Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wayne Allyn Root on Israel

The Mideast remains America's foreign policy hot spot -- and political hot potato. It's the locale of our current (and potentially future) wars.

The classic libertarian position is one of foreign non-intervention. Peace and friendship with all nations, alliances and entanglements with none.

However, Libertarian embarrassment Wayne Allyn Root has flip-flopped so much on foreign policy over these past four years, one wonders what he really believes -- in his heart -- about America's Mideast policy.

Texas Libertarian Party activist John Jay Myers offers some insight into Root's heart, based on his personal talks with Root. In a publicly posted comment at Independent Political Report [comment #28], Myers writes of Root:

"I don't really bash anyone as much as Wayne Allyn Root, but there is a reason for that. I am deeply involved in the group [the Libertarian Party], so when some ding-dong comes along claiming to be the Libertarian Party magi, and saying things to my face that contradict himself (and his book) I just can't let it slide.

"Here are the two things that Wayne said to me that stoke my animosity:

" 'John, you realize we have to be in the Middle East to protect Israel, right?'

[Root] often uses his book as a resource to say that he has changed his mind on our foreign policy. But he told me this after his book was in stores, and he was at my house.

"So basically his opinions on foreign policy are a complete fabrication. Or a false front. That is a huge strike against Wayne.

"Secondly, he told me in Missouri, 'John, you cannot talk bad about Israel and expect to get in the media.'

"What? What does that even mean? I should be able to talk about whatever or whoever I want. This is America after all....

[Root] is basically saying there is a group of people so in control of our media, that freedom of speech is no longer an option.

"That is a big deal. And if I believed this, as Wayne apparently does, I would be screaming it from the rooftops."

Read Myers's full account at Independent Political Report [comment #28].

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I Paid Cash and Flew Without Showing I.D.

The government can whittle away at our freedoms partially because younger people don't know what freedom looks like. They weren't around in freer days, so they don't know what was lost, or what freedoms might have been theirs.

They're much like Winston in 1984, who sought out old men, trying to learn clues as to what life was like before Big Brother ruled Oceania.

Here is an example of what real freedom once looked like in America:

Back in the late 1980s (I think it was in 1986), I flew from New York City to Washington D.C. It was a last minute thing. I took a taxi to La Guardia Airport to catch the hourly shuttle from NY to DC. I think Pan Am ran it back then, but I'm not sure about that.

* I had no reservation. I don't think anyone did for those shuttles.

* I bought my ticket at the last minute.

* I bought no return flight.

* I paid in cash.

* I had no luggage.

* I showed no I.D.

I simply hopped on the plane to DC. It was like getting on the subway. A few of hours later, I flew back from DC to NY. Same routine. Cash, no reservation, no luggage, no I.D.

That's what freedom once looked liked in America.

For another peek at real freedom, see what it looks like today in Canada.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wayne Allyn Root's Slick, Non-Position on Julian Assange

The Clintonesque Wayne Allyn Root knows how to speak forcefully -- without actually taking a clear position on controversial issues.

Bold, empty statements are common among politicos. Buried within Root's latest anti-Obama rant, Root says:

"Is Julian Assange of Wikileaks really a 'threat to national security' or is Obama and the United States Congress a bigger threat to the average taxpayer?"

This is clever, in that Root appears to defend Julian Assange -- without actually doing so.

When Bush Sr. said that Saddam was "worse than Hitler," Bush did not mean that Hitler was good. Merely that Saddam was worse.

Actually, Root doesn't even say that Obama is worse than Assange. Root merely asks whether Obama is worse than Assange.

Root's brief statement can thus be interpreted in every possible way:

1. Julian Assange is a pro-liberty hero.

2. Julian Assange is a monster, second only to Obama.

3. Julian Assange is a monster, worse than Obama.

4. Julian Assange occupies some moral position between "hero" and "monster."

Root's statement about Assange can mean anything. Root doesn't defend Assange. To do so would threaten Root's aspirations to join the lucrative field right-wing, media punditocracy. Instead, Root's implied defense leaves him free to condemn Assange at some future date, should the neocon customer base require Root to do so.

However, if Root runs for a Libertarian Party office or nomination, one of his lapdogs can always spin Root's statement so that it looks as if Root is defending Assange.

(It's always better for Root's LP lapdogs do the antiwar/anti-police state spinning, as it leaves Root free to renounce that spin should the neocon media require it. "My supporters misunderstood my statement," Root can always say.)

Root knows how to be direct, even blunt. If he's coy, or vague, it's intentional.

Compare Root's coyness on Wikileaks to Ron Paul's bold statement on Wikileaks.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jim Burns Praises Ron Paul

I received the below email from Jim Burns, who is running for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination, again:

The subject is Ron Paul. Here are 354 words from my friend Rick White and me:

Rick: Fox News reported on Monday, 12-13-2010 that it is likely that Ron Paul will seek the Republican nomination for President. What do you think, Jim?

Jim: This is good news for libertarianism. Mr. Paul is an articulate advocate for liberty and I hope he can receive at least the support he got last time, and I think with the Tea Party movement now available he can do even better.

In the long run this is good news for the Libertarian Party; the more people introduced to libertarianism the better. In the short run, it can be either good or bad news for the Libertarian Party. It all depends on what we of the LP do.

Rick: Should members of the LP support Mr. Paul?

Jim: Members of the LP should take what actions they deem proper. I believe, however, that we should not follow the actions of Bob Barr and Wayne Root. The only time I saw Mr. Barr and Mr. Root on TV was when they offered Mr. Paul the LP Vice-Presidential spot, not in person but on TV.

To me, this was inappropriate, an insult and disingenuous. For one thing, if Mr. Paul had wanted, he could have had the Presidential nomination if he had just showed up in Denver -– hell, all he had to do was to pick up the phone and call almost any LP member at the convention, at the time and the LP Presidential nomination would have been his.

For another thing, Mr. Paul called a meeting inviting third party candidates to attend (I believe, it was understood Mr. Paul would endorse some one); to their discredit, neither Mr. Barr nor Mr. Root attended. Mr. Paul did not endorse the LP ticket and I believe he was just in his choice.

If we take suitable actions, I believe we can help Mr. Paul at all levels and there are measures we can take even if Mr. Paul gets the Republican nomination. We need to think outside the box.

We can be a powerful force in American politics if we change our behavior and take bold appropriate actions.

-- Jim Burns

Jim Burns for President
PO Box 1139
Beatty, NV 89003


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Wesley Snipes -- Libertarian for President?

As the Libertarian Party seeks a presidential candidate for 2012, perhaps they should consider actor Wesley Snipes?

Snipes is about to begin a three-year prison sentence after being convicted for federal tax evasion.

But Snipes was not merely trying to save money. It seems that he's a tax protester.

On January 14, 2008, The New York Times reported:

"But unlike other celebrities who find themselves on the wrong side of the Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Snipes has a flamboyant explanation: he argues that he is not actually required to pay taxes."

I believe the federal income tax is Constitutional and legal. But I'm also a "Big Tent" libertarian. If the LP's tent is big enough to include pro-war neocons like Wayne Allyn Root and Neal Boortz, it should be big enough to include tax protesters.

Running Snipes for president will stimulate debate and discussion on the nature of taxes in general.

That Snipes has spent time in prison is another plus. As with Steve Kubby, prison will have sensitized Snipes to civil liberties concerns. Nor is there any reason that Snipes can't campaign from prison. In fact, it can make for a colorful "talking point." Here is a man who understands the need to reign in federal power!

