Why You Should Know Cecily McMillan

9bi5xxoaJ7bc5h9bpGxA0GxeAfxv-UvWFn4RCmgVbx0Photo: EPA/Alamy.

On the night of March 17, 2012, Cecily McMillan was arrested at Zuccotti Park. It was the six-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street and though she’d joined the protestors before, that night she was there to meet up with friends on the way to a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at a local bar. Police forces swept in to clear the park, and chaos erupted as many protestors attempted to hold their ground and others went limp, officers dragging them toward the police buses. During this raid, McMillan was grabbed from behind on her right breast hard enough to leave a large handprint bruise, which was later photographed by her doctor. She lunged back, elbowing the assailant — Officer Grantley Bovell — in the face.

While McMillan and her supporters expected Bovell to be charged with assault, it was the officer who brought charges against Cecily. Bovell claims she purposefully jumped up and backward to elbow him in the eye as he attempted to escort her out of the park. McMillan now faces a felony charge and up to seven years in prison.

The trial proceedings began last Monday, after weeks of a laborious jury selection. As with all the Occupy Wall Street trials, it’s proven difficult to find prospective jurors who don’t have a strong opinion one way or another on the movement that dominated local and national news for months. McMillan’s friends and supporters gather daily outside the court, all eager to speak on her behalf to press or passersby. But, inside the courtroom, the outcome remains entirely uncertain.

While no one denies both parties were injured, the details of intent are entirely unclear. McMillan claims her elbow was an instinctive response to being grabbed so roughly from behind. Bovell maintains it was a conscious attack, that she crouched down and leapt up and back on purpose. After this initial incident, McMillan claims she was thrown to the ground and hit, causing a seizure moments later. Bovell asserts she wasn’t thrown, but that he fell on top of her, and her subsequent seizure was fake.

Supporting both sides are myriad videos documenting the raid of Zuccotti Park, each catching moments of the events alleged by McMillan and Bovell in loud, pixelated fragments. We see hoards of police officers herding protestors toward a bus, both parties’ heads popping in and out of frame. In far more graphic detail, we see Cecily seizing in the street, surrounded by police officers who appear, if not necessarily negligent, then unsure of how to handle the situation. Medics arrive eventually, but the screams of outrage and demand by both police and protestors continue at an ear-splitting pitch.

Occupy Wall Street yielded hundreds of trials, and yet this one has gained media attention like no other. Why is that? Perhaps it is the graphic photographs released by McMillan days after her arrest featuring the injuries she sustained. One of the photos, taken by a physician, which shows the bruise on her breast, can be seen on the next page. (It is safe for work, but may be triggering.) It may also be due to all the aforementioned video evidence and the alarming tableau it presents. Much has also been made of both McMillan and Bovell’s histories: She as an outspoken pacifist and he having been charged with police misconduct before.

In the middle of all these chaotic shouts of support and demands for justice are two people deserving of a fair trial. But, in the aftermath of such a historic and controversial movement, one that engaged and exhausted public opinion in equal measure, the truth may be lost in a much bigger, more complicated story.

#myNYPD Twitter campaign backfires, promotes photos of police brutality …

Image posted to Twitter with the hashtag #mynypd@OccupyWallStNYC/AP Image posted to Twitter with the hashtag #mynypd Enlarge
Image posted to Twitter with the hashtag #mynypd@OccupyWallStNYC/Getty Images

Image posted to Twitter with the hashtag #mynypd

Enlarge

Image posted to Twitter with the hashtag #mynypd@OccupyWallStNYC/AP

Image posted to Twitter with the hashtag #mynypd

Enlarge

Images posted to Twitter with the hashtag #myNYPD.

An exercise in social media outreach turned #epicfail Tuesday when users flooded the Twittersphere with some of the NYPD’s most infamous moments of brutality.

The NYPD, through its Twitter page, innocuously asked people on to post pictures of themselves interacting with New York’s Finest — complete with the hashtag myNYPD.

But instead of happy pictures of cops posing with tourists and helping out locals, Twitter erupted with hundreds of photos of police violence, including Occupy Wall Street arrests and the 84-year-old man who was bloodied for jaywalking on the Upper West Side earlier this year.

