European Debt Crisis Facts and Truth

National Inflation Association

The mainstream media as of late has been focusing its total attention on the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and seemingly has forgotten that we have a much larger debt crisis in the U.S. that hasn’t gone away and is only getting worse. Many global economists have been saying in recent weeks that if the European Central Bank (ECB) only went the way of the Federal Reserve, eurozone nations wouldn’t be in the desperate situation they are in today. NIA believes that the ECB has already been acting just like the Fed, just not to the same extent.

Mario Draghi just took over as the new President of the ECB and as his first act in office, Draghi lowered the ECB’s benchmark interest rate by 0.25% to 1.25%. The ECB’s interest rate of 1.25%, while not quite as low as the Fed Funds Rate of 0% to 0.25%, is still very inflationary. The ECB’s primary stated objective has always been maintaining price stability and containing inflation. However, with all of the rioting and civil unrest that took place in Greece in response to major austerity cuts, public officials in countries like Spain have been putting pressure on the ECB to abandon their objective to maintain price stability and instead focus on helping fuel growth.

In May of 2010, eurozone countries along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to rescue Greece from default by giving them a €110 billion loan. Of the €110 billion loan, eurozone countries agreed to contribute €80 billion of the funds, including Germany providing €29.3 billion and France providing €22 billion. The IMF agreed to contribute the remaining €30 billion.

Unfortunately for Greece, their bond yields have been skyrocketing and they have been finding it difficult to raise money on their own. Greece is now in need of additional rescue funds. In July of 2011, after Greece’s two year bond yield rose as high as 40.46%, European leaders negotiated in Brussels a deal to provide Greece with a new bailout of €109 billion in rescue loans. After this deal was announced, Greece’s two year bond yield declined to 25.66% in just two days.

In August, Greece’s two year bond yield started to surge once again, surpassing July’s high of 40.46%. In mid-September, Moody’s downgraded the credit ratings for the eight largest Greek banks, sending the two year bond yield to a new high in September of 84.52%. In early October 2011, Greece raised their 2011 budget deficit estimate as a percentage of GDP to 8.5%, well short of the 7.6% target that Greece promised to meet as a condition of the bailout package agreed to in July.

In late-October, European leaders abandoned their proposal from July and announced a new shocking bailout plan for Greece. Not only did they agree to give Greece new rescue funding of €130 billion, but in an additional part of the agreement, banks holding Greek bonds have agreed to accept a 50% haircut on the money they are owed by Greece. Greece Prime Minister George Papandreou, instead of accepting the deal on his own, announced that he was going to hold a referendum so that Greek citizens can vote on the deal.

Papandreou’s proposed referendum infuriated leaders of Germany and France, who expressed their frustrations with Papandreou and threatened to pull the plug on the bailout deal. Greek bond investors once again panicked, sending the two year yield all the way up to a new high of 107.26%. Papandreou later announced that he was canceling the referendum, but still faced calls from the opposition to resign. Papandreou survived a confidence vote this weekend but is planning to soon step down to allow the creation of a new national unity government.

NIA believes that the best decision for Greece and its citizens would be to turn down the new bailout deal and declare bankruptcy. Greece would be best off leaving the eurozone and creating their own fiat currency. The bailouts are doing nothing to help the citizens of Greece, they are only helping the German and French banks that recklessly purchased Greek bonds at artificially low interest rates. If Greece declares bankruptcy, the country won’t self-destruct. All of their infrastructure will still exist, but their debts will be eliminated and Greek citizens will enjoy a higher standard of living.

The only good news to come out of the European debt crisis so far is that the banks are willing to accept a 50% haircut on their Greek bonds. If the U.S. is going to survive its debt crisis without creating hyperinflation, it will need to convince its creditors to take an even larger haircut on U.S. treasuries. Unfortunately for Americans, the U.S. will never admit that it can’t pay back its debts. The U.S. debt crisis is even worse than Greece, but the U.S. has a printing press that it will use to pay back China, Japan, and our other creditors, which will steal the remaining purchasing power of American citizens who don’t have their savings in gold and silver.

