Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

Bob Barr recants position on Wiccans in the military

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

From Nate Uncensored (excerpt):

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

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that allowing gays to serve doesn’t really cause any problems with unit cohesion and good order, he thinks it should be repealed and they should be allowed to serve openly.

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Another viewpoint on FLDS case

In Activism, Big Brother, Children, Constitutional Rights, Courts and Justice System, Crime, First Amendment, Fraud, Human Rights Abuses, Law, Law Enforcement, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Media, Nanny State, People in the news, Police State on April 22, 2008 at 7:04 pm

Polygamists outside courtThe judge hearing the case of 400+ children removed from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), Judge Barbara Walther, has ordered DNA tests of the children from the Yearning For Zion (YFZ) compound. The tests began yesterday via cheek swab, and it is taking an extraordinarily long time to do each one (about 30 minutes) due to the convoluted relationships between the adherents, which brings with it fear of contamination of the samples. Many polygamist children living in a sect of this type have no idea which woman is their biological mother, or which man is their biological father. Prosecutors have also requested psychiatric examinations of the children, while the attorneys for the children objected vehemently to both.

In polygamist relationships, the women assigned to a particular man refer to one another as “sister wives”, and they are all viewed as mothers to all of their husband’s children. There is a pecking order among the wives, though, with each subsequent wife bearing less power within the overall relationship. Furthermore, women and children can be taken from the fathers, and “reassigned” to another man. For this reason, it is not at all unusual for a child to not know the identity of their biological parents.

However, there is reason to fear that the DNA tests will be used for other purposes. For example, if it is proven that a child was born to an underage mother, or that the mother and father are closely related, criminal charges could ensue, and the state will already have proof of the illegal relationship. More chillingly, under the guise of scientific knowledge, the test results could be used for other purposes, since in established polygamist sects everyone is related by blood to everyone else, and incest is common. Frankly, I fear that these children will become guinea pigs.

The judge stated the reason for the testing is that the mothers have regularly changed their names, possibly lied about their ages, and have difficulty naming their relatives.

In the meantime, the children are being held as a group, inside a coliseum.

In an interview with CBS’s “The Early Show” one of the men from the polygamist sect, known only as “Rulan”, stated that the men would cooperate with DNA testing if it will help them get their children back. He also stated that the sect would reconsider allowing sex with girls under 18.

Many of us perhaps were not even aware of such a law. And we do reconsider, yes. We teach our children to abide the law.

Prosecutors claim that simply living in the compound exposes the girls to sexual abuse, or the imminent risk of abuse, due to the practice of forcing girls as young as 13 to marry men sometimes old enough to be their grandfathers or great-grandfathers. There is a pecking order among the men, just as there is among the women, and even elderly men can request that a young girl be “assigned” to them as an additional wife. The purpose of this, insofar as their religious belief, is so that the man can produce as many “superior souls” as possible. Once that man dies – or if he no longer wants the wife, or if a man higher in the patriarchy decides he wants that man’s wife – his wives and children are assigned to other men; the women have no say with regard to which man they are assigned as a wife.

Once the DNA sampling is completed, which is expected to take several days, the children will be placed in foster care, and the children younger than four – who up to this point have stayed with their mothers – will be taken away as well.

Psychologists, however, warn that placing the children in conventional foster homes can cause severe psychological damage due to overexposure; these children have lived in such a strict community that even being allowed to play with mainstream children could cause serious problems. State workers have said that they will try to keep siblings together, and keep the children in groups. For the sake of the children, they will also need to create an environment with little to no contact with the outside world, which means no television, computers, or other media. It is unclear how the children will be educated, given that sending them to public school could prove to cause lifelong emotional and psychological scars.

Furthermore, another barrier stands in the way, which is that FLDS children have been taught from the earliest age that even mere disobedience to one’s parents leads to eternal damnation, and that the world outside the compound is evil. Obviously, these children are suffering both emotionally and psychologically, not just from being separated from their parents and community, but because they fear damnation for merely being taken by the state into the outside world.

I know some foster families, but I cannot imagine changing their entire household to accommodate restrictions that severe. I fear most foster parents will not even try, thinking it is best for the children to be exposed to the outside world. I therefore fear for those children, because I honestly think the psychologists’ warnings are to be taken seriously. We’re living in the 21st Century, while those children for all intents and purposes have never known anything beyond the 19th Century, since most have never even been off the compound before now. Experiencing a typical home today would be something akin to a time machine for them, and could even alter the religious beliefs they have been taught. The state, however, has absolutely no right whatsoever to expose those children to anything which might alter the beliefs their parents hold as truth; and to do otherwise is a violation of the First Amendment.

This is a very serious problem in this situation, and personally, I think this is such an extreme case – since the state has essentially denied their religious rights as well as the right to be secure in their homes – that the Supreme Court needs to step in and make sure the constitutional rights of the children and their parents are protected, before irreparable damage is done. It may already be too late.

