NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – In a survey of a random sample of U.S. emergency physicians, virtually all said they believed that law enforcement officers use excessive force to arrest and detain suspects.
The sample included 315 respondents. While 99.8 percent believed excessive force is used, almost as many (97.8 percent) reported that they had managed cases that they suspected or that the patient stated had involved excessive use of force by law enforcement officers.
Nearly two thirds (65.3 percent) estimated that they had treated two or more cases of suspected excessive use of force per year among their patients, according to a report of the survey published in the January 2009 issue of the Emergency Medicine Journal.
Dr. Jared Strote of the University of Washington, Seattle, and a multicenter team also found that emergency physicians at public teaching hospitals were roughly four times more likely to report managing cases of suspected use of excessive force than those at university or community teaching emergency departments.
Blunt trauma inflicted by fists or feet was the most common type of injury cited in cases of suspected use of excessive force, followed by "overly tight" handcuffs.
Most emergency physicians (71.2 percent) admitted that they did not report cases of suspected use of excessive force by law enforcement officers.
A large majority (96.5 percent) reported that they had no departmental policies on reporting their suspicions or they did not know of a policy to guide their actions, and 93.7 percent said they had received no education or training in dealing with these situations.
However, most emergency physicians (69.5 percent) felt that it was within their scope of practice to refer cases of suspected use of excessive force for investigation and almost half (47.9 percent) felt that emergency physicians should be legally required to report cases of suspected use of excessive force by law enforcement officers.
These findings, Strote and colleagues conclude, "suggest that national emergency medicine organizations in the USA should become involved, jointly developing and advocating for guidelines to manage this complex issue."
SOURCE: Emergency Medicine Journal, January 2009.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bratislava resident renounces American citizenship, becomes stateless person
BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA, 10 December 2008 – Citing US war, human rights abuses, rapacious state capitalism and hypocrisy, Bratislava resident Michael Gogulski announced today that he has renounced his United States citizenship and become a stateless person as a means of “political divorce”.
Gogulski, 36, renounced his citizenship on 8 December 2008 at the American embassy in Bratislava, surrendering his US passport and culminating a two-week process and months of personal preparations. He currently awaits a Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States confirming his loss of American citizenship. As Gogulski has no other citizenship, he is now a stateless person.
“I was disgusted to be associated through citizenship with the most dangerous gang of criminals in the world, the United States government. Renouncing my citizenship is a means of achieving a political divorce with that vile institution,” Gogulski said. “American politicians extol their state in terms of liberty, human rights, free markets and the rule of law. Examination of the country’s history and present actions reveals nothing but lies and hypocrisy. The genocide of Native Americans, slavery, nuclear slaughter at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, support for brutal dictators, the torture of innocents at places like Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib, the massive robberies for the benefit of big business in the name of ‘rescuing’ the economy, the world’s biggest prison population, the growth of a domestic police state and the brutal wars of oppression underway in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia paint a rather different picture. America, via its government agents, is truly exceptional – exceptionally evil,” he stated.
Gogulski says that when he receives the Certificate of Loss of Nationality he will apply to the Slovak Interior Ministry for a Travel Document – similar to a passport – under the 1954 Convention on the Status of Stateless Persons, which Slovakia signed in 2000. He says that he has no plans to leave Bratislava until then, and that he recognizes that his life without citizenship will be more difficult, especially with respect to travel. But, “if the Schengen Zone is to be my cage,” Gogulski states, “I think it’s large enough for me. There’s enough to explore within Europe to last a lifetime.”
On his personal blog, Gogulski indicates that he works as a freelance translator and editor. He also writes about anarchism and supports the revolutionary theory called agorism, which posits that free-market service providers will compete with and eventually supplant states, giving rise to a voluntary society. “Governments pride themselves on notions of ‘equality’ and ‘rule of law’, but fail to apply the same standards to themselves that their subjects must endure,” he says, explaining his political philosophy. “The foundation of state power, taxation, is robbery. That the robbers have fancy uniforms, impressive titles and the sanction of law does not in the slightest way change the basic formula for extortion: pay us, or we will kill you.”
Michael Gogulski’s blog can be found at www.nostate.com.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Some firefighters got piss drunk at a bar, and then got pissed off that another bar patron was wearing a plain old firefighter shirt without actually being a firefighter. So these government agents, who are paid to put out fires and save lives, proceeded to kick the shit out of the poor civilian.
Eventually the cops showed up and started slapping handcuffs on everyone, and the firefighters started harassing the cops, so the cops decided to arrest the firefighters too:
"It was a run-of-the-mill T-shirt," one law enforcement official said. "The real firefighters took umbrage that he wore it."
Firefighters John Tew, 37, and Matthew Veitch, 27, jumped at DiForte, who began swinging his pint glass wildly at his assailants, officials said.
He shattered the glass on the head of 25-year-old Matias Acevedo, a friend of the firefighters, who suffered a nasty gash, officials said. Several other bargoers then joined the fight, some brawling with the firefighters, some against them.
The first police officers to arrive at McFadden's could not quiet the 20-person melee, which spilled out onto the street.
When the brawlers were finally taken to the 17th Precinct, two firefighters walked from the bar and began to harass cops at the stationhouse on behalf of their locked-up colleagues - and got arrested themselves, officials said.
Brothers Michael Fassino of Squad 61 and Ryan Fassino of Engine 315 were charged with disorderly conduct, officials said.
Tew, a nine-year FDNY veteran assigned to Rescue 4, was charged with assault, disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental administration. Veitch, who works at Ladder 173 and joined the FDNY last year, was charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental administration.
I don't like it when government thugs (am I being redundant?) attack civilians. But I do like it very much when government thug turns against government thug. I hope they exonerate the civilian, and fire the firefighters. And while they are at it, they should fire the cops too.
