The Day of Freedom Was Not a Far Right Rally Reply

By Andrew Doyle

Spiked Online

f you want to know why the left keeps losing, look no further than the fallout from last Sunday’s ‘Day for Freedom’ march in London. The event was publicised as a protest against the ongoing erosion of free speech in the UK, most notably through the increasingly draconian application of hate-speech laws. The man behind the march was Tommy Robinson, former leader of the EDL, who took umbrage at being permanently banned from Twitter for his incendiary remarks about Islam. Before long, a number of prominent right-wing activists offered their support, and even without mainstream media coverage the attendance figures were in the thousands.

How is it that the principle of free speech, the bedrock of any democratic society, has been claimed by the right?  Inevitably, right-wing media outlets such as Breitbart have declared the ‘Day for Freedom’ to be their victory. To an extent, they have a point. In recent years, the left has not only failed to defend freedom of expression, but has been actively hostile to it. Moreover, prominent left-wing voices have continually sought to broaden the scope of terms such as ‘far right’ and ‘alt-right’ to incorporate as many of their ideological opponents as possible. I can think of no strategy less likely to persuade and more likely to engender widespread resentment.

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Day for Freedom: An Insider’s View 1

A first person account of Sunday’s rally in London.

Millennial Transmissions

On May 6th, what was purported to be the biggest free speech event the UK has ever seen (a “free speech Woodstock”) took place outside of Whitehall. Far left activists and the mainstream media have labelled the demonstration as “fascist” and “far right” respectively, while alt-right white nationalist figures like Millennial Woes and Richard Spencer have disavowed the event as being “demoralising” and overly-liberal for being too inclusive of non-whites, homosexuals, “freaks” and “trannies.” But how was the view from inside?

The event was triggered by a collision of illiberal decisions made by the British state, especially over the last year. Non-violent right-wing speakers banned from the country on the ludicrous grounds of “anti-terrorism,” a legal crackdown on “offensive” jokes, extremely inconsistent application of “hate speech laws” (that, according to many people associated with the event, is disproportionately invoked to defend Islam from vilification) and what is perceived as a willful ignorance of pressing problems concerning crime, censorship, media bias, immigration and Islam (the last of which was especially prevalent, which we shall return to in due course) by the government and establishment media.

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FOSTA and the Federal Seizure of Backpage.com Reply

The state always needs a moral panic to justify the expansion of its own power. Gay rights are now mainstream, marijuana legalization is moving rapidly, sanctuary cities are resisting immigration enforcement, skepticism of the drug war is growing, support for criminal justice reform is expanding, and protests against police brutality are now common. In other words, the state is losing many of its tools for self-expansion. This is one reason why political correctness is increasingly becoming incorporated into the state’s ideological framework, and why we are likely to see “traditional” cultural groups (i.e. gun owners, religious traditionalists, conservative whites, etc). becoming increasingly under attack in the future.  However, the Red Tribe continues to be a major player in US politics, and currently controls all three branches of the federal government, plus a majority of state governments, even if the Red Tribe is losing ground and does not reflect majority opinion per se. Therefore, the state needs yet another target. Just in the nick of time, here comes hysteria over sex trafficking. Sex trafficking hysteria is becoming the new war on drugs, with the predictable bipartisan enthusiasm in the mainstream, and acquiescence on the part of much of the Left, as there was with the war on drugs. In the future, there will be a sex workers rights movement similar to the gay rights and marijuana legalization movements.

Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Cato Institute

Listen here.

Fentanyl, Mandatory Minimums and the Death Penalty: Trump’s War on Drugs Reply

This would seem to go against the general trend toward marijuana legalization, skepticism of the “war on drugs” and support for “criminal justice reform” generally. It’s also interesting how after 50 years of the “war on drugs,” there are now more drugs, more powerful drugs, and more drug overdoses than ever before. In the future, the Trump era will probably be regarded as Reagan-era “conservatism”‘s last stand.

By Matt Laslo

Rolling Stone

Don’t let all the chaos and scandals of the Trump administration distract you from one of their most stunning successes: They’ve utterly changed the conversation in Washington when it comes to drug crimes. While a few prominent voices on Capitol Hill continue to call for doing away with mandatory minimum prison sentences, there’s a new bill being pushed by top Trump allies inside the Capitol to actually extend mandatory minimums to more fentanyl dealers and to eventually even apply the death penalty in some cases.

“It’s not just that it’s so potent, but it’s also that it’s so concentrated. So, it poses a unique risk in the way that other drugs do not,” Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) told reporters when he unveiled his bill at the Capitol.

