January 25, 2010

The Punk Patriot's Interview for Current.com's US Politics

The Punk Patriot's Interview for Current.com's US Politics I don't have a computer nor a video camera of my own, and it's a pain in the ass to produce this show. Please drop a donation and help me work towards being able to produce this show on a regular basis.
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January 21, 2010

Corporate Coup D'etat today

More on the Corporate Coup D'etat today. Gary Ruskin talks about the implications of the Supreme Court's ruling on Citizens United V FEC.

Public Citizen has a Petition you should fill out, calling for a Constitutional Amendment that would make it clear that Corporations are NOT PEOPLE.

Stupid Christians missing the point in Haiti

I heard on NPR the other day, and saw here in Reuters that there is a missionary group sending "aid" to Haiti in the form of Solar Powered Audio Bibles.

These are solar powered stereo systems that blast high decibel readings of the gospel in Haitian Creole.

From the Reuters article:
The Albuquerque-based organization said it was responding to the Haitian crisis by "providing faith, hope and love through God's Word in audio."

Look, I'm ostensibly a Christian and I think that this is complete and utter bullshit.

Why don't they save the money they spent on their fancy loudspeakers, and DO the things the bible commands them to do, like provide food to the hungry, water to the thirsty, and shelter to the homeless?

The Haitian people are suffering from things like lack of food, water, and medical supplies.

Something that they are not suffering from is a lack of high volume bible verses being blared at them out of a solar powered boom box.

But as soon as these audio bibles get there, they can add "having biblical verses yelled at them by an electronic box" to that list.

January 20, 2010

Not surprised AT ALL by Coakley v Brown

the Punk Patriot

Coakley lost.

And she should have lost too.
She had absolutely no grasp of retail politics whatsoever. She seemed to be relying on the fact that the Massachusetts Democratic party is a 500 pound gorilla that wins everything ever, and that this fact alone would sweep her right into office, without any regard for campaigning.

Coakley overlooked a simple fact of politics. It's the voters that put you into office. Your votes aren't granted to you, you have to EARN them.

This is a fact that the Democratic party seems incapable of learning, over and over and over again.

In fact, the Democratic party is SO adverse to learning this lesson, that they come up with excuses left and right to avoid facing this simple truth.

They are so convinced that 51% of the votes are already theirs that when they run a terrible campaign and lose, they quickly scan the scene for somebody else to blame. They blame Nader. They blame the Green Party. They blame the weather. They even blame the voters. It's not the voters' fault that you lose elections. Its your own fault, for not earning their vote.

Now the talking heads are all saying that this race is going to change the results of the 2012 election, because if the healthcare bill fails, then Obama will be a failure, and the voters won't re-elect him.

WRONG. I've taken a course in statistical analysis, and the cardinal rule of statistical analysis is that "correlation does not determine cause and effect."

If Obama loses in 2012, it's not going to be because of this one race. This one race is maybe, possibly, perhaps, an indicator of the national political climate. Maybe. Or maybe it's just that Coakley was such a terrible candidate that Democrats couldn't stomach voting for her, and just stayed home.

Let's say that it is an indicator though. Am I really supposed to be upset that the corporate give-away that is the current healthcare bill is going to fail? And why can't the Democrats pass a bill, when they have a larger majority in the Senate than the Republicans have had in the past 23 years?

Why was it that George W Bush was able to ram anything he asked for through congress? Was it because the Republicans had a marginal majority? Or was it because the majority of Democrats in Congress voted along with George W Bush? Was it because George W Bush was a more effective president? Or was it because the Democratic leadership offered absolutely NO meaningful opposition?

Let's say that Obama DOES lose in 2012. If he does indeed lose, he's likely going to lose not because of the healthcare bill passing or failing.

He's going to lose because the healthcare bill that came out of the Senate was a corrupt bill that forced consumers by Federal law to purchase a financial product from a private, for-profit enterprise or be subjected to thousands of dollars in fines.

He's going to lose because he spoke about ending the war, and not only continued the two we had, but started two more-- one in Pakistan, and one in Yemen.

He's going to lose because he promised healthcare reform, and allowed the Congress to give us corporate welfare for the insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

He's going to fail, not because congress fails to pass a bill, but because he failed to spend the political capital he had after the 2008 election. He could have done as FDR did, and asked the voters, who had just swept him into office, and were ripe with enthusiasm, to give him a Congress that would create sweeping reform. Be he didn't. He's going to be a failure because he didn't ask congress for the sweeping kind of reform that the voters who put him into office wanted.

He must have been too busy picking out his new dog. You know, important stuff.

