Monday, September 29, 2008

A Teeny, Tiny Thread of Silver Lining...Maybe?

It's just come over the wire here at The Postmodern Tribune that a band of Republicans in the U. S. House of Representationalism (and yes, even a few Democrats) blocked passage of the Let's-Rob-Every-Working-American-To-Save-The-Wall-Street-Pigs-From-Their-Own-Sense-Of-Entitled-Foolishness Act of 2008.

Well.

We here at the home office are a bit surprised. I myself was betting that a little GOP establishment arm-twisting and McCainiac-type pressure would convince House Republicans to vote for it in exchange for a few face-saving technical "reforms" or some such malarkey. Pleasantly, I was proved wrong.

However, at the risk of looking like I'm crapping all over the parade of every libertarian and anarchist who saw this proposed scheme of highway robbery exactly for what it was, I wouldn't be breaking out the champagne just yet. One should bear in mind the following:

First of all, it's always possible for the congress to come up with an entirely new bailout bill that may be spun a certain way to conceal the fact that it is even worse than the bill that was defeated today.

Secondly, remember that the Federal Reserve has already displayed some pretty brazen behavior by lending newly inflated credit directly to the corporate insurance behemoth AIG in exchange for an 80% stake. So even if the congress doesn't agree on a new bailout bill, it shouldn't be surprising to anyone if the central banksters decide to create even more credit out of thin air in order to save the behinds of their Wall Street buddies. All of which, of course, would most likely result in the same massive price inflation that the proposed bailout bill would have caused.

And finally, let's also remember that there's already been a massive amount of monetary inflation undertaken in order to not only bail out AIG, but also those bastions of economic fascism, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This after the Fed had injected newly created credit directly into some of the largest commercial and investment banks around.

So even though we should welcome the defeat of today's bailout bill, as (so far, anyway) this means that we will have been saved from even further inflationary robbery than we otherwise would have been subjected to, the fact is that we've been robbed plenty enough as it is. Just how much poorer this latest cycle of accelerated theft and plunder by the state has left the rest of us will be made ever clearer in the months and years ahead as prices continue to climb and eat away our savings. (What little is left of our savings, anyway.)

The fact that so many of us are so relieved that it appears--at least for the moment--that we've been mugged by the state only so much should make clear to us the root of our condition and the ultimate route to our liberation.

ADDENDUM: With the ink barely dry on this post, there's this from Bloomberg:
The Federal Reserve will pump an additional $630 billion into the global financial system, flooding banks with cash to alleviate the worst banking crisis since the Great Depression.

The Fed increased its existing currency swaps with foreign central banks by $330 billion to $620 billion to make more dollars available worldwide. The Term Auction Facility, the Fed's emergency loan program, will expand by $300 billion to $450 billion.
The European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan are among the participating authorities.

The Fed's expansion of liquidity, the biggest since credit markets seized up last year, came hours before the U.S. House of Representatives rejected a $700 billion bailout for the financial industry...
(Nod to Anthony Gregory.)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thinking and Dialogue

Roderick Long and Charles ("Rad Geek") Johnson have been sharing the experiences they've had with the philosophy department at Auburn University in Alabama, where Long currently teaches and from which Johnson graduated a few years ago. The New York Times has recently published a nice article on the department and its chairman, Kelly Jolley, which is highly recommended reading:
By any measure, Jolley has accomplished a great deal. But in the service of what, exactly? During my stay at Auburn — and in our e-mail exchanges afterward — Jolley and I returned again and again to that very question. Why does philosophy matter?

Jolley could never seem to come up with a clear, settled explanation, and since clarity is a philosophical virtue, on one level this obviously bothered him. Yet his failure to give a simple answer was, in a way, the best answer he could have given. Philosophy is so much a part of how Jolley thinks, talks and writes that his attempts at an answer were themselves invariably philosophical, which is to say, aimed as much at exploring the assumptions behind the question as at answering it. “One reason it can seem so hard to see how philosophy relates to life is that we have often already decided that philosophy is thinking, not living,” he once wrote me. Explaining why philosophy matters, in other words, requires doing philosophy — the very thing the questioner wants explained.
Be sure to read Johnson's own recent blog post on the subject, and scroll down to read the nice dialogue that has developed in the comments thread. I don't know about you, but it strikes me as the kind of political discourse that our society desperately needs much more of.

