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My friend Ben Williams mentioned a recent event in which he saw black helicopters in the sky over his home in Minneapolis, and the deeply unsettled feeling it left him with.  Note that the exercise took place over the Federal Reserve -- the location originally chosen by Occupy Minneapolis, and not permitted by the authorities.

Update:  By no means is this diary an endorsement of Alex Jones or Infowars.  I am not a conspiracy theorist.  I am, however, open to information where and when I can find it, and Infowars had the best collection of links to other resources that I found.

I found very little coverage of it, virtually nothing in the MSM (surprise!).  If you're in the mood to visit Infowars, they have an article about it also describing similar events in Florida, Missouri, and Wisconsin.

As a person with some experience both with Blackhawk helicopters and urban rescue, I have to call bullshit on anything that purports to mix the two.  Blackhawk helicopters are about firepower, plain and simple.  Death from above.

Ben's account below the cloud.

On Saturday 25 August, I caught a brief notice on the local news informing residents of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area that the U.S. Special Operations Command would be engaging in “urban environment training” over the course of the next several days in our area (training had actually begun on 19 August, but would now become more visible).

This was said to be part of an effort to train the military in urban search & rescue operations. It mentioned that this training would be routine and that there was no cause for alarm on the part of the public.

On Monday 27 August, Blackhawk and Hughes helicopters conducted exercises downtown and also patrolled the airspace of my neighbourhood (Northeast Minneapolis), which is adjacent to downtown. They hovered in close formation near downtown buildings including the Federal Reserve building, and flew at very low altitudes. The overflights lasted for several hours as the helicopters continually cruised back and forth across the Mississippi River.

I found this to be a very alarming experience, and one that was anything but routine. I had the strong sense that we had reached a new stage in our evolution from a security state into a bona fide police state.

The fact that there was scant and very short notice regarding this (up until now) highly unusual and conspicuous operation, with the explanations provided alternating between “search & rescue” and “urban warfare training”, leads me to believe that this operation is part of a new effort to intimidate the public and to condition us into accepting a new, ongoing military presence in our civilian space – one that may well become more “routine” as time goes on.

The local news media kept stressing that there was “nothing to worry about”, but did so only after traumatized residents began calling the police and 911 to find out why helicopters were buzzing their rooftops for hours on end. We were told that the military refused to give out exact training locations to “prevent crowds from gathering to watch and creating a safety hazard”.  Not that flying dozens of huge helicopters at very low altitude over a heavily populated area is unsafe, mind you….

Since that evening, I have continually heard the rationale from various quarters that the military must have conducted these drills to train for similar urban warfare missions in “some Middle Eastern country”. This explanation makes no sense at all: if military helicopters flew low to the ground and hovered close to buildings in a hostile urban zone, they would be directly exposed to enemy fire from the ground or from those buildings.

This training exercise was clearly addressing the presumptive need on the part of the authorities that military personnel and hardware will be needed to quash impending civil unrest, and as far as they are concerned, the people of this country don’t need to be properly informed about that.

The element of surprise is quite effective, and this is where the psychological warfare aspect comes into play. The feeling was sudden and palpable as I stared at soldiers in full camouflage gear sitting in the doorway of several helicopters roaring overhead: no longer can we be assured that our cities and neighborhoods belong to us. At any time, in any location and without warning, elements of the military can invade our lives, and they do not have to answer for it.

Ben Williams

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

    by Xavier Onassis EMTP on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 04:05:18 AM PDT

  •  for those of us around in the 60's this is no (5+ / 0-)

    revelation as we witnessed incursions by NG and regular troops into cities, neighborhoods, and college campuses over the nation, ostensibly to "restore order"
    It was at this time that the difference between democracies and other forms of government was driven home because democracies' armies face outwards to defend against external enemies while non-democracies' armies face inward, to protect the ruling class against their own citizens.

