Saturday, August 20, 2011


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Daylight Robbery, Meet Nighttime Robbery

Daylight Robbery, Meet Nighttime Robbery | The Nation

I keep hearing comparisons between the London riots and riots in other European cities—window smashing in Athens or car bonfires in Paris. And there are parallels, to be sure: a spark set by police violence, a generation that feels forgotten.

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Naomi Klein
Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist, fellow at The Nation Institute and author of the...

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At this breakthrough moment in the history of the climate movement—when we recognize that the struggles for economic justice, real democracy and a livable climate are all interconnected—I’m joining the board of
The Goldstone Report is a fair-minded and disturbing document—which is precisely why the Israeli strategy since its publication has been to talk about everything except what’s in it.
But those events were marked by mass destruction; the looting was minor. There have, however, been other mass lootings in recent years, and perhaps we should talk about them too. There was Baghdad in the aftermath of the US invasion—a frenzy of arson and looting that emptied libraries and museums. The factories got hit too. In 2004 I visited one that used to make refrigerators. Its workers had stripped it of everything valuable, then torched it so thoroughly that the warehouse was a sculpture of buckled sheet metal.
Back then the people on cable news thought looting was highly political. They said this is what happens when a regime has no legitimacy in the eyes of the people. After watching for so long as Saddam and his sons helped themselves to whatever and whomever they wanted, many regular Iraqis felt they had earned the right to take a few things for themselves. But London isn’t Baghdad, and British Prime Minister David Cameron is hardly Saddam, so surely there is nothing to learn there.
How about a democratic example then? Argentina, circa 2001. The economy was in freefall and thousands of people living in rough neighborhoods (which had been thriving manufacturing zones before the neoliberal era) stormed foreign-owned superstores. They came out pushing shopping carts overflowing with the goods they could no longer afford—clothes, electronics, meat. The government called a “state of siege” to restore order; the people didn’t like that and overthrew the government.
Argentina’s mass looting was called El Saqueo—the sacking. That was politically significant because it was the very same word used to describe what that country’s elites had done by selling off the country’s national assets in flagrantly corrupt privatization deals, hiding their money offshore, then passing on the bill to the people with a brutal austerity package. Argentines understood that the saqueo of the shopping centers would not have happened without the bigger saqueo of the country, and that the real gangsters were the ones in charge.
But England is not Latin America, and its riots are not political, or so we keep hearing. They are just about lawless kids taking advantage of a situation to take what isn’t theirs. And British society, Cameron tells us, abhors that kind of behavior.
This is said in all seriousness. As if the massive bank bailouts never happened, followed by the defiant record bonuses. Followed by the emergency G-8 and G-20 meetings, when the leaders decided, collectively, not to do anything to punish the bankers for any of this, nor to do anything serious to prevent a similar crisis from happening again. Instead they would all go home to their respective countries and force sacrifices on the most vulnerable. They would do this by firing public sector workers, scapegoating teachers, closing libraries, upping tuitions, rolling back union contracts, creating rush privatizations of public assets and decreasing pensions—mix the cocktail for where you live. And who is on television lecturing about the need to give up these “entitlements”? The bankers and hedge-fund managers, of course.
This is the global Saqueo, a time of great taking. Fueled by a pathological sense of entitlement, this looting has all been done with the lights left on, as if there was nothing at all to hide. There are some nagging fears, however. In early July, the Wall Street Journal, citing a new poll, reported that 94 percent of millionaires were afraid of "violence in the streets.” This, it turns out, was a reasonable fear.
Of course London’s riots weren’t a political protest. But the people committing nighttime robbery sure as hell know that their elites have been committing daytime robbery. Saqueos are contagious.
The Tories are right when they say the rioting is not about the cuts. But it has a great deal to do with what those cuts represent: being cut off. Locked away in a ballooning underclass with the few escape routes previously offered—a union job, a good affordable education—being rapidly sealed off. The cuts are a message. They are saying to whole sectors of society: you are stuck where you are, much like the migrants and refugees we turn away at our increasingly fortressed borders.
David Cameron’s response to the riots is to make this locking-out literal: evictions from public housing, threats to cut off communication tools and outrageous jail terms (five months to a woman for receiving a stolen pair of shorts). The message is once again being sent: disappear, and do it quietly.
At last year’s G-20 “austerity summit” in Toronto, the protests turned into riots and multiple cop cars burned. It was nothing by London 2011 standards, but it was still shocking to us Canadians. The big controversy then was that the government had spent $675 million on summit “security” (yet they still couldn’t seem to put out those fires). At the time, many of us pointed out that the pricey new arsenal that the police had acquired—water cannons, sound cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets—wasn’t just meant for the protesters in the streets. Its long-term use would be to discipline the poor, who in the new era of austerity would have dangerously little to lose.
This is what David Cameron got wrong: you can't cut police budgets at the same time as you cut everything else. Because when you rob people of what little they have, in order to protect the interests of those who have more than anyone deserves, you should expect resistance—whether organized protests or spontaneous looting.
And that’s not politics. It’s physics.

