Monthly Archives: April 2009

A new libertarian line-of-attack when debating medical marijuana issues with Republicans

For years, activists have been trying to pass federal legislation which prevents the feds from arresting patients (or doctors, growing clubs, etc.) when they’ve been prescribed medicinal marijuana by a physician in the states where such prescriptions are allowed by law.  Libertarians have often made valid points about Republican hypocrisy regarding federalism when it comes to medical marijuana.

Loretta Nall provides a brand new argument to use with Republicans on the matter:

I am sick of hearing Republicans scream about ‘socialized medicine that would put the government between you and your doctor.’ Just what the hell is the difference here? The Republicans want to be involved in your health care decisions if they seek to prevent you and your doctor from discussing/using marijuana as medicine…and that is the same thing. Socialized medicine. HYPOCRITICAL FUCKS EVERY ONE OF THEM! […]

[…] Mention that it is socialized medicine for Republicans to stand between a doctor and patient….no matter what their ‘justification’. Human suffering shouldn’t be used as a political football.

Let’s take a look at some recent Republican stands on socialized medicine and compare them to the views of the very same people on medical marijuana.

“In any serious discussion of health care in our nation, this should always be our starting point — because the goal, after all, is to make the best care available to everyone,” said Senator John McCain in a 2008 presidential campaign speech. Later on, he added: “[With nationalized health care, ] we’ll have all the problems, and more, of private health care — rigid rules, long waits and lack of choices, and risk degrading its great strengths and advantages including the innovation and life-saving technology that make American medicine the most advanced in the world. The key to real reform is to restore control over our health-care system to the patients themselves.”

“Families also place a high value on quickly getting simple care, and have shown a willingness to pay cash to get it,” noted McCain, surely aware that the cost of home-grown marijuana is significantly less than the cost of Marinol. “Government can provide leadership to solve problems, of course. So often it comes down to personal responsibility — the duty of every adult in America to look after themselves and to safeguard the gift of life.”

When asked about medical marijuana on the very same campaign trail, McCain responded, “Right now my answer to you is no.”

On the same presidential campaign trail, Rudy Giuliani had a moment of libertarian lucidity when he stated that “government cannot take care of you. You’ve got to take care of yourself.”

Here are some of Giuliani’s views on socialized health care:

Charging that Democrats’ health care proposals would lead to “socialized medicine,” Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani said Tuesday he wants to give American citizens more control over their health care.

“We’ve got to do it the American way,” Giuliani said during a town hall forum in Rochester, New Hampshire. “The American way is not single-payer, government-controlled anything. That’s a European way of doing something; that’s frankly a socialist way of doing something.”

McCain and Giuliani weren’t alone on the GOP presidential campaign trail regarding these issues. No stranger to hypocrisy regarding health care issues, Mitt Romney piped in, as well:  “[Senator Clinton’s health care] plan is crafted by Washington; mine is crafted by individual states.”

Of course, Giuliani and Romney both opposed medical marijuana from both a federal and state perspective.

Let’s take it off the presidential campaign trail for a moment and pick on perhaps the most hated drug warrior in Congress.   Here’s Congressman Mark Souder’s take on health care (from his website):

Every American deserves affordable and quality health care, not government control. I support a patient-centered approach to health care reform that provides every American, regardless of health or financial status, access to the affordable health care coverage of their choice. Nobody should go bankrupt because they get sick.

I will continue to fight to make health care family-focused and patient-centered. I think that patients, in consultation with their doctors, should have control over the health care they receive. The government, your employer or a health care plan selected by your employer should not decide what health care you receive. The road to affordable health care for all is not easy or simple but, by implementing more consumer choice, cracking down on frivolous law suits and lessening the bureaucratic paper work it is achievable. Forcing Americans into a government controlled health care plan will not solve the problem. I believe that it will only make things worse.

Here’s Souder calling for a non-patient-centered “approach to health care” which is neither family-focused nor “patient-centered.”  Here’s a direct contradiction to “I think that patients, in consultation with their doctors, should have control over the health care they receive.”  Here’s a crystal-clear example of the hypocrisy to which Nall referred.

If passed, this amendment would put people in danger of shysters and quacks willing to recommend a dangerous drug, marijuana, in place of federally approved safe and proven medicines. You can get Marinol. We have got other ways by taking a pill to treat this. There are multiple chemicals in marijuana. It is not medicine. Marijuana is just as much medicine as the carbolic smoke ball from the later 19th century was medicine…. The rhetoric about marijuana as a ‘treatment’ for medical purposes… probably was dreamed up at some college dorm…

[L]et me state that my mother and father-in-law both recently died of cancer as well. Compassion is not limited to either side, but there is science and there is not science. In fact, the Carbolic Smoke Balls and the snake oil is very similar; getting high is the same as getting splashed….

Furthermore, we have heard kind of a silly argument here on the House floor today that physicians should be making up FDA law. Physicians do not do trials of a different drug when they come to market. Physicians do not have big testing agencies. That is why we have a Food and Drug Administration. This is in effect asking to repeal the Food and Drug Administration.

