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EPIC is a public interest research center in Washington, DC. EPIC was established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging privacy and civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, freedom of expression, and democratic values in the information age. EPIC pursues a wide range of program activities including policy research, public education, conferences, litigation, publications, and advocacy. EPIC routinely files amicus briefs in federal courts, pursues open government cases, defends consumer privacy, organizes conferences for NGOs, and speaks before Congress and judicial organizations about emerging privacy and civil liberties issues. EPIC works closely with a distinguished advisory board, with expertise in law, technology and public policy. EPIC maintains one of the most popular privacy web sites in the world - epic.org.
Below is the announcement posted 8.14.18 by the Portland Police about the
policies ("Directives") they are reviewing and on which they are seeking
public input. The community has 15 days to comment on the current
Immigration Enforcement policy, and 30 days to comment on their
Poems to those who have held the Archimedes lever and changed the world
August 15th, 2018
I've recently received fundraising letters from Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Chuck Schumer on behalf of their Democratic Party's campaign committees. Mostly, all they ask for is money, though Schumer's letter includes a short tough letter to President Trump for us to sign which they promise to deliver to the White House.
Although politicians review and sign fundraising letters, rarely do they write them. That lucrative task is left to political consulting firms that also profitably consult for corporations. That's why the letters are so formulaic.
August 14th, 2018
The decision by Democrat party president Harry Truman to bomb the cities of Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on the 9th with the newly developed nuclear weapon signaled to the world that the U.S. was prepared to use military force to back up its new-found position as the leader of the Western colonial-capitalist powers, now referred to as the "Western alliance." The main audience for that grotesque display of racist violence in 1945 was the Soviet Union but some 73 years later, militarism and war continue to be the central instruments of U.S. foreign policy.
This is the lesson we must stress continually as the public is being subjected to a constant barrage of incitements to support the use of military force by the U.S state against a growing array of enemies and potential enemies from Russia and China to Iran and the never-ending war on terror. Working-class and poor people must oppose war in part because they are the expendable cannon fodder used to advance ruling-class dominance under the banner of protecting the "national interests," which are really only those of the economic elites. Fighting for those interests means killing poor and working-class people in other parts of the world.
Capitalism is winning to death. The exit from the overheated machine of capitalism represents an enormous challenge. We cannot avoid the question about common property in the search for social alternatives. Can greater social equality be achieved without changing property relations?
Profit-maximization as an end-in-itself is irrational. Short-term practical constraints overshadow long-term necessities and inclusive system alternatives. How can the economy be future-friendly?
by Tracy Mapes
SACRAMENTO,Ca-Hypothesis: Based upon all observations I have made over the last 9 years, the U.S. Government along with private security forces have implemented a program of Human destruction on a before unheard of scale. SNAP recipients, Homeless, Indigent, and anyone forced into that type of societal situation through un-natural interference in their lives, may be a Target.
Presidents misusing power may even be strengthened by the impeachment process. A Senate delegation convinced Nixon to resign in August 1974. He did everything wrong and fought everyone including the media. Power can corrupt and reveal. We have a spineless Congress which makes our plight perilous. Is impeachment talk the best messaging? While impeachment talk may be dangerous, impeachment thinking is indispensable. Is American democracy in peril? Has Trump broken the law?
The former head the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server, has raised more than $200,000 dollars for his own legal defense within 24 hours of his being terminated (by order of FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich) from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Strzok has also registered an anti-Trump Twitter account.
Strzok has admitted that the 'piss dossier' on then-candidate Donald Trump came to the FBI via Nellie Ohr, wife of senior Obama administration Justice Department official Bruce Ohr; she worked for Fusion GPS, the firm that retained former UK spy Christopher Steele to produce the dossier. Steele continued to send emails and text messages of information to Mr. Ohr at the U.S. Department of Justice, in late 2016 after the FBI had cut ties with Steele.
A smart and funny retired mental health professional I know is a proud liberal Democrat. She cites reports and stories showing that Trump is a bully, an authoritarian, a cheater, a parasite and a liar, among other terrible things. She gets it that both Trump and the Republican Party are supremely dangerous enemies of the people.
But she, too, is mired in delusions—mistakes and hallucinations common on the other side of America's tribal and binary major-party partisan divide. For all her savviness and smarts, she can't or won't process the simple fact that the dismal, dollar-drenched Democratic Party put Trump in the White House and handed Congress and most of the nation's state governments over to Trump and the Republican Party by functioning as a corporate-captive Inauthentic Opposition Party that refuses to fight for working people, the poor, minorities and the causes of peace, social justice and environmental sanity.
Tell her that Barack Obama and Bill Clinton were "Wall Street presidents" (an easily and widely documented assertion) and she screws her face up. She doesn't want to hear it. She wants to believe something that stopped being even remotely true at least four decades ago: that the Democratic Party is the party of the people.
As the primaries have taken place this year, the left historian and journalist Terry Thomas writes me, "the establishment Dems are stridently going after the progressives. Just watch MSNBC's coverage of elections. They're advancing the 'out of the mainstream' line, implying that the few progressive-types who won are ruining the party and setting the stage for the Republicans to retain the House in the fall."
August 10, 2018
"Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech."
― Benjamin Franklin
What a mess.
