LLR Pages

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Radley Balko: "Rather Fond of Bob Barr"

Radley Balko, a former policy wonk at the CATO Institute, currently a columnist for, and a blogger and Senior Editor for Reason Magazine, praises Bob Barr's coronation as the presidential nominee at the Libertarian Party's Denver convention. The nomination, which took place hours prior to the conclusion of the convention, has shaken up the entire libertarian movement, including many purists, anarchists, and "free marketeers" who are throwing a fit over the delegates (which have been reportedly made up a number of Barr and Wayne Allyn Root supporters, with only some Steve Kubby and Mary Ruwart supporters).

Balko opined on his The Agitator blog with the following:

It’s the first time the LP has nominated a serious candidate in a long time. I’ve become rather fond of Barr over his 5-year conversion to libertarianism. Second place went to nutjob Mary Ruwart, who would have continued the party’s long history of kook-ism.

Barr has the potential to win more votes than any LP nominee in history. If he helps the GOP learn that it’s time to boot the neocons and pay more attention to its limited government wing, all the better.

This is a good thing.

Notice what Balko said in the beginning of the third sentence in the first paragraph:

Second place went to nutjob Mary Ruwart....

Mary Ruwart, a long-time libertarian activist and author of Healing Our World in an Age of Aggression and Short Answers to the Tough Questions, is a "nutjob"? I see. So, in Balkoland, being a principled candidate makes you a "nutjob." How about Wayne Allyn Root, while he was running as an LP presidential candidate, throwing his support to John McCain little over a month prior to getting the VP nomination at the Denver convention this past weekend? (But then, that was before LP stalwarts Tom Knapp, Barry Hess, Ernie Hancock, and a number of "bought-and-paid-for" sell-outs got all starstruck over Barr's nomination.) Doesn't that make him a nutjob? Yet, you haven't heard a single condemnation from the national LP or even the party base for Root for pledging his support to McCain. Where was Balko when that claptrap happened?

Supporting Barr is "a good thing"? How can a candidate who has flip-flopped on the issues so many times and has assumed the role of a "I-wanna-pretend-to-be-a-Libertarian-so-I-make-money-off-the-base-and-the-party-and-just-get-a-few-more-votes-tarian" collectivist be "a good thing"? This is coming from a self-deluded "I'm-libertarian-when-I-want-to-be" libertarian, not a true-blue libertarian. That's exactly what Balko is and anything he says should be suspect.

Sure, he's great on the War on Drugs issue, but isn't he undermining his "opposition" to the War on Drugs by supporting a Drug Warrior who has more of a problem shedding his past image than adopting his new "let's-pretend-to-be-for-freedom" image? Isn't that really the matter? And sure, he's great on a few other social issues, but then again that's not saying much. Of course, Balko was FOR the war in Iraq initially. Once again, that doesn't say much in the grand scheme of things.

Sure, Barr may "[have] the potential to win more votes than any LP nominee in history," but so what? What is the likelihood that he will win the presidency? How much of a realistic shot does he have? Ron Paul didn't have a realistic shot, but his campaign was purely educational. Barr doesn't have a realistic shot, but his campaign is purely political, a 180-degree turn from Paul. Plus, his positions on immigration, the war in Afghanistan, his support for the Fair Tax, and spending are seriously suspect. Why should any third party and average voters support him over McCain, Obama, and Clinton?

Besides, what is so great about Barr? Even Wayne Allyn Root? I mean, seriously! What makes him the best candidate for the party? Because he WAS a congressman? Big deal! Captain Kangaroo and Bozo the Clown, on a political ticket, would have more success than Barr and Root would ever have.

The collectivists in the LP are thinking about power and votes and lining their pockets with money to make names for themselves in the media. It's a power play for the cameras. They want to look as if they are trying to accomplish something "positive" for the libertarian movement. But many of us who reject Barr and Root know better.

Balko is a collectivist, a statist, and a shmuck. His waffling on his libertarianism shows how much of a hypocrite he is when it comes to the libertarian philosophy. His support for Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root makes as much sense as a Democrat supporting Pervez Musharraf and Hugo Chavez, who both look like vile and pathetic candidates for the LP ticket for 2012.

It's time to write off these sell-outs for good. Balko gets a bigger write-off because he wasn't libertarian in the first place. That should tell people something.

[H/T to Wendy McElroy for reporting this on her website. Same goes to long-time (although briefly retired) libertarian writer and blogger Skip Oliva who privately emailed Wendy on Balko's antics.]

Update: The only reason Balko did attack Ruwart by calling her a "nutjob" because of the recent kiddie porn scandal that was the subject of great discussion at the Third Party Watch blog (before Stephen Gordon sold it off to Barr crony Richard Viguerie). Considering Balko never bothered to hear Mary's clarification of her answers on the Steve Kubby Show on Blog Talk Radio or even my Liberty Cap Talk Live spin-off show Liberty Cap Talk Live: The Special Edition Show prior to the Denver convention or even read her Short Answers to the Tough Questions book (which contains the offending answers to the "Childrens' Rights" question), of course he would level an attack against her as well.

It's interesting that Balko would do this, considering that Mary has never initiated force against anyone, stolen, taken bribes, or called for the power of the state to arrest anyone for drug possession or on the claim that the U.S. Patriot Act and the REAL ID Act are laws that will "protect our freedoms." Yet Balko praises a washed-up ex-congressman who has a history of supporting anti-freedom, pro-violent legislation against people, especially with regards to peaceful, non-violent drug use, even if it's done for recreational or medicinal purposes or both.

The Radical Center

I confess that I do not know quite where I fit in within the current known factions of the Libertarian Party. There seems to be a one-dimensional spectrum from Radical to Reformist, and I do not fall anywhere along it. (Perhaps we need a Nolan Chart for internal LP politics.) I find myself most sympathetic to those in the Radical camp, largely because Mary Ruwart's "Healing Our World" spoke to me as no other libertarian text has. While I think I'm a fairly bright fellow, I have never had a head for political theory or philosophy, but Dr. Ruwart's arguments made sense to me.

That said, I am no anarchist, and dare I say it, in many respects I am a statist. Nearly three years ago, I penned an essay on "Big Government" libertarianism. I no longer agree with some of the ideas I had then -- my political thinking, like my religious thinking, is in constant evolution -- but I do still sympathize with the person I was then, who joined the LP to seek the protection and multiplication of rights while eschewing a total reduction of government.

I sympathize with the Radicals because their camp is the one most focused on the issues I care most about -- the renewal of civil liberties, the ending of the War on Drugs, the right to make one's own decisions about education, the ending of marriage apartheid, and so on. However, on economic matters I am more moderate, and rather un-libertarian by most measures. I fully agree with the philosophical arguments against taxation, and have made some of them myself (especially in a Liberzine piece from 2000 that equated taxation with theft of the creative impulse, an essay sadly lost to the ages), but these matters don't burn me up the way so-called "social" issues do.

My Libertarianism is generally instinctual. I remember when I was about 12 years old, our small town imposed mandatory recycling requirements, and I loudly protested to my mother that the government had no right to tell us what to do with our garbage. She started at me like I was nuts. I don't remember how I first heard of the LP, but I was aware of it long before I could even vote. I did not and have not read Rothbard, Mises, Spooner, etc. -- perhaps if I did so, I would not be "wishy-washy" on monetary issues. It just made sense to me.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Death of the Libertarian Party Part 1

The death of the Libertarian Party has not come to a complete surprise, although it has been a sad yet disappointing outcome at the conclusion of the convention's presidential nomination process. I must say that I am not surprised with the final results, but it is yet disturbing that the political party with which I once supported (considering it was the Party of Principle) has completed its transformation into the Party of Opportunism, Compromise, Personalities, Infighting, and Pro-Big Government.