Rozita SwinsonIn the meantime, police have identified a 33-year-old Colorado Springs woman, Rozita Swinton, as a “person of interest” and the possible source of the phone calls which caused this situation. Swinton is currently in police custody, charged with false reporting to authorities in another, unrelated case. There has been no explanation regarding why she would make phone calls of that nature regarding this particular religious sect, as it appears that she has no ties to the group.

We should all watch this case very, very closely. What the state is doing in the YFZ case could happen to any of us, based upon a hoax call. Child Protective Services nationwide is renowned for removing children from homes on the flimsiest of evidence, while leaving children actually at risk (and sometimes obviously being abused) in the home with their abusers. The truth of the matter is that religions such as the Primitive Baptists are equally strict with their children, and the women are completely subservient to their husbands (in fact, Primitive Baptist women look very much like the FLDS women), both of which could also be misinterpreted as abuse by overzealous social workers. One attorney stated that none of the parents had ever even received a copy of the original petition for removal of the children, yet were expected to appear in court 14 days later in order to present their case to have their children returned; one mother said that removing the children from their home and community was the worst abuse the children had ever experienced, and she may very well be correct.

On the other hand, you have the question of indoctrination into a patriarchal society, where young girls are taught from a very early age to be completely subservient to men. They are then married off as young as 13 years old, with no choice in who they marry and possibly even without warning. Many boys are driven off the compound at a very young age, to eliminate competition for the young girls’ affection. It is a strange society by our standards, to be sure, and we as a society do have a responsibility to help those children.

The question is, how do we help them, while ensuring the protection of their constitutional rights, as well as the constitutional rights of the parents? Is government intervention the best decision? I’m not altogether sure that it is, unless abuse can be proven. However, abuse is defined based upon the norms of society – for example, spanking is legally defined as abuse in some countries, but here parents can spank their children and a spanking in and of itself is not considered abusive – and it is indisputable that such sects have their own society, quite apart from our own; what is defined as abuse in our society is obviously not viewed as abuse in theirs, and is instead the norm. We are also not on a moral high ground with regard to pregnant teenagers, since we see that all the time in our own society, and many teen mothers in our society were impregnated at an even younger age.

This is an extremely complex question, with no easy answers to be found. However, one thing is clear, and that is that the FLDS sects have the same constitutional rights as you or I, and those rights must be protected above anything else. At this point, I do not believe the state had any cause whatsoever to remove the young children, and I fear that doing so has violated their constitutional rights, as well as the constitutional rights of the parents. If the state’s concern is sexual abuse of teen girls as stated, they may have probable cause to remove the teens for their own protection, but not to remove the younger children. I have seen and heard nothing which would suggest that children under the age of ten are in imminent danger of abuse, except the state’s assertion that, according to their religion, they may be “spiritually married” at any age. I therefore suspect the state is trying to enforce its own standards and morality upon a religion which has existed and been practiced the same way for hundreds of years.

My biggest concern is that this is nothing more or less than religious persecution. Religious persecution absolutely cannot be tolerated in our country, so there needs to be oversight at the federal level, to ensure the rights of all the sect members are protected.

What is the government’s proper function in child death caused by religious belief?

In Constitutional Rights, Courts and Justice System, Crime, First Amendment, Health, Law, Obituaries, People in the news, Personal Responsibility, Science on April 1, 2008 at 9:17 pm

Madeline Kara Neumann, Leilani and Dale NeumannOn Sunday, 11-year-old Madeline Kara Neumann, known as “Kara”, died due to diabetic ketoacidosis. While diabetes is a treatable disease, the girl had not seen a doctor, so she had not been diagnosed with diabetes.

Her parents, Leilani and Dale Neumann of Wisconsin, believe that healing is received only through faith, and not through medicine. They therefore did not take Kara to a doctor even though she had been severely ill for days, possibly a week. Instead, they prayed for her.

Authorities were first contacted by the child’s aunt in California, who had asked them to check on the child. From ABC News:

“My sister-in-law is, her daughter’s severely, severely sick and she believes her daughter is in a coma,” [Ariel] Gomez is heard telling the dispatcher in one of the 911 calls released by the sheriff’s office. “And, she’s very religious, so she’s refusing to take [Kara] to the hospital, so I was hoping maybe somebody could go over there.”

Gomez asks authorities to send an ambulance, and warns the dispatcher that Leilani Neumann will fight attempts to intervene. “We’ve been trying to get her to take [Kara] to the hospital for a week, a few days now,” Gomez tells the dispatcher.

Before police got to the house, they received a medical emergency call from the Neumanns.

The parents post on the website of a congregation which refuses medical treatment, but the minister said they are not members of that congregation. The parents seem to have their own prayer group, comprised of about eight people. Authorities believe the girl, who was being homeschooled at the time of her death, had been very ill for several days, possibly a week, before her death; and the mother had reported to family members that the girl had slipped into a coma, but they were still refusing to take her to a hospital, believing prayer would heal her.

