Monday, April 30, 2012

Austerity Sucks! But Do US And European Lawmakers Know Or Even Give A Shit?

Here's a Business Insider interview with Paul Krugman, the unrepentant world champion of Keynesian economics. Krugman makes the very logical argument that governments that support the austerity mantra are just wrong and actually should be 'doing the exact opposite of what we are doing now'. He says that US prosperity would return in 18 months if the political obstacles could be removed and governments would start spending more on such things as rehiring public employees.

Is Your Attention Span 45 Minutes Long? If So Watch This Bill Moyer Video Interview With Marty Kaplan

Once again Bill Moyer brings us information on the cancer of 'big money, big media and politics'. With the help of guest Marty Kaplan he looks into the present day big media vortex that attempts to manipulate nearly every aspect of our daily lives while providing little in the way of useful or informed information.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Misguided Violence Prone Anarchists Are A Threat To OWS And The 99% Movement In Seattle

In the run up to worldwide action by the Occupy Movement on May 1st I have a few thoughts I'd like to share. Let's call it my attempt to call out those who may seem well meaning, but who's actions ultimately can do irrevocable damage to our movement.

My advise and plea is,  that if your a troublemaker or anarchist into gratuitous violence or meaningless petty property destruction to prove your faulty points, no matter how justified you may think they are, please just stay home. Or better yet, take your misguided politics to the scrapheap of history where they belong. That is, unless you can bring yourself to see the paramount importance of a strict adherence to the principle of nonviolence. There can be no exceptions to this principle.

The Occupy Movement does not need you and your tactics. Petty vandalism, police baiting and violence no matter how it is directed rewards the forces of the corporate state by alienating the real and potential supporters of the 99% movement. It justifies retaliation by the police state. Nonviolence is the key to the ultimate success and growth of the OWS movement. Which if you haven't realized it yet, is a force that at its core is a nonviolent movement seeking economic and social justice, peace, empathy for others and the growth of compassion for our fellow human beings. Even love and empathy for our enemies free from the usual knuckle-headed mindless tactics of the sixties or the outdated violence of past WTO protests. Our powerlessness is actually our strength. This may seem counterintuitive, but it is ultimately true. This powerlessness along with self-discipline, honesty and transparency are the neutron bombs and moral justification that must underpin the 99% movement.
"It appears to me that the resources of the state, or tremendous resources of the state, have been employed against the occupy movement. We seen that externally with the physical eradication of occupy encampments. It been more difficult to see internally. How they are working to subvert the movement. But I think it's very clear what the goal is, the goal is to sever the movement from the main stream. Because the occupy movement is fundamentally a main stream movement". Chris Hedges April 2012
I have posted in the past about how elements of the early Occupy Seattle movement lacked creativity and intelligence when it was sorely needed. I was there at the beginning of the Occupy Seattle movement and there was a window of opportunity to grow the movement significantly. Several of the early protest were supported by large numbers of sympathetic demonstrators with whom the OWS movement's message had resonated. Here in Seattle much of this good will towards the movement was soon squandered by a lack of creativity on the part of the movement's facilitators who, more often than not, were more inclined to resort to needless and often pointless confrontations with authority than promoting a movement based on protected and rational civil disobedience aimed at addressing widespread economic and social injustices.

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At that time local Occupy Seattle protesters enjoyed wide support from a liberal bent citizenship, liberal press, left leaning elements within the local political establishment and the local labor movement. But much of this support was alienated in the wake of what seemed to be one stupid tactical move after another.  The movement seemed to be fronted by a core group of police hating, petty violence prone dogma ranting anarchists and uncreative types who struggled to come up with a tactical plan that didn't resort to direct and often pointless confrontations directly with the police or the Mayor's office for the sake of confrontation. 

These tactics created a question in the minds of main stream sympathizers I believe because it seemed to lack much creativity or analytical thinking or simply missed the point of why we protest entirely. The protesters seemed to often overlooking  the main themes of the Occupy movement, direct action and occupation in an attempt to awaken the main stream to the morality of the economic injustices that were going on around us everywhere, the destruction of the middle class and the growth of the power of the corporate state who controls it all.

Occupy Seattle and the occupy movement as a whole must adhere to nonviolence at all costs and find a way to become a creative intelligent force for good if there is any hope of gaining wide spread support from citizens. This maybe a difficult goal given the state of the occupy movement's track record and public image here in Seattle. Perhaps we have screwed up our one chance to make a point already with many. This is the reality I think we face on May 1st and in the coming months if we wish to grow this movement into one that cannot be ignored by the powers that attempt to control us and now block the progress and justice we seek. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Welcome To The Gulag Suckers - What Will You Say When They Come For You?

"A new exposé in Wired Magazine reveals details about how the National Security Agency is quietly building the largest spy center in the country in Bluffdale, Utah, as part of a secret NSA surveillance program codenamed "Stellar Wind." We speak with investigative reporter James Bamford, who says the NSA has established listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls, whether they originate within the country or overseas."

Sunday, April 22, 2012

NSA Whistle Blower Gives Us Shocking Look At The Massive Scope Of US Domestic Surveillance

"Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” 
NSA Whistleblower, William Binney

Read the source article by Alexa O'Brien and see the video interview of William Binney at WL Central '2012-04-21 List of possible NSA interception point locations and VIDEO of Whitney Surveillance teach-in'

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Main Stream Media Finally Compelled To Cover NDAA Lawsuit By Freedom 7

The LA Times has a feature story on the ongoing lawsuit by civil libertarians and activists over the provisions of the NDAA, which went into effect on March 1st.  You can learn more about the lawsuit at

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

It's Absurd But US Intelligence And Security Apparatus Have Labeled My Daughter An al-Qaida Sympathizer - NDAA Comes Home To Roost

Having a daughter branded as a terrorist, or sympathizing or associating with terrorists is one probability most citizens feel will never happen to them.

