September 24, 2009 archive

Pittsburgh Police Tryout Their New Toys For G20!

(Cross-posted fromThe Free Speech Zone)



Pittsy po-po did LRAD for teh lulz!

I can haz earplugz?

Census worker lynched in KY

Yet another act of right wing political violence?

On September 12th, the body of Bill Sparkman, a 51-year old part-time Census worker and teacher was found in a remote area of the Daniel Boone National Forest, in Clay County, in rural southeast Kentucky. Sparkman reportedly had died on the morning of the day before.

According to an AP report published yesterday, the FBI is working with state police to determine whether this was a homicide, as is believed, and if so, whether it was motivated by anti-government sentiment. An anonymous law enforcement official told the AP that the man was found hanging from a tree with the word “fed” written on his chest. (The source didn’t specify the instrument that had been used to write the word. MSNBC has said several times today that it was scrawled in marker, but has not sourced that information.) It’s a federal crime to attack a federal worker because of his job, or while he’s carrying it out.

The leak to the AP about the word “Fed” has sparked fevered speculation that Sparkman may have been murdered as an expression of anti-government — and even specifically anti-Census — sentiment, of the kind ginned up by conservatives of late. Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) said earlier this year that she would not fill fully out her census form, which is a crime.

The cops are also entertaining an alternative theory that Mr. Sparkman accidentally stumbled on a meth lab or pot field, and the guys running it decided not to take the chance that he was really just a poll taker.  


Four at Four

  1. The NY Times reports the Taliban widen Afghan attacks from base in Pakistan. The U.S. military has been ‘surprised’ by the “level of sophistication and organization” being used by the Taliban to carry out attacks from Pakistan.

    Anonymous American officials “said the Taliban’s leadership council, led by Mullah Muhammad Omar and operating around the southern Pakistani city of Quetta, was directly responsible for a wave of violence in once relatively placid parts of northern and western Afghanistan.”

    According to Gen. Stanley McChrystal, “Mullah Omar’s insurgency has appointed shadow governors in most provinces of Afghanistan, levies taxes, establishes Islamic courts there and conducts a formal review of its military campaign each winter.”

    In addition, parts of Pakistan’s Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) are still supporting the Taliban. American officials suspect “the ISI is likely to strengthen bonds to the Taliban as Pakistan hedges its bets.”

    “The Taliban is trying to create trouble elsewhere to alleviate pressure” in the south, said one senior American intelligence official. “They’ve outmaneuvered us time and time again.” …

    “We assess that the primary focus of attacks in northern provinces such as Kunduz is to create a perception that the insurgency is spreading like wildfire,” the American official in Afghanistan said…

    “The Taliban have proven themselves capable of strategic planning,” the official said.

    The Guardian reports the U.S. is launching a new Afghan counterinsurgency strategy. McChrystal is quietly redeploying troops under his command from remote areas to protect population centers.

    His approach is “aimed at bolstering popular support for the government in Kabul”, which is “tainted by corruption and election rigging, amid growing recognition that if the politics fails the war will be lost.”

    There are growing doubts in Kabul that the situation can be rescued, with a sense of deep gloom and foreboding about the future of western engagementsettling on many western diplomats in the capital.

    The diplomats say that the fiasco surrounding Afghanistan’s presidential election has, in the words of one official, “destroyed Obama’s Afghanistan strategy at the first hurdle”. Karzai is also being blamed by many ordinary Afghans for unpopular Nato airstrikes in which civilians are killed.

    “In Afghanistan realities often drown out wishful thinking and the election has brought corruption and legitimacy to the forefront of concerns,” says one of the city’s most experienced foreign observers. “All the options are bad, I simply can’t see a way out.”

Four at Four continues with Obama chairing the UN Security Council, water on the Moon, and an Anglo-Saxon gold hoard.

They Will Teach Us To Be Free

As our cities start to crumble,

And the towers fall around us,

The sun is slowly fading,

And it’s colder than the sea . . .

45,000 Americans died last year because they couldn’t get the medical care they needed, 45,000 more Americans will die this year, 45,000 Americans are going to die next year and the year after that and the year after that because corporate profit is more important than human lives, because money determines who receives medical care and who doesn’t, because the depravity of Republicans, the moral cowardice of Democrats, the craven propaganda peddling of the corporate media, and the back room deals of Barack Obama have turned an electoral mandate for health care reform into a Category Five Clusterfuck of co-ops that can’t compete, mandates that punish the powerless, and a public option trigger that will never be pulled.

President Obama Pictures, Images and PhotosBrace yourselves for three more years of change we can’t believe in, brace yourselves for more “bipartisan solutions”, brace yourselves for escalating establishment attacks on progressives, brace yourselves for more Republican outrages, more Republican threats, more Republican attacks.  The truth is burning, crosses are burning, trillions of dollars are burning, Baucus and Conrad and Snowe have lit the funeral pyre of real change and we have Obama to thank for that, he’s the one who gave them the torches.

45,000 Americans are dying every year because they cannot get the medical care they need. America is suffering a Hurricane Katrina death toll every month. A 9/11 death toll every 30 days.  More than 3,000 Americans died in January because they couldn’t get the medical care they needed, 3,000 more died in February, 3,000 more in March and April and May and June and July and August.  A hurricane didn’t kill them. Muslim hijackers didn’t kill them.  The corporate hijackers of America’s government killed them, the Muhammed Attas of K Street, the Bin Ladins of the Beltway, the Jihadists of Corporate Greed killed them.  They were American citizens, they needed health care, they asked to be given medical treatment, but the profit driven health insurance industry gave them a death sentence instead.    

