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I'm done with "more and better" Dems.

Between the banksters, the wiretaps, the drones, the whistleblower and hacker crackdown and the pot-shop attacks, I've had it with the Democratic Party. Sure they're marginally better than Republicans, but at what cost?

Twice I voted for Obama. Sure Romney and McCain would've been worse. Well, they or someone very much like them will inherit the NSA machine, the torture machine and the Wall-Street run economy.

I'd rather vote 3rd party and give it to the GOP, than vote for the lesser of two evils.

For 2014, and beyond, I'm voting 3rd party candidates only. If the "mainstream" supports wiretaps, torture, GITMO, police brutality, secrecy etc, I'll vote for radicals.

Hillary 2016? Please! As much as I think she'd make a great President, her civil liberties record is weak if not completely wrong too. No chance...

More and better dems? We never got to better because we were sold out by the "more" and their supporters who looked the other way.


I'm currently organizing legal representation and will be raising funds for this. If you know good 4th amednment and criminal defense attorneys in San Mateo County, CA, or want to contribute funds, please contact me by PM.


While walking back from work and towards her home a few blocks away, "Jane" a single mom in her fifties, crossed the street. Before reaching the other side, a police car pulled up on the sidewalk in front of her and two officers emerged. As they approached they said something to the effect of "it's illegal to cross the street there where there is no sidewalk, do you have ID?". Jane said "I don't have ID on me", at which time, without further words or any struggle, she was turned around and her hands were cuffed behind her back and she was put inside the patrol car. For several minutes, as they drove her further away from home and out of the area she asked several times "Where are you taking me?". She only got mocking laughter from one of the officers in response.

She was taken to a station, booked, slammed against a wall, and generally roughed up a bit, leaving her with bruises (I have asked her to take photos). She was held for 12 hours, with no phone call, no lawyer, no nothing. Finally, just before 5am, she got home after a horrific night, with a charge of PC148(a)(1) of obstruction/resisting and her promise to appear to face that charge in court in a few weeks.

If you're poor and don't speak good English, jaywalking can land you in jail for 12 hours, with your family frantically searching for you, while you are roughed up and then released with trumped up charges.

I'm furious and I'm not letting them get away with it.

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Aaron Swartz committed suicide after being hounded by the DoJ for a victimless crime.

There are plenty of memorial diaries, but I'd like to focus on a fact-based look at the DoJ and its priorities. We need to take a good hard look at the facts:

Fact: The department of Justice is run by Holder and Obama

Fact: The DoJ is the most powerful govt agency after the Pentagon

Fact: The DoJ is the most "executive" of branches and therefore given the most latitude to express the direction of the executive branch without too much interference from Congress.

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I've been watching Dailykos parade pictures of Boehner in tears on the front page for years now.

Ok, I get it: We make fun of the opposition and their sniffling speaker.

But under all of this "fun" is the unstated and very nasty assumption that REAL MEN DONT CRY

I'm a real man. I'm not a macho guy, or a sports hero, or an athlete. I'm a geeky brainiac who got relentlessly teased by the macho guys all through highschool. I've been teased for crying and I've been teased for not being manly enough for someone's arbitrary standards

It's sexist, homophobic and gender oppressive. CUT IT OUT.

Bash Boehner for being a crap speaker, for having terrible policies. Bash him for leading a lost party. But stop bashing him for having the audacity to not conform to your standards of manliness. I expected better from this community.


This petition:

Proposes the passage of a bill to define Heinous Financial Crimes as financial fraud that results in more than $10m in illicit gains and/or affects more than 10,000 people. Such crimes shall be punishable under federal law with Life Without the Possiblity of Parole (LWPP).

The petition asks the President to push Congress to pass such a bill and to push DoJ to seek the maximum penalties for such crimes.

It's time to be specific and to go on the offensive. Let's call for justice, in clear, specific and easy to understand terms: if you steal a lot or victimize many, you will rot in jail.

Let's give the bankers a taste of "Zero Tolerance" crime fighting.


Today I found out that my local dispensary for medical marijuana will be closing in two weeks.

The dispensary in question is the Vapor Room Cooperative in San Francisco.

President Obama recently justified the MJ crackdown as only targeting profit-driven dispensaries that flout the law. He lied.

The Vapor Room is the most above board dispensary I have ever seen. If VR is not above board then no dispensary is, and that is precisely the point. This is not about the quality or legitimacy of specific dispensaries. If they are going after VR, they are not satisfied with anything less than the practical end of MMJ in CA.

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Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 02:05 PM PDT

Aikido Obama

by marvinborg

The calmer and more moderate Obama has been, the more extreme the GOP has become.

Over time, it has become apparent that this game has actually left the GOP exposed with a horrendous overreach, appealing to an ever narrowing electorate on an ever more extreme message.  Obama has kept feeding them rope, with well timed little zingers and traps that they seem to keep falling for.

It gets harder to believe that Obama is not doing this deliberately. It seems to work so consistently, that I can't imagine it's an accident.

It's a bit like watching an Aikido master against a street thug:


The GOP overreach has been:

21%14 votes
54%36 votes
6%4 votes
10%7 votes
7%5 votes

| 66 votes | Vote | Results

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Not much of a diary  - I'm too upset and disappointed. I guess the FISAA bill was a sign of things to come. The bush legacy of the Unitary Executive continues unabated

Under the NDAA, the US military will have the ability to arrest anyone, anywhere, including US citizens on US soil.

