To Solve the Problem of Money in Politics, Just Get Rid of the Politics — and the Money Reply

Article by Kevin Carson.

The only solution is to get rid of the power. Political power is, in fact, the source of the wealth concentrations that fund the industry lobbyists and the campaign contributions. The wealth of big business and the plutocracy is funneled to them by subsidies, protections, oligopoly markups on state-cartelized markets, scarcity rents from artificial property rights, etc., none of which would exist without the state.

Getting rid of the power seemingly involves a Catch-22: How can you dismantle the state policies underlying the political means to wealth, when you’re outspent and outgunned in the policy-making process by those who profit from it? How do you change the system to prevent their making money off it, in a system rigged in favor of the big money?

The answer: Get rid of the money. At first glance this seems to be a circular argument, since — to repeat — we can’t challenge their control of the political means to wealth.

No, we get rid of the money in politics by undermining — at the economic level — the means by which the plutocracy makes its money. For example, we destroy the proprietary content industries’ ability to make money — not by contesting their power in the political arenas where legislation like the DMCA is passed — but by combating their ability to enforce the copyright laws they make money from. We’ll probably never secure the repeal of DMCA in Congress. But we can destroy the record and movie industries’ profit economically, with weapons like torrent download, strong encryption, and proxies — and laugh ourselves silly at the blustering of clowns like Lieberman and Biden.

Resistance to U.S. Police State Grows Reply

From UhuruNews.Com

On March 3, 2011, in St. Louis County, MO, Todd Shepard, 43, an African man, admitted to a jury that he deliberately killed a white policeman in 2008 after a white cop murdered his African girlfriend in a crime that the U.S. colonial courts ruled “justified.”

According to an article from ksdk.com, “Prosecutor Bob McCulloch asked Shepard at the trial, ‘It was your intent to kill him, right?

“Shepard said, ‘Yes.”

“’You were cool?’ McCulloch asked.

“’I was cool,” Shepard said.

“’You were deliberate?’ McCulloch asked.

“’Absolutely,’ Shepard said.

“He said he was looking for a white officer either on foot or in a car…

“Shepard said, ‘Among other things, the bullet not the ballot is the best way for the black man in america to gain power.’”

On January 24, 2011, MSNBC ran a story stating that “Police fear ‘war on cops,’” after a 24-hour period in which 11 police officers were shot in cities around the U.S., including in the states of Washington, Oregon and Indiana, as well in Detroit, MI, and Miami and St Petersburg, FL.

A month later in St Petersburg, a 16-year-old African high school student, Nick Lindsey, allegedly shot another police officer to death on Feb. 21, the anniversary of the U.S. government assassination of Malcolm X.

Following the killing of the cop in February, the African community of St. Petersburg was put under a military occupation.

This collective punishment involved armored vehicles, tanks, helicopters and federal police forces wielding assault weapons while carrying out car-to-car and house-to-house searches over a 33-block stretch of south St. Petersburg.

Ohio Prisoner Hunger Strike Reply

Statement from Native American prisoner on hunger strike at Ohio State Peniteniary (Lucasville)

The following is a statement from Jason Campbell, an inmate in Ohio State Penitentiary where Lucasville uprising prisoners Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Bomani Shakur and Jason Robb recently won significant improvements in the terms of their confinement through a 12-day hunger strike and an international campaign of support. Campbell chose Feb. 27 to start his hunger strike because it is the 38th anniversary of the liberation of Wounded Knee by the American Indian Movement.

Read more about the hunger strike here.

The Largest Prison Strike in American History Reply

Striking back at the prison-industrial complex.

As it goes, prisoners in Georgia are forced to work without pay for their labor—seemingly a violation of the 13th Amendment, which prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude.

For months the prisoners had apparently used cell phones to get in touch with inmates from other prisons, organizing a non-violent strike. The outcome began the morning of Dec. 9—by Dec. 13 the GDC issued a statement that four prisons were completely on strike.

An interview with one of the strike leaders revealed that every group of inmates in the prison had been working together. “They want to break up the unity we have here,” said an anonymous strike leader in an interview with the Black Agenda Report. “We have the Crips and the Bloods, we have the Muslims, we have the head Mexicans, and we have the Aryans all with a peaceful understanding, all on common ground.”

