Marketplace (May 9, 2013): Does fair trade clothing help the consumer and the retailer?: NPR’s Marketplace features a short story on
Fair Tradecertification for clothing, and efforts to address the working conditions in Bangladesh sweatshops. Along the way, there’s a couple quotes from my co-editor on Markets Not Capitalism, Gary Chartier, about the supply-chain practices that many clothing-industry TNCs use to displace responsibility and insulate themselves from accountability for lethal working conditions in their factories.
Cathy Reisenwitz @ Sex And The State (May 15, 2013): Fighting Sexism, Sexily
I’ve long contended that libertarians have a habit of downplaying or denying certain problems when they don’t like the proposed solutions. For example, when people talk about sexism, or the wage gap, it’s common for a libertarian to retort that the wage gap isn’t real, or can be explained by individual choices. I understand this desire to avoid the coercive solutions many people suggest for fighting sexism The thing is, Rothbard was super bothered by a state monopoly on force. We libertarians need to get really bothered by sexism. And then we need to come up with cultural, and not state, solutions.(With an example of creative thinking and guerrilla theater, featuring a cheesecake pin-up poster of Bro-sie the Riveter.)
Marja Erwin (May 2, 2013): Trans Politics and Colonialism: A Few Questions?. Read the whole thing.
Marja Erwin (April 23, 2013): I still think market anarchism has a lot to contribute to the rest of anarchism. This too.
I think it’s important to have a system where people can communicate what they need, and what they want, and what they don’t need, and what they can do to help, and I think it’s important to have systems where people can work things among themselves, if for some reason they can’t work things out through the community or union or federation orgs.(Against all monopolizations of social capital.)
Mark Stoval @ On the Mark (May 7, 2013) claims that he is going to take
A look at Mutualism. In comments, Roderick Long points out that he ought to have looked harder. Or, really, tried looking at any mutualist writing at all, rather than just doing what he seems to have done, which was to scan ahead until he reached a fixed phrase (
labor theory of value,
occupancy and use) that convinced him that he already knows everything that he needs to know about the rest of the book. Nearly everything that Mark claims about Mutualists is a ridiculous travesty of Kevin Carson’s views; and evidence that he knows nothing about Mutualists other than Kevin Carson. But Roderick’s intervention in the comments section is right-on.
Forbes (May 15, 2013): Suit Alleges IRS Improperly Seized 60 Million Personal Medical Records. You know what the worst part of this story is? The part about having an Internal Revenue Service, to surveill daily expenses and seize personal data, all in order to investigate and police tax payments. Seriously, there is no possible way to square that with basic civil liberties, and it ought to be abolished.
BBC (May 6, 2013): Lauryn Hill jailed for tax evasion. Partly this is a story about the government’s tax-policing. Partly it’s a story about the financial traps that are imposed by the structure of state capitalism, and the ways in which tax structures systemically confine people — both very wealthy people, like Hill, and very poor people as well — to high-liquidity, cash-producing business and employment.
The Grammy-winning singer, 37, also faces three months of home confinement, after pleading guilty last year. Hill failed to pay taxes on about $1.8m (£1.2m) of earnings between 2005-07. In a statement to the judge, Hill said she had intended to pay the taxes but could not after withdrawing from public life and ending her music career to raise her children.Free Lauryn Hill and all political prisoners.
I am a child of former slaves who had a system imposed on them,Hill said in court.
I had an economic system imposed on me.
Dominic Gover, International Business Times (May 7, 2013): Lauryn Hill Blames Slavery as She’s Jailed for $500,000 Unpaid Tax Bill. Oh by the way, did I mention that the judge is also forcing Lauryn Hill
to undergo counselling because of her conspiracy theories [sic]as a condition of her plea? Where
political dissent from the status quo.
Jim Epstein @ reason.com (May 7, 2013): Government Assault on the Chinatown Bus Industry Fueled By Bogus Federal Study. In which the government takes care of Greyhound’s competitors for them, using an error-ridden bogus safety study, which uses Greyhound’s own crashes to
provethat their curbside competitors are less safe. The study is like a matryoshka doll of clumsy errors and statistical malpractice; every time you spot them one error and set it aside for the sake of argument, you find another error, just as atrocious as the last one, nested inside of it.
Home School Legal Defense Association (May 14, 2013): German Family Denied Asylum, HSLDA Appeals. The judge’s decision to deny asylum is appalling. From the press release:
The court said that the Romeikes had not made a sufficient case, and that the United States has not opened its doors to every victim of unfair treatment.Well no, no they haven’t. But they say that like it ought to be a problem for the victims of unfair treatment. Actually, it is a problem with the United States, which needs to stop acting as a gatekeeper and get out of the way. It is appalling that any peaceful immigrant should be turned away, for any reason. Solidarity with all people without papers, and all immigrants without status.
Free Adam Kokesh (May 20, 2013): Adam Kokesh Accused of Felony Assault on Federal Officer — No Bail Yet: It looks pretty clearly like he is being held on a vacuous detained-by-will-of-the-cop charge — in this case,
assault on a federal officer— for getting himself shoved by a Federal Officer and then grabbing the arm of the dude who was physically attacking him. His hearing is set for Thursday; in the meantime he is in contact with his attorney but has been denied the opportunity to make phone calls (content warning: Alex Jones links, feh).
DinoGoss (May 11, 2013): The Validity of Lambeosaurus — Anybody Know A Good Lawyer? I Am Not A Taxonomist, but I’m inclined to think that if your system would throw out Lambeosaurus at this point in favor of Didanodon altidens that’s probably a problem with your naming system not a problem with current use of Lambeosaurus.
Lucy Cooke @ Vimeo (February 8, 2013): BUCKET OF SLOTHS. Exactly what it says on the tin.
Posts filed under
Here is some moderately good news about a ridiculously awful story, from Occupied Las Vegas:
Three years after a confrontation between Las Vegas police and a costumed street performer in front of The Venetian spawned a lawsuit, the Police Department has agreed to settle with Zorro for $105,000.
Jason Perez-Morciglio, who performs as Zorro on Las Vegas streets, and his brother, Sebastian Perez-Morciglio, sued in June 2010 after they said Venetian security officers kidnapped and detained them for more than an hour on Jan. 15, 2010, before kicking them off the property. The brothers also alleged that Las Vegas police officers illegally handcuffed and searched them at the resort.
These security guards handcuffed the brothers, searched their persons and belongings, demanded identification, and photographed them,the lawsuit documents said.
On Monday, The Metropolitan Police Department’s Fiscal Affairs Committee agreed to pay the brothers $105,000, something that Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, who sits on the committee, thinks was the best option to avoid negative exposure for the department. The potential cost could have been significantly more, Sisolak said.
For the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada, which provided general counsel for the brothers in the lawsuit, the impact of the settlement transcended monetary value.
The main thing in the case is that it was never about the money. It was about verifying again that the sidewalks in front of the hotels are a public forum, and the people have a right to First Amendment activity there,said Allen Lichtenstein, general counsel for the ACLU of Nevada.
According to Sisolak, accompanying the settlement was what he called a clearer and more definitive policy on how officers will handle street performers on the public sidewalks.
- Charles Johnson, Rad Geek People’s Daily 2013-03-07: War on the Informal Sector (Cont’d) —
Neutron Bomb Urbanismand the State of Illinois vs. Square
- Charles Johnson, Rad Geek People’s Daily 2009-02-28: War on the Informal Sector (Cont’d) —
Resale Roundupand local government vs. unfettered flea markets
- Charles Johnson (December 2007), Scratching By: How Government Creates Poverty As We Know It
- Charles Johnson, Rad Geek People’s Daily 2007-09-15: Free Riders
- Charles Johnson, Rad Geek People’s Daily 2009-02-19: How local government in Las Vegas and Clark County deals with the worst joblessness crisis in a generation
- Charles Johnson, Rad Geek People’s Daily 2010-02-04: Against legalization (cont’d)
- Charles Johnson, Rad Geek People’s Daily 2010-03-30: Scratching By (cont’d): The Government Land Cartel Vs. Costs Savings and Urban Living
- Charles Johnson, Rad Geek People’s Daily 2012-09-19: Well then I suppose they will lose their waffle cones as well as their principal.
I was going to post this the other day, but I had to wait until after Monday, because the author really is perfectly serious about it. Alex Seiz-Wald, at Salon, has recently discovered the chatter in gun-enthusiast and gun-rights circles around the fear of back-door gun-control legislation — by means of restrictions or prohibitions on ammunition sales, if new controls on guns themselves prove not to be politically viable. And so he picks up on some anecdotal Data-less Trend Stories about
panic buying of ammunition in response. So, we get this story, from a putatively liberal political commentator:
Gun owners terrified of nonexistent plans to restrict ammo are hoarding bullets. Now police are running out.
And there are plenty of members of Congress making hyperbolic claims about gun control, and a right-wing media eager to heighten and repeat the warnings. Not to mention the NRA, the most powerful voice on guns in the country and the market leader on paranoid gun rhetoric for decades.
But what those rushing to stockpile guns and ammo seem to miss is that their actions have consequences on the people whose job it is to keep us safe.
— Alex Seitz Wald, in Salon (27 March 2013) (emphasis added)
Now I have no really strong convictions about what
those rushing to stockpile guns and ammo think about or don’t think about. Maybe if you want to know that, rather than to speculate about the mind of the intra-cultural Other, you could ask some people who are doing that, instead of spending the entire article interviewing self-serving budget-hungry police chiefs. But I do know that many people would be much safer if police were unable to buy any bullets at all. Did police bullets keep Kimani Gray safe? Emma Hernandez? Angel Alvarez and Luis Soto? Alonzo Heyward? Sean Bell? Amadou Diallo? Who seriously believes that
keep[ing] us safe is what heavily-armed police do? Who is the
us that they have in mind when they think that?
In all seriousness, this is really nothing more than another Data-less Trend Story but if it were true, it would be the best thing I’d heard all year about
NRA fans. I don’t even own any guns, and don’t have any plans to get into them, but if the story is true that just makes me wish I had the money to run out and buy up boxes of ammunition right now. Because I have no use for it, but the cops do. And that’s precisely the problem with the cops.
Disarm your local police.
Day after day, our political leaders remind us of human rights violations happening all across the world, yet they often fail to recognize and stand up against the violations happening in their own backyards. In communities of color, young people feel under siege. Kimani’s murder and the resistance displayed by young people in response must be taken as a continued call to action. We must ask ourselves: why are we allowing this to happen? Where have we failed in organizing a long-term movement?
Omowale Adewale, a father and community organizer from Brooklyn has a radical solution:The only negotiation I want conducted on my behalf with the police is withdrawal of their paramilitary troops from my community, which includes community affairs, helicopters, police horses, barricades,he says, likening the need for police to turn over control of our communities to that of the US Military’s efforts in withdrawing from Iraq. His words echo the sentiment running through Flatbush in this traumatic moment.
— Rosa Clemente, Why Did Kimani Gray Have to Die?
in EBONY, 18 March 2013 (second boldface added)
Subject line and opening message from a recent fundraising e-mail sent out by Joe Arpaio, Sheriff of Maricopa County and Vaquero Supreme of the High Sonoran Desert, who is campaigning to keep himself in office in spite of an upcoming recall referendum. Apparently being circulated this month through conservative mailing lists:
From: Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Sent: Friday, March 22 2013
Subject: Sheriff Joe Arpaio can’t continue to fight without your immediate help
I normally do not write you emails this personal — but today I’m making an exception.
We are in trouble.
And while I will never give up the fight for justice and to protect American citizens… I can’t continue to fight without your immediate help.
Oh lordy, how I hope that could be true. I would never be happier to stand right by and keep my immediate help exactly where it is.