Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘Complete Stupidity’

South Carolina: The Deadbeat State

In Libertarian, Personal Responsibility, Politics on July 19, 2008 at 6:40 pm

There’s been a miniature scandal in South Carolina that reaches over to the United Kingdom and back.

South Carolina, like so many other states, loves to waste taxpayer money on “tourism advertising.” Rather than recognizing that individual businesses (and business coalitions) can more effectively advertise than the state can, the state every year spends more than a million dollars on ads in various tourist venues promoting the state’s various attractions.

One of those venues was London’s Gay Pride Festival. Gay and lesbian tourists are one of the biggest market niches for tourism, and some bureaucrat in SC’s tourism ad department apparently decided to get some return on taxpayers’ dollars (to the extent that getting tourism for tax cash is “a return”).

The person — fully allowed to contract on behalf of the State of South Carolina — contracted with an advertising firm called AMRO to run a $5,000 campaign during the height of London Pride, advertising South Carolina’s beaches and plantation houses as “so gay.”

Unfortunately for that bureaucrat, SC’s Republican right-wing governor discovered the spending, ex-post-facto, and demanded his resignation. His outrage over “taxpayers” being “angry” over “how money was being spent” only applied to the $5,000 gay ad campaign however — not to the millions being wasted elsewhere. The governor announced that the state would not pay the debt it incurred as a party to the contract — despite AMRO incurring the requisite expenses and running the advertising as agreed.

Meanwhile, poor AMRO ended up with a deadbeat client. The governor announced that, despite a contract being signed and AMRO delivering on its commitment by designing the advertising copy and running it in high-profile places throughout London, the state would never, ever pay.

If you ever needed evidence of what crooks run government today, here you’ve got it. Contracts can be broken by the benefiting party based on nothing more than manufactured outrage.

Not to mention that, if you or I were to walk out of a $5,000 contract, we’d face ruined credit, big lawsuits, an inability to borrow for years, higher interest rates, and punitive damages. Government, however, can steal twice — once from your assets to pay for such advertising, and again from the providers of the advertising when it decides conveniently not to pay for the campaign. And it enjoys “sovereign immunity,” ensuring that the state will remain forever a deadbeat with no relief for the creditor, ever.

But another party has stepped in to make light of this situation… and it wasn’t a per-se libertarian group.

Gay group South Carolina Pride has taken to mocking both the state’s ridiculous spending and its deadbeat status. It is running an ad campaign contest of its own to mock the SC advertising effort, as well as raising money to pay back the $5,000 bill that the state government racked up yet refuses to pay. That’s downright libertarian!

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Troy King reported to be dating Troy University homecoming king

In Corruption, Fraud, Humor, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Music, People in the news, Personal Responsibility, Politics, Republican on July 18, 2008 at 11:31 pm

Back in November, I made the following comments at
Loretta Nall Sends Troy King Appropriate Sex Toy
:

But reasonable people would not include the Alabama legislature, which in is great wisdom passed a law banning dildos, vibrators, and other weapons of mass stimulation.

Not content with the law as it stands, Alabama Attorney General Troy King wants the legislature to make the law even more draconian.

I remember Troy from college. He was always a little weird. He used to write frequent letters to the CW, which described in detail his disgust with homosexuals hooking up in public toilets (well before Larry Craig), a subject he seemed to be intimately familiar with, and exhorted readers to go eat at Cracker Barrel, which at the time was under fire for a policy of discriminating against having gay employees. Troy always seemed just a little too obsessed with homosexual perversion.

Alert readers may remember that Loretta Nall sent Troy King a blow up pig:

My suspicion now seems likely to have been confirmed.

Loretta explains

This is not about being gay. This is about being a hypocrite…of the highest order

There is an official denial of the rumor about Troy King now….so I can say what the rumor is.

According to rumors flying around for the last week Troy King, our
rabidly homophobic
, anti-sex toy, Sunday School teaching, pro-execution Republican Attorney General is GAY! And I don’t mean that as in happy either. I’d bet he is anything but happy right now. In fact, according to two sources he is about to resign. [..]

I have been sitting on this story for about a week. Truth is I am SORE from having to sit on it so long….but not as sore as Troy King is.

Read the rest of this entry »

Outreach, or Outhouse?

In Libertarian Party-US on July 18, 2008 at 1:04 am

Just click here, check out the comments at the bottom from R3OVLUTIONaries, and pop back to tell me how I’m supposed to sell such a campaign, and a “libertarian” brand associated with that campaign, with such opinions representing the majority of supporters.

Bonus points for apologies or claims that I “took the posts out of context.”

Extra bonus points if you can somehow spin it into happy-happy joy-joy.

Mucho mega bonus points if you can find comments from the Barr campaign, its prominent staffers, or LP staffers that are anywhere near as ridiculous.

Extra mucho mega bonus points if you can understand why associating the “libertarian” brand with such dreck is bad for the movement and the LP as a whole.

‘Peter Orvetti is an Idiot,’ Part One of Many

In Libertarian on July 16, 2008 at 12:13 am

Since LFV seems to be where a lot of the more reasonable and intelligent libertarians hang out, I think I’ll occasionally use my posts here to ask questions of you about points of libertarian thinking that I do not quite understand. I don’t promise to agree with your stances once they’re explained, of course, but I’m always interested in learning more about why libertarians (and anyone else, for that matter) think the way they do.

So, first subject: environmentalism. I understand and agree with libertarians who do not think people should be coerced into taking so-called “green” actions like recycling, driving smaller cars, and so on. I also know there are some who are skeptical of climate change theories. But what puzzles me is that some libertarians seem rather contemptuous of things like buying carbon offsets, switching to swirly flourescent light bulbs, driving hybrids, and so on, in and of themselves and as voluntary actions. How come?

The Surreal Discontents of the War on Drugs

In Civil Liberties on July 11, 2008 at 12:00 am

An 18-year old MADD activist was recently arrested and charged with delivering cookies to police departments that one department alleged “smelled like” they contained marijuana and LSD.

Turns out that testing has shown the cookies were, well, just cookies:

Christian Phillips, 18, was arrested after field tests suggested cookies delivered to two police departments contained LSD and marijuana. However, a medical examiner’s test of the cookies showed no signs of drugs.

Phillips has denied the cookies contained drugs. More sensitive tests are underway – results are expected this afternoon.

Welcome to the New America.

No good deed goes unpunished. Nobody is above suspicion. No charge or suspicion made by “authority,” no matter how implausible, goes unquestioned. And taxpayers get to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on each individual situation.

