The Militant Libertarian

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

Saturday, July 25, 2009

How It Works

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

OK Cop Who Assaulted Paramedic Gets Unpaid Suspension

The Associated Press is reporting that Daniel Martin, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper caught on video throttling paramedic Maurice White Jr., was put on unpaid suspension for five days. Martin must also undergo an anger assessment.

Maurice White’s attorney said the paramedic was disappointed by the suspension.
A video released by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety clearly shows Martin assaulting White on the side of the road in Okfuskee County, Oklahoma. A cell phone video of the assault posted on YouTube received well over a million views and was the second most-watched video on May 30. A Fox station in Tulsa filed a Freedom of Information request for the dash cam but the OHP stonewalled the request. Late on June 12, the department finally released the video. It was posted on YouTube on June 13.

Police initially said the EMT vehicle failed to yield and this was the reason Martin confronted White, assaulted him and threatened to arrest him. But the police video reveals that the EMT was unable to immediately yield due to a car pulling over in the breakdown lane on the side of the road.
On June 12, White said he doesn’t want to see anyone else in the position he was in. “Whatever we have to make sure that that never occurs again and that some definitive light is shed on the problems with the OHP, we will go forward and do it whatever that takes,” he told NewsOn6 in Oklahoma.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

NY man forcibly sedated for cavity search gets $125k settlement

Freedom Shenanigans & High Jinks

A man who was forcibly injected with sedative drugs by police so a doctor could search for other drugs in his rectum will receive a handsome settlement from Albany County, New York and Albany Medical Center, a local publication reported Saturday.

“The settlement stems from a federal lawsuit filed two years ago by Tunde Clement, an ex-convict arrested by sheriff’s investigators on March 13, 2006, at the Albany bus terminal,” reported The Times Union.

Following Clement’s forced drugging, a doctor put a camera in his rectum, discovering no drugs. “[The] final indignity came when the hospital sent Clement a bill for $6,792,” noted the Associated Press.

“Clement’s suit claimed his civil rights were violated,” The Times-Union continued. “He filed the federal complaint against Albany Med and several doctors and nurses, and also sued Albany County and Sheriff James Campbell, Inspector John Burke, who heads the narcotics squad that arrested Clement, and eight investigators assigned to Burke’s unit.”

‘Cavity epidemic in Albany’?

Clement is not the first to accuse the Albany police of an unwarranted cavity search. New York criminal defense attorney Scott Greenfield, on his blog Simple Justice, exclaimed that a “cavity epidemic” is underway in Albany.

Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley explained the seeming rash of invasive searches on his blog:

Women have accused the police of conducting cavity searches with little or no suspicion of crime acts. Crystal Royal, 22, has sued, alleging that she was strip-searched in January by the Albany Police Department and then forced to undergo a pelvic cavity search at Albany Medical Center Hospital. Nothing was found.

This filing follows another complaint by Lisa Shutter who charged that she was given a cavity search on a public street during a traffic stop in December.

Royal said that was stopped by police on the interstate even though she had valid license and properly registered car. She also alleges that police took her cellphone and inspected her call list. She was then given a strip search and cavity search at the station — nothing was found. She was later charged with a felony drug conspiracy count.

The Times-Union noted: “People under arrest normally cannot be forcibly sedated without a court order unless they are in imminent danger, such as when a bag of drugs bursts inside them and they have a seizure or fall unconscious. The hospital’s records indicate Clement was behaving normally and showed no signs of any medical emergency.”

“There are a bunch of people running around Albany in uniform, with guns and shields, committing crimes against people and collecting public paychecks for their efforts,” wrote Greenfield. “Who stops them? How would you like to be Lisa Shutter explaining why the cops performed a cavity search of you on the street. How would you like to be the doctor drugging Tunde Clement and performing an anoscopy because the cops told you to do it. This is mere inches away from Abner Louima.”

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Friday, July 24, 2009

How Israel Lobby Took Control Of US Foreign Policy

by Jeff Gates

In the early 1960s, Senator William J. Fulbright fought to force the American Zionist Council to register as agents of a foreign government. The Council eluded registration by reorganizing as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. AIPAC has since become what Fulbright most feared: a foreign agent dominating American foreign policy while disguised as a domestic lobby.

Israelis and pro-Israelis object when they hear that charge. How, they ask, can we so few wield such influence over so many? Answer: it’s all in the math. And in the single-issue advocacy brought to bear on US policy-making by dozens of ‘domestic’ organizations that now compose the Israel lobby, with AIPAC its most visible force.

The political math was enabled by Senator John McCain whose support for all things Israeli ensured him the GOP nomination to succeed Christian-Zionist G.W. Bush. McCain’s style of campaign finance reform proved a perfect fit for the Diaspora-based fundraising on which the lobby relies. Co-sponsored by Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, this change in federal election law typifies how Israeli influence became systemic.

‘McCain-Feingold’ raised the amount (from $1,000 to $2,300) that candidates can receive from individuals in primary and general elections. A couple can now contribute a combined $9,200 to federal candidates: $4,600 in each of the primary and general elections. Primary elections, usuall low-budget, are particularly easy to sway.

Importantly for the Diaspora, this change also doubled the funds candidates can receive without regard to where those contributors reside. A candidate in Iowa, say, may have only a few pro-Israeli constituents. When campaign support is provided by a nationwide network of pro-Israelis, that candidate can more easily be persuaded to support policies sought by Tel Aviv.

Diaspora-based fundraising has long been used by the lobby with force-multiplying success to shape US foreign policy. Under the guise of reform, John McCain doubled the financial resources that the lobby can deploy to elect and retain its supporters.

Fulbright was Right

The influence-peddling process works like this. Candidates are summoned for in-depth AIPAC interviews. Those found sufficiently committed to Israel’s agenda are provided a list of donors likely to “max out” their campaign contributions. Or the process can be made even easier when AIPAC-approved candidates are given the name of a “bundler.”

Bundlers raise funds from the Diaspora and bundle those contributions to present them to the candidate. No quid pro quo need be mentioned. After McCain-Feingold became law in 2003, AIPAC-identified bundlers could raise $1 million-plus for AIPAC-approved candidates simply by contacting ten like-minded supporters. Here’s the math:

The bundler and spouse “max out” for $9,200 and call ten others, say in Manhattan, Miami, and Beverly Hills. Each of them max out ($10 x $9,200) and call ten others for a total of 11. [111 x $9,200 = $1,021,200.]

Imagine the incentive to do well in the AIPAC interview. One call from the lobby and a candidate can collect enough cash to mount a credible campaign in most Congressional districts. From Tel Aviv’s perspective, that political leverage is leveraged yet again because fewer than ten percent of the 435 House races are competitive in any election cycle (typically 35 to 50).

Additional force-multipliers come from: (a) sustaining this financial focus over multiple cycles, (b) using funds to gain and retain seniority for those serving on Congressional committees key to promoting Israeli goals, and (c) opposing any candidates who question those goals.

Jewish Achievement reports that 42% of the largest political donors to the 2000 election cycle were Jewish, including four of the top five. That compares to less than 2% of Americans who are Jewish. Of the Forbes 400 richest Americans, 25% are Jewish according to Michael Steinhardt, a key funder of the Democratic Leadership Council. The DLC was led by Jewish Zionist Senator Joe Lieberman when he resigned in 2000 to run as vice president with pro-Israeli presidential candidate Al Gore.

