Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Q: "What is the difference between a porcupine and politician's limousine ?"

A: "The porcupine has the pricks on the outside."

The site Against Monopoly in Molly's list of links is devoted solely to the criticism of "intellectual property" laws. One of these is the law of copyright, and the blog master has found a truly hilarious example on the pages of the My Way news site. Being as they had lots of time on their hands, being as their place of residence was the Oklahoma El Reno federal prison, four inmates copyrighted their names with the help of a Baton Rouge lawyer. They then sued the prison administration for violation of copyright for using their names without authorization. They sent a demand letter to the warden and hired a bailiff to seize his vehicle, freeze his bank accounts and change the lock on his door. When they presumed that these actions had been carried out they sent a second letter demanding that they be let out of jail before negotiating for the release of his property. The scheme, however, fell apart because the presumed bailiff was actually an undercover FBI agent. The inmates and their lawyer are presently facing a number of charges equally creative, imaginative and fantastic as their original plan. Molly's tiny little feline mind boggles at how someone can be charged with "conspiracy" when all their actions are in an open court of law. I'm sure, however, that the Guild of Jailhouse Lawyers will consider this one as worthy of whatever they award in lieu of Academy Awards-for "best comedy"... the "golden file statue" I guess.
Against Monopoly continually brings up examples of the absurdity of ip laws, and this one deserves a comedy award for sure. Molly gives this one 3 chuckles and two guffaws.

Molly has just come upon a recent interesting article at the Anarkismo site. Anarchism in South Africa is a transcript of an interview with Michael Schmidt of the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Federation(ZACF) by the French anarchist magazine Alternative Libertaire. The interview traces the rise of the modern anarchist movement in South Africa and discusses its present politics and activities at length. Very inspiring considering the economic difficulties and political challenges facing many of our SA comrades. Of course Molly strongly recommends the website of the ZACF for news from that part of the world and also for what may be the best online source of high quality pdf format pamphlets.


Since writing the last post (no pun intended), Molly has come upon what she things is the greatest site on the late Ingmar Bergman. Bergmanomania:The Magic Works of Ingmar Bergman has all the features of the sites I mentioned previously and much more. The site contains commentary all on of his major movies, downloadable trailers and film clips, interviews, documentaries and even parodies of some of his ouevre. Drop on over for a real treat.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The famous film director Ingmar Bergman (July 14, 1918 - July 30, 2007) died today. Bergmann was born in Uppsala Sweden, and his father was a Lutheran minister of Danish descent and of rather strict views, Erik Bergman, who later became the chaplain to the King of Sweden. The darkness of Bergman's early life resonated through Ingmar's later work. The themes of death/mortality, sex and sexual politics, guilt, faith or the lack thereof and loneliness echoed through the director's later films and plays. Bergman's first film was 'Frenzy' (1944), and his ouevre spanned many decades. Two good sources for a cinematography are http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/bergman.htm and http://1worldfilms.com/Ingmar%20Bergman.htm . The latter allows you to purchase many of his films. The former contains an excellent biography that supplements the Wikipedia site on him.
Bergman was as prolific with his DNA as he was with his writings. He was married five times, and he acknowledged 9 children as his own. All of them with the exception of one author and one airline pilot became involved with film. He had a favourite repertoire of actors that he hoped to include in his films, and he was more than slightly lax with them, allowing them to improvise and change the tone of many of his films. One of these actors, Liv Ullman, became one of his mistresses, and she and he had a daughter that he also acknowledged as his own.
Those interested in the sort of "lit-crit" that professors of fine arts do can slake their thirst at http://www.senseofcinema.cam/contents/directors/02/bergman.html or http://www.filmref.com/directors/dirpages/bergman.html . Bergman spent more than one stint in nutters in his life. One of these little "rest cures" happened after he was arrested in 1976 and charged with income tax evasion. The charges were later dropped, but the result was that he left Sweden for exile in Munich and only returned in 1982. I gotta say that his attraction to craziness didn't interfere with his "procreation duties" as can be seen by his progeny. One has to appreciate, however, that Bergman was both rich and lived at a time when the so-called "helping" professions were far less developed in the industrial power that they have today. Nowadays few except that who accept the position of the factory material of permanent marginals who earn their keepers large salaries can escape interference with their sex and family lives. Different times. Different places. Today you have to accept the position of "welfare bum"-with all that implies for your life- to breed like a rabbit.
My own favourite films of Bergman were 'Scenes from a Marriage', 'Fanny and Alexander' and, of course, 'The Seventh Seal'. Not being a film nut/nit I'm sure that those more knowledgeable that I could argue with my choices. One hardly hears today about existentialism and its themes. To a large extent this is because we live in a time without real faith when attempts at such partake more of hysteria than real conviction. The "faith" of the American evangelists is as much a cartoon faith as my own pen name of Mollymew is a cartoon. I wonder if the faith of Islamic fundamentalists seems the same to many Muslims. Je ne sais pas. The existentialists lived in a time when they actually mourned the death of a real and present God and the meaning that he imparted. Today we see this God as a fading photograph in an old family picture. Both fascism and Marxist communism failed dramatically as substitutes.
Much has been lost since that time. Very few people today actually bother to confront the real meaning of death, for instance, when there is no certainty of a meaning to it or a life thereafter. When they cling to the modern cartoon versions of "certainty" they lose something that traditional Christian (and Muslim for that matter) culture preserved from the Greeks. They lose the comedic aspect of life. They simply can't get the joke. They also lose the tragic aspect. One can see this very starkly in the conservative ideology rampant in the USA where "tragedy" is invoked to justify injustice but the whole idea of Nemesis and the punishment for over weaning pride is absent. Leftism, of course, shares similar blindness, but the contrast is hardly as visible as it is when you read conservative commentators.
What exactly has been lost here ? Read the nonsense spewed out by Islamic fascists. Read the same sort of thing produced by the present American or Canadian government and their supporters. Read pretty well anything produced by neo-conservatives. Read most of what is produced under the heading of "leftism". Read the more rhetorical anarchism statements. What is missing ? The whole idea that life is complex and has depth. Yes, I miss the existentialists greatly. I'll also miss old Ingmar. He should never have confessed his chess strategy to Death disguised as a priest.
Molly on Dover Beach

Sunday, July 29, 2007


By the light of the moon

By the silvery moon

We'll be cuddlin' soon

By the light of the moon:

Tonight is the night of the full moon. Most commonly referred to as the 'Full Buck Moon', it is also known as the 'Full Thunder Moon' and the 'Full Hay Moon'. It arrived tonight at 12:48 am GMT, 7:48 pm Winnipeg time. So once more Molly hops in her pea green boat and sails the lunar seas. Tonight's journey was to the Mare Imbrium (the Sea of Showers or the Sea of Rains). This feature is labelled "2" on the lunar map to the upper left. Imbrium is the largest of the mare of the Moon, second in size only to the Oceanus Procellarum as a lunar feature. It measures about 1200 kms from east to west and about 1100 kms from north to south. The present theory is that this lava plain was carved out about 3.85 billion years ago by an asteroid about 100 kms in diameter.

