Thursday, January 26, 2012

Kathy Stein and David Williams in a floor knife fight

via Barefoot:

 You can see the love, tolerance, between the two of them.

 Get him Kathy!

 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

You make defense cuts

NYT's:

A great interactive piece.  Click the link at the top.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The end to the physical occupation of #OccupyLexKY

And I feel fine.  There were those of us in the camp that thought November was the time to disband and turn this into a more traditional movement.  

Forever burned into our political vernacular are terms like, "1%", "99%", and "Occupy".

We changed the message, and conversation.

We are the 99%, Occupy your state legislatures, congress members and city halls.








Monday, January 23, 2012

How'd I miss this? 4 companies that own everything:


Well duh...  Look what's at number 6.  Our good friends that OccupyLexKY has been camping out on:
6. JP Morgan Chase &; Co 
AS PROTESTS against financial power sweep the world this week, science may have confirmed the protesters' worst fears. An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.
The study's assumptions have attracted some criticism, but complex systems analysts contacted by New Scientist say it is a unique effort to untangle control in the global economy. Pushing the analysis further, they say, could help to identify ways of making global capitalism more stable.
The idea that a few bankers control a large chunk of the global economy might not seem like news to New York's Occupy Wall Street movement and protesters elsewhere (see photo). But the study, by a trio of complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, is the first to go beyond ideology to empirically identify such a network of power. It combines the mathematics long used to model natural systems with comprehensive corporate data to map ownership among the world's transnational corporations (TNCs).
"Reality is so complex, we must move away from dogma, whether it's conspiracy theories or free-market," says James Glattfelder. "Our analysis is reality-based."
Previous studies have found that a few TNCs own large chunks of the world's economy, but they included only a limited number of companies and omitted indirect ownerships, so could not say how this affected the global economy - whether it made it more or less stable, for instance.
The Zurich team can. From Orbis 2007, a database listing 37 million companies and investors worldwide, they pulled out all 43,060 TNCs and the share ownerships linking them. Then they constructed a model of which companies controlled others through shareholding networks, coupled with each company's operating revenues, to map the structure of economic power.
The work, to be published in PLoS One, revealed a core of 1318 companies with interlocking ownerships (see image). Each of the 1318 had ties to two or more other companies, and on average they were connected to 20. What's more, although they represented 20 per cent of global operating revenues, the 1318 appeared to collectively own through their shares the majority of the world's large blue chip and manufacturing firms - the "real" economy - representing a further 60 per cent of global revenues.
When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a "super-entity" of 147 even more tightly knit companies - all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity - that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. "In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network," says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.
John Driffill of the University of London, a macroeconomics expert, says the value of the analysis is not just to see if a small number of people controls the global economy, but rather its insights into economic stability.
Concentration of power is not good or bad in itself, says the Zurich team, but the core's tight interconnections could be. As the world learned in 2008, such networks are unstable. "If one [company] suffers distress," says Glattfelder, "this propagates."
"It's disconcerting to see how connected things really are," agrees George Sugihara of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, a complex systems expert who has advised Deutsche Bank.
Yaneer Bar-Yam, head of the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI), warns that the analysis assumes ownership equates to control, which is not always true. Most company shares are held by fund managers who may or may not control what the companies they part-own actually do. The impact of this on the system's behaviour, he says, requires more analysis.
Crucially, by identifying the architecture of global economic power, the analysis could help make it more stable. By finding the vulnerable aspects of the system, economists can suggest measures to prevent future collapses spreading through the entire economy. Glattfelder says we may need global anti-trust rules, which now exist only at national level, to limit over-connection among TNCs. Sugihara says the analysis suggests one possible solution: firms should be taxed for excess interconnectivity to discourage this risk.
One thing won't chime with some of the protesters' claims: the super-entity is unlikely to be the intentional result of a conspiracy to rule the world. "Such structures are common in nature," says Sugihara.
Newcomers to any network connect preferentially to highly connected members. TNCs buy shares in each other for business reasons, not for world domination. If connectedness clusters, so does wealth, says Dan Braha of NECSI: in similar models, money flows towards the most highly connected members. The Zurich study, says Sugihara, "is strong evidence that simple rules governing TNCs give rise spontaneously to highly connected groups". Or as Braha puts it: "The Occupy Wall Street claim that 1 per cent of people have most of the wealth reflects a logical phase of the self-organising economy."
So, the super-entity may not result from conspiracy. The real question, says the Zurich team, is whether it can exert concerted political power. Driffill feels 147 is too many to sustain collusion. Braha suspects they will compete in the market but act together on common interests. Resisting changes to the network structure may be one such common interest.

