Michigan: Police Search Cell Phones During Traffic Stops Reply

The Michigan State Police have a high-tech mobile forensics device that can be used to extract information from cell phones belonging to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan last Wednesday demanded that state officials stop stonewalling freedom of information requests for information on the program.

ACLU learned that the police had acquired the cell phone scanning devices and in August 2008 filed an official request for records on the program, including logs of how the devices were used. The state police responded by saying they would provide the information only in return for a payment of $544,680. The ACLU found the charge outrageous.

“Law enforcement officers are known, on occasion, to encourage citizens to cooperate if they have nothing to hide,” ACLU staff attorney Mark P. Fancher wrote. “No less should be expected of law enforcement, and the Michigan State Police should be willing to assuage concerns that these powerful extraction devices are being used illegally by honoring our requests for cooperation and disclosure.”

A US Department of Justice test of the CelleBrite UFED used by Michigan police found the device could grab all of the photos and video off of an iPhone within one-and-a-half minutes. The device works with 3000 different phone models and can even defeat password protections.

“Complete extraction of existing, hidden, and deleted phone data, including call history, text messages, contacts, images, and geotags,” a CelleBrite brochure explains regarding the device’s capabilities. “The Physical Analyzer allows visualization of both existing and deleted locations on Google Earth. In addition, location information from GPS devices and image geotags can be mapped on Google Maps.”

The ACLU is concerned that these powerful capabilities are being quietly used to bypass Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches.

“With certain exceptions that do not apply here, a search cannot occur without a warrant in which a judicial officer determines that there is probable cause to believe that the search will yield evidence of criminal activity,” Fancher wrote. “A device that allows immediate, surreptitious intrusion into private data creates enormous risks that troopers will ignore these requirements to the detriment of the constitutional rights of persons whose cell phones are searched.”

The national ACLU is currently suing the Department of Homeland Security for its policy of warrantless electronic searches of laptops and cell phones belonging to people entering the country who are not suspected of committing any crime.

Obese man dies after found fused to chair 6

Natural selection wins again.
A morbidly obese man is dead after he was found fused to a chair that he had been stuck on for two years.

The 43-year-old man from Bellaire, Ohio, was discovered unconscious on Sunday by his girlfriend.

Emergency crews had to pry him free, as his skin was stuck to the recliner with urine, feces and maggots.

Local reports say one officer threw away his uniform because the conditions were so putrid.

“The living room where the man lived in his chair was very filthy, very deplorable. It’s unbelievable that somebody lives in conditions like that,” Jim Chase, a code enforcer, told local news station WTRF.

A hole was cut in the wall of the home to remove the heavy man.

Officials said his girlfriend, who lived with him along with another roommate, told investigators she fed the man in his chair, as he complained of leg pain.

The unidentified man was transported to hospital in critical condition, where he later died.

Arabs Give Neo-Cons a Reality Check Reply

Article by James Zogby.


hile much of what has come to be known as “the Arab Spring” remains a work in progress, there can be no doubt that a new dynamic has been unleashed across the region – one that will have a profound impact as it continues to play out in the years to come.

What is most important to recognize is the fact that the developments that have unfolded since Tunisia have all been generated internally, putting to rest the patronizing mythology of the neo-conservatives and their ilk, who had long maintained that change could only come to the Arab World if induced by external (that is, Western) pressure. This was the view, for example, promulgated by Bernard Lewis, who once wrote that in the past change had only occurred in the “stagnant Middle East” when it had been “initiated by past European rulers”. This theme was echoed more recently by Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute when she argued that if change were to come to the contemporary Arab World, “the West must hold open the door” and apply needed “outside pressure”.

For some in the Bush Administration, that was to be the role of the Iraq war. As it was envisioned (more as an apocalyptic fantasy, than a war), the US-led invasion would not only topple the dictator ushering in a new democracy, it would also shock and shake up the region. Out of the ensuing chaos, they projected that a “new order” would be born – a view enthusiastically supported by the New York Times’ Tom Friedman who had long described the Arab World as an “ossified region” and who, therefore, congratulated the Bush Administration for using the war to blast “a hole in the wall of Arab autocracy”. And it was this same mind-set that caused then Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, and National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice to wax poetic about the “passing of old orders” in the aftermath of the war.