Imbrium is bounded on the north by (from west to east) the Jura, Teneriffe and Alp mountain ranges (see Mare Frigoris previously on this blog) and on the east by the Caucasus(north east) and Appenine(south east) mountains. The southern border is formed by the Carpathian mountains. To the west Imbrium merges into the Oceanus Procellarum mentioned above.

Imbrium has a number of very interesting features. The indentation on the northwest corner labelled A on the diagram to the left is the Sinus Iridum (the Bay of Rainbows).(Molly Note:If you depend upon Wikipedia for information without checking you will notice that 'Iridum' is misspelled 'Iridium'-like the element in some of their information) The general area labelled I on the southeast corner is the Sinus Lunicus. Three large craters are visible in half decent binoculars. C is the crater Plato, G is Archimedes and N is Copernicus. The point labelled J in the diagram was the landing point for Apollo 15.
The impact that created Imbrium was severe enough that it gave its name to to a whole era of lunar geology, the Imbrium Era. The impact was probably responsible for an extended period of lunar volcanism that filled the various basins of the Moon (Procellarum, mares, sinuses, laci) with the dark appearing basalts that give the Moon its more shadowed features. The lunar lava was unlike terrestrial lavas, having far less viscosity, more like thin motor oil. This meant that the Moon lacks the conspicuous volcanic cones common on Earth. The lava simply spread out in sheets. The lack of large mare regions on the far side of the Moon can be explained by the lack of an Imbrium sized impact on that face.

To check for the times of the full moons of this year Molly highly recommends the Time and Date site. This site has a wealth of information on matters chronological including solar and lunar calenders and the opportunity to design your own calender for any number of countries of the world complete with all holidays religious and secular. Not just a way of telling time, but much more.

For four years now the Israeli group 'Anarchists Against the Wall' have "supported the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation and specifically against Israel's segregation wall". In the course of their actions they have accumulated $40,000 in legal expenses and over 60 indictments. They are now asking the international anarchist community for help. You can learn more about their work by visiting the site above and by reading the anarkismo article asking for help. Donations can be made via their site or by writing them at donate@awalls.org

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Like many anarchists Molly has an attraction to things that are "different". Perhaps this personality trait precedes and predisposes a person for an attraction towards anarchism. Perhaps it only predisposes some of us to the ideology because "anarchism" is rather an amoeba of a noun. Some forms of anarchism are just as rhetorical, dogmatic and mindless as the most egregious example that anyone could adduce from any other political or religious belief system. Like any biological species anarchism always produces mutations, and some of these mutations are monsters. Molly certainly !!!! believes that a basic morality should precede political beliefs and that political beliefs should be judged in terms of this common human morality rather than the other way around. She also believes much more emphatically that facts should precede belief and never be deduced from an ideology as is the common practice amongst ideologues, anarchist and otherwise. Most of the worst examples of this that Molly is familiar with are Stalinist, primitivist or fundamentalist, though the present American government has some tendencies in this regard. Mostly, however, the neo-cons behave as if truth simply doesn't exist, like their leftist mirror images the post-modernists do. No need to deduce something that is irrelevant anyways. Speak emotion not fact.
Molly looks over her last few posts. There seems to be a pattern here. Molly is very pleased with the fact that at least some opponents of pesticides are in touch enough with reality to base their opposition on scientific fact rather than New Age dishonesty. Molly is also pleased that some Christians want to rescue their religion from the grip of the Anti-Christ in the USA, a distortion of the Christian message that gives everything to Caesar and nothing to God. So on and so forth down the list of posts. Molly is always attracted to something that is "contrarian". Get me drunk enough and I'll express the idea that I hardly ever agree with myself.
I'm presently reading 'Principles of Cancer Biology' by Lewis J. Kleinsmith, a very good book in my opinion. It's obviously designed to be either a 2nd or 3rd year biology text for both biology and non-biology students, though Molly can hardly imagine that non-science students would have the knowledge to absorb its concepts properly. As continuing education it's great. It's amazing how much progress has been made since I first learned cancer biology and left the fundamentals for the purpose of learning how to estimate the probabilities that a skin tumour is a basal cell carcinoma, a squamous cell carcinoma, a melanoma or some other benign event. It's always good to go back to first principles, and this book is great because each chapter contains not just a summary but also a self testing section. The references provided at the end of each chapter are, perhaps, less oriented towards useful reviews than I would like, but they are still very valuable.
How this connects with the subject of this blog is as follows. At the same time I have read an article in the May edition of Scientific American by Peter Duesberg. Duesbery was apparently the "first" to identify an oncogene in connection with virally induced cancer in 1970(Molly thinks that this "priority" is more complicated than that). In latter years, however, he has become something of a crank. He is the main (and perhaps only )reputable scientist who has questioned the HIV origin of AIDS. The editors of Scientific American were visibly falling all over themselves to provide an excuse for publishing this article by Duesberg. The basis of the article is that Duesberg disparages most of present cancer biology in favour of a rather ideological view of cancer being a disease of "aneuploidy" ie chromosome rearrangements.
As in most cases of questions that are open to free debate (unlike political ideology- which really should try and model the process of science, the most libertarian process on Earth today) the "truth" is a matter of "fuzzy truth". Duesberg is neither 100% right nor 100% wrong. Whether he is 1% right or 99% right or any point in between will be determined by further research. For those interested Duesberg's home page is at http://www.duesberg.com and his views on cancer are at http://mcb.berkley.edu/labs/duesberg . What Molly finds interesting is the fact that she is reading the orthodox view in Principles of cancer Biology at the same time as the dissident view from Duesberg. It's actually helpful to Molly in evaluating both. She finds orthodoxy much more open than the personality driven views of Duesberg, but she still believes that the truth is somewhere in between.
Science is forever "breaking the mold". This has been its history for hundreds of years. The new ideologies that attempt to criticize it are far more dogmatic, totalitarian,authoritarian and restrictive than their fantasies of "scientism" could ever be. Science is an human project that is much more "internationalist" than the politically correct rhetoric that imagines that it can criticize it. In its own clumsy way science lumbers on by dispute, contradiction and confirmation. No other human enterprise comes closer to the ideals of anarchism. Science is what anarchism should aspire to be. The perpetual breaking of molds is what science, good science rather than time serving, is all about. It should also be what politics is about. Molly is uncertain about just how "correct" Duesberg is in terms of cancer biology, but she is also dead certain that the evidence is sufficient to reject his view of AIDS. She judges this by "evidence", not by deducing it from a philosophy. Politics should be the same. Science is a decentralized but also interconnected enterprise, and it approaches the truth because of this. But also because of its methods. It has a beauty that is intrinsic to its nature. This is a beauty that its critics never have. It "breaks the molds" not via fashion and force but via truth and demonstration. More of life should be like that.


