Taking Out the Trash

I believe most people reading this post are aware of the rate of corruption that exists in Mexican police forces. In many place the drug cartels effectively own the police. When you think about it it makes sense. Drug cartels are generally composed of psychopaths who have no quarrel with hurting people as are police departments. A strategic alliance between the two seems inevitable. Unfortunately, if you’re not a member of the government or the drug cartels, you’re in a pretty bad position. You must make a choice between submitting to the police-cartel alliance or taking out the trash:

Small groups of local vigilantes took up arms and joined forces to storm Paracuaro, headquarters of the Knights Templar gang, where they arrested police officers and seized control of the town in a blaze of gunfire.

They drove into the town in black armoured vehicles shouting ‘Don’t be frightened, we are vigilantes’, before expelling drugs traffickers, whom they accuse of kidnapping people and bribing them to make money. Several gun battles were reported, leaving at least one dead.

Police officers, whom the vigilantes accuse of being in league with the cash-rich drug gangs, were rounded up by machine-gun toting locals, along with others suspected of associating with gang members, and a checkpoint was set up at the entrance to Paracuaro.

Many people will likely be quick to point out that the town merely swapped one set of rulers, the police-cartel alliance, for another set of rulers, the vigilantes. That may be true but it’s also likely that the vigilantes won’t be as ruthless as an alliance between two psychopathic organizations. I would also say that the vigilantes were likely members of the local community who became fed up with the alliance and simply wanted to rid their town of violent offenders and not claim rule over it.

As things continue to deteriorate in the here United States I won’t be surprised if we begin seeing actions like this. Many police departments, such as the ones in Los Angeles and New York, are known for their brutality and violation of civil rights. As economic matters continue to worsen these departments will likely try to take advantage of the situation by increasing the rate of arrests so property can be confiscated. A breaking point will eventually be released and the people will decide to so the cops out and establish a superior, and far less violent, system of neighborhood protection.

What You Mean to Your Government

Monday’s are usually fairly slow news days and this week is no exception. Due to the lack of any more news I find interesting enough to post about I’ve decided to leave this story here. My reasoning is that this story covers nine government conspiracies that actually happened. They are:

  1. The U.S. Department of the Treasury poisoned alcohol during Prohibition — and people died.
  2. The U.S. Public Health Service lied about treating black men with syphilis for more than 40 years.
  3. More than 100 million Americans received a polio vaccine contaminated with a potentially cancer-causing virus.
  4. Parts of the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, which led to U.S. intervention in Vietnam, never happened.
  5. Military leaders reportedly planned terrorist attacks in the U.S. to drum up support for a war against Cuba.
  6. The government tested the effects of LSD on unwitting U.S. and Canadian citizens.
  7. In 1974, the CIA secretly resurfaced a sunken Soviet submarine with three nuclear-armed ballistic missiles.
  8. The U.S. government sold weapons to Iran, violating an embargo, and used the money to support Nicaraguan militants.
  9. A public relations firm organized congressional testimony that propelled U.S. involvement in the Persian Gulf War.

The article is an interesting read because these stories really show what the United States government thinks of its own people and people abroad. Life has little meaning to it. If people have to be poisoned to enforce a prohibition against drinking alcohol then the government has no moral issue with doing it. If the people aren’t supporting a war effort the government has no issue hiring a public relations firm to build support. This is what government does and it is why I don’t feel it should exist.

Monday Metal: Arrival Of The Fimbulwinter by Amon Amarth

Minnesota is in the midst of a rather unpleasant cold snap. By unpleasant I mean that some parts of the state are experiencing wind chills of 60 below zero. I’ve lived in this state my entire life so this weather doesn’t bother me all that much. But I might as well pick an appropriate song for the conditions and one singing about the arrival of Fimbulwinter, the three year long winter that precedes Ragnarok in North mythology, seems appropriate:


Reasons to Abandon Politics

My journey as a libertarian has seen me through a gun rights activist who looked at few other political issues, to a Constitutional libertarian who believe most of societies ills would be fixed by strictly adhering to the United States Constitution, to an anarcho-capitalist, and finally to an anarchists (without adjectives). During this journey I’ve come to many conclusions and learned many lessons. One of the lessons I’ve learned is that statism, regardless of its form, will always take the shape of an oligarchy. This is why I’m an anarchist. If nobody rules then everybody rules. So long as any individual enjoys privileges above another individual then the disease of statism will spread. By leveling the playing field, by ensuring nobody enjoys privileges above another the foundation for a free exists.