Money was never a constraint. Pro-Israeli donors were limited only by how much they could lawfully contribute to AIPAC-screened candidates. McCain-Feingold raised a key limit. The full impact of this foreign influence has yet to be tallied. What’s known, however, is sufficient to apply the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Of the top 50 neoconservatives who advocated war in Iraq, 26 were Jewish (52%).

Harry Truman, a Christian Zionist, remains one of the more notable recipients of funds. In 1948, he was trailing badly in the polls and in fundraising. His prospects brightened dramatically in May after he recognized as a legitimate state an enclave of Jewish extremists who originally planned to settle in Argentina before putting their sights on Palestine.

That recognition was opposed by Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the bulk of the diplomatic corps, the fledgling Central Intelligence Agency and numerous distinguished Americans, including moderate and secular Jews concerned at the troubles that were certain to follow. Not until 1984 was it revealed that a network of Jewish Zionists had funded Truman’s campaign by financially refueling his whistle-stop campaign train with $400,000 in cash ($3 million in 2009 dollars).

To buy time on the public’s airwaves, money raised from the Israel lobby’s network is paid to media outlets largely owned or managed by members of the same network. Presidents, Senators and Congressmen come and go but those who collect the checks rack up the favors that amass lasting political influence.

The US system of government is meant to ensure that members of the House represent the concerns of Americans who reside in Congressional districts—not a nationally dispersed network (a Diaspora) committed to advancing the agenda of a foreign nation. Federal elections are meant to hold Senators accountable to constituents who reside in the states they represent—not out-of-state residents or a foreign government.

In practical effect, McCain-Feingold hastened a retreat from representative government by granting a nationwide network of foreign agents disproportionate influence over elections in every state and Congressional district. Campaign finance ‘reform’ enabled this network to amass even more political clout—wielding influence disproportionate to their numbers, indifferent to their place of residence and often contrary to America’s interests.

This force-multiplier is now wielded in plain sight, with impunity and under cover of free speech, free elections, free press and even the freedom of religion. Therein lies the perils of an entangled alliance that induced the US to invade Iraq and now seeks war with Iran. By allowing foreign agents to operate as a domestic lobby, the US was induced to confuse Zionist interests with its own.

Jeff Gates is A widely acclaimed author, attorney, investment banker, educator and consultant to government, corporate and union leaders worldwide. Gates’ latest book is Guilt By Association—How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War (2008). His previous books include Democracy at Risk: Rescuing Main Street From Wall Street and The Ownership Solution: Toward a Shared Capitalism for the 21st Century. For two decades, he was an adviser to policy-makers worldwide and Counsel to the US Senate Finance Committee (1980-87)—working with Senator Russell Long of Louisiana.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Government Creates Human Suffering

by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Just how bad is the current plague of economic fallacy?

Consider the front page of the New York Times today (July 15, 2009):

SEACHANGE IS SET IN A HEALTH PLAN – House Democratic leaders took a big step toward guaranteeing health insurance for most Americans on Tuesday as they unveiled a bill that detailed how they would expand coverage, slow the growth of Medicare, raise taxes on high-income people and penalize employers who do not provide health benefits to their workers.

A BLEAKER PATH FOR WORKERS TO SLOG – In California and a handful of other states, one out of every five people who would like to be working full time is not now doing so. It is a startling sign of the pain that the Great Recession is inflicting, and it is largely missed by the official, oft-repeated statistics on unemployment.

It's sometimes said that economics is a difficult subject because it requires high-level, abstract thinking, and tracing of cause and effect through several logical steps. And yet, really, how hard can it be to see the contradiction in the above?

Here is the problem. Mandating benefits to employees imposes costs on employment. The would-be worker bears the cost. It makes the worker more expensive to hire. The employer has to pay not only a salary but also a benefit. If you make it more expensive to hire people, fewer people will be hired.

It is no different from eggs at the supermarket. If they are $2 each, you will purchase fewer of them – you will economize. This is nothing but the law of demand: consumers will demand less of a good at a higher price than a lower price. A salary plus benefits amounts to a price that the employer must pay to purchase the work of a laborer. At a higher price, less work will be purchased by the employer.

That means that requiring employers to provide health benefits to employees and potential employees will make the job situation today worse not better. It will intensify the current problem that people want to work more but are having a hard time getting employers to hire them.

The answer is the same in every recessionary environment. The price of labor must fall in order for the surplus of workers to be absorbed into the market. Raising the cost of hiring only further entrenches the problem and creates new forms of unemployment.

There is no real reason to prove these assertions empirically since they flow from the logic of economics. Nonetheless, Richard Vedder and Lowell Gallaway spent years accumulating evidence of the link between full employment and lower labor costs, on the one hand, and higher labor costs and unemployment on the other. What they found in their book Out of Work was that the entire problem (or nearly the entire problem) of unemployment can be explained through the issue of the costs of hiring and employing. In other words, there is no mystery here. Unemployment can be created or solved by the application of policies and laws.

In a free market, however, there is no unemployment that persists that isn't chosen by the workers themselves. That's because the price of labor is continually fluctuating based on supply and demand. Everyone who wants to work can work, simply because we live in a world in which there is always work to do. Only artificial interventions can generate the unemployment problem we have today.

Even so, and for reasons that are unknown and can only mystify the learned person, the Congress and the Obama administration keep trying to pretend as if reality doesn't exist. Here they are imagining that they can just order businesses to give everyone health care and then suddenly health care for all comes into being.

As with all programs, we have to ask: what is the cost? I don't mean what the cost adds up to in terms of government spending. I mean: what is the social cost of overpricing labor relative to what the market would bear? In this case, there is no way to know in advance, but we can know that fewer people will be hired than otherwise.

And then what happens? Business goes to government hoping for a subsidy or for fully socialized medicine as a way of sloughing off the costs on the whole of society instead of bearing them directly.

Sadly, there is no way that free health care can be granted to all living things with the stroke of a pen. Broadening availability will require that the entire sector be turned over to the private sector, so that it can be controlled through the price system like everything else.

As it is, the imposition of new penalties on business will make them less, not more, likely to hire people, which will thereby intensify the labor problem. It is like trying to cure a drug overdose with the injection of poison. New mandates on business are exactly what we do not need.

In other words, the whole idea is just plain dumb, not to mention incredibly ill-timed. The worst possible time to be imposing new mandates on business of any sort is during a downturn. Make the mandates labor specific and you have a recipe for causing the unemployment rate to land in the double digits and go up from there, higher and higher until the entire economy shuts down.

Presumably, not even Congress and the President would benefit from this result.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Will the Republicans Save Us?

by Laurence M. Vance

Now that the Democrats have regained complete control of the government, many conservatives are looking to the Republicans in Congress to save us from the socialism and fascism of the Democrats. As we saw when Clinton was president, many Republicans have started talking, and some have started acting, like the conservative advocates of liberty and less government they claim to be. Will the Republicans save us?

Don’t count on it.

So why am I so pessimistic? Because I actually check how the Republicans in Congress vote instead of just listening to their free-market, limited government, and anti-Democratic rhetoric, that’s why.

The New American magazine’s "Freedom Index" for the new 111th Congress has just been released. The higher the number on this index, the stronger a congressman’s "adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, and a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements." Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) scored a perfect 100 on the House version of the index, as he consistently does. This time, however, two other Republicans in the House (John Duncan of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona) also scored a 100. The high scorer in the Senate was Tom Coburn (R-OK), with a 100.

