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Will Vermin and Jimmy attempt to ontologically defeat the corrupt and bloated US political sphere again? High rent and oral hygiene will be back on the agenda in 2016, they hint in a QA.
Vermin Supreme and Jimmy McMillan answer questions after a free screening of "Who is Vermin Supreme? An Outsider Odyssey" at the Paramount in downtown Boston. Director Steve Onderick answers questions, followed by Vermin and Jimmy over skype.
Troublesome assumptions about security culture arrangements for closed Occupy Homes national gathering sessions starting tomorrow at the Neighborhoods Organizing for Change MN (NOC Office) around noon put participants at risk. I feel everyone involved means well, but a bunch of particularly 'toxic' situations have materialized. Since these developments reflect larger trends, they need to be fixed if possible, and certainly discussed. [See August 4th story on conflict around meeting closure at NOC Office 911 Broadway Ave on Tuesday] At issue: the desire of the organizers of the Occupy Homes national convening to close the gathering.
The Occupy Homes MN last Saturday, which ran around four hours, reached a vote of 22 in favor of the closure of sessions at the national Occupy Homes convening, 18 against, and 8 standasides. 22/18/8 fails to reach a 2/3rds level of consensus (even ignoring standasides, only 55%). Unfortunately a kind of reverse fait accompli has evidently been imposed on the consensus-based group -- the inability to prevent the meeting closure decision from having been taken earlier by the two delegates means that now the group is [purportedly] imposed upon with a 55% decision. [I have not been able to get comment about when this closure happened exactly]
//// UPDATE Aug 7th: Getting complaints not for attribution from one of the people that arranged the lockout. They say they had a vote of 23, not 22, to proceed with the session lockout. Two initial reports said 22, but even if it is 23, that fails to meet 2/3rds consensus. Let's show exactly how this works, using 23 as the affirmative number lacking 66% consensus. The third chart & data set shows the consensus actually required.
If this doesn't make it obvious there's no 66% support, I don't know what will - no matter whether you factor in the stand-asides.END UPDATE ////
@TshirtToby sent along the following writeup of the Saturday meeting. Thanks Toby - follow him!
/// This is a report about the Occupy Homes MN meeting held on Saturday April 4th.
Once other business was able to be taken care of, the meeting moved on to the contentious issue over the openness of the upcoming conference. The people involved with organizing the conference admitted that they made mistakes and move forward from here.
It was proposed that the conference should be open to everyone. Arguments for and against were made. For openness arguments were made for transparency, spirit of the Occupy movement, worries over the groups involved and their influence. Against, it was brought up with the people outside of Minnesota organizing it on a conference call and it didn't pass a vote among them; didn't want media/informants/undercover government agents at meeting; Talking about sensitive tactics and people personal homes and financials. A vote was taken and it didn't pass.
It had been agreed that it 6 "Participants" and 5 "Observers" to the various panels. This was decided fairly quickly and somewhat sloppily due to time crunch and tensions. This meeting had the second highest tensions I have ever felt during an Occupy meeting.
In my opinion the meeting went as well as it could considering the lack of time to solve an emotional debate. The problem I see is that some of the people invited to this meeting are not from Occupy affiliated groups. These groups don't abide by Occupy traditions of openness and transparency. This could hurt Occupy Homes reputation.
It is my hope that this group will be able to recover from this incident and continue to do its good work. ///
Veteran activists in Minneapolis know full well after many incidents in recent years (see 2008 Republican National Convention, 2009 Grand Jury & beyond), any large gathering can easily be surveilled, yet security culture assertions by those who have promulgated the plan to lock the sessions are simply faulty. It is totally implausible that closing the meeting sessions will spare it the effects of informants or government operatives. This is extremely dangerous -- the faith that security culture can 'work' with this many people around -- and needs to be set aside immediately.
[Protip: In the future, the dangerous power of delegation has to be carefully bounded for nonhierarchical groups, such as instructing delegates under no circumstances may they agree to close meetings to their members. You'd think it was an assumption of everyone, but unfortunately it's not.]
The Movement Resource Group, (Movementresourcegroup.org started by Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerrys, and others) provided a large grant to support this Occupy Homes gathering, grant info attached below. Simply put, if MRG provides more grants sponsoring closed "Occupy" meetings, the critical network topology of openness upon which the entire idea depends will be killed off, sprayed into oblivion by the Roundup of good intentions expressed through grants.
Additionally, as Anthony Newby discussed on the video taken last Wednesday, members from several of the groups flying in to Minneapolis have had their airfare paid by Service Employees International Union (SEIU), although Newby said he wasn't sure if it was the local or national organization.
Alongside the partially closed Occupy Homes series of events, a second specific effort is taking place, and one source said that this affair is at least partially put on by Minnesotans for a Fair Economy (MFE), an organization set up for electoral purposes by the Fight for a Fair Economy network.
At our Saturday, July 28, 2012 joint general assembly, Occupy Bernal/SF ACCE/Occupy Noe agreed to generate support for Wells Fargo Bank (WFB) foreclosure fighter Steve Boudreaux of Atlanta, GA.
He is in foreclosure, and fighting, with the support of his community, to keep his home.
Two of us are attending the first convening of thenew National Home Defenders League in Minneapolis, MN on August 7-8, 2012. Our fellow organizations from around the country are all fighting foreclosures. Let’s show them that our organizations believe in solidarity. Hopefully, after that national meeting, we will have a nationwide organization capable or fighting the banks county-wide.
One source stated that members of at least five of the groups involved in the Occupy Homes summit are also attending the MFE-supported event. It seems likely, though unconfirmed, that the MFE-supported event is the National Home Defenders League convening.
Several of the staffers involved with Home Defenders League [HDL] (also those in MN involved with MFE & SEIU in recent years) share a pretty common background: they were ACORN network staffers & relatively tight-knit. More recently, within the last few weeks, HDL has been staffing up, and HDL opened at the same address as ACCE (Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment), which itself opened less than two weeks after California's ACORN chapter dissolved, at that same address, with much of the same ACORN staff.
HDL was announced as early as 2010 as a descendant org of ACCE:
/// October 8, 2010 Friday - Home Edition - HOUSING; Freeze sought on U.S. home seizures;
As questions mount about how banks have handled foreclosures, consumer and civil rights groups call for a national moratorium. By Alejandro Lazo and E. Scott Reckard
SECTION: BUSINESS; Business Desk; Part B; Pg. 1
Two advocacy groups -- the Los Angeles-based Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and the Greenlining Institute of Berkeley -- this week called for a foreclosure moratorium. The L.A. group said it was forming a separate organization, the Home Defenders League, to help homeowners fight foreclosures. Both groups called on Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown to support a moratorium. ///
This summer has seen an expanded relaunch of HDL in different states. June 6 2012 NY Daily News:
/// About a dozen New York Communities for Change volunteers canvassed Jamaica recently, talking to homeowners facing foreclosure and looking for abandoned homes that have become neighborhood eyesores. Members of the Queens chapter of the grassroots advocacy group knocked on about 300 doors on Saturday to mark the launch of the Home Defenders League. ///
It's really no problem for representatives of HDL-friendly & ACORN network related chapter organizations to join an Occupy Homes meeting like they will tomorrow. With large parts of the gathering put off limits to general participation (there aren't open 'political' events, only socially-oriented gatherings), that presents a major issue with power flows and openness in an ostensibly "Occupy" related gathering.
When many of those orgs are also apparently having a parallel unadvertised gathering supported by an electoral organization [though I do not have further evidence on paper of the arrangement], that looks like two networks tangled in one situation. It's much better in the long run for all of us to openly work on untangling this issue.
