Fascism is the union of government with private business against the People.
"To The States, or any one of them, or to any city of The States: Resist much, Obey little; Once unquestioning obedience, at once fully enslaved; Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city, ever afterward resumes its liberty." from "Caution" by Walt Whitman

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Federal Congress Leader proud to be "owned" by private billionaires, works against anything that benefits workers, students, the elderly and disabled

"Caught on Tape: What Mitch McConnell Complained About to a Roomful of Billionaires"
2014-08-26 by Lauren Windsor for "The Nation" weekly newsmagazine [http://www.thenation.com/article/181363/caught-tape-what-mitch-mcconnell-complained-about-roomful-billionaires-exclusive]:
At a secret meeting of elite donors convened by the Koch brothers, McConnell laid out his plan for shrinking the federal government and whined about having to vote on minimum wage bills.
Last week, in an interview with Politico [http://www.politico.com/story/2014/08/2014-election-mitch-mcconnells-barack-obama-confrontation-110154.html], Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) outlined his plan to shut down President Obama’s legislative agenda by placing riders on appropriations bills. Should Republicans take control of the Senate in the 2014 elections, McConnell intends to pass spending bills that “have a lot of restrictions on the activities of the bureaucracy.”
What McConnell didn’t tell Politico was that two months ago, he made the same promise to a secret strategy conference of conservative millionaire and billionaire donors hosted by the Koch brothers [http://www.thenation.com/article/180267/exclusive-behind-koch-brothers-secret-billionaire-summit]. The Nation and The Undercurrent obtained an audio recording of McConnell’s remarks to the gathering, called “American Courage: Our Commitment to a Free Society.” In the question-and-answer period following his June 15 session titled “Free Speech: Defending First Amendment Rights,” McConnell says:
“So in the House and Senate, we own the budget. So what does that mean? That means that we can pass the spending bill. And I assure you that in the spending bill, we will be pushing back against this bureaucracy by doing what’s called placing riders in the bill. No money can be spent to do this or to do that. We’re going to go after them on healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board (inaudible). All across the federal government, we’re going to go after it.”
McConnell’s pledge to “go after” Democrats on financial services—a reference to declawing Dodd-Frank regulation—is a key omission from his Politico interview. He has been a vocal opponent of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in particular, and presumably under his Senate leadership funding for the CFPB would be high on the list of riders for the appropriations chopping block. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Wall Street was the number-one contributor to McConnell’s campaign committee from 2009 to 2014 [http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/industries.php?cycle=2014&cid=N00003389&type=I&newmem=N].
McConnell is running against Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in a close contest that could determine which party controls the Senate. Total spending in the race is expected to exceed $100 million, which would make it the most expensive Senate election in history. As of July 21, PACs and individuals affiliated with Koch Industries have given at least $41,800 to McConnell’s campaign committee in this election cycle—a figure that does not include any funding to outside groups that could spend heavily in the race’s closing weeks.
Recently, Grimes has begun airing ads that criticize McConnell for “voting seventeen times against raising the minimum wage” and “twelve times against extending unemployment benefits for laid-off workers.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, McConnell himself seems quite proud of this legislative record, at least in front of an audience comprised of wealthy donors. After he lays out his agenda to shrink the federal government “across the board,” McConnell says:
“And we’re not going to be debating all these gosh darn proposals. That’s all we do in the Senate is vote on things like raising the minimum wage (inaudible)—cost the country 500,000 new jobs; extending unemployment—that’s a great message for retirees; uh, the student loan package the other day, that’s just going to make things worse, uh. These people believe in all the wrong things.”
In late April, Senate Republicans, led by McConnell, successfully filibustered a bill to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, a widely popular measure that would increase wages for at least 16.5 million Americans [http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/07/us/politics/senate-fails-to-advance-unemployment-extension.html]. Earlier in the year, McConnell also led a filibuster of a three-month extension of unemployment insurance to some 1.7 million Americans. At one point in the negotiations, he offered a deal to extend unemployment only if Democrats agreed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, even though the ACA does not add to the federal deficit.
Just days before he addressed the Koch brothers’ billionaire donor summit, McConnell was instrumental in blocking Senator Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to help Americans refinance their growing student loan debt. Warren’s plan would have been funded by a new minimum tax on America’s wealthiest. After McConnell’s filibuster, Warren began campaigning for Grimes in Kentucky saying, “Mitch McConnell is there for millionaires and billionaires. He is not there for people who are working hard playing by the rules and trying to build a future for themselves.” On the campaign stump, McConnell has said that “not everybody needs to go to Yale” and that cash-strapped students should look into for-profit colleges.
The main thrust of McConnell’s remarks to the Koch conference were about his pet issue, campaign finance, which he regards as a matter of free speech [http://www.thenation.com/section/campaign-finance?lc=int_mb_1001]. (A full transcript of McConnell’s remarks is available here [http://ladylibertine.net/2014/08/26/mmky/]). The senator recounted the history of campaign finance reform in America from the twentieth century through today, sharing opinions and personal anecdotes along the way.

On Democrats: “They, they are frightened of, of their critics. They don’t want to join the tradition in open discourse. They want to use the power of the government to quiet the voices of their critics.” (According to a 2013 report from Public Campaign Action Fund [http://www.campaignmoney.org/mcconnell/filibuster], McConnell led sixty-seven filibusters in 2012, more than the total number of filibusters (fifty-eight) in the fifty-four years between 1917 and 1970).

