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The Weekly Libertarian Leftist and Chess Review 57

Laurence M. Vance discusses why he could never be elected to office. Noam Chomsky discusses how the U.S. is the world’s leading terrorist state. Ivan Eland discusses whether Obama is the worst president in American history. John Glaser discusses a book on government led humanitarian action. Justin Raimondo discusses electoral politics and foreign policy. Ted…

Continue reading at Center for a Stateless Society …

Familiar Bedfellows

Hillary and Henry sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G-E-R!

It says a lot about former secretary of state and presumed presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton that she’s a member of the Henry Kissinger Fan Club. Progressives who despised George W. Bush might want to examine any warm, fuzzy feelings they harbor for Clinton.

She has made no effort to hide her admiration for Kissinger and his geopolitical views. Now she lays it all out clearly in a Washington Post review of his latest book, World Order.

Clinton acknowledges differences with Kissinger, but apparently these do not keep her from saying that “his analysis … largely fits with the broad strategy behind the Obama administration’s effort over the past six years to build a global architecture of security and cooperation for the 21st century.”

Beware of politicians and courtiers who issue solemn declarations about building global architectures. To them the rest of us are mere “pieces upon a chess-board.” Security and cooperation are always the announced ends, yet the ostensible beneficiaries usually come to grief. Look where such poseurs have been most active: the Middle East, North Africa, Ukraine. As they say about lawyers, if we didn’t have so-called statesmen, we wouldn’t need them.

If I didn’t know better, I’d suspect some pseudonymous writer of having fun with irony in this review. Behold:

President Obama explained the overarching challenge we faced in his Nobel lecture in December 2009. After World War II, he said, “America led the world in constructing an architecture to keep the peace.…”

Keep the peace — if you don’t count the mass atrocity that was the Vietnam War, the U.S.-sponsored Israeli oppression of Palestinians, and various massacres carried out by U.S.-backed “leaders” in such places as Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan), East Timor, Chile, and elsewhere.

One Henry Kissinger had a hand in all these crimes, by the way. Strangely, Clinton doesn’t mention them. (See Christopher Hitchens’s devastating two-part indictment here and here, later turned into The Trial of Henry Kissinger.)

America, at its best, is a problem-​solving nation.

Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Libya are only the latest examples of problems America solved during Madam Secretary’s tenure, building on the glorious successes of George W. Bush’s team. Henry the K is no doubt flattered by the homage.

Kissinger is a friend, and I relied on his counsel when I served as secretary of state. He checked in with me regularly, sharing astute observations about foreign leaders and sending me written reports on his travels.

Now things make sense. That Hillary Clinton thought Kissinger — Henry Kissinger — a worthy advisor is something we should all know as 2016 looms.

What comes through clearly in this new book is a conviction that we, and President Obama, share: a belief in the indispensability of continued American leadership in service of a just and liberal order.

There really is no viable alternative. No other nation can bring together the necessary coalitions and provide the necessary capabilities to meet today’s complex global threats. But this leadership is not a birthright; it is a responsibility that must be assumed with determination and humility by each generation.

It takes chutzpah to write humility even remotely in connection with Kissinger. And if the U.S. empire is indispensable to justice and liberalism — and where are these, exactly? — we are in trouble. The record is not encouraging. Kissingerian “realism” creates global threats.

The things that make us who we are as a nation — our diverse and open society, our devotion to human rights and democratic values — give us a singular advantage in building a future in which the forces of freedom and cooperation prevail over those of division, dictatorship and destruction.

Devotion to human rights and democratic values — as shown in Egypt, where Clinton stuck by another friend, Hosni Mubarak, against a popular uprising. The woman has some friends!

“Any system of world order, to be sustainable, must be accepted as just — not only by leaders, but also by citizens,” he writes.

The suggestion that Kissinger cares what ordinary citizens anywhere think is ridiculous. What he cares about is states, which he puts in one of two categories: those that buckle under to the Indispensable Empire and those that do not.

Henry, er, Hillary in 2016? You might want to rethink that.

