Saturday, March 31, 2012


Blogger's Note: You can have videos such as this one sent to you free by email by signing up to Brasscheck TV.

School kids sent to "alternate locations" during terror drills

Related article...

Kids All Over America Are Being Put On Buses And Sent To Alternate Locations During School Terror Drills

The American Dream

All over the United States, school children are being taken out of their classrooms, put on buses and sent to "alternate locations" during terror drills.  These exercises are often called "evacuation drills" or "relocation drills" and they are more than a little disturbing.  Sometimes parents are notified in advance where the kids are being taken and sometimes they are only told that the children are being taken to an "undisclosed location".  In the years since 9/11 and the Columbine school shootings, there has been a concerted effort to make school emergency drills much more "realistic" and much more intense.    Unfortunately, the fact that many of these drills are deeply traumatizing many children does not seem to bother too many people.  Do we really need to have "active shooter" drills where men point guns at our kids and fire blanks at them?  Do we really need to have "relocation drills" where kids are rapidly herded on to buses and told that they must surrender their cell phones because they will not be allowed to call anyone?  Our schools more closely resemble prison camps every single day, and it is our children that are suffering because of it.

It is also important to keep in mind that much of the time these drills are not the fault of local school administrators.  Often, these drills are being mandated at the state level.  Our politicians have become obsessed with "school safety" in recent years, and apparently their idea of "school safety" involves deeply traumatizing our kids.

Earlier today I was doing some research and I came across a forum where a parent was describing a relocation drill that would soon be happening at a school in Oklahoma.  Well, I went to public schools all my life and nothing like this ever happened when I was growing up, so I wanted to do a little digging to see if this was actually happening around the country or if it was just an Internet rumor.

Unfortunately, what I found out was quite disturbing.

It turns out that "relocation drills" are being conducted at schools from coast to coast.

For example, the following is an excerpt from a letter to parents about a relocation drill that took place in Woodhaven, Michigan....

Our school district continues to focus on the safety of staff, students, and our community. We have a detailed emergency plan so we can respond effectively to major catastrophes. We work closely with the fire and police departments from the City of Woodhaven and Brownstown Township to implement this plan. As part of these efforts, we are conducting a practice emergency drill on May 19th. It will begin at about 9:20 a.m. and conclude by 11:30 a.m. This practice drill will simulate a boiler explosion at Patrick Henry Middle School. We will evacuate all staff and students from PHMS, Erving Elementary School, and the Administration Building.
The Woodhaven and Brownstown Township Police and Fire Departments, DTE Energy, and staff from Wayne County RESA will help secure the buildings and monitor this practice drill. Erving Elementary staff and students will be evacuated by bus to Bates Elementary School, and PHMS students and staff will be evacuated by bus to Woodhaven High School.
But just putting kids on buses and taking them to other schools was not enough.  During the drill, some students and school staff were instructed to pretend to be injured.  In addition, parents were instructed not to call the school during the drill and children were instructed not to call their parents....
As part of the drill, we will pretend that some students and staff are injured. Pretend victims will be assessed and transported to nearby triage centers. Please be aware that Hall Road and Van Horn Road may be closed to traffic for all or part of this drill. There will be a number of emergency vehicles at PHMS and Erving Elementary School during the drill. Your cooperation is necessary for this practice drill to be successful. During drills and emergencies like the one we are planning:
• Please do not telephone the school. Telephone lines are needed for drill emergency communications.
• Impress upon your children the need to follow directions and take drills seriously.
• During an evacuation drill or a real emergency, students will be kept at their school or will be evacuated to another site. They will be released only to adults listed on their emergency contact form. Any adult picking up a student (reunification) will be required to show picture identification.
• Students and parents should not communicate by cell phones during the drill or emergency situation. Students need to be attentive to the instructions from school and safety personnel.
But at least in that drill parents knew where their children would be taken.

That was not the case during a recent relocation drill in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho....

Students at Lakeside School District walked out of their schools this morning to prepare for the worst case scenario. They were transferred by bus to an off-site location in less than a hour. But it was only a drill.
Their Bus Evacuation Drill started at 9 a.m. and students were transferred to their undisclosed emergency location and returned back to school.
“As you might expect, student safety is our first priority and security is tight even during a practice,” Karyn Stockdale, district clerk, said.
It was later revealed they were bussed to Benewah Wellness Center as their acting evacuation shelter.
It was "later revealed" where the "undisclosed emergency location" was?

I am sure a whole bunch of parents were thrilled when they heard about that.

What purpose is served by herding kids on to a bus and taking them to an undisclosed location?

Read entire article here

For more The "War on Terror" is a Fraud videos, click here

See the complete catalog of
brasscheck tv videos

Friday, March 30, 2012


Break Up The Big Banks, Says the Dallas Fed

THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 2012 | Original here

As the Supreme Court shows every sign of throwing out “Obamacare” and leaving 30 million Americans without health insurance, another drama is being played out in the quiet corridors of the Federal Reserve system that may affect even more of us.

Taxpayers will be on the hook for another giant Wall Street bailout, and the economy won’t be mended, unless the nation’s biggest banks are broken up.

That’s not just me talking, or the Occupier movement, or that wayward executive who resigned from Goldman Sachs a few weeks ago. It’s the conclusion of the Dallas Federal Reserve, one of the most conservative of the Fed’s regional banks.

The lead essay in its just released annual report says a cartel of giant banks continues to hobble the recovery and poses an ongoing danger to the economy.

Wall Street’s increasing power remains “difficult to control because they have the lawyers and the money to resist the pressures of federal regulation.” The Dodd-Frank act that was supposed to control Wall Street “leaves TBTF [too big to fail] entrenched.”

The Dallas Fed goes on to argue that the Fed’s easy money policy can’t be much help to the U.S. economy as long as Wall Street is “still clogged with toxic assets accumulated in the boom years.”

So what’s the answer, according to the Dallas Fed? It’s “breaking up the nation’s biggest banks into smaller units.”

Thud. That’s the sound the report hitting the desks of Wall Street executives. They and their Washington lobbyists are doing what they can to make sure this report is discredited and buried.

