Friday, December 19, 2008

"Peace" Officers

Thugs attack 12 year old in Texas

http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2008/12/galveston_false_arrest.php

It was a little before 8 at night when the breaker went out at Emily Milburn's home in Galveston. She was busy preparing her children for school the next day, so she asked her 12-year-old daughter, Dymond, to pop outside and turn the switch back on.

As Dymond headed toward the breaker, a blue van drove up and three men jumped out rushing toward her. One of them grabbed her saying, "You're a prostitute. You're coming with me."

Dymond grabbed onto a tree and started screaming, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy." One of the men covered her mouth. Two of the men beat her about the face and throat.

As it turned out, the three men were plain-clothed Galveston police officers who had been called to the area regarding three white prostitutes soliciting a white man and a black drug dealer.


All this is according to a lawsuit filed in Galveston federal court by Milburn against the officers. The lawsuit alleges that the officers thought Dymond, an African-American, was a hooker due to the "tight shorts" she was wearing, despite not fitting the racial description of any of the female suspects. The police went to the wrong house, two blocks away from the area of the reported illegal activity, Milburn's attorney, Anthony Griffin, tells Hair Balls.

After the incident, Dymond was hospitalized and suffered black eyes as well as throat and ear drum injuries.

Three weeks later, according to the lawsuit, police went to Dymond's school, where she was an honor student, and arrested her for assaulting a public servant. Griffin says the allegations stem from when Dymond fought back against the three men who were trying to take her from her home. The case went to trial, but the judge declared it a mistrial on the first day, says Griffin. The new trial is set for February.

"I think we'll be okay," says Griffin. "I don't think a jury will find a 12-year-old girl guilty who's just sitting outside her house. Any 12-year-old attacked by three men and told that she's a prostitute is going to scream and yell for Daddy and hit back and do whatever she can. She's scared to death."

Since the incident more than two years ago, Dymond regularly suffers nightmares in which police officers are raping and beating her and cutting off her fingers, according to the lawsuit.
Griffin says he expects to enter mediation with the officers in early 2009 to resolve the lawsuit.

We've got calls in to the officers' lawyer; we'll let you know if we hear something.

Update: This is from the officers' lawyer, William Helfand:

Both the daughter and the father were arrested for assaulting a peace officer. "The father basically attacked police officers as they were trying to take the daughter into custody after she ran off."

Also, "The city has investigated the matter and found that the conduct of the police officers was appropriate under the circumstances," Helfand says. "It's unfortunate that sometimes police officers have to use force against people who are using force against them. And the evidence will show that both these folks violated the law and forcefully resisted arrest."


The legal positivist defenders of the thugs who make up the police officers in these United States tell us that the majority of cops who patrol our streets are good guys just doing their job. The problem is that according to the Galveston Police department, the “appropriate” execution of that job is beating up innocent twelve-year-old girls. And if that girl’s father happens to attempt to defend his innocent daughter, it’s perfectly cool with the Police officials if the cops go ahead and beat the crap out of him too.

Appropriate.

Just doing their job, appropriately.

Is it appropriate for cops to assault suspects? Is it ever appropriate for cops to attack 12-year-olds? Is it appropriate for cops to treat 12-year-old prostitutes as criminals rather than victims? This is happening everyday. We only know of this story because they got the wrong girl, but would it really be okay if it was the right girl?

There is something very wrong with our republic.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Troubling Views of Rick Warren



Rick Warren claims that, according to the bible, the legitimate role of government is punishing evil-doers. Presumably this interpretation of scripture comes from Romans 13. However, for the first 3 chapters of Romans Paul lays out a logical and thorough case that ALL are evil-doers, proclaiming that "None is righteous, no, not one" and "no one does good". It appears then, that either God is openly advocating that the governments of the World punish ALL men, or that maybe Rick Warren's interpretation of the legitimate role of government is maybe a little bit off. Which, for most people is not a big deal, but for an incredibly powerful opinion maker pastor like Rick Warren who is openly advocating the assassination of a foreign leader, it's a tad disturbing.

Imagine the hysteria that would come from Hannity were a Muslim cleric to call for Bush's assassination...

Pesky Reality

If the addition to Obama's staff by warhawks like Rahm Emanuel, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, and Jim Jones weren't enough to get you in the holiday spirit maybe this article will help.

http://fairuse.100webcustomers.com/sf/nyt_obama_betrayal.html

Campaign Promises on Ending the War in Iraq Now Muted by Reality
By THOM SHANKER

WASHINGTON — On the campaign trail, Senator Barack Obama offered a pledge that electrified and motivated his liberal base, vowing to “end the war” in Iraq.

