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Tired of all the conspiranoia and covidnoia? Want to take a break from all the craziness that's surrounding us? Then sit back and enjoy an epic 6 hour musical marathon in which, alongside Francesco Sani, we play some (just some...) of our favorite tracks from movie scores, ranging from the most iconic ones to less known little gems.
You may also find interesting our first movie observation episode:
Or our other epic episodes, observations on the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe series:
We are also present on the One Great Work Network:
by James Tracy
“Global Goals” Is Lavishly-Funded Public Relations Endeavor “We the People” Never Voted For.
This month delegates to the United Nations ratified the so-called “Global Goals For Sustainable Development.” This will involve a radical, far-reaching social and economic transformation of everyday life that has been in the works for decades.
Thus a portion of such finances will be apportioned to thought and behavioral modification toward ideational acceptance of continued corporate ascendance, wealth and resource redistribution, and the breakdown of traditional borders that for better or worse have defined the human condition since the feudal era–from gender and common morality to the nation state. As the “Global Goals” website declares, “We are not a generation of bystanders. We are global citizens.”
Below is the campaign’s slickly produced promotional video.
Truthstream Media has developed a clever interpretation of the UN’s “Global Goals.” Unfortunately, these are by no means exaggerations but rather illustrate the hypocrisy of this campaign, which in reality involves an accelerated privatization of the commons and even our own bodies combined with elaborate psychological warfare to disguise such endeavors as social activism.
What’s that you say? You’re not on board? See you in the gulag, comrade.
Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Translation: Centralized banks, IMF, World Bank, Fed to control all finances, digital one world currency in a cashless society
Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Translation: Mass vaccination, Codex Alimentarius
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Translation: UN propaganda, brainwashing through compulsory education from cradle to grave
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Translation: Population control through forced “Family Planning”
Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Translation: Privatize all water sources, don’t forget to add fluoride
Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Translation: Smart grid with smart meters on everything, peak pricing
Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Translation: TPP, free trade zones that favor megacorporate interests
Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Translation: Toll roads, push public transit, remove free travel, environmental restrictions
Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
Translation: Even more regional government bureaucracy like a mutant octopus
Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Translation: Big brother big data surveillance state
Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Translation: Forced austerity
Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
Translation: Cap and Trade, carbon taxes/credits, footprint taxes
Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Translation: Environmental restrictions, control all oceans including mineral rights from ocean floors
Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Translation: More environmental restrictions, more controlling resources and mineral rights
Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Translation: UN “peacekeeping” missions (ex 1, ex 2), the International Court of (blind) Justice, force people together via fake refugee crises and then mediate with more “UN peacekeeping” when tension breaks out to gain more control over a region, remove 2nd Amendment in USA
Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
Translation: Remove national sovereignty worldwide, promote globalism under the “authority” and bloated, Orwellian bureaucracy of the UN
Original article can be found here: http://memoryholeblog.com/2015/09/30/un-introduces-new-feudalism-under-guise-of-social-activism/
A growing number of people distrust you, resent you, fear you, even hate you. Some even wish you harm, and would be glad if they heard you had been killed. Now, you can tell yourself that it’s only nasty criminal scum who would ever think that way. You can concoct in your head all sorts of excuses for why so many people now view you as the primary threat to peace, freedom and security. Or you can take the advice of Sun Tzu, and “know your enemy.”
If you want to know why those “anti-police” folk think what they think, I can tell you. Because I am one of them. I have little to no respect for those who wear uniforms and badges. I expect police to be power-happy, dangerous, irrational and immoral. This was not always the case. I once viewed police as brave and righteous protectors and defenders. I had F.O.P. and Sheriff’s Department stickers on my car. I was a proud and vocal advocate of “justice, law and order.” (Only later did I realize that “law” is usually the arch enemy of both justice and order.) If you want to know why I no longer trust or respect those who wear uniforms and badges, here are the five main reasons:
Reason #1: “Just Following Orders”“Enforcing the law” is not automatically legitimate or moral. The most vicious tyrannies in history (under Mao, Stalin, Hitler, etc.) legalized their oppressions, which were then committed “law enforcers.” Historically speaking, far more injustice and murder has been committed in the name of “law” than has been committed in spite of the law. And those who directly perpetrated evil have often used the excuse that they were just doing as they were told, just following orders, just doing their job.
The majority of U.S. “law enforcers” are no different, enforcing whatever decrees the politicians may enact, no matter how arbitrary or ridiculous they might be, and then trying to excuse their behavior using the classic cop-out, “Hey, I don’t make the law, I just enforce it.” You may have even used that one yourself. Just be aware that when you say that, you are essentially admitting that whatever the politicians tell you to inflict upon your fellow man, you will, without question. And that makes you the primary threat to humanity.
Some argue that cops are noble and virtuous, except for the occasional “bad apple.” That is false. In a situation where the “law” is immoral and oppressive—as is the case in the U.S. today—any cop who refuses to enforce unjust “laws” will be fired, leaving only those who are willing to inflict injustice upon others whenever the politicians tell them to. The instances of cops refusing to enforce unjust “laws” are extremely rare. The vast majority continue to commit evil while accepting no responsibility for their actions, and even lashing out at any who condemn them for the evil they personally perpetrate. Whether or not you inflict oppression “by the book” or not is irrelevant. Carrying out legalized, officially-sanctioned violent aggression still makes you the bad guy.
Reason #2: Legalized PiracyDespite the silly rhetoric about “protect and serve,” the primary job of most law enforcers is to look for excuses to take people’s money. Most police are nothing more than glorified tax collectors, always on the lookout—often as a result of “quotas”—for whatever trivial violation or infraction might justify a citation or an arrest, usually for victimless “crimes.” Make no mistake: whenever you rob (“fine”) or kidnap (“arrest”) someone who didn’t harm, endanger, or threaten anyone else, that makes you the aggressor, the thug, the bad guy. The fact that politicians gave their official blessing for you to be a bully and a crook doesn’t make it okay. In some cases, the legalized piracy is extremely blatant, such as under the “civil asset forfeiture” laws, where police commit armed robbery, stealing cash and other property based on the mere accusation—without proof or trial—that the property was somehow related to criminal activity.
Reason #3: Prone to ViolenceThe epidemic of police brutality is not merely bad luck. Teaching someone that he has “authority” over others and training him to try to gain control over every situation will naturally cause someone to become an arrogant, abusive bully. If you truly believe that wearing a badge and a uniform gives you special rights, gives you the right to detain and interrogate people, boss them around and control them, then you are automatically going to treat others as your inferiors, and you will lash out at any who don’t bow to your supposed “authority.” And if you don’t truly believe that the badge and uniform gives you special rights, you will either quit or be fired.
“Abuse of authority” is redundant. History shows one heinous example after another of what people become when they are given power over others. It should be clear to anyone who understands psychology and human nature why police have much higher rates of domestic abuse. Your job trained you to be a violent control freak. If and when your violence changes from “legal” violence to “illegal” violence, why should anyone be surprised? You are a professional thug.
Reason #4: Gang MentalityWhen a criminal cop abuses, assaults, or even kills an innocent person, the vast majority of other cops can be counted on to take the side of the badge-wearing perpetrator. Police unions and departments are constantly making excuses, even for outright murder, always insisting that whatever anyone with a badge did must have been justified. “It’s a dangerous, stressful job, you don’t understand what it’s like, and you don’t know the whole story, and he feared for his life.” The same old broken record plays over and over again, as one example of police brutality after another comes to light. The “bad apple” argument rings hollow when all the other “apples” defend and protect their fellow gang members, no matter how egregious, illegal, or immoral their behavior. Where are examples of these supposed “good cops” arresting the bad ones, or at least doing something to try to stop police abuse? Instead, one video after another shows that when a thug with a badge is committing evil, all the other cops in the area will, at best, passively watch the abuse like spineless cowards, and at worse, will join in like sadistic thugs.
In short, “law enforcers” make up the most dishonest, violent street gang in the country, loyal only to their fellow gang members, showing little or no concern for anyone else. It is sickening how quickly and easily badge-wearers routinely endanger, threaten, assault and even kill others, with little or no provocation. Then they try to cover their paranoia, sadism and criminal negligence with excuses about how dangerous the job is, which is statistically untrue anyway.
When an average person is killed, the police fill out a report about it. When one of their fellow gang members dies, they will invest all the time, resources and man-power they have at their disposal, often endangering, harassing, terrorizing and attacking innocents in the process, as happen with the Eric Frein and Christopher Dorner cases. It is obvious which lives matter to police, and which don’t.
