Co-blogger Michelle knows I’m trying to kick the cigarette habit, which must be what prompted her to send this hilarious video my way. Apparently Dave Chapelle is significantly brighter than the DEA with it’s $2.1 billion annual budget. Just think what would happen if the DEA spent half their budget marketing O’Dweeds and used the other half for deficit reduction.
Robert Murphy of Hillsdale College just posted a fantastic piece about free trade on Mises.org. He basically kills, skins, boils and devours any possible case to be made against globalization. It’s glorious-but then, what else could you expect from a professor at a college that accepts no federal funding whatsoever?
Meanwhile, it appears that the Libertarians in Greene County, Missouri had to deal with a Kevin Craig, the LP’s erstwhile candidate for the 7th Congressional District, seems to be a better, non-embarrassing candidate for the region.. Army veteran, truck driver and racist asshole Glenn Miller first tried to get on the ballot as a , but they rejected him. So did the Republicans. The Libertarians took their cue from the majors and .
Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Russ Feingold stands alone again. This time he’s trying to censure Bush, an action Congress hasn’t taken since the days of Andrew
Johnson Jackson. Predictably, he got little support for the move from the Congressional Invertebrate Sheeple Caucus… but you can’t blame the man for trying. Hell… other than his staunch support for Soviet healthcare, the dude could probably be considered libertarian.
“…the State is nothing more nor less than a bandit gang writ large” -Murray Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty
If Murray was right, then the reverse would also be true-namely, the mafia is merely the State writ small. Certainly, they both do watch out for each other.
The two institutions are really one and the same. They both demand “protection money” if you live on their turf. They both will ruin countless lives with their “turf wars” and quietly demand monopolies on drugs and prostitution in their “turf.” Hell, for that matter they’re both into providing welfare-yes, even the likes of Al Capone were bleeding heart New Dealers. And now, by the looks of it, these two crime syndicates are allies in the War on People.
Joseph Frederick, an Alaska high school student, was suspended for unfurling a banner which read “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” across the street from his school., the principal took Frederick’s banner and suspended him for 10 days for opposing the school’s position on the drug war. Fortunately, the judge remembered the First Amendment:
The appeals court said the banner was protected speech because it did not disrupt school activity and was displayed off school grounds during a non-curricular activity.
“Public schools are instrumentalities of government, and government is not entitled to suppress speech that undermines whatever missions it defines for itself,” Judge Andrew Kleinfeld wrote in the court’s opinion.
The court also cleared the way for Frederick to seek damages, saying Morse was aware of relevant case law and should have known her actions violated his rights.
Hopefully Frederick will sue Morse’s ass off — which might send a chill down the backs of principals across the country who likewise disregard the First Amendment.
Perhaps politicans are lightening up on the drug war, too. Muckraked reports the following:
The interim head of the Department of the Interior, an op-ed column for USA Today titled “Give Up the Drug War: Legalize Drugs Instead.” It’s not known if Scarlett still believes in legalization., once endorsed the legalization of drugs. Back in 1989, she wrote
According the the article, Scarlett once served as the president of the Reason Foundation. It might seem doubtful that Bush would keep her on in her interim position, except for the fact that Condi is now in possession of cocaine — at least:
Condoleezza Rice knew coca would top the agenda in her meeting with Bolivia’s new president, but she likely wasn’t expecting to get the real thing.
At the end of their 25-minute meeting, President Evo Morales presented the U.S. secretary of state with an Andean guitar that bore a coca-leaf inlay.
“The gift was well received. We will just have to check with our customs to see what rules apply. We certainly hope we can bring it back (to Washington),” said a senior State Department official who attended the meeting.
The way I see it, Rice is currently in possession of something outlawed in the United States. The US no longer recognizes international borders with respect to its War on Drug Users. Whether she takes the guitar into the U.S. or not, I’d like to see her treated the same way people like Marc Emery or Cory Maye have been.
