"Sanders delegates during John Podesta's speech [at the Democratic Convention]." Still from C-SPAN broadcast. By Michael Tracey / @mtracey on Twitter.
01 Aug 2016

DNC Achieved Unity Through Forced Conformity And Manufactured Consent

The corporate media’s adulatory coverage of the carefully choreographed pageantry at the Democratic convention couldn’t be further from the truth.

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"CODEPINKers join @ArielElyseGold after she disrupted @AmbDermer & chant "FREE PALESTINE!" thru halls of #DNCinPHL!" via CODEPINK on Twitter: https://twitter.com/codepink/status/758719058749497345
28 Jul 2016

Clinton Delegates Drown Out CODEPINK Activist Who Unfurls ‘Boycott Israel’ Banner

An activist from CODEPINK unfurled a “Boycott Israel” banner during NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s speech at DNC 2016 and was subsequently ejected from the arena.

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Josh Fox, documentary filmmaker behind "Gasland" and activist (Photo by Joshua Pribanic, Public Herald - http://publicherald.org/)
27 Jul 2016

Filmmaker Josh Fox Says Sanders Supporters Feel Like They’re Being Pushed Out by DNC

Environmental activist and documentary filmmaker Josh Fox in Philadelphia said he feels disappointed, like the Democratic Party is pushing out Sanders supporters and activists who attended the Democratic National Convention. During the drafting process in June, Hillary Clinton campaign appointees to the Democratic Party platform drafting committee blocked an effort

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Actor Susan Sarandon speaks at a rally for Bernie Sanders in Chico, California on June 2.
27 Jul 2016

Susan Sarandon Says Democrats Can’t Unify Party By Taking Voices Away

Susan Sarandon, a well-known actress and surrogate for the Bernie Sanders campaign, spoke to Shadowproof about reactions at the DNC in Philadelphia.

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Bernie Sanders supporters rally outside the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia during the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Photo by becker271 on Flickr.
27 Jul 2016

Walkout Led by Sanders Delegates Represented Deep Frustration With Democrats

Several hundred Bernie Sanders delegates staged a walkout after Hillary Clinton was officially nominated during the roll call vote at the Democratic National Convention on July 26.

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Bernie Sanders delegate. Photo via disneyabc on Flickr.
26 Jul 2016

Ahead Of Planned Walkout, Sanders Delegates Face Threats, Intimidation

Bernie Sanders delegates planning to walk out at the Democratic convention this week are facing intimidation and threats from both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns.

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Protesters at the DNC March For Bernie. Photo by Rania Khalek.
24 Jul 2016

Outraged By DNC Leaks, More And More Sanders Supporters Plan To Vote Third Party

Judging by the attitudes witnessed among Sanders supporters outside City Hall, a significant slice of Sanders supporters are fed up with the Democratic Party.

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30 May 2011

For Sale: The Desperate States Of America

While we have been frantically playing defense against relentless assaults on multiple fronts, from anti-union legislation to draconian anti-choice laws to the attempted privatization of Medicare, the selling off of public assets to the private sector has received little attention.

As states face a budget shortfall of $125 billion dollars for fiscal year 2012, leaders are searching for creative ways to fill budget gaps, while refusing to consider the one legitimate solution: forcing tax-dodging corporations and the rich to pay their fair share in taxes. Rather than upset the moneyed interests who bought their seats in office, politicians of all stripes prefer to cut pensions, close schools, slash child nutrition programs, and most importantly privatize, privatize, privatize!

In 2008, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley auctioned off the city’s 36,000 parking meters to a Morgan-Stanley lead partnership, for a lump sum of $1.15 billion. According to Bloomberg, Chicago drivers will pay Morgan Stanley at least $11.6 billion to park at city meters over the next 75 years, 10 times what the system was sold for. The Mayor used millions from the deal to help balance the budget, but since then, Morgan Stanley has raised parking fees 42%. It now plans on stuffing more cars into fewer metered spaces by getting rid of marking lines, raising the number of metered slots and expanding the hours that require fees. Chicago gave up billions of dollars in revenue for a short term fix and now, if the city faces another fiscal crisis, it will be left with an asset that generates revenue for Morgan Stanley. Despite the controversy in Chicago, the Associated Press reports that New York is exploring private options for its parking spaces as well.

