Left-Libertarians vs Friedman Reply

As one who is neither a left-libertarian nor a Friedmanite, I found this exchange somewhat interesting.

I find class analysis far too useful and illuminating to be tempted by Friedman’s proposed solution, but I think he has put his finger in a genuine problem: how exactly are we to identify the ruling and ruled classes? We cannot merely identify them as those who on balance benefit or lose out from the existing system, because it might well be that everyone loses out.

Here’s a first stab: the test of whether one is in the ruling class or the ruled class is not whether one is better or worse off (either subjectively or objectively) than one would be without the system, but rather something like this: where there are two groups A and B, and A occupies a superior socioeconomic position relative to B, and A owes its superior socioeconomic position non-accidentally to the systematic exploitation and/or oppression of B, then A is the ruling and B the ruled class, even if A and B would both be better off than they are now without the exploitation/oppression.

I wanted to capture, first, the idea that what matters is relative rather than absolute position, and second, that the ruling group wins out at the expense of the ruled group.

On the other hand, I’m a bit uncomfortable with the idea that everyone in the ruling group has to be wealthier than everyone in the ruled group; that seems wrong. Obviously “non-accidentally” would need to be filled in too. It surely needs fixing in other ways as well; consider it a first draft, and I want to turn it over to more minds. Suggestions?

How to "Ban" Nuclear Power Reply

Article by Kevin Carson.

So given the high stakes of a nuclear meltdown, and the manifest inability of planners to anticipate what might go wrong, it would make sense to ban nuclear power, right?

Well, the actual problem is that governments worldwide have been actively intervening for decades to prevent the market from banning nuclear power. Precisely because the stakes are so high and there’s so much room for unforeseen things to go wrong, nuclear power is uninsurable on the private market.

So, under the terms of the Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act, the US nuclear industry bears the cost of insuring itself against liability only up to a small fraction of the damages that could result from a disaster like that currently underway in Japan. Above that amount the taxpayers are required to assume liability up to a higher level — which is still far less than the harm which could result from a full-scale meltdown. So if a reactor melts down, blanketing a thousand square miles around a major city with fallout and causing hundreds of billions in damages, the victims are pretty much S.O.L. (simply out of luck).

Legislative caps on liability far, far below the actual damages that would likely result … sound familiar? Here’s a hint: It starts with B, and ends with P.

In fact the liability issue is only one facet of a much larger theme: Nuclear power is a virtual creature of the government. The nuclear industry grew directly out of the US “Defense” Department’s nuclear weapons programs, and the first reactors were built as an offshoot of military production. A major portion of the cost of just about every single step in the nuclear power production chain, from the federal government providing preferential access to government land and building access roads at taxpayer expense for uranium mines, to the above-mentioned assumption and capping of liability, to taxpayer-funded storage of nuclear waste, shows up on your tax bill rather than on your electric bill.

A Tea Party Defense Budget Reply

Article by Bill Lind.

Bean-counting won’t do the job. For meaningful savings, we must begin by changing our grand strategy, which presently defines virtually everything that happens in the world as an American interest. Against the Founders’ advice, we are not only playing the great power game, we are attempting to be the globe’s dominant power.

In consequence, America does not today have a defense budget. It has an empire budget—perhaps the Tea Party should call it that. Derailing the neocons’ (and neolibs’) imperial ambitions and returning to the defensive grand strategy America followed through most of her history would save not tens but hundreds of billions of dollars.

We would no longer need a 3:1 “rotation base” for forward-deployed forces because we would no longer have forward-deployed forces. More important, we would have fewer enemies because we would not be inserting our nose into everyone else’s quarrels. That is true national security: reducing the threat by not posing a threat.

A second large tranche of savings would come from designing and equipping our forces for tomorrow’s wars—those that are forced upon us—not yesterday’s. Almost all the ships, planes, and weapons we are buying are designed for conflicts against other states. They are useless or worse for Fourth Generation wars against non-state opponents. Why do we need the F-22 and F-35 fighter aircraft? To shoot down Taliban flying carpets.

Canceling the programs—not just reducing the buys—would save tens of billions now and later. (The more complex the system, the higher its maintenance costs.)

The Pentagon will howl, “How can you be certain we won’t fight other states?” It will furiously puff the dragon—the “Chinese threat.”

