It was a wonderful protest in the heat today as well over 10,000 (I’d guess up to 20,000) people marched from the state capitol to the downtown convention center where the Republican National Convention (RNC) is being held. The march, led by a delegation of people of color and then Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), was warmly cheered by thousands of people who stood along the parade route. I saw no problems during the march that lasted a couple of hours. Organizers had predicted 50,000 and of course the media is now saying they failed. Another example why it’s never a good idea to make crowd predictions before an event. Continue reading
The Friday night and Sat raids couldn’t have taken place without infiltrators (traitors). Please be aware of “new” people interested in participating in your organization or group without references from others in the group. Beware of anyone who has a current/recent drug arrest as they are often used by police to get out of their own arrest. ~ Lo
Submitted by haloka on Mon, 09/01/2008 – 19:01.
Confession of an RNC mole on a Minnesota solo practice attorney listserve. The name of the attorney/mole is David Anderson. This info has been vetted by reliable sources close to TC Indymedia.
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 12:18 PM
Subject: Re: [solosmall] Beijing, Minnesota
True confessions: I spent 3 hours Sat afternoon + evening in their “Convergence Center” on Smith Ave in St.P, (the location that was “raided” Fri.Night.)
They are EXTREMELY organized, complete with “affiant groups” or cells which have individual assignments and tactics, and Hand signals to specify affirmation or objection to a particular course of action.
I left after a couple of the leaders suspected me of being with the “media”. (I think my use of Deoderant gave me away.)
I am also a Volunteer with Operations @ the RNC.
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Note: latest good news: Amy Goodman Released After Illegal Arrest at RNC + Video: Amy Speaks
Sept 1, 2008
Amy Goodman Arrested at RNC
Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar were arrested by the Minneapolis Police Department. Charged with conspiracy to riot. Footage from Rick Rowley and Brandon Jourdan.
Made another post with more videos, stories: Amy Goodman’s Arrest + Following the RNC Protesters + Tear Gassing the Protesters
Sept 1, 2008
Teargas fired into crowd at Kellogg, MnIndy reporter hit
By Paul Schmelzer 9/1/08 4:58 PM
Four blocks of Kellogg Blvd in St. Paul broke into chaos late this afternoon as riot police fired cannisters of chemical agents directly into the crowd. MnIndy’s Jeff Severens Guntzel was there and relayed his account of what happened.
Following an alert about an RNC Welcoming Committee “convergence,” he walked to Kellogg to find four blocks starting at Jackson filled with protesters who were dancing to the Dead Kennedy’s “California über Alles” playing on a stereo. Some were making “soft barricades,” items like newspaper boxes dragged into the street to block traffic. At 3:28, annoyed drivers eventually got out of their cars to move the debris.
More reports from MN Independent:
http://twitter.com/coldsnaplegal lists of mass arrests including Amy Goodman
by Chuck Olsen
McCain Refuses to Meet with Iraq Veterans Against War
Once a year, I and a few dozen other reporters and columnists write a Labor Day story. And, like most Americans we don’t remember our history.
We don’t remember that the Knights of Labor created the first Labor Day in 1882 and that Congress made it a national holiday in 1894.
Almost none of us will write about the personalities of the labor movement. About Mother Jones (1830-1930), the militant “angel of the coal fields” for more than six decades. About “Big Bill” Haywood (1869-1928) who organized the Industrial Workers of the World, a universal coalition to fight for the rights of all labor. About cigar-chomping Samuel Gompers (1850-1924), the first president of the American Federation of Labor, a job he held for 38 years.
We won’t be seeing any stories about Sidney Hillman (1887-1946) who led strikes in 1916 to reduce the work week to 48 hours, from the standard 54–60 hours, and then helped create the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) before becoming a major political force for workers during the labor-friendly Roosevelt administration. Missing will be remembrances of Saul Alinsky (1909-1972), known as the “father of grassroots political campaigns” who worked alongside Cesar Chavez (1927-1993) who used Alinsky’s tactics to organize the United Farm Workers.
