an unusual dinner invitation from the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union.

The Credit Union, a small lender serving New York’s poor, was holding a fund-raiser to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Among the chief sponsors listed on the invitation was Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Among the honorees: “Occupy Wall Street.”

They might as well have asked Marie Antoinette to dig into her purse to support Madame Defarge’s knitting business.

Shortly after the invitation was sent out, Goldman withdrew its name from the dinner. It also pulled the plug on its $5,000 funding pledge.

The debate that ensued—between bankers and nonprofit chiefs, philanthropists and financiers—turned a modest fund-raising dinner into a heated battleground between Wall Street and the Occupy protestors, exposing contradictions on both sides.

Read more:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203752604576645480987452682.html

Guide to Arizona v. United States

By Ben Winograd
Immigration Policy Center 

The Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in Arizona v. United States, a dispute over the legality of the immigration law known as “SB 1070.” More than any matter in recent history, the case involves a range of important questions regarding the role that states may play in the enforcement of federal immigration law. The Court’s decision will likely affect not only the future of SB 1070, but the fate of other state immigration laws being challenged in court and the odds of similar laws being passed around the country.

This guide provides brief answers to common questions about the case, including how the litigation began, what the contested provisions do and do not say, and what arguments have been raised by each side. The guide also includes an appendix listing all of the outside individuals, organizations, and governments that filed briefs supporting and opposing SB 1070. As the Supreme Court considers the case, knowing the facts and legal arguments behind the case will prove critically important in furthering a rational discussion about the implications of the Justices’ decision.

For ongoing updates on Arizona v. United States, check out our blog, ImmigrationImpact.com.

Published On: Mon, Apr 02, 2012 Download File

UNIDOS Present Ten Point Resolution on Arizona Ethnic Studies Crisis

“We Want an Educational System Where Many Cultures Fit”

As the media scrambled to cover the extraordinary uprising at the Tucson Unified School District board meeting last night, where hundreds of students and community members turned out in protest and nine Ethnic Studies/Mexican American Studies (MAS) students from the UNIDOS group chained themselves to the board members chairs to protest a controversial resolution that would have terminated their acclaimed program’s core curriculum accreditation, few noted that UNIDOS actually presented a counter resolution.

Created in response to H.B. 2281, the controversial ban on Ethnic Studies throughout the state of Arizona, U.N.I.D.O.S. (United Non-discriminatory Individuals Demanding Our Studies) is a new Tucson youth coalition of students from local high schools, alumni and community members, according to alumni and Pima College student Leilani Clark, citing the group’s mission statement, “who formed in response of the growing attacks on education and culture by the Arizona legislature. As Ethnic Studies students we envision a society based on the values of respect, equality, justice, diversity and equitable education for all. We want an educational system, not just in Arizona, but beyond, where many cultures fit in.”

Read more:

http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2011/04/27/unidos-present-ten-point-resolution-on-arizona-ethnic-studies-crisis-%E2%80%9Cwe-want-an-educational-system-where-many-cultures-fit%E2%80%9D/

Senate votes to end millionaire farm subsidies

The Associated Press The Associated Press | Posted: Saturday, October 22, 2011 12:00 am

WASHINGTON – Unable to agree on whether millionaires should be taxed more, Democrats and Republicans are in rare accord on one issue: Growers with million-dollar incomes shouldn’t reap farm subsidies.

In an emphatic vote early Friday, 84 senators voted to discontinue certain farm subsidies for people who make more than a million dollars in adjusted gross income. The practical impact of the vote may be marginal – current limits are about $1.2 million at most – but it represents a sea change in how the heavily rural Senate views farm support. In recent years, many votes to limit subsidies have failed in the Senate.

Republican Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl both voted to lower the income threshold for subsidies.

“I do think sentiment has changed,” says former Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, a Democrat who pushed for years to lower subsidy limits. “When they are under this much pressure to cut spending they have to take an honest look at what’s happening, and you can’t justify direct payments under these circumstances.”

Direct payments, the type of subsidy targeted in Friday’s vote, have long been criticized because they are paid regardless of crop prices and yields, unlike other more insurance-like programs that kick in when prices drop or crops are damaged.

Read more: http://azstarnet.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/senate-votes-to-end-millionaire-farm-subsidies/article_f28e5d51-5ae1-5c01-be28-ab47d4c46d2a.html#ixzz1suQMxbEU

Read more:
http://azstarnet.com/news/national/govt-and-politics/senate-votes-to-end-millionaire-farm-subsidies/article_f28e5d51-5ae1-5c01-be28-ab47d4c46d2a.html

Millionaires on Capitol Hill: Tax us more

Nov. 16, 2011 04:05 PM
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Lobbyists for a day, a band of millionaires stormed Capitol Hill on Wednesday to urge Congress to tax them more.

They had a little trouble getting in. It turns out there are procedures, even for the really rich.

But once inside, their message was embraced by liberals and tolerated by some conservatives — including the ideological leader of anti-tax lawmakers, who had some advice for them, too.

“If you think the federal government can spend your money better than you can, then by all means” pay more in taxes than you owe, said Grover Norquist, the head of a group that has gotten almost all congressional Republicans to pledge to vote against tax hikes. The IRS should have a little line on the form where people can donate money to the government, he suggested, “just like the tip line on a restaurant receipt.”

In the silence left by the private efforts of the “supercommittee” to find $1.2 trillion or more in deficit cuts by Thanksgiving, free advice flowed in public.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/11/16/20111116millionaires-capitol-hill-please-tax-me-more.html#ixzz1suOPCNdi

Read More:
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/11/16/20111116millionaires-capitol-hill-please-tax-me-more.html