Reason #5: Criminals with BadgesThe gang mentality, and the disregard for the safety and freedom of everyone else, naturally leads to police becoming criminals themselves, lying under oath, planting evidence, selling drugs, running extortion rackets, and so on. Police are only human beings, but human beings who are trained to control and extort others, trained to view and treat others with disdain, and trained to believe that they are so important and righteous that basic morality doesn’t apply to them. Add to that the fact that police “take care of their own,” and rarely investigate or prosecute their fellow officers for criminal conduct, and it is obvious why so many cops become the criminals they pretend to be protecting society from. For example, the Philadelphia narcotics squad was just outed as a bunch of drug-dealing extortionist thugs. And the gang members in blue know that they can almost always count on their fellow gang members to look the other way when they break the law themselves. When one officer does have the fortitude and courage to speak or act out against police misconduct, invariably all the other badge-wearers will gang up on the “traitor,” for having chosen truth and justice over loyalty to the gang.
Where This Road LeadsA look back at history strongly suggests what the outcome of this situation will be. Police will become more brazen, more criminal, more violent, and no amount of protests or political action will do a thing to stop it. Every indication is that the power-happy thuggery of those who imagine themselves to be “authority” will naturally get worse and worse, until the people have no choice but to violently defend themselves against the thugs in blue. And that will only make the cops less restrained, more paranoid, more trigger-happy, more criminal, and more violent.
Making excuses for your thuggery is not going to make people trust you or respect you more. If you actually want the respect of the people, if you actually want to be a force for truth and justice, then start publicly condemning police misconduct and abuse. Start arresting the criminals who wear badges. Start treating other people as your equals, instead of as your subjects. And if you don’t, then don’t be surprised when the people resent you, distrust you, fear you, and hate you. If you are content to think and act like just another street gang (albeit a very well funded and well armed street gang), becoming ever more lawless and violent, don’t be surprised if one day one of your intended victims takes it upon himself to enforce a little justice of his own. You will have earned it.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/5-reasons-law-enforcement-america-creates-fear-resentment-safety/#sttVc2glbDCYjYwW.99
Recently, I held a Q&A after a seminar and was also invited onto a podcast to discuss what happened. Below are links to the podcast and the Youtube video of the Q&A. Watch, listen and then comment if you'd like.
Free Your Mind Podcast #20 Link (Click Here)
Recently I listened to a debate online which really didn't settle anything for me. The only thing that I got out of it was that many in the world today give more credibility to dictionary definitions than to the etymology of words. That's to say that people are more inclined to go with what somebody wrote in a book 200 yrs ago as the only definitive meaning of a word, than to go by what the intention behind the word was meant to convey. In other words, how did that word come into existence. Below is an EDITED audio clip of the debate between Clint Richardson and Marc Stevens that was hosted on Gnostic Media. First is the edited audio clip followed by the full 3 hour debate, and below will be a link to the hosting website. Just posting this online to get some conversation going. Let's see what happens.
EDITED AUDIO CLIP
Debate: Clint Richardson vs. Mark Stevens – “Anarchy: A Modern Fallacy?” – #231
What “Fighting for Our Freedom” Actually Means in Police State USA?By Josie Wales on February 7, 2015
Please stop fighting for my freedom.
Please stop fighting for my freedom of speech. It’s not working.
While you’re overseas, killing people so “I have the right to say that,” good people all over the country are being put in cages for thinking freedom of speech is still a right that will not be violated.
“Free speech zones” are used to quarantine humans who wish to express their opinions, to protect others from the dangers of their words. Independent journalists are detained for reporting on the crimes of the government for which you fight. It has become commonplace, when an average person records police abuse, to have cameras seized, evidence destroyed, and witnesses threatened or caged. Whistleblowers are kidnapped and prosecuted for exposing corruption and wrongdoing. Critics of those in power are spied on, demonized, harassed and characterized as potential terrorists.
Please stop fighting for my right to keep and bear arms. It’s not working.
I can no longer legally walk around with the means to defend myself against an attacker in some of the most dangerous cities in the country. I can’t move to New York because the law prohibits me from keeping a defense rifle in my home to protect myself from possible invaders. The ruling class you serve continues to vilify and harass gun owners. They continue to try to reduce the weaponry available to average citizens while police forces across the country are being militarized with all manners of weapons of war.
Please stop fighting for my right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. It’s not working.
Every day, in every city, honest Americans are being detained, searched and robbed by men and women with badges and guns, without warrant or justification. In the name of “no-knock raids,” heavily armed agents of the state are executing paramilitary invasions on the homes of Americans at an alarming rate. More and more frequently, such raids are inflicted upon innocents, whether as a result of invading the wrong house or the raids being the result of rumors or false information. Such raids often uncover no contraband or evidence of any crime, and yet still result in innocent men, women and children being traumatized, injured, or even killed.
Meanwhile, traffic checkpoints and “stop and frisk” policies are now used to prevent Americans from traveling freely. Due process has been turned on its head by requiring individuals to prove their innocence, when there is no reason to suspect them of having committed a crime. At regulatory checkpoints, armed government agents can stop you, briefly question you, and look in and around your personal vehicle. If a police dog reacts a certain way–that dogs can be trained to do on command*–the police can call that probable cause. They can then use it as an excuse to detain you and tear your car apart.
While agents of the state would never let YOU use the excuse of “ignorance of the law,” the Supreme Court now says that if the police violate the law when detaining, interrogating and searching you, that’s okay as long as their actions were based upon a “reasonable” mistake regarding the law.
Our children are no longer able to use their imagination freely in schools, or sell lemonade in their front yard without running the risk of being intimidated or detained by police. Feeding the homeless, collecting rainwater, planting gardens, selling raw milk, playing musical instruments on public property, and dancing in the wrong place are all now illegal acts that have been targeted by police force.
There are now too many instances of individuals being robbed, assaulted, even killed with no due process and no trial, to have even more than a fraction of them make the news. There is nothing “limited” about the United States government. It is absurd to claim that it represents and serves the people, or that it does what it does with the consent of the people. It dominates, subjugates and terrorizes the people.
So I ask again, soldiers, please stop fighting for my freedom.
It’s not working, and you’re endangering your lives and the lives of others in vain. If you truly want to fight for freedom, then please come home. We need you here, resisting the only gang of terrorists that poses by far the biggest threat to the security and liberty of the American people: the United States government.
Originally posted at the following link:
Most of us associate the holiday with happy Pilgrims and Indians sitting down to a big feast. And that did happen - once.
The story began in 1614 when a band of English explorers sailed home to England with a ship full of Patuxet Indians bound for slavery. They left behind smallpox which virtually wiped out those who had escaped. By the time the Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts Bay they found only one living Patuxet Indian, a man named Squanto who had survived slavery in England and knew their language. He taught them to grow corn and to fish, and negotiated a peace treaty between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Nation. At the end of their first year, the Pilgrims held a great feast honoring Squanto and the Wampanoags.
But as word spread in England about the paradise to be found in the new world, religious zealots called Puritans began arriving by the boat load. Finding no fences around the land, they considered it to be in the public domain. Joined by other British settlers, they seized land, capturing strong young Natives for slaves and killing the rest. But the Pequot Nation had not agreed to the peace treaty Squanto had negotiated and they fought back. The Pequot War was one of the bloodiest Indian wars ever fought.
In 1637 near present day Groton, Connecticut, over 700 men, women and children of the Pequot Tribe had gathered for their annual Green Corn Festival which is our Thanksgiving celebration. In the predawn hours the sleeping Indians were surrounded by English and Dutch mercenaries who ordered them to come outside. Those who came out were shot or clubbed to death while the terrified women and children who huddled inside the longhouse were burned alive. The next day the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared "A Day Of Thanksgiving" because 700 unarmed men, women and children had been murdered.
Cheered by their "victory", the brave colonists and their Indian allies attacked village after village. Women and children over 14 were sold into slavery while the rest were murdered. Boats loaded with as many as 500 slaves regularly left the ports of New England. Bounties were paid for Indian scalps to encourage as many deaths as possible.
Following an especially successful raid against the Pequot in what is now Stamford, Connecticut, the churches announced a second day of "thanksgiving" to celebrate victory over the heathen savages. During the feasting, the hacked off heads of Natives were kicked through the streets like soccer balls. Even the friendly Wampanoag did not escape the madness. Their chief was beheaded, and his head impaled on a pole in Plymouth, Massachusetts -- where it remained on display for 24 years.
The killings became more and more frenzied, with days of thanksgiving feasts being held after each successful massacre. George Washington finally suggested that only one day of Thanksgiving per year be set aside instead of celebrating each and every massacre. Later Abraham Lincoln decreed Thanksgiving Day to be a legal national holiday during the Civil War -- on the same day he ordered troops to march against the starving Sioux in Minnesota.
This story doesn't have quite the same fuzzy feelings associated with it as the one where the Indians and Pilgrims are all sitting down together at the big feast. But we need to learn our true history so it won't ever be repeated. Next Thanksgiving, when you gather with your loved ones to Thank God for all your blessings, think about those people who only wanted to live their lives and raise their families. They, also took time out to say "thank you" to the Creator for all their blessings.
