DARK HORSE: Bernie Sanders 2016- Murder and the Media

It was murder pure and simple.

At about 10:45 a gunman, identified as 24 year old Mohammod Youssuf Abdul-Aziz, began a shooting spree in Chattanooga Tennessee, targeting military personnel. Four Marines were killed. A Marine and sailor, and at least one policeman were wounded. Authorities were quick to describe the attacks as domestic terrorism. It took days before that same term was applied to the Charleston Church Massacre in which 9 were killed by Dylann Roof, a self-described white supremacist. Lost to the histrionics of the rightwing and cable news media were critical questions regarding both attacks.

On a local Salem radio affiliate several callers called this an act of war. Former republican tea party representative Joe Walsh was adamant that America is at war with Islam. He was quick to dismiss Dylann Roof as a loner, evil and insane. For Walsh, yesterday on his program, Abdul-Aziz, an American citizen born in Kuwait, was confirmation of the antipathy all Muslims hold for America. Walsh quoted a wholly unsubstantiated number of hundreds of millions of Muslims aligned with ISIS or openly calling for the destruction of the West. That number is derived from a false estimate proliferated in the media of “10% of Muslims around the planet hating America. Bigots like Walsh, sowing and promoting hatred and discord for political purposes, simply have accepted and added to that fictitious figure.

While the media was very quick to connect Abdul-Aziz with ISIS, capitalizing that ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, there was almost no investigation into Roof’s connections to white supremacist groups. ISIS, to be accurate, has called on Muslims in America to attack military targets. White supremacists have called for a new American revolution, quoting Jefferson’s “blood of tyrants and patriots.“ Michael savage, along with virtually every rightwing pundit has called Barack Obama a “tyrant.”

There are critical questions not being addressed in the national narrative. They are, instead, being narrated and spun for political party expediency. On July 4th, The New York Times reported that Roof had indeed been in contact with local white supremacists groups. While there is no evidence they directly encouraged the shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, they certainly inspired a malleable young mind. The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., reported that officials had widened their investigation to others who may have helped Roof in some way. The same seems true for Abdul-Aziz, who lived in a comfortable upper middle class home and was described by friends and family as a likable, easy going person. At some point, like Roof, he became radicalized and driven to an act of terrorism.

Attention for the shooting shifted in the media, pushed by the NRA, doubtlessly to protect market interests and profits, to the gun free zone sign on the door. The easy answer as to why soldiers, as many, including Walsh, were demanding, do not carry guns just as off duty police officers may within limits, is that America is not a military junta. The Posse Comitatus Act was signed into law on June 18, 1878 by President Rutherford B. Hayes. The purpose of the act, supporting the Insurrection Act of 1807 was to limit the powers of the federal government in using soldiers to act as domestic law enforcement personnel. The Act of 1807, incidentally, was signed into law by then President Thomas Jefferson.

Reports and shell casings outside the door where the Marines were killed indicate an ambush. Being armed would have made no difference in this case. The Marines were killed at their desks as Abdul-Aziz, who was later killed by police, fired multiple rounds through the windows. While notable and shocking, the attack also comes at a time on falling crime rates nationally. The assertion by pro-gun activists and the NRA to openly carry guns into public buildings, private businesses, restaurants and shopping centers has led to growing complaints by many who feel intimidated by the weapons as they wait in line for coffee or shop. The intimidation aspect is a clear feature of the activism, a factor that carries the threat of violence.

A clear majority of people, oppose open carry, while supporting reasonable second amendment rights. A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll found that 68% of Texans were opposed open carry(http://www.newsmax.com/US/open-carry-guns-texas-poll/2015/02/24/id/626526/). Those numbers are consistent nationally.

There is also a greater concern, and that is that we have fallen prey to politicized and corporatized media on both sides of the political spectrum that is unwilling or incapable of adequately informing the American people. News was never intended to be a commodity that is bought and sold, and which is subject to the whims of the powerful and wealthy to control the populace. News was intended to inform the public on issues critical to responsibly maintaining a healthy, functioning democracy. The Public airwaves changed from the late 1980’s as corporate consolidation gobbled up local and national programming. 94% of all media in the country is controlled by just 3 corporations. Those corporations also pour billions into swaying government opinion. The media outlets they own and control as less news organizations and more company messaging wings.

There is a critical lack of confidence in once trusted institutions. The rightwing decries the liberal media, while the left decries the corporate and rightwing media. Those who commiserate with the suffering of innocent Palestinians and Israelis become outraged as the media and politicians unfairly favor one side over another. Network news refuses still to adequately discuss climate change, and allows deniers unchallenged on programs. That media impugns and denounces, or ignores altogether the fight for fair wages and the Occupy movement, but is sympathetic to a far smaller Tea Party movement of belligerents. There is no confidence any longer in leadership. That is dangerous.

Young people and the disillusioned have fled from that media towards the so-called alternative media of the Internet. The internet, through Facebook and other venues can radicalize the susceptible and gullible. It is quite possible and easy to settle into a cul-de-sac online of information and views that insulate some from any other information, but that which validates and strengthens skewed perspectives on the world and their community. Facebook in 2014 was excoriated for an experiment in which they focused certain types of stories as a means of manipulating users. In the cases of Charleston and Chattanooga, it would seem that was a lesson ISIS in reaching Abdul-Aziz and white supremacists and anti-government types taught to Dylann Roof.