Just before midnight, more than 70,000 people had posted comments on Twitter decrying police brutality, slamming the NYPD for the social media disaster and recalling the names of people shot to death by police. It was the top trending hashtag on Twitter by late Tuesday, replacing #HappyEarthDay.

Police officials wouldn’t respond to questions about the negative comments or say who was behind the Twitter outreach. They released a short statement on Tuesday evening, when users were posting more than 10,000 tweets an hour.

“The NYPD is creating new ways to communicate effectively with the community,” said Kim Royster, an NYPD spokeswoman. “Twitter provides an open forum for an uncensored exchange and this is an open dialogue good for our city.”

Twitter users had plenty to say.


“Free massages from the #NYPD,” read one of the Occupy Wall Street tweets, which showed a young man being smashed into the trunk of a car by three cops in riot gear.

The request for pics went up shortly after 2 p.m. on the @NYPDNews Twitter page.

“Do you have a photo w/ a member of the NYPD? Tweet us tag it #myNYPD,” the message read. “It may be featured on our Facebook.”

Then came a deluge of pictures of officers roughing up citizens and old newspaper headlines about unarmed people being shot dead by cops.

It also sparked similar hashtag trends — including myLAPD — and garnered international attention.

A tweeter from Buenos Aires, Argentina, named Rodrigo, posted a message in Spanish saying, “The NYPD promoted the use of #MyNYPD hoping for adorable photos of citizens with security forces. Political astuteness.”

Anthony Rotolo, a social media strategist and professor at Syracuse University, said, “What the NYPD did is fail to see that if there are things that can be dredged up in your environment, the louder voices of discontent will tweet them,” he said, adding they’re right not to back down.

“It would mean the crowd had shouted them down,” Rotolo said.

Not all of the posts were negative. J.P. Quinn, 40, tweeted a picture from inside the old Yankee Stadium with his brother Michael, 38, who is a detective in Brooklyn South.

“I like when they make public efforts like this. It’s a shame that it blew up like this,” said Quinn.

“I just assumed it would be all roses, like who ever came up with that for the NYPD.”

With Mark Morales

On a mobile device? Click here to watch video.

Bill O’Reilly to Cliven Bundy supporter: What makes you different from Occupy …

To a significant degree, American politics is a story of insiders vs. outsiders, so it’s inevitable that people among the latter group would be lumped together, even if they’re quite different by any other measure.

Still, it’s probably fair to say that when most people think of Nevada renegade rancher Cliven Bundy, the Zuccotti Park protesters of Occupy Wall Street don’t immediately — or eventually — come to mind.

Yet on the Tuesday night edition of his Fox News show, host Bill O’Reilly drew that very comparison when he had a pro-Bundy militia man as a guest.

“What’s the difference between Mr. Bundy and the Occupy Wall Street crew, that doesn’t respect the federal government for a variety of reasons and feels it has a right to go into a city like Oakland and burn things down?” O’Reilly asked.

The militia-founding Bundy supporter, Scott Shaw of Oklahoma, who seemed a bit surprised by the question, answered that Bundy, unlike OWS, provides America with beef.

“He’s a cattle rancher He’s providing the country with beef,” Shaw responded before adding, “The Occupy movement — to this day, I still don’t know what they’re providing the country with.”

O’Reilly granted that Bundy is indeed outpacing the basically defunct OWS when it comes to beef production, but pushed Shaw, saying, “But they’re both dissenters. They’re both dissenting what they feel is an oppressive system. That’s what they have in common.”



Shaw said this was true but that “the way they go about it is different,” noting that no Bundy supporters have been arrested, while many OWS protesters were charged by the police for disturbing public order and damaging public property. (Shaw didn’t mention this, but we feel it’s worth noting that OWS activists, unlike the Bundyites, did not greet the authorities with loaded weapons.)

“OK,” O’Reilly smirked. “Legitimate point.”

Watch the segment below:


Six NYU Students In Support Of Occupy Wall Street Activist Cecily McMillan

Two years after a young woman was allegedly sexually assaulted in a Manhattan park and later accused of assault herself, a group of NYU students have come to her defense.