On Saturday, July 21, more than 75 workers were labouring at grape picking in California when an adjacent almond orchard was sprayed with the toxic chemical chlorpyrifos. Some workers were hospitalized soon after while the others were told to go home and "take a shower". They were later phoned and told to go to the hospital, but most farm workers can afford neither the medical costs nor the loss of wages (God bless the American medical system). When some of these workers attempted to return to work on M0nday, July 23rd, they fell ill again. This is the second serious major pesticide exposure incident in California this month. On July 10th over a dozen workers were exposed to chlorprifos while picking oranges. The United Farm Workers are calling on people to email the California Department of Pesticide Regulations and demand that they investigate these incidents to the full extent of the law. They are also calling for a ban on dangerous chemicals such as chlorpyrifos. To join this campaign go to http://www.ufwaction.org/campaign/chlorpyrifos .

If you'd like more information on the chemistry and effects of chlorpyrifos go to the Wikipedia article on same. Or for much better information go to Pesticideinfo.org's page on same. The latter, by the way, is a great resource, its home page I mean. PesticideInfo.org is a project of the Pesticide Action Network North America. Molly went there expecting to find the usual cranks and nuts of the "my naturopath diagnosed me with multiple chemical sensitivity but then I took the homeopathic remedy prescribed, meditated, adjusted my chakras and read more of Deepass Chopra and I'm cured and will live forever or at least until I transcend the illusions of this state of being" ilk. I was very pleasantly surprised. Now I admit that I didn't go over the full site with an inquisitor's eye, but what I did see was actually based on reality rather than quackery, neurosis, new age conmanship and a crude substitute for better religions. I found no bullshit on what I examined, including those things that I know very well such as fleas. I even found a few unique suggestions for my life long project to kill every ant in the world- a crusade that I signed up to in childhood- without poisoning my cats. Ants, crows, gastrointestinal parasites, primitivists, fleas, etc....there are some life forms that have no useful function to anything else. Am I wrong in this in terms of the ants ? Anyways Molly was impressed, and she'll add panna to her links list soon.

The latest issue of Time magazine (July 30- Aug.6) has an article on the New Sanctuary Movement in the USA. This coordination of faith groups is a response to the increasing repression and harshness that so-called illegal immigrants are facing in the USA these days. It's a wide coalition of groups ranging the spectrum from the Unitarians, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopalians and the United Methodists to Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Quakers, Evangelical Christians, Jews, Muslims and Sikhs. Like the sanctuary movement of the early 1980s when the US government attempted to deport refugees fleeing repression and wars in Central America this movement offers sanctuary in churches for immigrant families under immediate threat of deportation and all sorts of other help for those not in an immediately critical situation.There is actually no legal right to sanctuary in churches, but authorities are almost always unwilling to raise the public stakes by violating the customary rule of sanctuary.
The most recent growth of this movement to follow the gospel's edict to "shelter the stranger" stems from a March, 2006 Lenten message of Cardinal Archbishop Roger Maloney of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in which he urged his priests and other faithful to disobey Bill HR 4437 should it become law. This bill passed the House of Representatives where it was introduced but later failed in the Senate. It would have criminalized any aid given to an illegal immigrant even if the giver was unaware of the legal status of the recipient. It put the onus to know on the giver of charity and essentially outlawed charity towards undocumented aliens in the USA.
(Molly Note: The article in Time Magazine gives the date of this instruction by Mahoney as 2005 while the website of the NSM gives it as March 2006. Time has made a mistake in this case. Their confusion is a result of the fact that HR 4437 was introduced in 2005 and passed on Dec. 16th of that year- a little early "Christmas gift" from the ruling class of the USA to poor people in that country. Molly has one of her recurrent fantasies stimulated by this, a retelling of A Christmas Carol with Ebeneezer Bush in the starring role and the ghost of Ronald Reagan come to warn him to mend his evil ways. The ghost will be dragging a chain made of nuclear missiles, boxes labelled either "To Iran" or "To Nicaragua" and various other unsavoury items. But more on this later in the year)

The New Santuary Movement continued to organize throughout on January 29th, 2007 they met in Washington DC to set up coordination of their various efforts. The Time article refers to the "founding" of the NSM as being in May of 2007, but once more it errs as what the NSM calls 'The Convening' in January is a more accurate date for the "founding". The consensus of the meeting includes the following guiding principles and goals:
Guiding principles or values:
-Faith platform: focus on faith-based moral principles
-moving immigrants from victim to witness
-ensuring the dignity of those we serve and those who oppose us
-open public witness being willing to take the consequences of our actions
-To protect immigrant workers and families from unjust deportation
-to change the public debate
-to awaken the moral indignation of the country
-to make visible immigrant workers and families as children of God

The website of the NSM gives much more information on their organization and goals. There are similar initiatives in Canada for immigrants and also for deserters from the American armed forces, but the religious efforts are considerably sparser and uncoordinated as compared to those in the USA. Anarchist efforts such as the No One is Illegal coalition do fine work here but lack the ability to offer people subject to deportation the sort of sanctuary that religious groups can.

What the Time article lacks in chronological accuracy it makes up for in situating the NSM in a wider context of what be termed "the struggle for America's soul". In particular it discusses how America, as one of the most religious nations on Earth, has "two wings" to its faith communities and how this initative from "the left wing of religion" overtakes the neo-conservative wing that has had far more publicity in the past. A particularily interesting comment is how, in the case of immigration, the left Christian position is far more biblically based that the conservative position. In the Old Testament, for instance, God speaks of being "the God of the aliens" 103 times. Right wing pundits can find no passages to challenge this. Molly has seen in the past little while how the power of the right wing manipulators of Christianity is gradually being eroded, even within the segment of the church known as "Evangelicals", by a slowly developing movement for a new social gospel. always meant to comment on this. Hope to say more later. Nowadays it is not only the traditional "liberal churches" that are questioning the designs of the American state but also some rather unexpected(to orthodox leftists) critics from different theologies. Have a look at the article if you can, and check out the NSM website.

