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Sun, 31 May 2020
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The Police State and Occupy Wall Street

NYPD, police
© Adam Lempel

We Don't Live In a Free Society:

I wrote an article over a month ago exposing the Obama administration's crackdown on civil liberties. The piece begins with the assertion that "the United States is still the freest country in the world." I was curious to see how readers would react. A number of people commented that such a statement is so delusional that they had to stop reading. At the time I thought they were perhaps overreacting. But after witnessing the state's crackdown on Occupy Wall Street it has become clear that they were right. We do not live in a free society.

Perhaps the most basic right in a democracy is, to quote the Constitution, "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." If we cannot do this we don't live in a real democracy. I've been aware that our democracy is a sham for some time. Prior to Occupy Wall Street I understood that our government has been completely hijacked by corporate interests, rendering the political process pure theatre. I had also been familiar with the fact that the state has cracked down on demonstrators on many occasions.

But my experience at Occupy Wall Street has served as a serious reality check about just how free our society is. The disproportionate police presence surrounding the rebellion exists for one reason - to intimidate us. Since day one, the state has sent an enormous supply of cops to monitor us, threaten us, arrest us, and beat us up. Well over 800 people have been arrested. And for what? For exercising their most basic right. Meanwhile, the criminals on Wall Street who have trashed the global economy, stolen trillions from the taxpayers in bailouts and continue to engage in the same speculative practices that got us into this mess have faced no retribution. The CEOs at Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and AIG have not been arrested. They continue to reap millions in bonuses and deferred stock options. And they use the state to send the cops out to crush resistance. JP Morgan Chase recently donated an unprecedented $4.6 million to the NYPD. Clearly, they approve of the brutality.

Arrow Down

Unless you are awesome, you will be outsourced

We're quickly moving to a new world where the wealth gap is compounding and increasing. We're moving to a world that is going to look a lot like Hollywood: a few people enjoying insane success ... and everyone else spends their days waiting tables.

The delta between A-players and B-players in companies has always been high. A-players get promoted faster and they earn more. My guess is that an A-player earns about 30% more than a B-player in that same position for most professions. An A-player administrative assistant usually can earn about 30% more than a B-player in the same position. That's a significant difference and even more when you compound that difference in savings and lifestyle over the course of one's career.

In some professions like sales and entertainment, an A-player might earn 300% more than a B-player and essentially live an entirely different lifestyle. In the future, everyone's jobs will look more like salespeople.


Comment: Problem is, everyone needs to make a living but not everyone can be awesome. But for the 1%, the idea is to lower the pay of people in wealthier countries until it reaches the level of the poor countries. Then we'll all be poor. If they succeed, say goodbye to the middle class.


Heart - Black

France: Dead dolphins found tied to concrete block

dolphin

Marseille, France -- Two divers in France say they discovered three dead dolphins in the Mediterranean that had been tied by their tails to a concrete block.

The dolphins, believed to be a mother and her two young, were found off the coast of Marseille,The Local reported Friday.

"We were at a depth of about 55 meters [182 feet] when we noticed an unusually shaped light-colored mass just underneath us," said Fabienne Henri, who was diving with another woman, Jacqueline Dozin.

2 + 2 = 4

US: New York Observer: Exclusive "Occupy Wall Street" Unaired Fox Footage

Jesse LaGreca from Occupy Wall Street talks to Fox News...this clip never made it to air, via Kyle Christopher of Occupy Wall St.'s media team.

Handcuffs

US, Tennessee: Memphis TSA Agent Guilty Of Theft


Former TSA screening agent Ricky German was convicted today in Federal Court.

German was found guilty of 1 count of theft, 1 count Civil Rights Violation and 1 count of Making A False Statement.

German worked at Memphis International Airport and was charged with trying to steal a passenger's laptop computer last December.

A passenger accidentally left his laptop behind at the security area.

When he returned, German twice denied he knew anything about the $1,200 machine.

Surveillance video showed German carrying away the laptop and throwing away papers with the owner's name on it.

After police arrived and indicated they would view the surveillance video, German then claimed he found the laptop.

Beer

US, Colorado: Man accused of driving around with dead friend in his car claims he thought he was drunk NOT deceased

A man accused of driving around Denver with a dead friend in the back of a car and running up a bar tab on the friend's account says he thought the man was drunk, not deceased.

Robert Young, 43, faces charges including abusing a corpse. He spoke before a court hearing today in Denver, Colorado.

