Friday, November 25, 2011

OCCUPY THE CAPITOL 11/28/11


CURRENT ENEMY NOT FROM SOME DISTANT SHORE

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Tom Davis Mason County Progressive


Citizens are standing together against economic inequality.

We are in the midst of a social revolution aimed at policies that enable a minority of citizens to control the economic futures of the majority. It has become increasingly evident that government on all levels now views the needs of the majority as subordinate to the greed of the minority.

What started out as a small east coast movement has struck a chord with the vast majority of Americans. But the fact remains, civil demonstrations tend to frighten victims of injustice more than their persecutors. The reason for this is people have been led to believe civil disobedience of any stripe is Un-American. This reaction is not hard-wired into the human psyche, but instilled through generations of social conformity.

In the past, protests aimed at economic inequality were ignored by those who would maintain the status quo, but those days may be coming to an end. The question now is when such protests will manifest into political action.

There was a time when young men and women marched to a more civic-minded drummer, gravitating toward careers of social responsibility, such as teachers, social workers and ecologists. Unfortunately, the new trend for our best and brightest is to march directly from the halls of higher learning to the dungeons of Wall Street, or worse, to multi-national businesses who exploit workers on a global scale.

Moreover, some of these same people go on to become heads of industry with political aspirations, though they maintain personal standards better suited to groping people than to grappling with national issues. How our country has sunk to anti-social levels as gleaned in some candidates for national office is no mystery. Such economic de-evolution is not a new phenomenon, but the result of decades of unheeded warnings by humanitarians.

Americans have a history of putting our differences aside when confronted by a common enemy. And it is with no small acknowledgment we must now recognize the current enemy comes not from some distant shore.

Please join hands with family, friends and neighbors in support of economic equality aimed at jobs with futures and futures with hope.

This Monday, November 28th at 11:00 AM, we gather at Sylvester Park, in Olympia (Capitol Way and Legion Way, across from the Governor’s Inn) to let legislators know that cutting services to 99% of Americans while cutting taxes to the wealthiest 1% will no longer be tolerated.

Photo by Christine Armond

SHELTON BLOG NOTE:


OCCUPY THE CAPITOL

on
Monday, November 28th
at
11:00 AM

at
Sylvester Park
Olympia, WA

Link to Occupy Olympia website for more information:
http://occupyolympia.org/nov-28th-action-week/

CAPITOL WEEK OF ACTION!

Press Advisory submitted to Shelton Blog By Occupy Olympia

OCCUPY THE CAPITOL
The Days of Politics As Usual Are Over

Occupy Olympia will bring the 99% to our state capitol starting November 28 and lasting until lawmakers decide to stand up for Washington families. After cutting $10 billion in the past three years, lawmakers now want to cut another $2.7 billion--and our representatives will pretend that they can’t do anything about it. The all cuts approach continues to place the burden for balancing the budget squarely on the 99% while requiring no sacrifice on behalf of corporations and our wealthiest citizens.

If our elected officials won’t provide for the relative security and basic needs of the 99% during a time of increasing need then they will get an eviction notice.

Our elected officials have called a "special" session to slash funding for our schools, our healthcare and our community services. We call on the Occupy Movement in Washington State to converge on the Capitol on Nov. 28th to stand up and fight. If the Governor and Legislators won’t prioritize human need over corporate interests then we will bring the many to Olympia to serve notice. The days of politics as usual are over.

Learn more at:

http://occupyolympia.org/nov-28th-action-week/

http://www.occupyolympia.org/

Thursday, November 24, 2011

THANKSGIVING 2011

Forum Post:
To the OWS Movement - Thank You
By thecommonman

For the courage and sacrifice that you have given to help open the eyes of the 99% and the change you have brought to the consciousness of the world

Link to Occupy Wall St. website:
www.occupywallst.org

Link to Occupy Wall St. Forum Post:
http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/to-the-ows-movement-thank-you/

BUY NOTHING DAY 11/25/11

Excerpt from:
OCCUPYXMAS Kicks Off
with Buy Nothing Day, Nov 25/26



Link to complete article:

http://www.occupywallst.org/article/occupyxmas-kicks-buy-nothing-day-nov-2526/

Friday, November 18, 2011

MARIO SAVIO: STOPPING THE MACHINE



Mario Savio's sit-in address on the steps of Sproul Hall
at the University of California at Berkeley.
Delivered on December 2, 1964.
"There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!"

[Prolonged applause]

"Now, no more talking. We're going to march in singing 'We Shall Overcome. Slowly; there are a lot of us. Up here to the left -- I didn't mean the pun."

Link to Mario Savio Memorial Lecture website
: www.savio.org

BIOTECH GIANTS FACE TRIAL

Forwarded to Shelton Blog by Biofuelwatch/Energy Justice Network Mason County Progressive

Excerpts from:
Monsanto, Bayer and Dow face trial
for 'systematic human rights abuses'
By Matilda Lee
Permanent Peoples' Tribunal accuses biotech giants Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, Syngenta, DuPont and BASF of promoting dangerous pesticides including endosulfan, paraquat and neonicotinoids
The world's major agrochemical companies, Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, Syngenta, DuPont and BASF, will face a public tribunal in early December accused of systematic human rights violations.

