Good Christian Bitches Reply

A little something to offend everyone. I’m impressed.

An ABC pilot called “Good Christian Bitches” has religious and women’s groups up in arms over what they describe as an extremely offensive and distasteful show title.

The dramedy, based on Kim Gatlin’s novel of the same name, will be brought to life by famed “Sex and the City” and “90210” executive producer Darren Star. The plot centers on the life of reformed “mean girl” Amanda, played by “Talladega Nights” actress Leslie Bibb, who returns to her hometown of Dallas to find herself fodder for malicious gossip from the women in the Christian community.

Still in the early stages, the pilot has not been guaranteed a spot on ABC’s lineup. And though the show’s title may change before it goes to broadcast, “Good Christian Bitches” is already causing uproar.

Christian publisher Tessie DeVore told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column that the show, which features the tagline “For Heaven’s sake, don’t let God get in the way of a good story!” could put Christians in an unfairly bad light.

“I find the title offensive. I don’t think those two words should be combined,” she said. “A show like this can damage perceptions [of Christians in this country].”

It also could be a slippery slope for future shows, said Melissa Henson, director of communications and public education for the Parents’ Television Council tells Tarts.

“In the past, we’ve raised concerns about changing language standards for television,” Henson said. “Once a particular profanity or obscenity has been embraced by a particular show, it quickly becomes mainstream.”

And Yana Walton from the Women’s Media Center said Christians aren’t the only ones who should be upset.

“It is not an appropriate term to use to describe any woman, regardless of their faith,” Walton said. “Entertainment media, especially music and films, have been normalizing misogynistic language for years.”

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Thought For The Daytona 500: Will Diversity Kill NASCAR? Reply

Article by Paul Kersey.

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The General Lee--Not Wanted In NASCARThe 54th Daytona 500, the granddaddy of all NASCAR races, kicks off the 2012 calendar season on Sunday, February 26. During the last thirty years, NASCAR’s devoted fan base helped propel it to become the unquestioned king of American motor sports. Less than a decade ago, NASCAR seemed poised to challenge theNational Football League (NFL) for sports-entertainment dominance.

 

But recently the sport has been waning in popularity. TV ratings are down for a second consecutive season. [Action on Track isn’t Helping NASCAR in Popularity or Rating, By Nate Ryan, USA Today,July 20, 2010]

 

The apex of the sport seems to have been in 2006 when the movieTalladega Nights was released. NASCAR signed an eight-year, $4.5 billion contract around this time and Forbes declared it was the “fastest growing sport in America.” Since that moment, ratings and attendance have collapsed, with only the white female Indy-racing crossover star Danica Patrick able to pop ratings.

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Can We Escape the Ruling Class? Reply

Article by Roderick Long.

Nature of a Ruling Class

We tend to think of the “ruling class” as a Marxist concept; but the notion has a long history before Marx, particularly in the ancient Greek and Roman historians, and class analysis played a central role in 18th and 19th century classical liberalism as well. Whenever the decisions and actions of the political machinery are largely controlled by a particular group, and serve to advance the interests and reinforce the power of that group, such a group is properly called a ruling class. A ruling class is, obviously, a bad thing to have. This raises two questions:

• How does a ruling class operate and maintain its power?

• Is it possible to construct a political system that will not fall prey to a ruling class?With regard to the first question: I do not believe that a ruling class needs to exercise its will or advance its interests consciously. That does often happen, of course. But what more usually happens, I think, is that as various policies are proposed or adopted in the governmental arena, those that adversely affect powerful, influential, and concentrated interests will get noticed and vigorously attacked, while those that affect the average person — too busy to keep track of what the government is doing, to poor to hire lawyers and lobbyists, too dispersed to have an effective voice — will be largely unopposed. This creates a kind of filter mechanism, that strains out legislation that harms the powerful, while allowing legislation that harms the weak to pass unhindered. The result, whether intended or unintended, is that government power tends to be turned more and more, by a kind of malign invisible hand, in the direction of advancing the interests of the powerful at the expense of the interests of the weak.

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Indefinite Detention Under the NDAA: the Great Attack on Civil Liberties You May Not Have Heard About Reply

Article by Ariel Schneller.

On December 31, 2011, President Barack Obama signed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law.  Many of you may not have heard of it because the holidays aren’t exactly conducive to keeping up with current events, but the NDAA represents one of the most dramatic attacks on civil liberties in this country in many years. While the NDAA contains many routine provisions related to defense spending, there are two particular provisions that should deeply trouble any American concerned with the encroachment upon civil liberties that has been the hallmark of post-9/11 America.

Section 1021 affirms that the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) authorizes detention of anybody whom the President determines was involved in the attacks of 9/11, as well as detention of anybody who substantially supports or is a member of al-Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces.  This detention is authorized so long as the hostilities authorized by the AUMF are ongoing.  Of course, because the battle against al-Qaeda may never end, Section 1021 is essentially a de facto authorization of indefinite detention.

