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.

Oopsie! We Tortured the Wrong Guy

Oops! Even though we deny that we actually torture people, we accidently tortured the wrong person. Our bad. You want to sue us? So sad.

After intervention by the Bush administration, an American judge last month dismissed a lawsuit by a German Muslim who was seeking to sue the CIA for allegedly kidnapping him to Afghanistan and torturing him by mistake.

Sitting in a district court in Virginia, where the CIA has its headquarters, T S Ellis, the judge, said he was satisfied after receiving a secret written briefing from the director of central intelligence that allowing the lawsuit to proceed would harm national security. In times of war, he said, the plaintiff’s “private interests must give way to the national interest in preserving state secrets”.

Yet another reason why the Bush regime makes me feel proud to be an American. I think I’ll go buy a few more flags and perhaps a few more of those yellow “Support the Troops” car magnets.

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Two Letters to the Editor

I usually don’t pick on people who write letters to the editor very often, but I’d like to take a look at two which were published today because they show an absolute lack of understanding about libertarianism. The first comes from the Pittsburgh Review-Tribune, and here’s the pertinent section:

Although Steelers star quarterback Ben Roethloisberger must take primary responsibility for being foolish enough to ride a motorcycle and, even more irresponsible, for doing so without a helmet, it is clear he was aided and abetted in his abdication of reason by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

In one of his few decisive acts while in office, and early in his administration, Gov. Ed Rendell signed legislation that repealed Pennsylvania’s motorcycle helmet law. This is perhaps the only time this big-government, tax-and-spend governor will ever be found to have adopted a Libertarian position on any issue.

Roethlisberger was influenced by the legislation, interpreting it as government’s stamp of approval on risk-taking. He is known to have consistently shrugged off wearing a helmet and was previously quoted as saying, “Obviously, Pennsylvania doesn’t think people need to (wear a helmet).”

It seems the Governor did act in a libertarian manner in this case (I didn’t check the bill, so who knows what pork may have been involved, what other compromises were made, etc.). However, the argument that the government bears any responsibility in the matter is absolutely absurd. The government hasn’t told me that dropping cement blocks on my foot is painful and dangerous. Are they aiding and abetting my abdication of reason if I drop one and injure myself?


The second one
comes from the Montgomery Advertiser:

What on Earth are Alabama’s Democrats thinking, giving attorney Larry Darby 43 percent of the votes for attorney general? Darby is libertarian in principle, but also holds some views that those who voted for him may not understand.

According to the Advertiser, Darby advocates martial law to stop illegal aliens from entering the country, going so far as to say they “should be shot on sight.”

He claims that the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust is “greatly exaggerated.” And the cherry on top of this nutcase sundae? The Advertiser quotes Darby as saying, “It would be good for Iran to blow Israel off the map.”

Let’s make this clear (once again). The only libertarian principle Darby maintains that I know of is for the legalization of marijuana. Preemptively blowing a country off the map is about as anti-libertarian a thing one can do. Randomly shooting undocumented workers is the antithesis of libertarianism. His position on the Holocaust has absolutely nothing to do with libertarianism.

Darby once tried to run as a Libertarian, but Libertarians wouldn’t even let him in the door. Almost half the Democrats in the state voted for him. Perhaps Democrats could learn a lesson from this embarrassing episode and support privately funded party conventions as opposed to taxpayer funded primary elections. Also, letter writers (and LTE editors) should learn the meanings of such big words before placing them in print. That is unless the writer was aware of the meaning of “libertarian” and the letter was written with malicious intent.

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Mack Daddy for Senate

MackBook.jpgHere’s another interesting Libertarian Party campaign in Arizona. The Salt Lake City Weekly once described former Graham County sheriff Richard Mack this way:

Meet “Sheriff” Richard Mack: FBI Academy graduate, former militiaman and devout Mormon. Mack’s Libertarian Party leanings run the gamut. Down with leftie love, he wants to legalize marijuana and pimp-slap Sen. Orrin Hatch out of office. Uptight and right, Mack wants to can government welfare, public schools and public Section 8 housing. If Mack had his way, charity would be the sole domain of churches and private nonprofits.

