Author Archives: Stephen Gordon

About Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

Senators Confirm their Disdain for the Constitution

With an overwhelming vote of confidence, the U.S. Senate confirmed Gen. Michael Hayden’s slot as our head spook. From M&C:

WASHINGTON, DC, United States (UPI) — As expected, U.S. Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden won confirmation Friday to be the next director of the CIA.

The U.S. Senate confirmed Hayden by an overwhelming vote of 78 to 15. More than twice as many Democrats in the Senate voted for the confirmation than voted against it.

The vote was another victory for the White House in what has been a rebound on security issues on Capitol Hill over the past two weeks. President George W. Bush`s proposals on border security, while widely criticized, have also been welcomed by many experts as a balanced and overdue response to dealing with the issue.

Just in case anyone has forgotten Hayden’s view of the Bill of Rights, its time to recirculate this video:


California Court Says Bloggers Have Same Protections as Traditional Journalists

Finally, I can report that secret sources have revealed to me that Ann Coulter’s penis is longer than the Dubya Dong. From EFF:

A California state appeals court ruled in favor of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF’s) petition on behalf of three online journalists Friday, holding that the online journalists have the same right to protect the confidentiality of their sources as offline reporters do.

“Today’s decision is a victory for the rights of journalists, whether online or offline, and for the public at large,” said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl, who argued the case before the appeals court last month. “The court has upheld the strong protections for the free flow of information to the press, and from the press to the public.”

In their decision, the judges wrote: “We can think of no workable test or principle that would distinguish ‘legitimate’ from ‘illegitimate’ news. Any attempt by courts to draw such a distinction would imperil a fundamental purpose of the First Amendment, which is to identify the best, most important, and most valuable ideas not by any sociological or economic formula, rule of law, or process of government, but through the rough and tumble competition of the memetic marketplace.”

The case began when Apple Computer sued several unnamed individuals, called “Does,” who allegedly leaked information about an upcoming product to online news sites PowerPage and AppleInsider. As part of its investigation, Apple subpoenaed Nfox — PowerPage’s email service provider — for communications and unpublished materials obtained by PowerPage publisher Jason O’Grady. A trial court upheld the subpoena.

Hats off to John Gilmore and the crew at EFF.


Libertarian Wins Debate in Texas

RockMakesPoint.jpgRock Howard is claiming a victory in the first debate for the District 14 seat of the Texas Senate. From his website:

I won the first debate with Kirk Watson. The event was before the Austin Neighborhood Council on May 24th. In the debate I called Watson out repeatedly for his missteps in office particularly his massive corporate welfare deals. He did not deny or contest any of the allegations. (You can read about all of these for yourself at the Stop Kirk website.)

Meanwhile Watson attacked the Libertarian Party’s stance on education while admitting that my plan to fix the Texas public school system is “interesting”. You should know that I have promised not to resort to “guilt by association” and the other classic political mudslinging mechanisms. Instead I am restricting my comments on my opponent strictly to his actions in office as Mayor and as a lobbyist at the state capitol. I would never attack him for a statement in the Democratic Party platform that he had nothing to do with writing. see more…


Breaking News: Shots Being Fired on Capitol Hill?

UPDATE: MSNBC is now reporting that the sounds might have been an elevator mechanic banging heavy equipment in a elevator shaft. With one reportedly hospitalized for a panic attack, if this is indeed the source of the sounds, it will clearly indicate exactly how silly our national security system is.

UPDATE by Michael Hampton: Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) is liveblogging from in his office. He says the Capitol Police have concluded their investigation, but haven’t yet told them what’s going on. The person taken to the hospital was one of Kingston’s staffers, and has since been released.

This story is breaking now. We’ll provide details as they become available. From WTOP:

WASHINGTON – People inside the Rayburn Building are sheltering in place as Capitol police investigate “the sound of gunfire in the garage level of the Rayburn House Office Building,” said an announcement on the internal Capitol voice alarm system.

There is no confirmation of gunfire.

The report has prompted a lockdown of D.C. public schools in the area, as well as private schools.

Montgomery County Council member Howard Dennis, who works for the Government Reform Committee, tells WTOP his office in Rayburn is locked down. see more…


Should the LP Stay or Should It Go, Now?

Kevin Tuma wrote an interesting article suggesting what the Libertarian Party might do to implement effective change in a political direction over at The Free Liberal. Here’s a clip:

Despite the fact that libertarianism is actually becoming fashionable enough that people proclaim themeselves to be libertarian without the slightest clue to its meaning..the Libertarian Party continues to fail. It has existed in the body politic for 33 years and has accomplished nothing, because it has never won. One must win to achieve change in the political world. The pseudo-intellectual denizens of the Libertarian party are not at all unaware of this. Worse: They don’t care.

