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Archive for April, 2007

Ed and Elaine BrownEd and Elaine Brown have been holed up in their Plainfield, NH house for months, daring federal law enforcement to bother them. While normally that’s not a problem, since I don’t want federal law enforcement to bother me at home either, Ed and Elaine Brown have been not only convicted of federal crimes, but also sentenced to prison for those crimes. They have also repeatedly referred to the outcome of any attempt to take them into custody as another “Waco”, and have openly stated that they will kill anyone who tries to take them into lawful custody. Now, that’s a problem.

Elaine is a very successful dentist (or at least she was, until all this happened). Ed is usually described as a “retired exterminator”. Basically, he lives off his wealthy wife, which I guess is nice work if you can get it. However, if Ed and Elaine Brown were young financially disadvantaged African-Americans, they’d have been toast long ago. See, my problem with this situation has nothing to do with the Browns’ convictions per se – and in fact, the nature of their conviction is irrelevant to me – but rather my concern is that everyone is supposed to be equal under the law. Obviously, though, that is not the case.

This whole mess started years ago, when Ed and Elaine decided there was no law which requires them to pay federal income taxes. So, they didn’t, and quite predictably the IRS came a-knockin’. They had failed to file or pay taxes on over $1.3 million in income, and refused to pay or even discuss payment when the government demanded its money, so they were criminally prosecuted. They then tried to buy their way out of trouble by offering to pay the back taxes, but it was too late. (more…)

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In this week’s “radio address” (recorded a little late, as the candidate spent the weekend on the road) Steve discusses the status of his presidential campaign:

This weekend, I attended the California Libertarian Party’s state convention, where I was joined by four other presidential candidates for an evening of speeches and questions from the audience. It was a fantastic gathering, and I was happy to be able to spend some quality time with Libertarians from around my great state.

It was also an opportunity for me to talk with some of my closest friends about where this presidential campaign is going and what it holds for the future.

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I hate to say I told you so. But, I told you so.

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By Richard Winger, posted at Ballot Access News. Links by Sicilian Pastry Productions.

The California Libertarian Party held its annual state convention in San Ramon, California, April 20-22. On Saturday evening, five candidates seeking the party’s presidential nomination addressed the attendees. Each of the five was given 30 minutes. A random procedure dictated the order. The five candidates, in the order in which they spoke, were Steve Kubby, Dave Hollist, Mike Jingozian, Daniel Imperato, and Wayne Allyn Root. Candidate Christine Smith had been expected, but she did not appear. George Phillies did not appear, but campaign literature on his behalf was circulated. Also, campaign literature was circulated, urging that Karen Kwiatkowski (who says she only wants the vice-presidential nomination) be drafted for president.

Steve Kubby, speaking first, displayed skill as an orator. He also allowed time for questions. Kubby, of course, has been a member of the Libertarian Party for at least a decade, and was the California party’s gubernatorial candidate in 1998. He responded to a question about immigration policy by saying he favors open borders. He introduced his campaign treasurer, who was in the audience. He stressed that long-time Libertarian Party activist Tom Knapp is acting as his campaign manager, even though Knapp doesn’t use that title.

paul) Tom, I know you at least were using the title…is that no longer the case? Not that I care that much about titles, just slightly curious.

Dave Hollist, a California Libertarian who has sought the party’s presidential nomination twice before, started to use his 30 minutes by showing a video of himself making a speech. The sound quality was poor. After ten minutes, state party chair Aaron Starr interrupted the video presentation and persuaded Hollist that the video was a bad idea, so Hollist then spoke for himself for ten minutes more. He criticized the other presidential candidates for not proposing an immediate end to taxation, and suggested that his idea for contract insurance could replace the lost tax revenue.

Mike Jingozian spoke next. He is an Oregon businessman who is fairly new to the Libertarian Party. His presentation was devoted almost entirely to an attack on the failed policies of the Republican and Democratic Parties. He had circulated copies of his campaign literature which labels him an “independent candidate for president”. He took questions. Asked about the label, he said he is a Libertarian but that the “independent” label is designed to draw the attention of voters who might not be as interested if he didn’t use that label. His answers probably didn’t dispel a feeling among the audience that he may not be sufficiently in sync with party core beliefs.

Daniel Imperato spoke next. He is a Florida businessman who is very new to the Libertarian Party. He said that he will be elected president in 2008, or, if not then, in an election in the future. He stressed his familiarity with people all over the world and said his company has offices in 70 nations. He spoke a smattering of Arabic. He answered questions. As in the case of Jingozian, he probably didn’t dispel a feeling among the audience that he may not be a match for the party. He said that he would have U.S. military forces stop fighting in Iraq, but remain there, and that he would demand that Iraq repay the U.S. for the costs of U.S. military expenditures so far.

Wayne Allyn Root spoke last. He lives in Las Vegas, is CEO of a company that gives advice to people who bet on sports outcomes, and hosts the Fox TV network show The Winning Edge. Like Kubby, he displayed impressive oratorical skills. He gave more information about his past political life than the other candidates had done. He said his father had helped establish the New York Conservative Party. He said that his own personal heroes are Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. He is also new to the Libertarian Party. He emphasized his skills with television, and revealed that a cameraman who had been filming all day long is working for him, and that the filming is for a proposed Reality TV Show about his quest for the Libertarian nomination. He didn’t take questions, since his presentation consumed his full allotment of 30 minutes.

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Tee BarkdullTee Barkdull is a presidential candidate for The American Party. In fact, it appears he created that party, and that he is its one and only member. You can see his completely amateurish website here. His website is for the most part boring, but the misspellings alone make it worth the visit. ;-)

The sad thing is that Tee has some interesting ideas, but he is such a complete and utter jerkwad that none of those ideas will ever be taken seriously unless someone else decides to promote them.

Then again, some of his ideas are certifiably insane.

Basically, Tee’s main qualification is that he was elected president of his local VFW where, if his website and blog comments are any indication, he drinks to excess. He spent years in the military, but it doesn’t appear he was either an officer, or a gentleman. In fact, as far as I can tell, he was a low-level enlisted man for his entire 20-year military career – his website shows a photo of a corporal’s insignia – and he admits he worked mostly in supply (which, for anyone who has never been in the military, means that he has the intelligence of a slug). He also claims he is well educated, not because he has a degree in anything (although he claims to have a “Doctrine in Common Sense”) , but because he figured out how to put gas in his car and food on the table.

By that standard, my 19-year-old son is a frickin’ genius. (more…)

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National Okay, I know a lot of people make their living by doing telemarketing. Even my own son did it for a while (although he absolutely hated it). It’s an honest living, as long as they aren’t doing telemarketing for a scam. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t annoy me, though. My phone number has always been unlisted and unpublished. I put all my phones on the no-call list, including my cell, to no avail. I finally just got rid of my home phone, because they were driving me crazy.

So you can imagine my amusement when I ran across a recording wherein someone probably scared some poor “you have just qualified for a free….” telemarketer out of the industry forever. I have to laugh every time I hear it.

Fun with telemarketers

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In a twist on the old “the devil made me do it” claim, members of Westboro Baptist Church claim that the Virginia Tech massacre was an act of God. Why would God do that? Well, apparently because people like me have been making fun of the Westboro Baptist Church ‘tards (best known as godhatesfags.com) for a little too long.

Um, yeah.

Westboro Baptist Pickets Virginia Tech funeral

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