October 31, 2011
October 30, 2011
October 29, 2011
Is Fox slanting coverage?
Michael Moore encourages protesters at Occupy Oakland
Michael Moore spoke at Occupy Oakland on Friday
Between a visit to Occupy Oakland (=OO) on October 17 and Friday, October 28, the nature of that particular protest site changed and it seemed that a new visit would provide the basis for a subjective report on a comparison of the before and after phases of the cutting edge installment of the OWS movement.
The first visit had reminded this columnist of a camp out inside a delivery van visit to the 1965 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glenn, New York. The atmosphere there had been a preview of the “in this together” spirit later exemplified by the musical concert at Woodstock, New York. The non-violent community spirit prevails and everyone seems to make a concerted effort to provide a living example of the philosophy of the brotherhood of man. That was the same impression we got at the first visit to Occupy Oakland.
By Friday, October 28, 2011, the atmosphere at “Oscar Grant” park in Oakland was much more somber and serious as epitomized by the tribute to Scott Olsen the Marine who had been hit by a teargas canister during Tuesday’s camp clearing effort by authorities.
On Friday, the port-a-potties were gone. The free library was gone. The food cooking facilities were gone but there was one large new factor, a massive media presence.
On October 17, this columnist observed one TV news van and about three digital photographers. On Friday, October 28, we counted 13 TV vans during our visit.
After arriving and noting the large number of journalists there, we learned that film maker Michael Moore was scheduled to address the protesters later in the afternoon.
On the day that John Wayne received his Oscar™, California Governor Ronald Reagan had said at an impromptu news conference: “If it takes a bloodbath to end this dissention on campus, let’s get it over.” His spin doctors immediately amended the pronouncement but about four weeks later when four students at Kent State were shot, conservatives breathed a collective sigh of relief. It seems that the conservatives’ tolerance level for dissention has remained constant.
The former actor/governor used his harsh response to anti-war demonstrations to establish his credentials as a conservative and then launch a campaign that he was able to parlay into gaining the Republican nomination for the Presidency.
Will the harsh response to Occupy Oakland provide the mayor of that city with a launch pad for a Presidential bid? We’ll have to wait and see how that works out. One thing for sure, the folks at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory’s product development division have, in Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, a poster child for criticism of the first high profile winner of the instant runoff voting process.
Could Michelle Bachman exploit the recent turmoil in Oakland? Why doesn’t the design department at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory whip up a whacky prediction that Bachman might assert that Police Brutality is a variation of the right to free speech and therefore it is guaranteed by the First Amendment? She could publicize the thought by urging the Conservative dominated United States Supreme Court to legislate from the bench on that possible legal loophole. Would Governor Reagan have hesitated to do that?
We were out of Northern California when the Police cleared out the Occupy Oakland protesters and camp site earlier this week, but we noticed that in a photo caption on page one of the UCB student newspaper, The Daily Californian, on Friday October 28, 2011, that stated: “Violence on Tuesday at Occupy Oakland provoked police intervention.” The online liberal media sites had convinced us that it was unprovoked. Is the UC Berkeley Journalism School being funded by Rupert Murdoch?
On Friday, October 28, while revisiting the Occupy Oakland site, we thought that perhaps the Tuesday confrontation might have had some unintended consequences such as the fact that now as much (if not more) media attention seems to be concentrated on the Oakland site than on the original Wall Street protest in New York City.
Activist and film maker Michael Moore gave a speech that seemed to be a morale booster for the Oakland protesters. We counted 13 TV news vans or satellite trucks at the Moore speech. Did all 13 of those news organizations “scoop” Fox Views?
One of the more extreme ideas percolating in the product development department at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory is that it would be very convenient for the next Republican President if the liberal Democrat now in the White House increased the speed at which America seems (according to leftists) to be sliding towards fascism. Wouldn’t the next Republican to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue be grateful if the current occupant could provide a Reaganesque type bloodbath to diminish enthusiasm for all these Occupy events?
Friday night on October 28, Mike Malloy, on his talk radio program, mentioned that during the TV coverage of Tuesday night’s activities in Oakland two of the local Bay Area TV channels suspended their live TV coverage just before the police started their response to the “Violence” because they both noticed that they were running low on fuel and had to go “gas up” again.
