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Maria LauterbachI have been watching the news reports about the young, extremely pregnant female Marine, Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, who disappeared almost a month ago.

What has been most prominent in this case is the systematic marginalization of a young woman who dared to accuse a man, a superior officer, of sexual assault. I expected that out of the Marine Corps. I did not expect that from her family and civilian authorities.When she disappeared in December, the military did not report her missing, although certainly they were aware of it. Her stepmother was the person who filed the missing persons report. It now seems that her stepmother had advised her in a telephone conversation, shortly before her disappearance, to put her baby up for adoption because she couldn’t care for it. However, I’ve yet to see a Marine who can’t handle diaper duty. I suspect her stepmother really suggested adoption because of the identity of the father.

Apparently she had filed a rape charge against a superior officer, and a hearing was upcoming. The minute she filed a rape charge against a fellow Marine, she placed herself in danger, and the Marine Corps wasn’t about to do a thing to protect her.

As every female in the military is well aware (I used to be in the Air Force, many years ago) “don’t ask, don’t tell” applies to far more than sexual orientation. It also applies to females speaking out against the good ol’ boy system which is our military. They don’t want women there, and they especially don’t want mothers there. The latter is understandable to an extent, for many reasons; the former is not.

If a female is sexually assaulted by a fellow solder, and she reports that assault, she is assumed to be lying. Most females in the military will not report a crime committed by a male counterpart, and especially a superior officer, because they know how it will be viewed. The female, by filing such a charge, has bought their ticket out of the military, and with that goes all the benefits of being in the military, as well as the income. They will be forced out as a disgraced soldier.

Sure enough, it has been announced that she was facing involuntary discharge.

It has been said that she is suicidal and a chronic liar by her own family, by military authorities, and by the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department. Just yesterday, the Onslow County Sheriff made a plea for the missing woman to come back and face her problems.

Today, the Onslow County Sheriff announced that she is dead. Not only is she dead, she’s buried. It’s kind of hard to bury yourself when you’re dead. Obviously, she did not commit suicide. She was murdered. Obviously, the number one suspect is the superior officer.

Yet the Sheriff just said he is not terming this murder, because there are “a lot of twists and turns”. However, when you’re dealing with the military and they are covering something up, there are always going to be twists and turns. Sheriff Brown needs to get smart, and realize that he was being sent in other directions intentionally, to divert attention away from the Marine Corps.

Now, authorities are saying that the superior officer she accused is also missing. Apparently he’s been missing for a week, and was supposed to appear for duty at Fort Carson, Nevada.

Given the rape allegation, one would think he would have been noticed missing long before now. Undoubtedly the Marine Corps was aware that he had disappeared, and one would think they’d have made that information available. Had they done that, it would have been clear very early in the investigation that she had most likely been a victim of foul play, and the case would have been investigated as a possible murder rather than as a missing person. There is a huge difference between those two types of investigation, after all, since every adult has the right to disappear if they so desire.

But no. All this time, everyone – the Marine Corps, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department, and even her own family – have worked on the assumption that she was lying about being raped by a superior officer. All this time, they have been protecting a murderer, a man who killed not only a fellow soldier, but an expectant mother and, quite obviously, her unborn child which could have survived outside the womb since she was eight months pregnant when she disappeared. As far as I’m concerned, that’s murder number two.

Today officials are saying that she was murdered because her unborn child would have been proof of her accusation of rape, which is undoubtedly a very big motive for murder on the part of the superior officer. So why wasn’t the Marine Corps ensuring this young woman’s safety from her attacker? Why didn’t they share that information with civilian authorities who were investigating her disappearance?

There are a lot of questions in this case which will probably never be answered. After all, the military is a law unto itself, and they don’t have to cooperate with local authorities.

However, this wouldn’t be the first time a Marine committed cold-blooded murder. The most famous case is undoubtedly that of Captain Jeffrey McDonald, who in the 70s murdered his pregnant wife and his two very young daughters, then tried to claim that drug-crazed hippies had committed the crime. It took decades to convict him of that heinous crime, due to the incompetence of the Marine Corps.

It looks like the Marines haven’t learn a thing since then. It’s all about protecting the reputation of the Corps. Semper Fi and all that, you know.

