Category: current affairs


New Black Panthers and Jesse Jackson warn of impending unrest

October 5th, 2011 — 12:24pm

(learn more about the book at the “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit)

It doesn’t seem too much of a stretch to imagine that the sky really is falling this time.

A few decades ago Malcolm X basically threw himself under the political bus by speculating that JFK’s assassination was simply the proverbial chickens coming home to roost, a statement that got him all but kicked out of the Nation of Islam.  After the fact he claimed that the statement just referred to the fact he wasn’t surprised an assassination occurred given the pervasive climate of hatred in America at the time, although it doesn’t seem too much of a jump to imagine that perhaps he might have been referring to American interventionism abroad finally returning to bite the nation in her backside.

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Comment » | current affairs, domestic terror, racial inequality, terrorism, Uncategorized, war on drugs

click click, bang bang

September 15th, 2011 — 3:35pm


(learn more about the book at the “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit)

UPDATE: Another shooting occurred outside Phoenix, AZ at about 10:30pm Friday night, this time the victim died either of his wounds or after the gunshot caused him to crash into the highway median.   It seems notable that this attack also occurred along I-10, the same highway as the earlier incident outside LA.

Last night on the George Washington Parkway, a bullet shattered the back window of an SUV just after midnight.  All the way over on the Left Coast on Interstate 10, at approximately 3am, an unidentified victim was shot through the door of their vehicle and rushed into surgery.

Two isolated incidents on opposite ends of the country does not a big deal make, but given what al-Qaida’s top American spokesman urged prospective terrorists in the U.S. to do back at the start of the summer, they’re still worth noting.

Large, symbolic attacks are no longer necessary – al-Qaida’s mission statement has long-since congealed in the blood of its victims.  There’s little to no reason to carry to carry out large-scale attacks that require time, planning, and risk – especially when the DC Sniper already sketched out such an effective blueprint in the DC metro area almost a decade ago for small-scale attacks then in a way are even more effective than massive one-shot attacks.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that in early June, al-Qaeda’s American-born spokesman “Adam the American” released a video in fluent English imploring Muslims living in the United States to “buy guns and start shooting people.”  He explains his reasoning further in the video:

Muslims in the West have to remember that they are perfectly placed to play an important and decisive part in the jihad against the Zionists and Crusaders, and to do major damage to the enemies of Islam waging war on their religion, sacred places, and brethren.  This is a golden opportunity…

“The way to show one’s appreciation and thanks for this blessing, is to rush to discharge one’s duty to his [community] and fight on its behalf with everything at his disposal.  And in the West you’ve got a lot at your disposal. Let’s take America as an example, America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms…

So what are you waiting for?

Comment » | books, current affairs, domestic terror, terrorism

when Justice lies

September 8th, 2011 — 9:08am

(learn more about the book at the “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit)

When you are sworn into Federal Court, you are exhorted to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Each of these phrases carries a slightly different angle against any possible lie – not only are you swearing to speak the truth, but also to not hold any part of the truth back, and to not mix in lies among the truth you do tell.

And so by its own standards, the US Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics has been openly and unabashedly lying about the racial divisions that remain within the American penal system for at least the past five years.  It’s a lie so patently absurd that if our current President was incarcerated, the Department of Justice would pretend he wasn’t there, and whitewash his existence from their racial prisoner data entirely.

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1 comment » | current affairs, racial inequality, war on drugs

by whatever means necessary

September 2nd, 2011 — 8:18am

(learn more about the book at the “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit)

This September the UN will vote on whether or not Palestine should be officially recognized as a state, an aspiration that first gained international attention two generations ago.

Although statehood would largely just be a technical distinction, Israel is still bracing itself for unrest.  The IDF has reportedly begun arming settlers in the West Bank with tear gas and stun grenades and setting “red-lines” for each settlement.  The plan is that should any Palestine cross a red-line, IDF soldiers will open fire at their feet.  Given the visceral decades-old hatred between Israel and Palestine, violence in one form or another once again seems inevitable.