  •  I would call conspiracy BS on this IF ... (4+ / 0-)

    I didn't live in the EXACT SAME AREA as your friend Ben and if I hadn't heard these things flying over head for a prolonged period. My girlfriend was out of town, but I was alarmed enough to call her and hold the phone up (on speaker) to ask if she could hear the noise. I was seriously worrying that I was going into a stroke, or something. It rattled my entire home. I tried capturing the copters on video, but couldn't find my camera.

    I thought these Blackhawk helicopters were supposed to be discrete, or whatever? They were so damn loud I felt like I was in that scene in Close Encounters where the UFO first flies overhead and anything and everything is shaking all over. This is very distressing. And it's even more upsetting to find out this is what the noise was about and that I didn't hear a word mentioned.

    At least now, I know what was going on nearly a month ago. Thanks for the post. Vote Obama?

    I will not touch Medicare, Social Security or Medicaid - Barack Obama

    by sloopydrew on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 04:36:41 AM PDT

    •  yes, vote Obama. what did you have in mind? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama, IndieGuy

      Nader 2012?

      Yeah that'll show Obama!  That'll show the voters!   Things didn't get bad enough under Bush, so they have to get worse before they keep getting even worse!  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 05:12:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe I had in mind not wasting my vote on a (3+ / 2-)
        Recommended by:
        RWood, greenbell, Xavier Onassis EMTP
        Hidden by:
        IndieGuy, mndan

        fascist anti-union, militant thug masquerading as a Democrat.

        And Nader did not cost Al Gore the election. Al Gore running a horrible campaign, a corrupt ton of horseshit in Florida with the Bushies and an extremely corrupt Supreme Court cost Gore the election.

        In no way is Obama a better President than W. They're equally appalling. Obama definitely has a twitchier drone-trigger finger, though.

        I'll vote Democrat down-ticket, as I usually do, but you couldn't pay me enough to vote for either of the Corporatists running to destroy our country through further austerity programs.

        I will not touch Medicare, Social Security or Medicaid - Barack Obama

        by sloopydrew on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 05:51:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't you know by now that the military (5+ / 0-)

          is going to do what it wants, no matter who is president? I wish Eisenhower could see us now.

          I came very close to giving you a donut, for "fascist anti-union, militant thug masquerading as a Democrat." But then I figured after reading the rest of your comment that perhaps you're just having a very, very bad day, starting in 2000.  To say that Obama is no better than W is completely laughable.

          The more we are, the less we need.

          by Fiddlegirl on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 06:11:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  oh, the fascism! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IndieGuy, Minnesota Deb

          All this repeal of DADT and talk about marriage equality is really fascism in disguise!

          And Obamacare, flawed as it is by lack of the Public Option, is also really fascism in disguise!

          And SEAL Team Six getting Bin Laden was just a training mission to swoop down on protesters and herd them off to Gitmo en masse, or shoot them if they resist!

          Sheesh, talk about "those who forget history"!  

          Know what?  I'm willing to bet the downpayment on a house that nothing would satisfy you.  If Obama pushed through single payer, legalized pot, turned GM and Chrysler into employee-owned cooperatives, and prosecuted every last Wall Street crook, in his first six months in office, you'd still find something to complain about.  

          Because complaining is fun.  

          You don't have to admit it.

          It's self-evident.

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 06:18:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What about NDAA? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            northsylvania, aliasalias, sloopydrew

            It takes a constitutional law professor to flush habeas corpus down the toilet.

            •  and it takes someone who isn't, to decide to... (0+ / 0-)

              .... sit out an election, thereby handing their vote to the badguys?

              Your point was...?

              "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 11:14:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JayRaye, northsylvania, aliasalias

                sitting out the election.  I'm holding my nose and voting for Obama.

                My point was, among those who seek to elect "more and better Democrats," we're not going to get better Democrats unless we insist on moving the Overton window to the left.

                That involves talking about ugly truths, like Obama signing NDAA, even if it annoys people.

                •  Well said. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Xavier Onassis EMTP

                  "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

                  by northsylvania on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 12:37:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  tactical error: (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Xavier Onassis EMTP

                  YES we have to shift the frame to the left.

