1. Joseph La Sac is Free
2. Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me
3. Police attack on peaceful protest
5. Dead Prez
Sept 3, 2008
Thousands Gather in Minneapolis for Ron Paul Counter-Convention
Thousands of supporters of former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul gathered last night in Minneapolis for a counter-convention to show support for the Libertarian-leaning Texan congressman. During the primary season, Paul placed second or third in twenty states, but he was barred from speaking at the Republican National Convention, reportedly because he would not change his position on the war in Iraq. During his speech in Minneapolis, Paul refused to endorse his fellow Republican, John McCain.
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Amy Goodman Grills St. Paul Police Chief About Her Arrest and Two Democracy Now! Producers
On Tuesday morning, St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington held a news conference where he spoke about the nearly 300 people arrested in a police crackdown on protesters a day earlier. Among them were several journalists covering the protests in the streets, including three of us at Democracy Now!—Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Amy Goodman questions Harrington about the arrests.
Amy grills police chief about her arrest!!
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Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign Takes Cause to Streets Outside RNC
One day after the historic Poor People’s March in St. Paul, we speak to the group’s national organizer, Cheri Honkala. She’s a longtime organizer and director of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union in Philadelphia.
Thousands Join Poor People’s March Outside RNC
Twin Cities Indymedia
Wed, 09/03/2008 – 17:14
In what appears to be the first use of criminal charges under the 2002 Minnesota version of the Federal Patriot Act, Ramsey County Prosecutors have formally charged 8 alleged leaders of the RNC Welcoming Committee with Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism. Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik Oseland, Nathanael Secor, Robert Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald, and Max Spector, face up to 7 1/2 years in prison under the terrorism enhancement charge which allows for a 50% increase in the maximum penalty.
Affidavits released by law enforcement which were filed in support of the search warrants used in raids over the weekend, and used to support probable cause for the arrest warrants, are based on paid, confidential informants who infiltrated the RNCWC on behalf of law enforcement. They allege that members of the group sought to kidnap delegates to the RNC, assault police officers with firebombs and explosives, and sabotage airports in St. Paul. Evidence released to date does not corroborate these allegations with physical evidence or provide any other evidence for these allegations than the claims of the informants. Based on past abuses of such informants by law enforcement, the National Lawyers Guild is concerned that such police informants have incentives to lie and exaggerate threats of violence and to also act as provacateurs in raising and urging support for acts of violence.
“These charges are an effort to equate publicly stated plans to blockade traffic and disrupt the RNC as being the same as acts of terrorism. This both trivializes real violence and attempts to place the stated political views of the Defendants on trial,” said Bruce Nestor, President of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. “The charges represent an abuse of the criminal justice system and seek to intimidate any person organizing large scale public demonstrations potentially involving civil disobedience, he said.”
By Paul Craig Roberts
09/03/08 “ICH ”
Does the liberal-left have a clue? I sometimes think not.
In his book, “What’s the Matter With Kansas?,” Thomas Frank made the excellent point that the Karl Rove Republicans take advantage of ordinary’s people’s frustrations and resentments to lead them into voting against their best interest.
Frank’s new book, “The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule,” lacks the insight that distinguished his previous book. Why does Frank think that conservatives or liberals rule?
Neither rule. America is ruled by organized interest groups with money to elect candidates who serve their interests. Frank’s book does not even mention the Israel Lobby, which bleeds Americans for the sake of Israeli territorial expansion. Check the index. Israel is not there.
Does Frank think that rapture evangelicals are conservative, that Christian Zionists are conservative? If so, where did he learn his theology?
Frank can’t tell the difference between Ronald Reagan and Cheney/Bush. He conflates the collection of opportunists and fanatics that comprise the Bush Party with the Reagan conservatives who ended stagflation and the cold war. The adventurer, Jack Abramoff, is Frank’s epitome of a conservative. Abramoff is the most mentioned person in Frank’s story. In Frank’s view, conservatives are out to ruin everyone except the rich.
But it was the Clinton administration that rigged the Consumer Price Index in order to cheat retired people out of their Social Security cost of living increases.
It was the Clinton administration that vanished discouraged workers from the unemployment rolls.
It was the Clinton administration that wrecked “effective government” by encouraging early civil service retirements in order to make way for quota hires.
Why doesn’t Frank know that the “Reagan deficit” was due to the collapse of inflation below the forecast, thus reducing the flow of inflated revenues into the government’s budget, whereas the Bush deficit is a result of what Nobel Democrat economist Joe Stiglitz has calculated to be a $3 trillion dollar war in the Middle East?