When I spoke with one of the Street’s major defenders in the Capitol this morning he snorted “Dallas represents small regional banks that are jealous of Wall Street.” When I reminded him the Dallas Fed was about the most conservative of the regional banks and knew first-hand about the dangers of under-regulated banks — the Savings and Loan crisis ripped through Texas like nowhere else — he said “Dallas doesn’t know its [backside] from a prairie gopher hole.”

So as Republicans make the repeal of “Obamacare” their primary objective (and Alito, Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, and perhaps Kennedy sharpen their knives) another drama is taking place at the Fed. The question is whether Bernanke and company in Washington will heed the warnings coming from its Dallas branch, and amplify the message.

Robert Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written thirteen books, including The Work of Nations, Locked in the Cabinet, Supercapitalism, and his most recent book, Aftershock. His "Marketplace" commentaries can be found on and iTunes. He is also Common Cause's board chairman.

Empires Then and Now

March 26, 2012 | Original here

Great empires, such as the Roman and British, were extractive. The empires succeeded, because the value of the resources and wealth extracted from conquered lands exceeded the value of conquest and governance. The reason Rome did not extend its empire east into Germany was not the military prowess of Germanic tribes but Rome’s calculation that the cost of conquest exceeded the value of extractable resources.

The Roman empire failed, because Romans exhausted manpower and resources in civil wars fighting amongst themselves for power. The British empire failed, because the British exhausted themselves fighting Germany in two world wars.

In his book, The Rule of Empires (2010), Timothy H. Parsons replaces the myth of the civilizing empire with the truth of the extractive empire. He describes the successes of the Romans, the Umayyad Caliphate, the Spanish in Peru, Napoleon in Italy, and the British in India and Kenya in extracting resources. To lower the cost of governing Kenya, the British instigated tribal consciousness and invented tribal customs that worked to British advantage.

Parsons does not examine the American empire, but in his introduction to the book he wonders whether America’s empire is really an empire as the Americans don’t seem to get any extractive benefits from it. After eight years of war and attempted occupation of Iraq, all Washington has for its efforts is several trillion dollars of additional debt and no Iraqi oil. After ten years of trillion dollar struggle against the Taliban in Afghanistan, Washington has nothing to show for it except possibly some part of the drug trade that can be used to fund covert CIA operations.

America’s wars are very expensive. Bush and Obama have doubled the national debt, and the American people have no benefits from it. No riches, no bread and circuses flow to Americans from Washington’s wars. So what is it all about?

The answer is that Washington’s empire extracts resources from the American people for the benefit of the few powerful interest groups that rule America. The military-security complex, Wall Street, agri-business and the Israel Lobby use the government to extract resources from Americans to serve their profits and power. The US Constitution has been extracted in the interests of the Security State, and Americans’ incomes have been redirected to the pockets of the 1 percent. That is how the American Empire functions.

The New Empire is different. It happens without achieving conquest. The American military did not conquer Iraq and has been forced out politically by the puppet government that Washington established. There is no victory in Afghanistan, and after a decade the American military does not control the country.

In the New Empire success at war no longer matters. The extraction takes place by being at war. Huge sums of American taxpayers’ money have flowed into the American armaments industries and huge amounts of power into Homeland Security. The American empire works by stripping Americans of wealth and liberty.

This is why the wars cannot end, or if one does end another starts. Remember when Obama came into office and was asked what the US mission was in Afghanistan? He replied that he did not know what the mission was and that the mission needed to be defined.

Obama never defined the mission. He renewed the Afghan war without telling us its purpose. Obama cannot tell Americans that the purpose of the war is to build the power and profit of the military/security complex at the expense of American citizens.

This truth doesn’t mean that the objects of American military aggression have escaped without cost. Large numbers of Muslims have been bombed and murdered and their economies and infrastructure ruined, but not in order to extract resources from them.

It is ironic that under the New Empire the citizens of the empire are extracted of their wealth and liberty in order to extract lives from the targeted foreign populations. Just like the bombed and murdered Muslims, the American people are victims of the American empire.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Feeding The Homeless BANNED In Major Cities All Over America

Dear Readers: Only in Amerika. If you feed the homeless or give a homeless person a drink of water, you might be arrested. So much for america being “the land of freedom and democracy.” Amerika is the land of the crazed Police State. -PCR

What would you do if you came across someone on the street who had not had anything to eat for several days? Would you give that person some food? Well, the next time you get that impulse you might want to check if it is still legal to feed the homeless where you live.

Sadly, feeding the homeless has been banned in major cities all over America. Other cities that have not banned it outright have put so many requirements on those who want to feed the homeless (acquiring expensive permits, taking food preparation courses, etc.) that feeding the homeless has become “out of reach” for most average people. Some cities are doing these things because they are concerned about the “health risks” of the food being distributed by ordinary “do-gooders.”
Other cities are passing these laws because they do not want homeless people congregating in city centers where they know that they will be fed. But at a time when poverty and government dependence are soaring to unprecedented levels, is it really a good idea to ban people from helping those who are hurting?

This is just another example that shows that our country is being taken over by control freaks. There seems to be this idea out there that it is the job of the government to take care of everyone and that nobody else should even try.

But do we really want to have a nation where you have to get the permission of the government before you do good to your fellow man?

It isn’t as if the government has “rescued” these homeless people. Homeless shelters all over the nation are turning people away each night because they have no more room. There are many homeless people who are lucky just to make it through each night alive during the winter.

Sometimes a well-timed sandwich or a cup of warm soup can make a world of difference for a homeless person. But many U.S. cities have decided that feeding the homeless is such a threat that they had better devote law enforcement resources to making sure that it doesn’t happen.

This is so twisted. In America today, you need a “permit” to do almost anything. We are supposed to be a land of liberty and freedom, but these days government bureaucrats have turned our rights into “privileges” that they can revoke at any time.

The following are some of the major U.S. cities that have attempted to ban feeding the homeless….

Mayor Nutter recently banned feeding homeless people in many parts of Philadelphia where homeless people are known to congregate….

“Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has announced a ban on the feeding of large numbers of homeless and hungry people at sites on and near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. “Mayor Nutter is imposing the ban on all outdoor feedings of large numbers of people on city parkland, including Love Park and the Ben Franklin Parkway, where it is not uncommon for outreach groups to offer free food. “Nutter says the feedings lack both sanitary conditions and dignity.”

