By Stephen C. Webster
The Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (Protect IP) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) “are like two peas in a pod,” Sen. Ron Wyden, the bills’ most vocal opponent in the U.S. Senate, explained to Raw Story in an exclusive interview.
“These are Web blacklisting bills, Web censorship bills, and anybody with a Web site would be vulnerable,” he said, a tone of urgency prevailing in his voice.
“Had I not put a hold on it in May, it would have simply passed at that time,” Wyden continued. “I put a hold on the previous version back in December, and had I not put a public hold on it then, that version would have passed.”
Now, the Protect IP Act and SOPA are back, and this time seemingly with enough momentum to make it through Congress — but that could be changing.
The Business Software Alliance, a major industry advocacy group that once supported the bills, changed its mind just this week and is now working to oppose them.
Now companies like Apple, Microsoft and Intel are working to significantly alter the legislation, which critics say would fundamentally change the architecture of the Internet. Even Google and Facebook have come out against the bills, aruging that they simply go too far.
But they’re pitted against a collection of very powerful lobbies: the movie and music industries, along with other digital content providers like Sony and Nintendo.… Continue reading
I have repeatedly demonstrated that — despite the false divide-and-conquer tactics of the mainstream parties and mainstream media — the overwhelming majority of Americans agree on the most important issues facing our country . And see this .
NO MORE BAILOUTS!
As I’ve noted since 2008 , Americans are united in their overwhelming disapproval for bailouts to the big banks.
This has remained true right up to today.
As Rassmussen found only last month (as summarized by KXLF news ):
Today’s Rasmussen Reports survey finds that most Americans don’t like bailouts for financial institutions.
60% Oppose Financial Bailouts; 74% Say Wall Street Benefited Most
Survey of 1,000 American Adults
- Just 20% think it was a good idea for the government to provide bailout funding to banks and other financial institutions, but 60% say otherwise .
- While many activists try to link the Republican Party and Wall Street, Republicans think the bailouts were a bad idea by an eight-to-one margin.
- Those not affiliated with either major party think they were a bad idea by a four-to-one margin. Democrats are much more evenly divided. Thirty-four percent (34%) of those in the president’s party say the bailouts were a good idea while 42% disagree.
- Overall, 68% believe that most of the bailout money went to the very people who created the nation’s ongoing economic crisis , but 12% disagree and 21% aren’t sure.
by Peter Dale Scott
November 22, 2011
Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus (The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 9, Issue 47 No 2)
I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency [the National Security Agency] and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.” – Senator Frank Church (1975)
I would like to discuss four major and badly understood events – the John F. Kennedy assassination, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and 9/11. I will analyze these deep events as part of a deeper political process linking them, a process that has helped build up repressive power in America at the expense of democracy.
In recent years I have been talking about a dark force behind these events — a force which, for want of a better term, I have clumsily called a “deep state,” operating both within and outside the public state. Today for the first time I want to identify part of that dark force, a part which has operated for five decades or more at the edge of the public state. This part of the dark force has a name not invented by me: the Doomsday Project, the Pentagon’s name for the emergency planning “to keep the White House and Pentagon running during and after a nuclear war or some other major crisis.”1
My point is a simple and important one: to show that the Doomsday Project of the 1980s, and the earlier emergency planning that developed into it, have played a role in the background of all the deep events I shall discuss.…Continue reading
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger Editor of NaturalNews.com
(NaturalNews) When I read a story yesterday about an 89-year-old woman being water-boarded by nursing home staff over an argument about ice cream, I knew something terrible was amiss across the American landscape. Spontaneous acts of tyranny have been cropping up lately like cancer tumors: a food tyrant in Nevada raids a farm picnic and orders everyone to destroy their food ( http://www.naturalnews.com/034125_f… ); student protesters in California get pepper-sprayed by thuggish cops who clearly enjoy causing pain and suffering ( http://fieldnotes.msnbc.msn.com/_ne… ); and now nursing home staffers torture their own resident using techniques borrowed from Guantánamo Bay ( http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2011/11… ). I watched all this with a sense of sadness and disgrace for the human race. And then a realization hit me like a sledgehammer…
And On a Related Theme…
Chancellor Katehi’s impressive learning skills
By Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com
The UC-Davis Chancellor responsible for the pepper-spraying of her students, Linda Katehi, today went on Good Morning America and explained why she should not resign or otherwise be held accountable: “we really need to start the healing process and move forward.” On a radio program in the afternoon, she expanded on this view by saying: “We need to move on.” So apparently — yet again — the only way everyone can begin to “heal” and “move forward” is if everyone agrees that those in power with the greatest responsibility be fully shielded from any consequences and that… Continue reading
Critics say bureau is running a sting operation across America, targeting
vulnerable people by luring them into fake terror plots
by Paul Harris
16 November 2011
Fake terror plots, paid informants: the tactics of FBI ‘entrapment’ questioned
Critics say bureau is running a sting operation across America, targeting vulnerable people by luring them into fake terror plots
David Williams did not have an easy life. He moved to Newburgh, a gritty, impoverished town on the banks of the Hudson an hour or so north of New York, at just 10 years old. For a young, black American boy with a father in jail, trouble was everywhere.
