Saturday, February 27, 2021

CoIntelPro Has Risen From the Grave, Addendum: Ingratitude


Does anybody remember the name of Andrea Dworkin?  Or the National Organization for Women?  No?  Well, it's not surprising.  They were both targets of a brilliant provocateering campaign in the 1970s, and the downfall of both should serve as a grim warning to all grassroots reform movements today.

The National Organization for Women (NOW) was founded in 1966, primarily by feminist writer Betty Friedan, and grew to become the largest and most powerful women's rights reform group in the country.  At the height of its power, in 1972, it managed to get the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution passed by Congress -- but not ratified by three-fourths of the states.  There was a deadline to collect those ratifications: March 1979, later extended to June 30, 1982.  

Andrea Dworkin, on the other hand, was a hysterical, deliberately ugly, man-hating feminist writer who changed her stories about her past to suit her audience.  She bummed around the campus radical community until graduation, then bummed around Europe writing for assorted "art and literature" magazines which didn't pay her enough to live on.  In 1971, broke and fleeing from her (she claimed) abusive ex-husband, she met a man who asked her to smuggle a briefcase full of heroin into the US, in exchange for $1000 and a plane ticket.  When the deal fell through, the mysterious man paid for her ticket home anyway.  

Once back in the US she wrote extensively on the theme that all heterosexual sex is rape, pornography is rape, "men must give up their precious erections",  and women should create a homeland of their own.  She began getting paid for her writings -- usually by newly-created counter-cultural magazines,  and then for her public speeches -- usually to feminist groups.  Mainstream news publications widely advertised her as a feminist celebrity -- associated with NOW.  

The association did not do NOW, or the ERA, any good.  Opposition to the ERA grew faster than support, and had more backers than just the shrill reactionary Phyllis Schlafly -- Dworkin's right-wing mirror image, likewise well funded.  Over the next seven years, states which originally ratified the ERA voted to withdraw their ratifications, thus causing a nice Constitutional argument over whether a state could withdraw its vote or not.  Support for the Amendment, and for NOW, in the labor movement soon fractured.  Despite Congress voting to extend the ratification deadline to 1982, no other states voted for the amendment, and eventually it stalled to immobility, where it stays to this day.  NOW had to concentrate its efforts on protecting abortion rights, and its membership dwindled as various local lawsuits ensured women's economic and workplace rights, thus removing much of its reason to exist.  By 1983 the organization was no longer a major player in American politics.  

Curiously, or perhaps not, around 1983 most of those magazines, publishers, and feminist organizations which had paid for Dworkin's work went out of business or lost funding -- and since she had no other career except as a feminist author and speaker, her income dwindled likewise.  So did her public influence.  She spent her last years in poor health -- largely due to her overweight problems -- making unsubstantiated rape accusations, trying to get her writings published, and wondering where all her support had gone.  The real question is where that paying support came from in the first place.

Looking back, it becomes clear that Dworkin was deliberately chosen and cultivated by Persons Unknown -- though we can make guesses -- to be a spoiler for the ERA, NOW, and the whole unified Women's Movement.  Once the ERA was effectively dead and NOW thoroughly de-fanged, Dworkin had served her purpose -- and her shadow backers cut off the money and left her to sink.  It's also clear that Dworkin herself never had a clue that she was being manipulated.

The parallels today are more complicated.  On the "left" side, Black Lives Matter and Antifa have been coddled and nourished publicly by Democrat politicians and the mainstream media -- and privately by wealthy corporate philanthropists.  Meanwhile the long-dying "far right", which had been kept on life-support by FBI undercover agents, has been inflated over the past four years by the same politicians and media -- but different philanthropists -- to look like "an existential threat to democracy".  The obvious purpose of both them was to get rid of President Trump: the AtifaBLM wing by threat of riots, and the "right" wing by playing Dworkin to Trump's supporters, making them look bad by association.  

Now that Trump is out of office and Biden is in, both gangs of spoilers have outlived their usefulness -- and can expect to be dumped as Dworkin was.  Already the mainstream media are happily reporting that the DC police and the FBI have shifted blame for the January 6th Capitol break-in on "a small fringe-group of extremists" -- further narrowed down, just this past week, to QAnon in general and some 200 individual members (including the iconic Buffalo Shaman) who have been arrested and charged.  Given what QAnon is, we can expect to see the whole membership (minus the FBI undercover agents, who will quietly disappear) thrown under the bus.  Given the media attention now being sprayed on the hapless Proud Boys, they'll probably be next.  The Boogaloo Bois will probably just fade out of all media mention, at least until the FBI needs a spoiler again.  

What's more troubling is the government's -- and the media's -- continued attention to the Oathkeepers.  Originally a group of military and police veterans of a medium-Conservative bent, with a fierce devotion to the Constitution, they should have posed no reasonable threat to the government.  The report in the media that members of the Oathkeepers "were seen" inside the Capitol during the breach should be taken with a grain of salt;  the story hasn't been confirmed, and even if it's true, the known Oathkeepers could have been among the 200 or so protesters who were let in by the police and led peaceably through the building.  Precisely why should the DC police and FBI consider the Oathkeepers suspect?  

Possibly it's because the Oathkeepers also have a firm policy of refusing to obey or enforce any "unconstitutional order".  Several of Biden's numerous Executive Orders push hard on the borders of constitutionality.  Also, the group has a history of voting overwhelmingly Republican, and the new administration has displayed a downright paranoid attitude toward former Trump voters.  

Even more disturbing is Biden's directive to the military to "examine" its personnel for "tendencies toward White Supremacism".  This goes beyond suspicion of Republican voters and hints of a Stalinoid purge.  I can't imagine the military taking kindly to such treatment.

