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Welcome to the Sixteenth Century, Eureka

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I had to reprint this article from Firedoglake:


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Welcome to the Sixteenth Century

By: masaccio Sunday November 30, 2014 10:57 am

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113014_Damned-to-Hell-Demons Please don’t murder us in the streets. We work hard so we should be paid a living wage. Bankers should be treated as equal before the law. Please stop spying on us. We’ve lived here all our lives, don’t deport us to a foreign country. Please stop killing people everywhere in the world. We are entitled to be treated like other people. Please stop poisoning the dirt that grows our food and the water we drink and the air we breathe. The minimal nature of the demands of millions of protesters measures the decrepit state of our nation. It also tells us that the rich people who run this country loathe and despise us.

We killed your kids with impunity. Take that tiny paycheck, and supplement it with government benefits, and punch out before you clean up your work station. Bankers are the engines of prosperity and if they get a bit greedy, it can’t be prevented without destroying capitalism. We spy on you to protect you from immigrants with Ebola and sharp swords. Get back into that closet. You’ll eat and breathe oil and you’ll love it. OK, you noisy group can get married. Now aren’t you happy? Remember, we have the guns, the tanks, the tear gas, the pepper spray, the kettles, the rifles, the humvees, the assault rifles, the MRAPs, and the drones, and we have your data and your phones and your computers and your emails and your facebook pages and your tweets, and we know who you are. And just ignore those thugs on the roofs, those plain-clothes men with AR-15s, they’re either our regular troops or our irregulars, our vigilantes, just out to protect our private property.

As bad as this is, the worst part is that there are millions of people who aren’t elites, who aren’t rich enough to financially survive a lost job or a divorce or a sick kid, but who think this is just fine. Those people vote for the system not just in elections, but by their hatred for their neighbors. Who could have predicted so many citizens would enjoy watching their neighbors thrown out of their houses rather than figure out some way to help? Who would have thought so many citizens would be thrilled to see families broken up and deported? Who would have thought so many citizens would be happy to drink oil instead of water for any reason? Who would have thought that so many citizens would prefer not just to let corporations pay so little to their neighbors, but also to support cutting off all government benefits to those workers? Who would have thought so many citizens would be happy to have some government agent collecting their phones and email and internet search histories?

The optimists among us point to a bunch of liberal issues on which a plurality of citizens agree according to pollsters. That’s great, and it may even be true. But the fact is that our Constitution is set up to prevent government action against the will of a small minority. It gives tiny Red States plenty of 19th Century Senators who under Senate rules can block any action they don’t like. The House is thoroughly gerrymandered, so that the will of the majority isn’t even represented. Presidential candidates must win the money primary, insuring that they will support the interests of the richest and most retrograde among the top .01% who own 11% of the total wealth of the nation. The Supreme Court has always protected property at the expense of every other interest or value, so even if a decent piece of legislation passed, the five conservative hacks on the Court will strike it down.

It seems to me that this nation is infected by a nameless, faceless dread, a fear of something awful just beyond our ability to grasp. The media, right-wing politicians and demagogues, acting on behalf of their filthy rich patrons, actively exploit that fear to get what they want: a divided nation at war with itself. You don’t have to watch Fox News or listen to Rush Limbaugh or worse to get this; you can feel it in the air, and get all the examples you need from The Daily Show or Colbert or Oliver. Where does this come from? This is a country rich in resources, armed to the teeth, with a powerful technological infrastructure that should allow a lot of material progress and solutions to any real problems. And yet there’s this:

As of 2014, it’s estimated that nearly half of Americans — 49 percent — say natural disasters are a sign of “the end times,” as described in the Bible. That’s up from an estimated 44 percent in 2011.

How do you explain technological marvels sitting alongside this kind of pre-Enlightenment fright? One explanation comes from @Billmon1, a great Twitter follow. He says that a large part of the US missed the Enlightenment altogether. That part, largely the Red states, but all over the country, is embedded in the 16th/17th centuries:

To be more specific: rooted in 16th/17th century British isles — Scotland, English border lands & Ireland, to be precise. “Celtic fringe.”

About as backwoods, parochial, & religiously bigoted part of W. Europe as you could have found in that era — an era of religious bigotry.