But as he moves closer to the White House, President-elect Obama is making clearer than ever that tens of thousands of American troops will be left behind in Iraq, even if he can make good on his campaign promise to pull all combat forces out within 16 months.

“I said that I would remove our combat troops from Iraq in 16 months, with the understanding that it might be necessary — likely to be necessary — to maintain a residual force to provide potential training, logistical support, to protect our civilians in Iraq,” Mr. Obama said this week as he introduced his national security team.

Publicly at least, Mr. Obama has not set a firm number for that “residual force,” a phrase certain to become central to the debate on the way ahead in Iraq, though one of his national security advisers, Richard Danzig, said during the campaign that it could amount to 30,000 to 55,000 troops. Nor has Mr. Obama laid out any timetable beyond 16 months for troop drawdowns, or suggested when he believes a time might come for a declaration that the war is over.

In the meantime, military planners are drawing up tentative schedules aimed at meeting both Mr. Obama’s goal for withdrawing combat troops, with a target of May 2010, and the Dec. 31, 2011, date for sending the rest of American troops home that is spelled out in the new agreement between the United States and the Iraqi government.

That status-of-forces agreement remains subject to change, by mutual agreement, and Army planners acknowledge privately that they are examining projections that could see the number of Americans hovering between 30,000 and 50,000 — and some say as high as 70,000 — for a substantial time even beyond 2011.

As American combat forces decline in numbers and more provinces are turned over to Iraqi control, these military planners say, Iraqi security forces will remain reliant on significant numbers of Americans for training, supplies, logistics, intelligence and transportation for a long time to come.

There always was a tension, if not a bit of a contradiction, in the two parts of Mr. Obama’s campaign platform to “end the war” by withdrawing all combat troops by May 2010. To be sure, Mr. Obama was careful to say that the drawdowns he was promising included only combat troops. But supporters who keyed on the language of ending the war might be forgiven if they thought that would mean bringing home all of the troops.

Pentagon planners say that it is possible that Mr. Obama’s goal could be accomplished at least in part by relabeling some units, so that those currently counted as combat troops could be “re-missioned,” their efforts redefined as training and support for the Iraqis.

In Iraq today, there are 15 brigades defined as combat forces in this debate, with one on its way home. But the overall number of troops on the ground is more than 50 brigade equivalents, for a total of 146,000 troops, including service and support personnel. Even now, after the departure of the five “surge” brigades that President Bush sent to Iraq in January 2006, the overall number of troops in Iraq remains higher than when Mr. Bush ordered the troop increase, owing to the number of support and service personnel remaining.

At his news conference in Chicago on Monday, Mr. Obama emphasized his willingness to listen to the advice from senior officers and that of his new national security team, which includes Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, the first Pentagon chief in history to continue serving under a newly elected president; Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and, as national security adviser, Gen. James L. Jones, the retired four-star Marine officer who served as NATO’s supreme commander.

Since the election, Mr. Obama has held unannounced consultations with both Mr. Gates and Admiral Mullen, described by Obama aides and Pentagon officials as having focused less on tactics and operations and more on broad, strategic views for American national security. On Wednesday, he made a telephone call to Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, Iraq’s prime minister, according to the Obama transition office.

To date, there has been no significant criticism from the antiwar left of the Democratic Party of the prospect that Mr. Obama will keep tens of thousands of troops in Iraq for at least several years to come.

At the Pentagon and the military headquarters in Iraq, the response to the statements this week from Mr. Obama and his national security team has been akin to the senior officer corps’ letting out its collective breath; the words sounded to them like the new president would take a measured approach on the question of troop levels.

“I believe that 16 months is the right time frame, but, as I’ve said consistently, I will listen to the recommendations of my commanders,” Mr. Obama said at that news conference on Monday. “And my No. 1 priority is making sure that our troops remain safe in this transition phase, and that the Iraqi people are well served by a government that is taking on increased responsibility for its own security.”

An apparent evolution of Mr. Obama’s thinking can be heard in contrast to comments he made in July, when he called a news conference to lay out his Iraq policy in unambiguous terms.

“I intend to end this war,” he said then. “My first day in office I will bring the Joint Chiefs of Staff in, and I will give them a new mission, and that is to end this war — responsibly, deliberately, but decisively.” And in a news conference that month in Amman, Jordan, Mr. Obama acknowledged that the American troop increase had bolstered Iraqi security but declared that he would not hesitate to overrule American commanders and redirect troops in Afghanistan.

