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Showing posts from September, 2012

My cold, calculating Libertarian mind

Matt Ridley from WSJ on a study of how Libertarians differ cognitively and psychologically from Liberals and Conservatives: The study collated the results of 16 personality surveys and experiments completed by nearly 12,000 self-identified libertarians who visited The researchers compared the libertarians to tens of thousands of self-identified liberals and conservatives. It was hardly surprising that the team found that libertarians strongly value liberty, especially the "negative liberty" of freedom from interference by others. Given the philosophy of their heroes, from John Locke and John Stuart Mill to Ayn Rand and Ron Paul, it also comes as no surprise that libertarians are also individualistic, stressing the right and the need for people to stand on their own two feet, rather than the duty of others, or government, to care for people.   Perhaps more intriguingly, when libertarians reacted to moral dilemmas and in other tests, they displayed less emot

In praise (believe it or not) of Frank Knotts

Some days I think Frank is hidebound crazy, but today he is brilliant. Two snippets. Number one:  I also realize that this nation was founded by Christians and so it is clear that their faith led them and guided them and sustained them in their struggles for Liberty. However, this nation was not founded, “FOR”, Christians. It was founded for all men, of all faiths, and for all freedom loving people to live free or die.     This is why as a Christian, and a conservative I am concerned with candidates and officials who seem to feel the need to tie the two together in a way that would exclude other faiths from being conservative, or at least to infer that though they may be conservatives, people of other faiths cannot possibly be as good a conservative as a Christian conservative. Number two: Let’s look at the statement of Mr. Bodenweiser, where he says he want to get the Bible back into our schools. What exactly does that mean and how exactly do we do that? We must first acce

If elected, Romney will fake a review of interrogations in order to return to torture

Ironically, I had just read this line in jason330's perceptive post* about why there are many conservative Republicans who don't like Romney: That’s why they don’t like Rommey. He doesn’t appear wild-eyed and unsteady enough. His craziness, like his empathy, comes off as insincere.  . . . when I next read this post about how Romney is being advised to have a sham review of interrogation methods, if elected, so he will look like he agonized over the decision to start torturing people again: Mitt Romney's national security advisers have quietly urged him to reverse  President Barack Obama's 2009 executive order  that outlawed the use of interrogation techniques that amounted to torture, according to a 2011 policy memo  obtained by Charlie Savage of theNew York Times .   The memo , which contains a number of factual errors and misleading statements, lays out two courses for a President Romney: Either immediately promise to rescind Obama's executive order upon t

This is what President Obama has done to American civil liberties

The ACLU provides these two graphs to show how it has been President Obama NOT former President Bush* who has turned the violation of American privacy with warrantless surveillance into a daily reality for all of us. Please note in both graphs where the uptick starts: *This is NOT an attempt to let Dubya off the hook.  He provided the initial "justifications" for shredding the Constitution.  But Obama has outdone him by multiple degrees of magnitude that should have warmed the artificial heart of Dick Cheney.

Connor Friersdorff at The Atlantic: don't vote for Obama, vote for Gary Johnson

This is the most compelling case that Barack Obama--regardless of whether or not you think Mitt Romney would be any better or any worse--does not deserve your vote. I hesitate to provide even a snippet because I really, really, REALLY think you need to read the whole thing, but here: If you're a Democrat who has affirmed that you'd never vote for an opponent of gay equality, or a torturer, or someone caught using racial slurs, how can you vote for the guy who orders drone strikes that kill hundreds of innocents and terrorizes thousands more -- and who constantly hides the ugliest realities of his policy (while bragging about the terrorists it kills) so that Americans won't even have all the information sufficient to debate the matter for themselves?

Don't write in Ron Paul--buy him! Ron Paul and Norfed coins to support Libertarian US House candidate Scott Gesty

From the Gesty for Congress campaign: Hello All: I am happy to announce my 3rd and possibly final Fund Raiser for the 2012 campaign. This one is called : Gesty for Congress, Return to Sound Money Fund Raiser. This one should appeal to all those liberty minded individuals who believe that: •As written in the Constitution, only Gold and Silver will only be legal tender    •Commodity backed money is a tool to constrain an ever proliferating federal government   •The Federal Reserve's interest rate manipulation and debasement of our currency is immoral and hurts savers and people on fixed incomes   I once again will tap into my personal collection to show my appreciation for your support of my campaign. This is how it will work:   •Any donation of $25 will receive a Ron Paul Commemorative Copper Coin    •Any donation of $50 will receive the Ron Paul Coin AND an Authentic Copper NORFED Liberty Dollar!   You can learn more about NORFED Liberty Dollars here:

