Where Do We Go From Here?

by lizard

In yesterday’s post, JC pulls back the lens on Ferguson to examine the implications of an unchecked police state. Excerpted in that post is a piece by John Whitehead, writing for the Rutherford Institute. I finally got a chance to read the whole article and one of the things that jumped out was the massive expenditure of resources to catch the cop killer in Pennsylvania:

Just a few weeks after the Ferguson showdown, law enforcement agencies took part in an $11 million manhunt in Pennsylvania for alleged cop killer Eric Frein. Without batting an eye, the news media switched from outraged “shock” over the military arsenal employed by police in Ferguson to respectful “awe” of the 48-day operation that cost taxpayers $1.4 million per week in order to carry out a round-the-clock dragnet search of an area with a 5-mile-radius.

The Frein operation brought together 1,000 officers from local, state and federal law enforcement, as well as SWAT teams and cutting edge military equipment (high-powered rifles, body armor, infrared sensors, armored trucks, helicopters and unmanned, silent surveillance blimps)—some of the very same weapons and tactics employed in Ferguson and, a year earlier, in Boston in the wake of the marathon bombing.

The manhunt was a well-timed, perfectly choreographed exercise in why Americans should welcome the police state: for our safety, of course, and to save the lives of police officers.

Opposed to any attempt to demilitarize America’s police forces, the Dept. of Homeland Security has been chanting this safety mantra in testimony before Congress: Remember 9/11. Remember Boston. Remember how unsafe the world was before police were equipped with automatic weapons, heavily armored trucks, night-vision goggles, and aircraft donated by the DHS.

Contrary to DHS rhetoric, however, militarized police—twitchy over perceived dangers, hyped up on their authority, and protected by their agencies, the legislatures and the courts—have actually made communities less safe at a time when violent crime is at an all-time low and lumberjacks, fishermen, airline pilots, roofers, construction workers, trash collectors, electricians and truck drivers all have a higher risk of on-the-job fatalities than police officers.

In the comments JC reminded our readers of what a militarized police response looks like in Missoula. If you didn’t watch it, you should:

It was the summer of 2000, the month I actually moved to Missoula with my fiancé. I remember wondering why there was such a heavy police presence in a college mountain town. Sure, the Hells Angels were visiting, but did that really warrant out-of-state police officers patrolling Missoula streets?

It seems to me, looking back, that the show of force by the Missoula Police Department antagonized enough people into demonstrating. If you watch the video, you will see what abuses of police authority look like.

And if you go to 18:33 in the video you will hear Pete Lawrence, Missoula’s Chief of police at the time, say something that should be disturbing to any citizen. In describing the decision to let crowds disperse Saturday night after the bars closed, Chief Lawrence states that “we backed off, pulled our troops out of the Front Street area…” (my emphasis)

Remember, this is 2000, a full year before the 9/11 attacks provided the perfect excuse to greatly expand the police state.

Getting back to Ferguson, JC was quick to point out the perversion of the grand jury process in this case. Chris Lehmann, writing for Al Jazeera America, also takes a crack at this angle in an article titled A deafening liberal silence on Ferguson. From the link:

It speaks volumes about the anorexic state of liberal moral reasoning in today’s America that it has met the failure of a grand jury to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown with little more than a procedural shrug. All appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, the system has worked, liberals intone.

This should not come as any great surprise. Liberalism, in its current technocratic guise, doesn’t possess any strong moral vocabulary for describing — let alone condemning — procedural abuses, for the simple reason that its most ardent apostles don’t imagine them occurring. Hence our first African-American president — a classic managerial liberal whose bona fides were minted in the academy’s most hallowed cathedral of neoliberalism, the University of Chicago Law School — greeted the outrage of Wilson’s non-indictment with the bland assurance that our impersonal institutions of justice were all in fundamental working order.

“First and foremost, we are a nation built on the rule of law,” President Barack Obama said in his address to the nation following the Nov. 24 grand jury decision. Never mind that the legal proceedings in question had forestalled the most basic protections that safeguard such rule — the opportunity to mount a public inquiry into a police officer’s grave trespass against a private citizen. Instead it produced something of a parody of due process, via a highly irregular grand-jury proceeding relying mainly on the contradictory and implausible testimony of the would-be defendant.

