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Peace & Palast


Nicole Sandler

What a difference a day makes!

The protests last night in Ferguson, MO were of a much different tone - because the police that were present actually joined with the people of the community, marching with them, listening to them.

In the photo above, the uniformed man marching next to a woman carrying a sign is Captain Ron Johnson, the head of the Missouri State Troopers, now charged with heading up the law enforcement effort in Ferguson. The day began with more of what the people were asking for: the name of the officer who shot Michael Brown: Darren Wilson.

Apparently Officer Wilson has been with the department for six years, with no disciplinary record. Unfortunately, the other thing they did at the presser in which Wilson's name was divulged was to blame the victim.

Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson then distributed a 19-page incident report about a "strong arm robbery" that happened moments before Brown was killed, in which Brown is alleged to have stolen some cigars from a convenience store.

Ferguson Incident Report

The report was accompanied by this page of still photos from the convenience store surveillance video, identifying someone alleged to be Michael Brown, as tweeted by Huffington Post's Ryan J. Reilly

Even if Michael Brown did commit a robbery, that's no justification for a police officer to shoot him dead.

Stay tuned... and let's hope the calm holds tonight...

Today on the show

It's always great to hear from Greg Palast, but especially great to hear him so fired up not long after he had quadruple bypass surgery!

As he's been doing for a while now, he's got his sites set on Paul "the vulture" singer, a truly evil hedge fund billionaire/crook who brought down the nation of Argentina!  Follow the link and read the story, and listen to our conversation on today's show. Learn more by reading Greg's New York Times bestsellers Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Armed Madhouse and the must-read story about Singer's criminal activities that reads like a crime novel, Vultures’ Picnic.

Flashback Friday

We end each week with a blast from my music radio past. Today, we ventured back to June 19, 2000 for a session with Shivaree, a great band fronted by Ambrosia Parsley- years before she sang the news on Air America Radio's Unfiltered with Rachel Maddow and Lizz Winstead.

And from July 20, 1999, my conversation with -and performance by Chrissie Hynde and Adam Seymour of Pretenders.

And with that, it's the weekend. We'll be back Monday with Howie Klein and another installment of The Steve Israel Hour, sponsored by Little Debbie. Plus Nicole Belle returns to talk about the end of the David Gregory era at Meet The Press.

Keep the peace... radio or not!


Afternoon-Evening Links



Walmart shooters covered officers’ bodies with Gadsden Flag, previously kicked off Bundy Ranch


Racist Tea Party Revolutionaries Kill Cops In Las Vegas: Why Won’t The Media Call It Terrorism?

Does Sex Work Beat Walmart Type Jobs?

Our Phone Obsession Is Turning Us Into Zombies

What's the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana?

Details Emerge of Bowe Bergdahl’s Captivity

Insurrection Timeline

Watch: KKK Explain Their Plan For Expansion, Including Military-Style Combat Training

PBS’s Bonnie Erbe Accepts Award from Anti-Immigrant Group

Las Vegas Shooters Told Neighbors They Were Kicked Off Bundy Ranch

Fox's Pirro Demands Obama Be Impeached For Bergdahl Prisoner Swap

Paul Gigot Opposes Minimum Wage Hike Because Workers 'Learn' From Poverty Wages

McCain: Obama Freed The 'Jihadists Responsible For 9/11' In Exchange For Bergdahl

The bizarre secret of London’s buried diggers

The Drunken Downfall of Evangelical America's Favorite Painter

Right-Wing Christians and Republican Policies Are Making America Stupid

Former Army Major Tells Fox's Huckabee President Should Have Threatened To Invade Pakistan Over Bergdahl

Here’s where new Americans came from in 2013, and where they live now

Right-Wingers are LYING When They Claim Eight Soldiers Died Looking for Bergdahl


Santa Barbara Shooting -- Of Course It's The Gays' Fault Says Fox News


Crime Scene

You would need to be living under a rock not to have heard about the Santa Barbara California area stabbings and shooting rampage. Seven are dead, 13 are wounded and all are under 24 years old. All of the young victims were innocent except for the shooter who took his own life. He too may have been a victim, but within the confines of his own mind. We'll never know for sure. But he did leave some very important and telling evidence.

News outlets quickly broke the story that the shooter had left Youtube postings and a 140 page manifesto explaining his actions. Authorities rapidly took to analyzing them and a consensus was quick in coming. This perpetrator, identified as Elliot Rodger, was mentally disturbed leading up to his actions. One doesn't need to be a genius or a psychologist to see that. Or do they?

