Sunday, December 31, 2006
There are a number of traditional names for the full moons of each year. Most of these are taken from those given them by the Algonquin language group tribes of the northeastern part of North America, but some labels were given by the early European settlers. What follows is a list of the traditional "Moons" for 2007. All times refer to the maximum fullness of the moon and are given in either EST(Eastern Standard Time) or EDT (Eastern Daylight Time). The time of these events would be 1 hour earlier here in Winnipeg in the Central Time Zone. The full moons mentioned would be quite visible at other times on the dates mentioned.
A. Jan. 3rd 8:57 am EST: The Full Wolf Moon. Also known as the 'Old Moon' and the 'Moon After Yule'. Some tribes referred to this as the 'Full Snow Moon' though most applied this to the next moon. Named obviously for the howling hungry wolves outside the villages.
B.Feb 2nd 12:45 am EST: The Full Snow Moon. This is usually the month of the heaviest snows in NE North America. This made hunting quite difficult, and some tribes referred to this moon as the 'Full Hunger Moon'.
C. March 3rd 6:17pm EST: The Full Worm Moon. This is the month when the ground softens and earthworm casts first appear in the North East (though not here in Winnipeg). Further north the tribes knew this as the 'Full Crow Moon' when increasing cawing signals the coming end of winter. It was also known as the 'Full Crust Moon' for the fact that freeze/thaw cycles cause the snow to become more crusted at this time of year. Another name for it is the 'Full Sap Moon' when the same freeze/thaw cycle makes it possible to begin tapping maple trees.
On this night there will be a total lunar eclipse visible from the eastern USA.
D.April 2nd 1:15 pm EDT. The Full Pink Moon, named for the colour of ground phlox, one of the earliest flowers of spring in the East. There are a number of other native names for this Moon, including the 'Full Sprouting Grass Moon', the'Egg Moon' and, amongst coastal tribes the 'Full Fish Moon' when shad came upstream to spawn. The settlers referred to this as the 'Paschal Moon', and the first Sunday after this Moon is the traditional date of Easter in the Gregorian calender. This will be Sunday, April 8th, this year.
E.May 2nd 6:09 am EDT. The Full Flower Moon. Also known as the 'Full Corn Planting Moon' or the 'Milk Moon'.
F. May 31st 9:04 pm EDT. The Blue Moon. This is the title of the second full moon that occurs within a given calender month. Despite the implication of rarity this actually occurs on the average about every 3rd year.
G. June 30th 9:49 am EDT. The Full Strawberry Moon. Europeans called it the 'Rose Moon'.
H. July 29th 8:48 pm EDT. The Full Buck Moon. The usual time when the new antlers of bucks appear on their foreheads. It was also known as the 'Full Thunder Moon' because of the frequency of thunderstorms this time of year, and the 'Full Hay Moon'.
I. Aug 28th 6:35 am EDT. The Full Sturgeon Moon when the fish of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain are most easily caught. Other names include the 'Full Red Moon', 'The Green Corn Moon' and the 'Grain Moon'.
Another total lunar eclipse will occur with this Moon, best visible in the west of the continent as the moon will be setting in the East.
J. Sept 26th 3:45 pm. The Full Harvest Moon. Always named for the full moon occurring closest to the fall equinox
K. Oct.26th 12:52 am EDT. The Full Hunters' Moon. The moon will be at perigee (its closest approach to Earth in a year) this day at 7:00 am EDT, and very high tides can be expected (not a concern out here on the prairies).
L. Nov 24th 9:30 am EST. The Full Beaver Moon. Good time to catch beaver. Also known as the 'Frosty Moon'.
M. Dec 23rd 2:51 am EST. The Full Cold Moon. Also known as the 'Full Long Nights Moon'. The Europeans often referred to it as 'The Moon Before Yule'.
For those interested in observation of the moon Space.Com has a Skywatcher's Guide to the Moon that gives the timing of the various moon phases, a downloadable map of the Moon, and much more items to look for through binoculars or a telescope.
QUOTATIONS FROM THE ANARCHISTS:
PART III: MICHAEL BAKUNIN:
- "Freedom, morality and the human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this; that he does good not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, wants it, and loves it".
- "People go to church for the same reason they go to a tavern:to stupefy themselves, to forget their misery, to imagine themselves, for a few minutes anyway, free and happy".
- "The liberty of man consists solely in this:that he obeys natural laws because he has himself recognized them as such, and not because they have been externally imposed upon him by any extrinsic will whatever, divine or human, collective or individual".
- "The passion for destruction is also a creative passion".
- "To revolt is a natural tendency of life. Even a worm turns against the foot that crushes it. In general, the vitality and relative dignity of an animal can be measured by the intensity of its instincts to revolt".
- "The freedom of all is essential to my freedom".
- "The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth".
- "From each according to his faculties;to each according to his needs".
- "Does it follow that I reject all authority ? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker".
- "I am truly free only when all human beings, men and women, are equally free. The freedom of other men, far from negating or limiting my freedom, is, on the contrary, its necessary premise and confirmation".
- "Anyone who makes plans for after the revolution is a reactionary".
- "If there is a state, then there is domination, and in turn there is slavery".
- "A boss in Heaven is the best excuse for a boss on earth, therefore if God did exist he would have to be abolished".
- "Where the state begins, individual liberty ceases, and vise versa".
- "He who desires to worship God must harbour no childish illusions about the matter but bravely renounce his liberty and humanity".
- "Idealism is the despot of thought, just as politics is the despot of will".
- "If there is a human being who is freer than I, then I shall necessarily become his slave. If I am freer than any other, then he will become my slave. Therefore equality is an absolutely necessary condition of freedom".
- "Powerful states can maintain themselves only by crime, little states are virtuous only by weakness".
- "From the naturalistic point of view, all men are equal. There are only two exceptions to this rule of naturalistic equality:geniuses and idiots".
- "Throw a theory into the fire. It only spoils life".
21. "Everything will pass, and the world will perish but the Ninth Symphony will remain".
That's it for now. Just a little Molly Note. I've added the WikiQuote and Think Exist sites to the 'Other Interesting Links' section of this blog. Looking to see who said what. Go there as well as to the Quote Garden.
THE BEST OF THE BLOGS:
EUGENE PLAWIUK ON MICHAEL BAKUNIN:
Yesterday, Dec. 30th, was the 130th anniversary of the death of Michael Bakunin(1814-1876), one of the contributing thinkers in the origin of anarchism as a distinct political philosophy. Eugene Plawiuk has written a piece on his blog entitled 'Revolution is Progress: Micheal Bakunin' that goes into the intellectual influences on Bakunin's thought, some publications on Mikey and Bakunin's rivalry with Marx. It also contains numerous links to matters Bakunin, biographic and bibliographic. Plawiuk concludes his blog by republishing chapter 2 of Bakunin's 'God and the State'.
