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The Mad Prophet is C Bryan Lavigne: writer, artist, musician and dedicated Anarcho-Syndicalist. He has written articles for YellowTimes.org and Open Source Politics, which can also be found in various other publications.

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Saturday, August 02, 2003

Quote Of The Day.

"Anarchism does not mean bloodshed; it does not mean robbery, arson, etc. These monstrosities are, on the contrary, the characteristic features of capitalism. Anarchism means peace and tranquility to all." - August Spies, one of the Haymarket Anarchists

Free Jose Bove!

Oh, wait... Too late, they let him out a little early. Hoo-raa!

"The Most Anti-Worker Administration In The History Of Our Country."

From the SFGate.com:

The president of the AFL-CIO Tuesday assailed the Bush administration as "the most anti-worker administration in the history of our country," and said the 2004 presidential election will be the most important in the history of the labor movement.

John Sweeney, at a labor convention in San Francisco, blamed Bush for 11 million workers being out of work or forced into part-time jobs. He also noted that 44 million Americans are without health insurance and that millions of senior citizens cannot afford prescription drugs.


He attacked Bush for overturning ergonomics regulations that the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union had worked 10 years to get, and his refusal to extend unemployment compensations to workers in the airline industry after Sept. 11. Sweeney added, "His tax cut for the rich drained our federal treasury . . . as well as the budgets of the vast majority of our states."


And don't forget to watch the AFL-CIO Working Families Presidential Forum, August 5th, 8PM EDT on C-SPAN, to see where the Democrats stand on the issues.

Bush Hates The Flag.

Chris at American Dissent asks, "Why does Bush hate the flag?" He points out that Bush and all his brain-dead, glassy-eyed followers are violating flag etiquette by using it as a defacto advertising tool, a throwaway gimmick. And there's even photographic evidence of Shrub desecrating a flag with black ink!


Friday, August 01, 2003

What's Up Their Sleeve?

I can't help but wonder what the administration has up its sleeve. David Kay is saying that there's a "surprise" coming on the WMD front, hinting that they've found evidence of a weapons program. Which is a surprise already, since Iraqi scientists are still denying everything and the US is still holding Amir Saadi - Hussein's chief liason to the UN weapon's inspectors - incommunicado.

Saadi is the one man who would have the most detailed knowledge of not only the weapons programs, but of the steps taken by the regime to hide them from the UN, but he maintained right up to his surrender on April 12th that there were no banned weapons or weapons program. He's been in US custody for three and a half months, and the US hasn't gotten anything useful out of him?


What Cease Fire?

From Colombia Report:

Last week, the Colombian government and the country's largest right-wing paramilitary organization, the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), announced an agreement to begin peace talks that will lead to the demobilization of the AUC by 2005. This decision evolved out of six months of exploratory talks and a corresponding unilateral cease-fire called by the AUC in December 2002. The cease-fire was a requirement demanded by President Alvaro Uribe before the government would enter into discussions with any of the armed groups. The U.S. government has also held discussions with the paramilitaries and have endorsed the peace process. But what the Uribe and Bush administrations, as well as the Colombian and U.S. mainstream media have conveniently ignored is the fact that, in reality, there is no cease-fire. Since the alleged cease-fire was initiated, right-wing paramilitary death squads, often aided by the U.S.-backed Colombian military, have killed countless numbers of unarmed Colombians they suspected of being guerrilla sympathizers.

Read The Rest.

Bring 'Em On!

Bush Lied, People Died.

Thursday, July 31, 2003

An Army Of One.

Check out the new Flash movie by Symbolman over at Take Back The Media, which illustrates perfectly why Shrub should not get the votes of military personel or their families in 2004.

Some Thoughts On Prison And The Justice System.

Infoshop has an exclusive from The Wrong Man, a prisoner in West Virginia wrongly accused and convicted of rape. TWM has taken a nom de plume due to the unfair treatment (Read That!) of inmates who have had their name published on the internet.

As with the previous story on TWM and the WV Justice System, I'm reprinting this in its entirety (for reasons that you'd understand if you had clicked through the above link!)

The prison I am in is a good representation of a prison industry. It is a maximum-security facility in a small state. The population here is considered the worst people you could ever meet. Murderers, rapists, and career criminals of all types. I have been locked up for almost eight years and here is what I've noticed.

First, most people here are absolutely NO different then anyone else. You or your neighbor would look right at home here. The difference between a person in prison and someone on the outside is which side of the wall you live on.

Second, the worst prisoners in here, in terms of behavior, are the career criminals and they have the same mindset as most policeman. They have a need in themselves: a thirst for having personal power over others. You can see this in how many police make the news for beating or killing their wines or girlfriends. A policeman will set up and will mistreat a person that challenges their authority; just look at how badly protesters are treated verses a murderer who cooperates. In this prison, it's the burglars who argue and fight not the murders and rapists. Criminals who rob people are often taking from others to feel powerful. Cops will beat a peaceful protester for the same reason.

Thirdly, that the prison really is an industry. A source of income for the state. At this prison, in our pod living area, we have 4 counselors and only 1 guard per side. Sometimes the counselors have to man the guard desks. The counselors do NO counseling. Instead, they hand out toilet paper and do the paperwork here. The only reason they are here is because a federal program pays the state to employ them. That and many other programs make money for the state. On the other hand the state pays guard salaries. This prison was 58 guards short when I first arrived here. The solution to this problem was to reduce the number of required guards on paper.

Lucky for them, the prisoners here are the best-behaved prisoners in the state. We have very few fights and only one death caused by another inmate since the prison opened. It's so mellow, [for a maximum security prison at least] that the guards write people up for extremely small and absurd things. For example, you will get punished for giving another inmate a bag of popcorn or they will write you up for having your name on an Internet website about your case. You see, they have to use all the cells in lockup due to vast overcrowding. I guess that the prisoners here are just too well behaved for the way they expect us to act. Now on to the Justice system that put me here for a crime I did not do. I know you are saying to yourself "All prisoners say they are innocent." That's only partially true. A lot of guilty people do say they are innocent. These are the same people who will never admit when they are wrong about anything. They are idiots. A person who is guilty and pleads guilty will do far less time then an innocent person proclaiming their innocence to the courts. A guilty person can plead guilty, most of the time to a lesser crime, and will get a lighter sentence in exchange for his plea. An innocent man HAS to take his case to trial where you are NOT considered innocent until proven guilty. You are considered guilty by accusation of authority. When you [the innocent] lose the case, and the odds are you WILL lose, you will be given the maximum sentence possible because you disagree with the authority of the police and the courts by saying "I did not do the crime you have accused me of." Once convicted, you can't get paroled because you still say your innocent. Because "he hasn't shown remorse for his crime." While a guilty man goes before the parole board to say "I'm sorry I raped and killed those women, please let me out." And they are let out early- possibly to do the crime again.

How can an innocent man convince the system he is no danger to society? He is no danger because he never committed the crime to start with. Ironically, if the person who did do the crime were caught for the same crime later he will get and do far less time then the person who was wrongfully convicted in his place.

In my case, my only real hope is an appeal or discharge of my sentence. My appeal however must go through the same court system that convicted me and everyone in the justice system is invested in protecting that system. Even though it is broken. That goes for the defense attorneys who are also a part of the Justice System's Good Old Boy and [now] Girl club. One days' defense attorney will be the next days' prosecutor, attorney general, or judge. But if I did not get a fair trial before conviction, how can I expect I will get one now. Those in the system do not want to admit that that justice system can easily convict an innocent person and put him away in prison. It would be bad for their business.

But all you have to do is read the papers or watch the news to see innocent men released from prison all the time. DNA has freed a lot of people. [Though some are cleared of the crime but still held.] But if you don't have DNA or are not on death row, it is hard to get the public behind you. And that's essential to gaining your release.

In my state of WV, the state could convict a brick. They have a 95-98% conviction rate. A guilty person's appeal will be heard [maybe not granted but heard] on flimsy grounds but an innocent person with the same issue or much much more will not even be heard. If the courts agreed to hear the case publicly, they would have to let you go. So to protect the SYSTEM, they just refuse to hear the case. This is why you hear of criminals getting away because of a "technicality." Most of the time, the "technicality" is really a serious constitutional violation, which must be overturned. I have 32 constitutional issues in my appeal. My state supreme court refused to hear my case. In fact, they refused ALL criminal appeals the year my case came before them. This was the first time in 129 years for that to happen. Most of these cases came from Violent Crime and Sexual Abuse Task Force cases. I wonder if there is some connection? It may be because the task force cases are all investigated and prosecuted like the Salem Witch Trials. Over zealous cops and courts do not serve the interests of the public by jailing innocent people. It leaves the person who did the crime to go free and do it again.

The FBI put out a report a few years back stating that more then 5% of the people in prison were innocent of the crime. 5% of today's prison population of more than 2 million is more than 100,000 innocent people behind bars. It was once said that it is better to let 10 guilty men go free than to imprison 1 innocent man. Not today. Today the opposite is true.


Land of the Free my ass. I'm terrified of becoming a part of that 5%. My own government terrifies me more than any fucking Islamic terrorist ever could.

As long as there's a lower class, I am in it. As long as there's a criminal element, I am of it. As long as there's a Soul in Prison, I am not Free! - Eugene Victor Debs

Have You Been Subpoenaed Yet?

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is handing out subpoenaes to P2P users with "substantial" collections. Thankfully I haven't been targeted yet, probably because the music I listen to is not high priority for the whores at the RIAA. Most of the artists I listen to are either pro-file sharing or so marginalized as to not enjoy the "help" of the RIAA in these matters. But if you share MP3 files, you might want to check and see if you're being sued. You can do that here.

You can learn more about the RIAA lawsuits here.

And you can learn the truth about how the recording industry treats its artists and why they're really fighting this battle by reading this article by musician Janis Ian, who knows a thing or two about what it's like being a recording artist in America, since she's been writing, recording and touring for decades (thanks to my mom - yes, my mom - for pointing me towards Janis Ian's site.)

And learn how not to get sued here, though none of your options are very nice.

New Blog.

I just found a new blog called Karmalised, run by Diane Warth, who is a fellow Kucinich supporter and No Sweat Apparel affiliate.

Diane points out news from Ha'aretz that the Israeli Knesset approved an amendment to Israeli citizenship law on Thursday that would deny citizenship to Palestinians who marry an Israeli national. The Opposition parties pointed out, rightly, that this bill is 'racsist' and 'inhumane'.

Who Was The Liar?

No matter the circumstances, all of the scientists interviewed have denied that Hussein had reconstituted his nuclear weapons program or developed and hidden chemical or biological weapons since United Nations inspectors left in 1998. Link (via DailyKos.)

Damn. It's pretty fucking depressing when you realize that between the American Government and the Iraqi Regime it was Saddam Hussein who told the truth rather than the American President. Fuck me runnin'.

On Computer Voting Machines.

Is there a way to cause them to spit out a truely outlandish result? I'm no computer programmer or engineer, but it occured to me that the surest, easiest way to discredit these machines is to rig them to produce a result that no one could believe.

Think of the public outcry when a headline like "Lyndon LaRouche Wins The Georgia Presidential Race! With twice as many votes as there are actual voters!"

Are there any programmers out there that could look into this? It'd be risky, but someone needs to protect Democracy. You could just tell me how to do it, but West Virginia doesn't have electronic voting yet (and we'll probably be the last.) And of course, I'm a dumbass when it comes to complicated shit like programming (I try and I try, but my brain just doesn't work that way.)

We're worried about what other people are going to do with this technology, why don't we make a pre-emptive strike now, before these fucking things are completely established?

Blag, Democracy was getting old anyway.

Warrior Nuns Get Outragous Prison Sentence.

You may have heard of this:

Ardeth Platte, 67, Carol Gilbert, 55, and Jackie Marie Hudson, 68 broke into a Minutemen III missile silo last October. They cut a chain-link fence, painted crosses on the silo with their own blood, banged on it with a hammer and sang hymns until authorities showed up to take them into custody.

A peaceful, fairly non-destructive protest against the evils of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Warrior Nuns. They were convicted a few months ago of obstructing national defense and damaging government property. Fuck all.

A federal judge has sentenced them to between 30 and 41 months in prison and charged them $3,000 for damages. 2 and a half years for non-violent protest - "Land of the Free, Home of the... Errrr, at least we're not Uzbekistan."

The six months the nuns have already spent in prison will be counted as time served, so it's only 2-3 more years.

It coulda been worse though, the Judge could have sentenced them from 6-8 years, but apparently he thought that was a little bit too much.

Link (via Genfoods.)

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

A Quick History Lesson.

2000 Electoral College
WV Presidential Race
WV's Electoral Votes
WV Voter Registration


271 Bush  -  266 Gore
331,871 (51.9%) Bush - 291,204 (45.6%) Gore
63% Democrat - 29% Republican - 8% Other

Do You see what I'm getting at here? Gore didn't lose because of Florida (even though if he had won Florida he would have won the country, wrap your brain around that!) Gore lost because he couldn't win a State that is 63% registered Democrat and only 29% registered Republican! For Fuck's Sake, Dukakis even won West Virginia!!!

I bring this up because I'm still feeling quite a lot of resentment from the centerist Dems over the whole 2000 election thing (me being a registered Green and all, I take Green Bashing personally.) And there are a whole lot of examples to prove the "Green's Fault" meme to be completely false.

Tennessee's another good one. Gore couldn't win his own home state, which also happens to lean slightly Democrat and carries 11 Electoral Votes.

Oh, yeah, and then there's that whole voter purge thing.

Shaking Up America's Biggest Labor Union.

A group of Rank and File members of the AFL-CIO are going to try to address the Executive Committee on August 5th in order to present a list of questions.

Concerns have to do with how leaders are elected, insider trading among union bosses (union bosses, that's an oxymoron, innit,) decline in Union membership in recent years (specifically the failure of the AFL-CIO to represent more than 13% of workers in the nation, though they've spent millions on organizing,) why they fail to win most fights in Congress and why AFL-CIO websites are closed to worker postings (I've wondered that myself.) [Link.]

The AFL-CIO has done some wonderful things. They were at the forefront of the fight to save overtime pay in recent months, organizing hundreds of thousands of activists and workers in a letter writing campaign. But in spite of all the great things the Union has done since its inception, a Union should first and foremost be worker controlled. The current strucure of Unions like the AFL-CIO has turned the leadership into a bunch of rich fucking bosses, just like the ones we're fighting.

They tell you what to do, when to strike, when to accept the demands of management. They've turned working people into apathetic slugs who would sooner leave the problems to others than stand up and fight for what is rightfully theirs.

"Pay your dues and let someone else take care of it" is the motto of the modern Union. This is not how struggles are won.

Caption Contest!

I found this funny picture of Shrub over at Robert's Virtual Soapbox. The possibilities for captions are near limitless.

If you can't see the pic, click here.

"I crush your head! I crush your head!"

"Okay, so maybe I lied a little."

"Defecit? Uh." *shrug*

"Dzert. I'm a robot. Errrr... Wizzzz.... Zack!"

*Sniff* "Damn, this is good fucking cocain!"

"Huh huh, hee, hah... I can't feel my face."

"The gnome was about this tall.... And he stole my underwear."

"I swear, the problems we're having in Iraq are just little ones."

"I crush your head! I crush your fucking liberal head!"

[Begin obligatory penis jokes]

"Laura says this is big."

"Heh, ha... So.. hah... I walked in on Unka Dick... Hoo, haa.... And.... Bwahahaha."

"There's a reason I'm a warmongering scumbag people!!!"

[End obligatory penis jokes.]

Can you think of anything better?

Fun With Google.

Haha. Ann Coulter is a cocksucker.

Where Does Your Candidate Stand.

Check out the responses from the 2004 Presidential candidates to a questionaire from the AFL-CIO on everything from the Economy to Health Care to Civil and Human Rights.

And be sure to watch the AFL-CIO's Working Families Presidential Forum on C-SPAN, August 5th at 8PM EDT. The candidates will be answering questions from working men and women, rather than poltical whores and media personalities.

Blogger Trouble.

Totally my fault, but all previous posts are gone for the moment. I've got everything backed up on my hard drive, so I should be able to get them back eventually. I'm just waiting for some support from the blogger staff.

I've been having a lot of trouble recently. I think I'm jinxed.

UPDATE! - Alrighty. Everything's all fixed up. The blogger support was absolute shit, but that's okay, I didn't really need it in the end. All the archives are back up, but due to the restart only the posts from today onward will be on the frontpage (a situation that will remedy itself in a week.)

Hooray for me!!!