Root's supporters often argue that the LP should run a "celebrity" (like, they say, Root), because celebrities attract media attention. Well, Wesley Snipes is a real A-list celebrity, unlike Root, who's a few rungs below Kathy Griffin's D-list status.

That Snipes is African-American is another plus. His candidacy will broaden the LP's appeal to progressives. Snipes will mitigate the impression that the LP is filled with Tea Party racists.

I don't know much about Snipes's political views in general. If I learn that he's pro-war, that would be a deal-breaker. But he's worth a closer look.

Here are some intriguing items about Snipes, from Wikipedia:

"Snipes converted from Christianity to Islam in 1978. His current beliefs are unknown.

"Snipes's apartment was destroyed by the collapse of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers during the September 11 attacks in 2001. He was on the west coast at the time.

"A September 24, 2002 Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee press release listed Wesley Snipes as an 'artist who is supporting' a $6 million fundraiser with tickets ranging from "$500 to $250,000."

I'm still Catholic, not a Muslim, but I'm "Big Tent" enough not to require that a political candidate share my religious views. Indeed, I think that, in this time of anti-Muslim hysteria, it would be a positive public statement for the LP to run a Muslim for president.

Snipes can also address 9/11 from personal experience -- his home was destroyed. It's not like anyone can accuse him of being ignorant of that tragic day.

As an LP presidential candidate, Snipes would be an African-American, ex-Democrat, with strong civil liberties/tax-protester creds.

I'm not a Snipes supporter yet (my dream team is still Ron Paul/Karen Kwiatkowski), but I think Libertarians should take a closer look at Snipes. Learn more about him. Ask if he'd be interested in running.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Veterans Call for Antiwar Rally on December 16th

I got this from Voters for Peace:

It is time for the antiwar movement to pick up the pace and demonstrate that Americans want the current wars ended and out-of-control military spending reversed.

Our allies in the peace-veterans community are taking the lead and we are joining them. Veterans for Peace has announced a rally and civil resistance action in Washington, DC on Wednesday, December 16th. This will be the largest veteran-led civil resistance to U.S. wars in recent history.

Every day the horrors of the U.S. war-occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan continue – deaths of civilians, deaths and casualties of U.S. soldiers, incarceration of local people without charges, abusive searches of their homes at night and, too often, their torture. The long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have already drained our national treasury of $1.1 trillion and will cost Americans trillions more even if they ended today, primarily due to the need to treat U.S. soldiers; casualties now exceed 100,000 victims.

For more information on this important protest, visit Stop These Wars.

Real hope and real change will come from neither the White House nor Congress, but will come instead from us, taking action and getting independently organized into a movement that the government cannot ignore. As noted author and war correspondent
Chris Hedges writes:

"Hope knows that unless we physically defy government control we are complicit in the violence of the state. All who resist keep hope alive. All who succumb to fear, despair, and apathy become enemies of hope. They become, in their passivity, agents of injustice."

You do not have to risk arrest at the White House to participate with us on December 16th. You can be there in support. You can take photographs and videos. You can write about the event to spread the word that Americans are saying no to war. If you cannot be there in support, you can phone Congress and the media and demand the defunding of the ongoing wars.

Opposition to these wars is the majority view of the American people. The government is not representing us. It is time for Americans to demand that they do so.

Join us in Washington, DC on December 16, 2010.


Kevin Zeese
Executive Director

P.S. This is a good time of the year to make a year-end donation to Voters for Peace. Please make a donation now. Thank you for your support.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Is the Pledge of Allegiance Fascist in Spirit?

I found this old article at Click the image and you'll more easily read the words.

I doubt that Hitler copied his hand salute from the pre-1942 American salute. More likely, Hitler copied Mussolini's fascists, who in turn copied the Roman Empire's salute. In all likelihood, Americans were likewise copying the Romans.

Even so, the American Pledge of Allegiance's history is thought-provoking. Is there not something inherently fascistic about a Roman style pledge to a State?

Friday, December 03, 2010

Ron Paul Cheers WikiLeaks -- Where's Wayne Allyn Root?

Ron Paul has called for more WikiLeaks. Paul is a true supporter of free speech and government transparency. According to Raw Story:

Speaking to Fox Business host Judge Napolitano on Thursday about recent revelations at the Federal Reserve, Paul's typical candor showed through.

"What we need is more WikiLeaks about the Federal Reserve," he said. "Can you imagine what it'd be like if we had every conversation in the last 10 years with our Federal Reserve people, the Federal Reserve chairman, with all the central bankers of the world and every agreement or quid-pro-quo they have? It would be massive. People would be so outraged."

Paul, a longtime critic of the US Federal Reserve, is the incoming chairman of a House subcommittee on monetary policy. His most recent book, titled End the Fed, takes aim at central banks the world over, blaming fiat money systems and fractional reserve banking for the world's increasingly volatile economies.

"In a free society we're supposed to know the truth," Paul insisted. "In a society where truth becomes treason, then we're in big trouble. And now, people who are revealing the truth are getting into trouble for it."

He added: "This whole notion that Assange, who's an Australian, that we want to prosecute him for treason -- I mean, aren't they jumping to a wild conclusion? [...] I mean, why don't we prosecute The New York Times or anybody that releases this?"

This once again highlights the difference between a true libertarian like Ron Paul, and a pretender like Wayne Allyn Root.

Paul has always opposed our encroaching police state. Root never did so -- until right-wing talk radio lashed out at the TSA's sexual groping and X-ray body scanners. Then Root rushed out an anti-TSA piece, thundering as if he were always a passionate leader against such police state tactics.

I expect Root will either oppose WikiLeaks, or remain silent -- unless and until his neocon customer base supports WikiLeaks. Then Root will scream his support for WikiLeaks, as if he were always a passionate and leading supporter of WikiLeaks.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Internet Censorship Blocked -- Feds Keep Seizing Websites reports progress on the internet censorship bill that we previously reported:

On November 18, 2010, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to send the Internet blacklist bill to the full Senate, but it was quickly stopped by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) who denounced it as "a bunker-buster cluster bomb" aimed at the Internet and pledged to "do everything I can to take the necessary steps to stop it from passing the U.S. Senate."

Wyden's opposition practically guarantees the bill is dead this year -- and next year the new Congress will have to reintroduce the bill and start all over again. But even that might not happen: Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Hollywood's own senator, told the committee that even she was uncomfortable with the Internet censorship portion of the bill and hoped it could be removed when they took it up again next year!

This is incredible -- and all thanks to you. Just a month ago, the Senate was planning to pass this bill unanimously; now even the senator from Hollywood is backing away from it. But this fight is far from over -- next year, there's going to be hearings, negotiations, and even more crucial votes. We need to be there, continuing to fight.

Can you chip in a couple bucks so we can keep our lobbyist in DC?

We're doing everything we can: working with key staffers to remove the most egregious parts of the bill, lobbying more members of Congress to speak out against this bill, and insisting on hearings so the whole Senate can learn about how dangerous this is. And, of course, we'll keep working with you to make sure more people hear about this bill and tell their senators.

Keep on fighting,

-- Aaron Swartz, David Segal, and the Demand Progress team

P.S. Are you as outraged as we are at those new TSA scanners? Click here to write a letter to your state legislators asking them to ban the practice. We've already gotten a bill introduced in New York -- will your state be next?


Although the fed's latest internet censorship attempt has failed (for now), they're still shutting down internet sites suspected of piracy, despite a lack of evidence.

As with federal asset forfeiture laws, with suspected "internet piracy" it's guilty until proven innocent.