In an interview with The Associated Press, the girl’s parents confirmed that they believe healing comes from God, but said they did not want their child to die, they are not zealots and they do not have anything against doctors.

Dale Neumann, a former police officer, told the AP that he started to perform CPR on his daughter “as soon as the breath of life left.”

In the interview, Leilani Neumann said that she is not worried about the police investigation because her family’s lives are “in God’s hands” and they know that they did the best thing for their daughter that they knew how to do.

You can read the entire ABC News article here.

Carl and Raylene WorthingtonA similar case occurred earlier this month, when 15-month-old baby Ava Worthington died of bronchial pneumonia and a blood infection, after Carl and Raylene Worthington, her faith healing parents, failed to obtain any medical care for the infant; the illness was exacerbated by a benign cyst on the child’s neck which had never been medically treated. The state medical examiner said the infant could have been saved with a simple prescription for antibiotics. The Worthingtons have been criminally charged with manslaughter and criminal mistreatment.

You can read the entire ABC News article here.

Should parents who believe in faith healing be charged criminally in the death of their child, or should they be protected by the First Amendment? Should the government intervene and take away their other children in such situations, for their safety and protection? Or are these parents within their First Amendment rights to not seek medical care for their children, relying instead on prayer alone, even if their child is obviously dying?

Phillies speaks out against potential Barr presidential campaign

In Corruption, Courts and Justice System, Crime, George Phillies, Law, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, Presidential Candidates on March 24, 2008 at 11:48 pm

An excerpt of the statement by George Phillies, from Miller Politics:

[Bob] Barr’s real positions may also be seen from the candidates his PAC supports. In 2007, Barr’s PAC supported conservatives Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and John Sununu (R-NH). This Fall, those men both have Libertarian opponents. Libertarians must ask: Whose side is Barr on? Suppose Barr were given our nomination and campaigned in Georgia or New Hampshire. Will he campaign with the candidate who carries our party’s banner, or the candidate who cashed Barr’s check?

In December, 2007, the Libertarian National Committee voted without objection to support Ron Paul with the National Committee’s ‘Ballot Base’ software program. In my opinion, using Libertarian party resources to help a Republican, in a race in which there will surely be a Libertarian opponent, was a gross breach of fiduciary responsibility by the Libertarian National Committee. Among those not objecting was Barr.

Phillies also points out that some candidates declare at the last minute, to avoid having their weaknesses exposed.  He went on to say that last year, Barr attacked Kentucky gubernatorial candidate Anne Northrup, because she did not support prayer in  schools; and instead campaigned for her opponent, Ernie Fletcher.  Phillies correctly notes that no libertarian would ever take the stance that a Christian prayer should be forced upon children legally required to attend school.

I would additionally note that Fletcher was criminally charged in 2006 with illegally rewarding political supporters with state jobs.  A grand jury report found that Fletcher had approved a “widespread and coordinated plan” to skirt hiring laws, and in response Fletcher granted a blanket pardon for everyone involved.  Barr thus showed extremely poor judgment, at best, in supporting Fletcher.

Therefore, I agree with Phillies.  It would indeed be “totally inappropriate” for Bob Barr to represent the LP as its presidential nominee.

If Bob Barr wants Libertarian support, he needs to leave the Republican Party behind, and fully embrace the Libertarian Party.  Otherwise, there is no reason for Libertarians to embrace him at all.

American death toll in Iraq reaches 4000

In Activism, Children, Congress, Corruption, George Bush, History, Human Rights Abuses, Iraq War, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Middle East, Military, Music, Obituaries, Personal Responsibility, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Protest, Republican, US Government, War on March 24, 2008 at 6:17 am

Today, the official death toll for American soldiers in Iraq hit 4000. The actual number is undoubtedly higher.

4000+ Americans are dead, because Bush lied about Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction.

4000+ Americans are dead, because Bush claimed that Osama bin Laden was hiding in Iraq.

4000+ Americans are dead, because Congress blindly accepted Bush’s lies.

4000+ American are dead, because Americans reelected Bush for a second term

4000+ Americans are dead, because the American people elected a Democratic Congress to put an end to the killing, and they failed us miserably.

There are far more Iraqis dead, though. Just today, soldiers killed a 10-year-old Iraqi girl. They claim they didn’t do it on purpose, but who knows the truth of that situation. When you put soldiers in a country where their lives are constantly at risk, and you arm them with automatic weapons, it is inevitable that many innocents will be killed. Some will be killed accidentally. Some will be killed due to mistaken identity. And some will be killed because the armed soldiers snap under the pressure, and just start killing people.