Last June, a group of activists down in Orlando, Florida were arrested by police for feeding the homeless in defiance of a city ordinance….

“Over the past week, twelve members of food activist group Food Not Bombs have been arrested in Orlando for giving free food to groups of homeless people in a downtown park. They were acting in defiance of a controversial city ordinance that mandates permits for groups distributing food to large groups in parks within two miles of City Hall. Each group is allowed only two permits per park per year; Food Not Bombs has already exceeded their limit. They set up their meatless buffet in Lake Eola knowing that they would likely be arrested as a result.”


Down in Houston, a group of Christians was recently banned from distributing food to the homeless, and they were told that they probably would not be granted a permit to do so in the future even if they applied for one….

“Bobby and Amanda Herring spent more than a year providing food to homeless people in downtown Houston every day. They fed them, left behind no trash and doled out warm meals peacefully without a single crime being committed, Bobby Herring said. “That ended two weeks ago when the city shut down their “Feed a Friend” effort for lack of a permit. And city officials say the couple most likely will not be able to obtain one. “‘We don’t really know what they want, we just think that they don’t want us down there feeding people,’ said Bobby Herring, a Christian rapper who goes by the stage name Tre9.”


Dallas has also adopted a law which greatly restricts the ability of individuals and ministries to feed the homeless….

“A Dallas-area ministry is suing the city over a food ordinance that restricts the group from giving meals to the homeless. “Courts dismissed Dallas’ request for a summary judgment last week, saying the case, brought up by pastor Don Hart (in video above) may indeed be a violation of free exercise of religion, as protected by the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the blog Religion Clause reported. “In the court filing, the ministry leaders argue that their Christian faith requires them to share meals with the homeless (Jesus did!) and that the requirement that even churches and charities provide toilets, sinks, trained staff and consent of the city keeps them from doing so.”
Las Vegas

A few years ago, Las Vegas became the first major U.S. city to specifically pass a law banning the feeding of homeless people….

“Las Vegas, whose homeless population has doubled in the past decade to about 12,000 people in and around the city, joins several other cities across the country that have adopted or considered ordinances limiting the distribution of charitable meals in parks. Most have restricted the time and place of such handouts, hoping to discourage homeless people from congregating and, in the view of officials, ruining efforts to beautify downtowns and neighborhoods. “But the Las Vegas ordinance is believed to be the first to explicitly make it an offense to feed ‘the indigent.’” That law has since been blocked by a federal judge, and since then many U.S. cities have been very careful not to mention “the indigent” or “the homeless” by name in the laws they pass that are intended to ban feeding the homeless.

New York City

New York City has banned all food donations to government-run homeless shelters because the bureaucrats there are concerned that the donated food will not be “nutritious” enough. Yes, this is really true. The following is from a recent Fox News article….

“The Bloomberg administration is now taking the term ‘food police’ to new depths, blocking food donations to all government-run facilities that serve the city’s homeless. “In conjunction with a mayoral task force and the Health Department, the Department of Homeless Services recently started enforcing new nutritional rules for food served at city shelters. Since DHS can’t assess the nutritional content of donated food, shelters have to turn away good Samaritans.”

Can you believe that?

The bureaucrats are officially out of control.

In America today, it seems like almost everything is illegal.
One church down in Louisiana was recently ordered to stop giving out water because it did not have a government permit.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I sure am going to give a cup of cold water to someone if they need it whether I have a permit or not.

It is as if common sense has totally gone out the window in this nation.

Over in New Hampshire, a woman is being sued for planting flowers in her own front yard.
This is the kind of thing that makes me glad that I have moved to a much more rural location. People in the country tend to be much more relaxed.

Sadly, those who love to micro-manage others continue to get the upper hand in America.

Back in January, 40,000 new laws went into effect all over America. The politicians continue to hit us with wave after wave of regulations and laws with no end in sight.

All of this is making America a very unpleasant place in which to live.


Tool Time: Bloomberg Policing Homeless Diets

Uploaded by TheAlyonaShow on Mar 22, 2012

NYC's Mayor Michael Bloomberg found a new demographic to force his food regulations on, the homeless. Hasn't it gone a little too far when we are trying to monitor the sodium intake of the people who live their lives on the streets, never knowing where their next meal is coming from? Apparently Bloomberg doesn't think that it is too far, new regulations in New York ban the donation of food to homeless shelters.

Monday, March 26, 2012




U.S. border cities prove havens from Mexico's drug violence

By Alan Gomez, Jack Gillum, and Kevin Johnson                         Updated 7/18/2011 2:15 PM

The picture painted of America's southwestern border with Mexico is a bloody one, in which the drug violence decimating northern Mexico has spilled onto U.S. soil and turned the region into a war zone.

A man crosses Grand Ave. in Nogales, Ariz., near a border
crossing into Mexico. The hill in the background is Mexico.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has warned of human skulls rolling through her state's deserts. Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas, says violence on the U.S. side of the border is "out of control." Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., has suggested sending a military brigade to protect Americans.

"Of course there is spillover violence along the border," Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said during a recent congressional hearing. "It is not secure and it has never been more violent or dangerous than it is today. Anyone who lives down there will tell you that."

That's not actually the case, according to a USA TODAY analysis that draws upon more than a decade of detailed crime data reported by more than 1,600 local law enforcement agencies in four states, federal crime statistics and interviews along the border from California to Texas.
The analysis found that rates of violent crime along the U.S.-Mexico border have been falling for years — even before the U.S. security buildup that has included thousands of law enforcement officers and expansion of a massive fence along the border.

U.S. border cities were statistically safer on average than other cities in their states. Those border cities, big and small, have maintained lower crime rates than the national average, which itself has been falling.

The appearance of an out-of-control border region, though, has had wide-ranging effects — stalling efforts to pass a national immigration reform law, fueling stringent anti-immigration laws in Arizona and elsewhere, and increasing the amount of federal tax dollars going to build more fencing and add security personnel along the southwestern border.

The perception of rising violence is so engrained that 83% of Americans said they believe the rate of violence along the southwestern border is higher than national rates, according to a recent USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of 999 adults.

The findings "are contrary to conventional speculation that the border is an out-of-control place," said Steven Messner, a criminologist and sociology professor at the University at Albany-SUNY, who reviewed USA TODAY's analysis.