My journey has also seen me drudge through the political system. During my time in politics I believe I learned my most valuable lesson: freedom cannot be had through political participation. This realization has lead me to pursue agorism. Through counter-economics, that is performing as many transactions within the untaxed “black” market, the state can slowly be starved and the services it provides can be replaced by voluntary alternatives. The agorist community in my area is slowly growing as more people face the realization that freedom cannot be had through politics. By participating in agorism they are taking the first step in separating themselves from statism. They are abandoning politics. Abandoning politics is something I urge every anarchist to do. Why? Because it is the antithesis of what anarchists fight for.

The political process is necessarily hierarchical. Participation means you are either running for a position that will grant you power over others or are helping somebody else gain a position of power over others. Worse yet, the system is rigged in such a way as to make radical change impossible. Preventing radical change is the only activity for which real checks and balances exist in the political system. Demonstrating this fact is as simple as looking at the history of America’s political system. When was the last time you can recall an actual radical change, that is to say when power was taken from the political elite and their cronies, happened through the political system? Although every rule has its exception you’ll be hard pressed to find one for this.

Besides being the antithesis of anarchism, participating in the political process has another problem: dependency. I have seen more friends succumb to political dependency than I care to admit. They live for politics. It consumes them. In fact I can think of no less than five marriages that were destroyed because one of the two spouses became politically addicted. I have other friends who even depend on politics for their livelihood. Recently one of my friends has begun shilling for a local political campaign. I’m not talking about a little promotion, it was as if my friend was being paid to shill for this campaign. This seemed odd to me because he had been discussing his disgust of political campaigns and continuously described himself as an anarcho-capitalist. After looking through financial records for said campaign (thanks to the Internal Revenue Service for publishing that information, it is the only thing I will ever thank it for) I saw that $4,500 had been paid from the campaign to my friend over the span of roughly two months. Suddenly his advocacy of this candidate made perfect sense. Getting paid approximately $2,250 per month just to shill for a candidate isn’t bad money. But he is now dependent on the political system for a good chunk of his income. The main downside to such a dependency is that eliminating the state has become the antithesis of his survival. If the political system went away he would be out roughly $2,250 a month.

Putting yourself into a position where you are dependent on your enemy to survive ensures you will probably never make a real attempt to defeat your enemy. Consider the average political addict. They often depend on one or more campaigns for their financial well being. Their friendships begin to revolve more and more around politics. As their time in politics increases their interest in non-political activities decreases. I’m sure you have or have had a friend who attempts to bring up politics at every social gathering. Such behavior tends to push non-political friends and friends with differing political views away. From my observations this has a habit of not only creating an echo chamber around political participants but makes them almost entirely reliant on politics for their general happiness. For an anarchist this becomes a vicious cycle because they don’t want to destroy the political system as it would also destroy their primary source of happiness.

Politics also has many similarities to cultism. The longer somebody is involved in the political process the more they push away non-political friends and friends who have differing political opinions. Cults tend to isolate themselves from outsiders. This isolation reinforces dependency on the cult. Social circles hold a lot of power over us. At some point most people want to fit in with some crowd. Even rebels tend to want to fit in with their fellow rebels. So if your only friends are fellow members of your cult you will likely attempt to appeal to them by being a good cult member. Failing to abide by a political party’s, campaign’s, or candidate’s beliefs can lead to ostracization. Again, this is another thing political participation shares with cultism. I’ve seen this happen numerous times. For example, anybody who espoused a belief in public schooling at a Ron Paul gathering tended to get humiliated, shouted at, and shutdown rather quickly. Seeing a majority of participants disagree with somebody espousing public education wasn’t surprising but seeing how zealous they were at ensuring the heathen wasn’t heard was frightening. Needless to say such people quickly learned to keep their dissenting opinions to themselves less they be ostracized by their friends.

If your goal is to abolish statism then you should abandon the political process and find a more radical way of pursing your goal. Political participation will only lead to ruin. In fact it is designed to lead to ruin if your goals are something other than further empowering the oligarchs. To paraphrase a famous saying, if politics could change things it would be illegal. Always remember that the political process is the system put in place by the current rulers. Nobody is going to give their enemies an effective way to defeat them and anarchists are the enemies of the current rulers.