On Citizens United and money in politics: “So all Citizens United did was to level the playing field for corporate speech…. We now have, I think, the most free and open system we’ve had in modern times. The Supreme Court allowed all of you to participate in the process in a variety of different ways. You can give to the candidate of your choice. You can give to Americans for Prosperity, or something else, a variety of different ways to push back against the party of government.”

On McCain-Feingold: “The worst day of my political life was when President George W. Bush signed McCain-Feingold into law in the early part of his first Administration.”

To put that in perspective, Mitch McConnell’s thirty-five-year career in the Senate saw the 9/11 terrorist attacks that killed thousands of Americans, the 2008 housing meltdown that threatened the entire economy and Barack Obama’s election, to cite a conservative bĂȘte noire. But it was McCain-Feingold, the bill that banned soft money and unlimited donations to party committees, that constitutes the worst day of his political life.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Rev. Pinkney brought to trial despite lack of evidence

** Benton Harbor municipality in Michigan is under a fascist regime [link], an archive of info showing how fascism governs in a small community...
** Defend Rev. Pinkney against unjust incarceration, physical attack, in retaliation against his anti-fascist organizing  (2014-06-01) [link]
** Retaliation against supporters of Mayor Candidate who is against economic domination of community by Whirlpool Corp.  (2014-04-20) [link]
** Benton Harbor in Michigan, under an unelected fascist regime, faces voter intimidation by their sorry-excuse of a Mayor  (2014-03-06) [link]
** Benton Harbor: List of uninvestigated murders of Black folks, and corrupt Police practices (2014-02-18) [link]

"Judges rule evidence is not needed to bring activist to trial"2014-08-25 by Rev. Edward Pinkney, published by "People's Tribune" newspaper  [http://peoplestribune.org/pt-news/2014/08/%EF%BB%BF-judges-rule-evidence-needed-bring-activist-trial/]:
Rev. Pinkney and others protest Gov Rick Snyder and Public Act 4, Michigan’s dictatorial emergency manager law that gave absolute power over all aspects of city government to appointed managers. (PHOTO/BRETT JELINEK)
BENTON HARBOR, MI — The good ol’ boy club in Berrien County, MI Courthouse, is usually male, white, of European descent, and lives in St Joseph, Michigan.  Judge Charlie LaSata, Judge Sterling Schrock and Prosecutor Mike Sepic, led by the Whirlpool Corporation, are all working together against me and the community.  The community must take a stand.
I am charged with five counts of vote fraud in a community effort to recall Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower, a puppet for the Whirlpool Corporation, which controls Benton Harbor.
With absolutely no evidence, I was bound over for trial. Judge Sterling Schrock and Judge Charlie LaSata both stated that you do not need evidence in Berrien County. In addition, the judges are trying to rush the trial, hoping my attorney will not be ready for trial.
Mark Goff, a forensic document examiner with the Michigan State Police, testified at the hearing held to determine if there was enough evidence to bring me to trial. His testimony was limited to his opinion that the dates next to the signature on some of the recall petitions had been changed. He testified that the changes were made with ink other than the ink that was used to write the original dates next to the signatures. However, he testified that he could not determine who made the changes, or when they were made. His testimony essentially provided a basis to find probable cause that someone changed the dates, but provided no evidence regarding who did it or when it was done.
There is absolutely no evidence that the five petitions alleged to have altered dates were exclusively in my possession.  The state’s handwriting expert could not say who altered the petition. There is no evidence that I was the only person who had access to or who had an opportunity to change the petitions. There are no admissions or confessions. There are no witnesses to any alterations.
Every person who signed the petition stated they had signed the petition on the date that is on the petition. If the dates were altered, they were altered by the person who signed the petition. There was no crime committed.
This case illustrates the rise of a fascist government in Michigan. In Berrien County it is led by the blood sucking Whirlpool Corporation and its local puppets: Judge Sterling Schrock, Judge Charlie LaSata, Prosecutor Mike Sepic, County Clerk Sharon Tyler, and Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower.
This is not a thing of Blacks against whites. It is rich against poor, the haves against the have-nots. Corporate fascism is here now. We must stand together and fight this police State. Together we stand. Divided we fall.
Funds are urgently needed to fight this attack. Donate to the Pinkney defense at bhbanco.org

