This article has two purposes. First is to discuss the big lie the Republicans, Teabaggers and mainstream media are telling you about the Post Office. The Post Office is not in bad financial straits. The Post Office is being FORCED by a deliberate Republican policy into bad financial straits and really has overpaid the government billions of dollars according to two independent audits.
The second purpose is to emphasize just how important it is for you to be involved in your local Democratic Party and/or other local political organizations. The chance to meet your Congressional Rep, even challenge your Congressional Rep face to face, and the chance to meet members of unions and other organizations is invaluable. You are unlikely to be able to do this otherwise.
At the October 2011 meeting of the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, my local reform and progressive Democratic club, there was not enough time for all the information and presentations that people wanted to give. A scheduled discussion by a local Green/Democratic activist of the situation in Liberia (something I am particularly interested in and he has direct, first hand knowledge of) had to be postponed. I cam slightly late so missed one presentation. But we had our Congresswoman present and answer questions (including some challenging ones), we had a representative of a Postal Union give a detailed presentation about what right wing extremists are doing to try and force privatization of the Postal Service (a really, really bad idea), we discussed Occupy Wall Street and plans the club has to give tangible support to Occupy Wall Street, and we discussed hydrofracking and attempts the community has to try and prevent the destruction of our drinking water for corporate profit and more global warming. read more »
Bank of America CEO Brian T. Moynihan scolded us customers (for me, I am now mostly a FORMER customer), saying he was "incensed" at criticism of his bank.
Well Mr. CEO Moynihan, sir...did you notice that your stock has dropped from over $50 a share to about $6 a share? To me that marks YOU as a failure. Meanwhile, TD Bank, which did NO predatory lending and took NO taxpayer funded bailout money, has stayed about $70 a share through the entire time Bank of America tanked.
Seriously, Mr. CEO Moynihan, sir...do you have ANY right to be scolding ANYONE given the disgusting performance of your company?
Come back to me when you no longer need my tax money to just stay afloat. In a TRUE free market you and your lousy company would already be bankrupt, with companies like TD Bank buying up the remains of your assets at bargain prices. That is what TRUE capitalism would look like. Mr. CEO Moynihan, sir, you would be out of a job in a real free market. So stop whining and stop scolding and start showing some humility given the failure you represent.
Mr. CEO Moynihan, or should I say Mr. CEO $50 drops to $6 a share, has no business telling me I shouldn't complain about his lousy company. read more »
Back in the summer of 2003, freshman NYC council member James Davis was shot to death in the NYC council chambers at City Hall; mere moments before a stated meeting of the council was called to order. The most poignant memory of that terrible event was probably that of a distraught Geoffrey Davis (James’s younger brother) continuously sobbing:”they assassinated my brother; they assassinated my brother”. Television-news coverage showed the palpable grief. The pain was real. James and his younger brother Geoffrey were real close. James was Geoffrey’s first hero. Geoffrey nicknamed him: “Rocky”.
James Davis was the charismatic ex-cop, ex-jock, ex-preacher, ex-charmer, from Crown Heights, Brooklyn. He was the founder of the James E. Davis Stop the Violence Foundation. Every August for almost two decades now, the foundation has held an annual march to inspire and motivate kids to “love themselves and stop the violence”. I know very well. I have marched with them quite a few times over the years. read more »
As I said before: truth by its very nature is controversial. And since my first column with this title, I have had to defend a president of whom I have been critical at times; and with whom I disagree on quite a wide range of policy-approaches and position-takes in both foreign-policy and domestic spheres. Look; I am a man who loves to give Jack his jacket and Jim his gym shoes: thus I must give President Barack Obama his props (as they say in the hood).
On paper, none of the current Republican challengers should defeat BO next year November; but paper is very thin, so I hold my reservations. Plus the republican base is smelling blood -and that’s not a good sign for perennially lethargic democrats. Republicans are motivated like hell; at this point in time democrats are not. read more »
This was sent to me by (among others) Prospect Heights Democrats for Reform:
From Daily Kos:
Personally I'd like to see this Marine veteran scold Bloomberg since he is the one ordering the cops to be abusive to the protesters. Mayor Bloomberg: There is no honor is what you are doing to American citizens.
