Monday, June 30, 2008
The first victim (or at least attempted) was Dr. Mary Ruwart, through the attempts of then-Executive-Director Shane Cory, candidates used-car salesman Wayne Root and certifiable nutcase Christine Smith, in an amateurish smear attempt. It didn't work, except for the fact it may have denied Dr. Ruwart the Presidential nomination. But Dr. Ruwart has had the last laugh. Cory is long-gone, deservedly so, Smith had a tantrum on C-SPAN and left the LP in a huff, presumably taking her 6 votes with her, and Root didn't get the Presidential nomination either, and only got the VP nod after selling out to Barr (and presumably selling a few used cars along the way). Dr. Ruwart wound up on the LNC, where I hear she is letting her harder side out to play and take no shit from anyone (HUZZAH!).
The second victim was Chuck Moulton, ousted as LNC Vice-Chair, even though he knew how to run a meeting and the chair, Billy Redpath (so named because of the red shift in the path of the LP that he's helped engineer!) couldn't run a meeting of paper dolls. Chuck had to go in their view, not because he was a radical, but because he wasn't one of "them." Replacing him is former Presidential candidate Steve Jingozian. I have no opinion on Jingo, and he gets the benefit of the doubt from here. Let's hope he is fair in his role and does a good job, and keeps the "libertarian" in the Libertarian Party.
Then there is the third victim. Unfortunately it is my good friend, political ally, and downright wonderful lady in the Anarchist Bitch. Even though she was re-elected by the delegates with the highest vote total (tied with Dr. Ruwart), apparently that mandate from the membership for her representation was lost on the Starr Chamber. Not on her, mind you, not at all. She did exactly what a beautiful, pissed-off, liberated, radical anarchist would and should do: she did her JOB. She started asking a LOT of awkward questions and spreading a LOT of sunshine on the inner workings and dysfuctionalities of the LNC. She respected those that respected her, and to those who didn't, she gave that quarter back as well, with a couple of nickels to boot. The response was to call her a "brat", threaten her, and demand her resignation. She responded in a self-deprecating manner and made utter fun of them on her blog.
But for now, that is at an end. It appears, unfortunately, that the powers-that-be don't like her serving the membership (meaning, people like ME!) very much, meaning that they don't seem to like the membership very much either. I don't think she has resigned, at least I hope not.
Here's hoping that there is a purge in the LNC, but it is the Starr Chamber that gets the gate. We got them out of the LPCA before it was too late, and the Takenaga-group is doing its best to clean up that mess and actually move forward. I am proud to be part of that effort. Hopefully they will be gone from the LNC before the LP goes under.
And no, you won't expect to see the Mudslinger anywhere near the LNC. I still have all my hair and would like to keep from tearing it out. I have plenty to do with the LPCA. Plus, my blowtorch and bulldozer are both in the shop.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
With a tip of a striped hat to Dr. Seuss…inspired by LadyGaura.
I do not like an empty shell.
I do not like it very well.
I will not vote for Old War Coot.
I will not vote for Empty Suit.
I will not vote for Darth Nader.
I will not vote for Barr Vader.
I will not vote for Pastor Chuck.
I will not vote for the Green Schmuck.
The choices suck for 2008.
For four more years, freedom must wait.
But can we take four more years,
Of war and death and playing on fears?
Can we take four more years,
Of no jobs, no cash, and lots of tears?
Nothing left, no place to go.
What I’ll do, I just don’t know.
Then I look up and I see
The candidate that’s right for me.
He promises nothing, and delivers less.
No pile of crap dumped on my chest.
No funds to raise, no favors to owe.
No speeches to make, no places to go.
He’s the last place for a discouraged "vota",
That place to turn to is called, simply, NOTA!
I think that NOTA is the best.
I think he’s better than the rest.
I’ll vote for the best one I choose.
I’ll vote for NOTA–-I can’t lose!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
In case you live under a rock, or on another planet, here's the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Pretty simple, right? Look at the grammar:
Subject Clause: "the right"
Modifying subject prepositional phrases: "of the people", "to keep and bear arms"
Verb Clause: "shall not be infringed".
That's pretty straightforward: the right of the people shall not infringed. That's commonly referred to in libertarian circles as the "individual right" perspective.
In contrast, there are some who think the amendment applies to a militia or a group of people, and not single persons. That's commonly referred to in authoritarian circles as the "collective right" perspective. Libertarians commonly refer to it as "bullshit."
So what did the Supreme Court do today? Well, to hear the LameStream Media tell it, the Court upheld the individual right perspective.
And to some extents they did. Here's the first sentence of the actual holdings:
"1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home."
So far so good.
But, wait a minute, all is not as it seems. Note that was Section 1 of the holdings. Now, here's Section 2:
"2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons."
WTF is this?!? The Court in this section contradicts itself! "shall not be infringed" means exactly that: no infringements--no limitations. Yet here they say the right is not unlimited. It has infringements!
So, once again, in the tradition of Kelo and Raich, we have the Supreme Court engaging in Orwellian doublespeak: black is white, up is down, "public use" is "public purpose", "intra-state commerce" is "interstate commerce", and now, we can new to the list, "shall not be infringed" is "may be infringed". Is that bullshit or what?
Look at the list of allowed infringements:
Possession by felons. Considering that these days the legal defintion of a felon is much more than a hardened criminal who robs, rapes, or kills, this infringement is ridiculous. You want to keep them away from felons? Then fix what a felon actually is, and actually lock them up and throw away the keys!
Possession by the mentally ill. These days the definition of mentally ill has expanded more than the definition of a felon. Mental illness is not just for rubber-room candidates anymore, so this infringement is also ridiculous. Fix the definition to mean the criminally insane, lock them up, and throw away the keys!
Carrying in "sensitive" places. No, they don't mean with a cocked hammer in the front of your waistband. They mean schools ("think of the children!"), government buildings ("we must protect our oppressive bureaucrats from the public they piss off!"), airplanes ("pass the box cutters!"), and so on. In other words, the Killing Fields. Didn't 9/11, Virginia Tech, and Columbine teach them ANYTHING? (I leave out prisoners in prisons for obvious reasoning--they have forfeited this right in the first place!)
Conditions and Qualifications on commercial sales. This means FFLs, gun show loopholes, background checks, and all that meaningless garbage. Come over to my house later so we can ignore this crap while I buy your rifle.
Dangerous and unusual weapons. Well, the first term is redundant. Weapons are SUPPOSED to be dangerous! As for unusual, what's that? An XP-38 Space Modulator? A rocket launcher? A suitcase nuke? An angry Tazmanian Devil? The Airborne Laser? A Super Soaker, Wrist Rocket, Daisy BB gun, rubber band gun, or a paintball gun?
Note two things on this list: the Looney Tunes references in the infringements (but I repeat myself!), and the fact that criminals and terrorists can, do, and will ignore any and all of these infringements at will.
And there's one more infringement in Section 3. See it?
"3. The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District’s total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition—in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute—would fail constitutional muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional. Because Heller conceded at oral argument that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement. "
Yep, the licensing part. The Court naively assumes that a license is not an infringement, mainly because Heller wimped out on that point at oral arguments, which outraged those of us who believe in RKBA. Police departments in general don't like to grant licenses or CCW permits because they mistakenly think only their guys should be the armed ones--never mind that that mentality fosters an attitude of arrogance, corruption, and brutality, and greatly improves one's chances of suicide-by-cop.
But the Court in Section 3 also pointed out two other things.
First, that the trigger lock and disassembly requirements are unconstitutional, because in that state the purpose of self-defense cannot be fulfilled. They got that one right. No criminal is going to wait for you to assemble and load your gun, and no criminal is going to wait for you figure out how to get off the trigger lock. In those cases, you're dead because you couldn't defend yourself (unless you beat the crap out of the criminal with the locked-up gun or gun parts!).
Second, they pointed out that a total ban on handguns is a prohibition on a class of arms, and that fails constitutional muster. That also means banning any other class of arms is also unconstitutional by extension. Note this contradicts part of the infringements listed as OK above for "dangerous and unusual weapons"! This includes machine guns, so-called assault rifles, and so on. Yep, the machine gun ban is lifted by implication.
So this ruling is not what it is claimed to be.
Yes, the Second Amendment is officially an individual right.
No, it can be infringed, despite the plain wording.
Yes, the Supreme Court are a bunch of hypocritical fools. They refer to the plain language on one hand when referring to the individual right part, but then turn around and ignore it when looking at "shall not be infringed."
