United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Rules for Assange

assange arbitrarily detained

‘UK, Sweden reject UN panel ruling in favor of Julian Assange’, 5 Feb, 2016

Julian Assange accuses UK minister of insulting UN after detention finding’, the Guardian with video

 ‘Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter’ by John Pilger

‘Inconvenient Wikileaks secrets,  RT Play video, startling, even now; just over one minute; please watch.

49 responses to “United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Rules for Assange

  1. What!

    How many years dead does Julian have to wait before the Catholics declare him a martyr?

    What? Till the end of history?


  2. God&lt-&gtdamn

  3. yeah, he’s earned some serious enemies. or did i miss the meaning of your snark once again?

  4. WikiLeaks retweeted:

  5. Topple Li’l BrObama (instead):

    • i’m sorry to be in a not-funny mood about all this, bruce. even with Comrade X’s quip, all i could see was the Pope telling italians not to vote for same-gender civil unions. yes, ‘the church techings’. and all i could think of was that the same Pope saw climate science, but not gender science, and then i thought: ah, Galileo!

  6. nobody’s ever heard of a honey trap, despite all those james bond movies.

    assange broke the law…funny how focusing on the legality of something is an attempt to evade discussing any content revealed by wikileaks. a largely successful attempt. like this dustup over HRC’s “top secret” emails & whether she “broke the law.” (funny, the words top secret aren’t in the constitution. take note, you law fetishizers.) i mean, really, who’s interest does it serve that this is even a question, rather than the content of her emails? and speaking of the Law, didn’t the UN just declare Sweden, the US & Britain in violation of the Law in their treatment of J.A.?

    all the wailing & gnashing of teeth that arises when his name is mentioned. he’s a hero, can’t think of anything but banalities about this great man. like mlk, what is there to say?

    • oops. your first photo on J.A. and the UN. pay attention, jason!

    • yeppers, those emails! if the ptb really cred to investigate clinton, they should do so for the quid pro quo contributions to their foundation in trade for arms deals. but hell, defense contractors even break US sanctions against nations x, y, or z all of the time.

      reading the Assange case facts in the one tweet is quite illuminating as to how completely political all this is in sweden.one prosecutor even dropped the case, another picked it up later. wonder what carrots and sticks the Empire offered her? but hell, he needs medical care, too.

      yeah ,that (i assume) faked plan b might be looking better to him and his team if in two months the ‘appeals’ to the working group…neutralize it. at least the australian on the group recused himself. the ukrainan mightta said: “off with his head”, eh?

      how many more years is chelsea due to serve? ‘top secret’ not in the constitution. yeah, but they created A Law post-gary webb/robert parry ‘drugs for arms’, didn’t they? (O, brain of wd…try to remember…)

  7. “The Working Group is concerned that the only basis of the deprivation of liberty of Mr. Assange appears to be the European Arrest Warrant issued by the Swedish prosecution based on a criminal allegation. Until the date of the adoption of this Opinion, Mr. Assange has never been formally indicted in Sweden.”

    O, say the Swedish and the Ukrainian (nice alliance there) technicians, self-chosen asylum is not detention! The Law wiil care for the evil-doer Assange if only he would follow it!


    “Sweden’s prosecutors could have easily, with Assange’s full compliance, have interviewed him at any point since his December 2010 arrest in London.” So, the discretion of the Law bends to abuse. Hey! Credibility through obscurity pervades the art of the Law!

    I’m absolutely convinced that [the panel] has been put under very strong political pressure […] if this finding had been made against any other country with a human rights record that one does not wish to compare oneself with, then these states [Sweden and UK] would have made it clear that the [offending] country should comply with the ruling of the working group.

    Sad lawyer-compradors, even the Law can’t mask your serfdom:

    The bitter hostility of the UK and Swedish governments, in collaboration with the Obama administration, to the rule of international law is at one with their assault on the fundamental social and democratic rights of the working class, made necessary by [capitalist fraud].

