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  1. Default Media, PA

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/07/us...n-shadows.html

    Lived a few miles from this town for two decades, never even heard about it. Anyone know more about what was exposed?
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  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Knoble View Post
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/07/us...n-shadows.html

    Lived a few miles from this town for two decades, never even heard about it. Anyone know more about what was exposed?
    The link is subscribers only. Can you copy and paste the article?
    "We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

    "We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren Johnson View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Knoble View Post
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/07/us...n-shadows.html

    Lived a few miles from this town for two decades, never even heard about it. Anyone know more about what was exposed?
    The link is subscribers only. Can you copy and paste the article?
    I'm a little leery about doing that for copyright purposes, etc.

    The article describes a break-in at the FBI office in Media PA in 1971 that exposed COINTELPRO, subversion of the anti-war movement, ruining people's reputations and so forth. It pictures people still living in the area, who apparently have escaped retaliation from the FBI, etc.
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  4. #5

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    Burglars in 1971 FBI office break-in come forward after 43 years


    • Statute of limitations for five citizens to be charged has expired
    • Documents exposed surveillance state under J Edgar Hoover


    FBI director J Edgar Hoover with Richard Nixon in 1968. Photograph: Bettmann/CorbisEd Pilkington in New York

    @edpilkington

    Tuesday 7 January 2014 14.32 GMTLast modified on Thursday 11 August 2016 12.38 BST

    This article is 2 years old


    When a group of anti-war activists broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, on 8 March 1971 they hoped that they would be hitting the bureau’s overweening director, J Edgar Hoover, where it hurt most. They would grab whatever documents they could find and in that way expose the culture of Big Brother illegality that Hoover had created.
    The plan went better than they could ever have dreamed. Among a huge stash of confidential documents the group retrieved were secrets about the FBI’s blanket surveillance of the peace and civil rights movement, the tactics of disinformation and deception the bureau used to silence protesters and even an attempt by agents to have Martin Luther King commit suicide.
    Yet despite a massive police hunt, into which Hoover threw 200 agents, the perpetrators of that audacious break-in have never been identified. They had carried out the perfect political crime, and got away scot-free.




