December 7, 2014 archive

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Notes From An Ally On The Front Lines In Boston by UnaSpenser

Reposted from Wednesday. The night before Thanksgiving is not the best time to post. ;-

After marching for about 4 hours and being on the front line when the police confronted the protesters and having only 6 hours of sleep, I’m exhausted. Still, I have all these random thoughts going through my head this morning as I process both what I directly experienced last night and the social commentary I’ve read since then. This may ramble or be disjointed. It may also be raw, unclear or not fully thought out. I’m seeing it as a snapshot into a frame of mind and body after a highly charged event. Nuggets to, perhaps, spark dialogue or lead to further exploration. I want to see what comes out in hopes of not losing any particularly valuable nuggets. So, here goes….

Why Jane Curtin Hates Me

I have a life you know.

Anyway I was part of this conference at the U.N. before they cleaned all the smoke off the walls and after the thrill of sitting in actual Ambassador chairs (Zimbabwe!) it was time for our box lunch (that’s what they call a stale ham and cheese sandwich, a bag of potato chips, and a rather decrepit looking apple when they stuff it in a box).

Fortunately the soda was fresh and they had some club which was good enough for me before I went all low sodium (remember to order seltzer) because I don’t much like the sweet stuff.

Nobody had favored it before, so I got the chance to crack the cap.

Ah, you guessed it, soda geyser.  Well, a little Club Soda will clean that right…

Oh, wait.

So I did and all the people at my table had a nice laugh and we were poking in our boxes to find anything that was edible (sadly, no) when our guest of honor, Jane Curtin, strode in and, in an incredible action of solidarity which I give her great credit for, picked up one of the boxes and headed for the soda table.

Well, I must have broken the ice (as it were), and the Club was empty but a fresh refill was at hand and I actually felt remarkably justified when Jane made it her beverage of choice.

For about ten seconds when… ah, you guessed again.  Soda geyser.

Jane, I couldn’t help myself.  I about busted a gut when I noticed that no one was laughing except me.

But it all worked out in the end.  I had an incredible tour of 5th Avenue capped by a toast in the Rainbow Room as the sun set and a public private concert at the piano in the lobby of the Waldorf with my Nurse Girlfriend who lived in a trailer park and raised Siamese Cats on the side and her Consigliere who broke us up within the month because he was jealous.  Yet that worked out also because he advanced me to Capo di Tutti where I broke the system.

Still, that’s another story.


On This Day In History December 7

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

December 7 is the 341st day of the year (342nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 24 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1787, (In) Dover, Delaware, the U.S. Constitution is unanimously ratified by all 30 delegates to the Delaware Constitutional Convention, making Delaware the first state of the modern United States.

Less than four months before, the Constitution was signed by 37 of the original 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention meeting in Philadelphia. The Constitution was sent to the states for ratification, and, by the terms of the document, the Constitution would become binding once nine of the former 13 colonies had ratified the document. Delaware led the process, and on June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the Constitution, making federal democracy the law of the land. Government under the U.S. Constitution took effect on March 4, 1789.

Delaware  is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The state takes its name from Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, an English nobleman and Virginia’s first colonial governor, after whom (what is now called) Cape Henlopen was originally named.

Delaware is located in the northeastern portion of the Delmarva Peninsula and is the second smallest state in area (after Rhode Island). Estimates in 2007 rank the population of Delaware as 45th in the nation, but 6th in population density, with more than 60% of the population in New Castle County. Delaware is divided into three counties. From north to south, these three counties are New Castle, Kent, and Sussex. While the southern two counties have historically been predominantly agricultural, New Castle County has been more industrialized.

The state ranks second in civilian scientists and engineers as a percentage of the workforce and number of patents issued to companies or individuals per 1,000 workers. The history of the state’s economic and industrial development is closely tied to the impact of the Du Pont family, founders and scions of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, one of the world’s largest chemical companies.

Before its coastline was first explored by Europeans in the 16th century, Delaware was inhabited by several groups of Native Americans, including the Lenape in the north and Nanticoke in the south. It was initially colonized by Dutch traders at Zwaanendael, located near the present town of Lewes, in 1631. Delaware was one of the thirteen colonies participating in the American Revolution and on December 7, 1787, became the first state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, thereby becoming known as The First State.

