Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘Censorship’

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

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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

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

Whores? In MY Washington D.C.?! It’s more likely than you think.

In Censorship, Civil Liberties, Corruption on May 4, 2007 at 6:17 pm

Say it ain’t so, Joe.

A lawyer for Harlan Ullman, who created the “shock and awe” military strategy and writes a column for the Washington Times, said his client has no intention of helping Deborah Jeane Palfrey.

She is the 51-year-old accused madam of Pamela Martin and Associates, and is charged in federal court with racketeering and money laundering associated with prostitution.

Honest businesslady fucked over by government, damn the Man to Hell, legalize prostitution. Okay, got the obligatory libertarian diatribe out of the way. Here’s the best part:

Palfrey has maintained her agency was never a prostitution ring. She has given ABC News phone records purportedly indicating a list of her clients, hoping they will be compelled to testify in her favour.

The expansive phone records — so substantial the documents weigh a collective 46 pounds — were handed to the news broadcaster before a judge’s order barring their release took effect.

Yes, that’s right. There’s some horny motherfucking politicians on Capitol Hill, 46 pounds’ worth of records of them. Funny that the judge is barring its release… maybe he got a “massage” as well? God I would KILL to be a bookworm in that book right now.

Jury Nullification: Should Juries Be Informed Of Their Right To Ignore The Law?

In Censorship, Constitutional Rights, Crime, Democracy, Drug War, Law Enforcement, Libertarian, Personal Responsibility on May 1, 2007 at 4:48 pm

GavelJury nullification is a process by which a criminal jury determines that a law is unconscienable, either morally or as it applies to a specific case, and therefore is to be ignored despite the guilt of the defendant. The US Supreme Court has determined that juries do have the power to nullify, but they also determined that juries need not be informed of this power. As a result, very few jurors have any idea that they can ignore the law, if they feel the case before them warrants that action.

Historical examples of jury nullification are abundant. Early in our nation’s history, jurors were regularly informed of this power. Positive examples of jury nullification include cases involving the Fugitive Slave laws, and of course, Prohibition. Negative examples include the refusal of some juries in the south to find white supremacists guilty of murdering African-Americans or civil rights workers, despite substantial evidence of guilt.

Judges worry that informing juries of this power will result in juror anarchy, with jurors deciding cases based on their sympathies rather than on the facts of the case; some argue that this is what happened in the OJ Simpson trial of the early 90s. Another judicial concern is that jury nullification will result in an increase in the number of hung juries, or that jurors will be overwhelmed if they are expected to interpret not only the facts, but the fairness of the law as well. An ongoing concern is that, once found not guilty by a jury, a defendant is protected from ever being tried again on that charge under the Double Jeopardy Clause; so if jurors nullify, guilty defendants will go free. The current conventional wisdom is therefore to not only not inform jurors of their nullification powers, but to specifically instruct jurors that they are to determine the facts, not the law, and that they must follow the law exactly as it is presented to them by the court. Read the rest of this entry »

Rappers Need Soap To Clean Out Their Mouths But Don’t Censor Them!

In Censorship, Media, Music, Personal Responsibility on April 23, 2007 at 11:26 pm

My mother always taught me that “two wrongs do not make a right”. With all the attention surrounding the whole Don Imus controversy, I still don’t know what people were all up in arms over. Don Imus got what he deserved but was it alright for him to say “nappy headed hos” when rappers say “ho, bitch and nigger” all the time?

I’m a huge fan of hip-hop which is different than this crap, I mean rap, that’s out now. I owned a copy of “Straight Outta Compton” by NWA, and “Nasty As They Wanna Be” by the Two Live Crew, which probably are the two most controversial rap albums before Eminem stepped into the rap world. In fact, Two Live Crew was the first rap group to voluntarily put out TWO versions of their albums. Russell Simmons, brother of Reverend RUN from RUN DMC and hip hop executive, “recommended eliminating the words “bitch,” “ho” and “nigger” from the recording industry, considering them “extreme curse words.”

Simmons, co-founder of the Def Jam label and a driving force behind hip-hop’s huge commercial success, called for voluntary restrictions on the words and setting up an industry watchdog to recommend guidelines for lyrical and visual standards. “We recommend that the recording and broadcast industries voluntarily remove/bleep/delete the misogynistic words ‘bitch’ and ‘ho’ and the racially offensive word ‘nigger’,” Simmons and Benjamin Chavis, co-chairmen of the advocacy group Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, said in a statement.

The idea is good but it will never fly for a few reasons. Curse words sell albums, especially in rap and metal. Middle income white teens make up about 70 percent of all rap sales and many of these teens love to emulate rappers because they think their own culture is boring. KRS-One in his song “MC’s Act Like They Don’t Know” said,
“Now we got white kids callin’ themselves niggas
The tables turned as the crosses burned
Remember You Must Learn”

The hip-hop culture is so big, that if they cleaned up the lyrics, they might as well start buying Cowboy Troy records. Read the rest of this entry »

So It Goes, Or, Kurt Is Up In Heaven Now

In Celebrities, Censorship, Obituaries, War on April 12, 2007 at 12:46 pm

Iconoclastic novelist, essayist and humanist Kurt Vonnegut Jr has died, at the age of 84. While Vonnegut was many times described as a libertarian socialist (putting him in a category with such groups as the ACLU and Food Not Bombs), he was the writer whose work most strongly influenced my left libertarian beliefs. The loss of his wry wit and great intellect is a loss to us all.