Taking a cue from Turbett’s article, I have to propose an obvious solution. see more…


LP Indiana Suing for Privacy Rights

The Libertarian Party of Indiana is now listed as a plaintiff to the lawsuit filed in Indiana against a group of telecommunications companies, including the nation’s largest service providers. Here’s their release:

Indianapolis, Indiana May 25, 2006 — “If The Libertarian Party of Indiana doesn’t put itself on the line against our government’s spying on innocent citizens, we don’t deserve to exist,” said LPIN Chairman Mark Rutherford.That is why the Libertarian Party of Indiana is a plaintiff to the lawsuit filed in Indiana and U.S. courts today against a group of telecommunications companies, including the nation’s largest service providers.

The class-action lawsuit challenges the telecommunications companies illegal actions in permitting the National Security Agency (“NSA”) and affiliated governmental agencies to intercept, monitor and conduct surveillance on their customers’ wireline and wireless calls and internet communications without proper authorization. see more…


We Don’t Need No Free Expression

It looks like Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act has moved the “Free Speech Zone” to yet another website. According to The Chicago Tribune, “a 17-year-old high school student who posted comments online about Plainfield School District 202 is facing expulsion because of his blog.”

What the offense? Expressing his opinion on a Xanga site about a school related issue. see more…


What TotalFarkers are Saying about Libertarians

I sometimes lurk at TotalFark (Fark’s paid service) to see what people are saying about HoT postings which get submitted on their site. They generally pick up a few pieces a week, the latest being “Top Libertarian Songs.” Some of these are somewhat interesting: see more…


Finally, A Democrat Gets It on Ballot Access

Ed Packard, the Democrat that Alabama Libertarians have been endorsing like crazy, just wrote a pretty good piece on ballot access here. I’ll disagree on this point, but feel that it is an incremental change in the right direction:

I’m not saying the Legislature should abolish the signature requirements altogether. I do believe that smaller or newer political parties should meet some reasonable qualifications before being given access to the ballot.

The rest of the article is great, though. Here’s one example:

By comparison, in Texas, an independent candidate for governor has to submit a petition with approximately 45,000 signatures. Texas’ requirement is not much higher than Alabama’s, despite Texas having a substantially larger population and more voters!

He gets it. As long as no Libertarian runs against him, he has my vote. Even if one does, Packard still has my vote in the primary.


Top Libertarian Songs

Libertarian iPod

The New York Times is covering National Review‘s list of the top 50 conservative rock songs. I’d love to get a long list of top libertarian songs so we can set up an online poll to determine the best libertarian songs out there. Please make your nominations in the comments section below. Be sure to include the song title and artist. I’ll commit to running the poll as long as we get a few hundred initial entries — so please make sure other libertarians know about this little online project.

Update by Stephen VanDyke: The LP actually did an article a few years back on their top 25 liberty songs. And I also posed this question at HoT last year (the response is much better now, duh). I’m curious why hip-hop and rap (and punk/indie for that matter) music isn’t better represented in libertarian circles.

Another update by SV: Reader Keith points us to similar debates in three other forum discussions: Free State Project, Anti-State and Free Talk Live . There’s bound to be overlap, but there most likey libertarian-ish tunes we haven’t heard of here.


Standing O for Russo in Cannes

Here’s the release from Cinema Libre Studio:

Cannes Premiere Gets Standing Ovation
Aaron Russo’s AMERICA: FREEDOM TO FASCISM To Open Across America July 28

russocannes.gifCANNES, FRANCE ““ Aaron Russo’s incendiary political documentary which exposes many of the governmental organizations and entities that have abridged the freedoms of U.S. citizens had its international premiere at Cannes and won a standing ovation. The event, which was held on the beach and filled to capacity, was open to the public and drew a crowd of people who stood along the boardwalk to watch the film.

Through interviews with U.S. Congressmen, as well the former IRS Commissioner, former IRS and FBI agents, tax attorneys and authors, Russo proves conclusively that there is no law requiring citizens to pay a direct tax on their labor. His film connects the dots between money creation, federal income tax, voter fraud, the national identity card (which becomes law in May 2008) and the implementation of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to track citizens. Neither left nor right-wing in perspective, the film concludes that the U.S. government is taking on the characteristics of a police state. Doc will open on multiple screens in cities across the U.S. beginning July 28.

The international audience at Cannes as well as the European media has been fascinated by Russo’s fiery diatribe against the direction America is heading. The discussion that followed the preview lasted for thirty minutes. Actor Nick Nolte, in Cannes for the premiere of “Over The Hedge,” joined Russo during the event. “The information in this film is something everybody has to know”, said Nolte, who was the lead actor in “Teachers,” a film produced by Russo.

