Constitutional argument for Oregon militia’s actions.

3 comments

Posted on 8th January 2016 by IndenturedServant in Politics |Social Issues

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Hat tip KaD

About Krisanne Hall
KrisAnne Hall is an attorney and former prosecutor, fired after teaching the Constitution to TEA Party groups – she would not sacrifice liberty for a paycheck. She is a disabled veteran of the US Army, a Russian linguist, a mother, a pastor’s wife and a patriot. She now travels the country and teaches the Constitution and the history that gave us our founding documents. KrisAnne Hall does not just teach the Constitution, she lays the foundations that show how reliable and relevant our founding documents are today. She presents the “genealogy” of the Constitution – the 700 year history and five foundational documents that are the very roots of American Liberty. – See more at:

http://krisannehall.com/


9/11 MORONIC JET FUEL ARGUMENT

73 comments

Posted on 17th December 2015 by Administrator in Economy

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Let the shit flinging begin. I got a D in Physics in college, so I’m out of the discussion.


A Very Real Argument That We As A People Are….

7 comments

Posted on 31st May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

smiley

Guest Post by Karl Denninger

That’s done.  As in baked, cooked, finis.

Let’s just look at the charges and specifications of late, shall we?

  • Big US and Global Banks have admitted (that is, have been convicted) of multiple criminal offenses over the last several years.  partial list can be found here; let me remind everyone that an ordinary person who commits three felonies, even if some of them are very minor in comparison to any of the listed ones here in impact and they take place over a period of decades, goes away for life under long-existing three strikes laws.  All four of the banks listed in that dissent have three or more “convictions” and thus all of them should be dissolved as they are obviously incapable of modifying their behavior.  Nonetheless literally tens of millions of Americans and American corporations not only refuse to stand and demand that these charters be revoked they voluntarily do business with one or more of these firms!
  • We have a medical and insurance industry in this country that routinely, on a daily basis, engages in behavior that can easily be described as meeting the criteria for fraud, bid-rigging, racketeering and routinely uses the threat of both bankruptcy and violence by government goons to get what it wants.  This “industry” routinely, for example, bills for things they didn’t actually do, sends people bills for hundreds or thousands of dollars for someone sticking their head in a door and saying “Hello”, allows “off-plan” doctors to treat people without their consent exposing them to thousands (or tens of thousands!) in unauthorized charges and then enforces those “charges”, takes drugs off the market that they produce so that the only remaining options are those made by the same company but are under patent and more.  The single most-common cause of bankruptcy in this country is medical debt incurred as a direct result of these practices and these practices are where the so-called “need” for Obamacare, that is now resulting in demands for 50% premium hikes in some markets for the next year, came from.  Yet we, as a nation and as a people, routinely consent to this crap and allow these corporations, institutions and individuals to continue their outrageous acts of pillage daily.

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Thoughts from the Frontline: The Last Argument of Central Banks

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Posted on 11th November 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Thoughts from the Frontline: The Last Argument of Central Banks

By John Mauldin

 

For a central banker, deflation is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Death, Famine, Disease, and Deflation. (We will address later in this letter why War, in the form of a currency war, is not in a central banker’s Apocalypse mix.) It is helpful to understand that, before a person is allowed to join the staff or board of a central bank, he or she is taken into a back room and given DNA replacement therapy, inserting a gene that is viscerally opposed to deflation. Of course, in fairness, it must be noted that central bankers don’t like high inflation, either (although, looking around the world, we see that the definition of high inflation can vary). In the developed world, 2% inflation seems to be the common goal. You wouldn’t think that 2% a year is a significant change in the overall price structure, but the panic among economists that would ensue with a 2% price deflation would border on hysteria.

Inflation and deflation are often topics of discussions as I travel, but I find that there is general confusion about what inflation and deflation actually are. This is understandable, since many economists don’t agree on the definitions, so they are often talking about totally different phenomena. In this week’s letter I have for you a brief essay on the topic of deflation. Depending on your view, you might find some of my thoughts controversial, but I will try to make my case clear, at least. Please note this is the 30,000-foot view and is nowhere close to definitive. If you want great detail, I suggest you get my good friend Gary Shilling’s latest book on deflation (of four that I know of), called The Age of Deleveraging. (It’s only $11.49 on Kindle.)

Definitions of Inflation and Deflation

Generally speaking, there are two schools of thought about inflation. The Austrian school of economic theory, founded by Ludwig von Mises, sees inflation as an increase in the money supply and deflation as a contraction in the money supply. Somewhat similarly (but not entirely!), the monetarist school of economic theory tends to see money supply as the chief determinant of GDP in the short run and of the price level over the long run.

