Occupy Demands Answers. Do you?

And, on the eighth day the Earth shook, the heavens parted, and mankind was split into two warring political factions:  Us…and, them (the 99% vs. the 1%).

Humanity is under attack.  The enemy is misinformation.  The attack is brief, but consistent. The preferred method of delivery is through intermittent blasts of twisted propaganda; the battleground is the human psyche; the weapon of choice, the media.  A movement so profound cannot (and should not) be reduced to thirty second intervals.  This sound bite mentality does not inspire thought; it only serves to polarize and excite. The collateral damage of these unfettered attacks is chipping away at the ideas, debate, and discussion borne of the Occupy movement.

Occupy is what happens when people decide enough is enough. It is an act of extremism born of frustration.  Extremism is not a foreign concept.  As a matter of fact, America has made going to extremes its national identity.  It could easily be stated that our founding fathers were extremists- liberty seeking extremists who turned the simple question: “What if?” into a national motto.  Yet, the Occupy movement takes the ‘what if’ question a step further, asking ‘why’… and demands an answer.

The Occupy movement is the catalyst for discourse underscoring the egregious disparities between the laboring 99% and the ruling 1%.   Productive discourse, tempered with reason, gives birth to ideas; ideas give birth to dreams; and dreams that come to fruition through determination and perseverance, challenge and inspire others.

The proliferation of merit less ideas or arguments for the sake of personal gain, ratings, and/or profit pollutes the Occupy message. The conversation began with the Occupy movement.  The American Dream is under attack. But, if the proverbial American Dream is to be realized by 100% of the people, credence must be given to the concerned voices of the 99%.  Don’t let the dream die…Occupy EVERYWHERE.

Annie Walker-Leonard (@JCDP18)


Who’s Wrecking America? Meet Your 1% Nominee

Now you can vote on some of the most infamous members of the 1% — financial fraudsters, union-busters, weapons contractors, and more.

 The Occupy movement has drawn attention to how too many in the 1% get to play by their own rules while exploiting the 99%. But who’s doing the most to damage our economy and democracy?

We at Brave New Foundation have launched a website where you can vote on some of the most infamous members of the 1% — financial fraudsters, union-busters, weapons contractors, and more. Then we’ll make a series of videos exposing the ones that you rank as the very worst. As our friends at Fox News might put it: We film. You decide.



Contact: Michael Beckel, 202-354-0108 or press@crp.org

These days, being a millionaire typically qualifies you as part of the one percent. But in Congress, it only makes you average.

About 47 percent of Congress, or 250* current members of Congress, are millionaires, according to a new study by the Center for Responsive Politics of lawmakers’ personal financial disclosure forms covering calendar year 2010. The Center’s analysis is based on the median values of lawmakers’ disclosed assets and liabilities.

That lofty financial status is enjoyed by only about one percent of Americans.

“The vast majority of members of Congress are quite comfortable, financially, while many of their own constituents suffer from economic hardships,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics.

“It’s no surprise that so many people grumble about lawmakers being out-of-touch,” Krumholz continued. “Few Americans enjoy the same financial cushion maintained by most members of Congress — or the same access to market-altering information that could yield personal financial gains.”

Embrace the Journey

….After a cold reading of life’s manifesto, it’s clear that Fate is practicing its stand up routine again. Shall I remain married to the reality of the human condition? Of course not! I refuse to stagnate, or even cry foul at the mandates of time.
My journey through this time-space continuum brings NEW landscape; it’s simply a matter of a few more reference points. Ah, yes, then I shall be precisely where I need to be: in the moment. The “moment” is the journey.
If the journey is fueled by passion, it becomes the main course, and destiny serves as a garnish. Learn to embrace the journey- Annie

Fifteen Adults at Penn State Knew About Child Sexual Assaults, Rapes and Did Not Act

By Sarah Ryley Friday, November 11, 2011 (The Daily)

Jerry Sandusky worked for Penn State for 32 years as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator. He is charged with sexually abusing eight boys, whom he recruited through his charity for troubled boys, The Second Mile, from 1994 to 2009.