The events of the last 24 to 48 hours at the Denver convention have greatly proven to me that the political process is unworkable, especially within the confines of the Libertarian Party and the third party movement in general. This even goes for the process to "reform" the federal government, especially when and if your goal is to push for petitions at the federal level, join a caucus within the GOP or Democratic parties, or even run as a major party candidate or even work within the one of the two major parties (the Democrats and the Republicans).

A few of the top reasons that stand out for me are as follows:

Third Parties, Even The Libertarian Party, Just Don't Work

The first reason is pretty simple. The third party movement just doesn't work. Third parties have electorally and politically been marginalized and the system discourages any chance for the presidential, vice presidential, and other candidates for political office to get any massive support by the masses whatsoever. More importantly, the candidates don't even have a shot at winning the elections for which they are running. Even if the candidate(s) get more than 1 percent of the vote, so what? Rarely do third party candidates ever get noticed or even a mention from the mainstream media. Unless you're a multimillionaire or a high-profile public figure, or, in the case of Bob Barr, a former congressman who was just coronated as the Libertarian Party's presidential nominee, the average third party presidential candidate doesn't stand a chance of getting beyond the 1 percent vote margin.

Even the Libertarian Party doesn't work. The Libertarian Party, which has historically been an ideological political party, doesn't work for quite a number of reasons. One reason that it doesn't -- and can't -- work is that it is an ideological party that, although was started by former Republican Party activist David Nolan and a bunch of pro-freedom activists, cannot work within the realm of third party politics, even in politics in general. It was initially established as an educational vehicle, but that was the problem with the methodology in the first place. Education and politics just don't mix. They can't exist within the same room together. Either the LP can be an educational and research think tank, or it must be a political party. Political parties, by their own nature, are formed to impose an ideology upon the public, and that imposition is done via coercion. There are no such things as political parties being "private organizations" because they are the arms of the state (although some parties are only formed at the state level).

Moreover, the Libertarian Party's Pledge is worthless. The Pledge, which is designed to keep impure new members from joining the Party, is signed only to gain entry into the organization, not to ensure that the person who signed it really believes in the Pledge. As KN@PPSTER blogger Tom Knapp pointed out in an interview with CATO Liberty's Radio Free Liberty talk radio show in 2006, Libertarians who have just joined the Party for the first time are either:

  1. New members who signed the Pledge to join the Party, but changed their mind about the Pledge after they came on board;

  2. New members who signed the Pledge to join the Party, but lied when they signed it and join up;

  3. or

  4. New members who signed the Pledge to join the Party, but didn't really understand the Pledge when they signed it in the first place.

Third Parties, Unlike The Major Parties, Have No Internal Funding Base

The second reason is even more problematic for third party supporters. Aside from the first reason, the reason third parties can't get anywhere politically (that is, by getting their candidates elected to public office) is that the third party movement is terribly restricted and constrained by the campaign finance rules and regulations established by the two major parties. Those campaign finance regulations make it significantly difficult -- if not, almost impossible -- for third parties to gain any traction financially.

Basically these machinations make it extremely difficult -- if not, almost impossible -- for third parties and their respective candidates to secure large financial donations from a very few wealthy donors. The reason for these regulations is that they are supposed to prohibit unethical "hard money" and "soft money" contributions by limiting the amounts so that ethical candidates are elected to Congress and the Oval Office. After all, during each election season, people eventually discover that the major parties, which have a monstrous built-in funding base, are able to funnel large, unlimited amounts of campaign finance money into their political campaigns. Third parties are not able to do that because they possess no such funding base (the same goes for their candidates). Besides, a third party candidate, even Libertarian candidates, knows that you can't get anywhere with a $2,300 maximum campaign contribution limit.

That is why Congress, in the midst of every election season or so, and congressional and presidential candidates on both sides of the Republican and Democratic aisles push for such statist boondoggles -- to make it impossible for third party candidates to get anywhere with their campaigns. As a result, third parties and their candidates resort to "softening" their messages or radically overhauling them in desperate attempts to put them on the political map and get themselves elected to power. Thus, as a result, they become permanently marginalized, never to be taken seriously as contenders for the races for which they campaign.

Part 2 will be available in the next few days.


Good morning to you all from Washington, D.C. Todd Andrew Barnett, whom I know solely by reputation, has kindly invited me to become a contributor to Let Liberty Ring, and I have happily accepted. Some of you may remember my political news website,, which existed from 1997 through 2002 and which carried a wide array of third-party news. I tried to be fair and to treat alternative candidates with the same respect and scrutiny as those of the more established parties. (In September 2000, I interviewed Harry Browne, for example.) I was also the editor of the Web White and Blue 2000 online presidential debate, and was active in making sure alternative candidates were invited to participate.

I also briefly served as Deputy Director of Communications of the Libertarian Party in 1999 and 2000. I fear I did not acquit myself very well in the role and left abruptly. (I have since offered my apologies to my colleagues of the time. I hope I have matured somewhat in the intervening years.) I was an off-and-on LP member throughout this decade, and have recently rejoined, resolved to show a greater commitment. Hopefully my contributions here will be a part of that.

While I will have chances to write more about my reasons for rejoining in the days to come, as well as my thoughts on the LP in 2008, I do want to say one more thing this morning. Some of you know that I supported candidates other than our ultimate nominees for the presidency and vice presidency. I see no reason to rehash the intense but largely respectful campaign for the nomination here. Some committed Libertarians are not sure if they can support the 2008 national ticket, and I respect that. It is a matter of personal choice, and what could be more Libertarian than that? As for myself, I am not yet sure what I will do.

But as the heroic Steve Kubby said in Denver, "This party is not breaking apart. This is not 1983." That year, a large segment of the LP decided to put faction ahead of future possibilities. This year, no one is doing that -- Mary Ruwart and Michael Jingozian have both been elected to LNC roles, for example. The efforts toward unity in the wake of the heated contest in Denver are inspiring.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Let's Praise Christine Smith....

....for her objections to and incendiary comments on the LP delegates who nominated a man for president who still favors the War on Drugs and happens to endorse the Fair Tax.

If anyone has a YouTube clip of her complaining to the local Denver media about her removal from the first ballot and her subsequent complaints about Bob Barr getting the nomination, please email it to me.

LP Vice Presidential Second Ballot Results from Denver: Wayne Allyn Root is the LP's Vice Presidential Nominee

Here are the second vice presidential ballot results from yesterday's Denver convention:

Root 289
Kubby 255
Williams 14

Kubby unfortunatey lost by 35 votes, so Root won the ballot by a relatively crucial margin.

There you have! The numbnuts at the Denver convention have nominated a Barr/Root '08 race on the Libertarian ticket.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sixth and Final Ballot Results: Bob Barr is the Presidential Nominee

Here are the sixth and final ballot results from the Denver convention:

Bob Barr 324
Mary Ruwart 276

What a sad day! The collectivists have completely hijacked and destroyed the LP. The LP has now completed its transformation from a Party of Principle to a Party of Backroom Dealing and Opportunism.

As of today, just minutes before the last results were posted, I had decided to bolt from the LP. I left a message with Susan Dickson at the LP National Headquarters, saying that I want to "revoke my membership" with the LP and that I "no longer wish to be a member."

As of today, I have revoked the Pledge and my membership. The LP has died a long death. Goodbye, LP!

It was nice knowing you while it lasted.

All isn't lost. The Free State Project will pick up where the LP left off. Fortunately, I am a member of that organization and will be for many years to come.

R.I.P., Libertarian Party! Rest in peace.

Fifth Ballot Results from Denver

Here are the fifth ballot results from the Denver convention:

Ruwart 229
Barr 223
Root 165

Root will be dropped on the sixth and final ballot. Even though they must get a majority of the delegates to give the nomination to the nominee, "none of the above" and write-ins are welcomed. They are only two candidates left - Ruwart and Barr.

Root has just addressed the delegates and threw in his support for Bob Barr.

Fouth Ballot Results from Denver

Here are the fourth ballot results from the Denver convention:

Barr 202
Ruwart 202
Root 149
Gravel 76

Gravel was just dropped from the next unprecedented fifth ballot.