Investigators allege Mr Young and 25-year-old Mark Rubinson drove around with the body of their 43-year-old friend Jeffrey Jarrett in their car in August.
Image
© unknown
'Bizarre and unfortunate crime': The Denver Police spokesman said of incident - Mark Rubinson (left) and Robert Young (right) face charges of abusing a corpse

Stop

US: Fiery Train Derailment in Illinois Leads to Evacuation

Image
© AP Photo
This frame grab provided by WBBM TV, Chicago, shows a freight train in flames Friday, Oct. 7, 2011, in Tiskilwa, Ill.
Tiskilwa - A freight train loaded with ethanol crashed and exploded Friday, sending up bright orange flames and plumes of smoke that could be seen miles away and forcing the evacuation of a small town in northern Illinois.

Capt. Steve Haywood of the Ottawa Fire Department said the train's tanker cars were shipping ethanol for Decatur-based corn processor Archer Daniels Midland, and possibly other materials and chemicals, when it crashed and derailed. At least six tanker cars burned, he said.

The evacuation was strictly precautionary and there was no immediate danger, said Les Grant, a spokesman for Bureau County Emergency Management. The fire has been contained and no injuries have been reported, Grant said.

"Pretty much things are under control right now. ... The initial threat has been addressed," he said.

Authorities said evacuees from Tiskilwa, a village of about 800 people about 100 miles west of Chicago, were taken to a nearby high school.

Witnesses reported hearing explosions, and the glow from the fire could be seen from miles away.

Newspaper

US, New York: Wife Who Fired 11 Shots Is Acquitted of Murder

Image
© Uli Seit / The New York Times
Barbara Sheehan outside the Queens courthouse on Thursday.
She had always admitted to killing her husband, using two guns to fire 11 bullets inside the couple's home in Queens. But she insisted she had no choice: if she had not shot him, he would have surely killed her first.

On Thursday, a jury in State Supreme Court in Queens agreed, clearing the woman, Barbara Sheehan, of second-degree murder charges in a case that had been viewed as a strenuous test of a battered-woman defense. Her son and daughter, the children of her slain husband, wept with joy.

During the trial, the jury heard how Ms. Sheehan had been relentlessly abused by her husband, Raymond Sheehan, a former police sergeant, during their 24 years of marriage. But the critical question at trial was whether Ms. Sheehan was in imminent danger when she killed her husband; New York State's self-defense law justifies the use of lethal force when a threat to a person's life is deemed immediate.

Info

US, California: Muslim woman removed from Southwest plane to sue

Irum Abbasi
© thisNthat
Irum Abbasi
A Muslim-American woman is suing Southwest Airlines for discrimination because she was removed from a plane by federal security agents.

Irum Abbasi of San Diego plans to announce the lawsuit Thursday.

Abbasi is a Pakistani immigrant who's lived in the U.S. for a decade. She was on a flight from San Diego to San Jose in March when she says a flight attendant became concerned.

Abbasi, who was wearing a head scarf, told someone on her cell phone, "I have to go" because the plane was about to depart. But Abbasi says the attendant thought she said, "It's a go."

The mother of three was taken off the plane and briefly examined by TSA agents. She was placed on the next flight.

The airline later apologized. Abbasi has said she wants the crew disciplined.

Heart - Black

US: Cain rails against Wall Street protesters

Image
© Unknown
St. Petersburg, Fla. - Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain on Wednesday called the Occupy Wall Street protesters anti-American and anti-capitalistic.

"Don't be jealous, don't be envious," Cain said as he signed copies of his memoir. "I don't have much patience for someone who does not want to achieve their American dream the old-fashioned way."

More than 400 people attended the event. The former head of Godfather's Pizza pulled up in front of the Barnes & Noble bookstore in a black luxury bus, and he entered the store to cheers and applause.

After winning the Sept. 24 straw poll in Florida, Cain has seen his popularity surge, especially among conservatives. He is showing well in many surveys, near front-runner and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has raised more money.

Comment: A great set of images can be found here from the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Cain doesn't seem to recognize that America has been fully run, for at least the last 12+ years, off the sweat of the middle-class. 401k plan? Dismantled or halved for most people. The ones who still have a job. Retirement, Social Security? Already sitting at the guillotine of Government axing. It's amazing how such a ..person can have such a HUGE disconnect from reality. Then again, this is America.