How would this fly? Did Sting talk about Anaheim? Did Amnesty?

Surely there is reason for such a protest to happen in NYC. I wonder though, would the protesters be praised and feted or arrested and put on trial? What would folks like Amnesty and Sting say if it happened and the protesters got locked up?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Coming soon! #mountrushmoreofdumbass

#mountrushmoreofdumbass progress report

"Anyone who puts down more than half a million in the October taxi medallion auction is nuts." (New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission) and why the Bloomberg taxi plan is plain stupid and bad for the City.update

Jen Chung, Jake Dobkin, John Del Signore and Garth Johnston at The #Gothamist- You have a problem spelled "one angry cabbie blogger" who picks up more black people on any given day than your number of black and latin@ staff.

Website dedicated to war with Gothamist

Jake Dobkin's Invisible Empire Gothamist, DCist,Austinist, Shanghaiist, Racist

Jake Dobkin's "Urbanist Empire (or maybe it's his Invisible Empire) " As Stevie Wonder sang: Cause where he lives they dont use colored people Living just enough, just enough for the city!

Cop cars double parked at Dunkin Donuts at @3:30 this morning at 125th and Amsterdam in Harlem

"Anyone who puts down more than half a million in the October taxi medallion auction is nuts." (New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission) and why the Bloomberg taxi plan is plain stupid and bad for the City.update

What would it mean if Eugene Weixel got 100,000 write in votes for mayor of New York City in 2013.

Why and how I became The Marshmallow Cabbie

Brooklyn Hasidic Ultra Orthodox Jews Bring Their School Buses To City Hall To Protest Against Israel

Mayoral Candidate Eugene Weixel Says Bloomberg's "vast and meteoric increase in wealth" during his administration "Must be scrutinized and if laws apply, let the chips fall where they may."

Garth Johnston, a functional illiterate, writes for The Gothamist.They should be praised for giving such a highly challenged person a chance.

Funny Money Revisited

I doubt I'll ever be one of those minor celebrity New York Taxi Drivers. Well I'm gonna be the marshmallow cabbie.

Mayor Bloomberg says he will "fucking destroy" the taxi industry.

Regarding Taxi Drivers: The idiocy and bad journalism of John Del Signore at The Gothamist

The Daily News Should Have Headlined This Item "Taxi Medallion Owners Get Bloomberg Green Light To Rip Off Taxi Drivers." (But they didn't).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hitting the Commercial Jackpot