Joe Paterno, the legendary Penn State University football coach who was in his 46th season, was fired by the school’s board of trustees Wednesday.

Graham B. Spanier, Penn State’s president since 1995, also was fired by the board of trustees Wednesday. He was told of the 2002 shower incident but did not report the matter to police.

Tim Curley, Penn State’s athletic director, is charged by the state attorney general with perjury and failing to report to authorities what he knew of the allegations.

Gary Schultz, Penn State’s senior vice president for finance and business, is charged by the attorney general with perjury and failing to report to authorities what he knew of the allegations.

Mike McQueary, Penn State assistant football coach, says he witnessed Sandusky having anal sex with a boy in the shower in 2002 and reported the incident to his higher-ups.

Jim Calhoun, a janitor who saw Sandusky performing oral sex on a boy in 2000, suffers from dementia and is not competent to testify.

Ronald Petrosky, another janitor, was approached by a shaking and crying Calhoun in 2000. He testified that the janitors were afraid they’d lose their jobs if they told on Sandusky.

Jay Witherite, the janitors’ immediate supervisor, was told of the 2000 incident and left it up to Calhoun to report it.

Ray Gricar, formerly Centre County district attorney, investigated a 1998 claim about Sandusky acting inappropriately with a boy in the shower. He disappeared in 2005.

Ronald Schreffler, a campus detective, was told in 1998 to close the case on Sandusky.

Jerry Lauro, an investigator with the state Department of Child Welfare, interviewed Sandusky on the 1998 incident.

Thomas Harmon was director of campus police in 1998, when Sandusky was investigated.

Ralph Ralston, another campus police officer, worked on the Sandusky case in 1998.

Dr. Jack Raykovitz, executive director of The Second Mile, allegedly was notified of the anal sex incident in 2002.

Wendell Courtney was university counsel during the 1998 investigation and remains counsel for The Second Mile.




Blood Soaked, Tattered, and Torn…

Veteran’s Day is designated as a national day of commemoration honoring peace and sacrifice:

‘November 11, 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the first commemoration of Armistice Day: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory… and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

America and her sympathy with peace and justice are failing. Peace is now an afterthought.

Soldiers (some far nobler than our country’s war mongering profiteers) are marched into horrific circumstances with a stroke of a bureaucratic pen. Many brave men and women enlist with honorable intentions; many left to die… abandoned by the Government, of the country they swore to protect. Freedom, it seems, diminishes profit margins. War is good business to the real tyrants-the war profiteers. On the horizon, the silhouette of a once great nation remains, reduced to a nation divided, misguided, and woeful. A nation subdued by the ills of war, blinded by the industrial military complex as it wages perpetual wars for profit at the expense of humanity.

A Government’s wars, cloaked in the blood soaked sacramental cloth that bears the stars and stripes of our heritage. Yet, as fate would have it, history inked with the blood of the noble, the innocent, and the evil, is of great consequence to those who hope to one day acquiesce to a peaceful state of existence.

Wars are a part of history that should not be repeated. If only our leaders would concede that mistakes have been made, damage has been done, and lessons were learned. But, lessons have not been learned, history repeats itself, and the wars continue.

Today as we contemplate sacrifice, contemplate the reflection in the mirror of humanity. – Annie

“If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.” D. Lama

W.E. Whitmore

“Who stole the soul-And who stole the heart
And who took the spark from inside of me…
Why can’t I breathe…

And I’m afraid they won’t stop…’til all the poets have failed;
Til all the good men are jailed for nothin’ at all
Who let them take the fall…

And they’ll bring devastation; And call it diplomacy…
But an occupation won’t bring a nation to peace

Oh and I’m so ashamed, in these things beyond value; that we cherish so dear
I won’t let them go. No I won’t let them go…”