We have seen one online story that indicates that Google was asked to remove videos indicating that there may have been some Police brutality that occurred in Oakland when the Police shut down the first installment of Occupy Oakland.
It may seem, to those addicted to conspiracy theories, that not only is the right to peaceful protest obsolete, but that freedom of the press is on the endangered species list, in the Land of the Free.
Republican billionaire fat cats always keep telling us that if we, the great unwashed, unemployed uncouth 99%, would just stop grumbling, get off our fat asses, go out and Get A Job, then everything would be all right and we would all be fat cats like them. Nah. The deck has already been stacked against us — and by the very same fat cats who are dealing the cards. Obviously.
In real life, hard work doesn’t necessarily pay off. Just look at what happened to Ukrainians in Canada for instance.
Up in Banff National Park, there is a small bronze monument out in the middle of nowhere, by the side of the road. It is a statue of a single Ukrainian farmer — but it could have been a statue of any one of the rest of us 99%.
“Back in the 1880s,” someone in Banff recently told me, “Canadian railroad companies began an advertizing campaign in Britain that glowingly portrayed the wonders of life on the Canadian prairies to the gullible Brits — and then a bunch of British settlers were unceremoniously dumped off out in the middle of nowhere after having been promised free farmland. But one year later, when railroad officials came back to see how the settlers were doing, half of the Brits were dead and the other half never wanted to see Canada again.” So much for truth in advertizing.
“Not deterred, however, the railways then made the same promises to a bunch of farmers in Ukraine and they too got dumped out on the cold windy prairie. But when railroad officials came back a year later, this time the prairies were thriving, everyone was happy and there was even extra produce to sell. Their hard work had paid off.”
Or had it?
“By the time World War I arrived, British-Canadians had become so jealous of Ukrainian-Canadians that large numbers of Ukrainian-Canadians had been rounded up and thrown into concentration camps near Banff.”
There’s a moral here somewhere — that hard work doesn’t necessarily pay off? Or that one should never trust the fat cats.
So next time that Republican oligarchs start calling us lazy because we’re not rich like them, think about all those poor hard-working Ukrainian-Canadians who lost their land because someone else, not them, was in charge of their government. And then act accordingly.
PS: After visiting the upscale town of Banff (aka “Be Aware — Nothing’s For Free”), I headed off to the legendary Lake Louise, which is, actually, surprisingly small. And then I actually walked on top of an actual glacier. Amazing. Peaceful. Awesome. Now I understand why Tibetans are so spiritual. You can’t help but think about Love and Beauty and the Mystery of Life when you’re surrounded by the stunning silence of an ice field.
After that, I stopped by Jasper, another Canadian version of Aspen or Vail. And its acronym is “Just Another Shopping Paradise Extracting Revenue.” Then on to Kamloops and Sun Peaks, aka “Sales Up, New Property Expensive, Please Erase Austerity, Keep Spending”.
PPS: While many of our One Percent are happily off taking High Tea or heli-skiiing in Banff, what are the rest of us up to? Fighting to preserve the pensions and Social Security benefits that our hard work has earned us? Looking for work in an economy where there are four job-seekers for every one job? Watching our homes go into foreclosure?
What, for instance, is Scott Olsen doing right now?
PPPS: I’m still trying to find some mainstream media outlet to sponsor me to go over to Iraq and write about troop withdrawals. The military won’t let me in without a mainstream sponsor — even though the Lone Star Iconoclast is willing to sponsor me and I’ve been there before.
Come on, MSM, man up and sponsor me! How is America’s 99% going to ever know what is truly going on over there if coverage is only limited to media giants controlled by the good old One Percent? Or is that exactly the point.
I’ve still got until Thanksgiving to find a sponsor and get over there. Come on, guys! Send me! And I promise to send back all the news fit to print!
