Baltimore Police: 3 Rival Gangs Uniting to ‘Take Out’ Cops Reply

Electronic Urban Report

baltimore protesters

*Baltimore police say three separate gangs are now working together to “take out” law enforcement officers.

In a statement Monday, the department called it a “credible threat” and said members of the Black Guerilla Family, the Bloods and the Crips have formed an alliance against the police.

The department warned other law enforcement agencies to “take appropriate precautions.”

The police statement came as mourners gathered for the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died of a mysterious spinal injury while in police custody.

Police spokesman Capt. Eric Kowalczyk would not say whether the threat is related to the death of Gray. Kowalczyk said the threat announcement has been circulated to law enforcement agencies nationwide.
Read more at http://www.eurweb.com/2015/04/baltimore-police-3-rival-gangs-uniting-to-take-out-cops/#Y2xOFd0TJq1gi2AQ.99

Jeff Berwick on Escaping Amerika Reply

Jeff is interviewed by the inestimable Chris Cantwell for Some Garbage Podcast, topics include: police state savagery, victimless crimes, US foreign intervention, apalling state worship in the west, fight or flight with the US, expatriation, the Anarchapulco conference, police aggression not tolerated in Mexico, Mexico in an economic boom, mass support for capitalism in Brazil, feminism not prevalent in Mexico, men are men and women are women, race not an issue, some revealing facts about cartels, the power of community, getting out of the US, moving to Acapulco,

How RFRA Became Controversial Reply

It’s interesting how both Left and Right normally engage in massive special pleading on behalf of their own favorite issues and pet causes. I remember when the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was being considered in the early 90s, sectors of the religious right were attacking it on the grounds that homosexuals would claim anti-sodomy laws (which were still on the books at the time in some states) were a violation of their religious freedom. Controversy over these kinds of issues is not about some kind of rational political or ethical principle, but about sheer tribal conflict.

By Jacob Sullum

Reason

When President Bill Clinton signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993, the law had broad support in both major political parties and was widely perceived as an expression of a pluralistic society’s tolerance. When Gov. Mike Pence signed Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act last week, the law became a bitterly partisan issue, denounced by Democrats across the country as an instrument of bigotry.

This dramatic shift in attitudes has less to do with the substance of the statute, which is similar to the federal version that has been around for more than two decades, than with the perceived motives of the law’s supporters. Progressives who used to defend religious freedom have turned against it because they see it as a cover for conservative causes.

Indiana’s RFRA, like the federal version, says the government “may not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion” unless it can show that the imposition is “the least restrictive means” of serving “a compelling governmental interest.” That is the test the Supreme Court applied under the First Amendment until 1990, when it changed course and ruled that neutral, generally applicable laws are constitutional even if they make it difficult or impossible for someone to practice his religion.

The 1990 case involved two Oregon members of the Native American Church who were fired from their jobs as drug counselors and denied unemployment benefits because they consumed peyote cactus buttons, which contain the psychedelic mescaline. At the time the church’s ceremonial use of peyote was exempted from the federal ban on peyote but not Oregon’s. More…

Singapore Teen Arrested For Video Criticizing Former PM Lee Kuan Yew 2

Let this be a lesson to those “libertarians” who praise fascist Singapore as some kind of “free market” paradise because of its friendliness to Western business interests. This kid is a hero.

A 17-year-old Singapore resident has been arrested for criticizing the recently deceased PM Lee Kuan Yew and the extreme income inequality in Singapore. The teen, who’s been identified as Amos Yee, was apparently taken into custody after posting a YouTube video of his thoughts about the death of longtime authoritarian leader Lee Kuan Yew.

YouTube blogger Amos Yee uploaded the eight-minute video, called ‘Lee Kuan Yew Is Finally Dead!’ on 27 March.  Amos Yee begins his video with “Why hasn’t anyone said fuck yeah the guy is dead, Lee Kuan Yew was a horrible person, because everyone is scared, that if they say something like that, they might get into trouble.” Amos Yee continues “give Lee Kuan Yew credit that was primarily the impact of his ‘legacy’.” More…

The War on Drugs is Over and Drugs Have Won Reply

Nobel Laureate economist Gary Becker’s article from the Wall Street Journal from two years ago.

