Pulling The Rug Out From Under Big Brother– The Burglary, The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI by Betty Medsger

The New York Times

*

 

“There are certain points in history where a society goes so wrong, and there are certain people who will say, ‘I won’t stand for that . . . I will risk career, life, limb, family  freedom . . . And I will take this risk, and I will go and do it.”

                                                                                                                                                                                          David Kairys

Betty Medsger’s book about the 1971 burglary of the FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania isn’t about a cheap thrill ride of robbery for adrenaline kicks and profit, though it was a crime with a huge payout–the truth.  The burglary committed by a crew of non-violent peace activists assembled by a physics professor, William Davidon, confirmed the suspicions of anti-war activists that they were being unlawfully spied upon by their own government because they were exercising their right to dissent — and that thousands of other people were being illegally spied upon because they were considered subversives according to one man, J. Edgar Hoover.  People didn’t have to commit any crime or even speak about committing treason to get their names put on a list of folks to be rounded up and jailed in the event of some national emergency. If they were liberal, if they were black, if they espoused anti-war sentiments, if they were writers, artists, then they were candidates for warrantless, indefinite detention without due process under the law–as far as Hoover was concerned. The Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI’s theft of FBI records brought into the light of day the term COINTELPRO–and a lot of very very illegal activity by the FBI as it committed crimes against the American people with impunity. Such crimes included destroying the lives of innocent people by deliberately framing them for crimes they didn’t commit, celebrating such wrongdoing and refusing to turn over evidence that proved their innocence in any wrongdoing. Hoover’s secret FBI didn’t give a damn about truth, integrity, civil liberties, or the law. It existed to create paranoia and fear in the population at large in order  to control everyone. It refused to protect and uphold the Constitution of the United States and the law. It was a criminal entity from the top on down with a few exceptions.

If this is striking a contemporary current events cord with you, that’s not an accident.

If you’re expecting an anti-war tale rife with hippies, drugs, sex and rock and roll music, look elsewhere. The people who broke into the FBI office in Media were not a bunch of hooligans. They weren’t looking for money. They were searching for evidence.  These were people who raided draft offices in order to destroy the effort to conscript young men for the war machine then stayed to be arrested by the police in order to take responsibility for their actions. These were people deeply invested in ethical behavior and education who wanted the death and destruction in Vietnam to stop. They were people committed to the civil rights movement.  Betty Medsger’s book provides varied personal portraits of the burglars, each dependent upon how much personal information they were willing to share, of the Media burglars.  There’s a range of backgrounds and experience among them which provides some sense of the breadth of the range of people involved in the anti-war movement and what inspired them to become activists.

If you have no clue about the short and long-term importance of this burglary and the context in which it occurred, don’t fret, Medsger will fill you in. She provides notes and a very useful bibliography for further reading. While this is a very serious book about very serious issues which are very relevant to the here and now, it’s also very very accessible and readable. It gives life and breath to events by creating connections with real humans thinking hard about the world we live in–and how we live in it. What are the responsibilities of those who are free? What does it mean to have the right to dissent without fear of retaliation in a society that claims to be free? What are you willing to do to protect your civil liberties? Who wants to live their lives in fear of being arrested because of their ideas?

Betty Medsger’s book raises all sorts of interesting issues for serious conversation while stressing the important role ‘ordinary’ people play in creating the world in which we live our daily lives. If you think one person doesn’t have a lot of influence in the power plays then consider J. Edgar Hoover the Head of the FBI versus William Davidon, a physics professor with an idea.

Who is reading everyone’s mail? Who is collecting phone conversations? Who is creating files on everyone? Why?