Having known quite a few staff working in the milieu of paid political organizations including ACORN, MFE & SEIU, by and large these are good people who have good intentions. Occupy has always supported unions, but is wary of co-option by managerial union leadership.
Many of the homeowners involved in these campaigns are gritty, very well-intentioned union members. This doesn't mean they necessarily support this kind of organizing - with quite a few I've talked to, this sort of thing strikes them as a bad move.
The troubling thing is that quite frequently, people in the paid milieu don't realize their tactical approaches are harmful to the very forces they're trying to bolster. The gradients of structural politics, grants, co-option, working in cooperation and trying to build bridges to turn large projects into movements are certainly not pretty, and makes people uneasy.
This is why the open nature of Occupy as a network has been such a sturdy foundation - it works not as a closed door cabal but rather an open network. Security culture, properly applied, involved small temporary affinity groups working on individual projects, far away from any venues with dozens of people. No more ambitious OPSEC (operational security) approach is really plausible. The closing of information and lines of contact damages the ability of the networks to maintain a 'common operating picture' and the broad, heterogeneous 'weak tie networks' needed to keep projects thriving over the long run.
Occupy Homes MN has most effectively functioned not as one organization, but as another network performing direct actions, in which activists who primarily identify with other organizations kept the projects alive.
The overall principle of openness, not informationally constricted, leaky boxes of withheld information & pseudo 'security culture', is essentially what brings these types of movements oxygen, preventing rot, political ossification, and hierarchical decision-making.
One individual reported to be an attendee at this week's meeting, Jonathan Matthew Smucker, advocated Occupy embracing "Co-Optation". I think this line of analysis runs pretty deeply with the people pushing in this direction.
It's worthy of debate, but debate in open meetings, whether this approach sacrifices goals of more radical, deeper social change for much smaller tactical victories, working with electorally oriented organizations. Without open meetings, the pros & cons of this approach will never get worked out properly.
/// ..... But angst about an over-generalized sense of co-option may be an even bigger problem. We cannot build a large-scale social movement capable of achieving big changes without the involvement of long-standing broad-based institutions. OWS should actively and strategically forge relationships with many of these institutions, while preserving the role of OWS as an "outsider" force.
.........The worst thing we could do right now is make Occupy Wall Street into a small "radicals only" space. We cannot build a large-scale social movement capable of achieving big changes without the involvement of long-standing large membership institutions, including labor unions, national advocacy organizations, community organizations, and faith communities. Radicals never have and never will have sufficient numbers to go it alone. We have to muster the courage and smarts to be able to help forge and maintain alliances that we can influence but cannot fully control. That's the nature of a broad populist alignment.
Social movement theorists have a term for the sort of co-option that Occupy Wall Street should prize: infrastructure co-option. Nascent movements become mass movements not by building their own infrastructure entirely from scratch or recruiting new volunteers one at a time, but by "co-opting" existing institutions and social infrastructure into the service of the movement and its goals. The Civil Rights movement went big when existing institutions—especially black churches and schools—came to identify strongly as part of the movement. Organizers provided opportunities for members of those pre-existing institutions to make this new identification actionable and visible. This was cultivated to such an extent that, eventually, to be a member of certain institutions implied active involvement in the Civil Rights movement. When this happens with enough institutions, the movement gets a huge boost in capacity. And capacity means power.
Over the past few months many organizations and constituencies have been watching Occupy Wall Street, trying to figure out whether and how to relate to it. These organizations—including faith communities, the NAACP, MoveOn.org, labor unions, community organizations, and many other groups—understand how they and their members are affected by the crises that Occupy Wall Street has named and confronted. Some of them are already engaging in important ways, explicitly as part of—or in support of—Occupy Wall Street. And many more have long been engaged in work that clearly aligns with the movement's core values—and probably even deserve some credit for helping to lay the long-term organizing groundwork that helped create OWS.
But there are still significant barriers standing in the way of broader constituencies conceptualizing themselves as part of a 99% movement and getting actively involved. The first and most obvious barrier is that many groups haven't really been asked to get involved. During the first couple months of OWS, if a group wanted to get involved, it was typically a matter of them taking the initiative to approach us and ask what kind of support they might provide. Usually the answer was some variety of "Come down to Zuccotti Park" or "Stand up against Bloomberg for our right to occupy the park." Often the groups that wanted to support OWS simply showed up. While this kind of involvement made perfect sense when we held the park, it's clear that we now have to come up with other ways for more people and groups to take action as part of the 99% movement.
This is a critical transition for Occupy Wall Street and the 99% movement. Remember that Occupy Wall Street kicked off with a well timed call-to-action, a ripe target, some planning, and a lot of crazy luck. As a result, OWS has understandably had more of a culture of mobilizing than of organizing. It's been a little like a group of folks who don't know anything about farming who arrive at a farm at harvest time. There's delicious food everywhere, and all they have to do is pick, pluck, and gather it. And eat it! "Wow," one of them exclaims, "farming is awesome! Why would we waste our time cultivating the soil? This food is delicious! I want to eat it all the time! This is working very well. We should just keep doing this — all the time!"
Occupy Wall Street has been something of a harvest moment. It pulled thousands of people out of the woodwork who'd been waiting for something just like this to come along, and who were in a place where we could carve out time from our lives to engage it. But movements need hundreds of thousands if not millions of active participants to become mass movements. It's difficult if not impossible to activate those kinds of numbers by just taking public action with the hope that other like-minded individuals will decide to join you. We need more on-ramps and more ways to be involved — for folks who might not yet feel comfortable camping out at a public park.
.....And this is why it is now critical that we meet with folks who are movers and shakers in other social networks and institutions. That's how the 99% movement can grow at the rate we all know it needs to; byactivating whole swaths of society at a time.....
.....All of the above gets so much more complicated in an election year. Occupy Wall Street is an outsider force. It should remain an outsider force this year. If it were to endorse candidates or a particular political party, it would immediately lose all of its value and leverage. Our job is to push from the outside.
But that's not at all to say that we shouldn't have a strategy for engaging with the energy and media attention of the election season. We should. And how we do it will seriously affect our ability to continue to grow this movement, to be seen as relevant, to cultivate alliances, and to leverage power to effect real change......
.......Once someone starts running on your rhetoric, you then have more leverage over them. You are better positioned to expose them if they're just giving lip service to your ideas without any intention of delivering. And for all the horrendous limits of the two-party system, still a slate of candidates who get elected pledging to take on the big banks gives us a lot more to work with—as an outsider social movement—than a slate of candidates elected on a pledge to cut social spending. And more importantly, it keeps the momentum on our side.
Another important question has to do with how we engage allies who do endorse candidates. Many labor unions, for example, are likely at some point to endorse President Obama's reelection bid. Some already have. And some will surely endorse specific state and local candidates. We're an outsider force. We should never endorse candidates. But is it possible to ally around specific actions with organizations that also endorse candidates?
It has to be. We join up with others where we can, and we depart where we depart. If we call for an end to corporate personhood, for example, we should welcome as many co-endorsers as possible, including organizations that endorse politicians — and even politicians themselves. Welcoming politicians' endorsements of our goals doesn't mean endorsing those politicians. This is an important detail, and it requires a precise threading of the needle. As an outside force, we have to take all politicians to task, regardless of party. But the details of how we do this matter. We need to pressure politicians and candidates, and the best way to do this is to ask them hard questions and provide pressure that pulls them in our direction (or put them on the defensive). If we ask good questions that resonate with the people who hear them, then we're doing our job well. If, on the other hand, we make general statements like, "It doesn't matter who you vote for, they're all the same," then we're being needlessly belligerent to our allies and potential allies (without even putting politicians on the defensive). An organization focused primarily on reproductive rights, for example, will understandably be very concerned about whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney occupies the White House. We can take candidates from both parties to task on an array of other issues without spurning their reasons for deciding to endorse a candidate. ........