Some observers say the numbers don't reflect realities on the ground and give cover to a federal government that is not adequately protecting hundreds of border communities.

"Don't tell me that the violence isn't spilling over," said Pinal County (Ariz.) Sheriff Paul Babeu. "When you have American citizens who don't feel safe in their own home or free in their own country, this should be appalling to everyone."

Others read the numbers as proof the issue of "spillover violence" from Mexico is being exaggerated and used as an impetus for anti-immigration legislation and stepped-up federal and state funding to law enforcement agencies along the border.

"The data really spells out the irresponsibility of many of our elected leaders in their role in this immigration debate," said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, which backs a plan to legalize some of the 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. "This is the ugliest version of the politics of fear that our country has seen for quite a while."

Mining the data

For this story, USA TODAY studied crime trends along the U.S.-Mexico border, using data reported to the FBI from city and county police agencies in the four border states — California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

It found that violent crime rates were on average lower in cities within 30, 50 and 100 miles of the border — the distances used to fit various definitions of the "border region." Statisticians interviewed by USA TODAY confirmed the results.

Because the data reported by the local agencies does not include kidnapping, the newspaper also had the FBI review its kidnapping investigations along the border.
Among the major findings:

The murder rate for cities within 50 miles of the border was lower in nearly every year from 1998 to 2009, compared with the respective state average. For example, California had its lowest murder rate during that time period in 2009, when 5.3 people were murdered per 100,000 residents. In cities within 50 miles of the border, the highest murder rate over that time period occurred in 2003, when 4.6 people were murdered per 100,000 residents.

The robbery rate for cities within 50 miles of the border was lower each year compared with the state average. In Texas over that time span, the robbery rate ranged from 145 to 173 per 100,000 people in the state, while the robbery rate throughout Texas' border region never rose above 100 per 100,000.

Kidnapping cases investigated by the FBI along the border are on the decline. The bureau's Southwestern offices identified 62 cartel-related kidnapping cases on U.S. soil that involved cartels or illegal immigrants in 2009. That fell to 25 in 2010 and 10 so far in 2011.
When presented with USA TODAY's findings, a majority of law enforcement officials throughout the border region said the numbers accurately represent what they see.

"Over the last five years, whether you take a look at violent crime or property crime, we've seen a 30% decrease," said Chula Vista (Calif.) Police Chief David Bejarano, whose city is 7 miles from Tijuana.

In Arizona, the epicenter of the immigration debate since the state passed a tough immigration enforcement law last year, some police officials are frustrated by the rhetoric.

"Everything looks really good, which is why it's so distressing and frustrating to read about these reports about crime going up everywhere along the border, when I know for a fact that the numbers don't support those allegations," Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villaseñor said.

And in Texas, El Paso has seen sharp declines in violent crimes despite being in the shadow of Ciudad Juárez, one of the main battlegrounds of Mexico's drug wars where 3,400 people were murdered last year.

"I'm not trying to paint a picture here that nothing ever happens, because it does," El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said. "But some have tried to suggest that El Paso is a violent city just because of its location. Unfortunately, some people's misperceptions have become their reality."

Unreported crime

Critics express doubts about the credibility of the FBI data, known as the Uniform Crime Reports, the government's only national repository for local crime data.

One concern is that many crimes go unreported, and the FBI reports don't include some of the money-making crimes used frequently by Mexican drug cartels: kidnapping and extortion.

"There's actually a private industry that negotiates ransoms with kidnappers," said San Diego Sheriff's Dept. Capt. David Myers, who heads the office's Border Crime Suppression Team. "There are actual people you can call who can negotiate that ransom for you if your loved ones have been kidnapped, without involving law enforcement."

But the available data indicate kidnappings are on the decline.
FBI Assistant Director Kevin Perkins, who heads the agency's criminal investigative division, said crime statistics reported by border communities and daily contacts with local officials do not show surges in such crimes as kidnapping and extortion.

"We don't see giant spikes in violence," Perkins said.

Others say crime reports don't reflect the measure of the crime along the border.
U.S. Rep. Francisco "Quico" Canseco, a Texas Republican, joined Miller and McCaul in proposing a bill that would require Homeland Security to track border-related crimes to better account for kidnappings, property-related crimes and simple acts of trespassing when farmers and ranchers encounter smugglers crossing their lands.

"There is spillover crime," Canseco said. "We need to be able to measure it."
Critics also point to high-profile killings in the border region as proof that the cartel violence is spilling over.

For example, on March 27, 2010, Arizona rancher Robert Krentz was murdered. The killing remains unsolved, but the case sparked outrage from advocates of increased immigration enforcement who suspect that the murder was committed by an illegal immigrant.

Echoes of the Wild West

Partly based on that case and others, the image of the U.S. side of the southwestern border as a lawless region reminiscent of the Wild West lives on.

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore visited Washington in November to brief members of Congress and found himself battling misconceptions.

"A lot of it was anecdotal information that was not based on fact," he said.
Angela Kelley, vice president of the Center for American Progress, a group pushing for immigration reform legislation that would allow some illegal immigrants a way to become citizens, said the perceived connection between immigrants and crime makes it impossible for Congress to reach a rational solution for the country's broken immigration system.

"There's this conflation that some like to make between crime rates and immigrants, and throw in there guns and drugs and violence generally," Kelley said. "It's very toxic and it impacts the debate in such a substantial way that you can't have a responsible debate about what does work."

The toll of extra security

Starting with the administration of President George W. Bush, money flowing to the southwestern border has substantially increased.

In 2000, there were fewer than 9,000 Customs and Border Patrol agents and officers patrolling the border. By 2010, that number was nearly 23,000. Homeland Security has increased funding for border security and interior enforcement by more than $5 billion since 2006, with most of that going to the southwestern border.

Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl, both Republicans from Arizona, have endorsed a 10-point plan that would deploy 3,000 National Guard troops, increase funding for local law enforcement agencies by $60 million and add more fencing.

"While our border with Mexico has always seen some level of illegal immigration, it has not seen the powerful threat of deadly violence that exists today due to Mexico's ongoing war against its drug cartels," McCain told a group of border sheriffs last year.

Others think the nation already has the appropriate level of security along the border and should shift some of the funding toward easing the gridlock that exists for those trying to get through the built-up border.