“The bottom line is, I don’t fit the mold,” he says.

He certainly doesn’t fit the standard two-party mold. He’s another L-Factor candidate who’s turned in the nominating petitions to run for office in Arizona. He’ll be running against Democrat Jim Pederson from Phoenix,a shopping center developer and former state Democrat chairman as well as the incument Republican Jon Kyl, also from Phoenix.

Here’s the bio from Freedom’s Phoenix:

Richard Mack, former sheriff of Graham County, is a fifth generation Arizonan. He attended school and grew up in Safford. He excelled in sports and in 1969 was selected to the Arizona Republic High School All-State Football Team. After high school he received a scholarship in music, drama, and football to Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher. He graduated from EAC in 1975 and later received a BA degree from BYU in Latin American Studies and Sociology. He started his career in law enforcement in Provo, Utah and served as communications supervisor, an undercover narcotics agent, school resource officer, youth crimes specialist, corporal, detective, and sergeant. In 1988 he moved home to Graham County and ran for sheriff. He was elected twice.

While serving as sheriff he was the first official in the United States to sue the Clinton Administration to stop the unfunded and unconstitutional Brady Bill. Mack ultimately won a landmark decision at the US Supreme Court on the issue of states’ rights. He is the only public official in history to have received the top law enforcement award from the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, and the Second Amendment Foundation.

Mack lost his bid for re-election in 1996 and became a consultant and lobbyist. He traveled extensively throughout the country on the lecture circuit promoting civil liberties. He has authored five books and just released his first novel, THE NAKED SPY. Mack has appeared on Good Morning America, the CBS Morning News, MSNBC, Nightline, CROSSFIRE, CNN, Court TV, and most recently, was one of the ten contestants selected to participate on SHOWTIME’S the AMERICAN CANDIDATE.

Mack is the son of G. Wayne and Ruth Mack. He has been married to Dawn Beals for 31 years and they have five children; Joshua, Rich, Luci, Mandy, and Jimmy. Mack makes his home in Pima and works for Johnson Motors in Safford.

If elected, perhaps Mack can use his position, experience and credentials to go after Patriot Act the same way he went after the Brady Bill.

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McCarthyism in Miami Schools

I haven’t read the book, but from descriptions others have provided of it, I’d be absolutely livid if I took the time to read Vamos a Cuba. What makes me even angerier is that they’ve just banned it at all Miami-Dade County school libraries. Here’s a clip from the AP story on the topic:

In a 6-3 vote, board members decided the book Vamos a Cuba, or A Visit to Cuba, was inappropriate for young readers because of inaccuracies and omissions.

“A book that misleads, confounds or confuses has no part in the education of our students, most especially elementary students, who are most impressionable and vulnerable,” said board member Perla Tabares Hantman, who supported the June 14 ban.

The school district owns 49 copies of the book in Spanish and English. The father of a Marjory Stoneman Douglas Elementary School student complained in April about the book’s depiction of life under communist rule.

Appeals to a previous school-board ruling keeping the book in the school’s library were amended to ban the book in all 33 schools in the district. Superintendent Rudy Crew had suggested parental consent be required for borrowing the book, or that a sticker on the cover advise parents of the book’s weaknesses.

The ACLU is fighting the ban:

Board member Robert Ingram said he only supported the ban out of fear for his family’s safety and to invite a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.

“There’s a passion of hate,” Ingram said. “I can’t vote my conscience without feeling threatened “” that should never happen in this community any more.”

The ACLU of Florida was preparing a legal challenge to the ban, Executive Director Howard Simon said in a statement.

“Today’s precedent “” if allowed to stand “” opens the door to yank virtually any book off the shelf of a school library at the whim of a single parent and a school board judgment that there is some inaccuracy or omission in a book,” Simon said. “The fight for freedom in Cuba cannot be waged as a war on the First Amendment in Miami.”