We have a great recent example of this culture in Northern Ireland. After a century of war with itself and its Catholic neighbors, Northern Ireland has turned from religious bigotry to racial bigotry. There are plenty of problems in Ireland, many of which are the result of unbridled capitalism like the short-sighted decisions of the leaders to pay off all depositor loses caused by Irish banks and the outrageous tax schemes that enable the likes of Apple to screw the US out of needed tax revenues. But really, a few immigrants are the problem?

It’s a mirror image of the US. The “Other” is the problem. It isn’t the unjust distribution of wealth, it isn’t the exploitation of the worker by the filthy rich, it isn’t unequal schools, it isn’t poverty or any other structural condition. It’s witches. It’s demons. It’s unholiness. It’s impurity. It’s smoke.

It isn’t fixable. The most you can hope for is bottling up that rage and fear in fewer and fewer people. Instead the media stokes those fires. Self-ordained ministers tell people that it’s sin that cause fires and floods and earthquakes and eclipses. Rage freaks like O’Reilly and Limbaugh and the incomparably stupid Hannity tell their listeners that the end times are coming. Politicians like Lindsey Graham shriek that terrorists are coming to kill them while they sleep. These pre-moderns are now in control of both the House and Senate, and the Supreme Court.

I’m thinking about being a bit fearful myself.

Photo by Georges Jansoone under Creative Commons license


–Joe

Why You Should NEVER Call the Police

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Mirrored from CounterPunch


112814_P-C-ROBERTSWEEKEND EDITION NOVEMBER 28-30, 2014

The Shoot First Mentality of American Police

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Few, if any, of the correct questions were asked in the grand jury hearing to decide whether policeman Darren Wilson would be indicted for killing Michael Brown.

The most important unexamined question is whether police are trained to use force immediately as a first resort before they assess a situation or determine if they are at the correct address.  Are the police trained that the lives of police officers are so much more valuable than the lives of possible suspects, or a houseful of people into whose residence a heavily armed SWAT team enters, that police officers must not accept the risk of judicious behavior when encountering citizens?  If this is the case as all evidence indicates that it is, then the police when they gratuitously murder members of the public are merely doing what they have been trained to do.  As police are trained to use violence as a first resort, the police cannot be held accountable when they do.

There are a large number of videos available online that show that the first thing that police do when they arrive is to use force.

No sooner is Michael Brown in the grave than Cleveland cops kill a 12-year old boy who has a toy gun that shoots plastic pellets.  The child is threatening no one–indeed there is no one else present.  The boy seems to be playing a fantasy game in his head.  A busy body calls the police. The police arrive and instantly shoot the kid down.

Here is a selection of videos and reports.  Some of the videos are compressed to save the viewer time.  They range from 59 seconds to the full 7:51 minute video, which shows the kid is just walking up and down the sidewalk.  All the action comes at the end. The police arrive and instantly open fire, making no effort whatsoever to assess the situation.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/video-shows-cleveland-cop-shoot-12-year-old-tamir-rice-n256656

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2850234/Video-released-showing-police-shooting-Tamir-Rice-12-carrying-BB-gun.html

http://www.wkyc.com/story/news/local/cleveland/2014/11/26/tamir-rice-shooting-video-released/19530745/

http://nypost.com/2014/11/27/cops-release-video-of-officer-fatally-shooting-12-year-old/

Just a few days before Michael Brown is killed, Ohio police murdered John Crawford inside a Walmart store.  What had Crawford done?  He had picked up a BB rifle from a Walmart shelf and was on the phone with the mother of his two children, perhaps checking with her whether he could purchase it for the kids.  A busy body named Ronald Ritchie felt threatened and called the police. The police rush in and shoot Crawford.  The police claim that they ordered Crawford to drop the rifle, but the video shows  the police shooting Crawford on sight. The busy body Ritchie actually caused two deaths, as the incident of Crawford’s murder caused Angela Williams to die from a heart attack as she fled the store in response to the police gunfire.

Yes, you guessed it. The grand jury decided the police were justified.

Here is another video that demonstrates that policemen shoot instantly without cause.  This is a rare case in which the policeman was held accountable, most likely because the video prevented authorities from fabricating the usual story of police justification.

In this video, police shoot down an unarmed black man in the street.  After shooting Kajieme Powell ten times, the cops hold guns on the dead body while they handcuff a dead man.  Like an almost endless number of other such videos, this one shows that either psychopaths are recruited for the police force, or police training turns cops into psychopaths.

