Yearly Archives: 2011
Just four short months ago, congresswoman Michele Bachmann was riding high on national attention after her campaign managed to squeak out a narrow victory against Ron Paul in the Ames Straw Poll this past August, but political campaigns have a way of imploding around an unelectable candidate the closer the primaries draw near. Now it seems Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign may have finally run out of gas after a major defection (or firing, depending who you ask) of not only top political aide Kent Sorenson, but Wes Enos as well.
Let’s just say there’s a lot of bad blood right now from people who realize her game is nearly over.
Bachmann’s troubles now seem to be rapidly mounting as the Iowa caucuses draw near. Fresh reports of financial and staffing trouble have been leaking at telling rate, with the AP reporting that there are calls from GOP insiders for her to abandon the race entirely:
Two top Iowa advisers left the campaign on successive days this week, with her state chairman, Kent Sorenson, quitting and then going so far as to endorse Paul within hours of campaigning with her. A day later, Wes Enos said he was leaving his job as Bachmann’s political director.
Furious, Bachmann spent much of Thursday accusing Sorenson of switching allegiances for money. He denied it. But the candidate found herself in a daylong spat rather than hammering home her closing message to voters.
To some, it was another sign of a campaign in free-fall.
“If you can’t get your campaign on one page, it’s really hard to think you’re going to get a country on one page. The timing is horrible,” said veteran Iowa Republican strategist David Roederer, who is unaffiliated in this year’s race but held top Iowa posts in John McCain’s 2008 campaign and George W. Bush’s 2000 bid.
It didn’t help that the departures came on top of calls by some Iowa pastors that either she or Santorum leave the race so evangelical voters can consolidate their support and block a victory by Romney or Paul. She quickly rejected the plea.
I am more than pleased to see her stay in the race a few more days if it means further fracturing of the ignoramus evangelical vote. But after she places fifth or so in Iowa next Tuesday you can bet she’s going to be quickly packing up the corn dogs and other Iowa fair foods and heading back to Minnesota to ruminate over why even her own staff can’t trust her to be president.
UPDATE: I honestly have to add that I love this crazy bitch, she has entertained me to no end (though sometimes in the scary way, because people seem to take her seriously, not to mention the whole Dominionism thing). She’s now quoting some New Testament scripture about flipping tables like Jesus during interviews… how awesome is that?
It’s great for America that Bachmann and her most ardent followers seem to have no clue about the internet whatsoever.
Lately there has been a lot of criticism of the libertarian approach to defense and foreign policy. It is derided as isolationist and somehow “dangerous for America” to not be all amped up to bomb Iran. Isolationism has been a dirty word in American politics for around 70 years, for some fairly well thought out reasons. This pose has long out-worn its utility, however. It continues because most of our leaders and pundits are historically ignorant. Let’s help them out.
In the run up to World War II there was a significant portion of the US population that had no interest in getting involved. They remembered the 100,000 Americans that died in World War I and had no desire to add to their number. Even after Adolph Hitler demanded part of Czechoslovakia in 1938, they were not interested. The UK Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, seeing no help from the US, and remembering the British Empire’s 1,000,000 war dead, flew to Munich and signed an embarrassing peace treaty giving Hitler what he wanted. This came to be known as “appeasement”. The treaty turned out to be a worthless piece of paper, and the ensuing decade revealed just what a monster Hitler was. The justly reviled appeasement is paired with the concept of isolation in the minds of our pundits. World War II was one of our best wars, fought to rid the world of one of history’s greatest abominations.
But why did Hitler exist in the first place? The last veteran has died, it’s time to look at this honestly. Hitler would never have come to power without Woodrow Wilson’s disastrous decision to jump into World War I. The war started with the assassination of the heir to the throne of one of Germany’s allies. Looking back through the lens of Hitler, though, the Germans have been made out to be the bad guys. This is not fair.
