cyberpj's Journal - Archives
During protests in Warsaw last weekend, one crafty activist deployed a flying drone to spy on riot police.
YouTube user latajacakamera — or “flying camera” in Polish — uploaded the amazing video that the drone effortlessly captured as it hovered over teargas-filled streets.
In another video, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) floats in front of a formation of police in riot gear as they rush towards demonstrators. None of them appear to notice.
Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson confirmed that the flying machine was built by the Polish company Robokopter.
Photos and video:
I realize The President has been stymied of late but when he had a congressional majority I remember
these excerpts from his convention speech, the parts that led us to believe he would not continue policies that gave everything to corporations.
So much of the hope and change we were promised was immediately obliterated by his selections for financial advisors and the TARP bailouts. There were plenty of changes that COULD HAVE been made with a Democratic Congress that were simply put on hold during the years he attempted to be the President of compromise while getting his hand slapped away at every turn.
Why couldn't some of the following work (excerpts from convention speech) be done when he had the party backing?
This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for twenty years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.
We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job - an economy that honors the dignity of work.
It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.
That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am President.
Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.
Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.
Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.
And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work, because I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons.
Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime - by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow.
2 articles: Deployment of military in US continues to raise concerns & Blackwater/Xe Training Police
Here are 2 articles from 2007/2008 that I have posted on DU before.
I believe they're still highly relevant, perhaps more today than ever.
For example, how many of the police 'controlling' Occupy protests were trained by Blackwater/Xe?
And if Blackwater/Xe were called in, as contractors, aren't they exempt from US laws?
(1) Deployment of military in US continues to raise concerns - Naomi Wolf
The Army Times initially reported that the First Brigade would handle domestic crowd control and subduing 'unruly individuals' and that they had 'lethal and nonlethal technologies' to do so. Then it issued a correction declaring that the 'nonlethal' package was not for domestic crowd control. Then after a hue and cry was raised by many citizens, Northern Command (NorthCom) offered a wholesale revision of their mission – and the mainstream media is eating it up. Here is an excerpt from the articled linked to in the previous sentence:
Despite conspiracy theories that this could be a first step toward martial law in the U.S., there won't be tanks on Main Street or active-duty troops putting down demonstrations. That is barred by federal law banning the military from being used on U.S. soil for domestic law enforcement. Instead, the soldiers of the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Ga., have been training to back up civilian authorities in providing medical care and dealing with chemical, biological, high explosive or nuclear attack.
Not only does this entirely contradict the first Army Times reports, it also egregiously misrepresents to readers the status of US law in regards to this deployment. Yes, there are laws against military policing on US streets -- they are part of both the 1807 Insurrection Act and 1879's Posse Comitatus Act -- but the Defense Authorization Act of 2007 gutted them.
Congress restored some limitations on the President's ability to deploy troops to engage in military policing in 2008 -- but President Bush issued a signing statement declaring he did not feel bound by those limitations. He also can direct these troops -- and the National Guard, and Blackwater -- to engage in military policing of civilian populations simply by verbally and unilaterally declaring a national emergency of whatever kind he wishes. Unfortunately, the US Army spokespeople are parsing their words and misleading us. And, whatever the stated mission is today, the fact remains that military up the chain of command report to the Commander in Chief -- not to Congress or to you and me, and not to the Governors as most of the National Guard do.
(2) Blackwater Training US Police (list)
This article and list are from 2007, I'm sure they've spread their tactics far and wide since then.
On October 14, the Washington Post ran a story, which included photographs from Blackwater's Moyock training center. However, what was most intriguing was a photograph of a police and military patch board at Blackwater's headquarters that indicated the police agencies that have sent their officers to Moyock for training.
