A headline in Mint Press News (Nov. 6) declared, “U.S. Police Have Killed Over 5,000 Civilians Since 9/11.” An earlier Mint article (Aug. 19) reported, “Claims of Minneapolis Police Misconduct: 439; Officers Disciplined: 0.” It is almost cliché to talk about an epidemic of police brutality or the militarization of police departments. But what is occurring is a more intricate and interesting social dynamic than mere brute force.
In his magnum opus, Man, Economy, and State, Murray Rothbard broke the ways in which the state controls people into three categories.
Autistic intervention. The state directly restricts an individual’s use of his body or property. For example, a man is arrested for possessing drugs. Even if more than one person is arrested at the same time, the line of force runs directly from the state to each individual. No exchange occurs. It is the application of brute force, pure and simple.
Binary intervention. The state directly confronts an individual in order to force the exchange of a good or service. For example, a person is sent a property tax assessment on his house or he is conscripted into the military. The line of force is still the individual but a coerced exchange occurs to the benefit of the state.
Triangular intervention. The state uses the force of law to determine the manner in which two people can make an exchange. For example, an employer must hire someone at a minimum wage. Rothbard further divides triangular intervention into “price control, which deals with the terms of an exchange, and product control, which deals with the nature of the product or of the producer.” The line of force is aimed at the two people involved, one of whom may benefit from the government’s intervention.
I just flew back from Restoration Weekend in Palm Beach, and boy are my arms tired of the old narrative. I was on a panel with James O’Keefe and Sonnie Johnson called “Changing the Narrative,” and we all talked about how dangerous it is for the GOP to remain stuck in the past.
The speakers at this conference bore impressive pedigrees and included Ann Coulter, Ted Cruz, Pamela Gellar, Dr. Benjamin Carson, Bill Whittle, Robert Spencer, and conference founder David Horowitz. Just as New York City is an island of lunacy surrounded by hundreds of miles of reality, walking around The Breakers Palm Beach Hotel felt like a wee bit of sanity in a world gone mad.
I doubt it’s possible to develop a thorough or effective critique of statism as it exists in contemporary Western industrialized democracies without a comprehensive critique of the PC ideology. The evidence is overwhelming that PC is simply a new form of political authoritarianism, and something that the ruling class is incorporating into its own ideological superstructure. I’m a Nietzschean-Stirnerite, not any kind of conservative, but I find it disappointing that so many of my fellow libertarians and anarchists are unable to see PC for what it is.
It’s common for anarchists to press people about whether they are “capitalist” or “communist”. I view this as embracing the left/right paradigm unconsciously. I’m anti-state. Anti-statism is the common denominator in all trends of anarchism. Therefore, there is common ground between all anarchists. I can’t imagine that any anarcho-communist thinks they are going to abolish the class system without first abolishing to coercive apparatuses of the state.
The state, after all, grants the corporatists their power and privilege. It is ridiculous to assume that everybody wants to spend their life climbing the ladder of business and profit, as some anarcho-capitalists would seem to insist. Equally silly, is expecting everybody to live in communes. This type of intellectual immediate gratification sounds great on paper, but competition and cooperation both play extremely important roles in the stability of mankind. If you want to overthrow your factory boss after the state is abolished, that is between you and him. You could not possibly expect the masses to see your job and working conditions as the sole impetus for taking risky rebellious actions on their own parts. The state victimizes us all. And ALL us anarchists hate it.
The state will imprison conservatives and liberals alike. To effectively abolish the state, we need as many of the people on our side as possible, obviously. So bickering over preferences like “capitalism” or “communism” or whatever are simply arguments over theory, rather than real talk about the real cops busting down our real doors. Every time you even use the words “capitalism” or “communism”, you automatically alienate tons of people. If you simply focus on our real common enemy, the state, you can attract the most people to our shared goal. Every time you shift the focus from the state, anarcho-communists defending minimum wage laws, anarcho-capitalists defending state enforcement of property rights, you do yourself and all of us anarchists a disservice. You should constantly be dealing fatal blows to the state, with your words.
Going further back into the history of America’s obsessive foreign adventurism, let’s revisit Kosovo – a Mafia-run “state” that is the cold sore on Europe’s lower lip. It’s the center of Europe’s booming heroin trade, its Prime Minister a gangster straight out of “The Sopranos.”
Yet still the War Party presses ahead with its prescriptions for certain disaster: Syria, Iran, Russia, China – the world is filled with endless enemies, “rogue states” requiring a little “shock and awe,” just enough to make them fall in line with Uncle Sam’s plan for “world order.”