In 1914 European civilization decided to kill itself. Every major power in Europe made the decision that “national honor” was more important than millions of lives. After three years, and an atrocious cost, the war was finally beginning to exhaust itself. Wilson jumped in and picked a winner. The European powers were equally guilty, but because of our participation Britain and France got to impose the Treaty of Versailles on Germany, with massive war reparations, and a loss of territory to go with its 2 million dead soldiers. Germany went insane.
So yes, appeasement is a bad thing, and we should not go for Tokugawa-style isolation. It is important to remember, however, that while our glorious arms did rid the world of Hitler, Woodrow Wilson’s military adventurism also created him. This knowledge of the root causes of WWII is something that our foreign policy establishment lacks. This hobbles them. Everything becomes about appeasement and isolation. 1938 is the only relevant year in history according to too many. In our half-century struggle with the USSR (another fight Wilson picked BTW ), this was occasionally useful. Now that the main enemies are preachers in caves and tin-pot dictators who occasionally mouth off about Israel the mental handicaps of our leaders need to be addressed. Our military might is capable of solving some problems, but it also creates them. More people in power in the US should be aware of that.
American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson has voiced her pick for President in 2012 — and it’s none other than Ron Paul. Are you surprised?
Like us, Kelly believes that governments don’t have any business running our lives and it’s all about personal choice. She took to her official Twitter page to say, “I love Ron Paul. I liked him a lot during the last republican nomination and no one gave him a chance. If he wins the nomination for the Republican party in 2012 he’s got my vote. Too bad he probably won’t.”
Kelly was bombarded with an influx of tweets from those who don’t support Paul for President in 2012. Fans of hers called him out for being “racist” and a “homophobe”.
we shouldn’t try & help/tell other countries how to solve their issues w/the poor when we can’t even solve our own.
I am a Republican but I actually voted Democrat last election.
I have never heard that he’s a racist? I definitely don’t agree with racism, that’s ignorant.
I love all people and could care less if you like men or women. I have never heard that Ron Paul is a racist or homophobe?
I have never seen or heard Ron Paul say anything against gay people?
I respect your opinion and I am about progress. Ron Paul is about letting people decide, not the government. I am for this.
After all of the hate-filled messages she received on the social networking service, she had this to say:
I am really sorry if I have offended anyone. Obviously that was not my intent. I do not support racism. I support gay rights, straight rights, women’s rights, men’s rights, white/black/purple/orange rights. I like Ron Paul because he believes in less government and letting the people (all of us) make the decisions and mold our country. That is all. Out of all of the Republican nominees, he’s my favorite.
What do you think of what she had to say?
UPDATE: Grammy and MTV award winner Michelle Branch took to twitter and is also throwing her clout behind Ron Paul (and supporting Kelly Clarkson’s decision to publicly endorse). She’s also apparently not falling for the smear campaign. Best of luck to both ignoring the hateful haters.
UPDATE II: We’re pleased to report that Kelly Clarkson is gaining a ridiculous amount of new fans out of just a few tweets on her part. Thanks to Ron Paul supporters’ piqued interest, her record sales on Amazon have seen a 192% spike in the past twenty four hours. Clarkson briefly peaked to the number one spot on Amazon’s music sales rankings, but has since fallen behind Adele and Michael Bublé.
Well hello there, Mr. free market candidate.
UPDATE Jan 14th: Kelly Clarkson was interviewed by NPR where it was revealed the singer enjoyed a massive 442% spike in record sales following the endorsement. She then explained why she liked Ron Paul saying, “I like a lot, you know, he believes in states having the rights and I think that that’s very important.” Her superficial understanding of the issues is indicative of why Ron Paul’s campaign should remain focused on educating.
Unfortunately Clarkson is taking a lot of undeserved criticism over a joke at the end that she might endorse all the candidates (you know, for the record moneys bump). I can’t begin to explain to this poor singer what a terrible move that would be, but I’m pretty sure she’s already received more than a few outraged tweets.