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Sex ads website Backpage shut down by U.S. authorities Reply

It is interesting how the state always seeks to capitalize on whatever moral panics are going on at the present time. The biggest moral panics at present are arguably illegal immigration (for the Red Tribe), guns (for the Blue Tribe), opioids and “sex trafficking” (for both tribes). Immigrants are generally included under the umbrella of the Blue Tribe, and gun owners under the umbrella of the Red Tribe, and therefore have certain shields available. But drug users (except pot heads) and sex workers are not included in either tribe and therefore among the most easy targets for the state.

By Sarah N. Lynch, Lisa Lambert

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. law enforcement agencies have seized the sex marketplace website Backpage.com as part of an enforcement action by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to a posting on the Backpage website on Friday.

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The Trump Administration’s Death Penalty Daydream Reply

I suspect Trump and Sessions’ latest efforts to throw a bone to their redneck “base” will likely fail, and potentially backfire given that the general trend is toward liberalization of both drug and criminal  justice police.

By Matt Ford

The New Republic

In a speech Monday in Manchester, New Hampshire, President Donald Trump enthusiastically backed capital punishment as a tool to fight the opioid epidemic. “If we don’t get tough on the drug dealers, we are wasting our time,” he said. “And that toughness includes the death penalty.” Now, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is trying to put Trump’s call into practice.

In one-page memo dated Tuesday, Sessions instructed U.S. attorneys nationwide to be more aggressive when prosecuting any drug-related crimes. In addition to the usual tools available to federal prosecutors, he urged them to consider “the pursuit of capital punishment in appropriate cases.” To that end, he noted a few specific federal offenses where Congress already authorized the death penalty as a punishment.

“I strongly encourage federal prosecutors to use these statutes, when appropriate, to aid in our continuing fight against drug trafficking and the destruction it causes,” Sessions wrote.

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Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner Promised a Criminal Justice Revolution. He’s Exceeding Expectations. Reply

An interesting example of modest but potentially genuine reform from “within the system.”

By Shaun King

The Intercept

When lifelong civil rights attorney Larry Krasner was elected in a landslide this past November to become the new district attorney of Philadelphia, to say that his fans and supporters had high hopes would be an understatement. Anything less than a complete revolution that tore down the bigoted and patently unfair systems of mass incarceration would be a severe disappointment.

Across the country, talking the talk of criminal justice reform has gotten many people elected as DA. Once in office, their reforms have often been painfully slow and disappointing. Krasner was the first candidate elected who publicly committed not just to intermittent changes, but a radical overhaul.

So far, having been in office less than three months, he has exceeded expectations. He’s doing something I’ve never quite seen before in present-day politics: Larry Krasner’s keeping his word — and it’s a sight to behold.

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Robert Stark talks to Keith Preston about The Geek Squad & Corporate Surveillance State Collusion Reply

Stark Truth Radio. Listen here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics:

FBI Paid Best Buy’s Geek Squad to Spy on Customer Devices who are Passing over User Data
Violations of the 4th Amendment which prohibits warrant-less searches based on no probably cause
Farming out state repression to the private sector as a way to get around the 4th Amendment
Motivations for informants to plant contraband
The potential use of these tactics for political oppression
Government surveillance powers over the internet
Internet Censorship and applying the 1st Amendment to Corporations
How the Left has abandoned Freedom of Speech in favor of the Social Justice paradigm
The Left’s support for the Federalization of the Police
How the Police State is now impacting the middle class
Jeff Session’s stances on civil liberties and his lawsuit over California’s Sanctuary State Status
Calexit, it’s legitimacy based on electing a new people, and the New California Movement
Trump’s foreign policy, tariffs, and his upcoming meeting with Kim Jong Un

Origins of the police – David Whitehouse 2

How we got into this mess.

LibCom.Org

MISES UK Conference 2018 – Introductory remarks, Keir Martland Reply

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said of the Government’s planned ‘Extremism Disruption Orders’, that they will go “beyond terrorism” and “eliminate extremism in all its forms.” The Government has said that these Extremism Disruption Orders will be introduced to tackle “harmful activities” of “extremist individuals” who “spread hate” but do not “break laws.”…

Is America Becoming a Police State? The Disturbing Questions of ‘Do Not Resist’ Reply

Duh? To ask the question is to answer it. This appears to be an interesting and generally unbiased documentary made by the son of a SWAT team commander. This is the single most important domestic issue in the United States at present, and one that transcends the usual boundaries of ideology, class, race, culture, religion, geography, etc. It is also true that the police state exists at every level, from localized municipal police and sheriff’s departments to state police agencies to corrections officials to federal law enforcement and homeland security agencies. There are presently about 1.5 million law enforcement agents in the United States, essentially an occupational army representing an imperialist plutocratic regime. Regrettably, there is virtually no opposition to the police state at present with the possible exception of very marginal groups such as the sovereign citizens. Even supposed anti-police state tendencies such as Black Lives Matter are just as likely to call for greater federal control over local police ostensibly for the purpose of enforcing civil rights, i.e. putting the mouse in charge of the cheese or the fox in charge of the chicken coop).

By Lloyd Grove

The Daily Beast

Documentary filmmaker Craig Atkinson wants everyone to know he doesn’t hate cops.

Far from it—he’s the loving son of a cop.

My perception of law enforcement was always very favorable—and I still have a favorable opinion of police officers,” he told The Daily Beast. “I have great respect for my father. Growing up, I had a very biased view of my dad as an officer, and I knew he had a great deal of integrity as an individual. I assumed that all police officers operated in the same way he did.”

Yet Atkinson’s new movie, Do Not Resist—opening Friday at New York’s Film Forum and later nationwide—shows that actually they don’t. It depicts local police departments deploying military-grade equipment, in many cases armored vehicles gifted by the Homeland Security and Defense departments direct from Iraq and Afghanistan, while using brute force to control, and occasionally abuse, economically depressed minority communities.

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Even Republican Luminaries Admit the Police State is a Problem Reply

This would be comical if it wasn’t so pathetic. A coalition of Republican luminaries admits that the police state and its related features are actually a problem. The list of signatories to this group’s manifesto includes many who were involved in creating the police state in the first place. The monster they helped create is now coming back to actually attack those whom they like rather than those whom they hate.

Right on Crime

THE ISSUE. Thousands of harmless activities are now classified as crimes in the United States. These are not typical common law crimes such as murder, rape, or theft.  Instead they encompass a series of business activities such as importing orchids without the proper paperwork, shipping lobster tails in plastic bags, and even failing to return a library book.  There are over 4,000 existing federal criminal laws.  (The exact number of laws is unknown because the attorneys at Congressional Research Service who were assigned to count them ran out of resources before they could complete the herculean task.)

In addition to the profusion of federal statutory crimes, there are additional state crimes (Texas alone has over 1,700), and federal regulatory offenses (approximately 300,000). The creation of these often unknowable and redundant crimes, the federalization of certain crimes traditionally prosecuted at the state level, and the removal of traditional mens rea requirements all contribute to a relentless trend known as overcriminalization.

THE IMPACT. Significant differences between criminal and civil law make criminal law an overly blunt instrument for regulating non-fraudulent business activities.  Whereas administrative rulemaking and civil proceedings may utilize a cost-benefit analysis to evaluate the conduct at issue, no such balancing occurs in criminal proceedings because, theoretically, criminal law covers only those activities that are inherently wrong.

Also, because criminal law is enforced entirely by state prosecution, it tends to minimize the role of the victim.  Indeed, the prototypical “regulatory” offense does not include anyone actually being harmed as an element of the offense.  Finally, civil and criminal law have traditionally been distinguished by the requirement that a criminal must have a guilty state of mind.  An increasing number of regulatory offenses nevertheless dispense with this requirement or require mere criminal negligence rather than intentional, knowing, or reckless conduct.

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Posting or Hosting Sex Ads Could Mean 25 Years in Federal Prison Under New Republican Proposal Reply

More creeping Stalinism.

By Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Reason

Looking forward to a future when federal agents monitor Tinder? We won’t be far off if some folks in Congress get their way.

Under a proposal from Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R–Va.), anyone posting or hosting digital content that leads to an act of prostitution could face serious federal prison time as well as civil penalties. This is obviously bad news for sex workers, but it would also leave digital platforms—including dating apps, social media, and classifieds sites such as Craigslist—open to serious legal liability for the things users post.

In effect, it would give government agents more incentive and authority to monitor sex-related apps, ads, forums, and sites of all sorts. And it would give digital platforms a huge incentive to track and regulate user speech more closely.

Goodlatte’s measure was offered as an amendment to another House bill, this one from the Missouri Republican Ann Wagner. The House Judiciary Committee will consider both bills on Tuesday.

Wagner’s legislation (H.R. 1865) would open digital platforms to criminal and civil liability not just for future sex crimes that result from user posts or interactions but also for past harms brokered by the platforms in some way. So platforms that followed previous federal rules (which encouraged less content moderation in order to avoid liability) would now be especially vulnerable to charges and lawsuits.

The bill currently has 171 co-sponsors, including ample numbers of both Republicans and Democrats.

