Friday! Double Feature

The TenPercent Axe

The TenPercent Axe

Gone all rocky today, power chords ahoy!

Pink Floyd- In the Flesh. Can’t imagine what made me think of this…

And nevermind the oppression feel the ROCK, AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long (yeah I know you want the Celine version but that’s just too hardcore for me).

Post Democracy

The UpTake’s flickr stream of the lockdown via Identity Check- with lots more.

Nezua from the RNC-

I will say, though, that St. Paul basically felt like a land that was foreign to my experience. Not that I haven’t seen police get nasty, ugly, or violent before. It wasn’t that, it was the sheer numbers, the gas masks, the full body armor, the bikes, horses, strange military vehicles, huge formations, blockaded streets and National Guard units and camo uniforms. It must have come with an astronomical price tag and I don’t see what the point was, nor how citizens today so eagerly justify military and paramilitary presence in their streets. All of it gives me a very unsettling feeling in my gut. It seems most of the population is docile, wanting to be controlled, too comfortable, and alien to my understanding. Pathetic is another word I’d use. This subservience and rationalization that people are so happy to adopt is on the same continuum as the upper middle class bourgouise bloggers who now eschew protest, radical action, or assembling physically in large numbers to confront the system and it’s agents directly–and yet pat each other on the modem and agree they are crashing gates, shaking things up, or more laughably, “revolutionary.”

Reminds me of my last “citizen journalism” gig, for VIACOM/MTV. We were operating under the guise and brand of Citizen Journalism and yet we needed to secure more release forms than actual news units, were given constantly fluctuating rules, and last I heard (I resigned from the gig a while ago but am very much in touch with the friends and coworkers I made there) the supervisors were giving explicit and specific instructions on where to go and what to shoot, down to the shot, the content of the shot, the lighting of the shot, and told “the idea is to create a feeling that people are watching these [convention] speeches all around the country.” Levered on top of this was the very real threat that if the specific shots were not delivered, the “citizen journalist” is not to be paid a cent. Yeah. So much for citizen journalism (the essence of same) and up with Citizen Journalism(TM) the symbol.

The choice… Chris Floyd-

Barack Obama has now declared — on Fox News, no less — that George W. Bush’s escalation of the flagrant war crime in Iraq has “succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.” He also proclaimed his “absolute” belief in the “War on Terror,” and pledged, once again, “never to take a military option off the table” (not even the nuclear option) against the “major threat” of Iran.

Murdoch might think Obama is going to win, he organised a rapprochement. Ignorant of imperialism does the homeland even know what it is doing in Somalia-

the American-backed “regime change” in Somalia has created one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters — and has radicalized much of the ruined country, incubating the very extremism and  terrorism that the invasion was ostensibly — ostensibly –designed to quash.

Not a word has been said in the presidential campaign about this ongoing atrocity, this open culpability in yet another vast war crime. Naturally one doesn’t expect any comment or concern from John McCain, whose robotic neo-connism can only applaud this violent projection of American dominance in yet another Muslim land.

But neither has there been a single criticism or condemnation — or even a mention — of the murderous operation in Somalia by the Democratic candidate: a man whose own father was a black African Muslim like those being slaughtered with American backing today.

And three years after a paramilitary hit squad executed Jean-Charles in a London tube train there is still no justice-

(via Stroppyblog) Charlie Pottins:- What happened to Jean Charles is well-known. That morning he received a call to go to premises in Kilburn and fix the fire alarm. He left his flat in Tulse Hill, south London, unaware that, in the wake of the London bombings, the block was under surveillance by a security team including at least one under-cover soldier. They were meant to be watching for a suspect called Hussain Osman, but apparently decided Jean-Charles resembled him enough. Followed by police officers, Jean Charles boarded a no.2 bus. When he got to Brixton he saw that the station was closed, so stayed on the bus to Stockwell. There he paused to pick up a Metro newspaper, then paid his fare by Oyster card and went down to board a train. He had taken a seat when, guided by the surveillance team, a Special Operations unit entered the carriage, and after Jean-Charles had been restrained, they shot him eight times, seven in the head, as he lay on the floor.

