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Showing posts from 2014

Probable Cause

Interesting how this probable cause works. Easy to find thousands of times across the country every day, particularly if you've the profile that fits, but no where to be found when it counted last night.

Rest in peace Michael Brown, and all the victims of our peculiar institution called a "justice" system.

Capital is afraid of their own economic system

The response to HRC's recent comments regarding who creates jobs has been interesting.

In a market economy, consumers create jobs. Business does everything in their power in order to not create jobs (e.g. raise productivity of current workforce), as labor is a major expense, and is only forced to when demand overwhelms capacity. I thought this was market economics 101?
She was posturing, trying to fend off Elizabeth Warren, to be sure, but capital is so afraid of this basic fact (which at least in theory gives the rabble some power) it gets buried in hyperbole. 

Once secret but now available documents show that people like Anne Applebaum are intellectual hacks of the worst kind

It seems the sole purpose of people like Anne Applebaum is to warn educated and engaged liberals (you know, the kind that read "The Atlantic" and 'The New Yorker") about allowing their ideology to stray too far from bourgeois comfort zones. Make your home in identity politics, vague and self-righteous notions of human rights, hell, maybe even support a national health service, but by god make sure you don't start talking about property relations because then before you know it you'll wake up, look in the mirror, and you'll have a big bushy mustache and be starving Ukrainian peasants!

Of course, some new found information (you always find it in the last place you look! Doh!) always will pop up to ensure you that Stalinism was indeed purely ideological and there is, of course, a straight line from Marx's "workers of the world unite" to Stalin's "socialism in one country." No pragmatism there. No, none whatsoever. The Communist I…

Soldier Policeman

The events in Ferguson Missouri have me thinking about former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and his infamous “Midnight Crew.” While much has been made about the militarization of the police regarding body armor and Humvees, not so much has been said about what certainly can be seen as a shared mentality, even identity, between the soldier and the police officer. Burge brought the Phoenix Program from Vietnam to Chicago and tortured people (black men of course) freely for decades. Certainly this was a militarization of the police.

A couple years ago the Obama Administration made a conscious effort to get war veterans into police uniforms. For the first time since its creation the Justice Department’s grant program “Community Oriented Policing Services,” or COPS, (one wonders how long it took them to come up with words that fit the acronym) required cities to hire only veterans with the federal money. Just like Black Hawk helicopters, we have a bunch of them and have no clue what…

C > I

Back in 2008 I wrote the following description of an exercise I took part in while I attended an immigrant rights coalition meetings-

The moderator, in all seriousness, had us draw a flower. Our flower needed at least four large petals, with a smaller petal drawn inside the outline of the larger one. We were then to label each petal. One should be race, one gender, one whether or not English is our mother tongue, and one marking our social class (which wasn't talked about much, if at all). If you are white, male, and speak English, then you were to fill in the outer layer of your flower petals. This means you are an 'exploiter' in these areas. If you are female, non-white, and learned a language besides English when you were young, then you were to fill in the inner layer of the petals. You are "exploited." 
I went on to make a basic point that should be obvious to any socialist, or anyone on the left for that matter. Succinctly put: while both are impor…

What is to be done? No, seriously, what is to be done? Or, the Revolution will not be televised, but it will be streaming on Netflix!

It seems like a month can't go by without us being able to watch a revolution unfold. They are unsurprisingly chaotic, and completely and utterly destroying the idea that a spontaneous, leaderless, movement can take (or abolish) state power. That's the formula right now. Camp out in the city square and soon enough there will be a confrontation which eventually might create enough havoc to shutdown your country. Sure, this sort of "general strike," if we want to call it that, can throw state power up for grabs, but that just makes it easy for any organized social force with even a tad bit of popular support to step in and snatch it. Often times it is simply the opposition political party that has positioned itself to be at the right place at the right time. (If this is the case, you guys might as well have a "managed" democracy like us. Sure it's boring, but less people die. You need not ask who controls the state if you just want to know who controls th…

When "Liberty" is Terrifying

The NYT profiled Dread Pirate Roberts, the alleged founder of the infamous "Silk Road" website:

The most interesting part about people like Dread Pirate Roberts (aka Robert Ulbricht) is their bizarre view of liberty. Aside from his alleged willingness to murder people (one would think murdering someone would be an attack on their liberty on a much grander scale than forcing them to pay income tax), he seems genuinely disgusted by the idea of some level of democratic oversight of basic societal functions:
For centuries, consumers have been taxed by governments or overlords of one type or another, rendering unto Caesar for as long as there have been Caesars. But if Silk Road were scalable, that era was over. Or at least imperiled. Anyone would have the option to sell goods undisturbed by regulations and without sharing a percentage of revenue with the state. And why stop at drugs? The sys…

The people's man!

(credit:  In very general terms, I talked a tad bit of shit about Minnesota's "greatest" governor Floyd B. Olson in CounterPunch a couple weeks ago (see post below). Somewhat surprisingly (I assumed most people thought of Olson as the name of a highway), I received a few emails, in state and out, informing me I pretty much had no clue what I was talking about. True, if you compare Olson to Mark Dayton (who I find likable), he comes off as a scary Bolshevik. But that's hardly a correct comparison. Olson was governor when labor was at the peak of both its consciousness and political power. In that context, he was more like a brake than a spearhead. He was a check on power. (He threw labor leaders in jail during the '34 Teamster Strike while business leaders were literally killing people on the streets for god's sake.) I suppose I shouldn't be surprised given Minnesota's bizarre compulsion to turn poli…