........Someone who had felt constrained within her institution before the shake-up may now see and seize openings to move the institution in a bolder direction. And this is more likely to happen if organizers from Occupy Wall Street—the visible catalyst of the earthquake—approach longstanding institutions to strategize together about how they might engage with this moment.
An earthquake moment is a time to invite people to engage. It's not a moment to keep people in boxes, or to draw rigid lines. It's a moment to hammer Wall Street, the big banks, and the political system that has been fixed to serve only the very wealthy and powerful. Our task now is to activate as many people as possible into action. And this has to include people we wouldn't necessarily choose to have as our best friends. ///
Unfortunately at the sessions Smucker is participating in in Minneapolis this week, such an open debate is not an option because of restricted access. The big question: Does that mean that the position and debate frames adopted as "Occupy approved" will shift in a less radical, more institutionalized direction?
Located from deeper areas of the internet, Home Defenders League PR structure in a press release:
/// EVENT: CONFERENCE CALL BRIEFING - THE HOME DEFENDERS LEAGUE;
LOCATION: None given -- May 31, 2012 As seen in text
SECTION: GENERAL NEWS EVENTS - LENGTH: 98 words
SUBJECT: The Home Defenders League holds a conference call briefing, beginning at noon, with an overview of the Home Defenders League campaign, a "new alliance of homeowners and renters across the country who are joining together to make their voices heard in the 2012 election and beyond."
CONTACT: Moria Herbst, 646-452-5637, 917-743-6350, firstname.lastname@example.org [Note: Media should RSVP to Moira Herbst at email@example.com or 646-452-5637. Call-in, 800-434-1335; password, 995583#. A Q&A follows the news conference. Information on the launch of the alliance is embargoed until 9 a.m. May 31.] ///
Located near Wall Street at 15 Maiden Lane, Suite 1600, New York, NY, Berlin Rosen is interesting, reminiscent of other liberal communications consultancies. See http://www.berlinrosen.com/section/our-team/ for some familiar names.
In conclusion, I hope that broad networks can evolve, especially on all housing issues including fraud, homelessness, financialization, fractional reserve, and foreclosures, but that will not work out when narrow networks with bowtie chokepoints, rather than broad, open and loose networks evolve.
DISCLAIMER: I have performed videography services for MFE in the last year, contributed to videos & trained supporters in mobile video software (ustream/bambuser). Also, Movement Resource Group or one of its founders, Ben Cohen, (not sure which) provided funding for GlobalRevolution.tv (which I am a member) to supply Occupy and related movements with media gear, via GlobalRev's fiscal sponsor . We need to have good spirited disclosure of paid political organizing, in the long run this is essential. As so many people are well-intentioned, to avoid conflicts and jumbles, clear, plain information is the best goal we should share.
Government is the Entertainment Division of the military-industrial complex.
-- attributed to Frank Zappa
The ugly realities of modern electoral politics in America hit home this week with two body blows to self-styled anti-authoritarian political networks: The Ron Paul movement finally hit the brick wall as Rand Paul (R-KY Coal Mines) endorsed Mitt Romney (R-Rich Mormon Mafia) -- utterly shocking & depressing tons of semi-libertarian Republicans along with the entire conservative side of the "Truther" and/or "Liberty" movements.
Days earlier, the Wisconsin recall election against Gov. Scott Walker (R-Petulance) turned in uglier-than-expected numbers as likely thousands of Wisconsinites were stripped of their Constitutional right to vote through ridiculous new regulations -- and of course a bunch of shady electronic voting machines run from a company in a suburban St. Cloud strip mall. Fox News flacks and nasty Gloria Borger/Sarah Palin types cackled that the unruly, rebellious hordes had been licked for good. Now, the Paulistas and the rebellious Cheesehead hordes must ask: what's next?!
Perhaps these movements never had too much in common, though you could find some overlapping supporters. Probably the biggest difference is the Liberty types are pretty darn hostile to mainstream unions while the #OccupyCapitol (which the Dems transmuted into #WIrecall) clearly ended up with unions as its main hub. But they shared a hostility to the party hierarchies, business as usual, and to some extent the elite financial/War Machine domestic & international complexes, which has triggered the financial/austerity crisis by sucking out trillions of dollars.
The anarchist strain in Wisconsin, buttressed mainly by the IWW, complemented the non-interventionist libertarian one that's been rolling since about 2007 -- it showed that the new politics that people are actively hunting for is certainly not statist or socialist in the traditional sense.
UPDATE 5:30PM June 10: I got a response of sorts to the piece sent over twitter by @superbranch which is helpful for illustrating a number of details especially Democratic Party machinations: http://pastebin.com/vKh3tfh6 - Thanks!! I only had a view from a distance for most of this affair, so it's good stuff.
UPDATE 6:10PM June 10: Someone suggested that all anarchists are by definition socialists, though I think of socialism as a statist set of philosophies. In older times some labeled this "state socialism" vs. "libertarian socialism." See an Anarchist FAQ, example Kropotkin: "[s]o long as Socialism was understood in its wide, generic, and true sense -- as an effort to abolish the exploitation of Labour by Capital -- the Anarchists were marching hand-in-hands with the Socialists of that time", etc. & also see Black Flame blog. Also Article IV of the General Bylaws of the IWW Constitution specifically forbids "Political Alliances." "To the end of promoting industrial unity and of securing necessary discipline within the organisation, the IWW refuses all alliances, direct or indirect, with any political parties or anti-political sects, and disclaims responsibility for any individual opinion or act which may be at variance with the purposes herein expressed." Thus while I would say they are still anarcho-syndicalist, they are not formally set up as 'anarchist' per se. I feel I over-generalized in how I characterized the IWW, so sorry about that! (see also The League of Peace and Freedom for an org from that era)
UPDATE June 11: I mentioned prominent libertarian Lew Rockwell & forgot about his purported role in that whole Ron Paul "racist newsletter" narrative -- Rockwell is seen by many as the main ghostwriter in the 1980s newsletters. That stuff was creepy. More info here, here, here, here, here, etc. His newsletter compadre Murray Rothbard wrote "Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature" in 1973 which I think illustrates the not-cool-at-all aspect of these guys that led to the ugly views in those newsletters.
On the Wisconsin Side: Turning A Broad Popular Uprising Into An AFSCME Bargaining Rights Boxing Match
I've never seen such a staggering level of oppositional political energy squandered in this country like I did at the Capitol rally one clear day last spring. That night, as laborites fumed at the Labor Temple meeting hosted by the IWW and drifted downstairs to commence drinking, I collected Wobbly swag and later driving around Madison speculated with friends what could happen if people occupied dozens of sites like they had the Capitol. Or maybe an image of the future arrived early in my mind. Either way, real-world radicalism receded yet again once more into dull, conventional latency. [cartoon by Toles]
Perhaps the greatest achievement of the Republicans (which the Dems of course walked right into) was to narrow down and reframe the scope of the opposition from broad, radical revulsion at burning down virtually all aspects of governance in Wisconsin to a small, deeply mainstream, sore-loser election shitfit over government union bargaining rights.
As a party, the Dems just didn't want -- and probably couldn't understand -- an independent network pushing back, outside their control, a decentralized resistance to the Shock Doctrine. There was a real broad and sturdy community commencing in opposition, and the Dems demanded ideological buy-in, then splintered it into a thousand pieces and cast it to the wind. They couldn't recognize the dignity of people that didn't like either party -- people for whom a Recall and Milwaukee's Mayor Barrett didn't answer their questions.