Nevertheless, the president pressed on with his alternate-universe version of events. “We need to accept that this decision was the grand jury’s to make,” he announced — even though no one protesting was challenging the panel’s formal authority, any more than abolitionists or civil-rights activists had denied that the Supreme Court’s rulings in Dred Scott v. Sanford or Plessy v. Ferguson were the law of the land. What was in question, rather, was the actions of the grand jury, after its members had been prodded by St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch, a notoriously cop-friendly DA, to contort the basic purpose of a grand-jury hearing out of all recognition. Grand juries are not empowered to settle the momentous question of guilt or innocence, or finer-grained matters of motive, opportunity and state of mind. They’re only charged with establishing probably cause for a trial to proceed — to indict, rather than to exonerate or convict, a prospective criminal defendant.

This was the howling, first-order procedural abuse that permitted all the other, kindred trespasses of this inquiry to disfigure the routine operations of the legal system in the killing of Michael Brown. Since they’re formal path-clearing inquiries, grand juries typically don’t hear the testimony of more than a handful of witnesses. McCulloch, by contrast, called 60 witnesses, who testified for more than 70 hours. Wilson alone testified without cross-examination for four hours — an unheard-of span of time for a prospective defendant, even in a police murder inquiry. Likewise, grand-jury proceedings in any criminal case rarely go beyond a day or two — but McCulloch kept this body empaneled for more than 100 days.

The article goes on and is worth reading in full.

So where do we go from here? Considering there are differing opinions on what the core issues even are, that’s a difficult question to begin answering. Is institutional racism the main problem or is it the police state? Is reforming the system possible, and if so, by what means? Direct action? The ballot box?

Personally, I swing back and forth. I participate in the daily grind within the system, trying to make positive impacts wherever possible. And I have seen that there are possibilities. I know there are good members of law enforcement who do protect and serve our community. Change is slow and tedious, but it is possible.

But then there’s my cynical side, fueled by how politics distorts and destroys the potential for change.

Money in politics is one of those core issues that, if not addressed, will ensure the debilitating status quo is maintained. On that front, it was incredibly disappointing to read about Governor Bullock’s intention to chair the DGA:

Gov. Steve Bullock this week acknowledged his interest in serving in the top post at the Democratic Governors Association.

Politico reported Wednesday that Bullock, who in December 2013 was chosen to chair the group’s major donor program, is poised to succeed Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin in the organization’s top spot.

“Gov. Bullock is a Democratic governor who knows how to balance a budget, keep money in the bank for a rainy day and prioritize public schools,” Bullock’s spokesman, Dave Parker, said in a statement. “Folks have noticed what Gov. Bullock is doing out here and some of his colleagues have encouraged him to consider running. He’s doing that.”

The group convenes in Los Angeles on Dec. 8-9 for its annual meeting and holiday party, at which Bullock is expected to be picked as the next DGA chair.

If elected, Bullock would head an organization that primarily exists to elect Democratic governors, and does so by raising millions of dollars from corporate donors.

The DGA is a 527 tax-exempt political organization that can solicit corporate contributions in any amount.

In 2012, the DGA raised more than $50 million, much of that coming from unions, drug makers, insurance companies, energy companies and other corporate sources. That year, the DGA gave over $2.8 million to Montana Jobs, Education and Technology PAC, a political action committee that worked to get Bullock elected.

If Bullock is picked to be the next DGA chair, that will mean both our Governor and one of our Senators (Tester) will be dedicating a significant amount of their time in public office fundraising. Somehow I don’t think the interests of Montanans will be a top priority as Governor Bullock and Senator Tester involve themselves in corporate panhandling.

I guess that means it’s up to us. Unfortunately that notion reinforces my cynicism.