Neo-conservatives similarly projected that Israel’s punishing blows against Gaza and Lebanon would play a transformative role, leading Rice to cavalierly dismiss the horrible devastation left in the wake of Israel’s 2006 onslaught in Lebanon as “the birth pangs of a new Middle East”.

These views, of course, were not only profoundly insensitive, they were dead wrong. Contrary to the Bush Administration’s ideologically inspired projections, the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Israel’s war on its neighbors did not lead to democracy or even to progressive change. Instead, what was left in the wake of each of these conflicts was death and destruction, bitterness and suffering, and a deepened sectarian divide, coupled with a spreading of extremist fervor and intensified regional tension. Arab populations became roiled, Arab governments that had been making even modest moves toward change, pulled back and, overall, the region became more repressive and less free.

The movements that started in Tunisia and spread to Egypt and beyond, on the other hand, are far more deserving of the “birth pangs” designation.

Top "US" Corporations Outsourced More Than 2.4 Million American Jobs Over the Last Decade Reply

Article by Zaid Jilani.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll released this morning finds that 44 percent, a plurality, of Americans think the economy is getting worse, rather than staying the same or getting better. With unemployment hovering around 9.6 percent while economic inequality is at levels not seensince the Depression, many Americans feel as if the economy is leaving them behind.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that Corporate America certainly isn’t doing its part to help bring America out of its economic malaise. The paper surveyed employment data by some of the nation’s largest corporations — General Electric, Caterpillar, Microsoft, Wal-Mart, Chevron, Cisco, Intel, Stanley Works, Merck, United Technologies, and Oracle — and found that they cut their workforces by 2.9 million people over the last decade while hiring 2.4 million people overseas.

The paper notes that this is actually a sharp reversal from trends in the late 1990s, when these major companies were creating more jobs in the United States than overseas. Yet by 2001, things took a turn for the worse, and these corporations have been adding more jobs abroad than at home, as is illustrated here:

Clash of the Morons 19

Nazis versus Antifa in Trenton, New Jersey. A tag team match between the two most useless factions in dissident politics.
Because of the draconian police presence there was very little possibility that the ARA would be able to directly engaged the NSM in downtown Trenton. The best possible use of the ARA protestors that day would have been to spread out throughout the downtown area in small groups. This lack of consolidation would’ve destabilized the intense concentrations of police possibly allowing for possible confrontation situations with NSM members. But more importantly spread out the mobile ARA activists would have been able to trail the NSM’s police escort out of town and possibly locate their parking/meeting point. Unfortunately this type of organization, communication and tactical, almost combat oriented, thinking is beyond the scope of American anarchists.


A new compilation from Troy Southgate. I have a chapter in this titled “The Sexual Aesthetics and Metaphysics of Julius Evola.”
Copies of EVOLA: THOUGHTS AND PERSPECTIVES, VOLUME ONE are now available to preorder. The book is over 300 pages in length and costs just £24 (UK), £26 (Europe) & £27 (America/Rest of World). All prices include postage and the Paypal address is: arktoslondon@yahoo.co.uk

Julius Evola is one of the more intriguing and controversial figures in the Traditionalist milieu and this unique collection of essays, the first of its kind in English, looks at various aspects of the Italian philosopher’s work. Ranging from Art, Sex, Feminism and Economics right through to Race, Politics, Islam and the Occult, this book will serve as a detailed and scholarly guide to one of Europe’s most vehement critics of the modern epoch. Contributors include Professor Roger Griffin, Professor Tomislav Sunic, Troy Southgate, Dr. George J. Sieg, Gwendolyn Toynton, K.R. Bolton, Keith Preston, Sean Jobst, Mariella Shearer and Christopher Pankhurst.

Bradley Manning Moved to Leavenworth Reply

by Lolita C. Baldor

Tuesday, April 19, 3:53 PM

WASHINGTON — U.S. officials say the Army private suspected of giving classified data to WikiLeaks is being moved to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas in the wake of international criticism about his treatment during his detention at the Marine Corps base at Quantico, Va.

The officials say an announcement that Army Pfc. Bradley Manning will be moved is expected Wednesday at the Pentagon. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the move has not yet been made public.