Mr. Gates, speaking at the Pentagon on Tuesday, a day after he appeared with Mr. Obama to announce the new national security team, made clear that the direction of troop levels now had been decided, with the only decisions remaining on how fast and how low.

“And so the question is, How do we do this in a responsible way?” Mr. Gates said. “And nobody wants to put at risk the gains that have been achieved, with so much sacrifice, on the part of our soldiers and the Iraqis, at this point.”

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Vietnam Wall in Terms of Vietnamese Deaths

A quick algebra problem for Veterans Day. Feel free to correct my math or dispute my numbers.

The Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. catalogs the names of 58,260 Americans who died during the Vietnam War. The wall stretches an ominous 246 feet 9 inches, (2961 inches) which I had the opportunity to walk when we visited D.C. a few years back.

In adding up the average death calculations for Vietnamese soldiers and civilians I come up with about 1,255,000 dead. I do believe that would be a conservative estimate.

So....

2961 inches divided by 58,260 names gives us about .05 names per inch of wall.

So if the wall documented Vietnamese names instead of Americans we would take 1,255,000 million dead multiplied by our .05 names per inch gives us about 62750 inches of wall.

Or about 5229 feet.



Or about one very solemn mile.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Next four years.....

...same as the last.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Juror'd

I have been summoned as a juror in Kane County. Presently I am sitting in a large room with about 250 of my fellow jurors. Jury duty is one of the only functions of the State that I actually don't need to be threatened with violence to comply with. I'm rather hoping I am selected and get to sit on a trial for some poor schmuck who committed one of the State's innumerable imaginary crimes.

We've been told a handful of times that we will be waiting for the majority of our time here, and thus I am currently waiting. The first
20 or so jurors were called up right before I started this post and since then nothing has happened. Free coffee and donuts are being served to keep us pacified. Can't say I mind that.

One thing I've definitely noticed is that while over 23% of Kane County's population is Latino, I would estimate that 99% of the juror pool here is white. I see two black people, an Indian, and ZERO Latinos. Jury of your peers indeed. I wonder what percentage of crimes are committed by Latinos in Kane County?

Well, more updates later if something interesting happens. Though I'll be forced at gun point to turn off my BlackBerry if I get called upstairs. So much for free speech I guess.


Update: (9:30 A.M) twenty more jurors called, myself not included. One annoying factor is that there are 8 overhead televisions providing limited entertainment. As soon as I sat down the channel was changed from ESPN to Home and Garden Television. I think the guy who controls all the TV's thinks he's getting points with the ladies or something.

Update:(9:45). I've been called.

Update: (12:00) Well the jury selection went like this. Twenty-five of us were called upstairs to the court room and told to sit in audience section of the room. Then four jurors were called (apparently randomly) to sit in the juror box where they were questioned first by the judge, then the prosecutor, then the defense. If any of those three had objections to the juror being questioned the juror was sent home. All in all sixteen jurors were called to sit in the jury box. Three were released to go home, and one was set as an alternate. After this was done the trial had enough jurors and the remaining nine of us who were never questioned were sent home.

I am convinced that had I been questioned I would have been excused. Among the questioned asked of the jurors two of them would have made the prosecution, if not the judge, excuse me immediately. The first was, "do you have any opinions on the legalizations of drugs?" Well yes, I do, actually. The second question was, "If the judge instructs you of the law would you be able to follow the law even if you disagree with it?" I find this question to be appalling. I think it should be illegal for the prosecution or judge to ask this question before a jury trial. What the question basically means is that if I find their laws to be morally repugnant, I still have to abide by them and convict people of them. It means, for instance, if there were still laws legitimizing slavery, I would have to convict black men who ran away from the captors. It means, if there were still laws segregating race, that I would have to convict a black woman who sat at the front of the bus.

After we were excused the judge gave some ridiculous speech about how were were all doing our civic duty by serving on a jury, even if we weren't selected. And that "Your government wouldn't work, and it is YOUR government, if you as citizens didn't serve as jurors. That is what democracy is to me." Well apparently this judge does not believe his own rhetoric. If this were a free society the jury box would be the last stand against unchecked government power. See, we don't REALLY have much say when it comes to voting. I mean they'll tell us our vote counts, but really your one out of a hundred thousand, or even hundred million, hardly effects the governments actions. Sure, you can vote for a different legislator but how much say do you have over what the person legislates? Case in point the recent bailout vote, which the public was overwhelming against passed anyway.

