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Showing posts from June, 2008

The Kn@ppster hits a nerve: Apparently fervent Barr supporters have NO sense of humor

Several Bob Barr supporters are giving Tom Knapp a work-out over at The Kn@ppster , not just because he dropped his endorsement of the Barr/Root ticket, but because he posted this image: And, of course, we wouldn't want to forget the boiler plate legalese: The image of Bob Barr above is used pursuant to the Creative Commons License under which it was released by author Stephen P. Gordon on behalf of the Bob Barr Presidential Campaign. The other images (of, from left to right, Strom Thurmond, George Wallace and Lester Maddox) are in the public domain . Doing a sort of six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon thing, it is Richard Viguerie who links Barr to George Wallace, with his 1976 attempt to take over the American Independent Party , which had been created originally as a vehicle for the segregationist Governor of Alabama. Wallace and Maddox, of course, were fellow massive resistance governors following Brown v Board of Education of Topeka KS , and spiritual descendants of Senator Strom Thu

Tyler Nixon up and running!

I have been good. Really, Tyler, I have. I have resisted the urge to talk about your candidacy here for--well, let's just say a long time. Now that various other Delaware bloggers have officially broken the story, I can send people here . Delaware Libertarian is proud not only to be associated with Tyler, but to endorse his candidacy without reservation (a much longer post to that effect coming soon). I keep wanting to say other things, and keep remembering that I can't ... yet. So, truth in advertising (as if it's not obvious): I'm not only endorsing Tyler, I'm helping out with his campaign, if only in smallish ways around the edges. Damn, it feels good to be able to talk about this (at least the small amount we can talk about ... yet).

That's it--I'm done (with Bob Barr)

While I will make no apologies about arguing in favor of a strategy that pushed forward the Libertarian Party candidate to disrupt the outcome of the general election, I have never made a secret about my own disdain for Bob Barr's past (and even present). Despite the arguments of Waldo, Knappster, and others, I held course, because in general Barr was running what appeared to be a pragmatic Libertarian campaign. OK, so shitcats don't change their stripes; and here is how Bob Barr is now spinning the Defense of Marriage Act : [W]hat makes me a Libertarian is the fact that I deeply and truly believe in the Libertarian platform and what resonates with most Americans, and that is to shrink the size of the federal government. Let’s take just one example there, the Defense of Marriage Act. The Defense of Marriage Act simply stands for the proposition that each state can set its own definition of marriage and can’t be forced to adopt a different definition of marriage forced on it by

Wes "I promise I won't start WW3, honest" Clark attacks John McCain's military record?

It looks like the first of the big-time Hillary surrogates, retired General Wesley Clark , has packed his rucksack and headed over to Firebase Barack: Gen. Wesley Clark, acting as a surrogate for Barack Obama’s campaign, invoked John McCain’s military service against him in one of the more personal attacks on the Republican presidential nominee this election cycle. Clark said that McCain lacked the executive experience necessary to be president, calling him “untested and untried” on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” And in saying so, he took a few swipes at McCain’s military service. “He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee. And he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn't held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded — that wasn't a wartime squadron,” Clark said. “I don’t think getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president.” Aside from the fact that the last comment is one of the sleazi

North Carolina ballot access and party registration = Demopublican facism

I'm sure that Ryan McTeague Beckwith of the Raleigh News and Observer thought this was funny: The number of registered Libertarians has more than doubled. But don't get too excited — it's only gone from 5 to 11. As recently as Monday, the State Board of Elections reported only a handful of people registered to the political party, which was only re-recognized in late May. Deputy elections director Johnnie Mclean said that the state board only recently got the forms together to allow people to re-register, so it will take a while before the party bounces back. No word yet on whether Mike Munger is one of the 11. And I'm positive that Dr Michael Munger, the Libertarian candidate for North Carolina governor is pissed : 1. Even though we spent $200,000, plus all those volunteer hours, the state does not yet have the forms to register. I just downloaded the forms the Wake County BoE, and even their ELECTRONIC forms are not yet changed. How long does it take to upload a

Does Allan Head know the truth when it bites him? North Carolina Bar Association spokesman admits Michael Munger exclusion was intentional