The uncertainties and fears surrounding Greece are now spreading to Italy, which saw its 10 year bond yield skyrocket in recent days to a new Euro-era high today of 6.66%. Greece’s liquidity problems began last year after their 10 year bond yield rose above 6%. Many people believe that Italy is becoming the next Greece and is now at risk of defaulting on its debt.

Even though Italy’s debt to GDP ratio is 120%, the second highest out of eurozone countries behind Greece, Italy’s budget deficit as a percentage of GDP is among the lowest in the eurozone at only 3.9%. It is insane for Italy’s 10 year bond yield to be 6.66% with the U.S. 10 year bond at only 2.04%. The U.S. has no chance of ever balancing its budget and will likely see its deficit explode to new highs in the years ahead. Italy, on the other hand, could realistically balance its budget if it implements reform measures to cut spending.

NIA believes that Italy’s 10 year bond yield is near a short-term peak because everybody has become negative on Italy all at once. It will likely decline back below 6% in the near future as Italy implements more austerity cuts. America’s strategy to grow its way out of its own debt crisis will only create massive price inflation without any real economic growth. Before long, U.S. bond yields will surge faster than anybody has ever seen in history. In a few months, the media will forget about Italy and focus their attention on the U.S.

Although a 10 year bond yield for Italy above 6% may be a new high for the Euro-era, Italy’s 10 year bond yield averaged well above 6% for many decades before the eurozone was created. Italy made a major mistake by joining the eurozone. Before joining the eurozone, Italy was able to survive even when their 10 year yield reached a high of 13.75% in 1995. After joining the eurozone, Italy was able to borrow money at interest rates that were manipulated to artificially low levels by the ECB. If Italy’s bond yields were still being set by the free market this past decade, they would have no where near the level of debt they do today.

Many investors selling Italian bonds are now buying German bonds, because Germany has a low debt to GDP ratio and one of the world’s largest manufacturing bases. German 10 year bond yields are now 1.78%, a record 488 basis points below Italy. This huge spread will not last and NIA believes investors are making a mistake by buying German debt over Italian debt. There is no chance of Italy being allowed to default on its debt. If Italy ever gets to the very edge of insolvency, Germany and France will allow the ECB to monetize Italy’s debt. If Italy went bankrupt, many of the largest banks in Germany and France would fail. The ECB will not allow this to happen.

As bad as things are in Europe today, with the media making it seem like Euro Armageddon is fast approaching, you would expect the Euro to currently be collapsing on a daily basis. The Euro, which ended last year at $1.34, has risen so far in 2011 to $1.38. This shows that even with all of the inflation being created by the ECB, it is nothing compared to the inflation being created by the Fed. The U.S. is lucky for the European debt crisis because it is taking attention away from our problems and allowing the Fed to secretly prepare QE3 while our bond yields are still near record lows.

If you would like your friends and family members to be among the first to see NIA’s ‘Occupy Wall Street the Documentary’ coming soon, please tell them to become a member of NIA for free immediately at: http://inflation.us


CIA Continues to Hide Evidence on Vietnam Era MIAs

By: “Senator Bob” Smith
Accuracy in Media

[Editor’s Note: Sen. Smith has been working with Accuracy in Media’s attorney on a Freedom of Information case brought by AIM and Roger Hall, which is referred and linked to in this column.]

On January 17, 1973 the Paris Peace Accords were signed by the United States, South Vietnam, Viet Cong and North Vietnam. They were touted as “An Agreement Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam.” The agreement did not, however, end the war and restore the peace for the hundreds of POWs and MIAs (Missing in Action) who were not returned from the war, for their families, who have waited for nearly 40 years for answers, nor for the tens of thousands of South Vietnamese who were murdered or imprisoned in “re-education camps” in the North.

“All of our American POWs are on the way home” said Richard Nixon shortly after the signing.

