Author: Justin King

How to improve your Facebook newsfeed immediately

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It’s hard to find pages that consistently bring a fresh viewpoint. You know you can’t trust the corporate owned media. You know you’re missing important stories and angles on those stories. What’s the easiest way to improve the quality of your newsfeed?

We’ve created a list of some of the most refreshing Facebook pages out there. While some of these pages are owned or operated by The Fifth Column, most are completely independent. Some of these pages are operated by friendly outlets. Some of the pages are our direct competitors. Some follow a different ethos. Others are completely oppositional. Appearing on the list isn’t an endorsement, it’s simply pointing out a source of information you may have missed. What mattered when looking for pages to add to this list was unique views, fresh content, and independence.

Cycle of Insurgency: President Obama setting stage for more officers to be gunned down

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In a move symptomatic of the current debacle, the White House is considering lifting the ban on transferring weapons of war to police departments nationwide. After Ferguson, the administration banned the transfers. Now it’s rethinking the move.

Political posturing is behind the announcement and decision. One of the major reasons officers are being gunned down in the streets like never before is because of the “warrior cop” mentality departments across the country have adopted. They are given the tools of war from the Department of Defense, but do not have the training to use them. So, concussion grenades maim children, rifles are used to shoot unarmed people, and MRAPs are used to violate the Constitutionally-protected right to peaceably assemble.

President Obama Openly Supports War Criminal

Obama

Image Source: DonkeyHotey, Flickr, Creative Commons

While it isn’t over, the indications are the coup against Erdogan has failed. The stated goals of those behind the coup were to return to a secular government and reinstate the rule of law.

The President of the United States encouraged people to “support the democratically elected government of Turkey”. He said this while his administration is in the midst of a multi-year effort to overthrow the government of President Assad in Syria. The US, historically, doesn’t care about democracy or elections. The US wants Erdogan in power because he has more or less been an obedient lackey. While there are moments of discord, Turkey is still a faithful dog at the end of one of the many leashes held by the US. This allows Erdogan to behave in a manner that would not be tolerated from a non-puppet state.

Meet the people responsible for the next attack on police officers

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All over the country, departments are on high alert. They know the next attack on police officers is right around the corner. They’ve changed security procedures, they’ve advised their loved ones of the risk, and they’re on the lookout for any information or tips about who will be behind the next attack on cops. In the interest of public safety, The Fifth Column is publishing the names of some of those who will be responsible for the next attack.

These are the names of those who are creating violent attitudes in the populace and whose actions are likely to lead to the next attack, even though they won’t pull the trigger, drop the brick, or plant the bomb themselves. Their names are:

Dissecting the Dallas Police Memorial

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Yesterday, the memorial service for officers killed in the ambush that has dominated the news cycle was held. What could have been a somber moment marking America’s descent into tyranny was turned into a beautiful piece of public propaganda. So much so, that Fox News chose to televise the entire service without commercials. There’s no reason for Americans to miss one single tear, one utterance of the word “hero”, or one glimpse of the grieving families.

The Mayor of Dallas opened up the parade of the dead and stated plainly, “we did nothing wrong.” The opening implication is that Dallas PD is free of the police brutality issues plaguing departments all over the country. Dallas Police have a record of police brutality that goes back years. At the beginning of this year, it was still so bad that Mother’s Against Police Brutality held a protest and press conference proposing a 9 point plan to end a pattern of systemic violence. The city gave rise to the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, a group of black men trained by Army Rangers, who took to patrolling their own streets while armed because the police couldn’t be trusted. Department of Justice complaints have been filed against the department and videos surface with regularity of officers victimizing citizens. Officers were regularly cleared by bogus internal investigations. Dallas is not the home of community policing, nor was it a model department. Although, admittedly, it did appear to at least be attempting to clean up its act.

10 Rules for Surviving an Insurgency

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This article was prompted by a reader question. It was a simple question, but the phrasing of the question made me take notice. So much of what I write in regards to tactics is for people who already have a good base of knowledge. This wasn’t a question about how to perform a technically advanced maneuver. It wasn’t posed by a militant. It was posed by a mom. “Will you write an article on how to survive an insurrection?” The question isn’t about how to fight and win an insurgency. It wasn’t about how to overthrow a government or complete some revolutionary goal. It was simply asking how to make it through.