Neither will I…

Neither will I

– Annie

When Ann Coulter tells the truth – Opinion – Al Jazeera English

“I stepped in a pile of Ann Coulter’s insignificance and tracked it in the house. Here’s whats left of the mess.”- Annie



Via Al Jazeera:  Everyone’s going after Ann Coulter – and rightly so – for her racist comments on the “Hannity” show. Asked why liberals and Democrats are up in arms over the sexual harassment allegations that have been levelled against GOP candidate Herman Cain, Coulter said:

“Our blacks are so much better than their blacks. To become a black Republican, you don’t just roll into it. You’re not going with the flow…”

That “our blacks” is especially gruesome. Sounds like the proprietary claim a fancy housewife would make, ca. 1960 (or 1860), about her black maid: “my girl” or something like that.

But if you can suspend disbelief – or disgust – for a minute, there’s something in what Coulter is saying that’s worth paying attention to, for it unwittingly reveals a deep truth about conservatism. Not its racism, but something else. Read more…

When Ann Coulter tells the truth – Opinion – Al Jazeera English.

Governor Good Hair Doesn’t Quite Make the Grade

Insiders Give Perry Lower Grades than Regular Texans

  • 5 hours ago
  • If the October 2011 University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll captured Texans in a lukewarm mood about Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential bid, the Texas Tribune/Texas Weekly Inside Intelligence survey has found Texas insiders edging into downright cranky territory in their assessments of the governor.

    As we did last May, we took a few questions verbatim from the October UT/Tribune poll and put them before the decidedly unscientific sample we take every week on current events preoccupying the inside baseball crowd in Texas. Last week’s Inside Intelligence questions focused on attitudes toward Perry and the impact of his presidential campaign.

    It appears that familiarity has bred, if not contempt, a comparatively skeptical attitude toward Perry among those who responded last week. Overall, most of the insider assessments were more negative of Perry than those found in the statewide poll. The differences were generally not large, but they were consistent.

    Perry job approval
    Insiders UT/TT
    Approve strongly 13% 14%
    Approve somewhat 20% 25%
    Neither approve nor disapprove 3% 14%
    Disapprove somewhat 20% 13%
    Disapprove strongly 45% 31%
    Don’t know 0% 2%

    In the most general assessment of Perry’s job performance as governor, the insiders were only somewhat less approving than the registered voter sample — 33 percent versus 39 percent, as the table below illustrates. But crankiness in the insiders’ pool shows up in the composition of those who disapprove: With only 2.5 percent straddling the noncommittal middle ground, the insiders went negative on the governor in noticeably larger numbers, and more intensely: 64 percent versus 44 percent in the UT/TT poll, with 45 percent of the insiders disapproving intensely.

    Which terms best describe Gov. Rick Perry
    Trait Insiders UT/TT
    Honest 4.16 5.05
    Career politician 8.68 7.11
    Conservative 7.5 7.4
    Corrupt 4.27 4.58
    Strong leader 5.12 5.89
    Competent 4.22 5.6
    Outsider 2.18 3.86
    Self-serving 7.84 5.64
    Straight talker 4.24 5.36
    A real Texan 6.82 6.32

    Note: Responses to traits were randomly rotated and not all respondents received all traits. Responses for each trait ranged from 372 to 421.

    The insider responses to the items that asked respondents how well a word or short phrase described Perry also suggest that the insiders are somewhat less impressed with the governor than the statewide sample. The table below reports the mean scores for the responses in both groups; the higher the number, the more apt the group found the term at describing Perry. The mean score from the insiders for all of the straightforwardly positive terms — “honest,” “strong leader,” “competent,” “straight talker” — were all lower among the insiders than in the UT/Tribune poll. Some of the differences were very small; the difference on “honest” was less than one. (Both scores were near the middle of the scale — 5.05 for the statewide survey, and slightly into the realm of negative judgment on this point, 4.16, for the insiders.)