Right now, the War on Drugs appears to where the Vietnam War was in the period between 1971-1973. The war was still going on, but it was obvious it was a doomed effort. Public opinion was starting to turn away from it, and more and more public officials and mainstream figures were speaking against it. Reforms like phasing out the draft were starting to take place.

Likewise, the War on Drugs is still going on, but it is obvious it is a doomed effort. Public opinion is starting to turn away from it, and more and more public officials and mainstream figures are speaking against it. Reforms like decriminalizing marijuana are starting to take place.

By Gary Becker and Kevin M. Murphy

Wall Street Journal

The American "war on drugs" began in 1971. ENLARGE
The American “war on drugs” began in 1971. Stephen Webster

President Richard Nixon declared a “war on drugs” in 1971. The expectation then was that drug trafficking in the United States could be greatly reduced in a short time through federal policing—and yet the war on drugs continues to this day. The cost has been large in terms of lives, money and the well-being of many Americans, especially the poor and less educated. By most accounts, the gains from the war have been modest at best.

The direct monetary cost to American taxpayers of the war on drugs includes spending on police, the court personnel used to try drug users and traffickers, and the guards and other resources spent on imprisoning and punishing those convicted of drug offenses. Total current spending is estimated at over $40 billion a year.

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Ithaca College’s Microaggressions Bill Labels Students ‘Oppressors’ for ‘Belittling’ Speech Reply

The university system is the primary institution in North America where the hard Left has achieved dominance as opposed to other institutions (government, business, religion, military) where the Left has to share power with other political currents. The contemptuous disregard for individual rights and freedom of opinion combined with the equally contemptuous disregard for due process found in such settings is an indication of how the hard Left would go about operating the state if all competing centers of power were removed and the Left were totally unconstrained. How is the present contempt for freedom of expression exhibited by the cultural Left any different from Article 55 of the 1976 Constitution of Communist Albania?

Article 55: The creation of any type of organization of a fascist, anti-democratic, religious, and anti-socialist character is prohibited. Fascist, anti-democratic, religious, war-mongering, and anti-socialist activities and propaganda, as well as the incitement of national and racial hatred are prohibited.

One could easily imagine the contemporary Left creating an Article 55 of their own:

It is the ambition of the state to create a society that is a safe space free of bigotry and exclusion.In keeping with the anti-oppression policies of the state, the creation of any type of organization of a fascist, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, ageist, ablist, transphobic, Islamophobic, looksist, weightist, or classist character is prohibited. Fascist, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, ageist, ablist, transphobic, Islamophobic, looksist, weightist, or classist activities and triggering propaganda, as well as the incitement of microagressions and indirect oppression are prohibited.

Do you think they wouldn’t do this? Just watch them.

By Will Creeley

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

Early last week, the Ithaca College Student Government Association passed a resolution to create an anonymous, online system for students to report “microaggressions” on campus. FIRE has closely monitored the bill’s progress, as its language presents obvious problems for freedom of expression at the private New York college.

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The War on Sex Worker Rights: Totalitarian Humanism’s Next Crusade? Reply

Apparently, it will be if Chris Hedges has his way. It’s interesting how hysteria over sex trafficking is slowly replacing the war on drugs as the dominant form of moral panic, and substantial sectors of liberalism and the Left are completely complicit or even leading the charge. Look for this issue to become a major crack in the PC coalition at some point in the future.