  1. JC

    Thanks for reposting the video, Liz. I have hesitated many times to bring that video forward because I was way too close to the whole issue. Here’s a bit of the back story to what happened in 2000:

    * Linda Tracy (a close personal friend of mine) was subpoenaed by the Missoula PD to confiscate her raw video footage and use it for criminal prosecution of arrestees, and to charge others who had not been arrested. She fought the subpoena, and the case has been the most important test of the Montana Shield law for journalists. She won her case and didn’t have to turn over the footage (well, she didn’t have the raw footage to turn over, but that’s another story). The city of Missoula even had to be reminded by counsel that their copying and selling/release of Tracy’s documentary footage amounted to copyright infringement.

    * This was the year following the massive WTO protests in Seattle, and police forces were edgy all over the NW. It also was a few weeks after the 2000 Rainbow Gathering in the Big Hole, so federal incident command structures were already in place in Western Montana, and federal agents sticking around for training. It was a very hot and smoky weekend, which had every body’s nerves on edge.

    * Missoula Mayor Mike Kadas left Missoula for vacation during the Hell’s Angels’ visit to Missoula. He went to a remote island in northern Canada with no phone service and was unreachable. He left the city in the hands of the feds and police to decide strategy and tactics, knowing that trouble was brewing. There was a leadership vacuum that was filled by the feds and police.

    * The Missoula PD, with assistance from the FBI decided to invite out-of-state police officers (and who knows what other kind of riot patrol personnel) from Utah and Washington ostensibly for “training”. The out of state forces illegally assisted with live policing during that weekend, were armed, and arrested people. The only way armed out of state officers can be used in policing in MT is if the governor calls a state of emergency. Governor Racicot had not.

    * There was FBI and other federal & state monitoring via helicopter and on top of/inside buildings during the episode. They were plainly visible. In addition, there were plain clothes federal agents milling about the crowds.

    There is much more back and front story. As I said, I was too close to it all — I do show up in at least one clip, and in another my ex was getting arrested (and many of the other arrestees were my friends). She won a settlement from the city for violation of her civil rights, as did quite a few other individuals. Many individuals pled out to avoid trial and/or the cost/embarrassment of criminal and civil trials.

    As to the raw video footage the Missoula PD was after, I may have had something to do with protecting it from confiscation, and also with conversion of the documentary to a form suitable for youtube. Mebbe… jes saying’.

    I also spent hours and days lambasting the city of Missoula and it’s minions in pubic and private meetings as to its unprecedented and unwise use of covert and overt militarized policing tactics, and poor jailing policies and procedures.

    It was the worst of times in Missoula for everybody involved…

    • lizard19

      it was an interesting time to have just moved here, being the clueless 21 year old that I was. now it’s difficult to recall the pre-9/11 momentum that had TPTB nervous after the WTO actions in Seattle. thank you for contextualizing the times for our readers JC.

  2. Just a few observations on reading this and JC’s comments and on watching the video:

    The song “For What It’s Worth” was about a protest on Sunset Strip of a closing of a popular nightclub, and had nothing to do with anti war or anything important.

    Quite a few of Missoula’s finest and any outside muscle they brought in that night were overweight. The doughnut problem is real.

    All cops should be badged and ID’d so that when they are on film we can later identify them. This is especially true of those who wear the housefly masks.

    As police riots go, this one was mild.

    And finally, when I ran for legislature in 1996, we Billings Democrat candidates met at the Windmill Supper Club in Billings to annoy a gathering of Republcian VIP’s inside, a staged photo op. I was handed a piece of paper by Christine Mangiantin,i a State Democratic operative, and asked to read it before TV cameras. On it, among other offensive remarks, I was to say words supporting Bill Clinton’s initiative to put 100,000 new police on the street. I handed it back to her and said I could not read it. She gave it to a non-candidiate, Conrad a Stroebe, who did read it to TV cameras.

    There you have the public initiative to put all these thugs that performed so bravely that night in Missoula in uniform – Bill Clinton and the Democrats. This is all pre-9/11. Democrats have been out of control for a long time.

    • JC

      Yeah, the music Tracy chose for the documentary wasn’t a good choice. A lot of people have commented on that.

