Friday, February 10, 2012

Chris Hedges: 'Black Bloc' Could Kill OWS Meanwhile Chicago Police Not To Be Filmed When Pepper-spraying or Beating Up Protester And Obama Defends SuperPACs and The 1%

#OWS Update;

Why the People's Mic? Here's Why!

Oakland Police confiscate Occupy Oakland amplification equipment 2/6/12

#OWS Mic Check & This Little School of Mine
Education is a Right Not A Privilege For a Few

Occupy the DOE on Feb 9th 2012. Students, parents, teachers and community members came out to fight for their schools!

Chris Hedges: 'Black Bloc' Could Kill OWS

Chris hedges argues that the Blac Bloc group if not separated from the #occupy movement will help to destroy its image.
The blac Bloc fits into the Mainstream media's erroneous depiction and characterization of the Occupy Movement.
President Obama and the Democratic Party are very fearful of the Occupy movement which has helped to show the Democrats as being as much the puppets or quislings of the Elites and Wall Street and the status quo when it comes to rapacious, unfettered, deregulated, monopolistic Capitalism. So Obama and the Democrats would prefer that one way or another that the occupy movement is crushed and this helps explain why Obama has said nothing about the over the top violent and brutal actions of local police forces who are repeatedly trampling on the Constitutional Rights of the majority of protesters who have remained non-violent despite the media's and those in authority's characterization of the movement.
Chris Hedges then argues that Obama is not a champion of average citizens but has a mentality equivalent to the GOP and the previous administration of George W. Bush , Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Condi Rice et al .
This is especially true given the example of Obama's new draconian NDAA law which is just another step in undermining America's Constitution and Bill of Rights.

And here's a somewhat different take on Chris Hedges warnings about the Blac Bloc anarchists who use more violent actions.
Sam Seder interviews Jeff Smith of the Occupy Wall Street Press about the issue of the Blac Bloc.
Smith argues that he thinks Hedges is in his view a bit of an alarmist in regards to the Blac Bloc.

Occupy Wall Street & Blac Bloc

Uploaded by SamSeder on Feb 9, 2012
From the Majority Report, live M-F 11:30am EST and via daily podcast at http://Majority.FM:
Jeff Smith of the Occupy Wall Street Press team checks in from the OWS Bus' OccuTrip to speak with Sam about the issue of Black Bloc tactics being used in Occupy Wall Street.

Once again the police and legilators believe citizens have no right to tape or video police officers in the course of doing their job. To put it more bluntly the police and legislators want to have a free hand on how they deal with even peaceful protesters without having their at times illegal and brutal tactics used on protesters show up on YouTube or other internet sites or that could be used in cases of alleged Police Brutality. The other major concern here is the silence on the part of Obama and his administration and the DOJ in regard to flagrant violations of the rights of citizens as found in the US Constitution and its amendments along with the Bill of Rights let alone common decency.

In Lead-Up to Mass Protests in Chicago, Illinois Ban on Recording Police Challenged
G8/NATO protests "that are almost certain to be countered with excessive police force will be illegal to record" - Common Dreams staff Feb. 8,2012

As Chicago prepares for thousands of protesters and journalists for the G8 and NATO summits this May, an Illinois law declaring a felony the audio recording of police officers is coming under the microscope. One representative has filed an amendment to allow for such recordings, a move protesters, who will likely be met with heavy-handed tactics from police, would welcome.

Under the current Illinois Eavesdropping Act from 1961, a person recording a non-consenting police officer can be charged with a felony and 15 years in prison. The Huffington Post explains:

The Eavesdropping Act makes recording officers without their permission a Class 1 felony, but has been inconsistently applied by different sectors of the justice system who disagree on its merits, particularly in cases where audio spotlights police wrongdoing. In the recent high-profile case of Tiawanda Moore, who recorded police officers trying to talk her out of filing a complaint after she claimed she was sexually harassed by an officer, a jury acquitted her and called the county's charges against her "a waste of time."
An amendment to the law submitted by Rep. Elaine Nekritz would allow for the recording or police officer on duty in public place. The Daily-Journal reports:

House Bill 3944, sponsored by Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, would amend the Illinois Eavesdropping Act, under which a member of the public can be charged with a felony if he or she records the conversations of police officers, prosecutors and other law enforcement personnel without their knowledge. [...]

Nekritz said her legislation would "allow citizens to do what they think they already had the ability to do."
The amendment has an unlikely ally, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. The Huffington Post reports on McCarthy's stance:

"As far as the use of videotape, I certainly endorse it, for the protection of the police as well as [civilians]," he said at the panel. "There's no argument when you show videotape and can look at what happened. I actually am a person who endorses video and audio recording."

McCarthy, who came to Chicago from New York, said video and audio recordings helped prove officers acted appropriately amid allegations of brutality following a series of protest arrests. He added that this material could be equally useful as police prepare for massive crowds of protesters when Chicago hosts the NATO/G8 summits this spring. McCarthy clarified that it's not his job to advocate for policy changes, according to CBS Chicago, but called objections to covert recordings of police interactions a "foreign concept" after finding the practice helpful during previous stints in other cities.
As WLS-Chicago reported in September, the ACLU says the current law "doesn't make any sense":

The ACLU argues that the Illinois Eavesdropping Act is antiquated and overly-restrictive, and it wants the ability to record audio of police officers when they're on the public way - most specifically as a means of monitoring how police handle marches and demonstrations.

