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All I could think of is running

7:27 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

About five real people were there when he was describing the thin blue air. A normally perfect day, the kind of day you may see that a kid could have drawn with crayons in that universal.kid.artwork way. Puffy lines as clouds, a ball with radiant lines our sun, the normal trees gigantic in kid perspective to the family home drawn from memory and with love.

They knew the sound they heard again, they were no longer alone. There is no need to speak its name. In fact, that’s really unspeakable anyway. And the 13 year old’s story continued;

“When the drone fired the first time, the whole ground shook and black smoke rose up. The air smelled poisonous. We ran, but several minutes later the drone fired again.”

The teen Zubair’s nine year old sister Nabila picks up the story;

“Everything was dark and I couldn’t see anything. I heard a scream. I think it was my grandmother, but I couldn’t see her. All I could think of is running.”

The young boy told the real people that even when his leg heals from the surgery that he received to remove the shrapnel, he would no longer go outside to play as his friends never do anymore – some also refusing to go to school when the drones fly;

“When the sky brightens and turns blue, the drones return and so does the fear…Education isn’t possible as long as the drones circle overhead.”

The children’s father also bore testimony to the mechanically amoral extrajudicial bug splatting crime that had been perpetrated. He told the five assembled real people in Urdu that on that day his mother, “aik lari main pro kay rakhna” (the string that holds the pearls together) had been murdered in a nonchalant brutal fashion in front of his eyes. Rafiq ur Rehman said to the testimony takers;

“I would just like to ask the American public to treat us as equals. Make sure that your government gives us the same status of a human with basic rights as they do their own citizens. We do not kill our cattle the way the US is killing humans in Warziristan with drones. The indiscriminate killing has to end and justice must be delivered to those who have suffered at the hands of the unjust. I would say to President Obama if I had the opportunity to meet with him: ‘What happened to me and my family is wrong.”

The primary school teacher continued,

“As a teacher, my job is to educate. But how do I teach something like this? How do I explain what I do not myself understand? How can I in good faith reassure the children that the drone will not come back and kill them, too, if I do not understand why it killed my mother and injured my children.”

It was then that the person translating the Urdu testimony into English for the real people broke down in tears, unable to go on.

I applaud the five real people who decided to take this urgent and what should be pivotal testimony as this nation realizes its international crime spree cannot continue and it falls on its face submitting humbly and in abject apology for what we all have done. It shames me to think that only five democrats came to witness the savage wound that we have created in this family, as it is only one of the million gashes that we daily inflict on the body of this world that we are torturing. Bewildered seeing my criminal visage in the mirror and angry – but determined to do penance for my crimes by standing up for peace, I must tamp down my inclination to think that all I can do is run.

“When you stand up, you stand for all. When you sit down, they win. To the streets!”

DARPA’s eternal bloodlust of the spotless brain

3:43 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

DARPA’s new project, deep brain stimulation

When my sick brother was fitted with deep brain stimulators to attempt to address some of the most debilitating symptoms of the progressive and cureless brain affliction called Parkinson’s disease there was no real alternative to the treatment that his doctors had prescribed. My brother was 40 at that time, he has since passed.

Many understand Parkinson’s disease as an old person’s disease, and for most of my life this was the case. Many are now aware that the illness can afflict younger people (the poster boy for early onset Parkinson’s is the well-known Michael J. Fox). When an older person gets the disease, they usually expire before the permanent progressive affliction exhibits its horrible and merciless deterioration on one who is stricken.

My brother had just exited a regimen of treatment that was promoted by profit seeking drug companies and perhaps well intentioned doctors whose desire to find new treatments for Parkinson’s disease led my brother to be experimented upon. This was, of course, for the combined purposes of easing the painful and ever present symptoms my brother was experiencing and to find a ‘holy grail’ for drug manufacturers; a drug that every patient with an incurable disease must take several times every day (the pharmaceutical companies really love those cash cows). By the way this drug, Mirapex, is currently being prescribed to help lady sleepers with “restless leg syndrome” – both a syndrome and a marketing campaign!