We're starving for it, in fact.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tossing Nerf Balls in a Cluster Bomb Age

Like many others, I caught Saturday Night Live's season opener last weekend, with an introductory sketch featuring Tina Fey as GOP dream girl Sarah Palin and Amy Poehler as an embittered Hillary Clinton.

I giggled a bit. Chuckled a little. I even guffawed.

Yes, I'll admit it. I guffawed.

Strike-The-Root recently linked this blog post by Dennis Perrin, a former comedy writer for Bill Maher (among others), in which he discussed how the aforementioned sketch only reminded him of the insipid shallowness and superficiality of what passes for today's "satire":
I've received a number of emails asking, "Wasn't Fey great as Palin? Didn't she nail her to the wall?"

Yeah, I suppose. Imitations are easy, perhaps the laziest form of comedy, much less what passes for parody. Fey was already nine-tenths there on looks alone. Affect a pinched, northern accent, and you've got it. What SNL did once Fey got it was the typical lighthearted, breezy bit the show is known for -- shape the caricature (Palin's a perky dope) and repeat it ad nauseum, which I expect will happen with Fey's Palin throughout the election season. Palin's camp naturally said that the candidate found Fey amusing, and I've no doubt that Palin herself will appear on SNL in the near future.

This is network "satire," 2008. A comedy celeb gently imitating an emerging political celeb, who could very well be the next vice-president. Nothing too sharp or penetrating. Nothing that exposes the criminality just beneath the false, bleached smiles. Whatever it might have been a thousand years ago, SNL is currently part of the propaganda process, not making public figures uncomfortable, but making its audience comfortable with public figures. The routines are repeated all over the news channels and online, which drives home the perception that it's all in good fun, that those who seek to rule us aren't all bad, especially if they laugh along with the comics portraying them.
Ye gods, he's right. Read the whole thing.

Friday, September 19, 2008

One Giggleburger with a Side Order of the Creeps, Please

This is as funny as it is creepy.
This just plain scares the shit out of me.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Just Because Sarah Palin Got to Smoke Pot, That Doesn't Mean YOU Get to Smoke It...Hippy.

Over at Reason.com, Jacob Sullum reports that Sarah Palin wants the Alaskan supreme court to overturn its 1975 ruling that possession of (at least small amounts of) marijuana in one's own home is protected by the state's constitution under that document's privacy clause. As mayor of Wasilla in 2000, she campaigned for a city council resolution opposing a state ballot initiative that would have legalized marijuana for adults.

In 2006, however, prior to her election as governor, she told the Anchorage Daily News that she once smoked some of "God's Great Herb" (as an old college friend of mine liked to call it) as a college student way back in those wild and wooly days of the 1980s.

So why does she have such a grudge against her peaceful fellow human beings who enjoy a good toke now and again that she wants armed government agents to initiate violence and aggression against them, when she once enjoyed the same indulgence without anyone laying a hand on her?

Well, it seems that she's worried about the kind of "message" legalized pot sends to her kids.

Now there's a catchy new slogan. Instead of "for the children," how about "for Sarah Palin's children"? Sure, if I was a pot-smoking Alaskan, I'd feel a whole lot better about being subjected to a shakedown by uniformed thugs if I knew it conformed to the Palin children's rather strange conception of consistency.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Revelations

I've recently come across this AP piece on the recent experience of Abdur-Rahim Jackson--a dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater--when he traveled with the troupe to Israel:
JERUSALEM - A performer with the famed Alvin Ailey dance troupe on Tuesday said he was twice forced to perform steps for Israeli airport security officers to prove his identity before he was permitted to enter the country.

Abdur-Rahim Jackson, an eight-year veteran of the dance ensemble, said he was singled out by Israel's renowned airport security because he has a Muslim name. He called the experience embarrassing and said at one point, one of the officers even suggested he change his name.

"To be greeted like this because of my name, it took me back a little bit," said Jackson, who is black.

