Steve G.

Archive for the ‘Censorship’ Category

Live-blogging: Hamilton’s Curse: Chapter 2: Public Blessing or National Curse?

In Books, Censorship, Corruption, Economics, First Amendment, History, Libertarian, literature, Live-blogging, Spending, Taxation, US Government on May 22, 2009 at 4:32 pm

It’s unfortunate that economics is such an esoteric subject, for it certainly impacts all of us.  It’s perhaps all the more unfortunate because of the ease with which the political class can confuse and dupe the public, thereby exploiting the masses.

Thomas J. DiLorenzo begins the second chapter of his Hamilton’s Curse noting that “[g]overnment debt is every politician’s dream” because it allows him or her to “buy votes by spending on government programs…that will make him popular now, while putting the lion’s share of the cost on future taxpayers, who must pay off the debt” (p. 38).

The result of this is obvious enough: we, the taxpayers, never truly grasp how expensive are the programmes with which we’re presented, and so the debt keeps mounting.  The national debt, at the time DiLorenzo was writing his book, had exceeded $9 trillion, with unfunded liabilities mounting around $70 trillion (p. 39).

Then there’s “the biggest government program of all—war” (Ibid.).  The American taxpayer would be much more likely to demand peaceful relations if they were presented with “an explicit tax bill for it” (Ibid.).  Thus DiLorenzo writes, “Taxpayers feeling the sting of gigantic wartime increases would be much more inclined to pressure their governmental respresentatives to limit their military adventures to national defense purposes, as opposed to imperialistic ventures based on more dubious motives” (Ibid.).  And this is why Jefferson held that “the perpetuation of debt, has drenched the earth with blood” (p. 40).

What has any of this to do with Alexander Hamilton? It was precisely Hamilton who “championed,” in pursuit of his goal of bigger, more centralised government and imperial glory, “the creation of a large national debt” (Ibid.).  He did this in two ways:  He (1) encouraged the federal state to assume all of the debt from the old government and (2) encouraged the central government to assume the war debts of the various states (pp. 41, 46).

His first proposal was very popular, as it allowed the political class to become much more wealthy.  Federal politicians and other New Yorkers learned of the federal government’s plans to pay off old war debts at full face value long before the information could filtrate to the rest of the country and the many holders of old war bonds.  These members of the political class, with their inside information, quickly entered the game of speculation, buying up these government bonds around the country from “haplass and unsuspecting war veterans at prices as low as 10 percent of full value” (pp. 41–42).  Republicans and Federalists alike profited from the graft.

This did not sit well with James Madison, however, who proposed that the original bondholders also be paid at full value.  Madison was denounced “as a dreamer” (p. 44).

Hamilton’s second proposal was not as popular as his first.  For one thing, this entire generation saw the various states as free and independent countries, with the federal government being merely a meeting of the states to better secure their basic and collective needs, such as defence or the coining of a uniform currency (p. 46).  For another, the states that had already paid off their debt, such as Virginia, did not want to have to socialise the debt of the other states that had not been in their opinions as dilligent (p. 47).  As such, Hamilton’s assumption plan was defeated in Congress no less than five times (p. 48).  It did not eventually pass until Hamilton struck a deal with Jefferson to allow the U.S. capital to move from New York to Virginia, something Jefferson had desired but the Hamiltonians had, until that point, been blocking (Ibid.).

The reason Hamilton wanted the newly centralised government to assume vast quantities of debt was that “he wanted to tie the wealthy to the state as a permanent, big-government lobbying class” (p. 45).  The primary government bondholders, after all, would be the more affuent citizens, and they would have an “interest in continued borrowing and continued tax increases to assure that they would be paid their principal and interest” (Ibid.).  Therefore Hamilton, not surprisingly, also rallied for higher taxes, “including the notorious tax on whiskey, a carriage tax, and a national property tax (which spawned a tax revolt in massachusetts—the Fries Rebellion)” (p. 43).

Hamilton defended the “[p]lundering of the working class with onerous taxes” because he saw Americans as too “indolent” and held that these harsh taxes would encourage the people to work harder (Ibid.).  Of course, the opposite is true.  The more people have to surrender in taxes, the less motivated they are to work hard.  What’s the point, they ask, when Uncle Sam is taking it all anyway?  Perhaps one of the worst aspect of these changes was the opportunity for a standing army of tax-collectors to be created, precisely what Hamilton had used to squash the Whiskey Rebellion (p. 44, cf. 33–36).  DiLorenzo cites this as “one of the chief reasons why the Anti-Federalists never trusted Hamilton.  A standing army of tax collectors could (and eventually would) destroy states’ rights altogether” (p. 44, cf. 48).

As I expressed in my previous entry, I’m not personally fond with DiLorenzo’s use of the term “states’ rights.”  Governments, after all, cannot possess rights.  Only individuals—and the voluntary associations they create—can possess rights.  The founders understood clearly that states did not and could not possess “rights,” and thus, when they drafted the tenth amendment, they clearly referenced powers rather than “right.”  What this Hamiltonian centralisation of power threatens, therefore, are the powers that were reserved to the states under the U.S. Constitution.

In any event, there were those who opposed Hamilton’s nationalist schemes.  Albert Gallatin of Pennsylvania called Hamilton’s assumption plan “subversive of the rights, liberty and peace of the people,” a view “endorsed by the Pennsylvania legislature” (p. 47).  (Luckily for Gallatin, Hamilton was unsuccessful in his drive to “have Gallatin arrested and put on trial” (Ibid.).)  John Taylor of Virginia pointed out that the Hamiltonian schemes “would result in ‘the accumulation of great wealth in a few hands,’ accumulted through ‘a political moneyed engine.’  It would create British mercantilism in America, in other words” (p. 48).

DiLorenzo also addresses the despicable Sedition Act, which the federal government used to silence Jeffersonians and other Republican opponents of the Federalists’ nationalist agenda.  Many innocent men were arrested under this law, including at least twenty-one newspaper editors, “all of whom supported Jefferson….  No Federalists were harassed by the Sedition Act” (p. 50).  This act, along with the Alien Acts (collectively called the Alien and Sedition Acts by historians), was what lead Jefferson and Madison to author the Virginia and Kentucky Resolves of 1798, thereby nullifying these laws within their state borders.

DiLorenzo attributes the reactionary policies of the Federalists to the 1800 Republican victory.  On pages 51–53, he details the history of national debt in the United States from the time of Jefferson to the present, showing how, over time, the amount of debt the government has opted to take on at any given time has ratcheted upward.  He concludes on page 53 that perpetual government debt “essentially relies on forced labor,” turning today’s citizens into tax serfs, and points out that governments have historically relied in the “hidden tax” of inflation to pay off debt, knowing that citizens do not notice this form of taxation in the same way they notice direct taxes.  Finally he spells out the destructive effects of this approach on pages 54 and 55, and draws the connection between Hamilton’s bad policy ideas and the destructive policies of modern Keynesians on pages 56 and 57.