Imagine being in the audience the next time a local Republican congressional candidate gives a speech.  When it comes Q&A time, it might be fairly easy to ask the following:

Congressman Smith, I applaud your view that the federal government shouldn’t be able to tell states what to do.  Furthermore, you are to be applauded for your views that the government shouldn’t stand between a patient and a doctor, that individuals should be empowered to make their own medical decisions, that federal bureaucracy harms the health care process, that when patients have the responsibility to make their own decisions health care costs are drastically reduced, and that health care choices should be made in a free market.  Since it’s so obvious that you agree with how I feel about these issues, I’m pleased that you’ll be supporting both the Hinchey-Rohrabacher bill and our state legislation to treat cancer victims and AIDS patients with a bit more compassion.

Disharmony @ #tcot, freedom @ #tlot

tlot-logoDespite all of the hullabaloo over #tcot (Top Conservatives on Twitter), there seems to a be a bit of a scrap brewing between TCOT co-founders Rob Neppell and Michael Patrick Leahy.  To date, the argument sounds more like a quarrel between gay lovers than one between some of the God-fearing, pro-torture fag-bashing Republicans who frequently tweet with the #tcot hashtag.  Here’s the first description of the spat I’ve found online:

This morning teabagger-in-chief and “Top Conservatives on Twitter” (TCOT) co-founder Rob Neppell posted this message on TopConservativesOnTwitter.org (which has since been removed) outlining his decision to shut down the site and encouraging fellow TCOT co-founder and notorious douchenozzle Michael Patrick Leahy to, essentially, eat a bag of dicks.

According to the note, Leahy also “was recently asked to leave the leadership team of Tea Party Patriots” “due to his inability to work in a group decision-making environment.” Oh, snap.

Revolution is never easy.

While their front page says it’s under construction, the message is still online and one can peek at it though the back door here. I haven’t seen any sort of response from Leahy, yet.

Over at 7mesh.com, thespaghetticat asks::

I wonder how this will affect #tcot frequent tweeter Karl “Turd Blossom” Rove (@Karl_rove)?

In the meantime, there is also Top Libertarians on Twitter (#tlot), where folks feel that even conservative homosexuals deserve equal treatment under the law.  If you are a libertarian on Twitter, be sure to sign up here.

While we are on the topic of social networking, feel free to follow The Liberty Papers on Facebook here and on Twitter here. Here’s where you can follow or friend some of the individuals at The Liberty Papers:

Chris Byrne

Twitter

Eric Cowperthwaite

Facebook Twitter

Stephen Gordon

Facebook Twitter

Doug Mataconis

Facebook Twitter

Jason Pye

Facebook Twitter

Brad Warbiany

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Feel free to leave your social networking links in the comment section if you’d like to expand your social networking with other like-minded people.

UPDATE: The old TCOT format and data seem to have survived and are available here.

Except for a few crapweasel holdouts, Arlen Specter unites the left and the right

crapweaselWhen Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Greens, progressives, conservatives, liberals, libertarians, and socialists can all agree on something political in nature, it’s a monumental occasion.  There seems to be a near consensus: Arlen Specter is a spineless crapweasel who now prefers to bottom-feed from a blue pond, as opposed to the red one he’s been polluting for quite some time. Here’s what they’re saying from the right, left and points in-between:

  • Specter: RINO no more by Robert Stacy McCain: ” Specter reminds me of the high-school slut trying to sleep her way to popularity — a weak reed, blown by the shifting winds.”
  • The RNC responds by Markos Moulitsas: “But as we’ve seen, Specter has no convictions he won’t betray in his naked efforts to remain in power.”
  • What did Specter represent besides himself? by Ed Morrissey: “But what core values does Specter represent? “
  • Arlen Specter, Democrat by Matt Welch: “Throat-clearing aside, this strikes me as no favor at all to the Democrats.”
  • Goodnight, Arlen by Scott Boykin: “We do not want Republican leaders like Specter who find their ‘political philosophy more in line with Democrats,’ and we will be happy to show them the way to the door.”
  • What Specter’s switch says about him, the Democrats and our political spectrum by Glenn Greenwald: “Arlen Specter is one of the worst, most soul-less, most belief-free individuals in politics.”
  • Arlen Specter makes it official; Flashback: Specter’s denial by Michelle Malkin: “Arlen Specter, we have just 10 words for you: Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”
  • What will Democrats do about Arlen Specter? by Jon Henke: “So, by promising to give Specter the institutional support of the Democratic Party, it looks like the Democratic establishment has engineered a switch that advances their political control at the expense of the ideological agenda and ideals of the progressive movement.”
  • Arlen Specter’s Leapfrog Across the Aisle by watertiger: “Well played, suckers. Let me know when those wire transfers from that Nigerian bank finally come through.”
  • Specter of Absurdity by James Ostrowski: “Yet, today the MSM is obsessed with it and saying the GOP is dead now. That’s true, but the GOP was dead last week too.”
  • D., Himself by NRO‘s editorial staff: “But here’s hoping that Pennsylvania Democrats become the second party to turn down Specter’s dubious services.”
  • Arlen Specter switches parties by Megan McArdle: “I hope that Specter has better sense than Jeffords in titling his next self-serving autobiography. “
  • Unprincipled hack (D-PA) by Jonathan Chait: “When a politician switches parties, it’s customary for the party he’s abandoned to denounce him as an unprincipled hack, and the party he’s joined to praise him as a brave convert who’s genuinely seen the light. But I think it’s pretty clear that Specter is an unprincipled hack.”
  • Arlen Specter: The Democrat Most Deserving of a Primary Challenge by Chris Bowers: “He is joining our party purely for personal political survival. “
  • Did you give money to Arlen Specter? by Erick Erickson: “If so, and you want a refund, call him at (202) 224-4254 and demand your money back.”
  • Club for Growth press release: “Senator Specter has confirmed what we already knew – he’s a liberal devoted to more spending, more bailouts, and less economic freedom. Thanks to him, Democrats will now be able to steamroll their big government agenda through the Senate.”
  • Glenn Reynolds scribes: “TRUTH IN LABELING”
  • Rush Limbaugh via Hot Air: “Well, Specter, take [Sen. John] McCain with you. And his daughter [Meghan]. Take McCain and his daughter with you if you’re gonna…”
  • Al Franken‘s comedy routine: “Forget that he’s humorless and pasty-looking. He’s Jewish! See, I’ve been following the whole Colin Powell phenomenon, and it’s led me to an indisputable conclusion: The first Jew to be elected President of the United States will be a four-star general.”
  • Michael Steele‘s statement: “Republicans look forward to beating Sen. Specter in 2010, assuming the Democrats don’t do it first.”
  • Suzanna Logan hasn’t written anything about Specter and we certainly aren’t in agreement with every item of the conservative social agenda.  Sometimes I like linking her because she’s hot.