By Chris Hedges

Truthdig.Com

  A scene from the Artemis brothel in Berlin in 2009. (AP / Franka Bruns)

VANCOUVER, British Columbia—Prostitution is the quintessential expression of global capitalism. Our corporate masters are pimps. We are all being debased and degraded, rendered impoverished and powerless, to service the cruel and lascivious demands of the corporate elite. And when they tire of us, or when we are no longer of use, we are discarded as human refuse. If we accept prostitution as legal, as Germany has done, as permissible in a civil society, we will take one more collective step toward the global plantation being built by the powerful. The fight against prostitution is the fight against a dehumanizing neoliberalism that begins, but will not end, with the subjugation of impoverished girls and women.

Poverty is not an aphrodisiac. Those who sell their bodies for sex do so out of desperation. They often end up physically injured, with a variety of diseases and medical conditions, and suffering from severe emotional trauma. The left is made morally bankrupt by its failure to grasp that legal prostitution is another face of neoliberalism. Selling your body for sex is not a choice. It is not about freedom. It is an act of economic slavery.

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Criminal justice reform: Something the right and left actually agree on Reply

Interesting. It looks like even sectors of both the left and right wings of the ruling class are concerned that the police state and prison industrial complex have gone a bit overboard. The right is apparently concerned about impending fiscal bankruptcy, and the spillover of state repression into mainstream, middle class, and even elite sectors. The left is worried that the mass incarceration and political disenfranchisement of members of population groups that are part of the center-left coalition is cutting into its demographic base.

By Jordan Fabian

Fusion.Net

Bipartisanship lives—at least when it comes to criminal-justice reform.

Koch Industries, the business empire owned by the conservative Koch Brothers, and the liberal Center for American Progress are typically archenemies in the world of politics. But the two organizations announced Thursday they are teaming up to create a new group called the Coalition for Public Safety.

“Our justice system needs reform,” Christine Leonard, executive director of the coalition, said in a statement. “It’s simply too complicated, too big, and too expensive — and all Americans are picking up that tab.”

The coalition plans a $5 million advocacy effort for reforms such as ending mass incarceration, overhauling harsh sentencing guidelines, and curtailing civil asset forfeitures. It is bringing together other conservative and liberal groups who want to enact changes to the criminal-justice system.

The groups come from different ideological perspectives and are pushing for reforms for their own reasons. More…

Where American criminal justice went wrong Reply

This book is one of the very best I have seen to date that critiques the U.S. criminal justice system. What’s ironic is that the author was neither an anarchist nor a libertarian, or even a leftist or liberal. He was a conservative Republican and an evangelical Christian. There is also a good discussion of this book at The Nation.

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens reviews the book here.

By Leon Neyfakh

Boston Globe

The book was written in a hurry. It had to be, because William Stuntz was dying, and the story he wanted to tell was long and complicated. It would be the Harvard Law School professor’s final major work, a sweeping indictment of the system he had been studying for 25 years.

Stuntz was 49 when he found out he had stage four colon cancer. For the remaining three years of his life, he worked on the book whenever he could: in his office at Harvard; at his family’s home in Belmont; even at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, where he would sit with his laptop in the infusion chair and type. Stuntz passed up pain medication so he could think more clearly. In the final days, after he entered hospice care, he had his assistant mail him a draft of his manuscript so he could go over any last minute changes.

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Exclusive: Here is the New Homeland Security Report on ‘Sovereign Citizen Extremist’ Violence Reply

By Jesse Walker

Reason

Click the pic & read the report.

Reason has obtained the federal government’s recent report on the sovereign citizens, a largely unorganized subculture whose elaborate legal theories say they do not have to follow most laws. Members of the movement are infamous for filing nuisance lawsuits, making their own drivers’ licenses and license plates, and sometimes attempting to form their own parallel institutions of government. Some of them are also prone to violence, and it is this hotheaded subgroup that is the subject of the report.

The intelligence assessment, which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) prepared in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was circulated to law enforcement on February 5 but was not released to the public. (DHS did not respond to repeated requests from Reason for comment.) CNN revealed its existence last Friday, but the network quoted only a couple of lines from it and did not post the full document for everyone to see.