Israel is the first stop on a six-nation tour celebrating the New York-based dance company's 50th anniversary. Earlier this year, Congress passed a resolution calling the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater a "vital American cultural ambassador to the world."

Jackson said he was pulled aside from other members of the troupe when they arrived at Israel's international airport on Sunday night. He said he was taken to a holding room, where he was asked about the origins of his name. When he explained he was part of the dance group, he was asked to perform.

"I stood up. I asked what type of dance?" he explained. "He said, "Just do anything.' I just moved around."

Minutes later, he said a female officer put him through a similar interrogation and asked him to dance again.

"The only time I'm really expected to dance is when I'm performing," he said.

Jackson said he received his name because his father was a convert to Islam. Jackson said he was not raised a Muslim, does not consider himself religious and is engaged to a Jewish woman in the troupe who has relatives in Israel.

Jackson said he did not plan to press the matter further, saying the numerous apologies he has received from American dignitaries and his Israeli hosts is "enough for me." The Israel Ports Authority said it had no comment because it did not receive a formal complaint.

I suppose it's nice that Israeli bureaucrats and assorted U.S. dignitaries apologized to Jackson for what appears to have been a rather infuriating and humiliating experience, and that he was satisfied with said apology, but I can't help but wonder how his experience may have differed had he not been a performer with a world reknown dance company, and if apologies would have been enough to ameliorate the inconveniences of that experience.

But even if Jackson himself was satisfied with apologies, at least one Israeli TV news commentator was not:

The incident was reported in Israel's largest newspaper and on an Israeli television news and interview program. "The security guards should be sent home or (the airport) will become a mental asylum," said Motti Kirshenbaum, a veteran commentator and host of the Channel 10 TV program.

Solidarity can come from practically anywhere. Even from complete strangers.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The ObaMcCain Pledge to Make Servitude and Sacrifice "Cool" Again

Now that the Democrats and the Republicans have each had their quadrennial Reichsparteitag, the standard bearers of the two parties reveal in remarkably stark relief their common goal (emphases are mine):
During a service-focused forum on Thursday, the seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Republican presidential candidate John McCain and Democratic rival Barack Obama agreed on the need to revitalize the federal government's image.

The 2001 attacks motivated government leaders to work together and generated support for a massive overhaul of federal agencies, McCain said. He encouraged a return to that type of collaboration.

"We presided over the biggest reorganization of government since the creation of the Defense Department, in the creation of the Department of Homeland Security," McCain said. "We did do a lot of things right after 9/11. But it gradually eroded and now I think the American people are ready. They're ready to rally behind -- frankly, a new page to be turned in America's history."

The Arizona senator said government must fulfill its primary role of protecting citizens and helping them in times of emergency and distress, but it should not "do things that the private sector can do, or other organizations can do." After Hurricane Katrina, for instance, federal officials should have worked more closely with faith-based groups and volunteer organizations that played a prominent role in the recovery effort, and with corporations such as FedEx and Target that "know where everything is," he said.

Obama expressed a similar view on government's place in responding to disasters such as Sept. 11 and Katrina. The Illinois senator noted, however, that a stronger federal effort would not "crowd out" religious or nonprofit groups.

"There are more than enough problems out there to deal with," he said. "And what is true is we don't need to set up bureaucracy. See, I would distinguish between a government ... providing people avenues for service and a government bureaucracy in which the notion is that the only way you can serve is through some defined government program."

Shoring up faith in the effectiveness of Washington institutions such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency is critical to making public service more attractive, Obama said.

"The domination of special interests, the domination of lobbyists, the loss of a civic culture in Washington among public [servants] has led not only to well-known disasters, like the mismanagement of the Katrina situation, but quiet disasters, where you've got entire agencies that have been hollowed out and you've got political appointees who aren't concerned with the mission of those organizations," Obama said. "So we've got to transform Washington and we've got to do some house cleaning... part of my job, I think, as president, is to make government cool again."

McCain also stressed the importance of confidence. "If people don't trust the government, then they're not going to be as eager and willing to frankly be part of these programs that we are proposing and that we are hoping that people will volunteer and serve in," he said.