Plawiuk's Blog is a goldmine of opinion and fact on matters anarchist, labour and Marxist. Have a look at his other writings. Links to Michael Bakunin's other writings can also be found at the Anarchist Archives and the Bakunin Archive. Both these references are listed in our 'Online Anarchist Libraries' section. Both the complete text of 'God and the State' and 'The Immorality of the State' are available on our 'Texts' section.
Friday, December 29, 2006
SOGGY NUCLEAR FIRECRACKERS:
The January, 2007 edition of Scientific American has a couple of interesting article surrounding the recent (Oct. 9th, 2006) attempt by North Korea to test a nuclear devise. The first article under the 'News Scan' section of the magazine is entitled 'Kim's Big Fizzle', and it is more than dismissive of the North Korean attempt. (Molly Note: the history of "real existing socialism" in the last century is a very exemplary example of behavioral analysis applied to humans in that it proves beyond a shadow of a doubt how much "operant conditioning" (the carrot) is superior to "aversive conditioning" (the stick). Western economies that offer rewards rather than threats produce missiles that fly-unlike NK missiles- and nuclear devises that actually explode properly- once more unlike NK devises. This is not a matter of a superior 'economy". It is simply a matter of proper understanding of what produces results on a "lower" biological level) The article in SA reported that the consensus was that the yield of the devise was very much lower than that usually for a 'first devise". Most countries initial tests range from 5 to 25 kilotons (the first US test 'Trinity' yielded 20 kilotons). The consensus was that the NK test had a yield of about half a kiloton. Sceptics who opined that the test had not been "nuclear" were confounded by air samples collected by satellite two days after the explosion that confirmed the nuclear nature of the event, especially detection of radioactive isotopes of xenon that can only be produced by nuclear reactions.
What went wrong with the NK devise depends on the type of nuclear material used. The consensus is that it was a plutonium based devise, and this is supported by what is known of North Korea's enrichment programs. The state of uranium enrichment in NK is unknown at this time. Plutonium devises may "misfire" because the implosion that triggers the the critical mass of the devise may be asymmetrical. This depends on engineering skill to combine both fast and slow conventional explosives that compress the plutonium core. It also depends upon a skilled labour force that can machine the designed components into a configuration that will produce a precisely !!!! spherical implosion upon detonation. The critical density is at least 2 to five times the natural density of plutonium. The higher the density the greater the final nuclear yield.
If the initial implosion is not symmetrical (by even a factor of 100 nanoseconds ie 1/100,000,000th of a second) then the plutonium core will "squirt out" in the direction where the shock wave is the weakest, and the core will not reach "critical mass".
Another potential engineering problem is the "initiator", a small area at the centre of the plutonium core that in a functioning nuclear devise will emit a burst of neutrons that will trigger the chain reaction of a nuclear explosion. If this core triggers too early, as may occur when too much of the isotope Plutonium 240 is present the burst of neutrons will occur too early, and the explosion will "fizzle". This is called "predetonation". When nuclear fuel rods are originally processed there is much more of the desired isotope plutonium 239, but as they are stored plutonium 240 becomes more abundant. Nobody knows the storage time of NK plutonium. (Molly Note: including the North Koreans because, as I have mentioned before, a system depending upon punishment rather than reward encourages lying at such a high level that few can tell truth from fiction. Certainly heads have rolled because of Kim's latest failure, but the structural problems have NOT been addressed. Sell the technology to a country such as Pakistan where there is "reward" rather than terror, and the engineering problems are solved decades before they are solved in the source country. Simple animal conditioning that political theories don't take account of).
The January edition of Scientific American goes on to describe the methods whereby the detonation of nuclear devises are detected in the further article entitled 'Seismic Sentries'. This article describes the worldwide network of seismic devises that have been set up to detect both ordinary seismic devises and nuclear explosions. The article notes that nuclear explosions "typically" produce a different seismic signature than ordinary earthquakes do. To those who are familiar with ECGs/EKGs the language is similar, but for those who are not this is the best I can do to translate. Nuclear explosions produce a initial pulse of "P waves" that propagate in ALL directions and produce intense spikes that gradually and regularly quite down. In contrast classic earthquakes begin with a VERY slight reading of P waves followed in a few seconds to minutes by "S wave" representing shear forces as the earthquake develops and faults slip side to side along each other.
The Scientific American article goes on to describe the complications of this simple model and how a nuclear detonation can create the same sort of shear forces t5hat an ordinary earthquake cane depending upon the local geology or how P waves can turn into S waves upon transmission through certain strata. There is also the complicating factor of certain strata "muffling" the much more intense S waves so that they appear like P waves.
(Molly Note: this is VERY much like how we take an ECG (a term that I!!!! prefer to EKG). The "S" waves that the speak about above are part of the "QRS" complex that we measure in the electroconductivity of the heart, and the reason why we use several different leads in these tests will become apparent as I go on in this article. Quite frankly I find this a matter of deep pleasure. To find connections between diagnosing problems in one area of a mammalian heart and "diagnosing" "what has happened with the Earth. This is ONE of the reasons I recommend people become acquainted with science rather than superstition. The connections are much deeper and more rewarding. ...but anyhow...)
The method that people have discovered to separate the effects of intervening geological strata is basically to "sum" the reading from various monitoring stations across the Earth and also to compare the signals from these stations with known events. Seismographic stations in China "located" the Korean event while American stations gave an estimate of the "fizzle" yield" od said event. Some stations may be of greater accuracy as to "location" while others, because of geological structure, may be better for "yield". Such is life and reality.
None of these methods are EXACT. During the Cold War the US missed 26 of the Soviet Union's 366 underground tests in Central Asia, mostly because there were no "local" seismographic stations available. Unlike the situation today where Chinese stations report automatically worldwide.
(Molly Note:Pull one of the leads from an ECG and see how much information you get. It isn't totally useless, but it is less than if you had all leads attached attached)
Further Molly Notes: To get an idea of the worldwide seismographic network consult http://www.iris.edu/about.GSN . The Scientific American article actually quoted outdated statistics in terms of the monitoring stations available today (2006). For the latest updates see http://ctbto.org where the most recent numbers for seismic/hydrasound and other monitoring stations are gathered.