In the mean time, the big lesson appears to be “avoid providing food to police officers.” You could end up in prison.

Newsweek Commentator Alter: Throw The Gays Under The Bus (Again)!

In Media on July 6, 2008 at 5:51 pm

The Obama campaign has been mystifying observers for a while in its sheer audacity. Not necessarily audacious in hope, but rather in flip-flopping, Obama has been running so far to the right as of late to shock even longtime critics like yours truly.

When not advocating an expansion of George W. Bush’s government funding program for religious organizations, extension of the warrantless wiretap law, or claiming ignorance about the teachings of his own pastor, Obama is taking steps to distance himself from gay people.

Whether it’s slamming marriage equality while announcing his opposition to California’s anti-gay marriage ballot initiative or the possible nomination of notorious homophobe Sam Nunn as his VP nominee, Obama has shown nothing but contempt for LGBT Americans.

Which makes this article from Newsweek’s John Alter advocating a Nunn Democratic VP nomination all that much more patronizing to LGBT Americans, especially this portion:

The biggest stumbling block in selecting Nunn is his support in 1993 for a Pentagon study that backed a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy for gays in the military. Nunn’s position now is a mixture of new rhetoric (“I’m grateful to the thousands of gays and lesbians serving today”) and a willingness to “review the policy” with an eye toward “eventually” changing it.

This won’t be nearly enough for the gay and lesbian community and other liberals, for whom a controversial position of 15 years ago is still fresh. But, contrary to what many assume, this constituency does not have a veto over Obama’s choice. And after pleasing gay rights groups by expressing his opposition to a California ballot initiative that would change the state constitution to bar gay marriage, Obama has some room to maneuver.

The blunt political truth is that Nunn’s history on this issue might actually help the Democratic ticket in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. While gays would protest loudly if Nunn is the nominee, his selection would show Obama’s independent streak in standing up to a powerful Democratic interest group.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide which assertion is most pathetic:

1) The assertion that all gay and lesbian Americans are “liberals”;

2) The idea that Obama’s speechifying on a state issue not directly relevant to the presidency in California “makes up for” dithering in a federal area — military readiness — by taking the wrong side on an issue that a supermajority of Americans have long thought should change;

3) The idea that bigotry against gays and lesbians is demonstrative of an “independent streak” (one wonders if Alter and his media cohorts would characterize David Duke’s policies against African Americans as edgy and independent);

4) The idea that gay people have any significant power or influence in the Democratic Party — which has been taking the votes and contributions of gay people for two decades yet delivered not a single substantive positive policy change in that time.

If this article is what passes for “political analysis” in the mainstream media, it’s no wonder we’re stuck with a boatload of mediocre candidates this election cycle. The media isn’t doing its job.

Libertarians for Obama

In Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights on June 28, 2008 at 7:57 pm

Libertarians For Obama (not the same as libertariansforobama.com) argues, among other things, that Barack Obama is more libertarian than Bob Barr. Here are a couple of excerpts from their site:

From Five Reasons This Libertarian Prefers Barack Obama Over Bob Barr:

1. Obama is consistent. I believe Barr when he says that he’s against the war, but Barr voted for the war in 2002, and continued to support it for several years, even when it became clear that there were no weapons of mass destruction and that the Iraqis didn’t consider the war a “liberation.” As far as I can tell, Barr didn’t start denouncing the war until earlier this year (if there’s an earlier citation of him speaking out against the war, please let me know). He’s also switched positions on the Patriot Act, war on drugs, gay marriage and several other issues. This change of heart would be easier to accept if it hadn’t come less than two years before Barr launched his presidential campaign. Obama has always been against the war and the Patriot Act.

From More Wayne Allyn Root Nuttiness:

And please check out this great Las Vegas Sun profile, in which Root shares his opinions on kids who are bullied (“You get bullied day and night if you’re weak.” – I am not taking this out of context. Root really does appear to look down on kids who are bullied), takes a seemingly un-libertarian position on campaign contributions (calling them “bribes”), insinuates that Barack Obama did not graduate from college (there are records confirming that he did) and insults New Orleans hurricane victims for good measure (“Their mouths were open and their hands were out and they were praying for Mama Bird to throw something in there.”)

Another Candidate For Sean Haugh To “Protect” Us From

In Libertarian Party-US on June 26, 2008 at 9:46 pm

Apparently, Sean Haugh has appointed himself determinant of who characterizes a nutty candidate who is bad for the Libertarian Party.  He says of Mr. Barrett:

From the references you can also see that there’s a community of people out there who are watching and listening to Barrett’s every word. When he says this junk in the future as a Libertarian candidate, every one of these people will have reason to link these noxious sentiments to our party.

Setting all that aside, why would you want to support a candidate that blithely lies to all of you?

For the moment, let’s overlook the fact Libertarian Party member (and presidential/congressional candidate) Ron Paul had had some pretty shocking racist, anti-semitic, and homophobic statements attributed to him… yet still got a hallelujah from the LP National Office when he dropped out of another party’s primary.

I know little of Mr. Barrett.  It appears from the citations that he is prone to some nontraditional and non-LP opinions on 9/11, and as someone who rejects the 9/11 conspiracy theories, I’d certainly be uncomfortable having those views communicated as a Libertarian Party view on the issues.

However, Mr. Barrett’s run with the LP is apparently his first.

Which brings me to one Mr. Kevin Craig of Missouri.  Mr. Craig is a perennial candidate representing the LP in Missouri.

Mr. Craig advocates a “Libertarian theocracy” on his campaign web site.  Unlike Mr. Haugh’s experiences with Mr. Barrett, I didn’t have to browse around a dozen obscure listserves and local papers to find lots of controversial and noxious sentiments.  I just had to go to his own campaign web site.

In poverty and anonymous homosexuality, at least man is his own god. But these would-be gods always cry out to Big Brother to bring paradise. Those who will not acknowledge the Messiah as their King live under the boot of the messianic state.

Another thing I find “morally repugnant” is the civil government telling citizens that two (or more?) homosexuals have a “right” to be “married.”

They have also disregarded God’s intent. Every single person who signed the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution (1787) believed that homosexuality is contrary to “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” The rights we have are only those with which we have been endowed by our Creator, who also ordained “marriage,” and who also defined who we can and cannot be “married” to.

Every single person who signed the Constitution would say the government is a child abuser by teaching children that homosexuality is not sinful.

It’s trendy to believe that evil capitalists and industrialists cause “acid rain” and “global warming,” but the MainstreamMedia gets all bent out of shape when Jerry Falwell suggests that homosexuals and the ACLU caused 9-11 or hurricanes. The Bible clearly declares that man’s evil is the cause of climatological disturbances (Deuteronomy 28) or as the lawyers call it, “acts of God.”

