Archive for: February, 2011

Buyer’s Remorse: Wisconsin Voters Wouldn’t Elect Scott Walker Today

Feb 28 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Evidence of just how much of a political hornet’s nest Gov. Scott Walker has stirred up with Wisconsin voters was revealed in the latest Public Policy Planning poll of the state. If voters were able to do it over again, Walker would lose the election to Democrat Tom Barrett, 52%-45%.

In the original match up last November, Walker beat Barrett 52%-46%, but according to a PPP poll if voters were given a do over, the numbers would be reversed. Today, Barrett would beat Walker, 52%-45%. The key statistic can be found among union households, as Walker support in union households would drop from 40%-33%. In the redo, Barrett would rise in union households from 54% to 64%.

Scott Walker’s support with moderates would fall from 30% to 25% today, and Tom Barrett’s would increase from 61% to 67%. Walker would lose 2 points of support with women in the state from 41% to 39%, and 3 points of support with men (42% in 2010 to 39% now). On the other hand, Barrett would gain 4 points with men (42% in 2010 to 46% now), and 5 points with women (51% in 2010 to 56% now).

The union fiasco has caused moderate Republicans to flee Walker. If the election were held today Walker’s support from members of his own party would drop from 93% to 87%. Republican support for Barrett would jump from 3% to 10%. Walker support among Independents would stay the same today, but Barrett would gain 5 points with Independents from 44% last year to 49% today.

What happened here is that many moderate Wisconsin Republicans, especially those who belong to a union are feeling some serious buyer’s remorse over their support of Scott Walker last year. Given the fact that households who said that they have a union member would now support Tom Barrett by 31 points, it is clear that Walker has inflamed the entire labor movement against him. Walker made a serious political miscalculation if he thought that the public would support his union busting efforts.

Republicans around the country seriously misjudged how the American people feel about the labor movement. A new CBS News/ New York Times poll revealed that, “Americans oppose weakening the bargaining rights of public employee unions by a margin of nearly two to one: 60 percent to 33 percent. While a slim majority of Republicans favored taking away some bargaining rights, they were outnumbered by large majorities of Democrats and independents who said they opposed weakening them. Those surveyed said they opposed, 56 percent to 37 percent, cutting the pay or benefits of public employees to reduce deficits, breaking down along similar party lines.”

If the unions are successful in beating back the Koch brothers’ union busting agenda, the question will be how much will this hurt Republicans at the polls next year? As usual Republicans have overreached and they have handed Democrats an issue that they can use to motivate their own base, and to frame the 2012 election with. All the Democratic voters that stayed home in 2010 will be out in full force in 2012.

The actions of one politically illiterate and uneducated Wisconsin governor have set the Republican Party on a path towards 2012 electoral doom. President Obama is sitting on the sidelines watching the way in over his head Scott Walker revive, unify, and motivate his Democratic Party.

After Barack Obama romps his way to reelection next year, Republicans should turn their gaze towards Madison, because it was there that Walker played the role of Mrs. O’Leary’s cow, by starting the fire that became the great Democratic blaze of 2012.

19 responses so far

Late Night Snack: Wisconsin Protesters Perform Do You Hear the People Sing

Feb 28 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

15 responses so far

Scott Walker Would Rather Be Hauled Into Court Than Talk to Unions

Feb 28 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

King Walker Keeps On Costing His State

King Walker Finds Himself In Hot Water Again Over Unfair Labor Practices

If you watch Fox News, this will come as a big shock to you, but the Wisconsin workers have already agreed to all of Walker’s concessions on wages, benefits and pensions. King Walker is refusing to sit down to bargain a compromise, because this isn’t about money it’s about a thug kneecapping unions with one unilateral kick. Walker has already been found guilty of violating labor law just in January of this year, so this new complaint should come as no surprise. The Wisconsin State Employees Union (AFSCME Council 24) has filed a complaint alleging that Walker is violating his legal duty to negotiate in good faith. You betcha.

The AFLCIO reports: “In a press release, Council 24 Executive Director Marty Beil said:
This governor has never made any attempt to contact the unions he is attacking, much less negotiate in good faith as required by law.

Instead of trying to find real solutions to the challenges facing the state, the governor is attempting to dictate terms. This not only in ineffective, it’s against the law.

“It is time for the governor to be held accountable. He is ignoring the court of public opinion, with hundreds of thousands of peaceful protesters and 74 percent of Wisconsin voters opposing his attacks on bargaining rights. If he continues to ignore the public, we have no choice but to turn to the courts,” Beil said.