    Now, almost 43 years later, five of the eight ordinary citizens who carried out the break-in have finally come forward and revealed themselves. They have co-operated with Betty Medsger, the former Washington Post journalist who was the first to publish the revelations contained in the stolen documents and who has written a new book on the saga called The Burglary: The Discovery of J Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI.
    In a telephone press conference given by three of the self-styled Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI on Tuesday, Keith Forsyth, who acted as the lock-picker on that fateful day, tried to answer the question of why they decided to come out of the shadows so many years after the event. He said that following the raid on the documents the eight had had no desire to identify themselves as “the prospect of enduring harsh punishment in prison for revealing the immoral acts of our government was not appealing.”
    Today the significance of what they did had renewed public interest, he added, in the wake of the Edward Snowden leaks of National Security Agency documents. “Our government is again conducting mass surveillance of Americans and again lying to Congress. We hope that by coming forward we can contribute in some small way to a debate that is essential for the health of our democracy.”
    The perpetrators of the burglary have received legal advice that they can not now be prosecuted: the statute of limitations for the “theft of government documents” charge that could have been brought by the Justice Department expired in 1976. David Kairys, a civil rights attorney who has advised the group, said that the Espionage Act – used aggressively under the Bush and Obama administrations to pursue leakers such as Chelsea Manning and Snowden – would not have applied as there was no espionage involved in the Media case. Besides that, in 1971 a breach of the act carried a 10-year statute of limitations.
    In an article for the Guardian, another of the culprits, Bonnie Raines, said that she too drew parallels between their act four decades ago and the Snowden leak revealing NSA blanket surveillance. “I think Snowden's a legitimate whistleblower, and I guess we could be called whistleblowers as well,” she writes.
    The Media, Pennsylvania, burglary is credited with having led to the unraveling of the vast and cavalier web of surveillance that Hoover built up over many years. The Washington Post ran with Medsgers stories despite the efforts of the Nixon administration to strong-arm the newspaper into foregoing publication.
    The most incendiary element of the stolen documents was the existence it revealed of a programme called Cointelpro – or Counterintelligence Program – a massive effort by the FBI to infiltrate and disrupt the peace, civil rights and black power movements and put many of their leaders under surveillance. One notorious letter sent by the FBI to Martin Luther King contained materials relating to his extra-marital sexual activity intended to blackmail him into suicide, with a note that said: “King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is.”
    Medsger said that the revelations had shocked Americans. “The documents revealed massive surveillance particularly on African Americans. FBI agents were required to have at least one informant reporting to them on the actions of black people every week.”
    She added that Cointelpro had been “one of Hoover’s worst operations” and that the overall impact of the released documents had been to expose how the FBI was conducting “a secret war on dissent, primarily against anti-war activists and African Americans. The revelations ignited a national debate about surveillance that has been reignited by Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA.”
    The Media files not only dramatically impacted Hoover and the FBI, they also had a seismic impact on the media landscape. The burglars posted anonymously packages of documents to a number of Congress members and to several newspapers including the Washington Post, the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.
    Hoover, backed by President Nixon, made strident demands for the return of the documents, arguing they were stolen government property. Newspapers in the US had never before had to deal with the conundrum of what to do with leaked documents that had been procured illegally by people not in official positions.
    Katharine Graham, who had only been officially enshrined as publisher of the Washington Post two years before the break-in, was the only one to stand up to Hoover and Nixon and publish despite their protestations. The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times are both believed to have returned all the documents to the FBI, though they did report the story after the Post had gone ahead.
    • This article was amended on 7 January 2014. An earlier headline indicated that the burglars were just now coming forward with the stolen documents. They were simply revealing their identities

    You can see an interview with the three who broke in to the Media, PA FBI offices on DemocracyNow! http://www.democracynow.org/2014/1/8...ime_to_do_more
    One of the great mysteries of the Vietnam War era has been solved. On March 8, 1971, a group of activists — including a cabdriver, a day care director and two professors — broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania. They stole every document they found and then leaked many to the press, including details about FBI abuses and the then-secret counter-intelligence program to infiltrate, monitor and disrupt social and political movements, nicknamed COINTELPRO. They called themselves the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI. No one was ever caught for the break-in. The burglars’ identities remained a secret until this week when they finally came forward to take credit for the caper that changed history. Today we are joined by three of them — John Raines, Bonnie Raines and Keith Forsyth; their attorney, David Kairys; and Betty Medsger, the former Washington Post reporter who first broke the story of the stolen FBI documents in 1971 and has now revealed the burglars’ identities in her new book, "The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI."
    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

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    Hard to believe that they could have gone undetected and unpunished by an organization with those resources that was used to destroying people with impunity for their political views.
    Last edited by John Knoble; 11-03-2016 at 02:20 PM.
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  6. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Knoble View Post
    Hard to believe that they could have gone undetected and unpunished by an organization with those resources that was used to destroying people with impunity for their political views.
    The FBI has kept its original values and today, as it has always been, is a corrupt institution that commits more crime than it has ever tried to solve - let alone actually solve. They spy on people, infiltrate peaceful groups who have views in opposition to the powers that be, incite and provoke illegal actions, bait poor, entrapped and mentally ill people to commit crimes so they can then solve them - and worse. A large number of murders and bombings are their legacy. Their criminology labs have been exposed as doing shoddy work, convicting innocent people with incorrect evaluations of hair, fibers and other evidence. I can think of nothing in the positive corner to say about them in the past or now. Federal Bureau of Intimidation is what FBI stands for. They provided the explosives and the training and egged on the bombers of the First WTC bombing. The list of actions they were responsible for that are publicly thought of as those of lone individuals or terrorist groups is long. They have obstructed justice over and over and they have participated in political assassination and physical assassinations too.
    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

