The fundamental problem of fascist state data
Interesting argument by Andrew Kliman in his book, “The Failure of Capitalist Production”: the rate of profit tends to fall; but this tendency is “reversed” by the destruction of capital. I keep looking at this statement because it seems suspiciously widely accepted by Marxists all of a sudden. Kliman states it this way:
“The rate of profit—that is, profit as a percentage of the amount of money invested—has a persistent tendency to fall. However, this tendency is reversed by what John Fullarton, Karl Marx, and others have called the “destruction of capital” —losses caused by declining values of financial and physical capital assets or the destruction of the physical assets themselves.”
I am not questioning the idea the rate of profit tends to fall nor that this fall leads to crises. The problem I have here is with destruction of capital and Kliman’s definition of profit. First, a lot of people have looked at this profit thingy, and some agree with Kliman, while others disagree. My problem is not whether one group is right and the other wrong — it is how can any of this be determined based on fascist state data on corporate profits.
!Quelle Surprise! Like Greece and Spain before it, the UK finds austerity can only result in more austerity:
U.K. Tories to Press Ahead With $16 Billion of Welfare Cuts
The Conservative Party will press ahead with plans to cut 10 billion pounds ($16 billion) from the welfare budget and reduce spending by most other departments as it extends Britain’s austerity program into a seventh year.
The cuts to the benefits budget will go ahead as long as they meet safeguards sought by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, who has clashed with Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne on the issue since the party came to office in 2010. Duncan Smith and Osborne published a letter today saying the differences had been resolved.
“We are both satisfied that this is possible and we will work together to find savings of this scale,” the ministers said, according to excerpts released by Osborne’s office.
Osborne will address activists at the Conservatives’ annual conference in Birmingham, central England, later today, seeking to assure voters that his party will spread the pain of austerity across society. He’ll accuse the opposition Labour Party of focusing too much of that effort on the rich.
“There’s unfairness if people listening to this show are about to go out to work and they look across the street at their next door neighbour with blinds pulled down, living off a life on benefits,” Osborne said in an interview with BBC Radio 5 today. “Is it fair that a young person straight from school who has never worked can find themselves getting housing benefit to live in a flat when people who are working, perhaps listening to this program, are still living with their parents” because they can’t afford to move out, he asked.
Osborne is seeking to extend spending reductions across government departments as a 2010 effort to rid Britain of its budget deficit by 2015 is pushed back a further two years. Britain spends more than 200 billion pounds a year on welfare, accounting for 30 percent of total government spending. The Treasury said in March that welfare cuts of 10 billion pounds are needed by the fiscal year that runs through March 2017 on top of the 18 billion pounds of savings already announced.
See this is the problem with austerity — the more you cut, the more you must cut. Folks, if the fascist state is subsidizing capitalism by accumulating debt, cutting fascist state deficits only weakens capitalism.Since the fascist state is propping up profits through its accumulation of debt, if this debt accumulation is reduced, it sets off a vicious cycle which can only end in each round of cuts making necessary the next round of cuts.
Tags: austerity, budget deficit, CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT, debt, Depression, economic collapse, economic policy, inflation, Karl Marx, political-economy, Politics, recession, shorter work time, shorter work week, stupid economist tricks, TRADE DEFICIT, Trickle Down Economics
Disconnection from the current relations of production is easier said than done in Kurz’s opinion. It is not a matter of simply seizing a single factory, a retail outlet, an office or a school, nor even of seizing all the factories, retail outlets, offices and schools altogether in a simultaneous uprising in all countries at once. These institutions evolved within the context of commodity production and exchange and are fit only to function within this mode of production. It is not simply a matter of laying hold to them on the day after “the revolution” and employing them for the cause of social emancipation. Says Kurz,
The difficulty consists in the fact that the capitalist form of the functional division of society, as in the case of the capitalist structure of use value, cannot be assimilated, without alterations, into an emancipatory reproduction.
If this argument sounds familiar to you, it should; it is precisely the difficulty the communards faced in Paris when they took control of the old machinery of the state. They were compelled to dump that entire structure and create a new one on the fly to suit their specific needs. Marx concluded from that experience that the working class could not simply lay hold of the existing machinery of state and wield it for its purposes — that machinery had to be broken. Kurz is extending Marx’s argument well beyond the state to encompass the entire economic mechanism bound up with the capitalist mode of production. And he gives several pretty convincing reason for his conclusion.
Tags: anti-economics, anti-politics, commodity fetishism, Karl Marx, Labor theory of value, Marxism, Occupy the Marxist Academy, political-economy, Politics, Robert Kurz, shorter work time, shorter work time Tags: anti-capitalism, social emancipation, social revolution, Statism
My fellow Americans,
Now more than ever our government needs our help. For centuries we have believed democracy to be the best form of government, without ever experiencing true democracy. Greed and corruption have infiltrated our government, and now Democrats and Republicans have become so hopelessly opposed and unwilling to work together that nothing is accomplished. Our “representatives” use their entire term to campaign for reelection instead of doing the work Americans want done. Our government is broken, but we can fix it, and we can fix it through participating in our limited democracy, ironically. There is hope for democracy – a new hope, a liberating hope, a Libertarian hope. The Libertarian Party must be America’s Party now, because a new choice is always more democratic.
Democracy, as defined by Merriam-Webster is “a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority; b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.”
Free elections are an illusion. For the majority of this country’s history, two parties have held a monopoly over campaign contributions and the vote. Either a Democrat or Republican has won every presidential election since 1852, and since 1804 the most electoral votes a third-party candidate has obtained is just 46 by George Wallace in 1968. That was the year Tricky Dick was elected the first time. Needless to say had we realized then what we have the opportunity to realize now we could have avoided putting a crook in office. But we have an opportunity to change American politics once again and bring about a more democratic democracy.
The United States political scene suffers from what Herbert Marcuse would call one-dimensional thought, which “militates against qualitative change. Thus emerges a pattern of one-dimensional thought and behavior in which ideas, aspirations and objectives that…transcend the established universe of discourse and action are either repelled or reduced to terms of this universe” (Marcuse 12). This one-dimensional thought allows for greed and corruption to flourish in our government because we, the people, have accepted it as simply a consequence of democracy.
Marcuse’s one-dimensional thought is ever-present in the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act. “The Republican and Democratic candidates who win their parties’ nominations for President are each eligible to receive a grant to cover all the expenses of their general election campaigns. The basic $20 million grant is adjusted for inflation each Presidential election year. In 2008, the grant was $84.1 million…A third-party Presidential candidate may qualify for some public funds after the general election if he or she receives at least five percent of the popular vote.” So the Democratic and Republican candidates get $84.1 million and the third-party candidate gets squat unless they grab 5% of the vote in the previous election. The laws governing these “free” elections are keeping third parties at a disadvantage to install an incumbent, ruling order that “militates against qualitative change.” Changing these laws is not an option at this point, so we must act within the system to bring about qualitative change, which is one-dimensional in itself., but no one in Congress is going to reform campaign finance laws when they’re running for reelection. “In the political sphere…the programs of the big parties become ever more undistinguishable, even in the degree of hypocrisy and in the odor of the cliches” (Marcuse 19). The Democrats and Republicans are false opposites. They clearly have the same goal in mind – to keep the power divided amongst themselves and the money out of the hands of people looking to change the status quo. That’s why it’s important that the Libertarian Party surpass the 5% popular vote benchmark in the 2012 presidential election, or we can expect more of the same from the White House.
“As the great words of freedom and fulfillment are pronounced by campaigning leaders and politicians, on screens and radios and stages, they turn into meaningless sounds which obtain meaning only in the context of propaganda, business, discipline, and relaxation.” We’re in the whirlwind of this media now and we can already smell the stench of propaganda permeating from the camps of Democrats and Republicans, but the Libertarian Party doesn’t have the money to compete on television and radio, and unless the Libertarian Party is able to poll at 15%, they won’t be able to compete on stage either. You see, third party candidates are withheld from nationally televised debates if they don’t reach 15% on CNN’s presidential election poll. Don’t let the propaganda fool you. There’s only one party looking to bring about qualitative change despite what President Obama’s campaign slogan may be.
Marcuse warns us that “the range of choice open to the individual is not the decisive factor in determining the degree of human freedom, but what can be chosen and what is chosen.” Having another choice on the ballot does not make us more free, but having a quality choice on the ballot will if we cast a quality vote. The Libertarian Party takes the social tolerance of the Democrats and mixes it with the fiscal responsibility of the Republicans, which proves to be a strong party in an election year expecting the most independent voters in history. We have a quality choice in the Libertarian Party. Now it’s up to us to cast a quality vote. Though Marcuse again warns, “Free election of masters does not abolish the masters of the slaves.” The American government is a democratic republic, and until we change the entire order of things, a very two-dimensional thought, we’ll have to deal with our “masters” for the time being, but we can operate the machine.
“We are neither in the amphitheatre, nor on the stage, but in the panoptic machine, invested by its effects of power, which we bring to ourselves since we are part of its mechanism” (Foucault 217). Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish insists that power is everywhere and we all can wield it. And he’s right. Despite our panoptic society, we are still the fuel that drives the machine. Under the current administration, the panoptic surveillance has only increased, as President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the US government to detain its own citizens indefinitely and without trial if they are suspected terrorists. All of this after our President said during his campaign that he’d close Guantanamo Bay. A clear example of Foucault’s power relations occurred quite recently, when only public outrage kept bills SOPA and PIPA from criminalizing file sharing and destroying the communicative, free structure of the Internet. We do have power, “against an extraordinary evil, power is mobilized; it makes itself everywhere present and visible” (Foucault 205). Internet activists used the best tool they had to defeat SOPA and PIPA – the Internet. They flooded Congress Twitter accounts with pleas to stop the bills. They shut down Wikipedia in outrage of the bills. And yes, some people hacked into bank websites and shut them down, but it was ultimately a success for the American people, though many people believe CISPA, a cyber-security bill passed by the House on Thursday, to be a way for the government to further monitor its own citizens. The oppressors always comes back with a power play of their own, but the Libertarian Party is strongly opposed to any legislation that allows our government to monitor our web practices. It’s a clear invasion of privacy and that’s why we need to keep fighting because “there is no risk…that the increase of power created by the panoptic machine may degenerate into tyranny’ the disciplinary mechanism will be democratically controlled, since it will be constantly accessible ‘to the great tribunal committee of the world’” (Foucault 207).
The actions of Internet activists are also a great demonstration of communicative action. “In modern, secular societies social order rests chiefly on the basis of communicative action (action coordinated by validity claims) and discourse, which together help establish and maintain social integrity – that is, they provide the glue that keeps society together.“ Jürgen Habermas is my kind of guy – a democratic socialist in the best sense. “Habermas argues that we can establish an ideal speech situation – a set of conditions under which democratic discussion optimally takes place – that can guide the way we set up group conversations on important community issues and decisions” (Brookfield 63). He would urge us to organize at a local level and discuss the issues of the day and arrive at a consensus that neglects no one and is not self-serving, which is difficult given Habermas believes human beings to be “essentially self-interested,” though the Internet has provided an opportunity for humanitarian efforts, as Clay Shirky makes clear in his book Cognitive Surplus. “The Internet is an opportunity machine, a way for small groups to create new opportunities, at lower cost and with less hassle than ever before, and to advertise those opportunities to the largest set of potential participants in history.” (Shirky 128-129). The Internet allows us to organize our efforts and communicate effectively, and I think Habermas is wrong to think “the electronic mass media of today is organized in such a way that it controls the loyalty of a depoliticised population” (qtd. in Brookfield 232). “For Habermas democracy is all about communication – the freest, least-restricted communication possible. In his view the greater the freedom of conversation that people enjoy, the higher the chance that true critical reason – reason employed to create a just, humane democracy – will emerge.” (Brookfield, 230). If the Internet is not the freest form of communication, I’m a little scared of what might be. I think now that Habermas knows Twitter is capable of keeping bills off the Senate floor, he may change his tune and urge us to use this “opportunity machine” to organize communicative action for liberty.
In organizing communicative action, Paulo Freire would urge “the oppressed must not, in seeking to regain their humanity…become in turn oppressors of the oppressors, but rather restorers of the humanity of both” (Freire 46). When the Libertarian Party does rise up and overcome our oppressors, it’s important to embrace those oppressors and help them to regain their humanity. We can’t simply leave the Democrats and Republicans in the dust. That would be selfish and ineffective. When the gay community finally achieves marriage equality, they aren’t going to live their lives oblivious to heterosexuals. We must help Democrats and Republicans realize their oppressive ways and install an active dialogue between the oppressed and the oppressors, and if we are to move forward, we must not fear freedom.
“The oppressed, having internalized the image of the oppressor and adopted his guidelines, are fearful of freedom. Freedom would require them to eject this image and replace it with autonomy and responsibility. Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued constantly and responsibly. Freedom is not an ideal located outside of man, nor is it an idea which becomes myth. It is rather the indispensable condition for the quest of human completion” (Freire 48).
A heavy burden of responsibility is awaiting the Libertarian Party at the end of this election, regardless of outcome, and we must not shy away from this responsibility as the Tea Party movement has done. We must accept this responsibility and go about restoring legitimacy to our government through love, because bipartisan bickering and political pandering is how we got here in the first place. Paulo Freire, a civil rights activist himself, would be appalled by the unwillingness of both Democrats and Republicans to recognize the marriage rights of gay human beings. The Libertarian Party won’t allow Democrats and Republicans to continue ignoring the gay community. Marriage equality cannot be denied to these Americans simply because they’re not conducting a traditional, religious marriage. Marriage used to be as strong a social order as evangelical Republicans still believe it to be, but we all know marriage doesn’t mean the same thing it did 20 years ago. Marriage is a human right, a civil right, a right that shall not be denied to any human regardless of race or sexual preference, and the Libertarian Party will fight for those rights.
It’s clear the Libertarian Party has a unique opportunity to change American politics forever, but how can we bring about this communicative action? Well, by taking a page from Augusto Boal’s book we can “practice how the theater can be placed at the service of the oppressed” (121). Boal’s main objective, and this is the main objective of the Libertarian Party as well, is “to change the people – ‘spectators,’ passive beings in the theatrical phenomenon – into subjects, into actors, transformers of the dramatic action” (122). Boal’s Peru experiments provide a model for Americans looking to become more aware of other people’s hopes and “one will be able to physically ‘interpret’ characters different from oneself” (128). Only through understanding each other can we effectively govern ourselves. A thorough understanding of our fellow citizens isn’t all we’ll need to bring about change, though. They must also have a thorough understanding of us, and Boal offers an effective way to invite people to live in other people’s shoes. The medical marijuana debate is a perfect opportunity for Boal’s theatric experiments to be put to the test. Consider a hypothetical situation: a Libertarian who happens to be a medical marijuana patient in favor of legalizing marijuana meets a Republican or Democrat staunchly opposed to medical marijuana and legalization of any kind. Boal gives us a model for reshaping people’s subjectivities by allowing them to step out of their own heads and into someone else’s. The Libertarian calmly explains why she supports marijuana legalization and listens attentively to why the new friend is opposed to it. Aware of their new friend’s subjectivities, the Libertarian invites the new friend to step into her shoes. “I suffer from (cancer/post-traumatic stress syndrome/multiple sclerosis/degenerative disc disease/etc.), and I use marijuana to deal with the (pain/nausea). Without it my life is a living hell, and now my provider has been arrested by the DEA despite following the state medical marijuana laws, so I can’t even get the medication I need. Now, if you found yourself with (cancer/post-traumatic stress syndrome/multiple sclerosis/etc.) and a doctor told you this plant could help you live more comfortably, would you still support DEA raids of providers just looking to make a living?” Most folks can’t help but feel empathetic because they have actively experienced what the other person is going through. They were invited to consider their subjectivities in an alternate reality. They are no longer a spectator, but a “spectactor.”
Without action there is no theatre, and the show can’t go on without action. Boal urges us to get off our asses and act rather than watch, and the Libertarian Party urges you to do the same. We find ourselves in a participatory democracy in which the participants are unwilling to participate, whether it be due to poor choices on the ballot or simple laziness. We cannot allow this lack of participation define our democracy.
“The spectator is less than a man and it is necessary to humanize him, to restore him to his capacity of action in all its fullness. He too must be a subject, an actor” (Boal, 155). We must become actors, for without action we are forever stuck in constant oppressiveness. Volunteer to register voters in your community or on your campus and inform them of the Libertarian Party and where it stands on the issues. Don’t just register them. Educate them. Discuss these issues with your neighbors, and inform those who may be misinformed. Distribute informative election materials and signs around your community. There is so much more to a participatory democracy than simply voting, and in order for the Libertarian Party to be America’s Party we all have to participate more. “The poetics of the oppressed is essentially the poetics of liberation: the spectator no longer delegates power to the characters either to think or to act in his place. The spectator frees himself; he thinks and acts for himself! Theater is action! Perhaps the theater is not revolutionary in itself; but have no doubts, it is a rehearsal of revolution!” Life is all action, too, and until we act together we’ll accomplish nothing.
Brookfield, Stephen D. The Power of Critical Theory. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2005.
Boal, Augusto. Theatre of the Oppressed. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 1985.
Finlayson, James. Habermas: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford, 2005.
Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish. New York: Vintage Books, 1977.
Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum, 1960.
Marcuse, Herbert. One-Dimensional Man. Boston: Beacon, 1964.
Shirky, Clay. Cognitive Surplus. New York: Penguin, 2010.
Tags: act, action, actor, america, american, augusto boal, boal, campaign, choice, communicate, communication, communicative action, Democracy, Democrat, election, foucault, free, Freedom, freire, gay, Government, habermas, Human, humanity, internet, Law, liberation, Libertarian, Libertarian Party, Liberty, life, marcuse, marriage equality, michel foucault, Money, one-dimensional, oppressed, oppressor, order, panoptic, panopticism, participant, participate, participatory, party, paulo freire, poetics of the oppressed, politic, Politics, Power, Republican, responsibility, Revolution, social, spectator, surveil, theater, theatre, vote
Original Blogpost Here.
The term “objectification” has been used variably by different people. The primary exemplary group that has used the term are gender feminists. However, even within this group it has been used in differing conflicting contexts. There are, of course, the anti-pornography feminists who have demonized porn due to its “objectification” of the female sex. By anti-porn feminists, I of course, refer to feminists against porn on a legal or State-regulatory level (although my criticisms here may apply to feminists who are anti-porn in other cultural senses or forms). In general, forms of sex or sexualization are increasingly being linked, amongst such anti-pornography feminists, with “objectification”; this is particularly blatant when pornography is denied on a broad streak. Hence, it seems to me that anti-porn feminists, while well-intended (if I give them any compliment), end up narrowing the acceptability of female sexuality back to the traditional heteromonoamorous gender constructs.
Thus, while perhaps trying to help women, it seems anti-porn feminists are busier handing out sexual admonitions against certain expressions of female sexuality while turning a blind eye to male sexuality. And even a critique of male sexuality in turn would affect the boundaries of female sexuality as well, since heterosexual sexual expression is interdependent. What we want to do isn’t set boundaries on either sex, as that would simply be reinforcing the concept of gender. We want to destroy social boundaries and liberate both; this liberation in turn means they receive autonomy in determining their own boundaries, and have those boundaries respected in their social network. The same applies to those feminists who take an anti-prostitution stance. Of course, we also cannot ignore the exploitation that occurs or may occur in the respective industries, but these are sociopolitical contingencies to commercial sex, that are due to socioeconomic differences (which is where these gender constructs really do get their hegemony, hence the origin of patriarchy). The State is a male institution, and historical capitalism has also been, consequently, a male institution.
But the purpose of this post isn’t just to discuss either of the two sex industries, or to discuss the sex industry as-it-is and the sex industry as-it-could-be (or the extent of its existence if the exploitation ceases), but to ask one pivotal question that must be addressed throughout feminist discourse:
What is “Objectification”?
The simple, modern answer often received if one asks this question is that objectification is the act of turning someone into an object (“bringing them down to the level of an object”), or otherwise the treatment of someone as an object. This definition does not only remain ambiguous and vague, but is problematic in general even when understood as it is given. Thus, it requires an improvement.
A few words on getting politically active from Henry Rollins
By Shawn Blevins
You are mad as hell and you are not going to take it anymore. The clowns in congress have done something so heinous that you have decided to put down the remote, get out of your recliner and take action. But wait, you have never done anything more political than going into the voting booth. So how do you get started? We here at Gonzo Times went to one of the preeminent authorities on do it yourself politics and punk rock, Henry Rollins, to get some sage wisdom.
GT: When and how did you first become politically active?
HR: I come from Washington DC. My mother was very left, my father very right. I would spend time with both. One turned me onto Bob Dylan, the other told me that “Marvin Foodstamp” was the problem in America. I went my mother’s way.
GT: What was your first experience with the do it yourself approach to punk as well as politics?
HR: I started going to shows and became part of the DC music scene. Our scene was very small but very political. I didn’t know much about the workings of that machine but started learning more when Reagan came in. The older I got, the more I saw, the more I understood, the more that kind of thing meant to me.
GT: What advantages/disadvantages are there to protesting individually rather than in a group?
HR: There is sometimes a safety in numbers but groups have a life of their own and I tend to stay away from that. Mobilized crowds are pretty intense and I can’t get in them.
GT: What advice would you give to an individual who wishes to protest something, as an individual rather than part of a group, who has had little or no experience in the political arena?
HR: Learn. If you want to have an opinion, have an informed one. Getting informed takes time and you have to be ready to really think things through. The protest part is easy. Before I protest anything, I always know what is wrong, what caused it and always am prepared to offer a solution.
There you have it folks. Get informed, get involved, and be responsible.
I’ve been tracking the netherworlds of right wing extremism over at Little Green Footballs and here at Gonzo Times, while advocating for immigrants over at Voice of the Migrant (cofounded with anarchist heartthrob Punk Johnny Cash). On top of that, I’m finishing up some schooling. So I didn’t have enough time really to properly respond to the catastrophically lame California vote.
I volunteered my time to work on the Proposition 19 campaign the day before the election, with full knowledge of the dwindling poll numbers of Attorney General Holder’s pledge to enforce federal drug laws no matter how Californians voted. While volunteering, I phone banked and got three separate calls in which someone asked if voting “yes” meant voting for Proposition 19. There were some right on people and then a truly horrible woman who said that marijuana had killed her brother. I knew this wasn’t true or even possible and the things she continued to say about her brother in her rant illustrated that she was full of nonsense. Unfortunately most Californians either were confused or on her side.
And then Jerry Brown won. What the heck? This threw me off guard. I thought Meg Whitman had it locked. Her poll numbers were great until her immigration wreck, which apparently had more effect than I had assumed. Migrant workers are some of the most hard working people in California, and I’m proud to give money to them whether it’s legal or not. One had to wonder if the disrespect that Whitman gave toward her housekeeper would carry on with her as executive.
With a party change of hands, one would expect alot of change. However, one only needs to look at Brown’s campaign endorsements to see his support from public employee unions. I’m not a hardcore anti-statist. I’m all for effective community education (a term that would probably be of much more use to creating effective education than “public schools”) that serves the students and their parents. However, public employees (there by the will of the taxpayer) to unions have stranded education policy in California and America. Why advocates of reform are seen as “conservative” when teacher’s unions won’t let progress even come to a vote in cities like Washington D.C. shows how confused our politics is.
Tuition hikes on students show their toll in this article from the San Bernardino Sun:
“We are making a lot of sacrifices so they can have some kind of future,” the Rancho Cucamonuga resident said. “I should be retired now, but I’m still working to put them through school.”
As high school seniors and transfer students rush to beat Tuesday’s public college and university application deadline for next fall, parents like Laurich are left to figure out how to foot the tuition bill that has gone up more than 40 percent in the past two years.
“It’s ridiculous, but what can you do?” Laurich said. “Just deal with it and make sacrifices. We buy no extravagant things, we both work full time, we don’t have an expensive house. We get by.”
Many part time faculty have also been cut out, but bureaucrats continue to rake in enormous wealth. SF Gate has a database for the California State University system’s top earners, with the president of the system making $421,500 and the president of the largest campus, in San Luis Obispo, making $328,209. Those are tax dollars at work, folks. Aren’t public schools supposed to combat inequality?
Were Jerry Brown to propose refocussing education policy towards the students that schools are set up to serve in the first place, that would really be something. Don’t expect to see that anytime soon and do not expect to see Governor Brown try to crack apart California’s horrendous prison industrial complex. Prison guards unions gave their support to Brown. That prison guards are unionized is disturbing enough, that they have the political clout they do is horrifying and that they are part of the engine beneath “progressive” leaders is deafening.
Oh well. That’s California.
I have my google reader set up with feeds from all the sites I frequent. There are a few I feel many others should follow. The Main Stream Media often overlooks many issues and stories I feel should be in the headlines. Often I can find the information I want to read on these sites.
Injustice everywhere is a Police Misconduct website. It tracks media sources around the country bringing relevant information and links to incidents that are often overlooked by the cable news sources, major networks and major papers. It has great resources of Police misconduct statistics and more.
Did you know that the last time the US government bothered to gather any information about the problem of police misconduct in the United States was in 2002?
Even then, the study they did only covered 5% of the police departments in the US and, on top of that, participation was only voluntary and relied on what police departments were willing to report about misconduct within their own ranks.
One of the biggest obstacles in the way towards solving the problem of police brutality and misconduct is a fundamental lack of information about police misconduct. via About | Injustice Everywhere
Cop Block is a great site dedicated to Police Accountability founded by Adam Muller. Cop Block is an attempt to show State Law enforcement for what it is.
I hope that by showing people how violent and unjust the executive branch of government is it will help others to see the similar hypocrisies within the rest of state. – Adam Muller
Cop Block has many great original articles and videos that help speak the truth of the state. This is something rare. Too much of our media blindly accepts the concept that the violence of the state is justified and somehow good. And oddly enough they use the same old theme we once used here on GT.
Loonwatch is a site dedicated to exposing Islamophobia and bringing attention to the issue. It exposes lies and injustices. In a society that is looking more and more like Nazi Germany this is a site no one can afford to ignore.
Loonwatch.com is a blogzine run by a motley group of hate-allergic bloggers to monitor and expose the web’s plethora of anti-Muslim loons, wackos, and conspiracy theorists.
While we find the sheer stupidity and outrageousness of the loons to be a source of invaluable comedy, we also recognize the seriousness of the danger they represent as dedicated hatemongers. And so, while our style reflects our bemusement, our content is fact checked and our sources well vetted making sure loonwatch.com is a reliable educational – if entertaining – resource on the rambunctious underworld of Muslim-bashing. via About | LoonWatch
Carlos Miller is a photographer who is exposing the assault photographers and freedom of speech with all the recent assaults by authority against photography.
Carlos Miller is a Miami multimedia journalist who has been arrested twice for taking pictures of cops.
He’s beaten both cases, including a resisting arrest conviction that he had reversed on appeal pro se (meaning without a lawyer).
And he’s documented some of the most absurd cases against photographers over the last few years.
Since launching Photography is Not a Crime in 2007, Miller and/or his blog has been mentioned in USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, ABC News, Fox News, Chicago Sun-Times, NBC Washington, The Miami Herald, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Miami New Times, The Daily Record (NJ), BoingBoing and Playboy Magazine.
In March 2010, PINAC won the South Florida Sun-Sentinel Best of Blog Award for “Best Overall Blog,” beating almost 200 other local blogs.
He has also been interviewed by countless radio stations and been asked to speak in front of classes and on panels where he shares his expertise on First Amendment rights in the digital age. – via About | Carlos Miller
The Center For a Stateless Society (C4SS) is a Market Anarchist site fighting to bring anarchist ideas out to a mainstream. They are working on putting articles out to local papers and publications. They keep a constant flow of articles by many wonderful writers about many current events and issues from a Market Anarchist perspective.
The Center for a Stateless Society is a project of the Molinari Institute and dedicated to building public awareness of, and support for, market anarchism. We provide news commentary, related analysis and original research from our unique perspective, serving as a market anarchist media center. via – About the center
Militant Libertarian is an anarchist leaning libertarian site that posts high quality material from around the web. They keep an eye out for information that might otherwise pass you up easily. Aaron Turpen who runs the site also provides some good original content from video to writing.
Originally, this site was created by me, Aaron Turpen, as a way to promote the idea of libertarian thought. I came up with the name as an oxymoron, since a libertarian would never be (physically) militant about anything. No force, no fraud and all that. I was tired of attending Libertarian Party and other freedom movement meetings (Constitution Party, et al) and finding that they were really nothing more than glorified debate clubs. Nothing was happening, just a lot of people showing up to some meetings to argue with other people about the finer points of whatever it was that no one outside of their little clique gave a crap about.
So I decided to go online and become more, well, militant. I was the unofficial political activist of the LP in Utah at the time and the Blogger-hosted blog was my way of being a loudmouth in between rallies, radio appearances, and so forth. I started CivilDisobedience.us at about the same time I registered MilitantLibertarian.org in 2004. CivilDisobedience was specifically for information on the USA PATRIOT Act, though now it is a t-shirt shop where my shirts are for sale.
In 2008, during the presidential elections, I started thinking about my little blog which had been often neglected, but remained popular (for whatever reason). It occurred to me that more could be done with this than I was doing. In 2009, a supporter of the site donated some money and so I donated my time and built something new out of it. It’s still a blog, but now it’s more than that.
First, I post a lot more stuff than I used to. I consider MilitantLibertarian.org to be a sort of information clearinghouse for all things police state, New World Order, and liberty oriented. Beyond that, though, I have more ideas. When someone in Canada pointed out to me that he found the site because he considered himself a “militant libertarian,” it clicked. A network of like-minded people is out there. Thousands of them, according to my visitors logs. So the site became more than just my blog.
The Intersection Of Madness & Reality is a blog ran by RiPPa that focuses primarily on gender, racial, social and other liberal political issues. He has many guest bloggers and they post quite frequently with a great deal of discussion. I strongly suggest subscribing and joining in the conversation. They also have the plague of a high amount of conservatives attacking on the site, so if your blood boils when conservatives attack this is one place that will give you high blood pressure. RiPPa uses a great deal of humor and cutting wit to address serious issues.
Every once in a while you’re come across a writer who isn’t afraid to convey to his readers how he really feels about a subject. One who doesn’t stick to the belief that everything in life has to be about being politically correct and sugar coating the real issues that society believes in handing people on a tarnished silver platter. Born in Trinidad & Tobago, and raised in the New York City area, RiPPa’s life hasn’t been, how Langston Hughes wrote “a crystal stair”, but that stairway has enriched him with life experiences that have shaped his point of view on various subjects. Whether he’s writing about the injustices African-Americans face, politics, and the reverent or irreverent, RiPPa uses his sense of humor and sarcasm to convey his opinion, and whether others agree with him, it isn’t his concern. – About | RiPPa
We should croak the Tea Party because it has done nothing but bring out the worst in people, and has done more in the way of dividing this country than of fixing it.
“I do miss George Bush. Compared to these
teabaggers and the people who are pandering
to them, he looks like a professor.”
The Tea Party movement is a testament to exactly what is wrong with politics, and our country, today. I’m not saying this because I believe that every single member of the movement is a racist, and I’m not saying it because I believe that protesting the “business-as-usual” approach to government is a bad thing. Not at all. I actually think that protesting the status-quo is probably the most healthy action that citizens of a democracy can take. After all, if the citizens of a democracy lose their right, or will, to protest…well, then the notion that we are living in a democracy at all is a fallacy.
The problem with the Tea Party is this: It’s not anything new. It’s not some new way of thinking. And, it’s not at all a separate entity. If the Tea Party movement were actually giving the public at large something new to think about that would be one thing. But, the fact is that the Tea Party movement is just an off-shoot of the Republican party & is spouting nothing but conservative rhetoric. So, to the supporters of the “movement” reading this, where the hell is the protest in this movement?
The Tea Party (Republican Party 2.0) is mobilized against a president whose term has seen the least amount of policy change, in terms of party turnover, in the history of the Democratic Party. So, taking that into account, who is your beef with exactly?
So, the Republicans are under siege from a movement that is nothing more than an extension of their own party, the Democrats are masquerading as Republicans, and the Tea Party is forging ahead as though they’re just minutes away from changing the world… You see the problem? This country is in arguably the worst shape it has ever been in. The Republican & Democratic Parties should be focused on getting this country back on track, but instead they are both too focused on the doings of a travelling road show to get anything of significance done.
People have e-mailed me to “inform” me that the movement is providing an alternative to “everyday politics in this country”. That sounds great, but I’m not buying it. Here are my final thoughts on the movement:
The Tea Party was born of the fear that the principles & values of the country at its core were in jeopardy?
I agree with this notion, but the loss of principles & values, especially by those who’ve run this country, happened a long time ago.
Those who were involved with the movement, in its earliest form, were genuinely concerned with the way the government was being run?
I can believe this as well. Aren’t we all more than a little concerned with how the government is/has been run? I’m sure every citizen, especially post-Vietnam/Nixon, would respond with a resounding ‘Yes’ to that question.
The Tea Party is racist?
I truly do my best to not judge an entire group upon the actions of a few within it… But, in all honesty, the Tea Party has been hijacked by individuals & groups who see the demonstrations as a way to spout racially charged epithets at a black president. Plain and simple. So, while not every single person who is involved with the movement is a racist, the platform that the Tea Party encourages has been compromised by hateful, racist people.
The Tea Party is a legitimate third party?
No. Hell no. Pay attention to their stances, their ideals, and the people running as Tea Party candidates, and you’ll see why I’ve dubbed them, “Republican Party 2.0″.
Of all the issues that inevitably come up whenever the Tea Party is brought up, race is the biggest one by far. Without a doubt, I’ll be receiving e-mails from those of you who believe that the movement is a full-blown racist mobilization, and from those of you who believe that the racism slam is an attempt to derail the movement by means of “race-baiting”. I’ve already given my view on the role that racism plays within the movement… Watch these two videos & draw your own conclusions:
- The Altered Statesman
Originally posted at The Altered States of Munley
Just the other day, President Obama urged other countries to stop censoring the Internet. But now the United States Congress is trying to censor the Internet here at home. A new bill being debated this week would have the Attorney General create an Internet blacklist of sites that US Internet providers would be required to block.
This is the kind of heavy-handed censorship you’d expect from a dictatorship, where one man can decide what web sites you’re not allowed to visit. But the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to pass the bill this week — and Senators say they haven’t heard much in the way of objections! That’s why we need you to sign our urgent petition to Congress demanding they oppose the Internet blacklist.
Read more about the bill: COICA Fact Sheet.
“We all use the web now for all kinds of parts our lives, some trivial, some critical to our life as part of a social world,” says Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the Web. “In the spirit going back to Magna Carta, we require a principle that: No person or organization shall be deprived of their ability to connect to others at will without due process of law, with the presumption of innocence until found guilty. Neither governments nor corporations should be allowed to use disconnection from the Internet as a way of arbitrarily furthering their own aims.”
I urge you to sign the petition, but watch out with giving money to this group. It looks like the money may be going to the DNC so watch out before you donate. That’s your choice.
By: Crying Eagle | Sep 1, 2010 Gonzo
I am the Crying Eagle, you know me. You see me on the back of pickup trucks all across our great nation. I’m on roadside billboards in the true heart of America like rural Indiana. I am the symbol of freedom, and my heart is broken. Through the eighties I cried every time one of those liberal feminists got an abortion. Now I cry for far more. I cry for my great nation each and every day. I was asked by the decadent liberal anarchists and libertarians at Gonzo Times to come here to help give more of a fair and balanced perspective. I was asked to start by telling all of you just why I cry so I decided to give you the top reasons I cry.
1. My Flag
I cry every time a Muslim leader disgraces my nations flag by bowing before kings. I cry every time someone soils, burns or disrespects my Red White and Blue. It is the symbol of freedom! We Americans are a nation of logic and common sense other countries and liberals are not. We shed blood for that flag, where other countries kill out of hate for theirs, do you see the difference? It is a symbol of our freedom. The freedom we shot the hell out of everyone else for.
2. Racism Against Whites
I cry every time I see a black woman or a Mexican get a job that belongs to the obviously more qualified white man. I cry every time that we are forced to hear some Un-American language on the soil of our great country. And after that racism those liberals dare call the white man racist. I stand for what is right, good and American not against people because of skin color. I stand against the evils they bring to our culture. If you don’t want Muslims building their Mosques so they can train people to kill white Americans because they hate our way of life you are called racist and that makes me cry.
3. Mexican Invasion
I cry every time I see a damn Illegal invading our homes. They only want to rape, kill and get welfare. And because I want to stop that I am once again affected by #2 I am called a racist. Am I racist because Mexicans steal, kill and mooch off of welfare? I cry every time those Mexicans get the job of a hard working American! They are destroying the economy! They broke our rules and we will not stand for people not doing as we dictate! They are Illegal!
4. Damn Commie Socialists
I cry every time I see a damn commie socialist. They want to build mosques and force all of us to eat nothing but bread and roses! Liberalism is a disease! And Communism and Socialism are only two of the symptoms. Did you know Socialists only want to kill you? Did you know all socialists only want you to loose all your rights, like the right to segregate? Sure they say they oppose war and I support the Wars and Police power but who else will protect me from those damn murderous Socialists! I’m not the dangerous one, I only like good government, the kind that kills.
Those damn Gay people want special rights! They expect to get married like we do. They want to rape our children and make them all gays! It’s a secret Zionist plot against America From the Socialists! They want to make us all gays so we won’t have more kids. That way they won’t have to conquer the greatest superpower on earth. All our soldiers will be too distracted having secks with each other and unable to procreate or replenish our military because gays can’t make babies!
I sit in my living room looking at the pictures of our great presidents we have had over the years and see that one dark blemish. It’s the Muslim Illegal Alien Obama! I can’t get a drivers license without a birth certificate how did he get the Presidency? Despite his record numbers in deportation and all his new wars he has not deported enough people or killed them. He has a secret plan to destroy America because he is a Muslim. I know he is because of his skin color and name! I cry every time I hear his Hope and Change! He wants to take my guns! I cry every time I look at my Picture of Palin I have hanging beside my George W Bush picture on my presidential wall. My pastor has shown us how in the Bible Obama is the Anti-Christ!
Did Rothbard by chance inspire modern pop culture? If he didn’t the same concepts are there. It is nice to see the philosophies of Rothbard in popular culture reaching younger generations if it was intended or not, the ideas are all there. Perhaps the next generation will embrace such ideas even more with such things out in the popular media. We can hope.
Suppose a society which fervently considers all redheads to be agents of the Devil and therefore to be executed wherever found. Let us further assume that only a small number of redheads exist in any generation – so few as to be statistically insignificant. The utilitarian-libertarian might well reason: “While the murder of isolated redheads is deplorable, the executions are small in number; the vast majority of the public, as non-redheads, achieves enormous psychic satisfaction from the public execution of redheads. The social cost is negligible, the social psychic benefit to the rest of society is great; therefore it is right and proper for society to execute the redheads.
I am uncertain of how much support H.R. 5741 will do in the house. Part of me sees it as ridiculous, but with the power individuals invest in the words written by these men and women labeled as “law” nothing shocks me. H.R. 5741 is labeled the “Universal National Service Act.” This is just another of the many examples of nationalism in the united states. It describes itself as a bill:
To require all persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or in civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, to authorize the induction of persons in the uniformed services during wartime to meet end-strength requirements of the uniformed services, and for other purposes.
What wartime? We seem to be a nation that has been at war for decades. When we have no enemy we invent them. Prohibition has become the “War on Drugs.” We war against concepts like “terrorism.” Then we go to the endless oil wars in the middle east. We start out waring over an oil company and overthrowing governments in the 1950s’ and this has continued to build and spiral out of control.
As the empire grows taxation can only go so far until you must directly serve the state. We labeled our nationalism and defense of culture “homeland security” one of the most nationalist concepts in the United States. A war against people who have not paid homage to the state by paying the state for it’s freedom and legitimacy as a citizen. The Republicans mostly want those people out of the country. The Democrats want those people to be registered in the databases of the state. Both parties want to trap those people in the system and control over them so they can steal the products of their labor. Now they are seeking them to directly serve the state with the rest of us.
The term ‘national service’ means military service or service in a civilian capacity that, as determined by the President, promotes the national defense, including national or community service and service related to homeland security.
This also seems to be giving more direct power to one office and title to determine how you will serve the state. You may be of the camp that President Obama means the best for us all, but I ask you what about when the Republicans regain control? What about the next George W. Bush?
We are looking at what seems to be mostly a new draft and forced servitude to the military in this bill. It also extends to other areas. What I spoke of in my articles pointing out the brainwashing of the individual by the state through it’s military is no doubt essential to making this happen. Read the article here. Devotion to the state will only increase at this point.
If something like this becomes law the brainwashing will not be limited to those who choose to be a part of it. It will be forced on a majority it seems. Every able bodied citizen shall be devoted to the state.
Many places are calling it the Slavery Bill. I would be more eager to compare it to other nationalist movements. Our sense of nationalism is strong especially with the right in certain areas. The left has embraced a certain nationalist devotion to the new Obama administration. These two factions both devoted to the state show how more and more are coming to worship the state.
I recently had the chance to ask Dr. Cisse Spragins The Missouri Libertarian Candidate for Senate a few questions. I am not one to put much faith or hope in achieving anything in government, but I still vote. I try to give my vote mostly to third party candidates, and I feel Dr. Cisse Spragins has a stance I can back.
Anarcho-capitalists should vote Libertarian, even though you don’t believe in government and even if the candidates are less than perfect. We are a long way from liberty right now. Yes, the establishment wants you to vote, but I am sure they DON’T want you to vote Libertarian. Voting Libertarian sends far more of a message than not voting, because not voting on principle is indistinguishable from not voting because you can’t be bothered. Votes will help attain or maintain ballot access which is an ongoing uphill battle. So vote Libertarian whenever you have the opportunity because it is truly sad to have no choice at all.
Check out the interview over at Break The Matrix.
Anderson Crenshaw a Republican Representative in the House from Florida’s 4th district supports Tea Parties. He telling us that he is a small government type who opposes the big government spending and taxation. I love Twitter because it gives me a chance to get these snippets from the House and Senate. I get to see the image they want to portray and call these Federalists out on their word. We get to see the hypocrisy and are given a record of it online. We can hold these people accountable now. Well, Mr. Crenshaw, you sir are full of feces. You are not for TEA Parties. You are not for less spending and less taxation. Floridians listen up. The guy is full of it and should not see the house again.
He got on twitter trying to get in on the tea party enthusiasm. I love this being able to respond to what these people say. I love being able to check what they are pushing and see if it is true or not. Just take a look for yourself here.
These republicans have repeatedly voted for excessive spending and they supported the bailout garbage. Now they want to shanghai the tea parties and pander to us as if they are small government limit federal spending low tax types. It is just not true.
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Oh, the madness, the pure addiction. Politicians are addicted to their megalomania, pure raw power money and greed. We political news junkies are hooked to politics like a heroine junkie. We can’t get enough. It can get in your brain and take over. It drives you mad with passion and frustration. Then we go at it tearing each other apart. The media feeds into it. The media perpetuates the insanity. They know they offer a far more addictive product than the tobacco companies, but nobody will say it out loud. They truly profit from human suffering and tragedy. They hold more power than presidents. CNN, FOX, ABC all have the power to make or break political careers and the people flock to the bias. They push the bias for ratings and this is done for the simple drive for advertising dollars. Truth is relative to them and they don’t care if they destroy you or profit from your tragedy or despair. They only want the buck. Journalistic integrity is a myth and a joke, and we are all addicted.
Politicians are the biggest bottom feeders. They not only thrive off of despair and problems of others they legislate and dictate accordingly finding ways to profit off of the people directly, not off of the advertisers who are exploiting the media.
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