Third Ballot Results from Denver

Here are the third ballot results from the Denver convention:

Barr 186
Ruwart 186
Root 146
Gravel 76
Phillies 31

George Phillies was dropped from the next ballot. Interestingly enough, he didn't endorse anyone.

Second Ballot Results from Denver

Here are the second ballot results from the Denver convention:

Barr: 188
Ruwart 162
Root 138
Gravel 71
Phillies 36
Kubby 32

Kubby was eliminated on the next ballot. He was also a stand-up guy because he threw in his support for Ruwart.

First Ballot of Presidential Nominee

Here are the first ballot results coming from the voting floor at the Denver convention:

Barr 153 (24%)
Ruwart 152 (24%)
Root 123 (20%)
Gravel 71 (11%)
Phillies 49 (8%)
Kubby 40 (6%)
Jingozian 23 (4%)
Smith 6 (1%)
Ron Paul 6
William Colon 1
Penn Jillette 3
Daniel Imperato 1

Christine Smith and Mike Jingozian were dropped from future ballots because they didn't get 5 percent of the delegates' vote to remain on the ballot.

Smith, angry that she was dropped from the ballot, gave an anti-Bob Barr rant to the local media in Denver.

The IPR's Debate Poll

According to the Independent Political Report, the following poll that was posted in response to last night's debate (which was, once again, terrible, IMHO, although the candidates did a fabulous job) shows the outcome like this:

Bob Barr - 29 votes (27%)
Steve Kubby - 27 votes (25%)
Mary Ruwart - 22 votes (21%)
Mike Gravel - 16 votes (15%)
Wayne Root - 7 votes (7%)
George Phillies - 4 votes (4%)
Michael Jingozian - 1 vote (1%)

LP Presidential Speeches at the Denver Convention

The LP presidential speeches that were given within the first 90 minutes of the presidential nomination process were interesting. Everyone, from lackeys supporting Bob Barr to partisans supporting Steve Kubby, went to the podium while being televised on C-Span and giving their clear-cut endorsements.

I'm seeing Barr, Root, and Gravel supporters bandying about their rhetoric just trying to amass last minute support from supporters from other candidates. Mary Ruwart seems to be on the floor talking to her supporters and potential supporters as well.

The convention floor is busy, with other candidates going about talking to other supporters of candidates, asking for their support and vote. It's a huge zoo on the floor, and it's going to be interesting to see who wins and who loses in the final round.

Friday, May 23, 2008

LP delegate Starchild calls out Mike Gravel

LP activist and convention delegate Starchild calls out Mike Gravel on his support for government education and universal health care. According to IPR, Starchild asked Gravel why he could support "coercive taxation" and yet cling to the core libertarian principle of the non-initiation of force.

Tucker Carlson for President on LP Ticket?

It's now rumored that former conservative MSNBC talk show host Tucker Carlson is seeking a bid for president on the LP banner. Apparently he was making phone polls of LP delegates just to see if there's any room for last-minute LP bids to be entered. Convention delegates are reporting that Tucker is trying to get his name on the roster of presidential candidates.

Although it's an interesting rumor, the likelihood of that happening is quite nil.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Independent Political Report Replaces Third Party Watch

The new Independent Political Report blog is up now. It is an alternative to the Viguerie-acquired Third Party Watch blog, which has up until now served as an alternative media servicing the third party movement.

LP Presidential Candidate Kicked Out of Convention by Security

An LP presidential candidate, who attended a Libertarians for Justice (a 9/11 Truther group) event at the LP convention in Denver, was kicked out of it for refusing to sign its pledge.

David Nolan on Richard Viguerie

David F. Nolan, the founder of the Libertarian Party, tries to connect the dots between Bob Barr, Russell Verney (a former Buchanan/Reform Party supporter and now Bob Barr supporter), and Richard Viguerie, who has taken over Third Party Watch.

Third Party Watch Bought Out by Barr Crony

Third Party Watch is now under the control and domain of Richard Viguerie, a conservative Republican who is a Bob Barr supporter.

More as the developments continue.

The Libertarian Party Convention Is Today

Today is the Libertarian National Convention in Denver, Colorado. It's been reported that almost 900 delegates are registered for the event.

Let the games begin.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Why the Libertarian Party Fights with Itself

Kuznicki on Why the Libertarian Party Fights with Itself:

I’m reading some issues of Libertarian Forum from the late 70s and early 80s. In my defense, it’s work-related.

But I’m finding that it’s just sad, ugly reading — lots of infighting about issues that seem tangential or irrelevant, with little to offer an outsider about the value of having a Libertarian Party at all. Sometimes the articles don’t even explain why these people are fighting each other in the first place, leaving me rather mystified. And that’s saying quite a lot, coming from a guy who has just spent the last year of his life helping to edit the Encyclopedia of Libertarianism.

Yeah, ugly "infighting," such as the outrageous smears of heroic libertarians at and the Mises Institute by his buddies Palmer (also part of that encyclopedia project) and pseudo-libertarian Tim Sandefur.

Sandefur the Lincoln Hack Promotes Republican Hack McClintock

In Tom McClintock for Congress, Li'l Tim promotes Tom McClintock for Congress. Gotta love Tom's creds: "Tom McClintock is a man of integrity with a passion for freedom and our constitutional traditions. I’ve rarely met a political leader more sincerely devoted to the principles of liberty and respectful, not only of soldiers, but of the political leaders who have fought for our freedom in the past. The man quotes Jefferson and Lincoln off the top of his head, for crying out loud—and actually understands what they mean."

So Li'l Tim likes McC b/c he's "respectful of soldiers" and quote Lincoln. Kinda disgusting Sandefur puts Lincoln up on Jefferson's level. Ugh. Anyway, it's strange Tim praises McC as a man "sincerely devoted to the promises of freedom" ("and opportunity"?), even though--or is it because?--he is a "principled and serious believer in the principles of Goldwater and Reagan". And even though he is "completely wrong on gay marriage" and he supports medical marijuana but not real drug legalization.

Of course, Sandefur and McClintock have both worked for the Claremont Institute, devoted to the thought of Lincoln idolator Harry Jaffa. This is exactly what Claremont specializes in: teaching Republican political hacks a few buzzwords from Lincoln's speeches. That's what the "Lincoln Fellow" program is for. Sandefur and McClintock are both former "Lincoln Fellows" at Claremont. Very libertarian--not!

For more of McClintock's "libertarianism" see California's Coming 100-Year Political Storm.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ron Paul Talks About Fraudulent Fundraising on FOX News

Ron Paul courageously demonizes the vile and diabolical practice of fraudulent fundraising on Fox News, especially with respect to the Fed's "necessary" role in central banking, fractional-reserve commercial banking, and monetary depreciation.

As many Ron Paulistas would say, "Go, Ron, go!"

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Jerome Kowalski Mentioned in 911 Call

Apparently, Jerome Kowalski, the 61-year-old man charged with killing his brother Richard and his sister-in-law Brenda, was mentioned in a 911 call that was released to the public.

Here's the details of a WDIV piece that came out today:

DETROIT -- The terror of a son finding his parents dead inside their Oceola Township home is captured in a recently released 911 call.

"Oh my God. What? No. This can't be happening," the couple's son told a 911 operator as he called to report the killing of his parents.

The son of Brenda, 58, and Richard Kowalski, 65, found them shot to death in the kitchen of their home of 20 years on the 5400 block of Lyngre two weeks ago.

'I cannot believe this,' he said in dismay. He repeatedly said they're good people, as he tried to make sense of the situation.

'My dad still has an ink pen stuck in his fingers, like he was writing something. I can't believe this,' he said.

While waiting for the police to arrive, the Kowalskis' son confided in the operator about his family's recent loss of his grandmother a few weeks ago.

After a long pause and sudden realization, he said, 'I wonder if my uncle and him got into a dispute over my grandmother's estate. I bet you my uncle did this.'