For the most part, Specter seems to be about as highly regarded as Bob Dole after he runs out of Viagra.  However, I’d be remiss not to mention this little crapweasel lovefest:

  • Ezra Klein gets a woodie because he thinks Specter may end up playing bottom for the Dem’s when they nationalize another industry.
  • Olympia Snowe gets her panties in a wad over losing one of her best socialist buds to the even darker side.
  • David Frum likes pitching tents.  Really big tents.  However, it seems that he’s poorly equipped ideologically for the job.


I’m not quite sure how to categorize this response:

  • A Children’s Treasury of Wingnut Responses To Arlen Specter Becoming Gay at Wonkette: “The 14 remaining wingnut Republicans are, of course, furious about Muslin-Communist and Pennsylvania shit monster Arlen Specter doing what they always knew he would do, with the becoming a DemonCRAP, because of course his whole plan all along from the day he was hatched, from a turd, was to stick an Arab Dagger in the backs of the Real Americans, right at the moment when there are basically no Real Americans left, which means … ?! … which means PURGE THE GOP OF OTHER NOT-WINGNUTTY-ENOUGH SENATORS, so that they have maybe 30 seats, maybe 25? Hoor — HUH?!”

Quote Of The Day

You know, Ford is looking rosier and rosier every day, especially now that they know Obama won’t become Chief Auto Designer for the company:

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told NPR’s Michelle Norris yesterday: “The President has said, and I couldn’t agree more, that what this country needs is a one single national road map that tells automakers who are trying to become solvent again what kind of car it is they need to be designing and building for the American people.” Norris then asked: “Is that the role of Government though? That doesn’t sound like free enterprise.” Jackson responded: “Well it is free enterprise in a way.”

I don’t think they need a single national road map. I think they can just go ask Toyota and Honda, who seem to be doing a pretty good job designing and building cars that the American people are willing to pay for… And then they need to listen on how to do those things profitably, which is the real key. Americans buy GM cars, just not at a profitable price for GM.

Let’s Talk, Barack.

So Barack Obama has a few snide remarks for the tea partiers:

Asked about fiscal discipline and entitlements reform, Obama seemed to be repressing a smile as he jabbed critics of his spending plans.

“Those of you who are watching certain news channels on which I’m not very popular, and you see folks waving tea bags around, Obama said, “let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we are going to stabilize Social Security.”

“But,” Obama continued, “let’s not play games and pretend that the reason [for the deficit] is because of the Recovery Act.”

Well, a few options… We’ve all written quite a few words here on healthcare and Social Security here. I’d welcome a serious conversation. But I don’t think Obama actually wants a serious conversation if it involves a discussion of the policy proscriptions I’d recommend. For healthcare, I support expanding the free market through severing the tax advantage of employer-based healthcare and thus returning to a model where the patient is typically both the insurance purchaser and payer, giving them a much wider choice of providers and plans than a typical corporate plan full of state-mandated coverages will offer. I think that will do a great job of bringing down costs. For Social Security, my first thought is means-testing the benefits. I’d forego guaranteed benefits in the future if it meant that my SS taxes dropped from 12% of my income to 6% of my income. The nice thing about means-testing is that if my personal investment and retirement plans don’t pan out, the SS plan would be a true “safety net” rather than “entitlement” program.

But his final challenge is worthy of its own response. Obama is projecting a $1.75T deficit. He inherited several hundred billion from Bush, and the economic collapse probably gave him several hundred billion more due to revenue drops. So let’s charitably call half of his deficit, roughly $900B, not his fault. The other $850B, though, is his fault. He’s taking a rough fiscal position for the government and throwing fuel on the fire. For those of us who already feel overtaxed, we know that the endgame of this spending must, by logical necessity, be increased direct taxation or increased indirect (inflation) taxation, probably both. The Recovery Act is a big portion of it. There is a factual argument to support blaming most of the obscene deficits on his spending proposals.

