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Al Qaeda launches glossy magazine for women?
08:52 pm



Al Qaeda is releasing a new glossy magazine for women called The Majestic Woman. Dubbed the “Jihad Cosmo” the magazine includes beauty tips for women (“stay indoors and wear a hijab”), how to find a jihadist husband, fashion advice, and suicide bombings. The front cover shows a sub-machine gun with a small insert picture of a veiled woman. According to The Week the 31-page glossy contains:

...advice for singles on “marrying a mujahideen,” a beauty column urging women to improve their complexion by keeping their faces covered and staying indoors, and an interview with the widow of a suicide bomber who praises her late husband’s bravery. A preview for the next issue promises more skin-care tips and instructions on how to wage electronic jihad.

But is The Majestic Woman for real?

Well, it’s definitely out there in the world, but its origins seem murky. The magazine is reportedly being distributed online by the same al Qaeda media group that publishes Inspire, a glossy magazine aimed at young Muslim extremists whose authenticity has also been questioned. Slate’s KJ Dell’Antonia notes that the Middle East Observatory hasn’t claimed the magazine as a product of al Qaeda, and U.S. analysts haven’t weighed in. In any case, says Dell’Antonia, “neither beauty tips nor man-catching advice seem consistent with the womanly ideals of the conservative Muslim, and it’s hard to reconcile a cover image of a woman posing with a sub-machine gun with a culture that does not allow women to drive.”



Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Digital Piracy: To torrent or not to torrent? That is the question
09:33 pm



A few weeks ago, a friend of mine got a letter from Comcast informing him that they knew he’d illegally snagged The King’s Speech and asking him to refrain from future illegal downloading. The letter mentioned no recourse or anything of the sort, he told me, just, “we know what you did.”

That same week, someone else I know found his Internet browser had been commandeered by Time-Warner Cable and until he clicked on a button which said he acknowledged illegally downloading an episode of NBC’s Community he could not leave the page or do anything else.  I’ve read anecdotal reports of other ISPs threatening to cancel a user’s Internet access with a “three strikes, you’re out” approach.

Knowing two people having that happen to them in the space of a week gave me pause as I had actually made a mental note to download the latest episode of Community myself! But it got me thinking about how backwards the industry’s notion still is of how to manage (or “fight” or “solve”—I’ll go with “manage”) the issue of digital piracy. I can certainly understand why the motion picture industry would want the guy downloading Oscar screeners put on notice, but a TV show? This is 2011, get real.

First off, network television programming has traditionally been free to the end user. And make no mistake about it, the TV networks are NOT in the business of making television, they are in the business of selling their advertisers a 30 second rendezvous with your retinas. To the networks, the programs are merely the things they need to hang commercials off of and often little else. So why not think of bit torrent downloads the same way?

If TV shows are “free” why even bother with someone downloading a single episode of Community? On a CPM basis, had this person opted to watch Community on regular TV or, the network would have made but a micro payment from the ads being seen. I realize that this adds up, of course, but until the entertainment industry finally figures out that there is very little they can do about digital piracy—it’s not even cost effective to send stinky letters, let alone bring lawsuits against individuals over micro-payments, class action suits get nowhere with this issue, and there is ALWAYS going to be another source for the illicit content files—they have little rational hope of “winning” the larger battle for the industry’s survival.

And for the life of me, I cannot understand why the networks themselves don’t simply hardcode the ads into the torrent files, have their “official” torrent downloads counted by Nielsen and just be done with it. In other words, going with the flow and not against it. I would imagine that 90% of illegal downloaders would opt for the legal torrent file, even if they had to watch a few commercials. If torrent downloads counted in the Neilsen ratings, the same way DVR’s shows now do, then Gossip Girl would be in the top ten shows on TV, if you take my point. Why hasn’t the CW wised up to this fact and used it to their advantage. It’s a strength and not a weakness!

The reason why such an obvious solution probably hasn’t been implemented is that the execs themselves to this day have very little clue of how their own kids—not to mention the junior level employees in their companies—use media. They know piracy is going on obviously, but to the extent that it does or knowing anything about the culture of private bit torrent trackers, they just don’t get it and they never will, simply because they don’t personally use it.

