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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, July 30, 2014
'Green News Report' 7/29/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Obama Admin approves sonic cannons for offshore oil exploration; Bizarre weather across U.S.; CO judge nixes fracking ban; PLUS: Neil Young wants your help in the rainforest...
Previous GNRs: 7/24/14 - 7/22/14 - Archives...
'A Kind of Propaganda War'
After U.N. denial, NBC's David Gregory apologized for use of unverified Israeli video claiming to show rockets fired from U.N. refugee shelter in Gaza where at least 15 were killed by Israel last week...
Bi-Partisan House to Obama: Get Out of Iraq
Overwhelming, if largely symbolic vote in the U.S. House, directs the President to pull U.S. troops back out of Iraq. Directive seen as stinging rebuke to GOP war haws in Senate..
'Green News Report' 7/24/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Breaking: Storm ravages VA campground; New rules for explosive oil trains; Big win against Big Oil in small Maine town; PLUS: U.S. and Rush Limbaugh lead world in denial...
Previous GNRs: 7/22/14 - 7/17/14 - Archives...
Israeli Attack on UN Shelter Kills At Least 15 in Gaza
The strategy of bombing children, but warning them first, will almost certainly result in years of peace and prosperity for the region...
The Good Fight Continues: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad speaks with John Wellington Ennis, documentarian and activist, on his newest film and his decade-long fight for election integrity...
What We Do Now
"It took one hour and 57 minutes for the execution to be completed, and Wood was gasping for more than an hour and a half of that time"..."Wood, 55, gasped more than 600 times before he died"...
'Green News Report' 7/22/14
Record wildfires in Pacific NW; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
Aborted Statewide 'Recount' Reveals It's a Great Time to Steal an Election in California
In the closest election in state history, even a well-funded candidate couldn't afford to find out if he actually lost...
'I Never Realized Voter ID Fraud Had Not Been Proven'
A RW caller's admission to Brad on NC radio underscores unparalleled propaganda power of Fox 'News'...
John Oliver On America's Prison Problems...With Singing Muppets!
HBO's Last Week Tonight offered smarter (and certainly funnier) coverage than you're likely to see anywhere else...
No, JFK Didn't Steal 1960 From Nixon
Another Zombie Myth that just won't die gets knocked down again...for now...even as its persistence continues to fuel false Republican claims of 'voter fraud' even today...
CA Ballot Prop to Overturn 'Citizens United'
Measure calls for Amendment 'to make clear that rights protected by the U.S. Constitution are the rights of natural persons only'...
UK Deputy PM Condemns Israel's 'Deliberate Use of Disproportionate Response'
Nick Clegg calls attacks on Gaza 'collective punishment' that 'incubates next generation of extremists' and 'needs to come to an end'...
'Green News Report' 7/17/14
Australia's RW govt repeals landmark carbon tax; Obama action on global warming impacts; Record wildfire season in West; PLUS: CA gets tough on water wasters...
Kochs Radical 'Libertarianism' Broke KA
More than 100 top GOPers endorse Republican Gov. Brownback's Dem opponent after tax cuts for wealthy have busted the extremist Koch Brothers' home state...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 11/19/2011 1:23pm PT  

Our own Jeannie Dean --- longtime reader, supporter and commenter at The BRAD BLOG, years-long Election Integrity champion, and now OccupyLA rep --- brings the gospel of the Occupation to RT (formerly Russia Today)...


Says Jeannie to the whole wide world via RT: "We have already changed the narrative from deficit spending to jobs and to the economic disparities and the social injustice as we are seeing through our banking system, and the hijacking and corruption inherent in our banking and political system."

Way to sing it, JD! You do us proud! Great job! And keep making noise!

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TONIGHT: Reporters Josh Harkinson and Denise Lockwood; And the Occupation's revelation of a U.S. Military State!...
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 11/18/2011 3:38pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with audio archives below!]

We're back! We're guest hosting the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show every weeknight tonight through next Wednesday!