He describes himself as feeling shunned by women and his being jealous of the men who were able to have relationships with them. There's more to it than that, obviously, but his feelings of inadequacy in the social realm caused him to snap. He couldn't succeed with women and he felt shunned.

Using his own video and long explanation of his planned attack, the consensus of experts was uninformed.  Uninformed until Fox News stepped in. Despite the facts, as if facts ever got in the way of a homophobic story by them, they put on a quack doctor to analyze the rantings of the killer.  Raw Story:

Dr. Robi Ludwig asserted to Fox News that a mass shooting in California over the weekend may have been triggered because the suspect could not cope with his “homosexual impulses.

In a video posted on YouTube, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger explained that he had planned a shooting rampage to get retribution on women for rejecting him.

All you girls who rejected me and looked down upon me and treated me like scum, while you gave yourself to other men,” Rodger said just hours before gunning down six people near UC Santa Barbara’s campus. “And all of you men for living a better life than me. All of you sexually active men. I hate you.”

Where or what Cracker Jack box licensed Dr. Robi Ludwig got her degree is questionable. Where Fox News found her is simple -- Haters 'R Us or Homophobes For A Better Tomorrow.

Somehow, despite all evidence, a video and a 140 page explanation written by the killer himself explaining his impulses and anger, Dr. Gayhater misdiagnosed the evidence. Hers are the opposite  findings of the facts. A man who yearns for the love of and compassionate relations with a woman, is heterosexual, not homosexual. A man who's jealous of sexually active men with women he's attracted to, is heterosexual not homosexual. These are basic tenets. Opposite sex attraction--straight. Same sex attraction-- homosexual. This isn't quack science.

Why Fox News would put out something so diametrically opposed to facts is not a new question to ask. The answer is they are driven by outrageous headlines and looking for any viewership-grabbing antics they can. They are bottom feeders who just lick up any hate mongering. Sadly the byproducts of this irresponsible reporting is fueling the flames of bigotry.

Is this all about Fox News and their right wing conservative-serving opposition to same sex marriage? Is this about the pending Employment Non Discrimination Act in Congress? Or is this just about ignorance, pure and simple?

Putting this out there, Fox News is hurting the victims, their families, and the entire country. We have enough hate. This isn't the time to fan the flames, especially when their claims are so spurious. Not a scintilla of evidence appears anywhere or is mentioned by anyone that the killer had any homosexual leanings or tendencies.

This is the time to try to understand what happened and to try to prevent such things from happening again. Is it too early to be angry? No. But it's always too soon to blame innocent people for crimes they didn't commit.

Fox owes the world an apology. It won't come. But Dr. Ludwig deserves all the criticism we can heap upon her. Her competence must be questioned as you can see in her appearance below.


Paging Cheney: Pro-gun GOP lawmaker accidentally shoots hunter in head


cheney whittington smaller pro-gunVia Getty Images

In an eerily Cheneyesque Moment, a pro-gun Republican state representative from Oklahoma accidentally hit a fellow hunter in the side of his head with a shotgun pellet. He was aiming at a pheasant. Oopsie! To quote Maxwell Smart, "Missed it by that much!"

Flashback: The man Dick Cheney shot re: his X-rays: "They say my chest looks like New York City at night."

Thankfully, the Oklahoma shootee was fine, the injury wasn't serious Rep. Steve Vaughan was remorseful, unlike uncompassionate pro-gun conservative Dick Cheney, after he shot his hunting buddy Harry Whittington in the face. He was aiming at a quail.

maxwell smart missed it by that much

And unlike uncompassionate pro-gun conservative Rafael "Ted" Cruz, who basically responded with, "meh" regarding Cheney shooting his friend: "Look, it happens."

The Hill:

"I just felt horrible about it. I just was sick," said Rep. Steve Vaughan, who wounded the man in the head with a 12-gauge shotgun as he was aiming at a pheasant.

“I’m a safety guy,” he said. “Gosh, I’m as safety as I can be. I was so mad at myself for even thinking about shooting the bird in this direction where I knew he was down in there.”

Taking responsibility for negligence and hurting people: What a concept. The GOP should try it some time.

I am not a gun fan, not even for sport. I understand the protection arguments, and the shooting game for food arguments, but that doesn't mean I like or even agree with them. IMHO, we'd all be better off and a lot safer without firearms, but they are legal, so...

Guns are killing machines. That's their only purpose, to mortally wound living beings. And that so many gun fondlers revere them excessively, that they actually think they can protect themselves against "Big Government" tanks, heavy weaponry, and military forces, is delusional.

If they're that worried about our freedoms being lost, maybe they should think about innocent lives being lost instead. And think about maiming living, breathing people, both physically and psychologically. And their embrace of a violent society instead of a peaceful one. And their so-called "pro-life" positions.