Unlike many in the antiwar movement, I don’t blame the soldiers. After all, they are doing what they were trained to do, under circumstances that no human was ever intended to experience; and the vast majority of soldiers became soldiers to protect us, and not to kill innocent civilians. So no, I don’t blame our soldiers when the inevitable happens. I blame Bush and Congress for putting our soldiers in that situation.

Of course, our tax dollars will be spent for the foreseeable future treating the injuries, physical and mental, those soldiers received while fighting in the war that should never have been fought. Some of them will recover from their wounds, but many won’t. I don’t complain about spending our tax dollars on the soldiers in need of medical and psychiatric care; we owe them that. I do complain that they should never have been sent to Iraq and injured in the first place.

Let us all look forward to the day when the killing stops, and our soldiers are brought home from the Middle East once and for all. When will that happen? It’s up to the American voters. If Americans put another warmonger in the White House, the blood will be on their hands. It is already on the hands of those who voted Bush for a second term, knowing full well he was a warmonger.

When considering candidates for the Libertarian presidential nomination, especially given that there are so many candidates brand-new to libertarianism, ask them whether they voted for Bush. If they did, they have blood on their hands, and therefore can never truly represent the Libertarian Party.

My hands, I’m happy to say, are clean in this situation (though I am not running for any political office). I didn’t vote for Bush the first time, and I actively worked against his candidacy the second time. Many may think my efforts were for naught, but I disagree. The message of true freedom is spread one person at a time.

I’ve asked this before, and I’ll ask it again. Where is Osama bin Laden? We can see a dime on the sidewalk from outer space, but we can’t seem to find a strange-looking human giant hiding in the desert. I find that extremely hard to believe. I also won’t be the least bit surprised if we suddenly “find” him just in time for the presidential election. Younger readers may not be cynical enough to believe our country would play us for fools like that. To them I would simply say, history has been my lesson; let it be yours as well.

To that end, I offer the song “End of the Innocence”, which was a hit song when many of our readers were but infants. It applies more today than ever.

Candidates Gone Wild: Presidential Wackjob Edition

In Barack Obama, Children, Congress, Crazy Claims, Daniel Imperato, George Bush, Humor, Immigration, Iraq War, Libertarian, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Shine on you crazy diamond, US Government, War on March 22, 2008 at 10:08 pm

We’re all familiar with John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. However, have you ever wondered what other presidential candidates are out there? Are you longing for a presidential candidate who is really and truly different? If so, one of these guys just might be your man.

Michael Jesus ArchangelUnlike most mainstream presidential candidates, God The Great Holy Spirit Saint Michael Jesus The Archangel doesn’t think he is God. He knows he is. This also ends the debate about the true name of God, since he quite clearly denotes his name as “Mike”. That’s a much easier name to spell and remember than “Yahweh”, for sure.

Apparently God/Mike runs a “modeling agency”, and if his website claims are to be believed, it’s quite successful as models literally flock to him. I’m not sure how lucrative that endeavor has become for him, but that’s okay because he also makes his own money. By that, I don’t mean that he works and makes money. No, I mean that he quite literally makes money, which he calls “Heavenly Banknotes”. Are you against the Federal Reserve? He’ll take care of that problem too, and replace it with his own “Cosmic Reserve Bank”.

Apparently God/Mike is an Old Testament kind of Creator, because he wants to arrest abortion doctors, judges who ruled abortions legal, and women who have had abortions, and execute them all within a year. He also thinks that smokers are both suicidal and homicidal, and he plans to arrest and execute, without representation or trial, all of the “tobacco lords”. He also has a problem with gay marriage, because the Bible (which he refers to as “My Holy Word”) speaks against it; for that reason, he plans to execute all gays and lesbians. On the other hand Mike/God is not quite so completely violent as it would appear, since he also thinks that nations should settle conflicts with a paintball war.

If you’re interested in contacting God/Mike, you can do so by telephone or email, since both are listed on his website. However, you can’t send him a fax, since his fax is listed as “CIA Top Secret Ultra-Grade.”

Like any other non-mainstream candidate, God/Mike has run into some difficulties during his campaign. Most notably, he was charged with attempted murder, undoubtedly while “at war with the homosexual Satan and his leftist queer devils and demons”. That’s okay, though, because since he’s God, he has the power of prophesy. To that end he says, “I prophesy that I will win by a crushing landslide.”

Jonathan The Impaler SharkeyOn the other end of the spectrum Jonathan “The Impaler” Sharkey may not be a Papal Knight, a Knight of Malta, or a Knight of the Orden Bonaria like Daniel Imperato; or God, Jesus, or the Holy Ghost like Mike, but he is an ordained Satanic Priest. Not only is he a Satanic Priest, but a quiz on his MySpace profile declared that he is Satan, so it must be true. He also promises to murder (by impalement, of course) certain people with his own hands as soon as he takes office; that list includes Osama bin Laden, George Bush, O.J. Simpson, and even Mike Tyson.

Jonathan is also a “Satanic Vampyre” as well as a “Hecate Witch”, and has some very serious military experience as a “Commanding General” of a vampire regiment known as the “Death Dealers”. He also has a great deal of previous political experience, having run for Congress in multiple states, for President during the last election as well as the present one, and he once also ran for Governor (of Minnesota). His campaigns have been unsuccessful, undoubtedly due to the media’s bias against third party candidates.

On the downside, he must be one of those shapeshifters David Icke warns us about because, while in Florida, he assumed the name “Kathleen Sharkey” and claimed that he is is his own half-sister, and also his own pagan wife. He sent a notice to the FEC under the Kathleen persona, implying that Jonathan is dead.

Not surprisingly, The Impaler does have an arrest record, including a record for stalking a former girlfriend, but for those who wish to support The Impaler, that could be easily spun into his being far more loyal than most people will ever be. He was also ordered to undergo psychiatric care since he believes himself to be a vampire, and of course that could be spun as his having had his right to practice his religion denied by the government. Despite The impaler’s shortcomings, there is always a way for a politician to spin anything into something positive.

John Taylor BowlesThen again, if God and Satan aren’t quite down-to-earth enough for you, there is also John Taylor Bowles. Bowles claims to be “the White People’s Candidate”. Dressed like a Neo-Nazi storm trooper, Bowles claims that it is “time for the white people to put a real white man in the White House”; apparently he believes that previous presidents weren’t really white.

Bowles wants to give us lower taxes, lower food prices, free health care, zero unemployment, no outsourcing of jobs, forgiveness of all credit card debt so all white people start with a fresh slate, a 5% flat tax on income with all other taxes abolished, no more foreclosures, and interest-free mortgages (though together those last two items are equivalent to free housing on a first-come first-serve basis) ….. but only after he has deported all non-whites in a “humanitarian” manner. He plans to give all non-whites a one-time stipend of $30,000 to make their involuntary move more palatable.

Bowles also wants to bring the white soldiers home, at which time he will position them at the southern border to help “stop the invasion”. He also believes that birth control is an invention of those who wish to destroy the white race, and to that end he suggests that whites take over the country by having as many children as possible (though if he deports all non-whites, we would have no need to out-breed anyone to maintain control). White families who produce four or more children will have their mortgage debt forgiven, though again, it doesn’t matter if the debt is forgiven, if there are no more foreclosures.

I’ve heard this particular line of thinking before. Former wacky Libertarian candidate Gene Chapman suggested that libertarians out-breed the non-libertarians, and even offered to store his sperm for any women interested in bearing his children. He also mentioned that both he and his webmaster Doug Kenline were single. Big surprise there.

So who gets to stay in the United States, and who will be forced to leave? According to Bowles, a white person (which he refers to as “Aryan”) is defined as “wholly of non-Jewish, non-Asiatic European ancestry, descendants of the autochthonous Peoples of the contemporary states of Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Britain, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Ukraine. Many persons of Albanian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Georgian, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Portugese, Romanian, Serbian, and Spanish heritage also qualify as Aryan, their ancestors being pioneers of Aryan communities in those lands.”

Now that we’ve reviewed the candidates, here is the interesting question. Given that the mainstream parties limit our choices to only three candidates at this point, soon to be only two candidates; and given that many Americans do not agree with any of the mainstream candidates on the issues …. if these were the only candidates from which you could choose, who would you choose, and why?

Scary shit

In Uncategorized on July 26, 2007 at 6:59 pm

Rapture Ready: The Unauthorized Christians United for Israel Tour from huffpost and Vimeo.

Presidential Candidate Purity Testing

In Big Brother, Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Crime, Drug War, First Amendment, George Phillies, Immigration, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Military, Personal Responsibility, Politics, Republican, Second Amendment on July 25, 2007 at 6:39 pm

While I believe that “how libertarian” a candidate is shouldn’t be the only deciding factor in determining whether to vote for them, I feel it’s important we discuss it more than “so-and-so’s position on this is not libertarian”, both with regard to their position on it and whether they address it at all. I recognize this thread will likely turn into a huge argument, and if people can provide me with information to alter my analysis, I will be happy to change it. (If I’m slow in doing so, I won’t be offended if other LFV writers do it, though I’d prefer it if those officially affiliated with certain campaigns didn’t do so, for obvious reasons.)

The three substantial candidates I consider remotely libertarian are Steve Kubby, Ron Paul, and George Phillies. (Despite others including Christine Smith as a substantial candidate, I have seen functionally no presence from her.) The standard I’ll use for “libertarian” will be the LP platform, which I recognize is by no means perfect, but it gives me a set of issues to work with. I’ll consider the candidates in alphabetical order. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Bastille Day. We need a new one.

