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Showing posts from November, 2008

The long shadow of Tail-Gunner Joe....

... as painted on the ground by the folks who need it to remain there forever. Being clear: I'm not a conservative, and I'm not a Republican, but I am a historian and I do like it when folks who presume to talk history actually stick somewhere close to the facts . The meme du jour at Delawareliberal today is cassandra's fascination with Neil Gabler's LA Times op-ed attempting to make the case that modern conservatism doesn't go back to Buckley [whom he ignores completely] and Goldwater, but is the spawn of cynically generated fear-mongering politics that can be traced to the secret god of the Republican Party: Senator Joe McCarthy. There is so much wrong, from a purely historical/factual point of view, with Gabler's take [I can't dignify it with the word thesis , because it isn't] that I'm not going to bother to deconstruct it all. I'll just settle for one sentence: Reagan's sunny disposition and his willingness to compromise masked

Delaware Libertarian exclusive: LNC hired parliamentarian to plan Keaton ejection

Submitted for your perusal... a leaked document indicating that the LNC retained a parliamentarian to assess their chances of tossing Angela Keaton off the LNC. It would be especially interesting if the individuals behind this particular effort used your and my contributions to the Libertarian party to pay for this. The letter is addressed to Bill Redpath. No money for proper ballot access in West Virginia or Oklahoma -- yet thousands of dollars to harrass George Phillies and (apparently) try to eject the most popularly elected member of the LNC. And no, Keaton was not the source of this leak. That person shall remain anonymous -- and good on that person for stepping forward with this information. The content of the file (a PDF) is at the link below. It's a snoozer of parliamentary gobbledygook, filled with some intriguing details regarding Redpath's request to figure out what leeway he has. Parliamentarian's Letter To Bill Redpath Regarding Removal Of Angela Keaton

Because Socialist Paradise Takes Time...

Like any bully dictator, Hugo Chavez isn't much on term limits (at least for himself), much less a stable constitution for his country. What a shock. Who would have ever thought socialism could breed self-perpetuating tyranny by a ruthless megalomaniacal thug? Venezuela's Hugo Chávez again seeks indefinite re-election Associated Press CARACAS -- President Hugo Chávez asked supporters to propose a constitutional reform that would allow him to seek indefinite re-election and govern through 2019, giving him more time to build a socialist economy in Venezuela. ''We are going to begin the national debate,'' the former paratroops commander told a crowd of red-clad government supporters at a rally in Caracas on Sunday. Chávez, who was first elected in 1998, is barred from running again when his term as president expires in 2013. Venezuelan voters l

Obama Does the Neocons Proud

Jeremy Scahill compiles the chorus of neocon and "right wing" praise rolling in for the emerging administration of Barack Obama. I am sure my (self-described) liberal friends will find it all just as comforting as I do. Liberal David Sirota also aptly points out that no one should be surprised, given that "Obama's 'grass-roots' movement revolves around him, not progressive issues." As Sirota writes : " For better or worse, that leaves us relying more than ever on our Dear Leader's impulses. Sure, we should be thankful when Dear Leader's whims serve the people -- but also unsurprised when they don't ." "[T]he new administration is off to a good start ." --Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell . " [S]uperb ... the best of the Washington insiders ...this will be a valedictocracy -- rule by those who graduate first in their high school classes." -- David Brooks , conservative New York Times columnist

Really, I was going to introduce Brian Miller before he started posting here....

... but I have the best excuse in the world: six days of in-laws in my house for Thanksgiving. I met Brian about six or seven months ago, in some communication between Delaware Libertarian and Outright Libertarians, and discussions just took off like they do when you meet somebody you'd swear you knew all your life, except that you just met him yesterday.... Brian is articulate, opinionated, well-informed, and far more of an insider to Libertarian politics than I am. He's been knocking around here commenting and (whenever he considers it necessary) crossing swords with the rest of the house. In short, Brian Miller is exactly the sort of Libertarian misfit I'm proud to have associated (even if the State linkage is pretty much limited to 14 miles of I-95) with Delaware Libertarian. I give him, oh, two maybe three days before he truly pisses off somebody in the readership, which is all too the good.