Incandescent Light Bulbs, Another Casualty of the Corporate-Political State

It’s 2014, which means incandescent light bulbs are kind of illegal. Granted, the prohibition on incandescent light bulbs has enough exceptions where those wanting such bulbs can find them. After all, a manufacturer need only label their bulbs “rough service” bulbs and they can sell them just as they always have. Otherwise you can probably follow the European route and seek out “heat lamp bulbs”. But let’s discuss the death of the standard incandescent bulb. What killed it? Was it environmental concern? No. While the ban was sold as environmental concern it was just another example of the corporate-political state at work:

People often assume green regulations like this represent the triumph of environmental activists trying to save the plant. That’s rarely the case, and it wasn’t here. Light bulb manufacturers whole-heartedly supported the efficiency standards. General Electric, Sylvania and Philips — the three companies that dominated the bulb industry — all backed the 2007 rule, while opposing proposals to explicitly outlaw incandescent technology (thus leaving the door open for high-efficiency incandescents).

This wasn’t a case of an industry getting on board with an inevitable regulation in order to tweak it. The lighting industry was the main reason the legislation was moving. As the New York Times reported in 2011, “Philips formed a coalition with environmental groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council to push for higher standards.”

Why would General Electric, Sylvania, and Philips push to ban incandescent bulbs? Because it would push many of their competitors out of business. Producing a compact fluorescent (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) bulb is a much more expensive and complicated process than producing an incandescent bulb. In addition to being much easier to produce incandescent bulbs are also much cheaper to buy. So incandescent bulbs are the biggest competitor to CFL and LED bulbs. CFL and LED manufacturers wanted to eliminate competition to their bulbs.

This is standard operating procedure for large corporations. They seek out ways to use the political system to eliminate their competitors. Usually they will attempt to hijack a thriving political movement to do most of the dirty work. Environmental groups are common targets for hijacking because they usually have very passionate members and have shown a great deal of success at manipulating the political system.

If you’re a member of any political or social movement be wary of large corporations that approach you seeking an alliance or partnership. Chances are almost 100 percent that they’re interested in using you to knock one or more of their competitors out of a market. Once their competitors are out of the way they will dump you and, in all likelihood, work to have you rendered political irrelevant. After all, if you can demonstrate an ability to take out their competitors you are also a threat to them.

Warrantless Searches of Electronic Devices Ruled Constitutional

Do you believe, under the legal framework of the United States, that the people who guard the imaginary lines we refer to as borders should require a warrant to search your electronic devices? According to a United States District Judge a warrant is not necessary under such circumstances:

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. border agents should have the authority to search laptop computers carried by news photographers and other travelers at international border crossings without reasonable suspicion, a federal judge in Brooklyn ruled Friday.

In a written decision, U.S. District Judge Edward Korman granted a government motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by civil rights attorneys that claimed the practice was unconstitutional and sought to have it halted.

Korman found that the plaintiffs hadn’t shown they suffered injury that gave them standing to bring the suit. He also cited previous rulings finding that the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches doesn’t apply to the government’s efforts to secure international borders from outside threats.

It’s hard to rule something unconstitutional when it is constitutional under the language of the Constitution. According to the Constitution:

In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.

So the Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction with the exception of restrictions placed on it by Congress. As Congress has, as far as I know, made no restrictions against the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction it has the ultimate say on whether or not something is lawful in the United States. The Supreme Court has ruled that warrantless searches on the imaginary lines that surround this country aren’t violations of the Fourth Amendment. Therefore it’s pretty easy to claim any warrantless search within the boundaries of said imaginary lines are constitutional according to the Constitution.

This isn’t a demonstration of the Constitution being violated but of how vaguely worded the Constitution really is. The Constitution’s predecessor, the Articles of Confederation, didn’t grant the federal government much power and made its existence dependent on the charity of the individual states. Hoping to establish a strong federal government, advocates of the Constitution wanted the federal government to have the power to tax and to rule in court decisions. It really was a document written to take power from the individual states. As a result we now live in a society where the Bill of Rights are easily violated without violating the Constitution itself. So long as the Supreme Court says an act isn’t a violation of the Bill of Rights and Congress hasn’t placed any restrictions on the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction it can legally do whatever the fuck it wants.

Drug Testing is Big Business

Scott Walker, self-proclaimed governor of Florida, has made big pushes to force state employees and welfare recipients to get tested for unpatentable drugs. This push has been met with cheers by many people of the neoconservative persuasion. I don’t understand their reasoning but I guess somebody receiving state money is supposed to only use patentable drugs. Either way, that’s not the point of this post. The point of this post is the reason Scott Walker has been pushing for drug testing of recipients of state money. It’s not because he wants to be tough on crime or believes unpatentable drug use is bad. The reason he supports drug testing is because he stands to make a fortune off of it:

If you have a $62 million investment, representing the biggest single chunk of your $218 million in wealth, and you put it in a trust under your wife’s name, does that mean you’re no longer involved in the company?

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says it does.

