Julian Assange loses appeal against extradition Reply

Julian Assange

From the BBC.

_____________

By Owen Bowcott

Julian Assange has lost his appeal against extradition to Sweden at the supreme court.

By a majority of five to two, the justices decided that a public prosecutor was “judicial authority” and that therefore his arrest warrant had been lawfully issued.

But lawyers for the WikiLeaks founder submitted an urgent request to the supreme court asking for permission to challenge one of the points made in the judgment.

Assange, who is facing charges of sexual assault and rape, was not in court. There was no legal requirement for him to be present. According to his solicitor, Gareth Peirce, he was stuck in traffic.

The court granted Assange’s lawyers 14 days to present their arguments that crucial issues related to Article 31 of the Vienna convention, on which the majority of the justices based their decision, were not raised during the hearing.

More…

Taxing strip clubs for rape Reply

Taxing strip clubs for rape

Salon reports on the latest Stateside sin tax.

________________

By Tracy Clark-Flory

It used to be that strip clubs were merely blamed for society’s ills. Now they’re actually being charged for it.

In recent years, measures have been introduced in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois and, most recently, California to apply special taxes to strip clubs — specifically to fund sexual assault services. Now, even if you aren’t inclined to view erotic entertainment as the source of all evil, this might seem an appropriate aim — who wants to argue against additional support for rape survivors? It would seem even more so when you consider politicians’ and activists’ repeated claims of solid scientific evidence showing a link between strip clubs — specifically those that sell alcohol — and sexual violence.

That is, until you look at the alleged proof.

More…

Mexican Cartel Declares War on Cheetos Reply

wired.com
Robert Beckhusen

The logo for Sabritas, a Mexican snack chip subsidiary of PepsiCo, which saw dozens of vehicles and five warehouses burned by a drug cartel this month. Photo: chrizar/Flickr

Mexican drug cartels are not strictly drug cartels. One of their fastest-growing markets is extortion of private citizens and businesses. Don’t pay, and you can be threatened — or worse. But largely, the cartels target small businesses and individuals, and stay away from the larger industries. Now several arson attacks over the weekend against a Mexican snack chip subsidiary might be the first time the cartels have targeted a multinational corporation.

More…

Robert Mugabe asked to be UN ‘leader for tourism’ Reply

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe at National Heroes Acre in Harare

From the Guardian.

In other news, Gary Glitter has been appointed chairman of UNICEF

_______________

by David Smith

With a line-up that includes Drew Barrymore, David Beckham, Orlando Bloom, and Ricky Martin, the UN’s choice of ambassadors has been known to cause raised eyebrows or the odd smirk.

Seldom, however, has there been such anger, or questioning of the organisation’s credibility, as that greeting the appointment of a new international envoy for tourism: Robert Mugabe.

More…

US troops imitate invasion of Iran with Arab allies Reply

RT.com

Reuters/Lee Jae Won

Around 12,000 troops from more than 19 nations are wrapping up a massive military training drill in the Middle East. But for some of those servicemen, these exercises might be just the beginning of something much bigger to come.

The United States, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan are just a sampling of the many countries — along with European allies — that have been involved in the nearly month-long Eager Lion 2012 exercise expected to end this week. Although much of the drills have been kept under wraps, it isn’t a secret that these states have spent the last month cooperating together through mock combat drills and comprehensive training. Some sources overseas report, however, that as many as 3,000 troops aligned with US forces have conducted a simulated landing and attack on Iran, preparing America and its allies for a war that becomes more likely by the day.

More…

An Open Letter to the So-Called Left Reply

By C. Derick Varn

An Open Letter To Much of the So-Called Left:

I am a man of the left. Make no mistake about it, I am a man of the fair left even. I have vaguely liberal social sensibilities, and a hard left politics. I have, however, noticed much notice in my life: one) a tendency to try confuse polemics and derailing tactics with arguments. In “anti-racist” battles I have noticed a strategic essentializing of the minority group to preserve self-identity move to a strategic essentializing of the majority. Take for example this bit from People of color organize:

More…

Black Bloc Anarchists and State Terrorism Reply

By Rob Urie

Renewed criticism of Black Bloc anarchists (link) ties in a tangential way to the arrest on terrorism charges of three youths in Chicago prior to recent anti-NATO protests. The anarchists raise the question of the legitimate use of violence to achieve political ends. The arrest of the youths on trumped-up charges with what credible sources (National Lawyers Guild) believe is manufactured evidence suggests that as far as the state is concerned, they’re going to make up charges anyway. So what is the difference?