That still leaves the left-wing spoilers, Antifa and BLM.  The fact that BLM activist John Sullivan was videotaped leading the attack on the inner doors of the Capitol would seem to give the Democrats all the ammunition they need to withdraw their previous support.  BLM's open letter, saying effectively "You owe us, Whitey" to Biden, would certainly have provided motive.  So far we've seen no response, but I don't doubt that the abandonment is coming.  The citizens are annoyed at Big Tech's overreach by censorship, there's a growing pushback against the Left's touted Critical Race Theory, assorted powerful Democrats are beginning to fight among themselves, and more riots would only prove disastrous. Antifa and BLM have outlived their usefulness, and history has shown that government bureaucracies are not famous for gratitude.

To anyone currently a member of Antifa or BLM, I'd strongly advise you to save and invest any money you've been given so far.  Go back to school and gain skills in subjects more sellable than race, gender, and oppression studies.  Prepare your lifeboats now, because you definitely will be cast loose.

--Leslie <;)))><                               


Monday, February 15, 2021

CoIntelPro Has Risen From The Grave, Part II


First, save this URL:      

This is most likely the reason that Parler was driven off all the major Internet platforms.  Quite simply, it's a cache of videos taken -- usually with their cell-phones -- by the civilians, not the media, who were at the Trump speech and the Capitol on January 6th.  There are hundreds of them, arranged in timeline order, at three different sites: the Ellipse during Trump's speech and the 1.2 mile march afterward, outside the Capitol building, and inside it.  If you study those videos carefully, and compare them to the timeline I laid out in the previous post, you'll notice some interesting details.

Second, the FBI and the DC police are now admitting that the Capitol break-in was planned, weeks in advance, by a collection of "extremist fringe-groups" -- not by Trump or anyone working for him.  These groups, the FBI claims, included "QAnon", "The Boogaloo Bois", "The Proud Boys" and "The Oathkeepers".  The police also admit that there were some Antifa and BLM "activists" (including John Sullivan) among the crowd that broke into the Capitol building.  

They're also admitting that Officer Bryan Sicknick did not die of being hit on the head with a fire-extinguisher by protesters.  In fact, he walked away from the only pushing-match he was involved in, said he felt fine, worked the rest of his shift, went home -- and died the next day of causes which were not revealed even to his own family at the time, and still haven't been released to the public.  This means that the other four people who died during the protest were all Trump supporters: Ashli Babbitt who was shot in the neck by a plainclothes Capitol cop, and two late-middle-aged men and a woman who died of heart-attacks during the march to the Capitol building.  No, nobody was "trampled" or "crushed" to death in the crowd.  

Now consider the comments by the media that a group of "protesters" -- perhaps two hundred of them -- had gathered at the Capitol building hours before Trump began speaking.  This is where those Parler videos come in handy;  look carefully at the crowd already gathered at the Capitol, and compare them to the crowd at Trump's speech.  Note the differences between them.

The crowd at the Ellipse was enormous, roughly 100,000 strong.  They varied in age from moderately young to distinctly old.  They wore warm winter clothes -- understandably, since the overcast sky and the rough wind snapping the visible flags show that the weather was very raw and cold that day -- in widely different colors and styles, decorated with everything from "Trump 2020" buttons to whole flags. Some of them wore historical costumes and colorful wigs.  They carried a large number of assorted flags and picket-signs, clear plastic water-bottles, cell-phones and occasional small hand-held videocams.  They moved slowly, clustered in very small groups if at all, and generally kept a polite distance from each other.  Most of them didn't wear masks.

In contrast, the crowd pre-gathered at the Capitol was small, 200 at most.  In age they varied from moderately young to early-middle aged.  They wore primarily dark (navy-blue to black) jeans, hoodies, jackets and watch-caps, with little to no decoration -- usually one or two buttons -- and dark running-shoes.  They carried a few flags, often attached to baseball bats and hockey sticks.  From the beginning they moved quickly, restlessly, and clustered in a large tight group.  Some of them wore dark face-scarves as masks.  

The early crowd also carried a number of bullhorns, which is interesting.  The reason for bringing a bullhorn to a large gathering is to make speeches to the crowd.  What speeches did they intend to make to the crowd gathered at the Capitol?

About 40 minutes after Trump began speaking, some of his audience pulled away from the area and began walking slowly toward the Capitol.  Among them was the iconic Buffalo Boy, stripped to the waist to show off his tattoos;  he was flanked by two young men carrying bullhorns.  As the marchers continued, more of Trump's audience followed them.  At the pace the marchers were moving, it took them half an hour to reach the Capitol.

Just a few minutes before 1 PM, just as the House of Reps gathered to begin counting the electoral votes, the crowd at the Capitol began to move.  The timing was too precise to have been accidental.  The civilian videos show that there were members of the early-bird bunch who had climbed the scaffolding beside the north door stairs and were shouting to the rest of the crowd through their bullhorns.  The rest of the crowd, now tight-knit, began pushing through the temporary fencing and grappling with the police, making the police back up and send for more police in riot gear.

Trump finished his speech at 1:12 PM, and almost half of his audience -- about 50,000 people -- followed the earlier marchers toward the Capitol, forming an unbroken group along the mall from the Ellipse to the Capitol -- and concealing the difference between the early crowd and Trump's audience.  Trump had said in his speech "I'll be with you," and it's possible that he actually intended to march along with his followers to the Capitol, but the Secret Service firmly disabused him of that notion and whisked him back to the White House. 

Meanwhile the early bunch, now thickened by the first of the marchers from the Ellipse, pushed more aggressively, and loudly, at the temporary barricades -- and began seriously attacking the police, who began firing tear-gas into the crowd.  At about 1:30 PM the DC police began evacuating the various buildings around the Capitol.

At 1:40 PM the DC Mayor declared a curfew and called for more police.  By now the rest of Trump's audience had reached the Capitol, where they mostly milled around chanting slogans, or sat down and waited.  The leading group, comprised of the early crowd and the first of the marchers, continued scuffling with the police and trying to get into the Capitol, pushing the police steadily back for the next half hour, particularly on the north and west sides of the building.  At about 2:08 PM the Capitol was placed on lockdown.  

