Graham Hancock would be spinning in his grave…

Fortunately, however, he’s not dead.

I hope he spots this little confirmation of his hypothesis from Supernatural (2005)

State-Rape – Penetrating Justice

My first thought when I heard what David Eckert went through was “State Rape”, but I stuck with the title of the video when I posted it in a previous blog.

One of my readers suggested that, though obviously disgusting, abuse that insane was, mercifully, rare. I beg to differ. I googled “State Rape”. I was looking for more evidence of the cavity searches. I’d entirely forgotten about the first story that came up: The imbecilic proposal to force pregnant women in Virginia, Texas, and Iowa to undergo transvaginal ultrasound tests if they were uppity enough to demand abortions.

Yeah! that’ll put em in their place. We’ll consider letting em have their abortion if they’ll just let us rape them first…

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was actually a supporter of that proposal, until someone had the sense to take him aside and explain what a transvaginal ultrasound entailed. Fuckwit.

So that’s one definition of State Rape. Hasn’t happened yet and probably won’t. But cavity searching? That’s now a daily event somewhere between Sea and Shining Sea (although New Mexico seems to be a hot spot). And it’s every bit as brutal and illicit as bog standard Rape. Here’s another couple of examples, where a man and woman were (separately) suspected of carrying drugs and given the full State Rape treatment. And then DESPITE THE FACT THAT NOTHING WAS FOUND in either case, were then BILLED thousands of dollars for being the victims of obviously criminal assault by the State.

Apparently Eckert wasn’t the first New Mexico example. This unnamed woman was State Raped in 2011. And here’s a more recent example; this time from Milwaukee.

How the fuck normal Americans have let it get to this state is a wonder to behold. In a 2012 poll, 30% of Americans actually indicated they’d be prepared to a submit to a “TSA body cavity search!!!”

Just try finding that information anywhere close to a mainstream outlet. Not a chance.

Why not? because even though it’s a trustworthy poll conducted by the highly reputable Harris Poll organisation, the people who commissioned the poll – Infowars – are obviously too far out on the libertarian (American version) fringe to qualify for being taken seriously.

Presumably, if the Dalai Lama discovered, verifiably, a new law of physics, similar mainstream inertia would ensure that it too would be ignored by the “News” organisations, simply on the basis that as a mere religious leader, he has no business asking scientific questions.

It’s a bizarre reaction. Who gives a shit who asks the questions? What matters is what the answers reveal and, in this case of American willingness to let themselves be buggered by the State, those answers are pretty shocking but no surprise.

They are in line with the results of Bob Altemeyer’s findings on the prevalence of Authoritarian Followers, (which I blogged about here). About a quarter of the population fall into that category. They’re the ones who have taken the blue pills with a double helping of Koolade, and still believe that Authority exists to protect them.

So that wasn’t surprising. What did provoke a raised eyebrow was the political split. Altemeyors statistics show a clear authoritarian follower preference for Republicans over Democrats but here they’re evenly split. 31% of republicans will accept State Rape, 33% of democrats and 30% of the independents. Now that’s WEIRD.

Anyway, as I say, you won’t find (well, I couldn’t) that poll reported in a single mainstream source. Not even the populist Daily Mail which loves a bit of salacious America bashing picked it up.

dunno ’bout you, but I think that the fact that 30% of the population of the Land of Free is prepared to let the actors in the biggest Security Theatre on Earth mechanically bugger them is, at least, newsworthy.

Still, some good news on the Eckert case, turns out he was awarded $1.6 million in punitive damages for the illegal assault. That might take the sting out of it for him, and hitting the vicious bastards in the wallet might be the only way America is going to nudge itself back towards being a civil society…

Peter Christ

Is his REAL name.
Honestly.
Now button yer lip and listen to what he has to say.

Easily the most concise and articulate presentation (I’ve ever seen) of the case against the War On Drugs. Like all other attempts, it will not penetrate the dense wall of fear and ignorance which cushions the authoritarian from reality. But it might reduce the numbers recruited to their cause…

Hang The Jury

let’s hope this attack on the War on Drugs has more success than my own feeble efforts, which included my attempt to promote the same tactic back in 1999.