Meanwhile, Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL), a member of the Tea Party Caucus, has suggested that one way to help close the nation’s budget deficit is to “start liquidating” public lands in Utah by privatizing large parts of the state, 70 percent of which is owned by the federal government. Soon after, Utah Governor Gary Herbert hopped on board, agreeing that Ross’s idea was “worth exploring.” He even went so far as to claim that the land would be better in private hands because private owners maintained Indian artifacts and burial grounds better. Apparently his position is quite popular, since it has been embraced by Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and John McCain (R-AZ), who proposed a bill which would sell off land in Utah and other western states.

The most insidious privatization scheme so far this year was in Wisconsin, the center of the state budget battles. A provision in Republican Governor Scott Walker’s budget repair bill would have empowered politicians to sell any state-owned heating, cooling, or power plant, including those located in prisons and the University of Wisconsin campuses, to anyone for any price at any time, without public approval or a call for bids. Although the provision was ultimately removed from the budget bill just before it passed, it is expected to be taken up again later this year.

In an effort to offset an $8 billion budget deficit, Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich has proposed privatizing five prisons, a sale expected to bring in an estimated $200 million. Florida’s GOP-controlled Legislature is set to require the state to privatize prisons in South Florida, home to one-fifth of the statewide inmate population of 101,000. Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal plans to sell three state prisons to private operators. Similar bills have sprung up in other states, nevermind that evidence showing that private prisons actually save any money is seriously lacking.

In more desperate and bizarre attempts to fill in budget gaps the City Council in Naperville, IL is considering giving corporations exclusive rights to plaster their logos on city property. One proposed municipal sponsorship deal would allow Kentucky Fried Chicken to repair potholes in exchange for stamping the fresh asphalt with the chicken chain’s logo.

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20 May 2011

This Is What A Police State Looks Like

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="350" caption="olice state UK by The Girl 78, on Flickr"]police state UK[/caption]

 

The late Chalmers Johnson often reminded us that “A nation can be one or the other, a democracy or an imperialist, but it can’t be both. If it sticks to imperialism, it will, like the old Roman Republic, on which so much of our system was modeled, lose its democracy to a domestic dictatorship.” His warning rings more true by the day, as Americans watch the erosion of their civil liberties accelerate in conjunction with the expansion of the US Empire.

When viewed through the lens of Johnson’s profound insights, the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Kentucky v. King makes perfect sense. On May 13, in a lopsided 8-1 ruling, the Court upheld the warrantless search of a Kentucky man’s apartment after police smelled marijuana and feared those inside were destroying evidence, essentially granting police officers increased power to enter the homes of citizens without a warrant.

Under the Fourth Amendment, police are barred from entering a home without first obtaining a warrant, which can only be issued by a judge upon probable cause. The only exception is when the circumstances qualify as “exigent,” meaning there is imminent risk of death or serious injury, danger that evidence will be immediately destroyed, or that a suspect will escape. However, exigent circumstances cannot be created by the police.

In this case, the police followed a suspected drug dealer into an apartment complex and after losing track of him, smelled marijuana coming from one of the apartments. After banging on the door and announcing themselves, the police heard noises that they interpreted as the destruction of evidence. Rather than first obtaining a warrant, they kicked down the door and arrested the man inside, who was caught flushing marijuana down the toilet.

The Kentucky Supreme Court had overturned the man’s conviction and ruled that exigent circumstances did not apply because the behavior of the police is what prompted the destruction of evidence. Tragically, an overwhelming majority of the Supreme Court upheld the Conviction. Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that citizens are not required to grant police officers permission to enter their homes after hearing a knock, but if there is no response and the officers hear noise that suggests evidence is being destroyed, they are justified in breaking in.

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13 May 2011

In America Being Poor is a Criminal Offense

It takes a special kind of bully to target the most vulnerable and neediest families in society, which millionaire politicians like to argue are draining America’s treasury.  I am referring to Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), who recently introduced a bill that would require states to implement drug testing of applicants for

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