Originally posted by ElfNinosMom on Adventures in Frickintardistan

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A class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Iraq War veterans against the US Department of Veterans Affairs. A copy of the lawsuit complaint may be seen at http://www.mofo.com/docs/pdf/PTSD070723.pdf

Along with a plethora of abuses alleged in that lawsuit, it is additionally alleged (as previously touched upon in this forum, when I noted that this is a longstanding action dating back to at least the early 1980s) that the VA has conspired with the Pentagon to falsely categorize veterans as suffering from preexisting personality disorders, as a way of denying them their veteran benefits.

According to the lawsuit, the Veterans Administration has a backlog of between 400,000 and 600,000 claims. It states that it takes 177 days to process an initial claim, and 657 days to process an appeal, and some benefit claims take up to ten years to decide while injured veterans suffer and, sometimes, die awaiting necessary care. The suit additionally compares this timeline to healthcare claims made in the private sector, which take on average less than 70 days to decide.

Additionally, according to the lawsuit, senior VA officials were given $3.8 million in bonuses during 2005, the same year in which the VA spent $1 billion over budget while timely and appropriate treatment of injured veterans continued to decline.

Most recently, there have been a rash of suicides by Iraq War veterans, which were attributed to the agency’s failure to provide sufficient and appropriate mental health care to war veterans.

The law firm representing the veterans, Morrison and Foerster, stated that the lawsuit does not seek to make a statement about the war, but instead is intended to force action on veterans’ benefit issues.

Recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a sharply worded decision regarding the failure of the VA to pay retroactive benefits to Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and suffered from a form of leukemia, “The performance of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs has contributed substantially to our sense of national shame.”

According to the newest complaint, which seeks a court order directing the Veterans Administration to make drastic changes in order to properly and timely treat injured and ill veterans, “Unless systemic and drastic measures are instituted immediately, the costs to these veterans, their families and our nation will be incalculable, including broken families, a new generation of unemployed and homeless veterans, increases in drug abuse and alcoholism, and crushing burdens on the health care delivery system.”

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Reno GonzalezFrom Reno Gonzalez’s myspace blog…..

Understand this please…
Current mood: peacefulfor those that do not yet understand; I am not at Elaine or Ed’s home any longer.

There are three stories, what I was told by Ed and what Ed tells others, then the real reason. You can go ask ed why, I am tired of the lies flying around. Just another distraction from the stand I have taken on and it needs support.

Understand this…

I am working at holding our very own government accountable for the wrongs in the past and in the here and now.

I am not holding a protest march, not asking for permission to stand on a corner to tell others the truth… I am not giving into the non laws that control us.

I was sad to leave the home, but they made the choice to ask me to leave. But that does not mean much to me really. Sitting on my ass waiting for what? Security, I gave my two cents… And got nothing.

Waiting? For what? Ask to leave? Yes I was, but being on the move is where I am more at ease. Waiting for what!?!

If not me then who? If not now then when?

I have not gone home. I have been helping others setup their own orgs to networks and reach out to others…

I am not going home. Not while I still have the means… And the means I have. Thanks to your very own support and from the donations to the cause that moves this movement forward.

I will not ask for permission to continue, I have the personal responsibility to push myself forward. I determine my own level of involvement.

I sit on my ass only when I have to drive and eat. Sometimes both of those at the same time.

I cannot just sit and wait for others to wake up. So I am pushing myself to find others that are ready to cut the bullshit off. Too god damn many are hurt everyday just waiting… fuck that!

I have some interesting news for you all…

For those of you that did not know, Cindy Sheehan is going to Jordan, Syria and then to Iraq as part of her peace efforts.

A good friend of mine called and updated me about the Camp Casey’s change of command and then went on to explain the peace efforts that he will be joining Cindy Sheehan on. After a long pause, I offered my services to the group going.

He and I talked at length about what would be expected and I assured him I was ready. This is not my first time to Iraq and this is not my first time at a war zone. Nor is it my first time placing myself in harms way.

It has occurred to many that I have been allowed to travel freely about after my time with the Elaine and Ed Brown.

And I myself wonder; along with others if I will be grabbed at the airport or will they wait to allow me to leave and have someone else do their dirty work… Either way… This is new for me…

A chance to work with people that are known and actively working to end what I first saw as a must be stopped war.