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How the Law of Lands Kept Black People in Submission in Brazil

Note: This article was written for the occasion of Black Consciousness Day in Brazil. 

Officially, slavery in Brazil, the last independent American country which still had this institution at the time, was abolished on May 13, 1888. However, there wouldn’t be a law signed by the aristocracy that would solve the problems of the black people, who, for centuries, had their labor and dignity stolen. The environment had been prepared and shaped for 40 years, so that abolition could proceed as smoothly as possible — for the slave owners.

Submitting to pressure from England, Brazil had been moving in the direction of abolition a long time. The most famous and ineffectual of the so-called “laws for the English to see” (an expression that still designates completely empty, but nice sounding pieces of legislation in the country) was the Feijo Law, enacted in 1832, giving nominal freedom to slaves who worked Brazil’s land, but it wasn’t until 1850 that the Eusebio de Queiros Law banned slave trafficking. The end of slavery appeared near, but several steps were taken to extend its life.

In 1871, the so-called “Law of Free Birth” was approved, “liberating” the children of slaves — who would be “cared for” by their masters or by the state until their 21st birthday, in a de facto condition of slavery. In 1885, the Law of Sexagenarians “freed” slaves over 65 years old — actually giving their owners a license to discard them. Finally, “abolition” occurred with the approval of the Golden Law.

It should be expected that measures such as the above would preserve white privilege, but none came close to the inhumanity perpetuated to our days by the less well known Law of Lands.

Sanctioned only two weeks after the Eusebio de Queirós Law, law number 601 from September 18, 1850, established the end of the free homestead: No land could become property by occupation and transformation through labor, but would have to be bought from the state. Land already occupied would be subjected to certain requirements of use or would revert to the state, and would be sold at its discretion.

Not only did this law prevent former slaves from being able own land through their labor, it stipulated government subsidies for foreign colonization of the country, bringing in foreign labor and further devaluing black people’s labor.

When abolition occurred, black people were abandoned to their luck, getting no compensation, reparation or land — even though no value could compensate for the injustice of entire lives of forced labor. They would not be allowed to work the land and they had no money to buy land directly from the state (which, in any case, had the power to determine who the new landowners would be, and black individuals did not figure at the top of the list). The only option the black population had was to flee to the cities to live in tenements and, precariously, sell their labor for slave-like wages.

The zeitgeist at the time already demanded the end of chattel slavery, but Brazil put every brake possible on the abolitionist movement. These brakes shaped what opportunities black people would have and perpetuated white privilege.

When we look around on Black Conscience Day, we notice that the skin color of the poor, marginalized and exploited in our society is different from that of elites. This did not happen by chance: It was the result of a series of measures designed to keep the black population in submission.

In his autobiography, great abolitionist and libertarian Joaquim Nabuco stated, in 1900: “Slavery will stay for a long time as the national characteristic of Brazil.” Exactly.

Translated by Erick Vasconcelos.

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Food Not Bombs LV Weekly Picnic and Food Sharing – 11/23/14

**Please take note of the location change ** (See below for map)

As of September 28th 2014, Food Not Bombs Las Vegas has begun holding our weekly vegetarian/vegan picnics at Huntridge Circle Park, rather than Baker Park. Baker Park was used as our weekly location for Food Not Bombs Las Vegas meals and other events for over six years, since the closing of Circle Park and served that purpose quite well until recent changes within the park limited the usable space available within the park. Those and various other reasons went into the decision to move back to Huntridge Circle Park.

Food Not Bombs in Las Vegas FoodNotBombsLasVegas.org has been sharing food with hungry people in the Las Vegas area since 2005. During that time, members have often used their own money to cover expenses for necessary food ingredients not received through donations; bowls, plates, utensils, etc. necessary for eating; transportation costs; and other assorted costs associated with providing food with a large group of people on a weekly basis.

In order to provide variety and fill nutritional needs often unmet in typical “soup kitchens,” these meals are either vegetarian or vegan. Also, most of the food served consists of food that otherwise would be thrown out and therefore issues of waste are also addressed by the recovery and preparation of that food for people that need it.

Currently, Food Not Bombs Las Vegas holds two weekly potluck style picnics on Sundays and Mondays, where food is shared with people in need within the Las Vegas area community (the only real requirement is that you are hungry). In addition, members of FNBLV spend time with and advocate for those affected by extreme poverty. Often, people that are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless are looked down upon and harassed by others, especially by members of law enforcement.

In fact, in 2006 when the City of Las Vegas actually made it illegal to feed hungry people, members of Food Not Bombs were themselves cited and even arrested for defying those laws. Therefore, that compassion for and advocacy toward those experiencing financial difficulties is oftentimes as important as the sharing of food itself, especially since Las Vegas is one of the most hard hit areas in almost every economic category during the current recession.

General Information about Food Not Bombs and the Las Vegas Picnics:

Every Sunday from 10:30 am to around noon (there’s no designated end time) and every Monday at 11:30 am, Food Not Bombs Las Vegas holds weekly picnics where members share food with hungry people, address unnecessary waste, and make a statement about non-violence in relation to all living creatures at Huntridge Circle Park, which is located at 1251 S. Maryland Pkwy just south of Charleston Blvd.

These picnics are an event not just a handout or charity action. Members interact with and befriend local people who may be experiencing difficulty making ends meet and are in need of a supplement to their available food resources. We share healthy nutritious vegetarian or vegan meals with them as a way of building community and ensuring those who might be experiencing financial difficulties that they are still valued members of our society.

In addition, anyone wanting to get involved with Food Not Bombs within the Las Vegas area is encouraged to come and talk to current members and explore ways that they can become a part of this organization and/or suggest new ways that we can be a part of the local community. And, of course, if you are hungry and need some food, you are more than welcome to come down and share in what we have available.

Food Not Bombs Las Vegas is a local autonomous branch of an international movement FoodNotBombs.net that for decades has supported sharing, respect, peace, cooperation, dignity, a nurturing of the environment and most of all optimism at a time when many are in despair. We also encourage a “Do It Yourself” feeling of empowerment and a rejection of the need to solve problems through violence including the violence of war, violence of poverty and violence against animals and the earth, as well as humans.

We strive to show that it is not necessary to waste so much of the food that we work so hard to grow by organizing a voluntary system of food recovery and redistribution. No one should need to go hungry when we have so much abundance. Food Not Bombs is not a charity. This energetic all volunteer grassroots movement is active throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.

For over 30 years the movement has worked to end hunger and has supported actions to stop the globalization of the economy, restrictions to the movements of people, end exploitation and the destruction of the earth and its beings. It is a matter of ending the domination of corporate power and providing access to, and encouraging participation in, the making of decisions that affect our life and future.


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Go Play Outside!

Lentil:

My experiences in the youth programming field can relate to this post. A number of the youth I work with prefer to play inside near the outlets. One boy told me that the reason we don’t play video game outside is because “there are no outlets.”

Fortunately we have found this trend can be reversed through positive engagement. Phones, tablets, and computers are not and should not be used as pacifiers. Parents and other adults need to set better examples – I sure need to work on this!

Originally posted on Mickey Z. says:

New Ark Adventure Playground

Half of the students in the US of A who live within one mile of their school opt for an internal combustion engine as their method of transportation rather than putting one foot in front of another. This frightening factoid is indicative of a disturbing, unhealthy trend for American children.

“Pediatricians nowadays see fewer kids with broken bones from climbing trees and more children with longer-lasting repetitive-stress injuries, which are related to playing video games and typing at keyboards,” writes Sally Deneen at The Daily Green.

Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, calls this “nature deficit disorder.” As a fourth-grader quoted in Louv’s book explains: “I like to play indoors better, because that’s where all the electrical outlets are.”

keep-kids

Nature deficit disorder is obviously not a medical term; it’s more of a social trend. The term describes “the human costs of alienation from nature, among them…

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Not One More. Not Even One.

