A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Mutual Aid in the Real World

without comments

As an opponent of statism I’m often confronted with statists who want to know where welfare would come from without a government. Explaining how mutual aid has worked before governments involved themselves in the industry doesn’t appease them because they can simply write such examples off as archaic solutions that cannot work in the modern world. I therefore keep my eyes open for examples of mutual aid being practiced in the modern world.

I’ve been reading Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles. So far it has been a really good overview of modern history in various African countries. The opening of the chapter on Senegal introduced a fascinating Islamic Sufi order. From pages 255-256:

In 1895 the Senegalese Islamic mystic and poet Cheikh Amadu Bamba Mbacke got out of the boat that was taking him to exile in Gabon and, kneeling on a mat that appeared miraculously in the water, prayed to Allah. Then he walked across the water back to Senegal and founded a global African trading company based on Islamic principles. Those who work for it are known as Mourides. In any city in the world today, if an African street trader offers you jewellery, belts or bags, he is almost certainly a Mouride, a follow of Amadu Bamba.

[…]

The movement he founded is based on three rules: follow God, work and provoke no-one.

[…]

Later his followers founded dahiras, prayer circles where they could meet, socialize and read the Koran and Amadu Bamba’s poems. They were also required to pay a subscription to help follow members in trouble and to contribute to the expenses of the whole movement and its leader.

[…]

For rural people arriving in town for the first time, the dahira provides a base and a network. The subscription enables new members to find accommodations and work. If one of their number dies, it gives money to bring the body home for burial.

Furthermore, taxes aren’t paid in the city where the order was founded, an autonomous zone in Senegal. From pages 257-258:

One shopkeeper in a long robe and Muslim kufi, selling music CDs and tapes, tells me that he came here and joined the Mouride because no-on pays taxes in Tourba. ‘Touba is not part of the state,’ he says.

If there is a problem that requires money the Marabout calls a committee and they ask everyone to contribute. And immediately everyone gives, it’s called Adiya. They give because they follow the Marabout but also because if they give, people know the road will be fixed and the water will run again. This is not like Dakar … It’s all one family here. If you believe in the father, you believe in his sons. Then there is the money you pay for the poor here — two and a half percent of your profit, so no-one suffers.

Entrepreneurs who have setup a network of mutual aid to help other members of their entrepreneurial order? And membership in the order is voluntary? I’ve been told that such a thing is impossible.

I’m not claiming that Tourban is an anarchist utopia or that the Mouride are anarchists. But they are practicing a way of life that provides the commodities most people ascribe to statism without statism. The Mouride are demonstrating today that there is more than one solution to the problems statists mistakenly believe can only be solved by governments.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 12th, 2017 at 11:00 am

The Pentagon Will Investigate Itself

without comments

Not too long ago it was revealed that the Pentagon has been unable to account for a few trillion dollars it spent. This revelation lead to a predictable outcome. Some critters in Congress feigned outrage, some hearings were held, and legislation was passed that claimed to be the solution to the problem. That legislation has instructed the Pentagon to investigate itself:

The Defense Department will conduct an agencywide financial audit for the first time in history, following requirements in the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act. In a conference yesterday, the Pentagon committed to annual audits, with reports to be issued in November.

Just as Congress’ respond to the Pentagon misplacing trillions of dollars was predictable, I’m sure the Pentagon’s investigation into itself will predictably find that the agency did nothing wrong. But the self-investigation will appease Congress so everybody can wash their hands of this without having to actually fix anything. Since this issue will remain unresolved the Pentagon will be able to continue misplacing trillions of dollars. In the end a lot of money and time will be invested into ensuring business will continue as usual.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 12th, 2017 at 10:30 am

Racist Socialists are Finally Admitting That They’re Socialists

without comments

Libertarians get accused of a lot of things. They get accused of hating the poor and elderly, having an unrealistic view on foreign policy, and being an arm of the alt-right. While I can understand where the first two of those accusations come from, most people mistakenly believe that welfare and defense can only be provided by the State, I don’t understand where the last accusation comes from.