Hardly any of us remember Heywood Broun (1888-1939), one of the nation’s best-paid columnists who risked his own financial stability to create The Newspaper Guild in 1935 to help those reporters making one-hundredth of his salary. Most reporters never heard about him or the history of the Guild. After all, we may believe that unions are acceptable for factory line workers, but we’re “professionals,” and mistakenly believe we don’t need unions; we’ll just continue to get assigned unpaid overtime and split shifts, while working for low wages, minimal benefits, and without a minimally-acceptable recourse for our grievances. Besides, if workers mattered, our newspapers would have a Labor page in addition to the daily Business pages.
Also missing from the news media will be stories about Eugene Debs (1855-1926), Joe Hill (1879-1915), and thousands of others who went to prison defending the rights of the workers not only to organize, but to demand better working conditions. We won’t become involved in the struggle, risk our jobs and futures. That’s someone else’s responsibility. We’ll just follow inane rules and complain privately.
We will make the effort to find a couple of current labor leaders, both of whom will say organized labor is having a tough time but is still strong and vital, the only recourse against poor working conditions and unfair labor practices. We’ll report that fewer than 13 percent of all workers are now in unions, down from a peak of 35 percent in 1954, but won’t dig into myriad ways of intimidation by Management.
We may interview the workers. An elderly man’s remembrance of his life in the coal mines or breakers, and what Black Lung did not only to his own health but to his family and friends. We might chat with an elderly woman who worked 12-hour days six days a week for $3–$4 a day in the heat and humidity of a garment factory. We may talk with a few current workers who will tell us they don’t have it great, but it could be worse and overall, on the record of course, they work hard and are pleased with their jobs. And we probably won’t be too shocked to learn that most readers seem to think that Labor Day seems not to be a remembrance of the struggles for respect, dignity, and acceptable wages and working conditions, but of self-serving political speeches, hot dogs, burgers, and a pool party.
Some of us may write about the statistics of labor that show a retreat from the robust economy of the Clinton era. It doesn’t take much research to learn that the Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation, is 5.5 percent higher than a year ago, the sharpest increase since the last year of the George H.W. Bush administration. Factoring in inflation and recession, even with minimal raises, the rank-and-file workers are making about 3.1 percent less than a year ago, according to the Department of Labor. We’ll quote the most recent data of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that “Employment continued to fall in construction, manufacturing, and several service-providing industries, while health care and mining continued to add jobs.”
We’ll point out that unemployment in a depressed economy is now 8.8 million, an increase of 1.6 million over the past year. We’ll note that “non-farm payroll employment continued to decline” and that payroll employment is down by 463,000 since the beginning of this year.
Business euphemistically claims it is “downsizing” or “rightsizing.” The “bottom line” is improved; corporate investors are being “optimally compensated.” About 550,000 Americans were part of mass layoffs last year. Recent Department of Labor studies report that American workers are “the most productive” ever. That’s because not only are they are doing so much more to compensate for their fellow workers having been laid off, but because they live with the fear if they don’t work even harder they, too, may be laid off, or lose promotions, in an economy that is going as far south as our manufacturing plants.
We’ll report the cold statistics that among the unemployed are about 461,000 “discouraged” Americans, about 90,000 more than a year ago, who “wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job” but are not counted as unemployed because “they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey,” according to the BLS. These Americans are not only discouraged by the labor economy, they have undoubtedly been absorbed by a long-term depression.
Meanwhile, corporate executives are taking multi-million dollar bonuses for improving the “cash flow.” Even if executive management makes a few mistakes along the way, and the “return on investment” isn’t what the Board of Directors expects, almost all CEOs and their immediate underlings have the “golden parachute” that allows a soft drop from employment, yielding termination packages that amount to millions of dollars and considerable benefits that no working class person will ever receive.