In the wake of Obama’s big announcement on expanding deferred-action status, I am glad to see something, anything happening at last on immigration. And I am immensely happy for the families that have been able to sleep a little easier the last couple nights. But after millions deported, this so little too late, and it is not nearly enough.

No one should face deportation. Not the families and not the singles. Not the straight immigrants and not the queer immigrants. Not the hard workers and not the no-account. Not the good immigrants, not the bad immigrants.

It doesn’t matter when you got here and it doesn’t matter whether your parents brought you here or whether you came, on your own, for reasons of your own. It doesn’t matter whether you are pure as the driven snow and it doesn’t matter if you couldn’t pass a criminal background check. It doesn’t matter whether you are a gang member. That is absurd. Nobody should be threatened with being shot at the border, thrown out of their home, turned out of their job, cut off from their life, just because of where they were born.

That is ridiculous: of course people should be left alone, free, to live their own lives, without needing a permission slip from the United States government. No one should be threatened with deportation. Not just 400,000 a year (!), not even one more. No human being is illegal. Not one.

Here is a good analysis of who might be helped by expanding deferred-action, and who the president is still throwing under the bus, in the name of respectability politics:

Shared Article from Autostraddle

Obama Rolls Out Plan For Executive Action On Immigration; The St…

Is the President's plan enough? As long as there are people whose lives and families are in the US remain vulnerable to deportation, is not enough, bu…

Maddie @ autostraddle.com


Advocates for immigrant rights and immigration freedom must keep pushing. We can’t stop; we can’t even slow down. This is an important mile-marker but it is not even a victory so much as a very temporary, and very partial reprieve. The goal is a world without borders, without barriers, without checkpoints or papers, without detention or deportation or citizen-privilege. A world where everyone who moves is an undocumented immigrant, because happily there are no border guards left to demand anyone’s documents, and no immigration enforcers left to police people’s residency or citizenship status.

End international apartheid, now and forever.

Also.

buryin mary

dc is my home town, as you may know, and i grew up there during the emergence of the formerly alive marion barry. i recall him even as a young pseudo-blackpower leader. i wish i could say something other than that marion barry was a charlatan, a buffoon, and an embarrassment. i really do think that for a good 70% of the men who rose to political power during the golden era of patriarchy, poontang and blow were the basic motivations for public service, so he was not alone. and i can forgive someone for being an addict; i do it all the time.

but what i won't forgive marion barry for is coming out of rehab, using the rhetoric of recovery as a way into the terrible problems of dc in, say, the early 90s, and just continuing with the crank and trim all the while. once it became clear that this was the situation, it also became clear that this was about the grossest imaginable reflection on barry the person and on my native city: in my world, that recovery thing is sacred, and dc as a whole was in a terrible addiction spiral from the early-70s heroin epidemic to being one of the world centers of crack and hence murder in the barry administration and beyond. for so many people, that recovery thing was obviously life and death on any given day. and yet barry just fed it into his hypocrisy machine and rode it back to some semblance of political power. he really was a metaphor for dc like that, in every dimension from congressional and cabinet to back-alley ghetto: the seething corruption within, baby.

 

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Guerra “Civilizzata” Significa Guerra Permanente

È capitato ultimamente che persone all’interno delle forze armate hanno parlato di una carenza di droni che avrebbe rallentato la guerra contro Isis. Questo dopo che il presidente Obama aveva detto che le restrizioni imposte alla guerra condotta con i droni per minimizzare le vittime civili non sarebbero state applicate in Siria e Iraq. Secondo gli analisti, se la carenza di droni costringerà gli Stati Uniti a mandare truppe in Siria e Iraq è facile immaginare che i morti faranno schizzare il reclutamento di Isis alle stelle.

La necessità di espandere la guerra con i droni potrebbe dar luogo a quelle innovazioni che gli specialisti invocano. Secondo loro, l’obiettivo sarebbe la riduzione delle vittime civili. Questo attenuerebbe la voglia di vendetta e rappresaglia.

L’obiettivo è nobile. La parola “nobile”, infatti, non potrebbe descrivere meglio la situazione. Nel 1139, papa Innocenzo II emise una bolla che vietava l’uso della balestra al fine di proteggere la nobiltà europea. A quei tempi, la funzione principale della nobiltà europea era di mettere una forza militare costosa e ben addestrata al servizio dei monarchi. La balestra era un’arma economica, facile da usare e molto potente. Con una settimana di addestramento, un semplice contadino poteva uccidere un cavaliere protetto da una pesante armatura. L’idea che un esercito di contadini potesse decimare forze ben più addestrate fu giudicata anti-cavalleresca. Il bando della balestra fu dunque, nel vero senso della parola, “nobile”.

Similmente, quando si trova davanti forze che adottano strategie e tattiche nuove e diverse dal solito, il potere è pronto a bollare il nemico come incivile. I gruppi di militanti, contadini nel vero senso della parola, non rispettano le teorie della guerra legittima, ritualizzata della Nato. La guerra con i droni è considerata una risposta civile che dà legittimità all’intervento americano banalizzando la natura orribile della guerra stessa. Il fatto, però, è che si continua a terrorizzare le popolazioni locali con attacchi indiscriminati. E il rimedio proposto non è la cessazione della guerra, cosa giudicata impensabile e sconveniente, ma il miglioramento della sua esecuzione.

Sono state fatte tante proposte per limitare le vittime innocenti. Christine Boshuijzen, filosofo che studia la tecnologia, cita le scarse conoscenze tecniche degli ufficiali come causa dei morti civili. Dieuwertje Kuijpers, studente di dottorato, chiede una maggiore responsabilità democratica per la Cia. Gustzi Eiben, che insegna intelligenza artificiale, vorrebbe migliorare i software di riconoscimento facciale e tracciatura dei droni. Arnoud Visser, informatico, pensa che il rimedio sarebbe l’automazione totale di tutto il processo di uccisione, ottenibile programmando i droni con algoritmi in grado di ridurre il margine di errore a livelli accettabili. Molto probabilmente, questi cambiamenti porterebbero ad una riduzione delle morti innocenti. La guerra con i droni sarebbe molto più efficiente. Ma è l’efficienza il vero obiettivo?

Pensate a quanto potrebbe crescere l’arroganza dei militari se avessero il drone perfetto. Con la possibilità di regolare minutamente le relazioni di potere regionali con attacchi di precisione, chiunque anche vagamente sospettato di intenzioni terroristiche potrebbe essere assassinato immediatamente con il tocco sterilizzante e civilizzante di un bottone. Uno sguardo vendicativo in direzione della bandiera a stelle e strisce e la possibile recluta terroristica verrebbe subito individuata e trattata come si deve. Gli algoritmi potrebbero anche decidere quali giovani sono maturi per il reclutamento tra i terroristi e ordinare la decimazione immediata di questi dati numerici.

In questa guerra dei droni, se si vuole andare nella direzione giusta, il prossimo passo è l’abolizione immediata. L’aristocrazia, le élite, combattono queste guerre a distanza contro piccoli gruppi di individui che collaborano tra loro formando reti che cambiano continuamente alleanze. Il campo d’azione di questi individui è la vendetta spicciola, la diatriba tribale, l’estremismo religioso e l’instabilità politica. La soluzione è ovviamente la fine dell’interventismo militare e l’abolizione dello stato bellico.

Traduzione di Enrico Sanna.

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New Nukes For The Clyde.


The Herald today:
    A £37 million deal has been struck by Westminster with the US government for a dozen huge new Trident missile launchers more than a year before the UK parliament decides if the nuclear weapons system should be renewed.
The MoD denies the order for 12 new missile tubes pre-empts any decision on Trident by the UK parliamentPhotograph:  Tony Buchanan

They call it democracy, what would you call it?
Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

#NaBloPoMo 2014: Day 23: Creativity Blocks – part 2

Everyone seems to have their own unique approach to getting through a creativity block. Yesterday and today, I have been sharing some of the ways that I have dealt with my own creativity blocks over the years.