American Empire

Tyranny at Home – OB Rag Editorial in 1973 During the Days of Nixon and Watergate

February 20, 2017 by Source

Editor: The following is an OB Rag staff editorial from October 1973. It was published during the time of the Nixon administration and the Watergate scandal. As Nixon didn’t resign until August 1974, there were fears of what he would do in the months prior to the resolution of the Constitutional crisis. In reading this editorial written 44 years ago, many of the themes resonate with us today.

tyranny at home …

We of the OB Rag staff are appalled at Richard Nixon’s latest moves at establishing one-man rule n America. Nixon has stepped outside the bounds of his constituted authority … again. He has usurped the powers of the courts by refusing to comply with a court order to release the tapes. More, he has fired the one man, Archibald Cox, who had the legal authority to investigate the White House’s involvement in Watergate.

By dismissing Cox and by forcing Elliot Richardson and Ruckelshaus to resign, Nixon has ripped away any remaining shreds of credibility that his administration has been able to maintain. Nixon himself has finally become for many the real American crisis…

Truly this country is closer to a dictatorship than ever before, or at least closer than ever within our lifetimes. What more need to be said or expressed than Richard Nixon must be impeached or removed if he will not step down. He and his entire government must go.

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Obama Commutes Sentence of Chelsea Manning

January 18, 2017 by Source

President Obama has commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the Army intelligence analyst who leaked American military and diplomatic activities in 2010, and who had become a cause celebre over those years. This act likely saved her life.

According to the New York Times:

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Trump’s Cabinet Picks: A Basket of Deplorables

December 15, 2016 by John Lawrence

Trump's Cabinet PicksA Secy of Labor Who Doesn’t Believe in the Minimum Wage

By John Lawrence

Trump has chosen fast food executive Andrew Puzder as Secretary of Labor. Puzder is chief executive of CKE Restaurants, the corporation that owns Hardee’s and Carls Jr fast food chains.

The corporation has 3300 locations in 42 states and 28 countries. Puzder has advocated replacing human beings with machines in fast food restaurants.

He famously said, “They’re always polite, they always upsell, they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there’s never a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case.”

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Making Sense of the CIA’s Story on Comrade Trump’s Campaign

December 13, 2016 by Doug Porter

Comrade Trump'sBy Doug Porter

On Friday afternoon, the Washington Post dropped a bombshell of a story making the claim that disinformation/hacking efforts during the 2016 presidential campaign were aimed at supporting the candidacy of President-elect Donald Trump.

On Saturday, the New York Times took it a step further, reporting that the Russians had also hacked the Republicans’ data, but didn’t disclose it out of antipathy to the Clinton campaign.

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Remembering Pearl Harbor in the Time of Trump

December 7, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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World War II Vets Would Not Have Stood for President-Elect

Remembering this December 7th – Pearl Harbor Day – has special significance for us today in this new Era of Trump. The 75th anniversary of the attack by Japanese forces on US air and naval power in Hawaii in late 1941 finds few surviving members still with us. And our collective memory of “the day of infamy” – as President Franklin Roosevelt declared it the next day before Congress – which pushed the country into World War II – has all but faded.

But yes, we need to remember this day – and all that it represents – all the contradictions of that historic moment and context. And all the parallels from that day to ours today.

Yet this day does have a special meaning for us now -…

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Victory at Standing Rock! Department of Army Says No to Dakota Access Pipeline

December 5, 2016 by Source

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Statement on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Decision to Not Grant Easement

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Cannon Ball, N.D.— The department of the Army will not approve an easement that will allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe. The following statement was released by Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II.

“Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline.

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Police Use Water Cannons in Freezing Weather on Protesters at Standing Rock

November 21, 2016 by Source

Photo Credit: MagicZoetrope / Flickr Standing Rock

By Alexandra Rosemann / Alternet

Police used water cannons and tear gas against hundreds of Dakota Access Pipeline protesters in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, late Sunday, Nov. 20. At least one person was arrested and dozens injured.

The confrontation began at 6pm, near the encampment were the protests against the $3.8 billion pipeline have been ongoing for months. According to the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, 400 protesters attempted to cross Blackwater Bridge on state Highway 1806 after removing a burned-out truck.