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Local Fox anchor pulled off air for 3 days after using racist ‘jigaboo’ slur during Oscars coverage Reply

An interesting question that no one ever seems to ask is this: How is it that on one hand we are treated to a never ending series of hysterias over someone having said a bad word pertaining to race, gender, homosexuality, or some other inflammatory topic, and yet we continue to have the kind of police state and prison-industrial complex of the kind Michelle Alexander describes in the post adjacent to this one, and with its over the top racial disparities ? The only possible explanation is that as American society has become more liberal, culturally diverse, and socially and political integrated, the actual level of state repression and division between social classes has expanded.

American culture and politics are now more liberal than ever before. Middle class and elite members of traditional outgoups are now reasonably integrated into mainstream society, and even the political class itself. However, as this social and cultural integration has take place, and liberalization has occurred in the cultural realm, the actual level of state repression has exploded, and class divisions are the widest they have been in a century. On one hand a Victorian-like priggishness has developed concerning the expression of illiberal views about traditional outgroups, even casually, inadvertently or in a way that is contextually irrelevant. On the other hand, America’s traditional racial caste system has been resurrected under the cover of the so-called “criminal justice system.”

Unfortunately, the Right looks at this situation and sees only pampered and/or criminal minorities, and the Left sees only “straight white male privilege.”

By David Edwards

Raw Story

Fox 8's Kristi Capel (screen grab)

On Monday, co-anchor anchor Wayne Dawson had been reporting the Oscars when Capel had said that she appreciated Lady Gaga’s Sound of Music tribute because it did not sound like her normal “jigaboo music.”

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The New Jim Crow, the Police State, and the Prison Industrial Complex Reply

Michelle Alexander, highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, Associate Professor of Law at Ohio State University, and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, delivers the 30th Annual George E. Kent Lecture, in honor of the late George E. Kent, who was one of the earliest tenured African American professors at the University of Chicago.

The Worrying State of the Anti-Prison Movement Reply

By Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Social Justice Journal

by Ruth Wilson Gilmore*

Gilmore imageAfter declining for three consecutive years, the US prison and jail population increased in 2013. The widely declared victory over mass incarceration was premature at best. Below I raise four areas of particular concern about the state of the anti-prison movement.

(1) A tendency to cozy up to the right wing, as though a superficial overlap in viewpoint meant a unified structural analysis for action.

Nearly 40 years ago, Tony Platt and Paul Takagi (1977) identified as “new realists” the law-and-order intellectuals who purveyed across all media and disciplines the necessity of being hard on the (especially Black) working class. Today’s new “new realists”—the correct name for the “emerging bipartisan consensus”—exude the same stench. However differently calibrated, the mainstream merger depends on shoddy analysis and historical amnesia—most notably the fact that bipartisan consensus built the prison-industrial complex (PIC). The PIC isn’t just the barred building, but the many ways in which un-freedom is enforced and continues to proliferate throughout urban and rural communities: injunction zones and intensive policing, felony jackets and outstanding warrants, as well as school expulsions and job exclusions. Racial justice and economic democracy demand different paths from the one the new “new realists” blazed. Their top-down technocratic tinkering with the system renovates and aggrandizes it for the next generation.

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The Prison-Industrial complex Reply

Written by S. Wess Moss and published originally on High-right.com here.

“The fairest part of childhood passes without the necessity of coming to blows with reason. We care nothing at all about it, do not meddle with it, admit no reason. We are not to be persuaded to anything by ‘conviction,’ and are deaf to good arguments, principles, etc.; on the other hand, coaxing, punishment, and the like are hard for us to resist.”

