January 6th was a day that will live on in infamy, or at least so I’m told. Maybe I’ve just become too jaded in my young age, but three weeks later and I still don’t see it. The great Capitol Hill Siege sounds terrifying coming from some breathless dweeb at CNN but the whole thing seemed like a pretty second rate shitshow from where I was sitting. With the last gasp of Orange Man Bad, the Administration Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight whooped up a few thousand devoted MAGA monsters with tall tales of stolen elections and sicked them on a congress playing democracy with the Electoral College. Shit got out of hand and some of the loonier tunes in the bunch invaded the building, chasing off our dear leaders and goofing around the hallways and offices until the pigs who let them in lost their patience. Five people died, which is always tragic, but most of the deaths were freak accidents that could have just as easily occurred if that many out of shape fogeys attended Coachella. I’m sorry if I’m being a dick but I just don’t see this septuagenarian riot as being the new 9/11.
During the late 60s, when the US war on Viet Nam was going strong and people were questioning capitalism, I drove from Eugene to Berkeley where my sister was living. I ran into folks who invited me to a discussion about starting a commune. There, everyone talked about dropping out of consumer society and buying land to get away from it all. Asking about how you could confront the horrors around us by separating yourself from society, I got a string of denunciations accusing me of buying into what I claimed to oppose.
After telling my sister about the experience, she invited a friend over for dinner the next night from a group called the Progressive Labor Party. “Great,” I replied. “I’ve heard of them but really don’t know anything except they are supposed to be serious.”
It was 20 years ago this month, in January of 2001, that AttacktheSystem.Com first appeared.
Previously, I had been involved in radical activities since the late 1980s. For about five years, I was a conventional left-wing anarchist, engaging in strike support (Eastern Airlines, Greyhound Bus, Pittston Coal); antiwar activism (Central America, Indonesia, Cambodia, Persian Gulf War); joining the IWW and IWA/WSA; participating in riots in New York, Toronto, Berkeley, and at the Pentagon; creating student anarchist groups, a May Day festival, and homeless benefits; attending left-wing demonstrations (abortion, environment, war, homeless, anti-Klan); teaching a class on anarchism at an alternative school; attending an anarchist convention San Francisco and the founding gathering of Love and Rage; being distributor/writer for anarchist ‘zines, conducting anti-racism workshops, meeting a range of Left luminaries (Stokely Carmichael, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Philip Agee, Michael Parenti), attending early Green meetings in the US, spending many hours in the HX833 section of the library reading books on anarchist history, and too many other activities to remember. I mention all this merely to point out that I was the real deal.
01/18/21 – The Beer Belly Putsch, Trump is impeached but not just in the house, what will happen next, counter-elite development, revolutionary ideas, revolutionary leaders, gerontocracy, Uganda and Bobi Wine, a future of celebrity politicians, Reagan was a terrible actor, Facebook suspends Ron Paul following column criticizing big tech, Youtube bans Steve Bannon’s podcast channel, tribalized media, tech elites as the new church, the Capitol rioters weren’t “low class,” the front end of the Beer Belly More…
Washtenaw County’s new prosecutor says his office will no longer pursue charges against adults who engage in consensual sex work, a move that national advocates praised as a win for marginalized people.
The policy directive that Prosecutor Eli Savit issued Thursday applies to both people who sell sex and those who solicit it.
Savit’s policy cites research showing that criminalization forces sex workers to operate in a black market and in isolated areas, exposing them to violence and exploitation. The threat of prosecution makes sex workers and survivors of trafficking less likely to report crimes, he said.
“As with other prohibitionist policies, the criminalization of sex work actually increases the risk of sex work-adjacent harm,” Savit said in an announcement on the prosecutor’s office website. “Forcing sex workers to operate in the shadows increases their susceptibility to physical assault, sexual assault and trafficking.
