Tuesday, September 30, 2008

We aren't in a police state - we're just ... getting more protection from those who matter!

Army deploys combat unit in US for possible civil unrest

By Bill Van Auken
25 September 2008

For the first time ever, the US military is deploying an active duty regular Army combat unit for full-time use inside the United States to deal with emergencies, including potential civil unrest.

Beginning on October 1, the First Brigade Combat Team of the Third Division will be placed under the command of US Army North, the Army’s component of the Pentagon’s Northern Command (NorthCom), which was created in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks with the stated mission of defending the US “homeland” and aiding federal, state and local authorities.

The unit—known as the “Raiders”—is among the Army’s most “blooded.” It has spent nearly three out of the last five years deployed in Iraq, leading the assault on Baghdad in 2003 and carrying out house-to-house combat in the suppression of resistance in the city of Ramadi. It was the first brigade combat team to be sent to Iraq three times.

While active-duty units previously have been used in temporary assignments, such as the combat-equipped troops deployed in New Orleans, which was effectively placed under martial law in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, this marks the first time that an Army combat unit has been given a dedicated assignment in which US soil constitutes its “battle zone.”

The Pentagon’s official pronouncements have stressed the role of specialized units in a potential response to terrorist attack within the US. Gen. George Casey, the Army chief of staff, attended a training exercise last week for about 250 members of the unit at Fort Stewart, Georgia. The focus of the exercise, according to the Army’s public affairs office, was how troops “might fly search and rescue missions, extract casualties and decontaminate people following a catastrophic nuclear attack in the nation’s heartland.”

“We are at war with a global extremist network that is not going away,” Casey told the soldiers. “I hope we don’t have to use it, but we need the capability.”

However, the mission assigned to the nearly 4,000 troops of the First Brigade Combat Team does not consist merely of rescuing victims of terrorist attacks. An article that appeared earlier this month in the Army Times (“Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1”), a publication that is widely read within the military, paints a different and far more ominous picture.

“They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control,” the paper reports. It quotes the unit’s commander, Col. Robert Cloutier, as saying that the 1st BCT’s soldiers are being trained in the use of “the first ever nonlethal package the Army has fielded.” The weapons, the paper reported, are “designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.” The equipment includes beanbag bullets, shields and batons and equipment for erecting roadblocks.

It appears that as part of the training for deployment within the US, the soldiers have been ordered to test some of this non-lethal equipment on each other.

“I was the first guy in the brigade to get Tasered,” Cloutier told the Army Times. He described the effects of the electroshock weapon as “your worst muscle cramp ever—times 10 throughout your whole body.”

The colonel’s remark suggests that, in preparation for their “homefront” duties, rank-and-file troops are also being routinely Tasered. The brutalizing effect and intent of such a macabre training exercise is to inure troops against sympathy for the pain and suffering they may be called upon to inflict on the civilian population using these same “non-lethal” weapons.

According to military officials quoted by the Army Times, the deployment of regular Army troops in the US begun with the First Brigade Combat Team is to become permanent, with different units rotated into the assignment on an annual basis.

In an online interview with reporters earlier this month, NorthCom officers were asked about the implications of the new deployment for the Posse Comitatus Act, the 230-year-old legal statute that bars the use of US military forces for law enforcement purposes within the US itself.

Col. Lou Volger, NorthCom’s chief of future operations, tried to downplay any enforcement role, but added, “We will integrate with law enforcement to understand the situation and make sure we’re aware of any threats.”

Volger acknowledged the obvious, that the Brigade Combat Team is a military force, while attempting to dismiss the likelihood that it would play any military role. It “has forces for security,” he said, “but that’s really—they call them security forces, but that’s really just to establish our own footprint and make sure that we can operate and run our own bases.”

Lt. Col. James Shores, another NorthCom officer, chimed in, “Let’s say even if there was a scenario that developed into a branch of a civil disturbance—even at that point it would take a presidential directive to even get it close to anything that you’re suggesting.”

Whatever is required to trigger such an intervention, clearly Col. Cloutier and his troops are preparing for it with their hands-on training in the use of “non-lethal” means of repression.

The extreme sensitivity of the military brass on this issue notwithstanding, the reality is that the intervention of the military in domestic affairs has grown sharply over the last period under conditions in which its involvement in two colonial-style wars abroad has given it a far more prominent role in American political life.

The Bush administration has worked to tear down any barriers to the use of the military in domestic repression. Thus, in the 2007 Pentagon spending bill it inserted a measure to amend the Posse Comitatus Act to clear the way for the domestic deployment of the military in the event of natural disaster, terrorist attack or “other conditions in which the president determines that domestic violence has occurred to the extent that state officials cannot maintain public order.”

The provision granted the president sweeping new powers to impose martial law by declaring a “public emergency” for virtually any reason, allowing him to deploy troops anywhere in the US and to take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of state governors in order to “suppress public disorder.”

The provision was subsequently repealed by Congress as part of the 2008 military appropriations legislation, but the intent remains. Given the sweeping powers claimed by the White House in the name of the “commander in chief” in a global war on terror—powers to suspend habeas corpus, carry out wholesale domestic spying and conduct torture—there is no reason to believe it would respect legal restrictions against the use of military force at home.

It is noteworthy that the deployment of US combat troops “as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters”—in the words of the Army Times—coincides with the eruption of the greatest economic emergency and financial disaster since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Justified as a response to terrorist threats, the real source of the growing preparations for the use of US military force within America’s borders lies not in the events of September 11, 2001 or the danger that they will be repeated. Rather, the domestic mobilization of the armed forces is a response by the US ruling establishment to the growing threat to political stability.

Under conditions of deepening economic crisis, the unprecedented social chasm separating the country’s working people from the obscenely wealthy financial elite becomes unsustainable within the existing political framework.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

really fucking awesome!

Anti-Hipster Hooligans Trash an Urban Outfitters in Milwaukee

reposted from infoshop.org/inews, 15.08.2008 16:11

On Thursday the August 14th, a gang of anti-hipster hooligans trashed an Urban Outfitters in Milwaukee. Around eleven in the morning, the group infiltrated the store, one-by-one. Then, when the moment was right, they made their presence known. "Die hipster scum!"

Anti-Hipster Hooligans Trash an Urban Outfitters in Milwaukee

The following communique was delivered today:

"On Thursday the August 14th, a gang of anti-hipster hooligans trashed an Urban Outfitters in Milwaukee.

Around eleven in the morning, the group infiltrated the store, one-by-one. Then, when the moment was right, they made their presence known.

"Die hipster scum!"

A person juggled eggs (all over the merchandise) while informing the customers that the circus was in town, but they were the freak show. Displays were broken, tables were flipped, merchandise was scattered all over the store, and piles of shameless Obama gear was looted and destroyed.

Let it be known, hipsters, your time has come. No longer will we sit by idly while you appropriate symbols of the working class, queer culture or revolutionary struggle while creating no cool of your own. We'll meet you on the front lines of gentrification and cultural erasure and fight you at each encounter. And Richard Hayne, don't think we've forgotten about the disgusting amounts of money you've donated to Focus on the Family and Rick Santorum, and all their anti-queer crusades.

Today we hit one of your stores. Tomorrow it might be one of your clubs, your cafes or maybe even your condos.

Put down the Polaroids and V-necks; take up the rocks and bottles.


some fans of stores in shambles"


Friday, September 19, 2008


oh yeah we're coming back
we're thinking of moving to portland for a bit
we should be in SLO in a couple weeks
we'll be in LA next week
-mom and dad

Friday, September 12, 2008

for last post

henry gives a thumbs up to the fest !

i made this a while ago not sure if i showed everyone

Thursday, September 11, 2008

i don't know if you guys have seen this already, but . . .

hey dude brahh'z, my friend magnus and his friend joel are going to austin. and they want some tips on where to go and what to do. william, notorious M.I.G., and biggs, can you write a list? i will refer them to the blog. they might also come through slo. sooo, you know.

by the way, it's my b-day tomorrow (as in big-day). i wish i could spend it with you guys.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


we miss you too, cant wait to see you again!
and meet anina! love you
-milo and the buchon family
Hey you all!!

well anina and i are in maine now and it is quite beautiful. but sadly quite boring, we did however see steven king's house today! the locals talk about how weird he is, reading books while he walks down the street.

i just wanted to report to all of you that i became more homesick today than i've ever felt in my life, more than i ever did in the swizzland.

so i'll be comming home on the 13th of this month!

i miss all of you, a whole lot.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

next tattoo

well other than the lines on my arm being re-done and bill murray and paul simon soon to be added to my legs...i am going to have another Swedish tattoo, compliments of cecilia...we are all small crumbs...i like it.
man it sounds like alot has changed...anything good come out of going back home? anything happen so far with decisions on your staying or leaving? brigham will be returning with zach and anina on oct. 2nd!!! and we are going to be on tour from the 3rd-23rd...our van we had got swooped out from under us, but for very good reason. seans step dad is having hip surgery and needs it...so we need to find another car/van/euro van to take us on tour.
cross yo finguhs. our friends just left from livermore and we still have some visitors here and food not bombs is today...woooo food and stuff. been trying to draw alot more lately...not doing too great, but its fun. Pangea is playing here on the 14th, we are all really excited! its been wayyy to long.
well hope your day today goes out with an impressively fantastical bang.
be safe, party hard, dream harder!
how do you say toast in swedish?
love you guys

Friday, September 5, 2008

to my little crumbs

thanks for the great update m-crumb. and that great post tall-crumb. we read all the time, hoping that someone else will have written something fun on the blog. i want to come back soon, sweden does not kick ass like the loft. my mini update is that i presented my thesis, remember that work i did? soon over, yes yes. then you can call me master cecilia. i am also knitting socks. they are red. i also think that sweden is going to shits, the right wing took over two years ago now, and since then sweden has been decaying. most of my friends have also grown up a lot, and i don't think i have to, so i find myself seas away from them, even though i came home. now i can't wait to leave. i hate how shallow and lame things are here. i miss my friends in slo and the ones that moved.

we are all small crumbs - vi är alla små smulor!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Something I feel strongly about

One of the people in Defiance, Ohio posted this yesterday on their website, and I agree with what he has to say. I urge everyone who reads this blog to at least consider his points. It is perfectly okay to wholeheartedly disagree with the things he brings up, but you should only do so after the entire thing is read. When people stop considering the other point of view and to not constantly challenge what they believe in they run themselves into a rut of ignorance and stubbornness to see any other opinion as viable. By challenging your ideals and listening to the other side you strengthen what you believe in if you disagree with what is said, and you allow yourself to consider and possibly accept new ideas if you agree with what is said. Being ignorant and stubborn to listen to others is the only thing I hate in people - not someone's ideals or actions, because no one should look down on another for what they do or believe in, but someone's refusal to use their mind for non-selfish reasons and to consider what the other person has to say.

This is not an attack on anyone, just me voicing my concerns/frustrations with what I feel, which seems to be very close to Geoff. If you want to talk about this stuff next time I see you, I'd be more than happy.


What Geoff Said:

Two nights ago, at our show in Bloomington, I talked about why I'm voting in this election and why I'm frustrated that many of my punk and activist friends feel like not voting somehow changes all the things that are wrong in our world and all the things that are problematic about electoral politics. As usual, I didn't feel like I articulated myself as well as I wanted to, but instead of trying to explain at greater length why I'm voting in November especially in the presidential race, despite realizing all the problems with many of Obama's policies and rhetoric and the shortcomings of electoral politics in general, I'd like to quote from Adrienne Marie Brown because she says it really well:


it scares me to feel even slightly authentic in my excitement about a candidate, understanding what i do about the history of candidate failures, disappointments, flip-flopping or sheer incompetence, the broken system, the inherent flaws of humanity...i will not hit the streets stumping for obama, i will not start a little fundraising page for him that spirits more money away from the projects i work on 365 days a year election or not. i will continue to pour my energy into election protection, and raise money to support grassroots organizations who make sure candidates who are willing to listen have organized bodies to hear from.

i specifically want barack obama to be the next president of the united states, in spite of all my doubts and cynicisms and fears. i like how he splits the difference on the hardest issues, i like his ability to find a common sense middle ground, and i like that he is passionate and visionary at a time when the easiest space to occupy is debilitating and isolating anger. rereading the transcript of his speech on race, delving into his organizing analysis from his early years in chicago, seeing parts of my story in his own, and wanting to debate him about those issues on which i deeply disagree with him, i confess: i want barack obama to be the next president of the united states.


I urge everyone to read the post in its entirety. What I love about it is that it shows that political engagement is not about a singular decision or moment, it is not about investing oneself fully in the promises or rhethoric of a candidate (or a grassroots movement for that matter). To me, politics have always been about the constant process of questioning and requestioning both the external and internal messages. It has always been about reconciling hope, fear, anger, cynicism, and accountability to my history, my family, my loved ones, my community, and the social work that I do.

The post she made can be found here, and discusses that while he is flawed and will not live up to what people are making him up to be, he is someone that we should consider rooting for:


lately....FOR MOM AND DAD.

well the weather here has went from really hot, to warm, to cold, to one day of rain, to hot to cold nights and shorter days with sun...we've been dumpstering still, tonight i was shot at by paint ball bro's...but swiftly got away with tommy and sean close behind. ADRENALINE RUSH!!! we hung up a swing across the street from the establishment...its still there. we all got b.b. guns...well tosh, sean and I and we go out shooting everyday. we have been working on the garden...and need to call willie and ask where to transplant somethings tomorrow. playing music most everyday, and having people and bands over almost all the time...but its been worth it. miguel went outta town with willie and our new friend edgar...im not sure if you met him, but he rules and they had fun it seemed...now miguels home and back to work and school work...wooopdee doo. tommy lives in a tent in some backyard but now he has to find a new zone to dwell...sad but true. tonitas is almost akward these days...but it is still slightly delicious...but we found a better and cheaper selection of burritos at the natural foods co-op on broad and it rules. xpcjsx tours this coming oct.and it is going to own, form the 1st-23rd and we are going into canada! i dont know, im excited.another scavenger hunt and art show are happening this month, art show sept.27th, and scavenger hunt is not yet designated. i dont know...all in all things have been bust..and amazing...im sure we all get sad and depressed and pissed and lonely and want to hit each other alot...which we do from time to time...but we love it and it loves us...goodnight to you mom and dad...i hope this gives you atleast a cracked view through a portal from you to slo town of u.s. of A