The King has a past of doing playing fast and loose with the law. In once such instance, while serving as Milwaukee County Executive, Scotty made a mess of an attempt to privatize courthouse security during which he replaced union workers with private contractors from a firm in the United Kingdom called G4S Wackenhut (of the Afghanistan nipple kissing Vokda bum frat boy fame). Not only did he save a lot less than had been announced, but the criminal history of the former head of the newly hired private security force was a tad embarrassing. But it got worse and more costly.

The County Board overrode Walker’s decision, but he – apparently feeling divinely ordained and therefor not compelled to follow our little laws here on earth – plowed illegally forward claiming a budget “emergency.”

After an arbitration board found no real emergency actually existed, and ordered Walker to reinstate the union guards, Walker’s hubris ended up costing the tax payers about half a million dollars. There you go, folks. Now how many union salaries did that little move cost? Oh, but it’s A-OK to throw money away on incompetent power grabs when you’re a “fiscal conservative,” but you must never, ever allow a working person to make a decent wage – to do so would be “rewarding failure.”

Looks to me like Walker knows a lot about using state money to reward his own failure. Instead of coming after collective bargaining rights, Walker should be brushing up on that elitist thingy known as the law. And after that, maybe the GOP could send him to college where he could take a math class and learn just what a “budget” is, because last I heard, collective bargaining is not a budgetary item.

So when Scotty claims, “We are legal,” his words ring hollow to the informed.

The Journal Sentinel reports, “On Feb. 18, Beil asked Walker in a letter to allow negotiators to resume bargaining. The state has not replied, the complaint said. The complaint asks the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission to force the state to bargain with the union.

Walker addressed the issue in a news conference in La Crosse in video captured by WKBT-TV. “We’re completely legal. We’ve looked at this issue,” Walker said. “They can file suits but the law is on our side.” Walker said the state lacks the resources to bargain in good faith.

“We don’t have anything to offer. The state’s broke,” Walker said.

But Scotty, no one is asking you for money. Why won’t you sit down to talk to the unions, as required by law and by the contract you are compelled to uphold as Governor? And if money is such an issue, why won’t sit down to talk with the unions thereby avoiding unnecessary legal fees? Scott Walker would rather be hauled into court than sit down to talk with union members.

Here’s a fiscal solution for Scotty: Fire yourself, Scott. Your incompetence and willful disregard for the law are costing your state a lot of money, and the bleeding has just begun. You say you are about budgets? Prove it. Sit down and talk.

20 responses so far

Glenn Beck Attacks Wisconsin Teachers and Police For Supporting Protesters

Feb 28 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

On his radio show today, Glenn Beck attacked both the teachers and the police who are supporting their protests in Wisconsin. Beck labeled the teachers “useful idiots,” and he claimed that the police have, “thrown in with the socialists.”

Here is the audio from Media Matters:

Beck said, “We talked today about the police in Seattle. We haven’t talked yet about the police in Wisconsin who are now throwing in with the socialists and the teachers. I mean some of the people who are there are just useful idiots. They don’t know what’s really going on. They don’t know that this is a coordinated effort, and the police, unfortunately in Wisconsin have now thrown in with the protesters in the capitol, and they are not forcing them to leave, which they have to leave. They’re calling this now social justice. No, that is the problem. It is justice for all. Equal justice for all, not special justice. If the Tea Parties were there and they were camped out in the rotunda, they should leave if they’re supposed to, and I’d be the first to say it, obey the law, period, but now the police aren’t forcing them out.”

In case you are wondering who or what the teachers and police are useful idiots for, Beck went on to reveal the vast union conspiracy spearheaded by SEIU to bring about a new world order through the creation of a global workers union. Beck warned that through this global union the western way of life will be destroyed.

Here is the audio:

The point is that the teachers and police are ignorant fools who are pawns in vast global conspiracy to destroy the western way of life simply because they want to maintain the right to collectively bargain. Beck now claims that the SEIU was behind the protests in Egypt and the overthrow of Mubarak. (Last week, Google was behind the overthrow of Mubarak. I think someone is having trouble keeping his conspiracy theories straight).

Glenn Beck’s comments had two purposes here. He wanted to both terrify his audience, and try to break the solidarity of the protesters. By floating a wild conspiracy theory, he was trying to get the police to stop supporting the protesters. This also provides Beck the added bonus painting a picture of the breakdown of law and order which he can then use to terrify his listeners for days on end. Glenn Beck intellectual relationship to both facts and current events has become tangential He is now firmly based in the realm of using current events as the bounce off point for his conspiracy theories.