At 2:11 PM the crowd broke through police lines at the north and west doors.  At the same moment, police at the east doors opened the doors and let about 200 of the crowd come in -- and then led them through the building.  To all accounts, this east-door crowd remained peaceable and did nothing but march through the Capitol, taking pictures.  The question is why the police did it, and why at just that moment.  Did they have some way of knowing the difference between the early-rowdy bunch and the general Trump supporters?

Through the next five minutes, the Rowdy Bunch broke in through windows and glass-paneled doors at the west and north entrances to the Capitol Building.  At this point the DC police began evacuating the House and Senate chambers, thus interrupting the roll-call -- just as the Reps. from Arizona were challenging the electoral vote from their state on the grounds of discovered election-fraud. 

This is interesting because, if the roll-call had been allowed to continue, the Reps -- and Senators -- from other states would have challenged too, thus giving Trump (and, we can assume, his supporters) what he wanted.  The election, challenged, could have been sent to the House of Representatives for investigation and debate.  This has happened a couple times before in US history, and it might have ended with either the House or perhaps the Supreme Court deciding in favor of Trump.  Given the partisan makeup of the House, it was a thin hope -- but it was still a possibility.  Therefore, the last thing Trump's real supporters would have wanted was to interrupt the roll-call.

At 2:30 PM DC Mayor Bowser -- again? -- ordered a city-wide curfew to begin at 6 PM.  Meanwhile the Rowdy Bunch, about 200 strong, continued smashing and pushing their way into the building while the crowd that had been let in by the east door kept on walking, and taking pictures, directed by the police.  At 2:38 Trump, long since back in the White House and alerted to the trouble at the Capitol, sent out a Tweet asking his followers to "support our Capitol police" and "Stay peaceful."  

The Rowdy Bunch paid no attention, but kept breaking into the building by the north and west doors, several of them being diverted by the Capitol police, forcing their way toward the Speakers Lobby behind the House Chamber.  The quiet bunch -- another 200 -- which had been let in by the east door, marched off toward the now-empty Senate Chamber, taking pictures, apparently unaware of the Rowdy Bunch going after the House.  The vast majority of the Trump supporters, by the south and east doors, apparently had no clue what was happening inside.

At this point we should stop and consider the makeup of that collection of "extremist fringe-groups" who did the actual break-in.

It's widely known in the hacker community that "QAnon" was started as a prank by some college students.  They had been studying computer science, knew how to make an authentic-looking website, and also knew how to advertise it on the Internet, particularly on the wide-open website 4Chan.  When they realized that they were attracting a number of real wing-nuts, they quietly handed over their whole "organization" to the FBI -- which has been using it as a "nut-trap" and False Flag ever since.

The "Boogaloo Bois" likewise began as a website on 4Chan, first appearing in 2012, which didn't get much notice or make much noise until 2019, when it suddenly began making news for claiming attacks on police.  Politically amorphous rather than distinctly right or left-wing, they claim to be variously "anarchists" or "libertarian-anarchists", but seem to agree on nothing but provoking a civil war, or race war, and bringing down the government.  People claiming to be "Boog Boys" have shown up at BLM and Antifa actions as well as Trump rallies, but rarely at any political activity in between.  They show all the earmarks of being an undercover police creation, intended to draw in and entrap political nuts from all over the spectrum.

Then there are the "Proud Boys", a genuine right-wing group founded by Canadian fascist radio pundit Gavin McInnes in 2016.  He managed to attract what the Anti-Defamation League calls "essentially a drinking club" or street-gang with "nationalistic, Islamophobic, transphobic and misogynist" ideas.  One thing nobody has managed to call them is "racist", since they're a very mixed group.  Gavin McInnes was eventually pushed out and the group was taken over by Enrique Tarrio, a Black ex-Cuban with an understandable hatred of all things communist.  During Trump's administration they made efforts to become respectable Republicans, but never quite made it -- probably due to their tendency to get into brawls with Antifa and BLM "protesters", which managed to win them a "domestic terrorist" label in Canada.  Despite the FBI's claims, it's unlikely that the Proud Boys had much to do with the Jan. 6th riots, aside from providing maybe a dozen volunteers, since Tarrio himself had been arrested two days earlier for violation of his bail terms.

Finally there are the "Oath Keepers", perhaps 40,000 current and veteran military, police, and other first-responder Conservatives who pledge to keep the oath they swore on enlistment: to "defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic".  They take this to mean refusal to obey unconstitutional orders, and opposition to Antifa and BLM.  They've formed a loosely-organized militia whose services they offer whenever Antifa/BLM protesters threaten to show up.  Of course they voted for Trump.  Given their devotion to Law And Order, it's very unlikely that they would have assisted in breaking into the Capitol, despite accusations that a dozen of them were seen entering the building;  they may have been among the 200 who were let in by the east door.  

And there are the supposedly-few Antifa and BLM "activists" who were seen and videotaped at the head of the break-in crowd.

At 2:42 PM about 60 of the Rowdy Bunch climbed the stairs and reached the glass-paneled door to the Speakers' Lobby, which was barricaded from the inside, with plainclothes Capitol police waiting beyond with guns drawn and three DC police guarding the door from the outside.  John Sullivan, leading the crowd, persuaded the three police to move aside and start down the stairs, whereupon several of his crowd began breaking the glass panels.  Sullivan looked through, saw at least one of the plainclothes police with their guns drawn, pulled back and warned his followers -- still, several of them kept breaking the panels and pushed their way inside.  Ashli Babbitt was not one of the first through the door, but she was the one the plainclothes cop shot.  The others pulled her body back out the door and retreated themselves.  Sullivan and his immediate cohorts retreated back down the stairs as four more DC police came up the stairs.  For the next 40 minutes the Rowdy Bunch worked their way through the building, trashing one office, stealing a computer, and taking pictures.  

At 3:13 PM Trump sent another Tweet, asking again for "No violence!" and to "respect the law".  It's anyone's guess just who among the protesters inside the building noticed, but at 3:33 PM a stream of protesters were seen leaving.  The size of this "stream" hasn't been reported yet, but between the Rowdy Bunch and the Quiet Bunch together it couldn't have been much more than 400 total.  

