Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘War’

The Audacity of Hoping for Change: Barack Obama’s Broken Promises to America

In Barack Obama, Civil Liberties, Corruption, Democrats, Libertarian, Libertarian Politics, Media, Politics, Republican, War on June 15, 2010 at 11:16 pm

This article was written almost a year ago. I have not added to it or expanded on my concerns. I think that anyone who reads this can themselves think of the President’s stance on issues, his lack of actual leadership, his failures over the year and a half to give us any hope that things will be better by November, 2012.

_____________________________________________________________________________

On March 26 [2009], only two months after Barack Obama had been sworn in as President, I wrote and posted an article on “Constitutional Oaths“. I also sent an email message to friends and family about the article with this message:

 “I proudly voted for Barack Obama for President of the United States. I never thought that I would so soon think that impeachment for violation of his Constitutional Oath of Office should be discussed. I feel sick and ashamed of my country.

https://lastfreevoice.wordpress.com/2010/01/30/constitutional-oaths-and-a-plea-to-president-obama-2/ 

“Right now I am feeling that there is no point in continuing giving a damn about any of it. I am about ready to unplug my TV, turn off my computer, crawl into my dark room and only come out to get a book, relieve myself and maybe eat. Our national evil has now passed to ANOTHER administration and I don’t know if I can take it.

“I do NOT want anyone to call me or pester me about talking about this. My own words in the past and the news are very clear and speak for themselves. I am tired and I literally want to vomit. I don’t think that this bridge can be unburned. Now, I just want the whole thing to collapse and get it over with. I am still waiting for that meteor to land on me and save me from all of it.

Yes, that was me back in March [2009], when I first believed it might be appropriate to investigate whether or not Obama should be impeached. Not for some far-right extremists cries for his head for any and everything he does… for even simply existing and holding the office of President; not for some lunatic conspiracy theories but rather for legitimate constitutional reasons. Was I the first Obama supporter to raise the issue of impeachment? I personally believe that when a candidate makes campaign promises they are creating an oral contractual agreement with their constituents… “You elect me and I will DO these things, and / or make my best EFFORT to accomlish these goals“. They don’t necessarily have to SUCCEED at what they promised but they DO have to at least fight for those things. I said in the 1990s that those Republicans who signed the ‘Contract With America‘ should have had class action lawsuits filed against them for BREACH of Contract. Until we hold our politicians accountable for what they say to us when they are running for office, what is their motivation to change their relationship with those that they ask for their votes?

I was watching The Daily Show tonight (because both Countdown and The Rachel Maddow Show were supplanted with non-stop crap about the death of Michael Jackson… big deal… NOT news) and Jon Stewart was talking about how Obama, a former teacher of Constitutional Law, thinks that it is appropriate to block access to information about Dick Cheney because HE MIGHT BE MADE FUN OF. (http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-june-25-2009/cheney-predacted) After that, Stephen Colbert did his Word of the Day segment about Obama’s failure to keep promises that he made on gay issues… and his latest is being done almost exactly 40 years after New York’s Stonewall riots.  (http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/232014/june-25-2009/the-word—stonewalling)

I was going to list categories of Obama’s broken promises (on government transparency, on the ‘war’, on Guantanamo, on torture, abortion rights, on pretty much everything) but it would already fill a book to try to do so. Instead, I copied links to legitimate news stories (mostly, if not all, from the left or neutral positions). These stories are NOT by Obama haters. They are by people who supported him and are feeling betrayed or by neutral news sources. Here are some of them so that you can read them for yourselves:

 http://www.alternet.org/story/140507/obama’s_broken_promises/

 http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2009/06/06/sirota/

 http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/

 http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hRdIJDxVpdhYoXnxKGfPOn8lZJKAD991TH9O0

http://promises.nationaljournal.com/

http://www.democracynow.org/2009/6/17/despite_campaign_promises_president_obama_adopts

http://www.suntimes.com/news/sweet/1548444,obama-100-days-promises-kept-broken-042909.article

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=91286

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/05/15/1933734.aspx

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/election/1129-obamas-broken-promises-openness-ending-military-commissions

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23915.html

Now, I want to take a slight shift here and lecture to those on the far right, the conservative extremists who hate Obama and would no matter what he does… especially Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. You have already made yourselves irrelevant to any but those who already agree with you. You spent eight years with your nose shoved up George Bush’s ass and, no matter what he did, you defended him. The problem with news in America is NOT bias. Bias itself is not bad… as long as it comes with honesty. I do not watch Kieth Olbermann because I agree with what he says. I watch Keith Olbermann because when he makes an attack on someone he backs it up with verifiable documentation as to when something happened, and what the context is. I would watch a conservative Olbermann as well, if there were one, but there isn’t. The far right media long ago abandoned honesty and integrity when they were on the side of those in power. Because of HOW they tried to defend Bush and attack his critics, they cannot be accepted as legitimate voices of opposition now. Opposition is NOT about blindy attacking who or what you hate, it is about journalistically showing why your opposition is valid. It is also about supporting what someone you are in opposition to does that is acceptable and ONLY attacking them when they are legitimately in the wrong. The far right has no concept of how to fulfill the necessary role of ‘loyal opposition’ so they simply attack blindly and maliciously in the simple hope of hurting… someone. What they don’t see is that they don’t have to make up ANYTHING because there are so many legitimate and supportable reasons to attack that all they are doing is showing how devoid of integrity or intelligence THEY are. All they have to do is investigate and tell the stories that they can back up and let the rest go.

I know that it is a mantra of the far right to hate Olbermann and the “liberal media“, but he backs his attacks up with who, what, where, when, why, and how… he gives names, dates and places to allow us, his viewers to verify what he is reporting to us.. The other thing that the far right misses is that most journalist on the left will not cover up for the side that they support when it is in the wrong. When Obama screws us all, the legitimate media which supported him will also openly and publicly denounce him when he is wrong. IT ISN’T ABOUT BIAS, IT IS ABOUT HONESTY!

I voted for Barack Obama as President. I did what I don’t do… I trusted a politician… and I trusted the Democratic Party to actually change things and push hard to the left in order to shift American back to the middle. I was not wrong to vote as I did. I voted for who I believed would be best as President. I voted for who I was willing to take a chance on but, unlike most people I know on the far right, I am intellectually honest enough that I will say when the emperor has no clothes… even the emperor I supported. The are many things that make politics in America the shame it is. One of them is when people put their own personal egos above honesty about those they support. What is important now is NOT how those who were in opposition to Obama criticize him, it is how those of us who supported him criticize him.

I could probably go forever about this but if my point hasn’t already been made and understood, more words won’t change that. To anyone who wants to comment on this article, this is NOT a forum for hit-and-run drive-by comments from the left OR the right. I don’t want to hear from anyone on the right making blanket attacks or smears saying that “lefties” or “libs / liberals” or “Democrats” are ALL like something and neither do I want to hear anyone from the left making blanket attacks saying that “right wingers” or “conservative nuts jobs” or “Republicans / Repubs” are all like something. I don’t want to hear anyone from either side making some ‘clever’ play on words, like “Repukes” to describe the other side. America needs both liberals AND conservative, Republicans AND Democrats. It isn’t whole sides who are to blame, it is specific, usually extremist ends of different ideologies that are what most people REALLY hate. And don’t attack those you disagree with JUST BECAUSE you disagree with them, attack or mock someone for being a moron, for writing something stupid that they can’t document or support. It is much more effective to challenge someone to prove what they make claims about that it is to just hate them. So, talk about specific promises he has broken or WHY you think it is good or bad that he broke a specific one; talk about the law and The Constitution; talk about… God, just talk like you have a God-damned brain in that head of yours.