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Cultural Marxism: One of Those Legitimising Ideologies that Come and Go Reply

Totalitarian humanism is only the latest manifestation of a more traditional enemy. Ultimately, our enemy is not any one ideology but the state itself, as Albert Jay Nock pointed out.

By Sean Gabb

Last month, I wrote a defence of Charlie Elphicke, my Member of Parliament. He had been suspended from the Conservative Party while the Police investigated him for an alleged sexual assault. He has still not been arrested or charged. He has still not been told the nature of the complaint against him. It may be that he is about to be unmasked as a serial sex-murderer. More likely, the sinister clowns who direct law enforcement in this country have found nothing that even they regard as an assault worth prosecuting. But, if the former of these possibilities might embarrass me, the general reflections I made on his case stand by themselves. What I wish now to do is to elaborate on these reflections.

I begin by granting that ideologies are in themselves important. They are sets of propositions about the world that are true or false in much the same way as a scientific hypothesis is true or false. They are true or false regardless of what motives people may have for adopting them. This being granted, every person is born with a set of dispositions that draws him to accepting a particular ideology. Some of us are born with a dislike of pushing others around. This will not invariably make us into free market libertarians. But it will incline us to less intrusive formulations of whatever ideology is accepted. There are liberal Catholics and liberal Moslems. There have even been liberal Marxists. Others are born with a will to dominate. These will gather round the most fashionable intolerant ideology on offer.

Last month, I used the examples of Calvinism and Cultural Marxism. These were and are legitimising ideologies. Each has different formal propositions. Each has different enemies. Each has different effects on the character. But their essential function, so far as they can be made hegemonic, is to justify the gaining and use of power by an authoritarian élite – or by “The Puritans.”

If you want to see this case made at greater length, I refer you to my earlier essay. The case briefly stated, I turn to what may follow from it.

This is to suggest that direct argument with the Puritans is of limited value. Our own Puritans are Cultural Marxists for reasons other than the truth or falsehood of Cultural Marxism. Because its surface claims about treating people as individuals, and not being rude to them, are broadly in line with public opinion, it is an ideal legitimising ideology. If our Puritans had, after about 1970, taken up traditional Calvinism, or Orthodox Marxism-Leninism, or National Socialism, they would have got nowhere. The social liberalism of the previous two decades would have rolled straight over them. Instead, there was the combination, in Britain and America, of a large cohort of those inclined to Puritanism and an ideology, or set of ideologies, that could be shaped into a powerful legitimising ideology. It may be that the universe as a whole is locked into a rigid scheme of cause and effect. In this case, what happened was inevitable. But looking only at those parts of the universe we can understand and control, I think there was an element of contingency here. We are where we are because of a largely accidental discovery by the Puritans of a legitimising ideology that worked for them.

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‘It falls woefully short’: Charlottesville residents criticize report on white supremacist rally Reply

By Ellie Silverman
Washington Post

William Fears, a white supremacist and neo-Nazi from Houston who is holding the flag, clashes with a counterprotester at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017. (Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)
 
Charlottesville residents criticized the review of the city’s handling of the white supremacist rally in August, saying that it focused on the technicalities of the response but failed to discuss underlying racism.

Residents and officials packed a council meeting Monday evening, where former U.S. attorney Timothy Heaphy presented the findings of the independent review, which sharply criticized the police department for lacking the proper training and preparation to respond to the violent rally. At the first meeting since the report was publicly released Friday, residents expressed their anger and frustration with city officials and police.

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What Happened in Charlottesville? Reply

A summary of the findings of the investigation conducted by a private law firm commissioned by the city of Charlottesville. Assuming this summary is accurate, the findings are fairly consistent with my own observations about Charlottesville.

By Gregory Hood

American Renaissance

Independent report makes an honest effort to find out.

The law firm of Hunton & Williams has just issued an independent, 207-page report on the Unite the Right protest that took place in Charlottesville last August. The city of Charlottesville commissioned and paid for the report, but it is no cover up. It is a slashing indictment of the way the city prepared for and handled the demonstrations. It is a thorough vindication of the perspective of the Unite the Right demonstrators.

The report makes clear that the Charlottesville Police Department (CPD) and its black chief, Al Thomas, had no intention of allowing the demonstration to take place. Astonishingly, the report leaves no doubt that Chief Thomas wanted the police to let enough violence go unchecked to justify an order to declare the event an “unlawful assembly” and shut it down. The report is also unflinching in its condemnation of police and city-administration bungling that virtually guaranteed continued violence even after the event was canceled.

