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Member since: Thu Mar 16, 2006, 03:07 PM
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They planned to kill us "if deemed necessary."

Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 10:26 AM PST
They planned to kill us "if deemed necessary."
by OllieGarkey

Image taken from documents received as part of a FOIA request to the FBI. You can search those documents here: http://www.justiceonline.org/commentary/fbi-files-ows.html

Naomi Wolf at the Guardian talked about this. These documents are verified by multiple media outlets. This is not a Conspiracy theory.

Someone planned to kill us, and the FBI knew. We don't know who it was. We don't know what the FBI did. We know they are supposed to inform political leaders when threats are made against them, but we were not informed of this particular threat.

Here's the thing: Occupy had no leaders. That's one of the reasons the movement is still kind of a shambles. That's why they couldn't do certain things effectively. That's why so many people are frustrated with occupy.

So the "leadership" in the minds of the people doing this work became anyone who talked to the press. Jesse Lagreca was pegged as one of those leaders. So was just about everyone else who talked to the press. We laughed about how the press was calling us leaders. Nothing happened unless the GA wanted it to happen, and most of our attempts to influence things were shot down. Most of everyone's attempts to influence things were shot down. A lot of the background stuff with the huge marches was most heavily organized by folks like Unions. People with a heirarchy who knew how to get things done.

We just held the park.

And that was enough for people to plan to assassinate us.

And the FBI did... what, exactly, when it recieved this information? Did it do anything at all? Was that written in the white box below? How is this not conspiracy to commit murder? How is the person or persons who planned this not being investigated? Someone planned to assassinate us. Who? He, She, or They would have carried out that task if deemed necessary. By whom? The FBI? Some bank?

Well at least I can have pride in the choices I've made. If they want us dead, we must be doing something right.

(Update) 11:25 AM PT: I'm still in kind of a state of shock, but facts matter, and there's a lot of wild speculation flying around. So let me point out what we know, and what we know that we don't know.

First: We do not know who "they" are. The FBI document does not tell us. This might be a lone actor, a terrorist organization, or a private security contractor. "If Deemed Necessary" seems to imply one of the latter two, because there was a decision making process that would potentially deem assassination necessary. "Suppressed sniper rifles" seems to suggest multiple shooters, and thus an organized group.

We do not know any of this. It could be any of these. This could have been a single actor, and an FBI agent who doesn't write very clearly. Bad writing happens.

What is clear, though, is that we need more information. We need answers.

We shouldn't jump to conclusions about any of this. What we know is bad enough. What we know is this:

1. "They" were planning an assassination of Occupy leaders.

2. The FBI knew of the plans, and did nothing to warn us, ignoring their own policies.

Anything more than that is conjecture.


Dear Family,

Due to a severe case of the flu in my household, my 83 year old mother in GA had to cancel her flight to spend Christmas with us in NY. She called me late Christmas night because she felt depressed. Not because she missed seeing us, although that was a part of it. She was depressed because she started a conversation about gun control at the GA family Christmas gathering (we have a huge family), and was amazed by the ultra-conservative-FOXNews-spewing ideas of 2 of her offspring and their respective spouses. She was dismayed and shocked. My Mother is a true liberal. My Dad and his wife (they all get along) played the fence coyly. Two of my sisters stayed out of it, and as one said, "I just played with the puppy" -- undoubtedly the best course of action. After contemplating my Mother's sadness around what had transpired, I wrote an email to my FOXNews watching relatives. I read the email to my mother and she asked me not to send it. I sat on it for a few days, but I find it too good not to share, so I shall post it here. But before I do, allow me to say that I love my family very, very much -- so please be kind to them in your remarks. They are wonderful people. Politically ignorant, but in every other way, some of the finest people you could know. Really. So here goes:

Dear Family,

I understand I missed a big lesson on the Second Amendment and my Constitutional right to bear arms last night. Sounds invigorating. Clearly, I have been misguided by the left-wing rhetoric of gun control. So glad to have seen the light. By golly, I now want every classroom in my childrens' schools to have a properly armed teacher. I want guards! I want fortification! I can hear those sweet words now, "Children, there will be a substitute in our classroom tomorrow. I need to go to my federally mandated lesson on how to fire a Magnum pistol should some crazed gunman enter our classroom. Don't worry though, the substitute has also passed the training course and knows how to fire a Magnum with deadly accuracy." YAY! Sounds like a GREAT idea! Cost be damned! We'll take it from book funding!