These two reports examine Officer Darren Wilson’s story of why he shot Michael Brown and conclude that Wilson’s story doesn’t make sense.  http://www.vox.com/2014/11/25/7281165/darren-wilsons-story-side  and  http://www.vox.com/2014/11/25/7287443/dorian-johnson-story   Most likely, Michael Brown was just another victim of the gratuitous violence that police are trained to use.  Darren Wilson’s use of deadly force was in keeping with his training.

The problem with the grand jury and prosecutor in Ferguson and everywhere else is that the real problem–the training of police to use deadly force as a first resort–was not identified as the cause of Michael Brown’s death.

The Ferguson grand jury’s decision is not an exoneration of Wilson’s use of deadly force. Anyone familiar with the American criminal justice (sic) system knows that any prosecutor can get or prevent an indictment from a grand jury.  Prosecutors are allowed to determine what evidence is presented. Prosecutors are permitted to bribe witnesses with money or dropped charges, and they can coerce false witness testimony by threatening a witness with charges.  Seldom does an indictment or refusal to indict turn on the true facts.

The US justice system is no longer concerned with justice, but with the careers of prosecutors, punishing the powerless, and protecting the powerful.  As justice has largely departed the justice system, it is hardly surprising that police lack any concept of justice.

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is How America Was Lost.


–Joe

Written by Joe Blow

November 28, 2014 at 10:24 pm

Fred’s Little Piece of Paradise

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082814_Paradise-RedwoodsWhen I read Fred’s latest – Fred and Marcy Sittin’ In a Tree… – and I thought about why I commented on his previous article (Why Repair Brick Chimneys?), it occurred to me why we are where we are in our Democracy. It would be nice to live in a utopian world, especially here on the North Coast. Good, decent, efficient, uncorrupt elected government representatives, just courts, police that protect and serve EVERYONE, an unpolluted bay and rivers, no homeless, no drugs and no bad effects of the decades-long criminal marijuana business. But, then that might be too boring for Paradise.

Thinking about how it is today in Eureka – Humboldt County actually – reminded me of how it was for my parents right after the war. My father was logging in Southern Humboldt, decided to buy a 40 acre piece of land that bordered a county road and build a home. So, he opened up a road to a place with a great view and began. No issues with connecting to the county road. Not long afterwards a PG&E truck pulled up, the driver wanted to know if my father wanted them to run a line to the house, a house he hadn’t even started building yet. Wouldn’t cost him a dime, all he had to do was set a pole for a meter box. Over a period of time my father, with some family and friends help built a beautiful home. He installed his own sewer system, water system and built a two car garage. Not one time that I can remember was he ever hassled by a county building inspector. He paid taxes on the home and property, so they must of signed off on the home at sometime. I don’t remember periodic inspections either. I know he often talked about making sure everything met building codes. Today that would be unthinkable. When I read Fred’s naivete I know why. The Planning Commission has become and institution unto itself.

The problem is that the more laws everyone is subject, not to mention the self-imposed laws the police subject everyone to, the more lawless everyone becomes. Then there are the so-called “good citizens,” like Fred setting standards for everyone with their brilliant opinions. They got their noses in everyone’s business. If they can’t tell you what to do they’ll tell you how to think and what to believe. No one ever grows up. And, so goes Paradise.

In my lifetime, paradise was for my mother’s and father’s generation. Growing up in those years, I can tell you, and you too Fred, IT WAS NOT BORING!

–Joe

The Rise of the Blogging Brownshirts

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[UPDATE Below] 

The deadly Brownshirt Trolls are hard at work spreading their lying filth and disease-ridden innuendo wherever someone will let them. Blogger Brownshirts are self-defined by their actions that equate to their predecessors’ historical murderous conduct; THEY PERSONALLY ASSAULT PEOPLES’ CREDIBILITY, INTEGRITY, HONESTY AND LEGITIMACY to shut them up permanently.

On April  15, 2014, I included the following thoughts in another re-posted article. In view of the current situation manifesting in local blogs, it appears it needs to be reemphasized:

If you don’t know, Brownshirts are a collection of thugs who get quite annoyed at those who oppose” them, their judging, their propaganda, wanton personal hyperbolic attacks and their sick never-ending filthy lies they believe they have the god-given right to assault with anyone they want. In the real world of yesterday they were nothing more than a gang of bullying political murderers that paraded around in all their glorious self-righteous impunity. Today, none of them are of the 1% oligarchic plutocracy, but they serve them just the same as their modern-day “Brownshirts.”