As America has become ever more polarized, and those polarized factions have become more militant and less inclined to listen to—or even allow for the existence of—other viewpoints, we are fast becoming a nation of people who just can't get along.
Here's the thing: if Americans don't learn how to get along—at the very least, agreeing to disagree and respecting each other's right to subscribe to beliefs and opinions that may be offensive, hateful, intolerant or merely different—then we're going to soon find that we have no rights whatsoever (to speak, assemble, agree, disagree, protest, opt in, opt out, or forge our own paths as individuals).
In such an environment, when we can't agree to disagree, the bullies (on both sides) win and freedom suffers.
Intolerance, once the domain of the politically correct and self-righteous, has been institutionalized, normalized and politicized.
Even those who dare to defend speech that may be unpopular or hateful as a constitutional right are now accused of "weaponizing the First Amendment."
On college campuses across the country, speakers whose views are deemed "offensive" to some of the student body are having their invitations recalled or cancelled, being shouted down by hecklers, or forced to hire costly security details. As The Washington Postconcludes, "College students support free speech—unless it offends them."
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Happy reading and happy research!
9 months ago
Is Antifa authoritarian?
Just to be clear, I'm completely antifascist and I understand the antifas view on self-defence as necessary against fascists and nazis.
But I'm not sure I agree, because the way many Antifa supporters reason is much alike the way the the Stalinist Soviet Union reasoned during the WWII. Many Antifa supporters even refers to how important the Soviet was to winning the war to justify their own violence against fascists. As I understand most of the founders of the Antifa movement was also communist (pro-Soviet that is).
Using a method of oppressive violence against fascists to suppress their position is much alike the methods used in the Soviet to suppress anarchists for example. So I'd say that oppressive violence is kind of essential to authoritarian thinking.
Surely some of you should have thought about this, so I'm asking: what do you think?
EDIT: To be extra clear: Antifa is NOT an organized group with opinions and rules. I want to understand the culture inside, just that.
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When Rodrigo Duterte won the presidency in 2016, some even among the left toyed early on with the idea that a "maverick" president could just be what the country needed to stir things up, and jolt us from almost 30 years of elite-dominated rule.
In early July, the Compliance Officer/Community Liaison (COCL)*-1
released a report on the Portland Police Bureau's progress regarding
changes to Use of Force training, policy and implementation (posted at
). Remarkably, through a series of tables and charts, the COCL comes to
the scientific conclusion that community members have known by
observation for years: African Americans, Latinos, youth and houseless
persons have more force used against them than other Portlanders.
November 30, 2016
Image by Nathaniel St. Clair
Last week, the Washington Post published a scurrilous piece by a heretofore obscure technology reporter named Craig Timberg, alleging without the faintest evidence that Russian intelligence was using more than 200 independent news sites to pump out pro-Putin and anti-Clinton propaganda during the election campaign.
Under the breathless headline, "Russian propaganda effort helped spread 'fake news' during election, experts say," Timberg concocted his story based on allegations from a vaporous group called ProporNot, run by nameless individuals of unknown origin, whom Timberg (cribbing from the Bob Woodward stylesheet) agreed to quote as anonymous sources.
ProporNot's catalogue of supposed Putin-controlled outlets reeks of the McCarthyite smears of the Red Scare era. The blacklist includes some of the most esteemed alternative news sites on the web, including Anti-war.com, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig, Naked Capitalism, Consortium News, Truthout, Lew Rockwell.com, Global Research, Unz.com, Zero Hedge and, yes, CounterPunch, among many others. I'll have more on Timberg and ProporNot in my Friday column.
In the meantime, here is a brief historical note on how at the height of the Cold War the CIA developed it's very own stable of writers, editors and publishers (swelling to as many as 3000 individuals) that it paid to scribble Agency propaganda under a program called Operation Mockingbird. The disinformation network was supervised by the late Philip Graham, former publisher of Timberg's very own paper, the Washington Post.
Featuring Jo Ann Hardesty and Loretta Smith
Forum Moderator: Tricia Tillman, former Director of Multnomah County Public Health
6 p.m. doors; 7 p.m.
A weekly 30 minute review of international news and opinion, recorded from a shortwave radio and the internet. With times, frequencies, and websites for listening at home. 3 files- Highest quality broadcast, regular broadcast, and slow-modem streaming. NHK Japan, Radio Havana Cuba, Sputnik Radio, and Radio Deutsche-Welle.
On an elegant dead-end block on the north side of San Francisco's Telegraph Hill is 225 Chestnut St., a swanky modernist building with panoramic bay views. It's about the last place you would have expected to find a clandestine CIA program during the Cold War.
Yet from 1955 to 1965, this building was the site of "Operation Midnight Climax" — a top-secret mind-control program in which CIA agents used hookers to lure unsuspecting johns from North Beach bars to what they called "the pad," then dosed the men with LSD and observed the X-rated goings-on through a two-way mirror while sitting on a portable toilet swilling martinis.
As John Marks notes in his 1977 book, "The Search for the 'Manchurian Candidate': The CIA and Mind Control," the CIA's obsession with mind control had its origins during World War II, when the agency's predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services, set up a "truth drug" program whose purpose was to discover a substance that would make subjects reveal their secrets.
