The United States(!) of A

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factotum started the topic in Thursday, 27 Aug 2020 at 11:12am

Septic Tanks are going to Septic Tank

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Constance B Gibson Friday, 12 Nov 2021 at 6:39pm
sypkan's picture
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sypkan Friday, 12 Nov 2021 at 6:42pm
blindboy wrote:

"The most obvious one was Kamala Harris who used social media to encourage people to donate to some group who post bail for those arrested in the riots."

Any evidence for that Indo?

you honestly needed to ask for that?

or just trying to catch people out?

I honestly don't really care either way... but if its no. 1 ....geez this new world is scary... because it has been so widely reported, I find it hard to believe you honestly didn't know...

like unbelievably hard to believe...

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sypkan Friday, 12 Nov 2021 at 7:07pm

vigilante is fair enough freeride... but all the other bullshit in the media (and from viclocal) is to paint the guy as someone who literally went out hunting to shoot protestors

which is clearly bullshit

and the prosecutor has failed miserably, despite all the bullshit, that says a lot...

as I said before, the kid is a tool, and he shouldn't have been there... like a whole heap of other tools that went out looking for trouble that night...

I don't give a shit if crew go looking for trouble, I actually say good on them... but they know what they are in for... especially when you chase after a guy with a gun as part of some mob rule...

all is fair in love and war and all that... until someone loses an eye... or gets shot... then the law kicks in... as it should...

unless you're some juvenile ACAB antifa loser... spoiling fior your identity politics branded fascism, full retard revolution...

'shut down the police' they say...

but even these whimsical little 'revolutionaries' turn to the cops when the heat is turned up... as has been shown time and time again...

lame

with a level of hypocrisy off the charts

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming Friday, 12 Nov 2021 at 7:01pm

Yeah i was surprised he asked, surely he saw the story at the time???

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sypkan Friday, 12 Nov 2021 at 7:09pm

he does live in a bubble of kryptonite...

Vic Local's picture
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Vic Local Friday, 12 Nov 2021 at 7:29pm

I don't think you blokes understand how bail works or the consequences if people can't access it because they don't have enough money.
You blokes do realise who sets bail conditions? and you do realise they actually assess the alleged crime, prima facie evidence, and likelihood of further criminal activity.
You lot are basically arguing people should be locked up (yes punished), for being poor, and that anyone who donates money to stop that situation are bad people,
How fucked are you lot.

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sypkan Friday, 12 Nov 2021 at 7:36pm

I don't think you understand how messaging works...

actually, i don't think you understand how a lot of things work...

which probably explains a lot

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Vic Local Friday, 12 Nov 2021 at 7:54pm

Hang on sypkan.
Let's look at a scenario where two people are charged with the same crime, neither are a danger to public safety, neither are a flight risk, and and a judge gives both the exact the same bail amount.
Person A comes from a wealthy family and goes home to his nice house in the suburbs. Person B is poor and has to spend time in jail because he can't make bail.
Would you be cool with that situation? Given you don't like the MFF paying bail for people who couldn't afford it, I'd have to assume the answer is an emphatic "YES".

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming Friday, 12 Nov 2021 at 8:15pm
Vic Local wrote:

Hang on sypkan.
Let's look at a scenario where two people are charged with the same crime, neither are a danger to public safety, neither are a flight risk, and and a judge gives both the exact the same bail amount.
Person A comes from a wealthy family and goes home to his nice house in the suburbs. Person B is poor and has to spend time in jail because he can't make bail.
Would you be cool with that situation? Given you don't like the MFF paying bail for people who couldn't afford it, I'd have to assume the answer is an emphatic "YES".

Firstly they wouldn't be charged if they weren't a danger to the public rioting is a risk to public safety especially when buildings or cars etc are set on fire, and it's not only about flight risk, its about recommitting a crime, you can be pretty certain that a lot of these people that got bail through this type of avenue would have been back out on the street the next day rioting.

Because it's not their money and it's not money of anyone close to them, they dont care if the bail money is forfeited, it defies the whole point of having bail.

If they are worried about not being able to get bail money together as too poor and being stuck in prison instead, here's an idea, maybe stay home and dont go rioting out on the streets.

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Vic Local Friday, 12 Nov 2021 at 8:32pm

You really are an idiot Indo Dreaming.
Judges in Minnesota do consider flight risk and public safety in their bail decisions. So you're basically saying the judges are a danger to public safety.
And your rant clearly shows you don't believe in any of the "innocent until proven guilty" stuff. If innocent poor people have to spend time in jail because they can't afford bail, you're absolutely cool with that.
Fuck me, you really do hate poor people ID, expecting them to serve time before their fucking trial.

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indo-dreaming Friday, 12 Nov 2021 at 8:57pm

Um no you are twisting my words it has nothing to do with poor people which ive been before, the bail is suppose to have personal related value to ensure they appear in court and dont reoffend, when some organisation pays the bail it defies the whole point of the bail, and these low life scum bags will be back out there destroying peoples property the next day, ironically often people of colour business like the car yard Kyle was trying to protect owned by Indians, cause thats what white supremest do help protect people of colours business.

When Kamala supported this organisation and encouraged people to provide money, she was basically saying to these people dont worry go out and riot, if you get caught we will cover your bail so you can get back out there again.

