In late August the Pentagon announced a contingency plan is in place for seizing Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal should President Obama order them to do so, and that the plan involves sending “small teams” of special operations forces into Syria.
Jason Ditz of AntiWar.com writes, “The idea that this could be accomplished with only ‘small teams’ of ground troops is dramatically far afield of what officials were saying only last week, when they claimed that the plans involved a 50,000-60,000 strong occupation force just to secure weapons, and even more for ‘peacekeeping’…
Officials did not indicate what ‘small teams’ meant in terms of numbers, or try to explain the difference from last week’s figures. It could reflect two different schools of thought inside the administration, or could simply be a way to get ‘some’ troops on the ground by any means necessary and then later on use the larger estimates as an excuse to escalate.”
As with Iran, Syria poses no legitimate threat to the United States of America or the American people. However, that does not stop the President and the Pentagon from preparing to invade yet another country.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the military has a “very professional and a very trained and ready force in the Gulf region … and it’s in a deterrent preparedness posture, but at some point if we’re asked to use it, it’ll be ready… I take the president’s word that he will consider the use of chemical and biological warfare as a game changer.”
While I can’t predict the future, I believe any action against Syria by the US military will lead to an attack on Iran. I suspect this partly because of the negative rhetoric against Iran and partly because of the relationship between Syria and Iran. Hossein Taeb, the head of the intelligence bureau of the Iranian Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, said, “We all have a responsibility to support Syria and not allow the line of resistance to be broken.”
I certainly do not condone the violence being perpetrated by Syrian President Bashar al Assad. Neither do I support the violence being perpetrated by the American government. Since the U.S. and coalition attacks began the American military has killed nearly 1 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq. Since 2009 there have been approximately 2,500 deaths from drone attacks in Pakistan, alone. The Congress recently passed legislation that allows the American military to use drones in the United States and the FAA estimates 10,000 drones in the sky by 2017, so don’t rule out the possibility of drone attacks in the “land of the free” in the not too distant future.
Whether or not the American military attacks Syria, Iran or any other country, I will continue to speak out against future violence, especially violence perpetrated by the American military.
The Tampa P.A.U.L. Festival was incredibly receptive to Gary Johnson, who hoped to woo Ron Paul’s Revolution in a fiery speech given at the ad hoc parallel libertarian events going on in Tampa, Florida this week.
In my strategist-tinted opinion, Johnson has easily been the most polished and electable candidate Libertarians have nominated since at least the days of Harry Brown. The fact that he’s been too busy climbing Mount Everest and other peaks when he wasn’t running successful and morally-intact businesses or fixing New Mexico’s government to even amass a closet of skeletons (you know the political vices where they climb some other peaks and ruin government) — well, it’s a nice added bonus to be the only remaining viable candidate talking about ending the military interventionist policies.
For a glimpse of how popular Johnson is becoming, stealthily and without media help, his book “Seven Principles of Good Government” was released at the end of July and has already run out of stock. The Kindle version is of course still available for a jaw-dropping $9.99, but I guess Johnson has to fund a campaign however he can given that most libertarians probably tapped out their political budgets on Ron Paul.
UPDATE: Check out Gary Johnson’s tribute video/commercial to Ron Paul. It would be nice to see Ron Paul give him a pat on the back somewhere along the line after the convention winds have calmed.
“The Republican Party has been like Lucy with the football, and all these suckers every year are Charlie Brown,” said Thomas Woods, a libertarian historian and analyst. “A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for the status quo, and anyone who thinks otherwise is absolutely delusional.”
“Dr. Paul will never endorse such a reprehensible human being.”
The rally so far has been much smaller in comparison to previous venue blowouts to see Doctor No, but the republicans have been putting in overtime to discourage libertarians from being anywhere near the crowning ceremony.
10,000 are expected to show up to see Ron Paul speak on Sunday.
Lesson to the GOP: The liberty movement size will ebb and flow, but never go away.
Ron Paul — because he’s a libertarian republican and not the other way around — is being discriminated against by the GOP bigwigs once again:
Mr. Paul, in an interview, said convention planners had offered him an opportunity to speak under two conditions: that he deliver remarks vetted by the Romney campaign, and that he give a full-fledged endorsement of Mr. Romney. He declined.
