Massachusetts District U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz (Courtesy: Wikipedia)
WASHINGTON — In a not-so-stirring defense of academic conglomerate JSTOR, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said of Aaron Swartz‘s offenses, “Stealing is stealing whether you use a computer command or a crowbar, and whether you take documents, data or dollars. It is equally harmful to the victim whether you sell what you have stolen or give it away.” While common sense and lore would tend to at least lend more sympathy to Robin Hood- or Jean Valjean-type characters, who might be at least functioning out of some concern for others, Ms. Ortiz remained steadfast in her pursuit of recent “an Hero” Mr. Swartz, trying to see him put in jail for potentially the rest of his life.
Over at WhoWhatWhy Christian Stork does a nice little breakdown of this U.S. attorney’s wading into murky waters of civil asset forfeiture, one particular case in which she agreed to help confiscate a rundown, mom-and-pop Massachusetts motel because because “from 2001 to 2008, .05 [percent of at least 125,000 visitors] were arrested for drug crimes on the property.” This was a theft just like Aaron Swartz’s. Except not it was not a theft in the high-minded name of educating the world’s downtrodden, but in that of fattening the pockets of law enforcement agencies, treating poor drug abusers as criminals, alongside those who might dare house them.
Mr. Stork paints a disturbing picture of a civil asset forfeiture system in which being in debt vis-a-vis a mortgage — meaning that a bank, and its lawyers, has some has some skin in the game — means that the owners of this motel would have been in an even better position to disavow their affiliation with three handfuls of guest drug offenses. But alas they ran out of lawyer money, and the government all at once took five decades of family property worth $1.5 million.
Mr. Stork also outlines a direct financial, not an external ethical, motive for law enforcement to take on these kinds of civil asset forfeitures. He cites the testimony of a DEA agent claiming that federal attorneys never go after anything with less than $50,000 in equity. Additionally, local law enforcement, for cooperating with the feds, can look to take home up to 80 percent of what was seized. That’s a major incentive to turn a blind eye to a violation of property rights. In fact it’s more of an incentive to turn a blind eye to property-rights violations than the Pirate Party ever had: It’s money straight to the bank!
The same prosecutor, Carmen Ortiz, who sought to lock up Aaron Swartz for his failure to respect property rights of the proprietors of academic information also sought to seize a family’s business because an extreme minority of their clientele used drugs. Mr. Stork’s article makes clear that this was ultimately the DEA’s initiative, with Ms. Ortiz simply acting as its lawyer. But that doesn’t change that this U.S. attorney lacks any consistency in her modus operandi. It’s pretty obvious that the low rates for staying at this establishment, Motel Caswell, made it an even more tempting target.
Ms. Ortiz’s office released a statement about the seizure, saying: “The government believed that this was an important case . . . because of the deterrent message it sends to others who may turn a blind eye to crime occurring at their place of business.” But Mr. Stork shows this is shmoax because local crime rates dictate that there would have been just as much of a rationale for seizing nearby Walmart, Home Depot, Applebees, Motel 6 and IHOP. But those are large businesses, and no matter how many people shoot up or each other inside, they’ll have the lawyers to keep the whomever or the DEA at bay.
RICHMOND, VA. — “We just seen the opportunity, and I couldn’t pass it up. I had to own a slave,” said Internet Chronicle Publisher Frank Mason, speaking to clerical staff and press called to a conference at 1000 Monument Ave. With Jeff Schapiro from the Times-Dispatch busily taking notes, Mr. Mason continued, lamenting that he could only purchase a worker’s mortal flesh, “his gametes but never his soul.” He emphasized every syllable with a bang on the marble table top.
“God ain’t legalized that yet,” said Mr. Mason with a dry, wheezing laugh, before ejecting a runny stream of “baccy” from between tarred lips into a spittoon two meters away, carved apparently from a human skull.
“See that spitoon over there?” he said, gesticulating for reporters and Richmond business leaders. “That there’s a Czech. You can tell by the shape of the unity lobe.”
Editor of Chronicle.su — and lifelong friend of Mr. Mason’s — Kilgoar Trout complained that he was given no say in the matter. “Frank wanted to own a human being, he said. He said it’d make him feel powerful. It does.”
Lebal Drocer is a limited liability corporation. In God’s new America NAFTA and GATT have railroaded the communist unions that used to effectively clip and snip job creators. Those days are over. 1999 and Seattle came and went.