Jay Leno's Break With (Sur)Reality

Leno:  "A new survey out today shows how much time we waste every day in our lives. For example, we waste seven minutes in line every time we go to get coffee, 28 minutes getting through airport security, four years waiting for Obama to do something about the economy. Every year, we waste a lot. We wasted a lot of time." Whether or not you think Jay Leno’s scathing truth joke about Obama is funny, I think we can all agree that his comment reveals a dismal fact that no sane person reasonable person regular (MS)NBC viewer can possibly ignore for another moment:  Jay Leno is a racist.  End of story. Make no mistake about it, though, late night jokester non-person Leno will soon know what a terrible, terrifying fate it is to be the latest addition to The Obama Guest List   Blame List   Kill List   Shit List. Godspeed, funny man.

Phillips Electronics becomes third sponsor to pull out of presidential debates

Originally the Demopublican Commission on Presidential Debates had ten corporate sponsors. As of this morning they are down to seven. The following corporations, based in large measure on the grassroots efforts of Libertarians, Greens, and other Americans who value inclusive democracy, have decided not to affiliate themselves with this year's debates because Governor Gary Johnson and Dr. Jill Stein were not invited: Phillips Electronics   BBH New York   YWCA Time to go after the others. 

Once again: the lynching of John Young

So Eric Anderson resigns from the Christina School Board to campaign for the General Assembly . . . and loses (Eric, you really should have called Red Clay's Kim Williams for some advice on the proper sequencing of events). CSD posts the required statutory notice of a vacancy on the board until the next election. Only applicant from the city of Wilmington:  former CSD Board member and president George Evans. Let's stop here to note that in 2010 the residents of the city of Wilmington overwhelmingly  rejected Mr. Evans in favor of Mr. Anderson by an 869-217 margin.  Allowing for the third candidate in the race, after nearly 20 years on the school board Mr. Evans had so impressed his constituents that he received a massive 18.2% of the vote. In other words, more than four out of five voters in Wilmington wanted Mr. Evans OFF the CSD. OK, back to main narrative. CSD posts the notice of vacancy.  Mr. Evans, spectacularly unsuccessful in his re-election bid,

Libertarian Andy Horning poised to be the spoiler in Indiana US Senate race

He's polling 7%, which more than covers the spread between the Demopublican candidates. Which is just fine with me. Being a spoiler is a prerequisite to winning elections, and since no matter who we elect--Dem or GOPer--we get more wars, more deficits, more drug arrests, and fewer civil liberties, I'm perfectly fine at this stage of the game being the random factor. Go Andy!!!!!!!

Quick hits on President Obama's utter lack of a foreign policy

1.  Ralph Nader makes the case that drone assassinations constitute war crimes every bit as much as torture. 2.  Military officials admit that the Obama surge into Afghanistan was a failure. 3.  President Obama is now re-deploying combat troops back into Iraq. 4.  Muslim world leaders tell Obama at UN that free speech rights cannot be "absolute." Nope.  This is not a disaster.  Nothing to see.  Write your pledge on the back of your hand and tell Michelle "you're in." Forget the economy.  Four more years of this . . . . Oh, never mind.  I just remembered that Mitt Romney's foreign policy stands are equally idiotic, and--as we all know--God and the US Constitution and the Commission on Presidential Debates will only allow voters two choices.


Well apparently one of the deranged loonjobs regularly part of the MSNBC(NN) parade of freaks, Mona Eltahawy, took a break from defaming reality on-air to shoot off her big pseudo-victimized mouth in a NYC subway station while busily going about destroying property and practically assaulting a woman who tried to stop her lunacy... ...until reality (the real one, not the insane leftist "reality-based" reality, e.g. delusion world) decided to pay her a little visit. I It's been a long time since I can remember cheering the arrival of the police anywhere, much less the NYPD, but this had me out of my seat rooting (and laughing) when I watched.  But it wasn't because Eltahawy was pink spray-painting some political poster in an insipidly staged, albeit revealingly-frenzied, stunt (with cameras rolling, of course).  No, what did it for me was her repeated lunging and aggressive paint-spraying of a person standing in the way of her criminal mischief. The scolded-chi

Talk about game changing

Mitt Romney MUST have Ohio to win. Gary Johnson is now polling at 10.6% in Ohio. To be polling in double digits at the end of September in a battleground state where both Demopublicans have been throwing in tens of millions of dollars? Hello, Presidential Debate Commission, this is a guy that people want to hear about.

A new meaning for "having the stones"

My absence, more or less, for the last couple days has not been occasioned by political upheaval or (as at least some probably hoped) lack of interest. I have been busily "passing" (what an amazing euphemism for pissing out giant, jagged boulders) four kidney stones. I am blissfully at the point where narcotic pain meds are no longer necessary.  I merely feel like someone has taken a baseball bat to my left kidney for the past 48 hours, and I can more or less kill that pain with prescription-strength doses of ibuprofen. There are those who might argue that the writing would be more interesting if I typed away while on the drugs.  Look what it did for Ken Kesey. Alas, you'll never know, because at a certain point in the moaning and groaning my wife pointed out to me that resting a laptop across my stomach above my kidneys might actually be contributing to more intense pain.  Good point, that.

Gary Johnson versus the Zombies

Lithopanspermia and evangelical religion

"Pan-spermia" is the idea that life on Earth did not originate here, but that the planet was seeded by either very simple micro-organisms or at least the basic building blocks of life from outer space. The concept has obviously been a staple of science fiction for decades (see, for example, one of my favorite Star Trek Next Generation episodes, "The Chase" ). Most current research, of course, focuses on unintentional pan-spermia--chunks of whatever blown out of one solar system and ending up in another, quite by (shall we say) evolutionary accident. "Lithopanspermia" is exactly that:  Pan-spermia by chunks of rock. It has always been a low order possibility in scientific circles, because the best calculations of the chances of random life-bearing (or life-precusor-bearing) rocks being flung from one system and ending up being captured in the gravity well of a planet in another system were (get ready for the pun) astronomically low:  1 in 1,000,000

If you expect to have journalistic credibility on public education . . .

. . . how to you put this in an editorial on charter schools: these non-traditional public schools, funded with state taxpayer’s dollars, have had an uneven record of success. Some have failed miserably and deserved the intervention of the state Department of   Education   to close them down. . . . while writing this, two paragraphs later: the public school establishment in general has much to fear about a growing trend of new charter schools, due to their record of greater   student achievement with less resources in terms of building capital and teacher pay.   So which is it, News Journal?  Did you count the students in the schools that failed, or does their failure somehow take them off the books, leaving on the students at the schools that have so far succeeded? Or, unbelievably, has the entire editorial board missed the prolonged and nuanced discussion on blogs around the state that have challenged this precise assertion, that charter schools inherently do better with less

Re-reading "On the Beach": why I am a Libertarian

For whatever reason my literary interests run in spurts, and I have been re-reading a lot of classic (1950s-1970s) nuclear holocaust/cold war fiction, including Nevil Shute's classic On the Beach . For those who don't know it, Shute postulates a massive thermonuclear war in the northern hemisphere that sterilizes the whole place.  Slowly, the wind exchange at the equator begins to bring the radioactive dust southward, extinguishing all human life as it goes. The novel is set in Melbourne, that last major city in the world that will die, and covers roughly the last nine months of human life on planet Earth. (To note:  the actual scenario was far more plausible at the time than it appears today.  Just forget about that part and think of it as a useful literary device for killing off humanity and watching how the last specimens of the race choose to die.) Aside from the fact that I think Shute is quite gentle with the last victims as a whole, and that they manifest a great

But how many more deaths will be required to change John Carney's mind?

From Stars and Stripes: Letter from doomed soldier helped change congressman's mind on Afghan withdrawal date President Obama believes we can go on losing American lives for no particular reason for another two years. John Carney says he has reservations about this, but is unwilling to break with his own President. Moral leadership, Mr. Carney, means doing what's right even if there is some cost to you, or to your party. Obviously you don't get that.

Somebody get Leon Panetta a flight suit, a carrier, and a banner

Despite rising American casualties from "green on blue" killings, and no objective markers of progress in the Afghan war, Sec Def Leon Panetta has now joined hands with the Greeks under Alexander the Great, the British Empire, and the  Soviet Union to announce that President Barack Obama's surge had met its objectives: Speaking today on the removal of troops from the 2010 surge from Afghanistan, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta declared the surge had “ accomplished its mission ” and was an unquestionable success. Yesterday’s announcement brought the last of the 33,000 surge troops home,  leaving 68,000 remaining .   The mission, according to Panetta, was “ increasing the size  and capability of the Afghan national security forces.” They are certainly bigger, but the training mission has been indefinitely postponed because of the growing number of insider attacks. Of course, since nobody supporting either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama actually gives a shit about our m

If I am not fee to slander, satirize, and malign the Prophet Mohammed, then I do not have free speech

New Jersey Muslim cleric Mohammad Qatanani has apparently* made the argument that the First Amendment should stop short of permitting speech critical of the Prophet Mohammed or Islam in general.  His angle--national security:   According to Mohammad Qatanani,  Imam  of one of the largest mosques in New Jersey, free speech that is critical of  Islam  poses a national security threat and "should be investigated by the Department of Homeland Security,"  The Blaze  reported Thursday. “We, as Americans, have to put limits and borders [on]  freedom of speech ,” he told The Blaze. "He explained that while Americans may 'have the freedom' to speak their mind, ultimately, they 'have no right to [talk about Muslim] holy issues' as it will incite 'hatred or war among people,'” Tiffany Gabbay wrote. This is really simple:  religion does not have any privileged exemption from free speech in a free society.  If we can have "Piss Christ" (and th

The American Thinker misses the point of Libertarianism

Jeremy Egerer doesn't like Libertarian thought, that's clear.  But his dislike is not conditioned by the economic arguments of the philosophy: I have no problem with the idea of man as a logical being (although I believe he's frequently blinded by desire), nor do I find  wealth and free markets  offensive. . . . What Egerer finds offensive is that Libertarian philosophy--starkly painted, as by Ludwig von Mises--has no need for God.  It allows room for God--or at least the belief in God--but it has no need  for the Deity: Mises didn't revere our Founding Fathers; he intended to establish a new form of society, antithetical to our founding principles and Christianity. (You see, within Libertarian philosophy, God is only necessary if belief in Her is necessary for your individual happiness.) Egerer objects to Libertarian thought because he is effectively an old-line William Buckley conservative, harkening back to the days of the late 1950s and early 1960s when Lib

UPDATED--Taking the fight right to the enemy: Gary Johnson files anti-trust suit . . . .

. . . against the Democratic Party, Republican Party, and the Commission on Presidential Debates. This is all we know so far: The Gary Johnson 2012 Campaign filed an antitrust lawsuit against the Democratic Party, Republican Party and Commission on Presidential Debates for antitrust and anticompetitive acts earlier today. Here's the official press release with a lot more information: JOHNSON CAMPAIGN FILES ANTI-TRUST ACTION AGAINST NATIONAL COMMISSION ON PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES Announcing the campaign's legal action, senior Johnson advisor Ron Nielson said, "There is nothing remotely surprising in the fact that a private organization created by and run by the Republican and Democratic Parties has only invited the Republican and Democratic candidates to their debates. It is a bit more disturbing that the national news media has chosen to play the two-party game, when a full one-third of the American people do not necessarily identify with either of those two parties. &q

Scott McLarty at Firedog Lake: Progressives unite to get Jill Stein and Gary Johnson into presidential debates

I salute him especially for this principled paragraph: We can start by demanding a place in the debates for Green presidential nominee Jill Stein. We can be true to our democratic principles by demanding inclusion of all qualified presidential candidates, like Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, in the debates. THIS is how change will happen, when a new coalition agrees that democratic principles are more important than preserving a warped and failing two-party system.

What I want in the next Libertarian National Committee At-large position

Now that Wayne Root has abruptly discovered he's a Republican (and, boy, wasn't that a shock to the entire Libertarian Party), we are left with an at-large position on the LNC to fill. Independent Political Report is carrying the statements of a lot (all?) self-nominees, and you can read them for yourself. I'm not endorsing anybody here, I'm just going to make a statement from one county LP chairman out in the boondocks about what I want in the person who takes this position. My requirements are short and sweet: I need somebody at the LNC who is going to turn the national LP into an organization that funnels resources toward the state affiliates.  That doesn't have to mean money.  It could mean helping us find and negotiate places to do cheap campaign printing.  It could mean providing help with generating national press releases that cover local and state candidates.  It could mean running candidate boot camps ala Campaign for Liberty.  It could mean a lot

There are a lot of reasons to "waste" your vote on Gary Johnson for President. Here's just one:

He is the ONLY candidate who will end this national nightmare:

State Department spends $70K to run "please don't attack us" ads in Pakistan

Incredible. We're spending money on ads in Urdu to tell people that the US didn't make the Mohammed soft-core porn/spoof video , apparently so the people there won't get mad and attack us: “Let me state very clearly, the United States has absolutely nothing to do with this video. We absolutely reject its contents,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says in the video, which also features spots of Obama saying that the US respects all faiths. Not that the fact that we send in drones that indiscriminately kill civilian bystanders could have had anything to do with them being pissed off at us before, huh?

Vilest and most idiotic News Journal letter of the week

(With apologies to Hube for stealing his schtick .) First off, this letter was published yesterday (September 19)--eight days AFTER the primary it was intended to influence.  That idiocy I assign to the News Journal. However, the letter itself is vile for reasons I will explain below: Congratulations to Nick Manolakos for his new career path as head master of the Odyssey Charter School. As a voter I applaud his new  job  choice.   What I question is his commitment and ability to be a committed legislator or a committed head master. Last session Rep. Manolakos missed over 20 percent of the votes cast in Dover. Now in his new role what will he choose to be committed to? The students  and the school or being in Legislative Hall for session in Dover by 2 p.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from January to June.   Either the students suffer or votes get missed. Seems to me that he would be receiving two state pay checks while being committed to only working two part-time

Definition of senility

Senator John McCain apparently forgets he supports the endless war in Afghanistan: “I think all options ought to be considered, including whether we have to just withdraw early, rather than have a continued bloodletting that won’t succeed,” McCain said  in surprise comments today.

The News Journal publishes my editorial on third parties and debates

You can see it here. After it was written, however, I was informed that they had reduced the length available to Community Advisory Board members from 750 words down to about 670 words.  I cut the piece down to 668 words and re-submitted it.  Apparently they had other space problems and cut it by about another fifty words before publishing it.  I defend their right to do so, but I wish they had asked me to do it, because I felt that, stylistically, the final published product was way too choppy and left out a couple of key references (I would never, for example, have introduced "Perot and Nader" into a column without characterizing them as "Ross Perot and Ralph Nader"--that's just poor form). So for masochists and purists, here's the original 750-word version.  If you didn't like my argument, you still won't, but at least it reads a little better IMHO:              Last week witnessed two important events in Delaware political life: frenzied p

Thoughts from the Judge Jim Gray event: why Libertarians are different from Demopublicans

Retired California Superior Court Judge Jim Gray had been a lifelong moderate/liberal Republican until the passage of the Patriot Act. "It took me about 9 1/2 seconds," he said last night at DSU, "to decide to resign from the Republican Party and register Libertarian.  Any party--and that includes both the Republicans and the Democrats--that can shred the US Constitution and our civil liberties so quickly is not deserving of our support." One hallmark of a Libertarian:  civil liberties matter.  If they don't matter to you, or if you belong to the school of thought that believes we should sacrifice ours to keep ourselves safe from drugs, or from Al Qaeda, then you aren't a Libertarian. Judge Gray said unequivocally last night that  Libertarians in the White House would repeal the Patriot Act, would repeal the NDAA authorizing indefinite detention of American citizens, and would close Gitmo--"that cancerous sore on our conscience that is exposed for

Mitt Romney gives everyone not voting for Barack Obama the perfect excuse to vote for Gary Johnson

I read Betsy's page like I read a lot of other aggregator pages:  whether  you accept their political ideology or not, they often give you quick gateways into posts of interest that you would never otherwise have seen. Betsy is a Republican, obviously, and interested in pro-Romney, anti-Obama sites, and that's why it is so telling to find this comment on the Romney 47% gaffe: I have to say that my first reaction to reading and hearing this video was the same as   Josh Barro , Romney just lost the election. He's already behind and fighting the image that he's too rich to relate to average people. Saying that these people regard themselves as victims and so won't support him just comes off as contemptuous. First reactions are often exactly right on target.  Although I also subscribe to the point she makes later that these gaffes are rarely as decisive as opponents would like (remember Obama and the "bitter clingers" comment), I think this one is pretty