Amidst the Occupy Wall Street craze in March of 2012 was St. Patrick’s Day. Cecily McMillan, now 25 and a prominent Occupy activist at the time, was taking the day off to celebrate the holiday in Zuccotti Park when a figure allegedly grabbed her breasts from behind, causing her to elbow him in self-defense. The man turned out to be a cop. Now, McMillan is in court facing a seven-year imprisonment charge for Felony Assault of a police officer.

While the case, which is currently being fought in court and has appeared in large-scale national publications, undoubtedly brings about issues such as gender, race (the officer in question is black), police brutality, and law enforcement effectiveness to the table, the team of individuals supporting McMillan’s plight, including some NYU students, have also received their fair share of attention.

In order to keep supporters, followers, and the press up-to-date, NYU student Nanar Mowad helped create justiceforcecily.com. Mowad, along with a team of volunteers, helps manage the site by collecting the latest articles, following court appearances, and gathering any other information about the case.

Gallatin sophomore Mariah Young-Jones first got involved after meeting and befriending McMillan through another NYU student, Lucy Parks, who lives with McMillan in an activist house in Bushwick.

“Because we were first and foremost friends, my decision to get involved with the trial was for personal reasons as well as political ones,” Young-Jones said. “I had already been doing little things to personally help Cecily out—I went shopping with her to find dresses for her to wear in court; I was coming over to cook her dinner every now and then—when Lucy reached out to me to see if I could officially join the trial support team.”

Young-Jones now works with the outreach segment of the campaign, where her main goal is to gather people to show up at court in support of McMillan.

Nevertheless, spreading awareness isn’t the volunteers’ sole action. Although McMillan is represented by the New York City National Lawyers Guild, (NYC-NLG), which offers pro-bono counsel to Occupy protestors, other fees and monetary needs undoubtedly come into play.

“We do have fundraiser/parties that have raised close to $1,500 and we do have a gofundme site, where we have raised over $2,500,” press contact Stan Williams said. “This money will be used to fly people in to testify for the defense, cover legal fees, etc.”

In addition to Mowad, Young-Jones and Park, fellow NYU students Lauren Wilfong, Caitlin Brimmer and Bex Kuuleipoinaole are also active in the campaign.

“I think the big hope that we have as a team is, of course, that Cecily will not be wrongly convicted of a crime and incarcerated,” Young-Jones said. “But beyond that we want to raise awareness about police brutality in general. We want to raise awareness about what it means to be both a woman and an activist.”

[Image via]

O’Reilly to Bundy Supporter: What’s the Difference Between Bundy and Occupy …

Bill O’Reilly took on a militia leader Tuesday night supporting Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and asked him a very blunt question: what’s the difference between Bundy supporters and Occupy Wall Street? Scott Shaw acknowledged that Bundy broke the law, but said Bundy should stick to his convictions.

O’Reilly suggested the government put a lean on the land for when he dies, which Shaw thought was a reasonable solution. He said he’s not comfortable with the government’s overreaction to the situation in Nevada, telling O’Reilly, “We’re only a nation of laws when it suits our federal overlords.”

O’Reilly then asked the big question: “What’s the difference between Mr. Bundy and the Occupy Wall Street crew?” Shaw said that unlike OWS, Bundy is actually “providing a service to the nation.” O’Reilly shot back, “But they’re both dissenting against what they feel is an oppressive system.” Shaw said no one’s destroyed property or been arrested in Nevada, unlike what’s happened with some Occupy groups.

Watch the video below, via Fox News:

Chris Hayes: What If The People Of Occupy Wall Street Were Holding Rifles?


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Posted on April 22, 2014

Chris Hayes: What If The People Of Occupy Wall Street Were Holding Rifles?

CHRIS HAYES: Imagine how FOX News would react to the New Black Panthers, a tiny group the network gave a huge amount of airtime to in 2012, imagine if they decided to greet law enforcement with long guns. Or, here’s a thought experiment for those who are aghast at the Bureau of Land Management’s actions at the Bundy Ranch and extatic that a crowd bearing guns were able to ward them off. If the people of Occupy Wall Street were holding rifles and snipers instead of drums and handmade signs, do you think FOX News would have called them patriots resisting tyranny? Do you think for one second that the State would have allowed them to hang out in lower Manhattan for weeks?


Posted By Tim Hains

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How Individual Investors Can Occupy and Profit from Wall Street

“The door to the American Millionaire’s Club is not locked.” — J. Paul Getty, America’s first billionaire.

I gave my Presidential Fellow address last night at Chapman University to an enthusiastic crowd on the vital subject, “Main Street vs. Wall Street: The Stock Market as the Best Example of Democratic Capitalism.”

I begin with a short history of how Wall Street has gradually offered better opportunities for the middle class and how low-income earners can participate in the stock market and play the rich man’s game. Since the 1920s, small investors have been able to buy stocks through mutual funds. Then in the 1950s, Merrill Lynch started promoting stocks as a way for the small investor to get rich. In the 1970s, the financial revolution began with Charles Schwab offering the first discount brokerage services.

Today, the commissions on stocks and the fees for mutual funds have dropped substantially and are close to zero. This means that practically anyone can invest with the Rockefellers and the Romneys. My wife and I wrote a book on the subject in the early 1980s, “High Finance on a Low Budget.”

The Roth IRA: Not for the Rich!

Many critics of Wall Street complain that all the breaks and the bailouts went to the fat cats on Wall Street. Not so. The Roth IRA is a great vehicle for the middle class and low-income crowd to invest in the stock market. It allows investments of up to $5,000 a year to earn capital gains and dividends tax-free. Investors then can withdraw their money at retirement without paying any taxes.

The Roth IRA is not available to anyone earning more than $100,000 a year. So it’s a break for the small investor only.

I suggested to the audience that the Occupy Wall Street crowd could buy stocks in all the bailed-out banks, hedge funds and private equity firms to profit from the bailout. I call it the “Don’t Get Mad, Get Even” strategy. I suggested investing in Bank of America (BAC), Goldman Sachs (GS) and even Fannie Mae (OTCBB: FNMA), which has skyrocketed nearly 1,000% in the past year!

In sum, the small investor doesn’t have to sit by idly and see only the so-called 1% highest earners profiting from Wall Street.

Average American is Not Investing in the Stock Market

But sadly, the average American is not participating in the rally on Wall Street. According to Gallup, only 52% of Americans are stock market investors, the lowest level in 20 years.

Occupy Wall Street’s Spokesman Is for Sale on RentAGent.com

Occupy Wall Street's Spokesman Is for Sale on RentAGent.comS

How about a walk on the wild side with a “sapio-sexual intellectual activist?” If that’s your cup of tea, check out Harrison Schultz, a loosely appointed Occupy Wall Street spokesmen, on RentAGent.me. He’s only $200!

Honestly, if the photo above doesn’t say it all, then here’s his “resume” on the site:

I’m one of the organizers of Occupy Wall Street. I am a true sapio-sexual intellectual-activist. Currently finishing my Phd and writing a dissertation on erotic arts, I am an expert in NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and erotic hypnosis. Or you can just eat sushi off of my body, up to you.

Cool.

Schultz, who’s especially knowledgable in the “erotic arts,” gained fame in 2011 as a talking head for the Occupy Wall Street movement, though the group wasn’t really into selecting spokespeople. Still, Schultz appeared on television representing OWS and even visited Fox News to verbally spar with Sean Hannity, who, in short, told him to suck it up and get a job. As for RentAGent.me, according to Vanity Fair, it’s not so much an escort service as a place to rent a man to do whatever you want, like “putting together your Ikea furniture to writing a poem for you to singing for you to accompanying you to a charity event . . . even to teaching you how to do breakdancing or karate.” I mean, I’ve got a clogged shower drain that needs fixing.

“There’s a wide range just depending on the guy’s talent,” Shikhman told N.Y.U. Local. “What combines it all is that all the guys are good-looking, very charming in person, and have at least one talent.”

One RentAGent user reviewed Schultz as “Exceptionally different from others” and a “Hot and seductive activist.” Guys, he’s imitating a karate stance in one of his profile images. LOL. How is this legal?

Image via RentAGent.

Op-Ed: Nevada stand-off looking like Occupy Wall Street with teeth


Life after ‘Chapo’: ‘El Mayo’ heads Sinaloa cartel

Op-Ed: Nevada stand-off looking like Occupy Wall Street with teeth

Ranch hands working cattle on the Bundy ranch.