Section 1022 states that if an individual is detained under the authority of Section 1021, that person must be held by the military. This mandate does not apply to a citizen or lawful resident of the United States.  Put these sections together and a scary picture emerges in which a person accused of being a member of a terrorist group, or even of substantially supporting one, can be detained by the military as long as the United States is at war with al-Qaeda.

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Why Democrats Lost the Redneck Vote 2

Article by Scott Locklin. 

From Francis Fukuyama to Barack Obama to The New Yorker, nobody to the left of Joe Bageant seems to understand why poor white hillbillies prefer Republican oligarchs to the glorious rainbow coalition of the condescending. They wonder why the white working class lost the loving feeling they used to have for the Democratic Party.

Perhaps like a modern-day Squanto, I can help the lefties understand my tribe. I was born to the lower middle class and spent a couple of adult years living the life. I score a 63 in Charles Murray’s “bubble quiz,” which puts me into the “first generation middle class with working class parents” category. When I was a boy, people around me came from intact families, went to Catholic Church, knew people in the military, and worked jobs which soil the hands. They enjoyed pastimes such as deer hunting, mud bogging, and backyard wrestling. We were dimly aware of a hostile tribe in the nearby college town. These were folks who drank coffee with foam in it, who thought so little of the average hayseed that they would walk out in front of a moving pickup truck. The latte-sippers didn’t control the Democratic Party in those days: Working-class white men such as Tip O’Neill did, and everyone in my town voted for the Party of the Working Man.

“Hating rednecks is the anti-Semitism of Democratic asses.”

The latte tribe insists that working-class peckerwoods are voting against their economic interests when they vote for Republican candidates. This may be true, but it doesn’t mean that voting for the tax-and-condescend party would be a vote for the economic interests of the world’s Archie Bunkers. NAFTA was a Clinton Administration achievement, after all. Why should Archie vote for theMeathead party that shipped his job to Mexico? Economists of all political stripes have also noted that low-income working families tend to pay an appreciable portion of their earnings in taxes. Maybe they get it all back in “services” somehow, but the working poor notice how the non-working poor live off the state without doing any work. They take it personally that working harder ispenalized while left-wing policies reward being lazy and dependent. Palefaced plebeians also dislike the latte-tribe concept of “white privilege,” which says the Obama daughters should be given legal preference over poor white kids.

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Caught in the crossfire: Should musicians boycott Israel? Reply

Article by Jello Biafra.

Israel’s wall is intended to permanently enclose Palestinians [GALLO/GETTY]
Last summer, punk rock icon Jello Biafra and his band decided to cancel a show they had planned on playing at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv. At the time, Biafra wrote that ‘the toll and stress on the band members and myself has been huge, both logistically and as a matter of conscience‘. In August, Biafra decided to travel to Israel and Palestine himself to explore his thoughts on the cultural boycott of Israel.San Francisco, CA - So now I have been to Israel. I have also been to Palestine. I got a taste of the place, but not in the way I’d originally hoped.In many ways I really wish my band, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, had played in Tel Aviv. But I also share most of the boycott’s supporters’ feelings about Israel’s government, the occupation and ongoing human rights violations.

I hope people take the time to understand how deeply this has torn at the fabric of our band. The promoter in Tel Aviv lost thousands, and I am eating thousands more in lost and re-booked airfares that I have no idea how I am going to pay, or how I will pay my bills for the rest of the year. Real human beings got hurt here.

This whole controversy has been one of the most intense situations of my life – and I thrive on intense situations. But the rest of the band was not used to this. How fair was it to drag them there in the first place? This is not like fighting Tipper Gore and the Los Angeles Police Department, greedy ex-Dead Kennedys members or more-radical-than-thou thugs who think it’s OK to put someone in the hospital for being a “sellout”. I gradually felt like I had gotten in over my head sticking my nose into one of the longest and nastiest conflicts on earth.

So with the rollercoaster still in my stomach and my head, I flew solo to Israel instead. The mission: to check things out myself and hopefully at least get closer to some kind of conclusion on whether artists boycotting Israel, especially me, was really the best way to help the Palestinian people.

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Elite and Underclass 2

Article by F. Roger Devlin.

Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010

By Charles Murray
New York, NY: Crown Forum, 2012

Reviewed by F. Roger Devlin

At 416 pages, Coming Apart is Charles Murray’s most substantial offering since 2003’sHuman Accomplishment. It continues a theme familiar to readers of The Bell Curve: increasing American social stratification. Murray focuses on whites because otherwise the social trends he describes might lazily be explained away as effects of demographic change; he demonstrates that the trends are almost wholly unaffected by race or immigration. As he notes, a constant focus on how racial minorities ‘lag’ whites serves to distract attention from important changes in the benchmark population itself.

The author begins with a description of American life on the eve of the Kennedy assassination, highlighting everything which would shock the younger generation: just three TV channels; no Thai restaurants; ‘coffee’ meant Maxwell House. If you missed a movie when it was in the theaters, you would not get to see it at all.

The products of the entertainment industry still usually validated American norms. Subjects such as abortion and homosexuality were never touched upon in television shows, only rarely and disapprovingly in movies. Most liberals were willing to say that extramarital sex was wrong. Only three and one-half percent of American families were headed by a divorced parent. In many neighborhoods, houses were left unlocked and children could go about unsupervised.

But American women had “much to be outraged about,” the author tells us, such as being expected to marry and have children! If Murray gets portrayed as a ‘hard-rightist,’ it is only because presenting data honestly is now all such a designation requires or implies.

Such class differentiation as existed in 1963 was only reluctantly acknowledged: ninety-five percent of Americans described themselves as either working class or middle class. Poor people refused to think of themselves as lower class, and rich people were almost as reluctant to be considered upper class. A typical house in exclusive Chevy Chase, Maryland cost only twice as much as the nationwide average. People who could afford luxury cars often refrained from a fear of seeming ‘ostentatious’ – an old protestant pejorative which has now mostly disappeared from American English.

This was still recognizably the American society observed by Tocqueville one-hundred-thirty years before: “In the United States, the more opulent citizens take great care not to stand aloof from the people. On the contrary, they constantly keep on easy terms with the lower classes: they listen to them, they speak to them every day.”

The people who had risen to the top in 1963 had little in common except their success. Most had grown up in middle-class or working-class families, and they retained the preferences and tastes of those milieus. Their status was precarious, and often not successfully transmitted across even a single generation. In other words, America was ruled by a rapidly circulating elite, not by an upper class. (The “old money” families of Philadelphia, New York and Boston were an exception, but their numbers were tiny and as a class they had no influence on the nation’s destiny.)

Coming Apart tells the story of how this equilibrium was upset in the years that followed. Murray first discusses the rise of a new upper class; then, turning to the opposite end of the social scale, he shows how the white working class has deteriorated into a proletariat.

The new upper class is a product of our higher-tech economy, which relies heavily on people with exceptional cognitive abilities. A young person with outstanding mathematical ability might formerly have aspired to become a college professor; today he can make a killing writing code or managing a quant fund. Business decision-making has also become more complex and the stakes are higher. “Today, if a first-rate attorney can add ten percent to the probability of getting a favorable decision on a regulatory ruling worth hundreds of millions of dollars, he is worth his many-hundreds-of-dollars-per-hour rate.”

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Global suicide 2020: We can’t feed 10 billion 8

Article by Paul Farrell.

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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Welcome, you’re now on the new “Innovation Saves the World” team. We’re working together, searching for positive solutions. If you’d rather complain about what’s wrong, stop reading. Otherwise, imagine you’re now a member of a “skunk works” research team at a secret Pentagon think tank with unlimited funds.

In fact, let’s also assume the best solution will be awarded $10 million, call it the “10X-Prize,” to finance and build a new company on our proposed solution and achieve our goals.

Hope for the orphans of Myanmar

Orphans in Shan State on the Thai-Myanmar border hope for a better future amid Myanmar’s recent democratic reforms.

So if you’re with us, imagine this is as deadly urgent as if NASA predicted a huge asteroid will hit Earth by 2020, destroying billions. Do nothing? Game over. We must act now.

Our team is tasked to solve this problem: “How to feed the 7 billion people already on Earth today plus another 3 billion by 2050?” Feed 10 billion. And we can’t wait till 2050 to start. The clock’s ticking. We’re already at the tipping point. We must start planning now.

In fact, the Pentagon has already warned our team that by 2020, the planet’s “carrying capacity” will be so drastically compromised that they are already preparing military defense systems for the coming “all-out wars over food, water, and energy supplies.”

World’s biggest survival task is food: Earth cannot feed 10 billion

First, a crucial research paper from a leading consultant, Jeremy Grantham, whose firm manages $100 billion. He predicted the 2008 meltdown a couple years in advance. Now looking ahead to 2050, he reinforces the Pentagon’s worst fears, warning of an “inevitable mismatch between finite resources and exponential population growth” with a “bubble-like explosion of prices for raw materials” and commodity shortages that will become a huge “threat to the long-term viability of our species when we reach a population level of 10 billion,” making “it impossible to feed the 10 billion people.”

Yes, the planet’s “carrying capacity” cannot feed 10 billion people. So that’s a constraint on known research solutions. Grantham concludes, “as the population continues to grow, we will be stressed by recurrent shortages of hydrocarbons, metals, water, and, especially, fertilizer. Our global agriculture, though, will clearly bear the greatest stresses.”

