sights & sounds

June 7, 2010

the authoritarian’s trump card

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 6:50 pm
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Just as any lengthy political discussion will inevitably involve a Godwin, any lengthy debate on anarchism must involve Somalia – just as your opponent must resort to ‘But that’s what Hitler would say!’ when he’s run out of arguments, the empty-headed statist who hasn’t bothered to engage in any independent research or critical thinking will say, “We can’t get by without the state! LOOK AT SOMALIA!”, and then smugly stew in his own ignorance, as though invoking Somalia automatically wins the debate. However, the seemingly self-sufficient ‘wut about Somalia, guise’ point actually rests on several assumptions, all of which are either highly dubious or blatantly incorrect.: (more…)

June 1, 2010

reclaiming the streets

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 12:56 am
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From the NY Times; emphases mine:

Starchild is one of a handful of working men and women fighting a proposed city law that would make it illegal to sit or lie on public sidewalks in San Francisco for most of the day. Backed by the city’s Police Department and Mayor Gavin Newsom, the “sit-lie” law is being hailed by supporters as a weapon to combat aggressive behavior by the city’s myriad sidewalk dwellers.

But advocates of the homeless and some sex workers see it as a direct attack on the city’s weakest, as well as on the city’s own image as a tolerant refuge for live and let live.

Advocates for men and women of the night like Starchild say the proposed law has the potential to make their difficult lives — what with the fear of arrest, disease and occasionally dangerous clients — even more arduous.

Tony Winnicker, a spokesman for Mr. Newsom, a Democrat who is running for lieutenant governor, said the law was not meant to target any specific group, but to protect residents from harassment in neighborhoods like the Haight-Ashbury, the hippie-friendly enclave where groups of youths still congregate to drink, panhandle and smoke marijuana.

“It’s about unacceptable behavior,” Mr. Winnicker said, “and giving police another tool to deal with it.”

Leaving aside the utter absurdity of denying someone’s right to occupy a public space they’re forced to maintain with their own tax dollars1, the fact that cops are focusing on petty ‘infractions’ like loitering speaks volumes about their priorities – it’s completely disingenuous for supporters to pretend that this law has anything to do with public safety. (more…)

May 31, 2010

Gaza Flotilla Attacked

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 3:44 pm
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May 29, 2010

‘the humanity of ordinary people’

Lynndie England, Abu Ghraib torturer.

From a post on Feministe about women in military. Emphases mine:

I don’t know why, but I’m a sucker for slideshows. Add a feminist theme, and I’m all over it. So I really enjoyed stumbling upon this collection of images of women in the military, starting way back with the American Revolution.

According to the story that goes along with this image, this is Sharon Hanley Disher and she’s part of “the first [family] in American history to send every member to the Naval Academy” – which is pretty awesome, I say. Her story is pretty cool, I suggest you read it if you have some time.

We’ve covered the WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots) before, but what are your favorite stories of women in the military?

Needless to say, I was unpleasantly surprised at seeing military service lauded on an ostensibly progressive, leftist blog; and in my initial comment, I said as much.: (more…)

May 18, 2010

police accountability

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 9:40 pm
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7-year-old Aiyana Stanley Jones

From Associated Press; emphasis mine:

DETROIT — State police will take over the investigation of the fatal shooting of a 7-year-old girl by a Detroit police officer during a weekend raid at the girl’s home, a prosecutor said Monday.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said bringing in the state police to investigate the killing of Aiyana Jones would avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest.

“I agree that it is most appropriate that this be done independently,” Worthy said.

Aiyana was asleep on the living room sofa in her family’s apartment when Detroit police, searching for a homicide suspect, burst in and an officer’s gun went off, fatally striking the girl in the neck, family members said.

Her father, 25-year-old Charles Jones, told The Detroit News he had just gone to bed early Sunday after covering his daughter with her favorite blanket when he heard a flash grenade followed by a gunshot. When he rushed into the living room, he said, police forced him to lie on the ground, with his face in his daughter’s blood.

“I’ll never be the same. That’s my only daughter,” Jones told WXYZ-TV.

Assistant Chief Ralph Godbee said officers set off the flash grenade as they entered the apartment with their guns drawn about 12:40 a.m. Sunday with a warrant to look for a suspect in the Friday slaying of a 17-year-old boy. The lead officer’s gun went off after he encountered a 46-year-old woman inside the front room of the home and “some level of physical contact” ensued. Police do not believe the gun was fired intentionally. (more…)

“incorruptible politicians”

1              

Much like ‘government organization’ or ‘unbiased opinion’, the very idea is (oxy)moronic and worthy of nothing more than ridicule2. An ‘honest politician’ is as much a mythical beast as the elusive jackalope; but somehow, I think I have a far greater chance of stumbling upon an antlered bunny in the woods than finding an honest man in Washington. (more…)

May 15, 2010

“heroism”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 2:34 am
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From Butler Shaffer on LewRockwell; Emphases mine.:

The U.S. military is considering the creation of a new medal to be awarded soldiers who resist the temptation to kill civilians in foreign wars.  To be known as a medal for “courageous restraint,” troops may soon be rewarded for not “using lethal force” where injury to non-combatants might occur.  It was doubtless coincidental that news of this proposed medal was made sometime after Seymour Hersh’s reporting on the widespread use of ”battlefield executions” of prisoners by American soldiers in Afghanistan.

War is an insane enough activity without it being used as a parody of itself.  Perhaps the idea for such a medal arose from the history of so many Nobel Peace Prize recipients, who were honored after they had ceased engaging in statist butchery: Woodrow Wilson, George C. Marshall, and Henry Kissinger being among the more prominent awardees.  Even Barack Obama won the award, not long after assuming the presidency and as he was intensifying the war in Afghanistan. When Tom Lehrer declared that he stopped engaging in satire after Kissinger won this prize, one gets a sense of the absurdity of the war system parading as its opposite.  The derangement implicit in the Strategic Air Command’s motto “peace is our profession” is recalled. (more…)

May 7, 2010

‘child endangerment’

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 4:40 pm
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From Columbia Tribune; emphases mine:

A man arrested on suspicion of drug charges and child endangerment said he is concerned with the actions of police who shot two dogs they described as “aggressive” while serving a drug-related search warrant at his home earlier this month in southwest Columbia.

Police arrested Jonathan E. Whitworth, 25, of 1501 Kinloch Court on Feb. 11 on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and second-degree child endangerment.

A police SWAT team entered Whitworth’s residence around 8:30 p.m. suspecting a large amount of marijuana at the location, police spokeswoman Officer Jessie Haden said. SWAT members encountered a pit bull upon entry, held back and then fatally shot the dog, which officers said was acting in an uncontrollably aggressive manner.

Whitworth was arrested, and his wife and 7-year-old son were present during the SWAT raid, Haden said. A second dog, which Whitworth’s attorney Jeff Hilbrenner described as a corgi, also was shot but was not killed.

“The family is concerned with what happened,” Hilbrenner said. “We don’t feel like what happened in the home was appropriate. The priority right now for us is the misdemeanor charges.”

(some upsetting video footage of the incident below the cut)
(more…)

May 5, 2010

“We do know who you are.”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 4:38 pm
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At first, I thought this was a parody, but apparently not.

May 3, 2010

“Get the fuck out of here! I’ll fucking kill you all!”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jay @ 10:40 pm
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A gaggle of black bloc anarchists recently set their sights on an American Apparel store, startling the hipster shoppers into action – windows were smashed, cops were summoned1, and much silliness ensued. Footage of some of the incident below the cut: (more…)

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