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“This is not change,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero correctly told the Associated Press. “Candidate Obama ran on a platform that would reform the abuse of state secrets, but President Obama’s Justice Department has disappointingly reneged on that important civil liberties issue.”

Rope…

A Gallup Poll released February 12 revealed that 62 percent of Americans want to investigate or criminally prosecute Bush administration officials who authorized torture in the so-called “war on terror.” But even hough President Obama has said numerous times that “nobody’s above the law,” on February 10 he used the Bush administration’s “state secrets” gambit to quash a lawsuit attempting to penalize some of those involved in renditioning torture subjects.

Dope

Vice-Admiral Albert Church: US abused/tortured prisoners to death in Afghanistan

The ACLU has managed to acquire incompletely redacted Federal documents that substantiate charges that US interrogators indeed did abuse/torture prisoners to death in Afghanistan as early as 2002.

Find the documents here.

http://www.aclu.org/images/torture/asset_upload_file293_38710.pdf

A chilling passage from the report by Vice-Admiral Albert Church:

The behavior alleged in the Deember 2002 Bagram death cases was clearly abusive, and clearly not in keeping with any approved interrogation policies or guidelines. In both instances the deaths followed interrogation sessions in which unauthorized techniques were allegedly employed, but in both cases these sessions were followed by further alleged abusive behavior outside of the interrogation booth.

The second page of the report details prisoners

being handcuffed to objects above their heads in order to keep them awake. Additionally, interrogations in both incidents involved physical violence, including kicking, beating, and the use of “compliance blows” which involved striking the PUC’s legs with the MP’s knees. In both cases, blunt force trauma to the legs was implicated in the deaths. In one case a pulmonary embolism developed as a consequence of blunt force trauma…

Hope?
@ OnTheWilderSide

from Greens for Greens

CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

On the Rocks

By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

I write these words at the end of a week in which:

A new Democratic president, Barack Obama, via his Attorney General, has explicitly endorsed Bush’s policy on renditions and Bush’s refusal to recognize the jurisdiction of US courts in any legal proceedings in this regard; also a week in which Obama’s solicitor general has explicitly endorsed Bush’s policy on enemy combatants.

I write not long after the New York Times reported that state welfare rolls are actually shrinking in months when unemployment has risen to real totals of 17 and 18 per cent – 1.7 million in Dec and Jan, hence when more and more people are in desperate straits.

Nope

I told ya….

  • William Grigg predicts that Obama will be worse than Bush.
  • obama

  • Steve Funk writes
    • Less foreign military interventionism? NOPE
    • Ending the insane war on drugs? NOPE
    • Defunding G.W. Bush’s “faith-based initiatives”? NOPE
    • Halting illegal government wiretaps and repealing FISA? NOPE
    • No more taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street and big business? NOPE
    • Cutting reckless government spending and reducing the $10+ trillion federal debt? NOPE
    • Reforming our doomed Social Security program? NOPE
    • Reducing the influence of PACs and lobbyists? NOPE
    • Lifting the Cuban trade and travel embargo? NOPE

    gay-obama-5

  • Becky points out that Obama was partially responsible for the passage of gay-bashing Prop. 8 in California. He did nothing to stop pro-Prop 8 forces from calling millions of people with a recording of him saying “I believe marriage is a union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God is in the mix.” He did not campaign against the measure.

    Becky writes:

    Ironically, it was the huge black turnout, triggered by their enthusiasm to put [Obama] in the the White House, that ensured passage of Proposition 8. Exit polls show it was opposed by whites, Latinos were evenly split, and favored overwhelmingly by African-Americans.

(Much) more to come…..

Cope:

Knappster’s post on Liberaltarians, and my comments…

“Liberaltarianism” in its 2008 regeneration simply meant that libertarians placed dismantling the Bush Administration’s catastrophic civil liberties and foreign affairs policies so much higher on the agenda than fiscal restraint (which neither conservatives nor liberals embrace today anyway) that they were willing to hold their noses, close their eyes and pull the lever for Obama — despite knowing full well what the budgetary ramifications would be.

Think of the Republicans and Democrats like the meth and heroin a junkie shoots.

Junkie gets too spun out on meth, and shoots some H to come down. Junkie gets too low with H and shoots some more meth to spin back up. It’s a toxic mix.