So  we're left with five questions: 1)  Why did the cop at the east door open it up and not only let in the Quiet Bunch but lead them through the building?  2) Just who were the 200 who broke in by the north and west doors?  3) Just who were the 60 on the stairs (besides John Sullivan) that broke the door to the Speakers' Lobby? and 4)  Why did the cop at the east door let in the crowd just four minutes before the crowd at the north door broke in? and 5) Why did the plainclothes cop shoot Babbitt and not the two or three men who preceded her?

It's clear that the break-in at the Capitol was carefully planned and orchestrated beforehand -- and not by Trump, or anybody in his camp.  It's also clear that there was collusion from somebody on the inside.  Now who could have had contacts that effective on the inside?  It's extremely doubtful that AntifaBLM had an inside contact.  Of the four groups suspected by the DC police, the Oath Keepers are the most likely to have had a sympathizer or two inside, but also the least likely to have plotted against Trump.  The Proud Boys are absolutely the least likely to have any contacts on the inside, and the second least likely to have turned on Trump.  The Boogaloo Bois look far too chaotic to have inside contacts, but what if they really are another FBI False Flag front?  QAnon is certainly a front for the FBI, who certainly have some inside men at the Capitol, but would the FBI go this far to get Trump?

Why not?  They're no fans of him -- or any Republican administration, really -- and they've done similar manipulations before.  Does anyone remember the CoIntelPro scandal?  Yes, it was more than 50 years ago and the campaign was supposedly shut down, but none of the involved agents were fired afterward and the records certainly weren't destroyed.  I can't see those professional spooks giving up on a strategy that worked so well for so long.   

 So, no more than 400 people -- most likely only 200 -- successfully hijacked a crowd of 50,000 by getting ahead of them to their destination, leading their march to their destination, and then posing as their leaders while committing an obvious crime.  This artful manipulation effectively slandered Trump and all his supporters, setting him up to be impeached (which didn't work) and his innocent supporters to be "cancelled", which very well may work.  

So what can we learn from this?  Well, take it from an old peace-marcher, there are ways to protect yourself and whatever movement you're backing --  but they're not easy, and they take a lot of work and forethought.  I'll get to them in the next post.  Meanwhile, stay cynical.

--Leslie <;)))><                    

Friday, January 29, 2021

CoIntelPro Rises From The Grave, Part One: Timelines


Here's the timeline (from "Epoch Times" and from "USA Today" ) for the events of January 6th:

6:00 AM: Crowds of Trump supporters, numbering in the thousands, prepare for a pro-Trump rally near the Ellipse.  Many began gathering the night before.  

11:00 AM: Trump's "Save America" rally begins first with his sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., then his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.  Trump starts speaking shortly before noon, at about 11:50 AM and says, "After this we're going to walk down there, and I'll be with you, we're going to walk down... to the Capitol and we are going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women."  Trump speaks for more than an hour.    

12 Noon:  Trump begins his speech at the Ellipse in the Presidents' Park.  A sizable group has already gathered at the Capitol Building's outer perimeter, at 1st street.

12:37 PM: A stream of people leaving Trump's speech early make their way slowly down Constitution Avenue toward the Capitol Building: The 1.2 mile stretch is about a 25-minute walk.

12:45 PM: A suspicious package, later revealed to be a pipe bomb, is found at the Republican National Committee headquarters, just south of the Capitol Building.

12:53 PM: Vice President Mike Pence releases a statement saying he lacks the authority to reject electoral votes.

12:57 PM: Several people jump the fencing at 1st Street, behind the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial.

12:58 PM: A crowd breaks through the temporary fencing near the Peace Monument.

1:00 PM:  Lawmakers gather for a joint session in the House of Representatives chamber to count the electoral votes. 

1:01 PM: The first police line breaks on the west side of the Capitol.

1:02 PM: Low fencing at the Capitol steps is breached.  Scuffles break out.  Police use pepper spray.

1:03 PM: Another police line forms at the Capitol's double staircase.  Riot police arrive.

1:06 PM: The joint session of Congress convenes to count the electoral votes.

1:10 PM: Rioters begin grappling with police on the Capitol steps.

1:12 PM: President Trump finishes his speech at the Ellipse.

    At the conclusion (of his speech), thousands walk to the Capitol.

1:14 PM: More scuffles break out between police and demonstrators.  The line holds.

1:15 PM: A suspicious package, later revealed to be a pipe bomb, is found at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, just south of the Capitol Building.

1:20 PM: A temporary fencing perimeter is re-established in the Inauguration platform area at the bottom of the double staircase on the northern side of the Capitol Building.  

1:25 PM: People are seen climbing the metal scaffolding of the Inauguration platform.

1:26 PM: Capitol Police order evacuation of Library of Congress, Madison Building and Cannon House office building on Independence Avenue across from the Capitol.

1:35 PM: Police fire irritants (tear gas, pepper gas) into the crowd, likely from the upper level of the building, above the double staircase.

1:40 PM: DC Mayor Muriel Bowser orders citywide curfew starting at 6 PM Wednesday and ending at 6 AM Thursday.  CNN reports District police are asking for more law enforcement.  

1:46 PM: Rep. Elaine Luria, D-VA, tweets she is being evacuated after reports of a pipe bomb outside.  "Supporters of the President are trying to force their way into the Capitol and I can hear what sound like multiple gunshots."

2:02 PM: The temporary fencing and police line set up about 250 feet from the central east Capitol entrance is breached.

2:07 PM: The temporary fencing and police line set up at the steps of the central east entrance is breached.  The crowd climbs the stairs and spreads through he upper level.

2:08 PM: The Capitol is placed under lockdown. 

2:10 PM: A crowd breaks through the temporary fencing at the top of the northern staircase.  Several officers guarding it retreat.

2:11 PM: Rioters breach police lines on the west side of the Capitol.  Moments later rioters scale the walls.

2:11 PM: The central east door is opened, by police, who then lead the crowd through the building.