Fringe? For How Long?

In case you missed this gem, Bob Cesca wrote a great piece for the Huffington Post.  It is one of the most honest pieces I’ve seen in a while.

If the Republicans ever manage to retake Congress, they will absolutely try to impeach President Obama. And it’ll be based upon a supremely ridiculous charge such as, say, the president refusing to nourish our crops with a sports drink instead of water.

Okay, so maybe the Idiocracy example is over-the-top, but if we follow the current trajectory of far-right attacks to their logical yet insane conclusion, it makes sense in a very eerie way. Have you seen the television commercials solemnly defending our right to poison our kids with “juice drinks and soda?” There you go.

I’ve been following the Republican descent into the realms of the bizarre for some time now, and it wasn’t until the “czars” thing broke that I became convinced that if they retook Congress the Republicans might try to impeach the president. The grounds for both the impeachment and the language used to sell it will likely be fabricated by either Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh.

And, as great as this entire piece is, and trust me, you want to read it word for word through its entirety, there was one part of it that floored me…

Crashing the Doghouse (Edited)

Dog-gate, lol.

Edit#2: be sure to go read Michael’s great piece also.

Edit#1 all the way at the bottom…LL.

Okay look, its raining and Im fingers-numb cold and my connection might fizz out, but I want to talk about this little bru-ha.ha on another level, with a new spin. “Crisis equals opportunity” and all that.

We have a record-breaking number of comments in the essay up there on the top of the List and a sheepish, wait, wrong word, maybe sobered? Underdog this morning who I imagine is feeling like its been much ado about nothing. Well, I dont think its nothing but I also dont think it should fall on the shoulders of Underdog alone, nor should he be somehow a Martyr for the Cause re censorship or CT or that.

Id like to look at this, a step further, and see if we can shift it into a “teachable moment”, a more activist moment. I encourage your thoughts in comments. A few of my own across the divide.

The Glass Is Half Broken

Wasington Post:

The Obama administration has decided not to seek legislation to establish a new system of preventive detention to hold terrorism suspects and will instead rely on a 2001 congressional resolution authorizing military force against al-Qaeda and the Taliban to continue to detain people indefinitely and without charge, according to administration officials.

Leading congressional Democrats and members of the civil rights community had signaled opposition to any new indefinite-detention regime, fearing that it would expand government powers and undermine the rule of law and U.S. legal traditions.

The administration’s decision avoids a potentially rancorous debate that could alienate key allies at a time when President Obama needs congressional and public support to transfer detainees held at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the United States for trial or continued incarceration.

The administration has concluded that its detention powers, as currently accepted by the federal courts, are adequate to the task of holding some Guantanamo Bay detainees indefinitely. And although legal advocacy groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, are unhappy with the existing system, they acknowledge that it has enabled some detainees to win their release and limited government power in ways that any new law might not.

So, I guess we don’t need to worry about this, anymore, either.  

Keeping the grease in the ground: a challenge

If the state of public opinion were to reflect the research on abrupt climate change, billions of people would be in a state of panic.  The problem is not merely that the proposed measures to deal with the problem will be inadequate, nor that Copenhagen will wind up with no agreement or be a farce, although both of those predictions will come true; it’s that the intelligentsia, that class of individuals who should be asking the right questions and coming up with the right answers, is not yet talking about what needs to be done.  

What we will need is an agreement to limit fossil fuel production, and a new concept of economy to replace the neoliberal one, which is structurally incapable of making such a solution real.  This essay is intended to  promote debate about such a change.

(Crossposted at Big Orange)

Only 3 of 763 Patriot Act wiretaps in 2008 were terrorism related. 65% were Drug cases.

Crossposted at Daily Kos

    Only three of the 763 “sneak-and-peek” requests in fiscal year 2008 involved terrorism cases, according to a July 2009 report from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Sixty-five percent were drug cases.

Bold text added by the diarist

    You must be frigging kidding me.

    A partial transcript, commentary and more below the fold.

Bush Tax Cuts: a Handout to the Rich, but at What Cost to Society?

How to save $1.3 trillion a year, get healthcare reform, and lose weight doing it

Michael Lemke, Special Interests Examiner – Sept 3, 2009

Ending the Bush tax cut for the top 1% would save $132 billion next year alone.

While the rich have been getting richer at a staggering rate both under Clinton and under Bush, the lower 80% of US households have been stagnating or getting poorer. We have reach the highest level of income inequality in US history, surpassing even the obscene levels of the late 1920s.…

Well, that’s one sure fire way to help pay for Health Care —

Repeal the Bush Give-Away to the Top 1%, or just let them sunset, as the legislation requires!

January 1, 2011, is one Sunset, that can’t come soon enough!

North Carolina ACORN, or Anywhere USA

This is coming out of McClatchy today and has been reported on the local News programs this morning, the latter leaving out some finer points.

North Carolina ACORN branch feels impact from national scandal

North Carolina’s ACORN office has had to lay off all eight of its employees in the wake of a scandal that has rocked the national office of the grass-roots organizing group….>>>

A Chip IN Your Shoulder+Part 2

Advancing yet another segment for the Overton window that globalism first rag The Financial Times presents more dystopian future world options.

Not taking your meds?  A chip on your shoulder enforces “compliance.”

Do I wanna live as a cybornetic part of the Borg collective.  I think not.…

In other daily lamesteam news the desperate search for a vaccines are good for you comes “a cure for HIV”.  Well not exactly cause it’s only 30% effective and as such can’t be approved for use but still it’s in lamestream, it is pro vaccination, pro big business which is what infotainment is.

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