If you spend any amount of time listening to the drivel that the alt-right calls philosophy, you will quickly concluded that they’re fascists. However, fascism has another name and that name is national socialism. While the alt-right has been keeping their socialist tendencies on the down low, and this has allowed some so-called libertarians to convince themselves that the alt-right supports capitalism and free markets, a few of its leading personalities are finally dispensing with the camouflage:

When we finally got to the winery that Spencer’s National Policy Institute had booked, Mike Enoch of the Daily Shoah podcast, who promulgated the slur “dindu nuffins” for African Americans, was holding forth on the horrors of “corporate neoliberalism.”

Then Eli Mosley of the campus group Identity Evropa, who calls Jews “oven-dodging…kikes,” took Enoch one further: “We need to be explicitly anti-capitalist. There’s no other way forward for our movement.” As 60 mostly young, male racists gathered around him, Mosley, whose real name is Elliott Kline, confidently predicted, “Twenty eighteen is going to be the year of leftists joining the white-nationalist movement!”

This is a smart strategic move for the alt-right. As any libertarian knows, there aren’t a lot of libertarians in the United States. Furthermore, libertarianism is at odds with fascism so the only “libertarians” the alt-right can reliably draw in are the edgelords who only claim to be libertarian because they think doing so is controversial. Drawing from a subset of a small group isn’t a winning strategy. However, there are a lot of anti-capitalists in the United States and, even though a majority of them probably aren’t white supremacists, drawing from a subset of a far larger group is likely to net more new members.

I hope discarding its anti-capitalist camouflage will also put the myth of Nazi capitalism to rest. It’s damned annoying hearing international socialists claim that national socialists as somehow supporters of capitalism. I want to see the fight between the national and international socialists return to its true form of an internal fight amongst socialists.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 12th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Posted in Politics

Tagged with

A Bad Portent

without comments

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has been quite about its investigation into the shooting of Justine Ruszczyk. What we do know is that Officer Moor, the man who killed Justine, has refused to talk with the BCA, which is probably wise considering the fact that the evidence against him is pretty damning. But despite the damning evidence the question remains, will charges be pressed against Moor? A recent statement made by Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has me concerned that charges won’t be pressed:

There are no new witnesses or new evidence; only two people know firsthand what happened, and only one of them has spoken to investigators.

And yet, months after he received the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s investigation into the July 15 shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond by a Minneapolis police officer, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has not made a decision on whether that officer, Mohamed Noor, will face criminal charges.

Freeman continues to insist that he will make a decision before the end of the year, and Minneapolis’ new chief of police said he’s bracing for backlash no matter what Freeman decides.

“There’s going to be a reaction from certain segments in the community regardless of what decision is made,” said Chief Medaria Arradondo.

Emphasis mine.

That wording makes me think that Freeman has no plans to press charges and he realizes what kind of shitstorm his decision will make. In order to deflect responsibility for his decision though he has decided to say that things are going to be bad regardless so don’t get made at him with shit hits the fan after he announces that Hennepin County won’t be pursuing charges. I hope I’m wrong about this. I can’t fathom any justification for Moor’s actions but I also know that law enforcers usually avoid the consequences of their actions.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 11th, 2017 at 10:30 am

Monday Metal: Slave Religion by Rebellion

without comments

Written by Christopher Burg

December 11th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Posted in Media

Tagged with

Decentralized the Internet

without comments

I’m glad to see that other people are beginning to understand the need to decentralized the Internet:

Net neutrality as a principle of the federal government will soon be dead, but the protections are wildly popular among the American people and are integral to the internet as we know it. Rather than putting such a core tenet of the internet in the hands of politicians, whose whims and interests change with their donors, net neutrality must be protected by a populist revolution in the ownership of internet infrastructure and networks.

In short, we must end our reliance on big telecom monopolies and build decentralized, affordable, locally owned internet infrastructure. The great news is this is currently possible in most parts of the United States.

I’ve been saying this for years. If you want a feature like net neutrality, you have to control the infrastructure. Personally, I’d like to see a decentralized Internet that encrypts all traffic by default for both confidentiality and anonymity purposes. What people are calling net neutrality would be enforced by default on such a network because nobody could see the traffic to throttle or block it. However, it would come at a performance cost (TANSTAAFL).