If younger execs were calling the shots, this wouldn’t be the case, but by the time they’d be moving into the corner offices, this will all be moot anyway. The entertainment industry, as we’ve known it for the past half century, is a walking corpse. Short of the “all you can watch” plans like Netflix, I can see almost no rational or workable solutions. The public is not interested anymore in paying for a single item of entertainment, but a reasonable priced subscription service is very attractive to the consumer and the research screams this loud and clear. Is there much hope of the movie industry surviving in its present form once DVDs (which often provide half or much more of the payday for Hollywood blockbusters) are history? As someone who spent the better part of a decade as the owner of a DVD distribution company, I’d have to say “no fucking way.”

The $20 list price of the average DVD cannot be justified for digital downloads. The best snake-oil salesmen in the business can’t make a rational argument that an invisible, weightless product that you cannot hold in your hand, wrap cellophane around or stick on a shelf should cost the same as something that can be. The public isn’t stupid, but the industry execs are, ignoring a massive migration away from their business model and failing to adapt for a model that could work for them. The movie industry is basically a lost cause, I think. It will limp on for several more years, but I predict that we’ll soon see a huge contraction in the number of films that get made. I don’t think it will be gradual either. I expect it to fall right off a cliff.

The music industry is hardly worth talking about, either, but television IS because it’s always more or less been free (at least network TV) and never relied on selling hard copies. It’s not even remotely the same business model as movies and music. However without some serious consideration for how the audience uses media—what they do with it—the television industry, too, will be greatly diminished.

In the LA Times, there’s an interesting “Dust Up” in the Opinion section’s blog pitting Andrew Keen, author of the upcoming book Digital Vertigo: An Anti-Social Manifesto and an industry advisor on the matter of piracy, against Harold Feld, who is the legal director of Public Knowledge, a Washington-based digital rights advocacy group.

Says Feld, who represents the opinions of many Internet users and online entrepreneurs:

“[C]opyright holders need to understand that the best way to stop illegal downloads is to make the content available and affordable online in ways people want it. Hollywood lobbyists usually react to this with the same enthusiasm displayed by social conservatives when suggesting that free condoms in high schools help reduce teen pregnancies—and for the same reason. It amounts to a confession that since you can’t stop the conduct, you need to figure out how to acknowledge it and limit the negative consequences.”

Says Keen, speaking up for the entertainment industry and artists within:

“[W]hy would consumers pay for Netflix, Hulu or Spotify content if all the same movies and songs can be illegally downloaded for free? And that’s, of course, why we need carefully considered, bipartisan legislation like COICA. Because without it, the United States’ entertainment industry—with its millions of middle-class jobs—is in serious jeopardy.”

Simple: It’s just easier; the quality is higher; no annoying letters or threat of your Internet being cut off… The public WILL respond favorably to the correct price point. I personally think that price point is about $20 bucks a month and bet most Netflix subscribers would agree with me on that amount. It’s a pity the entertainment moguls feel their precious content is worth more, because the public simply disagrees and has a multitude of other choices. It’s time for the entertainment industry to wake up to the reality of the current marketplace as consumer habits are pretty ingrained, especially with cyber-savvy younger people who have never spent $20 bucks on a DVD in their lives and probably never will. (And note that Keen is asking if the public will be willing to fork out for Spotify or Hulu—the basic version of these services—like network TV—are free and advertiser supported, anyway, so what’s his point?). The COICA legislation can’t do much about this stuff as there is always a workaround, technically speaking and tech will trump laws. There are laws against it now, of course.

Although both sides score, I’m squarely in Feld’s corner and once again, I will remind the reader that I owned a DVD distribution company. Andrew Keen’s heart is in the right place, but idealism doesn’t mean shit when the public can “shoplift” without ever leaving their homes. It’s just the way things are. From my vantage point as a business owner, the writing was on the wall as early as 2004. In 2011 it’s just pathetic that the industry is so damned clueless

There are three parts to the Los Angeles Times piece, which began Tuesday with “How big a risk does digital piracy pose to the entertainment industry?” came back with “Should the entertainment industry accept piracy as a cost of doing business?” and concluded today with a question that needs to be addressed, especially in this city: “What’s the true impact of illegal downloading on jobs and the arts?

Thank you Alexandra Le Tellier!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
No, you are not dreaming: Glenn Beck’s crew expose James O’Keefe as a lying sack of shit (again)
04:40 pm

Current Events


Okay, admittedly I’m not in the habit of applauding the actions—or integrity—of Glenn Beck or anything the guy’s even remotely connected with. Clearly to readers of this blog, I have a rather low opinion of the man. I think Glenn Beck is bad for America because he fills the heads of ignorant people who aren’t sophisticated enough to be able to evaluate an information source, and who know nothing whatsoever about history, with shit. He fills their heads with shit. If Glenn Beck were hit by lightning, I would start believing in a loving, interventionist God concerned with America’s future.... but I digress.

