The Daily Paul has the most wishful thinking opinion pieces up post-RNC:
So we all know Ron is making a special announcement on Jay Leno on September 4th. I know many of us are hoping it’s that Ron is running Indy or third party. Some are hoping he will endorse Johnson.
I just got off the phone with someone very close to Ron and want to tell everyone that a third party run is possible. At this point that is not what the announcement is going to be. It’s also not a Johnson or Romney endorsement, so says my well placed source. Again, take it worth a grain of salt, but I trust that this person is close enough to Ron to know.
Up until know I have believed that there was ZERO chance Ron would run third party. However, after my phone call I believe there is a glimmer of hope. It’s too late for Ron to get on the ballot as an Indy, however Johnson has said in the past that he would step aside for Ron.
Now for the bad news..Ron does not think the grassroots would fully back him because of all of the Rand and Benton bashing that has taken place, but RON would LOVE to make a last major push for Liberty in the presidential debates.
WE HAVE TO TELL RON BEFORE SEPTEMBER 4th THAT WE WILL SUPPORT HIM AND FUND HIM AND BACK HIM. If he knows that, there is still a chance he could change his mind, and if Gary really will step aside for Ron, Ron may take one final shot as a Libertarian. There is no chance Johnson will be anywhere near 15% and therefore no chance Gary is going to be in any debates. However, if Ron is the LP nominee and Gary as VEEP (as much as I dislike Gary, I could accept that) Gary would be debating Biden.
Sadly, Paul supporters (the ones that truly go full paultard) should properly educate themselves about the 50+ different ballot access hurdles before spouting off nonsense like this.
I love that little “not hype” at the end of the headline… pshaaaa!see more…
The Internet has unleashed innovation, enabled growth, and inspired freedom more rapidly and extensively than any other technological advance in human history. Its independence is its power. The Internet offers a communications system uniquely free from government intervention. We will remove regulatory barriers that protect outdated technologies and business plans from innovation and competition, while preventing legacy regulation from interfering with new and disruptive technologies such as mobile delivery of voice video data as they become crucial components of the Internet ecosystem. We will resist any effort to shift control away from the successful multi-stakeholder approach of Internet governance and toward governance by international or other intergovernmental organizations. We will ensure that personal data receives full constitutional protection from government overreach and that individuals retain the right to control the use of their data by third parties; the only way to safeguard or improve these systems is through the private sector.
Most interestingly, the Libertarian Party has handily beat Republicans to the punch by more than two decades, having tackled the internet freedom message way back in 1991:
Stop Internet Censorship
Politicians are trying to take away your right to read what you want, and to say what you want.
The Internet is making it possible for new voices to be heard — the voices of people who simply could not afford to publish their ideas or display their artistic talents to a wide audience using older technologies. Established interests of both the left and the right fear new voices, and are trying to control what appears on the Internet through new laws and regulations.
America’s Founders couldn’t foresee the Internet, but they knew that government control of information was not only a violation of personal liberty — it was a threat to their hopes for a nation based on the principles of self-government. So they gave us the First Amendment.
The Libertarian Party carries on today in the tradition of the Founders:
The Libertarian Party didn’t wait for the Internet to become popular to stand up for principle: The LP has always supported freedom of speech and the press, and has had language specifically supporting freedom of online communication in its Platform since 1991.
The Libertarian Party joined with thousands of concerned Internet users in “turning its web pages black” in protest of President Clinton’s signing the unconstitutional “Communications Decency Act” in 1995.
The Libertarian Party continues to speak out today against the attempts by Democrats and Republicans to find loop-holes in the First Amendment, so they can turn the Internet into a government-controlled medium.
Think about it: while the GOP has just given birth to a messy and still-diapered internet freedom policy, the LP’s plank is all grown up, growing a beard, and is old enough to drink.
From the official facebook page of the DNC where we’ve noticed the number of likes dropped off a cliff around the same time Congress took the much ballyhooed August recess (yes, an entire month off, which is typically spent campaigning, fundraising and otherwise servicing political careers).
It may be a coincidence here, or it may be that someone forgot to pay their bot network contract, causing the juice to be cut off.
Reason.tv reports: “Ron Paul-supporting delegates have accused the Republican establishment of changing the rules of the seating process in order to avoid embarassment for Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Their arguments are not without merit.”
“The Ron Paul faction did not go out quietly, cheering loudly whenever Ron Paul delegates were announced and yelling out the running tally of Paul votes every time the convention announcer failed to do so.”
“While Maine–and the broader Ron Paul movement–lost this symbolic battle, some delegates say that Republicans have made a bad mistake alienating the Ron Paul vote by picking this fight.”