The top 50 of the 147 superconnected companies

1. Barclays plc
2. Capital Group Companies Inc
3. FMR Corporation
4. AXA
5. State Street Corporation
6. JP Morgan Chase & Co 
7. Legal & General Group plc 
8. Vanguard Group Inc
9. UBS AG
10. Merrill Lynch & Co Inc 
11. Wellington Management Co LLP
12. Deutsche Bank AG
13. Franklin Resources Inc
14. Credit Suisse Group
15. Walton Enterprises LLC
16. Bank of New York Mellon Corp
17. Natixis
18. Goldman Sachs Group Inc
19. T Rowe Price Group Inc
20. Legg Mason Inc
21. Morgan Stanley
22. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc
23. Northern Trust Corporation
24. Société Générale
25. Bank of America Corporation
26. Lloyds TSB Group plc 
27. Invesco plc
28. Allianz SE 29. TIAA 
30. Old Mutual Public Limited Company
31. Aviva plc 
32. Schroders plc
33. Dodge & Cox
34. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc*
35. Sun Life Financial Inc
36. Standard Life plc
37. CNCE
38. Nomura Holdings Inc
39. The Depository Trust Company 
40. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance 
41. ING Groep NV 
42. Brandes Investment Partners LP 
43. Unicredito Italiano SPA 
44. Deposit Insurance Corporation of Japan 
45. Vereniging Aegon 
46. BNP Paribas 
47. Affiliated Managers Group Inc 
48. Resona Holdings Inc 
49. Capital Group International Inc 
50. China Petrochemical Group Company
Here's another take by Forbes:


There may be 147 companies in the world that own everything, as colleague Bruce Upbin points out and they are dominated by investment companies asEric Savitz rightly points out. But it’s not you and I who really control those companies, even though much of our money is in them. Given the nature of how money is invested, there are four companies in the shadows that reallycontrol those companies that own everything.
Before I reveal them, some light math:
According to the 2011 annual factbook from the Investment Company Institute, there is $24.7 trillion in all the mutual funds in the world (a little less than half from the US). Based on data from the ICI, $1.24 trillion of this is directly invested in index funds, plus another $992 billion in assets beyond that $24.7 trillion in Exchange Traded Funds, which aren’t mutual funds but are index funds. That means the bulk of that money is in “active” managed funds or fund of funds.
But then consider this: the chief of hedge funds at a very large asset manager told me last week (alas, I cannot identify either) that an internal study his firm recently performed found that the vast majority of mutual funds defined as actively managed see 95% of the assets they hold determined by an index. That means just 5% of actively managed funds really are driven by the active manager’s judgment.
This less-than-active management is for two reasons: one is to maintain the fund in a style box (i.e. large value stock, medium value stocks) and comply with the reality all mutual funds are required to have a benchmark index they compare their relative performance to. The other reason is to adhere to risk metrics to which most of the fund industry is beholden. This second point is partly due to Modern Portfolio Theory (a complex topic we won’t debate here) and to the human nature that active managers tend to build portfolios close to the indexes they benchmark against to avoid really awful downward relative performance years that ends up costing them their jobs.
So of the $25.69 trillion in worldwide assets we’ve identified, $2.23 trillion are directly in indexes (ETFs and index mutual funds) with another $22.3 trillion indirectly beholden to indexes (that 95% of actively managed fund holdings said to be determined by an index).
You can see where I’m headed here. That means the real power to control the world lies with four companies: McGraw-Hill, which owns Standard & Poor’s, Northwestern Mutual, which owns Russell Investments, the index arm of which runs the benchmark Russell 1,000 and Russell 3,000, CME Groupwhich owns 90% of Dow Jones Indexes, and Barclay’s, which took over Lehman Brothers and its Lehman Aggregate Bond Index, the dominant world bond fund index. Together, these four firms dominate the world of indexing. And in turn, that means they hold real sway over the world’s money.
While that may seem benign – they are indexers after all you may say –  a financial index isn’t cut and dried like the index of a book. It’s a misperception indexers merely do some simple math like identifying the 500 largest US companies and voila! you have the S&P 500. Every indexer has a fudge factor that allows them to say one company is more “economically significant” for the index at hand than another company. To again take the S&P 500 as an example, the 502-largest company by market cap could get the nod over number 500 by size if S&P decides it wants to.
The power is even more obvious in bonds. The now-Barclays Aggregate Bond Index attempts to mirror volume of bond issuance in a region or the world, but it can’t include even a sizable percentage of all the bonds issued. Essentially, there’s  a big judgment call in there in what bonds it adds to its index. A judgment that influences bond fund flows worldwide.
What does all this mean? Researchers at a desk in midtown Manhattan are the butterflies that cause the hurricanes in the markets. For instance, 37% of all index funds in stocks are in a S&P 500 index fund. That’s $370 billion directly buying and selling stocks based on when the S&P analysts decide to drop ITT from the S&P500 and replace it with just one of three ITT spin-off, Xylem, as announced on Monday. Then add on top of that all of the so-called active mutual funds aiming to beat the S&P 500 (but still reflect 95% of the S&P in their funds) who react to the change and then all of the hedge funds who trade ahead of time trying to guess what S&P may drop or add.
I don’t have a grudge against any indexer (and full disclosure, I’ve done work for some of them). And the folks at McGraw-Hill don’t seem to spook people the way George Soros manages to. But when you discuss power in the world markets, the answer isn’t what you think it is.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kelly Flood's opposition to archaic redistricting

Not sure who the clown is in the beginning, but he's a real funny guy.  Making fun one of the most educated cities in the United States makes you a real comedian.

Dibbs to Barefoot for grabbing this video:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fear and loathing in Lexington, the sad but true realities of Frankfort

In regards to this travesty that's left Lexington's 13th district without a Senator, here's the reality of the situation.

Had Beshear vetoed this legislation, this could have gone 1 of 2 sad ways.

1.  The Senate Republicans could have mustered an override.

2.  The House would have to had made major concessions to the Senate in a deal, and even then it's unclear how this would have washed out.  From what I'm hearing/reading the House redistricting was about 5 fold worse for the Republicans.

What an ugly game this is...  A culture of destruction.  Far easier to break each other strengths down than to build your own strengths up.

"War is the continuation of policy by other means" -Carl von Clausewitz

Friday, January 20, 2012

Protest rally for redistricting, leaving Kentucky without a Senator





Check it:


Who:  You and a bunch of cool people.


What:  Protest rally for redistricting, leaving Kentucky without a Senator


Where:  Lexington City Government


How:  Anyway you can.


Facebook event here:  

Beshear signs redistricting law, Lexington left without Senator

For those of you who did catch this, David Williams the President of the Kentucky Senate rammed through a petty politically motivated redistricting bill that effectively leaves those of us in the 13th without a Senator till 2014, HL:

"[will] move Democratic Sen. Kathy Stein's District 13, which now includes the University of Kentucky and environs, to Mason and Lewis counties in northeastern Kentucky. The Lexington district would become Senate District 4, which is now located in western Kentucky, and for the next two years would be represented by Sen. Dorsey Ridley, a Democrat from Henderson."

