Friday, March 25, 2011

Crystal Lee Sutton, the real NORMA RAE

Hero and martyr:

(From Wikipedia)
Crystal Lee Sutton (née Pulley; December 31, 1940 – September 11, 2009),[1] formerly known as Crystal Lee Jordan, was an American union organizer and advocate who gained fame during the early 1970s. She was fired from her job at the J.P. Stevens plant in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina for trying to unionize its employees.

Early life and career

Sutton was earning $2.65 an hour folding towels. The poor working conditions she and her fellow employees suffered compelled her to join forces with Eli Zivkovich, a union organizer, and attempt to unionize the J.P. Stevens employees. “Management and others treated me as if I had leprosy,” she stated.

She received threats and was finally fired from her job. But before she left, she took one final stand, filmed verbatim in the 1979 film Norma Rae. “I took a piece of cardboard and wrote the word UNION on it in big letters, got up on my work table, and slowly turned it around. The workers started cutting their machines off and giving me the victory sign. All of a sudden the plant was very quiet…” [2] Sutton was physically removed from the plant by police, but the result of her actions was staggering. The Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union won the right to represent the workers at the plant on August 28, 1974. Sutton later became a paid organizer for the ACTWU. Sutton was the 13th recipient of the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award in 1980. The honor was named after a 1963 encyclical letter, Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth), by Pope John XXIII, that calls upon all people of good will to secure peace among all nations.[citation needed]

Norma Rae

The 1979 film Norma Rae, starring Sally Field, is based on Sutton's early union work. The movie is based on the 1975 book about her by New York Times reporter Henry "Hank" Leiferman Crystal Lee: A Woman of Inheritance.  Her papers and memorabilia are located at Alamance Community College in North Carolina, where she took classes in nursing in 1988.

Personal life

Crystal Lee Pulley was born in Roanoke Rapids. She married at 19, gave birth to her first child at 20, and was widowed at 21. She had a second child out of wedlock at 22. She married Larry Jordan Jr. and had her third child at 25. Following the events that made her famous, and prior to the release of Norma Rae, she and Jordan were divorced. She married Lewis Sutton Jr. about 1977 (obituaries stated they were married 32 years).


Crystal Lee Sutton died, aged 68, at Hospice House in Burlington, North Carolina, on Friday, September 11, 2009, from meningioma, a form of brain cancer that she had been diagnosed as having for several years. She had been struggling with her health insurance company, which had delayed her treatment.


And there are a number of articles today, memorializing the centennial of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the horrible and scandalous tragedy which, at long last, began to turn public opinion - even among some members of the ruling elites - toward acceptance of the aims of 'muckraking progressives' and trade unionists, leading to what would become the American ideal of a prosperous working middle class... And how the inexplicable madness of the Tea Party -zombots of their proudly insatiable NeoCon mindcontrollers- is trying its mightiest to destroy anything that respects and protects the rights of genuinely productive people. 

Chernobyl Survivor: RUN!!

Click here: Chernobyl Cleanup Survivor's Message for Japan: 'Run Away as Quickly as Possible'

by Dana Kennedy  Mar 22, 2011 – 1:23 PM

Natalia Manzurova, one of the few survivors among those directly involved in the long cleanup of Chernobyl, was a 35-year-old engineer at a nuclear plant in Ozersk, Russia, in April 1986 when she and 13 other scientists were told to report to the wrecked, burning plant in the northern Ukraine.

It was just four days after the world's biggest nuclear disaster spewed enormous amounts of radiation into the atmosphere and forced the evacuation of 100,000 people.

Manzurova and her colleagues were among the roughly 800,000 "cleaners" or "liquidators" in charge of the removal and burial of all the contamination in what's still called the dead zone.

Natalia Manzurova ... is one of the relatively few survivors among those directly involved in the cleanup of Chernobyl.