The answer, again, is strategic. We refuse to plan for wars against other states, including China, because the real winners are likely to be the 21st century’s main danger, nonstate elements. The defeated state in a war between nations is likely to collapse, like Iraq, creating a Petri dish for nonstate entities. If the price of victory is too high, the winner may go the same route. Our strategic preference, in a time when the main division will be between centers of order and centers of disorder, should be for strong, orderly states, including China.

Ethnoburbs Overtake California Reply

Article by Tim Dionisopoulos

An interesting article was recently published in the New York Times by Timothy Egan about the burgeoning phenomenon of ethnically homogeneous, non white, counties and suburban cities that are sprouting up across the country. A primarily West Coast phenomenon, sociologists have termed these new areas “ethnoburbs” , with Egan inferring that they will become a new political force once electoral redistricting after the 2010 census takes place.

Just in case you were wondering where Egan’s political sympathies lie, he makes sure to alert us that this phenomenon is okay because white Americans at one time were also evil separatists with their own ethnic interests.

“As a general rule, I don’t think it’s good for any democracy to see itself, much less vote, strictly along ethnic lines. But the arc of American history is encouraging on this count. What were the suburbs of the 1950s and 1960s, especially in California, but all-white ethnoburbs?”

Have no fear, once we forget our traditions and folkways, we all become happy blue jean wearing, hamburger eating, TV addicted, true Uhhmericans.

“Immigrants start out seeing the world through the lens of their parents, then move on to a broader view. Those Little Italys, Germantowns and Gaelic-speaking neighborhoods have largely disappeared. The diasporas have spread and diffused, coming together around a dish or drink or sainted holiday, with gauzy recollections of a past when they were kicked around and shunned.”

Considering that most of the areas mentioned are primarily Asian and Hispanic in composition, one can only imagine that the national question on immigration is going to become increasingly more important in the coming decade.

Diversity, An Ally of Tyranny Reply

Article by Kevin DeAnna.

Hisham Melham writes in Foreign Policy that the Arab Revolutions are meeting more resistance. Autocratic rulers are using the heterogenous nature of the societies they lead to divide the opposition and frustrate any plans for reform.

In homogeneous societies it is relatively easier for an opposition or a reform movement to articulate and agree on a set of grievances and political demands. It is more difficult to do so in heterogeneous societies, where the various groups have different pressing priorities and different visions about their society and the future. Also, it is easier for the rulers in heterogeneous countries to dilute and undermine demands for political change and reform by exploiting the various cleavages that exist in their societies.

It should be noted that Melham believes that Egypt is an example of a country with a strong national identity that can unite both Muslims and Coptic Christians. Recent events suggest that the religious divide is beginning to become more apparent in that country as well.

The Truthful Helen Thomas 1

Article from World Net Daily.

Helen Thomas, the former “dean” of the White House Press Corps who lost her position over a string of anti-Semitic comments, is interviewed in the April issue of Playboy, renewing her criticism of Israel and Jews in “control” of America.

“[The Jews are] using their power, and they have power in every direction … power over the White House, power over Congress,” Thomas told Playboy Contributing Editor David Hochman. “Everybody is in the pocket of the Israeli lobbies, which are funded by wealthy supporters, including those from Hollywood. Same thing with the financial markets. There’s total control.

“It’s real power when you own the White House, when you own these other places in terms of your political persuasion. Of course they have power,” Thomas continued, then addressed Hochman: “You don’t deny that. You’re Jewish, aren’t you?”

The 90-year-old journalist was a correspondent with United Press International for 57 years, an opinion columnist with Hearst Newspapers for 10 years and the senior White House reporter, covering every president since Eisenhower, until damaging comments last year pushed her to retirement.

Thomas resigned in June after telling a rabbi on camera that Israelis should “get the h— out of Palestine” and “go home” to “Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else.”

(Story continues below)

Though Thomas published an apology for her statements last year, writing, “I deeply regret my comments,” Thomas expressed a different sentiment in her interview with Playboy:

“I knew exactly what I was doing – I was going for broke. I had reached the point of no return. You finally get fed up,” she told the magazine. “I finally wanted to speak the truth.”

Part of that “truth,” Thomas told Playboy, is her claim that Israel is perpetuating its people’s victim-of-the-Holocaust status to escape criticism over wrongdoing against the Palestinians.

“The slaughter of Jews stopped with World War II. … They were liberated since then. And yet they carry on the victimization,” Thomas told the magazine. “American people do not know that the Israeli lobbyists have intimidated them into believing every Jew is a persecuted victim forever – while they are victimizing Palestinians.”

