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What we just witnessed yesterday was shocking. A leader of a foreign country was allowed to come here to circumvent and undermine our very own ELECTED leader in a time of negotiations with said foreign country, and the Democrats, who are supposed to be the sane, principled ones, can barely muster a grumble.

Fuck you, Democratic party. Can you possibly be any more weak and pathetic.

I wouldn't vote for one of you if Satan were your opponent.

Netanyahu came here to say fuck you to our president. Just like he did when he ran campaign ads down in Florida promoting the president's opponent.

And all you can do is pretend to give a shit. Just like you do every time. Fuck you.

This psychopathic asshole is seriously operating under the assumption that Israel and AIPAC actually rule this country.

And he's right. Because Democrats are such spineless, weak and pathetic cowards.

"But but but 60 Democrats boycotted the speech."

Yeah, they went and hid in a hole and have now come out saying they only boycotted it because is was too "partisan."

That has as much teeth as Nancy Pelosi's  cry that Netanyahu insulted her because he didn't credit her for being the warmonger that she is.

I was near tears throughout the Prime Minister’s speech — saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the [negotiating] nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation,” Pelosi said.
HOW DARE HE NOT GIVE US CREDIT FOR BEING AS BLINDLY MILITANT AND PSYCHOPATHIC AS ISRAEL IS!!!!

Dear Nancy,

FUCK YOU.

The only threat Iran poses is the threat of your masters in BIG OIL not getting their paws on Iran's oil reserves and the transport routes Iran can provide for other countries' oil and gas.

And despite the fact that humanity's global consumption of oil, which rises unabated, is the greatest threat to our very survival in the history of our species, these moronic, stupid fucking assholes want to go to war, killing and destroying the lives of millions more innocent people, just to get their psychopathic little hands on the last remaining drops of liquid death.

I used to delineate between the Democrats the people, and Democrats the party leadership. But it's clear to me now, especially today, that there's really very little difference. This has been proven time and again throughout the presidency of Barack Obama.

Every sellout from FISA to the public option to the countless civil rights abuses to NSA gate has been met with the usual internet dissent, and then...silence. It's really just an exercise to see just how long it will take you to re-normalize. To adapt. To lower you bottomless standards and accept whatever they throw at you.

What emerges is a new picture of a crooked, cowardly Democratic establishment enabled and abetted by a weak and pathetic activist base who would enthusiastically support Jeb Bush if he were as Democrat.

Discuss

The fact is, the militarization of our local police forces started a long time ago.

First, it was the 1994 crime bill where we were going to put "100,000 cops on the streets." Remember that one? And where were these 100,000 cops going to come from?

From the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, otherwise known as the Clinton crime bill.

   (c) TROOPS-TO-COPS PROGRAMS-

        `(1) IN GENERAL- Grants made under subsection (a) may be used to hire former members of the Armed Forces to serve as career law enforcement officers for deployment in community-oriented policing, particularly in communities that are adversely affected by a recent military base closing.

        `(2) DEFINITION- In this subsection, `former member of the Armed Forces' means a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is involuntarily separated from the Armed Forces within the meaning of section 1141 of title 10, United States Code.

This essentially funded the reassignment of soldiers, many of whom having just returned from the 1st Iraq war and suffering from Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to police the streets of the US.

That crime bill was Clinton's first big legislative push after the failed stimulus bill. It not only had this Troops-to-Cops provision, but, in some respects it was also the precursor to the Patriot Act, but that's a subject for another day.

So we have all these soldiers becoming cops. I've searched for stats and other info on this program without much success. But I witnessed first hand the effect of this legislation. All though the 90s and early 2000s, I watched as police forces slowly transformed from a bunch of normal men and women, some with donut bellies, and far more looking like the people they serve, to these Rambo looking people, with their military crew cuts, steroid builds, and, most importantly, a certain look in the eye that says, "I control you."

WTF? When did the coup d'etat happen and why wasn't I told about it?

Then, in 1997, Clinton signed another bill creating the 1033 program. It was the The National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 1997 (FY 97)

This was originally sold to the public as a measure in the war on drugs (Read: war on blacks and other minorities), and maybe that was it's original intent. You certainly didn't see local sheriff's departments buying armed personnel carriers and sound cannons.

But the program has boomed in the last few years, with a clear focus on crowd control. This strongly suggests that the so-called "militarization" of our police is not the legacy of 9/11 so much as the legacy of the bankster bailouts of 08-09, followed by right wing austerity, then culminating in the Occupy Wall Street protests of 2011.

From the Pentagon's own 1033 site.

Since its inception [in 1997], the 1033 program has transferred more than $5.1 billion worth of property. In 2013 alone, $449,309,003.71 worth of property was transferred to law enforcement.
I've failed to find the precise data for the year by year increases in militarized weapons transfers to police departments since 1997. But one can extrapolate that, out of a total $5 billion over the lifetime of the program, and a whopping $1/2 billion in 2013 alone, combined with observation, there has been a dramatic increase of late.