“‘The party’s fractured. This was completely unnecessary, and it’s ridiculous,’ said Ron Paul supporter and Oklahoma delegate Steve Dixon.”
Paul supporters had vowed a floor fight, which has been handily snuffed out by procedural shenanigans.
“Work within the party,” they said. “You’ll be part of the process,” they said. Suckers.
Members of Maine’s delegation to the Republican National Convention lost their battle to reseat 10 supporters of Ron Paul on Tuesday after a brief but boisterous floor fight, during which the hall echoed with chants of “Seat Maine now!”
Moments later, Paul’s delegates and alternates from Maine — some wearing clothespins on their noses — walked out of the convention hall in protest.
After today’s exodus, the Maine Delegation held a rump national convention. I was elected National Convention Chair and we voted unanimously to nominate Ron Paul for President. It was over and done with in 60 seconds.
Our rump convention was held in jest, and yet it had more integrity and legitimacy than anything that took place inside that Tampa convention center.
UPDATE II: Ron Paul’s supporters had embarrassingly more enthusiasm than Romney’s supporters when Ron Paul walked onto the convention floor championing a wreath of flowers (Hawaiian lei, we presume) around his neck. Tell us NBC:
Ron Paul’s appearance Tuesday on the floor of the Republican National Convention evoked split conventions of the past as the retiring Texas congressman received a hero’s welcome from supporters.
The former two-time GOP presidential candidate walked out to greet a roaring group of supporters from the Nevada delegation, one of several he won during the detailed process of allocating delegates to this convention.
When asked by NBC News what he hoped to accomplish by visiting the floor, Paul said, “Just saying hi to some friends from Nevada.”
Paul supporters started chanted, “Let Him Speak!” When Romney supporters started chanting “Romney, Romney!” Paul backers screamed “Ron Paul! Ron Paul,” drowning out the delegates pledged to the Republican nominee-in-waiting.
HA! Even NBC can’t cover for Romney when the enthusiasm gap has been exposed by Paul supporters in grand fashion. At his own convention, where we can finish laughing at the GOP presidency ambitions of 2012 when he’s handily beaten by entrenched incumbent Obama (or gasp, Gary Johnson) at the polls in November.
Don’t forget this moment.
UPDATE III: Linda Bean, scion of the LL Bean clothing empire is letting fly at Romney over being a control freak. Via Esquire:
“They just don’t want us on the floor,” Bean says. “They’re afraid.”
The latest hassle was a document the Romney wants them to sign. “They want us all to sign that we will agree with everything in the convention.”
“Yeah, sign here that you will not oppose anything that Romney brings forth.”
That ain’t gonna fly with a bunch of libertarians, Bean says. “He’s too controlling.”
That’s not all.
“We aren’t even allowed to have our credentials for the next day — they’re passing them out new every day. What does that mean?”
Loyalty oaths are nothing new to the GOP, with George Bush bringing them in vogue during his 2004 re-election campaign. But Romney’s campaign seems to be getting ahead of themselves pushing such pledges at a contentious convention.
As many as 45 percent of registered now say they are paying a lot of attention, including slightly more Republicans (47 percent) than Democrats (42 percent). In April, 43 percent were paying a lot of attention. In August of 2008, 51 percent said they were paying a lot of attention.
Another 34 percent of voters say they are paying some attention, while 20 percent are paying little to no attention.
[...]There is some room for movement in the race – but not much. About four in five voters say they have made up their minds which candidate to support, but for about one in 10 the race is not yet over, as they say it’s too early and their minds could still change. Similar percentages of Obama and Romney voters could change their minds.
The conventions will undoubtedly offer reviews, from both sides, of the Obama presidency thus far. A slight majority of voters says that the Obama presidency has brought more disappointment (55 percent) than satisfaction (45 percent).
Democrats are satisfied, but more apt to be just somewhat satisfied (53 percent) than very satisfied (29 percent). Another 18 percent of Democrats are disappointed. Most independents (58 percent) are disappointed. Republicans, perhaps unsurprisingly, are very much so.
It’s safe to say the democrats and republicans have done their part to disenfranchise Americans with extreme ballot restrictions measures and psychological barrages of hate. Is it any surprise that one in five are taking refuge in complete political solitude (and thus, powerlessness).
Newsroom, starring Jeff Daniels as anchor Will McAvoy, isn’t pulling punches. But with hindsight super-abilities comes the flip side of preaching to new audiences who were first unaware of any of the facts (quasi-history).
Maybe they were tuned into TMZ, I mean TMI and not the issues of deficits run up by the imperial and christian alliance. But those audiences will look at this and think: “hmm, this looks about right.” Maybe they’ll get interested in getting up and giving a damn about their country direction — realizing it’s they who control that course.
Or maybe they’ll just hate news people a little more and realize what unhappy pathetic people they also are (fictional: feeling sorry for yourself after a hit piece in New York Magazine, oh boo hoo don’t console yourself with your millions… swallow pills).
Sadly enough, Sorkin has done a terrible job giving Ron Paul any credit for his true role as godfather of the tea party (before it was hijacked by every interest group and became a reactionary nationalist movement), relegating him to brief quips on economic issues and once again trudging through the racist views of others that were published under his banner without his knowledge. In a recent episode, going so far as to ironically have the only black man in the newsroom play Paul during a mock debate. The humor and jabs at everyone in the truth industry is indeed the most ironic thing about this show.
Still, I love them for trying to understand the republican narrative that’s developed since the 2008 crash and Obama’s presidency, but that’s the power of a hindsight fictional show far flung from the actual power centers covering the screwups in the news: even they won’t get the story right.
But I was struck in a couple of instances by what some viewed as the series’ chief virtue — that it offered a candid look at how editorial decisions are made in the newsrooms of major television networks.
I didn’t have the heart to tell those readers, but . . . no, that is not the series’ chief virtue. That doesn’t even belong on the list of virtues. “The Newsroom” is a fairy tale, almost wholly disembodied from the real world of television journalism, even with its real world takes on newsmakers as diverse as Casey Anthony and Grover Norquist.
But Aaron Sorkin, in his defense, isn’t seeking verisimilitude as much as (if I may coin a new word) quasi-similitude, in which viewers are lulled into thinking this is a real world when in fact all Sorkin wants to do is mount an entertaining series and score a few points at the same time.
“The Newsroom” is kind of a Trojan horse of a series, ingratiating itself and then — once inside your head — unleashing its hordes of Sorkian notions of fairness, Democracy, the Tea party, threats to American life (as he sees them), and so on. Verisimilitude be damned.
That’s another way of saying there’s not much accuracy, but it’s entertaining as hell.
• Views of the political parties have soured. For the first time at this point in at least six elections, voters are inclined to see both the Republican and Democratic parties unfavorably.
• Views of the candidates are worse than in 2008. At this point four years ago, 63% viewed Obama favorably; now 53% do. Then, 59% viewed Republican John McCain favorably; now 48% view Romney favorably.
• The enthusiasm gap that boosted Obama in 2008 has turned around this year. Now 53% of Republicans and those who lean Republican say they are more enthusiastic than usual about voting this year, compared with 46% of Democrats and Democratic leaners.
• Obama gets more blame for negative attacks than he did in 2008. Then, 30% accused him of attacking his Republican opponent unfairly; now 44% do. In contrast, 40% say Romney is attacking Obama unfairly, compared with 48% who said that of McCain four years ago.
In 2008, 25% said both candidates would make good presidents. Now, just 12% do.
USA Today finally acknowledging the stench of duopoly? Fucking awesome.
Not bothering to mention non-duopoly options? Fucking typical.
Mitt Romney is busy this week: finally winning the Republican Party’s presidential primary; trying (and failing) to quell the Ron Paul schism developing within the GOP; Keeping Paul Ryan from saying anything in light of recent embarrassing party remarks about rape and abortion.
Seizing a unique opportunity to blindside the campaign, the DNC went on full attack and has doubled-down on the “You didn’t build that” gaffe made by President Obama. By sharpening the end and pointing it directly at Romney and his career of brutal capitalism, they’ve aptly made a weapon of the gaffe by turning the spotlight back on his record at Bain Capital (well over a decade ago).
Making a further issue of Romney’s finance tycoon past could ultimately backfire on democrat strategists as the current weak economy — destroyed in part by Obama — weighs on voters’ minds. After all, Romney could fire back that he’s done learned from his mistakes and Obama has merely been trying to learn on the job.
TAMPA, Fla. — In a speech that was part motivational, part valedictory and at every opportunity critical of the mainstream Republican Party on the eve of its convention here this week, Representative Ron Paul declared his “liberty movement” alive and well on Sunday before a crowd of nearly 10,000 supporters who were eager to testify to that claim.
Ron Paul spoke for more than an hour and urged followers not to give up. “The worst thing we could do is be silent,” he said.
Mr. Paul said that he had recently read in newspapers that the so-called Ron Paul Revolution was over, and that whatever enthusiasm voters had shown toward his presidential campaign in the Republican primary season was gone.