An op-ed supporting the ban surprisingly provided the following quote:

If all books containing inaccuracies were banned, there would be only one left on the shelves — the dictionary — and even that would be subject to debate. Life evolves, and nothing remains static. No book remains 100 percent accurate over a lifetime.

It never ceases to amaze me that in combatting communism many resort to communism’s tactics. The School Board has opened a Pandora’s box. The members who voted to remove Vamos a Cuba should be ashamed.

Joseph McCarthy is attributed with, “McCarthyism is Americanism with its sleeves rolled.”

I’m merely wondering if those sleeves are rolled up to conceal some swazika emblazoned armband.

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The Republican Hawk Caucus

Two items arrived in my inbox within minutes of each other. The first was a post from RedState:

I know many of you are aware of the Republican Liberty Caucus. Others are not. I toyed with becoming a Libertarian for awhile about 6 months ago. Even to the point of throwing a very small amount of money toward the Libertarian Party one day. Then, I found these guys… and remembered that 3rd parties are a waste of time and money, except in certain local arenas (and not mine- VERY red state here in the military heavy Gulf Coast of NW Florida). The only way to win is fight from within. Just in case some of you haven’t heard of these guys, take a look at the site and see if you like it. Cheers!

The second was an e-mail from Eric Dondero to his so-called republican-liberarians list:

It saddens me greatly to see Ron Paul taking the position he is taking on the War in Iraq. As many of you know I served as Ron’s Travel Aide in his 1988 Libertarian Presidential Campaign. I then went on to serve as his Campaign Coordinator in his 1996 Congressional run, and Senior Aide in his Congressional office from 1997 – 2003. I resigned from Ron’s employ in 2003, mostly due to our severe differences on foreign policy. But since then, I’ve still respected his views on such matters.

However, the other day, driving through Western Montana I caught a CBS News Report. Bob Schieffer led into the report with something to the effect; “but not all Republicans agree that the War in Iraq was a good idea…” What followed were virulent Anti-War comments by Ron Paul on the House Floor.

It’s one thing to be an Anti-War Libertarian. It’s quite another to be used by the Leftist Media as a stooge against Pro-Freedom values. The Left is the enemy of freedom. It is quite sad indeed that Ron Paul fails to see that. He is letting himself be used by the enemy – CBS, CNN, the Houston Chronicle, et.al.

I believe it’s time to declare Jeff Flake (or Dana Rohrabacher) as the new Champion of Freedom and the libertarian Republican movement.

And maybe it’s time that a real libertarian who supports the War on Islamo-Fascism run against Ron for the Congressional seat here in Texas.

So much for fighting “from within” the primary party that promoted the Patriot Act. Needless to say, I won’t be sending the RLC any checks this year — or the next.

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David Nolan to Run for Congress

It looks like one of the founding members of the Libertarian Party is running for office in Arizona. David Nolan, creator of the Nolan Chart, had filed the required nominating petitions to the office of the secretary of state by Wednesday’s 5 p.m. deadline.

According to The Arizona Daily Star, “In the highly competitive 8th District congressional race, things aren’t any narrower than before.”

Nolan won’t be facing primary election competition. According to the article, the Democrats who will be facing off in the primary are: Gabrielle Giffords, William (Bill) Johnson, Jeff Latas, Alex Rodriguez, Francine Shacter and Patty Weiss. The Republican list includes: Frank Antenori, Randy Graf, Mike Hellon, Steve Huffman and Mike Jenkins. Nolan will face the winners of the Republican and Democrat primary in November’s general election.

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More on FEMA Fraud, Waste and Abuse

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

femawelfarestripper.jpg

Here’s the latest from CNN on Federal Emergency Misappropriations (FEMA):

Lawmakers expressed outrage Wednesday over a federal audit report that debit cards handed out to hurricane victims last year were used to buy such items as a $200 bottle of champagne from Hooters and $300 worth of “Girls Gone Wild” videos.