Delaware is the home state of Vice President Joseph Biden

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Eric Garner ‘chokehold’ death: A grand jury blind to the evidence before it

Out of America: The decision not to bring charges after the death of a black man in police custody suggests a fatal flaw in the system

RUPERT CORNWELL Sunday 7 December 2014

At least Eric Garner has his epitaph. “I can’t breathe,” he gasped as he was forced to the ground and held by a New York police officer in the chokehold that caused his death. The phrase now serves not only as a chant by demonstrators in cities across the land. It will go down as history’s shorthand for the persecution of black suspects by law enforcement and the judicial system across the US that seems virtually routine.

Anyone – not just black people sick and tired of racist victimisation by police – who has watched the video of Garner, father of six and 43 years old, being wrestled to the ground as if he’d just committed a murder, will be astonished that a grand jury declined to bring any charges against the officer last week – even though the medical examiner at Garner’s autopsy ruled that the death was a homicide.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Thousands in shelters as Hagupit lashes Philippines

The media giant, the cleaners and the £40,000 lost wages

Oil wars: Saudi Arabia makes enemies as prices tumble

Can reforms change Mexico’s corrupt police culture?

Israel and the Palestinians: A conflict viewed through olives

The Breakfast Club (Judge Cliff Davis Blues)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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Breakfast Tune: Papa Charlie Jackson – Judge Cliff Davis Blues

Spoken: Oh yes, oh yes

I now declare this court, City of Memphis open

Lets have it quiet in the court room please

Everybody be seated

Open the courts Mister Officer

First case on the docket is the case against Mr. Crew

The other afternoon I was sitting, in the court house room

I was listening, to what was going on

After every case was tried, The prisoners were all led inside

As they passed by, I thought somebody cried

I’m on my way to jail, that’s why you hear me wail

I’ve got the Judge Cliff Davis blues

I’m through with doing wrong, just listen to my song

I’ve got the Judge Cliff Davis blues

I told the judge my tale of woe, he heard that fairy tale before

That’s why you hear my wail, I’m on my way to jail

I’ve got the Judge Cliff Davis blues

Memphis gave us

The Judge Cliff Davis blues

Good lawd save us

Today in History, Breakfast News & Blogs Below

Late Night Karaoke

George Carlin on Death

Adapted from Rant of the Week at The Stars Hollow Gazette

Locutus of Borg

In Light of Eric Garner

Ian Welsh

2014 December 5

Understand this, if you understand nothing else:

(T)he system is working as intended.

What you will hear defenders of the police say is “he was non-compliant.”


If a police officer tells you to do anything, you do it immediately.  If you do not, anything that happens to you, up to and including death, is your problem.

The legal system exists, today, to ensure compliance.

American oligarchical society rests on people not effectively resisting.  All gains now go to the top 10%, with the rest of society losing ground.  Incarceration rates blossom in 1980, which is also the year that the oligarchical program is voted in and becomes official.  (Trickle down economics can be understood no other way.)

Any part of the population which is inclined to resist, must be taught that it cannot resist.  Get out millions to demonstrate against the Iraq war: it will not work. Protest against police killings of African Americans, it will not work.

Nothing you do will work.

You will comply, and you will learn that resistance is futile.

The more outside the mainstream you are, the more you will learn it.  African Americans, Latinos, poor whites (in that order.)  Those who are fundamentally authoritarian, but somewhat opposed to the system (like the Bundy ranch) are treated more carefully (though the militia movement has its martyrs).  But the fundamental lesson of life is to do what your lords and masters tell you to, and to not protest any law or order, no matter how nonsensical, trivial, or unjust it is.

Compliance when given specific orders and learned hopelessness about protest or organizing are the aims.  Ordinary citizens must understand that they cannot change the system if elites do not agree with the changes they want made.  If they try, they will be arrested and receive a criminal sentence, meaning they can never again have a good job.

The system is doing what it is meant to do.  It teaches compliance, it teaches hopelessness and it identifies those who will not obey laws that don’t make sense (marijuana possession, for example), or who will fight or organize against the system and then it destroys them economically and often psychologically through practices like solitary confinement and prison rape.

The system will not change until those who want it to change have the raw power to force it to change, because it does serve the interests of its masters by destroying or marginalizing anyone who is actually a danger to oligarchical control of the system.

(U)nderstand this, most of what police are paid in is social coin: the right to demand immediate obedience and fuck people up; the solidarity of the blue line; the feeling of belonging and power, is what makes the job worth having for (probably most) of the people who are now attracted to it.

Being a thug; having social sanction to be a thug, is enjoyable to a lot of people. Since that’s what cops get to do, those are the sort of people who tend to be attracted to the job.  The police are the biggest toughest gang around, and belonging to them has most of the rewards of gang life, without the dangers of going to jail.

Working as intended.