‘I Will Bury You’: Duterte Says Coronavirus Lockdown Violators Can Be Shot Reply

By David Brennan

Newsweek

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has warned that anyone breaking the coronavirus lockdown on the island of Luzon may be shot by the military or the police, as the country fights to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The controversial president — who has been accused of crimes against humanity over his merciless and bloody war on drugs — gave a televised address on Wednesday warning there would be a zero tolerance policy for those breaking the lockdown, which came into force on March 15 and will run until at least April 14.

There have been 2,311 confirmed cases in the Philippines, with 96 deaths and 50 recoveries. The country’s health care system could be overwhelmed if the spread gets out of control, but hundreds of new cases are now being reported daily.

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Is Dollar Totalitarianism on the Way? 1

“Many people assume that the present crisis – engineered, as it is – will be followed by a more totalitarian system, but we should never lose sight of the fact that ‘liberal democracy’ is already a form of totalitarianism and the only difference between a system in which the leader of a political party is seen to be at the forefront of the decision-making process, as opposed to a more obvious dictator such as Hitler or Stalin, is that everything is presented in a considerably more benign fashion. In addition, those who actually vote for such politicians truly believe they have a stake in the system itself and this creates the illusion of choice. If and when things settle down and the mass media finally stops telling us that coronavirus is the new Black Death, it seems fairly certain that the world will be far more centralised. Not merely in terms of the lesser capitalists having fallen by the wayside and power being in the hands of an even smaller number of people, but also in terms of our ability to express meaningful political dissent.

Totalitarianism, therefore, which was there all along, might not seem as benign as it once was and this is precisely why the globalists will try to shore up their defences. One thing is certain, the triumph of a more ruthlessly streamlined economy will take place amid the promise of a swift return to normality. Those media sources which have been detailing the alleged boredom of confinement have already started to plant the seeds of resignation in the minds of the masses and those who are incapable of occupying their minds for more than five minutes will invariably accept the first thing that comes along. Even if they end up dancing in the streets with joy, as they did at the end of the Second World War, the feeling of emancipation that comes with leaving the confines of one’s home will become fuel for those who announce a new dawn of social freedom. Your chains will have tightened a little, but if we are to share the inestimable debt of the next few centuries then it will all be for the best. Keep your head down, work hard, and be sure to tell the authorities about those who dare to yearn for the slightly more palatable totalitarianism that came before.” -Troy Southgate

No photo description available.

With Coronavirus Comes the Hobbesian Leviathan 2

Our enemy, the state is on the prowl.

By James Pinkerton

The American Conservative

Many thoughtful observers—including here at TAC—have warned that civil liberties, and perhaps freedom itself, could fall victim to the coronavirus. They have a point, but on the other hand, there’s a virus out there, and beating it by any means necessary seems to be the predominant concern right now.

Thus the mainstream media, which only a month ago was warning about the dangers of racism and xenophobia, is now substantially on board with strong public health measures.

For instance, on March 19, The Washington Post published a survey of actions taken by various Asian countries tagged with this remarkable sub-headline: “Big Brother looks after you.” As the Post explained, “Singapore used its FBI equivalent, the Criminal Investigation Department, to effectively interrogate every confirmed case with stunning granularity—even using patients’ digital wallets to trace their footsteps. Those caught lying face fines and jail time.”

It would appear that the Singapore Civil Liberties Union—if there even is one— doesn’t have much clout in that Confucian city-state.

Looking to another Asian country, the Post added, “Taiwan tracks infected people’s whereabouts via smartphones: Stray too far from home and you receive a message; ignore it and the police will pay a visit.”

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The Ruling Class Stakes Out Its Position During the Crisis Reply

“Most people assume that what we are presently witnessing in the towns and cities of Europe is a moment of great weakness for the globalist establishment, but this is clearly not the case and the enemies of free-thought and territorial sovereignty are carefully manouvering themselves into an even stronger position. The fact that our respective military units are carrying weapons and driving armoured vehicles should be enough for most people to conclude that they have not come to help your dear old granny with the groceries. Typically, it has become common to read thousands of posts in which mainstream people are expressing their gratitude for being asked to withdraw into their houses and insisting that the presence of the army is making them feel much safer. Try saying that in the event that you have to run the gauntlet of martial law just to get Hungry Horace some more sliced bread for his egg soldiers. The same soldiers, presumably, that will make him grow up with a similar brainwashed mentality. It was William Cobbett who observed “I defy you to agitate any fellow with a full stomach,” so whilst there seems little reason to break the law when everything is going your way and there is enough food to go round, let’s see how you get on if things start deteriorating. I guarantee that you’ll become one of the best molotov cocktail waiters in town.” -Troy Southgate

Justice Department Reportedly Asks Congress for Indefinite Detention Powers To Fight Coronavirus Reply

Here we go.

By Eric Boehm

Reason

The Justice Department is using the COVID-19 outbreak to press for sweeping new powers that include being able to detain Americans indefinitely without a trial, Politico reports.

The department is asking Congress to allow the U.S. attorney general to ask courts to suspend court proceedings. These include “any statutes or rules of procedure otherwise affecting pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures in criminal and juvenile proceedings and all civil process and proceedings,” reports Betsy Woodruff Swan, citing DOJ documents presented to Congress.

In other words, the Justice Department would be able to postpone trials, hearings, and other procedural steps that follow arrest. That represents a potentially huge violation of the constitutional right to a speedy trial.

Those powers would apply “whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation,” Woodruff Swan writes, and would remain in place for “one year following the end of the national emergency.”

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Rope-A-Dope: How Red Flag Laws Will Eliminate Us Both 5

By Natasha Maria

An awful tragedy occurs, a shooting, a riot, a brawl, and as usual we hear the immediate cry, “Won’t the government do something to stop this?”

Yes, yes it will, in fact it wants you to beg them to.

Whether it be a mass shooting, or a riot in the streets, both are symptoms of a dysfunctional and neurotic society. The causes of such are deserving of multiple papers and discussions. The response though…that is the rub these days, that is what we must reassess.

-To the Right-

Whether an innocent journalist gets beat down, stores get windows broken, or a man gets a metal lock to the skull, the right are quick to call Antifa a ‘terrorist organization’. This is inconvenient for me I assure you. I consider myself to the right, and have done my fair share of talking smack about Antifa and enjoying their many failures. Nonetheless, the right must put their partisan anger aside and look at the bigger picture. Supporting legally categorizing Antifa as a ‘terrorist organization’ is not just shooting yourself in the foot, it is sawing off your whole leg. Of course Trump and the GOP support this, whipping the right into a frenzy, ‘do something to stop these masked thugs!’ Yes, do something alright, place yourself into a circular firing squad, having your enemy shot and you along with him.

-To the Left-

Let’s complete the circle. Mass shootings are horrific and unacceptable. It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss the myriad of possible things that could be done to prevent or remedy what is causing this psychotic malfunction in society. Many of the shooters have had ‘manifestos’ which have espoused half-done White Nationalist-like thought. Again, Democrats and their constingency cry, “White Nationalism is the new terrorist threat!” And again, people are whipped into a frenzy, preaching that these dissident rightists must be labeled a ‘terrorist organization’ and handled as such. The latest, and most threatening development from this, is the idea of a ‘Red Flag Law’.

How vague, how flexible, how convenient. A man deported over ‘anti-American’ social media posts, or another jailed for social media posts that sounded ‘threatening’. Under such type laws, left or right, dissidence will be deemed a threat to the establishment, categorized as terrorism, and swiftly eliminated. It’s definition of dissidence will be flexible, and why shouldn’t it be? Both left and right have supported this flexibility.

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81% of ‘suspects’ flagged by Met’s police facial recognition technology innocent Reply

The force maintains its technology only makes a mistake in one in 1,000 cases, but it uses a different metric for gauging success.