Both candidates expressed concern over military recruitment and retention. McCain said additional incentives likely would be necessary to expand the military fast enough to meet the country's needs. And while touting the patriotism of those who served and the importance of his own military experience, he dismissed the idea of any mandatory military or civilian service requirement.

"There are so many ways to serve this country and there are so many ways that are noble and wonderful, both at home and abroad," McCain said. "I think it's very clear AmeriCorps has been one of the astonishing successes. Peace Corps, we've seen the success for a long time, because Jack Kennedy obviously originated it. But we have seen these volunteer organizations succeed."

Obama agreed that increasing military pay sends an important message of support, but he also said the military needs more civilian support.

"Our military is the best in the world, but they are asked to do so many different things because our civilian operations, our State Department, [the U.S. Agency for International Development] have been underfunded, have atrophied," Obama said. "And for us to say, serve in the military, but if that's not where you want to serve, learn a foreign language and go into the Foreign Service. And by the way, we will deploy you in some difficult areas, but that's part of what it means to be an American and to serve and to sacrifice."...

Both candidates pledged that, if elected, they would sign bipartisan legislation introduced by Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to encourage national service and, among other goals, triple the size of AmericCorps [sic].

McCain perhaps facetiously agreed to make Obama his "service czar," and Obama quipped, "If this is the deal he wants to make right now I am committed to appointing him to my Cabinet of National Service."

Remember, Du bist Amerika!

(Nod to Roderick Long.)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

This Is What a Passion for Freedom and Justice Looks Like

Take a good look.

Most of the people in the video below are quite young. Some of them have only nineteen to twenty years of experience on this Earth. 

They represent the future of resistance against tyranny and repression, a tidal wave that is surging once again from the depths of history and threatening to wash away the machinery of concentrated power like so much flotsam and jetsam. 



Listen as they plainly and clearly state things as they see them--no illusions, no fairy tales, no bullshit. Listen to what they endured--the abuse and the torture--the price they had to pay just to peaceably assemble and speak their minds in the most free country on Earth--God bless America



As Amy Goodman reported, there are still at least eight anti-Regime resisters locked up in the iron-barred gulags of St. Paul, Minnesota, under charges of "conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism," which may result in prison sentences as long as seven and a half years. There has been absolutely zero evidence thus far to support the St. Paul Stasi's conspiracy theory--unless they define public expressions of political dissent as "terrorism." 

It is now up to the rest of us to keep the spotlight focused on the plight of these brave resisters of tyranny as much as possible until they are freed, and to insure that the events of the past week do not simply slip down the memory hole.

One final note: Props to William Gillis for showing the world his balls of steel

See also: Rad Geek on the St. Paul 8 and the shameful, pitiful travesty that is MoveOn.org.

Friday, September 5, 2008

From the Occupied Twin Cities: Anti-Regime Resisters Detained, Abused and Tortured by Local Pigs

The Republican Nationalist-Socialism Uber Alles convention has officially ended, but the anti-Regime resistance struggle in Minneapolis-St. Paul continues.

My friend Soviet Onion has requested that as many pro-freedom bloggers as possible post the following dispatch from the occupied Twin Cities on the continuing harrassment, beatings, denials of basic medical care, and other abuses of anti-Regime resisters at the hands of the Twin Cities' Stasi pigs in their taxpayer-funded gulags, and what you can do about it (and thanks to Rad Geek for passing this along--also posted at Coldsnap Legal Collective's web site):
_________________________________
Over 300 protesters, bystanders, media, and medics arrested at RNC - Two minors sentenced to 30 days in adult jail

St. Paul, MN – Two days into the Republican National Convention (RNC), more than 300 people have been arrested, including at least 120 people for felonies — mostly the notoriously vague charge, "conspiracy to riot."

With no provocation, police have indiscriminately used rubber bullets, concussion grenades, and chemical irritants to disperse crowds and incapacitate protesters. Police appear to be specifically targeting videographers documenting these police abuses. In response, lawyers have filed a federal restraining order against such conduct. By the end of the day today, only 12 people had been arraigned. Many arrestees are refusing to provide identification, in order to call attention to what they consider trumped-up charges and to collectively bargain.