Once again, the feds are trashing the Constitution.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Clintonesque, Libertarian Embarrassment, Wayne Allyn Root

On yet another Wayne Allyn Root thread at Independent Political Report, Thomas L. Knapp explains why so many of Root's critics attack "Root the man" rather than just Root's positions. Knapp's points are spot on, and worth repeating...

"You seem to think that this [Root's positions] is separable from character issues.

"With some people, it can be. With others, it's not.

"With Root, it's generally not because he is exceptionally, for lack of a better descriptive term … Clintonesque.

"If he launches an unjustified attack on someone and it backfires on him (e.g. Ruwart), he'll throw a staffer under the bus as the real author of the attack rather than confront the substance of the issue he brought up when that substance is going against him.

"If he takes a position and later finds embarrassing (e.g. his late 2006 endorsement of a McCain/Lieberman 2008 ticket), he'll just lie about it when confronted with it.

"Hell, sometimes he changes his positions so fast that it's hard to keep track of them at all, and arguing 'substance' becomes impossible. If you address the X that he said on Fox last week, he'll just come back with the opposite of X that he said last night at an LP fundraiser, or the orthogonal to X that he threw out in a radio interview this morning.

"How do you talk 'substance' on a guy who goes from strong supporter of the Iraq war to weak supporter of the Iraq war to 'Iraq was the wrong war, Iran is the right war' to allegedly anti-war over the course of a few months?

"How do you peg the 'substance' of someone who goes from 'Ron Paul is an old guy with some decent ideas but bad on foreign policy' to 'I'm Ron Paul on steroids!!!' so fast he leaves skid marks and takes out a couple of telephone polls making the U-turn?

"It's impossible to tell what the 'substance' of Root is from one day to the next — or, at any given moment whether that substance is the real thing or just another pitch to get over on the rubes."

Kudos to Knapp for hitting the nail on the head. See the entire thread here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Libertarian Party of Idaho Calls for Expulsion of Wayne Allyn Root

I reported last week that the Libertarian Party of Florida voted to dump Wayne Allyn Root. Now George Phllies posts at IPR [comment 70] that the Libertarian Party of Idaho has called for the LP to boot Root:



WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of Idaho Executive Committee is committed to the platform of the Libertarian Party; and

WHEREAS, Libertarian National Congressional Committee Chairman and LNC at Large Member, Wayne Allyn Root, made the undisputed quote, "I'm kind of re-creating libertarianism. I'm just not going to follow the traditional roots. I’m a Ronald Reagan libertarian. Traditional libertarianism mixes in too many things that are liberal." in the November 11-17, 2010 issue of weekly magazine Vegas Seven; and

WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of Idaho Executive Committee finds Mr. Root's comments above will confuse the general public as to what the Libertarian Party’s official positions are; and

WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of Idaho Executive Committee finds Mr. Root's comments highly offensive and in direct contrast to the Libertarian Party's message and platform; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Root has frequently made similar and consistent comments to the above noted; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Root's comments have clearly illustrated that he is philosophically opposed to essential first-principles of the Libertarian Party, or if not so opposed, shows a serious lack of understanding which makes his position of leadership in the LNC and LNCC harmful to the Libertarian Party; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Root has supported Republican candidates for public office while in his position on the Libertarian National Congressional Committee


BE IT RESOLVED by the Libertarian Party of Idaho, THAT the Libertarian Party of Idaho fully repudiates Mr. Root's comments as described above and strongly feels Mr. Root should be removed from his position in any official capacity with the Libertarian National Committee, inclusive of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee, and replaced. We would encourage Mr. Root to examine our basic moral opposition to conservatism and any other forms of initiated force, and insist that he remain ineligible for leadership until such time as he demonstrates a working knowledge of, and embraces the philosophical practice of, the non-aggression principal.

Monterey Libertarians Protest Obama's Wars

The following report is written by Monterey County libertarian activist Lawrence K. Samuels, and is reprinted with his permission:

Finally, the Left in Monterey, CA decided to organize a demonstration in opposition to Obama's wars in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Since the election in 2008, the only two peace rallies sponsored by the Peace Coalition of Monterey County were organized by leaders from the local Libertarians for Peace chapter. But now it appears that the Left has had enough of Obama’s broken promises as the so-called "peace candidate."

The keynote speech on November 13th was delivered by California Assemblyman Bill Monning, but the most well-received speech came from David R. Henderson, professor of economics at the Naval Postgraduate School, and co-chair of Libertarians for Peace of Monterey County.

Henderson, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, came out strongly against U.S. intervention in foreign nations. First he argued on a personal level. He was tired of hearing about how we are fighting wars in a slew of Middle East nations. He pointed to boxer Mohammed Ali, who once said as a conscientious objector against the Vietnam War: "I ain’t got no quarrel with the Vietcong."

"Well, similarly, I have no quarrel with the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, in Pakistan or in Yemen," Henderson said.  He was subtly making the case that governments rarely represent their citizens -- that we are not the government.

Normally, such a concept would get "government-is-us" Leftists into a tizzy. But not this time. The audience applauded this moment in Henderson’s speech, probably not realizing its deeper, anti-statist meaning.

Next, Henderson took on the U.S. Defense Department. He noted what conservatives never want to recognize -- that our military has a nasty habit of attacking nations that have never attacked us. Because of this addiction to aggression, he said, the U.S. Defense Department should be renamed the "U.S. Offense Department."

Henderson went further. He said that not only has U.S. foreign policy embraced militarism, but that we "have become an empire." Just looking at the big sums of money spent by the U.S. military is proof enough. According to Henderson, the United States military now accounts for over 40% of total military spending in the world.

Over 200 protesters attended the peace rally.

David Henderson’s peace speech will soon be posted on Henderson is planning to publish a book of his best articles and speeches concerning the U.S. wars in the Middle East.

Friday, November 19, 2010

National Opt-Out Day Celebration at LAX

Forwarded by Angela Keaton:

Hello We Won't Fly - Los Angeles Unscannables.

This message is going out to the Meetup as well as the Facebook group. Thank you all for stepping up. Please join both groups and continue to spread the word those not yet involved.

My name is Hagen Gilbert and I'm working with Nick Hankoff to keep this a smooth and successful operation. National Opt-Out Day is Wednesday, November 24th, 2010. Here's the layout:

Where we're going: On Opt-Out Day Carpoolers should meet at Nick's place at 6 a.m. Nick and I will drive a total of 8 passengers to the airport. If you would like to get a ride with one of us, please contact one of us ASAP. Everybody participating on this day is expected at LAX at 7 a.m. We will be raising awareness about the naked scanners from directly outside the airport. It shouldn't take long to hand out all our materials and get one or two media interviews then celebrate with real breakfast somewhere.

What to bring: The best thing you can bring is a camera. The more of those, the merrier. Please do not bring large signs as we may be construed as a protest group. This is not a protest. Nick and I will supply handouts. Right now we are planning on handing out approximately 100 Reason magazines along with as many fliers as I can get printed. The fliers can be viewed here.

How to act: Smile and be happy! It is the holiday season after all and it will be National Opt-Out Day! By cheerfully saying "Happy National Opt-Out Day! Here's a free magazine to read!" you will attract more people’s curiosity about what’s going on. Once the magazine is in their hand, they will also have a copy of the flier (linked above). Feel free to add "You have a right to opt-out, read the flier before you go through any naked body scanner!"or something like that.