Thinking Differently About The Libertarian National Committee

Much has been made of the pending railroading of Angela Keaton (and the likely ascent of M Carling and Alicia Mattson into LNC seats they couldn't win through the popular vote process). Much has been made of the dodgy alleged LNC financial statements leaked through other web sites. Yes, this Brigade of Buffoons targeting Keaton (a friend of mine) is a group of morons. Yes, they are incompetent. And yes, they couldn't find an electoral victory if you handcuffed it to their right arms. Which is why I am going to ask each Libertarian to Think Differently (with apologies to Apple) for a moment. In what areas is the LNC truly instrumental? What things would cease to happen if the LNC was to shrivel up and die? (Besides all the negative and time-wasting stuff that's been its hallmark for years now). I asked myself these questions and the answer came back as a stark "nothing." Ballot access is easily achieved through well-funded PACs with the intention of nothi

A Quick Introduction

A friendly hello to all DL readers! I'm Brian Miller, a Libertarian just up the road in Philadelphia, and I've joined to blog infrequently about issues in our region and general Libertarian stuff. While I don't live in Delaware, I am a frequent customer and traveler through the state -- enjoying its Libertarian benefits like tax-free shopping, and the friendliness of its people. I've long felt comfortable there and Delaware has always been a part of my political and personal life. I hope to enjoy a vigorous dialogue here on DL and take home some great ideas to put into practice here in the City of Brotherly Love.

The News Journal finds its Libertarian groove...

Let's see, in today's edition they published Patricia Cavender's op-ed on privatizing or outsourcing DelDot: We could probably deal with a neighboring state or a private firm for less than we're paying for a poor excuse for engineering. That, of course, quails in contention with some actual investigative reporting that reveals the Delaware State Police are using their discretionary authority to break Federal law and abuse privacy rights with so-called Superchecks on gun-onwers. That's unusual in and of itself, but what about this editorial from our usual uber-Statist friends? The report on today's front page by investigative reporter Lee Williams about the Delaware State Police's use of so-called "superchecks" on gun possession is at least disturbing and possibly a violation of federal law. This is not the kind of information Delawareans want to read about their nationally recognized state law enforcement agency. Simply because the state

I love selective outrage....

... like the current donviti post at Delawareliberal that has discovered that retired General Barry McCaffrey has turned into a defense industry lobbyist. Quoth the outraged dv: Oh look a 4 star general pimp’d himself out. Why am I not surprised…but don’t read the article, it’s from the MSM and they hate america…. If dv bothered to read beyond the MSM story du jour , he'd have discovered: 1) McCaffrey has been laboring under a cloud since he was nearly cashiered for misconduct in the First Gulf War. 2) He then went on to be Clinton's drug czar, and get into another scandal by playing games with network advertising. More to the point, if dv had been paying any attention whatsoever during the Presidential campaign, he'd have noticed that Barack Obama literally surrounded himself with former admirals and generals turned into defense industry lobbyists. He even cut a video of their endorsements. I published it all here , but what the hell, it's not important wh

UPDATED: Gun control: another comforting illusion of security

Playing the usual card of citing a crime (the two people killed at Toys R Us), nemski at Delawareliberal has a predictable post supporting new gun control measures, except.... That several of his proposals are not new--they are already the law, and that research shows at least one of his proposals would actually increase crime . Among his old proposals: holding adults culpable for furnishing guns used in crimes, for furnishing guns to minors, and enforcing existing laws (duh!). Among a recurrent useless proposal: a permanent assault weapons ban , which is the same thing as saying we should stop selling all eight-cylinder cars with tail fins, while continuing to sell all others. There is no such animal as a semi-automatic assault weapon, and real assault rifles are already illegal. Then there's the extension of the "cooling off" period--which has absolutely no research backing its effectiveness in states where it has been implemented (yes, nemski, it does exist i