Get it? Agriculture is the world’s biggest commodity problem. Agri-business has the “responsibility for feeding an extra two billion to three billion mouths, an increase of 30% to 40% in just 40 years. The availability of the highest quality land will almost certainly continue to shrink slowly and the quality of typical arable soil will continue to slowly decline globally due to erosion, despite increased efforts to prevent it. This puts a huge burden on increasing productivity.”

An impossible equation … but we must solve it.

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Lightning kills an entire football team: Witchcraft Suspected Reply

News of the weird.

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FOOTBALL FANS in the central African state of Congo were hurling accusations of witchcraft at each other yesterday after a freak blast of lightning struck dead an entire team on the playing field while their opponents were left completely untouched.

The bizarre blow by the weather to all 11 members of the football team was reported in the daily newspaper L’Avenir in Kinshasa, the capital of Congo.

“Lightning killed at a stroke 11 young people aged between 20 and 35 years during a football match,” the newspaper reported . It went on to say that 30 other people had received burns at the weekend match, held in the eastern province of Kasai. “The athletes from Basanga [the home team] curiously came out of this catastrophe unscathed.”

The suspicion that the black arts might be involved arose firstly because the opposing team emerged unharmed and then again because the score at the time was a delicately balanced one all.

“The exact nature of the lightning has divided the population in this region which is known for its use of fetishes in football,” the newspaper commented.

Much of the detail about the match remains obscure as the Congo – officially known as the Democratic Republic of Congo – remains stricken by civil war between the government of Laurent Kabila and rebel forces, backed by neighbouring Rwanda, in the east of the country.

Witchcraft is often blamed for adverse natural phenomena throughout western and central Africa. It is relatively frequent for football teams to hire witchdoctors to place hexes on their opponents.

In a similar, though less deadly incident in South Africa over the weekend, six players from a local team were hurt when lightning struck the playing field during a thunderstorm.

Does AIPAC Want War? Lieberman "Capability" Red Line May Tip AIPAC's Hand Reply

Article by Robert Naimon.

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For all it has done to promote confrontation between the United States and Iran, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has worked to avoid the public perception that AIPAC is openly promoting war. In AIPAC’s public documents, the emphasis has always been on tougher sanctions. (If you make sanctions “tough” enough — an effective embargo — that is an act of war, but it is still at one remove from saying that the U.S. should start bombing.)

But a new Senate effort to move the goalposts of U.S. policy to declare it “unacceptable” for Iran to develop a nuclear weapons capability — not a nuclear weapon, but the technical capacity to create one — gives AIPAC the opportunity to make a choice which all can observe. If the Lieberman resolution becomes an ask for AIPAC lobbyists at the March AIPAC policy conference, then the world will know: AIPAC is lobbying Congress for war with Iran.

Sponsors of the Lieberman resolution deny that it is an “authorization for military force,” and in a legal, technical sense, they are absolutely correct: it is not a legal authorization for military force. But it is an attempt to enact a political authorization for military force. It is an attempt to pressure the administration politically to move forward the tripwire for war, to a place indistinguishable from the status quo that exists today. If successful, this political move would make it impossible for the administration to pursue meaningful diplomatic engagement with Iran, shutting down the most plausible alternative to war.

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Zionist Billionaire Seeks to Buy U.S. Presidential Election: May Give $100 Million to Newt Gingrich Reply

This article sums up pretty well what American electoral politics is all about. One plutocrat offers to buy the election for the neocons and says he’s only countering the efforts of another plutocrat (Soros) to buy the election for the progressives. This is simply an intramural battle between the two dominant factions of the ruling class.

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Sheldon Adelson: The GOP’s $25 billion man

This story is part of a larger profileappearing in the March 12th, 2012 issue of FORBES magazine. The complete cover story will appear online beginning Wednesday, February 22nd.

Sheldon Adelson plays as stubbornly in politics as he does in business. So the criticisms that he’s trying to personally buy the presidential election for Newt Gingrich are met with a roll of the eyes. “Those people are either jealous or professional critics,” Adelson tells me during his first interview since he andhis wife began funneling $11 million, with another $10 million injection widely expected, into the former speaker’s super PAC, Winning Our Future. “They like to trash other people. It’s unfair that I’ve been treated unfair—but it doesn’t stop me. I might give $10 million or $100 million to Gingrich.”

Adelson, the 78-year-old CEO of casino giant Las Vegas Sands,  certainly can afford to: With a net worth of roughly $25 billion, that $11 million, which jolted Gingrich’s flatlining presidential bid back to life, equates to 0.044% of his fortune. For someone with a $1 million net worth, the equivalent would be $440, or a two-night stay at Adelson’s Venetian casino. Adelson could personally fund an entire presidential campaign—say, $1 billion or so—and not even notice.

Is that fair? “I’m against very wealthy ­people attempting to or influencing elections,” he shrugs. “But as long as it’s doable I’m going to do it. Because I know that guys like Soros have been doing it for years, if not decades. And they stay below the radar by creating a network of corporations to funnel their money. I have my own philosophy and I’m not ashamed of it. I gave the money because there is no other legal way to do it. I don’t want to go through ten different corporations to hide my name. I’m proud of what I do and I’m not looking to escape recognition.”

He’s also proud of his hawkish defense of Israel—his wife is Israeli and his young sons carry Israeli passports. Yet those who have categorized his patronage of Gingrich and other Republicans as a one-issue investment have it wrong. The man whose net worth, by Forbes’ calculations, has jumped more ($21.6 billion) during the Obama administration than any other American — Mark Zuckerberg included — wants to take the president out for economic reasons.“What scares me is the continuation of the socialist-style economywe’ve been experiencing for almost four years. That scares me because the redistribution of wealth is the path to more socialism, and to more of the government controlling people’s lives. What scares me is the lack of accountability that people would prefer to experience, just let the government take care of everything and I’ll go fish or I won’t work, etc.”

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New Hampshire man arrested for firing gun into ground while catching suspected burglar 3

From FOX News.

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A New Hampshire man who fired his handgun into the ground to scare an alleged burglar he caught crawling out of a neighbor’s window is now facing a felony charge — and the same potential prison sentence as the man he stopped.

Dennis Fleming, 61, of Farmington, was arrested for reckless conduct after the Saturday incident at his 19th century farmhouse. The single grandfather had returned home to find that his home had been burglarized and spotted Joseph Hebert, 27, climbing out of a window at a neighbor’s home. Fleming said he yelled “Freeze!” before firing his gun into the ground, then held Hebert at gunpoint until police arrived.

“I didn’t think I could handle this guy physically, so I fired into the ground,” Fleming told FoxNews.com. “He stopped. He knew I was serious. I was angry … and I was worried that this guy was going to come after me.”

No one was injured in the incident, but when the police arrived, they made two arrests. Hebert was charged with two counts of burglary and drug possession. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. Fleming, meanwhile, is scheduled to be arraigned March 20 on a charge of reckless conduct, which could potentially land him a sentence similar to the one Hebert faces.

“I didn’t know it was illegal [to fire into the ground], but I had to make that guy realize I was serious,” Fleming said. “I’ve got a clean record. I really don’t want to be convicted.”

County Attorney Tom Velardi told Foster’s Daily Democrat he will review the case and determine if the charge against Fleming is appropriate under the state statutes regarding self-defense and defense of property.

Fleming, meanwhile, is hoping to catch a break.

“I have 14 grandchildren, I don’t want to be a felon and go to jail,” he said. “I’m kind of wound up about it.”

Fleming’s collection of seven rifles and a .38-caliber handgun were seized by police. But Fleming said he’s not entirely defenseless: “I’ve got a Louisville Slugger here, but I would call the police,” he said.

Calls seeking comment from Farmington Police Department Chief Scott Roberge were not immediately returned.

Penny Dean, a spokeswoman for the Gun Owners of New Hampshire, said her organization is “absolutely outraged” by Fleming’s arrest.

“This homeowner fired at the ground, from all accounts, in a safe direction and held a burglar for police and did things correctly,” Dean told FoxNews.com. “The fact that this man would be charged is an outrage. Burglars in New Hampshire must know it’s open season, since homeowners cannot defend themselves, as evidenced by this case. This is charging the victim.”

Rick Pelkey, Fleming’s longtime neighbor, said he’s now worried how the “straight-forward, working-class guy” will pay legal fees associated with the arrest.

“I think it’s outrageous,” Pelkey told FoxNews.com. “He did the community a service here. We ought to thank him for it.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/02/21/new-hampshire-man-faces-felony-charge-after-firing-gun-into-ground-near-burglar/#ixzz1ngRfcl4m

Von NotHaus’ Question: Does the government have the power to outlaw private coinage of money? Reply

From the New York Sun.

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Of all the constitutional questions working their way up through the federal courts — and there are some big ones — the case that has our attention at the moment is the motion by Bernard Von NotHaus to have set aside his conviction of counterfeiting coins. It is true that the Obamacare lawsuits are raising a profound question, whether the government has the power to punish an American for not engaging in commerce by failing to purchase health insurance. It is true that the litigation over Arizona’s immigration law tests whether states can deal directly with illegal immigration. But it is hard to think of a more basic question than that being raised by Von NotHaus in respect of whether the government has the power to outlaw private coinage of money.

The issue was raised by Von NotHaus’ conviction in March of two counts related to his issuing of silver medallions called Liberty Dollars. There were no complaints from the persons who bought Liberty Dollars or took them in exchange for goods. The fact is that Liberty Dollars have held their value even while the value of the fiat dollars issued by the Federal Reserve has plunged, to barely a fifth the value of what they were worth at the start of, say, the Bush administration. This is not lost on anyone looking at the case. One can imagine that this humiliation was keenly felt by the federal government that brought charges against Von NotHaus. It’s hard to see why else the government would have brought charges.

