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Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 57,088

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Must. See.

Cliven Bundy: Clown Car or Trojan Horse?

Cliven Bundy, a rancher embroiled in a land dispute with the federal government, speaks to the
reporters near Bunkerville, Nev., April 19, 2014. (Ronda Churchill/The New York Times)

Cliven Bundy: Clown Car or Trojan Horse?
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Friday 02 May 2014

The ongoing saga of freeloading Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy is, on the surface, a perfect masterpiece of right-wing clown car stupidity. I'm sure you're already familiar with the story: Bundy, who refuses to acknowledge the existence of the federal government, has been grazing his cattle on federal lands for the last twenty years while refusing to pay grazing fees, said fees amounting to about the cost of a can of Campbell's tomato soup per cow. The feds ordered Bundy to pay the fees he owed, ordered him to get his cattle off publicly-owned property, and let him know when they would be coming to enforce these orders in person.

And that's when the clown car burst open. Between the end of March and April 10th, Bundy supporters whipped each other into a frenzy on social media, grabbed their AR-15s and AK-47s, and swooped down on the Bundy ranch to defend their newest freeloading patriot hero from the federal usurpers of the Bureau of Land Management. Once they arrived at the ranch, they were asked to sign in under a large banner that read "MILITA SIGHN IN," because of course that happened.

Fox News, and especially Sean Hannity, immediately began hyping the story all day and night, elevating Bundy to the status of instant Founding Father. How could they resist? Here was a guy who denies the existence of the US government while riding his horse on federal lands with an American flag strapped to his saddle. Cognitive dissonance is the meat and mead of Fox News, and the dissonance in that one image was weighty enough to bend the very light.

It took about two weeks for everything to go sideways.

First, Mr. Bundy delivered his now-infamous rant about Black people being happier picking cotton as slaves, a statement he doubled down on later by comparing himself to Rosa Parks before saying that if Black people didn't like his opinions, it's because "Martin Luther King hasn't gotten his job done yet."

Skreeeeeeech went the needle off the record. Every right-wing media personality and politician who had rushed to publicly embrace Cliven Bundy immediately fled his presence as if he were covered in Goliath tarantulas. I think there still may be a Hannity-shaped hole in the studio wall at Fox News.


It is all too easy to lay waste to this whole barge of absurdity with an avalanche of mockery, to blow it off, laugh it off, and enjoy the sight of Bundy's right-wing supporters heading for the hills after he went all jump-down-turn-around-pick-a-bale-of-cotton in a video that went viral in less time than it takes to misspell a banner.

But there's some very serious and troubling stuff here, and it cannot be ignored or buried beneath the eruption of stupid we've witnessed to date. First of all, these armed yahoos actually managed to successfully fend off federal agents who were attempting to uphold and execute the law. That sets a terrible precedent, one that will almost certainly inspire more armed yahoos to point rifles at people somewhere down the line. They're still on the Bundy ranch, they've started setting up "checkpoints" along the roads around the ranch, and the feds still have to execute those orders, so this thing is not over yet...

...and note you well: here in America, you can point a high-powered rifle at federal officers and get off scot-free with your gun still in your hand. Sit down at a peaceful Occupy protest on the campus of UC Davis in California, however, and you get a gushing face full of Mace for your trouble...while the cop who sprayed you gets $38,000 in compensation for "anxiety and depression."

Far more insidious is the fact that, until he pulled his little "What, Me Racist?" number for all the world to see, Mr. Bundy's most dedicated supporters were a couple of billionaire brothers named Charles and David Koch. The Koch Brothers, if truth be told, could not give less of a damn about Cliven Bundy and his band of merry men, but until Bundy blew out like an old, racist tire, they were intensely interested in using him as the avatar for a fight they've been waging for twenty years: placing control of publicly-owned federal lands back into the hands of the states, so the states can lease or sell those lands to companies like Koch Industries for cattle grazing, mining, drilling, fracking, and lumbering...

The rest: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/23444-william-rivers-pitt-cliven-bundy-clown-car-or-trojan-horse

"We raise girls to cater to the fragile egos of men."


Memo to every gomer out there who got fucked over by their high school's failure to teach Civics and never bothered to figure this out on your own:


The First Amendment protects your freedom of speech from one (1) thing: GOVERNMENTAL INTERFERENCE with you speaking your mind.

If you go into a bar and bellow NI*GER NI*GER NI*GER FUCKING NI*GER and get your ass handed to you for it, that's not a Free Speech 1st Amendment issue, you fucking useless hopeless dumbfuck dickwad puddle of tepid Fail, because the bar is NOT THE GOVERNMENT. That's the marketplace working it out.

