Design Fiction & Diegetic Prototypes in Trendy Radicalism = Synchronicity? Blind spots in startup culture correspond to new "liberal identitarian" politics

I was looking at a few different topics, seemingly unrelated, but somehow they got a bit mixed together and perhaps this is relevant to others out there. In a nutshell it seems like there is an epidemic of magical thinking in American activist world in terms of a very particular implementation of identity politics, and perhaps this whole thing is better understood as a design fiction by way of diegetic prototypes.

I see some overlap between the blind spots of activists and the blind spots in Internet startup culture. Both cultures (both newcomers and veterans) suffer from a pattern of seeing something new and cool as a political answer, when all too frequently it is not. Startup world suffers from magical thinking, and activist world suffers from astroturfing (pseudo grassroots) and distracting false solutions packaged with new semiotics [e.g. the illusion of totally 'safe spaces' in a militarized country is definitely a design fiction].

Salty science fiction writer Bruce Sterling popularized the idea of 'design fiction' to characterize the symbolic operation of the presentation of something new that doesn't exist. Could this be used to control radical politics?

For example Google Glass was introduced through a 'design fiction' video of people wandering around in augmented reality. See Bruce Sterling on design fictions:

It’s the deliberate use of diegetic prototypes to suspend disbelief about change. That’s the best definition we’ve come up with. The important word there is diegetic. It means you’re thinking very seriously about potential objects and services and trying to get people to concentrate on those rather than entire worlds or political trends or geopolitical strategies. It’s not a kind of fiction. It’s a kind of design. It tells worlds rather than stories.

Slate: Can you give an example?

Sterling: I think the most effective design fictions to date have been videos. They’re not science-fiction films; they don’t have any Avatar-style heroics. They’re mostly vignettes of people interacting with objects and services. There’s some element of intellectual sex appeal that makes people forward them to other people.

Slate: What is it that makes design fictions work so well?

Sterling: Talking about a future gadget isn’t like talking about a future government or women’s rights in the future or other hot-button problems. Plus people are interested in things like that.

Slate: Can you have a design fiction within a sci-fi film?

Sterling: Absolutely. All these props have to be designed in one way or another. They’re dramatic, but they don’t really have much evidence of serious design thinking behind them. They’re not cheap to manufacture, they’re not easy to maintain. … That really slows sci-fi [creators] down. [Design fiction] is not a thing which is going to replace Hollywood. I don’t think that’s its purpose.

Slate: What’s one design fiction that people might be familiar with?

Sterling: In 2001: A Space Odyssey, the guy’s holding what’s clearly an iPad. It just really looks like one, right? This actually showed up in the recent lawsuits between Samsung and Apple. That’s kind of a successful design fiction in the sense that it’s a diegetic prototype. You see an iPad in this movie and your response is not just, “Oh, what’s that’s that?” But “That would be cool if it existed.”

Slate: Why is design fiction important?

Sterling: It’s really a new set of tools that, I think they’re giving futurism a second wind in some ways. Instead of talking about grand, overarching things like futurism in the 1960s—we need a new consciousness—it suits the tenor of our own period. What kind of business model would that work in? That’s the question people of our time can engage in. I’m not saying design fiction’s going to resolve our economic problems. On the other hand, if you’re an unemployed designer, it’s one of the coolest things you can do now.


[Somewhat related, in 2014 he gave 40 minute closing remarks that addressed some blind spots with the SXSW crowd here, good if you have time.]

This one from April 2013 is the more important: Bruce Sterling NEXT13 - Fantasy prototypes and real disruption. If you substitute his references to the startup audience members with newcomer activists vulnerable to astroturfing, perhaps you'll see the parallel I noticed:

He points out that the startup workers are in a kind of alliance with wealthy mostly baby boomer financier class who underwrite the startups, and in fact they are not actually working towards a cool networked egalitarian planet.

I think to some extent that the well-resourced new generation of NGOs (many set up since 2010) operates in a similar way, with the charmed/trendy activist set acting in alliance with discreet financiers. The new politics (which could be labeled "liberal identitarian" as CryptoCuttlefish puts it in the Twitter thread that inspired this post) is a kind of design fiction or diegetic prototype. Behind the design fiction of pseudo-emancipatory politics is a large network of discreet but relevant links of power and money.

It has become more noticed in recent months that the trend of the moment, "intersectional identity politics" (or last year, "anti-oppression politics") has major shortcomings. At least as far back as 2012 radical activists noticed a system of tokenism and unassailable identities were displacing class analysis in the scene. That is, figureheads who seemed to have the correct identity properties would be deemed as automatically authoritative and beyond critique. Alongside that "white [male] anarchists" became the catch-all label to effectively render radical people of color invisible; to hear some tell it, anarchist POC never do direct actions in Oakland, which is not true at all.

It seems quite possible that this new intersectional identity politics system is actually a design fiction. It is a method to create the appearance of a new theoretical direction, but it does not seem to actually generate concrete strategies. Intersectional analysis can certainly identify shared concerns (for example, American Indians and people of color are more likely to experience pollution and environmental racism, an important pattern) but it does not actually seem to generate new strategies from within itself.

We should consider the possibility that intersectional identity politics is the fantasy prototype of a new politics, but not an actual toolkit for solving problems. Instead, based on identities, the appeal to authority is baked in as a weakness that powerful classes (and the low profile foundation network players) can exploit. For example, Al Sharpton with a background and 'correct intersectional identity' as a black civil rights leader acts as a figurehead that consolidates opposition, acts as a lightning rod to funnel it off, away from institutions like the DOJ (where he previously worked as an informant).

We could also look at how Gloria Steinem still has authority in the feminist scene, even though it is well known she was a CIA plant [watch this video!] whose informing helped get leftists wiped out during the Cold War. To go further we could get into how individualized "diversity" programming from business schools is a very cagey way to divide workers from one another by setting identity categories above the shared class interests of workers vs management. Just look at the absence of unions from business school-sponsored 'diversity' conferences. Clearly this type of thing has not been lost on intelligence agencies and high level business & managerial strategists.

If in fact you hit the political circuit and make your way around, it doesn't take long to find people that seem to have all the 'identity' attributes that would seem to be 'prerequisites' for radical perspectives, but are actually quite reactionary people who don't want to rock various boats. These are frequently the very same people who will shut down others for attempting to advance radical agendas, using whatever identity politics tactics to shut down the would-be radicals. Then like clockwork, they make appeals to authority based on identity when anyone pushes back. It is almost a trained reflex, with just a tiny bit of trolling you can get a demonstration.

On countless occasions you can clearly see the contrast between radicals and non-radicals who share the same general identities but have diametrically opposed hopes and beliefs. The new trends is for the less radical people to use these "intersectional" claims to put a foundation of authority under their political ideas, undermine their opponents, and chase off everyone who's not on their program. "Check your privilege" is not a bad idea to keep in mind, but it's not a political program.

Another diversion in this mix is pop-culture politics, the obsessive focus on the mass popular culture plane as a site of resistance and maneuver. See Too poor for pop culture by Baltimore resident D. Watkins, Feb 2014, and Where’s Ja? Pop Culture Criticism Is Politically Pointless | Orchestrated Pulse by RobtheIdealist Jan 2015, to get right into it.

In conclusion I am not trying to suggest that intersectional identity politics or anti-oppression politics, and the people operating in that matrix, are all useless trojan horses for the Man, but at the same time they should not be considered above critique and the huge flaws in play trigger important real-world consequences. We should be vigilant when it seems like prototyped fictions are put forth as authoritative, functioning political programs, when in fact they so often fall short, and not be afraid to suggest more radical visions instead.


More, much deeper, sources: Hat tips to @RancidTarzie @olaasm @cuttlefish_btc and @robtheidealist, several smart cats who have all kicked around some related, critical ideas on this front.