One more further Molly Note. It may be hard for me to gauge the North American "popular press" response to the North Korean test as I was "out of the country" when it happened. Let's take the following- as may be apparent from what I have said above- I am of the opinion that commies can do nothing right without great effort. Stalinist Russia advanced their industry by the "great effort" of eliminating 10 to 15 % of their population. That's a GREAT EFFORT !!!! No fascist regime has exerted this effort and therefore no fascist regime has achieved such "success". The Chinese Maoist regime killed 50 million with far less economic effect, often a regression rather than a progression.
What I can say about the popular press is as follows. I am sure that the whole matter of North Korea and its "nukes" (whether they be be 'real nukes' or the usual 'socialist nukes' that fizzle like the SA article suggests) was far,far,far,far,far less of a matter of concern in Europe where I was when it happened than it was back in Canada. The event took place while I was in Praha in the Czech Republic, and it did not register on the news there at all. By the time we reached Venezia in Italy where I could more or less understand news broadcasts and papers I found the same thing. In Italia the news was dominated by the Pope's visit to Verona, how he had criticized "secularism" in his visit and how the right wing forces in Italia had turned his visit into a demonstration for their (his ?) views. The news was also dominated by either further revelations of the corruption of the right wing (and some lefties) forces that supported Il Papa. This is Italy. Is this news ? Fascists, Catholics, Socialists, Greenies, Communists--they are ALL the same grey money grabbers to the average Italian.
The news was also dominated by the local opposition to expansion of the American Air Force/Strike Force base in North East Italy. Whether in favour of such or against it the papers/TV/radio gave far more play to this plan than was given to the NK events.
I have no idea how the North Korean tests played out in the USA. All that I can do do is compare the play that they got in Canada "before" we left the continent and compare it to the "non-play" in Europe. The degree of hysteria would undoubtedly have been far greater in the USA without the realistic view of NK's "achievements" presented in Scientific American. I have little doubt that OVER 98% of the American population believes that North Korea is presently able to rain an infinite amount of nukes down on then as we speak. It would be a great proof of conservative ideology IF it was true. But "truth" has little to do with ideology. So much of American neo-con ideology resembles the NK devise. It exploded and produced a "puff" rather than an explosion.
Under the heading of "things to watch out for". About a week ago before I took off for Christmas holidays I was updating the template of this blog. Suddenly, for no good reason-as things usually happen on computers- the computer disconnected. This meant that the template update was only 2/3rds finished ie somewhere in the middle of the text links. I managed to save a copy of the original but, but, but, but, but the results was that I lost a good portion of the links. I am in the present process of recreating them. So far I've gotten to the end of the "Texts" section. The 'Scientific Links' will come next. At least I CAN recreate them with a little work. I beg your indulgence as this process goes on. There will be a brief interruption for New Years at the local Irish Club (hic!!), but the work will be done soon.
Monday, December 25, 2006
I've recently added a number of new links to this blog. The best in my opinion is the Narco News Bulletin which styles itself as "reporting on the drug war and democracy from South America". Not so much on the Drug War these days, but a lot on the emerging populist movements in South and Central America. I recommend this one because it not only continues to update the struggle in Oaxaca but it also contains a link to an excellent collection of recent Latuff illustrations on the fight of the people in that Mexican province.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS FROM TURKEY:
The good news first: Four Turks accused of "insulting Turkishness" in their translation of a Noam Chomsky book into Turkish were found "not guilty" by the Turkish courts on December 20th. Many prosecutions have been brought against Turkish writers under article 301 of the Penal Code. Most have resulted in acquittals. The case against the publishers of Chomsky's book was based on Chomsky's descriptions of Turkey's treatment of it Armenian minority. Most prosecutions of writers under this section of Turkey's legal code have resulted in acquittals. In this case the prosecutions was dismissed as "having no case to answer".
Then the bad news. Conscientious objector Halil Savda has been arrested on the first day (Dec. 22) of his retrial on charges of "insistent disobedience". He was originally arrested on Dec. 16, 2004 and then released on Dec 28th, 2004. A military tribunal sentenced him to 3 months and 15 days imprisonment, but this decision was overturned by a Military Appeals Board on August 13th, 2006, and a new trail was ordered. Mr. Savda was arrested as he went to attend the first day of his retrial under the pretext that he was a flight risk. Sorta odd when he had actually shown up for the trial. A group of Ankara feminists and Ankara Anarchy Initiative are appealing for international support for Mr. Savda and others who refuse to serve the Turkish military. To learn more about this case and cases in other countries go to the Refusing to Kill site. To learn about Canadians who are helping Americans who refuse to fight in the occupation of Iraq go to War Resisters Support Campaign Canada.
The last of the Sagoda 11 whose case has been reported here on Molly's Blog previously have been released. On December 22nd the remaining nine Philippino backpackers, out of the 11 young people arrested in Benguet province last February, were released with all charges being dropped for lack of evidence. The backpackers who called their tour group 'Punks R Us' were accused of being members of the communist terrorist group New People's Army, and faced bogus charges of arson and murder. An on line petition for their release secured over 2,000 signatures from both the Philippines and abroad. On their release the 9 ex-prisoners issued a statement thanking their families for their support and expressing how the experience had drawn them closer together.
So....that is the good news for the Holidays.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
"If we cannot by reason, by influence, by example, by strenuous effort, and by personal sacrifice mend the bad places of civilization, we certainly cannot do it by force."
"Is not the very beginning of privilege, monopoly and industrial slavery this erecting of the ballot-box above the individual ?"
Benjamin R. Tucker
"It is sad to me that such a basic thing as the principled opposition to coercion is considered to be extremist, unreasonable, unrealistic. Why do I have to believe in perpetual peace to oppose war ? How is it utopian to denounce force ?"
B. K. Marcus
"Statism is the claim that institutionalized proactive coercion is justified."
B. K. Marcus
"All government in essence, says Emerson, is tyranny. It matters not whether it is government by divine right or majority rule. In every instance its aim is the absolute subordination of the individual."
CHICAGO AREA CONFERENCE SERIES PLANNED:
Various anarchists in the Chicago area have decided to organize a series of conferences which they hope will give a new impetus to a local scene that they see as disconnected, disorganized and isolated within a cultural youth scene. They also feel that the anarchists in their area seem to neglect critical theory. To try and counter this they plan a gathering on April 28th-30th leading into Mayday actions such as a "soap-box" marathon consisting of reading Mayday speeches in public places. This first gathering will focus on theory and history, including such suggested subjects as
- anarchism in Chicago
- Emma Goldman/Alexander Berkman
- the IWW
- 5 Waves of anarchism
- Big A, little a
- Paris Commune
- Mutualism and Proudhon
- Basic Bakunin
- Green Anarchism
- Post left anarchism
- Libertarian Communism
- Spanish Civil War
- Radical feminism
- Radical mysticism
- Anarchism and the Americas (Ricardo Flores Magon and Oaxaca)
- Anarchism and the black revolution
The Chicago comrades are interested in hosting out-of-towners who might like to present workshops and, of course, are looking for other people in the area willing to help out. Tabling is also encouraged. If you'd like to help out, set up a table, do a workshop, etc. contact Robert at email@example.com or phone 630-220-5026.
Future conferences are being considered around the themes of community organizing and around direct action.
LINKING RIGHT ALONG NOW:
I've recently added yet more links to this site. Under the Blogs section there is the New Zealand based Anarchia (http://anarchia.wordpress.com ) who also publish a print zine of the same name. From the U.K. come Love and Rage (http://loveandrage.org.uk ) and Bombs and Shields (http://bombsandshields.blogspot.com ). Finally from out in B.C there's the AnarchoCyclist blog (http://anarchocyclist.ca ), a site not just for politics but for things like the Chinese language and birding.
I've also added three sources under the Images and Comics section: Visual Resistance (http://www.visualresistance.org/wordpress ), a Brooklyn NY collective who "aim to explore the spaces where art and activism interact". These people also publish a zine on the techniques of street art. Then there's the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (http://www.politicalgraphics.org ). This latter has a rather musty smell of Marxism and the aged New Left about it. Hard to find anything anarchic about it, but they do have a collection of over 50,000 posters on file. Finally, there is Graffiti.Org (http://www.graffiti.org ) whose name says it all.
Then for those who like their images served with a side dressing of talk there are two additions to the Texts section; The Culture and Politics of Graffiti by Timothy Werwath (http://www.graffiti.org/faq/werwath/werwath.html ) and Advertising, Propaganda and Graffiti by Alex Kataras (http://www.graffiti.org/faq/kataras/kataras.html ).
Friday, December 22, 2006
Properly conscious nitpickers will notice that I haven't listed Winnipeg IMC amongst the links on this blog. I have, however, listed Info-Usurpa Winnipeg. Some months ago there was a "great dispute" in the teapot of Winnipeg's IMC about whether Info-Usurpa, modelled on the Spanish anarchist Info-Usurpas, should be "allowed" to post their notices of events as "news" on the IMC board. The decision was that they should not be allowed this obviously redundant privilege because the IMC already had an events board. What is happening with this "events calender" today ? For some time now the only events that have been listed on the IMC board are events that are in the past. Right now they have "caught up to reality" and listed events 5 days in the past.
But this is hardly the greatest problem with Winnipeg IMC. Despite the efforts of local activist Nick Ternette it has been weeks and perhaps even months since any item posted on the Winnipeg IMC board has had any relevance to local affairs whatsoever. Until today that is. Today we were treated to a blast from one of the usual anti-semitic crew that have infested said board for a very long time about the Asper Human Rights Centre. Now Molly is hardly ever in favour of government grants to anything, and so I am opposed to government grants to said Centre. But still, there are a quazillion examples of free government money to bitch about. Why the Asper Centre. Only because Winnipeg IMC has become the plaything of anti-semitic nuts and those who wish to argue with them.
The situation has become so bad that the posts from the insane and the commie simps who worship the Cuban dictatorship can be seen as a "blessed relief" from the usual drivel. The drivel would best be played out on the Gaza-Israel border with the most extreme players on both sides lobbing their verbal grenades back and forth. It is so bad that I no longer have a clue whether the continued barrage of "fatwa pronouncements" are actually Islamist proclamations or attempts to mock same.
Molly's blog does not pretend to be anything like a "local events" blog, and so it is a sad state of affairs when I notice that items relevant to WINNIPEG, MANITOBA are more common on this blog they they are on the pretense of a local Indymedia Centre.
Assuming that the IMC still has anyone watching and editing it- a very long shot- it might be time to "call question". Does this enterprise serve any function anymore ? Is the patient so long gone that it would be best to end his suffering ?
No, I am not going to volunteer to go to endless meetings to argue endlessly about reforming this atrocity- the usual call from those who have produced a monster instead of a baby. I have enough to do in my own life thank you very much. That sort of thing is for others who have more time than I do. But serious consideration should be given to whether Winnipeg IMC should continue to exist at all anymore. If you can't reform it- kill it. It is of no benefit to anyone in its present form.
THE ROLE OF AN ANARCHIST ORGANIZATION:
BY JOHN FLOOD
The following is reproduced from the Anarkismo site (see the Links section of this blog) It originates as an article in the latest Workers' Solidarity journal. As previously mentioned on this blog this issue, #94, is available in a downloadable pdf format at http://struggle.ws/pdfs/ws/ws94.pdf . The author of this piece argues for the type of organization favoured by the groups adhering to the Platformist tradition in modern anarchism. The article follows:
Looking around the world today it can be difficult to imagine how the society we want to see can be created. But rather than sitting back and waiting for Capitalism to collapse, or for the Revolution to come, we believe in organizing in the here and now.
Throughout history anarchist-communists have embraced different forms of organization, from the affinity group, to revolutionary cells to anarchist syndicalism. We in the WSM consider ourselves to fall within the 'platformist' tradition. Among other things that means that we think that a group can achieve far more when it works in unison, rather than constantly having the same fundamental and theoretical disagreements.
The role of a group like ours is to popularize the aims and methods of anarchism amongst working class people, mainly because we believe that these alone will result in the free society we want to create. Our ideas link an understanding of the present with a viable vision of the future.
This link involves a practical understanding of the means necessary and acceptable to achieve results but also to help build the confidence of the class in its own abilities and decision-making power. This can be doing simple things like producing our newsletter, pamphlets and leaflets. It also means arguing for anarchist methods as much as possible in campaigns that we are involved in.
This can take the form of fighting for democratic structures in the Ant-Bin Tax campaign, helping to organize the huge Mayday 2004 events, arguing for democracy in our unions or advocating direct action in the anti-war movement but in all cases we try and promote actions that actively transform those that take part in them. Actions that help people gain a sense of their own power and abilities and prepare them for the revolution and libertarian communist society we want to create.
We analyse the society we live in, its history, and try to learn from the mistakes of the past. We also try to elaborate a common strategy that attempts to link the various expressions of the class struggle.
In a sense we attempt to provide leadership of ideas but this does not mean that we come down from the mountaintop like Moses, carrying the blueprint for a new society under our arms. rather we learn from the struggle and the people we interact with.
Anarchists not only want to abolish capitalism, but we also want to abolish all relationships that involve subordination and domination. Our aim is a truly classless society that isn't divided into bosses and workers, or order givers and order takers. So while we see ourselves as offering leadership we reject the idea that we should become some sort of institutional leaders or managers of the movement.
