Got those red state blues.

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Blue Girl

More like “Green Girl, Red State.” CC image via DieselDemon on Flickr.
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Perhaps the greatest downside to living in a rural area, and particularly a rural area in an already red state? Knowing that you’ve not a snowball’s chance in hell of electing a politician who even approximates your values and beliefs. “Approximates,” not “shares” – I hold enough unpopular opinions to know that I’ll never live to see a politician on the state or federal level with whom I see eye to on most issues, not even if I up and move to San Francisco. That said, I don’t expect to be outright insulted for my beliefs when contacting an elected representative, in a polite and respectful manner, about pending legislation.

What follows is an email exchange I had with my state House Representative, Glen Klippenstein (R-MO, 5th District), about Missouri House Bill 1860, our state’s answer to the increasing popularity of “ag gag” bills. (Check out Will Potter’s excellent coverage of this and other forms of activist repression at Green is the New Red.) I was responding to an action alert sent out by PETA; usually I edit form letters, both to personalize them and to scrub them of any speciesism (distressingly common in form letters from enviro groups), but at the state level I’m fairly certain that mine is the only copy my representatives will receive. (Though in retrospect, I really should have replaced the link to meat.org with a different resource. No matter how unfair and undeserved the reputation, referring to a website run by what’s widely regarded as a “radical extremist” group really isn’t the best choice. That and I’d rather not be associated with them in any way, shape, or form, thankyouverymuch.)

As a conservative Republican and cattle breeder (GlenKirk Farms “has sold cattle, semen, and embryos across America and worldwide” – so much for protecting the unborn!) who has served as chairman of the National Beef Promotion and Research Board, I wasn’t expecting a particularly sympathetic ear from Rep. Klippenstein. That said.

 
 

—–Original Message—–
From: Advocate [mailto:advocate@animalactivist.com] On Behalf Of Kelly Garbato
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2012 12:25 AM
To: Glen Klippenstein
Subject: Please Oppose H.B. 1860

Apr 19, 2012

Representative Glen Klippenstein
State Capitol, Room 410A
201 West Capitol Avenue
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Dear Representative Klippenstein,

I am writing as your constituent to urge you to oppose House Bill
(H.B.) 1860. This bill, which would make it a crime to photograph or record video or sound of a farm without the farm owner’s consent, is a clear attempt to prevent the public from learning about the routine cruelty that takes place on factory farms. If signed into law, it would infringe on citizens’ rights to expose cruelty to animals.

Past investigations of factory farms resulted in criminal convictions of farm managers and workers found beating, sexually abusing, stomping on, kicking, and throwing animals. To watch the video footage and see why it is so important that citizens retain their freedom to document crimes against animals on factory farms and relay the evidence to law-enforcement authorities, please visit Meat.org.

Please don’t let the farming industry hide behind closed doors: Oppose H.B. 1860.

Thank you for your attention and for all that you do for Missourians.

Sincerely,

Ms. Kelly Garbato
[Address removed]

 
 

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Glen.Klippenstein@house.mo.gov
Date: Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 9:24 AM
Subject: RE: Please Oppose H.B. 1860
To: kelly.garbato@gmail.com

Kelly,
To say that this legislation is a clear attempt to prevent the public from learning about the routine cruelty that takes place on factory farms, shows extraordinary contempt for the vast majority of honorable people that actually know the real story and feed you.

Thank you for your e-mail.

Glen
Rep. Glen Klippenstein
5th District

 
 
(More below the fold…)

On MLK Day: "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"

Monday, January 17th, 2011

“Coretta Scott King welcomes her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as he leaves the courtroom in Montgomery, Alabama, March 22, 1956. Dr. King was found guilty of conspiracy for leading a boycott of the city’s segregated bus system. He ultimately spent two weeks in jail on the charge, attracting national attention to the boycott and the Civil Rights Movement.” (AP Photo/Gene Herrick)
——————————

In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the internets are abuzz with inspirational MLK quotes. Some of my favorites come from “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” portions of which I’ve excerpted below (though I definitely urge you to read the letter in its entirety, if you haven’t already. And if you have, read it again. Seriously.)

Also please take a moment this evening to remember the late Coretta Scott King, a champion for the oppressed – human and nonhuman alike – in her own right.

I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea.

You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and my associates have taken in Birmingham is untimely. Some have asked: “Why didn’t you give the new city administration time to act?” The only answer that I can give to this query is that the new Birmingham administration must be prodded about as much as the outgoing one, before it will act. […] My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

I hope you are able to see the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience.

– Excerpted from “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” April 16, 1963

domestic terraist doggehs selebrate crifsmas wit toefoo nog (like duh!)