So, once again, the Supreme Court screwed up. What they should have ruled was this:
"The Second Amendment says that individuals have the right to keep and bear arms, without any restriction by government. But that right also includes the right to self-defense, so if you are packing and start shooting up the joint, you better hope your insurance is paid up, because your life will quickly end by return fire. Learn to shoot straight and accurate and for crying out loud, if you feel depressed, angry, frustrated, homicidal, suicidal, or just ready to snap, be responsible, put the gun away and get some help!"
Section 2 is a travesty. Shame on the Court for being unable to read plain English.
We are back to the age-old question: "What part of 'shall not be infringed' don't you understand???"
P.S. The Incorporation Cluse of the 14th Amendment makes this apply to the states as well. This makes perfect sense since a state cannot deny a Constitutional right anyway.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
So without further ado, LadyGaura sez:
I just heard a TV commercial for something HDTV related. I found it to be pretty demeaning, really. It definitely was not nice towards families with a demanding work schedule or the like. It also seemed to be jeering at people who actually have to use high-octane brain power, making us all sound like we’re not very street smart. I’ll grant, I’ve known intellectuals who do brain-dead things like walk into walls or washing their coffee cups with the SDS_PAGE equipment. But that certainly isn’t true of all of us.
What does seem to be more true, or at least the impression is of this, is that intellectuals and people who just like to use their brain sometimes, are rapidly becoming verboten in this society. Oh, we don’t mind them when we have a heart attack and we need help, we don’t mind that the computer guy who comes to fix the computer from its embedded virus. But we do seem to mind, these days, when people ask about how the candidates stack up on issues, especially difficult issues like the M3 or sound money economics. Instead, you’re supposed to hold an opinion only on how hawt Obama Girl is. You’re just not supposed to keep original thoughts up in the cerebral memory stick anymore, only what the Church or the State or the Press or
wants you to think. It’s getting positively Orwellian out there. Hollywood
Sorry, but that’s not how I was raised. I was taught from an early age to value education and learning. I was taught that reading books is fun—and you can have fun learning. I eventually went on to get a Master’s Degree in Agronomy. A lot of people don’t even seem to know what that is—it’s crop science, with dashes of soil science and other related disciplines. I can look at a barley field and tell you—that patch is deficient in nitrogen—that stand could use some iron, or copper, or whatever. I tend to think original thoughts on a regular basis. Movies bore me, because the thinking is all done for you. Books—books, those on the other hand are exciting. I’m usually on a first-name basis with my local bookseller. I come by that honestly—my parents are the same way.
What on earth is so wrong with thinking, especially deep thinking? Humans are supposed to think—our brains are wired that way because that has meant survival. And just because it looks like we’ve won and our existence would seem fairly assured (for now), it doesn’t mean we can stop thinking. Some people are prone to deep thoughts. Sometimes that has meant the betterment of mankind, like lightbulbs and radios and the Internet. It’s who we are. It’s also changeable. You can’t really change your ancestry, your gender, your sexual orientation. I can dye my hair, but the brunette truth will show in another month. You can, however, choose to think, or not to think. It’s all a matter… of a thought.
Just think, okay? And let us brainy types think too.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Specifically, this part:
To BetteRose Ryan, I’m a big puss. I sacrificed my bohemian creds to maintain a completely worthless middle class privilege. Starr, Carling and Cory were savaging you in an executive session over the Shotgun Willie’s booth. Starr insisted that it scared off other vendors. Scared off whom? Here ya go, you lying posers: I danced from Austin to Vegas. I’ve worked in the best and worst clubs. I’ve been paid $1000 to do nothing but sit for thirty minutes. I’ve spoken to more men about libertarianism while dressed as a school girl than any of you will in your tacky double knit polyester suits.
Evidently the Starr Chamber thinks it can insult convention organizers in Executive Session and get away with it. They thought wrong.
I've known BetteRose Ryan for years. Ditto her husband, Tony, and her sister, Michelle Poague. I consider them my friends. They are great people, first class all around. BetteRose and Tony have both served the LP with distinction in both LPCO (BetteRose as state chair and predecessor to my state chair, John Bernsten, Tony on the LPCO Board with me), and as LNC representatives (BetteRose as at-large, and Tony currently in a region). Michelle has also served on the LPCO Board in 2003-4. I was busy being a dad at that time as my son was born 4 days after the 2003 LPCO convention, which I helped organize, following the BetteRose "Cookbook" for conventions. I stepped down from the LPCO Board at that point for exactly that reason--parenting called.
Shotgun Willie's is the premiere club in Denver metro, in the unincorporated Glendale district. A lot of the girls there are LPCO activists, including Michelle. They co-sponosered the LPUS Convention. To Coloradoans, we know them as the "Glendale Ballet", and they have been mainstays in the LPCO, especially at election night parties, for years.
If the Starr Chamber is pissed over the Glendale Ballet at the LPUS Convention, then perhaps they ought to untwist their prude panties and go to a show. I’ve known that outfit for years; it’s high class, and they are regulars on the LPCO circuit–hell, an institution, even!–and not just for sex appeal either–some of them are bona fide party activists! That and BetteRose Ryan, Tony, and Michelle are all well-known as class acts bar none, which seems to be lost on the Starr Chamber, since they seem to lack it. The Glendale Ballet is what the LP is all about–free enterprise, free expression, and free minds and bodies.
Sorry, Starr Chamber. Methinks you doth protest too much, and for the wrong reasons. You should be thanking the Ryans, Michelle, and LPCO for putting on a great convention (as they tend to do!) instead of criticizing them. You also ought to be taking notes on what they did right instead of coming up with an idiotic cockamamie scheme to do LPUS 2010 in Hawaii, away from media cameras, media coverage, and the ability of most delegates to attend, in what is a poor imitation of the LPCA 2006 convention fiasco.
We got you out of CA before you ran it into the ground. Let's hope we can do the same at the LNC before it is damaged beyond repair.
For more info on Shotgun Willie's, check out http://www.shotgun-willies.com/Flash_index.htm
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Is this another attempt to limit attendance by cost and travel limitations for the next round of elections and more platform controversy? Or is this just another example of utter stupidity in action?
Can the LPHI even put a national convention together? (No slight to LPHI, but it's no easy feat, even at the state level, and I've been there and done that!)
What about the lack of media coverage and expense to go all the way out there, and the time zone differences (as any east coast college football fan can attest to!)? Might as well hold the thing on Guam...
Is the Starr Chamber so fucking stupid that they think that they can interfere with the Convention Committee's work and get away with it?
Angela, all our thanks for bringing sunshine onto the LNC. It is needed.
"I have a complaint. This book I took out has horrible! It had way too many characters in it and no plot whatsoever!" grumbled the blonde.
"I'm sorry to hear that," said the librarian. "Do you have the book?"
"Yes," replied the blonde. "Here it is."
She reached into her bag and put the book on the counter.
The librarian said, "So THAT'S where our phone book went!"
A priest, a minister, and rabbi walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, "What is this, some kind of joke?"
How many libertarians does it take to change a light bulb?
None. The free market will sort it out.
How many politicians and bureaucrats does it take to change a light bulb?
1 to notice it's burned out.
1 to write legislation to replace it.
20 to add pork riders.
535 to pass the bill
1 to sign the bill
1000 to write the corresponding regulations.
1 to buy the light bulb for $20,000
1 to screw the light bulb into the water faucet.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Dez is an old friend from CO with her husband in Iraq, and a mentor of mine when we both did media work for the LP at various levels in CO. Her blog is here.
Angela is a newer friend from CA, with a killer mind, body, and tongue--she'll tell it like it is whether you like it or not, and she takes no prisoners--unless you ask her nicely. She also works for antiwar.com. Her blog is here.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
We are now down to the following candidates, the best the short bus electorate has to offer:
- John McCain, the Panamanchurian Butcher of Black Mesa, with the mob ties, Songbird, Keating 5, short temper, economic ignorance, and unconstitutional legislator.
- Barack Obama, the junior Senator from Illinois, the empty suit with the big ears.
- Bob Barr, the libertarian wannabe witch hater and drug warrior who never met a gay he didn't want to prevent from getting married.
- Chuck Baldwin, aka Ron Paul Jr, with a theocratic twist.
- Cynthia McKinney, who leads the Greens and leads the DC cops with her left hook.
- And of course, Ralph Nader, assuming he gets on enough ballots to be a factor.
As for Dr. Paul, working to elect libertarian-leaning Republicans, I think he has the wrong idea. The GOP is dying, dead by 2016 at this rate, and will be the victims of a Congressional bloodbath in November. The better answer is what America really needs:
Suggested Reading: "The Revolution: A Manifesto" by Paul, then "Don't start the Revolution Without Me" by Ventura. Then read their other books.