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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Need and Public Policy: Handle with Care

The Foundation for Economic Education's very own Gary M. Galles writes:

"Need" implies agreement on what and how extensive it is. However, needs are in the eye of the beholder, and their perceived extent varies dramatically from person to person. (How much of X does one need?) When we don’t agree on the extent, using the word "need" masks that disagreement. It implies that the beneficiaries' view is the relevant one, even when they are unwilling to offer enough to attract volunteers to supply their needs in the market. The often-different views of those forced to finance those needs are dismissed as irrelevant.


(Thanks goes to FEE for providing these articles online free of charge.)

The U.S. and Soviet Union Once Sold Weapons to the Middle East

According to the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), The imperial federal beast, which has been allying itself with Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia by selling them arms to help them fight the Iranians and the Iraqi "insurgents," has been revealed to have once allied itself with its old enemy the USSR by selling weaspons to them, Syria, Iraq, and post-1979 Iran in the Middle East during the Cold War.

With the release of this report by JINSA, should we really be surprised by all of this? With this revelation coming out of the woodwork, isn't this all the more reason to abolish our foreign policy of interventionism and return to a foreign policy of non-interventionism? Isn't this all the more reason to abandon our limitless, maximum, ever-growing Leviathan with an ever-expanding welfare-warfare state to a small, limited, ever-restricted government that embraces a respect for individual rights, free markets, and the rule of law?

The Leviathan's Case Against Michael Vick

The U.S. federal government's criminal case against Atlanta Falcons quarterback star Michael Vick for his purported involvement in the most recent dog fighting scandal is heating up as ever. At the same time, the Leviathan, which has confiscated 54 pit bulls that were allegedly used in the dog fighting, is holding them as evidence to be used against Vick and the other three men suspected of ties to the operation.

According to the New York Times, Vick and the other three men -- Tony Taylor, Purnell A. Peace, and Quanis L. Phillips -- plead not guilty last week "to charges related to a dogfighting operation that the authorities said was called Bad Newz Kennels."

Here's an excerpt of the Times today:

On Monday, Taylor pleaded guilty and agreed to help prosecutors make their case. He signed a 13-page statement confirming much of what the government stated when it indicted the four men July 17. The 18-page indictment uses graphic detail in describing the animal cruelty the men are accused of. It states that during a search of Vick’s property in Surry County in April, 54 pit bulls were recovered, along with a so-called rape stand used to hold dogs for mating, and a treadmill modified for dogs.

More charges are expected in the case, and a trial has been scheduled for November. Vick, the star quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons, has been suspended indefinitely by the National Football League.


Now I'm the last person in the world to endorse or give any moral, financial, and emotional support to any underground operation that employs dogs to attack and kill other dogs as a sport and for entertainment. I think it is a disgusting and terrible practice to begin with. But do these men really deserve jail time for a "crime" that did not involve violence against "victims" in any way, especially when those "victims" were dogs and not humans?

The collectivists are using laws against animal cruelty to prosecute a group of individuals who used animals in a sport that society on the whole has otherwise condemned and utterly rejected. The laws, while written with the best of intentions in mind, are being used to protect "victims" where there are none. Victims only apply to humans, not animals.

And how is this any different from cockfighting? Cockfighting is a sport that has been made illegal in many states, although it was a strong, common practice in the United States from the late 1700s to most of the 20th century. Even the Founders like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were avid fans of cockfighting. However, over time, the sport has been, on a one-by-one basis, illegalized at the state level, with Louisiana being the last state to ban the event.

It is interesting to note that dog fighting had once been a legal practice from the 15th century to the early part of the 20 century, although in recent decades, it has been outlawed in many states due to society's increasing contempt for and opposition to animal cruelty. However, the biggest reason for the bans is the rise of radical leftist-socialist organizations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

The cardinal legal argument against dog fighting (and even cockfighting) by PETA, the Humane Society, and other organizations like them is that it is wrong to harm animals for the purpose of providing a blood sport for people who desire that form of entertainment. But the real legal argument I get from these groups is that animals who are "harmed" and "tortured" by those involved in the practice are "victims" of violent crimes aggressed against them.

The reason for this mentality is that animals are viewed by PETA, HSUS, and other shrill "animal rights" organizations is that animals have "rights" comparable to humans, which is false. Animals do not have rights. They are neither capable of possessing rights nor have the need for them to begin with. What is the rationale for this argument, you ask? It is simple for three distinct reasons:


  • Animals do not have and are not capable of having a system of morality. Animals have no need for morality. They neither have the competence nor the will to possess nor even the understanding of the concept of morality. Morality means nothing to them. That is what distinguishes humans from animals. We humans are capable of having a system of morality, whereas animals do not. Animals, from a utilitarian and ethical standpoint, are amoral. Humans can be either moral or immoral ("immoral" meaning having a set of bad moral principles), but at least they have a system of morality that strings together their ideas of right and wrong. Animals, on the other hand, simply lack that ability.

    It goes further than that. Animals have no love for morality. They will kill other forms of species to insure their own survival, even at the expense of those species. A shark, for example, kills a school of fish for food because it is in their nature to kill and is necessary for their survival. Have sharks committed the "crime of murder" against these fish? Of course not. If one were to suggest such a thing, one would receive looks and disgust from animal lovers and other groups of people who would find such a statement ridiculous and laughable on its face. It is all simply part and parcel of the entire food chain. Because they kill other forms of species for that reason, they have no respect for individual rights - a component which is necessary for a species to control their environment that would enable them to control their own lives without doing harm to other species. Ascribing the same rights to animals who lack a moral center and are, by nature's design, functioning to preserve their order within the animal kingdom is nothing more than a mistake, not to mention a joke. To place animals above humans as if animals are higher and better than humans is not only vulgar and offensive, but also illogical and ridiculous. The fact that there is no proof that animals possess such a system goes without saying.


  • Because animals have no ability to possess morality, they also neither possess nor believe in the ability of individual rights and free will, unlike their human counterparts. Humans are capable of these things, but animals do not. They have no need for free will and individual rights, since they are governed by the laws of nature and the need to procreate and survive. Human beings are capable of exercising those rights, whereas animals do not. And because they have no desire for free will and indvidualism, they see themselves as an inherent collective for the greater good of their species.


  • Because animals have no ability to recognize and respect individual rights and free will, that, in turn, is what makes animals the property of humans. Since animals have no morals and the ability to exercise individual rights and free will, they are, in the eyes of natural law, man's property to do with what he pleases. Since the marketplace allows me to purchase an animal and possess it to do with what I will to it, I can keep it as a pet, sell it in a free market as either a pet or food, or kill it to eat it for my own survival. Since private property rights means that I have the moral and natural right to use the animal any way I see fit, it is my property; therefore, it is my right to do what I want to do to it. To remove a man's ability to protect and preserve his private property and ascribe rights to that property based on some flimsy assumption that an animal is the equivalent of a man is to destroy a man's right to acquire and earn the fruits of his labor and to destroy his ability to engage in freedom of exchange. Animals have no ability to object to them being property, since they neither possess the faculties of a man nor the ability to reason like a human to begin with.


That is not to say that we should condone abuse of an animal or harm to them for no reason at all. It is society's interests to boycott businesses that support such practices and ostracize those who favor them.

When all is said and done, the Michael Vick case will show that it is not an issue of "victimization" that is the problem. It is the violation of private property rights and the inaccurate relegation of morality, individual rights, and free will to a set of species that are not capable of fathoming these concepts at all.

Faith-based foreign policy

What would we call someone who supported the invasion of Iraq and then as the claims made by the war party
were exposed as bogus changed their spin and pretended to be war critics?

What if then, posing as Iraq war critics, now claimed the Bush escalation ["the surge"] was
working? Moreover what if they had been advocates for a "surge" before Bush
had called for the same?

Liars? Lacking integrity?

Read about them here:

http://www.salon. com/opinion/ greenwald/ 2007/07/30/ brookings/ index.html

What then did the war party do with this story as it went 'round the world?

The claim was taken up that with a little more patience, with the "hopeful signs," and
a "maybe winning," was in the offing.