Of course, there are some industries that have gained in the past year’s plunging economy. Retail sales, which the Department of Labor reports as having the lowest average wages, is gaining workers. But, that’s because it’s just “good business sense” to hire 100 low-paid part-timers and save the cost of benefits than to hire 50 full-time clerks. About 5.7 million Americans work part-time, up from 1.4 million the previous year. This category, according to the BLS, “includes persons who indicated that they would like to work full time but were working part time because their hours had been cut back or they were unable to find jobs.”
To the 50-year-old who worked hard for one company half of his life, showed up for work on time, left on time, and tolerated the company’s banal preaching about everyone is “part of our happy family,” and then is laid off as an “economy measure,” the numbers don’t matter. To the worker who put in 20 years in one job, and then is fired for reasons that would be questionable under any circumstance, the numbers don’t matter. To the $20,000-a-year worker who is told that her raise can only be 2 percent this year because “we’re having a bad year,” but sees upper management not only get raises and more stock options, but also hire other managers, all of them making five times or more than her salary, the other numbers don’t matter.
This year, I’m writing a Labor Day column. With all the layoffs and unemployment, with the blatant anti-labor biases of the current administration and the decisions by the pro-corporate National Labor Relations Board that will linger long into the next administration, next year there may not be much American labor to write about.
[Dr. Walter M. Brasch is an award-winning social issues columnist, former newspaper and magazine reporter and editor, and professor of journalism at Bloomsburg University. He is president of the Pennsylvania Press Club, and former president of the Keystone state chapter of the Society of Professional Journalist. He is also the author of 17 books, including America’ s Unpatriotic Acts: The Federal Giovernment’s Violation of Constitutional and Civil Rights (January 2005) and Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush (November 2007), available through amazon.com and other bookstores. He frequently writes about the media, social and political issues. You may contact Brasch at email@example.com or through his website at: www.walterbrasch.com.]
“Come to the table,” Slow Food Nation invited. And come to San Francisco over Labor Day weekend they did–around 50,000 people attending perhaps the largest food celebration in American history.
Tables and straw bales appeared in the heart of the city’s Civic Center around a victory garden on about a quarter of an acre that had replaced a lawn. It was surrounded by a huge marketplace, which was like an old-fashioned farmers’ market that gets food directly from the farm to the fork, bypassing corporate super-markets.
A couple of miles away by the Bay at Ft. Mason–inside an old military hangar stretching over the length of a couple of football field–people strolled down a long aisle to taste fresh seafood, chocolate, wine, olives, ice cream, Indian bread and other delightful options. They could also attend free film showings and rock concerts at the former military base transformed into a cultural center.
Meanwhile, inside large auditoriums and smaller meeting rooms people discussed the growing global food crisis, how to respond to it, and imagined possible futures for farming. The final panel included the following key voices in the growing world-wide sustainable agriculture movement: Italian Carlo Petri, the founder of Slow Food in l986, physicist Vandana Shiva from India, Kentucky poet and author Wendell Berry, UC Berkeley professor Michael Pollan, Alice Waters of Chez Panisse Restaurant, and “Fast Food Nation” author Eric Schloesser.
Sept 1, 2008
“The Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee will still be fretting that surging inflation does not trigger higher wage settlements.
“Their fear is that employers will give way to bigger pay demands and pay for them by raising prices, so pushing inflation up again.”
That is why we have been hearing tough talk from both the Governor [of the Bank of England] on the need for pay restraint – if it gets out of control, he is implying, expect higher interest rates.” — ‘‘Soaring inflation could fall back fast’ ‘Analysis’ By Hugh Pym, BBC economics editor.
“The credit crisis derives from ‘the magic of compound interest,’ that is, the tendency of debts to keep on doubling and redoubling. Every rate of interest is a doubling time. No ‘real’ economy’s production and economic surplus can keep up with this tendency of debt to grow faster. So the financial crisis would have occurred regardless of wage levels.” — Michael Hudson ‘Super Imperialism’
Sent to me by the author, thanks, Siv.