                  But NO, talking about "ugly truths" is about as likely to do that, as talking about "cold hard reality" is likely to encourage atheism.

                  That kind of messaging is blind and deaf to the way human minds actually work: it's like trying to sell vegetables by saying they taste like shit but they're good for you.  

                  Would you rather spend your time with a person or in a place described as "ugly," or with a person or in a place described as "beautiful"?

                  Would you rather sleep on something that's "cold and hard" or on something that's "comfy and warm"?

                  Emotional narratives are what win and lose campaigns.  

                  This has exactly zero to do with "facts" and everything to do with "feelings."

                  The way to shift the frame leftward, isn't by stirring up a whole bunch of bad mood.   Quite the opposite: it's by stirring up a whole bunch of good mood.

                  What you're against doesn't matter.  What you're FOR is what counts.  

                  Now find a way to say it that's emotionally attractive and you'll make progress.

                  "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                  by G2geek on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 01:02:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Heads in sand, or up asses? (0+ / 0-)
                    YES we have to shift the frame to the left.

                    But NO, talking about "ugly truths" is about as likely to do that, as talking about "cold hard reality" is likely to encourage atheism.

                    So sticking our heads in the sand (or up our asses) is a better idea? If you look how far RIGHT the Democratic party has gone over the past two decades, you'll see where that gets us. Further to the right. Apparently that's where you want to go. You missed the "better" part of the electing "more and better Democrats."

                    But at least now I know why you tossed a donut my way (and went on to brag about it) -- reality apparently isn't recommended in your world.

                    I will not touch Medicare, Social Security or Medicaid - Barack Obama

                    by sloopydrew on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 02:12:45 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  apparently some people have their heads so far... (0+ / 0-)

                      ... up their asses that all they can see, smell, and taste is shit.  And they're convinced they have to get other people to taste the shit in order to make progress.  And then they get all frustrated when nobody else wants to eat shit.  

                      Get this: it's true, nobody wants to eat shit, not even a little nibble.

                      You won't attract people by offering them shit sandwiches or shit snacks or shit-flavored ice cream, or even shit on a shingle with sauce on top.  

                      If you want to get a message across successfully you have to stop being bitter and nasty, and start offering something positive, like a vision of the future the way you want it to be.  That's the kind of ice cream people will line up to get a sample of, and they'll keep coming back for more.  

                      BTW I did not toss a donut your way.  Look at your HRs and you'll see where they came from.  I was highly tempted though, for that comment.  And when I HR something I always post a comment saying why I did it (them's the rules).  

                      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                      by G2geek on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 02:54:45 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Right on with ignoring the facts (0+ / 0-)

                        We're two Liberals (well, I'm a Liberal, I'm not sure where you lie in the political spectrum, but I'm sure you're busy lying somewhere) -- and you're essentially saying WE can't discuss Obama's problems. Or even entertain ways of improving the Democratic party, outside of voting for a President we disagree with in so many ways. I guess I'm done talking to you, because you really don't have anything to say (or, if you do, you're unwilling to say it).

                        I will not touch Medicare, Social Security or Medicaid - Barack Obama

                        by sloopydrew on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 02:58:50 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  accusations of lying now? (0+ / 0-)

                          The not so subtle insinuation that I'm "lying" somewhere?  Gee, you really know how to argue your case.  

                          How do you think the Moonies attract people to their cult?   They do it by promising people paradise.  How do you think the religious right works?  By promising people salvation.

                          Everyone wants to feel good.  Nobody wants to feel bad.  If all you have to offer are bad feelings, you're asking people to eat shit on a shingle and they won't do it.

                          If you want to improve the Ds, the way to do it is by painting a vivid picture of how America looks and sounds and smells and tastes and feels when things are going better, and then tie that into progressive policies.  

                          As for "done talking to you," that's so much "la la la la I can't hear you."

                          Here's some clue: don't try representing yourself in court, OK?  

