Gainesville Bans Torches, Charlottesville Allows Guns

Here’s a list of items banned from an event in Gainesville, Florida, with hatemonger Richard Spencer. It includes all conceivable weapons, and even open flames of any kind.

Here’s an NBC 29 report on our petition to ban weapons from public rallies in Charlottesville. It seems to focus on this Virginia state law, which bans loaded guns from public places in a list of localities that does not include Charlottesville. The intent in citing this seems to be to claim that Virginia state laws allowing “concealed” and “open” carrying of guns cannot be overridden in any way except in the list of localities found in that law. Yet, Richmond, which is in that list, apparently decided it could ban every type of weapon except guns.

Still, here is a list of weapons banned in Gainesville that nobody in Charlottesville has yet proposed, as far as I know, any justification whatsoever for not banning from the fascist rally in August or any future rally:

simulated firearms, tasers, knives, sharp objects
Lighters, matches, torches or open flame
Any athletic equipment or other items which could be used as a weapon
Masks of any kind, goggles, bandanas/scarfs, neck gaitersFlag Poles, bats, clubs, sticks (including sticks on signs)
Aerosol/pressurized cans, mace
Chains, padlocks, bicycle locks
⇒ Keep Reading

Leave a comment

Black Is White, White Is Black, in the Washington Post

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org

The Washington Post presents a shockingly imaginary Syria, in which the U.S. Government has been the friend of the Syrian people by trying to eliminate in Syria simultaneously the jihadists and the Syrian Government that’s been fighting against the jihadists, and in which the Syrian war has not been between the Syrian Government and those tens of thousands of jihadists, many of whom have actually been armed by the U.S. Government and financed by the American Government’s allies, especially by the Saudi Government, and brought into Syria through America’s allies, first Turkey, and then more recently Jordan, and the jihadists tended medically by yet another U.S. ally, Israel. Obviously, the U.S. Government supports jihadists when doing so serves its higher goal, of overthrowing Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad. But this fact is unmentionable in the ‘authoritative’ media. The reality hidden by the Western press is that, according to Western-sponsored polls of Syrians, 82% of Syrians blame the U.S. for the plague of ISIS in their country, and well over 50% want Bashar al-Assad to continue as Syria’s President.

Such extreme reality-denial in the Washington Post is ordinary for the U.S. newsmedia; but, nonetheless, as in this particular case, it reaches occasionally absurd proportions, which the entire world would instantly recognize as being the propaganda-media of a dictatorship, if only the entire world knew about it (rather than its being hidden from the public by and within all of the aristocracies that are allied with the U.S. aristocracy). To mention that the Emperor has no clothes would be a capital offense.

⇒ Keep Reading

Leave a comment

Which Rotten Fruit Falls First?

To those of us who understand the entire status quo is rotten and corrupt to its core, the confidence of each ideological camp that their side will emerge unscathed by investigation is a source of amusement. The fake-progressives (fake because these so-called “progressives” support Imperial over-reach and a status quo whose only possible output is soaring wealth and income inequality) are confident that a “smoking gun” of corruption will deliver their most fervent dream, the impeachment of President Trump, while Trump supporters are equally confident there is no “smoking gun.”

One camp is confident that the wily Clintons and their army of enablers, from former FBI Director Comey on down, will finally be brought to long-evaded justice for their various perfections of corruption and collusion: pay to play, and so on.

Clinton supporters are equally confident that there is no “smoking gun” that will bring down the House of Clinton, and by proxy, the organs of the Democratic Party.

The implicit historical model each camp is anticipating is of course Watergate, which unfolded with a dramatic inevitability that in retrospect almost seems scripted: a minor burglary led to the hubris of cover-up which led to the destruction of the Nixon presidency.

Often overlooked in this history is the key roles played by insider informants (such as Deep Throat) and the wider political demands for greater transparency the scandal triggered. The Church Committee ended up investigating the illegal campaigns of the FBI and CIA against the anti-war and civil rights movements (COINTELPRO etc.), and a small dent was made in the federal government’s decades-long reliance on official secrecy to cover up official corruption, collusion, malfeasance, lies, etc.– the ugly underbelly of agencies protecting the Empire from any inconvenient leaks of truth.
⇒ Keep Reading

10 Comments

GDP Is Bogus: Here’s Why

The rot eating away at our society and economy is typically papered over with bogus statistics that “prove” everything’s getting better every day in every way. The prime “proof” of rising prosperity is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which never fails to loft higher, with the rare excepts being Spots of Bother (recessions) that never last more than a quarter or two.

