Illegal Iraq War Costing $6 Billion Per Month

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.

Bring’em on

UPDATE: Catch a glimpse of what you get for the money.

UPDATE 2: They all knew it’s an illegal war


Volunteers Needed to Fly Without Papers

Somehow, I missed the news 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, 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.



Bill Clinton Leads George Bush Among Conservative Critics

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.


Windows Live: Initially Dead on Firefox, Working Now

We started getting a few hits tonight from a domain with which I’m not familiar: After searching the news, this account explained things a bit:

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

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.


House Passes Patriot Act

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.


Recurring Theme: US Out of Cash

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.

From ABC News:

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.


Ron Paul Wins GOP Primary

The results aren’t all reported yet, but Ron Paul has a picked up a wide enough margin (more accurately, a landslide) to easily call him the winner. The first article I found relating to Dr. Paul’s race has this minor report:

The former wife of Frank Sinatra Jr., Houston attorney Cynthia Sinatra, was unsuccessful in her bid to unseat District 14 Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Surfside, who often votes against his party because of his strict views on spending.

Let’s hope his success continues until November.


Libertarians Lead at Political Partying

How come whenever I’m at the National Press Club, the events are somewhat dry and there is no real party going on? If memory serves correctly, the latest events there with which I was involved were a couple of press conferences and panel discussions dealing with 2004 election recount in Ohio, a panel I sat on which was hosted by Webster Brooks dealing with minority voting in the 2004 elections and helping Aaron Russo run some film crews for this flick.

According to Wonkette, they have a much better time at the National Press Club when I’m not speaking. Not only do they get to listen to Joe Trippi and Glenn Reynolds discussing the present and future of blogging and politics, but it sounds like they partied their asses off, too.

From Wonkette:

After all this, we definitely needed a drink. Thankfully, the debate and book signing were followed by an open bar. As our host Nick Gillespie put it, “This is a celebration of open source, so we have an open bar. ‘Please take what you want – but drink what you take.’ So we took, and drank, and took and drank some more.”

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: Getting drunk with libertarians is fun!

I think I just learned the secret to hosting successful events in DC: Invite libertarians and have a lot of booze on hand. Perhaps our expertise is closer to political partying than political parties. On a related note, I’ll be speaking in Baltimore on April 1, then spending a few days in DC where I hope to catch up on my alcohol consumption with some of my friends in the area.



Around the Web

Lew Rockwell published a good article by Jacob G. Hornberger about the hypocrisy involved when members of the Bush Regime compare others to Hitler.

Homeland Stupity reports that the DHS might be watching you if you decide to pay off your credit card(s). There is an interesting post on Liberty Forum about this as well.

More Liberty refers us to a Reason article explaining why the line-item veto isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Lew Rockwell has a post on his blog regarding Dubya’s war on those that criticise his regime.

Finally FMNN republished two very good articles by Harry Brown: WHY YOU ARE A LIBERTARIAN and IN PRAISE OF THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY.

Update: Don’t forget to check out Stephen VanDyke’s post about the credit card issue here.

( -)-(- )Comments Off on Around the Web

Libertarian Search; Kosmix Style

Innovative search engine Kosmix is simplifying the sometimes daunting task of finding what you need on the web by organizing search results into categories. There are currently three main engines with more on the way: Health, Travel and recently added Politics. The cool thing about the Politics engine is that Libertarian is one of three categories it will organize your results. As Wired News reports:

Search engine newcomer Kosmix, which lets users look in specific topic areas, recently introduced its politics engine. For any search term, Kosmix organizes results into conservative, liberal or libertarian categories, allowing seekers to explore results associated with a certain political persuasion.

They are still in the “Alpha” stage of development so the categorization isn’t perfect, but any search engine that acknowledges libertarianism as a mainstream political philosophy deserves a second look.