As usual, we'll be BradCasting LIVE 9pm-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), coast-to-coast and around the uprising globe from the studios of L.A.'s KTLK am1150 in beautiful downtown Burbank. Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! Our LIVE room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG, as usual, while we are on the air. Please stop by and join the fun while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)

Scheduled tonight:

  • JOSH HARKINSON, of Mother Jones from Occupy Wall Street in NYC where he's been bringing us some remarkable live reporting on the scene, including this harrowing description of an NYPD cop threatening his life during the eviction at Zuccotti Park last Monday night/Tuesday morning.
  • DENISE LOCKWOOD, of the Caledonia Patch, on the alleged plans by supporters of WI Gov. Scott Walker to sabotage the recently launched RECALL WALKER effort. We'll discuss her recent reports of a source who claims there are some 1,000 folks working on the effort to game the effort, and some of the journalistic questions surrounding her reporting.
  • PLUS! Has Occupy Wall Street now revealed this nation to be a full blown Military State? We'll have plenty to say on that, along with your calls, more news on "Occupation Nation" and anything else you might want to use your public airwaves for at 877-520-1150 and with your tweets to @TheBradBlog!...

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates across the country and also on SiriusXM Ch. 127. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or at WhiteRose Society or via MikeMalloy.com.

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: Great show tonight, I think. Nice to be back. Very lively, great guests, great callers...just fun (and infuriating) all around! Don't believe me? Listen to the commercial-free audio archives now posted below (along with chat room archives). Enjoy!...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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U.S. now a Police State? Or fully weaponized Military State?...
By Brad Friedman on 11/18/2011 1:56pm PT  

The remarkable photo above [hat-tip Mother Jones' Mike Mechanic] was taken yesterday by Randy L. Rasmussen of The Oregonian who reports the incident occurred in Portland, where the "police officer deployed pepper spray at SW Yamhill, between the JP Morgan Chase bank and Pioneer Courthouse Square."

He says "The photo was taken from the southeast corner of the square, looking toward the intersection of 6th and Yamhill after a day of marching through downtown Portland, Ore., by Occupy Portland participants."

Rasmussen goes on to report that "Several people were arrested" during the march to the Wells Fargo downtown branch in recognition of "N17," standing for November 17th, the two-month "anniversary" of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

I'm guest hosting the Mike Malloy Show tonight, so haven't had time to confirm for certain, but I suspect one of those "arrested" was not the officer pepper spraying the apparently peaceful demonstrator in the face.

Add this incident to the growing body of apparently unprovoked police abuse of peaceful citizen demonstrators in the Occupy movement, including (but not limited to):

This is not a Police State. It is a fully weaponized Military State, at this point. Just ask the folks at Occupy Tampa if it feels that way to them...

* * *

UPDATE 11/19/11: The outrage --- and, yes, torture --- of the fully-weaponized Military State continues, as peaceful student demonstrators are lined up and pepper sprayed by cops at UC Davis on Friday. Details/Video...

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As tens of thousands march tonight in celebration of 2-month anniversary of Occupations...
By Brad Friedman on 11/17/2011 4:19pm PT  

Well this is a fun one...on a day where we could use a momentary breather...

...but on a day when the OWS folks are taking anything but.

Today is the 2 month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, which has, at this hour, brought tens of thousands of demonstrators to downtown NYC tonight (and many more elsewhere at Occupations around the country.)

You can check out NY Fox5's helicopter video of the crazy huge crowds down in NYC right here.

A number of live video feeds from citizen journalists on the ground follow below, if you'd like to check out some of the live action as it happens in NYC and elsewhere tonight...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Ernest A. Canning on 11/16/2011 3:14pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California and the National Lawyers Guild filed a 17-page complaint (Campbell vs. City of Oakland) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California seeking both compensatory damages and the issuance of a temporary restraining order that would enjoin the Oakland Police Department (OPD) and 17 outside law-enforcement agencies from trampling upon the constitutional rights of both bystanders and participants in Occupy Oakland.