Congress should

* “Hate” homosexuality and homosexuals
* Follow God’s Commandments with respect to them

Homosexuals attempt to embezzle sexual satisfaction from God’s business.

The entire creation is God’s enterprise.

God is the Boss.

Homosexuals are disobedient employees.

God hates them.

That’s just a small sampling of the various content Mr. Craig has spread as the Libertarian Party’s campaign message during his Libertarian candidacies.

When I communicated my concern about this problem to then-Executive Director Shane Cory, I was ignored.  When I finally cornered Cory at the Conservative Leadership Conference last year, and asked him about these repugnant statements, he told me that the LP cannot monitor every candidate or centrally control every bad statement that candidates make.

Fair enough.

So why the emphasis on one supposed deranged individual, while on the LP clock, yet no emphasis on Mr. Craig — who has made his controversial and noxious statements *on his campaign web site*?

Craig’s candidacy has been “watched” by a number of people across the blogosphere, and has been used by several Democrats in the past to attack the Libertarian Party.  A quick Google search produces numerous pages of commentary.

If Haugh is not willing to enthusiastically go up against Craig, whose views certainly damage our party’s credibility and are every bit as noxious as those allegedly uttered by Barrett, then he should cease and desist from his activities against Barrett.  From where I am sitting, Haugh’s pogrom looks like politically-expedient grandstanding, not principled defense of the LP from candidate bigotry.

Present Your Papers, Comrade!

In Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Libertarian on June 20, 2008 at 11:34 am

One of the old-fashioned expectations that most Americans had was absolute freedom of movement within the country, without government checkpoints, “paper checks,” or other such nonsense.

Alas, in the era of the New Security State, the “internal passport” once mocked by Americans as a Soviet abomination is becoming a reality for numerous Americans.

For example, if you fly domestically, you used to be able to fly without presenting a government-approved form of ID — albeit with the caveat that you’d be subjected to “more extensive searches.” That option ends this Saturday, when a government-issued REAL ID-style driver’s license or other “official ID” will be required to travel domestically by air.

That’s right — without your government-issued mandatory ID (which often involves the taking of fingerprints, as in Texas, and may soon require biometric information as well), you may not travel long distances domestically.

Lest some Ron Paul states’ “rights” advocates step in, it’s important to note that local government is getting even more draconian than the feds. In numerous cities across the country, including theoretically federally-administered Washington DC, entire neighborhoods are being closed up and blocked — with all traffic being directed through a central checkpoint. Individuals must present a form of ID to “prove” they “belong” there, and their entry and exit is left to the sole discretion of the police. Don’t have your “papers?” You’re not getting in (or out).

These situations beg a few questions to be asked of the security statists:

1) The federal government has instituted a massive, draconian entry and exit requirement for all foreign nationals, requiring photographs and fingerprints to be taken at entry. These new requirements, we’re told, “keep us safe from terrorists and criminals.” So if no terrorists or criminals may enter the country due to this incredible system, why are individuals *already in the USA* subject to these internal passport controls? Didn’t the magical draconian border controls already shut all dangerous people out of the United States?

2) How does an ID check “enhance security?” If one has a piece of plastic with a name and photo on it, how does that ensure that he/she isn’t going to attempt violent behavior? Conversely, who are individuals who value their privacy in terms of movement and activities suddenly “suspicious?”

3) Why should we trust local, state or federal government to protect our privacy rights, when you’re already using these internal passports to violate our constitutional right to freedom of movement between states — not to mention our Fourth Amendment rights to freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures? What form of “probable cause” can be invoked to shut off entire sections of a city, or the country, unless an individual undergoes a draconian search and interrogation?

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

New TPW owner revokes libertarian contributors’ convention press credentials

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Obituaries, Personal Responsibility, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Republican on May 20, 2008 at 12:29 am

The following was posted on Third Party Watch today:

Over the weekend, Third Party Watch was acquired from Stephen Gordon by Richard Viguerie.

[snip]

Richard Viguerie, is known as the “funding father” of the modern conservative movement and is the co-author of America’s Right Turn and, more recently, author of Conservatives Betrayed.

Also today, Stephen Gordon received an email from Andrew Davis, saying that Viguerie had requested that Libertarian Convention press credentials be revoked for three libertarian writers, who coincidentally all dared to speak out against Bob Barr: Tom Knapp, PaulieCannoli, and Michelle Shinghal.

Welcome to my world, guys.

Paulie and Miche are also LFV Contributors, of course, and they were caught completely unaware; they didn’t even know that TPW was for sale, much less that it had been sold. One would think that Steve Gordon would have mentioned that to them, but apparently he didn’t, and they didn’t know anything about it until after the deal was done, and their press credentials had already been revoked by the new owner.

From: Andrew Davis [mailto:[email address redacted]
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2008 9:19 AM
To: Stephen Gordon
Cc: Shane Cory
Subject: Press Credential Removal

At the request of the new owners of Third Party Watch, I am removing three writers from your credentials request:

[snip]

Because the original request for credentials came from you, I am leaving it as your responsibility to notify [the contributors] as to their removal from the credentials list.

Thank you.
_________________________
Andrew Davis
National Media Coordinator
Libertarian National Committee, Inc.
[email address redacted]
Office: [redacted]
Cell: [redacted]

Incidentally, notice that Andrew’s cell phone number was in that message, but I redacted it.  He’s lucky he’s dealing with a principled libertarian, and not a fellow “radical Republican”, since they would not give him that consideration if they had the same valid complaint about him that I have.

At any rate, I can only just shake my head in amazement, not only that Vigueria revoked their press credentials so quickly, but also that Steve didn’t even let the contributors know the site was for sale, or even that it had been sold.  I have a lot of respect for Steve Gordon, so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt in this situation.  I’m not especially inclined to do that with Vigueria, though.

As if all that is not bad enough, Vigueria is already deleting articles which are not supportive of Bob Barr.  Though Steve Gordon is on Barr’s staff, he never deleted others’ articles, even if they were critical of his candidate; and that action by Vigueria shows that he refuses to cover the convention and its candidates in a fair and impartial manner.  That being the case, why does TPW even still have press credentials at all?  I cannot help but wonder why their credentials were not revoked as soon as Steve Gordon sold the site.

