Your tax dollars in action. Protect the people from scary groups that feed anyone who is hungry. Aren’t you glad the police state takes such a proactive role in keeping people from being fed? (E)
Category Archives: Corporatism
According to Amnesty International, “the single most reliable predictor of whether someone will be sentenced to death is the race of the victim.”
What more is there to say?
The young people are the change. They will be the revolutionaries of the next 10-30 years. I am encourage not because I agree with everything RP says but because so few young people are involved and these few seem enthusiastic. (E)
Reuters: ‘An Increasingly Polarized Washington Is Devouring Its Own’ … Unprecedented Justice Department searches of journalists’ phone records. IRS targeting of conservative political groups. Spiraling sexual assault rates in the military. And the downplaying of the first killing of an American ambassador in 30 years. But Obama‘s failings are only part of the problem. An increasingly polarized Washington is devouring its own. Ceaseless, take-no-prisoners political warfare, not nefarious White House plots, ravages government. – Reuters
Dominant Social Theme: Government needs to work better to avoid crises and scandals.
Free-Market Analysis: On Saturday, we published an editorial with a title very similar to the one in this current Reuters editorial: “Scandal: And They Shall Eat Their Own … ”
The difference between the Daily Bell editorial and the Reuters editorial is instructive. In our editorial, we posited that a reason for the scandals might have to do with the ubiquitous nature of the modern Internet. This was not the only possibility but it was one Anthony Wile found feasible.
This Reuters editorial blames “gridlock.” The Reuters editorial wants us to believe that the current scandals inWashington, DC can be rectified by a more smoothly functioning government. We don’t think that government is much of a solution to anything. We believe such scandals could be rectified by shrinking government, not making it function more effectively.
Here’s more from the article:
In a matter of days, alarming accounts have emerged regarding the actions of five key federal government bureaucracies: the Justice Department, the Internal Revenue Service, the State Department, the CIA and the Pentagon.
For commentators on the right, the reports are final proof of the raft of conspiracy theories focused on President Barack Obama. For commentators on left, they are non-scandals that Republicans exaggerate for political gain. Our endless left-right debate – Obama the devil, Obama the angel – misses more serious problems.
… Obama came into office promising openness – but from counter-terrorism to domestic policy, his White House has been secretive, insular and controlling. Yes, Republicans are bent on destroying Obama’s presidency, but an aloof president has alienated his Democratic allies.
Congress is no better. Each two-year term seems to set new standards for political trench warfare. One-third of the committees in the Republican-controlled House are investigating the administration. Some on the far right call for Obama’s impeachment.
You see? The problems faced by the US government have to do with the bad behavior of its actors. Everyone has to shoulder some part of the blame: Obama, Congress, the Pentagon, etc.
But the problem with this logic, in our humble view, starts and ends with the size of government and the pervasiveness of monopoly central banking. It is the availability of a money machine itself that has allowed government to grow to its current dysfunctional size.
And dysfunctional – and titanic – it is. Government at levels in the US must surely spend up to US$4 trillion on, among other things, a dysfunctional public school system, a crumbling industrial infrastructure and a vast domestic spy network complemented by a hugely expensive military-industrial complex. The value of all these expenditures to individual citizens is dubious to say the least.
The system exists, nonetheless, corrupt beyond measure, authoritarian by design and obviously repressive in its actions. Gradually, however, what we call the Internet Reformation is changing this situation.
As more and more information mounts up about destructive government actions in the US – and Europe, too – we would argue it becomes harder and harder to maintain business as usual.
Now, there are probably other reasons for these US scandals to come out now, and certainly there are many competing interests that might want to generate such difficulties. But think about what has come before: a steady drip, drip, drip of revelations that have not been staunched despite the best efforts of those in government and their media enablers.
Controversial reports having to do with President Obama’s birth certificate, election rigging, the destruction of the World Trade Towers and much else have not been excised from the public consciousness with the ruthless efficiency of pre-21st century maneuverings.