To begin, Hooter’s has already offered to repay the $200 for the bottle of Dom Perignon in question. Considering that Doug Stanhope endorsed Michael Badnarik for the 2004 presidential election, I imagine he (unless a Badnarik supporter beats him to the punch) will be following suit.

The cards — given to people displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita — also bought diamond jewelry and a vacation in the Dominican Republic, according to the Government Accountability Office audit.

The GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, found at least $1 billion in disaster relief payments by the Federal Emergency Management Agency were improper and potentially fraudulent because the recipients provided incomplete or incorrect information when they registered for assistance. (GAO report)

The GAO uncovered records showing $1,000 from a FEMA debit card went to a Houston divorce lawyer, $600 was spent in a strip club, and $400 bought “adult erotica products,” all of which auditors concluded were “not necessary to satisfy legitimate disaster needs.”

The fault in this case is more than obvious. If you pass out a stack of debit cards to a large group of people, only a moron would expect all of them to spend all the money on items like Pampers, bottled water and staple food supplies. see more…

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A Reason Article Sandwich

David Weigel brings us another chapter in the debate over who is more libertarian between Republican and Democrat candidates. He lays out an opening slice of bread with these first two paragraphs at Reason:

“Could you give me some reasons why libertarians might want to vote for you?”

I could tell my question startled Connecticut Democrat Ned Lamont, who’s running against Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), the war hawk and culture nanny par excellence. We were standing in Lamont’s room at the Washington Hilton, the site of the Campaign for America’s Future 2006 Take Back America conference. (Someone missed an opportunity for synergy by not booking the American Values suite.) As long as I was a hurdle for the candidate to jump before he could meet some people with checkbooks, I figured I could rope him into the “Libertarian Democrats” debate.

He closed by laying this slice of bread on top of the sandwich:

This isn’t a simple election. Some of the Clinton party’s candidates, like Virginia’s James Webb, actually deserve the “Libertarian Democrat” moniker. In Connecticut, where a Democrat’s going to win anyway, the pro-privacy, anti-war, pork-bashing Lamont would clearly make a better senator than Joe Lieberman. In the short term, libertarians could be satisfied””even more so than liberals””with a Democratic Congress that rolled back anti-privacy laws and acquainted Bush with his veto pen. But the Democrats are the Democrats. Even when they’re railing against NSA wiretapping, they’re wishing they could be passing higher taxes and entitlement payouts.

It might be in libertarians’ best interest to ally with Democrats for this election. If they do, they could see short-term progress that would never come out of the invasion-happy GOP majority. Inevitably, they’ll find out something they have in common with liberals. They’ll be let down.

You’ll have to read the article to find the meat and cheese (or peanut butter and jelly, if you prefer) of this complicated political sandwich.

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Two More Political Party Swappers

With all the cross-party stuff going on with Bill Weld, Sue Jeffers, Loretta Nall and Kevin Zeese, I was already starting to lose track of who was in which political party. Now there are two more names to add to the list. The first one comes from The Boston Globe, which reports that New Hampshire Libertarian Party chair John Babiarz will be running for the legislature as a Democrat:

John Babiarz, 49, chairman of the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire, filed Thursday as a Democratic candidate for the Legislature. Babiarz, of Grafton, is a member of the liberty-loving Free State Project and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2002. He once served as an adviser to former Republican Gov. Craig Benson, as an appointee to the governor’s council on government efficiency.

Babiarz, a self-employed computer programmer, said he chose to run as a Democrat because of election laws that make it easier to for major-party candidates to run for office. Republican and Democratic candidates are required to pay $2 or collect five signatures from certified voters to get on the ballot; independents and minor-party candidates must pay $2 and collect 150 signatures.

“It’s discriminatory,” said Babiarz, who said he knows of other Libertarians running under other party banners. He is running to represent the towns of Enfield, Canaan, Grafton, Orange and Dorchester. The district currently is represented by Republican Paul Mirski, of Enfield, and Democrats Catherine Mulholland of Grafton and Peter Solomon of Canaan.