These guidelines are for people who don’t want to become involved. They are for those who are simply getting caught in the crossfire of the revolutionary fervor circling the globe. Many of those I asked for input for this article were a bit snippy. Statements like “they should get training” or “they need to pick a side” were common. As I have pointed out repeatedly in articles dealing with insurgency, untrained or undedicated people do one thing really well in combat: die. It’s not our place to force people into conflict. More importantly, we need to remember why these revolutions occur and why militants take the stands they do. A John Adams quote springs to mind:

How one lie obtained through torture destroyed the lives of millions

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In the United Kingdom, there is a demand for an independent inquiry into British Intelligence’s involvement in the CIA’s torture and rendition program. Despite promises, one has not emerged. The government in the UK does not want to rehash the effects of the program or the the loss of life it caused.

In the days after the September 11th attacks, Americans waived their rights and waved their flags at the same time. If the government wanted a power, the people meekly agreed. They were literally scared stupid. The government was given a blank check to stop the terrorists. The people looked the other way as the government ramped up domestic spying efforts, enacted bizarre vague legislation allowing them to deem just about anyone a “terrorist”, eliminated due process, and began torturing people. What did surrendering their rights gain them? The War on Terrorism has been a complete and utter failure in every respect. What’s worse is that it was the waiving of rights and general sense of humanity that led to the Iraq War.

Cycle of Insurgency: The realities of “Martial Law”

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The term “martial law” is thrown around so much that it seems to have lost its meaning. Martial law is military control of normal judicial functions. It doesn’t mean a curfew is in effect. It doesn’t mean the militarization of police. It requires military involvement. The threat of martial law is a cornerstone of many theories about designs for the United States.

Martial law will not occur in the United States. Period. The number of troops required to enact martial law is astronomical. In a recent article, the number of troops necessary to establish counter-insurgency operations in the United States was discussed.

Cycle of Insurgency: What an insurgency in the US would look like

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It’s important to understand the stakes as people cheer on the attacks in Dallas. I’m very critical of law enforcement’s brutality and I can’t bring myself to condemn the shooter wholeheartedly because I can understand the origin of the frustration and anger. At the same time, I’ve seen violence, I’ve helped people fleeing countries in the throws of insurrection, and I’ve witnessed man’s inhumanity. An insurrection in the United States is not something to hope for. We’re closer to it than we’ve been since the Civil War.

Sadly, I don’t know a way out. This attack set a chain of events in motion that placed the nation on a crash course with insurgency. This attack will cause officers to fear for their safety. They will, in turn, be more jumpy and trigger-happy. They will kill more innocents. This will lead to more attacks and the cycle will continue. Eventually, a spark will cause widespread rebellion.

Both police shootings result of poor training and police arrogance – Could have been avoided

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Two more Americans are lying in morgues. The nation is once again outraged. While particulars of the cases in Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights are still being spun by various media outlets and government officials, one thing is certain: both shootings were completely avoidable. Both shootings included officers who were relying on poor training. Departments will say they don’t have the funding for proper training. This might have been the case a year ago, however on September 9, 2015 The Fifth Column and The Anti-Media offered to pay the fees for instructors to provide better training. While several individual officers who deserve to be applauded sought out the training on their own, neither department involved in either shooting did.

The Fifth Column released an article that provided a tiny glimpse into the offered training. Even though the article only provided a small sampling of the training, it touched on the faulty training that contributed to both shootings. It cited the case of Tamir Rice as an example of why officers need to keep their distance after receiving a report of an armed person. Had the officers in Baton Rouge done this, Alton Sterling would still be alive. The article reads:

A day in the life of a member of the elite Global 1%

Foreign Currencies. 

Image source: epSos.de

Would you recognize this man if you passed him on the street? Maybe, but probably not. He’s made international TV news, but you won’t probably won’t find him on American news stations unless it’s in the background of a report on the activities of other people of his status. For the last three years running, the media has covered a meeting of his ilk in DC. Almost none of the participants were named in the reports.

He wakes up and checks his cell phone before he rolls out of bed. He pays particular attention to events in the Middle East and how they impact the political situation in the US. He readily admits making his living off what Americans don’t know. He puts his shoes on. For 1.3 billion of the world’s population, it would take six months of earnings to purchase them. He climbs into an SUV and drives to get breakfast. The custom SUV costs more than the net worth of 85% of the world’s population. His breakfast costs 4 times the daily wage of about half of the world. His dogs are waiting by the door when he returns home. The dogs have a better diet than about 800 million humans. Of course, the dogs are pure bred. The pair are worth more than 39% of the population makes in a year. Today, he’s having a hard time getting his day started. He was up all of last night talking to a team of other elites scattered around the world. He admits to using that team to influence the news you read.