UPDATE: from Sgt. Thomas' YouTube Channel:
Sgt. Shamar Thomas USMC Veteran. I took an Oath that I live by.I am NOT anti-NYPD. I am anti- Police Brutality. I am no longer under contract with the USMC so I do NOT have to follow military uniform regulations. I DON'T affiliate myself with ANY GROUPS or POLITICAL ORG. I affiliate myself with the AMERICAN PEOPLE that's it. I REFUSE to affiliate with anything that SEPERATES. There is an obvious problem in the country and PEACEFUL PEOPLE should be allowed to PROTEST without Brutality. I was involved in a RIOT in Rutbah, Iraq 2004 and we did NOT treat the Iraqi citizens like they are treating the unarmed civilians in our OWN Country. No one was brutalized because our mission was to "WIN the hearts and minds", why should I expect anything less in my OWN Country.
Relative to its impressive historical development, capitalism is presently in a crisis: no doubt. Truth be told, it has been in crisis for decades; but you wouldn’t know this if mainstream media has been your exclusive information-delivery system all this time.
Capitalism is a flawed system of economics; but then, so too is the basically simple “barter system”. In the human exchanges outside of economic theory, rarely would you find true/or objective equality. That’s because economics isn’t a pure science: the rules are human-made. Behind economic relationships are flawed human beings. We often tend to forget this as many wheel and deal, and scheme and steal (or play it straight sometimes). The honest ones are usually the naïve ones. The naïve ones often get rolled. read more »
I witnessed in 2004 the brutal use of motor scooters by the NYPD to "control" a crowd (which was perfectly peaceful at the time). I predicted then that they were likely to hurt someone some day if they continued such a stupid (yes, it is STUPID) and brutal tactic. Take scooters up to a crowd and push them into it and you will one day hurt someone needlessly. And this last week that is exactly what happened when one such scooter cop ran over the leg of a NEUTRAL LEGAL OBSERVER.
Again let me emphasize the absolute stupidity of this tactic. And I assure you Bloomberg, who in 2004 called us protesters, (my wife and I included) the equivalent of terrorists. In my mind Bloomberg and those among the NYPD who use these tactics on peaceful protesters are themselves all too close to being terrorists. Certainly they are using terror to suppress First Amendment rights.
Let me be clear. I have spoken in support of cops, police unions and police running for office many times in the past. But these stupid, brutal tactics Bloomberg and the NYPD are using make it damned hard for me to support them. Let me say that the net time the New York City Police Foundation calls me they are going to get an earful from me about First Amendment rights and police brutality.
Here is the latest stupid and brutal action by the NYPD: (from Daily Kos)
What I notice is that the protesters are BEHIND THE POLICE BARRIERS and the horse cops CROSS THAT BARRIER into the crowd.
Here's another view, showing how determined and deliberate the cops are at forcing their horses into a crowd that is doing NOTHING except exercising its American Constitutional rights:
Are Bloomberg, Kelly and the leadership of the NYPD complete idiots? This is unnecessary and counterproductive. From what I have seen the average cop isn't like this. This is the leadership forcing brutal tactics on the police force.
Are the cops really proud of this? Using motor scooters and horses to brutalize unarmed, peaceful New Yorkers? Attacking their own neighbors? This is Bloomberg's deliberate policy. He has screwed over the cops countless times, trying to break the Police Union. New Yorkers supported the cops. Bloomberg then orders the cops to deliberately attack peaceful protesters. I can only assume that Bloomberg is using this to deliberately drive a wedge between two groups who oppose him. And the cops are following their orders.
I have been pushing for divestment in the four worst banks. I base my choice of worst banks on several criteria: customer service complaints filed with the Comptroller of the Currency, predatory lending practices including racist policies and targeting veterans, right wing politics including support for tax breaks for billionaires while advocating cutting social programs, whinging about "big government" while begging for taxpayer funded bailouts, etc. To some degree I also base it on the rating system of the Responsible Shopper website.
I have been targeting Bank of America, Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo. Of these four, three are also the worst on the Responsible Shopper website: Bank of America, Chase, and Citibank. Fidelity and Vanguard are also among their worst. I haven't targeted them because they aren't really "banks."
I have been pushing as alternatives to the worst banks switching to Credit Unions, TD Bank (a large bank that avoided all the predatory lending practices), USAA (for Veterans and their families), and small local banks. read more »
From Current TV:
It is important to note that THIS IS NOT A NEW TACTIC BY THE NYPD. Back in 2004 I saw plainclothes cops on motor scooters pull right up to a crowd of protesters and then start pushing right into the crowd with their scooters. THIS WAS BOUND TO HAPPEN. It is also important to note that in this case the cop ran over a neutral legal observer, NOT a protester. That is equivalent to attacking a UN observer.