Of course, the founding fathers never intended for the Second Amendment to ensure the right of individual gun ownership; but rather the historical debate swirled around "state militias" and state militia funding. This was to avoid a concentration of military might on the federal level. But who needs real historical context when the NRA contrived meaning of our Second Amendment is thriving at FOX News?

For those of you who do disagree with me on that minor detail, allow me to refer to the article The Right to Bear Arms (Parade Magazine, 1990) in which former Chief Justice Warren Burger states:

"The Gun Lobby's interpretation of the Second Amendment is one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American People by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime. The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies - the militia - would be maintained for the defense of the state. The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires."

Seriously, now. Let's look at historical record.

In 2002, the famous court case Silviera vs Lockyer was brought before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in which the plaintiffs charged that 1999 gun control laws passed in California limiting access to semi-automatic weapons was unconstitutional. In their decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals closely examined and documented the historical record surrounding the adoption of the Second Amendment. In other words, the decision is based in historical FACT. The Court concluded that the Second Amendment intended to provide the right of states to form their own militias, and does not provide unfettered access to any gun a person wishes to possess. The entire opinion can be read here: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-9th-circuit/1464183.html

Historically, the courts had always interpreted the Second Amendment as a state right to form militias.

From the Tennessee Supreme Court, 1840:

"A man in pursuit of deer, elk and buffaloes might carry his rifle every day for forty years, and yet it would never be said of him that he had borne arms." Aymette v. State, 21 Tenn. 154 (1840).

From the Texas Supreme Court, 1872:

"The word 'arms' in the connection we find it in the Constitution of the United States refers to the arms of a militiaman or soldier, and the word is used in its military sense." English v. State, 35 Tex. 473 (1872).

And from the West Virginia Supeme Court, 1891:

"In regard to the kind of arms referred to in the [Second] Amendment, it must be held to refer to the weapons of warfare to be used by the militia." State v. Workman, 35 W. Va. 367 (1891).

During the 19th century, Supreme Court decisions revolved around the legality of states regulating firearms. In United States vs Cruikshank (1875), the court ruled that the Second Amendment:

“has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government” 92 U.S. 542, 553 (1875)

In Presser vs Illinois (1886) the Court ruled the Second Amendment:

“is a limitation only upon the power of Congress and the National government, and not upon that of the States.” 116 U.S. 252, 265 (1886)

In 1939, the Supreme Court was once again called upon to interpret the Second Amendment in United States vs Miller. In this case, Miller was indicted for being in violation of the National Firearms Act of 1934 when he and his buddy crossed state lines with an unregistered sawed-off shotgun. Miller argued that the regulation of interstate transport violated his Second Amendment rights. The US District Court of Arkansas remarkably agreed with Miller. The Supreme Court, however, overturned that decision on appeal. After reading the Second Amendment in conjunction with the Militia Clause in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, the Court concluded :

“in the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a sawed-off shotgun . . . has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument.” 307 U.S. at 178. http://www.loc.gov/law/help/second-amendment.php

Then came Scalia and The District of Columbia vs Heller. In the 2008 landmark case, the Supreme Court shot down historical precedent with a...wait for it...5-4 decision. The majority opinion was written by Scalia and signed by the usual other 4. In this case, the plaintiff argued that new gun regulation laws passed in Washington DC were unconstitutional. These laws decreed that handguns within a person's home must be either dismantled or rendered useless via the security lock. This did not allow much in the way of self-defense. Oddly enough, and I'm sure I'll get hammered for this by all my liberal brethren, I'm rather glad the plaintiff won that ruling. I think the law went too far. I just vehemently disagree with basis on which it was won. The legal question brought before the Court was whether it violated:

"the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes?”

The Court focused on the clause "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." and came to the conclusion that this clause guarantees an individual right to possess and carry weapons. Laughably, they claim this was based on historical record. Let me say this again THE SECOND AMENDMENT WAS ABOUT STATE MILITIAS!!! NOT INDIVIDUAL GUN OWNERSHIP!!! The ruling can be read here: http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/07-290.pdf . The historically acurate dissent from Stevens can be read here: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZD.html

So, here I sit, soaking in the knowledge that my closest loved ones believe my kids' teachers should be armed. You even go so far as to believe that if any Amendment should be abolished, it should be the First -- because we all know the blame lands squarely on the shoulders of Hollywood.