It’s time to once again look back at a year gone by.
The year began with the 112th Congress taking office and some members of Congress attempting to appease the TEA Party crowd by reading the Constitution to begin the session. However, the Congress continued to violate the document they swore to uphold by passing, among other legislation, an extension to the USA PATRIOT Act, an extension to FISA and a provision that allows American citizens to be detained indefinitely without trial.
In what became known as the Arab Spring, mass protests broke out in North Africa and the Middle East, with the protesters successfully ousting Tunisian President Ben Ali, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Libyan “leader” Muammar Gaddafi; however, the American military played a role in Yemen and Libya. The Arab Spring has also seen uprisings in Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Syria and several other countries.
Most of the summer was spent debating whether or not and by how much the federal debt ceiling should be raised. And as I predicted, “Instead of saying, ‘No, we will not raise the debt ceiling.’ Members of Congress will come to a compromise that will increase the debt ceiling, further inflate the currency and continue to enslave tax-payers with a perpetual debt that will never be paid off.” The compromise involved raising the “debt ceiling” while supposedly cutting $2 trillion of federal spending over the next decade, while actually increasing federal spending by $1.8 trillion over the same time frame.
While Congress was debating how much further to go into debt, peaceful people were being arrested for dancing in public, selling lemonade without a permit and refusing to pay extortion fees to use their own property. Not long after the deal to raise the debt ceiling, a group of people decided to “Occupy Wall Street”. This “occupation” soon spread to solidarity protests across the country. I originally thought the protests would fizzle out around Thanksgiving, however the occupy protests do not seem to be going away.
However, 2011 was not all bad. Courts and juries, at both the State and federal level, upheld the right of individuals to film public officials while on duty. The 1st Circuit Court ruled that filming public officials while on duty is a “basic and well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment.”
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal in Malaysia found George W. Bush and Tony Blair guilty of War Crimes with plans to hold a separate hearing next year on charges of torture linked to the Iraq war against Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and four others.
During 2011, Free Patriot Press published its sixth and seventh books; Don’t Be Tread On by Kevin Kobe and Duopoly: How the Republicrats Control the Electoral Process by Darryl W. Perry. Books published by Free Patriot Press during 2010 won awards from both LAVA and Freedom Book Club.
The Boston Tea Party – the political party formed in 2006 with a one sentence platform, “The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose” – nominated as Tiffany Briscoe and Kimberly Johnson as their 2012 Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates and will attempt ballot access in approximately 15 States.
Much like years past, this year has seen its share of ups and downs, natural and unnatural disasters, more freedoms were taken away than gained and governments at all levels expanded their authority. Yet authority was also eroded and circumvented in new and novel ways. Here’s to more freedom in 2012 and beyond!
It’s common sense to us at the Hammer of Truth that the poor are the only people who get locked up for long stretches for drug offenses. Drug warriors are sensitive to this critique and every now and then they try to confront it in some high profile display.
“Operation Ivy League” is an excellent example. In December of 2010 the NYPD arrested 5 Columbia University frat boys for dealing marijuana, cocaine, LSD, MDMA and sundry other party favors to their classmates. The NYPD conducted an exhaustive 5-month sting operation, involving 31 transactions totaling $11,000 worth of substances. The story was national news. The drug warriors successfully sent out their message. At great cost, the NYPD showed that even the most privileged have to worry about our drug laws.
Or had they? There has been surprisingly little follow up for such a big story. This gets a little technical, but bear with me, it’s worth it. The operation picked up five privileged Columbia frat boys, and three off-campus drug dealers. All of the off-campus drug dealers are serving or have served time. Miron Sarzynski, the supplier, initially charged with 9 counts including attempted kidnapping and the sole count of first degree Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance (CSCS) is now serving six years. He seems to be a legitimately bad guy, whose incarceration is hard to lament. Megan Asper, his girlfriend, got 45 days for possession. Roberto Lagares, charged with a single count of 2nd degree CSCS is now serving a 6 year prison term (all information on charges can be found here).