Another interesting trend I’ve noticed lately is a “progressive to Republican” trajectory where folks with “progressive” leanings expressing sympathy for populist figures on the right. A parallel trend is the “walk away” movement which tends to be made of former liberals and leftists who became disgusted with SJWs and moved rightward. But the progressive-to-Republican types seem to be more populist while the anti-SJWs tend to be more libertarian-oriented. Meanwhile, the neocons seem to have largely reconciled with the Democrats.
This is great stuff here. Dore takes down some Trotskyist moron from some creepy vanguard party. In the past year or so, I have noticed the emergence of folks in the left-anarchist milieu who are willing to embrace, or least entertain, a position not unlike the one that I have long argued for. Increasingly, I have observed sectors of the “general left” moving toward such a position as well even if, like Dore, they continue to hold to the “progressive” welfare statist paradigm.
Dr. Anthony Fauci raked in $417,608 in compensation from the federal government in 2019, putting the nation’s infectious disease expert at the top of the income chart above the rest of its 4 million federal employees, Forbes Magazine reported Monday.
At an income more than the president’s $400,000 annual salary, Fauci will collect $2.5 million serving as the director of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the president from 2019 to 2024 if he maintains his role throughout the Biden administration absent a raise. Fauci’s pay, Forbes reported, rose from $335,000 in 2014 to its current level, and he’s brought in $3.6 million over the last 10 years. All data was collected by OpenTheBooks.com through requests under the Freedom of Information Act, according to the paper.
As I have said before, where I dissent from modern libertarianism of the Randian variety is with my view that corporations and banks are merely modern feudal manors, and the media, universities, and now tech companies are the new church. It doesn’t do much good to claim to oppose the king while embracing the pope and the aristocracy.
By Peter Van Buren, The American Conservative
The interplay between the First Amendment and corporations like Twitter, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook is the most significant challenge to free speech in our lifetimes. Pretending a corporation with the reach to influence elections is just another place that sells stuff is to pretend the role of debate in a free society is outdated.
From the day the Founders wrote the 1A until very recently, no entity existed that could censor on the scale of big tech other than the government. It was difficult for one company, never mind one man, to silence an idea or promote a false story in America, never mind the entire world. That was the stuff of Bond villains.
Hmm. What’s the angle? Most likely this is the Democrats’ retaliation against the Saudis for their close relationship with Trump, the murder of Khashoggi (a WaPo employee), and the fact that Yemen has made them into a growing liability. Whatever works.
By Haley Ott, CBS News
London — The U.S. Treasury on Monday authorized almost all financial transactions with Yemen‘s Houthi rebels for the next month, effectively delaying the implementation of former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s last-minute designation of the group as a terror organization while giving the new Biden administration a chance to review it.The move seemed to be aimed at addressing the fears of humanitarian organizations who work with banks and commercial traders to provide aid to approximately 80% of Yemen’s population, the majority of which live in Houthi-controlled territory.
While humanitarian groups would have received exemptions under the terror designation, many of their commercial partners on the ground in Yemen may not have, and vital operations could have been disrupted.
This happened in my city about a week ago. I know some of these people. An on-the-ground “mass movement” of this kind would be right on the mark. If nothing else, it would force systemists ranging from the social democrats to the neoliberals to the neocons to the pro-system Trumpists into the same camp in defense of the system. Meanwhile, semi-systemists (like the Three Percenters, some Trumpists, Proud Boys, much of the so-called “radical left,” anarcho-Berniebros, some Antifa, some an-coms, etc.) would be forced to choose between systemism and anti-systemism to a much greater degree. The degree of collegiality expressed by the different factions in the video would also have the effect of further marginalizing supposed anti-systemists who are more about attacking other tribes than attacking the system per se.
Despite fears of violence and a country on edge ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, gun rights activists rallied outside the Virginia capitol Monday, drawing in right-wing groups increasingly hostile toward the government and openly armed in defiance of the law.
Howard Lichtman and Matt White of ThickRedLine.org join me to discuss what should be obvious: the connection between victimless crime laws and police abuse. They intend to do something about it, and I invite you to consider — and support — their strategy.