Williams also made bad choices. He ended up going to jail for dealing drugs. When he came out in 2007 he tried to go straight, but money was tight and his brother, Lord, needed cash for a liver transplant. Life is hard in Newburgh if you are poor, have a drug rap and need cash quickly.
His aunt, Alicia McWilliams, was honest about the tough streets her nephew was dealing with. “Newburgh is a hard place,” she said. So it was perhaps no surprise that in May, 2009, David Williams was arrested again and hit with a 25-year jail sentence. But it was not for drugs offences. Or any other common crime. Instead Williams and three other struggling local men beset by drug, criminal and mental health issues were convicted of an Islamic terrorist plot to blow up Jewish synagogues and shoot down… Continue reading
By Pete Kasperowicz
November 19, 2011
A bipartisan group of senators proposed legislation this week that would overturn a court interpretation of current law that has blocked a lawsuit brought by 9/11 victims against Saudi Arabia for supporting al Qaeda.
The bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) would amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) to clarify that victims of terrorist acts in the U.S. can hold the foreign sponsors of those attacks responsible in U.S. courts. Co-sponsoring the bill are Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).
Schumer said the bill is needed because some U.S. courts have interpreted FSIA and ATA that Americans injured during the 9/11 attacks have no recourse against foreign states that should be held responsible. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York threw out a victims’ suit against Saudi Arabia in 2008, based on the argument that Saudi Arabia did not direct the 9/11 attacks, and that FSIA did not apply to this case.
But Schumer said this decision reflects an incorrect interpretation of FSIA and ATA, and is “contrary to the plain language” of those laws.
“[T]aken together, the FSIA and ATA were designed to enable terrorism victims to bring suit against foreign states and terror sponsors when they support terrorism against the United States,” Schumer said. “I am introducing this bill… Continue reading
November 17, 2011
Today, November 17th, over 30,000 New Yorkers took to the streets to resist austerity, rebuild our economy, and reclaim our democracy. It was our largest action to date.
Our will was only emboldened by Mayor Bloomberg’s heavy-handed attempt to eradicate Occupy Wall Street; our brutal eviction from our homes at Liberty Square has strengthened both our resolve and our legitimacy. Together, we raised our voices to declare: “No to evictions! No to the 1% that profits from our collective impoverishment.” We showed the world we are not a fringe group of naive idealists–we are truly a people’s uprising embodying the revolutionary spirit of economic justice, mutual aid, and participatory, consensus-based democracy. We are the 99%.
And the world responded.
Protestors across the United States occupied our most tangible symbols of oligarchic neglect: bridges–essential public infrastructure the 1% has blithely let decay:
Los Angeles, CA: protestors peacefully shut down a bridge into the financial district. 16 were arrested.
Portland, OR: the Steel Bridge was occupied.
Detroit, MI: in one of the cities hardest hit by foreclosures and evictions, 1000s marched across the 2nd Ave Bridge.
Washington, DC: protestors demonstrated in support of increased infrastructure projects on the Key Bridge.
Philadelphia, PA: 1500 people marched on the Market St Bridge where at least 25 people were arrested during a nonviolent sit-in.
Miami, FL: over 2,000 people gathered under the overpass at Jose Marti Park.
Hartford, CT: 200 people blocked the entrance ramp to 1-84, with 10 arrests.
Houston,… Continue reading
Former 9/11 commission director talks at lecture
By Travis Alford
The Daily Cougar
As the crowd of students, professors and Houstonians brushed off the cold, Philip Zelikow stepped to the podium in The Honors College Commons on Thursday to discuss the US government’s defense against terrorism.
Zelikow, the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, an executive on the President Intelligence Advisory Board and a history professor at the University of Virginia, focused his lecture, “The Twilight of War,” on America’s resiliency and his experience with the horrific events of 9/11.