Who has the Hoover virus? What is to be done about it?

~~~

The Burglary site –>> http://www.theburglary.com/

~~~~

Betty Medsger ~ The Burglary (note, her part does not run the full hour of the video)

Published on Mar 21, 2014

http://www.politics-prose.com/book/97… Betty Medsger talks about her book about the previously unsolved burglary of an FBI building in Media, Pennsylvania. Recorded on March 16, 2014.
Founded by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade in 1984, Politics & Prose Bookstore is Washington, D.C.’s premier independent bookstore and cultural hub, a gathering place for people interested in reading and discussing books. Politics & Prose offers superior service, unusual book choices, and a haven for book lovers in the store and online. Visit them on the web at http://www.politics-prose.com/

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Could you survive on $250 a month? What if it suddenly disappeared? Welcome to the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota, USA where the BIA is on the job–or are they?

What would you do if you were totally dependent upon a single monthly check of $250 to cover all your living expenses from rent, heat, electricity to food and then your check suddenly ceased arriving in your mail box without any explanation? What if you live on a reservation where there is 80-85% unemployment and your tribe is $60 million in debt? Add to the context the highest rates per population of child suicide in the world. Now imagine what goes through your mind when your single source of income becomes “invisible” and you already know you don’t have the gas to drive off the reservation to search for employment, you have no funds to find housing off the reservation, and you are the sole adult caretaker for your grandchildren.  What is now going through your mind at this point?

The following information is directly from Anne Fields who has been in direct contact with people on Pine Ridge Reservation who are currently in precisely the situation presented above.

Anne Fields:

There is a new situation on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota (and presumably on other reservations) that is very dire and perhaps life threatening.

I am a white grandmother who has spent a total of 18 months on the reservation, including four months teaching in the Early Head Start program.  I have friends who are directly affected by the problem and who are growing more desperate each day.  So far my efforts to find information or help for them have been unsuccessful.

Each month the Bureau of Indian Affairs has been providing General Assistance grants (see below) to many residents who are desperately needy.  On Pine Ridge approximately 940 people receive monthly checks of up to $250.  These checks are often their only source of income and their lifeline.

In December 2012 no checks came.  I spent several hours on the phone with officials at the local, regional, and national levels trying to find out what had happened.  Eventually I ended up at the BIA Division of Human Services in Washington where I spoke with Bevette Hern at 202-513-7608.  She told me that there had been new software which had a glitch that was holding things up. She said it was now fixed and that the Treasury would get a file transfer shortly and that the Agencies should have the money by the end of that week.  This did indeed happen.

But then in March 2013 again no checks ever came and there were no notifications to the recipients.  The Post Offices were besieged by people looking for their money.  No checks have arrived for April 2013 and folks are seriously cold and hungry.  They do not know if the money will ever come again. They have had no information from the BIA.

In an effort to try to get some information regarding these crucial funds, I tried to call Bevette to see if this is a permanent situation, only to find that she is no longer working there (even though her answering machine still uses her name).  I spoke with someone who would only give her name as “Roberta” and who said that she knew nothing about the details, only that the money available for “Welfare” has been cut back.  She told me that I needed to talk to the BIA Great Plains Social Services in Aberdeen, SD.  I called them at 605-226-7351 and spoke with “Patti.”  She told me that Central Office has not received any funds so they have nothing to give out.  She recommended that I talk to the folks in Washington–the same people who directed me to call her office.

I have written to South Dakota Congresswoman Noem and Senators Johnson and Thune for clarification, but as of now I have heard nothing back from any of them.

BIA Human Services handles 6 components of Financial Assistance, which consist of:

1. General Assistance

a) An applicant must meet the criteria contained in 25 CFR 20.300 (Who qualifies for Direct Assistance)
b) Apply concurrently for financial assistance from other state, tribal, county, local, or other federal agency programs for which he/she is eligible;
c) Not receive any comparable public assistance, and
d) Develop and sign an employment strategy in the ISP with the assistance of the social service

worker to meet the goal of employment through specific action steps including job readiness and job search activities.

source: http://www.bia.gov/WhoWeAre/RegionalOffices/GreatPlains

So, what should Anne Fields and these 940 people on Pine Ridge Reservation DO to get some information from the BIA and/or the Federal Government?  Any suggestions? Even if you have no notions about how to deal with this continuing situation, please take a moment to send this information via your favorite internet social network sharing options.