Nearly a week later, Livingston County police announced the arrest of Richard Kowalski's brother, Jerome Kowalski of Warren.

The motive for the double slaying was money, said investigators. Jerome was upset that his recently deceased mother left Richard and Brenda Kowalski her inheritance and that he thought by killing them, he would receive the money, police said.

Jerome Kowalski was charged at the 53rd District Court with two counts of open murder and felony firearms in the double shooting of his brother, Richard Kowalski, and his wife, Brenda.

Jerome Kowalski's preliminary exam was scheduled Tuesday, but was adjourned to May 22 at 10 a.m.

If Jerome Kowalski is found guilty, he could face two life sentences in prison.

Jerome Kowalski's Return to Court Today

Accused murder suspect Jerome Kowalski, who was arraigned last week for the murder of his brother Richard and his sister-in-law Brenda, was brought back into court today for a preliminary hearing. It turns out that the hearing has been delayed for a week so that Kowalski's defense attorney Mack Spickard to "make time for additional discovery."

Here's what one source noted on this development:

5/13/08 - The Warren man accused of murdering his brother and sister-in-law in their Oceola Township home was back in court today. However, the exam for 61-year-old Jerome Kowalski was adjourned for one week to allow Defense Attorney Mack Spickard additional time for discovery. The Prosecutor’s office provided Spickard with photographic and video evidence related to the case but stated that more reports are forthcoming and will be provided later. Kowalski is charged with two counts of open murder and a felony firearm charge in the deaths of his brother Richard and sister-in-law Brenda Kowalski. Authorities have yet to release additional details about the case or a motive, except to say that the weapon used was a pistol and a note was discovered at Jerome’s residence by his son after the murders had taken place. Kowalski’s exam conference before 53rd District Court Judge Carol Sue Reader will be held next Thursday at 10:30am. (JM)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Less Antman: "The Dallas Accord Is Dead"

Libertarian Party activist and Mary Ruwart supporter Less Antman (also a certified public accountant [CPA]) published a new piece for entitled "The Dallas Accord Is Dead." In the piece, he declares the LP's historical agreement in Dallas, Texas in 1974 is now in tatters and urges Libertarians to negotiate on a new agreement at the upcoming Libertarian National Convention in Denver, Colorado from May 22 to May 26.

In an excerpt of the piece, Antman declares the following:

I don't want the LP coalition to end: I want it to thrive. I propose that 2008 be the year of the Denver Accord, and offer the following resolution:

  1. The Libertarian Party is committed to advancing the principle of non-aggression and a society based on mutual respect for life, liberty, and property.

  2. We support a comprehensive platform based on the current consensus of the party, to guide candidates, activists, and new members toward an understanding of the LP's position and how it would apply to different areas.

  3. No idea is too dangerous to be discussed. Platform debates should be open and respectful, and include proposals related to courts, police, and defense, which may succeed or fail, but will educate all who participate. These debates should not be limited to conventions or to platform committee members, but be ongoing and supported by the official party, with official web sites and blogs allowing all to participate, and with platform committee members expected to moderate online discussions as part of their service between conventions.

  4. Candidates and activists speaking on behalf of the LP should select their themes from the platform, and design brochures, speeches, and press releases based on those issues where there is a party consensus. When asked questions in interviews and Q&A sessions on a matter on which the LP has no official position, or where the individual disagrees with the party position, they should respond with integrity, identifying the silence or disagreement of the party with their own position.

Joe Lieberman - Murder, Inc's Own Employee

The self-righteous and sanctimonious executioner Joe Lieberman, representing as Murder Inc's own employee, appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe today hosted by Pat Buchanan (filling in for GOP collectivist and MJ frontman Joe Scarborough) and Mika Brzezinski. The pro-McCain hangman himself wants to slaughter more Muslims via another phony and flimsy excuse.

Watch the video, and you'll see what I mean:

Bob Barr Announces His LP Presidential Run

It's now official: former GOP Congressman turned LP presidential candidate Bob Barr of Georgia has publicly announced his presidential bid on the Libertarian Party's banner. It's all in the USA Today piece here.

[H/T to Tom Knapp who leaked it to TWP.]

Bill Redpath: "Shane Corey Left of His Own Decision"

Libertarian Party Chairman Bill Redpath, who appeared on the Steve Kubby Show with Mary Ruwart tonight, claims that former LP Executive Director Shane Corey "left of his own decision." (Go to 50:08 minutes on the podcast, which begins his response there.) He was asked about Corey's departure by Kubby (who called into his show rather late).

I called in tonight to weigh in my thoughts on a number of comments made by Redpath and Ruwart. (Check out 36:15 where I begin my comments there.)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

An Update on the Jerome Kowalski Case

According to Detroit Channel 4 website, arraigned murder suspect Jerome Kowalski, who is reportedly believed to have killed his brother Richard and his sister-in-law Brenda in their kitchen in their home in Oceola Township in Livingston County, had a motive for the killing.

According to police officials in the story:

The motive for the double slaying was money, said investigators. Jerome [Kowalski] was upset that his recently deceased mother left Richard and Brenda Kowalski her inheritance and that he thought by killing them, he would receive the money, police said.

This development is interesting, considering that it was never reported in the Livingston Daily News, the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News, and even Moreover, the police, unfortunately, are still keeping a lid on the details of their investigation and the autopsy results.

What brought this up was the fact that, while my parents, my brother, my sister-in-law (his wife), and my niece (their daughter), and I were at Red Lobster celebrating Mother's Day, my brother happened to mention this to our dad that he "read it in the paper."

This development will continue, and more details should be available on or after Tuesday when Kowalski shows up for his hearing....if he shows up, that is.

Here's to Hoping

The Original Mother's Day

The Mother's Day holiday was originally started as a feminist movement to urge all mothers of sons fighting in combat to speak out against war. Its origins date back to England as what it used to be known as "Mothering Sunday," which came from a 16th century Christian practice that enslaved women who would be allowed to visit their children during the weekend (on Sunday, specifically) on an annual basis.

Later, an American feminist named Julia Ward Howe, who penned the Battle Hymn of the Republic (a notorious hymn to Mars), was inspired by the British holiday after becoming repulsed by Lincoln's War Between the States. She planted the seeds of the American version of the day, thus authoring her infamous 1870 poem "Mother's Day Proclamation."

Unfortunately and eventually, the holiday lost its meaning and has since then come to mean honoring your maternal parent (your mother, that is) by taking her out to dinner and/or giving her a personalized "Mother's Day" Hallmark card.

Here's the original poem to commemorate the original holiday (not the silly holiday we have today):

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

The Bachelor-Turned-Soldier Wants You to Serve Your "Country" -- Ahem, Government

Lieutenant Andrew Baldwin, a Navy recruiter who's also a former star of The Bachelor, appeared on America's Election Headquarters, one of the pro-war, pro-military news shows on Fox News, today to talk about recruiting Americans into the military, specifically the U.S. Navy. Baldwin, clad in his black tie and blue Navy uniform, said to host Brett Baier that he was there to tell people about the "best deal going these days" -- that is, naval medicine. He said, "Navy medicine is, like, one of the best things you can do, in terms of financially, job security, opportunity, adventure, and ultimately being a service to your country and humanity."

He then went on to say that, while doing The Bachelor, he thought the Navy "was great" and that he "did [his] best to put [his] best foot forward" for the service. He praised the Navy, saying that joining it was the "best decision" he ever made. Apparently, his opportunity "enabled [him] to go to college," considering "[he] grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania." He furthers notes, "It nabled me to go to UCSF Medical School, and come out debt free, and really have experiences throughout the world that you couldn't have in the civilian sector."

Of course, the nice touchy-feely, couched pro-war, pro-military spiel sounded nice to the ears, but the rhetoric didn't get my blood boiling, nor did it bolster any excitement for me. All it did was that it reinforced the fact that the American Empire and its Military Industrial Complex were employing its government propaganda-laden news network to energize massive pro-government and pro-Big Military support for the military, especially during wartime.