All this leads into the subtitle of this blog. What is the meaning of direct action ? Basically it is identifying a problem and then taking direct action, either collective or individual, to remedy the problem. Seems simple, but it actually isn't. It contrasts with "indirect action" which is lobbying an authority or attempting to change the personnel in that authority so that they rather than a group or individual affected by the problem will take action to correct the problem. Direct Action is often taken as a subject of unquestioned belief amongst anarchists. It's assumed that it is not only the best course of action at all times and in regards to all problems but also that it is the only method that ever solves a problem. This is obviously not true, and a more rational and less ideological modest anarchism would admit this while retreating to the word "usually" and laying stress on "the law of unforseen consequences", also known as TANSTAFL (there ain't no such thing as a free lunch), in that carring out problem solving by "indirect action" has other effects seperate from the immediate problem in question and often leads to less than optimum solutions.
That's all well and good and probably deserves more discussion than I have given it above. A much more grevious problem, however, is the great confusion that exists amongst too many anarchists who can't see the difference between direct action and a militant posturing. What the churches mentioned above are doing is direct action in its purest sense. Some of what they do either challenges or violates laws. Some of it does not (but would if bills such as HR4437 were to be passed). Direct action does not depend upon illegality to be so defined. A housing or food coop, for instance, is also direct action in its purest form.
Neither does the aspect of illegality or especially a violent attitude and actions make indirect action magically into its opposite. Arranging regular riots whenever certain members of the ruling class meet to plot evil -with a 100% certainty of failing to prevent any such planning on the part of the ruling class- is, at best, petitioning with a brick rather than a ballot. In may be seen as a media circus to influence others, but only a true believer could believe it is effective in this regard. The money spent on organizing, travelling to and defending the arrested in such circuses would be far better spend buying air time for ads. Worst of all it can, and to a large extent has, become nothing but an identity badge for those who not only don't care about reaching the unconvinced but would be very disturbed if their self image was disturbed by their ideology becoming more "normal". The sadness of some of the attempts to give examples of "success" in regard to these events (they cost the state X dollars for security, they prevented a third understudy to the 2nd assistant ass-kisser to the vice director in charge of boot licking from attending, etc.) is actually quite pity provoking if seen from outside.
Direct action presumes at least a good chance that the plan will succeed. Not necessarily a guarantee (nothing is certain in this world), but at least a real chance. When there is pretty much a 100% certainty that it won't succeed it is no long direct action. It is, at best, the symbolic action that advocates of violence like to disparage. At worst it is far less than that, existential justification perhaps.
Molly for one is quite pleased that large numbers of people, most of which have never heard of anarchism, are adopting its methods at least in part. She is displeased that some anarchists seem determined to stray from them.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The following item is republished from the truly delightful Austro-Athenian Empire blog, the journal of Roderick T. Long. The blog is more of an American libertarian blog rather than a straight anarchist blog, but anybody with this sense of humour is A-OK in my books. The Austro-Athenian Empire Blog has been added to Molly's Links section under Blogs. Drop on over to the AAE for some fine reading.
" Amazo is an evil android with all the powers of the Justice League of America. The Super Skrull is an evil alien with all the powers of the Fantastic Four. The Super-Adaptoid is an evil android with all the powers of the Avengers.
The Moral ????
With great power comes great dorkiness of name."

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Besides the comparison of Ottawa's and Winnipeg's drinking water quality (referred to previously on this blog) which came out all in favour of Ottawa Molly noticed another aspect of life in Canada's capital that is far better than that in Winnipeg. Here as well it may be natural advantage rather than deliberate public policy that accounts for some of the difference. The contrast between the amount of road repair going on at any given time when the ground is not frozen in Winnipeg as opposed to Ottawa is astounding. Not that Ottawa lacks "road work", but it generally appears to be construction rather than playing "catch-up" in repair of streets that rapidly deteriorate. There was one long term closed-for-contruction road, Bank St., that Molly had to negotiate around. I assume that this was some sort of upgrade as the parts that were open seemed much better than the average Winnipeg street. But, like Winnipeg, there often seemed to be no obvious plan to what the City of Ottawa was doing there. Molly saw none of the tearing apart of entire streets for repair that is a common site in Winnipeg. The City of Ottawa also seemed to have planned some repairs to one major thoroughfare to happen in the dead of night even though Molly could see nothing wrong with the road as it was. Perhaps this was good planning of a proactive nature, and the defects they were to repair were below the level of detectability of someone from a prairie city.
Now, Molly is not a city planner, and perhaps this is the reason why she cannot see the rationale for the common City of Winnipeg practice of chipping out a series of two foot deep pits on a street and then seemingly losing interest for a period varying from days to months. There are hundreds of these pits across the city. I have little clue as to what the plan for them is. Is it sewer and water line repair ? Is it some wierd way of resurfacing a road ? Whatever it is for why dig a hole and then walk away ? Why not finish a job once started ? Parts of the Bank St. project looked like this. Holes dug and then nothing happens. No obvious work going on. I admit that we were only in Ottawa for a little over a week, and it's entirely possible that the next crew for the next stage could show up faster than is the custom in parts of Winnipeg. Molly is hardly the only Winnipeg citizen who has complaints about this bad habit on the part of the City. Perhaps it is an argument for the sort of workers' control over regular maintenance that anarchists advocate. Proper coordination between different work crews is very likely to be better achieved by communication amongst the workers themselves rather than by adherance to some sort of overarching "plan" that makes no sense if looked at from anything but a bureaucratic perspective.
But Ottawa undoubtably has a natural advantage being as bedrock down there is a lot closer to the surface than it is out here. All prairie cities suffer from the plague of potholes that grow under the snow and blossom forth with the coming of spring. The two worst items are undoubtably Winnipeg and Regina, both of which are built on land that in part should be natural swamp-thereby benefitting water conservation. As an ex-inmate of Regina I am willing to testify that Winnipeg is far worse in this regard. The potholes range from tiny little 1 inch dips to gigantic street collapses that go six feet down and stretch 50 feet. Winnipeg has far more of the latter than Regina does. So much so that it's a wonder that more cats, small dogs and children don't go forever missing here. Unlike Regina Winnipeg did have, and still has to a lesser extent, a real reason for existing other than government and the corruption involved in same. Regina was chosen as the capital of the then NWT as a result of competition between rival gangs of land speculators. The thugs around then Leftenant Governor Dewdney and the more powerful thugs around the CPR gave Regina its present form. The capital was declared out west on what is now "Dewdney Ave." on waste land picked up for a song, but downtown was declared miles away on land held by the CPR.
Winnipeg's natural situation at the confluence of two rivers that were navigable is a much more intelligent place for a city, even if flooding is an ever present danger. But it still suffers from the fact that it is built on prairie gumbo. Things sink here, just as they do in Regina, and an eternal cycle of repair becomes inevitable. Ottawa lacks this beautiful natural attraction so it is no wonder that driving on its roads takes nowhere near the presense of mind that it does out here on the prairies. What it lacks in "awareness traps", however, it may make up for in the twisting, turning, curving total irrationality of the layouts of its streets. Now, any city that grows naturally rather than according to "plan" may share this little driving obstacle. Molly's difficulty in driving in Ottawa was compounded by the fact that, unlike out here on the prairies, they seem to have little regard for natural directions in Ottawa. Streets cross streets rather than avenues. Streets can run both east and west as well as the western customary way of north and south. That is understating the case. Winnipeg, being as it is built on a river is quite different from the "grid-plan" of prairie towns, but with a little adjustment you can get used to the idea that say "going north on Henderson" is really going north north east and going north on McPhillips is really going north west. Molly is still frustrated by people who grew up in this city who have NO conception of natural directions- even when she tries to get through to them that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west and that south is towards the USA and north is towards the North Pole. Molly has immense difficulty in getting through to some people that their only references of "right and left" are totally dependent on what direction you are coming from in the first place. Pretty simple to me, but quite imcomprehensible to a large number of people who live here. But...there is at least some hope here. In Ottawa there is no such hope. Like a cat in British Common Law "a street will wander where it will" down there.
But Ottawa has one other gigantic advantage over Winnipeg in terms of road planning. They actualy have real bicycle paths, real fucking bicycle paths that even go across bridges. Unlike in Winnipeg where the existing bicycle paths are almost solely amusement parks built on waste land and going nowhere- a sop to the granola crunchers without any benefit for the majority of the population who might want cheap transportation. You have no idea of how pleasant this is unless, like Molly, you have spent almost a quarter century at a job where driving is a major part of each day. The taxi drivers, the bus drivers, the truck drivers, the couriers and Molly of this city have never ending complaints about the idiots who ride bikes in this city, particularily in winter. Fine if you want to challenge fate and a double loaded semi, but leave us out of your suicidal tendencies or your arrogance. We actually really, sincerely, truly, absolutely don't want to kill you. What seriously pisses Molly off is when the granola crunchers venture out of "hippy heaven" (the Wolseley area where good hippies go when they die) and put their fashionable politics ahead of the safety of their children by tooling (tools indeed !) around on very dangerous streets with their kids in either baskets or kid trolleys. People are frequently run down here in the car theft capital of Canada for sheer fun, and the people who drive their own cars are often little better. Once more consult the truck,bus,courier drivers and not just Molly. Molly's only act of aggression towards the bike riders is deliberately hogging the curve so they can't speed past and blindside either me or the people in front of me. Bike riders aren't supposed to do this, but they often think it is their right to do this. Lots of agro from them to poor little Molly. Less agro however than when I hog two lanes and drive slow to pass them, thereby aggravating the speed demons behind me. Those drivers are really pissed off. Now, Molly would never admit to having ever broken a law in her life. She always obeys the speed limits to the letter. But many, many professional drivers less restricted by the law see a 60km/hr zone and know they can go 70 without ever being stopped by the police unless there is a campaign on. Similarily for red light cameras with different numbers. But suppose Molly was one of these bad, bad people who are 500% better than the "average driver" in this city, and some idiot was tailgating her because 10kms over the speed limit was too "slow" for them. When Molly would do the "car equivalent" of hogging the curb by deliberately slowing down to the speed limit these people are just as pissed off as the bike riders are. Hey fucks, I'm helping to preserve your life. Show a little gratitude. Left wing bicycle aggression and right wing SUV aggression: it's all the same to those of us who make their living by driving. Your politics and intentions don't count.
Molly is actually of the opinion that it should be legal to ride your bicycle on the sidewalk. She is unaware of any incident in human history when anyone was ever killed by being run down by a bicycle. Perhaps she is just ignorant. She is,however, very aware of the frequent serious injuries and often deaths when idiot drivers run down bicycle riders in this city. It may be better in places that are not car theft capitals, but not by much. Molly noticed that the drivers in Ottawa were much more polite than here in Winnipeg, and they were quite tolerant when she did indeed, really, truly, absolutely, without a doubt drive the speed limit because she had no idea of where she was going. They also used signal lights, an action which, by popular convention, is frowned upon in Winnipeg and is usually an invitation to speed up so that "you don't get my lane you son of a bitch". Actually most of the drivers there really, truly, absolutely, without a doubt obeyed the speed limit. Molly was the fastest item on the 417 out to the Diefenbunker. How I love divided highways and a clear path ahead.
But...the bicycle paths. Both Molly's jaw and the jaw of the wife were agape. Jesus Christ, you could fit a small car in the width that the bicycle riders were allowed. No sweating bullets and checking what you can hit on the left behind you if some dumb bugger(drunk or sober) weaves out of his one foot of pedalling space. And how many paths, how many paths. it eliminates at least one major stress from driving. Christ, I've died and gone to civilization. Especially across the bridges that are one of the major sweat events here in Winnipeg if a bicycle rider is either stupid or arrogant enough to challenge traffic here.
Now, Molly is totally aware that residents of Ottawa may think that there should be more bicycle routes, but they should be aware of just how advanced they are in comparison to most other Canadian cities. It's something to be proud of. Molly is all in favour of both better bicycle routes and-much more importantly- better public transit like she has seen in European cities. Molly makes her living by driving,however, and any decent city will still have cars. Molly,however, "hates" driving when she is not working. She's getting a bit on in years, and she knows the elitism of trendy lefties who concentrate on bicycle issues while ignoring public transport for those who can barely walk let alone peddle. Let alone people down in the economic scale who don't have time to waste. Ottawa has a LRT system, but it pretty much serves the bureaucratic elite. Molly has blogged before about how much she loved the subways of Prague, and she thinks that this is an example that larger Canadian cities should follow. Ottawa, as a very spread out city, would be a great location for a real subway system. It presently is a shining example of how to accomodate bicycles on public streets, as least in comparison to other Canadian cities. It could do more, but it is still many steps ahead of Winnipeg.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