Another school shooting, another study on gun access and risk of homicide, suicide


shooting guns CT

An all too familiar news flash showed up in my inbox today: One dead, one arrested in shooting at Purdue University:

A lone gunman walked into a basement classroom at Purdue University Tuesday, shot and killed one person then calmly walked outside and turned himself in, police said.

And David just posted Police Chief Shoots Himself And Blames His Fleece Jacket.

When I opened my morning Los Angeles Times this morning, I saw this headline: Study takes new look at gun access and risk of homicide, suicide:

People who have ready access to a firearm are almost twice as likely to be killed and three times likelier to commit suicide than those without a gun available in the home or from a neighbor or friend, a new study has concluded. [...]

The United States is thought to have the highest rate of gun ownership of any country, with close to 4 in 10 households owning a firearm. The nation's gun-related homicide rate is higher than that of any other high-income country, and its rate of suicides carried out with a gun exceeds that of any other country that maintains such data. [...]

...Congress passed a law prohibiting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from spending federal funds on research that could be interpreted as promoting or advocating for gun control measures.

We are becoming way too accustomed to news bulletins about school shootings, mass shootings, workplace shootings, "accidental" (negligent) shootings, you name it. And we have seen study after study like the one above that tells us what an unnecessarily violent country we are.

What will it take for this country to wake up? What will it take for gun-toting gun zealots to see the need for common sense legislation that could save lives? WTF is so hard about that?


Twinkies, Skittles, Popcorn -- All Justifiable Causes of Gun Deaths


Orville Redenbacher theater popcorn

No, nothing's gotten out of hand. The world isn't off it's rocker. Sanity hasn't taken a vacation. The trouble today is a four letter word -- guns.

It doesn't matter what side of the Second Amendment you personally come down on, it's really only a matter of time before people finally start figuring out that uncontrolled gun usage is going to kill us all.  And it'll all be justified. But no blame will be on the fact that we allow guns everywhere with no real restrictions. That's because guns don't kill. It's true. The NRA told me.

Think about it this way. We regulate the safety of food. Of the air we breath and even the medications we take to cure us. But the one item sure to cause our death is something off limits. Taboo.

Here's the latest wackadoodle story. We've already lived through the San Francisco killing that was justified by the assailant eating too many Twinkies -- the victims, Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone of San Francisco.

After that there have been many others, cops shooting handcuffed suspects, naked unarmed suspicious suspects shot 12 times and allowed to bleed to death under the banner of justified. Oh, and what about the justifiable murder of Trayvon Martin. His crime was walking while eating Skittles. That is surely one of Florida's finest moments.

But Florida is not just the Sunshine State. It's also the "We try harder" state -- kind of the Avis of the 50 United States. The Orange Juice capital of the world didn't cause enough racial animus with George Zimmerman and the "Stand Your Ground" law, they've taken that to new heights.

It's called the popcorn defense.

Evidently the retired cop took the title of the movie, "LONE SURVIVOR" too literally.

Instead of letting management handle the situation, the cop engaged the texting man in an argument, which led to the angry father tossing the ever dangerous contents of a bag of popcorn -- that deadliest of weapons when it's butter topped -- on the shouting and enraged ex-cop. The next action was the former officer, a man trained to quell arguments with the least amount of hostilities, did what any true blooded second amendment American would do.

He drew his peacemaker -- a snubnose .38 caliber pistol -- and shot. The bullet first hit the texting man's wife's hand which she instinctively put up in fearful reaction, and then went straight through it, finding it's final resting spot in the heart of her husband. He was pronounced dead on the spot. One bullet. Two victims. Tell me this isn't a trained cop.

When brought into the police station where he served for nearly 20 years, the officer gave his statement. He was in fear of his life when he drew his gun and that is "stand your ground." It was the popcorn tossed on him that put him into fear for his life and allowed him to draw upon the unarmed man and his wife.

No one yet knows what the outcome of this will be, or if it will even get to trial. But I have heard rumors that Orville Redenbacher has been retained by the defense as an expert witness.

To borrow from Will Durst, the problem isn't too many guns in schools, it's too many schools. In this case, it's not too many guns in movie theaters, it's too many movie theaters. Aurora Colorado. Carson California. Now Tampa Florida. Where's the popcorn insanity going to lead us? Be careful at the hot butter topping dispensary at your movie house. Can't you just see the trouble brewing there?


Video- Fox News: Gun Advocate Larry Pratt: Gun Control Laws Are Killing People.


No selfawareness what so ever. Via.