  7. #8

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    Federal Bureau of Intimidation

    by Howard Zinn

    I thought it would be good to talk about the FBI because they talk about us. They don't like to be talked about. They don't even like the fact that you're listening to them being talked about. They are very sensitive people. If you look into the history of the FBI and Martin Luther King-which now has become notorious in that totally notorious history of the FBI- the FBI attempted to neutralize, perhaps kill him, perhaps get him to commit suicide, certainly to destroy him as a leader of black people in the United States. And if you follow the progression of that treatment of King, it starts, not even with the Montgomery Bus Boycott; it starts when King begins to criticize the FBI. You see, then suddenly Hoover's ears, all four of them, perk up. And he says, okay, we have to start working on King.
    I was interested in this especially because I was reading the Church Committee report. In 1975, the Senate Select Committee investigated the CIA and the FBI and issued voluminous reports and pointed out at what point the FBI became interested in King. In 1961-62 after the Montgomery Bus Boycott, after the sit-ins, after the Freedom Rides of '61, there was an outbreak of mass demonstrations in a very little, very Southern, almost slave town of southern Georgia called Albany. There had been nothing like this in that town. A quiet, apparently passive town, everybody happy, of course. And then suddenly the black people rose up and a good part of the black population of Albany ended up in jail. There were not enough jails for all who demonstrated.
    A report was made for the Southern Regional Council of Atlanta on the events in Albany. The report, which was very critical of the FBI, came out in the New York Times. And King was asked what he thought of the role of the FBI. He said he agreed with the report that the FBI was not doing its job, that the FBI was racist, etcetera, etcetera.
    At that point, the FBI also inquired who the author of that report was, and asked that an investigation begin on the author. Since I had written it, I was interested in the FBI's interest in the author. In fact, I sent away for whatever information the FBI had on me, through the Freedom of Information Act. I became curious, I guess. I wanted to test myself because if I found that the FBI did not have any dossier on me, it would have been tremendously embarrassing and I wouldn't have been able to face my friends. But, fortunately, there were several hundred pages of absolutely inconsequential material. Very consequential for the FBI, I suppose, but inconsequential for any intelligent person.
    I'm talking about the FBI and U.S. democracy because here we have this peculiar situation that we live in a democratic country-everybody knows that, everybody says it, it's repeated, it's dinned into our ears a thousand times, you grow up, you pledge allegiance, you salute the flag, you hail democracy, you look at the totalitarian states, you read the history of tyrannies, and here is the beacon light of democracy. And, of course, there's some truth to that. There are things you can do in the United States that you can't do many other places without being put in jail.
    But the United States is a very complex system. It's very hard to describe because, yes, there are elements of democracy; there are things that you're grateful for, that you're not in front of the death squads in El Salvador. On the other hand, it's not quite a democracy. And one of the things that makes it not quite a democracy is the existence of outfits like the FBI and the CIA. Democracy is based on openness, and the existence of a secret policy, secret lists of dissident citizens, violates the spirit of democracy. There are a lot of other things that make the U.S. less than a democracy. For instance, what happens in police stations, and in the encounters between police and citizens on the street. Or what happens in the military, which is a kind of fascist enclave inside this democracy. Or what happens in courtrooms which are supposedly little repositories of democracy, yet the courtroom is presided over by an emperor who decides everything that happens in a courtroom -what evidence is given, what evidence is withheld, what instructions are given to the jury, what sentences are ultimately meted out to the guilty and so on.
    So it's a peculiar kind of democracy. Yes, you vote. You have a choice. Clinton, Bush and Perot! It's fantastic. Time and Newsweek. CBS and NBC. It's called a pluralist society. But in so many of the little places of everyday life in which life is lived out, somehow democracy doesn't exist. And one of the creeping hands of totalitarianism running through the democracy is the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