This one confuses me a bit. 150 signatures is like taking candy from a baby. I’ll try to call Babiarz tomorrow (too late right now) to get the rest of the story on this one.

The other story
comes from Wisconsin’s The Capital Times, where David Redick dumped the GOP to run as a Libertarian for U.S. Senate:

Says Redick: “The Republican Party nationwide is ‘off course’ compared to its traditional values, and Republican leaders at the state and county level seem to like it that way or, at least, (they) will settle to be submissive and abused ‘loyalists’ to D.C. The far-right religious groups, corrupt congressmen and warmonger ‘neocons’ have taken over in D.C., and it seems no one is willing or able to push them back. (The GOP) is now the war, big-spending and homeland spy party. My campaign efforts to gain support for reform have been fruitless, but revealed the depth of trouble the Republicans are in. While they engage in self-serving denial to hide problems, the cliff of the November 7 election is fast approaching. Pollsters predict many losses.

“Hence I have left the Republicans to their well-earned fate and joined the Libertarian ‘party of principle.’ It embraces my philosophy of limited government, fiscal conservatism and peace, along with social liberalism consistent with the Bill of Rights.”

More power to Dave Redick for standing on principle rather than bending to the dictates of Republican partisanship. If he secures the Libertarian nomination, as seems likely, he’ll still be able to contribute ideas and energy to the fall debates.

As for the Republicans, they have shown by their actions that their party is no longer the “big tent” of the Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush days. More and more, the party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower is starting to look like a narrow-minded cult of personality that loves its current president more than it does the conservative principles it purports to cherish or the country it purports to lead.

I absolutely love Redick’s quote on the fate of the GOP and wish him the best in his campaign.

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Today’s House Iraq Debate

It looks like Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) is forcing the wingnuts to throw perfectly good food at their television sets. From NewsBusters:

It was about here when you wanted to throw the Pop-Tarts at the TV. The only congressional experts ABC could find were Abercrombie, Rodham-Clinton, and Ron Paul? Hillary is the neocon stand-in here? In airing the nominally Republican Ron Paul — who ran for president on the “non-interventionist” Libertarian Party ticket in 1988 and never renounced his third-party affiliation — you are not describing the typical Republican. (Paul opposed the war resolution in 2002, even claiming it wasn’t certain that Saddam had gassed the Kurds in Halabja.)

I listened to a fair amout of the debate on C-Span radio today. If I’d had some Pop-Tarts with me, I would have been tempted to wield them at my speakers everytime one of the Bush supporting true-believers spouted red, white and blue orations about baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet (with “Support the Troops” magnets on them, to be sure).

The story also makes me wonder how many neocons will end up voting for Hillary the Hawk.

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Cost of Free Speech Just Went Up $292,500

censorship.gifPresident Bush just signed the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act, which dramatically increases fines for exposing nips and other body parts or for using words no longer protected by the First Amendment. Jacob Sullum noted the hypocrisy of the statement Bush made shortly before he signed the bill:

“In our free society,” President Bush said today, “parents have the final responsibility over the television shows that their children watch, or the websites they visit, or the music they listen to. That’s a responsibility of moms and dads all across the country, to make sure their children are listening to or watching the right kind of programming.”

Matthew Dailey pointed out that CNN pointed out that the Christian Coalition now has the constitutional powers of a congressman, complete with placing legislation on the floor:

The imposing of higher fines for indecency violations was one of the Christian Coalition’s pet issues:

“The Christian Coalition had placed legislation to increase the fines as the No. 5 item on its 2006 legislative agenda.”

Social conservatives enjoy telling adults across America what is appropriate to watch. It’s all in the name of “protecting the children.”

Coming from Alabama, I’m always amused by the antics of the Christian Coalition, where it seems that Grover Norquist channeled $850,000 (enough to cover television exposure of both nipples with some change left over) to the state Christian Coalition affilliate. The interesting thing about the money is that it came from the Indian gaming industry and the Christian Coalition opposes gambling on moral grounds. Lest anyone think this is an isolated event, Ralph Reed seems to get payola from similar sources.