The largest prison strike in American history seems like a topic ripe for the press, however save for the NYT, there was very little mention of it anywhere in mainstream media.

Remembering The Black Spades 6

The original Black National-Anarchists?

The notorious Black Spades was once the largest and most feared gang in New York City. Hailing from the Bronx, the Spades had as their warlord, Hip Hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa. They were the precursors to Hip Hop.. We caught up with many of the members including original leader Bam Bam who gave Bambaataa his name. We spoke with Hip Hop legend Popmaster Fabel who is finishing up a documentary on early gang culture called ‘The Apache line’.

We also hear from Karate Charlie who was the President of the Ghetto Brothers which was another large Street Orginazation highlighted in Jeff Chang’s book ‘Cant Stop Wont Stop’..

The Military and Prison Industrial Complexes Merge Reply

Prisoners help build Patriot missiles.

This spring, the United Arab Emirates is expected to close a deal for $7 billion dollars’ worth of American arms. Nearly half of the cash will be spent on Patriot missiles, which cost as much as $5.9 million apiece.

But what makes those eye-popping sums even more shocking is that some of the workers manufacturing parts for those Patriot missiles are prisoners, earning as little as 23 cents an hour. (Credit Justin Rohrlich with the catch.)

The work is done by Unicor,  previously known as Federal Prison Industries. It’s a government-owned corporation, established during the Depression, that employs about 20,000 inmates in 70 prisons to make everything from clothing to office furniture to solar panels to military electronics.

One of the company’s high-tech specialties: Patriot missile parts. “UNICOR/FPI supplies numerous electronic components and services for guided missiles, including the Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missile,” Unicor’s website explains. “We assemble and distribute the Intermediate Frequency Processor (IFP) for the PAC-3s seeker. The IFP receives and filters radio-frequency signals that guide the missile toward its target.”

The missiles are then marketed worldwide — sometimes by Washington’s top officials. Last year, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates pitched the Patriots to the Turkish government last year, a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks reveals: “SecDef stressed that ‘nothing can compete with the PAC-3 when it comes to capabilities.’”

https://i2.wp.com/www.wired.com/images_blogs/dangerroom/2011/03/patriot_02.jpg

Corporations Versus Individuals: The End of the Left/Right Paradigm Reply

On the political re-alignment to come.

Looks like the New World Order isn’t going to be a global Big Socialist Government (unless, perhaps, you count corporate socialism). Barry Ritholtz wrote in September of last year:

Every generation or so, a major secular shift takes place that shakes up the existing paradigm. It happens in industry, finance, literature, sports, manufacturing, technology, entertainment, travel, communication, etc.

I would like to discuss the paradigm shift that is occurring in politics.

For a long time, American politics has been defined by a Left/Right dynamic. It was Liberals versus Conservatives on a variety of issues. Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, Tax Cuts vs. More Spending, Pro-War vs Peaceniks, Environmental Protections vs. Economic Growth, Pro-Union vs. Union-Free, Gay Marriage vs. Family Values, School Choice vs. Public Schools, Regulation vs. Free Markets.

The new dynamic, however, has moved past the old Left Right paradigm. We now live in an era defined by increasing Corporate influence and authority over the individual. These two “interest groups” – I can barely suppress snorting derisively over that phrase – have been on a headlong collision course for decades, which came to a head with the financial collapse and bailouts. Where there is massive concentrations of wealth and influence, there will be abuse of power.  The Individual has been supplanted in the political process nearly entirely by corporate money, legislative influence, campaign contributions, even free speech rights.

This may not be a brilliant insight, but it is surely an overlooked one. It is now an Individual vs. Corporate debate – and the Humans are losing.

Consider:

• Many of the regulations that govern energy and banking sector were written by Corporations;

• The biggest influence on legislative votes is often Corporate Lobbying;

• Corporate ability to extend copyright far beyond what original protections amounts to a taking of public works for private corporate usage;

• PAC and campaign finance by Corporations has supplanted individual donations to elections;

• The individuals’ right to seek redress in court has been under attack for decades, limiting their options.

