June 30, 2013 archive

Jun 30

Anti-Capitalist Meet-Up: 30 June 2013 A Ghost in a Machine walks the Globe by Annieli

If one can claim that a virtual economy offers increased possibility for revolutionary political change, that change should be measured against more material forms of analysis rather than treating information commodities as epiphenomenal. The tenuous connection between correlation and causation much like the meme of “Voodoo Economics” was treated more lightly and less seriously in a 2010 Bruce Watson piece on zombies and vampires as seasonally or cyclically symptomatic of a national economy:

there appears to be a loose connection between recession cycles and monster movies: zombie films tend to be more popular during boom times, while vampire flicks are ascendant when the economy is bad. As I wrote at the time, this makes a certain sort of symbolic sense: after all, as unthinking consumers, zombies reflect the tone of high-consumption boom times. The more melancholic vampires, on the other hand, suggest buyer’s remorse. While the zombie/vampire recession cycle didn’t always hold true, I found that it had a few interesting connections to the economy. For example, for most of the Reagan spend-till-you-drop 1980’s, zombie films dominated movie theaters. In fact, vampire movies’ only brief moment of ascendence in the decade was in 1987-1988, when a stock market tumble sent the economy into recession. Similarly, in 1991 and 2001, vampire films spiked and zombie films fell behind as recessions struck.

Aside from the doomsday preppers and faux survivalists in Dollywood and Hollywood invoking the fear of a zombie apocalypse as signs of an impending breakdown of urban society double-coded as racism, vampires and zombies can be differentiated by information while serving as cultural commodities in mass media. Vampires are asymmetric information commodities since in media narratives their representations appear conventional at first, whereas zombies are symmetric in that we know them instantly by their appearance. In either case they represent a pathological tipping point where fear trumps rationality and wooden stakes, garlic, holy water and shotguns make their appearance in contemporary film.

In a material context, such contemporary monsters represent the same class fears represented by European revolution in the Nineteenth Century not unlike the colonizers’ fears of the colonized or the contemporary anti-immigrant discourse where Americans ignore the labor history of the bracero and the coolie as invisible, informal Gastarbeiter.

A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre

Marx’s invocation becomes more or less ironic in the post-Soviet period

Spectres de Marx: l’Ć©tat de la dette, le travail du deuil et la nouvelle Internationale is a 1993 book by French philosopher Jacques Derrida The title Spectres of Marx is an allusion to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ statement at the beginning of The Communist Manifesto that a “spectre [is] haunting Europe.” For Derrida, the spirit of Marx is even more relevant now since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the demise of communism. With its death the spectre of communism begins to make visits on the earth. Derrida seeks to do the work of inheriting from Marx, that is, not communism, but of the philosophy of responsibility, and of Marx’s spirit of radical critique.

The philosophy of responsibility may be best represented in the problematic role of information and national security in a virtual surveillance state where Ed Snowden may be a vampire presently in the undead transit lounge of a Russian airport, avoiding the cleansing hot light of sunshine law. The disclosure of information asymmetrically held by a democratic state committed to a public sphere operates in contradiction to its multinational, geopolitical obligations.

Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks. The time during which the labourer works, is the time during which the capitalist consumes the labour-power he has purchased of him. [4] If the labourer consumes his disposable time for himself, he robs the capitalist Link

Virtuality has conditioned all forms of labour to some degree, creating different classes of worker, set against each other, not conscious of the web of virtuality that links them all into a single multitude. That unity is virtual in one sense – a potential that could be activated by virtuality in another sense, the resources of the net.

Come below the squiggle for more “mysterious forces or powers that govern the world and the lives of those who reside within it, but also a range of artistic forms that function in conjunction with these vodun (sic) energies.”

Jun 30

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Our regular featured content-

These weekly features-

These featured articles-

These special events-

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Write more and often.  This is an Open Thread.

The Stars Hollow Gazette

Jun 30

Civil Disobedience. NSA & Lesser Evilism.

If you are ever traveling on route 9 east through the New Hampshire border town of Chesterfield, and you’re not stuck behind some slow poke (me), watch your speed.  The limit changes from 35 to 45 then to 55 and back again to 35 just about every quarter mile or so. The local police have a ball targeting vehicles with out of state tags.

Whenever I’m traveling in the area, the way I fight back is by consistently traveling 5 miles an hour UNDER the speed limit. They can’t give me a speeding ticket. AND they can’t give anyone traveling behind me a ticket either.

Screw You Chesterfield cops!

On a similar note:

(h/t ek –More Video)



I encourage everyone to support Operation: Everyone Talk Like A Terrorist All The Time. You may think I’m just kidding. But I am kidding on the square.

Like the video says:

During an election candidates pretend not to be assholes, then when they get the job they reveal they’ve actually been a complete assholes the entire time. Just look at the people we’re expected to choose from in 2016. Do we NOT think that they are all going to be giant assholes?…

The only way to fight back against our country’s excessive wire tapping & data mining is to make it irrelevant.

Phone calls. Emails. Text messages as routine as grocery lists.

Think of it as Talk like a Pirate Day. Only replace Pirate with Terrorist and Day with All The Time.

Jun 30

Cartnoon

Jun 30

On This Day In History June 30

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

Click on images to enlarge.

June 30 is the 181st day of the year(182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 184 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court rules in Bowers v. Hardwick that states can outlaw homosexual acts between consenting adults.

Bowers v. Hardwick, upheld the constitutionality of a Georgia sodomy law criminalizing oral and anal sex in private between consenting adults when applied to homosexuals. Seventeen years after Bowers v. Hardwick, the Supreme Court directly overruled the decision in Lawrence v. Texas (2003), and held that such laws are unconstitutional. In overruling Bowers v. Hardwick, the 2003 Court stated that “Bowers was not correct when it was decided, and it is not correct today.”

Concurrences and dissents

The short concurring opinion by Chief Justice Warren E. Burger emphasized historical negative attitudes toward homosexual sex, quoting Sir William Blackstone‘s characterization of sodomy as “a crime not fit to be named.” Burger concluded, “To hold that the act of homosexual sodomy is somehow protected as a fundamental right would be to cast aside millennia of moral teaching.”

Opponents of sodomy laws criticized Bowers not only for its result but also because of the Court’s dismissive treatment of the liberty and privacy interests of gay men and lesbians. A sharply worded dissenting opinion by Justice Harry Blackmun attacked the majority opinion as having an “almost obsessive focus on homosexual activity.” Justice Blackmun suggested that “(o)nly the most willful blindness could obscure the fact that sexual intimacy is ‘a sensitive, key relationship of human existence, central to family life, community welfare, and the development of human personality.'” (Ironically quoting from the opinion by Chief Justice Burger in Paris Adult Theatre I v. Slaton which held that obscene films are not constitutionally protected)

Blackmun revealed in a 1995 oral history with Harold Koh that his dissent in Bowers v. Hardwick was written primarily by openly gay Pam Karlan (then a law clerk for Blackmun, and now professor of law at Stanford Law School). Blackmun said of the dissent; “[K]arlan did a lot of very effective writing, and I owe a lot to her and her ability in getting that dissent out. She felt very strongly about it, and I think is correct in her approach to it. I think the dissent is correct.”

Lewis Powell was considered the deciding vote during the case. He had initially voted to strike down the law but changed his mind after a few days. In a concurring opinion, Powell voiced doubts about the compatibility of Georgia’s law with the Eighth Amendment as it related to the prison sentence for conviction, but joined the majority opinion upholding the law against a substantive due process attack. It has been argued that Powell’s decision to uphold the law was influenced by the fact that he believed he had never known any homosexuals, unaware that one of his own law clerks was gay. In 1990, three years after retiring from the Court, Powell told a group of New York University law students that he considered his opinion in Bowers was an error. “I do think it was inconsistent in a general way with Roe. When I had the opportunity to reread the opinions a few months later I thought the dissent had the better of the arguments.” However, Powell believed that the case was one of little importance and spent only thirty minutes thinking about it.

Aftermath

Bowers was decided at a time when the court’s privacy jurisprudence, and in particular the right to abortion recognized in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), had come under heavy criticism and was in doubt. In this historical context, Bowers signaled a reluctance by the then-members of the Court to recognize a general constitutional right to privacy or to extend such a right further than they already had.

State sodomy laws were seldom enforced against private consensual conduct in the decades following the decision, but the Bowers decision was frequently cited in opposition to gay rights programs. The Georgia law upheld in Bowers forbade oral sex and anal sex whether engaged in by people of the same sex or different sexes, but Justice White’s decision was restricted to homosexual sex. “The only claim properly before the Court, therefore, is Hardwick’s challenge to the Georgia statute as applied to consensual homosexual sodomy. We express no opinion on the constitutionality of the Georgia statute as applied to other acts of sodomy.”

In the years after Bowers was decided, several state legislatures repealed their sodomy laws. In addition, a number of state courts invalidated sodomy laws under privacy or other provisions of their state constitutions. The same sodomy law that was upheld in Bowers was struck down by the Georgia Supreme Court under the Georgia state constitution in the case of Powell v. State, 270 Ga. 327 (1998).

The remaining state sodomy laws in the U.S. were invalidated, insofar as they applied to private consensual conduct among adults, in the Supreme Court case of Lawrence v. Texas 539 U.S. 558 (2003). Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in Lawrence, ruling that Texas’ state sodomy law was unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause (adult consensual sexual intimacy in ones’ home is a vital interest in liberty and privacy protected by the Due Process Clause). Lawrence explicitly overturned Bowers, with Kennedy writing “Bowers was not correct when it was decided, and it is not correct today. It ought not to remain binding precedent. Bowers v. Hardwick should be and now is overruled.”

Jun 30

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Thousands gather for rival rallies in Egypt

Pro- and anti-government protesters converge in Cairo on first anniversary of inauguration of Mohamed Morsi.

Gregg Carlstrom Last Modified: 30 Jun 2013 07:13

Egypt braced for mass protests on Sunday as pro- and anti-government protesters gathered in the capital on the first anniversary of the inauguration of country’s first democratically elected president.

Thousands of people opposed to President Mohamed Morsi have already gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square calling for him to resign, while the president’s supporters have vowed to defend his legitimacy to the end, leading to fears of confrontation.

Morsi supporters held their own rally outside a Cairo mosque on Friday, an effort to preempt Sunday’s demonstrations, and thousands of them are holding an open-ended sit-in.

The anti-Morsi protests are being organised by a grassroots campaign calling itself Tamarod, meaning “rebellion” or “insubordination”, which claims to have collected signatures from 22 million Egyptians demanding the president’s ouster.




Sunday’s Headlines:

The water is running out in Gaza: Humanitarian catastrophe looms as territory’s only aquifer fails

Attacks from America: NSA Spied on European Union Offices

Credible reports that Nigerian troops killed civilians: commission

Serbia gets green light to negotiate entry to European Union

Mummies reveal ancient nicotine habit

Jun 30

What We Now Know

On this week’s segment of “what we know now” Up host Steve Kornacki discusses what they have learned with guests: Joan Walsh, contributor to Salon.comm ans MSNBC: Perry Bacon, The Grio; Michael Tomasky, Newsweek and The Daily Beast; and Molly Ball, The Atlantic.

William Hathaway, Senator From Maine, Dies at 89

by Douglas Martin, The New York Times

William D. Hathaway, a Democratic politician whose election to the United States Senate from Maine in 1972 ended the career of his Republican opponent, Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman elected to both houses of Congress, died on Monday at his home in McLean, Va. He was 89. [..]

Soon after his election, Senator Hathaway, a liberal, received a letter from a young Maine woman complaining that she had been rejected by the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., because she was female. He introduced legislation that led to the admission of women at West Point and other military academies in 1976.

In 1973, he joined two other Democrats, Thomas F. Eagleton of Missouri and Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, as the only senators to oppose Nixon’s nomination of Representative Gerald R. Ford, the Republican House leader, to be vice president. He said he was concerned that the country would eventually have as its president a man appointed by a president under the cloud of possible impeachment – which is what happened.

Rick Santorum & EchoLight Studios: Former Presidential Candidate Making Faith-Based Movies

from The Huffington Post

Rick Santorum has picked up a new career. The 55-year-old politician is now the CEO of Echolight Studios, a faith-based film company. [..]  

“Many of you have heard me talk about that if we are going to make a positive impact on our country’s cultural challenges, we have to do it by reaching the masses often through entertainment,” Santorum said in a release. “For too long, Hollywood has had a lock on influencing the youth of this country with a flawed message that goes against our values. Now, we can change that.”

GOP’s Push to Woo Female Candidates, Voters

by Shushannah Walshe, ABC News

The RNC, joined by the National Republican Congressional Committee, Republican Governors Association, National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Republican State Leadership Conference, and the College Republican National Committee, launched “Women on the Right Unite” which will oversee two other initiatives announced to encourage conservative women to run for higher office and nurture them once they are there, as well as getting more women involved in conservative politics.

Nancy Pelosi On Michele Bachmann DOMA Remarks: ‘Who Cares?’

from The Huffington Post

It took Nancy Pelosi just two words on Wednesday to take Michele Bachmann down a notch.

The House minority leader was asked during a press conference what she thought of Bachmann’s intense denunciation earlier in the day of the Supreme Court’s historic rulings in favor of gay marriage. She replied with a shrug:

“Who cares?”

Jun 30

NSA: A Billion Calls A Day Stored

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Friday night, journalist for The Guardian and constitutional lawyer, Glenn Greenwald appeared via Skype at Socialism Conference in Chicago. He was introduced by investigative journalist for The Nation and author, Jeremy Scahill. Glenn hinted that there is still more to come on the NSA Surveillance scandal and spoke briefly on new technology that would enable the NSA to collect and store a billion calls a day to its repositories:

“It talks about a brand new technology that enables the national security agency to redirect into its own repositories one billion cell phone calls every single day. One billion cell phone calls every single day,” he said.

“But what we’re really talking about here is a localized system that prevents any form of electronic communication from taking place without its being stored and monitored by the National Security Agency,” Greenwald continued. “It doesn’t mean that they’re listening to every call, it means they’re storing every call and have the capability to listen to them at any time, and it does mean that they’re collecting millions upon millions upon millions of our phone and email records.”

(my emphasis)

Here is the full video with a lot of cheering of Jeremy and Glenn and some pretty amusing remarks about the White House and media campaign to impugn Glenn.

Glenn Greenwald Speaks Out

Jun 30

George Carlin: Pro Life, Abortion, And The Sanctity Of Life

Cross posted fromThe Stars Hollow Gazette

Warning the video contains strong language that may not be suitable for young children or the work place

George Carlin Somehow Destroyed Rick Perry’s Pro-Life War In 1996

Even from beyond the grave, George Carlin’s message will always be relevant to current events. Take the above clip, for example: Without mentioning him by name, this 1996 clip of Carlin utterly eviscerates Rick Perry and his war on abortion rights by painting a pretty accurate picture of the arguments used by Texas Republicans in their latest reach to massively curb access to women’s clinics in the Lone Star State.

Taken from his HBO special “Back in Town,” Carlin rips apart pro-life conservatives for caring more about life in the womb than after birth:

   “These conservatives are really something, aren’t they? They are all in favor of the unborn, they will do anything for the unborn, but once you’re born, you’re on your own! Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don’t want to know about you, they don’t want to hear from you. No neo-natal care, no daycare, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing! If you’re pre-born, you’re fine. If you’re pre-school, you’re fucked.”

[..]

“They’re not pro-life. You know what they are? They’re anti-woman. Simple as it gets, anti-woman. They don’t like them. They don’t like women. They believe a woman’s primary role is to function as a broodmare for the state. You don’t see many of these anti-abortion women volunteering to have any black fetuses transplanted into their uteruses, do you? No, you don’t see them adopting a whole lot of crack babies, do you? No, that might be something Christ would do!”

Jun 30

Late Night Karaoke

Jun 30

Liberal Doctrine Can Be As Evil As Any Other

A papal bull issues eternal truth that is not to be questioned.  I have an unquenchable admiration for the choice of wording.

The most undeniable liberal groupings do the same but would never, ever call it bull.

How can anyone explain the leaders of the Enlightenment regarding a bloodstained autocrat – Catherine the Great – an ideal ruler?

Was there ever a report of any opposition from liberals of the day to George Washington’s diversion of troops from fighting the colonial overseers to destroy the food and shelter of the Seneca and Cayuga villagers in the winter of 1779, the coldest winter ever recorded in the Americas?  The Sullivan-Clinton Campaign is a largely forgotten stain on America and its Revolution.

Of course we know that was just a continuation of the genocidal attacks on the “Noble Savages” that have lasted to this day though in less virulent form.

When MSNBC puts Chris Matthews, a dubious liberal at best, on air with grand words about the faces carved into the background of the Lakota’s sacred Mt. Rushmore, did they not know that the poorest tribe of the poorest population in America on which statistics are available has refused tribute of billions of dollars for the insult?  Indian genociders are not admired among Indians.

Today misguided antiscience superstition is more dangerous to continuation of survival of humans than it has ever been IMNSVHO.

From the organic foods hoax to obliteration of clean, green energy by devotion to relatively feeble and environmentally damaging intermittent energy that assures the continuation of fossil fuel mining and pumping, liberals so imbued with such false doctrine are a threat to the planet.

Best,  Terry

Jun 30

Liberal Doctrine Can Be As Evil As Any Other

A papal bull issues doctrinal that is not to be questioned.  I have an unquenchable admiration for the choice of wording.

The most undeniable liberal groupings do the same but would never, ever call it bull.

How can anyone explain the leaders of the Enlightenment regarding a bloodstained autocrat – Catherine the Great – an ideal ruler?

Was there ever a report of any opposition from liberals of the day to George Washington’s diversion of troops from fighting the oppressors to destroy the food and shelter of the Senecas and Cayugas in the winter of 1779, the coldest winter ever recorded in the Americas?

Of course we know that was just a continuation of the genocidal attacks on the “Noble Savages,” that continue to this day though in less virulent form.

When MSNBC puts Chris Matthews, a dubious liberal at best, on air with

t