One would think that, with this record, the interventionists among us would have long since been discredited – but no. The abolition of history is one of the War Party’s signal achievements: no sooner have we suffered the consequences of our reckless hubris than the memory of it is erased, like a hangover “cured” by the hair of the dog that bit us.
Is Baghdad in flames? Then on to Damascus! Is Kabul a ruin? Next stop – Tehran!
““After serving his time federal prison, John Ehrlichman granted an interview to author Dan Baum, who reports that Ehrlichman explained the origin of the war on drugs this way: ‘The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar Left, and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black. But by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.’””
Uri Friedman describes the details of the interim nuclear deal with Iran:
The details are still coming into focus, but here are the basics: Iran will stop enriching uranium beyond the 5-percent level (nuclear power plants typically run on 3.5 percent-enriched uranium), refrain from installing new centrifuges for uranium enrichment, and dilute or convert to oxide its stockpile of 20 percent-enriched uranium (a level that allows Iran to quickly enrich uranium to the weapons-grade threshold of 90 percent). It will also refrain from producing fuel for or operating its heavy-water reactor near the city of Arak, which experts believe could produce weapons-grade plutonium. International monitors will be granted expanded access to Iran’s nuclear facilities.
In response, world powers will offer Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief. Critically, the accord appears to be ambiguous on Iran’s right to enrich uranium—a key sticking point in the talks—with Iran and the United States interpreting the text in different ways.
Twelve years ago, when Wendy Whitaker was barely 17, she performed oral sex on a high school classmate who was about to turn 16. The state of Georgia convicted her of a sex crime and she was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
As a registered sex offender, Whitaker’s freedom is severely restricted. She and her husband bought a house within 1000 feet of a unadvertised church daycare service, and a judge has decreed that she has to vacate by Thanksgiving.
In 2006, she and her husband scoped out neighborhood surrounding the Harlem, Georgia home they eventually purchased to be sure they were in compliance with Georgia’s sex offender law at the time. That law prohibited offenders from living within 1,000 feet of any area where children congregate. Despite their efforts, local authorities ordered Whitaker and her husband to vacate shortly after they moved in. They had overlooked a nearby church, which was running an unadvertised daycare service. More…
The federal government made enough money on student loans over the last year that, if it wanted, it could provide maximum-level Pell Grants of $5,645 to 7.3 million college students.
The $41.3-billion profit for the 2013 fiscal year is down $3.6 billion from the previous year but still enough to pay for one year of tuition at the University of Michigan for 2,955,426 Michigan residents.
It’s a higher profit level than all but two companies in the world: Exxon Mobil cleared $44.9 billion in 2012, and Apple cleared $41.7 billion.
“It’s actually neither accurate nor fair to characterize the student loan program as making a profit,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said during a July conference call with reporters after the Free Press and other news media reported on profits from student loans.
About $59 billion is spent on traditional social welfare programs. $92 billion is spent on corporate subsidies. So, the government spent 50% more on corporate welfare than it did on food stamps and housing assistance in 2006.
Before we look at the details, a heartfelt plea from the Save the CEO’s Charitable Trust:
There’s so much suffering in the world. It can all get pretty overwhelming sometimes. Consider, for a moment the sorrow in the eyes of a CEO who’s just found out that his end-of-year bonus is only going to be a paltry $2.3 million.
“It felt like a slap in the face. Imagine what it would feel like just before Christmas to find out that you’re going to be forced to scrape by on your standard $8.4 million compensation package alone. Imagine what is was like to have to look into my daughter’s face and tell her that I couldn’t afford to both buy her a dollar sign shaped island and hire someone to chew her food from now on, too. To put her in that situation of having to choose… She’s only a child for God’s sake.”
“I ain’t draft dodging. I ain’t burning no flag. I ain’t running to Canada. I’m staying right here. You want to send me to jail? Fine, you go right ahead. I’ve been in jail for 400 years. I could be there for 4 or 5 more, but I ain’t going no 10,000 miles to help murder and kill other poor people. If I want to die, I’ll die right here, right now, fighting you, if I want to die. You my enemy, not no Chinese, no Vietcong, no Japanese. You my opposer when I want freedom. You my opposer when I want justice.”