Overall, I found the chapter stimulating.  Authors do not often comment, especially in any great detail, on the problems with large national debts.  This is probably because historians and political theorists often do not have much background in economics—DiLorenzo does, and is able to incorporate his understanding of this otherwise esoteric subject into his historical analysis.

—Alexander S. Peak

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Too Dangerous for Canada!

In Big Brother, Censorship, First Amendment, People in the news on April 1, 2009 at 9:06 pm

It appears that the UK’s maverick anti-war MP George Galloway is too dangerous for Canada. Now if the ban were on the basis of Galloway’s appearance on Big Brother, I’d back the Canucks. The right to defend oneself against crappy reality TV is inalienable. But the stated reason is that Galloway is accused of giving money to the Palestinian radical group Hamas, which is banned in Canada and bombed in Gaza.

I can’t help but think that this ban is perhaps more motivated by Galloway’s outspoken views on the US invasion of Iraq, sanctions against Iraq in the 1990s, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Whatever you think of Galloway, he seems to be in, well… company when it comes to being banned, censored, and punished for unorthodox views. Geert Wilders, the Dutch MP who has built a career on baiting radical Muslims, was banned from the UK where he was scheduled to show his film Fitna to the House of Lords. The UK Home Office said, “The government opposes extremism in all forms.” This may have been in reference to Wilders’ call to ban the Koran. The Lords had to make do with a double-bill of Django the Bastard and A Fistful of Dynamite.

Wilders and Galloway are just Euro-MPs, that’s practically banana-republic territory compared to the lofty eminence of the Imperial Presidency. But even here there is censorship. While President Obama will hardly be turned away from Beijing, the same can’t be said for his inauguration speech. China cut the part where Obama boasted of how the USA whupped Commie butt.

If you are a lowly professor like David Irving, countries that don’t like your speech might just decide they WANT you to stay. In Austria it is illegal to show such gross insensitivity to Jewish feelings as to deny or downplay the Holocaust. Not that there are many Jews left in Austria since they all got murdered without much of any Austrians lifting a finger back when it counted.  In 2006 David Irving got sentenced to three years in the Austrian calaboose for the crime of Holocaust Denial. For similar, but perhaps more effective activities, Kurt Waldheim got six years in the grim Hofburg Palace.

Well, I’m not even going to start on cartoons or magical-realist writers. Down at this level, you don’t ask no questions, you just run for your life!

Now some may argue that Galloway, Wilders, Obama, and Irving are all to one degree or another, opponents of free speech in others, supporters of state violence, or reality TV contestants. In short, they are united in being jerks. I won’t even argue the point. Rather I take my stand with Voltaire, I disagree with the jerk stuff you say, but I defend to the death your right to say it!

–Dave Hardy

Anthony Gregory on Peaceful Dissent and Government Crackdowns

In Activism, Big Brother, Censorship, Constitutional Rights, First Amendment, History, Libertarian, Police State, US Government on March 19, 2009 at 7:57 pm

Over at Campaign for Liberty yesterday, Anthony Gregory released an article detailing various historical examples of the U.S. federal government targeting peaceful dissenters.

This article comes after a recent release of a memo to the state of Missouri, a memo conflating belligerent, right-wing extremist groups—some of whom are racist or anti-Semitic, some of whom are violently opposed to open immigration, some of whom want to impose upon the American people a system of national socialism—with others who, like many of us, simply want to get big government off of our backs.

Thus, tax protesters, second amendment advocates, anti-war activists, goldbugs, Ron Paul enthusiasts, and “sovereign citizens” (who sound like agorists and other natural-law libertarians from the description given)—all my kind of people—are lumped together with the sort of terrorist scum that would burn crosses on other people’s property, blow up abortion clinics, harass undocumented migrant workers, or—like Timothy McVeigh—blow up buildings with innocent people, including children, inside.

On the surface, one might assume Gregory’s article is nothing more than an explanation to people interested that these are two very different camps, and that the sort of people who frequent Campaign for Liberty have no connection to the violent, aggressive goals of various right-wing extremist groups in operation.  But Mr. Gregory’s article goes much further than that.

Gregory’s article takes an in-depth look at the tendency of the government, over the course of U.S. history, to overreact to criticism and suppress dissent, even those most peaceful of dissenters, the Quakers.  Starting from the horrendous Alien and Sedition Acts of Adams and his Federalist Party, the U.S. government has cracked down on free speech and peaceful dissent of Americans from all angles of the political spectrum—left, right, and centre.

There is a lot of history here, and although Gregory handles the material with breathtaking clarity, I’m left wanting to read more.  No doubt, a book could be written on the subject, detailing these various episodes, the various uses of counter-intelligence and infiltration by U.S. officials.  If Gregory were to tackle such a subject in book form, I would surely order a copy.

In any event, this article is worth the read.

—Alexander S. Peak

The LNC shows its true agenda

In Boston Tea Party, Censorship, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, Protest on November 27, 2008 at 12:19 am

The Agenda for the December LNC meeting – which looks like someone has quite an agenda indeed – has listed 30 minutes for “Discipline of Angela Keaton”.

How strangely interesting that Angela Keaton was unaware of this item until the agenda was released. Quite the contrary, in fact, since she was under the impression that the “discipline” discussed at the last meeting was now moot.

There are several theories floating around about that agenda item, and one of them is that Angela is being disciplined for wearing a Boston Tea Party t-shirt. It appears that at least one LNC member snooped around her Facebook until he found the allegedly incriminating photo.  Why on earth would someone do that, unless they had a predetermined agenda?

Problem is, though I had seen the picture numerous times, to the point that I knew exactly which photo was in question even before I saw it, even I didn’t know it was Angela in the t-shirt, since the photo doesn’t show her head or face.  Honestly, I thought it was Miche modeling the t-shirt.  That being the case, how could it possibly be a breach of duty even if, arguendo, it is Angela?

The other theory is that during the last LNC meeting, Angela was given ten days to apologize, but she has not done so; and as a result, rather than the item being moot, it is being revisited.  I did not believe then that the LNC acted professionally or with the best interests of the LP at heart in their behavior during the last LNC meeting, and I still do not believe they acted appropriately.  

One thing is abundantly clear, and must not be forgotten: Angela Keaton is a two-term elected member of the Libertarian National Committee. She is the most active LNC member by far with regard to keeping the membership apprised of party actions and business.  As such, she is irreplaceable.  To even attempt to remove her yet again, will cause irreparable damage to the morale of many libertarians at a time when the LP can hardly afford to spread ill will.  

Last but certainly not least, this silly vendetta makes the LP look grossly unprofessional to those who are outside looking in.  We don’t see the major parties comporting themselves in this manner regarding strictly internal questions, because they know how damaging it would be not only to their personal reputations, but the reputation of the party they represent.  The LP doesn’t have a built-in constituency like the GOP and the Democrats.  The LP cannot afford behavior which makes them look like they’re coming apart at the seams from the inside, yet that’s exactly how this appears.

It is one thing when libertarians fuss and fight with each other.  It is something altogether different when the elected governing body is engaging in that behavior.

This is not how such internal problems – assuming it is a problem at all, and in my opinion it is not – should be handled.  Furthermore, I don’t understand why 30 minutes is being set aside for the LNC to publicly humiliate an elected representative, while far less time is set aside for far more substantive matters.

Frankly, I am disappointed.  I was under the mistaken impression that the LNC is comprised of adults. Instead they appear to be perpetually in kindergarten, where they put people in “time out” for alleged offenses, then keep badgering them until they apologize even when they don’t believe they did anything wrong.

Seriously, LNC, is badgering Angela Keaton worth 30 minutes of your meeting time, when your presidential candidate fell so far short of his pre-nomination promises that the end result was nothing short of humiliating? Is it worth it to burn up that time when you should be discussing the fact that your presidential candidate gave money to Republicans running against Libertarian candidates? Is it worth it so you don’t have to discuss your VP candidate’s racist comments in Reason Magazine?  Is it worth it to burn up that time when the LP is, financially speaking, the rough equivalent of the Titanic?  Or is burning up time the whole point, since “disciplining” Angela Keaton will eat up time more enlighteningly spent analyzing and discussing what went so terribly wrong with the Libertarian Party this election season, and what part the LNC played in that failure?

The LNC already ate up a great deal of its only pre-election meeting with “disciplining” Angela Keaton, when they had far more important things to discuss; and perhaps if they had spent their time doing what it is that they were elected to do, the election would have fared far better. How long is this vindictive agenda against Ms. Keaton going to continue? Why wasn’t this discussed on the LNC talk list, rather than dragged out into full public view? There is really only one possible reason for that, and that reason is to publicly humiliate Angela Keaton.

Why should anyone take the LNC seriously, when they repeatedly waste precious quarterly meeting time trying to remove an elected LNC member, rather than discussing the important issues which affect the party as a whole?  I find the LNC’s behavior on this subject to be extremely distasteful, and downright embarrassing.  

Nevertheless, Angela Keaton has every right to appear at that meeting fully prepared to refute the charges against her.  However, that will prove difficult since she has not been formally apprised of the specific charges against her, nor has she been apprised of the identity of her accuser(s).  

What kind of kangaroo court does the LNC plan to hold in San Diego?  Again, it disgusts me, as it should disgust all libertarians.  It is an act of aggression against a woman elected by the membership, through its delegates.  This is not Ms. Keaton’s first term, so it’s not as if they didn’t know exactly who they were electing, or why they were electing her.  Ms. Keaton was elected to do exactly what she has done to get her into this predicament, which is to represent the voiceless within the LP through whatever means necessary.  That was the will of the membership.  Now, she is paying a heady price, and to what end?  What does the LNC stand to gain from her departure?  That is a question best posed to the LNC member behind the agenda item in question, as well as for any other LNC member who supports this action.

One thing is for sure.  This insistence by the LNC to continue its vendetta against Ms. Keaton will only harm the Libertarian Party, its members, and the libertarian movement as a whole.  Longtime respected libertarian activists are rebelling already; and without the activists, the LP may as well not even exist.

For the above reasons, I respectfully suggest that those who keep pushing this anti-Keaton agenda should be the ones disciplined, for openly engaging in a public vendetta against a fellow elected representative, thus causing serious harm to the party they are duty-bound to protect.

Kooky pro-government conspiracy theories

In Activism, Big Brother, Censorship, Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Cops Gone Wild, Corruption, Courts and Justice System, First Amendment, Human Rights Abuses, Law, Law Enforcement, Local Politics, Police State, Politics, Protest, Republican, Terrorism, US Government on September 30, 2008 at 2:02 pm

A Letter from the RNC 8

Dear Friends, Family, and Comrades:

We are the RNC 8: individuals targeted because of our political beliefs and work organizing for protests at the 2008 Republican National Convention, in what appears to be the first use of Minnesota’s version of the US Patriot Act. The 8 of us are currently charged with Conspiracy to Commit Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism, a 2nd degree felony that carries the possibility of several years in prison. We are writing to let you know about our situation, to ask for support, and to offer words of hope.

A little background: the RNC Welcoming Committee was a group formed in late 2006 upon hearing that the 2008 Republican National Convention would be descending on Minneapolis-St. Paul where we live, work, and build community. The Welcoming Committee’s purpose was to serve as an anarchist/anti-authoritarian organizing body, creating an informational and logistical framework for radical resistance to the RNC. We spent more than a year and a half doing outreach, facilitating meetings throughout the country, and networking folks of all political persuasions who shared a common interest in voicing dissent in the streets of St. Paul while the GOP’s machine chugged away inside the convention.

In mid-August the Welcoming Committee opened a “Convergence Center,” a space for protesters to gather, eat, share resources, and build networks of solidarity. On Friday, August 29th, 2008, as folks were finishing dinner and sitting down to a movie the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department stormed in, guns drawn, ordering everyone to the ground. This evening raid resulted in seized property (mostly literature), and after being cuffed, searched, and IDed, the 60+ individual inside were released.

The next morning, on Saturday, August 30th, the Sheriff’s department executed search warrants on three houses, seizing personal and common household items and arresting the first 5 of us- Monica Bicking, Garrett Fitzgerald, Erik Oseland, Nathanael Secor, and Eryn Trimmer. Later that day Luce Guillen-Givins was arrested leaving a public meeting at a park. Rob Czernik and Max Specktor were arrested on Monday, September 1, bringing the number to its present 8. All were held on probable cause and released on $10,000 bail on Thursday, September 4, the last day of the RNC.

These arrests were preemptive, targeting known organizers in an attempt to derail anti-RNC protests before the convention had even begun. Conspiracy charges expand upon the traditional notion of crime. Instead of condemning action, the very concept of conspiracy criminalizes thought and camaraderie, the development of relationships, the willingness to hope that our world might change and the realization that we can be agents of that change.

Conspiracy charges serve a very particular purpose- to criminalize dissent. They create a convenient method for incapacitating activists, with the potential for diverting limited resources towards protracted legal battles and terrorizing entire communities into silence and inaction. Though not the first conspiracy case against organizers- not even the first in recent memory- our case may be precedent-setting. Minnesota’s terrorism statutes have never been enacted in this way before, and if they win their case against us, they will only be strengthened as they continue their crusade on ever more widespread fronts. We view our case as an opportunity to demonstrate community solidarity in the face of repression, to establish a precedent of successful resistance to the government’s attempts to destroy our movements.

Right now we are in the very early stages of a legal battle that will require large sums of money and enormous personal resources. We have already been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support locally and throughout the country, and are grateful for everything that people have done for us. We now have a Twin Cities-based support committee and are developing a national support network that we feel confident will help us through the coming months. For more information on the case and how to support us, or to donate, go to http://RNC8.org

We have been humbled by such an immense initial show of solidarity and are inspired to turn our attention back to the very issues that motivated us to organize against the RNC in the first place. What’s happening to us is part of a much broader and very serious problem. The fact is that we live in a police state- some people first realized this in the streets of St. Paul during the convention, but many others live with that reality their whole lives. People of color, poor and working class people, immigrants, are targeted and criminalized on a daily basis, and we understand what that context suggests about the repression the 8 of us face now. Because we are political organizers who have built solid relationships through our work, because we have various forms of privilege- some of us through our skin, some through our class, some through our education- and because we have the resources to invoke a national network of support, we are lucky, even as we are being targeted.

