the grifter

arun gupta ('jacobin') has a delicious expose of micah white.  here's an excerpt:

On March 6, 2014, Micah White, who appends “cocreator of Occupy Wall Street” to his name like a royal title, invited me to join his “Boutique Activist Consultancy.”
It was a few years after Occupy had disintegrated. White emailed me that “Other Zuccottis have already joined the BAC Speaker’s Bureau on the same terms that we are offering you.” He said I should negotiate a minimum of $2,500 honorarium for speaking engagements — 2,500 Euros for international ones. “Flight and hotel will be paid by [my] host.”
I would have access to a “remote logistical coordinator” and “high-end workshops . . . on how to increase honorariums and speaking skills.” White said his speakers bureau was a “prestige service” committed to “preferential treatment” and “travel in a comfortable way” for “professional movement speakers.” The icing on the gilded cake was that my coordinator, “equipped with an iPhone 5c,” would arrange “proper airport pickup, fruit in the hotel room, etc.”
White had landed a few self-promoters he called “Zuccottis,” a term neither I nor other reporters who chronicled Occupy had ever heard. I laughed that he seemed so impressed with the entry-level trappings of the 1 percent — comfortable travel and hotel-room fruit — that he apparently believed others would be enticed as well.

I had no interest in joining the consultancy, which Grist later described as an “unabashedly for-profit” venture. I was fishing for information. Days earlier, White had announced that Google was offering “our movement two Glasses,” a wearable computer that could record audio and video.
aying Google Glass was “heavy artillery in the meme war,” White held out a tin cup. He begged activists to cough up $3,000 for two pairs of Glasses and more dough for accessories and to jet to San Francisco for a “personalized 1:1 fitting experience.”
White’s fundraiser, dubbed “OccupyGlass,” read like Hammacher Schlemmer met the Communist Manifesto. Glass was a “potential force multiplier — like barricades in 1848.” Your donation (“We accept bitcoin!”) would deliver a “powerful weapon” to “bold, creative” leaders who would “create new kinds of revolutionary activism” by equipping them with “feather-light titanium frames,” twist-on shades featuring “polarized, impact-resistant lenses from Maui Jim and Zeal Optics,” and earbuds “engineered to deliver crisp, full-range audio [and] fully customizable with five interchangeable color caps.” If you wondered what your cryptocurrency bought you, Micah vowed to “dedicate this Glass back to you and the global people’s movement.”

 Weeks later, “White was kicked out of a Greenpeace training camp . . . for refusing to stop filming private meetings with his GoogleGlass eyewear” and allegedly secretly recording conversations, according to Truthout.
It appears that his Glass fundraiser failed, the speakers bureau vanished, and the consultancy eventually faded away. All evidence of these flops has been erased from the internet, save for the Wayback Machine. Rather than failure being an impediment, White’s ambition has grown over the years.
His newest scheme was attending the World Economic Forum at Davos in January. He sought to “discover its revolutionary potential” among the 1 percent of the 1 percent gathered in the fortified Swiss ski resort of Davos, guarded by thousands of military and police personnel.
Davos is the culmination of White’s journey over the last decade of peddling one weird trick after another for system change. After Glass, White extolled the “revolutionary scenario” of rural America, the “revolutionary potential” of cryptocurrency, and the “revolutionary activism” of the Boutique Activist Consultancy. His book, The End of Protest, is subtitled “A Playbook for Revolution,” and his 2016 run for mayor in Nehalem, Oregon, was a testing ground for that revolution.
White abandoned the revolution schtick for an Activist Graduate School, which charges $180 a year to watch online videos. They feature such distinguished faculty as Jason Russell of Kony 2012 and a public naked maniacal meltdown, Dr Lenora Fulani, a former leader of the New Alliance Party that the Nation once described as combining a Ponzi scheme, psychic terrorism, a cultish leader, fascism, and sexual recruiting, and Rachel Anne Doležal, whom I want to ask why she has affixed a diacritical mark to the z in her last name, but I’m afraid of what she might answer.

But now White is back to finding revolutionary potential in all the wrong places.

  1. This huckster gave the worse talk I’ve ever seen at Middlebury. And considering who’s spoken there, that’s something.
  2. The problem with this theory is that Micah White isn't an abberation, his trajectory epitomises the logic underpinning all neoanarchist social movementism — always already on the precipice of commoditisation. Perfectly compatible with neoliberal markets.
  3. i never cease to be astonished by this grifter (micah white)

let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Thursday, January 30, 2020.  In the US support for War Hawk candidate Joe Biden continues to erode, Joe's lies (captured on video) continue to surface, Iraq remains without a prime minister as the president of Iraq and the United Nations demand action, and much more.