Just another thing to blame Angela Keaton for: their own attorney disses the LNC

Everybody in Libertarian circles has been taking notice of the announcement in the Libertarian National Committee agenda for the upcoming San Diego meeting that the LNC intends to take 30 minutes for the discipline of Angela Keaton . For those who don't remember (or never gave a rat's butt), Angela got in hot water for supposedly live-blogging about hush-hush discussions in an LNC Executive Session, and (oh yes!) for giving web-based expression to a few passing, whimsical--perhaps even satirical--sexual fantasies about the hired help. This brings to mind two responses too rational for the libido-challenged, freedom-loving Bob Barr supporters of the LNC: 1) Nobody--not the Republicans, the Democrats, the Greens, the Socialists, or even Robert Milnes--really gives a damn about your secrets. 2) It's a lot more harmless fun reading Angela's musings about cougar conquests than it is thinking about what licensed parliamentarian M Carling and the Libertarian National Con

There will not be a second American Civil War....

... no matter how some of our more reactionary friends would like to fantasize about it. From (faux)Libertarian Republican : But 56 million Americans voted against Obammunism and that’s who is retreating from the markets and stocking up on guns and ammo in record numbers. They are preparing to protect their earned property, by force if need be. No, they're not. They're purchasing ammunition because we're sure to see an increase in the taxes on ammo. Why they buy it, they're planning to stockpile it for use in hunting, target shooting, and personal defense... exactly as they always have . They're purchasing handguns and rifles because they're afraid of increased Federal regulations that will make it more difficulty if not impossible to acquire them. When they buy them, they're going to use them in hunting, target shooting, and personal defense... exactly as they always have . Yes, the advocates of extremist gun control are closer to the halls of pow

Might I suggest shovel and brown uniforms?

What does it take to make us all realize what it means to be an American? Apparently, three months of compulsory service for all citizens 18-25. There's a problem with the embed code that I can't debug, so visit EyeblastTV for the clip of Rahm Emmanuel discussing exactly how this wonderful piece of state-sponsored mandatory volunteerism is supposed to work I can't wait to hear my liberal/progressive friends defend this proposal.

What kind of blog do you want to be when (if) you grow up?

Last week my friend Waldo discovered the Typealyzer , which does a quick, automated survey of any given blog, and then characterizes the writing style found therein. Both Waldo and I came out as Thinkers , which is probably appropriate when applied to him, and wishful thinking for me. This is what it says about Thinkers: The logical and analytical type. They are especially attuned to difficult creative The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time. and intellectual challenges and always look for something more complex to dig into. They are great at finding subtle connections between things and imagine far-reaching implications. They enjoy working with complex things using a lot of concepts and imaginative models of reality. Since they are not very go

This woman is not a criminal, she's a victim...

... of the bizarre legal system in this country that brands Wendy Whitaker of Macon GA as a Registered Sex Offender for the rest of her life... ... because when she was seventeen years old she got caught giving a blow job to a sixteen-year-old boy. Read the entire bizarre story of how the government keeps raping Wendy Whitaker at Classically Liberal , and ask yourself, "Should I be able to find this poor woman's photo and detailed information on the Federal Department of inJustice website?" [Try it--it's easy. User friendly, you might say.] I went to several of these Protect Your Children type websites that (for a modest fee) will tell you about sex offenders in your neighborhood. According to them, if I send in $12, I will get a list of the 35 registered sex offenders living in my zip code, right here in good old Pike Creek DE. You have to wonder how many of them committed the egregious sin of a little groping, fondling, fingering, or fellating in the bac

Simply the best post I've read related to gay marriage, since ...

... I don't know, maybe ever. From religion dispatches via Waldo , here's the core of it: I no longer recognize marriage. It’s a new thing I’m trying. Yesterday I called a woman’s spouse her boyfriend. She says, correcting me, “He’s my husband,” “Oh,” I say, “I no longer recognize marriage.” The impact is obvious. I tried it on a man who has been in a relationship for years, “How’s your longtime companion, Jill?” “She’s my wife!” “Yeah, well, my beliefs don’t recognize marriage.” Fun. And instant, eyebrow-raising recognition. Suddenly the majority gets to feel what the minority feels. In a moment they feel what it’s like to have their relationship downgraded, and to have a much taken-for-granted right called into question because of another’s beliefs. Just replace the words husband, wife, spouse, or fiancé with boyfriend, girlfriend, special friend, or longtime companion. There is a reason we needed stronger words for more serious relationships. We know it; now they


With sincere apologies to Brian Shields , the thing I like best about Thanksgiving is the way my house smells all day. (I am allowed to use more spices, Brian, although I have to stay away from the ones that set off hyper-allergic reactions in my son.) This is an interesting season, because so many Americans have been sold on the idea that we are standing on the brink of a catastrophe. I can get on the net and see lists of stores I should not buy gift certificates from, because they probably won't be in business next year to redeem them. I can watch the unemployment statistics rise, see Czar Paulson running around like a turkey with his head chopped off (and his neck stuffed up his ass with the giblets package), tossing out hundreds of billions of dollars to everybody except the taxpayers who generated it. I can read kavips , who has decided that this is the last Thanksgiving before ... the Blackness. I can open up the Snooze Journal, as I have for the past few days, to find

Health care and personal responsibility: a few semi-random considerations

I want to highlight two comments by Pandora in our ongoing discussion about health care. The first comes from her own post at Delawareliberal about health insurance [please read the entire post to insure this is not out of context]: After “Am I going to die?”, and sometimes even before, “Is this procedure covered?” has to be one of the most asked question of Doctors. And, frankly, I resent it. I resent the fact that Insurance companies have forced their way into my Doctor/Patient relationship. I resent that they have the ultimate veto power over my health. But, most importantly, I resent that I even have to think about Healthcare insurance. [Truth in advertising: the major point Pandora is making is that insurance companies deny claims to boost the bottom line. I am not challenging that. I have a different focus at the moment.] Then, in response to my original post about health care that advocated making people responsible for their own routine care, which would allow mar

Media Coverage & Reports on the 'UFO Phenomenon' : On the Rise?

Has anyone else noticed an increasing amount of 'mainstream' stories and shows on UFO's and the possibility of intelligent extraterrestrial life visiting Terra Firma? I have recently seen stories of varying length and detail on all major cable news networks on this subject. They are noticeably absent the typical past treatment, which was more akin to how they might report on something out of the National Enquirer (e.g. with plenty of mock). Larry King has done at least 3 shows in the last year. It is notable that these shows were heavy on credible scientific or military guests sharing their knowledge or first-hand accounts. The shows were not-so-heavy on the perpetually-dismissive professional skeptics (the so-called 'debunkers', if you will) , who in years past got away with hyperbole and ad hominen attacks on anyone daring come forward. Here is a report this week from CNN's Miles O'Brien, focused around former Air Force fighter jet pilot Milton T

In the "No shit, Sherlock" category....

... comes this little gem out of Czar Paulson [via MSNBC ]: The government, while looking to reduce fear in the credit markets, is eager to see lenders like credit card companies resume more normal levels of lending to help stimulate the economy. Since September, when credit markets first froze, financial institutions have been hesitant to hand over money for fear they won't be repaid . George Santayana once defined a fanatic as "someone who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim." This entire mess is a gigantic credit bubble. So instead of facing the fact that bubbles have to deflate , we're just going to keep pumping gas into it, while government rescue teams crawl up the sides looking for six-foot-wide holes and carrying two-foot-wide patches? To channel George Carlin [what I think he would have said]: "So now the government is going to pay banks to lend money to people who already can't make the payments on the money they already borrow

The drug war has so warped our thinking, that even scientists are saying really stupid things...

... perhaps out of fear they will lose their Federal funding. As reported in Science Daily , new studies show that THC--the active ingredient in marijuana--may actually play an important roll in stopping the development of Alzheimer's. But instead of suggesting that pot be used in moderation, researchers think we should take years to develop a legal alternative that can deliver the same result without anyone getting high . Because, I guess, the euphoric effects of natural THC in marijuana are worse than slowly having your mind disintegrate to the point where you can no longer recognize your loved ones or take care of your own bodily functions? Here are my two favorite snippets: Ohio State University scientists are finding that specific elements of marijuana can be good for the aging brain by reducing inflammation there and possibly even stimulating the formation of new brain cells. Their research suggests that the development of a legal drug that contains certain properties

So will all options be "on the table" with Brazil and Venezuela, just like North Korea and Iran?

Tricky thing that national self-determination. Countries and their leaders keep doing what they think is in their best interests, no matter what the industrialized west thinks. From Jason Poblete : While it barely generates the media attention that Iran or North Koreahas during the past few years, there are leaders in Latin America, South America to be exact, who have hinted that nuclear weaponization programs are a “right” of developing countries. Despite public acts to the country such as signing on to key non-proliferation treaties or agreements, as well as making the perfunctory diplomatic statements on non-proliferation, it is not clear that Brazil and Venezuela have completely abandoned nuclear weapons research. In some cases, it is quite the opposite. In an article published in the most recent edition of the U.S. Army War College publication, Parameters, Nader Elhefnawy writes about The Next Wave of Nuclear Proliferation. While I do not agree with all of his conclusio

The danger of demonizing your enemies...

... is that you become them. Here's a snippet from Gold Plated Witch on Wheels that caught me short awhile back [entitled Wisdom from Children ]: At the dinner table one night, she [her daughter] looked at me and asked, "Is it true that Obama kills babies?" I almost spit out my peas. My husband raised an eyebrow at me and I had to explain myself. A few weeks back, my 10-year-old son asked me why we weren't voting for the "brown man." I'm sure, just like nk's daughter, my son had been told what a "historic" occasion it was that we could vote for a "brown man," leaving off, of course, that it was also historic because we could elect a woman as vice president. I stopped and thought about how to explain why I thought Barack Obama would be bad for our country. Tax policies are probably a little over the head of a boy who still dreams of flying. And I didn't think he'd be impressed with my judicial philosophy. So, I told hi

Let's Start Thinking about Healthcare...

... but let's not make the mistake of starting where we are . By that I mean, let's not allow our idea of what healthcare should be to be defined with where we are now--either good or bad--as the foundation for where we think we should go . [Warning: this is not a complete, exhaustive post, but the beginning of several. Pandora, I don't have the time right now to try this in big bites.] Stop and think for a minute about the distinctive kinds of healthcare that we have to deal with. As far as the larger society itself, there is public health , used here in the sense to cover general population preventative measures: inoculations against major communicable diseases, assurances about food and drinking water [yes, they actually fall under public health despite the fact that there are separate agencies]; that kind of thing.... In terms of individual healthcare , we can look at multiple categories: Routine : physicals, well-baby check-ups Acute : non-emergency medica

Sunday Silliness

Fun With Easily Mispronounced URL's : (all comments come from the site) - "...we exist to make sure you get the exact pen you want, a pen that is as unique as you are." - the Italian power company, of course. - Now changed to - trying to find a gift for that special "someone"? Whoreprents is "a quick reference guide to & for representatives".... - t his used to be an alternate URL for - they sell mp3's...hits. - Lumberman's Exchange, Now defunct - F.A. Gray - Paint & Wallpaper - Morrison & Foerster legal firm. - t his ones obviously intentional from viewing the site. - Truckers Express: A specialized Heavy Ha