“placed dismantling the Bush Administration’s catastrophic civil liberties and foreign affairs policies so much higher on the agenda than fiscal restraint”

What about the Bush gang’s lack of fiscal restraint, worst since either LBJ or FDR in growth level terms, and worst ever in absolute terms? What about the Clinton gang continuing the Iraq embargo for eight years, putting more people in prison for drugs than any administration before him, proposing everything which eventually came to be in the use-a-patriot act, etc? What about Obama voting for all these kinds of policies in the Senate, and promising more of the same on the campaign trail (IE more war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, no timetable or complete withdrawal in Iraq, no marijuana legalization, etc.)

Whether you vote for a Democrat or Republican, either will make foreign policy, civil liberties, *and* government spending much worse.

Democrats as a cure for Republicans and Republicans as a cure for Democrats are both very bad ideas.


… which puts them in the position of having to deal with a whole new set of problems, this time coming from the direction that, in desperation, they endorsed.

Yes, kind of like a pit and pendulum situation.

I’ll be interested to see which ways today’s “liberaltarians” go over the next couple of years.

I suppose that would depend on which ones.

More Liberaltarianism discussion at NFV posted yesterday by Deaconstruck…



Mope….

Kn@ppster:

Year: —8.

An outgoing president has escalated a long conflict into full-blown war, ultimately to popular displeasure. He is not seeking re-election. His party rejects its anti-war wing and nominates a “stay the course” candidate.

The opposing party nominates, and elects, a candidate running on nebulous “new leadership will end the war and win the peace” rhetoric.

The new president introduces “bold” economic policies, including wage controls.

1968 or 2008?

LBJ or GWB?

Eugene McCarthy or Ron Paul?

Richard Nixon or Barack Obama?

The more things change …

agnewbiden

Same guy? Think about it … ever seen’em together?



What does that leave? The Pope? Well, hear ya go.

zombimage3838368g

Bdee, bdee, bdee….

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Rasmussen
reports that

Libertarian voters make up 4% of the nation’s likely voters and they favor Barack Obama over John McCain by a 53% to 38% margin. Three percent (3%) would vote for some other candidate and 5% are not sure. These results, from an analysis of 15,000 Likely Voter interviews conducted by Rasmussen Reports, challenges the conventional wisdom which assumes that strong support for a Libertarian candidate would hurt John McCain.

In June, Rasmussen Reports asked 15,000 Likely Voters if they were fiscally conservative, moderate, or liberal and if they were socially conservative, moderate, or liberal. This created a total of 16 possible combinations (not sure was a fourth option for both questions). However, 87% of voters fit into one of seven combinations. Libertarians, defined as fiscally conservative and socially liberal, are the smallest of these seven combinations.

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originally posted by GE at IPR. Headline by Fred Church in the comments.

In response to House GOP leader John Boehner’s comments to Reason‘s Dave Weigel — that conservatives considering a vote for Bob Barr “might as well vote for Barack Obama” — the LP has issued a press release with harsh words for the GOP and its leadership.

Libertarian Party spokesperson Andrew Davis said that Boehner’s comments “reflect the same fallacy of thought that has put America in its current situation, with neither Republicans or Democrats offering the solutions voters want to hear.”

Davis also said Boehner’s comments were “a symptom of the same delusion that cost Republicans control in 2006.”

Read the entire release here.

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The Moderate Voice, “None of the Above”

March 5, 2008 by Pete Abel

—————————————————————————————————–

“As I grow older, I regret to say that a detestable habit of thinking seems to be getting a hold of me.” – H. Rider Haggard

“A great many people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices.” – William James

—————————————————————————————————–

So which is it? Am I an aging addict of the detestable habit of thinking, or am I merely rearranging my prejudices? Honestly, I’m not sure, but I do know this much: The libertarian impulses of my youth and the stoic conservatism of my early adult years are gradually giving way to the doubts of middle-age – doubts that are centered on two questions:

(1) Do I really believe smaller government and lower taxes are the cures to what ails us?

(2) When people are hurting and in need, is it appropriate for their government to turn away, claiming, “That’s not our issue; it should be resolved by individuals and the free market”?

Libertarian conservatives don’t doubt the answers to these questions. They respond “yes,” to both, without hesitation, without equivocation.

Twenty years ago, I would have been similarly clear-headed. I’m no longer so sure and, apparently, neither is 13-year Republican Congressman Steve Chabot of Ohio. According to a Feb. 19 article at Politico:

… Chabot has earned a 97.5 percent lifetime rating from The American Conservative Union and has largely stuck to the Republican ranks, except to oppose some pork-laden spending bills.

But when foreclosures in his hometown of Cincinnati skyrocketed, Chabot found himself aligned with Democrats — and against his party’s leaders, his conservative colleagues and the White House.