This all goes back to the lesson that the Democrats continually fail to learn. You have to EARN our votes. Maybe if your party could produce something that wasn't a compromised corporate give-away for once, if your party could stop complaining about Republican policies while voting for them, maybe, just maybe, you could earn the respect of the voters.

January 18, 2010

MLK's FBI Files May Soon See Daylight

From Discovery.com

On Monday, Jan. 18, 2010, the United States will commemorate the achievements of civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King, Jr.

While today we look at King with great respect and admiration, any student of history will know that this wasn't always the case.

King's efforts to end racial discrimination were seen as a threat by segregationists, white supremacists and even the government of the United States.

For years, King was under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for allegedly having connections to Communists -- a charge King repeatedly denied. The FBI even set up a task force, labeling King the "most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country." For J. Edgar Hoover, then the director of the FBI, King was almost an obsession.

Although the investigation turned up almost no evidence that King had any association at all with Communists, embarrassing details about King's sex life were uncovered, which would later be used against him.

While some of the documents related to the King investigation have been released (found here), there are still aspects of the case that have been kept out of the public eye. Out of the more than 16,000 pages tied to the investigation, a little over 200 are available to the public. The wiretap transcripts themselves remain sealed.

Today, USA Today reported on efforts being spearheaded by Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, among others, to have full contents of the investigation made available to the public.

More from USA Today on the legislation that Kerry is proposing:

The bill calls for creating a Martin Luther King Records Collection at the National Archives that would include all government records related to King. The bill also would create a five-member independent review board that would identify and make public all documents from agencies including the FBI.

[ Read the full article here ]

January 16, 2010

Why the US Economy is Insane

by The Punk Patriot

I saw on yahoo's homepage one of those innocuous articles about current news.

Today, it was "4 dangers that could wreck the US Economy" Here's the article.

The basic gist is that there are four things which could send us back into a recession once again, and they are as follows:

1) Housing Tanks All Over Again
2) Stocks Crash
3) There's a US Debt Crisis
and my favourite:
4) Consumers Become Rational

Yup! So here's the situation-- if consumers don't continue to spend beyond their means, and go into debt, (which of course, will inevitably lead to disaster scenario #3, which would lead to crisis #1, which would lead to crisis #2) then the economy will tank.

So here's how the economy currently works:
Since we don't make anything and are a consumer based economy, consumers don't have wages from creating value in the economy, so they go into debt to do things like eat or keep a roof over their head.

Since the reason they took out the loans is that they don't make enough to eat and keep a roof over their head, they default on the loans they took out to eat.

Then the banks all fail because they didn't make enough money on the loans, so they Lobby Congress to get the taxpayers' dollars to bail them out.


What's great is that this article totally ignores the cognitive dissonance present within just a few paragraphs, in one they tell you to save money, in case the market crashes. Then two paragraphs later, they say that consumers saving their money will cause the market to crash. And that is Capitalism in America today.

photo credit: WeAreCitizenRadio.org

January 15, 2010


Mortality: We're all gonna die

Realizing that death is immanent can allow one to be more liberated and kind. Small disputes seem pointless in light of the fact that we only have limited time on this earth together. Remind your friends and neighbors to enjoy their blip in time with this simple message.

Printed on Anvil Recycled t-shirts.
Available in lots of colors of ink on lots of colors of shirt.
Sizes S, M, L, & XL

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Obama Administration's first outright and total lie:

The Transportation Security Administration, under scrutiny after last month’s bombing attempt, has on its Web site, a false “mythbuster” to reassure the public.

From the New York Times

Myth: The No-Fly list includes an 8-year-old boy.

Buster: No 8-year-old is on a T.S.A. watch list.

“Meet Mikey Hicks,” said Najlah Feanny Hicks, introducing her 8-year-old son, a New Jersey Cub Scout and frequent traveler who has seldom boarded a plane without a hassle because he shares the name of a suspicious person. “It’s not a myth.”

Michael Winston Hicks’s mother initially sensed trouble when he was a baby and she could not get a seat for him on their flight to Florida at an airport kiosk; airline officials explained that his name “was on the list,” she recalled.

The first time he was patted down, at Newark Liberty International Airport, Mikey was 2. He cried.

After years of long delays and waits for supervisors at every airport ticket counter, this year’s vacation to the Bahamas badly shook up the family. Mikey was frisked on the way there, then more aggressively on the way home.

“Up your arms, down your arms, up your crotch — someone is patting your 8-year-old down like he’s a criminal,” Mrs. Hicks recounted. “A terrorist can blow his underwear up and they don’t catch him. But my 8-year-old can’t walk through security without being frisked.”

It is true that Mikey is not on the federal government’s “no-fly” list, which includes about 2,500 people, less than 10 percent of them from the United States. But his name appears to be among some 13,500 on the larger “selectee” list, which sets off a high level of security screening.