But one place in which we do have a direct say on the matter of legislation is in juries. There, one vote can stall the State's legislation. And just twelve votes can overturn it outright. But jury votes in favor of the State's laws lend them legitimacy. Which is why, when you take people out of the pool who object to the laws legitimacy, you stack the deck in favor of the State. I mean all trials are already stacked in favor of the State since every person except for the defense lawyer (and even him in some cases) who is executing the trial is on the State's payroll. Taking people out of the courtroom who think independently, who do not believe in the laws of men but the Rule of Law, or who do not see legitimacy in the State at all, expose the whole system for the sham that it truly is.

Well, it made for an interesting, yet boring day. And in the end somewhat pointless.

UPDATE: Jeez, I totally forgot to mention that the trial was for a young latino man (maybe 19 or 20) for the imaginary crime of "possession of a controlled substance." All the jurors selected save one were at least 50 years old and white. And like I said earlier, 99% of the jurors that were called were white.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

lol camping

It's a wonderful World in which a man can sit by a camp fire in the Middle of Nowhere, Wisconsin and write a blog post on his Blackberry as I am now. I don't particularly like camping, but having even a small piece of the digital age helps some. I am, however, posting this without the benefit of a spell checker. Hopefully this will provide some entertainment for an otherwise uncontroversial or particularly enlightening post. Which is not to make the claim that any of my posts ARE particularly enlightening.

We're here with Crystal's family for a little get together, and thankfully won't be spending the night. I am not one for intentionally exposing myself to nature's elements a good century after the glorious Industrial Revolution reached the American shore. I understand that there are some people who enjoy this entirely pointless activity, so I would not advocate making the practice illegal. I do think that rigorous counseling should be strongly advised, or even compelled.

Back in the real World my White Sox are in a two game hole in the ALDS against the Devil Rays. What's disappointing about this is not that they are losing, I actually expected them to lose. It's that they actually played well enough to be competetive in the first two games. And on the road in a dome at that, where they have been absolutely terrible all year. Still, they have a chance to send it back to Tampa Bay if they can simply win two games at home. That won't be the difficult part of winning the series though, the tough part will be going back to that dome and stealing one there. A task that will most likely prove beyond this team's abilities.


Across town the Cubs are in even more a dire situation. Somehow managing to lose the first two games of their series to a lesser team in the Dodgers. At home no less. I am a Cubs hater for the most part, so I can't say I feel much in the way of sadness for their demise, but I do feel a tinge of sympathy for their fans who had their hopes sky high for this year. Just a tinge though as Cubs fans are certainly nothing if not an annoying lot. What with their stupid Go Cubs Go song and blue W that never seems to come down even when they lose.

Well it's log splitting time so I should probably be signing off.

Later.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Can Joe Biden be the Vice President of a Change administration?

We are told, time and time, from both the Obama campaign and the majority of grassroots supporters of the democratic ticket, that Obama is the "Change We Need.". That the country needs change seems beyond reproach. Even McCain has shifted his message to be that of reform rather than Bush's "Staying the course." And it was in this climate that Obama gained the nomination from the Democratic Party. He was nominated, I believe, in large part due to his opposition to both the war in Iraq and his willingness to tone down the United States’ aggressive foreign policy toward it’s perceived enemies. This is how he established himself as a “Change” candidate and differentiated himself from Hillary Clinton. However, despite his well stated sloganeering, his first executive action as said “Change” candidate was to nominate someone who has followed, and even preceded, the Neo-Conservative agenda every step of the way in both action and philosophy. An action that totally contradicts his message prior to that point.

To me, this means one of two things:

1. Obama was vaulted to prominence by his Party who saw him as an electable candidate, and in return for the favor Obama agreed to nominate the Party’s pick for VeeP.

2. Choosing Biden was purely political in that Obama is hoping it will help him avoid the weak-on-national-security smears used against Democratic candidates generally. However, this speaks no better for Obama’s “Change” candidacy because *IF* his selection of Biden was his way of showing he is strong on national security than Obama’s views on what national security is are similar to that of the GOP's. In other words, if I were going to pick a VP candidate that was strong on national security I would maybe pick someone who I felt might make us safer by toning DOWN our rhetoric to places like Russia, for instance. However, Obama selected Biden, a man who takes an aggressive and threatening position on any country he sees as our enemy. Which is quite similar to how the GOP runs their foreign policy.

I’m more inclined to think the former true because I’m probably more cynical about the American political process than most people. But neither scenario bodes well for Obama and his so-called “Change” campaign. At least not to someone who is actually interested in a change from the foreign policy of the past seven years and not just the expansion of power for the Democratic Party.