And:

"Central Fayette County's 13th Senate District, where Stein lives, will become the 4th Senate District under the new plan. That means Sen. Dorsey Ridley, a Democrat from Henderson, will represent the central portion of Lexington until his term ends in 2014."

And:

"This disenfranchises Kathy Stein, it disenfranchises my district in Western Kentucky, and it accomplishes an end that (Senate President) David Williams was unable to do at the ballot box," Ridley said. "This was thrown upon us. At the end of the day, it's a small group of Republican state Senate leaders who have made this choice, not the 114,000 people that each of us represent."

In the 2011 gubernatorial election, Williams lost Fayette County to Beshear by a 3 to 1 ratio."

Kelly Flood's speech on the House floor before she voted "NO":

"I awoke last night heavy with anger and grief over a redistricting plan that costs Lexington its beloved senator, Kathy Stein.


The Senate redistricting plan would effectively disenfranchise much of Lexington until elections for even-numbered districts in 2014. A large part of Lexington would become part of the 4th District, whose seat is currently held by Sen. Dorsey Ridley (D-Henderson).


While I am certain that Sen. Ridley would do his utmost to represent our views, it is a perversion of democracy to suggest that the people of Lexington not be allowed to vote on and select their own state senator.


That right to vote is perhaps the most fundamental American right, a right that the women and men in U.S. military uniforms are fighting to protect every day.


Stein (D-Lexington) is accountable to the people of Lexington, and only the people of Lexington, not to the Senate leadership or even the General Assembly. She is our senator, and it is our duty to judge her accomplishments and talents against those of her electoral competitors.


The Senate proposal imposes the will of a tiny minority over that of thousands of Lexington voters.


I received an impassioned e-mail from Stephen Fritz, whose grandfather, George Fritz, served the House, first as a doorman and later as sergeant-at-arms. Stephen Fritz wrote, and I agree, that the Senate proposal violates central principles of the Kentucky and Federal constitutions.


In perhaps its most perverse aspect, the legislation posits that the technical definition of a district (by its assigned number) should trump the obvious practical definition of a district as the people who comprise it.


Put another way, Senate leadership could easily have assigned any Senate number to the district they drew for central Lexington. That they chose to remove our elected senator without our consent, is deplorable enough. That they will not even allow us to vote on her replacement for two years is unconscionable and possibly unconstitutional. That they appoint someone who doesn't even reside in the area to represent us is a display of arrogance and bullying.


This plan will raise numerous constitutional issues, costing thousands of dollars in litigation. And as we heard from our good governor two nights ago, that's money we don't have to spare.


I understand that in years past, the House has approved the Senate's proposed boundaries, and vice versa.


I also understand that we recently passed a House redistricting bill that has obvious partisan leanings, in tune with bills passed in previous bouts of redistricting. What I now fully understand is that when we choose to move in such raw, partisan ways we cause lasting damage to ourselves and our ability to govern with integrity and foresight.


When we move with a disregard for the wishes of thousands of voters, we risk further demoralizing the very people we represent.


Even under the most partisan of normal redistricting, the people ultimately retain the right of final decision about whom they wish to represent them. This proposal uses an underhanded, legal technicality to remove our right to vote.


What can the House, and I as a Lexington representative, do? We can play along with these shameful tactics and disenfranchise our fellow Lexingtonians for the next two years. Or we can refuse to play that game and put the people of the commonwealth first.


I chose to vote "no" on House Bill 1. And to further protest this method of redistricting ourselves, I changed my "yes" vote from two days ago for the House redistricting plan to "no."


I wanted to ensure Stephen Fritz, echoing his late grandfather, will be able to say that our commonwealth continues to be served by good men and women who prove worthy of this high honor to serve in the House of Representatives by defending every Kentuckian's fundamental right to vote."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ron Paul goes on House floor to attempt to repeal law to send Americans to Guantánamo

We passed Constitutional Amendments to prevent this! The government under the influence of the corporate oligarchy is feeling the heat of some populism obviously. Next thing you know we'll be calling animal rights activists terrorists... Wait...