Scott has aggressively pursued policies like testing state workers and welfare recipients for drugs, switching Medicaid patients to private HMOs and shrinking public health clinics. All these changes could benefit that $62 million investment, but Scott sees no legal conflict between his public role and private investments.

All governmental systems eventually devolve into fascism. By this I mean the state always ends up merging with the merchants. Under socialism system the state claims ownership over all merchant activities outright. Say what you will about socialism, at least it’s upfront about wanting to merge the state and merchants. Under a republic, such as the United States, the politicians simply pass laws that favor merchants they have a financial interest in. Whether politicians mandate the use of services provided by market actors they’ve invested in or use their political connections to financially benefit their spouses the outcome is the same. The politically well-connected merchants make a fortune and everybody else suffers.

The Traditional of Lopping Off Hands is Alive and Well in the United States

In their zeal to demonize the Middle East the warvangelicals, often referred to as neoconservatives, often claim that the barbaric practice of cutting off the hands of thieves is widespread throughout the region. Well the practice of limb removal is alive and well here in the supposedly civilized United States:

“Five deputy sheriffs from for one little girl. She has to go to the bathroom. She asked, ‘Can I go to the bathroom?’ They refused. They broke the door down and then they Tased her, grabbed her and they put her in a sheriff’s van. And I think the handcuffs were tight,” attorney Marvin Leibowitz said.

According to the complaint, that alleged treatment caused her to suffer from compartment syndrome, which is increased pressure that damages muscles and nerves. The attorney says while his client sat in jail, she made 16 requests to see a doctor for treatment but was denied.

“They never sent her a doctor. Never took her to the doctor. She developed a septic shock. The infection went over and she almost died and they had to take off her arm to prevent her from dying,” Leibowitz said.

Needham, mother of three children ages five to nine, had previously worked in a restaurant. She is now waiting for a prosthesis.

“She has severe psychological problems. I think she’s been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. She doesn’t have an arm. How is she going to get a job?” Leibowitz said.

Deputies had arrested her for failing to show up at a preliminary hearing on a charge that was eventually reduced to disorderly conduct.

All of this because she failed to show up to a court hearing on a charge that was reduced to disorderly conduct? That seems acceptable. I mean, if those cops hadn’t busted down her door and kidnapped her there’s no telling what other heinous acts of disorderly conduct that woman may have performed.

Warvangelicals and other Americans often like to call this country a land of laws. In reality this country is a land of punishments. When somebody violates a decree issued by some guy who wears a suit and sits in a marble building the dogs of war, who we refer to as police, are unleashed. Using whatever means necessary, regardless of the severity of the decree they’re enforcing, these dogs of the state kick down doors, kidnap people, and employ physical violence. It doesn’t matter if you’ve murdered somebody or have been caught in possession of a verboten plant, the ride will be the same. You will be threatened with violence, kidnapped, and beaten or even killed if you resist (and you may be beaten or killed if you don’t resist).

Part of the New York SAFE Act Shot Down

Here’s some good news to start off 2014. A federal judge has shot down the seven round restriction of the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act, although he upheld the ban on aesthetically offensive semi-automatic rifles:

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A federal judge has rejected a controversial portion of New York’s tough new gun law while upholding the majority of the SAFE Act.

Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny in Buffalo rejected restrictions of no more than seven bullets in a magazine, but upheld the ban on in-state sales of assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

In his ruling, Skretny found the seven-round limit “tenuous, strained and unsupported” but found that the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines “do not impermissibly infringe on Plaintiff’s Second Amendment rights” and furthers the state’s “important interest in public safety.”

I am left to wonder if the judge would have found a 10 round limit acceptable on the same grounds he claimed the restriction of aesthetically offensive semi-automatic rifles was acceptable. Perhaps the mistake New York’s lawmakers made only a measure of three rounds.

As with most rulings related to firearm laws, this one was arbitrarily made. Somehow Second Amendment privileges (because we don’t have rights in this country) are infringed by a seven round magazine but not by a ban on rifles based entirely on aesthetic features. How a rifle with a pistol grip and bayonet lug is more dangerous to public safety than a rifle with a traditional stock and a bayonet lug is beyond me.

Welcome to 2014

If you’re in the Central Time Zone then it is now officially 2014 (at least according to the atomic clock this server synchronizes to). 2013 was an interesting year to say the least and 2014 looks like it will keep that trend going.

I will be taking the day off of blogging as I do most holidays. There’s much to do outside of the blogging world and there is a distinct possibility I will be nursing a hangover. After all, studies now indicates that people who don’t drink tend to die young.