Rhys M. Blavier

Romayor, Texas

“Truth, Justice and Honor… but, above all, Honor”

© Copyright 2009 by Rhys M. Blavier

How a Flower Can Teach

In War on January 21, 2010 at 9:11 pm

By Donald Meinshausen

Sometimes a flower can tell a story and teach a moral lesson. Even more it can be a prophesy for our times. There is this red and yellowish white flower with green leaves called the Cantuta, which was the sacred flower of the Incas and it is the national flower of Bolivia and its legend from Inca times is so profound that it inspired the Bolivian flag.

The legend associated with the Cantuta flower is the tale of two kings named Illimani and Illampu, and the sons of each and their common state of tragedy. Both of these kings were powerful and wealthy rulers in ancient Bolivia and their kingdoms were next to each other where one of them was symbolized by a golden star while the other had a symbol of a red star, much like the United States and the old Soviet Union. Both of them had a son that they and the people loved and held in great esteem. But as the years passed they became irritated at each other’s success and became jealous of each other even though the star/kings had everything they could want.

So one day one of them attacked the other and started a war, which is common and usual with jealous rulers. During a fierce battle both kings were mortally wounded by their counterpart and carried away to their respective homes. Both of them were now on their deathbeds, miles away from each other and called for their respective sons. When each son dutifully came to his dying father, each star/king made their own son make a vow to avenge their deaths. This was doubly hard on the sons, since they had each counseled their fathers not to go to war in the first place and both loved and respected their father.

However they were both bound to these deathbed pledges to their fathers and their states and a second war was begun even though they had held no grudge against each other. History then tragically repeated itself, as wars often do, and both sons inflicted a fatal wound against each other in combat. Would this vendetta continue forever?

But instead of harsh words they generously forgave each other and asked that their servants to place them side by side in the green grass of the battlefield. Then the Earth Mother, Pachamamma, who is the Goddess of Fertility, appeared and then told the young kings before they died that they shouldn’t have suffered from their father’s unjustified enmity. They were placed side by side in the same tomb. In order to punish the fathers the Pachamamma had the two stars fall out of the sky in order to become the snow covered mountains that are still named Illimani and Illampu, which are the highest peaks in that region of the Andes.

If there were a chain of burial mounds of all the casualties of the 20th century, which was over a hundred million men, women and children, it would likely be as big as a chain of mountains like the Andes. Such mountains are like the state in its visual impact, overwhelmingly powerful and frightening to confront, with its mountaintops of icy indifference and hostility to life, with blizzards of snow in its job to stop people from reaching its summit. And when people do manage to get to the top they find that while it has a tremendous view no human being can really live there. You can get fame from going to the top there, but not much else and all that fame tells you is that you must risk your life all over a gain and climb yet another mountain to get more.

They say that the rivers of the snow slowly melting from the mountain are the bloody tears of regret and these fertilized the valleys and made them green. The Cantuta bloomed as a symbol of the people’s unity and represents the blood shed from both sides and the sunlit snowy indifference of the fathers and the green of hope that grows from below.

Kings may rage and stamp their feet as they have always done, to plunge us into the slavery and misery of war, but why do we, even their children, listen to them? Even flowers tell us a better story but will we ever stop and listen to the call of the flowers?

War and memorial

In Libertarian on May 25, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I’ve been in sick in my bed the last couple days. I’m unsure whether or not it’s self-inflicted because I’d made a trip into Dallas with a girlfriend to eat and drink Saturday night and it came on afterward. When we arrived back in Longview on Sunday, she reminded me to have a happy Memorial Day. I’d forgotten that it was a holiday weekend but as I drifted between sleep and groaning pain, it occurred to me that Memorial Day shouldn’t be a happy occasion but a day of quiet reflection. That thought morphed into something a bit more developed as I heard the background noise of the television and news anchors talk about the biggest sacrifice that man can make for his country- death on the fields of battle. Even through my illness I thought that the biggest load of horseshit that I ever heard.

I am certainly not new to the idea that every imaginary lined state- ours included- has its own propaganda outlets but what a slap in the face it is to tell people that the best thing one can do for his fellow man is die in arms? That these ideas are followed by huge parades, 50% off sales, patriotic movies and fireworks displays should be an indicator of how ridiculous a notion that it is at all and I think it time to re-examine what it is that we’ve been taught to celebrate.

War by its very nature, is destruction; it’s the destruction of lives, resources and ideas and it’s usually done for the basest of reasons- money and fear. Major General Smedley Butler wrote not so long ago in War Is A Racket:

WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few – the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.

And what is this bill?

This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

This, dear readers, is what we are celebrating when we are grilling and swimming today. I wouldn’t dare tell you how to spend this postal and banking holiday but I would like to remind you that the men and women who’ve died in America’s wars may have had very noble ideas about why they were there but, in truth, they died to line pockets and instill fear. Remember that as you pull another hotdog off the grill for your 7 year old because he is the newest generation of brainwashed who will be saddled with the debt before he was old enough to contract it. He is but one of the next generation of people who may indeed be celebrating his own slavery. I will also be spending time with family but they will understand why this day is free of work and why the government sells the celebration and I will be talking about these ideas tonight on channel 16 (8 eastern) during my show at Bold Voices TV.

The Powers to Raise and to Spend Taxes (Liberal Libertarians Discussion Topic #01)

In Boston Tea Party, Charles Jay, Congress, Corruption, Democracy, Economics, Fraud, History, Law, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Politics, Pork, Spending, Taxation, Thomas L. Knapp, US Government, War on April 15, 2009 at 7:29 pm

The single greatest factor behind the rise and development of the English Parliament was taxation. What very quickly developed, and what lasted until the British Monarchy lost its functional power as a part of government and became a marginalized figurehead position (which happened over the course of the 1800s) was that the power to SPEND tax money was separated from the power to RAISE tax money. Under that system, only Parliament could RAISE tax money but only the Monarch could SPEND tax money. If the Monarch wanted to spend anything (for wars, his houses and mistresses, public building projects, anything) they had to convince Parliament to raise the necessary tax monies and give those money to him 9or her). Likewise, if Parliament wanted money spent on anything in particular, they had to convince the Monarch to agree to spend raised money in such ways. The inherent conflict within the system required negotiation and compromise from both sides. Sometimes one side would be more powerful than the other and would dictate to the other. Likewise, Kings would often not actually spend money as they agreed to. THOSE situations would lead to further conflicts in the future. Sometimes the Monarchs would simply get sick of their Parliaments and would dismiss them and not call another to replace it, but then the King could not raise any money. In those situations, the losers would usually be the common people who were hurt by both sides.