                          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                          by G2geek on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 03:14:01 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  I have to say (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        sloopydrew

                        that this:

                        up their asses that all they can see, smell, and taste is shit.  And they're convinced they have to get other people to taste the shit in order to make progress.  And then they get all frustrated when nobody else wants to eat shit.  
                        reminds me of conversations with my abusive family.  If I want to talk about the abuse that I suffered, and they just want to keep rolling like nothing happened, I'm a drag.  I'm a pain in the ass.

                        In the light of day, they were abusers.

                  •  I get what you're saying (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    sloopydrew

                    but there's a distinction to be made here:

                    Emotional narratives are what win and lose campaigns.  This has exactly zero to do with "facts" and everything to do with "feelings."
                    That's coming from the viewpoint of the seller, how one markets the product.

                    I'm speaking as a consumer:  I want better products to choose from.  

                    How will we move the Overton window to the left?  What will make our policy move to the left, having all the leftists just STFU?  I don't think so.  I don't think if we're just polite enough Goldman Sachs and the Koch brothers will say, "Whoopsie, didn't mean to overreach.  Here's all your stuff back, we'll never do it again."

                    •  better products? (0+ / 0-)

                      What will shift the window leftward is a comprehensive vision, narrative, and mythos about how much better things are when progressive policies are in effect.  

                      That's what the left has been missing for decades.

                      The 1960s counterculture got huge because it offered a comprehensive vision and plenty of good feelings to go along with it (largely pot and premarital sex).  

                      The religious right got huge because it offered its own comprehensive vision of salvation and bliss in the hereafter, and righteousness in the here & now (which is also an emotional reinforcer).

                      The plutocrats keep people in their thrall with visions of prosperity, the lottery mentality that anyone can become a millionaire.  

                      And lotteries get huge the same way: by offering daydreams of instant wealth in exchange for paying the math tax.  

                      No, we don't have to be polite to Goldman et. al.  I've been advocating various forms of protest aimed at basically shutting down the street grid around Wall Street: peacefully and effectively and in some cases undetectably until the deed is done.  We could shut down the street grid in Washington DC as well, and keep doing it until Congress deals with us.  

                      But using that "stick" also requires holding out the "carrot," otherwise the whole thing just devolves back into bitterness which leads to cynicism and also tends to breed violence.  

                      There is no substitute for a comprehensive positive vision.  Without that, the rest of it is a big waste of time.  

                      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                      by G2geek on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 03:23:04 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I agree with that. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        sloopydrew

                        We do need to get people to understand how great progressive policy is to live with.  I think we should be blowing the roof off about Germany -- arguably the strongest country on the planet right now, and living large under the dreaded "socialism."

                        I don't see, however, that having most of America get on board with that is necessarily going to push the Dems to the left.  I could be wrong.  But if they never hear how we feel about NDAA and military operations in our major cities, what's their motivation to do diddly squat?  The only reason we're getting what we're getting now is because of Occupy.

                        And it's mind boggling, to me, that they didn't allow Occupy to Occupy the Fed in Minneapolis.  That right there should tell you who's in charge.

                        I like your idea of shutting down the traffic grid.

                        •  you missed the central point: (0+ / 0-)

                          This: "But if they never hear how we feel about NDAA and military operations in our major cities, what's their motivation to do diddly squat?" demonstrates that you missed the point.

                          "How WE FEEL" is IRRELEVANT.

                          The goal of organizing isn't to have a good therapy session where you get to express your feelings all over the place.  The goal of organizing is to win votes, period, full stop, end of story.  

                          And trying to get other people to share unpleasant feelings doesn't work.  It's what's called an "aversive stimulus."

                          "Here, sit still while I rub some dog doo in your hair."  Who's going to volunteer for that?

                          How'bout "Here, have an ice cream sundae!"   Yeah, you'll get plenty of volunteers for that.  

                          Does Detroit get people to buy cars by shitting all over the imports?  

                          And in politics:  negative campaigning suppresses voter turnout.  Why?  Because it's emotionally negative!  

