Andy Didorosi, the founder and CEO of the Detroit Bus Company, is an amazing and heroic entrepreneur. Almost a year ago, I blogged about Didorosi's Detroit Bus Company, a private bus service that is introducing Detroiters to anarcho-transportation and changing the way they think about transit systems.
Also in the data-collection stage is Didorosi’s Take Back the Commute plan. This would be a route that carries suburban riders to their jobs in downtown Detroit. (Let me take a minute to acknowledge that this might sound headscratchingly simple to a resident of a city with functional public transit. Detroit is not that city. There’s one bus system inside the city limits called DDOT and a separate bus system for the surrounding suburbs called SMART. Incredibly, the two systems don’t coordinate with one another, which makes taking the bus in or out of Detroit a major pain in the ass.)
Didorosi is currently working to explore profitable routes from the 'burbs to downtown Detroit to serve those areas with his on-demand service so that he can fill the niche for the anarcho-youth and other downtown workers who are the new wave of Detroit boosters and hipsters.
One other market that Didorosi is currently exploring is occupied by the political machine monopolists who own the route to and from our Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in Romulus (Wayne County). The ground transportation at this airport is controlled by one company that is in favor with the politicos in power - Metro Cars. I despise everything about this monopolistic monster called Metro Cars. Everyone here hates Metro Cars, including its service and the pricing scheme.
Asked about the state of Libya after the US-led intervention to liberate the country and bring prosperity and human rights, Professor Yehoudit Ronen, a Libya expert at Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv, had this to say:
"The post-Gaddafi Libya is a chaotic and violent state without political stabilization, without internal security for its people, without security on its borders."
Asked who runs Libya these days, after the West's favorite tyrant Gaddafi has been sodomized and murdered by NATO allies, he replied:
"I would say that the armed militia. They have the last word, and the ruling institutions are helpless."
But surely the NATO intervention has brought about the great economic advantages promised to the liberated people?
Professor Ronen: Libya "desperately needs foreign capital...to recover and rehabilitate its ruined systems."
Heckuva job there, Obama! Keep listening to the boy genius Ben Rhodes! On to Syria!
Just over two years ago the president glowingly praised the US-assisted Arab Spring, claiming a triumph of US-style values. He reaffirmed American exceptionalism and his "firm belief that America’s interests are not hostile to people’s hopes; they’re essential to them."
But things haven't turned out so well. In Luxxor, home of the most important ancient Egyptian treasures, for example, US-allied president Mohamad Morsi has just appointed as new governor a member of the Gamaa Islamiya terrorist group, which which was responsible for the 1997 massacre of 58 tourists.
It seems pretty funny to appoint as governor to one of the world's most important tourist destinations a person associated with one of the most gruesome attacks on tourists in history.
Perhaps they are planning to start pushing a whole new kind of "adventure tourism" there.
The 5th Amendment says "No person...shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself..." This can be taught to 9th graders or earlier. So now you explain that this means you have a right to remain silent. OK, so far. But now you have to explain the Supreme Court's decision. Despite the unhedged language of the 5th, the Court says it's not true! In the words of their decision:
“The Fifth Amendment guarantees that no one may be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself; it does not establish an unqualified right to remain silent.”
I think every part of this is unconstitutional, stupid and crazy, but that's the nature of voting, politics and lobbying in this U.S. government. Everyone who voted "Yes" on this should be voted out of office. The House of Representatives passed an amendment (315 to 108) to the National Defense Authorization Act that says
"It is the policy of the United States to take all necessary steps to ensure that Israel possesses and maintains an independent capability to remove existential threats to its security and defend its vital national interests."
The president's family descended on Northern Ireland to enjoy a lavish holiday in a five-star hotel, where just their room (one of 30 they have commandeered) goes for a cool $3,300 dollars per night. The first family's two-day vacation to Northern Ireland is estimated to cost our families some $5.2 million. Not many working American families can afford a vacation at all, but they have no choice but chip in for the Obama family's fun and games.
When the masters of the universe decide to grace some far flung satrapy with a visit, the entire area is on lockdown, destroying local lives and the local economy for the duration -- and the "fortunate" locals dare not protest the inconvenience! There are places for those who question.
The first class holiday for the first family is said to be the "biggest security operation ever mounted in Northern Ireland" -- and in a region that not long ago was mired in brutal warfare and terrorism that is saying quite a bit!
Like Lew, I of course have noticed that the neocons are freaking out and becoming unglued (as usual) with a focus on trying to endlessly repeat the myths and superstitions about Lincoln while libeling those of us who have exposed them and their lies. The reason for this is: 1) The neocons are in power, but they sense the that public, especially the younger generation, is catching on to their speaking lies to acquire power routine; 2) they understand that all state power ultimately lies in the majority of the public believing in a series of myths and superstitions about the benevolence and "exceptionalism" of the state, and the dangers and failures of private enterprise and the civil society; and 3) they also understand that, for many generations, the power of the American state has been based NOT on the U.S. Constitution but on Lincoln mythology. If the majority of the public comes to understand how massively miseducated they have been about their own history, the legitimacy of the state -- and of parasites like the neocons who profit from it - just may evaporate. The public will finally come to understand that it is all just another criminal enterprise, albeit a very large one.
The neocons are always freaking out, but lately, it's over widespread Lincoln blasphemy. The ex-railroad lobbyist is the founder of the current regime, so to question his deeds is to be a traitor. And, as the neocons whine, it is Tom DiLorenzo who has changed the climate of opinion. No longer do young people offer a pinch of incense to the deified president, in his marble temple in DC, complete with fasces on his throne. The neocons even use language reminiscent of East Germany. But then, the neocons' roots are in Trotskyite communism.
Lew, thanks very much for constantly picking up articles about preserving our privacy. I love the point today’s makes, that it’s up to us to protect our privacy – and thank God we still can; sooner or later, the busybodies will criminalize even the most minimal attempt to shield ourselves from them, a la the cops with radar detectors. And pursuant to yesterday’s piece, I opened an account with Hushmail. I’m very pleased with it so far and urge everyone to investigate securing his email.
Let me also suggest that we use the opportunity of switching accounts to spread liberty. We can email friends, even those who mock our anarchism, with our new addresses and this explanation: “The government has no business reading what you and I write to each other, so I’m using Hushmail [or equivalent] for email from now on.” We can even add a signature block, with a legend to the effect of, “I switched from [my old account] to Hushmail [or equivalent] because I don’t want the government prying into my personal correspondence – or yours.”
Finally, folks, if I have to hear or read one more time that obscene, anti-American, and utterly evil surveillance doesn’t matter because only the bad guys have something to hide, I will go stark raving bonkers. Please, please, please explain to all the statists you know that yes, even such sterling citizens as they have matters to conceal. Otherwise, they wouldn’t wear clothes nor hang curtains at their windows.
Yo, Sheeple: privacy counts. Big time. Why else would the State crave so much for itself while trying to strip every shred of it from us?
Like a skunk that has grown inured to its own smell, Barack Obama is oblivious to the dense musk of tyrannical arrogance that he customarily emits. As someone who is statist to down to his chromosomes, Mr. Obama considers government's power to be illimitable, and individual freedom to be a revocable gift conferred by those who presume to rule the rest of us. This was made abundantly – and redundantly – clear in a recent interview Obama gave to the repellently sycophantic PBS host Charlie Rose regarding the totalitarian NSA surveillance program.
Speaking about what he called “tradeoffs” between freedom and security, Obama said: “I don’t think anybody says we’re no longer free because we have checkpoints at airports.”
Actually, tens of millions of people recognize that airport checkpoints offer tangible proof that this is no longer a free society. A country burdened with a government that subjects innocent travelers to vulgar humiliation, virtual strip-searches, and low-grade sexual battery as a matter of policy is not free in any sense authentic Americans would recognize.
There are dozens of imaginable variations on the official lie Obama decanted on the Charlie Rose program:
"I don't think anybody says we're no longer free because I can order the murder of a 16-year-old American citizen by a drone strike."
"I don't think anybody says we're no longer free because I'm sending scores or hundreds of law-abiding medical marijuana providers and users to prison."
I expect very, very few readers have seen the Polish movie "The Dark House" (Dom Zly) co-written and directed by Wojciech Smarzowski. My immediate reaction was "These people are crazy!" when I saw the comic/tragic depiction of how people were carrying on in Poland 1978-1982 under Communist rule. The movie shows how police are investigating a crime and how corruption and continual vodka drinking by everyone runs rampant. In one hilarious scene, the police line up at a crime scene in a farm house while a woman dishes out shots of vodka for them. In another very funny sequence, a farmer and his guest are into their third bottle of vodka while concocting a moonshine scheme and making the business calculations of the rapid return of their investment capital by selling to Russian soldiers at a nearby base. The farmer is using peas in his still and they decide to pay off a corrupt collective farm to get sugar.
When the government makes crazy rules, people seem to act crazy to get around the rules, and sometimes the rules are so bad that cynicism prevails and they do act crazy. I could not help but reflect how far this process has penetrated the behavior of Americans. The proverbial man from Mars would be seeing babies, children and grandmothers being searched at airports, underware and shampoo bottles being regarded as possible instruments of mass destruction, and people being persecuted for revealing what citizens have to know in order to have any influence on their government. They would observe insane people called neocons (like McCain and Graham) calling for American invasions in places where few Americans even go, supposedly on behalf of the safety of Americans supposedly threatened by people whose minds are preoccupied with their daily lives.
I hope those of you who own a television are not so masochistic that you actually watched the Liar in Chief, who sponges off our taxes, lie yet again last night on PBS, the network that sponges off our taxes. Wow, a double whammy: we pay for Obummer as he lies to us as well as for the means by which his lies befoul our homes. At any rate, the Liar not only defended the NSA’s spying on us to Charlie Rose (ahem: shouldn’t this propagandist who’s buried his snout in the public trough for ages now waddle off to hog heaven sooner or later?), he also called the espionage “transparent." Right, Liar. That would be why the whole world knew about it; poor Snowden could have saved himself the trip to Hong Kong since his news surprised no one.
But those measly little fibs didn’t content Liar, so he also claimed that the NSA had not illegally eavesdropped on us. “What I can say unequivocally is that if you are a U.S. person, the NSA cannot listen to your telephone calls, and the NSA cannot target your emails … and have not.”
Dr. Block on Triple V. Here I discuss with Michael Shanklin on Triple V why I disagree with Molyneux's approach on raising children, what I think about Adam Kokesh and his open carry march, what I think about Rand Paul, Gary Johnson and Ron Paul. I compare Adam Kokesh to others whom I consider to be other contemporary heroic Libertarians. I rate this triad of Rand Paul, Ron Paul and Gary Johnson based on their Libertarianism and I explain why Rand is considerably weaker than Ron on his stances.
In a just world or a world in which a single member of Congress had any guts, Obama would be impeached and removed over his illegal war against Syria. With no declaration of war or connection to 9/11, this is an illegal and thus criminal war. Also, the expenditure of funds on the war are also illegal and criminal. Starting a war invites retaliation as George Washington taught us. Any Americans killed in retaliation for the illegal war are Obama's responsibility.
I am no expert on foreign policy but I take for granted what the critics have said. This is a war on behalf of unknowns for obscure or unknown purposes whose end game is unknown and unknowable.
Okay, so Obama's criminal burglary of all our phone records was at least rationalized by an illegal secret "court" order by Judge Vinson (who also be should be impeached or forced by public pressure to resign). However, there is no fig leaf of mendacious legality to cover up Obama's Syrian war crime.
Everyone is wondering (at least I am) who is Ben Rhodes, a 30-something who ascended from literally nowhere to be what seems a main driving force behind Obama's foreign policy. He is credited with convincing the president to embrace the Arab Spring, convincing the president to bomb Libya, and, now, convincing the president to start yet another war, this time against Syria.
Who is he? How did a 24-year old aspiring fiction-writer in 2002 suddenly become one of the drafters of not only the 9/11 Commission report but also the Iraq Study Group Report? Then move on to Obama's presidential campaign as a speechwriter and then to Deputy National Security Advisor, from which he announced the beginning of a US war on Syria while the president met with supporters in the East Room of the White House? Those familiar with Washington know that such miraculous ascents rarely happen on their own and are equally rarely the result of pure, raw talent.
There might be some clues to his brother David's also improbable rise -- from a lowly production assistant at Fox News at the end of the 1990s to covering presidential elections for Fox News (including the one where his brother was writing Obama's speeches) to the lofty position of president of CBS news by 2011!
The excellent Russ Baker was wondering about all this way back in March, when he noticed a typical New York Times gloss-over article on Rhodes.
I often hear or read conservatives (and some "libertarians") saying that they want to bring the Republican Party back to its roots. Why would anyone want to do that? As Tom DiLorenzo shows today in his excellent article, the roots of the Republican Party are evil roots. The GOP should be destroyed root and branch.
Philip Giraldi is a former counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who served as a foreign policy adviser to Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign. He has some very perceptive things to say about Syria, Russia, and John McCain.
Listen to (and read) this insightful interview with Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg on the coup against the Constitution, the National Security State, Edward Snowden, and the American Empire. He sure sounds a lot like Ron Paul in the manner he addresses these issues.
I am told that a climate of fear already is taking hold among government employees with security clearances. To quote an e-mail:
"That 'climate of fear, caution, distrust, suspicion and persecution' already exists. I have a lot of friends and acquaintances who are what I call ‘clearance concubines’ - in other words, they depend upon their gov’t clearances to ‘earn’ their bread. To a man they are fearful to state or post publicly any criticisms of the recent revelations concerning the Leviathan to whom they are beholden, and it’s pretty funny to watch. On forums and social media, where they have in the past posted numerous political or issue-related comments, they are now strangely silent. Most are professing Christians and ‘conservative’ pro-gun & anti-socialism, even anti-state, but to come down on the side that their natural political bent would place them would jeopardize those clearances, knowing that their colleagues at the NSA will see and record anything they might say. So they cower in their corners."
Nevertheless, there are going to be more revelations, like this one titled "Thousands Of Firms Trade Confidential Data With The US Government In Exchange For Classified Intelligence."
The recovered diary of National Socialist official Alfred Rosenberg may prove invaluable in helping scholars solve various mysteries surrounding the Third Reich and the conduct of the Germans in World War II. Rosenberg was a Thule Society occultist and early member of Thule's offspring, the German Workers Party (known later as the National Socialist German Workers Party). He was introduced to Adolf Hitler by fellow occultist Dietrich Eckart. Rosenberg rose in ranks to become the Party’s chief ideologist as author of Der Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts (The Myth of the Twentieth Century), the second most important book next to Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Alfred Rosenberg was also known for his fierce opposition to "degenerate" modern art. Following the 1941 invasion of the USSR, Rosenberg was appointed head of the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories (Reichsministerium für die besetzten Ostgebiete) and was instrumental in the Holocaust. He was tried at Nuremberg for war crimes and hanged in 1946.
"Education . . . is no longer the answer to rising inequality," declares Democratic Party hack/propagandist Paul Krugman. THE ANSWER, he says, is even heavier taxation of work, savings, investment, production, and entrepreneurship, and more lavish subsidies for welfare parasites. Taxing the productive to subsidize the unproductive, in other words.