After years of complaints and pleadings to the doctors which flowed out of episodes of dangerous and wildly uncharacteristic behaviors on the part of our sick brother, we threatened legal action, and my brother was offered to be one of the first patients in the nation to undergo surgery to implant electrical stimulators directly into his brain to hopefully abate or countervail the unbearable and incapacitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

I have to honestly report that the technology did work. While the stimulator did, as we were advised prior to the installation surgery, further incapacitate my brother’s speaking ability (one of the many aspects of complete body rigidity – I mean like a wooden post, and not limited to arms and legs but both the mouth and throat muscles were also cemented in my brother due to Parkinson’s rigidity) the stimulator did ease his dyskinesia and immobility (although these symptoms may seem contradictory, such are the ravages of the nasty permanent sickness called Parkinson’s disease) allowing him to live a higher quality of life for the last years of his life, especially as the electrical stimulation machine allowed my brother to not have to be a slave to the psychological horrors of Mirapex.

On the day of his implant surgery, our family was at Northwestern Hospital where a brilliant neurosurgeon performed the multiple hours long procedure during which time my brother was kept in a semiconscious state, as is required when one is having holes drilled into one’s skull and the deus ex machina is being tested to detect the most effective placement of the stimulating electrodes. It was during the testing of the electronic brain stimulator that I witnessed something as strange and scary as it was revelatory and understandable.

The doctor positioned the electrodes deep within my brother’s brain, into the area that controls movement of his arms and legs, capacities that the disease took away from my brother, to unlock his limbs so he could walk more easily, swallow…all of the motions that we never think about too deeply that allow us to be humans in this human world. Then the doctor would turn the machine on to see how my brother responded to the electrical impulses, the intent was to make sure that the electrical stimulation was directed at the exact spot in my brother’s brain to ensure he received the positive effects that the treatment was intended to provide.

During the electrode placement trials, the doctor shifted the wires inside my brother’s head and revved up the stimulator unit – my brother, lying on an operating table, not having been told anything, not thinking of anything in particular, uncomfortably clad in a hospital gown, began to laugh – busted out laughing. The stimulator was turned off – the doctor jiggled the wires – the machine was reactivated…and my brother sobbed.

Revelatory and understandable, I’m not a doctor but have often used the words “synapses firing” (or not firing, as the case may be) relating to my pre-coffee state of mind in the morning. Strange and scary, I don’t read science fiction but am aware of DARPA.

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Patriotism, marketism, exceptionalism – destinyism? : The prison of the isms

11:08 am in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

Portrait of Columbus

A recent holiday lets one reflect on occupation and power.

Columbus Day can be a warm day or a cold day (and this year was spectacular autumn falling through cool sunshine) but it always provides an opportunity to reflect on the day as a holiday representing as it does a kind of anachronistic celebration of manifest destiny – and we know that we have grown beyond all that…shameful as it is as a part of our history.

It had to be someone, and it was Columbus who ‘discovered America’ and, among other accomplishments, initiated the Euro-American human trafficking biz. We are reminded of both the inhuman brutality and stark commercial natures of this from Columbus’ own diaries where he comments off handedly that due to the free market demands of Euro customers, “dealers” are always looking for young girls and “those from nine to ten are now in demand.”

A few days ago I saw an investigative journalism piece by Raveena Aulakh who writes for the Toronto Star called, “I got hired at a Bangladesh sweatshop. Meet my 9-year-old boss”. In the article, Aulakh describes the harrowing lives of child garment factory workers in Bangladesh where she took a job for a week posing as a willing sweatshop worker. Her nine year old boss, Meem, works making linen shirts for shirt wearing customers somewhere beyond the streets of Dhaka in 12 hour shifts 7 days a week with half days on Friday making $32 dollars Canadian monthly (10 cents an hour). Meem’s dream: to advance from being a sewing helper to become a sewing operator. Aulakh writes that in Bangladesh, “Factory managers prefer younger sewing helpers…Their eyesight is better, their little fingers nimbly trim threads and they don’t fuss about backaches and neck pain.”