One of the main sources of conflicts between Monarchs and Parliaments (as in ALL nations) was the exorbitant costs of the wars which the Monarchs would want to fight. Because of the unique circumstances of both WWII and the Viet Nam war, Americans now think that wars create profit. They do not. Wars are and always have been burdensome drains on the public coffers. Monarchs want wars for various reasons, but those wars HAVE to be paid for… even in a dictatorship… and, historically, most wars bankrupt their nations as well as the other nations involved. Look at the current situation with our undeclared wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Let’s not even get into the cost to human life or to property, let us just look at the actual fiscal cost to fight them, clean them up, care for our veterans afterwards, intelligence… all of it. The problem is, in America, because of the way the power to raise and spend tax monies is allocated, the dialogue is usually focused on questioning the patriotism of those who disagree with one side; on attempts to gain power by individuals, parties, factions, ideologies or branches of government; or is hurting our ability to deal with OTHER national priorities by saying we can’t question the money we spend on our wars so we cut the pennies in order to be able to keep throwing away the dollars.

So… in all of the discussion we hear these days about taxes, we are still simply talking about the ‘symptom’ of actual taxation rather than trying to explore the root causes of the actual problems. To ME, the issue is not whether or not taxes are too high, or if they are properly spent, it is that there is no incentive or system in place to DISCOURAGE spending OR raising tax money. If you give the people who have the power to SPEND your money the additional power of determining how MUCH of your money they can take you have the fox guarding the hen house. To me, before we talk about the very real issues of tax codes and policies in America, we need to talk about the basic powers involved in the fundamental issue of taxation.

Here is my personal idea, to start the ball rolling:

01.) ONLY The House of Representatives should have the power to RAISE tax monies. The functions of government which deal with raising and accounting for the expenditures of those monies should be placed under the authority of The House… the people’s house of government. I think that the IRS is the wrong organization for our nation but before it can be dismantled, we need to figure out something to take its place because its ROLE is, and will be necessary. We can NOT destroy something which has such a key role in the operation of our government (whether it SHOULD or should NOT HAVE that role is irrelevant… it does and it must be dealt with as a reality). The House should be completely in charge of our nation’s checking and savings account. This would result in Representatives keeping THEIR jobs in large part based on how they keep taxes low.

02.) ONLY the Senate should have the power to SPEND tax monies. The functions of government which deal with purchasing, contracting, supervising, etc. the expenditures of those monies should be placed under the authority of The Senate. The Senate should be completely in charge of our nation’s checkbooks, passbooks, and ATM cards. This would result in Senators keeping THEIR jobs in large part based on how much swag they can send back home.

03.) The President should be the mediator that coordinates the efforts of the two house of Congress and makes the deals. The President would also be the one who would make sure that all agreements between the two houses on both the raising AND the spending of tax monies would be followed to the letter. The President would be the one who makes sure that every side is honest with the other. The President would also be the one who signs off on all agreements (budgets) and certifies them as satisfying all sides and being in the best interest of the American people.

04.) All three parties involved (The House, The Senate and The Executive Branch) would have complete and unrestricted access to all records, notes, documents, EVERYTHING made or kept by any of the other parties regarding ANY issue regarding or relating to taxes. Further, all finalized, ratified and signed budgets and expenditure agreements shall have full force as LAWS for their durations and any violations of any parts if those agreements and budgets can be prosecuted as such, with the individuals responsible for those violations… ALL individuals at ALL levels up and down the ‘food chain’… being PERSONALLY accountable and liable for those violations (whether it is a Senator, the members of a specific committee, or a clerk who signs a check… EVERYONE is accountable and THUS has the motivation to be honest and above board about all actions and decisions regarding taxes).

05.) All three parties involved (The House, The Senate and The Executive Branch) would create a non-partisan, non-governmental committee or board, to which they will all appoint an equal number of members, which has the power and authority to review and mediate all agreements and violations and to make final and binding non-partisan decisions regarding the same when there are ANY questions about or challenges to finalized agreements or budgets which deal with tax monies and their expenditures. Each state would also get to choose one or two members of this board. Obviously all of the exact details would need to be carefully studied and worked out.

06.) SOMEHOW, The Federal Reserve and The National Bank (and any other such relevant entities) would be brought back under full federal control and incorporated into this who system… somehow.

No matter what our own personal and unrealistic idealistic vision of our government is, taxes are real, they are not going to go away and they ARE necessary. What WE need to do is to try to figure out how to make the system work better and fairer so that it can be a positive factor in our society rather than one which puts us at each others. throats.

Ok, those are my initial thoughts. What can anyone else contribute? How can anyone else make these ideas better or give us different ideas which are better? What can we do with this?

Recommended Readings for people interested in this topic are:

1.)For Good and Evil (Second Edition): The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization
By: Charles Adams (Tax Scholar and Historian, Cato Institute Fellow) http://www.amazon.com/Good-Evil-Second-Impact-Civilization/dp/1568332351/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1224912619&sr=1-1

2.)Those Dirty Rotten taxes: The Tax Revolts that Built America
By: Charles Adams (Tax Scholar and Historian, Cato Institute Fellow) http://www.amazon.com/Those-Dirty-Rotten-taxes-Revolts/dp/0684871149/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238470625&sr=1-1

Rhys M. Blavier
Romayor, Texas

© 2009 by Rhys M. Blavier

Thank you for reading this article. Please read my other articles and let me know what you think. I am writing them not to preach or to hear myself think but to try to create dialogs, debates and discussions on the nature of our government and how we can build upon and improve it based on what we have seen and learned over the course of the 225 years of The American Experiment.

To discuss this topic, the discussion thread is going on here: http://blavier.newsvine.com/_news/2009/04/15/2688338-the-powers-to-raise-and-to-spend-taxes-liberal-libertarian-discussion-topic-01

57% of American’s want to attack N. Korea?

In Libertarian, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Media, War on April 9, 2009 at 12:33 pm

I have to wonder what has a hold of the American people. According to a recent poll 57% of Americans favor a military strike in response to N. Korea’s recent missile test. Most people don’t even know where N. Korea is on the map. The same group of people wouldn’t know why South Korea is our ally instead of North Korea. Most American’s don’t know that the end of the Korean war has not yet been declared. Furthermore, most American’s don’t know that South Korea has called to normalize ties with N. Korea in the past which the US president down played.

With these things in mind it’s a weird phenomenon that 57% of the American’s that participated in the poll would vote to murder Koreans to respond to a situation that they vastly don’t understand. Normally when people make an important decision like choosing a college, house , or car they will do weeks of research to make the right choice. Yet people are willing to sanction murder and willingly convert their tax dollars to murder without understanding the situation. Maybe I’m a weird guy but I think that human life is far more important than a car, house, college, oil, diamonds, or gold. With this in mind I think that people should do more research before they lend their support to mass murder of people they don’t even know.

Propaganda is not something that died in the days of the Soviet Union. I’m sure that you have have heard of the term “human relations”. This term was created by Sigman Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays. He understood that the term “propaganda” had a stigma associated with it. He created the term “human relations” to be a more acceptable term for propaganda. Subsequently we’ve seen numerous corporate human relations departments spring up to control the public image of corporations. Do any of the items below look familiar? They are all methods of propaganda.