"Rev. Pinkney bound over for trial, released from house arrest"
2014-06-11 by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African Newswire [http://panafricannews.blogspot.com]:
Berrien County’s courthouse in St. Joseph, Michigan was filled with people from various cities across the Midwest region on June 5. People were there to attend a hearing that would determine if a trial judge pursues yet another case involving Rev. Edward Pinkney.
Despite pleas from the defense lawyer Tat Parish, Rev. Pinkney was bound over for trial beginning on July 21 for alleged five felony counts of forgery. The Benton Harbor activist has been under house arrest since late April when he turned himself in to the Sheriff’s office the day after several law-enforcement agencies surrounded his home when he was not there seeking to serve a warrant for his arrest.
The activist has been on a tether and denied access to the internet as well as his weekly radio broadcasts for six weeks. These restrictions were removed at the hearing and Rev. Pinkney will be allowed to travel and engage in his ecumenical and public affairs.
Rev. Pinkney is a longtime activist in Benton Harbor who has opposed the racism within the judicial and political structures in this southwest Michigan town and surrounding county. Similar to his 2007-2008 persecution by authorities in Berrien County, prosecutors are saying that the Black Autonomy Network of Community Organizers (BANCO) leader “forged” dates on petitions aimed at holding a recall election against Mayor James Hightower on May 6.
As a result of the criminal investigation and subsequent charging of Rev. Pinkney, the election to remove Hightower was stayed. In 2007, Rev. Pinkney and others had also organized a recall election against two city commissioners in Benton Harbor when he was charged with vote tampering, railroaded through the courts, placed under house arrest and later imprisoned for one year for exercising his right to free speech within the media.
A national campaign in his defense during 2008-2009 brought about the Michigan Appeals Court reversal of the sentencing of him to 3-10 years in prison. Since 2010, Rev. Pinkney has been organizing against the wholesale political and economic dictatorship now in place in Benton Harbor and surrounding Berrien County.
The previously public Jean Klock Park has been transformed into a signature golf course and lakefront tourist attraction while the majority African American population is being systematically forced out of the city. At the same time repression escalates against any opponents to the corporate-driven agenda guided by Whirlpool corporation and land speculators.

The Case Against Rev. Pinkney Is Highly Political -
Throughout the state of Michigan majority African American municipalities and now others are under attack from the governor’s office in Lansing along with his right-wing cohorts who dominate both the house and senate. Many cities, including Detroit, are under emergency management where the fundamental rights of self-rule and due process have been abrogated.
Although Benton Harbor is now out from under emergency management, the corporate entities and their representatives in government are firmly in control. Electoral rules within the state of Michigan allow for the recall of public officials if language is approved for a petition that garners sufficient valid signatures.
The effective use of the recall process has been rare indeed. Many recall campaigns do not succeed as a result of the lack of signatures and challenges to the validity of petitions submitted to city clerk offices which regulate the process.
Nonetheless, Rev. Pinkney and others have been successful in the process over the last few years. Despite these ongoing campaigns, the ultimate conclusion of holding an actual recall vote has been subverted by the prosecutors and courts in Berrien County.
During the June 5 hearing on whether Pinkney would be bound over for trial on felony charges, there was no concrete evidence presented by prosecutors to suggest that the activist actually changed petitions submitted to the election officials in the County. This issue was raised in a legal memorandum to presiding Judge Sterling Schrock requesting that no charges be filed due to lack of evidence.
The memorandum submitted by Rev. Pinkney’s defense lawyer Tat Parish asserted that “Our case is one where there is no evidence at all that the acts constituting a crime were in fact committed by Rev. Pinkney. There is no physical evidence that the defendant was the person who changed any petition.”
This document continues noting “There is no expert testimony that the defendant was the one who changed any petition. There are no confessions. There are no witnesses to show that the defendant committed the acts that constitute the crime.”
Later Rev. Pinkney through his attorney said that “In short, the crime consists of the alterations of documents and there is no evidence that the defendant committed those acts. Nor is there any evidence that would exclude the very real possibility that others committed the acts or that the defendant was the only person in a position to commit the acts.”
Consequently, supporters of Rev. Pinkney and BANCO feel that the carrying out of this prosecution is designed to silence opposition to the blatant racism and class oppression in Berrien County. Delegations from Indiana, New York and other states have come into the area to express solidarity with the Berrien County activist.

Organizations to Build Defense Campaign -
With travel restrictions lifted, Rev. Pinkney is committed to working for his exoneration in this case. Various organizations have come out in his support demanding that the charges be dropped.
Atty. Parish says that he will appeal the decision by Judge Schrock to bind over his client for trial. The proceedings have been placed on a fast track by the judge who is only allowing six weeks for preparation on the part of the defense.
Already in Detroit, the Moratorium NOW! Coalition and the Michigan Emergency Committee for War and Injustice (MECAWI) have passed a resolution in support of Rev. Pinkney calling for the charges to be dropped. Both organizations will extend an invitation for the Benton Harbor activist to address one of their upcoming meetings.
The People’s Tribune newspaper based in Chicago has issued a statement of support and is calling on activists to rally to Rev. Pinkney’s defense. The June issue of the newspaper has a feature story on the case.
Many activists feel that the developments in Benton Harbor and Berrien County represent a microcosm of race relations prevalent throughout the state. Although a purported recovery of the urban areas is being championed by the corporate media, the actual conditions throughout the state for African Americans, other oppressed groups and working people in general are worsening.
With statewide and mid-term Congressional elections coming up in August and November, both the Republican and Democratic parties are seeking the votes of working people. However, no real political program is being put forward that addresses the need for jobs, housing, health care, quality education and the right to self-determination and democracy for people within the distressed municipalities.
At every turn grassroots efforts aimed at fighting against economic exploitation and institutional racism are being thwarted through the dictatorial practices by the state under the aegis of the corporations and banks whose policies have drained the cities across Michigan. In a recent report by the Michigan Municipal League it documents the theft of over $6 billion in public funds by the state that are being withheld from the cities.
It appears that only an independent political movement targeting the corporations, banks and their political allies in government can bring about any hope for change. The outcome of the struggles in Michigan will have an important impact on other developments throughout the country where similar problems are in existence from California to New York.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