The composition of the 111th Congress in the House is 256 Democrats and 178 Republicans (there is one vacancy). In the Senate, there are 58 Democrats, 2 Independents, and 40 Republicans.

The ten issues that members of the 111th Congress in the House are being rated on this time are TARP funding, reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), economic stimulus spending, national service, federal funding of more police, the $3.56 trillion federal budget, hate crimes legislation, supplemental appropriations for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, TSA use of body imaging screening, and the "cash for clunkers" program.

In the Senate, the issues are TARP funding, the Mexico City Policy on abortion funding, SCHIP reauthorization, economic stimulus spending, District of Columbia congressional voting rights, the Fairness Doctrine, national service, the federal budget, funding for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and supplemental appropriations.

The average House score on the "Freedom Index" is 38; the average Senate score is 34. The average Republican score in the House is 71; the average Republican score in the Senate is 76. (The Republican average in the Senate should actually be less since Arlen Specter [D-PA] was a Republican for the first seven of the ten Senate votes tracked by the "Freedom Index.") Obviously, the Democratic averages are less than the overall averages.

Okay, so the Republicans don’t look too bad – if we compare them with the Democrats. And that’s the problem. When the Republicans look good, it is usually because they are being compared with the Democrats. Even when they look bad, they end up looking good because they are said to be the lesser of two evils.

But judged by the standards of liberty and the Constitution, the Republicans in the House only get a C–, while those in the Senate get a C. This is not good for a party whose members take an oath to uphold the Constitution and profess to believe in free markets and limited government. Who praises their kids for having a C average on their report card?

Another reason I am not excited about these Republican scores is that their numbers in previous editions of the "Freedom Index" are much, much lower. For example, the last "Freedom Index" gave the cumulative scores for forty key votes in the 110th Congress. The Republican average in the Senate was a pathetic 47. But shouldn’t we still be happy about the higher scores for the Republicans in the 111th Congress? Yes and no. I rejoice that many Republicans have started acting like the defenders of liberty and less government they claim to be. But I am not dumb enough to think that they are doing it for any other reason than they are opposing the Democrats. Almost half of the Republicans in the House and over two-thirds of the Republicans in the Senate voted for the bailout bill (H.R. 1424) last year. What a difference a Democratic president makes.

Am I being too hard on the Republicans? I think not.

When we dig a little deeper into the legislation tracked by the "Freedom Index" we see that it’s not just a few bad grapes that are corrupting the Republican vine. The Republicans show themselves to be against liberty and limited government on certain key issues. On the issue of national service, 70 Republicans in the House and 22 in the Senate voted for The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act (H.R. 1388). On the supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 2346) that funneled another $84.5 billion to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and authorized another $10 billion in foreign aid, only 9 Republicans in the House and 1 in the Senate voted no. A House vote authorizing the federal government to spend $1.8 billion a year to hire local law-enforcement officers through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program (H.R. 1139) was supported by 94 Republicans. There were 59 House Republicans that voted for the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act (H.R. 2751), known as the "cash for clunkers" program. This authorizes the federal government to give consumers rebates of up to $4,500 for trading in their old cars for more fuel-efficient ones. I am still trying to find authorization for that one in the Constitution.

I applaud the Republicans for overwhelmingly rejecting Obama’s economic stimulus (The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act [H.R. 1]) and bloated federal budget. But where were these born-again fiscal conservatives during the Bush years? Is there any doubt that a McCain stimulus and a McCain budget would be strongly supported by most of the Republicans in Congress? How can anyone look at the Republican track record and think otherwise?

So, can we look to the Republicans to save us? Obviously not. So many of them violate the Constitution without even blinking, the vast majority of them still support billions more in spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and so few of them are even close to being Ron Paul Republicans.

As I have said on several occasions, I rarely bother to write about the evils of the Democratic Party. The socialist and statist policies of the Democratic Party are well known and expected. The Democrats don’t masquerade as advocates of more liberty and less government. They openly preach the redistribution of wealth, draconian environmental laws, the nanny state, and massive increases in government intervention in the economy and society. The only thing surprising about the Democrats turning this country into a socialist/fascist paradise is the speed in which they are going about it.

We can count on the Republicans to oppose some of the socialism and fascism of the Democrats, grudgingly go along with some of it in exchange for something they want, wholeheartedly support some of it, and then, as we saw in the Bush years, enact some of their own once they get in power.

This means that if we’re looking to the Republicans save us, we’re doomed.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Right to a Guilty Verdict

by Jacob Sullum, Reason
Obama's empty promise of due process for terrorism suspects

In a speech he gave a couple of months ago, President Obama said he was determined to guarantee "meaningful due process rights" for terrorism suspects. But it turns out he is committed to due process only when it achieves the result he wants.

Last week the Defense Department's top lawyer declared that the president has the authority to detain people accused of belonging to or assisting terrorist groups even after they're acquitted. The only point of prosecuting them, it seems, is to create an impression of due process while continuing Bush detention policies that Obama has repeatedly condemned.

We already knew that Obama plans to keep 90 or so of the 229 men who remain at the Guantanamo Bay prison, which he has promised to close by January, in "prolonged detention" without trial. In his May speech the president said these prisoners "cannot be prosecuted" because there is not enough admissible evidence against them yet cannot be released because they "pose a clear danger to the American people."

But Obama promised to minimize the number of detainees who fall into that category. "Whenever feasible," he said, "we will try those who have violated American criminal laws in federal courts." If that's not possible, he said, suspected terrorists can be tried by military commissions, which "allow for the protection of sensitive sources and methods of intelligence gathering" and "for the presentation of evidence gathered from the battlefield that cannot always be effectively presented in federal courts."

Obama, who criticized the Bush administration for failing to give detainees due process, bragged about strengthening protections for the accused. Thanks to his reforms, he said, defendants tried by military commissions will have "greater latitude in selecting their own counsel" and "more protections if they refuse to testify"; introducing hearsay evidence will be harder, and statements elicited through "cruel, inhuman, or degrading interrogation methods" will be banned.

But how "meaningful" can such due process rights be when a conviction is the only outcome the government plans to respect? "If you have the authority under the laws of war to detain someone," Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week, "it is true irrespective of what happens on the prosecution side....If a review panel has determined this person is a security threat [and] if for some reason he is not convicted for a lengthy prison sentence...we would have the ability to detain him."

It's hard to imagine a situation in which the government thinks it has enough evidence to convict someone on terrorism charges but doesn't think he poses "a security threat." Since only guilty verdicts count, Obama might as well go directly to "prolonged detention" by presidential order, except that would reveal how little difference there is between him and his predecessor in this area.

Although Obama faults the Bush administration's "ad hoc legal approach," he too is leaving his options open. "We are indeed at war with Al Qaeda and its affiliates," he says. The implication is that anyone accused of ties to Islamic terrorism—which could mean anything from undergoing training or planning an attack to donating money or building a website—can be treated as a prisoner of war, held without trial until the "cessation of hostilities" (in effect, forever). Alternatively, he can be tried by a military commission for violating the laws of war, or he can be tried in federal court on a charge such as providing material support for terrorism.

"In our constitutional system," Obama says, "prolonged detention should not be the decision of any one man." Yet under the principles he and his underlings have laid out, the choice of how to treat a given terrorism suspect—whether apprehended here or abroad, on a battlefield or off, now or in the future—is entirely up to him.

