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Posts by Mike Gogulski

Kill Americans (per Ken MacLeod)

The songs that had given voice to many people’s hatred of the war machines and the posthumans had been adapted from songs that had given voice, before the war, to a more sinister hatred. It was not that he and Calder had shared it themselves, not exactly, not in their better moments, not when they were sober and in the daylight. They had adapted to it. They had literally played along to it if it had gone down well with the audience. All those pubs and halls: the English electric folk scene, the Scottish radical left, rabid in their patriotic passion and pro-war zeal. You could pick up an old Phil Ochs number or Billy Bragg cover version and twist it into something that made people want to go out and kill Americans.

– Ken MacLeod, Newton’s Wake

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The Turin Test

Sister Agnes, a Catholic nun reincarnated in a prosthetic body, is arguing with Lobsang, an AI who claims to also be a Tibetan motorcycle repairman:

“Look,” Agnes said, “you’re going about it all wrong. You’re not a human. You can’t be a human. You’re a very intelligent machine. You’re more than human. Can’t you live with that? Being human isn’t about the brain, it’s all tied up with messy things like — well, organs and juices and instincts.”

“You are describing your body, not yourself. In fact your former body.”

“Yes, but –”

“Externally you were an animal, but that was not your self. Externally I am a machine, but you should not judge by appearances.”

“OK, but –”

“We could try the Turin test,” said Lobsang.

“Oh, machines have been able to pass the Turing test for years.”

“No, the Turin test. We both pray for an hour, and see if God can tell the difference.”

And she had to laugh.

– Stephen Baxter & Terry Pratchett, The Long War

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Human Beings do not Need Citizenship, They Need Equality

This brief essay is part of my application to present a paper at the First Global Forum on Statelessness at Tilburg University, the Netherlands, 15 – 17 September 2014.

Human Beings do not Need Citizenship, They Need Equality

Human beings do not need permission to be born, to live, to work, to love and to otherwise fully participate in and benefit from society. Statelessness is not a problem of a lack of citizenship. Rather, it is a problem of the bad behavior of certain human beings towards others who lack citizenship.

The fact that people can be displaced from their homes and permanently barred from returning, for example – on pain of imprisonment for illegally crossing a border and even death for attempting to resist and evade such injustice – due to a war between states or the collapse of some treaty signed by people long dead is not “a problem that the international community should address,” but rather a problem with the existence of nations themselves and with the crimes carried out in their names.

From Friedrich Nietzsche to Garry Davis to Jeff Knaebel to me, there have been a small number of people who have quit their citizenships intentionally and lived stateless for the remainder of their lives. Certainly, this is a risky proposition in the modern world, where the varnish of a bogus consensus reality allows and even encourages some people to actively discriminate against, exclude and even imprison stateless persons for merely existing, and statelessness is not a status chosen or even desired by the vast majority without citizenship.

Citizenship, or the lack of it – along with gender, immigration status, sexual orientation, religion and race – is used as the basis and justification for social exclusion and discrimination both active and passive. We should allow nobody – whether cloaked in the presumptuous officialdom of state authority or not – to behave in such fashion toward other people without consequence.

Let us strive not to be citizens, but true equals everywhere on this, the only planet we have.


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Family of Ross Ulbricht, alleged operator of Silk Road, launches legal defense fund

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Defense Fund Launched for Ross Ulbricht, Accused Silk Road Marketplace Operator

New York, NY, November 20, 2013 – The family of the man accused by the US government of operating the Silk Road online marketplace has launched a fund for donations to their son’s legal defense.

Ross Ulbricht, 29, was arrested on October 1st and charged with creating and operating the web marketplace Silk Road, under the pseudonym “Dread Pirate Roberts”. The allegations include a variety of conspiracies, including narcotics trafficking, computer hacking and money laundering, as well as planned acts of violence. Ulbricht denied all charges in federal court in San Francisco in October. He will appear at a bail hearing at the United States District Court, Southern District of New York at 11:00 am EST on Thursday, November 21.

On their website, the Ulbricht family states: “Our goal is to provide Ross with what every American citizen is promised: a fair trial. In the USA we are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. We firmly believe in Ross’s innocence and are working hard with the best legal team to prove it.”

The family has retained New York-based attorney Joshua L. Dratel to defend their son in court. Mr. Dratel stated: “It is crucial that we have a level playing field for defending Ross, and that requires resources from the communities that support him.”

The Ross Ulbricht Legal Defense Fund LLC is a Wyoming-based corporation established by the Ulbricht family. All donations are used solely to pay attorney fees, fund accounting fees and ancillary legal expenses.

###

SOURCE: Ross Ulbricht Legal Defense Fund LLC, www.freeross.org

CONTACTS:

Joshua L. Dratel
Joshua L. Dratel, P.C.
29 Broadway, Suite 1412
New York, New York 10006
United States of America
jdratel@joshuadratel.com
Office: +1 212 732 0707
Fax: +1 212 571 3792
www.nycriminallawfirm.com

Ross Ulbricht Legal Defense Fund LLC
www.freeross.org
freerossulbricht@gmail.com


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Categories: activism

Leonard Cohen – First We Take Manhattan

Leonard Cohen – First We Take Manhattan – YouTube.

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Buckethead – Jordan (Live)

Enjoy the badassery that is Buckethead!

Buckethead – Jordan (Live) – YouTube.

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The Ross Ulbricht Defense Fund

Folks,

I have launched the kernel of what I hope becomes a fully-fledged legal defense funding, public relations and support effort for Ross Ulbricht, alleged operator of the Silk Road anonymous online Bitcoin-only (primarily) drugs marketplace, also known (allegedly) as Dread Pirate Roberts.

The website for this effort is at https://www.rossulbricht.org/ . Please add your voice, donate some Bitcoins, popularize it, whatever.

Long road ahead. More to come.

 

Peace,
Mike


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Vote Joerg Platzer for the Bitcoin Foundation board

If the world needs Bitcoin, then the Bitcoin Foundation needs Joerg Platzer.

Vote for Joerg! Vote early! Vote often!

Here are some handy propaganda materials you can use to promote Joerg’s candidacy:

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R.I.P. Garry Davis (1921-2013)

One of my inspirations and personal heroes, Garry Davis, died Wednesday, a few days shy of his 92nd birthday.

The world has lost a true visionary.

800px-World_Citizen_Flag.svg

World Service Authority flag

Davis renounced his US citizenship in 1948, proclaiming himself a citizen of the world. He went on to advocate for global, rather than national, governance, and founded organizations to that end. Since 1954, the World Passport that Davis devised and issued has facilitated crossings of some 180 national borders, and has has saved tens of thousands of lives. as bearers and their families used it to flee conflict zones and genocides.

Garry’s legacy lives on, both in the ideals he articulated and in the lives and descendants of the people his “fake” passports saved.


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Ethics in govern{ment, ance}? Not my ethics, not these governments.

From a discussion on a private mailing list today:

>> The focus here is being able to enforce ethics at every level of governance.

An excellent goal! But every system of government we can see around us today is, in my mind, incapable of achieving this goal, as they all depend on entirely unethical principles. In the West, these emerge from (or perhaps pre-exist and are given fig-leaf cover by) risible “social contract” theories which lead to such outrages as sovereign states (which incidentally, co-exist with other sovereign states in a condition of pure anarchy) claiming infants as property (“citizens”) the moment they are born on their territories or to their existing chattels and to such soul-crushing and perspective-limiting beliefs as “taxes are the price we pay for civilization,” “consent of the governed” and “my country, right or wrong.”

Tax resister kitten help at gunpoint

Taxation is theft

Every system of (let’s say nation-state) governance today rests on the power to tax, which in turn rests on an unlimited, unaccountable privilege of certain state actors, no matter how they become so invested, to murder; and on the power invested in those same actors to either compel performance (transitory slavery?) or compel non-performance of certain behaviors, again backed with the ultimate power to kill those who fail to comply. (Some of my reasoning on this: http://www.nostate.com/116/the-penalty-is-always-death/)

It’s strange to me that many find such privileges and unaccountable powers to be ethical. I don’t. I find it very alarming that a great many deny that those privileges and powers exist.


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