We've long considered Jill Stein, presidential candidate of the Green Party, too inconsequential to be worth calling out. But we are seeing her stuff being promoted more and more—particularly her calls for Bernie Sanders to ditch the Democrats if (when) he doesn't get the nomination and run with the Greens. See, for instance, the pathetically gushing interview with her on Democracy Now. We doubt Bernie would be so monstrously reckless as to split the anti-Pendejo vote, fortunately. But leave it to Democracy Now's pusillanimous Amy Goodman to not throw Stein a single hard-ball—either about the wisdom of tempting a Pendejo presidency, or about the Green candidate's atrocious politics. Stein is getting this kind of free ride everywhere. Check out this glowing account on AlterNet about Jill's defense of anti-pipeline actvists protesting outside the home of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman. This from the woman whose party is practically a stateside propaganda organ of the Bashar Assad regime, which has serially massacred protesters and is now escalating to genocide against the Syrian people.
Here we go again. Omar Mateen, named as the shooter in the Orlando massacre of at least 50 at a gay nightclub, is said to have made a 911 call before the attack, in which he pledged allegiance to ISIS and invoked the Boston Marathon bombers. (CNN) Amaq News Agency, the ISIS media arm, issued a statement saying the attack "was carried out by an Islamic State fighter." (Heavy) The ISIS statement is doubtless mere opportunism, simply claiming Mateen because he had declared for them, thereby becoming a one-man franchise. But there's more. A bizarre Washington Post story tells us that Mateen's father is a vocal supporter of the Taliban and "appears to be portraying himself as the president of Afghanistan"...
A former member of the Black Panthers was released from prison on Feb. 19 after having spent a record 43 years in solitary confinement. Albert Woodfox had been held in solitary confinement since 1972 after being charged and convicted of fatally stabbing a prison guard. Authorities first moved Woodfox to isolation in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola and later to "closed-cell restriction" at state jails. In June a federal judge ordered that Woodfox be unconditionally released, which included strong language barring any further trials on the original charges of murdering prison guard Brent Miller. He was able to be released after striking a deal in which he plead "no contest" to two lesser charges.
As officers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a new wave of deportations of Central American migrants who entered the US illegally over the past two years, protests against the government action were carried out across the country. Dozensoccupied the intersection outside the Immigration Court on Varick Street in Lower Manhattan on Jan. 8, with seven arrested. An action was also held outside the West County Detention facility in Richmond, Calif., days earlier. At the close of the Jan. 2-3 weekend, 121 adults and children had been taken into custody in Georgia, Texas and North Carolina, according to Jeh Johnson, head of the Homeland Security Department, who warned of thousands more to be deported within the next weeks because they have exhausted their legal appeals. Johnson added that the number of people trying to cross the border illegally has begun to climb again in recent months—despite just over than 330,000 migrants having been apprehended in 2015, the second-lowest number in more than four decades.
A group of self-styled "militiamen" made headlines over the weekend when they took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters building in eastern Oregon's Harney Basin. They are evidently led by Ammon Bundy, son of Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher known for his 2014 standoff with the federal government (over unpaid grazing fees to the Bureau of Land Management). They say they are acting on behalf of Dwight and Steven Hammond, father and son of a local ranching family, who were sentenced to five years in prison for setting a fire on BLM land after the Ninth Circuit upheld the mandatory minimum for arson on federal lands. By various accounts, the fire was ostensibly set to clear invasive plants, or as a "backfire" (or "controlled burn") to keep a brush-fire from spreading to their property. But the Justice Department press release on the sentencing portrays a reckless act intentionally designed as a provocation to the feds. In any case, the Hammonds don't seem too enthusiastic about the action taken on their behalf. The right-wing militant Idaho 3 Percent was instrumental in the take-over, according to an early account on Central Oregon's KTVZ.
OK, here we go. Get ready for the tiresome semantic debate about whether the San Bernardino massacre was "terrorism," or not. As if that's the most important question we should be grappling with.... Was this yet another random "mass-shooting" motivated by some personal grudge and rooted in America's homegrown culture of vigilantism and personal revenge? (This kind of thing is so commonplace that the same day's shoot-up in Savannah, Ga., barely made the news because only four people were shot, one fatally, the WaPo says.) Or was it inspired or even directed by an extremist political tendency of one stripe or another? This question is pathologically politicized...
The response to the latest campus shoot-up is depressingly predictable, and it gets worse each time. Just heard some talking head on NPR (he's also been on Michigan's WPBN and Illinois' KHQA) intoning the "If You See Something, Say Something" mantra—this time regarding human beings exhibiting suspect behavior. So now it doesn't just apply to mysterious packages left unattended on subway platforms, but to people who seem "weird" or "off" or "loners" or "maladjusted" or "mentally ill" (all problematic labels). Rat-out culture is being extended and institutionalized, while the Gun Lobby makes it impossible to address the ubiquity of the instruments of death used in these routine massacres. (This latest punk had an AR-15 and five handguns.) So (count on it) within a year or two (maybe less), there will be round-ups and pre-emptive arrests of the socially awkward, the introverted, Asperger's diagnosees, etc... and you will still be able to walk into a gun show, slap down your money and walk out with an AR-15, no questions asked. So spare us your 100% bogus talk about "freedom," gun-fetishists.
The US Department of Justice and county officials in Phoenix on July 15 agreed to settle parts of a discrimination lawsuit filed against the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in 2012. The DoJ filed charges against the Sheriff's Office for discriminatory practices in traffic stops, work and home raids, and in county jails, as well as claims of retaliation. The settlementreached with the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors did not address the allegation that Sheriff Joe Arpaio's agency racially profiled Latinos when making traffic stops in their effort to prevent illegal immigration. Supervisor Steve Gallardo said the settlement is in the best interest of saving tax-payer's money by avoiding an expensive trial. The remaining issue will proceed to a scheduled Aug. 10 trial in the US District Court for the District of Arizona.