Out of Town for a Few Days, Time to Regurge

[If you need some high-volume libertarian commentary to tide you over for the meantime, check out either Free Will Blog or lesser-volume more-feminine Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey (quite the mouthful, and I don't mean that as a double entendre).]

I’ll be out of town for a few days for a family function and probably won’t be able to post much, if at all. However, I decided to dig up an old article from the Hammer of Truth treasure trove for everyone to enjoy in the interim: Real Whitehouse.

Real Whitehouse

The characters are a bit dated (a couple have left the administration), but I’m still very proud of this piece, written as an homage to the late, great Hunter S. Thompson.

As a bonus, here’s an oldie comic strip that applies every time Bush goes to meet with injured soldiers (almost guaranteed he’ll do it again this coming Memorial Day): Bring ‘Em On!

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Mental Download

“by 2050 we would expect to be able to download your mind into a machine” (I’m more interested in uploads, vis-à-vis Battlefield Earth and The Matrix) [via]

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Posting Secrets of A-List Bloggers

averaging 30 posts a day at 150 words each, really only feasible as a full-time job when you think about it [via]

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Finland needs TP for its Bunghole

the paper union threatened to go on strike, so naturally there’s a run on toilet paper (includes obligatory photo of empty shelves)

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Real ID Rebellion: This might be “chatter”

Driver's License Bin LadenWell, I’ve seen this website — Real ID Rebellion — popping up a few times around the libertarian blogosphere, and it seems to be growing in stature pretty quickly. It’s a simple Blogger set-up with an angsty white-on-black background vibe featuring links to discussions on how to thwart Real ID (as if you expected anything less from a reactionary libertarian website?).

Which is where I found a link to Thomas Knapp’s ruminations on leading a shadowy life outside of the system, smoking cigarettes in dimly lit alleys and hawking stolen kidneys for gold coins in order to pay the rent:

Avoid doing business with people who demand government-issued ID — including, where possible, banks (you may want to get an offshore account), federalized mass transit services such as Amtrak and the airlines, etc. Use cash, gold or electronic currencies where you can. Buy a pre-loaded debit card that can be reloaded on the Internet or at local kiosks — and buy it before you’re required to present your new internal passport for the privilege of doing so. If possible, get it with a fake name (if you’re doing that, don’t reload it over the Internet from home, with a card that has your real name on it, etc. — keep it completely de-linked from your real identity. Use it to get cash from ATMS rather than to make over-the-counter purchases that might result in ID checks).

Now, while I think Tom is coming from the right place and there should clearly be resistance to the government’s increasingly overbearing intrusions into private lives, I have to wonder if it wouldn’t be easier for an angry crowd of privacy advocates to raze the local DMV or for a Revelations-tweaked religious nut to lob a molotov or two. Has anyone coined the term privoterrorist yet?

» Real ID Rebellion
» What to do about “Real ID?” [Knappster]

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Googlejacked!

Google is now #2 for the term “adsense”

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Quote of the Day

From a comment at the LP.org blog on the Iraq war:

I’m neither for this war nor agianst it; I just want it to be over.

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You put the stickers on, you take the stickers off…

…You waste the taxpayer’s money, thumping bibles in the South.

Cobb County textbook sticker removal

Looks like a federal judge has ruled on the anti-evolution stickers — claiming that evolution was a theory and not fact — stuck on science books in Atlanta suburb Cobb County, Georgia were “an unconstitutional endorsement of religion and ordered their removal.” The school board is paying 14 temporary workers $10 an hour to then remove the stickers that had been put in the books November of last year, helping the economy with “a compassionate conservative jobs program.”

The religious members of the school board have vowed to fight the judge’s ruling and also planned to feed the temporary workers to the pet dinosaurs they keep in the book of Genesis at their homes.

» Cobb Cty, GA: Evolution Stickers Removed [Booman Tribune]
» Slap at evolution cut out in Cobb [AJC]

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FBI Meets with Congress to Discuss Patriot 2

Not surprising that this is already making its way into Congressional hearings:

The FBI on Tuesday asked the U.S. Congress for sweeping new powers to seize business or private records, ranging from medical information to book purchases, to investigate terrorism without first securing approval from a judge.

Valerie Caproni, FBI general counsel, told the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee her agency needed the power to issue what are known as administrative subpoenas to get information quickly about terrorist plots and the activities of foreign agents.

Basically, the FBI wants a password to every database in the U.S. and access to it carte blanche without oversight. Oh, and they won’t have to tell you about it. Currently, the FBI can do sneak-and-peak searches like this (which still egregious defies the 5th amendment), but the new powers would remove the judicial oversight completely and hand the power directly to the executive branch (the FBI).

Oh, and they promise to use this secret authority to only go after terrorists… right. Let me take stock of the monkeys that fly out of my butt whenever the FBI says it only used the original Patriot Act for terrorists.

UPDATE: [via BoingBoing] The EFF has taken to calling it Patriot III for some reason, but they also nailed the vastness of the power given to the FBI:

The FBI could use the subpoenas to get practically anything from anyone: Internet logs and emails from your Internet service provider, health records from your doctor, financial information from your bank, or records about your reading habits from your bookstore or library.

The Justice Department has long sought this kind of unprecedented subpoena power for the FBI, but Congress has always said no — even in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

If you are a resident of Kansas, Utah, Ohio, Missouri, Maine, Nebraska, Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, Michigan, California, Oregon, Indiana, Maryland, or New Jersey, your senator is on the committee reviewing this bill in a closed session on Thursday. So… SIGN THE PETITION!

» FBI asks US Congress for power to seize documents [WaPo]
» U.S. Uses Terror Law to Pursue Crimes From Drugs to Swindling [NYT cache]
» Patriot Act 2: Calling all Lone Wolves Edition [HoT]
» PATRIOT III: Justice Department Asks Congress to Expand Its Spying Powers – Again [EFF]
» PETITION: Say No to New PATRIOT Spying Powers [EFF]

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Small Apartments

a contest to see who has the most impressive studio, this one is my favorite

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Kerry Finally Signs Form 180

it releases his military records (a topic of much debate during the elections), but is it too late now? also: heh

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Pentagon Cuts Missile Defense

good, but they cut the one area they got working… argh

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Interest-Group Conservatism

expansion and exploitation of govt by people who profess to dislike it

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RIP “Libertarian” Larry Fullmer

Note: this article contains dead links, the url is still in the hover/alt text. Keep the web working, curate content well!

Larry Fullmer obituary[This is a difficult thing for me to write about, and when Seth Cohn sent me an email with the tragic news, I knew that I had to tell people about what happened...]

I first met Larry Fullmer through various emails while working on the Badnarik campaign. He was never one to shy away from heated debates in the campaign blog’s comments and had a fiery tenacity for liberty. A self-avowed Libertarian for 40 years, Larry refused to back down from his ideals, firmly rooted in liberty, and bordering on anarcho-capitalism. There was a rare soul on the Badnarik forums and blog (and beyond) who didn’t know Larry, and his reputation for brash righteousness preceded him outside of the digital realm, as no Libertarian worth his salt didn’t know him from the legend that others told. Larry had a flair for verbally exploring conspiracy theories, and while I grimaced at times at seeing his all caps-lock verbal tirades against Peroutka supporters who were trying to demoralize our supporters — hoping his behavior and coarse language wouldn’t reflect badly on the campaign — I also secretly enjoyed seeing him stir things up and get people energized and riled up.

But Larry was still just a man, and like all of us he struggled with his demons. Sadly, his final outreaches for help were not enough for his family to stop him from killing himself this afternoon. Even more tragic is the circumstances in which he spent his final moments, in confrontation with police who had arrived at the bequest of his sister to check up on him. Most likely, Larry did not realize what was occuring, and killed himself sometime during a prolonged afternoon stand-off in which an arguably exaggerated show of force (S.W.A.T. sniper and law-enforcement in paramilitary uniform) surrounded his home before finally deploying five cannisters of tear-gas and raiding the home in order to save him from himself. But Larry had apparently taken his own life hours earlier, and there was nothing to do except clear the tear-gas and cordon the area with police tape.

In a tragic irony, Larry Fullmer spent his final moments exercising his personal liberty as he saw fit — taking his own life at his own choosing — instead of allowing the government to save him with brute force.

We’ll miss you Libertarian Larry. Rest in Peace.

UPDATE: Tim West adds his condolences: “I’m a better libertarian today because I knew Larry Fullmer, and so are many others who he met and “had discussions” with over his 30+ years activity in the LP. That’s the best legacy he could have left us.”

UPDATE 2: The Missouri Libertarian also chimes in: “I admire the work he did in contacting newspapers and the media about the Libertarian Party, and while I disagreed with him many times I had a lot of respect for anyone that would say what they thought and believed. Libertarian Larry will be missed.”

UPDATE 3: Tom Knapp adds his condolences and posts a link to the obituary. He also encourages everyone to “use the ‘feedback’ form to tell Pocatello about him.” Not a bad idea and would be a fitting sendup for Larry.

UPDATE 4: Even Michael Badnarik has kind words (for anyone not familiar, Larry was the guy at the 2004 LP Convention who rightfully “freaked” when he learned Badnarik had no driver’s license and hadn’t filed taxes in several years, something we had to downplay later much to our chagrine).

» Deadly day in Pocatello: Standoff drives residents from neighborhood [Pocatello Idaho State Journal]

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LP Takes on Bill O’Reilly

I just received an email with the Open Letter to Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly from the LP. Apparently they are taking umbrage with Bill’s comments on The O’Reilly Factor that somehow denigrated Libertarians:

“I’m not a ‘Star Wars’ fan. I can’t tell a Wookie from a Libertarian.”

Now here’s a battle I find amusing, because it’s almost like the LP is picking a fight that isn’t really worth it. O’Reilly is a polemic who self-righteously spouts about whatever pops into his little head and proclaims it as the one truth while telling his guests to “SHUT UP… CUT HIS MIKE!” What’s the point in telling this guy what a libertarian is, he clearly isn’t going to listen.

Here’s how the LP responded:

[...] While I appreciate the light-hearted, comedic manner in which you were offering this observation, hopefully this letter will give you some much needed insight into the array of people across the nation who are proud members of the Libertarian Party.

While Democrats and Republicans constantly speak of “freedom” and “liberty” their actions contradict their words. Libertarians believe in — [...blah blah blah we're not wookies *yawn* -- you get the idea...]

Now while I do see the point of the LP responding to O’Reilly, I don’t think it deserved an entire spiel to somehow inform O’Reilly of what Libertarians are, because the man is simply using hyperbole in a daft manner. Indeed, I would have kept the response to his little joke more succinct and volleyed a back-handed repertoire right back at him:

While I appreciate the light-hearted, comedic manner in which you were offering this observation, hopefully you could clear up a question for us on what the difference is between a Bill O’Reilly and a Jabba the Hut.

Best Regards,

Joe “Chewbacca” Seehusen
Rebel Sqaudron Supplies Manager
Libertarian National Committee, Inc.

Now really, isn’t that a much better response?

UPDATE: Good God, the conversation spawned a blog post over at LP.org — I have a gut feeling this is going to grow considerably and a whole new genre of jokes is born to give talk show hosts more anti-libertarian fodder: “What’s the difference between a wookie and a libertarian? Hyuck!”

I’m having a hard time not spewing out a few one-liners myself, but here’s one that I can’t resist:

Q: What’s the difference between a wookie and a Libertarian senator?
A: Both are fictional characters, but at least you know what the wookie looks like.

These are really too easy, perhaps we shouldn’t have opened this can of worms.

INSPIRATION UPDATE: If it’s publicity the LP wants, I’ll put my money where my mouth is and in $20 towards any real fundraising effort where an actor dressed up as Chewbacca goes in front of a camera and explains what the Libertarian Party is (bonus points for being clever). Another $20 to pay for airtime during The O’Reilly Factor.

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Chavez on His Mind

Note: this article contains dead links, the url is still in the hover/alt text. Keep the web working, curate content well!

Why can’t Doug MacKinnon seem to stop writing about Hugo Chavez?

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More Site Tweaking

I know, I know… it takes forever for me to get everything exactly the way I like it. But, the good news is that everything should look somewhat decent in MSIE (let me know if I screw it up again). I’ve been really impressed with WordPress, but I’m still not at the comfort level with v1.5 it where I can just hack the hell out of things quickly to make it do what I want. It doesn’t help that my CSS skills are still at an intermediate stage.

Blogging is going to be light for another week since I’m gonna be out of town for family business and don’t know what my Internet situtation will be like. I’m also getting read to launch another surprise on everyone once HoT is up and rolling again, but I don’t want to over-hype it so you’ll just have to wonder what the hell else I could be up to.

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DeLay Billboard

Ok, now this is a pretty good zinger from the democrats

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FOXNews Ratings Plunge Lower

6 straight months of declining viewers … moving to Internet, not other channels

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Patriot Act 2: Calling all Lone Wolves Edition

FBI logoIsn’t this awesome! Not a week after the national ID passes, the congrescritters are back in a circle, spitting on the torch of liberty:

[T]he measure being written by Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., would give the FBI new power to issue administrative subpoenas, which are not reviewed by a judge or grand jury, for quickly obtaining records, electronic data or other evidence in terrorism investigations, according to aides for the GOP majority on the committee who briefed reporters Wednesday.

Recipients could challenge the subpoenas in court and the Bush administration would have to report to Congress twice a year exactly how it was using this investigatory power, the aides said. [emphasis added]

So now the Gestapo FBI can kick in your door as they please, without cause, and check around to make sure you aren’t doing illegal shit in your house. But it gets better:

So, too, would a provision that authorizes wiretapping of suspected terrorists who operate without clear ties to a particular terrorist network.

You get that? You might be a terrorist worth wiretapping even if you don’t have any terrorist friends to call… clearly terrorism is being spread through Sprint’s jihadist friends and family network these days. Will terrorism stop at nothing to destroy our freedom to make cheap long distance calls?

But, I’m sure you’re thinking: “Slow your roll hamma’, I ain’t no jive-terrorist, what’s I gots to worry ’bout?”

Well, you better be sure your doc is on the up and up when he prescribes that valium writ for when you want to totally escape from the memory of the guys who kicked in your door to enforce the most awesome SUPER PATRIOT USA WE’RE #1 ACT!!!:

They also have pushed for the administrative subpoena power, which they say prosecutors already are using in health care fraud and other criminal cases.

Don’t you be fooled by these bastard Al Qaida, they are everywhere these days, with a specialized cell of physicians using their evil terrorist powers to defraud Medicare and steal cubic tons of viagra to sell on the Internet to raise funds to pay for their infiltration into the AT&T phone network.

Hoo boy does this make me feel patriotic… and wet, from all the expectorate flying out of the mouths of the “maim liberty first” crowd.

» GOP Aides Say New Patriot Act Obliges Bush [AP]

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Fired for Drinking Coors at Bar

he worked for a Budweiser distributor… I bet they settle out of court [via MeFi]

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Look Busy Around Here

So, the site is slowly coming together and taking shape (my very own links list, weeee). It still looks like shit in IE, but what are ya gonna do?

Anyways, after a month-and-a-half hiatus, somehow the traffic to this site has managed to increase by about 150 visitors a day, yet the number of people reading via RSS is pretty much the same. I’m pretty fucking baffled at the RSS half, and figured most people would sign up for RSS and ride out the wait. The increase in traffic is due in large part to Google finally delinking this domain from another old domain I had forwarding to it (the one I use just for email now). That’s a hint, yo… pop that aggregator cherry.

Oh, and congratulations to my dad for getting married in a couple weeks (5th 4th time’s a charm?). He’s been married (and divorced) so many times, Willie Nelson has him on speed-dial when he needs to write a new song.

So what’s up with you?

UPDATE: Ok, so I obviously did’t truly know how many times my dad had been married before and the count was padded a bit. Congrats to him none-the-less, and I hope his past experiences have galvanized his common sense a little.

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Political Graffiti

wide spectrum of interesting views from around the world

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