Friday, August 30, 2013

The Daily Show Punks Wayne Allyn Root

I've not been active in the libertarian party or movement lately -- that may or may not change -- so I've not been posting much. Nor have I been interested in libertarian embarrassment Wayne Allyn Root since he quite the LP in 2012.

But I stumbled across this clip from The Daily Show and had to share:
Root will gravitate to any camera or microphone, even in unfriendly (i.e., liberal) territory -- and that's why he ended up with egg on his face. Not because Root is a brave proponent of principles, but because he's a clueless media hog.
How clueless? Judging from his above appearance, it seems he actually thinks he came off well. That he actually made an "excellent point" in suggesting that rich, Republican businessmen are more persecuted in America than are blacks, Hispanics, or Muslims.
We also learn from the above interview that the IRS recently audited Root. I wonder what they found?

Monday, June 03, 2013

Vietnam War Veteran Turns Antiwar Songwriter

Walt Cronin fought in the Vietnam War. Long after he returned to the U.S., late in life -- his late 40's -- he turned to songwriting and performing.

He's even had some success. His band, The Gousters, has professionally released several CDs these past few years.

Cronin says that much of his work is inspired by his war experiences -- and antiwar sentiments.

Read his full story in the Hollywood Investigator.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Israel Steals Christian Lands

Reports of Israel confiscating Arab/Muslim land have long been in the news, albeit buried in the back pages of mainstream newspapers. 

Lately Israel has stolen much land through the building of its Apartheid Wall. Israel claims the wall is there for security reasons, not to take land -- but whenever the wall cuts through someone's land, confiscating it in the process, it always "happens" to cut through Arab land, never Jewish land. 

Funny. What are the odds?

American "liberals" wring their hands over the situation, muttering how "complicated" the issue is, and that "there are no easy answers." American "conservatives" are more blatant in their disregard. They'll say outright that it's a great thing because, after all, the Arabs are Muslims, and so good riddance to them. (Although on some "conservative" sites, you'll find less polite terms, e.g., moose-limbs, muzzies, etc.)

What's less often reported is that Palestinian Christians too are second class citizens in Israel, their "rights" and land ever at risk of being stolen in favor of Jews.

Here's a recent, widely-circulated report from the Catholic News Agency:

WASHINGTON (CNS) – A U.S. bishop is upset with Israel's decision to build a separation barrier along a route that will nearly surround a convent and its primary school and confiscate most of their land on the outskirts of a Palestinian West Bank community.

Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, protested the Israeli plan to build the barrier near Beit Jalla in a May 6 letter to Secretary of State John Kerry.

"In solidarity with our brother bishops in the Holy Land, we oppose rerouting the separation wall in the Cremisan Valley," the letter said, referencing arguments that Holy Land bishops made to the Israeli government in a letter opposing the barrier.

The barrier's route will separate a Salesian monastery from a Salesian convent and surround both on three sides while separating both from land they own. It would also cut off 58 Christian families from agricultural and recreational land they own, hurting their livelihood, Bishop Pates said.

The barrier, which would serve to connect to Israeli West Bank settlements, has been the subject of six years of legal proceedings. The Israeli Special Appeals Committee for Land Seizure ruled in favor of construction under emergency law in late April.

Bishop Pates urged Kerry to address the concerns raised by Jerusalem's Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal, who reminded "Israeli decision-makers that the expropriation of lands does not serve the cause of peace."

"The Cremisan Valley is a microcosm of a protracted pattern that has serious implications for the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As the wall moves and constricts more communities in the West Bank, the possibility of a future two-state resolution becomes less likely," the letter said.

"Moving the wall and disassociating Palestinian families from their lands and livelihoods will incite more resentment against the state of Israel among residents of the West Bank, not less, increasing the frustrations that can lead to violence. Such policies put Israeli citizens at risk and weaken initiatives for reconciliation and peace," Bishop Pates continued.

The letter is a reiteration of the same stance Bishop Pates and the committee took in a late 2012 letter for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The full text of Bishop Pates's letter can be read online at

If a Christian majority nation treated Jews the way Israel treats Palestinian Christians, it would be called anti-Semitism. 

It would not be "complicated" or "difficult" or "without easy answers" -- it would simply be immoral -- in some cases even evil.

America's "conservatives" like to term such pronouncements as "moral clarity." But it's a clarity that is notoriously lacking in American "conservatives" -- and all too many liberals and libertarians.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Libertarian National Committee Members Consult Astrologers

Libertarian Party members have long complained that voters don't appreciate that LP candidates are smarter, wiser, and more competent than are their Demopublican rivals -- if only voters gave the LP a chance!

But LP members have long enjoyed the opportunity to demonstrate their "superior" leadership skills -- if not in higher public office, than at least in the running of their own party.

If voters were to take a good, close look at the LP, would they have reason to be favorably impressed?

Stewart Flood, over at Independent Political Report (comment # 87), offers a peak at how the LNC conducts business:

"There are LNC members who consult astrologers before voting. Really. There are LNC members who vote the way they are signaled (or in some cases literally handed cards) from non-LNC members in the audience. There are LNC members who vote lock-step with the instructions given to them at the 'secret' Friday dinners before each LNC meeting.

These are facts, documented by online broadcasts of the meetings, 'testimony' by former members who have attended the meetings, and by other members of the audience who have seen the notes handed out and in some cases literally read from at the table!"

Bet you thought that only Reagan consulted astrologers!

Friday, May 03, 2013

Libertarian Party Links Boston Marathon Bombing to US Foreign Wars

The Libertarian National Committee issued a surprisingly strong press release on May 1, comparing the Boston Marathon bombing to America's foreign wars.

It took about two weeks after the bombing for the LNC to draft and release the statement because, according to Paulie on Independent Political Report (Comment #5): "There was quite a bit of debate on LNC about the content of a statement, if any."

Here are the portions I find especially gutsy (coming from a historically timid LNC):

"While we strenuously condemn acts of violence against innocent men, women, and children as occurred on April 17, we also condemn the U.S. government's routine perpetration of such injustice on others throughout the world. As one example, U.S. drone strikes kill many times more civilians than terrorists.

Such disregard for human life is morally reprehensible. In addition, it unnecessarily engenders enemies of the United States.

Spokespersons for the military claim that the federal government does whatever it can to minimize civilian casualties. Perhaps it does from their current perspective. But from an honest and realistic perspective, their perpetual calls for military action do not minimize civilian casualties, but instead increase them.

To avoid harming innocent others, the Libertarian Party urges President Barack Obama and members of Congress to:

1. Stay out of foreign conflicts, including Syria. The goal of our military should be defense only, not attempting to brutalize the world into acceptance of our cultural values, to impose 'democracy' (its practice in U.S. elections leaves much to be desired), to control foreign resources, or to intervene for other purposes.

2. Immediately end all trade sanctions, including sanctions against Iran and North Korea. Sanctions all too often end in war, as was the case in Iraq. They furthermore disrupt the peaceful influence of international businessmen and women who have every incentive to avoid war and violence.

3. Begin to shut down the vast majority of our foreign military bases and bring our troops home. Our wealthy allies can pay for their own defense, and our military bases in less friendly areas serve to create more enemies.

4. Immediately end all military alliances, including those associated with NATO. The Cold War is over. We have enough nuclear weapons to destroy every country on earth. No country can reasonably declare war on the United States. The kind of terrorism we deal with cannot be addressed by massive military alliances. If a threat were to arise large enough to require an allied force to fight it off, we can create a new alliance at that time.

5. Immediately reduce military spending by 60 percent or more. When companies like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Northrup Grumman profit from war, they have a powerful incentive to use their influence to encourage military conflict. Canceling multi-billion-dollar contracts for unneeded fighter planes, ships, and other military equipment will reduce the incentive to lobby for military adventurism. Associated cuts in government spending will reduce the deficit, reduce inflation, and stimulate the private sector economy, creating job growth.

Those are the key points. You can read the entire LP press release -- or if they've removed it, it's reprinted over here.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Angela Keaton: Is the Antiwar Movement Dead?

It would seem so. I myself have not been posting much, for various reasons that I won't go into now (though I'll try to increase output in the near future).

In the meantime, Angela Keaton of was interviewed on that very topic last February by RT. She came across very well, and made some accurate observations.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mike Gravel Criticizes Pro-War Hollywood in Iran

Mike Gravel, who ran for the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination in 2008, recently attended Iran's third annual "Hollywoodism" conference. This appears to be an event that examines how Iran and Islam are portrayed by America's entertainment industry. Iranians are especially unhappy with the recently released film, Argo.

Thomas Erdbrink reports in The New York Times (February 18, 2013):

Mike Gravel, a former Democratic senator from Alaska, said Hollywood had brainwashed its audiences into thinking negatively about Iran. He said it was "fundamental" to discuss the American movie industry's ways of portraying Iran in order to prevent "an insane war."

While seeking the LP nomination in 2008, Gravel ran on a strongly antiwar platform.

Read the rest of Erdbrink's report.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

SNL's Hagel Satire Shows Israel Lobby Losing Grip on Popular Culture

The Israel lobby has long dominated America's mideast foreign policy, not only though a direct political influence, but also by its influence on America's popular culture. Any real criticism of Israel has long been absent (taboo?) on America TV.

But this recent Saturday Night Live parody of the Senator Chuck Hagel hearings shows that that may be changing. America's cultural elite are not turning against Israel -- just against blind, worshipful, uncritical, knee-jerk support of all things Israel.

It's that blind, knee-jerk Israel-worship that is being parodied here:

It's a small thing, one solitary SNL skit. But it's a positive development, and perhaps a bellwether of more to come.