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

2010-12-05 - Mean Girls - 0003

domestic terraist bear is one of teh kewl girls.
Left to right: Kaylee, Jayne, O-Ren and the pirate-polar-vegan-terrorist criFSMas bear.
——————————

Initially, I’d planned on doing a sort of “domestic terrorist” theme for this year’s holiday (read: criFSMas) cards, using the “domestic terrorist” apron from Green is the New Red as the centerpiece. (Product description: “‘Domestic.’ Terrorist. Get it? There’s nothing funny about the FBI labeling environmental and animal advocates the ‘number one domestic terrorism threat.’ But with the Feds attempting to infiltrate vegan potlucks, why not accessorize? […] Happy ‘terrorizing’! But be careful in the kitchen. Did you know tofu makes you gay?” Vegan chefs are scary, yo! Also: my dog-kids consume a fair amount of tofu. Additionally, they are super-psyched about today’s repeal of DADT. Draw your own conclusions, mkay.)

While my idea was solid, its execution was not: the apron proved way too large for the dogs (which was to be expected, even though it looks super-tiny – not to mention satiny – on the model), so at first I tried putting it on our pirate polar bear.

I think you’ll agree that she looks super-snazzy in it

2010-12-04 - O criFSMas Tree - 0011

but she’s also, well, kind of a big girl. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you; she’s vegan and totes in shape. But it proved next to impossible to fit both her and a dog in the camera frame. And so I re-staged the set, hanging the apron from the tree and surrounding it with fake fruits and veggies and a vase filled with pasta-related kitchen utensils.

2010-12-04 - Domestic Terrorist Celebrates - 0012

(Ignore the white fur on the black apron. Living with four white dogs and a mostly-white cat, it cannot be helped.)

Better, but once I went back and examined the photos on my computer monitor, I realized that the paddles looked really odd and stupid. Tremendously so. Plus, there was still a lot of floor and wall showing. Dislike.

So on day #2 of shooting, I ditched the setup and instead opted for a sea of book piles, coupled with a vase filled with angel hair pasta, and complemented with a sparkly “peace” ornament and baby flying spaghetti monster. The new theme? Peace and pasta.

2010-12-05 - Tree Backdrop - 0008

2010-12-05 - Tree Backdrop - 0018

2010-12-05 - Tree Backdrop - 0005

That taste? Perfection!

Not wanting the domestic terrorist photos to go to waste, I decided to make a series of (VEGAN!) lol dogs out of them. And so I give you: domestic terraist doggehs! (And one kitteh, who barely sat still long enough for me to take three pictures of him. His caption is most fitting.)

lol ozzy - is a terror allrite

title: lol ozzy – is a terror allright
caption: “domestic terraist kitteh” is a redundancy
——————————

lol ralphie - thot u said petdown

title: lol ralphie – thot u said petdown
caption: domestic terraist doggeh will take that patdown now, mkay
——————————

lol peedee - go boom

title: lol peedee – go boom
caption: domestic terraist doggeh be a walkin’ thyme bomb
(idea shameless borrowed from a blog of the same name)
——————————

lol rennie - be happy 2 show u her mitts

title: lol rennie – be happy 2 show u her mitts
caption: domestic terraist doggeh be hostin a v-gun potluck next week
(u bring teh loaded taters kay?)
——————————

lol kaylee - kills wit spiceness

title: lol kaylee – kills wit spiceness
caption: domestic terraist doggeh is about 2 es’splode ur taste budz
——————————

lol jayne - is be busted

title: lol jayne – is be busted
caption: domestic terraist doggeh pleads deh lish
(hint: if you don’t get it, sound it out loud!)
——————————

In many ways, I think I like this series better than the “real” card I ended up with (and the outtakes I made for each dog; yes, I’ve been a busy bee). But hey, there’s always next year. Well, not really. I’ve already got plans for 2011, and they involve Kaylee, Jayne and Joss Fucking Whedon. (One hint: SPACE PIRATES!) 2012, perhaps. I’m sure the theme will still be relevant then, unfortunately.

Kinship Circle: Updates, April – June 2009

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – info [at] kinshipcircle.org
Date: Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 10:59 PM
Subject: Part 1/ UPDATES: APR – JUN 2009

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY / PERMISSION TO CROSSPOST

VICTORIES * SETBACKS * PROGRESS

PART 1: APRIL – JUNE 2009 / KINSHIP CIRCLE UPDATES

1. Pig Abusers At Hormel Supplier Get 1-2 Year Probation
2. Bureaucrats Reach No Decision On Whaling
3. Lax Officials Knew Travis The Chimp Might Attack
4. Kitten Killer’s Accomplice Is Now Charged Too
5. Pet Food Poisoners Plead Guilty And Face Jail Time
6. Foie Gras Producer On Trial For Cruelty
7. Atlanta Falcons Bid Michael Vick A Permanent Farewell
8. “Change” Doesn’t Look Much Different Under Obama
9. California Spay/Neuter Law Passes Senate, Moves To Assembly
10. Groups Sue Salazar In Effort To Save Delisted Wolves
11. Way To Go SAEN! Research Industry Meltdown
12. Cheyenne Frontier Rodeo Bans Video Instead Of Abuse
13. California Bullfight Busts Continue; Humane Officer Assaulted
14. Repression Of Austrian Animal Activists Worsens