She continued, “Sure, the Israelis have a right to exist – but where they were born, not to come and take someone else’s home. I’ve had it up to here with the violations against the Palestinians. … [The Palestinians] are incarcerated and living in an open prison. I say to the Israelis, ‘Get out of people’s homes!’ … I mean, they’re living there and these people want to come and take their homes and land and water and kill their children and kill them.”

Still, Thomas insists, she doesn’t hold any hatred for the Jewish people.

“Oh, I know what they’re going to say: ‘anti-Semite.’… The truth is, I don’t hate anybody. I care deeply about people. I care for the poor, the sick, the lame, the harmed, those who’ve been treated unjustly,” she told Playboy. “I think [the Jews] are wonderful people. They had to have the most depth. They were leaders in civil rights. They’ve always had the heart for others but not for Arabs, for some reason.

“I’m not anti-Jewish,” she explained, “I’m anti-Zionist.”

Thomas, therefore, explains why she blames Israelis for Palestinian terror attacks:

“Of course I don’t condone any violence against anyone. But who wouldn’t fight for their country? What would any American do if their land was being taken? Remember Pearl Harbor,” Thomas told Playboy. “The Palestinian violence is to protect what little remains of Palestine. The suicide bombers act out of despair and desperation. Three generations of Palestinians have been forced out of their homes – by Israelis – and into refugee camps.”

 

Support Bradley Manning Reply

Mike Gogulski interviewed by Scott Horton.

Mike Gogulski, founder of the Bradley Manning Support Network, discusses the myriad events going on this weekend (March 19-20) in support of Bradley Manning; Obama’s decision to rely on Pentagon assurances that Manning was being appropriately treated in custody – after (former) State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley forced the issue; the mainstream media’s broad objection to Manning’s forced nudity and other degradations; and the incredible WikiLeaks revelations that have shaken corrupt governments the world over.

Mike Gogulski is the founder of the BradleyManning.org website.

US Makes War on Another Muslim Country With Oil Reply

Article by Lew Rockwell.

For weeks, American officials have been decrying Gaddafi’s bloody attacks on his people, but does the US really have a problem with dictatorship of his sort? This fact is unknown to Americans, but in the Middle East, and in Arab nations in particular, American commercial interests are regarded as a force for liberation but not the US government. The US has been the key to the power of Middle East dictatorships for decades, among which are Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Yemen. I leave aside the killing of hundreds of thousands of Iaqi civilians to liberate them.

So it is something of a joke that the US would push a war against Libya in order to save that country from dictatorship. More likely, the real issue here is the same one that inspired the wars against Iraq: the ownership and control of the oil. And even if freedom were the driving motivation, when in modern history has war ever actually brought that to people? All war by nation states today ends in massive civilian deaths, destruction of infrastructure, political upheaval without end (see Afghanistan and Iraq), vast expense, and bitterness all around.

War will not achieve its claimed objective. It might even end up entrenching Gaddafi’s power. But let’s say that he ends up dead, like Saddam Hussein. What then? The new government will be handpicked by the victor, and never gain any credibility, just as in Iraq. People resent foreign conquerors even more than local despots, and this resentment is not a good foundation for a future of liberty.

President Obama probably looks at the prospect of war rather lustily, just as Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, et al. did before him. But this time, there is a problem. The US simply cannot afford to be seen as attacking yet another Muslim country, though that is what it is doing, at a time when all the world knows that US foreign policy is primarily based on whipping up anti-Islamic feelings the world over, and taking over the oil.

For this reason, the Obama administration must seek the cover of the UN and the cooperation of other Arab states. England and France have been reliable, but not Germany and not other Arab states, so the operation could end up more tricky than he initially supposed.

US Should End Relationship with Conspiring Israel Reply

by Ian Huyett

http://www.kstatecollegian.com/opinion/us-should-end-relationship-with-conspiring-israel-1.2516462

In 2005, Israeli President Moshe Katsav publically honored nine Jewish terrorists. In a televised ceremony, the terrorists were celebrated for bombing American embassy buildings in Egypt with nitroglycerine and acid. Israel, which had denied its involvement in the attacks for decades, was now openly boasting that it attempted to butcher American diplomats in a false flag attack.

According to a March 30, 2005, Reuters article, Operation Susannah, known as the Lavon Affair after Israeli Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon, was intended to trick America into a war with Egypt. In other words, Israel’s government ordered the attacks because it saw America as a useful tool it could manipulate to serve its own ends.

