Acting Attorney General Neal Katyal, who this week outlined the administration’s shift from state-based health care exchanges to “chilling out”
WASHINGTON — Friday morning Acting Attorney General Neal Katyal announced that the Obama administration would be backpedaling from its take on the commerce clause to forward the “holy, righteous cause” of recreational cannabis legalization. Bolstered by praise from Colorado and Washington state Democratic leaders, and directives from the highest echelons of the Obama administration, Mr. Katyal announced in a press conference that the results of the landmark case Gonzales vs. Raich were “not cool” and were keeping millions of Americans from “chilling out” and “lighting up, man.”
Reached by phone in his Fairfax office at George Mason University Law School, Professor Michael Greve said the new anti-commandeering stance would prove exciting to Libertarian Party devotees at the Mercatur Institute and millions of drug-addled American liberals, most of whom are dependent on federal largesse for their barest subsistence.
“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” said Mr. Greve, “established a conditional pre-emption regime in which the federal government told the states, ‘establish an exchange or we will do it for you.’” Following 18 more conservative states having in essence told the government to come in and establish exchanges, Mr. Greve said, “these states have told the federal government to take responsibility for the inevitable failure of these health care regimes.”
Mr. Katyal said in a press conference Friday morning, “As long as Congress refuses to act to deschedule cannabis from the same tier as heroin — come on, heroin, people — the administration must act.” The administration’s tight, 180-degree turn came on the heel of several online townterviews, during which poll respondents consistently begged the administration to cease the notoriously racist drug war. In his weekly address today, a visibly intoxicated President Barack Obama spoke to his office webcam in a cloud of smoke, admitting, “Millions of toothless Southern and Midwestern Americans, who will never vote for me, anyway, versus a good time for the peace-loving denizens of Colorado and Washington state? That’s an easy choice for me, bra.”
Following an on-screen hit from a gravity bong haphazardly constructed from a Chicago Bears novelty cup, which the 51-year-old U.S. president described as “vicious,” he said, “I realize the insane hypocrisy of my having smoked marijuana for recreation before overseeing a federal regime that incarcerates millions of Americans — particularly African-Americans — in such record numbers. Something had to be done, and I have directed the Department of Justice to just scrap this health care reform thing.”
Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement saying he now concedes that “all of these Republican attorneys general, they’re right, man. Just as we can’t force these conservative states to establish exchanges, we also can’t use the commerce clause to force this horrible drug war down the throats of Colorado and Washington citizens. The voters have spoken. Let freedom reign.”
House Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), speaking to Politico, said that the legislative slowdown that faced descheduling cannabis was fueled by an ambiguity around the level of taxation that the illicit industrial psychoactive crop should receive. “If we had chosen to tax it too high, we would fuel black market activity. If we had voted to tax it too low, we just wouldn’t be taking our deficit seriously, and that would be unpatriotic.”
Internet Chronicle legal analysts have long predicted that the landmark Gonzales case would prove problematic for the Obama administration’s main objective — even if that objective were only background or covert — of legalizing the sticky-icky. In the wake of this decision, Iran and Russia are expected to overtake within weeks the United States in terms of arbitrary and/or politically motivated incarceration.
WASHINGTON — In one of those long, rambling Alex Jones films, hip-hop artist KRS One summed up some substantial misgivings to be had with Occupy D.C. rather nicely when he said that if you have a problem with your burger at McDonald’s, you don’t go complain to the guy slapping on the cheese. You go to talk to the franchise owner. In relationship to America’s economic woes, Congress is pretty much the guys with the cheese. Whether what McDonald’s is using is in fact cheese is another topic, but there you go.
Last October I took a lot of time to ask about why National Review and Amanda Carpenter at The Washington Times had invested so much of their time trying to smear the, like, five anti-Semites who they managed to find footage of at the protests, as opposed to, say, the plethora of liberal Jews who inevitably showed up to the event in Zucotti. Although someone at the McPherson Square camp — not three blocks from the White House — had constructed a Sukkot, still there were the general accusations of anti-Semitism from the Breitbart set. The whole charade was indicative of the kind of atmosphere in Washington where what these people, you would think, would call anti-Semitic was brushed aside. For more of this, look at the uphill battle faced by former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-IN) as he waited to get the defense secretary nod. Even though the Hagel announcement will not come until next Monday, last Friday Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin had already broken the story. The White House is floating it early to congressional leaders to soften the blows from people like Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) et al.
These stereotypes of the Occupy protesters in general were pretty crude. Indeed, it takes quite a short-term memory to repeat long platitudes about the financial sector, as a part of the human megaphone. At the time I began this write-up I painted the Ron Paul-ites present as part of the Occupy status quo, but my goodness, I was wrong It had been years since I was able to romanticize the notion of protesters in Washington bringing a list of grievances. Again, the “real owners” are not in the Capitol or the White House, folks, and to be fair, even a good deal of them don’t even work on Wall Street.
One of the most clean-cut people I spoke to in McPherson was a guy named Matthew Patterson, who was working full-time but said he came down there after work from 5 p.m. till 11 p.m. He said, “I think there have been a lot of misconceptions about what this event is about here, and I think that part of that is because the biggest interests in our country do have well-financed PR and attack machines that do try to discredit genuine movements like this .”