Chabot’s bipartisan dalliance illustrates how tough economic times could erode the Republican conference that House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) is counting on to blunt Democratic victories running up to the November elections.

So, let me get this straight: When rock-solid conservatives learn that their constituents are suffering, they suddenly decide government should do something about it?

Read the rest of this thought-provoking post by Pete Abel on The Moderate Voice.

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Something stinks in the Sooner State.

Oklahoma voters were the only voters with no choices for president on their ballot except Bush Skull and Kerry Bones in 2004, and Oklahoma is one of 5 states that doesn’t permit write-ins, so Oklahoma voters who wanted to vote for someone other than Bush or Kerry in 2004 completely lost their right to vote (Source: Ballot Access News). In order to be on the ballot, an independent candidate or alternative party has to get signatures equal to 5% of the last vote cast, which is the hardest standard in the country, and they have to get 10% of the vote to keep their place on the ballot, second behind only Alabama with 20%. Half of the state legislative races go completely unopposed. The Oklahoma Supreme Court refused a challenge to this edict, and the feds have no jurisdiction.

Currently, there is an
effort
underway to change this crazy scheme by initiative, but Oklahoma makes it hard to get issues on the ballot by initiative. Statute initiatives must get the signatures of 8% of the voters, which is among the highest percentages among states which allow citizen initiative, and constitutional amendments need 15%, tied with Arizona for the highest percentage required by any state that allows constitutional amendments by citizen petition according to a chart by
National Voter Outreach. The signatures have to all be gathered within 90 days, and then the State Supreme Court can hold up approval for the vote to take place by over a year.

After you gather the signatures, you have to print the names of everyone who signed on the back of the page. Imagine having to do that several hundred times after you get back from a hard day of asking people to sign and getting run out (or attempted) of every location imaginable, public and private, or having to flip the page over and ask busy people to print their name a second time for every single signature – especially when working on more than one issue. Yep, it sucks, and is one of the most asinine rules I have encountered in petitioning in 27 states plus DC over the past ten years. And there are some very asinine rules out there, such as New England states requiring signatures from every city to be on a separate page, and Massachusetts ruling that any tiny tear, food stain, stray pen mark or writing outside the box disqualifies a whole page of signatures.

To make matters worse, in a decision in the case of Yes on Term Limits v. Savage, U.S. District Court Judge Tim Leonard upheld a challenged Oklahoma state law (in effect since 1969) banning out of state residents from being ballot petition circulators and signature-collectors there. Who, exactly, is a state resident? People move all the time. Some more frequently than others. Some people don’t predictably live in one place long enough to get a mortgage or apartment lease, so we prefer to live in motels or stay with friends (I resemble this remark). Some people don’t even have a place to live at all. Does that mean we should lose our right to petition the government for redress of grievances?

Shortly after this ruling, as Brian Doherty reports at Reason Magazine,

longtime libertarian political activist Paul Jacob was indicted on felony charges in Oklahoma for conspiracy to defraud the state, along with Susan Johnson of National Voter Outreach and Rick Carpenter of Oklahomans in Action.

It isn’t Jacob’s first time with the guns of the state aimed at him. He served five months in jail in 1984, after a year on the run, for refusal to register for the draft.

In his interview about the arrest with Brian Doherty, Paul Jacob explains:

(more…)

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Bush monkeyFrom Reuters:

President George W. Bush’s approval rating has dropped to 29 percent in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Wednesday, his lowest mark ever in that survey, which also found only 23 percent approved of the job Congress was doing.” President George W. Bush’s approval rating has dropped to 29 percent in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Wednesday, his lowest mark ever in that survey, which also found only 23 percent approved of the job Congress was doing.

Bush’s approval rating slid 6 points from 35 percent in April, NBC said, citing a decline in support within his own Republican Party. Sixty-six percent said they disapproved of Bush’s job performance.

In the poll, 62 percent of Republicans approved of Bush’s job performance, down from 75 percent in April. Thirty-two percent of Republicans in the latest poll disapproved of Bush’s performance, up from 21 percent in April.

NBC tied the drop in Republican support to Bush’s efforts to promote an immigration reform measure that many conservative Republicans oppose. Polls have also shown a decline in Bush’s popularity due to the war in Iraq tied the drop in Republican support to Bush’s efforts to promote an immigration reform measure that many conservative Republicans oppose. Polls have also shown a decline in Bush’s popularity due to the war in Iraq.

The latest poll also found Americans growing more discontented with the Democratic-led Congress, with 64 percent disapproving of Congress’ job performance. Only 23 percent approved, down 8 points since April.