In Big Brother, Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Corruption, George Bush, Guantanamo, History, Human Rights Abuses, Personal Responsibility, Police State, Politics, Protest, Second Amendment, Terrorism, War on July 15, 2007 at 6:40 am

Originally posted yesterday on my blog for Bastille day. Forgot to transfer it over til today. Oh well, better late than never…

According to wikipedia,

On 5 May 1789, Louis XVI convened the Estates-General to hear their grievances. The deputies of the Third Estate representing the common people (the two others were clergy and nobility) decided to break away and form a National Assembly. On 20 June the deputies of the Third Estate took the Tennis Court Oath, swearing not to separate until a Constitution had been established. They were gradually joined by delegates of the other estates; Louis started to recognize their validity on 27 June. The Assembly re-named itself the National Constituent Assembly on 9 July, and began to function as a legislature and to draft a constitution.

The blue-blooded Chimperror, Cesar Potus George Dubai-ya Bushitler II, has brung back the clergy and the nobility back to a level of undue influence in civic life. Perhaps we need a new storming of the Bastille?

In the wake of the 11 July dismissal of the royal finance minister Jacques Necker, the people of Paris, fearful that they and their representatives would be attacked by the royal military, and seeking to gain arms for the general populace, stormed the Bastille, a prison which had often held people arbitrarily jailed on the basis of lettre de cachet. Besides holding a large cache of arms, the Bastille had long been known for holding political prisoners whose writings had displeased the royal government, and was thus a symbol of the absolutism of the monarchy.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. The general populace being increasingly outgunned by regime agents? Check. People jailed arbitrarily? Check. Political prisoners? Check. Absolutist, hereditary rulers? Check.

The storming of the Bastille was more important as a rallying point and symbolic act of rebellion than a practical act of defiance.

Shortly after the storming of the Bastille, on 4 August feudalism was abolished and on 26 August, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was proclaimed.

Ending feudalism and having citizens rights? Yeah, we kinda need that again. Check!

10 reasons why gay marriage should be illegal

In Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Minorities on July 13, 2007 at 9:53 pm

Any questions?

Latest Gallup Poll Says Nearly Half of Americans Are Blathering Idiots

In Uncategorized on June 8, 2007 at 12:43 pm

Found on Stupid Evil Bastard:

The results from the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll on Evolution continue the trend of idiocy in this country on the topic of Evolution.

  • “Evolution, that is, the idea that human beings developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life” is probably or definitely false”: 44%
  • “Creationism, that is, the idea that God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years” is probably or definitely true”: 66%
  • 15% said that they would be more likely to vote for a candidate that did not believe in evolution.

That last line is the only bright spot to be found in the poll as the majority don’t think a candidate’s acceptance, or lack thereof, of evolution is relevant on how qualified a person is to be President. Though, in its own way, that’s sort of depressing as well.

Sometimes it’s amazing to me that half our population manages to avoid having their heads implode from the vacuum within.

As he died to make men holy, let us live to make men free.

In Celebrities, Civil Liberties, Politics, Republican on May 15, 2007 at 4:23 pm

Jerry Falwell is dead.

I feel sorry for his family, of course, and on a non-political and non-theological level I’m sad to see a fellow human being die.

Not to be a dick, though, but this is some of the greatest news that the social and civil libertarian crowd could possibly hear. A man who stood against equal rights for women, gays, and immigrants can no longer influence our political system. Furthermore, this seems to be the starkest demonstration God could have possibly given us that the social conservative branch of the Republican Party is dead, leaving only fiscal conservatives and neocons, with the neocons about to die off as well.

Our future may be cloudy in the short term, but twenty years from now we will look back on these days like people today look back on the Vietnam War, draft and stagflation and wonder what the hell they must have been thinking.

Mickey Mouse is a TRAITOR!

In Children, Crazy Claims, Humor on May 8, 2007 at 2:29 pm

The Islamic militant, “Farfour”

From Yahoo news:

A giant black-and-white rodent — named “Farfour,” or “butterfly,” but unmistakably a Mickey ripoff — does his high-pitched preaching against the U.S. and Israel on a children’s show run each Friday on Al-Aqsa TV, a station run by Hamas. The militant group, sworn to Israel’s destruction, shares power in the Palestinian government.

“You and I are laying the foundation for a world led by Islamists,” Farfour squeaked on a recent episode of the show, which is titled, “Tomorrow’s Pioneers.”

“We will return the Islamic community to its former greatness, and liberate Jerusalem, God willing, liberate Iraq, God willing, and liberate all the countries of the Muslims invaded by the murderers.”

All I can say is, “Wow”!

Oh, and is Disney getting any royalties off this?

Wealthy Convicted Felon Fugitives Given Special Treatment

In Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Corruption, Crime, Law Enforcement, Personal Responsibility, Taxation, Terrorism on April 26, 2007 at 3:44 pm

Ed and Elaine BrownEd and Elaine Brown have been holed up in their Plainfield, NH house for months, daring federal law enforcement to bother them. While normally that’s not a problem, since I don’t want federal law enforcement to bother me at home either, Ed and Elaine Brown have been not only convicted of federal crimes, but also sentenced to prison for those crimes. They have also repeatedly referred to the outcome of any attempt to take them into custody as another “Waco”, and have openly stated that they will kill anyone who tries to take them into lawful custody. Now, that’s a problem.