See the very insightful large review which inspired me to finally write something on this: April 2012: Who Is Oakland: Anti-Oppression Activism, the Politics of Safety, and State Co-optation.

I. Identity-Based Organizing
II. Institutional Struggles Over the Meaning of Anti-Oppression Politics
a. On the Non-Profit Industrial Complex (NPIC), Again
b. Politicians and Police Who Are “Just Like Us”
c. Anticapitalism and the Material Reproduction of “Race” and “Gender”
d. The Racialization of Rape and the Erasure of Sexual Violence
III. The Limits of Contemporary Anti-Oppression Theory and Practice
a. Identity is not Solidarity
b. Protecting Vulnerable Communities of Color and “Our” Women and Children: The Endangered Species Theory of Minority Populations and Patriarchal White Conservationism
c. On Nonprofit Certified “White Allies” and Privilege Theory
IV. Occupy Oakland as Example
a. Occupy Oakland, “Outside Agitators,” and “White Occupy”
b. The Erasure of People of Color From Occupy Oakland
V. Conclusion: Recuperating Decolonization and National Liberation Struggles; or, Revolution is Radically Unsafe

Also May 2014: Accomplices Not Allies: Abolishing the Ally Industrial Complex | Indigenous Action Media is quite relevant here.

Adolph Reed Jr. is also very insightful, see: Django Unchained, or, The Help: How “Cultural Politics” Is Worse Than No Politics at All, and Why | (Feb 2013) and Platypus “To unite the many”: An interview with Adolph L. Reed, Jr. April 2015.

There are levels to this shit: @RobtheIdealist has challenged intersectionality as lacking in generating any strategy, along with calling out other trendy surfaces that absorb so much attention. See all of the following! The Left’s Self-Destructive Obsession with Shame (Aug 2014), Cultural Appropriation is Dead (Nov 2014), Political Ambitionz az a Rioter (Aug 2014), Feminism Ain’t For Black Folks: Why My Mama Had It Right All Along (Mar 2014), My Skinfolk Ain’t All Kinfolk: The Left’s Problem with Identity Politics (Mar 2014), Challenging Feminism, Intersectionality, and Black Academics: An Interview w/ Dr. Tommy Curry (Podcast Mar 2014), #PrayForVenezuela and the Dangers of Hashtag Humanitarianism (Feb 2014), Privilege Is Not Enough, Oppression is Omnidirectional (Jan 2014), Are You Tired of the Social Justice Outrage Machine? (Jan 2014), Tim Wise & The Failure of Privilege Discourse (Oct 2013), Otherwise Liberalism (Jan 2015 re lack of strategy), Jon Stewart, Opiate of the Masses (Feb 2015), Mass Incarceration is Not the New Jim Crow (April 2014). Way to get into all those damn levels Rob!

The Problem with “Privilege” (Aug 2013) by Andrea Smith gets right into how privilege discourse is hopelessly jumbled up. Among many other salient points: "The concept of safe space flows naturally from the logics of privilege".

Audio: Rob Redding discusses w Dr. Tommy Curry says talking about white privilege is not profound it is just for profit - YouTube - August 2013. I don't agree with that entirely but it's a topic that has to be looked at.

The website Wrong Kind of Green charts many different levels of NGO problems with the ally-industrial complex and other trendy players that are very relevant today. More specifically see: Non-Profit Industrial Complex | Wrong Kind of Green

Jesse Jackson marketing takeover explored in The Original Rainbow Coalition: An Example of Universal Identity Politics | Tikkun Magazine

@OLAASM (originally Occupy LA AntiSocialMedia) suspects that a writer who uses tactics similar to those above (frequently erasing POC as "white anarchists") and has career & family experience in the international intelligence NGO sphere: Stranger Danger: The Infiltration of Dissident Communities by Freedom House’s Sarah Kendzior. In comments the last few days CryptoCuttlefish points out some links with Gamergate / harassment / appeal to authority intersections.

Somewhat related: There is a larger question of "agency" analysis in the international sphere as well: The Agency | 100 Flamingos. Also this is kind of fascinating: Who Was Ernst Henri? | a.nolen context of old school WWI-WWII era 'controlled Communists' of the intelligence/parlor scene with several cameos by Aleister Crowley.

The Rancid Honeytrap written by @RancidTarzie [private timeline] is often tuned into other aspects of the trendy 'celebrity left' storyline. I don't always agree but there are some ideas that can help us all get a grip when the scenesters get carried away.

Including this thought provoking thread, a chunk here:


Heroes in "(T)error": Urgently necessary documentary turns FBI sting inside out in War on Terror exposé; similar operations now escalating in Minnesota


I was fortunately able to catch a screening of the new documentary "(T)error" at the Boston Independent Film Festival. It exposes a whole level and mode of our political reality, the closest thing to an accurate domestic war on terror doc that has yet been done. (official website)


As a film it has some technical shortcomings, but it covers a lot of ground including important community history of the Black Panther Party and intelligence probes of Muslims in New York City. In showing how the real machinery of domestic intelligence operations really work, it's an invaluable, quite original film and one sure to blow the minds of many viewers. At 93 minutes, its length works well with the often low-energy, weird situations, without wearing people out through excessive tangents.

For the first time (T)error brings the viewer within an active FBI sting as 15-year self-described "civilian operative" Saeed Torres moves to Pittsburgh and attempts to sting Khalifah al-Akili (below), a Muslim-American who mainly makes relatively militant Facebook posts, which draws the Feds' attention to him.


In the bulk of the film. with massive guilt and exhaustion hanging over him like a raincloud, Saeed (below) chainsmokes blunts, exchanges lots of texts with his FBI handlers and tries to lurk his way into the local community. Social media engineering attempts and the entry of another veteran informant operative define the midst of the story.


While Saeed is mainly narcing for the money, he also has contempt for Muslims that are messing things up, as he sees it. His regretful severe social isolation, a consequence of his actions, is not downplayed at all - and unlike some films it seems sincere, even as he performs the role of a lying sociopath for envelopes of cash from the feds.


I won't get into the details here, though they have been well-publicized. A 45-minute Democracy Now segment brings everyone up to speed, key spoilers included: FBI Informant Exposes Sting Operation Targeting Innocent Americans in New "(T)ERROR" Documentary | Democracy Now!


Parallels are connected between the Pittsburgh op and Saeed's earlier FBI sting campaigns since 2000. The story also covers in-depth the very similar sting and prosecution of musician Tarik Shah, whose mother Marlene presents the strong front reminiscent of so many other family members of those targeted previously.


The work that Steve Downs does in attempting to bring transparency in the case is highly commendable and necessary - contact this man's org if you credibly think you are really getting put into a sting:


Shahed Hussain, the informant involved in the Newburgh Four case from 2006 and another case in Albany, started working for the bureau in 2002 and makes quite a splash of fake reality spam in this film. (NY Post neutrally notes HBO doc The Newburgh Sting - 2014. Wiki page notes )



It's impossible to watch this film without vividly recalling the wave of federal informant activity around the 2008 Republican National Convention and the antiwar movement, culminating in surprise grand jury raids in 2009. I ran into at least four people somewhat like Saeed over about two years and these are the kind of encounters burned in your memory within a whole separate category of social & political reality. For some viewers the 2009 G20 conference in Pittsburgh will echo through this story as well, although it's not discussed in the film.

Adding to this film's urgency, in recent weeks Minnesota's primarily Muslim Somali community has gotten snared in another high profile sting. Early indications are pretty clear that the informant was someone who was under pressure from compelled secret grand jury testimony that went bad, showing how these operations generate the raw power necessary to compel informants into action.