The reason why the police are standing with the protesters is simple. They are also a union. They know that if Scott Walker breaks the other public sector unions, they will be next. Walker is an ideologue. His goal is not limited to breaking up some of the unions. He won’t stop until all the public sector unions are gone. This will eventually include the police and firefighters.

After the “David Koch” phone call, Gov. Walker has proven that his word means nothing, so it would be wise for all public sector employees in Wisconsin not to trust the word of their governor.

There is a conspiracy at work in Wisconsin, but it isn’t Beck’s new world order. The conspiracy is between Republican billionaires and the politicians they own. They are conspiring to break the back of both the unionization movement and Democratic Party.

Don’t let the ranting of Glenn Beck distract you. The teachers and the police know what is really at stake in Wisconsin, and even though most of the media won’t tell them about it, the American people know a true battle for liberty and freedom when they see it.

Image: Suzy X, isn’t real

16 responses so far

Hollywood Congratulates Self at Oscars, Forgets to Thank Unions

Feb 28 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

83rd Academy Awards

Only two people gave a shout out to unions last night at the Oscars, and they did so by deliberately thanking union crews but not mentioning Wisconsin. Methinks ABC put their fist down on the creatives last night.

First, to the winners in case you were too busy tweeting about how the Wisconsin workers needed a pizza delivery last night (good on you):

83rd Annual Academy Award Winners
BEST PICTURE
The King’s Speech
BEST ACTOR
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
BEST ACTRESS
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
BEST DIRECTOR
Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
BEST SONG
“We Belong Together,” Toy Story 3, Randy Newman
BEST EDITING
The Social Network, Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Inception, Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
BEST DOCUMENTARY
Inside Job, Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT
God of Love, Luke Matheny
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Strangers No More, Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Alice in Wonderland, Colleen Atwood
BEST MAKEUP
The Wolfman, Rick Baker and Dave Elsey
BEST SOUND EDITING
Inception, Richard King
BEST SOUND MIXING
Inception, Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo, and Ed Novick
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
The Social Network, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale, The Fighter
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
In a Better World (Denmark)
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The King’s Speech, Screenplay by David Seidler
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Social Network, Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
BEST ANIMATED FILM
Toy Story 3
BEST ANIMATED SHORT
The Lost Thing, Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Inception, Wally Pfister
BEST ART DIRECTION
Alice in Wonderland, Robert Stromberg, Karen O’Hara

Each year, the Academy Awards have become more and more sterile until last night, when the sanitation dominated any glamor afforded by the show. Perhaps it’s because big corporations bought up all of the studios or because ABC hates unions (oh, sorry, they all hate unions) or because fear runs Hollywood (it does), or because Ricky Gervais’ Golden Globe performance scared the suits into white-washing the entire thing, or because after Michael Moore’s epic take down of President Bush during his acceptance speech scared the politics right out of the Oscar, but whatever the reason, the show was less engaging than a toilet paper commercial.

Here’s Michael Moore’s poorly received acceptance speech – for proof of just how cowed Hollywood is by the watered down messaging of corporations, watch the reactions of the crowd, most of whom agreed with Moore in private but sat there looking like Stepford trophies while he railed on correctly and accurately about an illegal war and an election decided by the Supreme Court:

Moore’s speech was moving. It was alive. It may not have been “appropriate”, but what is appropriate about an illegal war? We were a nation shamed into silence and we were all complicit, save for a few brave patriots who dared to speak out only to be punished for speaking what turned out to be the truth. This only goes to show you that popularity is no indicator of integrity.

I’ve actually cried during a few toilet paper commercials on a bad day. But last night, the only thing that moved me was relief when The King’s Speech won for best picture, terrified as I was that Black Swan would be rewarded for rehashing its pathetically predictable and boring – sans Mila – take on the female psyche. I do adore Mila, that girl has fire. But if I have to hear one more film student gush about Black Swan I’ll barf feathers.

Yes, we know, women who are uptight are that way because they need to have sex and of course they need to have it with a beautiful woman because all men fantasize about this so it must be the thing a woman needs to unlock her true potential but of course it must be lesbian sex without a real lesbian and after she has said sex, she must of course, kill herself because we can’t have a sexually powerful and awakened woman just running around being successful. Yada, yada, yada. I just want to tell those boys, it’s you, not her. You are the problem. Learn to listen and learn to kiss. But I digress….

Loved The Social Network, which was also ripe with possibility of becoming a patriarchal frat house but Fincher has way too much real talent to fall for clichés. Thank you David. I forgave you for Benjamin Button before I even watched it, the anti-“Pottery Barn life” theme of Fight Club sealed your perfection in my world forever and you can do no real wrong now.