Russo, who is best known as the producer of feature films including “The Rose” with Bette Midler and “Trading Places” with Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, wrote, produced, and directed the doc. “I am disgusted by the direction America was heading,” says Russo. “I made this movie because I want to live in a free country and I want my kids and grandkids to live in a free country. The American people must abandon the myth that America is still the land of liberty that it once was.”

Russo’s doc already has a tremendous grass root groundswell behind it. The film has previewed in over twenty-five cities with sold out theatres and standing ovations. The website, has been had over five hundred thousand (500,000) streams of the video trailer. Additionally, through the website and from grassroots screenings, over $100,000 in non-deductible donations has been collected to help with the theatrical release.


Indiana LP About to Take NSA to Court?

Here’s an interesting teaser:

The Libertarian Party of Indiana is one of the named parties in a class action lawsuit filed today in State and Federal Court about an hour ago (4 pm EST). The press release on this has been delayed and won’t be issued until tomorrow morning. However, here’s a hint – the Libertarian Party of Indiana is making it clear that it believes that the NSA has no business snooping around the telephone records of a political organization without a warrant.

I’ll be watching this one with interest.


HoT Hero of the Day

A teen-age boy just used two firearms to protect his mother and family from an intruder in Hollywood, FL. Here’s the story from The Miami Herald:

Chandler’s screaming and crying roused her 15-year-old son, Javaris Granger, who came to see what was wrong.

Javaris went to his mother’s bedroom and loaded the two handguns his father keeps for protection in the home in the 700 block of South 61st Avenue. The family also called 911.

The man — later identified by police as Keil Jumper — kicked the door off its hinges and barged into the home about 3:30 a.m. Jumper, 22, lives on the Seminoles’ reservation near Hollywood.

Javaris, who is 5-foot-6 and weighs about 125 pounds, took cover behind a wall, armed with a gun in each hand. One of the guns was a .38 caliber, but family members said Tuesday night they were unsure about the other gun.

”He was going crazy,” Javaris said. “I shot one time to let him know he had to leave. The dude didn’t leave. He was looking at my eyes, trying to get closer.”

The gun in Javaris’ right hand jammed, and he fired with the gun in his left, sending Jumper running from the single-story home. Javaris thought his shots missed the man, simply scaring him off.

”I was real scared. . . . When I was shooting, my main focus was protecting my mom and family,” Javaris said.

Police found Jumper lying on the ground a few houses away, shot multiple times and bleeding from his wounds, said Hollywood police Capt. Tony Rode.

Javaris = Hero.

Sarah Brady = Gun prohibitionist who would prohibit the right of self-protection.


Sperm Donors Responsible for Child Support?

Here’s an interesting one. If someone donates sperm (through any means) for the purpose of impregnation, should the donor be liable for child support? From UPI:

An Illinois woman said in court the father of her twins should pay child support even though the man who donated sperm claims he didn’t plan to become a dad.

Cook County Judge Thomas Kelley heard testimony from Christin Harris who said her ex-boyfriend was living with her and had proposed marriage.

Michael Wilford only admits to dating Harris and agreeing to be the in-vitro father, but claims he was just doing it to help a friend with a goal of being a mother, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Wilford said he was out of town on business most of the time Harris claims he was living with her, including the day he allegedly proposed.

He also said Harris tricked him into signing papers establishing paternity and responsibility of fatherhood — like child support.

When the trial resumes in August Wilford will testify why he donated the sperm but didn’t think he would be responsible for the twins.

Based on what has been reported here, it’s obviously a case of he said-she said. However, the underlying question becomes significant: If a man sells or donates sperm through a traditional sperm bank, might he be held legally responsible for child support at a later date?


Gun Sale for Freedom Cause

Here’s the release: Founder Selling Personal Firearm Collection to Pay Gun- charge Related Legal Expenses
Own One of Angel Shamaya’s Guns, Help Out a Worthy Cause

May 25, 2006 founder Angel Shamaya is selling most of his personal firearm collection to help defray legal expenses that resulted from gun- related charges in Michigan. Although the court ordered the police to return Shamaya’s firearms, the legal expenses are steep — so he’s now selling those same guns. Shamaya says, “I had intended to leave these firearms to my son as his inheritance one day, but I have legal expenses to pay right now. My ultimate goal is to put this mess behind me and raise my son — a far higher priority than owning extra guns.”

The guns for sale include rifles, pistols and shotguns. Shamaya has made arrangements with a local licensed gun dealer to complete the transactions under federal and state law and ship the firearms to the new owners. Anyone interested in any of these firearms can go to the [this website] for details, descriptions, pictures and direction on how to make a purchase[.]

“There are some really nice guns in this collection,” says Shamaya. “I appreciate the support I have received from kind-hearted people in dealing with this nonsense. If you’d like to cherry pick one of my firearms, be my guest.”