San Francisco Democrat Party bought by Soda industry, sides with Republic Party

"Milk club Dems line up with soda industry on sugary-drink tax"
2014-08-23 by Heather Knight, City Insider columnist for the "San Francisco Chronicle"[http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Milk-club-Dems-line-up-with-soda-industry-on-5708260.php]:
Election season in San Francisco is always a bit nutty, but the run-up to the November ballot is already off to a particularly strange start. Herewith, dear readers, we point out a couple of the more noteworthy oddities - and in San Francisco politics, that's saying something.
-- Surprising things happen when you combine soda and Milk.
The soda tax has had people on both sides frothing with anger for months, but nothing's gotten its supporters worked up like the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club's lopsided decision to endorse a no vote on the measure.
Proposition E would levy a 2-cents-per-ounce tax on soda and other sugary drinks, with proceeds going to children's nutrition and physical education programs. It has the support of the majority of the Board of Supervisors, the teachers union, medical groups, parent groups and food banks. The San Francisco Republican Party members - all three of them, OK, maybe four - voted to endorse a no vote on the tax.
Sounds like a yes vote would be a no-brainer for one of the city's most progressive political clubs, right? Nope.
"Overwhelmingly the sentiment was just that this is a tone-deaf time to try to pass a regressive tax that's going to raise the grocery bills of low-income folks in San Francisco," said Tom Temprano, the club's co-president. "We're in what is obviously the greatest affordability crisis in America right now."
That's almost exactly what the American Beverage Association, which is expected to spend millions of dollars to defeat the measure, is saying. The soda industry's Stop Unfair Beverage Taxes committee to defeat the measure was hailed by the Milk club as a "hero" for sponsoring a table at its recent gala.
The committee also had some members join the Milk club to help ensure a no vote on the soda tax, though Temprano said only "a handful" of new club members were from the antisoda tax side.
Soda tax supporters think something suspicious is bubbling just below the surface of the new bromance between the Milk club and the soda industry. They think the Milk club wants the beverage association to pay for slate cards - those endless slick mailers you receive each election season telling you who's endorsed what - to also tout its endorsement of Supervisor David Campos, who is running for the Assembly.
(Slate cards are often funded by the candidates or the backers of ballot measures who will benefit from them, not the political clubs that put them together.)
Maureen Erwin, campaign manager for the pro-soda tax side, said, "Harvey Milk's name and legacy was bought and sold at the Milk club. ... With only $20,000 in the bank, I believe it was Campos' last-ditch, desperate play to remain relevant in the Assembly race, selling out his community's health and the legacy of a civil rights hero to win an election."
Campos was a co-sponsor of the legislation to put the soda tax on the November ballot, but his speech at the board just prior to the vote was not exactly stirring. The anti-soda tax side is now using his quote, "There is something Big Brother about this," in its campaign to defeat the measure.
And a telephone poll conducted within the past few days, presumably commissioned by the American Beverage Association, asked respondents a series of questions about the soda tax, including whether they view Campos favorably or unfavorably and what they think of his Big Brother quote.
So is Campos trying to have his soda and drink it too?
Of course not, said Campos. He said the soda tax supporters should be touting the merits of their measure, not slamming him and the Milk club. He added that he can't control the American Beverage Association using his quotes in their campaign and that the measure wouldn't be on the ballot without his vote.
"Whatever happened to telling the truth and sticking to facts?" he said.
Temprano said there's been no discussion of the club's slate cards or how they'll be funded yet, but we suspect they'll be hitting your mailbox soon.
-- San Francisco Democrats sided with a Republican, but some have come to regret it.
Our colleagues Matier & Ross reported recently that the Democratic County Central Committee picked a strange side in the BART board race. A mix of more conservative members and lefty, pro-labor members had the votes to vote "no endorsement" in the race.
It was a way to support incumbent James Fang, the only elected Republican in San Francisco, even though the club can't actually endorse a Republican. It was a disappointment to his challenger, Democrat Nick Josefowitz. (Unions lobbied heavily for the "no endorsement" vote as a thank you to Fang for supporting striking BART workers last year.)
Fang immediately put out campaign literature naming the individual members who voted not to endorse Josefowitz alongside a list of digs against him. We hear some of those named individuals were livid to have their names being promoted by a Republican, but hey, what did they expect? Fang is also catching flak for using the Bay Guardian logo on some campaign literature, though the alternative newspaper didn't endorse him.
Alix Rosenthal, vice chairwoman of the DCCC, supported Josefowitz and said she was "mortified" and "outraged" that the Democratic Party failed to endorse the only Democrat in the race - and a solid, viable candidate at that. We hear the DCCC, which is allowed to revisit endorsement votes, may take this one up again at a future meeting.
Democrats backing a Republican? The Milk club making ties with the soda industry?
"There are already some really strange bedfellows," noted Rosenthal, who's also a Milk club member and was disappointed in its soda vote, noting it foreshadows a wacky election season. "It's going to be wild and crazy. It already is."

Saturday, August 23, 2014

St. Louis County Police Officer speaks at Oath Keeper gathering: "I kill everybody. I don’t care."