While Baldwin and his pro-Big Military, pro-war cronies can rest on their laurels and take delight in their recruiting efforts, Bush and his cronies are racking up the civilian and soldier body count in Iraq.

Here's the video here:

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Phil Donahue's Personal Redemption

Former talk show host Phil Donahue (a graduate of Notre Dame, class of 1957) produces a new film which tells it like it is regarding the war. He does this even while El Leader decides to hide the caskets and make funerals off-limits.

It's about time that he puts his creative talents to wonderful and productive use.

The Republicans in the State of Maine

This photo comes from the Bangor News:

Ron Paul Supporters Infiltrate Utah GOP Delegation

Ron Paul supporters have infiltrated the Utah GOP delegation.

And you know what's great about this? They're not kowtowing to the collectivistic statist Republicans.

Here's an excerpt of the Salt Lake Tribune piece that goes into detail about it:

The Ron Paul Revolution will not go quietly.

As they have done in Nevada, Minnesota and elsewhere, a number of Utah Ron Paul backers are trying to get elected Saturday as delegates to the Republican National Convention where, under a proposed rule change, they could be free to vote for whomever they want.

Under existing party rules, the 36 Utah delegates to the convention are obligated to vote for Mitt Romney, who won the state GOP primary with 90 percent of the vote.

But on Saturday, the state party will consider changing its rules to release the delegates and let them vote for whom they see fit.

The proposed bylaws change comes in response to a request from Romney, after he dropped out of the race, to release his bound delegates.

The Paulestinian Dissension

Apparently the Ron Paulistas continue their Revolution, and it's incensing the staunch Republicans.

The Paulites Aren't Done Yet

Ron Paul deserves representation at the Republican national convention in proportion to the support he received in the primaries. And his supporters are prepared to fight like hell to make sure he gets it.

Across the country, at state and county GOP conventions, diehard supporters of maverick Ron Paul are staging uprisings in an effort to secure a role for Paul at the national convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul....

In Minnesota, Paul loyalists captured seven delegate slots at congressional district meetings, and in Nevada, the convention abruptly recessed on April 26 after balloting showed Paul supporters winning at least half of the initial contests for delegate slots to the national convention....

The Russian Soldier Chorus

A number of Russian soldiers join with The Leningrad Cowboys, a Finnish band, just to sing Alabama's national anthlem.

[H/T to Lew who noticed this.]

More on the Vile and Diabolical Pledge of Allegiance

Those who advocate that vile and diabolical fealty known as the Pledge of Allegiance should take a gander at the website of Pledge expert Rex Curry who provides a thorough documentation and archiving of the Pledge. His site does certainly have a number of disturbing yet legitimate photos of pledge takers in the early years of this fealty.

Check out this sample as well.

Look at the abundance of material on the subject here.

The Supreme Court's 1942 Ruling on the Right to Not Pledge Allegiance to the Flag

The recent suspension of three eighth graders from the public "government" schools brings to mind an old Supreme Court ruling from 1942 -- specifically, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943) -- that overturned the State of West Virginia's law that coerced the public "government" school children to stand up to salute the flag and recite the pledge.

The Court ruled the following:

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.

We think the action of the local authorities in compelling the flag salute and pledge transcends constitutional limitations on their power and invades the sphere of intellect and spirit which it is the purpose of the First Amendment to our Constitution to reserve from all official control.

(Here's the summary of the case here and the entire opinion here.)

[H/T to courageous LRC blogger Laurence Vance for his outstanding blogging on this.]

Three Teenage Heretics Versus That Vile Pledge of Allegiance

Three small-town public "government" schoolers who are in the eighth grade have been placed on suspension for refusing to put their hands on their chests and recite the evil and diabolical Pledge of Allegiance.

Here's more on the story from the Star Tribune:

Three small-town eighth-graders in Minnesota were suspended by their principal for not standing Thursday morning for the Pledge of Allegiance, violating a district policy that the principal now says may soon be reworded to protect free speech rights.

'"My son wasn't being defiant against America,' said Kim Dahl, mother of one of the students, Brandt, who attends Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Junior High School in northwestern Minnesota.

Brandt told the Forum newspaper in Fargo that Thursday's one-day in-school suspension, 'was kind of dumb because I didn't do anything wrong. It should be the people's choice.'

Kim Dahl said the 'punishment didn't fit the crime. If they wanted to know why he didn't stand, they should've made him write a paper.' She said her son has been declining to stand all school year, offered no reason for sitting and was not obligated to explain his actions.

The school's handbook says all students are required to stand but are not required to recite the pledge. The same is true for all four schools in the district, a school official said.

'These three [students] didn't, and they got caught,' said Mel Olson, the district's community education director. He said he backs the punishment, 'being a veteran and a United States of America citizen, absolutely.' Olson served in the Marines in Japan during the Vietnam War.

The head of the Minnesota American Civil Liberties Union said that the school's actions against the students are unconstitutional, and his office informed the district of that today in a strongly worded letter.

'The school can't do that; that's illegal,' said Chuck Samuelson, the civil liberties group's executive director. 'Wow.'

Samuelson said that numerous U.S. Supreme Court rulings dating to the 1940s say in 'well-settled constitutional law' that 'students who refuse to participate in the pledge cannot be punished for refusing to participate.'

The "Pledge of Allegiance" has always been, is, and always will be a government-approved, government-codified oath to the state. It is a government-mandated act of loyalty to the god known as the state, given that the state has been deified by its own collectivistic sycophants and supporters who believe that control is freedom, welfare is wealth, and the state is the savior of capitalism.

Furthermore, it is an act to centralize government and propagate its myths. It is a radical tool to brainwash and control our children who are forced to attend the government schools and individuals who attend major league sports games in order to become perpetual slaves of the state and its welfare-warfare state antics. It has become so pervasive that it has dominated every facet of our lives.

Let's remember that Francis Julius Bellamy, a Baptist minister and a Christian Socialist, is the author of this evil fealty. He wrote this in 1892 after Lincoln's War Between the States to ensure that everyone was indoctrinated with the following statist tenets:

  1. God

  2. Government

  3. You

Should we really be surprised with this vile, social engineering-worshipping, collectivistic claptrap? This is all the more reason to abolish the public "government schools, the vile and diabolical state itself, and return education to the province of the free market.

[H/T to Lew for his original blog report on this.]

Friday, May 9, 2008

Autopsy Results from Richard and Brenda Kowalski's Bodies Sealed

Autopy results that were completed after an examination of Richard and Brenda Kowalski, the slain Osceola couple and brother of suspect Jerome Kowalksi, are now sealed. According to Channel 4 WDIV, the results of the autopsy won't be released.

Here's the article in question:

Autopsy Conducted On Slain Couple

POSTED: 5:02 pm EDT May 6, 2008
UPDATED: 6:40 pm EDT May 6, 2008

LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Mich. -- Police are not releasing the results of an autopsy conducted on an Oceola Township couple that was found dead Thursday.

Police said the one of the couple's sons went to check on his mother, Brenda Kowalski, 58, and stepfather, Richard, 65, at their home in the 5400 block of Lyngre Drive Thursday afternoon because he had not heard from them in a couple of days and found them both dead in the kitchen.

Police are staying tight-lipped and are not releasing any details of the autopsy or if they are investigating a murder/ suicide or a double homicide.

Neighbors told Local 4 they think the couple was shot to death because investigators asked whether they heard any gunshots in the area.

Neighbors said they were not aware of any personal or money problems and the couple always seemed happy.

Detectives said there was no sign of forced entry.

The home is in Livingston County, about 45 miles northwest of Detroit.

Restauranteurs Now Steamed Over Michigan's Impending Smoking Ban

Apparently a large number of restauranteurs all over the state of Michigan are up in arms over the soon-to-be-passed statewide smoking ban.

