Friday, February 25, 2011

David Horowitz Attacks Ron Paul for "Anti-Semitism"

David Horowitz accuses Ron Paul of anti-Semitism, primarily because Paul wants to end foreign aid to Israel.

In an article entitled, "Ron Paul Is a Vicious Anti-Semite and Anti-American and Conservatives Need To Wash Their Hands of Him," Hororwitz writes:

"For years the Texas crackpot, Ron Paul, has been attacking America and Israel as imperialist powers -- the Great Satan and the Little Satan, and calling for America’s retreat from the battle against our totalitarian enemies. At the recent CPAC conference Paul's Jew-hating storm-troopers swarmed the Freedom Center’s table to vent their spleen against Israel as a Nazi state. Now Paul is making a priority of withdrawing aid for Israel -- the only democracy in the Middle East and the only reliable ally of the United States."

Read the rest.

Of course, Ron Paul wants to end foreign aid to all nations.

A few weeks ago, I heard KABC-AM's John Phillips, a fiscal conservative, defend foreign aid to Israel because, he said, Israel could not survive without it.

But is this true?

Is not Israel a socialist nation (much like those in Western Europe), with socialized health care and eduction? If the U.S. were to end financial aid to Israel, and Israel needed more weapons, could it not simply divert its domestic social spending to the military?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tell Google, Facebook to Protect Your Privacy


"Imagine the cops rifling through your mail, your calendar, your receipts. All your private information, available for them to look through. To do this offline, they'd have to get a warrant from a judge and break into your house. But every day the cops -- and anyone else with a good lawyer! -- get access to your online email and calendar just by asking.

"Major online service providers like Gmail and Facebook just hand over your personal data to the police when they get a legal request -- usually without even telling you they've done so! And since you never know about the request, you never get a day in court to challenge it. Your privacy is gone before you even know it.

"Click here to tell Google and Facebook that if they're going to store your private information, they need to promise to keep it private!

"Twitter has just taken a bold stand to protect its users' privacy. When the US Government demanded they turn over information about people affiliated with WikiLeaks, they told the people affected and now they have the chance to challenge the request. But Facebook and Google are refusing to do the same! Sign our petition demanding they -- and other major Internet companies -- adopt sensible privacy protections and stop turning over your personal data to anyone who asks.

Tell Google and Facebook that they need to follow Twitter's lead and protect our privacy. We're meeting with Google NEXT WEEK, and will deliver the petition then.

Thanks for taking a stand.

-- The Demand Progress team

P.S. We're meeting with Google next week, and want to have as many people as possible signed on by then. Could you forward this email to your friends?

Libertarian Standard Time

Tonight I attended a libertarian meeting, in the Los Angeles area, for which no one else came. I waited over an hour, then left.

This is the 4th time, in the past several years, that I was the only one to attend a Los Angeles libertarian meeting that had been announced and promoted on websites and email lists.

It's not just me. I once went to another supper club (that was supposed to run from around 7 - 11 p.m.), saw no one there, waited, then left. I later learned that other libertarians had arrived, one by one at different times, saw no one there, and left.

Back in the 1990s, I heard some LP members jokingly refer to Libertarian Standard Time -- a self-deprecating reference to many libertarians' inability to be punctual or organize efficiently.

In the early 2000s, I attended local libertarian meetings and supper clubs about 20 times a year (there are many in L.A.). Now I only go about twice a year, partially because I don't have time to waste on "hit and miss" games.

I'm sure some libertarian groups are well organized, but the Libertarian Standard Time joke implies that disorganization is also widespread. A disregard for punctuality or time commitments seems endemic to libertarian culture. Maybe some libertarians imagine themselves to be "free spirits" who can't be bound by the "tyranny of timetables."

The sorry truth is, Obama style socialism is more efficient than are many libertarian run organizations.

Libertarians, instead of getting all preachy to the American public about "the efficiency of the free market vs. socialism," would do well to first clean up their own acts. They should demonstrate efficiency, rather than just talk about it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wayne Allyn Root Flip Flops on Hosni Mubarak

On February 3, 2011, Birther conspiracy source and Libertarian embarrassment, Wayne Allyn Root, suggested that the vast majority of Egyptians loved Hosni Mubarak.

One week later, on February 10, after an outcry from Libertarians, Root did a 180 flip-flop and condemned Mubarak for being a tyrant.

This is one of Root's fastest 180 flip-flops to date. Even faster, I think, than when he announced that he would testify against Obama at Reverend Manning's Birther sham trial, only to call it off following another outcry from Libertarians.

Then there are Root's flip flops on gay marriage (against it, then for it, then for state's rights on it), and foreign non-intervention [pro-war on Iraq (2006); then "Iraq is the wrong war, Iran is the right war" (2007); then radical non-interventionist (early 2008); then pro-Afghan surge (late 2008); then attacks Obama's Afghan surge (2009)..."]

Antiwar is my issue, but even I can't keep up with all of Root's shifting positions.

All these flip-flops imply a hollow man, a man without principles, an opportunist. Certainly not a serious libertarian thinker, much less "one of America's leading libertarian thinkers" as Root sometimes likes to spin himself.

Root not only flip-flops, but he does so without explanation or apology. No mea culpas. No thought-provoking essays on why, after long and difficult consideration, he realized that he was previously wrong and these are the reasons he changed his mind.

Root's flip-flops are positively Stalinesque in their swiftness, completeness, and ignoring that there even was a change.

This mindless, unprincipled, shameless, Stalinesque flip-flopping of political positions is best satirized in George Orwell's 1984.

Recall the scene wherein an Inner Party member gives an impassioned speech denouncing the Eurasian enemy. In the middle of his speech, he is handed a revised speech. He continues his speech without missing a beat, without losing his passion -- only now he is denouncing the Eastasian enemy, as though it were always so. Nor expecting anyone in the audience to notice or object.

But most LP members are not mindless Ingsoc members who force themselves to ignore party contradictions and historical revisions.

Doubtless, if Root seeks the LP's 2012 presidential nomination, he will hope that party members will remember him only as an early leader in the opposition against Mubarak, and that his previous praise of Mubarak will be buried by Google.

LP members must remember Root's long history of flip-flops, and remind others.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Racist Drudge Report Headline?

Here's a screen capture of The Drudge Report, as it appeared on January 19, 2011. I'm only now posting it. (Yes, I am backlogged.)

What do you think?

Is this headline racist? Does it hint at an unspoken message, as in ... you "real Americans" (white Americans) have lost your country to coloreds and foreigners!

The headline says "White House, 2011." Yet the article has nothing to do with the White House. It's about Chinese leaders meeting with President Obama. Yes, I suppose the meeting was in the White House, but that's not relevant to anything. Why wasn't it called "Trade Talks" or whatever they discussed?

And why reference the year?

I'm white, have never been PC, have never voted Democrat. Yet even I see racist hints in this headline and photo.

It seems to be hinting that the White House (i.e., America), in this modern year of 2011, is no longer "white." This once-white nation no longer even shares power with white people. Look! No white people in the photo. Just coloreds. Not even American coloreds. (I suspect many of Drudge's readers think Obama was born in Kenya.)

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, I defended conservatives from charges of racism. I doubted most conservatives were racist. Besides, progressives had their own share of bigots (mainly anti-white, anti-Christian, or anti-male). Bigotry exists, to some extent, across the political spectrum.

Yet I regret to admit, over this past decade, conservatives (and even libertarians) have increasingly played the race card (especially against Muslims, Arabs, and Mexicans).

Or have I become overly sensitive? Do I see something in this Drudge Report headline that isn't there?

Do you see racist hints in this Drudge Report headline?

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Wayne Allyn Root's Latest Whoopers

In a posting at Independent Political Report, some of Wayne Allyn Root's "counter-factual" statements are so blatant, it's a wonder he could type them with a straight face.

Does he really expect anyone to believe the following?

Root says:

"A few months ago I played Paul Revere with my commentary 'The Real Obama Economic Plan: Purposely Overwhelming the System to Destroy Capitalism.' This commentary, exposing Obama and his Marxist plans, was rated by some Internet authorities as the second most popular story on the entire Internet for several months."

Someone responds:

"Wow! The 'entire internet'! That would mean more people read Root’s commentary than those who read any of the tens of thousands (millions?) of articles and blog postings written about Angelina Jolie, Oprah, Obama, Lindsay Lohan, Snookie, Rush Limbaugh, Lady Gaga, Prince Williams and his upcoming marriage, Sarah Palin, Black Swan, The King’s Speech, the Beatles, etc., etc… Taken literally (as opposed to taking it as a lie), this would mean that Root is more famous than God!"

Further down, Thomas L. Knapp writes:

"Wayne trots this out occasionally, and I call him out on it every time. No, it was not 'rated by some Internet authorities as the second most popular story on the entire Internet for several months'. It was rated by as the second most widely disseminated urban legend on the Internet for several months. There's a difference."

Then Knapp catches Root again.

Root writes:

"As Obama's college classmate at Columbia, I was familiar with the teachings of our Marxist professors, Cloward and Piven."

Knapp responds:

"Apparently Root got lost on his way to class. During his time at Columbia, Piven was at Boston University (1972-82) and City University of New York (1982-). So, in the first two paragraphs, Root goes 2 for 2 with counterfactual bullshit."

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Libertarians for Duvalier/Mubarak 2012

First, the Libertarian Party's 2008 presidential candidate, Bob Barr, traveled to Haiti to support former dictator Baby Doc Duvalier.

Now, the LP's 2008 VP candidate and Birther conspiracy source, Wayne Allyn Root, defends current dictator Hosni Mubarak.

One of the commentators on the above IPR thread used the handle "Libertarians for Duvalier/Mubarak 2012". It wasn't me. I thought of it myself, but as I was scrolling down, I saw that someone had beat me to it.

If two people independently invent that same joke so quickly, it's safe to assume that others will too. Reality lends itself to that joke.

The Neocon "Big Tent" Libertarians (a lie, since their "Big Tent" has no room for Muslims, anarchists, non-interventionists, and other groups) promised to end the LP's being a "debating club." But they never explained that they would replace the debating club with a depraved joke.

Even many Republicans and Democrats have disowned Duvalier and Mubarak, if only out of self-interest. It takes a Libertarian rat to swim to a sinking ship.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Fahrentheit 451 in Israel

Guernica reports a little known historical incident: Israeli forces, in 1948, raided Palestinian homes for books and newspapers, in an attempt to erase Palestinian history and culture.

This incident is now documented in Dutch-Israeli filmmaker Benny Brunner's film, The Great Book Robbery.

According to Guernica's article:

"As the 1948 war which led to the creation of Israel was in full gear, a campaign was under way to steal Palestinians’ cultural patrimony. Israeli forces entered vacant Palestinian homes and removed over seventy thousand books, newspapers, and manuscripts which ultimately led to the premature death of a Palestinian literary and cultural movement.

"When Benny Brunner, a Dutch-Israeli filmmaker, discovered this hidden chapter of history and its implications, he decided the story must be told, the books a heritage that must be returned.

"In a war which led to the creation of seven hundred and fifty thousand refugees and a simmering conflict running for over sixty years, stolen books may seem like a trifle compared to other kinds of loss—lost homes, lost lives. But books, as the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges illustrated so well in his stories, almost literally contain the world.

"Brunner’s film The Great Book Robbery is the latest in a line of documentaries in which he challenges the Zionist narrative, a narrative he sees as dangerous and counterproductive....

"[Brunner] served in the Israeli Army in his youth and never thought he would have reason to question the Zionist narrative, which insisted that Palestinians were not expelled in 1948 but fled because their leaders told them to leave. In this version they were promised a triumphant return once they had drowned the Jews in the sea....

"[But later, Brunner says,] 'I began to realize that a lot of what we were taught at high school -- the history and the Zionist narrative -- was made up,' he explains. 'These were just legends of nation building.' "

The Israeli State is trying to erase history. I don't know whether their actions are more comparable to Fahrenheit 451's book-burning, or 1984's Memory Hole.