Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘Personal Responsibility’

Bear with us: another proposed petition about the bailout

In Libertarian on September 25, 2008 at 12:08 pm

This is a proposed petition. You can suggest draft changes at Brad Spangler’s blog.

To President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin of the Russian Federation,

Thank you for the opportunity to address you in this petition.

The Russian News and Information Agency (RIA Novosti) recently published an opinion article written by British historian and political analyst John Laughland. Laughland suggested that the Russian government consider making the rouble convertible into gold. The article can be found here:

http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20080924/117072937.html

We ask that you please consider Laughland’s proposal.

All factions of the political leadership of the United States government appear determined to wreck the value of the U.S. dollar. We are not optimistic that U.S. political leaders will adopt a wise monetary policy. Not only is this bad for the people of the United States, but because the U.S. dollar is so widely used it is bad for the people of the world.

We believe the Russian government has an opportunity to provide stability for the world economy during this time of crisis created by the U.S. government. We believe potential Russian adoption of a gold standard supports such efforts.

We ask this also on behalf of our own selves and all Americans who truly wish to prosper. You will recall, gentlemen, that the U.S. dollar once served as a stable currency for the informal economy in the Soviet Union. You may recall that this so-called “black market” did perhaps more to make life bearable for the ordinary Russian than the official economy did. We ask that the Russian government now return the favor by adopting a gold standard, creating a currency that can undisputably be trusted within the U.S. informal economy that must grow as the emerging U.S. police state grows in power.

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Tell Congress: Just Say No to Donkey Punch Bailout Plan!

In Activism, Congress, Corruption, Economics, Fraud, George Phillies, Libertarian, US Government on September 25, 2008 at 11:46 am

Petition from the desk of George Phillies, but don’t blame him for the headline

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/nobailouts/

petition urging Congress to reject the bailout

Let’s send Congress and the press the message. The text of the petition:

Respecting that many people have worked very hard to get a Congressional majority for their party, ‘we will vote against you’ covers the 2010 primaries as well as the general election.

Congress: Reject Paulson’s Bailout!

We call upon Congress to reject bank bailouts. We urge every Senator and Representative to vote against the plan. We urge every Senator to filibuster any bank bailout bill.

Congressmen: We mean it! If you vote for the bailout, we will vote against you, this Fall or in your next primary.

To pay for Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’ plans, Uncle Sam will borrow trillions of dollars. That’s trillions of dollars out of our pockets and into the pockets of Paulson’s cronies. Congress should reject the Paulson plan and leave our money in our pockets.

Paulson’s plan will bankrupt the American taxpayer so Paulson’s banker friends can avoid suffering. Paulson wants to save his banker buddies by throwing our money at them. Instead of throwing money at bankers, Congress should throw the Paulson plan–and Paulson himself–into the wastebasket of history.

Americans believe in personal responsibility. If your neighbor borrows more money than he can repay, the penalty should fall on him, not on prudent working men and women like us who chose to live within their means. That goes for our neighbors, and it goes double for bankers and financiers, who are supposed to know how to invest money.

Congressional regulations make sure: When you sign a mortgage, the numbers you will pay were right in front of you. The Paulson plan to buy up mortgages rewards irresponsible people at the expense of the people who believed in the American way of thrift and frugality.

The Federal government should not stop banks from failing. That’s selective Federal intervention to aid the incompetent. That is just plain backwards. Congress should insist: If a bank wants to turn its assets over to Uncle Sam and go out of business, it should turn over absolutely all its assets, not just its bad assets. That includes funds reserved for executive buy-outs.

Congress should make sure: Foreign banks should get nothing from Uncle Sam. If foreign banks are unhappy with their investments, they should ask foreign taxpayers to pay them off. American working men and women should not pay through the nose because foreign bankers are too lazy to check out their investments and too incompetent to tell their investments cannot possibly be good.

Paulson proposes that his decisions should not be subject to review by the courts. Who does he think he is, King George III against whom George Washington revolted? Paulson would give himself powers that the King of England lacked. Americans would have no protections from Paulson’s bad judgement, no matter how grievous their injuries. That’s unconstitutional and immoral.