She spent 4 1/2 years helping clean the abandoned town of Pripyat, which was less than two miles from the Chernobyl reactors. The plant workers lived there before they were abruptly evacuated.

Manzurova, now 59 and an advocate for radiation victims worldwide, has the "Chernobyl necklace" -- a scar on her throat from the removal of her thyroid -- and myriad health problems. But unlike the rest of her team members, who she said have all died from the results of radiation poisoning, and many other liquidators, she's alive.

AOL News spoke with Manzurova about the nuclear disaster in Japan with the help of a translator on the telephone Monday from Vermont. Manzurova, who still lives in Ozersk, was beginning a one-week informational tour of the U.S. organized by the Beyond Nuclear watchdog group.

AOL News: What was your first reaction when you heard about Fukushima?

Manzurova: It felt like déjà vu. I felt so worried for the people of Japan and the children especially. I know the experience that awaits them.

But experts say Fukushima is not as bad as Chernobyl.

Every nuclear accident is different, and the impact cannot be truly measured for years. The government does not always tell the truth. Many will never return to their homes. Their lives will be divided into two parts: before and after Fukushima. They'll worry about their health and their children's health. The government will probably say there was not that much radiation and that it didn't harm them. And the government will probably not compensate them for all that they've lost. What they lost can't be calculated.

What message do you have for Japan?

Run away as quickly as possible. Don't wait. Save yourself and don't rely on the government because the government lies. They don't want you to know the truth because the nuclear industry is so powerful.

Natalia Manzurova, now 59, has suffered a variety of ailments since she worked at Chernobyl, but she says she is the only member of her team still alive.

When you were called to go to Chernobyl, did you know how bad it was there?

I had no idea and never knew the true scope until much later. It was all covered in secrecy. I went there as a professional because I was told to -- but if I was asked to liquidate such an accident today, I'd never agree. The sacrifices the Fukushima workers are making are too high because the nuclear industry was developed in such a way that the executives don't hold themselves accountable to the human beings who have to clean up a disaster. It's like nuclear slavery.

What was your first impression of Chernobyl?

It was like a war zone where a neutron bomb had gone off. I always felt I was in the middle of a war where the enemy was invisible. All the houses and buildings were intact with all the furniture, but there wasn't a single person left. Just deep silence everywhere. Sometimes I felt I was the only person alive on a strange planet. There are really no words to describe it.

What did your work as a liquidator entail?

First, we measured radiation levels and got vegetation samples to see how high the contamination was. Then bulldozers dug holes in the ground and we buried everything -- houses, animals, everything. There were some wild animals that were still alive, and we had to kill them and put them in the holes.

Were any pets left in the houses?

The people had only a few hours to leave, and they weren't allowed to take their dogs or cats with them. The radiation stays in animals' fur and they can't be cleaned, so they had to be abandoned. That's why people were crying when they left. All the animals left behind in the houses were like dried-out mummies. But we found one dog that was still alive.

Where did you find the dog and how did he survive?

We moved into a former kindergarten to use as a laboratory and we found her lying in one of the children's cots there. Her legs were all burned from the radiation and she was half blind. Her eyes were all clouded from the radiation. She was slowly dying.

Were you able to rescue her?

No. Right after we moved in, she disappeared. And this is the amazing part. A month later we found her in the children's ward of the (abandoned) hospital. She was dead. She was lying in a child's bed, the same size bed we found her in the kindergarten. Later we found out that she loved children very much and was always around them.

How did working in the dead zone begin to affect your health?

I started to feel as if I had the flu. I would get a high temperature and start to shiver. What happens during first contact with radiation is that your good flora is depleted and the bad flora starts to flourish. I suddenly wanted to sleep all the time and eat a lot. It was the organism getting all the energy out.

How much radiation were you subjected to?

We were never told. We wore dosimeters which measured radiation and we submitted them to the bosses, but they never gave us the results.

But didn't you realize the danger and want to leave?