Ahh…commerce – always able to find value to be tapped to meet the market’s needs. Why, one may ask, are the market’s needs so important that Meem has to set her tiny feet on the rat race conveyer belt? Why is it so difficult for us to compute the true cost of global commerce as it is paid out in jobs lost at home and slave work created in ‘opened markets’? What makes us deserve to be decked out in daywear assembled out of the attenuated aspirations of the world’s children? Today I am wearing clothing made in Guatemala, Viet Nam and China.

We here in the US recently had a socialist finger wagged in our collective face when Vladimir Putin scolded, “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.” The chastising came after President Obama described his military’s delivery of cruise missiles that will (as we all know, like we know where our linen comes from) level homes and schools killing innocent humans (which we call ‘collateral damage’ so as to not think too hard about the practicalities of the dynamic– in much the same way we call Meem an ‘employee’ so as to not think too hard about the practicalities of the dynamic) thusly:

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Frankie’s exceptional exceptions to American Exceptionalism

12:57 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

Pope Francis

A progressive pope and a regressive president?

In the brave new bizzarro world where the head of the two thousand year old capital serving, land owning, supporter of bloody imperialists and thieving enterprises on 6 of the seven continents known as the Catholic Church comes out as an unabashed adherent to the transmitted ‘teachings’ of the barefooted, long-haired, anti-institutional religion, anti-capital accumulation, anti-money lending institution, supporter of the poor and dispossessed, promoter of the union of brethren humans including our avowed ‘enemies’, exclaimer to a world of owners, “give up all that you own and follow me,” wandering philosopher and proto-hippie known as Jesus of Nazareth, we have the opportunity to reassess the claims of talk-tv screamers, political reamers, surgical strike schemers, imperial pipe-dreamers, military full-steamers, geo-political extremers and America-first home-teamers whose dreams to pillage and plunder abroad and pacify peasants at home have always been couched in language exactly like this; “I believe we should act. That’s what makes America different. That’s what makes us exceptional. With humility, but with resolve, let us never lose sight of that essential truth.” (Barack Obama, Washington DC, 09.10.13)

So, using the exclamations of the nation’s current most vocal supporter of what is known as “American Exceptionalism” (by the way, this word “exceptionalism” always comes up on spell-check as ‘not in the dictionary’) let’s see what we can glean about what exactly “That essential truth …” is here in the good ‘ol USA;

Pope Francis on capitalism:
We must say: ‘We want a fair system; a system that allows everyone to move forward.’ We must say: ‘We do not want this globalized economic system that does so much harm.’ At the center has to be man and woman, as God wants – not money.

Barack Obama on capitalism:

Well, first on the issue of prosecutions on Wall Street, one of the biggest problems about the collapse of Lehmans and the subsequent financial crisis and the whole subprime lending fiasco is that a lot of that stuff wasn’t necessarily illegal, it was just immoral or inappropriate or reckless.

Pope Francis on economic growth:

This is not just a problem of Sardinia; it is not just a problem of Italy or of some countries in Europe. It is the consequence of a global choice, an economic system which leads to this tragedy; an economic system which has at its center an idol called money. Grandparents are thrown away and young people are thrown away…And we must say no to this throwaway culture…A change of attitude… is needed on the part of everyone, moving away from attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalization – all typical of a throwaway culture – towards attitudes based on a culture of encounter, the only culture capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world. Development cannot be reduced to economic growth alone, often attained without a thought for the poor and the vulnerable.

Barack Obama on economic growth:

We can do more. So I’ll push new initiatives to help more manufacturers bring more jobs back to America… Let’s tell the world that America is open for business… Let’s offer incentives to companies that hire Americans who’ve got what it takes to fill that job opening… We’ll give new tax credits to businesses that hire and invest… I’m also proposing a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most…

Pope Francis on immigration:

Will it be modern madness or reefer madness?