And so, while we ask for support in whatever form you are able to offer it, and while we need that support to stay free, we also ask that you think of our case as a late indicator of the oppressive climate in which we live. The best solidarity is to keep the struggle going, and we hope that supporting us can be a small part of broader movements for social change.

For better times and with love,

the RNC 8: Luce Guillen-Givins, Max Spector, Nathanael Secor, Eryn Timmer, Monica Bicking, Erik Oseland, Robert Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald

Press Release: LEAP becomes latest victim of government censorship

In Activism, Big Brother, Censorship, Corruption, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Drug War, First Amendment, Law, Law Enforcement, Nanny State, Politics, Press Release on August 29, 2008 at 9:21 pm

LEAP Becomes Latest Victim of Government Censorship

DATELINE: 8.26.2008

Arlington: Virginia – Retired police detective, Howard Wooldridge, representing Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) was ousted from the National Asian Peace Officers Association (NAPOA) Conference in Crystal City because he was representing a view contrary U.S. government policy.

LEAP is a 10,000-member organization of police, judges, prosecutors, DEA & FBI agents, and others who know ending drug prohibition will reduce death, disease, crime, and addiction, while saving billions of our tax dollars each year.

On Tuesday (8.26.2008) acting under pressure from unnamed federal officials, Reagan Fong, President of the NAPOA, insisted on the immediate removal of LEAP from the conference vendor roster. It appears that some of the event’s other exhibitors took exception to the LEAP message and put pressure on the event organizer to expel LEAP from the event. While the incident was civil and took place prior to the second day’s session it represents a serious violation of Constitutional rights as cited within the First Amendment.

Federal agency representatives manning booths at the conference included DEA, Federal Air Marshals, NCIS, and Coast Guard. The prior day LEAP’s spokesperson had visited the DEA booth and described the agent as “decidedly unhappy” with an opposing viewpoint. In sharp contrast at 37 national and international law enforcement Conferences where LEAP has been allowed to exhibit, 80% of booth visitors agreed with LEAP’s stance for ending this failed drug war.

As for the Crystal City NAPOA incident, the appearance of impropriety is almost as bad as the real thing. LEAP has attempted to establish contact with Mr. Fong, NAPOA President, to confirm the details of the incident but we have received no response so we can only conclude it is blatant censorship originating from a judgmental “Big Brother” mentality. LEAP believes that this group owes us an apology. We ask that Mr. Fong identify the individual, agency or group that lobbied for our eviction from the event.

If this was an independent effort then he or she was acting outside the scope of authority and should receive administrative punishment for unprofessional actions. If this action was sanctioned by upper level management then the managers need to explain their behavior in an open forum. If this was sanctioned official action by the U.S. Government it is a serious matter which requires serious and immediate attention.

Terry L. Nelson 817-573-6927
Jack A. Cole 617-792-3877
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Bob Barr recants position on Wiccans in the military

In Big Brother, Censorship, Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, First Amendment, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Military, Minorities, Nanny State, Politics on July 30, 2008 at 1:41 am

From Nate Uncensored (excerpt):

Apparently someone did get around to asking Bob Barr some substantive questions when he made an appearance at Netroots Nation. Ed Brayton (Dispatches from the Culture Wars) asked Barr if he would now, as Libertarian candidate, repudiate his 1999 attempt to prohibit the practice of Wicca, a neo-Pagan religion, on military bases. Barr said that he has changed his mind, citing “reports” that the practice of Wicca was causing problems that are apparently not an issue now. Brayton writes:

I did ask him for any specific problems that were reported to him back in 1999 by these military leaders, but he said he didn’t want to get into specifics. I’m sure that’s because there are no specific incidents and those military leaders who complained to him did so out of bigotry, or because the problems it caused were really caused by bigotry against Wiccans. He likened it to his stance on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell for gays, which he previously supported but now that it’s clear that allowing gays to serve doesn’t really cause any problems with unit cohesion and good order, he thinks it should be repealed and they should be allowed to serve openly.

Technically legal signs for libraries

In Activism, Big Brother, Censorship, Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, First Amendment, Human Rights Abuses, Law Enforcement, Police State, Protest, Terrorism on July 27, 2008 at 1:57 am

From librarian.net

Eva Orner on the Alex Jones Show

In Activism, Celebrities, Censorship, Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Entertainment, First Amendment, Protest, Terrorism, War on July 24, 2008 at 10:52 pm

Posted
at Anomaly TV by Floyd Anderson

  

Link to Video

7/17/2008 – Alex welcomes Australian film producer Eva Orner, who produced the documentaries Taxi to the Dark Side and Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Listen to the August 29, 2002 Interview with Hunter S. Thompson by The Media Report's Mick O'Regan

LP Presidential Candidate, Senator Mike Gravel, Interviewed By Newsweek

In Barack Obama, Censorship, Democracy, Democrats, Iraq War, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Media, People in the news, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Republican, US Government, War on April 1, 2008 at 12:11 am

Senator Mike GravelSenator Mike GravelLP Presidential candidates normally don’t get this level of media exposure, ever. Senator Mike Gravel’s switch to the Libertarian Party is causing a great deal of positive mainstream media attention. Below is an excerpt from the Newsweek interview, posted today. I will note that Last Free voice beat Newsweek to the punch, interviewing Senator Gravel within 48 hours of his decision to run as an LP candidate.

After the crowded presidential primary shrunk from eight Democrats and 11 Republicans to only three viable candidates between the two parties, what’s a spurned presidential hopeful to do? Well, if you’re Ron Paul, you ignore John McCain‘s inevitability and keep running anyway. If you’re former U.S. senator Mike Gravel, you switch parties.

Last Monday, the former Democrat swung by the Libertarian Party‘s national headquarters and defected. “We handed him a [membership] card on the spot,” says Shane Cory, the party’s executive director. Two days later, Gravel formally announced he would run to be the Libertarian candidate for president, joining a field of 15 others. Cory wouldn’t comment on Gravel’s chances at the convention, which will take start in Denver on May 22, but he did say that Gravel’s party swap has garnered some much-appreciated exposure for the Libertarians.

Gravel spoke to NEWSWEEK’s Sarah Elkins about the 2008 race and why he’s still running. Excerpts:

NEWSWEEK: You’ve been a Democrat for your entire political career. Was it a tough decision to switch parties?
Mike Gravel:
It had been eating at me–believe me–ever since I was a senator [he served from 1969 to 1981]. When I was in the Senate, I was a maverick and, at the end of my term, I was not particularly happy with my progress in terms of partisanship with the Democrats and Republicans. So when I left office, I stayed away from partisan politics altogether. But when I decided to get back in the game and to get my message out to the American people about the National Initiative [a political movement that would allow ballot initiatives at the federal level], I had to pick a party that would allow me to get into the debates … But of all the parties I was probably closest to the Libertarians.