Crossing back and forth used to be simple, but the added layers of security and teams of Border Patrol officers inspecting vehicles and people coming into the country have caused hours-long delays for people legally entering the USA through the points of entry along the southwestern border, according to a report from the San Diego Association of Governments.

Those delays lead to slowed business production as freight trucks carrying goods to the U.S. are held up, and discourage many Mexicans from crossing into the USA to shop as they once did, according to the report. Put together, those delays cost California about $1 billion in revenue in 2007, the report found.

San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez said some of the money going to border security should instead be going to expanding the existing ports of entry and adding new ones to allow the state's already-hurting economy a chance to recover.

However, he said, the image of a lawless border makes it hard to even discuss the topic.
"When you've got the national rhetoric about illegal immigration, you can never get to a conversation about legal immigration," Alvarez said. "Effective border crossings and better regional economics don't sell newspapers."

Contributing: Gomez reported from San Diego; Gillum from Tucson; and Johnson from El Paso and Ciudad Ju?rez, Mexico.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Blogger's Note: I regard this to be the finest article on Mexico of such a short length that I've ever read. The photo below shows the entirety of the Diego Rivera mural featured in the article. I took this shot in 2002 in the Mexico City museum where it is now housed.  Notice the indigenous people to the right being pushed aside by the police to assure that the rich can walk by unimpeded.  Remind you of Occupy Wall Street?  And, oh yes, their elections, like ours in the U.S., are also rigged (see here).

In Mexico, a Universal Struggle Against Power and Forgetting

Friday, 11 November 2011 04:36  
By John Pilger, Truthout | News Analysis 
Original here


Diego Rivera's Mural, "A Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park." (Photo: asmythie / flickr)
Alameda Park is Mexico City's languid space for lovers and open-air ballroom dancers: the gents in two-tone shoes, the ladies in finery and heels. The cobbled paths undulate from the great earthquake of 1985. You imagine the fairground sinking into the cobwebs of cracks, its Edwardian organ playing forlornly.

Two small churches nearby totter precariously: the surreal is Mexico's facade.

Hidden behind the poplars is the museum where Diego Riviera's mural "Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park" occupies the entire ground floor. You sink into sofa chairs and journey for an hour across his masterpiece. Originally painted at the Hotel Prado in 1947, it was rescued and restored when the earthquake demolished things all around. More than 45-feet long and 14-feet high, it presents the political warriors of Mexico's past, from the conquistador Hernando Cortes to Rivera himself, depicted as a child holding the hand of a fashionably dressed skeleton, the iconic symbol of the Day of the Dead. Standing maternally beside him is his wife, Frida Kahlo, Mexico's artistic heroine. Around them parade the impervious rich and unrequited poor.

What is it about Mexico that is a universal political dream? As in a Rivera mural, nothing is held back: no class martyrdom, no colonial tragedy. The message is freedom next time. The autocracy that emerged from the revolution of 1910-19 gave itself the Orwellian-name Party of the Institutionalized Revolution. This was eventually replaced by businessmen promising a pseudo democracy, which, in 1994, embraced Bill Clinton's rapacious North American Free Trade Association. Within a year, a million jobs were destroyed south of the border, along with Emiliano Zapata's revolutionary triumph, the constitutional protection of indigenous land from sale or privatization. At a stroke, Mexico surrendered its economy to Wall Street.

The beneficiaries of the new, privatized Mexico are those like Carlos Slim, now ahead of Bill Gates as the world's richest man, whose fingers are lodged in every imaginable pie: from food and construction to the national telephone company. A US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks says, "The net worth of the 10 richest people of Mexico - a country where more than 40 per cent of the population lives in poverty - represents roughly 10 per cent of the gross domestic product."

The last election, in 2006, was won by Felipe Calderon, Washington's man, followed by persistent allegations that it was rigged. Calderon declared what he calls "a war on drug gangs" and 50,000 dead are the result. No one doubts the menace of the drug cartels, but the real "security issue" is more likely the resistance of ordinary Mexicans to an enduring inequity and a rotten elite.

For most of this year, thousands of los indignados have taken over the massive parade ground known as the Zocalo facing the National Palace. The occupations in Wall Street and around the world have their genesis in Latin America. The difference here is there is none of the angst about the protesters' "focus." As in all places where people live on the edge and the state and its cronyism cast lawless shadows, they know exactly what they want. Ask some of the 44,000 employees of the national power company, who prevented the fire sale of the national grid until Calderon sacked them all; and the striking copper miners of Cananea, whose owners funded Calderon's campaign; and the former pilots and stewards of the national airline, Mexicana, dissolved in a sham bankruptcy that was a gift to the private airline industry.

These angry, eloquent and often courageous people have long known something many in Europe and the United States are only beginning to realize: there is no choice but to fight the economic extremism unleashed in Washington and London a generation ago. Employment, trade unionism, public health, education, "life itself," says Manuel Lopez Obrador, the former mayor of Mexico City who ran against Calderon, "has since been struck by a political and economic earthquake." Since Calderon came to power, 30 journalists have been killed, ten this year alone, says the Committee to Protect Journalists. Again, the drug cartels are blamed, but suppression of a national resistance, coordinated with the United States, is also the truth.

Unlike in the US and Britain, many journalists, some of them inspired by the rise of the Zapatistas in the 1990s, have thrown off the patronage of the political and business elite and pursue what they call "civic journalism." The second-largest newspaper in Mexico is La Jornada, famous for its fearless investigations and campaigns and for surviving mostly on subscriptions; it carries no commercial advertising. Reminiscent of newspapers before they were consumed by corporations, there is nothing like it in Britain; it reflects much about Mexico City that is surprising and enlightened.

In the National Palace, the presence of "Robocop" guards is at once overwhelmed by Diego Rivera's most epic mural. Painted between 1929 and 1945, it follows the walls of the staircase, spilling, like his Alameda work, spectacles of revolution and tragedy, hope and defiance. When I filmed it 30 years ago, I tried unsuccessfully to write a narrative to the pictures. In condensing and bringing alive 2,000 years of history, it is art of which Europeans and North Americans are sometimes disdainful yet envious; for it charts the struggle of ordinary people, uniting and celebrating them, and identifying their true political enemies. Seeing it again, I am struck by how it speaks for us all.