Like Dad facetiously chimed in, "Hell, why stop there? Let's arm the kids, too!"

In the end, I guess I am left pondering a tweet I read after the Newtown massacre -- Only in America, do we put up fight over who can get a marriage license, but don't give a shit about who possesses a semi-automatic weapon. I do love this country, but sometimes things just seem a little off. I think I'll go find a puppy.

BREAKING: Heavy fighting in Damascus as coup attempt reported in progress

Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 09:47 AM PST
BREAKING: Heavy fighting in Damascus as coup attempt reported in progress

by Clay ClaiborneFollow

30 Comments / 30 New

Alexander Page @AlexanderPageSY

UPDATE: #Muhajrin area of Central #Damascus is in a state of LOCKDOWN following blast just moments ago. regime forces secure area #Syria
17 Dec 12
Rami Jarrah @RamiJarrah

BREAKING: Huge blast rocks Muhajrin area of Central #Damascus just 500 meters from Presidential Residence #Syria
17 Dec 12
Stephanie Lamy @WCM_JustSocial

RT @freereb: Reports of an attempted #coup in #Damascus #Syria against #Assad. Troops loyal o VP #AlSharaa leading the assault on palace.
17 Dec 12
Follow clayclai on Twitter

There are reports of heavy fighting in many areas of Damascus this morning, as NBC Richard Engels is reported to have gone missing and Syrian VP Farouk Al-Sharaa has been speaking out in favor of a negotiated settlement with the opposition. He is speaking out everywhere. From the Associated Press we get this report:

We can’t win, Assad’s vice-president says

Dec 17, 2012 10:24 AM ET
BEIRUT — Syria’s longtime vice president said the army cannot defeat the rebels fighting to topple the regime, the first admission by a top government official that a victory by President Bashar Assad is unlikely.

In an interview with Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar published on Monday, Farouk al-Sharaa offered the unusually bleak public assessment of the civil war.

“All these opposition forces can only conclude the battle to topple the regime if their goal is to push the country into chaos a cycle of violence that has no end,” al-Sharaa said in the interview. “I don’t see that what the security forces and army units are doing will lead to a definitive victory.” More... http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/12/17/we-cant-win-assads-vice-president-says/

Farouk was sidelined after the July Damascus explosion that took out four of Assad's top people, and hasn't had any real power or influence since. Also today al Akhbar English is running this exclusive interview:

Syrian VP Farouk Al-Sharaa Proposes Alternative to War

By: Ibrahim al-Amin
Monday, December 17, 2012
Syrian Vice-President Farouk al-Sharaa is in the heart of the action, but not in the decision-making circles. He keeps in touch with a few officials, speaks to President [Bashar al-Assad] from time to time, and communicates with some of the leadership.

His residence is under the same security precautions as those of figures in the decision-making circles, and so are his movements. But he is full of energy and also keeps communication channels open with members of the opposition and figures, who are not connected to the state or the regime.

Sharaa has his own views on the daily events, including criticisms and apprehensions, which he kept expressing in official meetings, but without going public with them in the media.

Something has changed, however. More...

Amidst all of tis come twitter reports of a coup in progress lead by forces loyal to the veep.

Stay tuned. More, later....


President Obama Holds Principal Hocksprung's Granddaughter and Other Pics

Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 06:53 PM PST
President Obama gives great speeches and, apparently, great hugs
by coolelegans

The speech moved me to tears. And then I found something to smile about. Here is the President, taking a picture that was released by the family of Emilie Parker, who was six years old. Look at how shy the girl in the pink shirt is... and how broad the President's smile is. He looks like he is celebrating life.

Here is another taken by Cristina Hassinger who took a photo of her daughter and the Principal Dawn Hochsprung's granddaughter with the President.

This man is my President:

Thank you Mr. President. As earicicle said in the comments "I can't think of anything more important [for the President] to do" than to spend time with these kids.


Obama Speaks at Newtown Vigil "You are not alone" (this copy is in sync)

This Is What I Cannot Understand

Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:32 PM PST
This Is What I Cannot Understand
by grannycarol

Somebody tries, unsuccessfully, to blow up a plane by putting a bomb in his shoe.

So now everyone that gets on a plane has to take off their shoes.

Somebody tries, unsuccessfully, to make a bomb on board a plane using liquid explosives.