Soon thereafter, 527 men returned alive from the war to a well deserved heroes’ welcome. What President Nixon did not tell the American people and the families of the missing was that the American government had numerous classified documents and human intelligence that men were, in fact, still alive in Southeast Asia. We had men on our lists, that we knew had been captured alive, yet, they never appeared on the homecoming lists and were never returned. We simply accepted the “word” of the North Vietnamese that the lists were complete. On one of my frequent visits to Southeast Asia as a U.S. senator and congressman, I had occasion to speak to one of the North Vietnamese officials who was present at the negotiations in Paris. He told me point blank that “the American side handed over their list and we handed over ours and there was little discussion.” He further told me that “the POW issue was not aggressively pursued at all.”

One of the most intriguing of these unreleased documents is the one called the “1205 Document.” This document was retrieved in the old Soviet archives by an independent researcher from Australia by the name of Stephen Morris. He was not a so-called “POW activist” and was not looking for information on American POWs from Vietnam. While doing unrelated research, he found a document stamped “Extremely Secret” from the old Soviet General Staff Intelligence (GRU). The contents of this document depicted a speech given to the Politburo of the Vietnamese Communist Party in September of 1972 by General Tran Van Quang, the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA). In his remarks Quang told the Politburo members that North Vietnam was holding 1205 prisoners of war. This, of course, is critical since only a few months later the Vietnamese released less than half of that number (527).

This document has been debunked by our government as a fraud, fake, lie, myth and many similar words. I can, without hesitation, relate that I spoke to a high ranking former member of the KGB who told me point blank that the document is real, because the Soviets actually had the Vietnamese Politburo bugged and the words were a verbatim transcript. He told me that he would never state this publicly for obvious reasons, but I believe he was telling me the truth. In any case the real issue here is that, if it is a fraud according to the government, why not declassify all of the documents dealing with POWs and MIAs?

One very important fact that supports the contents of this document is that President Nixon had sent the North Vietnamese a secret letter promising them approximately $3.5 billion in war reparations. It would not be unreasonable to assume that the Vietnamese would retain some “collateral” for that money. In any case the money never came because Congress did not approve it, when congressmen became aware of the torture of many of the returning prisoners.

There are too many other intelligence documents to discuss in one short article. However, the live-sighting reports of former Marine Bobby Garwood, who remained behind in Vietnam until 1979, are well documented. Bobby told me with tears in his eyes how he had seen Americans climb out of a box car in the late 70’s in Yen Bai, Vietnam. I took Garwood back on a trip to Vietnam in the 90’s when I was in the Senate and he showed me where he had seen American POWs on an island in Tach Ba Lake, in Vietnam as well. The investigators on the Senate Select Committee found literally thousands of live-sighting reports over the years from the end of the war into the 1990s. There was also ample evidence of pilot-identifier codes on the ground and seen from the air. If all of this is bunk as the government says that it is, then declassify and release ALL documents. The families of these men and the American public deserve to know the truth about what is in those files. Before any young American signs up to serve his country in the future, he needs to know that he will not ever be abandoned again by a bunch of bureaucrats and politicians in the government.

Let’s state the facts as honestly as possible: the American government wrote off all pending POW/MIA cases at war’s end to close the books on this ugly foreign policy disaster. And close them they did! After 40 years of FOIA requests, emotional appeals from family members, senators and congressmen, and House and Senate Committee investigations, the intelligence agencies still keep numerous documents classified under the guise of national security.

I wrote legislation to create the Senate Select Committee on POWs and MIAs in the early 1990s to attempt to get the documents and the truth released to the public. Despite the release of thousands of documents and the testimony of dozens of witnesses, I could not complete the job. Senator John Kerry, the chairman of the Select Committee, and Senator John McCain were more interested in establishing diplomatic relations and putting the war behind them, than they were about finding the truth about our missing. I fought them constantly to the point of exhaustion. It was a very sad chapter in American history.