This argument approach uses tireless repetition of an idea. An idea, especially a simple slogan, that is repeated enough times, may begin to be taken as the truth. This approach works best when media sources are limited and controlled by the propagator.
Appeals to authority cite prominent figures to support a position, idea, argument, or course of action.
Appeals to fear seek to build support by instilling anxieties and panic in the general population, for example, Joseph Goebbels exploited Theodore Kaufman’s Germany Must Perish! to claim that the Allies sought the extermination of the German people.
Using loaded or emotive terms to attach value or moral goodness to believing the proposition.
Bandwagon and “inevitable-victory” appeals attempt to persuade the target audience to join in and take the course of action that “everyone else is taking.”

  • Inevitable victory: invites those not already on the bandwagon to join those already on the road to certain victory. Those already or at least partially on the bandwagon are reassured that staying aboard is their best course of action.
  • Join the crowd: This technique reinforces people’s natural desire to be on the winning side. This technique is used to convince the audience that a program is an expression of an irresistible mass movement and that it is in their best interest to join.
  • Beautiful people
The type of propaganda that deals with famous people or depicts attractive, happy people. This makes other people think that if they buy a product or follow a certain ideology, they too will be happy or successful. (This is more used in advertising for products, instead of political reasons)
The repeated articulation of a complex of events that justify subsequent action. The descriptions of these events have elements of truth, and the “big lie” generalizations merge and eventually supplant the public’s accurate perception of the underlying events. After World War I the German Stab in the back explanation of the cause of their defeat became a justification for Nazi re-militarization and revanchist aggression.

Retrieved from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda

What does this have to do with N. Korea? I wanted to remind you that there are active systems in place in America that skew the mass’s reality. People don’t just miraculously think that Iran is bad, Iraq had WMD’s, Saddam helped Bin Laden, Amerika is a free country, or Hugo Chavez is an enemy of America. Indeed, there are mechanisms in place to instill and reinforce these idea’s in a person’s mind. The result of such mechanisms are people who feel confident when they say “we should go and kill other people in a foreign country for testing their missile launching capabilities”.

The way to uncover who the people are who’ve been manipulated is to scratch a little deeper in their logic. When you hear people say that “we should go kill some group of people in the world for whatever reason”, ask them “Why?”. If they recite what they heard on television then scratch a little deeper. I was talking to a coworker recently. She told me that if N. Korea gets 1 nuclear bomb then it might end up killing us. I asked her “How can one crude nuke compare to the few 100,000 nukes that America and Russia and Isreal have?”. We could shot down N. Korea’s nuke and still have enough ammo left to destroy the world a few 100 times over.

So you’re probably wondering what’s my point? The point is to remind you to be a critical thinker. When you look at the news be sure to engage your “B.S.” filter. Look for imperical data not the opinions of the reporter. When you see news shows that are full of opinions and not facts then that should set off a red flag in your mind. Sadly most modern news networks try to tell you what to think instead of presenting stories and leaving the judgement to you. As far as N. Korea and it’s missile tests go you might want to research N. Korea and the term “nuclear deterrence”.

Don’t be a puppet.

Peace…

War, oil, economic chaos, enriched uranium, and more war

In Activism, Economics, Iraq War, Libertarian, Protest, War on November 10, 2008 at 5:28 pm

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Today at 2:57pm

Thoughts on What’s Coming

Dear Friend of Peace,

My name is Michael Seebeck. I’m a happily married father of two, dedicated peacemonger and libertarian activist. My wife and I are the Legislative Analysts for the Libertarian Party of California. We recommend courses of action for lobbying, a role can be referred to informally as ”Team Seebeck, Bill Monkeys.”

Part of that role also means being able to connect events and courses of action to determine the consequences of legislation on the public. It also carries over into how I view the news, and lately I really don’t like what I see:

Economic Chaos. Potential War with Iran. Energy Prices. Recession. Russia. Pakistan. Iraq.

What do these all have in common? A pretty grim picture.

Let’s examine the links between these things. You may want a scorecard for this.

Consider the following facts:

Oil had peaked at $147 (7-11-08), and now is at $61 (as of 11-10-08). That’s a 51% drop in three months, and the drop had no end in sight.

World stock markets have tanked in the past four weeks, with trillions of equity and investments being lost.

Iceland faced default on its national debt. (Iceland???)

Iran is still enriching uranium, and the West still claims they are working towards a nuclear bomb. IAEA says otherwise.

Israel is bleating the war drums loudly.

The now multi-trillion-dollar bailout did nothing to help the market or the consumer.

Russia is on the rise from being flush with petroleum money and is revamping their army, navy, air force, and infrastructure.

The Pakistani people are getting agitated against U.S. efforts to track down and kill al-Qaeda in Waziristan.

Iraq is supposedly winding down, but troops aren’t coming home yet.

Afghanistan is heating up, and there is little chance of improvement there.

Unemployment and foreclosures are still on the rise in the U.S. as the recession continues and takes its deepest dive yet.

What does this all mean?

In a word, war.

Yikes!

What can we do?

We must be an organized and concerted effort to pressure our leaders to exercise proper leadership, not to just beat the drums of war because of campaign dollars or market profits for cronies, but instead to work with the world to forge peace as a means to develop prosperity, to turn around the negative attitudes and get nations to work on peaceful mutual interests and trade without foreign entanglements.

That effort starts with the grassroots of the world, from the bottom up, to get the leaders, elected or not, to do the right thing, not only for their own people, but for all people.

It starts with US: We, the people, who opposed war with Iran by a 4-1 margin a year ago and by an even more resounding 93% in June.

Antiwar.com is leading the charge to educate and inform the public, to get our leaders to actually lead, to wage peace and work for a better tomorrow.

With your donation, they can continue this fight, and help us avoid the economic and political destruction of America, and possibly the world.

For more information on how you can help, please contact Development Director Angela Keaton at akeaton@antiwar.com or 323-512-7095.

Won’t you join me in donating to help promote peace? It’s for our future.

Sincerely,

Michael Seebeck

 

 
Angela Keaton
Development Director
Producer, Antiwar Radio
Antiwar.com
Office: 323-512-7095
8am-6pm (Pacific)
323-512-7095
Cell: 310-729-3760
Fax: 602-801-2659

Antiwar.com in need of donations!

In Libertarian, Media, Politics, War on August 11, 2008 at 9:21 pm

These are hard times, and not only for antiwar activists. The country is falling into a massive recession that threatens daily to turn into something far worse. Charitable contributions are way off, and we’re feeling the pinch.
 
Yet we’re counting on you to come through for us when all else fails, because being right should count for something.
 
We were right about the Iraq war.
 
We were right that there were no “weapons of mass destruction.”
 
We were right that a civil war would result.
 
We were right that Iran’s regional influence would be increased exponentially.
 
But where has being right gotten us?
 
We’re right back where we started, warning of the consequences of yet another war, this time against Iran – and asking our readers to help us survive for the next quarter.
 
We don’t have the big foundations, the limousine liberals, and the George Soroses of this world showering us with money. We depend on the generosity of our readers – yes, you! – to get by.
 
We’ve told the truth, without fear or favor. For over a decade, we’ve served our readers well. But we can’t continue to bring you the unvarnished truth if we don’t make our fundraising goal of $70,000. It’s as simple as that. Please make your tax-deductible contribution today.
 
For more information, please contact Angela Keaton at akeaton@antiwar.com or call donor development at 323-512-7095.

Landham: back on the LP ballot line?