In the end it may not matter much. When freedom is not a real possibility, due process is just for show.

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason and a nationally syndicated columnist.

© Copyright 2009 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

The Climate Bill’s Only Winners Are Lobbyists and Congress

by Aaron Turpen

The climate bill that passed the House of Representatives in June 26, called the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (HR2454, aka “ACES”) and better known as the Cap-and-Trade Bill, had many benefits. None of those benefits were for the American people or even the climate.

All of those benefits were for the lobbyists and Legislators.

On July 14, the non-partisan, non-profit group published their findings of what they called the “watered down climate bill.” In that report, they compared proposed amendments and the person(s) proposing them to the campaign funding and donations received from groups related to the changes that amendment would make.

What they found is that, behind the rhetoric, ACES was just more business as usual in Washington. Those who got paid, performed for their benefactors. Those who didn’t, voted against.

Several amendments are on the ACES list that MAPLight compiled. What was most interesting to me, however, was how truly bipartisan the bribe-taking was. Going down the list of Congressmen and their party affiliation shows that Democrat or Republican, it made no difference. They were all running around with their hand out, waiting for the highest bidder.

As a for instance, let’s look at the “redefining renewable energy” markups. Fred Upton (R-MI) offered an amendment to redefine renewable energy to include nuclear energy. His amendment was narrowly defeated (29-26). Those who supported his amendment received twice as much money from nuclear interests as those who voted no. I guess the nuclear pushers didn’t pay off enough people.

In fact, about the only amendment proposed that was distributed almost entirely on party lines was the now-famous Randy Forbes (R-VA) bill that would have gutted the entire climate bill to start with. This is not surprising, since top contributors to Forbes’ campaigns from 2003-08 were a gas pipeline construction company, large defense contractors, and similar groups. All of which lobbied to oppose the Cap-and-Trade bill.

Even more telling, though, is when you go beyond MAPLight’s analysis and look at who benefits from the ACES bill as a whole. This is easily measured, since the number one thing the ACES bill does is create a new commodities market for carbon emissions. Assuming the bill passes as-is through the Senate, of course.

Who will benefit the most from that new carbon market? Why, those who are already trading in the underground carbon offsets market and those who are poised with an on-the-books carbon market right now.

Is there such a thing already? Has there already been a carbon market created in the U.S. by someone who stands to benefit greatly were it enacted into law and made mandatory to corporations around the nation that they participate?

Of course. That person’s name is Al Gore.

Gore’s private equity firm, called Generation Investment Management (GIM), isn’t even based in the U.S. It’s in London. This firm purchases carbon offsets from green companies and endeavors around the globe and then sells those offsets to its clients. Basically, a business that produces emissions can offset those by purchasing offsets (investing in) companies that do the reverse.

That in itself is laudable and creates no free market problems. It’s voluntary, fits into the paradigm of businesses working together in non-coercion, and could be productive. Where it gets tricky is when the overall “carbon market” is considered.

This market includes several foundations and exchange groups. The largest of the carbon exchange groups is Chicago-based CCX (Chicago Climate eXchange) and the Carbon Neutral Company (CNC) of Great Britain. These two are likely to become either the excahnges of choice for an ACES-created carbon market, or the measuring sticks used to build a new one.

In either case, the co-founder of Gore’s GIM is Hank Paulson. Recognize that name? Yep, Treasury Secretary and former Goldman Sachs CEO Paulson. Sachs owns 10% of CCX. In fact, most of the founding partners of Gore’s GIM are Sachs officials or former management. Including Peter Knight, Gore’s Chief of Staff when he was in the Senate and manager of the Clinton-Gore re-election campaign in 1996.

This means that if Cap-and-Trade becomes a reality, Gore will be at the forefront of those who’ll profit by it in a huge way. Not only will his own offset investment group be ready to pounce and start taking futures, but his stake in America’s only current, recognized carbon exchange will be worth a lot of money.

The Capital Research Center (CRC)’s Foundation Watch published a short, 9-page pamphlet entitled “Al Gore’s Carbon Crusade: The Money and Connections Behind It” in 2007. That short pamphlet details much more than I’ve done here and clearly shows who really benefits from a carbon tax.

It also shows why Al Gore has featured so prominently in early (one-sided) debates, the introduction of ACES, and other climate change legislative work in the past few years.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Aaron's Big Fat and Deadly Political Party Rant

I'm sick of hearing from Republicans who tell me about the evil Democrats and their plans. I'm tired of hearing from Democrats who tell me about their heartless Republican enemy's plans. I'm sick of hearing from Libertarian Party and Constitutional Party members telling me about how evil the Big 2 are and why we need to stop voting for them.

Let me tell you all something. This is extremely important. It's so fucking important, in fact, that you need to put down whatever you might be doing, turn off the TV, unplug the radio, and pay full attention to me. America's entire future hinges on you fully comprehending what I'm about to tell you:

Political parties are for brainless nitwits and soulless politicians.

Got it? If that makes total sense to you and you're nodding your head in agreement, then feel free to turn the TV back on or plug the radio back in or whatever. You've already "got it" and don't need to read any more from me.

For the rest of you, let me explain as you begin composing your hate mail to me.

Democrats: Your party is corrupt, sold out to the socialist and corporate interests decades ago, and is filled with jackasses like Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. Just looking at those two hosebags, who the fuck can take your shit-ass party seriously? I mean comon! There is no bankrupted social policy your adulterating, sellout asshole leadership won't support. Think about it, dipshit. They were in power for the last FOUR YEARS of Bush's reign. Did they get us out of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Fuck no, they didn't even try. Why not? Because they never plan to, you dimwit. Wake up!

Republicans: Don't think you get a free ride here, you Bible-thumpin boner. Your party is the very fucking definition of "sellout." Not only do your party's members sell themselves to the highest bidder, but most of them will vote for anything. Literally. Even if it's a completely non-conservative, unconstitutional, Marxist program like Cap-n-Trade. They're all over it. Dick Cheney and his evil, horned-devil bald head is the perfect symbol for your flatulence-laden rhetoric-spewing political shit house. Sorry, asshole, you can't "save the party from within" or "restore conservative values" to your whorehouse. It's done. Stick a fork in it. You've been trying for twenty years to "get the party back." Ain't gonna happen. Wake up and smell the dung heap the elephant left you, Gomer.

Third Party Types: This is for you, LP, CP, GP, INeedaP party members. Your political party is fucking pointless. It's a glorified debate club that couldn't win an election if it were the only candidate running. Prance around the Tea Party all you want with your little signs and pump out those (totally ignored) press releases and blame the main stream media for not giving you a chance all you want, fucknut, but face the truth. Your political party will never be anything but a hobby. Stop wasting your time and money on a dead horse. Just because I got "Libertarian" in my name doesn't mean I endorse the hosers in the LP, either. I left the LP long ago. I'm a libertarian in the same sense that Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry were libertarians. In other words, I define it by my political thought and philosophy, not a bunch of 1970s hippie fucking talking points and party platform stances. Oh, and you Constitution Party ballsacks? I don't see the word "God" in the Constitution anywhere. Do you? Get off it already!