And they lost.
In addition to having assembled Virginia business leaders and various Saudi investors to show off what he called “his new Chinese,” Frank Mason told Internet Chronicle enthusiasts present that he was encouraging staff to obtain concealed-carry permits as soon as possible, and to fasten as many rails as possible to any “tricked-out rifles” staff might have hoarded in secret rooms in their basements. “That one’s putting a clampdown on on everything holy. Like my grandpappy used to say, Jesus won’t tolerate no clip with less capacity than days in his months,” adding, “And I ain’t talking about February!”
It was at this point that Raymond H. Boone of the Richmond Free-Press left the conference.
Editor Kilgoar Trout shared his concern that the company was moving too quickly away from the model of documenting the most frightening developments in cybersecurity and the out-of-control, privately bought-out surveillance state. “With this new venture into human trafficking,” said Mr. Trout to the publisher of Southside’s Community Weekly, “Frank’s really hijacking my religion of peace.”
AUSTIN, TEXAS — This afternoon federal agents killed Alex Jones and 52 Genesis Communications Network associates, each with two gunshot wounds to the back of the head. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, now investigating the incident, describes these wounds as “self-inflicted.” Before the standoff reached its bloody conclusion, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney clarified at the daily briefing that Mr. Jones faced charges of pedophilia, illicit gun alteration and roughly two decades of back income taxes. Photographers captured ATF agents placing the bodies of the 52 employees into plastic coffins. The compound collapsed in place after suffering damage from armored Caterpillar bulldozers specially deployed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Thursday morning undercover Waco Child Protective Service agents showed up at the door of the GCN compound and asked to speak to Mr. Jones. They presented themselves as wandering members of the milita movement, sympathetic following what Mr. Jones had termed his “explosive” appearance on “Piers Morgan Tonight.” When surrogates showed Mr. Jones to the door, they presented him with a Remington 870 shotgun. CPS asked if Mr. Jones could help them shorten the barrel below 22 inches. Mr. Jones, standing in his doorway, they say, happily agreed, took the American-made 12-gauge shotgun into a back lot and shortened it. When child protective services asked to take Mr. Jones’s children, the radio host disclosed that he was a sovereign citizen tax protester, having avoided the income tax due to its “unconstitutionality” since 1913.
Mr. Jones was 38 and is survived by millions of followers, having hosted the 10th most popular radio show in the United States. Mr. Jones was most famous for his December 31, 1999 broadcast, during which he was the only media source to break a taboo on reporting on the Russian missile attack that occurred that evening. During Y2K numerous power plants imploded due to computer error, and the North American Aerospace Defense Command failed to intercept Russian missiles, which killed millions of Americans in secret.
The radio host attracted international attention, including from the British royal family, after having made statements referring to his owning more than 50 “guns” and those “firearms” having increased in value two, three or four times. “It was at that point,” said FBI consultant Kenneth Lanning, previously responsible for helping cover up the Boystown fiasco with Larry King, “that we felt comfortable assuming that firearms referred to child spouses, and so we moved in.”
Friday morning ATF bulldozers, shipped to Houston 12 years ago from the West Bank, made their way slowly toward the South Wall of the Genesis Communications Network Compound. Upon mowing down solar panels and finally the outer wall of the compound, the six bulldozers reached a sudden halt. Their path, said one of the drivers, was impeded by cache of bullion six feet high just inside the inner wall. Representatives of the Dallas FBI Bureau, speaking by phone, said they feared the worst. “We were worried that the Prison Planet crew might be able to hold out for years on end.” Regardless, soon after having breached the flaming outer wall, the building collapsed.
A defector from the followers, whom Mr. Jones refers to as “listeners,” former Infowars.com contributor Mark Dice, informed authorities that GCN’s contract with eFoodsDirect would mean that freedom-loving audiovisual technicians and website contributors might be able to hold out for up to seven decades.
Citing the deaths of 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut last month, Bilderberg President and ATF chief David Rockefeller said, “We’ve had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it. And they made that decision to pull and then we watched the building collapse.”
At a Friday morning press conference in Washington, FBI Director David Mueller described subsequent events. He said Israeli Armored D9s, “teddy bears,” caused the walls of the compound to collapse. Mr. Mueller said, “Once the ‘doobis’ breached the outer wall, the mosquito-netting-like structure of the compound was compromised, causing the building to collapse, first starting with the penthouse, and then the children’s bedrooms.” Producer Aaron Dykes escaped, but his son, whom authorities believe to actually be Mr. Jones’s, was found in the remains of the compound.