It’s just hard for me to say this, I guess, uh, what I’m trying to say, but there is something on Beck’s news website, The Blaze, that demands to be read if you want to understand exactly what is going on with the “undercover NPR Muslim sting” video the rightwing is all up in arms about. I’m not kidding, it’s essential reading and it’s smart stuff. How (or why) this news analysis was financially underwritten by Glenn Beck, I really can’t say, but what Scott Baker wrote there, examining if the videos were edited in a misleading fashion along with Blaze video producer Pam Key, and what Emily Esfahni Smith wrote there about whether or not the means justify the ideological ends, where LYING is involved, I can find little fault with.

However, because writing something nice about Glenn Beck is difficult for me, I think I’ll just take the easy way out and quote Ken Layne posting on Wonkette:

Whenever that James O’Keefe guy puts out another heavily edited video against some liberal bogeyman, both the White House and the Washington/New York media quickly fire everyone involved — because the only rational way to deal with claims made by partisan pranksters is to simply punish anyone targeted. That’s why Shirley Sherrod was immediately fired by the White House while the Lame Stream Media nodded approvingly and only Wonkette bothered to look at the allegedly damning video closely enough to see that Breitbart’s crew had carefully edited it to make Sherrod sound like a raving racist. Likewise, the firing of NPR executive Ron Schiller and his CEO boss was cheered by the liberal media and got solemn nods from Democrats in Washington. Only Glenn Beck’s reporters at his website, The Blaze, bothered to watch the unedited footage and note that the various bombshells in the video were taken out of context (the opinions of others made to look like the opinions of Schiller, for example) and that Schiller’s pro-Republican statements were (obviously) all cut out of the video released by O’Keefe.

Here’s the unedited section with Ron Schiller discussing the opinions of a senior Republican lawmaker and a major GOP donor. While Schiller seems to agree with the characterization of the Tea Party people at the end of this anecdote, it’s obvious he is quoting Republicans uneasy with the teabaggers here:

There’s a lot more of this on The Blaze: eight sections of raw video with written commentary by a video producer from the website. She finds numerous instances of editing to make Schiller sound like he’s replying to completely different statements (a bemused reaction to something about restaurant reservations is made to look like a response to implementing sharia law worldwide), and she also finds sections where the audio has clearly been switched from another part of the video, as well as the complete removal of many instances of Schiller and his colleague praising either Republicans or the Fox News audience.

There were pretty much only two news sources to pick this up from, Wonkette and The Blaze. What does it say about the rest of the media (no matter their supposed bias or supposed lack of one) who gave this story and that dweeby, sleazeball James O’Keefe a pass, AGAIN???

Hell, isn’t it obvious why Andrew Breitbart stayed away from this stinker? Yes it is, because James O’Keefe is a lying sack of shit and Breibart knows it. A sleazy non-entity who should be treated as one! Why wasn’t it Salon or The Nation or MSNBC who looked into this video, first? Shouldn’t the name James fucking O’Keefe have caused anyone to sit up an notice on the Left??? It took Glenn Beck’s crew to get the truth out? Yes, it did! I did wake up in Bizarro World again, didn’t I?

But the truth will out in the weirdest places sometimes. Good on Scott Baker, Blaze video producer Pam Key and Emily Esfahni Smith for having the courage and journalistic integrity to out one of their own, or perhaps they don’t count clown boy James O’Keefe as one of their own. You know, a real investigative journalist.

Baker’s conclusion:

Anyone looking at the edited version of the Project Veritas video would be concerned about the conduct and views expressed by the NPR representatives. But should we also be concerned about the deceptive nature of some of the video’s representations? Some will say no — the end justifies any means, even if unethical. Others may be bothered by these tactics and view similar projects with a greater degree of skepticism.

In our posting yesterday on the ethics of undercover journalism, we found a range of views. One interesting view is held by Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard. Barnes believes it is always wrong for a journalist to lie: “It‘s dishonest for anyone in journalism to pretend to be someone they’re not.”

But Barnes also believes this applies only to journalists. “This rule doesn’t apply to folks outside the profession,” he told The Blaze. Barnes views the O’Keefe production as a “political hit job and a quite clever and successful one at that.”

Barnes may not realize that O’Keefe describes his work as “investigative journalism,” and thus by Barnes definition — unethical.