At some point, someone named Michael Hicks made the Department of Homeland Security suspicious, and little Mikey is still paying the price. (His father, also named Michael Hicks, was stopped for the first time on the Bahamas trip.)

Both lists are maintained by the Terrorist Screening Center, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They are given to the Transportation Security Administration, which in turn sends them to the airlines.

A spokesman for the T.S.A., James Fotenos, said that as a rule, “there are no children on the no-fly or selectee lists,” but would not comment on Mikey’s situation specifically.

[Read the full article]
[read a more in depth article on the same subject by Allison Kilkenny over at TrueSlant]

PunkPatriot says: Also, the USA has never tortured prisoners...

Matt Taibbi & RFK Jr on Obama's Sellout to Wall Street

January 11, 2010

We lost Habeas Corpus again... or did we ever get it back?

A Horrendous Decision on Habeas Corpus

From The Progressive

...the D.C. Circuit Court undercut that “meaningful opportunity” by ruling ruled that a detainee has to show by a “preponderance of evidence” that he is being wrongly held, instead of the usual “reasonable doubt.”

To put that in plain English, you're guilty until proven innocent. Read the rest of the article here.

January 8, 2010

Calvin Trillan's Thrillin' Prediction

Moment of Zen - Calvin Trillin's Prediction
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lil Floaty Dude t-shirt desgin now printed on American Apparel, made in the USA

Those of you who loved the old lil' floaty dude design now have three more reasons to love it!

New and Improved design!

Now Printed on American Apparel, Made in the USA!


ALSO: Now Silkscreened for higher quality, longer lasting image!

January 7, 2010

Past Etsy Customers: You're eligible for a huge deal!

If you take a photo of your shirt in a location that's unique to your region of the world, and either upload it to my etsy site using the fanlove feature, or send a copy of that image to the Official Punk Patriot email address, you are eligible for 50% off your next shirt!

So what are you waiting for? Get out, grab that camera, take some photos, and get 50% the price of your next shirt!

Email me and let me know you've uploaded the photo, and I'll make up an invoice for you.

January 6, 2010

CIA bombs the CIA

from the BBC

SPY vs SPY vs SPY: CIA bomber was a CIA agent

The suicide bomber who killed seven CIA agents in Afghanistan was an al-Qaeda double agent, US media reports say.

He is said to have been a doctor from Jordan, arrested there a year ago.

He was then reportedly recruited by the Jordanians and CIA, who wrongly thought they had turned him, and given a mission to find al-Qaeda leaders.

The reports came as the top US military intelligence officer in Afghanistan issued a scathing assessment of the state of the intelligence effort there.

In a report, Maj Gen Michael Flynn said that US intelligence in Afghanistan was still "unable to answer fundamental questions about the environment in which US and allied forces operate and the people they are trying to protect and persuade".

The study, published by the think tank Center for a New American Security, cites one officer's remarks that the US was "clueless" due to its lack of useful intelligence about the country.

However the report's findings were rejected by Mike Hurley, a former member of the US 9/11 commission and a former CIA chief in Afghanistan.

He told the BBC: "Nowhere in the report does the group... suggest that there is not a significant role for intelligence to play in finding and fixing and finishing off enemy leaders in Afghanistan. That's precisely their job, that's what they're trying to do."

Changing sides

The attack at Forward Operating Base Chapman was the worst against US intelligence officials since the US embassy in Beirut was bombed in 1983.

The Washington Post quoted two former US government officials as saying that the alleged attacker had lured the CIA officers into a meeting with a promise of new information on al-Qaeda's top leadership.

The reports named him as Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a 36-year-old al-Qaeda sympathiser from Zarqa, Jordan, arrested by Jordanian intelligence over a year ago.

His specific mission was thought to be tracking down al-Qaeda's number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The CIA has declined to comment on the reports.

Jordanian intelligence believed they had brought Humam al-Balawi over to their side and sent him to Afghanistan to infiltrate al-Qaeda, US network NBC says.

According to Western intelligence officials quoted in the reports, Humam al-Balawi called his handlers last week to arrange a meeting at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost, where he said he would relay urgent information about Zawahiri.

Once inside the base, the reports say, he blew himself up killing seven CIA employees and his handler, whom Jordanian media have named as Ali bin Zeid.

Questions were raised after the bomb was detonated in the base's gym last week about how the attacker could have managed to pass through security.

The Washington Post says he was picked up in a car outside the base and driven in without being thoroughly searched.

A US official, also a former CIA employee, told the Associated Press news agency that such people were often not required to go through full security checks, in order to help gain their trust.

"When you're trying to build a rapport and literally ask them to risk [their lives] for you, you've got a lot to do to build their trust," he said.