PART 2: KC UPDATES / APRIL – JUNE 2009
RESEND PART #2 TO ME: info [at] kinshipcircle.org

15. HSUS And Michael Vick Team Up To Fight Dogfighting?
16. Armed To Kill In National Parks: Guns Allowed
17. Maine Is 6th State To Ban Cruel Confinement Crates
18. NC Pro-Gas Chamber Bill Gets A “No” Vote
19. USDA Cites New Iberia Primate Lab For Violations
20. U.S. Senate Passes Resolution Against Canada Sealing
21. Canadian Sealers Lose Biggest Customer — EUROPE!
22. EU Votes To Let Most Primate Research Continue
23. Karley’s Sociopath Killer Ordered To Stand Trial
24. Horse Slaughterhouses Now Legal In Montana
25. Michigan Pound Gives R&R Research The Boot
26. Big Surprise: Swine Flu, Born On U.S. Factory Farms
27. Los Angeles DA Drops Charges Against Dog Dragger
28. Obama Accepts Breeder Dog As Gift For Daughters

(More below the fold…)

Who needs the ACLU when you’ve got the CCR?

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

For reals. The ACLU completely stabbed the animal advocacy community in the throat when it failed to take a stand against the AETA. Even now, 2 1/2 years later, a search of the ACLU’s website turns up one pithy reference to AETA – this despite the government’s use of AETA, as feared, to prosecute First Amendment activities. Like, WTF, ACLU?

Luckily, the BORDC has had our backs from the beginning, and since the persecution of the AETA 4, CCR has become increasingly vocal in its opposition to AETA as well (as evidenced by their latest action alert, which I’ve included below).

So, seriously, who needs the ACLU when you’ve got the BORDC and the CCR? Yawn. ACLU, I’m so over you.

If you’ve got any extra money to throw around and would like to make a donation to a civil liberties group, please consider supporting our real allies, namely, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and the Center for Constitutional Rights – as well as the Civil Liberties Defense Center, which is listed as an ally on abolishtheaeta.org – and/or drop them a note to let them know you appreciate their solidarity.

Further recommended reading/agitating:

Green is the New Red

Coalition to Abolish the AETA

Support the AETA 4

The Good Time Bill

(More below the fold…)

Yo-ho-hum & a bottle of rum.

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Dear MSM:

The pirates who hijacked the Maersk Alabama last week, taking the ship’s captain hostage and demanding ransom for the vessel, its cargo and the captain, are just that – pirates. Call them criminals if you prefer, or armed robbers and kidnappers. International men of mystery. Swashbucklers, if you will.

But terrorists, they aint:

Terrorism is, most simply, policy intended to intimidate or cause terror. It is more commonly understood as an act which (1) is intended to create fear (terror), (2) is perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a materialistic goal or a lone attack), and (3) deliberately targets (or disregards the safety of) non-combatants. Some definitions also include acts of unlawful violence or unconventional warfare, but at present, there is no internationally agreed upon definition of terrorism.

Emphasis mine, in order to highlight the common conception of the term “terrorist” – think al-Qa’ida, Hamas, Hezbollah (and not the Tofu kind) – armed militant groups, seeking to overthrow the government in order to enforce their own ideology, in part by targeting civilians.

Twist the term as you might

“There are statements in international law that say pirates are the ‘enemies of all mankind,’ and that goes back to the 1600s,” said Linda A. Malone, director of the human rights and national security law program at the William and Mary Law School in Virginia.

“It’s a form of terrorism, but it’s not done for political reasons. It’s done for financial gain, although those lines are starting to blur,” Malone said. “It’s one of the oldest international criminal law offenses.”

– crimes committed solely for financial gain are…well, crimes: murder, theft, kidnapping, etc.

Twist the term enough, and you’ll render it meaningless.

I can see the headlines now: “Sexting Terrorism Paralyzes US Economy.” Mike Galanos will have a field day with that story.

Hugs,

2007-12-05 - Cpt Kaylee's Booty - 0025 [4x6]

A band of merry heathen veg*n pirate/terra-ists.

P.S. For more, see: Best, Steven and Anthony J. Nocella II, eds. 2004. Terrorists or Freedom Fighters?: Reflections on the Liberation of Animals. New York: Lantern Books.

Don’t worry, I’m sure y’all can write it off as a business expense, given how you toss the term around with abandon.

(More below the fold…)

In which the right wing celebrates an act of terrorism.

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

 

 

What I most love about these tea party protests – aside from their being an unintentional comedy goldmine – is that much of their support comes from the right wing: Republicans and conservatives, including Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, Sean Hannity (all of Faux News, really), Alan Keyes, and Missouri’s own Peter Kinder. The same group of people who are quick to label acts of theft and property destruction acts of eco- or animal rights- terrorism are – wait for it – emulating an old-school protest which would most certainly qualify as an act of terror under their definition of the term.