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


PolitickerKY
reports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wayne Root denies ‘Iranian cockroaches’ comment

In Iran, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Middle East, War, Wayne Allen Root on July 24, 2008 at 10:32 pm

Posted at Libertarian Peacenik

According to the Classical Liberal blog, “land developer Treg Loyden” spoke with Wayne Allyn Root on the campaign trail, and heard Root say:

“America should just let Israel alone, defend itself, and go nuke the heck out of those Iranian cockroaches. Blow ‘em all up… just nuke the place for a thousand years.”

UPDATE: I contacted Root through his website, seeking clarification. On July 20th, Root responded as follows:

“NOT accurate at all. Ask Steve Kubby. He was a witness. He backs up that this was NOT what was said. So ridiculous. I’m busy Thomas traveling the nation and winning over non-Libertarians, Republicans, Reagan Democrats, independents to our message.

“6% poll numbers nationwide (translating to 6 to 7 million voters) certainly prove the value of our message.

“And by the way I’ve done dozen upon dozen of radio interviews (certainly more than any LP VP ever)…my responses on Iraq and EVERY issue have been well received by the American public. I take live calls across USA from total strangers…and to date EVERY single caller has been won over by my appearances. We’re winning lots of fans!

Have a nice day.
Wayne”

PTSD-ridden Army medic in famous photo dead

In War on July 20, 2008 at 7:56 pm

From Yahoo News:

A photograph taken in the first days of the war had made the medic from New York’s Long Island a symbol of the United States’ good intentions in the Middle East. When he returned home, he was hailed as a hero.

But for most of the past five years, the 31-year-old soldier had writhed in a private hell, shooting at imaginary enemies and dodging nonexistent roadside bombs, sleeping in a closet bunker and trying desperately to huff away the “demons” in his head. When his personal problems became public, efforts were made to help him, but nothing seemed to work.

This broken, frightened man had once been the embodiment of American might and compassion. If the military couldn’t save him, Knapp thought, what hope was there for the thousands suffering in anonymity?

He was standing next to a soldier during a firefight when a boy rode up on a bicycle and stopped beside a weapon lying in the dirt. Under his breath, the soldier beside Dwyer whispered, “Don’t pick it up, kid. Don’t pick it up.”

The boy reached for the weapon and was blasted off his bike.

In late 2004, Dwyer sent e-mails to Zinn, wondering if the photographer had “heard anything else about the kid” from the photo, and claiming he was “doing fine out here in Fort Bliss, Texas.”

But Dwyer wasn’t doing fine. Earlier that year, he’d been prescribed antidepressants and referred for counseling by a doctor. Still, his behavior went from merely odd to dangerous.

One day, he swerved to avoid what he thought was a roadside bomb and crashed into a convenience store sign. He began answering his apartment door with a pistol in his hand and would call friends from his car in the middle of the night, babbling and disoriented from sniffing inhalants.

Matina told friends that he was seeing imaginary Iraqis all around him. Despite all this, the Army had not taken his weapons.

In the summer of 2005, he was removed to the barracks for 72 hours after trashing the apartment looking for an enemy infiltrator. He was admitted to Bliss’ William Beaumont Army Medical Center for treatment of his inhalant addiction.

Read the article in its entirety by clicking here.

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 »

Susan Hogarth: An Open Letter To Bob Barr

In Activism, Congress, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Medical Marijuana, Politics, Presidential Candidates, War on May 17, 2008 at 7:30 pm

The following is reprinted with permission from the author.Susan Hogarth

An Open Letter to Bob Barr: Some Questions

By Susan Hogarth

Mr. Barr,

Thank you for joining the Libertarian Party in our efforts to bring greater freedom to Americans. In light of the very short time between your campaign announcement and the national convention, your antilibertarian congressional record and disinclination to fully repudiate it, and your refusal to answer a single email from me while you were serving as my regional representative on the Libertarian National Committee over the past year, I thought that I would circulate my questions to you publicly, in the hopes that someone, somewhere, will get some straightforward answers from you. To others reading this open letter — I hope that you will take whatever opportunity is afforded you to ask at least one or two of these questions of Mr. Barr. No candidate should garner our nomination without having satisfied the majority of delegates that he will steadfastly champion both the Libertarian Party and the libertarian message.

I’ve separated my questions into categories.

Support for the Libertarian Party and the libertarian message:

  1. Why has the leadership PAC bearing your name continued to raise and distribute funds to support Republican congressional candidates in districts where a Libertarian either is or could be running even after you joined the LP’s governing board? Do you not consider recruiting and supporting Libertarian candidates to be an essential part of the LP leadership’s mission? Will your leadership PAC continue to support Republicans if you are selected as the LP’s presidential nominee?
  2. In a radio interview in Charlotte, NC this week, you indicated that Republicans should support you because your candidacy will bring out voters who are dejected by McCain, and will now vote for Republican candidates down-ballot. What will you do to promote Libertarian Party candidates down-ballot?
  3. You have said that there are parts of the LP’s platform that you disagree with. Can you be specific? What parts of the LP’s platform do you agree with?
  4. Why have you consistently sold yourself in interviews as ‘conservative’ rather than ‘libertarian’? Do you think that ‘libertarian’ and ‘conservative’ are the same thing?

Questions about some of your antilibertarian votes in congress:

  1. PATRIOT Act – you voted ‘for’ the Act. Would you vote the same way again? Do you think it was a mistake to trust the sunset provisions?
  2. Do you still support an anti-flag-desecration amendment to the constitution? How does this tie in with your ideas of federalism? How does it support individual liberty?
  3. DOMA – you have indicated that DOMA was an exercise in federalism (devolving power to the states), but this does not explain the part of DOMA that defines marriage federally as man-woman only. Do you stand by this definition? In your state, would you support a government definition of marriage as man-woman only?
  4. You voted for the Medicare Part D prescription drug boondoggle while in congress. Do you stand by this vote, or repudiate it?

Explanation for some of your current seemingly antilibertarian positions:

  1. You talk about reducing U.S. military bases overseas, but not necessarily closing them. How many foreign countries do you think the U.S. needs to have military personnel in?
  2. Would you support an immediate end to the Afghanistan occupation? How long, as President, would you tolerate U.S. troops continuing to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan?
  3. You have made some welcome movement toward the idea of legalizing medical marijuana in a few cases, and have pointed to the Drug War as an issue where there should be greater state control. Aside from the federalism issue, do you support prohibition of marijuana (for any use) at the state level? Would you stand with Libertarian state-level candidates as a champion of ending prohibition?
  4. You have indicated that you support the idea of federal government resources being routed to South America to support governments that are allies of the U.S. government’s Drug War. Why would you support this sort of interventionism in the name of prohibition abroad? How does this tie in with your idea of federalism?
  5. You have indicated that you support the idea of economic sanctions against Iran as a sort of diplomacy. Sanctions strengthen dictatorships and punish citizens of both nations. Why would you support this sort of interventionism abroad and at home?
  6. Why do you support instituting an entirely new FEDERAL tax on Americans (national sales tax)? Is this the type of ‘federalism’ (or devolution of government power to the states) we can expect from you (i.e. a federalism of convenience)?
  7. You wrote ” Until all governments are willing to take a unified front to confront this problem, it is the duty of the federal government to secure our borders from criminals, terrorists and those seeking to take advantage of the American taxpayer.” Most terrorists, criminals, and freeloaders do not declare themselves as such at the border. How do you propose to separate the vast majority of people who want to come to the U.S. to labor honestly from these undesirables? Do you favor open immigration for all people who wish to come to the U.S. and who are not terrorists, criminals, or freeloaders?