Here's the Detroit Free Press piece in its entirety:

May 9, 2008

Restaurateurs steamed up over smoking ban

By Kristofer Karol

Restaurateurs are popping off at legislators after the state Senate approved a bill Thursday that would ban smoking in bars, restaurants and workplaces.

The bill now heads back to the House, where it's all but expected to pass, and then it will be good-bye to smoking in many Michigan establishments.

'We have no rights,' Hamburg Pub owner Mike Mills said. 'I know it's not a healthy thing to be smoking, but who are they to tell us? It's like them telling us how much to sell our hamburgers or beer for.

'I'm all for whatever we can do to raise Cain with it.'

Mills estimates 75 percent of his clientele smokes and that he doesn't know what he's going to do to keep his customers, especially in a down economy.

Brenda Sears, manager of Lucky's Pub in Fowlerville, estimates that virtually her entire clientele smokes and that 'very few' people ever come in and ask for a non-smoking area.

'I believe it's going to hurt the business, especially if it's more of a bar-type atmosphere,' Sears said. Ninety-nine percent of the people like to smoke when they're drinking.'

Some restaurateurs say their colleagues are overreacting.

Sharon Kisak, co-owner of the Yum Yum Tree in Brighton, voluntarily made her restaurant smoke-free in 1993. It was the first restaurant in the county to do so.

'I had customers say if you do it, you will not see us again and there were some we didn't see again, but more said we'll come because it is smoke free,' Kisak said.

'(It was) maybe three months where business dropped, but then it came up again. As word got out you couldn't smoke, the non-smokers came here.'

Craig Heath, owner of Brighton Bar & Grill in Brighton, also made the switch to a smoke-free establishment in November 2006.

While he made the change, he still doesn't support the smoking ban.

'Overall, I think it has been the right thing for Brighton Bar & Grill, but that doesn't mean it's the right thing for all restaurants,' Heath said.

'Some are complete bars, some are bars that have food, some are restaurants that have some alcohol — there's all different kinds of restaurants with or without alcohol.'

State Reps. Chris Ward, R-Genoa Township, and Joe Hune, R-Hamburg Township, said they will oppose the bill when it is up for a vote in the House.

'This is yet another good way to drive businesses out of the state,' Hune said. 'Who am I to tell the Bloated Goat in Fowlerville how to run their business?'

Ward said he voted against the measure before and he will again.

'I just don't understand why the market can't sort this out,' Ward said. 'It's all well and good until it's your bad habit they go after.'

While business owners are noticeably upset with the bill, Cleary's Kevin Cleary offered a silver lining.

'Everybody's got to play by the same rules,' Cleary said, adding it's not just the Howell establishment's business that would be affected.

David Beauchamp, owner of Champ's Pub in Brighton, said he has already taken a proactive approach with smoking, including adding state-of-the-art ventilation filters.

The last thing he needs, he noted, is more regulation from the state.

'This is like my family room,' Beauchamp said, 'and I should be able to run it the way, within the law, I see fit.'

Jerome Kowalski Now Charged With Murder of Brother and Sister-in-law

Jerome Kowalski, the man who was placed under arrest under suspicion of murder of his brother Richard and his wife (Jerome's sister-in-law) Brenda, has been charged with the crime of shooting and killing them in the kitchen of their home in Oceola Township in Livingston County.

As of this moment, Kowalski has been arraigned "on two counts of felony murder and one count felony firearm" in the murders and has been placed "under suicide watch" at the Livingston County jail. Interestingly enough, his bond has been denied, and a preliminary exam has been scheduled for next Tuesday. After all, he has been deemed "a person of interestfrom the beginning," as noted by one of the Michigan State Police detectives who is involved in the investigation.

What's even a red-flag raiser is that "neither the contents of the note nor a motive of the crime" have been disclosed. However, what's even MORE of a red-flag raiser is that law enforcement officials, while publicly not saying that they have a murder weapon, apparently have not found the murder weapon that was allegedly used in the crime. Oh, and let's not forget: they don't even have any other suspects on their radar.

As I noted before, the state had insufficient evidence to prove that Kowalski committed the crimes. However, now it's becoming clearer that the evidence it has on him is purely circumstantial. If Kowalski is to be charged with murder, where's the murder weapon? Did the weapon happen to have his fingerprints on it? Did or did he not have an alibi in this matter? Those are paramount questions in order to determine whether or not Kowalski is to be charged of a crime that he may have committed.

The charges pending against Kowalski is purely circumstantial at best. However, I feel the state will hound him and crucify him for a crime that he may not have committed.

Michiganders' Reaction to Smoking Ban

Apparently there is a statewide reaction to the looming smoking ban that will dominate Michigan. Some Michiganders, according to several Michigan news reports, are for the ban; others are worried about it.

Here are a few samples of the responses from people who reacted to the ban:

Chef-owner Mary Brady of Diamond Jim Brady's in Novi declared her restaurant smoke-free on Jan. 1 and said the results have been 'extremely positive' and that employees 'absolutely love it.'

She lost a couple of regular customers, she said, 'but I will say we got more people in than people we lost.'

But Brady then has a shift in tone of her attitude when he admits the following:

But in a reflection of the mixed feelings within the industry, she said that she agrees with the MRA's opposition to the ban.

The association wants the decision left up to individual owners and is especially unhappy about possible exemptions to the rules for American Indian-run casinos.

'I agree with their position. There are so many government mandates, this is just one more,' Brady said. 'And what about sports bars, where people go to smoke and drink and watch TV?

'I felt good that I could make the choice on my own ... and somebody didn't hold an ax over my head.'

The piece even reveals that other restauranteurs have been overwhelmingly relieved upon hearing news of the ban:

Co-owner Chris Johnston said he felt that he had no choice but to permit smoking, even though he dislikes it, when he and his partners opened the Emory, an attractive restaurant and bar on Woodward Avenue in Ferndale two years ago.

'Because we have mouths to feed and employees to take care of, it would have been too risky a move' not to allow it, he said. 'We're not a major chain with deep pockets. We have to do what will keep the place open.'

These people just don't get it.

If an individual owner wants to prohibit smoking on his establishment because his customers are demanding that the vice shouldn't be allowed on the premises, then the owner should be responding to market demand for his customers' business and making the decision to ban smoking on his property. After all, this is consistent with the libertarian principle of private property rights. It's his right, and he should do what is necessary to please his customers.

But when the state gets involved and decides a one-size-fits-all policy for everyone else, then it effectively destroys private property rights by making it illegal for owners to decide whether to keep the vice in his establishment. That's wrong, considering government is SUPPOSED to be protecting private property rights and not destroying them.

Besides, this is a form of state-mandated discrimination imposed upon the cigarette-smoking populace. Not only that, it's a subsidized state-mandated discrimination. How about equal protection under the law? Isn't that what we were supposed to have? No, wait, according to the collectivists, we need, "Equal treatment under the law." Translation: special rights for one group, but no equal rights for the other.

This is all done in the name of political correctness in the state, which has run amuck. So much for the socialist doctrine of "No discrimination!" in our society. This is government-approved discrimination -- not to mention socialism -- in its own worst form.

Or, as some would prefer to call it, Nanny Statism. You pick the word.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Michigan's War on Smoking Has Finally Launched

The vile and diabolical social engineers and collectivists, also known as statists, in the Michigan Senate have finally greenlighted its own anti-smoking decree. This new move will make it illegal for restaurants, bars, and even casinos to allow smoking on their own property. What's even just as bad (if not, worse) is that the bill is making its rounds to the House, which will then be heading for Governor Jennifer "Wartface" Granholm's desk.

The ban, once signed into law by Granholm and having no approved effective date for its enactment, will take place on April 1, 2009.

This is an excerpt of's piece on the issue:

LANSING -- Now that that push to ban smoking in Michigan bars, restaurants and other workplaces has cleared a big hurdle with Senate passage, the measure could be on its way to Gov. Jennifer Granholm's desk for signature as early as next week.