On 1 November, John Pilger was awarded Britain's highest honor for documentary film-making by the Grierson Trustees, in memory of the documentary pioneer John Grierson. 

John Pilger

John Pilger, Australian-born, London-based journalist, film-maker and author. For his foreign and war reporting, ranging from Vietnam and Cambodia to the Middle East, he has twice won Britain's highest award for journalism. For his documentary films, he won a British Academy Award and an American Emmy. In 2009, he was awarded Australia's human rights prize, the Sydney Peace Prize. His latest film is "The War on Democracy."

Saturday, March 24, 2012


TBTF Sheriff Bill Black on the MF Global Cover-up: "All those that doeth Evil hateth the light!"

Uploaded by CapitalAccount on

Follow us @

Welcome to Capital Account. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas says Dodd-Frank did not end too big to fail, and says we must downsize the TBTF monsters in the view of Richard Fisher. This, as some US lawmakers are working to push back the timeline for a key part of Dodd-Frank, the Volcker Rule...a rule regulators and banks already appear to be hollowing out. We'll look at what the costs of these actions could be

Meanwhile, the "Corzine Rule" is reportedly gaining momentum -- this would restrict what brokerage firms can do with customer money. Before looking forward -- what about the unanswered questions and accountability in the MF Global bankruptcy and what we consider theft of customer money? We'll talk to William K. Black, the former regulator who oversaw prosecutions of bankers for fraud during the S&L crisis to find out what it would take to see justice in this case. We will discuss some of the peculiarities surrounding the MF Global bankruptcy, the decision by CFTC chairman Gary Gensler to proceed with a Chapter 11 bankruptcy as per the SEC, with a SIPA/SIPC liquidation for the brokerage unit, which put the customers on even footing with the creditors, instead of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy for the entire company. We ask Bill Black if this is an example of control fraud and regulatory capture, and where a crime has been committed here.

Meanwhile, do you think we have enough lawyers in the US already? Well, you may be happy to hear this...the organization behind the law school admissions test -- the LSATS -- saw the largest decline in people taking the test in more than a decade. Is "the law" in a bear market? Demetri think so. He says the bear market in the legal system is the corollary for the bull market in whistle blowing. Otherwise, you wouldn't need monetary incentives beyond what is already in place to get lawyers to prosecute crimes. Whistle blowers make it easy for the prosecution.


The Battle of Athens (sometimes called the McMinn County War) was a rebellion led by citizens in Athens and Etowah, Tennessee, United States, against the local government in August 1946. The citizens, including some World War II veterans, accused the local officials of political corruption and voter intimidation. The event is sometimes cited by firearms ownership advocates as an example of the value of the Second Amendment in combating tyranny.

For more info go to Wikipedia here.

However, for some reason Wikipedia doesn't tell it all.  The GIs returning from WW II knew from past experience that elections were being stolen in Athens (by Democratic officials), and for that reason they created the "GI Party" composed of both Republicans and Democrats and announced publicly  that there would be no more stolen elections.  After the battle, the votes were hand counted in public revealing public's will that all of the corrupt incumbent officials be removed from office.

The GIs who launched the battle were not prosecuted.  Moreover, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt wrote in her nationally syndicated column that when free people are denied the right to have their votes counted as they were cast, despots should expect that they will rise up.
See also

Friday, March 23, 2012


MARCH 22, 2012                                                                                                         Permalink

"Too Crooked to Fail": Matt Taibbi Says Bailouts, Fraud are the Secrets to Bank of America’s Success

In his new article, "Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail," Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi chronicles the remarkable history of the rise of Bank of America, an institution he says has defrauded "everyone from investors and insurers to homeowners and the unemployed." Taibbi describes how the Bush and Obama administrations have repeatedly propped up the financial institution, which received a $45 billion taxpayer bailout in 2008. Bank of America has also received billions in what could be described as shadow bailouts. The bank now owns more than 12 percent of the nation’s bank deposits and 17 percent of all home mortgages. Taibbi also recounts how fraudulent practices by Bank of America and other companies ravaged pension funds. "Most people think of [the mortgage crisis] as some airy abstraction — you know, bankers ripping off bankers," Taibbi says. "That’s not what it is. It’s bankers stealing from old ladies and retirees." [original includes rush transcript]

Matt Taibbi, contributing editor for Rolling Stone. He is the author of five books, most recently, Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America. His latest article in Rolling Stone is titled "Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail."
MARCH 22, 2012                                                                                                          Permalink

Matt Taibbi on the Explosive Resignation of Goldman Sachs Executive Greg Smith

Financial reporter Matt Taibbi talks about Goldman Sach’s history of denigrating its own clients, as recently highlighted by former Goldman executive Greg Smith’s explosive resignation letter in the New York Times. Decrying what he called Goldman’s "toxic" culture, Smith said bosses at the firm called their clients "muppets" and strove to maximize profits at the expense of client interests, adding: "It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off." Goldman Sachs is now reportedly scanning internal emails for the term "muppet" and other evidence that employees referred to clients in derogatory ways. "This gives ... people in the industry, institutional investors, tremendous pause: why would I want to do business with this company if this is their attitude towards me?" says Taibbi. "They’re thinking how much can they get out of me, and not how much money they can make for me." [original includes rush transcript]

Matt Taibbi, contributing editor for Rolling Stone. He is the author of five books, most recently, Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America. His latest article in Rolling Stone is titled "Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail."


Repress U, Class of 2012
Seven Steps to a Homeland Security Campus
By Michael Gould-Wartofsky

Campus spies. Pepper spray. SWAT teams. Twitter trackers. Biometrics. Student security consultants. Professors of homeland security studies. Welcome to Repress U, class of 2012.

Since 9/11, the homeland security state has come to campus just as it has come to America’s towns and cities, its places of work and its houses of worship, its public space and its cyberspace.  But the age of (in)security had announced its arrival on campus with considerably less fanfare than elsewhere -- until, that is, the “less lethal” weapons were unleashed in the fall of 2011.

Today, from the City University of New York to the University of California, students increasingly find themselves on the frontlines, not of a war on terror, but of a war on “radicalism” and “extremism.”  Just about everyone from college administrators and educators to law enforcement personnel and corporate executives seems to have enlisted in this war effort.  Increasingly, American students are in their sights.