“The conception that this is un-American for people to come out here exercising their First Amendment right — the goal that our government should be accountable to we the people — is absurd. This is the most American thing I’ve ever been a part of, and I think every single person who believes in our Constitution should be out here,” he added.
“When you feel that the system’s rigged against you and you feel that real wages have been declining or stagnating for this long, when we’ve been bailing out Wall Street and the big interests, and our money that we’ve worked for as taxpayers is now going to these guys, while they’ve — while they’ve only wrecked our economy, I think that’s where the anger comes from.”
I asked, “How do you respond to people who say, you know, that the protesters aren’t specific enough? What do you think about? I mean, is that — do you think aren’t? Or is it very broad-based, or are there a lot of things that are matter of consensus?”
Said Mr. Patterson, “We always operate by consensus. Obviously, each person here is here by free association [ . . . ] We don’t have a well-oiled PR machine where we have one spokesperson. If you take the time to listen, you’ll find the common thread. In my entire time here — I’ve been here since the first day. Every single person I’ve talked to here has echoed the sentiments that I’ve had, which is that our government, our corporations, our parties, our media should all be accountable for what they do here. I think that’s the common thread.”
I said,”I was wondering if I could pick your brain about some campaign finance reform, specifically about, like, contributions from hedge funds and, you know, our friends at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan and the six major I-banks in general. I mean, what do you think can be done to dimish the influence of those contributions? Should they banned? Is money speech, as some have contended?” I was referring to the Citizens United decision, which has since received skepticism by right-wing figures such as Newt Gingrich and former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, both of whom seemed to agree at the last national Republican convention that the anonymity, if not the amount, of the contributions was problematic to the system.
Mr. Paterson replied, “Well, I’ll tell you — one thing that I strongly believe in is that corporations are not people. And when you look at what the Supreme Court did in 2010, ruling that corporations are citizens; they’re people of this country; and that money equals speech in this country; therefore there can be unlimited corporate money spent to influence the outcomes of elections to buy politicians, that’s something that’s not right.
“There’s other options as far as helping publicly finance campaigns so independent parties and third-party candidates can have a voice and we have don’t this monopoly of two parties in our country. There’s a lot of options to be looked at, but we in this park have not charged any specific policy options yet. It could come over time, but I think it’s too early for that, but there’s a lot of things that could be done.”
Jesse Jackson showed up, and I asked him the same question, although severely flubbing it out of nervousness generated by some review I read of “Shakedown.”
TB: “How can we limit the influence of the financial services industry on politicians in the Senate, the House?”
Jesse Jackson: “By finding and having hearings on their campaign finance committees. There’s too much money involved in campaigns, too much money.”
TB: “Limit contributions?”
JJ: “Yeah. And those –”
TB: “Publicly funded campaigns?”
JJ: “– who invest money determine the legislation. They determine regulation. So it’s time to put a huge focus on public financing of campaigns.”
I spoke to a group of American University students, who by the very nature of their being a certain age, were probably representative of many of the motivations people have had to camp out in McPherson Square for the past few weeks. They didn’t give me their names, so I’m just going to make up names for them.
John Brown: “I think a lot of it is a lack of influence on the political process and an overabundance of corporate influence in the political process. I feel like — and this is a minute ago — that there’s — capitalism is a great system in a lot of ways, but when it goes unchecked and unregulated, you end up with people who have a vested interest in making more money. And when they already have a lot of money, they can invest that to keep making more money. And so that’s how we’ve gotten point in the political — by putting it in the political process and ensuring that they’ll keep making more money.”
I asked him what sort of regulations he would like to see.
JB: “I’d like to see higher taxes on the superwealthy. I mean, there’s been a lot of talk about people who make, you know, more than $200,000, more than $400,000 a year, which is good. But I mean, what about people who make millions of dollars a year or billions of dollars, you know? And there aren’t that many of them.” Just this month the Senate-passed “fiscal-cliff” bill indeed raised taxes on $400,000 earners.
Mr. Brown continued, “But 10 percent of America’s population controls something like 75 (percent) to 80 percent of its wealth. And that’s what makes capitalism an — and that kind of capitalism is anti-democratic because suddenly you have a system where people are voting with their dollars, but most of the people have no dollars to vote with, and a minority, a very small minority, of the people have all of the political influence.”
TB: “It seems like a lot of people — when people speak against corruption in capitalism, [the criticizers of the people who speak against corruption in capitalism] treat it like it’s an attack on meritocracy itself, like on a system where the just and the able are rewarded and are rewarded thus financially. But why do you think people are reacting that, that they treat regulation of an industry as an attack on the ability of the just and the able to achieve success and have an incentive to produce things for everyone?”
JB: “I think because it’s an easy argument to make, and I think that’s why. I mean, I’m a democratic socialist, but . . . I mean, welfare and socialism is important, and you know, that kind of having a touch of that. But I mean, capitalism’s also important. I mean, you’ve got to strike a balance. I would never call for a completely socialist state and I would never call for absolutely no — you know, like a libertarian state –
TB: “Like Somalia!”
JB: — where capitalism is totally free to whatever it wants. I don’t think either one will work. But somewhere in the middle, where you have a regulated capitalist economy and a lot of social programs, I think, is just right. You need that.
“And the people who make the most out of society, they didn’t make it on their own. They’re a product of this society. They should have to give back. I mean, that’s why I think there should be higher taxes on the superwealthy. Because they should have to give back according to what they take. And that money, they didn’t just make that themselves.