It's becoming something of a tradition- the anarchist bookfair. In cities across the world more and more people are coming together each year in a carnival-like atmosphere to celebrate the art of anarchist publication. Not just books and pamphlets but other artistic endeavours from video, to film, to live theatre, to clothes and workshops on a wide variety of subjects. These fairs are an example of anarchism at its constructive best, building and demonstrating alternatives in an atmosphere that is attractive rather than threatening.
Edmonton Alberta has hosted an annual bookfair since 2002, and this year's event is scheduled for October 27th and 28th, 2007 at the Alberta Avenue Community League at 9210 118th Ave., Edmonton, Alberta. The keynote speaker will be Ward Churchill who will speak at the Myer Horowitz Theatre at the University of Alberta on October 26th, the evening before the bookfair. Attendance is usually about 1,000 people, and vendors and speakers come from across North America. The people at the Edmonton Anarchist Bookfair have issued a callout for people interested in selling their literature or other productions and presenting information about their group. Preference will be given to vendors who provide anarchist/activist literature or merchandise. There is limited assistance available for travelling and billeting, and the organizers are able to accept merchandise from vendors unable to attend but once more on a limited basis.
The dealine for table submissions is September 1st, 2007, and you can ask for table space via the following email addresses:
Any submissions should answer the following questions:
Affiliation (if any)
Postal Code/Zip Code
email (required)
How many tables will you require ?
Brief description of what your table(s) will offer the public
The organizers would also ask you to provide some travel information to help maximize attendance ie
Where will you and your co-presenters be travelling from and by what method ?
If you are driving can you drive other people that need rides in your area ? How many spaces available ?
If you are not driving can you ride with other people ? How many spaces will you need ?
Do you require a travel subsidy ? If so how much ?
Will you need a place to stay while you are in Edmonton ? If so for how many and for how long ? Please provide dates.
Other concerns or considerations?
Will you require childcare? For how many children ?
The Bookfair has also issued a callout for presenters. The deadline for this is August 15th. The organizers are interested in presentations that address
-current or historical horizontal community organizing
-current or historical perspectives on Anarchism
-community organizing in other countries
-skill sharing
-other topics of interest
The email addresses for submisssion of presentations are the same as above. They ask you to send them an abstract of your presentation including the following information:
Presenter (may submit a maximum of two abstracts)
Affiliation (if any)
Postal Code/Zip Code
Telephone #
Fax #
Email (required)
Brief (1-2 sentence) description of presentation for promotional material
Presentation type (out of the following)
*workshop 1 hour
*workshop 2 hours
*oral presentation 30 minutes
The organizers are able to provide the following audio visual aids ie laptop, projector, VCR, DVD player, CD/cassette player, flip chart. Please specify if you need any of these or any other aids. It is asked that presenters bring their presentations on CD/DVD or memory stick. Handouts for the prsentations can be provided for the audience if an electronic copy is provided to the bookfair by Oct. 1st. Otherwise presenters will be required to duplicate handouts at their own expense. Please specify if you would prefer Saturday Oct. 27th or Sunday, October 28th for your presentation.
That's about it. If you have any other questions feel free to contact the organizers at the email addresses above.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