My Killer Solution That Solves All These Problems and Wakes You The Fuck Up

OK, now my rant gets serious. I'm gonna show you how to actually become effective and useful in today's political climate. This right here is the next big thing in political action. It's what will save our country and fix the entire Goddamned world. Wanna know what it is? First, you gotta send me $49.95 (money order, gold, silver, or cash only), chump.

What do you think I wrote this rant for? Amusement? Hell no, I'm a frikkin' capitalist, jerky.

Alright, I'm kidding. I'm trusting that you'll find this valuable enough that you'll spend the next half hour clicking on every advertisement on this site and buying shit from my affiliate sponsors so I can actually make money off this page. Or you'll at least go to and buy at least ten of every shirt you see there. Fifteen if you really love me. I swear to send you a personal note taking back all the swear words I used on you in this post if you do that. Really.

I'll write 'em out in a fucking list, including my use of the word "fucking" right here (twice). All you gotta do is cough up some jang for my t-shirts, which are brilliantly designed and extremely badass.

Now For the Real Solution, I Swear

Alright, enough capitalistic ranting. Now for the gist of the deal here. This is what all of you need to do right after you finish buying all the t-shirts from that you can get your grubby hands on:

1. Buy guns. Lots of 'em. Not the legal ones either, but the ones you don't have to fill out any NCIC or federal paperwork on. Get 'em from the newspaper, the gun show, whatever. Then bury 'em. Buy some PVC or body bags or whatever you can get and bury those weapons (along with the ammo to go with, of course). Why? Because they're gonna come search your house and vehicles and take all the ones you haven't buried. Soon. So hurry up.

2. Know who your friends are. The true friends. The good ones. The ones who'll give you half their jerky and at least one can from the six pack. Those friends. If your friend wears any kind of badge? Not your friend. Disown them. Until they wake up and realize what their job really entails (I don't care if they're the damned fire chief) or what they're going to be asked to do, they aren't your friends. They're a government mole. There are no "good cops." That stopped fifty years ago.

3. Learn who the government agents in your town or general area (if you're stupid enough to live in a city) are. I mean the legitimate ones, this isn't some kind of McCarthy witch hunt for "informants." You can do that later. Learn who the IRS, FBI, CIA, military intelligence, whatever are. If they work for a company that uses initials instead of a name, they're an agent. Memorize their faces, names, and homes. You'll need it later. Those are the places you'll be avoiding and the people you'll be ostracizing when the shit hits the fan. They're the enemy.

4. Become intimately familiar with your political "leaders." The mayor, council, state reps, the dung bucket you send to Washington, etc. Know them, their families, and their meeting places. They're also the enemy.

5. Stop voting. It's a waste of time and effort. Nobody counts your vote (officially) and it's just another scam to get you to register for something. Your vote accomplishes nothing. The only candidates who will ever get elected are Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, both of whom are prostitutes and pedophiles all rolled into one. Stop legitimizing them with your wasted votes.

6. Get a dog. A cat is an OK second choice, but you really should adopt a dog. Why? Two reasons, actually. First, if #2 shows you that you have no real friends, you'll have one with Fido. Second, if the #3's get around your defenses and kick in your door, they'll shoot your dog. That should piss you off enough to stop second-guessing and start fucking shooting back.

7. Shoot back. The shit will hit the fan, trust me. When it does, don't bother hoping for your day in court. If it does happen, it will be a kangaroo court, so you're toast. The feds and press will have you convicted before you even see a judge anyway.

8. Don't hold me responsible for anything. I'm responsible for nothing you do. Take the consequences of your actions like a man and walk it off, wuss.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Farewell to a Favorite Blog - Thanks, Leftist Nazis!

One of my favorite blogs, which I read mostly via RSS, is shutting down. Why? Not because the blogger (Becky C) can't do it it anymore, but because the leftist losers think the First Amendment only applies to "approved" speech.

In other words, this libertarian lesbian named Becky only qualifies because she's a girl and she's gay, but because she's not a socialist hate-monger like the "approved" left, she's out.

They've managed to harass her blog into oblivion, getting Google (who owns to put an "objectionable content" warning on her blog, which effectively bars it from search engines and makes some people balk about entering the blog to read.

So she's been shut down by Web Nazis who probably believe they're "doing the right thing" by doing it. Brainwashed heathens that they are, they can't fathom the idea of a lesbian being libertarian instead of an Obamabot like they are.

So farewell, Becky C, and I'll miss your ramblings on Girl in Short Shorts. While I wasn't there for the whole three years, I was there long enough to enjoy your wit and commentary.

Yet another freedom fighter shot down by the morons-that-be.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

The Basic Beliefs of Aaron the Militant - unedited and RAW!

In an email conversation between a reader of this blog and myself, a discussion has emerged in which we initially traded reasons why I was so angry at things in general and eventually towards our opinions on what is going on socially and politically today.

In that conversation, I assumed that because of his cogent points, my "adversary" was a Christian (of the Jesus as Treehugger sect) or similar pacifist. Turns out, he's not, but he's an atheist and general socialist (not sure how to qualify that, maybe Democratic Progressive, but that seems a little heavy handed).

At any rate, I realized that our views are not necessarily exclusive, at least so far as the observations of the problems that need repair. Our divergence comes from our way of handling the perceived problems. He made the point that human greed and selfishness got us into our current mess (economic, environmental, and so forth).

That, in a nutshell, leads us to the following email. I sent this as a response to his earlier revelation that he is an atheist (or at least doesn't believe in God) and some of his basically socialist answers to those problems. I felt the need to spell out my basic philosophy on things of this nature and explain why I had assumed (ASSofUandME) him to be a Christian.

Here is, from that email, my basic, boilerplate philosophy on life, politics, and religion:

I think that in some ways we're very similar. I believe in God, but am not a Christian. I use Christianity because the dogma is what I know and it's what most of those who "confront" me believe in and use as their basis.

I think we're both in consensus on human selfishness. The difference between us is whether it should be controlled or harnessed. I personally believe in harnessing it. In a freely interactive society with a free and open market, each person acting in his/her self-interest is nearly always also working in the best interests of the collective.

The reason this is so is because of the way humans interact with one another. While business interests are usually talked about, traditionally, only in terms of dollars and cents, this leaves out the social activity that is also inherent in business. Business itself, when looked at this way, is merely a social interaction that involves goods and services in a barter (be it trade or money).

It's only when governments begin to interfere in this and assert authority over it that the dynamic changes. Most of the atrocities we see around the world wherein a business interest is raping the area of resources are thanks to governments being involved. They facilitate the pillage.

Poor areas would not likely remain in poverty (measured in standards of living, not money, as many can live happily without ever seeing a dollar in some areas of the world) if their governments did not facilitate or cause that poverty. Big businesses usually league themselves with these governments and prolong the poverty for their own gain.

Quite often our own best intentions lead only to this same cycle. Most of the foreign aid we give goes to warlords, corrupt governments, and governments that actively promote acts of genocide and death. Yet we keep doing so. Fully 1/3 of our foreign aid budget goes directly to Israel, one of the richest countries in the world.

Then we see government get involved in other things that further destroy the social interaction that should be inherent in business. Minimum wage laws raise unemployment, federal requirements force small businesses to offer only the minimums rather than talk to and negotiate with employees, and taxation (Social Security) and other requirements make it more cost-effective for some businesses to hire illegal workers or pay cash for wages rather than deal with the expense and hassle.

Finally, we come your last point: "doing it for them."

That is a common argument I have with Christians too. Somehow, the idea that government is more moral than the people who run it and interact with it facilitates the idea that the government can also legislate and enforce morality amongst the populace.

I would say that this is bunk. There will always be those who are not going to give anything to anyone. Before government-run welfare, when churches and private enterprise took care of most of our welfare needs, those people who weren't willing to contribute were disliked by the community as a whole and suffered socially because of it. Now, the excuse that "my taxes pay for it," is used even by those who would otherwise give. I run into this all the time when soliciting donations for our animal rescue.

If morality is required by law, it is still morality? If moral decisions are not made by free choice, but instead are made by force of law, is it still a moral decision? I would say it's not.

Finally, what everyone who believes in either socialism or government-enforced morality fails to understand is the fundamental truth of what government really is.

Government, no matter the kind or type, always boils down to force. Government, quite literally, is a gun. It can be aimed at individuals, groups, or other governments. But it's always a gun. So my litmus test for any law is this:

"Would I point a gun at someone's head, say an 80 year old lady, and say YOU MUST DO THIS OR ELSE."

If I'm not willing to do that, the law is invalid. Period.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why does Congress hate business? And jobs?

by Shelly Roche,

It just blows my mind that THIS is the best they can do. That instead of looking at ways to reduce costs so more Americans could afford coverage, their knee-jerk reaction is to tax our businesses to fund their $2 trillion "plan."

I want people to be able to afford healthcare. I just don't see how that can happen if every move Congress makes increases the burden on our already stressed small businesses (which I believe are the lifeblood and future of this country).

If our parasitic government continues to leech resources generated by those of us who work hard or are entrepreneurs or innovators or business owners, there aren't going to be many of us left to leech off of in a few years. So if this is their big, brilliant plan to save the country and provide healthcare for all, they better start working on what they're going to do when all of our businesses have closed their doors or gone under, and no one can find a job because there is no longer an incentive to do business here.

Find more resources and information at the original.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Hillary Clinton admits that the CFR runs the Government

As with a recent blog I did about a Rothschild puppet blatantly promoting a One World Government solution to our “man-made” global warming “crisis,” now Secretary of State (and CFR member) Clinton admits in her latest address to the Council on Foreign Relations what Carroll Quigley wrote about in Tragedy and Hope (Chapter 65), Dan Smoot wrote about in The Invisible Government, and Gary Allen wrote about in None Dare Call It Conspiracy:

“Thank you very much, Richard, and I am delighted to be here in these new headquarters. I have been often to, I guess, the mother ship in New York City, but it’s good to have an outpost of the Council right here down the street from the State Department. We get a lot of advice from the Council, so this will mean I won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future. [emphasis mine]

I can assure you that when I was in public school in the 1960s and early 1970s, not once did I ever hear about an organization called the Council on Foreign Relations in any of my history classes. If this organization seems to have such a powerful influence on the Federal Government’s actions, why have I only been hearing about it in the past decade? Hmmmmm.

[Thanks to Travis]

UPDATE: Joe Barone sent this NBC video of the “entire” speech, i.e., it cuts out the first paragraph that I cited above. I repeat: Hmmmmm.

SECOND UPDATE: Adrian sent me the uncensored video.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

That commenter on your blog may actually be working for the Israeli government

by Cecilie Surasky

Straight out of Avigdor Lieberman’s Foreign Ministry: a new Internet Fighting Team! Israeli students and demobilized soldiers get paid to pretend they are just regular folks and leave pro-Israel comments on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other sites. The effort is meant to fight the “well-oiled machine” of “pro-Palestinian websites, with huge budgets… with content from the Hamas news agency.” The approach was test-marketed during Israel’s assault on Gaza, and by groups like Give Israel Your United Support, a controversial effort to use instant-access technology to crowd-source Israel advocates to fill in flash polls or vote up key articles on social networking sites.

Will the responders who are hired for this also present themselves as “ordinary net-surfers”?

“Of course,” says Shturman. “Our people will not say: ‘Hello, I am from the policy-explanation department of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and I want to tell you the following.’ Nor will they necessarily identify themselves as Israelis. They will speak as net-surfers and as citizens, and will write responses that will look personal but will be based on a prepared list of messages that the Foreign Ministry developed.”

The full article, translated by Occupation Magazine into English here:

The Foreign Ministry presents: talkbackers in the service of the State
By: Dora Kishinevski
Calcalist 5 July 2009

Translated for Occupation Magazine by George Malent

After they became an inseparable part of the service provided by public-relations companies and advertising agencies, paid Internet talkbackers are being mobilized in the service in the service of the State. The Foreign Ministry is in the process of setting up a team of students and demobilized soldiers who will work around the clock writing pro-Israeli responses on Internet websites all over the world, and on services like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. The Foreign Ministry’s department for the explanation of Israeli policy* is running the project, and it will be an integral part of it. The project is described in the government budget for 2009 as the “Internet fighting team” – a name that was given to it in order to distinguish it from the existing policy-explanation team, among other reasons, so that it can receive a separate budget. Even though the budget’s size has not yet been disclosed to the public, sources in the Foreign Ministry have told Calcalist that in will be about NIS 600.000 in its first year, and it will be increased in the future. From the primary budget, about NIS 200.000 will be invested in round-the-clock activity at the micro-blogging website Twitter, which was recently featured in the headlines for the services it provided to demonstrators during the recent disturbances in Iran.

“To all intents and purposes the Internet is a theatre in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and we must be active in that theatre, otherwise we will lose,” Elan Shturman, deputy director of the policy-explanation department in the Foreign Ministry, and who is directly responsible for setting up the project, says in an interview with Calcalist. “Our policy-explanation achievements on the Internet today are impressive in comparison to the resources that have been invested so far, but the other side is also investing resources on the Internet. There is an endless array of pro-Palestinian websites, with huge budgets, rich with information and video clips that everyone can download and post on their websites. They are flooding the Internet with content from the Hamas news agency. It is a well-oiled machine. Our objective is to penetrate into the world in which these discussions are taking place, where reports and videos are published – the blogs, the social networks, the news websites of all sizes. We will introduce a pro-Israeli voice into those places. What is now going on in Iran is the proof of the need for such an operational branch,” adds Shturman. “It’s not like a group of friends is going to bring down the government with Twitter messages, but it does help to expand the struggle to vast dimensions.”

The missions: “monitoring” and “fostering discussions”

The Foreign Ministry intends to recruit youths who speak at least one foreign language and who are studying communications, political science or law, or alternatively those whose military background is in units that deal with information analysis. “It is a youthful language”, explains Shturman. “Older people do not know how to write blogs, how to act there, what the accepted norms are. The basic conditions are a high capacity for expression in English – we also have French- and Swedish-speakers – and familiarity with the online milieu. We are looking for people who are already writing blogs and circulating in Facebook”.

Members of the new unit will work at the Ministry (“They will punch a time card,” says Shturman) and enjoy the full technical support of Tahila, the government’s ISP, which is responsible for computer infrastructure and Internet services for government departments. “Their missions will be defined along the lines of the government policies that they will be required to defend on the Internet. It could be the situation in Gaza, the situation in the north or whatever is decided. We will determine which international audiences we want to reach through the Internet and the strategy we will use to reach them, and the workers will implement that on in the field. Of course they will not distribute official communiquיs; they will draft the conversations themselves. We will also activate an Internet-monitoring team – people who will follow blogs, the BBC website, the Arabic websites.”