They are accused of violating more than 20 instruments of international human rights law through promoting reliance on the sale and use of dangerous and unsafe pesticides including endosulfan, paraquat and neonicotinoids.

The Permanent Peoples' Tribunal (PPT), an international opinion tribunal created in 1979, will hear expert testimony from scientists, medical doctors and lawyers to prove the charges. Victims who have been injured by these products - from farmers, farmworkers, mothers and consumers from around the world - will also testify to the causes and nature of their injuries.

The cases will be heard over a four-day trial in Bangalore, India beginning December 3. While the Tribunal has no legal weight, and cannot force sanctions on companies, it aims to expose and raise awareness of large-scale human rights violations.

Pesticides Action Network (PAN) International, a global network comprised of 600 organisations in 90 countries, has spent years collecting information to bring about the indictments and is seeking justice for more than 25 specific cases - such as Silvino Talavera, an 11-year-old from Paraguay who died days after breathing in a cloud of Monsanto's RoundUp herbicide sprayed by a crop duster. The trial will also hear evidence of the link between pesticide use and a decline in bees.

The corporations, known as the 'Big 6' control 74 per cent of the global pesticide market, as well as dominating the global seed market.

Bayer reject the allegations saying they are a 'wholesale distortion of the role of pesticides in our society.' Monsanto, Syngenta and Dow, after being contacted by the Ecologist, were unavailable for comment.

Pesticide poisonings

An estimated 355,000 people are believed to die each year from unintentional toxic chemical poisoning, according the World Health Organization, many of these from use or exposure to pesticides and other agrochemicals. Nick Mole from PAN UK said the trial would give a voice to the otherwise voiceless victims of pesticides...

It is hoped that the verdict, to be delivered on December 6, will lead to greater discussions at UN institutions on holding agrochemical corporations accountable for crimes relating to the impact of their products...

Link to complete article:
http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/1122020/monsanto_bayer_and_dow_face_trial_for_systematic_human_rights_abuses.html

Thursday, November 17, 2011

SIMPSON AOP RENEWED FOR 5 YEARS


RENEWAL OF AIR OPERATION PERMIT FOR SIMPSON LUMBER COMPANY


Dear Concerned/Interested Citizen:

Simpson’s Air Operating Permit (AOP) for their lumber mill located in Shelton was issued for another five year term on November 17, 2011. This letter provides notice of this decision and Olympic Region Clean Air Agency’s (ORCAA’s) responses to comments received during the public comment period.

Background

AOPs are required pursuant to Title V of the federal Clean Air Act and are designed to help ensure compliance with applicable air quality regulations and standards. AOPs are required to be renewed every five years. This is the 2nd renewal of the AOP for Simpson’s lumber mill in Shelton. Simpson’s Shelton lumber mill requires an AOP because it has the potential to emit over 100 tons per year of several regulated air pollutants including carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen and particulate matter.

ORCAA’s Responses to Comments

ORCAA’s responses to comments received during the public comment period and public hearing that was held on September 27, 2011 are attached above. Each comment received in writing, by e-mail, or recorded during the public hearing was considered by ORCAA and has received a written response. However, for repeated comments ORCAA’s response may refer to a previous response that adequately addressed the same comment.

Right to Appeal or Petition Permit

The AOP may be appealed by filing an appeal with the Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board and serving it on ORCAA within thirty days of receipt of this notice. Also, Section 505(b)(2) of the federal Clean Air Act and Code of Federal Regulations under 40 CFR 70.8(d) authorize that any person can petition the EPA Administrator to object to a Title V operating permit within 60 days after expiration of EPA's 45-day review period if EPA has not objected on its own initiative. EPA has not objected to Simpson’s AOP renewal and their 45-day review period ended November 6, 2011.

You can view or download copies of the final AOP from the “Services” section of ORCAA’s website at: http://www.orcaa.org/services/air-operating-permits/. Please call if you have any questions regarding this notice or Simpson’s AOP.

Sincerely,

Mark V. Goodin
ORCAA Senior Engineer
(360) 539-7610
mark.goodin@orcaa.org

OLYMPIC WILDERNESS PROTECTION


Excerpt from:
Olympic Wilderness Protection

By MCD News Room

Thursday, 17 November 2011

U.S. Representative Norm Dicks and U.S. Senator Patty Murray have released a draft proposal to add areas to the Olympic Watersheds Protection Proposal. The Olympic Wilderness proposal would provide additional protection for some of the most critical landscapes on the Olympic Peninsula.

It would designate new wilderness areas on existing U.S. Forest Service land, add pristine rivers to the Wild and Scenic River System, and provide an opportunity for targeted Olympic National Park preserve additions through a willing-buyer, willing-seller process.


A series of public workshops are scheduled including one in Shelton on Friday, December 2. This workshop starts at 5 PM at the Shelton Civic Center.