Why?

Because the drug war is not working? Or because our own government sees its own people as the enemy.

Discuss

Sat Nov 19, 2011 at 07:00 PM PST

The Best Movie Ever

by rocklawyer

Discuss

This should creep you out.

This video appears to be a clip from the Conan O'Brien Show where he assembled multiple clips from various "news" outlets, mostly local, all using the exact same phrase. Here's the transcript for those with no video capabilities:

Conan O'Brien may be about to push the envelope on late night television. Conan O'Brien may be about to push the envelope on late night television. Conan O'Brien may be about to push the envelope on late night television. Conan O'Brien may be about to push the envelope on late night television. Conan O'Brien may be about to push the envelope on late night television. Conan O'Brien may be about to push the envelope on late night television. Conan O'Brien may be about to push the envelope on late night television. Conan O'Brien may be about to push the envelope on late night television. Conan O'Brien may be about to push the envelope on late night television. Conan O'Brien may be about to push the envelope on late night television. Conan O'Brien may be about to push the envelope on late night television. Conan O'Brien may be about to push the envelope on late night television. Conan O'Brien may be about to push the envelope on late night television. Conan O'Brien may be about to push the envelope on late night television. Conan O'Brien may be about to push the envelope on late night television.

There were actually 18, but three I think varied it a bit.

My assumption is the copy was written by a PR Firm, and was distributed out to all these outlets. While troubling, this wouldn't be a groundbreaking revelation in itself. Local news outlets have been busted before using fake news produced by PR firms, including some working for the Bush administration. And, as far as we know from this video, it is 'entertainment news' so it's arguably irrelevant - it looks like these stations buy a 'Hollywood News' type thing like newspapers buy AP's news service or some weeklies buy "News of the Weird".

On the surface, one might see it as amusing to see bundled together, but otherwise pretty benign.

But it does raise serious concerns. It demonstrates yet again that our media environment has become far too centralized, far too controlled by too few players. A great American tragedy has resulted from corrupt legislation that has allowed our local radio, television, and newspapers to be bought up by large media conglomerates.

And instead of many independent and diverse outlets, centered in the local communities they operate in, we have a few corporations spitting out prefabricated copies of fake news.

To have at least 18 different anchors all singing the exact same tune like that, regardless of what they're saying, is just downright creepy.

Discuss

Thu Oct 27, 2011 at 08:41 PM PDT

"COINTELPRO - New Left"

by rocklawyer

Any of this look familiar?

COINTELPRO letter from J. Edgar Hoover to Special Agent in Charge, Albany
5 July 1968

FBI 01, p.1

1 - Mr. DeLoach
1 - Mr. Felt
1 - Mr. Bishop
1 - Mr. W.C. Sullivan
1 - Mr. C.D. Brennan
1 - [deleted]
1 - [deleted]

SAC, Albany 7/5/68

Director, FBI (100-449698)

COUNTERINTELLIGENCE PROGRAM
INTERNAL SECURITY
DISRUPTION OF THE NEW LEFT
(COINTELPRO - NEW LEFT)

Bulet 5/10/68 requested suggestions for counterintelligence action against the New Left. The replies to the Bureau's request have been analyzed and it is felt that the following suggestions for counterintelligence action can be utilized by all offices:

1. Preparation of a leaflet designed to counteract the impression that Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and other minority groups speak for the majority of students at universities. The leaflet should contain photographs of New Left leadership at the respective university. Naturally, the most obnoxious pictures should be used.

2. The instigating of or the taking advantage of personal conflicts or animosities existing between New Left leaders.

3. The creating of impressions that certain New Left leaders are informants for the Bureau or other law enforcement agencies.

4. The use of articles from student newspapers and/or the "underground press" to show the depravity of New Left leaders and members. In this connection, articles showing advocation of the use of narcotics and free sex are ideal to send to university officials, wealthy donors, members of the legislature and parents of students who are active in New Left matters.

5. Since the use of marijuana and other narcotics is widespread among members of the New Left, you should be alert to opportunities to have them arrested by local authorities on drug charges. Any information concerning the

2 - All Field Offices

SEE NOTE PAGE THREE

FBI 01, p.2

Letter to SAC, Albany
RE: COUNTERINTELLIGENCE PROGRAM
100-449698

fact that individuals have marijuana or are engaging in a narcotics party should be immediately furnished to local authorities and they should be encouraged to take action.

6. The drawing up of anonymous letters regarding individuals active in the New Left. These letters should set out their activities and should be sent to their parents, neighbors and the parents' employers. This could have the effect of forcing the parents to take action.