In a surprisingly lopsided 25-12 vote Thursday, the Republican-run Senate approved the smoking ban narrowly approved by the House last year.

'Thousands of Michigan residents have their health placed at risk through exposure to second-hand smoke,' said Sen. Tom George R-Kalamazoo, one of two physicians in the Senate. The ban 'is consistent with our constitutional duty to protect the health of the citizens of Michigan.'

Don't these collectivistic cretins understand that, once you ban something, it will only drive the vice underground, creating a black market? This is nothing more than a war on smoking!

I'm a non-smoker, and I personally despise smoking, but no one is forcing me or anyone else to smell or inhale that smoke. Yet that's the attitude of the statists: we, the state, must "protect" its children from the Big, Bad Smoking, even if no one is forced to inhale it.

Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.

The State's Insufficient Evidence Against Murder Suspect Jerome Kowalski

As many libertarians, paleolibertarians, free marketeers, and other politicos across the spectrum across the country may not be aware, there has been some news and print media coverage here in Michigan of a man named Jerome Kowalski, 62, who was arrested late Tuesday night (that's May 6th) for possibly having committed murder of his brother Richard Kowalksi, 65, and his wife (Jerome's sister-in-law) Brenda, 58. Kowalski, who lives in Warren, was picked up by the police investigating the death of the couple whose bodies were found with multiple gunshot wounds on their persons in their home in Oceola Township in Livingston County.

According to several Michigan reports, the couple's two adult sons, who had been concerned about them, came to their house to check up on them, only to have found them in the home and had called 9/11. The police say that there was no forced entry in the house, and, with Kowalski in custody, the man "may have" killed his brother and sister-in-law "over money." Interestingly enough, the preliminary autopsy results have not been released to the public, nor are the police going on record what conclusions the results have reached thus far. (Even more interesting, the Ann Arbor News is claiming that only one of the two sons had found the couple's bodies, which proves that the print established media can't even get its facts straight half the time.)

Here's what really bugs me about the entire story:

Police said Wednesday they found a note in Jerome Kowalski's home indicating that he killed his brother and that the murder has to do with money.

How do the police know that the murder "has to do with money"? Was there really a note found in Kowalski's home? Why would a man who has had a prior clean rap sheet, not to mention no criminal record, commit murder of his brother and his wife "over money"? How do we know the police is telling us the truth about Kowalski? And why are they so "mum" over the grim details of the killings?

More importantly, why haven't the preliminary autopsy findings been released?

There are more unanswered questions than answers, and the state is not being honest and cooperative with the public about this latest crime.

The interesting aspect of this entire murder investigation is that neither the police nor the press mentioned the fact that Kowalski is also a rent-a-cop employee contracted to work at the gate via a contract company at the Selfridge Air National Guard base. My father, a retired Ford employee and a former rent-a-cop on the base, worked with Kowalski up until last year. He said that Kowalski, even in the eyes of his fellow employees at the gate, always seemed nervous.

One of the other employees who's on good terms with my dad (and has been a good friend of his for years as well as our family) who knows Kowalski said that the Warren man had worked at the gate a day before the bodies were discovered and seemed nervous. In fact, after Kowalski was arrested, he was given a polygraph test (which is funny, considering that they are deemed unreliable and inadmissible in court). He had flunked it and seemed nervous, but then, as my dad said, "He always seemed nervous and would have flunked it anyway."

While Jerome is viewed as a suspect in the murder, he is still innocent until proven guilty. Right now what the police have is insufficient evidence, which means that the evidence collected by the authorities isn't enough to secure a conviction, let alone a sentencing at Kowalski's trial. At this point, the police might want to finger Kowalski as their man whom they think committed the crime, but DNA testing, polygraphs, and other forms of forensics are not exactly reliable forms of evidence testing. (Even the FBI's own forensic testing was officially debunked.)

For better or worse, whether Kowalski committed the crime or not, unless he gave a written confession and was properly mirandized by the state, he's innocent until proven guilty.

The story will continue to take shape in the weeks to come.

Photos of Hiroshima Are Now Newly Published Online

Here are the photos if anyone wants to see them.

The Robert L. Capp collection at the Hoover Institution Archives contains ten never-before-published photographs illustrating the immediate aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing. These photographs, taken by an unknown Japanese photographer, were found in 1945 among rolls of undeveloped film in a cave outside Hiroshima by U.S. serviceman Robert L. Capp, who was attached to the occupation forces. Unlike most photos of the Hiroshima bombing, these dramatically convey the human as well as material destruction unleashed by the atomic bomb.

McCain Wants Ron Paul as His Rival in November

It appears that John McCain wants Ron Paul, in lieu of Obama or Clinton, to be his preferred rival in November. Obviously he said it in jest; however, wouldn't it be cool if Paul, a man of peace, could go up against McCain, a man of war? After all, it would be the most important race to occur on Election Day in November.

Think about it: an Austrian economist against a fascist, a man of honesty money against a man of central bank planning, a good man against a bad man.

Here's an excerpt of the Star Tribune piece on McCain's "joke":

NEW YORK - Of the Democratic presidential candidates, would Republican John McCain rather take on Barack Obama or Hillary Rodham Clinton?

'You know, Ron Paul is still in the race,' McCain joked Wednesday during a taping of Comedy Central's 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.'

[H/T to Lew for his original blog posting on this.]

David F. Nolan: 'How They Can Win The Libertarian Nomination'

LP founder David F. Nolan, who has recently been on Mary Ruwart's side with regards to the alleged "I'm-for-child-pornography" charges made by one of Root's supporters (and subsequently Root himself) and pumped up by Christine Smith and George Phillies, writes a humorous piece on how LP presidential candidates can land the Party's nomination.

Here's the piece in its entirety:

How They Can Win The Libertarian Nomination
by David Nolan

Here, for everyone’s amusement, are plausible (OK, semi-plausible) scenarios outlining how each of the six leading contenders COULD win the LP nomination for President at the upcoming national convention in Denver. Some, obviously, are more plausible than others. Consider this speculative fiction, nothing more.

BOB BARR – Announces on May 12 that he’s really in the race. Takes fairly hard-line Libertarian stands on the issues, apologizes for past misdeeds. Receives significant coverage as a result. Places first on the first ballot with nearly 30% of the vote, crushing Wayne Root, who runs third, close behind Ruwart. Nearly half of Root’s supporters migrate to Barr on the second ballot, along with a smattering of others, bringing Barr’s total to more than 40%. Barr announces his preferred running mate: Steve Kubby. Explains that this will show the world that he is now sincerely opposed to the War on Drugs. Wins narrowly on third ballot.

MARY RUWART – Emerges on the first ballot as the preferred candidate of the “hard line” Libertarians, running a close second to Barr. Fourth-place finisher Steve Kubby announces he is withdrawing and urges his supporters to switch to Ruwart. Both Barr and Ruwart gain support on the second ballot, running virtually tied at 1/3 of the votes each. The third ballot fails to decide the contest, with Barr and Ruwart now each above 40% as Root’s support collapses, going mostly to Barr, and Gravel’s former supporters going for Ruwart. On the fourth ballot, Ruwart narrowly squeaks past 50% to win the nomination.

WAYNE ROOT – Barr announces on May 12 that he is NOT entering the race, leaving Root as the sole “right wing” contender. Root places first on the first ballot, names Phillies as his preferred running mate. Receives 44% on the second ballot, ten points ahead of Ruwart. The contest tightens on the third ballot, with Root and Ruwart virtually tied. Last-minute innuendo against Ruwart is successful, and Root narrowly squeaks past 50% to win the nomination.

