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Heading towards a police state

Destroying Ourselves

 

Has the "land of the free and home of the brave" decided to roll over and concede defeat to terrorism?

George Bush's “war on terror,” supinely backed by a cowed Congress of Democrats and Republicans, re-introduced torture to the American playbook, finished what Bill Clinton started in taking away our right to habeus corpus, made illegal wiretapping routine and built a culture of fear in our national psyche in order to keep us from rising up against these assaults on our Constitution. Barack Obama has continued these practices and gone further with his obsession with drone attacks worldwide, including strikes that murder American citizens without even bothering with indictments, let alone trials, and with his further expansion of wiretaps, secret government and police spying and repression of Constitutionally protected protest.

Now, in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent manhunt, we're being told that there are a couple of new aspects to this “new normal” that we'll just have to get used to. Functional martial law--the shutting down of an entire metropolitan region -- has now happened without even an official declaration from the governor or the president. Our 4th Amendment right protecting us from unwarranted search and seizure no longer has any meaning if the powers that be deem it inconvenient. And the right to be told that we can remain silent rather than incriminate ourselves under interrogation is now optional, again at the discretion of the police authorities.
 
Let's examine these two new nails in the Constitution's coffin. During the manhunt, Boston and federal authorities, backed by National Guard troops and possibly private mercenaries (who were observed, though never officially acknowledged, working at the scene of the marathon), locked down the city, ordering residents to stay inside while police officers ignored the fourth amendment and entered any house at will in their search.

 Stay inside, don't question police, and you probably won't get hurt...Welcome to the new America: Stay inside, don't question police, and you probably won't get hurt...

True Blue Democrats:

Can Working from the Inside Change the Democratic Party?

 

Occupy Wall Street’s dynamic grass roots movement is quiescent and may or may not return. Its respite or demise is due to a combination of deliberate and apparently nationally directed police violence and federal, state and local government spying, as well as to its own lack of political direction. It remains a political space to focus tremendous energy and passion, and draw to it many millions of the 99%.

Many sympathetic to OWS maintain that it needs a political party. One of them is Patrick Walker, a native of the gritty industrial city of Scranton in northeastern Pennsylvania. Walker participated the OWS movement as part of Occupy Scranton. He has also joined in anti-fracking activism via the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition and End Gasocracy Now, which put him under the watchful eye of Homeland Security.

Following a move to Georgia, Walker now seeks to gain political traction by focusing his efforts on progressive Democrats within the Democratic Party (D.P.), hoping to bring the party “back” to the 99%. He does not seek D.P. permission as do many other insider party reform efforts.

Walker began his effort—which he calls Start a True Blue Democrat Progressive Revolt—on two websites:
RuckUs and at True Blue Democrats: A Progressive Revolt

"We need to take our political system back from Big Money. I offer this as a promising strategy idea for making that happen,” Walker says.

As he sees it, “The people in Washington and our statehouses -- Republicans and Democrats -- are already too bought off by (or scared of) Big Money to listen to ‘We the people’.”

Can the passion of the Occupy Movement be turned to taking over the Democratic Party?Can the passion of the Occupy Movement be turned to taking over the Democratic Party, or is the Democratic Party a lost cause?

No Shushing Here:

Support Your Local Bookstore

 

I am a Los Angeles resident who has spent most of my life on the west side of the city. After leaving Long Island, New York in 1963 and moving to San Diego for a year, I’ve lived in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Pacific Palisades and Westwood with six months off for good behavior in Kona in 2009 and a total of two years in France during the 1970’s. Those were the best ! My life has been mostly about writers, theatre and books. From 1967 on, I covered small theatre, poetry and literary profiles for the LA Times. At my best I reviewed and rediscovered John Fante in 1978 and introduced him to Charles Bukowski that same year . The John Fante tapes from five different meetings are available online in text and audio from 3 Am Magazine thanks to Susan Tomaselli, editor. That’s something books can’t do unless they contain CD’s. In the sixties, I wrote a piece on Bukowski for the Free Press when we were both employed there. It was a Symposium on LA writers taped live at the newspaper. Steve Richmond, Ron Koertge and Gerald Locklin chimed in. It was fun. Bukowski did drawings to match.

Each time I worked on a piece for the Times or the Free Press or Reader, I was in and out of bookstores. It was a place to check up on facts, from the owners like Ken Hyre and Phil Mason, to the readers and writers who congregated there. “Do you have a copy of The Green Hat?” Phil Mason had several. Later, when I did pieces for Los Angeles Magazine on Bukowski the week he died and on Fante long after he was dead, I went to Larry Edwards on Hollywood Blvd. and Williams in San Pedro. The owners had the books I needed and they had met either Fante or Bukowski. And then there was always Vromans in Pasadena, the town where Bukowski’s father was born. They’ve been there for more than a hundred years!

Every time I took on a controversial subject, I checked in at bookstores. If Phil Mason didn’t have the info I needed at Yesterday’s books, say on Mencken and Fante, he knew someone who did. Like Ken Hyre or Jake Zeitlin.