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Wyoming House advances doomsday bill Reply

Article by Jeremy Pelzer.

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CHEYENNE — State representatives on Friday advanced legislation to launch a study into what Wyoming should do in the event of a complete economic or political collapse in the United States.

House Bill 85 passed on first reading by a voice vote. It would create a state-run government continuity task force, which would study and prepare Wyoming for potential catastrophes, from disruptions in food and energy supplies to a complete meltdown of the federal government.

The task force would look at the feasibility of Wyoming issuing its own alternative currency, if needed. And House members approved an amendment Friday by state Rep. Kermit Brown, R-Laramie, to have the task force also examine conditions under which Wyoming would need to implement its own military draft, raise a standing army, and acquire strike aircraft and an aircraft carrier.

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Farmer Faces Possible 3-year Prison Term for Feeding Community Reply

From Farm Wars.

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Customers and Other Supporters Stand with Farmer!

Submitted by Kimberly Hartke

The FDA reign of terror against family farms who are serving the needs of private buying clubs is culminating in one Wisconsin farmer facing federal charges. Citizens deserve the freedom to choose, and are staging an event in support of this principled farmer, Vernon Hershberger. He is being dealt with unjustly, and is standing strong with the support of the families he serves. (Kimberly Hartke)

February 24, 2012–Baraboo, WI. Food sovereignty activists from around North America will meet at this tiny town on March 2, 2012 to support Wisconsin dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger and food sovereignty. Hershberger, who has a court hearing that day, is charged with four criminal misdemeanors that could land him in prison for three years with fines of over $10,000. The Wisconsin Department of Agricultural Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) targeted Hershberger for supplying a private buying club with fresh milk and other farm products.

DATCP has charged Hershberger with, among other things, operating a retail food establishment without a license. Hershberger repeatedly denies this, citing that he provides foods only to paid members in a private buying club and is not subject to state food regulations. “There is more at stake here than just a farmer and his few customers,” says Hershberger, “this is about the fundamental right of farmers and consumers to engage in peaceful, private, mutually consenting agreements for food, without additional oversight.”

At a pre-court rally scheduled for 11:00am, in front of the Sauk County Courthouse in Baraboo, food rights activists will read and distribute a “Declaration of Food Independence” that asserts inherent rights in food choice. A signing ceremony will be part of the rally. The signers expect the declaration will inspire a growing food sovereignty movement. Speakers at the rally will include members of Hershberger’s club.

Hershberger and other farmers around the country have been and are facing state or federal charges against them for providing fresh foods to wanting customers. In recent months the FDA has conducted several long undercover sting operations and raids against peaceful farmers and buying clubs that have resulted in farms shutting down and consumers without access to their food.

Farm Food Freedom Coalition wants to ensure that America’s treasures, our independent farms and ranches, are able to thrive. We aim to preserve our agricultural heritage and the future availability of traditional, farm fresh foods. Americans want and deserve the freedom to choose natural, unprocessed foods for generations to come.

Information about farm raids: FarmFoodFreedom.com. For additional information on raw milk: westonaprice.org.

More event information: RawMilkFreedomRiders.com

'What would happen if I had a scarf over my face?': Nightmare of Fireman Sam creator branded a racist over quip to airport security Reply

From The Daily Mail.

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As David Jones passed through airport security, his thoughts were turning to lunch with his daughters, who were already ‘airside’.

But a light-hearted remark as he placed his scarf through the X-ray scanner led to Mr Jones, the creator of the animated children’s character Fireman Sam, being held for an hour by security guards and accused of racism.

Ex-fireman Mr Jones, a former member of the Household Cavalry, said he experienced an ‘Orwellian nightmare’ after commenting on the ease with which a Muslim passenger ahead of him – who had her face almost completely covered by a hijab – had passed through security without showing her face.

As he placed his scarf and other belongings into a tray to pass through the X-ray scanner, Mr Jones, 67, said to an official: ‘If I was wearing this scarf over my face, I wonder what would happen.’

To his astonishment, he was stopped by security staff on the other side of the checkpoint at Gatwick and accused of racism after a Muslim security guard who heard the remark said it had caused her offence.

Mr Jones, who was flying with his two grown-up daughters to Faro in Portugal – he now lives in the Algarve, where he runs a restaurant – was then subjected to a  one-hour stand-off involving security staff, a British Airways manager and a policeman as security tried to make him apologise.

Do-It-Yourself Regulation Reply

Article by Kevin Carson.