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goofyfoot Friday, 12 Nov 2021 at 9:07pm

Viclocal - "Oh and BTW, I opposed the execution of McVey because I don't agree with the death penalty. There's no BUT there either folks."

Out of all the comments today this one caught my attention.
How come you feel this way about the death penalty VL, no judgement from me just honestly curious about your thoughts on this.

My opinion, is that there are some situations where its 100% justified.

etarip's picture
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etarip Friday, 12 Nov 2021 at 10:39pm

Did the car yard that Kyle was ‘defending’ get burnt down before or after the guy who was ‘defending’ it shot 3 people?

Just trying to work out the sequence of events…

By the way, he wasn’t ‘defending’ anything. That’s a cop out.

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sypkan Friday, 12 Nov 2021 at 10:36pm

your arguments are laughable vicvocal

totally void of context and the reality of the situation at the time...

again...

then there's this...

"And your rant clearly shows you don't believe in any of the "innocent until proven guilty" stuff"

bahahahahahaha

nearly every one of your rants tars someone as guilty of something....

not least this last case... how many times did you judge rittenhouse based on nothing but misleading news reports?

you are a joke

proving everyday... the fake left don't do hypocrisy... they live it...

you're good for a laugh... but seriously dude...

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Vic Local Friday, 12 Nov 2021 at 10:42pm

Goofyfoot,
Firstly it's had to reverse the death penalty if it's inflicted on an innocent person.
Secondly there's no evidence it's a deterrence.
Thirdly it's incredibly expensive on the legal system.
Fourthly there's no shortage of examples of politicians using the death penalty to be the "tough on crime" candidate.
and mainly because the criminal justice system should be about justice not revenge.
Sure some cunts deserve it but that doesn't make it right. I'd prefer these people spend the rest of their lives working in jail with 100% of their shitty wages going to the victim's family or suitable charity.

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goofyfoot Saturday, 13 Nov 2021 at 6:51am
Vic Local wrote:

Goofyfoot,
Firstly it's had to reverse the death penalty if it's inflicted on an innocent person.
Secondly there's no evidence it's a deterrence.
Thirdly it's incredibly expensive on the legal system.
Fourthly there's no shortage of examples of politicians using the death penalty to be the "tough on crime" candidate.
and mainly because the criminal justice system should be about justice not revenge.
Sure some cunts deserve it but that doesn't make it right. I'd prefer these people spend the rest of their lives working in jail with 100% of their shitty wages going to the victim's family or suitable charity.

Cheers VL

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indo-dreaming Saturday, 13 Nov 2021 at 7:13am

Im with Goofy i think it should be used in rare cases where guilt is 100% certain, for example, serial killers, terrorist, repeat child molesters, repeat rapist, drug king pins etc,

It is the only system with a proven 100% zero reoffending rate and people can say the deterrent factor doesn't work, but the deterrent factor is as high as possible as life his what we all value the most.

Places like Singapore have proven it can be very effective in reducing premeditated crime such as drug trafficking especially when coupled with mandatory sentencing for certain drug weight amounts.

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indo-dreaming Saturday, 13 Nov 2021 at 7:18am
etarip wrote:

Did the car yard that Kyle was ‘defending’ get burnt down before or after the guy who was ‘defending’ it shot 3 people?

Just trying to work out the sequence of events…

By the way, he wasn’t ‘defending’ anything. That’s a cop out.

Not sure, all i know is it was totally burnt to the ground including 50 cars and media reported another car yard in the street also touched as were other business lotted and torched in the street and area.

He was 100% trying to defend the yard thats the aim to protect the yard, i believe in the court case he even said his aim was to try to extinguish fires.

Thats why the mob was going him because he was trying to prevent the business being torched.

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etarip Saturday, 13 Nov 2021 at 7:56am

Is that fact or speculation?

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indo-dreaming Saturday, 13 Nov 2021 at 9:04am

It's based on what has been said in the trial so fact, his whole aim was to protect the business and business, he wasn't there to shot people, he only shot people when he was attacked that's what the trial is about.

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Vic Local Saturday, 13 Nov 2021 at 9:54am

Still looks like you are trying to make this kid out to be some kind of heroic victim ID. Just saying.

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etarip Saturday, 13 Nov 2021 at 10:35am

Well, that doesn’t make it a fact. That makes it part of his legal strategy. Why was he attacked? For just standing there?

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freeride76 Saturday, 13 Nov 2021 at 10:48am

Maybe a guy wandering around with a semi-automatic assault rifle was assessed as being some kind of threat?

Just a thought.

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happyppl Saturday, 13 Nov 2021 at 11:17am

indo i'm all for the death penalty for ice, meth importers cos it turns ppl into sociopaths.
however our police would be in danger of mega aggro from these total nutters as the crackheads would have nothin to lose.

etarip's picture
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etarip Saturday, 13 Nov 2021 at 11:19am

Yeah, I wonder how many other random 17yo people providing medical aid were attacked and killed that night.

Perhaps the AR15 made him less safe, not more?

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blindboy Saturday, 13 Nov 2021 at 11:22am

Meanwhile the wheels of justice grind on.