An Evening of Lines and Words Featuring Ben Pleasants and Rafael Bunuel. Parts I and IIAn Evening of Lines and Words Featuring Ben Pleasants and Rafael Buñuel (in two parts -- click the image for Part I. Links to Part I and Part II are in the text below)

Not Too Big to Resist

Too Big to Jail

 

Corporate America just received the confirmation that they've been waiting for.
 
The attorney general of the United States has now admitted that the biggest American financial corporations have created such a labyrinth of their structures and practices that the Justice Department has given up trying to police them in matters ofcorruption or criminal malfeasance, saying that bringing down any of these mega-banks or businesses could cause crash the economy.
 
In 2008, the Justice Department announced a shift in policy, deciding to be cooperative with the big banks, and to encourage self-policing and self-reporting by the corporations, rather than vigorously prosecuting lawbreaking. After all, according to a DOJ directive of August of that year, “federal prosecutors and corporate leaders typically share common goals.”
 
As Elizabeth Warren pointed out this week in a Senate hearing with Treasury department officials, even though HSBC bank has admitted laundering over 800 million dollars for drug cartels, not one of their bankers has even been charged, let alone convicted for the crime; “If you're caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good you go to jail. If you're caught repeatedly, you can go to jail for life. Incidentally, if you launder nearly a billion dollars in drug money, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night.”

And it's not just banks. Corporate America has successfully engineered a coup d'etat under our noses without firing a shot. They have paid Congress and the Executive branch to enable this unprecedented power grab through tax laws, finance policy and the gutting of traditional concerns for the welfare of the common citizen. They have enjoyed the collusion of the courts, culminating in the Supreme Court'spreposterous Citizens United ruling that corporations are "people" in the "original intent" of the Constitution. NOW, even the regulators have come out and admitted that they are no longer really in the game.

 world's biggest drug money-laundering institution, but too big to prosecuteHSBC: world's biggest drug money-laundering institution, but too big to prosecute

True, He's the First Black President

But Obama is the Worst US President Ever

 

Yes, I mean it: the worst ever!

We’ve had James Monroe and his doctrine of supremacy over Latin America. We’ve had Theodore Roosevelt and his invasion of Cuba; Nixon, Reagan, Bush-Bush and their mass murder, and all the war crimes and genocide committed by most presidents. Yes, but we never had a black man sit on the white throne of imperialism committing war crimes.

And there he is, murdering even more people in Afghanistan than Bush, backing coups in Latin America, continuing to undermine Iraq, sending drones, mercenaries, saboteurs to Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Uganda, Libya and now Syria. He bores deeper into several African countries, rich with oil and minerals, than his white predecessors, Democrats and Republicans. The US is eliminating the few secular governments that there were in the Middle East and North Africa.

Obama is busier fulfilling total USAmerican world domination than even Bush, Reagan and Nixon.

He is the president for US corporations. With his black Kenyan roots he can walk into Africa’s rich parlors and black "White Houses" and communicate with these butchers better than any of the capitalist class’ earlier presidents, all of them white.

Obama is worse than them, precisely because he betrays all his black “brothers and sisters” in the US, all except a few rich and opportunistic ones. He was the hope; he would improve their lot, and that of the poor, the working people. But he has done nothing of the sort. Instead, he takes from them to give to the rich, the worst criminals on Wall Street, the war industry, the oil and mineral industries. Virtually all of his economic advisors hail from Wall Street and in many cases were central figures in the enormous economic crimes of the last few years that have stolen hundreds of billions, even trillions of dollars from the poor and the middle class. His top militarists, Homeland Security thugs, and CIA killers are some of those that Bush used -- most of them Republicans.

Obama's drones have killed nearly 200 children since he won his Nobel Peace PrizeObama's drones have killed nearly 200 children since he won his Nobel Peace Prize

Droning On:

The US and the M Word

 

‘If the President Does It, It Isn’t Illegal’
-- Richard M. Nixon

 

Drones are finally coming out of the closet. During John Brennan's confirmation hearings for C.I.A. director, we started to learn a little more about the use of deadly drones by the U.S. government. Brennan's testimony acknowledged the the use of drones, including attacks that targeted an American citizen. Mainstream media outlets like NPR have even been talking about U.S. drone policy and its place within the framework of U.S. and international law.

Currently, drones are being used as surveillance vehicles armed with cameras, and as killing machines armed with one or two 100-pound Hellfire guided missiles. As we learned earlier this year, every Tuesday morning, the president and his national security team regularly go over the list of current bad guys and decide if they want to kill any of them.

Many of these “kills” are located in countries where we have to rely on sketchy intelligence provided by people with agendas of their own. Many of the “bad guys” are not bad; they are just unlucky enough to have the same name as a bad guy, or a bad guy as a brother or cousin. ("Bad" is also in the eye of the beholder. Many deemed "bad" by US officials see themselves, or are seen by locals as "freedom fighters" against an unwanted occupier.)