The complaint calls for the OPD to cease their vicious, unprovoked and indiscriminate use of chemical agents, flash-bang grenades, nightsticks and direct-impact crowd control weapons --- all in violation of Crowd Control Policies adopted as part of a settlement of two previous federal cases entailing allegations of prior lawless actions by OPD.

The body of the complaint provides graphic details of police misconduct that is so pervasive that the legal filing might aptly be labeled, "an anatomy of an ongoing police riot" or "OPD's campaign of terror"...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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UPDATE: Olbermann w/ the remarkable Dorli Rainey following incident...
By Brad Friedman on 11/16/2011 11:50am PT  

Well, this'll teach those lazy kids. Thankfully, the good men and women of law enforcement are here to help keep these dangerous mobs from getting out of hand!.

Get a job, hippie! Am I right, Fox "News"?!

* * *

UPDATE 11/17/11: Wow. Olbermann's interview below with the woman seen above, the remarkable 84-year old Dorli Rainey --- who grew up in Nazi Germany(!) --- is an absolutely MUST SEE. Current TV describes the interview this way (though it doesn't adequately detail the full contents of her remarks)...

Eighty-four-year-old activist Dorli Rainey tells Keith about her experience getting pepper-sprayed by the police during an Occupy Seattle demonstration and the need to take action and spread the word of the Occupy movement. She cites the advice of the late Catholic nun and activist Jackie Hudson to “take one more step out of your comfort zone” as an inspiration, saying, “It would be so easy to say, ‘Well I’m going to retire, I’m going to sit around, watch television or eat bonbons,’ but somebody’s got to keep ’em awake and let ’em know what is really going on in this world.”


[Hat-tip BRAD BLOG commenter, Ralph.]

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BONUS VIDEO: OccupyDC takes over Brookfield Properties DC headquarters in solidary with Occupy Wall Street...
By Brad Friedman on 11/16/2011 10:53am PT  

As you know, just after midnight on Tuesday, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg had to forcibly evict peaceful Occupy Wall Street protesters with NYPD riot police, in order to send them in to the streets in middle of the night, for their "health and safety." As we reported yesterday, one of those cops reportedly threatened a Mother Jones journalist by dragging him behind a truck that was backing up, telling him "you could get hurt."

After the NYPD succeeded in removing the peaceful demonstrators --- or "thugs," as they are often described to propaganda-receptive Fox "News" viewers --- from Zuccotti Park, these are the fine folks (off-duty NYPD officers?) hired by the park's owners, Brookfield Properties, to replace them as it was cleaned...

In very related news...the Occupiers in Washington, D.C., in solidarity with their brethren in New York City, decided to Occupy the headquarters of Brookfield Properties yesterday. Some video of their "People's Mic" session in the lobby follows below...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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As tweeted live during last night's raid on Occupy Wall Street...
By Brad Friedman on 11/15/2011 4:20pm PT  

One of the most remarkable moments we were able to follow, as it occurred, during the events of last night, as NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg carried out his middle-of-night eviction of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators at Zuccotti Park, happened at about 4am or so Eastern Time.

Despite the (outrageous) ban on media at the park, as hundreds of NYPD cops in riot gear cleared the peaceful demonstrators for "health" reasons --- tossing them out of their tents, onto the streets and into the night --- Mother Jones reporter Josh Harkinson was able to make his way under the barricades and back into the park.

At the time he did so, there were a few dozen protesters left, holding firm around what had been the Kitchen Tent. It seems he may have been the only reporter in the park at that moment. Then, as he described this morning, the cops began "indiscriminately dousing the peaceful protesters with what looked like pepper spray or some sort of gas." He tweeted at the time that "Everyone I witnessed being arrested was resisting peacefully."

But it was his incredible account of what had happened to him after that moment, as told in a series of tweets that he shared after he had made his way back out of the park last night, which was extraordinary. Here is that remarkable set of tweets, in the order he tweeted them...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 11/15/2011 3:03am PT  

I was up most of the night following Mayor Bloomberg's NYPD eviction of the original Occupy Wall Street demonstration at Zuccotti Park, as it happened, via live streaming video (which may still be rolling at this hour right here) and via Twitter.