Our Thanks to Hill & Holler, Column by Susan Bates firstname.lastname@example.org
(Link to original article)
US Police Have Killed Over 5,000 Civilians Since 9/11Statistically speaking, Americans should be more fearful of the local cops than “terrorists.”By Katie Rucke | November 6, 2013
(Click here to go to original link)
Though Americans commonly believe law enforcement’s role in society is to protect them and ensure peace and stability within the community, the sad reality is that police departments are often more focused on enforcing laws, making arrests and issuing citations. As a result of this as well as an increase in militarized policing techniques, Americans are eight times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist, estimates a Washington’s Blog report based on official statistical data.
Though the U.S. government does not have a database collecting information about the total number of police involved shootings each year, it’s estimated that between 500 and 1,000 Americans are killed by police officers each year. Since 9/11, about 5,000 Americans have been killed by U.S. police officers, which is almost equivalent to the number of U.S. soldiers who have been killed in the line of duty in Iraq.
Because individual police departments are not required to submit information regarding the use of deadly force by its officers, some bloggers have taken it upon themselves to aggregate that data. Wikipedia also has a list of “justifiable homicides” in the U.S., which was created by documenting publicized deaths.
Mike Prysner, one of the local directors of the Los Angeles chapter for ANSWER — an advocacy group that asks the public to Act Now to Stop War and End Racism — told Mint Press News earlier this year that the “epidemic” of police harassment and violence is a nationwide issue.
He said groups like ANSWER are trying to hold officers accountable for abuse of power. “[Police brutality] has been an issue for a very long time,” Prysner said, explaining that in May, 13 people were killed in Southern California by police.
As Mint Press News previously reported, each year there are thousands of claims of police misconduct. According to the CATO Institute’s National Police Misconduct Reporting Project, in 2010 there were 4,861 unique reports of police misconduct involving 6,613 sworn officers and 6,826 alleged victims.
Most of those allegations of police brutality involved officers who punched or hit victims with batons, but about one-quarter of the reported cases involved firearms or stun guns.
Racist policing- A big element in the police killings, Prysner says, is racism. “A big majority of those killed are Latinos and Black people,” while the police officers are mostly White, he said. “It’s a badge of honor to shoot gang members so [the police] go out and shoot people who look like gang members,” Prysner argued, giving the example of 34-year-old Rigoberto Arceo, who was killed by police on May 11.
According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, Arceo, who was a biomedical technician at St. Francis Medical Center, was shot and killed after getting out of his sister’s van. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says Arceo “advanced on the deputy and attempted to take the deputy’s gun.” However, Arceo’s sister and 53-year-old Armando Garcia — who was barbecuing in his yard when the incident happened — say that Arceo had his hands above his head the entire time.
Prysner is not alone in his assertion that race is a major factor in officer-related violence. This past May, a study from the the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, an anti-racist activist organization, found that police officers, security guards or self-appointed vigilantes killed at least 313 Black people in 2012 — meaning one Black person was killed in the U.S. by law enforcement roughly every 28 hours.
Prysner said the relationship between police departments and community members needs to change and that when police shoot an unarmed person with their arms in the air over their head, the officer should be punished.
Culture of misconduct- “You cannot have a police force that is investigating and punishing itself,” Prysner said, adding that taxpayer money should be invested into the community instead of given to police to buy more guns, assault rifles and body armor.
Dissatisfied with police departments’ internal review policies, some citizens have formed volunteer police watch groups to prevent the so-called “Blue Code of Silence” effect and encourage police officers to speak out against misconduct occurring within their department.
As Mint Press News previously reported, a report released earlier this year found that of the 439 cases of police misconduct that then had been brought before the Minneapolis’s year-old misconduct review board, not one of the police officers involved has been disciplined.
Although the city of Minneapolis spent $14 million in payouts for alleged police misconduct between 2006 and 2012, despite the fact that the Minneapolis Police Department often concluded that the officers involved in those cases did nothing wrong.
Other departments have begun banning equipment such as Tasers, but those decisions were likely more about protecting the individual departments from lawsuits than ensuring that officers are not equipped with weapons that cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries when used.
To ensure officers are properly educated on how to use their weapons and are aware of police ethics, conflict resolution and varying cultures within a community, police departments have historically held training programs for all officers. But due to tighter budgets and a shift in priorities, many departments have not provided the proper continuing education training programs for their officers.
Charles Ramsey, president of both the Major Cities Chiefs Association and the Police Executive Research Forum, called that a big mistake, explaining that it is essential officers are trained and prepared for high-stress situations:
“Not everybody is going to be able to make those kinds of good decisions under pressure, but I do think that the more reality-based training that we provide, the more we put people in stressful situations to make them respond and make them react.”
GI Joe replaces Carl Winslow- In order to help local police officers protect themselves while fighting the largely unsuccessful War on Drugs, the federal government passed legislation in 1994 allowing the Pentagon to donate surplus military equipment from the Cold War to local police departments. Meaning that “weaponry designed for use on a foreign battlefield has been handed over for use on American streets … against American citizens.”
So while the U.S. military fights the War on Terror abroad, local police departments are fighting another war at home with some of the same equipment as U.S. troops, and protocol that largely favors officers in such tactics as no-knock raids.
Radley Balko, author of “Rise of the Warrior Cop,” wrote in the Wall Street Journal in August:
“Since the 1960s, in response to a range of perceived threats, law-enforcement agencies across the U.S., at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier.
“Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment—from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers—American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield. The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop—armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties.”
As Mint Press News previously reported, statistics from an FBI report released in September reveal that a person is arrested on marijuana-related charges in the U.S. every 48 seconds, on average — most were for simple possession charges.
According to the FBI’s report, there were more arrests for marijuana possession than for the violent crimes of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault — 658,231 compared with 521,196 arrests.
While groups that advocate against police brutality recognize and believe that law enforcement officials should be protected while on duty, many say that local police officers do not need to wear body armor, Kevlar helmets and tactical equipment vests — all while carrying assault weapons.
“We want the police to keep up with the latest technology. That’s critical,” American Civil Liberties Union senior counsel Kara Dansky said. “But policing should be about protection, not combat.”
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, there are more than 900,000sworn law enforcement officers in the United States. In 2012, 120 officers were killed in the line of duty. The deadliest day in law enforcement history was reportedly Sept. 11, 2001, when 72 officers were killed.
Despite far fewer officers dying in the line of duty compared with American citizens, police departments are not only increasing their use of protective and highly volatile gear, but are increasingly setting aside a portion of their budget to invest in new technology such as drones, night vision goggles, remote robots, surveillance cameras, license plate readers and armored vehicles that amount to unarmed tanks.
Though some officers are on board with the increased militarization and attend conferences such as the annual Urban Shield event, others have expressed concern with the direction the profession is heading.
For example, former Arizona police officer Jon W. McBride said police concerns about being “outgunned” were likely a “self-fulfilling prophecy.” He added that “if not expressly prohibited, police managers will continually push the arms race,” because “their professional literature is predominately [sic] based on the acquiring and use of newer weapons and more aggressive techniques to physically overwhelm the public. In many cases, however, this is the opposite of smart policing.”
“Coupled with the paramilitary design of the police bureaucracy itself, the police give in to what is already a serious problem in the ranks: the belief that the increasing use of power against a citizen is always justified no matter the violation. The police don’t understand that in many instances they are the cause of the escalation and bear more responsibility during an adverse outcome.
“The suspects I encountered as a former police officer and federal agent in nearly all cases granted permission for me to search their property when asked, often despite unconcealed contraband. Now, instead of making a simple request of a violator, many in law enforcement seem to take a more difficult and confrontational path, fearing personal risk. In many circumstances they inflame the citizens they are engaging, thereby needlessly putting themselves in real and increased jeopardy.”
Another former police officer who wished to remain anonymous agreed with McBride and told Balko,
“American policing really needs to return to a more traditional role of cops keeping the peace; getting out of police cars, talking to people, and not being prone to overreaction with the use of firearms, tasers, or pepper spray. … Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been in more than my share tussles and certainly appreciate the dangers of police work, but as Joseph Wambaugh famously said, the real danger is psychological, not physical.”
View Related Video Below
This is a podcast show I listen to, and an episode which I felt needed to be spread far and wide. This is a very important (albeit uncomfortable) show.
You can follow and support Meria Heller at her website WWW.MERIA.NET
On this edition of DTRH Popeye welcomes Julia Davis back to the broadcast. Julia is a former Customs and Border Protection Officer who was branded a “Domestic Terrorist” for exposing glaring shortcomings within the U.S. national security establishment. The Federal Government threw the full might of the Patriot Act at her, all for doing her job. What did she interrupt that caused such a response from the feds? If it can happen to her it can happen to anyone. Make sure to listen to this broadcast.
