Steve G.

Archive for the ‘Crazy Claims’ Category

Confused Man Crashes Plane

In Communism, Corruption, Crazy Claims, Media, People in the news, Protest, Taxation, US Government on February 18, 2010 at 8:56 pm

A Confused Man

This morning, a confused man named Joseph Andrew Stack, crashed a plane into a building in Austin, Texas that housed IRS offices.

The man, before crashing his privately-owned plane, wrote a message on his website, which is now being called the Stack Manifesto.  In reading this manifesto, one can see just how absolutely confused this man was.

It seems that most blogs and message boards have been focusing on this man’s ideology, which is quite hard to pin-point.  He appears to oppose heavy taxation while also supporting government involvement in healthcare.  He displays a clear hatred for big government, big business, and big unions alike.  And the last two lines of his manifesto seem to imply that he considered communism a lesser evil than capitalism.

His mixture of libertarian, communist, populist, and socialist sympathies, thus, make it impossible to pinpoint the man.

With that said, he does nevertheless present some reasonable comments about problems faced in our society.  The problem, again, is that the man is clearly confused; thus, he conflates things that oughtn’t be conflated, and he often errs in the direction of his rhetorical attacks.

The man’s confusion was manifested this morning in his suicide-as-protest, when he crashed into a building with IRS offices.

People Matter

Unfortunately, the online news media fail to focus on the most important issue: was anyone killed?

I’ve searched through a variety of articles, and yet few present any information regarding whether anybody (other than Stack himself) died in the crash.  I finally found what I was looking for from Channel 8 News in Austin.

It appears that one person (other than Stack himself, presumably) died in the crash, and thirteen others were injured.  It also appears that Stack lit his house on fire this morning with his family still inside; luckily, they escaped.

Illiberalism

In my opinion, this is more than enough information to completely condemn Stack for his deed, just as the The Humble Libertarian blog does:

As the Editor-in-Chief of The Humble Libertarian, I unequivocally and without qualification, condemn this brutal, senseless, and stupid act of violence.  As a libertarian, I am incensed that Joe Stack took it upon himself to take innocent lives in the name of less government spending and lower taxes.

The writer makes it clear that Stack is not a libertarian, writing, “Libertarianism emphasizes non-coercion, non-aggression, and peaceful coexistence among people.”

Actions speak louder than words, and even if Stack’s rhetoric had been 100% in line with plumb-line libertarianism (which, obviously, it was not), his actions would necessarily belie his words.

This is not to say that we cannot or should not have sympathy for what Stack went through.  We most definitely should.  But his experiences do not justify the actions he took.

Had it been the case that Stack had crashed his privately-owned plane into an unoccupied government building, I would be whistling a very different tune right now.  I would actually be praising Stack for his brave act of defiance.  But, sadly, Stack cannot be cheered, for he is a murderer, and thus unworthy of praise.

A Libertarian Critique

A proper libertarian understanding of justice can illuminate just how problematic Stack’s actions ultimately were.  In order to evaluate Stack’s actions, let us consider the views promoted by the libertarian anarchist Murray N. Rothbard in his 1982 book, The Ethics of Liberty.

Although Rothbard defends the concept of using force defensively, i.e., using force to repel aggression (where aggression is defined as the initiation of force or fraud), he is very clear that responsive force is only ethical if it is in proportion to the force to which it is responding.  On page 85, Rothbard provides a very clear description of the limits of responsive force:

[U]nder libertarian law, capital punishment would have to be confined strictly to the crime of murder.  For a criminal would only lose his right to life if he had first deprived some victim of that same right.  It would not be permissible, then, for a merchant whose bubble gum had been stolen, to execute the convicted bubble gum thief.  If he did so, then he, the merchant, would be an unjustifiable murderer, who could be brought to the bar of justice by the heirs or assigns of the bubble gum thief.

The news report does not make it clear whether the persons who were killed or injured were all IRS agents or not, nor even whether they were all government employees.  Thus, while taxation is certainly and undeniably a form of theft, it would be impermissible to kill the IRS agents as retribution for their crime.  For, in so doing, Stack became an aggressor.

Perhaps we need not even go this deeply into analysis, however, for remember, Stack lit his house on fire with his family inside.  Unless it turns out that every member of his family that was inside of the house happened to be a murderer, Stack had clearly engaged in attempted murder of innocent people even before setting foot on his plane.  He was, thus, a criminal by libertarian standards, and one even more dastardly than those criminals we call IRS agents, who, by and large, at least aren’t murderers.

It is quite clear, therefore, that Stack did not care who he killed in his strive to retaliate, and even if people who have never worked a day in their lives for the state apparatus happened to be in the building at the time of the crash, Stack’s attitude was apparently, “So what?”

This brings us back to Rothbard, who wrote on pages 189 through 190,

[I]f Jones finds that his property is being stolen by Smith, Jones has the right to repel him and try to catch him, but Jones has no right to repel him by bombing a building and murdering innocent people or to catch him by spraying machine gun fire into an innocent crowd.  If he does this, he is as much (or more) a criminal aggressor as Smith is.

The same criteria hold if Smith and Jones each have men on his side, i.e. if “war” breaks out between Smith and his henchmen and Jones and his bodyguards.  If Smith and a group of henchmen aggress against Jones, and Jones and his bodyguards pursue the Smith gang to their lair, we may cheer Jones on in his endeavor; and we, and others in society interested in repelling aggression, may contribute financially or personally to Jones’s cause.  But Jones and his men have no right, any more than does Smith, to aggress against anyone else in the course of their “just war”: to steal others’ property in order to finance their pursuit, to conscript others into their posse by use of violence, or to kill others in the course of their struggle to capture the Smith forces.  If Jones and his men should do any of these things, they become criminals as fully as Smith, and they too become subject to whatever sanctions are meted out against criminality.  In fact if Smith’s crime was theft, and Jones should use conscription to catch him, or should kill innocent people in the pursuit, then Jones becomes more of a criminal than Smith, for such crimes against another person as enslavement and murder are surely far worse than theft.

Conclusion

Joseph Stack acted unethically.  While we can sympathise with his struggles, we cannot, if we are libertarians, condone his aggressive, anti-social acts.

Although I would like to see revolution, it cannot be achieved with the methods employed by the confused Stack.  If we want to see positive change, nonviolent civil disobedience is a far better method, both tactically and ethically.  If there is one thing I sincerely believe, it is that there is something in the nature of the universe that prevents aggression (i.e., the initiation of physical force or fraud) from ever yielding the desired results.  If we fight the state using aggression, the unintended consequence will not only be that we will become the very thing we hate, it will also be that we will drive away public support for our noble cause.  But in using nonviolent civil disobedience, we force the state to show the guns it is holding, we force it to stop hiding that the entire state apparatus is built on violence.

Murdering an IRS agent will never solve the problems we face.  It won’t bring an end to taxation, and it certainly won’t help to convince other IRS agents that their occupation is unethical.  But if we use nonviolent civil disobedience, we thereby force the IRS agents (and other government employees of the world) to recognise that they themselves are actually threatening innocent people with violence, and this realisation will go a long way to promote the expansion of liberty.

—Alexander S. Peak

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The Problem With The Economist

In Crazy Claims, Economics, Libertarian, literature, Media, Politics on June 12, 2009 at 5:43 pm

On page thirteen of the May 30th–June 5th edition of The Economist, an editorial aimed at describing the threat posed to our economy through excesses of central planning, the author writes the following paragraph:

Moreover, even the most stalwart defenders of the free market, including this newspaper, admit it has shortcomings that only the government can address.  The financial system requires close oversight, or crises will destabilise it (see page 75).  In recent years, such oversight has often been absent or fragmented.  Only government can enforce competition rules, insist that business and consumers limit carbon-dioxide emissions, or intervene to make health care available to those too sick or poor to afford it.  And the current crisis calls for aggressive and temporary fiscal and monetary intervention that is not justified in ordinary times.

The first sentence of this paragraph alone contains three grave problems.  Firstly, since when has the government been able to fix things?  Even liberals and conservatives readily admit that the government is at best inefficient and at worse downright detrimental.  Ask the average person if government is good at solving problems.  The person doesn’t have to be a libertarian to laugh at such a question.

Secondly, the most “stalwart defenders of the free market” do not make the sort of concessions that this magazine wishes to make.  I should know, being a stalwart defender of the free market myself.

Finally, The Economist calls itself a “stalwart defenders of the free market.”  But how can it be one, when it itself believes that government can “intervene to make health care available to those too sick or poor to afford it.”  The government does not possess some magic button that can make healthcare cheaper, and in fact every intervention the government makes into the healthcare field ultimately raises the costs (or decreases the quality) of healthcare.  And this hurts the poor more than anyone else!  No, The Economist is not a “stalwart defenders of the free market.”  If you want an example of a magazine that stalwartly defends the free market, I would recommend The Freeman.

I estimate that a point of confusion for some people arise when they hear a libertarian say, “The free market is not perfect.”  Even “stalwart defenders of the free market” admit that the free market is not perfect.  But what precisely does that mean?  Does it mean that the government is better, more effective, or more efficient than the market in some area(s)?  To jump to that conclusion is to misunderstand the libertarian who correctly says that the free market is imperfect.

When I say the free market is not perfect, what I mean by this is that the free market will not solve all of the world’s problems.  The free market does have an anti-discriminatory effect on businesses (i.e. businesses operating on a totally free market tend to ignore race, finding it more profitable to hire whatever employee is best for the job), but it will not likely have much of an impact on men’s hearts, for example.  This does not, however, mean that we should initiate some litany of statutory laws aimed at eliminating prejudice within men’s hearts, nor that the government would be more effective at eliminating prejudices than the market.

The market will also not fully eliminate addiction to alcohol, the making of bad investments, the promulgation of “improper” religious beliefs, et cætera.  Thus, the free market is not “perfect.”  But it’s still better than the government—at everything!  (Even archists like John Stossel have admitted to this last point.)  And this is because the state is a political institution, and thus lacks the same incentives that one would find in an economic institution.  (I am indebted to Franz Oppenheimer for the distinction between the political means and the economic means.)  Political institutions always inevitably allow politics to affect decision-making.  Whenever a politician grants something to, say, a corporation, you can be sure that the decision was affected by, if not based on, politics.  Beyond this, politicians lack any meaningful mechanism for evaluating the utility of their actions.  The market, on the contrary, has a pricing system that reflects consumer demand relative to supply, and it is this pricing system that allows market actors to make rational choices.

The market is not perfect because it is not, in short, a god.  Thus, there is no need to worship it, or to pretend it is anything other than it is.  But the fact that the market is not a god does not therefore imply that the state is a god, or that the state can even make up for the market’s imperfections.  The market, at least the truly free market, has no “market failures,” it just has natural limitations based on its nature.  It is, after all, merely a mechanism for most efficiently allocating resources in a world of scarcity; it is not a magic cure-all that can save humanity from, say, bad thoughts or addiction.  But then, neither is the state.  The same natural limitations we find in the market are found in politics, except that in politics they are ultimately far more detrimental to social harmony and human rights.  The market may not be a god, but that doesn’t mean the government is better than it—at anything.

—Alexander S. Peak

John Hospers and the Libertarian Temperament

In Crazy Claims, Libertarian, literature, Personal Responsibility on May 26, 2009 at 9:17 pm

I recently came across an article by former Libertarian Party candidate for president Mr. John Hospers in which he discusses the interaction of both anarchists and minarchists within the libertarian movement.  There are, as one might expect, some good things and some bad things to say of Mr. Hospers’s analysis.  I will first discuss and provide insights on what I like about the article—specifically his call for alliance between the two aforementioned libertarian factions.  I shall then explain what I see to be the failings of Mr. Hospers’s analysis.

Let me begin by saying I agree with Mr. Hospers when he says,

Anarchism, as I see it, is an issue for the far future as far as practical application is concerned.  If we get to the point where 9/10 of the present government functions are government functions no longer, then we can consider the question whether what remains is best performed by government or by private individuals and organizations.  But it is virtually certain that we shall never reach that point if we do not present a united front to the world.

This is a point Mr. Harry Browne made often, and it is a point with which I agree.

As an anarchist, and one who is optimistic for the long-run but pessimistic in the short-run, I do not believe we will achieve even minarchy (i.e. limited, constitutional government) within my lifetime, let alone anarchy (i.e. the replacement of the entire state with private, voluntary institutions).  Therefore, my own anarchism is explored for predominately philosophic reasons.

That’s not to say that I do not also embrace it for practical reasons.  As far as I’m concerned, I’m not only an anarchist in theory but also an anarchist in practice.  That is to say, I “live anarchy” every day.  In my every interaction with people, I always eschew aggression.  I do not steal, I do not rape, I do not accept welfare, and, if I were to get elected to some legislative body tomorrow, I would refuse to accept even a cent of tax-payer money for the job.  I engage in voluntary action at all times.1

But I recognise that America is not going to accept anarchism yet.  The people are, unfortunately, not yet independently-minded enough to come to a total and complete rejection of all aggression entirely, nor even is a 50% majority yet going to make such a commitment.  Far too many people believe in continuing the war on drugs (as just one of many examples) to as of yet come to a total rejection of aggression.

But this is no reason for me to turn my back on anarchism.  Ultimately, reason compels me to embrace anarchy as the only ethical and practical system of government.  And I see no harm in promoting this view, in explaining politely and hopefully-convincingly to people how the alternative institutions we radical libertarians advocate would function in the real world.

I believe there is no inconsistency in being an anarchist—in promoting anarchism—and in allying myself with minarchists.  As Mr. Hospers implies, should we ever get to the point where the vast majority of the government has been eliminated, at that point we’ll have to get down to the nitty-gritty of what divides anarchist libertarians from minarchist libertarians.  At that point, we’ll have to end our alliance.  In the meantime, Mr. Hospers is right: we should work together toward our common goals.

At the same time, I also hold that there is nothing wrong in trying to convince minarchist libertarians that libertarian anarchism is superior to libertarian minarchism.  And I will attempt to do so because to achieves my own aims.  Thus far, I’m proud to say, I have helped to turn no less than four limited-state libertarians into no-state libertarians.

It should become immediately clear that I therefore have two goals when it comes to the promotion of my political views: (1) to convert non-libertarians into libertarians and (2) to convert minarchists into anarchists.  Since I’ve had far more success with my second objective than my first, I can only conclude that the second objective is easier to accomplish than the former.  But the former is just as important, and if I were somehow able to convert the statists of the world into minarchists en mass, I would consider this a triumphant victory for Liberty.

Because I recognise that both of these tasks are difficult, I try to be respectful when engaging someone in political discourse.  I want to win people over, and I realise that name-calling and temper-tantrums is not the way to achieve this.  So you can imagine just how embarrassed I was by many of my fellow Ron Paul Revolutionaries when I was reading blogs and whatnot two years ago!  I wanted Ron Paul to win, and unfortunately many of his followers were acting like fourth-graders in their discourse with random Internet-users.

Political discourse has been a prime concern of mine for quite some time now.  It’s been such a concern because I truly want us to achieve Liberty, and I know that this will not happen as long as we push people away through rudeness.

This brings me to the unfortunate flaw in Mr. Hospers’s analysis. He readily recognises a problem exists involving discourse. However, he seems to assume that the problem is entirely on the anarchists’ end.  Although he does not say so, he implies that minarchists are always respectful and rational in their outlook while anarchists are chaotic, rude, childish, and emotionally-driven.  I do not believe this stereotype holds.

The reality is much more nuanced.  There are some anarchists, naturally, who are quite rude with people—even with fellow libertarians, much to my chagrin.  There are also plenty of anarchists who are extremely respectful individuals.  Could you imagine the mild-mannered Jeffrey Tucker throwing profanities at a political opponent, or stamping his foot?  I certainly cannot.

Yet this is precisely how Mr. Hospers paints all of us anarchists.  Writes Hospers,

There is either an unwillingness [no the part of anarchists] to enter into calm sustained argument about it [the virtues of statism], or a childish frenzy in which they conduct argument, which makes it difficult for anyone to enter into it with them without being at the receiving end of name-calling and numerous personal slurs.  I have seen this tendency reach the point of petulant screaming and stamping of feet.

Hospers does not say that this is simply a problem with specific anarchists he’s encountered, but rather that this is a “psychological aspect[] of anarchism.”  The implication is clear: if you are an anarchist, you are likely immature.  Even if you’re not immature, it’s not because anarchism does not entail this personality defect, but because you’ve somehow suppressed your natural anarchist tendency to embrace immaturity.

But this is simply not so.  For one thing, I would estimate that most libertarian anarchists are those who were at one time libertarian minarchists.  I know that I was a minarchist up until July of 2007, and that I only came to embrace anarchy after years of reflection.  Slowly but surely I came around to conclusion after conclusion that this or that aspect of the state was not necessary, that this or that regulation actually caused more harm than good.  For me, straw that broke the camel’s back was the environment.  I had held that free-market environmentalism was a good and necessary thing, but kept telling myself that we needed the state so that we could have appropriate regulations where needed.  The only problem was, I couldn’t think of a single regulation that only the state and nothing else could provide.  At that point, I had no alternative but to consider the matter of anarchism once more, to consider it objectively and intelligently.  I did not embrace anarchism whimsically, but only after a great deal of reflection and thought.  Even after embracing it, I still gave the matter a great deal of thought and reflection, as I believe was appropriate.  I still question it every once in a while to this day, but every time I do, I come back to the same conclusion: it is the only system that conforms to the way humans really work, the only system that conforms to human nature rather than trying to mould humans in some other image.  It is, in short, the only system that can work.  (After all, as we all know, government doesn’t work.)

Thus, since most libertarian anarchists were at one time libertarian minarchists, either Mr. Hospers would have to hold that their personalities changed upon converting to anarchism or that they were just as immature when they were minarchists as they are now. I do not believe Mr. Hospers wishes to concede either of these points.

For another thing, it is simply incorrect to say that all communication breakdowns between minarchists and anarchists are on the anarchists’ end. Just as there are some anarchists who are clearly immature, there is a great deal of minarchists who are just as immature. Believe me, I have engaged in my fair share of discussions with immature minarchists, people who embarrass me as a libertarian just as much as the immature anarchists do. I do not pretend, however, that there is any uniform minarchist psychological mindset, or that all minarchists are appropriately represented by the immature ones I’ve encountered. In short, some anarchists and minarchists alike engage in unproductive discourse, while plenty in both camps understand that mindless name-calling gets us nowhere.

Mr. Hospers writes, “I have certainly noticed, as doubtless many of you have, a recurring personality pattern among those who label themselves anarchists.” But, alas, if I were to paint minarchists under the same broad brush that Mr. Hospers uses to paint anarchists, would this be anything other than stereotyping?

Where, pray tell, is the respectable discourse in that?

_______

1Among other things, Mr. Hospers claims in his article that anarchists engage in “a strong, usually…neurotic, rebellion against all forms of discipline, especially self-discipline.”  If this point about “living anarchy” proves anything, it is that this Hosperian statement is (in addition to being extremely insulting) fundamentally wrong.

Call to Arms: Resolution of Discipline against Angela Keaton

In Activism, Boston Tea Party, Crazy Claims, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics 2008, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Politics, Protest on December 1, 2008 at 10:15 pm

The charges against Angela Keaton have finally been disclosed (well, leaked, LOL) and Stewart Flood is behind them.  He wrote it, and he plans to present it on Saturday.

Grab your popcorn, folks, because this one is a doozy.  Strangely, it reflects far more upon Stewart than it does on Angela.  After reading it over, it’s my opinion that Stewie needs both a humor implant, and a life.  It must have taken him forever to dig up all this crap on Ms. Keaton, and most of it obviously was just a joke on her part, an exaggeration on his part, and/or taken completely out of context.  The rest I’ll have to check into, but as far as I’m concerned, just glancing over it based upon what I have seen, the charges are a joke.

Of particular interest is the allegation that Ms. Keaton provided material support to another political party (assumably the BTP).  What exactly was Bob Barr doing, both when he sat on the LNC and was the LP’s presidential candidate, while his PAC contributed thousands to Republican candidates, if not providing material support to another party?  Why wasn’t he brought up on disciplinary charges? 

The resolution is to suspend her, but the suspension will be rescinded if she submits a written apology to millions of people within seven days, on about 20 differerent alleged “offenses”, to be published in LP News.  This is clearly in my opinion nothing but an attempt to humiliate her, given the very weird nature of the charges, and force her to bend to the demands of the reformers.  

So, here’s your assignment, LFV contributors and readers.  Dig up all the dirt you can on every single person she has allegedly harmed, according to the resolution.  I know there’s a lot out there, because I have received a lot of it over time.  I’m talking everything, from Stewart allegedly claiming to have been a Unabomber suspect, to men on the LNC calling Angela a “fucking bitch”.  Post it in comments.  

Here’s the “Resolution of Discipline”:  resolution-of-discipline-for-angela-keaton

Palin’s minister drives out witchcraft, makes Obama’s minister look completely sane in comparison

In Crazy Claims, Fraud, People in the news, Politics, Republican, Sarah Palin on September 25, 2008 at 1:42 pm

Thomas Muthee is a minister from Kenya who has repeatedly preached at Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin’s church (Wasilla Assembly of God).  This is not some long-past connection, nor is it a situation where the church one time invited a visiting minister who they didn’t know was a wackjob.  Muthee has been a visiting minister there since 2005, and most recently preached at Palin’s church this past weekend.

From Wikipedia:

Muthee and his wife returned home to Kenya from Scotland, where he had finished his graduate studies, in 1988.[3][4] They soon felt that they were “called by God to Kiambu” and after six months of prayer, research, and “spiritual mapping,” they came to believe that a witch known as “Mama Jane” was the cause of crime and spiritual oppression in the area.[1][3][4][5][6] Muthee alleged that “top government and business leaders [were] afraid to do anything without her approval,” that at least one person per month would die in a car accident in front of her “divination house” (otherwise known as Emmanuel Clinic), and that she harassed his congregation.[3][4][7] According to Muthee, soon after his followers began to pray that God would either save or oust Mama Jane,[3][4][7][8] three young people died in another apparent accident in front of Mama Jane’s clinic.[3][4][7] The angry townsfolk wanted to stone her in retaliation, and when the police entered Mama Jane’s home to intervene, they were apparently startled by what they believed to be a demon and shot her pet python to death.[3][4][6][7][8] Mama Jane was then questioned by police, after which she left town.[3][4][8] Since then, Muthee has frequently referred to his witch-hunt as an example of successful spiritual warfare.[6]

The event was depicted in two videos by George Otis, Jr.,[9][10] in which Muthee claimed that the crime rate in Kiambu dropped drastically after Mama Jane left.[1][3][5][7][11][12] However, Workgroup “Back to the Bible,” headed by Pastor Rien van de Kraats of Kamperland, Netherlands, found no police reports or any other sources that backed up this claim.[12]

In the video below, after enumerating how religious people should take over the entire country, he drives witchcraft away from Sarah Palin.

Whoo-boy.

Most urgent private message

In Children, Corruption, Crazy Claims, Economics, Fraud, Human Rights Abuses, Humor, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Media, People in the news, Personal Responsibility, Politics, Taxation, Terrorism, US Government on September 25, 2008 at 1:00 am

H/T Delaware Libertarian

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had a crisis that has caused the need for a large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Franklin Raines, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. You may know him as the Chief Economic Advisor for Senator Obama’s presidential campaign, and the former head of Fannie Mae from 1999 to 2006.

Let me assure you that this transaction is 100% safe. Mr. Raines is completely trustworthy with your money. His record speaks for itself.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of friend so the funds can be transferred. Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully

Henry “Hank” Paulson

Minister of Treasury

“Manning’s Fierce Prayer for Bristol Palin”

In Barack Obama, Crazy Claims, Democrats, Entertainment, Humor, John McCain, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Republican, Shine on you crazy diamond on September 19, 2008 at 11:08 am

This is one of the most unintentionally funny political rants I have ever seen.

Not at all surprisingly, disgruntled PA Republican loses lawsuit to remove Barr from ballot

In Corruption, Courts and Justice System, Crazy Claims, Fraud, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Local Politics, People in the news, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Republican, Wayne Allen Root on September 16, 2008 at 11:46 am

Victor Stabile, Chair of the Cumberland County (PA) Republican Committee, filed suit to remove Bob Barr from the Pennsylvania ballot.  Stabile’s argument was that the LP engaged in fraud, by substituting Bob Barr for the stand-in candidate, and by collecting petition signatures under the name of the stand-in even after Barr was nominated.

Predictably, the judge didn’t buy that argument:  pennsylvania-court-opinion

Russ Verney says Bush showed “incredible leadership”, makes excuses for Barr’s no-show at Ron Paul event

In Crazy Claims, George Bush, Iraq War, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Ron Paul, Terrorism, War, Wayne Allen Root on September 11, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Yet Verney still fails and refuses to recognize that Barr has absolutely no authority to replace Root with Ron Paul, or anyone else.  By the way, where’s Osama bin Laden?  We can see a quarter on the sidewalk from space, but we can’t find a strange-looking human giant?

Dear Friend,

Before I move forward with an important report for today, I would like to recognize and remember the 2,819 men and women who lost their lives seven years ago. As a result of the attacks of September 11th, Americans came together, setting aside differences in order mourn our shared losses and assist our neighbors in need.

May we never forget . . .

In times of crisis, strength in leadership requires boldness of character, clear direction and firm resolve. As we witnessed after the attacks of September 11th, President George W. Bush showed incredible leadership as he stood atop a fire truck amidst the rubble of the twin towers to rally America.

While the quality of leadership is rare enough, principled leaders are few and far between. Those who do appear to posses the traits necessary to lead, for reasons only known to themselves, frequently choose not to stand on principle.

Yesterday, our vice presidential candidate, Wayne Allyn Root, offered to step aside to allow Congressman Ron Paul an opportunity to serve on the presidential ticket of the Libertarian Party and move the agenda of Liberty forward.

On the surface, a simple offer was extended. In fact it was principled leadership at its finest.

Wayne Allyn Root showed his deep commitment to the principles of our cause. Without hesitation or regard to the effort, time and personal funds he has committed to the issues of freedom, smaller government, less taxes and the Libertarian ticket, Wayne offered to step aside to allow another leader to step up.

I could not be more proud of his actions and selflessness.

As America is hurling towards crisis on many fronts, we need principled leaders like Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root. We have no time to waste on anything other than spreading the message of smaller government, less taxes, and more personal freedom issues across this nation.

That brings me to my next point.

Today our campaign is being criticized by a few people for my decision to not attend a press conference sponsored by Ron Paul’s political action committee. I thought I would take a minute to explain to you why I made that decision.

It became evident to me after meeting with Ron Paul’s staff that this media event was not about promoting the liberty agenda; it was about promoting a man. That’s not what we’re in this for.

After rumors were spread in advance of the news conference that Bob Barr was dropping from the race – just to hype the event – I became even more hesitant to attend. Those tactics were unacceptable and when asked about it, Ron Paul’s staff simply smiled and said it would attract the press.

When I was provided a copy of Ron Paul’s prepared remarks just hours before the start of the planned news conference it became clear to me that the message Ron Paul intended to deliver was essentially to scatter the votes for the liberty agenda to the four winds.

His remarks not only encouraged anyone listening to support any one of four candidates, he also applauded ‘non-voters’. To me encouraging people not to vote is not principled leadership for the Liberty agenda.

I made the decision that attending that news conference was not consistent with Bob Barr’s principled leadership for the Liberty agenda.

Once I informed Ron Paul’s staff of my decision I was rudely informed that my decision would have permanent ramifications, I was personally threatened and Bob Barr was politically threatened. That’s a far cry from principled leadership.

One thing that did occur as a result of yesterday’s events is a clear separation of certain factions. Up until now, we have been dealing with two groups, those who want to advance the issues of liberty and those who have been drawn into a cult of personality.

There are those who support a specific politician and then there are those who support the liberty agenda regardless of standard-bearer.

Bob Barr, Wayne Allyn Root and the Libertarian Party stand for the issues of personal freedom and responsible government. As they have proven, both Bob and Wayne are willing to lead or follow for the advancement of our issues.

Now is their time to lead.

As we move into the final 50 days of the campaign we are in place to make a strong impact on the future of our country.

At the end of the day, the number of votes cast in support of the Liberty agenda in the General Election will influence the national political agenda of the next four years.

If we do our jobs, work hard and give us much as possible until Election Day, our voices will be heard and our agenda of smaller government, lower taxes, more personal freedom and government accountability will be on the table for years to come.

I appreciate your commitment and dedication.

Sincerely,

Russ signature

Russell Verney
Campaign Manager

Barr’s website says he invited Ron Paul to be his VP

In Crazy Claims, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Media, People in the news, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Republican, Ron Paul on September 10, 2008 at 2:28 pm

The following was posted today on the Bob Barr website by Shane Cory. It is of particular interest given that Barr did not show up today at the Ron Paul third party press conference, thus causing a major rift with the Ron Paul camp.

It is unclear why Barr thinks Ron Paul should be his VP candidate, and not the other way around when Ron Paul has far more support both in and out of the LP, and far more experience in Congress. Furthermore, Barr’s current VP Wayne Allyn Root was nominated by the delegates at the Libertarian Convention, so Barr doesn’t have the power or authority to replace him.  Root seems to think it’s a fine idea, but he doesn’t have the power or authority to overrule the delegates either.

Many thanks to LFV reader Bubbu Blanco for bringing this link to LFV’s attention!

Bob Barr Shows Leadership to Unify Liberty Movement

September 10th, 2008 by Shane Cory

Asks Paul to Run as his Vice President

Atlanta, GA – Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party nominee for president, has invited GOP Congressman Ron Paul to be his running mate in the upcoming election. In a letter sent to Paul, Barr called Paul one of the “few American patriots” who exist in today’s society, and asked him to “seriously consider this final offer as an opportunity to show true, lasting leadership beyond party politics.”

Barr cited Paul’s 1987 letter to then-GOP Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf, in which Paul stated that, “after years of trying to work through the Republican Party both in and out of government…[Paul] concluded that [his] efforts must be carried on outside the Republican Party.”

Though recognizing Paul’s personal investment in the Republican Party and his recent attempts to reform the party from inside, Barr said he disagreed with Paul’s strategy. “Better options remain that will carry a message of liberty onto the ballot in November and beyond,” Barr stated, adding at a news conference called today at the National Press Club, that “change in politics and public policy in America cannot and will not be done from within the current, two-party system.”

Barr continued, “‘The status quo will not change the status quo’ and impact comes entirely from gaining votes in the General Election.” That is why Barr said he would remain focused on the Libertarian Party’s electoral effort and clear message, and why he invited Paul to join him.

“While you declined my offer to seek the Libertarian presidential nomination many months ago, I ask that you seriously consider this final offer as an opportunity to show true, lasting leadership beyond party politics,” Barr stated in his letter to Paul.

Barr’s running mate, Wayne Allyn Root, expressed support: “As the Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee, I believe in one thing above all else—principle. There can be no compromise on the ideals of limited government, lower taxes, lower spending, and more freedom for the American people. Those are the principles to which I’ve dedicated my life. The GOP and Democratic candidates only give lip service—at best—to these ideals and principles. It is only an act at election time every four years.”

“I want to end the charade once and for all,” Root continued. “I am willing to sacrifice anything to advance the cause of liberty, freedom, smaller government and to enable the American taxpayer to keep more of their own money and property. Understanding Dr. Ron Paul’s reputation and name recognition in the freedom movement, I am willing to step aside as Libertarian vice presidential candidate if he would be willing to take my place. I will pledge to work day and night, just as I have as the vice presidential nominee, to support Dr. Paul. I believe this is a wonderful opportunity for the Libertarian and freedom movements. I encourage Dr. Paul to accept Congressman Barr’s offer. The campaign is making this offer because we believe there is no sacrifice too large when it comes to improving the lives of the American people and American taxpayers.”

Barr’s letter to Paul can be found here.

Paul’s letter to the GOP can be found here.

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003.

LNC Smackdown!

In Crazy Claims, Entertainment, George Phillies, Humor, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Shine on you crazy diamond on August 23, 2008 at 2:03 am

Sorry, couldn’t resist that headline after LNC Treasurer Aaron Starr (in LFV comments) made a reference to libertarian “bloodsports”. 😉

The following are comments left on the latest LFV exclusive regarding George Phillies having been contacted by an outside attorney, about a potential lawsuit brewing for New Hampshire.

Aaron Starr, LNC Treasurer:

This might be interesting if it were accurate.

However, the LNC has been informed on more than one occasion concerning the potential opportunity for a lawsuit in New Hampshire to establish for our party the permanent right for candidate substitution, so that we will not have this problem again in the future.

No lawsuit has been filed yet.

On May 22nd, during the LNC pre-convention meeting in Denver, staff presented in its report the possibility of our needing to sue in New Hampshire.

The report is included in the minutes. Members of the LNC board members who are purported to not know anything about this received copies of these minutes and voted for their approval.

In addition, in a cursory search of e-mails to the entire LNC, I was able to find a ballot access update dated June 29th that further discussed the legal situation in New Hampshire. There are probably other updates, should I care to look for them.

In the case of Bill Hall, our legal counsel, the LNC has been updated by him as recently as today as to the status of this potential litigation. Of course, attorney-client privilege issues prevent me from sharing the contents of this communique with anyone else.

Aaron Starr
Treasurer
Libertarian National Committee

Professor George Phillies, qualified NH LP presidential candidate and probable defendant in said not-yet-filed lawsuit:

Starr’s claims about the suit are disingenuous. There are indeed representations in the LNC Minutes and other places about discussing litigation as a possible alternative path in New Hampshire. There is no indication that an attorney had been retained or was going to be retained.

That’s entirely different from having an attorney, not Bill Hall, telephone interested parties to make statements rather more positive than discussing alternatives.

As an analogy, as late as 1936 the War Department updated its plans for war with Canada, a fact that Congress could have determined. South Park notwithstanding, telling Congress this minor fact did not constitute asking Congress to approve war with Canada.

There is no representation in those statements to the LNC about actually spending money to pay the attorney in question, seeking the LNC’s approval to spend money or discuss litigation with interested parties, or having the attorney discuss with affected parties while representing himself as the LNC’s attorney, which he assuredly would not have done if he had not been retained, whether for pay or pro bono.

I should point out that the sort of phone call that I heard might or might not already have led other interested parties to retain their own counsel.

As to whether the LNC is paying him for something, well, the most recent LNC FEC filing shows a large sum of money going in his direction, so there is no question that the LNC has already actually spent money, without notifying the LNC itself that that money is actually being spent.

Angela Keaton, LNC At-Large Representative:

A.) What is the proper LNC procedure in the initiation of a lawsuit? Does a mention of the possibility of such in a staff report released between LNC meetings constitute proper notice to the board? Do Haugh and Kraus have the authority to initiate a law suit without putting it to a vote of the entire LNC? If Redpath has the sole authority, what is the fiduciary duty with regard to financial priorities during severe shortfalls?

B.) Is the suit a political payback stemming from a confrontation between Carling/Karlan/Sundwall and Macia and Phillies/McMahon at the LPNY ‘07 convention? Did that confrontation result as of Carling overstepping what was agreed upon by members of the LNC? Is it a relevant fact that M Carling proposed to strip George Phillies of his life membership at the July ‘07 LNC meeting? Is it a relevant fact that Aaron Starr proposed an affiliate agreement which singled out LPNH for a daunting level of control by the LNC? (Starr lated withdrew after I made the case that it would lead to infighting and bitterness. Who knew?) What does the ExCom of LPNH want?

C.) What is the responsibility of the Barr/Root campaign for handling ballot access? Is it a mis characterization to state that LPNH has no ballot access when the drop dead date was August 6th and the signature validity is known? A mis characterization that there is no LP ballot access if Phillies/Bennett ticket has made the ballot? Does it matter if both are on the ballot? Does it make any difference who is on the ballot as long as the libertarian label is on it?

Get back to me via email (angela at angelakeaton com) if any of you have serious answers so I don’t have to wade through this most worthless thread.

Angela Keaton
At Large Rep
Libertarian National Committee

I have to respectfully disagree with Ms. Keaton. The thread covered everything any redblooded libertarian could ever want to discuss …. from whether state parties overrule the national party on ballot access issues, to whether a qualified candidate must bow out for the nominee in a state which does not allow substitution, to necrophiliac fellatio, and everything in between. We even had self-described “Libertarian Republican” Eric Dondero calling out to his preferred diety, during a profanity-filled rant in which he threatened to come through the computer and rip LFV Contributor GE Smith’s head off. Now, ripping off heads is what I call a “bloodsport”, though of course making threats on LFV is never, ever acceptable, nor is it ever tolerated.

What do you think, folks? Anyone want to have a little weekend fun, and lay some bets on any of the players? Starr vs Phillies? Keaton vs Starr? Hogarth vs Phillies? Dondero vs GE? ElfNinosMom vs Dondero? Place your bets here!

Guest Contributor George Phillies: Bob Barr Advocates for Discrimination Against Women

In Crazy Claims, Law, Libertarian Politics on August 18, 2008 at 7:26 pm

The following was authored by Dr. George Phillies, and is published on LFV with his permission.

As you can tell from this, or any other representation of sports, men are hardly getting discriminatd against in college athletics

Bob Barr is worried about all the men being discriminated against in college athletics .... wait, what?

At some point, you have to draw a line

Bob Barr Advocates for Discrimination Against Women

Of course, Bob Barr calls it “Title IX Reform”. And he doesn’t say the rest out loud. You have to read between the lines.

Three decades ago, Congress imposed a requirement on educational programs and activities that received Federal Financial assistance. If a school accepted both men and women, it could not have programs that discriminated against men or against women. In 1972, this was a very radical idea. College athletics meant ‘college *men’s* athletics, and at many universities programs for women were very much second rate in their support, even when women outnumbered men on campus.

Now there comes to us Libertarian Presidential candidate Bob Barr who in a August 11, 2008 press release calls for “an end to Title IX’s gender quota system that has devastated so many of our collegiate sports programs” and his claim “…In turn, this has forced colleges and universities to either cut men’s teams or shrink their roster size in order to comply…” He then signed an online petition found at http://www.petitiononline.com/csc2008/petition.html and quoted below.

Barr quotes College Sports Council President Leo Kocher as claiming “…If the state’s schools were simply allowed to use online surveys to measure actual interest, they would be able to add wrestling programs without fear of running afoul of the law…”

Of course, a real libertarian might have advocated for ending those Federal programs, because if there were no Federal program, Title IX would have no effect. Many of the more purist readers on this list can even enumerate the Federal programs in question. But that’s not what Barr did.

A few will note that some of those programs are Veteran’s benefits, that the Veteran’s friends have already paid for, paid for by dying for their country*.

A Federal candidate who was actually interested in the health of future Americans might have advocated for intramural athletic participation, by voluntary choice, as opposed to varsity athletic programs. My alma mater did this, and in one year my dormitory fielded volleyball teams Burton House A, Burton House B,… on through Burton House VV. Barr didn’t advocate a policy that would substantively benefit America, either.

Instead, Barr inveighed against Federal antidiscrimination rules, using Republican reactionary dogwhistle language about ‘quota systems’. Dogwhistle? A reasonable libertarian reads ‘quota’ and hears ‘a Federal program. Where is the call to repeal it?’. A sexist Republican reads ‘quota’, starts foaming at the mouth, notes the references to ‘wrestling’, and hears ‘discrimination for good old boys! Yes!’.**

And that ‘a simple survey’? Does anyone know how to lean a survey?

In fact, what Title IX requires is that male and female students — most of whom are taxpayers who paid in part for the Federal programs in question — not have their tax dollars be used to subsidize discrimination against them.

The actual outcome of Title IX has been an enormous burgeoning of athletic teams for women in colleges across America. There has been an end to second-class treatment of women. I can see the result at my own university, where the fraction of women who choose to participate in varsity athletics now matches the fraction of men participating. Also, it has been extremely visible that team athletics are much more positive in their benefits for women than for men, which is not to say that many men have not benefited form intramural or varsity athletics.

Having said that, a school that wants to discriminate against its coeds without crossing Title IX has but to decline the Federal money paid by female taxpayers.

The Barr Press release “Barr signs petition for academic sports freedom” should be seen for what it is. It’s not a call for liberty. It’s a dog-whistle appeal to southern white male chauvinists.

Finally, as a college professor, I assure readers that wrestling programs are perfectly legal. I should know. My university, WPI, has one, not to mention one and a half dozen other varsity teams, and around 20 — depending on interest — club sports, many coed.

Oh, yes, the petition:

To: U.S. Congress

WHEREAS … Today, June 23, 2008 marks the 36th anniversary of the passage of Title IX …

WHEREAS … Men’s collegiate athletic teams are being eliminated and rosters are being capped at an alarming rate in order to comply with the “proportionality” enforcement prong …

WHEREAS … Women collegiate athletes are being robbed of their training partners, teammates and biggest supporters when men’s teams are eliminated …

WHEREAS … Straightforward and common-sense fixes to the enforcement mechanism are already available – such as a simple survey that would allow any student, male or female, to express interest and be given opportunity …

WHEREAS … The law’s current method of enforcement is discriminating against male athletes and artificially limiting opportunities to participate …

WHEREAS … The current tenor of the debate over the future of Title IX sets up a zero sum contest pitting men against women that hurts the collective cause of all college athletes …

BE IT RESOLVED … That men and women across the country come together to discuss and implement a set of common sense reforms to Title IX enforcement that maximizes the opportunities of all college athletes regardless of gender.

*One of my drill sergeants in basic showed me how to use this line, for which I am most grateful.

**Mind you, some football and wrestling teams have simply allowed coeds to join.

If you get an unexpected package in the mail, be prepared to be raided and have your dogs killed by the cops

In Big Brother, Constitutional Rights, Cops Gone Wild, Corruption, Courts and Justice System, Crazy Claims, Crime, Drug War, Fraud, Human Rights Abuses, Law, Law Enforcement, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Media, People in the news, Police Brutality, Police State, Terrorism on August 8, 2008 at 1:27 pm

A package of marijuana was sent to an unsuspecting mayor’s wife, in a scheme in which drugs are mailed to people who are not in any way involved, then intercepted by those in the smuggling ring.   She hadn’t even seen the package, and it had not even been opened, when a SWAT team burst in without knocking, killed their dogs immediately, and terrorized the mayor, his elderly mother-in-law, and his innocent wife.  The cops refused to show a warrant when asked, and furthermore, no-knock warrants aren’t even legal in the state of Maryland.  Not at all surprisingly, the cops claim they did nothing wrong.

Why did they raid these people at all?  Had they done even a little bit of background, they’d know it was the mayor’s home, and that they could have just knocked on the door and asked for the package, and it would undoubtedly have been turned over without question.

From CNN:

(CNN) — A Maryland mayor is asking the federal government to investigate why SWAT team members burst into his home without knocking and shot his two dogs to death in an investigation into a drug smuggling scheme.

“This has been a difficult week and a half for us,” Cheye Calvo, mayor of Berwyn Heights, Maryland, said Thursday. “We lost our family dogs. We did it at the hands of sheriff’s deputies who burst through our front door, rifles blazing.”

The raid last week was led by the Prince George’s County Police Department, with the sheriff’s special operations team assisting, after a package of marijuana was sent to Calvo’s home.

Authorities say the package was part of a scheme in which drugs are mailed to unknowing recipients and then intercepted.

Calvo said he had just returned home from walking his two Labrador retrievers, Chase and Payton, when his mother-in-law told him a package had arrived for his wife, Trinity Tomsic.

Moments later, Calvo was in his room changing for a meeting when he heard commotion downstairs.

“The door flew open,” he said. “I heard gunfire shoot off. There was a brief pause and more gunfire.”

Calvo said he was brought downstairs at gunpoint in his boxer shorts, handcuffed and forced onto the floor with his mother-in-law near the carcass of one of dead dogs.

“I noticed my two dead dogs lying in pools of their own blood,” Calvo said.

Calvo said his mother-in-law is still recovering from the incident.

“She got the worst of it,” Calvo said. “She was literally in the kitchen, cooking a lovely pasta dish, and they brought down the door and shot our dogs.”

While he was being held, Calvo said, he told police he is the town’s mayor, but they didn’t believe him.

Berwyn Heights has its own police force, he said, but Prince George’s County police did not notify the municipal authorities of their interest in his home or the package.

“They didn’t know my name. All they knew was my wife’s name. They matched that to the registration of the car,” Calvo said. “It was that lack of communication that really led to what has really been the most traumatic experience of our lives.”

After the raid, arrests were made in the package interception scheme.

The incident has prompted the couple to call for a federal investigation because, they say, they don’t believe police are capable of conducting an internal investigation.

“They’ve said they’ve done nothing wrong,” Calvo said. “I didn’t sign up for this fight, but I think what we have to do now is make changes to how Prince George’s County police and Prince George’s County sheriff’s department operate.”

Calvo said authorities entered his home without knocking and refused to show him a warrant when he requested one.

But Prince George’s County Police Department spokeswoman Sharon Taylor said legal counsel had informed her that “no-knock” warrants do not exist in Maryland.

Taylor said authorities were acting on a warrant issued based on information available to them at the time.

“This warrant was for permission to search the premises,” she said. “The special operations team that supported us made a decision about the necessity of entry at the point of being on the scene.”

“No-knock” warrants have drawn criticism before. In Atlanta, Georgia, Kathryn Johnston, 92, was shot to death by police in a botched drug raid involving such a warrant in November.

Taylor, a self-described dog lover, expressed sympathy for the loss of Calvo’s dogs, but stopped short of apologizing for the incident.

“We’ve done these similar kinds of operations over and over again, to the tune of removing billions of dollars of drugs from the community and without people or animals being harmed,” she said. “We don’t want any of our operations to result in the injury or loss of anybody, and certainly not animals.”

The deputies have said they killed the two animals because they felt threatened.

“I would say that the dogs presented a threat, I would imagine, to the special operations situation,” Taylor said.

Meanwhile, Calvo and his wife said members of the community have expressed sympathy and concern about the incident.

At a news conference Thursday, Tomsic tearfully recalled a recent encounter with a neighbor who used to wave at the couple as they walked Payton and Chase.

“She gave me a big hug,” Tomsic said. “She said, ‘If the police shot your dogs dead and did this to you, how can I trust them?’ “

Was “drug warrior” in Blackwater t-shirt really undercover DEA, or does the DEA assume we are all stupid?

In Crazy Claims, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Drug War, Fraud, Law Enforcement, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Media, Medical Marijuana, People in the news on August 5, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Kris Hermes at Medical Cannabis: Voices From the Frontline has further covered the recent raid on a California medical marijuana dispensary.  LFV readers will recall that we also covered the raid, complete with photos and pointed out that one of the heavily armed people involved in the raid was wearing a Blackwater t-shirt.  Here is an excerpt from Kris Hermes’ excellent article:

I was able to speak today with Tami Abdollah, the Los Angeles Times (LAT) reporter who wrote the article associated with the photo of the agent wearing a Blackwater t-shirt. First, Abdollah explained that at the time of the raid (when the photo was taken) she had asked about whether the agent in question was a Blackwater employee, but was not given a straight answer. After the raid, and after the story had been published by the LAT, Abdollah was contacted by Sarah Pullen, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles office of the DEA. Pullen requested that the face of the agent wearing the Blackwater t-shirt be blurred because he was an undercover agent and the photo might jeopardize his apparent anonymity. At the same time, Pullen assured Abdollah that the “undercover” agent was in fact an employee of the Drug Enforcement Administration and has never been an employee of Blackwater. Pullen also felt it necessary to explain to Abdollah that the request to blur the agent’s face and the fact that he was wearing a Blackwater t-shirt was completely coincidental. In a subsequent conversation with the DEA, Abdollah was told that the agent was not undercover for the raid, but does routinely engage in undercover operations.

You can read their entry in its entirety here.

This raises some interesting questions, not the least of which is why an agent who regularly works undercover would be involved in a very high-profile raid, especially during broad daylight when he is likely to be seen and photographed?  Why does their alleged “undercover” agent even look like a cop, since undercover work is “routine” for him?  And even if, for the sake of discussion, we believe the DEA’s explanation of why he was not wearing a DEA shirt, why on earth would anyone think that his wearing a Blackwater t-shirt would draw less attention to him, rather than more?  Why didn’t he wear a plain t-shirt, or a t-shirt depicting a band or something similar, if he just didn’t want to be seen, photographed, or recognized wearing a DEA shirt?

Since the DEA claimed he works undercover, they can also claim that his identity cannot be revealed for security reasons, and thus avoid any demands for proof that he is really with the DEA and not with Blackwater.

How very, very convenient.

Many thanks to Steve Kubby and Rebecca Saltzmann for bringing this to LFV’s attention!

LPKY repudiates Landham again

In Activism, Celebrities, Crazy Claims, Iran, Iraq War, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Middle East, Minorities, People in the news, Police State, Politics, Protest, Terrorism, War on August 5, 2008 at 2:36 am

PolitickerKY reports that Sonny Landham, the controversial Kentucky candidate who advocates economic nationalization, culture wars, and the use of a tax-funded military to conduct a war of genocide so that the US can appropriate other people’s oil, has been repudiated by the LP a second time. It appears that Sonny Landham will not be on the ballot at all this year.

For anyone who is not familiar with this story, Independent Political Report previously covered it here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Many of the same Landham stories, and a few others, received additional comments at Last Free Voice:

Worst candidate actually on the ballot this year?

Todd Andrew Barnett condemns LP Senate candidate Sonny Landham for anti-Arab remarks

Letters from LFV mailbag: Gene Trosper on Sonny Landham

Lance Brown launches petition re Sonny Landham’s racist remarks

LPKY: Landham “not on the ballot yet, and we control ballot access”

Press Release: Todd Andrew Barnett condemns Sonny Landham for genocide statements, praises Libertarians Against Landham petition

Libertarians drop Sonny Landham

Sonny Landham: the floater that just won’t stay flushed

LPKY withdraws support from Landham

Landham: back on the LP ballot line?

The PolitickerKY story:

An effort to re-nominate former actor Sonny Landham as the Libertarian Party of Kentucky’s U.S. Senate candidate was rejected by a vote of the party’s executive committee, chairman Ken Moellman told PolitickerKY.com today.

“The motion to put Sonny back on failed,” said Moellman. “At this point, it appears he will not be our candidate.”

After a month as the prospective Libertarian candidate, Landham was stripped of the party’s support after he made a string of anti-Arab comments topped by what could be interpretted as advocacy for a potential Arab genocide.

The Party’s executive committee initially voted unanimously to withdraw Landham’s nomination on July 28, after earlier launching a petitioning campaign to gain ballot access for both Landham and Libertarian presidential nominee and former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, of Georgia. That campaign gained 7,700 signatures, according to Moellman, which is more than required for ballot access.

After losing the nomination, Landham said he would continue as an independent candidate, but it became clear he would have to collect 5,000 “original” petition signatures for ballot access – a task deemed “impossible” by Moellman, given the limited time window.

The vote to re-nominate Landham as a Libertarian came about because Moellman said it was not the party’s goal to kick Landham off the ballot entirely when removing their nomination.

“There are other factors involved here. It’s more for the third party and independent movement in general,” said Moellman during an appearance last week on the Weekly Filibuster radio program. “While that is not directly related to the LP, we have some concerns in that regard.”

Still, the Party’s executive committee ultimately did not embrace those factors, rejecting the efforts to renew Landham’s ballot slot.

Moellman said the second vote came after the party received comments about Landham’s candidacy from across the country after his controversial remarks about Arabs. A “majority” of the feedback was received from outside of the state, and Moellman said “100 percent” of that communication was opposed to Landham.

From within the state, Moellman indicated responses were “pretty minimal,” noting 60 percent of them were against Landham’s continued candidacy as a Libertarian, with 40 percent supporting Landham. Moellman noted that those Kentuckians contacting the party were largely not Libertarian Party members.

With petitions for ballot access due in to the Secretary of State’s office by August 12, the Libertarians are armed with signatures but no Senate candidate.

Moellman said the party was investigating their legal options and the possibility of replacing Landham, though early indications from the Secretary of State’s office were that the signatures could not be applied to another candidate.

Landham did not return requests for comment.

I’m a whore and a glory hole slut

In Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Corruption, Crazy Claims, Crime, Economics, Entertainment, First Amendment, Green Party, Humor, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, US Government on August 1, 2008 at 12:24 am

— In lpradicals@yahoogroups.com, “Rachel Hawkridge” wrote:

Last nite, I was reading one of the blogs, and someone called paulie a whore for helping to get Barr on the ballot, when he’s not a supporter of the nominee.

I roared with laughter . . . paulie gets paid. I did it for free.

Guess that makes me . . . a slut? ;o)

BTW, paulie said “Thank you.”

p] Actually, I’m both a slut and a whore. For instance, I got Barr on the ballot in Arkansas for free. To make matters even worse, I didn’t even know it was for Barr at the time, since he wasn’t nominated yet and hadn’t even announced, so I guess that makes me a glory hole slut to boot, in addition to being a whore.

Also, I’m a pimp, in addition to being a slut and a whore, because I make part of my living collecting overrides for managing crews of petition gatherers sometimes. And I am in no ways faithful to the Libertarians. Right now I’m doing a three-way, and negotiating to add one or two more clients at the same time. And I’m not using a condom with any of them! I guess that makes me a dirty whore.

Not only that, but I kiss and tell: I offered to write either pro- or anti- Barr polemics to the highest bidder. I’m thinking of selling my vote, too, although I guess the buyer would just have to trust me that I stayed bought.

If this sort of thing turns you on, read all about it at

https://lastfreevoice.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/bob-barr-recants-position-on-wiccans-in-the-military/

Landham: back on the LP ballot line?

In Celebrities, Crazy Claims, First Amendment, Immigration, Iran, Iraq War, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Middle East, Military, Minorities, People in the news, Politics, Second Amendment, Terrorism, War on July 30, 2008 at 5:48 pm


PolitickerKY
reports

The Libertarian Party of Kentucky will reconsider its endorsement of Senate candidate Sonny Landham Wednesday evening, just days after initially disassociating their party from his bid. This news comes after the office of Kentucky’s secretary of state announced yesterday that Landham would need 5,000 new petition signatures to secure ballot access to run as an independent.

“We’re really stuck,” said Libertarian Party chair Ken Moellman. “We don’t necessarily want to kick him off the ballot.”

The requisite signatures for Landham’s ballot access were already reportedly obtained by Libertarian canvassers, but – without the Libertarian endorsement – Landham would need original signatures for an independent candidacy.

With an August 12 deadline for petition submissions, Moellman has said obtaining 5,000 new signatures in that window would be “impossible.”

Landham was initially stripped of the Libertarian Party’s endorsement in a unanimous 9-0 vote of their executive committee on Monday night. That vote came after Landham made a series of anti-Arab comments that culminated in his advocacy for a potential Arab genocide.

“When you are in a war, you kill every thing that moves,” responded Landham, when asked if he supported such a dramatic position.

Libertarian Party leaders initially sought to distance themselves from Landham’s comments, with Moellman noting they were not in line with the Party’s philosophy.

With his candidacy in the balance now, Moellman says Kentucky’s difficult ballot access process has the Party reevaluating its decision.

“Now, he will have one of two options,” said Moellman. “A – he runs as a Libertarian or, B he doesn’t run.”

“Our goal was not to kick him out,” added Moellman. “We are in a tough spot.”

Moellman said the ten-person state Libertarian Party Executive Committee will use an “online” voting system tonight to determine whether to reinstate Landham’s endorsement.

“We’re trying to work it out,” added Moellman.

Moellman said their dilemma would not exist if Kentucky’s ballot access procedures did not require 5,000 signatures for “third-party” candidates.

“I wish ballot access was a heck of a lot easier,” said Moellman, who said the number of signatures required for Democratic and Republican candidates was two – a far easier number for Landham to obtain as an independent candidate.

At
Delaware Libertarian
, Steve Newton explains why this is of national significance:

A Secondhand Conjecture is not a Libertarian blog, although it certainly displays some pretty consistent libertarian leanings.

As I read this post analyzing the Sonny Landham flap and the Libertarian Party of Kentucky, I think Lee hits it right on the money:

Looks like the Libertarian Party of Kentucky has dumped Sonny Landham, previously their clinically insane pick for US Senate. Good for them. Even if given the psychopathic nature of Landham’s views, I feel a little like I’m congratulating them for breathing.

While the Obama campaign might like to think that the LP could pose a serious threat to John McCain in Georgia, the Landham misadventure only reminds me yet again of the extraordinary amateurishness that seems to characterize almost all Libertarian Party political campaigns. There’s simply no excuse for failing to properly vet a candidate you intend to challenge for the seat held by the Senate Minority Leader.

As a former Hollywood actor and convicted criminal, it wouldn’t have been particularly difficult to uncover Landham’s violent imagination or deplorable associations with rightwing hate groups. A simple YouTube and Google search might have sufficed in fact.

I recently quoted a representative of the Libertarian Party of Texas noting that we need fewer paper candidates, and more people out there actually campaigning. True. But we also have to stop feeling so needy that we open our arms to accept people who are not only not Libertarians, but whose calls for bombing other countries over trade issues make us look like total losers.

Reminder: there’s still a
petition
for the LPKY to not give its ballot line to Sonny Landham.

Sonny Landham: the floater that just won’t stay flushed

In Celebrities, Crazy Claims, Libertarian Party-US, Minorities on July 29, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Posted at
Ballot Access News

Unfortunately, on July 29, the Kentucky Secretary of State retracted his ruling that the Libertarian Party of Kentucky could choose to have Sonny Landham on the November ballot as an independent candidate for U.S. Senate instead of as a Libertarian. Now the choices are either: (1) the party can submit its petition in early August and have Landham listed as a Libertarian; (2) the party can submit its petition in the middle of August, which will mean that the petition will only be valid for president and vice-president, but not U.S. Senator (the deadline for the presidential and vice-presidential candidate is in early September, but the deadline for all other office is in early August). In that case Landham won’t be on the ballot at all.

LP tackles raging Boehner!

In Crazy Claims, Entertainment, Humor, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Politics, Republican on July 24, 2008 at 2:15 am

originally posted by GE at IPR. Headline by Fred Church in the comments.

In response to House GOP leader John Boehner’s comments to Reason‘s Dave Weigel — that conservatives considering a vote for Bob Barr “might as well vote for Barack Obama” — the LP has issued a press release with harsh words for the GOP and its leadership.

Libertarian Party spokesperson Andrew Davis said that Boehner’s comments “reflect the same fallacy of thought that has put America in its current situation, with neither Republicans or Democrats offering the solutions voters want to hear.”

Davis also said Boehner’s comments were “a symptom of the same delusion that cost Republicans control in 2006.”

Read the entire release here.

Cop calls 911, thinks he’s dying from pot brownies

In Cops Gone Wild, Corruption, Crazy Claims, Entertainment, Humor, Media, Medical Marijuana, Obituaries, People in the news, Shine on you crazy diamond on June 1, 2008 at 7:18 pm