We refuse to take positions of power that would lift us above the broad movement and give us control over it. Instead we rely on the strength of our ideas, and the example we set, to convince people, rather than hoping that our position on some hierarchical ladder will allow us to control the people below us.
In this spirit we look forward to the time when an organization such as ours becomes unnecessary. Following a successful revolution we would gradually lose our reason for existing and disband.
So to summarize, we don't make the revolution for the working class, we don't direct it in their interests and we don't govern them for their own good. We simply exist as an organization within the class that attempts to encourage its development in a libertarian fashion and speed up its emancipation.
Workers' Solidarity 94, Nov/Dec 2006
The essay above is a clear sighted and well written exposition of the platformist position, and there is little for any sensible anarchist to disagree with in what Flood has written. The simple and clear belief of most platformists that their organizations DO NOT "make the revolution" but rather try and hasten the self organization of the people who will do such a thing is expressed in the above. This is merely one more clear example that the platformists are not the "closet Leninists" that their opponents on the "anarcho-crank" fringes try to make them out to be.
Personally I am not a platformist. I do not believe in the need for or the desirability of a "revolution". My ideal society would be a mixed economy with various strands of management and remuneration blended together depending on local and temporal circumstances. I am not a convinced anarcho-communist in other words, but I do believe that any society worth living in has to contain sections of the economy that are "communist" in nature ie depending on voluntary labour and whose product was offered free to all comers. There is a large segment of most societies that operates under such terms today or is at least halfway there. I anticipate that an anarchist society would see this economic section expand. I am also not in agreement with the "orthodox anarcho-communist position" most forcefully argued by the late Murray Bookchin that the direction of the economy should be the exclusive right of the local "commune". I see a much greater role for the producers' coops that would result from syndicalist action, and I see a wide variety of "blended" forms of management where community and workplaces would have a rainbow of different ways of influencing each other. I furthermore believe that at least some elements of a "market" would have to be preserved in such a society and not just for small scale production. The alternative is a naive belief in the power of technology to provide "post-scarcity" which it never actually has, whatever the illusions of some, and to provide this abundance without overwhelming waste. Or perhaps the "alternative" is that the "planning boards" of any libertarian society, syndicalist, communitarian or "parecon" would gradually take up the role of a ruling class. Or perhaps "participatory planning" or the "meetings of the commune" will find some way to extend the day to 89,000 hours so that we can all sit and mull over the economic needs of the world in meetings while leaving 8 hours for sleep, 2 for eating, 4 for recreation and another 4 to actually get something done rather than planning it.
All that being said even a convinced gradualist and a believer in a mixed economy such as myself can find little to disagree with in platformism as expressed by people such as Flood. The platformist trend is characterized by realism and patient organization wherever it may appear in the world. As such it should be applauded as a sterling example of "making anarchism real" unlike numerous, often grotesque, fantasies held by other anarchist currents such as "insurrectionism" or primitivism.
I am all in favour of the establishment of specifically anarchist propaganda groups who will attempt to influence other, more broadly based, organizations. In turn the anarchist groups should try and convert such "interest groups" into actual "popular organizations" such as neighbourhood and workplace councils and functioning democratic unions for industrial sections. Where I part company with the platformists is "when" it is time to dissolve the specific organization. I say not when the mythical "revolution" has succeeded but long before that...when there are functioning mass organizations that operate in a libertarian milieu. The present day unions are not such mass based organizations with the sort of everyday participation(and the democratic control that follows from such) and neither are any of the community based organizations that exist today- with a few rare exceptions.
So, what I say is that the specific anarchist organization has a dual role. It has to generally conduct "propaganda" to influence people in a libertarian direction without reference to any specific group that they belong to. It also has to help to establish interest groups and push such groups towards an anarchist sensibility with all that it may imply. Finally it must push for the democratization of the present unions(or their supercession by other syndicalist unions) and for the establishment of genuine community forums.councils. This means going beyond the "interest groups" that most present day politics revolves around. Such a long term realistic project is something that those who believe in "revolution" but are wise enough to realize that such a thing is not childish street fighting and others such as myself who are sceptical of the whole concept could easily unite around. The two different views would end up doing the same thing on the everyday plane of reality.
Anna Aniston (see http://annaaniston.blogspot.cm under our Blogs section) is in the process of developing "an interactive website for anarchist women to share ideas, info and make links." She says that this project isn't really a new idea but she "saw the need when I found myself having to battle waves of sexism on other anarchist sites such as infoshop.org and anarchistnews.org."
Go on over to the new site at http://dev.anarchafem.org (or see our Links section) to see what it's all about. The site developer is looking for suggestions for a bibliography and also material in languages other than English.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
HAPPY MIDWINTER SOLSTICE:
Midwinter Solstice ("solstice"- the sun stands still) occurred yesterday, Dec 21st at 7:22 EST (6:22 CST here in Winnipeg). The solstice is defined as the EXACT moment in the year when the Sun reaches its greatest northerly (the Summer Solstice) or southerly (the Winter Solstice) point in its annual movements. The effect is due to the annual tilt of 23.5 inclination of the Earth as it revolves around the sun. This is separate from the "wobble" of the Earth that is responsible for "precession", the reason why astrology is so at variance with astronomy in terms of the positions of the constellations. As the Earth revolves around the Sun first one and then the other hemisphere is presented towards the sun. The hemisphere tilted away from the Sun experiences winter, and the other experiences summer. The definition of "solstice" is the minimal noontime height of the Sun. This means that "somewhere" on the Earth at the times mentioned above the Sun is EXACTLY in its lowest position at noon in the sky. Counting backwards from Manitoba this would place the event somewhere over the mid to Eastern Pacific.
Throughout human history people have seen the Winter Solstice as a cause for celebration, a promise that the lean days of winter will end, even if the "hungry moons" are yet in front of them. The Chinese have traditionally celebrated the DongZhi Festival around Dec. 21st. One of the traditional activities in South China that occurs during the family get-togethers around this Festival is the making and eating of Tangyuan, balls of glutinous rice, that symbolize reunion. In North China people typically eat dumplings on DongZhi. This relates to a "Good King Wencelas"ort of story from Chinese tradition. According to this Zhang Zhongjing of the Han Dynasty saw the poor suffering from chilblains on their ears on a cold winter day. He ordered that dumplings shaped like ears should be distributed amongst the poor to keep them warm. Zhang named the concoction "qu han jiao er tang" or "dumpling soup that expels the cold".