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In a recent post at the UK’s Libertarian Alliance Blog, Director Sean Gabb points out that “government charters, grants personhood to, mandates sales for, creates price floors for, regulates industries to eliminate competition for, allows former employees to regulate their own, responds to lobbying by, bails out, subsidizes, [and] is comprised of politicians whose campaigns are financed by … corporations.” Whew! So in light of this, “Corporations should be policed by … ?”

So if not the corporate state, who should regulate big business and restrain corporate malfeasance? The ultimate answer to corporate power has several different facets. The first is what P2P Foundation Director Michel Bauwens calls the crisis of realization: It’s becoming increasingly difficult to monetize innovation and information as sources of revenue. Innovations in technique actually reduce GDP by reducing the input costs of a given standard of living, and the monopolies required to enclose innovation and information as sources of revenue — despite the desperate move toward increasingly draconian “intellectual property” law — are becoming unenforceable.

Second, as James O’Connor argued in “Fiscal Crisis of the State,” states are becoming fiscally exhausted to the point of bankruptcy from providing the subsidized inputs without which giant corporations wouldn’t be profitable. As is the nature of subsidized inputs, the demand for them grows faster than states’ ability to provide them. So corporations are becoming progressively hollowed out just like states.

Meanwhile, as the network revolution reduces the transaction costs of organizing outside institutions to zero, the DIY Regulatory State will be able to coordinate boycotts, culture-jamming, Wobbly-style open-mouth sabotage, wildcat strikes, and the like, far more effectively than ostensibly “countervailing” (but de facto collusive) regulatory institutions ever did. Frank Kernaghan’s culture jamming and the Coalition of Imolakee Workers were the Altair of this model. The string of victories from SOPA to ACTA to the Susan Komen Foundation to Virginia’s trans-vaginal ultrasound mandate were its Apple II. It’s not even into the Macintosh stage yet; that stage may be reached with smart-phone apps coordinating boycotts through barcode swipes.

Oh — don’t forget large-scale doxing operations by LulzSec or whatever its current successor happens to be calling itself at any given time, airing caches of executive emails from different Fortune 500 corporations’ C-suites every week detailing their legislative and regulatory slush funds, the CEO’s taste in kiddie porn, his call girl expenses, and his gleefully chortling “F*** Grandma Millie” memos.

As Vinay Gupta commented on Twitter, “Stratfor and HB Gary were just destroyed as credible actors.”  So what happens when the doxing of Monsanto or Shell, on the scale of HB Gary and Stratfor, is combined with a culture jamming campaign on the scale of Frank Kernaghan’s public relations kneecapping of Kathie Lee Gifford, a sweatshop workers’ sympathy boycott on the scale of the Imolakee campaign against Taco Bell (coordinated by an app or utility on your smartphone), “search engine pessimization” via semantic tagging and Google-bombing, and an old-fashioned “corporate campaign” like the one against J.P. Stevens in the 1970s by umbrella coalitions of community social justice organizations, unions, and churches? And you can also throw in smart-mob swarming and radical street theater at senior management’s homes, churches and country clubs.

If the HB Gary and Stratfor attacks were Hiroshima, these future full court presses will be Bikini Atoll in comparison. And believe me: They’re coming. To coin a phrase, “Expect us.”

Those mofos are goin’ DOWN. I luuuuv the smell of corporations burning in the morning.

The Ethos of Empire Reply

Article by David D’Amato.

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According to USA Today, “A gunman killed two American military advisers with shots to the back of the head Saturday [February 25] inside a heavily guarded ministry building.” The story notes that the Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the killings and cited them as “retaliation for the Quran burnings” at an American military base.

Responding to the attack, General John Allen, commander of NATO and US forces in Afghanistan, “recalled all international military personnel from the [country’s] ministries.”

It’s difficult to overstate the centrality of NATO within the broader framework of U.S.-led, western imperialism, itself a social, political and — importantly — economic phenomenon. The globalization of the 21st century economy couldn’t exist, at least not in anything like its current shape, absent a menagerie of interdependent enabling institutions like NATO and the World Bank.

As Peter McLaren and Ramin Farahmandpur argue, NATO and kindred global political bodies have, in the decades since World War II, allowed multinational corporations to “exercise worldwide political influence within the governmental offices of nation-states through lobbying, campaign donations, and unholy business partnerships.”

Discussing the features of the United States’ reorganization of the world system, the authors outline the program of specific actions undertaken to impose the new post-war paradigm. One among these has been the wholesale transfer of precious natural resources and land to nominally “private” big business owners.

This naturally requires the exercise of military dominance in order to induce acceptance of and compliance with global monopoly. In the absence of such hegemonic power, “third world” people who in fact rightfully own such land and resources might get uppity, convoked around some subversive revolutionary spirit. NATO, not much more in substance than the military vehicle of American Empire, has been in constant attendance at civil wars, revolutions and uprisings to ensure that, when the dust settles, everything is as it ought to be.