Other workshops:

Thursday, December 1, 2011. 5:00pm-7:00pm at the Chapel Building at Fort Worden State Park Conference Center. 200 Battery Way, Port Townsend, WA 98368

Saturday, December 3, 2011. 3:00pm-5:00pm at the Museum at the Carnegie. 207 S. Lincoln St., Port Angeles, WA


Sunday, December 4, 2011. 3:00pm-5:00pm at the Central Elementary School Library. 310 Simpson Ave. Hoquiam, WA


Link to a map of this proposal:
http://house.gov/dicks/newsroom/wild_olympics_wilderness_rivers_park_v12.pdf

Link to complete article:

http://masoncountydailynews.com/news/news-page

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

OCCUPY SEATTLE MARCHERS INJURED


Occupy Seattle Is Saddened and Outraged
at SPD’s Attack of Peaceful Protestors

November 15, 2011

Occupy Seattle is both saddened and outraged at the behavior of the Seattle Police Department this evening. We offer our sympathies to the many protesting patriots that were indiscriminately pepper sprayed including a 4’10” 84 year old woman, a priest and a pregnant woman who as of this writing is still in the hospital. We are grateful to the Seattle Fire Department for their assistance with the injured and their strong tradition of protecting and serving the entire community.

We condemn the outrageous behavior of the SPD in response to civil disobedience, a peaceful and time honored form of political protest. Like those who used civil disobedience to abolish slavery, to gain a woman’s right to vote, to end child labor in this country, to weaken segregation in the south and to end the Vietnam War, Occupy Seattle refuses to stand by while the moneyed interests continue to corrupt our democracy. We demand that the moneyed interests and that the SPD both be held accountable for their egregious behavior.

Please contact Mayor McGinn and Seattle Chief of Police Diaz to ask that SPD be held accountable and call for a halt to the use of pepper spray against peaceful protesters engaged in civil disobedience. Tell the Mayor and the Chief of Police that police are supposed to serve and protect the community and keep the peace, not attack people.

Link to Occupy Seattle website:
http://occupyseattle.org/blog/2011-11-15/occupy-seattle-saddened-and-outraged-spd%E2%80%99s-attack-peaceful-protestors

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

DAY OF ACTION IN BREMERTON 11/17/11


We Are The 99% event

Thursday, November 17th
at
5:30 PM

at
Warren Ave Bridge
(Map)
Bremerton, WA 98312


Let's keep the momentum going!
Please
SIGN UP for this gathering right away!

Message from your host, Amanda M.: Big decisions are about to be made by the "Super Committee" that will drastically effect us all. We need to make sure our senator, Patty Murray, protects Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security and creates jobs not cuts. It is imperative we take action now to protect the 99%. Please join us on November 17th as we occupy the Warren Ave Bridge. Thanx for all you do and look forward to seeing you there!

Link to MoveOn.Org: front.moveon.org

REPLY TO OCCUPY OLY REMOVAL NOTICE

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Bruce Wilkinson Mason County Progressive

OCCUPY OLYMPIA IS A SOLUTION NOT A PROBLEM
A response to the threat of removal of Occupy Olympia by the state

Occupy Olympia is a political encampment giving voice to the people and providing broad benefits to the city of Olympia. We have exposed the hidden reality of mass poverty and homelessness to the public while correctly identifying the culprits, the 1%, owners of Wall Street banks, multinational corporations and destroyers of our democracy. We've also demonstrated community based solutions that are fixing the plight of those with immediate need while progressing against the greater challenges facing the 99%. The state's implicit threats will not deter us from pursuing our cause and we are not surprised by their desire to send us packing.


Proudly providing direct food, shelter and health services has brought cost saving social benefits to our community and touched the deeply penetrating wounds inflicted upon our society. Everyday solutions are being implemented by real people, instilling hope in the hearts of the downtrodden. Our direct charity and support is helping families through the worst economic downfall in a generation as we enter a potentially harsh winter. Community members sharing tents side by side with the homeless bridges class divides superficially imposed by an out of touch elite. Clearly Olympia is safer, cleaner and more civil because of Occupy Olympia than it would be without it.

Politically we've held a dozen marches protesting the Wall Street banks and the extreme wealth divide that has been perpetuated by the 1% criminal class of fat cats. The extreme wealth discrepancy that has lead to 10 people in Washington state having a combined wealth of $101.5 billion while many of us barely tread water is finally being confronted. Practicing participatory democracy we have united together in a way that has left the 1% nervous. That the state is being used as the tool of these wealthy extremists to dismantle this popular social movement is shameful.

We welcome the state's overtures to finally come forward with support services although we are not holding our breath. We have zero tolerance for violations of our no drug or alcohol policy and have worked hard at implementing safety patrols and processes for removing those that violate the occupation's rules. Any and all incidents are swiftly and fairly dealt with by our determined volunteers who understand what an incredible challenge we face as we work to reform the basic structure of our society from the grassroots up. We are gearing up for protests against the deadly cuts being proposed by Gregoire and we worry that the slanderous hearsay being put forward is more politically motivated then safety oriented.

Going forward we will continue to work with all groups and individuals who wish to express their Constitutional right to free speech on the Capitol Campus and in all of Olympia. We respect the land we are occupying and continue to collaborate and cooperate with the workers who are cleaning the bathrooms and caring for the grounds. It is not our intention to suffer the wind and cold forever on that wet lawn by the lake but we are far from concluding because we have hardly begun.


Occupy Olympia Food Dispensary

Photo by Christine Armond

SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

LINK TO HOW WE CAN HELP:
http://occupyolympia.org/how-can-i-help/

CHRIS HEDGES ON THE REVOLUTION


Excerpts from:
This Is What Revolution Looks Like
By Chris Hedges

Welcome to the revolution. Our elites have exposed their hand. They have nothing to offer. They can destroy but they cannot build. They can repress but they cannot lead. They can steal but they cannot share. They can talk but they cannot speak. They are as dead and useless to us as the water-soaked books, tents, sleeping bags, suitcases, food boxes and clothes that were tossed by sanitation workers Tuesday morning into garbage trucks in New York City. They have no ideas, no plans and no vision for the future.

Our decaying corporate regime has strutted in Portland, Oakland and New York with their baton-wielding cops into a fool’s paradise. They think they can clean up “the mess”—always employing the language of personal hygiene and public security—by making us disappear. They think we will all go home and accept their corporate nation, a nation where crime and government policy have become indistinguishable, where nothing in America, including the ordinary citizen, is deemed by those in power worth protecting or preserving, where corporate oligarchs awash in hundreds of millions of dollars are permitted to loot and pillage the last shreds of collective wealth, human capital and natural resources, a nation where the poor do not eat and workers do not work, a nation where the sick die and children go hungry, a nation where the consent of the governed and the voice of the people is a cruel joke.

Get back into your cages, they are telling us. Return to watching the lies, absurdities, trivia and celebrity gossip we feed you in 24-hour cycles on television. Invest your emotional energy in the vast system of popular entertainment. Run up your credit card debt. Pay your loans. Be thankful for the scraps we toss. Chant back to us our phrases about democracy, greatness and freedom. Vote in our rigged political theater. Send your young men and women to fight and die in useless, unwinnable wars that provide corporations with huge profits. Stand by mutely as our bipartisan congressional super committee, either through consensus or cynical dysfunction, plunges you into a society without basic social services including unemployment benefits. Pay for the crimes of Wall Street...

The process of defection among the ruling class and security forces is slow and often imperceptible. These defections are advanced through a rigid adherence to nonviolence, a refusal to respond to police provocation and a verbal respect for the blue-uniformed police, no matter how awful they can be while wading into a crowd and using batons as battering rams against human bodies. The resignations of Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s deputy, Sharon Cornu, and the mayor’s legal adviser and longtime friend, Dan Siegel, in protest over the clearing of the Oakland encampment are some of the first cracks in the edifice. “Support Occupy Oakland, not the 1% and its government facilitators,” Siegel tweeted after his resignation.

There were times when I entered the ring as a boxer and knew, as did the spectators, that I was woefully mismatched. Ringers, experienced boxers in need of a tuneup or a little practice, would go to the clubs where semi-pros fought, lie about their long professional fight records, and toy with us. Those fights became about something other than winning. They became about dignity and self-respect.

You fought to say something about who you were as a human being. These bouts were punishing, physically brutal and demoralizing. You would get knocked down and stagger back up. You would reel backwards from a blow that felt like a cement block. You would taste the saltiness of your blood on your lips. Your vision would blur. Your ribs, the back of your neck and your abdomen would ache. Your legs would feel like lead.

But the longer you held on, the more the crowd in the club turned in your favor. No one, even you, thought you could win. But then, every once in a while, the ringer would get overconfident. He would get careless. He would become a victim of his own hubris. And you would find deep within yourself some new burst of energy, some untapped strength and, with the fury of the dispossessed, bring him down. I have not put on a pair of boxing gloves for 30 years. But I felt this twinge of euphoria again in my stomach this morning, this utter certainty that the impossible is possible, this realization that the mighty will fall.


Link to complete article:
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/this_is_what_revolution_looks_like_20111115/

Monday, November 14, 2011

NAOMI KLEIN ON DEMOCRACY NOW!

Naomi Klein on Environmental Victory:
Obama Delays Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Decision Until 2013

AMY GOODMAN: Environmental activists are claiming victory after the Obama administration announced Thursday it will conduct a review of the route of the 1,700-mile Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline and put off any decision on approving the pipeline until 2013. The announcement was made just four days after over 10,000 people encircled the White House, calling on Obama to reject TransCanada’s plan to build a pipeline stretching from Alberta, Canada, to Texas.

Sunday’s protest was the second major action against the project, organized by environmentalist Bill McKibben of 350.org and Tar Sands Action. In late August and early September, over 1,200 people were arrested in Washington, D.C., in a two-week campaign of civil disobedience.

Among those arrested in August was the Canadian writer Naomi Klein. On Thursday night, she spoke to a packed house at New School University at a forum about Occupy Wall Street. She began by talking about the Keystone pipeline.


NAOMI KLEIN: Just a few hours ago, the White House announced that it is going to have a new environmental review for the Keystone XL pipeline. That review is going to take at least a year, and the company that wants to build the Keystone XL pipeline, TransCanada, has said that it can’t handle another delay, that their investors will lose faith. You know, investors don’t like economic uncertainty. And they’ve already dealt with a lot. The review is going to be looking at rerouting the pipeline around the Ogallala Aquifer, and TransCanada has also said that they can’t reroute it around the aquifer and still have this project be economically feasible.

