Sovereign citizens, or SovCits, believe they've discovered a way to live in the United States without obeying laws or paying taxes. However, their vision isn't shared by law enforcement or the legal system, often leading to confrontations when SovCits are stopped by police officers. — Read the rest
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.
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.
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.
I sign up for far-right, MAGA, and conspiritualist (conspiracy + spirituality) groups and listservs, as part of my research, so I'm always getting interesting/disturbing emails, like the one I got today from "Disinformation Dozen" darling Kelly Brogan, an MD turned COVID denier. — Read the rest
A&E has released another "Top 5 Sovereign Citizen Moments" video, and it is pure gold. "Sovereign Citizens" are folks that reject the government of the United States authority over them because they heard something crazy on a podcast, or around a fire where they howl at the moon like a wolf, embrace their virility, and reject the rule of law. — Read the rest
Of all the koo-koo cults percolating across the American landscape today, "Sovereign Citizens" are probably one of the funniest, at least when you watch them spout their nonsense in videos like this one. But they are incredibly annoying to cops and other public officials, not to mention violent and racist. — Read the rest
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.
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.
This patient police officer does not take much stock in the legitimacy of the sovereign citizen movement.
Cop: "You're under arrest."
Sovereign citizen: "NO I'M NOT!"
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).