Category Archives: Opinion

Is direct action transformative?

Source: Center for a Stateless Society
by Emmi Bevensee

"To be a radical is often to feel hunted and vulnerable, but it can also be the pinnacle of what it means to be held in a beautiful way that the world represses. Much of how our radicalism feels is a question of with what we are engaging in our search for freedom, empathy, and truth. Direct action is often posited as the apex of anarchist radicalism. It is seen as the font through which alternative worlds are glimpsed and from which they spring — the soil where theory is tested and seeds are planted. Much as there is a fetishization of theory in academia, there can be a fetishization of action in organizing." (07/25/17)

Syria and sanity

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"'President Trump has decided to end the CIA's covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad, the Washington Post first reported last week, immediately adding that it was 'a move long sought by Russia.' This insinuation that the policy change was simply a concession to Russia belies the recent history of U.S. involvement — and failure — in Syria. President Barack Obama had intervened. Very ineffectively." (07/25/17)

Policing for profit: Jeff Sessions and Co.'s thinly veiled plot to rob us blind

by John W Whitehead

"Let’s not mince words. Jeff Sessions, the nation’s top law enforcement official, would not recognize the Constitution if he ran right smack into it. Whether the head of the Trump Administration’s Justice Department enjoys being the architect of a police state or is just painfully, criminally clueless, Sessions has done a great job thus far of sidestepping the Constitution at every turn. Most recently, under the guise of 'fighting crime,' Sessions gave police the green light to rob, pilfer, steal, thieve, swipe, purloin, filch and liberate American taxpayers of even more of their hard-earned valuables (especially if it happens to be significant amounts of cash) using any means, fair or foul." (07/25/17)

The ban on flavored tobacco: San Francisco's nannies are at it again

Source: Independent Institute
by William F Shughart II and Josh T Smith

"Not content to impose a heavy tax burden on cigarette smokers and to outlaw sales to anyone under 21, on June 20th, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors finalized the ban on all sales of flavored tobacco, flavored vaping liquids and menthol cigarettes in the city. Prohibition never makes for good public policy, even if well-meant, because buyers and sellers are not chess pieces that politicians can move around the board at will. Banning the sale (but not possession) of flavored cigarettes, moist smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes containing menthol or other flavors would facilitate smuggling and hurt local businesses, producing only minor reductions in tobacco use." (07/24/17)

Forget Russia, fire Jeff Sessions over civil forfeiture

Source: USA Today
by Glenn Harlan Reynolds

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to steal from you. Oh, he doesn’t call it that. He calls it 'civil forfeiture.' But what it is, is theft by law enforcement. Sessions should be ashamed. If I were president, he’d be fired. Under 'civil forfeiture,' law enforcement can take property from people under the legal fiction that the property itself is guilty of a crime. ('Legal fiction' sounds better than 'lie,' but in this case the two terms are near synonyms.) It was originally sold as a tool for going after the assets of drug kingpins, but nowadays it seems to be used against a lot of ordinary Americans who just have things that law enforcement wants. It’s also a way for law enforcement agencies to maintain off-budget slush funds, thus escaping scrutiny. As Drug Enforcement Agency agent Sean Waite told the Albuquerque Journal, 'We don’t have to prove that the person is guilty. … It’s that the money is presumed to be guilty.' 'Presumed to be guilty.' Once in America, we had a presumption of innocence. But that was inconvenient to the powers that be." [editor's note: Yep, put the elf on the shelf NOW – SAT] (07/24/17)

Pardon him, Mr. President

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"Presidents tend to issue pardons as their tenures draw to a close. But many victims of our government should be pardoned right now. Until the culpable agencies can be dismantled and/or sundry bad laws repealed, a steady flow of presidential pardons would provide the swiftest justice. An Amish man in Kentucky, Samuel Girod, has been convicted of selling herbal remedies and such crimes as 'failing to appear.' It doesn’t add up to one day in prison, let alone the six years of his sentence." (07/24/17)

The decline of healthcare availability

Source: Alive Free Happy
by Matthew Barnes

"The United States was fortunate to have had a strong tradition of individual rights. When fascism was running rampant in the world it only got 'half-way' in the US. It is also unwinding here and elsewhere where civil rights still exist nominally. Medical care’s history in the US is one that unmistakably follows the fascist model. The mistakes we made over 100 years ago in following the fascist model require a defining word — a pin in the map. That pin in the map, identifying that philosophy and the naive time in which it flourished, in this work’s context, is the specific definition of 'fascist thought' used here. I propose that understanding this model is the key to once again having access to medicine for everyone in society." (07/24/17)

A brief musing on the prospective role of capital punishment as imposed by non-state actors

Source: [email protected]
by Thomas L Knapp

"I am, generally speaking, opposed to capital punishment as it is used by the state. To my mind it violates any reasonable conception of 'limited government.' What's 'limited' about the legal power engage in the leisurely, cold-blooded, unnecessary killing of a disarmed prisoner? That kind of power of life and death is unlimited government in my opinion. … But lately I'm thinking about a different sort of death penalty. This sort would be administered by non-state actors, and only semi-discriminately in that anyone involved in the criminal conspiracy known as 'the state' would be subject to it as required to correct or retaliate for violent state criminal action. … it would be difficult to set up a successful operation to arrest, try and incarcerate someone like US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, FBI Director Andrew G McCabe or US District Court judge Katherine Forrest for their crimes against humanity. Or, for that matter, to arrest, try and incarcerate anyone, especially members of the world's largest criminal gang, the US government. So the only really available penalty is death." (07/24/17)

"Made in America": So what?

Source: National Review
by Kevin D Williamson

"One of the great enduring stupidities of modern economic life is the belief that buying American is somehow beneficial to the United States as a whole. A related daft notion, very popular among our progressive friends horrified at the chauvinism of 'Buy American' campaigns, is that buying local helps your local community and economy. This stuff has been studied and studied and studied, and the short version is that buy-American/buy-local efforts amount to approximately squat. It makes sense if you think about it: You can buy a bag of green beans from your local farmers’ cooperative and feel good about yourself, but that farmer is going to use the money to pay his bills, probably to a faraway financial company that holds his mortgage, a carmaker overseas, or a tractor-financing company abroad. He might buy his diesel from a local retailer, but that diesel very likely comes from crude oil drilled in some faraway place (from Canada to the Middle East) and refined in another faraway place. The components that went into those green beans — seeds, fertilizer, farming equipment — probably weren’t locally made. Money likes to move around." (07/23/17)

Trump's dictatorial travel ban to North Korea

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

"Last Friday, President Trump issued a decree-law that prohibits Americans from traveling to North Korea. His justification for infringing on one of the most fundamental rights of man — freedom of travel — is two-fold: to watch over and take care of Americans by refusing to permit them to travel to a brutal communist regime that might do bad things to them and to punish North Korea by depriving the country of tourist revenue. It's not difficult to see the irony." (07/24/17)