I stopped off at Occupy Wall Street today with my son. We went to look around. Walked around the park then started heading back to the subway. We were waiting at a light to cross. Suddenly about a dozen cops on the same scooters came up and started crossing in front of us. They came out of nowhere and lined up right next to the protesters. As I saw them coming I pulled my son back without thinking (we were not in the street but I still reacted this way) and said, "Be careful, the cops on motor scooters are dangerous. They ran over a man yesterday."
My son was shocked and I noticed one of the cops on the scooters looked at me with what seemed like a sad, almost tearful expression. This incident is wrong and it will drive a wedge between cops and people like me who usually support the cops.
There is an image of Jews going tamely to slaughter in the Holocaust. And it is true, for various reasons, this did happen all too often. But some Jews stood up and fought, even at times defeating the Nazis at least for a time. Throughout the Nazi era, there were always Jews who stood up and fought, and we should not forget those fights.
Sobibor was one of the Nazi death camps. Not just a run of the mill, as it were, concentration camp. But a full out Death Camp whose sole purpose was the death of Jews.
Jews so thoroughly trashed the place that the Nazis did all they could to eliminate every memory of the place. I want to REMEMBER Sobibor, just as much as the Nazis want us all to forget it. In honor of the Jews who rebelled at Sobibor, here is a song written by someone in the Vilna Ghetto, inspired by the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, honoring those who stood up and fought. It is sung in this case by Paul Robeson, who does it full justice:
Big media would have us believe, the dirty unorganized uninformed pinko commie spoiled brats camping, organizing and protesting at Zucotti Plaza don't know what we want. Well, here's sample of what we don't know what we want: read more »
Many people wonder why Republican legislators and Tea-Party members are so hard on President Obama. Frederick Douglass may have given us the answer 128 years ago:
“Though the colored man is no longer subject to barter and sale, he is surrounded by an adverse settlement which fetters all his movements. In his downward course he meets with no resistance, but his course upward is resented and resisted at every step of his progress. If he comes in ignorance, rags and wretchedness he conforms to the popular belief of his character, and in that character he is welcome; but if he shall come as a gentleman, a scholar and a statesman, he is hailed as a contradiction to the national faith concerning his race, and his coming is resented as impudence. In one case he may provoke contempt and derision, but in the other he is an affront to pride and provokes malice.”
September 25, 1883. read more »
This month's Central Brooklyn Eating Liberally meeting will be Tuesday, Oct. 11th at 7 PM at Bar Tano in Gowanus. I have always considered expanding into Gowanus for our restaurant choices, and thanks to Cheryl I have finally done it. And for Rosalie this also means I've finally added an Italian restaurant to our rotation.
457 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215-3814(718) 499-3400
Check out their menu here: http://bartano.com/dinnerMenu.htm
We can discuss the disastrous primary and special election in Sept. as well as the Occupy Wall Street movement. I have been pushing a complementary action to the Occupy Wall Street movement which is targeting the four worst banks in America:
And I know others in the group are involved with the opposition to Wal Mart in NYC, which I feel is also an important part of the fight against the corporate jihad against unions and working class America. If they can make it this month it might be a good chance to get an update on Wal Mart. read more »
I always know when a column has touched some raw nerves: the phones start ringing almost as soon as the column is e-mailed; long before it even goes public/viral/lol. And that’s when I usually have to defend my thesis or ”splain” myself like the deceased Lucille Ball. My last column- primarily about the potential Ed Towns v. Hakeem Jeffries congressional primary next year- brought some strange calls and e-mails. So let me expound on some of the things I wrote there and even throw in some other kibbles and bits.
Political junkies who read my columns regularly, tend to like the juicy tidbits of political gossip that emanate from Brooklyn mainly. Some of them would just love to see me fall on my face with one of these columns; or better yet: get sued for libel or slander. They keep waiting and hoping and wishing for that day. I say this: keep waiting and wishing and hoping. My stuff is tighter than the deceased Jack Benny’s wallet. read more »
This is one of the best videos to capture the ethos of #OccupyWallStreet. Bravo to Alex Mallis and Lily Henderson for telling a very simple and clear story about the people braving the weather to create a powerful space for dissent.
