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Showing posts from March, 2008

American Militarism: A Critical Issue on which (surprisingly) Barack Obama and John McCain appear to be in complete agreement. . . .

Warning: a strong punch-line preceded, however, by lots of necessary (and sometimes very technical) background, which should be read in the context of already having digested the information in A few facts for those who think we can't have a limited government. . . . I research and teach military history, which is not that often specifically germane to what I post about here. (I'm primarily interested in armies as social organizations, if you're really concerned.) But lately I have been remembering what I taught in the American Military History course (offered primarily for ROTC candidates) in the early to mid-1990s. I explained that at the end of the Cold War (Reagan, Bush 41) the official Pentagon doctrine was that the US Armed Forces should be able to fight (and presumably win) two simultaneous regional conflicts, besides meeting our security commitments in Central Europe. Examples most often given included an outbreak of hostilities on the Korean peninsula, inter

Toussaint L' Ouverture

Channeling: I supported François -Dominique Toussaint L'Ouverture . Reinstate Jean Aristide . So people in Haiti do not need to keep eating dirt to stay alive. You can read more about it here and here . This remarkable people is being reduced. Their brilliance is being lost. Their poverty is preventing their life, let alone liberty which some people parody but which Porter Goss really hates . And this all benefits kleptocrats who you can read about here and Dyncorp with the UN and contractors . The OAS should send them food if we have our head that far up our ass. If that move into Haiti was " a lab for what UN control is like ," I am very concerned about the quality of the work. Let's start with this- send them food. Thank you, Tom Jefferson .

Slippery Slopes and My Cold Dead Hands

While the Supreme Court deliberates, the Washington DC police are out frantically going door-to-door asking for permission to search for handguns. They claim that they will not act on any other evidence of illegal behavior they might find while looking (without warrants) for firearms, but as Drug War Rant asks , If they find a few kilos of heroin, piles of cash, or a severed head, they're not going to ask any questions? Even if they make no immediate arrests, what guarantee is there that they won't be back later, with a warrant ostensibly based on an independent source of information? Even the DC Black Police Officers Association thinks this is a BAAAD plan: Ron Hampton, of the Black Police Officers Association, said he doesn't expect many in the community to comply. "This is one of those communities where the police even have problems getting information about crimes that are going on in the community, so to suggest, now, that the police have enough community ca

Check Point USA & Sex Abuse

This document from the US Customs service, speaks for itself. I love how it gives any federal bureaucrat the right to do with me whatever they want. Maybe they can sexually abuse me at the border like they do down near Mexico or poor "M.C." from Jamaica? I loved the TV show about Customs Special Agents , but one thing is sure, this type of behavior is not helping the image or reputation of the organization. I want to see someone on CNN discuss this problem. ICE enforcement agent arrested for aggravated sexual abuse of detainee by SOPnewswire Posted November 22, 2007 MIAMI - R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Steven J. Mocsary, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Professional Responsibility, Donald J. Balberchak, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Homeland Security , Office of Inspector General, and Al Lamberti, Sheriff, Broward County Sheriff's Office, announced the filing

Let's Taser All The Kids

Great idea, we should taser all the kids at least once, arrest them and hold them in prison for emotional disturbances. It is so much easier then getting them psychological help when they need it. This sure is the right way to "detain and restrain" bad and psychologically disturbed kids. This is how all Republics treat their citizens. Think it was much worse when we used to make kids work in factories right?

Thought of the Day- Vicente Fox

Mexico's President Vicente Fox said May 16, 2002 at Club 21 in Madrid: "Eventually, our long-range objective is to establish with the United States, but also with Canada, our other regional partner, an ensemble of connections and institutions similar to those created by the European Union" (or as Gorbachev refers to the EU, the "European Soviet"). My response: "In matters of conscience, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson "Rather than jingle like the jade, Rumble like the rocks" Lao Tzu Dear Señor Fox, Let me be frank, thanks for clarifying your vision of a North American Union similar to the European Union, but that vision is flawed because it does not include the rest of the Americas . If we want Pan-Americanism , that is fine, free bilateral trade and respect for each other as a group of power blocks is also fine. To do it Vicente we need to ensure it is big enough, free enough and productive enough to fulfill Jefferson's vision of

Weekend Watching- Sally Kern Would Not Like This Cartoon- What Values Does This Teach?

You remember Sally Kern , the politician who said that people who are lesbians, gays, or otherwise some type of homosexual were more dangerous to our country that terrorists? Well, I wonder what Ms. Kern would think of a cartoon where a woman turns into a man and whose family turns her back and forth from a man to a woman? WATCH HERE TO SEE THE CARTOON.

Apparently Lacking Real Crime, NYC Decides to Make Conversation Illegal . . .