Now, your median tea party protestor may not be ready for this discussion. That protestor realizes simply that spending is going through the roof, and that spending will eventually need to be paid for — with money collected from taxpayers, not from Congress. That protestor may not have the time nor energy to devote to policy wonk analysis of healthcare or Social Security, nor of in-depth fiscal management of government. But that protestor knows that going from spending $3T to nearly $4T, while projecting a drop in revenues, leading to a deficit the size of the 2000 budget, will not end well.

But there are those of us out here who have been paying attention for the last 8 years and longer, and who know the score. Obama may believe that he can flippantly dismiss the grassroots protestors because they may not always be “sophisticated” enough and informed enough to stand and fight for their position. But any time Obama wants to have a chat with us (or more likely our intellectual forebears like the guys from the Reason Foundation or Cato Institute), tell him we’d love to have a “serious conversation”.

Hat Tip: Below the Beltway

The District of Corruption Owns Your Driveway

In Washington, DC aka the District of Corruption, the friendly local meter maids are now issuing parking tickets, on your driveway.

Beverly Anderson is mad as hell. She just started to get tickets for parking in her own driveway.

That’s right. The District of Columbia is ticketing people who park their cars in their own driveways.

“This is clearly an attempt by the city to extort money out of property owners,” Anderson tells WTOP.

Anderson has received two of the $20 tickets in the past month. Anderson has owned the Capitol Hill house (and the driveway, so she thought) for more than ten years and has never gotten a ticket. And she’s not alone.

Well, you’re probably thinking that DC’s Department of Public Works have raided Marion Berry’s crack stash. However, there is strangely enough, a legal justification behind this obvious money grab by the District of Corruption:

“Any area between the property line and the building restriction line shall be considered as private property set aside and treated as public space under the care and maintenance of the property owner.”

Basically what that means is most property owners in the District don’t own the land between their front door and the sidewalk, but they are responsible for taking care of it. It’s why you can get a ticket for drinking beer on your front porch in the Nation’s Capital. You’re technically on public space. It’s also why the city can ticket you for parking in your own driveway if you don’t pull your car deep enough into the driveway beyond the façade of your house or building.

Apparently, in DC, you just own the building and land directly under it. You merely maintain District property outside of your front door. How nice of them.

Perhaps every property owner should sue the District of Corruption and the Federal Government for fraud because they thought they were buying the house and the entire lot. Instead, they’re taking everything between the front door and the sidewalk. Any DC residents up for that lawsuit?

h/t: Hit and Run

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at IJ Review.com and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.

The Obameter at the 100 Day Mark

Yeah I know, the “First 100 Days” of President Barack Obama is somewhat arbitrary. Still, a great deal has happened in these first 100 days so why not take another look at the Obameter shall we?

So far, President Obama has kept 27 campaign promises, compromised on 7, broken 6, stalled on 3, has 63 “in the works,” and no action on the remaining 408.

As a Libertarian, there are certain promises I would like to see kept but many more broken. Perhaps my biggest disappointment as far as his pro-liberty broken promises go would have to be his failure to follow through with his “sunlight before signing” promise. I am disappointed but I can’t say I am surprised that out of the 12 bills Obama signed into law, only once did he make good on this promise. It would be a major bastardization of the English language to suggest that The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, SCHIP, and the so-called stimulus bill are all “emergency” legislation which would be exempt from the 5 day waiting period*.

Overall, Barack Obama turned out to be exactly the president I thought he would be: a collectivist president hell bent on growing the size and scope of the federal government.

» Read more

Quote Of The Day

Ezra Klein, who seems almost surprised that the predictions of public choice theory has come to pass:

Matt is right to say that a lot of what passed for “financial innovation” was in fact innovative efforts at regulatory arbitrage.

Well, yeah. When you have a massive regulatory state, don’t be surprised that people spend as much time trying to game the system as they do trying to offer a worthwhile product to the public.

Fake Cops, Fake Raid, Real Guns

Here’s yet another example illustrating why the practice of SWAT style raids should be ended: robbers posing as cops.

Here’s the news story from WRAL:

This is the unedited surveillance video:

As bad as this situation was, it could have ended much worse. It’s very fortunate that the armed robbers encountered the man on the porch first and the others inside could see what was happening thanks to the surveillance video (had this individual not been on the porch, the robbers could have gained entry as police officers serving a lawful warrant). Also, the fact that one of the patrons was armed and able to return fire was the difference in being cleaned out by the robbers (and possibly murdered) and forcing the robbers to abandon their criminal pursuit. It’s just too damn bad that neither robber was killed.

Of course if the police didn’t routinely use paramilitary tactics to raid poker games or those suspected of drug possession in the first place, then individuals would know without question that the intruders are indeed criminals attempting to do harm and could respond appropriately without fear of killing a police officer.

Hat Tip: The Agitator

WSJ dares ask the question…

Tired of hearing about violence at the Mexico border, the false claims of firearms coming from the United States that fuel the violence and the imprisonment of citizens who are doing nothing other than trying to help patients with medical problems? If so, the Wall Street Journal has a solution to drug war blues:

An administration really open to “change” would consider a long-term solution to the problem — ending the market for illegal drugs by eliminating their illegality. We cannot destroy the appetite for psychotropic drugs. Both animals and humans have an innate desire for the altered consciousness obtainable through drugs. What we can and should do is eliminate the black market for the drugs by regulating and taxing them as we do our two most harmful recreational drugs, tobacco and alcohol.

Marijuana presents the strongest case for this approach. According to some estimates, marijuana comprises about 70% of the illegal product distributed by the Mexican cartels. Marijuana will grow anywhere. If the threat of criminal prosecution and forfeitures did not deter American marijuana farmers, America’s entire supply of that drug would be home-grown. If we taxed the marijuana agribusiness at rates similar to that for tobacco and alcohol, we would raise about $10 billion in taxes per year and would save another $10 billion we now spend on law enforcement and imprisoning marijuana users and distributors.

I’ve never even so much as smoked marijuana, though smelled it frequently during my days playing in bands, legalization (or at least decriminalization) should be on the table. It’s a position that prominent conservatives like William F. Buckley, Jr and George Will have supported.

States faced significant budget shortfalls this year while thousands of non-violent drug offenders sit in prison. If you look at it from an economic issue, legalization or decriminalization would help states significantly.

Social conservatives need to consider this point, legalizing marijuana is more popular than the Republican Party.

Cato Report: Portugal’s Seven Year Experiment with Drug Decriminalization “a Resounding Success”

greenwald_whitepaper

In July of 2001, Portugal tried something which would horrify policy makers the world over: the decriminalization of all drugs. As a result, Portugal turned into a country overrun with drugs, stoners, drug tourists, and criminals…right?

Not according to a report by Cato’s Glenn Greenwald entitled Drug Decriminalization in Portugal: Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies. Greenwald concludes:

“The data show that, judged by virtually every metric, the Portuguese decriminalization framework has been a resounding success. Within this success lie self-evident lessons that should guide drug policy debates around the world.”

While this result may shock most people, this comes as no surprise to Libertarians. The question is, will the rest of the world learn from Portugal’s experiment with drug decriminalization?

More Information on this report:

Click here to view the Cato policy forum event related to this report.

Yet another Truther gives the freedom movement some positive media attention

denniskucinichI’m taken to task in the comments every time I write about how Truthers and other conspiracy theorists harm the freedom movement.  Now that someone has just been arrested for posting threats on Twitter, let’s take a look at how the newspaper reported (emphasis added) the individual accused of the threat:

According to an FBI criminal complaint, Daniel Knight Hayden, who went by the name CitizenQuasar on a popular microblogging site, threatened murder on several occasions in the run-up to tax day.

On April 11 he posted a message on Twitter that said,”The WAR wWIL [sic] start on the stepes [sic] of the Oklahoma State Capitol. I will cast the first stone.”

That message was followed by others that said, “”START THE KILLING NOW” and  “After I am killed on the Capitol Steps, like a REAL man, the rest of you will REMEMBER ME!!!”  He also wrote “I really don’t give a (expletive) anymore. Send the cops around. I will cut their heads off the heads and throw the(m) on the State Capitol steps.”

He then wrote life wasn’t worth living in Oklahoma – without listing any reasons – feigned he has been drinking too much and posted the name and home phone number of a man he believed was a local tea party organizer, instructing his followers to “REMEMBER this name.”

The last Twitter message posted by Mr. Hayden on April 15 said, “Locked AND loaded for the Oklahoma State Capitol. Let’s see what happens.”

Special agent Michael S. Puskas wrote in his complaint that he tracked Mr. Hayden down through his computer’s IP address and his public MySpace profile.

Wired Magazine believes this is the first criminal prosecution to arise from postings on Twitter.

Liberal bloggers quickly pointed to Mr. Hayden to validate the Obama’s administation’s report about the rise of right-wing extremism. Mr. Hayden’s online posting are obviously anti-government, although his political persuasions do not appear to be linked to any party.

Several political videos are posted on Mr. Hayden’s MySpace account, including one known as a “truther” documentary, accusing President Bush of being responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

A video heavy blog by Mr. Hayden posted on April 6 suggests President Obama has hypnotized his supporters and a prominently featured quote in his profile from The Gulag Archipelago says, “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say goodbye to his family?”

Now look at his MySpace page.  Of his incoherent video and written ramblings, I’m not sure of which I like best:

  • Male – 52 years old – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – United States
  • Alex Jones Interviewed by Russia Today: “U.S. is a puppet of private bankers .”
  • Hoagland on The Monuments of Mars
  • Republic Broadcasting Network: Because you CAN handle the truth
  • Prophesy reveal American pentagram

This one is self-explanatory:

Citizen Quasar ‘s Details
Status: Single

While I feel a bit sorry for the person in question, at this moment, he has 474 friends (including Dennis Kucinich, Dylan Avery and Alex Jones) on his MySpace page.  That’s truly scary.

Of course, the conspiracy theorists will all suggest that this was planned by Obama in preparation for the April 15th Tea Parties and that thermite was found behind the grassy knoll which was paid for by the Jews.  In truth, I’ve paid myself with Arizona desert moon rock sales.

Disclosure: I was paid by the CFR, Illuminati and the Bilderbergers to write this.  I’m currently en route to meet with the Jewish banking cartel so I can take over the world next week.  I also have 666 tattoos of the very-same pyramid one can find on the one dollar bill on both my forehead and one of my wrists. Timothy LaHaye is probably writing a new book about me right now. Don’t tell anyone, but we all plan to meet at Area 51 at midnight on Friday.  See you there.