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Anti-Nomianism 2

Anarcho-Dictator

Instead of a Blog

I do not want the police and courts to engage in activities normally approved of by minarchists and some anarchists – such as protecting private property or prosecuting murderers. This is for several reasons:

  1. Police are not legitimate representatives of the victims. As only a victim has the right to expropriatory or retaliatory force against the criminal (though this is transferable to third parties) the police have no authority to actually detain or prosecute criminals.
  2. The force deployed against a criminal act must be the minimum needed to dissuade or redress the criminal act. Even a violent criminal, who is not actively threatening others, may not be shot out of hand. And non-violent offenders – thieves and cheats – may not have physical force used against them except under circumstances where they are actively resisting duly transferred property made as compensation. Thus, the arrest, detainment and threats that police use in all their routine duties are in fact criminal aggression. The fact that their victim has committed criminal acts in no way counters this. Only an active threat – say a serial killer, or a soldier – may be met with open violence, even if he is attempting to evade capture. The sole exception would be where a capital offense occurs, i.e. a murder, and the victim’s heirs consent to have the criminal executed. In such a situation the outlaw may be slain out of hand by anyone, including third parties.
  3. The police do not actually redress wrongdoing and instead impose further costs on the victims and uninvolved parties. Even if the first and second problem were addressed – if it were somehow determined that the police and courts were representing the interests of the victim and were acting only with appropriate force – it would still be illegitimate to impose the costs of courts and imprisonment onto the general taxpayer. No one has a ‘right’ to justice or law or security – you have to pay for it or administer it yourself, if you want it.
  4. It is undesirable to promote the reliance of the citizenry on the apparatus of the state. The citizens should feel that the state is leaving them defenseless, that it takes from them but provides nothing. People should come to rely on themselves, their personal networks and alternative institutions to provide their protection and dispute arbitration – not agents of the state.
My position seems to make minarchism to be untenable – no tax-funded agency, regardless of its conduct otherwise, could possibly perform the ‘night watchmen’ function. I would also apply all of these considerations to so-called ‘national defense’. Soldiers are not ‘defending our country’, they’re defending the oligarchic ruling class and its tax-farm.

J20 protests: All you need to know about the nearly 200 people facing 60 years in jail for protesting Trump Reply

Defending all of those who come under attack by the state must be one of the first principles of a serious anarchist movement. This includes Communists protesting Donald Trump, Alt-Rightists protesting in favor of Confederate monuments, marijuana farmers attacked by the DEA, gun nuts attacked by the BATF, transgender prostitutes attacked by vice cops, purveyors of kiddie porn subject to illegal police entrapment schemes, gang members prosecuted under dubious conspiracy and racketeering laws, homophobic Christians who refuse to bake a gay wedding cake, and anyone else whom the state attacks.

disrupt J20

On 20 January, 2017, thousands of people poured into Washington DC to protest Donald Trump’s inauguration. Nearly half a million people brandished signs and shouted slogans for the Women’s March. Thousands of protesters sparked up joints for a “Trump 420” protest in Dupont Circle. And hundreds marched in an anti-capitalist, anti-fascist rally organized by Disrupt J20.

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Texas Town Fires Police Dept., Hires Private Citizens For Security — Guess What Happened to Crime? Reply

We need for anarchists to start running for mayor of cities and towns with this as part of their platform. I’m serious.

Truth Fight.

The community of Sharpstown, Texas decided that they didn’t need the police any longer. They made a controversial decision to fire the local police department and hire private citizens, granted no special rights that ordinary citizens do not have, to keep them safe.

That was back in 2012, and since then, Sharpstown residents say the private security company, SEAL Security Solutions, have done a much better job than the police used to. Crimes is down 61% in only 20 months.

James Alexander, the director of operations for SEAL Security Solutions says that, “Since we’ve been in there, an independent crime study that they’ve had done [indicates] we’ve reduced the crime by 61 percent,” according to Guns.com.

All of that and they don’t have any special rights that you or I don’t have. That means they can’t arrest for misdemeanor crimes… and why should people be arrested for them anyway? It also means that they are held accountable the same way as anyone else.

The SEAL security patrolmen don’t “receive the same protection, as we are in the private sector,” Alexander said. This, he explains, leads to constant accountability and vigilance of their employees making sure they don’t do something to get fired.

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Top 10 Ways to Fix the Criminal Justice System Reply

While many of these suggestions may be reasonable as far as modest reforms go, and some of these proposals are actually pretty far reaching, one thing that many “liberal” criminal justice reformers seem to have trouble figuring out is the need for fewer laws in the first place.

By Jessica Henry

Huffington Post

Vladek via Getty Images

It’s that time of year when people are making lists and checking them twice. Here is my action list about ways to fix the criminal justice system, with suggestions for steps we all can take. What would be on your list?

 

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