Starting in the United States where Joe Biden continues his ignorant and ill-advised campaign for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

Joe made the news most recently for what?  Saying he might have Michelle Obama be his running mate if he got the nomination?

Joe Biden would consider asking Michelle Obama to be his VP ——- Getting desperate there....

No, but that does apply here.  For saying that he might die in office and therefore needed to pick his potential running mate carefully.

Joe Biden says whoever he picks for VP needs to be "capable" because he's old and may die in office:

So we're back to the reality that Joe is telling people he will be a one term president.  That's if he dies in office or not, he would be a one term president

But, more to the point, Michelle Obama?

Joe raising the possibility that he might die in his first term if he were president just put him in 2008 John McCain camp.

Is he pandering when he floats Michelle's name?  If he's serious, we're looking at attacks similar to what Sarah Palin experienced in 2008.  And Sarah was a sitting governor.  Michelle has never held elected office.  And he's talking about putting her on his presidential ticket while talking about he might die in office?

Michelle is not qualified.  Hillary was qualified in 2008 because she'd been a senator.  She also had her law career which did not include denying healthcare to residents of Chicago.  Michelle's record remains largely unknown to this day among most voters.  You can be sure if Joe was the nominee and Michelle was his running mate, the GOP would ensure that her past was much better known -- that does include the corrupt crony system in Chicago that her father and her family benefited from.

Michelle's not qualified.  Strip away Hillary's Senate experience and she still attempted a major proposal -- it failed, yes, but her healthcare proposal was serious business and, even in failure, she might have learned something from it.  Especially in failure.

Michelle's big policy?  Was it 'let's move' or the gardening?  I don't remember.  It's a pity Lady Bird Johnson is dead or Joe could grab her as her running mate.  She had the whole beautification program.

Michelle's not qualified.

That Joe is one minute stating she might be his running mate and the next stating he might die in office?  He's either pandering or he's not taking his own statement seriously.  Is he incapable of serious thought?

And then there's this.

Joe Biden says he would consider picking a Republican running mate then doubles down by saying "There are really some decent Republicans out there, still." Care to name one, Joe? Just one!

So, let's follow this assertion by Joe, he's saying he may die in office and he's thinking about picking a Republican running mate?

He may die in office, he's running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination and he's thinking about picking a Republican running mate?

So he's saying, "Democrats vote for me.  I think I'm going to die in office, but don't worry, a Republican would take over as president if I did."

In what Democratic primary is that a promise that garners votes?

Joe has so much baggage and so many problems.

For some reason Joe Biden keeps telling people not to vote for him

Biden's repeated instinct is to urge any critical voter to go vote for someone else. Come on over - we welcome you over here.

So much baggage.

I don't think you've seen ALL of this. In 1987, when ran for President, he didn't get caught in 1 lie, he got caught in at least 9 wildly different lies and acts of plagiarism. It engulfed his campaign and he resigned in disgrace. FULL STORY:

Caught in so many lies, so many times.  And yet he keeps lying.  Let's look at this thread where Sean King's documented the various lies Joe keeps telling potential voters.

For nearly 50 years, has publicly pretended to have been a part of the Civil Rights Movement. He's not "exaggerating" or "embellishing," he is creating entire fictional storylines to impress white liberals & connect w/ Black voters. It must be confronted A thread...
When running for office, does not just have gaffes or embellishments, he creates wildly fictional storylines about his life and work that simply are not true. These are lies. And he tells them to get votes and build a rep he has not earned.
  • Just 3 weeks ago lied to say he protested the Vietnam War. In 1987, he had to admit and apologize that he never protested it. Here he admits that during the war he “wore sports coats” and hated “flak jackets and tie dyed t-shirts”
  • I have counted 31 times from 1975 until THIS WEEK that has lied about leading or participating in sit-ins during the Civil Rights Movement. HE NEVER PARTICIPATED IN A SINGLE SIT-IN. Never. Here he lies to a state convention about it.
  • Another time where sat he “sat-in and marched and all of that stuff.” He did not. His campaign admitted in 1987 that this was not true. But over the past 2 months he has started to tell lies just like this again hoping people forgot.
  • Here lied about doing sit-ins in 1960 in Delaware. I spoke to the actual leaders there. HE WAS NEVER THERE. The places he said he did sit-ins DID NOT EVEN HAVE SIT-INS. Leaders in Delaware told me these lies are well known there.
  • This is LAST WEEK in South Carolina. He’s in a church. And it’s abusive for him to do this. And THESE ARE LIES. Complete fabrications. NONE OF THIS HAPPENED. He must be held accountable for telling these lies.
  • This is LAST MONTH in Iowa where AGAIN began flat-out lying about what he did in the Civil Rights Movement. THIS IS NOT TRUE. He did not do the things he is saying he did here. He already admitted this in 1987. It’s not OK.
  • At 12pm today I am releasing new information verifying that has been lying THIS WEEK about marching and protesting and being trained in the Civil Rights Movement. He needs to publicly apologize and immediately stop telling these lies. It’s stolen valor.
  • I need you to see this. In 1987, after getting caught lying about marching and organizing in the Civil Rights Movement, here is what said. THESE ARE HIS WORDS. "I was not marching. I was not an activist. I was not there. I was a suburbanite kid."
  • In 's 400 page autobiography from 2007, let me show you THE ENTIRE SECTION he wrote about his time in the Civil Rights Movement. It's all of 2 sentences long. He says he learned about it FROM NEWSPAPERS AND TELEVISION.