2:15 PM: A crowd breaks into the building through a window and a secondary entrance north of the main entrance on the upper level.  Some people are driven out by the police, but more pour in.  

2:16 PM: Another crowd reaches the entrance to the northern wing, which houses the Senate Chamber.

2:18 PM: The House of Representatives calls a recess during a debate over an objection to the electoral votes from Arizona.

2:22 PM: Reports say Vice President Mike Pence has been escorted out of the Senate Chamber.

2:24 PM: Trump says in a tweet: "Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution, giving states a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify.  USA demands the truth."

2:24 PM: Capitol police report shots fired.

2:26 PM: The senate calls a recess during a debate over an objection to the electoral votes from Arizona.

2:28 PM: The crowd that entered from the west reaches the entrance to the southern wing, where the House Chamber is located.  The corridor is blocked by about half a dozen officers.  Some in the crowd try to negotiate passage with them.  

2:30 PM: Lawmakers and staff are evacuated through underground tunnels.

2:31 PM: District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser announces a curfew to begin at 6 PM.

2:33 PM: C-SPAN reports rioters have crossed Statuary Hall, the chamber that separates the House and Senate, heading for the House and Senate.  

2:35 PM: The crowd at the southern wing pushes its way past the outmanned police with minimal resistance.  The crowd reaches the House Chamber entrance.  Later images from inside show that the entrance is at some point barricaded, and police guarding it with guns drawn.

2:38 PM: Trump says in a tweet: "Please support our Capitol Police and law enforcement.  They are truly on the side of our country.  Stay peaceful."

2:38 PM: Trump tweets, "Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement.  They are truly on the side of our country.  Stay peaceful!"

2:39 PM: Rioters are photographed breaking Capitol windows.

2:41 PM: At the entrance to the House Chamber the crowd, now about 200 strong, is unable to get through the door.  Most of the intruders give up on that entrance, head east down the corridor and around two corners to the entrance to the Speaker's Lobby, situated behind the House Chamber.

2:42 PM: The crowd reaches the glass-paneled door to the Speaker's Lobby, which is barricaded with furniture from the other side.  Three officers are standing in front of the door.

2:43 PM: The officers abandon the Speaker's Lobby door upon shouts from the crowd and persuasion from John Sullivan, videographer and "racial justice" activist.  Several intruders immediately start breaking through the glass.  Sullivan spots a man with a gun drawn on the other side of the door;  he alerts the crowd, but some continue to break the glass and proceed through the broken door.  

2:44 PM: Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt climbs through the empty door frame after the glass is broken.  She is immediately shot in the neck by a plainclothes policeman on the other side.  At the same time, four officers in tactical gear and with rifles reach the scene from a lower level to the north.

2:44 PM: Shots are reported fired in the House chamber.

2:45 PM: A small crowd is seen inside the Senate Chamber.

2:47 PM: Intruders are seen on the Senate Chamber floor.  They walk through, taking pictures.

2:47 PM: "Huffington Post" reporter tweets image of rioters at dais.  "They're in the chamber."

2:53 PM: Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., tweets he has been safely moved from the House Chamber.  He says he and others were given an escape hood, a respiratory hood and mask for protection in fires or chemical agents.

2:55 PM: Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tennessee, texts "Shots fired."

3:03 PM: Rioters are photographed on the Senate floor.

3:13 PM: Trump tweets: "I am asking for everyone at the US Capitol to remain peaceful.  No violence!  Remember, WE are the party of Law and Order -- respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue.  Thank you!"   

3:33 PM: A stream of people is seen leaving the the demonstration. 

3:34 PM: CBS reports a woman is in critical condition after being shot in the neck inside the Capitol.  Police later report the woman died.  She was identified as Ashli Babbitt, 35, an Air Force veteran.  Her husband was quoted as saying she was a strong supporter of Trump. 

In an account to WUSA9, a purported witness explains what happened, saying they had stormed the building and she was climbing through the window.  He said armed police and Secret Service repeatedly warned her to get back, but "she didn't heed the call" and then they shot her.   

3:35 PM: Pence writes on Twitter: "The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol must stop and it must stop now.  Anyone involved must respect Law Enforcement officers and immediately leave the building.  Peaceful protest is the right of every American, but this attack on our capitol cannot be tolerated and those responsible will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

3:35 PM: The Department of Homeland Security says it's sending in agents to aid the capitol police.

3:36 PM: White House Secretary Kayleigh McEnany writes in a tweet: "At President Donald Trump's direction, the National Guard is on the way along with other federal protective services.  We reiterate President Trump's call against violence and to remain peaceful."

3:51 PM: The District of Columbia National Guard, about 1100 troops, is mobilized to support local law enforcement.  

3:55 PM: Congressional Democratic leaders demand that Trump order his supporters to leave the capitol.  

4:00 PM: The National Guard mobilizes 1100 troops.  As per KTSP News, Pentagon officials say the request for troops wasn't rejected earlier in the day, but troops can't be used in a law enforcement role.  They need to be deployed to replace police in different roles.  The freed up police can then join the law enforcement action.

4:05 PM: A congressional correspondent tweets that Congressional leaders are being evacuated from the Capitol.

4:10 PM: President-Elect Joe Biden condemns the storming of the capitol and calls on Trump to give a televised address.

4:17 PM: Trump posts a video on twitter reiterating to his supporters that the election was stolen, but that there must be peace and they "have to go home now".  Shortly after, twitter deletes the video.

4:17 PM: In a tweeted video lasting just over a minute, Trump says, in part: "I know your pain.  I know you're hurt.  We had an election that was stolen from us.  It was a landslide election and everyone knows it, especially the other side.  But you have to go home now.  We have to have peace.  We have to have law and order... So go home.  We love you, you're very special.  ...I know how you feel.  But go home now, and go home in peace."

Some of Trump's tweets addressing the riot were deleted.  Twitter bans the president from tweeting for 12 hours.  Twitter first froze the tweets and wouldn't allow comments or retweets, then the ban was imposed.  

5:00 PM: A steady stream of people leave the Capitol.  Some cite the curfew as the reason.