"These tactics are designed to protect the most vulnerable people in jail, and take a page from the history of labor solidarity," said Rick Kelley of Coldsnap Legal Collective, an activist-based legal collective supporting the arrestees. "Based on the vagueness of their charges and the program of police intimidation currently underway, these individuals understand how they will fare if they don't stick together."

The court has been imposing the maximum bail of $2,000 for misdemeanor defendants. In an unusual court decision, Ramsey County Judge Paulette K. Flynn today convicted two minors of criminal contempt for refusing to provide their identity. The two minors were then sentenced to 30 days in an adult jail facility.

"This decision undermines one of the most fundamental human rights concepts in the justice system, to protect the rights and safety of children," said Jordan Kushner, Mass Defense Committee Chair of the National Lawyers Guild's Minnesota chapter, and an attorney for one of the minors. "This shows the willingness of the courts to go to any length, including sacrificing the most important due process rights, to answer to the political pressure to persecute activists."

Many arrestees are also being denied medical attention. One arrestee with hemophilia and another with asthma are being denied their prescription medication. An arrestee with a broken finger is being refused medical care, as is a person who has been coughing up blood. An anemic woman reported to Coldsnap today that she passed out for 20 to 30minutes due to iron deficiency and was told that she could not receive iron because it was a prescription medication, and because she refusedto identify herself. Iron is in fact an over-the-counter supplement. The same anemic woman reported seeing a Sheriff knock another woman to the ground and drag her out of the room by her hair. "Just because people have been jailed does not mean their health should be put in jeopardy,"said Kelley. "This is a matter of compassion and basic human rights."

An unknown number of arrestees are also engaging in a hunger strike to put pressure on the jail to provide needed medical attention for other prisoners. Under Minnesota law, detainees must be released after 36 hours if the court fails to review and affirm probable cause for their charges. This 36-hour period will expire at noon on Wednesday.
________________________________________
Soviet Onion reports:

"This report was released by Coldsnap on Tuesday the 2nd. It's now Thursday the 4th, and protesters are still being held without affirmation of probable cause. In response to the anemic woman's denial of medication, fifty of the other women being held with her have begun a hunger strike in solidarity.

"Coldsnap legal has also reported that within the jail, trans-folk in particular have been denied their phone calls, and are being placed in cells opposite the gender they identify with and in which they do not feel safe.

"In addition, there are unconfirmed reports of ICE agents intimidating detainees with foreign-sounding names."

*What you can do*:

Right now there is a constant 24-hour vigil outside the Ramsey Co. jailhouse at 425 Grove St., St. Paul, near the intersection of Grove and Lafayette St. Despite continuing harassment from riot police outside the jail, friends and allies are providing support and services to their friends and community members as they are released. In order to have a round the clock presence, they need lots of people to go hang out and help out at the jails.

If you are interested in getting on the outtake schedule, please email Lindsey at lindshives@gmail.com. Otherwise, just show up and bring your friends! They'll be there 24 hours...

Out-of-towners can still help put pressure on the assholes responsible by calling their offices and demanding an end to these practices:

1. Immediate medical attention. [Jail staff are reportedly lying about medical attention being given, so don't believe them if they say it has.]

2. Arrestees to be allowed to meet in group(s) with their lawyers.

3. Dismissal of all charges.

4. Release of minors from adult jail.

5. Ensure trans folks have access to phones, attorneys, and are held with the gender group of choice.

*Direct your complaints to*:

Mayor Chris Coleman: (651) 266-8510

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher: (651) 266-9333

Ramsey County Chief Judge Gearin (particularly important due to the courts being late in reviewing their charges): (651) 266-8266

Head of Ramsey County Jail Captain Ryan O'Neil: (651) 266-9350

Make no mistake, these people are political prisoners. Every last one of them should be unconditionally released--immediately. In the meantime, the uniformed thugs arbitrarily detaining these people in iron gulags--financed by the state and local legalized system of theft and plunder--must at the very least cease and desist from meting out any further physical abuses, and should instead insure that these political prisoners unjustly in their custody receive all the medical care they require.

For those of you in the Twin Cities area who may be reading this, please take the time to go down to the Ramsey Co. jailhouse at 425 Grove St. in St. Paul and see what you can do to lend a hand to those who courageously dared to stand up and speak truth to power.

For the rest of us outside the Twin Cities area, let's flood the switchboards of Mayor Coleman's local fiefdom and demand the immediate, unconditional release of these political prisoners.

Agora! Anarchy! Action!

Liberty! Equality! Solidarity!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Stasi Pigs Gas Dissenters in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Here's more footage of the Stasi pigs running riot on the streets of the occupied Twin Cities, mindlessly wreaking violence against those who dare to voice their dissent from the fascist/corporatist/militarist state that presumes itself the Ultimate Authority over our lives.

This incident occurred the evening of Tuesday, September 2nd, at approximately 8 p.m.:



This is how "law and order" is maintained in what we are constantly told is the most free society in the entire world: Uniformed, armed thugs tear gassing people who dare to take to public spaces to express their outrage at the massive injustices perpetrated by the ruling elites who lord over us.

Hoist that flag! Shout it loud, shout it proud: "God bless America!"

Disagreement and dissent from The Program will not be tolerated.

Get with The Program--or get flattened by it. Those are your choices.

Ain't democracy grand?

(Nods to Black Bloke and Rad Geek.)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

World War III, Act I

As anti-Regime protesters give as good they've got on the streets of the Twin Cities--even after as many as 250 of them had been rounded up and terrorized--Justin Raimondo writes that he believes an attack on Iran is now more imminent than ever:
...For months, I've been warning in this space that an American attack on Iran is imminent, and now I see that the Dutch have reason to agree with my assessment. Their intelligence service reportedly has pulled out of a covert operation inside Iran on the grounds that a U.S. strike is right around the corner – in "a matter of weeks," according to De Telegraaf, a Dutch newspaper.

As the story goes, the Dutch had infiltrated the purported Iranian weapons project and were firmly ensconced when they got word that the Americans are about to launch a missile attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. They wisely decided to close down the operation and pull out.

Remember, the Israelis have been
threatening to strike on their own for months: what's changed is that now, apparently, the U.S. has caved in to what is a blatant case of blackmail and has agreed to do the job for them.

We haven't heard much about Iran lately, at least compared to the scare headlines of a few months ago, when rumors of war were swirling fast and furious. The Russian "threat" seems to have
replaced the Iranian "threat" as the War Party's bogeyman of choice. What we didn't know, however, is that the two focal points are intimately related.

According to
this report by veteran Washington Times correspondent Arnaud de Borchgrave, the close cooperation of the Israelis with the Georgian military in the run-up to President Saakashvili's blitz of South Ossetia was predicated on a Georgian promise to let the Israelis use Georgia's airfields to mount a strike against Iran.

The main problem for Tel Aviv, in making its threats against Iran at all credible, has been the distance to be covered by Israeli fighter jets, which would have a hard time reaching and returning from their targets without refueling. With access to the airfields of "the Israel of the Caucasus," as de Borchgrave – citing Saakashvili – puts it, the likelihood of an Israeli attack entered the world of real possibilities. De Borchgrave avers:

"In a secret agreement between Israel and Georgia, two military airfields in southern Georgia had been earmarked for the use of Israeli fighter-bombers in the event of pre-emptive attacks against Iranian nuclear installations. This would sharply reduce the distance Israeli fighter-bombers would have to fly to hit targets in Iran. And to reach Georgian airstrips, the Israeli air force would fly over Turkey.

"The attack ordered by Saakashvili against South Ossetia the night of Aug. 7 provided the Russians the pretext for Moscow to order Special Forces to raid these Israeli facilities where some Israeli drones were reported captured."

Reports of anywhere from 100 to 1,000 Israeli "
advisers" in Georgia do not bode well for the situation on the ground. With the Israelis already installed in that country, the logistics of carrying out such a sneak attack are greatly simplified. Israeli pilots would only have to fly over Azerbaijan, and they'd be in Iranian airspace – and within striking distance of Tehran...
Hopefully, this will all prove to be mere speculation, because the long term consequences of such insanity are just too dire to even contemplate.

This latest news, however, seems all too plausible. With a Republican White House still in charge of waging the ongoing global War of Terror as its designated successor struggles somewhat against his Democratic opponent, the concerned parties may see an attack on Iran as just the ticket to rally the populace behind the GOP.

Yes, I really think they're that crazy.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Occupied Twin Cities

As the Republican Nationalist-Socialism Uber Alles Convention quietly stood down for a day, allegedly out of concern for the people of the storm-stricken Gulf coast, the local Stasi units of the Twin Cities and their masters/overlords dispatched by the Imperial Regime were hard at work busting pre-crime, that is, apprehending and terrorizing various anti-war, anti-fascist and anarchist activists who haven't done a damn thing wrong.

Glenn Greenwald reports:

Following up on this weekend's extreme raids on various homes, at least 250 people were arrested here today in St. Paul, Minnesota. Beginning last night, St. Paul was the most militarized I have ever seen an American city be, even more so than Manhattan in the week of 9/11 -- with troops of federal, state and local law enforcement agents marching around with riot gear, machine guns, and tear gas cannisters, shouting military chants and marching in military formations. Humvees and law enforcement officers with rifles were posted on various buildings and balconies. Numerous protesters and observers were tear gassed and injured...

Perhaps most extraordinarily,
Amy Goodman of Democracy Now -- the radio and TV broadcaster who has been a working journalist for close to 20 years -- was arrested on the street and charged with "conspiracy to riot." Audio of her arrest, which truly shocked and angered the crowd of observers, is here.

I just attended a Press Conference with St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Police Chief John M. Harrington and -- after they boasted of how "restrained" their police actions were -- asked about the journalists and lawyers who had been detained and/or arrested both today and over the weekend. They said they wouldn't give any information about journalists who had been arrested today, though they said they believed that "one journalist" had been, and that she "was seemingly a participant in the riots, not simply a non-participant."

When the local pigs-in-chief claim that Goodman was a "participant" in a riot, what they mean is that she was not so privileged by them to go "marching around with riot gear, machine guns, and tear gas cannisters, shouting military chants and marching in military formations," and indeed had the audacity to protest such blatant fascism. In the bizarre ontology of the hyperstatist/hyperauthoritarian pigs, uniformed thugs going around displaying automatic weapons, bursting into peaceful, innocent people's homes and chanting intimidating, militaristic mantras should be characterized only in the most benevolent, humanitarian terms possible.

Below is video of the dangerous, riotous Amy Goodman being arrested by the armed Stasi patrol. Take particular note of how many armed, jackbooted stormtroopers it takes to apprehend Ms. Goodman as she rampages about the streets of the Twin Cities (a half dozen? Ten? Fifteen?)



"I am blogging now from what can only be called 'The Occupied Twin Cities'," writes Brad Spangler over at Twin Cities Indymedia.
As the Minnesota National Guard marches through the streets of downtown St. Paul tonight in a display reminiscent of the old Soviet May Day parades, those who made it past the mass arrests of the day try to find a place to rest their weary heads and scrub the pepper spray off. Some of these, possibly last remaining, American heroes released a statement today before setting out to impede and resist, as best they could, that which is monstrous — the parasitic political class and the state that serves it.
Spangler interviewed a few of the activists involved and collected first hand testimony of the abuse they've experienced at the hands of the Stasi pigs, so be sure to read the whole thing.

But of course, the continuing devolution of America into a fascist dictatorship pales in comparison to what's really important...

Seeing the Forest Through the Burning Trees

As long as this shit is going on, I frankly don't give a rat's ass about the biological status of Sarah Palin's daughter, whatever it may be.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Crashing the Party in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Brad Spangler is in Minneapolis-St. Paul to assist with the local welcome wagon for the Republican Nationalist-Socialism Uber Alles Convention.

As Spangler himself has pointed out, the local Stasi divisions have been quite busy bursting into the houses of peaceful, politically aware individuals making plans for various protests against the Right Wing of the Two-Winged Beast of Death and Destruction. Some of the would-be protesters have been apprehended by heavily armed, black-clad jackbooted thugs on charges as innocuous as "fire code violations."

You can keep track of Spangler's adventures vis-a-vis his Twitter account, and Twin Cities Indymedia is posting a steady stream of breaking news from the streets.

Tune in for ongoing developments.