I mean I have done the anti war marches and the peace marches, but none of them I felt really did anything. And the coverage was just suck.

Cindy on the other hand, moves around and gets in people’s faces and demands answers. And demands them then and there. My kinda activist.

I remember hearing about Cindy going to Cuba, and I so fucking wanted to go meet that group there… But instead I set my focus on something that could be tracked and explained to bring our government back to the people’s will and control; and hold those that lied accountable for their actions.

On Easter weekend of this year I met Cindy in person. It was part of my trip on my way to offer my services to Elaine and Ed Brown. Funny how some things work out.

Once I have things all set I will update my status on my work here at home. Perhaps I could blog about my account of what happens over seas…

IF, I am not able to go with them on their “Peace Efforts”… Then I will carry on here. California and Arizona have been asking for a meeting there and I want to go talk to them.

Plus I understand that Bree Walker would like to speak with me… I would love to visit Camp Casey again…

Reno

I am glad to hear that someone with experience in a war zone will be accompanying Ms. Sheehan, and I send their entire peace party the very best wishes for a safe and fruitful journey.

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Road To GuantanamoAccording to this article, we’re supposed to believe that prisoners being held at Gitmo are being treated as if they’re merely guests of the goverment, while the only real abuse is directed at the guards.

However, it’s far more likely that the government is sending military members back to the states with strict orders to report that all is well at Gitmo. It’s easy to get them to do that, after all, especially if the person in question is an officer with a pension on the line, as with the person who gave the information for this story. It’s even easier when the military member knows that they, too, can be declared an enemy combatant and simply disappear if they dare to speak the truth about the atrocities they have witnessed. There is also the fear that they will be discharged due to a nonexistent “personality disorder”, and thus shamed and stripped of the civilian benefits of having served voluntarily and honorably in the armed forces.

That’s nothing new, incidentally. The military was discharging soldiers on the basis of alleged preexisting personality disorders in the early 1980s, when I served in Air Force Intelligence Operations. Those airmen were not mentally ill, and in fact were extraordinarily good at their specialties; however, they had committed the unspeakable crime of not remaining silent against what they perceived to be wrong, and branding them mentally deficient is the military’s way of silencing them. Once they are so categorized, the military can easily discount anything they may later say against the military’s interest. But, I digress.

Like so many in the current administration, this Brigadier General (for those unfamiliar with military ranks, that’s a one-star General) believes it’s acceptable to hold people in a lawless prison environment long-term with no charges, and no hearing, because they’re “enemy combatants” …… and he really and truly thinks there’s a difference between enemy combatants and prisoners of war, which causes Geneva Convention protections to not apply to enemy combatants. Yet the only real difference is that prisoners of war are captured while engaging in war, while enemy combatants are, for all intents and purposes, kidnapped. In other words, while he is willing to toe the military line and is quite successful in that position, in the civilian world his brainwashing would render him, for all intents and purposes, useless.

If prisoners at Gitmo are specifically classified as not being prisoners of war, for whom torture is forbidden under the Geneva Convention, does the government actually expect us to believe that these men are not being tortured? It’s quite obvious that the only reason to classify them differently is so that they can be tortured without violating the Convention.

What’s most sickening about this particular article, beyond the brainwashing aspect, is that it is being distributed and touted as truth on a discussion list for paralegals, who should definitely know better than to mindlessly accept what the government says. Or maybe, just maybe, these particular paralegals know just enough to be dangerous. (more…)

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From ABC News:

A Marine corporal testifying in a court-martial said Marines in his unit began routinely beating Iraqis after officers ordered them to “crank up the violence level.”

Cpl. Saul H. Lopezromo testified Saturday at the murder trial of Cpl. Trent D. Thomas.

“We were told to crank up the violence level,” said Lopezromo, testifying for the defense.

When a juror asked for further explanation, Lopezromo said: “We beat people, sir.”

Within weeks of allegedly being scolded, seven Marines and a Navy corpsman went out late one night to find and kill a suspected insurgent in the village of Hamandiya near the Abu Ghraib prison. The Marines and corpsman were from 2nd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment.

Lopezromo said the suspected insurgent was known to his neighbors as the “prince of jihad,” and had been arrested several times and later released by the Iraqi legal system.

Unable to find him, the Marines and corpsman dragged another man from his house, fatally shot him, and then planted an AK-47 assault rifle near the body to make it appear he had been killed in a shootout, according to court testimony.

Four Marines and the corpsman, initially charged with murder in the April 2006 killing, have pleaded guilty to reduced charges and been given jail sentences ranging from 10 months to eight years. Thomas, 25, from St. Louis, pleaded guilty but withdrew his plea and is the first defendant to go to court-martial.

Lopezromo, who was not part of the squad on its late-night mission, said he saw nothing wrong with what Thomas did.

“I don’t see it as an execution, sir,” he told the judge. “I see it as killing the enemy.”

Read the rest of this disturbing story here.

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A while back I wrote about the Energy Vortex and others have commented on the same issue.

The most cited instance of this is the War in Iraq (and possibly Afghanistan; it may have had a lot to do with the proposed oil pipeline through Afghanistan).

This view of

Operation
Iraqi
Liberation

has worked its way into popular culture:

Many have denied the connection, but the new Iraqi Oil Law
makes it harder to give any credibility to such denials.

Nor is the regime’s energy fascism solely confined to grand projects abroad; sometimes, it can also be quite petty and domestic.
Francois Tremblay
reports:

Despite his good intentions, the state fined Teixeira $1,000 for not paying motor fuel taxes. North Carolina officials also told him that to legally use veggie oil here he’d have to first post a $2,500 bond.

Such penalties have also been levied against other North Carolina drivers whose vehicles were powered by alternative fuels.

It’s enough to make you do a Katrina Clap…

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H/T djomama

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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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With all the attention we have been paying to Republican Presidential candidates Adolf Giuliani and Ron Paul lately, I thought it would be only fair to say a word or two about creepy warmonger
John McCain.

Here he is singing “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” and laughing about it.

What did the Iranians ever do? Never mind, war criminal McCain has never met a war he didn’t like.

McCain can’t help but remind me of the
Manchurian Candidate.

This illustrious member of the Keating Five Savings and Loan scandal Senators and noted gigolo is also well known for the McCain-Feingold Incumbent Protection Act.

Somewhat less well known is that he also co-sponsored the McCain/Lieberman gun show bill, which would have given the federal government the administrative power to prohibit all gun shows, and to register everyone who attends a gun show. According to wikipedia, “Since 2004, McCain has gained the unique distinction of receiving an F- rating from Gun Owners of America; and further unlike any other 2008 Republican Presidential Candidate has a dedicated section/compendium within the GOA web site, which contains numerous pages relating to John McCain’s very own anti-Second Amendment initiatives while in the Senate”.

Wikipedia also points out that he hired a board member of the Project for the New American Century, Randy Scheunemann, as his foreign-policy aide and is considering Billion Dollar Bob Riley for veep.

Oh, and his anti-torture provision? Not all it’s cracked up to be.

To sum it all up, I have to give McCain the maximum number of flushes.

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Since Stuart mentioned the Outright Libertarians interview with George Phillies, here is their interview with Steve Kubby, from their blog.

Unlike the problem with immigration that Stuart mentioned in George’s answers, Steve’s were traditionally libertarian down the line.

Read the interview after the jump.
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H/T Reason Hit & Run

Eric Dondero, who commented on some of last night’s debate threads, has made an announcement at Redstate.

I am this morning, declaring my candidacy for Congress in the GOP primaries against Ron Paul. If he does not resign his seat, and if another Republican candidate does not declare against him, I will run a balls-to-the-wall campaign for Congress in Texas CD 14. I am the guy that got Ron Paul elected to Congress in 1996. I can and will defeat him in 2008.

Eric Dondero, Fmr. Senior Aide
US Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)
1997-2003


Dondero says he’ll defer if another pro-war conservative, like former Rep. Steve Stockman, makes the run. Paul’s 1996 win was sort of miraculous, given how the national GOP marshalled its strength against him and even backed a Democratic opponent to keep him out of Congress. I’d guess the party will have too much to worry about in 2008 to back a Paul primary challenge (it’ll spend at least $3 million getting back Tom DeLay’s seat, for example), but this is the kind of thing that could attract a nice fat stream of web donations.

If Eric loses the primary, he has made plans to challenge RP in the general election as the candidate of the Lieberman Lebensraum for Amerika Party (not officially, at least not yet).

While I still endorse Steve Kubby for President, I’m happy to offer my endorsement to Ron Paul for reelection to Congress.

Ron Paul was of course clearly 100% correct in last night’s debate against Dondero’s fascist idol, Adolf Giuliani.

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Via Brad Spangler

Dana Rohrabacher wants me dead. Well, not just me. Dana Rohrabacher wants a whole bunch of Americans dead.

“I hope it’s your family members that [sic] die,” said US Rep. Dana Rohrabacher to American citizens who questioned the Bush administration’s unlawful extraordinary rendition policies.

Rohrabacher, bring it you fucking traitor.

“But in 1969-71, Dana Rohrabacher was the most successful and most beloved libertarian activist… he was a close friend of mine until he crossed the line with his campaign for Congress. — Samuel Edward Konkin III

This reminds me. I’ve been trying to get confirmation as to whether Rohrabacher was a warmonger during the Vietnam War. As a former anarchist and follower of an actual pacifist, Robert LeFevre, it would have been illogical, but I would like independent reports from those who actually knew Rohrabacher back then.

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

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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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From
Classically Liberal

…sit down with the kids. Warn them. Tell that there will be people who pretend to be their friends. They hang out outsides the schools, at the malls, anywhere where kids hang out. They lurk around the internet. They will even call at home if they know the parents aren’t around. Not only will they pretend to be a friend but they will promise rewards, opportunity, even cash if the kids just do what they want. And they really, really don’t want the parents to know about this. Remember if you don’t tell you kids about these people they will get your children.

And if you think the comparison between recruiters and molesters is strained then watch the following CNN report. Over 80 recruiters, in 2005, were caught for sexual misconduct with the young people they are trying to recruit. Over 100 victims have come forward. These people are given, without the knowledge of parents, full access to kids anytime they want at any school in the US under Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” legislation. They are given private information on all children including unlisted phone numbers and you are not able to block their calls, they can bypass blocks on any phone. Since 1996 almost 800 military recruiters have faced these charges.

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From Wally Conger by way of LeftLibertarian.org

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The American Freedom Agenda
has come forward with a
Freedom Pledge
which has been endorsed by some Libertarian candidates, including Steve Kubby and George Phillies (in the comment section at LP blog). We hope all the other candidates sign it too.

LP Presidential nomination Candidates, supporters and staff, please let us know any other candidates you know who have signed it!

Freedom Pledge after the jump:

(more…)

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This past weekend I went to the LNC meeting, State Chairs Conference and Florida LP Convention in Orlando and handed out some Kubby brochures, and then went to an Alabama Ballot Access Case hearing at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. More details in a later post.

Several candidates for the LP Presidential nomination were in Orlando: George Phillies, Mike Jingozian, Wayne Allyn “WAR” Root, Daniel Imperato, and Alden Link were in a debate.

Kubby campaign manager Tom Knapp explains why Kubby had better things to do this past weekend:

(more…)

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By Brian Doherty and Angela Keaton

This was a key document in a rejected version of U.S. plans for Iraq. It was found, damp, crumbled in a State Department trash can.

  • Dear Iraq:

    When I decided that we belonged together, I had the best intentions. Our relationship was never about control for me. I truly believe that if you love something, you ought to set it free.

    I could see that Saddam was bad for you. You weren’t happy with him. He was abusive, he was controlling, and there’s no way you were better off with him than with me—though I slowly started to notice, you certainly seemed calmer with him than you have with me.

    This is hard for me to admit. I’ve invested so much in this relationship—time, money, my highest ideals. But I’ve come to realize there’s a lot wrong with our relationship. Face it: we’ve become a seriously high-conflict couple. I never wanted to admit how violent our relationship had become. I thought it was just a phase, and that things would change if I just showed you how much I cared, how much I was willing to bleed to make this work.

    But I’ve had some good advice lately from friends, and I even consulted some professionals who gave me a more objective outlook on what’s been going on between us.

    They helped me see something I was afraid to face. I thought it was my duty to put up with how crazy things had gotten. I thought it was my fault, that I had to stick with you no matter how awful the relationship was for us both. Some serious co-dependency is at play here, Iraq. Despite my best intentions, we continue to bring out the worst in each other. (more…)

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