But true beauty and nuance was found in both The Kids Are Alright and The King’s Speech; both of which burst with such richness that they could afford to show restraint. Nothing says you’ve arrived more than the ability to hold something back.

I was awed by Julianne Moore and Annette Bening in The Kids Are Alright, who played real lesbians sans the male fantasy gloss – and while it wasn’t showy, and therefore might go unnoticed, Igor Jadue-Lillo’s cinematography told the story so perfectly that I couldn’t breathe watching his choices, shooting from far away like a voyeur during one scene when the family is falling apart and then coming in during the dinner scene so that the camera felt like a member of the family. Lisa Cholodenko’s direction was impeccable (I would expect nothing less from the director of Laurel Canyon), the script a knife to the heart – it was all spot on. In the age of non-reality reality TV, The Kids Are Alright showed the quiet reality of our most intense longings, the need for connection and the importance of history in relationships. It was a searing, poignant and authentic entire film made on a smaller budget.

The entire production of The King’s Speech wowed, and on a smaller budget too. What could have been an ode to pretension was instead an ode to talent, to allowing each department to shine its creative on until it all came together in a rousing chorus of utter perfection. The only down I have for TKS is that it didn’t take the risks The Kids Are Alright did, since it had the refuge of English nobility to rest upon had it wanted to. It didn’t want to, though. I could watch that cast on auto replay and not be bored.

The most important award of Oscar Cojones, however, goes to a few folks — cinematographer Wally Pfister and sound mixer Gary A. Rizzo giving a shout out to unions. You know, the people who actually make films while producers run around video village barking at a dispirited screenwriter on their cell phone. Oh, I kid the producers whose talent for making money by squeezing the creative out of its own soul is praise worthy. There are good producers out there, there just aren’t very many of them you’d want to talk to, though I have to give kudos to Mike Medavoy (Black Swan) for his letter of endorsement of Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign, an endorsement he based upon his inherent desire to be able to trust government again. Integrity does matter.

Natalie Portman showed great grace in acknowledging her crew on Black Swan, especially the camera operators who hardly ever get a nod but who can make or break the inner circle with their attitude. I only wish she had used the word “union” in describing them.

But here’s the deal — hundreds of people make up a film crew and they work tirelessly for three or four months and that’s just during actual production; the months and years that go into pre-production are truly awe inspiring. During production, the hierarchy and order on a film set would make the military look relaxed. All those teabaggers claiming union people are freeloaders have obviously never seen a film crew in action. It takes a village to make a movie; a union village, that is.

Union rights were necessary in Hollywood and the battles were hard fought. Anyone working on a set knows the value of their union when the production goes into hour 22 and they can’t call you back to set in 4 hours because of your union turn-around time. They know the value of their union when they get fed on time instead of being worked 12 hours before eating. They know the value of their union because when the producer wants to run over but doesn’t want to pay for it, they can’t come and ask the worker if they’ll take the hit. They can ask if they mind staying later, but they can’t ask them to do it for free. In a business where talent is everywhere and the studios have so much power, unions mean everything.

The Oscars have become a popularity contest in an industry run by and for large corporations, where the messaging is so tightly controlled it should make the Republicans weep with envy. As such, true spirit is not welcomed in acceptance speeches and politics or anything remotely divisive needs to be left in the closet. You are allowed to say the F-bomb and to thank your gay partner, but only because Hollywood has deemed these things acceptable to the target demographic. You are not allowed to thank unions for protecting you from the awful man behind the curtain, or he won’t let you speak next year.

Unions were mentioned by only a few people, who managed to just squeeze in the words “union crew” without specifically mentioning Wisconsin because corporate messaging runs the show in politics as in Hollywood. And corporations no likely the unions as much as they dislike messy, authentic moments (aka, creative moments).

Send a pizza to the workers in Wisconsin today, or a tweet. Let them know we all thank them for our weekends and for our ability to bargain for a fair shake. Unions might not be perfect, but they are necessary. Without unions, we’d all be walking logos for corporations, like the Tea Party.

3 responses so far

In the GOP World of Hate Perception Trumps Facts

Feb 28 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

What’s with all the hate?

The Republicans say they don’t hate anybody. They say liberals are the haters. But if you look at the record, if you look at the rhetoric, liberals are for most things. That’s one of the big arguments against them: moral relativism, permissive liberal society and so on. Exceptions tend to be violence (gun control, etc) or activities that impinge upon liberty, which we might expect from liberalism, which at its heart is, after all, not about small government or big government or even spending, but about liberty.