The White House owes us some answers

“The Government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears.”President Barack Obama

Along with other plaintiffs, talk radio host Michael Savage has sued Homeland Security Secretary Janet Reno and Attorney General Eric Holder for their roles in this issue.  While I don’t agree with the social agenda of the group bringing about the suit, at least they are attacking the issue on constitutional grounds.

Several questions occurred to me before I clicked the “send” button on the now infamous DHS report on right-wing extremism:

  • Did Janet Napolitano, Eric Holder or Barack Obama know about the report in advance?
  • Who was the highest level person to know of the report? Who authorized it to be released?
  • Why was the report issued (and released) when it was?  Did the timing have anything to do with Tea Parties planned across the country?

Hopefully, we’ll learn a lot more during the discovery phase of this suit.  Since President Obama repeatedly mentioned government transparency on the campaign trail, I’m sure the White House will be releasing these details to the general public over the next day or two.

This veteran won’t accept Janet Napolitano’s lame apology

According to this ABC News headline, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has offered a “right-wing mea culpa” for the report this site played a major role in bringing to public attention.  However, journalist Rachel Martin (or perhaps her copy editor) either has a political agenda or they just aren’t all that smart over at ABC.  While the title suggests an apology to the right, the article only mentions mentions issues pertaining to veterans.  The article doesn’t cover the tens and tens of millions of Americans who may be “mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely.”  It doesn’t mention “groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration,” either.

I’ll note that in her initial statement regarding the issue, Napolitano referenced the veteran’s issue, too.  Perhaps she was following John Boehner’s lead?

According to the article, it seems that Napolitano’s meeting with the American Legion’s National Commander David Rehbein “seemed to satisfy” those upset with the report. This veteran of eleven years is now doubly insulted.

As a civilian political activist, I’m highly upset that virtually every believer in the principles of small government (this category describes me well) or social conservatism (this doesn’t describe this libertarian so much) has been labeled as a potential terrorist.  That Napolitano, Rehbein, Boehner and ABC News seem to be operating in concert to sweep this attack on having a political ideology under the rug is dangerous.

As a veteran, I’m now as upset with Rehbein as I am with those who are only focusing on the veteran’s side of this issue.  I took that “support and defend the Constitution of the United States” portion of my oath very damned seriously.  Part of the Constitution I swore I’d uphold (and Rehbehn, Napolitano and Boehner should know this general oath even better than I do) is that pesky little First Amendment.  In case Napolitano, Rehbein, Boehner and ABC News have forgotten, it allows for freedom of speech, assembly and the right to air grievences against the government.

Military service is an honor, and most veterans I know place their defense of the Constitution and the American people ahead of their own personal desires.

This veteran won’t even hear of an apology to veterans until people who believe in smaller government have first been apologized to.

This veteran won’t even hear of an apology to veterans until people who support the 10th Amendment have first been apologized to.

This veteran won’t even hear of an apology to veterans until anarchists have first been apologized to.

This veteran won’t even hear of an apology to veterans until people who are pro-life people have first been apologized to.

This veteran won’t even hear of an apology to veterans until people who believe in closed-borders have first been apologized to.

I certainly don’t agree with all of these issues, but I would have willingly died to ensure that people had the right to express these views and to mobilize politically to support them.

Unless something additional happened in their conversation which I haven’t seen in the news, Rehbehn has dishonored each of us who has ever worn our nation’s uniform.  There is no honor in taking refuge in a photo-op apology while the rights of many American citizens are still being disregarded.

UPDATE: This blog posting seems to have provoked a lot of anger from the left.  Since you’re here,  you might as well read about why your Messiah should replace Janet Napolitano with Andrew Napolitano, too.

GUEST COLUMN: Racial minorities and socio-economically disadvantaged targeted for eminent domain abuses in Alabama

BY DAVID BEITO

What is happening in the cradle of the modern civil rights movement?   Jimmy McCall would like to know.  ”It was more my dream house,” he laments, “and the city tore it down….It reminds me of how they used to mistreat black people in the Old South.”  In 1955, Rosa Parks took on the whole system of Jim Crow by refusing to give up her seat on a segregated Montgomery bus.  Today, McCall is waging a lonely battle against the same city government for another civil right: the freedom to build a home on his own land.

Although McCall’s ambitions are modest, he is exceptionally determined.  For years, he has scraped together a living by salvaging rare materials from historic homes and then selling them to private builders.  Sometimes months went by before he had a client.  Finally, he had put aside enough to purchase two aces in Montgomery and started to build.  He did the work himself using materials accumulated in his business including a supply of sturdy and extremely rare longleaf pine.

McCall only earns enough money to build in incremental stages but eventually his dream home took shape.  According to a news story by Benjamin Solomon, the structure had a “the high slanted ceilings, the exposed beams of dark, antique wood.  It looks like a charming, spacious home in the making.”  But from the outset the city showed unremitting hostility.  He has almost lost count of the roadblocks it threw up including a citation for keeping the necessary building materials on his own land during the construction process.  More seriously, he was charged under the state blight law, which allows a municipality to designate a building as a “public nuisance” and then demolish it.  Critics have accurately called this “eminent domain through the back door” and warn that opportunities for abuse are almost limitless.  In contrast to the standard eminent domain process, for example, property owners do not have any right to compensation, even in theory.  » Read more

Even David Duke Has The Right To Free Speech

Friday in the Czech Republic, Czech police detained a foreigner on suspicion of Thoughtcrime. The foreigner in question is former KKK leader David Duke who was arrested and later deported for the Thoughtcrime offense of denying the Holocaust.

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke was detained by police in the Czech Republic on Friday on suspicion of denying the Holocaust.

Police spokesman Jan Mikulovsky said the action was taken because Duke does that in his book “My Awakening,” which is punishable by up to three years in Czech prisons.

Duke traveled to the republic to promote the book’s Czech translation of the book at the invitation of neo-Nazis.

The thought of arresting someone, even a person whose views on the Holocaust and on Jews and other non-whites is hideous like David Duke, for having a belief is repugnant. Especially in a supposedly free country and NATO member like the Czech Republic. Arresting people and deporting them for thoughtcrimes is the hallmark of totalitarian regimes. Is not forgetting the pain and suffering the Nazi tyranny imposed on Czechs the reason behind this law? Instead, this law has been enacted and enforced in the spirit of that same Nazi and later Communist tyrannies that enslaved Czechoslovakia. The Holocaust denial laws are a violation of basic freedom of speech and freedom of thought and should be repealed. The hideousness of the Holocaust can stand up under any scrutiny the Holocaust deniers bring forth.

Also, the lack of response by the United States Department of State toward this violation of Duke’s human rights is appalling. If this was an American promoting democracy in say China and they were expelled for the Thoughtcrime of promoting democracy by the Chinese government, the State Department would be raising hell. Why the silence in this case?

Finally, one thing I noticed in the comments to the original article is the calls by the fascist left in America for similar crimes in this country. I thought leftists were for free speech?

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at IJ Review.com and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.

Libertarian snark of the day

And the award goes to…

…Nick Gillespie for this gem:

Here’s Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) talking with Conservative News Service (CNS) who, like the Canadian Mounties, always seem to get their man when it comes interview:

“I would let people gamble on the Internet,” Frank said. “I would let adults smoke marijuana; I would let adults do a lot of things, if they choose.”

He added: “But allowing them total freedom to take on economic obligations that spill over into the broader society? The individual is not the only one impacted here, when bad decisions get made in the economic sphere, it causes problems.”

As Meatloaf documented so long ago, two out of three ain’t bad (baby), but in this case, it really hurts worse than Phil Rizzuto’s play-by-play in “Paradise By The Dashboard Light.”

Bragging about a shining star and a very dear friend

shanapaul

Shana Kluck on stage telling the national staff that we had just won the Alabama GOP Straw Poll by a decisive margin

I’ve heard Wayne Allyn Root described as “the Energizer Bunny on speed.”  While our styles are significantly different, I’ve been told that I outperform Root.  I’m not trying to compete with Root, but to make another point.  There is one person in the liberty movement I know who has the energy and results of Root and me combined multiplied together amplified by some exponential function only Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking could grok.

Earlier tonight, I published an article about a mostly unrelated issue.  In it, I described Shana Kluck as follows:

A key driving force behind this panel is Shana Kluck.  Shana is not only a member of the Alabama Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, but she also serves on her state GOP executive committee, is president of the Alabama Republican Assemby and serves as secretary of the Alabama Republican Liberty Caucus.  When she’s not busy homeshcooling her four children, consulting on Web 2.0 projects, engaged in Eagle Forum activities, attending various political meetings around the state and working behind the scenes on a variety of conservative and libertarian causes, she is busy helping me on campaigns.

Considering Shana’s schedule, very few of us have grounds to offer the excuse that we are too busy to become more involved in the African-American community.

Instead of sitting around complaining about how black people voted in previous election cycles, Senator Beason and Ms. Kluck are taking leadership roles in providing justice for members of the African-American community.

I first met Shana during the Ron Paul presidential campaign.  While in the process of leaving my job in DC and moving back to Alabama, I starting signing up for various Ron Paul Meetups and e-mail lists back home.  One name quickly surfaced to the top: Shana’s.

Despite growing up in Ron Paul’s congressional district, the Paul campaign was Shana’s first real exposure to politics.  She didn’t let being a newby slow her down though, but rose to and very quickly surpassed the challenge.

shanabarr1

Shana Kluck working a booth at the Libertarian National Convention

Shana ended up being the national homeschooling coordinator for Ron Paul’s campaign, as well as serving as the Alabama field coordinator.  As the state media coordinator, it was my distinct pleasure to serve with her.   Not being able to stomach John McCain as the GOP presidential nominee, Shana immediately jumped on board the Bob Barr campaign after Ron Paul was out of the picture.  Without her efforts enhancing our social networking operations, my eventual position with that campaign would have been impossible.

Most libertarians are content living their lives as free from government intervention as they can.  They quite understandably spend their time holed up with their family and friends and try to live life for the most they can get out of it.  Others pop out of the woodwork to criticize the government from time to time but accomplish little to actually change things.  Others have dedicated their lives to making America a freer place.  As long as I’ve been in the movement, I’ve never met anyone who has accomplished as much in a short period of time as Shana.  Not so very long ago, I felt that I was her mentor.  Today, I feel that she is my mentor.

I’m well aware that we have a lot of left-leaning libertarian visitors on this site who might criticize certain organizations with which Shana (or me, even) works.  That’s okay.  Since we are all on the same general sheet of music, let’s turn this into some healthy competition.  Who is willing to put more energy into and provide greater results to the cause of freedom than Shana?

