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Fidel Castro Temporarily Relinquishes Power

And in other news, 2 feet of snow is predicted for the Hell metro area. No, really. It surprised me too.

From the Miami Herald:

Cuba’s official media and government representatives, reacting to speculation about Fidel Castro’s prognosis after a serious operation, said Tuesday afternoon that his recovery was underway and his demise was in no way imminent.

It goes on to elaborate that control over the nation was given over to Raul Castro, Fidel’s brother. It covers the reaction of the Cuban-American community in Florida rather well, however.

At the same time, top Cuban exile leaders in Miami urged dissidents inside Cuba to ignite a nationwide movement of civil disobedience to protest the succession of power.

”It’s time for the military not to shoot” at those who mount peaceful protests, said Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Miami.

Speaking during a news conference in his Miami office, he said that the dissident community within Cuba has been appealing to exiles in South Florida and elsewhere to serve as its mouthpiece to promote passive resistance.

Castro’s regime is ”historically dead,” Diaz-Balart said, even if Castro is still alive after his emergency surgery for intestinal bleeding.

Diaz-Balart’s not exactly the awesomest congressman ever, but nonetheless I do share his sentiments in this instance.

I hope that Cubans take to the streets in their own country and protest the continued dictatorship and the undemocratic transfer of power. I hope they manage to institute real democracy, that they liberalize the country and establish freedom there.

Despite all that, I also very much hope that the American government does not get involved, and leaves Cuban sovereignty alone. To quote John Quincy Adams:

The United States goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is a well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.


Florida: Frank Gonzalez Endorsed by DFC

FrankCSPAN.jpgBecause of my recent move (I still don’t have reliable Internet access; “they” tell me to wait until Wednesday) to D.C., I’ve fallen behind on a few postings. One of them was about the Democratic Freedom Caucus endorsement of Frank Gonzalez in Florida’s 21st congressional district. Gonzalez ran for the same seat as a Libertarian in 2004, earning 27.2% of the vote. Gonzalez is running as a Democrat this time and will face the Republican incumbent Lincoln Diaz-Balart in the November election.

From the DFC endorsement:

The Democratic Freedom Caucus (DFC) endorses Frank Gonzalez for congress, running in District 21 in Florida.

Frank has freedom-oriented stands on civil liberties and economic liberty, in which he includes stopping corporate welfare and other favoritism to special interests — those stands are reflected in his statements on the DFA Link page, and on his campaign site:

DFA link: http://www.dfalink.com/campaign.php?id=1137
Campaign website: http://www.electfrank.org

Frank has been participating in the DFC’s email list, dfc_talk, where among other things, he indicated that he also agrees with the DFC Platform’s views regarding tax reform and using the most appropriate, least harmful taxes.

H/T to Logan.


Congress Not Representative of America

As a result of my comparison of the percentage of American people who consider themselves libertarian to media coverage and congressional election results, my inbox has been filled with questions and supporting documentation. Richard Newell sent the following:

Here, side-by-side are your “Nolan chart” (house members, from Logan Ferree), and one captured from http://www.okcupid.com/politics, where the Kerry and Bush voters are plotted in blue and red. (The votes for “other” are not shown.) I rotated it to the usual rombus orientation so the charts match.

I believe it supports the contentions made by you and David Boaz, that maybe 20% of the population is more libertarian than “left” or “right”, and that the Congress, especially the Republicans, are out of touch with the people. The Republican congresscritters are all located in a fairly unpopulated (and unsavory) portion of the chart, whereas the people who voted for Bush would actually prefer more economic liberty.

While the chart (the one on the right) omits non-R&D voters, the questions are not the same, and the site from which it comes seems to have almost twice as many Democrats as Republicans taking the survey, it provides an interesting general view of how far Congress is out of line with the American public. Note the contrast in the authoritarian quadrants of the two charts, as well as in the libertarian quadrants.

Logan Ferree provided some helpful information about how he scored Congressmen on the Nolan Chart.

The Fiscal/Trade Scorecard is here: http://freedomdemocrats.org/HouseScorecard01Economic and the Social/Defense Scorecard is here: http://freedomdemocrats.org/HouseScorecard01Social I used the score for each axis to place Congressmen on the Nolan Chart. You can download the text document files and they have the information on all of the votes. I have them in two separate text files right now, placing all thirty votes together would make a pretty big file. Let me know if I can help out in any other way, I should be having a Senate Scorecard soon (Last year’s can be found on the website: http://freedomdemocrats.org/node/234). If you are interested at all in scorecards, you might want to look at other older work. I’ve done a scorecard based on the 10 key votes identified by action alerts sent out by the Liberty Committee (Ron Paul’s group) last year: http://freedomdemocrats.org/node/384 Thanks for the interest and I’ll try to answer any questions you have.