The Democrats & the motivated Wisconsinites couldn't solve the problem of the pointless election industry. in order to fix anything at all, electoral politics needs to be a consequence of organizing for a better society, not the ultimate goal of organizing in perpetual 2-year cycles. In today's system, we have all our available cash thrown at short-lived election industry organizations that produce almost nothing of lasting value -- but they do make broadcasters richer.
How much more vast and worthy a fight it seemed last year. I was there on "Go Home Day," the day the state Democrats basically told everyone to go home and organize to recall the governor. While successful recalls of some GOP state senators did save the north country from a really bad mining project that would have destroyed an Indian tribe and much else besides, (the deciding GOP senator flipped) - and apparently the Wisconsin Senate did flip to Dem control in another recall around Racine as well, the national media, and the Star Tribune, are quite happy to buy the simple GOP narrative.
While Walker's goose still looked pretty well-and-cooked by early 2012, the Democratic Party of course knew how to biff an opportunity better than anyone. At the infamous Go Home Day, those rally-goers would have done damn near anything. If the senators had called for them to do cool actions around the state every two weeks - not just rallies but actual badass shit - everyone would have gone for it. Instead, the solution was conventional election industry operations and endless, destructive primaries.
It's fitting at least the Senate flipped after all the efforts, since the shockingly illegal abuses of power really came through that body, including violating the state's open meeting law to rail through their union-busting bill. It was classic political overreach that came with Shock Doctrine, slashing corporate taxes, trying to privatize the entire U of Wi system into the "Badger Partnership," (since of course it's one of the few old Germanic-style institutions not entirely oriented to corporatism today), Voter ID to block students and minorities from voting, etc. These sudden, broader conflicts added up to an incredibly attractive, unprecedentedly broad & open class war-type super-conflict across the state, which managed to radicalize thousands of heretofore-discreet firefighters and even police officers to protest in the streets & sleep in the Capitol!
The Democratic Party masters in Washington DC must have been appalled by this uprising. It conflicted horribly with their usual approach of throwing a couple bones to organized labor while screwing over them, the students and rank-and-file Dem activist types as much as possible, as they have year after year, to the benefit of the national security and financial industries.
Chris Cillizza put it in the Fix, probably with great accuracy, that the national Dems did not want to see a recall election: "There was considerable internal discussion and disagreement between Washington and Wisconsin Democrats (and organized labor) about whether to push for a recall election this summer or wait until 2014 for a chance to unseat Walker. (Washington Democrats broadly favored the latter option, Wisconsin Democrats and labor the former)."
More to the point they did not want to see an independent populism rising in this country without Dem political hacks steering it away from their big contributors, such as the Wall Street criminals that have been fleecing the rest of the party base for years. This same dynamic played out again when the federal government through Homeland Security and the FBI, and Democratic mayors coordinated to dismantle the Occupy encampments in late 2011, then the Feds turned to setting up informant based-stings into 2012 in order to psyop the media away from the message that our institutions and politicians have grossly failed us. These stings were synthesized for Mayday and the Chicago NATO Summit, it was no accident.
Now, at least, the problem of post-Citizens United elections financed mainly by the likes of the Koch brothers, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, and corporate treasuries have been laid bare. At the bottom of the tens of millions of dollars pumped into the state by many anonymous entities, Wisconsinites were paid $50 a pop to post yard signs, $20 to attend events, etc., and now at least the people know this is the core truth of modern electoral politics. According to one person I talked to, even Walker campaign workers were depressed by the massive constant cash flow. They knew it was an arrival at a new low. He who has the gold, rules. But who will carry the truth out of cheese country?
And as always, national and local media walk away from shady election practices -- irregularities are nothing but sour grapes and jags in the already agreed-upon narrative everyone's sticking with, kid. Only weirdos like BradBlog care about the hundreds of complaints -- of citizens being stripped of the one available gesture which underpins the entire legitimacy of the system. Maybe those people, lacking a voice in their own governance, will take things to a more direct level. At this point, why shouldn't they rebel against the apparatus? Freedom's just another word for no votes left to lose....
The Dems have a decent shot at keeping the state politically divided, even with the GOP's advantageous redistricting, which for example will add conservative exurban Chicagoans to the Racine district that flipped D last week. The national GOP and the state press probably won't admit it, but the enthusiasm for scorched-earth politics has long worn off and glorious gridlock will return.
I saw on Twitter speculation about a General Strike for Milwaukee -- and a lot of activists apparently haven't enjoyed their tenure working in electoral politics with the Democrats. We could see more direct action - and with a relatively militant street protest in Milwaukee along with an Quebec sympathy march by Occupy Chicago getting beaten down by CPD last week, more radical politics along Lake Michigan is probably in the cards. People signed those recalls for a reason and they're going to want to do something different, to keep organizing against the tidal force of big money.
Et Tu, Rand Paul! Truthers & Liberty Movements lose their vanguard & screech to a halt?
A decidedly different arc of the spectrum finally got the letdown they've been staving off for months this week, and now they too need to put their pieces back together and move along. Antiwar.com's Justin Raimondo had Rand pegged way back in September 2010: he was playing footsie with the neocons but the Paul network people didn't want to believe it. (and mapped the wind-down in February) Today they're reeling -- it seals what they've avoided facing for a couple months, that the GOP nomination is finally out of reach. Here's the man enthusiastically endorsing Mittens:
Seriously, he looks more depressed than anyone I've ever seen touting Republicans on Fox News. But I think the back conversation is also illustrative: Rand Paul has always been clear that Kentucky coal mines are awesome and SOPA was evil & worth opposing. This is the awesome package you get with the Liberty movement.
It is the system itself that is broken, corrupt and defunct. This is the very point of Lew Rockwell, who explained in a recent interview with RT that the government itself is always the problem, and that no government can rescue the People from the problems of government:http://www.prisonplanet.com/lew-rockwell-ron-paul-and-rand-paul-are-d... [.....]Personally, I completely agree with Alex in saying there is no compromise allowed. No doing deals with the devil. If we support liberty, we must deny our support for those who oppose it. We must never allow ourselves to become part of the very system that is destroying our economy, our liberties and our future. It is widely acknowledged now -- even on the political left -- that Obama is a traitor to America, but there is no indication that Romney wouldn't be even worse. He's practically a white version of Obama, with much the same platform: Government-run socialized medicine, high taxes, War on Drugs, secret military prisons, banker bailouts, gun confiscation and so on. Having Romney runs things in Washington will produce no better results than we've already seen over the last four years. It may even be worse, if you can imagine that.
[.....] I am not yet denouncing Sen. Rand Paul, as I still hope there is a double agent aspect to his actions and that somehow he will emerge as a defender of liberty. In my view, his track record has at least earned our patience in observing this situation a little longer. However, if Rand Paul continues down this path without explanation, it is all but clear he will destroy his political career and lose virtually his entire support base -- the very people who put him in the U.S. Senate in the first place.
As with all lovers of liberty, my patience is running out, and I'm beginning to think Lew Rockwell was right all along:All government is inherently evil and destructive, and that we are all foolish to think government can ever be changed through elections.
[bold emphasis his] I'm not exactly an enthusiastic statist, but this isn't really the nation's most productive perspective. Lew Rockwell is probably best described as a hard-core Libertarian, maybe even a Voluntaryist and/or "Market Anarchist" (see the Center for a Stateless Society) which is a set of views most Anarchists vehemently disagree with. Capitalism without the collection of memes and buildings we call a government would really suck even more than it does now. If we can envision a way to somehow finally move out of capitalism and leave capitalism's main organizer, the government, behind with it, that would be a little more balanced.