But let's see: the next chairman of the joint chiefs of staff states the war in Iraq won't be won
via military means, but political.

See
http://news. yahoo.com/ s/afp/20070731/ wl_mideast_ afp/usiraqmilita ry_070731184200
How is the political coming along in Iraq?

Their parliament is blowing off August, so NOTHING shall be done of the reforms the Iraqi
government promised the USG.

But there is more: the largest bloc of Sunni supporters for al-Malki's government is bolting his coalition, see
http://news. yahoo.com/ s/ap/20070801/ ap_on_re_ mi_ea/iraq
and from within his own Shi'ite party, he faces a revolt, see  
http://www.washingt onpost.com/ wp-dyn/content/ article/2007/ 07/31/AR20070731 00312_pf. html

The foreign policy of the Bush administration is taking its' "faith-based" notions and applying them here. Based on hope & faith, George W. Bush "endeavors to persevere."




Iraq Security Is "Better," So Says New Joint Chiefs of Staff Pick

The Wise Great Leader's newly-handpicked Joint Chiefs of Staff is putting a positive spin on the Iraq quagmire by saying that the "security force" in Iraq has improved, but not by much.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Michigan GOP Bill to Stop State's Income Tax Credit

A new piece of legislation by Michigan lawmakers would delay the state's new earned income tax credit unless the state discovered a way to churn out revenues of at least $250 million. In other words, Michigan GOP lawmakers are pulling a bait and switch on taxpayers, businesses, and voters simply by slapping a new tax to raise the $250 million revenue stream in order to pass the new tax subsidy program. To put a fine point on it, it's either their way or the highway.

Republicans who have historically claimed to be anti-tax, anti-regulation, anti-welfare state, and pro-free market really have a spotty record when it comes to that rhetoric. They constantly pay lip service to cutting taxes, but in their own deluded way, they can't justifiably make a valid argument to boost spending.

At least Democrats admit that they're socialist. At least they're not arrogant about it...like the Republicans are.

The Vision of Benito Giuliani's Health Care Plan

According to the New York Times' blog, Benito Giuliani, with his new team of sycophants, is publicly noting his "vision" of health care for the U.S. In other words, Giuliani is supporting a Republican-style "universal health care" (a politically correct term for "socialized medicine").

Here's an excerpt of the Times' blog:

LACONIA, N.H. — In preparation for Rudolph W. Giuliani’s speech about health care here in New Hampshire tomorrow, his campaign announced the team of advisers today and made them available to reporters to explain Mr. Giuliani’s vision.

But not to explain it so much so that they stole the former New York City mayor’s thunder.

Mr. Giuliani, who has spoken about how he would change the health care system only in the broadest terms, plans on offering details about how he would try and move America from an employer- and government-based health-care system to a consumer-based system where individuals would take a lot more control over their coverage.

Using mainly a combination of tax breaks and vouchers, Mr. Giuliani plans to tell voters that his plan, by increasing the incentive for individuals to purchase their own insurance, will create greater competition, force down overall rates and improve the quality of care all at the same time.

The plan represents a sharp difference from the various proposals being advanced by Democrats and, depending on the details, could also separate him from another leading Republican contender, Mitt Romney.

Mr. Giuliani has said in the past that he opposes mandates on health insurance, either by the state, like Mr. Romney imposed in Massachusetts, or by the federal government.


Interestingly enough, the blog also pointed out something else:

However, there are many questions about the plan that remain unanswered.

For instance, what assurance is there that people will get the kind of preventative care they need?

Mr. Giuliani often compares health insurance to car insurance and he talks about how the owner of the car will pay for the small stuff like an oil change. So too, he suggests, with health care. A consumer can cover basic routine visits, choosing a package that matches the level of risk they are willing to take.

The big risk here, it seems, is that people will fail to get the kind of preventative care that can prevent bigger, more expensive problems.


Considering Giuliani wants a Republican version of socialized medicine and Hillary wants a Democratic version of the system, which system is most likely going to get an overwhelming amount of support?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Retired and Current Unionized Auto Employees Lament Decline of the Middle Class and Fear the Future

A very short Detroit Free Press piece showcases retired and current unionized employees of the Big Three (Ford, GM, and Chrysler) who lament the decline of the middle class and the fears of their future, even while the automakers and the UAW remain in contract talks.

Don't these people understand that Big Business, the government, and Big Union, in a collectivistic manner, are the reason why the middle class is dying because government policies have encouraged businesses to relocate to other countries due to the onerous regulations slapped on them? Don't they also understand that these things keep the middle class poor, thanks to the Federal Reserve, the income tax, the welfare-warfare state? Don't they know that these government edicts and decrees are interfering with the free market's natural ability to move them to the top? What will it take for them to understand that, in a laissez faire capitalistic and free society, there are no special rights, no protections, no safety nets, and, more importantly, no job security?

It's always been a known fact that the Big Three and their employees have enjoyed a considerable amount of protectionism and mercantilism, thanks going to the state that afforded such protections from the get-go. It's no secret that the employees of these companies who remained in their jobs for over thirty years have become so accustomed to their cushy jobs that they have professionally stagnated, thus never growing as an individual and never showing any desire and inclination to succeed. As a result, he ends up being dependent on his employer, which is something that auto employees for decades have perceived to be as an entitlement (which never truly exists, by the way).

As much as I sympathize with them, I can't say that I feel sorry for them, considering they've done nothing to take care of themselves. Instead, they have expected their employers and the government to take care of them.

What a sad yet unsurprising unintended consequence of the welfare state indeed!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Pharmacists File Suit Against Washington State Over Abortion Pill

Pharmacists are now suing the State of Washington over a new regulation that strong arms them into selling the abortion pill and other contraceptives to customers despite their moral and religious objections.

So much for freedom of association, economic freedom, and voluntary social cooperation.

Bush Takes Critical Potshots at Congressional Democrats

The Great Leader has decided to blast congressional Democrats for stonewalling on "defense spending" bills by accusing them of fiscal irresponsibility and delaying the passage of the bills.

The Washington Post noted:

Speaking before conservative state legislators meeting at a convention here, Bush called on Congress to approve a Pentagon spending bill before its August recess and to pass the 11 other appropriations bills in short order.

"They need to exercise their responsibility and get this defense bill passed," Bush said, adding that having troops in Iraq and Afghanistan adds urgency to the matter. "There's time to do it. I'll hang around if they want me to get the bill passed."


The Post further noted:

With his once-ambitious domestic agenda in tatters, his administration facing multiple congressional investigations and his approval ratings at near-historic lows, the president has targeted the one institution that polls show is less popular with the public than he is: Congress.


All this business about Republicans being the poster children for fiscal responsibility and champions of small government, free enterprise, and personal responsibility is what it is -- rhetoric designed to obfuscate their real agenda: to create a military welfare-warfare-loving empire that begets a blend of corporatism, mercantilism, and political and economic fascism.

And Republicans claim to embrace free market capitalism. Yeah, right. Uh huh.

Americans Distrust Politicians, Says New Survey

Americans are now viewing the political establishment -- and the 2008 election -- with an enormous amount of cynicism and skepticism, according to a new survey. In the overall scheme of things, many Americans are expressing a great deal of distrust of the government.

Should we really be surprised with this survey? Let's face it; in light of the Iraq quagmire, Americans need to wake up and realize that the state is the enemy of the people, not their ally. After all, aren't the American people the enemy of the state by now?

Bush to Sell Weapons to Saudi Regimes

The Washington Post reports today that the Bush administration is hawking WMDs to Saudi Arabia and its surrounding regions, including Israel and Egypt, for a price tag of $20 billion.

The arms deals, which include the sales of a variety of sophisticated weaponry, would be the largest negotiated by this administration. The military assistance agreements would provide $30 billion in new U.S. aid to Israel and $13 billion to Egypt over 10 years, the officials said. Both figures represent significant increases in military support.

U.S. officials said the arms sales to Saudi Arabia are expected to include air-to-air missiles as well as Joint Direct Attack Munitions, which turn standard bombs into "smart" precision-guided bombs. Most, but not all, of the arms sales to the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries -- Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman -- will be defensive, the officials said.