It is much more difficult to keep a secret these days, or stop people from speculating about motivations and underlying realities.
Conclusion: Many fear that the Internet is giving government the tools to be more authoritarian than ever. But it works both ways.
- Obama’s biggest fans abandoning ship? (wnd.com)
- Fast & Furious, Benghazi, IRS and DOJ Scandals: Can gun owners trust the gov’t? (VIDEO) (guns.com)
- Obama May Survive, but Scandals a Blow to Left (humanevents.com)
- The common thread in the Obama adminstration scandals (powerlineblog.com)
- EDITORIAL: The Obama enemies list (washingtontimes.com)
- Most Americans Believe Obama Covering Up IRS Scandal (sgtreport.com)
MONDAY, MAY 20, 2013
“What do you expect when you target the President?” This is what an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent allegedly said to the head of a conservative organization that was being audited after calling for the impeachment of then-President Clinton. Recent revelations that IRS agents gave “special scrutiny” to organizations opposed to the current administration’s policies suggest that many in the IRS still believe harassing the president’s opponents is part of their job.
As troubling as these recent reports are, it would be a grave mistake to think that IRS harassment of opponents of the incumbent president is a modern, or a partisan, phenomenon. As scholar Burton Folsom pointed out in his book New Deal or Raw Deal, IRS agents in the 1930s were essentially “hit squads” against opponents of the New Deal. It is well-known that the administrations of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson used the IRS to silence their critics. One of the articles of impeachment drawn up against Richard Nixon dealt with his use of the IRS to harass his political enemies. Allegations of IRS abuses were common during the Clinton administration, and just this week some of the current administration’s defenders recalled that antiwar and progressive groups alleged harassment by the IRS during the Bush presidency.
The bipartisan tradition of using the IRS as a tool to harass political opponents suggests that the problem is deeper than just a few “rogue” IRS agents − or even corruption within one, two, three or many administrations. Instead, the problem lays in the extraordinary power the tax system grants the IRS.
The IRS routinely obtains information about how we earn a living, what investments we make, what we spend on ourselves and our families, and even what charitable and religious organizations we support. Starting next year, the IRS will be collecting personally identifiable health insurance information in order to ensure we are complying withObamacare‘s mandates.
The current tax laws even give the IRS power to marginalize any educational, political, or even religious organizations whose goals, beliefs, and values are not favored by the current regime by denying those organizations “tax-free” status. This is the root of the latest scandal involving the IRS.
Considering the type of power the IRS excises over the American people, and the propensity of those who hold power to violate liberty, it is surprising we do not hear about more cases of politically-motivated IRS harassment. As the first US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall said, “The power to tax is the power to destroy” − and who better to destroy than one’s political enemies?
The US flourished for over 120 years without an income tax, and our liberty and prosperity will only benefit from getting rid of the current tax system. The federal government will get along just fine without its immoral claim on the fruits of our labor, particularly if the elimination of federal income taxes are accompanied by serious reduction in all areas of spending, starting with the military spending beloved by so many who claim to be opponents of high taxes and big government.
While it is important for Congress to investigate the most recent scandal and ensure all involved are held accountable, we cannot pretend that the problem is a few bad actors. The very purpose of the IRS is to transfer wealth from one group to another while violating our liberties in the process; thus, the only way Congress can protect our freedoms is to repeal the income tax and shutter the doors of the IRS once and for all.
Dr. Ron Paul, a medical doctor and longtime Texas Representative to the US House, continues to promote and educate on issues of liberty through his “Ron Paul’s Texas Straight Talk” column, pubished weekly here.
Dismiss this if you like but it is true nonetheless and the solution offered is the best I have seen so far even though I expect it will not be acted on in time (E)
- Lindsey Williams ~ America is next after Cyprus (financearmageddon.blogspot.com)
By Assata Shakur
Source: Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
My name is Assata Shakur, and I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color. I am an ex-political prisoner, and I have been living in exile in Cuba since 1984.
I have been a political activist most of my life, and although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal, nor have I ever been one. In the 1960s, I participated in various struggles: the black liberation movement, the student rights movement, and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. I joined the Black Panther Party. By 1969 the Black Panther Party had become the number one organization targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program. Because the Black Panther Party demanded the total liberation of black people, J. Edgar Hoover called it “greatest threat to the internal security of the country” and vowed to destroy it and its leaders and activists.
In 1978, my case was one of many cases bought before the United Nations Organization in a petition filed by the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, and the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice, exposing the existence of political prisoners in the United States, their political persecution, and the cruel and inhuman treatment they receive in US prisons. According to the report:
‘The FBI and the New York Police Department in particular, charged and accused Assata Shakur of participating in attacks on law enforcement personnel and widely circulated such charges and accusations among police agencies and units. The FBI and the NYPD further charged her as being a leader of the Black Liberation Army which the government and its respective agencies described as an organization engaged in the shooting of police officers. This description of the Black Liberation Army and the accusation of Assata Shakur’s relationship to it was widely circulated by government agents among police agencies and units. As a result of these activities by the government, Ms. Shakur became a hunted person; posters in police precincts and banks described her as being involved in serious criminal activities; she was highlighted on the FBI’s most wanted list; and to police at all levels she became a ‘shoot-to-kill’ target.”
I was falsely accused in six different “criminal cases” and in all six of these cases I was eventually acquitted or the charges were dismissed. The fact that I was acquitted or that the charges were dismissed, did not mean that I received justice in the courts, that was certainly not the case. It only meant that the “evidence” presented against me was so flimsy and false that my innocence became evident. This political persecution was part and parcel of the government’s policy of eliminating political opponents by charging them with crimes and arresting them with no regard to the factual basis of such charges.
On May 2, 1973 I, along with Zayd Malik Shakur and Sundiata Acoli were stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike, supposedly for a “faulty tail light.” Sundiata Acoli got out of the car to determine why we were stopped. Zayd and I remained in the car. State trooper Harper then came to the car, opened the door and began to question us. Because we were black, and riding in a car with Vermont license plates, he claimed he became “suspicious.” He then drew his gun, pointed it at us, and told us to put our hands up in the air, in front of us, where he could see them. I complied and in a split second, there was a sound that came from outside the car, there was a sudden movement, and I was shot once with my arms held up in the air, and then once again from the back. Zayd Malik Shakur was later killed, trooper Werner Foerster was killed, and even though trooper Harper admitted that he shot and killed Zayd Malik Shakur, under the New Jersey felony murder law, I was charged with killing both Zayd Malik Shakur, who was my closest friend and comrade, and charged in the death of trooper Forester. Never in my life have I felt such grief. Zayd had vowed to protect me, and to help me to get to a safe place, and it was clear that he had lost his life, trying to protect both me and Sundiata. Although he was also unarmed, and the gun that killed trooper Foerster was found under Zayd’s leg, Sundiata Acoli, who was captured later, was also charged with both deaths. Neither Sundiata Acoli nor I ever received a fair trial We were both convicted in the news media way before our trials. No news media was ever permitted to interview us, although the New Jersey police and the FBI fed stories to the press on a daily basis. In 1977, I was convicted by an all-white jury and sentenced to life plus 33 years in prison. In 1979, fearing that I would be murdered in prison, and knowing that I would never receive any justice, I was liberated from prison, aided by committed comrades who understood the depths of the injustices in my case, and who were also extremely fearful for my life.
The U.S. Senate’s 1976 Church Commission report on intelligence operations inside the USA, revealed that “The FBI has attempted covertly to influence the public’s perception of persons and organizations by disseminating derogatory information to the press, either anonymously or through “friendly” news contacts.” This same policy is evidently still very much in effect today.
On December 24, 1997, The New Jersey State called a press conference to announce that New Jersey State Police had written a letter to Pope John Paul II asking him to intervene on their behalf and to aid in having me extradited back to New Jersey prisons. The New Jersey State Police refused to make their letter public. Knowing that they had probably totally distort the facts, and attempted to get the Pope to do the devils work in the name of religion, I decided to write the Pope to inform him about the reality of “justice” for black people in the State of New Jersey and in the United States. (See attached Letter to the Pope).
In January of 1998, during the pope’s visit to Cuba, I agreed to do an interview with NBC journalist Ralph Penza around my letter to the Pope, about my experiences in New Jersey court system, and about the changes I saw in the United States and it’s treatment of Black people in the last 25 years. I agreed to do this interview because I saw this secret letter to the Pope as a vicious, vulgar, publicity maneuver on the part of the New Jersey State Police, and as a cynical attempt to manipulate Pope John Paul II. I have lived in Cuba for many years, and was completely out of touch with the sensationalist, dishonest, nature of the establishment media today. It is worse today than it was 30 years ago. After years of being victimized by the “establishment” media it was naive of me to hope that I might finally get the opportunity to tell “my side of the story.” Instead of an interview with me, what took place was a “staged media event” in three parts, full of distortions, inaccuracies and outright lies. NBC purposely misrepresented the facts. Not only did NBC spend thousands of dollars promoting this “exclusive interview series” on NBC, they also spent a great deal of money advertising this “exclusive interview” on black radio stations and also placed notices in local newspapers.
. . .
Like most poor and oppressed people in the United States, I do not have a voice. Black people, poor people in the U.S. have no real freedom of speech, no real freedom of expression and very little freedom of the press. The black press and the progressive media has historically played an essential role in the struggle for social justice. We need to continue and to expand that tradition. We need to create media outlets that help to educate our people and our children, and not annihilate their minds. I am only one woman. I own no TV stations, or Radio Stations or Newspapers. But I feel that people need to be educated as to what is going on, and to understand the connection between the news media and the instruments of repression in Amerika. All I have is my voice, my spirit and the will to tell the truth. But I sincerely ask, those of you in the Black media, those of you in the progressive media, those of you who believe in truth freedom, To publish this statement and to let people know what is happening. We have no voice, so you must be the voice of the voiceless.
Free all Political Prisoners, I send you Love and Revolutionary Greetings From Cuba, One of the Largest, Most Resistant and Most Courageous Palenques (Maroon Camps) That has ever existed on the Face of this Planet.
Assata Shakur Havana, Cuba
Below is a clip of Assata Sakur’s Documentary “Eyes of the Rainbow: Assata Shakur Documentary”
“I am a Black revolutionary woman, and because of this i have been charged with and accused of every alleged crime in which a woman was believed to have participated. The alleged crimes in which only men were supposedly involved, i have been accused of planning. They have plastered pictures alleged to be me in post offices, airports, hotels, police cars, subways, banks, television, and newspapers. They have offered … rewards for my capture and they have issued orders to shoot on sight and shoot to kill.” — Assata Shakur
“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
? Assata Shakur, Assata: An Autobiography
Assata is Not a Terrorist: She is a Freedom Fighter like Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X & Martin L. King [#Feminist Friday]
While I don’t agree with all of the sentiments here I do agree that the way the American government has treated Blacks and other minorities is unwarranted and oppressive. Things need to change for all Americans who are not among the racists or elitists. (E)
- Assata Shakur is a modern-day Harriet Tubman (workers.org)
- The government’s terrorist is our community’s heroine by Yasiin Bey(Mos Def) (freedomhallblog.wordpress.com)
- Why the Assata Shakur case still strikes a chord (thegrio.com)
- She’s No Terrorist: The Bizarre Move By The FBI Against Assata Shakur by Bill Fletcher (zcommunications.org)
- FBI Most Wanted Terrorists List: Who Is Assata Shakur? (npr.org)
- Supporters Say ‘Hands Off Assata’ Shakur (theroot.com)
- An Open Letter From Assata by Assata Shakur (zcommunications.org)
To learn more and find out what you can do go here: http://www.cispaisback.org/
Do you understand the goal of Public Education? If you have children you’d better understand the plan. (E)
“Although this science will be diligently studied, it will be rightly confined to the governing class and the populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated…education should aim at destroying free will, so that, after pupils have left school, they will be incapable…of thinking or acting otherwise than their schoolmaster would have wished.” – Bertrand Russell
building public awareness of left-wing market anarchism
I can not say I always agree with all this site stands for but much is worth reading including the following article. (E):
Posted by Dave Hummels on Mar 7, 2013
One former chief, Peter Bensinger, fears that successful legalization efforts will lead to “a domino effect” in the US. Where have we heard that phrase before? Bensinger continues breathlessly, “My fear is that the Justice Department will do what they are doing now: do nothing and say nothing … If they don’t act now, these laws will be fully implemented in a matter of months.”
So drug warriors are losing their minds over Colorado and Washington. Good! We can only hope that Bensinger’s dire predictions come true and that more Americans are indeed waking up to the absurdity of marijuana prohibition.
The former DEA bureaucrats argue, accurately, that marijuana remains illegal under the Controlled Substances Act. Even in cases involving medical marijuana, the federal government may abuse the commerce clause as a rationale to criminalize users, growers and sellers of marijuana (per Gonzales v. Raich). The commerce clause has become the federal government’s drug war equivalent of catch-all disorderly conduct statutes in the states.
Unfortunately, these goons have a solid case to present to US Attorney General Holder. In New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann (1932), US Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis said, “It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” But today’s political class views federalism as archaic.
Hopefully the administration will choose to ignore this thuggish recommendation. But if they do decide to litigate, this will be another sign that the feds don’t give a damn about the will of the people. Liberty-loving Americans should respond to this federal intrusion with a massive wave of civil disobedience.
Let’s start by publicly shaming the DEA heads mentioned by the AP: “Bensinger, John Bartels, Robert Bonner, Thomas Constantine, Asa Hutchinson, John Lawn, Donnie Marshall and Francis Mullen.” Get to know their names, libertarians. They are your enemies!
Then, let’s publicize the efforts of these authoritarians to undermine the voters of Colorado and Washington. Ask them why they continue to support a policy with openly racist origins which has resulted in mass incarceration. Publicly reveal the motives of the police agencies that enforce these laws . When drug warriors drone on about “protecting the children,” confront them with the horrific reality of wrong door raids, slaughtered family pets and children terrorized with flash-bangs. Wherever an apologist for prohibition gives a speech or attends a meeting, he or she should be met by throngs of boisterous picketers.
As we expose these petty tyrants, we should also seek opportunities to throw a wrench into the machinery of prohibition. A mass movement of jury nullification in drug cases may be a promising tactic. Prosecutors can use voir dire to remove one or two questionable jurors, but what if nullification becomes widespread? They can’t remove all of us. In the future, we should view jury duty as a chance to liberate non-violent people from the state’s clutches.
In Tao Te Ching, the Chinese sage Lao Tzu writes, “The more laws are posted, the more robbers and thieves there are.” Time and time again, this observation has been proven correct. The violence of the drug war is perpetuated by government, yet officials insist they must keep fighting. In their vile attempt to protect their old turf, former DEA bosses show their true colors. They are gangsters with federal pensions. They will do anything to ensure that they and their ilk continue to get their cut of drug war booty. It is up to us to expose their racket and to finish the job sensible voters in Colorado and Washington started in November.
C4SS Fellow Dave Hummels is a Left-libertarian writer from Central Illinois. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Illinois-Springfield. Dave has over a decade of experience in the field of healthcare security and is also a licensed emergency medical technician.