  8. on your first paragraph, of course. HRC is every bit as bad, or worse, as/than Darth Cheney. and that’s the problem w/this story: Everybody does it! can’t let that cat out of the bag. and people that look at her as a feminist icon….barf. (not that the primary reason for invading iraq was so halliburton & cheney could get rich, but it was a reason. if you can’t personally cash in on evil, what’s the point of dancing w/the devil? cheney, the clintons, etc., want their cut for being the bagmen, ok bagpersons, for empire.)

    the legal proceedings against J.A. seem similar to efforts against Roman Polanski. maybe. RP had just finished The Ghost Writer. in these cases, it’s easy to see the law is just a bludgeon for the powerful (like R2P, obviously).

    wasn’t chelsea’s sentence 25 years? i forget. would that all god’s children were traitors. (funny how the words traitor/treason are morally empty but emotionally extremely weighty. something is not good or bad b/c some bureaucratic monster labels it “treason.”)

    someone like bernie has carved out a rhetorical space for himself as a “progressive, socialist, etc.” as long as this rhetorical space & the persona don’t come into actual conflict w/power, bern can be as “radical” as he wants. someone like J.A. makes bernie & his fake gestures & phony poses into a sick joke. crafting a fake persona as a means to power is as old as human nature, something maybe our puritan heritage blinds ut to, w/its suspicion of “acting” and silly reverence for sincerity, earnestness, etc.

    vote for the person you feel best fakes authenticity!

    • But, comrade, it’s not “some bureaucratic monster labels it ‘treason'”, is it? According to anarcho-crapitalists, the bureaucracy enables monsters. Funny though, how the bureaucratic machine ever-more appears the crapitalist tool. Funny, because the anarcho-crapitalists abetted that unveiling. Fake personas, indeed.

      You are confused, comrade. Bernie’s demagoguery exploits the commoners’ desire for sincerity. Do you insist on blaming the exploited for their exploitation? Hmmm. You have some heavy allies.

      • that’s some authentic used-car salesman gibberish right there.
        “Bernie’s demagoguery exploits the commoners’ desire for sincerity.” no doubt.

        “blaming the exploited for their exploitation”? did i do that? very uncomradely if i did so. and i will hereafter yield to the rigors of soviet discipline and apply both hammer & sickle to my rank offense with a duly proletarian enthusiasm for such useful labor.

        • my, such a delicate way of yielding to the ever-brow-beating Commie, satirical steel under a feathered wand. the Comrade won’t take a ‘yes’ for anti-capitalism lest it not be Sincerely Commie.

          we are heartened that you pay fealty to your given rank and class. but never mind, one day it will all be over for us (but they won’t say when…).

        • Did you do this? “Our puritan heritage” and its “silly reverence for sincerity” blinds us to crafty Uncle Bernie’s sick joke.

          Tripe. Besides, at one time “we” had a mature class-consciousness; that was erased. You seem to be suffering from that and later therapy.

          • look, stop with the insults and mockery of your host and other café guests, comrade. i did remind peeps of the over-arching rules, remember?

            yes, we get that you’re the smartest™ and most radical™ person here, but i do recall a time when upon my request, you simmered down and tried to talk in the Human Tongue and engaged in persuasion rather that annihilation.

            no, the croneth doth not protesteth too mucheth (Snagglepuss), it took plenty of attorneys to make assange’s case at the UN working group, michael ratner and friends, for a few.

            wayoutwest who has gone back to bedevilling folks at MoA woud say: ‘ah, anyone can find the link if they wanna’. well, no, it slows down the work, and the purveyor of quotes gives meaningful context. and i did try to reward your coolidge comment with the Gong! do better, please.

            • WhackedOutWest would not even provide quotes for his ding-dong promotions while discrediting yours solely on provenance.

              Comrade aXe, you are no WoW.

              Why, thank you, comrade fragrant orange peel.

              We are heave-ho:

              The phrase “Are we not men?” is from The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), by H. G. Wells.[10] It is part of the litany of the Law,[11] spoken by the Speaker of the Law to the Beast Folk, creatures surgically force-evolved by the mad doctor.

              The song “Jocko Homo” makes fun of the concept, saying mankind is devolving into bestial idiots rather than teleologically evolving towards perfection. The call-and-response section of the song mimics the litany, as the audience is swept up into obeying the band by repeating the response. DEVO’s frontmen, Casale and Mothersbaugh, would use the song in concert to manipulate the audience by refusing to play anything else until they felt the audience was angry enough.