The cattle rancher has riveted the attention of the nation, as U.S. President Barack Obama implements a no-fly zone to news helicopters and a massive force of Feds moves in. The spectacle has set the Internet aflame across the political spectrum, mostly with sympathy for the rancher, whether it be from the left or the right.

With Bureau of Land Management police already forced to back down in the face of hundreds, if not thousands, of armed citizens last week, the stand-off is starting to resemble Occupy Wall Street with teeth. Indeed, an Occupy Wall Street branch Occupy the BLM is organizing to bring protesters to the ranch.

The Bundy Affair has struck a nerve that the mainstream news is not reporting. The video posted on Youtube of last week’s showdown has garnered over 600,000 views in two days. One observer has sent an email to myself and others. My source reports:

“Here’s what the news won’t say about what really happened in Nevada…From a person that went there, drove there from L.A…

The highway was almost empty until near Mesquite. Then it was a traffic jam. Motor homes, campers, ATVs running along side the freeway, motorcycles, vehicles, every thing you could possibly imagine. Everyone on their way to Bunkersville. Then it about stopped, just inching along. Word traveled down the traffic line that the feds had blocked the road just out of Mesquite and were searching vehicles for weapons and cell phones…As we got closer to the ridge, we were stopped by armed militia. We could not go any further. We could wait, or turn around and go back to the road. Men, that I suspect were special forces, had climbed the ridge from the back side and captured the [government] snipers. They were at that moment coming down the ridge to take them to Mesquite where they would be let go. They weren’t prisoners, they were just going to be replaced by friendlies.

Because of the roadblock on I-15, people refused to be searched, and refused to turn back. They just pulled off the road and parked. It was like a dam backing up a river. Soon the feds were trapped between the Americans who had already gotten through, and the Americans that had been stopped on the highway. The BLM agents went into full panic mode and called for help. LVPD which had REFUSED to show up to help Americans HAD to show up to rescue BLM that was now trapped and helpless. The blockade was SEVEN MILES LONG!”

It’s not that people don’t understand that Bundy owes the federal government money. These sorts of disputes are fairly common in the American West. It may be that, at last, Americans one and all are fed up with what the Bundy episode is bringing into stark relief, in image after image: that America, more than ever, has become a land of kid gloves and coddling for the big dead-beats and SWAT teams and snipers for the little ones.

Why is it that when you owe $1 million to the American taxpayer, you are descended upon like a common terrorist, but when you owe $3 TRILLION, you get a special pass to the presidential inaugural ball? That money is owed to the American taxpayer every bit as much as Bundy is said to owe his million. But while he at least sweats in the blazing Nevada sun grazing his cattle for it, the bankers who still owe trillions to the US taxpayer worked no harder than entering the keystrokes to write the law for the US Congress to pass.

A dead-beat is a dead-beat is a dead-beat. The question is not one of whether he owes it or not. It is one of the double standard. Why aren’t snipers on the roofs of New York with their cross-hairs on the front doors of AIG, until they pay up?

One of the greatest fictions perpetuated by the media which is now busily portraying Bundy as an “anarchist,” is that most of the bank bailouts of the 2008 bank fiasco have been paid back, with interest. This is true only if one is talking about the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) of 2008. What they are not telling you, the same as they are not telling you what is really happening in Mesquite, is that TARP is but a small portion of the bailout programs which were passed on the theory that some banks were “too big to fail,” and trillions are still owed by dead-beats who wear not cowboy boots, but Armani suits.

Now that they haven’t failed, and bank balance sheets are roaring right along, these dead-beats owe the American people, at a minimum, $2 trillion, and probably more.

To put that number in context, an entire US budget for one year is about $4 trillion.

Not only have the banks not finished paying up even the small TARP portion of the bailouts; the Government Accounting Office has found that what they did pay, they paid with the non-TARP parts of the program. Fox News reported that:

“The GAO’s finding undercuts the Treasury’s prior statements that effectively assert the Troubled Asset Relief Program has earned a profit for taxpayers. Specifically, the GAO says that, according to its new review, “as of January 31, 2012, 341 institutions had exited,” TARP, almost half by repaying…with funds from other federal programs.””