What will also be well-remembered are the lies fed an obliging media in the first days after this killing. We were told that Jean-Charles was wearing an unseasonably bulky garment such as a quilted or puffa jacket, or big overcoat, so that they feared he could be carrying explosives. In fact he only had on a thin denim jacket. It was said he had vaulted the ticket barrier in his haste to escape pursuers. As we know, he had paid by Oyster. He had supposedly raced down the escalator and ignored police calling on him to stop. But the evidence indicates he had no idea he was being followed, and only raced across the platform to get a seat on the train, possibly because he was late for work.

The CCTV footage that could have shown what happened was initially “missing”. It was said the cameras were not working, or they had not been reloaded after police took away tapes the previous day because of the bombings. But London Transport denied there were problems with the cameras. And the “missing” tapes mysteriously turned up again after a health and safety(!) hearing cleared police.

In the hours immediately after the shooting, Commissioner Sir Ian Blair telephoned the Chairman of the Independent Police Ccmplaints Commission(IPCC) and wrote a letter to the Home Office stating that “the shooting that has just occurred at Stockwell is not to be referred to the IPCC and that they will be given no access to the scene at the present time.” Sir Ian also told a press conference that officers had shouted a warning before they opened fire.

Jean Charles family and friends in the Justice4Jean campaign are looking forward to the
long-awaited inquest on September 22. But they are wondering about the way it is being set up. The coroner has agreed to allow almost 50 police officers to give evidence at the inquest anonymously, behind screens and with code names.

The campaign is starting a blog to follow the inquest:

The War on Democracy is just starting.

Potemkin Patriots

It was a video that was supposed to elicit soaring patriotism and real emotions about the Pledge of Allegiance. But to do that, it used fake soldiers and a staged military funeral instead of the real thing. On Tuesday night, 15-year-old Victoria Blackstone, a sophomore at the St. Agnes School in St. Paul, led the crowd at the Xcel Energy Center in the Pledge of Allegiance. The audience heard her 434-word essay, “Pledging myself to the Flag of the United States of America,” an essay she’d entered in the “Wave the Stars & Stripes” essay contest and won. The RNC turned that essay into a three and a half minute video, a visually stirring montage rolling over Victoria’s words about sharing the Pledge with Americans who have stood at important moments in history. 

There’s the Continental Congress…A real WWII vet…Photos of workers at Ground Zero. A close-up of a folded flag presented to a grieving widow at a military funeral… profiles of soldiers swelling with pride in slo-motion. 

But CBS News found that the footage of the ‘funeral’ and soldiers is what is called ‘stock’ footage. The soldiers were actors and the funeral scene was from a one-day film shoot, produced in June. No real soldiers were used during production. 

The footage, sold by stock-film house Getty Imageswas produced by a commercial filmmaker in Chicago. Both Getty and the production company, Mr. Big Films, confirmed that the footage was shot on spec and sold to the Republican National Committee

One of the actors, Perry Denton of Chicago, Ill. also confirmed that he was hired on a day-rate as an actor for the shoot and told CBS News he was surprised to learn the footage was shown at the convention. 

Yum Yum

Food prices in UK supermarkets and shops have risen by 8.3% since the start of this year, according to figures obtained by the BBC. Meat and fish registered the biggest price increases in the survey, compiled on behalf of the BBC by leading retail analysts Verdict Research. The figures come amid growing concern about the high cost of food, which is exceeding the official inflation rate. The figures show price rises of nearly 50% for some food items

The figures produced for the BBC are in line with other recently-published research showing the impact of food price rises on UK household budgets. On Wednesday, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said that food price inflation over the past year amounted to 10% – more than twice the official Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rate of 4.4%. The BRC figures indicated that the rate of increase for fresh food items was even higher, at 11.9%.

Still David Blunkett has an answer work yourself into your grave fuckers. And the UN report the sun does in fact come up each morning and water is wet- UN says wealthy failing the poor.

Posted in Capitalism, Class War, Media. Tags: , . Comments Off on Yum Yum

Flash Grenades & Teargas Used on RNC Anti-War March

The AP (boo hiss) report

Mounted police blocked a bridge Thursday as hundreds of anti-war protesters tried to march from the state Capitol to the Xcel Energy Center where Sen. John McCain was due to accept the GOP nomination for president. After about an hourlong standoff, they retreated to find another way to the convention site. But police also had blocked major roads to the Xcel Center. Police blocked the bridge, which runs over Interstate 94 about a quarter-mile from the convention site, after the protesters’ march permit had expired.

But thanks to Identity Check there is this Twitter feed some bits-

PDX IMC: 100+ people on marion bridge detained, plastic handcuffed face down, 1 by 1 being loaded up Cops:”If on bridge, not going home”

if you’re hurt, look for medic with red cross, they have antacid spray. is going to have raw video of the flash bangs and tear gas


Several people were being arrested as officers closed in on groups, took some into custody then swirled around other pockets of people roaming the streets while Senator John McCain accepted his party’s nomination for president nearby.

Dave Dubya says Gott Mit Uns! Indeed the GOP are demonstrating they are the party of a crypto-fascist God.

Tom Engelhardt & Chalmers Johnson on Imperialism

Tom sez-

Let’s face it, we’re on an imperial bender and it’s been a long, long night. Even now, in the wee hours, the Pentagon continues its massive expansion of recent years; we spend militarily as if there were no tomorrow; we’re still building bases as if the world were our oyster; and we’re still in denial. Someone should phone the imperial equivalent of Alcoholics Anonymous.

But let’s start in a sunnier time, less than two decades ago, when it seemed that there would be many tomorrows, all painted red, white, and blue. Remember the 1990s when the U.S. was hailed — or perhaps more accurately, Washington hailed itself — not just as the planet’s “sole superpower” or even its unique “hyperpower,” but as its “global policeman,” the only cop on the block? As it happened, our leaders took that label seriously and our central police headquarters, that famed five-sided building in Washington D.C, promptly began dropping police stations — aka military bases — in or near the oil heartlands of the planet (Kosovo, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait) after successful wars in the former Yugoslavia and the Persian Gulf.

As those bases multiplied, it seemed that we were embarking on a new, post-Soviet version of “containment.” With the USSR gone, however, what we were containing grew a lot vaguer and, before 9/11, no one spoke its name. Nonetheless, it was, in essence, Muslims who happened to live on so many of the key oil lands of the planet.

[full article here]

Chalmers sez-

Imperialism, meaning militarily stronger nations dominating and exploiting weaker ones, has been a prominent feature of the international system for several centuries, but it may be coming to an end. Overwhelming majorities in numerous countries now condemn it—with the possible exception of some observers who believe it promotes “stability” and some United States politicians who still vigorously debate the pros and cons of America’s continuing military hegemony over much of the globe.

To garrison its empire, as of last December, the United States had 510,927 service personnel (including sailors afloat) deployed in 151 foreign countries. This includes some 196,600 fighting in Iraq and 25,700 in Afghanistan.

In fact, the purpose of our overseas bases is to maintain US dominance in the world, and to reinforce what military analyst Charles Maier calls our “empire of consumption.” The United States possesses less than 5 percent of global population but consumes about one-quarter of all global resources, including petroleum. Our empire exists so we can exploit a much greater share of the world’s wealth than we are entitled to, and to prevent other nations from combining against us to take their rightful share.

[full article here]

Posted in Capitalism, Corporatism, Imperialism, Militarism. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Tom Engelhardt & Chalmers Johnson on Imperialism