Revolutionizing Awareness

helping humanity, make choices, more so through awareness, than ignorance

Posts Tagged ‘New York’

Why We All Need to Experience Occupy Wall Street

Posted by Admin on December 20, 2011

http://www.truth-out.org/why-we-all-need-experience-occupy-wall-street/1323445491

Friday 9 December 2011
by: Preston Elrod, Truthout | Op-Ed

Occupy Wall Street protesters, along with union workers, stage a demonstration on the pedestrian walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge, in New York, Nov. 17, 2011. (Photo: Marcus Yam / The New York Times)

One of the most remarkable things about the United States is how rarely its citizens experience democracy. We do have a right to vote, and, within limits, assemble with others and speak freely. We have other rights as well, but in our daily lives – in our families, jobs, schools and other institutions – there is often a lack of democratic participation. For much of our lives, decisions are made by others. We are rarely consulted, and we are expected to do what we are told.

Question the prevailing way of thinking at home, work, school, even in church, and there can be serious consequences. Over time, we become accustomed to believing in the authorities, of following, of allowing others to make decisions for us. Having been deprived of democracy, over time, we begin to forget what it looks and sounds like. However, the idea that each of us should have a voice in the decisions that affect our lives is a powerful concept. That concept gave birth to this country, and it has been the central idea that encouraged struggles to create social, political and economic institutions that are responsive to human needs. Moreover, participatory democracy is alive and well in the Occupy movement.

Over the past month, I’ve had an opportunity to visit the occupations in New York (with my youngest son), in Washington DC, and in Lexington, Kentucky, where I live. In addition, I’ve spent considerable time reading about the occupation movement and discussing it with students and others. What is so encouraging about the occupations is how sharply they contrast with the dominant institutions and practices that have brought so much pain to so many of our fellow citizens.

It is not surprising that what is happening seems so foreign to many of us. Accustomed as we are to rely on “leaders” and media pundits to explain current events, the Occupy movement is difficult to comprehend. Who are the leaders? What is the platform? What is the solution? What is so important about the Occupy movement is that it is asking fundamental questions – questions about the kind of country we want for ourselves and for our children and the opportunities that should exist for all Americans. What the Occupy movement makes evident, as most of us are painfully aware, is that the current political economy does not work for most Americans, nor does it work for our brothers and sisters around the world. Yet, it does not tell us what to think. Instead, it encourages us to think and to learn through the countless discussions that take place each day at occupation sites around the country and abroad.

It also does not tell us to follow, but to learn and lead; that our voices are valuable and deserve to be heard. It does not promise solutions, but it reminds us that, together, we can do better, much better, not only in meeting the needs of our fellow citizens, but also in being a real leader in the world – one that is respected because of its ability to live up to its ideals, rather than feared for its ability to terrorize and destroy our enemies. Moreover, it reminds us that it is we, the people, who are capable of standing up to the power and corruption of those at the top. And it connects us in a very human way to all of those who came before us who struggled to achieve a better world and unites us with all of those who struggle now around the world. It joins us with those who believe, as Ghandi said, that “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.”

It short, the Occupy movement is a process by which we are able to develop knowledge, teach one another and take action to transform our world. If you were politically active during the 60s and 70s, you know the feeling. If you have been involved in actions designed, in some way, to help others, not because of the material reward, but because you understood it to be the right thing to do, you know the feeling. Indeed, what is so exhilarating about the Occupy movement is that it allows us to experience something that so many of us rarely experience: the right to practice democratic decisionmaking.

I encourage you to visit a nearby occupation or go to New York. And if you are a parent or educator, take your children or your students. Know in advance, however, that real democracy takes time and practice. Be patient, but be willing to engage with others, be open to differing ideas and perspectives, and consider getting involved.

Creative Commons License
This work by Truthout is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
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PRESTON ELROD

Preston Elrod received his PhD at Western Michigan University. He is currently a professor and coordinator of the undergraduate program in criminal justice at Eastern Kentucky University. He has published articles on a variety of criminal and juvenile justice topics, and he is the co-author of “Juvenile Justice: A Social, Historical and Legal Perspective,” Third Edition. Dr. Elrod has worked as the site director of a model school-based delinquency reduction program, and he has worked as a juvenile court intake officer and as the supervisor of a juvenile probation department. He is involved in a variety of community activities and is the co-founder of the Madison County Delinquency Prevention Council, a child advocacy organization in Madison County, Kentucky. He is presently involved in writing projects focusing on social control and the threat to democratic decisionmaking, developing a more humane juvenile justice process, and critical pedagogy.

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Freedom from Fear

Posted by Admin on November 16, 2011

Freedom from Fear
by Owen Waters

The 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York is a wonderful time to remember that fear can be totally neutralized by love.