They'll use it against Assange first, probably.

I can't see myself voting for Obama in 2012, not even if he's up against Gingrich. I'm done playing the "lesser of two evils".



Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 12:17 PM PST

Evict Corruption

by marvinborg

It's time for us to EVICT the CORRUPTION from politics*

[* not saying Occupy is over - it is simply going to phase 2, this is a phase 2 framing diary]

I think that Evict Corruption is the "core" message of Occupy, but also the core message of the Tea Party and most Independents.

EVICT CORRUPTION is a simple, direct and self-explanatory message. It resonates with almost everyone and encompasses all the core values of Occupy (at least as I understand them).

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Wed Nov 30, 2011 at 07:14 PM PST

Go on, say something *controversial*

by marvinborg

"This is a free country" used to be a comforting phrase for many americans.

But how do you know if it is a free country? It's written in the constitution, sure, but is it really true?

Well, there's a quick way for most people to find out - try exercising your freedoms and see what happens.

If you're really free to speak your mind, say something. Go on, say something controversial. You're free to say "God bless America". You're free to say "USA! USA!". You're free to say "Thank you for your service". You're free to say a lot of things that people agree with.

But try and say something truly controversial. Something that offends most people.

Freedom is supposed to be "content neutral". Your freedoms shouldn't change if you're unpopular or say the unpopular thing.


My personal experience with freedom resulted in:

33%5 votes
33%5 votes
20%3 votes
13%2 votes

| 15 votes | Vote | Results

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[Subtitle: Basel III, capital adequacy, bank balance sheets and leverage]

They don't need no stinking customers - a total baldfaced lie.

Let's look at the facts:

- Under the Basel III compact, FED and SEC regulations, banks must maintain capital adequacy, which means they must contain their ravenous appetite for leverage to just 10:1 approximately. They can lend 90c of every dollar they hold in assets.

Wikipedia - Capital Adequacy
Wikipedia - Calculating Capital Adequacy Ratios

- The assets they hold are classified in "Tiers" based on risk. The ONLY assets that have zero risk are CASH and Treasuries.

Wikipedia - Risk Weighted Capital Adequacy Calculation

- Banks aim to maximize profit and therefore try to maximize leverage. If they can lend a dollar without adding to their risk, they do. So they did. They lent as much as possible, until their capital adequacy is the absolute minimum necessary to pass the FED tests.

Wikipedia - Federal Reserve - Bank Reserve Requirements

- The banks are sitting on a mountain of cash, but that's because they're also sitting on a mountain of toxic debt that erodes their balance sheet. The stuff they thought was gold is shit.

- As their mortgage-based and securitized assets declined in value when the RE bubble burst, they had to rely heavily on secure assets, ie. deposits.

- In the 2008 crisis, the banks, especially the big ones, ended up "upside down" with more liabilities than assets in reserve and therefore could find themselves failing capital adequacy tests (the "stress" tests you heard about). So they stopped lending and started advertising for depositors and savers and started adding fees. This was to shore up their balance sheet.

Wikipedia - FED stress tests

In the examples in Wikipedia you can see the various banks and how much money they were SHORT:

Citi: 5.5 billion
Wells Fargo: 13.3 billion
BofA: 33 billion
Chase: adequate

So 3 of the 4 "big bad banks" did not have enough capital in deposits in 2008.

Oh, and as usual, these numbers were entirely fudged. The real picture was much much worse

To make things more tangible, have a look at one bank's specific numbers as reported for FY2010

Citigroup 2010 SEC filing

The balance sheet of Citigroup from 2010, shows the numbers:
- 1.9 trillion in assets,
- of which 800 billion are cash deposits.
- Their Tier 1 assets are just 13 billion, a ratio of 10% of total capital assets
- They are leveraged at a rate of 6.6 (that's 6.6 to 1)
- North America consumer banking was their largest cash operation with deposits of 145 billion.

when you take out $1 from cash deposits in Citi's NA operations, that comes out of their Tier 1 capital, and by leverage reduces their capital adequacy by an equivalent of $0.66. That's the amount that they can no longer lend from your $1.

They are in deep shit and they know it. They need 99%'ers deposits so they can lend money to the 1% and make money on interest and fees. Without your deposits, they cannot lend and cannot make money. Since they are already bleeding money because of mortgages, every penny counts.

So much for "we don't need no stinking customers"


This video is absolutely disgusting and should evoke that emotion in any human being:

I have zero confidence that there will be any justice if this is handled as an internal investigation. It is time for California Attorney General Kamala Harris to step in and initiate an independent investigation of police brutality and violence across California.

No parent, no student, no sane human being can watch this video without feeling nausea, disgust, pain and empathy. Then... RAGE.

Contact CA AG Kamala Harris, if you live in CA and demand an independent investigation, using the online form of the AG's office.

California Office of the AG, Comment Form

(The form includes a checkbox that asks "I affirm that the foregoing information is true and accurate". You can set that to "No" and it will still accept the email. Since this is second hand information, I suggest putting "No")

EDIT: AG's name is "Kamala" Harris. Can't change the title, fixed in body. Thanks for pointing out in comments

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