Congress should ask itself: Should we trust Paulson’s judgement? The record is clear: Paulson and Fed Reserve Bank Chair Bernanke got us into our mess. Paulson was completely wrong then, and there’s no reason to suspect he’s gotten smarter since. Congress has trusted Paulson for far too long. It should stop doing so.

Having said that, in these economically disorderly times some Americans through no fault of their own are momentarily unable to keep current on their mortgages. A program of modest loans with paybacks that could be re-scheduled, covering part of mortgage expenses for a limited time, would be far cheaper than the Paulson plan. To protect the taxpayer, such loans should not be voided by bankruptcy.

Most urgent private message

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

H/T Delaware Libertarian

Dear American:

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

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

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

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

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

Yours Faithfully

Henry “Hank” Paulson

Minister of Treasury

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!

Starchild instrumental in putting prostitution decriminalization on the ballot

In Activism, Big Brother, Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Courts and Justice System, Crime, Economics, Entertainment, First Amendment, Law, Law Enforcement, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Local Politics, Nanny State, People in the news, Personal Responsibility, Police State, Politics on July 19, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Press release posted on the LP Radicals yahoo group. Starchild has had various offices in the San Francisco and California LP, and is one of the spokespeople for this initiative.

The San Francisco Department of Elections announced today that the measure prohibiting city officials from spending money arresting and prosecuting people for prostitution, and mandating equal legal protection for sex workers, has qualified for the November ballot. Of 500 signatures randomly sampled and checked by department personnel, 80 percent were found to be valid. “This is a happy day for San Franciscans who want government to focus on fighting real crimes like homicides and robberies, and are tired of seeing resources wasted in a futile effort to police consensual sex between adults,” said Starchild, a sex worker activist and spokesperson for the campaign. “We’ve cleared the first hurdle.” By the Elections Department’s tally, supporters had turned in 12,745 signatures of registered San Francisco voters on July 7.

The campaign to decriminalize prostitution will hold a kickoff rally and press conference to formally announce the results on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. in front of the Polk Street entrance of City Hall, with
speakers to likely include Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, who was a signer of the petition to put the measure on the ballot along with two of his board colleagues. “It is way past time that the
recommendations of the Board of Supervisors 1996 Prostitution Task Force were implemented,” said the measure’s proponent, Maxine Doogan. “Criminalizing sex workers has been putting workers at risk of violence and discrimination for far too long.”

The prostitution reform measure joins two other voter-submitted measures on the local Nov. 4 ballot, along with eight measures put on the ballot by the mayor or members of the Board of Supervisors, with many others expected to be added in the next several weeks.

Starchild – (415) 621-7932 / (415) 368-8657 / RealReform@…
Maxine Doogan – (415) 265-3302 / MistressMax@…

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 »

WALL-E World

In Media, Personal Responsibility on July 17, 2008 at 2:23 pm

I was happy to see an article, in the Washington Times of all places, arguing that conservative and libertarian critics of the new Pixar film “WALL-E” are missing the point. If you just watched an ad for the movie, or just read a blurb about it, you might expect to be hit over the head with an unsubtle environmentalist message, or a diatribe about overconsumption. But that’s not what I took away from “WALL-E” — which is, by the way, the darkest but also most hauntingly beautiful of the Pixar films so far.

While the film does make it clear that we produce too much trash and buy too much junk, it is less about that than about finding connections in an age of technology. As Scott Galupo writes in the Times, in the “WALL-E” future’s “desensitized dystopia, people have literally lost touch with one another and themselves.” Back on earth, robot WALL-E himself is totally alone save for an inquisitive cockroach, pining for any sort of companionship.

Galupo says Pixar has long been “a bastion of a certain species of conservatism. It’s not partisan or even political,” but “the realization that the present and the future may not be better than the past.” In addition, “that outsize institutions — whether overweening nanny states like that of Pixar’s brilliant 2004 feature ‘The Incredibles’ or a multinational corporation” as in “WALL-E” are “no good for individual freedom is a cardinal belief of modern conservatism’s small-is-beautiful entrepreneurial wing.” And it is not only the place of the left “to worry about the numbing effects of accumulating too much stuff and automating every imaginable mundane task and movement.”