Mainstream economics (generally Keynesian) tend to refer to rising or falling prices as inflation or deflation. They tend to see deflation as a general price decline, often brought about by reductions in available credit, money, or reserves or by the government’s restraint of spending programs.

So when we talk about inflation/deflation, it is important to know whether we’re talking about monetary inflation or price inflation. As we have seen recently, a rising money supply is not necessarily accompanied by rising prices (although there is a certain long-term rhythm to the two different measures).

When I talk to the general public about deflation being something to be avoided, I get confused looks. Don’t we like it when the price of something goes down? Who doesn’t love a sale on something they want to buy? Since the beginning of the First Industrial Revolution, the general tendency for the prices of manufactured goods (in real inflation-adjusted terms) has been to go down as productivity has gone up. This is what Gary Shilling and others refer to as “good deflation.”

You can actually have solid productivity, GDP growth, wealth creation, a general increase in the standard of living, and a buoyant economy during a period of overall price deflation such as we had in the late 1800s – if it is the good kind of deflation.

What is the difference between good deflation and bad deflation? Good deflation is the general fall in prices that comes from an excess supply of goods due to increased productivity and product improvement. From 1870 to 1897 wheat prices fell from $1.06 to 63¢ a bushel, corn from 43¢ to 30¢ a bushel, and cotton from 15¢ to 6¢ a pound. Most of the time farmers received even less for their crops.

While farmers blamed all sorts of people for their falling prices, the primary cause of their problem was overproduction resulting from increases in the acreage of farms and increased yields per acre due to improved farming methods, as well as the advent of railroads that made it easy to get produce to Eastern markets. A farmer had to produce more just to stay even. It didn’t help that global competition from Argentina, Russia, and Canada was added into the mix, as increasingly large oceangoing steamboats made international transportation cheaper and ended an era of American agricultural export advantages.

This period of time saw one-third of farmers move to the cities for other work as they lost their employment on small family farms. That trend in falling farm employment continued until recent years, and farming has seen even greater increases in productivity (yield per acre) in recent decades. Farm and ranch families are just 2% of the US population today. Only 15% of the US workforce produces, processes, and sells the nation food and fiber. Today’s farmers produce almost three times more food with 2% lower inputs than farmers did 60 years ago. A third of American agriculture is strictly for exports.

The late 1800s was a particularly contentious period of history in the United States as farmers blamed railroads, bankers, and industrialists for their problems – a situation not unlike the income inequality debate we have today. And while falling prices weren’t fun for the farmers, the general public enjoyed lower food costs and higher-quality food.

The easiest way to illustrate this trend in the modern area is by looking at the cost of a gigabyte of storage. You can see an interactive version of this chart here. Prices for a gigabyte of storage dropped from $500-700,000 in the early 1980s (depending on what you were buying) to about $0.03 today. Put another way, a gigabyte cost about 2 million times more 35 years ago than it does today. And it has fallen by 50% every few years. The good deflationary fall in prices for data storage has enabled all sorts of industries and products, creating millions of jobs. And we could find dozens of other, similar products whose prices have been falling dramatically.

Measuring Inflation/Deflation

Each month we are greeted by the announcement of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), telling us what the level of general price inflation has been for the previous month and year. I’ve written about CPI extensively in past letters, but basically we need to understand that the CPI is an artificial amalgamation of the prices of various products and services. The composition of the CPI has changed significantly over the last 40 years. As John Williams at Shadow Stats demonstrates, if we used the same measurement methodology that was in force during the Reagan years or the early Clinton years, inflation would be almost 4 percentage points higher now than it is currently calculated to be.

Contrary to some commentators, I do not see this is a conspiracy to mislead investors or consumers, or to slow down the rise in Social Security payments. We should all be grateful that there is a small band of economists who are consumed by the details of what inflation actually is. They go to conferences and vehemently argue with each other (well, vehemently for academic economists) over arcane topics that would bore 99%-plus of the population. They are passionate about trying to find the proper measure of inflation.

My personal feeling is that the adjustments that have been made in the calculation of inflation are generally quite reasonable, if somewhat controversial. With the prices of electronics and many other manufactured goods falling over the decades, how do you measure inflation in those items? Or rather deflation? I still spend about the same amount for a new phone today as I did 10 years ago, but my new iPhone 6+ is a major improvement over the Motorola flip phone I had 10 years ago, by any standard you want to apply. Both could make phone calls, but that is about where the similarity ends. Am I getting better value for my money? More bang for the buck? Absolutely.