      As for the police riot aspect, sure it didn’t pan out like say, the WTO, or Occupy riots. But for Montana and Missoula, it was unprecedented. And a lot of other stuff went on unrecorded, like how the jail treated all of the pepper sprayed people. They made them sit in the paddy wagon for hours in the drive-in bay, and then didn’t do any decontamination during or after booking. That was one of the civil rights charges against the jail that the city settled on.

      Also, arrestees were left with plastic cuffs on, cutting into their skin, and bleeding all over the paddy wagon during that time. Another violation. There’s more that I don’t want to go into. Brings back bad memories of having to explain to my 9 year old daughter why after her mom was gone for a day, she came home bruised, bloodied and battered by the police. And they never filed any charges… so yeah, sometimes I really get a bit of disgust for police brutality.

      • I agree it was ugly and violent and that there should be accountability. Just on a scale of Chicago or Seattle being ten, it was perhaps a three.

        • lizard19

          Mark, have you ever been beaten by police? if not, your rating of this situation comes off as insensitive.

        • No. Have not. And as I watched it I became repulsed and got very angry. A small number of cops were just itching to lash out at people, like slingshots pulled back waiting to let go.

          No issue with you or JC on that matter. It was a sickening display of abuse.

    • Steve W

      I don’t know Mark. I guess what fact is important to you isn’t necessarily as important to others. I think LA passing a curfew and loitering law to keep people off the streets might be considered a violation of civil rights. That’s what the the people demonstrating said they were demonstrating about on Sunset Strip. The new 10pm curfew and anti-loitering law directed at youth culture. The city had closed down the club and bought it to save the neighborhood from the kids. So the kids showed up and resisted. was it a CIA plot? I doubt it. Was it frivolous? I don’t know. Is a curfew frivolous?

      How one characterizes events shapes how those events are perceived. And in this way, I;d say McGowan works a bit too hard. He does an inordinate amount of characterization.

      As usual , the powers that be characterized the event to maximize the futility of dissent.

      And now you are helping them to characterize it thus. Thanks! For the CIA narrative.

      Frank Zappa wrote “Plastic People” (released 1967) and mentions the police riot. on Sunset. He also scooped your buddy Dave McGowan by about, what, 45 years on Laurel Canyon and the CIA? Is this where Dave got his idea from, first? Frank Spilled all the beans on his record, yet lived into the 1990s? Course Dave is still alive (so are you and i) and Frank, Jim, Mama Cass, and John Lennon are dead.

      My good friend from high school (Northern Cal) was born in Lancaster. His parents were Frank Zappa’s god parents. As far as I know, neither he, his brothers, nor his parents were in the CIA, but we did listen to and play rock and roll music and we also hitched to SF to see the Grateful Dead. Was it a CIA plot? I doubt it.

      Though I’m positive that the CIA attempted to penetrate every major social movement, and every cultural phenomena, no matter what. And to try and figure out how to control it. That’s what they do. They definitely introduced LSD into group settings to experiment. I don’t think they were very successful with the hippies. Instead of controlling the hippies it made them smarter and more capable to deal with the threat. It made them less susceptible to propaganda. An example? There are a significant number of older people who assume cannabis must be very dangerous because the government outlawed it. Hippies have known for a long time the danger was negligible and they don’t tend to just assume what the government claims is true. n fact, they tend to assume what they say is false, not that I blame them, but assuming is always our first mistake.

      I think that’s why they played the narrative that the hippies wrecked America and made them lose in Vietnam and cannabis and hippies are forbidden. And I see you are helping, if even just a little bit. Think about it Mark

      So. Cal. was the hub of the war industries especially flight related stuff. Lots of military bases. If someones dad wasn’t in the military that would have been exceptional. My mom worked in the aircraft industry during the war. After the war. people were going to school, buying homes, on the gI bill. And having kids, who grew up to be hippies on one level or another.

      Undoubtedly the hippies and the CIA intersected. But so did the Catholic Church and the CIA. And Tim Leary and the CIA Were you part of the Catholic CIA conspiracy? Also the CIA and the newspaper business, the airline business, the publishing businesses the TV industry and computers/high tech, movies, education, pharma, finance, banking accounting, etc. Full spectrum wouldn’t imply no hippy penetration as well.