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As of Nov. 19th, Hillary Clinton Now Leads Trump by 1,677,041 Popular Votes

November 19, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

As of 9 a.m. pst, Saturday, November 19th, Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 1 and 2/3rds million popular votes.

It is now up to a lead of 1,677,041 ballots cast for her.

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Anti-Trump Protests Have Exploded for 7 Straight Days Across America

November 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

It’s a reality that Donald Trump and all his transition team platoons cannot fathom, a reality that the mass corporate media disdains and a reality that drives Trump supporters crazy, but – there have been mass demonstrations and protests across the country every day and night since the election on Tuesday, November 8th, for 7 straight days.

Americans – mainly young people – have been in streets in all the major cities – including San Diego – and especially Los Angeles – Chicago, Oakland, New York City, Atlanta, Portland – and on college and high school campuses, in parks in small cities and towns.

Thousands. Tens of thousands. Across the country – on both coasts – in the heartland, in Trump territory – in all the urban metropolis. And it’s teenagers doing this, high school students, even middle-school students – many too young to have voted.

And they happened again today – Tuesday, November 15th. Take for example, this:

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The Night that Democracy Died in America

November 9, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Sometime after 2 a.m. eastern standard time – in the middle of the late night, Hillary Clinton – who won the popular vote for President – phoned Donald Trump and made her concession. He had won the electoral vote.

In an historic rebellion of the white, working-class, half of American voters used democratic means to elect a man who does not understand the Constitution, who does not respect the Bill of Rights, and who does not believe in democracy.

It is an irony, then, that a radical regime was voted into power that represents the greatest threat in 40 years to what is left of American democracy. Words do matter. With the threats and promises made by our new President-elect over the course of the last year and a half, it’s clear that not since the time of Richard Nixon have the civil rights of Americans been so openly splayed out on the chopping block as they are now – or will be in a few months.

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Mourning in America

November 9, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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An Attempted Coup D’état by FBI Trumpland?

November 5, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for An Attempted Coup D’état by FBI Trumpland?

Hearing all the recent news accounts about how elements in the highest reaches of our top national law enforcement agency – the FBI – have worked to flip the Presidential election in Donald Trump’s favor, made me pull up a definition of “coup d’etat“.

Wow, you might say, how extreme, how hyperbolic – how over the top you’re getting these last few days of the election campaign.

But isn’t it a significant intervention into this election when James Comey, the head of the FBI, announces that the agency is reopening its investigation into a new batch of emails that may involve Hillary Clinton – a bombshell meant to disparage her certainly? And isn’t it intervention when sources within the FBI leak damaging and false information about Clinton to both right-wing media and the Trump campaign?

And when an anchor and reporter on Fox News announced that according to his FBI “sources”, Clinton is likely to be criminally indicted, and this is supposedly confirmed by others close to the agency. So, is all of this an attempted coup d’etat by FBI agents immersed in Trumpland to throw the election to their favorite candidate?

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A Fifth Column Inside the FBI

November 4, 2016 by Doug Porter

FBI Director Comey

By Doug Porter / Published 11-3-16

The Daily Beast’s Wayne Barrett has written a blockbuster of a story detailing the rebellion going on inside the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

It’s a tale of active and former agents, many of them with ties to former NYC Mayor Rudy Guliani, whose actions amount to a law enforcement thumb on the scale of democracy.

Guliani’s law firm has long been general counsel to the FBI Agents Association (FBIAA), which represents 13,000 former and current agents. The group’s leader, agent Rey Tariche, resigned from the FBI New York office on Monday following Director James Comey’s release of a memo saying the agency was once again looking into Hillary Clinton.

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The Financialization of America: Wall Street Doesn’t Help Homeless

October 21, 2016 by John Lawrence

MoneyThe Business of America is No Longer Business — It’s Finance

By John Lawrence

The rich today are making money not from making things, but by manipulating money. This is being done in such a way that it is driving the inequality process. It is ruining the middle class while exporting their jobs.

The tax structure of the US engineered by Ronald Reagan, Alan Greenspan and their Republican followers has incentivized the creation of great wealth in a few hands while driving the majority of people into poverty.

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The How of Trump’s Little-to-No Personal Tax Payments

October 11, 2016 by Source

By Frank Thomas

taxeesIn recognition of Trump’s extremely complicated tax situation, James Stewart in a recent NY Times article asked him to just simply submit ten numbers – adjusted gross income and actual federal taxes paid over his last 5 year returns.

That seems a simple request for Trump to respect. But the legally allowed complex tax concessions given to real estate developers complicates making judgments about Trump’s moral business integrity and obligation to expose his returns.

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Why Progressives Should Vote for Hillary Clinton

October 6, 2016 by Source
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The Nation Magazine Endorses Clinton for President

A Trump presidency would be a catastrophe, whereas a big win by Clinton creates an opening for change.

By The Nation / October 5, 2016

The Nation endorses Hillary Clinton for president and believes that a substantial victory by her in November is essential to advance the progressive issues we have long championed. We supported Senator Bernie Sanders? in the Democratic primary, and we remain concerned about Clinton’s approach to politics and governing. But Clinton isn’t running against Sanders anymore.

The first case for Clinton can be summed up in two words: Donald Trump.

The first case for Clinton can be summed up in two words: Donald Trump. In the contest between hope and cynicism, justice and prejudice, solidarity and selfishness, we can be absolutely certain that Trump is not on our side. Given the perils facing our country and our planet, we believe that Trump’s election would be a catastrophe for the United States—

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As Trump’s Shadow Grows Over the Land – Let’s Plant the Seeds of Revolution

October 4, 2016 by Staff
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By Jeeni Criscenzo

Last month the OB Rag had a survey asking what people would do if Trump is elected president. Since my husband’s parents were from Mexico, and we have friends in Baja, we have had conversations about moving across the border, even before the possibility that Trump could become our next president was considered anything but ludicrous. Now, that possibility is neither far-fetched nor funny.

A year ago our reason to consider leaving San Diego was more for financial reasons and for now, at least, we have under control. Mexico might be more affordable, but are plenty of other issues that convinced us to take a move there off the table. Now, it’s back.

There is a conversation in JRR Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring”, in the second chapter (The Shadow of the Past) where Gandalf explains that The Shadow has returned and this time it is Frodo who must confront it: …

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“What Would You Do If Trump Is Elected?” – Results From Our Survey

October 4, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

trump-as-roman-emperor

Back a few weeks ago, during a particularly “bad week” campaign-wise for Hillary Clinton, it looked like Trump could actually be elected President. It was during that period that the OB Rag asked a number of activists and progressives what they would do if Trump was indeed elected.

Today, still, Trump winning is not a far-fetched concept, for as recently as last night – Monday, October 3rd, Rachel Maddow of msnbc made the plausible case that there could be an electoral college vote tie between Clinton and Trump and it all may end up in a divided US Supreme Court.

(The OB Rag also ran a readers’ poll on the very same question with some startling results.)

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President Obama Should Pardon Edward Snowden

September 19, 2016 by Source
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By Anthony Romero / ACLU

Thanks to Edward Snowden’s act of conscience, we’ve made historic strides in our fight for surveillance reform and improved cybersecurity. That’s why with the release of the Oliver Stone movie “Snowden,” we’re unveiling a major effort calling on President Obama to pardon the NSA whistleblower.

Cases like Edward Snowden’s are precisely the reason the president’s constitutional pardon power exists.

Historically, outgoing presidents have often invoked this power in the last days of their terms — at times on behalf of people who’ve committed reprehensible acts — under the premise that mitigating circumstances outweigh the rationale for punishment. President Obama now has the opportunity to use this power proudly, in recognition of one of the most important acts of whistleblowing in modern history.

Since Snowden first disclosed documents in 2013 detailing the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programs, we’ve seen an unprecedented global debate about the proper limits of government spying.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – August 2016

August 31, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free future. Here is our August 2016 edition:

US nuclear industry reaches a new low with resale of decrepit nuke plant already scheduled to permanently shut down next year.

On July 12, Syracuse.com in upstate New York announced, “Entergy to sell FitzPatrick to Exelon in mid-August.”

The FitzPatrick nuclear plant is located in Lake Ontario near the Canadian border. It started up in late 1974, not long after Richard Nixon’s reign over the White House permanently shut down. This means the nuke plant’s one reactor has been cranking away for almost 42 years, releasing radiation into the air and water in the Great Lakes region all the while.

US nuclear reactors were designed to operate only 40 years.

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Miramar Air Show Sends the Wrong Message

August 19, 2016 by Source

Editor: The following piece by Dave Patterson ran in the Op-Ed pages of the San Diego Union-Tribune, August 18, 2016.

By Dave Patterson

Given our quagmire in the Middle East it’s high time that we gave some thought to how our politicians and military contractors promote war as the answer to our problems. In San Diego the promotion of war is anchored in the annual Miramar Air Show.

According to the air show Web page, it’s the largest in the world, with as many as 500,000 people attending. What they don’t tell us is that the air show is designed to appeal to our senses, not our intellect, and when we participate we get an adrenaline high and exciting memories to take home. We also take home the potential burden of our military people and civilians being injured or killed just to provide us those thrills. We also forget that the very nature of war is about death and destruction, not fun and games.

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San Diego Veterans to Protest Miramar Air Show

August 18, 2016 by Source

“Bannering” against upcoming airshow on August 18

By San Diego Veterans for Peace

miramarEach year, San Diego hosts the giant Miramar Air Show, which is attended by up to 500,000 people.

This air show is typical of many other air shows around the country in that it attempts to glorify and glamorize war and militarism, as well as being an excellent opportunity for defense contractors and the overall military industrial complex to sell products which lead to the deaths and injuries of so many people on earth.

The San Diego Veterans For Peace, with veteran members of all five services, is opposed to these “war shows” and is asking the public to stay home and to provide more wholesome entertainment to their children and families than the Miramar Air Show provides.

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Sanders Tells Backers Immediate Aim of Political Revolution Must Be to Defeat Trump

August 10, 2016 by Source

The revolution ‘will continue until we create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1 percent,’ Sanders writes in new op-ed

By Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams

Bernie SandersBernie Sanders has again urged his supporters to back Hillary Clinton, writing Friday that “Donald Trump would be a disaster and an embarrassment for our country if he were elected president.”

In an op-ed published at the Los Angeles Times, Sanders contrasts the two leading candidates on everything from tax policy to climate change to healthcare, and says that the “immediate task” of his political revolution is to make sure the real estate mogul doesn’t end up in the White House.

Sanders criticizes Trump’s campaign for being “based on bigotry,” and says that his Supreme Court justice nominees “would preserve the court’s right-wing majority.” Clinton’s appointees, in contrast, would be “prepared to overturn” Citizen United and “would protect a woman’s right to choose, workers’ rights, the rights of the LGBT community, the needs of minorities and immigrants, and the government’s ability to protect the environment.”

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Washington Post: “Donald Trump is a unique threat to American democracy”

July 27, 2016 by Source

By Editorial Board / Washington Post / July 22, 2016

DONALD J. TRUMP, until now a Republican problem, this week became a challenge the nation must confront and overcome. The real estate tycoon is uniquely unqualified to serve as president, in experience and temperament. He is mounting a campaign of snarl and sneer, not substance. To the extent he has views, they are wrong in their diagnosis of America’s problems and dangerous in their proposed solutions. Mr. Trump’s politics of denigration and division could strain the bonds that have held a diverse nation together. His contempt for constitutional norms might reveal the nation’s two-century-old experiment in checks and balances to be more fragile than we knew.

Any one of these characteristics would be disqualifying; together, they make Mr. Trump a peril. We recognize that this is not the usual moment to make such a statement.

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Will Trump Have Hillary Arrested If He Is Elected?

July 22, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Donald Trump colors invert

Will Donald Trump have Hillary Clinton arrested if he is elected in November? His base sure wants it.

With loud chants of “Lock her up! Lock her up!” reverberating through the cavernous arena at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the delegates displayed for millions of viewers the war cry of the assemblage.