Advocacy for a libertarian society is ultimately just the argument for a world more fair and more just, one where (among other things) property rights are attached to some concept of what a person equitably deserves. And while no doubt there aren’t any easy answers there either, what one deserves must bear a relation to their work and effort, and further to what they’re able to collect through voluntary trade.

The world created by NATO and similar tangible renditions of the imperialist ethos operates on quite a different principle. This other principle states, without shame or faltering, that what you can take by force and conquest is yours — that violent monopolization by the politically connected is a “free market.”

The violence in Afghanistan is a natural, even if not justifiable, backlash against occupation and domination from without, a cri de coeur for self-determination and freedom in a world where the American military is omnipresent. Market anarchists don’t condone or excuse terroristic violence against innocents, not even a smidge, but neither do we shrink from castigating terrorism when its source is the powerful.

It can’t be that violence is vicious and inhuman terrorism when executed with IEDs, yet perfectly legitimate when carried out with billions of dollars worth of drones and missiles. Something is very wrong with our values as a planet when coercive monopolism and appropriation are “free enterprise,” and a murderous new colonialism is a “peacekeeping” War on Terror.

Basic principles are now in competition: We can continue to tolerate the brutal methods of the state, or we can experiment with something else: Stateless societies built on voluntary associations and mutual respect.

Stratfor Email Leak Reveals Insider Views On Obama, Emanuel & Romney 2

From Tyler Durden.

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Earlier today, Wikileaks made its latest startling release on Twitter, telling the media world to standby for a ‘major announcement’. Alas, in keeping with the recent tradition from Wikileaks, the “release” was a dud and is merely the collected dump of all the emails previously hacked from Stratfor by Anonymous, as was noted here previously. Alas a quick perusal through the emails so far reveals absolutely nothing exciting, except for the communiques of a paid intelligence provider, which may at times have had a few delusions of grandure and a mistaken and rather overblown sense of self-importance (hardly unique). Yet one exchange that is rather interesting is thefollowing email thread from 2009 which goes from discussing how the billionaires behind ACORN have lost all respect for Obama and Biden (“The billionaire (who also funds ACORN) is greatly disappointed over Obama’s “weakness and wimpyness” towards China… She believes Biden is weasel and Obama is a pussy… The liberal factions in DC think Obama is being a pussy.“), views on Rahm Emanuel (“I don’t disagree that Biden is a weasel. I think Emanuel is emasculating Obama by selling him on clever Clintonesque tactics”), views on how Obama may get back into the thick of things: (“Obama needs to get in a fight and do something really mean and unfair to the right.”), on Obama and the banks: (“he could also tell the banks to go screw themselves.”) and from there going to analyzing the GOP field: (“The GOP folks I talk to are pushing Jeb Bush. I think that is a mistake. Who else is out there?”) and culminating with the GOP frontrunning Mitt Romney – “Romney can’t make it. Mormons are viewed as Voo Doo.” Much more in the full email thread inside.

From Wikileaks

Occupy Wall Street Revisited: Who Is Being Occupied By Whom? 1

Article by Thomas N. Naylor.

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From the very outset I was an enthusiastic supporter of Occupy Wall Street. To me it represented the reawakening of the political left after four decades of uninterrupted slumber.  Maybe the radicalization of America had finally begun.  Americans might soon opt for jobs, health insurance, social security, better education, and a cleaner environment rather than drones, Navy Seals, and Delta Force death squads.

One could not help but be struck by the amount of energy emanating from tiny Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan and how this energy had spread to hundreds of towns and cities in dozens of countries worldwide providing the foundation for an international revolt against Wall Street, Corporate America, and the American Empire.  Perhaps a window of opportunity would be opened which would allow consideration of heretofore unimaginable political paradigms such as radical decentralization, direct democracy, secession, or even peaceful dissolution of the American Empire.  But it has not happened.  Why not?  Most of OWS’s proposals for dealing with the American Empire are neither very radical nor likely to see the light of day.  The fundamental premise underlying OWS is that the U.S. Government is still fixable.  But what if that is not true?

Below we outline eight reasons why OWS is doomed to failure.

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Armageddon Approaches 2

By Dr. Lasha Darkmoon.

Maybe Hal Lindsey was right-LOL. :-)

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“An Israeli attack on Iran would create a disaster.” — Zbigniew Brzezinski

“The entire lake will become a killing field…the Gulf will run red with American blood.” — Military specialist Mark Gaffney.

Bombing Iran could be the final nail in the coffin of America—a decaying and morally bankrupt superpower where torture has been normalized and where the President is now free to kill anyone he chooses, anywhere in the world, who he happens to suspect is a terrorist.

Right now, Iran appears to be the object of universal detestation, at least among those who control the mainstream media and who are anxious to persuade the easily duped masses that Iran is a major threat to civilization.

More…