And that is only on the issue of going undercover. But even if you are of the opinion, as I am, that undercover reporting is acceptable and ethical in very defined situations, it is another thing to approve of editing tactics that seem designed to intentionally lie or mislead about the material being presented.

As you might expect, the comments on THIS ONE are fascinating and to be fair, all over the place. That’s not typical of what I’ve seen on the boards there at all.

One of the posters (“CaptainKook”) even writes

“O’Keefe is, ultimately, lying to YOU when he publishes these faked edited and dishonest scam videos. WHY whould you willingly choose to believe a guy who YOU KNOW IS LYING TO YOU???”

This is a very good, penetrating question not just for far right conservatives who cheer the likes of James O’Keefe and Lila Rose on even knowing that they are basically liars who they happen to agree with, but to the left who let them get away with it just long enough for their version of heavily edited reality to become the de facto truth.

I mean James O’Keefe lying, right? Who’d have thunk it?

That the answer was Glenn Beck’s crew at The Blaze is as surprising to me as it probably is to you, too. But there it undeniably is.

You can’t explain that!

Via Wonkette/The Blaze

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Appropriation in the age of mediated struggle: Noam Galai’s ‘stolen scream’
03:14 am



New York-based Israeli photographer Noam Galai’s 2006 shots of himself screaming have become unexpectedly widespread emblems of angst and rage that could possibly reach the ubiquity in radical politics of Alberto Korda’s Guerrillero Heroico photo of Che Guevara.

Pro photography blog FStoppers got the exclusive on the fascinating story of Galai’s whim-turned-digital-phenomenon, which spans from his studio to about 40 countries and counting.

After much exploitation of his holler, Galai’s seen fit to cash in himself, which makes sense.


Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
“Fox News Lies!”: Correcting the record

Not that they have any credibility to begin with, but the Fox News coverage of Wisconsin has been particularly dishonest.


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Michael Moore on the Class War: Wisconsin shows America how it’s done

Michael Moore’s speech in Wisconsin is truly a MASTERPIECE of political oratory. You have to watch it, it’s absolutely riveting. One of the most vital statements of brutal political and economic fact that an American citizen has ever said with the eyes of the world upon them (and Moore’s never been shy in that department, has he?). To Michael Moore, I say “Bravo, sir.” And to the brave working (and retired!) people of Wisconsin and the Democrats on the lam fighting these over-reaching Republican goons on our behalf, you are the very, very best amongst us in a dark time in our nation’s history.

Heroes. Citizens.

Citizens. Heroes.

Talk about speaking truth to power, this is a knock-out. Moore’s words, the crowd, the moment. It’s stunning theater.

The fight in Wisconsin makes me prouder to be an American than I have ever been in my entire life. It makes me glad to be alive right now as the scales fall from the eyes of so many people at once all over the world.

The best part is that you know damned well that Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin and the rest of the gasbag rightwing punditocracy are going to pull this speech apart tomorrow. Translation: Every one of those fuckers will have to watch it. Brilliant!

I laughed, I cried and I felt REALLY REALLY HAPPY AND ENERGIZED. What a fantastic gesture for Michael Moore to make and it came at EXACTLY THE RIGHT TIME.

That speech was a profound shot of adrenaline. A part of history. A thing of great beauty.

Please watch forward his speech to everyone you know and have ever met or will meet in the future. Here’s how it starts out:

America is not broke.

Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you’ll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.

Today just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined.

Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer “bailout” of 2008, now have more loot, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can’t bring yourself to call that a financial coup d’état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.

And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we’d have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic—and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it.

A commenter on YouTube quipped “Imagine if Obama gave a speech like that!” Worth pondering. I hope that the President at least watches this speech, that would be a start in the right direction!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Al-Jazeera on the rise: Bloggingheads investigates
08:38 pm

Current Events


Shiulie Ghosh and Sami Zeidan present the first program on Al-Jazeera English, which premiered in November 2006

The Arab revolts of the past couple of months have of course been incubating for many years and crystallizing for many recent months. It’s become a media meme that they’ve resulted from social networks like Twitter and Facebook. But these have been more organizing tools than anything else.

We still don’t know the depth of the role played by 15-year-old Qatr-based Arabic TV news network Al-Jazeera as the region’s only non-state-controlled media platform. It’s definitely turned out to be the most reliable on-the-ground reporting platform during the revolts. With rising American cable customer demand for the network’s English-language channel emboldening the company to make its case to Comcast and our Secretary of State praising it as “real news,” it seems that AJ’s time has truly come.