Can't stand his economic view, but he's spot on with this.



"And when they say, 'I want my lawyer,' you tell them, 'Shut up. You don't get a lawyer.'" Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.)



Anyhow, here's how this shit sandwich of a bill was voted on. Weird to see my favorite senator line up with Rand Paul on this issue. Here's how the house voted as well.

Strange times America.  The typical party vote is flying out the window and both sides more or less voted to strip you of your rights. YEAH for the War of Terror! I mean War on Terror and the passage of the NDAA , our "Socialist" President, "Democratic" Senate and "Tea Party" House disposed the Fifth Amendment (right to due process) and the Sixth Amendment (right to trial by jury).

That on top of the POS legislation piece called the "Patriot Act" which violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (safeguard against unreasonable search and seizure). Strange, those of us involved in OWS are finding commonality with those in the Tea Party in some weird ways. Lines are certainly being drawn in a new fashion, I'm losing sight of what's left and right. But with corporations hording the wealth of this country, and my government writing a law (in clear fucking violation of the constitution) that can potentially send me off to Guantánamo what good times to be an American!

To the lefties reading this, here's Maddow's 2 cents on this:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mitt Romney vs. MLK Jr.

Good catch via Sonka:


DHS has hired General Dynamics to monitor and summarize reports from numerous media outlets, blogs and social networking sites

(At a real risk of being put on some watchlist, I repost this)

Computerworld and DemocracyNow:

"Computerworld - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is engaging in media monitoring activity that achieves no public safety goals and will likely have a chilling effect on legitimate criticism of the agency, a leading privacy advocacy group warned Friday.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center's conclusion is based on an analysis of documents it received from the government this week in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
The documents show that DHS has hired General Dynamics to monitor and summarize reports from numerous media outlets, blogs and social networking sites.

Computerworld is one of dozens of news media and blog sites that are being monitored by the DHS under a broad initiative aimed at improving the government's situational awareness. Others on the list include The New York Times, Wired, the Huffington Post and the Drudge Report.

The information gathered from such sites is intended to help the DHS' Office of Operations Coordination and Planning keep on top of potential threats and hazards to public safety, the DHS documents say."

Stewart and Colbert make a mockery of GOP Primary

The one thing that's going to make this lackluster, Romney race a little funny:








Wall Street strikes back, attempts to crush 99% movement/OWS

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Miss representation Trailer

A powerful documentary about women and the media:

 

Meet poor hating Rep. Kip Smith of Georgia

Rep. Kip Smith of Georgia hates poor people and thinks if they test hot on a drug test they and their children don't deserve food and shelter.

Reminds me of our local poor hating legislator here in Kentucky Lonnie Napier.

 What's ironic here? He was just busted for a DUI...


A Georgia Republican who wants all welfare reciepients subject to drug tests failed one himself after he ran a red light on Friday morning. The Atlanta Journal Constiution has the story on State Rep. Kip Smith (R):
Smith, whose given name is John Andrew Smith, first told the officer he had not consumed any alcoholic beverages.
“I asked him again, and he stated he had consumed a single beer at Hal’s. I noticed also that Mr. Smith’s eyes were watery, and I asked him to exit the vehicle, which he did,” Kramer said in the report.
Smith told the officer he’d had the beer 45 minutes earlier, and the officer asked him to blow into a hand-held “intoximeter”. The officer said the lawmaker refused, stating he would prefer to go to a clinic or the hospital to get tested.
The officer said Smith finally agreed to blow into the device. The report stated that Smith blew a .091., which is above the legal limit of .08.
Smith is a sponsor of Georgia House Bill 464, which would “require random drug testing” for citizens on public assistance. In response to Smith’s legislation, State Rep. Scott Holcomb introduced a bill last month that would require all state lawmakers to be subject to random drug testing.
Random drug tests for reciepents of public assistance are very likely to be found unconsitutional.

Why I hate Religion, But love Jesus

Those of us who follow Christ find the religion of Christianity absurd, immoral and inhumane.  Jesus is amongst the poor, and suffering, not in a building.