Now, as for Biden, if you want a long term view of his history I suppose his approval of the war in Iraq is a good place to start. Oh, I know, that was a long time a go and since the Surge WORKED(!) it's silly to go back and actually hold the people who authorized the thing in congress accountable, but I think it's still a significant point that he didn't have enough of a disagreement with the neo-Con theology at that point to actually raise a voice in protest. In fact, you'll remember he was at the time the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and had the power to select any speaker he wanted when his Senate hearing happened in '02. But, when the witness list came up, it was void of a single dissenter on the issue. The only people who disagreed with the war that were asked to participate were those who only disagreed with the motive, not the final outcome, such as humanitarian interventionists who argued we should invade to dispose Saddam, not to get the WMD's.

Even as the war grew more and more unpopular Biden maintained his position never demanding we exit the country, only that we add more troops to the area. His goal has always been to improve Iraq by "leaving Iraq better than we found it". Of course it's American minds that can better Iraq, not Iraqi minds according to Mr. Biden.

Though, I should not paint Biden as a totally Republican Neo-Con in his foreign policy view because, while most Republicans were opposed to Clinton's invasion of Yugoslavia, Joe Biden fully endorsed it! Calling it "absolutely correct," and claiming that if we didn't bomb them, "our interests will be badly hurt." So I suppose you could call Biden more of a bipartisan warmonger than just a party shill

Bully for him.

Also, Biden was pretty hawkish against Iraq even before 9/11. He did his fair share of saber rattling in 1998 when then UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter came to the Senate for a hearing:

http://emperors-clothes.com/analysis/ritter-nuke-sen.htm

"But that doesn't guarantee, if these sanctions are in place, that the program is going to be curtailed. Anything other than curtailed doesn't guarantee that we're going to be able to stop it. I think you and I believe and many of us believe here as long as Saddam's at the helm there is no reasonable prospect you or any other inspector is ever going to be able to guarantee that we have rooted out, root and branch, the entirety of Saddam's program relative to weapons of mass destruction.

And you and I both know and all of us here really know, and it's a thing we have to face, that the only way, the only way we're going to get rid of Saddam Hussein is we're going to end up having to start it alone -- start it alone -- and it's going to require guys like you in uniform to be back on foot in the desert taking this son of a -- the -- taking Saddam down. (Laughter.) You know it and I know it."


Hahahahaha

AMIRITE?

So basically, in 98, he supported preemptive strike, unilateral attack, and regime change before the Bush doctrine existed. Hey, well at least he probably knows what it is. And all of this says nothing of McCain, Obama, Biden, and Palin's insistence that we need to give a war guarantee to Georgia. Because offering war guarantees to tiny countries in the middle of border disputes with super powers has never started World Wars or anything.

Change indeed, Mr. Obama.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On the issue of written constitutions and supreme courts

What do you think of abolishing the Constitution of the United States of America?

I've been thinking of this some lately and I think I've come to the conclusion it's a necessary endeavor. Like most small 'l' libertarians I believe in strict construction-ism when it comes to issues of constitutionality. I firmly believe there is no point in having a written constitution if it is loosely interpreted or thought of as anything less than or anything more than a shackle on government power. However, given the fact that we have failed to update it, we’ve basically forced the Supreme Court to legislate from the bench, as it has come to be known.

Take for instance the most recent major case, the gun ruling. Some claimed it was the correct ruling, others claimed it was legislating from the bench. I’d personally fall on the side of those who think it was correct in the framework of our current constitution, but understand the argument from those on the left claiming those who wrote the thing had no idea what type of firearms would be available 200 years later. The thing is, the correct course of action is not to give the Supreme Court the power to rule on these matters, it’s to amend the constitution to what We the People want.

But we’ve abdicated our responsibility to update our constitution. WE should be having these debates, not judges. But given the fact that we refuse to do it, they are forced to. We are essentially passing off our responsibility to them. We force them to rule on their sense of fairness when we ask them to rule on issues that don’t exist in the document.

I do believe that the World belongs to the living. Just as you’d probably agree that someone in Canada has no right to determine your form of government, wouldn’t you agree that someone from 200 years ago has no right to determine your form of government? IMO, the libertarian stance should be #1 yes, strict adherence to written constitution. But #1A, demand the thing be repealed then re-written (or more better would be repealed and not rewritten).

There are other problems of course.

The Supreme Court has much more power than it ever was intended to. The idea that one of the branches of the Federal government has the final say on what is or what isn’t constitutional is a gross conflict of interest and entirely contrary to the idea of checks and balances.

And maybe more importantly the constitution is spelled with a capital C. It’s looked at as if it’s some sacred document touched by the hand of G-d. It’s put in a shrine, when it should be re-written with every generation, and amended in-between.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Terrorism Debate

This is what presidential debates might sound like in this country if we actually had an opposition party. You won't hear discussion like this in the upcoming debates because McCain and Obama have fundamentally the same beliefs on these issues.

Live TV : Ustream

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/705336

If the video streaming gives you problems you can download the audio only here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

500,000 dead children okay with democrats



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCdR0tGuZOc



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5S1YkQs5nXQ



But, they hate us for our freedoms.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Change

From Ron Paul's press conference this morning with Ralph Nader, Chuck Baldwin, & Cynthia McKinney:

Ron Paul Statement to the National Press Club

The American Majority

"The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can ‘throw the rascals out’ at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy."

Carroll Quigley – Author of Tragedy & Hope

The coverage of the presidential election is designed to be a grand distraction. This is not new, but this year, it’s more so than ever.

Pretending that a true difference exists between the two major candidates is a charade of great proportion. Many who help to perpetuate this myth are frequently unaware of what they are doing and believe that significant differences actually do exist. Indeed, on small points there is the appearance of a difference. The real issues, however, are buried in a barrage of miscellaneous nonsense and endless pontifications by robotic pundits hired to perpetuate the myth of a campaign of substance.

The truth is that our two-party system offers no real choice. The real goal of the campaign is to distract people from considering the real issues.

Influential forces, the media, the government, the privileged corporations and moneyed interests see to it that both party’s candidates are acceptable, regardless of the outcome, since they will still be in charge. It’s been that way for a long time. George Wallace was not the first to recognize that there’s “not a dime’s worth of difference” between the two parties. There is, though, a difference between the two major candidates and the candidates on third-party tickets and those running as independents.

The two parties and their candidates have no real disagreements on foreign policy, monetary policy, privacy issues, or the welfare state. They both are willing to abuse the Rule of Law and ignore constitutional restraint on Executive Powers. Neither major party champions free markets and private-property ownership.

Those candidates who represent actual change or disagreement with the status quo are held in check by the two major parties in power, making it very difficult to compete in the pretend democratic process. This is done by making it difficult for third-party candidates to get on the ballots, enter into the debates, raise money, avoid being marginalized, or get fair or actual coverage. A rare celebrity or a wealthy individual can, to a degree, overcome these difficulties.

The system we have today allows a President to be elected by as little as 32% of the American people, with half of those merely voting for the “lesser of two evils”. Therefore, as little as 16% actually vote for a president. No wonder when things go wrong, anger explodes. A recent poll shows that 60% of the American people are not happy with the two major candidates this year.

This system is driven by the conviction that only a major party candidate can win. Voters become convinced that any other vote is a “wasted” vote. It’s time for that conclusion to be challenged and to recognize that the only way not to waste one’s vote is to reject the two establishment candidates and join the majority, once called silent, and allow the voices of the people to be heard.

We cannot expect withdrawal of troops from Iraq or the Middle East with either of the two major candidates. Expect continued involvement in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Georgia. Neither hints of a non-interventionist foreign policy. Do not expect to hear the rejection of the policy of supporting the American world empire. There will be no emphasis in protecting privacy and civil liberties and the constant surveillance of the American people. Do not expect any serious attempt to curtail the rapidly expanding national debt. And certainly, there will be no hint of addressing the Federal Reserve System and its cozy relationship with big banks and international corporations and the politicians.

There is only one way that these issues can get the attention they deserve: the silent majority must become the vocal majority.

This message can be sent to our leaders by not participating in the Great Distraction—the quadrennial campaign and election of an American President without a choice. Just think of how much of an edge a Vice President has in this process, and he or she is picked by a single person—the party’s nominee. This was never intended by the Constitution.

Since a principled non-voter sends a message, we must count them and recognize the message they are sending as well. The non-voters need to hold their own “election” by starting a “League of Non-voters” and explain their principled reasons for opting out of this charade of the presidential elective process. They just might get a bigger membership than anyone would guess.

Write-in votes should not be discouraged, but the electoral officials must be held accountable and make sure the votes are counted. But one must not be na├»ve and believe that under today’s circumstances one has a chance of accomplishing much by a write-in campaign.