Terrorism charges have long been used for political repression because they are premised on the legitimacy of state violence versus the illegitimacy of non-state violence. But the question of legitimacy was in fair measure the reason why anti-NATO protesters were in Chicago. Member states claim the right, through NATO, to commit political violence at will. The protesters, rightly in my view, counter that (1) the reasons given by NATO for committing violence are lies intended to deceive populations into supporting armed aggression and (2) were the real reasons for NATO violence given they would be deemed illegitimate and therefore the violence itself is illegitimate.

Criticism of Black Bloc tends to center around public relations– the fear the media will focus on property damage to the exclusion of the protesters’ broader message. But the dominant media in the U.S. are corporations that have demonstrated that they will promote a broad corporatist agenda at all costs. The Chicago Police Department and the coordinated state “security” apparatus understand this and they are using terrorism charges as propaganda to try to draw a line between protesters and the growing millions of disenfranchised citizens.

More…

Talking With Chomsky: On OWS, Anarchism, Labor, Racism, Corporate Power and the Class War Reply

By Laura Flanders

Noam Chomsky has not just been watching the Occupy movement. A veteran of the civil rights, anti-war, and anti-intervention movements of the 1960s through the 1980s, he’s given lectures at Occupy Boston and talked with occupiers across the US.  A new publication from theOccupied Media Pamphlet Series brings together several of those lectures, a speech on “occupying foreign policy” and a brief tribute to his friend and co-agitator Howard Zinn.

From his speeches, and in this conversation, it’s clear that the emeritus MIT professor and author is as impressed by the spontaneous, cooperative communities some Occupy encampments created, as he is by the movement’s political impact.

We’re a nation whose leaders are pursuing policies that amount to economic “suicide” Chomsky says. But there are glimmers of possibility – in worker co-operatives, and other spaces where people get a taste of a different way of living.

We talked in his office, for Free Speech TV on April 24.

LF: Let’s start with the big picture. How do you describe the situation we’re in, historically?

More…

Police given powers to enter homes and tear down anti-Olympics posters during 2012 Games Reply

From the Daily Mail.

Olympic protests

Fuck the State, fuck these Stasi cunts, and fuck the Olympics!

_________________

By James Slack

Police have been handed ‘Chinese-style’ powers to enter private homes and seize political posters during the London 2012 Olympics.

Little-noticed measures passed by the Government will allow officers and Olympics officials to enter homes and shops near official venues to confiscate any protest material.

Breaking the rules could land offenders with a fine of up to £20,000.

Civil liberties groups compared the powers to those used by the Communist Chinese government to stop political protest during the 2008 Beijing Games.

Anita Coles, of Liberty, said: ‘Powers of entry should be for fighting crime, not policing poster displays. Didn’t we learn last time that the Olympics should not be about stifling free expression?’

The powers were introduced by the Olympics Act of 2006, passed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, supposedly to preserve the monopoly of official advertisers on the London 2012 site.

They would allow advertising posters or hoardings placed in shop or home to be removed.

But the law has been drawn so widely that it also includes ‘non-commercial material’ – which could extend its reach to include legitimate campaign literature.

Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: ‘This is a Government who just doesn’t understand civil liberties. They may claim these powers won’t be used but the frank truth is no one will believe them.’

More…

“The hijab has liberated me from society’s expectations of women” Reply

From the Guardian. Such views always remind me of this cartoon…

I’m sure the Jacobin paternalists on the Continent would love to tell Nadiya how “oppressed” she is…

_______________

by Nadiya Takolia

When you think of the hijab, you probably don’t think “political”. Or “independent”. Or “empowered”. Feminist? Certainly not – feminism is far better known for burnt bras and slut-walks than headscarves.

There is much misunderstanding about how women relate to their hijab. Some, of course, choose the headcover for religious reasons, others for culture or even fashion.

But in a society where a woman’s value seems focused on her sexual charms, some wear it explicitly as a feminist statement asserting an alternative mode of female empowerment. Politics, not religion, is the motivator here. I am one of these women.

Wearing the hijab was not something I deliberately set out to do. It was something I unexpectedly stumbled upon as a twentysomething undergraduate, reading feminist literature and researching stories of women’s lives in the sex industry. From perfume and clothes ads to children’s dolls and X Factor finals, you don’t need to go far to see that the woman/sex combination is everywhere.

It makes many of us feel like a pawn in society’s beauty game – ensuring that gloss in my hair, the glow in my face and trying to attain that (non-existent) perfect figure.