"WASHINGTON — Stephen K. Bannon, a onetime senior aide to former President Donald J. Trump, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday on two counts of contempt of Congress, after his refusal to provide information to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol..............In a report recommending that the House find Mr. Bannon in contempt, the committee repeatedly cited comments he made on his radio show on Jan. 5 — when Mr. Bannon promised “all hell is going to break loose tomorrow” — as evidence that “he had some foreknowledge about extreme events that would occur the next day.”

Investigators have also pointed to a conversation Mr. Bannon had with Mr. Trump on Dec. 30 in which he urged him to focus his efforts on Jan. 6. Mr. Bannon also was present at a meeting at the Willard Hotel in Washington the day before the violence, when plans were discussed to try to overturn the results of the election the next day, the committee has said."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/12/us/politics/bannon-indicted.html

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Supafreak Saturday, 13 Nov 2021 at 12:17pm

etarip's picture
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etarip Saturday, 13 Nov 2021 at 12:45pm

There were only 2 deaths associated with the unrest / riots in Kenosha over the period 23 August - 1 September 2020.
(Both caused by Kyle Rittenhouse)

I honestly expected more. It doesn’t accord with the description of an anarchic free-for-all with bystanders being set upon at random.
There were two emergency workers hospitalized over the same period.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming Saturday, 13 Nov 2021 at 3:13pm
etarip wrote:

Well, that doesn’t make it a fact. That makes it part of his legal strategy. Why was he attacked? For just standing there?

Obviously because he was trying to prevent the business being attacked, not long before the incident there is apparently footage of him using a fire extinguisher to put out fires from rioters, id imagine they wouldn't like this.

My understanding from what i read at the time was at one stage he left one business to help protect another, but the business he left the mob was going back too, so he tried to go back to it to protect it and that's when he got attacked, my understanding being he was alone so more vulnerable.

This from an ABC article helps provide a better picture of the scene:

"Before Rittenhouse allegedly began shooting, he was seen on video amid a group of armed men who said they were protecting a car shop at the corner of 59th and Sheridan.

Rittenhouse is armed with what appears to be a semiautomatic rifle, wearing a green shirt and can be heard saying, "I'm Kyle, by the way."

About 45 minutes later, another video shows the same person asking law enforcement officers for water as they ride by in a tank.

The officers can be heard saying, "We appreciate you guys. We really do." "

https://abcnews.go.com/US/timeline-alleged-wisconsin-protest-shooters-pa...

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indo-dreaming Saturday, 13 Nov 2021 at 3:19pm

Here is an article with more detail about Kyle putting out the dumpster fire and Rosenbaum the dude that got shot being pissed off.

"The criminal complaint charging Kyle Rittenhouse with two counts of homicide leaves out a key point: Why Joseph Rosenbaum, a convicted sex offender, was chasing the 17-year-old in the first place.

Two eyewitnesses interviewed by Wisconsin Right Now say Rosenbaum was enraged because Rittenhouse, and others, were using fire extinguishers to put out an arson fire in a dumpster that Rosenbaum, and others, were trying to push toward police squad cars.

They also believe that Rosenbaum may have been determined to rob Rittenhouse because the teenager seemed like the “weak” member of the herd and had walked off by himself. They think this because they say Rosenbaum, 36, “intricately” tied his shirt around his face, they believed to conceal his identity. Whether that would have been the case is obviously an unknown, but it was their perception.

The two eyewitnesses, Justice and Dylan Putnam, were willing to put their names to it. Videos also back up pieces of what they told us. There’s video of Rittenhouse with the fire extinguisher, video of Rosenbaum pushing the burning dumpster, and, of course, video of Rosenbaum chasing Rittenhouse down and cornering him behind a car before Rittenhouse opened fire.

“Kyle took a fire extinguisher from someone,” said Justice Putnam, who added that she saw him trying to put out the arson fire in the dumpster. “That started the altercation.”

https://twitter.com/Bollocks_Dogz/status/1300221851197726728

She said Rosenbaum was angry at Rittenhouse and other armed men who were trying to put the fire out with fire extinguishers. “Rosenbaum was arguing. He said, ‘Why did you do that?'” she said. She said the people associated with BLM or Antifa “started throwing stuff at us. Bricks, metal.” They were using hammers to get chunks of the curbs to throw, she said (we observed chipped away curbs in Kenosha).

Earlier in the day, Rittenhouse, who had worked as a community lifeguard in Kenosha, was seen cleaning graffiti off buildings.

UPDATE: Wisconsin Right Now has obtained video evidence that Rosenbaum had a chain in his hand just prior to the fatal shooting, See here.

Video that captured Rosenbaum pushing the dumpster fire shows multiple people with fire extinguishers.

"

https://www.wisconsinrightnow.com/2020/09/08/kyle-rittenhouse-fire-extin...

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blindboy Sunday, 14 Nov 2021 at 10:29am

The land of the free lunch!

"As Casey Michel’s American Kleptocracy and Chuck Collins’s The Wealth Hoarders demonstrate, the US has made it astonishingly easy to evade taxes and launder money. While the term “tax haven” may conjure images of Caribbean islands and palm trees, Michel and Collins make the case that the world’s leading tax haven is America, which offers not only vehicles to hide ownership—anonymous companies, trusts, foundations—but also ways to invest illicit funds, such as real estate, hedge funds, art, even factories. A new leak, called the Pandora Papers, published in October by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), bolsters the case. "

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2021/12/02/tax-havens-loopholes-for-kle...