Wall Street firms donated $11.2 million to members of debt ‘super committee’

Wall Street firms donated $11.2 million to members of debt ‘super committee’ | The Raw Story

The bipartisan "super committee" created by the debt ceiling deal is comprised of lawmakers who have received big bucks from special interest groups, according to a report by MapLight.

The committee is tasked with finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts over ten years.

In total, the twelve members appointed to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction got nearly $64.5 million from special interests groups over the past decade, with legal firms donating about $31.5 million and Wall Street firms donating about $11.2 million.

Of that $11.2 million, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase donated approximately $2 million combined.

The members appointed to the committee are Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Rob Portman (R-OH), Patty Murray (D-WA), John Kerry (D-MA), and Max Baucus (D-MT) and Reps. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Fred Upton (R-MI), Dave Camp (R-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), and Jim Clyburn (D-SC).

Democratic and liberal groups donated the third most amount of money, with about $9.6 million in political contributions, and the health industry donated the fourth most, with about $9.3 million.

Club for Growth, a conservative free market group, donated more money than any other organization, contributing a combined $990,066 to the twelve lawmakers. The vast majority of that money went to Sen. Toomey.

Is Ron Paul Being Ignored By The Media?

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Friday, August 19, 2011

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China-US Basketball 'Friendly' Erupts Into Brawl

China-US Basketball 'Friendly' Erupts Into Brawl - CNBC

As U.S. Vice President Joe Biden built trust with China in Beijing's corridors of power, goodwill between the two nations unraveled on a nearby basketball court, where players beat each other up and even a chair was thrown.


A 'friendship' game between Washington's Georgetown Hoyas and Chinese professional side the Bayi Military Rockets erupted into a brawl as the match wound down at Beijing's Olympic Stadium. It was unclear what triggered the fighting.

Players traded blows, someone in the crowd flung a chair, and fans tossed full water bottles at the Hoyas players and coaches as they headed to the locker room, writing off the rest of the game.

In China, state media did not report on the incident and microblogs were mostly silent as censors worked quickly to delete any references to the fight.

"Even the news about the fight between the Chinese and U.S. basketball teams needs to be cut," said a microblogger named Yinnu.

The brawl broke out one night after Biden, who is in Beijing on a four-day visit to discuss U.S.-Chinese economic relations, attended a Georgetown game against another Chinese club. That game, which Georgetown won, passed without a fist fight.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Oath Keepers: FBI Wants Surplus Stores To Spy on Customers

Oath Keepers » Blog Archive » Oath Keepers: FBI Wants Surplus Stores To Spy on Customers

FBI Handout Lists Purchase of Preparedness Items as “Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities”


Oath Keepers Exclusive: An FBI Denver Joint Terrorism Task Force handout being distributed to Colorado military surplus store owners lists the purchase of popular preparedness items and firearms accessories as “suspicious” and “potential indicators of terrorist activities,” instructing store owners to keep records on and report people who:

“Make bulk purchase of items to include:

Weatherproofed ammunition or match containers

Meals Ready to Eat

Night Vision Devices; night flashlights; gas masks

High capacity magazines

Bi-pods or tri-pods for rifles”

The FBI handout, entitled “Communities Against Terrorism: Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Military Surplus Stores” also instructs surplus store owners to:

“Require valid ID from all new customers.

Keep records of purchases.

Talk to customers, ask questions, and

listen to and observe their responses.

Watch for people and actions that are out of place.

Make note of suspicious statements, people, and /or vehicles.

If something seems wrong, notify law enforcement authorities.”

The handout also instructs surplus store owners to consider as “suspicious” anyone who “demands identity ‘privacy’” or anyone who expresses “extreme religious statements” and those who “make suspicious comments regarding anti-US, [or] radical theology.”

The “Communities Against Terrorism” flyer closes by stating:

Preventing terrorism is a community effort. By learning what to look for, youcan make a positive contribution in the fight against terrorism. Thepartnership between the community and law enforcement is essential to the success of anti -terrorism efforts.

Some of the activities, taken individually, could be innocent and must be examined by law enforcement professionals in a larger context to determine whether there is a basis to investigate. The activities outlined on this handout are by no means all-inclusive but have been compiled from a review of terrorist events over several years.

The handout encourages surplus store owners and employees to provide information on “suspicious” customers by calling the Denver Joint Terrorism Task Force or the Colorado Information Analysis Center. This handout is very nearly identical to one issued by the FBI to gun stores from Connecticut to Utah: PDF

This new handout expands the absurdity by now also targeting customers of military surplus stores, and by specifically targeting the purchasing of very common, and very popular, preparedness items such as Meals Ready to Eat (MRE’s) as “potential indicators of terrorist activities.”