I was told today that Andrew Davis is just trying to keep his job, and that is why he refused to give LFV convention press credentials; after all, we are highly critical of Bob Barr, and Bob Barr sits on the LNC.  Of course, if Andrew Davis were really a libertarian, or if he even had principles, he would do the right thing in this situation no matter what the personal consequences.  Instead, he allows a site which is now nothing but another Bob Barr campaign site to retain its credentials, while refusing credentials for a site which actually earned those credentials by doing real journalism, even beating the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in the disclosure of the very serious problems with Bob Barr’s PAC.  For all anyone really knows, given that LFV is in the top ten Google hits for “libertarian convention”, the AC-J actually got that information initially from LFV.

But, I digress.

Obviously, Miche and Paulie are more than welcome back home here at LFV, and displaced libertarian writers (and readers) from TPW are, of course, more than welcome to make LFV their new home.

Update on “LFV denied convention press credentials”

In Fraud, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Media, Politics, Protest on May 18, 2008 at 2:13 am

Today, only one day after LFV was denied press credentials for the Libertarian Convention, I discovered that Last Free Voice is the “Featured Blog” on WordPress for the Libertarian Convention and that it appears multiple times in the Google Top Ten search results for the Libertarian Convention.

In fact, we are the only blog on all of WordPress being featured for covering the Libertarian Convention, and we are featured repeatedly.  We are also the WordPress Featured Blog, as well as being featured repeatedly, for covering the Libertarian Party.

Furthermore, we appear not once, but twice, in the Top Ten Google search results for “libertarian convention”.  The WordPress “Featured Blog” page is also in the top ten for the same search term, effectively placing us in the top ten Google search results not once, not twice, but three times, out of a total of 316,000 search results.  With regard to the search term “last free voice”, which is not at all an uncommon phrase, we are the number one search result out of a total of 16,200,000 hits.

Clearly, we are far more influential than Andrew Davis and the LP would like to believe.  When people google “Libertarian Convention”, they are going to find Last Free Voice immediately and repeatedly; and not the blogs which the LP, in its infinite wisdom, deemed important enough to actually get those credentials.  Our potential audience for what we write about the convention is therefore untold millions, since Google users won’t even know the other blogs exist unless they decide to go through multiple pages of search results (which, as we all know, most people will not do).

At this point it is becoming more and more clear that Andrew Davis just made up his excuse for denying our credentials, since a simple Google search would have revealed all of the above.

LP refuses LFV press credentials for convention

In Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Media, Politics, Protest on May 17, 2008 at 12:40 am

Yesterday, I contacted the Libertarian Party in order to get press credentials for one of our contributors. That contributor will be attending the convention, at no cost to the LP, and reporting on it for Last Free Voice. Today, when I had not yet received a response, I called the LP. I explained why I was calling, and was told that they would look for the email and respond.

I received an email response from Andrew Davis, asking me for the contributor’s name, email address, and telephone number, which I immediately provided. Shortly thereafter, I received a second response from Andrew, which stated

I’m very sorry, but after review, we cannot approve your request.

How very strange that one minute all he needs is the contributor’s information, and the next minute, credentials are being denied.

I responded by email, asking Andrew why the request had been denied and pointing out that at least one other blog had already received press credentials. He (not surprisingly) did not respond.

Eventually I called the LP again, at which time I was told by Andrew that, in his opinion, LFV does not get sufficient traffic to be granted press credentials. However, he admitted that they have granted credentials to other blogs (which is something I already knew). In fact, he was kind of rude about it, which only confirmed in my mind that there is far more to that decision than he would have me believe.

Coincidentally, LFV happens to be one of the very few blogs which regularly does real journalism on libertarian issues. Of course, part of that real journalism included exposing Bob Barr’s support of many pro-war, pro-torture Republican candidates while sitting on the LNC; as well as the fact that his PAC spends almost all its money on “expenses”, with only a very small percentage being donated to candidates.

Did the LP deny credentials because we don’t get enough traffic, as Andrew claimed; or did they deny credentials in an attempt to control and/or punish us after we exposed Bob Barr?

I know what I believe. You can come to your own conclusions.

UPDATE:  I have done my own research, and in only minutes discovered that Last Free Voice is hands-down the most popular site on the internet for covering the Libertarian Convention, appearing multiple times in the top ten Google search results for “Libertarian Convention”, as well as being featured repeatedly on WordPress for covering both the Libertarian Convention, as well as the Libertarian Party.  That being the case, our potential audience is in the millions on any given day.

You’ll have to come up with a better excuse, Andrew, since the one you gave does not even begin to hold water.

Police brutality in Philadelphia last night caught on tape

In Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Cops Gone Wild, Corruption, Courts and Justice System, Crime, Human Rights Abuses, Law, Law Enforcement, Media, Minorities, People in the news, Police Brutality, Police State on May 7, 2008 at 5:03 pm

What counts as a legitimate ‘news’ story in the MSM

In Media on May 7, 2008 at 8:50 am

I guess I probably shouldn’t be surprised at the anti-intellectualism, unseriousness, and crassness of the mainstream media. But I really thought this article, highlighted on the front page of CNN.com, took the cake:

Beware of ‘The Tinkler’

I mosey into the ladies’ room, glance at the mirror, remind myself that fluorescent lights make everyone look as if they’re in the final stages of tuberculosis, and head for a stall. And then I see it: The seat, even the floor, is covered in little yellow droplets. The Tinkler strikes again.

Even worse are the Story “highlights”:

  • Women’s bathroom is defiled by The Tinkler
  • Columnist tries to figure out who’s guilty of peeing on seat
  • Decides she is “aggressively mean-spirited, mole-like cavewoman”
  • Writer yearns for modicum of civility, a touch of class, or supply of Lysol

As if this is an actual, legitimate news story! For example, the Story Highlights for a Myanmar cyclone piece were as follows:

  • U.N. has started getting food aid but so far it is only the first step of huge job
  • NEW: Survivor tells how wall of water left bodies in trees, bushes and streams
  • More than 22,000 killed and 41,000 missing, Myanmar radio reports
  • U.S. President Bush says Navy is ready to help if asked

There you go: The state of an individual women’s bathroom and a barely literate “journalist’s” opinion thereof is the given the same treatment as a humanitarian disaster in which more than 22,000 people have died. I should interject here that this wonderful story was brought to us by that benevolent Obama sponsor / former crack smoker, Oprah Winfrey, and her hubristically eponymous magazine.

We have an illegal, unjustified, and undeclared war that’s been raging for longer than WWII, in which innocents are being murdered on a daily basis, hundreds of billions of dollars are being destroyed, and wealth is being redistributed from American taxpayers to military-industrial complex barons, international bankers, and foreign governments — but we give a higher priority to office “tinklers” than any of that. I really do understand why Reverend Jeremiah Wright said “God Damn America!” Has there ever been an Empire quite so decadent?

