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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 01/15/2012 - 01/22/2012
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Megaupload seizure does indeed give the finger to our SOPA/PIPA victory

what you see when you click through to the megaupload site...


It’s true that website-seizures-without-trials are not quite as lawless as indefinite detentions, since there are actual statutes conferring this power. But it nonetheless sends a very clear message when citizens celebrate a rare victory in denying the Government a power it seeks — the power to shut down websites without a trial — only for the Government to turn around the very next day and shut down one of the world’s largest and best-known sites. Whether intended or not, the message is unmistakable: Congratulations, citizens, on your cute little “democracy” victory in denying us the power to shut down websites without a trial: we’re now going to shut down one of your most popular websites without a trial.

The U.S. really is a society that simply no longer believes in due process: once the defining feature of American freedom that is now scorned as some sort of fringe, radical, academic doctrine. That is not hyperbole. Supporters of both political parties endorse, or at least tolerate, all manner of government punishment without so much as the pretense of a trial, based solely on government accusation: imprisonment for life, renditions to other countries, even assassinations of their fellow citizens. Simply uttering the word Terrorist, without proving it, is sufficient. And now here is Megaupload being completely destroyed — its website shuttered, its assets seized, ongoing business rendered impossible — based solely on the unproven accusation of Piracy.

the rule of law does not apply to our government...

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Friday, January 20, 2012

The war on democracy is unmentionable in western elite circles

john pilger...
Since the Second World War, the US has:
  1. Attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, most of them democratically-elected.
  2. Attempted to suppress a populist or national movement in 20 countries.
  3. Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.
  4. Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.
  5. Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.

In total, the United States has carried out one or more of these actions in 69 countries. In almost all cases, Britain has been a collaborator. The "enemy" changes in name – from communism to Islamism — but mostly it is the rise of democracy independent of western power or a society occupying strategically useful territory, deemed expendable...

The sheer scale of suffering, let alone criminality, is little known in the west, despite the presence of the world’s most advanced communications, nominally freest journalism, and most admired academy. That the most numerous victims of terrorism – western terrorism – are Muslims is unsayable, if it is known. That half a million Iraqi infants died in the 1990s as a result of the embargo imposed by Britain and America is of no interest. That extreme jihadism, which led to 9/11, was nurtured as a weapon of western policy ("Operation Cyclone") is known to specialists but otherwise suppressed.


America is now a land of epidemic poverty and barbaric prisons: the consequence of a "market" extremism which, under Obama, has prompted the transfer of $14 trillion in public money to criminal enterprises in Wall Street. The victims are mostly young jobless, homeless, incarcerated African-Americans, betrayed by the first black president. The historic corollary of a perpetual war state, this is not fascism, not yet, but neither is it democracy in any recognizable form, regardless of the placebo politics that will consume the news until November. The presidential campaign, says the Washington Post, will "feature a clash of philosophies rooted in distinctly different views of the economy." This is patently false. The circumscribed task of journalism on both sides of the Atlantic is to create the pretence of political choice where there is none.

there are times - and today is one of them - when i'd almost rather not know the truth...

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Anonymous strikes back



good on them...
Anonymous downs government, music industry sites in largest attack ever

Hacktivists with the collective Anonymous are waging an attack on the website for the White House after successfully breaking the sites for the FBI, Department of Justice, Universal Music Group, RIAA and Motion Picture Association of America.

In response to today’s federal raid on the file sharing service Megaupload, hackers with the online collective Anonymous have broken the websites for the FBI, Department of Justice, Universal Music Group, RIAA, Motion Picture Association of America and Warner Music Group.


Only hours before the DoJ and Universal sites went down, news broke that Megaupload, a massive file sharing site with a reported 50 million daily users, was taken down by federal agents. Four people linked to Megaupload were arrested in New Zealand and an international crackdown led agents to serving at least 20 search warrants across the globe.

i like their style...

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Insensitive, tone-deaf Democrats want to sell more skyboxes at BofA Stadium in Charlotte


the news about the democratic national convention's choice of charlotte's bank of america stadium as the venue for obama to accept the presidential nomination ought to answer any questions as to how sincere are the concerns of the left side of our utterly broken two-party system for us peasants... selling "more skyboxes to wealthy donors" plus the enormous free advertising bofa will reap from the wall-to-wall media coverage before, during and after, clearly demonstrates who obama and the democratic party sees as their constituents...
For a party trying to cast itself as fighters for the middle class against Wall Street greed, Democrats are making some curious choices -- at least symbolically -- when it comes to planning for their 2012 convention.

They don't think it's a problem that they're holding their convention in Charlotte, N.C., a city sometimes referred to as "The Wall Street of the South." They also don't think it's a big deal that President Barack Obama is slated to accept the Democratic presidential nomination at Bank of America Stadium, named for the bank that received a $45 billion bailout during the financial crisis and sparked outrage by imposing a $5 monthly debit card fee on its customers. The fee was later dropped.