See: Feds charge six Minnesotans with trying to join ISIS | Minnesota Public Radio News (Apr 20 2015), some constitutionally dubious new charge: Man charged for sending threatening tweets in ISIS case | Minnesota Public Radio News (Apr 24 2015 - wut?!), Informant's role emerges as key in counterterror sweep | Minnesota Public Radio News (Apr 20 2015), Defense challenges use of paid informant in Minnesota ISIS case - CBS News (Apr 23 2015), Defense calls case against MN terror suspects weak; judge allows it to move forward -


This whole realm is totally alien to most Americans, and I certainly hope that it gets aired as widely as possible. Ideally via another national PBS program distribution deal like Better This World (2011: Dirs Katie Galloway & Duane de la Vega), which covered the "Texas Two" molotov cocktail case and grandiose informant Brandon Darby -- who soon thereafter entered the Breitbart conservative media fold. [I contributed some help to BTW] Review here.


Another film Informant (2012: Dir Jamie Meltzer) more or less let Darby expose himself in his own words.


It also brings to mind the huge series of semi/fictionalized informant characters in movies - how often the Hollywood films end up getting told from the perspective of people that rolled.

Most recently, the skillful and vivid Pynchon adaptation Inherent Vice (2014: Dir Paul Thomas Anderson) features the anxious Owen Wilson as a semi-private COINTELPRO informant circa 1970. Wilson confesses he found out they "want to use us to keep the membership in line" - that is, keep the hippie revolution within boundaries. Helpfully, this film shows the psychological toll that being rolled into the game as a plant really takes, helping drive much of the plot.


Goodfellas (1990: Dir. Martin Scorsese) is getting attention now at its 25th anniversary. Goodfellas' real-life Henry Hill, who was paid handsomely by the film production - ultimately leaving witness protection and dying peacefully in 2012:


American Hustle (2013: Dir David O. Russell) gave a glossy, color saturated Jersey yarn of rolled con man Irving Rosenfeld.


As studios so frequently do, it was paired off Scorsese's indulgent and somewhat saggy The Wolf of Wall Street (2013). Jordan Belfort undeservedly gets the privilege of introducing himself, played by Leonardo DiCaprio - and his sporting of the wire to expose his co-workers is quite condensed from reality in the film plot.


But no one that I'm aware of has touched the notion in fiction or reality of an ex-black revolutionary & Muslim who is a repeat player for the Feds, rather than another smooth-talking pushy hustler folding under charges. (Although you might say The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973: Dir. Ivan Dixon) portrays the reverse of this operation. Full film here.).


I would be remiss in failing to note a couple new informant-related stories from WhoWhatWhy: the Boston bombing case and the late Ibragim Todashev remains locked away. As is so often the case, the American public is not privy to secret documents that could indicate earlier federal activity in the circle of acquaintances of the Tsarnaev brothers. The Unexplained Connection Between the FBI and Two Muslim Friends Killed by Law Enforcement - WhoWhatWhy. See this relatively new heavily redacted document:


Additionally, the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City continues to emit interesting new informant information nodes, with "CI-183" at Elohim City a new awkward data point of interest in understanding the case better: Exclusive: Oklahoma City Bombing Breakthrough, Part 1 of 2 - WhoWhatWhy // Exclusive: Oklahoma City Bombing Breakthrough, Part 2 of 2 - WhoWhatWhy. Kudos to WhoWhatWhy for publishing well sourced new material in both the Boston and OKC cases in the last few days, April 22-25th.

After seeing (T)error it should be easier to understand the kind of shadowy context informant type operations may have intersected with these tragedies, and at least the stubs of the paper trails of those intersections.


See another review: Sundance Doc (T)ERROR Is This Year’s Citizenfour - Vogue. As noted, the regret-bound Saeed really just wishes he could apprentice to a master baker and cook cupcakes. "(T)ERROR should be seen as ancillary viewing to Laura Poitras’s Citizenfour, both of which touch on issues of surveillance and the right to privacy versus the imperative to prevent terrorism."

Saeed pegs his map of Pittsburgh, cryptically:


Follow the Terror documentary on Facebook here. As protests uptick across America again, the film also gains relevancy in looking back at how revolutionary movement's like Saeed's former Black Panther Party, the Nation of Islam and American Muslims got put under COINTELPRO pressure. Saeed never really seems to recant his former revolutionary beliefs, at least on camera. Aptly enough, a Le Carré novel and many other items of political and spy literature dot the scenes in Pittsburgh.

It gives us some better grasp of how the government interfaces deep into the lives of communities living in political and economic tension, making it among the most perfectly relevant things one could hope to see on the screen right now. One can't conclude anything else but that Saeed is another misguided "hero in error", to borrow Iraqi exile Ahmed Chalabi's phrase, a memorably awful defense of his own transgressions.

ALEC Operation on Blast & knives out for solar as fossil fuel lobby gets what it paid for: MN House plan to gut clean energy policy, unload more fracked natural gas

//// Update 4 1AM: see Radically retro energy omnibus bill prompts MN citizens to step up for clean energy policy for more on the groups that have started moving on this last day or so. The Sierra Club Northstar post from Monday has details on several key bad parts of the energy omnibus bill. Alliance for Solar Choice has this action page for testimony starting Wednesday. ///

Quick post to roust people on another impending political disaster in Minnesota. Nationwide the American Legislative Exchange Council politicians (ALEC - a corporate establishment coordinating body, essentially) are trying to kill decentralized rooftop solar panel systems and the policy apparatus that lets them trade extra electrons into the grid for cash.

National: see their scheme directly: Updating Net Metering Policies Resolution - ALEC - American Legislative Exchange Council

ALEC, climate change: A fight over rooftop solar panels could decide America’s energy future. (Sept 2014)

Utility Trade Group Funds ALEC Attack on Americans Using Solar | PR Watch (July 2014)

Now this plan is in Full Effect in Minnesota and at least on social media, almost everyone has been asleep at the switch (although this is changing).

In Minnesota the new energy omnibus bill here (PDF) which was composed by GOP Rep. Pat Garofalo, one of ALEC's point men, is trying to thrash the entire renewable energy standards system which sets clear targets for carbon reduction and deters utilities from buying environmentally dirty power from the region. It also obliterates the current program to promote "made in Minnesota" local solar companies. (energy committee homepage)

I just heard from a friend that "Fresh Energy, MN350 are all testifying….. The hearings on the bill are extended now Wednesday evening, Thursday AM, Friday from noon until midnight. That sounds to me like lots of folks are registering to testify." Hit up the committee administrator at the link above if you want to testify this week too.

For the full rundown see Bluestem Prairie: Rep. Wagenius charges that MN House energy omnibus bill sabotages solar and much more

DFL Rep. Jean Wagenius, a truly long term dedicated environmentalist, made this post. The worst energy bill ever sabotages solar. And that’s not all:

Rep. Pat Garofalo has introduced his draft Omnibus Energy Bill. d0b80283-da3f-4839-baf9-551613c2b6d9.pdf   Since he is Chair of the House Jobs Creation and Energy Affordability Committee, his bill is the Republican bill.

The Garofalo bill incorporates the energy-related ideas and bills that had been heard in his committee. Rep. Garofalo then found more bad ideas to include. This post would be much too long if it did more than scratch the surface. So it just covers the worst of the worst. Two of the worst of the worst were presented earlier in committee so there are earlier and more detailed posts about them. The earlier posts are noted below.

In summary, Rep. Garofalo’s bill would dismantle most of Minnesota’s efforts to promote renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by repealing the laws that support these efforts. He totally sabotages solar.

In 62 pages he does a lot more, like proposing to make gifts to coal, the Koch brothers, and people wealthy enough to buy electric cars.

Before the worst of the worst, the back story needs to be told. The fight brewing in Minnesota is just one of many happening across the U.S. In anarticle entitled “Utilities wage campaign against rooftop solar,” The Washington Post reported on the campaign by utitlites and its fossil-fuel supporters to stop residential solar. The Post says that legislation to make net metering illegal or more expensive has been introduced in legislatures in nearly two dozen states. The Los Angeles Times article, “Koch brothers, big utilities attack solar, green energy policies” links the effort against net metering to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Koch brothers.