The novel angle here is the focus – inspired, apparently, by Michelle Alexander’s “New Jim Crow” – on the Black American community, whose males are, on average, over 600% more likely to end up in prison than their white compatriots. The vast majority of the difference is made up for by imprisonment for the victimless political “crime” of drug possession which, incidentally, they are “guilty” of at about the same rate as their white male counterparts. Who said Justice was colour-blind?

I have long wondered why this overt judicial racism hasn’t already led to a massive insurgency from within the black community. Even today the causes of the next American civil war look far more likely to emerge from the lunatic right-wing Tea Party than the genuinely oppressed black community. But perhaps web sites like this show that, at last, the worm may be beginning to turn…

The first major breach in the Police State?

The American Judicial System might be about to demonstrate that it isn’t completely broken. A Federal Judge has just had the balls to speak Truth to Power. A major plank of the USA PATRIOT Act has just been struck down and ruled unconstitutional. Which bit? The totalitarian rule they made to protect themselves from public scrutiny; the bit which gives the FBI and other security related organs of the State, the right to issue “National Security Letters” (NSLs). Yeah, that bit.

(In passing, why did I spot this first on The Register? This is historic news the mainstream media should be bleating from the rooftops. Just did a google for [“national security letters” unconstitutional] and the only “mainstream” entity on the first result page was this Fox News coverage! Who said the Americans don’t do irony?)

You tend to get one or more of these letters if you run any decent sized organisation in the United States. They are unethical, illicit and intrusive demands for information about a citizen; ostensibly on the grounds that there is good reason to believe that the citizen may be pursuing some kind of activity of which We disapprove. Oh, and if you ever get one of these letters, you’re not allowed to tell the “target” citizen, or anyone else, ever.

“We”, they would like us to believe, being “We The People”.

And if the relevant activities being enquired about were exclusively those which aided or abetted military attacks (from any source) on civilians (in any location) there is no doubt that We The People would approve of such well targeted surveillance and would expect to see evidence for this focussed diligence on our behalf in the form of steadily diminishing military attack on civilians. At the risk of stating the bleedin’ obvious, we do not see any such evidence.

What we see are increasingly widespread brutal paranoia among governments. You can create your own league table but China and the USA are both Premier League teams, converging on the same level of pseudo-liberty. We are all gradually being pulled back towards Roman Law.

Wot that?

Roman Law is the historical precedent and basis of so-called “Civil Law” under which it is held that Laws don’t exist unless explicitly created by the Civil Authority. In contrast, UKUSA law is based on the “Common Law” tradition where we make it up as we go along. Neither is perfect, obviously. But the notion that Law doesn’t exist until a properly constituted authority creates it might look eminently sensible. But its real meaning, or at least interpretation by the relevant Civil Authorities, has always been sinisterly nuanced.

Rule One was that, as a citizen, you are obliged to act, at all times, within the law. The absence of a law did not, as you might naively expect, confer liberty. By definition, if you were acting in some way not already described by the law, you could not possibly be acting within it and were, therefore, in breach of Rule One.

This elegant totalitarian concept – that ALL action is forbidden unless I Caesar permit it – is beautifully efficient as a control mechanism. It means you can arrest and prosecute citizens on a whim. Virtually every second of the day you are bound to be doing something I Caesar have not explicitly permitted. For example, I didn’t give you permission to think what you just thought.

Roman Law hasn’t died out. It’s been kind of absorbed and blended with the less authoritarian, but often equally arbitrary, Common Law tradition that we “enjoy” in UKUSA. That’s supposed to mean that unless behaviour is explicitly forbidden by the Civil Authority, then it’s permitted.

Problem with that – if you’re a Civil Authoritarian with Totalitarian tendencies – is that too many damn citizens want to do too many things that I Caesar (elect) disapprove. They want to enjoy themselves, for example, in all sorts of ways that we can’t possibly permit. Buggers want sex all the time. Not to mention Drugs and Rock And Roll. Some of them even want to undermine our right to rule! Which is why we’ve been obliged to create this massive list of prohibited behaviours.

How they get away with it is the interesting bit. Chances are you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t already familiar with much of the explanation for that so I’m not going to teach you to suck eggs. But on the off-chance that these thoughts are new to you, you could do worse that starting with the Manufacturing of Consent.
No, I’m afraid it’s not an exciting video, just informative.

We The People will, of course, endorse a certain number of Prohibitions. Who doesn’t agree with the prohibition of Murder? Rape? Violence against the Person? Theft? Fraud? and a few other obviously antisocial activities we all wish to abolish. Deliberate or negligent harm to a third-party, without their informed and freely given consent, is universally recognised as criminal.

All other prohibitions are steps towards Roman Law. The more they can get away with forbidding, the greater their chances of arresting you on a whim. The greater the chance that you will have been doing something explicitly illegal sometime in the immediate past or present.

This will become especially relevant when they start including Thought Crime – which they are increasingly nudging towards both here in the UK and, of course, over there in the USA. It is, of course, long-established tradition in China and a few other places.

After all, what human has never contemplated an illegal act? Most admit to having at least wanted to murder at least one other person at least once in their lives. Reckon I’m up to a couple of hundred myself. Including a large number of senior American and one or two senior British Politicians.

I guarantee there are people employed to look out for sentences like the two previous; and to make some kind of judgement as to whether such sentiments constitute a “Terrorist Threat”. And I guarantee some of them will conclude that it does. They’re the sort of people who send out NSL letters. (or spend four weeks looking for the author of a Facebook quip about wanting to “Egg Cameron” [added 25/3/2013])

They, at least, will see this legal judgement as marking a very sad day for their cause.

For the rest of us, it’s high fives all round…

When did they make Public Sexual Molestation and Humiliation Legal?

This story OUGHT to provoke a wave of revulsion on a par with the reaction to the senseless slaying at Sandy Hook. Will it? Don’t hold your breath…

Full credit to the Daily Mail. I kick them often enough, but, as far as I could tell, at the time I came across this story, they were the only mainstream news source anywhere in the world to have published it.

Ironically (given it was their own dash cam which has implicated them) it illustrates the increasingly urgent need for Trusted Surveillance to record the criminal activities (or, I should say, “activities which, in a civilised country, ought to be criminal”) routinely committed by the Forces of Internal Repression

Remember:
Citizen – Innocent Until Proved Guilty.
Authority – Guilty Until Proved Innocent.

MAJOR breakthrough on Cannabis and Jury Nullification

New Hampshire may have cracked open the Dam. But will their trickle turn into a flood?

What they have done is truly radical, and – if the Federal Government does not move rapidly to stamp on it – even potentially revolutionary; causing much more significant change to society than, for example, the liberating effects of the 60s.

You’ll excuse me if I allow myself a high-five or two, given my own first foray into this field back in 1999. I was then promoting a subversive adoption of Jury Nullification designed to get around the obstacle of the Judiciary to any mention of the N word.

What the Libertarians have pulled off in New Hampshire is much more ambitious than that. They’ve managed to pass a State Law explicitly stating:

The Jury in a criminal trial case has the undisputed power to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by the judge and contrary to the evidence. This power of jury nullification is a historical prerogative of the jury inherent in the use of the general verdict in criminal cases.

I genuinely cannot exaggerate the importance of this breakthrough. It may one day be regarded as the day we began the march to true democracy. They’ve “only” delivered the “Second Change“! And if you read that piece you’ll get a feel for the scale of their achievement. The Judicial system has been fighting against this development for over a hundred years.

They actually enacted the new law a few months ago so why didn’t we hear about it before now? Well as you can learn from the “Reason” link above, the law isn’t officially “live” till the first day of 2013. Obviously the Courts in that part of the world are keen to adopt the new rules, which bodes well for their success.

I’m sure you’ll agree that’s worth a spliff…

How Authority Works

Truly excellent. I’m not surprised to learn that this gem has been around for some time, but it’s still the first time I’ve come across it. More importantily, it explains, as well as I ever seen, the principle mechanism by which authoritarianism maintains its grip on society

The cartoon itself illustrates the importance of presentational skills. I guarantee it presents the message far more clearly and accessibly than the original academic study reference on which it is based; the snappily entitled “Stephenson, G. R. (1967). Cultural acquisition of a specific learned response among rhesus monkeys. In: Starek, D., Schneider, R., and Kuhn, H. J. (eds.), Progress in Primatology, Stuttgart: Fischer, pp. 279-288.” See, you’re already asleep…

Standardised Authoritarian Arguments

this nice little image got me thinking: Is there a standard structure to Authoritarian argument? I believe this piece illustrates the genre perfectly. The standardised versions I drew from it are listed below the image…

Standardised:
1 The proposed change is unnatural

2 The status quo is both necessary and sufficient because it produces the socially desirable result

3 Permitting the proposed behaviour will create undesirable role models for children;
or
3a Children need role models consistent with the status quo

4 Accepting the change would reduce the value of the status quo

5 The status has been quo for a long time

6 The issue should be decided by (whoever is most likely to decide it in favour of the status quo)

7 The proposed change is forbidden or not approved by religion

8 Permitting the proposed behaviour will encourage more of it

9 Permitting the proposed behaviour now will be a gateway to even worse behaviour later

10 The proposed change would change something so fundamental it should never be changed

11 There are alternatives which are acceptable to us and which you should accept.

*******************************************
Now try applying that to the authoritarian argument of your choice.

I’ll have a go at a few myself. Later…

Nutt demolishes latest Cannabis Lung Scare Story

Thank-you Professor Nutt. You’ve saved me the wasted time and effort of writing to the British Lung Foundation myself. I first read their latest drivel last week in the Mail. I knew it was complete bollocks; had any REAL research found such a clear conclusion it would have been headline news around the world for weeks. The authoritarians would have ensured it was fully trumpeted, around the clock, from all available rooftops.

So once the steam had cleared and I had stopped kicking the cat, I resolved to write to the BLF and ask, as politely as I could muster, where we could read this startling new evidence for ourselves. David Nutt has far more clout than I do and they’ve pointedly ignored him, so I’d have had no chance. But this is his day job. So he’s done a brilliant job here dissecting and revealing the true extent of their peculiar and obsessive duplicity.

Peculiar because I don’t understand their motives. They’re a charity f-fuxake, so they can’t have a financial interest. They have no obvious axe to grind. The Lung Cancer wards are not being clogged with cannabis smokers. Indeed their own evidence, should they ever bother analysing it will almost certainly reveal that cannabis smokers are under-represented in the statistics.

So why do they try so hard – and so consistently – to promote that ignorant and illicit authoritarian line? Could it be the price they pay for support from some of their donors? I’ve just checked their most recent audited accounts and if one or more of their donors is leaning on them, it’s certainly not obvious which one of them would give a damn. Feel free to speculate…

Social Psychosis

Did I miss something? The headline “Why people believe undocumented immigrants cause more crime” suggests the author has found an answer to the question: “why DO people believe (etc)” but according to this Physorg summary, all it seems she’s doing is pointing out the evidence which challenges the belief; then reiterating the question “why the belief?”… Odd.

At the very least I’d have expected to see some mention of the most likely source of such ill-informed belief: viz the disinformation provided, constantly and at high volume, by the tabloid “journalists” in print, visual and digital media.

In any case, the more interesting question, given that the culprits have access to the same evidence, is why, nevertheless, they choose to promote the disinfo, even though they can see their lies being dissected and revealed in public as easily as this story illustrates.

This behaviour is not, of course, limited to their treatment of the facts regarding levels of American crime committed by illegal aliens. They’re pretty similar with regard to their treatment of Climate Change, the War on Drugs, the causes of the Financial Meltdown in 2008, the prospects for the Global Economy and many, if not most, crucially important areas of human discourse.

A clue to their motivation comes in this paper, pithily entitled:A culture of mania: a psychoanalytic
view of the incubation of the 2008 credit crisis
(pdf) in which the author “suggest(s) that a manic culture is one typified by denial, omnipotence, triumphalism and over-activity”; exactly what we see from the Authoritarians the world over in relation to those key issues. Their inflated conviction regarding their own infallibility is one of the most dangerous features of the modern world.

I’m also inclined to welcome this as reasonable academic support for my own amateur efforts to define “Social Psychosis” which I first did back in 2005 in my attempt answer the question as to whether, when Authoritarians lie about the evidence for WMD, or War Crimes or Evolution or whatever, they are Lying, Stupid or Blind.

I made the point that:

Psychologically, people who form firm beliefs – in the absence of the validated evidence we’ve discussed – are, essentially both irrational and gullible… If they continue to hold such beliefs when the relevant hypotheses have been falsified, then, I would argue, they are showing the early signs of psychosis. When groups of like-minded people share the challenged beliefs, it becomes a social psychosis in which members turn to each other for mutual validation of their shared and increasingly distorted world view.

What Mark Stein is helpfully doing is putting some serious meat on the bones of that conjecture.

Yet Another Former Drug Warrior Attacks Prohibition

Fascinating to see increasing numbers of former high-placed employees of the various Prohibitionist Police States (like this one in the Guardian) declaring their Damascene conversions against Prohibition. Note first that they nearly always are FORMER employees. The few current employees who dare to challenge the naked emperor usually find their careers taking a nose dive (remember Brian Paddick ferinstance…), so incumbents are usually happy to take the Kings Shilling and continue to assist the oppressive regime.

There is also an emerging pattern in the utterances of the converted. They all point out – uncontroversially – that prohibition is the single major cause of organised crime around the world. We’ve known that since the ludicrous American experiment with alcohol prohibition and its creation of “The Mob” – together with its “necessary” antithesis, the FBI.

None, though, have made the obvious connection. The Powers That Be, having recognised the effect of prohibition on organised crime, also recognised how much power it “legitimised” for themselves (Power necessary in order to tackle the Problem they created in the first place). Hence today we can see that the main POINT of prohibition is precisely to sustain that organised crime around the world.

It provides the political cover for the excessive spending on authoritarian crime control measures, including the surveillance they need to monitor their increasingly well-informed and potentially rebellious populations. It provides the infrastructure necessary for the Prison State which is at its most advanced state in the “Land Of The Free” and it provides a handy slush fund for all the Black Ops that most governments occasionally find useful.

These connections are obvious to anyone who dares to see beyond the flabby nakedness of the Empire. That doesn’t yet include mainstream politicians or media, just us “mavericks”. If you’ve read this far, you’re probably also one of us. Glad to meet you…

The link between Muscle and Authority

No surprise here for students of Authoritarianism (which includes the philosophical position that “Might Is Right”) but note the highlighted sentence in this passage:

Multiple studies conducted from the US, East India, Bolivia and the Central African Republic show that physically strong men have a greater sense of entitlement, a shorter fuse on anger, and are more likely to turn aggressive when angry. The effects are quite substantial, often two to four times larger than the known effect of testosterone on aggression.

What this tells us is that Bullying (the basis of most Authoritarian politics, not just “right-wing”) cannot be blamed on hormones. It is clearly more influenced by culture and THAT we can do something about…

What IS missing from all reports of this research I’ve seen to date (the online source of the actual paper is behind a pay wall) is any reference to the inverse relationship between Authoritarianism (including, of course, the physical aggression the paper has studied) and intellect. Which is a shame because most bullies and authoritarians quite like the idea of being painted as physically strong (as evidenced by headlines we’re already seeing like “Now I know Why Labour Supporters are nancies“) but are less keen on trumpeting their intellectual inferiority…

PRAISE GOD & PASS THE WEED

jeezus h christ! Colour me ‘king astonished.

Obviously I’m not going to disagree with a word of this article by The Libertarian Lady

but I was amazed to learn from her about Pat Robertson’s “coming out” for legalisation. I’d have thought that would have made mainstream headlines, even this side of the pond. Nada. First I’ve heard about it and that a month after the event. Thank’s Kristin.

It is genuinely significant. Most of the other famous/infamous conservatives who have favoured legalisation are on the libertarian side of the Republican movement. Robertson definitely ain’t one of them. And that suggests a possibility that we may be in sight of a tipping point. Mind you, we’ve been there before (Jimmy Carter) and someone frightened the horses, so don’t hold your breath…

The Path To Globally Organised Crime

an amusing introduction to the illusion we call Money…