When you censor and block dissenting commenters you reveal yourself as a sponsor, enabler and protector of these vicious Brownshirt Trolls.

So far I’ve identified five of blogs providing a safe-haven for two chapters of Brownshirts.

One of these blogs I’ve already identified and written about. The others, not wanting at this time to provide easy access or advertise in their behalf, I won’t post any links. Just know that when you see these pictures where you are.

If you read Eric Kirk and His Brownshirts – Called Out Again below, you can easily recognize the Brownshirt Trolls’ method of operation as Eric Kirk provides a perfect demonstration. First, should you choose to make a dissenting comment about the blog article or any of it’s affirming commentary, you will be challenged by the most personal and vilifying diatribe, hyperbole, innuendo, and out right lies such as: “Only an idiot or a crazy lunatic would say that or take that opinionated position.” Those kinds of filthy personal accusations are directed at the credibility and integrity of the person making the comment and NOT at the substance of the comment. But not so in Eric Kirk’s mind.

In his mind the opinion or idea – the position – is idiotic or crazy. But that is NOT what he said and wrote.

Should the hapless victim try to defend him or herself, they have just proved Kirk’s assertion (accusation) that they are either an idiot, crazy or both. Who but such people would conflate themselves with their “position” or worthless opinions rattling around in their empty heads and be “personally” offended? Score another one for the Brownshirts.

The problem when entering one of the Brownshirt Havens is you are stepping into a maze of quicksand totally in the dark. Most of the blogs never post any kind of guidelines or rules for making comments on their blogs. Those that do post something use them to discriminate against anyone they don’t like. Clearly, in the example above, Kirk’s personal accusation deviates from the blog article or it’s theme no matter what it might be. Yet, it is the defender that the rule, oftentimes unspoken “rule,” is used against should that person dare object to the personal off-theme attack.

In the world of blogging I would consider these thug, bullying Brownshirt’s antics incidental and irrelevant. Between the gossip-mongering, hatemongering, ridiculing, and lying about what people say, most of these blogs are nothing more than Troll Dens serving as home-bases for a Brownshirt Chapter. They possess NO credibility whatsoever.  I’ve learned over a lifetime that when these kinds of people raised their viperous heads and began spewing their dishonest vitriol and it was generally passed off by the decent folk as a fad — well lets just say, they lived to regret their amorphous judgments. Taken literally, the original Brownshirts, their political and general philosophy for existence; what guided and justified their actions as compared to these local Brownshirts, is a mere bullet.

Everything, all creation, starts with an idea. Once that idea becomes accepted commonplace it materializes into reality. These Blogger Brownshirts are only one bullet away from that reality.

[UPDATE :: Friday, May 23, 2014]

I’ve identified another Haven. This comment is another good example that the blog owner affirms and lets go unchallenged for blatant bald-faced lying. Brownshirts’ purpose is to SILENCE all dissenters – people that don’t bow down and worship the Plutocratic Oligarchy they support, empower and defend. I, frankly do NOT give a rat’s ass who agrees or does NOT agree with me.

MOLA42

May 22, 2014 at 12:13

I wonder….

There’s some guy out there who lately has taken to calling everyone who disagrees with him “Brown Shirts.” It would be very disappointing to find out Mr. Berg and this other fellow were one and the same.

For the record, no one is “evil” (except puppy abusers) and no one is a saint. We are just a bunch of folks trying to figure out the best way through this mess called life.

(Who made this scummy bastard God? “For the record” that statement is just his worthless opinion, and I do mean worthless. The fact that he presumes to speak for everyone belies his wannabe truth – what makes him illegitimate.)

When someone disagrees with us (Progressive, Regressive, Conservative, Liberal) it does not mean someone wants to get the trains going so they can ship their opponents to the Death Camps. It’s supposed to be a civil discussion, where consensus is reached and we make policy for ourselves we can all live with.

(No, in his case, they just put a bullet in your head – they censor you, they block you the moment you reject their lying false accusations and disease-ridden innuendo – see above. In that he mirrors his true father, and He is truly the Evil Father of the Lie. “Civility” died with the first lie. The Brownshirts turned it all into war.)

It starts with listening. [Emphasis Mine.]

–Joe

Eric Kirk and His Brownshirts

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013014_EricVKirk

[UPDATE Below :: Brownshirt’s at Work]

As noted before, Blogs are a good measure of a community. You get mostly unfettered articles on subjects that interest the blog owner and often enough, a whole panoply of commentary from visitors that sets the community tone – from the mundane nonsense, racist, bigoted, biased, prejudiced, moronic, ignorant, stupid, baseless, filthy lies, innuendo, false accusations and other hate-filled mongering blather, ad hominem, hyperbole to enlightening, inspirational, intelligent, commonsense instructional and fun reading. Occasionally, you get a replica of what if feels like to live in a totalitarian, authoritarian Elitist State when you visit one of these blogs and make a comment. The Nazi Brownshirts that possess an IQ of a pig come out in droves fully blessed and empowered by the Blog owner and moderator to attack and verbally assault, bully and ridicule. All the time proclaiming their right as a free American to wage verbal warfare on the unsuspecting visitor. They wait with baited breath for you to try to defend yourself so they can justify their “right” to assault you as a hate mongering Troll.

Like most houses of ill repute, they look nice on the outside, are inviting and full of promises, the beauty they offer is breathtaking, but deliver a slow death. That is why they cater to the intellectually adolescent, the brainwashed 5 year old, full of feel-good propaganda that only knows what they believe.  Consequently, they are incapable and unable to accept or handle the truth. To them, truth becomes hate speech.

When I start the Joe Blow Report I determined to be inclusive and list all the local blogs. My interest in Southern Humboldt garnered me an introduction to Eric Kirk and his SoHum Parlance II. Occasionally, he would introduce a subject of interest and I would comment on an observation or two. The end result, well — his latest comment pretty much says it all — his true feelings about me and my commentary.

Actually Joe, what I noticed is that when the threads were no longer perpetually dominated by nonsensical posts from you, Forest Queen, and Suzi, participation from everyone else actually picked up. [Emphasis mine.]

But that wasn’t all. He runs an open blog, everyone can comment on anything they want. He posts NO rules; from time to time he says he knows what he doesn’t like when he sees it, and deletes the comment — so ultimately, commenting on his blog is like going into court and having a  judge tell you, “Make your best case and I’ll decide which laws apply, if any.” No way to defend yourself there; it’s all about the judge.

He says the “thread were no longer perpetually dominated by nonsensical posts.” I would encourage the reader to go to his blog and look at the mountain of “nonsensical blog posts” under, All Things Reconsidered on KMUD Tonight – “What can change your mind? that have absolutely NOTHING to do with the theme that he actively participates in. OH Yeah! There are at current time 424 comments.

It seems he doesn’t run such an “open” blog after all. To impress everyone who is boss, without a word despite what he says now, he banned Forest Queen some time ago. When he did that he never said anything about moderating Suzy or my comments. I stopped making comments after reading his personal and insulting comments justifying his arbitrary behavior. Speaking for myself, I’m not a grammar school child in Eric Kirk’s school for ignorant morons. Recently, different commenters have been asking about Forest Queen and why she can return to make comments. Eric Kirk explains why she can’t:

Forest Queen was banned because I received about half a dozen complaints from people telling me offline that they no longer come here because she dominates every thread and dilutes every discussion with incoherent nonsense, apparently just for kicks. I gave several warnings.

The last straw was a thread in which there had been a very interesting discussion which dissolved when she made about 7 or 9 straight nonsensical posts – the discussion was dead.

I don’t actually remember anything she posted about law. I’m sure she did, but nothing that struck me as anything intellectually memorable.

There are plenty of other blogs for her to play her games on. She can start her own. [Emphasis mine.]

I would like to point out that his justification is totally bogus, without basis. No one can “dominate” any thread or dilute any “discussion,” with what he judges to be “incoherent nonsense,” not unless you are an illiterate moron. Besides, to a five year old almost everything adults talk about is “incoherent nonsense.”

When Suzy posted a comment on the above reasons, I decided to test him and see if he had banned me from commenting too. This is what I got when I posted the following comment:

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

May 10, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Joe Blow

After blocking Forest Queen my tolerance for Eric Kirk’s in-your-face hypocrisy and his unAmerican supporters’ hyperbolic justification tanked. Promised myself if ever had anything to say I’d publish on my own blog, but this is unreal. Whatever Eric Kirk thought to do and now justify is really amusing, not to mention so ever satisfying to witness his exposure. You shit in your own bed Kirk and don’t even know it.

Has anyone bothered to take a look the the extent of this blog thread (alone), as of this writing 421 comments, with its extensive, “dominating and diluting” massive blather, “with incoherent nonsense,” and compare it with Eric Kirk’s reasons for banning (censoring Forest Queen)? While at the same time promoting himself as a champion patriot, defending the rights and freedoms consistent with or to a democratic society. You couldn’t ask for a more perfect example of a “dead thread” totally unrelated to the original blog posting. Talk about rank, rotten hypocrisy – the stench permeates my offices so bad I had to turn off the computer.

What goes around always comes around,” Kirk, and that is the real reason people stopped associating with you. You, actually, did us all a favor, in particular Forest Queen.

Interestingly, even though I am not outright banned, Eric DID post this comment with the following answer:

Actually Joe, what I noticed is that when the threads were no longer perpetually dominated by nonsensical posts from you, Forest Queen, and Suzi, participation from everyone else actually picked up.

The question I ask is, Who is proven to perpetually dominate his bog with nonsensical posts now? The stupid, inane commentary boiling out of his blog now rivals all comments made by Forest Queen, Suzy or me.

Be assured, SoHum Parlance II is NOT the only blog in Humboldt County to act this way. The Brownshirt movement is rather extensive. They threaten everything decent, lawful people hold dear.  This class of people are at war with the decent, the generous, the knowledgeable and the law abiding champions of truth, justice and the right to self-defense. They pose a real and abiding threat to our survival, as a nation, as a people and as a community.  While they live in relative obscurity on blogs and on the Internet, they live among us and project and enforce their evil will.


[UPDATE May 14, 2014]  Trolls at Work ala Eric Kirk

Eric demonstrates his disdain for people that do NOT agree with him and his Elitist’s right to lawless judging. The old admonition: “buyer beware” is certainly appropriate for anyone making comments on his blog. Disagree with him or any of his Brownshirts and the moronic obscene, demeaning, derogatory ridicule exceeds what no decent person will accept. So, enjoy his kind of propaganda at your own peril.

May 14, 2014 at 8:17 am

Mitch

Hey, Eric, you even had trolls in 2006!

May 14, 2014 at 8:47 am

Eric Kirk

I had trolls by my third posting Mitch. Almost makes be believe in original sin.


–Joe

Sovereign Collapse

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032613_hands_off_cyprusAs the Republicans feverishly work to eliminate the last bastions of the American People’s investments, their homes, their pensions, their Social Security, Health Security-Medicare and Medicaid, they collude with the Democrats and the Independents to finish the looting.  Take away Social Security and Medicare and people will be forced to survive on what little value is left in the homes and property that has not already been devalued through the corrupt banking and money printing used to prop up the fraud.  So, what’s left? If Europe is a pre-cursor to what’s coming to America, they just outright steal it — all legal and justified.

Democracy Now’s interview with Richard Wolff, “A People’s Revolt in Cyprus: Richard Wolff on Protests Against EU Plan to Seize Bank Savings A People’s Revolt in Cyprus: Richard Wolff on Protests Against EU Plan to Seize Bank Savings” lays out what we can all expect in the near future and what people will need to do to try to protect their investments — MONEY.

–Joe

America’s Slide into Hell

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by Glenn Greenwald.

MONDAY, JUN 25, 2012 04:01 AM PDT

Collapsing U.S. credibility

Condemning foreign governments for abusive acts while ignoring one’s own is easy. But the U.S. leads the way.


Why this is important. Here is Greenwald’s Update excerpt:

UPDATE:

A related point was made by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1967, when he delivered an extraordinary speech designed to address complaints that his anti-war activism was distracting from his civil rights work, and he explained why the latter was impossible without the former (h/t Duncan Mitchel)

As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action.

But they ask — and rightly so — what about Vietnam? They ask if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted.

Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.

Last January, I wrote about King’s speech and how it relates to current political activism.

[Source]

–Joe

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