The people gathered one day, made their voices heard and in an 8-to-1 ratio they expressed their political will: Get the Americans out of here!
I’m not talking about Iraq-rather, about Japan. 61 years after American forces landed on the Japanese home islands, we’re still there. 50,000 of us-about 2/5ths the size of our force currently in Iraq. Unlike Iraq, we actually gave liberty, democracy and stability to Japan-but even so, nobody outside of their top government and what’s left of the Japanese hawk movement wants us there.
In fact, the town of Iwakuni, 600 miles west of Tokyo,voted against a plan to expand the U.S. Marine base there by an 8-to-1 margin. The town referendum is non-binding, but it shows well what the average Japanese subject is thinking. In fact, Japan’s main proponent of the deal, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, conceded that it was highly unpopular.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Tokyo would aim to meet the end-March deadline, but acknowledged the plan faces stiff opposition from local communities.
“If a referendum were held, the result would be a ‘No’ vote anywhere. That is the difficulty with issues related to national security,” he told reporters.
If, 61 years after we occupied Japan, we’re still providing defense for a successfully democratized, liberalized nation… then what hope do we have for getting out of Iraq safely? We’ve only been in Iraq for 4 years, and the nation is hardly liberal and its democracy is infantile. It’s already becoming more and more obvious that the American legacy to Iraq is civil war, not liberty and stability. Maybe this is why even conservatives are vocally itching to get out of Iraq these days.
I highly doubt anyone’s expecting Iraq to become the next Japan, after all-but regardless of a nation’s status, this just goes to show that every nation likes sovereignty and that America does its best bringing its troops home from abroad.
Time to break out all of those old jokes about bush in the White House, except this one is shaven (according to the pics I found at Google images). From MonstersAndCritics:
PRWire, a very reliable source of mainstream and sometimes alternative news is reporting that adult starlet Mary Carey is scheduled to attend the United to Victory dinner with President George W. Bush in Washington D.C on March 15th – 16th.
Carey, who was also a Republican candidate for governor of California, is going to Washington at the invitation of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). She will meet and interact with key Congressional leaders and Administration officials to discuss advancing powerful pro-business, pro-family agendas and meeting positive legislative goals.
She will join Karl Rove, senior advisor to the President, for lunch on Wednesday the 15th, and President Bush for dinner on Thursday the 16th.
Maybe this visit will lighten the tyrant up a bit and he’ll quit taking out his aggression on America and the world.
Ronald Reagan certainly had his flaws — but he was certainly classier, a better speaker, more libertarian and even more economically conservative than the current occupant of the White House. When asked, almost half of Georgia Republicans find Dubya the spitting image of the the Gipper:
Do you view President Bush as a conservative in the mode of Ronald Reagan? (Republicans only)
This isn’t just isolated to Georgians. Let’s head north, to Wisconsin:
Do you consider President Bush to be a conservative in the mode of Ronald Reagan? (Republicans only)
The Republican conference that ended here Sunday featured three 2008 White House contenders trying to capture Ronald Reagan’s sunny optimism, despite the travails that could pose a problem in November. […]
Huckabee said Reagan became president because his “Morning in America” theme resonated with Americans. Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas introduced himself as “a Reagan Republican” and spent several minutes praising the late president as bold, optimistic, inspiring and courageous.
Sen. George Allen of Virginia was first to mention Reagan’s vision of America as “a shining city on a hill” (Brownback was second). Allen also said he has on his desk a plaque that Reagan once gave to his father, the former Washington Redskins coach. On it is written Reagan’s famous exhortation, “If not us, who? If not now, when?”
Asked later why Reagan was getting so much attention, Allen said Reagan cut taxes and changed the dynamics of the Cold War. Delegates sensed a yearning to recapture a golden age that historians have already judged a success.
“Now that he’s gone, he’s become a symbolic figure,” said Phil Zimmerly, 23, a law student from Tuscaloosa, Ala., adding that might happen to President Bush in 20 or 30 years.
