Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Marianne Williamson, Democrat for Congress

Marianne Williamson is an "Independent" running for Congress in California's 33rd district.

She doesn't hide that she is a "progressive." She is proud of it.

Now, there are good things about progressives, but also much bad, at least from a libertarian perspective. But curiously, I get a sense that many libertarians feel good about Williamson's candidacy.

I specifically choose the word "feel," as opposed to something more cerebral. It's as if some libertarians want to believe in Williamson, much like others want to believe in UFOs.

Williamson does have some appealing factors: 1. She's running as an Independent; 2. She's a political outsider; 3. She's an attractive and charismatic woman.

That last factor, however shallow, is also a biggie. When presented with a politically blank slate (i.e., an independent outsider with no electoral history) -- but a slate that's attractive and charismatic -- then voters are inclined to project their political hopes and fantasies onto that slate.

But Williamson is far more of a Democrat than some libertarians may wish to acknowledge. We know this because Williamson says so.

I received a mailing from "Independent" Marianne Williamson wherein she says:


"I am also a lifelong Democrat, though I'm running for Congress as an Independent. Why? I can assure you it is not because I wish to make war on the Democratic Party. On the contrary, I do so in the hopes of contributing to the restoration of the principles that I've always thought -- and which many of us still believe -- are the party's backbone."


The mailer also says "Join Democrats You Trust in Supporting Marianne Williamson for Congress" and lists some of those people:

* Former Governor Jennifer Granholm.

* Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich.

* Congressman Keith Ellison.

* "Co-Chair, Obama 2012" Eva Longoria (yes, the actress).


For now, I am undecided as to who I'll vote for in the 33rd C.D. I'm not aware of any Libertarian Party member who has a chance, so, yes, I'll consider voting for a lesser evil. And while Kucinich's endorsement is a positive for Williamson, Ted Lieu's support of SB 980 is a positive in his favor.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Congressional Candidate Ted Lieu Skews Libertarian on Rights of the Accused

California State Senator Ted Lieu (Democrat) is running for Congress, hoping to replace retiring Congressman Henry Waxman.

I won't call Lieu a libertarian. I'm sure he's taken many "progressive" positions I dislike. But he's currently sponsoring a bill that should please libertarians.

According to Gary Walker, writing for The Argonaut (April 2, 2014):


"Lieu's Senate Bill 980 would compel police departments to allow inmate defense teams to conduct DNA testing on biological case evidence and allow courts to act against law enforcement officials who destroy DNA evidence in violation of state code."


I especially like the part I put in boldface. The article continues:
 

"Law enforcement agencies are currently allowed to destroy biological evidence six months after a conviction, but Lieu's proposal would extend the timeline to a full year. It would also mandate that DNA evidence be run through the FBI's Combined DNA Index System in cases where DNA evidence is found not to match a suspect or inmate.

" 'I think one of the greatest injustices that a government and a society can commit is to wrongly convict an innocent person,' said Lieu, a former Air Force Judge Advocate General prosecutor.

"Since 2000, there have been 244 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States, including eight in California, according to the California Innocence Project, which is co-sponsoring the bill with the Northern California Innocence Project."


You can read the full story here.

I don't know who I'll vote for in June, in California's current Top Two primary system. But Lieu's support of Senate Bill 980 is a consideration. Not just for the issue itself, but because it indicates his willingness to support the rights of the accused, in the interests of truth and justice.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Libertarian Party of California Attracts New Low in Delegate Count

The recently concluded Libertarian Party of California 2014 state convention has attracted a new low in delegate count -- 44 delegates (according to Independent Political Report).

I've previously reported on the declining numbers of delegates attending LPC conventions. Here are the numbers I have. If any are off, please let me know.
 

2005 ..... 134

2006 ..... 91

2007 ..... 101

2008 ..... 73

2009 ..... 77

2010 ..... 68

2011 ..... 52

2012 ..... 78

2013 ..... 68

2014 ..... 44


I find it noteworthy that while the LPC convention in 2009 and 2014 were both held in Visalia, there was a decline from 77 to 44. 

Ironically, while the LPC's delegate count is declining, its voter registration numbers are up. I suspect many of these new LP registrants are former Republicans who register LP as a protest against an ineffectual GOP that's unable to decrease state spending. Progressives disgusted with Democrats are less likely to re-register as LP.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Daily Show Punks Wayne Allyn Root

I've not been active in the libertarian party or movement lately -- that may or may not change -- so I've not been posting much. Nor have I been interested in libertarian embarrassment Wayne Allyn Root since he quite the LP in 2012.

But I stumbled across this clip from The Daily Show and had to share:
Root will gravitate to any camera or microphone, even in unfriendly (i.e., liberal) territory -- and that's why he ended up with egg on his face. Not because Root is a brave proponent of principles, but because he's a clueless media hog.
How clueless? Judging from his above appearance, it seems he actually thinks he came off well. That he actually made an "excellent point" in suggesting that rich, Republican businessmen are more persecuted in America than are blacks, Hispanics, or Muslims.
We also learn from the above interview that the IRS recently audited Root. I wonder what they found?

Monday, June 03, 2013

Vietnam War Veteran Turns Antiwar Songwriter

Walt Cronin fought in the Vietnam War. Long after he returned to the U.S., late in life -- his late 40's -- he turned to songwriting and performing.

He's even had some success. His band, The Gousters, has professionally released several CDs these past few years.

Cronin says that much of his work is inspired by his war experiences -- and antiwar sentiments.

Read his full story in the Hollywood Investigator.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Israel Steals Christian Lands


Reports of Israel confiscating Arab/Muslim land have long been in the news, albeit buried in the back pages of mainstream newspapers. 

Lately Israel has stolen much land through the building of its Apartheid Wall. Israel claims the wall is there for security reasons, not to take land -- but whenever the wall cuts through someone's land, confiscating it in the process, it always "happens" to cut through Arab land, never Jewish land. 

Funny. What are the odds?

American "liberals" wring their hands over the situation, muttering how "complicated" the issue is, and that "there are no easy answers." American "conservatives" are more blatant in their disregard. They'll say outright that it's a great thing because, after all, the Arabs are Muslims, and so good riddance to them. (Although on some "conservative" sites, you'll find less polite terms, e.g., moose-limbs, muzzies, etc.)

What's less often reported is that Palestinian Christians too are second class citizens in Israel, their "rights" and land ever at risk of being stolen in favor of Jews.

Here's a recent, widely-circulated report from the Catholic News Agency:


WASHINGTON (CNS) – A U.S. bishop is upset with Israel's decision to build a separation barrier along a route that will nearly surround a convent and its primary school and confiscate most of their land on the outskirts of a Palestinian West Bank community.

Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, protested the Israeli plan to build the barrier near Beit Jalla in a May 6 letter to Secretary of State John Kerry.

"In solidarity with our brother bishops in the Holy Land, we oppose rerouting the separation wall in the Cremisan Valley," the letter said, referencing arguments that Holy Land bishops made to the Israeli government in a letter opposing the barrier.

The barrier's route will separate a Salesian monastery from a Salesian convent and surround both on three sides while separating both from land they own. It would also cut off 58 Christian families from agricultural and recreational land they own, hurting their livelihood, Bishop Pates said.

The barrier, which would serve to connect to Israeli West Bank settlements, has been the subject of six years of legal proceedings. The Israeli Special Appeals Committee for Land Seizure ruled in favor of construction under emergency law in late April.

Bishop Pates urged Kerry to address the concerns raised by Jerusalem's Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal, who reminded "Israeli decision-makers that the expropriation of lands does not serve the cause of peace."

"The Cremisan Valley is a microcosm of a protracted pattern that has serious implications for the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As the wall moves and constricts more communities in the West Bank, the possibility of a future two-state resolution becomes less likely," the letter said.

"Moving the wall and disassociating Palestinian families from their lands and livelihoods will incite more resentment against the state of Israel among residents of the West Bank, not less, increasing the frustrations that can lead to violence. Such policies put Israeli citizens at risk and weaken initiatives for reconciliation and peace," Bishop Pates continued.

The letter is a reiteration of the same stance Bishop Pates and the committee took in a late 2012 letter for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The full text of Bishop Pates's letter can be read online at http://bit.ly/13d7SQK.


If a Christian majority nation treated Jews the way Israel treats Palestinian Christians, it would be called anti-Semitism. 

It would not be "complicated" or "difficult" or "without easy answers" -- it would simply be immoral -- in some cases even evil.

America's "conservatives" like to term such pronouncements as "moral clarity." But it's a clarity that is notoriously lacking in American "conservatives" -- and all too many liberals and libertarians.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Libertarian National Committee Members Consult Astrologers

Libertarian Party members have long complained that voters don't appreciate that LP candidates are smarter, wiser, and more competent than are their Demopublican rivals -- if only voters gave the LP a chance!

But LP members have long enjoyed the opportunity to demonstrate their "superior" leadership skills -- if not in higher public office, than at least in the running of their own party.

If voters were to take a good, close look at the LP, would they have reason to be favorably impressed?

Stewart Flood, over at Independent Political Report (comment # 87), offers a peak at how the LNC conducts business:

"There are LNC members who consult astrologers before voting. Really. There are LNC members who vote the way they are signaled (or in some cases literally handed cards) from non-LNC members in the audience. There are LNC members who vote lock-step with the instructions given to them at the 'secret' Friday dinners before each LNC meeting.

These are facts, documented by online broadcasts of the meetings, 'testimony' by former members who have attended the meetings, and by other members of the audience who have seen the notes handed out and in some cases literally read from at the table!"


Bet you thought that only Reagan consulted astrologers!