Two former Secretaries of Defense testified under oath before the Select Committee, that men were left behind. Schlesinger, when asked directly if we left men, said, “I can come to no other conclusion.” Secretary Laird went into even more detail saying that the Pentagon had “solid information, such as letters or direct contacts, with about 20 airmen who survived in Laos after their planes were shot down.” Shortly thereafter, Chairman Kerry said about the testimony of these men, “It is quite extraordinary when two former Secretaries of Defense give evidence documenting that they had information, or they believed personally, that people are alive and not accounted for in Operation Homecoming.” It might have been extraordinary, but not enough so for Kerry to fight harder for document declassification and the truth. I personally have seen hundreds of classified documents that could and should be released as there is no national security risk. What is really at risk are the reputations and careers of the intelligence officials who participated in and perpetrated this sorry chapter in American history.

Perhaps the recent decision to build an underground memorial on the Washington, D.C. Mall is a fitting tribute to all of this. Although I do not question the sincerity or motives of those who led the efforts on this project, the symbolism is inescapable. An underground memorial to honor those who served and darkness in the archives for those who did not return. Perhaps when they complete construction and turn on the lights at the memorial, they can allow the light to shine in on the records of the missing. Former Congressman Billy Hendon of North Carolina, co–author with POW family member Beth Stewart, of An Enormous Crime, was taken to task for saying that we should forgo this project. He said we should first go under the tomb of Ho Chi Minh and look at the underground sites, where numerous live-sighting reports have been revealed over the past several decades.

I do not in any way want to demean the memorial to those who served so valiantly and deserve it, but Hendon has a point. During a very nasty exchange in the Select Committee hearings, DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) analyst, Bob Destatte, mockingly said that the water table was so high, that I would need scuba gear to go under Ho Chi Minh’s tomb, when I stated that there was an underground cavern there. What he did not know was that I had just returned from Vietnam and had, in fact, gone down under Ho’s tomb and saw the huge underground area. I assure you no scuba gear was necessary. I walked and breathed in a huge cavernous structure. One large ventilation or utility pipe was about half the size of a Sequoia tree in circumference. I asked my Vietnamese guide what that was for. He replied with a straight face, “to keep Chairman Ho’s tomb cool.” Ho Chi Minh’s tomb is about the size of a large closet, so you can draw your own conclusions. The fact is that there were numerous large doors leading to rooms unknown, that we were not allowed to open. We also know from satellite imagery that the Russians helped the Vietnamese construct this huge underground complex decades ago. It was there during the war and it is there now. Prisoners held there? You cannot find out if you do not look. It makes you wonder why a seasoned intelligence expert would deny the existence of this facility when he had to be aware of the satellite imagery.

So why can we not let the sunshine in to this dark and shameful secret of deceit and cover-up? It is not as if we have not tried, as outlined above. But there have been other courageous attempts to get the truth out by family members, researchers and other organizations. In February of 2003 Attorney John Clarke of Washington, D.C. represented Accuracy in Media in a FOIA request against the CIA for records of POWs/MIAs from the Vietnam and Korea era. The lead plaintiff in that case is Roger Hall, a freelance researcher working on behalf of families of the missing. All of the documents related to the case, including the records produced by the CIA, can be found here. They have been joined by additional attorneys and plaintiffs and have asked for any and all records covering the period from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 2002, relating to the missing from those two wars.

Incredibly, these requests have been denied, citing such feeble excuses as “not our agency records,” or, this is an “unreasonably burdensome search requirement.” It has been a nightmare of excuses, obfuscation, lies and even offers to make the plaintiffs pay money for the information! The plaintiffs contend that the CIA is still withholding documents and information. I can state without any equivocation that they are still holding documents that should be declassified. This legal case will possibly be resolved by the end of the year. I support this lawsuit and I commend all of those who have fought so hard for the past eight years to bring it to fruition. They are honorable people and it is truly an act of patriotism on behalf of not only the missing and their families of the Vietnam and Korean wars, but also for all missing in all future wars or conflicts. They must prevail. The honor of America is at stake.

Former Senator Bob Smith (R-NH), known as “Senator Bob,” is a Special Contributor to Accuracy in Media. His columns and commentaries on media and politics are available on the AIM website at www.aim.org. He can be contacted at [email protected].



Occupy Wall Street Interviews from Dave Perkins on Vimeo.


Jason Ivey went down to Zuccotti Park to talk with protesters about what they believe and why they are there demonstrating. You’ll see some familiar faces from other videos that we have posted here at BreitbartTV. Enjoy these protesters sharing their knowledge of what they believe, their understanding of economics, and and what solutions they have to the current economic problems that face us.

Our buds Jason Ivey, Jacqueline Regts and Dave Perkins kick butt in this video. Pass it on! 8)


D.S.A. Marxists Neck Deep in “Occupy” Movement

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

Crossposted from Big Government:

By Trevor Loudon

From baking brownies to providing legal, medical and organizational support, the US’ largest Marxist group Democratic Socialists of America, and its youth wing Young Democratic Socialists,  is heavily involved in “Occupation” actions  across the country.

To keep D.S.A.’s more than 6,000 members abreast of events, the organization has set up a dedicated webpage, to monitor and report  on  the “Occupy” activities of more than 30 socialist locals from Boston to San Diego, Hawaii to Alaska.

The Occupy Wall Street protests have invigorated the American Left in a way not seen in decades, and DSA has long emphasized the important role social movements play in improving the quality of life of ordinary people. So we have urged our members to take an active, supportive role in their local occupations, something many DSAers had already begun doing as individuals, because they believe that everyday people, the 99%, shouldn’t be made to pay for a crisis set off by an out-of-control financial sector and the ethically compromised politicians who have failed to rein it in.

This page contains examples of DSA members and members of our youth section, Young Democratic Socialists, participating in the Occupy Wall Street protests, including news articles, videos, and pictures featuring DSAers and DSA honorary chairs taking part in the protests, and personal accounts and analyses from DSAers themselves.

In Atlanta Georgia, several DSAers have been active in Occupy protests, while comrade Elizabeth Henry serves on the occupation’s medical committee. DSA aligned Georgia State Senator Nan Orrock has been very vocal in support of the local protestors (which include her son), while another DSA connected State Senator, Vincent Fort, was arrested during an Occupy protest on October 25.

In Colorado, Boulder DSA comrade Dave Anderson is involved in the movement, while Denver DSAer, Charles Nadler, is using his position in the once Communist Party led National Lawyers Guild, to provide legal support for the protesters.

Charles Nadler

On September 28th, just before getting into my car to drive to Boulder, Colorado, from my home in Denver, for the monthly DSA Colorado meeting, I received a telephone call from the newly formed Occupy Denver, asking for legal help. As President of the National Lawyers Guild of Colorado, I learned that Occupy Denver was concerned about the police reaction to their demonstrating. I put out a call for Legal Observers, and was able to rally some to go to the scene at Lincoln/Veteran’s Park in the heart of the Colorado-Denver governmental complex…

Law enforcement began to take apart Occupy Denver’s tent city at 3:15 a.m., on Friday the 14th. Arrests for camping began after 5 a.m., when the park would normally be open. On waking, I ramped up efforts to sign up attorneys to represent the 24 or 25 arrestees. At this point the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, of which I am also a member, joined the effort to sign up attorneys. By the 1:30 p.m. initial appearances (Advisements in Colorado), we had enough attorneys on hand to make sure no one went without representation. During this period we hooked up with Denver Anarchist Black Cross, who had set up a legal hotline to collect names of arrestees and to raise bail for the arrestees. They made sure that no one fell through the cracks…

We eventually had 45 attorneys signed up to take cases, an investigator and an appellate attorney. Later on Saturday, another 24 or so demonstrators were arrested and needed attorneys for their initial appearances at 8am on Sunday. I went to the court and was joined by two other attorneys to provide representation. On October 19th, NLG trained another 10 or 15 Legal Observers.