Photoshopping, digital alteration, image manipulation, blah blah blah. Everyone talks about the fact that so many images of women are “perfected” with the help of technology, but do we really understand how serious this issue is? Like exactly HOW MUCH these photos are manipulated to fit some seriously unrealistic ideals that we view constantly? And do we understand that it isn’t just fashion magazine covers that feature altered images? It’s everywhere. (Click here to read full Blog)
January 1, 2013 (Thomas Dishaw) As the Sandy Hook conspiracy spirals out of control. Many questions have yet to be answered or even brought up by the main stream media.
Alternative news outlets are leading the charge with great investigative journalism, bringing no one to believe the official story.
Connecticut cop Mark S. Mann breaks down all the evidence and facts surrounding Adam Lanza’s killing spree. Don’t we all love a good conspiracy? Original Postings Link Here
Tue, 18 Dec 2012 17:21 CST
The massacre of 20 children and 7 adults at the Sandy Hook elementary school last Friday was one more in a long line of atrocious mass murders committed in the USA. By now, four days later, an official version of events has more or less solidified to explain the chain of events. The familiar 'lone gunman' narrative has once more stoked the hot-button issue of gun control and left the general population as clueless as ever as to why people suddenly 'go postal' and target the most vulnerable members of society.
On closer inspection, however, there is clearly more to many of these mass shootings than meets the eye. Very often the earliest reports present information that directly contradicts key foundations of the final 'official' analysis of events. Granted, confusion is natural when a story breaks, but some of the initial reports conflict so completely with the lone gunman narrative that I'm going to compile them here and then try to put this tragedy in a more objective context. In his speech at the Sandy Hook Interfaith Prayer Vigil in Newtown, Connecticut on Sunday night, President Obama quoted the following biblical passage:
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." ~ 2 Corinthians 4:18
The traumatised Newtown community deserves the facts without the spin. Everyone touched by this brutal event deserves to know what really happened, so let's fix our eyes on what remains unseen...
A 20-year-old 'tech geek' named Adam Lanza is supposed to have snapped early last Friday, December 14th, shot dead his mother Nancy Lanza, loaded her car up with her guns and ammo, then driven it across town to his former school, the Sandy Hook Elementary School, shot dead 27 people in two classrooms and an adjoining hallway, then turned one of his guns on himself.
That's how most will now remember the shooting, but is that actually what happened?
All the child victims were first-graders between the ages of 6 and 7. If there's any saving grace to be found in this event, it's that it was all over within minutes. Police were reportedly on the scene "instantaneously" and by then the shooting had ended. Listed among the slain school teachers and administrative staff was the school principal, 47-year-old Dawn Hochsprung. Right here we encounter our first problem:
The Newtown Bee
December 14, 2012
Sandy Hook School Principal Dawn Hochsprung told The Bee that a masked man entered the school with a rifle and started shooting multiple shots - more than she could count - that went "on and on."
How could the principal have survived to give this statement to local press describing what happened ... if she was one of the first to be killed? Incidentally, The Newtown Bee's article was taken down yesterday. Of course, a plausible explanation is that a reporter mistook another teacher for the principal.
We were initially told that two handguns - a Glock and a Sig Sauer - were found next to the body of the dead shooter, while a third weapon, a .223-caliber rifle was also recovered "in the trunk of a car" later, in the school's parking lot. All of the weapons were allegedly legally bought and registered in Nancy Lanza's name. The car was later identified as a black Honda, also registered in her name. More weapons have since been introduced to the story but we'll get back to those later on.
Besides anonymous 'law enforcement officials' telling the media that Adam Lanza was a former pupil at the school, they also said his mother was currently a teacher there, that she was found among the dead and that her son had specifically sought out her classroom first. But when it emerged that teaching staff at the school had never heard of a Nancy Lanza, it was suggested that she was a substitute teacher whose name therefore mightn't appear on staff lists.
But this claim too has disappeared down the memory hole because it's now known that neither Nancy nor her son had any connection with the school whatsoever. Adam Lanza was in fact home-schooled. Nancy Lanza has since been painted as a "survivalist" who loved firearms, taught her sons how to shoot and was "stockpiling" because she was "worried about economic collapse."
Daily Mail, UK
December 16, 2012
Last night it also emerged Nancy was a member of the Doomsday Preppers movement, which believes people should prepare for end of the world.
Her former sister-in-law Marsha said she had turned her home 'into a fortress'. She added: 'Nancy had a survivalist philosophy which is why she was stockpiling guns. She had them for defense.
'She was stockpiling food. She grew up on a farm in New Hampshire. She was skilled with guns. We talked about preppers and preparing for the economy collapsing.'
It's not difficult to see that their efforts to insinuate that Nancy Lanza was somehow responsible for this massacre by being an irresponsible mother also serve to rile the large contingent of gun owners in the country, particularly the far right who see a conspiracy on the government's part to "take back our guns." More on that later, but for now I just want to note that all of the Lanza family members seemed to live more or less normal middle-class lives. Yes, the parents were divorced but it was apparently amicable and both put their own needs second to those of their children (and anyway, divorce in the US these days is decidedly 'normal middle class').
Despite "family insiders" claiming that he was a "deeply disturbed kid", Adam Lanza, like so many other alleged 'lone(r) gunmen' before him, does not fit the profile of a mass-murdering maniac. His 24-year-old brother, Ryan Lanza, said he hadn't seen his brother since 2010. This fact brings into question Ryan's claim that his younger brother may have had his identity card on his person at the school shooting. Although perhaps the question that needs to be asked here is, why would a person bother to carry identification with them after going to the trouble of dressing up in a bullet-proof vest, mask and black camouflage gear and going on a killing spree ...
The live emergency services audio feed from the scene reveals some interesting observations from first responders that have been completely overlooked by the mainstream media. Note that the unedited version lasts over two hours, so the abridged versionI'm going to quote from has a compressed sequence of events that are not in real time. In this abridged version, we hear at 1.38' a report that gunfire is still being heard, even though the shooting was supposed to have ended by the time police arrived. The next report at 2.35' says that the shooting has stopped and the school is "in lockdown". At 3.23', the police relay a teacher's report that she saw "two shadows running past the gym" [not "two shooters", as we previously reported on SOTT.net]. This is followed by another officer on the scene who says, "Yeh, we got 'em, they're coming at me! ... [inaudible] ... Coming up the driveway real slowly!" That same officer at 5.40' says he has them "proned out", which presumably means he has apprehended them and they are laid out on the ground, before another officer comes on to say, "be aware that we do have a second [inaudible] ..."
Later on, at 19.10', an officer who sounds out of breath, like he's just given chase, reports what I think sounds like "these guys" followed certainly by "multiple weapons, including long rifles and shotgun". If these were found so early on, why were they not included in the initial press reports which stated that three firearms had been found - the above mentioned Glock, Sig Sauer and Bushmaster AR-15 rifle? Further conflicting, and possibly planted evidence was thrown into the mix by 'law enforcement officials' when they published video footage of a long weapon being retrieved from the trunk of a car. Look closely and you'll see that it's a shotgun, not a rifle. In addition, this 'discovery' was made late in the day (it's dark outside), while the Bushmaster rifle was first reported found in the trunk of a car much earlier in the day.
Besides the above two suspects "proned out" in front of the school, another suspected gunman was apprehended after he gave chase, this time in the woods next to the school:
The police are clearly chasing someone whom they appear to apprehend in the middle of the woods next to the school, a fact confirmed by several eyewitnesses:
This fleeing suspect, wearing camouflage gear, a bulletproof vest and armed with four guns, has since disappeared from media coverage. Who was this person and how did he know what "it" was when he protested that "I didn't do it"?
Perhaps most astonishingly, this suspect arrested in the woods was named in an Associated Press report as 24-year-old Ryan Lanza. The original report has long since vanished of course, but you can see it referenced here. This was despite the fact that Ryan had already been named as the deceased suspect inside the school, lying next to two handguns.
Ryan Lanza was actually at work in Hoboken, New Jersey, that morning when his name and photo began circulating in the media. And so, for most of Friday, the 'lone shooter' was erroneously reported as "Ryan Lanza, confirmed dead." At the same time, we were being told that Ryan's girlfriend and a room-mate were reported missing, also from Hoboken, New Jersey.
So this isn't just a case of mistaken identity, as later claimed when it was suggested that Adam had a piece of identification belonging to his brother on his person. Not one, but BOTH Lanza brothers were being placed by 'law enforcement officials' at the scene of the shooting. It could be that Ryan's quick reflexes to leave his workplace to get on a bus to go back to his apartment while protesting innocence via his Facebook page may have saved his life.
Now remember, all of this confusion somehow resulted from a single guy going into a school and shooting children and teachers and then shooting himself, all within three minutes. Surely it should have been fairly easy to rapidly and concretely identify the details of such a crime and the scene.
What it's starting to look like is that the Lanzas were framed for this mass shooting in advance. Long before any suspects were named, and even as we were being told that Nancy Lanza was among the dead at the school, we were told that police were investigating a murder in ... Hoboken, New Jersey, where a body had been found at the home of ... Ryan Lanza! An older "confirmed" version of events had RYAN, not Adam, travelling to Hoboken that morning to murder his father before going to the school in Newtown, Connecticut. Other variants had Ryan OR Adam going to both their divorced parents' homes and killing them before going to the school.
The narrative has now settled on the younger brother killing his mother in Newtown then going to the school. So what about the rest of it? Do we just put it down to 'keen' journalism that was having a field day last Friday as media outlets sought to bring us the latest 'breaking news'? Confusion and 'Chinese whispers' undoubtedly play a part in the early stages of national media events, but I think back to those news anchors reading scripts about Osama Bin Laden within minutes of the first plane being hit on 9/11 and I think, 'Wait a minute!' All these misleading reports had to have been issued by someone or some people "confirming" to Associated Press and other media outlets that the Ryans's father had been murdered [he wasn't even aware that the shooting at the school had taken place until journalists turned up on his doorstep], or that Ryan's girlfriend had gone missing from Hoboken, or that either Ryan or Adam were pulled out of the adjacent woods in handcuffs yelling "I DIDN'T DO IT" to assembled parents. These aren't just 'little details' that can be confused for other details, these are detailed narratives. So how, or why, would any member of the press come up with such details? They strike me as a set of alternative scenarios that might have found their way into the official narrative had facts on the ground turned out differently.
Watch this snippet of State Police Lt. Paul Vance at the press conference he gave the day after the shootings. His answer is as bizarre as it is revealing. When asked whether Nancy Lanza had any connection with the school, he replied defensively about something that is both unrelated and arguably the most significant fact that completely undermines the official narrative: the arrest of a second gunman in the woods:
Most of the initial mainstream media reports have since been rewritten to fit 'new' facts proclaimed by 'law enforcement officials'. Here's an example from Business Insider. The following excerpts are the opening paragraphs from the 'same' article, one earlier original version, followed by the later revised version:
The massacre [...] was reportedly perpetrated with a .233 caliber rifle, a Glock pistol and a Sig Sauer pistol.
The Bushmaster rifle was found in the trunk of the shooter's car. The Sig Sauer and Glock pistols were the only weapons used in the shooting, according to CBS. Now the question is what kind of magazine would allow a shooter to fire "100" rounds in such a short period.
Indeed, I was wondering the same thing. How could two pistols do so much damage? The report was updated as follows:
The massacre in Connecticut that's taken the lives of at least 26 people was reportedly perpetrated with a .223 caliber rifle, a Glock pistol and a Sig Sauer pistol, according to NBC:
The shooter was using one Sig Sauer and one Glock pistol, according to CNN. Later details emerged that the primary weapon was the Bushmaster "assault-style" rifle.
Altogether, though, it doesn't matter what type of weapon the shooter used. The bottom line is that it was likely a magazine fed, semi-automatic, with enough rounds to shoot "100 shots" in a matter of minutes, as quoted in USA Today.
What actually happened may not matter to some, but surely a journalist's role is to at least try to find out?
This Associated Press/Newsday article on Saturday, December 15th, reported that "Only the rifle was used on the victims", a statement that is supported by Dr. H. Wayne Carver II, Connecticut state's chief medical examiner. Of the seven autopsies he personally performed on Sandy Hook victims, all of them had "three to 11 wounds apiece". He also said that the 'gunman' used a military-style rifle rigged to quickly reload, and that the 'shooter' was able to reload so quickly because he had "taped two magazines together." Even before the State Chief Medical Examiner had given these statements, it had been stated that spent shell casings from .233-caliber (rifle) bullets were found inside the school.
So all the victims' wounds were the result of rifle-fire, specifically from "the rifle", the one we were told in early reports was found in the trunk of a car in the parking lot! This is simply not credible.
Remember that only "the rifle" was used on all the victims. If only this rifle was used, and if we try to make this claim fit into the (admittedly fluid) official version of events, then the alleged lone gunman would have had to leave the school, place the rifle back in his trunk, then return inside the school and shoot himself. No one reported any such maneuver on the part of any gunman or gunmen. What we do have, however, is live emergency services radio feed in which we hear that two men have been apprehended and are "proned out" AND live video footage supported by eyewitness testimony showing what appears to be a THIRD man being arrested by police in the woods.
We can see how the authorities' hands are tied because they need to fit all the facts into the usual 'lone gunman' narrative. For that, there can only be ONE rifle and a couple of handguns. The problem is that they have already claimed to find that solitary Bushmaster rifle in the trunk of a car in the school parking lot, so the earliest police reports of a cache of long arms being found inside the school will no longer fit with the lone gunman narrative, especially as they're now saying that he had already opened fire as he burst into the school.
Could "scrawny" 20-year-old Adam Lanza have stormed the school, solo Rambo-style, while carrying "multiple long arms, including rifles and shotguns"? Only one person was wounded. Everyone else who was shot was killed. How could Adam Lanza achieve such deadly accuracy, in such a short length of recorded time?
Initial reports put the beginning of the shooting in the school administrators' office, where someone, reportedly the school principal, had a row with the gunman(men). We know this because someone supposedly turned on the school intercom system, alerting the teaching staff to the loud swearing and commotion in the principal's office and probably saving many more children from being gunned down as teachers took measures to hide the children in closets.
One brave teacher, Kaitlin Roig, bundled a bunch of children into a bathroom and locked the door. What's interesting about her testimony to ABC News is that when police arrived and asked her to open the door, she refused, saying that "if they were really cops, they'd know where to find keys to open the door." In addition, she requested that they slide their badges under the door.
Now, this is generally a smart thing to do in any and all interactions with the police, especially in the U.S. But to have the wherewithal to do so under such traumatic circumstances strongly suggests that Ms. Roig had logically deduced by that point that multiple perpetrators were involved, and that they were either impersonating police officers or were indistinguishable from SWAT team police commandos, either in the way they dressed or the way they behaved upon entering the building. It also reminds us just how narrow the time window of the actual shooting was. The shooting appears to have barely ended when men knocked on that bathroom door and told Ms. Roig they were police.
There are also conflicting reports about how the gunmen entered the building. We were told initially that they came in through the main front entrance and proceeded straight to the administrators'/principal's offices. But Sandy Hook elementary school has a security system with a video monitor, which allows staff to screen visitors before buzzing them in. A "masked gunman dressed in black tactical combat gear" from head to toe would kinda raise red flags, don't you think?
Another possible anomaly is that Victoria Soto, one of the teachers killed at the school, appears to have had an 'in memoriam' Facebook page created in her name four days before the shooting.
Regarding this alleged 'LIBOR scandal' connection between this shooting and the Aurora theater shooting, there is as yet zero evidence to support the claim that either father of Lanza or Holmes were going to testify to anyone about anything, so for now this must remain just another rumor. I rather think that this is being spread to create the impression of a direct link that can be easily refuted, as in a straw man argument. The obvious and direct link staring everyone in the face is that the U.S. government's accounts of these events are hocus-pocus. The glaring connection between these two shootings, the Sikh Temple shooting and the Fort Hood shooting is that multiple gunmen were reported at the time by eyewitnesses, but they are now all officially claimed to have been carried out by 'lone gunmen'. This logically tells us that the real perpetrators are being protected with cover stories of what really happened because if the truth were known, some section of the U.S. government would be implicated.
Wade Michael Page, the 'lone gunman' in the Sikh Temple shooting in Wisconsin in August this year, was a highly decorated U.S. army psychological operations specialist, according to the Pentagon. But what happened to the three other gunmen seen by witnesses? It can't surely be coincidence that Wade was (former?) military psy-ops. The thought has crossed my mind more than once during the aftermath of the Connecticut shooting. Others too have suggested this was a 'false-flag' event, or that Lanza was some sort of Manchurian Candidate.
But maybe there's a simpler explanation (albeit more outrageous) than that? Was that really Adam Lanza they found inside the school? Do we even know for a fact that one of the gunmen was found dead inside the school? What we have instead are reports of two or three masked gunmen, apparently all dressed similarly in black tactical gear from head to toe, being wilfully forgotten about at best, or protected by the state at worst. Based on the authorities' persistent but futile efforts to connect the Lanzas to this school, the multiple eyewitness reports of two shooters, the Connecticut State Medical Examiner's report that all the victims were riddled with bullets from a rifle that we're simultaneously being asked to believe was in the trunk of a car the whole time, similar reports of multiple shooters in previous mass shootings in recent years and the media focusing the emotional outcry onto the hot-button topic of gun control ... I'm left wondering if this was actually the work of some highly trained professional hit team?
