Monday, October 17, 2011

U.S. Military Loves Barak Obama and Ron Paul

War-crazy, bogus "libertarians" and "conservatives" often whine that Barak Obama and Ron Paul are "anti-military," yet they lead in contributions from military personnel.

According to

"U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya may weigh on the minds of voters next year, but during the early months of the 2012 election cycle, members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are active political donors are mainly rallying around two candidates, according to a new analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Those candidates are President Barack Obama and libertarian-leaning Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas)."

But before you read the rest of the article, be sure to view this Ron Paul video. It may explain why actual soldiers (as opposed to Neocon, Tea Party, and Liberventionist armchair windbags) prefer Ron Paul:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What Motivates Libertarians?

If Libertarian Party members were categorized by motive, they would fall into one of four groups: Ideologues, Socializers, Party Cultists, and Opportunists.

A person may have more than one motive for participating in the LP, but usually one motive is primary or dominant.

1. Ideologues

These people are in it for the ideology. They join because they want to advance libertarian principles -- usually in a relatively pure form.

Purists (who advocate 100% uncompromising libertarian principles) are rare. I've yet to meet a libertarian who claims to be a Purist. The Purity Police itself is an urban legend.

Ideologues are more likely to be Radicals than Reformers, though I'm sure some Reformers are Ideologues.

With rare exceptions, everyone in the LP wants to be seen as Principled but nobody wants to be called an Ideologue. If you approve of a party member's views, he is Principled. If you disapprove, he is an Ideologue. Go figure.

The best and the brightest in the LP tend to be Ideologues. They are the LP's conscience.

2. Socializers

Socializers are primarily in it for the supper clubs and conventions. For them, the LP is a chance to commiserate and gripe with like-minded folk. If the LP succeeds in reshaping society, great. If not, it's no big deal. They still enjoyed the good food and good conversation.

All third parties attract Socializers, but the LP perhaps more than most. This is because the LP is aggressive in organizing supper clubs. Even non-LP libertarians organize supper clubs. It's what we do.

Sometimes it seems that supper clubs are the only activism that many libertarians engage in.

Former Los Angeles County LP Chair, David Larkin, once complained to me about this obsession with supper clubs. David said, "It's as if some libertarians think, if I can just organize the perfect supper club, we'll finally have a libertarian America."

Socializers include both Radicals and Reformers, though they can be hard to tell apart. Socializers gripe, but don't engage in much active in-fighting (or active anything). At most they'll vote at conventions.

Socializers are not skilled at purges or party skullduggery. They're usually too lazy or uninterested to even try.

3. Party Cultists

These people are weird. And troublesome, and destructive. For them, the LP is a source of personal validation and self-esteem. They treasure their party titles, with their concomitant illusions of power and success. They also tend to be control freaks.

Some libertarian women have suggested to me that the LP attracts middle class men who haven't risen as high as they'd like to in the real world. And so they seek to compensate by amassing LP titles.

It may be that the Party Cultist is a lopsidedly male phenomenon, though I can think of one female example.

Party Cultists treasure the fantasy that the LP is a real political party -- just like the two majors. They must feel a sensual thrill whenever they enter the national convention hall, which looks just like those of real political parties, C-SPAN cameras and all.

Party Cultists and Socializers both love conventions. The difference is that Socializers don't much care who wins the party titles, so long as the hospitality suites are well-stocked with good food and good conversation. By contrast, Party Cultists care a great deal about who wins the titles and factional wars.

Unlike Socializers, Party Cultists thrive on political skullduggery. For them the LP is virtual politics. Fantasy Football or Second Life for political geeks and wannabe wonks. Roberts Rules of Order is the Dungeon Master's Guide; mastering it is essential in forming alliances and out-maneuvering your opponents until you control the Realm.

If you can't win real elections, then winning the game is the next best thing.

Naturally, all Party Cultists claim to be Principled. Being seen as Principled is important to one's advancement up the LP ranks.

4. Opportunists

An Opportunist may wish to accumulate party titles, but it's not for personal validation. Opportunists regard advancement within the LP as a means to an end; a chance to broaden the market (both inside and outside the LP) for their books and tapes and media careers.

Yes, Wayne Allyn Root is a classic Opportunist. There have been others, but Root's the most successful (and shameless) one in my memory.

Just as Ideologues are more likely to include Radicals, Party Cultists and Opportunists are more likely to attract Reformers. This is because the Reform faction wants to dilute LP principles so as to broaden the LP's respectability and appeal -- a goal shared by both Party Cultists and Opportunists.

Party Cultists are in it for the self-esteem and validation; they crave respect from the media, political establishment, and Middle America. Being Chair of one's County LP is so much more impressive at the office water cooler if your co-workers hear about the LP's importance in the news every day.

Likewise, as the LP gains in popularity and respect, Opportunists will attract more media attention and customers.

A small, extreme, vocal LP can stir debate and advance issues, but at the price of political marginalization. That's fine for Ideologues, who are interested in advancing ideas rather than political respectability.

But Party Cultists and Opportunists share a vested interest in diluting principles to make the LP appear less scary or extreme. Party titles become more respectable, and business opportunities improve, if the LP looks safely middle class.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

When Terrorism Was No Cause for Terror

In my previous Memory Hole posts, I related what it was like to fly pre-9/11, that aid to Israel was originally promoted as a temporary measure, and that the Tea Party was originally antiwar.

Here's another historical factoid: Once upon a time, our Establishment did not exaggerate the threat of terrorism to panic the people into giving up their liberties.

It was the early 1970s. I was a child in grammar school. Terrorism often made the news. It was the era of Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army, the Baader Meinhof gang and the Japanese Red Army, the Weather Underground and the Cuban hijackings, the Black Panthers and the Seven Crowns.

You've probably never heard of the Seven Crowns. They were a black gang. I learned about them when I was in sixth grade. A rumor had circulated in the schoolyard that the Seven Crowns were coming to Queens in New York City (where I lived) to gun down Catholic school kids. We were all jumpy during lunch break. Any loud car passing by was cause for consternation.

The rumor reached our teacher. After lunch, he told us how ridiculous we were. He explained how false rumor start and spread. Someone hears something small, passes it on, and with each retelling, the story grows.

Our teacher ridiculed us for letting some baseless fear get the better of us.

His attitude was not uncommon. Maybe a year later, I read a news article in the Weekly Reader that discussed all those terrorist incidents in the news. But the article also made an observation that I never forgot.

The Weekly Reader did the math, and pointed out how unlikely any of us might become a victim of terrorism or of a hijacking. Like being hit by lightning. The paper went on to explain that terrorism's main impact was psychological, not physical.

Why would the Weekly Reader emphasize these points? I suppose it was partially to quell the fears of children. To calm those of us who'd heard bits and pieces of terrorist stories in the news or from our parents.

Also, of course, it was the truth. As a news publication, the Weekly Reader was obligated to report the truth.

Compare that to today. The math is still the same. It's highly unlikely that any of us would ever become a victim of terrorism. And yet the official attitude seems different. It seems as if the powers that be want to scare us -- even to terrorize us -- with tales of what the "Islamo-fascists" would do to us, were it not for the TSA, NSA, etc.

What changed in the U.S. during these past 40 years? Once upon a time, we told children the truth. Now, children (and adults) are encouraged to fear rather than to understand the facts.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Antiwar Play -- Sarah's War -- Comes to Los Angeles

A new antiwar play -- Sarah's War -- is coming to Los Angeles.

This news comes to me from Angela Keaton of, who forwarded the below email to me:

"As the Marketing Director for the Levantine Cultural Center (LCC) in L.A., we extend to you and your team an invitation to attend our next event -- a benefit for a new antiwar play that will at the same time, establish a new theatre company, Freedom Theatre West.

"Levantine Cultural Center champions a greater understanding of the Middle East and North Africa by presenting artistic and educational programs that bridge political and religious divides. In a search for common ground, the Center fosters discussions among artists and thinkers and offers classes and workshops that serve diverse ethnic communities.

"Levantine Center partners with community groups and artists that engage in cross-cultural initiatives or the education of a broader public with cultural/social relevance. We strive to work collaboratively with multi-generational, multi-ethnic, multi-disciplinary and/or broad geographic communities in response to cultural/social issues articulated by those communities.

"On October 23, 2011, my parents and the LCC are holding a fundraiser where LCC Director will be present, along with the cast and crew from a fantastic new play called Sarah's War that talks about the Rachel Corrie story, the Occupation and the siege of Gaza.

"Also attending on October 23rd is Professor William Cook -- author of The Rape of Palestine and The Plight of the Palestinians, among others.

"No one will be turned away for lack of funds. But those who have funds are encouraged to donate to help the center keep up their amazing work as well as help create an Inland Empire Chapter of LCC.

With great admiration,

Yasmine Jabsheh

The Levantine Cultural Center is at 5998 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90035-2657. More details and contact info at their site.

Once again, the fundraiser is on October 23rd. If you can't make it, you can still donate here.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Progressives for War

With some exceptions, all too many Americans will quickly betray whatever principles they profess if they think it'll help their preferred political party's chances in the next election. Libertarians ditch their "extreme" views to "get votes" for the Libertarian Party. Conservatives ignore the GOP's reckless spending. And progressives forgive imperialist war-mongering -- so long as a Democratic president is leading that war.

Monterey County libertarian peace activist Lawrence K. Samuels has now put progressives on the spot. Samuels drafted a resolution demanding that President Obama return his Nobel Peace Prize, both for escalating old wars and starting new wars.

Samuels tried to get local progressives (his Peace Coalition of Monterey County partners) to to sign his resolution, but for one excuse or another, they all balked.

Samuels says he's not surprised. He'd long suspected that many of his progressive allies were more anti-Bush than pro-peace. Samuels adds that he drafted his resolution partially to test his progressives allies' commitment to peace. And they failed his test.

Read Samuels's full report.