As the richest one percent consolidates its wealth and power, the 99 percent are fed junk food for the mind and the body, explaining the overwhelming sense of emptiness even amid the obesity of physical and mental over-consumption, a wrenching human dilemma that ultimately must be confronted, writes Phil Rockstroh.
The Occupy movement vows to reemerge this spring with a focus on May Day, the traditional day of workers’ protests. But Occupy’s call for a general strike on May 1 may be undercut by the movement’s unwillingness to lay out specific reforms to help the 99 percent, notes Danny Schechter.
Exclusive: Army Sgt. Robert Bales stands accused of murdering 17 Afghan civilians, a crime that some trace to the financial pressures his family faced back home. However, to the rich financial swindlers, the ruining of Bales’s family – and many others – is just another day’s work, writes Mark Ames.
Hardliners in the Occupy movement have begun equating police infiltrators and other enemies with Occupy supporters who favor some practical electoral and legislative goals. There is alarmist talk about the need to protect Occupy’s revolutionary purity from these reformers, as Danny Schechter explains.
As Americans struggle with their tax returns, they are reminded how skewed the tax system has become, with multi-millionaires who live off investments paying a lower rate that middle-class people who go to work every day, a situation that Danny Schechter says deserves protest.
Exclusive: The Supreme Court’s GOP Five just finished a run as brave libertarians protecting Americans from President Obama’s health-care reform, but now are back to their usual role as defenders of abusive state power, allowing strip searches of anyone arrested for anything – and perhaps particularly protesters, reports Robert Parry.
One of the curious realities of modern America is how many people – especially white males – have been propagandized into siding with a “free-market” power structure that treats them like tissue paper, to be used and thrown away. Poet Phil Rockstroh says he encounters many such confused souls in his native South.
Exclusive: Many on the American Right insist federal actions from the Civil War to recent banking regulations were encroachments on states’ rights and personal liberties, but underlying these claims – in the 1860s and today – is the greed of the richest 1 percent treating the 99 percent as chattel, writes Mark Ames.
The Occupy Wall Street movement has resisted making specific proposals for reform, focusing instead on its trademark occupation of parks and its protests on behalf of the 99 percent. Some longtime activists now urge OWS to “go left,” but Danny Schechter says it also much broaden its reach to that 99 percent.
The New York Police Department reacted quickly against Occupy Wall Street activists who returned to Liberty Square (or Zuccotti Park) six months after the original occupation began. But the confrontation marked one more milepost in a longer and surely more painful journey, writes poet Phil Rockstroh.