    I think it was seeing the film Mississippi Burning that led me to want to talk about the FBI. I had sort of reached a point where I said, "Who wants to hear anymore about the FBI?" But then I saw Mississippi Burning. It relates a very, very important incident in the history of the civil rights movement in the U.S. In the summer of 1964, these three young men in the movement, two white, one black, had traveled to investigate the burning of a church in a place called Philadelphia, Mississippi-city of brotherly love. They were arrested, held in jail, released in the night, followed by cars, stalked, taken off and beaten very, very badly with chains and clubs and shot to death- executed-June 21, 1964. The bodies were found in August. It's a great theme for an important film. Mississippi Burning, I suppose, does something useful in capturing the terror of Mississippi, the violence, the ugliness.
    But after it does that, it does something which I think is very harmful: In the apprehension of the murderers, it portrays two FBI operatives and a whole flotilla-if FBI men float-of FBI people as the heroes of this episode. Anybody who knows anything about the history of the civil rights movement, or certainly people who were in the movement at that time in the South, would have to be horrified by that portrayal. I was just one of many people who was involved in the movement. I was teaching in Atlanta, Georgia, in a black college for about seven years from 1956 to 1963, and I became involved in the movement, in Albany, Georgia, and Selma, Alabama, and Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and Greenwood and Greenville and Jackson, Mississippi in the summer of '64. I was involved with SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Anybody who was involved in the Southern movement at that time knew with absolute certainty: The FBI could not be counted on and it was not the friend of the civil rights movement. The FBI stood by with their suits and ties-I'm sorry I'm dressed this way today, but I was just trying to throw them off the track-and took notes while people were being beaten in front of them. This happened again, and again, and again. The Justice Department, to which the FBI is presumably accountable, was called again and again, in times of stress by people of the civil rights movement saying, hey, somebody's in danger here. Somebody's about to be beaten, somebody's about to be arrested, somebody's about to be killed. We need help from the federal government. We do have a Constitution, don't we? We do have rights. We do have the constitutional right to just live, or to walk, or to speak, or to pray, or to demonstrate. We have a Bill of Rights. It's America. It's a democracy. You're the Justice Department, your job is to enforce the Constitution of the United States. That's what you took an oath to do, so where are you? The Justice Department wasn't responding. They wouldn't return phone calls, they wouldn't show up, or when they did show up, they did nothing.
    The civil rights movement was very, very clear about the role of the FBI. And it wasn't just the FBI; it goes back to the Justice Department; back to Washington; back to politics; back to Kennedy appointing racist judges in Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia to do favors for his Southern Democratic political cronies, only becoming concerned about black people when things appeared on television that embarrassed the administration and the nation before the world.
    Only then did things happen. Oh, we'll send troops to Little Rock, we'll send troops to Oxford, Mississippi, and so on. Do something big and dramatic and so on. But in all the days and all the hours in between, before and after, if there's no international attention, forget it. Leave these black folk at the mercy of the law enforcement officers down there. Just as after the Civil War, blacks were left at the mercy of Southern power and Southern plantation owners by Northern politicians who made their deal with the white South in 1877.
    If you want to read the hour-by-hour description of this, you could read a wonderful book by Mary King, Freedom Song. She was a SNCC staffperson in the Atlanta office whose job was to get on the phone and call the newspapers, the government, the Justice Department and say: Hey, three young men have not come back from Philadelphia, Mississippi. She called and called and called and it took several days before she got a response. Deaf ears. They were dead. Probably none of those calls would have saved them.
    It was too late, but there was something that could have saved them. And it's something I haven't seen reported in the press. If there had been federal agents accompanying the three on their trip, if there had been federal agents in the police station in Philadelphia, Mississippi, that might not have happened. If there had been somebody determined to enforce law, enforce constitutional rights, to protect the rights of people who were just going around, driving, talking, working, then those three murders might have been averted.
    In fact, 12 days before the three disappeared, there was a gathering in Washington, D.C., on June 9, 1964. A busload of black Mississippians came all the way up-it was a long bus ride to Washington-to the National Theater.
    There was a jury of fairly well known Americans- college presidents, writers, other people-assembled to hear the testimony. The black people's testimony before the press and an audience was recorded and transcribed. They testified that what was going to happen in Mississippi that summer with all these volunteers coming down was very, very dangerous. They testified about their experiences, about their history of being beaten, about the bodies of black people found floating in the rivers of Mississippi and they said, people are going to get killed; we need the protection of the federal government.
    Also appearing at this hearing were specialists in constitutional law who made the proper legal points that the federal government had absolute power to protect people going down into Mississippi. Section 333, Title 10 of the U.S. Code (some numbers burn themselves into you because you have to use them again and again) gives the federal government the power to do anything to enforce constitutional rights when local authorities either refused or failed to protect those rights.
    So they take all this testimony at the National Theater and put it into a transcript and deliver it to Attorney General Robert Kennedy, hand deliver it to the White House, and ask the federal government to send marshals down to Mississippi. Not an army, a few hundred marshals, that's all. Plainclothes people for protection. This is 1964; by now you've sent 40,000 soldiers to Vietnam, so you can send 200 plainclothes people to Mississippi. No response from the Attorney General, none from the President. Twelve days later those three men disappear.
    Well, why didn't they put that in the film? Why didn't anybody say anything about that? So the FBI are the heroes of this film.
    Well, that's only part, as you know, of the history of the FBI. Going back, the FBI was formed first as the Bureau of Investigation under Theodore Roosevelt-don't worry, I'm not going to take you year by year through this history. It's a very depressing history.
    But, it just interested me. In 1908, under Theodore Roosevelt, his Attorney General, a man named Bonaparte, a grand nephew of Napoleon-set up the Bureau of Investigation which later became the FBI. One of its first acts was to enforce a new federal law- the Mann Act. This law made it illegal to transport women across state lines for immoral purposes. Yes, one of their first acts was to prosecute the black heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson, because he was living with a white woman and they actually crossed a state line. One of the first heroic acts of the FBI. They go way back. Racism goes way back in the FBI and comes way forward, comes right up to now. By the way-in the film they show a black FBI man. But there was no black person in the FBI in 1964. A chauffeur, maybe. A maid, maybe. No black FBI agents in 1964. But there was this black FBI agent in the film.
    Yes, the racism comes right up to yesterday when a black FBI man-in Detroit, I think-is harassed by his fellow white FBI agents who do all sorts of funny things to him to make life miserable for him. You think, where is the solidarity among FBI people? FBI people, black and white together, we shall overcome. Well, apparently the FBI doesn't believe in that.
    There's too much to say about the FBI and racism. It's not just J. Edgar Hoover. Everybody says, oh, J. Edgar Hoover, he really hated black people. He hated the civil rights movement, but it's not just him, of course. It's too easy to pin all this on J. Edgar Hoover, to pin it just on the FBI as if they're wildcards. The president says, oh sorry, we didn't know what they were doing. Well, it's just like Oliver North. A wildcard North was doing these crazy things and his defense was absolutely right: I did it for them. He did. He did it for them and now they have turned on him. He doesn't have to worry, they'll take good care of him. They take care of their own.
    When people in the CIA and FBI commit crimes, how do they get handled? They don't. They're forgotten about. Do you know how many crimes have been committed by the FBI and the CIA? How many black bag jobs? Breaking and entering? Try breaking and entering. Really. Try breaking and entering in the daytime, or nighttime, and see what happens to you. Different punishments depending on what hour of the day. The FBI broke and entered again and again and again and again, hundreds and hundreds of times.
    There were hundreds of FBI men involved in these breaks. Two men were actually prosecuted. This happens every once in a while. When huge public attention finally gets focused, they pick out two from the pack and prosecute them and they find them guilty and they sentence them. To what? To nothing. Fine, $5,000 for one person. That's FBI petty cash. $3,500 for the other. And then they say that justice has been done and the system works.