Facial recognition technology is tested during a recent event in the US. File pic

By Rowland Manthorpe and Alexander J Martin
news.sky.com

Four out of five people identified by the Metropolitan Police’s facial recognition technology as possible suspects are innocent, according to an independent report.

Researchers found that the controversial system is 81% inaccurate – meaning that, in the vast majority of cases, it flagged up faces to police when they were not on a wanted list. More…

Freedom of Association-Yes, Ethnic Cleansing-No: Solidarity with All Enemies of the State Reply

In my perfect world, there would be nothing but voluntary communities, and particular communities could be as open or closed as their members wanted. I tend to think that for utilitarian reasons within the current state-capitalist system there needs to be at least some limitation on both immigration and discrimination. I don’t know that throwing open the borders and saying, “Come one, come all” would have a happy ending, just like I don’t think anyone’s freedom is being abridged when WalMart can’t put a sign out front saying, “No Coloreds Allowed.” Virtually the entire spectrum of the ruling class and the state benefits from mass immigration, i.e. more scab labor employers, more clients for social services bureaucrats, more constituents for ethnic lobbies, more voters for political parties, more students for the education bureaucracy, new parishioners for organized religion, etc. But immigration enforcement also benefits other state/ruling class interests, i.e. the federal police state, companies that get state contracts to build walls/detention centers, the prison-industrial complex, capitalist corporations that profit from prison labor, retrograde Republican politicians using immigration as political vehicle, etc. It’s a win-win situation for the power elite, and lose-lose for everyone else.

I don’t think it’s a Left/Right issue per se. Immigrant detention centers didn’t start with Trump. They’ve been around for quite a while spanning Democratic and Republican administrations. I’d argue immigrant detention centers are part of the wider apparatus of the police state/state legal racket/prison-industrial complex. So people in immigrant detention centers are in the same boat as people in jails, prisons, places of involuntary psychiatric incarceration, juvenile detention, etc, etc,etc Traditionally, the US prison system has overlapped with the older slave system as well as things like Jim Crow. I’d argue it’s also something that transcends boundaries of race, class, gender, politics, etc even if those categories aren’t irrelevant either. But the same traditional conservative vs traditional progressive dichotomy that defines US politics today has been in place for over a century with swings back and forth in different directions.

Progressives have exercised a great deal of influence over US society since around 1900 (Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were Progressives, for God’s sake). Progressives have long been involved in facilitating authoritarian state policies (eugenics, racism, and drug and alcohol prohibition among them). During the course of the 20th century progressives did an about face on race, immigration, homosexuality, the “sexual revolution,” etc. But they’ve still favored authoritarian state policies in many other areas. For example, the modern “war on drugs” has been supported just as zealously by liberal politicians and civil rights leaders as conservative Republicans and the religious right, and the war on drugs is to a large degree the foundation/cornerstone of the modern American police state (though there are obviously many other contributing factors).

Most progressives are not anarchists or libertarians (left or right) and don’t claim to be. They accept the supposed legitimacy of the state, state law, state penal institutions, etc. They just don’t like it when these things are used against people they like (illegal immigrants, environmental protestors, etc) as opposed to people they don’t like (the Bundy clan, corporate executives, gun nuts, racists, etc). But given their acceptance of these things, they don’t really have a principled argument against the statist argument that says, “If you don’t want to go to jail, don’t break the law” or “The law is the law. If you don’t like the law, you can work to change it not break it” or “These people chose to break the law and choices have consequences.” Once the legitimacy of the state, state law, police, prisons, etc. is conceded, I don’t know that there is a principled counterargument that can be raised that doesn’t amount to special pleading.

Of course, my view is that anarchists and libertarians who wish to be consistent should stand in solidarity will ALL persons being held by the police state and prison-industrial complex (and, yes, that includes serial killers on death row, racist hate criminals, scumbag corporate executives, pedos, and every other kind of creep imaginable as well illegal immigrants, drug users/sellers, sex workers, “consensual criminals,” self-defenders, “survival criminals,” vagrants, etc). The struggle against the state/ruling class/power elite/globalism/imperialism/capitalism/Zionism is not a “Nice People Only” club.