7. Anonymous letters or leaflets describing faculty members and graduate assistants in the various institutions of higher learning who are active in New Left matters. The activities and associations of the individual should be set out. Anonymous mailings should be made to university officials, members of the state legislature, Board of Regents, and to the press. Such letters could be signed "A Concerned Alumni" or "A Concerned Taxpayer."

8. Whenever New Left groups engage in disruptive activities on college campuses, cooperative press contacts should be encouraged to emphasize that the disruptive elements constitute a minority of the students and do not represent the conviction of the majority. The press should demand an immediate student referendum on the issue in question. Inasmuch as the overwhelming majority of students is not active in New Left matters, it is felt that this technique, used in carefully selected cases, could put an end to lengthy demonstrations and could cause embarrassment to New Left elements.

9. There is a definite hostility among SDS and other New Left groups toward the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), the Young Socialist Alliance (YSA), and the Progressive Labor Party (PLP). This hostility should be exploited wherever possible.

10. The field was previously advised that New Left groups are attempting to open coffeehouses near military bases in order to influence members of the Armed Forces. Wherever these coffeehouses are, friendly news media should be alerted to them and their purpose. In addition, various

FBI 01, p.3

Letter to SAC, Albany
RE: COUNTERINTELLIGENCE PROGRAM
100-449698

drugs, such as marijuana, will probably be utilized by individuals running the coffeehouses or frequenting them. Local law enforcement authorities should be promptly advised whenever you receive an indication that this is being done.

11. Consider the use of cartoons, photographs, and anonymous letters which will have the effect of ridiculing the New Left. Ridicule is one of the most potent weapons which we can use against it.

12. Be alert for opportunities to confuse and disrupt New Left activities by misinformation. For example, when events are planned, notification that the event has been cancelled or postponed could be sent to various individuals.

You are reminded that no counterintelligence action is to be taken without Bureau approval. Insure that this Program is assigned to an Agent with an excellent knowledge of both New Left groups and individuals. It must be approached with imagination and enthusiasm if it is to be successful.

As an economy measure the caption "COINTELPRO - NEW LEFT" should be used on all communications concerning this Program.

NOTE:
See memo C.D. Brennan to W.C. Sullivan dated 7/3/68, captioned as above, prepared by BAW: jes.

Discuss

I know how tempting it can be. When someone uses violence against you, as the police are increasingly doing, it can be really hard not to want to fight back.

Don't do it.

We need to send a clear message to protesters, provocateurs, the press, spectators, and anyone else who is paying attention: If you use violence, you are not on our side. You are on the side of our oppressors.

In fact, your use of violence is so damaging and counter-productive to the aims of the Occupy Movement, that you, in every sense, will be considered the enemy of the 99%.

Maybe some will find the use of the term "enemy" too harsh. Fine. All I'll say to that is, to the plutocrats, you are the enemy.

As Howard Zinn once so eloquently said about the plutocrats, "They will kill you."

And they have.

They have no hesitation poisoning your children to increase profits.
They have no hesitation poisoning our drinking water to increase profits.
They have no hesitation cutting off children's health care treatment to increase profits.

These people are sociopaths. Serial killers. All in the name of capitalism. What makes you think that deep down, they're going to rediscover their noble side and let us take back our government and economic system?

Regardless, we need a preemptive strike against saboteurs and those who the plutocrat media will use to discredit this movement. And that should be a declaration of some sort that makes clear to all, not only do we not condone violence, but we consider those who commit it to be on the side of the 1%.

If you follow the trend, it appears the police state is entering a new phase. Violent arrests are increasing across the country. We have to do everything in our power to not only prevent something from happening that could damage the cause, but to inoculate ourselves from it if something does happen.

Occupy Wall Street is a non-violent people's action. Anyone who doesn't get that is not with us.

Discuss

Sat Oct 22, 2011 at 01:20 PM PDT

You Are Not the 1%

by rocklawyer

There's a diary atop the Rec List that makes some dubious claims that I feel must be refuted. There are some really good parts of that diary and I apologize to readers who found them moving or inspiring. But some of the claims made, and one in particular, are too damaging to let stand. So damaging that I was suspicious at once that this diary was clever propaganda. Reading through to the end I changed my mind.

But this diary was problematic from the very first sentence. Is the impetus behind the Occupy Wall Street movement really "a vague sense that the rich are getting ever richer while everyone else suffers?" This sounds strikingly similar to many of the criticisms thrown out by the oligarch media - that we are angry but don't at what or with whom we should be angry towards. Or that we don't have any demands because we don't really understand the problems.

But I assure you, there's nothing "vague" about understanding of the problems. And wealth inequality is only part of picture. There's also justice (legal) inequality, and political inequality(politicians bought and paid for), and a very tangible, specific sense we the people are being ripped off.