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sypkan Sunday, 14 Nov 2021 at 2:18pm

"The news is a perilous business. It’s perilous because the first draft of history is almost always somewhat wrong, and needs a second draft, and a third, and so on, over time, until the historian can investigate with more perspective and calm. The job of journalists is to do as best they can, day by day, and respond swiftly when they screw up, correct the record, and move forward. I’ve learned this the hard way, not least in the combination of credulousness and trauma I harbored in the wake of 9/11.

But when the sources of news keep getting things wrong, and all the errors lie in the exact same direction, and they are reluctant to acknowledge error, we have a problem. If you look back at the last few years, the record of errors, small and large, about major stories, is hard to deny. It’s as if the more Donald Trump accused the MSM of being “fake news” the more assiduously they tried to prove him right...

"....Think of the other narratives the MSM pushed in recent years that have collapsed. They viciously defamed the Covington boys. They authoritatively told us that bounties had been placed on US soldiers in Afghanistan by Putin — and Trump’s denials only made them more certain. They told us that the lab-leak theory of Covid was a conspiracy theory with no evidence behind it at all. (The NYT actually had the story of the leak theory, by Donald McNeil, killed it, and then fired McNeil, their best Covid reporter, after some schoolgirls complained he wasn’t woke.) Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

The MSM took the ludicrous story of Jussie Smollett seriously because it fit their nutty “white supremacy” narrative. They told us that a woman was brutally gang-raped at UVA (invented), that the Pulse mass shooting was driven by homophobia (untrue) and that the Atlanta spa shooter was motivated by anti-Asian bias (no known evidence for that at all). For good measure, they followed up with story after story about white supremacists targeting Asian-Americans, in a new wave of “hate,” even as the assaults were disproportionately by African Americans and the mentally ill.

As Greenwald noted, the NYT “published an emotionally gut-wrenching but complete fiction that never had any evidence — that Officer Sicknick’s skull was savagely bashed in with a fire extinguisher by a pro-Trump mob until he died.” The media told us that an alleged transgender exposure in the Wi Spa in Los Angeles was an anti-trans hoax (also untrue). They told us that the emails recovered on Hunter Biden’s laptop were Russian disinformation. They did this just before an election and used that claim to stymie the story on social media. But they were not Russian disinformation. They were a valid if minor news story the media consciously kept from its audience for partisan purposes.

More recently, the MSM were telling us for months that inflation is a phantasm. We were told that the “2021 Inflation Scare is another in a series of false alarms going back several decades.” We were assured that “the numbers at least for now are on the side of those expecting the trend to subside and then stabilize at lower levels.” Any concern was “fearmongering politics.” And now we wake up to the highest inflation in 30 years, counter-balancing wage increases. Still, they tell us, all will be well...."

".. As Greenwald noted, the NYT “published an emotionally gut-wrenching but complete fiction that never had any evidence — that Officer Sicknick’s skull was savagely bashed in with a fire extinguisher by a pro-Trump mob until he died.” The media told us that an alleged transgender exposure in the Wi Spa in Los Angeles was an anti-trans hoax (also untrue). They told us that the emails recovered on Hunter Biden’s laptop were Russian disinformation. They did this just before an election and used that claim to stymie the story on social media. But they were not Russian disinformation. They were a valid if minor news story the media consciously kept from its audience for partisan purposes.

More recently, the MSM were telling us for months that inflation is a phantasm. We were told that the “2021 Inflation Scare is another in a series of false alarms going back several decades.” We were assured that “the numbers at least for now are on the side of those expecting the trend to subside and then stabilize at lower levels.” Any concern was “fearmongering politics.” And now we wake up to the highest inflation in 30 years, counter-balancing wage increases. Still, they tell us, all will be well."

https://andrewsullivan.substack.com/p/when-all-the-media-narratives-coll...

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sypkan Sunday, 14 Nov 2021 at 2:24pm

that thing reads like a vicvocal / fake left fact checker...

and it's all bullshit you have been peddling!

all that cannot possibly be innocent mistakes

it's the new age of propaganda... and some of you are all in...

(or distinctly lacking critical thinging skills... ...or both?)

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sypkan Monday, 15 Nov 2021 at 12:28am

glad some are calling it as they see it... taibbi...

As America Falls Apart, Profits SoarAs the country again prepares to go to war with itself, this time over a high-profile trial, a bigger story goes unnoticed

Matt Taibbi

16 hr ago762660

The Mayhem Watch is on. Closing arguments in the trial of “Kenosha Shooter” Kyle Rittenhouse are expected Monday, and after weeks of hype, the country is primed to explode again. Wisconsin governor Tony Evers announced 500 National Guard troops will be on hand for potential post-verdict “unrest,” which seems almost guaranteed, no matter the result.