Was the massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, a psy-op, using what amounts to a 'death squad' and a carefully planned mission to terrorise people on behalf of the government, in combination with perception management to shape the narrative and vector the emotional fallout?
Gun control isn't the issue here. The US government would long since have taken measures, quietly, to limit the supply of weapons, the 2nd Amendment of the constitution be damned (it's "just a goddamned piece of paper", remember?), if it was really concerned with limiting civilian access to weapons.
The psychopaths in power have absolutely no compunction about using state terrorism, in this case organising the deliberate massacre of innocent children, to control people. In effect, this is little different from the U.S. government calls counter-insurgency or counter-terrorism in foreign countries, where it attacks innocent civilians to create the impression that they were killed by 'communists', 'terrorists', 'insurgents' or 'militants', with the aim of generating public support for the illusion that the common people need a strong, ruthless government to protect them from the 'evil-doers'. When the common people buy into this manipulation, the end result, as history shows repeatedly, is an overt and brutal police state.
Niall Bradley has been an editor at Sott.net since 2009. He is also an editor of Sott.net's print publication, the Dot Connector Magazine and has appeared as a guest commentator on Press TV. Niall has written numerous articles for Sott.net, where he focuses on analysing geo-political trends in the context of so-called climate change.
Original Article found here.
I'm writing this particular blog because it seems that the Police State is already here. Please listen carefully to the introduction from 3 secs to 5 secs in, when you will hear "Police State News". What the F..K??? Seems like it's not going to be hidden any more.
Also, according to this "Law Enforcer", any one posting their opinions or observations on any social media, will be investigated and prosecuted. Looks like RUMORS are illegal now.
I also want to let every one know that this website usually gets 25 - 70 visits a day, with 192 being my highest. As of this posting, I have had 345 visits for today. So, unless everyone liked and shared my site, looks like "some people" have taken an interest in my posts.
Lastly, I saw the comment below posted on youtube with the above video and wanted to share it here.
mashj50 7 hours ago
any mention of Sandy Hollow being on a map in the Batman Dark Night Movie will not be tolerated, or the fact that both the fathers of both shooters were set to testify in the LIBOR financial scandal case will not be tolerated,Any talk of the 246 million unarmed people murdered by their own governments during the 20th century will not be tolerated, any mention of a monopoly on guns in the hands of our criminal government will not be tolerated. in fact any free speech at all will not be tolerated
Here is a Fox News Report from 2002 that (accidentally) answers what the true problem leading to school shootings is. (Hint: It's not the guns!!)
'Adam Lanza, the father of Connecticut school shooter, Peter Lanza, was the tax director for General Electric, a corporation that paid no taxes on 14.2 billion dollars in profits last year. According to Fabian4Liberty, Peter Lanza was scheduled to testify in the ongoing global LIBOR scandal. In what could only be described as an amazing coincidence, Robert Holmes, the father of Colorado Batman shooter James Holmes, was also a LIBOR witness in his position with FICO.' (Click here for full article)
© Republic of Lakotah
Republic of Lakotah
Sun, 22 Nov 2009 00:00 CST
Is All That Turkey and Stuffing a Celebration of Genocide?
Thanksgiving is a holiday where families gather to share stories, football games are watched on television and a big feast is served. It is also the time of the month when people talk about Native Americans. But does one ever wonder why we celebrate this national holiday? Why does everyone give thanks?
History is never simple. The standard history of Thanksgiving tells us that the "Pilgrims and Indians" feasted for three days, right? Most Americans believe that there was some magnificent bountiful harvest. In the Thanksgiving story, are the "Indians" even acknowledged by a tribe? No, because everyone assumes "Indians" are the same. So, who were these Indians in 1621?
In 1620, Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower naming the land Plymouth Rock. One fact that is always hidden is that the village was already named Patuxet and the Wampanoag Indians lived there for thousands of years. To many Americans, Plymouth Rock is a symbol. Sad but true many people assume, "It is the rock on which our nation began." In 1621, Pilgrims did have a feast but it was not repeated years thereafter. So, it wasn't the beginning of a Thanksgiving tradition nor did Pilgrims call it a Thanksgiving feast. Pilgrims perceived Indians in relation to the Devil and the only reason why they were invited to that feast was for the purpose of negotiating a treaty that would secure the lands for the Pilgrims. The reason why we have so many myths about Thanksgiving is that it is an invented tradition. It is based more on fiction than fact.
So, what truth ought to be taught? In 1637, the official Thanksgiving holiday we know today came into existence. (Some people argue it formally came into existence during the Civil War, in 1863, when President Lincoln proclaimed it, which also was the same year he had 38 Sioux hung on Christmas Eve.) William Newell, a Penobscot Indian and former chair of the anthropology department of the University of Connecticut, claims that the first Thanksgiving was not "a festive gathering of Indians and Pilgrims, but rather a celebration of the massacre of 700 Pequot men, women and children." In 1637, the Pequot tribe of Connecticut gathered for the annual Green Corn Dance ceremony. Mercenaries of the English and Dutch attacked and surrounded the village; burning down everything and shooting whomever try to escape. The next day, Newell notes, the Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony declared: "A day of Thanksgiving, thanking God that they had eliminated over 700 men, women and children." It was signed into law that, "This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots." Most Americans believe Thanksgiving was this wonderful dinner and harvest celebration. The truth is the "Thanksgiving dinner" was invented both to instill a false pride in Americans and to cover up the massacre.
Was Thanksgiving really a massacre of 700 "Indians"? The present Thanksgiving may be a mixture of the 1621 three-day feast and the "Thanksgiving" proclaimed after the 1637 Pequot massacre. So next time you see the annual "Pilgrim and Indian display" in a shopping window or history about other massacres of Native Americans, think of the hurt and disrespect Native Americans feel. Thanksgiving is observed as a day of sorrow rather than a celebration. This year at Thanksgiving dinner, ponder why you are giving thanks.
William Bradford, in his famous History of the Plymouth Plantation, celebrated the Pequot massacre:"Those that scraped the fire were slaine with the sword; some hewed to peeces, others rune throw with their rapiers, so as they were quickly dispatchte, and very few escapted. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fyer, and the streams of blood quenching the same, and horrible was the stincke and sente there of, but the victory seemed a sweete sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to inclose their enemise in their hands, and give them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enimie."The Pequot massacre came after the colonists, angry at the murder of an English trader suspected by the Pequots of kidnapping children, sought revenge. rather than fighting the dangerous Pequot warriors, John Mason and John Underhill led a group of colonists and Native allies to the Indian fort in Mystic, and killed the old men, women, and children who were there. Those who escaped were later hunted down. The Pequot tribe numbered 8,000 when the Pilgrims arrived, but disease had brought their numbers down to 1,500 by 1637. The Pequot "War" killed all but a handful of remaining members of the tribe.
An illustration from John Underhill's News from America, depicting how the village was surrounded.
Proud of their accomplishments, Underhill wrote a book, depicted the burning of the village, and even made an illustration showing how they surrounded the village to kill all within it.
Laura Elliff is Vice President of Native American Student Association.
Photograph: Brian Ulrich
BY JEFFREY KAPLAN
Published in the May/June 2008 issue of Orion magazine
PRIVATE CARS WERE RELATIVELY SCARCE in 1919 and horse-drawn conveyances were still common. In residential districts, electric streetlights had not yet replaced many of the old gaslights. And within the home, electricity remained largely a luxury item for the wealthy.
Just ten years later things looked very different. Cars dominated the streets and most urban homes had electric lights, electric flat irons, and vacuum cleaners. In upper-middle-class houses, washing machines, refrigerators, toasters, curling irons, percolators, heating pads, and popcorn poppers were becoming commonplace. And although the first commercial radio station didn’t begin broadcasting until 1920, the American public, with an adult population of about 122 million people, bought 4,438,000 radios in the year 1929 alone.
But despite the apparent tidal wave of new consumer goods and what appeared to be a healthy appetite for their consumption among the well-to-do, industrialists were worried. They feared that the frugal habits maintained by most American families would be difficult to break. Perhaps even more threatening was the fact that the industrial capacity for turning out goods seemed to be increasing at a pace greater than people’s sense that they needed them.
It was this latter concern that led Charles Kettering, director of General Motors Research, to write a 1929 magazine article called “Keep the Consumer Dissatisfied.” He wasn’t suggesting that manufacturers produce shoddy products. Along with many of his corporate cohorts, he was defining a strategic shift for American industry—from fulfilling basic human needs to creating new ones.