Like pigs feeding at the trough, many Americans are so involved in gorging themselves on the slop that's doled out to them they fail to see that there is a probability of each of them being singled out as the next side of bacon by the modern day out of control, massive, make it up as you go, mostly corporate controlled US security apparatus and police state.
"The security and surveillance state does not deal in nuance or ambiguity. Its millions of agents, intelligence gatherers, spies, clandestine operatives, analysts and armed paramilitary units live in a binary world of opposites, of good and evil, black and white, opponent and ally. There is nothing between. You are for us or against us. You are a patriot or an enemy of freedom. You either embrace the crusade to physically eradicate evildoers from the face of the Earth or you are an Islamic terrorist, a collaborator or an unwitting tool of terrorists. And now that we have created this monster it will be difficult, perhaps impossible, to free ourselves from it. Our 16 national intelligence agencies and army of private contractors feed on paranoia, rumor, rampant careerism, demonization of critical free speech and often invented narratives. They justify their existence, and their consuming of vast governmental resources, by turning even the banal and the mundane into a potential threat. And by the time they finish, the nation will be a gulag." 
Sound far fetched? It's not because it has happened to my politically active daughter Alexa O'Brien. Her only transgression was to question America's political institutions and actively involve herself in forming an organization to reform US election laws. Specifically the organization she founded was attempting to get corporate money out of politics and reform the financing of political campaigns. The organization US Day Of Rage became one of the founding organizations involved with the Occupy Wall Street Movement in the spring and summer of 2011.

She has also been outspoken and active in her support for Bradley Manning, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. She is a blogger, journalist, social media wizard and contributed posts to blogs like WikiLeaks Central. To name just a few of her entirely legally protected political activities. She also preached and maintained a strict policy and adherence to nonviolence in the course of all of her politically involved activities including those with US Days Of Rage and the Occupy movement.
"Alexa O’Brien, a content strategist and information architect who co-founded the U.S. Day of Rage, an organization created to reform the election process and wrest it back from corporate hands, was the first plaintiff to address the court. She testified that when WikiLeaks released 5 million emails from Stratfor, a private security firm that does work for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Marine Corps and the Defense Intelligence Agency, she discovered that the company was attempting to link her and her organization to Islamic radicals and websites as well as jihadist ideology."
Seems like one citizen fed-up with the corruption of our political institutions exercising her constitutional rights?  It doesn't matter if you agree with her politics or means for her to be allowed to do what she sees as what should be done, by the way. It's generally called free speech and freedom of assembly. But her activism cost her her income, security and job and put her personal reputation and possibly even her personal freedom on the line. What would you do if it were your daughter, friend or associate, or even Malia Obama.... Mr President?
'This is what the US police state looks like when it's fully brought to bear on one citizen determined to change it.'
When I visited her in New York in July 2011 we talked about her plans and involvement in the coming occupy movement and US Day Of Rage. Civil disobedience and nonviolence was discussed extensively. We talked and argued about reforming government. We laughed about the mostly right wing internet chatter that had begun to paint US Day of Rage and the Occupy Movement as hippies and potentially riotous troublemakers. Basically, it appeared the movement probably consisted of a few hundred supporters and computer and social media aware activists at the time. There were legitimate concerns that when the occupy wall street demonstration was scheduled to start on September 17, 2011 no one would show up. 

She voiced her support of US government institutions, but felt they had become so corrupted by money and the right-left conundrum of phony political positions that it was time for direct action. She believed direct action was the only path remaining if there was any hope of saving the republic. This moved her and her comrades to conceive and develop the idea of occupying New York's financial district. Based loosely on the idea of the occupations that took place during the Arab Spring.

Neither of us realized at the time that the occupy movement would strike a chord with the masses in the way that it did and would become the massive reform movement it is today that has literally changed and fuels our national conversation about needed political reform. It shows you what a few concerned and determined citizens can do given the bravery, will power, work ethic and intelligence to take on a corrupt state.

In the course of her involvement with the Occupy Wall Street Movement and with the US Days Of Rage the US intelligence apparatus was taking notes of course. Falling over themselves to brand anyone they could as somehow remotely connect to generic international terrorism and to justify their existence and pay checks they began to focus on her organization US Day Of Rage and the occupy movement's activities.

The mammoth self-perpetuating wheels of the police state are now turning.

This proves that laws like the NDAA are dangerous and most definitely unconstitutional. This is the same law that was fathered in part by several 'progressive' Democrats and signed by constitutional lawyer and President Barack Obama. It gives the government almost unlimited power to arrest and detain US citizens who are determined to be 'terrorists', associated with terrorists or who in some government intelligence contractor's bureaucratic mind 'substantially supported al-Qaida, the Taliban or associated forces'.  

Alexa is now bravely involved as one of the plaintiffs along with Chris Hedges, a journalist; Daniel Ellsberg, who is known for releasing the Pentagon Papers; Noam Chomsky, a well-known writer; Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir; Tangerine Bolen, founder of; Kai Wargalla, deputy director of Revolution Truth and founder of Occupy London in a lawsuit to block the implementation of the section of the NDAA that allows for detention of citizens based on conjecture and without due process. Dubbed the 'freedom seven' by their lawyers they fight not only for their individual rights and freedom but for everyone's

If you would like to help Alexa O'Brien with financial support with her expenses in covering the Bradley Manning proceedings you can contribute here.

Quotes from Chis Hedges article 'Someone You Love: Coming to a Gulag Near You' which originally appeared in Truthdig