Imagine the backlash if any other nation, especially an ostensibly close ally, had shamelessly lionized anti-American terrorists. If the Queen of England had conferred honorary knighthood upon Osama bin Laden, it would create a rift that might never heal. Israel, on the other hand, can openly commend terrorist bombings and get a free pass from journalists like Wolf Blitzer, a former employee of Israel’s lobby in Washington. The ceremony was conveniently ignored by the mainstream media in the United States.

From Deir Yassin to Sabra and Shatila, Israel has repeatedly conducted grotesque mass slaughters to terrorize its enemies; the Lavon Affair is not the only time America has been the target. In 1967, Israeli planes and torpedo boats savagely ambushed the USS Liberty in international waters after following it for more than nine hours. A large American flag did not stop Israeli rockets and napalm from meticulously obliterating 34 American soldiers. Israeli boats even fired on life rafts to drown servicemen trying to escape the doomed ship.

Israel’s influence over our government is such that American rescue aircraft were recalled by the White House before they arrived at the scene of the attack. The Moorer Commission reports that surviving crewmen were threatened with “court-martial” or “imprisonment” if they told their stories publically. Although the committee of admirals, generals and diplomats found “compelling evidence that Israel’s attack was a deliberate attempt to destroy an American ship and kill her entire crew,” the assault remains the only maritime incident in history where the deaths of American forces were not investigated by Congress.

For decades, Israel has conducted a massive campaign of espionage against the U.S., according to a June 2, 2008, column in The American Conservative. The General Accounting Office reported that “Israel conducts the most aggressive espionage operation against the United States of any U.S. ally.” The Office of Naval Investigations caught Israel selling American military technology to China at least twice, in 1996 and again in 2000.

It’s no secret that Israel, by far, is the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid. Over 8.2 million American tax dollars are sent to Israel on a daily basis, accounting for a total of over $140 billion, according to Congressional Research Service’s “US Foreign Aid to Israel.” Every time Israel’s military demolishes Palestinian homes, deploys chemical weapons against civilians or shoots children at close range, as documented in Amnesty International’s “Cast Lead” report, it incurs needless hatred against the U.S.

Why do we continue to support a country that has done nothing but betray and subvert us at every turn? Political correctness enables groups like the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center to shut down debate by labeling anyone who criticizes Israel as “anti-Semitic.” Israel’s lobby, The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, was ranked as the second most powerful interest group in Washington by both a 1997 Fortune survey and a 2005 National Journal study.

Our nation was founded by independence fighters who rejected foreign entanglement. I doubt they’d be happy to hear that one of the most powerful political forces in Washington is a foreign country, let alone one that has repeatedly attacked the U.S.

Our relationship with Israel is not an alliance. Where an alliance benefits both parties involved, our unconditional support of Israel consistently benefits only Israel at our expense. It’s time for Americans to bring it to an end.

Welcome to Debtors Prison, 2011 Edition Reply

Article from The Wall Street Journal

Some lawmakers, judges and regulators are trying to rein in the U.S. debt-collection industry’s use of arrest warrants to recoup money owed by borrowers who are behind on credit-card payments, auto loans and other bills.

More than a third of all U.S. states allow borrowers who can’t or won’t pay to be jailed. Judges have signed off on more than 5,000 such warrants since the start of 2010 in nine counties with a total population of 13.6 million people, according to a tally by The Wall Street Journal of filings in those counties. Nationwide figures aren’t known because many courts don’t keep track of warrants by alleged offense. In interviews, 20 judges across the nation said the number of borrowers threatened with arrest in their courtrooms has surged since the financial crisis began.

The backlash is a reaction to sloppy, incomplete or even false documentation that can result in borrowers having no idea before being locked up that they were sued to collect an outstanding debt. The debt-collection industry says such errors are extremely rare, adding that warrants usually are sought only after all other efforts to persuade borrowers to pay have failed.

U.N. Okays Military Action on Libya Reply

It looks like the U.S. may be getting into a war in yet another Middle Eastern country. The good news is that this will only hasten the empire’s demise due to imperial overstretch. Read the Reuters report.

French diplomatic sources said military action could come within hours, and could include France, Britain and possibly the United States and one or more Arab states; but a U.S. military official said no immediate U.S. action was expected following the vote.