Zapatistas side with Oaxaca’s teachers

Image Source: Cat Branchman, Flickr, Creative Commons
Viva Las Zapatistas!

The Zapatistas have sided with the teachers who are engaged in a massive and sometimes violent dispute with the Mexican government. The group released a statement, reprinted in full below. The Zapatistas are a militant group best known for their fight in Chiapas, Mexico. It is unclear if the Zapatistas plan on engaging in any militant actions on behalf of the community.

“Faced with the cowardly repressive attack suffered by the teachers and the community in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca—in which the Mexican state reminds us that this is a war on all—the peoples, nations, and tribes who make up the National Indigenous Congress and the Zapatista Army for National Liberation say to the dignified teachers that they are not alone, that we know that reason and truth are on their side, that the collective dignity from which they speak their resistance is unbreakable, and that this the principal weapon of those of us below.

We condemn the escalation of repression with which the neoliberal capitalist reform, supposedly about “education,” is being imposed across the entire country and principally in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero, and Michoacán. With threats, persecutions, beatings, unjust imprisonments and now murders they try to break the dignity of the teachers in rebellion.”

Police vs Teachers leaves 12 Dead, 100 injured: What’s really happening in Oaxaca?

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The headlines are terrifying. The images are poignant. A battle in the street between teachers and cops has caught the world’s attention, but the story doesn’t begin there, nor is it likely to end there.

The protests that sprang up recently were triggered by a bizarre series of arrests made by the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s President. The arrests targeted leaders of the teacher’s union. By most accounts, the charges are bogus or at least severely inflated. One of the union officials was arrested for stealing textbooks. Even in corruption prone Mexico, a black market for school textbooks has yet to show its face. Unsurprisingly, those arrested were also political opponents of Enrique Peña Nieto. The teacher’s union adamantly opposes the President’s reforms. The reforms are part of the President’s neoliberal campaign promises, and many in the union see them as a death blow to education in Mexico, particularly for the rural and indigenous communities. Some in the union are fearful of massive layoffs.

Left or Right, Pro- or Anti-Gun: You cannot support the “No Buy” list

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It doesn’t matter where your political affiliation lies. It doesn’t matter what your stance on gun control is: you cannot support the No Buy list. The essence of the proposal is simple: the government declares a person a “bad guy” with no trial and no evidence, and that person loses their inalienable Constitutionally-protected rights. Regardless of your opinion of the Second Amendment, the Bill of Rights is meant to act as a bulwark against tyranny and dictatorship. If the government is able to bypass this bulwark by simply declaring it has the authority to do so, the United States is a literal dictatorship.

The government has an established pattern of overreach and abuse. If this is allowed to stand, government officials will have established legal precedent to rescind any other right you hold dear by simply adding your name to a list. Don’t even consider what this proposal is trying to do, look at how it will do it. There is no due process, which is the backbone of free society. The government simply declares you an enemy of the state and removes your rights.

What it’s like to shoot an AR-15, if you’re not trying to generate propaganda while describing it

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The New York Daily News ran an article titled “Firing an AR-15 is horrifying, menacing and very very loud”. Before beginning a piece on a topic like this, it’s probably worth explaining my personal relationship with firearms. I don’t own one. I haven’t owned one in about a decade. Prior to that, I carried almost every day of my adult life. My career demanded it. So, I’m not a “gun nut”, but I understand firearms better than most and have put more rounds down range than most “gun nuts”.

Gersh Kuntzman (yes, that’s really the name on the byline) penned a piece that described almost combat like conditions with hot brass flying across his face and even said he suffered a “form of PTSD” from firing the killing machine on a range. He’s described the AR-15 as “high powered”. He claims the recoil bruised his shoulder. The audible report from the rifle was apparently the equivalent of a bomb blast. He said it felt like firing a bazooka and the smell of “sulfur and destruction” made him sick. All of this surprised me.

It surprised me because… well, it’s a lie. The physical descriptions of his experience are completely fabricated, or the gun store owner was having a bit of fun with him. If the recoil from an AR-15 bruised his shoulder, the most likely culprit is that he’s anemic. It’s that, or he didn’t seat the butt of the rifle in his shoulder. If brass was flying in front of his face, he was either shooting from the wrong shoulder or it was perhaps bouncing off a nearby wall. The photos show neither of these are the case. Either way, he’s lying or the person showing him how to shoot was intentionally trying to make it tough on him. What’s more disturbing is that a piece of brass coming near him left him “disoriented”.