In a 1927 interview with the magazine Nation’s Business, Secretary of Labor James J. Davis provided some numbers to illustrate a problem that the New York Times called “need saturation.” Davis noted that “the textile mills of this country can produce all the cloth needed in six months’ operation each year” and that 14 percent of the American shoe factories could produce a year’s supply of footwear. The magazine went on to suggest, “It may be that the world’s needs ultimately will be produced by three days’ work a week.”
Business leaders were less than enthusiastic about the prospect of a society no longer centered on the production of goods. For them, the new “labor-saving” machinery presented not a vision of liberation but a threat to their position at the center of power. John E. Edgerton, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, typified their response when he declared: “I am for everything that will make work happier but against everything that will further subordinate its importance. The emphasis should be put on work—more work and better work.” “Nothing,” he claimed, “breeds radicalism more than unhappiness unless it is leisure.”
By the late 1920s, America’s business and political elite had found a way to defuse the dual threat of stagnating economic growth and a radicalized working class in what one industrial consultant called “the gospel of consumption”—the notion that people could be convinced that however much they have, it isn’t enough. President Herbert Hoover’s 1929 Committee on Recent Economic Changes observed in glowing terms the results: “By advertising and other promotional devices . . . a measurable pull on production has been created which releases capital otherwise tied up.” They celebrated the conceptual breakthrough: “Economically we have a boundless field before us; that there are new wants which will make way endlessly for newer wants, as fast as they are satisfied.”
Today “work and more work” is the accepted way of doing things. If anything, improvements to the labor-saving machinery since the 1920s have intensified the trend. Machines can save labor, but only if they go idle when we possess enough of what they can produce. In other words, the machinery offers us an opportunity to work less, an opportunity that as a society we have chosen not to take. Instead, we have allowed the owners of those machines to define their purpose: not reduction of labor, but “higher productivity”—and with it the imperative to consume virtually everything that the machinery can possibly produce.
FROM THE EARLIEST DAYS of the Age of Consumerism there were critics. One of the most influential was Arthur Dahlberg, whose 1932 book Jobs, Machines, and Capitalism was well known to policymakers and elected officials in Washington. Dahlberg declared that “failure to shorten the length of the working day . . . is the primary cause of our rationing of opportunity, our excess industrial plant, our enormous wastes of competition, our high pressure advertising, [and] our economic imperialism.” Since much of what industry produced was no longer aimed at satisfying human physical needs, a four-hour workday, he claimed, was necessary to prevent society from becoming disastrously materialistic. “By not shortening the working day when all the wood is in,” he suggested, the profit motive becomes “both the creator and satisfier of spiritual needs.” For when the profit motive can turn nowhere else, “it wraps our soap in pretty boxes and tries to convince us that that is solace to our souls.”
There was, for a time, a visionary alternative. In 1930 Kellogg Company, the world’s leading producer of ready-to-eat cereal, announced that all of its nearly fifteen hundred workers would move from an eight-hour to a six-hour workday. Company president Lewis Brown and owner W. K. Kellogg noted that if the company ran “four six-hour shifts . . . instead of three eight-hour shifts, this will give work and paychecks to the heads of three hundred more families in Battle Creek.”
This was welcome news to workers at a time when the country was rapidly descending into the Great Depression. But as Benjamin Hunnicutt explains in his book Kellogg’s Six-Hour Day, Brown and Kellogg wanted to do more than save jobs. They hoped to show that the “free exchange of goods, services, and labor in the free market would not have to mean mindless consumerism or eternal exploitation of people and natural resources.” Instead “workers would be liberated by increasingly higher wages and shorter hours for the final freedom promised by the Declaration of Independence—the pursuit of happiness.”
To be sure, Kellogg did not intend to stop making a profit. But the company leaders argued that men and women would work more efficiently on shorter shifts, and with more people employed, the overall purchasing power of the community would increase, thus allowing for more purchases of goods, including cereals.
A shorter workday did entail a cut in overall pay for workers. But Kellogg raised the hourly rate to partially offset the loss and provided for production bonuses to encourage people to work hard. The company eliminated time off for lunch, assuming that workers would rather work their shorter shift and leave as soon as possible. In a “personal letter” to employees, Brown pointed to the “mental income” of “the enjoyment of the surroundings of your home, the place you work, your neighbors, the other pleasures you have [that are] harder to translate into dollars and cents.” Greater leisure, he hoped, would lead to “higher standards in school and civic . . . life” that would benefit the company by allowing it to “draw its workers from a community where good homes predominate.”
It was an attractive vision, and it worked. Not only did Kellogg prosper, but journalists from magazines such as Forbes andBusinessWeek reported that the great majority of company employees embraced the shorter workday. One reporter described “a lot of gardening and community beautification, athletics and hobbies . . . libraries well patronized and the mental background of these fortunate workers . . . becoming richer.”
A U.S. Department of Labor survey taken at the time, as well as interviews Hunnicutt conducted with former workers, confirm this picture. The government interviewers noted that “little dissatisfaction with lower earnings resulting from the decrease in hours was expressed, although in the majority of cases very real decreases had resulted.” One man spoke of “more time at home with the family.” Another remembered: “I could go home and have time to work in my garden.” A woman noted that the six-hour shift allowed her husband to “be with 4 boys at ages it was important.”
Those extra hours away from work also enabled some people to accomplish things that they might never have been able to do otherwise. Hunnicutt describes how at the end of her interview an eighty-year-old woman began talking about ping-pong. “We’d get together. We had a ping-pong table and all my relatives would come for dinner and things and we’d all play ping-pong by the hour.” Eventually she went on to win the state championship.
Many women used the extra time for housework. But even then, they often chose work that drew in the entire family, such as canning. One recalled how canning food at home became “a family project” that “we all enjoyed,” including her sons, who “opened up to talk freely.” As Hunnicutt puts it, canning became the “medium for something more important than preserving food. Stories, jokes, teasing, quarreling, practical instruction, songs, griefs, and problems were shared. The modern discipline of alienated work was left behind for an older . . . more convivial kind of working together.”
This was the stuff of a human ecology in which thousands of small, almost invisible, interactions between family members, friends, and neighbors create an intricate structure that supports social life in much the same way as topsoil supports our biological existence. When we allow either one to become impoverished, whether out of greed or intemperance, we put our long-term survival at risk.
Our modern predicament is a case in point. By 2005 per capita household spending (in inflation-adjusted dollars) was twelve times what it had been in 1929, while per capita spending for durable goods—the big stuff such as cars and appliances—was thirty-two times higher. Meanwhile, by 2000 the average married couple with children was working almost five hundred hours a year more than in 1979. And according to reports by the Federal Reserve Bank in 2004 and 2005, over 40 percent of American families spend more than they earn. The average household carries $18,654 in debt, not including home-mortgage debt, and the ratio of household debt to income is at record levels, having roughly doubled over the last two decades. We are quite literally working ourselves into a frenzy just so we can consume all that our machines can produce.
Yet we could work and spend a lot less and still live quite comfortably. By 1991 the amount of goods and services produced for each hour of labor was double what it had been in 1948. By 2006 that figure had risen another 30 percent. In other words, if as a society we made a collective decision to get by on the amount we produced and consumed seventeen years ago, we could cut back from the standard forty-hour week to 5.3 hours per day—or 2.7 hours if we were willing to return to the 1948 level. We were already the richest country on the planet in 1948 and most of the world has not yet caught up to where we were then.
Rather than realizing the enriched social life that Kellogg’s vision offered us, we have impoverished our human communities with a form of materialism that leaves us in relative isolation from family, friends, and neighbors. We simply don’t have time for them. Unlike our great-grandparents who passed the time, we spend it. An outside observer might conclude that we are in the grip of some strange curse, like a modern-day King Midas whose touch turns everything into a product built around a microchip.
Of course not everybody has been able to take part in the buying spree on equal terms. Millions of Americans work long hours at poverty wages while many others can find no work at all. However, as advertisers well know, poverty does not render one immune to the gospel of consumption.
Meanwhile, the influence of the gospel has spread far beyond the land of its origin. Most of the clothes, video players, furniture, toys, and other goods Americans buy today are made in distant countries, often by underpaid people working in sweatshop conditions. The raw material for many of those products comes from clearcutting or strip mining or other disastrous means of extraction. Here at home, business activity is centered on designing those products, financing their manufacture, marketing them—and counting the profits.
KELLOGG’S VISION, DESPITE ITS POPULARITY with his employees, had little support among his fellow business leaders. But Dahlberg’s book had a major influence on Senator (and future Supreme Court justice) Hugo Black who, in 1933, introduced legislation requiring a thirty-hour workweek. Although Roosevelt at first appeared to support Black’s bill, he soon sided with the majority of businessmen who opposed it. Instead, Roosevelt went on to launch a series of policy initiatives that led to the forty-hour standard that we more or less observe today.