. . . at least in theaters or other public events. According to Liberty for All, Move over, Miss Manners, politicians want to start correcting people’s rude behavior - at least when it comes to talking on a cell phone. In New York, the City Council is considering the nation’s first law banning cell phone calls during indoor performances such as movies, concerts and Broadway plays. Call it cell phone etiquette for the chattering class. The measure, expected to be approved in December, would impose a $50 fine on anyone who uses a cell phone - or fails to turn off the ringer. Can you picture it? Imagine every movie theater equipped with phone fighters who dash down the aisle every time a ringer goes off - flashlight in hand - then demand a drivers license from the offender and issue a ticket. With an army of cell phone cops disturbing the peace, patrons would long for the days when a cell phone ringer was their greatest annoyance. Another consequence: Diverting officers to “phon

Transportation Security Administration = Two-bit Gestapo

From Cara at The Curvature : Think it was bad when Southwest Airlines started kicking women off of their planes for dressing “inappropriately?” Well they’ve apparently got nothing on the Transportation Security Administration. They recently forced female traveler Mandi Hamlin to remove her nipple piercings before allowing her to board a plane — even though she offered to show her piercings to the female officer and required pliers to remove the jewelry. The commentary suggests to me, again, why Feminists and Libertarians follow many of the same lines of thought: I also don’t think that there’s any huge leap in calling this sexual assault. Granted, it doesn’t seem as though any of the officers touched her. But they did force her to touch private areas of her own body for their personal enjoyment, despite her protestations and despite the pain it caused her. This was not a security measure, but the agents used their authority as an excuse for the abuse. Other than sexual assault, I d

Weekend Watching- How To Create the Perfect Big Brother State

I was driving down the street today when I noticed a new 360 degree optical view closed circuit camera with facial recognition the same type I noticed in the EU- what was it doing hanging over a red light? Interesting. In that vein let me present you to the Big Brother State in easy steps. Anyone can understand it- this is for your weekend viewing pleasure and for your own protection you see . You can even buy the facial recognition software for your own computer . because as of today, I see it as a new reality for Americans. It was interesting for me anyway, I was discussing this with a friend of mine who speaks Russian, he reminded me that, "Vhat you expect? Chertoff is colloquial Russian for 'son of devil'; you people stupid enough to hire him, you know dey say that you get vhat you buy, vell you got vhat you bought....ha.ha.ha.... чёрт - tshert mean devil's- like belong to him- and "off" mean "son of" ....ha.ha.ha...." for some reason I am

What is important about the PA Democratic Primary is the Turn-Out, Not the Result

For Senator Barack Obama, so far success has depended on energizing new voters and collecting the support of independents. This has manifested itself in high turn-out for both caucuses and primaries. Some polls suggest that the Reverend Wright affair is cutting into that support. How we will know (and what the Clintons will be looking for) is by how high the turn-out goes in the PA primary. If the turn-out is above average, even by a few percentage points, then Obama has weathered the storm. If the turn-out is average or below average, then Obama has been significantly hurt by the incident, and you can look for Hillary to take it all the way to the convention.

ATHF- Around the Horn Friday, Black Market Edition

OK boys and girls, you are at my tender mercies and I am going to sell you the goods faster than a South East Asian pirate sells spare boat parts at a floating marine market. That is, even faster than our politicians sell votes to lobbyists. Maybe. This week's best story goes to Duffy who has a piece on why there is a Thieves Market located a few blocks from the UN. While over at Down with Absolutes, Mat Marshall has been sold as the youngest communications director ever to Karen Hartley-Nagle. Congratulations Mat you are going to be a national figure soon! Delaware Liberal is bashing (un) "free" markets and that bastion of corporatism Walmart for selling out a woman who was paralyzed and they are sure someone owns Dave Burris . Shirley at Delaware Curmudgeon is selling something that we really need, wind power . While the Great Orange Satan known as the Daily Kos is selling cautionary books about religious cults . Dana at Delaware Watch is selling us the fact that no on

The Answer for Liberalgeek: Supporting a $.50 minimum-wage increase is like supporting the surge in Iraq . . .

. . . it creates the dangerous illusion that we're somehow winning (or even fighting) the right war. Last week I posted Minimum wage, living wage, and the State as Vampire to the Working Poor , in which I argued that the real culprit in keeping the poor in working poor was the government tax bite, not the penury of business owners. If you haven't read that one, you should go back and do so, because the argument is pretty detailed. But if you're not willing, here was my main point: Poverty in America's Living Wage Calculator reports for Delaware that Federal and State taxes (income plus payroll) take a 16.5% bite out of a family of four struggling to reach their target living wage of $45,673. If we were to adopt the principle of not taxing people until after they had earned enough money to meet their family's basic needs , each earner in a two-income family of four would only need to average $9.57/hour in order to achieve the living wage . Under our curre