The trick is to know how to invoke that love in the face of stark events that are intended to bind you in fear:

http://www.infinitebeing.com/0810/fearnot.htm

*If you enjoyed today’s article, forward it to a friend! They will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Owen Waters is the author of Love, Light Laughter: The New Spirituality, which is available both as a paperback and a downloadable e-book, at:

http://www.infinitebeing.com/ebooks/love.htm

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BREAKING NEWS: Mounting Evidence that Dominique Strauss Kahn was Framed

Posted by Admin on July 10, 2011

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25533

Global Research, July 7, 2011
While the media has gone to arms length to obfuscate the matter, there is mounting evidence that Dominique Strauss Kahnwas framed.

According to media reports, the 32-year-old Guinean Sofitel housemaid received the modest sum of 100,000 dollars paid into her bank account. The New York Times acknowledges the payment but fails to analyze the source of these payments. In an utterly confused statement, the NYT suggests that the money was deposited in the housemaid’s account by her Guinean boy friend who is serving time in a high security prison:

According to the two officials, the woman had a phone conversation with an incarcerated man within a day of her encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn in which she discussed the possible benefits of pursuing the charges against him. The conversation was recorded.

That man, the investigators learned, had been arrested on charges of possessing 400 pounds of marijuana. He is among a number of individuals who made multiple cash deposits, totaling around $100,000, into the woman’s bank account over the last two years. The deposits were made in Arizona, Georgia, New York and Pennsylvania.

The investigators also learned that she was paying hundreds of dollars every month in phone charges to five companies. The woman had insisted she had only one phone and said she knew nothing about the deposits except that they were made by a man she described as her fiancé and his friends. (NYT, July 1, 2011, emphasis added)

The bank records of the housemaid, not to mention the record of her telephone calls, are known to police investigators, yet both the media and the prosecutors have failed to reveal the identity of the persons who instigated these money transfers.

The reports suggest that they may be “drug related”, thereby casually dismissing the likelihood that the money could have been part of the framing of DSK. The reports also mention that the money deposits were made “over the last two years”, thereby conveying  the impression that they bear no relationship to the DSK affair.

The exact timing of these money transfers including the identity of  senders are known to police investigators. Why has this information not been released?

If the 100,000 dollars had indeed been deposited into her bank account in the course of the last two years, why on earth would she be working as a housemaid?

Regime change at the IMF

Why was the substance of the housemaid’s false accusations not released at an earlier stage?  Who was protecting her?

Why did the media wait to reveal information which confirms DSK’s innocence.

This information was known to the prosecutors at an early stage of the investigation, yet it was only released after the appointment of France’s Finance Minister Christine Lagarde as Managing Director of the IMF.

Lagarde’s candidacy was confirmed and accepted on June 26th. Her mandate was confirmed on June 28th following a decision of the IMF’s 24 member executive board.

Lagarde is an appointee of Wall Street and the US banking establishment. Her candidacy had been approved by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on the 28th of June:

“I am pleased to announce our decision to support Christine Lagarde to head the IMF,” Geithner said in a statement hours before the 24-member IMF executive board was expected to select her as its managing director.

Careful timing. In a bitter irony, the report from the prosecutor proving DSK’s innocence was released on the day following the IMF’s executive board decision instating Lagarde as Managing Director of IMF for a five year term.

The frame-up has visibly succeeded. Who instructed prosecutors not to release this information until after the appointment of Lagarde as IMF Chief?

If this information had been revealed a few days earlier, Lagarde’s candidacy as IMF chief might have been questioned.

Regime change at the IMF has been speedily implemented, not to mention the implications of the DSK affair in relation to the French presidential elections.

Christine Lagarde commenced her five year term as IMF Managing Director on July 5th at the height of Greece’s debt crisis.

Sofar, the likely hypothesis of a frame-up directed against DSK is not being touched upon by the mainstream media.

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IMF’s Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces sex charge

Posted by Admin on May 15, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110515/wl_nm/us_strausskahn_arrest

NEW YORK/PARIS (Reuters) – IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested and charged on Sunday with sexually assaulting a New York hotel maid, in a scandal that appeared to wreck his hopes of running for president of France.

The charges threatened to create a leadership vacuum at the IMF, overseer of the global economic system, and threw wide open the French presidential election next April, for which opinion polls had made Strauss-Kahn the front-runner.

One of his lawyers, Benjamin Brafman, told Reuters that his client “will plead not guilty.”

The 62-year-old Socialist, a key player in the response to the 2007-9 global financial meltdown and in Europe’s debt crisis, was taken off an Air France plane about to leave for Paris from John F Kennedy International Airport on Saturday.

The news caused shock and disbelief in France, where a government spokesman called for caution and respect for the presumption of innocence. [nPISFGE7NF]

“The news we received from New York last night struck like a thunderbolt,” said Socialist leader Martine Aubry, appealing for party unity.