Amnesty International has said Manning’s treatment may violate his human rights. A committee of Germany’s parliament has also protested about his treatment to the White House.

Manning is being held in maximum security in a single-occupancy cell at Quantico, and he is allowed to wear only a suicide-proof smock to bed each night.

Waiting for the Spark Reply

Article by Ralph Nader.
What could start a popular resurgence in this country against the abuses of concentrated, avaricious corporatism? Imagine the arrogance of passing on to already cheated working people and the jobless enormous corporate losses? This is achieved through government bailouts and tax escapes.

History teaches us that the spark usually is smaller than expected and of a nature that is wholly unpredictable or even unimaginable. But if the dry tinder is all around, as many deprivations and polls reveal, the spark, no matter how small, can turn into a raging inferno.

The Boston Tea Party lit up the American Revolution. Storming the hated Bastille (prison) by impoverished Parisians launched the French Revolution. More recently, in December 1997, an Israeli military vehicle rammed a civilian van in the West Bank killing seven occupants and igniting the first Intifada.

Last December, a young fruit vendor, abused by thieving police in a small Tunisian town, immolated himself in the local square. Seen by millions on Facebook, this self-sacrifice launched the Tunisian and Egyptian overthrow of their long-time dictators. Later, in Syria, after police arrested 13 youngsters in a southern border town for anti-government graffiti the place erupted in riots and rallies that are spreading to other cities.

A few weeks ago, many progressives and quite a few pundits believed that the recurrent, ever larger February-March rallies in Madison, Wisconsin by workers, students and others against the Governors’ and the Legislature’s attack on public employee unions and social services, following earlier blatant corporate welfare enactments, would be the long-awaited spark.

The Madison eruption spread briefly to Ohio and Indiana where Republican officials were moving in the same direction, punishing workers and families while leaving the corporate and wealthy to count their mounting privileges. There, the crowds were neither as large nor as frequent. In all these states, the Republicans got most of what they wanted, albeit with a possible, future political price to be paid. The rallies have subsided, not even culminating—as some organizers hoped—in a gigantic march on Washington, D.C.

"Wear a Headscarf or We Will Kill You" Reply

Article from the Daily Mail. Hat tip to Andrew Yeoman.
How the ‘London Taliban’ is threatening women and trying to ban gays in bid to impose sharia law

Women who do not wear headscarves are being threatened with violence and even death by Islamic extremists intent on imposing sharia law on parts of Britain, it was claimed today.

Other targets of the ‘Talibanesque thugs’, being investigated by police in the Tower Hamlets area of London, include homosexuals.

Stickers have been plastered on public walls stating: ‘Gay free zone. Verily Allah is severe in punishment’.

It is believed Muslim extremists are behind a spate of attacks being investigated by police, according to the Sunday Times.

Gottfried vs A "Conservative" Idiot Reply

This is funny, and illustrates very well why “movement conservatism” is a movement for retards.
Apparently Christ was not only Jewish in his earthly existence but also a neocon. I suppose that if the Gospels were properly interpreted, perhaps on FOX or in The Weekly Standard, it would be clear that the Christian savior was some kind of proto-Trotskyist or perhaps a precursor of George W. Bush’s liberal internationalism. Jesus was also in favor of American exceptionalism and would have supported gay marriage and eradicating legally recognized gender differences so long as we Americans embraced these reforms. It took a couple thousand years to figure this out, but it was there all along waiting to be discovered.

I think my correspondent is an important indicator of where the GOP and the “conservative movement” with which she identifies are going. She is in her own way a devout Christian who sincerely loves her country. Without naming names, she mentions that she used to “teach” at great academic institutions, but my impression is that she’s poorly educated. Her narrow picture of reality is drawn from a few neoconservative sources. She carefully duplicates her politically predictable clippings and then sends them out to her friends and enemies. One doesn’t have to reach very far to figure out that this lady is a very typical Republican: white, Protestant, and churched. She imagines her reading matter is Christian and patriotic because it is always advocating wars if not for God then at least for country, and she happily “supports our troops” wherever they are sent to bring the gift of “human rights” to someone.