… meanwhile virtually nothing has been published by 'energy watchdogs' about it. (note her post is about the 3/27 draft, while the newest is the 4/6 draft but the same in most important respects.)

I had an exchange with Garofalo on Twitter. Clearly you can see the political economy in effect. As previously noted by (thanks to great tips from friends), the fossil fuel lobby bought its way into controlling the MN House through independent expenditures paid for by Northern Oil & Gas of Wayzata, which is currently trying to unload as much dirty fossil fuel as they can.

Here, can you see Garofalo's political economy? Smells like fracksauce to me...




Unfortunately various energy watchdogs such as are 100% asleep at the switch [on this issue in a very bad session] so it's up to you to try and intervene. Get crackin or you'll be fracked!!

Update 1: The section about appropriations for low income energy assistance, as I understand it is something that is usually included in energy omnibus bills in years past, it is not a novel addition really. The fossil fuels and striking of all renewable language, giveaways to nuclear, dumping carbon/emission reduction targets etc are all major policy shifts that need our full attention.

Update 2 - 5:40pm: I was sent over this bulletin that went out an hour ago from MNIPL. It is encouraging to see more groups are nudging the issue but they need to get it accelerated in public as soon as possible, not just action alerts that are hard to discover:

From: Claire Curran -
Date: Tue, Apr 7, 2015 at 3:44 PM
Subject: Tell Your Representatives to Do the Right Thing!

Dear Friends,

Key people within the Minnesota House of Representatives are working to gut Minnesota’s successful landmark clean energy policies, but people of faith are stepping up and calling on them to do the right thing.

Over the past twenty years, Minnesotans have built a responsible transition beyond fossil fuels to a clean, renewable energy, and a thriving industry that employs >15,300 people. Faith actors have been at the forefront of these successful steps forward.

But the Minnesota House bill would:

Eliminate Minnesota’s science-based goals aimed to reduce and offset climate pollution;
Repeal Minnesota’s energy savings program that has saved the energy equivalent of 8 Prairie Island nuclear plants;
Repeal the nuclear moratorium;
Destroy the progress made on solar energy in 2013
Roll back Minnesota’s renewable goals by watering down standard renewable energy by allowing existing, large hydro from Canada.

Tell your State Senator and Representative to vote NO on the House energy bill and instead supporting clean energy & jobs policies by supporting the Senate clean energy package.

The right thing to do is to continue to make progress by supporting the Senate clean energy package that sets Minnesota’s renewable energy benchmark to achieve at least 40% renewables by 2030 and increases energy savings.

Thanks for all you do to build the climate movement!


Claire Curran
Campaign Coordinator, MNIPL

Their action alert URL on the email is .. keep rollin on!!

Update 3: 7pm: North Star Sierra Club put this up yesterday covering the bill in detail. There is apparently a phone bank going right now tonight somewhere on this issue... Good work, keep it up!

Rewilding and live performances in abandoned places: Wastelands Project from Children of the Wild


Just wanted to give a nod to my friends working on developing a new traveling performance art piece, the childrenofthewild Wastelands Project. They're on Facebook at Children of the Wild.

Here is some of the copy on the THE WASTELANDS PROJECT | Indiegogo page. The timer runs out in a couple days so please check it out.

The Wastelands Project from Children of the Wild on Vimeo.

A traveling ensemble of artists seeks to rewild the Great Lakes through free outdoor performances.


The Silent Revolution

Western Civilization is self-destructing all around us, and it’s never looked so under control. Wolf hunts, receding glaciers, the dream of a gardened planet: the ecological crisis spreads across the plains like an endless chain of luxury high rises. We believe there is a light to be found in the dark rows ahead. But to see it, we first need to stretch our imagination.


That's where we enter the Wastelands, an outdoor, traveling live performance about the future of life on Earth.

The Wastelands The Wastelands is a revolutionary art project, loosely based on Dante's Purgatorio, that transcends medium--theatre, music, film, dance, fine art, adventurous travel--from us, an emerging ensemble called Children of the Wild.

From April 20th-May 18th, 2015 we will travel across the Great Lakes in search of people to engage with and locations to bring The Wastelands. Ultimately we aim to uncover the real-life stories of environmental crimes suffered by the Great Lakes Basin. More importantly we seek out the resistance of communities that won't back down until the Lakes are free. Why the Great Lakes? We are living in a watershed moment, so it helps to look at our watershed.

WHO ARE WE? Children of the Wild, an ensemble of North American artists, currently in residence at Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield, MA.

Our mission is to make original works of theatre and film that further the rewilding of the human spirit as part of a common struggle for social and environmental justice.
Rewilding Theatre Over the next two years, we are building our show out of and performing in the detritus of this world—ruins of factories, overgrown lots, junk piles that were once industrial parks. We envision being costumed by dust and dirt, ash and burlap; we imagine a set made from found objects; we will travel in an adventurous way (bus or boat) and live as a tribe, in order to open space for what is possible politically and culturally. The film will faithfully document our tour, exposing the in-between places where fiction meets reality. But why go through all that trouble just to tell a story? We believe in order talk about rewilding our souls as well as our environments, we must live it. So the question is, Where do we look to find a landbase reinventing itself in order to survive an almost certain death?

I pitched in with some website work for UGB & Twilight back in the day and I am glad the new project is getting executed. I saw some of the early notes and I think it's really promising.

Military & Film, movies at cosmic war in our mind's eye: Why does the Pentagon care about 'exopolitics' & Hollywood portrayals of aliens? Blockbusters, extraterrestrials and ultraterrestrials


Wings, in 1927, won the first Oscar for Best Picture and used more than 3,000 infantrymen, pilots and crew.
So begins our meta narrative...

I had a bit of a debate with a friend of mine about influences going into science fiction in the media, and the intersection between the Pentagon and Hollywood. The US military has had a presence for nearly a century in American filmmaking but insight into its outsized influence has gotten quite lost.

Even more oddly, the government has always been keen to get involved in any films about extraterrestrials -- including the CIA. The Pentagon has certainly firmed its grasp around alien-related movies in recent years.

This post jets in a few far out-directions. Rather than split it into more narrowly focused narratives, I wanted to linkdump a breadth of material so I can send it out there when these topics come up, as they all seem rather enmeshed anyhow.

If nothing else, Michael Bay should become Secretary of Defense. He has gained hugely from this system, and could shoot cheap fake wars to entertain Fox viewers while sparing the rest of us the expense of patrolling the world and the cosmos. Synthetic Wag the Dog type video should be the whole system, not just a prop for strategy.


SciFi military influence works in relation to The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), which signaled a threatening concept for Pentagon leadership: the film's conception of military thinking as too limited for managing our social reality in the universe -- an alien turns up to critique nuclear weapons and earthbound militarism. (And weird UFO incidents continued at nuclear sites in decades following!)

The bland remake had Pentagon help, and didn't do well with critics or the box office. Journalist Linda Moulton Howe said that government sources told her 1951 the film was "inspired by the CIA" and "one of the first major government tests of public reaction to such an event."


Fast forward sixty years later: fare like Stargate SG-1, Man of Steel and Transformers are marketed to appeal mainly to young male demographics and the military as a whole is usually presented as a cosmologically viable, if weak, buffer force against a fairly nihilistic universe, and if misguided still gets brought around.

Bad eggs, rather than systematic failures of the military as an institution, usually form the narrative boundary.


On the other end of the cosmic spectrum, Sony's Captain Phillips and the little-remembered Jurassic Park III were other projects where the military cleans everything up at the end. Despite different plot trappings, the subsidized state Pentagon presence is quite similar in all of these.