In 2008, I laid out seven steps the Bush administration had taken to create a homeland security campus.  Four years and a president later, Repress U has come a long way.  In the Obama years, it has taken seven more steps to make the university safe for plutocracy.  Here is a step-by-step guide to how they did it.

1. Target Occupy

Had there been no UC Davis, no Lt. John Pike, no chemical weapons wielded against peacefully protesting students, and no cameras to broadcast it all, Americans might never have known just how far the homeland security campus has come in its mission to police its students.  In the old days, you might have called in the National Guard.  Nowadays, all you need is an FBI-trained, federally funded, and “less lethally” armed campus police department.

The mass pepper-spraying of students at UC Davis was only the most public manifestation of a long-running campus trend in which, for officers of the peace, the pacification of student protest has become part of the job description.  The weapons of choice have sometimes been blunt instruments, such as the extendable batons used to bludgeon the student body at Berkeley, Baruch, and the University of Puerto Rico.  At other times, tactical officers have turned to “less-lethal” munitions, like the CS gas, beanbag rounds, and pepper pellets fired into crowds at Occupy protests across the University of California system this past winter.

Yet for everything we see of the homeland security campus, there is a good deal more that we miss.  Behind the riot suits, the baton strikes, and the pepper-spray cannons stands a sprawling infrastructure made possible by multimillion-dollar federal grants, “memoranda of understanding” and “mutual aid” agreements among law enforcement agencies, counter-terrorism training, an FBI-sponsored “Academic Alliance,” and 103 Joint Terrorism Task Forces (which provide “one-stop shopping” for counterterrorism operations to more than 50 federal and 600 state and local agencies).

“We have to go where terrorism takes us, so we often have to go onto campuses,” FBI Special Agent Jennifer Gant told Campus Safety Magazine in an interview last year.  To that end, campus administrators and campus police chiefs are now known to coordinate their operations with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “special advisors,” FBI “campus liaison agents,” an FBI-led National Security Advisory Board, and a Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, which instructs local law enforcement in everything from “physical techniques” to “behavioral science.”  More than half of campus police forces already have “intelligence-sharing agreements” with these and other government agencies in place.

2. Get a SWAT team

Since 2007, campus police forces have decisively escalated their tactics, expanded their arsenals, and trained ever more of their officers in SWAT-style paramilitary policing.  Many agencies acquire their arms directly from the Department of Defense through a surplus weapons sales program known as “1033,” which offers, among other things, “used grenade launchers (for the deployment of less lethal weapons)... for a significantly reduced cost.”

According to the most recent federal data available, nine out of 10 campus agencies with sworn police officers now deploy armed patrols authorized to use deadly force.  Nine in 10 also authorize the use of chemical munitions, while one in five make regular use of Tasers.  Last August, an 18-year old student athlete died after being tased at the University of Cincinnati.

Meanwhile, many campus police squads have been educated in the art of war through regular special weapons training sessions by “tactical officers’ associations” which run a kind of SWAT university.  In October, UC Berkeley played host to an “Urban Shield” SWAT training exercise involving local and campus agencies, the California National Guard, and special police forces from Israel, Jordan, and Bahrain.  And since 2010, West Texas A&M has played host to paramilitary training programs for police from Mexico.

In October, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte got its very own SWAT team, equipped with MP-15 rifles, M&P 40 sidearms, and Remington shotguns.  “We have integrated SWAT officers into the squads that serve our campus day and night,” boasted UNC Charlotte Chief of Police Jeff Baker.  The following month, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a SWAT team staged an armed raid on an occupied building, pointing assault rifles at the heads of activists, among them UNC students.

3. Spy on Muslims

The long arm of Repress U stretches far beyond the bounds of any one campus or college town. As reported by the Associated Press this winter, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and its hitherto secret “Demographics Unit” sent undercover operatives to spy on members of the Muslim Students Association at more than 20 universities in four states across the Northeast beginning in 2006.

None of the organizations or persons of interest were ever accused of any wrongdoing, but that didn’t stop NYPD detectives from tracking Muslim students through a “Cyber Intelligence Unit,” issuing weekly “MSA Reports” on local chapters of the Muslim Students Association, attending campus meetings and seminars, noting how many times students prayed, or even serving as chaperones for what they described as “militant paintball trips.”  The targeted institutions ran the gamut from community colleges to Columbia and Yale.

According to the AP’s investigation, the intelligence units in question worked closely not only with agencies in other cities, but with an agent on the payroll of the CIA.  Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, facing mounting calls to resign, has issued a spirited defense of the campus surveillance program, as has Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  “If terrorists aren't limited by borders and boundaries, we can't be either,” Kelly said in a speech at Fordham Law School.

The NYPD was hardly the only agency conducting covert surveillance of Muslim students on campus.  The FBI has been engaging in such tactics for years.  In 2007, UC Irvine student Yasser Ahmed was assaulted by FBI agents, who followed him as he was on his way to a campus “free speech zone.”  In 2010, Yasir Afifi, a student at Mission College in Santa Clara, California, found a secret GPS tracking device affixed to his car.  A half-dozen agents later knocked on his door to ask for it back.

4. Keep the undocumented out

Foreign students are followed closely by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) through its Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).  As of 2011, the agency was keeping tabs on 1.2 million students and their dependents.  Most recently, as part of a transition to the paperless SEVIS II -- which aims to “unify records” -- ICE has been linking student files to biometric and employer data collected by DHS and other agencies.

“That information stays forever,” notes Louis Farrell, director of the ICE program.  “And every activity that’s ever been associated with that person will come up.  That’s something that has been asked for by the national security community... [and] the academic community.”

Then there are the more than 360,000 undocumented students and high-school graduates who would qualify for permanent resident status and college admission, were the DREAM Act ever passed.  It would grant conditional permanent residency to undocumented students who were brought to the U.S. as children.  When such students started “coming out” as part of an “undocumented and unafraid” campaign, many received DHS notices to appear for removal proceedings.  Take 24-year old Uriel Alberto, of Lees-McRae College, who recently went on hunger strike in North Carolina’s Wake County jail; he now faces deportation (and separation from his U.S.-born son) for taking part in a protest at the state capitol.