Subconsciously, I tried to avoid these demands – wearing a hat to fix a bad-hair day, sunglasses and specs to disguise a lack of makeup, baggy clothes to disguise my figure. It was an endless and tiresome effort to please everyone else.

Sure the hijab was not the only way to express my feelings and frustrations; but knowing that our interpretation of liberal culture embraces, if not encourages, uncovering, I decided to reject what society expected me to do, and cover up.

More…

Fat, Broke and Single? Reply

By Gavin McInnes

Like the French language, the liberal brain works in reverse. Where we say “the red book,” the French say “le livre rouge.” They start with a blank book and work backwards to fill it in with rouge. Liberals start with, “All men are created equal” and walk backwards from there without looking. If everyone isn’t succeeding equally, it can’t be because they made some bad decisions or have unequal abilities. It’s because we didn’t do enough.

If America is fat, it must be because nobody told them food is fattening. If women earn less than men, it must be because of sexism. If gays aren’t getting married, it must be because homophobes are cockblocking them. If the top ten mathematicians of all time are white males, it must be because nonwhite mathematicians with vaginas suffered discrimination.

These babies want to make us all as equal as the day we were born, even if it kills us.

“Like the French language, the liberal brain works in reverse.”

The Vegetarian Personality 7

By Jim Goad

I have trouble accepting the idea that Hitler was a vegetarian. He just didn’t seem that pushy.

Apparently others feel the same way. When I started typing “pushy vegetarians” on Google, it auto-filled the rest after “pushy v—.”

Of all the annoying identity movements under the giant rancid rainbow, what is it that causes militant vegetarians to be the most obnoxious? What is it about the Vegetarian Personality that makes me wish someone would cannibalize them? What is it about being lectured by vegans that makes me want to drive straight to Wendy’s and order a Classic Triple?

Is there a chemical in bean sprouts that causes self-righteousness, or perhaps an enzyme in beef that minimizes sanctimony? If you are what you eat, radical vegetarians must be eating something very unpleasant. They bare their tempeh-nibbling fangs to reveal the rabid hostility that always seems to be a hallmark of those who feel compelled to make a grand public display of their “compassion.” But hilariously, a recent study suggests that “exposure to organic foods” leads people to be less altruistic.

More…

Another Surveillance Law: One More Step towards the Big Brother State 1

By Sean Gabb

At the beginning of April 2012, the BBC and a couple of newspapers reported that the British Government was considering a new surveillance law. This would allow it to monitor the telephone calls, text messages, e-mails and website visits of everyone in the United Kingdom. There was a flurry of debate about civil rights and the need to protect us all against terrorists. There was a side argument between those who said the law was required by the European Union, and those who said it would be in breach of European Union law. Since then, the various debates have gone quiet. Possibly, the Ministers have decided to drop the matter. More likely, the initial leak was to soften us up for something less ambitious to be announced in the Queen’s Speech. The Ministers will say they have “listened” to our concerns – and will use the lesser measure they had in mind all the time as a precedent for moving to the full measure in later stages. This being so, whether greater or lesser, another step will have been taken to a Big Brother police state.

More…

Abolish Memorial Day 1

By Justin Raimondo 

We might as well get rid of Memorial Day, for all the good it does us. Originally “Decoration Day,” the last Monday in May has been the designated time for us to remember the war dead and honor their sacrifice – while, perhaps, taking in the lessons of the many conflicts that have marked our history as a free nation. In line with the modern trend of universal trivialization, however, the holiday has beenpaganized to mark the beginning of summer, when we get out the barbecue grill and have the neighbors over for hamburgers and beer. As for contemplating the meaning of the day in the context of our current and recent wars, that is left to those few pundits who pay attention to foreign policy issues, or else to writers of paeans to the “Greatest Generation” – World War II being the only modern war our panegyrists deign to recall, since it is relatively untouched by the ravages of historical revisionism.

Indeed, as far as our wars are concerned, the very concept of historical memory has vanished from the post-9/11 world. It seems the earth was born anew on September 11, 2001, and only ragged remnants of our mystified past – mostly from World War II and the Civil War – survived the purge. In the new version our victories areexaggerated and glorified, while our defeats – e.g. Vietnam, Korea, our nasty little covert wars in Central and South America – are not even mentioned, let alone considered in depth.

The abolition of historical memory is one of the worst aspects of modernity: it is certainly the most depressing. For the modern man, it’s an effort to recall what happened last weeknever mind the last century. The news cycle spins madly and ever-faster, and the result is that we are lost in the blur of Now: for all intents and purposes, we are a people without a history, who recall past events – if we remember them at all – as one would summon a vague and confusing dream.

More…