And should Palestine finally get recognized as a state by the UN, it would bring full-circle a series of events that first ushered the specter of international terrorism onto the world stage.  Events that would gather the world, rapt in horror, around the flickering macabre  spectacle playing itself out in their darkened living rooms.

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Comment » | current affairs, islam, terrorism

it’s hard out here

August 25th, 2011 — 1:33pm

(read the book free online - read the Reddit AMA)

Imagine you live in a small apartment above a bookstore.

Like most bookstores, it has an area set aside for perusing novels and consuming refreshments where you can relax with a alluring and fragrant pile of books stacked in front of you.  The only sounds come from the soft mood music the establishment is piping in and the contented signs of other customers.  You’re free to evaluate each prospective purchase at your own leisure, languidly stroking their pages one-by-one, seeing if this one or that one’s spine has what you’re looking for attached to it.

No one who works there ever comes up and hassles you about hurrying up and buying something already, there’s an implicit pact between client and business – you’re free to lounge for as long as you’d like, but if you want the convenience of taking the book with you, a fee is required.

That’s really all you’re paying, a convenience fee.  Each book sits on the shelf open and waiting, shyly beckoning you with coyly designed covers and promising words – tempting you to pick them up, sit them in your lap, fall in love with them, and pay to take them home. But whether or not payment is rendered, you can still have your way with as many books as you want, regardless of whether or not you pay a single cent.

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8 comments » | books, current affairs, e-books, news, publishing, terrorism, war on drugs

the importance of being anonymous

August 17th, 2011 — 5:25pm


(read the book free online - read the Reddit AMA)

British Prime Minister David Cameron is looking to make like an autocratic Arab dictator, and use the aftermath of the anarchistic violence that just swept across England’s streets as a reason to push through reforms curtailing internet speech and increasing online surveillance.  This follows closely on the heels of the United States passing it’s own bill drastically curtailing internet anonymity, as it forces ISPs to log massive amounts of user data.

The history of the Isles cracking down on the dissemination of dissent goes back at least to 1644, when the English Parliament re-introduced government control of printing and publishers in response to John Milton’s essay arguing  against the Catholic Church’s strictures against divorce.  Milton’s response championed free-speech above all other liberal rights:  “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”

But governments across Europe had been actively trying to prevent that for centuries, as at one time or another the roster of banned books included those written by Descartes, Galileo, Hume, Locke, Defoe, Rousseau, and Voltaire.  Limiting and controlling thought is nothing new to governments, and so it was this history of official censorship and censure that in 1776 led Thomas Paine to take an important precaution when he published the argument that caused the call for American independence to fully coalesce.

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6 comments » | books, current affairs, memes, terrorism

an American nightmare

August 1st, 2011 — 10:27pm

(read the book free online - get a copy for your Kindle - read the Reddit AMA)

Things had been looking up for black families, back in 1963 as MLK gave his “I Have A Dream” speech about 70% of black families were headed by a married couple. But that percentage steadily began to drop, between 1970 and 2001 it declined by 34%, double the white decline, and by 2002 it had bottomed out at just 48%.

But if the War on Drugs didn’t directly precipitate the destruction of the African-American family, why did the decline in married black women triple during the first decade of the War?

In fact, the impact of the War on Drugs has been so racially biased that although only 14% of all illicit drug users are black, blacks make up about half of those in prison for drug offenses.  (When you adjust for the fact that the Department of Justice simply throws prisoners who identify as mixed race half-black and half-white out of their data, the proportion is well over half.)  A black man is eight-times as likely as a white man to be locked up at some point in his life. And by 2006 America had, proportionally, almost six-times as many blacks locked up as South Africa did at the height of Apartheid.

Our penal system has grown so massive that the U.S. criminal justice system now employs more people than America’s two largest private employers, Wal-Mart and McDonald’s, combined.

