Archive for the 'war' Category

02
Nov
08

Liberty’s Best Week Ever!

NO, I am not talking about the impending undemocratic, non-election about to be perpetrated on us a couple of days hence between Wall Street Candidate A and Wall Street candidate A’ This one has been decided already – ordinary Americans have lost, and the banksters have won.

I am, rather, calling attention to the surprising upside to the continuing global financial collapse. The completely deserted checkout lanes today at my local wholesale club underscored the rapid retreat of consumer spending that’s occurring now. What is occurring now in the public intellectual mind is both thoroughly awful, and blindingly brilliant.

Awful, due to the present and future suffering of millions, nay, billions of people around the world, but brilliant, because the fact is that the economic predictive power of Austrian-School economics has been thoroughly vindicated, no matter what stupid, nonsensical things the Keynesians and Friedmanites say. We were right, we told them all what was coming, and they failed to listen. More Important, we have the correct answers.

And, better late than never, even some mainstream journalists, conservative Republicans, and left progressives are trying to re-orient their thinking in the midst of an unprecedented global financial calamity, where suddenly “Liberal” nor “Conservative” (as we have been brainwashed to call Socialist and Fascist policy ‘solutions’) ideas seem to have no discernible relevance at all.

This week two astounding interviews took place, between serious people of the left, and two of the current stars of the Austro-Libertarian movement.

On Thursday, the charming, brainy lefty journalist Rachel Maddow of MSNBC interviewed Ron Paul, focusing on his eerie (not to us of course) prescience on the economic meltdown, and on the significance of his recent campaign, and what it portends for the future of Republican Party as well as the electoral system.

On Friday, Lew Rockwell, founder and president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute interviewed Naomi Wolf on his podcast. This is a MUST LISTEN interview with the principled, thoughtful left-wing journalist. Ms Wolf, author of several books, including “The Beauty Myth”, and more notably “The End of America”, was last heard of in libertarian circles promoting, along with Ron Paul the American Freedom Agenda, calling for an end to America’s belligerent foreign policy and its depredations on domestic liberty.

Listen to her questioning Lew about definitions of libertarianism, and her response to his answers – I half held my breath throughout the unedited 50-minute conversation, waiting perhaps to hear Lew say something to make Ms Wolf ‘fall out of the ether’ as they say in the car business.

He doesn’t, and she didn’t. It is an extended dialog on the principled embrace of universal liberty, in honest, non-agendized terms that will speak to the heart of every thinking, compassionate person on the left, right, or middle. This shows how there is not, and never has been, such a thing as Democrat liberty, or Republican liberty, only Liberty For All.

Do yourself and your loved ones (particularly intelligent, leftish and rightish ones) a favor and get them to listen to this podcast to give them an understanding why you are a principled, onsistent advocate of liberty.

Then go to www.campaignforliberty.com , and get involved.

UPDATE: If you are still, for some unfathomable reason a McCain supporter, PLEASE watch this video of Dr. Paul taking apart McCain’s dumbass foreign policy prescriptions in the St. Petersburg debate;

09
Sep
08

Did Ron Paul Write It, Or Didn’t He?

Seize That Car! It Could Be Evidence!

Seize That Car! It Could Be Evidence!

Amidst the political and rhetorical (if not yet electoral) triumph of Ron Paul at the Rally For The Republic last week, an article designed to steal a hard-earned moment of success creeped its way across the pages of a major periodical (where have we seen this before?)It seems some ‘sore winners’ in the press have taken a very ordinary occurrance, that of an author taking someone’s notes and quotes, and editing it into a very successful book under the second person’s name, and tried to portray it as something sinister.

In this case, it is a particularly puzzling bit of scruple being fretted about here, since the credited author and the alleged ghostwriter are both closely associated with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and Dr. Woods spoke at Dr. Paul’s valedictory (a good speech it was too).  While the alleged ghostwriter is an accomplished writer in his own right, the words in the book are, er, MANIFESTLY Dr. Paul’s, reflecting his campaign rhetoric, and his lifelong obsession with liberty and free markets.

Indeed, this is standard operating procedure for campaign books, and it is naieve in the extreme to expect a politician in the middle of the race of his life to spend the time and effort necessary to self-edit a manuscript along with the million and a half other things he has to do, particularly if said candidate is a current officeholder who takes those duties seriously. Who in that situation would turn down help to do it? (Barack Obama, if you believe some people, that’s who, and what’s it to ya?)

But to the writer of the piece, this is evidence of a soul so perfidious that he feels duty-bound to report on this fact as if it were the freaking Rosetta Stone. Clearly, authorship to some members of the press means taking pencil to hand and writing a complete edited manuscript longhand, or perhaps tapping it out on sheets of bond paper with a trusty old Smith-Corona. Anything less doesn’t count, in their estimation.

Except, of course, when it fits a particular agenda, such as smearing a candidate the day before the biggest electoral test in an early primary season. Then it doesn’t matter whether the person wore down a pack of #2 Ticonderogas, or simply gave permission for a pitbull or pitbulls to write intemperate (but widely accepted in conservative – to – centrist circles at the time) words critical of certain public figures and of certain classes of people under his name.

It doesn’t matter under what circumstances, for what purpose, to what audience, or how long ago the words were written, nor does it matter that the candidate had disavowed the words decades prior, nor how many times the candidate had apologized (culminating in a bobbled, dissembling disavowal with apology, true), they are HIS WORDS.

Well, which is it?

You can’t have it both ways.

Well, unless you are a hypocrite.

06
Sep
08

Is Ron Paul Going Third-Party?

Ron Paul Holds Up The Two Fingers I'm Keeping Crossed

I'm Keeping Mine Crossed

On the Campaign For Liberty website, a tantalizing blog entry giving hope that, despite my previous post, it may NOT be quite over, after all;

Ron Paul to Make Major Announcement Next Week

Friends,

Dr. Paul just authorized me to send this press release to the national wire. Stay tuned!


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      CONTACT: Jesse Benton
September 5, 2008

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA – On the heels of his historic three-day rally in Minneapolis that drew over 12,000 attendees, Congressman Ron Paul will make a major announcement next week in Washington at the National Press Club.

More details will be announced Monday.

Also, Eric Garris reports on the Lew Rockwell Blog that the Montana Constitution Party has removed Chuck Baldwin’s name from the state presidential ballot, and replaced it with Ron Paul and Michael Peroutka.

The next 60 days could be very, VERY interesting.

05
Sep
08

The Mad Genius Of McCain’s Palin Pick

The Future President Palin?

The Future President Palin?

I watched her speech on youtube last night, it was perfect, as in she hit
all the ‘right’ notes for the base. Her fresh, glamorous (in a midwest /
rural west kind of way) MILF-y appearance, her ordinary, all-American
background, her status as the ultimate Washington outsider (geographically,
politically, culturally,) and the fact that she’s a woman will draw a lot of
votes from soft Republican centrists, of which there are many, maybe enough
to win.

Put yourself in the shoes of the average suburban Republican. No idealogue,
he or she increasingly faces assaults on every tenet of civilization they
hold dear, marriage, family, business, the country itself, economics, and so
on.

They see inflation, terrorism, terrible wars, and societal decline, and seek
explanations that comport with their backgrounds, upbringings, and
prejudices, just as Democrats do (though they seem to do slightly less
research and reading beyond the popular press on the matter.)

When a politician comes along and purports to explain it all to them, in a
manner consistent with their beliefs, they will vote for them, never mind
that their beliefs are factually challenged, their upbringings are
blinkered, their prejudices wrong, and their politicians pandering and
dishonest climbers.

They reject out of hand the solutions being sold by the other party,
because, well, it’s the other party, the ones who caused all this stuff in
the first place, right?.

And they recoil in horror from people with different, but empirical
observations that challenge, rather than pander to their beliefs, that
wacky, crazy, sound-money, non-interventionist Ron Paul, to name one.