The Secret History of Pussy Riot

Universally admired, Pussy Riot (or PR for short) have been promoted as superstars. But what are they? A rock or punk group they are not.  A British journalist marvelled: they produce no music, no song, no painting, nada, rien, nothing. How can they be described as “artists”? This was a severe test for their supporters, but they passed it with flying honours: that famous lover-of-art, the US State Department, paid for their first ever single being produced by The Guardian out of some images and sounds.
We are able to stomach obscenity and blasphemy; I am a great admirer of Notre Dame de Fleurs by Jean Genet, who combined both. However, the PR never wrote, composed or painted anything of value at all. Chris Randolph defended them in Counterpunch by comparing them with “the controversial Yegor Letov”. What a misleading comparison! Letov wrote poetry, full of obscenity but it still was poetry, while the PR have nothing but Public Relations.
Hell-bent on publicity, but artistically challenged, three young women from Russia decided – well, it sounds like a limerick. They stole a frozen chicken from a supermarket and used it as dildo; they filmed the act, called it “art” and placed it on the web. (It is still there) Their other artistic achievements were an orgy in a museum and a crude presentation of an erect prick.
Even in these dubious pieces of art their role was that of technical staff: the glory went to a Russian-Israeli artist Plucer-Sarno of Mevasseret Zion, who claimed the idea, design and copyright for himself and collected a major Russian prize. The future PR members got nothing and were described by Plucer as “ambitious provincials on the make”, or worse.
Lately they have tried to ride on a bandwagon of political struggle. That was another flop. They poured a flood of obscene words on Putin – in Red Square, in subway (underground) stations – with zero effect. They weren’t arrested, they weren’t fined, just chased away as a nuisance. And they did not attract the attention of people. It is important to remember that Putin is an avowed enemy of Russian oligarchs, owners of the major bulk of Russian media and providers of the Moscow literati, so they print on a daily basis so much anti-Putin invective, that it’s lost its shock value. You can’t invent a new diatribe against Putin – it has been already said and published. And Putin practically never interferes with the freedom of the press.
My foreign journalist friends are usually amazed by the unanimity and ferocity of the anti-Putin campaign in Russian media. It can be compared with the attacks on G W Bush in the liberal papers in the US, but in the US, there are many conservative papers that supported Bush. Putin has practically no support in the mainstream media, all of it owned by media barons. A valuable exception is TV, but it is expressly apolitical and provides mainly low-brow entertainment, also presented by anti-Putin activists like Mlle Xenia Sobtchak. So PR failed profoundly to wake up the beast.
Eventually the young viragos were mobilised for an attack on the Church. By that time they were willing to do anything for their bit of publicity. And the anti-Church campaign started a few months ago, quite suddenly as if by command. The Russian Church had 20 years of peace, recovering after the Communist period, and it was surprised by ferocity of the attack.
Though this subject calls for longer exposition, let us be brief. After the collapse of the USSR, the Church remained the only important spiritual pro-solidarity force in Russian life. The Yeltsin and Putin administrations were as materialist as the communists; they preached and practiced social Darwinism of neo-Liberal kind. The Church offered something beside the elusive riches on earth. Russians who lost the glue of solidarity previously provided by Communists eagerly flocked to the alternative provided by the Church.
The government and the oligarchs treated the Church well, as the Church had a strong anti-Communist tendency, and the haves were still afraid of the Reds leading the have-nots. The Church flourished, many beautiful cathedrals were rebuilt, many monasteries came back after decades of decay. The newly empowered church became a cohesive force in Russia.
As it became strong, the Church began to speak for the poor and dispossessed; the reformed Communists led by the Church-going Gennadi Zuganov, discovered a way to speak to the believers. A well-known economist and thinker, Michael Khazin, predicted that the future belongs to a new paradigm of Red Christianity, something along the lines of Roger Garaudy’s early thought. The Red Christian project is a threat to the elites and a hope for the world, he wrote. Besides, the Russian church took a very Russian and anti-globalist position.
This probably hastened the attack, but it was just a question of time when the global anti-Christian forces would step forward and attack the Russian Church like they attacked the Western Church. As Russia entered the WTO and adopted Western mores, it had to adopt secularization. And indeed the Russian Church was attacked by forces that do not want Russia to be cohesive: the oligarchs, big business, the media lords, the pro-Western intelligentsia of Moscow, and Western interests which naturally prefer Russia divided against itself.
This offensive against the Church began with some minor issues: the media was all agog about Patriarch’s expensive watch, a present from the then President Medvedev. Anti-religious fervour was high among liberal opposition that demonstrated against Putin before the elections and needed a new horse to flog. A leading anti-Putin activist Viktor Shenderovich said he would understand if the Russian Orthodox priests were slain like they were in 1920s. Yet another visible figure among the liberal protesters, Igor Eidman, exclaimed,“exterminate the vermin”- the Russian Church – in the rudest biological terms.
The alleged organiser of the PR, Marat Gelman, a Russian Jewish art collector, has been connected with previous anti-Christian art actions which involved icon-smashing, imitation churches of enemas. His – and PR’s problem was that it was difficult to provoke reaction of the Church. PR made two attempts to provoke public indignation in the second cathedral of Moscow, the older Elochovsky Cathedral; both times they were expelled but not arrested. The third time, they tried harder; they went to St Savior Cathedral that was demolished by Lazar Kaganovich in 1930s and rebuilt in 1990s; they added more blasphemy of the most obscene kind, and still they were allowed to leave in peace. Police tried their best to avoid arresting the viragos, but they had no choice after PR uploaded a video of their appearance in the cathedrals with an obscene soundtrack.
During the trial, the defence and the accused did their worst to antagonize the judge by threatening her with the wrath of the United States (sic!) and by defiantly voicing anti-Christian hate speeches. The judge had no choice but to find the accused guilty of hate crime (hooliganism with religious hate as the motive). The prosecution did not charge the accused with a more serious hate crime “with intent to cause religious strife”, though it could probably be made to stick. (It would call for a stiffer sentence; swastika-drawers charged with intent to cause strife receive five years of jail).
Two years’ sentence is quite in line with prevailing European practice. For much milder anti-Jewish hate talk, European countries customarily sentence offenders to two-to-five years of prison for the first offence. The Russians applied hate crime laws to offenders against Christian faith, and this is probably a Russian novelty. The Russians proved that they care for Christ as much as the French care for Auschwitz, and this shocked the Europeans who apparently thought ‘hate laws’ may be applied only to protect Jews and gays. The Western governments call for more freedom for the anti-Christian Russians, while denying it for holocaust revisionists in their midst.
The anti-Putin opposition flocked to support PR. A radical charismatic opposition leader, the poet Eduard Limonov wrote that the opposition made a mistake supporting PR, as they antagonise the masses; the chasm between the masses and the opposition grows. But his voice was crying in the wilderness, and the rest of the opposition happily embraced the PR cause, trying to turn it into a weapon against Putin. The Western media and governments also used it to attack Putin. AGuardian editorial called on Putin to resign. Putin called for clemency for PR, and the government was embarrassed by the affair. But they were left with no choice: the invisible organisers behind PR wanted to have the viragos in jail, and so they did.
Commercially, they hit jackpot. With support of Madonna and the State Department, they are likely to leave jail ready for a world tour and photo ops at the White House. They registered their name as a trade mark and began to issue franchises. And their competitors, the Femen group (whose art is showing off their boobs in unusual places) tried to beat PR by chopping down a large wooden cross installed in memory of Stalin’s victims. Now the sky is the limit.
In August, vacation season, when there is not much hard news and newspaper readers are at the seashore or countryside, the PR trial provided much needed entertainment for man and beast. Hopefully it will drop from the agenda with the end of the silly season, but do not bet on it.
Israel Shamir reports from Moscow, his email 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Western Onslaught Against International Law

Global Research, August 29, 2012

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A new film, “Compliance,” examines “the human desire to follow and obey authority.”Liberal institutions, such as the media, universities, federal courts, and human rights organizations, which have traditionally functioned as checks on the blind obedience to authority, have in our day gone over to power’s side. The subversion of these institutions has transformed them from checks on power into servants of power.  The result is the transformation of culture from the rule of law to unaccountable authority resting on power maintained by propaganda.

Propaganda is important in the inculcation of trust in authority.The Pussy Riot case shows the power of Washington’s propaganda even inside Russia itself and reveals that Washington’s propaganda has suborned important human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Chatham House, and Amnesty International.

Pussy Riot is described in the western media as a punk rock group, but seems in fact to be a group known as Voina (War) that performs lewd or scandalous unannounced public performances such as the one in the Russian cathedral, a sexual orgy in a museum, and events such as these. (see also :

Three of the cathedral performers were apprehended, indicted, tried, convicted of breaking a statutory law, and given two-year prison sentences. The Voice of Russia recently broadcast a discussion of the case from its London studio. Representatives from Human Rights Watch and Chatham House argued that the case was really a free speech case and that the women were political prisoners for criticizing Russian President Putin.

This claim was disingenuous. In the blasphemous performance in the Russian cathedral, Putin was not mentioned. The references to Putin were added to the video posted on the Internet after the event in order to turn a crime into a political protest.

The human rights representatives also argued that the women’s conviction could only happen in Putin’s Russia. However, the program host pointed out that in fact most European countries have similar laws as Russia’s and that a number of European offenders have been arrested and punished even more severely.  Indeed, I recently read a news report from Germany that a copycat group of women had staged a similar protest in support of Pussy Riot and had been arrested. An analysis of these issues is available here:  

The human rights representatives seemed to believe that Putin had failed the democratic test by failing to stop the prosecution. But a country either has the rule of law or doesn’t have the rule of law. If Putin overrides the law, it means Putin is the law.

Whether Washington had a hand in the Pussy Riot event via the Russian protest groups it funds, Hitlery Clinton was quick to make propaganda.  Free expression was threatened in Russia, she said.  

Washington used the Pussy Riot case to pay Putin back for opposing Washington’s destruction of Syria.  The overlooked legal issue is Washington’s interference in internal Russian affairs. The close alignment of human rights organizations with Washington’s propaganda hurts the credibility of human rights advocacy.  If human rights groups are seen as auxiliaries of Washington’s propaganda, their moral authority evaporates.

The prevalence of the English language, due to the British domination of the world in the 18th and 19th centuries and American domination in the 20th and first decade of the 21st century, makes it easy for Washington to control the explanations. Other languages simply do not have the reach to compete.

Washington also has the advantage of having worn the White Hat in the Cold War. The peoples who were constituent parts of the Soviet empire and even many Russians themselves still see Washington as the wearer of the White Hat. Washington has used this advantage to finance “color revolutions” that have moved countries from the Russian sphere of influence into Washington’s sphere of influence.

Tony Cartalucci concludes that “Amnesty International is US State Department Propaganda.”
Cartalucci notes that  Amnesty’s executive director is former State Department official Suzanne Nossel, who conflates “human rights advocacy” with US global hegemony. 

Amnesty does seem like an amplifier for Washington’s propaganda. Amnesty’s latest email to members (August 27) is:  “As if the recent trial and sentencing of three members of Pussy Riot wasn't shameful enough, now Russian police are hunting down others in the band. Make no mistake about it: Russian authorities are relentless. Just how far are the Russian authorities willing to go to silence voices of dissent? Tell the Russian government to stop hunting Pussy Riot!”

Amnesty International’s August 23 email to its members, “Wake Up World,” is completely one-sided and puts all blame for violence on the Syrian government, not on al Qaeda and other outside groups that Washington has armed and unleashed on the Syrian people. Amnesty is only concerned with getting visual images damning to the Syrian government before the public: “We are working to get this damning footage into the hands of journalists around the world. Support our work and help ensure that our first-hand video is seen by influential members of the media.”

At least Pussy Riot got a trial. That’s more than US Marine, Brandon Raub, a veteran of two tours of combat duty, got. Raub posted on Facebook his opinion that he had been misused by Washington in behalf of an illegal agenda. Local police, FBI, and Secret Service descended upon his home, dragged him out, and on the authority of a social worker, committed him to a mental hospital for observation. .  

I did not see any protests from Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, or Chatham House.  Instead, a Virginia circuit court judge, W. Allan Sharrett, demanded Raub’s immediate release, stating that there was no reason to detain and commit Raub except to punish him for exercising his free speech right. 

Americans are increasingly punished for exercising free speech rights.  A number of videos of police violence against the occupy movement are available on youtube. They show the goon thug gestapo cops beating women, pepper spraying protestors sitting with their heads bowed, truncheons flashing as American heads are broken and protestors beat senseless are dragged off in handcuffs for peacefully exercising a constitutionally protected right. 

There has been more protest over Pussy Riot than over the illegal detention and torture of Bradley Manning or the UK government’s threat to invade the Embassy of Ecuador and to drag out WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange.

When a Chinese dissident sought asylum in the US embassy in China, the Chinese government bowed to international law and permitted the dissident’s safe passage to the US. But “freedom and democracy” Great Britain refuses free passage to Assange who has been granted asylum, and there is no protest from Clinton at the State Department.

In “China’s Rise, America’s Fall,” Ron Unz makes a compelling argument that the Chinese government is more respectful of the rule of law and more responsive to the people it governs than is Washington.

Today it is Russia and China, not the UK and Europe, that challenge Washington’s claim that the US government is above international law and has the right to overthrow governments of which it disapproves. 

The lawlessness that now characterizes the US and UK governments is a large threat to humanity’s finest achievement--the rule of law--for which the British fought from the time of Alfred the Great in the ninth century to the Glorious Revolution of the 17th century. 

Where are the protests over the Anglo-American destruction of the rule of law?

Why Aren’t Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Chatham House on the case?

Paul Craig Roberts is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Paul Craig Roberts