What has happened to the common sense of Americans? Has it completely gone down the drain with the propaganda of U.S. superiority?
Don’t they see the millions and millions of people who have died and are still dying across the world, due to U.S. empire illusions and the firmly established greed and power of the Big Corporations? Don’t they see that the lone superpower as a taken-for-granted is a fiction?
Yes, the United States was once a powerful nation, and a nation that people in the world looked up to, but it lost all its good points on the aggressive stand all over the world. Its go-it-alone, we’re-the-leaders-of-the-world mentality is the way this ‘superpower’ has been living it up at least since World War II. The more it has been crushing and killing, the more it has lost its credibility in the world. The more its corporations intruded on the sovereignty of other states, the faster did this country lose its favorable standing in the world.
And Americans themselves, how do they see the world at this point? From a distance it seems as if they are beginning to open their eyes. One big BUT however. The everyday American is not capable of giving up on his deeply indoctrinated faith that the United States is the greatest country in the world. They ‘know’ that they are basically moral, highly civilized, good people who want to confer their way of life to the whole world since the rest of the world is so uncivilized, so poor, living in such precarious conditions.
There is no doubt in their minds that the United States is the foremost democracy in the world. Since they don’t know anything about the rest of the world, it’s easy to propagandize them into believing just about anything you want to make them believe. And besides, don’t the every-two-year elections prove that they are the ones who select the leaders and so they have a voice in what’s being done in their names? A majority of U.S. citizens are most certainly taken in by the belief that they participate in the running of the country.
It’s doubtful if there are many Americans who see the National conventions that have just started as the fool’s gold that they are. The most expensive circus that ever was and that the people pay dearly for. Just another Disney World to fool the people into believing that something important is going on and that they matter. “We don’t have a moment to lose or a vote to spare,” [Hillary] Clinton said. “Nothing less than the fate of our nation and the future of our children hangs in the balance.” 
What is hanging in the balance is hard to see since both presidential candidates are saying pretty much the same things, except that their styles are different. Ok, Obama/Hillary now say Healthcare for all, but that is to be seen once the corporations get into the game. The arms manufacturers telling the new administration what they ‘need’, the HMO’s, the pharmaceutical industry, all the corporate giants telling them of their sine qua non. Nothing so far has indicated in the least that either Hillary or Obama is against privatization or the free market. Disaster capitalism, as Naomi Klein says, is the name of the system and democracy is the victim. Regulation is a non-concept. How can corporations develop and maximize profit if they are being regulated? Starve the people but don’t you ever think of strangling the corporations that are making the world go round. Profit is king and the people be damned.
So how do Americans see their country’s criminal aggressions and the callous greed? First of all, greed is a good thing in the American credo. God rewards the hard workers and the ones left behind have no reason to complain. Socialism is a dirty word and welfare is only good when it’s for the benefit of the Big Corporations.
Instead of seeing that the United States invades or buys every country that does not agree with their methods of running business, the gullible U.S. citizen is firmly convinced that the U.S. comes to the aid of every country when it is in trouble. They support the evil dictator and things calm down. Nobody ever lets them know that what the U.S. is doing is in the interest of its own global hegemony and that the indigenous people are beaten down and suffering even worse after the United States gets in on the side of the dictator. For every social uprising in Central America, from the CIA-orchestrated coup in 1954 in Guatemala on through the Reagan years, the United States has intervened with an iron fist, bombing and killing, usually through mercenary death squads, until the leftist struggle for justice is totally crushed and the U.S.-supported dictatorship can go on doing the bidding of the Empire.
Inside the United States, the increasing inequality and vanishing civil rights are forcefully backed up by the Big Corporations who see that state of things as the only way of meeting their goal of ever increasing dividends to the shareholders and multi-million bonuses to the CEOs. Furthermore, this is the way of life that is considered by them as the normal way of running the economy. Ethics do not exist. Those who were born to grab from the others will do so no matter what they were taught in Sunday school about doing good to their neighbor.