Whenever Trump or Chris Christie or anyone else among the second and third-string speakers on stage called the Democratic Party nominee out for alleged “crimes”, the chant would go up.

It wasn’t easy watching Trump’s speech last night from Ohio. But I forced myself to do it. My housemates all took cover as the convention blared from the living-room widescreen.

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Updates on Major Stories from OB, San Diego, the Nation

July 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Here is a series of updates on major stories that have enveloped those of us who have paying attention:

3rd Victim Dies from Series of Attacks on Homeless – Suspect Is Now an Alleged “Serial Killer”

Another victim of the vicious attacks on San Diego’s homeless has died. Dionico Derek Vahidy, 23, died at a San Diego hospital just before 1 p.m. Sunday.

Sunset Cliffs Are Still Dangerous

Coming less than a week after a man fell to his death off Sunset Cliffs, a woman on Sunday afternoon, July 10th, was found at the bottom of the cliffs and had to be air-lifted by helicopter off the beach. Lifeguards and other first responders had to climb down the cliffs to get to the as yet unidentified person and administered CPR.

Her condition is not known. And authorities haven’t figured out yet whether she fell from the top or was climbing up. This occurred in 800 block of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. abc10

Black Lives Matter Supporters Marched in San Diego on Sunday

If you were in downtown San Diego on Sunday, July 10th, you could very well have seen or heard Black Lives Matter supporters marching around Petco Park. Nearly a hundred people held a rally …

Protests Continue Nation-Wide

COME INSIDE FOR DETAILS …

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Former Gallagher’s Evolves into “The Holding Company 1502” Music Venue

June 28, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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Steve Yeng and his family, the owners of both the OB Noodle House on Cable and Bar 1502 over on Niagara, had moved into the old Gallagher’s on Newport Avenue. They held an opening night under the old name not too long ago – which a bunch of us attended.

And now there is a new handle on the place.

The new name: “The Holding Company” or “THC” and “1502” (the positions of the alphabet for “O” and “B”).

Some locals find the new name very edgy, even controversial due to the obvious double layer of meaning. But Yeng is not fazed. After all, this is the year that Californians will (probably) vote to legalize marijuana.

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Wild and Wooly

May 9, 2016 by Source

By Sloanranger

ee3db50f2ff31c3e81584d04ee44408be273e4d71cb8184093f7_640_politicsWell here it is, wild and wooly. We thought it was already crazy — obstructional, destructional — dysfunctional to the ‘nth degree. Tea parties, three parties — and the mob finally playing their Trump card. But no trustbusters, not yet – maybe because the trust of the people had long gone, anyway.

Nuclear options, up and down votes, heck, just stop everything. And inside the beltway, the people’s business — or rather lack of it, went on as usual. Our representatives listening only to lobbyists and extremists, corporate paid pundits and media, not much was said about us…to us or for us.

The talking heads blathering on, like nothing’s going on – at first. And then — quelle surprise! Look everyone, at what’s going down… and I do mean down.

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May 4th: We Can’t Forget the Massacre of Students at Kent State – 46 Years Ago

May 4, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Kent State, Ohio, May 4, 1970In Response to Nixon’s Invasion of Cambodia, American Campuses Exploded in Protest in May 1970

Today, May 4th, 2016, is the 46th anniversary of the infamous Kent State Massacre – where 4 students were shot to death by National Guardsmen during anti-Vietnam war protests on the Ohio campus.

Protests at Kent State were part of a wave of demonstrations that swept the country right after President Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia. Ten days later, 2 Black students were shot to death by police during an anti-war protest at Jackson State.

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Daniel Berrigan Dead at 94

May 2, 2016 by Source

Jesuit priest lived life of peace activism

By Andrea Germanos / CommonDreams

Dan Berrigan visit 1982

Daniel Berrigan—Jesuit priest, peace activist, poet, author, and inspiration to countless people—died on Saturday. He was 94 years old.

When America magazine asked a then-88-year-old Berrigan if he had any regrets over the course of his long life, he replied, “I could have done sooner the things I did, like Catonsville.”

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