Phillips "used a U.S. military guided missile destroyer, an amphibious assault ship, several helicopters, and members of SEAL Team Six, who play themselves but are not on active duty — all courtesy of the U.S. Navy, who were able to work the shoot into their training…. For "Man of Steel," using military efforts cost less than $1 million on a movie with a production budget of $225 million. Another perk of having Strub sign off on a Hollywood project is it often means production is able to avoid Screen Actors Guild (SAG) daily minimum rates ($153 for eight hours, plus overtime) for unionized actors. Then they save again by not having to pay residuals, notes Fortune."

All of these were produced with a great deal of Pentagon assistance and this is always done in exchange for certain specific, defined features, usually script points in the storyline. Characters get reconfigured and sometimes dropped so that a producer can get access to a free carrier to film on or whatever. Minders on-set ensure the final product is right to spec.


Enter the Alien Stage Left: In all of this comes a defined emphasis on spacefaring aliens -- they got an extraterrestrial type firmly defined in the popular mind by the 1950s through media productions. Looking at so much of this sponsored work, there is almost a toolkit that has been diligently set in stone about what all the weirdness really means, and how it works.

Part of what writer Chris Knowles at Secret Sun blog has gunned away at for years is not just the complex of recycled ideas and flows of script control. It's a long exploration along the interfaces of popular culture and sophisticated groups planting, in retrospect, quite traceable ideas. For example, old Outer Limits, Star Trek, the Esalen Institute and Rockefellers form one compellingly weird Gordian knot.

Stargates and Solar temples is a real cosmic trip as well, linking a California-centered trend of contacting invisible alien spirits called the Nine with the Prophets (alien wormhole dwellers worshipped by Bajorans) in Deep Space Nine. Spoiler alert: Pleasure planet Risa also has numerous cues connecting it to Esalen as well. All this stuff is wild.

Knowles also stresses that powerful ideas like hidden folk ('elves', spirits, elementals), walk-ins (like possession & speaking in tongues), or other ultraterrestrials have been with humanity apparently since the beginning but are totally obfuscated by factors like the Pentagon's reorganization of the Other through the media (if I can summarize a very long and branching line of inquiry). They call our attention to Grays to draw it away from the Wee Folk.

It seems like the Pentagon likes to push away the idea that some connection would be made to somewhat unreal or alternate dimension intelligences, who might bear some positive wisdom if only we were more open to it. [Knowles attributes some of this hostility to a shadowy Collins Elite, hardliners kind of like cosmic Birchers, opponents of the Rockefeller Disclosure squad like Dr Steve Greer. He sees echoes of the Collins Elite in the 10:13 produced X-Files spinoff Millennium. ]


Another common theme is that the military is not a systematically wrong approach to the cosmic universe. Star Trek and Stargate SG-1 are the strongest examples, which always resonated better with Americans than elsewhere. The complete notion or the ontology of a military agency facing outwards into the void as the political surface membrane of human bacterial cell in the galactic body, through the US Air Force Space Command, is beyond doubt.

Even when members of the military make bad decisions like in WarGames or SG-1 episodes, it gets reconciled and the structure is redeemed. In these boundaries there are not Strangelove-like transgressions. Even after apotheosis and enlightenment, still the military structure stands. It just needs course corrections, it never goes down like the Titanic. [Plenty of script tweak examples listed below]

Independence Day was not produced with military help (they certainly didn't want Area 51 in the mix, apparently) but everything still lands in a martial framework.


Mission accomplished


The notion of utopian existence without state militaries withers away, reversing the Earth Stood Still, getting it all spinning once again.


(source )

Much as it seems easier to imagine the apocalypse nowadays than living outside of capitalism, so too it is harder to imagine exploring both the outer and inner universe outside of a martial foundation.


British angle: I'm less familiar with overseas version of America's media-military complex, but it seems the British used James Bond films to put certain ideas out there, at least. The BBC looms large over Brit sci-fi. Torchwood, Britain's answer to Men in Black, seemed kind of like NCIS for space. I didn't see much of it but it seemed like a reframing of high weirdness phenomena into manageably concrete martial terms.


While poking around this stuff I came across Gordon White's website Rune Soup including this fun passage in The Other Place of Dead Roads:

The trickster unifies major, but seemingly unrelated, themes surrounding the paranormal. For instance, the paranormal is frequently connected with deception, and deceit is second nature to the trickster. Psychic phenomena gain prominence in times of disruption and transition. Tricksters are found in conditions of transition. The paranormal has a peculiar relationship with religion; the trickster was part of many early religions, and he was viewed ambivalently. The statuses of paranormal phenomena are typically uncertain or marginal in a variety of ways. Tricksters’ statuses are similar. [The Trickster and the Paranormal.]

Also interesting: Under Familiar Skies. To this intersection of shamanism and management of Otherworldly perceptions check out: Risk a Little More Bite if your interests lie anywhere between Terrence McKenna and John Podesta's improbable recent tweet about UFO files.



Narrative and the New Nihilism: Along with all of this is a "new nihilism" linked to what Knowles derisively calls Nü Atheism (aka the adolescent-minded Dawkins/ Maher/Harris scene). This piece touches on it: "They kept saying they believe in nothing" | Red Dirt Report. Nihilism is a perfect worldview to match the perspective that nothing tangible positive is reachable in the interior of the psyche or the cosmos. (See also The Secret Sun: Pop (Culture) Has Eaten Itself)

There is certainly some gender dynamic in scifi that saw Star Trek: Voyager as the high water mark for non-alpha male storytelling ( Now, "Voyager": in praise of the Trekkiest "Trek" of all). Now everything seems to have drifted back towards typical gender roles, as the story notes. Even the idea of a black James Bond is controversial - Roger Moore facepalm...


Circling back to the general issue of the Pentagon in non-scifi moviemaking: This is hardly a small affair or just a few producers and G-Men scooting some cameras onto the odd aircraft carrier deck. It's a major system and important to the whole way that America perceives itself in the world - and indeed the universe.

Here are some links to hit, plenty more where that came from:

25 years later, how ‘Top Gun’ made America love war - David Sirota - WaPo OpEd August 2011: "In June, the Army negotiated a first-of-its-kind sponsorship deal with the producers of “X-Men: First Class,” backing it up with ads telling potential recruits that they could live out superhero fantasies on real-life battlefields. … [In Top Gun] Time magazine reported that Goose’s death was changed from a midair collision to an ejection scene, because “the Navy complained that too many pilots were crashing."

The Pentagon’s Man in Hollywood: I’m a Eunuch | The New Republic - Dec 2012

CIA and Pentagon have long-running influence over Hollywood’s representation of military - RawStory Jan 2013

'Act Of Valor' And The Military's Long Hollywood Mission - HuffPo Feb 2012

Hollywood and The Pentagon: A Dangerous Liaison - Top Documentary Films (37 mins, free) [also here]

Hollywood and the Pentagon: A relationship of mutual exploitation | Al Jazeera America - July 2014

On the CBS hit show “NCIS” (Naval Criminal Investigative Service): “If you watch the episodes, it’s always a dead Marine or a dead sailor and reverse autopsy to see if they were the victim or the perpetrator,” Coons said. “In many cases you’ll see we hold ourselves accountable when the investigation reveals we’ve done something wrong, and we take that person through the proper steps to punish them or make them whole if they were the victim, and it’s demonstrated for the public to see.”

I am baffled people find such bland step-throughs watchable but apparently they're as addictive as crack once you get into them.

Operation Hollywood | Mother Jones - Sept 2004: "They never -- at least that I’ve seen -- help movies with aliens. Usually in those movies, the military is shown to be ineffective in combating the aliens, and it’s always some tricky, enterprising person who figures out how to defeat them. " Notice this has since been reversed with Transformers and Man of Steel. "….when the world’s most powerful medium colludes with the world’s most powerful military to put propaganda in mainstream films and television shows, that has to have an effect on the American psyche."

The Pentagon and Hollywood - quick note from Stanford, date unknown.

Since 1989, this guy: Phil Strub Controls Hollywood's Military Access - Business Insider - March 2014. This guy is Director of the Marine Corps liason office now > Curtis Hill | LinkedIn


Hollywood Is Becoming the Pentagon's Mouthpiece for Propaganda | Alternet - May 2008, looks at Iron Man

Propaganda and Censorship: The Hollywood Industrial Complex by Sean A. McElwee -- - April 2013. Covers Iron Man 2. "In the original GoldenEye script a Navy Admiral sells state secrets, the final version, it’s now a Frenchman." Handy index:

090518_f_6680c_108_127.jpg2012 Battleship

2012 Act of Valor

2011 Transformers: Dark of the Moon

2011 Battle Los Angeles

2010 Iron Man 2

2009 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

2009 Bones (TV series)

– The Hero in the Hold (2009) (this episode could not have been made without the support and generosity of – Phil Strub)

2008 The Day the Earth Stood Still

2008 Eagle Eye

2008 Iron Man

2007 I Am Legend

2007 Transformers

2006 Flags of Our Fathers

2006 Al Franken: God Spoke

2006 United 93

2005 The Great Raid

2005 Stealth

2005 War of the Worlds

2003 American Valor

2003 Rain

2003 The Core

Pentagon rules target Hollywood leaks | TheHill - Sept 2014. Can't have anyone telling stories outside of school! [Look back on Secret Sun for clues about old Outer Limits possibly publishing leaked material wrapped in scifi]

US Marine Corps list of TV and Film requests for involvement

A Credit to the Corps - latimes - on Josh Rushing & Al Jazeera, August 2004. He got reassigned to the Marine Corps' Hollywood office after a spokester media tour early in the Iraq war.


Ex-Marine Josh Rushing on His Journey from Military Mouthpiece to Al Jazeera Correspondent | Democracy Now! - June 2007

Pentagon Liaisons to Hollywood Have Some Great Stories - Roll Call July 2014

When the CIA infiltrated Hollywood - by Tom Hayden - Feb 2013, covers Argo and earlier projects. - Homeland Security guides the stars - March 2005 Homeland Security and once again Tom Hanks in The Terminal. Along with - Hollywood, Pentagon share rich past

The Case for Hollywood History by Francine Prose | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books - Feb 2015

Pentagon weighs in on some Hollywood movie scripts - AP 1996 - Yes they hit Forrest Gump and demanded his co-soldiers appear smarter.

The Pentagon Goes Hollywood | | The Escapist Feb 2013. Wow even Birth of a Nation had artillery loaned from West Point.

War is a racket: The Pentagon-Hollywood Connection - Brass Check TV

Military interference in American film production - World Socialist Web Site - March 2005


DivPA Los Angeles Public Affairs -


The Marine Corps Motion Picture & TV Liaison Office, also known as LA Public Affairs, provides assistance to directors, producers and writers in the entertainment industry by providing DoD support for major motion pictures, television shows, video games and documentaries to inform and educate the public about the roles and missions, history, operations, and training of the United States Marine Corps.

What we provide

Since 1917, we have helped producers, writers and directors of non-Government, entertainment and non-entertainment-based media productions with the following:

  • Coordination for the use of personnel, aircraft, and equipment.
  • Access to Marine Corps installations, both within the United States and forward combat zones.
  • Assistance in obtaining broadcast-quality Marine Corps stock footage and "B" roll footage.
  • Accurate Script and story development
  • Access to highly-qualified subject matter experts (i.e. pilots, engineers, infantrymen, etc)

Note: All productions must be approved by the Department of Defense and meet specific criteria for support. Click on our FAQs link for more information.

What production companies should do

You may contact these people to try and borrow an aircraft carrier for your drug filled pacifist film capers at:

U.S. Military Assistance in Producing Motion Pictures, Television Shows, Music Videos

Department of Defense

Special Assistant for Entertainment Media

Department of Defense

The Pentagon, Room 2E592

Washington, DC 20301-1400

(703) 695-2936 / FAX (703) 695-1149

For information regarding U.S. military assistance in producing feature motion pictures, television shows, documentaries, music videos, commercial advertisements, CD-ROM games, and other audiovisual programs, please contact the Military Service being portrayed or being asked to provide assistance:


Chief, Office of Army Chief of Public Affairs

Los Angeles Branch

10880 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1250

Los Angeles, CA 90024

(310) 235-7621 / FAX (310) 235-6075


Director, Navy Office of Information West

10880 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1220

Los Angeles, CA 90024

(310) 235-7481 / FAX (310) 235-7856

Air Force

Director, Secretary of the Air Force

Office of Public Affairs

Office of Public Affairs-Entertainment Liaison

10880 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1240

Los Angeles, CA 90024

(310) 235-7511 / FAX (310) 235-7500

Marine Corps

Director, Marine Corps Public Affairs

Motion Picture and Television Liaison

10880 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1230

Los Angeles, CA 90024

(310) 235-7272 / FAX (310) 235-7274


Anyway I hope that gives some avenues to go check out and a better understanding of where all these bland military-involved plot points come from - movie execs that acquiesce to rather unconstitutional pressure from the offices named above here, due to budget pressure.

The remapping of outer space by this system is almost as strange as a UFO sighting - it rather pre-conditions us to certain conclusions, or frames of reference. whenever a truly weird incident happens.

Let's try to support weird cinema in 2015, cinema that opens our imaginations. Not this dull mixture of the same old military character injected into young male blockbusters and all-too-conventional scifi over and over.

Credit to Roger Ebert for inspiring me to throw some notes out there - just watched "Life, Itself" and it was quite awesome.

Does Burzynski get the last laugh? Claims advance in colon cancer research but skeptics scowl

I am hardly a sophisticated biochemist but it seems logical to suspect that signal proteins might be able to shut down tumors in individualized courses of therapy. After all, the thoroughly suppressed evil cannabis plant has been demonstrated to have similar effects.

Burzynski Research Institute, Inc. Announces Publication of Phase 2 Clinical Study in Metastatic... -- HOUSTON, March 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

HOUSTON, March 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Burzynski Research Institute, Inc. (BRI) announced today that results of a study independently conducted by the Department of Surgery at Kurume University Medical Center in Japan have been published. The study, a randomized non-blinded phase 2 trial, compared 5-fluorouracil hepatic arterial infusion as post-operative adjuvant therapy with and without Antineoplastons A10/AS2-1 Injections for colorectal metastasis of the liver.

A total of 65 patients, with histologically confirmed metastatic colon adenocarcinoma of the liver, were evaluated. Primary endpoints included cancer-specific survival. Secondary endpoints included relapse-free survival, clinical status and extent of recurrence, salvage surgery rate and toxicity.

BRI believes that the completion of the study represents an important milestone in the development of Antineoplastons and that further efficacy trials of Antineoplastons in colorectal cancer should continue to be pursued.

About Burzynski Research Institute, Inc.

Burzynski Research Institute, Inc. (OTCBB:BZYR) is a biopharmaceutical company committed to developing treatment for cancer based on genomic and epigenomic principles. Research and development efforts are focused on basic research and phase 3 clinical trials, particularly in the treatment of brain tumors and other forms of cancer.

SOURCE Burzynski Research Institute, Inc.


On via PLoS One: Antineoplastons as adjuvant therapy improve survival rate after hepatectomy

In a phase 2 clinical trial, antineoplastons, such as A10 injection and AS2-1, were a useful form of adjunctive therapy after hepatic arterial infusion, and improved cancer-specific survival in patients with liver metastases from colorectal cancer, according to study data.

Sixty-five patients with metastatic colon adenocarcinoma of the liver who had undergone hepatectomy or thermal ablation for liver metastases, were randomly assigned to receive systemic antineoplastons (A10-I infusion, then AS2-1) with hepatic arterial infusion (n = 32, HAI) or HAI alone (n = 33). The primary endpoint was cancer-specific survival (CSS), according to the research.