The surprise eviction by hundreds of cops in riot gear after midnight in NYC was done as protesters were told to suddenly clear the park for "health" reasons. In other words, Bloomberg threw hundreds or thousands of folks onto the streets of NYC in the middle of the night, for their health.

You can scroll through much of what happened tonight (in reverse order) via http://Twitter.com/TheBradBlog.

If I can offer any order out of the pointless, NYPD-caused chaos tomorrow, I will. Hopefully by then, others will have offered sufficient coverage.

Suffice to say for now, at least, what thousands of us witnessed tonight was appalling. At least those of us who sought it out, as none of the NYC local channels were covering it live and neither were any of the cable news channels MSNBC, CNN or Fox. As a matter of fact, other than citizen media streaming live on the Internets, only Al-Jazeera jumped in to offer live coverage.

Hours on end, thousands of peaceful demonstrators were roaming and marching the streets after being evicted from the park, all of the belongings, tents, gear, from two months of the Occupation in the park --- including thousands of books from The People's Library and their bicycle-powered generator --- were trashed and thrown into garbage trucks.

Network news helicopters were reportedly grounded during the raid, as air space above the park was shut down and --- perhaps most maddeningly --- media were not allowed into the park itself as the park was cleared, and as the last of the demonstrators who refused to leave were evicted, arrested, and, reportedly either tear gassed or pepper sprayed (though that is not confirmed --- because media were not allowed in the park!)

First Amendment, RIP.

I took a "quick poll" of my Twitter followers late at night to ask who would be hurt the most by the events of tonight, #OWS or Bloomberg? The vast consensus --- all but one --- replied to say that Bloomberg would be hurt, and that OWS would grow because of this. I don't know if that'll prove to be the case or not, but if I had to guess, I'd say they're probably right. The entire thing does seem to have been incredibly stupid and ill-considered on the part of Bloomberg and the NYPD.

Too tired to add links to any of the above, or offer more tonight. But, as I say, scroll through my Twitter page for detailed coverage of much of what happened tonight. If need be, I'll try to fill in any holes tomorrow. Signing off at 3am PT (6am in NYC as crowds continue to try and regroup as the sun will soon rise.)

* * *

UPDATE: Read about the horrifying experience of Mother Jones journalist Josh Harkinson with an NYPD cop, as he snuck back into Zuccotti after the park had been cleared of media...

UPDATE 11/16/11: After the riff-raff was cleared from the park, they were replaced by upstanding folks hired by Brookfield Properties, the "owner" of the public park, as security. One of those fine folks called a citizen journalist a "faggot" on video, in the bargain. Details/video...

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By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2011 10:17pm PT  

On Sunday afternoon I found myself in a spirited Twitter debate about Occupy Wall Street, its effectiveness as a movement and, of most interest to me, the First Amendment rights of the Occupations around the country as the attempts to evict the Occupiers, by local mayors and police departments in a number of cities have been slowly, but surely, ramping up over the last several days and weeks.

This particular debate was not of the sort you're likely to see in the MSM, in that it didn't include any Rightwingers and their fake arguments. (If you're interested in one of those debates, see my radio debate with a RWer last week here.) It included a few self-identified progressives, a few self-identified Democrats and Obama supporters (who do not necessarily consider themselves progressives, and often view them with scorn), and a few attorneys. None of the participants were Republicans or Tea Baggers...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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OPD Officer Shavies: 'I’m part of 99 percent, this movement could be the turning point, the tipping point'...
By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2011 2:08pm PT  

Some of the police brutality that has occurred at Occupy demonstrations around the country has been appalling. It's particularly upsetting to watch as those cops seen violating the law and the Constitutional rights of demonstrators are also part of the "99 Percent" themselves.

One of them --- Officer Fred Shavies of the Oakland PD, who was revealed as an undercover infiltrator at Occupy Oakland --- now concedes as much in an extraordinarily moving interview in which he condemns the violence by his fellow cops and says he sees the Occupy movement as a possible "turning point, the tipping point" for our generation.