    A long history of lying, a long pattern of lying.  No wonder he raised a Deadbeat Dad.  No wonder that he still has refused to meet his latest grandchild -- even though the DNA tests were conclusive months ago.

    Deadbeat Dad Hunter is still not paying what he should (he begins child support payments -- finally -- next month).  That's because Hunter won't turn over his financial documents to the court and continues to lie that he's broke.  And that's okay with Joe.  The same way it was okay with Joe that Hunter went over a year without paying child support.  The same way it was okay with Joe that Hunter lied he never had sex with the mother of his child.  Hmm.  Where did Hunter learn to lie?

    "As a Biden," Joe loves to say.  But exactly what values do the Bidens have that anyone would want to share?

    On this week's DECONSTRUCTED WITH MEHDI HASAN, he and Zephyr Teachout discuss Joe's corruption problemMeanwhile SLATE asks "Who's Excited About Joe Biden?" on their latest podcast and they explain that you attend a Bernie campaign event and the place is crowded.  Biden?  "And then the next day you go to Biden and it’s you know, the crowds are a little bit smaller."  Where's the excitement?  No-mentum Joe.  Doubt it?  This morning, Julie Terroso (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER) reports:

      Joe Biden’s lead in the Democratic presidential race in Pennsylvania has fallen by 8 percentage points since October, according to a new poll of registered Democrats in the state.

    The poll was released Thursday, five days before the Iowa caucuses begin the party’s nomination process and three months before the Pennsylvania primary.

    In Iraq, they need a new leader as well.  The current prime minister turned in his resignation in December.  The ongoing protests have demanded an end to corruption.  They have demanded a representative government.  Their demands are ongoing.

    Is the likely candidate to become , to end months of anti corruption protests and violence . He will head the post for six month to supervise a new parliamentary election, before choosing a permanent government
  • Iraqi Leaders agree Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi as new Prime Minister, Muqtada al-Sadr Shiite Leader, Hadi al-Amiri, head of the Fatah Alliance, the second-largest political party, Amair Al-Hakim and Haider AlAbadi have informed President Barham Salih nominating Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi
    : Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi is assigned for the PM position of Iraq reportedly, due to a political consensus from four parties! He was( and still) rejected by the people.Needless to say, that all authority is granted by the people!
    Sadr, Amiri, Hakim and Abadi have informed Barham Salih about nomination of Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi for the prime minister — via Sharqiya News.
    Interesting choice for 's prime minister, if true. Worth noting Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi is a former communications minister, who resigned to protest political meddling during the prime ministership of Nouri al-Maliki.

    The above is speculation at this point.  "Unconfirmed reports," as Lawk Ghafuri notes.  AP reports:

    Iraq’s president has given rival political blocs a deadline to select a prime minister nearly two months after the outgoing premier resigned under pressure from mass demonstrations, his office said in a statement Wednesday.
    Violence continued for a second week in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the popular protests, with security forces using pellet guns to disperse protesters. It was the first time the weapon has been used in the four-month movement in which police have killed demonstrators with live rounds and tear gas canisters.
    President Barham Saleh asked parliamentary blocs to select a candidate to replace outgoing premier Adel Abdul-Mahdi by Saturday.

    If they don’t, he said, he will select a candidate himself.

    The protests continue, as they have for months now.

    The wave of anti-government protests across Iraq entered its new phase. on Thursday Students of Karbala University protested against government corruption and a lack of basic services, among other grievances.
    : Chaotic scenes emerge from ’s freedom square as youth continue anti-government protests (via social media).
    With 600 people killed since protests began in October, 's President gives Shia blocs until Saturday to choose the next PM who would also be acceptable to , & protesters. Otherwise will put forward an independent candidate.