Last week, journalist and author Robert Wright invited British-Egyptian Mideast media scholar Adel Iskandar onto his highly recommended vlog platform to talk about where Al-Jazeera’s been, what its significance is, and where it seems to be going.

Extremely informative.

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
A giant sucking sound: What caused such a rapid decline of Glenn Beck’s ratings ?
08:09 pm

Class War


The ratings for Glenn Beck’s nightly Fox News conspiracy theory rants are still taking a Nielsen nosedive. I’m not going to go out on a limb again and say Beck’s “over” because he rallied the very next day after I did it the last time and I just had to take it all back. So I’ll simply point out what James Downie wrote in The New Republic:

Beck, says [biographer Alexander] Zaitchik, was caught “in a vicious circle”: To keep viewers coming back, he had to keep creating new, more intricate theories. Last November, in a two-part special that indirectly invoked anti-Semitism, he accused liberal Jewish financier George Soros of orchestrating the fall of foreign governments for financial gain. During the Egyptian Revolution, Beck sided with Hosni Mubarak, alleging that his fall was “controlled by the socialist communists and the Muslim Brotherhood.” Beck is now warning viewers not to use Google, accusing the search-engine giant of “being deep in bed with the government.” In recent months, it seems, Beck’s theories became so outlandish that even conservatives—both viewers and media personalities—were having a hard time stomaching them. Now, each new idea appears to be costing Beck both eyeballs and credibility. “At some point,” says Boehlert, “it doesn’t add up any more.”

Yep, at this point even the very dumbest people watching Beck’s show have probably realized that Van Jones and obscure magazine articles written in 1965 don’t have shit to do with anything.

“It’s hard to gain a million viewers,” says Eric Boehlert, of Media Matters, in the article, “but it’s really hard to lose a million viewers.”

Worse still, for Beck’s, uh, fortunes, as Adam Weinsten points out on the Mother Jones blog today (quoting “The Wrap” an entertainment trade blog):

In January, [Beck’s] FNC show averaged 1.76 million total viewers during the 5 p.m. hour, according to Nielsen estimates—down 39 percent compared to January 2010.

And he scored just 397,000 viewers in the coveted 25-to-54-year-old demographic, a 48 percent slide.

February did not show much improvement. Through Feb. 27 his Fox show is down 26 percent in total viewers for the year (2.06 million compared to 2.89 million last year) and off 30 percent in the demo, averaging 501,000 25-to-54-year-olds vs. 760,000 last year.

But dig what this implies about the, er, vintage of his viewers:

Here’s the salient fact: Less than one-quarter of Beck’s viewers are ages 25 to 54. Assuming the number of youngs who watch him is negligible—a pretty safe assumption, I think—that means that dang near to 80 percent of his viewership is in or around senior-citizen territory. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the olds like Beck. But it gets me wondering: Who exactly makes up that 25 to 54 demographic?

Asexual trolls who still live with their mothers” would be my first guess. Hey, there are a lot of ‘em, we just never see them, except for when they’re commenting on blogs.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Union Workers Defend Their Rights As GOP Goose-Steps For Tea Party Billionaires
03:08 pm

Current Events


The view on the ground in Wisconsin and Ohio from New Left Media. If Gov. Kasich doesn’t back down, he’s going to get “Walkered” too. Could two prominent Republicans be THAT stupid? Hopefully not, but I wouldn’t put anything past these guys. Even money says Kasich looks at the mess he knows is brewing on his doorstep and backs down. Crank-call victim Walker, however, just isn’t that smart, has shitty political instincts and he’s already dug himself in way too deep. Walker’s misguided “My-way-or-the-highway” approach was never going to work in a union state like Wisconsin. The man’s a buffoon, a Republican buffoon (Walker has the most idiotically Republican-looking face I think I have ever seen).

Look for Walker to push his anti-labor legislation through in the coming days with some parliamentary chicanery and then for all hell to break loose around him. Walker might not even make it all the way to the recall process, in my estimation, he might have to resign long before it can legally take place. He’s not going to be able to delude himself that he’s “Reagan Jr”. anymore when he gets forced out of office…

Over the last two weeks, tens of thousands of workers and their supporters have flooded the Wisconsin and Ohio state capitols, pushing back on their newly-elected Republican Governors’ attempts to revoke collective bargaining rights for public workers.

Other than the flashes of anger Ohio crowds showed when they were curiously shut out of their statehouse, the protests have been entirely peaceful, even jovial, with the Wisconsin capitol having an atmosphere similar to a pep rally.

WI Gov. Scott Walker and OH Gov. John Kasich have claimed budget crisis as the impetus for their efforts, but their accounting is spurious, and unions have already agreed to reductions in pay and benefits. Wisconsin public workers have yielded to all of Walker’s fiscal requests, making Gov. Walker’s insistence that he must cut collective bargaining rights to cut the deficit even more dubious.

Many of those we interviewed, including union leaders, did not believe that the revocation of their rights was necessary to balance budgets, but was rather part of a coordinated effort to dismantle unions and reduce their large financial and organizational contributions to progressive politics.

As Governors Walker and Kasich hold staunch, refusing even to negotiate, the protests in Wisconsin and Ohio continue, joined by thousands of others from states across the nation.

This NEW LEFT MEDIA film was produced and edited by Chase Whiteside (interviews) and Erick Stoll (camera). Additional camera by Matt Wisniewski.

These guys are fantastic. I really admire Chase Whiteside, he’s an outstanding young man. Please help New Left Media spread clip this around, won’t you?

Via Joe.My.God (and his title, too)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Dear Koch Brothers, Tea partiers & union bashers:  ‘Anonymous’ would like your attention please
12:01 pm

Current Events


“Hello, Anonymous calling for the enemies of democracy. Are the Koch Brothers in?”

This warms my Trotskyite heart: After posting the following “open letter” to Koch Industries, effectively putting them on notice and asking the American and European population to stop buying their products, the politically motivated hackers of “Anonymous” have already begun to make good on their threat, as last night and this morning the Koch-supported rightwing political organization, Americans for Prosperity’s website was knocked offline several times. If an elite hacker was able to get into the intranet of Koch Industries, they could probably really disrupt their business for a few days. Let’s hope they cause maximum chaos for these evil bloodsuckers. (I hope Fox News is next. THAT would be the best thing ever, wouldn’t it?)

Here is the text of the letter:

Dear Citizens of the United States of America,

It has come to our attention that the brothers, David and Charles Koch—the billionaire owners of Koch Industries—have long attempted to usurp American Democracy. Their actions to undermine the legitimate political process in Wisconsin are the final straw. Starting today we fight back.

Koch Industries, and oligarchs like them, have most recently started to manipulate the political agenda in Wisconsin. Governor Walker’s union-busting budget plan contains a clause that went nearly un-noticed. This clause would allow the sale of publicly owned utility plants in Wisconsin to private parties (specifically, Koch Industries) at any price, no matter how low, without a public bidding process. The Koch’s have helped to fuel the unrest in Wisconsin and the drive behind the bill to eliminate the collective bargaining power of unions in a bid to gain a monopoly over the state’s power supplies.

The Koch brothers have made a science of fabricating ‘grassroots’ organizations and advertising campaigns to support them in an attempt to sway voters based on their falsehoods. Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth and Citizens United are just a few of these organizations. In a world where corporate money has become the lifeblood of political influence, the labor unions are one of the few ways citizens have to fight against corporate greed. Anonymous cannot ignore the plight of the citizen-workers of Wisconsin, or the opportunity to fight for the people in America’s broken political system. For these reasons, we feel that the Koch brothers threaten the United States democratic system and, by extension, all freedom-loving individuals everywhere. As such, we have no choice but to spread the word of the Koch brothers’ political manipulation, their single-minded intent and the insidious truth of their actions in Wisconsin, for all to witness.

Anonymous hears the voice of the downtrodden American people, whose rights and liberties are being systematically removed one by one, even when their own government refuses to listen or worse - is complicit in these attacks. We are actively seeking vulnerabilities, but in the mean time we are calling for all supporters of true Democracy, and Freedom of The People, to boycott all Koch Industries’ paper products. We welcome unions across the globe to join us in this boycott to show that you will not allow big business to dictate your freedom.

U.S. Product Boycott List

Vanity Fair [not the magazine, the napkins and “classy” paper plates -RM]
Quilted Northern
Angel Soft     
Mardi Gras   

European Product Boycott List

Kitten Soft
Lotus / Lotus Soft
Nouvelle Soft
Okay Ktchen Towels

To identify these brands, please look for the following logo anywhere on the packaging:



We are Legion I We do not forgive I We do not forget I Expect us

Happy to say that I don’t think I’ve ever bought any products manufactured by Koch Industries. I wouldn’t wipe my ass with them. Literally!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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