Are these guys delusional or has some form of mass psychosis infected the GOP?
To obtain his data, Logan Ferree took 15 Senate votes onand 15 Senate votes on and placed them on this Nolan Chart. Ferree recently about House votes. The spreadsheet is . Ferree’s commentary mirrors mine, so I’ll blockquote him:
The major trend is the same as last time. A major divide between the parties on the social issues and a general parity in terms of just how bad they are economically. Russ Feingold is again classified as ‘libertarian’ and Ron Wyden of Oregon narrowly makes the cut as well. Interestingly Jim Jeffords of Vermont, the only Independent, receives the same exact score in both social and economic issues as Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the only Independent of the House. Go figure.
As I’ve said before, I’m not too surprised at the outcome. The Democrats are out of power right now, and in order to regain political control, they have to appeal to libertarian and moderate minded people.
As we reported, Libertarian Party Chair Michael Dixon and former Perot advisor Russell Verney were interviewed by Fox’s Neil Cavuto the other day. Mike Nelson found the video online — watch it . It didn’t come off as bad as some of the libertarian reviewers made it seem, and I thought Dixon did well in one of his few recent mainstream media appearances.
Cavuto did make one pertinent crack: Bill O’Reilly isn’t interested in being a presidential candidate. I already knew that, as O’Reilly obviously prefers having his nose stuck up the president’s ass, and he isn’t limber enough to do that for himself.
From around the web:
- Religious extremist and Bush regime top domestic policy advisor has been charged with felony theft. Evidently the Bush regime knew about this for and attempted to cover it up by lying. Surprised? This is the same guy that Bush attempted to make a federal judge for life.
- The movie “Valley of the Wolves” looks :
Created from well-known accounts of real events, the principal scene in “Valley of the Wolves” shows ruthless U.S. soldiers shooting up a wedding party in Iraq, butchering women and children, and then reveling in it, like they were slaughtering beings whom they regarded as less than human. Wonder where that idea came from?
- This is why democracy is bad. (update: satire alert)
- US media: More Liberty. Foreign media: Over Slaughtered. via
- Ron Paul of International Taxes imposd by the U.N.
- Patriot Act for futile war on drugs.
- Almost like they were following step-by-step instructions in a procedure manual, the Bush regime is touting war with Iran.
It’s an old debate within libertarian circles, but it keeps getting rehashed because it has never been truly resolved. This topic recently resurfaced as an offshoot about the controversy over the Libertarian Party Iraq Exit Strategy. Hopefully, the responses to this posting can be kept to the general issues, as opposed to the specific policy questions debated about the IES or immigration. Some of the related questions in the crossfire are:
Which subsets of the libertarian movement actually move the party (or the movement) forward and which ones hurt us? Are we to be a political organization or an educational one? Should the Libertarian Party be more engaged in political or educational issues? Is the Libertarian Party detrimental to libertarian election results which might be better obtained by Republicans or Democrats?
Last night, I made the following comment:
Some of the best political consultants (for Rs and Ds) that I know are closet anarcho-capitalists. I’m a consultant and an anarcho-capitalist. The two are not mutually exclusive.
B-psycho initially responded to my comment:
..Que? This would be news to me.
To Steve: how do these “closet anarcho-capitalists*” explain their job as seemingly working against their long-term interests? Are they just spying on their opposition, or do they think that the more that each “side” undermines the country the sooner a stateless society* will be accepted?
For the purpose of this debate (as the term is used several times by B-psycho and me), I’ll use the general Wiki definition of anarcho-capitalist. I prefer the term Free Market Anarchist. I should also make it clear that while this is my personal belief system, I don’t believe our society is immediately ready for such a utopian solution. It is clear to me that too many people are intellectually and financially dependent upon the nanny state for such a political system to be established without initially starting with some considerable educational efforts and incremental political changes — those preferring serious bloodbaths notwithstanding.