“It wouldn’t be my speech,” Mr. Paul said. “That would undo everything I’ve done in the last 30 years. I don’t fully endorse him for president.”
Mr. Paul’s campaign chairman, Jesse Benton, acknowledged the frustrations that the Paul high command had been forced to manage.
Some true believers want to “dress in black, stand on a hill and say, ‘Smash the state,’ ” said Mr. Benton, who is married to one of Mr. Paul’s granddaughters. But “it’s not our desire to have floor demonstrations. That would cost us a lot more than it would get us.”
Just eight years ago, “it was fringy people in the John Birch Society” who were espousing Mr. Paul’s ideas for taking on the Federal Reserve system, Mr. Benton said. “Now it’s the Republican Party” that has drafted a platform plank calling for auditing the central bank.
The purity of the movement’s principles has long left it in a form of self-imposed isolation. The minimalist role it envisions for government repels a vast majority of Democrats; its noninterventionist foreign policy and live-and-let-live social views repel most Republicans.
It’s not self-imposed when you’re being told to endorse X or not be allowed to attend Y, dipshits.
The latest mass shooting in NYC illustrates an interesting wrinkle in the state’s rush to claim monopoly rights to gun ownership. Namely that they then become the perpetrators of mass shootings, in the midst of chaotic enforcement attempts:
Reuters’ Lily Kuo is reporting eight bystanders were wounded in total, not nine. But if The Times’ figures about the bullets are accurate, the total number of injured wouldn’t affect the story that police bullets accounted for all injuries, because all of Johnson’s bullets would be accounted for. The problem is, the available information keeps changing. Earlier in the day, The Associated Press and others were reporting that Johnson only fired three shots at Ercolino, not five, which would have two of his rounds unaccounted for. The AP’s report now says five. Based on the latest information from The Times, however, and a little math, it looks like stray police bullets are to blame for most, if not all of the injured bystanders.
The details still seem to be coming slowly on this latest American gun-involved tragedy, but keep in mind that while the statist control freaks whine on and on in the aftermath, it was their own enforcers who ended up slinging bullets into innocent bystanders in pursuit of the bad guy.
Highly trained, professional, yadda yadda. And they nearly re-enacted the Boston Massacre.
It’s only a matter of waiting until these innocent bystanders receive the statist’s most ignominious label in the ongoing war on bad people: collateral damage.
Update: There’s surveillance video of the chaotic scene.
Litigious update: Begin the countdown clock on one of these dumbstruck bystanders hitting the city with a lawsuit. Between nine people set up with some hospital bills related to NYPD GSW, someone’s bound to not be taking it like a champ for Mayor Blammo and his anti-anti-anti-everything crusade that’s driving New Yorkers bonkers:
The NYPD said the two officers fired a total of 16 rounds. Johnson’s handgun was able to hold eight rounds and at least one round was still in the clip, police said. It’s possible he had a second magazine, CBS 2′s Dick Brennan reported.
Police said it is unlikely that Johnson fired during the shootout. One witness told investigators that Johnson fired, but ballistics tests don’t back that up, authorities said.
[...] The wounded victims included five women and four men, ages 20 to 56, authorities said.
So the police shot first, and then kept shooting. Warm up a jury.
No, no more events through the end of December ’13. No nothing. See, some things you might want to know about me:
1.) I don’t like people. Some people say I am just shy but no really, I don’t like people.
2.) Repressing my misanthropy might have helped me raise money but it ruined my comedy.
3.) Everything is video now. I’m radio. Tired of having to femme up my look for acceptable biz standards. Grooming, thinking about how I look on camera, takes too much goddamn time away from what I would rather be doing…
4) I am a grumpy menopausal objectivist dyke. I don’t want to hear another fucking explanation by some 20 something doped up paleo meat eating Gary Johnson t-shirt wearing IHS intern about why markets work. I know how fucking markets work, kid. They had books before Ron Paul changed your life.
5.) When I left jobs and businesses that actually made money to work for the Libertarian Party of CA in ’06, I didn’t realize I was signing up for 40 plus years of PR shilling for Tyler Cowan, Hans Herman Hoppe, “Pinochet,” “newsletters,” Randy Barnett, Gary North, every friggin’ member the Paul family, that guy who dyed himself blue with the silver, global warming denial, that asshole Mercola who wants you to think that soy beans will make yr tits grow, the Volokh Conspiracy, Charles Fucking Murray, and Paul Ryan. It will be 6 yrs next month. Enough already.
(It could just be a little Ruby Ridge rage.) #governmentatrocitytour
Do as she says, we’re pretty confident she’s armed with more sharp wit along with the 12-guage, and obviously more experience than any ten YAL whippersnappers combined.
In my travels across this great land of ours, I’ve had the fun and sometimes not-so-fun occasion to stumble across this chasm of human oddity. In these travels, I’ve met more scientifically gifted minds in libertarian circles (computers, finance, world’s smallest political quiz takers, and for Carl Milstead the world’s most retro) than in government officials.
Anecdote: I once pub crawled with The Lakewood city fire chief whose one of many priorities was securing funds for a faster boat during the epic downturn of recent yore. He was a proper chap though and just wants to do his job as best as he understands the system presented to him.
Inappropriate Anecdote: Somewhere along the line at one of the seedier bars with stovetop shoved in a closet gigs, I had the worst urge to manifest porcelain and expel the terrible gut-wrenching fiasco of fully digested nachos and previous night’s round of beers. All without recourse to a proper bathroom. I truly felt bad for the stranger who walked in while the devastation of a slight buzz and lack of giving a fuck gave way to absurd relief.
Where was I, not on human oddity, but the libertarian nerd. see more…
On August 13th Ademo Freeman was convicted by a jury on 3 counts of felony wiretapping because he recorded phone conversations with pubic officials without the consent of said officials. While Ademo did violate the NH wiretapping law, the NH law violates federal court precedent. Last year 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 1st Circuit Court ruling was cited by a judge in Illinois as a “persuasive authority” for ruling on similar cases. Specifically, the case of Michael Allison, who had been convicted of five counts of felony eavesdropping and sentenced to 75 years in prison. The Illinois law makes it a felony to record a conversation without consent of ALL parties involved, regardless of the circumstances. Allison’s troubles began when he recorded his encounters with police who were seizing cars from his front yard. Allison then attempted to record his court appearance and was arrested for supposedly violating the Judge’s privacy. However, there is good news for Mr. Allison, another Judge (David Frankland) dismissed the charges against Michael Allison and ruled, “A statute intended to prevent unwarranted intrusion into a citizen’s privacy cannot be used as a shield for public officials who cannot assert a comparable right to privacy in their public duties… Such action impedes the free flow of information concerning public officials and violates the First Amendment right to gather information.”
Last fall, a Chicago jury acquitted a woman for secretly recording a conversation with police regarding a sexual harassment complaint she was attempting to file against the department. This past spring, Illinois Judge Stanley Sacks dropped a case against Chris Drew and ruled that the law was too broad and potentially criminalized “wholly innocent conduct.” Among the abuses hypothesized by the judge: the prosecution of a parent who recorded her child’s soccer game and inadvertently captured a conversation between two bystanders.
Illinois along with New Hampshire are two of the dozen states that require all party consent for recordings. This restriction makes it a crime, in many circumstances, to attempt to hold pubic officials accountable.
I’m reminded of the quote from Plato “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
On August 15th I spoke to a New Hampshire House subcommittee and recommended the committee introduce a bill to modify RSA 570-A:2 so that the term “all parties” is replaced with “at least one party.” and include the phrase “It is neither invasion of privacy nor wiretapping nor eavesdropping to record a telephone conversation if a party to the conversation.”
I concluded by stating the Legislature should bring New Hampshire law in compliance with federal court precedent which states, “filming public officials while on duty is a ‘basic and well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment’.” And said, the Legislature “can bring New Hampshire’s law into compliance the easy way, through legislation; or the hard way, through the courts. If the law is not changed through the State Legislature, I am tempted to challenge the law in federal court myself and I’m willing to record phone conversations with every Legislator in the State of New Hampshire if that is what it takes to bring about this much needed change in state law.”