– Max Stirner

After I was processed, I was taken to a small room where I was told to remove my clothes.  I was given the, infamous, orange jumpsuit four sizes too large; a pair of bright orange sandals, plastic and cracked at the hollow of the foot.  I was given the standard issue county jail clothing, the same as the thousands of others that came before, the thousands of others that came after. Shackled, I was escorted by my arm, in that way policemen tend to do, along a hallway to my cell.  I was led towards the door, it’s always implied to go into the room when lead to the door, I obeyed the suggestion.  The loud, and overemphasized, clank of the steel cell door, I was left looking out the parallelogram window at the white painted cinder block wall across the hall. More…

Halal & Hypocrisy XII: Vive la Dissonance! 3

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On the 7th of January, three Islamic gunmen stormed the offices of left-wing satirical mag Charlie Hebdo, killing eleven staff members in the ensuing bullet shower. The magazine had previously made an international name for itself by printing the Mohammed cartoons of 2006, and continuing to satirise Islam on its pages after being firebombed in 2011. Prior to all that, the magazine had secured a decades-old niche as France’s answer to Private Eye.

1cartoons

The following Sunday, a legion of “leaders” came together in Paris to express their solidarity with those slain. Key figures from fifty of the world’s nations joined a substantial number of Parisians, taking to the streets to declare their fealty to the principle of free speech. Je suis Charlie, nous sommes le monde, and all that.

How I wish I’d been there amongst them – to spit on their fucking faces.

As things stand, I’ll settle for the next-best option: kindling the Inferno.

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The Coming Golden Age of Anarchism Reply

It is not unreasonable to suggest that the decades ahead will witness the unfolding of a golden age of anarchism. What is the evidence for this?

-The most powerful state in the world, the United States, the mother country of the empire, is slowly losing its internal legitimacy and serious political discontent is beginning to rise.

-Antiwar sentiment in the United States is at an all time high. War fever could rise again in the event of a war with ISIS or Iran, an intervention in Syria, or a confrontation with Russia. But none of these scenarios would turn out well for the United States in the long run. Instead, the state would continue to lose its legitimacy and antiwar and anti-imperialist feeling would come back on an even stronger level.

-Class divisions are the widest they have been in a century in the United States. This all but guarantees the re-emergence of class-based politics at some point in the future. Proponents of alternative forms of decentralist economics will then begin to find a ripe audience for their ideas.

-Public opinion is slowly turning against the police state, prison-industrial complex, and the war on drugs. Sentiment of this kind will likely begin to grow exponentially in the future. It is likely that resistance to domestic American fascism will be the civil rights movement of the 21st century.

-One in four Americans are now sympathetic to secession by their region or community, and these sympathies will probably increase as the system begins to deteriorate.

-One in four American adults now has a criminal record due to overcriminalization. This can only have the effect of undermining respect for the state and its legal decrees.

-The idea of the state as the savior of humanity is an idea that is coming under increasing disrepute. The fiscal debts alone of modern welfare states likely guarantee their ultimate demise.

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Why Anarchists Must Confront Totalitarian Humanism 12

It can reasonably be said that the overwhelming majority of liberals, progressives, social democrats, and Marxists would affirm all or most of the following presumptions:

-The state is an expression of popular democracy (see Jean Jacques Rousseau)

-The ever increasing centralization of institutions is conducive to economic and technological progress

-Ever larger states with an ever greater number of functions are necessary to modern society

-The state is a means of advancing the disadvantaged and imposing progressive values on benighted or reactionary local communities and regions

-The legitimacy of an eventual world federal government, and the principles of collective security, liberal internationalism, human rights internationalism, or what Noam Chomsky critically calls “military humanism”

-The desirability of forging a national and international consensus around “progressive” values with these to be imposed by national governments and international institutions

-The desirability of the welfare state, the managerial state, and managed economy

-The core principles of the Enlightenment religion of reason, progress, and scientism

-The legitimacy and necessity of the  public administration state

-The desirability of the nanny state and its involvement in such issues as the compulsory use of seat belts, smoking bans, diet regulation, firearms prohibition, compulsory education, far reaching measures aimed at “child protection,” etc.