___________________________

Susan Hogarth is a longtime libertarian activist, and a current candidate for the Libertarian National Committee. Her blog is at http://colliething.com

George Phillies: “Time To End the Wars”

In George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Media, Politics, Presidential Candidates, War on May 15, 2008 at 12:17 pm

George Phillies for President 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Phillies: Time to End the Wars

Worcester, Mass., May 14: “We are at ‘war’ with everything, it seems,” said Libertarian Presidential hopeful George Phillies in a statement earlier today. “We have the War on Iraq. The War on the Constitution. The War on (some, but not other) drugs. The War on Guns. The War on Science. It’s time to end these wars.”

Phillies outlined the cost of all the various “wars” the United States is fighting, pointing out that a baby born today can expect to be responsible for at least $200,000 of government debt. “We must change, or we will go broke,” he emphasized.

He not only spoke about the war on Iraq, which he said should be ended “already,” but about the failures of prohibition and the parallels in the war on drugs. “The War on Drugs leaves two million Americans in prison, and insures that millions of others will forever have felony records for smoking the wrong dried leaf. That’s millions of Americans whose lifetime participation in our thriving economy will be pointlessly hindered. The War on Drugs, and specifically on marijuana, is racist to the core, with selective enforcement and a racial double standard on jail time. The war on drugs means that pot smugglers, like the booze smugglers of the prohibition era, settle marketing disputes with guns. Ending booze prohibition meant no more Saint Valentine’s Day massacres. Ending drug prohibition will end battles that accidentally kill innocent children.”

He went on to discuss the battle over gun control. “The war on guns endangers the lives and safety of millions of Americans. In America, home invasion–breaking into an occupied home to rob and assault the occupants–is very rare. In England, it’s common. That’s because Americans own guns, so home invasion is potentially a suicidal act. That’s why European tyrants try to disarm their subjects; victim disarmament means your secret police can live to enjoy their pensions. Ending efforts to disarm Americans will make America safer and less crime-ridden, while protecting the civil liberties for which George Washington‘s volunteer army gave their lives.

“No real Libertarians disagree,” he added. “Even Senators Obama and McCain voted for the Vitter Amendment banning firearms confiscation.

“Not only is it time to end all these wars,” said Dr. Phillies, “but it’s time to stop thinking in terms of ‘war’ every time we have a problem to solve. Except for Iraq, these are not wars, and we cheapen the sacrifice of those who fight on our behalf in real wars by calling them such. War is a tool of statecraft reserved for the most desperate circumstances, not a word to be lightly applied to every problem.”

61 trillion dollars in spending not covered by taxes. — General Accounting Office Report http://www.gao.gov/htext/d08371cg.html A call for Stewardship (61 trillion dollars over 300 million people is quoted here.)

A sea of lies see http://www.carnegieendowment.org/files/Iraq3GuideFind_SummRec.pdf especially pp. 1-4

The Vitter Amendment text and vote http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=2&vote=00202

Racial Disparities Found to Persist as Drug Arrests Rise http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/06/us/05cnd-disparities.html

What positions does Bob Barr support?

In Congress, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Torture, War on May 14, 2008 at 8:10 pm

In politics, you can tell a lot about a candidate based upon the positions they champion. This is true whether they support the positions directly, or indirectly.

Bob Barr’s PAC raises money under his signature, and he supported a number of Republican Congressmen and Senators during the current election cycle. Supporting the campaign is the same as supporting the positions the Congressman or Senator takes, obviously.

The fact of the matter is that nine of ten Congressman Bob Barr supported oppose leaving Iraq, and support military kangaroo courts. Eight out of ten Congressmen he supported want Uncle Sam in your hospital bed, a’la Ms. Schiavo. Eight of ten Congressman he supported are in support of warrantless wiretaps, and want to ban flag burning. A majority support torture.

Here is a listing of ten Congressmen Barr has supported during the current election cycle, after Barr joined the LP. The numbers beside their names indicate their extremely unlibertarian votes in Congress; specifics are below.

CONGRESSMEN
Gingrey Georgia 1 2 3 4 5 6
Ros-Lehtinen Florida 1 2 3 5 6
Jeff Flake Arizona 1 2 3 4
Robin Hayes North Carolina 2 3 4 5 6
Jeb Hensarling Texas 1 2 3 4 5 6
Jack Kingston Georgia 1 2 3 4 5 6
Pryce for Congress Ohio 1 2 3 5 6
Rehberg for Congress Montana 1 2 3 4 5 6
Walter Jones North Carolina 5 6
Christopher Shays for Congress Connecticut 1 2 3

(1) Vote 836: S 1927: The bill gives U.S. spy agencies expanded power to eavesdrop on foreign suspects without a court order. Civil liberties and privacy advocates argue the bill jeopardizes the Fourth Amendment privacy rights and allows for the warrantless monitoring of virtually any form of communication originating in the United States.

(2) 7/12/07 Vote 624: H R 2956: This bill would require the president to begin reducing the number of U.S. troops serving in Iraq 120 days after its enactment and would require most troops to be withdrawn by April 1, 2008.

(3) 9/29/06 Vote 508: S 3930: Military Commissions Act

(4) 12/14/05 Vote 630: H R 2863: Supported a ban on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees held by U.S. forces

(5) 6/22/05 Vote 296: H J RES 10: This vote approved the proposal of a Constitutional amendment to ban the desecration of the American flag.

(6) 3/21/05 Vote 90: S 686: Gave federal courts jurisdiction in the Terri Schiavo dispute.

Since 2007, Barr’s PAC supported nine U.S. Senators. Every one of the Senators he supported has voted to allow warrantless wiretapping and monitoring of virtually every form of communication in America; and every one of them voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act when it expired. Eight of nine voted for war funding. Seven of nine voted against an antiwar withdrawal motion. Every one of them voted for a Constitutional Amendment to ban flag burning. Six of nine voted to advance a constitutional amendment against gay marriage.

Again, supporting the Senator is showing agreement with the positions the Senator takes. How can Bob Barr claim to be a libertarian, when he supports so many Senators who vote for such incredibly un-libertarian stances?

SENATORS
Saxby Chambliss Georgia 1 2 3 4 5 6
Arlen Specter 1 2 3 4 6
Norm Coleman Minnesota 1 3 4 5 6
Larry Craig Idaho 1 2 3 4 5 6
Lindsey Graham South Carolina 1 2 3 4 5 6
Hagel for Senate 1 2 4 6
Jeff Sessions Alabama 1 2 3 4 5 6
Gordon Smith for US Senate Committee 1 2 4 5 6
Team Sununu New Hampshire 1 2 3 4 6

(1) Vote 309: S 1927: This amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 passed 60-28 on August 3. Civil liberties and privacy advocates argue the bill jeopardizes the Fourth Amendment privacy rights and allows for the warrantless monitoring of virtually any form of communication originating in the United States.

