Area Man in need

This is a bad time. A very bad time. The apartment complex I currently live at has decided not to renew my lease.

As a result, I have until the end of April to find somewhere else to live, and I can’t afford to pay both 1st months rent at a new place AND their deposit (especially if it’s equal to another month’s rent). Family will help me actually move my stuff, but they will NOT help on affording to move, and I can’t borrow due to a debt that I’m already paying on, so I have no choice but to reach out further.

If you can help, either click the Cash.Me button on the sidebar, or paypal me (longbongsilver -at- gmail.com). Share widely — my life depends on it.

BTW: rents in town for a 1 bedroom range between $350 – $500

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The Wilhelm Scream of Hate

The hits are coming hard & fast with President Cheeto, from already having his first drone strike on Yemen, to unilaterally making orders for That Damn Wall, to approving pipeline construction by a company he may actually have a direct financial stake in. Even these few short days in, the theme of being as BLATANT and LOUD, and DUMB as possible about the very essence of the state and capitalism has been burning bright as a baboon’s ass. One thing that really sticks out as emphasis of loyalty to his biggest fans — that is, white supremacists — is his executive order on immigration policy. Check out the following section, about sanctuary cities:

To better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions, the Secretary shall utilize the Declined Detainer Outcome Report or its equivalent and, on a weekly basis, make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens. (emphasis mine)

Consider what is being called for here. This section of the order demands a list, specifically of undocumented immigrants, emphasizing criminal charges. The implication employs a key falsehood in outright racist AmeriKKKan thought — that people from elsewhere are inherently Worse Than Real Merkins. Migration restrictions themselves are and always will be inherently prejudiced and an affront to any sense of basic liberty due to that implication resting at the heart of their logic, but this is effectively to rub it in the faces of the public in order to pressure the cities that have dared to question the “logic” behind demanding that people prove their worth to the mighty State prior to setting foot on the soil to dash that rare measure of respect for natural human freedom on the rocks of pure, unadulterated, FEAR and HATE.  This is a completely naked order of propaganda to whip up rage at people the overwhelming majority of whom are just here to try to make a living or escape a situation that the US’ drug war has exacerbated to the detriment of their family, to use the old Law & Order cliche to sanction openly bigoted mob rule.

Recently thanks to a Black Bloc good Samaritan, there’s been an outpouring of support (though, for some reason, “debate” also) for the practice of smacking fascists*. Well… [CONTINUANCE OF THOUGHT REDACTED SO I DON’T GET ARRESTED].

Update 1/26/17: spot the resemblance

screenshot_20170126-185412

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The Falsehood that Ate the Earth

(Sharing and extending thoughts I had in reply to CK MacLeod re: the “argument between “America First” and the status quo in the US)

There is an emerging discussion since Donald fucking Trump won the presidency about expected changes to US foreign policy due to assumptions that what he said during the campaign whether (blatantly, obviously TERRIBLY) bad or (accidentally) reasonable sounding reflect what indeed would be attempted, rather than the brainfarts of a more blatant oligarch who will now know what it’s like to be a dog who chases cars that actually catches one. That discussion centers around a wrestle between a deliberate nationalist self-interest that ostensibly answers all issues with “what would be best for America?”, and a dedication to maintaining the existing status quo of the world — “America First” versus globalism.

Well, to my understanding, this argument — “America First” vs globalism — rests on false grounds to begin with. It leaves the starting gates leaving a trail of horseshit.

The assumption that both start with is that the conduct of the US abroad has been selfless & for the greater good of the world as whole, whether they think the status quo is good and should stay or they think that the US is somehow getting a Raw Deal out of it & should renegotiate more favorable terms. A lot about how the world reached this point and the motives of those who drove it here is either omitted or outright lied about for most people. The narrative writes off what maintenance of that status quo has actually meant. It has meant coups. It has meant right-wing death squads funded by the CIA. It has meant assassination attempts at foreign political figures who have dared question that status quo. It has meant bombs and missiles.

It has meant MASS MURDER and ARMED ROBBERY.

As if the means didn’t say enough about how terrible this maintenance has been, the ends don’t escape at all. Contrary to how it is portrayed at the elite levels of opinion, this has not been conducted on selfless grounds at all. No, the real point all along has been Western centered transnational capitalism & the maintenance of such, including trade terms & security of resource extraction: Capital First, more like.

What the “America First” crowd is doing (even if they don’t specifically intend to) is using the existence of common people in the US who have not been sharing in the spoils to say “you’re losing because America is losing”, sliding what could’ve mushroomed into a class issue into the blanket of nationalism. This is why the orange oligarch got what he needed from the Rust Belt, he was able to speak to them and their desire for The Jobs to come back due to their death grip on Protestant Work Ethic and the idea of work as defining the value of a human being; while indifference to racism and consistency in the typical irrational partisanship were clearly also factors, enough areas that previously supported that black dude that ran against doing shit like Iraq only to leave office with US forces fighting in Iraq & several other countries while helping the Saudi royals commit genocide went for that white oligarch who thought the black guy was both Not a Real Merkin & Actually a Hippie Peacenik to suggest maybe they heard something other than Let’s Piss Off The Nigger. That the reasoning behind their choice misses how the world actually works — if they insist on The Jobs then they don’t want Trump, they want guild socialism —  isn’t all that relevant.

The default “globalists” meanwhile see America First nationalism as merely vulgar — The maintenance of Western power & transnational capital needs to keep cosmopolitan makeup on its face & eloquence on its tongue in order to do the job. Neither actually brings up who in the grand scheme of things has filled the Winners & Losers boxes in the context of Why.

The still dominant international order has worked great for a few people in the world beyond ones wildest dreams — these people are known as “capitalists”. It has at times placated some others to varying degrees by way of how the wealth extracted from it has been distributed (see the upswings in the national economy in western nations when they feel the need to fight off left-wing conclusions about it all by breaking open the Keynesian Stimulus box). But it has been willfully brutal to the periphery, in continuance of what they faced from foreign powers prior in all but name.

When people in other nations talk of putting their country first, unless their proposal for such happens to not particularly undermine the current global system much, America (or rather its political elite) tends to frown upon that. The body count says as much.

Honestly, I’m sick of hearing the narrative of America supposedly rediscovering a national interest long held dormant vs the Serious Person paens to globalism. They have no relation to what actually exists and has existed for decades: Capital as it’s own nation, pursuing its own interests, the rest of humanity be damned. Let’s discuss the world as it actually exists.

BTW: whoever chooses to define American interests as synonymous with overriding the interests of others by force or subterfuge, here me out loud & clear on this: FUCK AMERICA

Posted in fevered barking, Foreign Policy | Leave a comment

Anarcho-splainin’ the election

In a guest post, I posed some questions over at Ordinary Times toward participants in tomorrow’s ceremonial pretending-like-you-matter event. Particularly, I’m testing of the more alarmed among them what they plan to do beyond voting, and whether there’s any point at which radical measures would be accepted to them (in the context of a hypothetical win by the guy that’s been called Literally Hitler).

Comments are going briskly. Check it out if you’d like.

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Flushing the Sovereign

It’s an impossible thing. Time running backwards, water flowing uphill, cats and dogs mating… Congress passing legislation that an opponent of government even existing can be cool with…

Yes, you read that correctly.

See, there was a bill in the US congress recently — the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act — which would allow people harmed by acts of terrorism in the US to sue states they see as responsible for them in federal court, a goal obviously inspired by reports & long held suspicions about collusion between the 9/11 hijackers and the Saudi Arabian government. The bill passed both houses of congress, and Obama vetoed it Friday.

Well, today while I was at work, they overrode his veto. By huge margins even:

The House voted 348-77, well above the two-thirds majority needed. The final vote tally in the Senate was 97-1. Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., cast the lone dissenting vote.

“In our polarized politics of today, this is pretty much close to a miraculous occurrence,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said. Democrats and Republicans in both chambers agreed, he said, that the bill “gives the victims of the terrorist attack on our own soil an opportunity to seek the justice they deserve.”

So, despite my usual opposition to laws, here’s why I’m actually OK with this one. A certain, widely held doctrine of global law is called “sovereign immunity”, the gist of which is that people cannot sue the government of one nation in the court of another nation. The functional purpose of this is to hold governments blameless for what they do or facilitate away from their home bases. That bill, by becoming law against the will of the president, rips a gaping hole in that concept.

The fear of sovereign immunity being attacked, specifically of this triggering a Domino Effect of other nations allowing the same and thus opening up US government officials for transnational lawsuits by the victims of their wars, was actually brought up by opponents of the bill, both Obama himself as well as former Bush administration UN ambassador John Bolton:

“The United States relies on principles of immunity to prevent foreign litigants and foreign courts from second-guessing our counter-terrorism operations and other actions that we take every day,” he wrote.

Former ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and former U.S. Attorney Michael Mukasey, both of whom served under President George W. Bush, have echoed similar concerns in recent weeks.

An errant drone strike that kills non-combatants in Afghanistan could easily trigger lawsuits demanding that U.S. military or intelligence personnel be hauled into foreign courts,” Bolton and Mukasey wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed earlier this month. (emphasis mine)

To which I say: GOOD! Not only do I look forward to such happening as a result of cascading rips in the concept of sovereign immunity, I hope it even leads to the president catching lawsuits. I hope it means every bomb dropped, every missile launched, every bullet fired at people in other countries draws court cases around the world. I hope it leads to a day where current and former government officials can’t travel abroad without being constantly served if they so much as harmed a fly in another human being’s homeland.

I hope the global ruling class ends up at each others throats so hard after this snowballs that they cancel each other out.

When sovereign immunity dies, I hope to be there to defile its grave.

 

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Political Footballs

Prompted by 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick’s demonstrations during the national anthem at games, and the subsequent screaming about it, plus the joining in of other players, I had a hypothetical pop up about it (well, more than one in a way):

Say that a head coach — let’s assume they’re a new head coach of a team with a relatively young roster core announced that their players would go back to the typical practice prior to 2009 (and bribery from the Pentagon with your money…) and not even leave the locker room until such displays were over, perhaps explaining “Hey, that’s valuable strategy  time we’re wasting on photo ops”. What would be the reaction to that?

Alternate considerations: would the reaction be different if the coach were a white person vs if they were black? Or if they actually mentioned in their announcement (perhaps at a press conference) how the displays of team fealty to The Magic Cloth & The Oh So Wonderful Troops were bought to begin with?

(On a less serious note, it’d be super delicious if the 1st team this was done with just happened to be a post-Belichek New England Patriots…)

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The hit squad flexes its muscles

While quite possibly the silliest campaign season ever rolls along, peppered with such  Serious Questions as whether Donald fucking Trump is a baby-hating puppet of Putin* or if Hillary(‘s staffers) can keep Sanders fans with Twitter disses and tone-deaf cultural pandering, the current president has decided to show off the process behind his flying death robots — somewhat:

The Obama administration has released a previously secret 18-page policy guidance document that lays out how potential drone targets may be chosen and approved and the President’s role in the decision-making process.

The policy document, known as the President Policy Guidance, or PPG, says counterterrorism operations, including lethal action against designated terrorist targets, “shall be discriminating and precise as reasonably possible” and says “direct action” against “high value targets” “will be taken only when there is near certainty that the individual being targeted is, in fact, the lawful target and located at the place where the action will occur.”

“High value targets”.  As in a 16 year old boy in Yemen?

(Sad thing here is since then the US has started happily helping the Saudi royal regime murder basically everyone else in Yemen with all kinds of ammunition. Maybe that was a test, a heat check of sorts. )

Among the guidelines, such information as the counterterrorism objective, duration of time for which the authority remains in force, the legal basis and the strike assets that may be employed must be included. Conditions must include a near certainty that the high value target or other lawful terror target is present and near certainty that non-combatants will not be injured or killed. (emphasis mine)

“Near certainty”. As defined by the party doing the killing. The mob has investigated itself & found itself not guilty. The piles of dead civilians must have been planted by someone else. The majority of people killed in the strikes not being the target? Kremlin propaganda, of course!

Let’s go back to that kid the CIA killed. Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was both a US citizen and not on US soil, keep that in mind while eyeballing the next part:

However, when dealing with lethal action against a previously designated high value target, a different procedure can be followed. If the target is a US citizen or someone living in the US, or if there is not unanimous agreement among the President’s key national security officials regarding the nomination of the target, it will be submitted to the President for a decision. (emphasis mine)

They’ve claimed and exercised the “right” to kill US citizens without trial overseas, now they’ve opened the window to firing a missile at you in the US. And this was written three years ago, which makes the use of a robot against Micah Johnson in Dallas last month a much less innovative thing than previously thought.

Such a bold demonstration of how meaningless any claims of “rule of law”, “limited government” or any other buzzwords are, as the state goes beyond even royal powers. No, this is more like claiming to be God, smiting people that displease you and expecting the world to love you for it. But it will barely draw a blink, because such subjects as the arbitrary administering of death can’t hold a candle to bumbling an email server or having a spouse that posed naked.

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Posted in fevered barking, law | Leave a comment