Blackwater is secretive about its non-federal, as well as its foreign clients, which the Post pointed out includes Jordan, Azerbaijan, and Burkina Faso, but a WMR inspection of the photograph of the police agencies has yielded the following list of agencies that have used Blackwater for training:
1. Iowa Department of Natural Resources
2. Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff's Department
3. Matthews, North Carolina Police
4. Atlanta Police
5. Chillicothe, Ohio Police
6. Charleston, South Carolina Police
7. Port Chester, NY Police
8. Highland, Indiana Police
9. Unalaska, Alaska Police
10. Metropolitan Washington, DC Police
11. Charlottesville, Virginia Police
12. Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (Dulles and Reagan National Airports)
13. St. Louis County Police (Missouri)
14. Queen Anne's County, Maryland Police
15. Prince George's County, Maryland Police
16. FBI SWAT Team
17. Gloucester Township, New Jersey Police
18. Tempe, Arizona Police
19. New York Police Department
20. Yonkers, New York Police
21. Fairfax County, Virginia Police
22. Maplewood, New Jersey Police
23. Gastonia, North Carolina Police
24. Tampa Police
25. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
26. DeKalb County, Georgia Police
27. Arlington County, Virginia Police
28. Baltimore Police
29. U.S. Coast Guard
30. Suffolk, Virginia Police
31. Franklin City, Virginia Police
32. Milford, Delaware Police
33. University of Texas Police
34. Norfolk, Virginia Police
35. Ottawa-Carleton, Canada Police
36. San Bernardino County, California Sheriff
37. Plattsburgh, New York Police
38. Chicago Police Department
39. Oregon State Police
40. Los Angeles Police Department
41. Tonawanda, New York Police
42. Special Forces of Colombia
43. Jacksonville, North Carolina Police
44. Harvey Cedars, New Jersey Police
45. Elmira, New York Police
46. Department of Corrections, New Jersey
47. Lexington, Kentucky Police
48. Willimantic, Connecticut Police
49. Georgia Department of Law Enforcement
50. City of Fairfax, Virginia Police
51. Alexandria, Virginia Police Special Operations
52. Illinois State Police
53. Dallas, Texas Police
54. Hamilton, Ohio Police
55. Morganton, North Carolina Police
A number of the police departments that have been trained by Blackwater have abysmal civil rights and police brutality records, most notably the Chicago Police and Illinois State Police, both cited by former Illinois Governor George Ryan as being guilty of police misconduct in his decision to commute the death sentences of Illinois' death row inmates. It was a decision that likely had much to do with his indictment by the Bush administration on corruption charges -- political misuse of the Department of Justice that has been seen in the indictments and investigations of Alabama former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman and HealthSouth former CEO Richard Scrushy, Qwest's former CEO Joseph Nacchio, Democratic campaign contributor Martha Stewart, Coastal Corporation's former Chairman and Democratic contributor Oscar Wyatt, and Democratic-leaning trial attorneys around the United States, as well as the firings of several U.S. Attorneys who refused to engage in political prosecutions, and a Justice Department workup on North Carolina presidential candidate John Edwards in 2004.
Citizens have a distinct opportunity of confronting their local elected city, county, and town officials over Blackwater training of their police officers. Local officials should be pressured to reveal the numbers and identities of officers trained by Blackwater, the subjects covered by the training, the revenues spent, and a public demand should be made to cease and desist in such training.
just because I find it so informative when thinking about
- when the different Presidents were in office
- when the wind down of pensions and wind up of 401ks began
- when unions began to die out and corporations became more and more powerful
- when outsourcing started and as it grew
What do YOU see here?
More evidence of Corporate America dictating US (and now Global) law --this time without requiring Congressional approval.
Hey, anyone remember how easy it used to be to record on a VCR or cassette player and give copies to friends. Well, no more my friends... no more. Ever wonder why we all have to rent DVRs from the corporate cable overlords but you can't buy one on your own? It's because they don't want anyone sharing anything anymore - everyone must buy, buy, buy!
Rashmi Rangnath, a staff attorney with Public Knowledge in Washington, DC, said the deal "clearly, is an attempt to foist US law on other countries."
The accord, which the United States says does not require Congressional approval, also calls on participating nations to maintain extensive seizure and forfeiture laws when it comes to counterfeited goods that are trademarked or copyrighted. Most important, countries must carry out a legal system where victims of intellectual property theft may be awarded an undefined amount of monetary damages.
