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Does anyone know if the article on Imperial State Power in America has any other sources of information? He doesn't explain where he got his information about the eagle stamp or the Ed McMahon infomercial. In fact, it sort of sounds like he's making up a possible future rather than talking about something that's there, but I can't tell for sure. The us postal service didn't have anything about it in their upcoming stamps on their website. He doesn't explain where or how he saw the infomercial. help, please. If this is true it's fucked up, if it's just ranting then indymedia is fucked up for publishing it. thanks.

Please do research 31.May.2002 15:19

Patrick Ångstrom Poore

The world is scary enough as it is. Can we please not discredit IMC any further by posting hysterical, undocumented pseudo news?

The stamp is real. And creepy. buy it now on the USPS website!


click on "stamps by rate" --> "additional postage"

And you, MR. IMC feature writer, posting all this doomsday stuff, I demand to know your name and social security number! (snicker)

i agree 31.May.2002 15:23


I agree with you: where did he get his info? If it is true, it's really fucked up. If it's not, then Portland IMC has done a disservice by posting it.

The only thing I found regarding the public service announcements so far is this one:


It does have Ed McMahon in it, and it's for Neighborhood Watch. However, it isn't the PSA which was described in the article.

The following link is to a news conference that both McMahon and Ashcroft participated in on March 6, 2002. It talks about an ad campaign, but doesn't give that many details. Those present watched some of them.


State Power, Facism in U.S. 31.May.2002 15:32


I had the same thoughts as the prior post and did some research. Can't confirm it all and I suspect
some is exaggerated, but the stamp is chillingly real and can be found on the USPS website:

 link to shop.usps.com

Then I tried to find some Waffen SS symbols and they weren't "exactly the same" as the author
asserts, but these guys were clearly into eagles with squared off wings.

I don't watch much TV, but I did find evidence that Ed McMahon has promoted the Neighborhood
Watch program and introduced John Ashcroft at speaking engagements. Some of the programs
on the Homeland Security site do look like what is being described although with a "friendly"
face on the official sites.

my bad 31.May.2002 22:00


i am responsible for failing to research the article enough. . .especially on such an emotionally charged story. . .i had heard a number of people talk about it, and was hurrying off to the friday rally so i only did a cursory search to see that the stamp was real, learned that Ed McMahon is the official national spokesperson for Neighborhood Watch and that there were other sites with similar stories and then ran with it

the stamp is real and can be found here

 link to shop.usps.com

Ed McMahon is the official spokesperson, and appeared with John Ashcroft at a meeting with 300 Neighborhood Watch representatives. Ashcroft has added watching for suspicious activity on behalf of homeland security as a mission of Neighborhood Watch and given $2 million in funding. McMahon has also done 4 tv spots, but none of them are as described in the Al Martin article.

Actual existing commercial

"Every community should be on guard against suspicious activity, even the activity of potential terrorists," Ashcroft he told the crowd gathered there. "While our brave men and women in our military work to defeat terrorists overseas, we have the opportunity ...to make a difference here at home."

There are a number of articles online describing the same things, but looking closer i learned that they all reference the Al Martin article as a source and some have started disappearing.

It also turns out that the stamp is not an exact duplicate of a Waffen SS eagle symbol as Martin claims, and is not that close either, though the style is similar and the stamp does clearly represent state power and domination in the same manner and is still a scary thing.

Al Martin is also accurate that communities can buy $27 dollar homeland security signs for their neighborhoods and the police of Olympis Washington are one of the big purchasers recently.

Neighborhood Watch also does wear orange hats like Martin describes, however, i could not find mention of the armbands, so that is not true. . .yet anyway

a few websites on neighborhood watch and citizen coperation with state security





It was a mistake not to check closer, and that is my responsibility. It is unfortunate too, because the stamp is real, and what is happening around the country and in Neighborhood Watch is scary and there is no need to exagerate and fabricate as Al Martin did and which i inadvertantly facilitated. Though his story is misleading in fact, it is pointing to something that is happening for real in this country. i apologize and will not get lazy about checking sources again.

This also highlights the beauty and strength of indymedia. The indy readership quickly questioned the story, and people did their own research and added links which were posted in the comments and linked to the feature. Though this was inadvertant, if someone tried to misrepresent a story, this shows how strong the peoples media can be, and once again how the newswire is the heart and soul of indymedia.


wow 01.Jun.2002 01:56

regular reader

The article sounded a little fishy to me, too, and then I read this post with all the extra research. wow. it was great that everyone went out and dug the stuff up. indymedia rocks! you can't correct a Boregonian article right on their website like this!

Al Martin burned me, too 01.Jun.2002 13:26

Jody Paulson

Only a few days ago I reposted an article of his where Don Rumsfeld was quoted in a press release as saying, "those who ask questions could face government charges"
(  http://dc.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=23614&group=webcast ) precisely because I was so outraged by that quote. Then people started doing research on it, and what do you know, the quote didn't turn up in any DoD press releases. I sure learned my lesson. From now on, if I'm going to make a big deal out of a quote, I'd better have a date and source associated with it too. And no more repostings of Al Martin! And yes, Indymedia rocks.

Nazi eagle...seems pretty darn close! 01.Jun.2002 15:52

Fuck fascism

Pretty darn close...
Nazi eagle...seems pretty darn close!
Nazi eagle...seems pretty darn close!