      We have known since the 1960s that Ken Kesey was turned on to psychedelic drugs by our government conducting mind control tests at Stanford. There is something about McGowens book that I find highly suspicious. And that’s that he’s so simplistic and makes a hell of a lot of assumptions.

      I think if you assume we are all 5 degrees of separation away from each other, if you think about migration patterns (people move to where their family and friends are, where work is available, ) and if you imagine the US intell as a legal mob, it’s obvious they have their tentacles into everything that might be profitable. Just like the mob. (Think Frank Sinatra)

      • Sometime, and not here, please respond to what I think and not what you think I think. You’ve put too many words in my mouth. And do so at my blog, as this is I think off topic here.

        • Steve W

          I though “Plastic People” would be a good soundtrack, at least part of it, for the MSLA video.

        • Actually, For What it is Worth worked, so long as the history of the song is so obscure. People think it is about Vietnam protests. I have thought long and hard about McGowan and his findings since reading the book earlier this year, and realize most of the implications that you set forth. I realize that CIA is not at a the head of movements, but if they become threatening, does infiltrate them. It appears they did so with the antiwar movement with the Laurel Canyon scene, and that even so it got out of hand.

          McGowan does not go deep, that is, he unwraps evidence, but does not follow it through. That’s his fatal flaw, and not such in his own mind as he has to do other work to make his living.

  3. evdebs

    The Rutherford Institute is a reactionary foundation that has worked to deny women access to contraceptive services and to make it more difficult and expensive for abortion services to be provided. While it is often a guardian of civil liberties, that position is abridged significantly when the issue is women’s health matters, or the expansion of the unfettered “right” to brandish firearms.

    • JC

      And the ACLU led the fight for Citizen’s United. Constitutional civil liberties are a tough place to get into an argument. Do you believe in religious freedom as it springs from the first amendment?

      And conversely, do you believe that our duly elected democrats uphold the rights of women in other countries when we bomb the hell out of them?

      Unfortunately, I think that democrats have destroyed the notion of civil liberties in this country. What we have left is a few paeans to women’s reproductive rights and gun restrictions to continue to prop up “liberalism”. Wedge politics at its worst.

  4. evdebs

    Rather than attacking Democrats for working to raise but a fraction of what corporatist Koch stooges effortlessly rake in in direct contributions or far great dark money sponsorship, 4&20 would be better off perhaps criticizing the Gang of Five for Citizens United, etc. Not participating in the process of raising campaign funds would completely cede the electoral field to those least receptive to our retention of actual civil liberties.

    • Is not a Democratic blog be more effective in trying to bring change about in the Democratic Party? Everyone knows about the Koch brothers, and they live for and love their left wing critics. It feeds them; they manipulate them with ease. But Democrats who work to reform Democrats, that might work.

    • lizard19

      sounds like you need to start your own blog. I will write about what I choose to write about, simple as that. I don’t see how 4&20 would be “better off” if I focused on the evdebs-approved targets like the Kochtopus. will the blogs that have shunned this site suddenly reinstate links because I go after the boogeymen that keeps their preferred political duopoly in place? would adhering to your pathetic stance of lesser-evilism do anything to actually improve the lives of people who haven’t recovered from the economic malaise both parties perpetuate?

      your narrow focus on my criticism of MT Democrats who choose to panhandle corporations for cash, rendering them hypocrites when they lament dark money, is interesting. there’s a lot more going on in this post, but you ignore all that and instead arrogantly try to tell me what to write about.

      our civil liberties have not been protected by Democrats. the Obama regime has enshrined what boogeyman Bush did to the constitution, and Clinton before him.

      wake up, evdebs. it’s still not too late for you.