As with all major news stories lately, the Rittenhouse case saw idiosyncrasies wash away as coverage accumulated, with pundits pounding the trial into yet another generalized referendum on American culture war. Prestige media made Rittenhouse a stand-in for the Proud Boys, January 6th, school board protests, anti-mask protests, QAnon, Blue Lives Matter, Trump, “Domestic Terrorism,” fascism, school shooters, and every other naughty thing, with everyone from then-candidate Joe Biden to The Intercept blithely declaring him a white supremacist. The efforts to cast Rittenhouse as a symbol of racism and white rage have been awesome in quantity and transparently, intentionally provoking, with even leading papers like the New York Times standardizing a practice of underscoring Rittenhouse’s race (“white teenager”) while leaving the identities of those shot out of coverage. Glenn Greenwald pointed out that his old outlet, The Intercept, noted Rittenhouse’s race 20 times in one piece while keeping schtum about the color of those shot. This has gone on for so long, we’ve seen a foreign newspaper misreport that the two people killed in the case were black. In the public consciousness, they might as well have been.

Because Rittenhouse from the day of the shooting was made a symbol of Fox-watching, Trump-loving conservatives, he was also quickly adopted in red media as a hero, which “he surely wasn’t,” as Andrew Sullivan put it. This turbo-charged the freakout even more, as Rittenhouse’s defenders turned his case into a referendum on everything from media coverage of last summer’s protests of Black Lives Matter to the performance (or non-performance, as it were) of police during the George Floyd/Jacob Blake demonstrations, to a dozen other things that made public passions rise in the last year.

Rittenhouse in other words became a symbol of so many things to so many people that the specifics of his legal case have ceased to be relevant. There seems to be no such thing as an editorialist who has negative feelings about, say, Rittenhouse posing with Proud Boys, yet also believes that incident can’t be evidence since it happened after the shooting. Everyone picks a side and stays there. Pundits are telling us that any opinion on how the jury should rule can only be understood as a reflection of racial attitudes. “If you’re defending Kyle Rittenhouse, you might be a white supremacist. Just sayin,” is how Tweeter-with-beard and sometimes-journalist David Leavitt puts it.

Meanwhile:

On the day the Rittenhouse trial began, the financial data firm FactSet released an eyebrow-raising report about the Covid-19 economy.

The firm noted that companies in the S&P 500 were set to post a net 12.9% profit in the third quarter of 2021. They pointed out this was the second-highest result since the firm began tracking the number in 2008.

The only better result? The previous quarter, i.e. Q2 2021, when net profits sat at 13.1% overall. These results track with the true great story of the pandemic era, which not-so-mysteriously hasn’t made the news much, while Americans have been tearing each other’s faces off over issues like race and vaccination policy: the massive widening of our already-obscene wealth gap.

Remember last year’s long summer of riots, that period that saw the whole world arguing over the definition of “mostly peaceful,” and saw Rittenhouse go charging into the streets of Kenosha? During that long stretch of unrest, corporate America, which had been headed for a depression in March of 2020, was soaring above the fray on an apparently endless, and endlessly escalating, ride to record profits. Take a look at this graph from the St. Louis Federal Reserve, and focus on the Jeff-Bezos-rocket-like ascent beginning in the second quarter of 2020:

Corporate profits in the second quarter of 2020 sat at $1.58 trillion. One year later, that number was $2.69 trillion, a roughly 71% increase. How many stories have you read in the last year telling you about how well the top end of the income distribution has been doing, while the rest of the country seemed to be falling apart?

Compared with how often you heard pundits rage about the “insurrection,” how regularly did you hear that billionaire wealth has risen 70% or $2.1 trillion since the pandemic began? How much did you hear about last year’s accelerated payments to defense contractors, who immediately poured the “rescue” cash into a buyback orgy, or about the record underwriting revenues for banks in 2020, or the “embarrassment of profits” for health carriers in the same year, or the huge rises in revenue for pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, all during a period of massive net job losses? The economic news at the top hasn’t just been good, it’s been record-setting good, during a time of severe cultural crisis.

Twenty or thirty years ago, the Big Lie was usually a patriotic fairy tale designed to cast America in a glow of beneficence. Nurtured in think-tanks, stumped by politicians, and amplified by Hollywood producers and media talking heads, these whoppers were everywhere: America would have won in Vietnam if not for the media, poverty didn’t exist (or at least, wasn’t shown on television), only the Soviets cuddled with dictators or toppled legitimate governments, etc. The concept wasn’t hard to understand: leaders were promoting unifying myths to keep the population satiated, dumb, and focused on their primary roles as workers and shoppers.

In the Trump era, all this has been turned upside down. There’s actually more depraved, dishonest propaganda than before, but the new legends are explicitly anti-unifying and anti-patriotic. The people who run this country seem less invested than ever in maintaining anything like social cohesion, maybe because they mostly live in wealth archipelagoes that might as well be separate nations (if they even live in America at all).

All sense of noblesse oblige is gone. The logic of our kleptocratic economy has gone beyond even the “Greed is Good” mantra of the fictional Gordon Gekko, who preached that pure self-interest would make America more efficient, better-run, less corrupt. Even on Wall Street, nobody believes that anymore. America is a sinking ship, and its CEO class is trying to salvage the wreck in advance, extracting every last dime before Battlefield Earth breaks out.

It’s only in this context that these endless cycles of hyper-divisive propaganda make sense. It’s time to start wondering if maybe it’s not a coincidence that politicians and pundits alike are pushing us closer and closer to actual civil war at exactly the moment when corporate wealth extraction is reaching its highest-ever levels of efficiency. Keeping the volk at each other’s throats instead of pitchforking the aristocrats is an old game, one that’s now gone digital and works better than ever. That might be worth remembering after the coming verdict, and ahead of whatever other hyper-publicized panic comes down the pipeline next.

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/as-america-falls-apart-profits-soar

https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/america-falls-apart-profits-soar

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arcadia Monday, 15 Nov 2021 at 9:43am

Thanks Sypkan. Nice article.
Has put me in a foul mood for the start of the working week, though.

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batfink Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021 at 12:42pm

The Taibbi article is just an update on articles he’s been writing for 20+ years. Noam Chomsky has been saying it since the 1960s. The Vietnam War was started on the back of false stories planted by govt about ‘an incident’ in the Gulf of Tonkin. https://allthatsinteresting.com/gulf-of-tonkin

This has been going on forever. Good that people should know this. But this trajectory of the spoils of labour going increasingly to capital has been going on for much longer, which Thomas Pilketty studied in depth. It was already off the charts prior to the pandemic, the pandemic just created a small blip before they were off again. Same as for the GFC, just a small blip and then they’re off again.

Check out Jane Mayer’s ‘Dark Money’ or Nancy Maclean’s ‘democracy in chains’ for more detail, funded by the Koch brothers and a band of scurrilous billionaires. Specifically set up to dupe you, and working a treat. It’s all from the free-capitalist right of the US, and many have been convinced by these charlatans that it is ‘the left’ that is seeking to exert control over everyone, while pulling the strings everywhere.

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batfink Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021 at 12:50pm

Where I’m sceptical re Taibbi is on this point.

“There’s actually more depraved, dishonest propaganda than before.”

It’s just impossible to quantify. It certainly feels that way, and last century didn’t have a world news empire dedicated to feeding tripe to the masses (Fox news), but who knows. Bush started a fake war in Iraq on doctored ‘intelligence’. Johnston started the Vietnam War on lies. Pretty sure the Korean War had similar antecedents.

Now with the internet the Volume of news, the Quantity of news is exponentially larger. Is the propaganda a greater percentage? I don’t know. Is it used for more devious means? I don’t know, is there something worse than starting wars based on lies? I can’t think of anything.

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flollo Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021 at 2:20pm
batfink wrote:

Where I’m sceptical re Taibbi is on this point.

“There’s actually more depraved, dishonest propaganda than before.”

It’s just impossible to quantify. It certainly feels that way, and last century didn’t have a world news empire dedicated to feeding tripe to the masses (Fox news), but who knows. Bush started a fake war in Iraq on doctored ‘intelligence’. Johnston started the Vietnam War on lies. Pretty sure the Korean War had similar antecedents.

Now with the internet the Volume of news, the Quantity of news is exponentially larger. Is the propaganda a greater percentage? I don’t know. Is it used for more devious means? I don’t know, is there something worse than starting wars based on lies? I can’t think of anything.

I reckon it's a lot worse. Back in the day, you didn't have social media algorithms. Now, they are running the show on all sides, with extreme tribalism as the end result. They are on par with gambling addiction and should be treated as such.

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sypkan Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021 at 3:58pm

batfink, i think what you missed from the article is the sheer scale taibbi is talking about

at a time when all 'respected' forcasts were for financial woes, falling house prices, and various corrections... none of that happened, in fact quite the opposite...

its worth repeating some of his figures...

"...The firm noted that companies in the S&P 500 were set to post a net 12.9% profit in the third quarter of 2021. They pointed out this was the second-highest result since the firm began tracking the number in 2008.

'...Corporate profits in the second quarter of 2020 sat at $1.58 trillion. One year later, that number was $2.69 trillion, a roughly 71% increase. "

71% increase!!!

amidst predicted financial meltdown...

not really a 'blip'.... the opposite happened...

those figures should have every normal person up in arms, but there's barely any word of it... but plenty of talk...

those figures in context

"On the day the Rittenhouse trial began, the financial data firm FactSet released an eyebrow-raising report about the Covid-19 economy.

The firm noted that companies in the S&P 500 were set to post a net 12.9% profit in the third quarter of 2021. They pointed out this was the second-highest result since the firm began tracking the number in 2008.

The only better result? The previous quarter, i.e. Q2 2021, when net profits sat at 13.1% overall. These results track with the true great story of the pandemic era, which not-so-mysteriously hasn’t made the news much, while Americans have been tearing each other’s faces off over issues like race and vaccination policy: the massive widening of our already-obscene wealth gap."

".. Remember last year’s long summer of riots, that period that saw the whole world arguing over the definition of “mostly peaceful,” and saw Rittenhouse go charging into the streets of Kenosha? During that long stretch of unrest, corporate America, which had been headed for a depression in March of 2020, was soaring above the fray on an apparently endless, and endlessly escalating, ride to record profits. Take a look at this graph from the St. Louis Federal Reserve, and focus on the Jeff-Bezos-rocket-like ascent beginning in the second quarter of 2020:

Corporate profits in the second quarter of 2020 sat at $1.58 trillion. One year later, that number was $2.69 trillion, a roughly 71% increase. How many stories have you read in the last year telling you about how well the top end of the income distribution has been doing, while the rest of the country seemed to be falling apart?

Compared with how often you heard pundits rage about the “insurrection,” how regularly did you hear that billionaire wealth has risen 70% or $2.1 trillion since the pandemic began?"

!!!

that last question... never!

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freeride76 Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021 at 4:04pm

Not to be contrary, but often.

I've heard a lot about how Bezos, Zuck, Musk etc etc have been killing it.

you'd have to be hiding under a rock not too, surely>?

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sypkan Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021 at 4:24pm

"Check out Jane Mayer’s ‘Dark Money’ or Nancy Maclean’s ‘democracy in chains’ for more detail, funded by the Koch brothers and a band of scurrilous billionaires. Specifically set up to dupe you, and working a treat. It’s all from the free-capitalist right of the US, and many have been convinced by these charlatans that it is ‘the left’ that is seeking to exert control over everyone, while pulling the strings everywhere."

duped hey?

correct me if Im wrong... but a shitload of that money... like a big muther fucking truckload shitload of that money, has gone to big tech. and your amazons and the like, who have absolutely cleaned up through this pandemic...

and who also seem to have had more than just a minor role / vested interest in the 'narrative' control.... coincidently....

not sure of your right / left scale... but these guys are firmly comandeering what they see to be the contemporary 'left' of politics...

so deflect all you want... the game you are describing has changed... considerably...

geez, the way certain advocates behave on here... one could say big pharma and a heap other big corporates are now friends of the left... or 'the left' are now friends of them...

throw big pharma in with big tech. and wall street... and your little 'duping' story ain't really holding up so well...

well it is... but the labels need some revision...

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freeride76 Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021 at 4:20pm

Big tech definitely veers left, at least culturally.

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.cylinders Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021 at 4:54pm
factotum wrote:

On a serious note...

https://time.com/5883707/kyle-rittenhouse-murder-kenosha-protest-shootings/

"The sequence of events has been pieced together as such:

17 year old kid travels from out of state with a weapon he was not legally able to possess upon entering the state. Kid traveled expressly with the intent of armed vigilanteism.

Kid arrives in town and posts up with other armed people at a place of business. This place of business was not his, was not in his family's possession, it was a local rallying point.

Kid fires shots at someone, for reasons unknown. Other people there also fired rounds, allegedly. Someone shot a guy in the head. The 17 year old kid ran. This is where you most likely will see only one piece of footage, on right-wing "Wish A Motherfucker Would" websites.

The crowd chased this kid, who'd most likely just shot a protester. This is when the alleged Molotov cocktail was thrown, in reality it looks more like a burning bag than anything else but you can believe whatever you like.

The kid continued to flee and either tripped or was taken down. This is when he was hit by someone with a skateboard. The kid then started shooting again, and this is where he definitely killed someone and wounded someone else.

Same kid then walks toward police, who let him through their picket line and presumably, he flees back to his home state.

Now, you can call that self-defense but arguably, if you'd say something like "well protesters wouldn't get shot if they weren't [insert random action that may or may not be relevant]" then we'd counter with "Well if 17 year old Johnny Triggerhappy didn't shoot someone in the head he wouldn't have been beaten up by a crowd of angry protesters."

I think what you've written here requires some clarification now that the trial has concluded. Though you included what you wrote in quotations, I could not find the words you wrote in the article you linked, so I'm going to assume they are yours and not TIME.com's.

Firstly, his father lives in the town the shooting happened in.

Secondly, he was actually there with a well prepared medical bag, had attended two property fires which assisted he in dealing with, and also had treated an ankle injury sustain by a rioter.

Thirdly, the first man he shot (not irrelevantly a white convicted pedophile) had incited him earlier in the evening with "Do it n*****, do it n*****". Kyle then fled the vicinity of the man. The man chased him and was shot by Kyle as he approached him a second time, while trying to grab Kyle's rifle. Kyle did not shoot anyone prior to this.

The second man was shot while swinging a skateboard at Kyle.

The third man was shot while, in his own testimony, running in the same direction as Kyle, and approaching Kyle with a Glock pistol in his hand.

I think, from reading your interpretation of events, perhaps you have not followed the actual trial itself and the discovery of facts relating to the case. Kyle was 17 when he went through this, and during his testimony his trauma and grief relating to the deaths certainly appeared to be genuine. It could have been acted, sure. But based on the assessment of his actions on the night, which were those of a good samaritan concerned for the wellbeing of his community (whether or not you agree with this does not make it more or less true, as the society Kyle lives in has quite different values to ours here in Australia, and many of his actions are actually protected by law).

By my own, by no means expert analysis, most of the charges he is defending are not likely to get a guilty verdict (1st degree intentional murder). I could see him being guilty of an offense related to the illegal possession and transport of the rifle across state lines, but that alone does not make him guilty of murder in the circumstances that were testified to in court. With self defense enshrined the way it currently is in the United States, a guilty verdict in the charges of 1st degree murder, will likely completely reshape how self defense is handled by the courts, and that seems very unlikely though is possible. IMO the prosecution made a mistake when they charged him with 1st degree intentional murder, manslaughter would have been much more likely to gather a guilty verdict or even a plea, but 1st degree intentional murder is highly defendable in Kyle's situation upon examination of the factual evidence presented to the courts.