"You can video the police officer, you can photograph the police officer. They admit that you can listen to the police officer, and even write down what the police officer is saying, but you can't turn on the audio button. It simply doesn't make any sense," said Harvey Grossman, ACLU.
RT notes how the law, if it remains unchanged, will affect the Chicago Police Department and protesters:

...the protests that are almost certain to be countered with excessive police force will be illegal to record.

Report: 'Super PACs Are Kryptonite for US Democracy' - Common Dreams staff, Feb. 8,2012

A joint analysis by Demos and US PIRG released today takes a detailed look at the increasing (and deleterious) impact that so-called Super PACs are having on elections in the United States. Super PACs are independent political action committees that can accept unlimited and often undisclosed financial contributions from donors to campaign for or against candidates or issues during an election.

The analysis, Auctioning Democracy: The Rise of Super PACs and the 2012 Election, concludes "that Super PACs are truly kryptonite for" democracy in the United States, and "undermine basic principles of citizen sovereignty and political equality, and can rob voters of the chance to evaluate political messages in light of the messenger."

In a statement released with the report co-authors Blair Bowie and Adam Lioz claim their findings, "confirm that Super PACs represent much of what is wrong with American democracy rolled neatly into one package: they provide a convenient avenue for for-profit businesses and wealthy donors to dominate the political process with a flood of sometimes secret cash."

The report's core findings:

For-profit businesses use Super PACs as an avenue to influence federal elections. 17% of the itemized funds raised by Super PACs came from for-profit businesses—more than $30 million.
Because Super PACs—unlike traditional PACs—may accept funds from nonprofits that are not required to disclose their donors, they provide a vehicle for secret funding of electoral campaigns. 6.4% of the itemized funds raised by Super PACs cannot be feasibly traced back to an original source.
Super PACs are a tool used by wealthy individuals and institutions to dominate the political process. 93% of the itemized funds raised by Super PACs from individuals in 2011 came in contributions of at least $10,000, from just twenty-three out of every 10 million people in the U.S. population

President Obama is once again selling out to the corporate elites and the Wall Street thugs just so he can be re-elected.
But his being re-elected with the help of big money means he will owe them fvors so there will be no major changes after his re-election.
But as we have seen Obama at the very least takes into consideration the views of wealthy donors on legislation .
So this will give Obama even more reasons to cave into the self-serving corrupt 1% who rule over America.
So despite the evidence President Obama has decided to work with superPACs which will result in those candidates with the most money will win their elections 9 time out of 10.

Obama Joins the Democracy Sell Off by Tim Karr Mdia Citizen via, Feb. 8, 2012

President Obama succumbed late Monday to the dark logic of the Super PACs, instructing top West Wing staffers to help raise money for the so-called "independent" groups that have been successful in picking winners and losers thus far in 2012. signals that the president has reversed his earlier stance against working with Super PACs and joined others on the low road to political influence.

It also sounds the starting gun for the real race to win the White House in 2012 -- one that will very likely award the candidate who raises the most cash with victory in November. In this case, though, it won't be the victor who gets the spoils, but the wealthy corporations and individuals that funded him.

What's really happening in 2012 is a transfer of money and power unlike any other in the history of U.S. politics. It's a process that's unfolding in corporate boardrooms and corridors of political power, far from public view or scrutiny.

The Sad Spectacle of Obama’s Super PAC by Robert Reich via, Feb. 8, 2012

It has been said there is no high ground in American politics since any politician who claims it is likely to be gunned down by those firing from the trenches. That’s how the Obama team justifies its decision to endorse a super PAC that can raise and spend unlimited sums for his campaign.

Baloney. Good ends don’t justify corrupt means.

I understand the White House’s concerns. Obama is a proven fundraiser – he cobbled together an unprecedented $745 million for the 2008 election and has already raised $224 million for this one. But his aides figure Romney can raise almost as much, and they fear an additional $500 million or more will be funneled to Romney by a relative handful of rich individuals and corporations through right-wing super PACS like “American Crossroads.”

And when a bit of pressure is put on Obama by the GOP and the Religious Right it seems he tends to cave even when there should be no hint of compromise. And every time Obama caves in his staunch supporters make excuses for him.

Obama Wavering In Face of Anti-contraception Pressure, - Common Dreams staff Feb. 2012

Obama has been feeling pressure from conservatives and religious groups that have been criticizing his Affordable Care Act; the act includes a mandate requiring all health insurance plans to include birth control coverage. Conservative opposition has been mounting since HHS finalized the policy on January 20, 2012. As of Tuesday, signs of back peddling began to emerge as the Whitehouse said it would "accommodate the concerns of the employers who would be required to provide birth control coverage regardless of their religious beliefs".

and so it goes,

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