The first monotheistic religion to institute a midwinter festival were the Zorastrians of ancient Iran/Persia. This festival, called Yalda, is still celebrated in modern Iran under an Islamic guise. It is traditionally celebrated on December 21st to hail the victory of light over darkness, of Ahura Mazda over Ahriman. Throughout the night fires would be burnt to help in the struggle of light over darkness. The next day the festival of Daygan was celebrated to mark the victory of Ahura Mazda. There would be acts of charity (Christmas gifts ?) and payers to Mithra (the equivalent of the Son in the orthodox Christian trinity). During this festival there was a temporary suspension of the hierarchy of Iranian society. Masters and servants would exchange roles. A "mock king " was crowned just as in some medieval festivals.
The Persian custom merged with and influenced the Roman celebration of Saturnalia. In Rome they followed the custom of inverting the social order. Children became the heads of the families. Businesses and courts were closed. Masters served slaves. Cross dressing and masquerades were common. The Romans accepted the proto-Christ figure of Mithra under the heading of 'Sol-Invictus' (the "invincible sun"). Mithra contained a good portion of the Christian mythology, from a proto-trinitarian aspect down to the nitty gritty of a virgin birth. The popularity of Mithraism paved the way for the ability of Christianity to spread amongst the Roman population. The general outlines of the myths were well known. It should be noted that the festivals of Saturnalia and Sol Invictus were totally separate events.
In Iran today the religious significance of 'Shab e Cheleh' has been lost under the influence of Islam. It is still, however, a time when family and friends get together to feast and play.
Then we come to the traditional Yule celebrations of Northern Europe. These go under various names in various languages; Geol, Jol, Jul, Julfest, Mitwinternacht. These are the festivals of Nordic and Germanic people from which many of our Christmas traditions are derived. Yule logs were lit to honour Thor, God of Thunder. Feasting would continue until the Yule Log burned out which could take as much as twelve days. A sacrifice of a pig to the God Freyr became the origin of the Christmas ham, first a Scandinavian custom but later to spread across the world. In Norway the expression "jul" is still the most common way to express Christmas.
Linguists have debated the origin of the various terms that signify "Yule" in English. It may relate to the idea of "wheel" as in the "wheel of the year". It may be connected to the adjective "yellow" as in the colour of the Sun. In may even be a borrowing from Finnish. The actual details of northern pagan yuletide festivals are rather obscure beyond the fact that it was a time for feasting. This has led to a divergence amongst modern neo-pagans. "Germanic neo-pagans" attempt to reconstruct the actual historical festivals insofar as there is evidence. Others, best descibed as Wiccan or 'New Age', pay little or no attention to what is actually known about pagan religion, Germanic or Celtic and attempt to create new solstice festivals with more than a little "poetic licence".
The existence of neo-pagans has added a little spice to an annual Christmas ritual amongst Christian believers in North America. This ritual would, of course, appear to be utterly insane to the vast majority of Christians living outside of North America-as it is to me as an ex-Roman Catholic sharing the prejudices of the vast majority of Christians who see the American evangelicals as "primitive". It, however, plays out every year without fail, though not with the vehemence surrounding Halloween. Almost all Christian festivals are "take-offs" on previous pagan festivals. It is a matter of "1/10th education" amongst certain fundamentalist sects to know about the pagan origins of Christmas traditions, whether they be Saturnalia or Germanic/Scandinavian traditions. The nine-tenths of the matter that they DON'T know is the origin of Christian theology in Roman mystery religions, the way that the accepted Bible came to be, and the destruction of alternative forms of Christianity.
So...each Christmas they denounce the traditional forms of celebration from a position of pseudo-erudition. One can also see a great contrast between the early missionaries to Northern Europe and the pseudo-missionaries of modern evangelism. In those ancient times missionaries struggled to adapt the ideas of Christianity to the customs of the people that they preached to with a full and EDUCATED knowledge of the difference between "form" and reality. The truth of what they did, usually without the military support that modern evangelicals enjoy courtesy of their close relations to the American Empire and its neo-fascist clients (see Guatamala), is plain and evident in the present, where the symbols that they expropriated are in the minds of 98% of the population NOTHING but Christian symbols.
The Roman festival of Saturnalia is one of the "origins of Christmas" that fundamentalists denounce. One really wonders whether it is because of the pagan connection (they hardly denounce the Trinitarian concepts inherited from paganism whereby polytheism can be said to be monotheism) or because of the social "loosening" that accompanied Saturnalia. This loosening of social hierarchy later got transferred to 'Carnivale' celebrations in Christian cultures while the Christmas season retained only its festival and gift-giving aspects. Saturnalia was originally only a day long festival but it later became a week long occasion for celebration despite the efforts of more than one Emperor to restrict its duration.
There are two different explanations as to why Dec. 25th was chosen by Christians in the 4th century as the birthday of Christ. One is that it is (was) the winter solstice on the Julian calender in use at that time. The second, however, is that it was an extrapolation of a Jewish idea of the "integral age" of the prophets ie that they died on the same day as their conception or birth, combined with a miscalculation of the date of Jesus' death. All these complications,however, are alien to the tiny view of the world held by "kindergarten Christians" who attempt to denounce the season each and every year.
Meanwhile there are many other midwinter celebrations across the world. The pre-christian Slavs celebrated 'Korochun' (Karachun, Krachun) in a manner similar to Halloween in Western European tradition. The Slavs burned fires at cemetaries to keep their dead warm on this most evil night of the year, lit wooden logs at crossroads and organized feasts in honour of the dead. On Dec. 23rd the old Sun Hors was resurrected as the new Sun Koleda. There are also numerous midwinter festivals documented amongst North American natives.
In summary midwinter has always been an important event for humanity. It transcends our own time and place. So...
Happy Midwinter Solstice From Mollymew
NEWS FROM SCARY SQUIRREL WORLD:
The ever expanding critique of the dialectical, post modernist praxis that aims to supersede all previous critique of the WCI- the Workers Comedic International brings you this latest bulletin from the masterful theoreticians at Scary Squirrel World( http://www.scarysquirrel.org ). As good post leftists the comrades at Scary Squirrel deny all connections with any previous material in other communiques and indeed deny that they mean anything they say. If anyone tries to pin them it must have been the other guy who said it. But anyways, here is something from SSW, people who know they're being funny:
WHERE DO SKWERLS COME FROM ?????
Patriots, do you ever wonder where skwerls come from ? Hard to believe, many people do not. Some compare their disinterest to wondering where super-conqueror-President Bush gets his swell ideas; it's enough that he has ideas.
But every Patriot understands the need to know the enemy, and chitterbox origins is an important part of that knowledge.
WHAT THE "EXPERTS" SAY...