6:04 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at mLaw

Half Ounce of Pot Gets Louisiana Man Twenty Years in Prison

Man sentenced to 3 years for cannabis plea

California dispensary owner sentenced to 22 years in federal prison

Marijuana dispensary operator Aaron Sandusky sentenced to 10 years

Hennepin County sheriff: Lax marijuana enforcement is bad

Homeless man with sign: Give Me Weed, a cop approaches

Is cannabis dangerous to American empire?

For the record, for what it’s worth, and while every (generally assumed to be well intentioned, but still demonstrably) ill-informed, under-informed or outright propagandized ‘stake holder’ is chiming in about how to legalize cannabis, or not legalize as the case may be, we here at mLaw think it is part of our civic duty to express our very real concern, founded as it is upon significant anecdotal experience and ceaseless empirical study, regarding what is, to our minds, perhaps the most frightening and destructive (frightening and destructive to average American families, institutions of higher learning and the halls of power in the US) aspect of a typical American cannabis user’s outlook and mindset that, should cannabis be legalized in the US, could weave its way into the fabric of the American psyche.

As the debate churns on in the US about how to move beyond the prohibition of cannabis it is mostly being carried out by;

• ashamed dry-dopers who are as concerned today about burnishing their “legacies” as they were years ago about ensuring that all of the “choom” is consumed by employing the technique of “total absorbsion”,

• interested private parties who have made scads of booty while cannabis has been illegal (from private prison builders to pharmaceutical manufacturers and liquor distillers),

• propagandized daddies and mommies who fear for their toddlers who someday may choose to put a buzz on and consequently find themselves at ‘rock bottom’ (after taking a frightening and uncontrolled death ride on the devil’s own highway) being elected president of the United States (see the horrific life stories of Ronald Reagan, Bill/and Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, for example), and,

• members of our respected federal, state and local law enforcement establishment (who worked together to arrest more than 800,000 Americans for drug possession in 2011 and 749,825 last year, with 87 percent being cannabis possessors, and during the same time period arrested just over 500,000 Americans for violent crimes – 4.2 percent of all arrests, compared to drug arrests which comprise 12.7 of all arrests in 2012) who just love throwing scary and dangerous college kids into jail, ruining their lives forever with a criminal record, because they look so good in their body armor and mirrored aviator sunglasses.

While any sentient being can see that the debate is hopelessly tilted toward ill-conceived and dangerous support for maintaining federal prohibition by these highly vested parties, we have to remember the deep and ever metastasizing psychological and philosophical toll exacted on our country’s body politic when our citizens choose to use cannabis. Because of this, the editors of mLaw want to go on record to state our belief that:

The use of cannabis by otherwise law abiding, thoughtful, intelligent, productive US citizens is in fact a threat to our current society in general and modern America in particular…

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The profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives

5:58 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

Wheatpasted Street Art: Lennon & Yoko: War Is Kinda Over!

War and the media as we head toward Syria.

cross posted at the demise

War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives…
– Major General Smedley Butler, War is a Racket pamphlet, 1935

Herman Göring, Founder of the Gestapo in Nazi Germany :

Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
– quoted in Gustave Gilbert’s Nuremburg Diaries, taken from an interview conducted while the Nuremburg trials were taking place

Yesterday, the self-styled professor Elizabeth O’Bagy was fired by the non-profit organization based in Washington DC that is called the Institute for the Study of War. The Institute fired O’Bagy for lying, and for many Americans – ain’t too surprising to find that there is a liar in DC.

O’Bagy’s ‘go for the war’ op-ed in the Wall Street Journal was cited by warmongers of both political stripes as American politicians pumped and primed it’s war making machine over the past few weeks. Both Secretary of State John Kerry (D) and Senator John McCain (R) used the “facts” contained in the Wall Street Journal piece to inspire war fury in the populace, while pointing to the “important op-ed” as they banged their fists on congressional committee hearing tables.