I tried reading Susan Jacoby’s The Age of American Unreason and found it to be unpalatable liberal-statist garbage. But the general thesis that Americans are dumbed down by the government and its propagandists in the media and public school system (though Jacoby would balk at the latter of these being characterized as such) is right on the money. I find it harder to live among my peers with each day that goes by.

Bob Barr’s “emotional distress”

In Congress, Constitutional Rights, Courts and Justice System, Crazy Claims, Democrats, First Amendment, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Media, People in the news, Personal Responsibility, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Republican, US Government on May 7, 2008 at 1:43 am

In 2002, Salon published an article detailing how Bob Barr filed a $30 million lawsuit against Bill Clinton,Bob Barr Larry Flynt, and James Carville, claiming “emotional distress”, on the same day he was championing a bill that would cap damage awards for pain and suffering (for everybody else, naturally) at $250,000.

As I’m sure you’ve already figured out, he didn’t win; the lawsuit was dismissed on the basis that he failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted; he appealed the dismissal, and lost again. The dismissal on appeal was even more embarrassing, since the court determined that he never even claimed the disparaging information to be false, or stated with reckless disregard for the truth, or with knowing disregard for its falsity.

Think about this for a minute. He was suing a man he had impeached and two alleged (but extremely unlikely) conspirators, unsuccessfully mind you, for causing him emotional distress; yet he still never once claimed that the dirt they dug up on him (and which Flynt eventually published) was even false.

I don’t know about you, but I find even the idea of that lawsuit incredibly amusing. Can you say “frivolous”? Or maybe the word I’m looking for is “paranoid”. Either way, the word “disturbing” also comes to mind, given that an appellate court ruled that he had sued three people for $30 million, when all they had really done was exercise their First Amendment right to free speech.

By the way ….. it’s only 17 days until the convention, and Bob Barr still has not announced his intentions, and still is hiding behind his Exploratory Committee rather than subjecting himself to voter questions and scrutiny like the other candidates have already done. Gee, I wonder why. LOL

Here’s an excerpt from the Salon article:

Jun 14, 2002 | When the news finally broke — because porn magnate Larry Flynt sent out his own press release — that Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., had filed a lawsuit in March against Bill Clinton, pundit James Carville and Flynt for $30 million, claiming “loss of reputation and emotional distress,” the timing couldn’t have been much more awkward for Barr. That very day, he was championing a bill that would cap damage awards for “pain and suffering” at $250,000.

This week, at a hearing of the House Judiciary Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee, which he chairs, Barr heaped praise on a bill that would limit so-called non-economic medical damages to $250,000, saying “a national liability insurance crisis is ravaging the nation’s healthcare system.”

So how can someone who wants to limit awards for pain and suffering sue the former president and others for a whopping $30 million in emotional distress?

The depths of the former House impeachment manager’s disdain for the former president should not be underestimated. Of all the House managers, Barr was perhaps the most gung-ho in his desire to get Clinton. Back in November 1997, before the world had ever heard of Monica Lewinsky, Barr tried to bring impeachment charges against Clinton, alleging violations of campaign finance laws.

Now, Barr has quietly filed a suit against Clinton, Carville and Flynt for “participating in a common scheme and unlawful on-going conspiracy to attempt to intimidate, impede and/or retaliate against [Barr]” for his role as an impeachment manager in 1999.

Behold: Bob Barr’s vast left-wing conspiracy.

The suit comes, however, as Barr has other things to worry about. Redistricting has placed him in a tough primary fight against Rep. John Linder, R-Ga. When asked on Thursday about Barr’s suit, Linder spokesman Bo Harmon offered a jab veiled in a no-comment. “A sitting congressman suing a former president for $30 million raises all sorts of serious questions,” Harmon said. “Until we know more about Congressman Barr’s state of mind on this, we’re going to refrain from commenting.”

Barr’s case is yet another bizarre coda to the impeachment saga. Among the documents submitted in the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, was a section of The Flynt Report, the 1999 document by the Hustler publisher that shone a spotlight on the private lives of the House impeachment managers and other moralizing Republicans. The report calls Barr “a twice-divorced family values cheerleader … who condoned an abortion, committed adultery and failed to tell the truth under oath” in a 1986 deposition.

Flynt’s report was one of the blows struck in a tit-for-tat mud-wrestling match between investigators in the Office of the Independent Counsel and their congressional allies and Democratic attack dogs during the halcyon days of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Democrats pointed to stories like the ones contained in the report and to Henry Hyde’s extramarital affair to label Republican impeachment managers as hypocrites.

Barr has long talked of a conspiracy behind the attacks on him. At the time the Flynt Report was published, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Barr if the White House was behind the smear campaign. “Most people can’t even deny that with a straight face,” Barr told Blitzer.

The suit is not the first time Barr has tried to sue Clinton outside the confines of Congress. The new civil suit is a reprise of a criminal case Barr brought in 1999 against the Executive Office of the President and the Justice Department, claiming the White House was keeping a dossier on Barr and that the congressman “was subject to attacks and threats of attack by persons in the media, including Larry Flynt, James Carville, [investigative journalist] Dan Moldea and others.”

The new complaint charges that the White House kept “files on [Barr] and routinely disseminated the contents of those files to defendants Carville and Flynt and others, including members of the media, in an effort to intimidate and impede” Barr’s investigation of Clinton. The suit also alleges that the White House kept an enemies list that included all 13 House impeachment managers; Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind.; Sen. Tim Hutchinson, R-Ark.; Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff; and Judicial Watch’s Larry Klayman, who is serving as Barr’s attorney in the case.

The suit, however, includes no evidence of such collusion.

Read the rest of this article here.

The shamelessness of the neocon business press

In Drug War, Iraq War, Media, Politics, War on May 1, 2008 at 5:25 am

Investor’s Business Daily is a great paper for monitoring the financial markets. It’s also great for monitoring the deranged hysteria of the right-most Fascist fringe of the neoconservative movement.

Wednesday’s editorial page featured an absolutely shameless hit-piece against the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Although I do not agree with Rev. Wright’s racially collectivist views, his foreign-policy outlook seems right on the money, at least from what I’ve read and heard. But IBD characterizes Wright’s politically incorrect truth telling as “lying.” Apparently, anything said against the Regime qualifies as a “lie” — regardless of whether it is factually accurate or not. Ignorance really is strength!

From the article:

It’s a lie that the U.S. government pumps drugs into the black community to entice black men into prison. . .

Really? So agents of the U.S. government, i.e. the FBI, don’t sell drugs as part of undercover operations? Is that what IBD is alleging here? With a straight face? Come on! But of course, the federal government’s “pumping” operations go much deeper than that. Even if widely documented accounts of the CIA drug trafficking can be denied, it cannot be disputed that the U.S. government’s unconstitutional prohibition of illicit drugs results in reduced supply, higher prices, greater profits, and stimulated demand.

I guess one could quibble over what the definition of “pumping” is. But can you believe that IBD actually had the audacity to go here?

Wright added another lie — that if we wanted to know if Saddam Hussein was using chemical and biological weapons, all we had to do is check our sales records: “We sold him those biological weapons that he was using against his own people.”

I know plenty of neocons who don’t even deny this fact — even neighborhood fascists who still claim Saddam had WMDs buried in the desert! One has to truly be oblivious to reality to characterize the above as a “lie.”

Now how about this one:

“We have troops all over the world, just like Rome had troops stationed all over the world. That notion of imperialism is not the message of the gospel of the prince of peace, nor of God, who loves the world.”

What is IBD saying when they say the above is a lie?

  • We don’t have troops stationed all over the world?
  • Rome didn’t have troops stationed all over the world?
  • Imperialism is the message of the gospel of the prince of peace and of God?
  • God does not love the world, but in fact hates it?

I know; it’s all of the above.

But if you think it couldn’t get worse, just read how IBD actually portrays U.S. military presence in the Middle East. This is no joke, they really wrote this:

We prefer to think of Marines engaged in Operation Iraqi Freedom and its aftermath not as imperialist murderers but as heroes laying down their lives for their friends. Greater love has no man.

I’m sorry. I should have warned you to have a barf bag at hand before reading the above. I hope you didn’t sully anything precious.

It’s one thing to disagree with the traditional American foreign policy — the non-interventionism of Washington, Jefferson, the Old RIght, and (apparently) Jeremiah Wright. But to label politically inconvenient truths as lies just because they don’t support the neocon agenda is beyond the pale — even for the bloodthirsty chickenhawks at IBD.

It seems as though neoconservatism is legitimately a mental illness (Thomas Szaz be damned). The only question is whether or not these clearly deranged individuals even have any conception of what the truth is anymore. To neocons, the “truth” is merely the opposite of whatever the Goldstein of the day says. We were always at war with Eurasia.

Florida Lawmakers Want To Ban “Balls”

In Humor on April 28, 2008 at 2:30 pm

Sorry, this was too good to pass up.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – They’re proudly displayed by any self-respecting bull, but dangling big metal ones on the back end of a truck could be banned in Florida.

Metal replicas of bull testicles have become trendy bumper ornaments in some parts of the Sunshine State, but state Sen. Carey Baker is campaigning to ban the orbs.

Baker acknowledged that Florida lawmakers have more pressing issues, including huge revenue shortfalls, but said the state needs to draw a line on what’s obscene before more objectionable adornments appear.

State Sen. Steve Geller argued against Baker’s bill.

“I find it shocking that we should be telling people that have the metallic bull testicles … you’re now going to have points on your license for this,” said Geller.

Geller was in the minority. Baker’s bill to fine drivers $60 for displaying the ornaments passed the Senate. It’s now up to the House, but there’s only a slim chance that members of that chamber would pass the measure before the session ends this coming Friday.

If it were to be passed, Gov. Charlie Crist has not indicated whether he would sign it, although he has not been too critical of this and other not-so-pressing issues.

“It’s good to have some things that maybe aren’t quite as serious. Got to have a little levity,” the governor said.

A similar bill in Virginia, aimed at rubber trailer hitch replicas of human genitalia, died in committee this year.

I’m guessing “Mudflap Girl” will be next on the agenda.

Government Gone Wild: Extortion Edition

In Activism, Civil Liberties, Communism, Constitutional Rights, Courts and Justice System, Drug War, Fraud, Law, Law Enforcement, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Local Politics, Police State, Politics, Socialism, Taxation on April 20, 2008 at 5:16 pm

By now we are all aware that the government can seize your car, your house, your money, etc if they believe the items were purchased with the proceeds of drug transactions. However, the practice of seizing property is actually far more common than that, and far, far more sinister.

Are you aware that the government can steal your house, even if you don’t owe a dime on it, and sell it for as little as one year of back taxes? On top of that they pile on additional extortion fees, and you’ll end up either paying the taxes and fees, or being homeless. They’ll sell it for a small percentage of what the property is worth, and there are predators who actually make a living by buying houses this way, only to resell them.

Are you aware that if you are caught driving a motor vehicle with an expired registration, the government can steal it and place it in an impound, where you will be forced to also pay a high towing fee plus a shocking amount for it to just sit there (usually between $25 and $50 per day) until you pay their extortion fee? Are you aware that if you don’t pay that extortion fee (which at that point includes the fee to the towing company for towing and storage, plus the registration, plus the taxes, plus whatever ticket you got for not having an up-to-date registration) within a short period of time, sometimes as little as 30 days, they will sell your vehicle and you will no longer have any rights to it?

There are predators who actually make a living buying cars that way for resell, too, not to mention the predatory towing companies in cahoots with the government, who make all that extra money for doing nothing (in some places, the government has its own impound lot, but in most, the impound is merely the towing company’s premises).

So, what gives the government the right to take something which doesn’t belong to them, and the right to sell it and give you back nothing no matter how much it was worth, even if you owned the property free and clear?

Only the laws the government has written for its own benefit give them that right, of course. Nothing else gives them that right. There certainly is no constitutional right for the government to steal your property, nor is there a natural right for the government to do such a heinous thing. Extortion, especially on that level, is illegal for everyone except the government.

You are actually far more likely to fall prey to this government extortion scheme if you don’t owe money on your property. Of course, the government knows whether you own it free and clear or not, since they have specifically written laws stating that any lien interest must be filed with them.

Those who fall prey to these schemes are not just those who protest taxes. Instead, most victims are simply good people who fell upon hard times, and many times those hard times are directly caused by government extortion which snowballs.

Let’s say you inherited a home from your parents, and you have a car which you worked and paid for yourself. The home is bought and paid for as well, so you own both your car and your house free and clear. Then let’s say that you work too far away to get there any way except by automobile. You didn’t get your registration paperwork in the mail (not at all unusual in my experience), so you simply forgot it was due. You get stopped by the police because your registration is expired, and they ticket you and impound your vehicle.

At that point, you don’t have the money to get the vehicle out – it will cost you the towing fee, plus daily storage fees, plus personal property taxes, plus registration – and you can’t even make that kind of money because you have lost your job for missing work. You also can’t pay the fine you were levied because you didn’t have an updated registration, so your license is suspended until you pay that, plus about $50 to the DMV to reinstate your license (which in reality requires only a mouse click on a computer).

The only job you can get to feed yourself and your family, and be able to get there and back since you no longer have a car or a license, pays minimum wage. There is no way you will be able to afford to get your vehicle back. So you tell yourself, “that’s okay, I’ve been in hard times before. I’ll eventually I’ll get back on my feet again, and pay the fine and get another car. We’ll scrape by.” In the meantime, the government sells your car right out from under you.

A friend has an old moped they no longer use, and they let you use it so you can get back and forth to a little bit better job. There is no license plate or anything on it, so you assume you don’t have to have that. It’s slower than a bicycle, after all. You are pulled over by the cops, and hit with multiple tickets. You are ticketed for not wearing a helmet, for not having a license plate on it, for not having insurance on it, for not registering it and paying taxes on it …. the list goes on. You are fined hundreds of dollars, even though the vehicle isn’t even yours, and they impound the moped, too. To make sure it gets back the maximum return, the towing company actually sends a tow truck to transport a moped. You also go to jail for driving on a suspended license, even though no one with more than one brain cell would assume you need a drivers’ license to drive a moped, given that they are not supposed to be ridden on main roads because they are so slow.

Once you pay your bail with the little bit of money you’ve saved up to try to get back on your feet, you’re back to zero again. Chances are you’ve lost your latest job because you missed a shift and didn’t call in (since you are in jail, after all).

You get a notice for property taxes, but you can’t pay it so you figure you’ll pay them when you pay everyone else. The government can’t take your house, you think, because it’s paid for and you own it free and clear.

You get another crappy job, and start riding a bicycle to and from work. You are stopped for not having a license on your bicycle, and for not wearing a helmet. More fines ensue, and they impound your bicycle.

You start walking back and forth to work, taking the only job you can find within walking distance, and everything seems okay until a cop shows up giving you legal documents saying your home has been sold for back taxes, and you have only a short period of time (usually 30 or 60 days) to “redeem” what is yours. What’s worse, it has been sold to a stranger for only the amount of the taxes.

Where do you get the money to buy your house back from the extortion agents? At that point your credit is destroyed, so you can’t borrow it.

In many cases, you don’t get the money. The government sells your house and you end up on the streets, with no choice but to depend upon the government to feed and shelter your children, since you lost the good job when your car was impounded, lost another job when the moped was seized and sold and you were arrested, lost your bicycle because it didn’t have tags on it, and eventually ended up having to take whatever crap job you can find where you can walk to and from work. By this time you owe the government thousands in fines, you’re working and supporting a family on minimum wage, and now – as if all that isn’t bad enough – you’re homeless.

The government wants it that way. The more people depend upon it for basic necessities, the more power it has over all of us. It is nothing but communism in action: the people own nothing, because the state has the power to take anything it wants without compensation.

There are many people, every single day, who have encountered these problems, thanks to the many government extortion programs. In fact, I know people who have had these specific problems, so I know for a fact that it can happen, and that it does happen all the time. The mainstream media doesn’t cover it, because to get many stories they must have the cooperation of the politicians who enacted and support these extortion programs. However, whether we see it on the news or not, it is so common that the only thing I find surprising about it, to be quite honest, is that to my knowledge no one has yet snapped and killed someone for stealing their home. You will notice that I said “yet”. It will eventually happen, of that I have no doubt. When it does, I certainly hope libertarians will stand up loud and clear in their defense. I know I will.

As libertarians, we spend a lot of time complaining about federal income taxes. That’s all well and good, but what we should be doing as well is working to stop this kind of rampant government extortion on the state, county, and local level, which destroys the lives of hardworking American families every single day.

If they want to charge taxes, fine; if the taxes get too high, eventually no one will live there, and they will have slit their own throats. However, we should never allow the government to steal property due to nonpayment of taxes, especially when those taxes are levied simply by virtue of owning the property in question. Extortion by force is always wrong, no matter who is doing it, and it must be stopped.

Root’s “brain trust” has a brain fart

In Congress, Economics, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Republican, Taxation, US Government, Wayne Allen Root on April 17, 2008 at 6:23 pm

Third Party Watch posted Wayne Allyn Root’s plan to end federal taxation.

It is tax day, April 15, 2008. What a perfect day to announce our proposal to dramatically reform the American tax system. During this campaign for our party’s nomination, several of my esteemed opponents have spoken in favor of imposing a 30% national sales tax on all goods and services- combined with a check paid to everyone in the country (in the form of an automatic annual tax rebate – whether you’ve earned income or paid taxes, or not). Our campaign has received hundreds of requests to comment on the “Fair Tax,” many of them proponents. But after studying the proposal, we conclude that the “Fair Tax” is a bad idea.

The so-called “Fair Tax” is not an advance for freedom; it is a prescription for tyranny and will relegate our descendents to being little more than welfare-dependent wards of the government.

Advocating a “Fair Tax” is bad for our party and bad for America, and we believe that having our party’s nominee advocate this would tarnish the Libertarian Party’s brand.

Our campaign offers a competing vision.

Imagine instead a country where businesses and individuals would no longer need to account to the government for their income. Imagine a country where we can be free from the Internal Revenue Service. Imagine in one instant eliminating individual federal income taxes, corporate federal income taxes, payroll taxes, death taxes, the marriage penalty, excise taxes, and even the dreaded AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) – all of it at once, gone forever.

No, this is not a dream. It can be a reality in a Root Administration.

Our campaign team’s economic brain trust has crafted an alternative approach that we believe will be attractive to America, consistent with our constitution and right in line with our libertarian ideals. Our plan completely rids America of federal income taxes and the I.R.S., while at the same time restoring power to the American people at the state and local level – just as our founding Fathers intended.

We propose eliminating the income tax and all other sources of federal tax revenues, including payroll taxes, excise taxes and import duties, and replacing it with only one tax: a tax on each state in proportion to its population, with each state deciding for itself how to raise its share of the money.

Not only would this eliminate taxes on income by the United States federal government, it would likely end taxation on income in virtually all states in this country. Most states calculate their own income taxes starting with the taxpayer’s calculation of Federal taxable income. It would be too costly for most states to enact their own income tax systems without being able to leverage the current system of W2s and 1099 filings.