5:10 PM: Police use tear gas to drive people from the Capitol's upper level. 

5:40 PM: National Guard troops arrive at the Capitol.

6:00 PM: Eleven glass jars suspected of being improvised bombs are found in a cooler in a vehicle near the Republican National Committee building.

6:01 PM: Trump says in a tweet: "These are the things and events that happen when a sacred election landslide victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly and unfairly treated for so long.  Go home with love & in peace.  Remember this day forever."

8:00 PM: Congress reconvenes to resume counting Electoral College votes.  

8:06 PM: The Senate resumes proceedings. 

Aftermath: 5 believed dead, at least 68 arrested.  D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said that, in addition to the woman shot by Capitol police, two men and one woman died in "separate medical emergencies".  At least 14 of Contee's officers were injured during the demonstrations, he said.  Two pipe bombs were recovered, one at the Democratic National Committee and the other one at the Republican National Committee.  

Police identified the woman shot and killed during the riot as Ashli Babbitt, 35, of San Diego, who was a military veteran.  

"As protesters were forcing their way toward the House Chamber where Members of Congress were sheltering in place, a sworn (U.S. Capitol Police) employee discharged their service weapon, striking an adult female," police said in a statement Thursday.  

A U.S. Capitol Police officer died Thursday after being injured when supporters of President Donald Trump raided the Capitol building on Wednesday, bringing the total number of fatalities to five.

Brian D. Sicknick "was injured while physically engaging with protesters" on Wednesday, USCP said in a statement.  He returned to his division office and collapsed, then was taken to a local hospital where he died Thursday evening.

"The death of Officer Sicknick will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department's Homicide Branch, the USCP, and our federal partners," the USCP said in a statement.

The other three who perished that day were Benjamin Phillips, 50, from Ringtown, Pennsylvania;  Kevin Greeson, 55, from Athens, Alabama;  and Rosanne Boyland, 34, from Kennesaw, Georgia.  Contee said Thursday all three died on Capitol grounds, but he didn't specify how.  

Howard Charles Liebengood, a U.S. Capitol Police officer, died while off-duty on Saturday, according to a statement released Sunday by the Capitol Police and the White House.  The department did not disclose the cause of the officer's death, but the "Washington Post" and other news sources citing a family spokesperson said he died by suicide.  

Police made at least 68 arrests, 41 of them on Capitol grounds, Contee said.  Only one of those detained was from D.C., he said.  

*I recommend studying this blended timeline and its two sources, looking at the similarities and differences between them -- the corporate news giant and the spunky little independent paper -- and paying special attention to the timing of specific events.  Draw your own conclusions.  I'll give you mine in the next installment.*

--Leslie <;)))><       



Thursday, January 14, 2021

Publicly Over the Line


The January 6th videos are beginning to come in, from all over the political spectrum, and from sources ranging from mainstream media through pro-Trump demonstrators to simply curious onlookers,.  A lot of the videos taken by non-professionals have been posted at odd (sometimes very odd) corners of the Internet, simply because they couldn't get posted anywhere else.  Regardless of the politics of the photographers or posting sites, the evidence in the footage is significant.,6%20Derrick%20Evans.%20...%207%20Bradley%20Rukstales.%20

The best media reaction I've seen, from a purely journalistic point of view, comes from The Epoch Times, and is a constructed timeline of the known events:

Now the Epoch Times is an interesting newspaper;  it was founded with set-up money from the Falun Gong organization, headquartered in Deerpark, New York, and Falun Gong sympathizers are still its strongest supporters.  Falun Gong is a religious sect of pacifist Buddhists with additions of traditional Chinese yoga, and they've been persecuted rigorously by the Chinese government.  As a result, the Epoch Times daily reports always include sidebar articles about the sins of the Chinese government.  They absolutely hate the Chinese Communist Party, for obvious reasons.  This has caused western media to proclaim that the Epoch Times is a "right-wing" or even "far-right" paper, regardless of its attitudes toward other political organizations.  In fact, I haven't seen evidence of any political bias in the Epoch Times aside from its hatred of the CCP.  It's a good example of the smaller news media that are filling in the vacuum left by public disillusionment with the major news media.  

All these little-guy media have to be checked out individually for bias and accuracy, and whoever does the evaluating has to be checked out too -- who watches the watchers -- but we have to begin doing it now, ourselves.  The alternative is to keep on blindly believing Big Media and Big Tech information platforms which have publicly revealed themselves as biased, vindictive, spiteful and overbearing.  "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty", and that means accepting the chore of always checking out your information sources.

Nobody deserves blind faith, not even -- in my not-so-humble opinion -- the gods themselves.

--Leslie <;)))><     

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Your Lying Ears

 Backstory:  when Rasty watches TV, he likes to listen through headphones that give him clearer sound than the built-in speakers.  The headphones keep sounding when the speakers are muted, so a click of a button on the remote will let him keep listening while nobody else in the living-room hears anything.  This explains why I came into the room a little while ago to see Rasty steaming and muttering in front of a silent -- to me -- TV screen.  He was watching, as usual, MSNBC with occasional forays to CNN. Both of them were covering the big pro-Trump rally in Washington DC that's been announced for the past week.

What I saw was a bunch of mostly-middle-aged people bundled up in winter jackets,  hats and masks -- even in DC this is early January, and it's cold -- either plodding around the Capitol Building or standing on the steps, holding or waving flags.  There were no rocks or bottles flying, no fists raised, no clubs swinging, and no fights visible.  At one point a camera showed a broken door and people climbing through it.  Another view showed the floor of the Senate, with a few protesters strolling through it;  papers were still on the desks, not the floor, and none of the chairs were so much as disarranged.  None of the Senators were present, and the protesters simply walked through.  Another quick shot revealed a single protester, looking somewhat bemused, sitting in Pelosi's office taking a selfie with his phone.  A  text-banner at the bottom of the TV screen claimed: "Pro-Trump rioters storm capitol".  

Riot?  What riot?  