If any male (technically any male older than sixteen, but the US isn't asking for birth certificates) is in the vicinity of a "bad guy," then in the US view, he is a terrorist by association and his death gets to be counted in the tally of enemy dead, as opposed to being another unfortunate number in the collateral damage column. It resembles the Vietnam War, when all the dead in a search-and-destroy mission were counted as “VC kills.”

How hard we have worked to develop an appropriate vocabulary to describe death dissemination!

Mother and two kids, victims of US drone attack in Pakistan. Enemy combatants in the Pentagon's accounting.Mother and two kids, victims of US drone attack in Pakistan. Enemy combatants in the Pentagon's accounting.

A new video by Class War Films

'Financial Crime'

 

Class War Films, the brainchild of three filmmakers, Lanny Cotler, and Paul and Jason Edwards, has offered to provide ThisCantBeHappening! with occasional short videos on topics like this, military spending, political fraud, financial crime, etc. They are working on creating a website, which will be called ClassWarriors.org, which should be functioning "soon" we are informed.

We're happy here at TCBH! to be able to help get their films out to a wider public.
 

Click on the image to play the videoClick on the image to play the video

Lindorff Discusses Chris Dorner and the LAPD on RTTV

LindorffLindorff can also be heard being interviewed by PressTV in Iran on this segment headlined LAPD More Like an Army of Occupation
 
 

With BLM Knowledge

Wild Horses Sold to Kill Buyer by BLM Contractor

 

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been trying to convince the public that the BLM does not sell wild horses to slaughter, but the Wild Horse Freedom Federation has obtained proof that a BLM Long Term Holding contractor sold wild horses directly to kill buyer Joe Simon, who is well known for sending horses to slaughter, and who owns JS Ranch (“Farms”) in Perkins, Oklahoma.

To give a little background, the BLM uses lame excuses to remove wild horses from their federally protected Herd Management Areas while letting other “uses” take over.  For instance, BLM claims wild horses cause “degradation” to the range, but then allows oil and gas drilling (and fracking) on the same land, which does far more damage.  The BLM uses helicopters to round up the wild horses, then puts the horses in short-term holding facilities, maintenance facilities, and ultimately, ships horses to same-sex long-term holding pastures, where the public is led to believe the horses will spend the rest of their lives.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has actually rounded up so many wild horses off of public lands that were designated as the horses' federally Protected Herd Management areas, to make way for oil & gas drilling, mining and other "uses," that the BLM now has more wild horses in same-sex holding facilities than are on public lands.

The BLM's Wild Horse & Burro Program is facing mounting costs, too. The BLM is requesting over $44.5 million for short and long-term holding facilities in the 2013 President's Budget. The BLM is using a loophole created by the Burns Amendment to sell/give wild horses to people who then sell the horses in a pipeline to slaughter. The BLM states that they don't sell wild horses to slaughter, but the reality is that the agency turns a blind eye to obvious signs on documents they see, as the wild horses are being sold to slaughter.

Jim Reeves and Lyle Anderson own Spur Livestock, and have a contract with the Bureau of Land Management for such a long-term holding pasture for wild horses on private lands within the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, as well as on Indian Trust Lands administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  This facility is the Whitehorse Wild Horse Long Term Holding Facility.

Wild Horse Freedom Federation received records from the South Dakota Brand Board that reveal on 11/8/2008, while under contract with the BLM, “owner” Spur Livestock sold 34 horses with “BLM tattoos” to JS Farms, owned by kill buyer Joe Simon.

Wild Horses with the BLM's "no brand" brand on their necks awaiting their fate (photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom FederWild Horses with the BLM's "no brand" brand on their necks awaiting their fate (photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation)

Video: 'Let Your Life be a Friction to Stop the Machine'

 

Class War Films, the brainchild of three filmmakers, Lanny Cotler, and Paul and Jason Edwards, have offered to provide ThisCantBeHappening! with occasional short videos on topics like this, military spending, political fraud, financial crime, etc. They are working on creating a website, which will be called ClassWarriors.org, which should be functioning "soon" we are informed.

We're happy to be able to help get their films out to a wider public.

Just click here or on the image to go to the YouTube video.

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This is the video tape of Davis in Lahore police custody


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Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

Live Stream of the Occupation of Wall Street! The Revolution will be filmed after all! (Courtesy of Globalrevolution)
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Fightin' Cock FlyerFightin' Cock Flyer

Listen as Chuck, John, Dave and Linn Join Prairie Radical Mike Caddell of the Fightin' Cock Flyer on Radio Free Kansas

Here's the link to prairie radio radical Mike Caddell's Radio Free Kansas program, where you can hear the podcast of the whole group interview that was conducted on Saturday, May 8.

Also, listen to Dave Lindorff on Chris Cook's Gorilla Radio on CFEV Radio in Victoria, Canada.

Donate $50 to ThisCantBeHappening.net and get a free signed copy, postage paid, of Dave's classic tome The Case for Impeachment (St. Martin's Press, 2006). Just click on the cover image to go to the Paypal payment page, make your payment, and send a note to Dave calling his attention to the payment, and giving your mail address and the name you want the inscription addressed to.

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