Namaste.

Red Alert All “Serfs”: Corporate hostile take-over of America is underway via Republican Governors at large.

 It’s official folks. The corporate take-over of America is well underway around the USA. Oh yeah. No doubts about it. Just survey what every Republican Governor is up to in every state and it’s absolutely clear that this is an organized attack on the working classes en masse. The goal is absolute control, dominance and power over the population. Does that sound paranoid? Yeah, well it’s reality, fellow serfs.  You think Wisconsin has ISSUES? Well, while we’ve all been watching the antics of Republican Dictator Walker and his hench-people, especially the extremely adorably arrogant Senator Fitzgerald, a very nasty power grab has been conducted in Lansing, Michigan. Oh yeah, what’s worse than snidely cutting the feet out from the working class by stripping them of collective bargaining rights? Float this in your boiling brainpan:

In an extreme move to take away power of local governments, the Michigan Senate voted yesterday to allow the appointment of so-called emergency financial managers to take control of cities and school districts that the newly elected Republican governor in the state unilaterally declares to be “financial emergencies.”

The new bill was passed 26-12 by the Republican-controlled Senate in Lansing and allows newly-appointed financial managers a broad range of powers over local governments. Newly elected Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s new budget bill slashes aid to local governments and many towns are expected to fall into the financial emergency zone as a result. Governor Snyder will then appoint financial managers to oversee these towns.

The bill was passed first in Michigan’s Congress and will now await some changes in wording before being sent to Snyder’s desk for his signature. After the bill is put in effect, the financial managers will be allowed to “reject, modify or terminate the terms of an existing contract…or a collective bargaining agreement.”

They will also be able to “suspend or dismiss local officials, “disincorporate of dissolve entire city governments” and “recommend…that a school district be reorganized with one or more contiguous districts.” Jennifer Page, “Corporate Politicians at Helm”,  The Center for Media and Democracy’s PRwatch

http://www.prwatch.org/news/2011/03/10330/corporate-politicians-helm-michigan-sell-out-local-democracy

 

Michigan’s Governor is a Republican and by now we all know what that means—right wing Koch Brothers and Cohorts MONEY puppet.  Now that Snyder has established his right to slash and burn cities and school districts all by himself –and then to appoint “new managers”–the door is open for Koch and like-minded right-wing Corporate Cohorts for more “hostile take-overs” of cities and schools. Why bother with purchasing individual energy works when you can bleed an entire city and its population to suit your own agenda?

What are we Serfs going to do?

Whatever happened to self-determination in America?

Is this still “America”–land of the FREE? Is it?

The rules have changed folks. In case you haven’t noticed, these Republicans don’t adhere to laws, fair play or honesty. They don’t give a damn about working class people of any ilk. In Wisconsin they have abandoned all pretense of integrity. They’re not elected officials anymore. They’re arrogant, power hungry, control monsters bent on imposing their way–as the only way in much the same vein as the most repulsive manipulative television evangelists.  The right-wing corporate Republican way is The Only Way. I sense that “loving kindness” will not get us Serfs anywhere with these people because such is out of their ken. They’re proving it with every move they make. If the Republicans in Wisconsin are so proud of their handiwork, why do they run away from the capital escorted by police, through tunnels and unto dark buses to avoid the wrath of the people they’re supposed to REPRESENT? Do they fear a modern form of being tarred and feathered? Why do they keep trying to keep their handiwork from public view?  Because they know it’s “wrong” yet they intend to do as their corporate funders demand any way they can.

Posted on Wisconsin Resistance Radio, Facebook

Note: For those of you who don’t understand what unions and collective bargaining rights mean for working classes–do some homework–start with the Ludlow Massacre and learn about those and other people who died in order for there to be a 40 hour work week, no child labor, and decent living wages. Yes, people fought and died in order to end ruthless exploitation by the rich elite who took everything and gave nothing for the labor of others.  Corporate created textbooks don’t present much information on the dark side of the labor movement. Explore America’s dark labor history before you decide unions don’t matter.  
 

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