Federal prisons are fighting coronavirus with home release and a quarantine, but that may not be enough Reply

By Sean Collins

Vox

he Bureau of Prisons (BOP) announced late Wednesday that, due to Covid-19 concerns, all of those incarcerated in federal facilities will be under quarantine for the next 14 days.

The guidelines come as a growing number of incarcerated people and prison employees have begun testing positive for and displaying symptoms indicative of the novel coronavirus, and represent the BOP’s latest effort to reduce the rate of transmission in federal facilities.

But while the new guidance is certainly better than taking no action, critics of the policy argue there are better ways to curb prison-based coronavirus cases: namely, improved sanitation and commuting sentences to reduce the number of people in prison.

While all 146,000 federally incarcerated people will be confined to their cells for two weeks, the BOP said they will be allowed into communal areas on a limited — and, as much as is possible, socially distant — basis to eat, do laundry, bathe, access the internet, and use the phone. Incarcerated people will also still have normal access to educational and mental health services. New prison arrivals will be reduced during the quarantine period.

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Innocent Prisoners Are Going to Die of the Coronavirus Reply

“Let my people go.” -Moses

By Barbara Bradley Hagerty

The Atlantic

While millions of Americans shelter in place, one group simply cannot escape the coronavirus: prisoners. Among them are hundreds of people who have plausible claims that they are innocent, whose cases were working their way through the courts—until the coronavirus ground regular court business to a halt. What these stories reveal is the threat the virus poses to prisoners, both innocent and guilty, and to the wider population as a whole.

Walter Ogrod is one of those prisoners. February 28 brought the news that Ogrod had been waiting for ever since he was convicted of killing a 4-year-old girl and placed on death row 23 years ago: The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office told a court that Ogrod was “likely innocent,” and that his conviction was a “gross miscarriage of justice” based on evidence that was “false, unreliable, and incomplete.” He should be released. The judge set a hearing for March 27, then rescheduled it for June. Delays happen. Most everyone believed that Ogrod would soon walk out of prison.

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“Shelter in place” is impossible if you can’t afford a home Reply

By Roge Karma

Vox

As of March 31, 270 million people in at least 33 states, 89 counties, and 29 cities across the US have been urged by their government officials to stay home. While these policies often come with seismic life disruptions, the vast majority of Americans are taking them seriously. Most of us don’t even think twice about it: We just stay home.

But “stay-at-home” orders are impossible to follow if you don’t have a home in the first place. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that there are around 550,000 homeless individuals on any given night in America (others estimate that around 2 million people find themselves homeless in a given year).

The coronavirus has exposed the massive weaknesses in our already lacking social support infrastructure for the homeless. Shelters are too understaffed, under-resourced, and crowded to enforce proper social distancing and hygiene measures. Outdoor encampments lack basic sanitation. In some instances, the homeless are being shuttled into empty parking lots and told to sleep on asphalt.

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A new rallying cry among America’s working class: No one should pay rent until the coronavirus pandemic ends Reply

It’s fascinating to see an article like this in the Voice of the Deep State.

By Renae Merle, Heather Long and Patricia Sullivan

Washington Post

After losing his job as a restaurant cook last month, Casey James began contacting his Atlanta neighbors with an idea: No one should pay rent until the coronavirus pandemic ends.

Going door-to-door in some cases, James, 28, estimates he has talked to nearly 200 people. If everyone refused to pay, it would be harder for landlords to evict anyone, protecting those who had recently lost their jobs, he told them. “The reception has been total support; I was really surprised,” James said.

April 1 has loomed as a turning point in the coronavirus economic fallout for the country’s more than 40 million renters and 30 million small business owners. With millions laid off due to the pandemic, some are pulling money from their savings accounts, borrowing money from friends to pay rent or attempting to negotiate deals with their landlords.

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Neoliberals Co-opt AOC with Cultural Leftism Reply

The same pattern the US Left has followed since the 1970s.

