The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Saturday, May 15, 2004

The Ten Points

The ten points of the Communist Manifesto:

1. Abolition of private property.
2. Heavy progressive income tax.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Central bank.
6. Government control of communications and transportation.
7. Government ownership of factories and agriculture.
8. Government control of labor.
9. Corporate farms, regional planning.
10. Government control of education.

Name one of these not currently in place here in the USofA...I dare you.

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Friday, May 14, 2004

What is "Torture?"

What is "torture?" Well, lucky for us, the United States Code defines it:

I've been getting numerous emails from various pro-Bush/pro-War types who've been accusing me of using the word "torture" too easily and that the incidents which happened at Abu Gharib Prison were not "torture," but merely abuse.

Rather than write an answer, I was forwarded this article from which basically summarizes my response:

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Walker For Governor...NOT,1249,595062980,00.html,1249,595062979,00.html

The above links are to letters to the editor today in both of Utah's major newspapers. All touting how great Oleane Walker supposedly is (if you ask me, she's a socialist). These are people who think that "democracy" was not served thanks to the Republican convention process (i.e. only Republican delegates got to vote for their top 2 picks to go to primary election next month).

This really cracks me up.

If the Democrats want Oleane to be their governor so bad, why didn't they run her in THEIR convention as THEIR candidate? Sheesh.

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Flash Animation

Thursday, May 13, 2004

"Freedom Fest" to Receive Tax Money

Talk about an oxymoron and conflict of interest!,1249,595062816,00.html
Freedom Fest gets more tax money

PROVO — America's Freedom Festival at Provo will receive an additional $40,000 of restaurant tax money from the Utah Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau to cover advertising expenses for this year's festival events.
The newly privatized bureau originally pledged $10,000 to help fund the Freedom Festival — a figure well below the $33,000 the Utah County Commission gave the festival last year and far under the $75,000 requested by festival organizers for this year's events.
Utah County commissioners agreed to funnel $40,000 of restaurant tax money into the bureau's budget, enabling it to donate more to the festival for advertising, which will include promotions for the tourism bureau and Utah County cities.
The final figure is still $25,000 less than what festival organizers requested, but associate festival director Taylor McDonald said that the festival will make do, thanks to some additional volunteer services that will be provided by the bureau.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Torture Can't Happen in America?

by Aaron Turpen

By now, everyone in the modern world has seen the photos of the torture victims in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. This torture was not commenced by Saddam Hussein, Al-Quaida, or any other expected source of torture.

This torture was perpetrated by Americans on imprisoned Iraqis.

Interestingly, there has been no outcry from the United Nations demanding trials be held according to the Geneva Convention. Why? Probably because the Geneva Accords apply only to enlisted military personnel… The torture, apparently, was by and large done by "private contactors" paid to interrogate the prisoners.

According to MSNBC and the Associated Press, the Red Cross issued a report on Iraqi prisons stating that, among other mistreatments, 55 top members of the former Iraqi regime were subjected to interrogations bordering on torture.

"They deserve it," is the answer from Joe American; when he takes his eyes off the football broadcast long enough to care about something other than Bush's approval rating and his thoughts on the great question of whether Miller is better than Bud.

Perhaps they do, in a karmic way, deserve what they've received. However, it is not the way of Americans to do this. Were these atrocities taking place on American soil, you can bet the outrage over these acts would be one hundred fold.

"We are better than that!" Would be the outcry. "What about their rights?" Would be the question.

Not so when it takes place in a nation we occupy during time of war.

The soldiers whose pictures are displayed on for all to see will face punishment, that's sure. Not to bring about justice, but to keep the limelight off of those who were contracted and paid, outside of military service, to commit these acts. We aren't supposed to know about them.

If you have read special warfare books about the training and goings-on in many special forces units in our military, you would know that the torture being described in these photos and in accounts of the events is pretty standard fare for interrogatory procedure.

Dick Marcinco, author of Red Cell, spelled it out when his SEAL Team unit captured a high-ranking person from a U.S. Military base (as part of an exercise) and commenced torturing him in a motel room in order to "extract information." Marcinco's unit got in a lot of trouble over this…not because of the methods used, but because it was a peacetime "friendly" exercise!

The tactics used in that interrogation? Strip the man, blindfolded, and make various sexual remarks regarding his inadequacies and what you may or may not do to him… Make him believe he could be raped, murdered, or seriously maimed at any time... Get him to talk.

Sound familiar?

Go to CNN and look at some of those're seeing the same procedure in action.

Worse yet, a Gannett News Service report goes deeper into the photographs and says that there are incidents where at least one female prisoner was raped on video, several male prisoners were forced (unmasked) to masturbate for the camera and more. Worse yet, US military personnel are seen idly standing by, laughing, or going about their business as if nothing is wrong during these events!

I have three points I want you to consider before you decide that I'm just another nay-sayer on the war and the government's handling of things:

1. These military personnel, just like your elected officials and nearly all public servants in the nation, took an oath to "uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America."
2. The people who committed these acts and those who were directly in charge of them claim that they were ORDERED to do so...
3. Had the security been tighter and the photos/videos more tightly controlled...would we have ever been allowed to know about these atrocities?

Now a further question to keep your mind going...what is happening, right now, in Guantanamo Bay?

That's right...we don't know because it is being kept secure and top secret and we are not allowed to see what they might or might not be doing.

Now consider this simple (and likely) scenario: America is, once again, attacked by terrorists on a large scale - we'll say it's the bombing of a nuclear power plant and three airports nationwide. Because of this act, President Bush feels compelled to declare Martial Law in order to keep control of the nation.

Several hundred people who protest, threaten violence, post derogatory comments for mass consumption on the Internet, etc. are arrested and detained during this time of martial law.

Arrested and detained by the U.S. military...

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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Just Trust Us


Didn't you know, in your gut, that something like Abu Ghraib would eventually come to light?

When the world first learned about the abuse of prisoners, President Bush said that it "does not reflect the nature of the American people." He's right, of course: a great majority of Americans are decent and good. But so are a great majority of people everywhere. If America's record is better than that of most countries - and it is - it's because of our system: our tradition of openness, and checks and balances.

Yet Mr. Bush, despite all his talk of good and evil, doesn't believe in that system. From the day his administration took office, its slogan has been "just trust us." No administration since Nixon has been so insistent that it has the right to operate without oversight or accountability, and no administration since Nixon has shown itself to be so little deserving of that trust. Out of a misplaced sense of patriotism, Congress has deferred to the administration's demands. Sooner or later, a moral catastrophe was inevitable.

Just trust us, John Ashcroft said, as he demanded that Congress pass the Patriot Act, no questions asked. After two and a half years, during which he arrested and secretly detained more than a thousand people, Mr. Ashcroft has yet to convict any actual terrorists. (Look at the actual trials of what Dahlia Lithwick of Slate calls "disaffected bozos who watch cheesy training videos," and you'll see what I mean.)

Just trust us, George Bush said, as he insisted that Iraq, which hadn't attacked us and posed no obvious threat, was the place to go in the war on terror. When we got there, we found no weapons of mass destruction and no new evidence of links to Al Qaeda.

Just trust us, Paul Bremer said, as he took over in Iraq. What is the legal basis for Mr. Bremer's authority? You may imagine that the Coalition Provisional Authority is an arm of the government, subject to U.S. law. But it turns out that no law or presidential directive has ever established the authority's status. Mr. Bremer, as far as we can tell, answers to nobody except Mr. Bush, which makes Iraq a sort of personal fief. In that fief, there has been nothing that Americans would recognize as the rule of law. For example, Ahmad Chalabi, the Pentagon's erstwhile favorite, was allowed to gain control of Saddam's files — the better to blackmail his potential rivals.

And finally: Just trust us, Donald Rumsfeld said early in 2002, when he declared that "enemy combatants" - a term that turned out to mean anyone, including American citizens, the administration chose to so designate - don't have rights under the Geneva Convention. Now people around the world talk of an "American gulag," and Seymour Hersh is exposing My Lai all over again.

Did top officials order the use of torture? It depends on the meaning of the words "order" and "torture." Last August Mr. Rumsfeld's top intelligence official sent Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the commander of the Guantánamo prison, to Iraq. General Miller recommended that the guards help interrogators, including private contractors, by handling prisoners in a way that "sets the conditions" for "successful interrogation and exploitation." What did he and his superiors think would happen?

To their credit, some supporters of the administration are speaking out. "This is about system failure," said Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina. But do Mr. Graham, John McCain and other appalled lawmakers understand their own role in that failure? By deferring to the administration at every step, by blocking every effort to make officials accountable, they set the nation up for this disaster. You can't prevent any serious inquiry into why George Bush led us to war to eliminate W.M.D. that didn't exist and to punish Saddam for imaginary ties to Al Qaeda, then express shock when Mr. Bush's administration fails to follow the rules on other matters.

Meanwhile, Abu Ghraib will remain in use, under its new commander: General Miller of Guantánamo. Donald Rumsfeld has "accepted responsibility" - an action that apparently does not mean paying any price at all. And Dick Cheney says, "Don Rumsfeld is the best secretary of defense the United States has ever had. . . . People should get off his case and let him do his job." In other words: Just trust us.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!

Monday, May 10, 2004

Third Parties - Are They Useless?

The following is an email I sent to a friend of mine after a discussion online about why one third party member couldn't vote for another third party's candidate (we're talking Libertaran and Constitution parties here, which are 99% the same).

I've about given up on political parties as a tool altogether. I can accomplish a few things via the Libertarian Party and it's a nice addition to the "activist resume" to include that, but I'm questioning whether I will continue my membership. I dropped membership in the NRA-ILA thanks to their worthless "action" and continual activity as the National Republican Apologists. I may do the same for Libertarians.

The biggest problem I've found with third parties is that, for the most part, they attract idealists who may or may not have an ideal completely coherent with the rest of the group. These idealists are generally not activists, but are eggheads. Thanks to this, they spend very little time actually DOING anything and a whole lot of time ARGUING semantics and philosophical points with one another.

Thanks to this lack of coherence, lack of activity, and general anti-social behavior, third parties rarely attract anyone beyond their limited appeal radius. Thus we have not the Constitution Party, the Libertarian Party, or the Green Party; instead we have the Religious Constitutionalists, the Ayn Randians, and the Socialist Nature Party.

Literally, I don't plan to work very hard to get elected. I don't plan to kill myself or continue to kill my business to sacrifice for political change in Utah (with or without the LP). Instead, we're going to leave. We've found a place that's liberty-oriented already, can be controlled at the county level with very few of us like-minded people going there, etc.

Our plan is to take over Crook County in Wyoming and make it a "free western state" by controlling the county government (including Sheriff; law is useless without enforcement) with liberty-minded people (voters). Who knows? Eventually this may mean that the whole of Wyoming becomes the same way...

I went to a meeting in Montana discussing this idea with several others. We've got about a dozen people ready to move within the next 12 months and another 20+ within 24. People from all over the place (Canada, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and more). Our basic blueprint is the book "Molon Labe" by Boston T. Party (molon labe is Greek for "Come and take them!").

Utah will never change. Too much control is exerted by the dominant religion, the sheeple, and the UEA. People here literally do not WANT to change. They're taught from birth in their church that "contention" is bad and to go along to get along--I should know, I got that for fifteen years before I finally told them where to stick it. (I'm aweful's the red hair.)

The hill is too steep and is covered in gravel and grease. I'm no longer willing to skin my knees trying to climb.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!