              • yes, well…devo =ed ‘devolution’. they called their fans “spuds”, too, lol. dunno quite when, but casale’s next iteration was jihad jerry. his current stuff is completely over-the-top sexist. great boyfriend for a fifteen-yr-old, eh?

      • keeping in the spirit of pig-themed music

    • chelsea’s sentence and parole possibilities:

  9. “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”

    ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

    (well, most men and women deep down, or too many, but most all of Our Rulers right on the surface.)

    i should look up how many years she has left to serve. julian retweeted a thingie of hers about someone having to read her lines for a reaction, additional points…because the prison won’t allow her voice to be recorded.

    not having followed polanski’s story, i guess i really thought he was the person his detractors and prosecutors said he was. so, i dunno.

    as for the bern, and his being a socialist, i think wm. blum said it right. let me go fetch the link. i won’t clip anything; you’ll know exactly what i’m finding admirable in his analysis. oh, i’d forgotten that it’s so very long….


    • Ah, Cicero. But OTOH

      There does not seem to be cause for alarm in the dual relationship of the press to the public, whereby it is on one side a purveyor of information and opinion and on the other side a purely business enterprise. Rather, it is probable that a press which maintains an intimate touch with the business currents of the nation, is likely to be more reliable than it would be if it were a stranger to these influences. [HA HA HA. Are those all the alternatives, Calvin?]

      After all, the chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with producing, buying, selling, investing and prospering in the world. I am strongly of the opinion that the great majority of people will always find these the moving impulses of our life.

      Of course, the accumulation of wealth cannot be justified as the chief end of existence,” he said. “But we are compelled to recognize it as a means to well-nigh every desirable achievement. So long as wealth is made the means and not the end, we need not greatly fear it…But it calls for additional effort to avoid even the appearance of the evil of selfishness. In every worthy profession, of course, there will always be a minority who will appeal to the baser instinct. There always have been, probably always will be, some who will feel that their own temporary interest may be furthered by betraying the interest of others.”

      According to Raygun’s “representative of the genius of the average”, the soul of the nation is bidness [and therefore the national soul is corrupt]. Cicero may not appreciate your sarcasm.

      That conservative demagoguery is treacherous.

      an old joke about Calvin Coolidge:

      The President and Mrs. Coolidge were being shown (separately) around an experimental government farm. When [Mrs. Coolidge] came to the chicken yard she noticed that a rooster was mating very frequently. She asked the attendant how often that happened and was told, “Dozens of times each day.” Mrs. Coolidge said, “Tell that to the President when he comes by.” Upon being told, the President asked, “Same hen every time?” The reply was, “Oh, no, Mr. President, a different hen every time.” President: “Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge.”

      Oooo, he was sarcastic. Surprised?

      • Gong!

        wherever did you dig up the tooCoolidge quotes? and here i thought molly ivins had coined ‘the bidness of amerika…is bidness’.

        naw, he didn’t say that to the miz, did he?

        and a ‘lady’ i ain’t. a woman, even a crone…but not no lady.

        • Gang the Bong …

          O no, “the bidness of Amurka …” was an article of faith adopted against the majority of apostates.

          No lady with no[]thing, but neither no clay-brained nut-hook..

          HE HE HE.

    • The great irony of it all is that the mass of the American people are not aware that their sundry attitudes constitute an anti-free-enterprise philosophy and thus tend to go on believing the conventional wisdom that government is the problem, that big government is the biggest problem, and that their salvation cometh from the private sector, thereby feeding directly into pro-free-enterprise ideology.

      Whenever I hear the word “irony”, I reach for my revolver. The cognitive dissonance is induced by crapitalist propaganda, of necessity. “[T]he public’s complementary mindset – that the government is no match for the private sector in efficiently getting large and important things done” is a crapitalist chimera. It flows from the necessity of libertarian crapitalists to cast off their social responsibilities by projecting their oppressiveness on their enemy, the government. It is not just that public enterprise can be more efficient than private, but that crapitalist projection of the government as enemy is their means of subverting non-crapitalist public interest.