  5. lizard19

    here is an article about how police in Portland reacted to recent protests—Darren Wilson in Portland.

    and things are getting really serious when negro football players forget their place and get uppity:

    Reacting to five members of the St. Louis Rams coming onto the field for Sunday’s game displaying the ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ gesture, a St. Louis police officers fraternal organization is demanding the team discipline the players, and that the team and league issue a formal apology, reports KSDK.

    In a statement released Sunday evening, the St. Louis Police Officers Association condemned the display, calling it “tasteless, offensive and inflammatory.”

    Prior to player introductions before Sunday’s game, five players — Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, Chris Givens, and Kenny Britt — came out onto the field first with their hands in the air prior to being joined by their teammates.

    Responding to the display, the statement reads, “The St. Louis Police Officers Association is profoundly disappointed with the members of the St. Louis Rams football team who chose to ignore the mountains of evidence released from the St. Louis County Grand Jury this week and engage in a display that police officers around the nation found tasteless, offensive and inflammatory.”

    • Turner

      I just became a Rams fan.

      • Turner

        I just sent Kenny Britt, possibly the ringleader of the Rams symbolic action, a Facebook message of congratulations and thanks. Others might want to do something similar. Or not.

    • Hilarious. They should have a Grand Jury look into the matter. My bet: Indictments. Five of them.

      • As opposed to regular idiots, Kwyjibo?

        • “Useful idiots” is a term used for people who advance causes that they are not fully aware of. For instance, people who promote “free markets” in an idealistic fashion may not be fully aware of the full implications of unregulated markets.

          That’s just one example. I think you should be more precise in your use of language. When you use the term “useful idiot” you appear to mean “people I don’t like,” a whole ‘nuther meaning.

          • Meant this. “In the Russian language, the equivalent term “useful fools” (полезные дураки, tr. polezniye duraki) was in use at least in 1941.”

            As far as my liking someone I prefer law abiders.

            Couldn’t you say historically that our nation became an economic powerhouse based on a free market.

            • JC

              I didn’t know that anarchists preferred law abiders.

              And no, historically our nation became an economic powerhouse based on slavery, land theft, manifest destiny and plutocracy. None of which have anything to do with a free market. In fact, they all are the opposite of a free market — that is unless you believe that slave trade, land theft and tax evasion are part of the “free” market.

              • I’m thinking that anacho-capitolists are more in line with the original law of the land. Anarcho-sydicalism, anarchy-pactisum, left-wing anarchism and green anarchism tend to be more lawless, historically.

                As far as slavery is concerned more people are intentionally enslaved today than picked cotton decades ago.

            • I knew the term, Swede. I remember Kevin Phillips, I think, on Crossfire using it to describe Ronald Reagan. That’s when I first heard it used.

              JC got you up to speed, but your reading of American history is so very wrong in every aspect. If only we could get you to immerse yourself a bit in some reading, we could actually have a discussion. But you are impermeable.

              • I see, so the Pilgrims were a over regulated society of collectivists?

                The original Tea Party thru merchandise overboard because they wanted higher taxes?

              • Swede, there’s no reasoning with you. You’ve got a little bit of knowledge, but it is highly selective. You need more exposure and then need to blend what you know with what you don’t know to have a balance.

              • larry kurtz

                toke, there’s no reasoning with you. You’ve got a little bit of knowledge, but it is highly selective. You need more exposure and then need to blend what you know with what you don’t know to have a balance.

              • Because that’s what’s this is all about.

                Someone’s idea of what you know or read without any consideration of what you’ve stated.

              • Swede, it’s not like you’re not an open book. You don’t read very much, if at all. You cannot string together a few sentences into a paragraph. You listen to talk radio, watch Fox. How can you imagine we don’t know this about you?

    • Steve W

      I think the STL police need to rethink. They are looking like mind controlled anti freedom loving thugs.

      Hands up don’t shoot!

  6. steve kelly

    Groupthink response to dissent, whether it be St. Louis Rams v. police state, evdebs (Democrats) v. lizard (4&20), or Kwyjibo v. anything and anyone left of Attila the Hun, must attack critics to defend the group from criticism — seldom in the interest of justice or truth. Individual identity is tied to the group, so any non-conforming thought threatens self-image/self-efficacy. It’s actually personal when group cohesiveness is at stake for the groupie.