A guy can dream, can't he?
Friday, December 5, 2008
Seventy five years ago today, alcohol prohibition was repealed in the US. Of course, I believe that all drugs should be legalized, and that prohibition doesn't stop people from using drugs any more than abstinence-only education stops teens from fucking.
Interestingly, the number of people who agree with me seems to be increasing. Here are a few snips from a Reuters opinion article written by Bernd Debusmann called Einstein, insanity and the war on drugs, go read the whole thing and take some time to read the comments too:
The war on drugs has helped turn the United States into the country with the world’s largest prison population. (Noteworthy statistic: The U.S. has 5 percent of the world’s population and around 25 percent of the world’s prisoners). Keen demand for illicit drugs in America, the world’s biggest market, helped spawn global criminal enterprises that use extreme violence in the pursuit of equally extreme profits.
Over the years, the war on drugs has spurred repeated calls from social scientists and economists (including three Nobel prize winners) to seriously rethink a strategy that ignores the laws of supply and demand.
Under the headline “The Failed War on Drugs,” Washington’s respected, middle-of-the-road Brookings Institution said in a November report that drug use had not declined significantly over the years and that “falling retail drug prices reflect the failure of efforts to reduce the supply of drugs.”
“In the 20s and 30s, we had Al Capone and his gangsters getting rich and shooting up our streets,” said Nelson, who spent a 32-year government career fighting drugs in the U.S. and Latin America. “Today we have criminal gangs, cartels, Taliban and al-Qaeda profiting from the prohibition of drug sales and wreaking havoc all over the world. The correlation is obvious.”
The before-and-after sequence is so obvious that the U.S. Congress passed a resolution in September noting that the 1933 repeal of alcohol prohibition had replaced a “dramatic increase” in organized crime with “a transparent and accountable system of distribution and sales” that generated billions of dollars in tax revenues and boosted the sick economy.
Here are some statistics regarding alcohol prohibition and crime in the 1920s:
"The reign of tears is over. The slums will soon be a memory. We will turn our prisons into factories and our jails into storehouses and corncribs. Men will walk upright now, women will smile and children will laugh. Hell will be forever for rent."
Reverend Billy Sunday delivered this quotation during a speech at the beginning of prohibition. Many people believed and hoped that prohibition would make the above true. However, as they watched and waited, they realized that nothing was improved, and somehow, things had gotten worse.
The following are statistics detailing how much worse crime got:
Police funding: INCREASED $11.4 Million
Arrests for Prohibition Las Violations: INCREASED 102+%
Arrests for Drunkenness and Disorderly Conduct: INCREASED 41%
Arrests of Drunken Drivers: INCREASED 81%
Thefts and Burglaries: INCREASED 9%
Homicides, Assault, and Battery: INCREASED 13%
Number of Federal Convicts: INCREASED 561%
Federal Prison Population: INCREASED 366%
Total Federal Expenditures on Penal Institutions: INCREASED 1,000%
"Not only did the number of serious crimes increase, but crime became organized. Criminal groups organize around the steady source of income provided by laws against victimless crimes such as consuming alcohol or drugs, gambling and prostitution. In the process of providing goods and services those criminal organizations resort to real crimes in defense of sales territories, brand names, and labor contracts. That is true of extensive crime syndicates (the Mafia) as well as street gangs, a criminal element that first surfaced during prohibition."
"The contributing factor to the sudden increase of felonies was the organization of crime, especially in large cities. Because liquor was no longer legally available, the public turned to gangsters who readily took on the bootlegging industry and supplied them with liquor. On account of the industry being so profitable, more gangsters became involved in the money-making business. Crime became so organized because "criminal groups organize around the steady source of income provided by laws against victimless crimes such as consuming alcohol. As a result of the money involved in the bootlegging industry, there was much rival between gangs. The profit motive caused over four hundred gang related murders a year in Chicago alone."
Bootleg alcohol is what fueled the work of Organized crime. Most of the men involved in the Mafia or gangs were young immigrants. The business of bootleg alcohol was highly profitable for everyone involved which often fueled the Mafia or gang wars. By the late 1920's more than 1 million gallons of bootleg liquor had been illegally brought into the United States.
So this evening be sure to tip your glass, fire up your bong, rack a few lines, pop a few pills, and chomp down some shrooms to celebrate Repeal Day!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
This is wrong on so many levels. So many people have been brainwashed by the "War on Drugs" propaganda, and this woman is no exception.
Some woman was upset about drug dealing, and she saw a guy on the side of the road who was checking his tire pressure, but she assumed that he was a drug dealer. So she pulled over and proceeded to punch the hell out of the guy.
Did I mention that the woman was under the influence of the infamous (but legal) drug alcohol?
Christina M. Hephner, who police say had a blood-alcohol level of 0.22 at the time, confronted the man on Thanksgiving Day near 12th Street and Bluff Avenue, according to a criminal complaint. She is charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and could face up to two years behind bars with a penalty enhancer for having prior convictions.
According to the complaint:
Hephner told police she was in the area visiting her child’s father, who had been talking about selling drugs. She was upset about drugs being sold around her child, but left the home when the father ordered her to go.
Hephner then saw several cars pulled over and assumed the people around them were selling drugs. She went up to one man, accused him of drug dealing and began punching him in the face.
The man, who had never seen Hephner before, was stopped to check on a tire that seemed low.
Now selling drugs around kids is probably not a good idea. I can understand why this lady would be pissed. But randomly attacking some poor guy on the street, even if he really was selling drugs, is grossly immoral.
But the worst thing of all is that this woman most likely doesn't consider alcohol to be a drug. It's legal, after all.