Currently, the economists who determine inflation see that increase in value as an actual drop in inflation, and they use a somewhat controversial methodology called hedonics to adjust the prices of a myriad of products for quality. If anti-lock brake systems are now standard whereas before they were optional, then by this doctrine the price of your car went down. (Those who are interested can google hedonics and get a wealth of information on the definition and the controversy.)

Housing is a big component of our spending. Should we use actual housing prices or what the inflation economists call “owner’s equivalent rent prices” as our measure of housing cost increases? If we had used actual housing prices during the 2000s, the inflation figures would have gone through the roof, suggesting to the Federal Reserve that they should be raising interest rates rather than lowering them or keeping them too low. And again, if we had been using actual house prices to calculate inflation during the Great Recession, the economy would have been seen as being swamped by serious deflation. There would’ve been even more weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

To continue reading this article from Thoughts from the Frontline – a free weekly publication by John Mauldin, renowned financial expert, best-selling author, and Chairman of Mauldin Economics – please click here.

Important Disclosures

Prescription pain killers: far riskier than gun ownership

7 comments

Posted on 23rd May 2016 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Guest Post by Duane Norman

If Americans are so happy, then why do we consume 80 percent of the entire global supply of prescription painkillers?  Less than 5 percent of the world’s population lives in this country, and yet we buy four-fifths of these highly addictive drugs.  In the United States today, approximately 4.7 million Americans are addicted to prescription pain relievers, and that represents about a 300 percent increase since 1999. If you personally know someone that is suffering from this addiction, then you probably already know how immensely destructive these drugs can be. Someone that was formally living a very healthy and normal life can be reduced to a total basket case within a matter of weeks.

And of course many don’t make it back at all. According to the CDC, more than 28,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2014.  Incredibly, those deaths represented 60 percent of all drug overdose deaths in the United States for that year… [Read more]

One of the most beat to death gun control arguments is “Your odds of dying go WAY higher if you have a gun in the home! No one should own guns, guns are deadly!”

Now replace the word “gun” with “opioid-based painkillers” – yes, I mean the Percocets, Vicodins, Oxycontins, and all the others. Now your argument is somewhere between 5 and 107 times as pertinent, depending on the classification of suicide, and addiction/accessibility.

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Much Ado About Restrooms

6 comments

Posted on 23rd May 2016 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Guest Post by Ron Paul

Debates over the US government’s foreign and economic policies have recently taken a backseat to the debate over what bathroom transgender individuals should use. The two sides of the debate both believe that government has the legitimate authority to tell private businesses who they should allow to use their facilities. Few on either side of this debate defend the right of private property owners to decide for themselves who may and may not use their bathrooms.

Some say government must be involved in this issue in order to ensure that private businesses do not violate individual rights. Those who make this claim are accepting the idea that rights are no more than a gift from the government that can be revoked at the will and whim of legislators and bureaucrats. This argument turns rights from a shield protecting our liberties into a sword that can and will be used to increase government control of our lives.

Two weeks ago, the Department of Education waded into this debate by threatening to withhold federal funds from schools that do not allow transgender students to use the restroom of their choice. State and local officials around the country have promised to resist the Education Department’s new bathroom rules. However, given how addicted most state and local governments and school boards are to federal funds, it is likely that even most conservative state governments and school boards will eventually adopt the bathroom policies desired by federal bureaucrats.

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Stock Share Buybacks Now Bought Out — American Enterprise in Decline

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Posted on 22nd May 2016 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

 Guest Post by David Haggith

stock-share-buybacksI have pointed out in previous articles how most of the growth in stocks over the past few years has been due to stock share buybacks. Without this hideous (and at one time illegal) practice, there would have been no bull market over the last few years.

That’s right. Research from no other place than Wall Street, itself, indicates that almost all of the returns since 2009 have been due to stock share buybacks!

 

Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist and perma-bull at Charles Schwab, recently acknowledged that “… there has not been a dollar added to the U.S. stock market since the end of the financial crisis by retail investors and pension funds….” Since every buyer has a seller (and vice versa), what group or groups had enough of a buying presence to push the S&P 500 14.2% off of the February closing lows? Corporations. (Seeking Alpha)

 

Most people assume what has kept the market afloat this year after sinking 11% at the start of the year was a mixture of better news out of China, oil prices stabilizing, and indications that the Fed won’t raise rates as much as thought. But the real thing bouying the market could be something else: Stock buybacks…. The stock buybacks come at a time when major investors including individuals, foreign investors, and pension funds have been selling off their shares, according to a note from Goldman Sachs, amid market volatility and weak oil prices. (Fortune)

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Why The Flyover Zone Is Hurting——–Bubble Finance Is Strictly For The Bicoastal Elites

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Posted on 22nd May 2016 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

 

We are now in month 83 of this so-called recovery. Yet there are still 45 million people on food stamps——one out of every seven Americans. The median real household income is still 5% below its level in the fall of 2007. There are still only 71 million full-time, full-pay “breadwinner” jobs in the nation—–nearly 2 million fewer than when Bill Clinton was packing his bags to vacate the White House.