Elaine is a very successful dentist (or at least she was, until all this happened). Ed is usually described as a “retired exterminator”. Basically, he lives off his wealthy wife, which I guess is nice work if you can get it. However, if Ed and Elaine Brown were young financially disadvantaged African-Americans, they’d have been toast long ago. See, my problem with this situation has nothing to do with the Browns’ convictions per se – and in fact, the nature of their conviction is irrelevant to me – but rather my concern is that everyone is supposed to be equal under the law. Obviously, though, that is not the case.

This whole mess started years ago, when Ed and Elaine decided there was no law which requires them to pay federal income taxes. So, they didn’t, and quite predictably the IRS came a-knockin’. They had failed to file or pay taxes on over $1.3 million in income, and refused to pay or even discuss payment when the government demanded its money, so they were criminally prosecuted. They then tried to buy their way out of trouble by offering to pay the back taxes, but it was too late. Read the rest of this entry »

Twist on “The Devil Made Me Do It”

In Crime, Obituaries on April 20, 2007 at 9:50 am

In a twist on the old “the devil made me do it” claim, members of Westboro Baptist Church claim that the Virginia Tech massacre was an act of God. Why would God do that? Well, apparently because people like me have been making fun of the Westboro Baptist Church ‘tards (best known as godhatesfags.com) for a little too long.

Um, yeah.

Westboro Baptist Pickets Virginia Tech funeral

The rise of Christian fascism

In Civil Liberties, Constitutional Rights, Libertarian, Nanny State, Politics, Republican, War on February 9, 2007 at 2:46 am

There was a really good article on Alternet about the return of fascism, as predicted by a man who lived through the Nazi regime and smuggled documents from the Confessing Church (which stood up to the Nazis) out of Germany. That guy saw this fascism coming twenty-five years ago. Anyway, the leading snippet:

Dr. James Luther Adams, my ethics professor at Harvard Divinity School, told his students that when we were his age — he was then close to 80 — we would all be fighting the “Christian fascists.”

The warning, given 25 years ago, came at the moment Pat Robertson and other radio and television evangelists began speaking about a new political religion that would direct its efforts toward taking control of all institutions, including mainstream denominations and the government. Its stated goal was to use the United States to create a global Christian empire. This call for fundamentalists and evangelicals to take political power was a radical and ominous mutation of traditional Christianity. It was hard, at the time, to take such fantastic rhetoric seriously, especially given the buffoonish quality of those who expounded it. But Adams warned us against the blindness caused by intellectual snobbery. The Nazis, he said, were not going to return with swastikas and brown shirts. Their ideological inheritors had found a mask for fascism in the pages of the Bible.

It’s got a lot of thoughtful things to say, comparisons to make. It’s a liberal writer doing this article, so of course the obvious answer involves cash handouts to the poor and banning religious schools and other such crap. Read the rest of this entry »

God bless public schools.

In Humor, Politics, Science on February 7, 2007 at 2:48 am

This is called “I’m too lazy to surf CNN to find something to get pissed about so help yourselves to my porn stash My Pictures folder instead.”

n1228020461_30042675_6456.jpg

Blair impedes religious rights

In Civil Liberties, Libertarian, Politics on January 31, 2007 at 3:46 am

This comes by way of everyone’s favorite Aussie Libertarian, GreginOz. He linked me to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald describing how the UK is set to force religious adoption agencies to help gay couples adopt children.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for gay marriage, adoption, etc. But for the government to step in and force a religious organization to do something that violates their beliefs? That’s wrong. I’ll let GreginOz have his say here, since I essentially agree wholeheartedly.

Cutnpaste the above link and one finds a story on how The Church will not be able to discriminate against gay couples seeking to adopt children. It seems innocuous and I can imagine many wise (sic) liberals nodding into their latte,
double non-sugar, tiny, elegant cafe cups at the logicality. And yet…and yet…although I am basically a Militant Secularist this makes me very uncomfortable. The Libertarian in me will recognize anyone’s right to worship and I don’t care if you pray to Allah, Elvis Presley or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Here we have The State, in the form of the E.C. and U.K. governments, imposing their own morality on an institution with it’s own, carefully articulated, 2000 year old morality.