It goes without saying that the overwhelming majority of these precepts, perhaps all of them, cannot be reconciled with libertarian, anarchist, anti-statist, decentralist, or anti-authoritarian values of ANY kind. It also goes without saying that since the days of the rivalries between Marx and Engels, and Proudhon, Stirner, and Bakunin, authoritarian leftists, statist socialists, and centralizing progressives have been our enemy. Period. It is time for anarchists to carve out an entirely new paradigm for themselves that defines the political spectrum not in terms of left and right or reactionary and progressive, but in terms of anti-authoritarian vs authoritarian, anti-statist vs statist, and decentralist vs centralist. This will be among the primary dividing lines of the future.

Serpico: I Almost Died for Exposing Police Corruption — Cops Lack Legitimacy and They Must Gain it Back Reply

By Frank Serpico

Alternet

In 1971, shortly after exposing widespread, even systemic corruption amounting to millions of dollars in bribes and illegitimate relationships between the New York Police Department and criminals citywide, I was shot point-blank by a dealer during a buy-and-bust drug operation. My backup team failed to call 911, but an elderly Latino tenant did, saving my life. I was awarded the Medal of Honor by the NYPD—not for exposing corruption, but for being shot while engaging a drug dealer.

To this day, many officers believe I gave the department a black eye. I’ve been vilified for speaking out about corruption and the excessive use of force, for holding my colleagues accountable and for reminding them of their mission: first and foremost, to protect and serve the community.

Over the past month, police officers from around the country assembled in New York City to mourn the loss of two of their brothers in blue, who had been slain by a disturbed gunman. Relations between the NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio fell to a new low after many officers at the memorials—spurred by incendiary rhetoric from Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association—turned their backs on the mayor as he spoke. Such puerile behavior constitutes conduct unbecoming an officer and insubordination, and it should be disciplined as such.

Every police agency needs leadership, and that leadership needs to be followed. But grievances should be resolved at the proper time and place. There are thousands of competent men and women in the NYPD. With the removal of politics and nepotism, a union can elect as its leader someone who is capable, articulate and informed—a person who understands the inner core of the department’s concerns and grievances, but who can also connect with and understand the demands of the community.

The NYPD and police departments across the nation must revisit their mission to protect and serve; they must also implement this mission with a revised set of policing principles in consideration of our evolving communities. This should be coupled with the empowerment of the disenfranchised throughout the justice system, to ensure fair and equal treatment under the law. Police must be taught that the power entrusted to them is not theirs to use or abuse as they see fit.

Here are some general considerations on how to re-establish the legitimacy of the policing profession and renew the respect between officers and the community:

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Feds may be rethinking the drug war, but states have been leading the way Reply

By Drew DeSilver

Pew Research Center

FT_14.03.19_drug_laws310pxFederal drug policy is in the midst of a major conceptual shift away from the long, automatic prison sentences and zero-tolerance policies of the “War on Drugs” era. But it’s the states, whose prisons house the vast bulk of U.S. convicts, that have been leading the way in changing drug laws.

Much of the current rethinking of America’s drug war speaks to today’s environment: Violent crime has fallen, attitudes towards drugs have shifted and the Great Recession has squeezed public budgets.

There’s also wide public support for changing government drug policies. In a new Pew Research Center report, 67% of people said government should focus more on treating people who use illegal drugs, compared with 26% saying prosecution should be the focus. More than six-in-ten (63%) now say that state moves away from mandatory prison sentences for non-violent drug offenders is a good thing, versus 32% who called it a bad thing.

(It’s quite a different story than in 1990, when 73% of Americans favored a mandatory death penalty for “major drug traffickers,” and 57% said police should be allowed to search the houses of “known drug dealers” without a court order.)

Attorney General Eric Holder recently called for reduced sentences for low-level drug offenders in federal cases, with the aim of reducing the growth of the federal prisoner population.  (About half of the nearly 200,000 federal inmates have been convicted of a drug offense.) Earlier, he said low-level drug offenders wouldn’t automatically be charged with offenses that carried strict mandatory minimum sentences, and gave Washington and Colorado the go-ahead to implement marijuana-legalization initiatives. This month, the U.S. Sentencing Commission is expected to vote on a set of amendments to the sentencing guidelines used by federal judges.

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