- Ex-DEA heads: Feds should nullify state pot laws (kansascity.com)
- Ex-DEA Chief Lobbying Holder to Nullify Marijuana Legalization Owns a Drug Testing Company (activistpost.com)
by Kevin Carson
Thanks to a Twitter friend, I just stumbled across remarks from 2005 in which Walmart CEO Lee Scott called on Congress to pass a higher minimum wage:
“The U.S. minimum wage of $5.15 an hour has not been raised in nearly a decade and we believe it is out of date with the times. We can see first-hand at Wal-Mart how many of our customers are struggling to get by. Our customers simply don’t have the money to buy basic necessities between pay checks.”
At first glance this seems decidedly odd, coming as it does from the CEO of a company which — as you know if you’ve been following the Black Friday news — is notorious for keeping its workers’ pay as low as humanly possible. But if you think about it, there’s really no contradiction at all. There’s a fundamental prisoner’s dilemma at the heart of capitalism. It’s in the interest of large corporations collectively to guarantee sufficient purchasing power to keep the trucks moving and the inventories turning over. But it’s in the interest of individual large corporations to keep labor costs as low as possible.
Likewise, it’s in individual employers’ interests to pay only enough to maintain employees in subsistence while they’re actually working, without enough of a surplus to save against periods of sickness or unemployment. But it’s in the collective interest of employers to pay enough to cover the minimum reproduction cost of labor power.
Overcoming such prisoners’ dilemmas is the main purpose of the capitalists’ state. When the state mandates a minimum wage sufficient to facilitate the reproduction of the workforce (of course it doesn’t in practice, outside the European “social democratic” model of capitalism), the cost falls on all employers in a given industry equally. And unlike the case of a private, voluntary cartel, individual employers are unable to defect for the sake of a short-term advantage from double-crossing their competitors. So funding the minimum reproduction cost of labor-power is no longer an issue of cost competition among employers; it’s a collective cost of an entire industry that can be passed on to consumers as a cost-plus markup, via administered pricing.
Marx had a lot to say about this phenomenon, as illustrated by the Ten-Hours Act in Britain (Capital, vol. 1 ch. 10).
“These acts curb the passion of capital for a limitless draining of labor-power, by forcibly limiting the working-day by state regulations, made by a state that is ruled by capitalist-and landlord.
… [T]he limiting of factory labor was dictated by the same necessity which spread guano over the English fields. The same blind eagerness for plunder that in the one case exhausted the soil, had, in the other, torn up by the roots the living force of the nation.”
This common interest in preventing “exhaustion of the soil,” Marx argued, explained the counterintuitive support of many capitalists — as exemplified by employer Josiah Wedgwood — for the Ten-Hours Bill.
The state, in many ways, functions as an executive committee of the economic ruling class, carrying out for them in common many necessary functions it’s not in their interest to carry out individually. The state, in short, cleans up the capitalists’ messes for them.
Things like the minimum wage, collective bargaining, and universal healthcare may be perceived by individual capitalists as a restraint or an imposition. But they’re supported by the smarter capitalists — especially those in the industries that benefit most from them. Just consider the role of General Electric CEO Gerard Swope in the business coalition behind the New Deal.
The minimum wage increases aggregate purchasing power among the working class at large, and helps secure employers a reliable pool of labor power on a sustainable basis. The welfare state keeps unemployment, hunger and homelessness from reaching politically destabilizing levels that — without the state cleaning up the capitalists’ mess at taxpayer expense — might result in capitalism being torn down from below. Universal healthcare, whether on the British or Canadian model, externalizes labor costs on the taxpayer, which would otherwise be (and are, in countries like the U.S.) borne by employers who provide health insurance as a benefit.
Any time you hear soccer mom rhetoric about “our working families,” or self-congratulatory platitudes to the effect that “Democrats care,” look behind the voice and take a look at what the hands are actually doing. In a freed market — without the state to do the capitalists’ bidding — corporate capitalism would wither like a garden slug with salt on its back. The state works for the capitalists, not for you.
- labor and labor-power (mazadeadelita.wordpress.com)