I think the Huffingtons and Sullivans of the world are dead, dead wrong
when they assert that this was a mistake for McCain. Indeed, if you think
about it, it was the best possible pick for the warmongering cadaver. Having
on his ticket a 44-year old working suburban wife and mother with a son
going to Iraq is going to blunt a lot of criticism. It will completely
neuter any possible substantive advantage Obama has or had on the war issue
among the soft Republican center.

I think picking her is a slam dunk right in Obama’s face, strategy-wise.

None of the above should be construed as an endorsement of McCain – Palin,
quite to the contrary.

(photo scarfed from US magazine)

31
Aug
08

The Suppression Of Dissent At The Democratic And Republican Conventions

George Orwell, Stop Spinning and Call Your Office

George Orwell, Stop Spinning and Call Your Office

From the United States Constitution, Amendment One, retrieved on 8/30/2008;

Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

From a journalist friend in Denver comes a story about the Democratic National Convention that you probably haven’t quite heard;

This is a belated post after a night in the free-speech pen (“Gitmo on the Platte”), but on Wednesday at noon, Rage Against the Machine and Flobots held a free benefit for Iraq Veterans Against the War at the Denver Coliseum.

Performances were incredible, RATM brought out Wayne Kramer of MC5 to play guitar with them, and at the end of the concert, the bands and 60 uniformed vets led about half the audience (7000 people) on an unauthorized march through downtown Denver to the Pepsi Center, for IVAW to deliver a letter to Obama.

The cops shit their pants, they were going to use tear gas about four times on the route, then the DNC and Denver officials decided tear-gassing veterans would not be such a good idea, so they conducted negotiations and “held” people temporarily, then everyone went home.

From today’s Minneapolis Star-Tribune;

Executing search warrants on Friday night and Saturday morning, Ramsey County authorities raided a building in St. Paul and at least three homes in Minneapolis in an effort to head off disruptive protests of the Republican National Convention.

In a statement, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher described the Friday night raid at 627 Smith Avenue South in St. Paul as targeting the RNC Welcoming Committee, a group he described as “a criminal enterprise made up of 35 self-described anarchists who are intent on committing criminal acts before and during the Republican National Convention.”

“These acts include tactics to blockade and disable delegate buses, breaching venue security and injuring police officers,” the statement continued. Fletcher’s statement said no one was arrested. “Numerous items were recovered,” the statement said.
In response to the raids, the RNC Welcoming Committee issued a statement denying any criminal intent and described the officers’ actions as “violence” that was a sign of more extreme police measures to come.

On Saturday morning, three people were arrested and detained for probable cause conspiracy to commit a riot following a raid at 3240 17th Ave. S. in Minneapolis after authorities executed the search warrant. Ten other people in the house were processed and released after about 90 minutes, said Bruce Nestor of the National Lawyers Guild.

Nestor said he has not seen documents that support a reason for searching any of the locations, but that the warrant, signed by a judge on Friday, seeks multiple items, including electronics and mp3 players, rags, jars, Molotov cocktails, communication between RNC Welcoming Committee members, urine and feces (emphasis mine.)

Utter, complete, transparent bullshit. Rough them up, intimidate them, confiscate all their materials, photograph them so they will have ‘prior’ arrests, by the time you get a hearing the moment is over, the RNC is over, freedom is over. “Oh, sorry, our bad, here’s your shit back, HAHAHAHAHAHA.”

The three arrested, two 23-year-old women and a 25-year-old man, could be held through the weekend, Nestor said. A judge will review their case within 48 hours.  Nestor said the conspiracy to commit a riot charges are vague.

“This is a charge that police use for preventive detention,” he said. “It requires that no actual criminal act be committed and borders on criminalizing political advocacy.”

BORDERS ON? Nestor is being far too kind, BORDERING on aiding and abetting this thuggery.

Via Infoshop Newsvideo of massive police assaults, including threats, intimidation, and confiscation of computers and papers, on alleged “potentially disruptive” protestors, charging them with “conspiracy”;

Glenn Greenwald documents this, he and a colleague were at two of the houses;

There is clearly an intent on the part of law enforcement authorities here to engage in extreme and highly intimidating raids against those who are planning to protest the Convention. The DNC in Denver was the site of several quite ugly incidents where law enforcement acted on behalf of Democratic Party officials and the corporate elite that funded the Convention to keep the media and protesters from doing anything remotely off-script. But the massive and plainly excessive preemptive police raids in Minnesota are of a different order altogether. Targeting people with automatic-weapons-carrying SWAT teams and mass raids in their homes, who are suspected of nothing more than planning dissident political protests at a political convention and who have engaged in no illegal activity whatsoever, is about as redolent of the worst tactics of a police state as can be imagined.

Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff’s department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than “fire code violations,” and early this morning, the Sheriff’s department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying…

As much as I hate to write this, I must agree with professor Michael Rozeff, who writes in an article about the E-Gold prosecution on lewrockwell.com today, the government of the United States of America has descended into a police state. Here’s hoping the Rally For The Republic fares better.

Like the opponents of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, we have arrived at the realization that, as vigilant as we think we have been about preventing the emergence of such a state, we have found ourselves, as Garet Garett wrote, with that revolution already behind us.

We’re sorry. We tried, we really tried.

(photo from thorough Denver Post article via the lewrockwell.com blog)

10
Jul
08

Obama Is No Better Than The Rest Of Them

We Should Have Known, Really

We Should Have Known, Really

The US Senate just passed the immoral, illegal, unconstitutional FISA “Amendment” bill, which, if you haven’t been following along, includes retroactive immunity from civil prosecution for telecommunications companies that knowingly broke the law, allowing members of the Bush gang to basically route all communications through their systems directly to the NSA without warrant or legal sanction of any kind, an utter violation of the 4th Amendment as well as more than two centuries of settled law.

Throughout the process of the passage of this evil piece of filth through the Congressional colon, Democratic presidential candidate Barack H. Obama claimed he would filibuster the bill rather than accede to its passage, a feather in his cap, to our minds. But yesterday, as had been telegraphed for days prior, he turned around and voted for the immoral, lawless bill.

While not exactly Obama supporters, we had been holding out a slim reed of hope that maybe, just maybe, the charming Illinois politician would be marginally less bad than the evil, clueless John McCain. After all, he has been less strident than McCain on Iraq, and made approving noises about the recent bare 5-4 Supreme Court decision preserving a scrap of constitutional protection of habeus corpus. Even if the passage of the bill was “predetermined” as Russ Feingold said, he could have stood on the Senate floor and made a speech decrying the bill, even if he still felt like he had to vote for it. For an example, see Ron Paul’s record statement on the House bill.

But he didn’t. Obama is turning out to be a typical, immoral, evil liar

(Rollins Band video of “Liar” from YouTube, Venture Brothers video from Cartoon Network, Obama photo from some dumbass Republican’s blog)

09
Jul
08

Music: Personal Judas / Are We Brothers?

From the aptly-enough named Staten Island natives Happy Anarchy comes our first example of betrayal as muse; On “Personal Judas”, sounding alternately like Lloyd Cole, The Cult, and The Tubes, this wry, angry song had me pressing rewind to enjoy it’s crunchy late-70’s vibey goodness. Listen, and disregard the critic’s bias toward -archy;

“Cause you’re lonely, cause you’re poor

Cause they sent you off to war…

Dirty fingers ain’t gonna clean up this mess that we fell in
And you’ve got those stains smeared all over your face
Clean shirt. sucker
I ain’t the one so let’s go find another to pick up the pieces
You’ve lost your red letter, now don’t you feel better?
Cause we all need someone to blame”

Next up – Paper Rival‘s “Are We Brothers?” has both lyrical and instrumental outrage aplenty, but counterpointed by sweet harmonies and again, That 70’s Vibe, go listen;

“Our bones in the earth
feathers in the urn
How did we separate ourselves?

The bones in the earth
feathers in the urn
Why did we separate ourselves like this?

Do we share the same blood?
Do we wear the same cloth?
Is it all getting lost?
Are we brothers or not?”