Mainstream media are doing a terrible job of covering this case in an unbiased way. At the heart of the matter it is a tragic event where two men died, one man was seriously injured, and a young man (boy even) became the most politically polarising figure in America while attempting to do what he felt was the right thing for his community.

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sypkan Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021 at 5:03pm

"I think, from reading your interpretation of events, perhaps you have not followed the actual trial itself and the discovery of facts relating to the case. "

nah, he'll be following it intently...

through an ideological prism very similar to the big corporate media funnily enough

but following intently nonetheless...

this is just what he does

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.cylinders Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021 at 6:02pm

Wait I must apologise, I mistook the first page of this thread for the most current one, and the post I quoted from Factotum actually dates from 27 August 2020. It is much easier to understand the post that was made, and also how he could have quoted TIME.com and for that writing to no longer exist on the article (as they have a penchant of rewriting articles without acknowledgement).

That being said, it is really wild how radically one-eyed, unempathetic and consistently deranged the posts are from the rabid lefties on this site. As a former lefty myself, I find I am alienated further and further from the idealism of my old views by the ridiculous arguments made by people such as VL and co.

The quality of discourse is so indicative of capacity for empathy, compassion, and care for fellow man. More and more I am actually finding that the more conservative people in my life are the most loving, least hateful, and most intelligent ones.

Just because someone is against the death penalty or pro-indigenous rights, does not make them a good person, or a moral or ethical beacon. The other arguments have to stack up too, as well as a common respect for the "other". I don't see that in anything VL writes, though I do appreciate that he's here, trying to communicate, and I think that's one of the key differences that separate us from each other at the core of our ideologies.

VL's online avatar depicts Walter Sobchak, a character from the classic film The Big Lebowski. In the image, Walter, a Vietnam veteran, is holding a gun which is pointed at his friend Smokey while bellowing "Mark it ZERO!", Smokey is out of shot, on the other side of the gun. This image is actually ironically perfect for the way VL carries on. Smokey's accidental misstep over the line during a bowling match and following appeal of "Bull-shit, mark it 8 dude", is the impetuous for Walter's overreaction and threat of violence. "You are entering into a world of pain Smokey". Walter shows a sociopathic disregard for his personal relationships in pursuit of his ultimately pointless agenda (a bowling league win), and is more than willing to carry a gun into a sporting situation and use it to endanger the lives of his fellow veterans and friends to get his way. Immediately preceding this situation we find that Walter is cuckolded in his relationship with his ex-wife, by his bringing her show dog to the bowling game while she holidays with her new beau. This goes some way to explain his explosion of violence and aggression, over-correcting for his failed power dynamic with his wife by pulling a gun and shouting "AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT THE RULES?!". The irony that it is illegal for him to have that gun in that bowling alley, thus breaking "the rules" is lost on Walter, in the same way the irony of VL's own intolerance in the name of tolerance, seems to be lost on him. I observe the same disregard for his fellow conversation participants in VL's constant shaming, labelling and belittling of those who disagree with him, no matter how salient their points. Ultimately the destruction of the conversation seems to be of more importance than the conversation itself, as, if his lone voice is not the only voice being heard and agreed with, the forum must endure his personal attacks and aggression. In the scene immediately following, we learn from Jeff's admonishment of Walter outside the bowling alley that Smokey is a pacifist and was a conscientious objector during the war, thusly we can derive that Walter's actions likely hurt Smokey at a very deep and philosophical level far beyond the confines of the game of bowling. Again, I see this in VL's behaviour in that he does very little to no legwork to establish the beliefs of his self appointed rivals before colouring them with the brush of his choosing and treating them accordingly. The nuance and uniqueness of all of our voices do not exist to him, we believe what he will have us believe, and to contest this is to contest his very existence in our metaphorical bowling league.

It's actually hilarious how stupid it is. You're either a comic genius playing a long long game, or an imbecile VL, and either way it's kind of beautiful to behold.

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Supafreak Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021 at 5:51pm

Classic

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Constance B Gibson Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021 at 5:54pm

Hahahaha. Cylinders! Attention to detail, comrade.

Anyway, this one'll blow your mind!

https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/11/16/american-fascism-on-trial-in-ken...

And good work, Batfink. As always.

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blindboy Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021 at 6:07pm

Very judgemental cylinders. No quotes from VL to justify your position. A strongly sanctimonious tone as you dispense your wisdom from a great height. Not to mention an incredibly tedious analysis of VL's image. Oh and no mention.of any offenders from.thevother end of the spectrum.

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indo-dreaming Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021 at 6:08pm

From yesterday

"Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder on Monday dismissed the charge of gun possession by a minor in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.

The charge was dropped after the defense argued that the statute makes it unlawful for those under age 18 to carry what is known as a "short-barreled rifle" in Wisconsin, i.e. a rifle with a barrel shorter than 16 inches, but it is not illegal to carry a longer rifle. This law that allows teenagers to hunt."

https://www.kenoshanews.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/gun-charge-dismi...

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sypkan Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021 at 6:33pm

he ain't no comic genius

but there is some beauty to behold

in a twisted, lowest common denominator kind of way...