So, OK, it’s not the victory that we wanted. We wanted Obama to kill the pipeline because of what the pipeline is carrying, which is tar sands dirty oil, which is catastrophic, no matter how you pipe it, for the planet, for the climate. But we knew we weren’t going to get that. We knew we weren’t going to get that in an election year, because the right would have gone to town on Obama as a job killer.

But we believe that this delay will kill the pipeline. And if it doesn’t, if this pipeline reemerges after the election, people have signed pledges saying they will put their bodies on the line to stop it and that civil disobedience, that I and 1,200 others engaged in outside the White House with the arrests this fall, that this will become actions in front of bulldozers. I mean, people are ready to take that type of action. And so, we put them on notice.


But when we started this campaign, we—and this was just three months ago that the first protests happened outside the White House—we thought we had a very slim chance of winning, like a kind of a 1 percent chance of winning. And when Occupy Wall Street happened, I had a conversation with Bill McKibben, who has just been the powerhouse behind this campaign, just a hero. And I said to Bill, "I think this is helping us. What do you think?" And he said, "I think it’s helping us, too."

And the reason we believe this is because—precisely what Patrick was talking about—the ground has shifted, the climate has shifted. And what it would mean for Obama to cave in to this corporation, especially after we exposed all the cronyism going on between TransCanada and the State Department and TransCanada and the White House, this kind of corruption is precisely what’s on trial in parks and plazas around the world right now. And now that it’s been exposed, this has become the ultimate example.

You know, as Bill said, we’re occupying—we’re occupying Wall Street because Wall Street is occupying the State Department. So there is a—there’s been a clear connection between, and a conversation between, these campaigns. I don’t think we would have won without Occupy Wall Street. I really—I can’t imagine how we could have. And this is what it means to change the conversation. And that’s why this whole idea—you know, "What are their demands?" and, you know, "What are they trying to accomplish?" There are already victories happening. And this is just one example of it.


What I find exciting is the idea that the solutions to the ecological crisis can be the solutions to the economic crisis and that we stop seeing these as two problems to be pitted against each other by savvy politicians, but that we see them as a single—single—crisis born of a single root, which is unrestrained corporate greed that can never have enough. And that is that mentality that trashes people and that trashes the planet and that would shatter the bedrock of the continent to get out the last—the last drops of fuel and natural gas. It’s the same mentality that would shatter the bedrock of societies to maximize profits. And that’s what’s being protested.

We need to have a coherent agenda here. We need to have a coherent narrative. And then we need to—as the discussion moves forward to what—what do we want to build in the rubble of this failed system? I think that’s the conversation. Not what are your demands, but what do we want to build in the rubble of this failed system? Then, obviously, the solutions have to have the ecological crisis front and center, once we realize that this is—this is the same crisis.

And these are where the jobs are. I mean, where else are you going to get millions of jobs but in building massive public transit systems and a smart energy grid and green cooperatives? I mean, where else is this going to happen?

So, I’m hoping that this will emerge, and I think it is starting to emerge. And I’m seeing this—you know, there are calls to occupy the food system, to occupy the rooftops for solar energy. So, you know, it’s dispersed right now, but it’s starting to weave together. And I think that will—I think that will take this movement to the next phase, beyond outrage, because we’re in the outrage phase, but we need to get into a hope phase of being able to imagine another economic model.


AMY GOODMAN: Canadian writer and activist Naomi Klein, speaking Thursday night in New York at an event organized by The Nation magazine. She was one of more than 1,200 people who were arrested. She was arrested September 2nd outside the White House, protesting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

Link to transcript and video on Democracy Now!:
http://www.democracynow.org/2011/11/11/naomi_klein_obama_delays_keystone_xl

Sunday, November 13, 2011

THE NEW PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Darrell Barker Mason County Progressive

Excerpts from:
The New Progressive Movement
By Jeffrey D. Sachs

OCCUPY WALL STREET and its allied movements around the country are more than a walk in the park. They are most likely the start of a new era in America. Historians have noted that American politics moves in long swings. We are at the end of the 30-year Reagan era, a period that has culminated in soaring income for the top 1 percent and crushing unemployment or income stagnation for much of the rest. The overarching challenge of the coming years is to restore prosperity and power for the 99 percent.

Thirty years ago, a newly elected Ronald Reagan made a fateful judgment: “Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.” Taxes for the rich were slashed, as were outlays on public services and investments as a share of national income. Only the military and a few big transfer programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and veterans’ benefits were exempted from the squeeze.

Reagan’s was a fateful misdiagnosis. He completely overlooked the real issue — the rise of global competition in the information age — and fought a bogeyman, the government. Decades on, America pays the price of that misdiagnosis, with a nation singularly unprepared to face the global economic, energy and environmental challenges of our time...

Both parties have joined in crippling the government in response to the demands of their wealthy campaign contributors, who above all else insist on keeping low tax rates on capital gains, top incomes, estates and corporate profits. Corporate taxes as a share of national income are at the lowest levels in recent history. Rich households take home the greatest share of income since the Great Depression. Twice before in American history, powerful corporate interests dominated Washington and brought America to a state of unacceptable inequality, instability and corruption. Both times a social and political movement arose to restore democracy and shared prosperity...

The young people in Zuccotti Park and more than 1,000 cities have started America on a path to renewal. The movement, still in its first days, will have to expand in several strategic ways. Activists are needed among shareholders, consumers and students to hold corporations and politicians to account. Shareholders, for example, should pressure companies to get out of politics. Consumers should take their money and purchasing power away from companies that confuse business and political power. The whole range of other actions — shareholder and consumer activism, policy formulation, and running of candidates — will not happen in the park...

The new movement also needs to build a public policy platform. The American people have it absolutely right on the three main points of a new agenda. To put it simply: tax the rich, end the wars and restore honest and effective government for all...

Those who think that the cold weather will end the protests should think again. A new generation of leaders is just getting started. The new progressive age has begun.

Jeffrey D. Sachs is the director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and the author, most recently, of “The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity".

Link to complete article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/opinion/sunday/the-new-progressive-movement.html?_r=3&pagewanted=all

OCCUPY THE KOCHS

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Sheri Staley Mason County Progressive



Link:
kochblocked.com

Saturday, November 12, 2011

KOCH BROS - IT'S THE EVIL THING



Link: http://kochblocked.com/evil-thing/

OCCUPY OLYMPIA RESPONDS TO NOTICE

Mason County Progressive
Press Release submitted to Shelton Blog by Occupy Olympia Mason County Progressive

TO: Joyce Turner, Director of Washington State Department of Enterprise Services


DATE: November 11, 2011

RE: State fails, Occupy Olympia perseveres to serve the people

As a result of the concerns addressed by the public, a grassroots movement evolved to address the failure of the government to provide basic human needs to its citizens. Washington State has cut basic social services to people who are already struggling. It is evident by the failure of the State to care for the people that our health and safety is more important to us than those using our tax dollars for corporate welfare. For this reason Occupy Olympia has provided basic services such as food, shelter and medical attention to those in need.

We are here to address the issues that arise as a result of a failing system. Our purpose is to repair it so that the system in place will represent the interests of the 99 percent. We consider safety to be our highest priority, and removing our tents would expose us to the elements, constituting a very serious safety risk.

Occupy Olympia acknowledges the concerns surrounding housing and supporting the individuals at the encampment. The issues that have arisen since the founding of the camp mirror the issues faced in neighborhoods around the country. The Peace and Safety Committee, designed to oversee the well-being and order of the camp, has maintained a 24 hour presence since the encampment began. As a community, we have the ability to care for each other in ways the State and police refuse to.

With respect to the restrooms, multiple members of the State maintenance crew responsible for cleaning the restrooms at Heritage Park informed us that the restrooms are cleaner then they have ever seen them. Our cleaning committee cleans and sanitizes them daily.

Washington State Department of Enterprise Services has indicated that they have organized resources to provide for members of our community who have no homes, no access to health care and no food security. Occupy Olympia would like to challenge Joyce Turner to present a plan for providing these basic human needs to our valued under-served community members.

We the people will continue to stand together against a world of neglect, corruption and greed.

Occupy Olympia

Photo by Christine Armond


SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

Link to Occupy Olympia: occupyolympia.org/

OCCUPY OLYMPIA REMOVAL REQUESTED


November 11, 2011

State asks for voluntary removal of tents from Heritage Park

The Washington Department of Enterprise Services is asking for your cooperation in the voluntary removal of tents at Heritage Park.

Recent concerns about safety and health at the park are the reasons behind this request. The escalating public safety concerns that the department is encountering demonstrate that the Occupy Olympia activity is no longer sustainable in its current form at the park.

Recent incidents include violent behavior by some individuals, illegal use of drugs and alcohol and arrests associated with these activities. Health concerns have also been raised given the increasing number of individuals using park facilities. These are risks to those staying in the park and the greater community as well.

Enterprise Services has contacted local social-service organizations that are willing to assist those at the park who are in need of or desire access to shelter, food aid and health care.

Enterprise Services is committed to the protection and accommodation of First Amendment free-speech activities on the Capitol Campus. That is a paramount responsibility in the department’s visitor and citizen access program and as the chief steward of the campus grounds and buildings.

The department will continue to work with all groups or individuals who wish to express their Constitutional right to free speech on the Capitol Campus.

The department and its agency partners respectfully request that collaboration and cooperation continue to a safe conclusion of the activities at the park.

Thank you for your consideration.

Joyce Turner
Director
Washington Department of Enterprise Services

SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

Link to Washington State Department of Enterprise Services:

http://des.wa.gov/

Friday, November 11, 2011

OCCUPY SHELTON VETERANS DAY RALLY

On 11/11/11, over 70 people peacefully gathered in the
pouring rain under the clock tower on Railroad Ave. in
Shelton to demonstrate support for the Occupy movement


Corporations are not people!


We are the 99%


Local vets Occupy Shelton on Veterans Day


OCCUPY SHELTON! OCCUPY EVERYWHERE!