While this particular handout is being given to military surplus store owners in Colorado, it is nearly certain that similar versions are being handed out by Joint Terrorism Task Forces in other states. Anyone who has seen such a handout, or who has a copy of one, please contact us at You know, “if you see something, say something!” It may be a potential indicator of government terrorist (tyranny and chilling of speech) activities. Remember, combating tyranny is a community effort and you can make a difference! – Oath Keepers


The Soft Kill Weapon 08/14 by FreedomizerRadio | Blog Talk Radio

The Soft Kill Weapon 08/14 by FreedomizerRadio | Blog Talk Radio

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The Iowa Straw Poll Mystery :

The Iowa Straw Poll Mystery :

By E.Nordstrom
August 13, 2011
The official total number of votes counted in the 2011 Iowa Straw Poll is 16,892. The general breakdown of the total is as follows:
4823 – Michelle Bachmann
4671 – Ron Paul
2293 – Pawlenty
1657 – Santorum
1456 – Cain
718 – Perry
567 – Romney
385 – Gingrich
69 – Huntsman
35 – McCotter
Ok, so let’s add up the votes (4823 + 4671 + 2293 + 1657 + 1456 + 718 + 567 + 385 + 69 +35 = 16,674). But wait a minute, the total votes counted were 16,892 right? So, of the total votes counted in the Iowa Straw Poll amounting to 16,892. The ten candidates listed above garnered 16,674. Well that leaves 218 votes unaccounted for.
So where did the remaining 218 votes go?
MSNBC has reported that the 218 is actually only 162 votes that are a “scattering” of ballots for candidates receiving less than one percent of the votes. Ok, fine, so who are these candidates? In addition, if as MSNBC is reporting it is only 162 and not 218, then where did the other 56 votes go? Hey! Let’s confuse the public even more!
Let’s move on shall we?
FOX News and most other news outlets seem to have solved this mystery. Instead of accuracy in reporting, they simply resort to saying, “Bachmann received 28 percent of the nearly 17,000 votes cast.” No need to count the votes, just say “nearly 17,000″.
To be very clear, Congressman Ron Paul and Senator Michele Bachmann only had 152 votes difference in the Straw Poll.
Bachmann wins by 152 votes, meanwhile 218 votes seem to be unaccounted for publicly. While I am sure there is a very good reason for the missing votes, this is precisely what causes distrust of government and the media.
One other mystery is why media outlets seem to erase Ron Paul from most headlines and instead replace him with Rick Perry.
Two good examples are the Washington Post who have an article posted entitled, “Bachmann wins Iowa straw poll as Perry jumps in” just below the title is a photo of Ron Paul.
Another one is from Salon with an article entitled, “Let the fight for the right begin” just below the title is a photo of Bachmann and Rick Perry, then below the photo the article begins with, “Technically, the margin of victory for Michele Bachmann at Saturday’s Iowa straw poll was slight, with second-place finisher Ron Paul falling just 152 votes (or 0.9 percentage points) short of her tally. But everyone knows that Paul is a niche candidate.”
In closing I suppose we have two mysteries.
1. Where are the 218 unaccounted for votes?
2. Why are media outlets replacing Ron Paul’s second place victory with Rick Perry?
This article first appeared on

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Ron Paul's 'Prosperity Playground,' and Other Straw Poll Wonders

Ron Paul's 'Prosperity Playground,' and Other Straw Poll Wonders - Politics - The Atlantic Wire
Ron Paul's 'Prosperity Playground,' and Other Straw Poll Wonders

Everyone is putting on a show at today's Iowa Straw Poll. People are passing out fried butter. Herman Cain is singing Gospel music. Michele Bachmann has Randy Travis. Rick Perry isn't there. Sarah Palin is (that's a show enough). But one of the most intriguing elements to emerge over our Twitter feed today are pictures from something called "Ron Paul's Prosperity Playground." We weren't sure who came up with this name, but we've heard it tweeted from ABC's Jake Tapper and mentioned by the National Review Online, so (we're hoping, at least) that that's what it's really called. And why wouldn't it be? Who doesn't want to play in the Prosperity Playground?

While Paul is busy giving heavy anti-abortion speeches ("We cannot play God and make those decisions. All life is precious," he said, according to Politico), this is some the joy he is spreading elsewhere: ABC New's Jake Tapper tweeted: "One of the exhibits at @'s "Prosperity Playground":

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hillary Clinton Supports Invasion Of Syria

BBC News - Syria unrest: 'Fresh crackdown' across country

Activists said there were more deaths when Syrian forces opened fire
Syrian forces have renewed their crackdown on protesters, with activists saying at least 16 people have died.
Friday protests came under fire in the central city of Homs, the capital Damascus, Deir al-Zour in the east and Aleppo and Idlib near Turkey's border.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged other countries to "get on the right side of history" by cutting ties with the Syrian regime.
Earlier, she called for wider international sanctions on Damascus.
More than 1,700 people have died and tens of thousands have reportedly been arrested since the uprising against the 41-year rule of President Bashar al-Assad's family began in March.
Syrian state television admitted there had been small demonstrations after Friday prayers, but activists said they were far bigger and more widespread.
'Intense gunfire'
Friday's highest reported casualties were in Douma, a suburb of Damascus, where a woman and a 16-year-old were named among those who died. Syrian state TV said two security men had been shot dead in the capital.

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