"Suspended St. Louis Police Officer: 'I'm Into Diversity, I Kill Everybody'"
2014-08-23 by ALLEN MCDUFFEE for "The Wire" [http://www.thewire.com/national/2014/08/suspended-st-louis-police-officer-im-into-diversity-i-kill-everybody/379026/]:
Dan Page, a St. Louis County police officer on suspension pending review for controversial remarks, is shown in a screengrab from the video. (Image YouTube screengrab)

A St. Louis County police officer, who was seen pushing a CNN anchor during protests in Ferguson, Mo., this week, was suspended from duty after a controversial video surfaced, in which he fashions himself as a merciless killer.
“I personally believe in Jesus Christ as my lord and savior, but I’m also a killer,” said officer Dan Page, a 35-year veteran, in the video. “I’ve killed a lot. And if I need to, I’ll kill a whole bunch more. If you don’t want to get killed, don’t show up in front of me. I have no problems with it. God did not raise me to be a coward." Page added, “I’m into diversity — I kill everybody. I don’t care."
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said Page has been suspended, pending a review by the internal affairs unit, which will begin Monday. The video was brought to Belmar’s attention by CNN's Don Lemon.
“With the comments on killing, that was obviously something that deeply disturbed me immediately,” Belmar told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The comments, which were made before members of the Christian organization, the Oath Keepers, also included his story of going to Kenya in search of "undocumented president," Barack Obama. “I flew to Africa, right there, and I went to our undocumented president’s home,” Page said, holding a picture of him in Kenya. “He was born in Kenya.”
Page has been ordered to take a psychiatric exam, according to Belmar, who issued a public apology for Page's remarks. “He does not represent the rank-and-file of [the] St. Louis County Police Department,” Belmar told CNN in a Friday on-air interview.

Video originally posted as
"Sgt. Maj. Page to St. Louis Oath Keepers: The End of American Sovereignty & Constitutional Rights"
2014-04-23 at [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XA_yW7Z5OM] by "thenewsurvivalist" [https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLOvnecxuZPBs_mEp1nWSRA]:
Note: The Statements made by Sargent Major Dan Page do not reflect the opinions of our local Oath Keeper Chapter, nor the national organization. Dan Page, speaking to the St. Louis/St. Charles, Missouri Chapter of Oath Keepers, explains how they plan to end American sovereignty and the Constitution, establishing martial law and merging the U.S. with the New World Order.

Famous conservative actor speaks on non-Whites as animals, advocates complete censorship of news media

Self-described "conservatives" in the USA adhere to an ideology that accepts private monopoly of power over the people, and is actively opposed to human rights. An example of their rejection of human rights is found in the following, describing an actor who is so comfortable in his ideology that he feels justified expressing his views on a public forum, at Facebook.com [https://www.facebook.com/KevinSorbo/posts/809048709135197]. Notice that he blames "the Liberal Media" for the general degradation of the quality of life in the USA, and focuses soley on the worst excesses of the "riots" in Ferguson without acknowledging the state of siege placed by the police against non-violent protesters, who are terrorized, harassed, and threatened with torture by police (what is this, Iran?). Instead, the famous conservative actor shows sympathy for the police officer who committed the extra-judicial murder and who lied in the report...

"Actor Kevin Sorbo: Ferguson unrest let black protesters be the ‘animals’ they ‘truly are’"
2014-08-21 by David Edwards for "Raw Story" [http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/08/21/actor-kevin-sorbo-ferguson-unrest-let-black-protesters-be-the-animals-they-truly-are/]:
Conservative actor Kevin Sorbo ranted on Facebook this week that African-American protesters in Ferguson had shown themselves to be “animals” and “losers” following the death of slain teen Michael Brown.

“Ferguson riots have very little to do with the shooting of the young man,” he wrote. “It is an excuse to be the losers these animals truly are.”
“It is a tipping point to frustration built up over years of not trying, but blaming everyone else, The Man, for their failures. It’s always someone else’s fault when you give up.”
Sorbo argued that Brown’s death should be a “reminder to the African Americans ( I always thought we just Americans. Oh, well.) that their President the voted in has only made things worse for them, not better.”
The former “Hercules” said that the way to end unrest in the city was to “ban” all media who are “nothing more than agitators.”
“The media promotes chaos to boost their pathetic ratings. We should shut them all off and watch clips on the internet only when republished under fair use by a conservative media watchdog group.”
Update: Kevin Sorbo told TMZ Live that he was “stupid” to post remarks calling African-American protesters “animals.” He apologized to “anyone who was offended.”

Posted Wednesday, 2014-08-20, at the "Kevin Sorbo Official Facebook Page" [https://m.facebook.com/KevinSorbo/posts/809048709135197]:
Ferguson riots have very little to do with the shooting of the young man. It is an excuse to be the losers these animals truly are. It is a tipping point to frustration built up over years of not trying, but blaming everyone else, The Man, for their failures. It's always someone else's fault when you give up. Hopefully this is a reminder to the African Americans (I always thought we were just Americans. Oh, well.) that their President the voted in has only made things worse for them, not better.