The arrogance of our own regime is astonishing: it went to war with Iraq employing a laundry list of bogus claims in defense of its invasion and occupation of the region (finding WMDs that Saddam Hussein purportedly have being one of them). And now the administration, in a sanctimonious fashion, peddling chemical and biological weapons to Israel, Egypt, and a few other nation-states, all in the name of making allies with the Middle East while getting tough with Iran.

In a nutshell, it wasn't okay for Saddam to have WMDs in his own backyard, even if he were to going to sell them to his own allies in the region (which he had done), but it's fine and dandy for Bush and his collectivistic thugs in Israel and Egypt to do the same.

This is pure hypocrisy at its worst. And for good measure, this is a fine epitome of the old adage, "The enemy of my enemy is my ally."

Pathetic yet predictable.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Photo of the New Joker Out




I found this photo of the new Joker, who's being played by Heath Ledger in the upcoming Dark Knight film, which is due out in 2008. As a longtime fan of Batman and the world of comic books, the Dark Knight himself has always struck me as a libertarian.

After all, Bruce Wayne is a capitalist and an entrepreneur. Moreover, he has always opposed the state. The Joker, on the other hand, is an evil statist who believes in the power of the state and looks to initiate force on those who don't see things his way.

Isn't that a fair assessment or no?

NASA's Space Station Computer Sabotaged

The socialist government agency is hit with another scandal. This time it involves its own space station's computer being sabotaged.

The interesting part about this latest story is the following:

Space officials announced that NASA had been alerted to the possible sabotage early last week by an unnamed subcontracting company. An employee of the company had apparently purposefully damaged two machines, one due to fly in space and one not.

When the company discovered the problem with the non-flying machine, it alerted NASA, which had already received the other computer: and this too was found to have been meddled with.

The Associated Press quotes Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA space operations head honcho, as saying that his people would have discovered the problem during pre-flight testing even had they not been informed.

"The damage is very obvious, easy to detect," he told reporters. "It's not a mystery to us."


And this is what we get with our tax dollars spent on a socialist money-draining government boondoogle without any real value in return?

(Thanks to Lew for his link to the story.)

The Cost of Higher "Government" Education Continue to Skyrocket

Tuition prices for higher "government" government are going through the roof. This comes in anticipation of Congress boosting government grants and rolling back the costs for college student loans.

Here's an excerpt of the report filed by USA Today:

Even as tuition increases at public universities are expected to slow, on average, this year, schools in several states are raising tuition by 10% to more than 15%, adding hundreds of dollars to students' costs.

Driving the increases are budget gaps that have cut the amount of money available for higher education in some states. The tuition increases come as Congress is close to adopting legislation to boost federal grants for low-income students and to lower the cost of student loans.


The collectivists in Congress, the higher "government" education establishment, and government college welfare-dependent college students are just fooling themselves, thinking that furthering and even increasing the government's role in public education (especially higher "government" learning) will make it easier for the government welfare-dependent college students to attend college. After all, this is all modeled on the delusion that every teenager and young adult who graduates from the public "government" schools should go to college. We are talking about a group of collectivists who labor under the delusion -- not to mention, mistakenly believe -- that subsidizing college students at the expense of taxpayers will beget a generation of well-educated college graduates who, once they receive that degree of their choice, are guaranteed to find that entry-level job or launch that successful business.

Have these ignoramuses asked themselves why college tuition costs are going up? This is occuring because too many students are GOING to college. When the Leviathan sets up shop to provide public "government" education and higher "government" learning, tuition costs in both areas are going to rise, because the more financial aid that students receive, the greater the influx of students in the system. Once that happens, tuition costs continue to rise. When was the last time tuition costs for any college -- public or private -- have gone down since the government has stuck its nose and remained in the higher "government" learning picture?

Moreover, college professors are forced to tailor their courses to placate their students who remain indifferent and lazy about their work habits and display an expected lack of work ethic, which they will carry with them for life, especially when they enter the workforce. These students feel that they deserve grades that hardly reflect the true quality of their work. Therefore, the professors find that, in order to better their student evaluations and keep their jobs, they must lower their academic standards to accept uninterested students who are just taking the courses to receive passing grades that they have not truly earned. This gives mediocre-performing students a free pass at the expense of serious students who are working hard and reading the materials covered in class. If the students are not pleased with the grades they have earned from professors who choose not to "grade on a bell curve" (which is a government-sanctioned method of distorting grading methods) because it requires a professor to give students grades in relation to how their peers are graded, they will take their complaints to the dean and the administrators who will, in return, see to it that punishment is meted out with the professors. This is because of universal education, and we must thank the state for this nonsense.

Not only that, when you factor in the fact that too many "customers" (the students, that is) are entering the government college system (all of which are part and parcel of the public sector), deterioriating student and academic standards are part of the norm and continue to rise, and lack of quantity and quality being churned out from the students and the instructors, a college student must ask himself or herself this question: are you really getting anything valuable out of your education? Are you REALLY learning anything in that environment? Are you truly getting your money's worth after all the time and effort you may or may not be putting into it?

More importantly, how much of what you've learned at your college or university -- whether public or private -- has been a paramount part of your success in life?

The only way we can solve this problem and all other problems that plague higher "government" education is to abolish the entire system and establish a free market system of education for students in all levels of education, including college. Imagine tuition costs going down for the first time rather than continuing to rise unabated. Such a radical change in the way we think will truly foster a real learning environment for students and instructors abroad.

For this reason, all levels of education are too important to be left in the hands of the state. If we really care about our educational system, it is incumbent upon us to dismantle the public "government" college system and, in its place, erect a true, laissez-faire college system that will work best for every college student's needs.

NASA Astronauts Drinking and Rocketing

A government aviation report found that a number of NASA astronauts were drinking and rocketing while on duty at least twice.

According to the Washington Post:

Agency spokesman David Mould said one of two reviews of the medical and psychological health of astronauts scheduled to be made public today will include secondhand accounts of astronauts drinking before flights. He said the review does not include the reports in its "findings of fact" but relays the information as something for the agency to investigate.

"We take this and other parts of the reports very seriously and will look into it," Mould said. "But we need to verify the facts before we can know what the appropriate action might be."


This is what we get for redistributing wealth from those who rightfully earned the fruits of their labor to those who didn't, even if it's for the "moral good" of society. And what's worse is that this federal agency, whose sole mission is "to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research," neither engages in space exploration nor scientific discovery nor aeronautics research, even though that is its mission statement. After all, when was the last time NASA went back to the moon? Better yet, when was the last time NASA made a manned attempt to explore the other planets in our own solar system?

Of course, when you hear something like this, the first question that comes to mind is: "Where is Mothers Against Drunking Rocketing when you need them?"

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Lying Controversial Leftist Professor Ward Churchill Fired for Plagarism in His Essay, Not Because of His 9/11-Eichmann Claim

Controversial University of Colorado professor (now ex-professor) Ward Churchill, who has amassed a great deal of attention for his infamous essay (which has long since expanded to become a book) titled "Some People Push Back:
On the Justice of Roosting Chickens" in which he compared the victims of the World Trade Center Tower on 9/11 to Adolph Eichmann by branding them "little Eichmanns," had just been fired yesterday by the UOC Board of Regents on a vote of 8 to 1 after a two-year investigation by the university into charges of plagarism and deliberately twisting and distorting research that he had committed while scribing his essay.

According to the New York Times, the board has this much to say on the firing:

“We wanted to do what was right for this university,” the board chairwoman, Patricia Hayes, said after the vote. “We did not address Professor Churchill’s freedom of speech as part of our discussion.”

The university president, Hank Brown, who recommended that the board fire Professor Churchill, said he deserved to lose his job because he had “falsified history” and “fabricated history.”


The interesting aspect of this entire ruckus is that Churchill not only stolen facts and information from other scholars to pass as his own while conducting his research (he postured as if his findings were his own when that simply wasn't the case), but he also deliberately and knowingly falsified facts to make his anti-imperalist points.