Photos by John Cox Mason County Progressive

Thursday, November 10, 2011

RAISE REVENUE TO SAVE LIVES!

Sign from Occupy Olympia

DEAR GOVERNOR GREGOIRE,
JOIN US IN SOLIDARITY!


Submitted to Shelton Blog by Berd Mason County Progressive

06 November 2011

Dear Governor Gregoire,

I am discouraged. I am looking at the prospect of the emergency special session. According to your office, the special session will focus on cutting programs in order to balance the budget.

I want to ask you to think about whether this is the correct approach. I want to ask why are we pushing for cuts, before seeking new revenue.

Maybe there is a better way.

Maybe, just maybe, instead of a "first cuts" approach, your office could call for a special emergency session to RAISE REVENUE.

For example, the Boeing and Microsoft corporations have tons of money. Tax exemptions that these corporations enjoy could be allowed to expire, instead of making cuts that will result in death and further suffering for so many. Look at this. The Boeing and Microsoft corporations have outsourced jobs to exploit cheap labor overseas. The government, by granting them indefinite tax exemptions, enables, encourages, promotes and rewards these, and other, harmful behaviors.

There is an appearance of betrayal. After all, we cannot abide policies that enable cash profits at the expense of the well-being of so many people (and planet). We cannot abide cash for killing!

Please consider this: Instead of a special "cuts first" legislative session, how about an emergency session to raise revenue. To save lives.

You could even say to the people and the legislature something like this:

"If at the end of this special session to raise revenue the legislature has failed, then I as Governor of the State of Washington, will leave the luxurious abode of the Governor's Mansion, and move into Solidarity Village, in solidarity with those whom are most afflicted as a result of the systemic injustice and corruption that plagues this society."

Please join us. Please protect us. We call on you.

I hope that you will seriously and sincerely consider this message.

Thank you,
Robert Whitlock

Olympia, WA
http://peacepotential.blogspot.com/2011/11/dear-governor-gregoire-join-us-in.html

Photo by Christine Armond

SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

Special state legislative session on budget convenes 11/28/11

For complete list ot the Governor's proposed budget reductions:
www.ofm.wa.gov

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

FARAWAY FACES COMING CLOSER


MY EYES WEPT FOR DAYS

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Christine Armond
Mason County Progressive

A flood of visual memories arose in my mind's eye after reading Chris Hedges' poignant article "Finding Freedom in Handcuffs"
.

Some years after I returned to the USA in 1983 after my first stay in India, I went to an osteopath friend for a treatment. For some reason (later she said it was sheer intuition), she cupped her hands gently over my eyes (not her usual mode of treatment).

Much to my surprise (and hers), tears began silently streaming down my face...a seemingly endless stream of tears. I realized this endless stream of tears was for the endless sea of suffering faces I saw in the streets of the Indian cities in the early 80's.

Tears for the gaunt faces at the Indian train stations, peering desperately into the windows of trains where I sat. Tears for the doleful faces of child beggars (with legs purposefully crippled so they could bring in more money), crawling through train compartments whenever and wherever I traveled.

Tears for all the suffering that I saw that even if I gave away everything I had in the world, it would not have even made a dent in the all pervasive misery surrounding me.

My eyes had "seen" so much overwhelming suffering; so much more suffering than I could ever have believed possible before witnessing it for myself; so much suffering that until that moment with my friend's hands upon my eyes, my eyes that had "seen" more suffering than they had ever wanted to see, or had the psychic capacity to contain, began to weep away their sorrow.

My eyes wept for days.

These heartrending faces have remained with me over the years, and will no doubt remain with me for the rest of my life. These types of visual memories tend to etch themselves upon our consciousness, as anyone with similar experiences can tell you.

Although India is now finally beginning to establish a middle class, when I traveled the country decades ago, with few exceptions, it was the extremely wealthy (send your son overseas to Harvard wealthy), and the extremely poor (illiterate with no food and no shelter poor), with not much in between.

One time in Chennai (then called Madras), I was kindly invited to dinner by a wealthy Indian family. As we sat in their elegant dining room, being served a six course meal, I could not help but dwell upon the sight I had just passed on my way into their house. Starving homeless people were rummaging through a nearby garbage heap, competing with dogs and rats and stray cows for something to eat. My appetite left me on my way in, and I really wondered how this gracious family could possibly sit and eat at this opulent table, in full knowledge of the scene below their window.

The situation in India is getting better these days, and some parts of India are actually developing a thriving middle class (a result of ever expanding opportunities for education, and also in part due, no doubt, to the corporate outsourcing of jobs).

And the USA?

In contrast, it seems our middle class is in swift decline by systematic corporate design.
The faces of abject poverty are no longer so faraway. These faces are now appearing in our very own American streets in dramatically increasing numbers.

Poverty has always been present in our country, but now poverty is becoming policy.

We must reverse this race to the bottom.

OCCUPY EVERYWHERE!

May all beings in all four corners of the world be free of suffering!