“They only wish!” Mr. Paul thundered to an audience that seemed to become more energized with his every word, their roars of approval reaching a deafening level inside the Sun Dome at the University of South Florida.
I encourage you to see the entire video. With an introduction by son Rand Paul, we can conclusively prove that everyone can somehow forgive and forget that Rand was a campaign turncoat who prematurely endorsed Mitt Romney just a couple months back… just so long as he makes some funny TSA jokes.
Overshadowing the successful Ron Paul rally, which was free with a $10 minimum parking fee, had been a rather tense competition with P.A.U.L. Festival. Paul Fest and Paul Rally though haven’t seemed to play nice, and Ron Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton is reported to have sent a text message to the famous libertarian investor Peter Schiff among others telling them it was “bad news.”
The behind the scenes battle has someone video recording Schiff unwittingly reading off a text message from Benton to potential speakers (who bailed at the last minute). The Ron Paul Rally had also barred Iraq Veteran turned libertarian media spokesman Adam Kokesh from attending. Benton told Reason “We respect Adam’s service but he’s a very troubled young man. We just hope he can get his life together.”
Libertarians, Ron Paul, interpersonal drama… Grab some popcorn, this shit never gets old.
“It is noteworthy that so many Republican men are focused on women’s reproduction and issues of the hearth, while veteran Republican women leaders are riveted on the economy and jobs. Could it be that the liberal goal of reversing sex roles finally is manifesting, most vividly within the party least likely to have advanced the cause of evolution? If only men could get pregnant, then we’d really have a rollicking debate. If only…”
“Meanwhile, Romney had better speak often and with conviction about his own disagreement with some of his party’s platform, or the anti-woman narrative will become so entrenched that the 2012 GOP may go down in history as having sacrificed the nation’s economy to protect the rights of human embryos.”
I had this poop that was so bad one time that it felt like childbirth. If only…
But seriously though, this is one of those ruinous wedge issues that runs through every party because of its religious intonations and of course paternalism. The only thing missing is for the media to conveniently trot out some young women who have had abortions and are incidentally the daughters of powerful Republican men.
I agree wholeheartedly with the “scientifically proven” fact that “77% of Americans believe birth control shouldn’t be part of the national political debate.” But reality doesn’t just wish itself away.
In conclusion: keep making babies fill up the earth so we overflow into the stars.
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.”
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.
“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 incomparisontoprevious venue blowouts to see Doctor No, but the republicans have been putting in overtime to discourage libertarians from being anywhere near the crowning ceremony.
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 notself-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.”
In a most recent web video/ad entitled “Job Boom” Gary Johnson once again personally delivers another spoken dialogue imploring Americans to vote for him before the two-party system completely mucks everything up. I’m happy to finally see a Libertarian Party presidential candidate doing a substantial job of taking control of their own narrative and talking directly to people about the real economic and liberty issues. But at the end of the day I’ll admit he needs to go a lot further to win that superficial gay female vote.
In early August the Presidential election slipped to a new low. It began when Barack Obama said, “He’d ask the middle class to pay more in taxes so that he could give another $250,000 tax cut to people making more than $3 million a year. It’s like Robin Hood in reverse — it’s Romney-hood.”
Romney countered by saying, “We’ve been watching the president say a lot of things about me and about my policies. They’re just not right. If I were to coin a term it would be ‘Obamaloney.’ He’s serving up a dish which is just simply in contradiction of the truth.”
It’s not bad enough that either man made such silly statements, I find it worse that the statements have become major news stories. A search on Google News showed over 36,000 results for “Romneyhood” and roughly 4,000 results for “Obamaloney.”
This is the most childish Presidential election I can remember, but the mudslinging is not as bad as it’s been in the past. I recall learning of some fairly low-brow elections from the 1800′s, mainly the 1884 election between Grover Cleveland and James G. Blaine. While the attacks were fairly childish, in my opinion, they were put together much more eloquently and in a way that sounded intelligent. The Cleveland campaign put together a poem referencing Blaine’s involvement in unethical business deals with the railroad industry and his behavior after they were exposed. “Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine, The Continental Liar from the State of Maine.” The Blaine campaign responded with an equally childish poem “Ma, Ma, Where’s my Pa, Gone to the White House, Ha, Ha, Ha.” This poem reminded voters that Cleveland was alleged to have fathered a child out of wedlock.
In 2004 Walter Shapiro of USA Today wrote of the mudslinging in the 1988 campaign, “George H.W. Bush benefited politically from an explosive independent ad that featured Willie Horton, a black rapist released from prison under a furlough program championed by his Democratic rival, Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis. The coded message in that vicious commercial, which used a photograph to highlight Horton’s race, directly played on white fears of crime.
Such racist scare tactics are as unlikely today…”
While I’m not aware of any racist scare tactics, scare tactics are alive this election season, as well. Priorities USA Action, a pro-Obama super PAC, released an attack ad – which has not actually aired and owes its notoriety to media coverage – effectively blaming Mitt Romney for the cancer death of a laid-off steelworker’s wife. The ad features Joe Soptic, who lost his job and his health benefits after Romney’s Bain Capital closed the GST Steel plant in Kansas City, Kansas in 2001. What the ad fails to mention is that Soptic’s wife had health insurance through her job until she quit in 2002 or 2003 due to an injury. The ad also fails to mention that she died in 2006, a full 5 years after he was laid-off. The ad is designed to paint Romney as a vulture-capitalist, but there is a subtle hint that universal health care, something promoted by both major party candidates, would have kept his wife alive.
Instead of getting pulled into the distraction that is Presidential election 2012, I encourage you to get involved at the State or local level. This could be as simple as writing a letter to the editor of your local paper in support of your favorite candidate or something more involved like lobbying your State Legislators to pass legislation reducing the size, scope and/or power of the government on at least one issue.
Politico: “The pages of Tim Pawlenty, Rob Portman, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie and (following yesterday’s Drudge bump) David Petraeus have been locked after Colbert, citing a Fox News report about the jump in revisions to Sarah Palin’s page in 2008, encouraged viewers to ‘go on Wikipedia, and make as many edits as possible to your favorite VP contender.’”
This comes on the heels of a report earlier this week by Micah Sifry: “None of Wikipedia entries for the current candidates being bandied about by Romney-watchers — Rob Portman, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Kelly Ayotte or Pawlenty — are currently showing anything like the spike in edits that Cyveillance spotted on Palin and Biden’s pages back in 2008. But most of those came in the 24 hours prior to the official announcement.”
Stephen Colbert of course deserves full credit for throwing the monkey wrench in Wikipedia when he told viewers: “We could be looking at Vice President Season Six of Buffy-the-Vampire Slayer. So, Nation, let your voice be heard in this history decision. Go on Wikipedia, and make as many edits as possible to your favorite VP contender.”
Sifry responds: “Oh well, I guess we all just pushed the needle deeper into the haystack.”
Fraught with source-less public opinion numbers, Gary Johnson’s latest ad is positive affirmation that he’s 100% on your side of the composite voter survey. With that kind of message, it can’t hurt that the video style leans towards Apple, but with awkwardly obvious b-roll clips (is that Dick Cheney sipping wine and gazing into the sea?).
Johnson will need to turn all that issue agreeing into impressive crowd mojo and increased fundraising if he’s going to claim the media spotlight as the non-duopoly contender.
Brian Wang at Next Big Future provides a ten-point list on the U.S. energy situation that should help put to bed the belief that we’re running full speed off the energy cliff (he also makes a strong case for more nuclear research).
Here’s some ridiculously high numbers of untapped oil in the U.S.:
10. Assigning estimated barrels of oil to various basins and shale oil plays plus including an estimate of yet to be discovered shale oil, I came to an estimate of oil in place. Oil in place in the continental US is from about 3 trillion to 5 trillion barrels of oil not including the 4.5 trillion barrels of oil shale.
1.53 trillion barrels Piceance Basin of Colorado (USGS, June 2011 oil shale)
1.44 trillion barrels Green River formation (USGS, June 2011 oil shale)
1.32 trillion barrels for the Uinta Basin of Utah and Colorado. (USGS, June 2011 oil shale)
260-500 billion barrels Monterey Formation (tight oil)
271-503 billion barrels Bakken Formation (tight oil)
Aggressive use of new fracking technology and combined with fire flooding and water flooding could enable 20-30% recovery rates. Large amounts of the Oil shale is likely recoverable with fire flooding. So 6.5 trillion to 9.5 trillion barrels of oil, with 20-30% recovery rates is 1.3 to 2.8 trillion barrels of oil. Oil Shale like in the Green River Formation cannot be recovered with horizontal drilling. It will require fire flooding or some other likely insitu method.”
Our current global burn rate is estimated to be 85-90K barrels per day. Doing some back of the napkin math — 1.3 trillion barrels of oil from the U.S. alone would last the entire world well over 39,000 years at current consumption levels.
Even accounting for a world population that consistently expands, it’s a solid cornucopian case for oil.
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