Moreover, Churchill and his sycophants have softpedaled the paramount importance of his plagarism, all the while contending that he is Native American (truth be told, he isn't) and a scholar (he isn't, considering he actually holds an MA in communications, not a Ph.D. in history). Worse, the former University of Colorado professor asserts that the U.S. Army was responsible for committing genocide on an Indian American tribe known as the Mandans by spreading a deadly strain of smallpox, thus wiping out the entire populace. This assertion, of course, is a bald-faced lie, which is even further substantiated by Native American history scholar Russell Thorton, who dismisses Churchill's claims by branding them a "just out-and-out fabrication."

Churchill, through his attorney, claims that he was canned because of his "little Eichmann" comments in his essay, as does Newsday in its report on his firing. However, Churchill, as Reason's Michael C. Monyihan accurately notes, was let go not because of his controversial "little Eichmann" remarks; he was terminated because of the established fact that he had committed academic fraud and wilfully and blatantly falsified historical facts to carry out his radical leftist/socialist agenda. That's what landed Churchill in hot water, not his pathetic statements on the 9/11 victims in the World Trade Center Towers.

For those who want to read the notorious "little Eichmanns" paragraph from Churchill's widely-debunked essay, here's the quote:

Well, really. Let's get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America's global financial empire – the "mighty engine of profit" to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved – and they did so both willingly and knowingly. Recourse to "ignorance" – a derivative, after all, of the word "ignore" – counts as less than an excuse among this relatively well-educated elite. To the extent that any of them were unaware of the costs and consequences to others of what they were involved in – and in many cases excelling at – it was because of their absolute refusal to see. More likely, it was because they were too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants. If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I'd really be interested in hearing about it.


(Thanks goes to Reason's Michael C. Monyihan and Wikipedia for its useful information on this.)

U.S. Federal Farm Subsidies Now Immune to Congressional Reform

Collectivistic policymakers in the Beltway really have no idea how economics truly work: when you subsidize a business, you create more products and services than what the free market demands, thus undermining their value. When you eliminate subsidies to businesses and let the free market decide whether that business should continue, more than likely the net result will be that there will less of that business' products and services, thereby increasing their value. Although the initial downside to that is that prices will go up, that's only sustainable in the short term, not in the long term, because other unsubsidized businesses will compete and prices will go down due to supply and demand.

This simply isn't the case when it comes to U.S. farmers in the agricultural industry. According to the New York Times, congressional critics of past farm subsidies, including Democratic legislators, who have been opposed to such hand-outs and the new farm subsidies bill pending in Congress, are now supporting the bill because, as the Times reports, it "draws a veto threat" from Bush.

Here's more from the farm bill subsidy claptrap that the Times reports:

WASHINGTON, July 25 — For the many critics of farm subsidies, including President Bush and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, this seemed like the ideal year for Congress to tackle the federal payments long criticized as enriching big farm interests, violating trade agreements and neglecting small family farms.

Many crop prices are at or near record highs. Concern over the country’s dependence on foreign oil has sent demand for corn-based ethanol soaring. European wheat fields have been battered by too much rain. And market analysts are projecting continued boom years for American farmers into the foreseeable future.

But as the latest farm bill heads to the House floor on Thursday, farm-state lawmakers seem likely to prevail in keeping the old subsidies largely in place, drawing a veto threat on Wednesday from the White House.

“The bill put forth by the committee misses a major opportunity,” Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said Wednesday. “The time really is right for reform in farm policy.”

Faced with fierce opposition from the House Agriculture Committee, Ms. Pelosi and other Democratic leaders lowered their sights and are now backing the committee’s bill, in part to protect freshman lawmakers from rural areas who may be vulnerable in the 2008 elections.

Instead, Ms. Pelosi helped to secure more modest changes, pushing the committee to provide $1.8 billion for programs that aid fruit and vegetable growers, generating support from lawmakers in states like Florida and California, Ms. Pelosi’s home, and deflating some traditional opposition to the farm bill.


All this talk about "protecting freshman lawmakers from rural areas" is just political speak for immunizing newly-elected lawmakers from political accountability, which is pretty much non-existent in the world of Congress. But Pelosi, a Democrat who has always voted for farm subsidies when they merely served her political interests, thinks by making a political trade-off with her lobbyists by going after the so-called "rich farmers" and allowing farmers to dry up their subsidy caps in the name of protecting corporate farms will somehow level the playing field.

This is what the Times wrote in part:

At the same time, she pronounced the bill a “good first step to reform” by ending subsidies for the richest farmers — those earning more than $1 million a year — and closing a loophole that let some farmers exceed subsidy limits by owning partnerships in multiple farms.


Both Pelosi, the Democrats, and the Republicans have no idea how destructive farm subsidies are, given that, for decades, they've only encouraged waste of crops and ensured a protectionistic safety net for long, established corporate farms while insulating them from new start-ups in the process. It's nothing more than a sick, corrupt protection racket for the corporate farm machine.

Democrats who say they are opposed to farm subsidies are only for them when they work to their advantage. The same goes for the Republicans. And they continue to misuse our tax monies and abuse their congressional power at the expense of their constituencies about whom they claim to care.

Money-Grubbing Lawyers Targeting Bars and Clubs Over "Ladies' Night"

Money-grubbing lawyers, on behalf of their male clients, are now filing lawsuits against bars and clubs over "Ladies' Nights" specials, claiming that they are discriminatory and unconstitutional, says ABC News.

Here's an excerpt of this nonsense:

Lawsuits could be putting "Ladies' Nights" at bars and clubs across the country on the rocks.

In about two dozen cases, plaintiffs contend these drink and admission deals for women constitute discrimination against men and should be banned.

Roy Den Hollander is a New York lawyer who says Ladies' Night drinks and admission specials are unconstitutional, and he says he's suffered personally. Hollander is also a graduate of Columbia Business School and seems like a guy who should be able to get into a decent bar and afford the drinks. So what irks him?

"I'm tired of having my rights violated and being treated as a second-class citizen," said Hollander, who is seeking class-action status for his suit in federal court.

Tim Gleason, general manager of the China Club in New York, calls Hollander's complaint "pathetic" and echoes other club owners who argue that the discounts actually help both sexes by balancing out the ratio between men and women. Nevermind that some men are more than happy to pay for inequality in the ratio department.

Over the last 30 years, lawsuits stemming from promotions involving Ladies' Night have enjoyed considerable success in courts across the country where judges have held that single-sex discounts violate state and federal statutes guaranteeing equal protection under the law.

George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf, whose students have brought a Ladies' Night suit, says that these promotions are part of a broader class of gender-based price discrimination tactics like those used by hairdressers and dry cleaners who charge men and women different prices for the same service.

In Washington, D.C., he hopes to pursue what he calls restroom equity or "squatter's rights" in which he will sue public venues whose restroom availability, though seemingly equal for both sexes, has a "disparate impact" on women who must deal with longer lines and wait times.

Nightclub spokespersons and activists express concern that a class-action victory in a Ladies' Night lawsuit based on federal law could open the floodgates to a host of other suits against private businesses.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Walter Reed Sycophants Urge "Fundamental Change" In Military Healthcare

The L.A. Times reports that the Beltway's insiders, in the form of a "commission" appointed by Bush and who are ever supportive of the putrid government-run, government-owned, and government-operated Walter Reed Hospital, Army Center, and Healthcare System, are urging "reforms" in the government's military healthcare system.

These ignoramuses will never accept the fact that the government healthcare system is shoddy and crappy while a true laissez-faire free market healthcare system is the cure-all for the wounded and maimed soldiers (who are dying more so in record numbers day after day after day in Iraq). What will it take for them to realize that they can't reform a system that will never work the way they want it to? What will it take for them to understand that Socialism is an inherent evil, is unworkable, and will collapse just like how Communism fell in the Soviet Union?

Congressional Republicans "Jihadists"?

National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez, who's normally a Big Government Neo-Con, must have been breathing fire when she blogged this tidbit on NR's server -- a report that was initially posted on the Congressional Quarterly's website:

Republicans are uttering a word that for 12 years has been utterly unspeakable.