Frank doesn’t want to know. Like so many fighting ideological battles, he just wants to damn “the enemy.”
But who is Frank’s enemy? He calls them “conservatives.” But the Bush regime is a neoconservative regime. Neoconservatives, despite the name, are not conservatives. They have taken over formerly conservative publications, think tanks, and foundations and driven out the conservatives.
Neoconservatives are in the tradition of the French Jacobins of the 18th century. Having had the French Revolution, the revolutionaries thought that they should take it to all of Europe. Napoleon exercised French hegemony over Europe. The American neocons desire American hegemony over the world.
The true American conservative does not believe in foreign wars. In US history, conservatives were derided by liberals as “isolationists.”
There is nothing conservative about launching wars of aggression on the basis of lies and deception in order to control the direction of oil pipelines and to enhance Israeli territorial expansion.
Frank misses all of this.
And what a pity that is. A false conservative-liberal fight distracts attention from the growing police state that is destroying civil liberties for all Americans. It obscures the real motives of policies in behalf of special interests that are leading to nuclear confrontation with Russia and China.
What is wrecking America is not conservatives, but a neoconservative ideology of US hegemony.
What is wrecking America is the “impeachment-is-off-the-table” twins, Nancy Pelosi and John Conyers.
What is wrecking America is the Democratic Party, which was put in control of the House and Senate in the 2006 congressional elections to stop the gratuitous wars and gestapo police, but, instead, has continued to cooperate with the Cheney/Bush regime in behalf of war and police repression, such as we witnessed at the Republican National Convention.
Frank’s book, “The Wrecking Crew” falls into the scapegoat category of blaming the innocent and irrelevant. The Democrat Party could impeach Cheney/Bush and cut off funding for the wars and corrupt military contracts. But they do nothing and get a free pass from Frank.
“The Wrecking Crew” does have one virtue. Frank shows that the Republicans have spawned a new generation of brownshirts that lust to imprison, torture, and kill people. These ignorant bloodthirsty thugs see enemies everywhere and fervently desire to nuke them all. The Republican brownshirts are equally willing to kill American critics of the Bush regime as to kill Taliban and al Qaeda.
The latest “enemy” is Russia. The Bush regime, complicit in its Georgian puppet’s war crimes against South Ossetia, is attempting to hide its responsibility for ethnic cleansing by demonizing Russia. With every threat the Bush regime issues against Russia, the war drums beat louder. Yet, the print and TV media and Democratic Party have jumped on the war wagon.
The rapture evangelicals and the neocons are euphoric at the prospect of nuclear war. Frank’s misguided barrage at conservatives, who are a brake on war and the police state, hastens end times.
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By Sara Robinson
September 2nd, 2008 – 2:04pm ET
It almost seems like the Twin Cities cops are going way out of their way to create trouble, doesn’t it?
We had our share of ugly police events in Denver—almost all of them resulting when party leaders ordered police to harass journalists trying to document swanky confabs between fat cats and industry lobbyists. But, even so, one did not get the impression that the legions in black Gore-Tex were going out of their way to create trouble, let alone incite public riots. Mostly, they were remarkably live-and-let-live.
On the other hand, law enforcement in the Twin Cities tipped their hand Friday night that they’re so ready to rumble that they’re perfectly willing to throw the first punch, if that’s what it takes to get the riot started. Glenn Greenwald and FDL’s Lindsay Beyerstein have been providing summary coverage of events as they unfolded; in their reporting, it’s all too clear that there are lot of powerful people involved who are spoiling for a street fight with progressives.
What we’re seeing in Minneapolis (and did not see in Denver) is incitement to riot on a grand scale—planned and executed by law enforcement agencies themselves. There’s plenty of evidence that the orders are coming from the federal level—and a credible suggestion that local law enforcement has been promised some sweet favors if they deliver.
With over 200 people still in jail after Monday’s arrests, and with a massive police presence in the street, the Poor People’s March prepared to set out and braced for the police response. Footage from Rick Rowley, Elizabeth Press, Fatimah Mojaddidy, Rebecca McNeice and Jordan Hansen.
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Police Misconduct A Threat To Free Speech
MINNEAPOLIS – Amid charges of police misconduct during the Republican National Convention in Minnesota, the American Civil Liberties Union called for accountability for any unconstitutional actions there.
The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU:
“Conducting mass arrests and raiding meeting places of innocent Americans exercising their constitutional right to express political dissent are antithetical to the fundamental values of our democracy. Free speech has to be safeguarded during the Republican National Convention, as the workings of our democracy in the streets are as important as those in convention halls. Allegations of police misconduct must be investigated thoroughly and free speech must be safeguarded for the remainder of the convention.”