(or Comparing the Anarchist Forums):
Freedom from London England is the oldest running anarchist paper in the world. Founded in 1886 by Kropotkin and friends it has served as the "grand old lady" of the English speaking anarchist movement for most of the time since. Molly has a special soft spot for Freedom as it was the first anarchist publication that she subscribed to way back in the early 70s. In addition to published a paper Freedom Press has done more than any other publisher to produce fine books and pamphlets in the anarchist tradition. Their titles grace libraries across the world, and while they may have been overtaken in volume in recent years by AK Press they are probably more responsible than any other outfit for introducing people to the ideas of anarchism via the public and university libraries.
Molly has watched Freedom change over the years as successive generations come and go. The present editorial collective has certainly done their best to enliven the appearance of the paper via the use of colour and a less "cluttered" layout. They retain some of the best of the "old" Freedom (in whatever incarnation this may be) such as the regular Wildcat cartoons by Donald Roome while introducing many new features such as the 'Anarchist Quiz Book'. The reviews section is quite contemporary and generally avoids the trap of dogmatic concentration on thing only the thoroughly converted would be interested in. The paper concentrates on "news" rather than analysis which may be a drawback as "news" rapidly becomes old if you are only a fortnightly.
Molly is of the opinion that there has to be some happy half way station between "news" and the sort of ill digested buzzwords and rhetoric that graces (disgraces?) far too many anarchist publications(journals of pseudo-intellectualism armed ?), particularly in the USA-bullshit that goes by the name of "theory". She also has to admit that at least some of the articles in each edition achieve this balance. Perhaps Freedom achieves a very reasonable balance given the limitations of print.
The present collective running the show for the past few years are rather stern "class struggle" anarchists, as the typology goes in the UK. This has its good points and its bad points. The good is that it makes them immune to the pathogens in the cesspool of those who want to "deconstruct the hermetical, epistemological and ontological texts in order to transfigure disambiguous contestations with the teleology of neo-primitivism". Yes, boys and girls, all of the words run together in the quotation marks, along with far too many others, are used by those who have only a vague idea of what they mean so that they can appear "superior". Who also don't give a flying fuck about actually achieving something by the way. The people at Freedom actually do care , and they are trying to make their paper accessible to the ordinary person who might actually want to do something rather than find a "meta critique" that gives them an illusion of being "enlightened and superior".
Has Freedom succeeded ? No !. That is one of the bad points of their position. Molly can remember the "good old days" when Freedom had regular "individualist" viewpoints with people like Arthur Moyse and S.E. Parker amongst others as well as the "reformist" views of Colin Ward. Now I will agree that it may be better to avoid entirely the "individualist" viewpoint today as it has been thoroughly corrupted by the American post-leftists exporting their toxic ideological waste across the world. I'm sure that if they can dump their garbage into the minds of a small number of Spaniards despite the presence of a mass anarchist movement there that they can have a much more bad smelling effect in the UK. Yet, I look at Freedom, and it is pretty obvious that they haven't produced a paper that can appeal to the casual unfamiliar browser. Like too much of what we anarchists produce it is preaching to the choir. Yes, they may have a better sense of humour than the anarcho-cultists who scream, yell and posture. But any positive number is, of course, greater than zero. They may have far more accessible language and choice of subject matter, but I still cannot imagine handing out Freedom to the ordinary person who wasn't already interested in anarchism.
The old individualists actually had "grab appeal", perhaps something of a "lost leader" if you will, that could draw in people who were not immediately interested in the concerns of the activists. I realize that these are different times, and because of this I would probably agree with the tack that Freedom has taken. I also realize that Freedom is on the horns of a dilemma that nobody could solve to the liking of everybody. So, I still love them nonetheless.
The Limitations of Print:
But most importantly Freedom is a print publication, a fortnightly with all that that implies. They have yet to initiate an online edition which is a shame. many other anarchist publications are ahead of the grand old lady in this regard. They do, however, post some of their stories on the LibCom.org site, even if they are lost in the maze of news reported there. which brings us to the comparison part of the title above. There are a number of anarchist forums and news feeds active today. All have their good points and their bad points. The most popular one is, of course, the various Indymedia sites. To say that these are plagued by grevious problems understates the case greatly. Most are cursed with an abundance of conspiracy theory nuts(and plain ordinary nuts), anti-semites, Zionist opponents of same and various other pieces of flotsam washed up on the shores of history. Few have fulfilled their potential as an alternative news source for local and regional news. The ainfos site is a great site if you wish raw news items and little else. There actually is a forum for commenting on stories there. at least I think there still is. Molly found it some time ago with dilligent searching. Let me say that it takes some effort to find just as the procedure for posting to that site does. A-infos has the advantage of being a multilingual site, a great advantage from an international perspective. It is, however, a grey text source that usually not only leaves graphics to the reader's imagination but also leaves references to the same imagination unless the posters are diligent enough to include them. A-Infos may be "interactive", but you have to launch a quest for the ring to find out how to do this. A-Infos is long overdue for a makeover.
The Anarckismo site is much easier to navigate and post to. This site is not just strictly "class struggle" but is explicitely platformist in orientation. That's all well and good, and the editors at Anarkismo have hardly been overly strict on this from what I have seen in the past. They actually have sections for 'Other Libertarian Press' seperate from anarchocommunist posts as well as the 'Non-Anarchist Press'. I would hardly call them dogmatic by any definition. Yes, they have dealt with occasional "anarcho-nuts" by barring them in the past, but they are far more open than their opponents give them credit for. Also far more open than their opponents often are(see Infoshop later). Anarkismo is also a multilingual site, though its multilingualism is nowhere as thorough as that of Ainfos. It basically means Spanish and Greek in addition to English, with a smattering of French and German. Anarkismo is also not as up to date as A-Infos which may be understandable as it concentrates more on the analysis and theory aspect than that of news. For daily anarchist news A-Infos is the best. If you are looking for intelligent anarchist comment of a theoretical nature Anarkismo is the place to go. An intelligent adherance to principle with a properly libertarian tolerance. In contrast to.....
The dreaded Infoshop. God, I really don't want to get into this. This is standing and overwhelming proof that there are many different kinds of "intelligence". There is, for instance, intellectual intelligence and emotional intelligence. Infoshop is a great example of the first and a sterling example of how the second doesn't connect with the first. The technical design of Infoshop is brilliant (a creation of many years of work). It outshines LibCom.org(see later) in some areas while being pretty well "retarded" in others. It has a very user friendly layout and competes with A-Infos on the daily news front. It doesn't have the depth of LibCom.org for those who want to explore further, but that is simply a function of the fact that the type of "anarchism" that Infoshop plays to is more than slightly juvenile as compared to the sort espoused by A-Infos, Anarkismo and LibCom.org. The article in Freedom that I have recently read ('A Bunch of Dirty LibCommies') quotes one of the members of LibCom.org as characterizing Infoshop as "defining the anarchism-as-a-hobby approach". Molly would go further and be a bit more precise. The owner of Infoshop is a very intelligent man who has an emotional defect. In some ways he has escaped the usual politically correct leftist rhetoric, and this is all to his credit. But he holds to one of the most rigid points of views that I have ever seen. Yes...I can remember a contest on LibCom.org in which entrants were asked to submit the most bizarre reason why they had been banned from Infoshop. The owner of Infoshop is generally quite careful to choose collaborators who either agree with him totally or who can be intimidated. Watching the reasons for his manouevers over the years I would expect to find an utterly immoral manipulator at the centre. No...it's a person who has far less ambition than that, but a person who has the "Stalin in the Soul", someone who cannot abide contradiction.
The basic political "line" of Infoshop shows how any good idea can become a malignant cancer. The line is that anything that styles itself as "anarchism" is good, both the sensible ideas and the silly ones. Anyone who challenges this idea is, at best, subjected to abuse. Usually deleted and banned actually.Note the contest above. Baby-Ass anarcho-terrorism in the USA, for instance, is at the same level (or greater) of deserving of support as attempts to organize mass resistance. Anybody who disagrees will be wiped from the online forum. All that I can say is that I am extremely glad that such a person has limited ambitions. There is a more than slight resmblance to evangelical preachers. And others, of course, who you hope will never achieve power.
Which brings us back to the article in Freedom. LibCom.org is one of the best online anarcho-sites that Molly in her ignorance is familiar with. Aside from the questions relating to the differentiation from the "anarcho-nuts" which the interviewee John Stevens describes as "ideas which we think are counterproductive to building working class power" the interview in Freedom raises many, many, many questions. The idea of "activistism" where people go off half cocked in order to "do something" is one. The connections between a site such as LibCom.org and the general population is another. According to the interview LibCom.org has achieved the sort of balance that Molly has talked about above. This may indeed be easier to achieve on the internet than in a print publication, and Molly has little doubt that the success stories quoted in the interview are true. But as far as they go ? There is little doubt that LibCom.org has room for improvement. Their news section is current but not current enough. Their references for further investigation are beyond anything in the other sources described above. They,however, have a humour quotient of "zero" unless you enter into their forums where they are far better than most other anarchist sources, let alone the general left. If you have spare money to throw around it would much better be spent in supporting the LibCom.org people than some of the other items mentioned above.
So...try out the LibCom.org site. It's well worth the visit.
LibCom.org http://libcom.org/