As bulldozers approached initially, federal marshals demanded that Mr. Jones exit the building. After he did so, he ignored their calls that he continue walking toward waiting SUVs, instead re-entering his doorway. Returning from the doorway, facing away from authorities, he brandished what appeared to them be an M-16, but what was actually a Bushmaster he purchased at Wamart in early December. Officials say it was then, walking backwards, that Waco sheriff’s deputies opened fire. All of their bullets missed, but Mr. Jones, deputies said in sworn statements, placed the Bushmaster to the back of his head and pulled the trigger twice.
The fire spread faster due to hundreds of kilograms of uncured cannabis, which Mr. Jones’ one surviving child claimed no one was imbibing as a psychoactive but rather that Mr. Jones was encouraging his children to eat raw for anti-carcinogenic properties.
Hi, I’m a kangaroo and I’ve been hanging out at the Bradley Manning trial since day one. Maybe you noticed me standing between Lind and the ever-contorting face of Staff Sergeant George. Anyway, I hear that a lot of you out there — yes, I’m talking about you, Uncle Jimbo, Barack Hussein Obama, Patrick Leahy — a lot of you are bent on executing this guy, or throwing away the key. Let me do a little fishing around in my pouch up front because I’ve got something hiding in here for you all. Let me see, where is that… Keys? No. BlackBerry? Oh God no — oh, wait, here it is. It’s my middle claw! There we go.
Bradley Manning wants to run for office when he gets out, and as far as I’m concerned he should be the president the day he turns 35, or lower that oppressive age limit. This guy is Captain America, Sergeant Savage and white Jesus all rolled into one. He won’t be spending at least the next decade behind bars because our society is “just” or cares about national security or anything like that. He’ll be spending time behind bars because our government and the people it protects are cowards and liars. Cheats and thieves. Even Coombs, as he waxes Mark Antony-ously about how Manning’s jailers acted “honorably,” said in the same breath during his first public speech that they also acted “criminally.” Criminally honorable. Like terrorists. They’re criminals, get it, punishing a prisoner of conscience with balls. Lots of balls. Brad Roberts of Crash Test Dummies has three testicles. They couldn’t quite believe it. I’ve ducked down under the defense table a couple of times and I can assure you that Bradley Manning has four balls. Possibly seven. And they’re all leaking.
“Morsi anal fucked Manning over a fat bong of hashish.” ~ FanFic
It’s mind-boggling to think that Bradley Manning has received the bizarre scrutiny he is under from the public, heck, even from the folks down at Firedoglake going on endlessly about how the private has broken the law. As if laws were inherently just (remember black vagrancy laws, bans on actually owning a telephone?) or mean anything in the scope of the hyper-real street and courtroom justice Bradley Manning’s actions have seen visited upon some of the most charismatic sociopaths on the face of God’s green earth. R.I.P. Andrew Breitbart. Especially with the benefit of hindsight, Bradley Manning’s actions are worthy of scrutiny only in a meaningless, deontological sense that giving up all this information is bad for its own sake, as opposed to the myriad benefits that the world has seen as a consequence of the leaks. Leaks about North African decadence probably helped cause one of the world’s richest ever individuals, daresay eccentrics, to be murdered by an angry mob after having been stabbed in the anus, in a bad way. If Egyptian Islamists have their way, Morsi will be able to exercise his own degree of tyrannical, socially regressive power over the people of his country. He’s so regressive, even the men will have to wear hijabs. But still, hey, taking down Mubarak is something. Morsi is still the better “other guy,” and that’s how most people vote, anyway: against someone, not for anyone.
Oh, and all of you typical right-wing yee-haw evangelical militant types, even Benjamin Netanyahu is telling you to put down the strictnine and snakes long enough to notice that the Manning revelations actually show how the Saudis were chomping at the bit to get the United States into one of those famous Asian land wars. If you’re against Bradley Manning that’s like being in favor of four more Holocausts; or a contiguous, separate Palestinian state — which are the same thing, anyway.