So now all liquid holding containers are banned from planes.

We are subjected to intrusive searches before boarding a plane because, well, even that 80 year old woman could be a terrorist intent on doing us harm.

And you know what? I don't feel any safer now than I did after 9/11.

Because no mater how many times it happens, nothing is being done to keep me safe while I'm out shopping, or at the movies, or singing songs at Circle Time with my group of preschoolers.

My director has scheduled a meeting Monday night to discuss the tragedy and to present plans for what our school can do in the case of such a tragedy happening here.. Really.

There are no places to hide in my classroom. Four year olds need to be seen at all times. The bathroom stalls have no doors- just paper sheets hanging across my eye level. The tables are two feet off the ground- nobody can really fit underneath.

I looked around my classroom on Friday and thought to myself, "Well, we could drop the kids out the window and tell them to run- but to where? Our school is on a mini campus with a grassy lawn and a parking lot in front and a playground in back. We are the only building on the block. Should the kids run out into traffic?

We are already a 'locked down' building. Nobody can enter unless buzzed in by the receptionist. Would that be enough?

I don't fear Al-Quiada. I fear someone entering the mall and opening fire at the Food Court. I fear someone hiding on a roof somewhere and shooting at whomever is there. I fear someone taking out a gun and killing because the gun is there and it works.

The debate on gun control is said to be a nasty one to start. But so was the debate on abortion. With all the regulations states have placed on clinics that make it impossible to offer the services, it has become difficult, if not impossible, for women to obtain abortions today.

How about the same regulations on gun providers. Start imposing impossible to follow regulations that would force them to shut down- leaving maybe one or two places where one can purchase guns and ammo.

Get rid of gun shows. Forbid private sales- you want to sell your gun- have a government buy back program. Make it just as difficult to obtain a 'well it's legal' gun as it is to obtain a 'yes it's legal' abortion.

Because removing shoes, and banned shampoo and patting down citizens is not keeping me safe.


Just Stop. Your unwarranted fears and outmoded beliefs don't trump our rights.

Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 06:37 AM PST
Just Stop. Your unwarranted fears and outmoded beliefs don't trump our rights.
by sparkysgal

Your unwarranted fears and outmoded beliefs don't trump our rights to a safe, healthy and prosperous society.

Your unwarranted fear of government tyranny doesn't trump our right to sane, reasonable gun control.

Your belief in outmoded, disproven economic theories doesn't trump our rights to an economy that sufficiently provides for the majority rather than only further enriching a small, lucky minority.

Your misguided ideas about personal liberty don't trump our right to care for those of us stricken by illness or accident, and to help those among us who are poor.

Your belief in outmoded ideas about gender roles and sexuality don't trump our rights to live and love in the ways we find most fulfilling.

Your baseless refusal to accept scientific fact does not trump our imperative to take steps to mitigate climate change, and to prudently prepare for its effects.

Your unwarranted fear of the black man in the white house doesn't trump our right to a functioning, responsive government.

Just. Stop. Your ignorance and fear cause untold suffering.

People have a right to believe whatever they want. That doesn't mean that we have to structure our society around the unwarranted fears and outmoded beliefs of reactionaries.


The first responders

These are the police who were the first to see the children inside the school and had to tell their families. There are no words.

Quote of the Day from Ezra Klein

"Talking about how to stop mass shootings in the aftermath of a string of mass shootings isn’t 'too soon.' It’s much too late." - Ezra Klein

Read the whole article here. It's fantastic.

He Tried To Break Down My Door

Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 11:55 PM PST
He Tried To Break Down My Door
by leavingthezoo

The wind is blowing. The news is threatening us with snow flurries. Nothing major. Most likely I will see no evidence as it is not expected to accumulate over night. I'm huddled in my living room wishing I were in bed asleep. I tried to be. But sleep isn't coming easily to me lately.

Last week, Wednesday night, or really Thursday morning, I was sleeping as peacefully as I ever have. I live in a trailer. (Yes, yes, I know all the trailer trash jokes, and no longer cringe when I hear them.) It's a temporary abode. I will be gone from here in six more months. But for now, it is affordable as I finish up at a local community college before transferring to my home state's pride and joy. My significant other has moved ahead of me so as to make the move as easy a transition as it can be. So, I am here. Alone.