At the same time, we have had monetary stimulus like never before. There has been 90 straight months of virtually zero interest rates. The balance sheet of the Fed has been expanded by $3.5 trillion. For point of reference, that is 4X more than all the bond-buying during the entire first 94 years of the Fed’s history.

So something doesn’t parse, and that’s to put it charitably. The truth is, the Fed’s entire radical regime of ZIRP and QE constitutes a monumental monetary fraud.

It has not “stimulated” a wit the struggling main street economy of flyover America. Instead, it has showered Wall Street speculators with trillions of windfall gains and gifted the bicoastal elites with a false prosperity derived from financial inflation and government expansion.

Herein follows an initial bill of particulars. We show that the “recovery” narrative endlessly trumpeted by the Fed and its fellow travelers on Wall Street and in the financial media does not remotely reflect on the ground economic reality; it derives almost entirely from a narrow band of badly flawed and thoroughly misleading labor market indicators and other faulty “incoming data” from the Washington statistical mills.

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The Shift to a Cashless Society is Snowballing

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Posted on 19th May 2016 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist
Love it or hate it, cash is playing an increasingly less important role in society.

In some ways this is great news for consumers. The rise of mobile and electronic payments means faster, convenient, and more efficient purchases in most instances. New technologies are being built and improved to facilitate these transactions, and improving security is also a priority for many payment providers.

However, there is also a darker side in the shift to a cashless society. Governments and central banks have a different rationale behind the elimination of cash transactions, and as a result, the so-called “war on cash” is on.

On the Path to a Cashless Society

The Federal Reserve estimates that there will be $616.9 billion in cashless transactions in 2016. That’s up from around $60 billion in 2010.

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Thomas Frank: What Happened To the ‘Party of the People’

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Posted on 18th May 2016 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Via Jesse

“Inequality is a euphemism, a kind of shorthand, for all of the things that have gone to make the lives of the rich so much more delicious, year on year, for the last three decades. And also for the things that have made the lives of working people so wretched and so precarious in that same time.

This word inequality. It’s visible in the ever rising costs of healthcare and college, in the coronation of Wall Street, and the slow blighting of wherever it is that you happen to live. And you catch a glimpse of inequality every time you hear about someone that had to declare bankruptcy because a child got sick, or you read about the lobbying industry that drives Washington DC, or the new political requirement, the new constitutional requirement that every presidential candidate has to be a billionaire’s favorite, or a billionaire themselves.

Inequality is about the way in which speculators, and even criminals, get a helping hand from Uncle Sam, while the Vietnam Vet down the street from you loses his house. Inequality is the reason that some people find such incredible significance in the ceiling height of an entrance foyer, or the hop content of a beer, while other people will never believe in anything again.”

Thomas Frank

Change is coming. It must come, because the status quo is unsustainable, and has been so for some time.

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A Campaign Of Blatant, Self-Serving Lies——–The U.S. Army’s Propaganda War On Russia And For Bigger Budgets

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Posted on 16th May 2016 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Guest Post by Justin Raimondo 

In early April, a battalion of senior military officials appeared before a Senate panel and testified that the US Army is “outranged and outgunned,” particularly in any future conflict with Russia. Arguing for a much bigger budget for the Army, they claimed that, absent a substantial increase in funding, the Russians would overtake us and, even scarier, “the army of the future will be too small to secure the nation.”

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! And before you know it, Brooklyn will be renamed Putingrad.

Of course it was pure coincidence that, shortly after these alarm bells were rung, a piece appeared in Politico magazine purportedly showing that the Russians were breathing down our necks: it revealed a “secret study” – revealed for the first time! – that supposedly detailed Russia’s deadly new capabilities as demonstrated in Ukraine. Included in this potpourri of propaganda was the assertion by none other than Gen. Wesley Clark, former presidential candidate and well-known Russophobe, that Moscow had developed a tank that is for all intents and purposes “invulnerable.”

Perhaps embarrassed by what seemed like an exercise in inter-service internecine warfare, Politico recently ran an article by Mark Perry throwing new light on what is really going on here. Citing senior military figures, Perry’s piece threw a rhetorical hand grenade into the Army’s argument:

“’This is the ‘Chicken-Little, sky-is-falling’ set in the Army,’ the senior Pentagon officer said. ‘These guys want us to believe the Russians are 10 feet tall. There’s a simpler explanation: The Army is looking for a purpose, and a bigger chunk of the budget. And the best way to get that is to paint the Russians as being able to land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. What a crock.’”

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Border Lines

14 comments

Posted on 16th May 2016 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Guest Post by Jim Kunstler

If the Obama Justice Department was really honest about its “guidance” on transgender bathrooms, it would have stated clearly a requirement to provide a new, separate, third category of bathroom or changing room for people identifying themselves as transgender. This would have given such persons a safe, private place to perform their necessary bio-functions without making the other two categories of people, male and female, uncomfortable.

Actually, such a third option already exists in many public places: the handicapped bathroom. These could easily be relabeled “Handicapped and Transgender” — the main feature of them being that they allow for one-person-at-a-time occupancy, obviating any effect on others. And it wouldn’t require expensive renovation of public buildings.

But no, Mr. Obama’s DOJ decided to antagonize large numbers of males and females by coercing them to consort with transgender people, threatening to take away federal school funding if they didn’t allow persons of ambiguous sexuality to use whichever bathroom they felt like.

This reveals the fantastic smug certainty of the political Left in assuming that such matters as the nature of transgender behavior are adequately understood and settled — for instance, that transgender is actually a real sexual category rather than a psychological disturbance, a developmental problem, an extreme fashion statement, or a fantasy. I’m not at all persuaded that this is settled, despite the pervasive wishful thinking of the social justice corps that it were so.

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Defense Bill Coming This Week: A Boost for War and Tyranny

7 comments

Posted on 16th May 2016 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Guest Post by Ron Paul

For many of us concerned with liberty, the letters “NDAA” have come to symbolize Washington’s ongoing effort to undermine the US Constitution in the pursuit of constant war overseas. It was the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2012 that introduced into law the idea that American citizens could be indefinitely detained without warrant or charge if a government bureaucrat decides they had assisted al-Qaeda or “associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States.” No charges, no trial, just disappeared Americans.

The National Defense Authorization bill should be a Congressional mechanism to bind the president to spend national defense money in the way Congress wishes. It is the nuts and bolts of the defense budget and as such is an important oversight tool preventing the imperial executive from treating the military as his own private army. Unfortunately that is no longer the case these days.

Why am I revisiting the NDAA today? Unfortunately since 2012 these bills have passed the House with less and less scrutiny, and this week the House is going to vote on final passage of yet another Defense Authorization, this time for fiscal year 2017. Once again it is a terrible piece of legislation that does great harm to the United States under the guise of protecting the United States.

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HAVE WE REACHED PEAK ABSURDITY?

13 comments

Posted on 15th May 2016 by Yojimbo in Economy

This was a real lecture at MIT on May 9th. If I had known about it, I would have attended to document the moment we reached Peak Absurdity.

Islamophobia global warming

The Ecology and Justice Forum In Global Studies And Languages Presents:
Ghassan Hage
Ghassan Hage is Future Generation Professor in the School of Philosophy, Anthropology and Social Inquiry, University of Melbourne
Introduced By Bettina Stoetzer, Global Studies And Languages
Mon. May 9
5:00 pm
2-105
This talk examines the relation between Islamophobia as the dominant form of racism today and the ecological crisis. It looks at the three common ways in which the two phenomena are seen to be linked: as an entanglement of two crises, metaphorically related with one being a source of imagery for the other and both originating in colonial forms of capitalist accumulation. The talk proposes a fourth way of linking the two: an argument that they are both emanating from a similar mode of being, or enmeshment, in the world, what is referred to as ‘generalised domestication.’
Ghassan Hage has held many visting positions across the world including in Harvard, University of Copenhagen, Ecoles des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and American University of Beirut. He works in the comparative anthropology of nationalism, multiculturalism, diaspora and racism and on the relation between anthropology, philosophy and social and political theory. His most well-known work is White Nation: Fantasies of white supremacy in a multicultural society (Routledge 2000). His is also the author of Alter-Politics: Critical Anthropology and the Radical Imaginary (Melbourne University Press 2015). He is currently working on a book titled Is Islamophobia Accelerating Global Warming? and has most recently published a piece in American Ethnologist, titled: “Etat de Siege. A Dying Domesticating Colonialism?” (2016) that engages with the contemporary “refugee crisis” in Europe and beyond.
The talk is free and open to the public.
Sponsored by Global Studies and Laguages, Global Borders Research Collaboration, MIT Anthropology