Despite all of this gobbledygook about how Manning’s “motives and intentions” are being “stricken from the trial,” let’s face it: If he were some gungho Taliban supporter, Ashden Fein wouldn’t just be flashing Manning’s old Kuwaiti noose handiwork in the twink’s face to show us how ready he was to end it all; Fein would be yanking off that superstarched blazer and twisting it up like a towel in a locker room to make his own version in Manning’s face.
Is anyone really happy that, had Bradley Manning not done what he did, we would still be looking at an America where Hillary Clinton could violate serious international laws and call for the ability to monitor the private financial transactions and correspondences of ambassadors? Are we so cynical that we see our way to collective security through dishonesty? Is anyone upset about knowing that John McCain was selling C-130s to Moammar al-Gadhafi? Think that’s something we should have known before everyone started calling for a no-fly zone? If you’re in the military or in public service, how could you possibly be such a coward, such an utter sheep, such an utter tool as to not read the leaked cables? You do know the Taliban has them already, right? You do know that’s just your bosses trying to cover up how they’re screwing you over, right?
Does anyone remember the anguish of the years of the Iraq War when day after day citizens would awake to hear about more dead bodies coming back from Iraq, but the military, two presidents and everyone in the media summarily spitting in our collective faces by telling us the criminally insane lie that there was no available count ready of the dead Iraqis? They weren’t hiding that from you out of some concern for national security or your freedoms they were supposedly defending. They were hiding what Bradley Manning eventually revealed all along because they want you to think that some humans don’t matter, because they think you’re too busy squeezing them out to Kardashian, and because they don’t want you to call your congressman and tell him to get out of Iraq or else he’s complicit in mass murder. Oh, or that you’ll vote for the other candidate out of spite, even if he or she is in favor of the same thing. The homicidal maniacs at the highest echelons of western power all too eager to expand those land wars in Asia I was talking about in the name of women’s suffrage, rare-earth element acquisition, drug eradication, oil, whatever, they want Bradley Manning to get his what-for to distract you from the fact — the F-A-C-T — they want to keep body counts from you to make them rich. That’s it! Aren’t you mad? No? What the blue fuck is wrong with you? This was mass murder, and all of the beigist nihilists at The New York Times and PBS want you to think that Bradley Manning did this because he was upset about “don’t ask, don’t tell.” How can you possibly rob Manning’s acts of supreme righteousness of that dignity by saying that had he just felt like he was sexually attracted to the “right person,” he would have felt a grand sense of blind tribal loyalty to make him betray basic ethical fairness, Hillel’s axiom?
The Occupy movement — a natural happening after a bunch of middle-class Americans saw a similarity between their plight and that of a bunch of Cairo secular hipster intelligentsia — choked off the rent-seeking financial services, insurance and real estate markets by causing record numbers of Americans to move their assets out of the major I banks and into credit unions. Had those long-haired menaces not taken to the streets surely Wells Fargo and Bank of America would be charging $2 a month for free checking. Can people not see what a huge hassle that would have been?
This was the global change-up and shake up everyone wanted! Everyone hates Congress! The Afghanistan war is increasingly unpopular still! This was real democracy! Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. – Speaking from the deck of his personal boat, Tea Party Candidate for President Grady Warren, who received an early 2011 endorsement from The Internet Chronicle , outlined a daring plan to fight big government. Through the instatement of “re-education camps” targeted at at-risk members of the youth population too ne’er-do-well to serve as janitors in their high schools, Mr. Warren’s plan will see a brighter future.
“That future is out there,” said Mr. Warren. “It is waiting for us. Our children deserve it. Our nation depends on it. The peace and freedom of the world require it. And with your help we will deliver it. Let us begin that future for America tonight.”
The National Education Association, he explained on his fishing vessel, “Little Skippy,” is in fact a money-laundering criminal organization, a tyrannical behemoth serving as the iron fist of the virtually omnipotent teachers’ lobby. Over the course of President Obama’s first term public school teachers have seen their collective bargaining rights enhanced and expanded, and their nominal salaries rise to levels unseen since the close of World War II. U.S. schools currently pay teachers exorbitantly, with compensation and pensions far higher than in any other industrialized nation.
Speaking in a comfortable pair of shoes from a Madison, Wisconsin picket line February 17, 2011 President Obama expounded upon his own proto-fascist ideology: “The United States is the greatest nation on earth. Therefore as long as I am its president its teachers will receive no salary, no wage lower than any other nation’s.”
Mr. Warren’s visionary plan, endorsed by North Carolina State Professor Kamau Kambon and Democratic Strategist Melissa Harris-Perry, would pulverize the NEA’s unholy jackboot at the tarsals. The five-point Warren plan for Small-Government Education Success is simple:
1. Re-open military bases and allow any serviceman or servicewoman forced away post-BRAC to return to the more convenient location.
2. Utilize 2010 census data to locate households containing (or likely to shield) impoverished teenage or young adult black males.
3. Conduct a poll of the Tea Party Caucus mailing list of Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on the nature of what constitutes an “American man” and have the Defense Department develop a curriculum based on these scientific findings.
4. Use the new, improved National Defense Authorization Act’s powers to detain all targets.
5. Transfer all targets to the re-education centers, each target’s designated center decided by lottery.
Mr. Warren’s five-point plan, which Redditors have likened to the plot of “Bioshock Infinite,” undermined Mitt Romney’s southern strategy throughout the summer. Mississippi Republican voters, for instance, of whom a plurality are opposed to the legality of interracial marriage, were seduced by the Tea Party candidate’s smoother hair and moral fortitude. “We were worried when we heard Mr. Romney was wearing that blackface on Univision,” said Gloria Porter, 29, of Jackson. Her husband, Bobby Porter, his crossed arms moving abruptly between her and this reporter, said he was concerned that Mr. Romney was encouraging “race-mixing.”
As a consequence of the poll damage Anonymous candidate Grady Warren was doing in the South, Mr. Romney released four attack ads that targeted Mr. Warren’s plan to entice legally present ethnic minorities into sanctuary cities. Bill Murphy, social media director for the Romney campaign who has previously warned Americans about the oncoming black-on-white race war, told The Washington Times September 22 that Mr. Warren’s plan to actually offer cash assistance to “incent the lowest rungs of the 47 percent rabble” was barely an improvement on President Obama’s own wealth redistribution schemes. Added Mr. Murphy, “Americans aren’t fooled by the Warren bait-and-switch of offering security while encumbering job creators with these cash allowances, which are extracted through force. Why should Americans have to pay the race pimps and class warriors to go away?”
In April 2011 Grady Warren received The Internet Chronicle’s endorsement after he made clear that America’s wealthiest are not only powerfully independent and self-sustaining but also victims of everyone else.
President Barack Hussein Obama II, whom the ivory tower elites have designated to glide to victory on the backs of the Houston chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, may be able to rig enough electronic voting machines in Ohio, Colorado, Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania. But Real America will know that Mitt Romney was the real winner.
Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said Monday it is possible that Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney may very well win the popular vote, as Al Gore did in 2000, while ultimately losing the electoral vote. “Abercrombie & Fitch clothiers throughout the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area,” he said, “are bracing for hordes of Caucasian looters and rioters.” Korean American proprietors of free-standing Disney Stores are taking special precautions, knowing that European Americans may prove not only zealous, but also sufficiently well-armed, to attempt to make off with golden era anti-Semitic merchandise from the “Disney Vault.”
After an embarrassingly forced visit to a soup kitchen, Paul Ryan failed to accrue more votes for himself and aspiring war criminal Mitt Romney.
On his way out, Ryan encountered a free black man. Ryan then demanded the Uncle Tom’s name, but refused to stop and talk with him.
Bill Murray is also known for “crashing parties” by showing up to wash random homeowners’ dishes, but Paul Ryan has found that a demeaning tone, paired with not actually washing any dishes, goes over just as well as he doesn’t care that day about anything going on around him.
“I’m Paul Ryan. Glad to meet you.”
“Glad to meet you too.”
Born and raised here, are you really? Cool. I’m from a town, similar, called Weansley.
Similar to what?
Ryan walks away while the man was still talking to him.
Increasingly, all people are being turned into objects. This is more than a gender issue. This is the death of the Subject. Nobody has truly come to grips with the horrible alienation of Social Media. On r/creepshots, people have entered a sick feedback loop that we all know ends with ragdoll porn and sex doll necrorape fantasy. Sure it’s legal, but so is investigating the identities of the people who moderate it.
“What kind of person would want to sit around and moderate Reddit all day?” ~ Viciously Raped Sex Doll
Adrian Chen is a dickhead who constantly steals his ideas from Chronicle.SU, and Gawker is a piece-of-shit tabloid, but Violentacrez, a person who didn’t even take elementary precautions to protect his identity, cannot be doxed. Just because he’s your friend and he’s being attacked by a tabloid doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the freedom of speech.
In this day and age it’s so common for meaning to be inverted by a small group of people who control media. Just look at the way Christians claim that abortion is an affront to religious freedom. Censoring Gawker in the name of freedom of speech is the same thing. Your bff, Violentacrez, might have been unfairly treated by someone trolling for tabloid hits, but is the answer really abusing your power to censor an entire media outlet? Why’d you even bother with the SOPA blackout?
I’ve had my run-ins with Reddit Moderators in the past. In fact, Chronicle.SU is banned from r/politics. By banning Gawker, a small group of people have ONCE AGAIN proven they are merciless tyrants.
Self-appointed, self-medicating “leader of Anonymous” Barrett Brown was heard struggling against intruders Wednesday, hump day, September 12. Sources confirmed Thursday morning Brown is sitting in a Dallas jail.
Brown’s credibility came under scrutiny after Kilgore Trout tricked Brown into believing he was actually talking to Amber Lyon, a dipshit CNN correspondent. Brown subsequently accused Trout via Twitter of having sex with his girlfriend marking a gradual, but distinct dissolution of sanity and reason which ultimately led Brown to make threats against FBI agents, presumably prompting the raid.
Wednesday’s raid signifies the last nail in the crystal coffin of Brown’s otherwise transient career. Brown was recently heard ranting against all things in a telephone call with Topiary, the actual leader of anonymous. Brown has also appeared in videos making delusional claims provoked by unseen sources of paranoia.
Barrett Brown is the glorified blogger who once belonged to the underground hacker group Anonymous and, for a while, got to decide who gets to join anonymous and who does not. Chronicle.su, he said, is not anonymous, like himself, Barrett Brown – or similarly, Sabu.
Brown, below, threatens the FBI with an ultimatum
Brown describes the purpose of Project PM to be “wiping out this fucking government” and “certain media publications” (chronicle.su maybe? We definitely know he means the NY Times)
Sources discuss chronicle.su and make threats against her glorious staff of anti-leaders
A SAVAGE JOURNEY INTO THE FLACCID HEART OF STATE LEVEL POLITICS
One evening, I called the White House switchboard — the keypad sign-of-the-cross of (202) 456-2580 — while drinking and watching the news.
WH: Hello. This is White House.
Tyler Bass: Hello, may I please speak to the President?
WH: . . . [hangup]
Jesus, I thought. Why even post the number?
RICHMOND, VA. - Behind U.S. Democratic Senate candidate Jim Webb meandered a mentally challenged woman, middle aged and extremely happy to see him. Happy just to be there.
Mr. Webb talked to some of his more able-minded and eager supporters with his back turned to the woman and myself, a member of the press. “There’s more where this came from,” said a glassy eyed supporter as he waved a check around over his head.
Another follower sporting a Webb T-shirt incessantly tapped the candidate, alerting him to the bizarre woman Webb actively avoided. She had begun calling out for him, by name, over the rabble. She became, by this point in the story, too difficult to ignore.
On August 28, during the opening fanfare at Webb headquarters located at Radford Ave., a Wall Street Journal poll showed Webb in the lead, despite now obvious associations with the mentally handicapped, enjoying a 1.3 percent advantage continuing upward momentum after the primaries.
“Jim! Jim!” the woman moaned as her chin quivered in anticipation. She wanted more than his attention. The candidate initially avoided contact with her because of her custom t-shirt: a picture of Sen. George Allen with the screen-printed words “The Real Macaca” below his grinning face. She gestured to her shirt and persistently motioned to attract her hero. Eventually, Webb politely greeted her, and said he could make no comment on her shirt because “the press was nearby.”
The woman’s shirt referenced a controversial and widely analyzed incident which took place in Breaks, Va. on August 11. The Webb team posted video footage captured by a campaign volunteer, Shekar Sidharth. The resulting imbroglio caused Sen. Allen’s poll numbers to plummet dramatically. In front of a small crowd of supporters, he said right into Sidharth’s camera:
“This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt, macaca, or whatever his name is, he’s with my opponent. He’s following us around everywhere. And it’s just great. We’re going to places all over Virginia, and he’s having it on film, and it’s great to have you here. And you show it to your opponent [read: Webb], because he’s never been there, and will probably never come, so it’s good for you to see what it’s like out here in the real world.” Allen mocked Webb for traveling to the West Coast instead to raise money from a “bunch of Hollywood movie moguls,” right before finishing. “So welcome. Let’s give a welcome to macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.” From there, our Junior Senator segued into remarks about the U.S. War on Extreme Fear.
Because Sidharth is of Indian descent (and a lifelong Virginian), the speech fueled accusations that Allen was appealing to base Appalachian provincialism. After a slew of apologies, Allen claimed he made up the term “macaca”, and – while the word by some academic accounts is one French colonialists use to refer to ethnic Tunisian natives – Allen’s francophone and Tunisian-American mother said she had to look the term up in her dictionary, where she claimed not to find it. Webb maintained that Allen knew what the word meant and that its use offended him, because Webb has never heard bad words before.
Jim Webb himself holds the distinction of having produced and written the trite story behind “Rules of Engagement,” a 2000 film the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee called at the time “the most vicious anti-Arab racist film ever made by a major Hollywood studio.” Hollywood studios would not again meet its own precedent of cultural insensitivity until the 2008 release of Hurt Locker. Apparently forgetful, or — more likely — completely ignorant of the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre of hundreds of Native Americans (to name just one time and place), Webb said in a Sept. 17 “Meet The Press” debate, “African-Americans are the only ethnic group in this country that have suffered from deliberate discrimination, and– and exclusion by the government over generations.” He says that affirmative action programs originally had good intentions, but – when they support everyone except white people (especially poor white people, as Webb says) – they constitute “state-sponsored racism” equated with white Jim Crow laws.
Allen, on the other hand, opposes affirmative action unequivocally. In his youth, he had a penchant for the Confederacy, and as a delegate opposed a holiday honoring Martin Luther King, a view shared by the same U.S. government whose leaders wanted him assassinated.
Standing in the gravel parking lot of Barnes’ Manufacturing of Kenbridge, Va., I made meager acquaintance with Carol Watson, mayor of nearby Victoria. Soon, Allen’s extravagant campaign bus pulled up and his press secretary, Bill Bozin, with bleached, gelled hair and shiny black shoes, stepped out followed by none other than Allen himself. Senator Allen was a tall man with dark hair and a red face, presumably from drinking. He slouches slightly, presumably also from drinking. An impatient crowd gathered around the Barnes main office — the office was brown with vinyl siding about the size of a double wide trailer — when Allen appeared wearing cowboy boots, just like his hero, George Bush.
I stepped into Barnes’ office, who bored me with asinine accounts of business as usual in his lumber plant.
Allen asked if Barnes exported anything.
“Nope,” replied Barnes.
The senator wore a look of disappointment.
Allen asked him what he was dipping, as the two men pulled out identical tins of Copenhagen. He commented on how that stuff was grown locally. I looked down into my front shirt pocket to see if my package of Marlboro Lights sported a local manufacturer, but the Senator snatched them away. “Good product,” he said. “That’s made in Richmond.” With an assertive nod of the head, he then handed them back to me.
As I reflect on those blue moons, when I would, at times, pick half-smoked cigarette butts out of ashtrays to stave off panic attacks, dark realizations flooded my consciousness. UST, Inc., I recalled, the company that manufactures Copenhagen, is one of Allen’s largest campaign contributors.
During what’s known as the Homestead debate, Senator Allen once said, “The people [of Iraq], regardless if they’re Shiite, Sunni or Kurd, are grateful for America liberating their country.” But the answer Allen gave at that time alleged religious differences were dangerously fracturing Iraq’s national unity. “There will be some Sunnis who will not be grateful because everyone will get to have their say,” said Allen. Even if it’s the most ignorant shit you’ll ever have the chance to say, you’ll get to say it, unfortunately for Senator Allen Macaca.
When it came to Iraq, Webb could only refer me to a substantial amount of paperwork he said existed about the issue. As Allen insinuated that Sunni Muslims were suppressing fellow citizens, Webb said for a long time that it wasn’t our military’s business to fix the situation with occupation.
“We didn’t go into Iraq because of terrorism,” said Webb on “Meet The Press.” “We have terrorists in Iraq because we went in there.” During that program, the two candidates differ because Allen seemed to want long-term U.S. military bases in Iraq, while Webb sees those as irrelevant if Iraq does prove safe. If Webb meant what he said as true, one thing was certain: His son was serving in Iraq at the time.
The answers I got out of Jim Webb and George Allen regarding net neutrality outlined the quintessential differences between the two major parties. Allen said he wanted a “permanent prohibition” on “tax commissars” he believed makes online access a hassle through government Internet-regulation fees. “I don’t want people’s Internet bills to look like their phone bills,” he said, hinting at charges you might pay for going over your monthly phone minutes. But “if you legislate too much,” he added, “you will slow the growth.”
Jim Webb told me that he doesn’t want surfers to have to “pay all of those extra fees” that Internet service providers might attempt to charge others for special services. In short, George Allen thinks that government interference will mess up the speed of Internet growth, while Webb thinks it’s worth the time the Federal Communication Commission is putting into it now. The confessions of the latter align more closely with advocacy groups such as Save The Internet, which supports the FCC’s traditional definitions of net neutrality, but he did not volunteer the sources of the debate because he probably did not use any.
To name just one example, however, STI claims that sometime back in April, America Online was briefly blocking all customer emails that mentioned dearaol.com, a campaign opposing the company’s attempts to charge for the most reliable email services.
After the short Allen meet-and-greet, I hit the nearby streets. Stephanie Landry, employee of Kenbridge’s Moe’s Italian Restaurant said that the issues most important to her were abortion (against), gay marriage (against), illegal immigration, and guns.
“Where would you draw the line on guns, though?” I asked. “That is, between your run-of-the-mill shotgun and the nuclear bomb?”
“The nuclear bomb, I would draw that there,” said Landry with a smile, clearly avoiding my question.
Landry’s family inspires her views on immigration policy. “My Dad and I were talking the other day; a lot of the [working] Mexicans are sending that money out of Lunenberg County.” White people are more deserving of an income than nonwhites, I took her to mean at the time.
Down the block from Moe’s, I caught up with Lunenburg County resident Roberta Ricker inside a local library. She claimed that half of the workers in the county’s manufacturing plants were illegal immigrants. “Without Hispanics,” she said, “the manufacturers wouldn’t know what to do.” She was also worried about the progress of the No Child Left Behind Act. “Why be supportive [of the act] and then cut the money in the budget?” she wondered aloud. The Iraq War, she opined, is “unjustified” and “a drain on the economy.” As an educator to juvenile inmates, she also worried that the corrections system “isn’t working right.”
Later that day, I made my way back across the RVA expressway and to that rally. When I found a moment, I walked up to Jim Webb and asked him, “What is a terrorist?”
A long stare, and his pupils went small. His chest stuck out and he looked pissed. That long and intense stare felt somewhere between, “C’mon, you little treasonous punk – don’t insult this rally’s patriotism!” and “Dear God! Moral Decay has progressed so much that no one can tell the difference between good and evil.”
After a blank pause, he growled, “Why?”
“Well, we call a lot of people terrorists,” I said. “Some people call the United States terrorists. I was just wondering if you could give a transcendent definition.”
He replied that a terrorist is a “quasi-military person . . . who represents a cause and is not associated with a nation state.” It is my belief that his answer reveals a telling, if tacit, policy difference between his opponent and him. During the Homestead debate, Allen alone characterized Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. But because Hezbollah’s political leaders are elected, it does not strictly fit with Webb’s definition. To me, anyway, Hezbollah seems a lot like the Irish Republican Army used to be.
On illegal immigration, Webb told me, “Build a wall. Keep them out.”
The Democrats continued to rally that day, buying votes with free hot dogs, lemonade and goods brought out by volunteers. The crowd hissed when they heard Allen voted against the use of stem cells for scientific research.
One man became so spirited during the speech that he yelled out one or more of the Bush Administration’s actions was “bullshit”. Moments later, I caught up with him: Gary Agisin, an RVA native. I asked him about illegal immigration, and he told me, “We need more immigrants – it brings in more jobs.” Sure enough, he made a strange bedfellow with Webb.
In the crowd, I ran into State Senator Creigh Deeds, a man who just made an unsuccessful bid for State Attorney General, and started rambling hopelessly about legalizing marijuana. Then, my driver who accompanied me to the Allen event began to joke with Deeds about Allen’s Press Secretary’s high-maintenance fashion stylings. Deeds couldn’t resist teasing Allen: “He surrounds himself with gay men!”
The Human Rights Committee and Alliance For Marriage kindly urge your participation in the upcoming referendum on a state constitutional amendment banning homosexual marriages and unions.
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