A relevant observation from the comments section:

“I never drank the AOC kool aid. 90% of the interest in her derives from the fact that she’s a young woman of color and she’s from NYC, which we’re still supposed to believe is the center of the universe. If she had the same politics but were a white male from South Dakota, hardly anybody would know or care about her.”

Trump shifts tone with grim coronavirus warnings 1

President Trump’s coronavirus task force shared grim projections for the country’s future amid the coronavirus crisis, estimating that 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could die before the crisis is over. The tone of the press conference marks a stark departure from Mr. Trump’s previous media appearances, where he mostly touted the success of his administration’s response. Weijia Jiang is at the White House where she breaks down the president’s latest message.

Woody Guthrie — I Ain’t Got No Home/Old Man Trump by the Missin’ Cousins Reply

Supposedly, Woody Guthrie wrote a song in 1950 where he lyrically attacked his then-landlord, Fred Trump (Donald Trump’s father). Supposedly, the song was discovered a few years ago, and actually recorded by some contemporary musicians like Ani DiFranco and Tom Morello. I have no idea whether this story is true, a hoax, or an apocryphal tale, but if true, it’s funny as hell.

The ritualistic Trumphate coming from liberals, leftists, professional celebrities, entertainers, media personalities, activists, do-gooders, etc. doesn’t really interest me. They act like the sky fell in 2016 after they sucked off Barack (George Bush III) Obama for 8 years. Anyone who has watched Trump in the media for the last 40 years (like myself) knows he’s just another scumbag plutocrat.

But this is still funny.

 

Tucker: What will higher education look like after coronavirus? Reply

Universities, along with the mass media, are what I call the “New Church,” in the sense of being institutions that are the most responsible for establishing and dissemination the ideology and values of the ruling class, and subsequently using their institutional power to inculcate ruling class ideology in the masses (see the Marxist concept of the relationship between the base and the superstructure). Universities (whether they function as “private” corporations or state-owned industries) are profiteering operations whose purpose is to generate institutional wealth through student loan debt thralldom/indentured servitude.

 

Coronavirus, Gun Sales, & Self-Defense Reply

Like so many paleconservative types, Tucker Carlson is excellent on gun rights, but horrible on civil libertarian and anti-police state issues generally (e.g. supporting the drug war, opposing weed legalization, opposing “criminal justice reform,” opposing coronavirus-driven prisoner releases, using standard conservative cop-lover rhetoric, etc.).

Coronavirus is causing a rise in gun sales and self-defense during the COVID-19 outbreak. Fox News’ Tucker Carlson speaks with USCCA’s President Tim Schmidt about self-defense in reaction to Coronavirus. Many people have recently purchased a firearm and you need to get the proper training to be your family’s first line of defense. The USCCA Is Here for You. The USCCA exists to serve those who have the courage to carry for good — people just like you who have made the commitment to be empowered protectors. Our family has grown to include over 325,000 responsibly armed Americans, and we invite you to discover the lifesaving self-defense education, training and legal protection benefits we offer law-abiding citizens. Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Wisconsin, we are the largest membership association dedicated to preserving your inalienable right to protect yourself, and your family, through self-defense. To learn more about membership you can click here: http://bit.ly/USCCA-Membership

Donald Trump and Conservative Intellectuals Reply

An interesting discussion of Trump from November 2016, immediately after Trump’s election, that nails the essence of Trumpism fairly well, i.e. a symbolic triumph of populism against elitism where the principal division is social class. The speakers in this video are “conservative intellectuals” of the old-bourgeois variety, and you have to read between the lines to get the substance of what they are saying.  But their analysis is consistent with something I have been thinking for a while, that the US has what are essentially three political parties, viewed from an ideological and constituency-based perspective:

1. The Neoliberal Party, which has two factions, “moderate” Republicans (e.g. Mitt Romney) and “moderate” Democrats (e.g. Chuck Schumer)

2. The Faux Populist Party, which has two factions, the old-bourgeoisie (like these speakers in the video) and the post-bourgeois proletariat (the sinking working to middle-class WASPs who actually take Trump seriously)

3. The Faux Social Democratic Party, which has two factions, the New Class (the left-wing of the middle class or lower strata of the managerial elite) and the labor aristocracy and left-wing of the petite bourgeoisie (business unions, the civil rights industries, and conventional welfare statists).

If I had to attach ATS to any particular social class, and if I believed in electoral politics, I’d say ATS would be the Lumpenproletarian Anarchist Party. with the mainstream anarchist movement being the “furthest left-wing of the Faux Social Democratic Party” or “most co-opted wing of the Anarchist Party.”

Asgardia: What the founding of space nations means for us Earthlings Reply

By Aleksa Burmazovic

Asgardia is the world’s first society to be located entirely off-world: despite the impressive concept art that one encounters on the recently created (2016) startup society’s website, its properties in low-earth orbit currently consist of a single breadbox-sized satellite – ASGARDIA-1.

“Cloud storage” isn’t quite right – Asgardia’s data is in the stars.

This is by no means to detract from the success that is launching a civilian satellite, and successfully having it communicate as a data storage provider with the surface. Yes, Asgardian citizens can in fact upload their data to ASGARDIA-1. Currently present on the drive are Asgardia’s founding principles, constitution, anthem and similar basic information. Asgardian citizens have between 100 and 200 kilobytes of real estate on the low-orbit data center.

The plan is to have subsequent modules receive ASGARDIA-1 and dock with it, and expand the infrastructure of the spacebound startup society. Asgardia currently boasts just over 250,000 citizens, and more than 3 times that in followers on social media. There is certainly an interest in expanding humanity beyond the blue marble.

Currently, Asgardia has no permanent population in space, which is an element necessary for sovereignty, which they plan to claim. To learn more about this, we’ll have to turn to…

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Submit to Freedom: Bronze Age Mindset Reply

Submit! to Geoffrey Miller & Justin Murphy talking about the book ‘Bronze Age Mindset’ by Bronze Age Pervert. It’s a wide-ranging conversation that sparked a lot of new ideas for us. Topics include freedom, power, sex, space, submission, domination, hierarchy, religion, glory, Mannerbund, Indo-Europeans, evolutionary psychology, social media, recklessness, mind hacks, the Blank Slate, Nietzsche, Darwin, Moldbug, Palahniuk, Achilles, Elon Musk, Kanye West, Dwayne Johnson, Nassim Taleb, nerds, manic geniuses, bugmen, American Mind, Claremont Institute, and the Intellectual Dark Phalanx.

Rawabi and the Case for Cooperative Governance Reply

By Jidy Chitta

Startup Societies Foundation

As the startup societies movement has matured a few core tenets have emerged to explain the value of creating startup societies to the broader world. The concept of competitive governance is one of those tenets. In a nutshell, the theory of competitive governance advocates for a world where governments compete for citizens in a similar fashion that companies compete for customers.

This governance-as-a-service market would then incentivized governments to innovate more solutions to their citizens’ problems. In 2011, Patri Friedman explained that “…a startup sector for government means more competition, more new ideas, [which] means things will eventually improve in the current large providers (existing countries).”

Describing government as a dated industry ripe for disruption is useful for catalyzing ideas for innovative alternatives. However, framing startup societies as rivals to existing countries does not direct the next iteration of experiments to the most pragmatic path forward and can alienate the industries most important allies: existing countries.

Surveying the industry as a whole indicates that a market of collaborative startup societies will be the main driver of growth. Framing opportunities this way opens up new possibilities to develop solutions to difficult problems around the world. While there are many examples that demonstrate this point, the Rawabi project is a particularly inspiring case to explore.

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Panarchy and Entrepreneurial Cities Reply

By Pedro Dias

Startup Societies Foundation

In 1860, the Belgian economist and botanist Paul Emile de Puydt published the essay Panarchy, originally in French¹, in the periodical Revue Trimestrielle, in which he outlined a political system in which everyone would have the right to choose under which form of government they wanted to live. In other words, Puydt applied the concept of freedom of choice, laissez-faire, laissez-passer, to the system of government (or non-government).

“My panacea, if you will allow this term, is simply free competition in the business of government. Everyone has the right to look after his own welfare as he sees it and to obtain security under his own conditions. On the other hand, this means progress through contest between governments forced to compete for followers. True worldwide liberty is that which is not forced upon anyone, being to each just what he wants of it; it neither suppresses nor deceives, and is always subject to a right of appeal. […] In a nutshell: Freedom of choice, competition. “Laissez faire, laissez passer!” This marvellous motto, inscribed on the banner of economic science, will one day be the principle of the political world too. The expression “political economy” gives some foretaste of it and, interestingly, some people have already tried to change this name, for instance, into “social economy”. The intuitive good sense of the people has disallowed this concession. The science of economics is and always will be the political science par excellence. Was it not the former which created the modern principle of non-intervention and its slogan “laissez faire, laissez passer”?”

Michael S. Rozeff, in the article Why I Am a Panarchist², expresses in other words the concept of Puydt:

“I personally do not want to live under such a power and such impositions, which is why I am anarchist. But I also recognize that others of you might wish to do so, which is one reason why I am panarchist. I do not want to abolish your government that you may want for yourselves, but I want to have my own means of governance for myself. This too is why I am panarchist”.

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Autonomy and Federalism Reply

By Sam Dolfgoff (1986)

The revival of interest in anarchism has recently produced works on the ideology and history of the libertarian movement. By far, most modern writers confirm popular misconceptions about how the anarchists view the relationships of society to the state, of individual freedom and local autonomy to social order and of organization to authority. It is hoped that these brief remarks will clarify some important aspects of these problems.

The critics believe that since modern society is becoming increasingly complex and interdependent, individual freedom and local autonomy on the scale envisioned by the anarchists would fracture society by breaking it down into small, isolated, loosely related groups. In the ensuing chaos, each group would be free to do anything it pleased without regards to the rights of neighbors or the general welfare. Since modern social life is impossible without large-scale organization and such organization involves authority which the anarchists reject, it follows that anarchism as a practical theory of social regeneration is a pipe dream.
While anarchism might have worked in a relatively primitive society, they contend, its only useful role today is the negative one of curtailing the excessive encroachments of the state on individual and social freedom. While recognizing that some of the anarchist criticisms of the state are correct, the fact remains, they assert, that supreme authority, intelligently exercised, must continue to be vested in the state. They consider that the state is indissolubly linked to society and that society cannot function without the state. It is at best a blessing, and at worst a necessary evil.
To the anarchist, society is the association of all the people cooperating in an infinite variety of organizations for the performance and satisfaction of all mankind’s myriad individual and social needs.

The political scientist E. Barker declares:

. . . the area of society is voluntary cooperation. Its energy is that of good will. Its method that of elasticity; while the other, the state, is rather mechanical action, its energy force, its method rigidity. (Political Thought from Spencer to the Present Day, p. 67)

These ideas are in general accord with the anarchist conception of society. Kropotkin envisioned the anarchist society as

the fullest development of free association in all its aspects, in all possible degrees, and for all conceivable purposes, an ever-changing association bearing in itself the elements of its own duration and taking on the forms which at any moment best correspond to the manifold endeavors of all … we conceive the structure of society to be something which is never finally constituted …. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1905)

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From megalopolis to communitas Reply

By Murray Bookchin (1974)

Panarchy.Org

The city has completed its historic evolution. Its dialectic from the village, temple area, fortress or administrative center, each dominated by agrarian interests, to the polis and medieval commune during an era when town and country were in some kind of equilibrium, to the bourgeois city which completely dominates the countryside, now culminates in the emergence of the megalopolis, the absolute negation of the city.

No longer can we speak of a clearly defined urban entity with an authentically collective interest or outlook of its own. Just as each phase or moment of the city ha its own internal limits, the megalopolis represents the limits of the city as such — of civitas as distinguished from communitas. The political principle, in the form of the state, dissolves the last vestiges of the social principle, replacing all community ties by bureaucratic ones.

Personified space and the human scale disintegrate into institutional space and urban gigantism, hierarchically grounded in the impersonal domination of one human by another and the destruction of nature by a rapacious society motivated by production for the sake of production. This “anti-city,” neither urban nor rural in any traditional sense, affords no arena for community and genuine sociation. At most, the megalopolis is a patchwork of mutually hostile enclaves or ghettoes, each of which is internally “united” not by a positive harmony of creative impulses but rather by a negative hostility toward the stranger on its perimeter. Physically, morally, and logistically, this urban cancer is in rapid decay. It does not function on its own terms as an arena for the efficient production and marketing of commodities.

To say that this creature is breaking down is an understatement: the megalopolis is an active force in social dissociation and psychic dissolution. It is the negation of the city as an arena of close human proximity and palpable ‘ cultural tradition, and as a means of collecting creative human energies. To restore urbanity as a meaningful terrain for sociation, culture, and community, the megalopolis must be ruthlessly dissolved and replace by new decentralized eco-communities, each carefully tailored to the natural eco-system in which it is located.

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‘The Strike Wave Is in Full Swing’: Amazon, Whole Foods Workers Walk Off Job to Protest Unjust and Unsafe Labor Practices 1

“One of the best ways to thank essential workers is to support the fight to improve their lives.”

(By: Julia Conley, Common Dreams) Labor rights advocates on Monday urged the public to show support and solidarity with Amazon employees who walked off the job at a Staten Island warehouse following what the workers said was an unacceptable response by the company to at least one case of coronavirus at the facility.

Between 50 and 200 employees at the warehouse, known as JFK8, walked off the job around 12:30 pm Monday, days after at least one case of coronavirus was reported at the facility. Christian Smalls, an employee who is organizing the strike, told CNN the number of employees who have tested positive for the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, is actually between five and seven, though the company has only acknowledged one infection.

The workers are demanding that Amazon shut the warehouse down and ensure it is sanitized before requiring employees to work again.

We’re not asking for much,” Smalls said. “We’re asking the building to be closed and sanitized, and for us to be paid [during that process].”

By ignoring the threat of transmission to other workers, tweeted the grassroots group New York Communities for Change, “Amazon is putting profits over safety.”

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Fed President Declare: “No End in Our Ability to Print Money…and Congress Has Told Us To.” Reply

By Mike Gleason, Money Metals Exchange

The roller coaster ride in markets took a sharp turn higher this week after the Federal Reserve and Congress together pledged over 6 trillion dollars to rescue the financial system.

Perhaps this week was an inflection point for the mass fear and panic that has cleared out bullion dealers of coins and grocery stores out of toilet paper.  Although the number of coronavirus cases hasn’t yet peaked, there are some signs that the hysteria surrounding the deadly outbreak has.

The stock market finally put together a sustained rally even though the economy remains locked down.  But how can equities jump without the impetus of actual earnings from business operations?  The answer, of course, is that Wall Street is being reinflated by trillions of stimulus dollars created out of thin air.

The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted unanimously to approve the largest stimulus bill in the nation’s history, totaling $2.2 trillion.  Some of the money will be sent directly to taxpayers.  Some of it will help bail out the airlines and other distressed industries.  Some of it will go toward medical supplies and equipment.  And some of it will go toward wish list items that have nothing to do with the current crisis because opportunistic politicians never let a good crisis go to waste.

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