Community groups and Occupy Detroit using "any means necessary" to save homes from foreclosure, and keep families from becoming homeless.
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- Aqua America
- Arizona's Scottsdale Gun Club
- Barack Obama
- Big Bird
- Black Friday
- Election 2012
- Financial Institutions
- General Strike
- Governor Romney
- International Labor Organization
- Latin America
- Lee Camp
- Moment of Clarity
- North America
- Occupy Cleveland
- Occupy Detroit
- Occupy Wall Street
- Planned Parenthood
- President Barack Obama
- Santa Clause
- Tax Cuts
- Weekly Address
- affordable Healthcare
- allie young
- assault weapons
- child labor
- community groups
- decent pay
- financial compensation
- ground pollution
- holiday fun
- hours cut
- mobile homes
- non-violent action
- private security contractors
- profits over people
- regular hours
- social services
- state police
- stephanie davies
- water pollution
- women's health care
- working poor
This is the second year that Arizona's Scottsdale Gun Club has hosted a "pictures with Santa" event during the holiday season. And, as ABC's Nightline explains, "Nothing says Christmas like a family photo with Santa and an AK-47."
"For the Rea family's photo with Santa, Mom and Dad proudly held machine guns. It was tough to say who was more excited for the photo -- the Rea kids, or their parents.
"It's a fact of life, there are guns everywhere, especially in Arizona," Glenn Rae said. "We thought it was a really neat thing to do, and fun."'
Guns are holiday fun in Arizona? These parents sound a lot like children themselves, 'Gee, everyone is doing it so, why not?'
"Our kids have never touched guns," he continued. "The little ones have never touched guns. Not until they are 5 years old and they can actually go through a gun safety class."
Way to be the mature adult there, make the wee ones wait until after they turn five before they handle the assault weapons. Is anyone else thinking that the future of mankind is in serious peril?
"Santa's elves, who wore their own sidearms, made sure to give everyone a quick gun safety check before they took their Christmas photo: don't point a gun at anyone and keep your finger off the trigger.
"Let's talk about finger discipline and muzzle discipline," one elf said. "Remember which side you are on with Santa."'
What else would machine gun Santa's elves do, but gun safety checks?
"One important thing to note is while the guns were real, the weapons were not loaded and the firing pins were removed."
"These are decommissioned firearms and they have been cleared and safety checked," Kennedy said. "We are just trying to make a fun holiday-themed event for those who want to express their holiday spirit and their love for the shooting sports or the hobby of firearms."
I think they've made their point clear: they're just trying to have fun with their guns in Arizona.
Arizona State Representative Steve Farley said it best, "Heck of a way to celebrate the birth of our savior. To me, it is common sense that you don't joke around with guns."
President Obama speaks to the American people from a busy factory floor in Pennsylvania about the urgent need to pass the middle class tax cuts, which will give families and businesses preparing for the holidays the certainty they need going into the New Year. Democrats and Republicans must come together to pass one thing that everyone agrees on—extending income tax cuts for 98 percent of American families and 97 percent of small businesses, and there is no reason to wait. The President urges Congress to take action to help grow our economy and strengthen the middle class.
"It’s unacceptable for some Republicans in Congress to hold middle class tax cuts hostage simply because they refuse to let tax rates go up on the wealthiest Americans. And if you agree with me, then I could use your help. Let your congressman know what $2,000 means to you. Give them a call. Write them an email. Or tweet them using the hashtag “My2K.” That’s My2K."
This is the third straight week that President Obama takes his case for middle-class tax cuts, and tax hikes on the rich, straight to the American people in his weekly address.
"The most pressing decision has to do with your taxes. See, at the end of the year, middle-class tax cuts are set to expire. And there are two things that can happen.
First, if Congress does nothing, every family will see their income taxes automatically go up at the beginning of next year. A typical middle class family of four will see their income taxes rise by $2,200. We can’t let that happen. Our families can’t afford it, and neither can our economy.
The second option is better. Right now, Congress can pass a law that would prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income. Everybody. That means that 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses wouldn’t see their income taxes go up at all. And even the wealthiest Americans would get a tax cut on the first $250,000 of their incomes."
That's right, Congress can do that right now this very moment...if they felt like it.
"The Senate has already passed a bill to keep income taxes from going up on middle-class families. Democrats in the House are ready to do the same thing. And if we can just get a few House Republicans on board, I’ll sign this bill as soon as Congress sends it my way."
Obama finished his weekly address with a direct call to action, and makes clear exactly how much money is at stake:
"Let your congressman know what $2,000 means to you. Give them a call. Write them an email. Or tweet them using the hashtag “My2K.” That’s My2K."
A full transcript of the President's weekly address is available here.
via Sarah Jaffe:
To make a mess that another person will have to deal with—the dropped socks, the toothpaste sprayed on the bathroom mirror, the dirty dishes left from a late-night snack—is to exert domination in one of its more silent and intimate forms. -Barbara Ehrenreich, in “Made to Order,” an essay from the anthology Global Woman: Nannies, Maids and Sex Workers in the New Economy, co-edited with Arlie Russell Hochschild
[This quote is] relevant to an argument I just had about “disruptive” protest at Walmart in supposed solidarity with the Black Friday strikes. Picket, protest, march and rally all you want, hold a sit-in, but please, before you do things like deliberately create a mess in the store or leave a full cart in the checkout line, consider who’s going to have to clean up the mess that you make. It’s not going to be Rob Walton or any of the other multibillionaires. It won’t even be the assistant manager. It’ll be the same low-wage worker who maybe wanted to go on strike but wasn’t quite convinced, or who was threatened by their boss, who’s working an extra-long shift on the worst shopping day of the year.
Solidarity doesn’t mean you decide for yourself what is best for the workers. It means showing up in the ways they need and want you to and letting them decide how to build worker power.
We ask you to reflect on the statement issued by workers and Making Change at Wal-Mart as you plan your Black Friday solidarity action:
Across the country, Wal-Mart employs 1.4 million people. We are not just the Associates that you see in stores, we are moms and dads, sons and daughters, husbands and wives working hard to support our families.
We have been speaking out for good jobs with decent pay, regular hours, affordable healthcare and respect, but instead of working with us to make changes, Wal-Mart has attempted to silence us and has retaliated against us for speaking out. Our jobs have been threatened, our hours cut, our schedules changed. Some of us have even been fired.
We will not be silenced. Throughout the holiday season, including Black Friday, we will be standing up for an end to the retaliation against workers who speak out for what’s right for our families, our communities and our country, and we hope that you will stand with us. It is not an easy decision, but without an end to the retaliation, Wal-Mart workers across the country will be walking off the job in protest, and we hope you will join us in creative, non-violent action in solidarity with our strike. We ask that supporters take action that spreads the word about our strikes and demonstrates to Wal-Mart a wave of support for workers who are speaking out.
Together, we are calling on Wal-Mart to end the retaliation against hard-working employees who are courageously speaking out for better pay, fair schedules and more hours, affordable health care and respect.
We will not be silenced until we see real change at Wal-Mart.
Sincerely, OUR Wal-Mart Workers
Editors note: Please consider supporting the Wal-Mart Strikers Food Fund
To the financial institutions of the world, we have only one thing to say: we owe you NOTHING!
To our friends, families, our communities, to humanity and to the natural world that makes our lives possible, we owe you everything.
To the people of the world, we say: join the resistance, you have nothing to lose but your debts.
On O13, in the larger context of the worlwide "globalnoise" mobilisation, and within the Global Week of Action against Debt, we will mobilise against debt in several cities of the world: Barcelona, Madrid, Mexico, Paris, New York, Rome…
The governments' response to the financial and economic crisis is the same everywhere: cuts in expenditure and austerity measures under the pretext of reducing deficits and the repayment of a public debt which is the direct outcome of decades of neoliberal policies. The same neoliberal policies that have plundered economic and natural resources and exploited human lifes in Latin America, Asia and Africa for decades, are now also being imposed on the people of Europe and North America.
Governments in the service of finance are using this pretext to further reduce social spending, lower wages and pensions, privatize public utility and goods, dismantle social benefits and deregulate labour laws, and increase taxes on the majority, while social and tax giveaways are generalized for the big companies and the highest income households, the rich, the 1%.
President Obama, spoke in Fairfax, Virginia on Friday, and had the chance to address one important issue that didn’t come up in the debate – the way that Obamacare, and supporting women’s decisions about their health care, is not only better for women’s health, but for women’s lives, families, and as a result, the economy.
"Governor Romney said he would get rid of Planned Parenthood funding. Apparently, this, along with Big Bird, is a driving the deficits," Obama said to much laughter from the crowd.
"And he would have supported an extreme measure in Massachusetts that would have outlawed some forms of contraception. He joined the far-right of his party to support a bill that would allow employers to deny contraceptive coverage to their employees."
"I mean think about that. Your boss telling you what’s best for your health and safety. Let me tell you something, Virginia, I don’t think your boss should control the care you get. I don’t think insurance companies should control the care you get. I definitely don’t think politicians on Capitol Hill should control the care you get. We’ve seen some of their attitudes. We’ve read about those. I think there’s one person who gets to make decisions about your health care. That’s you."
No long story of personal opinion, or religious beliefs, just straight to the point and sensible. More than a little refreshing in this long campaign that has exposed a lot of backwards, and dangerous thinking in regards to women's health and reproductive rights.
[Probably not suitable for work, adult language]
This is your Moment of Clarity #174: Entire lives revolve around it. People kill and maim over it. Families collapse or thrive because of it. Is it really just pieces of paper??
[more at LeeCamp.net]
Eliminating child labor remains a challenge as money earned goes towards helping families get by.
The International Labor Organization says there are more than 215 million child laborers across the world.
More than half are in the Asia-Pacific region, with over three million of them in the Philippines.
The country's government has promised to eliminate child labor by 2016. However, generational poverty continues to hold back millions of Filipino families, as the money earned by children goes a long way in helping them get by.
Al Jazeera's Jamela Alindogan reports from Surigao del Sur in southern Philippines.
President Obama spoke from the University of Colorado Hospital Sunday evening after meeting with the families of the victims killed in the Aurora theater shooting.
“It was an opportunity for families to describe how wonderful their brother, or their son, or daughter was, and the lives that they have touched, and the dreams that they held for the future,” Obama said in a hallway of the hospital. “I confessed to them that words are always inadequate in these kinds of situations, but that my main task was to serve as a representative of the entire country and let them know that we are thinking about them at this moment and will continue to think about them each and every day, and that the awareness that not only all of America but much of the world is thinking about them might serve as some comfort.”
Reflecting on the victims’ stories, the president said the stories of recovery are a reminder that “even in the darkest of days, life continues, and people are strong and people bounce back and people are resilient.”
Obama said he was particularly moved by the stories of Allie Young and Stephanie Davies, two survivors of the shooting and spoke at length of their experiences.
The president said Allie, 19, was saved by her friend Stephanie, 21, after being shot in the neck. Obama said Davies pulled Young out of the line of fire, staying with her and applying pressure to her wound even as the gunman continued to fire into the theater.
“I don’t know how many people at any age would have the presence of mind that Stephanie did or the courage that Allie showed and so as tragic as the circumstances of what we’ve seen today are, as heartbreaking for the families, it’s worth us spending most of our time on young Americans like Allie and Stephanie because they represent what’s best in us and they assure us that out of this darkness a brighter day is going to come,” Obama said.
Full transcript of the President's remarks after the jump.
Today only 7 families remain of the former 32 who made up the community of Riverdale Mobile Home Park, in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, after the land beneath them was sold to Aqua America, a water company dedicated to fracking.
On June 12, a blockade of residents, volunteers, and members of Occupy Cleveland made their last stand as private security contractors, and the Pennsylvania State Police were called in and arrest warnings issued. As you can see in the video above, Riverdale residents stepped in, fearing for the safety of those who had stood and fought with them for their homes, and asked volunteers to leave as the police ordered.
Also of note in the video, as the volunteers struggle to keep the blockade going, they try to communicate with the crew who are called in to install fencing. They try to tell one young man that he could get another job(that doesn't involve helping people lose their homes.) and he replies "Not where I come from." He says that he has a family, too, and that they were about to be evicted from their home as well.
Construction has been ongoing for over ten days now, as the remaining families negotiate with Aqua America for financial compensation. To keep any protesters from returning, "There are three private security guards at all times and floodlights on the place all night. They can't get their mail; the mailman isn't allowed in there. They can't get anyone to come help them move their things. It's like they're incarcerated."
But former Riverdale resident Eric Daniels, a truck driver in the natural gas industry, wants everyone in the country to know this: "We were a small group of people who stood up against this injustice."
And it looks like Riverdale won't be the last Pennsylvania community that gets fracked. Just yesterday, residents of nearby Bucknell View Mobile Home Park received notice that they would have to pay thousands of dollars to raise their trailers to higher ground—or get out by August 1. "The issues in our area are out of control," Daniels said.
Nor are community fights over fracking damages by any means isolated to the Susquehanna area. In upstate New York, five underserved counties are about to get fracked, and communities are split between their need for income and their fears of water contamination and other health risks. In California, 600 unregulated wells were fracked in 2011, and upset citizens have allied with national environmental nonprofits to coordinate protests.
"Fracking is always going to have to be fought largely at the local and state level because that's where the controlling government jurisdictions mostly are," said environmental activist and author Bill McKibben, whose organization 350.org used its clout to pass Riverdale's call to action on to its regional supporters via Twitter and email. "It makes it hard, but powerful."
You can learn more about fracking here.