So why don’t the U.S. governments try to rein in the greedy corporations? Because the corporations are the ones who run the show, who tell the so-called rulers what to do – in all countries more or less, not just in the United States. The lawmakers and the heads of governments are all puppets dancing on strings, unless the so-called rulers actually have a foot in each camp. They pretend to run the country but they are actually looking after the corporations they are tied to and their own interests. In this last administration, this has been the case more than ever before.
It is certainly not in the interest of the ruling elite to give in to demands of fair treatment from the poor sections of society or even from the middle class. Starving the beast is a prerequisite for controlling the populace, for setting the rules of the game. A population that is ignorant, apathetic from tiredness and overwork, dumbed down from infotainment and antiseptic television shows – that is exactly what suits the greedy money makers. No insurgency, since there’s no energy left for such a thing as a fight for better conditions. No knowledge about the rest of the world, and so Americans can go on believing that they are the best, no matter what the rest of the world might feel about that unquestioned rule of faith. So the world doesn’t love us any more. It’s because of the war in Iraq. It’s that simple.
Creeping totalitarianism, the people losing one civil right after the other, and their voices not being heard or paid attention to. This is what has become of ‘America the beautiful’. And all the while through non-stop propaganda the citizens are made to believe that they live in a democracy.
In this police state there is no need to make Jews scrub the sidewalks. There is no need for ostentatiously depriving a section of the population of their freedoms and making them the scapegoats. Poverty will serve the purpose of creating a marginal group that can be exploited. No need for arm bands with the star of David. The poor people and in particular the immigrants have their backs sufficiently bent to serve the ever-existing need of a class to look down on. In spite of the age-old history of racism in America, this is not a war on race, it’s a class war, and it’s getting more and more extreme. The so-called free trade system, which is far from free, is only benefiting Big Money.
Desperate poverty has been increasing all over the world ever since the organizations that set the rules for the economies of third world countries promised to solve the crisis of hunger and poverty in the world. In fact, what they were gearing up to do was finish off the plunder of the poor countries that depended on their high-interest loans. You might well ask yourselves if this neocolonialism is not even more disastrous for the third-world countries than the former kind that was very gradually ended after World War II, at least in a legal sense.
9/11 was a windfall for the neocons since, whoever orchestrated it, it paved the way for the totalitarianism that we are now witnessing. It made the invention of the ‘war on terror’ possible. A war president can allow himself to commit aggression in the name of the people that would meet with violent protests in a peaceful era. Fear is the ever efficient means of keeping a population under control.
Little did they see that the ambitions of the neocons went much farther than the invasion and occupation of Iraq and the control of its oil resources. The aim was much higher. To begin with they wanted control of the whole Greater Middle East. Then what was going to follow was clearly control of the planet and possibly outer space. However, it now seems obvious that their ambitions will be cut short, since other big powers are rearing their heads in different parts of the world.
Also the ‘war on terror’ has been proven to be a worn-out cliché, a nonsense word, mainly because all this so-called war is doing is increasing the resistance to the United States and its aggressive march across the world’s continents. Even the U.S. citizens are aware of this counter-effect.
So what the neocon regime is now aiming at is a renewal of the cold war. Russia is going to be the enemy No.1 once again. They make the people believe that things are calming down in the Middle East. Iraq is moving towards a democracy, is what they try to make people believe. What is happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan is hushed up. They have the media on their side, which has of course been essential in winning the support of the people that they have had so far.
The question is now: Will le capitalisme sauvage (as the French say) win the life or death game or will the people finally gather strength and a voice and manage to throw them out? To the corporations it’s a game, to the people it’s a matter of sheer survival.
All the ballyhoo about the American dream is just that and as for Bill Clinton’s words about restor[ing] America’s standing in the world , that’s for megalomaniacs and dreamers. We will be lucky if the planet survives, and it will take the rising up of the people, a forceful attack on the prevailing corporate system by the people all over the world to make that happen. The world is under attack from U.S. corporatism, ecology, economy, inequality, injustice, and it’s not just American citizens who have to speak out and act out. It’s the people of the world.