The drug of choice was a concentrated liquid form of marijuana. The first field test in 1943 was administered to a New York mobster by George White, a tough-guy OSS captain who had been an agent in the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. The results were promising — White's sidekick said "every (subject) but one — and he didn't smoke — gave us more information than we had before" — but ultimately inconclusive.
The US Senate approved the National Defense Authorization Act, a blueprint for $708 billion in Pentagon spending, voting Wednesday by a margin of 87-10. Forty-six Republicans were joined by 41 Democrats in approving the bill, which now goes to the White House for President Trump's signature.
The 41-8 split in the Democratic Party caucus in the Senate was determined partly by political positioning. Those Democrats who are testing the waters for a presidential run and aim to strike a "left" posture for the 2020 primary campaign opposed the military spending bill: Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand and Jeff Merkley.
All the Democratic senators seeking reelection this year in states carried by Trump in 2016 voted in favor of the military spending bill, and will undoubtedly feature it in their election campaign ads as proof of their desire to "work with the president." These include Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Jon Tester of Montana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Bill Nelson of Florida.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and virtually every other Democrat in the Senate voted for the record military spending without electoral calculations playing any role. They are just as ardent supporters of American imperialism as the Republicans, and demonstrated that in their votes. In this they were following the example of House Democrats, who backed the Pentagon authorization bill by a landslide margin, 139-49.
Paul L. Williams is the author of 'Operation Gladio: The Unholy Alliance Between the Vatican, the CIA, and the Mafia' (2015, Prometheus Books).
Operation Gladio is the codename for a clandestine North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) "stay-behind" operation in Europe during the Cold War. Its purpose was to prepare for, and implement, armed resistance in the event of a Warsaw Pact invasion and conquest. The name Gladio is the Italian form of gladius, a type of Roman shortsword. Although Gladio specifically refers to the Italian branch of the NATO stay-behind organizations, "Operation Gladio" is used as an informal name for all of them. Stay-behind operations were prepared in many NATO member countries, and some neutral countries.
The role of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Gladio and the extent of its activities during the Cold War era, along with relationship to terrorist attacks perpetrated in Italy during the "Years of Lead" (late 1960s to early 1980s) are subjects of continuing investigation. Switzerland and Belgium have had parliamentary inquiries into the matter.
A former East Bay college philosophy professor who was charged with four counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon, causing great bodily injury, has taken a deal resulting in three years of probation, 30 hours community service, and a fine of $250 for an attack at a Berkeley protest last year, court records reveal.
Alameda County Superior Court records show that Clanton entered a "no contest" plea Wednesday to one misdemeanor battery charge. The felony charges against him were dismissed, and an allegation that he had caused serious bodily injury was stricken. A misdemeanor charge that Clanton wore a mask during the commission of the crime also was dropped.
Clanton's three years of probation begin Wednesday and last through Aug. 8, 2021.
Police said, previously, that Clanton attacked at least three people with a metal U-lock during the April 15 rally in and around Civic Center Park. Court papers later revealed that Clanton struck at least seven people in the head, according to authorities. One person received a head laceration that required five staples to fix. Another was uninjured but had a piece of a helmet broken off. A third was struck across the neck and back, police wrote.
Police wrote that they had found evidence last year during a search of Clanton's home in San Leandro linking him to "Anti-Fascists and Anarchy political groups," according to court papers. He was not home when police arrived, so officers moved to a second address in West Oakland where they said they found flags, patches and pamphlets "associating Clanton" with antifa and anarchist groups. Investigators arrested Clanton there.
Detectives said they "recovered U-locks, sunglasses, a glove, jeans, and facial coverings" consistent with items worn during the April 15 assaults, according to court documents. And a camera found at the San Leandro home contained "selfies" taken by Clanton, police said, "with him wearing black clothing and facial coverings" consistent with April 15.
A man arrested at a makeshift compound in New Mexico where 11 children and the remains of a boy were found was training the children to commit school shootings, according to court documents.
Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, the father of a missing Georgia boy, was conducting weapons training at the squalid compound in the northern part of the state, documents filed in 8th judicial district court in Taos County court on Wednesday say, citing the foster parent of one of the 11 children.
Authorities discovered the squalid compound in Amalia last Friday during a search for Wahhaj's son, a 3-year-old who went missing 8 months ago from Jonesboro, Georgia. Wahhaj was the prime suspect.
Eight members of the Taos County Sheriff's Office converged on the residence in Amalia, described by authorities as a "makeshift compound" surrounded by tires and an earthen berm that had no electricity or running water, after securing a warrant to search the remote property for the missing 3-year-old boy. They rescued 11 children, ages 1 to 15, after an armed standoff with one of two men who have now been arrested.
The Joint Analytic Real-time Virtual Information Sharing System - JARVISS - is the Army's solution for quickly sharing unclassified threat information across the Army. JARVISS is based in a cloud environment and works to integrate complex, open source and commercial data into pieces of information for the Army to both share and report.
Capitalism is not "the end of history" as the American Francis Fukuyama postulated in 1992. The system question is open! Nothing raises the system question as clearly as capital itself. The economy should be re-embedded in society. What seems rational in micro-economics collides with the irrationality of maximizing profits as an end-in-itself. Capitalist elements could be implemented in a socialist economy. A paradigm shift is necessary.