    In addition to the country's president calling for action on the issue of the prime minister, the United Nations is making that call as well.

    Amid ongoing protests and violence, UN urges stepped up efforts to break political deadlock
    Baghdad, 30 January 2020 – With ongoing violence and rising casualties in the context of protests and ahead of further planned demonstrations, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, is urging stepped up efforts to break the political deadlock and press ahead with substantial reforms, warning that the use of force costs precious lives and will not end the crisis.
    “The continuing loss of young lives and the daily bloodshed is intolerable. At least 467 protesters have been killed and over 9,000 injured since 1 October,” lamented the Special Representative.
    “A recent increase in the use of live ammunition by security forces, reported shootings by unidentified gunmen at protesters and the continued targeted killing of demonstrators and human rights defenders are alarming. It is imperative that the Iraqi authorities protect the rights of peaceful protesters and ensure that all use of force complies with international standards. Equally important is full accountability: the perpetrators of unlawful killings and attacks must be brought to justice.”
    A climate of fear and distrust will bring nothing but further damage. Political action and progress in the search for solutions must replace indecisiveness to deliver on the many promises and intentions. Building resilience at the state and societal levels is the only way forward to draw the people out of despair and into renewed hope, the Special Representative emphasized.
    “Many have sacrificed everything to have their voices heard. Solutions are urgently needed. Iraq cannot afford the ongoing violent oppression nor the political and economic paralysis.”
    The Human Rights Office of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) has consistently monitored the human rights situation in the context of the demonstrations. Since the beginning of the protests in October, it issued three reports* documenting human rights violations in the periods from 1 October to 9 December and presenting recommendations to the authorities. Since 17 January, UNAMI has recorded at least 19 demonstrators killed and over 400 injured by security forces in Baghdad, Basra, Dhi Qar, Diyala, Diwaniya, Karbala and Wassit. Preliminary information attributes most deaths and injuries to the use of live ammunition and the impact of tear gas canisters, while additional injuries occurred as a result of security forces beating demonstrators with sticks. Most violence used by security forces occurred in the context of attempts to clear roadblocks or disperse demonstrators.
    In Baghdad, efforts by security forces to clear the Mohamed Qassem highway and areas in the vicinity of Tahrir Square using live ammunition and tear gas resulted in at least 11 deaths and 53 injuries. In Nasiriya, Dhi Qar on 25 and 26 January, security forces fired live ammunition and tear gas canisters causing at least three deaths and injuring over 100 protesters. Similarly, in Basra, in the early morning of 25 January, security forces demolished more than 20 tents set up by protesters as part of a sit-in and forced the protesters out of the area. In Karbala, security forces also used violence against protesters, resulting in at least 4 deaths and injury to over 150 others. In Diyala, the use of live ammunition by security forces resulted in the first death attributed to this cause and context in the governorate and injured at least four others.
    There were cases of unidentified armed men shooting protesters. This happened on four consecutive nights in Basra from 21 to 25 January, killing two protesters and injuring nine others. In Nasiriya, on the night of 26 to 27 January, a group of armed men of unclear affiliation shot live ammunition at protesters in Haboubi Square, killing at least one protester and injuring four more, and set fire to several protestor tents.
    Targeted killings continue against demonstrators and activists. Since 1 October, at least 28 incidents have taken place in which persons associated with demonstrations, either as participants, journalists covering the protests or prominent activists, have been targeted by armed men or improvised explosive devices, resulting in 18 deaths and the injury of at least 13 others. The cases include the targeted killing of two Dijlah Television reporters in Basra on 10 January. In Missan alone, credible reports indicate seven incidents in which civil society activists were shot at by armed men, resulting in two deaths and the injury of five others.
    UNAMI also continues to track and monitor reports of physical attacks against demonstrators, including stabbings, cases of missing demonstrators and activists, and incidents of threat and intimidation.
    Stressing the futility of violence in responding to the protests, Special Representative Hennis-Plasschaert said all efforts should instead focus on how to fully implement reforms and initiate a constructive dialogue to tackle the country’s problems in a spirit of unity.
    “It is high time to restore confidence by setting aside partisanship, acting in the interest of the country and its people. Hard work and goodwill gestures will resonate with the people, and will be met in kind, strengthening the country’s resilience as it seeks to emerge stronger from this crisis.”
    *links to the three previous reports: https://bit.ly/2OevRx0

    Again, the protests are ongoing.

    Demonstrators run from tear gas thrown at them during ongoing anti-government protests in Baghdad, Iraq

    The following sites updated: