‘Occupied’ State? Anti-ICE Rally Among Nearly 150 Protests In California

‘Occupied’ State? Anti-ICE Rally Among Nearly 150 Protests In California

“When you think about the fact that Occupy Wall Street states on their website that they began on Sept. 17, that’s pretty impressive that West Coast towns — some of them medium and small — picked up on it almost immediately,” Curran-Strange said…

Social media sites dedicated to the protests claim up to thousands of subscribers.

It remains awesome to see how instantaneous, widespread communication through smartphones, live streaming and other social media has enabled a movement like no other to take hold. Small groups that would be isolated are still able to be a part of the whole, which gives them more staying power than they would have otherwise; also, the fluidity of the way things form and reform online allows for shifting waves of new Occupy actions in response as the political climate changes. We saw it start in Tahrir Square, and it’s a powerful force if we can really harness it well.

They added that the recent interruption that occupiers caused during a protest at the Port of Oakland shows “this movement has broad support and is capable of powerful collective action.”


The DOJ’s escalating criminalization of speech

The DOJ’s escalating criminalization of speech

Let’s be very clear about the key point: the Constitution — specifically the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment — prohibits the U.S. Government from punishing someone for the political views they express, even if those views include the advocacy of violence against the U.S. and its leaders. One can dislike this legal fact. One can wish it were different. But it is the clear and unambiguous law, and has been since the Supreme Court’s unanimous 1969 decision in Brandenburg v. Ohio, which overturned the criminal conviction of a Ku Klux Klan leader who had publicly threatened violence against political officials in a speech.

Throw another log on the fire… the whole article’s a good read.

Judging from the description of Ahmad’s video in the FBI Affidavit (Ahmad’s YouTube account has been removed), the video in question does not go nearly as far as the clearly protected views referenced in the prior paragraph, as it does not explicitly advocate violence at all; indeed, it appears not to advocate that anyone do anything. Rather, the FBI believes it is evocative of such advocacy (“designed as propaganda to develop support for LeT”), which makes this prosecution even more troubling. Apparently, if you string together video and photographs (or words) in a certain way as to make the DOJ think that you’re implicitly trying to “develop support” for a Terrorist group — based on the political ideas you’re expressing — you risk decades of imprisonment.

An Open Letter from America’s Port Truck Drivers on Occupy the Ports

An Open Letter from America’s Port Truck Drivers on Occupy the Ports

Why are companies like SSA Marine, the Seattle-based global terminal operator that runs one of the West Coast’s major trucking carriers, Shippers’ Transport Express, doing this? Why would mega-rich Maersk, a huge Danish shipping and trucking conglomerate that wants to drill for more oil with Exxon Mobil in the Gulf Coast conduct business this way too?

To cheat on taxes, drive down business costs, and deny us the right to belong to a union, that’s why.

The typical arrangement works like this: Everything comes out of our pockets or is deducted from our paychecks. The truck or lease, fuel, insurance, registration, you name it. Our employers do not have to pay the costs of meeting emissions-compliant regulations; that is our financial burden to bear. Clean trucks cost about four to five times more than what we take home in a year. A few of us haul our company’s trucks for a tiny fraction of what the shippers pay per load instead of an hourly wage. They still call us independent owner-operators and give us a 1099 rather than a W-2.

We have never recovered from losing our basic rights as employees in America. Every year it literally goes from bad to worse to the unimaginable. We were ground zero for the government’s first major experiment into letting big business call the shots. Since it worked so well for the CEOs in transportation, why not the mortgage and banking industry too?

Also: How Goldman Sachs and Other Companies Exploit Port Truck Drivers

Astute consumers may know that the rock bottom we see advertised on endless TV and internet commercials are often the result of companies manufacturing their goods overseas, using sweatshop labor where poorly paid workers often toil in dangerous and unhealthy conditions so that we can enjoy the latest electronics, the coolest pair of jeans.

But what many people may not know is that these sweatshop conditions don’t end when those goods hit American soil. Between the dock where the cargo is unloaded and the shelf from which you pluck your treasure, there are several critical lynchpins. One of them is port truck drivers. These drivers (around 110,000 of them in the United States) are responsible for moving approximately 20 million containers a year from the ports to railway yards and warehouses. Drivers operating large trucks are expected to safely haul loads up to 80,000 pounds. It’s a job for professionals, only these professionals are earning poverty wages, sometimes even less than you’d make flipping burgers at a fast food restaurant. Once a middle-class profession, the port trucking (or drayage) industry has now been dubbed “sweatshops on wheels.”

Sen. McConnell Claims Electing The President By Popular Vote Is A ‘Genuine Threat To Our Country’

Sen. McConnell Claims Electing The President By Popular Vote Is A ‘Genuine Threat To Our Country’

McConnell and six Republican secretaries of state discussed the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPV), a proposed plan for using a popular vote in presidential elections. The NPV would guarantee whichever candidate wins the popular vote would also win the electoral college – preventing a repeat of the 2000 election when Al Gore won the most votes but still lost the presidency. It would do so by getting states to agree to collectively award their electoral votes to the popular vote winner, but the compact would only kick in once states with a majority of the electoral college sign on. Currently, eight states and the District of Columbia have joined the NPV, comprising 132 of the needed 270 electoral votes for the compact to take effect.

Of course he doesn’t like the idea, what’s the point of owning custom districts if they can’t deliver the right votes any more? It would mean all that careful redistricting amounts to nothing but a lot of money wasted on local community matters…

You might be a terrorist if…

FBI Handout: Communities Against Terrorism: Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Military Surplus Stores

Includes such warning signs as “demands privacy”, “pays cash”, “shaves beard or changes hair color”, and “makes bulk purchases of MREs”. The best part:

Some of the activities, taken individually, could be innocent and must be examined by law enforcement individuals in a larger context to determine whether there is a basis to investigate.

could be innocent. Oh no way, there is never a time when a close shave and a cash payment could be innocent. Let’s not get soft on terror here.

Following is the The Cell video on how to spot a terrorist, created in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security:

This one encourages every citizen to report any sign of suspicious terrorist activity, and details a list of activities that should be considered suspect. It’s been quoted widely in the media and always sounds a little bit hysterical, so here’s the source and here’s some of their choicest warning signs straight from the filmhorse’s mouth.

-use of binoculars, multi-use watches, or cameras
-taking notes
-watching police and rescue units arrive to a scene
-asking questions about schools, sports stadiums, or malls (finally a legitimate excuse to never stop to ask directions!)
-applying for a job at a school, sports stadium, or mall
-forgetting your bag in a bus, train, or other public place
-making large purchases with cash, seeking out street trade and “for sale by owner” transactions
-making charitable donations
-leaving your car in an out-of-the-way place
-buying one-time-use cellphones
-exchanging electrical equipment with someone else
-anything which causes any onlooker to have a “gut feeling that something is just not right”

So think carefully the next time you hand your cellphone to someone before writing down a shopping list, then checking to be sure you have enough cash to cover the bill, especially if you intend to buy more than seven days’ worth of food. Because there might be someone across the street who thinks you’ve changed your hair color lately and has a gut feeling that something’s just not right, especially if you’ve cut anyone off in traffic lately who might work for the government and hold a grudge. Because you could be about to vanish for a really long time.

WASHINGTON — In Florida, Sen. Marco Rubio has been attacked as a “traitor.” In Arizona, tea party members protested against Sen. John McCain. In Utah, Occupy demonstrators donned black hoods to stand against “radical and uncalled for constraints on our constitutional rights.”

The uprising is directed at provisions of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, approved by the Senate last week, that would require the military to arrest terrorist suspects in the United States and detain them indefinitely without trial.

Rick Perry’s Viral Video Fail

Rick Perry’s Viral Video Fail

Let’s play a game… see if you can spot how many times in these ads this man is divisive, bigoted, pushing fear of artificially-inflated ‘unAmerican’ threats, or displaying bold assumptions designed to dismiss anyone who isn’t a part of the conservative right. The fact that anyone would run a presidential campaign based on this “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” intolerance, and be considered a legitimate contender by any part of the population, practically skywrites that we’re in trouble here.