Yes, I knew the danger. All sorts of things happened. One colleague stepped into a rainwater pool and the soles of his feet burned off inside his boots. But I felt it was my duty to stay. I was like a firefighter. Imagine if your house was burning and the firemen came and then left because they thought it was too dangerous.

When did you discover the thyroid tumor?

They found it during a routine medical inspection after I had worked there several years. It turned out to be benign. I don't know when it started to develop. I had an operation to remove half the thyroid gland. The tumor grew back, and last year I had the other half removed. I live on (thyroid) hormones now.

Why did you go back to Chernobyl after getting a thyroid tumor?

Right around the time of my operation, the government passed a law saying the liquidators had to work for exactly 4 1/2 years to get our pension and retire. If you left even one day early, you would not get any benefits.

Really? That seems beyond cruel.

It's why the nuclear industry is dangerous. They want to deny the dangers. They kept changing the law about what benefits we'd get because if they admitted how much we were affected, it would look bad for the industry. Now we hardly get any benefits.

Did your health worsen after you finally finished work at Chernobyl?

I was basically disabled at 43. I was having fits similar to epileptic fits. My blood pressure was sky high. It was hard to work for more than six months a year. The doctors didn't know what to do with me. They wanted to put me in a psychiatric ward and call me crazy. Finally they admitted it was because of the radiation.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


The Angel of the Pit should have never been let loose.  To have pursued spitting the atom is perhap the greatest testament to mankind's arrogant, insanely stupid rashness. 

Here are some recent woeful stories on the madness that continues as Gojira bangs and breathes on the world:
 Japan's Own Erin Brockovich, Hitomi Kamanaka, Laments: 'I Wish I Could Have Done More'

Mar 18, 2011 – 6:34 Dana Kennedy Contributor

Hitomi Kamanaka remembers the reaction she got six months ago when she confronted a top official in the city of Fukushima with her fears about the local nuclear power plant.

"I told him the reactors were too old, that they were dangerous, and he didn't say a word," said Kamanaka, 52, a filmmaker who has been on a 13-year crusade to educate Japan about the potential hazards of the country's 54 nuclear reactors. "He was silent. He couldn't answer. And I know why. I know the tremendous pressure he was under and how powerless he was."

One of Kamanaka's worries that day in Fukushima concerned the Japanese government's increasing reliance on mixed oxide (MOX) fuel, which contains reprocessed plutonium as well as uranium.

MOX fuel, which was loaded into Fukushima's Reactor 3 last year, gets hotter than regular uranium-based fuel and is harder to cool down. Critics say MOX is especially dangerous for use in older reactors such as the ones at Fukushima. Because of the plutonium, MOX is also believed to pose a bigger health risk in the event of serious accidents.

Filmmaker Hitomi Kamanaka has been on a 13-year crusade to educate Japan about the potential hazards of its nuclear reactors.

But when Kamanaka first heard the news of the recent earthquake and tsunami, and the resulting damage done to the now dangerously crippled Fukushima reactors, she found it hard not to blame herself.

"I wish there had been more of me, I wish I could have done more," she told AOL News today via Skype from her Tokyo apartment.

"I'm both angry and sad. It's like I have a burning inside myself but I can't cry. It's too big to hold myself. I wish the mass media here had taken all this more seriously."

Kamanaka, who is single and does not have children, is Japan's answer to U.S. environmental activist Erin Brockovich and perhaps the most influential figure in the country's small, grassroots anti-nuclear movement.

She has made a trilogy of documentary films since 2003 designed to raise Japanese awareness on over-reliance on nuclear energy and has shown them around the country, sometimes during protests at nuclear power plants. The most recent, "Ashes to Honey," was released last month. She was showing the film in a Tokyo theater when the quake hit March 11.

Kamanaka said that while making a documentary in Iraq in 1998, she found many children there dying as a result of low-level radiation from Desert Storm-era U.S. weapons using depleted uranium.

She said a 14-year-old girl named Rasha who grew up near the weapon-littered battlefields of Basra wrote her a note saying "Don't forget me" right before she died of leukemia.

Kamanaka has battled big utility companies and politicians over Japan's heavy dependence on nuclear energy, using letter-writing campaigns, in-person confrontations and repeated showings of her films. She has also spoken in the U.S. on the issue, most recently at the University of Chicago in 2008.

"They hate me," Kamanaka said. "But I wasn't just pointing fingers. I want us to change and go forward together. I wanted to open a dialogue so the Japanese people could have more information about what was going on at all the reactors and so we could talk about other sources of energy. But they refused."

The country's 54 reactors provide some 30 percent of Japan's electricity. Before this week's nuclear crisis, that share was expected to increase to at least 40 percent by 2017.

Kamanaka symbolizes the struggle faced by anyone who challenges the Japanese government and the country's big utilities, like Tokyo Electric Co. (TEPCO), which operates the Fukushima nuclear plant.

"The Japanese government are the ones behind TEPCO, make no mistake about it," Kamanaka said. "Everything is tied together in Japan at these high levels. It can get depressing and lonely to try to fight it."

As part of its plan to push for the use of MOX fuel in Japanese reactors, Japan began offering subsidies of $250,000 a year for five years to local governments that agreed to the use of the fuel in the reactors in their regions, according to documents available on the Tokyo-based Citizens' Nuclear Information Center website.

Kamanaka's crusade also takes aim at what it considers a too-cozy relationship between Japan's mainstream media and the government. The majority of important Japanese journalists are almost all members of so-called "press clubs" that are attached to the various ministries, such as the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

Because Kamanaka is not a member of a press club, she and others can't get into the government news conferences. The big newspapers and TV networks, in turn, were not terribly interested in writing about the issues she presented, she said.

"Hitomi has been a very significant influence in the movement against nuclear energy and power plants within Japan," the Australian-born Philip White of the Citizen's Nuclear Information Center, told AOL News today. "Her films have had an impact on Japanese of all ages, and she's especially managed to get a number of young people involved."

Kamanaka, White and others interviewed by AOL News said that big Japanese media also are hamstrung by the fact that Tokyo Electric is one of the biggest advertisers on television and in newspapers.

White recalled that his boss was invited by one of Japan's biggest TV news personalities to be on a televised panel after the Japanese earthquakes three years ago.

The TV anchor "is somewhat progressive, and before the show started, he began thinking out loud that he should say something against nuclear power plants," White said. "But then he asked if TEPCO was a sponsor and he was told it was. So he didn't say anything. This is how they control criticism."

Calls and e-mails to TEPCO by AOL News this week were not returned.

Kamanaka has also faced the Japanese people's centuries-old aversion to revealing too much in either their professional or private lives.

"There is a Japanese cultural phenomenon of not being that transparent," said Mark Hibbs, a Berlin-based nuclear policy expert with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "They don't have the belief system that a lot of communication is a good thing. That's one of the many issues that cropped up at the start of the disaster at the plant. They weren't necessarily holding things back; it's just not their style to tell all."

Kamanaka is not so sure that the Japanese are hearing the whole truth about damage at the plant and resulting radiation levels.

"I don't think they're telling the truth," she said. "They're afraid that everyone will panic. And then what? Because we have nowhere to go. We're on an island."

Kamanaka herself is planning to leave Tokyo soon because of rising radiation levels and seek refuge in the western end of the country.

"After World War II, the Japanese felt the world didn't respect them and they just wanted money and success," she said. "But they ended up destroying nature and polluting everything. I hope we learn from this."


Click here: Bid to 'Protect Assets' Slowed Reactor Fight - snips

The plant's operator—Tokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepco—considered using seawater from the nearby coast to cool one of its six reactors at least as early as last Saturday morning, the day after the quake struck. But it didn't do so until that evening, after the prime minister ordered it following an explosion at the facility. Tepco didn't begin using seawater at other reactors until Sunday.

Tepco was reluctant to use seawater because it worried about hurting its long-term investment in the complex, say people involved with the efforts. Seawater, which can render a nuclear reactor permanently inoperable, now is at the center of efforts to keep the plant.

and (remember Chile's recent 9.0 / bigger than March 2011 Japan quake...)

Click here: US and Chile Sign Nuclear Technology Deal

FrumForum ~  BBC News reports:

The United States has signed a long-awaited nuclear accord with Chile despite growing misgivings about the safety of nuclear power in Chile.

The Chilean Government has stressed the deal was about training nuclear engineers and not building a reactor.

But it comes amid fears over a radiation leak at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan following last week’s huge earthquake.

Chile suffered its own devastating earthquake last year.

Many environmental groups in Chile have criticised the decision to invest more in nuclear energy as other countries are scaling back their nuclear plans.

‘Closed doors’

The deal was due to be signed by President Barack Obama in a high profile ceremony with his Chilean counterpart, Sebastian Pinera, on his visit to Chile early next week.

But the agreement was signed behind closed doors by Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno and US ambassador to Chile Alejandro Wolff.

Mr Moreno reiterated that Chile is not able to produce nuclear energy.

“Chile is not in a condition to have nuclear energy and what has happened in Japan has done nothing more than underline that situation,” he said.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

In an Apocalyptic Mood...

Stream of cracked-dam consciousness:

Record earthquake in Japan with tsunamis all over the Pacific (arrived or coming soon; same with 'inestimable damage') and serious damage to multiple nukes with possibilties of global radiation-cloud catastrophes.

America held hostage by insatiable demonic fascist globalist plutocrats and their lemming-zombie hordes -(I paraphrase, invoke and illustrate: Christine O'Donnell / 'fully functioning' rodent brains in humans...maybe that's what make them think they're so superlatively the victims; the persecuted, that all complaints beyond their own must be the fault of the sufferers; that God must be Teaching a Lesson to the ungrateful bloated parasitic perverted pagan pod-people luxurious layabout leftist nazi nasty anti-gun antiwar crudbum commie [Holly-] weirdo Who Stubbornly See Things Differently Than the Rattlesnake Flag Tea Party and their American Exceptionalism Special Dispensation inside-out-and-backwards interpretation of the Holy Bible and [note to the Teep-indoctrinated: separate entity:] Constitution of the United States) and by the MSNBC -type pundits and dittoheads, equally as mindlessly and hypocritically self-righteous when doing the knee-jerk genuflection to abortion and the 'multiculturalism' that says How Dare You Say 'Invasive Aliens' Even If You Mean Plants and Then It's Still Crypto-KKK Rude and Besides Which Aliens and Even Sharia Court Beliefs Cannot Possibly Do Damage Here. In between: Waffling weenie POTUS. It's contagious: Sometimes you can't blame him; sometimes you really can!

Topping the news: More on Charlie Sheen!!!!!!

Our infrastructure is an everywhere-disaster-waiting-to-happen and I'm stuck in the (dam) middle of all kindsa Potential Catastrophes... -No! Wait! Like Pluto being de-planet-ated, like this Great Depression II being downgraded to Climbing Out of an (Um) Pretty Serious Recession, the Prez said the Japanese Earthquake was potentially 'catastrophic'. I guess this was clarified by the Ploughshares guy on Rachel Maddow who said the worst case scenario for subsequent nuclear disaster could be much worse than all the shakin' & tsunami afflictions. Congratulations on your upgrade, word 'Catastrophe'. Boy, 'Cataclysm' must be Top Outa Sight!!

Maybe t'was the year after year of endless wars and weather horrors - and horror as the favored form of entertainment - that upped the ante.

Then there's personal/family health, income and infrastructure. =Sigh= =Waaaaah!=

I usually don't buy into the apocalyptic mindfork cropp, but today I'm in the mood to see The Birds, especially the old Irish guy who says complacently, 'it's the end of the World'. Ah. (LaVerne and Shirley fans may remember when Shirley settled down in the haunted house [after hysteria]: 'LaVerne, I am at PEACE.' And I always love Magnolia. Really, doesn't it seem just about the ripe time to RAIN FROGS????

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


A wonderful speech.  Anyone aware of what we shovel into the military and 'socialism for the rich' bottomless pit (including its special connection in 'foreign aid' which has long been primarily a matter of gouging US taxpayers to pay for arms bought from 'private contractors to give or 'loan' to opprobrious foreign forces~ perhaps both sides... Often against their allegedly own people, and/or US) knows that America is not broke (just indebted to China, Canada, Yurp, etc.), but if  we don't reverse the takeover by insatiable vampire plutocrats,  hypocrite demagogues, and their 'we're the only victims!' zombots and aliens, AMERICA will be broken, perhaps irrecoverably.  The TIME is long past NOW.

America is not broke.

Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you'll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It's just that it's not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.

Today just 400 Americans have the same wealth as half of all Americans combined.

Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer "bailout" of 2008, now have as much loot, stock and property as the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can't bring yourself to call that a financial coup d'état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.

And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we'd have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic -- and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it.

I have nothing more than a high school degree. But back when I was in school, every student had to take one semester of economics in order to graduate. And here's what I learned: Money doesn't grow on trees. It grows when we make things. It grows when we have good jobs with good wages that we use to buy the things we need and thus create more jobs. It grows when we provide an outstanding educational system that then grows a new generation of inventors, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists and thinkers who come up with the next great idea for the planet. And that new idea creates new jobs and that creates revenue for the state. But if those who have the most money don't pay their fair share of taxes, the state can't function. The schools can't produce the best and the brightest who will go on to create those jobs. If the wealthy get to keep most of their money, we have seen what they will do with it: recklessly gamble it on crazy Wall Street schemes and crash our economy. The crash they created cost us millions of jobs. That too caused a reduction in tax revenue. Everyone ended up suffering because of what the rich did.

The nation is not broke, my friends. Wisconsin is not broke. Saying that the country is broke is repeating a Big Lie. It's one of the three biggest lies of the decade: 1) America is broke, 2) Iraq has WMD, and 3) The Packers can't win the Super Bowl without Brett Favre.

The truth is, there's lots of money to go around. LOTS. It's just that those in charge have diverted that wealth into a deep well that sits on their well-guarded estates. They know they have committed crimes to make this happen and they know that someday you may want to see some of that money that used to be yours. So they have bought and paid for hundreds of politicians across the country to do their bidding for them. But just in case that doesn't work, they've got their gated communities, and the luxury jet is always fully fueled, the engines running, waiting for that day they hope never comes. To help prevent that day when the people demand their country back, the wealthy have done two very smart things:

1. They control the message. By owning most of the media they have expertly convinced many Americans of few means to buy their version of the American Dream and to vote for their politicians. Their version of the Dream says that you, too, might be rich some day -- this is America, where anything can happen if you just apply yourself! They have conveniently provided you with believable examples to show you how a poor boy can become a rich man, how the child of a single mother in Hawaii can become president, how a guy with a high school education can become a successful filmmaker. They will play these stories for you over and over again all day long so that the last thing you will want to do is upset the apple cart -- because you -- yes, you, too! -- might be rich/president/an Oscar-winner some day! The message is clear: keep you head down, your nose to the grindstone, don't rock the boat and be sure to vote for the party that protects the rich man that you might be some day.

2. They have created a poison pill that they know you will never want to take. It is their version of mutually assured destruction. And when they threatened to release this weapon of mass economic annihilation in September of 2008, we blinked. As the economy and the stock market went into a tailspin, and the banks were caught conducting a worldwide Ponzi scheme, Wall Street issued this threat: Either hand over trillions of dollars from the American taxpayers or we will crash this economy straight into the ground. Fork it over or it's Goodbye savings accounts. Goodbye pensions. Goodbye United States Treasury. Goodbye jobs and homes and future. It was friggin' awesome and it scared the shit out of everyone. "Here! Take our money! We don't care. We'll even print more for you! Just take it! But, please, leave our lives alone, PLEASE!"

The executives in the board rooms and hedge funds could not contain their laughter, their glee, and within three months they were writing each other huge bonus checks and marveling at how perfectly they had played a nation full of suckers. Millions lost their jobs anyway, and millions lost their homes. But there was no revolt (see #1).

Until now. On Wisconsin! Never has a Michigander been more happy to share a big, great lake with you! You have aroused the sleeping giant known as the working people of the United States of America. Right now the earth is shaking and the ground is shifting under the feet of those who are in charge. Your message has inspired people in all 50 states and that message is: WE HAVE HAD IT! We reject anyone who tells us America is broke and broken. It's just the opposite! We are rich with talent and ideas and hard work and, yes, love. Love and compassion toward those who have, through no fault of their own, ended up as the least among us. But they still crave what we all crave: Our country back! Our democracy back! Our good name back! The United States of America. NOT the Corporate States of America. The United States of America!

So how do we make this happen? Well, we do it with a little bit of Egypt here, a little bit of Madison there. And let us pause for a moment and remember that it was a poor man with a fruit stand in Tunisia who gave his life so that the world might focus its attention on how a government run by billionaires for billionaires is an affront to freedom and morality and humanity.

Thank you, Wisconsin. You have made people realize this was our last best chance to grab the final thread of what was left of who we are as Americans. For three weeks you have stood in the cold, slept on the floor, skipped out of town to Illinois -- whatever it took, you have done it, and one thing is for certain: Madison is only the beginning. The smug rich have overplayed their hand. They couldn't have just been content with the money they raided from the treasury. They couldn't be satiated by simply removing millions of jobs and shipping them overseas to exploit the poor elsewhere. No, they had to have more -- something more than all the riches in the world. They had to have our soul. They had to strip us of our dignity. They had to shut us up and shut us down so that we could not even sit at a table with them and bargain about simple things like classroom size or bulletproof vests for everyone on the police force or letting a pilot just get a few extra hours sleep so he or she can do their job -- their $19,000 a year job. That's how much some rookie pilots on commuter airlines make, maybe even the rookie pilot who flew me here to Madison today. He told me he's stopped hoping for a pay increase. All he's asking for now is enough down time so that he doesn't have to sleep in his car between shifts at O'Hare airport. That's how despicably low we have sunk! The wealthy couldn't be content with just paying this man $19,000 a year. They had to take away his sleep. They had to demean him and dehumanize him and rub his face in it. After all, he's just another slob, isn't he?

And that, my friends, is Corporate America's fatal mistake. But trying to destroy us they have given birth to a movement -- a movement that is becoming a massive, nonviolent revolt across the country. We all knew there had to be a breaking point some day, and that point is upon us. Many people in the media don't understand this. They say they were caught off guard about Egypt, never saw it coming. Now they act surprised and flummoxed about why so many hundreds of thousands have come to Madison over the last three weeks during brutal winter weather. "Why are they all standing out there in the cold?" I mean, there was that election in November and that was supposed to be that!

"There's something happening here, and you don't know what it is, do you ...?"

America ain't broke! The only thing that's broke is the moral compass of the rulers. And we aim to fix that compass and steer the ship ourselves from now on. Never forget, as long as that Constitution of ours still stands, it's one person, one vote, and it's the thing the rich hate most about America -- because even though they seem to hold all the money and all the cards, they begrudgingly know this one unshakeable basic fact: There are more of us than there are of them!

Madison, do not retreat. We are with you. We will win together.
...And the biggest lie of the last 50 years is that native born US citizens won't work.