 Steven Rosenfeld: Hillary Electrifies: “Nothing Less Than the Fate of Our Nation … Hangs in the Balance”
 Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention on August 27, 2008 – exact quote: “Clearly, the job of the next President is to rebuild the American Dream and restore America’s standing in the world.”
Siv O’Neall is an Axis of Logic columnist, based in France. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the Biography and Additional Articles by Axis Columnist, Siv O’Neall.
© Copyright 2008 by AxisofLogic.com
In God’s MiddleFinger (Free Press 2008) the British writer living in Tucson, Richard Grant, explores the wild and basically ungoverned Sierra Madres, the backbone of Mexican culture. In doing this Grant not only looks into the Sierra Madres with its lawless drug culture, he manages to capture the psyche of the Mexican people and how they think.
The fast paced, well researched and written book puts the reader on the ground in Mexico and moves him through the terrain as if it were he experiencing the danger, meeting the people, and dodging the bullets.
Grant takes the reader inside a culture where a mafia hit man takes his bullets to be blessed by a saint so they will find their mark. He is able to show why the Mexican people don’t prepare for and invest in the future and live with a sense of inevitable fatality (everything in their past and present lives indicates that preparing for the future is a waste of time).
Grant writes the book with a tongue-in-cheek humor.
“I join the line of people moving slowly toward the church entrance, where three old men with screwed-up, contorted faces were singing corridos about the revolution and trying to make themselves heard over a younger trio singing corridos about the drug life. I ducked inside, the music faded, and my eyes slowly grew accustomed to the gloomy light coming through the high windows. At the nave of the church, surrounded by a warm glow of candles, was a tiny doll-like figure no more than a foot high in a glass box. Her face was white (the only other white face in Aduana that day was mine) and in her arms she held a baby.
Around her shoulders she wore a red cloak festooned with the tiny gold symbols called milagros, each representing a different type of miracle. There were milagros in the shape of babies, hearts, legs, arms and VW Beetles. People filed past, touched the glass with their fingertip, crossed themselves, and dropped coins into an old wooden box. I did the same and asked for the miracle of understanding Mexico.”
Grant apparently received his miracle, because he manages to capture the Mexican people and what makes them who they are better than any other book period.
God’s Middle Finger should be mandatory reading for all in the DEA and involved in the “War Against Drugs.” It should also be at the top of the list for students of Mexico and the Mexican culture. Not to mention all people proposing or opposing the “North American Union.”
92 min – Aug 29, 2008
DeadDean Films – www.nosmokewithoutfire.co.uk
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM – The DVD is available to buy with 90 minutes of unseen footage from
WATCH THE WHOLE FILM IN HIGH DEFINITION!! ExposureRoom
become our friend http://www.myspace.com/theelephantint… join our facebook group http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid… The Elephant in the Room is a documentary following British filmmaker Dean Puckett through his journey into the 9/11 Truth Movement: a global movement of ‘conspiracy theorists’ who believe that the official explanation about what happened on 9/11 is totally or partially inaccurate. The filmmakers travel from middle England, across Europe and to New York for the six year anniversary of the attacks, where the film takes one final twist as we are introduced to the 9/11 first responders who are suffering from various grave health difficulties due to the toxic dust that they breathed in trying to help their country during the weeks after this tragic event. Told with a personal hands on approach that avoids advancing any one position, the film asks the question: are these crazy conspiracy theorists? Or is 9/11 Truth a credible political movement?
I don’t leave home without my camera, just in case I need to document the behavior of our local cops. ~ Lo
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Dennis Kucinich gets caught up in the hype and stands up for the party that refuses to stand up for him…
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Dennis Kucinich – Open the Debates!
Congressman and former Democratic Presidential Candidate, Dennis Kucinich was interviewed after speaking to the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado August 26, 2008
Brought to you by Another Way Films.
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