'Media Clueless About the Inner City', by Alicia Colon for Jewish World Review: "The media's frenzy that descended upon Ferguson, Mo. once again demonstrates its complete ignorance of life in the inner city. Anyone who has survived the barrios and the ghettos would recognize the usual cast of characters that converge on these incidents and would stay far away from them. But no-these media lapdogs shove mikes in their faces and actually believe their 'eyewitness' versions that nearly always turn out to be bogus and nothing other than a self-serving photo op."

Although many pundits are comparing the Ferguson riots to the 1960's violent protests, one really has to go back further and examine the genesis of violent urban behavior. I lived in Spanish Harlem during the time when it was one of the most dangerous areas of New York City. There was a Burt Lancaster film, "The Young Savages" that perfectly described my neighborhood and a part of it was even filmed in the playground on E. 106th street where my sister and I played. Most of these 'savages' were Puerto Rican and were as huge an embarrassment to my family as the Ferguson looters are to decent blacks like Minister Johnathan Gentry who ranted about Ferguson rioters and race demagogues Sharpton and Jackson. If you haven't watched his epic rant you're missing the truth unfiltered by media bias.

Many do not know that the now posh Manhattan Upper West Side was once no-man's land for the police and fire department that would be pelted with missiles and bottles when called to the West 80's either to shut off a fire hydrant or to settle a domestic dispute. I would visit my sister who lived on W.88th Street and was always glad to leave. I lived on East 110th street and watched in horror one summer day when my neighbors descended on one Italian man who got into a fender bender with my neighbor whom I knew as Uncle Louie. I saw young men whom I thought were good people turn into savage cowards pounding on one man and ultimately stabbing him and leaving him for dead.

The difference between that time and now is that most residents wanted a strong police presence to protect the innocent from the barbarians who roamed the streets in gangs. There also was no widespread looting because most store owners were armed. The acceptance of urban violence came later in the 1960's and was in part assisted by supportive media. Fledgling journalists like Geraldo Rivera and Juan Gonzalez, groomed in socialist academia and associated with The Young Lords, a Puerto Rican activist group that originated in Chicago, attempted to sympathize with the gangs as victims of society and economics. Thus looting became a justifiable result of the anger caused by economic inequality and poverty. What rot! Once the media excused criminal behavior, all bets were off and thugs learned their lesson well. Militant groups like the Black Panthers and Hamas use the useful idiots in the media to spread their propaganda.

One of the Ferguson looters, DeAndre Smith, was interviewed by the Washington Post fresh from looting a QuikTrip and said: "I'm proud of us. We deserve this, and this is what's supposed to happen when there's injustice in your community." Want the riots to end in Ferguson? Ban the media who are nothing more than agitators promoting the circus environment and inciting outsiders to join in the frenzy
Don´t forget the media putting out the Cop´s name, photo and home information. I hear he is forced to leave the community by this - victimized a second time! The media promotes chaos to boost their pathetic ratings. We should shut them all off and watch clips on the internet only when republished under fair use by a conservative media watchdog group.

(Note: The posting was taken down and erased by Saturday, 2014-08-23)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

"'Unbalanced Recovery': Wages Falling, Low-Paid Jobs Rising Across US"

2014-08-21 by Nadia Prupis for "CommonDreams.org" [http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/08/21/unbalanced-recovery-wages-falling-low-paid-jobs-rising-across-us]:
'These losses are part of an alarming trend toward greater inequality and a shrinking share of the economic pie going to workers'
Protesters rally for increase to national minimum wage (Photo: Michael Fleshman)

While wages have declined across all sectors in the years following the financial crash of 2008, low-paid workers have been hit the hardest, the National Employment Law Project (NELP) reported this week [http://www.nelp.org/page/content/Unbalanced-Recovery/].
NELP analyzed five groups of median wages in its report, titled An Unbalanced Recovery: Real Wage and Job Growth Trends (pdf) [http://www.nelp.org/page/-/Reports/Unbalanced-Recovery-Real-Wage-Job-Growth-Trends-August-2014.pdf]. Since 2009, while higher-income sectors saw a drop between 2.1 and 2.5 percent, workers in the three lowest-paid groups were hit much harder, with wage declines between 3.6 and 4.6 percent. Some of the hardest-hit professions within the three lowest-paid groups were maids, housekeepers, home health and personal care aides, and restaurant workers, whose wage decline ranged from 5.8 to 8.3 percent.
The study also found that low-paid jobs are on the rise. Despite the stagnant or diminished level of wages more people found work in lower-paid occupations than in any other industry in the past year. Low-wage and mid-wage jobs constituted a combined 67 percent of job growth from July 2013 to July 2014.
(Graph) Decline in occupational wages