Love Lawrence O'Donnell...



Saturday, January 14, 2012

Congressman Yarmuth receives Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Occupy Award

via Louisville Courant:

Why can't Lexington and the 6th have an awesome congressman like this one?










Cheers Dr. King, we love and miss you, you'll always be remembered

Cheers America.  You're a far better place after the Civil Rights movement.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Proposal to strip U.S. citizens of their... Citizenship...

Yeah, the ball that the Bush Administration started rolling hasn't stopped...


  "New Bill Known As Enemy Expatriation Act Would Allow Government To Strip Citizenship Without Conviction" First, Congress considered the National Defense Authorization Act, sections of which gave the President the authority to use the military to arrest and indefinitely detain Americans without trial or charge. The language was revised because of strong condemnation from the American people. But now a new bill has emerged that poses yet another threat to the American citizenry.


 Congress is considering HR 3166 and S. 1698 also known as the Enemy Expatriation Act, sponsored by Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Charles Dent (R-PA). This bill would give the US government the power to strip Americans of their citizenship without being convicted of being “hostile” against the United States. In other words, you can be stripped of your nationality for “engaging in, or purposefully and materially supporting, hostilities against the United States.” Legally, the term “hostilities” means any conflict subject to the laws of war but considering the fact that the War on Terror is a little ambiguous and encompassing, any action could be labeled as supporting terrorism. Since the Occupy movement began, conservatives have been trying to paint the protesters as terrorists.


 The new law would change a part of US Code 1481 which can be read in full here. Compare 3166 to 1481 and the change is small. The new section makes no reference to being convicted as it does in section (7). So even though the language of the NDAA has been revised to exclude American citizens, the US government merely has to strip Americans of their citizenship and the NDAA will apply. And they will be able to do so without convicting the accused in a court of law.


 I hope I’m wrong, but it sounds to me like this is a loophole for indefinitely detaining Americans. Once again, you just have to be accused of supporting hostilities which could be defined any way the government sees fit. Then the government can strip your citizenship and apply the indefinite detention section of the NDAA without the benefit of a trial. This certainly must be questioned by American citizens. The way these defense obsessed Republicans think, our rights are always in danger of being taken away.


 To read the full text of the bill, go here.
---


But wait you say!  That couldn't happen to me!  I'm not even associated with OWS or Al Qaeda!  :::Vomit:::


Well there's this:




Are Animal Rights Activists Terrorists?




In 2006, Congress quietly passed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a sweeping new law that classified many forms of animal rights campaigning as terrorism. Now the law's critics have taken to the courts to try to kill it. In a case filed last week, five activists argue that AETA violates their rights by criminalizing constitutionally protected actions.
AETA, which replaced an earlier, weaker law called the Animal Enterprise Protection Act (AEPA), prohibits anything done "for the purpose of damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise" or that "causes the loss of any real or personal property." (The earlier version of the law only covered "physical disruption" to operations.) The law also prohibits "economic damage" to an enterprise, which includes loss of profits and pressure put on any investors or other companies that do business with the animal enterprise. Even the definition of "animal enterprise" is so broad that it could be construed as covering any institution that has a cafeteria selling meat or cheese products, argues Rachel Meeropol, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is backing the plaintiffs in the case filed against Attorney General Eric Holder.
---
UPDATE 1:


And then there's this:


“Jihad, Crips, extreme animal-rights activists, it’s all the same,” Says Homeland Security Official