Francois Bayrou, a centrist opponent of Strauss-Kahn, said: “All this is completely astounding, immensely troubling and distressing. If the facts prove true … it’s something degrading for all women. It’s terrible for the image of France.”

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen said her rival’s presidential hopes had been crushed. Strauss-Kahn and Le Pen have led recent opinion polls ahead of conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy, even though the chief of the International Monetary Fund had yet to declare his candidacy.

The Fund said in a statement on its website that it “remains fully functioning and operational,” and had no comment on the case.

MAID’S ACCOUNT

New York police spokesman Paul Browne said Strauss-Kahn was arrested at 2:15 a.m. EDT on Sunday on charges of a criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment.

“We must wait until things settle and see if it’s true or a provocation, one of Strauss-Kahn’s French-based lawyers, Leon Lef Forster, said. “We must be especially careful not to get into a media circus and we must wait until things are clear.”

A 32-year-old maid filed a sexual assault complaint after fleeing the $3,000-a-night hotel suite at the Sofitel in Times Square where the alleged incident occurred around 1 p.m. EDT on Saturday, Browne said.

Strauss-Kahn appeared to have fled the hotel after the incident, the police spokesman said.

Browne told Reuters: “She told detectives he came out of the bathroom naked, ran down a hallway to the foyer where she was, pulled her into a bedroom and began to sexually assault her, according to her account.

“She pulled away from him and he dragged her down a hallway into the bathroom where he engaged in a criminal sexual act, according to her account to detectives. He tried to lock her into the hotel room.”

Strauss-Kahn does not have diplomatic immunity, Browne said. He is expected to be brought before a state court on Sunday.

According to New York state law, a criminal sexual act carries a potential sentence of 15-20 years, the same as attempted rape. Unlawful imprisonment carries a potential sentence of three to five years.

The allegation is a major embarrassment to the IMF, which has authorized billions of dollars of lending to troubled countries and played a major role in the euro zone debt crisis.

It follows a statement on Thursday that the IMF’s No. 2, John Lipsky, plans to step down in August when his term ends.

A crisis of leadership at the Fund would especially worry European countries, given Strauss-Kahn’s pivotal role in brokering bailouts for Iceland, Hungary, Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

FRANCE IN SHOCK

Popularly known by his initials DSK, the IMF managing director had been expected to declare by late June if he would run for president of France. The latest opinion polls ranked him as a clear winner over conservative incumbent Sarkozy.

“The case and the charges … mark the end of his campaign and pre-campaign for the presidency and will most likely prompt the IMF to ask him to leave his post,” National Front leader Le Pen told i-Tele television.

Conservative Trade Minister Pierre Lellouche said: “I think we have to grant DSK the presumption of innocence. If all this were true it would be damning.”

Even Strauss-Kahn’s political allies were pessimistic.

“The most likely outcome is that this case will stick and even if he pleads not guilty, which he may be, he won’t be able to be candidate for the Socialist primary for the presidency and he won’t be able to stay at the IMF,” said prominent Socialist Jacques Attali.

If Strauss-Kahn were out of the race, leading candidates for the Socialist presidential ticket include party leader Aubry, left-wing veteran Francois Hollande and Segolene Royal, the candidate beaten by Sarkozy in 2007.

PLANE HELD AT JFK

In New York, police spokesman Browne said: “The NYPD realized he had fled, he had left his cell phone behind. We learned he was on an Air France plane. They held the plane and he was taken off and is now being held in police custody for questioning.”

The woman, who has not been named, was treated in hospital for minor injuries, Browne said.

Strauss-Kahn was on his way to Europe for a meeting on Sunday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the European debt crisis, and then was to attend a euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday.

Strauss-Kahn took over the IMF in November 2007 for a five-year term scheduled to end next year. Before that, he was a French finance minister, member of the French National Assembly and a professor of economics.

He has faced controversy before. In 2008, he apologized for “an error of judgment” after an affair with a female IMF economist who was his subordinate. An inquiry cleared him of harassment and abuse of power, but he was warned by the fund’s board of member countries against further improper conduct.

Strauss-Kahn apologized to the woman, Piroska Nagy, and his wife, French television personality Anne Sinclair, as well as to IMF employees for the trouble he had caused.

Since taking over the Fund, he has won praise for putting it at the center of efforts to tackle the global financial meltdown. He introduced sweeping changes to ensure that countries swamped by the crisis had access to emergency loans.

He has overseen changes that have given emerging market countries, such as China, India and Brazil, greater voting power in the IMF, and weighed into thornier issues by urging China to let its currency rise in a dispute with the United States.

(Additional reporting by Lesley Wroughton, Noeleen Walder, Catherine Bremer and John Irish; Writing by Mark Trevelyan; Editing by Peter Millership)

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