As Think Progress points out [http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/08/21/3474017/wages-decline/], the simultaneous rise of employment rates and decline of wages in the same industries is "troubling":
[begin excerpt] Research from last year found that half of the jobs added during the recovery were low paying... These trends may help explain why new data from Sentier Research finds that median household income, or for families in the middle of the income distribution, is lower now than when the recovery began: $53,981 today versus $55,589 in June 2009 [http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/21/upshot/why-the-middle-class-isnt-buying-talk-about-economic-good-times.html].
[end excerpt]
“These real wage declines mean that workers in mid - and low - wage jobs are falling further and further behind,” said NELP's executive director Christine Owens. “These losses are part of an alarming trend toward greater inequality and a shrinking share of the economic pie going to workers’ wages, especially low - and mid - wage workers . Policymakers in Washington and in our state capitals need to adopt solutions that begin to straighten out our economic priorities and reduce these economic disparities. Raising the minimum wage, which will reverse the declining real value of that critical wage floor, and supporting the right of workers to stick together and negotiate for better pay and working conditions, are good places to start.”
Robert Kuttner, writing for the American Prospect [http://admin.commondreams.org/views/2014/08/20/no-jobs-crappy-jobs-next-big-political-issue], notes that "[o]ne manifestation of job insecurity is extremes of inequality as corporations, banks, and hedge funds capture more than their share of the economy's productive output at the expense of workers."
"The shift in labor markets, from an economy where regular payroll employment is the norm, to one where more of us are performing odd jobs, or have regular jobs with indeterminate schedules, ought to be the top domestic political issue," Kuttner writes.
NELP, an nonpartisan organization that has been fighting for a higher national minimum wage, has analyzed job growth data twice since 2009 and found that the trend has been consistent every year: real median hourly wages had declined by 2.8 percent last year, on average, across all occupations, with the greatest losses hitting the exact same groups — mid- and low-wage workers, particularly maids, housekeepers, care aides, and restaurant cooks.
Over the next decade, one in four American workers is expected to work a low-wage job [http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/08/02/627021/workers-low-wage-jobs/].

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Lynching in Jackson, Miss.

"Family says man beaten, shot over mixed-race grandchildren"
2014-08-19 by Marsha Thompson and Bob Burks for "Toledo News Now"[http://www.toledonewsnow.com/story/26307388/family-says-hate-crime]:
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
A burning cross, a Smith county man beaten and shot by a family member, and in critical condition. We are told this is much more than a family feud, and outraged family members are calling it a "hate crime." This is a WLBT news exclusive.
Craig Wilson's sister says Craig was brutally attacked by a relative for allowing his mixed race grandchildren to stay at his home over the weekend.
The family tells us his stepson, with his son, came to Wilson's property screaming racist remarks at the family. The stepson, Jeff Daniels, and Craig Wilson allegedly got into a heated argument over his grandchildren. The family claims they threatened him, then beat him before shooting Wilson in the stomach.
They classify the incident as a hate crime.
"Yes they called him some severe names and then they told him to leave and they chased him off his porch around his house and beat him with brass knuckles and shot him with his own gun," said Julie Wilson, the victim's sister.
The mother of the three children remains distraught that her father is fighting for his life. Laura Runnels said
"It's just really hard to deal with right now," said Runnels.  Runnels is Wilson's daughter.  She is white. The father of the children is black.  He declined to go on camera and talk with us.
 According to the family, the threats to keep the mixed race grandchildren away have been ongoing, and two weeks ago the family found a cross burning in their yard.
"He told everybody that he would die for his children and to him the grandchildren are like his and he almost paid the price this weekend," said Wilson.
Wilson says this is a hate crime, but the sheriff doesn't agree.
 "We are because there was a cross burning previously, two weeks ago that police were called to but there was no incident report filed with Smith county and we still have the cross," added Wilson.
The Sheriff says Jeff Daniels has been released on $20-thousand dollars bond. Daniels was charged with aggravated assault. The Sheriff says this is not a "hate crime" under state law.  The investigation is ongoing.

This cross burned in Craig Wilson's front yard Source: family

Source: family

Craig Wilson's grandchildren.Source: family

Jeff Daniels. Source: Smith County Sheriff Department

Thursday, August 14, 2014

"NPR Presents CIA-Backed Group as Independent Expert on Snowden's 'Harm'"

The so-called "Liberal Press" [link]

2014-08-14 by Jim Naureckas for "Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR)" [http://www.fair.org/blog/2014/08/13/npr-presents-cia-backed-group-as-independent-expert-on-snowdens-harm]:
Glenn Greenwald was on Democracy Now! Wednesday morning (8/13/14 [http://www.democracynow.org/2014/8/13/glenn_greenwald_criticizes_npr_for_relying]) talking about his new piece in the Intercept (8/12/14 [https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/08/12/nprs-dina-temple-raston-passed-cia-funded-nsa-contractor-independent-fear-monger-snowden-reporting/]) critical of an NPR report (Morning Edition, 8/1/14 [http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/08/01/336958020/big-data-firm-says-it-can-link-snowden-data-to-changed-terrorist-behavior]) describing "tangible evidence" of a "direct connection" between Edward Snowden's revelations of unchecked National Security Agency spying and increased Al-Qaeda efforts to protect its communications via cryptography.
Greenwald called the report, by NPR reporter Dina Temple-Raston, "a pure and indisputable case of journalistic malpractice and deceit." It's hard to say he doesn't have a point.
The piece is basically a summary of claims made by Recorded Future, described by Temple-Raston as a "big data firm" and "a tech firm based in Cambridge, Mass." She didn't describe it, as she did in a 2012 report (Morning Edition, 10/8/12 [http://www.npr.org/2012/10/08/162397787/predicting-the-future-fantasy-or-a-good-algorithm]), as a group with "at least two very important financial backers: the CIA's investment arm, called In-Q-Tel, and Google Ventures. They have reportedly poured millions into the company."
Not only is Recorded Future financially backed by the CIA, the intelligence community is one of its chief clients (along with Wall Street), and In-Q-Tel [http://www.businessinsider.com/exclusive-the-first-qa-with-the-ceo-of-the-future-mapping-company-backed-by-google-and-the-cia-2011-3]. It's a registered vendor for the NSA itself, though it refused to tell Greenwald whether it has any actual contracts with the agency.
This is the company that Temple-Raston brought in to substantiate claims by "US government officials" that "revelations from former NSA contract worker Edward Snowden harmed national security"–without letting listeners know that it was not an independent authority, but a entity with close financial ties to the intelligence community whose claims it was vouching for. This is indeed journalistic malpractice, and merits a correction by NPR.
But what about the substance of the claim that NPR found newsworthy enough to base a segment around? It doesn't pass the laugh test. In essence, Recorded Future is saying that there were significant changes made to encryption software distributed by militant Islamic groups after Snowden's revelations–and  that's "good circumstantial evidence" that Snowden was the cause of those changes.
That is, of course, a textbook example of the logical fallacy known as post hoc ergo propter hoc–Latin for "after this, therefore because of this." But when you actually look at Recorded Future's reports, you see the changes weren't even "after this." Here's the timeline as presented by Recorded Future:
Recorded Future timeline of Islamist encryption programs [https://www.recordedfuture.com/al-qaeda-encryption-technology-part-1/]

