The “I Can’t Believe This is Going to Trial” Edition
UPDATE, January 17th 11am: The City Hall security camera footage finally provided by the DA’s office conveniently will not play. While my lawyer and the DA talk to the company that owns the proprietary video software to figure it out, my trial has been postponed until May — with a hearing about the camera footage set for Feb 2. Seeing how the Buffalo Police Department erased my exonerating camera footage, I’d be incredibly surprised if the cameras under their control weren’t mysterious “broken” on the day in question. But we’ll see.
For those of you who’re unfamiliar with the ridiculous legal case against me, you can read Murphy’s Law parts 1, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, and 4. Or if you hate lengthy first-person accounts, you can read this succinct report at Raw Story. But, basically, I got arrested for filming a cop while covering a National Organization for Marriage “We Hate teh Gay” rally in Buffalo, New York. And, no, filming cops is not illegal in New York, so they fabricated a bunch of charges to justify my arrest. And then they erased my camera to cover their asses.
Anyway, before I go to court on January 17th, a little update seemed in order…
Some of us are nervously awaiting whether or not Obama will veto the National Defense Authorization Act, S.1867, the bill that turns the U.S. into a battlefield, where American citizens can be detained, tortured, and executed without trial. Some of us are confused about what S.1867 means. And many more of us are busy being vaguely threatened by Chaz Bono.
It took 1,200 police to clear a roughly equal amount of Occupy LA protesters the other night. (One of those arrested was BEAST literary critic Michael Caigoy.) Occupy Philly was also shut down. More than 400 people were arrested in total. And the journalists who weren’t arrested weren’t allowed to stay, for fake reasons.
I know we haven’t always seen eye-to-eye — you with your respectively backward, anti-scientific, overtly religious, and paranoid libertarian New World Order/Montana-wood-ethos siege mentality, and me with my devastatingly liberal good looks, impeccable wit, and cool capacity to reason, but we need to talk.
America’s cops should remember that their employers have the right to bear arms
I should preface this article by stating: 1) Despite my liberal use of the editorial “we,” I do not represent the 99% movement in any way, and the Occupiers have explicitly denounced violence, so there’s no point citing the following as another mythological example of OWS’s violent tendencies. 2) I also do not necessarily think that physical force is a smart tactic, in terms of goal-advancement, public relations, or general effectiveness, but I do think it’s important to put the fear of violent reprisal into the small, fascist minds of the thin blue slime, for it seems to be what they understand. 3) And, yes, I know: not all cops are overcompensating psychopathic needle-dicks; some of them are overcompensating needle-vaginas.
It’s been nearly a decade since the Department of Homeland Security was foisted upon our frightened nation, and all we got was this lousy police state. Petulant, Americans tend to scoff at the notion, and mock those who suggest the reality. “We’re not as bad as N. Korea!” goes the typical internet rebuttal. Fair enough; we’re not as bad as N. Korea.
Maybe you noticed that I was writing forCrooks & Liars for a minute there. Well, that’s done. They found out that I once wrote an article called “Fuck the Troops” — apparently, they couldn’t be bothered to Google my name before bringing me aboard. They wanted a mea culpa. I wrote one. I wrote something, anyway. That was three weeks ago. Instead of having the ovaries to just fire me, they ignored me, likely wishing I’d just drop dead from fatness.
Obama On The Couch author Dr. Justin Frank is clinically delusional
Dr. Frank gained pop psychology fame with his ’04 book Bush on the Couch, an underwhelming analysis of a dry drunk with daddy issues who found Jesus. Not to belittle the psychological professional, but it was readily apparent to all what was going on in Bush’s brain. I mean, there wasn’t a whole lot there.
First, who the hell is this guy? Block was, until recently, the Wisconsin State Director of Americans for Prosperity. Now he’s Cain’s CoS. That makes sense.
Second, what is with Cain’s creepy smile at the end? That’s your best take? Really?
“I’m Herman Cain, and I approved this leering.”
And C, why does Block have that fag in his mouth? AFP’s been underwritten by the tobacco industry before, so that’s probably why.
“I’m in Freedom Country”
Guys like Block & Cain — people with tobacco industry connections — don’t just make a campaign video that features a guys smoking without considering those connections. It’s not a flippant decision. Cain himself has lobbied hard for tobacco, according to the NYT:
From 1996, when he left the pizza company, until 1999, Mr. Cain ran the National Restaurant Association, a once-sleepy trade group that he transformed into a lobbying powerhouse. He allied himself closely with cigarette makers fighting restaurant smoking bans, spoke out against lowering blood-alcohol limits as a way to prevent drunken driving, fought an increase in the minimum wage and opposed a patients’ bill of rights — all in keeping with the interests of the industry he represented….
Under Mr. Cain’s leadership, the restaurant association opposed higher taxes on cigarettes and the use of federal money to prosecute cigarette makers for fraud — positions that Matt Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said had little to do with the restaurant business.
And Mr. Cain argued vociferously that the decision about whether to go smoke-free was the province of individual restaurant owners, not the government. “The restaurant industry literally became the alter ego of the tobacco industry during that period of time,” Mr. Myers said in an interview.
The restaurant association relied heavily on R. J. Reynolds for financial support, records show. Mr. Meyne, the Reynolds senior director of public affairs, served on the restaurant group’s board, and Mr. Cain served on the board of Nabisco, which had earlier merged with Reynolds.
In a 1999 memorandum, Mr. Meyne wrote that in previous years his company had given the trade group “as much as nearly $100,000 in cash and much more in in-kind support,” adding, “They have done virtually everything we’ve ever asked, and even appointed us to their board.
Naturally, I have no proof that the smoking shot is Block’s half of a campaign donation/personal payoff quid pro quo with big tobacco, but call it women’s intuition: AFP, Cain, Block et al got paid, for that puff. If they didn’t, they missed an obvious opportunity to do so.
UPDATE: Jim Newell at Gawker thinks I’m guilty of “concern trolling” and that I’m to be counted among “a whole class of reporters and writers who apparently have never once seen someone smoking a cigarette.” I’ve actually seen people doing this…in the mirror. And when I ran for Congress, I smoked in my campaign ads, too. Oh, wait, I didn’t because I’m not a) a fucking idiot and b) a tobacco lobbyist.
Block says the ad was “Just Block be[ing] Block.” And that he “personally would encourage people not to smoke. It’s just that [he's] a smoker.” I imagine Block takes a shit every day, too, so why not just film him on the toilet, wiping his hairy, libertarian asshole with some Koch-made Georgia Pacific double-ply? It would just be Block being Block.
But at least Gawker’s straightened me out on this — because if a professional tobacco lobbyist & AFP liar like Block says there’s nothing to the ad, then there’s probably nothing to the ad. He and Cain have been paid by the tobacco industry before, and they likely will again, but this one’s probably a freebie.
Thanks, Gawker! Your too-cool-for-practical-analysis-of-a-political-anomaly-perpetrated-by-a-guy-with-ties-to-the-tobacco-industry attitude is what good reporting is all about!
My lawyer shreds the charges against me, cops make up new charges
I had my motions hearing last Tuesday, Oct 11th. And the one good thing about this experience is that I’m learning, up close and personal, a lot about the law. The bad thing about it is that I’m learning, up close and personal, a lot about the law. Sad emoticon.