Since 2010, the homeland security campus has been enlisted by the state of Arizona to enforce everything from bans on ethnic studies programs to laws like S.B. 1070, which makes it a crime to appear in public without proof of legal residency and is considered a mandate for police to detain anyone suspected of being undocumented.  Many undocumented students have turned down offers of admission to the University of Arizona since the passage of the law, while others have stopped attending class for fear of being detained and deported.

5. Keep an eye on student spaces and social media

While Muslim and undocumented students are particular targets of surveillance, they are not alone.  Electronic surveillance has expanded beyond traditional closed-circuit TV cameras to next-generation technologies like IQeye HD megapixel cameras, so-called edge devices (cameras that can do their own analytics), and Perceptrak’s video analytics software, which “analyzes video from security cameras 24x7 for events of interest,” and which recently made its debut at Johns Hopkins University and Mount Holyoke College.

At the same time, students’ social media accounts have become a favorite destination for everyone from campus police officers to analysts at the Department of Homeland Security.

In 2010, the DHS National Operations Center established a Media Monitoring Capability (MMC).  According to an internal agency document, MMC is tasked with “leveraging news stories, media reports and postings on social media sites… for operationally relevant data, information, analysis, and imagery.”  The definition of operationally relevant data includes “media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities,” “partisan or agenda-driven sites,” and a final category ambiguously labeled “research/studies, etc.”

With the Occupy movement coming to campus, even university police departments have gotten in on the action.  According to a how-to guide called “Essential Ingredients to Working with Campus Protests” by UC Santa Barbara police chief Dustin Olson, the first step to take is to “monitor social media sites continuously,” both for intelligence about the “leadership and agenda” and “for any messages that speak to violent or criminal behavior.”

6. Coopt the classroom and the laboratory

At a time when entire departments and disciplines are facing the chopping block at America’s universities, the Department of Homeland Security has proven to be the best-funded department of all.  Homeland security studies has become a major growth sector in higher education and now has more than 340 certificate- and degree-granting programs.  Many colleges have joined the Homeland Security and Defense Education Consortium, a spinoff of the U.S. Northern Command (the Department of Defense’s “homeland defense” division), which offers a model curriculum to its members.

This emerging discipline has been directed and funded to the tune of $4 billion over the last five years by DHS.  The goal, according to Dr. Tara O’Toole, DHS Undersecretary of Science & Technology, is to “leverag[e] the investment and expertise of academia… to meet the needs of the department.”  Additional funding is being made available from the Pentagon through its blue-skies research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the “intelligence community” through its analogous Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity.

At the core of the homeland security-university partnership are DHS’s 12 centers of excellence. (A number that has doubled since I first reported on the initiative in 2008.)  The DHS Office of University Programs advertises the centers of excellence as an “extended consortium of hundreds of universities” which work together “to develop customer-driven research solutions” and “to provide essential training to the next generation of homeland security experts.”

But what kind of research is being carried out at these centers of excellence, with the support of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars each year?  Among the 41 “knowledge products” currently in use by DHS or being evaluated in pilot studies, we find an “extremist crime database,” a “Minorities at Risk for Organizational Behavior” dataset, analytics for aerial surveillance systems along the border, and social media monitoring technologies.  Other research focuses include biometrics, “suspicious behavior detection,” and “violent radicalization.”

7.  Privatize, subsidize, and capitalize

Repress U has not only proven a boon to hundreds of cash-starved universities, but also to big corporations as higher education morphs into hired education.  While a majority of the $184 billion in homeland security funding in 2011 came from government agencies like DHS and the Pentagon, private sector funding is expected to make up an increasing share of the total in the coming years, according to the Homeland Security Research Corporation, a consulting firm serving the homeland security industry.

Each DHS Center of Excellence has been founded on private-public partnerships, corporate co-sponsorships, and the leadership of “industry advisory boards” which give big business a direct stake and say in its operations. Corporate giants allied with DHS Centers of Excellence include:

*Lockheed Martin at the Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), based at the University of Maryland at College Park.

*Alcatel-Lucent and AT&T at the Rutgers University-based Command, Control, and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis (CICADA).

*ExxonMobil and Con Edison at the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE), based at the University of Southern California.

*Motorola, Boeing, and Bank of America at the Purdue University-based Center for Visual Analytics for Command, Control, and Interoperability Environments (VACCINE).

*Wal-Mart, Cargill, Kraft, and McDonald’s at the National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD), based at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

What’s more, universities have struck multimillion-dollar deals with multinational private security firms like Securitas, deploying unsworn, underpaid, often untrained “protection officers” on campus as “extra eyes and ears.”  The University of Wisconsin-Madison, in one report, boasts that police and private partners have been “seamlessly integrated.”

Elsewhere, even students have gotten into the business of security.  The private intelligence firm STRATFOR, for example, recently partnered with the University of Texas to use its students to “essentially parallel the work of… outside consultants” but on campus, offering information on activist groups like the Yes Men.

Step by step, at school after school, the homeland security campus has executed a silent coup in the decade since September 11th.  The university, thus usurped, has increasingly become an instrument not of higher learning, but of intelligence gathering and paramilitary training, of profit-taking on behalf of America’s increasingly embattled “1%.”

Yet the next generation may be otherwise occupied.  Since September 2011, a new student movement has swept across the country, making itself felt most recently on March 1st with a national day of action to defend the right to education. This Occupy-inspired wave of on-campus activism is making visible what was once invisible, calling into question what was once beyond question, and counteracting the logic of Repress U with the logic of nonviolence and education for democracy.

For many, the rise of the homeland security campus has provoked some basic questions about the aims and principles of a higher education: Whom does the university serve? Whom does it protect? Who is to speak? Who is to be silenced? To whom does the future belong?

The guardians of Repress U are uninterested in such inquiry. Instead, they cock their weapons.  They lock the gates.  And they prepare to take the next step.

Michael Alexander Gould-Wartofsky is a writer from New York City and a MacCracken Fellow in Sociology at New York University.  His writing has received Harvard’s James Gordon Bennett Prize and the New York Times James B. Reston Award, and has appeared in the Nation, the Harvard Crimson, The Huffington Post, and Monthly Review, along with TomDispatch.  He is currently writing a book about Occupy Wall Street. His website is
Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch and join us on Facebook.
Copyright 2012 Michael Gould-Wartofsky