Wisconsin LP State Convention Might Be Interesting

I’m frequently invited to speak at state Libertarian Party conventions, and Wisconsin is no exception. Unfortunately, I had a scheduling conflict and was unable to accept their invitation. It’s probably a good thing, as they’ve managed to drum up a most interesting speaker line-up. I’ll shut up, and let the e-mail I received tell the story:


will come clean on secrets of American Government

from the website:


Hal Greenwood, a former advisory director to the Federal Reserve Board during the Reagan administration, will be speaking at lunch. Mr. Greenwood has been involved with politics since the 1960s, and will be sharing a great deal of his political insight with us. The main topic of his talk will be the erosion of our liberties in recent years. Mr. Greenwood is well known by the media and will likely attract media attention from several areas around the state with this, his first speaking engagement in a number of years. Greenwood has been president, CEO and director of a number of banks and bank associations since the 1960s, and also worked under Hubert Humphrey’s and President Carter’s administrations.

Greenwood will be introduced at the convention by LPWI Vice-Chair Rolf Lindgren. According to Rolf Lindgren, former Federal Reserve Banker Harold “Hal” Greenwood was appointed to the Federal Reserve Advisory Board by presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan.

Greenwood was name in a 1974 Time magazine article which listed the brightest Leaders of America’s future. The list included Bill Clinton and Hal Greenwood. [I’ve seen the magazine]

Greenwood made Nixon’s ENEMIES LIST.

He was also a speech writer for Hubert Humphrey.

According to Lindgren, Greenwood believes he knows who killed JFK and once had a confrontation with international bankers named Rothschild and Rockerfeller in a small New York business office. This occurred shortly after Humphrey, in 1968, announced that Greenwood would be named Secretary of the Treasury if Humphrey were elected.

After Greenwood’s LPWI convention speech, he will be taking questions from the audience.

Some good questions might be:

Is Bush’s illegal wiretapping legal?

Is the Federal Reserve privately owned?

Is there and international banking conspiracy?

What really happened on December 23, 1913?

Was the 16th amendment ratified?

Do you really have to pay federal income taxes?

What is the truth about the Trilateral Commission?
The Council on Foreign Relations?
The Bilderburgers?
Bohemian Grove?
Henry Kissinger?

The Mason, the Freemasons, and the Masonic Lodge?

What about the Shriner’s?

What is the link between Carl Rove’s girlfriend and the Valerie Plame CIA leak?

Attend the April 8, 2006 LPWI State convention and find out!



Also speaking at the convention will be LPTN Tax Resistor Vernie Kuglin

Following the afternoon session there will be a cocktail hour followed by a banquet and a keynote speaker. Vernie Kuglin of the Libertarian Party of Tennessee will speak on her 2003 IRS tax case, and her thoughts on the current status of tax honesty.

[and more…]

I’ll report, you decide…


Yale: Not as Bright as Rumored

I thought one had to be pretty bright to study or teach at Yale — until Bush and Kerry indicated this not to be the case. I held out hope for their post-grad programs, but apparently I’m mistaken about this, too. Yale’s Law School has been whining about military recruiters on campus. In particular, the Yale legal community is upset about the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

This article covers a lot of the nuances of the arguments heard before the Supreme Court. Here are some examples:

“The Solomon Amendment neither limits what law schools may say nor requires them to say anything,” Roberts wrote. “Compelling a law school that sends scheduling e-mails for other recruiters to send one for a military recruiter is simply not the same as forcing a student to pledge allegiance, or forcing a Jehovah’s Witness to display the motto ‘Live Free or Die.'”

Justice Samuel Alito LAW ’75 did not participate in the case — Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, or “FAIR” — since he was not on the bench when oral arguments were heard on Dec. 6.

During the past several years, the Yale Law School community has been particularly engaged in this debate. Last November, members of the faculty filed an amicus curie brief with the Supreme Court in the FAIR case decided today. Two years ago, 45 professors successfully sued the Pentagon in Burt v. Rumsfeld after the federal government threatened under the Solomon Amendment to withhold more than $300 million in federal funding from Yale if military recruiters were not allowed on campus.