I awoke to what I thought was an earthquake. We've felt a few here in recent years. Small ones. Just enough to register in your head that its an earthquake, but not severe enough to drop to your knees in prayer. This one was different. It was jolting. With it was a distant booming sound that I couldn't quite identify. I sat up as I tried to get my bearings, still groggy and confused. It wasn't until I made my way halfway down the hall that I realized the booming sound was someone throwing themselves against my front door. It wasn't until then that I understood the jolting of the trailer was from the force. And I could hear a man yelling.

I instantly panicked.

My first thought was something had happened to my mother, and my stepfather in his grief was beside himself as he wailed and pummeled my door trying to wake me. They live a couple of spaces down from me, so it just made sense. I moved more quickly towards the living room, then suddenly realized it was not the voice of my stepfather. It was not a voice I recognized, and the concern for my mother suddenly turned into fear for myself.

My second thought, once I realized what was happening, was, "Great! I'm going to die before I get my degree!"

And the absurdity of the second thought gave way to the third, "If this guy succeeds, there is nothing I can do. I really might not survive this..."

It's difficult to be rational when nothing around you is in your control. So, irrationally, I immediately called my parents home. I guess when you don't know what you're facing, you seek comfort. By the second ring, my mind started clicking and I realized this was a futile route. I hung up before they could answer and called 911.

I stumbled through the words as I explained my emergency. "Someone is trying to break down my door. Where do I live? I live... I'm at... He's screaming. He's ramming my door and he's screaming to let him in. No, I don't know who he is! Please, please help me. I don't know what to do..."

The operator told me to stay on the line until the sheriff arrived. I hid in my bedroom behind a door that doesn't lock. Call waiting signaled someone was trying to reach me, and I knew it was my stepdad. It was then that I heard the first gunshot.

"Oh my God! I just heard... I think I heard gunfire! Please hurry! He's still beating my door."

I heard the operator radio that a gunshot had been heard, and not long after, a second caller confirmed there was gunfire. I got down low to the ground, and started telling the operator, "I have to call my parents back. I have to hang up. I'm afraid my dad is going to come check on me and get shot."

By the time I heard the second and third gunshot, I could also hear the sirens. The calvary was coming! But in moments, I would hear them go a different direction.

"No! No! They're going the wrong way! I heard them and now they're going the wrong way!"

There was a lot of confusion for me. In some ways, I am sure things were happening more quickly than I realized, and in others, they weren't happening fast enough. The operator told me the sheriff was in pursuit of a car that sped away from the area.

"But what about the guy on my porch? What about my dad?" I cried out. It was only then that I noticed I no longer heard the chaos coming from my living room. Trying to make sense of it all, I asked, "What do I do? What if there is a dead guy on my porch? What if my stepfather..."

"No, you're ok."

The operator told me that a second officer had checked the area, and no one was lying dead on my porch or anywhere else for that matter. I was safe. It was all ok. I wouldn't trust them until I saw my stepdad. And like me being so afraid he'd been killed, he was dealing with his overwhelming fear that something terrible had happened to me.

In the end, the man was arrested. He totaled his vehicle in the pursuit. He didn't even mean to be on my porch. He thought he was somewhere else. The gunshots came from a neighbor across the street. The man had been there originally, and gotten into a fight with one of them. Instead of calling the police, someone yanked out a gun and shot into the air. I didn't hear the first shot. I only heard the three that followed once he was at my door, ramming it with intensity. The neighbor next door to me is the mother of the man's girlfriend. He thought he was on her porch. The terror wasn't meant for me. The fear instilled didn't have my name on it. These sleepless nights aren't mine. This racing heart when unexpected noise jolts me awake doesn't belong to me. The chronic checking of locks, the hesitation before opening the door, the unwillingness to open the shades, or even sit on the porch in broad daylight are not my penance. But I pay them anyway.

All I can think is how silly this is to still be scared. I tell myself how fortunate I am. How there are so many whose doors have been broken down. How there are those who did not survive. That there are those who are dealing with so much more than a temporary instance of loss of control. That there are those who will live with both physical and mental scars for the rest of their lives.

And it make me wonder, are we protecting our neighbors? Because only two calls went to the police that night. Mine and my stepfathers. But multiple neighbors have admitted to hearing the chaos, and doing nothing. Absolutely nothing.

So, do something. If you wonder if you should, the answer is yes. Make the call. I can promise you, if you find yourself in a similar situation, you will be praying someone makes the call for you.

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