They call it austerity, but we know it's just a looting. Even the products we need every day to survive have been cheapened. My dish washing liquid has been watered down for Christ sakes. Call it the Great Quality Crash of 2008. Every since the 2008 crash, everything we buy has been increasingly made from cheaper crap. And it comes in less quantities for the same price. And that's just the private sector. The public sector is being systematically destroyed.

Our cat got stuck in a tree the other day. My young daughter suggested we call the Fire Dept. My wife and I just laughed. But it was a sad, longing sort of laugh.

Vague? I don't think so.

Moving on, we have the unlinked, un-cited assertion that a new report from the SS Admin shows that wages remain stagnant. That is a blatant lie. Wages are in rapid decline. And that's not even accounting for inflation which itself represents a serious loss of income for most Americans. There are many tricky ways to do the numbers. But real people see right through them. We are working at least twice as hard for less money and our money buys less. That's not stagnation in any sense. That is decline.

Then the diarist claimed that the Tea Party started a movement called the 53%. Really?

'Cause it looks to me like all they did was create a website and put fake people on it. That's not a movement.

Inflating the significance of PR front groups is a propaganda technique, whether it's done deliberately or not.

Perhaps the most comical claim that the diarist makes is that the 1% haven't had a voice in this "debate".

The one group rarely heard from in this rancorous debate is the 1%

Are you serious? Because as far as I see, the 1% are the only ones who have had a voice. They own all the TV networks and most of the local stations. They own all the newspapers and magazines. They own all the radio stations. And now, they are in the process of taking over what is supposed to be a decentralized, open internet.

So the assertion that the 1% haven't had a voice in the debate is beyond laughable. It is offensive.

Now, those were just some of the errors I found. In the first paragraph. I could continue line by line. Even through the good parts about the writer's rags to riches story and how we all depend on each other. I liked that part too.

Finally, there is one claim made in that diary that is so damaging, I believe the refutation requires a diary of its own. Making $380,354 won't put you in the "1%".

The threshold for inclusion in the top 1% of income earners in 2008, the most recent year for which published data is available form the IRS, was $380,354...

Wow, you mean to get into the 1%, you only have to earn $380,000 a year and not be a super duper billionaire? My doctor is in the 1% and he's not a sociopath at all. Maybe the Republicans are right. If I just work a little harder, maybe I can be in the 1% as well.

Nonsense. The term "1 percent" is not based on income. It's based on wealth. As in, "The top 1% has more wealth than the bottom 50%" or "We need to reduce wealth inequality".

This is important. The super-wealthy are notoriously skilled at hiding their income, or simply not having much at all. It is therefore not an accurate measure of wealth at all.

The 1%'s lackeys in the corporate media love to make it about income. Because that serves their interests, since they clearly do not want anyone focusing on their real wealth. Income can be manipulated. Wealth cannot. And the absolute last thing they want is to be taxed on wealth.

One of the foremost experts on wealth inequality is Edward Wolff. He is a professor of economics at New York University and his book, "Top Heavy: The Increasing Inequality of Wealth in America and What Can Be Done About It" went a long way towards putting the 1% on the map. This is from an interview in 2003 so the numbers are way low (but still shocking). It's a great read and demonstrates the significance of distinguishing between wealth and income.

MM: How do economists measure levels of equality and inequality?

Wolff:The most common measure used, and the most understandable is: what share of total wealth is owned by the richest households, typically the top 1 percent. In the United States, in the last survey year, 1998, the richest 1 percent of households owned 38 percent of all wealth.

This is the most easily understood measure.

MM: What portion of the wealth is owned by the upper groups?
Wolff: The top 5 percent own more than half of all wealth.

In 1998, they owned 59 percent of all wealth. Or to put it another way, the top 5 percent had more wealth than the remaining 95 percent of the population, collectively.

The top 20 percent owns over 80 percent of all wealth. In 1998, it owned 83 percent of all wealth.

This is a very concentrated distribution.

Again, these numbers are old and they are probably underestimated. One of the amazing and unreported consequences of the 2008 crash is, as a result, concentrations of wealth have increased. Dramatically. To the victors go the spoils.

So, getting back to the diary in question, it is very important to not get tricked into the income measure trap. We are talking about wealth, not income. And that is a whole different class of sociopath.

By making the 1% include the middle class, which, depending on the class model used, is what you're looking at $380k per year, Gaius is attempting to completely redivide the class war. Who does that benefit?

It benefits the real 1%. People making 380k are not the problem. And they're not the people we are targeting. But Gaius's diary is now attempting to include those people too. That's a fight we cannot win.

Lastly, when is someone going to point out to the morons on the right that 99% is not a poll number. It's based on how much wealth you own. So you can call yourself the 75% if you want, but you're still the 99% unless you're in the 1 percentile of wealth ownership.

My message to the Tea Party is we're going to fight for you, even if you don't think you need it. Because, whether you want to admit it or not, you are the 99% too.

Discuss
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