I’ll begin by stating there may be more anarcho-capitalist political consultants out there than people realize. Unlike me, most are “in the closet” — for obvious reasons. One name I think I can provide (as he is getting out of the political consulting business and shifting toward libertarian video production) is David McElroy. McElroy has worked behind the scenes on a variety of Alabama GOP races, yet is about as anarchistic as one can be. We had lunch together a few weeks ago and discussed this very topic (the primary topic was documentary video production and distribution) a bit. He asked for my opinion about distribution of his new documentary, “We’re the Government — and You’re Not” — a film which I thoroughly enjoyed viewing.
Both McElroy and I would agree that we are not working against our long-term interests if we are incrementally moving politics in a direction of less government. If America ever approaches the point that are politically inline with the signers of the Dallas Accord, we can rehash the issue. Until such time, we are all fellow travelers.
To me, the issue is simple. Which brings us closer to a libertarian solution — not being engaged in the political process or promotion of small government candidates who are opposed to the initiation of force?
It’s my view that B-Psycho covered some good ground and raised important questions with this statement: see more…
When covering media coverage of drug issues, I recently suggested that the media often does a somewhat fair job at it. After such statements, sometimes I hit Google to do some more fact checking. This time I ran into one where a major paper botched it in a very big way.
Butterfield could have at least checked his facts (he reported the warrant in the Maye case was about crack cocaine), talked with people on both sides of the issue (he interviewed lot of drug warriors, but not their victims), or indicated that prohibition was the primary source of the problems he mentioned in his article. This sloppy reporting may have given the police and prosecuters the confidence they needed to feel they could successfully “rearrange” facts and potentially doctor warrants in order to put an innocent man on death row.
I doubt even Karen Tandy could have written such a one-sided article. I also doubt she could have got the facts wrong as often in a single piece. Then again, even Tandy has been known to surprise me with the level she’ll take things. If Butterfield was still writing, I’d suggest that he be fired for such irresponsibilty. As he isn’t, hopefully any semblence of conscience he has remaining will gnaw at him everytime he hears of a victim of the drug war dying or suffering needlessly. Not that I’ll hold my breath on it, though.
Stuart Richards just posted an interesting article about public acceptance of the idea of a third party. He then spun it into a puff piece for the Libertarian Reform Caucus, linking us to.
Let’s see how libertarian the LRC’s stand on immigration is. Here’s a quick excerpt:
- Requiring migrants to pass background checks…
- Requiring migrants to be self-sufficient…
- Requiring migrants to seek…
“Require” doesn’t sound very libertarian to me. Who are these LRC guys again? Aren’t they the guys that want to remove the principle that people have to sign to become a LP member? So if the LP removes the priniciple, they’ll just be “The Party of ________ “!
The LRC says:
However, the legitimate role of government is to protect the rights and property of it’s citizenry.
This may be the “legitimate” role as described in the constitution, but no libertarian could agree that government is good at protecting anything! Remember, these are the same people who can’t keep drugs out of their own prisons! What libertarian could have the hubris to believe that they can make government work? If you catch yourself feeling this way, I suggest you review Harry Browne’s “Seven Never-to-be-Forgotten Principles of Government”
What I want to know is, who wants to be a citizen of a government anyway? Considering that the “supreme court” has ruled time and time again that the government has no obligation to protect citizens, why would anyone consent to be protected by these people?
The Lou Dobbs Show on CNN apparently asked its viewers a question on Tuesday: Would you consider membership in a third party? As of the latest reporting (via DailyKos), 90% of them said “yes.” Coming on the heels of Greenspan’s prediction of a viable centrist third-party candidate for President in either 2008 or 2012, this is big news. Obviously, the people are getting fed up with Republican betrayals of the Constitution and fiscal discipline, and Democratic betrayal of their spines.
Will this translate into unprecedented Libertarian successes in 2008? Well, in order for that to happen, we’ll have to give the voters what they want-fiscal discipline, an end to the war in Iraq, and a moderate stance on immigration, along the lines of theor And that’s pretty much it. Maybe a few tangential issues, like marijuana decriminalization or some other issue that enjoys broad public support, but that’s it. We have to be credible, and only run on those principles that the voters support. This, of course, means that the LRC has to be leading the Libertarian Party by then. After all, if we don’t give the voters what they want, someone else will… and diehard libertarian though I am, I’ll probably vote for that man.
But just by looking at the, it’s evident that we can probably just expect more of the same from them. As for the Democrats… as time passes it looks more and more like Clinton’s got the nomination clinched. The voters are crying out for an alternative-it is our duty to give it to them.
Wisconsin-based blogger Michael Hampton favored the broad language of the Hensarling bill over the more targeted CDT proposal. Though his blog, Homeland Stupidity, runs on about $1,000 per year and would likely be untouched by reporting regulations for online electioneering, he views any attempt to regulate web-based political activity as a threat to bloggers’ ability to air their views freely.
A self-described libertarian whose blog “covers almost anything the government does which might be considered stupid,” Hampton argued: “Attempts to regulate the speech of bloggers are tantamount to regulating the New York Times‘ editorial and op-ed pages, and as such, should be vigorously opposed.”
And after carefully reconsidering the issue, I am still of the opinion that the only Internet campaign finance reform we need is for the Federal Election Commission to stay away from the Internet entirely. The CDT proposal is going to do the same thing to the Internet as existing campaign finance laws do: make it harder for third parties to get their message out. And since one third party has the most important message few people are hearing, it’s absolutely vital that every possible avenue for communicating that message be protected
I’m in agreement with Hampton — get the FEC totally out of the Internet picture.
I’ve been getting behind at work, and then lost Internet access for a while, which got me even further behind. One of the things I missed out on was Libertarian Party Chair Michael Dixon on national television. All I know is Props.(and in the comments section). If anyone finds a link to the video, please let me know.
For those of you not aware of the situation, the Marijuana Policy Project is pushing a statewide campaign to legalize marijuana in Nevada. Someone out there is doing some push polling which provides blatantly dishonest information about the initiative. According to an e-mail from Rob Kampia, he doesn’t yet know who is behind the push polling effort.
CRCM recently obtained a recording of a telephone “poll” that Nevadans are hearing when they answer their phones. The automated “pollster” lies to voters about what CRCM’s initiative would do, claiming that it would “make marijuana available in grocery stores and convenience stores similar to buying a pack of cigarettes” … when in fact the initiative would ban the sale of marijuana in convenience stores, grocery stores, dance halls, and gas stations. You can read the relevant section of the initiative below.
don’t provide useful information, and in this case any results obtained can only be used to provide misinformation to the public and the press. These sorts of amaturish polls are not conducted by any serious political consultant, and by the American Association of Political Consultants — an organization of which I’m proudly a member. Anyone subordinate who conducted any such polling on any of my campaigns would be immediately terminated — and I would quit working for any campaign which insisted on such unethical behavior.
I’d like to see the Nevada media pick up on this issue and loudly expose whomever is conducting this dishonest survey. This sort of behavior makes even politicians look bad.
The Iraq war is costing the U.S. taxpayer nearly $6 billion per month. That’s billion with a big fat “B”. That’s a 6 followed by no less than 9 zeros. That’s a LOT of money.
Let’s attempt to put $6 billion into perspective. Assuming a 30 day month, $6 billion is:
- 200 million (200,000,000) dollars per day
- Over 8 million (8,333,333) dollars per hour
- Over 138 thousand (138,000) dollars per minute
Of course these numbers don’t put a dollar figure on human casualties.
But hey, we are spreading freedom and democracy around the world so it’s all good.
UPDATE: Catch a glimpse of what you get for the money.
UPDATE 2: They all knew it’s an illegal war
Somehow,on the resolution of the John Gilmore case — where he lost his challenge to the law about having to have “proper” identification when flying. To the best of my knowledge, Gilmore is still trying to decide whether to take the case before the Supreme Court. It’s funny how the MSM seemed to miss this one.
In the meantime, PapersPlease.org is reporting that one can fly without papers, so long as he or she submits to a secondary screening.
What they need are a few volunteers to see if the TSA will do what the 9th Circuit directed. If you wish to be a freedom
fighter flyer, here are the instructions.
The Washington Post reports that a CATO Institute panel discussion of the Bush Administration’s policies, the White House couldn’t be bothered to send a representative.
“We did ask a few members of the Bush economic team to come,” explained David Boaz, the think tank’s executive vice president, as he moderated a discussion between two prominent conservatives about President Bush. “We didn’t get that.”
The two panelists who were there, Bruce Bartlett and Andrew Sullivan, are longtime conservatives fed up with Bush and his anti-conservative actions. The White House has obviously decided that, rather than defending the indefensible, they’ll just hide until the critics go away.
They might be smart to hide. One of Bartlett’s quips illustrates just how bad it’s become for the President.
“If Bush were running today against Bill Clinton, I’d vote for Clinton.”
So would I, Mr. Bartlett, so would I.
Microsoft is releasing a series of new products at ETech. They include Windows Live Search Beta, Windows Live Toolbar Beta (including announcing the acquisition of Onfolio), and the next version of Live.com.
While it worked pretty quickly on IE, it took an hour to upload on Firefox on my first try. It seems to work fine on both browsers, now.
I’ll play with it a bit and give it some time (it is day one of a beta test), but I’m pretty familiar with searches and feeds on my websites, content, and articles. It missed a good chunk of hits that I’m used to, but they may have some new plan on relevancy. The output was rather interesting (as it does not rank similarly to Google, Google News, Technorati, Topix, etc.) at least. The topline results certainly looked a bit different from what I usually see.
For the technophiles out there, this may be one to watch.
The press is already hailing it as a victory for Bush and the GOP, but I call it a major loss for Americans. The House just passed the new and improved Patriot Act by a super-majority vote.
Bush, forced by filibuster to accept new curbs on law enforcement investigations, is expected to sign the legislation before 16 provisions of the 2001 law expire on Friday.
The vote was 280-138, just two more than needed under special rules that required a two-thirds majority. It marked a political victory for Bush and will allow congressional Republicans facing midterm elections this year to continue touting a tough-on-terror stance. Bush’s approval ratings have suffered in recent months after revelations that he had authorized secret, warrantless wiretapping of Americans.
Prediction: Aside from Ron Paul, the GOP is going to have a very tough time maintaining control of the House of Representatives in 2006. While there may not be a significant difference between the parties, the increased level of gridlock (a good thing — my favorite Gary Nolanism) of one party not having absolute control over all three branches of government will certainly be welcome.
Of course, we all know Bush will sign the bill. The graphic (courtesy of Flickr) indicates where he can stick his pen, though.
Outside of the blogosphere, there’s been little little mention of the fact that the US government is already technically in default on the national debt. Now, Treasury Secretary John Snow is reported to be shuffling money (including retirement funds) around in order to pay the bills.
In a letter to Congress, Snow urged lawmakers to pass a new debt ceiling immediately to avoid the nation’s first-ever default on its obligations.
“I know that you share the president’s and my commitment to maintaining the full faith and credit of the U.S. government,” Snow said in his letter to leaders in the House and Senate.
Treasury officials, briefing congressional aides last week, said that the government will run out of maneuvering room to keep from exceeding the current limit sometime during the week of March 20.
We already know what will happen next: Congress will vote to increase the debt ceiling.
Let’s see. What would happen if I buy a 10,000 square foot house and a few really nice cars — and then run out of money? If I needed a yacht and some original Van Gogh’s, perhaps my family could simply vote to increase our debt ceiling, too. If we don’t have the income to pay it off, who cares? The kids can always pay off our debts.