By the time the Black bill came before Congress, the prophets of the gospel of consumption had been developing their tactics and techniques for at least a decade. However, as the Great Depression deepened, the public mood was uncertain, at best, about the proper role of the large corporation. Labor unions were gaining in both public support and legal legitimacy, and the Roosevelt administration, under its New Deal program, was implementing government regulation of industry on an unprecedented scale. Many corporate leaders saw the New Deal as a serious threat. James A. Emery, general counsel for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), issued a “call to arms” against the “shackles of irrational regulation” and the “back-breaking burdens of taxation,” characterizing the New Deal doctrines as “alien invaders of our national thought.”
In response, the industrial elite represented by NAM, including General Motors, the big steel companies, General Foods, DuPont, and others, decided to create their own propaganda. An internal NAM memo called for “re-selling all of the individual Joe Doakes on the advantages and benefits he enjoys under a competitive economy.” NAM launched a massive public relations campaign it called the “American Way.” As the minutes of a NAM meeting described it, the purpose of the campaign was to link “free enterprise in the public consciousness with free speech, free press and free religion as integral parts of democracy.”
Consumption was not only the linchpin of the campaign; it was also recast in political terms. A campaign booklet put out by the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency told readers that under “private capitalism, the Consumer, the Citizen is boss,” and “he doesn’t have to wait for election day to vote or for the Court to convene before handing down his verdict. The consumer ‘votes’ each time he buys one article and rejects another.”
According to Edward Bernays, one of the founders of the field of public relations and a principal architect of the American Way, the choices available in the polling booth are akin to those at the department store; both should consist of a limited set of offerings that are carefully determined by what Bernays called an “invisible government” of public-relations experts and advertisers working on behalf of business leaders. Bernays claimed that in a “democratic society” we are and should be “governed, our minds . . . molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.”
NAM formed a national network of groups to ensure that the booklet from J. Walter Thompson and similar material appeared in libraries and school curricula across the country. The campaign also placed favorable articles in newspapers (often citing “independent” scholars who were paid secretly) and created popular magazines and film shorts directed to children and adults with such titles as “Building Better Americans,” “The Business of America’s People Is Selling,” and “America Marching On.”
Perhaps the biggest public relations success for the American Way campaign was the 1939 New York World’s Fair. The fair’s director of public relations called it “the greatest public relations program in industrial history,” one that would battle what he called the “New Deal propaganda.” The fair’s motto was “Building the World of Tomorrow,” and it was indeed a forum in which American corporations literally modeled the future they were determined to create. The most famous of the exhibits was General Motors’ 35,000-square-foot Futurama, where visitors toured Democracity, a metropolis of multilane highways that took its citizens from their countryside homes to their jobs in the skyscraper-packed central city.
For all of its intensity and spectacle, the campaign for the American Way did not create immediate, widespread, enthusiastic support for American corporations or the corporate vision of the future. But it did lay the ideological groundwork for changes that came after the Second World War, changes that established what is still commonly called our post-war society.
The war had put people back to work in numbers that the New Deal had never approached, and there was considerable fear that unemployment would return when the war ended. Kellogg workers had been working forty-eight-hour weeks during the war and the majority of them were ready to return to a six-hour day and thirty-hour week. Most of them were able to do so, for a while. But W. K. Kellogg and Lewis Brown had turned the company over to new managers in 1937.
The new managers saw only costs and no benefits to the six-hour day, and almost immediately after the end of the war they began a campaign to undermine shorter hours. Management offered workers a tempting set of financial incentives if they would accept an eight-hour day. Yet in a vote taken in 1946, 77 percent of the men and 87 percent of the women wanted to return to a thirty-hour week rather than a forty-hour one. In making that choice, they also chose a fairly dramatic drop in earnings from artificially high wartime levels.
The company responded with a strategy of attrition, offering special deals on a department-by-department basis where eight hours had pockets of support, typically among highly skilled male workers. In the culture of a post-war, post-Depression U.S., that strategy was largely successful. But not everyone went along. Within Kellogg there was a substantial, albeit slowly dwindling group of people Hunnicutt calls the “mavericks,” who resisted longer work hours. They clustered in a few departments that had managed to preserve the six-hour day until the company eliminated it once and for all in 1985.
The mavericks rejected the claims made by the company, the union, and many of their co-workers that the extra money they could earn on an eight-hour shift was worth it. Despite the enormous difference in societal wealth between the 1930s and the 1980s, the language the mavericks used to explain their preference for a six-hour workday was almost identical to that used by Kellogg workers fifty years earlier. One woman, worried about the long hours worked by her son, said, “He has no time to live, to visit and spend time with his family, and to do the other things he really loves to do.”
Several people commented on the link between longer work hours and consumerism. One man said, “I was getting along real good, so there was no use in me working any more time than I had to.” He added, “Everybody thought they were going to get rich when they got that eight-hour deal and it really didn’t make a big difference. . . . Some went out and bought automobiles right quick and they didn’t gain much on that because the car took the extra money they had.”
The mavericks, well aware that longer work hours meant fewer jobs, called those who wanted eight-hour shifts plus overtime “work hogs.” “Kellogg’s was laying off people,” one woman commented, “while some of the men were working really fantastic amounts of overtime—that’s just not fair.” Another quoted the historian Arnold Toynbee, who said, “We will either share the work, or take care of people who don’t have work.”
PEOPLE IN THE DEPRESSION-WRACKED 1930s, with what seems to us today to be a very low level of material goods, readily chose fewer work hours for the same reasons as some of their children and grandchildren did in the 1980s: to have more time for themselves and their families. We could, as a society, make a similar choice today.
But we cannot do it as individuals. The mavericks at Kellogg held out against company and social pressure for years, but in the end the marketplace didn’t offer them a choice to work less and consume less. The reason is simple: that choice is at odds with the foundations of the marketplace itself—at least as it is currently constructed. The men and women who masterminded the creation of the consumerist society understood that theirs was a political undertaking, and it will take a powerful political movement to change course today.
Bernays’s version of a “democratic society,” in which political decisions are marketed to consumers, has many modern proponents. Consider a comment by Andrew Card, George W. Bush’s former chief of staff. When asked why the administration waited several months before making its case for war against Iraq, Card replied, “You don’t roll out a new product in August.” And in 2004, one of the leading legal theorists in the United States, federal judge Richard Posner, declared that “representative democracy . . . involves a division between rulers and ruled,” with the former being “a governing class,” and the rest of us exercising a form of “consumer sovereignty” in the political sphere with “the power not to buy a particular product, a power to choose though not to create.”
Sometimes an even more blatant antidemocratic stance appears in the working papers of elite think tanks. One such example is the prominent Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington’s 1975 contribution to a Trilateral Commission report on “The Crisis of Democracy.” Huntington warns against an “excess of democracy,” declaring that “a democratic political system usually requires some measure of apathy and noninvolvement on the part of some individuals and groups.” Huntington notes that “marginal social groups, as in the case of the blacks, are now becoming full participants in the political system” and thus present the “danger of overloading the political system” and undermining its authority.
According to this elite view, the people are too unstable and ignorant for self-rule. “Commoners,” who are viewed as factors of production at work and as consumers at home, must adhere to their proper roles in order to maintain social stability. Posner, for example, disparaged a proposal for a national day of deliberation as “a small but not trivial reduction in the amount of productive work.” Thus he appears to be an ideological descendant of the business leader who warned that relaxing the imperative for “more work and better work” breeds “radicalism.”
As far back as 1835, Boston workingmen striking for shorter hours declared that they needed time away from work to be good citizens: “We have rights, and we have duties to perform as American citizens and members of society.” As those workers well understood, any meaningful democracy requires citizens who are empowered to create and re-create their government, rather than a mass of marginalized voters who merely choose from what is offered by an “invisible” government. Citizenship requires a commitment of time and attention, a commitment people cannot make if they are lost to themselves in an ever-accelerating cycle of work and consumption.
We can break that cycle by turning off our machines when they have created enough of what we need. Doing so will give us an opportunity to re-create the kind of healthy communities that were beginning to emerge with Kellogg’s six-hour day, communities in which human welfare is the overriding concern rather than subservience to machines and those who own them. We can create a society where people have time to play together as well as work together, time to act politically in their common interests, and time even to argue over what those common interests might be. That fertile mix of human relationships is necessary for healthy human societies, which in turn are necessary for sustaining a healthy planet.
If we want to save the Earth, we must also save ourselves from ourselves. We can start by sharing the work and the wealth. We may just find that there is plenty of both to go around.
Jeffrey Kaplan has long been an activist in the Bay Area. His articles have appeared in various publications, including Yes!and the Chicago Tribune.