Directed by Alex Mallis + Lily Henderson
Cinematography by Ed David
Edited by Lily Henderson + Alex Mallis
Assistant Camera: Andrew McMullen + Diana Eliavoz
Assistant Producers: Dana Salvatore + Jillian Mason
Titles by Jason Drakeford.
A short time back I took City Councilmembers Steve Levin and Brad Lander to task for, what seemed at the time, a casual decision to defund the Doe Fund's clean up efforts in Park Slope. I particularly took them to task for misleading statements and for denigrating the Doe Fund overall, which I found difficult to stomach because the Doe Fund is one of the most successful (among the ONLY successful) organizations for reducing recidivism among parolees.
Steve Levin has shown no interest in this issue...or any issue in the district from what I can tell. I guess as long as he has the backing of corrupt Party Boss Vito Lopez (his mentor) he feels he can cruise along with no problem...particularly since he also managed to get the formerly decent Working Families Party backing him as well, creating a nasty and disgusting alliance between the Vito Lopez machine and a Working Families party that at BEST skirted the law, and in reality had to scramble to avoid prosecution after breaking some campaign finance laws for the likes of Steve Levin.
But Brad Lander, who I have had some serious disagreements with, seems different than Steve "Vito's Kid" Levin. Brad Lander HAS been involved with the community, even if I disagree with him on the Doe Fund's role in the community, and he took the time to respond to my article taking him to task.
Let me begin by reviewing what I wrote before, then quoting Councilmember Brad Lander responding to my article, then giving something of a rebuttal from myself and giving a different opinion from Councilmember Daniel Dromm. read more »
I'm going to keep plugging this action, now focused more specifically on the worst four banks in America: Bank of America, Chase, Citicorp and Wells Fargo.
I have personally been switching my money (credit cards, accounts, mortgage) away from the big bad mega-banks that screwed Americans with predatory lending and took taxpayer handouts with better banks and financial institution. And I invite you to join me. It is a way of moving your money at least a step away from the worst of Wall Street.
In particular I pick four banks to target: Bank of America, Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo
I base my recommendations on three things:
1. Customer service complaints. The banks that get the most customer service complaints are as follows: (according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, I think these numbers are from 2009)
Bank of America: 7,230 complaints (25.5% of total)
J.P. Morgan Chase: 4,890 complaints (17.3%)
Citigroup: 3,742 complaints (13.2%)
Wells Fargo: 2,695 complaints (9.5%)
HSBC North America: 1,963 complaints (6.9%)
Wachovia: 1,265 complaints (4.5%)
U.S. Bancorp: 1,027 complaints (3.6%) read more »
Look; I know that an official statement hasn’t been released, so I expect the usual coy denials will forthcoming when mainstream-media sources dig into this topic later this week. I am going to put my credibility on the line here: Hakeem Jeffries has decided to challenge Ed Towns for the 10th congressional seat in next year’s primary.
So how do I know? Well……………….…………..ancient Chinese secret/lol.
Truly folks: it’s a combination of analysis, observation, common sense and some rather interesting sources. The only person that stops this race from happening is Ed himself. Ed can retire; or he can try to cut a deal with Hakeem. In such a deal, Ed could request that Jeffries hold off a challenge next year and instead support him for re-election to congress. In return Towns will retire in two years then support Jeffries as his replacement. The problem with that is the folks around Hakeem don’t trust Towns beyond their eyesight. read more »
Today #OccupyWallStreet had a peaceful march on sidewalks up to City Hall but more than 5,000 people came to the event. So the occupiers did everything they could to follow any NYPD requests; even after the police brutality suffered by many last week, and even after all the harassing demands they have used with them down in Wall Street.
One such of those demands has been their insistence on prohibiting umbrellas at Zucotti Park, were the Occupiers have set up residence. Not content with enforcing the ban on tents, the police has made their lives miserable by forcing them to be exposed to this inclement weather, to the point of also prohibiting the use of chairs, sticks, boxes or anything that could prop up tarps of plastic covers over them they have been promptly undone with threat of arrests by the NYPD.
The Occupiers have tried to accommodate the increasingly hostile and abusive demands of the New York Police Department. And today was the same. When the marchers were told by the NYPD to go onto the bridge, they did. It was a trap as the NYPD rushed to close both ends of the bridge to entrap them.
Here are records of their entrapment.