Science tells us that the bushytail horde evolved out of the primeval ooze beginning with Paramys in the late Paleocene (about 55 million years ago). Paramys sported a mostly squirrel-like skeleton but without the arboreal adaptions. It also had a primitive jaw musculature which modern squirrels still retain.
The first critter we would recognize as a skwerl was Protosciurus . It had the unique ear structure of modern squirrels and looked little different than today's slavering, over-agitated, arboreal nutzys. The first fossilized Protosciurus bones were found in North America and date to the early Oligocene (23-37 million years ago). Thus, experts theorize that skwerls originated in North America, possibly in the Pacific Northwest. From there, they spread around the world culminating in a frenzied gambol into South America about 3-4 million years ago.
Sciurus, the modern squirrel genus, arose in the Miocene and has not changed since then. Among the rodents squirrels are considered living fossils.
Scientific theory on the drooling nutcrunchers origins is all well and good. It paints a historical picture of the spread of skwerlian debauchery around the globe. However, it fails to identify who or what is responsible for the bushytail horde. Consider this: the so-called experts are mute on what proceeded pre-protoskwerlian Paramys . They'de have us believe that it simply "evolved" from some other pre-protoskwerlian skwerlian.
More significantly, Paramys happened upon the scene in the Paleocene and Protosciurus during the Oligocene...but there appears to be no evidence of any skwerlian anywhere during the intervening time period, the Eocene. This strongly suggests that someone or something pulled Paramys from the market, came up with a better model, and released it back into the environment an epoch later. Thus, the evidence indicates that skwerls are the result of an Intelligent Designer with an intelligent design.
THE WHO AND THE WHAT...
Of course the design, or plan if you will, is no mystery. Every patriot knows it as the bushytail horde's plan for squirrel world domination. This nefarious plan was set in motion eons ago. It's historically seen in the sudden appearance of modern skwerls and their systematic rampage around the world using global shifts in land masses as platforms for conquest. Squirrel world domination is evidenced today by the maniacal skwerlballs' continuous attacks on the people, places and things important to human civilization. Unfortunately, defining who or what is responsible for unleashing the skwerlian menace in the first place remains a matter of conjecture. Currently, there are three competing theories. They are:
The Natural Theory: using "why ask why" reasoning, some simply believe that skwerls evolved as the evolutionary theorists suggest. In other words, they crawled out of the ooze with the rest of us and who cares where the ooze came from. A variation of this theory suggests that skwerls grow on trees and/or metamorph from some innocuous life form.
The Preternatural Theory: supporters of this theory think that skwerls are alien life forms from outer space. The theory solves the problem of how nutsys got to Earth, but not necessarily where they came from in the first place. Preternatural theory is very popular with the unfortunate victims of skwerlian abductions. Some claim that their chitterbox abductors imprisoned them in a giant tree on the far side of the Sun. NASA has been unable to confirm this.
The Supernatural Theory: a belief favoured by pathetic skwerlhuggers and espoused by the heresy of Orthodox Skwerlhugery. It claims that there is a mystical, immortal Nice Squirrel: The Nice Squirrel Planted the Tree of Delicious Nuts; and skwerls sprang forth from the Tree. The Tree supposedly grows in the Pacific Northwest where it is guarded by the immense Skwerlfoot. It should also be noted that common citizens often say that a benevolent non-skwerl deity is responsible, and Patriots frequently blame it all on a non-skwerl Devil.
Go to Scary Squirrel World for much more on this ultimate conspiracy theory. Read it in the light of so many other American toxic cultural exports, from fundamentalism to academic gobbledegoop, to primitivism, to post-leftism, to new age religion to neo-conservativism. All of these post- industrial wastes share one thing. They don't realize they're being funny. Scary Squirrel World knows it.
MORE FOUND TREASURES IN OUR LINKS SECTION:
(OR AS CARL SAGAN WOULD SAY, "A SELECTION FROM BILLIONS AND BILLIONS)
Molly has just added yet more links to her blog. Under the general Links section there is the Institute for Anarchist Studies (http://www.anarchist-studies.org ), and under the Scientific Links section there is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (http://www.ipcc.ch ), an UN site with a wealth of information on climate change and New Scientist magazine (http://www.newscientist.com ). Also under Scientific Links is a text called 'Evolution's Arrow' (http://users.tpg.com.au/users/jes999/index.htm ). A little "truth in advertising" in terms of the last. The author may see, "the direction(of evolution) is towards unification and cooperation over greater and greater scales" . Yet he is still very much a governmentalist who sees government as a progressive institution that has no chance of being superseded.
Then there are 3 Australian blogs that I have added to the Blogs section, Aketus Blog (http://aketus.anarchobase.com ), Anarcho-Din (http://anarcho-din.anarchobase.com ) and Slackbastard Anarchist Blog (http://slackbastard.anarchobase.com ). There are also two items under the 'Other Interesting Links' section. One is the (take a deep breath) 'International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers Associations', listed as the IUF (http://www.iuf.org ). They are a source of international labour solidarity campaigns. In this case one word serves for 13 in the title.
Finally there is 'Scary Squirrel World' (http://scarysquirrel.org) , a great source for humour. Look for more items from this source.
The December 8th edition of Science Magazine (Vol. 314, Issue 5805), the journal of the AAAS, has three very interesting articles on the evolution of cooperation. Two are specifically related to human sociability and one is a general theoretical piece on the evolution of cooperation. This blog explores the first article of the eponymous title in the 'Perspectives' section of the magazine (pp1555-1556). Further entries will explore the other articles.
Robert Boyd has written an overview of an article by S. Bowles in this issue of Science. The subject is the "evolutionary puzzle" of the wide range of human cooperation as compared to other animal species. As the author says,
"Division of labour, trade and large-scale conflict are common. The sick, hungry and disabled are cared for, and social life is regulated by commonly held moral systems that are enforced, albeit imperfectly, by third party sanctions. In contrast, in other primate species, cooperation is limited to relatives and small groups of reciprocaters. There is little division of labour or trade, and no large scale conflict. No one cares for the sick or feeds the hungry or disabled. The strong take from the weak without fear of sanctions by third parties".
(Molly note: This introduction overstates the case greatly !!!. Of all the presumably human-only attributes cited above only "trade" is absent in other social species. This is not just confined to the primates. Other social species exhibit ALL the behaviors cited, though with specific items in each species. Third party sanctions, as the author calls them, are actually a fertile field of research in primatology and other fields. There they are called "altruistic punishment" , and anyone familiar with the behavior of domestic animals sees these agonistic actions on a routine basis. Ah, well it's a review, and the author is allowed to overstate his case.)