It is instructive to compare Lagares to Harrison David, the only one of the Frat boys to have made it to sentencing at this point. David was the most comprehensively charged of the frat boys. In addition to the same 2nd degree CSCS charge that Lagares was charged with, he was charged with an additional 11 counts of drug distribution of varying levels and substances. This is the frat boy that the NYPD had the best case against. Undercover police purchased substances from him on multiple occasions. This is the guy that they spent 5 months trying to put away. This is the guy they were going to prove their point with. They proved a point. Despite being charged with dramatically more than Roberto Lagares, Harrison David is now serving a 6 month prison term. The injustice of our system could not be laid out more starkly. The rich kid, charged with dramatically more criminal activity, received a sentence 1/12th the length of the one given to the poor one.
The frat boys must all have fantastic legal representation. The second most charged frat boy has now been offered a clear criminal record if he completes a year-long marijuana treatment program. The other three frat boys, who are charged with less, will receive more lenient treatment. I bet the frat boys are having a really tough time. It may take them years to get back on the path to the investment-banking house or grad-school of their choice. It won’t take them as much time as Roberto Lagares will spend in prison though.
The Boston Tea Party’s Presidential Nominating Convention concluded after two days with the Vice Presidential nomination going to a second round of balloting.
Tiffany Briscoe (Maryland) was chosen as the Presidential nominee on the first round of voting. Kimberly Johnson (Arizona) was chosen as the Vice Presidential nominee after a second round vote.
BTP Chair, Darryl W. Perry says, “I would like to thank those of you who voted in the Presidential Nominating Convention. I would like to congratulate Tiffany Briscoe winning the BTP Presidential and Kimberly Johnson on winning the Vice Presidential nomination. You two ladies will represent the party well in the 2012 election.”
Additionally, it is estimated that the BTP will attempt to obtain ballot access in as many as fifteen states and will attempt to have the presidential ticket as a certified write-in candidate in the remaining states (excepting Oklahoma which does not allow write-in votes).
The Boston Tea Party was founded in 2006 with a one sentence platform, “The Boston Tea Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope and power of government at any level, for any purpose.” In October 2008, the party’s National Convention adopted the four point program of the Campaign for Liberty. Their program calls for an end to overseas occupation, a restoration of privacy and other liberties, no increase in the national debt, and a thorough review of the Federal Reserve. During the 2010 convention the party adopted a new program to “End the Wars of Aggression,” “End the Fed,” “End the War on Drugs,” “End the Abuses of Liberty” and “End the Immigration Fiasco.”
GoDaddy has a major SOPA/PIPA problem. Or rather, GoDaddy wants to now say they had a major SOPA/PIPA problem for less than forty-eight hours after the sucking sound of furious customers threatening a boycott on reddit then took over the internetz in what was the fastest brushfire of economic libertarian backlash the world may yet have witnessed.
Competitors lapped it up, luring domain holders away with promo codes with clever names such as SOPASUCKS and NODADDY.
The war on GoDaddy by competing registrars is now afoot. Domain registrations aren’t the hardest product offering to pull off, and with the internet comes the fierce competition of a free marketplace where #2 is trying to outsell as best they know how. Many domain holders are no doubt exploring their full set of options to keep doing their line of business regardless of SOPA/PIPA provisions. If push came to shove over US manhandling of domains, eventually the .com TLD could end up largely abandoned by independent web producers seeking better terms.
GoDaddy has now not so quickly, yet overwhelmingly reversed course on their support of the bill (which began much earlier this year), with public relations representatives now clearly in damage control mode on their support forums. Hoping their grand daddy of blunders will soon be over, the company stated “we have listened to our customers.” Word has it they still have not recanted support of PIPA, so the boycott is officially still on until they do.