But this perspective isn't coming out of left field altogether - there's in a reason that Voluntaryist type thinking is more attractive than ever on the American Right and capital-A Anarchism is way more popular than a year ago, mostly thanks to the Occupy Wall Street project that blew up way beyond anyone's expectations.
While there's an escapist quality to libertarianism and anarchism, everyone wants to escape for a reason. There's a tangible sense - backed up with countless examples - that these structures held over us through violence, coercion and endless ranks of nasty little helpers - are utterly indifferent if not outright hostile to our chances of survival, let alone defending our dwindling freedoms. Shocked anyone would feel that way? Without much effort, we can feel a prison state closing in around us, seemingly poisoning everything from our pores to our skies to our souls.
Embitterment with the corporatist two-party system and its agenda of perpetual resource wars under loathsome, almost occult, entities like the IMF and NATO, along with a collapse in the standard of living for tens if not hundreds of millions of Americans, has brought plenty of anger towards government institutions that seem to exist solely to protect corrupt corporate cartels at the expense of smaller players (see the Gibson guitar drama, or FDA's love affair with big pharma), along with running protection for a rapacious and insane financial industry which has defrauded the American people of countless trillions of dollars in assets & hard-won dollars.
But the people feeling most burned this week outside of Wisconsin might be the Truthers who believed in Ron Paul. No one's done more to tie the people who refused to buy the government narrative on the Sept 11 2011 terrorist attacks to the Ron Paul network than Texas radio host Alex Jones.
It's not Ron Paul's fault or Alex Jones' fault that the rest of DC is basically composed of feckless war chickenhawks who are totally hostile to resisting false flags, the war on drugs and other scams of the military-industrial-intelligence-congressional complex. We all know modern COINTELPRO keeps the political discussion locked in a certain box. But was Alex Jones "duped" by Ron Paul? Check this out...
Here's just a classic recent moment worth watching between Jones and the closest thing he has to a mainstream left counterpart, the bookish conspiracy wonk Webster Tarpley. In this video, Alex Jones' years-long campaign to advocate Ron Paul's election shop finally comes to a sputtering end as Tarpley points out a lot of deliciously salient yet in retrospect quite obvious political points from the campaign. For great lulz he says Paul & Romney represent the amiable merger of southern Scottish Rite Freemasonry (a la Secret Sun) and the crypto-Freemasonic beliefs of Mormonism.
Tarpley, who has a quasi-FDR style political outlook has done a lot of nice pieces and books [Synthetic Terror PDF] over the years, and as a former associate of Lyndon LaRouche (also FDR-like in a weird way) he never saw a Anglo-Dutch conspiracy he didn't like to flush out.
Tarpley points out that Ron Paul declined to really attack Romney at all in the GOP debates, generally firing on Romney's leading opponents and also deflecting their anger. With Romney's cousin Huntsman as the opposite left/centrist flank, the good doctor was able to absorb basically all the anti-establishment votes against Romney. When Jones is holding the mic, you can just hear Tarpley saying that Paul ran interference for Romney and Jones ran interference for Paul. OUCH.
Obviously I felt it was beneficial to the country to have Paul challenging the warmongers and exposing their bloodthirsty insanity, the disturbingly unvarnished Id in some of those crowds, and it would have been better to have a Paul vs Obama campaign to force the war & big brother state issues to the fore. But this was never really in the cards, even if Paul would have been a better general election candidate for the GOP than Romney (which he probably would have been).
This, after all, is American electoral politics. Frank Zappa characterized it as the entertainment wing of the military-industrial complex and of course he was right. The intelligence structures are never going to let anyone advance into office who would undo the National Security Act of 1947 and the cultish secret state it initiated to be undone.
They are perfectly happy to keep everything managed under two-party dialectics with tons of corporate money swaying all the big issues. Since we don't have a parliamentary system anywhere in this country, with party lists that would permit minority viewpoints a legislative voice, every interesting electoral project, from Howard Dean or Ralph Nader to Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, become exercises in futility, white knights to rally the less-brainwashed masses & follow off to electoral oblivion with great fanfare. And if things get too close, a few Nixonian dirty tricks and buffer overflows in the voting machines can clean it up in no time.
In the GOP process this year, the anti-Paul people made sure to lock out & dirty-trick as many Paulistas as they could, leading to memorably weird chaos at normally-staid GOP conventions across America. The Romney 'network' is about an inch deep (apart from Bain operatives making trouble China & stuff), while seemingly endless weird networks of lolcats affiliated with the Ron Paul campaign.
In the 2008 cycle, it was insightfully put that the Paul campaign was very deliberately a narrative void or a cipher, so that the Truther groups could happily write themselves into the narrative and identify with it, along with IT nerds, the post-Perot types, and at the darker end, much more creepy prejudiced nativist types & etc. (and this varied heavily state-to-state, with Michigan less creepy than Arizona, etc.).
Unfortunately, because the Truther movement just didn't have a good broad nature in the political spectrum (well it does, but it doesn't operate that way), working with the anti-militarist Paul campaign to recruit and hang onto all those rebelliously-minded people effectively diverted them from possibly amplifying other efforts. He'd talk about false flags and ideals of liberty, but did Paul ever make it clear people needed to get out of their political comfort zone to take on adversaries we all share?
The ideological buy-in needed to become a true believer in electoral politics made rivals of people that could have and should have been allies -- in their own best interests. For example, it drove a wedge between Ron Paul fans who became Rand Paul fans, who liked his deregulatory push on coal mines, against the mountaintop removal activists. That wedge is perhaps the tragedy -- could it be undone?
What if everyone had instead agitated -- in a non-partisan style -- at their state legislatures against the corrupt operations of the federal government, the false flags, the constant stings and setups targeting both left and right, not to mention Muslims? What if they'd done direct actions together in the field against minions of the police state? There was a real biffed opportunity to build a good, multi-level resistance network outside of the traps and pitfalls of electoral politics.
Hopefully the remainders of the 2012 Paul network can pick themselves up and pivot more to more broad social issues, as well as the Big Brother system which is rapidly expanding -- if they can get a handle on how the Federal Reserve, while a keystone, is in many ways just the trade association or front-plate for the politically engaged big banks (with an infinite money printer).
The Big Brother system isn't exclusively government-based either, despite what Lew Rockwell and Mike Adams believe. It's really getting implemented by less than 25 military-industrial contractors with about 300 below that, and another several hundred below them. I can only expect these people to redouble their scrutiny and fierce public resistance, sending many would-be technocratic control freaks running for cover. The gains they made in the formal GOP system will add more wrinkles to what looked like an easy rollout for the prison state.
So now, between Wisconsin and the Truthers and the Ron Paul cats, here we sit, at the long dark teatime of the soul, as Douglas Adams put it. All our shared problems mount and continue to deteriorate -- the usual foibles of humanity, greed, idolatry, the search for white knights to preserve that which never existed in the first place, the hunt for strange new threats from within and without -- all of these are still with us. Ancient Greek historians would chuckle that twenty-some centuries later, we fall for the same damn tricks every time.
Perhaps as they say there is nothing new in the universe, but I've seen a lot of synchronicity. I've seen a lot more pieces fall into place and weirdly line up than I think my traditional atheist mundane-universe perspective could explain. After all, today's militant Dawkins type atheists can't explain too well why evil -- and its handmaiden, war -- impose such a powerful force of their own. Nor can they explain what summons people to such resistance, or on occasion such luck and grace.