      Thus, this is no irony, it is a means of conquest.

      Comrades, we must liberate ourselves from c[r]apitalism.

      • that raygun or tooKewlidge? (i am a major fan of irony, in the sense that something doesn’t bear out in actuality…what it promised incipiently.)

        yes, agreed to the final sentence, but socialism, in the sense of shared power/influence/choice among the populace works for me. communism? well, i dunno, but not likely. if the bern were a socialist, wouldn’t he at least mention nationalizing the fed, the banks, utilities…? oh, no! he cahn’t say that and get elected!

        • Thanks to you and our comrade from peeling back the layers of this onion. Shows me how shallow I think sometimes, how little I know of history and I appreciate both your efforts, truly.

          • well, Comrade Energizer Bunny may spend too much time cogitatin’ and lovin’ mind games, eh? glad to see you; i’m knackered and ready for bed. gorgeous crescent moon with venus to the south just before first light here
            just now. love, and sleep well, dream well if you can. (you think just deep enough, lol; me, too.)

        • Right, Bernie can’t say nationalize the trusts, but like a good TR style Progressive he can say bust the trusts. Of course, the first step in breaking them up is to seize them so he does plan on nationalizing them. Just doesn’t say it. Some of them aren’t worth keeping anyway.

          Bernie has gone on and on (dozens of times to many thousands of people) about how ‘the business model of Wall St is fraud’. His proof? the many prosecutions for fraud deferred by Holderamabama. Of course, I can not be sure this is his intent, but Bernie has made the open-and-shut case that he can use RICO and gobble them up as soon as his administration settles in. Just might be able to sweep up the Fed system in that net as an enabler+participant with its directorates interlocked with racketeering and corrupt organizations….

          Bill Black (and his best students) at Justice – Stephanie Kelton as emergency manager of the Fed… .. a guy can dream can’t he??

          Bernie did say don’t underestimate him. Blankfein of GoldManSacks has come out and said Bernie Sanders is “dangerous”. Definitely to Clinton and maybe to you and your ilk Lloyd. Maybe, just maybe…

          This is for you and all the other banksters Lloyd:

          • “Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.” On one hand, Uncle Bernie is a Duke among our con men. But Uncle Bernie’s anachronistic deal is a fraud too. He’ll have you eating lesser evil cowpies for the sake of national security too. You might even think we’re on the long descent to social democracy.

            It’s a fantasy, comrade.

            Many Progressives, including U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, saw no conflict between imperialism and reform at home -to them, both were forms of uplift, reform and improvement, and so they saw in these new colonies an opportunity to further the Progressive agenda around the world. […] Under the leadership of U.S. Senator Robert La Follette, Progressive opposition to foreign intervention further increased under the Dollar Diplomacy policies of Republican President William Howard Taft and Secretary of State Philander Knox. However, Progressives remained mostly interested in domestic issues, and Republican Progressives sometimes hesitated to break party lines on foreign policy, hoping to ensure greater influence on domestic matters within the Republican Party. […]

            President Wilson may have had greater reservations about U.S. foreign intervention in the Americas than President Theodore Roosevelt [! … His] military occupations incorporated elements of the Progressive program, attempting to establish effective local police forces, reform land laws, build public infrastructure, and increase public access to education. However, these programs were hampered by local opposition to U.S. occupation and U.S. policies that inadvertently proved counterproductive.

            Where Progressive policies threatened to destabilize U.S. authority, U.S. officials in charge of occupying forces opted for stability rather than authentic Progressive changes.

            Given that “progressives” can no longer satiate the crapitalist maw with expansion, Uncle Bernie is the crapitalists’ vicar.

            • nice quotes. very. the problem w/bernie: no one has any clue what of his domestice policy he’ll spend 2 seconds trying to accomplish. He’ll have zero problem with his foreign policy objectives. scary. i don’t know what else to say but to hell w/ bernie.

              • it’s possible the bern will moderate a couple of the grotesqueries of american domestic life. when he starts shootin his mouth off about the pentagon, nukes, overseas bases, instead of banks, i’ll start paying attention.

                there’s not a single industry “quaking in its boots” about the possibility of any one of these people being elected. the banksters are nonplussed at this kind of rhetoric around election time. bern is not about to nationalize anything, even if he acted like he wanted to, which he does not.