Last week a Philadelphia appellate court announced (after months of silence) that it would not revisit the conviction of animal rights activists on terrorism charges. The SHAC 7were convicted of conspiring to commit animal enterprise terrorism by running a controversial website that posted news of both legal and illegal actions, along with personal information of people connected to the notorious animal testing lab Huntingdon Life Sciences. Their campaign had brought the multinational corporation near bankruptcy.
A three-judge panel of the court had previously upheld the conviction, and the defendants had asked that the full court review it. Now, the only option is to request that the Supreme Court of the United States review the case. There has been no official word about this yet, but multiple defendants have expressed their interest and having this landmark First Amendment case heard by the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the lead prosecutor who helped secure this “victory in the War on Terrorism” has– surprise, surprise– been promoted. Charles McKenna is now the head of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.
He was quoted a few days ago about his hopes for using new “anti-terrorism technology” in his new job.
“We are particularly interested in computer profiling, which is much more sophisticated, and quicker, than traditional racial profiling,” he said.
The targets of this new profiling technology?
“Jihad, Crips, extreme animal-rights activists, it’s all the same: people trying damage the system,” added McKenna.“We need every trick in the book to avert disaster.”
As you can see in this photo, the SHAC 7 are quite gangsta. But no reasonable person could argue that they are the “same” as violent street gangs and Islamic terrorists.
Such absurd scare-mongering rhetoric has become normal for corporations, industry groups, and the politicians who represent them. When it is adopted by government officials who are in charge of keeping us safe, though, it has frightening implications.
There are limited anti-terrorism and law enforcement resources. When people like McKenna let shameless political opportunism shape security priorities (and make no mistake, this is nothing but political opportunism–he has already been rewarded for defending the “system” from activists), it puts everyone at risk.
---


UPDATE 2:


Follow this monstrosity of legislation here (House version) and here (Senate version).

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Jim Pence exclusive, God talks to Pat Robertson, but there's a problem...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A little scene from #OccupyLexKY

A few great shots from #OccupyLexKY, 100 days and counting!

Via Kate Folsum.





Cobra Commander is furious when he hears #OccupyLexKY is the longest running Occupation in N. America

"What do you mean 100 days?!"


#OccupyLexKY gets it's first piece of mail

Neato!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Matt Taibbi on Iowa, what's really important in American politics, OWS

Rolling Stone:


"In the wake of the Tea Party, the Occupy movement, and a dozen or more episodes of real rebellion on the streets, in the legislatures of cities and towns, and in state and federal courthouses, this presidential race now feels like a banal bureaucratic sideshow to the real event – the real event being a looming confrontation between huge masses of disaffected citizens on both sides of the aisle, and a corrupt and increasingly ideologically bankrupt political establishment, represented in large part by the two parties dominating this race.
Let’s put it this way. What feels more like a real news story – Newt Gingrich calling Mitt Romney a liar for the ten millionth time, or this sizzling item that just hit the wires by way of the Montana Supreme Court:
HELENA — The Montana Supreme Court restored the state's century-old ban on direct spending by corporations on political candidates or committees in a ruling Friday that interest groups say bucks a high-profile U.S. Supreme Court decision granting political speech rights to corporations…
A group seeking to undo the Citizens United decision lauded the Montana high court, with its co-founder saying it was a "huge victory for democracy."
"With this ruling, the Montana Supreme Court now sets up the first test case for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit its Citizens United decision, a decision which poses a direct and serious threat to our democracy," John Bonifaz, of Free Speech For People, said in a statement.
Rest is here:

Our friends in Iowa say, hi... Err kind of...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Meet your local poor hating State Rep Lonnie Napier

Meet Rep. Lonnie Napier, R-Lancaster (36th District).  He's a real piece of work who wants to cut food and medical benefits to those who test positive for drugs (and their children).

This bill is dead on arrival I'm told.  Still what a bucket of slime of a person.  Take note of this monster's name:

As a person who has had a very successful father who's struggled with addiction this guy is on my radar.  How Christ like of him to try and starve people of food and medical care.

CJ:

"That also was the fate of a proposal by Rep. Lonnie Napier, R-Lancaster, to force welfare recipients to undergo random drug testing. Napier is promising to push that initiative again, hoping to revoke benefits of those who test position."


Happy New Years everyone!

A day late:


Barefootandprogressive shout out:

Friends over at Barefoot gave Liberal in Kentucky and OccupyLexKY a shout out with the one picture that brought tears to my eyes, cheers guys.