Rand Paul Headstomper Just the Latest Violent Right-Winger

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by Davis Fleetwood

Tim Proffitt, an angry white guy with back problems, who until a few days ago would have been hard to pick out at any Ayn Randian Regressive Racist, tea bagging event seeing as how he is indistinguishable from the multitudinous middle aged macho Archie Bunkers that populate these events, can now enjoy his fifteen minutes of fame. Congratulations, Tim, when you die people will remember you as that guy who stepped not once, but twice on the back of a 23 year old woman after she was tackled to the ground in a violent attack that left the woman, Lauren Valle, with a concussion and other medical problems.

But Mr. Proffitt was not done.
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Dear Jon Stewart, What is a peace loving pinko commie fag to do?

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originally published October 4th

Dear Mr. Stewart:

I am one of the growing legion who plan on attending the Rally to Restore Sanity on October 30th, and my hopes are high. Why? Because I am going insane and I would like very much thank you to have my sanity restored.

And because the world we live in, the unfolding 21st century with America behind the wheel is currently in a slow motion suicide; a tragedy fit for Shakespeare, or at the very least-a new Showtime series. And in Shakespeare, it is often the court jesters who exhibit the most wisdom. On Showtime it dope dealing single Mom’s. As appealing as Mary Louise Parker is on weeds, I doubt future generations will be gleaning life lessons from the “Tao of Nancy Botwin.”

So, I’m hoping, Mr.Stewart, that you are onto something as wise – and as funny, as a Shakespearean fool.

Even though my political leanings and yours tilt the same direction, Mr. Stewart, I am going insane. Why? Even just reading the news on a regular basis, and skipping the hyperbolic commentary from the talking head performance artists employed by the FUX news network is enough to make one insane.

For example-take the recent story about US Soldiers in Afghanistan who allegedly keep the fingers from Afghan civilians they had killed as war trophies.

Now, many people will say, you know, that war is ugly. These things happen in war. Don’t criticize the soldiers you pinko commie fag or the next time I see you on the street I will rip your trachea out, put it on a kabob, BBQ it and feed it to your mom! Soldiers fight and die to preserve our way of life-if they want a few fingers then hell, let them take fingers, toes,let them have all the Temporomandibular joints they want!

To which I respond, have you ever had BBQ’d TRACHEA? And, oh, bye the bye, the idea that soldiers fight and die to preserve our way of life has about as much veracity as the combined myths of the tooth fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa Claus, and of since the end of WW2, war-covert, overt or otherwise, is the default setting for the US.

Making us a society living in denial. A homicidal denial that has made us – according to your arguments, a very rich people unbothered by the blood on our hands. Is that who really are? A nation of MacBeth’s married to Martha Stewart, with enough products at our disposal to wash all the blood from our hands. “Out Out damn spot?” No problem! Guilt free world domination and a living room ready for a pictorial spread in next months’ Architectural Digest.

So, what is a peace loving pinko commie fag to do? Take to the streets, like they did in the 60s? What did the 60s teach us? After they killed Kennedy Malcolm Martin and Kennedy again, what happened? All those baby boomer hippies put their tails between their legs, got hair cuts, went to work for Wall Street or pharmaceutical firms, getting rich off of creative complex derivative markets and Viagra.

And all of this time US foreign policy has been much the same. Whether it be Jimmy Carter or George Bush in the White House, since Fat Man paid a visit to Hiroshima the underlying assumptions that govern the US role in the world (i.e., – the world is a bad place that needs a cop, and that the US – not the UN or some other coalition-is the only force with the will and moral authority to act as this cop) has not been challenged by many elected officials and by exactly zero Presidents.

And it is this foreign policy-not the fact that Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton walk the red carpet panty-less, that has made radical Islam our enemy. And that is why some of us here on the left have lost our sanity. As distasteful and insane as Rev. Wright can sound, the chickens are indeed coming home to roost.

It has been suggested to me that your call, Mr. Stewart, for a restoration of sanity (equally calling out the extreme elements on the left and the right) is a truly subversive gesture. That reality and sanity, as you have said, have a liberal bias. That the true moderates, the people you affectionately refer to as the “busy majority” want calm dialogue, will become progressives, if given the opportunity to actually have that dialogue.

Or are you just doing this for the ratings?

I suppose to have any kind of effect at all you’ll need both the former and the latter.

- Davis Fleetwood.
October 4, 2010

Will Sanity Be Restored and Fear Be Kept Alive?

By David Swanson. this article originally appeared on Let’s try Democracy
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“It’s not meant to ridicule activism,” Jon Stewart tells NPR, speaking of his planned rally on the National Mall. But you can see where someone might have gotten that impression. In the video of Stewart’s announcement of the event, he rejects crazy right wing ideas and the idea that Bush allowed 9-11 to happen; he condemns right wing lunacy and the idea that Republicans oppose providing healthcare; he denounces lies and fascism plus daring to accuse war criminals of being war criminals. Stewart opposes activist messages and their messengers.

The problem seems to be, not so much accuracy as inappropriateness and volume. You should not shout anything or say “war criminal,” but you especially should not shout “war criminal!”

Yet such a position cannot avoid the substance of the matter. Assuming that the United States, as is well documented, has been fighting illegal wars, imprisoning, torturing, and murdering, how “sane” can it be to reject any discussion of war criminals — or, for that matter, to allow Tony Blair to come on your program and tell you the United Nations authorized the invasion of Iraq?

If our government is, uniquely among wealthy countries, denying people healthcare, shouldn’t we talk about that? How “sane” can it be to always seek out the middle ground and believe whatever propositions lie halfway between advocacy for peace and justice and advocacy for glorified racist ignorance and corporatism?

Stewart rejects as insane the idea that Bush allowed 9-11 to happen, whether that idea is whispered or shouted. Yet Bush was warned of the possible attack and did nothing, after having refused to prioritize the matter and after having rejected opportunities to bring bin Laden to trial, which would not have pleased the Saudis.
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Dear Jon Stewart, Sane People Protest Crazy Wars

written by Medea Benjamin.

When Jon Stewart was on Larry King’s show talking about his Rally to Restore Sanity, he likened himself to Alice in Wonderland and the rally as the Mad Hatter Tea Party. But is Jon Stewart really Alice, trying to find sanity in an upside-down world? Or is he the March Hare, the ultimate “slacktivist” who thinks it’s always teatime — time to sit back and jibberjabber?

The 10-30-10 rally on the capital’s mall is a looking more and more like a celebration of “slacktivism.” Stewart is courting people who do NOT want to open their window and yell, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” As he says in the Rally for Sanity website, he’s looking for the people who’ve been “too busy to go to rallies, who actually have lives and families and jobs (or are looking for jobs).”

So let’s get this straight: people who were so horrified when the U.S. invaded Iraq that they joined millions of others to protest are not sane? We shouldn’t speak out against Wall Street bankers whose greed led to millions of Americans losing their jobs and homes? It’s irrational to be angry when you see the Gulf of Mexico covered in oil because BP cut corners on safety? Don’t get upset when the Supreme Court rules that corporations are people and can pour unlimited funds into our elections?

Stewart often roasts the warmakers and corporate fatcats on his show, but he seems to think that his viewers should be content to take out their frustrations with a good belly laugh.

When Jon Stewart announced the Rally to Restore Sanity, he included CODEPINK among the “loud folks” getting in the way of civil discourse. He also equated progressives calling George Bush a war criminal with right-wingers calling Obama Hitler.

So we started a Facebook page asking Jon Stewart to invite us on the show to set the record straight. Beware of what you ask for. We did, indeed, get a call from the producers but it was not for a live interview with Jon Stewart. No, it was for a taped session with myself, a Tea Party organizer and a tear-gas dodging, anti-globalization anarchist “giving advice” to Daily Show’s Samantha Bee about how to organize a good rally. It was clear they wanted to portray us as the crazy folks who should NOT come to their rally for reasonableness.

I consulted with my CODEPINK colleagues. Some said, “Don’t do it. It’s a trap and will only further marginalize us.” We’d already been ridiculed several times on the show, like when we stood up to question General Petraeus at a Congressional hearing or when we organized protests at the Marine Recruiting Center in Berkeley. But the majority of my colleagues thought it would be crazy to decline the chance to get an anti-war message out to millions of viewers.

The producers told us to come to the New York studio “in costume.” The anarchist, Legba Carrefour, was all in black, including a black bandanna covering his face. The Tea Partier, Jeffrey Weingarten, came in patriotic red, white and blue. I decided to “go professional”, with a CODEPINK t-shirt and a gray suit. The producers were disappointed. They had wanted me to appear in one of the wild outfits we have worn in Congress — like a hand-lettered pink slip accessorized with a hot-pink boa and a glittery “no war” tiara.

But my attempt to look professional was thwarted by the fourth guest who suddenly appeared and was positioned right behind me: A huge, scary puppet head of Iranian President Ahmadinejad.

So there we were, four “crazies” being quizzed by Samantha Bee for over two hours. She started out with softballs — what did we stand for, what activities did we engage in. Then the questions and the antics got sillier and sillier. By the end we found ourselves spinning a blind-folded Samantha Bee around, then watching her swing a baseball bat at Ahmadinejad’s head to see if was really a pinata.

I’m sure that with over two hours of tape, there will be plenty of footage to turn into a four minute segment showing us as a bunch of nutcases. After all, it is a comedy show.

But it’s too bad that Jon Stewart, the liberal comedian, is putting anti-war activists, tea partiers and black bloc anarchists in the same bag. And it’s sad that he’s telling his audience — many of whom are young progressive thinkers — that activism is crazy.

An anonymous assistant on the Daily Show’s blog chastized CODEPINK on line. “Dipping hands in fake blood or screaming over everyone just makes you look crazy and then the rest of the country ignores you.” He said that we should, instead, focus on solutions.

CODEPINK has been proposing solutions since the day we started. We risked our lives meeting with UN weapons inspectors in Iraq right before the U.S. invaded to see if war could be avoided. We have repeatedly traveled to Afghanistan to push for reconciliation. For the past eight years we have been posing solutions about how to deal with terrorism, how to extricate ourselves from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, how to make us safer at home. Whether under Bush or Obama, our voices of sanity have been drowned out by a war machine that makes billions selling weapons and hiring mercenaries.

Meanwhile, we’ve witnessed the agony of mothers who have lost their sons in these senseless wars, the unspeakable suffering of our friends in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the lavish spending on war while our schools and hospitals are gutted.

It was because of this insanity that we began to interrupt the war criminals during their public appearances, shouting — yes, shouting — for an end to the madness. It was because of this insanity that we put fake blood on our hands to represent the hundreds of thousands of innocents who died as result of their lies. In our post-9/11-24/7 news cycle, we learned that the more audacious and outrageous the action, the more likely we were to get our anti-war message into the national conversation.

For this the Daily Show calls us crazy!

Don’t get me wrong. CODEPINK women love to laugh and we try not to take ourselves too seriously. But we do feel thatit’s the sane people who protest crazy wars, who cry out against the dangers of global warming, who rail against big money in politics, who implore our politicians to spend our resources rebuilding America, not bombing people overseas.

So let’s celebrate the people who walk the talk. Slacktivism did not end slavery, activism did. Slacktivism did not get women our rights. Activism did. Slacktivism won’t end war or global warming. But activism just might.

Jon Stewart says he wants to restore sanity to Washington; so do we. We’ll see you out on the mall, Jon.

******************************************

Medea Benjamin is cofounder of CODEPINK and Global Exchange. CODEPINK will be organizing a Mad Hatter Tea Party at the Rally to Restore Sanity. To join, sign up at http://bit.ly/bXC96E. Her “interview” with Samantha Bee will be aired on the Daily Show on Thursday.

Rand Paul Headstomper Just the Latest Violent Right-Winger: 17 More Instances of Recent Violence by Conservatives

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written by Adam H. Shah, this article originally appeared on Media Matters for America

As media outlets have reported, a MoveOn.org worker who attempted to approach Paul at an October 26 rally in Lexington, Kentucky was attacked, apparently by Paul supporters. The woman was thrown to the ground and then stepped on, causing her head to be smashed into the pavement. According to MoveOn.org, the victim was diagnosed with a concussion at a local hospital.

The attack on the MoveOn worker was the latest in a string of violence and threats against progressives.

1. White powder and swastikas were mailed to Rep. Grijalva. On October 21, an envelope containing “a plastic bag of white powder and two pieces of paper with swastikas written on them” was reportedly mailed to Rep. Raul Grijalva’s (D-AZ) campaign office. The powder was determined to be non-toxic.
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Kill And Eat The Rich

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I just purchased a shirt “Kill and Eat the Rich” from the Punk Patriot’s Etsy store, and yes, I do plan on wearing it in public.

Let me explain.

Click here to purchase the shirt

First of all, I need to confess, if there comes a time for violent revolution in this country, it is not going to be me that leads that charge. I don’t have the stomach for it. So I’m NOT trying to incite murder here.

My reason for purchasing the Punk Patriot’s shirt “Kill and Eat the Rich”, truth be told, has more to do with my need for something to wear when I attend La Boehme at the Metropolitan Opera in January. The multiple layers of irony involved in wearing that shirt to an opera that centers on impoverished artists while sitting in $320 Orchestra seats seemed to delicious to pass up.

Also, as many of you know, I am interested in the potential synergistic effect of art and activism, and the Punk Patriot shared with me, by way of introducing his shirt, a fable he has in mind.

A fable, by that way, is a short story wherein forces of nature are given human qualities and illustrates a moral lesson.

A fable is also a kind of art.

And art, it has been said, is a lie that tells the truth.

Here is the Punk Patriot’s  fable:

They told us when they took our jobs overseas, “No hard feelings. It’s just business, you know?”

They told us when they destroyed our 401ks through gambling with our money, “No hard feelings. It’s just business, you know?”

They told us when we fell behind on our mortgage and foreclosed on our house, kicking us to the street, “No hard feelings. It’s just business, you know?”

As more and more people were forced on welfare, the government’s budget started to look grim. When they cut welfare spending entirely so that they could enjoy bigger tax cuts to “stimulate the economy,” they told us, “No hard feelings. It’s just business, you know?”

Then the poor had nothing left to eat, and no place to go.

So they had to kill and eat the rich.

They descended on Wall Street by the millions, stopping all traffic.

Their numbers were so large; the police couldn’t do anything to stop the massive crowd of the disenfranchised. They flooded the buildings of Wall Street, the halls of DC, of the McMansions of Texas, and like a horde of zombies, they tore into the flesh of the horrified wealthy, who screamed and shat themselves, knowing that they were powerless to stop the oncoming mass of gnashing teeth and hungry mouths.

And as the poor picked the bones clean over the burning piles of money, the poor said to the bones:

“No hard feelings. It’s just business, you know?”

The moral lesson behind this fable, methinks, is that it is obscene to make choices where “business” outweighs all other considerations. Oh, and turnabout is a bitch.

Not that I think any of my friends at the Opera will “get that” when they see my shirt. But it sure will make for a great photograph.

My hope is that you – members of my audience – will respond creatively to this as well. Write a song, make a video, a painting, anything creative – and send them to The Punk Patriot by clicking here.

The Pentagon: “WikiLeaks and Julian Assange Have Blood On Hands”

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by Davis Fleetwood

The 400, 000 documents released several days ago will take years for historians to go through, but the Pentagon wasted no time framing WikiLEaks as public enemy number 1.

As Defense Secretary Robert Gates put it:

“The battlefield consequences of the release of these documents are potentially severe and dangerous for our troops, our allies and Afghan partners, and may well damage our relationships and reputation in that key part of the world. Intelligence sources and methods, as well as military tactics, techniques and procedures, will become known to our adversaries. This department is conducting a thorough, aggressive investigation to determine how this leak occurred, to identify the person or persons responsible, and to assess the content of the information compromised.”

No Bobby, I think it might be the trail of death and destruction in the wake of the United States exporting, correction: violently shoving democracy down the throat of the world that is damaging our reputation.

Admiral Mike Mullen went even further:

“Mr. Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is, they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family. Disagree with the war all you want, take issue with the policy, challenge me or our ground commanders on the decisions we make to accomplish the mission we’ve been given, but don’t put those who willingly go into harm’s way even further in harm’s way just to satisfy your need to make a point.”

Sorry Mike, but the blood is on the hands of those who would implement our insanely homicidal foreign policy. Mike, the blood is on your hands. The blood is on the hands of the Bush administration. The blood is on the hands of President Obama, and truth be told, the blood is on the hands of the American taxpayer, many of whom, though they may have never been to an anti war rally, will make a pilgrimage to DC this weekend to attend a rally held by a comedian asking us all to just take a deep breathe, get along and restore some sanity.

Suggesting that WikiLeaks and their source has blood on their hands is akin to saying that a TV station reporting on a fire is guilty of arson, or a reporter filing a story about a rape is accessory to future rape. At the end of a horror movie, when a light is cast in a dark basement revealing the cave of  the mass murderer, one does not prosecute the light.

Do we need any more metaphors, or are you with me here?

Your logic, Admiral, like the foreign policy you implement in your starched and pressed boy scout outfit all pimped out with pins, stars and the skulls of murdered children is about as warped as the corpses of the innocent civilians lying in the streets of Iraq that now number – in the low estimates of the US military ( I know this courtesy of wikileaks) to number over 66 thousand civilians.

What I also know, courtesy of WikiLeaks, is that in this hellfire attack (pictured in video above)-the civilian walking by is not listed in the report of this incident.

So what is the real number of innocent civilians dead, admiral? Furthermore, in the cost to benefit ratio, how many Iraqi civilian deaths is to high a price to pay for us to continue pursuing our Manifest Destiny?

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A freelance writer, Davis Fleetwood has worked as a writer/ media consultant for Dennis Kucinich’s 2008 presidential campaign and served as a contributing editorial commentator for The Uptake. His videos have been seen by over 18 million viewers. He has been called (among many other things) “one of the most prominent voices in YouTube politics.” (-You Tube News & Politics chief, Steve Grove) He was a “Best of YouTube, 2007” nomination. His book DROPPIN’ KNOWLEDGE LIKE A CLUMSY LIBRARIAN, is now available from No Cure For That Press, and his first full length feature documentary, MANIFEST DESTINY’S CHILD, is due out on DVD this January.

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