Even when dealt those staggering blows -- even when your political projects seemingly turn to dust overnight yet again -- besides the fond memories of fighting the good fight with your comrades, you made new friends, you built new skills, you showed the novices a thing or two. You didn't live on your knees, you threatened the despicable & illegitimate flows of authority. From time to time, you really wigged them out. And yes, you won a victory, two, or three, and inspired a few more.
The challenge, of course, is for all these people to reach outside their comfort zone, to abandon the elections-first perspective and turn to the more difficult project of politics in real time, not the deferred imaginary future image produced by the operatives of election industry, the illusionary catharsis they pitch as tomorrow's ballot box.
After many years of struggling to get her story across to the American public, 9/11 & FBI/national security whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has released " Classified Woman"".
For many years we have tried to track aspects of Sibel's case on this site (older hub page & category) including the role of foreign agents of influence and friends of corrupt foreign powers (frequently neocons) using their government jobs to sell America down the river.
The federal government did everything possible to conceal many aspects of 9/11 including prior intelligence reports, certain corporate fronts (like Giza Technologies which had been used to proliferate nuclear technology) and long-running intel programs like those which built up Islamic fundamentalist militias around Asia and Europe, NATO operations in many cases, an aspect finally revealed in more detail in Sibel's book (which unfortunately I haven't been able to snag yet!).
Part of the problem with privatizing intelligence operations was formalized by Executive Order 12333 from Dec 1981:
2.7 Contracting. Agencies within the Intelligence Community are authorized to enter into contracts or arrangements for the provision of goods or services with private companies or institutions in the United States and need not reveal the sponsorship of such contracts or arrangements for authorized intelligence purposes. Contracts or arrangements with academic institutions may be undertaken only with the consent of appropriate officials of the institution.
.... so thus, as pointed out in the documentary about the Edmonds case, Kill the Messenger (full video), Giza's work to proliferate nuclear technology, if carried out under rules like 2.7 of EO 12333, would have to be covered up by the DOJ even after they went after the Israeli interlocutor for the nuclear goodies (roughly, a limited hangout).
There is a lot more to be added on the case, in particular now how whistleblowers get ever more ruthless treatment under the Obama Administration.
As with former CIA asset Susan Lindauer, who also had 'loose ends' of 9/11 the establishment didn't want to hear about, (special posts one and two), the nastiest tools in the national security toolkit are directed not at nefarious terrorists and evildoers, nor networks of foreign agents-of-influence in the halls of government, but whistleblowers and anyone else 'ruffling feathers' out there.
Bonus factoid - with the NATO Summit from Hell around the corner in Chicago, the powers that be hid Meleck Can Dickerson and Douglas Dickerson in the NATO bureaucracy-octopus in Brussels.
The neocons hid in various places and have re-coalesced in the Romney campaign. Oh, we will have the likes of Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Eric Edelman and Marc Grossman to kick around again, should we be visited with the misfortune of a Romney presidency.
See also 2009: The new Boiling Frogs Post/Sibel Edmonds site; John Cole on the whole 9/11, Marc Grossman espionage complex etc.
HSI is a new directorate within the Immigration and Customs Enforcement service. Formed in September, its agents are responsible for investigating large-scale international crime, such as narcotics or arms smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering and any form of terrorism. They also defend against the illegal appropriation and exporting of technology that is crucial to U.S. security.
"In other words we're looking for illegal activity that is crossing the border into the country or crossing the border out of the country," Pino says.
The HSI Special Response Team serves warrants and apprehends international criminals considered too dangerous for other law enforcement to go up against.
"A lot of these criminal organizations are very well-armed, very well-funded and some of them may come from military backgrounds in their home countries," Pino says.
While its name is new, the response team can be traced to the 1980s, before the Department of Homeland Security existed.
"It started here in Miami, in the old cocaine cowboy days," HSI Special Agent in Charge Mike Shea says. "This is the oldest and best tactical entry team in the country.High-risk entry is the core mission."
HSI consists of more than 10,000 employees, including 6,700 special agents, who are assigned to more than 200 U.S. cities and 47 countries .
A relatively monstrous SWAT style truck leads us to a whole new blob of police state developments, busy hands with little to do and a lot of hardware to do it. It's yet another plateau of mad new security bureaucracy, something in this case I was loosely aware of tectonic plates moving, but a little digging revealed quite a nasty new nucleus. Let's plow in and see what was beta-tested through the willingness of politicians to throw money at repressing immigrants. The results begin with big, black scary trucks. And the biggest intelligence group inside the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and more. Surprise!
What in the hell is the Special Response Team, why do they have eight of these things? etc. What turns up is an entirely new nasty agency gestating with Immigration & Customs Enforcement, from the burbling mass of confused federal police... a new team emerges. With exciting competitions and lurid ways of guarding the Super Bowl from Terrorist Attack - a National Special Security Event. The wikipedia page outlines the bizarre weave of this particular bureaucratic nucleus. And the List of special response units on the ol Wiki shows a spreading motif -- but this Homeland Security super-swat is perhaps the swattiest of all.
HSI SRT Training to jump off shiny new helicopters to save the Super Bowl in Miami - yayyyy!! (this is why your schools/bridges are crumbling, America, the purposeless authoritarian spectacle at its finest ;)
This recently reorganized, months-old ICE Homeland Security Investigations (formerly known as ICE Office of Investigations) should really be on the radar of anyone because this year they are apparently 'filling in the gaps for the Secret Service' at NSSEs like G20, NATO summits and the Republican and Democratic national conventions. (unfortunately the Secret Service is now a part of DHS, not Treasury.) The Federal Protective Service, which likes to take photos around the Twin Cities (see my 2010 Fort Snelling Undercover Fail video, classic times) is now part of some weird directorate but briefly passed through ICE after being removed from the General Services Administration.
The HSI Special Response Teams are seemingly the top layer of a lot of things, from the war on terror / war on drugs motif, to the Super Bowl, to whatever the hell they are planning to do to immigrants on the I-5 near LA, which was where this pic was taken according to Copblock. ICE has a large number of staff on the Joint Terrorism Task Forces that do statistic-generating police state busywork around the country, and interestingly this HSI group is now officially becoming publicly distinguished from the rest of ICE -- and the theory of course is HSI would be spun out of ICE to become a freestanding 'directorate', a more modern and insane paramilitary FBI or whatever.
I wonder if the Secure Communities biometric collection program which was forced upon all counties in Minnesota, regardless of state & local wishes, would feed citizens' data into HSI.... just like the monstrous truck above, now moving more into the "non immigrant" category of freeform federal police activity. Perhaps they shall do some serious black ops against occupier groups angling to get to the conventions? Nevar!
The Special Agents of HSI use their broad legal authority to investigate and combat a range of issues that threaten the national security of the United Statessuch as strategic crimes, human rights violations, human smuggling, art theft,human trafficking, drug smuggling, arms trafficking and other types of smuggling(including weapons of mass destruction), immigration crimes, gang investigations; financial crimes including money laundering, bulk cash smuggling, financial fraud, and trade based money laundering; terrorism, computer crimes including the international trafficking of child pornography over the Internet, intellectual property rights crimes (trafficking of counterfeit trademark protected merchandise), cultural property crimes (theft and smuggling of antiquities and art), and import/export enforcement issues. HSI special agents conduct investigations aimed at protecting critical infrastructure industries that are vulnerable to sabotage, attack or exploitation. HSI special agents also provide security details for VIPs, witness protection, and support the U.S. Secret Service's mission during overtaxed times such as special-security events and protecting candidates running for U.S. president.