Photo: cameracrack.redbubble.com


SHELTON BLOG NOTE:

Link to Chris Hedges' article "Finding Freedom in Handcuffs":
http://masoncountyprogressive.blogspot.com/2011/11/chris-hedges-on-finding-freedom.html

Monday, November 7, 2011

OCCUPY SHELTON 11/11/11

CHRIS HEDGES ON FINDING FREEDOM

Excerpt from:
Finding Freedom in Handcuffs
By Chris Hedges

Editor’s note: Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, an activist, an author and a member of a reporting team that won a 2002 Pulitzer Prize, wrote this article after he was released from custody following his arrest last Thursday. He and about 15 other participants in the Occupy Wall Street movement were detained as they protested outside the global headquarters of Goldman Sachs in lower Manhattan.


Faces appeared to me moments before the New York City police arrested us Thursday in front of Goldman Sachs. They were not the faces of the smug Goldman Sachs employees, who peered at us through the revolving glass doors and lobby windows, a pathetic collection of middle-aged fraternity and sorority members.

They were not the faces of the blue-uniformed police with their dangling cords of white and black plastic handcuffs, or the thuggish Goldman Sachs security personnel, whose buzz cuts and dead eyes reminded me of the East German secret police, the Stasi.

They were not the faces of the demonstrators around me, the ones with massive student debts and no jobs, the ones whose broken dreams weigh them down like a cross, the ones whose anger and betrayal triggered the street demonstrations and occupations for justice.

They were not the faces of the onlookers—the construction workers, who seemed cheered by the march on Goldman Sachs, or the suited businessmen who did not.

They were faraway faces. They were the faces of children dying. They were tiny, confused, bewildered faces I had seen in the southern Sudan, Gaza and the slums of Brazzaville, Nairobi, Cairo and Delhi and the wars I covered.

They were faces with large, glassy eyes, above bloated bellies. They were the small faces of children convulsed by the ravages of starvation and disease.


I carry these faces. They do not leave me. I look at my own children and cannot forget them, these other children who never had a chance.

Link to complete article:
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/finding_freedom_in_handcuffs_20111107/

RECORD RISE FOR GREENHOUSE GASES

Excerpt from:
Greenhouse gases rise by record amount

Levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case
scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago

The global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide has jumped by a record amount, according to the US department of energy, a sign of how feeble the world's efforts are at slowing man-made global warming.

The figures for 2010 mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago.

"The more we talk about the need to control emissions, the more they are growing," said John Reilly, the co-director of MIT's Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

The world pumped about 564m more tons (512m metric tons) of carbon into the air in 2010 than it did in 2009, an increase of 6%. That amount of extra pollution eclipses the individual emissions of all but three countries, China, the US and India, the world's top producers of greenhouse gases.

It is a "monster" increase that is unheard of, said Gregg Marland, a professor of geology at Appalachian State University, who has helped calculate department of energy figures in the past.

Extra pollution in China and the US account for more than half the increase in emissions last year, Marland said.

"It's a big jump," said Tom Boden, the director of the energy department's Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center at Oak Ridge National Lab. "From an emissions standpoint, the global financial crisis seems to be over."

Boden said that in 2010 people were travelling, and manufacturing was back up worldwide, spurring the use of fossil fuels, the chief contributor of man-made climate change.

India and China are huge users of coal. Burning coal is the biggest carbon source worldwide and emissions from that jumped nearly 8% in 2010.

"The good news is that these economies are growing rapidly so everyone ought to be for that, right?" Reilly said. "Broader economic improvements in poor countries has been bringing living improvements to people. Doing it with increasing reliance on coal is imperiling the world."

In 2007, when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its last large report on global warming, it used different scenarios for carbon dioxide pollution and said the rate of warming would be based on the rate of pollution. Boden said the latest figures put global emissions higher than the worst case projections from the climate panel. Those forecast global temperatures rising between 4 and 11 degrees Fahrenheit (2.4-6.4 Celsius) by the end of the century with the best estimate at 7.5 degrees (4 Celsius).

Even though global warming sceptics have criticised the climate change panel as being too alarmist, scientists have generally found their predictions too conservative, Reilly said. He said his university worked on emissions scenarios, their likelihood, and what would happen. The IPCC's worst case scenario was only about in the middle of what MIT calculated are likely scenarios.

Chris Field of Stanford University, head of one of the IPCC's working groups, said the panel's emissions scenarios are intended to be more accurate in the long term and are less so in earlier years. He said the question now among scientists is whether the future is the panel's worst case scenario "or something more extreme".

"Really dismaying," Granger Morgan, head of the engineering and public policy department at Carnegie Mellon University, said of the new figures. "We are building up a horrible legacy for our children and grandchildren."

But Reilly and University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver found something good in recent emissions figures. The developed countries that ratified the 1997 Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gas limiting treaty have reduced their emissions overall since then and have achieved their goals of cutting emissions to about 8% below 1990 levels. The US did not ratify the agreement.

In 1990, developed countries produced about 60% of the world's greenhouse gases, now it's probably less than 50%, Reilly said.

"We really need to get the developing world because if we don't, the problem is going to be running away from us," Weaver said. "And the problem is pretty close from running away from us."

Link to complete article:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/04/greenhouse-gases-rise-record-levels