Teams of civil and criminal defense attorneys recruited and coordinated by the ACLU of Minnesota filed five lawsuits seeking to protect free speech and due process in the lead-up to the convention. Attorneys assembled by the ACLU are currently in the jails offering limited representation to hundreds of people who were swept up in mass arrests in the Twin Cities.
ST. PAUL, Minnesota – Key leaders of the Republican Party are going on the offensive to head off criticism of their new Vice Presidential candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin due to the disclosure that her 17-year old unmarried daughter Bristol is pregnant. “If it wasn’t for Hillary’s long time support of loose morals and whipping up women to think they can make decisions about their own bodies, none of this would have happened,” said Grover Norquist, anti-tax activist and GOP leader. “Staying married to that cheating liar of a husband of hers, gave the message to our daughters that it is acceptable to lose all respect for themselves and to forget our all important teachings of abstinence only. Shame on the Clintons. They should be impeached all over again,” said senior McCain advisor Steve Schmidt.
“The focus of blame lies clearly with the Clinton’s and the rest of the Godless Democrats,” said Family Research president Tony Perkins, “and certainly not with the Palin’s. Fortunately, their daughter Bristol believes in pro-life and will keep the child and will marry the child’s father as soon as a suitable father can be located.” More importantly for Palin and the Republicans, the elder statesman of the evangelical movement, James Dobson of the powerful Focus on the Family organization said he backs Palin completely. “We all know that this teen pregnancy is the result of the Democrat Party’s unabashed support of the gay agenda.”
“This disclosure will not hurt the Republican ticket but actually help it,” said Annette Ratliff a Texas delegate to the GOP convention. “It shows that the Palin’s wrestle with the same problems as ordinary Americans and their handling of it shows strength, determination and that they are just like us. Now if it was Chelsea Clinton or one of the Obama girls who got pregnant when they are teens, it would be nothing less than a message to the American people of a shameful flaunting of immoral behavior encouraged by parents in league with the devil himself.”
Thanks To Palin Nomination, Teenage Pregnancy Is Now “In”
GRAYSON, New Mexico – There once was a time in America when a girl in the senior high school class would quietly leave school to help take care of her “aunt’s” newborn baby. There once was a time in America when a parent’s greatest nightmare was that their teen daughter would get pregnant. But now, thanks to the nomination of Governor Sarah Palin, all that has changed.
“The accolades of praised heaped upon Sarah Palin and her pregnant daughter Bristol regarding her unwed pregnancy have turned conventional wisdom on it’s head,” said Brandon Wilson of the Rand Institute. “Getting pregnant when she is a teenager gives a girl the chance to show the world just how pro-life she really is,” said Tony Perkins of the Family Research Counsel. “She can expect the child, expect the moral support of fellow Christians, but of course, not expect any financial support because she’ll be on her own.”
“This is good news for girls who make poor judgment about sex,” said James Dobson of Focus on the Family. “because she can get redemption by bringing Jesus and her new baby into her life. Of course if she even thinks about an abortion, she will immediately go to hell and have to spend eternity with all the gays and Democrats.”
Not everyone believes this is a good trend. “This new acceptance of teenage pregnancy sends the wrong message to teenage boys who already have enough trouble trying to control themselves. This new praise for teen pregnancy is a green light for teenage boys to feel they can be reckless with a girl and only have to fear good consequences,” said Helen Platt of the National Organization for Women. “This whole Palin nomination is ridiculous,” said one senior Obama staffer, “you know how when a Republican does something really bad and has to resign, he says he is leaving to spend more time with his family? Well this is a case where Governor Palin should resign because she should spend more time with her family.”
The wild support of Palin’s daughter’s pregnancy has had immediate effect on the entertainment industry. Expect Hollywood to release a bundle of new movies about teenage pregnant girls, starting with Juno II due out in about nine months.
by Ralph Nader
Tuesday, September 2. 2008
Labor Day just isn’t what it used to be. The parades are smaller, the unionized workforce is smaller, the share of the economic pie available for working people in the United States is smaller and the demands by organized labor on Congress and the presidential candidates are embarrassingly smaller than the times demand.