"It looks like...police shot tear gas into it, right?" says Shavies, referencing the October 25 violence in Oakland at the intersection of 14th & Broadway that The BRAD BLOG has documented in great detail here (see here, here and here for example). "That could be the photograph or the video for our generation. That’s our Birmingham," he explains, alluding to the police brutality that occurred during the otherwise peaceful fight for voting rights in the South during the 60s.

"So, twenty years from now this movement could be the turning point, the tipping point," Shavies says during the interview, as he identifies with the protesters in the "99 percent" movement, adding that he is one of them. [Video and more excerpts below.]

We're not among the anti-cop folks around here. We have, however, reported in great detail on the lawlessness demonstrated by some of the "law enforcement" officials in Oakland, referenced by Shavies, as well as the serious injuries they've inflicted on peaceful demonstrators and even some who weren't demonstrating at all.

So while we don't oppose the lawful men and women of law enforcement, some of them seem to be working awfully hard to give their brothers and sisters a very bad name. Those who have done so must be held accountable for their actions.

You've seen some of the videos of NYPD officers violently pepper spraying peaceful demonstrators, and the videos from Oakland as seen in the articles linked above. Here are two more recent examples of appalling police behavior as witnessed on video tape.

The first is from Occupy Berkeley on Wednesday, where the actions seen below were reported by AP as little more than police "nudging" demonstrators:

Television news footage from outside the university's main administration building showed officers pulling people from the steps and nudging others with batons as the crowd chanted, "We are the 99 percent!" and "Stop Beating Students!"

Really, AP? "Nudging"?...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2011 11:11am PT  

We're posting this on 11:11 on 11/11/11, just because we can and will never get another chance to do so. At least until maybe later tonight...


We'll also take this opportunity, on Veterans Day, to thank those who have put their lives on the line in service of our nation to help protect the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution. Today, we are particularly thankful to those who are continuing the fight for our freedoms back here at home, where they are most at threat, as part of the Occupy Movements across the country.

There are not enough 11s in this moment to thank you all for what you have done and continue to do. We only hope this nation can remember to return the favor.

* * *

P.S. In addition to Iraq and Afghanistan vets seriously injured during lawless "crackdowns" by law enforcement officials at Occupations around the Nation, including Scott Olsen and Kayven Sabehgi who are still recovering, and like Joshua Shephard who was willing to face tear gas in order to stand up for the First Amendment, our great thanks also goes to folks like decorated Iraq War veteran, Sgt. Shamar Thomas, the former U.S. Marine who loudly reminded the police of New York City, in the early days of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, of their Constitutional duty on behalf of all of us.

If you've not seen following video of Thomas schooling members of the NYPD, in early October --- after witnessing some of them "pulling people from the crowd" and "beating" the --, by loudly reminding them that "this is not a war zone...It doesn't make you tough to hurt these people...there's no honor in this," please take a few minutes to both watch it below, and then read on for a personal note...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2011 4:36pm PT  

- Brad Friedman (Originally published by Truthout on 11/8/11)

Yeah, I know, the GOP is at War against citizens' rights to do just about everything that isn't U.S. Chamber of Commerce approved these days. That's just one of the reasons citizens are finally taking to the streets to fight back. One of the ongoing Republican Wars getting very little attention is their War on the right of citizens to sue huge corporations for negligence, malfeasance and other wrong-doing.

A few weeks ago I spent some time at a conference for mass tort plaintiff attorneys in Las Vegas, as hosted by my friend Mike Papantonio, the co-host of radio's Ring of Fire (along with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder). Pap is one of the nation's premier class action plaintiff attorneys, one of those folks willing to go to bat for the little guy when they're screwed over by huge conscience-free corporations.

I was invited to the conference to speak on a panel concerning the proposed $12 million hit scheme discovered earlier this year being plotted on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to turn tools developed by U.S. government contractors for the "War on Terror" against U.S. citizens like myself and my family. According to emails released on the Internet, the Chamber was working with mega-law firm Hunton & Williams and three federal cyber-security firms (HBGary Federal, Palantir Technologies, and Berico Technologies) to smear, defraud, plant false documents, and spy on their perceived political enemies such as myself and other progressive organizations.