Upon completion of therapy, overall survival in the antineoplastons group did not improve a great deal (P = .105) and relapse-free survival also did not improve (P = .343). However, CSS rate was longer in the antineoplastons/HAI group with a median survival time of 67 months vs. the HAI alone group with a median of 39 months. The 5-year CSS rate was 60% in the antineoplastons/HAI group vs. 32% in the HAI alone group. Patients in the antineoplastons/HAI group experienced cancer recurrence more often in a single organ as opposed to multiple organs compared with the HAI alone group. More patients in the antineoplastons/HAI group compared with the HAI alone group experienced full stomach (8 vs. 2; P = .044) and phlebitis (6 vs. 0; P < .024), the only significantly different adverse events between the two groups. Serious toxicity was not observed in the antineoplastons/HAI group.

“The administration of antineoplaston AS2-1 may be clinically effective as a postoperative adjuvant therapy in liver metastasis from colorectal cancer,” the researchers concluded. “The results of this study have warranted the initiation of a new randomized, controlled clinical trial of adjuvant therapy using antineoplaston A10 and AS2-1 combined with HAI after hepatectomy in patients with colorectal metastasis to the liver.” – by Melinda Stevens


One Orac at ScienceBlogs claims it's hokum, and describes what they see as charlatan fake science, excessive whining about research suppression: Dr. Hidaeka Tsuda demonstrates that antineoplastons don’t work against colon cancer – Respectful Insolence

Here is a recently posted video on the same channel that did a movie about him: Dr. Tsuda explains 27 years of ANP research + randomized study now published on Vimeo:

Read the peer-reviewed randomized study of Antineoplastons:

The day has finally come, all the complaining from the establishment about the lack of "independent randomized studies of Antineoplastons" will have to end. Will the NCI, ACS, and Wikipedia allow their websites/postings on Antineoplastons to be updated? Don't count on it. The only down side is, the Japanese were forced to "water down" and "downplay" the significance of the studies in exchange for allowing it to be published by the team of oncology peer-reviewers at PLoS ONE (Public Library of Sciences) - PLoS ONE might catch some heat for doing the right thing here, they reviewed this manuscript and kept watering it down for over a YEAR before accepting it for publication. The Japanese were forced to say things like "Overall survival was not statistically improved" even though the survival was DOUBLE in the Antineoplastons group. They also had to say "Antineoplastons (A10 Injection and AS2-1) might be useful" - instead of "Is useful", etc. Baby steps, we guess.


After all the billions of dollars thrown into the system I really hope that one of these therapies pans out and actually reaches the glorious licensed medical market. Will it be a colorful iconoclastic character like Burzynski or a improbably capable and idealistic crew at the helm of a big pharma company?

Within 10 or 15 years it should be possible to get a 3D printed personal dose of peptides to combat cancer alongside careful distillations of active compounds in cannabis. Why not? Shut down the war machine, slash the marketing budget and get on with it, people…

Minnesota Drug Recognition Expert / Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) lawsuit depositions released; unscientific & abusive program used to punish people in court

After many months under the radar a lot of lawsuit testimony from police has been published in Minnesota's surprising DRE police training abuse scandal.

The relevant Drug Recognition Evaluator police officers got grilled under cross examination and said all kinds of things which undermine the basic scientific integrity which everyone assumes is behind programs like this. I am hoping this spurs more media attention. I haven't had much time to review these but I think they will reward your attention with any number of insane facts.

Occupy Minnesota participant Michael Bounds describes the experience late on the original video:


There go two subjects:


The new depos and funny word indexes are here: as PDFs.

Previously: MK Occupy Minnesota: Drugs & the DRE Program at Peavey Plaza - YouTube ( May 2 2012 )

Orig Writeup: MK Occupy Minnesota: Drugs & the DRE Program at Peavey Plaza | ( May 2 2012 )

BCA internal files primary reporting: MK Occupy Minnesota: The Drug Recognition Evaluator BCA Investigation files | (Nov 12 2012 )

A few more elements on the semi-suspended MN Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) program | (Nov 26 2012)

2012 BCA internal report first published here: (78MB)

Here is attorney Nathan Hansen's latest post on the matter:

Depositions of Drug Recognition Evaluator defendants, drugs used for testing taken from teenagers in a park, homeless targeted, scientific method not understood by certified DRE, official reports falsified - March 25 2015

I have posted before on the blog about the civil lawsuit in which I represent Plaintiffs who were picked up by Minnesota law enforcement, driven near the airport, and given street drugs and told to use them. Subsequently, various clinical tests were run on these Plaintiffs by law enforcement to provide training so these officers could become "Drug Recognition Evaluators." Each officer needed to have 15 test subjects, and credit could be given for being a recorder for another officer doing the tests. Myself and co-counsel Alan Milstein took the depositions of several of these defendants wherein they testified under oath. I have now posted these depositions on my file server for anyone to review, in the public interest.

As an attorney who has done a lot of criminal defense work, in addition to bankruptcy and civil litigation, I have long maintained that the DRE program is nothing but preposterous unscientific charlatanism. Please understand the opinion of one of these officers can get you arrested and jailed sight on scene. However, do not take my word for it, here is testimony from one of the Drug Recognition Evaluators wandering the streets and arresting people presently, Deputy Bryce Schuenke, formerly of the Dakota County Sheriff's Office and now with the Prior Lake Police Department, who holds a "Master of Science in Public Safety" from St.Cloud State University, from page 17 of his deposition:

Q (by me): "Did you rely on, like, any learned treatises or scientific textbooks during the classroom portion of your training?"

A (Schuenke): "I didn't use scientific textbooks, no."

Q (by me): "There's no scientific textbooks used in the DRE training?"

A (Schuenke): "We had manuals, but I don't know if they came from a scientific source or not."

Q (by me): "What is an Institutional Review Board?"

A (Schuenke): "I don't---I don't know."

Q (by me): "What is a controlled experiment?"

A (Schuenke): "I am familiar with the term, but wouldn't be able to explain it."

Q (by me): "What is the scientific method?"

A (Schuenke): "Again, same"

Q (by me): "You don't know?"

A (Schuenke): "I don't know."

I reiterate that this is a person who Minnesota Courts qualify to testify in Court about whether or not someone is under the influence of drugs. His clinical opinion can land someone in jail very quickly and his testimony used to prove someone's intoxication.

These depositions are filled with wonderful information about the Minnesota Drug Recognition Evaluator Program. There are many stories in these depositions that are very newsworthy. One of the overarching themes of this program is that test subjects were given fake names, presumably to make sure their actual participation in this program could be concealed at a later date. Official DRE logs are replete with fake names and falsified police reports (fascinating how Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman forgot about Minnesota Statute 609.505, falsely reporting crime, in his charging decision relating to the DRE program). Officers testified under oath at these depositions that they put false names and false events in their official reports.

Another issue that the Plaintiffs were wondering about was the source of the drugs administered to the Plaintiff test subjects for these police experiments. For such a scientific program that trains officers to put people in jail by waving their hands around and looking at them, one would think there would be very careful controls and dosages for the drugs (I am setting aside for the moment that it is a farce to administer drugs to people and then test to conclude that they are under the influence of drugs). However, consistent with the entire Minnesota Drug Recognition Evaluator Program, the method the drugs were obtained is entirely unscientific, and there is no knowledge about what the drugs administered actually contain. In his deposition testimony, while questioned by my co-counsel, Alan Milstein, Hutchinson Officer explained how the drugs administered to the Plaintiff test subjects were obtained:

From page 15 of deposition of Karl Willers:

Q (by Milstein): "And there was at least one instance where you gave one of the people you evaluated Marijuana, correct"

A (Karl Willers): "Yes"

Q (by Milstein): "Was it only one instance?"

