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End Corporate Rule

Matt Taibbi on Bill Maher with a segment that highlights the problem neither major party seems willing to address, the coporate ownership of our country. And while I expect phony free speech zones from Republicans I find it distressing that the Democrats do the same thing.

Related: Massive police raids on suspected protestors in Minneapolis

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This guy actually got into some of these corporate parties. Glenn Greenwald has been doing some in-depth and sophisticated reporting on the topic of lavish corporate sponsorship, such as by AT&T, of DNC parties--to which no press access is granted.

What the Democratics are doing is obviously wrong at every level. But as per usual, it pales in comparison to how things are apparently shaping up in Minneapolis just before the Republican Convention with SWAT teams busting in on anti-war, peace protesters, and trying to intimidate them.

There is no question that the Republicans are orders of magnitude worse, but corporatism is at the root of the problems our country faces. The system is broken and I'm not optimistic that we will make any real progress until it's addressed.

Hey Adam! Look what those awefull Rethuglicans are doing!

You should donate to help these poor victims!

Sorry to be "that guy".. but Norm, did you mean to say "expect" instead of "except" in the video description?

Yesiree, Syngas, the cops in that article really did a bust-up job of cracking that nefarious dirty hippie terrorist gang, what with their hatchet and throwing knives and buckets of pee-pee! Talk about a dirty bomb! This is as fine an example of policing as I have ever seen, oh my can we all sleep easier tonight knowing McCain and Palin won't get pelted with dirty hippie urine next week, or that the Secret Service could be dodging kung-fu throwing knives flung at them by vegan hippie hooligans with about as much muscle as a bucket of lard.

Pay no mind that even in white-bread Minneapolis you could bust into even the most humble crack dealer's residence and turn up caustic chemicals and weapons that would make a Lebanese militia blush with envy. And I am quite sure the crack dealers present a much clearer and present danger to the citizens of Minneapolis than some effete hippie anarchists.

But then busting crack houses and drug dealers doesn't generate “FEAR THE TERRORIST LEFT-WING HIPPIES!” headlines, plus the cops might actually have to risk their flabby asses on that kind of a raid.

Oh my, fear the rampaging liberal terrorists and their murderous anarchy!

This guy was a Liberal, right?

And how about this filthy murderous left-wing liberal bastard?

Oh, wait a hot-diggity-dang minute!

Syngas, your own links are sincerely appreciated, but apparently you read only what I said in hyperlinked text, but not the item hyperlinked. The claims is not that everyone involved in these raids is innocent--how would I know?--but that few have actually been charged with crimes, warrants were not provided for many of the raids, and many were raided for what appear to be purely intimidation purposes. The last time I checked, I was pretty sure habeas corpus and the 4th amendment applied even to hippies. I realize see this point requires a little nuance and actually looking at the evidence. But that was my point.

There was not a single act of violence or illegality that has taken place, Nestor said. Instead, the raids were purely anticipatory in nature, and clearly designed to frighten people contemplating taking part in any unauthorized protests.

Nestor indicated that only 2 or 3 of the 50 individuals who were handcuffed this morning at the 2 houses were actually arrested and charged with a crime, and the crime they were charged with is "conspiracy to commit riot." ... The officers refused to state why they were there and, until the very end, refused to show whether they had a search warrant. They were forced to remain on the floor for 45 minutes while the officers took away the laptops, computers, individual journals, and political materials kept in the house.

You should donate to help these poor victims!

Why is it, when those who feel strongly about civil liberties object to patently illegal search and seizes, and blatantly unconstitutional infringements of free speech, the far right automatically assumes sympathy with what is said--rather than a defense of a citizen's right to say it.

"I do not agree with a single word you say but will defend to the death your right to say it" (Voltaire).

Come on Adam, what do you think they were going to 'say' with machetes, throwing knives, 5 gallon buckets of urine, and caltrops?

Come on Adam, what do you think they were going to 'say' with machetes, throwing knives, 5 gallon buckets of urine, and caltrops?

You're still missing the point. Five people were arrested. I am willing to leave open the status of those charges, as I am in no position whatsoever to say. But many, many more were raided and harassed--without warrants, or what appears to be probable cause. The article you linked does not address that issue at all.

Sure it did:

"At 8 a.m. today, the sheriff's office executed search warrants at three Minneapolis homes - 2301 23rd Ave. S., 3500 Harriet Ave. and 3240 17th Ave. S. They were assisted by the FBI, Minneapolis police and the Hennepin County sheriff's office. "

Come on Adam, what do you think they were going to 'say' with machetes, throwing knives, 5 gallon buckets of urine, and caltrops?

I don't know what a caltrop is but the last time I checked the other things are legal. Kick in the door of any 2nd Amendment-quoting, right-wing hick and I'm sure you'll find a lot more lethal stuff than a machete. What is the crime? I'm not interested in the case enough to look into it, and even less interested in convincing some conservative that they are dead wrong and have been for 8 years.

Syngas, maybe instead of spending half your life googling youtube links that support your silly views you should try reading some real publications. You have yet to name a news source that you find to be reputable.


I was in Minneapolis this Thursday visiting family, and I can attest that the police presence is unlike anything I have ever seen. Beyond the obvious riot cops on horses and other black clothed cops standing around, there were also unmarked cars driving around filled with cops as well.

I remember going to a restaurant and walking past an unmarked minivan parked with it's windows open. As I walked past a saw what I would say was about 5 cops sitting inside in black uniform. On the drive home we saw a similar, possibly the same, van driving around the city almost aimlessly. Very creepy.

"At 8 a.m. today, the sheriff's office executed search warrants at three Minneapolis homes - 2301 23rd Ave. S., 3500 Harriet Ave. and 3240 17th Ave. S. They were assisted by the FBI, Minneapolis police and the Hennepin County sheriff's office. "

What is the source for this? (See the Greenwald article; he describes in the depth the warrantless searches--but again, I never claimed that ALL the searches were warrantless, but that some of the ones reported by Greenwald were).

Just read the comments on Perspicio's linked YouTube video. What a bunch of vile little Nazi ratfucks.

Never mind. Apparently the moderator deleted them.

I was somewhat dismayed that there was a free speech zone at the DNC. Last time I checked, the whole country is a free speech zone. I only hope the reason it was so lonely in the Denver zone is because people felt comfortable enough to air their views anywhere they wished (a la the Fuck Fox News clip). You don't have to agree with what someone says, you don't have to believe, but there is no reason to corral it into a Nowheresville.

Yes, I realize that yelling fire in a crowded room in the like is not covered by free speech, btw. Since some of the commentary in this post is a bit ridiculous, just thought I'd point that out.

As for the RNC welcoming committee raids - I'm not sure how the warrants were executed. How many of these knives were destined for the march? It seemed that most materials seized were designed to link the protesters together or protect them (plastic for shields, gas mask). Did the police have tips for bombs or violence. From what I've just been reading and watching, this seems unlikely. But hey, you can always put up a code Red or say that a detention prevented a major incident when no such incident occurs!

There may have been a few protesters intent on doing harm, and it's an irritating part of the law that a few people can tag an entire bunch with a "conspiracy" label. Still, it seems pretty damned obvious that these arrests are deigned to deter protest of any kind. I'd put money down that these "hippies" will be released with no charges and no record. The thought of being arrested for guilt by association can put some folks off.

Who knows, maybe the RNC free speech zone will be packed.

P. S. Yes, I remember the 2004 free speech zones, and they pissed me off then as well.

There has to be a system by which we can eliminate corporate influence but still have kick ass parties.

Can you see Delegates attending peacenic backyard cookouts?

Me neither.

RedSeven, what is actually required is not to eliminate corporate influence, but to democratize the corporations themselves. The corporations themselves aren't the enemy - the authoritarian manner with which they operate is.

'Scuse...I meant in which they operate.

The bottom line is, corporations are powerful, important, and necessary economic blocs. and they aren't going away. But they are too unaccountable to the legitimate interests of the people they affect. It's not enough to turn a profit. They must serve the public good in a much broader sense than that.

Economists and ordinary people must finally come to recognize that capitalism, while powerful, is not necessarily good unless it operates within an overarching ethical structure that serves humanity first.

Perspicio, I agree strongly with your statements about 'over-arching ethical structure' and balanced recognition of the fact that corporations do some good. One doesn't need to be a card-carrying trickle-down ideologue to think there is no viable alternative to a free-market system, or to acknowledge it's advantages, especially in terms of generating wealth, opportunity, and high-quality and innovative goods. The ideal, for me, is ironing out the social problems a free-market brings without undercutting their advantages, and I see that as a messy, retail policy affair of finding piecemeal solutions where there are problems, not something an overarching ideology like socialism can fix. (Although, perhaps that may be a more benign view of corporations than you intended to articulate).

I'm curious, however, what particular regulatory mechanisms you have in mind. For instance, I think there are plenty that could be instituted to protect the environment and workers, and that this is in some sense distinct from corporations corrupt influence in Washington. What would be involved in "democratizing corporations themselves"? (Making all employees share-holders with a stake in the company and its profits?)


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