More than anything else, “WALL-E” reminded me of the importance of moderation in all things — a lesson I often forget in my own life. There’s nothing wrong with stuff. There is a lot wrong with too much stuff. In the Los Angeles Times, Charlotte Allen of the Manhattan Institute says the film “isn’t denigrating consumerism but passive dependency,” and expresses “confidence in the West and its capacity for rejuvenation” that “dovetails with the film’s other message — a belief in free will.”

Unintended Financial Consequences

In Personal Responsibility, War on July 17, 2008 at 1:49 pm

Earlier today I was blogging about the Securities and Exchange Commission’s latest malarkey for investors. You can no longer sell a “naked” short of the top 18 banks in the country. Why not?

Obviously selling short stock you don’t yet own, and which you would ordinarily be able to “cover” with stock you buy later is an excellent way to put more information into the market for stocks. The more informative the markets, the better for everyone. Many larger banks try to control, through corrupt relationships with brokerage houses, who has access to their actual shares in large quantities, so if you can’t naked short their stock, you may not be able to short it at all.

Now, just as obviously, there is nothing inherently wrong with naked short selling of financial institution stocks. After all, the SEC has made no move to reduce the access of investors to naked short selling of small banks or mid-sized banks. Only the largest banks. And why those banks? Could it possibly be that the very same banks are the major owners of the Federal Reserve banks, the Woodrow Wilson era scheme to distort every financial transaction by changing the meaning of “dollar” in every contract? You bet.

Don’t like it? You aren’t meant to like it. You aren’t meant to have the same opportunity that others in the economy have. You are supposed to pour your wallet into your gas tank, go to work to make the payments on your car, home, and credit cards, and, if you planned a bit, pray that the gold and silver you own becomes worth enough to keep you from going under. But the money masters and the banking gangsters and the scammers in government don’t actually care if you don’t like it.

Phil Gramm, formerly the senator from Texas, who has made plenty of money for himself by selling his soul to the corporate lobbyists while he was in the Senate and by selling his influence after, says that people complaining of hardship in the present economy are whiners. So, stop whining, and go sit in the corner. He will, he’ll give you a “time out” if you don’t pretend to enjoy life. After all, he’s got his. He screwed you and the other taxpayers to the wall over and over again with a power drill, so he got his. His fortunes are assured. Now stop whining about how much the choices he took while in government have impoverished you.

But, this essay isn’t really about you. If you want change, you know where to go. You know how to tell if a candidate is for smaller government on all the issues – they’ll be endorsed by the Boston Tea Party, pretty soon.

This essay is about the economic consequences of distorting the market by removing information. Make no mistake, the unintended financial consequences of bailing out the major banks, bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saving the depositors of IndyMac, providing enormous liquidity to investment banks, ramping up even M1 money supply, even turning off the lights on the liquidity measure L and the M3 money supply figure so no one can know enough about monetary inflation to make sense of economic choices is distorting the market. These distortions are nothing new, but the fact that they have been present in the market for a very long time is also nothing good.

Read the rest of this entry »

Barr Slams Freddie/Fannie Bailout

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Media, Personal Responsibility on July 16, 2008 at 7:26 pm

On this score, Barr is taking a broadly libertarian approach to the issue and differentiating the Libertarians from the Democrats and Republicans on a key policy issue.

Barr’s statement to FOX on this issue can be viewed here.

Foreclosures of the Rich and Famous

In Personal Responsibility on July 8, 2008 at 5:45 pm

From Amateur Economists:

The bursting of the housing bubble has not only hurt middle-class and semi-affluent Americans (who thought they were more affluent than they were!), but also the rich and famous. Everyone has heard about Ed McMahon’s troubles – his wife sharing how she’s been so degraded that she now shops at (gasp!) Target of all places – but he’s not the only one.

The article highlights the troubles of Latrell Sprewell, Evander Holyfield, Jose Canseco, Michael Jackson, and Aretha Franklin, before concluding with:

The housing bubble and its subsequent burst were caused by the Federal Reserve’s fiat-money central banking. On the one hand, people such as McMahon, Sprewell, and Franklin should be held responsible for the bad financial decisions they’ve made — just as the heads of all of the middle- and lower-income families have been. But on the other hand, whether it’s Michael Jackson or my parents (who lost their home of nearly 30 years), it must be recognized that the Federal Reserve System obfuscates and sends false signals to market participants. When politicians talk about “helping” the people under the distress of a housing market turned upside down, they cannot be taken seriously unless they first recognize the entity that causes booms and busts: The Federal Reserve.

Read the full article here.

Barr vs. Paul On The Issues: Barr Comes Out Ahead

In Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Personal Responsibility, Politics on June 16, 2008 at 4:29 am

After reading a great hue and cry about my comments supporting our Party’s ticket in 2008, many people compared Bob Barr unfavorably to other Libertarians (as well as Ron Paul) on a whole host of issues, including DOMA and immigration.  So let’s look at the individual candidates and see who is closer, today, to the Libertarian Party platform on two issues often invoked by self-described “principled purists” when attacking the Libertarian nominee.

Immigration

The LP platform says that “Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders.”  Where do Bob Barr and Ron Paul stand on this?

Barr says that “we must be aggressive in securing our borders while at the same time, vigilantly fighting the nanny state that seeks to coddle even those capable of providing for their own personal prosperity.”  He proposes an approach identical to the LP platform — maintaining control over the borders to allow peaceful people in, while denying entry to criminals.

Ron Paul, in contrast, favors the imposition of visas, including demanding that federal bureaucrats “track visa holders and deport anyone who overstays their visa.”  He also complains that open borders will “allow up to 60 million more immigrants into our country, according to the [arch-conservative] Heritage Foundation.  This is insanity.”  He advocates an end to citizenship by birth, a concept of American law since the beginning of the Republic.  He also ran one of the most anti-immigrant television advertisements in the Republican primary.

Most Libertarian candidate of the two on immigration: Bob Barr.

The Defense of Marriage Act, Marriage Equality, and Sexual Freedom

Bob Barr co-sponsored and authored the Defense of Marriage Act.  Ron Paul supports DOMA and declares that he would vote for it in its entirety.

The Libertarian Party platform says that “Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the rights of individuals by government, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships.”

Barr has advocated a repeal of the DOMA provisions that force the federal government not to recognize same-sex marriages performed by states that do recognize them.  In his nomination speech at the Libertarian National Convention, he declared that “The Defense of Marriage Act, insofar as it provided the federal government a club to club down the rights of law abiding citizens has been abused, misused and should be repealed. And I will work to repeal that.”  This position moves the federal stance on this issue significantly closer to the Libertarian Party platform.

Ron Paul, in contrast, has declared that “I would have voted for the Defense of Marriage Act… to ensure that no state would be forced to recognize a ‘same sex’ marriage license.”  That’s directly opposed to the Libertarian Platform.

On the California same-sex marriage ruling, Barr released a press release applauding the California Supreme Court’s ruling, stating that “The decision in California is an illustration of how this principle of states’ powers should work.”

In contrast, Ron Paul has declared his undying opposition to same-sex marriage in his own state (in opposition to the LP platform), stating that “If I were a member of the Texas legislature, I would do all I could to oppose any attempt by rogue judges to impose a new definition of marriage,” effectively nullifying the equal protection clauses of the state and federal constitutions.

Worse still, Paul strongly supports state governments as sex police, declaring on the floor of the House that “the State of Texas has the right to decide for itself how to regulate social matters like sex, using its own local standards” — a position that no serious libertarian could possibly take.

Most Libertarian candidate of the two on these issues: Bob Barr.  By far.

Now, you may be wondering why I am focusing on these two issues.  It’s mostly because so many purists for Paul have attacked the LP (and Barr) on the basis of his positions on immigration and DOMA, while ignoring their own preferred candidate’s positions.

Many have lectured me, declaring that “conservatism isn’t libertarianism” and other 50 cent cliches, while ignoring the fact that their own ideal candidate is more conservative on these issues — to the point of citing conservative groups like Heritage on hot-button social issues.

I could continue comparing the records of the two candidates in this regard on many more issues, and on most of them, Barr will not come out waving the white flag based on the Libertarian Party platform.

In short, if you’re proposing that Ron Paul is the antidote to conservatism as represented by Bob Barr, you need a remedial course in the positions of the two candidates.  It’s time for Ron Paul partisans to drop their “revolution” pipe dream and take an honest look at the Libertarian Party’s candidate and positions — while also honestly acknowledging their own tone-deafness on many areas of personal liberty crucial not only to American libertarians, but all American citizens.

Electing Libertarians

In Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Media, Personal Responsibility, Politics on June 6, 2008 at 6:20 am

A few years ago I came up with a consulting firm dedicated to help Libertarian candidates win elections. This year I really wanted to be on a presidential candidate’s team but due to who we nominated, I am in the process of reviving Liberty Consulting. However, I will continue to help Illinois Libertarians with our ballot access drive to put the Barr/Root presidential ticket and our US Senate candidate Larry Stafford on the ballot. The extent of my participation with the Barr/Root campaign will be limited to just voting for them.

First we need compile a list of Libertarians who are running for elected offices. I have already committed to helping Tom Knapp’s congressional campaign in any aspect that I can. I may volunteer for one other campaign during this election cycle. My consulting firm will not be a one-man show. I need some dedicated, practical, well-spoken, experienced Libertarians to help me with this venture. I need a fund raiser, a public relations representative, an opposition researcher, and a webmaster. But first I need a candidate willing to let us help with their campaign. I would like to form a team by July 15th. Anyone who is interested drop me an e-mail at chrisbennett2008@yahoo.com

Safety Alert from National Propane Gas Association

In Health, Media, Personal Responsibility, Science on May 23, 2008 at 4:59 pm

SAFETY ALERT

Anh Cylinder 3 - tankINTRODUCTION: Readers of this bulletin should consult the law of their individual jurisdictions for codes, standards and legal requirements applicable to them. This bulletin merely suggests methods which the reader may find useful in implementing applicable codes, standards and legal requirements. This material is not intended nor should it be construed (1) to set forth procedures which are the general custom or practice in the propane industry; (2) to establish the legal standards of care owed by propane distributors to their customers; or (3) to prevent the reader from using different methods to implement applicable codes, standards or legal requirements. The National Propane Gas Association assumes no liability for reliance on the contents of this bulletin. It is offered as a guide only to assist expert and experienced teachers and managers in training in service personnel in their organizations.

Caution!

The brass valve in a propane cylinder will be damaged if it comes in contact with anhydrous ammonia. This deterioration will lead to cracking of the valve body or its components and can ultimately result in a violent, unexpected expulsion of the valve from the cylinder, causing personal injury or death.

Background and Recommended Action

It has come to the attention of the National Propane Gas Association that propane cylinders are being used in the manufacturing of Methamphetamines. This drug is commonly referred to as ‘crank’. Manufacturers of this illegal substance are using propane cylinders for the storage and the use of anhydrous ammonia. These cylinders have been found in many states at cylinder exchange and refilling locations as well as in hotel rooms and mobile laboratories, where the manufacturing of this illegal substance takes place.

Anh Cylinder 1 - valveAs observed in the illustrations, a blue-green stain on any brass portion of a service valve is evidence that it may have been in contact with anhydrous ammonia*. The pungent odor of ammonia on or near the cylinder is also an indication. If you suspect that a propane cylinder contains or has contained anhydrous ammonia, exercise extreme caution and restrict access to the area.

It can be dangerous to move the cylinder due to the unknown integrity of the cylinder’s service valve. If you determine that it must be moved, keep in mind that hazards due to valve expulsion can be reduced by pointing the end of the container in which the valve is placed away from yourself and others and towards the most safe direction.

Anh Cylinder 2 - valve & tankImmediately contact your Fire Department, Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Unit or the nearest office of the United States Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for information on properly disposing of the cylinder. If these respondents are not sure what to do, for assistance call 1-800-728-2482, which is the contact number for PERS, an independent hazardous materials information resource.

*Note: Sherwood valves contain a green coated valve stem. Additionally, a green thread sealing compound is used on some valves. These valves should not be confused with those that have been exposed to anhydrous ammonia.

Attempting To Kick A Bad Habit

In Health, Personal Responsibility on May 23, 2008 at 3:13 pm

I have so much respect for anyone who can quit smoking or quit whatever it is you may be addicted to. I use to smoke and I was given some advice. If you want to quit smoking, start chewing tobacco (or “snuff” in my case) and you can get off that very easily. Well 10 years later, instead of a pack a day smoker, I’m now a can a day “dipper”.

I’ve tried to quit a few times cold turkey but that didn’t last very long. My wife has always been pretty supportive of me and wants me to quit, but she understands how tough it is. Anyways, this week I decided to quit again, this time with a different method. I bought some “Hooch Herbal Snuff” online because someone told me it helped him kick the habit. I was a bit skeptical because I’ve tried “mint snuff” before and it tasted like ass. But, anything is worth a shot.

The 12 cans I ordered arrived yesterday. I tried it out and let me say this, this stuff tastes like the same tobacco I chew. Thats great actually, tricking the mind is half the battle. It has a bit of cayenne pepper as well, so it gives it a bit of a kick. You can even work up a good spit with this stuff!

Anyways, my plan is to alternate between the real stuff and fake stuff for awhile and slowly ween myself off. The only problem is, the guy who recommended this to me has been hooked on the fake stuff for like 3 years now. Guess the oral addiction is hard to break as well. But if I end up only chewing this fake stuff for 10 years, hell, I’d be willing to do that if it means extending the time I get to spend with my wife in the years to come.

I’m a bit jittery, but I think I can do this. Much respect to anyone who has kicked a bad habit, it’s not easy at all.

Dirty cop convicted in no-knock warrant death of 92-year-old woman

In Constitutional Rights, Cops Gone Wild, Corruption, Courts and Justice System, Crime, Drug War, Human Rights Abuses, Law, Law Enforcement, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Media, Obituaries, People in the news, Personal Responsibility, Police Brutality, Police State on May 21, 2008 at 4:37 pm

After two Atlanta cops (Gregg Junnier and Jason R. Smith) pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter and federal civil rights violations in the death of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston, a third cop (Arthur Bruce Tesler) has been found guilty by a jury of lying in the investigation into the woman’s death. Tesler did not fire any of the shots in the raid.

Tesler and his partners Junnier and Smith had gotten a no-knock warrant, claiming that there was a kilo of cocaine in the house, but they lied about whether they had confirmed the information from their informant. Consequently they busted into the elderly woman’s home in plainclothes, shot and killed her when she shot at them – undoubtedly in self-defense, believing them to be intruders – then planted drugs in her house to make it look like a “good” bust.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The jury acquitted Tesler on two charges from the illegal 2006 narcotics raid in which officers shot and killed Kathryn Johnston in her northwest Atlanta home. It found him guilty of lying in an official investigation in the cover-up of police wrongdoing that followed the shooting.

“It is not like anyone intended to hurt her, but that’s what came out of it,” Woltz said. “Right will win out.”

Tesler, 42, faces up to five years in prison when sentenced Thursday. If he had been convicted on all counts, he could have been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The verdict came shortly after the jury reviewed a transcript of Tesler’s defense testimony. He and his two partners were accused of lying to get the no-knock search warrant for Johnston’s home on the mistaken belief it was the house of a drug dealer.

The Johnston killing shocked metro Atlanta and enraged many in the African-American community, who complained that shoddy or heavy-handed police work in the war on drugs was a source of repeated abuses.

You can read the article in its entirety on The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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.

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.

LFV Exclusive…….

In Constitutional Rights, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Personal Responsibility, Politics, War on May 2, 2008 at 2:39 pm

First of all, it’s great to be back at the “new and improved” Last Free Voice. I like what Elfnino’s Mom is doing to the site and hopefully she’ll let me stay here as long as she can stand me. Face it, she did endorse me but due to financial reasons I had to terminate my campaign. Maybe I’ll try again in eight years!

Now that I am no longer a candidate for office and will be graduating next Saturday (party at my house, B.Y.O.Beer, if you’re in the area, you’re invited), I’ll just give you my opinion on all the serious candidates (yeah I’m excluding those like Milnes, Burns, Hollist, Imper-wacko, Link and other not-so-serious candidates).