              • now hold the phone, amigo! we might want to rethink all of this. becuz: this part of the thread, i got suckered into clicking into: ‘Will There Ever Be Anyone Better Than Bernie Sanders????’ by David Macaray

                “Which brings us to Bernie Sanders. It is astounding that there are people going around grousing about how Bernie isn’t the “real” socialist he claims to be. Or whining about the fact that he hasn’t been enough of a “dove” when it comes to America’s military adventurism, or that his anti-Wall Street rhetoric isn’t “strong enough,” or that, being Jewish, he has been too “uncritical” of Israel.

                Jesus, Mary and whatnot….are they serious?? Are these people serious? Given the history of the U.S.—given the fact that the U.S. has demonstrable never been anything other than a centrist or right-centrist country—people have the nerve to quibble with Bernie Sanders for not being a “pure” lefty? That is beyond absurd.”

                you know, sure, he did a few bad things, but she got me to vote LOTE for obomba’s re-election in the end:

                O rancid sector of the far left, please stop your grousing! Compared to you, Eeyore sounds like a Teletubby. If I gave you a pony, you would not only be furious that not everyone has a pony, but you would pick on the pony for not being radical enough until it wept big, sad, hot pony tears. Because what we’re talking about here is not an analysis, a strategy, or a cosmology, but an attitude, and one that is poisoning us. Not just me, but you, us, and our possibilities.”

                oh. wait. no she didn’t, the dismal cow. ;-)

                (sorry, lemoyne. too hard to resist….) mebbe he’ll really bring The Revolution. (i’m lyin’.) ;-)

                • Instead of recognizing the opening he has created and working to expand it or positioning themselves to catch the disenchanted when he collapses – well I guess it’s so much each easier to grouse about the state of play on the field from the safety of the stands. (for clarity: I include myself on both sides of that equation – don’t work to expandhe opening or position NM Greens to catch).

                  My basic point – that I have deeply felt for six months – at the level of deeply felt prayer from eternity to the the present. Bernie holds all the cards. The election is his to lose at this point. The ony thing that will stop him is “sudden onset lead poisoning” or some other health disaster or his own failure to hew to his principles and follow through.

                  Clinton has been reduced to whining about Sanders’ “artful smear” against the basic fact that she and Bill have made >$3million from banksters and $11 million total from special interests in the first half of the last 2 years and 2 months bfore she started running for President of US. Artful smear? Nope, it’s a basic fact. The number for the Clintons’ speaking fees is $115,000,000 this century. Nearly eight million dollars a year for some tens of hours work per year. In this election cycle, against a veteran campaigner with many of Obama’s best (strategy and image) minions Hillary is shaping up as toast.

                  Clinton insists that no one can say how she changed a vote or position after receiving the money, but there is a simpler reality all of US 99% voters deal with day-to-day: any ‘largesse’ from special interests is always fee for service already rendered,
                  It wasn’t quid pro quo.
                  It was always quid post quo.

                  Y’all wanted Bernie to tear up the Democratic establishment. Consider that he is doing it and not getting his hands dirty, not breaking much of a sweat, just falling back on his stump speech, simply staying on message and repeating some simple truths about the corporate+DC establishment. It is of prime importance that he continues to swing the broad brush – it is not just or even primarily Clinton. We need a political revolution. The alternative to Bernie at this point is not the Socialist alternative, but the fascist backlash. Or even worse, a descent into barbarism where somebody forgets to mind the decrepit MarkI-IV GE nuclear reactors and their massive spent fuel pools.