Longtime correspondent Dave P. of Market Daily Briefing recently summarized the key flaw in GDP: GDP doesn’t reflect changes in the balance sheet, i.e. debt.

So if we borrow money to pay people to dig holes and then fill them with the excavated dirt, GDP rises to general applause. The debt we took on to fund the make-work isn’t accounted for at all.

Here’s Dave’s explanation:

Once I learned about accounting, I figured out why the GDP metric wasn’t sufficient. What is missing?

The balance sheet.

Hurricanes are a direct hit to your nation’s balance sheet. The national income statement goes up because of increased spending to replace lost assets, but the “equity” part of the national balance sheet ends up taking a hit in direct proportion to the damage that occurred. Even if you rebuild everything just the way it was, your assets remain the same, while your liabilities have increased.
⇒ Keep Reading

6 Comments

Petition asks Charlottesville to keep weapons out of rallies

A new petition, signed by over 8,000 people and just sent to Charlottesville’s City Council, asks Charlottesville to keep weapons out of rallies. The petition, found at https://diy.rootsaction.org/p/cville , reads:

“Make clear that in permits for any rallies in public spaces in Charlottesville, guns, knives, and sticks shall not be allowed.”

Tell Charlottesville: No Weapons at Rallies

Activists, including nonviolent peace activists, are often forbidden to carry posters on sticks, having to use hollow carboard tubes, at events around the United States. Yet in Charlottesville, Va., in August 2017 a group threatening violence and having engaged in it the night before was allowed to assemble in a public space with guns, sticks, and other weaponry. The results were brutal.

There is no reason that Charlottesville cannot, under existing laws, do what many other localities do and set the terms of public rallies to forbid the possession of weapons. Here’s an expert legal opinion that forbidding weapons is legal.

Here is a report on Richmond, Virginia, forbidding weapons at a rally.

There is nothing to be gained by trying to ban rallies of particular political viewpoints, or by trying to ban all public rallies. Either would be in stark violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

There is no need for new laws.
⇒ Keep Reading

1 Comment

Blaming Russia for the Internet ‘Sewer’

By Robert Parry, the investigative reporter who many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. Originally published at Parry’s Consortium News (republished with permission).

With the U.S. government offering tens of millions of dollars to combat Russian “propaganda and disinformation,” it’s perhaps not surprising that we see “researchers” such as Jonathan Albright of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University making the absurd accusation that the Russians have “basically turned [the Internet] into a sewer.”

I’ve been operating on the Internet since 1995 and I can assure you that the Internet has always been “a sewer” — in that it has been home to crazy conspiracy theories, ugly personal insults, click-bait tabloid “news,” and pretty much every vile prejudice you can think of. Whatever some Russians may or may not have done in buying $100,000 in ads on Facebook (compared to its $27 billion in annual revenue) or opening 201 Twitter accounts (out of Twitter’s 328 million monthly users), the Russians are not responsible for the sewage coursing through the Internet.

Americans, Europeans, Asians, Africans and pretty much every other segment of the world’s population didn’t need Russian help to turn the Internet into an informational “sewer.” But, of course, fairness and proportionality have no place in today’s Russia-gate frenzy.
⇒ Keep Reading

1 Comment

Under the Trump administration, US airstrikes are killing more civilians

File 20171012 31395 qkq5hm.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Smoke from an airstrike rises in the background as a man flees during fighting between Iraqi special forces and IS militants in Mosul, Iraq, on May 17, 2017.
AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo

Steven Feldstein, Boise State University

When President Donald Trump took office in January, it was unclear whether the bombast from his campaign would translate into an aggressive new strategy against terrorism. At campaign rallies he pledged to “bomb the hell” out of the Islamic State. He openly mused about killing the families of terrorists, a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions, which prohibits violence against noncombatants.

Ten months into his presidency, a clearer picture is emerging. The data indicate several alarming trends.

According to research from the nonprofit monitoring group Airwars, the first seven months of the Trump administration have already resulted in more civilian deaths than under the entirety of the Obama administration. Airwars reports that under Obama’s leadership, the fight against IS led to approximately 2,300 to 3,400 civilian deaths. Through the first seven months of the Trump administration, they estimate that coalition air strikes have killed between 2,800 and 4,500 civilians.

⇒ Keep Reading

4 Comments