• DRM and content protection undercuts the individual’s ability to use purchased content as they see fit;

• Patent protections are continually weakened. Deep pocketed corporations can usurp inventions almost at will;

• The Supreme Court has ruled that Corporations have Free Speech rights equivalent to people; (So much for original intent!)

None of these are Democrat/Republican conflicts, but rather, are corporate vs. individual issues.

For those of you who are stuck in the old Left/Right debate, you are missing the bigger picture. Consider this about the Bailouts: It was a right-winger who bailed out all of the big banks, Fannie Mae, and AIG in the first place; then his left winger successor continued to pour more money into the fire pit.

Read more hereBunglaow Bill wrote regarding Ritholtz’s article:

It didn’t take long for the light bulb to go off in my head once I got to the third paragraph to see truth in his article. The first and obvious is the recent bailouts, which included the bailouts to General Motors and Chrysler. The American people were sold on the bailouts being essential to save American jobs; perhaps there is some truth to that. However, it wasn’t long after the bailouts when GM began the talk of closing down American factories and building factories in China, Mexico, and Korea.

Left vs. Right became in government terms corporations vs. individuals. There was no guarantees in the bailouts, nothing that forced automakers to invest in our country. It was just easy money thrown their way at the expense of the taxpayer to make up for their bad corporate decisions.

We see it in the biotech business. I hate to say this, but I see the same thing developing thanks to a bad decision by our Supreme Court that allows corporations to patent life. This has led to Monsanto and other corporations taking over the nation’s food supply by forcing farmers to use genetically modified seeds thanks to pollen that contaminates farmers fields who worked hard to provide a healthy alternative to GMO foods. Innocent farmers are being taken down the river because surrounding farmers planted Monsanto seeds and the wind blew the pollen in their direction. Once the pollen mixes with a pure field, Monsanto sends it’s lawyers ready to make honest family farmers pay up for patent infringement.

Monsanto sends their Monsanto police teams onto private property spraying Round Up in non-Monstanto fields to see if the corn dies or not. If it doesn’t die, Monsanto then accuses farmers of the unauthorized use of their seeds. The problem, like I said, may revolved around the wind cross pollinating with a Monsanto GMO field.

Farmers are losing everything they have worked for all their lives over this practice. I think it’s wrong.

From 2001 on, it seems like Republicans became moderate liberal Democrats–ready to spend money and grow government. While Americans are angry at Democrats for threatening more Constitutional rights, it’s hard not to point out the Republicans set all of this up with the Patriot Act. We have known for more than a year, Obama wants to increase the power the Patriot Act gave the government to track people.

Libya and the Return of Humanitarian Imperialism Reply

Article by Jean Bricmont.

The whole gang is back: The parties of the European Left (grouping the  “moderate” European communist parties), the “Green” José Bové, now allied with Daniel Cohn-Bendit, who has never seen a US-NATO war he didn’t like, various Trotkyist groups and of course Bernard-Henry Lévy and Bernard Kouchner, all calling for some sort of “humanitarian intervention” in Libya or accusing the Latin American left, whose positions  are far more sensible, of acting as “useful idiots” for the “Libyan tyrant.”

Twelve years later, it is Kosovo all over again. Hundred of thousands of Iraqis dead, NATO stranded in an impossible position in Afghanistan, and they have learned nothing! The Kosovo war was made to stop a nonexistent genocide, the Afghan war to protect women (go and check their situation now), and the Iraq war to protect the Kurds. When will they understand that all wars claim to have humanitarian justifications? Even Hitler was “protecting minorities” in Czechoslovakia and Poland.

On the other hand, Robert Gates warns that any future secretary of state who advises a US president to send troops into Asia or Africa “must have his head examined”. Admiral Mullen similarly advises caution. The great paradox of our time is that the headquarters of the peace movement are to be found in the Pentagon and the State Department, while the pro-war party is a coalition of neo-conservatives and liberal interventionists of various stripes, including leftist humanitarian warriors, as well as some Greens, feminists or repentant communists.

So, now, everybody has to cut down his or her consumption because of global warming, but NATO wars are recyclable and imperialism has become part of sustainable development.