                  • you should be writin’ rhetoric for bernie, lemoyne. including the fear-mongering. dunno what tearing up the D establishment means, but he sure could have run as an Indie, except for saying that he’ll endorse the Witch of Endor if she wins the nomination.

                    still and all, i come back to war, having already opined that those seeds have blossomed into megalithic trees with branches covering the planet. and bern…yawns stuff about ‘as a last resort’, but also: genocides! etc. not good enough for me.

                    i love your “archetypal forest gnomette” epithet (smile), and yes, i’m still that, and the casale days are long ago, before Devo, although he was in a band that even did ‘workin’ in a coal mine’.

                    but after moving to CO, i was both an earth muffin/political lightning rod, according to the local men’s kaffeeklatch. oh, and voted most likely to succeed in a post-apocalyptic world (an amazon worker, i was). but i spent decades running D campaigns in our crap county, then was a hired staffer for josie heath for US Senate. i went to at least two state conventions in the Big D, once for jesse jackson. so yeah, i’ve paid my dues as a D operative, and done a million other community and school projects.

                    you really should comment your beliefs at some other larger websites, though. c99% would be preachin’ to the choir, but the odious dagblog at which i wrote for long ago…you would be a help, seriously. they’re pretty much down with clinton, and you can comment without registering.

                    oh, and you seem to have mentioned bill black up yonder.

            • Oh, I get there is no evidence for my RICO theory of intervention. Most like Bernie has a clear plan to win but won’t be able to force anything himself – as he says in every single one of his many dozens of stump speeches. As bad as the political scene was then, especially with ‘big stick’ TR as progressivism’s standard bearer, it is even worse now. The MIC has replaced Social Security as the third rail of American politics and the world is regularly described as a scarier place.
              The point about Bernie’s priorities that I would make is that unless Americans learn to take care of one another there are two chances for a non-imperialist foreign policy: slim and none.

          • sure you can dream; dreamin’ is almost free, lemoyne. ;-) sure, push come to shove, i’d rather have the bern in the WH [on edit: than hillary: no more lookin’ at her, but i’d consider that an R might hasten a total change in US politics and society…eventually. we might get an actual democracy, though suffering would be worse for many until, and IF..] ,
            but i’d be amply prepared to feel as ‘berned’ by him as i did Barry O’bama. (i just saw a comment at ian welsh’s claiming that bernie was the deciding vote on obamacare. dunno.

            you may get a bang out of this emptywheel essay, ‘‘On Pluralism, Bernie Sanders, and the Fight for 15’ in which she quotes jonathan chait’s contention that the hillary hawk is pluralistic (ha ha ha), that the bern is ‘statist’, then she veers to a piece a jacobin explaining just why…when bern is for fight for $15, clinton reckons $12 is plenty…and the SEIU has spent millions of the former ‘movement’ (hoping for new members)…they’ve endorsed clinton.

            yeppers, they want a seat at the table. er….those union seats at the O table got workers exactly nothing but worse. including the afl-cio being pwned by O-care. har, har. ‘but…but…you said…mr. president!’

            miz MMT? dunno. also, i love how many banksters bill black put in jail via control fraud prosecutions, but it’s blinded him to seeing the need for reinstating glass-steagal and destroying the CFTC, home of ‘regulated swaps and derivatives’….pffffft.

            and i♥ devo; knew the bass player well back in kent, ohio. radicalized by the student massacre.

            • Yeah I almost put Bill Black in a putative Sanders admin, but I think he is done with it, done his time, shown how its done and explained it til he is bored with all that. He could serve much better from his kitchen table supporting his best students, whether they went to UMKC or not.

              A bit boggled that you actually knew one of the members of Devo back in the day. I tend to think of you as some archetypal forest gnomette, not in any way related to post-punk neo-pop satire that seemed to go over most peoples’ heads.

              The above insertion of Pigs (Three Different Ones) got me started on a review. In preference over the middle verse about Thatcher(?)Clinton saying “you radiate cold shafts of broken glass” … “you’re nearly a laugh but you’re really a cri-ai-yi-yi-yi-ime” … I prefer shinin’ on…

              One for Bernie’s crazy test of American democracy – his only hope against the backlash tsunami that is just beginning: it still looks like the tide going out fast. Some say he is stupid, some say he is crazy [brave], I say he needs to stay courageous – he needs to keep shining his lovelight on simple truths – what a miner for truth and delusion!

  10. Grab the hookah.

  11. To Lemoyne:
    Roosevelt made the bully pulpit (“Roosevelt used the word bully as an adjective meaning ‘superb’ or ‘wonderful'”) to promote expansionism (the Win-Win option within Amurka!).