(2) 5/24/07 Vote 181: On the Motion: Fund the war. This $120 billion dollar package was passed in the Senate by an 80-14 vote on May 24.

(3) 3/29/07 Vote 126: H R 1591: This $122 billion war spending bill calls for combat troops to begin withdrawing from Iraq this summer.

(4) 6/27/06 Vote 189: S J RES 12: This vote would have given Senate approval to a proposed constitutional amendment that would give Congress the authority to ban “desecration of the American flag”.

(5) 6/7/06 Vote 163: On the Cloture Motion: A Senate cloture vote on the gay marriage amendment failed, effectively killing the amendment.

(6) 3/2/06 Vote 29: H R 3199: Reauthorized a slightly modified version of the 2001 USA Patriot Act.

With the above in mind it is completely reasonable – based upon Barr’s own record in Congress and his continuing support of Congressmen and Senators who take those positions – to assume Bob Barr would vote in the same manner if he were still in Congress, despite his claim to have converted to libertarianism. After all, he has been supporting people making extremely un-libertarian decisions, even as he sat on the LNC and pondered seeking the LP’s presidential nomination. To believe otherwise would be to close one’s eyes to the painfully obvious truth, which is that we can put a hat on this Republican pig and call him Tillie, but that still won’t make him a Libertarian.

First Episode of “Last Free Voice Live”

In Christine Smith, Entertainment, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Media, Mike Jingozian, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Steve Kubby, War, Wayne Allen Root on May 4, 2008 at 2:15 am

The first (test) episode of Last Free Voice Live is now available online. It’s 30 minutes long, and it’s just me jabbering about our new website, my opinions on the LP Presidential candidates and the resignation of Shane Corey, among other things including the fact that I felt like I had the Ebola Virus while recording it, LOL.  I’m happy to say It went well, with no major technical glitches.  I just winged the entire thing and didn’t bother to use my “interview voice”, since it was only a test episode to make sure the blogtalk account works.

Yeah, I probably should have used my interview voice, since I do sometimes talk rather fast in “real life”, but I felt like reconstituted hell and just wanted to get the test episode done so I could crash on the sofa again, LOL.

Now that I have a pretty good feel for how it works, and have confidence that it will work reliably, I’ll start scheduling real shows with predetermined schedules, specific topics and interesting guests; of course, regular episodes will be longer than 30 minutes.  I will post a description of each episode (including date and time) right here on the blog, as well as on our blogtalk page.  If you have a blogtalk account of your own (you don’t have to do shows to have an account, that’s an additional process) make sure to add LFV Live to your “friends” list.  Also, with an account you can subscribe to the episodes, and even schedule email or text message reminders, so I would suggest we all get one.

We were discussing in another thread what days and times are best for people to listen in (since there will be a call-in opportunity as well, so listeners can ask questions of our guests).  I’d still like to have some input on that issue from everyone, so we can come up with a regular day and time each week for the main “Last Free Voice Live” show.

In addition to the main show (which will not necessarily always be hosted by me, since I am open to other contributors taking their shot at hosting it as well), each of the LFV contributors can host their own LFV Live episodes at other times during the week; you can discuss pretty much whatever you want, content is up to you and all you need to do is contact me so I can set it up for you.  Or, if you’d prefer to be a guest (or can recommend a good guest), by all means, let me know.  🙂

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.

The shamelessness of the neocon business press

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

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

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

From the article:

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

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

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

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

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

Now how about this one:

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

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

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

I know; it’s all of the above.

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

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

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

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

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

The Lonely Libertarian on the Gravel Factor

In Activism, Barack Obama, Democrats, Libertarian, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, People in the news, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Protest, Republican, Terrorism, War on April 25, 2008 at 7:34 pm

From The Lonely Libertarian:

Mike GravelOne more X-factor in the general election- the possibility that the Libertarian party could actually be a factor. Particularly interesting is the candidacy of former Democrat Senator Mike Gravel, who, along with former Republican Congressman Bob Barr, is contending for the Libertarian nomination. In an election where even the Democrats seem basically unwilling to talk about the war, I think the libertarians could siphon off anti-war votes from both the left and the right and I think John McCain’s candidacy could open the door for Republican voters who care more about limited government than the war on terror.

George Phillies answers Marc Montoni’s questions

In Congress, George Phillies, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, People in the news, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Republican, Terrorism, US Government, War on April 23, 2008 at 10:09 pm

This past week, our very own PaulieCannoli posted “Marc Montoni has questions for Bob Barr. How about you?” on Third Party Watch.

George PhilliesWhile to my knowledge Barr has not answered those questions, his opponent Dr. George Phillies has answered them. Below is Dr. Phillies’ response.

12 Questions by Marc Montoni

Marc offers a baker’s dozen of questions. Of course, I’m not Bob Barr, so my answers are not the same.

1. Mr. Barr, while a congressman, you supported a lot of pork, including federal cash for Gwinnett, Bartow, and Cherokee airports and transportation projects. You also steered business to Lockheed-Martin’s Marietta, GA plant for the C-130 cargo plane and the gold-plated F-22 Raptor fighter. How does this relate to fighting for smaller government?

Phillies: I’ve called for huge reductions in every part of the Federal budget. Those pork barrel contracts and corporate welfare schemes will face vetos in a Phillies administration.

2. Mr. Barr, you supported Bush’s military tribunals for Iraqis captured during the war (“Barr Stands Behind President on Tribunal Procedures” 3/21/2002). How does this relate to fighting for smaller government? And given that the Constitution doesn’t say its protections are only for citizens, how does your support of depriving individuals of their rights encourage government to properly respect the rights of people who are citizens?

George Bush claimed that as President he had the right to try terrorists before military tribunals. Of course, this is complete nonsense, because our Constitution guarantees the right of trial by jury. (Prisoners of War are not tried; they are detained.) George Bush made this claim this because he’s not loyal to the Constitution. As President, I will replace Federal officers who try to ignore the Constitution with loyal, patriotic civil servants who love our country, love our Constitution and its Bill of Rights, and are willing to make sacrifices to defend them.

3. Mr. Barr, you supported federal interference in assisted suicide (“Barr Praises Administration Stance Against Suicide Doctors”, 11/8/2001). How does this relate to fighting for smaller government? And have you ever sat at a patient’s bedside while he was writhing in agonizing pain for weeks on end, waiting to die, and explained to him why he couldn’t choose a dignified manner of death as the sole owner of his own body?

Two years ago, my mother died in bed, in her own living room, with my brother and I by her side. Fortunately, she was in no pain. Others are much less lucky as death approaches. I strongly support laws protecting compassionate care and laws that permit mentally competent persons facing imminent and painful death to choose the moment of their demise. Government should have no role in this matter of decisions made by mentally competent adults.

4. Mr. Barr, you supported federal meddling in contracts between HMO’s and their customers (“Barr Hails Passage of HMO Reform Legislation”, 8/2/2001). How does this relate to fighting for smaller government? What does abrogating the terms of contracts have to do with freedom?

I support the validity of non-fraudulent contracts freely entered into by knowing and consenting adults. I have called for interstate competition in the provision of health insurance, so that people have a wider range of choices in their medical care arrangements. I also call for putting all medical care costs on the same tax basis, to eliminate the Federal corporate welfare subsidy of some health insurance arrangements.