The strongest message can be sent by rejecting the two-party system, which in reality is a one-party system with no possible chance for the changes to occur which are necessary to solve our economic and foreign policy problems. This can be accomplished by voting for one of the non-establishment principled candidates—Baldwin, Barr, McKinney, Nader, and possibly others. (listed alphabetically)

Yes, these individuals do have strong philosophic disagreements on various issues, but they all stand for challenging the status quo—those special interest who control our federal government. And because of this, on the big issues of war, civil liberties, deficits, and the Federal Reserve they have much in common. People will waste their vote in voting for the lesser of two evils. That can’t be stopped overnight, but for us to have an impact we must maximize the total votes of those rejecting the two major candidates.

For me, though, my advice—for what it’s worth—is to vote! Reject the two candidates who demand perpetuation of the status quo and pick one of the alternatives that you have the greatest affinity to, based on the other issues.

A huge vote for those running on principle will be a lot more valuable by sending a message that we’ve had enough and want real change than wasting one’s vote on a supposed lesser of two evils.




Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Palin

Well if nothing else I should at least update this thing from time to time with stories that catch my attention. This is a pretty good article by a Mr. Hornberger that maybe over simplifies God's will a touch, but I think all in all makes some excellent points. It might also be added that while Mrs. Palin is ardently pro-life, even going so far as to admirably sacrifice much of her own future to care for a special needs child, she is also inexplicably urging her first born son to kill or be killed in a war that has no self evident moral or just cause.

Palin’s Wrongheaded View of God’s Plans
by Jacob G. Hornberger

In an address to an Assembly of God Church in Alaska, Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin suggested that church members pray “that our national leaders are sending [soldiers to Iraq] on a task that is from God, that’s what we have to make sure we are praying for, that there is a plan, and that plan is God’s plan.”

It would be interesting to hear Palin explain her understanding of how God’s plans can possibly involve violations of His sacred commandments.

The commandment is simple: That shalt not murder. God did not provide exceptions to that prohibition, not even for agents of the CIA and the U.S. military.

Lest we forget: Neither the Iraqi people nor their government ever attacked the United States or threatened to do so. No matter how many contortions that Dick Cheney and George W. Bush have engaged in (e.g., WMDs, the war on terrorism, 9/11, spreading democracy, UN resolutions, and radical Islam), the simple truth remains: The U.S. government attacked Iraq, not the other way around.

Thus, we should never forget: In the Iraq War, the United States is the aggressor nation and Iraq is the defending nation. That means that no agent of the U.S. government had any moral right to kill even one single Iraqi, much less the million or so that have been killed.

Some people calculate the wrongful Iraqi deaths only in terms of civilian deaths. They have it wrong. Since the U.S. government had no right to invade Iraq, U.S. agents, including those in the CIA and the military, had no moral right to kill any Iraqi, including Iraqis who were defending against the wrongful invasion and occupation of their country.

The standard neo-con religious position is that whatever the U.S. government does overseas against foreigners is right and moral as a matter of law because the government is operating as an agent of God and simply fulfilling His plans.

The hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children killed by the pre-invasion sanctions? A million Iraqis killed in the invasion? Well, you see, those killings can’t be murder because it was the U.S. government that did the sanctioning and invading. It would only be murder if, say, the Russian government committed those acts. Since it’s the U.S. government that killed all those people, it’s all good and moral because it must be all part of God’s plan.

Moreover, keep in mind that in the neo-con mindset the U.S. government and the American people are one and the same. Since everyone knows that the American people are kind, caring, and charitable, that means that everything the U.S. government does, including kidnapping, renditioning, torturing, and sexually abusing people, is all good and moral. It’s all part of God’s plan, you know.

This attitude, of course, is what distinguishes Christian libertarians from Christian neo-cons. Christian libertarians adhere strictly to God’s commandments, refusing to draw an exception for agents of the U.S. government. Unlike them, we hold that murder is murder, even when committed by agents of the U.S. government. Since the U.S. government had no right to invade Iraq, it had no right to kill any Iraqis, much less a million of them. The same principle holds true with respect to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children killed by the pre-invasion sanctions. The same holds true for the murders, torture, and sex abuse committed by U.S. agents against Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison.

Christian libertarians, unlike Christian neo-cons, do not conflate the American citizenry with the U.S. government. As such, we are capable of recognizing immorality and wrongdoing committed by the U.S. government and we are unafraid to take a stand against it. Unlike the neo-cons, we don’t try to excuse away evil and immorality by claiming that they must be part of God’s plan.

Indeed, unlike the Christian neo-cons we Christian libertarians don’t view the government as an agent of God but instead as simply a bunch of ordinary people who use government force to satisfy their self-interests, including the ever-growing lust for more power and more money.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Joe Biden co-sponsored the original Patriot Act. Obama voted to renew it.

Change.




Speaking of change this blog really needs to. Or it needs to die. Decision coming shortly.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

You can look below to see my personal reaction to Super Tuesday. However, I just read this article from a best selling author who put to words my feelings in a way only best selling authors can. It's worth posting here.

The man is Doug Wead, who in no way should be considered a Ron Paul supporter. In fact Wead has worked with both of the Bush presidents and is thought to be the man who coined the phrase "compassionate conservatism", a phrase that Ron Paul has actually mocked.

According to Mr. Wead, the real winner of yesterday's elections... Ron Paul.

The Mouse that roared: Why Ron Paul won the election

Well now, Republicans say, we have a nominee. That may very well be but there was only one clear winner in the confusing GOP nominating contest and it was not John McCain. The winner was Ron Paul. And the effects of his win will be felt for years to come.

Ron Paul made a classic political mistake. He told the truth. In debate after debate he pointed at his party, his president, his fellow contenders for the GOP nomination, shouting aloud like the little boy in the proverbial story, “they have no clothes” and lo and behold, we looked and they didn’t. They were all naked.

He showed that the conservative movement has lost its way, its moral authority and its logic. He showed us that we have become a red team versus blue team. That since we have decided that this is a political war and all normal rules are suspended, conservatives can do liberal things to win it. Conservatives can run up big deficits if it helps their side win. They can dole out needless pork if it elects another “conservative” to congress. They can go to war if it makes their president look like a leader and wins him another term.

But in the process, Ron Paul showed us, that we have lost our way. We are no longer conservatives. We are fighting for power not for principles. We have become corrupted by the process and the only way back is to retrace our steps and find all the things we discarded along he way.

Barry Goldwater lighted a similar fire with his Conscience of a Conservative. Its truth and arguments were so obvious and so honest that one laughed aloud while reading it. But Goldwater, himself, was doomed to political defeat. And Ron Paul had no chance to win this election either. One could see that when he first opened his mouth.

And yet, the words and arguments of Ron Paul are still resonating. They still hang over this election. They are haunting and troubling. They are producing blogs and papers and books and like Goldwater’s revolution they will one day very likely produce their own Ronald Reagan. And when those heady days happen a small but hearty band of pioneers, who first had the nerve to join him and start shouting from the street, “They aren’t wearing any clothes,” will be able to say that they could see what the country missed. They were there when history was made.

John McCain and his poorly chosen words, of staying in Iraq a hundred years, have almost guaranteed that he will be the answer to the trivia question, who was the Republican candidate who lost to the ticket that claimed the first woman and black for the presidency? Another question may very well be, “What other candidate ran that year and launched the movement that has dominated national politics for the last generation?”

And the answer will be Ron Paul.

Clinton vs. McCain '08?

It's looking more like it. I know the Democratic nomination is no where near finished but I really think Clinton has it for no other reason than she gets the old vote, and the old are typically the people who decide who our rulers are.

It's astonishing to me that anyone can vote for some of these people, but what really just blows my mind is that the majority of Republicans who are against the Iraq war are voting for John McCain. The guy who wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years. The guy who jokes about bombing Iran. There is a complete lack of principle in the Republican party, which is apparent through the complete disarray the party is in. It's now split up between social conservative, (mostly christian militarists) NeoCons, (mostly military idealists) and a large clump of confused individuals who argue about what it even is to be a "conservative". My theory of why this mass confusion and indecision exists is that the first two groups are not at all "conservative" (that is limited government) in nature and are both much more organized and easy to define than the third. Thus they can wrongly claim to be the true conservative and influence and confuse the third group.

I guess the silver lining to all this is that the foolish Republicans who have been blindly following their party for the past 7 years are now going to get exactly what they fear most and deserve: President Hillary.

"One must always remember, when extolling the virtues of democracy and free elections, that by definition half of the population has below average intelligence." -me

Saturday, February 02, 2008

McCain wants to bring troops home NOW!

Not when democracy is flourishing.

Not when order is restored.

AS SOON AS POSSIBLE WITHOUT LOSING ANY MORE AMERICAN LIVES!!


That is when it's not a Republican's war....



When the Republicans start a war, we can stay there for a hundred years for all he cares.

Monday, January 14, 2008

What We Have Done

If you vote for Obama you are complicit in this. If you vote for McCain this is what *YOU* want.



There are three candidates in the race for president that are left who will bring troops home starting day one. They are Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, and Mike Gravel.

What do YOU want?