    In 1890, Congress passed the first federal antitrust law, the Sherman Act. It outlawed “every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy in restraint of trade.” The Sherman Act also made it a crime “to combine or conspire . . . to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several states.”

    In the decade following passage of the Sherman Act, the generally pro-business presidents did little to enforce it. In fact, during this period, more mergers occurred and more trusts were formed than ever before.
    In his First Annual Message to Congress [December 1901], Roosevelt expressed his admiration for the “strong and forceful men” who had “done great good” by building up the commerce of the nation. But he also observed that “there are real and grave evils” that needed to be corrected. [But “he held the view that “good” monopolies benefited the public with efficient distribution of new products.]


    The [U.S. Steel] corporation controlled half of all steel production and nearly 80 percent of iron-ore reserves in the country. [… In 1910, Taft’s Justice Department filed suit claiming] U.S. Steel was a “menace to the country and should be destroyed.” […] Roosevelt, out of office but still active in politics, condemned the lawsuit. He said suing all trusts was “hopeless” and even if successful would “put the business of the country back into the middle of the 18th century.”

    Of course, Roosevelt’s bully domestic pep-talking aligned with the nation’s expanding bully jingoism. The destination of this demagoguery was known at the time.

    The fourth major candidate in 1912 was Socialist Eugene V. Debs. Debs believed that large enterprises were inevitable. “The simple truth is, that competition in industrial life belongs to the past, and is practically outgrown. The time is approaching when it will be no longer possible.” He did not favor using antitrust laws to break up large corporations. Instead, as a socialist, he supported worker and public ownership of large entities.

    Now, when expansionism is long dead and crapitalists have resorted to austerity and naked class warfare, Uncle Bernie, sans pulpit-thunder, only peddles worn-out pep.

    Who will Uncle Bernie really serve?

  12. Uncle Bernie peddles a fantastic future by feeding you a fantasy history:

  13. World Out of Joint: Wolfgang Streeck’s Vision of the End of Capitalism

    “If collective opposition is impossible, those who are not content to spend their lives paying off debts incurred by others have no other option than destructive opposition. This is needed to strengthen the delaying effect of what is left of democracy in national societies” (p. 159). At this hysterical moment—dubbed an “age of protest” by some—could just as easily be labeled the “age of futility” as our little stabs of resistance have not changed a thing.

    Does Uncle Bernie put up a barrier to the crapitalist-feudal transformation greater than the one he will poses to prole consciousness?

    Very unlikely.

    • ach, 2L2R for me. ‘member when you’d said that the word ‘irony’ made you want to pull out your revolver? ‘cRapitalism’ makes me want to pull out my…fly swatter.

      (here’s that cross-talk juliania had mentioned; it’s a soundcloud…but not peter lavelle, mercifully…)

  14. More on that corrupt crapitalist nougat in DC:

    Calvin Coolidge, president from 1923-1929, derided and disdained regulation. He appointed commissioners to the Federal Trade Commission and the Interstate Commerce Commission who did virtually nothing to referee business activity. Under Coolidge, the federal regulatory state was “thin to the point of invisibility.”

    The 30th president was also a proponent of “scientific taxation,” the idea that lower taxes increase government revenue. Coolidge drastically cut tax rates for the wealthy. In 1923, the top income tax rate was 73%. By 1925, it had been slashed down to 25%. The corporate (aka business) tax rate hovered between 10% and 14% during Coolidge’s terms, and total government tax revenue (local, state, federal) was just 5% of GDP.

    […] from 1925-1929, the economy and the stock market definitely boomed. But something else was booming too. Throughout the 1920s, inequality soared to unprecedented levels. Working-class wages slowed, people struggled in poverty and debt, family farm foreclosures were on the rise, and the workforce experienced long periods of un- and underemployment. By 1929, the top 1% of wealthy Americans owned a whopping 39% of the world’s wealth.

    The Roaring Twenties were not roaring for everyone.

    Finally, “crapitalist bugaboo” Roosevelt got the war that crushed international competition. Afterwards, the US embarked on cold war to maintain hegemony over crapitalist countries (and “ex-colonies”). Guess what comes next, proles..

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