Archive for September, 2010
I didn’t post my Center for a Stateless Society commentary from last week. So behold: Under Surveillance America.
Some might find it hard to understand why the FBI would spy on Martin Luther King, compile information on individuals who contact prisoners, and treat public intellectuals as threats. But it makes perfect sense when you understand the state’s priorities.
In this week’s commentary, No Pictures! I do a quick analysis of the federal attack on George Donnelly, and the state’s attempts to avoid scrutiny.
In a video about the event, Donnelly says, “Fellow prisoners reported that marshals were promoting me as ‘the next Timothy McVeigh.’” In the minds of federal enforcers, when they attempt to terrorize people into submission to the state, they are just doing their jobs. And any effective opposition they face is put in the same category as murderous terrorism.
I was considering adding the sentence “Questions of wrong or right are answered with the question ‘Them or us?’” to the above paragraph, but I thought it would require more space to examine how “us versus them” is decided in various political scenarios than I wanted to spend on an aside.
Bring a Gun to School Day, the bold novella about police states and the scapegoats they make, is now available as a Creator-Endorsed free e-book!
Grab the .pdf at BringaGunToSchoolDay.com. If you like it, maybe you could give someone the paperback as a present.
Check out c4ss.org for my commentary The Mark of the Police State.
Weary passengers rest in their seats on a train traveling across the country. When the doors open at a train station, armed agents of the state come aboard. They speak in commanding tones as they ask for documents, jarring sleeping passengers out of their rest. Those who don’t have their papers in order are removed from the train and detained. They might spend weeks in unpublicized detention facilities before their cases are reviewed by a judge. The agency conducting the sweeps will be rewarded with a sizable budget.
What is the setting for this story? It could be any number of places, but in this case it’s Buffalo, New York in 2010.
In What Counts as Political?, this week’s Center for a Stateless Society commentary, I examine how the label “apolitical” could be applied to Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally.
The assumption is that things are only political if they explicitly involve a political office or ballot measure. This view ignores what lies below the surface: The political climate from which campaigns spring or which they try to appease or co-opt.
Radley Balko brings a useful counterpoint when he says “I’d like to thank the Koch brothers for six years of funding my right-wing, corporatist work on police abuse and criminal justice reform.” Cato also hosted Roderick Long’s Corporations Versus the Market article. There is more to the story than the pursuit of corporate profits.
Of course, Samuel Konkin, who invented the word Kochtopus, talked about this thirty years ago in New Libertarian Manifesto and elsewhere.
The story reminds me of politicians who conflate their personal interests (exercising power) with the common interest.
And it is pronounced “Coke-topus.” “Cock-topus” is the lovable mutant who pulls the strings at Thinking Liberty. His henchman is a bear from Canada rumored to be an ultra-rich marijuana tycoon.