And then we have Chuck Norris, right wing godbag extraordinaire, advocating an armed revolution against President Obama on World Net Daily.

Oh, the irony, it burns.

(More below the fold…)

Paul Blart, Part Deux: But I’m a Radical Cheerleader!

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Via Portland IMC (and by way of Food Fight by way of the Veg Blog), comes this video of a recent Portland puppy mill protest. The Radical Cheerleaders for Animal Rights* staged a rather creative and entertaining demo in front of Scamps “pet” store (located in Portland’s Lloyd Center Mall), where they were promptly bullied, assaulted and subsequently “escorted” out by a team of absolutely Paul Blart-esque mall cops (minus the Kevin James cuddle factor, natch):

Writes Animal Defense Media at Portland IMC:

The Radical Cheerleaders for Animal Rights performed today in front of Scamps store inside Lloyd Center Mall to bring attention to scamps history of selling puppies from puppy mills. After the performance, an activist is aggressively detained by mall security resulting in angry shoppers expressing their disgust with the security guards.

Scamp’s Pet store (located in Lloyd Center) is fond of saying their puppies come from kennels that are licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) implying that this offers some level of assurance regarding health and humane standards. The reality is that thousands of dogs spend much of their lives in cramped, cold and filthy cages as “breeding stock”. In these USDA-approved conditions, adults and puppies are squeezed together, compete for food or water (if any is available) and endure a lifetime in tiny wire cages which damage their paws. They never get to feel the grass, have a toy, a treat, or chase a ball. Many go cage crazy running around in endless circles, driven mad by the frustrating hours of boredom and loneliness.

Scamps pet store was recently exposed in an undercover report by KGW Channel 8s Anne Yeager, who obtained veterinary records and interviewed multiple victims who have purchased sick and genetically defective puppies from Scamps. The story also tells how Scamps buys from puppy mills.

Incidentally, the husband rented a room to a mall cop for a short time when we first started dating. “Kevin” used to come home with tales of chasing down “perps” with his “partners” in the parking lot outside Kaufmann’s department store, complete with foot races and high-speed chases. It was all very Starsky and Hutch wanna-be. Quite sad, actually.

One night, while trying to impress some neighbor women, he shot himself in the foot with his own gun. Just sayin’.

Anywho, if you’d like to lodge a complain with Lloyd Center Mall, you can do so by phone at 503-282-2511; by fax at 503-280-9407; online at http://www.lloydcentermall.com/go/suggForm.cfm or by mail:

2201 Lloyd Center
Portland, OR 97232

* I love these broads! A little bit compassion, a little bit rock n’ roll. Totally fucking awesome.

——————–

Tagged:

The “show” must go on.

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

I could not make this shit up if I tried:

Intelligence officers created a voluminous file on Norfolk-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, calling the group a “security threat” because of concerns that members would disrupt the circus.

And:

The DC Anti-War Network, which opposes the Iraq war, was designated a white supremacist group, without explanation.

One of the possible “crimes” in the file police opened on Amnesty International, a world-renowned human rights group: “civil rights.” […]

The operation has been called a “waste of resources” by the current police superintendent and “undemocratic” by the governor.

Police have acknowledged that the monitoring, which took place during the administration of [Maryland’s] then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), spiraled out of control, with an undercover trooper spending 14 months infiltrating peaceful protest groups. Troopers have said they inappropriately labeled 53 individuals as terrorists in their database, information that was shared with federal authorities. But the new documents reveal a far more expansive set of police targets and indicate that police did not close some files until late 2007.

The surveillance ended with no arrests and no evidence of violent sedition. Instead, troopers are preparing to purge files and say they are expecting lawsuits.

Which leads to the obvious question – if the state government expects to enter litigation with its own citizens, why on dog’s green earth are they “purging files,” i.e. evidence?

And also, who’s terrorizing who, again?

Kinship Circle: October-December 2008 Updates (Parts 1 & 2)

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Dec 24, 2008 12:08 AM
Subject: Part 1/ UPDATES: OCT-DEC 2008

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST

PART 1: OCT – DEC 2008 / KINSHIP CIRCLE UPDATES
YEAR END WRAP UP – Victories * Setbacks * Progress For Animals

http://www.kinshipcircle.org/updates/

PART 1: KC UPDATES / OCT – DEC 2008

1. Donna Karan Announces Fur-Free 2009 Lines
2. Dragged Pit Bull Is Healing And Soon Adoptable
3. Cat Killing Boyfriend Walks Free
4. Records Show Big Industry Planned AETA All Along
5. Obama Picks: The Good & The Not So Good
6. L.A. Assistant Fire Chief Charged In Karley’s Killing
7. Netherlands Ban Products Made Of Cape Fur Seals
8. Prempro Maker, Wyeth, Pays For Fake Articles
9. Report On Hallmark/Westland Downer Scandal
10. Eddie Lama’s Oasis Sanctuary Closes
11. Michael Vick: Early Release & Back To NFL?

PART 2: KC UPDATES / OCT – DEC 2008
RESEND PART #2 TO ME: kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net

12. Hero’s Plan To Save Wild Horses Moves Forward
13. Until Export Is Banned, More Horses Killed
14. Rodeo “Horse Tripping” Outlawed In Phoenix
15. Houston: Biggest Dogfight Bust In U.S. History
16. Activists Vow To Overturn Navy’s Use Of Sonar
17. Oxford Univ. Lab To Use Thousands Of Animals
18. Prop 2 Passes For Calif. Farmed Animals
19. EU Proposal To Ban Great Apes In Experiments
20. Ringling Bros. Big Fat Federal Lawsuit
21. Alaska Whales: 1 vs. Gov. Sarah Palin: 0

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: Exit Strategy – The Rush To Ruin Everything

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Dec 19, 2008 3:29 PM
Subject: Exit Strategy: The Rush To Ruin Everything

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY / PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST

December 2008, BUSH EXIT STRATEGY:
The Rush To Ruin Everything — For Animals & Environment

Kinship Circle - 2008-12-19 - Exit Strategy 01

While preparing Kinship Circle’s year-end UPDATES, I found so many zero-hour assaults upon animals/environment — I opted to send this laundry list solo. A quote from a St. Louis Post Dispatch Op-Ed piece sums up the onslaught: http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewiStockNews/articleid/2889001

“Now, as the president’s last term winds to a close, the administration has embarked on a fast-paced anti-regulatory spree… No longer is there even any attempt to disguise its anti-environmental actions with such Orwellian labels as ‘Clear Skies’ and ‘Healthy Forests.’”

BUSH ADMIN’S ANTI-ANIMAL LAUNDRY LIST:

1. BLM To Sheep: We Like Roads Better Than You
2. Bush To Penguins: Get A Life, But Not On Our Dime
3. Hack Job: Endangered Species Act Stripped Top To Bottom
4. EPA Says Factory Farms Don’t Have To Report Poop
5. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Turns Its Back On Polar Bears
6. FDA Was Just Kidding About Ban On Animal Antibiotics
7. Snowmobiles In Yellowstone National Park – Let Em’ Rip!
8. Goodbye Flowing Streams, Hello Coal Mine Blasters
9. Drill Baby, Drill!
10. Ask Incoming Obama Team For A Swift Repair Job

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: Updates, August-October 2008

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 2:27 PM
Subject: Part 1/ UPDATES: AUG-OCT 2008

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST

PART 1: KC UPDATES / AUG – OCT 2008
Victories * Setbacks * Progress For Animals
http://www.kinshipcircle.org/updates/

PART 1: KC UPDATES / AUG- OCT 2008
1. Dogfighting Don’s First Day In Louisiana Court
2. Ringling Goes To Federal Trial October 20, 2008?
3. Dog Poisoner Gets 30 Jail Days + Counseling
4. HSUS Sues United Egg Producers
5. Bush Admin Objects, But Polar Bears Get Habitat
6. Our Visit To The Vice Prez Debate, St. Louis, MO
7. After AETA: Another Law To Silence Activists
8. Prop 2 Looks Good As Nov. 4 Elections Approach
9. Bush Admin VS. Gray Wolves: GOP Losing
10. Politics Trumps Mercy: Still No Downer Ban

PART 2: KC UPDATES / AUG – OCT 2008
PLEASE RESEND ME PART #2: kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
11. Humane Society Legislative Fund Endorses Obama
12. Police Sgt. Acquitted In Dog’s Death In Locked Car
13. Who Dumped HLS Animal Killers Lately?
14. Shooting Mayor’s Dogs Is “Justified.” Huh?
15. Freedom For Unlawfully Jailed Austrian Activists
16. 8 Little Lambs Left A Lab – To Live At A Sanctuary
17. New Development Proves: IAMS Kills
18. Nepal Bans Monkey Export To Research Labs
19. Korea to Classify Dogs as Livestock
20. NJ: Landmark Legal Victory For Farm Animals
21. EU Proposes Total Ban On Some Seal Goods
22. Calif. Law Bans Slaughter Of Downers
23. Hits & Misses For Animals

RE: 10/10/08: Don’t Let Soldiers Kill Beloved Dog In Iraq

NO ANSWERS YET, BUT SEE: Puppy love denied by U.S. army rules
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2008/10/14/7080146-ap.html

(More below the fold…)

Bill of Rights Defense Committee: BORDC Issues New Booklet, The "War on Terror" and The Constitution

Monday, September 15th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Date: Mon, Sep 15, 2008 at 12:47 PM
Subject: Alert: BORDC Issues New Booklet, The “War on Terror” and The Constitution

BORDC Issues The “War on Terror” and The Constitution

“This booklet .. provides the basic tools with which the citizenry can begin to act to make this America again.”
– Nat Hentoff

The Northampton, MA, September 17, 2008 — “The ‘War on Terror’ and The Constitution,” a new booklet by the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC), is a concise summary of how key anti-terrorism laws and policies enacted since September 11, 2001, affect Americans’ constitutional rights. The new laws are organized into chapters corresponding to sections of the U.S. Constitution and articles of the Bill of Rights. Stories in each chapter show how the lives of innocent Americans and foreign detainees have been affected. BORDC is issuing the 24-page booklet on Constitution Day, the 220th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution.

Nancy Talanian, BORDC’s director and the booklet’s author, sees the booklet as a roadmap to show Americans the current status of their rights and liberties compared to where they should be according to the Constitution. “Armed with that knowledge,” she said, “they can work with one another and with their legislators to restore the essential rights they have come to expect.”

Nat Hentoff, a nationally recognized authority on the Bill of Rights, agrees. “No matter who the next president is or what the composition of the next Congress is,” he said, “the extent and the depth of what the Bush administration has done to the Constitution and to our standing in the world will remain unless and until enough Americans know how much remains to be done-and this booklet by the Bill of Rights Defense Committee provides the basic tools with which the citizenry can begin to act to make this America again.”

According to Talanian, “We now have substantial proof that human failures within our government, not the laws and policies in place prior to September 11, 2001, contributed to the terrorist attacks on that day. Furthermore, no proof has been offered to substantiate executive branch claims that new laws and policies such as the USA PATRIOT Act have made this country safer. One could argue that the government is wasting resources prying into the lives of innocent people and storing millions of their private records in databases and treating potentially all of us as terrorism suspects.”

“The ‘War on Terror’ and the Constitution” (24 pages, $3.00) is available from the Bill of Rights Defense Committee at http://www.bordc.org/store.php. Download the booklet (PDF, 6.7 MB) at http://www.bordc.org/resources/war_on_terror.pdf.

In 2002, BORDC spearheaded a nationwide campaign that put city, county, and state governments on record for upholding their residents’ constitutional rights. The passage of eight statewide resolutions and more than 400 local resolutions and ordinances led Congress to strengthen its oversight when it reauthorized the PATRIOT Act in 2006. BORDC’s current focus is on the People’s Campaign for the Constitution, a grassroots effort to hold members of Congress accountable to their oaths to uphold the Constitution.

# # #

Links:

Download high and low resolution PDFs of The “War on Terror” and the Constitution: http://www.bordc.org/press/war_on_terror.php

Order booklets online: http://www.bordc.org/store.php

Bill of Rights Defense Committee, http://www.bordc.org

People’s Campaign for the Constitution, http://www.constitutioncampaign.org

Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Address: 8 Bridge Street, Suite A, Northampton, MA 01060
Web: www.bordc.org/
Email: info [at] bordc.org
Telephone: 413-582-0110
Fax: 413-582-0116

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This is not my America.

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Behind all the patriotic hyperbole that accompanies the conventions, and the thousands of journalists and media workers who arrive to cover the staged events, there are serious violations of the basic right of freedom of the press. Here on the streets of St. Paul, the press is free to report on the official proceedings of the RNC, but not to report on the police violence and mass arrests directed at those who have come to petition their government, to protest. […]

Nicole was videotaping. Her tape of her own violent arrest is chilling. Police in riot gear charged her, yelling, “Get down on your face.” You hear her voice, clearly and repeatedly announcing “Press! Press! Where are we supposed to go?” She was trapped between parked cars. The camera drops to the pavement amidst Nicole’s screams of pain. Her face was smashed into the pavement, and she was bleeding from the nose, with the heavy officer with a boot or knee on her back. Another officer was pulling on her leg. Sharif was thrown up against the wall and kicked in the chest, and he was bleeding from his arm.

I was at the Xcel Center on the convention floor, interviewing delegates. I had just made it to the Minnesota delegation when I got a call on my cell phone with news that Sharif and Nicole were being bloody arrested, in every sense. Filmmaker Rick Rowley of Big Noise Films and I raced on foot to the scene. Out of breath, we arrived at the parking lot. I went up to the line of riot police and asked to speak to a commanding officer, saying that they had arrested accredited journalists.

Within seconds, they grabbed me, pulled me behind the police line and forcibly twisted my arms behind my back and handcuffed me, the rigid plastic cuffs digging into my wrists. I saw Sharif, his arm bloody, his credentials hanging from his neck. I repeated we were accredited journalists, whereupon a Secret Service agent came over and ripped my convention credential from my neck. I was taken to the St. Paul police garage where cages were set up for protesters. I was charged with obstruction of a peace officer. Nicole and Sharif were taken to jail, facing riot charges.

The attack on and arrest of me and the “Democracy Now!” producers was not an isolated event. A video group called I-Witness Video was raided two days earlier. Another video documentary group, the Glass Bead Collective, was detained, with its computers and video cameras confiscated. On Wednesday, I-Witness Video was again raided, forced out of its office location. When I asked St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington how reporters are to operate in this atmosphere, he suggested, “By embedding reporters in our mobile field force.”

On Monday night, hours after we were arrested, after much public outcry, Nicole, Sharif and I were released. That was our Labor Day. It’s all in a day’s work.

That’s an excerpt from Amy Goodman’s Why We Were Falsely Arrested. You can read the whole thing over at truthdig.

Here’s the video of her arrest:

(You can view more RNC videos here.)

Since there’s been precious little reporting of police brutality and repression in the msm, here are some resources y’all should check out:

Lindsay Beyerstein has a ton of photos – with firsthand accounts – up on her Flickr photostream, as well as on her blog Majikthise.

Lindsay, along with Jane Hamsher (who’s live blogging the RNC), is also talking about the raids and arrests on firedoglake.

Glenn Greenwald has been blogging the conventions, including police misconduct, over at Salon.

Over on Theuptake, you can view a live video stream from their reporters’ cameras at the RNC. (The Republican hack they’re interviewing at the moment is *this close* to making me vomit in my own mouth.)

Also check out Twin Cities Indymedia, indymedia.us and Green is the New Red for more.

And, of course, there’s also Democracy Now! and I-Witness Video.

Finally, pattrice jones offers a History of Activist Repression to give us all a little perspective.

Here’s your convention coverage, CNN.

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Via nihilix, who has more.

Wake me up in 2012, mmmkay?

Monday, September 1st, 2008

Regarding the ongoing [as in, right. now.] police raids on activists protesting the RNC in Minnesota, Glenn Greenwald writes:

So here we have a massive assault led by Federal Government law enforcement agencies on left-wing dissidents and protesters who have committed no acts of violence or illegality whatsoever, preceded by months-long espionage efforts to track what they do. And as extraordinary as that conduct is, more extraordinary is the fact that they have received virtually no attention from the national media and little outcry from anyone. And it’s not difficult to see why. As the recent “overhaul” of the 30-year-old FISA law illustrated — preceded by the endless expansion of surveillance state powers, justified first by the War on Drugs and then the War on Terror — we’ve essentially decided that we want our Government to spy on us without limits. There is literally no police power that the state can exercise that will cause much protest from the political and media class and, therefore, from the citizenry.

Beyond that, there is a widespread sense that the targets of these raids deserve what they get, even if nothing they’ve done is remotely illegal. We love to proclaim how much we cherish our “freedoms” in the abstract, but we despise those who actually exercise them. The Constitution, right in the very First Amendment, protects free speech and free assembly precisely because those liberties are central to a healthy republic — but we’ve decided that anyone who would actually express truly dissident views or do anything other than sit meekly and quietly in their homes are dirty trouble-makers up to no good, and it’s therefore probably for the best if our Government keeps them in check, spies on them, even gets a little rough with them.

After all, if you don’t want the FBI spying on you, or the Police surrounding and then invading your home with rifles and seizing your computers, there’s a very simple solution: don’t protest the Government. Just sit quietly in your house and mind your own business. That way, the Government will have no reason to monitor what you say and feel the need to intimidate you by invading your home. Anyone who decides to protest — especially with something as unruly and disrespectful as an unauthorized street march — gets what they deserve.

Go check out the whole piece; it’s a must read, and well worth the forced advertising. And afterwards, since you’ve already suffered through the latest Toyota commercial, scroll through for Glenn’s most recent updates. It’s fucking mind-boggling, the crimes we allow our government to perpetrate against its citizens.

And if you think Obama will save you, think again. Remember, the man – giddy with the anticipation of unchecked presidential powers – voted in favor of FISA. On a more global level, the DNC also saw police repression and brutality against American citizens.

All of which is doubly infuriating after all the self-serving, racist/xenophobic hand-wringing over China’s civil liberties violations during the Olympics, as Glenn rightfully points out.

Kinship Circle: ACT/ Mayor’s Dogs Gunned Down In Police Raid

Monday, August 11th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Fri, Aug 8, 2008 at 9:22 AM
Subject: ACT/ Mayor’s Dogs Gunned Down In Police Raid

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST AS WRITTEN

8/8/08: Mayor’s Dogs Gunned Down In Police Raid

FOR A FORMATTED VERSION OF THIS LETTER (WORD DOC): kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Easily modify letter. Copy/paste it into an email or print letter to fax or mail.

Kinship Circle - 2008-08-08 - Mayor's Dogs Gunned Down In Police Raid 01

LEFT: Berwyn Heights, Md., Mayor Cheye Calvo and wife Trinity Tomsic speak at a news conference 8/7/08. Calvo is asking for the U.S. Justice Dept. to investigate a county police raid on his home in which his dogs were killed. (Source.)

Kinship Circle - 2008-08-08 - Mayor's Dogs Gunned Down In Police Raid 02

RIGHT: The mayor’s two family dogs, Payton and Chase, seen in photo. (Source.)

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: UPDATES: APR-JUNE 2008 (Parts 1 & 2)

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 12:45 PM
Subject: Part 1/ UPDATES: APR-JUNE 2008

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST

PART 1: KC UPDATES / APRIL – JUNE 2008
Victories * Setbacks * Progress For Animals

http://www.kinshipcircle.org/updates/

PART 1: KC UPDATES / APRIL – JUNE 2008

1. Case Against Ex-Hallmark Slaughterhouse Worker Proceeds
2. Vick Dogfight Referee Jailed + Leo Has His Day
3. Cavel International Ends Effort To Reopen Horse Kill Plant
4. Big Lawsuit Against Ringling Finally Moves Toward Trial
5. House Panels Approves Ban on Shark Finning
6. Acoustic System To Protect Manatees From Injuries And Death
7. SHARK Sues Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association
8. Good News For Sheep
9. KFC Canada Plans Humane Upgrades For Chickens It Kills
10. New Law Cracks Down On Animal Fighting And Puppy Mills
11. No Downers. No Exceptions. Not Enough?
12. Chicago Overturns Foie Gras Ban
13. Polar Bears Get Endangered Status + Trophy Hunters Can’t Import Them
14. Senate Defeats Bid To Open ANWR To Oil Drilling

PART 2: KC UPDATES / APRIL – JUNE 2008
PLEASE RESEND ME PART #2: kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net

15. Winning Update On The Trader Joe’s Campaign
16. Downer News: Big Meat Backs Downer Ban + More…
17. Australia Appoints Envoy To Stop Japan’s Whale Hunt
18. Dogfighters Are Now Felons In Georgia
19. No Trial For Drilling Holes In Baby’s Head – Deported Instead
20. Thank You Kinship Circle, In Memory Of Jax
21. Canada’s Seal Hunt Ends With Lower Kill Numbers
22. Update: California Prevention Of Farm Animal Cruelty Act
23. PETA’s Latest Tactic: $1 Million for Fake Meat
24. Matchbox Twenty Cancels Performance at CFD Rodeo
25. More Huntingdon Life Sciences Pullouts
26. Therapy, Not Jail, For Boys Who Set Dog On Fire
27. Colorado Legislature Passes Bill To Phase Out Cruel Crates
28. Gray Wolf Hunts Planned After De-Listing

(More below the fold…)

Kinship Circle: ACT/ Animal Activists Unlawfully Jailed

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Kinship Circle – kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net
Date: Wed, Jun 11, 2008 at 5:05 PM
Subject: ACT/ Animal Activists Unlawfully Jailed

KINSHIP CIRCLE PRIMARY – PERMISSION TO CROSS-POST AS WRITTEN

6/11/08: Austria – Animal Activists Unlawfully Jailed
EMAIL kinshipcircle [at] accessus.net FOR WORD DOC OF A FORMATTED LETTER.
Easily modify letter and copy/paste it into an email or print out to fax or mail.

On May 21, 2008, Austrian police invaded 23 homes and offices of animal rights advocates, arresting 14 citizens on a hunch they’d launched a criminal organization. With no solid evidence, these activists remain jailed. One prisoner, Dr. Martin Balluch, president of the Austrian Association Against Animal Factories, is growing weak on a hunger strike… This case — and the notion of constitutional rights within a free society — resonates for activists everywhere. Please demand their release.

(More below the fold…)

Fashion faux pas: the next front in the war on terra.

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Wear a mask in public, go to jail. The fashion police have spoken:

On Saturday, April 12, an FBI agent arrested an animal rights activist at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. The activist was charged with wearing a mask in public—a Class 6 felony in Virginia.

On April 5, the arrested activist attended a protest at GMU and wore a mask. After the GMU Police Department identified the activist, a warrant was issued for his arrest. When he appeared at a protest one week later, he was identified and subsequently tackled and arrested. The arrested activist was protesting Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus for their history of animal abuse.

The FBI agent who arrested the activist is part of the Joint Terrorism Task Force and is based in Prince William, VA. His name is Vincent Antignano and his badge number is #1035. He was stalking the arrested activist after he protested on numerous occasions against a private company, Huntingdon Life Sciences, which conducts medical tests on animals.

The activist was arrested for violating Virginia’s law on face masks, which states “it shall be unlawful for any person over sixteen years of age while wearing any mask, hood, or other device whereby a substantial portion of the face is hidden or covered (§18.2-422 )”

Via Will Potter, who adds:

I spoke with the activist arrested, and I think it’s critical to note that neither he, nor the other protestors, were charged with anything like property destruction. He simply wore a mask at a lawful protest.

No doubt Special Agent Vincent Antignano with the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the F! B! I! received a shiny gold star from his corporate overlords at Acme Animal Abuse ™, subsidiaries of which include HLS, Ringling Brothers and Bulladelah Douchebags, Inc….but I wonder what became of the activist in the pink fro wig? If donning freakay funkay headgear isn’t already criminal, I’m sure the great state of Virginny will soon come up with a nice slice of retroactive legislation to outlaw such atrocities. Watch out, my fuzzy pink sister – teh manz should be coming for you any day now.

(Crossposted from.)

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