<ul> <li><p><a href="http://libertarian-labyrinth.blogspot.com/2011/05/mutual-aid-opportunity.html">Mutual aid opportunity. Shawn P. Wilbur, <cite>Two-Gun Mutualism & the Golden Rule</cite> (2011-05-06)</a>. <q>You'll find a new ChipIn widget in the sidebar of the blog (or on ChipIn), to support Laughing Horse Books, one of Portland, Oregon's few remaining independent bookstores, and a radical, collective-run bookstore/music venue/meeting space for 25 years now. All the little things that tend to snowball when a business...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Saturday 2011-05-07.)</em></p></li> <li><p><a href="http://chronicle.com/article/In-Defense-of-Flogging/127208/">In Defense of Flogging - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education. <cite>chronicle.com</cite> (2011-05-07)</a>. "Certainly my defense of flogging is more thought experiment than policy proposal. I do not expect to see flogging reinstated any time soon. And deep down, I wouldn't want to see it. And yet, in the course of writing what is, at its core, a quaintly retro abolish-prison book, I've come to see the benefits of wrapping a liberal argument in a conservative facade. If the notion of tying people to a rack and caning them on their behinds à la Singapore disturbs you, if it takes contemplating whipping to wake you up and to see prison for what it is, so be it! The passive moral high ground has gotten us nowhere." - Peter Moskos <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Saturday 2011-05-07.)</em></p></li> <li><p><a href="http://xkcd.com/896/">Marie Curie. <cite>xkcd.com</cite> (2011-05-08)</a>. <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Monday 2011-05-09.)</em></p></li> <li><p><a href="http://www.blagnet.net/2011/05/08/bin-laden-reaction-roundup/">Bin Laden reaction roundup. John, <cite>Blagnet.net</cite> (2011-05-08)</a>. <q>I have been much more interested in the various and sundry reactions, mainly from Americans, to Osama bin Laden’s killing than to the news itself. The whole situation ought to inspire quite a bit of mixed feelings from any libertarian, and even from any sensible, sympathetic human being. Notwithstanding the...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Monday 2011-05-09.)</em></p></li> <li><p><a href="http://www.paleofuture.com/blog/2011/5/7/urban-airport-of-the-future-1926.html">Urban Airport of the Future (1926) Matt Novak, <cite>Paleofuture Blog</cite> (2011-05-07)</a>. <q>The fine people at Popular Mechanics recently published a book that deserves a prominent place on every retrofuturist's bookshelf. The Wonderful Future That Never Was by Gregory Benford looks at technological predictions that appeared in the pages of Popular Mechanics from 1903 until 1969. The prediction below was an attempt to...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Monday 2011-05-09.)</em></p></li> <li><p><a href="http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/tgif/no-laissez-faire-there/">No Laissez Faire There. Sheldon Richman, <cite>The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty</cite> (2011-05-06)</a>. <q>(This article is based on remarks delivered at the meeting of the Association of Private Enterprise Education in April.) Friends of the free market tend to see the Gilded Age, roughly 1870-1890, as the closest thing in history to a laissez-faire economy. In some respects that is true — but...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Monday 2011-05-09.)</em></p></li>
Checking out the competition.
Via Wendy McElroy (2009-04-29): The Farce is strong with this one. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it: write your own caption in the comments.
Mutual Aid. bfp, flip flopping joy (2009-05-26): Help bring single mamis to the Allied Media Conference.
So dig deep into your pockets and spread the word. We need these mamis here, and as such, we need your help. SPREAD THE WORD. Demand people buy the CD’s. Refuse to free people’s pet rocks until they have donated.
Established churches only, please. Drew Zahn, WorldNetDaily (2009-05-22): Home: No place for Bible study. In which a San Diego home Bible study group is confronted by the county government’s war on the informal sector.
The War on the Informal Sector, cont’d. Brad, WendyMcElroy.com (2009-04-26): Book Rental Is Illegal?
Against the Intellectual Enclosure Movement. Kevin Carson, Center for a Stateless Society (2009-05-15): Copyright Communism?
Gagsters in Blue. Kevin Carson, Center for a Stateless Society (2009-05-22): Gangsters in Blue and William Grigg, LewRockwell.com Blog (2009-05-13): Gang-Bangers in Blue. The Gangsters are still on their game. If we hope to resist it, the first thing to do is to understand it, and in that interest, I encourage all anti-statists to make as much use of this phrase as possible. And not just because I run GangstersInBlue.org (Rather, I run the website because I think it’s important to get the phrase out there.)
We’re like a tick.Hey man, you said it, not me. Birmingham, Alabama is getting its own storm-trooper
saturationsquad to swarm targeted neighborhoods, apparently with a special focus on socioeconomic cleansing (
street corner issues like narcotics and prostitution). (Cf. GT 2008-12-05: Don’t turn your back on the Wolfpack on
On principles. Julian Sanchez (2009-05-04): Morality Isn’t Free
Pull the other one. Sheldon Richman, Free Association (2009-05-19): The CIA Wouldn’t Lie! Reality dials Washington, D.C. and gets sent straight to voicemail.
Today in news of the obvious. Las Vegas Sun (2009-05-23): [A government] Safety program goes awry and Las Vegas Sun (2009-05-19): Bank bailout does little for those who need help most . Don’t look so surprised.
State socialism means never having to say you’re sorry. @ndy, Andy the Slack Bastard (2009-05-25): Dear President Chávez. In which Hugo Chávez,
revolutionaryPresident-for-Life, continues his far-sighted socialist leadership by having 14 union steelworkers sent to prison for 5 to 10 years as punishment for going on strike. He was able to do this because their boss is the Venezuelan government, due to a nationalization which state socialists hailed as a triumph for the working class. Meanwhile, Australian Anarchists reply by sending an open invitation for Citizen Chávez to come to Australia for a special fraternal greeting from the Biotic Baking Brigade.
The Two Socialisms and the Revenge of Proudhon. Coming to a theater near you this summer. Shawn Wilbur, In the Libertarian Labyrinth (2009-05-07): French mutualism beyond Proudhon
pissed-off, man-hating, dykes with an excess of body hairlike it’s supposed to be a bad thing…, cont’d. Roderick Long, Austro-Athenian Empire (2009-05-25): How to convert a big tent into a small one.
Unbreaking the business model. Roderick Long, Austro-Athenian Empire (2009-05-25): Contingency markets and IP Want to reward innovation? Don’t fall back Intellectual Protectionism to force others to support your broken business model; instead, use the web to discover demand and pay for supply.
On the web as distributed computing platform. Tim Bray, ongoing (2009-05-25): HTTP and the Fallacies of Distributed Computing
On living with summer stars and dystopia. soul searching with christ and gacy (2009-05-25): the dead flag blues
Modesto Anarcho #11. Issue #11 of the valley’s insurrectionary journal of class struggle is out and now available for reading online.
2nd annual Hamilton Anarchist Bookfair (June 6). Pat Murtagh, Molly’sBlog (2009-05-24): CANADIAN ANARCHIST MOVEMENT-HAMILTON: POLICE KEEPING A BEADY EYE ON THE HAMILTON ANARCHIST BOOKFAIR. Check it out both for the announcement of the bookfair (which is coming up on June 6 in Hamilton, Ontario), and also for a report on and reply to Ontario hate-cops who have lots of government funding and nothing better to do with their time than nose around for
hate crimesat anarcho book bazaars.
San Jose Anarchist Cafe (June 7). The Anarchist Cafe is not a place, it’s an event: an informal meet-up for folks interested in hometown anarchy. There’s a new A-Cafe getting started in San Jose, California; the first-ever meeting is happening on Sunday, June 7, 2009. See http://sanjose.anarchistcafe.org/ for details and contact information.
Over My Shoulder #45: How Empire comes home in sado-statism and police brutality. From Fred Woodworth, “Evil Empire Notes,” in The Match! # 107 (Summer, 2009)
At the top of the post, make a list of the books you’ve read all or part of, in print, over the course of the past week, at least as far as you can remember them. (These should be books that you’ve actually read as a part of your normal life, and not just something that you picked up to
reada page of just in order to be able to post your favorite quote.)
Pick one of those books from the list, and pick out a quote of one or more paragraphs, to post underneath the list.
Avoid commentary above and beyond a couple sentences, which should be more a matter of context-setting or a sort of caption for the text than they are a matter of discussing the material.
Quoting a passage absolutely does not entail endorsement of what’s said in it. You may agree or you may not. Whether you do isn’t really the point of the exercise anyway.
Here’s the books:
- Sonia Johnson (1989). Wildfire: Igniting the She/Volution. (Albuquerque: Wildfire Books. I picked it up some time ago through BookMooch.)
- Richard Gombin (1975), The Origins of Modern Leftism. Translated from the French by Michael K. Perl. (Baltimore: Penguin. Picked up this very week for 49¢ from the Shaman Drum used books sale rack!)
- Fred Woodworth, The Match! Issue No. 107 (Summer, 2009). (Tucson: Fred Woodworth. PO Box 3012, Tucson, Arizona 85702. I picked my copy up last week from May Day Books in Minneapolis.)
And here’s the quote. This is taken from Fred Woodworth’s Evil Empire Notes, Issue No. 107 of The Match! (Summer 2009; also, incidentally, the 40th anniversary issue of The Match!). This was airplane reading, taken in somewhere in the sky between Minneapolis and Las Vegas.
GIVEN all the millions of horrifying stories in the naked country, now and then it’s good to pluck out one to hear an authentic voice rather than a statistic. Amnesty International printed up this one, by Donald Boyd of Chicago:
I have been a victim of racial profiling since I was 17 years old. Once when I was walking to the cleaners, I stopped to talk with some young men…. When I walked away, the police just automatically accused me of purchasing drugs. Two officers jumped out of a car and kept askingWhat did they sell you?I repeatedly replied no one sold me anything. … They cuffed me and drove me to a police substation.
… The next morning they loaded 45 people into a van made for 32. The men were almost all black and Latino. When we arrived at the jail, sheriff’s deputies, dressed in riot gear, met us. They shouted obscenities and threats. The deputies assaulted several people, including me, for supposedly not complying with their every word.
At each step in the process–arrest, detention and bond hearing–we were lined up, and numbers were scribbled on our arms with black marking pens…. In court, you appear before a judge, but via a television screen. You don’t get to speak, and the judge never even looks you in the face…. They treat our communities with disdain and contempt. I had to hire a lawyer and spend thousands of dollars to get the charges dismissed….
ASLawbecomes increasingly complex, with hundreds of thousands and even millions of laws stacked on top of each other, almost no one can confront officialdom in any way without a lawyer. But what happens when your lawyer takes your money and does no work, don’t file basic motions or writs, and essentially shafts you? Not much. Bar associations have a cap of compensatory payments they sometimes make to incompetent or dishonest lawyers’ clients, but the amouts are often based on century-old, or even older, stated maximums. And it’s next to impossible to go after such a lawyer legally, because to do so you need… another lawyer.
EIGHT COPS raided a home in Minneapolis in ’08. They shot up the place, accidentally not killing anyone. Well, it was thewronghouse (there is norighthouse for something like this). This is completely comparable to a surgeon amputating the wrong leg, but if the doctor who did this to you then got a commendation from the medical association, wouldn’t you feel absolutely floored? So did the family whose home was raided and shot up. All eight cops received medals.
Undoubtedly this sounds like hyperbole or mere rhetoric, but the simple fact is that there is no conceivable way anyone can interpret this but as an official statement ofGood Work, Mento stupid, negligent, incompetent thugs for terrorizing and injuring innocent people.
NOT SURPRISINGLY, when humanitarian spirit is dead in officialdom it’s not partly alive; it really is extinct and defunct. Also in Minnesota, a poor wild bear somehow got a plstic jar or bucket stuck on its head. Official solution: shoot the bear. No sympathy for an unfortunate creature; no imaginative or bold remedy. Just kill.
AS REPORTED by the Washington Post, prison guards at Prince George’s County Jail in Maryland are apt to be the kind of guys the average person expects to hear of as BEHIND bars. An investigation by the paper found guards who’ve been charged with assault, theft, beating and threatening their wives with death, having sex with prisoners, robbery at gunpoint, and other crimes.
Among the nine officers was Mark R. Bradley, whose then-wife asked for a protective order in 1998, claiming he had threatened, taunted, punched and slapped her… When she reached for the phone, Bradley who had been on the force for almost four years, yanked it away… His wife recalled him saying:Call the police… Make me lose my job. I’ll kill you.Almost a decade later, he was still on the payroll at the jail, despite three protective orders issued against him in the late 1990s. In 2004, he pleaded guilty to assaulting another woman, whose rib was broken. The woman, who had been pregnant with his child, told police that after a beating days earlier, she had a miscarriage. A judge put Bradley on probation and ordered him to take an anger management class.
AIRPORT FASCISM is being extended to railroads. Amtrak, the railroad passenger company, has brought in a SWAT-style phalanx of agents in full combat gear to sweep through train stations, randomlyscreeningand searching passengers. Therandomlychosen passengers will have to place their bags on a platform and be swabbed with chemicals that are claimed to react to traces of explosives. You can also be ratted out by dogs.
ONE OF THE factors that propelled the United States as far along into the police state that it now is, was the Vietnam War. There’s plenty of evidence that soldiers in ALL wars become brutalized, but something extraordinary seems to have taken place in Vietnam. Whatever it was, American men who went there (and survived) tended to come back in a vicious state of mind. Ordinary people were their enemy. They made up stories (essentially none has ever been verified) of people spitting on them when they arrived at stateside airports; and they formed cliques of us-versus-them. Looking for work, a high proportion of them went into law enforcement, and there they reinforced and amplified the already-existing us versus them mentality, ratcheting the propensity toward police brutality to amazing heights.
Now the same thing is happening with Iraq. Our guess is that the psychological corruption happens when soldiers fight amid a culture and a language that has few points of contact with the west and with Indo-European languages. It is one thing to fight, say, Germans or Italians, whose general culture is largely familiar (same religions, for instance) and whose languages have a large percentage of words that are the same or nearly enough so to be comprehensible even to the monolingual standard American youth. But in Vietnam–and now in Iraq–these military people are surrounded by words and behaviors utterly alien to them. Our own idle theory, therefore, is that this operate on their minds in such a way that the enemy becomes completely dehumanized. This creates the us-versus-them, and when they return to the USA, they still have it.
Then they go into law enforcement.
Already we are beginning to read about cases in which police–now Iraq war veterans–are opening fire on people merely running away from them. And already, too, the convoluted excuses are starting to evolve:Re-experiencing a war zone is one of several classic signs of combat stress reaction,says the Department of Veterans Affairs. If persistent and untreated, the Department goes on, this can result inpost traumatic stress disorder.
Whatever verbal gimmickery you haul out to gloss over the facts, the truth is that these men (generally they are men) have been ruined, corrupted fatally and irretrievably, by being sent out to murder masses of people for no good reason in a country where they ought never to have gone. Mostly it’s their own fault, too, since ultimately it was their own volition that was compliant in their going there.
The bottom line is that Bush’s freudian effort to surpass his father’s Panama coup by similarly taking Saddam Hussein, unresisted by the press and the American people at the outset, is now going to result in thirty or forty more years of ever-worsening police violence against the public here. With this on top of everything else–the overpopulation, insanely burgeoning law-pollution, disastrous shift to digital culture, etc.–America is rapidly turning into an unliveable hell. Then add global warming.
IMMIGRATION PRISONS, where you’re sent for not having adequate proof of being a so-called citizen, are the new concentration camps of the Evil Empire. There are now a whole class of persons of various ethnicities who are afraid to travel outside of the towns or cities where they live, because of the possibility of being stopped by some profiling trick excused as a broken taillight, and then being sent sprawling into a cell at an immigration prison.
A recent well-publicized case in some of the larger newspapers (and excluded from the local dailies) concerned one Hiu Lui Ng, who’d come to the US from Hong Kong. Making the mistake of going to immigraiton headquarters in New York City to get agreen card(legal authorization to live and work in this country), he was grabbed and put behind bars. There he developed cancer, was in severe pain, laughed at by themedicalmatrons, and eventually died from the rampaging and untreated disease.
They denied him a wheelchair and refused pleas for an independent medical evaluation. Instead, … guards at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island, dragged him from his bed on July 30, craried him in shackles to a car, bruising his arms and legs, and drove him two hours to a federal lock-up in Hartford, where an immigration officer pressured him to withdraw all pending appeals of his case.(New York Times.)
One out of hundreds of thousands.
–Fred Woodworth, Evil Empire Notes, in The Match! Issue No. 107 (Summer, 2009). 19–21.
Winter Soldier: Just Another Tuesday. From Ryan Endicott, formerly a United States government Marine stationed in Iraq.
The regulatory State versus freed markets and the human future: A quote from Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, via B.K. Marcus at Mises Economics Blog:
To expect the government to prevent such fraud from ever occurring would be like wanting it to provide cushions for all the children who might fall. To assume it to be possible to prevent successfully, by regulation, all possible malpractices of this kind, is to sacrifice to a chimerical perfection the whole progress of industry; it is to restrict the imagination of artificers to the narrow limits of the familiar; it is to forbid them all new experiments; it is to renounce even the hope of competing with the foreigners in the making of the new products which they invent daily, since, as they do not conform to our regulations, our workmen cannot imitate these articles without first having obtained permission from the government, that is to say, often after the foreign factories, having profited by the first eagerness of the consumer for this novelty, have already replaced it with something else. … Thus, with obvious injustice, commerce, and consequently the nation, are charged with a heavy burden to save a few idle people the trouble of instructing themselves or of making enquiries to avoid being cheated. To suppose all consumers to be dupes, and all merchants and manufacturers to be cheats, has the effect of authorizing them to be so, and of degrading all the working members of the community.
–Turgot, Éloge de Gournay (1759), translated by P.D. Groenewegen
All Bizarro News that am unfit to print. In which a argument against an imaginary, Bizarro World version individualism is set to fight with a completely imaginary Bizarro GOP which somehow became
the party of untrammeled freedom and maximum individual choice(?!). For more on an earlier installment in David Brooks’s concerted efforts to liberate the Republican Party from moral principles that it never held, cf. GT 2009-01-28: How to be social while staying civilized
On intersections, boundaries, and fortifications. bfp, flip flopping joy (2009-05-01): northern territory, sexual activity, teens and police state. In which Ozzie territorial governments set out to create a territorial sex-Stasi to coerce reports of any and all sexual contact by Aboriginal teenagers. Including consensual sex or fooling-around between one teenager and another. Quote:
This sort of nation/state targeted monitoring of the sexuality of teens/young people is something most people of color are vividly aware of. When you through in queerness, disability, and nationality (among others), and community expectations, things for especially teen girls of color get even worse. How do we learn, engage in, and trust ourselves to build a healthy fabulous sexuality when from the time we reach reproductive age, the nation/state literally owns the first and final say as to what happens to our bodies? How do we learn to say
yeswhen the nation/state insists on doing it for us?
We need democratic governments instead of private protection agencies to ensure that political decision-making remain transparent and decision-makers are held accountable to the people: Molly Ball, Las Vegas Review-Journal (2009-05-10): SECRET GOVERNMENT: Lawmakers keep public out as session winds down with most important decisions looming
On planes as prisons and terrorizing as
security: Jessica Bautista & Kitty Caparella, Philadelphia Daily News (2009-05-12): Blind interpreter detained at Philly airport says he has nightmares from arrest (On which, cf. also GT 2008-05-07: Airport security.)
On legal lynching, part 2. For part 1, see last week, where I said this:
When Anarchists propose that all the functions currently controlled by the authoritarian State, including the judgment of cases involving disputes or violent crimes, we are inevitably told that without a State-controlled, hierarchical system of courts, you’d have nothing more than the justice of the lynch mob. This is actually a classic example of statist inversion: by focusing on the dangers that informal and irregular efforts at seeking justice will lead to a disregard for objectivity or evidence, the statist completely blanks out the ways in which formalization and enforced hierarchy oblige government courts to disregard evidence themselves in the name of formal procedures, and to elevate authority above objectivity, by standing on ceremony or respect for turf at the expense of substantive justice. If the state’s plans to murder Troy Anthony Davis are not an example of a slow-motion lynching, what is?To which we will add, this week: Radley Balko, The Agitator (2009-05-18): Prosecutors Blocking Access to DNA Testing In which government prosecutors make active efforts to block access to DNA tests that could potentially exonerate the innocent, all in the name of
you-had-your-chancejurisdictional turf wars and statist legal
The police are here to keep us safe. By driving their cruisers at 109 MPH in a 45 zone, on a major commercial thoroughfare, late at night, with no sirens and no flashing lights. Then, when this predictably leads to a fatal crash that kills one of the cops, by lying about it to the media in order to make your dead buddy look like more of a hero, and by arresting the poor innocent man that the cop slammed into at 90 MPH for his allegedly reckless driving.
The police are here to keep us safe, part 2. Radley Balko, Hit & Run (2009-05-18): Cops Gone Wild, in which cops from around the country celebrate National Police Week in D.C. with wine, weapons, and reckless driving.
The police are here to keep us safe, part 3. Commentary from Center for a Stateless Society news analyst Tom Knapp (2009-05-18): To Serve and Protect (Themselves)
Name your own salary. Las Vegas Sun (2009-05-16): City, county may lose say in police pay negotiations. Las Vegas Metro is currently working to get a new state law passed which would allow Vegas cops to get a salary set unilaterally by their own boss cop, and then send the bill, whatever it may be, to folks who had absolutely no say whatsoever in the negotiations.
The Gangsters in Blue come to Philly. Radley Balko, The Agitator (2009-05-01): Update on Bodega Raids by Rogue Philly Narcotics Unit Balko asks, apparently non-rhetorically,
Why did no one in the department ask why anCome on, really? The reason is that the State as such is essentially irresponsible, and this kind of thing is Standard Operating Procedure for
elitenarcotics unit was wasting its time busting immigrant shop owners with no criminal record for selling bags instead of pursuing actual drug distributors?
elitenarc squads. There’s a lot here to justify outrage, but very little to justify surprise.
On terror-famines for the international narco-crats. Jacob Sullum, Hit & Run (2009-04-30): U.S. Intensifies Campaign to Wipe Out Afghan Economy. Cf. GT 2004-11-20: The tall poppies and GT 2007-01-13: The tall poppies, part 2.
Austro-Athenian Virtue Ethics versus Moral Fictionalism. Neverfox, Instead of a Blog (2009-05-17): Pulp Non-Fiction
How political control of schools produces terrible textbooks. Tamim Ansary, Edutopia (November 2004): A Textbook Example of What’s Wrong with Education. (Via B.K. Marcus, lowercase liberty (2009-05-18): What’s wrong with textbooks?)
On dialectical jujitsu: Roderick Long, Austro-Athenian Empire (2009-05-19): How to annoy a conservative
Ownership failures, not market failures Chris Dillow, Stumbling and Mumbling (2009-05-01): Markets, the poor & the left. Dillow makes two really important distinctions: one of them the familiar left-libertarian distinction between freed markets, on the one hand, and actually-existing corporate capitalism, on the other; the other a less familiar, but very important, distinction between market processes and patterns of ownership. Quote:
In many ways, what look like ways in which markets fail the poor are in fact merely ways in which a lack of assets fail the poor.Exactly; and the many cases where there are not really
market failures,but rather
ownership failures,have everything to do with feudal, mercantile, neoliberal, and other politically-driven seizures and reallocations of poor people’s land, livelihoods, and possessions — and nothing to do with genuine market exchange.
tax-and-regulatereformism, and in praise of a thriving black market economy: Crispin Sartwell, eye of the storm 2009-05-18
Law among the pirates. Jesse Walker, Hit & Run (2009-05-19): To Live Outside the Law You Must Be Honest
Package-dealing portable double-key encryption for web browsing and web mail: Chris Acheson (2009-05-05): Firefox Portable + GnuPG + FireGPG = CryptoFox. (Via @H+ [2009-05-20], via Human Iterations 2009-05-21.)