More arrests took place on Sunday October 23rd, including the severe beating by the police of one demonstrator, who earlier in the year was arrested for demonstrating against police violence, and whose charges had been dismissed. They all were supplied with attorneys. Two attorney strategy meetings have been held with more to come. While I acted as President of NLG Colorado, I was doing something that fits my commitment to the goals and spirit of DSA.

At its monthly meeting in September, the Fort Collins,  Colorado,  DSA branch did the initial organizing for Occupy Fort Collins. It then turned over all decision making to the general assembly.

Comrade Dan Michniewicz managed the Occupy Fort Collins Facebook page and Twitter feed before leaving for New York to take part in the protests there.

Out in Hawaii, DSAer Ben Wilson is helping to organize Occupy Maui. He serves on the Media/Information working group and is “reaching out to the local papers and labor unions.”

In Fairbanks Alaska, a group of University students are camped out in a downtown park even though it is minus five degrees. Fairbanks DSA members have provided food and other items needed by those occupying the park.

In Minnesota, several comrades from the local Twin Cities Democratic Socialists of America took part in a recent Occupy Minnesota event.


Twin Cities DSAers at Occupy Minnesota

Temple University professor and DSA leader Joe Schwartz, is  active in Occupy Philadelphia.

DSA and YDS have been active in Occupy Philadelphia (mostly through our Temple undergraduates and grad students, which now include YDS co-chair Sean Monahan). We’ve had good contingents, with banners and leaflets, at the original morning of occupation of City Hall plaza and a march of about 1,000 from City Hall to the Liberty Bell yesterday.

DSA and YDS groups should loyally participate in the Occupy protests and reach out to healthy elements who seem interested in us, by talking to them, giving them leaflets, inviting them to our events. This is a climate in which we can strengthen the socialist movement, but we have to be visibly active to do so.

Out in California, Paul Burke, outreach chair of Sacramento DSA, was among those arrested, during a confrontation with police at OccOccupy Sacramento.


Occupy San Diego march

In San Diego , October 7, a DSA contingent joined about 1500 marchers from a downtown SD park to Civic Center.

We passed out lots of copies of the DSA Fact Sheet on the federal budget. A couple of DSAers, Pam Barratt and Virginia Franco spent this first night ‘al fresco’, with no tent.

Since the first march and rally, DSA SD has participated with food donations two more times to the occupiers at Civic Center. Last night, we contributed 144 brownies at about 10:00 PM and displayed a sign.

In the “belly of the beast,” New York, Young Democratic Socialists such as Nicolle Schippen, Andrew Porter, Chris Maisano, Amber Frost and Ryan Briles have played significant roles in organizing the sometimes chaotic protests – reaching out, in the process to allies in Socialist Party USA and the Working Families Party.


Amber Frost and Ryan Briles, left, lead a march on day one of Occupy Wall Street

Amber Frost and Ryan Briles report on day one of OWS:

We arrived on [Sept. 17] around 4 o’clock. We had been reticent to even attend because from the beginning it had been announced as an intentionally leaderless movement with no specific demands, but we went anyway, just in case they had something up their sleeve. Firstly, the entire event was organized in a public facebook group, so very predictably, the cops had already blocked off Wall St. by the time we had arrived. Protesters gathered in a nearby park. They had no one directing people to this park. A very helpful cop actually told us where they were. We arrived at the park to a disorganized, confused looking bunch of kids arguing about assemblies and theory.

This being the absolute worst use of resources, we formed coalitions with some friends with WFP (particularly my co-worker Dave Handy) and Kristen Lee from SPUSA and we started marching just around the park (at this point the Penn State Chapter of YDS and some Jersey kids were also with us). After a few passes around the park, we started to pick up some people and momentum, despite the fact that one of the organizers of the demonstration tried to pull us all aside to have a dialogue-based assembly, much to the distaste of all the marchers. So we decided to march to Wall St. anyway.

The majority of the people in the park ended up following. We got loud, we got big, the cops started to mobilize very quickly—lots of them. Dave, Kristin, Ryan, and I tried to keep to communication going from the front of the march to the back, but there were just too many people.