Appreciative Thanks 01.Jun.2002 15:56

Patrick Angstrom Poore

Thanks for the extra research, Deva. It was very well done.

In my opinion, one strong way that indymedia can be relevant is by providing an accurate indicator of the problems that confront us. We don't necessarily need "true" content, but an indicator of something that demands immediate attention.

We suffer, in the US, as much from too much information as we do from "biased" information. The "truth", depending on who you are, is out there already. Somewhere. In that ocean of information. We're probably fucking drowning in truth.

IMC could provide progressives and other people who resist the imperialist white supremecist capitalist patriarchy* (IWSCP) with a way to filtering out the static. Don't get me wrong... I don't think anything should be censored. But, if I want to know what moves the IWSCP - especially locally - it would be nice to have a place to start.

I know that just a few people - fewer than 5 - write the vast majority of the features. It's the same pyramidal structure we see repeated everywhere. If we're going to have a small features group, I think they should really focus on MEATY CONTENT and boatloads of documentation. 100 weak blows to the status quo is nowhere as valuable as 1 or 2 knockout punches. I do like that the features page updates a lot... but it would be cool if more meat was attached to fewer features, allowing us to really grasp the forces that are moving our world toward the brink of oblivion.

I also think that features writers should post their name - to take responsibility for what they write, and to let people know exactly how few people are posting features. Anybody can scream behind a screen.

*black feminist socialist theorist bell hooks

hi pat 02.Jun.2002 12:25


<<<I know that just a few people - fewer than 5 - write the vast majority of the features. It's the same pyramidal structure we see repeated everywhere.>>>

disagree it is pyramidal because you can simply start writing features. . .anyone can . . .there is no barrier erected. . .someone can walk in tomorrow, and immediately be a prolific feature writer. . .it is horizontal

what those of us who write features are doing, is making any local, original newswire content into a feature. . .this way it is not a few people deciding what stories get up as features. . .it is moving closer to the roots of indymedia. . .which is the newswire

if someone, say you, wrote a well researched story and posted it to the newswire, then it will be a feature. . .

so what we are saying is. . .it is up to the readers, to also be creators. . .it is up to you (and all the other yous) to write the in-depth features you want to see, and to determine the quality of the content. . .

it is my thought, that if i only write in-depth features myself, then it does not encourage others to write/research. . .then it will always remain a few people

myself, i am writing as many in-depth features as ever. . .got a few in the works. . .however, i am also, along with the other folks, making sure anyone who takes the time to write original material, is recognized

while a number of indymedia centers are turning towards censorship as the basis of improving the site, i firmly disagree that this is a good approach. . .openness requires more work and more faith, and so it is easy to choose the path of censorship. . .by highlighting original content, we are choosing an approach of positive feedback, rather than negative. . .openness rather than censorship

it is starting to bear fruit

hello yellow journalism 03.Jun.2002 11:57

don't ruin it for the rest

let's hope that this lesson is well learned from before we see any more suggestions that Portland IMC is going off the "deep end" or before it gets demoted to tabloid status. danke schen.

more about features 04.Jun.2002 01:18

Jeremy David Stolen fellowtraveler@riseup.net

hey Pat -- just wanted to mention that the vast majority of features lately have been cut and pasted from the newswire, with a simple intro like, "From the open publishing newswire". So, we feature-uploaders haven't been writing anything. We've just been excerpting and calling attention to newswire items.

i think we should make the distinction between feature-uploading and reporting. they are two different things. feature-uploading is a mostly mechanical process. find a "good" newswire item -- upload it, maybe link to some previous coverage on the same issue or some related issues. Done.

reporting is what you're talking about when you make the request for meatier stories. it is my hope that by uploading so many features based on people's newswire posts, that we will get more posts, and meatier ones too. this IMC needs more people posting more than it needs anything else. there's still lots of stuff that happens that never gets reported here. i know you encourage people to post -- keep it up !! And when I can, I try to do substantial reporting myself. but there's only so many hours in the day, and lately i've been having more fun cruising the newswire and highlighting other people's work.

as for becoming a features-uploader, we've been BEGGING people to join the team for over a year now. for some reason, it's hard to find people to do it. the last thing in the world we want to do is be hierarchical or exclusive. are you kidding? it's too much work for a small number of people to keep this page up !! if you could help us figure out why feature-uploading seems so intimidating to people, that would be great. (This is a problem at other IMCs too. In Seattle, it's basically 1 person, and he is always trying to get more, too. don't know what the deal is.)

If you want to become a features-uploader, write to  imc-portland-editorial@indymedia.org and inquire. Training is free.

Al Martin 17.May.2004 13:04


The stamp was first introduced during the Clinton administration, albeit with a different color scheme. The eagle is supposed to be reminiscent of the "Works Progress Adminstration" eagle used by the Roosevelt administration back in the 30's. Martin claims that he identifies the color of the stamp using something called "Moh's Color Chart;" I work in printing and have never heard of such a chart. There is, however, a "Moh's scale," which is used to determine the relative hardness of minerals. It has no connection with color, though.

Of note should be the fact that in other essays, Martin claims the that the U.S. Army is selling "experimental fusion weapons" to Communist Chinese arms dealers; said fusion weapons are handheld, and can demolish a pick-up truck at a distance of 100 yards.