    Remember when Richard Helms of the CIA was found guilty of perjury in 1976? Hiss went to jail for four years for perjury, Helms didn't go to jail for two hours. And Helms's perjury, if you examine it, was far, far more serious than Alger Hiss's, if Hiss was indeed guilty. But if you're CIA, if you're FBI, you get off.
    But North is right; he did it for them. He did what they expected him, wanted him, to do. They use this phrase, plausible denial, a very neat device. You have to be able to do things that the President wants you to do but that he can deny he wanted you to do, or deny he ordered you to do if push comes to shove.
    It's not just the FBI. It's the government. It's part of the system, not just a few people here and there. The FBI has names of millions of people. The FBI has a security index of tens of thousands of people- they won't tell us the exact numbers. Security index. That's people who in the event of national emergency will be picked up without trial and held. Just like that. The FBI's been preparing for a long time, waiting for an emergency.You get horrified at South Africa, or Israel, or Haiti where they detain people without trial, just pick them up and hold them incommunicado. You never hear from them, don't know where they are. The FBI's been preparing to do this for a long time. Just waiting for an emergency. These are all countries in emergency; South Africa's in an emergency, Chile was in an emergency, all emergencies.
    James Madison made the point way back. One of the founding fathers. They were not dumb. They may have been rich and white and reactionary and slave holders but they weren't dumb. Madison said the best way to infringe on liberty is to create an external menace.
    What can a citizen do in a situation like this? Well, one thing is simply to expose the FBI. They hate to be exposed, they're a secret outfit. Everything they do is secret. Their threat rests on secrecy. Don't know where they are. Not everybody in a trench coat is an FBI agent. We don't know where they are, who they are, or what they're doing. Are they tapping? Right. And what are you going to do about it?
    The one thing you shouldn't think will do anything is to pass a law against the FBI. There are always people who come up with that. That's the biggest laugh in the world. These are people who pay absolutely no attention to the law, again and again. They've violated the law thousands of times. Pass another law; that's funny.
    No, the only thing you can do with the FBI is expose them to public understanding-education, ridicule. They deserve it. They have "garbologists" ransacking garbage pails. A lot of interesting stuff in garbage pails. They have to be exposed, brought down from that hallowed point where they once were. And, by the way, they have been brought down. That's one of the comforting things about what has happened in the United States in the last 30 years. The FBI at one point was absolutely untouchable. Everybody had great respect for the FBI. In 1965 when they took a poll of Americans; do you have a strong admiration for the FBI? Eight-five percent of people said, "Yes." When they asked again in '75, 35 percent said, "Yes." That's a big comedown. That's education -education by events, education by exposure. They know they've come down in the public mind and so now they're trying to look kinder and gentler. But they're not likely to merge with the American Civil Liberties Union. They're more likely, whatever their soothing words, to keep doing what they're in the habit of doing, assaulting the rights of citizens.
    The most important thing you can do is simply to continue exposing them. Because why does the FBI do all this? To scare the hell out of people. Were they doing this because of a Soviet invasion threat or because they thought the Socialist Workers Party was about to take over the country? Are they going after whoever their current target is because the country is in imminent danger, internal or external? No. They are doing it because they don't like these organizations. They don't like the civil rights organizations, they don't like the women's organizations, they don't like the anti-war organizations, they don't like the Central American organizations. They don't like social movements. They work for the establishment and the corporations and the politicos to keep things as they are. And they want to frighten and chill the people who are trying to change things. So the best defense against them and resistance against them is simply to keep on fighting back, to keep on exposing them. That's all I have to say.
    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

  8. Default

    I just thought it was interesting that something of note happened in Media, PA. The building in the NYT article looks familiar, but I probably couldn't place it.
    _______________________________

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