The author goes on to explain the disproportionate levels of cooperation between humans and other primates by proposing that the small size of primate societies means that kin selection provides a reasonable explanation of the behavior. The reviewer then goes on to point out that Bowles proposes that competition between genetically differentiated groups of proto-humans led to evolutionary selective pressure that favoured prosociality genes. He says,
"Limited migration between groups can lead to the buildup of genetic relatedness...among group members. This means that group membership can also be a clue that allows assortative interaction-genes that cause you to help members of your group can be favoured because other group members are disproportionately likely to carry the same genes, even though you do not share a recent common ancestor."
The author does point out that this idea, originally found in Darwin's 'The Descent of Man' has never been very popular. It's called "group selection". It was a theory held by Kropotkin amongst others (and Kropotkin took it to the extreme of species level selection). The reviewer points out that Bowles meets the standard objections to group selection with both data and theoretical considerations. First of all, data are presented about the level of genetic differentiation between hunter gatherer groups that present a different picture from the standard view. Hunter gatherer groups are much more different genetically than has usually been assumed and, therefore, intragroup cooperation has a basis of genetic similarity greater than what is usually assumed.
(Molly Note: watch out, there's a "weasel word" contained in Boyd's summary. He states that the level of differentiation between groups is the same as "the level of relatedness within such groups". That is not necessarily true. The two are NOT synonyms. It is easily conceivable that another human group can be widely different in a genetic sense while a competitive group can have all sorts of different levels of similarity)
The level of costs and benefits according to these articles is that cooperation will be favoured if the benefits are about 10 times the cost. The ability of cooperative groups to colonize the territories of competitors means that competition amongst relatives does not attenuate the benefit of cooperation. It is finally pointed out that intergroup competition is common in hunter gatherer societies (Molly Note: unlike the fantasies entertained by primitivists) so that benefits from cooperation are substantial.
Finally and perhaps most importantly, according to Boyd, Bowles notes that foraging groups have culturally transmitted norms such as food sharing and imposed monogamy that "reduce fitness differences within groups. he makes the original and interesting argument that such 'levelling mechanisms' act like redistributive taxes to reduce the disadvantage of engaging in costly prosocial behavior".
(Molly Note: These behaviors are themselves genetically influenced in humans and are not pure examples of cultural transmission. They also vary between groups, but, in general, they hover about a norm that is a clue to our evolutionary sociobiology)
The reviewer goes on to argue that the article by Bowles is not a group selection hypothesis because it merely presents an alternative mathematical framework that works out to the same sums as viewing the matter within kin selection lenses. This may or may not be true. Boyd then poses the questions of whether the levels of genetic variability observed in today's foragers are the same as those in Pleistocene hominids, whether the benefits were the same then as now (Molly Note: a questionable assumption given a much ! lower population density) and whether the "leveling mechanisms" were the same in ancestral populations.
The reviewer opines that "there is little dominance among human foragers" in contrast to other social species, an opinion that is not a settled matter. He goes on to suggest that, "It is certainly fair to invoke reproductive levelling to explain the stability of extended altruism among humans, but whether it is sufficient to explain its origin is not yet clear."(Molly Note: I am of the opinion that they are NOT for many reasons, not the least because research on altruistic punishment suggests that this mechanism which appears in other social species has a broader effect than 'reproductive levelling'. This is the old "proximate cause" and "ultimate cause" argument. Altruistic punishment can evolve via mechanisms in a social species that are very much removed from "reproductive levelling" and still be perpetuated in the species because they happen to serve the "ultimate cause" of reproductive levelling. Concentrating on one cause may lead to an ignoring of more fruitful areas of research.)
The author concludes with speculations on what he sees as the "competing explanations" for human sociality ie "the theory of mind, spoken language and other cognitive mechanisms" As he notes all these explanations are not mutually exclusive. Molly feels that the explanation of human cooperation will be a multi-faceted "complex" one rather than a "chaotic" one of one evolutionary pressure reaching some sort of "tipping point". Genes will interact with each other in a full "genetic environment" that is, in turn, influenced by the "memetic environment"-itself complex- of a learning animal. At its best this is what anarchism posits as an explanation for social evolution in contrast to the unidimensional theories of traditional Marxism and present day primitivism.
The other two articles in this issue of Science will be reviewed later.
The following were posted by Ed Stamm on the vcmdiscussion board (a yahoo group). So a tip of the ol' Molly hat to Ed. (But doesn't Dr. Seuss say that cats are in hats? Ah yes, but through the labyrinth of language a cat in a hat is a cat wearing a hat.) Anyways, on to the bumper stickers:
How many more have to die before it's ok to like the Dixie Chicks again?
That's OK; I wasn't using my civil liberties anyway.
Let's fix democracy in this country first.
If you want a nation ruled by religion move to Iran.
Bush, like a rock only dumber.
If you can read this you're not our President.
Of course it hurts; You're getting screwed by an elephant.
George Bush:Creating the terrorists our kids will have to fight.
Impeachment: It's not just for blowjobs anymore.
America: One nation under surveillance.
They call him "W" so he can spell it.
Whose God do you kill for ?
Jail to the Chief.
No, seriously, why did we invade Iraq ?
Bush: God's way of disproving intelligent design.
Bad President ! No six-week vacation.
We're making enemies faster than we can kill them.
Is it Vietnam yet ?
Bush doesn't care about white people either.
Where are we going ? And why are we in this hand basket ?
Bush never exhaled.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
"The political arena leaves one no alternative; one must be either a dunce or a rogue:"
"The Anarchists are simply unterrified Jeffersonian Democrats. They believe that 'the best government is that which governs least' and that which governs least is no government at all."
"Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us."
"I build no system. I ask an end to privilege, the abolition of slavery, equality of rights and the reign of law. Justice, nothing else. That is the alpha and omega of my argument."
Pierre Joseph Proudhon
"From my point of view the killing of another,except in defense of human life, is archistic, authoritarian, and, therefore, no Anarchist can commit such deeds. It is the very opposite of what Anarchism stands for."
"In existing states a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themselves altering what is bad, people begin by demanding a law to alter it."
"Law never made man a whit more just; and by means of their respect for it, even the well disposed are daily made agents of injustice."
Henry David Thoreau
"The main question is not what motive inspired the law, but what it will be possible for men of bad motive to do with the law."
"Governments and the military purport to protect the public from enemies, and if there were no enemies they would have to invent some, for the simple purpose of rationalizing their existence."
Lawrence Labadie(son of Joseph L.)
"Every vote for a governing office is an instrument for enslaving me."
Dr. M.E. Lazarus
"Voting is merely a labour saving device for ascertaining on which side force lies and bowing to the inevitable. It is neither more no less than a paper representative of the bayonet, the bully and the bullet."