Of course the US will go or not go to war for reasons that are quite independent of the advice offered by the pro-war left. Oil is not likely to be a major factor in their decision, because any future Libyan government will have to sell oil and Libya is not big enough to significantly weigh on the price of oil. Of course, turmoil in Libya leads to speculation that itself affects prices, but that is a different matter. Zionists are probably of two minds about Libya: they hate Qaddafi, and would like to see him ousted, like Saddam, in the most humiliating manner, but they are not sure they will like his opposition (and, from the little we know about it, they won’t).

Possible Problems with Secession Reply

An interesting discussion of secession from a white nationalist perspective from The Occidental Quarterly.

Four years of bloodshed proved that the South was not strong enough to secede without the permission of the North. It steadily and gradually lost, militarily, a battle that it had already lost politically before it seceded. Had the South been strong enough to secede without permission, it would also have been strong enough to defend its political interests without seceding.

Secession is an attempt by the politically weaker of two parties to solve, by leaving the field, a political problem that it is too weak to solve, either politically or militarily.

Only the weaker party in a political conflict would want to secede. Only the stronger party would be strong enough to secede without the permission of the other. However, the stronger party would not want to secede because it could force the weaker party to do whatever it wanted.

Covington suggests that military disaster at some distant part of the empire might make the United States too weak to hold on to the Pacific Northwest in the face of guerilla warfare. Maybe so. But this would give the homeland the kind of temporary safety that a Thanksgiving turkey enjoys.

Any place where a secessionist might want to live would be too valuable for the larger, stronger party to give up.

The Pacific Northwest, in particular, is far too valuable to secede in peace. It has valuable hydroelectric power, in a world hungry for cheap energy. The Columbia, its most important river, is 1,243 miles long. Puget Sound gives the Pacific Northwest well-sheltered, world-class harbors. It has a major naval base. Nuclear submarines silently travel its waterways.

The Return of the Witch-Hunters Reply

Justin Raimondo on the latest round of neo-McCarthyism.

During the “Brown Scare” of the 1930s, epitomized by the Dickstein “Special Committee” and the literary career of Carlson/Derounian, the cooperation of the Justice Department, Hoover’s G-men, and the left-wing “extremist”-hunting groups, such as the “Friends of Democracy,” and the investigatory arm of the Anti-Defamation League, was such that the “privateers” might have been considered a third arm of law enforcement – “private” police agencies whose task it was to provide the official agencies with vital leads as well as buttress support for the witch-hunt among the people. And, as Thomas E. Mahl documents in Desperate Deception: British Covert Operations in the United States, 1939-1944, foreign intelligence agencies played a key role in the campaign to demonize war opponents. The KGB, acting through its American agents, principally the Communist Party, were hard at work directing and subsidizing the “anti-fascist” fight to pass Lend-Lease Act, get the US involved in the war, and save the “worker’s fatherland.”

The same pattern emerged, albeit in reverse, when the cold war froze US-Soviet relations and the commie-hunters took center stage. The professional anti-communists, many of them ex-Communists of one sort or another, created a cottage industry out of their disillusionment: they wrote books, went on lecture tours, set up a multitude of organizations, and made lucrative careers out of the cause. Their ultimate goal, to get on the government payroll, was achieved in all too many instances.

1 in 100 U.S Adults Now Behind Bars, Study Says Reply

From the New York Times.

The number of prisoners in California dropped by 4,000 last year, making Texas’s prison system the nation’s largest, at about 172,000. But the Texas legislature last year approved broad changes to the corrections system there, including expansions of drug treatment programs and drug courts and revisions to parole practices.

“Our violent offenders, we lock them up for a very long time — rapists, murderers, child molestors,” said John Whitmire, a Democratic state senator from Houston and the chairman of the state senate’s criminal justice committee. “The problem was that we weren’t smart about nonviolent offenders. The legislature finally caught up with the public.”

He gave an example.

“We have 5,500 D.W.I offenders in prison,” he said, including people caught driving under the influence who had not been in an accident. “They’re in the general population. As serious as drinking and driving is, we should segregate them and give them treatment.”

The Pew report recommended diverting nonviolent offenders away from prison and using punishments short of reincarceration for minor or technical violations of probation or parole. It also urged states to consider earlier release of some prisoners.

Before the recent changes in Texas, Mr. Whitmire said, “we were recycling nonviolent offenders.”

Publisher of Anarchist Cookbook convicted under Terrorism Act in UK 1

From the Guardian.

A businessman who published a “terrorists’ handbook” that included information about how to make bombs has been found guilty of collecting and distributing material that could have led to attacks.

Terence Brown made CDs containing thousands of pages of information at his home in Portsmouth. Topics included “how to make a letterbomb” and “how to enter countries illegally”.

The prosecutor at Winchester crown court said the publication – called the Anarchist Cookbook – could have been used by terrorists to plan and commit atrocities.

Brown told the jury during a three-week trial that he published the book only to make money, that the information was freely available on the internet and that he did not sympathise with terrorists.

He was convicted of seven counts of collecting information that could have been used to prepare or commit acts of terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000, two counts of selling and distributing the information under the Terrorism Act 2006 and of one count under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Poll: Americans Strongly Prefer Military Cuts to Medical Care Cuts Reply

Article by Jason Ditz.

A hugely significant Reuters/Ipsos poll released today revealed that, when asked which programs they prefer to cut to reduce the rising budget deficit, that Americans dramatically prefer cuts to the military over other options.

A solid majority, 51%, backed cutting military spending, strongly ahead of the runner-up, Medicare and Medicaid spending, which was only 28%. The US military, the most expensive in human history, is projected to grow precipitously in the years ahead.

But with the economy in trouble and the military’s “emergency” spending requests bringing their annual budget ever closer to $1 trillion, the question is increasingly being asked: how can America possibly sustain this?

Israeli Military Not Able to Crush West Bank Uprising Reply

Yes! Article by Jason Ditz.

Top commanders in the Israeli military are warning that the military is completely incapable of crushing an Egypt-style popular uprising in the West Bank, assuming one actually begins.

“There is nothing for it,” one of the commanders noted, and while the Israeli military apparently developed a major program last year to plan a response for mass public protests amongst the Palestinians, it seems the conclusion is that they simply can’t win.

Not that they don’t intend to try: officials emphasized that they would be attacking Palestinian protesters that are trying to damage the military’s checkpoint system, and would also do so to keep them away from the settlements.

Saudi Prince Questions Ban on Women Driving Reply

Wonder how much longer he has to live? It would indeed be amazing if Saudi Arabia began to catch up with the seventeenth century.

A senior Saudi prince questioned the need for a ban on women driving on Wednesday and said lifting it would be a quick first step to reduce the Islamic kingdom’s dependence on millions of foreign workers.

The Gulf Arab state is a monarchy ruled by the al-Saud family in alliance with clerics from the strict Wahhabi school of Islam. Women must be covered from head to toe in public and are not allowed to drive.

But the ruling family has been facing calls from activists and liberals, empowered by protests across North Africa and the Middle East, to allow some political reforms in the absolute monarchy that has no parliament.

Using social media, activists have called on King Abdullah to allow women to participate for the first time in municipal elections expected later this year.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a nephew of King Abdullah and advocate of his reforms, said the kingdom could send some 750,000 foreign drivers home if women could drive.

Saudi Police Open Fire at Protest 1

What do you want to bet the U.S. will intervene if its oil puppet is threatened? Read the article.

Saudi police opened fire Thursday to disperse a protest in the mainly Shiite east, leaving at least one man injured, as the government struggled to prevent a wave of unrest sweeping the Arab world from reaching the kingdom.

The rare violence raised concern about a crackdown ahead of more planned protests after Friday prayers in different cities throughout the oil-rich kingdom. The pro-Western monarchy is concerned protests could open footholds for Shiite powerhouse Iran and has accused foreigners of stoking the protests, which are officially forbidden.

Despite the ban and a warning that security forces will act against them, protesters demanding the release of political prisoners took to the streets for a second day in the eastern city of Qatif. Several hundred protesters, some wearing face masks to avoid being identified, marched after dark asking for “Freedom for prisoners.”