Now who can I ridicule, I mean, talk about first. Let’s talk about Christine Smith. I think she’s crazy personally. I contacted her early in her campaign and she seemed like a nice person until she stopped calling or e-mailing me. Then again she doesn’t return e-mails to anyone. Steve Gordon has tried to get an interview with her for TPW. I think Tom Knapp has tried for Rational Review. Even her supporters can’t get a hold of her. What a way to blow off your base support by ignoring them. Great campaign strategy! She may have enough support to make to the debate in Denver. Out of all the candidates who would have an easy time to get to Denver, it’s her, even though she failed to make it to her own state party’s convention. Good luck Christine, run for Congress next time. Besides, I think she’s threatened by Mary Ruwart’s celebrity status.

Next is Mike Gravel. I’m glad to see a former Senator in our party even though he’s been out of office for 25+ years. He brings to the party a lot of passion. He’s not going to be our Presidential candidate. He’s supports the “fraud tax” and universal health care but he’s anti-war, anti- drug war and anti-Income Tax. He needs some grooming in our party.

Next is George Phillies. I like George, he’s a nice guy, not Presidential. He should be running for an at large spot on the LNC. George and I worked on Russo’s and Badnarik’s campaigns back in 2004. I have to say this much: George’s campaign is better organized than the others and I’m impressed. Now the big problem I have with George is that it seems like he has no respect for pro-life Libertarians and that he favors the continuation of the Federal Reserve and the Inflation Tax. Run for LNC in 2010, I will vote for YOU!

Next is Mike Jingozian. Mike is a nice guy, I spoke with at length in Kansas City. Very smart business man; a man with a plan! Unfortunately, Mike, you would be a great Gubernatorial candidate in Oregon. I can’t say much about Mr. Jingozian but I think his time is not now, maybe 2012.

Next is Bob Barr. Bob would be my third choice right now. There’s a huge problem why Bob Barr isn’t higher. He supports the “fraud tax” and he doesn’t fully agree with decriminalization of drugs. Bob, just answer the questions, we Libertarians have been trying to get you to answer since your grand announcement. Please re-clarify your stance on these issues or DON’T RUN FOR PRESIDENT!

Next is the oh so arrogant Wayne Allyn Root. I dislike him; he’s like a used car salesman selling a lemon. He’s just another conservative trying to hijack the LP. A Root nomination will effectively destroy the LP. Mr. Root can not see that the LP is NOT a wing of the “Torture” party. Libertarians aren’t conservatives and if you can’t see that, just leave the party-wait I’ll help you pack your bags.

Next is Steve Kubby. Before I jumped into the VP race, I supported Kubby. Kubby would be my second choice right now but I hope he doesn’t let his ego get the best of him and run for VP. Besides Tom Knapp would kick my ass if I didn’t say something nice about Kubby.

Finally, there is Mary Ruwart. I’m endorsing Mary because she’s the best candidate for the party. She will bring members into the party that will last. She’s the type of candidate that would be able to bring in the younger people, more women and possibly minorities into our homogeneous party. She’s not loud nor shy. She’s angry but soft-spoken. She’s articulate and principled. It’s just too bad I won’t be able to make it to Denver to cast me vote for her. I’ll be glued to C-Span all weekend though watching our convention but it’s not the same. At least if Mary is our nominee we will have our party intact and to me that’s what’s important.

Old Buck feared Ed Brown would murder Elaine

In Courts and Justice System, Crime, Law, Law Enforcement, People in the news, Personal Responsibility, Taxation, US Government on April 3, 2008 at 1:10 am

As previously stated on this blog, the trial of the Ed and Elaine Brown supporters – Cirino “Reno” Gonzalez, Robert Wolffe, and Jason Gerhard – is being covered by a friend of mine, JJ MacNab, who is actually at the trial. I’ve been watching the comments on her trial blog, Bombs, Taxes, and Red Crayons, and it’s quite Illuminati illuminating.