A (Karl Willers): "No."

Q (by Milstein): "How many instances were there?"

A (Karl Willers): "Four or five."

Q (by Milstein): "And where did you get Marijuana?"

There is a set of questioning from Karl Willers' deposition on pages 16 to 19 that his classmates, Mark Hanneman and Peter Zajac, had obtained the marijuana by taking it from teenagers who were smoking it in a park around Farmington. Herein lies more of the rigorous science and testing behind the Minnesota Drug Recognition Evaluator program.

Here are the depositions I have posted, which are all of them:

Karl Willers, Hutchinson Police Department

Bryce Schuenke, Dakota County Sheriff's Office, now with Prior Lake Police Department

Daniel Lewis, Kanabec County Sheriff's Office

Kenneth Willers, DRE with Minnesota State Patrol

Michael Hadland, Fillmore County Sheriff's Office

Nicholas Jacobson, Olmsted County Sheriff's Office

Steve Schultz, Kanabec County Sheriff

Riccardo Munoz, Minnesota State Patrol

These depositions and their contents speak for themselves. A reading of all of them together leads any reasonable mind to the conclusion that the DRE program is unscientific hocus pocus and its training methods constitute violations of civil rights. Further, the intentional targeting of Occupy Minnesota, the homeless, and other vulnerable populations is made clear in the testimony in these depositions.

I can be contacted at

Unfortunately the program shifted to California where "transients" get coerced and abused some more, as recently reported: March 22 2015: CHP rounds up transients for police drug training | "They typically aren’t motorists – but people who are walking or sometimes riding bicycles who are arrested on suspicion of using illegal drugs, a misdemeanor. They are then brought to meet with trainees at certification sites, where interviews can last an hour or longer."

This disgusting story is another example of why it is essential to shut down this abusive war on drugs, wherein clearly young law enforcement officers are trained to fabricate information in reports -- which is unlawful, County Attorney Freeman -- and manipulate rather than aid the vulnerable with empathy. I hope that other activist orgs can see the light on this matter and work on this important goal in all haste, across the spectrum.

Disclosure: I worked professionally w Nathan on some web and design material previously. In the DRE matter I have not been compensated by him or any other media outlet, except by the shared gratification of defeating another abusive political program in my home state.

Doing my best "WTF" Palpatine style in drizzle..


Also thanks to for noting there is even a trade association, , the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association. Let the measurements begin, one can only imagine the breathalyzers they break out at those conferences.

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: Public Comment on secretive counterintelligence operations under Executive Order 12333

An interesting call for comments here if anyone wants to pipe up about counterintelligence activities including whatever weird stuff targets Americans. Via PCLOB RFC on Spy Activities Under EO 12333


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 55 (Monday, March 23, 2015)]

[Pages 15259-15260]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office []
[FR Doc No: 2015-06537]



[Notice-PCLOB-2015-01; Docket No. 2015-0001; Sequence No. 1]

Request for Public Comment on Activities Under Executive Order

AGENCY: Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

ACTION: Notice; Request for public comment.


SUMMARY: As announced at the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight
Board's (PCLOB) public meeting on July 23, 2014, the PCLOB is examining
counterterrorism activities conducted under the Executive Order
pertaining to the United States Intelligence Activities and their
implications for privacy and civil liberties. As such, the PCLOB seeks
public input to inform the Board's examination of activities conducted
under the Executive Order.

DATES: Written comments may be submitted at any time prior to the
closing of the comment period at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST)
on June 16, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments with the notice number PCLOB-2015-01
by the following methods: Submit
comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for ``Notice
PCLOB-2015-01''. Select the link ``Comment Now'' that corresponds with
``Notice PCLOB-2015-01''. Follow the instructions provided at the
``Comment Now'' screen. Please include your name, company name (if
any), and ``Notice PCLOB-2015-01'' on your attached document.
Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory
Secretariat Division (MVCB), ATTN: Ms. Hada Flowers, 1800 F Street
N.W., 2nd floor, Washington, DC 20405.
Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite
``Notice PCLOB-2015-01'' in all correspondence related to this case.
All comments received will be posted without change to, including any personal and/or business
confidential information provided.

[[Page 15260]]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sharon Bradford Franklin, Executive
Director, 202-331-1986.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The PCLOB seeks public input to inform the
Board's examination of activities conducted under Executive Order
(E.O.) 12333--United States Intelligence Activities. Although the Board
recognizes that much information about activities under E.O. 12333 is
classified and/or not publicly available, the Board seeks comments
regarding any concerns about counterterrorism activities conducted
under E.O. 12333 based on the information that is currently
unclassified and publicly available, as well as suggestions for
questions the PCLOB should ask as part of its inquiry.

Dated: March 16, 2015.
Lynn Parker Dupree,
Acting General Counsel, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.
[FR Doc. 2015-06537 Filed 3-20-15; 8:45 am]

VIDEO: Vermin Supreme & Jimmy McMillan QA 3-17-2015: 2016 presidential operations?!


Will Vermin and Jimmy attempt to ontologically defeat the corrupt and bloated US political sphere again? High rent and oral hygiene will be back on the agenda in 2016, they hint in a QA.

Vermin Supreme and Jimmy McMillan answer questions after a free screening of "Who is Vermin Supreme? An Outsider Odyssey" at the Paramount in downtown Boston. Director Steve Onderick answers questions, followed by Vermin and Jimmy over skype.

vermin-film.jpg - here's the trailer: .

The film has been continuously improved since previous versions I've seen, thanks to New Alliance in Cambridge for an all-new sound remastering, it's really got a polished, unusual audio experience.


A nice review from the evening: Who Is Vermin Supreme? An Outsider Odyssey (2014) | Film Static: Criticism and Essay by Jarrod White

To contact Jimmy McMillan, please email him at

[Yes I helped Steve distribute his film to kickstart supporters]

Original event URL.


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Barney Miller on Trilateralists in 1981 & war machine in 1978: Fictional arrested protester dialogue censored by ABC for linking Dow & DuPont to Vietnam War

I wasn't familiar at all with late 1970s series Barney Miller, but it's a striking contrast to today's much creepier police shows.

First, a funny clip just posted from Arrested Development's Jeffrey Tambor explains the Trilateral Commission, name checking David Rockefeller and George HW Bush, broadcast in 1981 (via VigilantCitizen naturally):

A few seasons earlier, the episode about arresting a Yippie style antiwar radical activated the network censors hours before broadcast. Here's a news clip explaining the ABC lawyers thought that referencing Dow & DuPont was potentially libelous:



Here's the full episode S5E11 "The Radical". References to Abbie Hoffman and Bill Ayers, while some of the cops debate when they'd been protesting the Vietnam War, and what on earth the war really meant:

The contrast between sheer mellowness of this show versus the aggression and blunt pacing of today's modern cop shows is so striking. Do you really think a fictional cop character would claim to have opposed a war years earlier than everyone else now?! A lot of comments on its wiki page and elsewhere that Barney Miller was seen by police officers as the most accurate cop show on TV for many years.

On kind of a throwback kick today, watching "Brotherhood of the Bell" (1970) as well. Sort of a pseudo Freemasonry California business leisure suit story. You expect Jim Rockford to pop out….

In case people haven't seen it, someone just put up Rockford Files Season 4 Episode 21 & 22 The House On Willis Avenue which covers something like a privatized NSA conspiracy.

Here's a wonderful excerpt wherein Rockford vents about the dangers of creeping privatized FBI agents and 'control file' style dirt digging:

Back in October 2013 I used the Rockford Episode to talk about the Harris Kingfish cell phone interceptor: Local cell phone spying KingFish stonewall: Minnesota law enforcement at BCA & Hennepin County refuse to disclose SIGINT cell phone snooping capabilities from NSA contractor Harris.
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