The Stupidity of "Progressive" Media Elites Reply

by Kevin DeAnna

http://www.westernyouth.org/articles/what-they-really-think-about-us/

James O’Keefe continued his yeoman’s work exposing the progressive media for what they are — an arrogant elite bitterly hostile to Middle America. Disguised as a delegation from the fictional “Muslim Education Action Center,” which stated as an objective that “We must combat intolerance to spread acceptance of Sharia across the world,” two men working with O’Keefe met with NPR executives, discussing a plan to donate $5 million. NPR Executive Ron Schiller wasted no time in letting them know what he really thought about Middle America.

While Schiller did not bat an eye about the MEAC talking about being founded by the Muslim Brotherhood, complaining about “Zionist influence,” or the need to impose sharia law around the country, he was quick to express his outrage at the Tea Party movement. Needless to say, his opposition was not rooted in what they believe, but in who they are. Schiller notes that the Tea Party is “not just Islamaphobic, but really xenophobic, I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.”

(Doesn’t this remind you of someone else? Someone who said, “It’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”)

The real problem, of course, is the lack of Muslim voices in the media — “it’s the same thing we faced as a nation when we didn’t have female voices.”

This tells us everything we need to know about the media — open admissions of advocating sharia law are not scary, or even worth mentioning. To Schiller though, White Middle Americans demonstrating about tax cuts are horrifying.

Schiller goes on to describe liberals as more intelligent and informed than conservatives. “In my personal opinion, liberals today might be more educated, fair and balanced than conservatives,” he said. Schiller also praised the firing of Juan Williams over his comments about Muslim terrorism, which NPR publicly maintains was a mistake.

The real point is not about federal funding, or sharia law, or the Tea Party movement. The point is the media hates us not because of anything we believe, but because of who we are. They are a hostile class that despises Middle America and wants to dismantle it.

As always, the real question in politics is not about what, it’s about who. O’Keefe’s latest blockbuster shows that the media center funded by your tax dollars hates you and wants to destroy you. Schiller noted that “we would be better off without federal funding.” After these revelations, he might just get his wish.

Voting: Who Needs It? Reply

Dave D’Amato explains the futility of electoralism.

Counter to the statist categories of democracy that exist to give (in mainstream political jargon) a “mandate” to coercion, free market anarchists favor voluntary democracy. Leaving each individual free within her own sphere of decision-making autonomy, market anarchism contemplates group decisions based on the consent and participation of all involved.

Cooperatives, mutuals, and any number of other, peacefully-organized groups could — without the violent imposition of state interference — make decisions for collective action. With individuals left the power to withdraw their consent from institutions founded on free agreement, democracy would become a valid, organic process.

Today, democracy and all of its many accoutrements make up an extravaganza for celebrating and purifying the acts of the modern, total state. Free market anarchism simply calls for a democratic ideal wherein unchained individuals would resolve problems and come to conclusions through nonviolent channels of action. Regardless of the details of bills moving about in state legislatures, the democracy of the state will always be of the state, by the state and for the state.

Thank You, Bradley Manning, for Your Service Reply

Kevin Carson on a true military hero.

Bradley Manning, who has never actually been convicted of anything, is being punished for one crime, and one crime alone: Embarrassing the United States government. He has exposed the criminal activities of the U.S. government — including war crimes by American troops — as well as criminal activities by foreign governments in collusion with the U.S. What’s more, he’s created a demonstration effect by showing others how easy it is to do it, and forced government officials to work under the threat of exposure. Murdering civilians and pimping little boys to Afghan police officials is small potatoes. But embarrassing the U.S. government? For this Manning must die.

Bradley Manning, directly and indirectly, has probably done more for freedom than any single human being in years.

His exposure of war crimes by U.S. forces in Iraq, and his exposure of how the sausage of U.S. foreign policy is made, benefit freedom in their own right insofar as they undermine — to whatever extent — the global and domestic credibility of the United States government.

But more importantly, the cables Manning leaked — which were published on Wikileaks — played a central role in triggering the so-called Twitter revolution that started in Tunisia, spread to Egypt and much of the Middle East, and is now striking Qaddafi with hurricane-force winds of freedom. Among the cables which Wikileaks published were detailed descriptions of the Tunisian regime’s corruption, which galvanized local dissident groups into launching the movement that overthrew the government.