Shutdown.

It’s a word that can send shudders through those who saw the last one — actually, two — play out after Republicans took control of Congress in 1995. The Newt Gingrich-Bill Clinton standoff was so traumatic that since then, neither party has ventured anywhere in that direction.

This year’s appropriations tug-of-war between a new majority in Congress and a president of the opposing party does not appear to be headed for a government shutdown, but a rhetorical taboo was lifted when the word became part of the partisan message of the moment.

“The obvious plan of the Democrats is to not do appropriations bills but put everything together in a giant omnibus appropriations bill in a kind of legislative blackmail with all of the policy and increased spending, to in effect threaten the president to either sign the bill or be accused of shutting down the government,” Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the chairman of the Republican Conference, said Wednesday.

President Bush has threatened to veto seven appropriations bills because together they would exceed his discretionary spending limit by more than $20 billion.

Congressional veterans are certain the two sides are headed for a whopper of a fight over a catchall, omnibus appropriations bill.

BusinessWeek: "Minimum Wage Increase Means Tax Breaks"

BusinessWeek's John Tozzi, on the subject of the federal minimum wage hike, writes that the bipartisan minimum wage increase was accomplished with the promise of tax breaks given to small businesses.

Here's an excerpt of what he wrote:

Workers earning the federal minimum wage enjoyed a boost from $5.15 to $5.85 an hour on July 24, the first of three annual hikes that will bring the rate to $7.25 in 2009. But along with the raise, Congress passed a package of $4.8 billion in tax breaks for small businesses that go into effect this year. While employers in 30 states and the District of Columbia won't be hit directly in the first year of the raise because state laws already mandate wages higher than the new federal rate, those businesses can still take advantage of the new tax breaks.

The biggest boon for most small-business owners is an expanded deduction for new purchases. Any firm making purchases of pretty much anything from livestock to software, real estate excluded, can take advantage of this so-called Section 179 deduction. The new law allows business owners to deduct $125,000 in purchases, up from $112,000. Only businesses that spend less than $500,000 on eligible equipment—a ceiling that was raised from $450,000—can qualify. Spend above $500,000 and the size of the deduction starts to shrink.

Teenage Butt-Grabbing Case Ignites National and International Furor

The Paddleton Middle School butt-grabbing incident, which I have been covering for the last several days here and here, has sparked a national and internatinal outcry from online readers and the public at large.

Here's an excerpt of the piece that appeared today on the Oregonian's website:

Two McMinnville middle-schoolers facing sex abuse charges for spanking girls in the hallway probably will not do jail time or be required to register as sex offenders, the Yamhill County district attorney said Monday as the case against the boys grew into a media sensation.

The comments from Bradley Berry outraged the parents of the two 13-year-olds, Ryan Cornelison and Cory Mashburn, who with their lawyers were deluged with calls from ABC, CNN, Fox, Court TV and radio stations across the country a day after a story about the prosecution appeared in The Sunday Oregonian.

Until now, Berry has declined to discuss specifics of the case or explain why it merits criminal charges. After spending most of Monday fielding complaints, however, he elaborated for the first time.

"From our perspective and the perspective of the victims, this was not just horseplay," Berry told The Oregonian. "People may disagree, and I understand that."

Based on his experience in similar cases, Berry said it's unlikely the boys, if convicted, would be sentenced for the maximum jail time for each of the counts. "That type of sentence has never been imposed in my county or in any county that I know of for these types of offenses," he said.

Berry said he, too, was inundated with calls and e-mails from readers who complained that charging the boys with 10 counts of sex abuse and harassment was an overreaction, as their parents maintain. Lawyers for the boys say each count could bring a year in confinement and mandatory registration as sex offenders.

Berry said a judge could lift the registration requirement after it was imposed. "These youths can petition the court relatively quickly for relief from that," he said.

The boys' families said they were furious at what appeared to be backpedaling on Berry's part.

"It makes us angry that they can overcharge . . . and make us think this could happen," said Tracie Mashburn, Cory's mother. "Why would they do that and threaten us with that if they're not going to do it?"

"He's just doing damage control," added Joe Cornelison, Ryan's father. "I want to ask Brad Berry, what kind of due process is this?"


(Thanks goes to Radley Balko who cross-posted this on his blog and his Reason blog.)

The DEA's War on Medical Marijuana Tenant-Supporting Landlords

The Leviathan's vile Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has just launched its war on California's landlords who rent their property to medical marijuana activists. According to U.S. Today, the DEA raided 10 marijuana medical pot clinics in Los Angeles.

It's idiotic that marjuana, which is legal under California for medicinal use, is illegal under federal law for the same use. These evil, despicable statists who go after these activists just because they are violating federal law will surely, one way or another, get their comeuppance.

With the Drug War spilling into legal prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, this war has no end in sight. These government bureaucrats who think they are doing this for the activists' "own good" are just deluding themselves. As one medical pot activist correctly noted in the article:

"It's clearly not about compassion or care at this point," Pullen says. "It's about money."

Teenage "Pedophiles" May Be Sentenced to Jail, Including Sex Registry System

The two Oregon middle school boys, whom I blogged about last night, are now facing possible jail time for their purported role in slapping the posteriors of two teenage females, both of whom are 13 years old. According to ABC News's online website:

The local district attorney has since backed off -- the felony charges have been dropped and the district attorney said probation would be an appropriate punishment. The Mashburns' lawyer said prosecutors offered Cory a plea bargain that would not require him to register as a sex offender, which the family plans to reject.

But the boys, if convicted at an Aug. 20 trial, still face the possibility of some jail time or registering for life as sex offenders.


The incident, which took place last February and has garnered some attention from the mainstream "government" media, has led to the boys spending five days in a detention cell and then, according to AOL News, being charged "with several counts of felony sex abuse for what they and their parents said was merely inappropriate but not criminal behavior."

What's even interesting is that an AOLNews.com poll was taken, in which it showed that an overwhelming 87 percent of the respondents said "No" to the question asking whether the boys should be charged with a sex crime. Only 8 percent of the respondents said "Yes."

The interesting aspect of this case is that two of the girls -- the alleged victims of the boys' antics -- have since retracted their charges. The problem is that, once a victim of a purported crime (especially when that "victim" happens to be an underage female) presses charges against her alleged perpetrator, it's too late to drop them. And the thing is, if the court determines that the victim lied to the local authorities about the charges (or even made false statements against the accused), she will most likely be charged with perjury and can face legal trouble as well.

In this case, the odds of that happening are pretty much nil, given the age of the "victims" and the accused and the politics of the sex registry system and the case in question.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Six States Considering Federal Bailout for Hisk-Risk Homeowners

According to Fox News.com (and I even saw the interview in which Neil Cavuto conducted with State Senator Liz Krueger, a Democrat from New York), six states are now pondering a federal bailout for high risk homeowners.

Krueger, when asked by Cavuto whether this was really a bail-out, went so far as to say that it was not a bail-out, but rather "an investment in mortgages that will get repaid to the government." Gee, what a nice play on words there, Senator!

(Thanks to the staff at Fox News.com for this rushed transcipt.)

Two Middle School Boys Accused of Being Sexual Predators

The state's nonsensical logic has never amazed me, but if there's one thing that has amazed me about these tyrannical stooges, it's that they never give up without a fight.

According to Sunday's edition of the Oregonian, two middle school boys were arrested for purportedly running down the hall of their school and slapping the buttocks of two 13-year-old girls -- an act that is largely viewed as a common form of greeting. According to the paper, such an act is "against school policy in McMinneville Public Schools." Considering this is a violation of public "government" school policy, the seventh grade boys, according to the article, were sent to "the office, where the vice principal and a police officer stationed at the school soon interrogated them."

But here's the eerie thing about this incident that people should find out. Read this paragraph, and you'll see my meaning:

the office, where the vice principal and a police officer stationed at the school soon interrogated them.


But here's an interesting twist to this incident that no one's been able to learn before:

Last year, in a previously undisclosed prosecution, he charged two other Patton Middle School boys with felony sex abuse for repeatedly slapping the bottom of a female student. Both pleaded guilty to harassment, which is a misdemeanor. Berry declined to discuss his cases against Mashburn and Cornelison.


Think about it. A similar incident like this has happened before, and the vile, diabolical prosecutor refuses to comment on that particular incident.

But this is where it gets REALLY interesting. Read this one part here, and you'll get my drift:

The outlines of the case have been known. But confidential police reports and juvenile court records shed new light on the context of the boys' actions. The records show that other students, boys and girls, were slapping one another's bottoms. Two of the girls identified as victims have recanted, saying they felt pressured and gave false statements to interrogators.


In other words, these two boys weren't the only ones who were slapping the girls on their buttocks. The other two girls (who happen to be 13, by the way) were the doing the exact same thing, yet only the two boys -- Cory Mashburn and Ryan Cornelison -- have been charged with committing a sexual crime. Gee, a double standard here, don't you think?

This is what happens when you get the state involved in matters such as education, parental control and responsibility, and juvenile behavior. It also explains why teenagers who are growing from the age of 13 to well beyond their adult years are being treated like children and not as adults by their parents and the government. The sex registry system, even though it was designed to protect little children from sexual predators and pedophiles, has metastasized into a government-sanctioned, government-protected industry, in which individuals who would normally not be charged with "deviant sexual crimes" and other arbitrary crimes under the old judicial system prior to the enactment of the SRS will and must be charged with these crimes under the new judicial system. It has basically encouraged parents to abdicate their responsibility as far as protecting their children from true, dangerous predators and enabled the state to have complete control and care over the lives of the parents' children and raise them according to its perverted values.

Let's be clear about something: a child has been defined by medical and psychological groups as one who, according to the Free Dictionary, "between birth and puberty," or one, according to Wikipedia.org, "has not reached puberty, but also refers to offspring of any age." That would correctly apply to children who age from the time and day they are born (as infants) to the age of 11. An adolescent, or teenager, has been defined by the medical and psychological establishment as one who has, according to Wikipedia.org, transitioned between the stages of childhood and adulthood. A teenager is a young individual who is competent and capable of making adult decisions on his or her own. It goes without saying that teenagers often do and will make mistakes, but it's better for them to make mistakes and learn from them than to protect them from the world in which they live and the vices that are a part of that world.

Worse, teens are usually treated like children, even though their minds and bodies convince them otherwise. Dr. Robert Epstein, the former editor of Psychology Today, even illustrates this in his new book The Case Against Adolescence: Rediscovering the Adult in Every Teen, in which he explains that teens are far more competent than they are or have been portrayed and they are capable of making adult decisions in their early years. He even argues that age of consent laws and child labor laws are part and parcel of the problem that involves our youth, which keep teenagers unemployed and trapped in that childlike mindset that society, parents, and government at all levels insist that they remain as such.

If anything, what happened to these two middle school boys shows that, when you have a government involved in prevention of sexual activity between teenagers or teens and adults, you create more problems than you've bargained for. Once you open the political Pandora's Box, it's almost impossible to fix the problem as long as those who want the vile system remain in control of it.

Rather than undermining parents' obligations to protect their children and their abilities to educate their teenage children, the state would be wise to leave parents and their children to their own devices and work out their problems their own way. With that said, it's time to abolish the sex registry system and all other laws that prevent teens from making adult decisions. But let's go further than that: it's time to get the government out of the lives of parents and children and the schools to which these parents send their kids.

Americans Disapprove of Bush's Handling His Job as President, Says New Poll

A new ABC News-Washington Post poll, which breaks down Bush's approval ratings and tracks them from February 25, 2001 to July 21, 2007, shows that Americans are entirely dissatisfied with Bush's handling of his job as president.

Here's an excerpt of the poll questions and the results that are shown on the site:

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president? Do you approve/disapprove strongly or somewhat?



-------- Approve -------- ------- Disapprove ------ No
NET Strongly Somewhat NET Somewhat Strongly opinion

7/21/07 33 16 17 65 13 52 2




As for Bush's handling of the War in Iraq, the war on terrorism, and ethics in government, the poll also found the following:

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bush is handling (ITEM)?

7/21/07 - Summary Table*

Approve Disapprove No opinion
a. The situation in Iraq 31 68 1
b. The US campaign against terrorism 43 56 2
c. Ethics in government 31 65 4


So much for the conservatives and neoconservatives' claim that the "liberal media" is terribly biased, given that the government media is leaking out the truth about how many Americans are disillusioned with the entire political process.

At least Ron Paul is revving things up for the public as well as many disenfranchised voters.

Government Study Says Diet Sodas Linked to Heart Disease

The collectivists in the government's own medical research establishment must be on psychotropic drugs when it comes to studying dietary merchandise. According to the latest new study, diet drinks are purportedly linked to heart disease.

These collectivistic, social engineering-worshipping ignoramuses are trying to snooker the public into thinking that a can of soda that has NO sugar and with some flavoring to make it taste like a regular soda is somehow linked to heart disease. They are sticking to this arbitrary and warped bogus claim that one can of diet soda a day will increase your risk of heart disease by 48 percent. Yeah.....right.

Here's a key passage in the piece, which may be of interest to anyone here:

The study's senior author, Dr. Vasan Ramachandran, emphasized the findings don't show diet sodas are a cause of increased heart disease risks. But he said they show a surprising link that must be studied.


Emphasis mine.

But here's the shocking kicker that's been largely ignored by the mainstream press:

"There's too much contradictory evidence that shows that diet beverages are healthier for you in terms of losing weight that I would not put any credence to the result on the diet (drinks)," said Barry Popkin, of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, who has called for cigarette-style surgeon general warnings about the negative health effects of soda.

Susan Neely, president of the American Beverage Association, said the notion that diet drinks are associated with bulging waistlines defies common sense.

"How can something with zero calories that's 99 percent water with a little flavoring in it ... cause weight gain?" she said.


The questions that ought to be asked here are: where are the authors of this "study" getting their information? What research methods did they employ to gather their "findings"? Isn't it more than likely that the government's medical lobbyists and their stooges were behind the fudging of these "findings"?

These anti-sugar zealots and Nazis, with the help of the medical corporatocrats and the entire medical establishment, are doing everything they can to outlaw dietary soft drinks. I bet anyone with a modicum of intelligence $100 that your Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke Plus will either be outlawed in the next several years or heavily taxed and regulated for the "high costs of health care."

What's next? Flavored bottled water? Sugar-free candy? Low fat milk? Hostess Light Cup Cakes and Twinkies?

What's pathetic about this is that too many people truly buy into this malarkey and never question the veracity of these findings or any other findings of any study, whenever they are published and reported by Big Media a.k.a. the government media. Too many Americans take what these studies say for granted and swallow this medical garbage hook, line, and sinker. They accept this nonsense at face value, without taking into account that the creators of these studies are the recipients of federal subsidies (a.k.a. taxpayer money) at the expense of taxpayers.

Anyone with a brain should know that drinking a can of diet soda more than once a day is particuarly not good for them. The best way to lose weight is a well-balanced diet, exercise, and drinking plenty of water (best to have vitamins in them). There are no short cuts when it comes to controlling one's health and weight reduction.

Libertarians, free marketeers, anarcho-capitalists, paleolibertarians, and other advocates of liberty will be wise to ignore the advice dispensed by these medical whackjobs, health groups, and medical corporatocrats.

Federal Minimum Wage to Go Up Today

The federal minimum wage begins hiking for the first time in a decade today, boosting from $5.15 an hour (the wage set by Clinton and his congressional cronies in 1996) to $5.85 an hour (one of three hikes to be raised each summer until 2009). After three hikes, it'll be officially at $7.25 an hour.

Thanks goes to Herr Bush who signed the wage edict into law last May. Obviously, the Republicans caved into the demands of the Democrats for fear of being viewed as "heartless" and "unsympathetic to the poor." But then again, the GOP supports minimum wage edicts as long as they are crafted in their favor.

Wait until the unemployment rate starts to rise again. By then, the collectivistic leftists and rightists on both sides of the aisle will blame the market for "market failure" as they usually do.

For more on the minimum wage claptrap, click here.

For facts on why minimum wage laws are job killers, click here.

Federal Agents Raid Offices On Suspicion of Alleged Terrorist Ties

Federal agents raided two offices in Dearborn (which is in Wayne County, right under where I live) today, acting on the suspicion that they had terrorist ties to Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). These offices, which were owned by two charitable groups (Goodwill Charitable Organizations and Al-Mabarrat Charitable Organization), were cleaned out by the FBI, IRS, and the Secret Service, who were seen to be hauling away files and placing them into a van outside.

Here's an excerpt of the Detroit Free Press article, which covered it by the way:

Federal agents are raiding today the Dearborn offices of two charities suspected of having ties to terrorist groups in the Middle East.

A Dearborn police officer guarded the entrance to the office of the Goodwill Charitable Organization, a fund-raising office established by the Martyrs Foundation in Dearborn, on Warren Avenue, tucked between a grocery store and an import store.

The charity is not affiliated with Goodwill Industries, said Christine Bragale, spokeswoman for Goodwill Industries International.

Goodwill Industries International has sent the Muslim charity a letter in the past to get it to stop using the Goodwill name, Bragale said.

In Dearborn, several uniformed and plainclothes law enforcement officials shuttled in and out of the office, while bystanders and neighbors stood by watching.

The Treasury said in a news release that it "targeted Hizballah's support network by designating the Iran-based Martyrs Foundation, including its U.S. branch, and the finance firm Al-Qard al-Hassan."

The government also has frozen the assets of the Goodwill Charitable Organization, according to the news release.

"We will continue to target those who form the financial backbone of Hizballah, Hamas, PIJ and other terrorist groups that are attempting to destabilize Lebanon and target innocent civilians," said Stuart Levey, under secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, in the news release. "We will not allow organizations that support terrorism to raise money in the United States or to evade our measures and continue to operate simply by changing their names."

A search warrant was executed at the Goodwill Charitable Organization office, according to Imad Hamad, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

According to the Treasury, the Martyrs Foundation "channels financial support from Iran to several terrorist organizations’’ including “Hizballah, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)."

Federal agents are also raiding the Al-Mabarrat Charitable Organization, which has a Dearborn office on Schaefer Road, north of Warren Avenue.

Agents with the FBI, IRS, and the U.S. Secret Service were seen hauling away files and placing them into a van outside the office. Al-Mabarrat, whose headquarters is based in Lebanon, has held fund-raisers in metro Detroit in recent years.

Smoking Ban Passes in Michigan's State House Committee

The anti-smoking Nazis have won Round One in their fight to outlaw smoking in public in my home state of Michigan. According to today's online edition of the Detroit Free Press, an anti-smoking bill passed in the Michigan Legislature's State House Committee by a vote of 12-4. Interestingly enough, the bill is faced with massive opposition from many bar, restaurant, and casino owners from all over the state.

One of the collectivists in the State House Committee -- Committee Chairman Rep. Andrew Meisner, D-Royal Oak, -- claims that this bill, which was in fact pushed by "health and consumer organizations, will "put Michigan in the forefront of cultural change on attitudes toward smoking," which is something that these collectivists claim the state needs to discard "its aging, smokestack reputation."

A key passage in the article says in part:

The bill approved today contains exemptions for existing tobacconists and cigar bars, where Meisner said owners have invested in “tobacco infrastructure.”


Interesting. The bill, if it were pass in the House and the Senate and signed into law by Governor Granholm in its current form, will outlaw smoking in workplaces all over the state, including bars, restaurants, and casinos, but tabacconists and cigar bars are excluded from the measure.

I wonder which "health and consumer organizations" in my state lobbied for this bill and how much they were paid to get it on the legislative table.

WSJ's John Fund on Ron Paul

The Wall Street Journal's top Bush brown noser John Fund, who has thumbed his nose at Ron Paul in the past, writes in part today:

While Dr. Paul isn't about to win any GOP primaries this year, he is in solid political shape back home. He has won election six times from his Texas district since 1996. Dr. Broun could have similar electoral success if he sticks by the principles that got him elected and patiently explains to voters his reasons for doing so.


Could it be that the Neo-Cons and their collectivistic, social engineering-loving mouthpieces are finally vexed at the massive popularity of Paul's campaign? Is it possible that they are finally sweating over Ron's political viability on the campaign radar?

Inquiring minds certainly do want to know.

(Thanks goes to Thomas Woods for his posting of this on LRC today.)

Better angels

While at the Young Republican national convention during the July 4th celebrations we had 37 people with signs for Ron Paul.

NONE of the "brand X" Republicans had anybody with signs. Drivers who honked, waived, gave us up were 20-25% of the traffic. We calculated 1,000 cars per hour. There were four negatives: three anti-Pauline, one pro-Kucinich.

One of the media there interviewed me and I found myself explaining my support for Dr. Paul. It was an epiphany for me.

What has inspired me about Ron Paul is that he does appeal to the "better angels" in us. Of all the candidates running he is the one who most resembles Ronald Reagan's approach to political discourse.

I don't always have that transcendent quality. Ron Paul inspired me to try to appeal to the better and not attack those who I find myself in opposition with.

Of all the good Ron's race is doing, the elevating of the discourse, tone and approach may be, all by itself, the most worthwhile achievement.

When Ron Paul rises, brand X calls it sinking

Seems Ron Paul is doing well in the Iowa caucus. John McCain has had his troubles in the nomination fight & his staff in Iowa resigned. Including, Mr. Failure [sp?] who denied Dr. Paul a place in the forum arranged by Iowan's for Tax Relief!

But there is more: Mitt Romney isn't getting a lot of traction for his cash. His poll numbers are not in line with his fundraising. And now we hear that he is dropping the Iowa caucus.

Blogs friendly to the brand X candidates are already lampooning the Iowa caucus.

Why? Because Dr. Paul is doing well with the grassroots of the GOP who are starving for an honest leader to run for the nomination.

So note the denigration of Iowa for Dr. Paul is doing so well therein.

Ron Paul Back on Tucker Carlson - 07/11/2007

About a week and a half ago, on July 11, Ron Paul made another appearance on Tucker Carlson's MSNBC's show Tucker, in which Paul talks about his campaign progress, specifically the fact that he has earned more campaign donations from the "armed services" than Vietnam Vet and "Big 3" candidate John McCain. Interestingly enough, Ron's campaign donations have soared upwards by at least 400 percent in his Quarter 2 fundraising.

When one hears something like this, one cares to wonder what McCain is really thinking at a time like this.

Nevertheless, Ron is doing fantastic with his campaign. It just shows how strong and vibrant his Internet grassroots presidential campaign truly is, compared to the top-tiered candidates' campaigns on the GOP ticket (Giuliani, Romney, and McCain to be specific).

Monday, July 23, 2007

Ford and UAW Open Union Contract Negotiations in Dearborn

The protectionistic automotive industry and its Big Union hacks, who favor more protections, more subsidies, and more monstruously expensive wages and benefits packages, continues unabated, despite the War Party and its statist hacks claiming that the economy is turning around for the better.

According to today's online edition of the Detroit Free Press, the Ford Motor Company and its union-protected employees, who are represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW), met with each other before 1 p.m. to begin discussing its contract negotiations at Ford's headquarters in Dearborn today. Company chairman Bill Ford and chief Alan Mullaly met with UAW's execs Ron Gettelfinger and Bob King to launch the negotiations followed by a round of handshakes with one another.

Apparently the dying automaker, while trying to implement its unconvincing, unworkable Way Forward game plan, has lost over a record $12.6 billion last year. This recently-enacted plan is supposed to close 16 plants, which would dump 44,000 hourly and salaried jobs, not to mention retooling its line of cars and trucks.

These negotiations are purportedly designed to talk the UAW into accepting hourly wage labor cost cuts as much as by $21 an hour. The paper is saying that it could pare down the company's wage and benefits to about $50 an hour.

Another example of an inefficient automaker that's desperate to save its jobs and union employees at the expense of its customers. Have these employees considered the possibility that Ford CANNOT be saved, simply because the business isn't as profitable as it used to be and has failed to produce for its customers while hiking production, labor, and other costs for its own union-protected employees at the expense of their customers?

They are merely delaying the inevitable. Nothing can save Ford from its fiscal malfeasance. The only sound thing for Ford and its employees to do is to call it quits and file for bankruptcy.

Readers Respond to Editor & Publisher Hit Piece on NY Times' Piece on Ron Paul

Readers rebuke the editorial staff of the Editor & Publisher journal for its hit piece on the Ron Paul for President campaign when it was scribing about the New York Times' piece on Paul.

(Thanks to Lew for his blurb on this on his site's blog today.)

Why Latin America should root for Ron Paul

5.- George W. Bush is the best friend of the socialists in the region: he encourages the worst reactions and political trends because people think he embodies "capitalism" and "freedom"

4.- The U.S. military bases and covert operations protect mercantilistic interests abroad, sending the message that might makes right.

3.- The U.N, the IMF and the World Bank foster paternalistic and collectivistic tendencies in our countries which corrupt our cultures.

2.- A stronger U.S. economy makes a better trade partner for our countries.

1.- The U.S. can become a role model once again for the West, meaning classical liberalism i.e. peace, cultural advancement and civilization.

Editor & Publisher on the New York Times' Piece on Ron Paul

The newspaper industry's top journal Editor & Publisher wrote a lengthy article on the New York Times and Christopher Cadwell's infamous coverage of the Ron Paul for President campaign. The rag takes a swipe at the Ron Paul campaign and takes a shot at the NY Times piece, while portraying Paul supporters as "wackos."

Here's an excerpt of the article from E&P:

NEW YORK A feature piece in this coming Sunday's New York Times Magazine on Republican candidate for president, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, portrays his followers as including a wild mix of "wackos" on both ends of the political spectrum. Paul, a libertarian, has been gaining media and public attention of late.

The cover line reads: "A Genuine Radical for President." The headline inside: "The Antiwar, Anti-Abortion, Anti-Drug-Enforcement-Administration, Anti-medicare Candidacy of Dr. Ron Paul."

The article closes with the author, Christopher Caldwell, attending a Ron Paul Meetup in Pasadena. The co-host, Connie Ruffley of United Republicans of California, admits she once was a member of the radical right John Birch Society and when she asks for a show of hands "quite a few" attendees reveal that they were or are members, too. She refers to Sen. Dianne Feinstein as "Fine-Swine" and attacks Israel, pleasing some while others "walked out."

Caldwell notes that the head of the Pasadena Meetup Group, Bill Dumas, sent a desperate letter to Paul headquarters: "We're in a difficult position of working on a campaign that draws supporters from laterally opposing points of view, and we have the added bonus of attracting every wacko fringe group in the country....We absolutely must focus on Ron's message only and put aside all other agendas, which anyone can save for the next 'Star Trek' convention or whatever."

A Ron Paul Addict Rethinks Her Support for Paul

A Ron Paul addict, who goes by the name of Rachel on YouTube.com, is "rethinking" her support for Ron Paul. Of course, this is the same former addict who goes on about why she believes Ron should not be president, largely because of his infamous "Dr. No" nickname that he's earned during his congressional tenure.

Something tells me that something -- or someone -- got to Rachel shortly after she praised Ron Paul on the site. And my bet is that someone on either of the three major GOP campaigns (Giuliani, Romney, or McCain) scared her off. And I bet it was someone from Giuliani's campaign staff who got in contact with her and convinced her not to support Paul.

It's either that or this gal is simply making a huge mistake to not support Paul. Either way, something is fishy here.



Update:
Apparently, I was completely off, considering I didn't watch all of the entire video. (I only watched maybe 30 seconds of it.) Rachel was actually joking at the end of it, saying that she was only kidding and that she still supports Paul. I'm glad to know that she was joking about it. It teaches me to view something completely before I opine about it.

New York City Firefighters Against Giuliani

A group of New York City firefighters who were heavily involved in finding the bodies of the victims on Ground Zero on 9/11 are speaking out against Benito Giuliani in this 13-minute mini-documentary they created.

This is an incredible account of the arrogance, bureaucratic, and incompetent actions of the Giuliani administration during his tenure as mayor of New York City.

The New York Times Praises Ron Paul

The leftist New York Times praises Ron Paul on his anti-war, anti-Drug War, anti-Medicare candidacy so much that it's devoted an entire piece on him. The paper, thanks to leftist journalist Christopher Cadwell who agrees with him mainly on the Iraq War debacle and not so much on Ron's other anti-state positions, is giving Paul glowing remarks on his stands against the Bush administration and the Neo-Cons' pro-war activities in Iraq so much that it's finally saying what we ideologically pure libertarians have been saying all along: Ron is the only pro-freedom candidate who will stand up to the pro-war, pro-state special interests and the Neo-Cons who crave absolute power over us.

Here's an excerpt of what the NY Times said yesterday:

Alone among Republican candidates for the presidency, Paul has always opposed the Iraq war. He blames “a dozen or two neocons who got control of our foreign policy,” chief among them Vice President Dick Cheney and the former Bush advisers Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, for the debacle. On the assumption that a bad situation could get worse if the war spreads into Iran, he has a simple plan. It is: “Just leave.” During a May debate in South Carolina, he suggested the 9/11 attacks could be attributed to United States policy. “Have you ever read about the reasons they attacked us?” he asked, referring to one of Osama bin Laden’s communiqu├ęs. “They attack us because we’ve been over there. We’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years.” Rudolph Giuliani reacted by demanding a retraction, drawing gales of applause from the audience. But the incident helped Paul too. Overnight, he became the country’s most conspicuous antiwar Republican.

Paul’s opposition to the war in Iraq did not come out of nowhere. He was against the first gulf war, the war in Kosovo and the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, which he called a “declaration of virtual war.” Although he voted after Sept. 11 to approve the use of force in Afghanistan and spend $40 billion in emergency appropriations, he has sounded less thrilled with those votes as time has passed. “I voted for the authority and the money,” he now says. “I thought it was misused.”

There is something homespun about Paul, reminiscent of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” He communicates with his constituents through birthday cards, August barbecues and the cookbooks his wife puts together every election season, which mix photos of grandchildren, Gospel passages and neighbors’ recipes for Velveeta cheese fudge and Cherry Coke salad. He is listed in the phone book, and his constituents call him at home. But there is also something cosmopolitan and radical about him; his speeches can bring to mind the World Social Forum or the French international-affairs periodical Le Monde Diplomatique. Paul is surely the only congressman who would cite the assertion of the left-leaning Chennai-based daily The Hindu that “the world is being asked today, in reality, to side with the U.S. as it seeks to strengthen its economic hegemony.” The word “empire” crops up a lot in his speeches.

This side of Paul has made him the candidate of many people, on both the right and the left, who hope that something more consequential than a mere change of party will come out of the 2008 elections. He is particularly popular among the young and the wired. Except for Barack Obama, he is the most-viewed candidate on YouTube. He is the most “friended” Republican on MySpace.com. Paul understands that his chances of winning the presidency are infinitesimally slim. He is simultaneously planning his next Congressional race. But in Paul’s idea of politics, spreading a message has always been just as important as seizing office. “Politicians don’t amount to much,” he says, “but ideas do.” Although he is still in the low single digits in polls, he says he has raised $2.4 million in the second quarter, enough to broaden the four-state campaign he originally planned into a national one.

Welcome to Let Liberty Ring

Welcome to the first post of Let Liberty Ring. I am toying with the design of the blog, but hopefully we can get this underway.

I will be posting daily on this blog as well as my other one. In fact, I'll be cross-posting on this blog quite a bit, but also post original commentaries and ideas on this blog.

The reason for this blog is to unite libertarian bloggers -- from all sides of the philosophical spectrum -- who can post on more than one blog. Those who are new to Blogger can enjoy this blog, as they are being exposed to pro-freedom perspectives.

Anything else? Then let the posting begin....