The War on Drugs has distorted almost everyone's perception of substance abuse to horribly absurd levels. People think that non-addictive marijuana is a gateway drug as opposed to highly-addictive alcohol. People think that ecstasy (which never killed anyone) is more bad for you than alcohol (which kills thousands). People think that it's ok to drive if you've had only a few drinks, but not ok to drive if you've had only a few lines.
So have non-alcoholic drug users become some sort of scapegoat? Most definitely. Do these distortions about drug use among the general public cause increased use of deadly, highly-addictive alcohol? Most probably.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
According to the American Medical Association, half of all current primary care doctors in the US want to quit. They cite red tape from insurance companies and government as the reason they want to throw in the towel.
I work in the medical insurance industry, so this problem is of particular interest to me. Yes, insurance companies have far too much red tape. Why? Because of government regulations, mandates, and reporting requirements. Government also shackles doctors with its own list of red tape hoops that they need to jump through as well. But we all know that government forms, codes, regulations and the like are tiresome, extremely time-consuming, and redundant to the third power.
And now with Obama elected, we are poised to increase the amount of red tape and regulations in an attempt to solve this problem. WTF? Let's take a look at what one doctor says:
"People who have insurance can't find a doctor, so suddenly we are going to give insurance to a whole bunch of people who haven't had it, without increasing the number of physicians?" he says. "It's going to be a problem."
This guy is right on the money. I personally know of a number of facilities that are now refusing insurance, medicare, and medicaid, and instead going to a cash-only payment system. Why? Because the red tape from government and insurance isn't worth the hassle. The red tape drives up the cost of doing business, and when they switch to a cash-only system, they are able to offer medical services at extremely discounted rates, therefore making insurance coverage moot. How ironic!
So we have a system where red tape drives up the cost of service to the point that the insurance offers a minimal cost advantage, if any. We have a system where red tape makes half the doctors want to quit. We have a system where red tape makes doctors refuse insurance patients and go cash-only just to stay in business (and they seem to be thriving when they do so). And yet, we have politicians and other supposed "experts" who insist that to be uninsured in America is a travesty, and that the solution to all this is to give more people insurance and dump more regulations onto the entire industry.
I had an amusing conversation about this very topic this morning with a co-worker. It went something like this:
Me: Half the doctors want to quit due to the red tape.
Him: That's gonna change once we get universal healthcare.
Me: Yea it sure will! We will have insurance for everyone alongside a network of doctors that won't take insurance patients.
Him: Well I'm sure that Obama would make it illegal to discriminate againt insurance patients and refuse service to them.
Me: That will go over real well with the doctors. They will all quit practicing medicine or move to other countries!
Him: (sarcastically) Well maybe it should be made illegal to quit practicing medicine too!
Me: (getting the joke) Oh yea, the best medicine is that which is provided at the barrel of a gun!
In Soviet Russia, medicine practices YOU!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
So much for socialism. World-famous socialist rock band Rage Against the Machine loves to rant against corporations, capitalism, for-profit enterprise, commodification, and commercialization. But if you want to book the band at your venue, you'd better have lots of commercialized commodities available for them, at your cost. All spelling, grammer and emphasis is theirs:
Artist Hospitality Room Stock
Following items must be stocked in ARTIST Dressing Room #1 no later than 12:00pm (NOON)
10 x BARS OF WHITE SOAP (DELIVER TO PRODUCTION AT LOAD IN)
6 x PAIRS OF TUBE SOCKS
6 X PAIRS OF COTTON BOXER SHORTS (4 X Large and 2 X Medium)
72 x liters FIJI still water (2 dozen MUST be in small bottles @ room temp)
1 x case of Smart Water
12 x Bottles of Grolsch Beer
12 x Bottles of Amstel Light Beer
6 x Bottles Becks Dark Beer
6 x Bottles Corona
6 x cans Coca Cola
6 x cans Pepsi
6 x cans of Red Bull
6 x Canada Dry Ginger Ale
12 x cans assorted diet soda
12 x Cool Blue Gatorade
12 x SNAPPLE LEMON ICED TEA
12 x SNAPPLE GREEN TEA ICED TEA
2 x quarts FRESH squeeze orange juice
1 x 1/2 gallon Ocean Spray CRAN CHERRY
1 x Bottle Stages Leap Merlot or Cabernet
1 x Bottle of Jack Daniels
2 x bottle Dom Perignon Moet et Chandon champagne
1 x Veuve Cliquot champagne
1 x Pints Of Almond Milk
1 x Box Of Throat Coat Tea
1 x Jar Spun Honey (Quality Honey)
1 x Continuous Supply Of Hot Water
4 x Fresh Lemon
1 x Large Jar Of Medium Hot Salsa
1 x Large container of QUALITY Quacamole
1 x Large Bag Of Tortilla Chips
1 x Large Bag Of Thin Pretzels
1 x Loaf Of Fresh Bread (French Italian Or White)
1 x Loaf Of Wholemeal Bread
1 x Bag ORGANIC, RAW, UNSALTED Macadamia nuts
1 x Jar of ALMOND or CASHEW PENUTBUTTER (usually found at health food stores)
1 x Tray Of Fresh Fruit To Include Peaches , Strawberries, Bananas, Oranges, Apples And Grapes.
1 x Small Deli Tray (Swiss, Monterey, Cheddar Cheese, Lettuce Tomatoes)
1 x SmallTray Of Vegetables (Broccoli, Carrots, Celery, Cauliflower, Green And Red Peppers, Leaf Spinach With Ranch Dressing Dip And One Additional Dip).
1 x Small Deli Tray Assorted Meats, Including At Least 1/2lb Fresh Turkey Breast.
1 x Small Tray Of Assorted (Sweets) Hard Candy And Gum (Starburst, Large Bag Of M & M's, Hershey Assorted Miniatures, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups).
A Small Assortment Of Condiments: UNSWEETENED KETCHUP, Mayonnaise, Spicy Mustard, FAT FREE Salad Dressing, Salt & Pepper Etc.
An Adequate Supply Of Cups, Bowls, Plates, Napkins, Paper Towels And A Bottle Opener.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Let it not be said that protestors are the cause of violent confrontations:
DENVER (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union says undercover
police officers posing as protesters staged a violent confrontation
with another officer during the Democratic convention in Denver.
The ACLU said it obtained a police document
showing the undercover officers pretended to struggle with a police
commander so they could be removed from the crowd without blowing
The ACLU says another officer thought the commander was being
attacked and pepper-sprayed the undercover officers.
It's not clear how many officers were involved or how they were
affected by the spray.
Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson told The Associated Press
he was unaware of the report and couldn't comment. The ACLU didn't
immediately return a message.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I predicted this win. And I, for one, welcome our new voting machine overlords...
Voting Machines Elect One Of Their Own As President
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
As usual, The Onion posts a joke article that ends up having more truth in it than the real news:
Struggling Lower-Class Still Unsure How Best To Fuck Selves With Vote
Here's a snip.
WASHINGTON—As election day nears, millions of the nation's poorest voters have reportedly yet to settle on the most profound and enduring way to completely fuck themselves over when they head to the polls this year.
Return to theonion.com for live, all-day election coverage on November 4th and 5th.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Mark this up as an epic win for Canadian freedom lovers. Canada recently had an election with the lowest voter turnout in the country's history!
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadians shunned the polls during their general election with the lowest voter turnout on record, even as a global financial crisis threatened to plunge the nation's economy into recession.
Some 59.1 percent of eligible Canadian voters went to the polls Tuesday, breaking the previous record low turnout of just under 61 percent in 2004, according to preliminary results from Elections Canada released on Wednesday.
"There was either general apathy toward the candidates or a degree of voter fatigue as this was the third Canadian election since 2004," said Antonia Maioni, director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada.
That means that essentially, 40.9% of the people voted for the electable seats to be vacant. 40.9% of Canadians voted to not have a government.
Government officials are understandably frightened...
An official from the New Democratic Party said the low voter turnout was a big worry for the country.
"It should concern all of us, no matter which party we're in," NDP Member of Parliament Libby Davies told CBC Radio.
Correction: the low turnout is a big worry for Canadian politicians, not for "the country." And yes, it should concern all the politicians, no matter what party they belong to.
I find it extremely amusing that while the average pro-voting citizen insists that casting a vote is the only way to change the status quo, the politicians quoted here have admitted that the record high non-vote is the real danger. The politicians have let the truth slip out that no matter what party they belong to, they are the status quo, and the real threat to their status quo, and the possibility of actual "change," can only be the non-vote.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I NEED TO ASK YOU TO SUPPORT AN URGENT SECRET BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP WITH A TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF GREAT MAGNITUDE.
I AM MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY OF THE REPUBLIC OF AMERICA. MY COUNTRY HAS HAD CRISIS THAT HAS CAUSED THE NEED FOR LARGE TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF 800 BILLION DOLLARS US. IF YOU WOULD ASSIST ME IN THIS TRANSFER, IT WOULD BE MOST PROFITABLE TO YOU.
I AM WORKING WITH MR. PHIL GRAM, LOBBYIST FOR UBS, WHO WILL BE MY REPLACEMENT AS MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY IN JANUARY. AS A SENATOR, YOU MAY KNOW HIM AS THE LEADER OF THE AMERICAN BANKING DEREGULATION MOVEMENT IN THE 1990S. THIS TRANSACTIN IS 100% SAFE.
THIS IS A MATTER OF GREAT URGENCY. WE NEED A BLANK CHECK. WE NEED THE FUNDS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. WE CANNOT DIRECTLY TRANSFER THESE FUNDS IN THE NAMES OF OUR CLOSE FRIENDS BECAUSE WE ARE CONSTANTLY UNDER SURVEILLANCE. MY FAMILY LAWYER ADVISED ME THAT I SHOULD LOOK FOR A RELIABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY PERSON WHO WILL ACT AS A NEXT OF KIN SO THE FUNDS CAN BE TRANSFERRED.
PLEASE REPLY WITH ALL OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, IRA AND COLLEGE FUND ACCOUNT NUMBERS AND THOSE OF YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN TO WALLSTREETBAILOUT@TREASURY.GOV SO THAT WE MAY TRANSFER YOUR COMMISSION FOR THIS TRANSACTION. AFTER I RECEIVE THAT INFORMATION, I WILL RESPOND WITH DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT SAFEGUARDS THAT WILL BE USED TO PROTECT THE FUNDS.
YOURS FAITHFULLY MINISTER OF TREASURY PAULSON
(Thanks to Mike Holmes)
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Sometimes parody is a little too damn real. From TheOnion.com:
Christopher O'Dell, a 16-year veteran of the Detroit Police Department, told reporters Monday that he will not rest until he exacts revenge on the man who got his long-time partner, Officer Rick Noonan, 38, suspended for using excessive force during an arrest at a peaceful demonstration last March. "That punk is going to get what's coming to him again," O'Dell said. "If it's the last thing I do, I'll make sure that scumbag is taken off the streets, not properly informed of his Miranda rights, chained to a radiator beneath the station, and kept awake for days of interrogation without being formally charged." O'Dell added that the suspect in question is going to wish he had never filed a complaint for sustaining a concussion and broken collarbone after O'Dell is finished breaking his leg and giving him a concussion.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
CNN recently created a website, iReport.com, where users can submit their own stories and media, and sometimes CNN puts those stories on its main newsite or TV channel. It's kinda fun, and I've been lurking on it as of late.
Today, CNN asked iReport users who are "undecided" about the election to sate why they are undecided. I decided to take the opportunity to submit a small essay about why I have decided to not vote at all. You can find my entry here. The text of my entry is reproduced below.
In a way you could consider me undecided in the sense that I decided not to vote for anyone. I will not go to the polls, and I will not vote, and I encourage others to do the same.
Because I realized that, regardless of the quality (or lack thereof) of the candidates, it is immoral to force your choice onto another. Democracy is a tyranny of the majority. If 51% of the country wants candidate A, should the other 49% be forced to accept it? Why cant the other 49% have what they want to?
The government recognizes that monopolies are bad, except of course when it comes to itself. But monopolies are bad, regardless of what form they are in. And presidents that are forced upon 100% of the people through a simple majority vote are also monopolies, and are also bad.
How arrogant and brutal is it for me to vote and believe that I have the right to force my choices onto you? Is it civil or is it oppressive for me to try to force a choice of leader onto you, your family, everyone? I would feel bad if I were to use such aggression on another, and I certainly feel bad when others do it to me.
And finally, although my argument holds true regardless of the quality of the candidates, I feel that the choices this time around are absolutely abysmal. It reminds me of the South Park episode where they have to choose between voting for a feminine hygiene product or a piece of excrement. I am pulling a Brewster and choosing "none of the above." Actually, I'm choosing "none." Period.
So don't vote! The lower turnout, the better! Don't try to force your values onto other people, and don't let others force their values onto you! That's freedom.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
First, the city apologized. Then it gave awards.
Eight Minneapolis officers received medals in City Hall Monday for their valor in a botched raid that the city apologized for last year. That isn’t sitting well with the family shot at multiple times by the officers.
“I’m shocked that they’re receiving awards for that night,” said Yee Moua. “My family is a mess right now. My [9-year-old] son, who saw the shooting, still has nightmares and has needed therapy. They’ve ruined a life, and I don’t understand why they would get rewarded for that.”
The awards stemmed from a high-risk search in December. The eight officers — who had SWAT training — entered the house expecting to find a violent gang member. Instead, they found Vang Khang, a 35-year-old homeowner who thought he was being robbed. Khang shot through his bedroom door at the officers until he understood who they were.
In the midst of the shootout were Moua, who is Khang’s wife, and their six children, who range in age from 3 to 15. Moua said her family has since abandoned the house and can no longer afford to keep it.
Minneapolis police spokesman Sgt. William Palmer said Tuesday the department has acknowledged the raid was a mistake and has apologized to the family. But he said the officers “performed very bravely under gunfire and made smart decisions.”
They certainly did make smart decisions! Primarily, they decided to join the biggest, baddest gang in town: The police force. They are being rewarded handsomely for their gang loyalty. But that's how it always goes. When you work for the biggest criminal organization in town, you get to be the most adorned hotshot in town.
It's warmer than you think under the dragon's wing.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I have a confession: I love Ron Paul. Now don't get me wrong, I'm still a die-hard Market Anarchist, and I still refuse to vote on principle, not even for Ron Paul. But I do think his message is important (he quoted Lysander Spooner on national television for Christ's sake), and back in 2007 I donated $100 to his campaign.
Anyway, about a week ago I discovered that Jones Soda Company was selling Ron Paul Revolution Cola. I promptly bought a six pack, and it arrived today!
I only got 6 bottles, and I can't decide if I should drink one of them or keep all six unopened. What do you think?
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
This video is a bit long (12 minutes), but very worthwhile. Especially the last couple minutes when the crowd starts chanting against the pigs.
Fuck the NYPD and all the other gangs and organized criminal organizations. The NYPD is the worst of them.
What do you do when there are no protection services available to you, and you are not allowed to protect yourself either, and the NYPD has a green light to run around terrorizing the streets under the guise of protecting people?
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I was just over at Arthur Silber's blog, Once Upon a Time, when I came across his essay, Songs of Death. What a brilliant fucking essay.
There is a particular portion of that essay that I want to quote here, as it reminds me of why I consider Statism to be just another kind of Theism (and one of the reasons that I reject both):
But there is nothing remotely humble about any of this at any point, just as there is nothing humble about the prevailing views of the foreign policy establishment. People who hold these beliefs have not one God, but two: a God in Heaven, and a God on Earth. Their God on Earth is America: it is all-powerful and should be so, it is all-knowing, its beneficence alone makes progress and civilization possible, for which mankind should be properly grateful -- and its wrath is terrible. They will construct the world in their own image, and nothing and no one will be permitted to oppose them.
The governing class, including the foreign policy establishment, have been convinced of the truth and rightness of this view for over 60 years. This view led us into Korea, into Vietnam, into Latin America, into the interventions of the 1990s, into Afghanistan, into numerous other interventions, and into Iraq. Hillary Clinton believes it, so does Obama, so does Bush. With only one or two exceptions, every national politician believes it.
America is God. God's Will be done.
Perfectly written. Perfectly.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Intertubes; I bring forth a message for the masses, a revelation that many of you are already beginning to suspect, to understand.
Your government has failed you.
Politicians, regardless of their claimed affiliations, sit atop Capitol Hill, making false promises and ignoring public outcries. They have made a business out of striping away your rights for their own profit. They wage wars,they manipulate, they lie, they cheat, they steal. The history of your nation and the fate of your lives are decided in dark backroom dealings that you will never hear of in places that you will never see. Men in dark suits and dark sunglasses listen to every word you utter, read every word you type, examine every document you send without fear of reprisal or punishment.
Your rights have been destroyed, and your privacy lies in shattered pieces at your very feet.
It is time for you - for all of us - to act.
A Vote for Anonymous is a Vote for the People.
At first I thought the call to vote for Anonymous was a bad thing, but then I realized that "A Vote for Anonymous" literally means to simultaneously vote for everybody and nobody. It's almost as good as not voting at all.
Will this have any impact? Probably not in and of itself. But to me it is a proverbial crack in the dam of the state, growing ever quicker thanks to the internet's ability to make information free, open, and ridiculously easy to find. Eventually the dam will burst, and I hope I'm still around when it happens.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.
Residents in Central Florida are sick of the lack of police services in their community and are finally turning to their own measures to protect their lives and property.
These poor people are being doubly victimized: once by the
gangsters police, and once by the burglars. You see, the police force the residents to pay for their protection services (think: protection racket) and yet, when these residents actually need the services, the police don't provide it!
In this case, despite all their desire to do so, the police are unable to provide the service due to inefficiency (they call it budget constraints). But whether the police do not provide the services they are supposed to through negligence, inability, or outright refusal is irrelevant.
The police department should be disbanded, or at least privatized. The residents should not be taxed; not be forced to pay for the services that they clearly aren't getting anyway. They should be free to protect themselves through any service they want and not be forced to pay for the police, who through brutal gangsterism, make themselves the only protection service provider in town.
The police should be ashamed of themselves. But of course, idiots, incompetents, and assholes never see the irony in their own actions. The residents have taken up arms, and the cops have now been de-facto relegated to a sort of coercion clean-up crew, yet they continue to fancy themselves as being the ones providing the protection. Ha!
These poor residents, despite paying for it, have clearly not had any actual security service in a long time. And since they aren't allowed to redirect their money to an agency that would or could actually provide the needed services, the residents are taking it into their own hands. I wouldn't be surprised if these residents end up having to physically defend themselves not only from the burglars, but also from the
parasitic protection racket police that profess to protect them!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Sorry for pointing out the obvious yet again, but it bears repeating. We already knew that the US has the highest prison population in the world, but now we find out that US citizens are more likely to use (illegal) drugs than anywhere else in the world!
So much for prohibition:
Americans are the world's top consumers of cannabis and cocaine despite punitive US drug laws, according to an international study published in the online scientific magazine PLoS Medicine.
The study, released Monday, revealed that 16.2 percent of Americans had tried cocaine at least once, and 42.4 percent had used marijuana.
In second-place New Zealand, just 4.3 percent of study participants had used cocaine, and 41.9 percent marijuana.
The research was conducted at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, based on World Health Organization data from 54,068 people in 17 countries.
Rates of participation differed from country to country, and researchers noted uncertainty over how honestly people report their own drug use.
"Nevertheless, the findings present comprehensive data on the patterns of drug use from national samples representing all regions of the world," a PLoS statement said.
A vast majority of survey participants from the United States, Europe, Japan and New Zealand had consumed alcohol, compared to smaller percentages from the Middle East, Africa and China.
The data also revealed socioeconomic patterns in drug use. Single young adult men with high income had the greatest tendency to regularly use drugs.
Funny then, isn't it, how those most likely to be in prison for drugs come from the poor sectors of society?
Drug use "does not appear to be simply related to drug policy," the researchers wrote, "since countries with more stringent policies toward illegal drug use did not have lower levels of such drug use than countries with more liberal policies."
In the Netherlands, where drug policy is more liberal than the United States, 1.9 percent of survey participants said they had used cocaine and 19.8 percent marijuana.
Twelve US 12 states including California permit medical use of marijuana, but possession and use remains prohibited under federal law.
And despite the US government's massive anti-drug efforts, the United States remains the world's top drug market, one amply supplied by South American cartels.
In other words, drugs are winning the War on Drugs.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Here is a video (with
Spanish Italian narration) of some group of criminal thugs beating the living shit out of a very unfortunate individual. It's easy to spot the criminal thugs as they are all wearing the same gang colors and outfits: shorts with purple/blue shirts.
Police Beating - Click here for more amazing videos
The poor victim is in desperate need of security services or other physical defense, but none is available to him. No, instead he is left at the mercy of the gang. The strange thing is that this man is in an area where the "government" has a monopoly on security services, and the "government" professes to deploy security services to protect and serve the populace, and prevent gangs like this one from brutalizing innocent people.
But the security services are nowhere to be found! When color-wearing gangs terrorize the streets, and the "government" cannot deploy its police adequately to stop these kinds of crimes, is it not evidence that perhaps the "government" should release its monopolistic grip on the security services market? Shouldn't the "government" allow its citizens to contract private, and more effective, security as they see fit?
No, for that would require the "government" to care about its people. Clearly, the government would rather finance terrorist groups that use violence on innocents in order to further their radical and twisted ideology.
"Government" police forces are not police forces at all. They are terrorists, thugs, and territorial color-wearing gangs. They are the very thing they profess to protect us from. A "protection" racket through and through.
Edit: Mike from NoState.com informed me that the video is in Italian, not Spanish. Whoops!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Wikileaks has struck gold! Somebody has leaked the US Special Forces counter-insurgency manual FM 31-20-3 to the Wikileaks site.
I won't paste any of it here, instead you should just go check it out yourself. It does not disappoint.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
BT's chief security technology officer, Bruce Schneier, has an excellent piece at The Guardian about photographer's rights in this topsy turvy world of the "Global War on Terror":
Since 9/11, there has been an increasing war on photography. Photographers have been harrassed, questioned, detained, arrested or worse, and declared to be unwelcome. We've been repeatedly told to watch out for photographers, especially suspicious ones. Clearly any terrorist is going to first photograph his target, so vigilance is required.
Except that it's nonsense. The 9/11 terrorists didn't photograph anything. Nor did the London transport bombers, the Madrid subway bombers, or the liquid bombers arrested in 2006. Timothy McVeigh didn't photograph the Oklahoma City Federal Building. The Unabomber didn't photograph anything; neither did shoe-bomber Richard Reid. Photographs aren't being found amongst the papers of Palestinian suicide bombers. The IRA wasn't known for its photography. Even those manufactured terrorist plots that the US government likes to talk about -- the Ft. Dix terrorists, the JFK airport bombers, the Miami 7, the Lackawanna 6 -- no photography.
Go read the rest. And after that, go take some photographs of some statues and monuments. And if you live in the US, you might want to keep this document handy.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Written by Francois Tremblay, and reprinted at The Radical Libertarian.
Original can be found here.
Most of you have staked all of your hopes on Ron Paul. He has been defeated, during the course of the popularity pageant we call the democratic process.
The Libertarian Party has existed for more than thirty years, with no concrete results under its belt except a few local, irrelevant posts. Perhaps you believe it is the only solution. Perhaps you believe that the sole alternative to political evils is a violent revolution, and thus prefer the evils to violence, and call it “necessary” (as if anything evil could be necessary).
Suffrage is… powerless and unreliable. It can be exercised only periodically; and the tyranny must at least be borne until the time for suffrage comes. Besides, when the suffrage is exercised, it gives no guaranty for the repeal of existing laws that are oppressive, and no security against the enactment of new ones that are equally so.
Or perhaps you may now be coming to the same realization that Anarchist writers have written about for centuries:
No political means have ever produced lasting freedom. Political means can engender nothing but the sustenance of political means. Only disengagement and principled resistance can produce lasting freedom.
With very few and very temporary exceptions, no government has ever been made smaller by political means. No successful movement for freedom in history has ever been guided by any other principle but disengagement and principled resistance.
From Étienne de la Boétie, 16th century precursor of the modern Anarchist movements, to Murray Rothbard, founder of the modern Market Anarchist movement, all are in agreement: disengagement is the best way to oppose the ever-growing State.
The surest sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. Libertarians, is what you’ve been doing working, and if not, why do you keep doing it? Has the constant compromise of your principles (culminating in the nomination of Bob Barr for candidate, who is about as libertarian as George Bush) resulted in any success?
Gradualism in theory is perpetuity in practice.
William Lloyd Garrison, on the emancipation movement
You believe in smaller government. We are on your side. But libertarianism cannot be fulfilled by political means, and it cannot be fulfilled by violent revolution. The only way through which libertarianism can be fulfilled is disengagement. This is the method that Market Anarchists have always preached and followed.
How can disengagement succeed where political means and violent revolutions fail? Because the State can only survive when we, the people, believe in its legitimacy and treat State law, State “justice,” war, taxation and democracy as “necessary evils.” If a mere 10% of the people in any society refuse to vote, refuse to pay their taxes, refuse to recognize the legitimacy of State courts and the State police, establish their own voluntary courts and security, and promote a peaceful, voluntary way of life to the majority, then the State will be exposed as the criminal gang that it is.
If a thousand men were not to pay their tax-bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible. If the tax-gatherer, or any other public officer, asks me, as one has done, ‘But what shall I do?’ my answer is, ‘If you really wish to do any thing, resign your office.’ When the subject has refused allegiance, and the officer has resigned his office, then the revolution is accomplished.
Henry David Thoreau
But most of you do not want Anarchy. This is well understood. However, some Market Anarchies in the past have had a legislative or law enforcement structure (e.g. the well-documented example of Iceland). I would like to submit to you that the establishment of such a structure is far more likely than any Libertarian political victory. Once the State is dissolved, I believe that most people will readily join the principles of freedom that you espouse: “as long as you don’t harm me, I won’t harm you.”
Ron Paul had a lot of good ideas, but he was wrong about one thing. He believed that the “role of government” was to protect and serve us. No government in history has ever done this. The role of government is to cheat, steal, and kill, for the profit of its members. We constantly observe this to be a fact in all its actions.
Hitch your wagon to ours. We have the ideals, the arguments, and the methods to change society forever. With your help, we cannot fail.
Francois Tremblay, in the name of all Market Anarchists
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Welcome to the (slightly belated) 14th Market Anarchist Blog Carnival, hosted by The Radical Libertarian.
David Gross presents Taxpaying as Complicity posted at The Picket Line.
Francois Tremblay presents Statism is utopian. posted at Check Your Premises.
Mike Billy presents I Want Indentured Servants posted at Reflections From A Rotting Nation.
Wenchypoo presents Profits From Three Little Letters: "Eco" Careers posted at Wisdom From Wenchypoo's Mental Wastebasket.
John Petrie presents Put your imagination to a useful end posted at Blagnet.net.
The Whited Sepulchre presents David Mamet, Thomas Sowell, and Gun Ownership posted at The Whited Sepulchre.
Michael Bass presents John McCain’s typical GOP approach to Drug Abuse posted at Debt Prison.
David Z presents How Is a Government Established? posted at ...no third solution.
And last but not least, I, Aaron Kinney, present Portland Citizen Tickets Pig posted at The Radical Libertarian.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad is a man of morals. How do I know this? Well, he called for George War Bush, Tony Blair, and John Howard to be tried for war crimes. From the Sydney Morning Herald:
In a speech at Imperial College in London, Mahathir called for an international tribunal to try US President George Bush plus former prime minister Tony Blair of Britain and Howard for their part in the conflict, said a spokesman for the Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim group that organised the event.
Muslims acting moral? Has the world gone topsy-turvy? No. Like the anti-war Christians, there have always been plentiful amounts of moral, pro-human sentiment within the Muslim faith. You just have to know where to look.
And look no further than Mahathir Mohamad.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
A Portland attorney was enjoying a meal at a popular restaurant when he noticed an on-duty pig parking his pigmobile in a yellow loading only zone. The pig proceeded into the restaurant and ordered pork pad-thai, grunting hungrily.
The Portland attorney noted that the pig, while on-duty, was not responding to any calls or emergencies, and thusly should not have parked his pigwagon in a loading only zone. The Portland attorney proceeded to file a series of citations against the pig in traffic court.
Total possible fine if convicted? $540 US Dollars. That's a lot of bacon.
Of course, the pig believed, and continues to believe, that he did nothing wrong:
Eric Bryant says he approached Officer Chad Stensgaard, but the cop dismissed his concerns about the illegal parking spot.
"If he had acknowledged and corrected his error, we could have avoided this whole thing," Bryant tells the Portland Mercury. "But instead, he kept watching basketball and told me he wasn't doing anything wrong."
The paper says Bryant, a newly minted lawyer, used a section of state law that allows private citizens to issue citations. He filed a complaint that accuses Stensgaard of illegal parking, illegal stopping, ignoring parking restrictions and illegal operation of an emergency vehicle.
And the assistant chief of the Portland Pig Department agrees that the rules of the road don't apply to porkers:
Police officials say he didn't do anything wrong.
"I think asking an officer to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find a 'legal' parking space that may be a long ways away from where they're going is unreasonable," Assistant Chief Brian Martinek tells KGW-TV.
Sadly, I have a feeling that the traffic court will dismiss the charges, because pigs get convicted on the same rules they enforce only when pigs have wings, which is to say, never.
But kudos to the attorney who holds this ham accountable for his porking of the very laws he is charged with keeping.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
George Bush recently sent a video message to the US troops fighting in Afghanistan:
"I must say, I'm a little envious," Bush said. "If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed."
"It must be exciting for you ... in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You're really making history, and thanks," Bush said.
He added, "Boy do I regret missing out on all the romance and adventure during the Vietnam War! I totally chickened out! I guess, deep down, I'm just afraid of love. That, and landmines."
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
A newly released report from The Pew Center on the States shows that more than 1 in 100 adult Americans are behind bars.
High five! Great success! /Borat
Here are a few snips from their press release:
For the first time in history more than one in every 100 adults in America are in jail or prison—a fact that significantly impacts state budgets without delivering a clear return on public safety. According to a new report released today by the Pew Center on the States’ Public Safety Performance Project, at the start of 2008, 2,319,258 adults were held in American prisons or jails, or one in every 99.1 men and women, according to the study. During 2007, the prison population rose by more than 25,000 inmates. In addition to detailing state and regional prison growth rates, Pew’s report, One in 100: Behind Bars in America 2008, identifies how corrections spending compares to other state investments, why it has increased, and what some states are doing to limit growth in both prison populations and costs while maintaining public safety.
As prison populations expand, costs to states are on the rise. Last year alone, states spent more than $49 billion on corrections, up from $11 billion 20 years before. However, the national recidivism rate remains virtually unchanged, with about half of released inmates returning to jail or prison within three years. And while violent criminals and other serious offenders account for some of the growth, many inmates are low-level offenders or people who have violated the terms of their probation or parole.
“For all the money spent on corrections today, there hasn’t been a clear and convincing return for public safety,” said Adam Gelb, director of the Public Safety Performance Project. “More and more states are beginning to rethink their reliance on prisons for lower-level offenders and finding strategies that are tough on crime without being so tough on taxpayers.”
I if I may be so bold, I will submit what I believe to be the true, root cause of the crime and incarceration problems that the US faces. And that problem is that too many things are designated as "crimes"!
The more activities you criminalize, the more criminals you will have to lock away and pay for! Of course, nobody wants violent psychopaths to be set loose on the streets, but when the majority of people behind bars are in there for non-coercive offenses (things that don't involve lies, theft, or violence), then you obviously have a justice system that is FUBAR - fucked up beyond all recognition.
This country has a history of kooky laws that ruin the lives of people who have not harmed anyone else's. It used to be illegal to drink, and to own gold for crying out loud! And it is still illegal to partake in most of the fun substances, like marijuana, etc.
Speaking of fun substances, take a moment to gawk in shock and awe over this piece of statist logic: Doing certain drugs (or even possessing them) is illegal under the claim that these drugs are harmful to your body and mind. Therefore the state imprisons and immobilizes these self-harmers, effectively ruining their livelihood and productivity completely and comprehensively, in order to stop them from harming themselves. In other words, the state says, "Self-harm is wrong, but it's right for us to harm them in response."
Excuse me, but how the fuck do you expect to solve the problem of lives being ruined by out-harming the self-harmers? At least some organizations in this world still have logical things to say:
The report points out the necessity of locking up violent and repeat offenders, but notes that prison growth and higher incarceration rates do not reflect a parallel increase in crime, or a corresponding surge in the nation’s population at large. Instead, more people are behind bars principally because of a wave of policy choices that are sending more lawbreakers to prison and, through popular “three-strikes” measures and other sentencing laws, imposing longer prison stays on inmates.
The solution to the problem should by now be as clear as an azure sky of deepest summer. Decriminalization! End prohibition! Put the concept of crime back where it belongs by only criminalizing immoral actions. Theft, lying, violence, all forms of coercion should be criminalized, but nothing beyond that.
Then and only then will we have a society where immorality is properly deterred and properly dealt with. Then and only then will we have a society in which moral people admire, rather than fear, their own justice system.
Until that day comes, we will be stuck with a justice system that, despite our best intentions, does us more harm than good.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Looks like Rupert Murdoch, head of NewsCorp and Fox News, made two $2,100 contributions to the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.
I think what freaks me out is not so much that Murdoch donated to Clinton, but the fact that I'm not surprised. Oh, the implications of that fact!