This woman is not socially or politically marginal. She fully represents the Protestant Republican voters I meet every day and is in sync with the only “conservative movement” she’s ever known. We are nowhere on her radar screen because we don’t have the necessary resources to be there, and from her garbled neoconservative-Protestant perspective, my columns seem to come from the far left.

What should we do about people like her after we’ve laughed over their muddled accusations and boundless gullibility? They used to be the base of a real American right. Now they treat us as enemies. She is one of tens of millions that our side will have to win over if we wish to have a voice on the national scene. Our task is tremendous but hopefully not impossible.

Fighting Globalisation Reply

From FolkAdvance.Org
After helping the Karen people in Burma and the Serbian minority in Kosovo, Casapound Italia has started a new international project, this time in favor of Kenyan orphans. For its first humanitarian mission in Africa, a delegation from CPI lead by Gianluca Iannone, and Solidarité-Identités, a French non-profit organization, went to Kenya to visit orphanages and to study the possibilities of financing courses as well as the creation of micro companies essential for these structures.

“Today, the life of these orphans is to work in the fields and go to school.” – explains Iannone. “We would like to help them develop other possibilities by organizing professional courses and doing some fund raising in order to create micro-enterprises. This would allow these youngsters to have another choice other than the one they have today, which is starving or becoming desperate invaders of another people’s country.”

“Multinationals and banks have been starving Africa for years. Thanks to them, Europe is exploding and Italy is on the front line. Millions of immigrants are pushed towards our coast by this form of modern slavery and their cosmopolitan principles. If we don’t want our world to become a huge tower of babel, the people must cooperate and remain masters in their own country. Casapound is on front line of the fight against globalisation.”

“We want to send a clear message with this new project: we must reverse the trend. Nations and people, who are free and independent, in charge in their own countries, must stand together against globalisation.”

Race and Economics 2

Walter Williams is interviewed by Lew Rockwell.
From his stepfather’s urging that he go early and stay late to his own hardworking experiences in the market, Walter Williams concludes that racial discrimination alone has never been the barrier that people say it is. In his forthcoming book, Race and Economics, Dr. Williams views minimum wage as effective racism, the Davis-Bacon Act as super minimum wage regulation, discrimination as an act of choice, and prejudice to be simply a decision made with incomplete information.

Beyond the Education Bubble Reply

Article by Kevin Carson.
Peter Thiel’s contrarian approach to higher education, as you might expect, has provoked considerable squealing from the usual suspects. Thiel believes higher education has become a speculative bubble, and that the price of a college education is vastly overvalued compared to its lifetime payoff. There are more college graduates than there are jobs that call for their qualifications, which means that for many unemployed or underemployed graduates a student loan is the equivalent of an underwater mortgage.

The education bubble, like the finance bubble, is fueled by excess money looking for an outlet and unscrupulous promoters looking for suckers. Just as shady bankers lured people into mortgages that were beyond their means, the higher education industrial complex — through its affiliated high school counselors — lures kids into obtaining what seems to be easy money through Sallie Mae with the promise of higher lifetime incomes. Meanwhile, the availability of this third-party money fuels an educational culture based on high-overhead and cost-plus markup — the same culture that gave us the Pentagon’s $600 toilet seats — and tuition increasing at more than four times the rate of inflation.

To challenge the college mystique, Thiel is in process of selecting the twenty most promising candidates under age 20 to drop out, in return for $100,000 over two years to start a business. Hence the above-mentioned squeals of outrage.

Of course the idea that the educational panacea is overrated isn’t a new one. The late Joe Bageant pointed out that the “economic growth by sending everyone to college” meme was a fallacy of composition. The Empire, he said, only needed about 25% of its population in administrative-technical positions. Sending more than that to college just resulted in burger-flippers and floor-moppers with bachelor’s degrees.

There are some serious difficulties with Thiel’s position, in an economy organized on the kind of hyper-capitalist corporate model he seems to assume. In such an economy, as plenty of critics have pointed out, higher education — even if overpriced — will be indispensible to people seeking certain kinds of professional employment. It will continue to perform a signaling function, simply because HR departments will naturally desire some bureaucratic S.O.P. for processing human raw material without having to deal with a lot of special cases on an ad hoc basis. And I’ve seen more than one person argue that Thiel probably hires college educated people; if American higher education implodes, he’ll just hire cheaper credentialed Chinese tech workers.

