Zarqawi #1 Caught

third time in as many months? hmm… [via]

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Saint G-Dubs the Puerile

St. G-Dubs the Puerile

Ok Reuters and AP photogs, it was cute the first few of times, but now these “accidental” holy simulacrums are officially freaking me out… just a smidge. Then again, Bush could be “el salvador de los vatos” and we’d all be doomed for making fun of him, because he’d like… get all his homies to come mess us up, mang.

Google Search for “holy bush”
President Bush Makes Remarks at National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast [AP] [via]

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China Protest Video

Rare video of a rural protest showing hired thugs beating up and killing protesting villagers who disobey the gov’t

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TX, NC Reps: Time to Leave Iraq

Uh oh, all is not well with red stater’s support for the war

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Schaivo was indeed a Veggie

Maybe it’s the SouthPark episode on the issue seeping into people’s collective reasoning, but it’s an odd day when I agree with Niel Boortz as he so succinctly kicks the Terry Schiavo pro-feeding-tubers to the curb:

It’s tough to admit that you were wrong. Been there many times. You believe something so strongly, only to find out that you were profoundly mistaken. You find out that Terri Schiavo’s brain was reduced to half its normal size. She had no cognitive abilities. She was not aware of her own existence. She didn’t even know she was alive, and therefore couldn’t know that death was a possibility. She wasn’t there. All that was left was the remains of the body that once had been Terri Schiavo .. clinging to the last threads of life.

I have an idea, how about instead of getting Congress to legislate bills for a single person in a case that’s blown out of proportion because the religious fundamantalists want to get their 15 minutes on TV, we remove the religious right-wing propaganda feeding tube from their small, uncognitive and blindered little brains.

UPDATE: Don’t forget about Doctor and Congressman Bill “I can diagnose your illness after watching some tapes on TV” Frist.

» South Park takes on Schiavo Case [DailyKos]
» The Schiavo Matter [boortz.com]
» Christian Groups Rally Support for Terri Schindler Schiavo [CNSNews]
» Frist Responsive to Factual Stimuli [Wonkette]

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LP.org Official Slogan Contest

Well, there seems to be a good shot at a drive to increase membership in the LP by 5,000 members by July 31st (complete with front page image of an adorable burning fuse ending at a bomb set to blow up a donkey and elephant, awww). Shane Cory isn’t shy about soliciting help from the libertarian community in coming up with slogan ideas (these are the initial, somewhat blase, offerings):

A. “It’s time to thin the herd”
B. “Help us break the two party system”
C. “Help us make the animals dance”
D. “Make the Libertarian Party your new home”

Of course, I was a bit preemptive on the draw earlier this week when I announced I would be working to replace the LNC chair by posting my own suggestion: “the after-party you’ve been searching for.” So if you see that over at the poll, give some support and vote for it (unless there’s another, more compelling one that tickles your fancy).

Either way, it’s good to see some movement in reaching out and asking for suggestions, hopefully the strategy at the LNC is beginning to gravitate towards creating a more open and inclusive party.

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Revolution? …Yes!

this has been coming in at the edges for a while now, just a matter of time until the Common Sense of our day is written.

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President for Life

Forget the Patriot Act, these bastards are actually trying to repeal the 22nd amendment

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Fired for Frowning

woman with partial facial paralysis fired after working for 19 years at the same store for not smiling enough [via]

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Limbaugh, O’Reilly Trump Woodward as “Journalists”

The girl who combs O’Reilly’s hair… also a journalist. The announcer for the WWE… you guessed it: journalist.

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Ohio Hates its Governor

mired in controversy and mismanagement, 19% approval is still somewhat high

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Russia Cracks Down on Mail-Order Brides

both are silly IMHO, then again I live in Slavic Village, Cleveland and enjoy going out with Russian girlies

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Mad Max is Jealous

the armored VIP buses used in Iraq are pretty amazing [via]

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OS X on Intel

People are already installing the developer builds on $200 DIY boxes, but the OS isn’t upgradeable

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Buying a New Party

As of last night, I’m on board a campaign to revive the LNC with new leadership at the 2006 convention in Portland, Oregon. I can’t give out many details of the campaign (names, urls, etc), but suffice to say it’s a lot of people who “get it” when it comes to politics and transforming the Libertarian Party into a political player. I have been tapped to be the Technical Director for this; and if things go well, I may possibly become part of of the national LP in a more direct role (based on my technical/grassroots skills).

Slogan of the moment:
“Libertarians – the after-party you’ve been searching for.”

Libertarians need to be poised to create the biggest political upset against entrenched beaurocrats, sparking a new era of transparent government and rational foreign policy and security without hypocrisy.

This is going to take money though, and I’m going to bust my ass to raise as much as we need to ensure this happens. And if we raise more than we need to win, you can bet we’re going to turn around and put that money into the revived libertarian awareness movement and campaigns. Because dammit, it’s time we started making people look at us as a de facto option when voting.

I know enough people who are fed up with the direction the LP has been taking in recent years, and I’m happy to see signs of change coming in at the edges (Shane Cory as new Communications Director is a good example). Our party has a strong future, we just have to stand up now and build the foundation for a strong movement into 2006 and 2008 and however long down the road it takes for us to effect libertarian change in our government.

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Misdirected Anger: Don’t Call Troops Baby Killers

baby killerI just got off the phone talking on Free Talk Live after one of the hosts started calling military folks “baby killers.” The argument he was making was that if you are dropping bombs out of planes onto villages, you are most certainly killing babies. This is not under debate here, as death (even children) is certainly an expected part of war. Nobody likes that.

But still, that’s harsh and not useful.

Now, I’m avidly against the late Vietnam war and the current Iraq war (yet, I fully agree with using military force to retaliate and hunt down Osama in Afghanistan and wherever he is), but I think once you start throwing around blanket statements about the morality of our military troops, you are treading into dangerous territory. Back during Vietnam, one of the greatest blunders of the anti-war movement was to greet returning troops with spit and name-calling. The hippie crowd turned their backs on the military and shunned them as pariahs. My father is a testament and I have heard many stories in that vein from him that I trust his account of.

Here’s where it gets complicated with Vietnam, because of the draft: All of those who joined (by draft or willingly) were essentially made suckers years later when Gerald Ford pardoned all the deserters who ran to Canada or refused to join. I’d feel like a sucker too, but in that context, I’d hate hippies who had mocked me, not the government that had gotten away with a lying pretext for war.

Now here’s where we as libertarians have a unique opportunity to garner military people into our fold:

Don’t call them suckers, don’t call them baby killers.

Make it clear that the real criminal here is the U.S. government for waging an illegal war with their lives.

I’m not going to lay out an argument against the Iraq war here, since being in an information age, it’s easy to find what you need to state your argument with the Downing Street Memo.

But what I will say is that this misdirected rage at our troops must not be tolerated. Point it up the chain, the general who gives unlawful orders at the POW prison and has no control over his battalion, the secretary of defense who mocks our troops when he says “you go to war with the military you have, not the military you want”, the president and vice president who cull intelligence for damning WMD evidence to support their invasion, and change the reason to “spreading freedom” after the fact.

Only then can we win the battle of opinion with the returning troops instead of alienating them.

UPDATE: You can listen to the archived audio from Free Talk Live, where this post is read verbatim at the end of the second hour of the show (I had called in at the end of the first hour): hour 1 (6.7MB mp3) hour 2 (6.8MB mp3)

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Xtreme Judiciary

coyoteblog brings up a good question: why are constitutional- leaning nominees being labeled extremist?

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Malkin is Right!?

she says whatever is built at Ground Zero shouldn’t be “the playground of anti-war financiers, moral equivalence peddlers, and Guantanamo Bay alarmists.” I agree that it’s not the right place

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Snip Shape

more and more women are getting cosmetic surgery on their nether-regions

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Hooray for Anti-Competition!