The Republicans on the other hand, as one might expect from conservatives, are against things, and not only against. The things they are against are not simply a matter of preferring one course over another. No, the things Republicans oppose are morally wrong. More than that, they are evil.

Republicans don’t do things by halves, and there are no shades of gray. It’s all very clearly black and white to them, either/or. That’s how they have come to see the world.

They have a long list of hates, and yes, these are hates. Republicans hate,

Marriage Equality (God hates homosexuals!)

Women’s Reproductive Rights (Abortion is against God’s will!)

Taxing the Rich (Class warfare!)

Immigrants (Criminals, disease carriers and  potential terrorists!)

Liberals (Liberalism is a disease, a religion!)

Atheism (It’s a sin to deny the existence of God!)

Science (You can’t put anything ahead of God and like liberalism, science is a religion!)

Peace (Anti-American! If you’re not for attacking other people then you’re for other people at tacking us!)

The list goes on and on.

So you see, Republican opposition to things cannot be couched in simple political terms, as in there are several possible courses of action here and we prefer this one. No, now all other choices are not less optimal choices and not even just wrong choices.

Every alternative to the Republican choice (we can safely call it dogma) has become not only anti-American but anti-God and the two have become synonymous.

They claim liberalism is a religion but the political party that is acting like a religion is the Republican Party.

And if there is only one true religion then there is only one true Political Party and the GOP has literally become “God’s Own Party.” This means that if you voice disagreement with that one “right” choice or the pundit or politician who voices it, you are a “hater.” We’ve all heard it: “Why do you hate Palin?” or “Why do you hate God?” or “Why do you hate Christianity?”

The idea that there can be a choice is purely secular thinking. It has no place in Christianity and never has. The word “heresy” is from the Greek “to choose.” You see where this puts choice on the moral scale. There can be none, not when an ultimate Capital-T Truth exists.

Debate is impossible because at the first sign of such disagreement from a liberal come the shouts of “hater!”

It is not they who are polarizing but President Obama. They call him the most polarizing president in American history. How can they say this? Because he won’t do what they say he must do. Remember, if there is an ultimate truth there can be no argument. Who would argue with God? President Obama is willing to compromise. He has shown this. But compromise is meaningless if there is only one right answer. Thus Obama unwittingly proves the rhetoric: he is not “one of us” – he is not American, he is not a Christian.

Of course, we know that it is not Obama at all; it is the Republicans who are polarizing. But they have crafted American discourse to favor their interpretation of the world.

You see, it’s not simply about hate; it’s about the perception of hate. It’s all about perceptions. We all know the old saying, that perception is reality. For all practical purposes this is true, and ironically the party of ultimate truths, the party that claims to scorn moral relativism is the party that understands this best, and embraces it. Republicans aren’t out to win arguments using facts and empirical evidence; they’re out to win arguments by changing perceptions.

And they’re doing it.

We’ve been fighting different wars: liberals have been fighting facts, Republicans with perceptions. And it is the Republicans who have been winning. Al Franken’s cry “You’re not entitled to your own facts” while it resonates with liberals is lost on conservatives. Of course we can have our own facts, they say.

They have painted a picture of reality that they believe and they want us to believe it too. By talking in their terms, we acquiesce.

  • They want to say “pro-life,” implying that anyone who disagrees with them is “pro-death” even though they are demonstrably not pro-life, unless life somehow means killing a mother;
  • It’s class warfare only when you make the rich pay taxes; it’s never class warfare to tax the Middle Class or the working poor. Why is it that the Republicans are the ones crying “class warfare!” It should be the liberals; they have more cause;
  • They want to say homosexual, not gay or lesbian;
  • They don’t like words like Marriage Equality or Women’s Reproductive Rights because they are too accurately descriptive of what’s actually taking place – an anti-constitutional restriction of civil rights;
  • They don’t say “creationism” anymore; they co-opt science by saying “creation science” even though science has nothing to do with it; and,
  • Sound science becomes “junk” science and un-sound science becomes “sound science”.

These are just a few examples but their intent should be clear by now. They need to couch their opposition in terms that by their very mention demonize the position they are opposing, as in Wisconsin, Indiana, and elsewhere, where their class warfare takes the form of “fiscal responsibility” – a neat euphemism for economic genocide. Never mind that there are many other ways of reducing the deficit, including making corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, or taxing churches, which today don’t even pretend to obey IRS regulations on political activities. Or we could cut spending on Faith-Based Initiatives. But the former is class warfare and the latter are attacks on Christianity.

They’ve packaged the terms of the debate very neatly, and in their favor.

Liberals need to break free of this carefully crafted Republican reality matrix. We cannot argue these issues using their preferred terms. This is not simply a battle for rights; it’s a battle for minds and it’s a battle we are losing. Words have meaning, and they have chosen their words very carefully.  The have crafted the discourse to paint liberals and liberal ideals, including the most important ideal of all, liberty, as evil, as opposed to God’s will and America. Their language enforces this perception. We have to break free of that paradigm; we have to refuse their reality. It’s not enough to simply ignore it; we must reshape it, using not facts, but language, because words have power and it is a source of power that remains largely untapped by liberals. We can’t afford to ignore it any longer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

41 responses so far

Late Night Snack: Wisconsin Police Show Solidarity – Video

Feb 27 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Late night snack tonight isn’t comedy – it’s better than that. This is from yesterday but if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth watching. These people are so inspiring. Today they sang the Star Spangled Banner and chanted “The People United Can Never Be Defeated!” “PEACEFUL PROTESTS!” and “The Whole World is Watching!”

Wisconsin Police Union Announces Solidarity with Occupation of State House and Show King Walker What It Means to Be a Brave American (hint: that doesn’t involve koch sucking):

Some rally pics just ‘cuz I like ‘em:


One response so far

Anonymous Joins The Wisconsin Protests By Taking Out Americans For Prosperity

Feb 27 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

The cyber protest group Anonymous has joined the protesters of Wisconsin and Americans all across this country in the battle against what they described as the “Koch brothers attempt usurp democracy.” The opening salvo in Anon’s OpWisconsin occurred today when the Koch brothers funded Americans for Prosperity was knocked offline in an attempt to take a small slice of the Internet back from the liberty stealing propagandists.

In a press release Anonymous put the Koch brothers on notice, “It has come to our attention that the brothers, David and Charles Koch–the billionaire owners of Koch Industries–have long attempted to usurp American Democracy. Their actions to undermine the legitimate political process in Wisconsin are the final straw. Starting today we fight back.”

They continued, “Koch Industries, and oligarchs like them, have most recently started to manipulate the political agenda in Wisconsin. Governor Walker’s union-busting budget plan contains a clause that went nearly un-noticed. This clause would allow the sale of publicly owned utility plants in Wisconsin to private parties (specifically, Koch Industries) at any price, no matter how low, without a public bidding process. The Koch’s have helped to fuel the unrest in Wisconsin and the drive behind the bill to eliminate the collective bargaining power of unions in a bid to gain a monopoly over the state’s power supplies.”

Anonymous made their support for the Wisconsin patriots clear, and called for a boycott of Koch Industries products, “Anonymous hears the voice of the downtrodden American people, whose rights and liberties are being systematically removed one by one, even when their own government refuses to listen or worse – is complicit in these attacks. We are actively seeking vulnerabilities, but in the mean time we are calling for all supporters of true Democracy, and Freedom of The People, to boycott all Koch Industries’ paper products. We welcome unions across the globe to join us in this boycott to show that you will not allow big business to dictate your freedom.”

The members of Anonymous are highly intelligent and some of the most technically sophisticated people on the planet, so when they put out a press release telling anyone that they are coming after them, you’d best batten down the hatches and get your house in order, because a whole lot of cyber pain is heading in your direction.

It appears to have taken Anonymous a matter of minutes to find the vulnerability in the website for the Koch brothers’ AstroTurf front group Americans For Prosperity, because the site was knocked down with a DDOS attack. I would think that whoever the webmaster is for Americans For Prosperity would have at least tried to make it a challenge for Anonymous to knock them down, but the power of the grassroots and the individual yearning for freedom was too strong for even the money of the Koch brothers to be able to stop.

Anonymous is helping to lend voice and cyber muscle to those who have been silenced by our democracy for sale to the highest bidder political system. What started in Madison, Wisconsin as a protest among public sector employees has spread to protests across the country. Now the battle has moved to the Internet. The Koch brothers and Gov. Scott Walker have unleashed a powerful force that won’t be denied.

Anonymous has fired their opening shot and just like the Wisconsin protesters their cries in the name of freedom will be heard. They can’t be silenced. They won’t be denied.

116 responses so far

Crosshairs Trigger Restraining Order For Devout Sarah Palin Disciple

Feb 27 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

The Ugly Underbelly of Sarah Palin

Judge Issues Restraining Order Against Christian Palin Fan Who Threatened with “Crosshairs”

You may have been wondering just how Sarah Palin has the people of Alaska shriveled in fear. Well, this story shines a light on the underworld of the Palin cult who’ve been terrorizing citizens for years and no, that’s not hyperbole. A court in Anchorage Alaska recently issued a restraining order against Clare Goodchild, a devout Palin fan, who threatened Andree McLeod, a government watchdog. Goodchild threatened McLeod in a January post of the Anchorage Craigslist writing, “So I have my scope cross hair on her head! She better watch out, the request may have been her last!”

Anchorage Christian conservative and huge Palin fan Clare Goodchild has been slapped with a 6 month restraining order after threatening the filer of multiple ethics violation charges, Andree McLeod. Just days before the Arizona massacre Clare Goodchild wrote:

“I find it very offensive that Andre Mclead (sic) is asking the state for every e-mail written or received in ANY account maintained by Palin and her husband,” Goodchild said in the e-mail to the Daily News, signing it only as “Clare.”

“Where does this b*tch get off thinking the public should shell out for her revenge for the Palin family. I’ve heard enough from this, and I would like to use stronger words to express my feeling for Andre (sic). Well… I think Andre (sic) has used up to (sic) much oxygen. So I have my scope cross hair on her head! She better watch out, the request may have been her last!”

This same woman has the following quote on her MySpace page: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Gosh, this sounds sweet until we recall that Palin’s religion is the warrior for Jesus religion; the one where they teach children to be willing to die for Jesus and fight for Jesus as they worship a cardboard cut out of George W Bush and talk about holy wars. How far does this notion of fighting for Jesus go and just who is their new cardboard cut out?

In emails exchanged with The Anchorage Daily News Goodchild claims, “I am a conservative, grew up in a spiritual home, going to church several times a week,” the e-mail writer said in a subsequent message. “Hunting was a way of life for my parents, and I have continued in that tradition. I can identify with the Palin’s.”
She described herself as “far from perfect, but I know I have honesty and integrity.”

See, Clare believes Sarah Palin’s narrative that the ethics violations complaints were all frivolous and cost the state so much money that Palin decided to step down. Clare is identifying with Palin on a very personal level. She saw Palin attacked and it’s like her way of life being attacked, a notion Palin stokes at every opportunity.

In point of fact, while some of the complaints may appear frivolous, when viewed in totality they establish that Sarah Palin did indeed misuse her office and did indeed suffer from some major ethics problems. What Palin sold to her flock that she was exonerated of all of them, but this isn’t true. Several of the ethics violations were settled by Palin paying the state back, which implies guilt. Palin was also found guilty of violating state ethics laws in Troopergate by the bipartisan panel, but she claimed she was, “glad to be cleared of any wrong doing there”. This was blatantly untrue.

Goodchild acknowledged to the ADN that “…her first e-mail was a threat against McLeod. She did nothing to withdraw it. “Yes, I know I made threats. I really hate that women (sic),” she wrote.”

Clare believes Sarah Palin is being persecuted because the media never bothers to correct Palin’s narratives. If you believed that someone who was “just like you” was being relentlessly persecuted, and you were raised to be a warrior for Christ, and you thought Palin was Queen Esther (a narrative Palin has pushed herself) here to save America from the anti-Christ, you might also be driven to such rage.

If the crosshairs reference gave you chills post Arizona massacre, you won’t be comforted knowing that this threat came just days before that horrific tragedy. And the faxes taken from Jared Loughner’s (the alleged shooter) home so closely resembled the verbiage of the threats made by Palin disciples against State Senator Yee (D-CA) that Yee was contacted by Pima, Arizona Sheriffs who are investigating the massacre in Arizona. The sheriffs felt the faxed death threats Senator Yee received from Palin fans last year were similar to faxes in the Arizona massacre case.

Yet still the media clings to the narrative that the right wing hate mongers like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck don’t incite violence. But the facts of this story shine light on the previously missing link between the violence and the blind rage, providing insight into the mental workings of a Palin fan, someone who believes Palin’s story of victimization and is naturally outraged. Someone who believes Palin is being tortured for being a Christian, not because she violated ethics laws. The words of Sarah Palin and the narrative that Palin sells was bought and internalized until Clare Goodchild became enraged enough to write that she wanted to make sure Andree McLeod didn’t take up any more “oxygen”.

The actions of Goodchild demonstrate that words do matter. Even seemingly innocent words matter. Narratives matter. Unchallenged narratives matter. And they can and do lead to violence.