October 27, 2011
October 25, 2011
October 23, 2011
October 21, 2011
Spike Lee Admits Cain Candidacy a Hoax for New ‘Mockumentary’ Film
Toronto Post and Mail
Oct. 21, 2011
“I can’t believe it,” a grinning Spike Lee told this reporter yesterday, relaxing in the lounge of the Nikko Hotel’s Star Bar in downtown Toronto. “We thought we might get some media coverage, but not that Herman would get this far!”
In a stunning revelation, the famed American writer/director of such classic hit comedies as “Do the Right Thing,” and “She’s Gotta Have It,” and more serious films such as “Malcolm X” and “Mo’ Better Blues,” explained that he had hired an actor named Grey Goodwin to ‘portray’ Herman Cain for a political mockumentary he’s making with the working title, “Citizen Cain,” about a buffoonish African-American who campaigns for the U.S. presidency as a conservative Republican.
“Man, I just thought we’d get some footage of this cat talking to Republican voters and like that,” Mr. Lee elaborated, “but I never, in my wildest dreams, thought he’d get into these debates or anything.”
According to the writer/director, there is a real Herman Cain, a pizza chain executive, but he’s on a secluded vacation with his family in Switzerland until December. Mr. Lee said that the real Herman Cain is a fan of his films and agreed to go along with the hoax when Mr. Lee presented the idea to him last year.
“See, then I went out and found me a cat who looks and talks like the real Herman Cain to play him in the film, and that wasn’t easy, but we knocked it.”
Mr. Lee went on to say that all of the ‘Goodwin/Cain’s’ policies and speeches have been written by him. “Grey, he’s just such a damn great actor, he really knocked it out of the park on this role,” adding ruefully, “Have you noticed nobody is really getting down and calling Cain out for his ridiculous positions that don’t make no sense? I could probably have him say he’s gonna make a law that we’ll have sunny skies 365 days a year and they’d buy that, too!”
But Mr. Lee was troubled with the success of his hoax, “See, we put this scam over on the Republican voters and the Republican Party, but what really worries me is that so many media people bought it. Now we got Grey’s fake Cain leading Romney in the polls. Can you dig on that s–t?”
Mr. Lee said when he returns to New York next week, he’s going to call a press conference to reveal the hoax, and expects his mockumentary to be finished and released before the American elections in November of 2012. “I may have to go into hiding after this joint,” Mr. Lee said jokingly, ending our interview.
He is expected to accept the Durward Kirby Adult Film Award tomorrow night at Macduff University’s Malcolm Hall North Annex in Southeast Westlake Park.
October 20, 2011
Occupy Venice CA includes a tribute to America’s fallen warriors
Tents, flags, and protest signs mark the Occupy Venice site
Gondolas are often used for decoration in Venice CA
The scene at Occupy Venice CA was rather subdued on the afternoon of Thursday October 20, 2011, but the encampment on the Venice Circle offered some photo ops and so the Coolpix was pressed into service.
Occupy Venice CA
[Note: In an attempt to achieve humor, portions of this column have been fictionalized (it is up to readers to do their own factchecking to discern what has and what has not been fictionalized).]
(Venice CA) The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations have been gaining increased media attention recently (although some lackeys in the conservative propaganda branch of the media have taken to blatant mocking the spontaneous combustion of citizen outrage) and so the World’s Laziest Journalist went to Marina del Rey (on the Western edge of Los Angeles County) to contact and interview the leaders of the Occupy Marina del Rey (CA) at their secret rebel encampment. Unlike the other Occupy protests around the USA, the one in Marina del Rey makes a concerted effort to avoid journalists and we had to switch to stealth mode to talk with the folks who have been trying to reverse the trend of politicians, bankers, and capitalists collaborating on the fleecing of the middle class, in that area of county owned land.
For fifty years the media has been reporting on the cozy financial relationship between the politicians and the developers, but (alas) the trend continues to gain momentum to this very day.
There is no publicized, centralized location for the Occupy Marina del Rey protesters where the police can focus their efforts to discourage the voters’ discontent. The rebel forces in Marina del Rey have tended to pattern their efforts more along the lines of the Occupy the Sierra Maestro Mountains. Many years ago that protest, in a small Caribbean Island Nation, may have, inadvertently, provided the paradigm for the more visible various Occupy Wall Street clone protests springing up around the USA in the Fall of 2011.