In related news, Kerry Howley directs our attention to that Without a Trace episode which was fined for depicting a teen sex party. The FCC fined CBS $3.3 million for showing what real teens (even Republican ones) do in real life:

The station found 4,211 people had complained about the episode’s depiction of a teen orgy. But according to CBS, it’s not clear that any of those 4,221 had ever, you know, seen the show:

All of the 4,211 e-mailed complaints came from Web sites operated by the Parents Television Council and the American Family Association, the stations said in a filing on Monday.

In only two of the emails did those complaining say they had watched the program, and those two apparently refer to a “brief, out-of-context segment” of the episode that was posted on the Parents Television Council’s Web site, the affiliates’ filing said.

“There were no true complainants from actual viewers,” the stations said. To be valid, complaints must come from an actual viewer in the service area of the station at issue, the filing said.

It’s amazing how 4,221 people can manage to avoid watching such programming, even as our all-powerful CBS overlords strap us down, tape our eyes open, and beam offensive images into our soft brains.

With Hudson v. Michigan already in the news, today has been a really bad day for the Bill of Rights.

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Photoshop This…

remoteImage.jpgIn response to yesterday’s Flag Day posting, Erik Ellison at Truth in Tech has launched a photoshop contest where the winner gets free advertising space at his site.

Stephen Gordon just reminded me that today is Flag Day here in the U.S. so in honor of that I have decided to forgo the auction of the 4th sponsor slot in lieu of a photoshop contest. The contest will run until 12am CST on July 12th, that will give you about a month to get yours submission in. Your task is to update Stephen Gordon’s favorite flag, The Gadsden Flag, with a modern look and feel. Entries will be judged by me (unless I can corral Stephen into helping me co-judge the entries, hint hint Stephen ;) and the winner will receive the second sponsor slot for 4 weeks.

Yo Erik, I can take a hint — and I’ll be happy to help you judge this contest. You’ve got my contact information.

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ACLU Sues DOD

The ACLU filed suit against the Department of Defense in federal court yesterday in an effort to get more information about the TALON database. From Reuters:

The group says the Pentagon has been monitoring anti-war groups and individuals and has compiled lists on people it sees as potential threats but who the ACLU says are exercising their free-speech rights.

The suit was the ACLU’s first attempt to force the Pentagon to disclose domestic surveillance and followed similar suits by the organization against the FBI and the Justice Department.

“It’s absolutely improper for the U.S. military to keep databases on lawful First Amendment (free-speech) activities,” said ACLU attorney Ben Wizner. “These are peaceful, law-abiding groups and individuals that oppose U.S. war policy but pose no threat to the military.”

They might as well just pitch that pesky little First Amendment thing in the wastebin, as they’ve effectively outlawed most of it anyway.

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Michael Brown Update

Here’s a quick update on yesterday’s post about the Michael Brown typo. We received a comment from someone claiming to be Michael Brown. The e-mail address provided seems to be genuine and the IP address could well be one he might have used. He stated he did not type the job application with the typo on it:

Uh, folks, sorry to disappoint you, but I did not do this, someone at FEMA did. Michael D. Brown

I’m wondering where I can apply for a job where my potential employer fills out the job application for me.

UPDATE: Apparently Michael Brown stopped by Wonkette, too. Here’s their take on it:

Earlier today, we linked to the FEMA job application that misspelled “department.” We never meant to give that impression, but it may have read as if we were accusing Michael Brown of the typo in question. In fact, proving conclusively that FEMA’s institutional difficulties predated his tenure there, the misspelling was the responsibility of FEMA’s HR department. We received an email to that effect earlier today from Michael Brown himself, who says, “those commentators claiming that I can’t spell department should back off.” We can attest to his correct spelling in both that email and the follow-up. Brown: “And see, it does show that I can actually read!”

We now know Brown knows how to spell, so I’m wondering who actually did the typing to pad his resume. It’s to be noted that “International Arabian Horse Association” was spelled correctly in every reference I can find to the now updated FindLaw entry. Props on the update.

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Unity08: An Illusion of Choice

Joel S. Hirschhorn wrote an interesting article about Unity08 over at The Baltimore Chronicle. In searching for an article which supported his view on the Unity08 concept, he stumbled upon one I wrote in May. Here’s his general take on the project:

There are inherent inconsistencies in the ideas of Unity08. It says that “neither of today’s major parties reflects the aspirations, fears or will of the majority of Americans.” Moreover, “both are dominated by money.” Nevertheless, Unity08 wants a ticket based on a Republican and a Democrat for president and vice-president, or vice-versa””politicians who have been loyal to their party but who presumably are too moderate to win the nomination from their own party and are willing to abandon their party (though Unity08 maintains that its candidates would not be asked to leave their party) and run against its candidate. Does this bipartisan ticket offer a real alternative?

Here’s why he feels that way:

Bipartisanship creates the illusion of choice. At a deep level of reality the two major parties are not all that different. In 2004, Nader called the two presidential candidates “corporate politicians with the choice being between heart disease and cancer” and that we have “one corporate party with two heads.” Those two heads lie to each other and citizens; in secret conversations they work together to keep out third-party competition and split the riches. The system offers the choice of which party gets which corporate dollars.

He was kind enough to quote a member of the HoT community:

Devious David said “This thing is probably financed by the majors in order to get the people to chase their tails and think that they are doing something. Nothing worthwhile would come from this. And that’s what the powers that be want!”

I’m in agreement. After attending their initial teleconference and thinking about it for a few weeks, I’ll continue to stand by my earlier quote: “What America needs is not watered down tyranny, but extremism in defense of liberty.”

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More Homeland Stupidity

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This is a great example of why co-blogger Michael Hampton names his other blog Homeland Stupidity. Here’s the Wonkette take (also props for the graphic) on it.

Below, a sample of Brown’s application (helpful proofreading marks provided by us at no additional cost):

And, hilariously, they did it again on the next page. Simple error? More likely: FEMA’s subconscious demonstration of resentment at losing its independence to a de[a]partment that, while a completely useless and nightmarish bureaucratic cesspool of money, you’d hope has a few secretaries on staff who can proofread these things.

To be fair to Michael Brown, it might have simply been a case of parapraxia. At some unconscious level, perhaps he really wanted to direct the DEA.

Typo Advisory Level: Evelated

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Sue Jeffers Update

Here’s the new official position of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota about the Sue Jeffers candidacy:

June 13, 2006

Libertarian Party of Minnesota Nullifies Previous Sue Jeffers Endorsement

Following Sue Jeffers’ recent announcement to pursue the Republican Party of Minnesota nomination in the 2006 Gubernatorial primaries, on Monday, June 12th, the Libertarian Party of Minnesota Executive Committee formalized the nullification of its previous endorsement for Sue Jeffers.

“It was a very difficult decision, and there was much discussion,” said Lee Brennise, State Chair, “but as a result of Sue’s decision to forgo our endorsement, in conjunction with her intent to run as a Republican in the Gubernatorial primaries, we will be unable to petition for ballot access for Sue Jeffers to be in the general election as a Libertarian. As exceptional as a candidate as Sue is, the Libertarian Party of Minnesota will not endorse a candidate in the Republican primaries, or a Republican for the general election.”

The Libertarian Party unanimously decided not to withdraw the endorsement, but confirmed that the endorsement was null as a result of party bylaws, and does not have plans to endorse another gubernatorial candidate for 2006.

“While party bylaws and statute preclude an endorsement of Sue, we encourage individuals to continue support in a volunteer capacity. No other current gubernatorial candidate is as dedicated to the cause of liberty as Sue Jeffers.”

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Support the Military Industrial Complex (or Support the LP)

Here’s the latest from Tim West…

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Happy Flag Day

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Here’s my favorite American flag.

Update by Stephen VanDyke: Here’s the one from my basement office.

Gadsden, SV office
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Aaron Russo Interview

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

I spoke with Aaron Russo last night. He’s still in Germany receiving medical treatment, but he doing a lot better. Here’s a recent interview of Russo talking about his new movie.

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Another Kennedy Skates

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-O’Malley’s Pub) just plead guilty to one charge of driving under the influence of prescription drugs. They dropped the other charges, but are making him pay $350 (pretty hefty fine for a Kennedy budget), making him hang out with a bunch of little boys and girls (favorite Kennedy hangout outside of a bar) and admit that he’s powerless over alcohol (I understand this is a family tradition). Roll Call also reports that the judge “also suspended Kennedy’s 10-day jail sentence and $300 fine.”

Perhaps if he’d actually killed someone, they’d sentence him to 5 to 10 (terms as a Senator, that is).

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Rove off the Hook

Karl Rove is off the hook with respect to the investigation over the Valerie Plame leak. From CBC News:

Top White House aide Karl Rove will not be charged in an investigation into the leak of a CIA operative’s identity, his lawyer said Tuesday.

“On June 12, 2006, special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald formally advised us that he does not anticipate seeking charges against Karl Rove,” said Robert Luskin in a statement.

Luskin said Fitzgerald’s decision should “put an end to the baseless speculation about Mr. Rove’s conduct.”

For 22 months, Fitzgerald and a grand jury have been trying to determine who told journalists that Valerie Plame was a covert operative for the Central Intelligence Agency.

Here’s Alex Knapp’s take on the situation:

This will no doubt come as a surprise to some pundits out there, who were expecting Fitzgerald to indict Rove. I’d also be willing to bet that there’s quite a few people in the Republican Party who aren’t happy about this turn of events, either. No charges against Rove means that he’s still going to be around, and it’s pretty clear that following the Rove playbook isn’t likely to equal any gains for Republicans in the upcoming elections.

As he was sidelined for a bit, I’m wondering what Rove’s role will now be in the 2006 elections.

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More Harassment of Petitioners

If you’re petitioning for small goverment issues, just expect to be harassed. Not only did the police try to intimidate petition gatherers for Loretta Nall in Alabama, the lovers of big government are trying a variety of different tactics against Americans for Limited Government petitioners across the country. Here’s the scoop from National Review:

Across the country, lawsuits “” frivolous, time-sucking, and money-wasting “” are all the rage among the democracy-blocking set. In Maine, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Missouri, our partner groups have gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures “” and they’ve also been slapped with legal challenges based on little more than language technicalities.

Lawsuits, however, are just the beginning. A showdown is brewing in Nevada, where the AFL-CIO and state teachers unions have put some muscle behind an intimidation campaign against the Tax and Spending Control campaign. Reportedly paid by the hour, these “blockers” physically surrounded petitioners while shouting, screaming, and chasing away potential signers. The situation escalated last week, with petitioners reduced to pleading for a restraining order from a Nevada judge, who promptly ordered preschool-style rules “” “no touching, no yelling” “” to return order to the streets.

“Say you’re an elderly woman and you want to sign a petition “” you don’t have a chance,” says Bob Adney, who is leading the spending-cap campaign. “And if you’re a guy who’s 6’4” and 300 pounds, quite frankly, you might not have a chance either. These guys are surrounding petitioners eight to one at times, and they’re not pulling punches.”

What happens in Vegas, alas, doesn’t always stay there. Our partners in Missouri, Montana, Michigan, and Oklahoma have faced similar intimidation tactics, often at the hands of local unions and, in particular, public-education unions. The goal is often to get petitioners kicked out of malls and other high-traffic areas, or even arrested “” which is an interesting civics lesson indeed.

I guess it’s okay to petition for redress of grievances only if powerful special interest groups, which includes the government, agree with your message.

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