Starting in March, Everyone Experiences the New StumbleUpon.com – StumbleUpon

Unfortunately non Stumblers aren’t allowed to see this page. One of Stumbleupon’s weirdest decisions has always been to hide the content created by its users – which would have generated at least as much traffic as the basic stumbling activity and thus given them a fighting chance of “monetizing” their invention.

But here’s a literal snapshot of some of the comments being made, page after page, against the latest enforced changes and in support of an excellent demolition piece which the whole world can read.

Stumblers Opinion Of Stumble changes...

Even Non Stumblers might be entertained by this. Hopefully other control freaks might learn something from it.

Such is the reaction of the Stumbleupon community to the owners’ latest puerile crassly commercial attempt at social control.

It’s amazing how someone who built up a thriving social network can fuck it up so completely despite about a million warnings. And it’s been painful to be one of their victims…

All in all, a splendid example of how the motivation of money can make innovators lose the plot…

Starting in March, Everyone Experiences the New StumbleUpon.com – StumbleUpon.

Owen Jones: If trade unions don’t fight the workers’ corner – others will – Commentators – Opinion – The Independent

This article touches on what I touched on the other day, when I suggested that it was a bad idea to seek (in Chicago) a physical confrontation with the world’s best armed military state. Shutting down Chicago (during the forthcoming NATO and G8 summits – at which the world’s elite will discuss how best to manage our continuing decline) is a fine strategic aim, but we need to consider a more intelligent way to pursue it than by giving the state employed bullies a “legitimate” excuse to crack heads.

The victory over the UK Government’s Workfare scheme is an example of such intelligence, whereas McCluskey’s ill thought out suggestion of targeting the Olympics is an example of how the working class generals remain adept at leading us into the valley of death.

Bad publicity frightens capitalists because it can turn customers away from their doors. That’s all it took to force the retail giants to tell the State to back down and the government had no choice because it required the co-operation of those employers in order to be able to offer ANY “work experience” placements to young unemployed teenagers. The fact that the SWP were involved is irrelevant; though kudos to them for recognising a viable strategy. It’s the strategy that matters, not who implemented it.

In contrast, the Olympics are a major component of the Bread and Circuses package with which the masses are tranquillised with entertainment into tolerance of their submissive state. If that tranquilliser is interfered with, the first target in the eyes of the huddled masses is not going to be the State who set up the Circus, it will be the activists who are trying to prevent the citizens from enjoying it. This should be self evident to anyone with an IQ exceeding their shoe size.

So why are UK Trade Unions still led by such tactically challenged idiots? You’d have thought that the evolutionary pressures of the Miners’ defeat, Thatcherite dismantling of sundry “Rights” like secondary pickets, supportive strike action, strikes without ballots, selective attacks on trade union membership etc would have pensioned off the Scargill tendency and ushered in a more canny wave of intelligent activists who knew how to subvert the system rather than take it on with a frontal assault.

Having spent nearly 40 years myself somewhere on the fringe of the UK Trade Union movement, I can offer a partial explanation and it’s rather depressing. Because the Trade Union movement has no real understanding of Democracy (it apes the electoral politics of the Capitalist system it professes to challenge) it has no means of recognising and adopting intelligent policies. Instead, power battles with the Trade Union movement are very similar to the ego driven battles to gain control of the national political parties.

However, though political parties appear to gain nominal control of the country after the “bewildered herd” elect them, they have the major advantage that the people who really run things (the “owners”) will tell them what they can and cannot do. Occasionally such advice is sound and gives the illusion, albeit rarely, that politicians are occasionally competent.

Trade Union leaders have no such obvious experienced external puppeteers and thus have to learn their limitations the hard way by trial and error. Which wouldn’t be so bad if they demonstrated the intellectual capacity to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors. Sadly, no such intelligence has yet surfaced within the ranks of “electable” activists…

Owen Jones: If trade unions don't fight the workers' corner – others will – Commentators – Opinion – The Independent.

The Best of Cablegate: Instances Where Public Discourse Benefited from the Leaks | Electronic Frontier Foundation

classic Trusted Surveillance examples of both need and delivery…

The Best of Cablegate: Instances Where Public Discourse Benefited from the Leaks | Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Iran draws veil over secure internet access • The Register

this would be less interesting if it weren’t for the fact that today, we’ve also seen the bizarre announcement by armoured dinner jacket that Iran is about to announce “major nuclear progress

I suspect the two are closely connected. Either they don’t want details (other than the ones they want us to know) to leak, so they’re seizing control of the means of communication. Or they don’t want us to know what the local reaction may be to whatever they’re about to announce; so they’re seizing control of the means of communication…

As to what they’re about to announce, my money’s on a Nuclear Reactor (or a key stage in its development). Were it to be what the tabloids are likely to speculate (if they haven’t already – oh wait a minute, yes they have. Imagine my surprise…) – the announcement of a working atomic bomb – then that would probably trigger an attack by Israel within 72 hours. And America would have no choice but to endorse the attack. I suspect the Iranians are more than capable of making the same judgment and I suspect (hope) they’re not quite as insane as they are painted.

If it is “merely” the imminent prospect of a working reactor rather than working bomb, the development would be entirely in line with their long standing stated aims: Peaceful use of nuclear power. And no such military first strike would be justified. They will hope that the hawks in Israel and the Pentagon will be wrong footed.

If I’m wrong about this, it might be a good time to join the preppers

Iran draws veil over secure internet access • The Register.

Courtney Martin: Reinventing feminism | Video on TED.com

Inspirational

Courtney Martin: Reinventing feminism | Video on TED.com.

Larken Rose – Intelligent American Libertarian

I find it very encouraging to find myself on the same wavelength as this particular American Libertarian. He seems particularly rational compared to other members of his tribe and, from what I’ve read here, we would have only the tiniest of disagreements.

I certainly share, exactly, his analysis of Authoritarianism and its status as the Number One Issue Facing Humanity. Also thoroughly agree with some of the tactical analysis. Twas reaching this passage that made me decide to blog re this inteview:

One of the reasons I think the income tax fraud lasted so long is because hardly anyone had the time, or desire, to rummage through law books, and that’s if they even knew where to find them. There’s no way I would have found what I did without the internet. I wouldn’t have known there was anything to look for, and if I did, I wouldn’t have known where to look, and if I did, it would have taken many more years to put it all together. Having this much information so easily accessible has made a huge difference.

Clearly that’s a favourite point in my own lexicon. By contrast, here’s one of his arguments with which I must quibble. Larken asks:

Can someone delegate a right he doesn’t have? No, of course not. If I don’t have the right to steal, I can’t give someone else the right to steal. It’s so elementary it’s ridiculous. The problem is that obvious truth completely rules out all government. If normal people don’t have the right to tax, and forcibly interfere in the lives of non-violent people, then they can’t possibly have given such a right to those in government − not by any election, or constitution, or any other document or ritual − and that means that just about everything that government does is inherently illegitimate.

The problem is that this is philosophically inconsistent. Nor is it wholly libertarian. He is not allowing for S & M

It is perfectly legitimate for consenting adults to agree to be bullied, dominated and abused. Not just for sexual pleasure, but as a lifestyle choice. Obviously this is a choice we Libertarians and Anarchists would not endorse, but neither, I hope, would we condemn.

Where it crosses the line into something we do condemn and resist is when those who enjoy being controlled and abused by their elected dictators, wrongly believe they have the right to give those dictators permission to also control and abuse those of us who didn’t agree to play their game in the first place. THAT is the anarchist border-line. You can do what you like as long as it doesn’t infringe on my liberty to do what I like. And I’ll pay you the same respect.

Thus the philosophically legitimate argument we can make is that, unless an individual has demonstrably given their informed consent to a proposed Law (or constitution), they are bound by no ethical constraint to conform to it. It may be tactically wise or necessary to conform, for obvious military reasons (you may be vastly outnumbered and outgunned). But that doesn’t make it ethical. Furthermore, if a result of the existence of such a Law is to deprive him or her of their liberty or treasure, then they they would breach no ethical principle by avoiding, subverting and opposing such a Law.

Of course, we can’t expect the Authoritarians to accept that philosophical argument. My most optimistic current belief is that we may occasionally be able to persuade potential jurors to accept that argument. Unfortunately, as this article reveals, Larken’s experience in that regard does not justify my optimisim to date. Nevertheless, the web offers a much better chance to achieve critical mass among the potential juror population than we can hope to achieve in terms of undermining the Authoritarian machine with a frontal attack…

via The Daily Bell – Larken Rose on Taxes, Freedom and Life After Prison.

The Daily Quail

there’s clearly some benefit to Twitter if it can provoke responses like this…

The Daily Quail.