We talked with the leader of the Marina Rebels (formed in the late Seventies) known to his followers as “el Jefe,” and he pointed out that the new Occupy Protesters who say that they “aren’t going away” will need at least a decade to establish the priorities for their demands and develop a dialogue with the opposition.
The Marina Rebels have been stymied at every move by the capitalists who dictate their agenda to the local politicians and stifle any attempts to gain converts by managing the news and thus coercing the locals into becoming “sheeple.”
El Jefe brandishes a copy of the October 20, 2011, issue of La Opiniõn newspaper and points to the lead story that details the allegations that the S-Comm program (according to Aarti Kohli at the Warren Institute at UC Berkeley) puts electronic tracking devices on undocumented foreigners in the USA and challenges the columnist saying: “Bet ya didn’t know about this, didja?”
We had to admit that we must have missed that story in our efforts to monitor the news emanating out of that school in the SF area.
El Jefe calls the fascistic politicians, who let developers deplete citizens’ bank accounts via sordid and assorted devious schemes, by the word “Batista” which we assumes means people born out of wedlock. He uses the word as a metaphor for a dictator who has a very cozy relationship with the capitalists and should be replaced by someone via legitimate democratic means or somehow.
The more traditional protest at Occupy Venice (CA) epitomized by a small encampment at the Venice Circle echoes the various bigger protests in places like New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles, but the Marina Rebels prefer to conduct their efforts via law suits. The leader of the Marina Rebels is quick to ask the visiting columnist if he knows the details of the dispersal of the Bonus Army in Washington D. C. a few years back. We replied: “Didn’t Douglas Macarthur do a superb job of extending ‘interline courtesy’ and limiting the number of fatalities of protesting WWI veterains, to an extremely acceptable small number?”
“Evidently,” el Jefe responded, “Macarthur was intent on running interference for Ronald Reagan and establishing a precedence for the kind of harsh response to demonstrators which the California governor would condone when he said ‘If it takes a blood bath to end this dissention on campus, let’s get it over with.’”
We asked if the leader of the Marina Rebels thought there would be a heavy handed government move to help convince the protesters to abandon their efforts. “You had to be blindfolded while you were being brought here. Draw your own conclusions.” He continued: “Didn’t your mother teach you that all’s fair in love, war and politics?”
Then he pointed to the front page of the Los Angeles Times October 20, 2011, edition which had a lead story about an FBI investigation into allegations of beatings in the jail facilities.
“The protesters who compare their commitment to non-violence to Gandhi’s methods may soon want to read Albert Camus’ ‘The Rebel’ because in effect they are forcing a binary choice on America: ‘change your ways’ or endorse fascism . . . one more time. Based on America’s past history, we think we know which way the capitalists’ police force will be told to handle the problem. Camus wouldn’t have expected a Pollyanna ending to the protests, so why should I?” He paused and then asked: “How are the ‘No Justice; No BART’ protests going?” He paused and then asked another question: “After the 1968 Democratic Convention who was put on trial? Was it the cops or the kids?”
When we pulled out our Nikon Coolpix camera some of the rebels pulled out pistols. El Jefe motioned me to put the camera away. “Go over to the Occupy Venice site if you want to take photos. You can’t take any here.”
He chuckled and then added: “We have been conducting our fight for about thirty five years. We may not live to see the Promised Land where rents are fair, but we will continue fighting until we win or the day we die. Che Guevara said: ‘Whenever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry has reached even one receptive ear and another hand reaches out to take up our arms.’ We hope the Occupy sites succeed and achieve all their aims but they should know that it may take some time to wear the capitalists down.”
Then he ended the bearded leader added: “It seems that efforts to shame the capitalists into repenting is a bit more optimistic than this old cynic is ready to expect.”
Now the disk jockey will play “Until the end of time,” and the Stones songs “When the whip comes down” and “Street Fighting Man.” We have to go check and see if there is an “Occupy Santa Monica” and see how well it is going. Have an “In it to win it” type week.
October 19, 2011
America really is one freaking large country. Just driving across Montana has completely worn me out. Plus they’ve got lots of cowboys and Indians in Montana. And buffalo too. I met an Indian in Glacier National Park the other day and asked him what he preferred to be called. “Probably Native American would be best,” he replied.
“How about ‘First American’ instead?”
“Works for me.”
Then I went off to this dude ranch near Kalispell and the dude in charge there made me recite the Pledge of Allegiance before I was allowed to eat my dinner. Sure, why not. Actually, I just LOVE America’s wonderful Pledge of Allegiance — especially the part that says, “With liberty and justice for all”. Liberty and justice for everyone! Yay. Liberty and justice for all First Americans — and liberty and justice for everyone else who has come here ever since. Liberty and justice for all of us.
“Liberty and Justice for all”. Now is that such a hard concept to grasp?
And if you’re still having trouble grasping the concept, check out this article on the subject from Forbes Magazine: http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddessig/2011/10/16/the-contrasting-psychologies-of-occupy-wall-street-and-the-tea-party/2/
It also seems to me that the more people here in America claim to be flag-waving patriots and the more that they try to shove the Pledge of Allegiance down our throats — the more likely these very same people, in direct inverse ratio to their proclaimed patriotism, will deliberately ignore the part of the Pledge that says, “With liberty and justice for all”. But guess what, guys. You can’t have it both ways.
And then I crossed the border over into Canada. Apparently some newspaper in Canada recently took a big survey regarding who Canadians themselves would pick as the most wonderful Canadian of all. And guess who Canadians picked hands-down by a huge margin? Tommy Douglas. “Tommy who?” you might ask. Do Americans even know who Tommy Douglas even is? Heck, do Americans even know who Canada’s current prime minister even is?
I myself thought for sure that Canadians would pick Wayne Gretzky to be Number One — but apparently not.
Anyway, Tommy Douglas was the man who was single-handedly responsible for creating Canada’s national single-payer healthcare system. See? Travel broadens.
And travel broadens literally too, of course, because Canada’s Thanksgiving is celebrated a whole month earlier than America’s Thanksgiving due to the fact that Canada’s growing season is shorter than ours and their harvests come in earlier than ours — and, as a result, I get to celebrate TWO Thanksgivings this year. And eat two pumpkin pies.
My next stop is Banff National Park.
PS: As I was sitting in a honky-tonk dive bar on Montana/Alberta border that was trying desperately to pass itself off as a duty-free shop, and eating a Magnum bar and listening to Willie Nelson, a thought suddenly occurred to me.
“What if, during the Reagan administration, our Ronnie had actually decided to be a true patriot instead of the sell-out he was, and he had stood up to Big Business and said, ‘For every job that gets outsourced to some third-world country for cheap labor, America should impose a tariff on the resultant returning products equal to the difference in the amount of wages paid to their guys instead of to our guys?’”
That would have been a brilliant thing for Reagan to do — or for Nixon, both Bushes or Clinton to do. Or even All Gore for that matter (if his election hadn’t been stolen by corporatists, the unholy one percent). And not only that, but imposing these tariffs would have been totally and completely patriotic.
But it’s still not too late. Obama could still do it. “Liberty and Justice for All,” Obama! Liberty and justice for the people who voted for you. Yeah right.
PPS: Every time the INS and the state of Arizona hassles an undocumented American, it also violates our Pledge of Allegiance. Isn’t it illegal to violate the Pledge? Is the Pledge of Allegiance actually a law? Can undocumented Americans actually take the INS and Arizona to court for violating the Pledge?
And when Congress added the phrase “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance back in 1954, exactly what was their intent? That Americans should obey God’s “Thou shalt not Kill” clause? Or how about obeying the part that says “Thou shalt not Steal”? And did Congress intend that, like Jesus, we should throw moneychangers out of the temple?
October 18, 2011
The Occupy Oakland site is a vibrant place with a high energy/karma level. It is fast becoming a media magnate. These photos were taken on October 18, 2011.
Specially designated bills (and not part of the regular donation fund used for expenses) donated to the Occupy Berkeley site are burned to get the attention of the hard to impress journalists in the liberal media. These photos were taken on October 18, 2011.