People spent that, so that came from someone else. Someone gave them that money, so they have — I mean, it is a cycle, and so they have to feed back in, I think, to the cycle. They have to promote.”
Another man said, “You know, Monsanto, they’re actually in Iraq. So after the invasion — or a great example of kind of what I think is completely repugnant about the government — where — you had, you know, L. Paul Bremer as the head of the provisional government and, you know, putting in these place decrees really. It wasn’t voted on by the Iraqi people. He has instituted over 80, you know, orders for post-war Iraqis, where it created the conditions, created the intellectual property laws, you know, the patent laws that allowed Monsanto to then come in and to, you know, make massive profits off these Iraqi farmers who unbenknownst to them were given Monsanto seeds by USAID. You know, once those seeds are in the ground, I mean, you’re paying for them for pretty much forever.
“And you know, that whole sort of system actually is one example: that entire system where, you know, it’s corporations — they’re not literally deciding policy. But when there’s not much divide all the time between these corporate interests and these political interests is pretty abominable.
“And you know, corporations., they make tons of profit, which they can then spend on campaign contributions or, you know, on political ads now. With Citizens United, a lot of restrictions are gone, these previous restrictions. And I think you have these, you know, government officials and stuff who are able to use the law to create favorable conditions for corporations.
“Or with the IMF — you know, what we see there is the IMF is kind of like a doctor that, you know, will save your life but cut off your foot, you know, in payment — where it goes into countries, Greece, for example; or a lot of South America: Argentina, Bolivia in the past. And you know, these countries are messes economically. What the IMF does is say essentially, you know, we’ll help you out here with this money, but you know, we’ll use these structural readjustment programs to impose these neoliberal trade policies that are extremely harmful for countries that don’t have a strong labor organization — they don’t have strong domestic industries — that allow — for example, this wasn’t IMF-imposed, but you know the policies were similar — I don’t believe it was IMF-imposed; I might be wrong — in Cote d’Ivoire where Cargill — you know,the agrobusiness company — has horribly exploited the workers there for, you know, the coca resources [...] But in general that whole sort of political culture where that’s acceptable, where that’s a regularly done thing, i think is something that needs to end as soon as we can, you know, bring it to an end.”
A woman seated nearby said, “Well, I think that Sandra was saying earlier about it easy argument to make that, like, attacking capitalism is like attaching, you know, hard work. I think the reason that that is such an easy argument to make is because everyone secretly hopes that they’re going to be that 1 percent someday, and like, they don’t want to regulate corporations or, like, tax the rich because they kind of hope that that will be them. And they want — you know, well, I wouldn’t want as much money as possible.”
“Or not so secretly,” suggested a man seated next to her.
Said another woman in the circle, “I know. It’s not a secret. They’re like, well, when I’m rich, I don’t want to be stifled.
Abbie Hoffman: “A big part of American culture, I think, is the idea that someday you’ll be the super — you’ll be that guy in the mansion.”
TB: “And then you can finally put your knee on someone else’s kneck? You know, like your old boss or something.”
‘Emma Goldman’: “Right, yeah. It’s like fraternities.”
AH: “It’s almost like a distortion of the American dream, or like, it’s the nasty side.”
‘John Brown’: “It’s the commercialization of it. “
‘Emma Goldman’: “People want to believe it, but it’s not really — it’s not going to happen to them.”
AH: “It could. It could. It’s possible. It’s not probable, but they’re going for that — you know, I’m going to be the 1 percent who makes it to the 1 percent.”
Said a bystander, “Yeah, but I think it’s also — it’s not a sustainable thing. And ‘sustainable’ is a word that gets thrown around a lot. It’s sort of, you know, the green movements.’
TB: “Did people really let the wealth gap in the United States spiral out of country since the ’60s and ’70s because they wanted to be so not just rich and well-off and comfortable compared to the rest of the world but even just relative to their neighbors in the United States?”
AH: “I mean, we’re a system based on competition. I think that’s certainly.”
EG: “We’re just really focused on individualism. Like, it’s a good thing but it’s also, like, to our detriment.”
AH: “Individual freedom to an extent of, like, being able to do whatever you want at whatever price to whoever else is around. And it doesn’t matter. If I can pay for it, I don’t care how it affects you. It’s my right to do it. It’s sort of a selfish thing.
TB: “It seems like we just publicly subsidize gambling, like we’re literally operating casinos as just a way of turning profit. And it’s an esoteric game for a very small group of people, and it doesn’t produce products. It’s obviously not moving money to the sectors of the economy where it’s needed most, in my opinion.”
Said again the bystander I did not bother to nickname, “Yeah, that’s what it used to be. Well, we reward — I don’t know about the most, but what’s extremely well-rewarded in this culture is moving money around, just playing around with money to maximize everyone’s profits.”
TB: “Just moving it anywhere, you think?”
Said the bystander, “I mean, if I think of it as just moving it anywhere, then that wouldn’t be the best financial strategy. But it’s certainly moving money around, and that’s not creating anything.”
EG: “Like taking risk to have great reward.”
AH: “I was reading about a man who just made a tremendous amount in the recession because he,like, bet against the economy. And like, the Occupy Wall Street proters, like, went by his home, and he just, like, sent out a press release or something along those lines just saying how it was a completely ridiculous movement.”
Said the bystander, “And the U.S. government has really kind of created a system that currently allows for, you know, virtually unlimited profit for banks because, you know, the government, like, lowered interest rates to pretty much zero percent for these banks to borrow money. And the idea was that, you know, OK, they borrow money at zero percent interest rates, and then they’ll be more willing to lend money; you know, they won’t be foreclosing.
‘That was the idea. It was supposed to benefit people. It hasn’t happened. What they do is they have been buying U.S. Treasury bonds, which you know, that you get interest on that. So you can just borrow money, buy bonds. You know, it’s just — where; like, what — why the entire systemis just designed, you know, to help these people. I think it’s awful. It’s really bad.”
I had been monitoring the McPherson Square campout of Occupy D.C. for a few weeks, and by October 15 — when I first wrote down these interactions — there were more tents out in the park than ever. The People’s Library was set up, complete with issues of Socialist Worker and Left Turn. There was a carefully named “comfort” tent with medical supplies, just like the flagship Zucotti Park manifestation of the Occupy demonstrations.
There are good reasons to be leery about the possible co-opting of these demonstrations against corporate greed, and particularly greed in the financial services industry. The end-the-Fed advocate out there with whom I spoke admitted that an outcome of adopting a gold standard for our currency would be unlikely to raise employment or lessen economic disparity in the United States.
‘Van Hayek:’ “I was here last weekend for a march, and one of the chants we had going during that was, ‘Banks got bailed out; we got sold out.’ So I would say the majority of people here at least in my experience are against the bailouts and against bailouts in general on principle [...] The main reason I’m against them is just the fact that trickle-down economics has proven not to work, you know? The idea is that in saving these banks that money will eventually return to the lower classes and the working classes and the middle classes of the economy and stimulate growth in that area. And that hasn’t happened.
“And what’s ended up happening is that the banks have turned record profits ever since the bailouts, as have other industries, and it’s not trickling down to the people that need it most. And that’s my problem with.”
TB: “Why would ending the Fed — what would that do? Would that decrease the wealth disparities, or what would that do?”
VH: “Well, my problem with the Fed is that — it has to do with the way the money supply works in the economy in that every dollar that comes into existence is already debt owed to a bank. And the Fed is really just a private bank. It’s not owned by the people of the United States. And that’s the problem I have with it. What we should have is a government that can print its own money that isn’t backed by debt that’s owed to a bank. And I’m not sure specifically how to solve that right now, but I know it’s not something that I like.”
TB: “I noticed a lot of people are really upset that the banks have all this money and these major corporations have all this money. And then people — you know, they’re creating jobs with it, at least not with the rate that, you know, the population’s expanding and stuff. Do you think that’s there’s any, like, conflict between the requirements that Congress and many people want to put on the banks to have larger and larger capital reserves, so when they mess up they can control their own consequences instead of having to get bailed; and the other demand, that is in fact they need to take their money and then invest it and take risk and then create all these jobs? Do you feel that there’s, like, a conflict there between those types of demands?”
Milton Friedman: “I’m not a big proponent of trickle-down economics as far as that goes. So I don’t really see that plan working. As far as investment goes — at least as far as I’ve seen — when investment is made, it’s usually in a foreign country, where land is very cheap and they can buy –
TB: “Labor, too.”
MF: ” — labor, exactly. They can buy a really nice house with a good bit of land. And you know, I mean, it’s –”
TB: “That’s not going to go down in value. Land at least never does.”
MF: “No, exactly. Well, I mean, like, the thing is I recently actually went to India. And I mean, when I was there, it was absolutely amazing to see the massive skyscrapers of telemarketers — just I mean, bigger than anything we have here, just of telemarketer buildings in India. And you know, the thing is we all kind of know that that money didn’t come from them; that was our money that was shuffled into their economy over the past decade.”
“And I personally have no problem with, you know, exchanging wealth and stuff. But when we’re talking about the stuff we’re in . . . you know, and we’re sending how much money to other countries in order to build out their economies. I mean, that’s my main problem with it as far as the investment side of it goes.”
“I mean, regulations — yes, I support regulation so that they should be able to — you know, they should definitely be regulated in how much they can lend. I don’t believe in fractional lending at all, but however, another point is I definitely hate the bailout idea, the very idea that that — I mean, that that is even an option for something that’s not like the — you know, the major food producer in the country or, you know, something like that, where everybody would starve if it didn’t happen. I mean, I think it’s absolutely insane.”
The International Business Times aired a set of graphs that quite thoroughly dispense with the insipid claim — even by voices as apparently sympathetic as Al Gore’s own — that the protesters are not being specific enough. As the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, making promises that the American Jobs Act would get unemployment below 9.1 percent, which would effectively happen two months later without the bill’s passage, anyone capable of so much as squinting could see that the real statistics about joblessness are a pure manipulation, as one’s finally giving up and resigning yourself to the dole gradually put one out of that “regular” unemployed category. Altogether hearing bystanders, pundits, reporters and especially electoral losers like Al Gore complain about how the protests weren’t specific just felt like impatience.
I even heard a lot of sneering from a crowd — one I would have perhaps years ago associated with MoveOn.org, named for a now-irrelevant political sex scandal — that the consensus, not plurality system of Occupy Atlanta blocked civil rights-era legend and now Congressman John Lewis’ addressing them. Rep. Lewis did yeoman’s work fighting the evils of segregation in the vicious 1960s South, but if the iron was not yet hot, there was no point in striking it yet. The most closely associated Occupy politician, Elizabeth Warren, eventually rode to victory in Massachusetts, having never spoken at a rally but having faced Karl Rove’s bizarre Crossroads ad.
The protest proved successful in pushing forward the surtax on incomes over a million dollars, cutting the odds of monthly account fees, and causing legions of Americans to move their money into credit unions. Even in December 2009, when the Bush-era tax cuts on the top 1 and 2 percent were extended, polls showed a slim majority of self-identified Republicans supported their repeal. By late 2010, four-fifths of the general population support the millionaire surtax, as do surely even more of the people who took the enormous hassle of assembling overnight in public spaces. That brand of protest is one of the best reasons why the Constitution pays lip service to freedom of assembly. In McPherson Square, at least, what was so strikingly different than the tea partyers of Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally is that the Occupy Wall Streeters contain some of the same very elements: the gold standarders, the end-the-Feders — even though those voices were marginalized.
The protesters in Cairo during the Arab spring proved obviously enormously influential on this movement, with The Occupied Wall Street Journal trumpeting a timeline of influence to the movement that traces everything as far back as Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation early this year. October 18th, Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig was giving a teach-in in McPherson Square, lightly browbeating a protester for his refusal to work with the tea party. And I was there listening to Mr. Lessig, even though he was looking very hip to the crowd.
In Egypt, Coptic Christians were the subjects of merciless persecution, seeing their churches bombed and their adherents murdered semi-routinely. But at the time of the actions in Cairo, those emblematic images of Christians circling praying Muslims to defend their right to pray in public rightfully stood as testimonials to the power of people against the elites, who endlessly, ruthlessly exploit divide-and-conquer tactics. Back then, before President Morsi’s Islamists drummed out regular elections, it looked like Egypt could unite around a cause bigger than cause, and that Americans could unite around a cause bigger than money. Now taxes on the wealthy are higher than the Bush era, and Congress is more unpopular than ever.
Get used to the Teenage Female Bullying-Suicide Heroes
NEW YORK — Fifteen-year-old Amanda-Todd-Wannabe Felicia Garcia jumped in front of a train after vicious bullying, following her appearance in a football team gangbang video passed around her high school. The male members of the gangbang were greeted with high fives and mute admiration from school teachers who saw the video. Over 200 of Garcia’s classmates were present at the suicide.
Knowing, from the example of Amanda Todd, that her death would lead to unlimited posthumous social acceptance in the face of bottomless rejection by the repressive sex-negative culture of America, Garcia threw herself into the train with cold confidence, by all accounts.
This is yet more undeniable proof that a firm clampdown on freedom of speech should take place immediately. Young girls are going to start dropping off like lemmings because of this totally brand-new phenomenon of “slut-shaming” that never existed before Anonymous comments on the Internet. The oncoming string of teenage suicides has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the worship of Amanda Todd.
Neighbors and ministers were startled by the appearance of Ashley Johnson, 17, in the Roanoke County First Baptist Church congregation Sunday morning.
With daring hairstyles and casual hoodies, Ashley challenges the age-old precept of blowhard Christian conformity.
Ashley fears society is losing faith in Christ as an alternative to the ways of Satan. Ashley said he is trying to make worshiping Jesus cool again. “I hope younger folks will see that cool people love Jesus, too. And why not? I mean, Jesus died for ours sins, and I think that’s pretty cool.”
“Life is sacred, and society seems to have forgotten that,” said Ashley, but asserted he is “still pro-choice, as long as women are being awesome by keeping their unborn fetus.” Ashley warned pregnant teens they must learn to deal with their choices to get pregnant by remaining pregnant.
“I want to show people you can give your heart to Jesus without conforming to society’s backward norms.”
In tandem with his newfound convictions, Ashley has given up dangerous drugs like beer and marijuana, and stopped having sex with girls, “Which is easy,” Ashley said, “if you just don’t start.”
Join me, and I’ll get you a new iPod.
Lord Jesus God
Ashley recently found Jesus after losing his iPod during a “bad trip” on marijuana. “But Jesus spoke to me,” he said. “[Jesus Christ] said, ‘Join me, and I’ll get you a new iPod.’”
Sure enough, Ashley said, Jesus Christ came through. Just four months after accepting Christ as his Lord and Savior, a man in his youth group offered the young boy his old, used iPod. “He said he didn’t need it anymore, so I could have it.” About six months later, Ashley said, the man brought him closer to Jesus than he ever thought was possible. And finally – after ten months of devoted, repeated forced religious practice in that man’s vehicle – Ashley received his free iPod, securing his faith in our Lord.
Ashley said he will continue to ward off Satan’s vices by remaining loyal to Apple products, and abstaining from secular music like White Stripes, and the Magnetic Fields.
“You can’t hold onto hate. I used to hate my abusers for what they did to me, and I hated people who took me away from God. But now I don’t hate anything, except for terrorists, really. And Islam.”
“If it’s not true for you, it’s not true.”
- Lafayette Ronald Hubbard
RICHMOND, VA. – By 11 a.m. on April 12, 2008, a variety of sunglasses-wearing characters had showed up, only nine in number perhaps, but persistent nonetheless. Their handheld signs disparaged the tax-exempt status of the Church of Scientology for various reasons, including its use of private investigators and what some have considered to be practices physiologically predatory in the purview of mainstream culture. Famously, as the result of a landmark “South Park” episode, the church has been the subject of all manner of ridicule, particularly for its myths about the origins of human strife.
In the words of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, in the Operating Thetan III technical bulletin:
“The head of the Galactic Confederation (76 planets around larger stars visible from here) (founded 95,000,000 yrs ago, very space opera) solved overpopulation (250 billion or so per planet — 178 billion on average) by mass implanting. He caused people to be brought to Teegeeack (Earth) and put an H Bomb on the principal volcanoes (Incident 2) and then the Pacific area ones were taken in boxes to Hawaii and the Atlantic area ones to Las Palmas and there ‘packaged’. His name was Xenu. He used renegades. Various misleading data by mean of circuits, etc. was placed in the implants. When through with his crime, Loyal Officers (to the people) captured him after 6 years of battle and put him in an electronic mountain trap where he still is. ‘They’ are gone. The place (Confed.) has since been a desert.”
Last month was my first official interview with church officials, and the whole rendezvous answered few questions and provoked insulting lies on behalf of both parties. “Sophia Alvarez” is not the real name of the woman who accompanied me into this interview at Manhattan’s Scientology center in Times Square.
CAROL: Through history man has been trying to solve his problems. He’ s done all sorts of things. And many men, including [Aristotle] , have found pieces to the puzzle. It’s not until Mr. Hubbard did the research and found Dianetics did he find all the pieces and aligned them. The only way you know that’s true is when you read it because it’s based on the physical laws of the universe. It’s not mystical. It’s not positive thinking. It’s not anything that’s mysterious. It’s based on physical laws. So when applied to a human being it works uniformly only if they have had drugs. When you were into therapy, did you have drugs?
SOPHIA ALVAREZ: No.
CAROL: Good. Absolutely good for you, or some kind of evasive treatment that psychiatrists do — lobotomies and shock t reatments, or things of that nature, is the time that Dianetics will not work for you because they have destroyed the parts of the mind to track what has occured to it .
TYLER BASS: Well, I definitely used a wide variety of pharmaceutical agents offered by psychiatry myself, when I was a c hi ld. A whole cocktail!
CAROL: What was the reason?
BASS: I suppose the intent was to treat depression, to say nothing of Scientology, but I wouldn’t say that they worked, the drugs. I was also given Adderall, about psychology, and I think they are well-advised. Oh, also Paxil, especially that one.
CAROL: All of them, sir. All of them.
I felt I had to concede to Scientology some rightful disdain for a pharmaceutical establishment that actually markets anti-depressants on television. If those medications were so essential, then why would they need to make glitz advertisements? For an interesting point of comparison, imagine if grocery stores started to run advertisements for fruits : “Come down to Kroger and try bananas, by Dole. Potassium: invaluable to brain function! ”
Carol communicated her frustration with how she perceived psychiatrists confusing matter with the mind. “The brain, ” she said, “ is like your left leg. It has no more to do with the source of your problems, than if you had a broken leg.”
Janet Reitman at Rolling Stone wrote an excellent article two years before in which she actually got an answer about Xenu, as someone uninitiated, from Scientologific. From that issue:
“[Sea Org member, Mike] Rinder has fielded questions on Scientology’ s beliefs for years. When I ask him whether there is any validity to the Xenu story, he gets red-f aced, almost going into a tirade. ‘It is not a story, it is an auditing level, ’ he says, neither confirming nor denying that this theology exists.”
However, as Alvarez and I would learn in New York City, apparently the church was not willing to keep its story straight on that point.
BASS: I was reading an article. Scientology allowed a PR person to interact with a reporter from Rolling Stone last year. They invited him [sic] to one of their centers in California, and he [sic] asked Scientology what was up with the Xenu story.
CAROL: Wha — what?
[This was the money shot the reporter had come for - ed]
Here, Carol’ s eyes narrowed in what was a halfway honorable but fatuous attempt, nonetheless, to deny having heard of the name of the former intergalactic ruler plastered count less times on the pages and blogs of news monkeys, particularly as then recently as February 2008, when a certain Internet-based group called “Anonymous ” orchestrated protests to increase Xenu awareness.
By that juncture in the interview, I knew that all forthrightness was about to shatter into a thousand pieces on both sides; that is apart from the fact that I had given phony names for myself and “Alvarez” on the way in. That blip from Mel Brook’s film “Robin Hood: Men In Tights” where all of Robin Hood’ s men are simultaneously “bullshit”-coughing, played on loop as Carol began a cat-and-mouse game for the rest of the interview where she lied, knew I knew she was lying, yet tried to give me an answer without giving me an answer.
CAROL: I don’t [sic] know [sic] what [sic] that [sic] is [sic].
BASS: The person replied that it is not a story; it is an auditing level.
BASS: Xenu. Yeah, this was a PR person for Scientology. I am not making this up.
A few moments later, after she had extrapolated for a while on the nature of Scientology’s organized, therapeutic hierarchy, Carol laid down a true gem of a quote that should in all rightness serve as an eternal landmark to the bleach- strong brand of cognitive dissonance available to all inside the walls of Manhattan’s Scientology church.
CAROL: I am going to tell you: Anybody who would reveal — or, “reveal” is the wrong word — say things such as that, it’s kind of like, my trying to verbally explain what LRH was taking some 4 or 500 pages to deliver to you people. It would be like my trying to explain it to you. There are such falsehoods. None of it is true. The only way to know what is on this OT III level is by doing it . Then, he knows what’s on there.
So, in a way, my question was answered, as she referred to OT III, which I had not previously associated with church-ordained knowledge of Xenu (although it certainly is). The kind of semantic runaround regarding the name of Xenu, however, was below mockery at that point. L. Ron Hubbard had no ability to predict the effect of the Internet.
BASS: Here’s what I know: It could be just a complete forgery, and I could be just a fool, but I mean, the point is this. You know, the people who reach that level are told not to disclose any of it .
CAROL: Well, I want to say something to you. Here’s the truth of it: Unless you have done these gradient levels, and I could communicate to you what I have gotten out of [the auditing level] Clear, it might not be real to you. So for me to tell you what I am experiencing that isn’t real, or isn’t real for you but real for me, would be like a distortion of what it is to be Clear. I can communicate to you that I have bursts of personal freedom, that — I can describe it in certain ways in which you have some reality on it, but if I were to tell you that I contacted a past life — now that may be true or that may not be true – but what are you going to think? ‘Is she a nut?’ Every person should seek it out for themselves.
At this point, I figured, aw, shucks, and admitted to having read the highly illicit OT III technical manual. She acted like she was completely surprised, even though it is available at countless destination spots across the Internet’s torrent underground. It is difficult to describe the immensity of the temptation at the time to pull out my laptop and show her all of the copyrighted files, but these Scientologists were famous for their copyright law voodoo. I had neither the means nor the willingness to deal with the fact that she might have had some rapport with the police at the door to deal with researchers such as myself. I held off the temptation of watching her reaction to Hubbard’s own handwriting spelling “Xenu” on a monitor in the interest of avoiding a tangle with the Church.
CAROL: You have read untruths. Total bullshit. It’s distorted. It’s meant to make us look like imbeciles because of one reason alone, one reason only, and I am going to tell you this: There are forces out there — drugs, bikers, oil mongers; there are a couple of others, the media — who try to enslave our society by their lies. This organization is the most ethical, the most sane, the most supportive; has the tools that can allow people to have some personal freedom.
ALVAREZ: So many people don’t go that way.
CAROL: I’m telling you because, if somebody puts, he says, confidential material from upper levels and puts it on the Internet – first of all, anybody who would attain this state of awareness wouldn’t do it. He wouldn’t do it . He just wouldn’t because he has compassion to reach the state where he would include mankind rather than individualize himself.
While I was too often a fan of flattering myself as an influential member of the news media , my agenda to ens lave my readers was no t been working out so well at the time. I have been researching Scientology for years and have regarded Operating Thetan documents from a variety of sources. Someone, somebody within the church has not only released these documents, but in all serious likelihood this has happened repeatedly. In this respect, Carol was either sincerely duping herself or lying very hard. Essentially, she posits that someone would take the time to forge what are thousands of pages of documents.
What I leave open for all of you Scientology haters out there is this: Would Carol’ s insistence that the documents I saw were fake on the basis of that “fact ” that no Scientologist would ever disclose them provide in court the legal framework to endlessly distribute Scientology’s copyrighted internal documents on the World Wide Web? If Carol were right, then there would be no harm because the documents could not conceivably belong to the church.
The interview with Carol had numerous other brilliant moments of misdirection, prevarication and avoidance on her part. (Our overlords and slave masters, psychiatrists, sometimes refer to this as “blocking.”) These included her denying having heard of the term “Freezoner” to describe the church’ s debased Hubbard-ite relatives practicing in the Eastern Bloc and Germany outside of the financial triangle of Church President David Miscavige .
Of course Carol would trash the German government, which has criminalized Scientology as “oppressive” (thus driving underground the “Freezone” movement). So in a supreme instance of irony, she expressed resentment of the persecutor and the persecuted, who when pressed, in contradiction to her earlier denial of their very existence, she would acknowledge merely as “not practicing Scientology.”
Anonymous has created a piece of software which partially automates the process of successfully achieving a YouTube partnership. Once an account has been approved, a sophisticated algorithm then finds the most popular videos and posts duplicate videos titled with a nonsense list of the most popular SEO terms. In many cases, these videos have received more views than the original material. A representative of Youtube told us, “YouTube has been able to keep this kind of activity suppressed in the past, but this new piece of software from Anonymous has completely overwhelmed us.” The millions received by Anonymous from this scheme is suspected to have been funneled into anti-copyright lobbyists in the form of bitcoin donations, but there is no way to know for sure.
#OpCopyrightThis, as it is known, also set up its own alternative to YouTube, AnonTube, which is hosted on cloud space rented from a Russian company that doesn’t ask questions. AnonTube features insane amounts of porn as well as Justin Bieber, Akon, and Kanye West music videos. An Anonymous source said, “We are setting up streaming network television shows and hope to stream every single cable channel in time.” This bold use of blackhat SEO combined with copyright theft and corporate advertisement is a remarkably ironic way to fight for freedom from the corporate tyranny of manufactured copyright authority.
One Anon said, “Bitcoin is just like Tor, you’re perfectly safe! Transaction invisible!”
Editor’s note: Stealing copyrighted material and selling corporate ads for its distribution is always a great activity, and I recommend it if you need a few bucks. The more people do it, the harder it will be to stop. Trust me, we need to lube our lobbyists up with cash and get them bribing elected officials if we want some change, and it’s not so hard when you just use bitcoins and put corporate ads on stolen copyrighted material. FINALLY, criminals like us, with millions of stolen dollars, can participate in the political process like a corporation!!!1 No one will know where the shit came from, and no one can fucking ever know! In fact, send the bitcoins to Chronicle.SU, and you can trust we’ll take care of the rest. Here’s our address: 18zJouAQAMzX5sJygZ4M2QV7yb8FzxSbdq Fractions of Bitcoins Welcome!
I, Joe Six Pack, pledge allegiance to the United States of America. In doing so, I equate the value of the dollar with my own salvation. Until the dollar is as strong – or weak – as my corporate masters deem suitable, I will not rest. O International Monetary Fund! Hath we never done no ill will toward you, yea, we seek austerity measures in your honor. We hath sacrificed health care in your honor. We hath compromised human rights, dignity and overall health in your name. Lo, how better can we serve you than to carpet your fine mahogany offices with the very skin of your most devout followers, so that each day you may trample upon our faces and we may taste with our own tongues your unending contempt for the consumers that built you. In Strauss-Kahn’s name, amen.
Leave comments below confessing your own Christlike love for Capitalism.
Chronicle.SU’s out doing valuable research to bring you the finest in truthful, sensational journalism.
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Internet–Jamie Jo Corne, real life journalist and publicist for presstorm.com, tragically resorted to posting nude photographs of herself via flickr after church Sunday following a bout with bulimia and self-hatred.
Mr. Corne, the editor of cesstorm who goes by @vincubusdante, came up with the idea while collaborating with outside experts on the matter of manipulating search results to save face and suppress dissent. [LEAKED AUDIO BELOW]
Inside sources close to presstorm suggest editorial duties have fallen upon the ancient @vincubusdante because his babymachine is too busy providing milk to the sucklings to defend herself.
Using Murdoch-approved hacked phone records and coercion techniques, Chronicle.SU recovered the actual phone call taking place between Mr. Corne and the Internet Police:
Big new websites are springing up to say the same old shit, big old bad guys now look like mute Bill O’Reillys, and there are still serious problems so large in the political system, human injustices so glaring yet so daunting, no anonymous Twitter feed dare mention them.
Brace yourselves, kids, because I’m about to let you have it. Playtime is over and it’s high time you pulled your heads out of your asses now.
You kids are too stupid to acknowledge the host lest it legitimize the parasite. I’m talking about congressional vote selling, telcoms stealing your internet, campaign finance reform. Attack this shit, you pussies! God damn it, help the real world fucking change something! You can’t DDoS cash incentives. Of course, you won’t be DDoSing SHIT when Cox Communications caps your bandwidth but what do you know about that?
You like to pretend like you’re doing something so controversial your pathetic lives are actually in some sort of danger but you can’t stop anything meaningful, nothing truly sinister, from taking place – or else you really would have a gun stuck in your face at 4 a.m. but you won’t. Because the real world doesn’t fuck around, but you wouldn’t know anything about that either. So you prance around like a faggot in his mother’s underwear behind Twitter accounts, IRC networks, Gay Fawkes masks, and talk about how badass you think you are to 1,000 people doing the same thing.
That’s just your behavior, though. And I don’t care about any of your ideals because I can see plainly that you don’t either. You’re just not passionate about anything except #opBART only because you’ve made that “operation” more about your faggy “anonymous” movement than a boy being shot – than freedom of speech itself. Remember when protests were called protests and didn’t need gung-ho internet terminology attached to them to motivate the youth? Yeah, me either, because my generation’s never had a spine.
The only useful effort I’ve seen put forth by people calling themselves anonymous – that doesn’t appear to be some anarchistic impulse of provocation, that doesn’t appear to be juvenile nor embarrass me on your behalf, is the effort of @AnonMedics. Damn, that’s awesome. You better be glad somebody’s following you around, ready to pull you out of whatever trouble your juvenile delinquency gets you into. Because I sure as hell wouldn’t wipe your ass if you shat yourself at my protest.
Whether you’re #antisec or #prosec – nobody gives a fuck because to onlookers you are full of redfaced angry nerdrage that embarrasses anyone who ever thought there might be this mysterious behind the scenes hacker group making big things happen. Grayhats, whitehats, blackhats – all subjective terminology like ‘terrorist’ and ‘freedom fighter’ except the only people who give a fuck is you and your hapless victims.
Also, I thought you were anarchists? So then why is this pussy crying about an attack on the state? You kids are inconsistent, shameful failures.
Your sweeping general statements about politics and law are laughably reproducible. Your arguments sound like Monday’s Tea Party advertisement debate. Your “news sources” are masturbatory rantholes. Your process of d0xing the non-believers is reprehensible. Your work ethic is slovenly. Your web design skills make me frown and uhh, an Anonymous networking site? *snickers* Your writing skills don’t exist. Like Milhouse, your “movement” is a forced meme that gets you banned from 4chan, only faster.
Your movement is fake.
This article is part of Anonifeld – a series about nothing (Anonymous).