HSI was formerly known as the ICE Office of Investigations (OI). HSI Special Agents have legal authority to enforce the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (Title 8), U.S. Customs Laws (Title 19), along with Titles 5, 6, 12, 18 (Federal Criminal Code and Rules), 21 (drugs), 22, 26, 28, 31 (exclusive jurisdiction over Money and Finance investigations), 46, 49, and 50 (War and National Defense) statutes; giving them the broadest federal law enforcement jurisdiction of any agency. HSI has more than 8,500 Special Agents, making it the second largest federal law enforcement and criminal investigative agency within the United States government next to the FBI.
The change of names from ICE OI to HSI was announced in June 2010. Part of the reasoning behind the name change was to better describe the general activities of the agency, and to avoid the uninformed stigma that this agency only investigates immigration-related issues (ex. OI/HSI special agents duties were often mistaken by the public, other LE agencies and the media to mirror ERO agents/officers). HSI does have a public relations problem. Its the second largest investigatory agency, but the general public has never heard of it. ICE held it close to the belt and until recently, didn't publicly make the distinction as TSA does with Federal Air Marshals and CBP does with Border Patrol. In 2012, ICE and HSI have mandated a public distinction be made between both organizations. Most often news reports bury HSI's efforts as "immigrations agents" or as ICE efforts, and frequently Department of Justice and US Attorney's Office press releases of HSI-led investigations get spun up to sound like DOJ or FBI investigations that received assistance from local partners and ICE.
The name change toHSI better reflects that it is the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's primary investigative body, and as a result, its thought that someday it will be pulled out from under the ICE umbrella and stand independent under the DHS. An obscure fact is the original planned name before settling on ICE was the Bureau of Investigations and Criminal Enforcement, but the brothers at the FBI didn't approve and made their complaints heard.
IA is a subcomponent of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The Office of International Affairs, with agents in over 60 locations around the world, represents DHS’ broadest footprint beyond US borders. ICE Attaché offices work with foreign counterparts to identify and combat transnational criminal organizations before they threaten the United States. IA also facilitates domestic HSI investigations.
Oh good, the CIA and FBI together at last... (and let's not forget the ICE/DHS network of detention facilities: Detention Facilities official front page- what is the HSI role for something like that applied to - somehow - non-immigrants?)
The ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) directorate is a critical asset in the ICE mission, responsible for investigating a wide range of domestic and international activities arising from the illegal movement of people and goods into, within and out of the United States.
HSI investigates immigration crime, human rights violations and human smuggling, smuggling of narcotics, weapons and other types of contraband, financial crimes, cybercrime and export enforcement issues. ICE special agents conduct investigations aimed at protecting critical infrastructure industries that are vulnerable to sabotage, attack or exploitation.
In addition to ICE criminal investigations, HSI oversees the agency's international affairs operations and intelligence functions. HSI consists of more than 10,000 employees, consisting of 6,700 special agents, who are assigned to more than 200 cities throughout the U.S. and 47 countries around the world.
Report suspicious activity. Complete our tip form.....
HSI conducts criminal investigations against terrorist and other criminal organizations who threaten national security. HSI combats worldwide criminal enterprises who seek to exploit America's legitimate trade, travel and financial systems and enforces America's customs and immigration laws at and beyond our nation's borders.
HSI comprises six key divisions:
-National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Coordination Center
The official page for the HSI Special Agent in Charge Field Offices of which there are 26:
Homeland Security Investigations has 26 Special Agent in Charge (SAC) principal field offices throughout the United States. The SAC offices are responsible for the administration and management of all investigative and enforcement activities within the geographic boundaries of the office. The SACs develop, coordinate, and implement enforcement strategies to ensure conformance with national policies and procedures and to support national intelligence programs. SACs coordinate law enforcement activities with the highest level of Federal, state, and local governments, as well as intelligence organizations and international law enforcement entities. In addition, SACs supervise all administrative responsibilities assigned to the office and ensure a responsive Internal Controls Program is developed.
To efficiently manage their designated geographic regions, SAC offices maintain various subordinate field offices throughout their areas of responsibility, which support the enforcement mission. These subordinate field offices, Deputy Special Agents in Charge (DSAC), Assistant Special Agents in Charge (ASAC), Resident Agents in Charge (RAC) and Resident Agents (RA), are responsible for managing enforcement activities within the geographic boundaries of the office.
SAC Minneapolis/St. Paul
2901 Metro Drive, Suite 100
Bloomington, MN 55425
If you search for 2901 Metro Drive Suite 100 that is the same office for other immigration, ICE & Homeland Security sub-offices.
These guys also have the completely insane National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, a hearty reminder that the kafkaesque nature of what they call "intellectual property" combined with bureaucratic bloatware budget and an aggressively fascist private industry-friendly design, can truly combine to make one of the most awful, yet admittedly bold, authoritarian government logos of all time. Our Partner Agencies — National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center
It's almost enough to make you believe that swat teams could control all the memes they want, and even maybe the copy and paste commands too!
These are like a new branch of goons yet to be accounted for: HSI-Intel.
The ICE Homeland Security Investigations Intelligence Office (HSI-Intel) is a robust intelligence force that supports the enforcement needs of ICE’s executive leadership and operational field units.
Cutting edge technology, complex intelligence gathering tools, multifaceted investigative techniques and a high level of professionalism have enabled HSI-Intel to set the standard for federal law enforcement/intelligence agencies.
HSI-Intel also serves as home to the National Incident Response Unit (NIRU). This unit ensures that ICE is prepared to respond to national emergencies or critical events, including natural disasters, disease pandemics and terrorist attacks. NIRU plans for ICE’s continuity of operations before, during and after catastrophic incidents. During these incidents, NIRU serves as the agency’s central communications “nerve center,” coordinating the sharing of information between ICE components and other federal, state and local agencies. .....
HSI-Intel collects, analyzes and shares strategic and tactical data for use by DHS and ICE leadership and operational units. It also supports federal, state, local, tribal and international law enforcement partners.
HSI-Intel’s analysis and targeting information plays a vital role in supporting investigations related to illegal immigration, terrorism, weapons proliferation, war crimes, financial crimes, trade fraud, drug smuggling, human smuggling and trafficking, child sex tourism and other criminal activities.
I am sure they will figure out how all that drug money gets through the Federal Reserve Bank computer systems one of these days.
A ICE Special Response Team (S.R.T.), an elite tactical unit attached to the Department of Homeland Security, deployed to New Orleans equipped with ZensahÂ (http://www.zensah.com/tactical.html) tactical gear. By wearing Zensah moisture wicking tactical clothing, ICE special response team members receive a first line of defense against hazardous conditions found in the Gulf Coast areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.
ICE special response team members are in the affected areas to save lives, to protect lives, and to provide security to the recovery effort. ICEÂs primary objectives are to support authorities in securing New Orleans and other affected communities and to provide security to federal rescue and recovery efforts.
....The ICE Special Response Team is an elite tactical team for the office of investigations under the Department of Homeland Security in Miami, Florida. Duties and responsibilities include search and arrests warrants, maritime interdiction, customs and immigration enforcement. For more information pleas visithttp://www.ice.gov
MOAR GUNS:Tactical-Life.com » THE U.S. ICE MEN: The ICE Special Responders cometh bringing high-speed efficiency and low-drag force as required! "ICE also maintains five additional certified SRT units that are managed by ICE Detention and Operations." ... not sure if they mean 5 or 6 SRTs total. "the U.S. Customs Service evolved into a very progressive and highly successful interdiction and investigative agency. Due to the number of high-risk enforcement actions being executed on a regular basis, the U.S. Customs Service decided to establish a tactical unit called the WETT (Warrant Entry Tactical Team). In time, the U.S. Customs Service changed the name of its tactical team to the Special Response Team."
Another benefit of filling up society with needless paramilitary organizations is random accidental gunfire. Nice. "Roughly 80 ICE-involved shootings were unintentional and often involved agents dropping, cleaning or reaching for their guns, records show. The guns, in many cases, discharged in offices, government vehicles or during target practice. "
[ OKC Tangent. One other note -- In the Oklahoma City case I think Terry Nichols tried to tip off these Homeland Security types to a stash of explosives he'd obtained from FBI-friendly weapons dealer and Contra player Roger Moore. I don't have that info on hand here but it's around (notes on that ). It failed because some mafia guy snitched to the FBI -- the FBI has a pretty careful info cage around Nichols because of the informant-saturated nature of OKC he likes to talk about. This went down in like 2005. (Source of FBI Delay on Terry Nichols Explosives etc) So the idea is if the DOJ/FBI had a specific scheme such as OKC you could get around them through HSI. There's more to all of this, don't have the notes here, but there have been developments in recent weeks, search 'Jesse Trentadue'.. ]
Conclusions? In any case it's good to know who the 'filler goons' are for NSSE campaigns of state-sponsored violence and insanity, of which 3.5 are scheduled for Chicago/Camp David, RNC & DNC this year, (along with the all important national sporting events), and ICE's new spawn HSI and the HSI SRT giant trucks will soon be a fixture at high profile gigs. There were weird Border Patrol Swat types at the 2009 G20 - See TC Indymedia Exclusive: Secret 'Trigger' & blueprint for emergency domestic military crackdown plan revealed - BORTAC is that team. And who knows what they might do with good ol' FEMA.
What to expect: HSI's avid effort to become a domestic Swiss army knife of police activity between IRS, CIA and FBI; another layer on the Joint Terrorism Task Force cake and a free-wheeling institution in its own right, combined with a few new flashy PR initiatives (a high profile bust of a little fish or 2 perhaps, etc) in order to carry out the planned 'branding' of HSI.
Perhaps we can just shut it down and use the borrowed debt 'money' we save to be less permanently indebted to the banker police state... borrowed money to build out echelons of mass suppression is always a grim spectacle. Imagine what we could have done with the wasted resources instead. Now we know which new goonsquad will get the biometrics data from Secure Communities.
And of course, who better to 'manage' the war on drugs than the organizational descendant of the 'cocaine cowboys' and the 1980s task forces which helped pass through planeload after planeload of cocaine? That era's keywords, Barry Seal, aviation fronts like Vortex, Southern Air Transport, Evergreen, Polar Air Cross and Air America (some still thriving), operations like AMADEUS, PEGASUS and WATCHTOWER, the quasi-privatized intelligence operations authorized under proclamations like Executive Order 12333 to facilitate the drugs-for-weapons smuggling... those were a few critical points of that era.
What awaits us next? How will HSI deal with the vast scale of financial corruption? What will they do? Who are they going to point the weapons at, and where are the trucks going? Chicago, Charlotte & Tampa... but first, LA, of course. For the immigrants.
A bunch of groups which are mostly dedicated to Democratic
electioneering are doing a "99% Spring" campaign soon. This is no
secret, but the files inadvertently left open on on the UAW site are
useful to understand what is going on. Presumably this is partially
about deflecting popular anger from Democrats thru the usual electoral
fiefdom system. The upside is it appears these groups are at least
becoming marginally more radical to remain relevant. It's probably
good they are getting people out of the house to do some CD trainings,
but how much this comes down to electioneering for the Dems while
wrapping Occupy imagery around "the project" is at least one of the
The hashtag for this project is #99spring . prepare yrself [facepalm].
the last PDF names the names, this release is public news last week
but not really making big waves yet I think.
Jobs With Justice, Sarita Gupta United Auto Workers, Bob King National
Peoples Action, George Goehl National Domestic Workers Alliance,
Ai-jen Poo MoveOn.org, Justin Ruben New Organizing Institute, Joy
Cushman & Judith Freeman Movement Strategy Center, Liz Butler The
Other 98%, John Sellers Service Employees International Union, Mary
Kay Henry Rebuild the Dream, Van Jones and Natalie Foster Color of
Change, Rashad Robinson UNITE-HERE, John Wilhelm Greenpeace, Phil
Radford Institute for Policy Studies, John Cavanaugh PICO National
Network, Scott Reed New Bottom Line, Tracy Van Slyke and Ilana Berger
United Steel Workers, Leo Gerard Working Families Party, Daniel Cantor
Communications Workers of America, Larry Cohen United States Student
Association, Victor Sanchez Jr. National Education Association, John
C. Stocks Rainforest Action Network, Becky Tarbotton American
Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten Leadership Center for the
Common Good, Brian Kettenring UNITY, Randy Jackson National
Guestworker Alliance, SaketSoni 350.org, Bill McKibben and May Boeve
The Ruckus Society, Sharon Lungo and Megan Swoboda Citizen Engagement
Lab, James Rucker and Ian Inaba smartMeme Strategy & Training Project,
Patrick Reinsborough Right to the City Alliance, Rachel LaForest
Pushback Network, Brigid Flaherty Progressive Democrats of America,
Tim Carpenter Change to Win, Bob Callahan Grassroots Global Justice
Alliance, Michael Leon Guerrero Campaign for America’s Future, Roger
Hickey Fuse Washington, Aaron Ostrom Missourians Organizing for Reform
and Empowerment, Jeff Ordower Citizen Action of New York, Karen
Scharff Engage, Marianne Manilov United Electrical Workers Union,
Bruce Klipple National Day Laborers Organizing Network, Pablo Alvarado
Alliance for a Just Society, LeeAnn Hall The Partnership for Working
Families, Leslie Moody United Students Against Sweatshops, Teresa
Anyway here comes the astroturf brigade? Or are these people more
vulnerable than the average consultant to radicalization?
UPDATE Sunday Aug14: LOLSo long and thanks for all the mullet. Theory: TPaw was not supposed to brag about Mossad ops at the debate - lol his campaign is Over Like Clover in an Iowa pasture. Why not? :-D
Our former Governor Tim Pawlenty plays for the ruthless neo-Cheneyite role in a future Republican presidency by touting the covertly staged plane crashes of Russian scientists & also Stuxnet industrial machinery hacking (SCADA and industrial control hacking).
As usual the embrace of criminal thuggery goes over well with the great unwashed.
Pawlenty's embrace & promotion of this criminal stuff, Mossad covert ops in particular, won't really do him much good as he tips the hand too readily. Maybe it's some weird way of putting some nasty intelligence cadre on notice.
This also immediately reminded me of poor Senator Paul Wellstone, who like GOP voting-IT guru Mike Connell and others since, suffered an abrupt sketchy plane crash which put an end to their political & legal meddling.
It reminds me that Cheney ordered Pawlenty to run for governor in the 2002 cycle while the already-weak-looking Norm Coleman was placed into the race against Wellstone.
It's so heartening to see a new generation of fine professional conservative leaders using covert ops to kill people taking shape. Also more evidence that the entire electoral political system has been subsumed into the intelligence industry. Jesse Ventura surprised the CIA, Pawlenty pushes the outward side of an assassination campaign. Hard times, friends.
This Adobe Illustrator nonsense will rock your face off! So bizarre I had to make a video about it all.
Photoshop nerds unite in confusion! Too silly to be true? Obama birth certificate has multiple layers in Adobe Illustrator. Seems like an election prank by Terry McAuliffe or something. Many more important things going on. It's a great political distraction.