    The insiders were also comparatively tougher in applying negative terms to the governor. Calling someone a “career politician” may not automatically get you in a fist fight at your local bar (unless it’s The Cloak Room), but in contemporary politics it’s certainly not a term of endearment, and the insider group found this the most apt term for the governor. This was the second-highest ranking response in the general survey, though the mean score was more than a point and a half less among regular folks — who may also attach a somewhat more negative connotation to the term than do the career political professionals that make up the bulk of the insider group. The insiders also went much stronger for “self-serving” than the general population. If we go by dictionary definitions, I think it would be fair to give the insiders a 10 for “cynical.” (By comparison, the general population didn’t embrace “self-serving” nearly as enthusiastically.)

    Impact of Perry Candidacy on National Image of Texas
    Insiders UT/TT
    Helped 12% 19%
    Hurt 57% 37%
    Had no effect 30% 34%
    Don’t know 1% 11%

    The insiders and the statewide sample found it easier to agree on the less judgment-laden items: The mean scores for “conservative” are almost the same (and, not surprisingly, are high). There seems to be a consensus that Perry can reasonably be thought of as “a real Texan,” though it might hurt a little that the governor didn’t break 7 in the mean scores here. (As a guy born in California, I look at these results and kind of wonder what a guy has to do to have Texans think of him as a real Texan. If Rick Perry ain’t it…)

    Explaining the State’s Comparative Economic Success
    Insiders UT/TT
    Natural resources and long-standing policies have helped Texas fare better than the rest of the country. 80% 65%
    Rick Perry’s leadership and policies have helped Texas fare better than the rest of the country. 18% 21%
    Don’t Know 3% 14%

    The insiders were even less convinced than the statewide sample that Perry deserves credit for the relative success of the Texas economy (a somewhat arguable premise, I know, but we were interested in how the message was received, not its accuracy). They were also less inclined to think that the governor’s foray into presidential politics was helping the state’s image in the rest of the country, and more inclined to think it was actually hurting. The latter result was perhaps the most negative judgment among the insiders: More than half of the group passed on the chance to say his candidacy helped or had no effect, choosing to affirmatively conclude it had hurt Texas’ image. Ouch.

    Again, the limitations of the insiders’ pool are worth mentioning. There is no effort to make the insiders a politically representative group. At first blush, their self-declared partisan affiliation — 34 percent Democrat, 36 percent Republican and 30 percent independent — is not particularly skewed. But the large number of independents likely conceals the same dynamic we see among independents in political polling. When pushed to indicate how they lean, independents who admit to leaning toward one party or the other tend to be fairly ideologically committed. That is, the preferences of independents who lean toward a party look a lot more like strong partisans than weak ones. Since the Inside Intelligence survey doesn’t follow up independent responses with an attempt to smoke out the leaners, we don’t know anything about the ideological makeup of the leaners (or even if any leaners are choosing to identify as independent).

    Party identification
    Insiders UT/TT
    Democrat 34% 29%
    Republican 36% 34%
    Independent 30% 27%
    DK/Skip 0% 2%

    Note: Responses combine 7-point party identification responses, with Republican and Democratic leaning independents combined as “independents” for purposes of comparison.

    The insiders, whose names are published under the aggregate results in the Tribune and Texas Weekly, are also likely to be very inclined to check in as independent rather than chance revealing their partisan allegiances, despite the fact that names are not identified with particular responses. Some of them, of course, are professionally affiliated with party politics, so it’s not a problem for them. Back-of-the-envelope assessments of the list of respondents suggest that the pool isn’t harboring a huge collection of leftist Perry haters. I would say that there are some Real Texans in there, though I’m thinking there’s more of an “eye of the beholder” factor in that judgment than I realized.

    The latest UT/Tribune internet survey of 800 registered voters was conducted October 19-26. The margin of error is +/-3.46 percent. On questions asked only of Republican voters, the MOE is +/- 4.93 percent; on questions asked only of Democratic voters, the MOE is 6.39 percent.

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    This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/texas-polling/inside-intelligence/insiders-give-perry-lower-grades-regular-texans/.