This of course is the identical theme of every single column that Krugman has ever written. It is a perfect example of a syllogism that Milton Friedman often remarked upon. The syllogism is this: 1) Socialism has been a disaster wherever it has been implemented; 2) the entire world knows this; 3) therefore, we need more socialism.
In his latest broken-record column Krugman does have a point, but he is in a fog over the reason for the point. Yes, Paul, the teachers' unions who are the backbone of your beloved Democratic party have indeed destroyed "public" education which is, by the way, the prototypical socialist enterprise of the type you have been advocating all your adult life. The socialistic government schooling monopoly has destroyed the lives of millions of children, especially black children who are trapped in violent and useless "inner city" government schools. The "answer," Paul, is not throwing more money down that rat hole, or your asinine scheme to punish the productive and subsidize the unproductive. The first step is for parents to secede from the government brainwashing academies and send their children to private schools or better yet, home schooling. But of course you would never embrace that since it might mean less political power for the hardcore left in American politics, personified by the greedy and thuggish teachers' unions.
"Governments, like married couples, are entitled to their secrets" has written Richard Cohen a few years back. Which secrets? Lines have to be drawn. A government shouldn't cover up crimes under the mantle of secrecy. It shouldn't conceal wrongful seizures and exercises of power. This government and the preceding one under Bush have concealed the fact that they were collecting information wrongfully, namely, information on private communications. The term "national security" cannot reasonably be invoked as an excuse for doing this because it's too vague, and almost anything can be construed as affecting "national security". The quest for catching terrorists cannot be offered as a reason because there are bounds on searches and invasions of privacy that have long standing and that specifically apply to government and policing activities. These governments have gone way beyond these bounds and then compounded their trespasses by attempting to keep them secret.
The government has kept secret or tried to keep secret its collecting and storing information on everyone's secret and private communications. Thanks to Edward Snowden and his predecessors, this wrongful secret has been revealed publicly. There is no crime in revealing the wrongdoing of the government by revealing a secret program of massive invasions of privacy.
So, John McCain wants a no-fly zone over Syria. Okay, give him a plane. He flew a plane over Vietnam, didn't he? It might take him a little time to learn how to fly the new jets, but he should be able to pick it up quickly. Let McCain get shot down over Syria like he did in Vietnam. Nothing that happens in Syria is worth one drop of blood from one American.
This comment about Ed Snowden may seem harmless, except in the context of knowing that this is how most catatonic Americans think about the Snowden affair. Try not to wince at the woeful cliches rolled out by the amateur wordsmith.
He is a coward, wisp, punk, traitor, gut spiller, unpatriotic, fool, stupid, backstabber, yellow belly, S.O.B., P.O.S. Snowden deserves the highest penalty allowed. Manning and Snowden have given our nation a bad name. One never bites the hand that feeds you.
I am hearing the same sentiment from the men in the street. In fact, your average Joe Boob worships the US military machine, applauds the domestic-militarized police state, begs to give up his freedom for guaranteed "security," and expresses admiration for the surveillance scheme that is sold as a protection from foreign boogeymen.
According to a Time Magazine poll, Joe Boob suffers from a case of cognitive dissonance in terms of Snowden's fate. Now if you can stand it, watch the Old Crow Pelosi recite stale government law - while stumblin', bumblin', and looking down at her notes - and put us all into snooze mode with her parroted jabber.
Someone like Rand Paul accused by the Washington Post of being paranoid about the surveillance state, or someone like John McCain who fears that unless the U.S. invades Syria, the national security is compromised?
Somehow the neocon intellectuals and media, who claim at every opportunity that American (= Israeli) interests are threatened by the goings-on in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Afghanistan, Turkey, Egypt, and Libya and require American interventions, see absolutely no threat to Americans from massively undermining the privacy of every American, placing unaccountable power in the hands of a few, keeping Congress in the dark, breaking laws that are already invalid and unnecessary, and creating the machinery that any police state or totalitarian would love to get their hands on.
If ever tyranny overtakes this land of the sometimes free and home of the intermittently brave, it probably won’t, contrary to the fever dreams of gun rights extremists, involve jack-booted government thugs rappelling down from black helicopters. Rather, it will involve changes to words on paper many have forgotten or never knew, changes that chip away until they strip away, precious American freedoms.
...People think tyranny will be imposed at the point of a gun. Paranoids look up in search of black helicopters. Meanwhile, the architecture of totalitarianism is put into place all around them, surveillance apparatus so intrusive as to stagger the imagination of Orwell himself.
The progressivist Gawker is shocked, shocked. Intelligence officials lie (and kill and steal) for a living, yet many senators prefer to hit the road rather than attend a briefing that cannot be trusted. And frankly, who cares? It's just a vaudeville show.
Some people are resurrecting that antique phrase, "no-win war," as part of a critique. But if a war--like those on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and so many others--is a war of aggression, a crime against humanity as defined at Nuremberg, why in the world would we wish for victory? Let the victims win, as in Vietnam, though win may be an inappropriate word for a people who lost 6-7 million to foreign invaders, as military historian Martin Van Creveld estimates. I'm still waiting for that wall in Washington.
Remember how we were told that Arab Spring was a real "awakening" in places like Egypt, where the governments would no longer simply be lapdogs of the US and local enforcers of US foreign policy?
Remember how we weren't supposed to notice all the training and assistance given these new more independent voices by our own State Department and its variousproxies? And those of us who couldn't help noticing were called kooks?
Are we still not supposed to notice how these new "independent" governments who were no longer US lackeys have magically all lined up behind US foreign policy in the Middle East?
"Egypt's Islamist president says he is cutting off diplomatic relations with Syria and has ordered that Damascus Embassy in Cairo to be closed.
"Mohammed Morsi told thousands of supporters in a rally held on Saturday that his government is also withdrawing the Egyptian charge d'affaires from Damascus.
"Morsi also called on Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group to leave Syria, where the Iranian-backed Shiite group has been fighting alongside troops loyal to embattled President Bashar Assad against the mostly Sunni rebels."
And, on the very day President Obama's deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes (an early supporter of the Egyptian "Arab Spring") announces the administration's decision to flood Syria with new weapons for the Islamist insurgents, this?
"A senior official in Egypt’s presidency said Thursday that Egyptians are free to join the fight in Syria and will not be prosecuted upon return amid increasingly public calls by leading clerics for Sunni Muslims to back the rebels there with firepower."
Just when they need new bodies to shoot all those new guns!
It's funny how these things always seem to work out.
Maybe, though who can doubt she would approve a Republican war. But her remark, "Let Allah sort it out," is at the very least ignorant. "Allah" is Arabic for God. Christian Arabs pray to Allah, too. Unfortunately, she may also mean to echo the genocidal, "Kill them all, and let God sort them out."
Given that no one non-evil is ever appointed to the Black-Robed Gang, and that even a rare decent decision is motivated by one pressure group as versus another, I should have known better than to praise the gene decision, which I had not then read. Thanks to Richard Roland for correcting me:
The United States Supreme Court made a serious and harmful blunder in its decision in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc.
Their first holding was that a gene or portion of a gene extracted as a strand of DNA from a genome is not an invention, but something found in nature, and thus not patentable. So far, so good. Unfortunately, they erred in reaching their second holding, that a strand of cDNA, which is derived by a different process, and contains only a single gene, is patentable. This means that genes do, despite the headlines, remain patentable.
In its defense of its first holding, the Court appears to understand the key concept that the essence of a gene is information – a sequence of codes that can be decoded one at a time into a corresponding sequence of amino acids, which then folds into a functional protein that is not just information, but works by virtue of its physical shape and exposed chemical properties. The Court seemed to rely on that understanding in rejecting the argument made by Myriad (and accepted by at least one lower court judge) that because the particular physical molecular embodiment of an isolated gene differs from its embodiment in a chromosome, the isolated gene is something that does not exist in nature.