It sounds like you’ve been interested in leaving the Democratic Party for some time. Why didn’t you make the move sooner?
It wouldn’t have made any sense for me to enter the race as a Libertarian. [As a Democratic candidate], I got into the debates and got a fair amount of visibility up until General Electric [which owns NBC] along with the Democratic Party leadership, said they would get me out of the debates. And they did. GE said I did not meet their criteria for participating in the debates. I think it’s very interesting that a defense contractor said I had to meet their criteria in order to participate in the MSNBC debates. We’ve really come down in democracy when a defense contractor can decide what the American people hear from a candidate. It was a [Democratic National Committee] sanctioned debate, so we complained to the DNC and found out that Howard Dean had agreed to it and that not a single one of the other Democratic nominees raised a finger in protest, meaning that they were totally tone deaf to the censorship of the military-industrial complex.

So you didn’t consider running as a Libertarian from the get-go?
I would have preferred to run as an independent or Libertarian or Green Party, but I knew that none of those candidates would have gotten any traction. So I used my position as a legitimate Democratic candidate to get my name out there.

You still have to win the Libertarian primary in order to run as the party’s candidate.
I am probably the most well known and certainly the most experienced in terms of running for president and as a government official. I have 16 years of experience in elected office and have been a senator, and I have a great deal of foreign-policy experience.

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You can read the very interesting three-page interview excerpt with Newsweek here.

“Girls Gone Wild” founder victimized by “Judge Gone Wild”

In Celebrities, Censorship, Corruption, Courts and Justice System, Crazy Claims, Crime, Entertainment, First Amendment, Fraud, Law, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Media, People in the news, Police State, Politics, Protest, Shine on you crazy diamond, Taxation on March 16, 2008 at 7:07 pm

Joe Francis / Girls Gone WildI am not a fan of “Girls Gone Wild”. In fact, I almost vomit every night when I’m trying to watch South Park and Reno 911, since that’s when most of those commercials seem to air.

The latest is “The Wildest Bar In America”, and the commercial shows young women engaged in sex acts with one another, in public. If you purchase that one with a credit card (so they can automatically send you more in the future), you get “Finally 18” for free. The voiceover for the latter video says, “These girls have been waiting for their chance to go wild!”

I’m sorry, but after seeing that commercial – which shows young women masturbating on camera – I’d guess they went wild long before their 18th birthday.

The thought which always occurs to me when I see those commercials is, I’m glad it’s not my daughter. I’m glad I don’t even have a daughter, because then I don’t have to worry about her getting sauced on Spring Break then going wild on camera. I cannot even imagine the horror of parents across this country when they realize their daughter has appeared in “Girls Gone Wild”, and especially the parents of those girls who actually appear in the commercials.

However, as much as I hate “Girls Gone Wild”, I feel that I must speak out against what happened to the man behind the videos.

Joe Francis, the founder of “Girls Gone Wild”, has been in jail for the last year, and could not even post bail to get out. It all started when some parents accused him of filming their underage daughters. Francis claimed they had identification, so he had no way of knowing they were underage and thus he had done nothing wrong. I believe him. After all, he has filmed literally thousands of young women, has made untold millions from doing so, and I find it very hard to believe that he doesn’t check identification. In fact, Francis apparently takes a lawyer with him, to make sure he doesn’t do anything to get himself into trouble. The attorney checks IDs, and has the girls agree to participate both on video and in writing. The video statement is made so that no one can claim they were too drunk or otherwise unable to give consent. Joe Francis is much smarter than people expect him to be.

At any rate, Francis refused to negotiate in a civil suit brought by the parents of those girls, and he was thrown in jail for it.

When I first heard this I thought, surely that’s not the real reason he’s in jail. After all, it was a civil suit, not criminal charges. However, sure enough, that’s exactly why he was in jail.

Then while he was in jail for not negotiating with parents trying to shake him down for a civil suit (let’s be honest, once again, in saying that the “Girls Gone Wild” had actually gone wild long before they ever met Joe Francis) the IRS came a-knockin’. It appears that they claim Joe owes millions in unpaid taxes.

I’d hate to be Joe Francis, with all those problems.

This past week, he was finally released from jail after serving 11 months with no bail on the civil contempt charge (though the tax evasion charges are still pending, and he will go to trial on those charges at a later date) and faced a judge in Florida on criminal charges of child abuse and prostitution, related to filming the underage girls (for criminal charges, all that matters is that they were factually under 18). He struck a misdemeanor no contest plea, the judge gave him time served, no probation, no fine, he’s free to go. The only condition was that “Girls Gone Wild” not film there again for three years. That shouldn’t be a problem, given that girls are going wild all over this great nation of ours.

The problem I see with this, putting aside my personal feelings about his line of business, is that the man should never have been in jail over a civil suit in the first place. Here’s the basic scenario: he got sued by angry parents whose daughters used fake IDS to claim they were of legal age, the judge told the parties to work out a settlement, he didn’t want to work out a settlement because he thought he’d done nothing wrong since he was actually the one defrauded, so the judge threw him in jail for civil contempt. Personally, I think the judge showed his personal bias in the case, by throwing a man in jail simply because he preferred for a jury decide if he had done anything wrong. I think Francis is right, and I seriously doubt a civil jury would find against him, given all the safeguards he had taken against filming underage girls.

The problem with this is that, at the time he was originally incarcerated, no jury had ever determined that he had done anything wrong, civilly or criminally, and the criminal charges against him were not even close to being capital crimes, so he was entitled to bail. Frankly, I get the impression that they just didn’t want him in their area, documenting the fact that their little girls are going wild.. Maybe one of the girls who went wild is the niece of a friend of a friend of the judge, who knows.

Overall, while I am definitely not a fan of “Girls Gone Wild”, I am a fan of the Constitution, and under the Constitution, what happened to Joe Francis should never happen to anyone.

Angry voters recall Mayor for fitness photos

In Censorship, Congress, Crazy Claims, Entertainment, First Amendment, Humor, Local Politics, People in the news, Politics, Shine on you crazy diamond on March 8, 2008 at 9:52 pm

Carmen Kontur-GronquistVoters in Arlington, Oregon, are very, very angry. That’s not unusual, since there are very angry voters everywhere these days.What is unusual is the reason why they are angry.

Apparently their Mayor, Carmen Kontur-Gronquist, had some photos taken to send in for a fitness magazine, and in them she was dressed in her bra and panties. This all happened before she became Mayor, incidentally. A relative posted the photos on MySpace, hoping to find the single mother a date.

I didn’t see a thing in the world wrong with the photos; the most controversial of them is posted at top left. Basically, she’s showing off her rock-hard abs, and if I had abs like hers, I’d be showing mine off too. So what. Those photos are no different from any other photos for a woman’s fitness magazine, because I used to read some of those periodicals myself, back when I was into bodybuilding and fitness. In fact, her photos actually showed a lot less than they usually show in those magazines. Those types of photos are not at all sexual in nature, though, because they are intended only for other women to see, as inspiration in their fitness routines.