John Robb, of Global Guerrillas blog, wants to go further than Thiel and challenge the existing state capitalist model of how employment itself generates demand for credentials (“The Education Bubble,” April 13).

The idea is not to eliminate higher education, but to eliminate the mass-production model by which it is organized: Transporting people to a central location with expensive physical plant and a bloated administrative bureaucracy in order to process them into human resources. Network technology, with its ability to move information cheaply rather than moving people, offers the potential of an alternative that “creates its own educational modules if needed (from scratch using modern tools and techniques).”

I Vote Revolution Reply

Article by David D’Amato.
BBC News reports that Riots have followed elections in Nigeria, with all of the usual allegations of ballot-rigging accompanying the reelection of President Goodluck Jonathan. Mainstream commentators have been quick to point out “the huge division between the Muslim north and Christian south,” but we might wonder about the impact of other divisions, namely those of class.

In Nigeria, though natural resources such as oil sit within its borders, “high levels of poverty” afflict the working classes, the state allowing a small elite to capture the wealth of those resources. So when the President insists “that what is happening is not ethnic, religious or regional,” he assurances are, in important ways, much more accurate than he would likely admit.

Having realized that elections and the spurious democratic counter-information of the state are a losing game, discouraged Nigerian youths have resorted to violent protests. Scattered violence against the state, though, will only bolster its acclamations of security and authority. In the place of both futile elections and arbitrary violence, market anarchism points to another road to a free society, a nonviolent path based on individuals routing around the coercive impediments of statism.

Where it functions within the larger framework of aggression and exploitation created by the state, democracy, at least at anything more than parade of trite “civil spiritedness,” is reduced to a nullity. Only a fragmentary semblance of choice occupies the electoral spectacles of the ruling class, who remain comfortably enshrined in positions of power and privilege irrespective of each waxing and waning of the “democratic process.”

As the popular maxim teaches, if voting could change anything, it would be illegal, and — sure enough — the state renders democracy itself illegal in practice. Democracy is but an impotent invocation if it doesn’t translate into a substantive or meaningful influence within the institutions one has membership within. And especially where that membership isn’t itself predicated on a real choice, democracy ends up looking, at last, like a vacant formality.

The real democracy of market anarchism, functioning on societal institutions without exception, would open to real choice — to “social power” — all of those areas of human interaction that are now yoked to the coercive practices of the state. Market anarchism, as an ethical system, maintains that free individuals should not be indentured to the institutions that dominate their lives, but that those institutions ought to serve their members; it is the “extremist” position that sovereignty and authority begin equally in each person, and thus that organizations cannot claim any prerogatives that a lone individual couldn’t, in some instance, claim.

The democracy of the state, on the contrary, is premised on the idea that some people ought to rule, to make the important decisions about our lives, and that we ought to be satisfied with a periodically-presented false choice. “Apparently,” mused Gore Vidal, “a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.”

Primer on the New Tribalism 5

The Gonzo Times vs the Alternative Right.
I have never seen anything like this before. In an article on the Tea Party movement, the fantastic Christopher Hitchens wrote that people like Fox News host Glenn Beck have been “canalizing old racist and clerical toxic-waste material that a healthy society had mostly flushed out of its system more than a generation ago, and injecting it right back in again.” There have always been fringe groups in American politics, but in recent history they have been limited to groups like The League of the South, groups for old curmudgeons who don’t like their kids attending school with children of color.

What the alternative right is doing, however, is seeking to make mainstream political ideas that were long ago found by both American and European society as beyond the pale. Many figures in the movement, such as Kevin DeAnna of the Youth For Western Civilization (a group I will get to later in this article) and Andrew Yeoman of the Bay Area National Anarchists (BANA) have both written on the Alternative Right website that their movement is doomed to fail. Despite this, they have succeeded in attaining mainstream accolades.

Andrew Yeoman, representing his group BANA, has flipped the script on multicultural victimhood politics and used the rhetoric for “people of European descent.” He has been invited several times on Russia Today, the Kremlin based cable news network, to talk about such issues.