If someone thinks it crazy to let a couple of sodomites: high on amyl nitrate, viagra and E (“…oh what a night, late December back in ’63…) , with pink butt plugs waving from their ritually scarred, taut and stretched anuses, actually bring up children, does that mean they are prejudiced? What does ‘prejudice’ mean? Does it mean not having a State sanctioned opinion? The State
DOES attempt Social Engineering but then, so do families. Can one legislate opinion? Or manufacture it, perhaps? I think I have a reasonable grasp of what the Catholic Church is about, there IS the odd book about it out there. What do I know of the officials that crafted these anti-discrimination laws? What are THEIR values? What agenda? Quo bono? Do anti-hate laws simply disempower every single, straight, western, white, (nominally) christian male? Or is that me, droppin’ acid and turning into an even more paranoid Alex Jonesesque parody?

Cultural Relativism = all things being equal…except all things ARE NOT equal, are they! Unless you swallow my jism, maybe. Regards GreginOz.

The US War Crime Family Commission

In Constitutional Rights, Corruption, Democracy, Democrats, Iran, Iraq War, Libertarian, Media, Middle East, Music, Personal Responsibility, Politics, Republican, Taxation, War on January 23, 2007 at 2:46 pm

Here’s something I’ve ben pointing out for quite a while now:


Pro-war Clinton candidacy success would mean same mob bosses have ruled U.S. since 1980

"Hillary Heralds 30 Year Plus Control Of America By Interlocking Crime Family"

Another Clinton in office would mean America being under the thiefdom of either a Bush or a Clinton for a total of at least 32 years, 36 if Hillary is re-elected (many now acknowledge that H.W. Bush pulled the strings as VP during the Reagan era)

Clinton voted for the Patriot Act and she voted for the war in Iraq, but so many Democrats are blinded by the cult of personality that they will overwhelmingly vote to put this crime family back in office.

Then again, we might just get an indefinite extention of Bush through martial law, precipitated by a war with Iran, Unless The Bush Crime family is impeached now, says Paul Craig Roberts.

Robert Higgs has an in-depth analysis of the
Living Reality of Military-Economic Fascism
and corruption through the military-industrial
complex.

And even LP national is talking about The State of the Monarchy.

If we are killed, you will be killed

In Humor, Iraq War, Media, Middle East, Personal Responsibility, Republican, War on January 23, 2007 at 5:38 am

I was reading the latest report from CNN.com regarding Ayman al-Zawahiri and the rebuttal to President Bush’s new strategy in Iraq. According to Zawahiri “if we are killed, you will be killed”. There was also the statement of “”Why not send 50,000 or 100,000? Aren’t you aware that the dogs of Iraq are pining for your troops’ dead bodies? Send your entire army to be annihilated at the hands of the Mujahedeen to free the world from your evil and theirs because Iraq, the land of the caliphate and jihad, is able to bury 10 armies like yours, with God’s help and power.”

First of all we enter this war in an Imperialist action to “police the world”. Then we come up with “WMD’s and the War Against Terror” after we put a bunch of holes and blew off mountain tops in Afghanistan. After Afghanistan we invade Iraq for the cause of freedom and not for oil. Then we find out that one of the sole reasons was for oil. Now we are sending over more troops this year and we are threatened by the second in command of the Terrorists who took credit for the destruction of the Twin Towers better known to us uneducated types as “9/11”.

Now I am not too hip on the hype and lingo of the modern reporter who has an edge on the savvy colloquialisms of today, but by my best recollection of former years, i.e. Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Somalia, Serbia/Croatia, hell, even Libya and Grenada, the big result of sending people in to combat is to have victory, let alone victory for the good guys. How are we, the “World Police” good guys in this manner? We go in, rough up the former leaders, set up a puppet democracy with a full-proof plan to rid it of its oil for at least 30 years to our own corporations and then plunder off of the people in their misery, send in more troops to help “preserve their democracy” from uprisings and we don’t expect to get hate-mail from the second in command of Al-Queda? I was actually expecting more from Bin Laden than what was given. Now we have a threat that we will get our butts blown to smithereens(good band btw) if we kill any more. In the article I linked even the FBI is involved in finding out more plans here on our soil.

What do we expect? The world to heed to our call for this tripe? Does the whole world seek out our United States freedoms, where I cant even have a smoke in my car anymore in New Jersey, nor can I have a smoke in a bar in California or Springfield, IL? “The Land of the Free” has more issues, lets actually call them for what they are “problems” with trying to maintain a ton of red tape on every law that not only are we full of loopholes from ass-clowns in office creating new laws which make more problems all for a small but obnoxiously loud portion of society(you heard me MADD and OSHA!) that we cannot breathe our own smoke-filled air without being told I either have to out it out or receive a fine, because I am on a sidewalk within two-hundred feet of the door of the local Denny’s. Give me a break, or better yet, suck it up, America! While these terrorists are fighting off the plunderers of their land from the great white devil who blew up their religious site, their homes and their communities, you are busy bitching and moaning about some kid out on the sidewalk smoking because he cant smoke with his coffee in a now non-existent smoking section while you eat your lard-boiled, fat-laden, artery-hardening Grand Slam Breakfast with a diet coke.