Democratic officials are also downplaying reports that the real reason they're choosing to hold the final day of their convention at Bank of America Stadium isn't because it means more seats for convention attendees, but because it would allow them to sell more skyboxes to wealthy donors.

Regardless of how much credence they give to such details, the visuals are a stark contrast to the populist image that Democrats are trying to project ahead of the November elections. Obama and congressional Democrats have been ramping up rhetoric about Republicans siding with big banks and wealthy people, while Democrats stand up for average Americans in need of jobs, health care and education.

"They will fight with their last breath to protect tax cuts for the most fortunate Americans," Obama said last week at a Chicago fundraiser. "We cannot go back to this brand of 'you are on your own economics.'"

Any irony in holding the Democratic National Convention at Bank of America Stadium was lost on Democrats involved in convention planning, however. Most said they hadn't heard of the "Wall Street of the South" moniker; some noted, after spontaneous Google searches, that other cities including Galveston and Atlanta have also been slapped with the title. Charlotte gets the name because it is home to Bank of America world headquarters and the East Coast headquarters of Wells Fargo, which makes it the nation's second-largest banking center after New York.

screw 'em... here's one voter that isn't falling for their bullshit populist rhetoric...

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

We shall have a nation by, for, and powered by the people once again

i know several folks who have traveled to d.c. for this... i wish them and everyone involved all the best... it's time we reclaimed our rightful place as empowered citizens of our nation and of the world... things can no longer proceed as they have been... the time for sitting on the sidelines and hoping for the best is over...


January 17 at 9 am
Capitol Hill

Washington, DC—On January 17 Americans from across the nation and the world will assemble in the shadows of a broken system to participate in real democracy.

At 9 am on the opening day of Congress, Occupy Congress will convene for a day of action against a corrupt political institution. Actions include a multi-occupational General Assembly, teach-ins, an OCCUParty, a pink slip for every congressional “representative” and a march on all three branches of a puppet government that sold our rights and our futures to the 1%.

This is an illegitimate system. Around half of the nation’s population doesn’t participate in electoral politics. More than 6 million Americans who want to vote are disenfranchised, including the entire populace of the District of Columbia. There is consensus that we are on the wrong track and that our “leaders” do not have our interests at heart.

All “elected” officials bought their way into gerrymandered seats with Wall Street money. These bankers’ henchmen have shown themselves both unwilling and unable to take on the tremendous, systemic issues in our country, our place in this world.

In the face of this endemic corruption, the Occupy movement is about organizing locally to discuss and change these problems from the ground up. We came to show the 1%’s Congress what democracy looks like.

Our nation, and our world, is in crisis and our “elected” officials have failed us. They refused to hold their bankrollers—Wall Street—responsible for the financial crimes that bankrupted our nation and destroyed the global economy. This last legislative cycle was the least productive in recorded U.S. history; 90% of the country disapproves of these “elected” officials.

We refuse to accept the grim future that Wall Street’s cronies have designed. We refuse to be the 1%’s captive citizenry. We stand together to show that the 99% are creating a better world.

The 99% will no longer be complacent. Our many voices will be amplified on the steps of Capitol Hill. We shall have a nation by, for, and powered by the people once again. We are building it.

i hope the turnout is so huge that it causes the ptb to literally quake in their expensive shoes...

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Monday, January 16, 2012

A modest proposal for a Voters' Rights Amendment that brings Occupy and the Tea Party together

i'm inclined to believe we're ready for this... my gut has told me for a long time that the ptb have worked tirelessly to keep us off balance and fighting each other and the tea party vs. the occupy movement is just one more instance of this as is the bogus two-party system, socialism vs. capitalism, war vs. peace, and all the other false dichotomies that are shoved down our throats on a daily basis...

apologies to truthout for exceeding the fair use standard but this deserves a full treatment...

A Voters' Rights Amendment as a Focus for Dissent

Unification of the Tea Party and Occupy movements for a common goal - a Voters' Rights Amendment - will re-establish the United States as a democratic republic and will restore control of its government to the voters. The sort of cooperation I will suggest here is possible only to the extent that there is not more opinion-manufacturing or co-optation by political parties or private interests.

Although the corporate and wealthy elite is doing everything in its power - primarily through its mouthpiece, the mainstream media - to convince Occupiers and Tea Partiers that each is an enemy of the other, it is becoming increasingly clear that the two groups have much in common.

Not only do both groups march under the "Don't Tread on Me" flag, they both very strongly believe that corporations should not enjoy the constitutional rights of individuals, regardless of what the US Supreme Court may have ruled. Moreover, both groups believe that their government ignores their most critical concerns, including jobs, personal freedom, and the health, nutrition and well-being of their families, as their elected representatives feed at the trough slopped by the corporate and wealthy elite.

