Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wayne Allyn Root's Crass Theology

David Zander, writing for Asian Media Access, writes a hilarious review of Wayne Allyn Root's book, Zen of Gambling.

Some choice excerpts from Mr. Zander's review:

"But [Root] is at the other end of a continuum from any true practitioner of Zen. Wayne loves Las Vegas, not the Zen masters, zazen or the Naropa Institute. He describes Las Vegas as 'the sexiest city on earth,' and unabashedly writes how God has been good to him -– he prayed for a wife, and she appeared 'a statuesque blonde goddess out of the pages of Playboy.'

" 'God is great!' concludes Root.

"Is he a self-deluded charlatan, or are we witnessing some merger going on here between Christianity and Materialism?

"...if you want to understand why much of the world hates America, start with Mr. Root. In some ways he is the epitome of an ugly American, an entrepreneurial A-type personality sun-bathing in his own self-declared brilliance and egoism, with very little awareness of how others might perceive him as a crass, culturally insensitive, masquerader muddling the waters of those on a spiritual quest.

"...[Root] is a disturbing product of his culture. It's a disturbing glimpse of someone who has built a life based on sports betting."

Read the entire review.

Also read how crass and amoral Root comes across in this New York Times Magazine profile.

And read about Root's buffoonish comments about Obama.

Root was the Libertarian Party's vice presidential nominee in 2008. He's a possible candidate for LP national chair in 2010, and a presidential candidate for 2012.

That Root is considered a player in the LP is only one of many indicators of how trashy and unworthy of support the LP has become.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

More War Means More Taxes

U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D - Mich) is proposing an additional tax on the rich to fund new troops in Afghanistan.

This is not entirely bad. Why? Because it would punish a lot of whiny, wealthy neocons and "liberventionists" who've been screaming for war.

It's an oddity that, among libertarians, the wealthier ones tend to support war, while povertarians oppose war. There are exceptions, but this is true as a general rule.

Some liberventionists have suggested that Iraq pay for its own "liberation" with oil money. But I'd rather impose crippling taxes on pro-war liberventionists.

The down side is, a "tax to fund the war" will not exclusively target warmongers. Still, it's nice to imagine neocons and liberventionists paying through the nose to fund their wars.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jews for Peace to Address Libertarians

A representative of L.A. Jews for Peace will address the libertarian Karl Hess Club on January 18, 2010.

That date is tentative, subject to scheduling. Like the Karl Hess Club, L.A. Jews for Peace meets on the third Monday of every month. But we're all trying to make this happen.

Yes, I was the promoter behind this event. I contacted L.A. Jews for Peace and the Karl Hess Club, and worked to bring them together. I think some of the hawkish libertarians at the KHC need to hear more peacenik voices.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

No Such Thing as Pro-War Libertarian

The Skeptical Eye has a great post. In addition to slamming pro-war Wayne Allyn Root, Skeptical Eye says:

Libertarians are militantly antiwar without exception. There is absolutely no such thing as a pro-war "libertarian."

If you've ever met a self-described "libertarian" who supported the invasion of Iraq (cough), guess what? He is just another delusional conservative who does not know the meaning of term.

"Libertarian" of course is just a word, and anyone can use a word. But anyone who is calling himself a "libertarian" while supporting wars of aggression, military intervention or foreign aid is in complete contradiction with the most basic tenets and history of libertarian philosophy.

Hell, even looking up the word "libertarian" in the dictionary is enough to show that a pro-war libertarian is a complete oxymoron if there ever was one.

Look hard enough and you probably be able to find a pro-war "libertarian," just as you may be able to find a pro-life Marxist. What more is there to say? They're freaks.


Read the entire post.

Wayne Allyn Root's Unsatisfied Costumer

Wayne Allyn Root loves to tout that he's an entrepreneur, Millionaire Republican, or small businessman, depending on which spin works best at the moment.

He ran a sports betting business, which he promoted through infomercials. Customers would call in to receive sports betting advice. That was Root's product. Root certainly made money on it (or at least, he claims to be a "Millionaire Republican" from his efforts.)

But how did it work out for others?

Here's what one unhappy customer has to say.

Root also left behind some unhappy employees.

And it doesn't look like Root's investors fared any better.

Well, who cares whether a business's customers, employees, or investors come out ahead? The important thing is, Root seems to have done okay.

Rumors are that Root may run for National Chair of the Libertarian Party in 2010. He's certainly a candidate for the LP's 2012 presidential nomination.

I'm confident that, even if Root harms the LP's reputation, Root will continue to come out ahead. His LP creds will help Root sell plenty of books, and may perhaps even land a paid media gig. That's the important thing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Big Brother is Watching You -- And What Else Is New?

The "Justice Dept" is demanding that a private news website, Indymedia, hand over information about its visitors. The feds are also demanding that Indymedia not tell anyone about it.

I'd be outraged, except that this Soviet-style behavior by the U.S. government has become so commonplace.

Alas, many "conservatives" think it's all right, provided the feds want the data to fight "Islamic terrorism."

And many "progressives" think it's all right, provided the feds want the data to fight "domestic, right-wing terrorism."

And many "libertarians" think it's all right, because they fear the Libertarian Party might appear "too radical" and will thus "lose votes" if libertarians stand up to the government. Don't want to "scare" voters away by being too pro-liberty.

Yes, such libertarians exist. All too many.

If you want to see what the fuss is about, visit Apparently, the Justice Dept doesn't want you to.

Fortunately, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a pro bono, free speech, legal defense group, has defended Indymedia, and found the Justice Dept subpoena to be bogus.

Monday, November 09, 2009

I Am a Bad Influence

Last year I spoke at Glendale Community College about the Libertarian Party. I also handed out reading material and website lists.

On November 5, I received the following email from Vladimir:

"You may not remember me, but you once came to my class at GCC and espoused the ideas of libertarianism. I thought it was rather interesting, although a bit radical.

After you left, I decided to look into it a bit more and found out about Ron Paul, who was running as a Republican, but was really a libertarian. I really liked what I saw, and I have been sold on it ever since. I can say that your visit helped change my life.

Since then, I have delved much more into libertarianism, and have read many works by Mises, Rothbard, and others from the Austrian School. I first liked the ideas of classical liberalism, but as I read more, I converted to anarcho-capitalism.

And so, therefore, I would like to thank you for opening up my eyes to the wonderful world of anarcho-capitalism. If there are any cool activities that are happening in the So Cal area, keep me informed.