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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Siding with the opposition? The arrest of Adam Kokesh and the government’s extreme overreach(Caution Explicit Language)

I’ll start with reports of what happened the night before last in Herndon, Virginia. With light military-style vehicles, helicopters and dozens of police and Federal SWAT-team members, the home of Adam Kokesh, 31, was raided. The door was forcibly opened and flash-bang grenades were used to frighten and subdue a number of young men, including Kokesh who live in the house. The items of a safe, weapons, media, cellphones and other personal items were seized. After 4-5 hours, in which those in the house described as volatile with overly aggressive authorities, Kokesh was arrested. The others were released. Kokesh, and others who live at the residence, it should be said, operate a broadcast studio in the house.

Police raid Kokesh's house and studio

Police raid Kokesh’s house and studio

Kokesh, who refused to leave his cell for the initial arraignment was brought into a second arraignment in a wheelchair Thursday. Kokesh, according to court documents was arrested for allegedly possessing hallucinogenic mushrooms, however, the police were actually searching for a shotgun used by Kokesh in a July 4th video appearing to have been shot on the national mall in downtown Washington DC. Guns are illegal in the city.

Okay, so that is the background, and the posts on Kokesh’s site reflect shock and dismay by the so-called brutality of the police. They invoke the words storm troopers and more. We have no argument with those descriptions. Revolution and Beer is very much on record against the militarism of contemporary civilian police. The armored vehicles proliferating across America for police were not something that was warranted but rather invented in the fear and paranoia employed from the patriot act supported by too many Americans after the September 11th attacks. More and more acts of brutality are documented and lead to an alarming conclusion that police are now becoming more tools for the protection of privilege and perpetuation of power to which government officials are perversely beholden.

The police have proved themselves on the side of statutes and edicts which stand in absolute and clear contrast and violation to the constitution. Last week on the memorial bridge in Washington, a Kokesh supporter, Matt Biechler protested a security search at a police CHECKPOINT, citing the 4th amendment. The officer’s simple refrain was that it was for security reasons http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJ8_YCXyIRs. In that case a general concern was enough for authorities to justify the erasure of a constitutional right. The amendment, in part, reads:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, SHALL NOT BE VIOLATED…”

So, despite all of those givens, what did Kokesh think would happen when he loaded that weapon in Washington while calling for the end of the government by openly describing himself as leader of a violent uprising?

Likely they view him as a militia leader of some sort, and a seasoned combat veteran with weapons in his home. I’m guessing it was a bit too much to expect a couple a polite plain clothes types would knock and ask Adam for a polite chat on the porch, or perhaps over a beer down at the corner tap. Seriously? These guys were going to come in prepared for war, and to my criticism of Mr. Kokesh’s strategy, he’s not cutting a very sympathetic character in the mainstream media, or even with the average citizen. He can’t compete with the predictable government propaganda that justifies hardcore tactics when he wields a weapon. Want to beat the government and media at their game, and have the whole planet on your side, organize A MILLION KITTEN OR PUPPY MARCH, and when some cop stomps, kicks or Tasers a fluffy white kitten or bleary-eyed pup, they’re finished.

kokesh-youtube-1Revolution and Beer believes that the police were far too aggressive and overreaching to storm the house and arrest Kokesh. He should not have been arrested. Believe it or not there is a fair amount of agreement between us and Kokesh, we differ only in tactics and rhetoric.

We have long maintained that his 23 second video taken before dawn on an empty street on a holiday was little more than a college drinking prank rather than a protest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sAGGoPidEY. But I can tell you, waiting vainly that morning with a number of Kokesh supporters, including Mr. Biechler for Kokesh to arrive, they had that bridge buttoned up tighter than the boarder crossing into North Korea. These people now have to justify their expenditures, just like the Chicago Police for NATO, the FBI with the Cleveland activists, and the federal authorities with Barrett Brown, Bradley Manning and Jeremy Hammond. Adam just handed them that justification on a beautiful plate with his video.

There is a Free Adam cite, that interested parties can find here http://freeadamkokesh.com/. There is also a Facebook page for the event as well https://www.facebook.com/events/269236523215230/.

IMG_0493Kokesh has drawn the vengefulness of a very powerful government, one that has become separate from the people, and one which we must take control of. We need to extinguish the cancerous influence of money to control our public officials. We need uncorrupted people who will begin to dismantle the military-police state that has arisen, and return our police forces to restrained but supported fellow citizens that do indeed “Serve and Protect.”

Rather than dismantle the federal government, as Kokesh advocates, dis-elect every single politician, and elect true representatives of the people, rather than the corpora-war pimps we currently have. But make no mistake, this goes all the way down to the state and local level as well. THE SHIT DOESN’T RESIDE AT THE TOP, IT COVERS EVERYTHING at this point. In the interim, peacefully but resolutely shame these people, at their church, grocery storm, gas station. Let them know your discord with their anti-Americanism. If you really want to help Adam, the nation and the world that is the place to start.

And lastly, let me know when and where on that MILLION PUPPY/KITTEN MARCH, and I’m there!

Catch WC Turck and Brian Murray only at RevolutionandBeer.com. Watch us every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., and Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m., on Chicago Cable Channel 19. Please don’t forget to Like us on Facebook

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