Likely you won't have much time at all as people hustle to their destination, but our objective on this day is to raise awareness about the TSA and (AIT) Advanced Imaging Technology, and how it affects people's health, family, security, and privacy. Our mission with Opt Out Day is for the expressed purpose above, it is NOT to raise awareness about 9/11 or other topics of concern.

We Won't Fly is emphasizing three major points:

1. Security

Security is important for everyone, but the new techniques being used by the TSA offer no improved security while it does entail the loss of personal privacy. A trade off that is not only unacceptable but continues the security theater that actually endangers us more than protects us.

2. Privacy

Strip searches and/or sexual assault on you or your family are a violation of the 4th amendment and should not be a requirement for air travel.

3. TSA

TSA screeners may even be at a higher health risk from these machines due to their constant radiation exposure. Unfortunately those working for $10/hr are not getting the whole truth from their employer.

As always, frequent We Won't Fly and Opt Out Day for continued information. Also feel free to Contact me or Nick with questions or ideas or anything that can help us with our endeavor.


Hagen Gilbert, hagenshape at gmail dot com

Nick Hankoff, nhankoff at gmail dot com

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Peace Vigil -- Every Friday at Studio City, California

Forwarded by Angela Keaton (who adds. "Highly recommend Frank Dorrel's Addicted to War List for the So. Cal area"):

8th Year Anniversary for Studio City Peace Vigil

This FRIDAY, November 19th, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Neighbors for Peace & Justice, San Fernando Valley

Meet at NE corner intersection of Ventura and Laurel Canyon Blvds. Park behind the bank.

Eight years on the corner protestin' war and occupation. Every Friday, since November 2002. Banners, candles, bring your signs or use ours. Be there to demand an end to endless war. Bring All the troops home NOW!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Libertarian Party of Florida Calls for Expulsion of Wayne Allyn Root

Karl Dickey reports the following:

"During a regular meeting of the Libertarian Party of Florida’s Executive Committee last night, they created a resolution (found below) to repudiate recent comments made by Libertarian National Congressional Committee chairman Wayne Allyn Root and suggested his removal from any leadership position within the Libertarian Party.

"While the Libertarian Party of Florida is glad to see the membership growth both on the state and national level, it feels strongly, as per the wording of their resolution, those in leadership positions should be held by a higher standard of libertarianism then the membership or those registered to vote Libertarian.

"The resolution came about after an article appeared recently in the weekly magazine Vegas Seven where Mr. Root was quoted as saying, 'I'm kind of re-creating libertarianism. I'm just not going to follow the traditional roots. I'm a Ronald Reagan libertarian. Traditional libertarianism mixes in too many things that are liberal.'

"The statement along with Mr. Root's support of Republican candidates has Libertarians upset with Mr. Root and his attempts to manipulate the Libertarian message thereby confusing the general public as to what a Libertarian stands for. Mr. Root has made similar comments in the media which distorts the Libertarian message.

"Here is the resolution as passed at last night’s LPF EC meeting:"

WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of Florida Executive Committee is committed to the platform of the Libertarian Party; and

WHEREAS, Libertarian National Congressional Committee chairman, Wayne Allyn Root made the undisputed quote in the November 11-17, 2010 issue of weekly magazine Vegas Seven, “I’m kind of re-creating libertarianism. I’m just not going to follow the traditional roots. I’m a Ronald Reagan libertarian. Traditional libertarianism mixes in too many things that are liberal”; and

WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of Florida Executive Committee finds Mr. Roots comments found above will confuse the general public as to what the Libertarian Party’s official positions are; and

WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of Florida Executive Committee finds Mr. Roots comments highly offensive and in direct contrast to the Libertarian Party’s message and platform; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Root has supported Republican candidates for public office while in his position on the Libertarian National Congressional Committee; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Root has made similar and consistent comments noted above.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Libertarian Party of Florida fully repudiates Mr. Roots comments as described above and strongly feels Mr. Root should be replaced and removed from his position in any official capacity with the Libertarian National Committee, inclusive of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee.

ADOPTED November 14, 2010

Libertarian Party of Florida

Vicki Kirkland, Chair

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Congress to Vote on Internet Censorship/Blacklist Bill


Congress is bringing back the Internet blacklist bill for a vote on Thursday -- just a week from now! We've spent the week meeting people in DC and I can tell you our petition is definitely making a difference. This bill was supposed to pass without objection, but now even Politico is calling it "hotly debated" -- all thanks to you.

We've found the most effective way to get through to senators is for constituents to call in to Congress.

Remember, this bill--in blatant violation of the Constitution--would let the Attorney General create a blacklist of websites that every American ISP would be required to block. Wikileaks, YouTube, and others are all at risk. Human rights advocates, constitutional law experts, and the people who invented the Internet have all spoken out against this bill -- but some of the most powerful industries in the country are demanding that Congress rush it through. The music industry is even having all of their employees call Congress to pose as citizens in support of the bill.

-- Aaron Swartz, David Segal, and the Demand Progress team

P.S. Can you please forward our petition to your friends? So far over 250,000 people have signed. Can you help us hit 300,000 before the vote?


The music industry is supporting this bill, doubtless to make it easier to take down "pirate" sites. But if this bill passes, it can be used to censor any site that the military, or any politically well-connected group, wants to censor.

Another example of how over-broad intellectual property protection threatens free speech.


Saturday, November 06, 2010

Does the Safe Protest Vote Syndrome Negate the Wasted Vote Syndrome?

Third parties often fantasize that their vote totals are the tip of the iceberg. That for every vote they receive, there's a large pool of Silent Supporters who would vote for them, but that these Silent Supporters don't want to waste their vote on a third party that can't win.

This long-discussed theory is known as the Wasted Vote Syndrome.

It goes like this: A Libertarian Silent Supporter (LSS) prefers the LP candidate, but because the LP can't win, the LSS votes for the "lesser evil" Republican to prevent the Democrat from winning. Likewise, the Green Silent Supporter prefers the GP candidate, but votes for the "lesser evil" Democrat to keep the Republican from winning.

Caveat: Some libertarians believe the LP has an equal number of supporters among both Republican and Democratic voters. But that doesn't affect the Wasted Vote Syndrome theory; you still have LSS voters choosing a major party over the LP.

But just how many votes does the Wasted Vote Syndrome cost third parties? I don't deny that some people vote for a major party, though they prefer a third party, because they don't want to waste their vote on a third party that can't win.

Yet there's a countervailing force at work here. Let's call it the Safe Protest Vote Syndrome.

I suspect that some people vote for a third party precisely because third parties can't win. Some voters may feel anger at the system as a whole, or disgust with both major parties, or simply be in a generally nihilistic mood at the time -- so they vote for a third party that they also hate, as a form of protest. They may feel that voting for an obnoxious third party is a safe way of "giving the finger" to the system. Safe, because there's no chance the third party can win.

Third parties like to imagine that while the major parties attract many votes from people who can't stand them, that every vote for a third party comes from an enthusiastic supporter.

I don't think that's true.

Should a third party start to grow, it may attract new voters who previously feared wasting their vote -- but I suspect they will also lose votes from people who no longer think it's safe to vote for that party, because now there's a danger that they might actually win.

I wonder how much the Wasted Vote Syndrome hurts third parties -- and I also wonder how much the Safe Protest Vote Syndrome helps third parties?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Libertarian Congressional Candidate Erich Miller Ducks War and Foreign Policy

I live in California's 30th Congressional District. Pro-war Democrat Henry Waxman is my representative.

This November, three candidates will be opposing Waxman.

Republican Chuck Wilkerson advocates the usual saber rattling.

Libertarian Erich Miller's website is silent on the war. If I emailed him, pressed him to the wall, he might mumble something about being anti-foreign intervention. I don't know -- and I don't care. It's Miller's job to earn my vote by advocating the correct positions on the key issues. And he's not doing it.

Miller is running for Congress. Since we're "at war," foreign policy will be a big part of Miller's Congressional responsibilities -- yet his website only focuses on the economy and health care. For whatever reason, Miller hasn't found it worth his while to say anything about foreign policy.

Maybe Miller is afraid of offending someone and losing votes?

By contrast, the socialist Peace and Freedom Party candidate, Richard Castaldo, advocates the following positions on his home page:

1. Defund all wars of imperialism, including Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

2. Single-payer not-for-profit healthcare.

3. Abolish corporate "personhood." Rights belong to human beings, not corporations.

4. Terminate the Patriot Act and restore the Bill of Rights.

5. End corporate bailouts and create green jobs.

Castaldo's positions 1 and 4 are entirely libertarian. Many libertarians would agree with position 3. Position 5 is at least half libertarian. Only position 2 is clearly anti-libertarian.

Two out of five of Castaldo's positions (1 and 4) directly, aggressively, and unapologeticly address the core issues of our expanding wars and increasing loss of freedoms.

Why is the socialist Peace and Freedom Party more vocally libertarian on these key issues than the so-called Libertarian Party?

Do you see why I'm no longer a registered Libertarian? Why I've registered non-partisan and ignore party labels?

I'm not saying who I'll be voting for this November. But antiwar voters should educate themselves about every candidate, in every state and district. Then vote based on the issues that the candidates advocate (vocally and aggressively, not buried in some fine print). Don't waste your vote on something as meaningless as party labels.

Libertarian candidates must earn votes from libertarians, not be given votes simply because candidates have an L before their names.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Movie Muslims -- Films That Reflect Their Humanity

In this time of rising bigotry against our fellow Americans who happen to be of Muslim heritage (including some "libertarians" who engage in hate), it's good that Hollywood has produced some films that reflect the humanity of Muslims.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

An Eyewitness Reports from Inside Afghanistan

This article was written by Mark E. Smith and posted on the Peace Movement Google Group on September 5, 2010. It's written from a progressive, rather than a libertarian, perspective. Nevertheless, because Mr. Smith lived among the Afghans and writes from first-hand experience, his insights bear consideration.

With his permission, I reprint Mr. Smith's article

I lived in Afghanistan for almost five years in the late '60s, early '70s. I went there on my own and was not connected with any governmental or nongovernmental organization. I volunteered in a hospital and ran a free clinic in my home. I learned Pashto. I spent most of my time with Afghans rather than with Americans.

Afghanistan does not have a common language. It has two major or official languages, Farsi (Persian) and Pashto, but there are about 30 other languages.

Whether you do or don't have a gun, as long as you don't attack them, the Afghan people have a tradition of welcoming strangers and are very friendly and hospitable. As all Afghan males usually have guns, they don't see anything wrong with strangers having guns, as long as they aren't hostile or part of an invading army.

While it is true that the Afghans will never be conquered by force, they will never be conquered by diplomacy either. If you could live with them for an extended length of time and learn what they want, you'd find that what they want is not to be conquered and to continue the traditional way of life that has sustained them for thousands of years.

Many Afghans have traveled to or have relatives in the U.S. and Europe. They know what modern development has to offer, and they don't want it. They certainly don't want roads, as roads would only make things easier for invading armies.

Why bring in solar panels and storage batteries when they already have a sustainable green system? Donkeys and camels don't have to be produced in capitalist sweatshops out of raw materials gained through genocidal resource wars; they reproduce naturally. And they provide fertilizer instead of toxic wastes that are impossible to dispose of. Donkeys and camels are totally organic, sustainable, and biodegradable. I don't know of any green energy source that you can say the same about.

As for the opium poppies, if the CIA didn't need heroin profits to fuel its black budgets, Afghans would grow no more opium than they did when I was there, some for herbal medicinal use, and some for barter. They had no drug problem because they didn't use it recreationally and they weren't desperate enough to need it to drown out reality the way many westerners do.

Americans seem to think that everybody wants to be rich. Most Afghans would be ashamed to be rich, as it would mean that they hadn't shared their good fortune with their neighbors and had hoarded it for themselves, a disgrace that could easily see them ostracized.

One Afghan once told me, "Most Americans are rich, but you're an American and you aren't rich. I'm poor, but that's okay because everybody here is poor. But it must be terrible for you to be poor in a rich country." This was an illiterate Afghan who had never been to school. I know many Americans with doctorates who aren't half that astute.

They don't need education either. We have education for jobs that don't exist and I've spent seven decades of my life watching our educational system decline.

The Afghan people are moderate Muslims when they're not being attacked. When they're invaded, they expect the religious warriors among them to lead the fight to drive off the invaders, so they become more militant, but it doesn't last once the invaders are gone.

As for the treatment of women, when I was in Afghanistan there was no prostitution. Women were sold into marriage, not sold to pimps and brothels. Most Afghan men love their wives and children.

Do you judge the U.S. by abusive husbands, brutal pimps, exploitive pornographers, and the other types of male bovine excrement that abound in our society?

The Taliban were nothing and had no power until we started funding them to fight the Russians. The Russians had done things in Afghanistan that we considered totally unacceptable, such as allowing women equal rights, funding schools for both girls and boys, providing free health care, etc. We destroyed the Soviet Union because we abhor Communist crimes like that. Our oligarchs fear that if such heresy spreads, it could interfere with their corporate profits.

I remember the first time I tried to take a taxi at the Khyber pass. There were several empty taxis, but they were unattended. One taxi had five ferocious looking men in it, all with turbans or those pancake hats, beards and mustaches, rifles, and bandoliers full of ammunition. They kept smiling at me and gesturing to me to get into their taxi, but I was terrified--certain they intended to rob me.

Finally somebody who spoke English turned up and he explained to me that the taxi couldn't leave until it had a full load of passengers and they only needed one more. It turned out to be a pleasant ride and was my introduction to overcoming stereotypes.

Understanding the world is a long journey, so I pass along to you the standard Pashto greeting, "St'rai m'shee," which means, may you not be tired.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Why Did Jesus Instruct His Apostles to Buy a Sword? Luke 22:36

When seeking Biblical support for their notion of a militaristic Jesus, Neocon warmongers sometimes quote Luke 22:36.

First, some context. This scene from the Gospel According to Luke occurs during the Last Supper. Jesus is addressing his apostles, shortly before he is arrested and crucified.

Luke 22:36 states: He said to them, "But now, let him who has a purse take it, and likewise a bag. And let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one.

Is Jesus telling his apostles to prepare for combat? Perhaps to overthrow the Roman Empire? Or maybe just a defensive battle against the Jewish religious leaders (soon to arrest him) or the Roman governor (soon to convict him)?

Neocons have used this verse to justify our current wars. But is this verse even about war?

Let's examine this quote in context, reading what comes before and after this verse. Here is what Luke 22:35-38 states:

And he said to them, "When I sent you out with no purse or bag or sandals, did you lack anything?" They said, "Nothing." He said to them, "But now, let him who has a purse take it, and likewise a bag. And let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one. For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in me, 'And he was reckoned with transgressors'; for what is written about me has its fulfilment." And they said to him, "Look, Lord, here are two swords." And he said to them, "It is enough."

That's odd. Two swords? Among twelve apostles? Two swords hardly seem enough to battle an empire, or even a garrison of guards.

Seems this context changes things. It's a key to understanding this verse. Seeking a Catholic understanding, I look to the commentary in the Navarre Bible. Its commentary for Luke 22:35-38 states:

Jesus announces his passion by applying to himself the Isaiah prophecy about the Servant of Yahweh (Is 53:12) -- "he was numbered with the transgressors" -- and by pointing out that all the other prophecies about the sufferings the Redeemer would undergo will find fulfilment in him.

The testing-time is imminent and our Lord is speaking symbolically when he talks about making provision and buying weapons to put up a fight. The apostles take him literally, and this leads him to express a certain indulgent understanding: "It is enough."

"Just in the same way as we," Theophylact says, "when we are speaking to someone and see that he does not understand, say: 'Very well, leave it.' " (Enarratio in Evangelium Lucae, in loc.).

So it seems Jesus spoke symbolically of swords, not literally. This interpretation is also consistent with one of the Gospels' recurring themes: the apostles' repeated misunderstanding of Christ prior to his resurrection.

If you're curious, my edition of the Navarre Bible is "the Revised Standard Version with a commentary by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre." A great source for a Catholic interpretation.

According to its Preface: "The commentaries contained in the notes are the result of looking up thousands of sources (sometimes reflected in explicit references given in the commentary text) -- documents of the Magisterium, exegesis by Fathers and Doctors of the Church, works by important spiritual writers (usually saints, of every period) ... The editors felt that it would have been impertinent to comment on the Bible using their own expertise along;

If anyone ever throws Luke 22:36 at you in support of war, saying that it's time to buy a sword, ask him why Jesus said that only two swords were "enough."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Islamophobia Is Anti-Catholic

Anti-Muslim bigotry is rampant among what passes for "conservatism" these days (and even in much of "libertarianism"). Visit neocon, pseudo-conservative sites like, and you'll find many so-called "conservatives" labeling Islam as a "Satanic" religion.

But what does official Catholic teaching say about Islam? I don't mean quotes from this or that Catholic leader, but offical Catholic Church doctrine?

Well, here's the official Catholic Church position on Islam, as quoted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Second Edition:

"841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. 'The Plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day.' "

That's right, "Catholic" neocon bigots. Your hatred is not supported by the official teachings of your professed faith. Bummer.

Friday, August 27, 2010

"Ground Zero" Synagogue Goes Up in Lebanon

American bigots -- hiding under the labels of "conservative" or "libertarian" -- have a favorite talking point: "We'll let Them build a mosque in America, when They let Us build a church or synagogue in Saudi Arabia."

Yes, some bigots are saying "No mosques in America," not just on Ground Zero.

It's an absurd demand. Why? Because Germans, Russians, Italians, Chinese -- everyone -- have long come to America to escape more oppressive nations. We never said to Russians, "You can't enjoy free speech in the U.S. until Americans can enjoy free speech in the Soviet Union." We never before demanded that American immigrants live by the laws of their foreign homelands.

Why change that American standard for Americans of Muslim heritage? (That's right -- the "Them" and "They" are our fellow Americans.)

Even so, it seems that some foreign, Muslim nations are more tolerant than is the U.S. Here's a must-read peace about Lebanon's Ground Zero Synagogue.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Libertarianism Is Dummied Down and Declining

Libertarian Party members keep talking about "growing the party." I've heard this mantra for decades. Optimistic Libertarians of all factions have assured each other that Americans are really libertarians, that major party status is just 15 or so years away.

It's always been 15 or so years away. In the 1990s, the national LP sent out some junk mail promising a "Libertarian majority Congress in 2010!" They did not promise one elected Libertarian, but an LP majority in both Houses of Congress.

Wayne Allyn Root likewise, when running for president in 2008, promised that he would win the presidency on the LP ticket in 2024 or thereabouts. Victory is always 15 years away, give or take.

Well, no. Libertarianism as a philosophy is going backwards in the U.S. The "Ground Zero mosque" controversy is proof of that. Vast numbers of Americans have embraced xenophobic bigotry against Muslims.

Even "sensible, moderate" radio talk show hosts here in Los Angeles (e.g., Dennis Prager, Peter Tilden) oppose the "Ground Zero mosque" and imagine that their positions are moral. The say how the "mosque" would be insensitive to Americans -- ignoring that the people building the Muslim cultural center are Americans.

And even members and spokesholes for the Libertarian Party are "opposing the property rights and religious freedom of their fellow Americans.

At Los Angeles's Karl Hess Club last week, one longtime "libertarian" kept spouting snide smears against Muslims, hoping to entice others to join in. We didn't. But while many of the KHC attendees are not anti-Muslim, several have indeed succumbed to Islamophobic fever.

First the LP tent grew to accommodate warmongering imperialists. Now the LP has grown to include xenophobes opposed to property rights and religious freedom.

Fifteen years ago, it was a given that most Americans were not libertarians. But now, you can't even be sure that a Libertarian is a libertarian. The Libertarian Party has gone backwards. The libertarian movement has gone backwards. America is retreating from freedom and rationality, and libertarians are no help at all.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Libertarian Warren Redlich Support "Ground Zero Mosque"

There's been much bigoted hysteria regarding the "Ground Zero mosque" (which is not on Ground Zero, and is not a mosque), including bigoted statements from Libertarian Party embarrassment Wayne Allyn Root.

It's therefore nice to see a Libertarian Party candidate actually take a libertarian position on this issue. You rarely see LP candidates or officers speaking like libertarians any more (one reason I rarely vote LP anymore), but Warren Redlich, the LP candidate for New York governor, correctly supports both property rights and religious freedom, and thus supports the right of our fellow Americans (of the Muslim faith) to build a Muslim cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero:

Curiously, the New York LP nominated Alden Link as their Lt. Governor candidate. I don't know Link's position on the "Ground Zero mosque," but when I met him at the 2006 LP national convention, Link struck me as quite pro-war. He suggested the U.S. military should bomb the branches of banks that hold "terrorist money" in their deposits.

Link was also quite the warhawk at the 2008 LP national convention. He was the only candidate who managed to make Root look like a dove.

After failing to get a single delegate's vote at the LP convention, Link (who was not a delegate), attempted to get the Boston Tea Party's presidential nomination.

Failing that, Link eventually managed to secure the Objectivist Party's vice presidential nomination. Considering how insanely pro-war organized Objectivism is these days, that seemed an appropriate political home for Link.

Objectivist Party founder, presidential candidate, and sometime LP officer, Dr. Tom Stevens, has formed Bachelors for Link to support Link's Lt. Governor candidacy.

Who or what is Bachelors for Link? In endorsing Link, this "group" (assuming it's more than just Dr. Stevens and his blog) says: "Bachelors often feel pressure to get married and to live a conventional lifestyle. Despite choosing to be 'unattached', they often face ridicule and are the subject of 'whispering campaigns' questioning their sexual orientation. We are proud to support Alden Link, the Libertarian Party's candidate for Lt. Governor of New York State, who has socially tolerant views and a principled belief that people should be able to organize their lives as they see fit without private sanction or governmental interference."

So...should Link be elected Lt. Governor of New York, he'll use his office to end "whispering campaigns" against bachelors? Well, at least it'd be a less offensive use of Link's time than his previous Islamophobic war hysteria.

Kudos to Warren Redlich's defense of Muslim Americans' equal rights -- and a curious, raised eyebrow to Alden Link's latest weird candidacy.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Wayne Allyn Root, John Hospers: The LP's Anti-Libertarian Faces

Massachusetts Libertarian Party Chair George Phillies reports on Independent Political Report (comment 148):

"I am amused to report that the LNC was contacted by a reporter who wanted to do a story on possible interactions between the Libertarian Party and Malcolm X, the question being 'Has Malcolm X inspired your Libertarian activism?'

"It was observed by one LNC member that there was a PA local candidate who was a member of the Nation of Islam. It was noted that another LNC member had made a study of Malcolm X and his beliefs. Another LNC member claimed there is no one like that in our party.

"Mr. Root gave the LNC 'I am the de facto face and voice of the LP.' and opined that he should get the interview. Another LNC member answered Wayne 'You have indeed gotten a lot of media. However, as I pointed out in an earlier e-mail with graph attached, this has not translated into new members for the LP. We have fewer new members each month. Whatever you are doing is not growing the LP.' Glaringly obvious reasons for this failure were then listed.

"If you are wondering why our national party is in its current shape, you should recognize that this was most of the LNC's activity for a number of days.

"I have not yet learned if the reporter got an interview with anyone."

Some observations:

1. This above thread concerns 1972 LP presidential candidate John Hospers's call to oppose the Muslim cultural center being built two blocks from Ground Zero.

2. LNC member Wayne Allyn Root had previously also called for public opposition to the Muslim center.

3. Root's position resulted in criticism from Libertarian bloggers, which is why Hospers felt the need to jump in and defend Root.

4. Well, of course it resulted in negative reaction! For Root and Hospers to call for public opposition to building the Muslim cultural center is to invite the public to suppress the property rights of the building owner and the religious freedom of Muslims.

Seems the Libertarian Party tent has gotten so big, it now welcomes people who are pro-war, anti-property rights, and anti-religious freedom.

And now Root claims that he's the "de facto voice and face of the LP." Considering Root's constant conspiratorial speculations about Obama being a black radical at Columbia University (even though Root claims that he never met Obama at Columbia), I wonder what Root would have told the reporter about the LP's views on Malcolm X.

(I myself have no views on Malcolm X, as I've never read or studied him. I only saw the Spike Lee film, which is not enough for an informed opinion.)

Root's defenders (the usual suspects) chimed in that Root hasn't called for government intervention against the "Ground Zero mosque" (a misnomer, since it's neither a mosque, nor on Ground Zero -- it's a Muslim cultural center two blocks away from Ground Zero).

Root's defenders praise Root for calling on the private sector to exert "market pressure" on the property owner and Muslims to not build there, and to leave the government out of it.

Now, can you imagine if anyone in the LP called for the private sector to exert "market pressure" on someone to not build a synagogue? Or a gay or black cultural center? Yes, it would technically be "libertarian" in that it's not a call for government intervention -- but it would still be bigotry.

While the LP may well defend the rights of haters, that doesn't mean the LP should actually instigate hateful action. The ACLU defended the free speech rights of Nazis, but it didn't go the extra step of encouraging the Nazis to engage in hate speech.

Alas, Hospers and Root are calling for the LP to side with haters.

However, Root may well be correct in that he is one of the more famous LP members out there. How tragic for liberty if Root becomes the "de facto" voice of the LP.

Ron Paul is far more famous that Root, and more respected. But Paul is not active in the LP. (Yet another thing to admire about Dr. Paul).

If there was ever any doubt, Root and Hospers are not libertarians. Whatever titles they accumulate, however many talk shows they appear on, they have left the pro-liberty reservation.

Gasp! Am I suggesting a litmus test?!

See Thomas Knapp's excellent article on libertarian litmus tests.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Can Libertarians Be "A Little Bit Pregnant"?

The Libertarian Party's "Vote Getter" faction (for lack of a better term) has long advised that the LP "is a political party" and so we must be wary of "scaring voters" with "purist rhetoric."

Consider Wayne Allyn Root, who says that the LP should steer clear of non-economic issues. Root joins other Reform types who say that foreign affairs and war and national security are "divisive" issues, to be avoided if the LP wants to "get votes."

At the same time, most Vote Getters (some of whom are Radicals) join with other Libertarians in deriding Republicans for being "unprincipled" and betraying their promise of smaller government.

The LP Vote Getters want it both ways. They want the LP to dilute its issues so as not to "scare voters," while at the same time claiming to be "principled," unlike the Republicans.

The LP Vote Getters want the LP to compromise (for votes) while remaining principled (unlike the GOP). They want a Libertarian Party that's only "a little bit pregnant," unlike the GOP, which is "very pregnant."

No, I'm not deriding incrementalism. I support incrementalism. Incrementalism means moving slowly in X direction, yet still proclaiming that you expect to arrive at X.

Vote Getters want to hide X Goal from voters, either fooling voters about the LP's end goals -- or perhaps not even wanting to arrive at X.

That's right. Some Vote Getters are "low tax Imperialists" at heart. They support war and empire, but use "it'll lose votes and donations" as an excuse not to support those issues.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Peacenik Actress Darcy Halsey's New Gig

Actress Darcy Halsey, a registered Libertarian and avowed peace activist, has a new gig -- helping travelers find the information they need at Los Angeles's Traveler's Bookcase, 8375 West Third Street.

The store has an intimate setup, offering a comfort zone where people can sit, sip tea or coffee, and discuss travel and books about travel.

"I've seen the owner spends hours with some customers, sharing travel advice and helping them with their upcoming trips," says Halsey.

But it's not only about travel -- Traveler's Bookcase has a sideline devoted to mystery books about travel. Mystery fans can prepare for upcoming trips by reading some sleuthing tales set along their itinerary.

"We have a mystery table with mysteries set around the world," says owner Natalie Compagno. "We've had two signings recently -- Michael Genelin and Cara Black, both hugely successful. We'd love to have more events.

"We also have lots of coffee table books for gifts," she says. "And I just got pulled onto a gift basket project for E Entertainment, and had to make some books happen!"

Store hours are Monday 11-7, Tuesday through Saturday 10-7, and Sunday 11-5. Open every day except July 4th, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year's.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Wayne Allyn Root's Hypocritical Whine About "Back Room Deals"

On June 23, at See the Independent Political Report, Steve LaBianca wrote (comment # 148):

"I have on good info that W.A.R. is STEAMED about losing the LNC chair election, and blames it on 'deals' cut, and lost as a result, even though W.A.R. believes that he is the favorite of the delegates!"

So apparently, Root blames his losing the Libertarian Party's 2010 Chair race on a "back room deal." This deal supposedly involved John Jay Myers endorsing Mark Hinkle, after Myers came in next to last (after George Phillies).

To this complaint by Root, Carolyn Marbry responded (comment # 186)

"Geez, here we go with more sour grapes and whining about losing… Nah, more like pot kettle black, actually.

"Look, it’s not a back room deal for two like-minded candidates to agree between themselves on a strategy of endorsement to maximize the possibility of one of them or the other being elected. This is how it’s done. That’s a strategy, not a back room deal.

"Does anybody really find it surprising that Myers’ supporters would be drawn to Hinkle over Hancock or Root, even without John Jay endorsing him? So that was mostly pro forma anyway and mostly ended up saving us one more round of voting.

"No one has suggested, at least in my hearing, that Hinkle offered Myers any sort of pay off to endorse him. If there was some kind of pay off, I’d like to know about it because that would drastically change my opinion of both men involved."

So Carolyn accurately destroys Root's whine about a back room deal. Interestingly, she then claims that Root offered a back room deal to Hancock. Carolyn writes:

"if you want an example of a REAL back room deal, though, here’s one. When one candidate goes to his exact political opposite who was dropped right before the final round of voting and makes the offer to give that other candidate’s media website a listing on and to 'make sure' that other candidate gets elected to the LNC if he makes an endorsement, THAT is a back room deal.

"To Hancock’s credit, he refused this offer.

"The 'back room deal' of which I speak was caught on film, apparently, by Root’s own film crew, so he apparently didn’t think so ill of back room deals at the time."

Root had hired a film crew to shoot a TV "reality show" about his race for Libertarian Party Chair. It has previously been reported on IPR that the show would only be shopped should Root win the Chair race. Root lost, so I guess he won't be hawking his "reality show." As if anyone in America would care to watch his ego on display.

Speaking of back room deals, what about Root (after he lost the 2008 LP presidential nomination), offering to endorse Bob Barr for president, provided that Barr would then endorse Root as his VP running mate.

That's another Root-engineered back room deal, which Root would prefer people forget. I was at the 2008 convention. The Barr and Root people hated each other. Their unity at the 2008 convention's end was pure expediency; whereas I'm not aware of any animosity between the Hinkle and Myers supporters in 2010.

Finally, David F. Nolan said (comment # 187):

"there was no 'backroom deal' made by Myers and Hinkle; Myers simply dropped out because he knew he wasn’t going to win and Hinkle was his preferred choice. The IPR straw poll the night before predicted almost exactly what would happen ... if Wayne is whining about being cheated in the Chair’s race, that’s pathetic. He wasn’t. He lost, fair and square, despite spending (he claims) more than all of the four other candidates combined."

See the full thread here.

BTW, while I've often criticized Root, largely for his pro-war views, I'm only one of many Root critics. Read this latest criticism on Root from Carol Moore.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

France Has Always Been Oceania's Ally

The Neocon Party Line regarding France has changed.

On June 25 I was listening to radio's John Batchelor Show. John Batchelor is a hardcore, pro-war Neocon. He was interviewing some guy and they discussed France's historical conduct in war.

The two men praised France's centuries-old, warrior tradition. They spoke of how France revered battlefield courage and the military spirit. They cited France's conduct in Vietnam, how France remembered and honored its Vietnam vets because, despite losing, they fought bravely.

Now, whatever the truth of falsehood of John Batchelor's analysis of French military culture, I remember that only a few years ago, American Neocons universally and incessantly reviled the French for being cowards.

What changed?

I suppose that, earlier this decade, France wasn't a strong enough supporter of American adventures in the Mideast. Then France elected the more pro-war, pro-American military, pro-Israeli military Nicolas Sarkozy. So now France is lionized.

Understand, I'm not complaining about anyone saying that this particular French administration was better or worse than that French administration. What I find laughably -- and creepily -- Orwellian is the blanket praise or condemnation by which an entire nation, culture, and history is judged, based on current events.

When a French administration, earlier this decade, failed to support American Neocon efforts strongly enough, ALL of French history and culture was to be universally condemned and despised as cowardly and evil. (Or, as the Neocons put it, "lacking a moral compass" or "lacking in moral clarity.")

But now that the current French administration is more friendly to U.S. and Israeli policy, ALL of French history and culture is to be universally praised and admired.

This is the essence of political correctness. No subtlety or nuance. (Yes, nuance is good.) This is the politically correct, knee-jerk "thinking" by which liberalism was characterized in the 1970s, and into which conservatism descended during the 1990s.

What's called "conservatism" these days is simply Orwellian parrot-speak, with the Party Line changing on a dime.

Only a few years ago, France was a nation of cheese-eating surrender monkeys. France had always been a nation of cheese-eating surrender monkeys. France always would be a nation of cheese-eating surrender monkeys.

(Neocons whined that Napoleon was Corsican, and Charlemagne was German, so they didn't count as "French" -- so the French were still cowardly surrender monkeys.)

But now we're told that France is a nation of courageous warriors. France has always been a nation of courageous warriors. France always will be a nation of courageous warriors.

Until Oceania's Neocon Party Line changes yet again. It's doing so now on Turkey. It's done several times over the past decade on Russia.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Peaceniks to Protest Rep. Brad Sherman's Office

Angela Keaton of requests that people disseminate this call to protest:

Demonstration in front of Rep. Brad Sherman's Office

Saturday, June 19th, 4:00 PM

5000 Van Nuys Blvd. (Suite 420)
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Please bring your signs to protest Sherman's call for the arrest of U.S. citizens aboard the Gaza Flotilla. Flyers and extra signs will be available.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Pentagon Hunts for Whistleblower Julian Assange

I received this from the Google's Peace Movement Google Group:


"Pentagon officials are on the hunt for Julian Assange, Australian-born founder of Wikileaks, fearful that the website is on the verge of publishing a cache of confidential State Department cables, including an alleged video of American troops killing civilians in Baghdad. Assange allegedly came into possession of the documents and video from Bradley Manning, a US soldier who had been arrested after boasting about the leak.

"Manning, an intelligence specialist in the US army, had access to assessments from the battlefields in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as what's been described as "frank diplomatic insights" into various Middle East governments.

"Pentagon officials acknowledge they may not be able to stop the publication of the cables. According to reports at The Daily Beast, Pentagon officials would not discuss the methods used to track and find Assange, simply that they are hoping for his cooperation. Assange had been scheduled to appear in Las Vegas, Nevada last week but cancelled his appearance on the advice of counsel.

"At least one person with some understanding of how the government works in trying to shut down leaks believes that Assange might be in some danger. Daniel Ellsberg, leaker of the Pentagon Papers, isn't buying government claims that the cables pose a serious risk to national security. According to Ellsberg, it may strain relations with some countries, and the United States would certainly face embarrassment, but in Ellsberg's assessment the cables represent more an issue of saving face than exposing diplomatic secrets.

"And Ellsberg is not necessarily calling for a blanket publication of all cables. Assange, assuming he is in possession of these documents, could easily look over their contents and see if any truly deserve to be secret. Ellsberg's point is a simple one. Democracies, to function, require transparency, and the American people deserve to see the honest assessments of our military exploits abroad. Assange's website provides a valuable service, and one that, no mater how uncomfortable it may make some in the State Department."

Saturday, June 12, 2010

U.S. Lt. Col. Ann Wright Participated in Gaza Freedom Floatilla

Ann Wright participated in the Freedom Floatilla to Gaza. No, she's not an Islamo-Fascist terrorist -- she's a retired U.S. Army officer and State Dept. diplomat.

According to The Nation:

"Ann Wright, longtime activist and critic of the ongoing siege of Gaza, took part in the Freedom Flotilla that was attacked by Israeli Navy commandos on May 31. A retired US Army colonel and a former high-level diplomat, Wright has served as deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Afghanistan, which she helped to open after the US invasion of 2001, as well as in several other countries, including Sierra Leone, where after helping to evacuate several thousand people during that country's civil war she received the State Department's Award for Heroism in 1997.

Wright's distinguished career came to a sudden end in 2003 when she publicly resigned from the State Department to protest the invasion of Iraq. Since then, she has campaigned against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and for human rights for Palestinians. After working with CodePink to organize several humanitarian missions to Gaza to break the Israeli blockade last year, Wright joined the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, only to see the activists' humanitarian mission terminated by Israel's raid. On June 9 she visited The Nation and gave this account of what she and her fellow activists experienced."

If you go to The Nation, you can download an MP3 interview of Ann Wright discussing her experience.