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them sparkleponypoopmunchers will just have to get used to the ‘trade offs’

6:06 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

ahhh..the inexplicablity to regular dullards of the complex nature of constitutional protections that have no meaning or application “if you only knew what we know and how much we are protecting y’all”

its just those plain ‘ol super human thought processes only accessible to the but now are super.humans because lesser party hacks voted for them

gwbush : “I asked the White House counsel’s office and the Justice Department to study whether I could authorize the NSA to monitor al Qaeda communications into and out of the country without FISA warrants…Both told me I could. They concluded that conducting surveillance against our enemies in war fell within the authorities granted by the congressional war resolution and the constitutional authority of the commander in chief…Before I approved the Terrorist Surveillance Program, I wanted to ensure there were safeguards to prevent abuses. I had no desire to turn the NSA into an Orwellian Big Brother. The Terrorist Surveillance Program had been carefully designed to protect the civil liberties of innocent people.”

bobama : “In the abstract you can complain about Big Brother and how this is a potential program run amok, but when you actually look at the details, I think we’ve struck the right balance…You can’t have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience…We’re going to have to make some choices as a society … There are trade-offs involved.”

I remember that part of the constitution that said party hacks can disregard the constitutional rights that I think are available to me to protect myself from the deranged despotism of party.hacks cum neo-fascists

- its right there under the “trade offs involved” article of the constitution…google it!

and, I don’t want any folks ‘roud rancho bernardo mistaking my intent here – I am NOT comparing gwbush’s strain of indefensible corporate/militaristic civil society destroying activities to the indefensible corporate/militaristic civil society destroying activities of bobama !! no-sir…if y’all think that just consider this : i really really think that obama has a wonderful smile, and i realize that if i do not support corporate hegemony and the imperial militarism required to enforce it that I must be some kind of koran reading sparkleponypoopmuncher.

HAHA LMFAO those sparkleponypoopmunchers are realy funny HAHA can hardly keep down that bite of balsamic infused sot la trape I’m noshing ’bout now

Anyhoo – all this talk about ‘not believing our elected leaders (who have been shown over and over to be unabashedly lying)’ and ‘protecting our freedoms by destroying them’ and all the calling out of them sparkleponypoopmunchers who simply do not understand the necessity of ‘protecting our homeland’ (after our killing more than 100,000 innocent civilians in just one of our current undeclared wars ~ read : illegal invasions under the geneva conventions) reminds me of an incident that myself and mrs.acmerecords experienced first hand that really really made me glad that I have relinquished my capacity for critical thinking and delivered myself as a naked new-born infant into the hands of our dear.protecting.surveillance.addicted.drone.shooting.democratic.hero –

After finishing a quite delicious meal at our local smith and wollensky steak house where me and mrs.acmerecords shared a wonderful dry aged 48 oz porterhouse (for 2) we decided to make a little pilgrimage to our city’s federal building to just look on in awe at the building in our town that houses the types of folks who understand as we will never be able to that we must give up our rights if we are going to keep the ponypoopmunching islamacists from breeching the fortifications of our great land of commercial (nee constitutional) rights -and maybe take a few pictures to display on our facebook pages –and, when we turned the corner on Monroe, we were met with the troublesome sight of maybe 500 swarthy individuals (who were by my estimation largely of Latino – as opposed to Arabic extraction, based upon the various statues of Christ and Mother Mary that they were fondling and carrying about – but remember, as bobama’s joint chief sez, there is a fundamental and un-American connection between Latin Americans and islamacist.terror plotters that has to be recognized and dealt with that has something to do with cannabis, or something) who were all up-in-arms and shouty and marching around and singing songs and making speeches – a regular Arab-spring kind of uprising right here in the city center of my town.  