5. Mr. Barr, you supported giving money to religious organizations for charitable programs (“Barr Hails Passage of President’s Faith-Based Initiative”, 7/19/2001). How does this relate to fighting for smaller
government?

Phillies: I am entirely opposed to giving government money to religious organizations, when the charitable organization’s religious and charitable activities are irretrievably commingled. There should be an iron wall of separation ensuring that our tax money is not spent for the benefit of particular religious organizations.

6. Mr. Barr, you supported a wholesale expansion of the fed into schools with your cosponsorship of H.R. 1 in 2001—“The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001” (“Barr Cosponsors Bush Education Bill”, 3/22/2001). How does this relate to fighting for smaller government?

Phillies: I call for the immediate repeal of No Child Left Behind.

7. Mr. Barr, you supported a discriminatory ban on Wiccan expression in the military (“Barr Demands End To Taxpayer-funded Witchcraft On American Military Bases, May 18, 1999). How does this relate to fighting for smaller government?

Phillies: I have condemned Republican efforts to organize army persecution of Wiccans. Should soldiers should be allowed, on their own time and using their own resources, to conduct religious services at the base where they were stationed? Of course they should. The people in question did not even ask the army to construct a religious building for them, only to use an otherwise vacant field for worship.

And, while I am at it, I also condemn Republican efforts to revive school prayer. That was an issue in the 2007 Kentucky republican gubernatorial primary. One of the autodial tapes attacking Republican Anne Northrop, for having voted for school prayer only thirteen times out of fourteen, was according to recorded by… Bob Barr. While he was a sitting member of the LNC.

8. Mr. Barr, you supported summarily evicting students from school for bringing a gun onto school property — seemingly forgetting that millions of young Americans did this right into the seventies — regardless of whether they were simply going hunting after school or not. You apparently wanted to forget that the Constitution doesn’t just protect the rights of adults, but children too (“Testimony of U.S. Representative Bob Barr on The Child Safety and Protection Act of 1999, Before The House Committee on Rules”, June 14, 1999). How does this relate to fighting for smaller government?

I condemn this Federal intervention into the conduct of local schools. The only way to avoid this question is to work, as I do, for separation of school and state. When children are private or home schooled, the Federal question vanished, because it is purely a matter of parental and contractual discretion.

9. Mr. Barr, you voted with the majority to further socialize medicine by voting for H.R. 4680, the Medicare Prescription Drug Act of 2000 (June 28, 2000). How does this relate to fighting for smaller government?

America is flat-out broke. We don’t have the money for this program. We simply can’t afford it. It mostly has to go. Unsurprisingly, the Republican Congress failed to investigate effectively the cost of the program before voting for it.

10. Mr. Barr, you supported flag-waving nationalistic fervor by voting several times in favor of a constitutional amendment to prohibit the physical desecration of the United States Flag; in 2000 it was HJ Resolution 33 (June 24, 1999). How does this relate to fighting for smaller government? What does the flag-worship cult have to do with liberty?

I am 100% in support of freedom of speech. Nonetheless, the flag-burning amendment is a farce. If passed and put into effect, which I certainly hope will not take place, it invites opponents of the current Republican War Party leadership to burn objects that are look more and more like flags, without being flags.

11. Will you or have you openly, publicly, and clearly repudiated all of these previous nanny-state actions of yours?

See above.

12. Why did you wait until you’re no longer in congress to repudiate them? Shouldn’t you have thought about all of that Leviathan-state-building you were doing while you were in congress and it actually mattered?

I haven’t had to flip flop on issues. I have had people suggest to me ways of making my message more effective, generally by stressing the positive, good-news part of the discussion. The hope of the shining libertarian city on the sunlit hill of liberty is sometimes a more effective lure than other alternatives.

13. Oh, yes, that last question: “How does this relate to fighting for smaller government?”

I organized a Federal PAC and a Massachusetts State PAC. They’ve had to be inactive during my campaign, for legal reasons, but they will be back. I helped organize a libertarian 527 organization, Freedom Ballot Access, that raised more than $18,000 for Mike Badnarik’s ballot access. My organizations fund Libertarian candidates, not Republican candidates running against Libertarians.

I’ve written two books on our party’s tactics and history. My newsletters Libertarian Strategy Gazette and Let Freedom Ring! have brought Libertarian Party news across America. I’ve distributed the Libertarian Candidate Campaign Support disk, assembled by Bonnie Scott and I, for free to hundreds of fellow libertarian candidates. And I’m currently state chair of the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts.

That’s how I’ve worked for smaller government.

Antiwar songs: “Rooster” by Alice In Chains

In Celebrities, Communism, Entertainment, History, Military, Music, Obituaries, Protest, US Government, Veterans, War on April 22, 2008 at 9:27 pm

Alice In ChainsThis video is especially interesting because it includes snippets of an interview with guitarist Jerry Cantrell’s father, who served two tours in Vietnam. In the father’s interview, he states that he hopes no one else will ever have to go through what he went through.

Jerry Cantrell never even met his father, Jerry Sr. (nicknamed “Rooster”), until he was three years old. Up until then, his father had been a soldier. About his father, Jerry once said:

My dad was trained to be a fucking killer. After that, you can’t just come back home and say, “OK, everything’s cool. I’m going to work 9 to 5 now.” That shit scars you forever.

“Rooster” is Jerry’s tribute to his father’s suffering. I will warn you, though, that the video contains explicit images of war.

For those of you who would prefer to not view images of that nature, this second video is the unplugged version of the same song, which shows nothing but the band performing:

Here are the lyrics, in case any of you can’t make them all out:

Ain’t found no way to kill me yet
Eyes burn with stinging sweat
Seems every path leads me to nowhere

Wife and kids, household pet
Army green was no safe bet
The bullets scream to me from somewhere

Here they come to snuff the Rooster
Yeah here come the Rooster, yeah
You know he ain’t gonna die
No, no, no, ya know he ain’t gonna die

Walkin’ tall machine gun man
They spit on me in my homeland
Gloria sent me pictures of my boy

Got my pills ‘gainst mosquito death
My buddy’s breathin his dyin’ breath
Oh God please, won’t you help me make it through

Here they come to snuff the Rooster
Yeah here come the Rooster, yeah
You know he ain’t gonna die
No, no, no ya know he ain’t gonna die

Alice In Chains is Layne Staley, lead singer/songwriter; Jerry Cantrell, guitarist/vocals/songwriter; Mike Inez, bassist; and Sean Kinney, drummer. AiC was one of the most popular and successful heavy metal bands to come out of the early 90s Seattle music scene, along with Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.

AiC was nominated for a Grammy for “Best Heavy Metal Group”, and nominated for an American Music Award for “Favorite Heavy Metal Artist”.  AiC reached platinum album status with both “Dirt” (which contained “Rooster”) and “Facelift”, and was awarded an MTV Music Award for best video from a film, with “Would” (from the film “Singles”).

Singer Layne Staley, ranked #27 in Hit Parader’s “Heavy Metal’s All Time Top 100 Vocalists” and widely considered one of the most influential singers in rock, struggled with a severe heroin addiction for over a decade, and finally succumbed to the ravages of that addiction in 2002.

RIP, Layne.