In the United States, for example, the Copyright Act allows for damages of up to $150,000 per infringement. A Boston jury has dinged a college student $675,000 for pilfering 30 tracks on Kazaa, while a Minnesota jury has awarded the Recording Industry Association of America $1.5 million for the purloining of 24 songs online.
Until European Union authorities began leaking the document’s text, the Obama administration was claiming the accord was a "national security" secret.
--Wow. I wonder what kind of campaign contribution they got for that one!
entire article and details here:
It was another demonstration of Christine O'Donnell's capacity to polarize even her own party: A national tea party group dropped her from a lineup of speakers for a Sarah Palin rally in Iowa on Saturday, only to turn around within hours and re-invite her.
And I never knew about the Bozo the Clown connection so I looked it up.
Like father like daughter... both part-time Bozos for money, never quite making it into the big top.
Daniel O'Donnell was an occasional understudy Bozo, not a full-time holder of the Bozo mantle. From their phone conversation:
"Who told you I was Bozo?" he wanted to know.
"Your son," I said, at which point he confirmed that yes, he was Bozo, but not an official, full-time certified Bozo, more of a part-time Bozo.
And this next line is TRULY PRICELESS!
"To be an official Bozo, you had to go to a special school in Texas," explained Mr. O'Donnell.
He never did. Instead, he was asked to fill-in for the official Bozos whenever they would have to travel out of the Philadelphia area for acting gigs.
"They would leave, I would come in and work for two or three weeks, whatever, until the regular Bozo came back," Mr. O'Donnell said. "I was the fill-in Bozo."
I'm trying to find out if there has been fracking going on in Virginia and West Virginia anywhere near the center of this totally strange and unprecedented East Coast earthquake. I've lived in Delaware all my life and we've never had anything like this before.
Hell, even F-- mentioned a possible connection earlier this year:
The central Arkansas town of Greenbrier had been plagued for months by hundreds of small earthquakes, and after being woken up by the largest quake to hit the state in 35 years, residents said Monday they're unsettled by the increasing severity and lack of warning.
The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the 4.7-magnitude quake at 11 p.m. Sunday, centered just northeast of Greenbrier, about 40 miles north of Little Rock. It was the largest of more than 800 quakes to strike the area since September in what is now being called the Guy-Greenbrier earthquake swarm.
Nearly two dozen small quakes have been recorded in Arkansas in a single day.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/03/01/...
As for immediatey wondering about fracking around Virginia (the epicenter of today's 5.9 quake) I'm not the only one:
And now check THIS out (they're propagandizing to our kids!):
of Democrats being Democrats. When the issues are worth outing and expressing our opinions that's what we do.
I am one of the greatly disappointed in the difference between what Obama promised and what Obama has done.
I've wondered if he has been threatened, once in office...
I've wondered if he was actually a brilliant plant...
I've wondered if he was simply a good speaker and a lousy administrator...
And lately I'm wondering if I'm ready to vote for a third party candidate if anyone worthy of my vote runs.
I thought we were here to discuss the issues and how our party is performing --not stand blindly behind Obama merely because he is a Democratic President.
Remember when we were amazed when all Republicans said the same about Bush?
1. Many many years ago I did it to avoid getting the overwhelming junk mail and contribution solicitations from either of the other 2 parties. (And BTW, that was a generally known and used tactic at the time so there are probably lots of people like me out there.)
subsequently, I left it that way because
2. I was sick of the supposed 2 party system and attracted to The Green Party platform.
Sorry, but committing to a policy in order to "attract independents" is a STUPID POLICY.
The Failed Corporate Record of George W Bush (small time practice for this big financial take-down?)
Several researchers have investigated the business history of the Bush family. The facts that they have uncovered are not very pretty. The business record of George W. Bush holds some revealing insights to how his presidency has operated, and helps to explain why the country has fallen so deeply in debt and has so many other problems.
As explained by Kevin Phillips in his book, American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush, George W. Bush's businesses fail but he makes millions. Among Mr. Bush's business ventures:
Arbusto, an oil exploration company, lost money, but it got considerable investments (nearly $5 million) because even losing oil investments were useful as tax shelters.
Spectrum 7 Energy Corp. bought out Arbusto in 1984 and hired Mr. Bush to run the company's oil interests in Midland, Texas. The oil business collapsed as oil prices plummeted by 1986, and Spectrum 7 Energy was near failure.
Harken Energy acquired Mr. Bush's Spectrum 7 Energy shares, and he got Harken shares, a directorship, and a consulting arrangement in return. Harken, under Bush, brought in Saudi real estate tycoon Sheikh Abdullah Bakhsh as a board member and a major investor. Over the next few years, Harken would turn out to have links to: Saudi money, CIA-connected Filipinos, the Harvard Endowment, the emir of Bahrain, and the shadowy Bank of Credit and Commerce International.
A 1991 internal SEC document suggested George W. Bush violated federal securities law at least 4 times in the late 1980s and early 1990s in selling Harken stock while serving as a director of Harken. This is essentially the same kind of activity that Martha Stewart is going to prison over. Except at the time of the investigation, Mr. Bush's father was president and the case was quietly dropped.
Waxman said that in January, Fuld and his board were warned the company’s “liquidity can disappear quite fast.” Despite that warning, he said, “Mr. Fuld depleted Lehman’s capital reserves by over $10 billion through year-end bonuses, stock buybacks, and dividend payments.”
Waxman quoted Fuld as saying in one document, “Don’t worry” to the suggestion that executives go without bonuses.
That suggestion came from Lehman’s money management subsidiary, Neuberger Berman. Waxman quoted George H. Walker, President Bush’s cousin and a Lehman executive who oversaw some Neuberger Berman employees, as responding with a dismissive tone to the idea of going without bonuses. “Sorry team,” he wrote to the executive committee, according to Waxman. “I’m not sure what’s in the water at 605 Third Avenue today.... I’m embarrassed and I apologize.”
Shouldn't there be more connections made re: this crisis, the S&L bailout + 2003 Mutual Fund Scandal
Posted by cyberpj in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Tue Sep 30th 2008, 07:34 PM
Not to say that the methods of theft are exactly the same
(although the FBI is now investigating for fraud) but -
If you read the entire Mutual fund scandal article you'll notice a VERY familiar cast of characters...
Shouldn't someone be talking about the familiarity of the scenarios, captains and crew involved in
1980s Bush Family and Friends S&L scandal
2003 Bush Family and Friends Mutual Fund scandal
2008 Bush Family and Friends Banking scandal
Is it just me?!
2003 Mutual-fund scandal
The mutual fund scandal of 2003 was the result of the discovery of illegal late trading and market timing practices on the part of certain hedge fund and mutual fund companies.
On April 28, 2003, every major US investment bank, including Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Credit Suisse First Boston, Lehman Brothers Holdings, J.P. Morgan Chase, UBS Warburg, and U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, were found to have aided and abetted efforts to defraud investors. The firms were fined a total of $1.4 billion by the SEC, triggering the creation of a Global Research Analyst Settlement Fund.
In May, 2003, the SEC disclosed that several “brokerage firms paid rivals that agreed to publish positive reports on companies whose shares..they issued to the public. This practice made it appear that a throng of believers were recommending these companies' shares.” This was false. “From 1999 through 2001, for example, one firm paid about $2.7 million to approximately 25 other investment banks for these so-called research guarantees, regulators said. Nevertheless, the same firm boasted in its annual report to shareholders that it had come through investigations of analyst conflicts of interest with its ‘reputation for integrity’ maintained.”
On September 3, 2003, the New York State Attorney General announced he had “obtained evidence of widespread illegal trading schemes, ‘late trading’ and ‘market timing,’ that potentially cost mutual fund shareholders billions of dollars annually. This, according to the Attorney General, was "like allowing betting on a horse race after the horses have crossed the finish line.”
On September 4, 2003, a major investment bank, Goldman Sachs, admitted that it had violated anti-fraud laws. Specifically, the firm misused material, nonpublic information that the US Treasury would suspend issuance of the 30-year bond. The firm agreed to “pay over $9.3 million in penalties.” On April 28, 2003, the same firm was found to have “issued research reports that were not based on principles of fair dealing and good faith .. contained exaggerated or unwarranted claims.. and/or contained opinions for which there were no reasonable bases.” The firm was fined $110 million dollars, for a total of $119.3 million dollars in fines in six months.
much more at:
Now who might have been the CEO of Goldman Sachs in September of 2003?
Posted by cyberpj in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Mon Sep 22nd 2008, 01:11 PM
In case anyone missed this chart, posted over the weekend, here it is again.
The attached picture will make it much clearer how much money the thieves are talking about now.
Note, all of the dots in the chart are those up until today's suggested additional bailout.
Also note that the largest billion dollar bailout until now belonged to Bush Sr.
The newest one is currently estimated to cost about One Trillion Dollars!
That's a 1 with twelve 0's! Or $1,000,000,000,000. !!
Imagine the size of the dot they'll have to create and add to the chart for THAT.
Our government and it's corporate pals have robbed us of a heart-stopping, unprecedented amount of money.
Never never never never forget - that Republicans privatize profits and socialize losses.
AND - That most DLC Dems (the centrist party within the Democratic party) play right along with them.
You can see the chart and read more here:
Just finished reading this article, posted in the Economy forum, and like others I recommend it x 1000!
It's long but well worth the time and will give you information you need to both know and discuss our current economic state.
Really - you'll understand a LOT more after this article.
The Worsening Debt Crisis: Who Got Us into This Mess and What are the Real Political Options?
An Interview with Economist Michael Hudson
By MIKE WHITNEY
September 8, 2008
"...characterize Greenspan's part in the crisis? Hudson: He was its cheerleader"
"Hudson: If the incoming Democratic administration proves to be more of the same, pressure will indeed arise to create a new party. More often economic reform has come from the top, but I don’t see it from the Republicans, given their corruption. Within the Democratic Party the question is whether the Wall Street Democratic Leadership Committee (who gave us Gore and Lieberman after the Clintons) will continue to impose its stranglehold."
I think this may better explain the tension between The Clintons and The Obama/Biden ticket better than anything.
I'm also wondering why such important Democratic groups are calling themselves "Democrat" groups.
New Democrat Movement
The right wing current of the Democratic party, characterized by its neoliberal economic policies, support of Israel, desire to increase defense spending, and links to heavy donors and fundraisers.
Believes that "left-wing" positions are not politically viable. Describes itself as "moderate and pro-growth". Probably responsible for erosion of the Democratic Party's historical labor and minority base due to support of treaties like NAFTA, lack of support for affirmative action and poverty programs, and their siphoning away of campaign funds from minority groups.
At the national level, the movement was founded by the Democratic Leadership Council (501c4 educational non-profit, founded 1984) and includes the House New Democrat Coalition (founded 1997), the Senate New Democrat Coalition (founded 2000), the New Democrat Network PAC (founded 1996), the misnamed Progressive Policy Institute (501c4 think tank, "Bill Clinton's idea mill", founded 1989), and the umbrella funding group The Third Way Foundation (501c3 non-profit, founded 1996).
Since coming to power within the Democratic Party with Bill Clinton's presidency, the New Democrats/DLC have worked towards "essentially the same purpose as the Christian Coalition... to pull a broad political party dramatically to the right" according to John Nichols of The Progressive.
DLC operatives actively worked to sabotage Howard Dean's candidacy for the US Presidency in 2004, claiming that the "far-left" Democrat was wrong to attack George W. Bush's tax cuts and national security policies.
Corporate contributors to the DLC and New Democratic Network include Bank One, Citigroup, Dow Chemical, DuPont, General Electric, Health Insurance Corporation of America, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft, Philip Morris, RJR Nabisco, Chevron, Prudential Foundation, Amoco Foundation, AT&T, Morgan Stanley, Occidental Petroleum, Raytheon, and many other Fortune 500 companies.
more at this link:
Note: also contains a current list of DLC members
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What the hell - let's have a post for North Carolina!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, DU 2!
Any fellow Texans still here?
Getting kinda lonely in these here parts.....
The ten most recommended threads posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums in the last 24 hours.
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