What my eyes saw was a large and somewhat sloppily-arranged crowd standing on the capitol steps or strolling around on the lawn, holding flags, holding signs, and taking pictures with their phones.  Yes there was a single-file line of police standing at the top of the steps, doing nothing, with a good strip of space between them and the protesters.  Eventually a group of yellow-vested police threw some tear-gas and marched across part of the lawn, driving some of the protesters ahead of them.  The protesters duly trooped away, several taking pictures with their phones, until they were gone.  I've seen sale-shopping frenzies at Wal-Mart that were more "violent" than this.

Then Rasty took off his headphones, turned on the speakers, and...  Hoo-hah!  Talk about disconnect!

The voices of the TV news reporters panted breathlessly about "mob rule!" "Violent protesters!"  "Storming the capitol!"  "Attack on Congress!"  "Assault on democracy!"  "Clashes with police!"  "Insurrection!"  "Shots fired!" "Rioters attempt to overturn the election!" ...And of course "Trump refuses to condemn violence!"  

I've never seen a greater difference between what I was seeing and what the Official Voices were telling us we were seeing.

It's clear that the media think they can talk us into disbelieving what our own eyes see.  I think they've gone too far, especially since the media-flacks have changed their stories and contradicted themselves so much.  When it comes to a choice between what you're told and what you see yourself, what are you going to believe, really?  The best propaganda machine in the world can't gaslight even the majority of the people into doubting their eyes.  

I suspect that the media-flacks figured that out too, because as soon as the 6 PM curfew came on in Washington, and the protesters walked away, the stories -- and the images -- began to change and contradict each other.  Quick shots appeared, showing the Capitol police aiming rifles at the protesters, while voice-overs questioned why the DC police "allowed" the crowd to get into the Capitol building.  Other voices wailed about "the halls of Congress littered with trash and rubble" while actual footage showed clean floors and undisturbed desks.  Other voices claimed that "protesters came armed" and "shots were fired and a woman was killed", followed by another announcement that the woman was a protester who was shot by police.  Images of protesters obligingly walking away from the police were interspersed with video-clips -- clearly taken during the summer, in another city -- of mobs having truncheon-fights with police during real street-riots, while voice-overs claimed they were both happening here and now.  

Only at the end of the 6 o'clock news did one commentator -- ironically, from Fox News -- note that one reason for the public's disgust with politicians is that the media can't be trusted to tell us the truth.

The best solution I can think of right now is to watch the TV news twice: the earliest reports with the sound turned off, studying the videos with a critical eye, and the later news with the sound turned on, and comparing what the talking-heads tell you with what you've already seen.

--Leslie <;)))><      




Sunday, December 20, 2020

Possible Solutions

    As the election results drag down to their final days, and more and more fraudulent results are unearthed ,voters are asking what we can do to prevent more vote-fraud in the future.  I've been running a thread about this on Facebook, and here are some answers we've come up with.

    1) While it's theoretically possible to build a system of transparent and instantly correctible tabulating computers, that day is not yet.  Therefore, the first thing we need to do is throw out computerized voting and tabulating machines.  Fill out sturdy paper ballots by hand, with black ink from any kind of pen, seal them by hand, count them by hand and tally the counts by hand -- with constant witnesses and security cameras along every step of the way.

    2) All ballots, whether in-person or mail-in, must be received by midnight on election day.  That must be the unquestioned cut-off.  (And of course anyone who prevents ballots from being received by that time must be arrested and jailed.)  Walk-in voting can start at midnight on the day before, and mail-in ballots can be mailed in up to a week before.

    3) Matching that, all ballots must be kept securely locked up and no ballot counted before midnight-plus-one on election day.  The news media are not to see anything in advance.

    4) Ballot-counting must be thoroughly witnessed -- in person and on camera -- by representatives from every party (or non-party) on the ballot.  The news media may be invited in to watch and record the process.

    5) Ballots considered "questionable" must be separated as "provisional" and securely set aside to be verified and counted after the unquestionably legitimate ones.  Such verification and counting must likewise be thoroughly witnessed.

    6) Mail-in ballots can be sent only to voters who request them at registration;  not broadcast to all and sundry.  

    7) Ballots must be printed only in the state, county, municipality, and precinct where they are to be cast, not farmed out to foreign printers.

    8) The number of ballots printed shall not exceed the number of registered voters by more than one half of one percent, to allow for physical losses without allowing box-stuffing.

    9) Voter registration must close at least two weeks before election day.  No more register-and-vote on the same day funny business.

    10) In order to register to vote, people must show proof that: a) they are who they say they are, b) they live where they say they live, c) they are at least 18 years of age, and d) they are American citizens.  

    (Such proofs can include birth certificates and utility bills, birth certificates and drivers' licenses, court decisions, tribal registries, passports and utility bills, citizenship papers and utility bills, real-estate tax statements, military records, baptismal records, hospital records, midwives' affidavits, and legally verified entries in family bibles.)  

   11) Convicted felons who have served their time shall have their prison records sent to county registration offices on being set free, so they can apply for and receive restoration of rights before the closing of registrations in advance of the next election.

    12) Citizenship shall be conferred by birth, legal naturalization, government fiat, or completed military service with an honorable discharge.

    13) Voting registration offices must also include an investigative wing to examine suspicious registrations.  For example, a lot of registrations coming from the same physical address, with only minor differences, should be checked to see if the address is an apartment complex, a group home, a mental hospital or a cemetery.  The investigative division shall make annual reports to the state government.

    These are the very least of the reforms that need to be made to ensure that the kind of cheats that have been reported -- and still are being reported -- in this last election don't happen again.

    Anybody, please feel free to add more ideas.

--Leslie <;)))>< Fish      


Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Anarchist PIzza

Back in my wild and wooly college days at the University of Michigan I ran around with various political reform groups, including Students for a Democratic Society.  At the time, SDS was deliberately non-Marxist;  it even had an Anti-Totalitarian clause in its constitution which forbade membership to any "supporter of totalitarianism" -- which meant total government control of society.  Of course SDS was an irresistible target for the Marxists, who kept trying to infiltrate it and take over.  In reaction to these attempts a number of us began studying the opposite of totalitarianism, which is Anarchism.  One thing that both fascists and communists can agree on is that they totally hate real ideological anarchists.  Dealing with attacks by both of them tends to give the anarchists a weird sense of humor.