Ten of the Council’s 15 member states voted in favour of the resolution, with Russia, China and Germany among the five that abstained. There were no votes against the resolution, which was co-sponsored by France, Britain, Lebanon and the United States.

Rebel National Council head Mustafa Abdel Jalil told Al Jazeera television air strikes were essential to stop Gaddafi.

“We stand on firm ground. We will not be intimidated by these lies and claims… We will not settle for anything but liberation from this regime.”

It was unclear if Gaddafi’s threat to seize the city in the night was anything more than bluster. But at the very least it increased the sense that a decisive moment had come in an uprising that only months ago had seemed inconceivable.

Food prices increase most in 36 years Reply

Report from CBS News.

Wholesale prices jumped last month by the most in nearly two years due to higher energy costs and the steepest rise in food prices in 36 years. Excluding those volatile categories, inflation was tame.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that the Producer Price Index rose a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent in February double the 0.8 percent rise in the previous month. Outside of food and energy costs, the core index ticked up 0.2 percent, less than January’s 0.5 percent rise.

Food prices soared 3.9 percent last month, the biggest gain since November 1974. Most of that increase was due to a sharp rise in vegetable costs, which increased nearly 50 percent. That was the most in almost a year. Meat and dairy products also rose.

Energy prices rose 3.3 percent last month, led by a 3.7 percent increase in gasoline costs.

Separately, the Commerce Department said home construction plunged to a seasonally adjusted 479,000 homes last month, down 22.5 percent from the previous month. It was lowest level since April 2009, and the second-lowest on records dating back more than a half-century.

The building pace is far below the 1.2 million units a year that economists consider healthy.

There was little sign of inflationary pressures outside of food and energy. Core prices have increased 1.8 percent in the past 12 months.

U.S. Jews Can Dissent From "Leaders" Reply

Article by Jack Ross.

On March 11-13, a small conference of around 200 gathered on the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia with potential significance extending far beyond its modest attendance. This was the national membership meeting of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a group founded in San Francisco in 1996 that, in the wake of the siege of Gaza in late 2008, has aggressively grown into a national organization with 27 local chapters and seven full time staff.

The meeting and its discussions were closed to the press (though this writer was in attendance), but this only highlights the newsworthiness of the meeting in itself. Late last year, the Anti-Defamation League named JVP on a list it released of the “Top Ten Anti-Israel Groups in America,” and since then well-known members of the group have in some cases been met with violence or threats of violence, particularly on the west coast, and lesser forms of intimidation from various Jewish community leaders.

The furor with which JVP is greeted by the official Jewish community centers largely around the group’s outspoken identification with the movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against the Israeli occupation (increasingly known by the acronym “BDS”). There have been principled objections to this movement from some who cannot be accused of being apologists for Israel. Michael Desch wrote a penetrating critique of the movement and its effectiveness for The American Conservative in the spring of 2010, and among those who were quoted approvingly in that article was Rabbi Arthur Waskow.

Libya: Another Unnecessary War of Choice Reply

Article by Doug Bandow.

Obviously, there are times when war is tragically necessary. That is not the case in Libya.

Even in better economic times, Washington cannot afford to police the world. With a $1.65 trillion deficit this year, trillions of dollars in red ink expected in coming decades, and over $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities piled high, the U.S. government needs to relearn humility in foreign policy, as candidate George W. Bush argued so very long ago.

More fundamentally, the lives and treasure of Americans, especially those in the armed forces, should not be risked without something important at stake for their own society. Military personnel are not gambit pawns to be sacrificed in some global chess game played by ivory tower warriors. For good reason nearly two-thirds of Americans say they want to stay out of Libya.

We should wish the Libyan people well. But their war is not our war. And military intervention risks their future. Wrote Gideon Rachman in the Financial Times: “in the long-run, it would damage the only real chance for lasting peace and stability in the region–the hope that the future of the Middle East will now be determined by ordinary citizens, rather than by local dictators or outside powers.”

President Bush’s militaristic agenda was never necessary. Democracy is spreading in spite of catastrophic policy failure in Iraq. Andrew Bacevich of Boston University noted in the Cleveland Plain Dealer that, “by liberating themselves, [the Muslim masses] will also liberate us. Our misbegotten crusade to determine their destiny will finally end.” Americans should reject another war of choice in another Muslim nation about which they know nothing.

