Friday, September 30, 2005

Gregory strips away the mask

The mask being worn by so-called pro-war "libertarians", that is.

Most of Anthony Gregory's latest LRC column provides a general description of these peoples' beliefs. This part of the essay concludes with this passage:
What else do we know about the average pro-war libertarian? He believes his right to self-defense includes a right to hurt innocent people. He typically leans Republican. He has lots of nice things to say about politicians like Ronald Reagan, yet forever loathes relatively powerless leftists like Michael Moore. He often overlooks abuses committed by the corporate state and sometimes confuses state capitalism for the free market. He views the federal government as his enemy, apart from himself, when a Democrat uses it to manage the economy, but refers to it as "we" when discussing military actions led by Republican administrations. He complains about big government but, in the end, considers Washington, D.C., and especially its imperial military to be the embodiment of American liberty.

Here's where the mask removal takes place:
Given the reality of the pro-war libertarian philosophy, I propose that those of us who are antiwar continue to be called libertarians, and those on the pro-war side simply adopt a new name: conservatives.

That’s what they are, really. They are run-of-the-mill, hawkish conservatives. Like most conservatives, they say they believe in liberty and limited government, but in the end they side with the state in its worst pursuits and orchestrations. We know that conservatism has a long, respected history, so these warmongers should have few reservations accepting the label.

Yup. Remove the "libertarian" mask and you'll see that they walk and talk like grand ol' elephants much of the time, so why not just call a spade a spade.

Let us not forget that war is the health of the state. The American corporate state needs militarism as much as we critters need food.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Further proof that we are enemies in the eyes of Leviathan

Such proof is becoming more abundant these days. I'm sure most of y'all have already heard about Bush's desire for an expanded role for the military for domestic purposes. Well, the additional proof that I've come across today even comes with a picture that seems to drive the point home rather well if you ask me.

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More cops or tank for Detroit?

That's right. The city of Detroit wants to buy an "urban assault vehicle" (read: tank) in order to keep the rabble (read: we, the people) in line. Anyone care to place a bet as to when Tiananmen Square meets Hart Plaza or some other American urban center?

For more on the issue of the population at large being the true enemy #1 of Leviathan, I suggest checking out Kevin Carson's recent post on the subject. Make sure you also click on the link at the end of the post, which will take you to a more thorough post of his on the subject from last month.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Banned Books Week

Image Hosted by Just a friendly reminder here that this week happens to be Banned Books Week, a celebration of books that have been challenged or banned throughout the years and a reminder of the dangers of such activity.

A few good sites that I've discovered that contain lists of such books can be found here, here, and here. If you have any of these books, now might be a good time to dust them off and give 'em another read if you'd like.

"Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it." ~~ Mark Twain

Bush joke

Image Hosted by Here's a good one I just picked up from a friend:

Donald Rumsfeld is giving the president his daily briefing. He concludes by saying: "Yesterday, Three Brazilian soldiers were killed."
"OH NO!" the president exclaims. "That's terrible!"

His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the president sits, head in hands.
Finally, president looks up and asks, "How many is a brazillion?"

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Slime from schools and videos

It's been awhile since I've provided a music related post. This post from WFMU's Beware of the Blog has motivated me to change that. The good folks at WFMU have provided a relic from the past: a video clip of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention performing "King Kong" on BBC back in 1968.

VIDEO: Mothers of Invention - King Kong-BBC'68 (requires Real Player or something else that plays .rm files)

Image Hosted by Some of the comments provided at the WFMU blog are also worth noting:
Largely classically trained, oversexed, jaded intellectual too-cool-to-be-hippie motherfuckers - they simply do not make bands like this anymore. They inspired so many, and were narrowly rewarded for their efforts. Of course, Frank Zappa's post-Mothers career and all-too-short life is well documented, but it's the Mothers era that never ceases to amaze me.

Note Frank's comment at the top of this clip thanking the BBC for "allowing them to do things..." - the US hasn't changed that much, if at all; we still have the worst artist-censoring record this side of Iran.

I not only agree that the American media is way too puritanical and censor-happy, but that bands like this just don't seem to come to fruition anymore, which is a shame. (*note: During the sax solo, I noticed two split second subliminal type messages appear on the screen. When I was finally able to pause at the right moment, I found that the message said "A Consultant Psychiatrist". Heh...)

Fortunately, Zappa wasn't completely absent from American slime projectors (read: televisions). He actually appeared on Saturday Night Live a couple of times back in the 1970s, when the show was not only good, but actually provided some decent musical guests. Here are a couple of clips of Zappa performing a couple of great instrumental pieces on SNL.

VIDEO: FZ - Peaches en Regalia (SNL '76)
VIDEO: FZ - Samurai Son of St. Alphonzo (with John Belushi - SNL)

It's truly a shame that music like this would never be found on SNL, or any other mainstream boob tube program, today. If you don't produce simplistic, radio-friendly pop music products and/or have a cute face or nice rack, you ain't gonna be performing in front cameras and an audience of millions. I hestitate to call any of the crud you hear on the radio today music. I think that terms like music product, muzak, or musicstuff (like foodstuff) seem more appropriate.

There are times when I wonder if schools have wound up turning many minds off of good, wholesome music at an early age. There's plenty of good rock music and hip hop music out there, but it's a rare event to find youngsters who listen to anything other than those two primarily pop genres. I can recall music classes in elementary school where the teacher was old and boring and unwilling to let us experiment with instruments. She would usually make us practice singing Christmas carols or whatever awful songs struck her fancy in preparation for a holiday concert. I can't think of anyone who actually enjoyed music class, let alone anyone who actually took something worthwhile away from it. The "Doctor of Rock & Roll", guitarist Lowell George (who was once a member of the Mothers of Invention) once stated in an interview that he also had a low opinion of music classes in school.
At about five years old, I started playing harmonica. Taking lessons and learning all the notes. A teacher taught me how to read music, and all the time I was faking it... playing by ear. He'd say, "Hold that note." And I'd go humm. And he'd go, "No, that's not it." And then I would say, "You play it first..." which in terms of reading turned out to be a real drag. I never really did get to read a whole lot until I started playing flute and then... Music education at this stage is way out of the hands of the Board of Education. Most kids learn to play music completely disassociated from school. They learn in another place. They learn from private teachers if they're classically oriented and they learn from records if they learn how to play... other kinds of music. The elementary school system has almost no business trying to teach music. Only at the college level does it ever get anywhere... maybe one out of fifty kids get some kind of information that is useful later.

This brings me to recognition of Kevin Carson's latest great post titled Free Time, Scheduling, Schooling and Independent Thought. Carson's post is chock full of testimonies on how important free time away from authority figues is crucial towards broadening minds and developing them in ways that may run counter to the interests of the corporate state ruling class. There is also plenty of criticism towards government schooling and how they're ruining young minds. It seems to reinforce my belief that hordes of fans of performers like Britney Spears, P Diddy (or is it Doody), and Creed are one of the many effects of such conditioning and general mind assaults.

Carson also quotes a Joel Schlosberg blog post that brings the ideas of Erich Fromm to the table.
Erich Fromm, who had the courage to use psychology to critique rather than reinforce the status quo, pointed out with his concept of an "insane society" that when a society's norms run counter to the conditions for human mental health, what is considered to be normal behavior is actually mental illness.
This reminds me of a passage from Aldous Huxley's Brave New World Revisited that has always been stuck in my mind, especially since I was a weirdo in school who was diagnosed as having ADD (non-hyperactive). Huxley also refers to Fromm quite a bit, with the parts of the following excerpt in quotes coming from Fromm directly.
The really hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be the most normal. "Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existance, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does." They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted, still cherish "the illusion of individuality," but in fact they have been to a great extent deindividualized. Their conformity is developing into something like uniformity. But "uniformity and freedom are incompatible. Uniformity and mental health are incompatible too... Man is not made to be an automaton, and if he becomes one, the basis for mental health is destroyed."

Heh... at this point, this blog post has seemed to lose it's focus as we've gone from Zappa to educational critiques to Fromm. At least it seems that way to me. Maybe it's my lowered attention span. Many people seem to have a lowered attention span these days, and a likely culprit aside from schools is another tool of social control - television.

Image Hosted by I'll finish off this post with Zappa's commentary on the slime projector, performed on Saturday Night Live of all places! Notice how the line "I'm the slime oozing out from your TV set" has had the TV set removed from it, replaced by Frank yelling out "take it away, Don Pardo". Pardo seemed to be amused by it all, as he took over for some of the lyrics, and later yelled out "I am slime, Frank, I AM SLLLIIIME!"

MP3: Frank Zappa - I'm the Slime (SNL)

Monday, September 19, 2005

Targeting violence with violence

Brad Spangler has written a thorough post condemning recent legislation in California that restricts the sale of video games deemed violent by government stooges. Here's an excerpt that seems to sum up the situation quite nicely:
There’s no moral crusade going on here except in the minds of the gullible. It’s ironic as hell that games like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas are part of this controversy, because what really seems to be going on is that the gaming industry is getting a nine shoved up their left nostril and being told: “Yo! This is a jack, bitch!”

It's even worse here in Michigan, as store managers now face fines AND jail time for selling such games to minors.

This is just flat out ridiculous and represents yet another reason why politicians should walk the plank and get the hell out of our lives. I played some video games as a child that could be considered violent, but I've grown up to become a nice guy who is a principled non-agressor. Not everyone winds up like me, but those who don't would have developed their potentially violent tendencies with or without video games.

Aside from critiquing the legislation itself, Brad also cites sources that debunk the common claims concerning a so-called epidemic of youth violence, along with the link between video games and violence.

Image Hosted by I haven't played any video games in eons, but I do recall wasting plenty of time with them when I was younger. Aside from this recent news, this Fox Sports article has also reminded me of my time playing vids. The article proclaims that the greatest sports video game of all time is NHL '94 for Sega Genesis. I remember that game fondly since it's my favorite sports game of all time as well. It was always fun to have the Detroit Red Wings skate up and down the rest of the league in route to the Stanley Cup. Since hockey games these days contain fighting, I wonder if current games will be subject to the state's meddling?

Sunday, September 18, 2005


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In case you aren't already aware, Monday happens to be International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Well shiver me timbers!

Image Hosted by Of course, while you can choose to talk like a good old fashioned pirate (which involves a fun lingo), there is also the option of learning the lingo of certain modern day pirates (not so fun). Where do modern day pirates hang out? Well, you'll likely find some working for various transnational corporations, especially the ones who benefit from cozy relationships with despots and/or the forceful opening of markets by the USSA military. Many of these pirates talk as if they're genuine, honest to god freedom fighters, promoting things like "free trade" and "free markets". Unfortunately, you should never take a pirate's word seriously. This classic blog entry by Kevin Carson helps to explain why these pirates are full of hot air.

Image Hosted by The best thing to do if you want to learn modern pirate lingo is to listen to whatever balderdash happens to be emanating from the Pentagon on any given day. Or, better yet, you can listen to the Pirate-in-Chief. You'll learn from him that, for example, that pirates like him pronounce nuclear "nuke-u-lur".

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Good readin' - 9/11 edition

There are a couple of good posts from elsewhere in the blogosphere that I'd like to point your attention to.

Thomas Knapp has posted an essay that he wrote on September 12, 2001 that puts 9/11 into perspective, including a libertarian perspective.

Roderick Long puts into perspective the state's response to disasters such as 9/11 and Katrina. He also mentions that today is also the third anniversary of the Molinari Institute. If you are unfamiliar with the Molinari Institute, now would be a good time to change that.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Redcoats in NOLA

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Scott Bieser's latest political toon is a good one. No matter how you may feel about guns, a hallmark of tyranny clamping down on formerly free individuals is the confiscation of guns by a government that clearly wields way too much power. Not even Gandhi would approve, as he once stated that "Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest."

By the way, Scott Bieser has recently joined the blogosphere with The Time Sink, another quality libertarian blog worth checking out.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

"Get off the fucking freeway!"

I have three words for all the statists out there who believe that the government and it's employees are benevolent and can be counted on to promote our safety and well-being:

Bull Fucking Shit

The latest account of government malevolence in New Orleans comes from Larry Bradshaw and Lorrie Beth Slonsky. They were in New Orleans during and after Katrina hit and have shared their experience over at the New Orleans Indymedia site.

Here's an excerpt that reveals a side of the Katrina aftermath that wasn't widely documented by the mainstream media:
We also suspect the media will have been inundated with "hero" images of the National Guard, the troops and the police struggling to help the "victims" of the Hurricane. What you will not see, but what we witnessed,were the real heroes and sheroes of the hurricane relief effort: the working class of New Orleans. The maintenance workers who used a fork lift to carry the sick and disabled. The engineers, who rigged, nurtured and kept the generators running. The electricians who improvised thick extension cords stretching over blocks to share the little electricity we had in order to free cars stuck on rooftop parking lots. Nurses who took over for mechanical ventilators and spent many hours on end manually forcing air into the lungs of unconscious patients to keep them alive. Doormen who rescued folks stuck in elevators. Refinery workers who broke into boat yards, "stealing" boats to rescue their neighbors clinging to their roofs in flood waters. Mechanics who helped hot-wire any car that could be found to ferry people out of the City. And the food service workers who scoured the commercial kitchens improvising communal meals for hundreds of those stranded.

Here's an account of the first roadblock the government placed between them and safety:
We decided we had to save ourselves. So we pooled our money and came up with $25,000 to have ten buses come and take us out of the City. Those who did not have the requisite $45.00 for a ticket were subsidized by those who did have extra money. We waited for 48 hours for the buses, spending the last 12 hours standing outside, sharing the limited water, food, and clothes we had.

We created a priority boarding area for the sick, elderly and new born babies. We waited late into the night for the "imminent" arrival of the buses. The buses never arrived. We later learned that the minute the arrived to the City limits, they were commandeered by the military.

Get a load of this next experience:
We walked to the police command center at Harrah's on Canal Street and were told the same thing, that we were on our own, and no they did not have water to give us. We now numbered several hundred. We held a mass meeting to decide a course of action. We agreed to camp outside the police command post. We would be plainly visible to the media and would constitute a highly visible embarrassment to the City officials. The police told us that we could not stay. Regardless, we began to settle in and set up camp. In short order, the police commander came across the street to address our group. He told us he had a solution: we should walk to the Pontchartrain Expressway and cross the greater New Orleans Bridge where the police had buses lined up to take us out of the City. The crowed cheered and began to move. We called everyone back and explained to the commander that there had been lots of misinformation and wrong information and was he sure that there were buses waiting for us. The commander turned to the crowd and stated emphatically, "I swear to you that the buses are there."

We organized ourselves and the 200 of us set off for the bridge with great excitement and hope. As we marched pasted the convention center, many locals saw our determined and optimistic group and asked where we were headed. We told them about the great news. Families immediately grabbed their few belongings and quickly our numbers doubled and then doubled again. Babies in strollers now joined us, people using crutches, elderly clasping walkers and others people in wheelchairs. We marched the 2-3 miles to the freeway and up the steep incline to the Bridge. It now began to pour down rain, but it did not dampen our enthusiasm.

As we approached the bridge, armed Gretna sheriffs formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing in various directions. As the crowd scattered and dissipated, a few of us inched forward and managed to engage some of the sheriffs in conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police commander and of the commander's assurances. The sheriffs informed us there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move.

What happened next provides an example of human ingenuity and compassion for one another, followed by the outrageous and dispicable (and predictable in the eyes of anti-statists) response by the statist thugs:
Our small group retreated back down Highway 90 to seek shelter from the rain under an overpass. We debated our options and in the end decided to build an encampment in the middle of the Ponchartrain Expressway on the center divide, between the O'Keefe and Tchoupitoulas exits. We reasoned we would be visible to everyone, we would have some security being on an elevated freeway and we could wait and watch for the arrival of the yet to be seen buses.

All day long, we saw other families, individuals and groups make the same trip up the incline in an attempt to cross the bridge, only to be turned away. Some chased away with gunfire, others simply told no, others to be verbally berated and humiliated. Thousands of New Orleaners were prevented and prohibited from self-evacuating the City on foot. Meanwhile, the only two City shelters sank further into squalor and disrepair. The only way across the bridge was by vehicle. We saw workers stealing trucks, buses, moving vans, semi-trucks and any car that could be hotwired. All were packed with people trying to escape the misery New Orleans had become.

Our little encampment began to blossom. Someone stole a water delivery truck and brought it up to us. Let's hear it for looting! A mile or so down the freeway, an army truck lost a couple of pallets of C-rations on a tight turn. We ferried the food back to our camp in shopping carts. Now secure with the two necessities, food and water; cooperation, community, and creativity flowered. We organized a clean up and hung garbage bags from the rebar poles. We made beds from wood pallets and cardboard. We designated a storm drain as the bathroom and the kids built an elaborate enclosure for privacy out of plastic, broken umbrellas, and other scraps. We even organized a food recycling system where individuals could swap out parts of C-rations (applesauce for babies and candies for kids!).

This was a process we saw repeatedly in the aftermath of Katrina. When individuals had to fight to find food or water, it meant looking out for yourself only. You had to do whatever it took to find water for your kids or food for your parents. When these basic needs were met, people began to look out for each other, working together and constructing a community.

If the relief organizations had saturated the City with food and water in the first 2 or 3 days, the desperation, the frustration and the ugliness would not have set in.

Flush with the necessities, we offered food and water to passing families and individuals. Many decided to stay and join us. Our encampment grew to 80 or 90 people.

From a woman with a battery powered radio we learned that the media was talking about us. Up in full view on the freeway, every relief and news organizations saw us on their way into the City. Officials were being asked what they were going to do about all those families living up on the freeway? The officials responded they were going to take care of us. Some of us got a sinking feeling. "Taking care of us" had an ominous tone to it.

Unfortunately, our sinking feeling (along with the sinking City) was correct.

Just as dusk set in, a Gretna Sheriff showed up, jumped out of his patrol vehicle, aimed his gun at our faces, screaming, "Get off the fucking freeway". A helicopter arrived and used the wind from its blades to blow away our flimsy structures. As we retreated, the sheriff loaded up his truck with our food and water.

Once again, at gunpoint, we were forced off the freeway. All the law enforcement agencies appeared threatened when we congregated or congealed into groups of 20 or more. In every congregation of "victims" they saw "mob" or "riot". We felt safety in numbers. Our "we must stay together" was impossible because the agencies would force us into small atomized groups.

In the pandemonium of having our camp raided and destroyed, we scattered
once again. Reduced to a small group of 8 people, in the dark, we sought refuge in an abandoned school bus, under the freeway on Cilo Street. We were hiding from possible criminal elements but equally and definitely, we were hiding from the police and sheriffs with their martial law, curfew and shoot-to-kill policies.

Bullying. Deceit. Refusing to let people look out for themselves and others. Forcing people to obey their dictates at gunpoint. Demoralizing and atomizing groups of people. Stealing food and water from suffering people while holding them up at gunpoint. That, my friends, is a picture of government minus euphemistic bullshit rhetoric.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Unicorn flatulence responsible for global warming

Yup, that's right. The gas from the ass of your favorite horned critter is responsible for the melting polar ice caps, the increased tropical distubances, and everything else associated with the very real phenomenon of global warming.

Additionally, I've come to realize that the true driving force behind the neoconservative agenda lies within the desires of a mutant clan of Pacific Northwest Tree Octopi that have developed the ability to communicate with crazed neocons via telepathy (ever wonder what was really going on inside Dubya's brain when he'd claim that he speaks to God?).

Oh, and the consumption of neon pink cauliflower is to blame for most degenerative diseases in America.

Now, anyone reading all of this with at least 2 or 3 functioning brain cells would realize that these statements are total bullshit. One cannot place blame for our problems onto things that do not exist. Unicorns don't exist, meaning that there is no way in hell that their gas could effect global warming. In fact, non-existant critters don't have gas.

If anyone were to actually make a serious claim that something non-existant is to blame for, say, the disaster in New Orleans, then they would either:

a) not have at least 2 or 3 functioning brain cells, or...
b) they are engaged in promoting a rather weak political agenda by means of deception and other forms of flat out bullshit (I'd say unicorn shit, but I'm afraid that it doesn't exist)

Enter Michael Parenti. This authoritarian jackass (jackasses DO exist) actually had the gall to blame the free market for the disasterous situation in New Orleans. If he's gonna be so absurd, why doesn't he throw in a bunch of Pacific Northwest Tree Octopi and throw some of the blame at them too? He must realize that his readers have more than 2 or 3 functioning brain cells, but still don't happen to know squat about free markets, which is how he's able to get away with writing such horseshit (which not only exists, but smells to boot).

I'm not in a real intellectual mood today, so I thought I'd simply mock Mr. Parenti and his filthy column. If you're looking for some serious thrashing of his nonsense, you can check out retorts by both Kevin Carson and Drizzten.

Back to normal?

I've been too busy lately to keep up with things here, and I apologize to anyone who was checking in regularly only to find no updates. That was probably the longest lapse in between posts here. Anyways, things are back to normal around here, which means that the same will be true here at my blog.

Back to normal is something that you won't hear in reference to the Gulf Coast region for quite some time. Whether it's the people in New Orleans who have endured constant misery in the wake of both Katrina and Leviathan's bumbling and injurious follow-up, or the folks who have returned to their homes in Mississippi and Alabama to find nothing but rubble, help is most certainly needed.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI have already sent a little bit of financial support to both the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. Yesterday, Brad Spangler pointed out another worthy organization known as Food Not Bombs. I sent another $5 their way (and Brad matched it!) and will likely send more to them in the future.

I would go on with endless criticisms of how FEMA and other state institutions are handling the mess down there, but there are plenty of other places to turn to for that stuff. For now, I'll just provide a link to a video of cops looting a Wal-Mart.

*UPDATE: Well, the Red Cross won't be recieving any more donations from yours truly, since they apparently follow government orders not to help people with approval. Meanwhile, buermann from Flagrancy to Reason left the following comment over at Brad Spangler's post about Food Not Bombs:
50 bucks in, I’ve worked with FNB chicago before and they do good work. If anybody was gonna help slip supplies in past the guard they would. I donated to the red cross earlier just to find out later that they were obeying orders to not get relief to the folks trapped in new orleans. Very frustrating.
Sounds like another good reason to support Food Not Bombs. And hey, if the FBI has decided to monitor them (link via Flagrancy to Reason), then they must be doing really good work.