The people of Arlington, however, are absolutely outraged over those photos, and they actually threw her out of office for it.

When I first heard this story back when it first broke I thought, no way would a town actually recall their Mayor for posing for a fitness magazine. After all, Arnold Schwarzenegger made his living as a bodybuilder, and even posed fully nude multiple times, and he’s the Governor of California.

I was wrong, because they did recall her. The vote was 142-139 in favor of throwing her out of office.

If we are still so backward in this country that we’d throw a woman out of elected office merely for posing for a fitness magazine, covering more than the average bathing suit covers, are we really ready for a female president? Or would Congress impeach her the first time they see a picture of her in a bathing suit?

What do you think? Is it just that one town, or is most of American that narrow-minded? Given this, are we ready for a female president?

________________________

Originally posted on Adventures In Frickintardistan

Yet another reason to impeach Bush

In Censorship, Congress, Corruption, George Bush, Politics on July 15, 2007 at 1:09 pm

Harriet Meiers, George BushFrom the Boston Herald:

WASHINGTON – President Bush ordered former Counsel Harriet Miers to defy a congressional subpoena and refuse to testify today about the firings of federal prosecutors, while a second former aide revealed new details yesterday about White House involvement in the dismissals.

The possibility of contempt of Congress citations against both women hung over the developments. House Democrats threatened to cite Miers if she refuses to appear as subpoenaed for a Judiciary Committee hearing today. The White House said she was immune from the subpoena and Bush had directed her not to appear, according to Miers’ lawyer. Democrats said her immunity ended when she left her White House job.

Meanwhile, former White House political director Sara Taylor tried to answer some committee questions but not others, in a bid to honor the subpoena without violating Bush’s claim of executive privilege.

After first refusing to answer questions about Bush’s possible role in the firings, Taylor later told the Senate Judiciary Committee that she knew of no involvement by Bush. Further, she said, she knew of no wrongdoing by administration officials in the controversy that has dogged Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

The Bush administration insists no wrongdoing occurred. Bush has offered to allow his aides, including counselor Karl Rove, Miers and Taylor, to be interviewed by congressional investigators – but only in private and without a transcript. Democrats rejected the offer.

Now for something completely different….

In Celebrities, Censorship, Music, Shine on you crazy diamond on July 7, 2007 at 1:10 pm

Back in the ’70s, there was a lot of controversy about alleged backward masking (i.e., subliminal messaging) in rock music.  Parents were absolutely freaking out over it, and forbidding their children to listen to rock music.   It should surprise no one to discover that I was one of the kids back then who played a lot of albums backward, just to see what all the controversy was about.  It was pretty easy to do on a record player, after all.

While most songs played backward have words here and there that you can clearly recognize, and some even had recognizable sentences which appear to make sense in some way, the undisputed king of all backward messages was, and still is, “Stairway To Heaven” by Led Zeppelin.  In fact, many hardcore rock fans at that time called the song “Oppositioner”, based on its backward message.

Don’t misunderstand, I don’t think this was intentional at all, since even human speech played backward can say some pretty weird stuff.  Still, it’s kinda freaky that the entire song seems to be a message in line with the song title, LOL.  So, for your viewing and listening pleasure, I present to you “Stairway To Heaven” played backward, with the “Oppositioner” lyrics printed on-screen.

Blog rating tool shows LFV is squeaky clean compared to ENM blog

In Censorship, Children on June 20, 2007 at 8:27 pm

I found a nifty little tool, which rates blogs just like movies are rated, based on content.

Not surprisingly, LFV got an R rating. That rating was based on the words “gay”, “gun”, “shit”, and “kill”. Apparently Paulie’s favorite word is rated G these days, LOL.

I ran my own blog through it, and shockingly, it was rated NC-17. That rating was based on the presence of the words “death”, “hell”, “ass”, “crap”, “dead”, “dangerous”, “gun”, “suicide”, “kill”, “sex”, “piss”, “crap”, “shit”, “steal”, “hurt” “rape”, “breast”, “lesbian”, “dick”, “masochist”.

Now, while I am known to use the words “hell” and “crap” as profanity (neither of which would garner anything above a PG, if that), the rest of that list of questionable words looks really, really bad. In fact, it makes me look more than a little loony. However, in truth, those words are taken completely out of context. Here is what my blog really says when using some of those words:

dick = “A Texas man, Dick Simkanin, was convicted of tax crimes last month in connection with his failure to withhold federal income taxes from employees’ pay. Simkanin faces a statutory maximum sentence of 129 years imprisonment and millions of dollars in fines.”

shit = “In another video [Paris Hilton] made the comments ‘fat ugly Jewish bitch’, ‘little black whore got f***d in the butt for coke’, ‘nigger’, ‘black and steal shit’, all in the course of less than five minutes. There was no outrage over those comments, and no one even questioned why she would say things like that. Don Imus got fired for far, far less. Yet her reality show continues, and there were no consequences whatsoever for her outrageous behavior. That’s disturbing, because many young girls look up to Paris as a role model, when she is in fact anything but that.” [Paris used the word “fucked”, not f’d”, but I try to keep my blog at least reasonably clean so I didn’t want to spell it out, even in a quote.]

rape = “A California man is facing rape and kidnapping charges after his alleged victim recently spotted him appearing as a contestant on the NBC Universal reality show ‘Blind Date.'”

piss = “One elderly investor wrote to him after he asked for even more money, saying that she has no money left but that she trusts him to pay off the principal plus interest. She doesn’t understand that he is a scammer, much less that her money is gone forever. Now, that pisses me off.”

lesbian = “‘We were both inspired to come here after the sitting president said the vile and vicious and hateful comments he did.’ — comedian Rosie O’Donnell, explaining how she and her lesbian partner, Kelli Carpenter, rushed to San Francisco to get married following President Bush’s call for a U.S. constitutional amendment banning gay marriages.”

kill = “Why did he kill the family dog, you might ask? Well, the poor little fella’s name was ‘Felony’, and it reminded the frickin’ ‘tard Watkins that he had just been charged with a felony. Apparently this dumbass had been charged with grand larceny in connection with the theft of a pickup truck, and had just bailed out of jail.”

suicide = “Here’s an audioblog wherein Gene ‘TogaDude’ Chapman reads a letter he wrote to the governor of Oregon (whose name he doesn’t know, and he has never lived there) asking to be allowed to commit assisted suicide because he has a ‘terminal illness called biblical Christianity’.”

OOPS – I bet if LFV were re-rated right now, it would also get an NC-17 as a result of this post alone. LOL

At any rate, when I realized what was going on, I was amused that my blog received an NC-17 rating, so I posted it on the blog. I wouldn’t want to fail to warn parents that their 16-year-old may be subjected to the real world, after all.

UPDATE:  I decided to run my old Gene Chapman blog through the same site, and it also got an NC-17 rating.  When I checked the keywords, though, they were almost all included in quotes from other people, and the rest were taken out of context.  Still, I put the NC-17 logo on it, because considering Gene’s incredibly bizarre platform items, that blog perhaps deserves that rating simply for discussing the ravings of a lunatic.

Censored OJ Simpson book leaked; many believe it to be a confession

In Celebrities, Censorship, Constitutional Rights, Crime, History, Media on June 19, 2007 at 6:31 pm

OJ Simpson mug shotAs you may be aware, OJ Simpson’s book, titled If I Did It, describes how – if in fact he were guilty – he would have murdered his ex-wife (Nicole Brown Simpson) and her friend (Ronald Goldman). Admittedly, it’s an extremely strange idea for a book, but was also sure to be a bestseller.
However, publication of the book was cancelled due to public outrage (although I’d be willing to bet that many of those people would have secretly purchased it), and all copies of the book were destroyed by the publisher. Later, rights to the manuscript were awarded by a bankruptcy court to the Goldman family, as the result of a longstanding $33 million wrongful death civil judgment they won against OJ Simpson.

The original publisher, Judith Regan, called the book “a confession”. His attorneys denied that it was a confession.

Not surprisingly, a news organization received a leaked copy of the manuscript. Newsweek published an article in January about what was in the manuscript, and the writer stated that, in his opinion, it was a confession. However, they did not print any excerpts, so the reader was left wondering how accurate their characterization of a confession really was.

Today the manuscript was leaked again, to celebrity gossip site TMZ, and they published excerpts. I have posted those excerpts here so LFV readers can decide for themselves whether this is, in fact, a confession to the most notorious murder case of our time.

It begins with the following passage:

I’m going to tell you a story you’ve never heard before, because no one knows this story the way I know it. It takes place on the night June 12, 1994, and it concerns the murder of my ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her young friend, Ronald Goldman. I want you to forget everything you think you know about that night because I know the facts better than anyone. I know the players. I’ve seen the evidence. I’ve heard the theories. And, of course, I’ve read all the stories: That I did it. That I did it but I don’t know I did it. That I can no longer tell fact from fiction. That I wake up in the middle of the night, consumed by guilt, screaming.

OJ describes the murder scene:

I looked over at Goldman, and I was fuming. I guess he thought I was going to hit him, because he got into his little karate stance. “What the fuck is that?” I said. “You think you can take me with your karate shit?” He started circling me, bobbing and weaving, and if I hadn’t been so fucking angry I would have laughed in his face. “O.J., come on!” It was Charlie again, pleading. Nicole moaned, regaining consciousness. She stirred on the ground and opened her eyes and looked at me, but it didn’t seem like anything was registering. Charlie walked over and planted himself in front of me blocking my view. “We are fucking done here, man-let’s go!”

I noticed the knife in Charlie’s hand, and in one deft move I removed my right glove and snatched it up. “We’re not going anywhere,” I said, turning to face Goldman. Goldman was still circling me, bobbing and weaving, but I didn’t feel like laughing anymore. “You think you’re tough, motherfucker?” I said. I could hear Charlie just behind me, saying something, urging me to get the fuck out of there, and at one point he even reached for me and tried to drag me away, but I shook him off, hard, and moved toward Goldman. “Okay, motherfucker!” I said. “Show me how tough you are!”

Then something went horribly wrong, and I know what happened, but I can’t tell you exactly how. I was still standing in Nicole’s courtyard, of course, but for a few moments I couldn’t remember how I’d gotten there, when I’d arrived, or even why I was there. Then it came back to me, very slowly: The recital-with little Sydney up on stage, dancing her little heart out; me, chipping balls into my neighbor’s yard; Paula, angry, not answering her phone; Charlie, stopping by the house to tell me some more ugly shit about Nicole’s behavior. Then what? The short, quick drive from Rockingham to the Bundy condo. And now?

Now I was standing in Nicole’s courtyard, in the dark, listening to the loud, rhythmic, accelerated beating of my own heart. I put my left hand to my heart and my shirt felt strangely wet. I looked down at myself. For several moments, I couldn’t get my mind around what I was seeing. The whole front of me was covered in blood, but it didn’t compute. Is this really blood? I wondered. And whose blood is it? Is it mine? Am I hurt? Read the rest of this entry »

What Freedom of the Press Will Look Like if Adolf Giuliani is (s)elected President

In Big Brother, Censorship, Civil Liberties, Communism, Constitutional Rights, Corruption, History, Law Enforcement, Media, Police Brutality, Police State, Politics, Terrorism on June 6, 2007 at 9:19 pm

source:
http://www.infowars.com/articles/ps/
giuliani_reporter_arrested_on_orders_of_giuliani_press_sec.htm

Matt Lepacek had valid CNN press credentials and was doing freelance reporting according to InfoWars.com. He asked Adolf Giuliani some inconvenient questions about the events of 9/11/01.

Thereupon, Adolf Giuliani’s reichsminister of propaganda press secretary had the gestapo state police rough up Lepacek and fellow reporter Luke Rudkowski.

He said police physically assaulted both reporters after Rudkowski objected that they were official members of the press and that nothing illegal had taken place. Police reportedly damaged the Infowars-owned camera in the process.

Furthermore,

Though CNN staff members tried to persuade police not to arrest the accredited reporter– in violation of the First Amendment, Lepacek was taken to jail. The police station told JonesReport.com that Lepacek is being charged with felony criminal trespass.

According to Rudkowski, Lepacek was scared because he had been told he may be transferred to a secret detention facility because state police were also considering charges of espionage against him– due to a webcam Lepacek was using to broadcast live at the event. State police considered it to be a hidden camera, which led to discussion of “espionage.”

Wearing a webcam at a press event is not an act of espionage.

The state police in Goffstown, New Hampshire, where the arrest was made, confirmed that Lepacek is in custody on charges of criminal trespass.

These are blatant violations of the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Actions like this would be more appropriate in the Third Reich, a
communist nation, or perhaps Italy under Mussolini. A clue, perhaps, as to what awaits America if this moral leper of an authoritarian dirtbag thug is allowed to stink up the white house the way he did Gracie mansion?

We look upon authority too often and focus over and over again, for 30 or 40 or 50 years, as if there is something wrong with authority. We see only the oppressive side of authority. Maybe it comes out of our history and our background. What we don’t see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.

-Adolf Giuliani

Bush Administration Declares Anti-War Nobel Peace Prize Winner “Irrelevant”

In Big Brother, Censorship, Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Corruption, Crazy Claims, Democrats, George Bush, Guantanamo, History, Iraq War, Middle East, Military, Police State, Politics, Republican, Terrorism, War on May 22, 2007 at 7:43 am

Jimmy CarterCRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) – The White House on Sunday fired back at former President Jimmy Carter, calling him “increasingly irrelevant” a day after Carter described George W. Bush’s presidency as the worst in history in international relations.Carter, a Democrat, said on Saturday in an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that “as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history.”White House spokesman Tony Fratto had declined to react on Saturday but on Sunday fired back.“I think it’s sad that President Carter’s reckless personal criticism is out there,” Fratto told reporters. “I think it’s unfortunate. And I think he is proving to be increasingly irrelevant with these kinds of comments.”Carter has been an outspoken critic of Bush, but the White House has largely refrained from attacking him in return. Sunday’s sharp response marks a departure from the deference that sitting presidents traditionally have shown their predecessors.In the newspaper interview, Carter said Bush had taken a “radical departure from all previous administration policies” with the Iraq war.“We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered,” Carter said.In a separate BBC interview, Carter also denounced the close relationship between Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.“Abominable. Loyal, blind, apparently subservient,” Carter said when asked how he would characterize Blair’s relationship with Bush.”I think that the almost undeviating support by Great Britain for the ill-advised policies of President Bush in Iraq have been a major tragedy for the world,” Carter said.Carter, who was president from 1977-1981 and won the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for his charitable work, was an outspoken opponent of the invasion of Iraq before it was launched in 2003. [Source: Reuters.com]

Across the blogosphere, conservatives are now making the rather shocking claim that 9/11 occurred as a result of Jimmy Carter’s policies. In a way, it’s amusing, since most of those bloggers are too young to even remember the Carter presidency. As a middle-aged left Libertarian, I remember it well. Jimmy Carter was the first president I ever voted for, although he lost that time around to Ronald Reagan. I voted for Carter because he is a humanist who believes in a strict policy of non-military intervention in international affairs, opting instead for diplomacy, except if our national security is directly threatened. After all, I was alive during Vietnam, and during the height of the Cold War, so that was (and will always be) an extremely important issue for me.

At the same time, it’s typical that conservatives would find a way to blame the actions of George W Bush – decades after Jimmy Carter left office – on a liberal. After all, they can’t blame themselves for re-electing a known warmonger who openly advocates torture and the erosion of our civil rights …. can they?

Let’s compare the two presidents.

Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize. George W. Bush couldn’t even win second prize in a beauty contest on Monopoly.

Jimmy Carter is known as a peace-advocating diplomat, and a humanitarian. George W Bush is known as a lying, draft-dodging, bloodthirsty warmongerer.

Don’t blame a man, who advocated peace, for a war that started decades after he left office. And don’t just dismiss him because he dared to say what many, if not most, politically active Americans are already thinking.

Put the blame where the blame is due. This is a war based on lies and deceptions, all of which are directly traceable and attributable to the Bush administration. There were no WMDs, folks, and Bush knew there were no WMDs; but he attacked Iraq anyway because they might one day get WMDs. Huh? I’m still scratching my head about that one. Now, Bush wants to attack even more countries, and the Democrats have already backed off the promises they made when they were elected, to end the war in Iraq. Is it therefore any wonder that third parties are more attractive than ever to voters during the 2008 presidential election cycle? Read the rest of this entry »

McCain: The Manchurian Candidate

In Censorship, Civil Liberties, Communism, Constitutional Rights, Corruption, Fraud, History, Iran, Iraq War, Middle East, Military, Nanny State, Personal Responsibility, Police State, Politics, Second Amendment, Terrorism, War on May 18, 2007 at 6:41 am

With all the attention we have been paying to Republican Presidential candidates Adolf Giuliani and Ron Paul lately, I thought it would be only fair to say a word or two about creepy warmonger
John McCain.

Here he is singing “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” and laughing about it.

What did the Iranians ever do? Never mind, war criminal McCain has never met a war he didn’t like.

McCain can’t help but remind me of the
Manchurian Candidate.

This illustrious member of the Keating Five Savings and Loan scandal Senators and noted gigolo is also well known for the McCain-Feingold Incumbent Protection Act.

Somewhat less well known is that he also co-sponsored the McCain/Lieberman gun show bill, which would have given the federal government the administrative power to prohibit all gun shows, and to register everyone who attends a gun show. According to wikipedia, “Since 2004, McCain has gained the unique distinction of receiving an F- rating from Gun Owners of America; and further unlike any other 2008 Republican Presidential Candidate has a dedicated section/compendium within the GOA web site, which contains numerous pages relating to John McCain’s very own anti-Second Amendment initiatives while in the Senate”.

Wikipedia also points out that he hired a board member of the Project for the New American Century, Randy Scheunemann, as his foreign-policy aide and is considering Billion Dollar Bob Riley for veep.

Oh, and his anti-torture provision? Not all it’s cracked up to be.

To sum it all up, I have to give McCain the maximum number of flushes.

Adolf Giuliani: As Far From Libertarian As Possible

In Big Brother, Censorship, Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Corruption, Crazy Claims, Drug War, Economics, Fraud, History, Law Enforcement, Personal Responsibility, Police State, Politics, Second Amendment, Taxation, Terrorism, War on May 11, 2007 at 6:47 am

Despite what a certain milk shake would like you to believe, Rudolf Giuliani Mussolini is As Far From Libertarian As Possible (click on the link to read about his early history as a psychotically deranged persecutor of victimless white collar “criminals”).

Even some of Giuliani’s admirers admit he has fascist tendencies. The amazing record of corruption and perfidy simply boggles the mind. Giuliani even had the incredible temerity to
try to stay on as mayor after his term was over.

Check out the comments at Serf City. Giuliani abused his mayoral office to go after cabbies, artists, street vendors, porn,
sex-related businesses, and anyone who did business without a license. His phony tax cuts were merely deficit spending – putting the tax bill on future victims, plus interest, while ducking the responsibility for his out of control spending, a favorite ploy of scumbag Rapepublicneoconartists.

Ron Moore reports,

Let’s take the pot smokers. One study points out that under Rudy’s Broken Windows policy, public-toking arrests rose 2000% from about 2000 in 1994 to over 50,000 by 2000 ( Harcourt & Ludwig, Reefer Madness: Broken Windows Policing and Misdemeanor Marijuana Arrests in New York City, 1989-2000 http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=948753). The study also finds that this had no measurable effect on violent crime.”

Furthermore,

Unfortunately, Rudy’s broken windows policy didn’t apply to Rudy’s buddies in the New York Police Department. An April 1999 article in Crime and Delinquency (Zero Tolerance: A Case Study in Police Policies and Practices in New York City, Judith Greene) points to a 75% increase in new civil rights claims against the police for abusive conduct. The article also points to a sharp increase in the number of complaints which resulted in no arrest and no summons and where there was no suspicion of criminal activity. Um – just why were people being stopped? What was Mayor Rudy’s response to growing concern about police misconduct? According to the article the new Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) funding was cut 17% compared to the agency it replaced.

Victim disarmament? According to Mike Blessing, Giuliani said on one of the

morning empty-talk shows that “We shouldn’t just try one of these [”gun control”] plans, we should try them all.”

Giuliani libertarian?

King George Dubai-ya Dubai-ya III Bush has gone a long way towards creating a fascist Amerikkka. Rudolf the coke nosed Fascist would go all the way. No libertarians should even remotely consider being fellow travellers in helping Ayatollah Giuliani set up his gulag regime.

We look upon authority too often and focus over and over again, for 30 or 40 or 50 years, as if there is something wrong with authority. We see only the oppressive side of authority. Maybe it comes out of our history and our background. What we don’t see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.

-Rudy