No one stirs up the Christian conservative violence like Sarah. Remember, this is the woman who turned the Arizona massacre into a feeling that she had been “blood libeled” by the press when they called attention to the fact that Palin had placed cross hairs over shooting victim Gabby Gifford’s name in a graphic. See, Palin thought she was the victim, not the shooting victims.

Yes, indeed, Sarah Palin has a unique ability to galvanize her loyal fans into taking vindictive, cruel action against her perceived foes. This talent is exacerbated by Palin’s Nixonian ability to see enemies everywhere. During Palin’s tenure, she wasn’t averse to using the power of her office to go on vendettas against citizens. She allegedly spent much more time settling personal scores and imagined slights than actually governing. Troopergate was an example of one of Palin’s longest lasting vendettas, during which she and her husband Todd spent countless hours and state resources in an obsessive attempt to get an ex-brother-in-law fired. Palin even set her administration on personal vendettas, effectively using the state’s resources for personal gain.

The ADN reported, “Goodchild said in court that she and her husband own four guns. Ray ordered her to stay more than 500 feet from McLeod’s home and directed her to not confront, stalk or contact McLeod.”

The court issues a restraining order but did not revoke Goodchild’s gun privileges. The restraining order is for 500 feet. What kinds of guns does Goodchild own? 500 feet won’t protect McLeod against a gun. This is an eerie example of how our gun laws and restraining order laws often fail us. Let’s hope in this case Goodchild regretted her actions, but since she engaged in emails with the ADN days after her original threat and was still full of self-professed hate, I can’t find a lot of comfort here.

These are Christians who speak in tongues, dedicate states to God in an ode to holy wars, hold Machiavellian beliefs and implement Old Testament vindictiveness and vendettas. They cuss publicly without shame, name call, take animal life without regret or honor, and believe they are in the right no matter what the facts dictate. They are not mainstream Christians and the anger and rage that propels them is foreign to many who grew up in a mainstream Christian religion.

The ingredients for tragedy are all here: Guns, self-anointed martyr, a lazy media, irresponsible stalking laws, wide open gun laws, mindless followers who question nothing and one charismatic leader with supposed divine authority who can sell a dangerous lie with a sunny smile. Goodchild claims she’s a Christian conservative who goes to church several times a week and has integrity. Her vile threats against another citizen have yet to be condemned by Sarah Palin.

Let’s hope Goodchild gets the help she needs and that McLeod is safe to pursue her constitutionally protected right to challenge her own government.

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Top 10 Ways to Get MSM to Attend Your U.S. Political Protest

Feb 27 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

You send out invitations, you cross-check the date against other events, but even with careful planning, you can’t always be sure that the fickle media will consider your event worthy. Take this weekend.  Thousands of people protested with Wisconsin public employees in state capitals across the country, yet the mainstream media stood us up.  Gosh, what to do? How can you make sure your special event is just as special to the media?

I’m here to tell you:

10. Two words: bathing suits! Sure it’s 15 degrees, but that is why it will stand out!  The media loves showing skin and may even show a sign or two. Basic rule of fashion still applies, if you did bikini/speedo protests the first time around (in the 60s and 70s) let the younger generation do it this time.

9. Invite a media darling to attend! For example, try to time your rally for when Lindsay Lohan is out on bail. Or reconvene the rally at the courthouse on her hearing day.

8. Spread rumors that someone famous is going to try to elope under the media radar at a secret location–where your rally happens to be!  Reese Witherspoon’s secret wedding would attract their attention for sure!

7. Make the U.S. media jealous by showing attention to exotic foreigners like BBC and Al-Jazeera!

6. Move the rally to another country!  The media went to Egypt in droves to cover their protests. Perhaps by crossing the border and sending the same message from Canada and Mexico, we’ll be more newsworthy.

5. Hold rallies at pro and college basketball games! With no football and baseball this time of year, basketball is the sport of choice for many an uninformed voter.  Ok, and hockey.

4. Wait until next month and call it March Madness!

3. Make the protesters carry their sign through a course involving big inflated obstacles and pools of water like they do on reality TV shows!  That’s entertainment!

2. Tie it in with something the media already cover, like the Oscars.  No, seriously, this is a good idea.  Just make noise, sing On Wisconsin, whatever. They can avoid showing you on camera, but they can’t avoid your noise unless they avoid the red carpet.  Movie people are unionized–they get it. They might even talk about it on stage. Also, the Oscars show has a worldwide audience, and if the US media won’t cover our protesters, other countries will.

1. Call it a Tea Party protest

*These are the top 10 ways without breaking any laws or getting sued. Because that would really open up the possibilities.

Image: UFCW Local 400

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