GM TahoeA common fiscal conservative (free market) viewpoint is: if any company is run badly, they deserve to fail to competitors who run their businesses better. By applying this to GM, we can deduce that since they have failed to compete (pumping out SUVs well into a downtrend), they should fail. That’s what you’re not hearing from the mainstream media these days. Instead you are hearing about unions, healthcare and a need to shove the blame on employees (something the entire U.S. auto industry has to deal with, including Toyota, Nissan and Honda).

The nationalist froth is coming out too, as the age-old phrase “buy American” is becoming the renewed mantra of the protectionist. Even Toyota, fearing a backlash from flag-waving American consumers (who are too idiotic to realize that the Toyota they buy in America was built by American workers), has announced they will raise prices in order to let GM compete with them.

To make matters worse, GM laid off 25,000 employees — about a fifth of it’s workforce — and decided to “compete” too late in the game by offering the employee discount to everyone in America. Does anyone else find the irony in that 25,000 employee discounts are already guaranteed moot. Maybe if they sell 25,000 Hummers, that will make up the difference, though I doubt it.

Personally, I own a previous model Pontiac Grand Am, which I am not terribly enthusiastic about due to various mechanical issues and annoyances that crop up periodically, and didn’t have plans to by another GM because of the problems I’ve had with this car. And now, any hope I had of buying a Toyota is shot to hell until this anti-competitive fiasco is over. Great job corporate geniuses, instead of encouraging consumer spending, they just killed it for potential Toyota buyers.

What’s next? Mobile phone companies raising prices because the local phone company isn’t getting enough revenue from land-lines? Import duties so that American companies can stay open a little longer? Just more pissing in the global economy wind for another decade until wages and cost of living finally hit a wall they can’t climb over with legislative help.

Shame on GM’s executives for planning for the short term, and shame on Toyota for succumbing to irrational nationalistic fervor. Let GM fail (or downsize) with dignity, and let Americans buy other cars at competitive prices if they choose.

» Costs of health care drag America down [SFGate.com]
» Our view: ‘Buy American’ law is unpatriotic [Tonawanda News]
» Toyota may raise U.S. auto prices [Union Tribune]
» GM Employee Discount for Everyone [GM.com]
» SUV sales start to slow down [Patriot News]

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Ashcroft’s House is For Sale

damn, if only we had known years ago all it took to get him out of DC was $1.1 million

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Senate Intelligence Committee: Yes to Patriot 2

This is kind of a bummer, but not a big surprise: senators voted 11-4 to move the bill forward but said they would push for limits on the new powers. Allow me to translate the quotes from the article:

“This bill must be amended on the floor to protect national security while protecting Constitutional rights,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.

“I totally agree with the talking points president Bush and Ashcroft had been spouting about needing more executive power and less judicial oversight. Also, we should reincarnate J Edgar Hoover.”

Ranking Democrat Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., supported the bill overall but said he would push for limits that would allow such administrative subpoenas “only if immediacy dictates.”

“Clearly I am ignorant as to what kind of immediacy the FBI would possibly conjure up in order to download all the data from every bank in order to mine it for possible illegal activity. Ditto on reincarnating Hoover.”

Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said the bill places new checks and balances on the powers it would grant, such as new procedures that would allow people to challenge such administrative orders. He called the Patriot Act “a vital tool in the war on terror” and lauded the Democrats who voted for it in spite of misgivings.

“By ‘new checks and balances,’ I actually mean ‘no judicial review.’ Tomat-oh, tom-ah-to, right? And for those who want to challenge the administrative order, good luck finding out if the FBI even issued a sneak-and-peak search warrant on your ass, because even its existence will be classified. And to those Democrats who voted against it: *cough* terrorist sympathizer investigation *cough*”

“Reincarnate Hoover, but this time make sure he’s less of a pansy, dress-wearing liberal.”

» Senate Gives FBI More Patriot Act Power [AP]

Previously at Hammer of Truth:
» FBI Meets with Congress to Discuss Patriot 2
» Patriot Act 2: Calling all Lone Wolves Edition

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Busted for Cleaning up Graffiti

because it was actually a corporate ad; novel twist: “The artists who are defacing the ads, are also the same artists who created them.”

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