To further reduce the likelihood of even some states imposing income taxes on their residents, if elected I will ask Congress to introduce legislation to update Public Law 86-272 to prohibit states from taxing the business activity of any person or enterprise engaging in interstate commerce, and define this broadly enough to include even the solicitation of customers in more than one state.

Our Founding Fathers understood the power of the purse as an instrument of tyranny. Today, because the U.S. Government taxes its citizens and then kicks back a portion of the money to the states (as it sees fit), the federal government exercises enormous unconstitutional power against the states through various federal mandates, ranging from No Child Left Behind to Real ID. Today’s regime of personal income taxation facilitates this mockery of our system of Federalism.

Our vision for dramatic change in U.S. tax policy is as simple as it is revolutionary in scope. With our plan there will be only 50 taxpayers in our country writing checks to the U.S. Treasury each year. With no other source of revenue to the U.S. Government, the balance of power would be forever dramatically reversed back to the states (just as our Founding Fathers envisioned).

Moreover, because these 50 states (and their taxpayers) will have a bias toward keeping tax dollars at home instead of sending them to Washington, they will have great incentive to mount enormous political pressure against Congress to reduce the size of government- thereby reducing both spending and taxes.

Some of the unnecessary and wasteful federal spending that would be first on the chopping block for this President (a perfect description for the son of a butcher) would be welfare, entitlements of all kinds including corporate welfare, dramatic cuts in foreign aid, a dramatic reduction in military bases across the globe, and dramatic cuts in wasteful pentagon spending. It’s high time to stop spending billions of our tax dollars to defend wealthy allies such as Japan, South Korea and Western Europe.

It’s time to de-fund and eliminate entire government departments and bureaucracies – starting with the Dept of Education (which is not authorized or mentioned in our constitution). The first step toward improving our education system (and saving our tax dollars) is to keep the money at the state and local level, giving less power to the federal government and teachers unions, and more power, freedom and choice to parents.

Under this plan, if Congress chose not to reign in out-of-control federal spending, it runs the risk that states could respond by withholding taxes from the federal government, which is the ultimate “check and balance.”

Power would be restored to the states, just as Thomas Jefferson envisioned when he authored the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson, arguably the most libertarian President in United States history, declared the primary responsibility of the American President was “to render ineffective and invisible the very government he is elected to lead.”

Jefferson and the Founding Fathers intended for taxes to be minimal and up to each state to decide. Jefferson said of taxes, “Government shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” Jefferson believed taxes were completely up to the discretion of individual states when he said, “The true theory of our constitution is that states are independent as to everything within themselves…” and even went so far as to recognize the right of states to nullify federal laws within their own borders, describing federal intrusion into state matters as “interference by a foreign government.”

Our founding father Thomas Jefferson would certainly approve of this plan to switch the power of taxation and spending decisions from the federal to the state level.

With this one sweeping change, devolving power from Washington to the states, tax and regulatory policy at the state level takes on greater importance. In this environment, competition amongst the states for business and residents would likely become fierce. States that impose high taxes or forms of taxation unpopular with their residents will be punished with losses in population. States that create an environment of low taxation and fair forms of taxation will be rewarded with population gains. Taxpayers will be better able to monitor how their money is spent up close and personal at the state and local level. A major shift of all taxation (and most spending) from the distant and draconian federal level to the state level can only be positive for the American taxpayer.

We believe this arrangement is exactly what our Founding Fathers intended – more power at the state and local level, less power at the federal level, and taxation determined by each individual state. This plan respects our Constitution, expands your personal freedom, restores power to the American people (and taxpayers), and increases the money you keep in your wallet. Please join us in this campaign to restore Federalism, returning power from Washington back to the states and to the people.

Root seems to be merely saying what he thinks libertarians want to hear, and not really thinking this through. He also uses a lot of words to say very little. Most of what he wrote seems intended to talk us into agreeing with him, as if we’re not smart enough to see right through his plan for what it really is.

Many of those posting comments on Third Party Watch pointed out that Root is still learning, and I think that’s wonderful. We should always encourage those who are interested in libertarianism to learn more about it. However, do we want someone who is still learning about libertarianism to represent the Libertarian Party as its presidential candidate? I should think not, especially when their background tells us that they are not a libertarian by nature.

Will his tax plan work? Of course not, especially since many states already tax income and he wants to take that ability away from them, while also placing a huge financial burden upon them. Congress represents the interests of the states, after all. No way will Congress ever go for that idea … unless of course they realize that they can make much, much more money by grossly overtaxing the citizens, and blaming it on the federal government.

The states will not be put off by the necessity of enacting a financial reporting plan similar to that of the W-2, as Root believes. They would just make laws requiring their own forms, and copy the federal forms. They could even just copy the federal laws, and change the specifics, and set up the computer program necessary to keep track of the information. If Root thinks they won’t do that, he has no business running for President, because it is proof that he has no clue how the real world works. Government does only one thing very, very efficiently, and that’s picking the pockets of its citizens.

His plan is setting up the American people for taxation at a rate which could only be described as financial rape. He may be getting rid of the IRS, but he is not really getting rid of income tax, because what states lack in income tax, they more than make up for in other taxes. Taxpayers are going to get hit for a predetermined amount, and it doesn’t matter what the government calls it, it’s still picking our pockets. In reality, his plan will make overall tax rates far worse than they already are.

His plan is not only poorly thought out, it’s dangerous to the American people. In states with a high number of financially disadvantaged citizens, it could prove catastrophic. If the states are required to pay the federal government based upon population, the taxpaying members of society will end up paying far more to the states than they pay now to the federal government, in order to make up for the indigent population. As a result, many working-class families will be taxed into poverty by the states.

I could go on and on, but in short, his “brain trust” had a brain fart. This is not the first time that’s happened. The last time Root put out an issue release, he wanted to bring the entire federal government to an abrupt halt by refusing to fund any federal agencies. He obviously has not thought that through, either. While some libertarians will applaud ideas such as Root’s, the more pragmatic among us will recognize that Root’s ideas are unrealistic. It took over two hundred years for the government to get the way it is today, and that cannot be undone overnight, by Root or anyone else.

Libertarians need to look beyond the facade which is Wayne Allyn Root. This is all part of a much bigger plan for him, which does not involve the Libertarian Party. He is doing exactly what Ron Paul did: getting a name for himself and some support by running for President as a Libertarian, then jumping back to the Republican Party so he can get a seat in Congress, and possibly run at a later date for President as a Republican. Libertarians are nothing but a stepping stone for this man.

Why he thinks no one will see through that is beyond me, except that he apparently believes libertarians are stupid.