On the Cheap.
"The union is essentially a puppet for the company"
Sean, a 32-year-old part-time UPS warehouse worker of 12 years, described the exploitative conditions for UPS workers at his Tennessee facility, the abuse and harassment of workers by management, and the complicity of the Teamsters union in facilitating continuous inroads into workers' conditions.
The four-year contract covering a quarter-million UPS workers expired on July 31. The Teamsters union announced an extension of the contract on July 10, the same day it released its proposed contract, which among other attacks maintains poverty-level wages for part-time workers and creates a second-tier position to replace full-time drivers.
Sean lives in a major city in Tennessee with his wife, who is pregnant, and their baby son. His salary is the family's sole source of income. Conditions are difficult. The family does not have a budget because "at this point we know my paychecks will never be enough," Sean said. "I do what I can at UPS and see how much we are short, and then see what other work I can find."
Sean began working at UPS when he was 19 years old. His stepfather was a bricklayer. He is proud of the fact that he has worked since he was 15 years old while in high school and has provided everything for himself through his own labor. His first jobs were as a cashier and food prep at Taco Bell, Food City and Wendy's fast food chains, and at a local carwash doing detailing and vacuuming. He started working at UPS on the midnight shift in his first year of college. He was sleeping two or three hours a day and missing classes regularly, so he had no choice but to leave school after his first semester.
3 August 2018
The bottom 40 percent of households in the United States have an average net pre-tax income of negative $11,660 a year, according to a new report by Reuters.
The report, "Poorer Americans Buckling as US Economy Booms," published July 23 and written by lead author Jonathan Spicer, exposes how life really is for most Americans in the midst of the supposedly booming economy. While the official unemployment rate is low and growth rates are rising, the reality is that the working class is stretched to its limit, relying heavily on borrowing and working two or more low-wage jobs to survive.
The report's data shows that the bottom two quintiles of households make, on average, $11,587 and $29,414 a year in pre-tax income, respectively. Their expenses, meanwhile, are $26,144 and $38,187, respectively. This means that the bottom quintile has an average net loss of $14,557 a year and the next quintile a loss of $8,773, prior to taxes.
How is it that the bottom 40 percent of households are losing, on average, well over $10,000 every year?
August 3, 2018
On August 7th, 1970 Jonathan Jackson took out a couple guns in the Marin County Courthouse and attempted to free members of the Soledad Brothers (revolutionary prisoners falsely accused of killing a prison guard) who were on trial in the courtroom. The defendants joined Jackson in taking the judge and others hostage, commandeering a prison van. When they tried to leave the courthouse, they were gunned down in a hail of bullets. A little more than a year later, Jonathan's older brother, author and Black Panther George Jackson was murdered by guards in the yard at San Quentin prison, not far from where his brother was killed the year before. These two events provide a vivid glimpse at the nature of the revolutionary movement in the United States at the time. The groundswell of support for the Jacksons and those accused of helping them proves the breadth of that movement.
The attempt to free George Jackson in August 1970 occurred during a six month period in the US that began with the US military invasion of Cambodia on April 30, 1970. Those six months were a time when, according to author George Katsiaficas in his book The Imagination of the New Left: A Global Analysis of 1968 was closer to revolution than at any other time in modern history. Katsiaficas' text, recently revised and republished in 2018, is not a conventional leftist analysis of the period. Nor is it a liberal or conservative take.
Instead, Katsiaficas presents his idea of a phenomenon he calls the "eros effect." Put succinctly, this phenomenon (and here I borrow Katsiaficas words)
The JBLM Force Protection Division - AntiTerrorism - has declared Antifa to be a domestic terrorist organization that "creates violent confrontation" and poses a danger to military personnel.
3 August 2018
One year ago, workers and young people throughout the world were horrified by a neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Nazis held torch-lit parades, chanted "Jews will not replace us," gave the Nazi salute, flew flags with swastikas, and marched in Ku Klux Klan uniforms. One of the fascists rammed a car into a counter-demonstration, murdering one woman and injuring 35 others.
Earlier this year, the organizers of the August 12, 2017 Charlottesville rally, known as "Unite the Right," announced a plan to hold another demonstration on its anniversary, this time in Washington D.C. In response, over a dozen left-wing organizations and dozens of prominent individuals, including whistleblower Chelsea Manning, called a counter-protest on the same day.
As part of a campaign to block what it called "divisive," "violent," and "extremist" activity, Facebook, working in conjunction with US intelligence agencies, announced Tuesday that it had blocked not the Nazi rally, but an event page for the demonstration protesting it.
Facebook justified its action by declaring that the counter-protest was set up by a group that showed signs of "inauthentic activity," a claim that it backed up with neither details nor evidence.
The No Unite the Right 2 - DC rally removed by Facebook
The statements accompanying Facebook's action make clear that the blocking of the counter-demonstration is a deliberate effort to repress and criminalize left-wing political views, setting a far-reaching and dangerous precedent.
this is an excerpt of part of the transcript from Noam Chomsky's 27 July 2018 appearance on DemocracyNow! —
Amy Goodman's interview with Chomsky was broken in to four parts. The excerpt below is from 'Part 4: Noam Chomsky on Mass Media Obsession with Russia & the Stories Not Being Covered in the Trump Era'.