One thing is certain, begging the Federal Communications Commission Fascist Communications Club (FCC) to enforce net neutrality isn’t a longterm solution as we’re seeing today. Under the Obama administration net neutrality was enforced by the FCC. Under the Trump administration it looks like it won’t be enforced. When the next administration comes into power it could go either way. Begging Congress isn’t any better because what one Congress passes a future Congress can eliminate.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 8th, 2017 at 11:00 am

Watching the House of Cards Collapse

with one comment

Al Franken announced his retirement:

Washington (CNN)Democratic – Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota is resigning following allegations that he touched women inappropriately, he announced on the Senate floor Thursday.

Considering all of the horrible things politicians do, from authorizing the continued death and destruction of people in foreign lands to refusing to punish murdering law enforcers, I’m a bit surprised that allegations of sexual assault have become the tool with which politicians can be dethroned. However, I’m glad these accusations of sexual assault against politicians are coming to light because they’re doing more to hold law makers responsible than all of the voting in the country has.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 8th, 2017 at 10:30 am

Let’s Put a Remotely Accessible Computer in a Door Lock

without comments

Let’s put a remotely accessible computer in a door lock, what could possibly go wrong?

A HomeKit vulnerability in the current version of iOS 11.2 has been demonstrated to 9to5Mac that allows unauthorized control of accessories including smart locks and garage door openers. Our understanding is Apple has rolled out a server-side fix that now prevent unauthorized access from occurring while limiting some functionality, and an update to iOS 11.2 coming next week will restore that full functionality.

The Internet of Things (IoT) introduces all sorts of new and interesting exploits. These exploits range from minor, such as your lights turn colors, to severe, such as having your doors unlock for an unauthorized person. Unfortunately, since software is already incredibly complex and becoming more so every day it’s unlikely we’ll see secure IoT devices anytime in the near future. Fortunately, it appears that Apple caught this vulnerability and was able to patch it before it was actively exploited.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 8th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Posted in Technology

Tagged with ,

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

without comments

I guess even the most incompetent, loathsome bastards do something right once in a while:

The Republican-controlled chamber passed the bill by 231-198, in their first major gun legislation since a 2012 Connecticut school massacre.

Republicans said the bill would allow gun owners to travel without having to worry about conflicting state laws.

Just kidding! We’re getting fucked over by this as well:

To make the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act more palatable, Republicans have included measures to strengthen the national background check system.

Never underestimate the Republicans’ willingness, even with majority control over Congress and the presidency, to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 7th, 2017 at 11:00 am

Unaccountable Judges

without comments

I’ve annoyed a great number of electrons writing about the unaccountability of law enforcers. However, law enforcers aren’t the only unaccountable individuals in the “justice” system. What happens to judges who issue bad court orders?

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday in favor of a Virginia man who, as a teen, was once ordered by a lower court to be photographed while masturbating in the presence of armed police officers.

That warrant was ostensibly part of an ongoing sexting investigation into the then-teen, Trey Sims, who had exchanged explicit messages with his then-15-year-old girlfriend. Her mother reported the incident to the Manassas City Police Department in January 2014.

Eventually, the detective assigned to the case, David Abbott, obtained a signed warrant to take photographs of Sims’ naked body—including “the suspect’s erect penis”—so that he could compare them to Sims’ explicit messages.

If you were a judge and a law enforcer came to you asking for a warrant to force a teenage boy to masturbate while he filmed it, what would you do? A decent person would tell the law enforcer to go pound sand. But there is a judge out there who felt that the officer’s request was reasonable enough that he issued the warrant. That raises an important question, what happens to the judge who issued that warrant now that a higher court has ruled against the validity of that warrant? I would argue that any judge who issues such a warrant is deserving of reprimand.

I actually can’t recall a case where a judge was reprimanded when a higher court ruled that a warrant they issued was erroneous. You would think some kind of reprimand would be issued to discourage other judges from issuing similar erroneous warrants.

Written by Christopher Burg

December 7th, 2017 at 10:30 am