                          The thing that works, time and time again, is to put forward the coherent positive vision.  It works for advertising, it works for campaigns, it works for religion, etc. etc., it just plain WORKS, and it keeps on working.

                          Use positive emotions, use themes that are uplifting, that attract people.  Describe life in progressive utopia, or at least in Germany and the Northern European social democracies.  Describe it in terms that evoke pleasant feelings, good feelings, happy feelings, awesome feelings, feelings that people want to have more of.  Because when people want more of those feelings, they vote for whoever has associated themselves with those feelings.

                          Jimmy Carter was grim and serious.  Ronald Reagan was happy and optimistic.  

                          GW Bush Senior was grim and serious.  Bill Clinton was happy and optimistic.  

                          Al Gore was grim and serious.  GW Bush II was happy and optimistic.  

                          McCain emphasized fear.  Obama emphasized hope.  

                          See how that works?

                          And yet, one of Clinton's recognized talents is the ability to take complex ideas and put them across in a way that people who are non-experts can understand.  So you don't have to dumb it down, you just have to say it clearly.   Obama's got that talent too.  Romney does not.  

                          These items are measurable facts: measurable in market share for advertising, and measurable in numbers of votes for campaigns.  

                          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                          by G2geek on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 08:30:35 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Let me rephrase (0+ / 0-)

                            I didn't realize you were stuck on semantics.  

                            "The goal of organizing isn't to have a good therapy session where you get to express your feelings all over the place."
                            The goal of organizing is to have clear demands, and have them be met.  So if we do not insist that these intrusions on our civil rights are unacceptable, i.e., fight back, presto magico, we won't get more acceptable policies.
                            The goal of organizing is to win votes, period, full stop, end of story.  
                            Here's where it seems like you're not getting my point:  I'm not seeing the option of voting for what I want.  Lots of us aren't.  We get to vote for the lesser of the two evils ad nauseum.
                            And trying to get other people to share unpleasant feelings doesn't work.  It's what's called an "aversive stimulus.
                            I'm not interested in getting people to share negative feelings.  In this diary, I provided factual information -- which was not being shared by anyone else on this site to my knowledge -- that is relevant to American citizens.  A lot of people weren't interested in it, for the same reason they don't want to know about icky drone strikes or what really goes on in Guantanamo.

                            A lot of us already get that what we want is irrelevant.  I don't think I need to convince people that our country is way the hell off to the right, and it sucks.

        •  there wouldn't have been a corrupt ton (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IndieGuy, mndan, Xavier Onassis EMTP

          of horseshit in Florida if those who voted for Nader had voted for Gore. It's a lot harder to steal 100,000 votes than 500 votes.

          •  So logically we'll do the sensible thing and (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Xavier Onassis EMTP

            blame the Liberal? Amiright? Why not? I mean, obviously there's Jeb Bush, Katherine Harris, a corrupt-as-fuck Supreme Court, a corporate media twisting the facts at every turn, a crappy campaign from Al Gore, but we'll just keep blaming the "leftie." Just like the mainstream media does! And that is why nothing will ever change (at least for the better).

            I will not touch Medicare, Social Security or Medicaid - Barack Obama

            by sloopydrew on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 02:18:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sloopydrew

              It's frustrating to me that even on the left, the lefties are still supposed to shut up and take the bullying.

              Michael Eric Dyson is a very insidious form of cancer IMHO.

            •  Again I say (0+ / 0-)

              Bush and Harris and the Supremes are all a null factor when the recount doesn't happen in the first place because 100,000 liberals suck it up and vote for Gore.

              There's a difference between understanding that the party has lunged to the right and it needs to be changed and saying that there wasn't gonna be a difference between Gore and Bush.

              If anybody should have wanted to vote against the idiot son of a political dynasty, it should have been the liberals.

        •  News flash: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mndan

          Nader did cost Gore the election, no matter how much his apologists try to pretend otherwise.

          That's not what earned the donut, though.  Wanna guess what did?


          Time travel opportunity. Must bring your own weapons. Your safety is not guaranteed, I've only done this once before. Call 866.555.1212.

          by IndieGuy on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 07:08:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "That's not what earned the donut, though." (0+ / 0-)
            Wanna guess what did?
            You're just another insecure, trembling asshole terrified of real discussion. I don't need to guess.

            I will not touch Medicare, Social Security or Medicaid - Barack Obama

            by sloopydrew on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 02:20:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Ellison and state office Dems for me (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JayRaye, sloopydrew

          And of course voting No on the amendments

          •  Ellison and the amendments are essential! (0+ / 0-)

            I'll be voting for all 3. Well, technically, for Ellison and against Voter ID and the anti-gay-marriage red meat.

            I will not touch Medicare, Social Security or Medicaid - Barack Obama

            by sloopydrew on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 02:33:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I cannot remember my last HR (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          virginianative

          but I will use one here and comment appropriately.

          If you really believe

          In no way is Obama a better President than W. They're equally appalling.
          then you should find somewhere other then dKos to hang out.
          •  NDAA, Gitmo, Drones, Assassination of U.S. (0+ / 0-)

            Citizens, Austerity Programs, mandates, FISA, tax cuts, Bush tax cuts extended, Estate Tax cuts lowered dramatically (and completely gone for an entire year) ...

            Need I go on?

            You donuted me for stating my opinion, which is strongly based in fact: Obama is in no way better than W.

            Care to tell me how I'm wrong, based on the evidence posted in this thread?

            then you should find somewhere other then dKos to hang out.
            Daily Kos' mission is to elect BETTER Democrats. Obama, in my opinion, is a Democrat in name only, and certainly isn't what we'd call "better" that the DLC type Democrats we were working to get elected. I'm still here for that very purpose. I vote Democrat down-ticket, every election cycle (and of course against the two ridiculous ballot initiatives, the anti-homosexual one and the anti voter-ID).

            But go ahead and donut me again. No one else will even read this post, other than you, so your donuting me will do nothing but prove you're desperate to hide the facts from yourself.

            What's said is the couple of times we met, you didn't seem like such a complete tool.

            I will not touch Medicare, Social Security or Medicaid - Barack Obama

            by sloopydrew on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 02:27:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  218 reasons (0+ / 0-)

              to vote for Obama, link here: 218 reasons to vote for Obama

              I am sure you will find fault with many of these. However, a few of my favorites:

              - Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

              - Ended war in Iraq.

              - Getting out of Afganistan.

              - Signed a “universal” health care bill.

              - Reversed restrictions on stem cell research

              - Expanded eligibility for State Children’s Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP).

              - Killed Osama bin Laden

              I would say these are 218 reasons why Obama is better than W.

        •  Your take (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sloopydrew

          is pretty much the same as mine, and Glenn Ford's.

          •  EXACTLY! (0+ / 0-)

            A fake, right-wing "Democrat" in the oval office allows him to accomplish SO MUCH MORE than a Republican President could. I fight for BETTER Democrats, and a President the Dems could OPPOSE -- such as Romney -- would make for better Democrats. Democrats would never vote for NDAA under a Republican President. Just like they refused to vote for NAFTA until Clinton came in and supported it, and then they voted for NAFTA and WTO.

            I sincerely hope Obama loses this election. Why? Because I want better Democrats, not Democrats playing "following the leader" with an EXTREMELY radical, Far-Right guy as their leader.

            I will not touch Medicare, Social Security or Medicaid - Barack Obama

            by sloopydrew on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 02:31:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Infowars? (5+ / 0-)

    Alex Jones is the Glen Beck of the left. Come on.

  •  I would call BS & CT on this if (4+ / 0-)

    the Army had not conducted expirements on our neighborhood, from our elementary school in the 50s.

    And to think our parents brot us down to the cities so that we could have nice modern things like indoor toilets and running water.

    Many women from that neighborhood reported having boys with severe disabilities. Senator Wellstone wanted an investigation when the story broke in the 90s. But of course the good Senator is no longer with us.

    When the story broke, we were told that Honeywell being next door had nothing to do with choosing this poor neighborhood for the Army's experiment.  

    We will probably never know the whole truth.

    Zinc Cadmium Sulfide

    WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

    by JayRaye on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 05:01:59 AM PDT

    •  State Security: (2+ / 0-)
      Chemical Weapons and Bacteria Experiments, U.S. Military

      In the early 1950's the U.S. Military released bacteria from a boat outside San Francisco. The next day 11 people were admitted to the Stanford Medical Center with the same bacteria infection, one man died. The U.S. Military claimed the infections were unrelated. The following year the U.S. Military sprayed parts of Minneapolis, Minnesota with a dangerous chemical and subjected the children of Clinton Elementary School to Zinc Cadmium Sulfide. Chemicals were also dropped over the Leech Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota. In 1966 the U.S. Army released bacteria in a New York Subway experiment by dropping light bulbs when the doors opened. These tests occurred from 1949 until 1969. Experiments were also conducted in St. Louis, Missouri, Fort Wayne, Indiana and other cities.

      WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

      by JayRaye on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 05:20:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Also the fact that my neighorhood had it happen in (3+ / 0-)

      2012.

      I had no idea what it was, until I read the above blog and watched the video.

      It was freaky as hell having these loud, LOUD copters flying directly above my house. None of my neighbors had any idea what was going on. It felt like we were in a war zone.

      Nope. This one's not a conspiracy theory.

      I will not touch Medicare, Social Security or Medicaid - Barack Obama

      by sloopydrew on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 05:55:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let's hope they weren't spraying anything (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Xavier Onassis EMTP

        on your neighborhood, altho seems they save the spray for the poor neighborhoods and the Reservations.

        WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

        by JayRaye on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 06:01:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Never mind, there's nothing to see here. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Xavier Onassis EMTP
          Three Minnesota women, who in 1953 attended an elementary school that Minneapolis news reports place in the test area, stepped forward recently to detail a pattern of sterility, miscarriages and birth defects they say they believe resulted from their exposure.

          Carol Thomas, one of the women, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune last week that she recalled students being tested at school under special lights to determine if the fluorescent chemicals were on their shoes or bodies.

          Thomas said she believes her exposure played a role in her giving birth years later to one child with Down's syndrome, another who is severely retarded, and a third who has a severe learning disability.

          My own mother had a stillborn baby boy (my full brother) the following year & 4 yrs later a boy (my half-brother) with learning disabilities. And I have a disabled son. We shared our 2 bedroom apartment with an Aunt & Uncle & 2 girl cousins. My cousin's first baby boy died of SIDS. Many women came forward when this story broke to report similar experiences. So many women from such a small area, yet we are told never mind there is nothing to see here.

          The chemical was sprayed from the roof our school. We lived half a block away.

          Wish I could find the StarTrib series on this from the 90s,
           but here is a story from Chicago newspaper:
          http://articles.chicagotribune.com/...

          WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For May: Martyrs of the San Diego Free Speech Fight, Spring 1912.

          by JayRaye on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 06:28:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Even so. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChemBob, Xavier Onassis EMTP

    This combined with the DOD recruitment numbers for this year show that the military is not getting out of the business very soon.
    My personal tinfoil hat theory is that some very, very unpopular debt reduction/ austerity measures will come into effect next year, no matter who is running the government. I'm still voting for the "less worse" option though.
    P.S. Speaking of hats, if you go to the link, make sure you clean your cookies afterward. There will be one.

    "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

    by northsylvania on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 05:07:20 AM PDT

  •  there were helicopters over the East Bay.... (4+ / 0-)

    .... San Francisco Bay Area, a few weeks ago.  Word was they were conducting radiological survey, so they would have a map of background radiation levels in the event there was ever a "dirty bomb" incident or anything similar.  

    I heard them and later saw one while driving up toward Berkeley.  