    Could this be another Tommie Smith and John Carlos moment?

  7. larry kurtz

    Curious why you people haven’t blown your brains out: you’re all clearly without any hope.

  8. larry kurtz

    Toke driving an audience to his throne room is hardly surprising, init?

  9. larry kurtz

    comment deleted –liz

  10. lizard19

    larry, you are in time out. I may or may not delete subsequent comments in this thread if you continue with your vitriol.

  11. larry kurtz

    there you fucking go.

  12. lizard19

    dear all: the comments from a number of regulars have been making these threads tedious and repetitive. a little restraint would go a long way. thank you.

  13. troutsky

    Back to Ferguson: what if the issue is economic injustice and, just as the US military enforces global “stability”, the militarized police enforce regional “stability”. Capitalism requires surplus labor and black folk fit the bill. Bummer, I know.

    And just as this isn’t a true democracy, those aren’t real politics. So it doesn’t really matter how much money is or isn’t involved. One last thing, why call it a police or corporate state? It’s a capitalist state and capital calls the shots. IMO.

  14. steve kelly


    I certainly agree that “capital calls the shots.” But there are “real politics,” they’re just not always easy for people to spot. The MSM is sending us a message — always — with purpose. What is it?

    There are also real economic systems that work with those political systems. I seriously doubt that “stability” is the goal, however. More like a meme.

    Ever consider how close we may have drifted toward this bummer political possibility?

    a : of or relating to centralized control by an autocratic leader or hierarchy : authoritarian, dictatorial; especially : despotic
    b : of or relating to a political regime based on subordination of the individual to the state and strict control of all aspects of the life and productive capacity of the nation especially by coercive measures (as censorship and terrorism)

    Some variants of a (economic) capitalist state seem quite compatible with an authoritarian political system. China for example, may be The West’s new North Star.

  15. larry kurtz

    Blame the black guy, the red guy and rail against the political process that governs: that’s the 4&20 spirit.

      • Turner

        Congratulations, Craig, you found an instance of black kids murdering a white guy. I guess this bolsters your view of white moral superiority. If not, why bring it up? Does it have anything to do with Ferguson?

        • Craig Moore

          Turner, you give yourself far toooooo much credit to believe you know what I think. Your arrogance is rather sleazy when put on display. As to the murder’s relationship to Ferguson, only 30 miles away. Reports have the hammer swingers yelling something to the effect to “Kill the whites.” Police were knee-jerk quick to claim no connection….. and claim that the Bosnian community is safe. Perhaps they will be shown to be wrong on both accounts. Stay tuned.

    • JC

      You’re not paying attention Kurtz. We rail against the powers that run the political process… and they ain’t democrats or republicans, or people of color. They’re oligarchs running a plutocracy. What religion, political persuasion, nationality, sex, race or ethnic background is irrelevant.

      • larry kurtz

        and you have influenced policy how?

        • JC

          I’ve written several pieces of state legislation that got submitted to the legislature, built coalitions, attended hearings, testified, somewhat successfully. I also helped develop NREPA which continues to be the benchmark by which all other wilderness legislation in the bioregion is compared against. I’ve successfully sued the state over sunshine laws, and helped out with journalist shield lawsuits resulting in better protection for journalists. I’ve commented on countless NEPA documents, and participated successfully in lawsuits against illegal government activity. And much, much more. Those were the quick and easy ones.


          • larry kurtz

            Well, let’s see: in the late 70s I built the first derailleured fat tire bicycle in our Higgins Street shop in Missoula before they were called mountain bikes, was the first person to fly a hang glider off Bear Butte in South Dakota, helped to stop open pit mining in the Black Hills, proposed Deadwood gambling, helped to build the Material Recovery Facility in Rapid City, am currently lobbying Senator Tester and others to begin passenger rail service between Billings and Trinidad, Colorado.

            This will be updated as more leaps to mind.

  16. As much as I’ve enjoyed this thread, and I truly have, I can’t read it without getting this as an earworm. It even fits …

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