An unidentified Arizona Corrections Officer adjusts the straps on the gurney used for lethal injections at the Florence Death House at the Arizona State Prison at Florence (Ariz.) in this undated photo provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections. On Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2003, a federal appeals court overturned more than 80 death sentences in Arizona because a judge, instead of a jury, handed them down. Death sentences in Idaho and Montana also were affected. (AP Photo/Arizona Department of C | ASSOCIATED PRESS
The FDA may soon kill off the world’s most delicious dessert—Baltimore’s own Berger Cookies. Please believe I make this claim as one who is not otherwise overly enamored of sweets.
For those who haven’t had the pleasure, we’re talking fudge slathered over a shortbread cookie to rapturous effect.
If you are one who feels another dessert has a better claim to distinction, know that it doesn’t matter. Whatever you’re into will be banned too if it contains artificial trans fats, which the FDA may decide to outlaw as soon as January.
You remember the photograph: President Obama hunched in a corner of the Situation Room with his national-security staff, including Hillary Clinton with a hand over her mouth, watching the live feed from the compound in Pakistan where the killing of Osama bin Laden is under way. This is a Machiavellian moment: a political leader taking the ultimate risks that go with the exercise of power, now awaiting the judgment of fate. He knows that if the mission fails, his presidency is over, while if it succeeds, no one should ever again question his willingness to risk all.
A man of many titles, Jesse Ventura is a politician, actor, author, US navy veteran and a former professional wrestler. He does not associate himself with either side of the political establishment. Jesse Ventura won the seat of 38th Governor of Minnesota as an independent candidate. He believes the same luck may push him to the top of American politics – to become president of the United States.
Sophie Shevardnadze:Hello Jesse, nice to have you on the show today. Now, you want to run for presidency in 2016. Realistically, do you think you can win?
Jesse Ventura: First of all, I didn’t say that I was running, but I felt that the opportunity was there for a 3rd candidate to be successful, in the light of the fact that the way that our two parties have operated in the last few years, in the last decade, they truly have alienated the people to the point when the approval rating of the Congress is at ten percent. That’s astounding – nine out of ten people dislike them and don’t approve what they do. So I just stated that in the situation of a third candidate you always wanted in a year, where there’s not an incumbent and 2016 would provide that year, there will be no incumbent, and that’s where he could be the most successful. And I stated that if I did run, I would run under one premise and I believe I could win on this alone – in light of the way things are today in the U.S. I would run and give the American people the opportunity to make history and to elect the first president since George Washington, who does not belong to a political party – imagine that. We’ve had only one president who wasn’t attached to what I refer as “political gangs” and I believe the public sentiment today is that candidate could win on that alone, because people are so sick and tired of the way these two parties have governed and the way that they’ve ran our government into the ground and what we stand for today. More…
The following correction was printed in the Guardian’s Corrections and clarifications column, Saturday 14 November 2009
In the report below about sex trafficking we referred to the United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre as “the police Human Trafficking Centre”. The UKHTC describes itself as “a multi-agency centre” and says that it is “police led”. Its partners include two non-governmental organisations, HM Revenue & Customs, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the UK Border Agency. We referred to Grahame Maxwell as the head of the UKHTC; his title is programme director.
The UK’s biggest ever investigation of sex trafficking failed to find a single person who had forced anybody into prostitution in spite of hundreds of raids on sex workers in a six-month campaign by government departments, specialist agencies and every police force in the country.
The failure has been disclosed by a Guardian investigation which also suggests that the scale of and nature of sex trafficking into the UK has been exaggerated by politicians and media.
Current and former ministers have claimed that thousands of women have been imported into the UK and forced to work as sex slaves, but most of these statements were either based on distortions of quoted sources or fabrications without any source at all.
While restrictions on smoking in public are becoming stricter across the country, one California town has taken things a step further and banned smoking in all homes that share walls with other residences.
The new city ordinance in San Rafael, California prohibits smoking in any homes that share common walls, including apartments, condominiums, co-ops, and even multi-family residences that hold three units or more.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Bangkok on Monday as peaceful protests from the previous day escalated into the occupation of key government buildings.
While initially spurred by a controversial amnesty law scuttled by parliament last month, protesters have become emboldened, and are now demanding the resignation Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
Opposition leader Suthep Thaugsuba initially assured the massed ranks of police that the demonstration would be peaceful, claiming that his supporters would be “blowing whistles and handing out flowers.” But as Sunday’s street crowds swelled to over 150,000 – the biggest since the last violent political crisis in 2010 – Thaugsuba called for a “people’s revolution.”