Monday, July 23, 2007

Beginning this weekend the Carnival of Anarchy will be holding yet another blogathon. The subject this go around is "Education and Anarchism". Have something to say ? Want to see if someone else has something to say? Drop on over to the liveliest forum in the anarchoblog world and see what all the fuss is about.

Sunday, July 22, 2007



The German Mexican novelist B. Traven has been an unending mystery despite the popularity of his novels and the cinematic adaptions of same. The most popular theory about the real identity of Traven is that he was the Bavarian anarchist Ret Marut, but this itself probably an alias. A brief "antibiography" of the man and some of the theories as to his real identity is available at the LibCom site at http://libcom.org/library/b-traven-anti-biography . Another take on his real identity is given in a Wikipedia article devoted to him. This article quotes his wife as saying that Traven, "had something like ten identities and loved to tangle things up". The identity of Ret Marut can be traced back to 1907, and who he was before is a matter of speculation. The Wikipedia article gives a brief bibliography of his books. Those interested in a more complete list including those published posthumously can access it at http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/traven.htm . Looking over all these stories all that can be said is that nothing has been definitely proven yet. Molly would like to add her own two cents worth to the debate by saying that she has yet to see anybody commenting on the obvious similarity of the pseudonom "Marut" to that of the French revolutionary "Marat". Is this perhaps the source of the nom-de-guerre ?

Anyways, the Christie Books outfit over in the UK who produce films free for downloading have put together a trilogy on B. Traven. The first is 'B. Traven. A Mystery Solved'(1979) by Will Wyatt and Robert Robinson (http://www.brightcove.com/title.jsp?title=1119131104 ) which purports to "solve" the mystery of who Traven was. The second is 'Discovering Treasure:Making the Treasure of the Sierra Madre (http://www.brightcove.com/title.jsp?title=570487966 ) about the making of the classic movie. The final is the 1948 classic itself (http://www.brightcove.com/title.jsp?title=572020959 ) 'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre' starring Humphrey Bogart. Pop on over if you are interested and enjoy. Don't forget to make a donation so that the fine work of Christie Books can go on.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Molly refers the reader to the original post on July 4th and Werner's reply to it and also Molly's reply to that reply. To deal with Werner's points, first Darwin wrote his books long before Mendelian genetics became known. Mendel's results were orginally read to the natural History Society in Brno in 1865. The results were basically ignored until 1900 when they were "rediscovered" by Hugo de Vries, Carl Correns and Erich von Tschermak. Darwin himself was something of a "Lamarkian" in that his theory of "pangenesis" assumed a transmission of acquired traits from somatic cells to germ cells. What Kropotkin can be faulted for is a "conservative" adherance to Lamarckism long after the contrary had accumulated enough evidence to prove it true. Mutual Aid was published in 1902 from a series of articles in 'The Nineteenth Century'. From my reading of Kropotkin's publications thereafter he continued to defend the idea of the inheritance of acquired characteristics long after it was not a matter of debate but rather a "proved" fact. Some of this may be attributed to K's "francophilism" as the acceptance of Darwinism in France was very much long delayed, unlike in other countries. K's francophilism led him, of course, to the ridiculous position of supporting the Allies in WW1, unlike the majority of the anarchist movement. His love for France was a constant theme in his life. Kropotkin was basically no better no no worse than his time, and his only fault was conservativism.
Molly has little doubt that somewhere out there in the never, never land of the political science departments of various North America universities there are tiny little minds who look back to their Maoist youth and, like everything else they touch upon, they will want to say that the field of "epigenetics" gives proof to their crude ideologies. Tiny minds, who are incapable of understanding anything that actually takes intellectual work ! I think that they are few and far between, and I have seen little evidence of them in recent years.
The "dons" of Stalinist biology are more than slightly aged now. Lewontin is 78 years of age. Steven Rose is 69. They have no heirs in our modern world where evolutionary psychology is a growing and vibrant field of research. Science for the (new ruling class directed,exploited and controlled) People is long dead, buried with the turn of China to a more productive economy. Time moves on.
The idea of environmental determinism may still linger on in a declining number of social science departments, but its relevance in real research is long over.
What disturbs Molly most is not the idea of Lamarkism. Lamarkism is the sort of silliness held by ideologues. What disturbs her is the question of "levels of selection". Darwin focused his ideas of selection on the level of the organism. This is not the only level that one can view selection on. Dawkins, for instance, views the level of selection as that of the "gene". Kropotkin, in contrast, was an extreme "group selectionist" who viewed selection operating not just on the level of the breeding group but on the level of the species as a whole. This is something quite different from Gould's idea of "species selection" which basically ties into the idea of "evolvability" rather than selection. The general consensus in modern evolutionary biology is that "group selection" either doesn't exist or plays a very minor role in evolution. If, however, it plays a larger role as many believe in terms of human evolution then it leaves some very large questions for anarchists to answer.
The whole question revolves around the idea of "xenophobia" and how deeply based it is in humans. If you look at the writings of Alfred Russell, the codiscoverer of the idea of natural selection, a man often favoured by leftist readings of evolution (he was a socialist but also a complete crank) you will see very plainly how a group selectionist view leads to a rather nasty racism. NOW, just because an idea is unpalatible doesn't mean that it is wrong. It may indeed be true that group selection has played a major role in human evolution, and because of this the idea of an anarchist society must take account of human tendencies that anarchists don't want to admit. Some of these are fairly obvious. The malignant fascistic fantasies of the primitivists are obviously false without invoking "human nature". War until the most powerful "primitive community" conquers the others. From a less fascistic viewpoint, however, the ideas of "localism" held by most anarchists have to be modified by connections between communities that go over and above localism. Thus it is incumbant upon anarchists to modify their ideas of the "ideal society" to take into account the realities of human psychobiology.
So... that's what Molly is concerned about. More on this later.

