The Ghosts Of Robespierre

MAN'S ENDLESS MARCH TO REALIZATION

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More than 100 hate-crime murders linked to single website, report finds

(Source: lamaracuya)

166 notes

Teen convicted of disorderly conduct for using iPad to record bullies tormenting him

A Pennsylvania mother whose learning-disabled son was convicted of disorderly conduct for recording his bullies while they tormented him demanded the judge reverse decision and the school district apologize.

Shea Love wondered why the school district contacted the police to discuss a violation of wiretap statutes instead of confronting the students who were bullying her son, a sophomore at South Fayette High School with attention deficit and an anxiety disorder.

“The whole thing has been a horrible nightmare,” Love told the Tribune-Review. “This whole ordeal has made my son miserable.”

On the recording — which the 15-year-old made on his iPad — one student can be heard telling another to pull Love’s son’s pants down. The teacher can be heard intervening, telling the students that they need to stop talking if their discussion isn’t about math.

A few minutes later, a loud slam can be heard, followed by the teacher telling students to sit down. “What? I was just trying to scare him,” one of the boys can be heard saying.

The 15-year-old said he made the recording “because I always felt like it wasn’t me being heard.”

“I wanted some help,” he continued. “This wasn’t just a one-time thing. This always happens every day in that class.”

Upon learning of the recording, South Fayette High School principal Scott Milburn and assistant principal Aaron Skrbin contacted Lieutenant Robert Kurta, asking that he come to the school because he believed there had been “a wiretapping incident.”

School district officials forced the student to erase the recording and ordered him to attend Saturday detention. Kurta charged him with disorderly conduct, but didn’t believe that the incident warranted a felony wiretapping charge, though according to court records, he was adamant the student had “committed a crime.”

South Fayette District Judge Maureen McGraw-Desmet found the student guilty, fined him $25 and ordered him to pay court costs.

The Tribune-Review attempted to contact both principal Milburn and assistant principal Skrbin to inquire as to the fate of the bullies heard in the recording, but they have not returned any phone calls.

(Source: systematicgenocide, via anarcho-queer)

23 notes

Neoliberalism has many forms, but these forms share a number of characteristics. Not only is it the latest stage of predatory capitalism, but it is also part of a broader project of restoring class power and consolidating the rapid concentration of capital, particularly financial capital. More specifically, it is a political, economic and political project that constitutes an ideology, mode of governance, policy and form of public pedagogy. As an ideology, it construes profit making as the essence of democracy, consuming as the only operable form of citizenship, and upholds the irrational belief that the market cannot only solve all problems but serve as a model for structuring all social relations. It is steeped in the language of self-help, individual responsibility and is purposely blind to inequalities in power, wealth and income and how they bear down on the fate of individuals and groups. As such, it supports a theater of cruelty that is scornful of any notion of compassion and concern for others. As a mode of governance, it produces identities, subjects, and ways of life driven by a survival of the fittest ethic, grounded in the idea of the free, possessive individual, and committed to the right of ruling groups and institutions to accrue wealth removed from matters of ethics and social costs.
Henry A. Giroux (via azspot)

(via azspot)

266 notes

vicemag:

The FBI Is Trying to Recruit Muslims As Snitches by Putting Them on No-Fly Lists
Dr Rahinah Ibrahim is not a national security threat.
The federal government even said so.
It took a lawsuit that has stretched for eight years for the feds to yield that admission. It is one answer in a case that opened up many more questions: How did an innocent Malaysian architectural scholar remain on a terrorism no fly-list—effectively branded a terrorist—for years after a FBI paperwork screw up put her there? The answer to that question, to paraphrase a particularly hawkish former Secretary of Defense, may be unknowable.
Last week, there was a depressing development in the case. A judge’s decision was made public and it revealed that the White House has created at least one “secret exception” to the legal standard that federal authorities use to place people on such lists. This should trouble anyone who cares about niggling things like legal due process or the US Constitution. No one is clear what the exception is, because it’s secret—duh—meaning government is basically placing people on terror watchlists that can ruin their lives without explaining why or how they landed on those lists in the first place.
This flies in the face of what the government has told Congress and the American public. Previously, federal officials said that in order to land on one of these terror watchlists, someone has to meet a “reasonable suspicion standard.” That means there have to be clear facts supporting the government’s assertion that the individual in question is, you know, doing some terrorist shit. Which seems like a good idea.
But not any more, apparently.
Continue

vicemag:

The FBI Is Trying to Recruit Muslims As Snitches by Putting Them on No-Fly Lists

Dr Rahinah Ibrahim is not a national security threat.

The federal government even said so.

It took a lawsuit that has stretched for eight years for the feds to yield that admission. It is one answer in a case that opened up many more questions: How did an innocent Malaysian architectural scholar remain on a terrorism no fly-list—effectively branded a terrorist—for years after a FBI paperwork screw up put her there? The answer to that question, to paraphrase a particularly hawkish former Secretary of Defense, may be unknowable.

Last week, there was a depressing development in the case. A judge’s decision was made public and it revealed that the White House has created at least one “secret exception” to the legal standard that federal authorities use to place people on such lists. This should trouble anyone who cares about niggling things like legal due process or the US Constitution. No one is clear what the exception is, because it’s secret—duh—meaning government is basically placing people on terror watchlists that can ruin their lives without explaining why or how they landed on those lists in the first place.

This flies in the face of what the government has told Congress and the American public. Previously, federal officials said that in order to land on one of these terror watchlists, someone has to meet a “reasonable suspicion standard.” That means there have to be clear facts supporting the government’s assertion that the individual in question is, you know, doing some terrorist shit. Which seems like a good idea.

But not any more, apparently.

Continue

(via abcsoupdot)

15,790 notes

Well, I’ve changed the course of music five or six times. What have you done except fuck the president?
Miles Davis to Nancy Reagan at a White House dinner in 1987 after she’d enquired as to what he’d done with his life to merit an invitation. source (via theadrianflores)

(via banshee-hands)

28 notes

zero hope for our future:

jakke:

One of the questions I’m marking is about mortgage-backed securities, and about 20% of the class is blaming the collapse of the MBS market on greedy poor people scamming the system to buy lots of houses.

20 notes

tanacetum-vulgare:

shit-settlers-said:

Liberal Party spokesman, during the government of Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier (pictured), on his party’s retraction of the Conservative’s earlier Franchisement Bill, which gave limited citizenship rights to “Indian” males:
"It is a derogation to the dignity of the people and an insult to free white people in the country to place them on a level with pagan and barbarian Indians”
Source: Page 257 in Canada’s First Nations: A History of Founding Peoples from Earliest Times by Olive Dickason, 2009. 

This guy is on our money

tanacetum-vulgare:

shit-settlers-said:

Liberal Party spokesman, during the government of Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier (pictured), on his party’s retraction of the Conservative’s earlier Franchisement Bill, which gave limited citizenship rights to “Indian” males:

"It is a derogation to the dignity of the people and an insult to free white people in the country to place them on a level with pagan and barbarian Indians”

Source: Page 257 in Canada’s First Nations: A History of Founding Peoples from Earliest Times by Olive Dickason, 2009. 

This guy is on our money

(via misandryandmakeup)

Filed under canadian history laurier

5 notes

Katha Pollitt’s Quality Control | Jacobin

vagabondaesthetics:

Katha Pollitt’s “Why Do So Many Leftists Want Sex Work to Be the New Normal? is the latest in a spate of perturbed responses to Melissa Gira Grant’s new bookPlaying the Whore: The Work of Sex Work.

Pollitt is concerned that the Left’s embrace of the “‘sex work is work’ cliché” normalizes male privilege and entitlement. With her trademark blend of sass and opprobrium at those damn kids, Pollitt insists to those that liken sex work to waiting tables, “Maybe there’s a difference between a blowjob and a slice of pie … a difference that today’s young left feminists don’t want to think about.” She goes on:

When feminists argue that sex work should be normalized, they accept male privilege they would attack in any other area. They accept that sex is something women have and men get (do I hear ‘rape culture,’ anyone?), that men are entitled to sex without attracting a partner, even to the limited extent of a pickup in a bar, much less pleasing or satisfying her.

So, the difference between a blowjob and a slice of pie is that (paid) blowjobs are toxic to the social fabric while pie offers either a net gain or a neutral contribution to society as a whole. I’ll leave the question of whether pie and/or fellatio perpetuate cultures of entitlement to someone who thinks this is at all relevant to a serious discussion of any sort of work. My view is that workers don’t need to answer to the social impacts of the products their labor might produce.

Pollitt’s piece is, at the very least, a departure from the anti-sex work pap that uses sex work as an alibi for everything that makes the author uncomfortable about the violence of earning a living under capitalism. Anti-sex work writer Sheila Jeffreys’ lament that if porn performers refuse to do hardcore scenes “the money dries up and they are on the street once more” is far too easy to swallow (ahem).