According to Shturman the project will begin with a limited budget, but he has plans to expand the team and its missions: “the new centre will also be able to support Israel as an economic and commercial entity,” he says. “Alternative energy, for example, now interests the American public and Congress much more than the conflict in the Middle East. If through my team I can post in blogs dealing with alternative energy and push the names of Israeli companies there, I will strengthen Israel’s image as a developed state that contributes to the quality of the environment and to humanity, and along with that I may also manage to help an Israeli company get millions of dollars worth of contracts. The economic potential here is great, but for that we will require a large number of people. What is unique about the Internet is the fragmentation into different communities, every community deals with what interests it. To each of those communities you have to introduce material that is relevant to it.”

The inspiration: covert advertising on the Internet

The Foreign Ministry admits that the inspiration comes from none other than the much-reviled field of compensated commercial talkback: employees of companies and public-relations firms who post words of praise on the Internet for those who sent them there – the company that is their employer or their client. The professional responders normally identify themselves as chance readers of the article they are responding to or as “satisfied customers” of the company they are praising.

Will the responders who are hired for this also present themselves as “ordinary net-surfers”?

“Of course,” says Shturman. “Our people will not say: ‘Hello, I am from the policy-explanation department of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and I want to tell you the following.’ Nor will they necessarily identify themselves as Israelis. They will speak as net-surfers and as citizens, and will write responses that will look personal but will be based on a prepared list of messages that the Foreign Ministry developed.”

Test-firing in the Gaza War
According to Shturman, although it is only now that the project is receiving a budget and a special department in the Foreign Ministry, in practice the Ministry has been using its own responders since the last war in Gaza, when the Ministry recruited volunteer talkbackers. “During Operation Cast Lead we appealed to Jewish communities abroad and with their help we recruited a few thousand volunteers, who were joined by Israeli volunteers. We gave them background material and policy-explanation material, and we sent them to represent the Israeli point of view on news websites and in polls on the Internet,” says Shturman. “Our target audience then was the European Left, which was not friendly towards the policy of the government. For that reason we began to get involved in discussions on blogs in England, Spain and Germany, a very hostile environment.”
And how much change have you effected so far?
“It is hard to prove success in this kind of activity, but it is clear that we succeeded in bypassing the European television networks, which are very critical of Israel, and we have created direct dialogues with the public.”
What things have you done there exactly?
“For example, we sent someone to write in the website of a left-wing group in Spain. He wrote ‘it is not exactly as you say.’ Someone at the website replied to him, and we replied again, we gave arguments, pictures. Dialogue like that opens people’s eyes.”
Elon Gilad, a worker at the Foreign Ministry who coordinated the activities of the volunteer talkbackers during the war in Gaza and will coordinate the activities of the professional talkbackers in the new project, says that volunteering for talkback in defence of Israel started spontaneously: “Many times people contacted us and asked how they could help to explain Israeli policy. They mainly do it at times like the Gaza operation. People just asked for information, and afterwards we saw that the information was distributed all over the Internet. The Ministry of Absorption also started a project at that time, and they transferred to us hundreds of volunteers who speak foreign languages and who will help to spread the information. That project too mainly spreads information on the Internet.”
“You can’t win”
While most of the net-surfers were recruited through websites like, which was officially activated by a Jewish lobby [and has basically the same goal and modus operandi], in some cases is it was the Foreign Ministry that took the initiative to contact the surfers and asked them to post talkbacks sympathetic to the State and the government [of Israel] on the Internet and to help recruit volunteers. That’s how Michal Carmi, an active blogger and associate general manager at the high-tech placement company Tripletec, was recruited to the online policy-explanation team.
“During Operation Cast Lead the Foreign Ministry wrote to me and other bloggers and asked us to make our opinions known on the international stage as well,” Carmi tells Calcalist. “They sent us pages with ‘taking points’ and a great many video clips. I focussed my energies on Facebook, and here and there I wrote responses on blogs where words like ‘Holocaust’ and ‘murder’ were used in connection with Israel’s Gaza action. I had some very hard conversations there. Several times the Foreign Ministry also recommended that we access specific blogs and get involved in the discussions that were taking place there.”
And does it work? Does it have any effect?
“I am not sure that that strategy was correct. The Ministry did excellent work, they sent us a flood of accurate information, but it focussed on Israeli suffering and the threat of the missiles. But the view of the Europeans is one-dimensional. Israeli suffering does not seem relevant to them compared to Palestinian suffering.”
“You can never win in this struggle. All you can do is be there and express your position,” is how Gilad sums up the effectiveness so far, as well as his expectations of the operation when it begins to receive a government budget.
(*) “department for the explanation of Israeli policy” is a translation of only two words in the original Hebrew text: “mahleqet ha-hasbara” – literally, “the department of explanation”. Israeli readers require no elaboration. Henceforth in this article, “hasbara” will be translated as “policy-explanation”. It may also be translated as “public diplomacy” or “propaganda” – trans.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Shot in the Arm, Whether You Like It or Not

by Mike Tennant

Among the countless horrors our Dear Leader wants to visit upon us with his health care “reform” bill is this: ”grants to states to improve immunization coverage of children, adolescents, and adults through the use of evidence-based interventions. States may use funds to implement interventions that are recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force, such as reminders or recalls for patients or providers, or home visits.”

“The bill lists eight specific ways that states may use federal grant money to carry out immunization-promoting ‘interventions.’ Method ‘E’ calls for ‘home visits’ which can include ‘provision of immunizations.’”

In other words, whether you want your kids (or yourself) to receive certain vaccines, the state can forcibly administer them in your home.

Anyone think that Big Pharma won’t back this bill 100 percent?

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Lobbies Ate Bobby’s Hobbies

by Robert G. (Bobby) Hill

At the Thanksgiving party, early 1950’s:

Distinguished male guest: "Bobby, I have a shiny new dime for you."

Bobby, loudly, allowing all to hear: "I don’t collect dimes; I collect silver dollars!"

Bobby’s father: "Bobby, may I speak to you alone in the kitchen?"

I have many hobbies. It was always thus. I collect things. I become interested in things. I cannot control this behavior. It started early (seashells, magnets, cereal-box toys), continued during the old childhood illnesses (when I was occasionally bored and bed-ridden), and continues to this day. All I have been able to do is recognize that I have constant hobbies, recurring hobbies and occasional hobbies.

Recently, however, I have increasingly noticed that annoying aspects of state influence intrude into my hobbies and ruin my enjoyment of them. There was no exact start date but things got much worse around 1968, or so. Apparently, some people got shot shortly before that, or something, and there was a war. Here are some of my constant hobbies:

Music and entertainment – the lyrics to many rock songs are socialistic; the FBI monitors CDs and DVDs; states regulate nightclubs, bars, the drinking age and drunk-driving standards; governments censor entertainment language and images. Country music rocks pretty hard right now but it often has super-patriot themes. Many of the better music artists are either gun-control liberals or entertain-the-troops rednecks. Many TV shows have a disturbing government theme (torture, terror, vice control). Often, I root for the "bad" guys (gamblers, prostitutes, drug salesmen, etc.).

Motorcycles – the state regulates speed, exhaust decibels, insurance and helmets. Most motorcycle clubs have many ex-soldiers, police and patriots as members and they participate in embarrassing, flag-waving, charity events.

