Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Secret Service Investigates Libertarian Candidate Jules Manson

The good news for "Sesame Street Libertarians" is that "The L Word" is all over the news -- from the internet to talk radio. The bad news is, it's not for any positive reason.

Last spring, Jules Manson ran for Carson City Council as the candidate for the Libertarian Party of California. Now the Secret Service is investigating Manson for allegedly making racist death threats against President Obama.

Dennis Romero reports for the L.A. Weekly (December 20 2011):

"Jules Manson, a nutter who once ran as a Libertarian for Carson City Council, is getting (wanted?) attention today after he called President Obama the N-world and suggested that someone 'assassinate the f----n n----- and his monkey children.' "

This story has national legs. Nancy Dillon reports for the New York Daily News (December 20, 2011):

"...Manson described himself as a mechanical engineer bent on fiscal conservatism as he scraped together just 550 votes -- less than 4% -- in his Carson City Council loss last spring.

"He claimed Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Dale Ogden had endorsed him, but Ogden said he did not recall giving a formal endorsement when he met Manson while handing out Libertarian party literature at a street fair.

" 'He might have been, perhaps, a bit more hard-core than most Libertarians, but I am surprised and puzzled by his specific advocacy of an assassination,' Odgen told the Daily News in an email.

"Ogden said he did not consider Manson 'a serious threat' after obtaining an oath of non-violence from him via Facebook Monday."

Manson is also a hot topic on talk radio (and, I assume, on cable TV). Tonight I heard the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy discuss Manson -- and Los Angeles's top-ranked John and Ken Show on KFI-AM interview Manson. Listen to this excerpt from the show.

While there are valid reasons to criticize Obama, it remains true that a foul stench permeates much of libertarianism. Regrettably, since 9/11, many libertarians' rhetoric have crossed over into racist lunacy.

Wayne Allyn Root is a leading source of Birther conspiracies, not to mention his Muslim bashing and innuendos in Reason magazine that Obama only got into Harvard because of affirmative action. Then there's Kentucky Libertarian Party candidate Sonny Landham's racist remarks.

I've also heard rank & file LP members make bigoted remarks over this past decade -- something that wasn't true prior to 9/11.

Ever more regrettably, Manson is a Ron Paul supporter, which makes Manson a good talking point for Paul bashers.

I don't believe Paul is a racist, but that's not enough. Paul must play to his strength -- his appeal to both sides of the spectrum. If Paul ends up on the November ballot -- whether it's on the GOP, a third party, or as an independent -- it's vital that Paul pick a running mate from the peacenik left. Perhaps Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nadar, or Mike Gravel.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wayne Allyn Root Endorses Gary Johnson ... for President?

Wayne Allyn Root has endorsed former New Mexico governor, Republican Gary Johnson, for president. Root wants Johnson to quit the GOP and run for president on the Libertarian Party.

Writing at Independent Political Report, Root posted (comment 8):

”I’ve been heavily recruiting Gary Johnson to LP for weeks. I had dinner with him in Baltimore a month ago. Spent much time with his campaign senior adviser in the past few days. I think it’s pretty clear I support Gary to be our Presidential nominee....

“I am heavily invested in my businesses and multiple careers right now ... I’m hoping to recruit a Libertarian-conservative candidate that I can support to LP, so I can wait until 2016.

“Gary is the perfect candidate. Answer to my recruiting efforts.

“The most fiscally conservative governor in America. Mr. Veto. Never allowed a spending or tax increase in 8 years as Governor.

“Simpatico with me on almost every issue.

“A Libertarian in every way -- yet still a huge supporter of Israel.

“The perfect LP candidate.

“I’ll be going 'all in' to help Gary.”

By any real world definition, that's an endorsement of a Johnson LP candidacy. It can even be taken as an endorsement of a Johnson presidency. Why would an LP official endorse an LP candidate, unless he wanted (even if he didn't expect) that candidate to actually win?

Yet in America's slippery political culture (“It depends on the meaning of the word 'is'.”), even the most supportive words are not considered an endorsement unless one says the magic words: “I officially endorse Thee!”

Thus, Root may claim that the hasn't actually “endorsed” Johnson for president.

Why would the Clintonesque Root want enough “wiggle room” to support a Johnson candidacy, without “officially” endorsing him?

Root's part of the pro-war/Reform takeover of the LP. As such, Root (and his supporters) care less about winning (no LP candidate will win) than about denying the candidacy to an antiwar firebrand. Nomination battles are really about “branding” the LP with one's preferred Public Face.

Will the LP's 2012 presidential candidate be a Republican Lite/Pro-Foreign Aid for “Friends” Face -- or an Uncompromisingly Antiwar/Anti-Foreign Entanglements Face?

At best, Johnson strikes me as the former, but with a dash of Antiwar Lite. He's certainly no Ron Paul.

Yet while Root wants to deny the LP's Public Face to a radical antiwar candidate, neither can he seriously endorse any LP candidate to the extent of actually urging people to vote for that candidate -- especially in swing states. Root's talk radio/Fox News supporters expect Root (and all of their "friendly guests") to rally behind the GOP in November. This election is “too important to lose” and the “most important election history.”

Root's career as an aspiring media pundit requires that he maintain his LP base as long as possible (by denying its leadership to his antiwar opponents), while simultaneously placating his Neocon media sponsors by preventing the LP from offering serious opposition to the GOP at the voting booth.

And so while Root is endorsing Gary Johnson for the LP's presidential nomination, I expect that Root will use his "wiggle room" (not an "official" endorsement) to hold back on supporting Johnson too loudly, should Johnson get the nomination.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Is Ron Paul Anti-Israel?

A recurring talking point among conservative bloggers and talk radio hosts is that Ron Paul is “great on the economy” but “horrible on foreign policy.” Some radio show hosts (e.g., John Phillips) have even said they think Paul is a threat to Israel. That Paul would “abandon” Israel.

Would Paul “abandon” Israel? Well, he'd likely treat Israel equal to all other foreign nations. No more “special relationship” or lopsided foreign aid.

Would that be wrong? Would it threaten Israel's existence?

Israel is a wealthy nation, with a lavish, European style welfare system. Israel offers heavily subsidized national health care and university education to its residents. (At least to its Jewish residents). Israel even gives significant welfare handouts to its ultra-orthodox men so they can stay at home and study Torah. (No state funding for its Christian or Muslim citizens to stay home and study their religions, as near as I can tell.)

All this is fine if that's how Israel wants to spend its money. The point is, Israel doesn't need U.S. money for its military. Israel can afford to pay for its own military -- it need only divert some of its lavish social spending to its military.

Conservatives or “libertarians” who lament that the U.S. can't cut off aid to Israel, because Israel needs the money for its survival, are either ignorant or lying. (Besides, as Ayn Rand said, “A need is not a claim.”)

Isn't it curious that many American conservatives and "libertarians" denounce their fellow Americans as "parasites, looters, thugs, Marxists" for taking American tax dollars -- yet they want U.S. tax dollars to support Israeli socialism? (Money is fungible, which means that funding Israel's military also subsidizes Israel's socialist and religious spending.)

Another talking point for funding Israel is that the U.S. also funds Israel's “Arab enemies.”

Not really.

Yes, the U.S. should stop funding both sides -- but U.S. military aid to Israel is not comparable to U.S. military aid to Arab dictators. Israel gets money to purchase combat aircraft or missiles (or develop their own missiles). The U.S. is also alleged to have helped Israel develop nuclear weapons.

By contrast, U.S. military aid to Arab dictators is limited to small arms -- rifles and tanks and such. The Arab dictators only get weapons that don't threaten Israel (an Israeli jet can easily destroy an Arab tank), but which are used mostly to suppress their own Arab populations.

If U.S. military aid to Arab states were identical to its aid to Israel, the Israeli lobby would have no problem with ending U.S. aid to Israel, provided the Arab states also lost funding. This is not the case. Israel's lobby wants the aid to continue (though they continue to parrot “The U.S. also funds Israel's enemies” as a useful, if dishonest, talking point), because they know that Israel gets the lion's share of benefits under the current setup.

By contrast, Ron Paul advocates the true libertarian solution -- end all aid (economic and military) to all foreign nations, now. Yes, Israel would lose out, since it gets higher quality aid than does its enemies. But no, this would not threaten Israel's existence, because Israel is a wealthy country that can easily afford to pay for its own military. It just doesn't want to because, hey, why pay for it if you can bully the U.S. into paying for it?

It's disheartening to see some libertarians go ballistic when this simple libertarian principle (support no sides in foreign disputes) is applied to Israel. For instance, on July 28, 2011, Mike Koch posted at Independent Political Report (comment 72):

"If the LP would finally get the balls and get rid of a few dozen, loud, obnoxious anarchists, America and Israel haters, that look like the freak show at the circus and smell like the animal cage, we could be leading the Tea Parties, running Sarah Palin for President and have the endorsement of Glenn Beck.

"Get rid of the anarchists already please. If you hate America and Israel go join the communists or the Nazis. You are not Libertarians you patchouli smelling dope smoking rainbow freaks.

What evidence is there that anyone in the LP “hates America”? They may criticize the U.S. (and Israel), but that's consistent with libertarianism.

It's curious that when libertarians criticize Britain's or Canada's national health care services, they are never accused of “hating Britain” or “hating Canada.” Nor are they excoriated for criticizing Mexico, North Korea, France, Russia, China, Sweden, Saudi Arabia ... pick any state.

Yet some websites (e.g.,, call Ron Paul an “Israel hater” and even an anti-Semite simply because Paul treats Israel the same any other foreign country.

Paul's has criticized many nations -- including the U.S. This does not make Paul an “America hater.” Nor would his policies threaten Israel's existence. Israel can easily afford to be treated like an equal nation -- an adult nation -- which pays its own way.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Big Mouth Libertarians, or, The Armchair Anarchist

A few weeks ago I witnessed yet another example of an all-too-common phenomenon in the libertarian movement -- the Big Mouth Libertarian.

These Armchair Anarchists are like the Armchair Revolutionaries of the Left and the Armchair Generals of the Right. These windbags are all talk, and no sacrifice.

In this most recent example, I was at a libertarian supper club in Los Angeles. The night's theme was "How to Start Your Own Libertarian Country." It's the sort of "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" thought experiment that's popular among people who mistake Atlas Shrugged for reality.

As the attendees discussed and planned Libertarian Land, the issue of public revenue came up. How would taxes be collected?


"That's a deal breaker!" one libertarian shouted.

He then parroted the old "taxation is theft" mantra a few times, while repeating that any taxes whatsoever would be a "deal breaker" that would prevent him from supporting or moving to this hypothetical libertarian nation.

He lied. Not so much to us, as to himself.

In his fantasies, this Armchair Anarchist may imagine himself a sort of John Galt figure. As someone who refuses to compromise with the State. But it just ain't so.

This Armchair Anarchist -- who looked to be in his late 50s/early 60s -- lives in the United States. He's had plenty of time to emigrate to some tax-free nation. Perhaps even homestead onto some deserted island with his generator and survival skills. Or maybe disappear into the Alaskan wilderness and live off the grid, hunting and foraging off the land.

Yet Mr. Big Mouth Libertarian continues to live in the U.S. -- and presumably, pay his taxes.

For that matter, he lives in high-tax California, despite Nevada (which has no income tax) being less than 200 miles away.

Clearly, paying taxes is no "deal breaker" for him.

Sure, it's tough to move; to leave behind friends, family, business connections, etc. But if it were a "deal breaker," Mr. Armchair Anarchist would move despite the hardships. That's what "deal breaker" implies. That compromise is impossible.

Yet compromise with the State is possible. We do it every day. I do it every day.

Of course, I'm a minarchist and Constitutionalist -- I believe that government has legitimate authority to collect taxes for certain purposes -- though that does not include war and empire. So I'm no Anarchist, Armchair or otherwise.

Whatever your philosophy, if you're gonna Talk Big -- let's see some action. Yet for all this "principled" talk of taxes being a "deal breaker," he plugged his video camera into a wall socket, taking energy from a State sanctioned monopoly. And he continues to live in the U.S. -- and California -- because taxes are clearly no "deal breaker" for him. He merely enjoys the rush of shouting his principles, beating his chest, and perhaps earning the admiration of the handful of nearby libertarians.

He's also a living example of why the police think libertarians are a joke.

PS: here is my favorite Tom Tomorrow cartoon -- a satire of neocon Armchair Generals of the sort that inhabit Free Republic.

Like many of Tom Tomorrow's anti-conservative barbs, this one applies equally well to progressives -- and libertarians.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Angela Keaton,, Win Free Patriot Peace Prize

Angela Keaton and her employer,, have won the 2011 Free Patriot Peace Prize. I'm not sure what that is, but according to Independent Political Report:

"The Free Patriot Peace Prize was founded in 2009 due to the history of the Nobel Prize Committees' reputation for selecting pro-war recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize."

Their 2009 winner was Ron Paul. The 2010 prize was shared by Adam Kokesh, Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), and Private Bradley Manning (whose leaks were publicized by Julian Assange).

"[2011] Free Patriot Peace Prize winners are a former member of the Libertarian National Committee who is a longtime outspoken critic of unjust, undeclared wars [Angela Keaton], and a nonprofit founded in 1995 in response to the Bosnian War []."

In addition to criticizing unjust wars, Keaton was also a critic of the Libertarian Party's retreat from its avowed principles. For her actions, Keaton was harassed off the LNC. At the time, the Massachusetts LP publicly stood up for Keaton.

I first saw Keaton when she spoke at the 2006 national LP convention, which I taped:

Keaton also has her lighter side.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Herman Cain -- and Wayne Allyn Root -- Cash-In by Running for National Office

Why did Herman Cain run for president, knowing he had so many skeletons in the closet? He must have known they'd be discovered.

Los Angeles shock jocks John and Ken (of KFI-AM 640) think it's because Cain never expected to become a serious contender. Cain only expected to get a little free publicity (as a minor “also ran”) so as to increase his fame -- and thus make more money as a speaker, author, and media pundit. Little did he know that he'd be taken seriously enough to invite scrutiny.

Although libertarian embarrassment Wayne Allyn Root may not have Cain's personal skeletons, I've long theorized that Root ran on the Libertarian Party for the same reason as Cain -- to boost Root's own personal fame, and thus cash-in as a speaker, author, and media pundit.

Listen to John and Ken discuss Cain's now defunct campaign (on Dec. 2, 2011), during which they explain their theory on Cain's motives. Decide for yourself John and Ken's analysis doesn't apply equally well to Wayne Allyn Root.

To listen to this John and Ken excerpt, click here.