August 3, 2018
The election of Donald Trump fractured the American Left. The abandonment of class analysis in response to Mr. Trump's racialized nationalism left identity politics to fill the void. This has facilitated the rise of neoliberal nationalism, an embrace of the national security state combined with neoliberal economic analysis put forward as a liberal / Left response to Mr. Trump's program. The result has been profoundly reactionary.
What had been unfocused consensus around issues of economic justice and ending militarism has been sharpened into a political program. A nascent, self-styled socialist movement is pushing domestic issues like single payer health care, strengthening the social safety net and reversing wildly unbalanced income and wealth distribution, forward. Left unaddressed is how this program will move forward without a revolutionary movement to act against countervailing forces.
As widely loathed as the Democratic establishment is, it has been remarkably adept at engineering a reactionary response in favor of establishment forces. Its demonization of Russia! has been approximately as effective at fomenting reactionary nationalism as Mr. Trump's racialized version. Lest this be overlooked, the strategy common to both is the use of oppositional logic through demonization of carefully selected 'others.'
This points to the most potent fracture on the Left, the question of which is the more effective reactionary force, the Democrats' neoliberal nationalism or Mr. Trump's racialized version? As self-evident as the answer apparently is to the liberal / Left, it is only so through abandonment of class analysis. Race, gender and immigration status are either subsets of class or the concept loses meaning.
Monday, July 30, 2018
Credit: Associated Press
FILE - In this file July 7, 2016, photo then-FBI Director James Comey testifies before the House Oversight Committee to discuss Hillary Clinton's email investigation, at the Capitol in Washington.
Our media's valiant efforts to distract us notwithstanding, information continues to seep out that underscores how badly a housecleaning is needed in Washington, D.C.
Last week saw the release of the applications used to obtain warrants from the FISA court to spy on Carter Page, an adviser to the Trump presidential campaign. Obtained by Judicial Watch, the 400-plus pages of (heavily redacted) documents support the conclusions earlier drawn by the House Intelligence Committee (and denounced by Democrats as hysteria): the FISA warrants were obtained through obfuscation and deceit.
As various commentators predicted would be proven, the bulk of the information that formed the basis for the FISA warrant applications was the "dossier" of allegations about Donald Trump's activities in Russia. This dossier was provided to the FBI by British spy Christopher Steele. Steele was hired during the 2016 presidential campaign by opposition research firm Fusion GPS, who was paid by Hillary Clinton's law firm Perkins Coie, who was paid by the Clinton campaign and the DNC. The allegations were scandalous and completely unverified, in violation of federal statutes and FISA court rules.
In other words, the FBI used oppo research paid for by the Democrats as justification for government spying on a political opponent and other Americans.
A weekly 30 minute review of international news and opinion, recorded from a shortwave radio and the internet. With times, frequencies, and websites for listening at home. 3 files- Highest quality broadcast, regular broadcast, and slow-modem streaming. Spanish National Radio, Radio Havana Cuba, Sputnik Radio, and NHK Japan.
A federal judge on Thursday dismissed two separate lawsuits against Fox News over its coverage of Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee staff member who was murdered in July 2016, ruling that the suits failed to state a claim.
The legal actions were filed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. One, filed by Rich's parents, claimed that Fox News intentionally tried to inflict emotional distress. The other was filed by a private detective, Rod Wheeler, alleging defamation.
"Each of Plaintiffs' claims fail to adequately allege essential elements of the causes of action asserted," Judge George B. Daniels wrote in his ruling on the Riches' lawsuit. "Accordingly, Plaintiffs' complaint is dismissed in its entirety."
Joel and Mary Rich, the parents of Seth Rich, filed the lawsuit earlier this year over a report published by Fox News in May 2017 suggesting federal investigators had evidence that their son leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks weeks before he was shot in Washington's Bloomingdale neighborhood.
Wheeler also filed a suit over the Fox News story, which used Wheeler's comments that Seth Rich's death was linked to WikiLeaks' release of DNC emails.
Today Apple became the first US company to top a market valuation of $1 trillion.
As a leading smartphone manufacturer particularly in the United States, Apple is the primary platform and hardware surveillance tool for the NSA, CIA and FBI to spy on citizens.
Of course, consumers and citizens themselves are also complicit in surveillance by not only purchasing/leasing the mobile devices to begin with, but also as willing members and participants in social media such as Facebook, Twitter and many others.
Thanks to the iPhone's portability and ubiquitous popularity (with new versions continuously developed and embraced by consumers) the NSA's goal for total surveillance is complete.
The New York Times this week defended the racist tweets of one of its writers by claiming that she was just using the tactics of her opponents, a defense regularly used by alt-right members to rationalize racism.
Socio-economic class issues trumps identity politics: In every 20th century U.S. election, the ruling class has always won regardless of party or candidate, and 2016 is no exception. Among the middle and working classes that voted in 2016 Trump is an indicator of the triumph of the working and lower middle class over the upper middle, and middle class right wing liberals who voted for Clinton II. Of course Republicans have been elected partly by the working class before. However, when the working class voted for Republicans in those past elections they campaigned on the usual cultural issues of religion, family and gender. In 2016 Trump hardly appealed to traditional conservative issues. Of course he appealed to the white working class around ethnic prejudice (Mexicans) and religion (Islam); but his biggest appeal was the prospect of jobs; that is, economic appeal. When was the last time a Republican candidate won an election appealing to the economic interests of the working class? Isn't providing jobs supposed to be what the Democratic Party does? If this doesn't convince you that the Democratic Party is anti-working class, I don't know what will. But the Democratic Party is not the only group that is anti-working class.