Shocked to the foundations of my and mrs.acmerecords porterhouse stuffed probosci,  I turned to one of the hundered or so gentle and helpful policeman on the scene (who was decked out in full body armor, carried a hundred plastic hand cuffs and had a very useful protective helmet and face protecting shield) who informed me that the group of crazy ‘rights demanders’ had gathered in Chicago on what is known around the world as ‘international workers day’ that commemorates an incident that happened right here in chi-town called the Haymarket Riot (in 1886) – where a bomb was thrown by a still-to-this-day unknown terrorist that killed some terrorists and some police – and thankfully, the leaders of the protesterrorists, who were not actually at the event, were executed – Can you imagine? A ‘holiday’ celebrating terrorists and common workers? I do declare ..thank god for the protections that our sainted secular elected official enacted as laws just last year to protect our fragile democracy from the opinions of protestors…  I mean, haven’t these ponypoopmunchers ever heard of Labor Day??  And all of this allegedly happened to secure the eight hour work day (made law in the US in 1937) – and, all of this happened in the ‘home town’ of  our dear leader?!?  Can you ever think of Mrobama saying that he’s-a-gonna-put-on-his-marching-shoes to support unionized workers if collective bargaining is ever threatened on his watch – to, you know, protest for worker.terrorist rights?  I mean- really you gots to be crazy to think something like that – Obama? A protesterrorist ponypoopmuncher – - hello… bizzaro world, folks! 

Apparently these ‘protestors’ had not yet received the message that ‘trade-offs’ must be made for our collective protection that eliminate what we have been otherwise informed are ‘inalienable rights’ -  because they were carrying around placards with pictures of our dear.spymaster.child.incinerating.leader.bobama with words on them like “war criminal”, “liar” “as bad as bush” etc (downright glenn.greenwald of those rabble) rousing themselves into a ‘I demand civil rights and equal protection’ frenzy that our hard working (and brutal to be sure – but understandably under-protected and under-armed) city police could not possibly handle on their own.

Thank god that my town is led by that fantastic protector of corporate wealth Rahm Emmanuel (formerly in bobama’s white house as the guy who was formally tasked with calling sparkleponypoopmunchers “retards”) because this staunch protector of our had the foresight to call on bobama’s department of homeland uber-security goon squad to ensure that these un-American americans don’t get too exorcised trying to exercise their mis-perceived “constitutional right” to petition the government with grievances – can’t have that in a free (unless we trade off our freedoms to quell our anxiety over amorphous ‘threats’) country like America.  And the good folks at the CTA were kind enough to provide buses to carry-off protestors who became too noisy to lock them up safely out of sight in one of our city’s very own ‘black site prisons’.

Although me and mrs.acmerecords quivered mightily at the strange site in modern America of citizens who have the temerity to stand up against corporate fascism – the presence of the homeland-goon squad was comforting and reassuring…to simply know that our.dear.leaderS are vigilant in protecting the rights that mrs.acmerecords and me can afford (which have not yet been ‘traded away’) made me proud to be paying my tax dollars in support of those red white and blue goons (who by the way were tethered by a secure chain to a snarling and foamy mouthed attack dog – or should I say snarling and foamy mouthed protector of my god-given and not yet traded away right to not become aware of criticisms and challenges to our dear.drone.dealing.spy.king and our corporate constructed paradise of rights – if y’all can afford them)

Anyhoo, good thing is I found out that the pot-banging and rights clamoring rabble did not make a difference – in my town or my country ..whew!  No unions for low wage workers!  No citizen rights for taxpaying workers!  No end to imperial wars!  And best of all… all the people in rancho bernado can sleep easy knowing that the idea of a ‘living wage’ is still sparkleponypooponaplate !! Almost turned into a shria-law state or some kind of ponypoopmunching utopia or something.

God rest ye well, stormtrooping homeland security goons for protecting me from those dangerous religious song singing people who have different ideas from my own, rahm who protects us every day from the ‘retards’ who dine on sparkleponypoop and our dear.protector for understanding the complex set of trade-offs contemplated (but never actually expressed) by our founding fathers.  We may not know why our freedoms have to be removed for our safety – but we can be certain that terror.protestors will again (on May 1) stand around on street corners mouthing ponypoopdreams and wiping sparklepony dung from their chins as they are securely surrounded by a phalanx of body-armored real americans ready to place their ”billy club to the fucking skull” in support of our beautiful American freedom to participate in structured commerce.


‘the flag follows the dollar, and the soldiers follow the flag’  smedley butler