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5 comments » | Arab Spring, current affairs, domestic terror, innercity violence, islam, news, politics, prison system, racial inequality, racial tension, racism, reform, revolution, terrorism, war on drugs

the more things change

June 8th, 2011 — 11:00am

(read the book free online - get a copy for your Kindle - read the Reddit AMA)

Al-Qaeda didn’t realize it at the time, but the blueprint for their next campaign of terrorism against America had already been sketched out across the suburban roads and streets of Washington D.C. nearly a decade ago.  In the fall of 2002 the DC Sniper terrorized suburban Washington, killing ten people and critically wounding several others.

It’s taken awhile, but they’ve finally put the pieces together and in the first operational video released since Osama bin Ladin’s death are calling on Muslims in America to carry out the exact same type of attack, simple random shootings that don’t require a cell of fellow terrorists or the resources to construct a bomb – just one bullet and one victim at a time.

These random, utterly unpredictable shootings can be terrifyingly effective. If you weren’t there at the time it’s almost impossible to portray the aura of terror that settled across the beltway duringthe DC sniper’s attacks:

“As the DC Sniper methodically laid victim after victim against the silent and unflinching pavement, every element of society became clotted with the blood of his victims. The first morning of killings was followed, never more than three days later, by more deaths. Deaths which came at intersections you recognized, at gas stations you’d filled your car up at, in parking lots you’d parked in. There was no telling who would die next – no segment of society was being spared.  And so, inside the first week, the mechanics and behavior of DC-area communities began to change.

High school football teams went through plays meant for games that had been suspended indefinitely on the lifeless floors and under the sterile lighting of a gym, instead of surrounded by the smells and memories of grass and dirt and grit that high school football is meant to anoint its followers with.  For weeks, the paths of children walking to school changed from careless and curious Family Circus-esque meanderings to the tactical and strategic zigzags of hardened soldiers operating in hostile territory.

Gas stations no longer enticed new customers by offering free carwashes or lower prices but by stringing up giant tarps in front of their pumps to keep you out of sight while you waited for your car to fill, still pacing behind the tarp in an effort to be a harder-to-hit moving-target. Sitting at a dead stop in your car during rush hour wasn’t frustrating, it was out and out terrifying.

You no longer walked your dog, you ran your dog.

And, in no discernable pattern and with no unifying link, the bodies continued to fall. After the first day of four shootings, a grandfather was followed by a mother-of-two who was followed three days later by a thirteen-year-old boy followed two days later by Vietnam vet. Then came a bus driver. Victims were shot at bus stops, at gas stations, in front of their schools, in parking lots, and inside a city bus. Schools kept the blinds closed in front of every window that had them and taped colored construction paper meant for art projects in front of the windows that didn’t.

Every traffic light seemed like the pull of a trigger in a game of automotive Russian roulette. Halloween pumpkins rotted in their patches, remaining unpicked because spending time bending over in an open field to find the perfect canvas for your jack-o-lantern would mean turning a class of 3rd Graders into a gallery of shooting ducks.

You only felt safe in your own home as long as the window you were standing in front of was shuttered from the evil lurking and killing outside of it. This was terrorism at its awesome finest.”

The one man and one boy team accomplished this with the bare minimum of resources, a handful of bullets, one sniper rifle, and a used 1990 Chevy Caprice purchased on the one-year anniversary of 9/11 as an intentional tribute to that day’s attacks.

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Comment » | current affairs, domestic terror, islam, racial inequality, terrorism

lessons from Iran

June 19th, 2009 — 11:24pm
      

       
        Twitter seems to have found a calling that no one saw coming – it's helping loosen the grip a totalitarian regime has on tens of millions of lives.

What's going on in Iran right now is unprecedented on multiple levels, but the most surprising is the role Twitter is playing in allowing any flow of information at all out of Iranian cities. It's still fucking Twitter so there's tons of mis- and disinformation to sort through, but somewhere within all the noise is the reality of what's going on. And Twitter certainly realizes this, they rescheduled a crucial network upgrade to prevent a tweet blackout which would've effectively cut Iranians off from the world.

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3 comments » | current affairs

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