Sterling fans have taken to Twitter with ERMAHGERD HIS FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS gibberish. Read the fucking Bill of Rights, you piddling Derp-riddled reason why we can't have nice things.


Your right to free speech ends exactly where I can fuck you up for life in public for being a dumbass.

I am not the government, either. Read a book, you clown car.

Dumb Twitter Users Rage Against Death Of The First Amendment

New 'Godzilla' trailer from Asia holy crap holy crap holy crap holy crap


Tim Carpenter, co-founder of Progressive Democrats of America, passed away last night.


PDA was founded after the '04 Kucinich campaign. Tim had been fighting cancer since the day I met him ten years ago, but he never slowed down, never let his illness keep him from the activism he devoted himself to because he loved this country so much.

As I sit here in my sorrow, it strikes me that no one I've ever known was so perfectly named as he was. Tim Builder. Tim Crafter. Tim Maker. Tim Carpenter.

Take your rest, old friend. You have more than earned it.

On edit: David Swanson on the passing of Tim Carpenter: http://warisacrime.org/content/tim-carpenter-will-be-badly-missed#.U1_Uc84MxAA.facebook

Game of Thrones fans: Peter Dinklage. Because Peter Dinklage.


Politicians Discussing Global Warming

Sculpture by Isaac Cordial.

Weaponized Cops and the Future of Freedom

(Photo: William Rivers Pitt)

Weaponized Cops and the Future of Freedom
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Friday 25 April 2014

On Tuesday, in a PR move that makes the GOP's embrace of Cliven Bundy seem like genius by comparison, the New York City Police Department took to social media in a doomed attempt to get snuggly with the general population. The NYPD asked people on Twitter to share their positive experiences with New York cops via the hashtag #myNYPD, and for a few heartbeats, all was rosy...until it wasn't.

Because someone posted their picture of a Black kid screaming in pain while getting hammered into a car hood by three armored cops.

And someone else posted their picture of a Black woman getting lit up by two armored cops while a third cop in an officer's uniform tore the hair from her head with a look on his face that said he knew he was doing God's good work.

And someone else posted their picture of a cop putting his knee to the neck of a small and clearly helpless dog above a caption that read, "The dog was reaching for a gun."

And someone else posted their picture of a beefy cop with his fist cocked and rage painted across his big White face, said picture capturing the moment just before the cameraperson was punched.

And it went on, and on, eventually spreading across the country and the world, until #myNYPD became a repository for just about every documented incident of police brutality on the planet over the last three years.

Tricky tricky tricky, that social media thing. Given the NYPD's well-documented deplorable behavior toward non-white people for generations, toward protesters going well back before the 2004 Republican convention, and most especially upon the advent of the Occupy movement, combined with the fact that modern telephonic technology pretty much makes everyone a photojournalist these days, one would think that whoever is in charge of the NYPD's Twitter account would not be stupid enough to bait that particular bear.

Nope, and too late. Can't un-ring the bell.

It's not just New York. This eruption of police violence, of police malevolence, is nationwide. According to an Associated Press report from late last year, "Coming soon to your local sheriff: 18-ton, armor-protected military fighting vehicles with gun turrets and bulletproof glass that were once the U.S. answer to roadside bombs during the Iraq war. The hulking vehicles, built for about $500,000 each at the height of the war, are among the biggest pieces of equipment that the Defense Department is giving to law enforcement agencies under a national military surplus program."

According to the ACLU, "Billions of dollars' worth of military weapons and equipment is available to local police departments through grant programs administered by federal agencies such as the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security. Until now, this has gone on with very little public oversight. Too little has been known about how much military equipment law enforcement agencies have, why they have it, and how they are using it."


(Photo: William Rivers Pitt)

What we have before us is an ominous confluence - decades of profoundly racist "wars" on drugs and crime that inspired both voters and elected officials to slap aside Constitutional law in favor of the ongoing sham of "security," 300 million guns loose across the countryside cocked and locked with the ammo of associated paranoia, piles of war weapons left over from our blood-sodden overseas adventures available to any township that asks for them, combined with and aggravated by the plastic-sheeting-and-duct-tape travesty that is the ongoing "War On Terror" - which has lulled us into believing there is nothing strange or abnormal or threatening about everyday cops driving tanks, wearing body armor and packing heat better suited for a battlefield in our back yards.

Also, and not to be overlooked, is the fact that some people do throw bombs into crowds. It happened, right there on live television.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/23303-weaponized-cops-and-the-future-of-freedom

Cognitive dissonance will be the death of us all.

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