“It’s my job to make meaning of 9/11,” Zelikow said.
During the lecture, Zelikow spoke of his personal experiences on the scene during Sept. 11.
“I can still smell the sulfur, it stands out,” Zelikow said. “It was as if the terrorist opened up a special path to hell.”
“After the attack, the event entered popular culture,” Zelikow said. “9/11 opened up our eyes to zealousy.”
In the days following the attack, President Bush labeled Osama bin Laden as America’s enemy and the ringleader of 9/11.
“I disagreed with President Bush when he openly pointed the finger at bin Laden,” Zelikow said.
“It made Osama glorious and that’s what he wanted, to be glorified. These people think we are important and they develop complexes about us, so for our President to recognize one of them was a big deal.”
Since Sept. 11, officials have charged Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in connection with the attack, labeling him as the mastermind. Mohammed is… Continue reading
by Rev. Rich Lang
Sent by email November 16, 2011, 4:53 a.m. PST
America, America, my country tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty
Of thee I sing
America, oh America
America the Beautiful has fallen.
You could feel the tension and raw energy crinkling throughout the air as the marchers once again began their journey into downtown Seattle. The Occupy Movement is the prophetic voice of God calling out to the nation to “repent” and turn from its ways of corruption. Those who camp are a rag-tag, motley crew made up of mostly young adults, mostly unemployed, almost all of whom are alienated and cast out of America’s promise of liberty and justice for all. They are our canaries, the first fruits being devoured by the Beast of Empire.
The police were once conceived to be a citizen force created to serve and protect the public. Today however, the police have been militarized and view the populace as enemy combatants, as threats to their well being. The police, like our Armed Forces, are well trained, disciplined and exceptionally talented. They follow a chain of command and are increasingly apprenticed into a culture of institutional conformity. Because America has always affirmed the right of dissent, the role of the police is to keep the peace. They are trained to enter the protesting arena as unfeeling protectors of property and people. What has changed in our time is that the police are entering the arena of protest as agents of provocation.… Continue reading
Public Lecture – The Collapse of the Seventh Tower: A Physical & Chemical Analysis
Niels H. Harrit, Center for Molecular Movies, Copenhagen University
When: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 @ 7:15-9:15 p.m.
Where: Morrison Hall 007
Departmental Sponsors: College of Arts and Sciences, American Studies Program
To most people, the image of the World Trade Center (WTC) is confined to the famous twin towers, which dominated the New York skyline until September 11th, 2001, when they collapsed after each one being hit by an airliner. However, the trade center was an assembly of seven buildings around a plaza. The youngest of these, WTC7, was a huge office building, reaching 186 meters and 47 stories into the air. The ground-plan area was little less than a soccer field.
WTC7 was not hit by an airliner. Still, it collapsed seven hours after the twin towers in a totally symmetric movement with free-fall speed. It was the most unexpected collapse in the history of modern building construction.
The talk outlines the factual circumstances around this event. These facts are held up against the official account of the event as it has been presented in a report from National Institute of Standards and Technology. According to this report, WTC7 collapsed due to fire. But never before – or since – in history has a steel-framed high-riser collapsed due to fire.
In the second part of the talk it is proposed that the collapse of WTC… Continue reading
Story posted here at 7:00pm EST, updated above:
Not that the situation hasn’t been urgent before, and not that the similar situations in Oakland, Denver, Portland and everywhere else aren’t urgent (see RSS feeds on 175 cities here, www.occupynews.blogspot.com/, but … here’s a call, posted tonight at 5:59pm EST, from New York City OWS for assistance TONIGHT, Tuesday, November 15th. Please read the details at OccupyWallSt.org, but here’s a summary –
Early this morning (1am) NYPD, on orders of Bloomberg, violently cleared the citizens of Zuccotti Park due to concerns over ‘health and fire concerns’ to OWS’s neighboring communities, trashed citizens’ belongings, injured some, arrested many …
This morning, a NY court found, after the National Lawyers guild requested an injunction, the citizens COULD be in the park, WITH their stuff…
This afternoon, the NY Supreme Court found, after New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU.org) lawyers filed suit, that the citizens COULD be in the park but NOT with their stuff…
Nonetheless, New York’s Finest (yes, part of the 99% themselves…) apparently don’t want any citizens in the park and have decided to once again clear the park IN DEFIANCE of the court order.