His Name Was Ozzy and He Was Murdered by the Police 3

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

His name was Osaze Osagie, but everyone who loved him just called him Ozzy and everyone who knew him seemed to love him. He had such a peaceful way with the world around him. I rarely saw him without that gentle smile on his face. You could tell he was not like ‘normal’ people and not just because he was far kinder than those bestowed with that loaded label. Like me, Ozzy was different, the ‘normal’ world calls it mental illness. I got to know him at my local psych rehab and quickly found myself enchanted by his easy going sense of humor and borderline Zen-like demeanor. He looked like a hybrid of  Hannibal Buress and the Dalai Lama, which isn’t to say he didn’t have his bad days. When he did, it was well understood that he liked to be left alone, to sit quietly in another room until his calmer qualities overcame his demons. But even at his worst, Ozzy couldn’t harm a fly, he might hurt himself, but no one else.

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This Democratic Presidential Candidate Wants To Decriminalize Sex Work Reply

Tulsi Gabbard is turning out to be the most anti-statist of any of the presidential candidates (a very low standard to say the least). She has also introduced legislation to end federal marijuana prohibition as well. For many years, I have argued that the central focus of anarchists, libertarians, and anti-statists should be opposing US imperialism in the international realm, and opposing the so-called “criminal justice system” (police state), prison-industrial complex, over criminalization, war on drugs, “consensual crime” laws,” surveillance state, anti-terrorism laws, etc. as opposed to the Left’s focus on identity politics, environmentalism, and expanding the welfare state, and mainstream libertarianism’s focus on opposing the welfare state. We should also be striving to take the anti-gun control issue away from the patriotic, cop-loving, military-worshipping reactionary right, and frame gun control as means of oppressing the poor and minorities (which it clearl is).

By Dominic Holden

Buzzfeed

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the Democratic presidential contender from Hawaii, told BuzzFeed News unequivocally she wants to decriminalize sex work, asserting a clear position on an enormous underground industry that’s largely ignored by American politicians.

“If a consenting adult wants to engage in sex work, that is their right, and it should not be a crime,” Gabbard said. “All people should have autonomy over their bodies and their labor.“

Most candidates in the 2020 race have skirted the issue, including President Donald Trump, but questions about sex work are beginning to chase the Democratic presidential pack.

Gabbard’s embrace of the issue comes just days after Sen. Bernie Sanders was asked for his position and didn’t have one. “That’s a good question, and I don’t have an answer for that,” he told The Breakfast Club.

When asked in late February if she supports decriminalization, Sen. Kamala Harris, who opposed a sex work decriminalization measure in 2008, told the Root, “I think so. I do.”

The White House didn’t answer questions from BuzzFeed News last year about whether Trump thought sex work or paying for sex should be legal. Nor would officials say if the president supported the Justice Department busting a website accused of posting sex work ads.

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‘No Allegations of Human Trafficking’ and ‘Women Could’ve Walked Out’ In Florida Massage-Parlor Prostitution Stings 2

Sex trafficking hysteria is the new “War on Drugs.” Like the war on drugs, virtually every category of do-gooder is getting duped once again.

By Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Reason

It’s been nearly a week since Florida police started bragging about their big “human trafficking” bust, an operation that pulled in professional football owner Robert Kraft, more than 150 other men, and several Chinese immigrant women associated with Asian spas in Palm Beach County. Police say the spas were fronts for prostitution, that the workers there were victims of sex trafficking, and that their six-month long investigation was time well spent.

Six months is a long time, however, and it’s hard to reconcile the cops’ timeline with their heroic rhetoric. If the women employed at these businesses were really the victims of “modern slavery,” why did police take six months to get them out of that situation? Why did it require repeat intimate undercover visits and building misdemeanor prostitution charges against all sorts of random men before these “heroes” decided to intervene?

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