BREAKING : Tom Ross - The Next Chairman of the State GOP

Tom Ross, currently the Chairman of the Wilmington Republican Party, will be running for State Chairman of the Delaware Republican Party. Tom just sent out the announcement. He let the State Executive Committee know last night. To my knowledge he will be unopposed for the position. I can't think of a better person for the job. I have known Tom for years. In spite of some wrangling when I ran for State Senate in 2006, we remain great friends. More importantly, he is a very libertarian-oriented, inclusive, grassroots Republican who has, as long as I have known him, been about accountable limited government in Delaware. He is practical on issues with no ideological axes to grind. When I heard about Terry Strine stepping down Tom was the first person I thought about and I certainly hoped he would go for it. He is going to make an excellent state chair and will get the party on track and growing again. This is a huge step forward for Delaware Republicans.

It looks like the FARC got itself......

....depleted Uranium from Colombia or from someone else? Interpol is investigating. The case is still open but at least these days the OAS/OEA is doing and monitoring the investigation. It seems likely that they got it from Colombia or an arms dealer and were trying to strut their stuff, good thing is that they are in the jungle.... http://blogs.salon.com/0001330/categories/venezuela/2008/03/26.html#a3898 It is not quite Steve's biggest fear , and confirms many of the suspicions I have had about the case and real causes of the conflict have more to do with the Exxon case against Venezuela or at least as much as the hostility between the governments, as both are partners with the U.S. against terrorism: one on the pragmatic big-government left, one on the big-government right. I am waiting to see what the OAS/OEA discovers with Interpol's help. (For Interpol it is more important then this case by far ) We can speculate now- could the depleted uranium have been in the form of bu

Graft is How Politics Works...

...at least until this guy comes around. Ben Olken who studies graft, corruption and the politics of assassination is one of the most gifted young economists discusses why politics and graft go together like bricks and mortar for some societies. We are no exception, where throughout the 19 th century Jacksonian democracy encouraged a type of nepotistic graft, as well as a type of oligarchy. This was perfectly represented by the infamous William "Boss" Tweed . I think much of what we are seeing today is the same old oligarchy reassert itself to in their own words, "correct the excesses of democracy" which instead of translating into promoting constitutional liberty , as it should have, has translated into reasserting oligarchic control to dominate your life with restrictive orders, laws and rules. Oh joy. "I'm the law around here see...." I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for you to watch this last link.....

Bob Marley in Delaware

It is a little known historical fact that reggae superstar Bob Marley and part of his family live in Delaware. Not only that, but they run Tuff Gong clothing . On his website it points out that: Bob's mother, Cedella, had remarried and moved to Delaware in the United States where she had saved sufficient money to send her son an air ticket. The intention was for Bob to start a new life. But before he moved to America, Bob met a young girl called Rita Anderson and, on February 10, 1966, they were married. Marley's stay in America was short-lived. He worked just enough to finance his real ambition: music. In October 1966 Bob Marley, after eight months in America, returned to Jamaica. It was a formative period in his life. Every year we hold the People's Festival to honor Bob Marley and his contribution to Delaware's cultural heritage. The first time I was in the hospital, Bob's aunt was my nurse and as a 10 year old I had the biggest crush on her....ahh the good old

A few facts for those who think we can't have a limited government. . . .

. . . because I persist in believing that they don't have the slightest idea just how bloated the leviathan has become. First, think about Federal lands. East of Denver the US government owns less than 2% of the land. West of Denver the Federal government owns an astounding 65% of it. Break that down by states, and you find that the Feds own 98% of Alaska, 86% of Nevada , 65% of Idaho . Exactly how much land is that? Nobody knows. That's right--not even the Feds themselves, because--as MAPPS (the Management Association of Private Photogrammetic Surveyors-- points out in a recent position paper : How much land does the Federal Government own? Congress can have a healthy debate over whether the government’s real property portfolio is too large or too small, but the answer to the above question is – we really don’t know. In December 2006, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported the Federal government failed its audit for FY 2006. GAO has repeatedly (1

American Economic News, Politics & The Ship of State: A Picture of the Day in Review

Since Steve and Tyler are taking a moment to vent , there is something I need to get off my hairy chest by way of a day in review. Let's dive right in.... While Carl Ichan continues to make financial and business deals in a way that will position his companies for a bright financial future. The same cannot be said for Henry Paulson or the U.S. housing market . And while weaker economic growth led stocks lower for a second day after what I call the "fools rally" American equities and ownership of resource shares globally is on the same track as Her Majesty's Northern Rock Bank. With both Social Security and American medical programs like Medicaid and medicare driving up the demand for services . You may ask, well, how does having programs like Medicaid and Medicare drive up demand? Well they do, they in essence are government mandated programs that control and periodically increase costs for services to make the managers of HMO's and group managed health care rich