"sovereign citizens"

Courts and cops don't know what to do with "sovereign citizens," the delusional far-rightists who claim the law doesn't apply to them

The "sovereign citizen" movement is a grifty, anti-Semitic/white-nationalist-adjacent cult whose conspiratorial beliefs include a bunch of reasons that neither law enforcement nor courts have jurisdiction over them, and also that the federal government is not allowed to own land (this being the rubric for the Cliven Bundy terrorists' seizure of the Malheur Oregon Wildlife Refuge. Read the rest

The weird grift of "sovereign citizens": where UFOlogy meets antisemitism by way of Cliven Bundy and cat-breeding

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the "sovereign citizen" movement/conspiracy theory (previously) has grown by leaps and bounds, thanks to a combination of the rise of antisemitism (long a dogwhistle in the movement, now out in the open), an increase in financial desperation and a sense of betrayal, and the movement's ability to realize real cash for its members, who have systematically defrauded the underfunded and resource-strapped IRS of move than $1B. Read the rest

Police set dog on a driver who politely refuses to answer questions

WKYC Channel 3 in Canton, Ohio, posted footage of police smashing a car window, dragging out the driver and setting a dog on him after he very politely refused to answer questions. The driver, Ronald D. Wagner II, appears to be a "sovereign citizen" type who refuses to screw the number plate on their car for arcane constitutional reasons. Their excuse? The car's registered owner had a concealed carry permit, so they were frightened for their lives: "Stop fighting the dog"

Listen to his screams and ask yourself if America is great again. Read the rest

Boing Boing Gift Guide 2017

Here's this year's complete Boing Boing Gift Guide: dozens of great ideas for stocking stuffers, brain-hammers, mind-expanders, terrible toys, badass books and more. Where available, we use Amazon Affiliate links to help keep the world's greatest neurozine online.

Man asks Alexa if he is being detained

This appears to be surveilling AI chatboxes set up to debate the fine points of constitutional law. It's presumably based on a transcript of an interaction between a sovereign citizen and a cop, but I'm not sure which one as all such interactions are nearly identical (sovcit patter is extremely rigid, and the cops adopt the firm-but-polite bemusement reserved for angry white people).

In other surveilling AI chatbox news, Google admitted yesterday that their newest surveilling AI chatboxes, including those sent to journalists to review, have a "bug" whereby they record audio 24/7. Read the rest

With Briggs Land, Brian Wood gets inside the scariest terror threat in America: white nationalists

Stories matter: the recurring narrative of radical Islamic terror in America (a statistical outlier) makes it nearly impossible to avoid equating "terrorist" with "jihadi suicide bomber" -- but the real domestic terror threat is white people, the Dominionists, ethno-nationalists, white separatists, white supremacists and sovereign citizens who target (or infiltrate) cops and blow up buildings. That's what makes Brian Wood's first Briggs Land collection so timely: a gripping story of far-right terror that is empathic but never sympathetic.

America's top cop-killing domestic terror threat is far-right "sovereign citizens" and militias

A 2014 survey of 175 US law enforcement agencies found that they ranked "sovereign citizens" as the top domestic terror threat, and with good reason: members of the heavily armed, white-supremacist-adjacent movement regularly kill cops during routine traffic stops and other interactions. Read the rest

Angry "sovereign citizen" meets polite police officer

This patient police officer does not take much stock in the legitimacy of the sovereign citizen movement.

Best part:

Cop: "You're under arrest."

Sovereign citizen: "NO I'M NOT!"

From Wikipedia: "The sovereign citizen movement is a loose grouping of American and Canadian litigants, commentators, tax protesters, and financial-scheme promoters. Self-described sovereign citizens take the position that they are answerable only to their particular interpretation of the common law and are not subject to any government statutes or proceedings." Read the rest

Treasonous Bundy-led militia prepare to open kangaroo court

Seems the "patriots" in Oregon, who have occupied a wild life sanctuary, are fixing to start trying local officials for undisclosed, but "substantial" crimes. They have brought in a phony judge and are raring to go!

TPM shares the story:

After 11 days of occupying a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, a group of U.S. militiamen have brought in some "Constitutional" back up to help hold local officials accountable.

According to the Oregonian, self-proclaimed U.S. Superior Court Judge Bruce Doucette (not a real judge) arrived in Harney County Tuesday and is readying militiamen for a big old trial.

Doucette, who is reportedly associated with the sovereign citizen movement, met with individuals at the wildlife refuge Tuesday and said he believed there was substantial evidence against local officials to take action.

...and yes, they have committed treason. Read the rest

Texans brace for Jade Helm 15, massive federal military exercise

About half of Texans are concerned about Jade Helm 15, this week's federal military exercise across the American southwest. Many conspiracy theories advanced by right-wing groups have driven these concerns. Read the rest

Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century

Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century is a bestselling economics tome whose combination of deep, careful presentation of centuries' worth of data, along with an equally careful analysis of where capitalism is headed has ignited a global conversation about inequality, tax, and policy. Cory Doctorow summarizes the conversation without making you read 696 pages (though you should).

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