Clans and Tribal Law 1

Building a de facto Tlingit Nation, Part 3 – Clans and tribal law

by Raven Warrior

http://lingitlatseen.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/building-a-de-facto-tlingit-nation-part-3-clans-and-tribal-law/

In 2 previous posts, I discussed how we can use various Tlingit controlled institutions, municipal governments and ANCSA Corporations, to build a decentralized, de facto Tlingit Nation. Many of the problems our communities face today are the result of a drastic reorganization of Tlingit life, in the political, cultural, and economic realms. We were economically devastated when our territorial clan waters and resources were taken from us. To further the destruction of our clan system, what resources that have been returned to us have by-passed clans and come to us in the form of private property reorganized under ANCSA Corporations. This form of property ownership is alien to the Tlingit people, and our poverty rates and the cost of living in our communities show how devastating this change has been. The American economy largely ignores our communities, and what was once our most valuable resource, salmon, is now controlled by the federal government and is depleted when compared to the runs the Tlingit maintained under our management. The previous posts in this series made the case for:

More…

Independents Pick Charlie Sheen Over Sarah Palin for President Reply

If Charlie Sheen ran for Prez, I might have to rescind my personal “no voting” policy and cast a ballot for him. Hat tip to Maury2K.

http://gawker.com/#!5783033/independents-pick-sheen-over-palin-for-president

We’ve found a lot of brutal poll numbers for Sarah Palin so far in 2011: down in South Dakota, down in South Carolina, down in Arizona, only up by 1 point in Texas, only up by 1 point in Nebraska to name a few. But this has to be the worst- independent voters say they would support Charlie Sheen over Palin for President by a 41/36 margin. Seriously.

Despite her deficit with independents Palin does lead Sheen 49-29 overall. We also tested Barack Obama against Sheen and the President leads 57-24.

Sheen is one of the most unpopular figures we’ve ever polled on. 10% of Americans rate him favorably to 67% with a negative opinion of him. The only people we’ve ever found worse numbers for are Rod Blagojevich in Illinois (an 8/83 favorability spread), Jesse Jackson Jr. in Illinois (a 10/73 favorability), and Levi Johnston in Alaska (a 6/72 favorability). Sheen’s -57 spread ties what we found for John Edwards in North Carolina the last time we polled him (15/72).

Sheen’s unpopularity is pretty universal across party lines so it says something about the level of polarization in the country right now that Democrats would support him by a 44-24 margin for President over Palin and that Republicans would support him 37-28 over Obama. People may not have any respect for Sheen but they still think he’d be a better alternative than their opposing party’s leading figure.

Obviously Charlie Sheen’s not going to run for the White House but the Palin numbers are one of the more interesting benchmarks yet pointing to just how minuscule her chance at the Presidency would be even if she did decide to get into the race.

Seek a Better School? Go to Jail Reply

Our lovely educational system. Hat tip to Raven Warrior.

The Summit County judge who sent an Akron mother to jail after she was convicted of falsifying records so her children could attend Copley-Fairlawn schools said considerable efforts were made to resolve the case before it went to trial.

Common Pleas Judge Patricia A. Cosgrove spoke out after becoming the target of public outcry over the case, which threatens the mother’s job and her hopes to become a school teacher.

Cosgrove said the county prosecutor’s office refused to consider reducing the charges to misdemeanors, and that all closed-door talks to resolve the case — outside of court — met with failure.

Kelley Williams-Bolar, 40, was sentenced Tuesday to 10 days in jail after a jury convicted her of two felony counts of tampering with records.

Fully Taxated Reply

How the tax code really works. Articles by Tom Baugh. Hat tip to Jim Duncan.

Part I

To thrive in any system, you must first recognize the reality of that system, and then act accordingly in order to manipulate its energy to your own purpose. We too often project our own individual decency and honesty onto the current system, and then delude ourselves into thinking that the actors within it are merely misguided, so thwarting its noble purpose. This is yet another dangerous fantasy, right up there with believing the military exists to ensure your liberty, which could get you killed as the wheels start to fall off and the Ruling Class begins to, more and more, express its true nature in its desperation to avoid that fatal (for them) cliff.

To this end, let’s briefly examine the true nature of the tax code, and why and how it performs that necessary function of getting the slaves to enslave both themselves and unwilling others.