By making sex work exceptional, analyses like Jeffreys’ ask us to forget that the wage system functions precisely by compelling us to work, a point Peter Frase has made in his post-work analysis of sexual labor. If only everyone who opposes forcing people to work under threat of poverty and homelessness would join the struggle for a guaranteed annual income.

But Pollitt’s argument isn’t that sex work is an exceptional site of economic coercion, so pointing out that exploitation and economic coercion are endemic to all labor under capital is not enough — “OK, OK, sex work is work, I get the point!” she writes. For her, sexual labor’s purported products, not the conditions workers encounter, are the issue. This is why we’re asked to contemplate the absurdity of a blowjob and a slice of pie as similar products, but not how the emotional and physical labor of giving a blowjob or serving pie might be similarly experienced by workers (carpel tunnel and the exhaustion of an hours-long forced smile), or how management in both contexts might extract profit by similar means.

Likewise, the version of “exploitation” we’re asked to confront is a matter of product quality, not labor. Pollitt writes, “To acknowledge that sex work is exploitative — that it involves a particularly intimate form of male privilege, which bleeds into other areas of life — would be too sentimental, and too disturbing.” Yes, using the Marxist language of “exploitation” for purposes untethered from naming the process by which capital expropriates the products of our labor is indeed disturbing. The same commentators who suggest that sex work activists have too much class privilege to “speak for the rank and file” as Pollitt puts it, advocate a version of exploitation totally devoid of class analysis.

Why, under the banner of concern for “the women at the heart of the debate” (represented by a list of predictable tropes of abject sex workers) is Pollitt asking us to consider whether prostitution encourages men to feel entitled to sex without having to charm an unpaid woman in a bar? Because the women at the heart of this debate aren’t sex workers, but secondary consumers who might have to deal with male partners who are rude, socially awkward, or bad in bed.

Unpaid intimacy is a space of work too, and a Marxist feminist dialogue about how paid and unpaid sexual partners might struggle in solidarity would be wonderful. That would, however, require a radical departure from the “you’re not a worker because I don’t like what you produce” line of argument.

It’s rhetoric we’re all too familiar with. Catherine MacKinnon made the question of which women count painfully clear: “One does not have to notice that pornography models are real women to whom something real is being done … The aesthetic of pornography itself, the way it provides what those who consume it want, is itself the evidence.” Pollitt suggests that Gira Grant spends too much time taking easy shots at the “dead gray mare of 1980s anti-porn feminism.” “Was any cause ever so decisively defeated?” she writes.

But one of the more chilling aspects of that cause — the insistence that workers don’t matter, products are the point — is alive and well at The Nation.

I suggest the reverse: the nature of a product is irrelevant to how we should theorize, legislate, or organize the labor involved in producing it. Workers are not socially accountable for whatever may come from their work. To accept otherwise encourages the over-identification with work that management finds so efficient in getting us to do more for less. It allows capital to extract not only time, but also ethical responsibility from workers. It sets the labor movement up for just the sort of hierarchy of workers Pollitt advocates.

She doesn’t know “how many waitresses would agree” that sex work is similar to theirs and doesn’t “think anyone at Jacobin is asking them.” Despite my best efforts, I can’t be moved to care if our labor organizing interferes with your respectability politics.

(via banshee-hands)

Filed under sex work critical theory katha pollitt melissa gira grant work hetaher berg

11 notes

sustainableprosperity:

"We Won’t Succumb to Threats": Journalists Return to U.S. For First Time Since Revealing NSA Spying

Published on Apr 14, 2014

http://www.democracynow.org - Ten months ago, Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald flew from New York to Hong Kong to meet National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. Poitras and Greenwald did not return to the United States until this past Friday when they flew from Berlin to New York to accept the George Polk Award for National Security Reporting. They arrived not knowing if they would be detained or subpoenaed after Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described journalists working on the NSA story as Snowden’s “accomplices.” At a news conference following the George Polk Award ceremony, Poitras and Greenwald took questions from reporters about their reporting and the government intimidation it has sparked. 

Watch: All Democracy Now! interviews with Glenn Greenwald & Laura Poitras
http://www.democracynow.org/topics/ed…

Democracy Now!, is an independent global news hour that airs weekdays on 1,200+ TV and radio stations Monday through Friday. Watch our livestream 8-9am ET at http://www.democracynow.org.
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(via shrinkrants)

3,132 notes

anarcho-queer:

thinksquad:

Los Angeles police officers tampered with voice recording equipment in dozens of patrol cars in an effort to avoid being monitored while on duty
An inspection by Los Angeles Police Department investigators found about half of the estimated 80 cars in one South L.A. patrol division were missing antennas, which help capture what officers say in the field. The antennas in at least 10 more cars in nearby divisions had also been removed.
http://articles.latimes.com/2014/apr/07/local/la-me-lapd-tamper-20140408

“LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and other top officials learned of the problem last summer but chose not to investigate which officers were responsible.”

anarcho-queer:

thinksquad:

Los Angeles police officers tampered with voice recording equipment in dozens of patrol cars in an effort to avoid being monitored while on duty

An inspection by Los Angeles Police Department investigators found about half of the estimated 80 cars in one South L.A. patrol division were missing antennas, which help capture what officers say in the field. The antennas in at least 10 more cars in nearby divisions had also been removed.

http://articles.latimes.com/2014/apr/07/local/la-me-lapd-tamper-20140408

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and other top officials learned of the problem last summer but chose not to investigate which officers were responsible.

40 notes

lamaracuya:

lowendtheory:

Class Prep: Trying to map—in a vulgar but systemic way—the biopolitical structure and gendered techniques of Latin-Christian Europe’s (post-Doctrine of Discovery) approach to enslavement and settler colonialism in Africa and the Americas. Emphasis here is on the ways in which the mission of saving souls and the mission of accumulating wealth (in the form of lands and of bodies-as-commodities) operated as two sides of the same coin as the mode of producing wealth converged with the mode of producing, and reproducing, Christianity as an imperial project.

i want to take lowendtheory’s course.

lamaracuya:

lowendtheory:

Class Prep: Trying to map—in a vulgar but systemic way—the biopolitical structure and gendered techniques of Latin-Christian Europe’s (post-Doctrine of Discovery) approach to enslavement and settler colonialism in Africa and the Americas. Emphasis here is on the ways in which the mission of saving souls and the mission of accumulating wealth (in the form of lands and of bodies-as-commodities) operated as two sides of the same coin as the mode of producing wealth converged with the mode of producing, and reproducing, Christianity as an imperial project.

i want to take lowendtheory’s course.

23 notes

lamaracuya:

It seems to be a peculiar privilege of white political subjectivity that it periodically claims to intellectually understand and affectively identify with the social and historical positionalities of racial genocide’s survivors, social inheritors, historical objects, and political antagonists while inhabiting none of the material and affective conditions that such deep violences create.  

"Goldwater’s left hand: Post-raciality and the roots of the post-racial racist state", Dylan Rodríguez 

29 notes

veganmovement2012:

Silencing the Scientist: Tyrone Hayes on Being Targeted by Herbicide Firm Syngenta

We speak with scientist Tyrone Hayes of the University of California, Berkeley, who discovered a widely used herbicide may have harmful effects on the endocrine system. But when he tried to publish the results, the chemical’s manufacturer launched a campaign to discredit his work. Hayes was first hired in 1997 by a company, which later became agribusiness giant Syngenta, to study their product, atrazine, a pesticide that is applied to more than half the corn crops in the United States, and widely used on golf courses and Christmas tree farms. When Hayes found results Syngenta did not expect — that atrazine causes sexual abnormalities in frogs, and could cause the same problems for humans — it refused to allow him to publish his findings. A new article in The New Yorker magazine uses court documents from a class action lawsuit against Syngenta to show how it sought to smear Hayes’ reputation and prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from banning the profitable chemical, which is already banned by the European Union.

More… http://m.democracynow.org/stories/14216

veganmovement2012:

Silencing the Scientist: Tyrone Hayes on Being Targeted by Herbicide Firm Syngenta

We speak with scientist Tyrone Hayes of the University of California, Berkeley, who discovered a widely used herbicide may have harmful effects on the endocrine system. But when he tried to publish the results, the chemical’s manufacturer launched a campaign to discredit his work. Hayes was first hired in 1997 by a company, which later became agribusiness giant Syngenta, to study their product, atrazine, a pesticide that is applied to more than half the corn crops in the United States, and widely used on golf courses and Christmas tree farms. When Hayes found results Syngenta did not expect — that atrazine causes sexual abnormalities in frogs, and could cause the same problems for humans — it refused to allow him to publish his findings. A new article in The New Yorker magazine uses court documents from a class action lawsuit against Syngenta to show how it sought to smear Hayes’ reputation and prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from banning the profitable chemical, which is already banned by the European Union.

More… http://m.democracynow.org/stories/14216