Yeoman is a self-satirizing sort. He obviously takes himself quite seriously but his ideology and group are extremely comical. Videos of Yeoman on YouTube can be seen of him and his group BANA holding a neo-Nazi car wash somewhere in the suburban Bay Area. Another video of him shows him protesting the film Machete for its apparent advocacy of “genocide” against “people of European descent.” The Coen Brothers would be wise to follow his strange antics, as he would make for a great character in one of their comedies.

More formidable than Yeoman is Kevin DeAnna. His group, the Youth for Western Civilization (YWC), was founded in 2008. Like Alternative Right, it’s an overtly racialist group but one that masks itself as a very mainstream organization. In the past few years it has managed to grow its numbers from American University in Washington D.C. to Michigan State University to Washington State University, its latest outpost.

DeAnna, like most everyone at Alternative Right, is a great writer. DeAnna has contributed several articles to that website, all of which were highly readable. His communication skills also translate to in person encounters, as he was very direct, clear and sociable in a video interview with him by Salon.com from the floors of CPAC 2011. Unlike the Alternative Right website, YWC has the endorsement of established politicians, with Colorado U.S. Representative Tom Tancredo being an honorary chairman.

Iceland Declares Independence from International Banks Reply

Article by Bill Wilson.
Iceland is free. And it will remain so, so long as her people wish to remain autonomous of the foreign domination of her would-be masters — in this case, international bankers.

On April 9, the fiercely independent people of island-nation defeated a referendum that would have bailed out the UK and the Netherlands who had covered the deposits of British and Dutch investors who had lost funds in Icesave bank in 2008.

At the time of the bank’s failure, Iceland refused to cover the losses. But the UK and Netherlands nonetheless have demanded that Iceland repay them for the “loan” as a condition for admission into the European Union.

In response, the Icelandic people have told Europe to go pound sand. The final vote was 103,207 to 69,462, or 58.9 percent to 39.7 percent. “Taxpayers should not be responsible for paying the debts of a private institution,” said Sigriur Andersen, a spokeswoman for the Advice group that opposed the bailout.

A similar referendum in 2009 on the issue, although with harsher terms, found 93.2 percent of the Icelandic electorate rejecting a proposal to guarantee the deposits of foreign investors who had funds in the Icelandic bank. The referendum was invoked when President Olafur Ragnur Grimmson vetoed legislation the Althingi, Iceland’s parliament, had passed to pay back the British and Dutch.

Under the terms of the agreement, Iceland would have had to pay £2.35 billion to the UK, and €1.32 billion to the Netherlands by 2046 at a 3 percent interest rate. Its rejection for the second time by Iceland is a testament to its people, who feel they should bear no responsibility for the losses of foreigners endured in the financial crisis.

That opposition to bailouts led to Iceland’s decision to allow the bank to fail in 2008. Not that the taxpayers there could have afforded to. As noted by Bloomberg News, at the time the crisis hit in 2008, “the banks had debts equal to 10 times Iceland’s $12 billion GDP.”

“These were private banks and we didn’t pump money into them in order to keep them going; the state did not shoulder the responsibility of the failed private banks,” Iceland President Olafur Grimsson told Bloomberg Television.

The voters’ rejection came despite threats to isolate Iceland from funding in international financial institutions. Iceland’s national debt has already been downgraded by credit rating agencies, and now those same agencies have promised to do so once again as punishment for defying the will of international bankers.

Sex and the Shibboleth Reply

Article by MRDA.
A week or three back, a Guardian article on gerontophiliac serial rapist Delroy Grant came to my attention (hat-tip to my Facefuck friend, Miss TC); written by the uniquely monikered Hadley Freeman, the article, titled “Rape is not a compliment”, employs binary thinking and a few other fallacies in the service of the following argument:

Once again, in the case of Delroy Grant, the public seems unable to accept the idea that rape has nothing to do with desirability.

Rolling my eyes, I remembered the ever so popular slab of sloganeering her argument alluded to:

Rape is not about sex: it’s about power.

So succinct.

So snappy.

So stupid.

At least if we’re talking about the prime motive of the perpetrator.

However, as ridiculous as I find the “Rape…power” shibboleth, I think I understand how it came to be and why people so frequently and fervently throw it around. No one (beyond some kinky fucker or two, perhaps) enjoys being thwarted and overpowered; no one enjoys having their wishes ignored; their will overridden; or being used and discarded like cheap loo roll. All such experiences, however, will be painfully and intimately familiar to a victim of violation.

Poverty and the State Reply

Article by Gary Chartier.
Apologists for the state often suggest that the state is essential if people are to be protected against deprivation resulting from accident, disaster, or injustice. I’m not persuaded that they’re right that state anti-poverty programs are needed to deal with the problem of poverty. The problem of poverty is systemic; but eliminating the systemic injustice of the state (rather than tweaking this or that inequity while leaving others in place) could make the problem of poverty quite manageable in the state’s absence.

For one thing, states don’t treat recipients of the anti-poverty aid they disburse especially well. It’s important to avoid comparing idealized state practice with imaginary worst-case practice in a stateless society. If we focus on actual state practice, we find that poor people are not served particularly well by the state, and that states routinely intrude into the lives of recipients of state assistance, violating people’s privacy and seeking to regulate their behavior. People pay a high price for aid from the state.

In addition, states actively make and keep people poor. Licensing laws, zoning regulations, and similar restrictions make it hard for poor people to enter particular job markets and to operate businesses out of their homes. Without the state to put these kinds of restrictions in place, people would be less likely to be poor.

States also raise the cost of being poor. Building codes and zoning regulations raise the cost of housing, and so make it harder for people to find inexpensive homes. Some people are forced to live without permanent housing at all, while others must spend much larger fractions of their incomes on housing than they otherwise would. Agricultural tariffs raise the cost of food, the most significant portion of anyone’s budget. Without the state to make meeting their basic needs unnecessarily expensive, poor people would have more disposable income and would be more economically secure.

States increase the number of poor people in part precisely through some anti-poverty programs, which can create perverse incentives both for people to remain poor enough to qualify for government funds and for bureaucrats to keep people poor in order to retain their own jobs.

And states actively take money from poor people. Many poor people pay more in taxes than they get back in services under the state’s rule. These people would have more resources, net, in the absence of the state’s demand for tax money. In addition, many people are poor, or poorer, today because the state has actively stolen land and other resources from them or their ancestors or has sanctioned such thefts committed by the wealthy and well connected. The existence of a peasant class and of a class of displaced urban workers willing to accept employment on dismal terms is inexcplicable without reference to state violence or state tolerance for or endorsement of violence by the wealthy and well connected.

Further, support for poverty relief doesn’t just come from tax funds now, and there’s no reason to think no one would support poverty relief efforts absent the state. People give money to charitable causes over and above their tax bills today, despite the huge sums the state claims. There’s no reason to think they wouldn’t do so in a stateless society. It is naïve to suppose that the wealthy and powerful are opposed to state funding for services to the poor at present; the poor have far less clout than do the wealthy and powerful, and yet the state provides minimal services for poor people. There is no reason to suppose that wealthy and well connected people willing to see the state spend their tax money to support services for the poor would be dramatically less willing to contribute to the support of such services without the state. (Why do people give money to good causes, including voluntary programs that help the poor? Why do wealthy and well connected people endorse state spending on programs that provide services to poor people. Presumably for a combination of reasons, including [in no particular order] compassion, social norms, the desire for good reputations, the desire to avoid bad reputations, and the desire to avoid social disorder. All of these reasons would be operative in a stateless society.)

Hypocrites, Left and Right Reply

Article by Justin Raimondo.
I love hate to say I told you so, but not that much. Human Rights Watch reports that forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi are not systematically slaughtering civilians, but are targeting the rebels. Civilians caught in the crossfire account for noncombatant deaths, and the numbers are rising: but this isn’t genocide. Furthermore, as I maintained from the beginning, there was never any credible evidence that Gadhafi was planning any such wholesale slaughter. Indeed, the NATO alliance has recently felt moved to warn the rebels not to target civilians.

The news that we have been lied into war yet again should hardly come as a shock. After all, our two-party system means that the different parties take turns doing the same thing. Yes, but how could the American public fall for it so soon after the Iraq debacle? Easy: you only have to fool some of the people most of the time, and with the Democrats in office, it’s their turn to put one over on a different audience, their “progressive” base.

They’ve done a good job of it, so far: Kevin Drum, blogger-in-chief over at Mother Jones, has announced he’s giving up making his own judgments, because he trusts the Dear Leader to make them for him, and Ed What’s-his-name of MSNBC’s The Ed Show is hard-selling the Kool-Aid to his fellow Obama cultists, bellowing and waving his arms about in a frenzy of war-cries. This is Obama’s first overseas intervention that wasn’t inherited from his predecessor, and if any significant portion of the progressive coalition that elected him is opposed, then they are keeping it under wraps, at least for now.

As for the Republicans, there is some grumbling in the ranks, led by Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky). The libertarian Republican’s resolution reminding the President of his previous opposition to military adventures not authorized by Congress attracted a baker’s dozen of Republicans – and not a single Democratic vote. (For shame, Barbara Boxer.)

In any case, it’s not necessary to pull the wool over the eyes of the Republican leadership, and much of their base: duped by George W. Bush and the neocon coterie that lied us into the Iraq war, they have stayed duped. The only criticism of the Libyan adventure coming from those quarters are complaints we didn’t intervene soon enough, and that we’re pulling our punches.

The President knows he can get away with anything as long as he protects the real economic interests of his coalition.

White Bourgeois Feminism in Black Face 2

Article by Lamara Perry.
For the past six weeks I have developed a close relationship with the topic of oppression through race, gende, and economic disenfranchisement, specifically within the framework of the United States.

Although the exploitation of black women is not a newly discovered reality, this course was quite unique given the exploration of this focus through the narrowed scope of Black Feminist thought.

Before denouncing the child of white bourgeois idealists, it became necessary, as an African woman, to understand this matter that I have been informed, through this particular stream of thought, speaks solely to my experience as a black woman.

Black women continue to be impacted through several intersections of oppression, which have been accompanied with severe acts of violence.

Black Feminists struggle against this reality by placing black women at the center of discussion in hopes that by freeing what they attribute to be the most oppressed group within the black nation that all will ultimately share in this liberation.

While this expression may seem tempting, I have found various contradictions within this professed road to freedom.

As an African Internationalist, I align myself with the oppressed people of the world who continue to be assaulted by imperialism and subsequently, another western construction; capitalism.

This system, which operates solely provided the disenfranchisement of a given group, historically has utilized African people to literally pump blood, sweat, and resources into the building of European empires.

As white feminist have failed to acknowledge these contradictions due to their allegiance to a structure that privileges their whiteness above all else, black feminist indeed tackle questions of imperialism and capitalism, but they do so as other examples of oppression.

Free the MOVE 9 Now!!! Reply

Article by Ramona Africa. The MOVE sect has been relentlessly persecuted by the state for decades.
ONA MOVE! The MOVE Organization wants the press to know that this year marks twenty-six years since the bombing and murder of our innocent family members.

This year also marks thirty-three years of unjust imprisonment for our family members known as The MOVE 9. We have never and will never stop working for the release of our family.

While we will never let people forget the massacre of our family in 1985, our priority right now is to gain the release of our innocent family members.

Officials cannot give us back our family members that they murdered, but they can give us back our innocent family members that remain in prison despite their innocence.

Judge Edwin Malmed, the trial judge, admitted publicly on the Irv Homer radio talk show that he didn’t have “the faintest idea” who killed officer James Ramp on August 8, 1978, after he (not a jury) convicted and sentenced our nine family members to thirty to one-hundred years in prison.

After serving their minimum sentences and being recommended for parole by prison officials, the parole board has repeatedly denied MOVE people parole because they won’t lie and say they are guilty when they are in fact innocent.

We will be at Broad & Chestnut St. from 12:00pm til 3:00pm on Saturday May 14. We will be showing the documentary film on the August 8, 1978 police attack on MOVE on the evening of Friday May 13. We’ll announce the place shortly.

If this injustice is not newsworthy, important to you, then ask yourself if you would feel that way if you were innocent and spent thirty-three years in prison.

If you have any questions or would like to do an interview you can contact me at this email address or call me at 215 386-1165–ONA MOVE, Ramona Africa for The MOVE Organization.