For example, some snarky political jokes:

    Q:  What's the difference between a Communist and an Anarchist?                                                            A:  Communists want the government to run everything;  Anarchists want the government to run nothing -- not even to exist.

    Q:  What's the difference between a Socialist and an Anarchist?                                                                  A:  Anarchists grow up and get real jobs.

    Q:   What's the difference between a Libertarian and an Anarchist?                                                            A:   About $20,000 a year.

Another cute trick we used on the Marxists was to infiltrate their meetings and shame them into "reality-tripping": getting working-class ID and spending at least their summers taking working-class jobs and living on that income -- and nothing else -- in real working-class neighborhoods.  This proved wonderfully effective;  those who managed to stick it out for a whole summer or more were no longer Marxists when they came back to school, but were eminently practical and realistic -- and tended to vote Republican.  

We also went to big all-day rallies and got ourselves on the speakers' lists under various unremarkable names, such as "The Polyindustrial League", and sing our own folksongs instead.  For example, after a long and boring speech -- carefully repeated, word-for-word in Spanish -- by a droning Marxist, my buddies and I stood up and said: "We're the Anarchists.  Long speeches make us tired, so we'll just sing instead."  And then I and my buddies broke into a lively rendition of Joe Hill's "The Preacher and the Slave", followed by half an hour of other songs.  Needless to add, the audiences liked us a lot better than the speakers.

We would also hold well-planned but impromptu-looking square-dances (or other dances) at lunch hour in any handy park.  While crowds gathered and watched, we'd circulate among them handing out one-page flyers saying things like: "When people fight for your country in war, the least they deserve is full citizenship in the country they've defended" -- practical statements like that, which worked a lot better than political moralizing about The Ruling Class.

One of my favorite stunts, though, happened at the next-to-last SDS national convention, which was held at dear old U of M, in the South Lecture Hall.  The Marxists showed up in force, the Liberals did likewise, and we Anarchists managed to get a literature table in the front vestibule.  It soon became clear that the Liberals were losing ground to two competing factions of Marxists -- Progressive Labor and the Weathermen, who were later to tear the organization apart with their feuding -- but one thing they could unite behind was their absolute hatred of the Anarchists.  Seeing how the political winds were indeed blowing, we spent our efforts pitting the Marxists against each other and diverting them from ganging up on the Liberals.  Some of our distractions were distinctly surreal -- such as throwing paper airplanes whose noses had been dipped in tiny amounts of NI3 explosive, so that they'd go off with a snap-crackle and flash when they landed -- but probably our best stunt was purely spontaneous.

After speechifying and voting and arguing all day, the other delegates were ready to take a break and go "caucus" -- plot and scheme among themselves -- for an hour or so.  None of them wanted to leave the building and go outside, where the non-campus police might grab them, they planned to hold their meetings in the various rooms inside South Hall.  Seeing what was coming, we Anarchists plotted to order a pizza: extra large, with mushrooms and pepperoni, from the local Domino's Pizza, which had made itself famous the year before by delivering pizzas to occupied buildings.  We weren't about to desert our literature table to the mercies of the Marxists, either, so we asked specifically that the pizza be delivered to "the Anarchist literature table in the foyer of South Hall, at the SDS convention".  Few were the restaurants that would have delivered to that address, but we figured that Domino's would have the guts to do it.

Soon enough the moderator -- as I recall it was either Mike Klonsky himself or his sidekick -- stood up and announced:  "Caucus break!  Caucus break for an hour.  Weatherman Caucus, go to room 120 down the hall to your right, and bring your notebooks.  League for Industrial Democracy, go to room 140 in the same corridor, and bring your position papers.  Progressive Labor, go to room 110 in the same hall, to the left, and bring your policy statements.  Anarchists..."  Then he got a pole-axed look as he announced slowly: "Go to your literature table in the front foyer.  Your pizza has arrived."

And all of us Anarchists jumped up and stampeded out the door to the front foyer.

 A bunch of fascinated Liberals followed us out, and got to our table to see us surrounding a nervous pizza-delivery boy and a box opened on the table, displaying a mouth-watering pizza.  My buddy Rick was arguing: "Being Anarchists, we don't believe in government-controlled money, so we shouldn't use it."  My buddy Mary replied: "We can argue about proper labor-exchange mediums in the future, but right now the economy is run on cash money.  And if the pizza-shop doesn't get paid, it won't make any more pizzas, which will harm all of us.  'The laborer is worthy of his hire'."  My pal Kathy piped up: "And they gave us exactly what we asked for, and still hot, too.  Good behavior deserves its reward."  To which I added: "We should also reward the employee who had the guts to deliver a pizza to the 'Anarchist table at the SDS convention'."  So we quickly gave the pizza-boy the twenty dollars for the  pizza and a twenty-dollar tip for himself plus a fistful of literature.  Then we happily fell upon the pizza.  The watching Liberals gave us a spontaneous round of applause, and the pizza-boy strolled out mumbling: "...Yeah,  Anarchism."

I learned the rest of the story a couple weeks later.  It seems the pizza-boy had gone back to the local Domino's shop telling tales about his adventure and displaying the leaflets we'd given him.  He was a high school senior himself, working that summer to save up for college, and the incident got him interested in odd political theories.  Starting with the brief bibliographies listed in the flyers, he'd started going to the library and looking up books on Anarchism, and regaled his buddies with odd information from the books he'd read.  One questioned he'd relayed back to us was: "Who was Max Stirner, and why did Karl Marx hate him so much?" to which we replied: "A wild-ass teacher in a girls' junior high school, who liked to shock stodgy people."  

I never heard anything further about the radicalized students in that pizza joint, but I always figured that our stunt was a good day's work.

--Leslie <;)))>< Fish