In Burt v. Rumsfeld, the plaintiffs ultimately won an injunction that allowed Yale’s barring of military recruiters from campus in acknowledgement of the discriminatory nature of the military’s policy against open gays. The case is currently pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

E-mail lists for recruiters and such aren’t the key issue. Who won or lost at court today isn’t important. What’s significant are $300 million federal dollars. It doesn’t take too high an IQ to realize that that if an organization accepts federal dollars, they also get federal dictates. If you don’t want the rules, don’t take the money. It’s that simple.

It seems that Yale lawyers are sitting on the sofa swatting flies while there’s an elephant in the living room.


Unconfirmed Report: Kubby Released

The following is still unconfirmed, but from a generally reliable source:

Steve Kubby was just released from prison by the Sheriff and jailers, on Monday evening, March 6th.

The reason for his removal was “due to overcrowding”.

Steve is staying with a friend. He is due to appear in court again on March 15th.

More details to follow…

The good news is now confirmed by Richard Cowan:

Posted March 6, 2006
Exclusive to MarijuanaNews

I just spoke with a very happy Steve Kubby, who was released from Placer County jail this afternoon, where he had been held since January 27th, following his expulsion from Canada on January 26th.

I’ll post additional details as they become available.


Kubby Getting Sicker in Jail

Marc Emery isn’t the only victim of Canada’s recent capitulation to the United States regarding marijuana issues. Steve Kubby is still in jail in California after being recently booted from Canada. Kubby requested a hearing to modify his 120 day sentence in Placer County, California. According to the Canadian Press, his request was denied.

Still suffering from adrenal cancer, Kubby is reported to have shingles, indicating that his immune system has been further compromised by an injustice system which is preventing him from obtaining the medication which has been keeping him alive. One report from his court appearance states that he has lost 27 pounds in his first 37 days of captivity.

I’m not sure what Kubby’s weight was when he was arrested, but he certainly wasn’t portly. Other health problems aside, if continues to lose weight at the current rate, he will have lost 88 pounds by the time of his release. Considering his other health conditions, this could easily be a state no longer compatible with life.

Our government has shown that it has absolutely no concern for the lives of people who require marijuana to stay alive, especially those incarcerated for doing what is required simply to survive — just ask Jonathan Magbie or Peter McWilliams. Actually, you can’t ask them, as they are already dead — murdered by the cold and callous hands of the state.


Marc Emery on 60 Minutes

As a follow-up to this post:

UPDATE: has removed the video, but you can still view it at the following locations:

The Pirate Bay


Baby Euthanasia: The Final Solution?

Holland, which already allows the practice of euthanasia, or assisted suicide, for adults who have expressed a desire to die if they are afflicted with a terminal illness and lose the ability to function, is now going to allow euthanasia for babies with terminal illnesses, in consultation with the parents and doctors.

Under the so-called Groningen protocol, a doctor would be able to end the life of a terminally ill baby in cases of “unbearable suffering” when the baby has no chance of surviving anyway.

“If a child is untreatably ill,” Verhagen explained, “there can be horrendous suffering that makes the last few days or weeks of this child’s life unbearable. Now the question is: are you going to leave the child like that or are you going to prevent that suffering?” He went on: “Does the child have to sit it out until the end? We think that the answer is no. There can be circumstances where, under very strict conditions, if all the requirements are fulfilled, active ending of life can be an option – but only in cases of untreatable disease and unbearable suffering.”

This is what happens to terminally ill babies with no hope of survival today.

Verhagen, a 42-year-old father of three who has spent years tending sick children in underdeveloped countries, became a paediatrician with the intention of saving children’s lives, not ending them. Then along came a case that changed his entire way of thinking.

Sanne had a severe form of Hallopeau-Siemens syndrome, which meant that her skin would detach itself from her body if anyone touched it. The membranes inside her mouth and oesophagus fell away whenever they tried to feed her through a tube.

To experts, it is obvious when babies are in pain, and not only because of the type of shrieking. The way they clench their fists is another indicator. This was a child in great pain but pain relievers seemed to make no difference; and every time nurses replaced her bandages a little more of her skin fell off. She came to resemble a mummy. Verhagen did not know what to do.

Her parents demanded an end to her suffering and, for the first time in his career, Verhagen considered euthanasia. Fearing prosecution, however, he sent the child home, where she died of pneumonia six months later.

When reports of the Groningen protocol first surfaced in late 2004, so-called “compassionate conservatives” were up in arms, comparing it to the Nazi final solution.

This is either a low point, or a point of no return. The establishment of “independent committees” to dispatch non-consenting humans is nothing but a death penalty committee for innocents. Once begun, it is impossible–simply impossible–to limit the concept with any bright line. Abortion, of course, has always been limited by the physical act of birth, and once out of the womb, only the most extreme “reproductive rights” advocates have argued that the baby’s natural right to live can be compromised by the mother. But now the Netherlands has gone farther–much, much farther. If the “severely retarded” may be killed upon appropriate motion, second, debate, and majority vote, why not the moderately retarded? Why not the mildly retarded? Why not, in fact, anyone the “independent committee” deems as usefully dispatched.

Why not? Let’s just kill any baby that doesn’t live up to our genetic standards! We’ll finally be able to create the Aryan master race our Führer dreamed of! Heil Hitler!

Don’t be ridiculous. Nobody’s even come anywhere close to suggesting creating a master race through baby euthanasia, except for the so-called “compassionate conservatives.”

As far advanced as our medical science has become, there are still many diseases and disorders which are not only quite lethal but for which we have no cure. We’re talking about babies who, in their short lives on this earth, will know nothing but the most severe suffering. Is it really the moral high ground to sit back and watch for months on end, listening to the constant, relentless screams of a baby in severe, unbearable pain, until the child finally dies? Or can the parents, after consulting with their doctors, getting a second opinion, and some oversight by an independent committee, make the decision that their baby should not have to continue suffering?

I leave to you the decision you would make for yourself and your family. As for me, if I am ever terminally ill with not only no hope of recovery but no hope of ever getting out of my hospital bed again, then that’s time to pull the plug.


War On Drugs: Open the Libertarian Front

Vote against prohibition

It’s time to declare our own war on drugs. Or in more logical terms: a war on drug prohibition rhetoric. Libertarianism is the largest political movement that can even remotely pull off any kind of insurgency against badly conceived laws and bad propaganda and it’s high time we took the initiative (no pun intended).

You see, from a logical standpoint, there’s not a whit of difference between 1920’s alcohol prohibition and today’s drug prohibition. Even the terminology is easily transposed (bootlegers, runners, dealers, etc). But perhaps it’s time we started flipping our own rhetoric back on the prohibitionists.


If legalization of drugs is worse than the alternative, why aren’t Miller and Anheuser Busch doing drive-bys on each others’ factories?

I’d like to open the comments up to anyone who can come up with some clever anti-prohibitionist rhetoric of their own. I know there’s some real gems out there in favor of legalization/decriminalization that don’t rely on the crutch of “legalize pot… woot, OMGROFL”. Seriously… be smart and witty, not just the me-too crap that fills other forums.

The mic is yours, step up.


It’s Nice to be Hated

It is rare that one can express a political opinion without offending someone. Libertarians often get a double dose of it, as almost every opinion we express offends someone from the left, the right, or both. As a result, we get our share of hate mail. One such writer came up with a long list alternate names for Hammer of Truth:

see more…


Angel Shamaya in Jail on Gun Charges

UPDATE: Angel Shemaya is reported to be currently out of prison:

He’s charged with 4 counts misdemeanor possession of unregistered firearms and 1 frivolous, unwarranted, vindictive count of misdemeanor menacing.

Angel Shamaya, the founder of, has been arrested in Michigan for improperly registered firearms. The best information available so far comes from Gary Marbut, and was published in my friend Nicki Fellenzer’s directory, so it must be accurate. From the article:

Angel Shamaya, founder of is in jail in Michigan, having been arrested for possession of firearms not properly registered under Michigan law.

Angel’s friends are working to help him with this problem, but we need your help, right now!

We need character references from you for Angel. There is a form letter for you to fill out and send back at:

Be advised that Angel’s problem is happening in the Detroit area, where a strong anti-gun sentiment exists in the criminal justice system. So, we are asking you to downplay gun-rights and gun-related comments. We will NOT deliver to the court any disparaging letters about Michigan or Michigan laws. Stay on the high ground.

Please, download a copy of the draft letter. Add one sentence of personal comment if you wish – no more.

This is for upstanding, legitimate citizens only. So, we want you to add your name, mail address, and phone number to the letter, so the judge seeing these will accept your letter and will not think you are some flake.


Please pass this on to your friends for action. We need letters from everyone who knows or knows of, and appreciates Angel.

Props. I thought Scott Bieser‘s Shamaya inspired cartoon was appropriate for this posting. A copy of my letter follows:

see more…


Loretta Nall on Race and the Drug War

Alabama Libertarian gubernatoral candidate Loretta Nall just gave a speech to a group of black leaders in Selma, Alabama on the eve of the anniversary celebration of the historic march across the Edmund Pettus bridge. All of the candidates for governor were invited to the forum. Former Governor Don Siegelman and Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley and others spoke, but the Republicans didn’t show, as one might expect.

The video of the speech is located here, and the text is available after the jump.

My opinion is that Nall provided some good material relating the War on Drugs to the Civil Rights Movement. To catch her portion of the video, skip to the 6:18 marker, or watch the entire 39 minute clip to contrast her to the other candidates.

Here is the text of her speech: see more…


It’s Not Just the Law, it’s the Constitution

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”

The Sixth Amendment seems clear enough to me, but apparently not to those in charge of “the system”. Michael Sniffen and John Solomon report:

Despite the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of public trials, nearly all records are being kept secret for more than 5,000 defendants who completed their journey through the federal courts over the last three years.

Instances of such secrecy more than doubled from 2003 to 2005.


“What makes the American criminal justice system different from so many others in the world is our willingness to cast some sunshine on the process, but if you can’t see it, you can’t really criticize it,” Levenson said.

The courts’ administrative office and the Justice Department declined to comment on the numbers.

The data show a sharp increase in secret case files over time as the Bush administration’s well-documented reliance on secrecy in the executive branch has crept into the federal courts through the war on drugs, anti-terrorism efforts and other criminal matters.


“When the sentences are sealed, that’s a con on the community,” said Lexi Christ, a Washington defense lawyer for a man acquitted in a crack cocaine case.

What’s next? Holding people without charges, secret detention centers and even torture?


Connecticut: Stupid Law of the Day

“Sorry, sir, but we are going to have to shut your restaurant down,” the CHRB official stated.

“But, but, we are a five-star establisment with visitors from all over the world,” Chez Pierre stammered, “Presidents and kings dine here.”

“There’s nothing that can be done about it,” said the agent of Bridgeport’s Coat Hook Regulation Board, “You are in violation of the city’s coat hook ordinance.”

“But we staff attendants in our restrooms and the coat check is right there,” Pierre said as he pointed at the half door adjacent to the powder room.

“We take a zero tolerance view of such anti-social behavior,” the bureaucrat snarled, “You’ll have to come with us.”

Seem like something from a bad novel? Unfortunately, it’s not.


Russo Launches Website for New Documentary

Former Libertarian Party prenomination presidential candidate Aaron Russo has launched a website to promote his new film America: From Freedom to Fascism. So far, the site includes screening information, a trailer, and some bio information.

Right now, there are three QuickTime (must download V7.0) filesizes available. I spoke with Russo’s website developer yesterday, and he said he plans to also provide a flash and .wmv format of the trailer soon.

I talked with Russo, as well. He stated that the line was around the block at the Beverly Hills screening the other day. To the best of my knowledge, each screening has had an overflow audience, so far.

I’ll be expecting them to be updating the schedule page on the website before long. We The People generally has pretty good scheduling information, as well.