It doesn’t really matter who wins this particular competition, as all of us will win in the long run.

Where Did The Anti-War Movement Go?

In the American Conservative, Antiwar.com editor Justin Raitmando (whom I often disagree with) has a piece detailing some more leftist hypocrisy concerning their Messiah and his plans to expand the Afghan War

The antiwar rally at the University of Iowa was sparsely attended. The below 30 degree weather might have had something to do with it, but Paul Street, a local writer and one of the speakers, had another theory, as the Daily Iowan reported:

Before the crowd of fewer than 20, Street questioned why the ‘left’ locals and university officials aren’t doing more to help in the protests against the war. ‘The big truth right now, whether this town’s missing-in-action progressives get it or not, is that we need to fight the rich, not their wars,’ he said, citing big corporations for wasting their technology and funding on war.

The big truth is that the antiwar movement has largely collapsed in the face of Barack Obama’s victory: the massive antiwar marches that were a feature of the Bush years are a thing of the past. Those ostensibly antiwar organizations that did so much to agitate against the Iraq War have now fallen into line behind their commander in chief and are simply awaiting orders.

Take, for example, Moveon.org, the online activist group that ran antiwar ads during the election—but only against Republicans—in coalition with a group of labor unions and Americans Against Escalation in Iraq. Behind AAEI stood three of Obama’s top political operatives, Steve Hildebrand, Paul Tewes, and Brad Woodhouse. Woodhouse is now the Democratic National Committee’s director of communications and research. He controls the massive e-mail list culled by the Obama campaign during the primaries and subsequently, as well as a list of all those who gave money to the presumed peace candidate. These donors are no doubt wondering what Obama is doing escalating the war in Afghanistan and venturing into Pakistan.

As Greg Sargent noted over at WhoRunsGov.com, a Washington Post-sponsored site, “Don’t look now, but President Obama’s announcement today of an escalation in the American presence in Afghanistan is being met with mostly silence—and even some support—from the most influential liberal groups who opposed the Iraq War.”

In response to inquiries, Moveon.org refused to make any public statement about Obama’s rollout of the Af-Pak escalation, although someone described as “an official close to the group” is cited by WhoRunsGov as confirming that “MoveOn wouldn’t be saying anything in the near term.” A vague promise to poll their members was mentioned—“though it’s unclear when.” Don’t hold your breath.

Another Democratic Party front masquerading as a peace group, Americans United for Change, declined to comment on the war plans of the new administration. This astroturf organization ran $600,000 worth of television ads in the summer of 2007, focusing like a laser on congressional districts with Republican incumbents. Change? Not so fast.

The boldest of the peacenik sellouts, however, is Jon Soltz of VoteVets, described by WhoRunsGov as “among the most pugnacious anti-Iraq war groups.” They came out fists flying, endorsing the escalation of the Long War.

According to Soltz, there is “much to like in the plan,” but his faves boil down to three factors, which supposedly represent “a stark departure” from the bad old days of the Bush administration. He applauds the administration’s recognition that “The military can’t do it all.” Yet we’re increasing the troop levels by some 17,000, plus 4,000 trainers to babysit the barely existent Afghan “army.” We’re going to send thousands more civilians—aid workers, medical personnel, and military contractors—to build the infrastructure lacking in Afghan society and promote fealty to the central government in Kabul. Schools, clinics, roads, and shopping malls will be built with American tax dollars in order to foster trust between the Afghans, their occupiers, and their government.

The so-called “anti-war” groups that popped up before the Iraq War were never anti-war. Many of their founders and leaders cheered on BJ Clinton’s wars in the Balkans and in Haiti. They were not completely anti-American or merely “on the other side” as some conservative and neo-libertarian bloggers accused them either. The “anti-war” movement was simply a rallying point for leftists and Democrat party hacks who needed to gain traction against a popular (at the time) President Bush. They needed to sow doubt about the Iraq War (the mismanagement of the war by the Bush administration helped as well) in order to have a wedge issue against President Bush. Naturally, they rooted for more American deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq and for American objectives to go unfulfilled, at least while Bush was president.

Now their Messiah has been elected and he wants to expand the Afghan War, possibly into Pakistan. What’s a leftist posing a peace activist supposed to do. Well, what all good leftists do, follow their leader, in this case the Messiah. He wants to send 17,000 more Americans into Afghanistan to bring democracy, destroy the Taliban, and put in chicken in every Afghan pot. He has not defined what “victory” is in Afghanistan, nor does he have a plan, short of nuclear war, to combat the Talibanization of Pakistan. If George W. Bush planned this, the so-called peace activists would have been the ones having Tea Parties on April 15.

Aren’t the so-called “peace activists” being just a tad bit hypocritical now that their Messiah is in the Oval Office and wants his little war?

Finally, I just want to point out, I do not intend to attack sincere opponents of US foreign policy and interventionism, like Justin Raitmando. I disagree with some of Justin’s positions and lot of his rhetoric. However I can respect Justin and most paleoconservatives and paleolibertarians as principled noninterventionists who oppose most if not all US military campaigns over the past two decades and longer.

It is the unprincipled hacks on the left who adopt the phony cause of “anti-war” when they’re out of power that need to be condemned.

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at IJ Review.com and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.
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