A look at the rhetoric being employed by the supporters and bloggers standing behind Bundy reveal grievances that run far deeper than local grazing rights. Some point to the increasing pace of acquisitions in key industries by China such as pork and high-tech, with China’s recent acquisition of Smithfield Foods overnight making it the largest employer in many US cities. In addition the USDA has recently, for the first time, approved the import of Chinese chickens. Conservative radio talk show host Fabian Calvo says:

“It is just like where America was with England when we were exercising leverage over them around WWII because we were the largest creditor nation. Now, we are the largest debtor nation, and we owe all this money to the Chinese. In order to not have them dump our debt, we’re basically allowing them, through the Department of the Interior who is stealing rancher land and killing their cattle, they are selling out America.”

Calvo believes the BLM is confiscating and taking control of land for “future collateralization” of currency after a hyperinflation similar to Weimer Germany.

The Center for Media and Democracy in 2010 issued a report which stated that:

the U.S. Treasury Department’s ten TARP programs represent less than seven percent of the $4.7 trillion disbursed by the U.S. government in an effort to aid the financial services industry. Far more money has been disbursed by the Federal Reserve to prop up the financial system than by the U.S. Treasury, and those loans are still outstanding.”

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A table complied by the Center showed the breakdown of monies owed:

Outstanding Monies Still Owed to U.S. Taxpayers

Disbursed Outstanding

Non-TARP $4,4152. billion (93%) $1,815.8 billion (94%)

TARP $307.6 billion (7%) $117.7 billion (6%)

Total Bailout $4,722.8 billion $1,993.6 billion

And in a little-reported section dealing with the non-TARP bailouts issued in 2009 by the Special Inspector General for TARP, Neil Barofsky, Barofsky wrote:

“By itself, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”) is a huge program at $700 billion. As discussed in SIGTARP’s April Quarterly Report, the total financial exposure of TARP and TARP-related programs may reach approximately $3 trillion. Although large in its own right, TARP is only a part of the combined efforts of the Federal Government to address the financial crisis. Approximately 50 initiatives or programs have been created by various Federal agencies since 2007 to provide potential support totaling more than $23.7 trillion.”

Special Inspector Barofsky, in his July 2009 report, put the outstanding balance owed by banks to taxpayers for both TARP and non-TARP programs at closer to $3 billion (see table below, “outstanding balance.”) Journalist Glenn Greenwald called Barofsky, who was forced out of Washington after his 2009 report: “easily one of the most impressive and courageous political officials in Washington.”

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PDF OF SECTION 3 OF SIGTARP JULY 2009 REPORT, ON NON-TARP PROGRAMS

The champagne keeps flowing in the Washington lobbyist cocktail party circuit, for the dead-beats who owe you and me $3 trillion cash money every bit as real as what Cliven Bundy owes. No SWAT teams for them. Meanwhile Bundy, no role model but certainly no terrorist, stands to get his head blown off by some trigger-happy federal tough guy. That may be what has finally stuck in the craw of the American people.

Feds forced to Stand Down

Life after ‘Chapo’: ‘El Mayo’ heads Sinaloa cartel

Here is another insight into NV issue that is NOT getting proper news coverage:

Reid smelling anything but rosy in ranch fight ~ J R Corsi, WND, 04-12-2014

“When Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy refused to take his cattle off land the federal government demanded for the habitat of an endangered desert tortoise, it focused the nation’s attention on an arena Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., may have preferred to be kept quiet. An investigative report published last week by Infowars.com drew a connection between Senate Majority Leader Reid’s involvement with Chinese energy giant ENN, Chinese efforts to build massive solar facilities in the Nevada desert and the showdown between Bundy and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, or BLM. It wasn’t the first report to notice curious dealings involving the Chinese and America’s top Democrats.”

“On Jan. 20, 2013, WND warned Chinese government-backed economists were proposing a plan to allow Chinese corporations to set up “development zones” in the United States as part of a plan proposed by the Chinese government to convert into equity the more than $1 trillion in U.S. Treasury debt owned by the Chinese Gov’t. The next day, Jan. 21, 2013, WND documented the Obama administration had begun to allow China to acquire major ownership interests in oil and natural gas resources across the USA.”

… Pause for reflection!

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