The Chamber, which is all too happy to use mafia-like tactics to take down its perceived opponents, has also long been leading the charge on behalf of their enormous corporate members for so-called "tort reform," meant to do little more than make it next-to-impossible for citizens to fight back in a court of law against corporate abuse, neglect, and malfeasance...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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OPD officer appears unprovoked before firing on citizen journalist...
By Ernest A. Canning on 11/9/2011 12:47pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

New video has emerged (posted below), courtesy of ThinkProgress of an apparently unprovoked Oakland police officer shooting a cameraman during a recent stand-off with Occupy Oakland demonstrators.

In an email to The BRAD BLOG, Sgt. Christopher Bolton, Oakland PD's Chief of Staff, confirmed that the incident involved an "OPD use of force" which took place at 16th Street near San Pablo Ave. in Oakland on the morning of Nov. 3, 2011 and that the matter was "under investigation." (Recall that a general strike took place in Oakland on Nov. 2. This event, per the cameraman, took place shortly after midnight.)

However, Bolton did not directly answer specific follow-up questions designed to pin down details of the incident.

At YouTube, the unidentified cameraman denied that there had been any "violence or confrontation of any kind underway" at the time the OPD officer can be seen aiming and firing (as seen 31 seconds into the 40 second video below.)

Because this potentially involves an unprovoked police assault on a citizen-journalist, the issue at stake entails more than police misconduct. If it was unprovoked battery, the incident reflects nothing less than a direct assault on the First Amendment, democratic accountability and the public's right to monitor police misconduct.

Video captures moment officer fires...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Department declines to offer evidence substantiating Chief's assertions, downgrades them to 'preliminary belief'...
By Ernest A. Canning on 11/7/2011 7:01am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning, with Brad Friedman

The Oakland Police Department is walking back widely reported comments offered by its Interim Chief, Howard Jordan, at an Oct. 25 televised press conference (video posted below) that law enforcement "had to deploy gas in order to stop the crowd and people from pelting us with bottles and rocks."

The press conference had been conducted shortly after a melee which included the deployment of chemical agents on peaceful demonstrators. The police use of force resulted in injuries to, among others, a two-tour Iraq veteran who sustained a fractured skull and was admitted to the hospital in critical condition. The violent confrontation raised questions about the legality of the procedures carried out by the OPD and the 15 other law enforcement agencies that cooperated in the multi-agency task force.

In response to questions emailed by The BRAD BLOG to the Oakland PD's Chief of Staff, Sgt. Chris Bolton conceded that the department was unable, at this time, to substantiate claims made by Jordan that gas was deployed in order to protect law enforcement personnel from violent demonstrators, despite the Chief's unqualified claim that evening that "the deployment of gas was necessary to protect our officers and protect property around the area and to protect injuries to others as well."

Instead, Bolton softened Jordan's initial claim. The sergeant described it as "the Chief's preliminary belief."

Jordan failed to qualify his statements as a "preliminary belief" at the time he addressed reporters about the use of CS gas during his televised Oct. 25 press conference. Indeed, the Interim Chief spoke of the necessity to deploy chemical agents "to stop the crowd...from pelting us with bottles and rocks" as if it were an established fact.

We sent our questions to the OPD on the heels of a detailed analysis of video taken during the late night confrontation at 14th and Broadway, as well as interviews with eye witnesses conducted last week by The BRAD BLOG. In our own investigation, to date, we have been unable to unearth evidence to support Jordan's assertion that the police initiated the assault in order to defend against either projectiles or any other threat of imminent violence from demonstrators. In fact, the video evidence included in our report reveals that law enforcement officials had determined to use tear gas on the crowd long before any threat was posed by demonstrators.

Our investigation also concluded that the OPD's actions were likely in violation of both California state law, as well as in direct contravention with an OPD Training Bulletin created as part of a mandate following a federal consent decree signed by the department after a similarly violent confrontation with peaceful demonstrators back in 2003...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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