Molly is still getting back on track from her vacation. Today she has noticed a few recent solidarity appeals from various countries via the on line labour solidarity site Labour Start. Once more Molly urges her readers to sign up for their online appeals.
The first appeal is from Iran where the labour activist Mansour Osanloo, mentioned a couple of times previously on these pages, has been kidnapped and is once more in prison . On July 10th this man, President of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company union, was kidnapped and beaten severely as he was boarding a bus. He was later found to be imprisoned. For more information and to join the international campaign for his release go to http://www.itfglobal.org/solidarity/osanloo2.cfm . Molly especially urges her readers to join this campaign as she has recently been reading the usual right wing newspaper columns which mention Mr. Osanloo as an "example" of how the left is "soft on Islamism" and doesn't act to help people fighting Islamist regimes- as if the right wing buggers do anything themselves. Help to prove these people wrong.
Also from the Labour Start people is a campaign entitled 'Hearing Implant Company Needs to Listen' about the actions of the Australian company Cochlear in locking out their employees, refusing to negotiate with their union and stonewalling on pay raises. To learn more and to join the campaign in support of these workers go to http://www.labourstart.org/cgi-bin/solidarityforever/show_campaign.cgi?c=272 . Also, in New Zealand, 800 members of the Service and Food Workers Union have been locked out of their jobs in ten major hospitals. The contractor 'Spotless' is attempting to force them to bargain outside of a national framework for other public hospital workers. To learn more and to support these workers go to http://www.labourstart.org/cgi-bin/solidarityforever/show_campaign.cgi?c=273

Out there on the Sunshine Coast (ha ha) the good people of the Vancouver branch of the No One is Illegal organization have announced that they finally have their new website up and running. You can visit it at http://noii-van.resist.ca/ . They also have a blog at http://noiivan.blogspot.com/ . Their own description of what they are is, "a grassroots anti-colonial immigrant/refugee rights community collective with leadership from members of migrant and/or racialized backgrounds". Molly wonders about the neologism "racialized" (a word that doesn't exist yet), but it's better than repeating one of the older and even more overused "neoleftlogisms" (Molly's own contribution to language pollution indicating a word used only in leftist context and nowhere else). There's also a section where you can sign up for alerts from NOII.
For some reason she forgets Molly has had this website, and its sister the blog, listed in her links section for some time. Worth visting anyways.
No One is Illegal is a Canada wide "network" rather than an organization of people working around the issues of immigration in all their many ramifications. One of the more active branches of this movement is the Montreal area branch from which comes the poster on the left above. People is eastern Canada are presently organizing to protest the upcoming August 20th meeting of the leaders of Canada, the USA and Mexico(the Security and Prosperity Partnership) in Montebello near to Ottawa. Much more on this later. At the other end of the country the Vancouver website also contains material on this protest. People in Quebec are also organizing a series of community assemblies in the leadup to this meeting and protest to inform citizens about the impact of what Molly would call the "plots" of the leaders at this meeting. You can access the schedule at http://nooneisillegal-montreal.blogspot.com/2007/07/community-assemblies-no-security.html . Furthermore the Montreal site also contains info on an upcoming (August 14th) demonstration planned to demand that CN Rail drop its lawsuits against native groups at Tyendinaga over rail line blockages.
Finally, there is a petition at this site that reads, 'Urge the Province of Ontario to Stop Licensing the Plunder of First Nations Land. Go on over to read more and hopefully sign it.
A little Molly note on "placement". The astute and somewhat obscessive reader of this blog will notice that the main addresses for the No One is Illegal sites are placed under the general 'Links' section rather than under the 'Other Interesting Links' section. No one looking over these sites could understand that they are "anarchist" without assuming that "militance" is a dead give-away to "anarchism. Molly is very used to being in that minority of anarchists who are convinced gradualists, and all that she can say is that the people in noii have adopted a set of objectives that, no matter how much they might to spike them with "militance spice", are at least as reformist as anything that Molly might advocate. There is nothing wrong with that. If an issue demands immediate reforms pending the ever receding great apocalypse of "the revolution" and if these reforms are at least vaguely possible it's a great and good thing to work towards their implimentation. Molly disagrees quite vehemantly with the idea that "anarchism" consists of nothing more than a selection of "tactics", the more militant the better. It consists in reality of the selection of goals rather than tactics. Tactics are largely but not totally irrelevant. In football (North American version) it is often the wisest course to go for rushing rather than the long pass. A religious attachment to one set of tactics" loses the game.
The people in noii are largely "anarchist" however much some purists may view the quality of their anarchism. Molly is of the opinion that anarchists shouldn't try the sneaky "front tactics" made quite infamous by decades of commie manipulation. Trying to disguise things does neither anarchism, the people recuited, the issue itself nor the general public any good whatsoever. Modern anarchism does not consist of a centrally directing bureau infiltrating popular movements and trying to move them to a "correct line". Neither does it consist of setting up issue oriented groups whose main function is to recruit to some Party. The use of "front tactics" both corrupts anarchism and leads to cynicism amongst the public about the tactics of the anarchists.
The way that noii has organized is very much free of the leftist residue of "frontism". Molly has included many other organizations where it is obvious that the underlying politics are say social democrat or liberal(Molly would never list anything dominated by a Leninist group) under her 'Other Interesting Links' section. The overwhelming politics of noii is, however, libertarian, and Molly has chosen to include them undert the general 'Links' section. This action may be agrueable, but it is the best that I can conceive now. I'm open to criticism.