Guns/knives – Well, before 1968 I had bought a nice "baby" Browning .25 semi-automatic pistol for $49.50. It got stolen from my glove compartment (don’t ask). I had good insurance so they gave me the full $49.50 for the loss. I went to my favorite gun store and told "Robin" that I needed another Browning .25. He said, "I have a used one there in the display case for $249.50." I said, "That must not be the same thing; mine was $49.50, new." He said, "That was before the new gun control bill. We can’t get any more new ones. It’s a collectible now." Nowadays there is even more gun control, carry restriction and mailing/purchase red tape. The gun and knife magazines are chock full of disgusting references to the products’ use in Iraq, Afghanistan, the drug war and in the "global war on terror", and of cop and soldier adulation and worship. Last year, I received a mail-order pocketknife. On the top of the box, in huge letters, it says, "FOR THOSE WHO SERVE" and "for professional use." Knives are hyper-regulated as to type, blade length, grind and opening mechanism. 50 states; 50 sets of rules.

Photography – I used to love having a camera with me all the time and taking candid, natural-light shots. But one day (after 9/11), my wife stopped her car and was taking a picture of a tiny wildflower near a restaurant and some wannabe-hero inside called the police and they came and questioned her!

Shoot, just driving around in the truck is aggravating. The back of the current Texas car registration sticker says, "Check the date; love your state." The sticker is right in front of the driver.

I have some occasional hobbies:

Coins – I started collecting coins when they were silver – real money. As a boy, I didn’t care that the state made them. Now, however, I see coin sets at the store that are not precious metal. To each his own, but who would want to collect hunks of zinc that seem to commemorate the debasement of the currency?

Amateur radio – Here, they "license" you to use the "public airwaves." Most "hams" are patriotic, too, and can hardly wait to help policemen, firemen or soldiers corral everyone in an emergency.

Japanese swords – Well, here I was ignorant. After getting interested in them, I learned that they were mostly used by the armies and bodyguards of feudal lords and forbidden to others. Of course, I can’t wear it; it’s too "long."

Hobbies you might have:

Stamps – produced by the state to commemorate famous government tyrants and their dubious achievements. When the state makes a mistake on these, they are worth more – just like failed programs and policies.

Fishing/hunting – all of those licenses, weapon restrictions, seasons and bag limits. A guy could starve!

Travel – passports, visas, searches, humiliations. I am almost glad my dear mother is not alive to have her lingerie and hygiene products scrutinized in public while dogs sniff her.

I have come complete circle; I now collect free prizes in cereal boxes even though I suppose that they have been inspected for lead, or something. So far, I have a Star Trek communicator, Spiderman web-spinner with Spidey-call light and two Lego race cars. My wife lets me stay in the cereal aisle as long as I want.

You probably have some hobbies. How are they doing under state scrutiny?

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Codex Alimentarius

If you don’t know what this is, don’t worry. I learned Latin in high school and still had no clue what that title meant. It turns out its a United Nations group (or directive, I guess) calling for a world standard in food production and distribution.

Read the rest and watch the video presentation by going here.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Nanny State stretches into our personal lives

Boston Herald, Jay Ambrose

Yoga? Even yoga?

In addition to all the other little things that government is regulating in a drip, drip, drip that is gradually becoming an ocean, states have lately been telling yoga schools what to do and how to do it and threatening them with fines or extinction if they don’t. Take that, you meditating bunch of stretch practitioners.

The nanny state, sad to report, has been around for a long time in this land of the increasingly less free, sometimes in highly restrictive licensing to further the interests of particular groups (by limiting the competition) and sometimes with the purpose of taking care of us helpless adults who obviously cannot cross the street safely without some bureaucrat holding our hand.

But this last brand of the totalitarian ambition - saving us from ourselves - has been really catching on of late, as in states and localities going to war with artificial trans fats in restaurants. A champion of that cause has been Tom Friedan, the New York City health commissioner who has now been named by President Barack Obama as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

He should feel at home in the Obama administration, one that has been unabashedly enthusiastic about a number of nanny state possibilities, including a provision of the cap-and-trade bill that would establish federal commercial and residential building codes. Imagine this - federal building inspectors deciding whether your lifestyle suits their druthers.

James Buchanan, a Nobel Prize economist, offers an interesting perspective. In addition to other kinds of liberty-squashing socialism, he said, add “parental socialism” that treats us like children, going beyond legitimate means of safeguarding the general welfare to the commands you might once have expected from your mom and dad.

Regulating the trivial can have the non-trivial result of divorcing us from vital aspects of our humanity.

Let’s take a cue from yoga teachers in New York State. They organized and persuaded the state’s education department to quit trying to license them.

Citizens of America, unite - we have nothing to lose but our baby cribs.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Baxter Files Swine Flu Vaccine Patent A Year Ahead Of Outbreak

Lara, Health Advocate

US20090060950A1 to Baxter International filed 28th August 2008

See Baxter Vaccine Patent Application US 2009/0060950 A1

Baxter are nothing if not prepared for this 'swine flu' outbreak if the wording in this 2008 US patent application is anything to go by:

"In particular preferred embodiments the composition or
vaccine comprises more than one antigen.....such as
influenza A and influenza B in particular selected from of one
or more of the human H1N1, H2N2, H3N2, H5N1, H7N7, H1N2,
H9N2, H7N2, H7N3, H10N7 subtypes, of the pig flu H1N1,
H1N2, H3N1 and H3N2 subtypes, of the dog or horse flu H7N7,
H3N8 subtypes or of the avian H5N1, H7N2, H1N7, H7N3,
H13N6, H5N9, H11N6, H3N8, H9N2, H5N2, H4N8, H10N7, H2N2,
H8N4, H14N5, H6N5, H12N5 subtypes."

"Suitable adjuvants can be selected from mineral gels,
aluminium hydroxide, surface active substances, lysolecithin,
pluronic polyols, polyanions or oil emulsions such as water in
oil or oil in water, or a combination thereof. Of course the
selection of the adjuvant depends on the intended use.
E.g. toxicity may depend on the destined subject organism
and can vary from no toxicity to high toxicity."

"Three different influenza strains, two A-strains Hiroshima
(HR, H3N2), a New Calcdonia (NC, H1N1) and a B-strain,
Malaysia (MA), were produced in Vero cell cultures. After
virus propagation the infectious virus harvest is inactivated
prior to purification...."

I'm feeling so much better now that I know we have such competent pharmaceutical companies, well prepared for viral outbreaks at least a year ahead of time.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Feds Declare Tennessee Gun Law Invalid

It is yet another example of the federal government running roughshod over the states.

Last month, the state of Tennessee’s General Assembly passed House Bill 1796, the “Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act,” which states that any firearms or ammunition manufactured within the state and legally owned and kept within the state by citizens are “not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration” due to provisions in the Second, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

But according to Assistant Director Carson W. Carroll of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the U.S. Constitution is little more than a g.d. piece of paper, as George W. Bush so infamously deemed it during his reign as the decider-in-chief.

On July 16, Carroll dispatched his agency’s official response to the law passed in Tennessee — the BATFE asserts that “Federal law supersedes the Act, and all provisions of the Gun Control Act and the National Firearms Act, and their corresponding regulations, continue to apply.”

It will be interesting to see how Tennessee reacts to this official proclamation.

Click here for full-size image of letter sent by BATFE.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website: