Sunday, November 26, 2017

U.S. State Dept. Interferes in 2018 Hungarian Elections

Democrats complain about Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 American presidential election. I don't think Russia did interfere, but either way, it's hypocritical of Americans to complain about it, considering the United States' decades long history of trying in influence foreign elections.

A current example is the U.S. State Dept attempt to influence Hungary's upcoming 2018 elections.

The Hungary Journal reports:

Hungary's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade summoned David Kostelancik, charge d'affaires at the United States’ embassy in Budapest, after the US State Department launched a media fund for rural media outlets in Hungary, RTL Klub reported.

What is this "media fund"? Apparently, the U.S. State Department is spending $700,000 of American taxpayers' money to influence elections in Hungary. This "media fund" come from a State Department office that goes by the Orwellian name "Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor" (DRL).

Details about this "media fund" can be found on the State Department's own website, which states:

DRL's goal is to support media outlets operating outside the capital in Hungary to produce fact-based reporting and increase their audience and economic sustainability. The program should increase citizens’ access to objective information about domestic and global issues of public importance, by enhancing local media’s ability to engage a larger audience, including their print, multimedia, and online readership. The program should improve the quality of local traditional and online media and increase the public’s access to reliable and unbiased information.

Lots of gobbledegook about "objectivity" and "fact-based reporting." This is code for reporting that supports the current U.S. trade and foreign policies of globalism and imperialism.

The Hungary Journal goes on to report:

With the upcoming elections in 2018, the Hungarian government considers the State Department’s announcement as "intervention into Hungarian domestic politics".

Group leader of the ruling Fidesz party, Gergely Gulyas was asked about the State Department’s plans to support the media in the Hungarian provinces. He said that it was "an attempt to interfere with Hungary's affairs" and added that similar foreign attempts would not be tolerated by the US political elite, no matter where the money comes from.

The current Hungarian government, led by Victor Orban, has resisted the European Union's attempts (supported by the United States) to dictate immigration policies to Hungary.


Monday, November 20, 2017

New York City Libertarian Party Runs Skyjacker Aaron Commey for Mayor

This is ... interesting. I just learned the New York City Libertarian Party ran a (formerly) mentally ill skyjacker, Aaron Commey, for mayor.

The election was held two weeks ago. Of the seven candidates, Commey finished last, pulling 2,598 votes, which was 0.2% of the vote total.

Who is Commey? On October 24, 2017, Jeff Coltin, reporting for City & State New York, wrote:

... on July 27, 2000, [Commey] was 22 years old and suffering from delusional disorder and paranoid schizophrenia when he walked onto a Boeing 757 bound for Las Vegas and rushed into the cockpit while brandishing a handgun. ...

He later explained that he had planned to parachute into Antarctica to destroy the "Cabal," a secret organization that wanted to "take over the world through mass destruction." 

In the end, the plane never took off and nobody was injured, while Commey was arrested and charged with five crimes, including attempt to commit aircraft piracy. ...

In September 2003, Commey was found not guilty on all counts by reason of insanity. ...
"I spent about 15 years in prison, was never convicted," Commey said. "And it shaped me into the person I am today."

Commey said that government officials and judges refused to let him go for years, despite having doctors say he had fully recovered. "Experiencing my own personal injustice, seeing injustice happen to other guys," he said, "that’s one of the things that had driven me to wanting to get involved to try to change the system."

It also turned him into a Libertarian.

Read Coltin's full story here.

I suppose the LPNY knew of Commey's history. His candidate's website says:

Aaron Commey is intelligent, Resilient and a fighter for justice. Commey's passion for reform was born out of his own experience overcoming his own trials and tribulations with the Justice System and Mental Health Issues.
Aaron is an example of the American spirit that is ready to overcome any challenge and provide opportunities to those who seek it.

Libertarians have a long since developed a reputation for running the most colorful candidates, among them California's Ferret Man, Montana's Blue Man, and Florida's nudist goat's blood drinker. We can now add to the LP's roster of oddball candidates, the skyjacker who hoped to fight the "Cabal" in Antarctica.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

World War I: The Tragedy that Led to All the Other Tragedies

World War I is The Great tragedy of modern Western, and perhaps even world, history. It led to all the great historical tragedies of the last century, not to mention the collapse of Europe from the height of Civilization into chaos and squalor.

Without World War I, there would have been no Bolshevik Revolution, no rise of Mussolini, Stalin, or Hitler. No genocides of the Armenians, Ukrainians, or Jews, hence, no Israel or Mideast wars. No Cold War, hence no proxy wars between the Soviets and Americans. No support for Mao with his tens of millions of victims. No Korean or Vietnam or Central American Wars. No Cambodian genocide. No American Empire.

But if World War I were not avoided, the next best thing would have been a stalemate, with no clear winners. Even a limited victory for the Kaiser would have been preferable to what happened -- Germany's total defeat, its economic destruction via the Versailles Treaty, and the chain of events that followed.

Mike Konrad now has an excellent article in The American Thinker (November 18, 2017), arguing against America's entry in World War I, while unearthing some interesting historical factoids in support of his claim.

You can read Konrad's article here.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Israel's Hypocrisy on Trump's Leak to Putin

It's difficult to find an issue on which Israel is not a hypocrite, but I will focus on one of Trump's more recent alleged scandals.

Trump gave intelligence to Putin, which he'd allegedly gotten from Israel. According to a report by Adam Goldman, Eric Schmitt, and Peter Baker in The New York Times [May 16, 2017]:

The classified intelligence that President Trump disclosed in a meeting last week with Russian officials at the White House was provided by Israel, according to a current and a former American official familiar with how the United States obtained the information....

Mr. Trump's boasting about some of Israel's most sensitive information to the Russians could damage the relationship between the two countries and raises the possibility that the information could be passed to Iran, Russia’s close ally and Israel's main threat in the region.

By some reports, Israel is upset. And hypocritical, considering Israel's mishandling of American intelligence. Such as that which Israel stole from the U.S. through its spy Jonathan Pollard, which Israel then sold to Russia -- when Russia was still the Soviet Union (i.e., Communist) and America's greatest adversary.

As reported by Philip Giraldi in The American Conservative [Dec. 2, 2015]:

Former CIA Director William Casey and others believed that the Israelis provided at least some of the stolen information to the Soviet Union in exchange for the expedited emigration of Russian Jews.

Understand, Trump is alleged to have given intelligence to Russia, which Israel had given to the U.S. Meaning, the information wasn't damaging to Israel. Whereas Israel stole information from the U.S. which Israel gave to Russia. Meaning, its release to Russia was far more damaging to the U.S.

And Israel continues to aggressively spy on the U.S. An Associated Press report, carried in Haaretz [Jul. 28, 2012] states:

In addition to what the former U.S. officials described to AP as intrusions in [American] homes in the past decade [by Israel spies], Israel has been implicated in U.S. criminal espionage cases and disciplinary proceedings against CIA officers and blamed in the presumed death of an important spy in Syria for the CIA during the administration of President George W. Bush.

That's right. Our "greatest ally" Israel is responsible for the death of an American agent. This is noteworthy, because Israel complains that Trump's leak to Putin endangered an Israeli spy. Hypocrisy indeed. 


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Libertarian Party Infiltrated by Goverment Spies

I found the below comment, posted on April 23, 2017 by "Andy" over at Independent Political Report, to be both interesting and unnerving:

I know that one FIOA [Freedom of Information Act] request was done by 1978 LP candidate for Governor of California, and 1980 candidate for President, Ed Clark. It came out in the report there was a government plant at the first LP meeting in California, which I believe was in 1972. The name was of course redacted.

Ed Clark said that he knew everyone at that meeting, and that all of them remained active in the party for years after this. Which means that whoever this was, acted as a long term plant in the party.

I heard that an LP member from Texas did a FOIA request in the 1980s or early 1990s and found that there was a government plant at every LNC meeting that he attended when he was on the LNC. Once again, the name was redacted

I also heard from an LP member of Kentucky that somebody in their state party did a FOIA request back in the 1990s, and they found that there was a government plant in their state party, but of course, once again, the name was redacted.

I'd be willing to bet money that a lot of the weird stuff that has gone on in the LP, including right here at IPR with a lot of the troll posts, and related stuff (which includes death threats and other things only a few people here know about), is coming from government trolls.

It would not surprise me at all if the government has at least a few plants in every state party, the more active county parties, the LNC, and the more active campaigns (like the presidential campaigns).

It should be blatantly obvious that the last three LP presidential tickets have been hijackers from the establishment. 

Andy's post reminds me of a story I once heard about the Los Angeles Police Dept attempting to infiltrate the local LP. The story can be taken as factual, or a joke, or as urban legend told by local LPs around the country. Its plausibility is for you to decide, but Andy's post does throw new light on the story.

You can read this LAPD story here.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Trump's Hypocrisy on Saudi Arabia

President Donald Trump is complaining that Saudi Arabia doesn't pay its "fair share" to have America defend them.

Stephen J. Adler, Jeff Mason and Steve Holland report for Reuters [April 27, 2017]:

President Donald Trump complained on Thursday that U.S. ally Saudi Arabia was not treating the United States fairly and Washington was losing a "tremendous amount of money" defending the kingdom.

In an interview with Reuters, Trump confirmed his administration was in talks about possible visits to Saudi Arabia and Israel in the second half of May. He is due to make his first trip abroad as president for a May 25 NATO summit in Brussels and could add other stops.

"Frankly, Saudi Arabia has not treated us fairly, because we are losing a tremendous amount of money in defending Saudi Arabia," he said.

Trump's criticism of Riyadh, the world’s top oil exporter, was a return to his 2016 election campaign rhetoric when he accused the kingdom of not pulling its weight in paying for the U.S. security umbrella.

"Nobody’s going to mess with Saudi Arabia because we’re watching them," Trump told a campaign rally in Wisconsin a year ago. "They’re not paying us a fair price. We're losing our shirt."

It's true that Saudi Arabia is not paying the U.S. for its "protection." But how much is Israel paying for American support? Oh, that's right, we're paying for Israel's defense -- despite that fact that Israel is an extremely wealthy nation.

Trump's concept of "America First" seems to mean that all of our "allies" -- NATO, Saudi Arabia, etc. -- should pay the U.S. for whatever defense the U.S. provides -- with the exception of Israel.

In the case of Israel, we pay them. Even though, in the 1970s, Israel said they only required a few more years of aid.

There is no good reason for this continuing welfare/wealth transfer from the U.S. to Israel. Israel's survival does not depend on it. Israel takes the money -- demands the money and offers no gratitude -- because it can. Because Israel's lobby -- and its supporters in the U.S. establishment and media -- are powerful and unforgiving bullies.


Sunday, April 09, 2017

Trump's "Anti-Fascist" Critics Praise Trump for Waging War

Ever since he became a serious candidate for president, Trump's foes have attacked him for being a "fascist" (among other things). Their insults intensified after Trump was elected president. And intensified still further after he assumed office and began issuing orders.

Ironically, after Trump's most fascist action yet -- his military strike on Syria -- those same critics are now praising Trump.

According to Glenn Greenwald [April 7, 2017]: 

In every type of government, nothing unites people behind the leader more quickly, reflexively or reliably than war. Donald Trump now sees how true that is, as the same establishment leaders in U.S. politics and media who have spent months denouncing him as a mentally unstable and inept authoritarian and unprecedented threat to democracy are standing and applauding him as he launches bombs at Syrian government targets.

We are truly living in an Orwellian Bizarro World. While some of Trump's previous actions were not particularly libertarian, neither were they strictly fascist. Barring people from a country (e.g., Trump's Muslim travel ban and his attempts to deport criminal aliens) is not fascist. I'm sure many of Hitler's and Stalin's victims would have loved it had these dictators deported them rather than murdered them.

Barring people from entering a country is unfriendly. Waging wars of aggression on them -- killing them -- is far worse. Far more fascistic. Indeed, wars of aggression are one of the key traits of fascism.

So it is ironic -- supremely ironic -- that Trump's critics, neoliberal and neocon, in media and in government, who for so long have excoriated Trump for being fascist, are now praising him for his most purely fascist act yet.

Sorry about our past insults, Mr. President. We were worried you weren't a real fascist. Now that we see you are, we'll stop calling you a fascist.

Strange times indeed.


Thursday, April 06, 2017

Trump Turns Neocon -- Fires Steve Bannon and Attacks Syria

President Donald J. Trump has turned into a full-blown Neocon with his missile attack on Syria.

Reporting for the Wall Street Journal [April 6, 2017], Gordon Lubold and Dion Nissenbaum write:

The U.S. military launched nearly 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles against a Syrian air base Friday, responding to mounting calls for a display of force in the wake of this week’s suspected chemical-weapons attack in Syria. The strikes represented the first time a U.S. military operation deliberately targeted the regime of President Bashar al-Assad...

"The first time." This means that Trump has escalated the war from whatever Obama had been doing. The WSJ quotes Trump as saying:

"It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons," Mr. Trump said. "There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons." 

I guess the part about this attack being in the "vital national security interest" of the United States is meant to signal that Trump is still following an "America First" foreign policy. Sort of like his continuing generous foreign aid to Israel.

This attack on Syria comes shortly after Trump removed "alt right" figure Steve Bannon from the National Security Council, replacing him with the usual Neocon hawks.

Reporting for the Wall Street Journal [April 5, 2017], Carol E. Lee and Eli Stokols write:

President Donald Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has been removed from the National Security Council's principals committee, and top U.S. intelligence officials have been restored as permanent members, according to a new presidential memorandum.

It's beginning to look as if Trump has surrendered to the Deep State. After suffering political paralysis during his first two months in office, Trump is determined to become a historically "successful" president, even that means rubber-stamping the identical globalist, war-mongering policies of the Clinton, Bush, and Obama years.

Trump is becoming Obama in whiteface. Who, in turn, was Bush in blackface.

Adding to the irony, the Left, until now, has attacked Trump for being too pro-Russia and too isolationist (i.e., for not saber rattling). But now that Trump has attacked Russia's ally, Syria, the Left will attack Trump for being pro-war (i.e., for the opposite).

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Trump's "America First" Means Israel First

Despite all the defamatory accusations of President Donald Trump being "anti-Semitic," his "America First" foreign policy is as fervently Israel First! as that of any other U.S. president.

Reporting for the Los Angeles Times [March 16, 2017], Tracy Wilkinson writes:
Israel would be the only country to escape the Trump administration's proposed deep cuts in foreign aid, the State Department said Thursday.

The budget plan from the White House calls for slashing the State Department's $50 billion budget by about 28%, cuts that would mostly target climate change, democracy promotion and health programs, and numerous foreign aid projects....

Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman, said U.S. aid to Israel, which totaled about $3.1 billion this year, would not be touched under the Trump plan. Israel gets more U.S. aid than any other nation.

Aid to every other country will come under review, he said.

As per usual, Israel is "singled out" for favorable treatment. (This is why opponents of foreign aid "single out" Israel -- in response to its special status.)

And it's not because Israel is an "ally," or because it's a "democracy," or because it's a poor nation, or because it's security situation is especially precarious. On the contrary....

* Israel is a false friend. It has spied on us, endangered our security, and murdered our sailors.

* An apartheid state for non-Jews -- for Muslims and Christians alike.

* An extremely wealthy nation.

* And has one of the top five most powerful militaries in the world.

Israel neither needs nor deserves American foreign aid. It takes it, because it has a powerful lobby that knows how to shake down our politicians.

Read Wilkinson's full report.


Monday, March 06, 2017

Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County Is Too Anti-Gun

The Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County website is too anti-gun, according to LP member Robert H. Biggadike, who sent the following email to LP members:

On the LPLAC website, it says, "Libertarians are anti-war, we believe that neither peace nor freedom nor democracy can be truly promoted with a gun."
What a line of left wing clap trap. I have been a Libertarian for about 35 years and I do believe (contrary to the LPLAC statement) that peace, freedom, and democracy can be truly promoted with a gun. Homeowners who in accordance with the Second Amendment exercise their right to own a gun can deter robbery and violence against their property and person. Policemen with guns do truly promote peace, freedom, and democracy.
I think the clown who put the above statement on THE LPLAC website doesn't know what he is talking about.

Robert H. Biggadike


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Publishers Hire "Sensitivity Readers" to Enforce Political Correctness

In Fahrenheit 451, author Ray Bradbury foresaw that "progressives" (rather than conservatives) would enforce censorship in the United States, beginning with books deemed "insensitive" to minorities. Well, today's publishing culture has caught up to Bradbury's dystopian vision.

Everdeen M

These days, though, a book may get an additional check from an unusual source: a sensitivity reader, a person who, for a nominal fee, will scan the book for racist, sexist or otherwise offensive content. These readers give feedback based on self-ascribed areas of expertise such as "dealing with terminal illness," "racial dynamics in Muslim communities within families' or "transgender issues."

"The industry recognizes this is a real concern," said Cheryl Klein, a children's and young adult book editor and author of The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults. Klein, who works at the publisher Lee & Low, said that she has seen the casual use of specialized readers for many years but that the process has become more standardized and more of a priority, especially in books for young readers.

Sensitivity readers have emerged in a climate -- fueled in part by social media -- in which writers are under increased scrutiny for their portrayals of people from marginalized groups, especially when the author is not a part of that group.

Last year, for instance, J.K. Rowling was strongly criticized by Native American readers and scholars for her portrayal of Navajo traditions in the 2016 story "History of Magic in North America." Young-adult author Keira Drake was forced to revise [my italics] her fantasy novel The Continent after an online uproar over its portrayal of people of color and Native backgrounds. More recently, author Veronica Roth -- of Divergent fame -- came under fire for her new novel, Carve the Mark. In addition to being called racist, the book was criticized for its portrayal of chronic pain in its main character.
Some might argue that "sensitivity readers" are no big deal, because their use is not government imposed (yet), and so it's not really censorship. It's an editorial decision. Some authors quoted in the article even claim to be grateful for the "help" they receive from "sensitivity readers" -- helping these authors to portray their characters "correctly."

"Thank you Comrade Sensitivity Reader, for correcting my errors!"

But how voluntary is that consent? "Progressive" activists are never satisfied. They will increasingly pressure hold-out publishers to hire "sensitivity readers." Publishers, in turn, will increasingly pressure authors to make the corrections "requested" by "sensitivity readers."

As Mason notes:

Lee & Low Books has a companywide policy to use sensitivity readers. Stacy Whitman, publisher and editorial director of Lee & Low's middle-grade imprint Tu Books, said she will even request a sensitivity reader before she chooses to acquire a book to publish [my italics].

"It's important for authors to consider expert reader feedback and figure out how to solve the problems they point out," Whitman said.

In other words, whether an author consents to "solve the problems" complained about by some sensitivity commissar will determine its chances for publication. This will mean ever less diversity in literature, because weak, cowardly, incompetent, stupid, and evil personality traits will become (even more so than already) reserved for straight, white, Christian, male characters.

Returning to Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, here's an excerpt from the Fire Chief's speech, explaining how society eventually got around to book-burning:

Now let's take up the minorities in our civilization, shall we? Bigger the population, the more minorities. Don't step on the toes of the dog-lovers, the cat-lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico. The people in this book, this play, this TV serial are not meant to represent any actual painters, cartographers, mechanics anywhere.
The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy [my italics], remember that! All the minor minor minorities with their navels to be kept clean. Authors, full of evil thoughts, lock up your typewriters. They did. Magazines became a nice blend of vanilla tapioca. Books, so the damned snobbish critics said, were dishwater. No wonder books stopped selling, the critics said. But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic-books survive. And the three-dimensional sex magazines, of course.
There you have it, Montag. It didn't come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! [my italics] Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank God.

Bradbury didn't get everything right. Publishers don't care about the sensitivities of Mormons or Baptists or Swedes or Germans. Such is our "progressive" culture. Poking fun at non-Christian religions is hate, but bashing Christianity is healthy satire. Nazis are unqualified villains, but Communists are at worst misguided idealists. At best they are the noble victims of McCarthyism. (The sensitivities of the victims of Communism be damned.)

But Bradbury had a great insight. Censorship doesn't start with government dictates. It begins with popular pressure. It begins in the private sector. And the signs are ominous.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Neocon Bil Kristol's Hatred for White Working Class

Neocon Bill Kristol is a walking example of why white working class voters favored Donald Trump over his Republican opponents and Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

Kristol has been a tireless promoter of American wars in the Middle East. But in his recent remarks (below), the smirking, smarmy Kirstol expresses his cold-blooded contempt for the well-being of the working class that provides the cannon fodder for Kristol's Mideast wars.

American working class kids die in Kirstol's Mideast wars, while Kirstol and his Neocon colleagues send their kids to the pampered safety of Ivy League colleges, followed by lucrative jobs in media, law, finance, and politics.

And this is the "gratitude" that returning working class war veterans get for their blood, sweat, toil, and tears. A working class kid loses an arm or an eye in Iraq, returns to joblessness, and is essentially told, "Fuck off, loser!" by the Neocons.

It's not just a white thing. Black workers too are offended by these fat, selfish, cold-blooded, pampered Neocon warmongers.

If libertarians want the support of American working class voters, they must demonstrate more compassion for the plight of a working class devastated by globalization, offshoring, wage compression, and other economic woes. Taking a page from lunatic pseudo-philosopher Ayn Rand is not the answer.

Kristol not only spits in the faces of America workers -- he then expects them to pay the taxes for, and even to die, in his Mideast wars. Would that his children were placed on the front lines!


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Barak Obama Calls for Tough Enforement of Immigration Laws

Or as Obama phrased it: "We simply cannot allow for people to pour in, undocumented and unchecked." Of course, that was while he was still a Senator.

So it's hypocritical of Obama-worshiping "progressives" to attack Trump for his immigration stance, when it was also Obama's immigration stance. Much like "progressives" ignored Obama's wars, while protesting Republican wars.