I combined his two sets of data to provide some idea of how one might index current members of Congress (based on their voting patterns). While I suspect that there would be some reversals if the Democrats had more political power right now, this Liberty Index is pretty interesting, nonetheless. Ferree has more useful data here. see more…


Enemies of the State

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

The Patriot Act just passed in the House. According to CNN:

By a 251-174 vote Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives agreed to renew 16 of the act’s provisions that were set to expire at year’s end. The bill now heads back to the Senate, where a fiercer battle is expected.

According to Bush:

“The Patriot Act is essential to fighting the war on terror and preventing our enemies from striking America again,” President Bush said in a statement praising the House vote.

According to me:

The key terror we have to fear is from Washington. The enemies who just struck America are listed below by name:

Aderholt, Akin, Alexander, Andrews, Bachus, Baker, Barrett (SC), Barrow, Barton (TX), Bass, Bean, Beauprez, Biggert, Bilirakis, Bishop (GA), Blackburn, Blunt, Boehlert, Boehner, Bonilla, Bonner, Bono, Boozman, Boren, Boswell, Boustany, Boyd, Bradley (NH), Brady (TX), Brown (SC), Brown-Waite, Ginny, Burgess, Burton (IN), Buyer, Calvert, Camp (MI), Campbell (CA), Cannon, Cantor, Capito, Cardin, Carnahan, Carter, Case, Castle, Chabot, Chandler, Chocola, Coble, Cole (OK), Conaway, Cooper, Costa, Cramer, Crenshaw, Cubin, Cuellar, Culberson, Davis (AL), Davis (FL), Davis (KY), Davis (TN), Davis, Jo Ann, Davis, Tom, Deal (GA), DeLay, Dent, Diaz-Balart, L., Doolittle, Drake, Dreier, Edwards, Emanuel, Emerson, English (PA), Etheridge, Everett, Feeney, Ferguson, Flake, Foley, Forbes, Fortenberry, Fossella, Foxx, Franks (AZ), Frelinghuysen, Gallegly, Garrett (NJ), Gerlach, Gibbons, Gilchrest, Gillmor, Gingrey, Gohmert, Goode, Goodlatte, Granger, Graves, Green (WI), Gutknecht, Hall, Harman, Harris, Hart, Hastert, Hastings (WA), Hayes, Hayworth, Hefley, Hensarling, Herger, Herseth, Higgins, Hobson, Hoekstra, Holden, Hostettler, Hoyer, Hulshof, Hunter, Inglis (SC), Issa, Istook, Jenkins, Jindal, Johnson (CT), Johnson, Sam, Keller, Kelly, Kennedy (MN), King (IA), King (NY), Kingston, Kirk, Kline, Knollenberg, Kolbe, Kuhl (NY), LaHood, Latham, LaTourette, Leach, Lewis (CA), Lewis (KY), Linder, Lipinski, LoBiondo, Lungren, Daniel E., Marchant, Marshall, McCarthy, McCaul (TX), McCotter, McCrery, McHenry, McHugh, McIntyre, McKeon, McMorris, Melancon, Mica, Miller (FL), Miller (MI), Miller (NC), Miller, Gary, Moore (KS), Moran (KS), Murphy, Musgrave, Myrick, Neugebauer, Northup, Norwood, Nunes, Nussle, Osborne, Oxley, Pearce, Pence, Petri, Pickering, Pitts, Platts, Pombo, Pomeroy, Porter, Pryce (OH), Putnam, Ramstad, Regula, Rehberg, Reichert, Renzi, Reyes, Reynolds, Rogers (AL), Rogers (KY), Rogers (MI), Ross, Rothman, Royce, Ruppersberger, Ryan (WI), Ryun (KS), Saxton, Schiff, Schmidt, Schwartz (PA), Schwarz (MI), Scott (GA), Sensenbrenner, Sessions, Shadegg, Shaw, Shays, Sherwood, Shimkus, Shuster, Simmons, Simpson, Skelton, Smith (NJ), Smith (TX), Sodrel, Souder, Spratt, Stearns, Sullivan, Tancredo, Taylor (MS), Terry, Thomas, Thornberry, Tiahrt, Tiberi, Turner, Upton, Walden (OR), Walsh, Wamp, Weldon (FL), Weldon (PA), Weller, Westmoreland, Whitfield, Wicker, Wilson (NM), Wilson (SC), Wolf, Young (FL)

Update by Stephen VanDyke: I had to clean up that list… it was a tad unweildy and made my scroll finger hurt with carpal tunnel. So anyways, not only do we get more happy Patriot Act extension goodness, we are also getting some fantabulous drug war crap loaded in the new deal:

* Sec. 122. Prohibition of narco-terrorism.
* Sec. 221. Elimination of procedures applicable only to certain Controlled Substances Act cases. (Death Penalty)
* Sec. 410. Uniform procedures for criminal forfeiture.

Need it be said that it wasn’t potheads who hijacked and crashed planes into the WTC?

Update by SoL: The powers that be want to erect permanent barriers against our rights? I say we go back to our roots and start erecting some liberty poles. The Sons of Liberty are itching for a 230-year reunion.