Jack Rothman

In a just published article in the Huffington Post, Los Angeles DSA leader Jack Rothman explains why his organization places such the high priority on the OWS movement.

The Tea Party movement was a spark plug for the political right, leading to an election victory for the Republicans in 2010. Clearly, Occupy Wall Street and its far-flung branches will be a shot in the arm across the left of center. I’ve observed the Los Angeles encampment directly and followed national developments closely. Based on this, I’ve argued that the major achievement of OWS will be its rejuvenation of an army of dejected and impotent progressive political and activist groups gasping for air…

I believe the remarkable OWS uprisings will serve primarily as the ignition rather than the motor of societal change. And already it’s possible to offer detailed documentation of the igniting effect of OWS on a sample organization on the left.

My test case is Democratic Socialists of America, DSA, which has a national convention coming up in November. As a participant in planning for the convention, I’ve seen up-close how rapidly the budding OWS phenomenon has influenced DSA’s forward agenda. The convention has set an early full delegate plenary on the theme, “Occupy Wall Street and the Struggle for a Democratic Society.” It starts with an update on the occupation movement and then small group discussions for all on how DSA can tie into the new political environment.

The leaders will push for members to get into the streets by supporting OWS protests, demonstrating at elected officials’ offices against budget cuts, and joining coalitions revitalized by the occupation experience. There will be a press for members to get fired up by OWS to do things that have been stewing on a low flame. The renewed activism includes contributing to OWS’ momentum.

A forum on the convention’s first night, borrowing language from OWS, highlights the topic, “Equality and Jobs for the 99%.” The featured speaker, Congressman John Conyers, will discuss his sweeping Full Employment and Training Act. Conyers’ bill is well beyond the Washington Consensus, creating a total jobs environment for all who want to work. Passage of the bill would elate the angry throng of unemployed graduates protesting at the occupations. It would be financed entirely through a transaction tax on the Wall Street companies the protesters revile that are engaged in high-risk trading. Delegates will be asked to campaign forcefully for this measure and support Conyers’ upcoming dicey re-election through a nationwide series of fundraising house parties.

DSA is beginning to take a more aggressive approach to countering the extremist conservative ideological stranglehold on the American mind, which the occupations are challenging. This involves giving the public a socially responsible alternative to the corporation-worshiping free enterprise worldview…

On the local level, DSA members across the country have been involved heavily in the encampments. They’ve taken part in the General Assemblies, joined local demands committees, supplied food, and conducted workshops on topics like Neo-liberal Causes of the Economic Crisis, and Democratizing the Economy. DSA Honorary Vice-Chair Cornel West was a prominent spirit at occupation sites in both New York and Washington D.C. He was arrested in both places.

Scholar-activist Frances Fox Piven, who is also an Honorary Vice-Chair of DSA, thinks we are “on the cusp, at the beginning of another period of social protest,” similar to the civil rights era. Piven tells us to prepare for mounting political conflict. She is right.

The country will in all likelihood face a bumpy road of popular struggle with advances and reversals ahead. If DSA is any kind of harbinger, a host of left-leaning organizations–unions, activist political bodies, advocacy groups–stirred by OWS, are fastening their seat belts to join the ride in their own ways. Whether OWS itself flourishes or founders, the protests have begun to unleash the sleeping dogs of progressive activism.

Democratic Socialists of America is only one of several Marxist organizations involved in the OWS movement. Though begun largely by anarchist elements, DSA, Communist Party USA, Party for Liberation and Socialism, Workers World Party and others have all climbed aboard.

DSA is the largest of those involved and enjoys a wide geographic base. It also has very deep ties to the Democratic Party, particularly through the more than 80 strong Congressional Progressive Caucus.

DSA will attempt to discipline the OWS and steer its activities in directions helpful to their long time ally Barack Obama and the Democrats.

Will DSA succeed in herding the anarchists and their undisciplined hangers on in the desired direction?

Time will tell.