Two weeks ago I posted an update on the North Carolina Bar Association's decision to exclude Dr Michael Munger, the ballot-qualified Libertarian Party candidate for Governor, from their June 21 debate. This included the response made by NCBA Executive Director Allan Head to an inquiry by NC attorney, Lenoir City Council Member, and Libertarian T. J. Rohr regarding the NCBA's decision not to invite Dr. Munger: Mr. Head : With regard to the annual meeting, 10 months ago we invited all announced candidates, Those coming accepted our invitation. I believe Dr Munger did not qualify until May 22nd. By that time we had confirmed the other candidates and firmed up times for our convention Saturday morning that is full of award recognitions, elections, a Judicial candidate’s forum, as well as gubernatorial and senatorial forums. We could not add another award or candidate if we wanted to. So, I hope that speaks to your concerns about the forum. We did not decide “…..not to include hi

June 28, 1963 - JFK Remarks to Irish Parliament

On the 45th anniversary of President Kennedy's historic visit to Ireland, I thought I would share a clip from his speech to the Irish Parliament. It was less than 5 months before Kennedy was assassinated and there were many indications he was going to be doing some major house cleaning in the intelligence agencies and with the military, leading into a second term. Of course, we'll never know. Kennedy's rhetoric that summer, up to his death, took on greater dimension in his advocacy of peace and freedom while promoting a cautious path to disarmament and de-escalation. Considering the state of the world in 1963, statements like this speak volumes about the character of Kennedy's leadership : " Indeed, across the gulfs and barriers that now divide us, we must remember that there are no permanent enemies. Hostility today is a fact, but it is not a ruling law. The supreme reality of our time is our indivisibility as children of God and the common vulnerability of this

I know it's not the Daily Kos or anything....

.... but I just figured out that way back on May 21, 2008, quoted me in an article concerning the Libertarian presidential nomination and the controversy over Dr Mary Ruwart's positions on age-of-consent. The ever-so-slightly-out-of-context quotation probably won't win me any friends among the radicals in my own party: Ruwart's is a classic libertarian take — a defense of free will (even for "child performers") and an attack on government prohibitions of any kind. It's also political poison. As libertarian blogger Steve Newton put it, Ruwart and her allies run the risk of turning the party into "the poster child for NAMBLA and the aluminum hat brigade." The complete post, Dr. Mary Ruwart explains why she should not be the Libertarian Presidential Candidate , was more measured than the ten words that Time chose to excerpt, but it was a good line, and I stand by the original post. The only problem I have is this: if they quote you on a big

Tom Knapp: Libertarian for Congress, Missouri's 2nd District

The main thing I like about Tom Knapp is that he is honest enough to follow logic where it goes, and he's willing to change his mind when the facts call for it. Tom initially argued that Libertarians should rally around Barr/Root because they represented the party's legal selection and should have the chance to prove themselves by running a real Libertarian campaign. He gave them three strikes and then withdrew his endorsement . I don't agree with him, but I respect the hell out of him for, first, taking and unpopular position, and--second--when the facts proved his position wrong (by standards he had set himself), he didn't waffle. He said, "I was wrong." As a Libertarian candidate for Congress, Tom is not mincing words, either. Here he is on immigration : "Know-Nothingism" is a perennial trend in American politics. It's a convenient tool for drumming up baseless fears and turning those fears into money and votes. Unfortunately, even a few Lib

Delaware's Disgraceful Democratic Governor Does Dirtiest Deed

Like clockwork, the public interest black hole known as Ruth Ann Minner, in service to her manipulative backroom cronies, has vetoed landmark legislation protecting property rights. I suspected all along that she would pull this move. The fact that she did it on the last possible day, a Saturday no less, says it all about how anti-citizen, monied interests and their political whores will use any manipulation possible to thwart overwhelming public sentiment. SB 245 passed unanimously in the House and with only one nay vote in the Senate (Democrat leader and union bootlick Tony Deluca). I sincerely hope the legislators over-ride her veto on Monday. January can't come fast enough for Delaware. We will be rid of our own version of the Bush administration, with its insidious autocratic power operators and its moronic puppet of a front woman. I pray people wake up and realize what the Democrats are doing to this state. God help us this state elects Minner understudy / 3rd-rate politica

Jason Gatties proves that he is a class act

Jason Gatties, Libertarian candidate for the Lake Michigan College Board of Trustees, has asked that this weekend, in lieu of donations to his campaign, people please send their money to cyclone victims in Myanmar (or, for old farts like me, Burma). [h/t to Last Free Voice ] Funny, I can't imagine Barack Obama, John McCain, Bob Barr, Ralph Nader, or Ron Paul doing the same thing. Oh, wait, I don't have to imagine it: they didn't do it, or anything remotely like it . Unfortunately, some Libertarians could not resist using Jason's principled call to indulge in their own partisan fund-raising activities. So Jason, I'm going to both listen to you and ignore you. I promise you I'll send at least fifty bucks to the relief campaign, but I'm still sending you the ten bucks I promised . We're Americans. We can do more than one right thing at a time. Think about what might have happened if all the presidential candidates had gotten together and announced that

Libertarians, Conservatives, and States' Rights: Distinction and Difference

I have been reading lots and lots of candidate web pages lately, and I am struck by how many times Libertarians and so-called "Ron Paul" Republicans take refuge in a States' Rights doctrine with respect to issues like gay marriage or abortion. Here's one fairly representative example from the site of Chris Dyer , GOP candidate in Nevada's First Congressional District: I believe that all human life is sacred. I believe matters regarding abortion, homicide, the death penalty and euthanasia should be handled by the voters of the states, not the federal government. Let's add in a Libertarian for balance, Michael Benoit in California's 52nd Congressional District : I can not find in the Constitution where the federal government has any authority in this area, and therefore conclude that it should be left to the states. Please note: this is not a post about abortion. Truth in advertising: I unequivocally support abortion rights for women. I know that other

Props to Dana Garrett for calling out Senator Obama on FISA

Love him or hate him, over at Delaware Watch Dana Garrett shows integrity by calling out Senator Barack Obama in no uncertain terms regarding his wilt on the FISA bill. That fact that Obama has disappointed Dana on this issue will not change his support for the presumptive Democratic nominee, but I wouldn't expect a single issue to do so. I've tried to set a similar standard here: say the good and the bad about the candidates when it's merited, so I appreciate him doing the same. Here's my whimsical challenge for you, Dana. You've done several posts critical of John McCain's personal life (the infamous c**t episode, etc.). I agree that there's plenty there to criticize . But how about reading about McCain's adoptive daughter Bridget , and letting us know what you think about that aspect of his life? I certainly wouldn't expect it to change your position on his politics, but I also don't think it hurts to take a break from the partisanship

Benoit, Druck, Casey: Three Libertarians for Congress

In my recent posts about Freedom Slate '08 I explained why I would not be donating to the multiple-candidate fund-raiser. However, there are four Libertarians who stand to benefit from that operation, and it is important you know about them. I've already endorsed and written extensively about LP Georgia Senatorial candidate Allen Buckley , so today is reserved for Michael Benoit, David Casey, and Dan Druck. Michael Benoit is a dedicated Constitutionalist (not to be confused with Constitution Party member) running for Representative in California's 52nd District. His issue statements are brief, but to the point (although they are usually more explicit about what he opposes rather than what he supports). Here's a brief, 2-minute taste of Michael: He comes across indeed as a solid, Ron Paul-type Libertarian, with all the good and bad points that image suggests. He'll need the RP support running against GOP powerhouse Duncan Hunter . Here's why I want to like Da

The New Economy...... feedName = topNews Wha - wha -wha-what? Well, if you are lucky you too can be the slave of wealthy foreign born millionaires . Hopefully your new masters will treat you with kindness after your 401K goes belly up.

How Many Americans Actually Work?

When we ask the question on the surface it seems simple enough. Americans work. We like to work. We take satisfaction from our work. Right? Yes, by and large we do. But if you Google how many Americans are working in full time jobs you find that the numbers are not what we would expect. It was at this point that I cracked open Dr. Henry Liu, one of the economists I had a chance to study with and unlike the Friedman flat earth folks offered a sobering and starling statistics from the 2007 Department of Labor and BOE statistics: Socialize Risk to Deliver Privatized Profit Like their flawed attitude toward risk, the authorities in charge of regulating financial markets and the economy apparently think that inflation-fighting structural unemployment spread over the whole economic system is not damaging to the economy as long as the resultant profit is privatized and concentrated on a preferred selection of financial institutions, even if the privatized profit is achieved by externalizing t

Breaking: the Protack/IPOD story garners national (blog) attention

Hey, I can't let Delawareliberal with all its new connections think it is the only piece of Delaware politics hitting the national scene. Both Ballot Access News and Third Party Watch are now covering the squabble over Mike Protack's nomination by the Independent Party of Delaware. Floyd McDowell is specifically cited, and being a nice guy I threw Liz Allen's name into the mix (you can thank me later, Liz).

...shall not be infringed.

As a Political Theory/American Government major at Georgetown University I took numerous courses from my mentor, Professor George Carey. Carey is a brilliant mind and one of a few if not the only conservative-leaning professors at the University. Freshman year (fall '89) I somehow lucked into being randomly assigned to his American Government intro course. Carey is no ideologue but a conservative in the intellectual, libertarian, constitutionalist, and federalist senses. I owe him more than any other teacher I have ever known. He is one of the foremost authorities on the Federalist Papers and wrote a companion book called The Federalist: Design for a Constitutional Republic. Anyway, in Fall '94 I was in Carey's colloquium Theories of Judicial Interpretation. One day he announced that an upcoming meeting would be in a different room with a surprise special guest. He had said it over several classes but I had forgotten about the special guest when the day arrived. In wa

Political Economy in Laymen's Terms

I got this in the mail today and through you might enjoy it. I thought it was funny. Political Economic Models Explained with Cows - 2008 Update SOCIALISM- You have 2 cows.You give one to your neighbour. COMMUNISM- You have 2 cows.The State takes both and gives you some milk. FASCISM- You have 2 cows.The State takes both and sells you some milk. NAZISM- You have 2 cows.The State takes both and shoots you. BUREAUCRATISM- You have 2 cows.The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk away... TRADITIONAL CAPITALISM- You have two cows.You sell one and buy a bull.Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.You sell them and retire on the income. SURREALISM- You have two giraffes.The government requires you to take harmonica lessons AN AMERICAN CORPORATION- You have two cows.You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.Later, you hire a consultant to analyse why the cow has dropped dead. ENRON VENTURE CAPITALISM- You have two cows.You sell t

Update: Freedom Slate '08 collects money for the opponents of EIGHT Libertarian candidates

It was wrong when Bob Barr, as a sitting member of the Libertarian National Committee, headed a PAC that donated thousands of dollars to Republican candidates who had active Libertarian opponents . And if you unknowingly donate to Freedom Slate '08 , you will be doing the same thing. Eight of the Republican candidates who will receive money from donations to Freedom Slate '08 have ballot-qualified Libertarian opponents. Here are the Libertarians you will be sending money to the GOP to oppose: Lorenzo Gaztanaga, 2nd Congressional District, Maryland Thibeaux Lincecum, 4th Congressional District, Maryland Darlene Nicholas, 5th Congressional District, Maryland Ronald Owens-Bey, 7th Congressional District, Maryland Jim Duensing, 1st Congressional District, Nevada Sean Patrick Moore, 2nd Congressional District, Nevada Joseph P. Silvestri, 3rd Congressional District, Nevada Edward Choate, 3rd Congressional District, Tennessee [These names compiled from the list of ballot-qualified ca

Always do your own research: Why I won't be donating to Freedom Slate '08

I've been surprised at the number of Libertarian blogs (including some I hadn't read before) who picked up my post Forty Bucks for four Libertarians on July 4? [I'd particularly like to thank ElNinosMom at Last Free Voice and G.E. at Independent Political Report ; by the way, GE, think you could get Austin to fix the login procedure so I could actually comment over there?). What interested me the most however was this exchange in the comments a LFV. disinter wrote that instead of following my $10 for each of four candidates strategy you could donate here: To which Art Torrey responded, Took a quick look - and I could be wrong, however NONE of those names looked like any that I recognized from past LP involvement - and most of the organizations mentioned were recognizeable RP groups…. Nothing “wrong” with that per se, but my impression of a lot of RP folks is that they tend to be heavily on the social conservative side, and often times much

Georgia Senatorial Candidate Allen Buckley takes aim at Saxby Chambliss

Libertarian Allen Buckley has issued three new press releases, taking the fight directly to goofball (and Bob Barr funding beneficiary) Saxby Chambliss. This is excellent strategy, as multiple, weak Democrats are still fighting among themselves over the nomination, and--in a mark of rare journalist fairness--the Atlanta Journal-Constitution always accords Buckley equality with Chambliss in stories about the Democratic fracas (particular kudos to staff writer Jim Tharpe): The five Democrats face each other in the July 15 primary for the right to run against Chambliss and Libertarian Allen Buckley in November. So Buckley is the only person out there right now free to focus on the abominable Chambliss record--and he's doing it. Two of his press releases focus on a Libertarian strategy for supporting a conversion from fossil fuels to hydrogen fuels and on the Chambliss failure to even comprehend the problem (he comes out and calls Saxby's position crazy ). The third release dea

An explanation for "Libertarian" Republicans: the success of the Surge in Iraq has nothing to do with victory

Eric Dondero's Libertarian (huh?) Republican is making a great deal these days out of belated MSM reports that the Surge in Iraq has reduced daily violence and apparently increased social stability. Here are Eric's concluding sentiments: Liberals are falling all over themselves nowadays to admit they were wrong on the Surge. So much so, in fact, that as Brooks points out, they've taken to the line of it's time to bring the boys home due to that success. The only hold outs these days seem to be the Anti-War Libertarians who still to this day stubbornly refuse to acknowledge Bush's success in Iraq: Ron Paulists,, Anthony Gregory, Justin Raimondo, Eric Garris, Thomas L. Knapp, Doug Bandow, Dave Boaz, the Cato Institute foreign policy team, Reason Magazine, and many others on the leftside of the libertarian movement. They just can't bring themselves to admit they were wrong. I'd guess that I qualify in Dondero's book as a Left Libertarian ,

Forty bucks for four Libertarians on July 4?

Here's what I would like to propose to my fellow Libertarians, especially those who are skeptical/hostile toward the top of the Libertarian ticket this year. I'm cheap, and we've got a household of six people and two cats to consider, so large political contributions are out of the question. On the other hand, even I can pry loose a measly forty bucks on Independence Day (or the day before; see below). And here's what I plan to do with it: Send $10 to Dr. Michael Munger to support his campaign for Governor of North Carolina (but I'm sending it to him on July 3, because that's the date of his money grenade--see the left side of the blog). Send $10 to Allen Buckley to support his campaign for Senator in Georgia (hoping to offset the Barr PAC's $3,000+ donations to Saxby Chambliess). Send $10 to Scotty Boman to support his campaign for Senator in Michigan (if he gets $500 from this, maybe he can go to court to add a "W" to his name, which would be

Battle of Carabobo

Today is the commemoration of the Battle of Carabobo on June 24, 1821 when Simon Bolivar broke the back of the Spanish empire in the Americas with the help of his British and Irish Regiments against the forces of the Spanish General field Marshall Miguel De Torre. It was one of the single most decisive victories of the entire Napoleonic era and led to the removal of royalist Spanish forces from Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Paraguay while San Martin liberated Argentina and Chile, Uruguay! A land mass as large as 3/4 of all of North America was effectively set free between 1810 through 1842! Just as our Declaration of Independence set in motion the freedom of the Americas from English colonial power, the Battle of Carabobo effectively helped end Spanish colonial domination by European powers of the western Hemisphere! Following his victory, and with the establishment of a congress for Gran Colombia here was Simon Bolivar's statement: Sir: The oath I have just

Senator Quayle, I knew George Carlin, and he was no Tim Russert (thank God)

Perhaps I am in the unappreciative minority, but I seriously consider the loss of George Carlin to be a more important passing than the death of Tim Russert (see Waldo , I was listening [reading?]). Russert contributed to the incessant 24/7 political news cycle that has become more and more depressingly shallow as it becomes wider and wider. George Carlin--to an extent that modern comedians from Jay Leno to Steve Colbert have failed to advance--taught us all to have more of a sense of humor about our sacred cows. George Carlin (in a way that no one of his contemporaries except possibly the early Richard Pryor or the Firesign Theater) taught us that ridicule of our morals, our religion, our enemies, and our most sacred beliefs is not only a good thing (and funny) , but is also a necessary component of a functioning democracy . Here's what George taught me: I have a friend (in this case not Waldo) who drops by here from time to time, who is a professional colleague. Several years

Greens grapple with the same issue of building a real political party

At Z-Net (via Third Party Watch ), Dr. Kim Scipes, a sociologist at Perdue University North Central and Green Party member, discusses the same transformation for that party as I have been discussing here: how to turn an issue-oriented movement into a real political party. Intriguuing--ideological differences aside--Scipes makes many of the same points that I've been making about the Libertarian Party, especially that such a party has to be built by running credible candidates for major Federal offices at the State level : Yet I'd suggest there is a way forward. First of all, a snowball has a better chance in hell than a Green president has in being chosen this year. And even if a miracle happened—and it truly would take a miracle—we couldn't back her/him up in Congress to get anything done. And the American people know this—as do, I suggest, most Green Party members. However, I think where there is the best chance to win—and there are many factors—would be in Congress

Just thought you'd like to know. . . .

. . . that one of the countries on the UN's list of the ten least stable nations in the world is a nuclear power. The list (with the worst at number one): 1. Somalia 2. Sudan 3. Zimbabwe 4. Chad 5. Iraq 6. Democratic Republic of Congo 7. Afghanistan 8. Ivory Coast 9. Pakistan (the one with the bomb, if you didn't know) 10. Central African Republic The other grim irony on this list is that the only three countries on this list outside of Africa have one thing in common: US military and/or political intervention since 2001 . Funny, that.