$200,000/yr = Mitt Romney’s conception of where the middle class starts

The Associated Press: Romney: ‘Middle-income’ is $200K to $250K and less

“No one can say my plan is going to raise taxes on middle-income people, because principle number one is (to) keep the burden down on middle-income taxpayers,” Romney told host George Stephanopoulos.

“Is $100,000 middle income?” Stephanopoulos asked. “No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less,” Romney responded.

No wonder this guy makes $10,000 bets at the drop of a hat. Everyone knows that’s like a normal two-week paycheck for middle class folks.

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Post RNC-Mid DNC Desktop Clearing Link Dump

Let’s get this stuff out of here…another backlog of articles that were interesting but didn’t find the time…

First up, we start in conservative media fantasy-land.

THR: Does the media tie mistakes made by Democrats to President Obama as readily as they tie Republican mistakes to Romney?

Wallace: Yes, the mainstream media is terribly unfair to Obama, and they have to stop their bias in favor of Romney.

[Note: the funny part…Wallace was joking…and doesn’t consider the network that got the highest ratings for the RNC to be part of the mainstream media.]

Next up we see what is driving ratings for Fox News.

From : Fear of a Black President

Obama is not simply America’s first black president—he is the first president who could credibly teach a black-studies class. He is fully versed in the works of Richard Wright and James Baldwin, Frederick Douglass and Malcolm X. Obama’s two autobiographies are deeply concerned with race, and in front of black audiences he is apt to cite important but obscure political figures such as George Henry White, who served from 1897 to 1901 and was the last African American congressman to be elected from the South until 1970. But with just a few notable exceptions, the president had, for the first three years of his presidency, strenuously avoided talk of race.

Next we move onto folks in black-face being using as political props…

WASHINGTON, D.C. — When GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited an Ohio coal mine this month to promote jobs in the coal industry, workers who appeared with him at the rally lost pay because their mine was shut down.

The Pepper Pike company that owns the Century Mine told workers that attending the Aug. 14 Romney event would be both mandatory and unpaid, a top company official said Monday morning in a West Virginia radio interview.

We need to develop a “canary in the convention” that falls over dead when the b.s. gets too deep.

Speaking of b.s. at the convention, here’s the Rolling Stone piece that looks a bit deeper into how Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital made its start, and how it was saved in the early years by a taxpayer bailout.

And this is where we get to the hypocrisy at the heart of Mitt Romney. Everyone knows that he is fantastically rich, having scored great success, the legend goes, as a “turnaround specialist,” a shrewd financial operator who revived moribund companies as a high-priced consultant for a storied Wall Street private equity firm. But what most voters don’t know is the way Mitt Romney actually made his fortune: by borrowing vast sums of money that other people were forced to pay back. This is the plain, stark reality that has somehow eluded America’s top political journalists for two consecutive presidential campaigns: Mitt Romney is one of the greatest and most irresponsible debt creators of all time. In the past few decades, in fact, Romney has piled more debt onto more unsuspecting companies, written more gigantic checks that other people have to cover, than perhaps all but a handful of people on planet Earth.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/greed-and-debt-the-true-story-of-mitt-romney-and-bain-capital-20120829#ixzz25c4gDbu1

In the background, quietly crying, you’ll find our environment.

Yesterday was August 28th 2012. Remember that date. It marks the day when the world went raving mad.

Three things of note happened. The first is that a record Arctic ice melt had just been announced by the scientists studying the region. The 2012 figure has not only beaten the previous record, established in 2007. It has beaten it three weeks before the sea ice is likely to reach its minimum extent. It reveals that global climate breakdown is proceeding more rapidly than most climate scientists expected. But you could be forgiven for missing it, as it scarcely made the news at all.

It also appears that Paul Ryan is quickly creating lots of jobs in various fact-checking departments…

•Accused President Obama‘s health care law of funneling money away from Medicare “at the expense of the elderly.” In fact, Medicare’s chief actuary says the law “substantially improves” the system’s finances, and Ryan himself has embraced the same savings.

•Accused Obama of doing “exactly nothing” about recommendations of a bipartisan deficit commission — which Ryan himself helped scuttle.

•Claimed the American people were “cut out” of stimulus spending. Actually, more than a quarter of all stimulus dollars went for tax relief for workers.

•Faulted Obama for failing to deliver a 2008 campaign promise to keep a Wisconsin plant open. It closed less than a month before Obama took office.

•Blamed Obama for the loss of a AAA credit rating for the U.S. Actually, Standard & Poor’s blamed the downgrade on the uncompromising stands of both Republicans and Democrats.

And there’s more….

The next statement Ryan made was that in 1980 “330,000 businesses filed for bankruptcy. Last year, under President Obama’s failed leadership, 1.4 million businesses field for bankruptcy.”

This is not true. According to American Bankruptcy Institute, under Carter 331,264 businesses and non-businesses filed for bankruptcy. That number includes not just businesses, but personal bankruptcies as well. In 1980, there were 43,694 business bankruptcies and 287, 570 non-business bankruptcies.

Ryan also got it wrong with regard to the number of business bankruptcies last year. In 2011, there were 1, 410, 653 total bankruptcies. Of that number 47,806 were business bankruptcies and 1,362,847 were non-business bankruptcies.

and just to keep it in perspective, Paul Ryan is being sold as the gold standard in Republican honesty and integrity when it comes to numbers.  Really.

Here’s a bit of the “liberal” media conspiracy…in that we have an actual liberal calling out the media for keeping certain things from the eyes of the public.

When Mitt Romney walked down the aisle toward the stage Thursday night, among the people whose hands he shook was the conservative billionaire and major political donor David Koch. But it was a moment missed by the tens of millions of viewers at home. While Democracy Now! was there on the floor and captured the handshake on video, the networks cut away just before the handshake to show footage of two enthusiastic young women supporters and then an overhead shot of the convention center.

You can even see Mitt’s face light up when he sees the Koch.

Heading back to that Rolling Stone story about how firms like Bain avoid paying taxes on their income…the NY State Attorney General (the one after the whore-monger) is now looking into the practice of treating wealthy and connected people’s labor as if it were capital (and thus getting a 20% tax break, from 35% down to 15%).

The New York attorney general is investigating whether some of the nation’s biggest private equity firms have abused a tax strategy in order to slice hundreds of millions of dollars from their tax bills, according to executives with direct knowledge of the inquiry.

The attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, has in recent weeks subpoenaed more than a dozen firms seeking documents that would reveal whether they converted certain management fees collected from their investors into fund investments, which are taxed at a far lower rate than ordinary income.

According to financial statements, Bain partners saved more than $200 million in federal income taxes and more than $20 million in Medicare taxes.

[full story]

Thus goes the “secret to his success”.

And finally we see a Business Insider story that hits the nail on the head.

Lots of things are wrong with the economy, but the main problem can be summed up with two simple facts:

  • Corporate profits as a percent of the economy are at an all-time high
  • Wages as a percent of the economy are at an all-time low

The following charts clearly illustrate that problem.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/henry-ford-salary-increase-2012-8#ixzz25cGRYdou

I repeat…

  • Corporate profits as a percent of the economy are at an all-time high
  • Wages as a percent of the economy are at an all-time low

This is the natural results of 30+ years of supply-side economics.

History of Supply Side Experiment

Here we see the real world effect of “supply side” economics.

And there you have it.  Links dumped.

Oh…one final note…it appears that some of the rich, if eaten, might actually sustain us for a while.  Just a thought…

Just in case you were beginning to think rich people were deeply misunderstood and that they feel the pain of those who are less fortunate, here’s the world’s wealthiest woman, Australian mining tycoon Gina Rinehart, with some helpful advice.

“If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain,” she said in a magazine piece. “Do something to make more money yourself — spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working.”

Yeah, let them eat cake.

Rinehart made her money the old-fashioned way: She inherited it. Her family iron ore prospecting fortune of $30.1 billion makes her Australia’s wealthiest person and the richest woman on the planet.

 

If you believe in Net Neutrality, you must stands against the GOP

Patexia.com | GOP opposes net neutrality, internet piracy | Patexia.com

Receiving considerably less attention was the downright Orwellian naming of the “Internet freedom plank,” which opposes net neutrality. Unsurprisingly, the Republicans are looking to remove regulations in the telecommunications industry. Specific regulations are not mentioned.

Perhaps more surprisingly, particularly from the party of the USA PATRIOT Act, is a promise to protect your private data from the prying eyes of Big Brother. The Obama Adminsitration’s stance in favor of net neutrality is derided as “frozen in the past.”

The party that brought us the “series of tubes” we call the “internets” now plans to turn the tubes over completely to corporate America. This is not a good thing.

For those that don’t know or have been misinformed, “Net Neutrality” is the concept that all traffic on the Internet gets treated the same.  What many Telecoms and ISP’s want to do is filter traffic to allow those that pay more to have their content delivered faster and more reliably.  This has the obvious effect of slowing down and degrading the content of those who don’t pay the piper…or “tuber”.

It is the founding principle of the Net, and now Republicans are officially dead-set against it.

Iran, Oil, Israel, the NDAA, and the 2012 Election : A Primer

Let’s start this off with a curious conjunction of news articles as presented by the Google News algorithm.

That's why they do it

That's why they do it

And I also ran across this article over on Juan Cole’s site.

Will his New Sanctions on Iran Cost Obama the Presidency?

Posted on 01/03/2012 by Juan

A sharp drop in the value of the Iranian currency as a result of new American sanctions may sound like good news to hawks in the US. But actually this development may signal ways in which Americans will also be harmed, and Obama may have put a second term in jeopardy, cutting off his nose to spite his face.

An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Obama this past weekend will seek to slap third party sanctions on countries and enterprises that deal with Iran’s central bank. It will go into effect this summer. In effect, the law says that if you buy Iranian petroleum, you cannot do business with American financial institutions. Since the United States is still over a fifth of the world economy, and most institutions with capital need to deal with it, the hope of Congress is that Iran will be left without customers.

The measure, pushed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on behalf of the government of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, might well be a trap for Obama. In an election year, he could not refuse to endorse new sanctions against Iran (the Republican candidates in Iowa are practically running on promising that if elected they will launch a war on Iran; and they are lambasting the president as weak on this issue).

[full story]

There’s a couple of interesting things about this line of thinking and Cole explores the direct results on this in his post.

Those two factors, the likelihood of rising Asian demand for petroleum in 2012, and investor nervousness about how tensions with Iran will play out, will probably keep petroleum prices at historically high levels in 2012, and some analysts believe that there could be a return to the overheated pricing of 2008 before the crash.

It would be much better for the American economy if prices sank back down to the levels of only a few years ago, of $50 a barrel or less.

If the Congressional sanctions actually worked, and took Iran’s roughly 2.5 million barrels a day in exports off the world market, that would take out 80% of Iran’s export income and deeply hurt the regime. But it would also send world petroleum prices through the stratosphere, deeply harming Western economies already teetering on the edge.

The NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012) which has people all a-twitter about the AUMF made real, also includes the language that essentially declares economic warfare with Iran.  You know how all those little dollars say “Federal Reserve Note”…well…when it comes to being the one that redeems property, one tends to have some control over who gets to officially use it for business.   The NDAA (of FY 2012) essentially says that anyone who uses our money, can’t use it to buy their oil (or anything else they sell).

This was added to the NDAA by a flake.  Literally, Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

Washington, D.C., Dec 9, 2011 – Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona’s Sixth District, today along with 22 House Members sent a letter to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R, CA) and Ranking Member Adam Smith (D, WA) urging them to retain during conference negotiations with the Senate provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would levy sanctions on the Iranian financial sector, including the Central Bank of Iran, in an effort to severely limit the funding sources available to the Iranian regime for use in developing nuclear weapons.

You will be unsurprised to find out that Flake was one of the 81 Congressmen (only 21%) who did, in fact, take an all expense paid weeklong [edit 9 day] vacation to calm and relaxing Israel during the summer break.

Don’t worry though, no taxpayer money was (directly) used to pay for this.  Lobbyists covered the whole thing.

Sponsor(s) – American Israel Education Foundation
Dates – August 18, 2001 – August 26, 2001 (9 days)
Location(s) – Israel 

Purpose – Educational mission
Notes – Spouse Cheryl Flake accompanied. Other costs not specified.

Travel Cost – $7,183.20
Lodging Cost – $2,023.70
Meal Cost – $1,391.30
Other Cost – $986.00
Total Cost – $11,584.20

Additional family members – Yes

[full data on the Flake]

And just so you get an idea of how much of a flake this Flake guy is…

Flake was first elected to what was then Arizona’s 1st congressional district in 2000, after Republican incumbent Matt Salmon stepped down in honor of a self-imposed term limit. The district was then renumbered to the 6th district as Arizona gained two Congressional seats due to the results of the 2000 census.

In his campaign in 2000, Flake had pledged to serve no more than three terms in Congress, leaving no later than January 2007, but in early 2005, shortly after being elected for a third time, Flake announced that he had changed his mind and would in fact run for re-election in 2006. “It was a mistake to limit my own terms,” Flake said.

[from the wiki]

So…long story short…get ready for much higher gas prices this summer and the Republicans constantly blaming Obama for it.   There’s a decent chance that the actual reason for the rise in prices will not be a constraint in supply, but instead an increase in middleman costs caused by the sanctions leading to a run-up in the price of oil…if not a full-on closing of the Straight of Hormuz by Iran (if the sanctions work too well  and they realize they are fucked either way.)

Whatever the reason, higher oil prices (even if only caused by the threat of increased hostilities…raising risks raises prices) will slow the already crawling economic recovery in the U.S., leaving it, most likely, continuing to sputter along like an old car running low on…well…gas.

What I find really funny here (funny in an ironic way), is that while Obama will be in actuality taking a political hit from the slowing economy from increased oil prices, he’s also going to continue to be hit for “throwing Israel under the bus” even while taking the economic hit that comes with directly targeting the money supply of Iran.

Pretty funny, if you think about it.

I still don’t think it’s going to be enough to convince more Americans to vote for Romney than Obama, however.

The election is going to be literally a Wall Street Tycoon vs a Community Organizer.

Ask your average Tea Party member which one of those they support (using those labels), and do it while they are community organizing for even greater lulz.

Mike Rowe’s Dirty Job: QVC Salesman for Precious Moments (and the Amazing KatSak)

I was just preparing to enjoy one of my last doses of NFL football for the year and heard the very familar and comforting voice of Mike Rowe selling large trucks.

If you aren’t familiar with the fellow, here’s the wiki bio.

He also did/does a fun little show called Dirty Jobs.  As the United States is currently in an employment crisis, he’s also been called upon by Congress to testify about the nature of many of those “dirty jobs” and how there don’t seem to be enough Americans willing and/or able to do many of them.  That testimony is here.

This post, however, is not about that.  It’s about Mike’s own dirty job in his paying profession (“salesman”..in case you didn’t notice how TV works and makes money), as captured by someone’s misprogrammed (one would hope) VCR.

Mike and his Precious Moments…

Mike and *the* KatSak…

Some very precious moments there as well.  If I had to define my own take on things in a general sense, I’ve precisely described that outlook as  “cynically sarcastic optimism”.     Rowe captures that sentiment precisely.   Good stuff, and a Happy New Year to you all.

May you enjoy your own dirty jobs (if you are blessed to have or find one) in 2012.

This Week in the Police State…

First up…the Comitatas Posse is back in town, militarizing the homeland.

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted Tuesday to keep a controversial provision to let the military detain terrorism suspects on U.S. soil and hold them indefinitely without trial — prompting White House officials to reissue a veto threat.

The measure, part of the massive National Defense Authorization Act, was also opposed by civil libertarians on the left and right. But 16 Democrats and an independent joined with Republicans to defeat an amendment by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) that would have killed the provision, voting it down with 61 against, and 37 for it.

“Congress is essentially authorizing the indefinite imprisonment of American citizens, without charge,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who offered another amendment — which has not yet gotten a vote — that she said would correct the problem. “We are not a nation that locks up its citizens without charge.”

Backers of military detention of Americans — a measure crafted by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) — came out swinging against Udall’s amendment on the Senate floor earlier Tuesday.

“The enemy is all over the world. Here at home. And when people take up arms against the United States and [are] captured within the United States, why should we not be able to use our military and intelligence community to question that person as to what they know about enemy activity?” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said.

“They should not be read their Miranda Rights. They should not be given a lawyer,” Graham said. “They should be held humanely in military custody and interrogated about why they joined al Qaeda and what they were going to do to all of us.”

[full story]

The White House has promised a veto, so we’ll see if that happens or not.

When it comes to partisan divide…this is a pretty bright line in the sand.

“It’s one of those things where … it’s bipartisan on both sides. Levin’s not on the same page as the White House. We’ve got our own internal differences; Paul and Kirk don’t agree with Graham,” said a senior GOP aide just before the vote. “Everybody’s trying to do the right thing. There’s just a difference of opinion.”

Even though Paul was joined only by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) on his side of the aisle, the issue was contentious at the Republicans’ weekly caucus lunch.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) emerged from the meeting — where former Vice President Dick Cheney was in attendance — saying his colleagues had “a spirited discussion” about Udall’s amendment, and predicted nearly all Republicans would oppose the amendment, as they did.

Nothing like having a war criminal tip the balance of debate.

On the corporate side of things, there is another strong push to give Corporate America control of the Internet (via DNS-blacklisting, a la China).   Sadly, some judges already think they have this authority.

As a whole bunch of folks have sent in a District Court judge in Nevada issued some rather stunning orders lately concerning websites that luxury brands company Chanel has argued “advertise, promote, offer for sale or sell” possibly counterfeit Chanel goods. The order is basically a more expansive private version of SOPA, in which the judge has let Chanel directly “seize” about 600 domains, as well as issued restraining orders and injunctions, including orders to Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter to “de-index and/or remove [the domain names] from any search results pages.”

[full story]

There has been a steady and consistent drumbeat from copyright holders to expand their protections in a more competitive environment.   Their history of hyperbole is legion, and all statements coming from their trade groups should be taken with several tons of salt.

 

Kansas Governor (one of those “small government Republicans) pays someone to monitor Twitter for bad things about him…picking up from there….(UPDATED: Governor Apologizes…for his staff…)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas teenager who wrote a disparaging tweet about Gov. Sam Brownback is rejecting her high school principal’s demand that she apologize.

Emma Sullivan told The Associated Press on Sunday that she’s not sorry and an apology letter wouldn’t be sincere.

via Teen whose tweet about Kan. gov. got her in trouble at school refuses to write apology letter – The Washington Post.

If you don’t know this backstory…here’s the deal.

This is a silly little story.  Hopefully it will get bigger, as folks realize how disturbing this whole turn of events actually is.

UPDATE: This ended well.

“My staff overreacted to this tweet, and for that I apologize,” Brownback said in a statement Monday. “Freedom of speech is among our most treasured freedoms.”

The reaction exemplifies what Bradley Shear, a Washington, D.C.-area social media attorney, called an example of the nationwide chasm between government officials and rapidly evolving technology.

“This reflects poorly on the governor’s office,” Shear said. “It demonstrates their P.R. department and whoever is dealing with these issues need to get a better understanding of social media in the social media age. The biggest problem is government disconnect and a lack of understanding of how people use the technology.”

Brownback’s office declined to discuss its social media monitoring in detail, but politicians and governmental offices across the county are increasingly keeping an eye on the Internet for mentions of their campaigns or policies, not unlike the way newspapers and television broadcasts have been watched for decades.

[full story]

I hate it when “personal responsibility” folks blame things on their staff…which ostensibly are following their orders and protocols.

There was a curious statement later in the follow-up, I’d like to highlight…

The Shawnee Mission School District said Monday it was no long seeking a letter from Sullivan.

“Whether and to whom any apologies are issued will be left to the individuals involved,” the statement said. “The issue has resulted in many teachable moments concerning the use of social media. The district does not intend to take any further action on this matter.”

And the most important one here is that government is watching you.   But the lesson now is not one of fear, but one of action: Don’t watch what you say, watch what they say, and then what they do…and if you think they #blowalot, let the world know.

This is how “they” are taking over (the last 49% they don’t already have)

Gizmodo, the Gadget Guide http://m.gizmodo.com/5546244/how-to-watch-hulu-in-android-in-3-easy-steps

Should be “how lawyers and marketing are making a killing by killing innovation and competition.”

BTW, I loved how I got three warnings how it wouldnt work in pop-UPS, but my palmtop computer (like the laptops of old) kept acting like “hey, I got this”.

And it does.  Other flash based video works just fine, thank you.  No lawyers or exclusive distribution deals necessary.

What Anonymous Wants (Get: What Anonymous Wants)

I was going to post this earlier, then I waited until version 1.1 came out.

This name, capitalized..Anonymous…has come to mean certain things.  This is what Anonymous wants, in case anyone asks.

Also, I’m going to try and make this exhaustive, as Anonymous has, in case the google picks up on the answer to this very simple question.  And the obvious follow-ups.

Open Letter To The World With Fixed Typo And Grammar

Open Letter To The WorldWe stand at a unique time in our history. The rise of the Internet and computing technology have contributed to an unparalleled rate of prosperity for the First World.

We have created for ourselves an empire unlike any other, a global network of constant trade and communication, a new age of technological advancement. We have come a long way from our humble roots in the Industrial Revolution and the days of Manifest Destiny. We are now pioneers on new digital frontiers expanding our domain from the quantum world to the far reaches of space.

And yet, the empire faces a crisis, a global recession, growing poverty, rampant violence, corruption in politics, and threats to personal freedom. As it was before in other times of crisis, the old stories have begun to repeat themselves. The half truths, this time repeated nightly on cable news and echoed through a series of tubes onto the internet: the empire is strong, change is unwise, business as usual is the answer. In times of uncertainty there are those who seek to add to the confusion, to prey on our insecurities and fears. Those who would seek to keep us divided for their own gain. The pervasive strategy takes many very convincing forms: Liberals and Conservatives, Christians and Muslims, Black and White, Saved and sinner.

But something unexpected is happening. We have begun telling each other our own stories. Sharing our lives, our hopes, our dreams, our demons. Every second, day in day out, into all hours of the night the gritty details of life on this earth are streaming around the world. As we see the lives of others played out in our living rooms we are beginning to understand the consequences of our actions and the error of the old ways. We are questioning the old assumptions that we are made to consume not to create, that the world was made for our taking, that wars are inevitable, that poverty is unavoidable. As we learn more about our global community a fundamental truth has been rediscovered: We are not so different as we may seem. Every human has strengths, weaknesses, and deep emotions. We crave love, love laughter, fear being alone and dream for a better life.

You must create a better life.

You cannot sit on the couch watching television or playing video games, waiting for a revolution. You are the revolution. Every time you decide not to exercise your rights, every time you refuse to hear another point of view, every time you ignore the world around you, every time you spend a dollar at a business that doesn’t pay a fair wage you are contributing to the oppression of the human body and the repression of the human mind. You have a choice, a choice to take the easy path, the familiar path, to walk willingly into your own submission. Or a choice get up, to go outside and talk to your neighbor, to come together in new forums to create lasting, meaningful change for the human race.

This is our challenge:

A peaceful revolution, a revolution of ideas, a revolution of creation. The twenty-first century enlightenment. A global movement to create a new age of tolerance and understanding, empathy and respect. An age of unfettered technological development. An age of sharing ideas and cooperation. An age of artistic and personal expression. We can choose to use new technology for radical positive change or let it be used against us. We can choose to keep the internet free, keep channels of communication open and dig new tunnels into those places where information is still guarded. Or we can let it all close in around us. As we move in to new digital worlds, we must acknowledge the need for honest information and free expression. We must fight to keep the internet open as a marketplace of ideas where all are seated as equals. We must defend our freedoms from those who would seek to control us. We must fight for those who do not yet have a voice. Keep telling your story. All must be heard.

Creative Commons Attribution
All content on this website is automatically licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. You are free to redistribute and/or remix it, but you have to credit the author, or, if the author is unknown (“Anonymous”), place a backlink to the corresponding page on AnonNews and attribute it to “Anonymous”.

Please note the copyleft linkage.  It’s a reference to that site, not this one.

Also note, I bolded the stuff that’s bolded.  Personal note: I kinda teared up when I did so.  BTW, and one of the things I love about Anonymous is that the speak pretty much exactly like I do.   My internet experience is long and deep in the hive-mind, and the solutions it sees for the future.  I wish I had typed that, I didn’t.   I did, however, copy and paste it and link back and re-mix it more to my like.  I encourage you do so, as well.

That whole thing is a solid encapsulation of why I, Robot Pirate…well, Roy…fight.   For that stuff up there.  I’m not Anonymous.  I can’t be, and vote.  I can’t be, and speak out as myself with the all rights and responsibilities one like myself is both born with.   So I fight in the light, and keep an ear out for the whispers of the invisible.  I love this shit.  This is worth a lot to me, that stuff in bold up there.  A lot.

So enough about that…Anonymous has nailed down the ideal of the 21st century, a challenge, a gauntlet, if you will, and it’s up to YOU to pick it up.  I’m already doing my thing….now, on that.

While I agree with this, so whole-heartedly it hurts, there’s a fuzzy and circuitous route between what Anonymous wants, and what a lot of people say Anonymous wants.  Myself included.  That’s why I just bolded it, and didn’t edit it much.  As this activity, this battle, this, frankly, war for all that is good and proper and such, goes on; expect to see the name Anonymous again, and again, attached to more brilliance and b.s than Banksy.   So keep the following in mind…

On Posting In The Name of Anonymous

To My Fellow Anons, Members of the Press, and Random Passers-by,

I am an individual. I am writing this statement. I do not represent Anonymous. In fact, no one does; the operative word there being “one.” No statement or action made by a single individual can be claimed as a statement or action of Anonymous.

So, two things:

First, if you feel like writing a personal manifesto about what Anonymous is, don’t. You’re wrong. Stop trying to portray a collective in terms of your own beliefs.

Second, statements or actions undertaken collaboratively by a group of Anons can take up the banner of Anonymous…if they so choose. Why? Plurality. “I am anonymous.” “We are Anonymous.” Note the distinct (and intentional) lack of capitalization in the first example. The first is an adjective, the second is a name. This is why we have an IRC channel. Collaborate there, announce group consensus here. Result: less raeg, more lulz.

If you can follow those guidelines, then carry on.

If not, do us all a favor: Shut. The Hell. Up.

Thank you.

I am anonymous.

I am one.

I do forgive.

I have an eidetic memory.*

Expecto Patronum.

Creative Commons Attribution
All content on this website is automatically licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. You are free to redistribute and/or remix it, but you have to credit the author, or, if the author is unknown (“Anonymous”), place a backlink to the corresponding page on AnonNews and attribute it to “Anonymous”.

* too funny.   The internet never forgets, because no one never forgets and no one is Anonymous.  Or some such.  Really…nowadays…it’s all out there.  So forgiveness is necessary, as forgetfulness is a lie.

Looks like this is a steady issue to address, as this “I am anonymous, we are Anonymous, wait, who’s on first?”…and speaking of issues…Anonymous on them.

Anonymous || Note to journalists

Attention Journalists: If you are writing a story, and have come to this website to do research, or pull a quote — stop. slow down. read.

Read the big blue highlighted section at the top of the screen:


AnonNews uses an open-posting concept. Anyone can post to the site, and moderators will approve relevant posts. No censorship takes place!
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There have been several news articles recently suggesting that Anonymous is taking a very specific political stance regarding the events in Wisconsin. While some Anons are undoubtedly passionate about this issue, it would be a mistake to report that Anonymous is targeting the Koch brothers, or are even uniform in their opinion of collective bargaining rights of public employees at the state level.

Perhaps it might make more sense to you if you simply add a press release here at AnonNews, and see how easy it is to make a pronouncement on behalf of Anonymous?

Please recognize that as Anonymous’ brand has aquired legitimacy, opportunists have and will continue to try to tie their personal political agendas to the movement.

A handy bullet list guide for visiting journalists

  • Anonymous has no official position on abortion
  • Anonymous has no official position on tax policy
  • Anonymous has no official position on health care
  • Anonymous has no official position on collective bargaining agreements
  • Anonymous has no official position on campaign finance reform
  • Anonymous has no official position on the Tea Party
  • Anonymous has no official position on the Democratic Party
  • Anonymous has no official position on the Republican Party
  • Anonymous has no official position on the Green Party
  • Anonymous has no official position on global warming
  • Anonymous has no official position on off-shore drilling
  • Anonymous has no official position on budget deficits
  • Anonymous has no official position on George Soros
  • Anonymous has no official position on the Koch brothers
  • Anonymous has no official position on Fox News
  • Anonymous has no official position on MSNBC
  • Anonymous has no official position on CNN
  • Anonymous has no official position on NAFTA
  • Anonymous has no official position on the IMF or World Bank
  • Anonymous has no official position on Wall Street
  • Anonymous has no official position on entitlement programs
  • Anonymous has no official position on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Anonymous has a very fucking official position on LULZ

Creative Commons Attribution
All content on this website is automatically licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. You are free to redistribute and/or remix it, but you have to credit the author, or, if the author is unknown (“Anonymous”), place a backlink to the corresponding page on AnonNews and attribute it to “Anonymous”.

Now with cool logo.

Here’s the thing about this…on everything Anonymous actually gives a shit about, I’m with them 100%.  Without the lulz, there is little point to some things.

As to other issues, who cares what I think, this is about being anonymous.

As to the final clue…let’s make it clear…

Clarification of Anonymous

A final clarification of Anonymous to demonstrate our lack of definition:

We are an anonymous collective, there are two parts to this and everyone needs to remember that.

As an anonymous collective our group has an array of properties that must be understood:

  1. We cannot be attacked.
    1. It is literally impossible to attack Anonymous. Any attack upon an individual is not an attack upon the whole. Any attack upon any Anonymous related site is not an attack upon the whole. All attacks upon individuals receive respite. All individuals who fall in attacks upon individuals will be replaced by more than who stood before. Attacking individuals is made at minimum difficult and at best impossible by our application of anonymity.
    2. “Beneath this mask there is an idea, and ideas are bullet-proof”
  2. We have no leader.
    1. There is no hierarchical structure. In terms of physical metaphors for structure we can reference states of physical matter. A solid would be a representation of a definite structure such as a dictatorship in terms of government. A liquid would demonstrate cases in which structure is freely manipulated such as a democracy in terms of government. A gas would demonstrate cases in which there is zero structure, and all individuals merely drift.
    2. Anonymous is none of these. We are plasma. We are given unique life through our lack of connection, we have no structure, and through drive and energy of our members we are given life beyond the controlling forces around us. We are the state which cannot be contained.
  3. Anonymous is merely a name.
    1. We are a named group. That is it. We do not keep a membership list for the obvious reason of being anonymous. Anyone can participate in our actions. We are not responsible for the actions of any individual, there is no one to take that responsibility but that individual himself. Anonymous is the mask, and our actions speak for themselves.

This is everything that Anonymous is. Nothing more. The actions of the group come to characterize the group itself. We will allow those actions to speak for themselves. Stop calling us a hacktivist group, stop calling us vigilantes. We are Anonymous. Stop trying to define it.

A final definition of a MEMBER OF Anonymous:

  1. We wear masks not invisibility cloaks.
    1. There’s a difference.
  2. Our actions characterize the whole.
    1. While Anonymous is not responsible for the actions taken by individuals, it is still characterized by those actions.

Evolution. We have become mock-absorbed into America’s culture and we need to properly define ourselves so that there is no confusion about what we are (who we are does not matter whatsoever). As we do so we need to build systems which allow what we’ve created to work effectively. Below is a list of systems we should develop in order to scale our group effectively:

To construct:

  1. In the name of Anonymous
    1. We need a system which allows all individuals to post actions they have taken in the name of group. It must not display any type of identity, only what each individual did and the time at which it was done. We can merge similar actions at similar times (DDoS participation) into singular log sections. Just need a table for it. Addition of an up/down vote allows for demonstration of how much the collective supports the action any individual takes.
    2. Reason: Demonstration of what actions Anonymous is taking, and demonstration of what all of the individuals within the group are doing while maintaining our anonymonity. This way there can be no debate on what actions are our actions. Everything anyone does under the name of Anonymous is action we have taken. The population and magnitude of the actions weight the amount they characterize the group.
  2. Unification
    1. Either organize or merge the array of Anonymous related sites. Create some sort of hub or clear network out of them. We are currently in a constant state of disarray.
  3. Openness
    1. We are not trying to be some private club, this would completely defeat our purpose. We need to publicly state how to join and participate in the actions we are taking.

Summary: We are a decentralized anonymous collective, and above is how this characterizes us. All members need to understand what they are a part of. Every action that is taken under the name of Anonymous is an action by Anonymous and we have hit the point where we are taking action on a global scale and every time someone pulls stupid shit and we make a big deal out of it makes the whole group look like a huge joke**. The strength of any voice is merely that which we give it.

We are Anonymous

We do not forgive.

We do not forget.

We are everywhere

We are nowhere

doesn’t need to

Additional Statement:

Magnanimous and your statement about a joint operation between your group and Anonymous: Anonymous cannot participate in joint operations; with anyone. We are everyone. You are a portion of Anonymous. We act as one. Cease using a separate title. The only possible implementation of a different title is in order to take claim for your actions; making you a disgusting little group that requires credit for the actions you take. Sit down, but continue to speak up.

Creative Commons Attribution
All content on this website is automatically licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. You are free to redistribute and/or remix it, but you have to credit the author, or, if the author is unknown (“Anonymous”), place a backlink to the corresponding page on AnonNews and attribute it to “Anonymous”.

So, there ya go.   Forgiveness now negotiable, you know how it is for Anonymous.  ** (for the lulz, catz).

Curious world we live in, shame if something happened to it.  Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen, shall we?

Roger Ailes Exposed as the Whiny Baby He Is (oh, and the Nazi Examples)

I mentioned in this post that after the tragedy in Tucson, certain folks put it on themselves to be the real victims.   A number of people backed up those claims, and all of these victims work for the same guy, Roger Ailes.

This always-the-victim-and-therefore-above-reproach approach that Fox News takes comes directly from the guy who runs it.

The full expose on Roger Ailes is here.  Please make sure his son reads it (and read it to find out why this is so important.)   It’s a really well written piece, take it all the way to the end, makes the same point I did in the title here.

The following anecdote covers pretty much the entire personality of Ailes and the news network he created and controls.

But what if Roger Ailes is a powerful man because he really is different from other powerful men? What if Roger Ailes really does have to win every fight because every fight is a matter of life and death? So listen again to an average American story from an average American childhood, and ask if Roger Ailes is an average American after all:When he was a baby, he fell out of his crib. He split his lip and he bled. A lot of babies do the same thing. But Roger kept on bleeding. Remember, this was seventy years ago. There was hardly anything known about hemophilia back then. And there was certainly not much that could be done about it, except transfusions of whole blood. “Well, you died. That’s what you knew about it. I was told many times I wasn’t going to make it.”

The closest he came to dying was when he was seven or eight. He bit his tongue when he jumped off the roof of the garage. His mouth filled with blood and the blood would not stop, the blood soaked the sheets of his bed, and he heard the doctor tell his father that there was nothing he could do. Roger Ailes was going to bleed out through his tongue. But his father was a fighter; that is, he got into fights, and Roger admired him for it. Now he fought for his son’s life. He picked Roger up, swaddled in bloody bedclothes, and drove him to the Cleveland Clinic with a police escort. At the factory where he worked, the old man tracked down everybody who had type-O-positive blood, and now he called upon all of them to come to Cleveland for his son. They did, and Roger can still remember their names, Dirtyneck Watson and the rest, men filthy from work who lined up one after another to give Roger their blood, arm to arm. ” ‘Well, son, you have a lot of blue-collar blood in you, never forget that,’ my father said after I got through it, and I never have. A lot of what we do at Fox is blue-collar stuff.”

But he was never that kid, not really. He couldn’t be. The disease he had was the Royal Disease, the disease of Queen Victoria’s progeny, a disease considered effete, a mortal taint. He used to have to sit on a pillow at school. He wasn’t able to go out at recess. And so one day he asked his parents to let him walk to school, like the other kids, and they let him. “And some guys beat me up. I went home a little beat up and my dad, I saw tears in his eyes for the first time. I’d never seen it. And he said, ‘That’s never going to happen to you again.’ He taught me how to fight. And he told me to stay away from any fight that I could. ‘But if you have no options, then remember, son, for them it’s a fight. For you, it’s life and death.’ ”

Everybody bleeds. We bleed all the time. We bleed when we move, we bleed when we bump into things. But for many years — there wasn’t much that could be done for hemophilia until the sixties — Roger kept on bleeding. That’s why he has such bad arthritis: because blood collects in the joints and ruins them. And that’s why he labors under the judgment of his bulk and finds it so deeply unfair when people call him fat. Because he can’t move. And that’s why he found a way to fight so many of his life-and-death battles through the television screen: It was his way of fighting the kids he saw playing outside through the window.

The article notes how Ailes, because he is the perennial victim, sees no irony or hypocrisy in holding others to standards that he himself, and his staff, do not.   Pointing out their hypocrisy does nothing, as they feel the hypocrisy is justified (and therefore isn’t hypocrisy).

To see a blatant and recent example of this modus operandi (merely the latest in a long, long line), here’s the summary with links to how it went down….

splice42 6 points 3 hours ago[-]

So, then, the argument goes kind of like this:

Steve Cohen: Republicans use nazi tactics to mislead the populace
Megyn Kelly: O NO U DIDN’T, STOP THAT, U EVIL
Richard Socarides: Fox news commonly uses inflamed rhetoric such as comparing the other side to Nazis.
Megyn Kelly: NO WAI, WE DON’T

Jon Stewart: Are you stupid? Here is a series of clips showing various commentators comparing liberals to nazis. You do use inflammatory rhetoric all the time, and criticizing Cohen for doing that same thing is hypocritical.
O’Reilly: OH YEAH? Well, I was completely justified. Besides, look at that blog comment on the Huffington Post, it didn’t get removed.

What a [fracking] bunch of morons. If the other side does it, it’s evil, if we do it, it’s justified, and besides, random people that have absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand also have hateful opinions, they aren’t censored, so we’re completely in the right here. So the left is evil and inflammatory when they use this language and they should be muzzled, but the right is completely justified because joe everybody can say something stupid and doesn’t get censored.

SRSLY.

Meanwhile…Fox is still editing the President’s State of the Union, and then criticizing him for the [edited] non-reactions.

Oh, and if you missed it from the Megyn Kelly lie expose link, here’s Ailes doing the same thing his employees do…being a huge douchebag hypocrite.

“A guy who gets fired and humiliated in the press [for being a poor journalist -ed] can lose a lot of confidence,” Ailes says. Calling [Juan] Williams “a pure liberal,” Ailes says he wanted to compensate the pundit for his losses because he was “mad” and “I didn’t want him to have to call his wife and say we lost money.”

Then he turned his sights on NPR executives.

“They are, of course, Nazis. They have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism. These guys don’t want any other point of view. They don’t even feel guilty using tax dollars to spout their propaganda. They are basically Air America with government funding to keep them alive.”

While Ailes later apologized…to the ADL…which they somehow accepted….he has never apologized to the kids outside he hates so much for having fun while his “stuff” keeps him inside, weak and pitiful….err, I mean he never apologized to the Nazi’s at NPR, yea, that’s what he meant.

The [Annotated] Michele Bachmann State of the Union Response Speech

As prepared for delivery: [mouseover links for the good stuff, click them for the rest]

Good evening, my name is Congresswoman Michele Bachmann from Minnesota’s 6th District.

Two years ago, when Barack Obama became our President, unemployment was 7.8 percent and our national debt stood at what seemed like a staggering $10.6 trillion dollars.

We wondered whether the President would cut spending, reduce the deficit and implement real job-creating policies.

Unfortunately, the President’s strategy for recovery was to spend a trillion dollars on a failed stimulus program, fueled by borrowed money.

The White House promised us that all the spending would keep unemployment under 8 percent.

Not only did that plan fail to deliver, but within three months the national jobless rate spiked to 9.4 percent. And sadly, it hasn’t been lower for 20 straight months. While the government grew, we lost more than 2 million jobs.

Let me show you a chart.

Here are unemployment rates over the past ten years. In October 2001, our national unemployment rate was at 5.3 percent. In 2008 it was at 6.6 percent. But, just eight months after President Obama promised lower unemployment, that rate spiked to a staggering 10.1 percent.

Today, unemployment is at 9.4 percent with about 400,000 new claims every week.

After the $700 billion bailout, the trillion-dollar stimulus, and the $410 billion spending bill with over 9,000 earmarks, many of you implored Washington to please stop spending money we don’t have.

But, instead of cutting, we saw an unprecedented explosion of government spending and debt, unlike anything we have seen in the history of our country.

Deficits were unacceptably high under President Bush, but they exploded under President Obama’s direction, growing the national debt by an astounding $3.1 trillion-dollars.

What did we buy?

Instead of a leaner, smarter government, we bought a bureaucracy that tells us which light bulbs to buy, and which will put 16,500 IRS agents in charge of policing President Obama’s healthcare bill.

ObamaCare mandates and penalties will force many job creators to stop offering health insurance altogether, unless yours is one of the more-than-222 privileged companies or unions that has received a government waiver.

In the end, unless we fully repeal ObamaCare, a nation that currently enjoys the world’s best healthcare may be forced to rely on government-run coverage that will have a devastating impact on our national debt for generations to come.

For two years President Obama made promises just like the ones we heard him make tonight. Yet still we have high unemployment, devalued housing prices and the cost of gasoline is skyrocketing.

Here are a few suggestions for fixing our economy:

The President could stop the EPA from imposing a job-destroying cap-and-trade system.

The President could support a Balanced Budget Amendment.

The President could agree to an energy policy that increases American energy production and reduces our dependence on foreign oil.

The President could also turn back some of the 132 regulations put in place in the last two years, many of which will cost our economy $100 million or more.

And, the President should repeal ObamaCare and support free market solutions like medical malpractice reform and allow all Americans to buy any healthcare policy they like anywhere in the United States.

We need to start making things again in this country, and we can do that by reducing the tax and regulatory burdens on job creators.

America will have the highest corporate tax rate in the worldLook no further to see why jobs are moving overseas.

But, thanks to you, there’s reason to hope that real spending cuts are coming. Last November you went to the polls and voted out big-spending politicians and you put in their place men and women with a commitment to follow the Constitution and cut the size of government.

I believe that we are in the early days of a history-making turn.

Please know how important your calls, visits, and letters are to the maintenance of our liberties. Because of you, Congress responded and we are starting to undo the damage that’s been done.

We believe in lower taxes, a limited view of government and the exceptionalism of America. And I believe America is the indispensible nation.

Just the creation of this nation was a miracle. Who’s to say that we can’t see a miracle again?

The perilous battle that was fought in the pacific, at Iwo Jima, was a battle against all odds, and yet the image of the young G.I.s in the incursion against the Japanese immortalizes their victory. These six young men raising the flag came to symbolize all of America coming together to beat back a totalitarian aggressor.

Our current debt crisis we face today is different, but we still need all of us to pull together. We can do this.

And that’s the hope we hold tonight as Americans. We will push forward to reclaim the greatness of our country and to proclaim the liberty upon which we were founded.

And we will do so because we the people will never give up on this great nation.

God bless you, and God bless America.

UPDATE: This isn’t even close to the dumbest stuff she’s said before.   This woman is a walking, talking, cliche.   Which is to say, she’s the perfect representative for the Republican Tea Party.

BTW, here’s another takedown on her “Founding Fathers hated Slavery” comedy-bit.  At least we hope it’s supposed to be comedy.

GE/NBC/Comcast Merger Approved, Olbermann Fired…50th anniversary of what speech?

Oh yes, the first Texan in the White House (and just for the official records, this guy was a yankee).  Here’s that speech..

There’s some great historical context here.  This was the previous election that he mentions in passing. The direction the country would go next was very much up for debate and led to a very close election (and the subsequent second amendment rebuttal).

Wonderful under-quoted part of this (@5:00), “Crises there will continue to be.  In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great of small, there is a recurring temptation to feel some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties.”   For some reason, “Shock and Awe” springs immediately to mind.

His call to balance that followed was nice as well.

But the tides have changed since his warning.  He notes how military spending was roughly on par with corporate earnings in 1961.  Fifty years later, the balance of power has shifted as much as how we engage our enemies.

American businesses earned profits at an annual rate of $1.659 trillion in the third quarter, according to a Commerce Department report released Tuesday. That is the highest figure recorded since the government began keeping track over 60 years ago, at least in nominal or non-inflation-adjusted terms.

[full story]

Military spending was roughly $0.750 trillion in 2010.     So while I love Eisenhower’s take on it, and it’s been around for a while, the balance of power really has shifted away as mergers, consolidation, and attrition have brought this whole military industrial complex thing to a whole new level.  Which the acquisition of NBC some time ago, there was a mouthpiece, and with Universal, always something to say (and charge for).  Now with Comcast thrown into the mix, you do *really have* a vertically integrated global behemoth that can start the wars, cover it up, hide the news, broadcast something else, and keep pumping out half-hour crap that seems to be the only thing the only cable company left in town carries.

The scary part, at least from the recent developments file, is how they’ve been using an idiot led mob-horde of political opinion to make net neutrality, the obvious policy-level antidote to the entire scenario I described above, something akin to death panels/commie/socialism/etc. etc. the same bag of connotation and guilt by association used by all the media slime balls to slime things.

So where are we now?  GE owner of NBC Universal has been approved to buy Comcast and later that week Olbermann gets the quick axe.   I wouldn’t doubt he pulled it down faster, he’s just that kind of guy, but while his hyperbole wasn’t really my cup of tea, I didn’t doubt his sincerity, and found folks like him to be something of a bulwark against *actual* policy threats, and not the imagined ones.   Kind of like Donahue used to be.

You know about Phil Donahue, right?  He was a lefty political commentator on MSNBC back before the Iraq War.  He started asking lots of questions.  Having lots of guests.  As the war rhetoric heated up, so did his ratings. Three weeks before the bombs started dropping in Baghdad, GE dropped one on Donahue.

It simple doesn’t do to have one division of your company making and selling bombs, and the another of your division riling up domestic opposition to the use of them.  It’s not really a conspiracy folks.  There’s not man behind the curtain pulling all the strings.   There’s just a lot of people doing their jobs, trying to make it through the week/month/year.

But how it works, ultimately?  And how the *system* as a whole works to protect itself, and it’s profits?    That bothers me, that scares me.  That is something I try to fight against, in whatever way possible.  Unfortunately such a system is not an easy thing to combat, as I agree that each discrete decision such a system makes is rational, or very close to it.

Net neutrality is one of those things that would acts as a check and balance against such concentrated market power.   The Net can level the playing field, but only if the Net is level.

So there’s one less loudmouth on the air, and one more corporate behemoth encircling the globe (NEW AND IMPROVED: With a completely unfettered ability to distribute political money [and free airtime/bandwidth to the good kids]).

Joy.