Sixty-eight percent believe the United States is on the wrong track. Only 19 percent believe the country is headed in the right direction — the lowest number in nearly 15 years, NBC said.

The poll of 1,008 adults conducted from Friday to Monday had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

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Jimmy CarterCRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) – The White House on Sunday fired back at former President Jimmy Carter, calling him “increasingly irrelevant” a day after Carter described George W. Bush’s presidency as the worst in history in international relations.Carter, a Democrat, said on Saturday in an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that “as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history.”White House spokesman Tony Fratto had declined to react on Saturday but on Sunday fired back.“I think it’s sad that President Carter’s reckless personal criticism is out there,” Fratto told reporters. “I think it’s unfortunate. And I think he is proving to be increasingly irrelevant with these kinds of comments.”Carter has been an outspoken critic of Bush, but the White House has largely refrained from attacking him in return. Sunday’s sharp response marks a departure from the deference that sitting presidents traditionally have shown their predecessors.In the newspaper interview, Carter said Bush had taken a “radical departure from all previous administration policies” with the Iraq war.“We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered,” Carter said.In a separate BBC interview, Carter also denounced the close relationship between Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.“Abominable. Loyal, blind, apparently subservient,” Carter said when asked how he would characterize Blair’s relationship with Bush.”I think that the almost undeviating support by Great Britain for the ill-advised policies of President Bush in Iraq have been a major tragedy for the world,” Carter said.Carter, who was president from 1977-1981 and won the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for his charitable work, was an outspoken opponent of the invasion of Iraq before it was launched in 2003. [Source: Reuters.com]

Across the blogosphere, conservatives are now making the rather shocking claim that 9/11 occurred as a result of Jimmy Carter’s policies. In a way, it’s amusing, since most of those bloggers are too young to even remember the Carter presidency. As a middle-aged left Libertarian, I remember it well. Jimmy Carter was the first president I ever voted for, although he lost that time around to Ronald Reagan. I voted for Carter because he is a humanist who believes in a strict policy of non-military intervention in international affairs, opting instead for diplomacy, except if our national security is directly threatened. After all, I was alive during Vietnam, and during the height of the Cold War, so that was (and will always be) an extremely important issue for me.

At the same time, it’s typical that conservatives would find a way to blame the actions of George W Bush – decades after Jimmy Carter left office – on a liberal. After all, they can’t blame themselves for re-electing a known warmonger who openly advocates torture and the erosion of our civil rights …. can they?

Let’s compare the two presidents.

Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize. George W. Bush couldn’t even win second prize in a beauty contest on Monopoly.

Jimmy Carter is known as a peace-advocating diplomat, and a humanitarian. George W Bush is known as a lying, draft-dodging, bloodthirsty warmongerer.

Don’t blame a man, who advocated peace, for a war that started decades after he left office. And don’t just dismiss him because he dared to say what many, if not most, politically active Americans are already thinking.

Put the blame where the blame is due. This is a war based on lies and deceptions, all of which are directly traceable and attributable to the Bush administration. There were no WMDs, folks, and Bush knew there were no WMDs; but he attacked Iraq anyway because they might one day get WMDs. Huh? I’m still scratching my head about that one. Now, Bush wants to attack even more countries, and the Democrats have already backed off the promises they made when they were elected, to end the war in Iraq. Is it therefore any wonder that third parties are more attractive than ever to voters during the 2008 presidential election cycle? (more…)

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While meandering around google just a few minutes ago, I found what appears to be a brand-new blog for the 2008 presidential election. It’s surprisingly well thought out, and seems to be trying to maintain a neutral viewpoint. There’s not even a hint of what party affiliation or political persuasion this blogger may have, which is what peaked my interest.

Here’s their blog description:

The purpose of this blog is to provide voters with a comprehensive list of candidates and their positions, and also to provide voters and candidates alike with a forum in which to share their views. Commentary is not only welcome, but highly encouraged.

Unlike some other presidential election blogs, this one is extremely comprehensive so far, with a listing of (and links for) about 75 presidential candidates of every imaginable description. They even listed the candidate for the “Vampires, Witches and Pagans Party”, LOL.

They’ve definitely put some work into it, and given it a lot of thought. The candidate and party links list alone is impressive compared to most blogs of that nature.

Apparently they’re looking for input to make sure they’ve included all the candidates and parties which should be listed, and are also looking for input so they can compile biographical info on all the candidates. They are also looking for additional links to add. So far their link categories seem to be candidates (separated by party), political parties, discussion resources, and general resources.

If anybody’s interested in checking it out or saying howdy, the blog address is www.08presidentialelection.blogspot.com

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Several LNC members, including Chuck Moulton,
who gave me a ride down to Orlando, are involved with starting Rock The Debates:
http://rockthedebates.org/about

You can play a key role in this unprecedented, historical endeavor.

The idea is to get the Democrat and Republican presidential candidates to commit to debate third party candidates.

How? We’ll ask them to debate, get the clip on video, and place it on You-Tube. Folks in places like New Hampshire can play a key, historic, pivotal role in making this happen.


o When the candidate comes to town, hook up with another as a tag team. One person asks the question, the other videotapes.
o Here’s the question:

Mr. / Ms. Candy Date, at this point in America’s history with such vital issues that we face, do you agree to debate any presidential candidate who is on the ballot in enough states to have a mathematical chance, and if not, how do you reconcile this position with the principles of freedom and opportunity upon which America is based?

.

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Over at the LP Blog the last ten posts, and counting, are about the party’s participation in the Conservative Political Action Conference. Granted, the coverage is pretty darn good, and we are at least doing some outreach somewhere, in contrast to much of what has taken place the last few years. But when is the last time we did anything like this at a liberal conference? When will there be one, and does the LP have any plans of attending?

My exchange with Steve Gordon (LP national communication director) in the comments at:

http://www.lp.org/yourturn/archives/000562.shtml

p) Steve and Joe,

Great coverage!

Keep up the good work.

I sincerely hope the LP also does this same type of outreach and coverage at some similar upcoming event for liberals, to provide much-needed balance in our outreach.

Do you know of any such upcoming events, and do you have plans to attend and cover them?

Posted by: paul at March 4, 2007 04:16 PM

Paul,

Suggest an event where 1) we’d even be allowed in the door, 2) where we’d have some reasonable outreach opportunities, 3) that it would be logistically reasonable (it is easier and cheaper for a DC-based organization to attend an event in DC than one in San Francisco) and we’d very clearly consider it.
Posted by: Stephen Gordon at March 4, 2007 04:28 PM

Steve,

That is certainly a reasonable answer.

Unfortunately, I don’t know about where and when the big liberal conferences in the DC area take place, just as I would not have known about CPAC but for the LP’s participation, but I’ll research it. I’m going to put this out on a variety of yahoo groups and see if anyone knows.

-paul
http://kubby2008.com
Posted by: paul at March 4, 2007 04:42 PM

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by way of LP blog

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posted by Justin Raimondo at AntiWar.com blog

This video (hat tip: Lew Rockwell) is revealing in a number of different ways. First of all, it shows up Hillary Clinton for what she truly is: an opportunist who is only tenuously acquainted with the truth. She now claims that if she had known then what she knows now, she would never have voted for the war: but in this video, in which she meets with members of Code Pink, the antiwar women’s group, she downplays the “weapons of mass destruction” rationale for war, and emphasizes, instead, the brutality of Saddam’s dictatorship.

Secondly, I would note the unctuousness of Code Pink leader Medea Benjamin, who shamelessly kisses up to Hillary in her introduction, and even declares that she “knows you secretly agree with us” about the war. The fun begins when Hillary sternly disabuses Ms. Benjamin of this illusion, lecturing her about the absolute evil represented by Saddam’s Iraq, and reminding her of the Clintonian war against the Serbs, which, as all good liberals know, was a righteous war. Poor Medea — talk about having the rug pulledout from under you!

The best part is when one of the Code Pink women approaches Hillary, at the end, and tries to hand her a “pink slip” — some pink underpants of a decidedly delicate character. This is when Hillary bares her fangs, and lashes out: “I am the Senator from New York,” she intones, wagging her finger at the woman like a schoolmarm, “and if you think I’m going to endanger the security of my constituents you are very much mistaken!”

Wow! How telling that, when cornered, Hillary resorts to the Bushian “we’re fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here” argument — and so readily, almost instinctively.

Now that the war is unpopular, however, Hillary is trying to distance herself from her previous incarnation as a hawk. It won’t work — thanks to Youtube!


372902522_697eca75ef_m.jpg 372902526_80685c0c0a_m.jpg

Photos by Jim Bovard

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The following reaction to the King George’s latest State of the Union speech at
http://kubby2008.com/ got so many hits that it overwhelmed our server yesterday and caused the website to go down for most of the afternoon. We’ve got the site back up now, and Tom Knapp says we will be getting a server upgrade soon.

My fellow Americans,

Earlier this evening, America listened as President George W. Bush addressed a joint session of Congress, fulfilling his Constitutional duty to report annually to Congress on “the state of the union.” Shortly thereafter, Virginia Senator Jim Webb delivered the Democratic Party’s response to his report.

I am not privileged to address you tonight over broadcast televison or radio; my party’s opinions are considered unworthy of coverage by the “mainstream media.” A response, however, is required, and I accept the responsibility for making it as an American, a presidential candidate, and hopefully a worthy, although not official, representative of my party.

The union, President Bush tells us, is strong. And he may be right. What he does not admit is that the union is weaker now than when he took office.

As evidence for his claim of national strength, he cites an economy which thrives in spite of, not because of, the ministrations of his government … and proposes additional “help” of the type that weakens rather than strengthens it.

As proof of the bright future before us and the care which we take to leave our children a better world, he points to his “No Child Left Behind Act” — an act which props up a disintegrating public education system with more of the federal interference that, until only a few short years ago, his party had pledged to eliminate at the first opportunity.

Addressing himself to the question of national defense, he defends to the very last his failed experiments in foreign military adventurism which have stretched America’s armed forces to the breaking point, alienated our friends, empowered our enemies, and left us less, not more, secure against attack or invasion.

Turning to issues of energy independence and environmental sanity, he recommends more subsidies and more regulation, rather than smaller government and more innovation.

Like President Bush, I believe that the union is strong. Unlike President Bush, I and my fellow Libertarians understand what makes America strong.

We understand that every dollar in taxes taken out of your paycheck makes America weaker, and that every dollar left in your pocket makes America stronger.

We understand that Washington’s one-size-fits-all programs for public education make America weaker, and that parental control and individual choice in education make America stronger.

We understand that “bring’em on” and “mission accomplished” and “surge” make America weaker, and that a foreign policy based on “friendship and commerce with all nations, entangling alliances with none” makes America stronger.

We understand that government subsidies to Big Oil and Big Agriculture make America weaker, that unsubsidized competition makes America stronger — and that only the innovation fostered by a truly free market will allow us to meet the challenges of pollution, climate change and future fossil fuel scarcity.

The union is strong — not because of the efforts George W. Bush and his fellow politicians, but in spite of them. And in their clutches, America can only continue to become weaker … because the strength of our union, my fellow Americans, is freedom.

The notion that government exists only for the purpose of securing our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, bequeathed us by our nation’s founders, is the foundation upon which every worthwhile American accomplishment rests. The Bush adminstration, the Congress, and their predecessors in the White House and on Capitol Hill, have gone at that foundation with a sledgehammer.

The cracks they’ve produced in that foundation are visible all around us. The Patriot Act. The Military Commissions Act. Warrantless searches and wiretaps. No-knock raids. Detention without charge, counsel or trial. As a nation, we now imprison more of our own than any other. One in thirty of us are trapped in a “justice” system that has long since ceased to represent justice. The rest of us are subject to reams of arbitrary and capricious edicts concerning what we may say, how we may worship, which political candidates we may support (and how much we do so financially), what arms we may carry in our own defense, what medicines we may use, even whether or not we can play cards on the Internet.

America as we know it — everything in it worthy of our devotion and allegiance — stands at the edge of cliff, below which the darkness of totalitarianism awaits. Whether or not our union is strong enough to step backward from the precipice is a question only time will answer.

Over the next two years, I’ll watch with you as the new Democratic Congress wrestles with the problem of restoring freedoms that a corrupt and lawless administration has robbed us of. If history is any guide, the Democrats will choose instead to go to work with their own sledgehammers.

In the meantime, I urge you to join with me in support of America’s last, best hope for a better tomorrow: The Libertarian Party. Even as we speak, hundreds of Libertarians toil in elected and appointed office or as volunteer party activists, working to protect your reedom. With your help, we can elect thousands of new local officials, hundreds of state legislators, dozens of US
Representatives and Senators and, yes, a President, who understand what makes America strong and are prepared to act on that understanding.

Let freedom grow!
Steve Kubby
Libertarian for President

George Phillies and Bill Redpath have also written responses to the
Shrub speech. My favorite review of Dubai-ya’s oratory, however, was written by Jason Gatties.

UPDATE 1/26: Libertarian Presidential Candidate Kent McManigal has also written a response to the State of the Union blatherings.

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Earlier we had a discussion of the Taxes of Evil outreach piece:


Taxes of Evil 1

We now have a new update.

Final draft of Version1:

taxesofevil4×6_frontv31-page1.jpeg

taxesofevil4×6_backv31-page1.jpeg

Susan writes,

Send your contributions to help print this to my Paypal account!!! Please!

Copies will be sent to all local LPs who request it – courtesy of the
LP Radicals.

Anyone wanting to help with printing (and help is needed! sooner better than later!) can just go to www.paypal.com and use Susan’s email address to send money to: hogarth@gmail.com

Regarding printing and distributing these, Susan says:

By the way, I have no problems with anyone using any of these in any form, modifying them, whatever. No credit neccessary. But PLEASE ask me for the source files. I did the layout in an excellent open source program called Scribus, but can provide the idles as EPS and other formats.

I suggest those looking into working on layout and design look into Scribus.

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Here’s something I’ve ben pointing out for quite a while now:


Pro-war Clinton candidacy success would mean same mob bosses have ruled U.S. since 1980

"Hillary Heralds 30 Year Plus Control Of America By Interlocking Crime Family"

Another Clinton in office would mean America being under the thiefdom of either a Bush or a Clinton for a total of at least 32 years, 36 if Hillary is re-elected (many now acknowledge that H.W. Bush pulled the strings as VP during the Reagan era)

Clinton voted for the Patriot Act and she voted for the war in Iraq, but so many Democrats are blinded by the cult of personality that they will overwhelmingly vote to put this crime family back in office.

Then again, we might just get an indefinite extention of Bush through martial law, precipitated by a war with Iran, Unless The Bush Crime family is impeached now, says Paul Craig Roberts.

Robert Higgs has an in-depth analysis of the
Living Reality of Military-Economic Fascism
and corruption through the military-industrial
complex.

And even LP national is talking about The State of the Monarchy.

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A few days ago, we reported about how state representative Burridge in NH responded to a constituent's polite email in favor of decriminalizing marijuana by calling him a dumb pothead who should become a snitch and CC'ed the local cops.

Now,
Homeland Stupidity
reports that all the calls and emails that Burridge has received as a result of the coverage of this issue on blogs such as this one has caused him to change not just his tone, but possibly his mind as well.

The Keene Sentinel reports

“This is a learning process for me,” said Burridge, who has received dozens of calls from as far as Florida, Missouri and California. “I’m certainly learning the power of blogs. … It’s fascinating.”

When the Internet storm dies down, Burridge would like to meet with Iselin to discuss the issue further, he said. “He’s certainly a very energized and passionate young man.”

Iselin said he would be open to a meeting, as well. He is even hoping that Burridge might appear on his television show.

“I was just trying to get in touch with him in the first place,” Iselin said. “That’s what this whole thing was about.”

This blog was one of many,
like this one
which experienced the most traffic we ever had due to reporting this story,
and (just like us) suggesting ways people both in and out of NH can take action. This blog, like ours, has many good ideas and templates for letters you can use in the comment section.

Going beyond what is reported in the Sentinel, the MassCann blog reports:

State of NH had a decrim meeting today. LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) spoke. Delmar (Burridge) was at the meeting. He has listened and talked to many of his constituents over the last few days and he is now publicly pledging to support marijuana decrim and will vote for it.

Sweet!

Let's keep in touch with Burridge, make sure that this is true and if so, that he keeps his word.

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Can we all say Impeachment together yet?

At

http://www.infowars.com/articles/iraq/bush_vows_no_matter_what_surge_is_on.htm

Bush vows to 60 Minutes that ‘no matter what Congress wants’ surge is on

Raw Story | January 13, 2007

In an interview set to air on this Sunday’s 60 Minutes, President George W. Bush vows to send an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq “no matter what” the Democratic-controlled Congress tries to do.

“Do you believe as Commander in Chief you have the authority to put the troops in there no matter what the Congress wants to do,” 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley asks Bush in the short clip uploaded to the CBS News web site Friday night.

“I think I’ve got, in this situation, I do, yeah,” Bush said.

“Now I fully understand they will,” Bush continued, “they could try to stop me from doing it, but, uh, I’ve made my decision and we’re going forward.”

Now, I’m no great Constitutionalist; in fact, I’m rather a fan of Lysander Spooner on the issue.

But, a limited government with divided powers is at least preferable to an unlimited one ruled by an autocratic dictator. The Constitution Bush has sworn to uphold clearly says that all appropriations – including for the military – originate in Congress, and that only Congress can declare war. If the President can simply wage undeclared wars and appropriate spending without consent of Congress, is he not a dictator and a traitor to the Constitution?

Bush clearly believes that he can rule by decree, and spend money whether the Congress likes it or not. The new Democrat “opposition” in Congress has ruled out impeachment and the last convention of the Libertarian Party (?) voted it down as well, despite having been proud to be the first party to have officially called for the impeachment of Clinton. Why the double standard?

It’s time for all of us, as individuals and organizations, to stand up together and separately and demand impeachment hearings in Congress. If the Democrats and the LP can’t find the guts to do it, what about Representative
Ron Paul
who is now
a candidate for President
?

Angel Of Death – Slayer: BSG & CD Remix

via Scott Horton’s Stress

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Can liberals and libertarians find common ground on health care solutions?

At http://mutualist.livejournal.com/

01:30 pm – What is worse: socialized medicine or fascist medicine?
With the democrats retaking congress socialized medicine (er, “universal healthcare”) will once again take the center stage. While I certainly expect the far left to spew more rhetoric, I do not expect them to come anywhere close to passing a major health reform bill.

This year, I’m much more worried about the healthcare proposal coming from right-wing groups like the Heritage Foundation and Newt Gingrich’s Center for Health Transformation. The proposal is to legislatively mandate that everyone must buy health insurance and adds subsidies for families under the three times the federal poverty level ($60,000 per year for a family of four). This proposal is already law in Massachusetts, and California is considering adapting it as well.

The rub of the matter:

I think we all want a health care system that is broadly accessible. Rather than focusing on how to generate an accessible system, let’s change the focus on eliminating barriers to access. Of all the barriers to access I could name, the biggest barrier is employer provided health insurance.

After all, isn’t the root of the problem the fact that health insurance is tied to employment? This places all of the power in the hands of corporate managers, who decide whom will receive what benefits, if any at all. Health benefits are lost when people change jobs, reducing mobility, and the self-employed and chronically unemployed are often unable to obtain insurance. Health benefits are subject the budgeting whims of managers, who are increasing using cost sharing and reducing benefits to meet budgets.

The post details how WWII wage controls led to adoption of benefits as a proxy for raises, which in turn were made tax-exempt by Congress after the war. Later, this led to a price spiral in health care costs, eventually leading to the mess we have today.

To see how government started to created this problem even earlier, see

http://ruwart.com/Healing/chap5.html

Which details how the AMA-created monopoly on occupational licensing served to destroy alternative medicine and innovation, and to close the ranks of the medical profession to women, non-whites, and the poor for decades while limiting supply of services and raising prices.

Also, see
Health Care Issues: A Compendium of Posts
by Kevin Carson.

This post also appears at

http://pauliecannoli.wordpress.com/2007/01/15/health-care-alternatives-to-socialism-and-fascism/

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The Libertarian Party Radical Caucus
NEW (9 January, 2007):

The LP Radical Caucus offers a press release sketching a Libertarian response to the Bush adminstration’s war escalation.

The press release is for the use of any Libertarian Party affiliate or organization wanting a rapid and forceful response to Bush’s call for escalation in Iraq. Please feel free to place your group’s name and contact information on it and release it to your local media. If you would like to make changes, feel free to do so. No credit need (or should) be given – release this under your own group’s name. The LP should be providing affiliates with platform-compliant, forceful statements on current news events. The LP should be taking a strong antiwar stand. The activists of the LP Radical Caucus offer this release to help LP affiliates make a strong Libertarian statement on current events.

9 January, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
[contact info here]

Libertarians:
The people must lead, and the leaders must follow.

In November, the American people clearly demanded an end to war and occupation in Iraq.

George Bush’s response is now clear: he plans to repeat the mistakes of Vietnam and escalate a war that most Americans and most Iraqis do not support; a military occupation and puppet rule that has killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and killed or maimed tens of thousands of American soldiers.

The Democratic Party has also turned a deaf ear to those who voted in the vain hope that Democrats would end the occupation. Democratic Party leaders in Congress have opted for ‘partnership’ in the crimes of the Bush administration, rather than leadership in ending the unlawful military action.

The Libertarian Party stands absolutely opposed to the war in Iraq and to foreign military intervention anywhere. The politicians have demonstrated that they will not lead, so they must be made to follow. If those opposed to the war – from left, right, and center – gather together with a passionate focus solely on ending American imperialism, the rulers will follow the people – as they should. If we let ourselves be divided at this critical moment in history by our domestic differences, the wars started in the last century will linger on and end in disaster. We must stand united against the coming draft, against the expansion of imperial rule, and against all aggression both at home and abroad.

Libertarians call on Congress to end taxation and spending in support of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, to end preparations in place for a new draft (including selective service registration), and to end punishing embargoes everywhere which encourage war and discourage the expansion of peace through trade and communication.

As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.

We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.

This post also appears at

http://pauliecannoli.wordpress.com/2007/01/10/lp-radicals-antiwar-press-release/

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