    Now the blunt fact is, nobody really knows what the helos are doing, so they're kind of an "inkblot test" where you can see whatever your subconscious mind wants to see.

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 05:16:43 AM PDT

    •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayRaye, northsylvania

      there is always the wild card factor.

      However, Blackhawks are combat helicopters, not rescue.

      •  OK, but has anyone with Army aviation experience.. (0+ / 0-)

        ... clearly identified any of the helos as Blackhawks?

        The Army has plenty of large noisy twirlybirds, so when someone says they see XYZ, it's useful to know how they identified it.

        I should have mentioned this earlier, but this is the same situation as the classic problem with UFO reports:  

        Plenty of untrained people see plenty of things in the sky that they can't identify.   Even an experienced commercial or military pilot can't estimate accurately the distance to an object and its size and speed, unless there is some kind of background object against which to estimate distance (from which you can derive size and speed).  

        The UFO reports that remain in the "unidentified" category as the most difficult cases to solve (unless one considers that they might be spacecraft from elsewhere) are the ones where there were instrument readings from a military or civilian airport ground control station, to back up the visual sightings by experienced pilots.

        So unless someone has appropriate training or has good video of a helicopter flying in an area where it is seen against some kind of background such as hills in the distance or whatever, my inclination is to be skeptical of the interpretations that people have of these.  

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 11:25:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  IIRC (0+ / 0-)

          ... clearly identified any of the helos as Blackhawks?

          They were identified as Blackhawks in the army's statement.  I didn't research it very much though, as I'm mostly just giving Ben a platform since he doesn't have an account here.

          Speaking from personal experience, though, taking what the DOD says at face value is probably a mistake.

  •  When the government or the media says, "There (5+ / 0-)

    is nothing to worry about, you should really become very, very worried!

    Hope has a hole in it when Republicans come, bringing shackles and sorrow; branding their greed on the backs of the poor. - Wendy Connors

    by Wendys Wink on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 05:57:50 AM PDT

  •  Here's the announcement (3+ / 0-)

    via CBS. The "urban environment training" explanation is what is given there.
    NBC link for the south Florida training.

    The noise was part of a military training exercise organized by the U.S. Special Operations Command to create life-like scenarios at the Grand Bay Hotel, according to Maj. Michael Burns.
    A youtube of news coverage about armoured vehicle training in North St. Louis.
    These are hard news coverage. I've seen mention on blogs of other operations in Worcester, Mass. and Green Bay, but since they are from blogs, I'm not including links.
    As to whether these exercises are legitimate training or psyops, they seem to be fairly widespread, and millions of dollars have been spent on realistic urban locations for the training of military personnel. I think my question would be, why are the latter not being used?

    "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

    by northsylvania on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 06:04:33 AM PDT

    •  The CBS notice is hilarious (2+ / 0-)

      They announce it will happen between 7PM and midnight (it happened when it was still light out, so definitely between 7-9PM) and when do they make the "announcement"? At 9:51PM -- AT LEAST 51 minutes AFTER it occurred. It would be hilarious, if it wasn't our freedom hanging in the balance.

      I will not touch Medicare, Social Security or Medicaid - Barack Obama

      by sloopydrew on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 06:18:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You are aware that other countries have cities? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieGuy, second gen

    American troops train for desert combat in the American desert in California, New Mexico, and Arizona.  They train for combat in arctic locations in Alaska.  They train for amphibious landings on beaches right here in the United States.

    But you see them train for urban combat in (above) an American urban area, and you think it's about the "security state?"

    Truly, a black helicopter diary.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 06:41:08 AM PDT

    •  Problem is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Xavier Onassis EMTP, JayRaye

      that when you have a military training for urban combat above an American civilian population, the participants immediately feel that they are separated from that population. Whether or not the generals who instigated these programs felt that way, it spells trouble for those soldiers for the rest of their lives.

      "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

      by northsylvania on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 12:53:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You only have rights as long as youre docile (4+ / 0-)

    and don't bother the important people.

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