First, accept the premise that our system was specifically designed to feed a class of certain very wealthy people. Without this acceptance, you will be continually herded this way and that, expending your righteous anger in fruitless ways. Accept this premise and the clouds will be lifted from your understanding, allowing you to perceive your True Enemies and be thus enabled to one day destroy them corporally and individually. Fail to accept this fact and you deserve your fate at the bottom of the cliff alongside them. Refuse to accept this fact, and I can’t help you, so crawl back into your cage and ready yourself to lick your master’s hand once again with humble servility.

Part II

In the first part of this series, we discussed the reality of the tax code in that it exists to benefit the Ruling Class. The primary means by which the tax code provides this benefit is the obvious one of extracting the wealth necessary to repay public debt to the slave traders. However, as we discussed, the tax code also spares the passive income of the Ruling Class’ compliant servants, while rewarding the lower income levels so that they assist in your enslavement. The only people who actually pay taxes in large amounts are you, the foolishly productive. If you haven’t read that article, please go back and read it now before proceeding: I don’t have space to give the summary justice.

I now repeat an essential point from the previous part: To thrive in any system, you must first recognize the reality of that system, and then act accordingly in order to manipulate its energy to your own purpose. As I have said before, we too often project our own individual decency and honesty onto the current system, and then delude ourselves into thinking that the actors within it are merely misguided, so thwarting its noble purpose. To thrive in this system and not be perpetually frustrated, or worse, you must accept the premise that our system is not fundamentally noble, but was specifically designed to feed a class of certain very wealthy people. Refuse to accept this fact, and I can’t help you.

With that in mind, let me get something out of the way. Everywhere I go I hear different versions of the same theme: “UCC this and UCC that”. I hear this from people who are clearly flakes, and from people whose opinion I respect.

If you accept the previous essential point, you must recognize that rules don’t exist for tyrants, they only exist for you.

Beyond Free Trade Reply

The American Conservative takes on vulgar economism.

Certainly the world looks very different from Tokyo, not least because East Asian leaders are convinced that, in its ever more heedless commitment to laissez faire, the United States is digging its own grave. But of course, East Asians are discreet people and, short of being waterboarded, they are unlikely to ever offer a frank opinion on an American mindset that happens to have done so much to transfer industrial leadership to East Asia.

It has long been obvious to Tokyo-based observers that, where trade is concerned, the world is divided into two economic camps—on the one hand, nations that generally run a trade surplus and on the other those that run chronic deficits. The United States, of course, now ranks as the all-time champion in the latter camp, but it shares its heedlessness with most of the English-speaking world, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, India, and Pakistan.

By contrast, nations that generally run surpluses include not only virtually all of the East Asians, but Germany, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and other rich European nations.

April 2011 coverLargely overlooked in the Anglophone media, the two camps are polar opposites in several policy matters, most obviously their approach to exchange rates. Anglophone nations have generally taken pride in strong—i.e., overvalued—currencies and have rushed to the barricades when threatened with depreciation. (This mindset was epitomized most absurdly by the “defend the pound” antics of a sickly post-imperial Britain in the 1960s and 1970s.) In contrast, the surplus nations have rejoiced in low exchange rates.

To be sure, the United States recently has undergone a partial change of heart with respect to the Chinese yuan. But U.S. policymakers still show little interest in securing competitive exchange rates for their exporters against the Germans, the Japanese, and the Koreans.

The dichotomy in mindset between surplus and deficit nations raises many questions. Why, for instance, do Anglophone economists win so many Nobel Prizes and their peers in such robust surplus nations as Japan, China, Korea, and Germany so few? And, conversely, why are Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and German exporters so much more effective than their American and British counterparts in world markets? The answers will wait for another time, but it is a fair bet that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in American economics textbooks.

Cincinnat PIGS Assault Man Having a Diabetic Attack Reply

Daily business for the police state.

CINCINNATI, OHIO – MARCH 9, 2011 – Prosecutor Deters announced yesterday that no charges will be filed against the Sheriffs who beat John Harmon. John Harmon is African American. John Harmon and his
wife of 25 years owns a printing company in Walnut Hills. John Harmon has raised two college educated children. John Harmon who lives in Anderson Township was beat almost to death in 2009. John Harmon is a
diabetic. He experienced a diabetic attack while driving home. The sheriff pulled him over and within 20 seconds broke the driver side window and tased him 7 times while he sat seat belted in his car. The
officers pulled John Harmon out of his car and stomped him and kicked him to the point that his arm and thumb were broken. It has taken multiple surgeries to put his arm and thumb back together. The only
reason John Harmon is alive is a State Highway Patrol Officer arrived on the scene and pulled the sheriffs off of John Harmon’s lifeless body.
.
John Harmon is a middle class African American man with no contact with the police in his life. John Harmon is a great American. The officers will not be disciplined. The officers are back at work today with full pay. “No African Americans are safe if John Harmon can not drive home without almost being killed. The county has pressed charges against citizens for dog endangerment but find nothing wrong with sworn officers almost killing a man in his own neighborhood,” Christopher Smitherman, president of the Cincinnati NAACP said.

Boorishness as Heresy Reply

The latest from the PC Inquisition and Official Tolerance.

Had a student with more politically correct leanings made a video that resulted in a barrage of death threats, she would be held up as a hero, and there would be a massive nationwide investigation to find those who had made the death threats, as well as a ‘national dialog’ about ‘domestic terrorism’ and harsh scrutiny of the ideology held by those making the death threats. The university president would be actually appalled by the death threats, instead of ‘appalled’ by a person complaining about rude behavior in the campus library.

YWC doesn’t endorse everything Miss Wallace said or the way she said it, but we think the rabid overreacting and death threats are totally uncalled for. This should also not be used as an excuse to impose a fresh round of ‘diversity’ brainwashing for the multicult.

Oh, getting back to the real issue which started all this: any jackass rude and inconsiderate enough to babble loudly on a cell phone in the library during finals week should be immediately expelled and banned from the library, regardless of what country they are from or what language they are speaking.

Yes, Obama Sucks Worse Than Even Bush Himself Reply

This is an extremely important article from David Swanson at Counterpunch.Org, the bastion of the honorable Left (as opposed to the usual kind of Left). I’m reproducing the article here in full. Nor should this be interpreted as softness when it comes to Bush as I support Vincent Bugliosi’s efforts to put Bush and his cronies on trial for war crimes.

http://counterpunch.org/swanson03162011.html

A Call for Resistance
Is Obama Even Worse Than Bush?

By DAVID SWANSON

When I advocated the impeachment of George W. Bush, I did so despite, not because of, all the animosity it fueled among impeachment supporters. I didn’t want retribution. I wanted to deter the continuation and repetition of Bush’s crimes and abuses. Specifically, and by far most importantly — and I said this thousands of times — I wanted to deny all future presidents the powers Bush had grabbed. One-time abuses can be catastrophic, but establishing the power to repeat them can multiply the damage many fold, especially when one of the powers claimed is the power to create new powers.

There’s a common tendency to confuse politics with reality television shows or to imagine that politicians are, even more than fictional heroes, your own personal friends. This tendency is only compounded by the partisan framework in which we are instructed to imagine half the politicians as purely evil and the other half as essentially good. So, let’s be clear. There’s very little question that Barack Obama speaks more eloquently than Bush, and that Obama at times (and more so as a candidate than as a president) expresses far kinder and wiser sentiments than Bush. It seems quite likely to me that had Obama been made president in 2000 he would have done far less damage than Bush by 2008. Obama is probably a fun guy to play basketball with, while Bush might be expected to throw elbows, kick opponents, and pull your shorts down. But I’m interested in something more important than the spectacle of personality here. I think Obama would make a wonderful powerless figurehead, and I dearly wish that were what he was. I think Americans clearly need one.

Three rough ways of looking at a president might be as follows. First, in the unimaginable circumstance in which a president encountered a homeless person on the street, would he invite him to live in the White House, or help him find a home, be nice and give him $1, ignore him, shout at him to get a job, kick him in the guts, or help him into a van and take him off to be tortured? I don’t care about that way of looking at presidents. Second, do the policies the president pursues lead to massive numbers of people becoming homeless or worse? Third, do the policies the president pursues empower all future presidents to make unfathomable numbers of people suffer horribly? My contention is that Obama has not yet done as much damage as Bush in the second view but has, in a certain sense, done worse in the third view.

Richard Nixon’s White House Counsel John Dean, while Bush was president, predicted that Bush’s successor would be one of two things, either the best or the worst president in history. He, or she, would either undo the damage and prosecute the crimes, or protect the criminals and continue the abuses. Obama has protected the criminals, continued many of the abuses, more firmly established the power to commit those abuses, and expanded abusive powers beyond what Bush ever attempted. I’m not trying to quantify and determine whether Obama has grabbed “more” new abusive powers than Bush did. I’m simply pointing out that, as with previous presidents, Obama has retained the powers bequeathed him and added some.

More…