For anyone not familiar with Vonnegut, he was without question one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Penning such classics as Slaughterhouse Five and Breakfast of Champions, Vonnegut mixed science fiction, sarcasm, black humor, and keen insight to force us to confront the commonality of mankind. His “bad guys” were never people, but governments and situations. His characters were each “a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all.”

Vonnegut spoke out against war, despite his belief that WWII was necessary. In Slaughterhouse Five, named after the underground meat-packing cellar in which he was held as a POW during the bombing of Dresden, he confronted a truth that most would like to overlook when he wrote, “You know we’ve had to imagine the war here, and we have imagined that it was being fought by aging men like ourselves. We had forgotten that wars were fought by babies. When I saw those freshly shaved faces, it was a shock. ‘My God, my God—’ I said to myself. ‘It’s the Children’s Crusade.'” His Slaughterhouse Five catchphrase “So it goes”, an ironic reference to death, was adopted by protesters during Vietnam. Read the rest of this entry »

Feeding Homeless A Criminal Offense In Orlando

In Big Brother, Censorship, Civil Liberties, Crime, Economics, Health, Law Enforcement, Nanny State, Personal Responsibility, Police State, Politics on April 5, 2007 at 3:58 pm

Orlando police have unbelievably arrested 21-year-old Eric Montanez, an activist with the charity “Food Not Bombs”, for feeding 30 homeless people in downtown Orlando.

A city ordinance, supported by businesses which claim the homeless frighten away customers, prevents feeding more than 25 homeless persons within two miles of Orlando City Hall. The law does allow charities to feed more than 25 people at a time with a special permit, but only allows two such special permits per year. Perhaps they feel charitable only on Christmas and Thanksgiving?

I’ve been in downtown Orlando. It’s no different from any other large city, insofar as the homeless population is concerned. It’s also nothing special, and chances are this ordinance has little to do with the homeless frightening customers, and everything to do with the people who work downtown not wanting to deal with them.

Police videotaped Montanez as he fed the needy some stew from a large kettle. They later arrested him and charged him with a misdemeanor for violating the ordinance, and took a sample of the stew as evidence. A police spokesperson said that Montanez is the first person to be arrested under the controversial law.

Frankly, I hope he prevails in court, and that the law is found to be unconstitutional. After all, it is a restriction on the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble. Besides, charities historically have done a much better job of caring for the needy, but that wouldn’t let the government have quite so much control, would it? The charities go where the needy are, and in most cases, they’re downtown. The government needs to butt out, and let the charities do what they do best.

I also have to wonder if there is any connection between this action and the name of the charity, “Food Not Bombs”. There may be more to this than meets the eye.

Rock The Debates

In Censorship, Democracy, Democrats, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Media, Personal Responsibility, Politics, Republican on March 24, 2007 at 8:59 am

Several LNC members, including Chuck Moulton,
who gave me a ride down to Orlando, are involved with starting Rock The Debates:
http://rockthedebates.org/about

You can play a key role in this unprecedented, historical endeavor.

The idea is to get the Democrat and Republican presidential candidates to commit to debate third party candidates.

How? We’ll ask them to debate, get the clip on video, and place it on You-Tube. Folks in places like New Hampshire can play a key, historic, pivotal role in making this happen.


o When the candidate comes to town, hook up with another as a tag team. One person asks the question, the other videotapes.
o Here’s the question:

Mr. / Ms. Candy Date, at this point in America’s history with such vital issues that we face, do you agree to debate any presidential candidate who is on the ballot in enough states to have a mathematical chance, and if not, how do you reconcile this position with the principles of freedom and opportunity upon which America is based?

.

Bong Hits 4 Jesus

In Censorship, Children, Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Drug War on March 20, 2007 at 8:14 am

If you read this site, you probably already know why the War on Drugs is bad. If you don’t, here’s a quick review:

  • Making drugs illegal pushes them onto the black market, encouraging violence.
  • Billions of taxpayer dollars are spent every year on the War, yet no progress is made.
  • The right of self-ownership, fundamental to freedom, renders the War thoroughly immoral.

Now that that’s over, an Alaskan who was suspended from high school because he unfurled a sign reading “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” during an Olympic parade and the principal of that school are in the Supreme Court debating whether he ought to have been suspended.

Firstly, I think we can all agree that suspending him was going way too far, even if you agree with the War on Drugs. “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” is hilarious in an absurd way – clearly not encouraging drug use, just a high school student asking for attention.

But what bothers me here is that the counsel for the school, Kenneth Starr (who apparently also is in need of attention) is basing his arguments on the fact that the message opposed the school’s anti-drug beliefs, and the counsel for Joseph Frederick, the student, is arguing that the only reason the suspension was invalid was that Frederick was on the opposite side of the street from the school. This argument doesn’t seem to hold water – it was a school-sponsored event, after all.

But there is Frederick’s fundamental right to say what he wants, which the Supreme Court has ignored many times in the past. This will probably be another defeat for free speech. But remember always that the Supreme Court is not the final arbiter of what is right.