What follows is the conversation in question. Jim Hobbs is “Old Buck”, who stayed at the Brown home in his RV for months. Bob “woffle” (Wolffe) is one of the men currently on trial. “Admin” is JJ.

ADMIN: You ever hear Ed’s plan to kill Elaine and blame the evil feds, Old Buck?

BUCK: Not quite like that but yes I feared he may do such a thing as kill elaine and I told the marshals that the night I left.

BUCK: I also told Bob woffle in an email I had that concern.

ADMIN: Can you describe what you heard of Ed’s plan in an email, if you don’t mind. I have four different versions now and there are odd discrepancies with what we’re seeing in trial (the bunker set up, for example.)

BUCK: No I will not as there is nothing to that whole story as it was all smoke and mirrors. while I did not agree with alot of what ed said and did, I believe the tax laws are being misapplied and ed and elaine were railroad. These men are being charged because the marshals were made to look like fool for 9mts. Its shameful how our stystem works.

ADMIN: If there’s nothing to the story, why did you call the Marshals and warn Wolffe?

BUCK: I called and left a message with the marshals telling them of my concern also warned woffle about ed and my concerns for elaines saftey. ed and I had been going round and round for a few days and I was very concerned . The bunker and tunnels wer the made up part. the hit list is ed bullshit.

BUCK: I came to believe ed got himself in so deep the only out he saw was sucide by cop. I sincerly believed that and Bob wolfe agreed 100%. The problem was what the hell could I do about it. so I got out.

So, according to someone who was undeniably very close to Ed Brown and Elaine Brown, and actually lived on the Browns’ property for a prolonged period of time during the standoff, Ed was possibly planning to murder Elaine; and this supporter was concerned enough for Elaine’s life at Ed’s hands that he actually broke away, and alerted the US Marshals that she was in danger.

WOW.

I wonder if Elaine, or her children, realized that she was in far more danger from Ed, than from the government?

Would Ed have murdered Elaine? I have to take Buck’s words and actions for that, and say yes. I honestly do not believe that this man, who stood by Ed and Elaine’s side for so long, staying on the property to protect them, would ever have gone out of his way to call the Marshals and give them that information, unless he absolutely believed that Elaine was in serious danger of being murdered by Ed. It’s a good thing the Marshals came in when they did. They may actually have saved Elaine’s life. Old Buck may have saved Elaine’s life, by alerting the Marshals.

In another update, Ed and Elaine have taken the Fifth Amendment, refusing to testify on behalf of the men who are on trial for trying to protect them. They’ve hung these men out to dry.

While this may come as a surprise to some, it’s not a surprise to me. As previously stated on LFV, I have never trusted Ed Brown. Too bad his supporters didn’t listen to me. If they had, they’d be at home with their families right now, instead of on trial and looking at spending decades in prison.

The moral of the story: It does no good to protect someone based upon principle, when you are protecting someone who is completely unprincipled.

Angry ex-boyfriend, or casualty of war?

In Courts and Justice System, Crime, Law, Military, Obituaries, Personal Responsibility, US Government, War on April 2, 2008 at 2:05 am

Acevedo After returning from his third tour of duty in Iraq in three years, Lance Cpl. Eric Acevedo just wasn’t the same, his relatives said.The previously athletic teen, who had enlisted in the Marines just after graduating from high school a few months after the war began in 2003, suffered from nightmares, fought with his girlfriend and gained weight. The 22-year-old, whose breaks between deployments were less than a year, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, said his father, Andres Acevedo.

Early Saturday morning, 13 months after returning from his last tour, he went to his ex-girlfriend’s townhouse, broke through a ground-floor window and stabbed her repeatedly with a kitchen knife, police said. A blood-covered Acevedo then paced in the parking lot as officers rushed to the tan wood-and-brick townhouse complex and arrested him, neighbors said.

Eric Acevedo, 22, is charged with capital murder, which carries the death penalty, and remained jailed Wednesday on $1 million bond. Acevedo’s court-appointed attorney, Lex Johnston, said he had not spent much time talking to his client.

“I gave him to the government nice and healthy, and the government returned somebody who is capable of doing something like that,” Andres Acevedo told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

______________________

Read the rest of this article here.