On freeing the MHD3 and all political prisoners. By way of follow-up to the recent report on the bullshit arrest and jailing of the Motorhome Diaries crew, see Motorhome Diaries (2009-05-15): Jones County Sheriff’s Department Falsely Arrests MHD Crew, which recounts the full timeline of their arrest, jailing, and release. See also Motorhome Diaries (2009-05-17): Thanks for springing the MHD3 from Jones County (with Allison Gibbs), Motorhome Diaries (2009-05-20): The “Grumbling Old Fart” Addresses Jones County Sheriff Alex Hodge’s Statements, Motorhome Diaries (2009-05-20): MHD on Freedom Watch
Don’t vote. Secede and repudiate. Stewart Browne, Strike the Root (2009-05-18): A New Strategy For Liberty – Part 2: Secession in Three Easy Steps
pissed-off, man-hating, dykes with an excess of body hairlike it’s supposed to be a bad thing… Kevin Carson @ Mutualist Blog (2009-05-21): An Open Letter to Keith Preston, Mike Gogulski @ nostate.com (2009-05-21): Taking sides on the right to be a complete jackass, Darian Worden (2009-05-21): Perverts Versus Preston, and Brad Spangler (2009-05-22): Bigotry and Revolution
Boston Anarchist Reading Group. Jake, Anarkismo.net (2009-05-17): Anarchist Reading Group at the Boston Anarchist Picnic! June 6th, 2009
Iconoclasta for Colombian anarquistas: Revista Iconoclasta – Anarcol, Anarkismo.net (2009-05-15): New anarchist periodical in Bogota – Iconoclasta. More information online at http://prensaiconoclasta.entodaspartes.net/.
New subscriptions. Anarchy in the Garden
… now that I know the bright bulbs within the federal government air travel Securitate are mulling over a privateering firm’s proposal to force all airline passengers to wear a remotely controlled electric human collar. For security’s sake, of course.
The promotional video suggests that some, perhaps many, regular flyers would be willing to wear a shock bracelet like this in order to get the benefits of convenience and increased security that it offers. But the argument isn’t entirely ingenuous, because whether airline passengers would choose to wear them or not, Less Lethal, Inc. prefers its markets captive, and would rather get the TSA and the FAA to do the choosing for everyone, whether the passengers like it or not.
A senior government official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expressed great interest in a so-called safety bracelet that would serve as a stun device, similar to that of a police Taser®. According to this promotional video found at the Lamperd Less Lethal, Inc. website, the bracelet would be worn by all airline passengers (video also shown below).
This bracelet would:
Take the place of an airline boarding pass
Contain personal information about the traveler
Be able to monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his/her luggage
Shock the wearer on command, completely immobilizing him/her for several minutes
The Electronic ID Bracelet, as it’s referred to, would be worn by every traveleruntil they disembark the flight at their destination.Yes, you read that correctly. Every airline passenger would be tracked by a government-funded GPS, containing personal, private and confidential information, and would shock the customer worse than an electronic dog collar if the passenger got out of line.
Clearly the Electronic ID Bracelet is a euphemism for the EMD Safety Bracelet, or at least it has a nefarious hidden ability (thus the term ID Bracelet is ambiguous at best). EMD stands for Electro-Musclar Disruption. Again, according to the promotional video, the bracelet can completely immobilize the wearer for several minutes.
So is the government really that interested in this bracelet?
According to this letter from DHS official, Paul S. Ruwaldt of the Science and Technology Directorate, office of Research and Development, which was written to the inventor whom he had previously met with, Ruwaldt wrote,To make it clear, we [the federal government] are interested in . . . the immobilizing security bracelet, and look forward to receiving a written proposal.
The letterhead, in case you were wondering, is from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security office at the William J. Hughes Technical Center at the Atlantic City International Airport, or the Federal Aviation Administration headquarters.
In another part of the letter, Mr. Ruwaldt confirmed,In addition, it is conceivable to envision a use to improve air security, on passenger planes.
Would every paying airline passenger flying on a commercial airplane be mandated to wear one of these devices? I cringe at the thought. Not only could it be used as a physical restraining device, but also as a method of interrogation, according to the same aforementioned letter from Mr. Ruwaldt.
I sure would feel so much safer wearing an electric device that would allow third parties to torture me with immobilizing electric shocks whenever they want to force me to comply with their orders or want to end an argument that they feel has grown tiresome. I feel safer already knowing that the government officials who have the power to force these torture devices on everyone are interested and consider this an acceptable way to treat their fellow human beings.
Jeffrey Denning’s post on the proposal ends with a couple of questions, which no doubt seemed reasonable to him, but which strike me as rather weird questions to ask.
Why are tax dollars being spent on something like this?
Is this a police state or is this America?
The short answer to the second question is
Yes. And if you understand why the second question doesn’t pose a genuine dichotomy, then the answer to the first question should be more obvious than Jeffrey Denning might like to think.