The time is ripe for an open consideration of unity between the two groups. The extensive media coverage amounting to the propaganda-style coverage and pandering of the Tea Party's far smaller demonstrations has given way to acknowledgment of the Occupy movement in the face of police brutality and that movement's staying power.

Support for the Tea Party is lagging with the nonaligned public, as it is increasingly evident that the populist movement has been and is being manipulated by Republican operatives. At the same time, the Occupiers are fighting off attempts by establishment progressives to co-opt their movement.

It is essential that both groups identify their common interests and take collective actions to unify their efforts, instead of attacking each other over other issues about which they may have an honest difference of opinion. Uniting with the increasingly large block of independent voters, Tea Partiers and Occupiers will organize a more effective defense of both of their basic principles, rather than those offered by either the Republican or Democratic party, both of which subvert the rights and interests of workers and small-business owners in favor of wealthy donors and corporate supporters.

The most basic issue that Occupiers and Tea Partiers may perhaps readily agree upon is a Voters' Rights Amendment to the Constitution that ensures that the future of the United States is decided by its voters rather than by the corporate and wealthy elite, which currently manipulates and controls the voters' representatives. The Voters' Rights Amendment provides that only natural persons are protected by the Constitution, establishes a national paid voters' holiday and calls for a national paper ballot, which includes a national policy referendum on critical policy questions and an alternative write-in vote.

The Voters' Rights Amendment
to the Constitution of the United States of America

Section 1

Only natural persons shall be protected by this Constitution and entitled to the rights and freedoms it guarantees, including the freedoms of religion, speech, assembly, petition and privacy.

Section 2

Prior to the end of the calendar year preceding a presidential election, Congress shall adopt a joint resolution setting forth the 12 most critical policy questions that should be addressed by the next president and Congress.

Failure of Congress to adopt a joint resolution prior to the end of the calendar year shall result in the disqualification of all sitting members of Congress to be eligible for re-election.

Section 3

Federal elections conducted every second year for senators and representatives shall be held on a national voters' holiday, with full pay for all voters who cast a ballot.

Federal elections shall be conducted on uniform, hand-countable paper ballots and, for the presidential election, ballots shall include the 12 most critical policy questions identified by Congress, each to be answered yes or no by voters.

Paper ballots shall provide space for voters to handwrite in their choice for all elective federal offices, if they choose, and all such votes shall be counted.

Section 4

In balancing the public benefit of maximum voter participation with the prevention of voting fraud, Congress and the states shall not impose any restriction on voting by citizens except for the most compelling reasons.

The intentional suppression of voting in national elections is hereby prohibited and, in addition to any other penalty imposed by law, any person convicted of the intentional suppression of voting shall be ineligible for federal office for a period of five years.

Section 5

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 6

This article shall become operative once it has been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several states as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the states by the Congress.

definitely worth considering...

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Lamenting the loss of our civil liberties on the day set aside to honor Martin Luther King

chris hayes interview with former guantánamo detainee lakhdar boumediene...

boumediene, explains in Arabic how his life was devastated by indefinite detention...

In October, 2001, six Algerian men were arrested in Bosnia and accused of plotting to blow up the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo. They were later released due to insufficient evidence, but immediately handed off to U.S. military forces. In an exclusive interview Chris talks with Lakhdar Boumediene, one of the six men arrested who was then detained at Guantanamo for seven years - without charge or explanation.

With the help of a translator, Boumediene explains life as a Guantanamo prisoner, including the internal politics, ways in which he says U.S. military officials tortured him, and the struggles he faced after being released.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

in a similar vein, glenn reminds us of the tremendous attack on our civil liberties that continues unabated under barack obama... he cites jonathan turley's wapo op-ed...
In The Washington Post yesterday, Law Professor Jonathan Turley has an Op-Ed in which he identifies ten major, ongoing assaults on core civil liberties in the U.S. Many of these abuses were accelerated during the Bush administration in the wake of 9/11, but all have been vigorously continued and/or expanded by President Obama. Turley points out that these powers have long been deemed (by the U.S.) as the hallmark of tyranny, and argues that their seizure by the U.S. Government has seriously called into question America’s status as a free nation: “They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian.” All ten of these powers are ones very familiar to readers here:

Assassination of U.S. citizens; Indefinite detention; Arbitrary justice; Warrantless searches; Secret evidence; War crimes; Secret court; Immunity from judicial review; Continual monitoring of citizens; and Extraordinary renditions.

feel the hope...? feel the change...?

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bill Moyers Essay: "Occupying a Cause"

Bill Moyers on Occupy Wall Street from on Vimeo.

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