Last year I issued a Labor Day statement noting that the Taft‑Hartley Act, one of the great blows to American democracy, had been in effect for 60 years. Well another year has come and gone and this law is still in place. Taft-Harley continues to: impede employees’ right to join together in labor unions; undermine the power of unions to represent workers’ interests effectively; and authorize an array of anti‑union activities by employers. (See: http://www.nader.org/index.php?/archives/1220-Repeal-the-Taft-Hartley-Act.html for a more detailed description of the anti-worker provisions of this anti-worker law.)
Union officials should speak out for abolition of Taft‑Hartley, and not concede this monumental employer usurpation of worker rights. Against the backdrop of the assault on labor that has included aggressive employer demands for concessions, the downward pull of international low-wage workers, weak and barely enforced labor and workplace safety laws, most workers have seen wage rates almost stagnate over the past several decades—even as CEO salaries have skyrocketed.
Major union leaders in the United States do vocally support the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 800, S. 1041) which according to the AFL-CIO will: “Establish stronger penalties for violation of employee rights when workers seek to form a union and during first‑contract negotiations. Provide mediation and arbitration for first‑contract disputes. [And,] [a]llow employees to form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation” On March 1, 2007 H.R. 800, which has introduced by Congressman George Miller, D-CA, and which has 233 co-sponsors, passed on a roll call vote with 241 votes in favor of the bill and 185 opposed. On June 26, 2007 the Senate tried to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, but the Republicans, with the exception of Republican Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania filibustered the bill. The Employee Free Choice Act should, however, be but one battle in the fight to restore worker rights in the United States.
Remember the “fat cats” continue to accumulate and concentrate wealth. And George W. Bush’s recession has only exacerbated the plight of working men and women.
Employers have slashed benefits for those workers lucky enough to retain a job. And many workplaces remain far more hazardous than necessary.
Most people struggle to get by and they are working more and more—either working longer hours or picking up a second or third job—to pay the bills and meet rent or mortgage payments. In two-parent families, increasingly both parents are in the workforce. Just to meet everyday expenses, they’re borrowing more and more from credit cards, home equity loans, or second mortgages, or from legal loan sharks at check-cashing operations. If someone in the family gets sick and lacks health insurance—forty-five million Americans are in that boat—the economic pressures on the family can be overwhelming. Even if a family has insurance, the exorbitant price of medicine may not be covered, or covered entirely, and paying for the pills can drive a family into despair.
The Economic Policy Institute reports that: “The inflation‑adjusted value of the minimum wage is 19 percent lower in 2008 than it was in 1979. Since September 1997, the cost of living has risen 32 percent, while the minimum wage, even after the increase to $6.55, has fallen in real value.”
In recent times, the gap between haves and have-nots is more severe and the demands for worker rights have never been more powerless since World War 2.
Consider the following:
· S&P 500 CEOs now make about 344 times more than the average worker at their firms.
· The top fifth of households own more than 84.7 percent of the nation’s wealth, the middle fifth percent less than 3.8 percent of the nation’s wealth.
· The percent of wealth owned and controlled by the wealthiest 1 percent of households, now equals that of the bottom 92 percent.
· Women and minority males earn 69 percent to 80 percent of what White men make. In addition, more than a third of single mothers with children live in poverty.
Repealing Taft-Hartley would certainly help workers to organize for better wages and working conditions. The fight would be monumental, but so would the gains.
The Bush administration has found yet another way to waste taxpayer money while providing huge sums to private contractors. According to a survey of activities in 2007 by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, about a third of the federal professional intelligence workforce now consists of contractors, mostly in the Washington, DC area.
Out of a total workforce of about 100,000 people some 37,000 are private employees that cost the government (we taxpayers) about $207,000 annually, compared with about $125,000 for civilian federal employee’s salaries and benefits. Continue reading
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“Outside the GOP Convention, Protests, Violence and Arrests,” Al Jazeera English, Qatar
“Islamic World Celebrates Ramadan,” Dubai TV, UAE
“UN Warns of Looming Famine in Ethiopia,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“Somali Refugees Search for Safety,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“UAE Protests Iran’s Offices on Occupied Island,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Al Qaeda’s Connection in Gaza,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
“Israel Foils Five Hezbollah Attempts to Kidnap Israelis,” IBA TV, Israel
“Iraqi Government Helps Returning Refugees,” Alsumaria TV, Iraq
“Old Cafes in Amman Jordan,” Dubai TV, UAE
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.
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At the beginning of the 20th Century, Georgia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia were provinces in the Russian Empire. In 1917 Georgia left Russia, but South Ossetia and Abkhazia refused to join the new Georgian Democratic Republic. At the time, the first Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-Ossetian conflict flared up. RT investigates this complicated territorial issue in a new XL Report.
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