The colored dots are activity related encryption programs associated with various Islamist groups–and the blue line is June 2013, when Snowden came out with his revelations. Note that there was a major burst of activity that started well before Snowden came forward and continued afterward–involving Asrar al-Dardashah, a program to encrypt instant messages released in February 2013 by the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Global Islamic Media Front. In its timeline, Recorded Future presents this as the first significant change in jihadist transcription techniques since 2007.
But when it comes time to analyze the timeline, this pre-Snowden release mysteriously disappears:
"The timeline above tells a compelling story showing how four to five months after the Snowden disclosures both mainstream AQ, as well as the break-off group ISIS, launches three new encryption tools."
Yes, by blatant cherry-picking you can produce "a compelling story"–as in, good enough to fool NPR.

USA Military sends war material to Israel without conditions or official clearance

Fascism & the State of Israel [link]

"Israel Obtained US Arms Without White House, State Department OK"
2014-08-14 by Andrea Germanos for "Common Dreams" [http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/08/14/israel-obtained-us-arms-without-white-house-state-department-ok-wsj]:
Israel obtained arms from the Pentagon without the knowledge of the White House or State Department, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday [http://online.wsj.com/articles/u-s-sway-over-israel-on-gaza-at-a-low-1407979365].
The newspaper reports that this marks one in "a string of slights and arguments that have bubbled behind the scenes during the Gaza conflict" between the two nations, citing U.S., Israeli and Palestinian officials.
The arms in question came as a result of a July 20 request from Israel to the U.S. military for $3 million in tank rounds. That request was approved days later by the US military, which defense officials describe as proper procedure, the paper reported.
The Journal reports one unnamed U.S. diplomat as saying, "We were blindslided" upon learning of the arms supply on July 30, the same day as an Israeli strike hit a United Nations school in Jabaliya.
Further weapons transfers in this context needed approval by policy makers in the White House and State Department, the paper cites U.S. officials as saying. The Journal cites an an unnamed senior administration official as saying this amounted to the administration saying, "Wait a second…It's not OK anymore."
This point speaks to what author and scholar Norman Finkelstein told Democracy Now! earlier this month [http://www.democracynow.org/2014/8/5/ceasefire_after_gaza_assault_leaves_1800]. He said that Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [begin excerpt]
... launched the ground invasion for reasons which—no point in going into now—and inflicted massive death and destruction on Gaza, where the main enabler was, of course, President Obama. Each day he came out, he or one of his spokespersons, and said, "Israel has the right to defend itself." Each time he said that, it was the green light to Israel that it can continue with its terror bombing of Gaza. That went on for day after day after day, schools, mosques, hospitals targeted. But then you reached a limit. The limit was when Israel started to target the U.N. shelters—targeted one shelter, there was outrage; targeted a second shelter, there was outrage. And now the pressure began to build up in the United Nations. This is a United Nations—these are U.N. shelters. And the pressure began to build up. It reached a boiling point with the third shelter. And then Ban Ki-moon, the comatose secretary-general of the United Nations and a U.S. puppet, even he was finally forced to say something, saying these are criminal acts. Obama was now cornered. He was looking ridiculous in the world. It was a scandal. Even the U.N. secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, was now calling it a criminal act. So finally Obama, the State Department said "unacceptable," "deplorable." And frankly, it’s exactly what happened in 1999 in Timor: The limits had been reached, Clinton said to the Indonesian army, "Time to end the massacre." And exactly happened now: Obama signaled to Netanyahu the terror bombing has to stop. So, Obama—excuse me, Netanyahu had reached the limit of international tolerance, which basically means the United States.
[end excerpt]
Included in Israel's arms request to the Defense Department was "a large number of Hellfire missiles," the Journal reports U.S. and Israeli officials as saying. The Pentagon immediately put the request on hold.
But that hold on arms for Israel to use should cause no cheering, according to author and Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah, who took to Twitter on Thursday to offer this commentary: