Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas, America!

Just a reminder that anyone at any time can be declared a terrorist for any reason and thrown into jail, Gitmo, or some other legal limbo:

Section 802-a-4-A of Patriot Act I amended 18 USC 2331 to add to the definition of “Domestic Terrorism” activities “that involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;”

That means jaywalking or speeding can get you branded a domestic terrorist!

Section 501 of Patriot Act II expanded the definition of “enemy combatant” to include American citizens who “may” have violated Section 802 of Patriot Act I, above.

That means you didn't even have to break a law to be considered a domestic terrorist and enemy combatant, and then thrown into Gitmo!

Section 102 of Patriot Act II states that any information gathering, legal or not, can be considered clandestine intelligence activities for a foreign power (espionage).

They made news gathering and legitimate research espionage!

And to top it off, Section 201 of Patriot Act II makes it a criminal act for anyone to release information about who is detained or where.

So they can drag you off the street and lock you away on nothing more than being there and doing nothing illegal, never to be seen again.

Land of the Free? Not likely!

Merry Christmas, America! Don't peek at the presents, kids--it's espionage that will get you thrown into Gitmo!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Victory for Angela Keaton!

The aftereffects of the resignation of The Keaton are still reverberating throughout the LP. I myself when I heard the news was shocked, saddened, and outraged at what I perceived was blatant unprofessional conduct by Mr. Eric Garris, Angela’s employer at AntiWar.com. I was wrong on that, being set straight by Angela herself, and I “manned up” and publicly apologized to Mr. Garris, and he accepted my apology.

Once the emotional WTF? ended, I thought about it a little more. Angela is a close friend, and one helluva tough woman. She won twice this past weekend.

Her first win was in getting the utterly ridiculous charges dropped against her, and she did it in style, with full outrage and anger and fully exercising her right to air it all out openly, where the charges were shown to be utterly inane, and by putting up with no bullshit from anyone. The gallery’s laughter at the charges was just a bonus, with each chuckle a nail in the coffin of her persecutors. This is what she said in a prepared statement when she presented her defense:

“My opposition to the Barr campaign and the general tenor of current Party leadership and direction is well known, though I'm certainly glad the LNC spent so much effort compiling a "Greatest Hits of Angela" for those who remain ignorant of this fact. I do often express that opposition in the form of comic invective, on the Internet and elsewhere, as is my right---and as I expect the members of the LP, many of which share my opposition and dissatisfaction, who elected me to represent them expect. My thoughts and opinions on the current direction of the LP are and were well-known to those who elected me, and such opinions, very common among the membership, deserve public representation and will continue to receive them from me. Expressing my opinions about the LP is no breach of duty to those to whom I owe a duty, the party members I was elected to represent; rather, it is exactly my duty. I do not recognize the comedic expression of opinion within a political party to be an infraction for which one deserves censure or dismissal; and this whole campaign of harassment is merely an attempt to shut out a loud and prominent voice among the party members who share my dissatisfaction and disdain with current leadership, strategies, and the presidential campaign.”


The dispute resolution committee was a compromise attempt, but that really sealed the deal for her second win.

Her second win was her resigning. This is her statement:

“Friends:

This is to confirm that I have resigned my position on the Libertarian National Committee.

I did not do this as a result of pressure from either Mr. Garris or the LNC. In fact, a few LNC members apologized for any part they may have played in this. However, as long as Redpath, Sullentrup and Starr remain in office, donors will continue to have serious questions about administrative competence, staff neutrality and most importantly ideological coherence.

While I won Saturday’s battle, I had no intention of sitting through yet another round of investigative nonsense only to be told that I was “unprofessional” because I dared say publicly what so many of you say in private. While I have nothing but the greatest respect for so many of you, I was the one who delivered the complaints to Redpath and his cohorts directly. I was the one who took the brunt of purge. And a brunt it was!

This is not an HR issue. Actually, Eric Garris not only defended me as my employer but he was willing to do what only a dear friend would do: Save my life.

Eric was aware, as were some of you, that my physical health had begun to deteriorate rapidly after the last three months of harassment by the proxies of the Barr and Root factions. Vomiting blood should not be the reward for pointing out the inept, incompetent and insidious. I went to San Diego to demand that these saboteurs look me in eye. I stood up to the bullies and won but it came at a price. I refuse to give up another moment of my life to these bastards.

For those of among you that I count as my friends, today is my birthday. The greatest gift you can give me is to accept that I have done all I can do to save what remains of the Libertarian Party, and that you will continue our struggle.

Angela Keaton”


The whole mess had been eating her up inside for months, and she was a very wounded person, brought on by the complete and utter bullshit of a group of vindictive persons who saw her, her personality, and her doing her job on the LNC as a threat to whatever little power trips they were playing at the expense of the Party and its membership. They inflicted on her an emotional abuse and physical harm that no person should have to endure, and far beyond what most people could endure. She won because now she is free of all of that, and she left on her terms, and not theirs, head held high, and she did it in resounding style in the way only The Keaton can do. She is now free of the chains that were holding her back, that were giving her serious issues in her life, including ulcers, and now she can heal and get back to a better place. Some of us, her closest friends, of which I am honored to be, will help her get there. Before this hit the fan in the past few days, when Angela was starting to get wound up about it, I asked her, “What can they do? If they throw you out, you’re free of it, and if you stay, they won’t try it again. No matter what, you’ve already won.” In one way I was right, because she did win. But I was also wrong, because the abuse they had heaped on her was causing a health decline, and very few knew the extent of that decline. I didn’t, and I sure wish I did, because both my wife and I would have done everything we could to have helped her cope then.

Make no mistake: the specific people she mentioned in her letter confirming her resignation are cruel and despicable, and they deserve to be run out of town on the nearest rail for what they did to her. Such behavior is emotional abuse, and is hardly the live-and-let-live attitude that the LP and libertarianism in general is supposed to have at its roots!

So what now? What happens next?

For Angela, she’s gone into a proverbial hole for now and taken the hole with her. She needs time to heal, and she is going to take it. She needs to get away, and I think it is best for all to respect her privacy until she decides to return. She's in her private Liberated Space for the moment. But I know this: she is a tough and amazing woman, and she will return, better than ever. I know I am one of many people that are damned proud of her. Whether Keaton/Shinghal ’12 happens now or not is TBD and up to them. Angela gave herself the best birthday present she could get: her own freedom.

For the LP, the damage is severe but repairable. A LNC Alternate Regional Representative, George Squyres, has resigned as well, for reasons not related to this. The faction mentioned above has already moved to stack the LNC with one of their own as a replacement for Angela, but it is being fought. They need to begone from office ASAP before they destroy the LP by either pure incompetence or sheer evil. They also may go after other LNC members not in their cadre to drive them out as well. Plans are being made to make 2010 a potential showdown on the future of the LP. The die has been cast, and the bleeding is happening, and this is not going to be pretty. A new movement has been spawned, partially by Angela, who blazed a trail in September, and by partially by me, who widened it a little this past weekend, along with a cast of many others, to bring openness and membership feedback to the LNC, which is sorely needed. I announced that at San Diego at the close of the open session, and the gallery erupted in a cheer that upstaged Wayne Allyn Root's announcement that he was running in 2012 for the LP presidential nomination the day before. Personally, that felt good.

For us, Angela’s friends, we stand by her and support her. We understand, respect, and support her decision. I do especially, because I have been in her present situation in my past elsewhere. We will await her return, and proceed together from there. In the meantime we will take up her fight and continue it as she requested.

For Angela’s detractors, critics, and enemies, I will defer to a quote by Thomas Knapp: “Go fuck yourselves.”

For the future battles in the LP, and there will be plenty of them, and bloody as hell, I don’t think “Remember The Keaton!” is a good battle cry. But it helps to keep it in mind. :)

Never, ever, piss off an engineer.

The future begins now. Time to get to work.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

LNC Meeting Dec 6-7

Watch the LNC webcast here! Dec 6-7, broadcast starts at 7:30 AM, meeting at 8 AM. Twitter feed is on the right. If you have a Twitter account you can log in there and read the tweets.

Watch live video from LNC Meeting Dec 6-7 on Justin.tv

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How to do a College Football Playoff

With all the hype over a college football playoff spouting up again because of the perpetually fucked-up BCS, I will dust off my own proposal.

Right now, there are 11 conferences and the Independents:

ACC, BigEast, Big12, Big10, C-USA, MAC, MWC, Pac10, SEC, Sun Belt, WAC, Independents (Notre Dame, Army, Navy, Western Kentucky).

That means 12 berths, assuming one from each is eligible with at least a 7-5 record. No 6-6 teams allowed. (Independents, that means you!).

Here’s how you do it:

The 11 conference champions and the best of the Independents get berths into the playoffs. Each conference can determine its own champion its own way, and the Independents will do whatever it is they will do.

Use a Power Ranking, or some sort of ranking among the 12 teams to determine seeds.

The top four seeds get first-round byes.

If a conference winner is not eligible, the 2nd-place conference team gets the berth. If no Independents are eligible, then the #5 team gets a first-round bye. The same would be true in the occurrence of the bizarre case of a conference having no eligible teams.

The 11 games are played elimination-style, each one at a bowl, and each one except the championship has to be at a neutral site if possible. No Miami in the second round in the Orange Bowl, or USC in the national semifinals at the Rose Bowl, thank you.

First round starts the week after the conference championships, meaning the second week in December, and one round is played per weekend. Each round has a pot of cash attached to it, and the pot is guaranteed to each team in each round, doubling each time, starting with $1M in the first round.

The semifinals and final will rotate between the Rose, Sugar and Fiesta Bowls. Orange, Cotton, Gator, and Holiday get the second round games, and the first round games are at locations TBD. The other 23 bowls can be for the also-rans, provided they all finish at least 7-5. No 6-6 teams allowed in the postseason.

EXAMPLE: Based on this season, if it ended today, and based on strength of schedule to determine ranks, it would look like this:

Big12: Texas, SOS 1, Seed 1
SEC: Florida, SOS 6, Seed 2
ACC: Florida St., SOS 12, Seed 3
BigEast: Cincinnati, SOS 29, Seed 4
Pac10: Oregon St, SOS 36, Seed 5
Big10: Penn St, SOS 44, Seed 6
MWC: Utah, SOS 54, Seed 7
Independents: Navy, SOS 56, Seed 8
MAC: Buffalo, SOS 75, Seed 9
WAC: Boise St., SOS 90, Seed 10
C-USA: Houston, SOS 92, Seed 11
Sun Belt: Troy, SOS 102, Seed 12

So the first round of games on Dec 13 with $1M to each team would be these:

8 Navy vs. 9 Buffalo
7 Utah vs. 10 Boise St.
6 Penn St. vs. 11 Houston
5 Oregon St. vs. 12 Troy

The second round of games on Dec 20 with $2M to each team would be these:

1 Texas vs. lowest remaining seed, Orange Bowl
2 Florida St. vs. 2nd-lowest remaining seed, Holiday Bowl
3 Cincinnati vs. 2nd highest remaining seed, Gator Bowl
4 Florida vs. highest remaining seed, Cotton Bowl

The semifinals on Dec 27 with $4M to each team:

Lowest seed vs. highest seed, Fiesta Bowl
2nd lowest seed vs. 2nd highest seed, Sugar Bowl

The championship on Jan 3 with $8M to each team:

Last 2 remaining, Rose Bowl.

Now THIS makes Sense!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

On Proposition 8

The balloting is done, and it appears that 52% of Californians believed in the lying hype put forth by the bigots who put forth this crock of a Proposition.

So what now?

Three lawsuits have already been filed with the California State Supreme Court to block it from being implemented. They claim that Prop H8 actually made a far-reaching amendment to the state constitution that requires approval by 2/3 of the state legislature, which was not done, and therefore is invalid.

While that may be true, here’s better courses to take.

First, the state course.

The wording of Prop 8, which only defines marriage in California as being valid between a man and a woman, has many state constitutional problems. First, it invalidates all same-gender marriages made between June 17th and November 5th, which by definition is an ex post facto law, which violates Article 1 Section 9 of the state constitution:

“A bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts may not be passed.”

An ex post facto law is one that has retroactive force. Prop 8 attempts to undo what was legally done. The Attorney General is trying to avoid this by saying that the state will honor those marriages, some 16,000 in all, but he can’t dodge the plain wording. Second, the ruling by the state Supreme Court is not in any sense overturned by Prop 8. The ruling was that Prop 22 was unconstitutional because it denied equal protection under the laws as specified in Article 1 Section 7-a:

“A person may not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law or denied equal protection of the laws;”

Well, guess what, Prop 8 still does exactly that! It does NOTHING to overturn the state Supreme Court ruling. All it really does is create a constitutional conflict. The current equal protection clause says that same-gender couples can marry. Prop 8, which would become Article 1 Section 7.5 if enacted, would contradict that, but IT DOES NOT say that it is an exception to Section 7!:

“Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

And that exception is REQUIRED by Article I1 Section 26:

“The provisions of this Constitution are mandatory and prohibitory, unless by express words they are declared to be otherwise.”

Because no exception was made in Prop 8, section 26 is applied, meaning that Section 7-a remains fully intact, and the ruling by the state Supreme Court along those lines also stands. To resolve the conflict, Prop 8 must go.

So, in this case, opponents of Prop 8 have two strong arguments at the state level to toss Prop 8.

Second, the federal course.

In Colorado in 1992 voters enacted a state constitutional known as Amendment 2. It was an amendment to the state Constitution to prohibit all governments in Colorado from enacting laws or rules that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. The case found its way to the United States Supreme Court, which ruled, in Romer v. Evans, that the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause prohibited such an amendment, and that homosexuals were considered a suspect class for discrimination, and more specifically that class-based legislation aimed at homosexuals was unconstitutional. That suspect classification was used as a foundation for the landmark Lawrence v. Texas ruling in 2003. Also, since the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Bill of Rights against the states, Romer applies to Prop 8 and is therefore unconstitutional. Also applicable is the landmark Loving v. Virginia, where the rejection of Virginia’s claim of equal denial of rights for both whites and blacks to marry each other is analogous to what the California Supreme Court ruled here. Even Planned Parenthood v. Casey addressed the issue:

“It is settled now, as it was when the Court heard arguments in Roe v. Wade, that the Constitution places limits on a State's right to interfere with a person's most basic decisions about family and parenthood,”

To say that marriage is not included in those most basic decisions about family would be ludicrous on its face.

And Lawrence itself gives the statements that make it a landmark and directly applies here, in its holdings:

“Petitioners’ right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in private conduct without government intervention. Casey, supra, at 847. The Texas statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the individual’s personal and private life.”

Marriage is definitely such private conduct, and denial of the right to wed is definitely government intervention.

If the lawsuits go the federal route, this is the way to argue it.

Third, the state amendment route.

If the bigots can do it, so can we.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Post-election Thunks

After a long day of tracking, canvassing, and in general going ARGH!, the election is over. The new President-elect is Barack Obama, elected in a landslide, as predicted. More on that and its future here.

But I also was tracking ballot issues nationwide
and can’t figure this out at all:
  • Arizona voters got smart and voted to ban taxes on property sales or transfers, but then got stupid and banned gay marriage and shot down a Homeowners’ Bill of Rights.
  • Arkansas voters got really stupid and voted to allow idiots and the insane to vote (kid you not) and then banned unmarried cohabitating couples from adopting.
  • California voters…nevermind. We’re beyond fucked up here. Just call us Stupidfornia. We voted to build a railroad, ban gay marriage, give chickens bigger cages, and state mortgages for veterans. I voted no on all 12 propositions, so at least I can sleep well at night with enough booze to numb the pain. Now we'll see Stupidfornians riding the Springfield Monorail with free-range, hetero-only, married chickens to a veteran's house.
  • Colorado voters got stupid and shot down opening up union shops and banning mandatory union payroll deductions for state employees, but then they got smart and shot down five tax increases, the personhood amendment, saved TABOR, and added craps and roulette to Central City, Blackhawk, and Cripple Creek.
  • Florida voters had the sense to ban certain property improvements from being included in property tax assessments, but then they got stupid and banned gay marriage.
  • Iowa voters also got stupid and voted to allow idiots and the insane to vote. Must have been the Arkansas folks bussed in.
  • Louisiana voters got smart and voted down easing restrictions on blight to facilitate eminent domain takings.
  • Massachusetts voters got smart and decriminalized MJ, but then got really stupid and voted down a tax cut and voted to ban greyhound racing. 2000 hounds will need homes from that, adopt if you can, please!
  • Michigan voters got smart and passed MMJ.
  • Nebraska voters got smart and passed a discrimination ban. Colorado voters had one on the ballot as well but the totals aren’t in yet.
  • Nevada voters got really smart and passed a very tight eminent domain reform.
  • Ohio voters got smart and gave property owners their water rights.
  • Oklahoma voters pre-empted the PETA pukes and passed a right to hunt/trap/fish amendment (got 80% in the no-brainer vote of the year, why 20% voted against it is beyond me!).
  • Oregon voters got stupid and voted down deducting federal taxes from state income and refused to allow home renovations under $35K to not have a building permit (here in CA, we just ignore the permits and do it to code anyway).
  • South Dakota voters came to their senses and shot down its abortion ban.
  • And Washington voters got smart and decided to let people do us all a favor and let us help each other kill ourselves with assisted suicide.

There is no pattern here, save one: people are stupid.

Obama finished his victory speech with the traditional "God Bless America."

To that I add, "Gods Help Us!"


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fill in the bubbles

OK, you know the drill: fill in the bubbles. This may become a regular feature.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Support the Boston Tea Party

They win on the hotness factor, as shown by the Keaton:



"Party Like it's 1773!"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thoughts on What's Coming

Economic Chaos. Potential War with Iran. Energy Prices. Recession. Russia. Pakistan. Iraq.

What do these all have in common? A pretty grim picture.

Let’s examine the links between these things. You may want a scorecard for this.

Consider the following facts:

1. Oil had peaked at $147 (7-11-08), and now is at $71 (as of 10-21-08). That’s a 52% drop in three months.

2. World stock markets have tanked in the past four weeks, with trillions of equity and investments being lost.

3. Iceland faced default on its national debt. (Iceland???)

4. Iran is still enriching uranium, and the West still claims they are working towards a nuclear bomb. IAEA says otherwise.

5. Israel is bleating the war drums loudly.

6. The now multi-trillion-dollar bailout did nothing to help the market or the consumer.

7. Russia is on the rise from being flush with petroleum money and is revamping their army, navy, air force, and infrastructure.

8. The Pakistani people are getting agitated against U.S. efforts to track down and kill al-Qaeda in Waziristan.

9. Iraq is supposedly winding down, but troops aren’t coming home yet.

10. Afghanistan is heating up, and there is little chance of improvement there.

11. Unemployment and foreclosures are still on the rise in the U.S. as the recession continues and takes its deepest dive yet.

What does this all mean?

In a word, war.

Yikes!

The effects will be immediate: World War III, which really started on 9/11, will turn very hot very fast.

So here’s the situation: With the markets in meltdown and unemployment and home foreclosures still rising, the American people are getting angrier and angrier. They feel they were ignored by the trillion-dollar bailout and have let the elected government know it. However, the meltdown, which has its foundations in the utter mistake of relying on credit to move an economy, will only get worse, because the American government is either unwilling or unable to see the real root problem, let alone do anything about it. Frantic, the government will search for a means to kick-start the economy, get people working again, and get things under control. Martial law could be useful here, according to some people.

Enter Israel stage left, with their own angry concerns over Iran. They want Iran’s nuclear research eliminated so they can remain the only nuclear power in the Middle East, which allows them to retain a tactical superiority. If Iran has its own nukes as a MAD deterrent, that creates the option for an all-out conventional attack on Israel, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since 1967. Yes, Israel has the technological and defensive advantage there, but a nuclear element makes Tel Aviv nervous and uncertain. So they want that element taken out. They did it before in 1981 on Iraq.

Meanwhile, Iran has its own problems. It is unable to refine its own oil resources into the gasoline it needs to run its nation, so it imports gasoline while exporting oil it doesn’t use for power. It wants to develop nuclear power so it can export more oil to afford the cost of improving its refining capabilities and stop importing gasoline. In DC, they view this effort is to give them a nuclear weapon, or alternatively, as a means to funnel more money to terrorists. Sure, it could funnel a nuke to terrorists, but that option nobody takes seriously, since the number of nuclear states is few (nine) and such an activity is easily traceable back to its source by the fallout elements. Their biggest buffer against an attack, a huge spike in oil prices, has evaporated as the price has dropped. Now the market and consumer can better absorb an oil spike if Iran is attacked, even with a recession.

Of course, that’s all based on the lie of Iran developing a nuclear weapon. They aren’t. Enrichment for nuclear power is a 5% level, and for a bomb, 70-90%. Iran is right at 5%, according to the IAEA.

Russia has indicated that it would stand with Iran if they are attacked. They have been using their own oil resources to rebuild their military and national infrastructure, and last month they sent a message to Washington when they sent a fleet into the Caribbean to Venezuela, including using strategic Tu-160 White Swan (“Blackjack” as the West calls them) bombers, that can carry supersonic nuclear cruise missiles. Washington either didn’t get or ignored the message, and very few Americans were even aware of what was going on. Now Russia and Venezuela are engaging in war games, making Colombia nervous.

An attack on a Muslim country AGAIN by America will not be seen well in the Middle East, and would give Muslims the reason they need to engage both the U.S. and Israel in an all-out war, including more terrorist 9/11-style attacks here. There are only two reasons why that hasn’t happened so far: their patience and our dumb luck. Neither can last forever.

So where does that leave the Bush Administration: plunging straight ahead towards the cliff.

If a 9/11-style attack happens first, be it either real or a false-flag, the Bush regime will immediately try to blame Iran. They may try to blame al-Qaeda again and tie them to Iran, but that gambit was tried with Iraq and the American people aren’t buying that again. In any case, the Bush regime will use it as an excuse to declare martial law, suspend the elections, and try to resurrect the economy by going to war, dragging a very unhappy and reluctant population with him. How the population reacts is anybody’s guess, and it depends on how much the American people have been wussified to simply go along with it so they can get back to playing their Nintendo Wiis or playing music on their iPods.

If Israel strikes Iran, with or without American assistance, then we would be facing a theater war with Russia and Iran and who-knows what Muslim nations on one side, America and Israel on the other side, and a whole lot of troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq stuck at the front lines. The battle of Armageddon may well begin. The reason the troops have not left Iraq will be made quite clear: Iraq is the preposition point to invade Iran. It is far easier to invade Iran from the west than from the east, from Afghanistan. Just look at a map.

Can this go nuclear? Easily, because you have three nuclear powers in the equation (United States, Russia, Israel) and possibly a fourth in Pakistan, whose role has always been tedious and on edge, and following them would be a fifth in India, with their own nukes, and possibly a sixth in China unless they exercise the good sense to stay out of it. So not only could it go nuclear with between three and six of the nine world nuclear powers (Britain, North Korea, and France are the other three), it could go beyond theater into a continental or even global war. Russia is thinking that way and so are the BMD folks in the Pentagon, which why there is a big brouhaha over the missile defense units in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Naturally, such a war, if it stays conventional (might we be so lucky!) would be seen in Washington as a means to get the economy going through a war machine as we did in World War II. But this is not 1939, and the reasons for and the rules of war have changed. It used to be over land and resources. Now it’s over money and energy.

In Main Street America, however, two factors will come into play. One is the current anger over the situation. It is very conceivable that Americans, already angry over losing their homes to foreclosures and retirement accounts to the corporatist American zaibatsu on Wall Street, may simply refuse to go along, defying all federal efforts to federalize the economy the way they did in 1941-42. But that’s not very likely, because of the other part of the equation, which is the newest front in warfare, which in cyberspace. A full conventional war will be accompanied by a full cyberwar, and the American government’s attempts to limit information to their official sources ala 1984 will just aid their opponents. How much the American people buy into the propaganda remains to be seen and goes back to the wussification mentioned above. The average American is not ready for and does not understand what a cyberwar is, what it does, or how it affects them. Nor are they informed enough to look outside the corporate media sources of the United States. If the war goes nuclear and Russia were to do an EMP attack over America, the power and information loss would be devastating from a survival, informational, and psychological perspectives. The American people are slaves to their electricity, even as this is typed on an electricity-powered computer.

So, what has to be done prevent this mess? Well, for one, Israel must calm down. Second, nations must continue to use diplomacy to keep Iran at the negotiating table to get their nuclear program under inspection and supervision. At the very least those two things must be tried to keep things calm until Bush leaves office and takes his corrupt cronies with him in January. The American elections MUST go forward cleanly and properly; if not then the anger increases and the results may be a foregone conclusion. Americans cannot do anything about another attack except increase their own local vigilance for any odd activity. They must also get off of the credit cards and get back to living within their means on cash.

But above all, there must be an organized and concerted effort to pressure our leaders to exercise proper leadership, not to just beat the drums of war because of campaign dollars or market profits for cronies, but instead to work with the world to forge peace as a means to develop prosperity, to turn around the negative attitudes and get nations to work on peaceful mutual interests and trade.

That effort starts with the grassroots of the world, from the bottom up, to get the leaders, elected or not, to do the right thing, not only for their own people, but for all people.

It starts with US.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

This is insanely bad...

From a local Riverside Republican Women's group:

Inland GOP mailing depicts Obama's face on food stamp

As made by the
Chaffey Community Republican Women:



Nuts, isn't it (even if they did get the Kool-aid color wrong!)?

To what depths will the GOP sink?

UPDATE 10/20: apparently it came from a left-skewer blog--at least that's what the CrayoLA Times reports...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Last gasp for McCain?

We'll see tonight. I won't do the question-by-question analysis like last time, but I will present my thoughts.

Beforehand, though, if Obama drops the cool veneer and layeth the smacketh down on McCain, it's all over. The key question will be if McCain brings up Ayers or ACORN, both of which are traps for McCain.

Otherwise, all Obama has to do is tell McCain directly, "Look directly into my eyes and tell me, and the world, that you have a plan that will rebuild America, create jobs, produce goods for export, fix our infrastructure, and get us out of the Middle East both economically and militarily." Then he just sits there and looks straight at him in a game of optical chicken. McCain will either give a bullshit answer, he'll turn away, or he'll lose it and go ballistic. In any case, Obama wins.

After that, the only possible chance would be for Sarah and/or Bristol Palin to pose nude in Playboy, but since Larry "Hustler" Flynt is proceeding with a Sarah Palin send-up porn flick, even that might not be enough.

UPDATE: McCain came out flailing and attacking. He fell into the Ayers and ACORN traps as expected, and in general looked very bad. Obama clearly won.

On the way out, McCain couldn't find the door, just like Bush did once, and wound up, once again, trailing Obama, to his great displeasure:




BTW, this photo was taken from a Yahoo News slideshow on the debate. If it's a photoshop job, blame Yahoo. If not, blame McCain. His campaign makes me react that way, too.

Friday, October 10, 2008

In Defense of the Alaska Independence Party and the Palins (Yes, you read that right!)

Short but sweet.

Alaska Independence Party favors a public vote on whether Alaska should remain a state, return to a territory, be a commonwealth, or become an independent nation. They were allegedly promised this vote in 1958 and it never happened.

Todd Palin, the "First Dude" of Alaska, is a member of the AIP. For this, his wife gets criticized on the campaign trail, because people seem to think secession is unpatriotic.

I'm no fan of Sarah Palin. She is not politically qualified to be VP. But this criticism over the AIP is just wrong.

Allow me to quote the most famous secessionist in American history:



"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."


So, are these critics of Sarah Palin also saying that THOMAS JEFFERSON was unpatriotic???

America was formed on secession from Britain, remember???

Think about it.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Money: A Must Read

This is long, but worth the read, and it explains much about the origins of money, how we got to this mess, and how to deal with it.

http://mises.org/story/3122

Sunday, October 05, 2008

No on Prop 8

This one is outstanding, because it takes the biblical arguments and shoves them straight up the theocrats' asses!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dogs 1.0

Dear Bill Gates,


Recently I purchased and installed DOGS 1.0. I soon noticed that this program appears to have numerous glitches. For instance, every time my computer boots up, I have to run Feed 5.3 and Water 7.1. Many times I've been in the middle of writing an important document and a window will flash telling me to run Take for Walk 2.0. This program also contained applications I did not wish to install, such as Pooper Scooper 8.5, and Drooling dogs 9.4.


Applications such as Vacation 2.7 and Free Time 10.1 can no longer run, crashing whenever selected. Possibly the worst is that DOGS 1.0 has attached itself to programs like Finance Manager and MS Money, with folders added such as "Entry Fees" and "Puppy Toys". Periodically, I'll get a reminder telling me to send a check to the manufacturer of DOGS 1.0 for the aforementioned items.


I have tried to uninstall DOGS 1.0 numerous times but when I try to run the uninstall program, I get warning messages telling me that a deadly virus known as "Dog Show Withdrawal" will infect my system. Please Help!!!!!


THE REPLY:


Dear User,


Your complaint is not unusual. A common misconception among users is that DOGS 1.0 is a mere "utilities and entertainment program." It is not - it is an OPERATING SYSTEM and is designed by its' creator to run everything! A warning will soon be imprinted on the box.


Since you have already installed DOGS 1.0, here are a few tips on how to make it run better. If you are annoyed by the applications Feed 5.3 and Water 7.1, you may run C:\HIRE HELP, however this will cause another folder to be added to financial applications, labeled "Staff". Failure to send payment to "Staff" will result in Feed 5.3 and Water 7.1 being run again on startup.


A note of caution: NOT booting up your computer for several days isn't the solution to avoiding Feed 5.3 and Water 7.1. You will find that, when you boot up your computer again, a nasty virus called "Barking and Howling 4.2" will have attached itself to important documents and the only way to rid your computer of "Barking and Howling 4.2" is by purchasing and installing "Vet 10.1", which we admit is extremely expensive but crucial. Otherwise, "Barking and Howling 4.2" will cause irreversible damage to the operating system.


Finally, it is important that you run C:\Milk Bones and C:\Tummy Rubs on a fairly regular basis to keep the application running smoothly. If you have any more questions, please call our toll free number.


Sincerely,


Tech Support

McCain's Slow Death Spiral

The Straight Talk Express, as much as a misnomer that can ever be in what is shaping up to be the worst Presidential election since, well, 2004, ran off the road and into the election ditch over this Ripoff and Rape America Bill.

(UPDATE: It appears that Hairball Reid & Co. are going to attach it to a current Senate bill to force a vote to put pressure back on the House to reconsider and pass it. in what can best be described as a backdoor maneuver to push through a bill that nobody except Wall Street wants, meaning that once again, the Beltway and Wall Street seem to trump real Americans and Main Street--those fucking bastards!)

Back the adventures of Panama John and his sidekick The Putbullied Pig with Lipstick.

McCain announced last week that he was suspending his campaign to come home to his masters in DC to work out the Ripoff and Rape America Bill. He challenged Obama to do the same, in a move that put Obama on the spot. If Obama met the challenge, then McCain could try to paint him as being easily manipulated and not strong. If Obama didn't, then McCain could paint him as not caring about the economy. Obama called the bluff and not only came back to DC but played an active role in the bill negotiations--far more than McCain even did. Insider reports are that Obama literally rolled up his sleeves and got to work, while McCain was in the room and mostly silent and doing nothing--most likely because the Man Who Doesn't Know Much About the Economy (PPT, anyone? Anyone? Bueller?) was in over his head. So much for trying to make Obama look easily manipulated, and McCain came out of it looking out of his league (which is accurate for both him and most of DC not named Ron Paul!).

In the middle of this was scheduled the first debate, in Mississippi, which McSame said he would not attend if no deal had been reached. Come debate time there still was no deal, but McCain went anyway, showing him to be a liar, and the irritable McCain promptly got smoked by a calm, cool, and collected Obama. Back to DC we go.

Once a compromise was reached, McCain, having done little but sit there and resemble a potted plant, left town and quickly moved to claim credit for the compromise and promised to rally the GOP troops to the cause. Famous last words. At the same time he blasted Obama in an obvious lie, claiming that Obama was doing exactly what McCain was doing, which was "phoning in" his efforts for the EERA bill, because McCain was actually doing it by phone from his Ohio campaign headquarters--so much for the campaign suspension, and that was quickly pointed out by the Obama campaign.

Then came the vote, and of course, as we know, it thankfully tanked. GOP leadership was quick to blame a speech made by Speaker Pelosi for the defeat, but the CREDIT for the defeat lies with real America and Main Street, who flooded emails and broke fax machines strongly reminding their Congresscreatures that we were following things, we were PISSED, and oh, yeah, there's an election in 5 weeks. 538.com has reported that of the 38 incumbents facing tight races, 30 of them (80%) saw the writing on the wall and voted no, purely ot save their own political bacon. Of those whose races were in the notoriously gerrymandered "secure" districts (which are unconstitutional per U.S. Term Limits v. Thorton, BTW) voted 197-198. Notable in the situation was that McCain was unable to rally his GOP mates in the whoreHouse to vote for the Rape, showing that he actually has no control over his own party and is unable to lead even that, let alone the nation. He couldn't even get his own AZ delegation to vote for it! In contrast, Obama sat back and let Pelosi and Co. do the heavy lifting and failing.

The bad news, and neither one of these SeNUTors get a pass on it, is what is planned for the SeNUT this week (see above).

Meanwhile, up in New York, NBC had Katie Couric interview Governor Hockey Mom. The disastrous interview itself, as well as the corresponding parody from Saturday Night Live, is now up in its gory details on YouTube--watch it with a barf bag nearby becasue you'll need it, and the SNL version was much better. The National Enquirer has now broken the story that The Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun was also having an affair with her husband's business partner, presumably while he was off on his snowmobile (a snow machine *makes* snow, Palin, you moron!) in the oil fields looking for moose for her to shoot (or put lipstick on) from a heliocopter. Troopergate just won't go away, either, and her tenure in Wasilla is coming out more as well, and it isn't good.

Her troubles aren't over either, as she is scheduled for the VP debate with Biden in two days and she will finally have the chance to make herself look even worse in front of a national TV audience, with no edits or do-overs. maybe she just ought to send Tina Fey in her place...

So, in summary, everything Panama John touched this week turned to manure. King Midas he isn't--more like King anti-Midas. His Dominatrix Librarian stuck her hockey-skate-laden foot in her mouth so much that the red on her lips isn't lipstick but cuts from the skate, and it's only going to get worse on Thursday.

He lied about his campaign at least twice, about Obama's actions, took premature credit for a failed bill, failed to lead his party, and got whacked in the first debate.

She ran into parody, bad interviews, affair rumors, more past foibles, and still has to face off with Biden in a can't-win situation.

The net result? The Straight Talk Express, complete with its Dual Airbags, is in the ditch, and there is no bailout in sight. Obama comes out of it looking good, for now, mainly because he didn't screw up.

Ron Paul was right on this mess, but I don't think even he could have predicted the sideshow of bad comedy and even worse political missteps that have happened here. The GOP is now beginning to regret shunniing him. That sentiment will get even worse over the next 5 weeks.

And the biggest winner of all? Bill Clinton. See, it really IS the economy, stupid!

BTW, here's McCain's latest truth slip:

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Analysis of the Bailout

OK, the newest draft of the legislative pile of manure known as The Ripoff Bailout on Main Street but The Rescue Plan on Wall Street, has been released. The ‘‘Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008’’ is the official DC title--110 PDF pages of junk.

Now we all know that is so full of bovine biosolids that it belongs on a Monfort feedlot. But the idiots in DC, in their perpetual "inside the Beltway" (them) vs. "outside the Beltway" (us) war--thanks to Wendy McElroy for the apt term--still seem to think they need to bail out their Wall Street Big Business friends and to Hell with real America.

That being said, I've been looking over the bill and have some following thoughts. The bill has 3 sections, so I'm going to break it down along those lines (or else this will run on forever!).

The full bill can be referenced here.

So without further ado, some thoughts on Section 100:

1. "Unjust Enrichment" (Page 9, Section 101-e):

"In making purchases under the authority of this Act, the Secretary shall take such steps as may be necessary to prevent unjust enrichment of financial institutions participating in a program established under this section,"
Now, what is an "unjust enrichment" of a financial institution? Conversely, what is "just enrichment"? Why is the word "unjust" in there at all? It should be removed to prevent ANY enrichment--no profiteering for financial institutions under the bailout, PERIOD!

2. "Considerations" (pages 12-14, Section 103):

The Secretary of the Treasury is *supposed* to take some things into consideration:

(1) protecting the interests of taxpayers by maximizing overall returns and minimizing the impact on the national debt;

(2) providing stability and preventing disruption to financial markets in order to limit the impact on the economy and protect American jobs, savings, and retirement security;

(3) the need to help families keep their homes and to stabilize communities;

(4) in determining whether to engage in a direct purchase from an individual financial institution, the long-term viability of the financial institution in determining whether the purchase represents the most efficient use of funds under this Act;

(5) ensuring that all financial institutions are eligible to participate in the program, without discrimination based on size, geography, form of organization, or the size, type, and number of assets eligible for purchase under this Act;

(6) providing financial assistance to financial institutions, including those serving low- and moderate-income populations and other underserved communities, and that have assets less than $1,000,000,000, that were well or adequately capitalized as of June 30, 2008, and that as a result of the devaluation of the preferred government-sponsored enterprises stock will drop one or more capital levels, in a manner sufficient to restore the financial institutions to at least an adequately capitalized level;

(7) the need to ensure stability for United States public instrumentalities, such as counties and cities, that may have suffered significant increased costs or losses in the current market turmoil;

(8) protecting the retirement security of Americans by purchasing troubled assets held by or on behalf of an eligible retirement plan described in clause (iii), (iv), (v), or (vi) of section 402(c)(8)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, except that such authority shall not extend to any compensation arrangements subject to section 409A of such Code; and

(9) the utility of purchasing other real estate owned and instruments backed by mortgages on multifamily properties.

Now, of that list, taxpayers would expect numbers 3, 8, and 9 to be top priority, because they are direct impacts to us. We *want* stable communities and to keep homes, especially those who are being screwed by this mess through no fault of our own (disclaimer: including me!). We want to make sure that the people who busted their tails for these lenders, the people who did the yeoman work just to make a living processing honest loans, we want to make sure that those people do not lose their retirements from these failures. And we certainly want to make sure multifamily properties like duplexes and apartments and condos don't go under, either.

BUT, those things will be considered by Secretary Paulson, for about a second, before the former CEO of Goldman Sachs rejects them in favor of number 2 first and foremost. I say that because that has been the pattern of his activity all along. Expect considerations numbered 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7 to go the way of 3, 8, and 9--considered and ignored.

The Boston Globe had a somewhat reasonable idea in that the government buy a 50% stake in these mortgages directly and refinance them with the homeowners to keep them in their homes, under longer fixed-rate terms, so that they can afford the payments. Once the mortgage is paid off the borrower works on paying back the government. If the home sells, the proceeds are split 50-50.

OK, so that's not the most libertarian idea in the world. But it's a far sight better than bailing out lenders that don't deserve it. I'd rather see those of us that did it right and are getting screwed through not fault of our own get some real relief besides and industrial-size tub of Vaseline and an extra $2300 per person tax bill.

3. The "Oversight" (pages 14-17, Section 104-b):

The "Financial Stability Oversight Board" will be the Secretary of the Treasury, Chair of the Fed, Director of Federal Home Finance Agency, HUD Secretary, and SEC Chair.

Some oversight, huh? No citizenry, nobody from real America--just political appointees and Wall Street types. Their "oversight" will be limited to who signs their paychecks--the White House and Wall Street--and not to the taxpayers. BTW, this group *is* the Plunge Protection Team, too! This is the robbers guarding the bank!

4. FDIC as a loan manager? (pages 23-24, Section 107-c):

This section puts the FDIC, the agency responsible for insuring regular bank accounts, into the loan management business. WHY???

5. The spending: (pages 40-49, Section 115):

- $250B AT ANY GIVEN TIME--no limit on number of times, either. Can be increased to $350B if the President whines to Congress.
- BUT--and here's the poison pill kicker!--in subsection a-3, if the President whines, Congress is on the clock for 15 days to pass a joint resolution disapproving of the spending, then if Congress doesn't get it done, the spending jumps to $700B at any given time, still with no limit on number of times.

THAT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL! Congress cannot delegate the power of the purse to the White House! This basically tells Congress that if Bush complains, he gets another $100B of taxpayer money automatically and if they don't act on his complaints to say no he gets another $350B of taxpayer money. It gives the White House a $100B Whiners Check and another $350B Fine if Congress decides to not. It turns appropriating funds on its head, assuming a "yes" unless Congress says "no", which violates the Separation of Powers doctrine, instead of the other way around as is traditionally done.

BTW, there is a typo in Section 115-c-2-D, in that it refers to Section 114-a-1 and 2, when it should be Section 115-a-1 and 2--there are no paragraphs 1 and 2 under 114-a, but there are under 115-a.

How much Vaseline do we taxpayers get for that rape up the rear???

6. National Debt increase (page 68, Section 122):

Increases it from the current $10.615T (as of 7-30-08 per Public Law 110-289) to $11.315T.

More deficit spending outside the budget. If they had any smarts of guts, they'd cut current spending levels to pay for it. Instead this $700B adds $2333.33 per person in debt to the nation.

Note also that if even if the debt ceiling is not increased again, a spending cut elsewhere in the budget can create more funds to blow on this scheme without increasing the debt.

There are other pieces of Section 100 that most likely could come under scrutiny from people more versed in those areas than I am. But Section 100 covers 90 of the 110 pages as well.

Next Post: Section 200, which has to do with budget-related provisions.

UPDATE: 9/29/08: With the bill failing in the House, for now, there will be no Part II or III. However, should it pass on reconsideration, I will do Parts II and III.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

PETA and Bob Barr?

Joined by Borat, Ben & Jerry's, and breast milk.

From Fox Kansas City:

PETA Pushes for Human Breast Milk in Ice Cream


Given the choice, would you prefer cow's milk or breast milk?

PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has written a letter to the co-founders of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, urging them to replace the cow's milk in the products with human breast milk.

PETA's request comes in the wake of news reports that a Swiss restaurant owner will begin purchasing breast milk from nursing mothers and substituting breast milk for 75 percent of the cow's milk in the food he serves. PETA points out to Ben and Jerry's that such a move on their part would lessen the suffering of dairy cows and their babies on factory farms and benefit human health at the same time.

"The fact that human adults consume huge quantities of dairy products made from milk that was meant for a baby cow just doesn't make sense," said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "Everyone knows that 'the breast is best,' so Ben and Jerry's could do consumers and cows a big favor by making the switch to breast milk."

In response, Ben and Jerry's spokesperson had this to say:

"We applaud PETA's novel approach to bringing attention to an issue, but we believe a mother's milk is best used for her child."

Of course, that inevitably leads to Borat and Bob Barr:

From Capitol Hill Broadcasting Network:



X-rated Ice Cream names besides Tooter Hooter Fruiter and Tit Roof Sundae are left to the comments section...

A new twist on an old junk mail...

Dear *******:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gramm, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transaction is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully, Minister of Treasury Paulson

Spectrum standings

Ron Paul is a Conservative-Leaning Libertarian.


Chuck Baldwin is a Libertarian Conservative.

Bob Barr is a Hard-Core Conservative

John McCain is a Populist-Leaning Conservative.

Sarah Palin is a Populist-Leaning Conservative.

Barack Obama is a Hard-Core Liberal.

Joe Biden is a Populist-Leaning Liberal.

Alan Keyes is a Libertarian-Leaning Conservative.

Ralph Nader is a Hard-Core Liberal.

Cynthia McKinney is a Hard-Core Liberal.

Tom McClintock is a Moderate Populist Conservative.

(McClintock is running for Congress in CA-4)

So: who will YOU vote for?




Monday, September 22, 2008

LP members to apologize to Dr. Paul?

Let's see if the LP membership has more guts than the majority of the LNC...and by majority I DON'T mean Ruwart, Wrights, Hawkbridge, and Keaton, all of which had the courage to stand up to this mess (there may be 1 or 2 I missed).

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/LP_members_apology_to_Dr_Paul/

Saturday, September 20, 2008

New LP mascot

The Democrats have the Patriotic Jackass:


The Republicans have the Satanic Elephant:


So, now, I give you...the Libertarian Ostrich!

It comes in 3 flavors.

For those in the Starr Chamber, oblivious to the antics of Bob Barr:


For the LNC fence sitters and general membership who just sits there and watches, doing little:

And for the activists, radicals, and other hell-raisers, those of us that actually DO the work of the LP that needs to be done, there's this one:

So, LP members, which are you?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Government bails out Wall Street, screws Main Street

This morning the crime cabal that runs DC announced more credit and bailouts for Wall Street at the expense and ongoing turmoil of Main Street. Never mind that A) they don't deserve it, and B) we do. Here is the correct, accurate, prophetic, and definitive rebuttal by Dr. Ron Paul, a man who has forgotten more about economics than those other yahoos have ever learned. Dr. Paul gets it. Bush, Chris Cox, Ben Malarkey, and Pat Paulsen don't.



This is stopping the bleeding by adding more blood and no bandages.

This is going to get worse.

Meanwhile we get the bill, the execs get millions to walk away, and all our wallets get emptied and asses sore from the screwjobs.

Best advice: pay off your debts, stop using credit cards (but don't close the accounts), conserve your monetary resources, NEVER do ARMs, get out of the stock market and into non-oil commodities, and cut back expenses.

Let the failures fail, but don't become one of them.

One of these days they'll learn that the way to solve a credit crisis is to create assets and debits to eliminate the credit problem by creating jobs that actually create income and products...