#OWS is calling on everyone to get to the park to stand firm, NONVIOLENTLY (and have linked in the call to a resource on “how to fight back nonviolently”).
At the moment I’m watching with 94,000 other people what’s happening — for instance, Sgt. Thomas, a Marine veteran, just appealed to other veterans to come out and protect the people — available on the live-streaming video of Zuccotti Square at the livelink, which we’ve embedded below.…Continue reading
November 14, 2011
By Michael Collins
The Money Party RSS
Photo: K. Kendall. “The problems we are facing were not created by us, but we deign to shed
light on them and so we are blamed for them. The truth is, every person at our
protest is there because the system is broken.” Samuel
Rutledge, Open Newswire, Portland Indymedia
The fascist financiers of the Money Party are growing restless. Occupy Wall Street began with a call to action
from the activist online group Anonymous in August. It was barely
featured in the mainstream or alternate media. Instead of a small crowd
that could easily be ignored then disbursed, fifty thousand citizens
showed up at the headquarters for the world financial system, Wall
Street. Despite the best efforts of Mayor Bloomberg and NYPD, the Occupy
Wall Street continues. The message went out to the country and the world. Now, there are over 100 occupy events in Oakland, Kansas City, Washington, DC, and elsewhere.(Image: K. Kendall)
Occupy Portland began on October 6, 2011. It has maintained a steady presence in downtown Portland, a major West Coast center of commerce. The participants refuse to leave until the government addresses their grievances. Police scare tactics, planted provocateurs, and the elements are no barrier.
Portland evicted occupiers from their camps on Sunday morning. The occupy forces regrouped. Drawing local support, the crowd grew throughout the day. Sunday evening, the police tried a forced eviction from the downtown area that involved mounted police, shoving and pushing, and pepper spray.…Continue reading
November 13, 2011
with Anthony Wile
Photo: Mickey Huff
The Daily Bell is pleased to present an exclusive interview with Mickey Huff (left).
Introduction: Mickey Huff is Associate Professor of History at Diablo Valley College and a Director of Project Censored and the Media Freedom Foundation. He has been interviewed by many radio stations and news sources throughout the country, including NPR, Air America, Pacifica, Republic Broadcasting, Progressive Radio Network, The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, New Standard News and others, and has been published on numerous media and news websites from Global Research, Buzzflash and Counterpunch to Z Mag, Truthout and even a few corporate media outlets(which he routinely critiques). He is co-author with Peter Phillips on a number of academic articles to be published throughout 2010-11 and co-edited two books with Phillips over the past three years. His latest work with Project Censored, the book Censored 2012: Sourcebook for the Media Revolution, is out now on Seven Stories Press. When he has time he blogs at http://dailycensored.com. Mickey is also a musician and composer of over 20 years and lives with his family just outside Berkeley, CA.
A brief synopsis:
Daily Bell: What’s your definition of censored? Is it mostly government censorship you’re after? Do you believe that private entities can “censor” or that the word strictly implies government activities?
Mickey Huff: Our definition of censorship is the subtle yet constant and sophisticated manipulation of reality in our mass media outlets. Basically, decisions as to what subjects are included in the corporate media (or any other media for that matter), or not included, is media censorship at work.…Continue reading
By Eric W. Dolan
November 7, 2011
Chicago police on Monday issued citations to 43 senior citizens and their supporters who linked arms to block an intersection near the city’s financial district.
The action was part of a protest against proposed cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other benefits.
The Jane Addams Senior Caucus (JASC), their supporters and “Occupy Chicago” began the demonstration with a rally outside the office of Illinois Sens. Mark Kirk (R) and Dick Durbin (D). The group, which organizers claimed was nearly 1,500-strong, then marched to the Federal Plaza.
Traffic at the intersection of Jackson Boulevard and Clark Street was blocked for about an hour, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“At every level of society, Americans are under attack,” said Karen Bocker, an “Occupy Chicago” participant and grandmother of four.
“When the economy tanks, social programs are cut, not corporate tax breaks. We are under attack, and frankly, I’m tired of it. The very people who are hurt most from cuts to social services — services that our tax money are supposed to guarantee — are those who can least afford it.”
The protesters were joined by Durbin, and Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D), Danny Davis (D), and Mike Quigley (D) in the morning.
Watch video, courtesy of independent YouTube reporter John Sheehan, below:
by Brian Romanoff
News of the Saudi Crown Prince passing in the U.S. and his new successor to the post warrant a refresher on the attempts to name them in 9/11 lawsuits years ago.
ONE BIG FAMILY
Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the Crown Prince to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, died just a weeks ago in a New York hospital due to ill health. The world’s largest oil-exporting nation has quickly found an heir to the Crown Prince, a position directly under the most powerful of the King. The new Crown Prince has been named as Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, brother of the deceased Crown Prince Sultan. Both were half-brothers to the current King of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, and both are a part of the powerful Sudairi Seven.
Photo, left: The recently deceased Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz
The old Crown Prince Sultan is the father of Prince Bandar. Bandar is known to many in the world as “Bandar Bush” for his extremely close relationship with the Bush family. Bandar served as the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the U.S. from 1983 until 2005. The Royal family’s relationship with the Bush family goes back even further.
Photo, right: “Bandar Bush” and Condoleezza Rice join the Saudi King and Bush at Bush’s Texas property.
Prince Bandar has a history of involvement in scandals, undoubtebly we only know so much. A biography of Prince Bandar was written by William Simpson… Continue reading
November 9, 2011
by Stephen C. Webster
In a video published to YouTube, an unidentified protester holding a video camera, filming a police line during the early hours of Thursday, Nov. 3, is apparently shot with a rubber bullet even after repeatedly asking officers, “Is this okay?”
Rubber bullets, though considered non-lethal, have killed people before. They can also cause serious internal injuries and even break bones. Despite their name, rubber bullets are small metal cylinders merely coated with a layer of rubber, and can be launched from traditional firearms. (Update: There’s been some speculation that this person may have been shot by a beanbag round instead, but it remains unclear.)
The incident took place following Thursday’s call to general strike, which saw tens of thousands of protesters shut down one of the city’s major highway overpasses. Though the event was largely peaceful, police said they made 103 arrests, mostly for protesters who failed to disperse after being told to leave public spaces. There were also reports of some vandalism and broken windows, although it was not widespread.
Police were heavily criticized for their alleged role in beating Iraq veteran Kayvan Sabehgi with nightsticks as he was walking home from the protest. Although he suffered a ruptured spleen and was in extreme pain pleading for medical attention, none was given, and officers allegedly accused him of being a drug addict. Sabehgi was finally allowed to see doctors 18 hours later, when paramedics had to physically remove him from his cell because he was in too much pain to walk.…Continue reading
If you live in the United States today, you need to understand that your privacy is being constantly eroded. Our world is going crazy, government paranoia is off the charts and law enforcement authorities have become absolutely obsessed with watching us, listening to us, tracking us, recording us, compiling information on all of us and getting us all to spy on one another. If you doubt that we are rapidly getting to the point where the government will monitor every breath you take and every move you make, just read the rest of this article. The truth is that the government is watching you more closely than ever, and they are spending billions upon billions of dollars to enhance their surveillance capabilities even further. If our society stays on this current path, we will eventually have zero privacy left. At this point, it is not too hard to imagine a society where we will not be able to say anything, buy anything, sell anything, assemble with others or even leave our homes without government permission. We truly are descending into a dystopian nightmare and the American people had better wake up.
Sadly, most people living in the United States and in Europe do not realize what is happening. Most of them think that everything is just fine. The “Big Brother control grid” that is being constructed all over the western world squeezes all of us just a little bit tighter every single day, and most people… Continue reading
by Kevin Ryan
When Underwriters Laboratories fired me for challenging the World Trade Center (WTC) report that it helped create with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), it said “there is no evidence” that any firm performed the required fire resistance testing of the materials used to build the Twin Towers. Of course, that was a lie.
With this experience in mind, I checked to see how many times the 9/11 Commission Report used the phrase “no evidence,” and noted in particular the times the Commission claimed to have “found no evidence” or that “no evidence was uncovered.” I discovered that the phrase “no evidence” appears an amazing 63 times. An example is the dubious statement — “There is no evidence to indicate that the FAA recognized Flight 77 as a hijacking until it crashed into the Pentagon (p 455).
Of these 63 instances, some variation of “we found no evidence” appears three dozen times. This seems to be an unusually high number of disclaimers begging ignorance, given that the Commission claims to have done “exacting research” in the production of a report that was the “fullest possible accounting of the events of September 11, 2001.”
The number of times these “no evidence” disclaimers appear in the report is doubly amazing considering how infrequently some of the most critical witnesses and evidence are referenced. For example, the FAA’s national operations manager, Benedict Sliney, who was coordinating the FAA’s response that day, appears only once in… Continue reading