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official state media for a secessionist republic of one

“The blasphemy laws should be abolished, not reformed. If that demand contradicts the raison d’etre of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, then it’s the Islamic Republic that has to go, not the right to free speech.”

What I’m Reading: Irfan Khawaja, Blasphemy and the Polity of Our Prayers, Policy of Truth (2023-02-01).

Shared Article from Policy of Truth

Blasphemy and the Polity of Our Prayers

The last time I was in Pakistan, back in January of 2012, my cousin Sa’ad threw me a big, lavish party the evening before my departure. I have a ver…

Irfan Khawaja @ irfankhawajaphilosopher.com

. . . The blasphemy laws will only be overturned in Pakistan when Pakistanis come to realize that the price is lower and the prize more valuable than they’ve so far been led to believe. That will be a long struggle, one that people like me can only watch from afar.

A fourth truth, though: a nation that enforces blasphemy laws like Pakistan’s is on track to committing slow suicide. Laws of this sort threaten the expression of candid speech, and in so doing, subvert thought itself. Beyond that, they endorse the basic aims and premises of the fascists who want to turn Pakistan into a theocracy. So while crusading against the blasphemy laws may seem an act of suicide, so is acquiescing in them. The question becomes whether one prefers to risk a quick shot to the head while gambling on freedom, or acquiesce in certain death through daily doses of arsenic–a difficult choice, but one impossible to avoid. . . .

— Irfan Khawaja, Blasphemy and the Polity of Our Prayers,
Policy of Truth (2023-02-01).

John Law v. the Liquor Store (2023)

Shared Article from News 5 Cleveland WEWS

You could make your own alcohol in Ohio if new bill passes

The bill would allow Ohioans 21-years and older to make, drink and serve moonshine, as long as they don't charge for it.


Well, good. I hope the bill is brought to the floor, and I hope that it passes. It doesn’t do nearly enough, but of course this is a step in the right direction.

Remember Prohibition? Man, that was a really bad idea. We should stop doing that.

a path / on the waves, gilded invitation, the parchment moon

(From Poetry Foundation, Poetry, December 2022, and Audio Poem of the Day Podcast, 16 December 2022.)

Moon Ghazal

By Dorianne Laux

I can’t remember the first time I saw it, seems it was
always there, even with me in the womb, the moon.

It must have been night, above the ocean, making a path
on the waves, gilded invitation, the parchment moon.

Or the day moon, see-through-y wafer over desert, caught
in the arms of saguaro, thin-skinned, heart-stuck moon.

Blue as new milk, aquarium water, Mexican tile, blue
as cold-bitten fingertips, nailbeds’ quick-blue arcs, half-moons.

How I felt when I saw my first grown boy, round-eyed,
all sinew and muscle, his calves, his biceps, plump as moons.

Buttons, doorknobs, volleyballs, clocks, egg yolk, orange
slice, violet iris, our planet a pupil, mote in the eye of the moon.

The cell inside me splitting and splitting, worm of the fetus,
tadpole, the glazed orb of the eye, my belly taut as the moon.

The blood-streaked moon of her head pushing through, moons
of the faces above me, urging me, pulling, promising the moon.

There are earthquakes on the moon, water, not geologically dead,
still acting like a planet: upheaval, turmoil, shaking her head, the moon.

When I see the earth of you I still feel moonquakes, even now, after
so many moons my round breasts swoon, your fingertips, small moons.

— Dorianne Laux, Moon Ghazal
Poetry (December 2022)

Sharon Presley (1943-2022), RIP

To my deep sorrow, I learned that Dr. Sharon Presley died last week on October 31, at the age of 79. Sharon was a lifelong libertarian and feminist activist, writer and lecturer, the author of Government Is Women’s Enemy and numerous other essays and books, a member of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, co-founder of Laissez-Faire Books, co-founder and long-time coordinator for the Association of Libertarian Feminists (ALF), co-editor of Exquisite Rebel: The Essays of Voltairine de Cleyre, and author of many articles on de Cleyre, Suzanne LaFollette and the individualist feminist tradition. I will miss her thought and her voice immensely. My deepest sorrow and condolences to everyone who knew her and loved her.

Shared Article from Notablog

Sharon Presley (1943-2022), RIP

My dear friend, Ellen Young, announced today that Sharon Presley, lifelong libertarian feminist writer and activist, died on Monday, October 31, 2022,…

Chris Matthew Sciabarra @ notablog.net

About 6,500 people will be cleared of charges. None of those people are currently in jail.

Shared Article from nytimes.com

Biden Pardons Thousands of People Convicted of Marijuana Possess…

The president urged governors to follow his lead for people convicted on state charges of possession.


This is a good thing to do. It is part of a larger set of policies which are intended to halt new prosecutions and to systematically reconsider the categorical federal prohibition on marijuana, which are really important. It would be a lot better to also pardon the people currently in federal prison for dealing marijuana. I hope that this is the beginning and not the end of serious moves against prohibition and imprisonment in the heretofore endless, failed War on Drugs.

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