Liberals, social democrats and many anarchists who embrace identity politics view the election results as proof that the American working class is racist, sexist and against Islam. To some extent this may be true; but in a talk given in New York the day after the election, Marxian economist Richard Wolff pointed out that in most of the counties that voted for Trump, these same people voted for Obama in 2008. Meaning that the same working class people liberals and social democrats label as racist voted for an African-American president. If social class is any indicator, these working class people switched from Obama to Trump because Obama's administration actually made economic life worse for them, as it did for the poor and the middle class.
April 24, 2018
Despite the reality of ever-increasing economic despair - including, and perhaps especially, for minorities - no one is willing to talk about class and economic issues. This is especially true among the so-called new left, which is more concerned with identity issues than class and politico-economic analysis. But lacking a larger analysis of the politico-economic system, identity politics is little more than a diversion and distraction from the larger issues that plague us all; and a convenient tool for the global establishment.
"The poverty of our century is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied... but written off as trash."
- John Berger
"It's the Economy, Stupid"
Rather than address the larger issues that plague the majority of people (including minorities), we are distracted by the spectacle of identity politics and stifled by a liberal political correctness that imposes "tolerance" in a manner that actually limits freedom of thought and expression while serving the global establishment.
The destruction of structural steel from the World Trade Center towers this evidence is widely known about, but many are unaware of who actually carried it out. For example, some mistakenly believe the evidence was destroyed by FEMA, the government agency that conducted the first investigation.
Indeed, the public record establishes very clearly that the destruction of evidence was deliberate and was carried out in direct defiance of requests by official investigators for the steel to be saved. This destruction of evidence then continued for several months, despite outcry by 9/11 families and members of the fire safety community.
The record also identifies four individuals who were most responsible for ordering and carrying out the recycling of the steel: Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Kenneth Holden, DDC Deputy Commissioner Michael Burton, and cleanup advisor Richard Tomasetti of Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers.
August 1st, 2018
For decades and longer, the United States and Europe lectured and encouraged countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia to welcome and accept foreign investment as the virtuous path to modernization, growth and prosperity.
With few notable exceptions western leaders and academics promoted unlimited flows of capital (and the outflows of profits). No section of the targeted economies was off-limits - agriculture, mining, manufacturers, utilities, transport and communication were to be 'modernized' through US and European ownership and control.
Third World leaders, whether generals, bankers or landowners who abided by the 'open markets'doctrine and 'invited' foreign ownership, were praised, whether they were dictators or elected by hook or crook. Nationalism and nationalists were condemned as restricting the wheels of progress and blocking the March of History.
To be fair, the western regimes encouraged all countries to open their doors to capital flows - but of course only the imperial countries had the capital, technology and political power to do so.
Economists preached the doctrine of specialization in 'comparative advantage': the West to invest, profit and dominate markets and the South to accept low wages, junior partnerships and dependent industries.
This system worked very well for the West as long as they were the dominant power and shaped the markets, flows of capital and the terms of exchange.
Nationalist leaders were condemned, sanctioned, ousted and demonized throughout the time of Anglo-American ascendancy.
Through time and efforts, Third World countries followed another path - through revolutions or reforms, through state direction and national entrepreneurs, they invested, innovated, borrowed and transformed their economies. Over time, some like China, began to successfully compete with Western powers for markets, minerals and technology.
Within post-industrial post-modern bourgeois-state-capitalism, value is no longer based on labor and/or on labor theories of value such as Marx's theory. In fact, all post-industrial post-modern societies to various degrees have shed their modern labor theories of value and surplus-value, i.e. theories where labor-time and cost of production are the basis of price and value determinations. In contrast to labor theories of value, post-industrial post-modern societies are increasingly adopting theories of conceptual-commodity-value-management, where price and value determinations are increasingly based on perception and conceptualization-control through alliances of enterprise, alliances which structure price and value according to their own arbitrary whims and value determinations.
Post-modernism does not go far enough. It has not overturned all meta-narratives and fully established its essence, that is, a multiplicity of micro-narratives, achieved through a radical "incredulity toward metanarratives" . Consequently, post-modernism has yet to realize the post-modern society, that is, a patchwork federation of localized, decentralized and horizontalized micro-institutions, founded on a litany of microscopic, ideational-comprehensive frameworks, where no-one fully dominates and terrorizes over the others.
The meta-narrative of bourgeois-capitalism is both hindering socio-economic development and stifling socio-economic development in the sense that it continually perpetuates mediocrity, ad nauseam, in and across the stratums and upper-echelons of bourgeois-capitalism. Hence, why the meta-narrative of bourgeois-capitalism needs to be destroyed and is destroying, itself, of its own accord. The aim is to accelerate this destructive process via the full-onslaught of pragmatic-deconstruction.
Antifa = Violent Street Gang
Proud Boys = Violent Street Gang
Patriot Prayer = Violent Street Gang
You, 'Rose City Antifa' Do Not Speak For Me.
our Community DOES NOT support You.
I am absolutely (as always) in opposition all forms of Hatred, Statism and Authoritarianism.
but in NO WAY am I associated, even by implication, with your chosen tactic of Street Gang Violence.
As A Community Member I Do NOT Support Your Street Gang Violence IDEOLOGY.
both Antifa and WNs / Neo-Nazis, equally and intentionally provoked the disgraceful and threatening display of Violence in downtown Portland on June 30th.
and they are about to repeat the performance on August 4th.
We at Portland Copwatch were glad to read that your office is starting
an investigation into whether Portland Police practices toward the
houseless population display any kinds of bias. We encourage you to not
limit your investigation to the arrest data generated by the Oregonian.
Here are some other key factors to look into:
White "radicals" and Black "nationalists" join with corporate Democrats and "latte" liberals" to mouth nonsense about Russians. Clinton Democrats attack Trump from the right -- and sweep know-nothings of all stripes along with them. "Collaboration from the left with the new McCarthyism is providing an opening for the isolation and repression of those of us who were going to have to fight no matter who would have been elected."
August 1, 2018
With the outrageous decision by the Trump White House to bar a CNN propagandist posing as a reporter, more people are now starting to make the connection between press freedom and the issue of the "right to know" and of unimpeded information. But we have to ask once again, where was this concern when democrats under Obama were using the espionage act to jail whistleblowers and prosecuting journalists? Why no outrage on the eve of the Ecuadorian government turning over Julian Assange to be prosecuted by Western intelligence for the crime of publishing accounts of their nefarious actions? Where were these objective defenders of the right to information when the state was collaborating with private corporations like Google, Twitter, and Facebook to alter and limit political speech and information?
For some, attempting within the context of the ongoing and intensifying ideological struggle to move the focus and analysis away from an opportunistic and simplistic framework that focuses on personalities and individualized psychologies to material interests, structures and class interests can open one up to charges of not being sufficiently anti-Trump enough, or strangely "pro-Trump." But it wasn't Trump but Obama and both capitalist parties that inserted the "Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act" into the 2017 National Defense Authorization Actduring the last few days of his administration. An act that establishes a propaganda center in the State Department that objectively has been coordinating psychological operations (psyops) in the U.S. in conjunction with private corporations and intelligence agencies.
Muted opposition or outright support for these efforts from liberal Democrats is not just a case of hypocrisy. It is a willful ideological position that affirms that certain speech and information is acceptable and other isn't.
July 31st, 2018
The president has criticized Federal Reserve policy for undermining his attempts to build the economy. To make the central bank serve the needs of the economy, it needs to be transformed into a public utility.
For nearly half a century, presidents have refrained from criticizing the "independent" Federal Reserve; but that was before Donald Trump. In response to a question about Fed interest rate policy in a CNBC interview on July 19, 2018, he shocked commentators by stating,
I'm not thrilled. Because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again. ... I am not happy about it. ... I don't like all of this work that we're putting into the economy and then I see rates going up.
He acknowledged the central bank's independence, but the point was made: the Fed was hurting the economy with its "Quantitative Tightening" policies and needed to watch its step.
In commentary on CNBC.com, Richard Bove contended that the president was positioning himself to take control of the Federal Reserve. Bove said Trump will do it "both because he can and because his broader policies argue that he should do so. . . . By raising interest rates and stopping the growth in the money supply [the Fed] stands in the way of further growth in the American economy."
Bove noted that in the second quarter of 2018, the growth in the money supply (M2) was zero. Why? He blamed "the tightest monetary policy since Paul Volcker, whose policies in the mid-1980s led to back-to-back recessions." The Fed has raised interest rates seven times, with five more scheduled, while it is shrinking its balance sheet by $40 billion per month, soon to be $50 billion per month.
How could the president take control? Bove explained:
The deeper madness that has taken hold is found in the educated classes, actually. I wrote before about Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and her rather obvious intellectual bankruptcy as well as her disingenuous presentation of self. And yet, leftists continue to defend her and plead to give her a chance and how she is part of some mythic insurgency in the Democratic Party. Now most of these writers, those I am thinking about, spent the last couple years deriding the DNC, attacking the criminal record of Hillary Clinton. And yet, now there is a sort of mushy appeal to consider the Democratic Party in any calculus for building a movement toward change. No longer do I hear the word communism, and I only hear socialism when it is hyphenated with Democratic (Democratic-Socialist). What happened? Well, part of what happened is the rise of the marketing left. The entrepreneur left. Or the branded left. The capitalist left. All of these terms apply. In other words, these people are no longer (and probably never were) in any way the opposition. The magazines of these entrepreneurs (Sunkara and Jacobin, which Nick Beams amusingly called the 'the house journal for the middle class pseudo-left milieu, in particular the Democratic Socialists of America') found a niche sort-of-left market demographic and capitalized (sic) on it. This is the place one reads of strategic alliances but never reads of the positives of communism. Or the likes of Charles Davis, a puerile fascist masquerading as pseudo left. I mean he is sort of the fake, fake left.
Thomas Piketty's motto "Inequality is always a problem when it is excessive" introduces the new World Inequality Report. Inequalities of income and wealth swell globally and in individual regions and nations. The top 1% of income earners worldwide profited twice as much from growth since 1980 than the lower 50% of the world population.
A little perfume and a nuzzle between "friends"
Updated Jul 30, 6:48 PM; Posted Jul 30, 6:32 PM
The city of Aurora, Colorado will not appeal the controversial reinstatement of a cop the city's police chief tried to fire after he was heard making a racist remark on a body camera recording, according to local news reports.
Lt. Charles DeShazer was recorded in June 2016 saying "we got the Alabama porch monkeys contained" in reference to a crowd of African Americans gathered around the scene of a police chase, KDVR Fox 31 news.
Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz fired DeShazer in August 2017.
"That's not representative of the Aurora Police Department. We're better than that," Metz told Fox 31 News.
DeShazer appealed his firing to the Civil Service Commission. The commission overruled Metz decision to fire DeShazer, and said he should be reinstated as a sergeant, a rank lower than his previous rank of lieutenant. The commission also said DeShazer would not be entitled to any back pay for the year he was suspended.
July 30th, 2018
The anniversary of the August 12, 2017 Charlottesville protest is coming up. It was on this day, so the story goes, that the left confronted the right over the right's support for a statue of civil war general Robert E. Lee and a woman was killed by a white nationalist driving his car into a crowd of Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and other protestors.
Because applications by "Unite the Right" for a return to Charlottesville were turned down, the protest this year is scheduled for Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House in Washington. The ANSWER coalition, representing the left in the US who are to the left of mainstream Democrats, has called for an all-day "mass action" against Unite the Right, under the slogan, "NO Nazis, NO KKK in D.C."
Many of the events in our world today are not what they appear to be. "We create our own reality," said a senior Bush administration official. After September 11, 2001, it's not clear why anyone would believe the official story about any of the many political atrocities that have taken place in the world. But they do, because 99% of the news they read is controlled, and very little skeptical independent journalism is seen. Though some people may indeed have been beaten and injured in Charlottesville last year, the central action was probably staged.
Move to front page please.
Kick Joey Gibson and his Nazis sorry asses back across the river.
"America's Mayor" Hahahahahahahahahaaaaaaa
July 30th, 2018
The quote in the headline comes from Mao Tse Tung. It was aptly used by Professor Slavoj Žižek http://www.rt.com/op-ed/434142-trump-left-liberals-zizek/ to describe the situation we find ourselves in during the Trump era. There are many things to dislike about President Trump, but he is shaking up the establishment and raising mishandled issues that would not otherwise be discussed. He is causing chaos and his policy prescriptions are rarely correct, but he is unintentionally creating opportunities for positive change, if people can rise to the occasion in an informed and strategic way.
Žižek writes an interesting review of Trump's recent European trip but falls short in his conclusion that the election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shows a path forward within the Democratic Party. While we were pleased to see ten-term Congressman Joe Crowley defeated, as he epitomizes the corporate-corruption of the Democratic Party, the reality is that movements for peace and justice lose power when they enter the Democratic Party. Ocasio-Cortez' election occurred in a low-turnout primary in a solidly-blue congressional district where the ethnic makeup has moved from white middle class to Latinx working class and Crowley was focused on taking Pelosi's place rather than his re-election.
Democrats Not Turning Left, More Likely Deepening Their Role as a Wall Street and War Party
The President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, announced last Monday that the military would now be involved in domestic crime efforts. It was a reversal of a law akin to the U.S. law, the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. (The Posse Comitatus Act was also amended by Congress during the Reagan administration as part of the war on drugs.) This decision by Macri is deeply troubling on multiple levels. Bear in mind, he's taking this step toward authoritarianism while thousands of Argentine protestors have recently contested his decision to accept a $50 billion loan from the IMF.
There are also glaring historical implications. Argentina was ruled for several years by a military dictatorship after a U.S.-backed coup deposed Isabela Peron in 1976. This "Dirty War" conducted by the Argentine government, in conjunction with the U.S. government, led to the death and disappearances of thousands of liberal activists. Merely expressing one's political views was punishable by extrajudicial death during this reign of government-induced terror.
Macri also appointed two Supreme Court justices who have ruled in favor of early release for hundreds of convicted war criminals. Likewise, Argentine activists have been jailed and murdered under mysterious circumstances.
Macri has used the war on drugs to justify this decision for domestic military operations. There is a legitimate problem of corruption and violence in Argentina associated with the illegal drug trade; in particular, the Tri-Border Region (where Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay share a border) is widely known as a smugglers paradise for drugs, guns, counterfeit goods, bootleg cigarettes, money laundering, etc.
And that exact area is where Macri is in the process of developing a hub of U.S.-coordinated counternarcotics operations, along with a U.S. military base. In fact, according to the Mexican news outlet Aristegui Noticias, Macri is planning on building multiple U.S. military bases throughout the country.
Animals are bombed, burned, starved, smashed by tanks, shot by machine guns, abandoned by refugees, bulldozed in zoos, abandoned in warzones by soldiers returning home. They are kidnapped to pull loads, seized butchered and eaten, tortured in military labs. Dolphins. shackled into being forced bomb carriers and dogs as forced minesniffers have been blown to smithareens.
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