KUBBY – Gives a stellar performance in the C-SPAN Presidential debate, and places a strong fourth on the first ballot. Nobody gets more than 25%. Barr and Root continue to struggle for majority support from the “right wing” faction, Gravel drops out and endorses Kubby, who narrowly surpasses Ruwart to finish third on the second ballot. The “hard line libertarians” coalesce behind Kubby on the third ballot, vaulting him past Barr and Root, who continue to split the “right wing” vote. Kubby narrowly squeaks past 50% to win the nomination on the fourth ballot.
PHILLIES – Polls 11% for a fifth-place finish on the first ballot, and slowly gains ground on subsequent ballots. Is up to 18% on the third ballot, putting him a distant third to Barr (or Root) and Ruwart. Votes remain unchanged on the fourth ballot, with NOTA preventing anyone from obtaining a majority. Bitter division between Barr/Root supporters and Ruwart/Kubby supporters produces a deadlock that results in a Phillies win on the fifth or sixth ballot.

GRAVEL – Drops his support for the FAIR tax and shows surprising strength on the first ballot, running close behind third-place Ruwart. On subsequent ballots he builds a coalition of delegates for whom opposition to overseas adventurism, civil liberties, and drug decriminalization are key issues. A surprising number of delegates see Ruwart as tarnished by the accusations against her, while Kubby is seen as one-issue candidate, so most of their support migrates to Gravel on the second and third ballots. He also picks up support from Barr voters who believe that Gravel’s credentials match or beat Barr’s, and will result in high media coverage. Wins by narrow majority on fourth or fifth ballot.

I re-emphasize: this is FICTION. Have at it!

Mary Ruwart: "Do You Believe In Liberty?"

Mary Ruwart responds to her thuggish critics in the LP -- critics like Wayne Allyn Root, Christine Smith, George Phillies, and Eric Dondero Rittberg. What an excellent piece.

She even mentions her fellow presidential candidate Steve Kubby in the piece as well.

Here's the piece in its entirety:

Do You Believe in Liberty?

by Dr. Mary Ruwart

In just a few weeks, the Libertarian Party’s national convention delegates will choose our party’s 2008 presidential nominee, who will become our de facto leader and public face of the party for the next four years. Will we choose wisely? Will we choose someone who believes in liberty?

When I first ran as a Libertarian candidate for public office in the early 1980s, many of our positions were very unpopular. For example, our call to end the drug war was considered by many to be an endorsement of drug usage and addiction. Because we didn’t see the War on Drugs as a solution to the drug problem, people automatically assumed that we condoned the problem itself. They supported the War on Drugs because they thought that a ban on them would keep drugs out of the schools.

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. The black-market profits created by drug prohibition virtually guaranteed that pushers would target our children. Although alcohol and tobacco have been consistently illegal for minors, students had a much harder time getting drinks and smokes than purchasing crack cocaine or heroin. The best reason for doing away with the War on Drugs was to protect our children, even though most Americans thought just the opposite was true.

These days, even many law enforcement officials support an end to drug prohibition ( This shift in public perception did not occur overnight, but was largely brought about by courageous Libertarian candidates who were willing to teach the American public about the benefits of liberty, even as they were 'slimed' by the media. I am proud to be counted among those candidates, proud to be saving lives and protecting our children. More recently, banning guns has become the cause du jour to 'save the children.' Because libertarians don’t see gun bans as a solution to violent crime, some people automatically assumed that we were content to see children die in gun accidents and school shootings. The American people supported gun bans because of their mistaken impression that they were saving the children.

Consequently, when courageous Libertarian candidates called for an end to these bans, they were often scorned and ridiculed. Studies now show that permitting peaceful citizens to carry concealed firearms lowers the homicide rate. For every life saved by gun bans, 400 lives are lost to predators who would have otherwise been stopped by their armed victims, usually without a shot fired.

Women, people of color, and children make up a disproportionate number of these 400 lives, since, once disarmed, they are much more vulnerable to attack. The fabled Gun Free School Zones are, in reality, prime targets for rampage shooters, because the teachers have been disarmed. The best reason for doing away with bans on firearms is to save the lives of our children, even though many Americans think that just the opposite is true.

For years, myself and other libertarian candidates have pointed out that 'when guns are banned, only criminals will have guns.' The shift in popular perception has come about primarily because courageous Libertarian candidates are willing to teach the American public about the benefits of liberty, even at the cost of being “slimed” by the media. I am proud to be counted among those candidates, proud to be saving lives, especially the lives of our children.

Today, other bans, such as the ones against child pornography, are touted as panaceas to 'save the children.' Like drug prohibition and the ban on firearms, these bans backfire, harming the very innocents they are intended to help. Anyone who believes in liberty can see the pattern. Bans and prohibitions drive vices underground, where participants have no legal recourse when they experience exploitation.

Bans make criminals out of 17-year-olds having consensual sex with 15-year-olds, because the younger partner is presumed too immature to make an informed decision. These draconian laws destroy the lives of our young people by making them carry the label of “sex offender” for the rest of their lives. Yet as late as the last century, it was not at all unusual for American boys and girls to marry and start families in their early teens!

Bans based on arbitrary age limits aren’t needed to protect those too young to make informed decisions about sexual conduct. Pre-pubescent children, for example, don’t have the physical or emotional maturity to even understand what sex is all about. When an adult engages in sexual conduct with a young child, we don’t need a law specifying an age limit in order to convict those adults of rape. All we need to do is show a jury that the child wasn’t competent to consent.

These kinds of age-based bans put prosecutors and regulators in charge of a weapon that can be used against those whose views aren’t politically correct. One of my fellow contenders for the LP presidential nomination, Steve Kubby, has had devastating first-hand experience with this fallout.

Mr. Kubby’s efforts were instrumental in passing Proposition 215, which removed the ban against medical marijuana in California. Many of you know the story of Mr. Kubby’s subsequent life-threatening incarceration for the crime of passing a law disliked by the police, his move to Canada, and his heroic return ( While Steve was in prison awaiting the court action that would clear him, his wife, Michelle, was told that their children would be taken away and placed into permanent foster care if Steve lived with them and used medical marijuana.

It didn’t matter that several doctors in two countries have confirmed that Steve has a 'life and death medical necessity' to use medical marijuana; the courts, which are part of the same government apparatus that prosecuted Steve, routinely favor purported evidence presented by 'child protection' officials over testimony from physicians and other real experts.

Michelle did the only thing she could reasonably be expected to do; she began divorce proceedings against the love of her life while he languished in prison. Although his girls still spend holidays with him, and while they talk by phone twice a week, Steve Kubby’s biggest heartbreak in life is that he doesn’t get to kiss his two children good night each evening. He isn’t there to hold them when they hurt. He isn’t there to look into their eyes and hear them whisper, 'Papa, I love you.'

Meanwhile, another fellow presidential contender, Wayne Allyn Root, reaps all the rewards of parenthood. He talks about the joys his four children bring to him in virtually every speech he gives. Mr. Root supports bans on vices ( – at least the vices he doesn’t engage in for a living. He supports the very laws that empowered the state to take Mr. Kubby’s children from him to punish him for believing in liberty. In fact, when I told Steve I wanted to discuss his situation, he agreed -- provided I not name the agency that threatened his family, under orders of his attorneys, who still are concerned about reprisals against Steve for his role in legalizing the medical use of marijuana.

Mr. Root is new to the LP; he doesn’t understand how liberty works because he hasn’t done his homework. He doesn’t understand the hidden dangers in government’s monopoly on force; he scorns the notion that justice is best served when we have competition in everything, including courts, police, and national defense. He calls such competition 'anarchy;' I call it 'freedom from government oppression.' Had Mr. Root walked in Steve Kubby’s shoes and had his children ripped from his arms, he might consider more carefully the unintended consequences of bans and prohibitions.

Instead, as Mr. Root freely admits, he reacts emotionally to the superstitious belief that passing a law 'makes it so.' He doesn’t understand how private courts work, and so assumes – wrongly -- that underage victims couldn’t easily press charges. In fact, the opposite is true. Prosecution by government requires that a victim or the victim’s advocate persuade the prosecutor to take on their case; if that person refuses, there is no recourse. In a system of private courts, no such bottlenecks exist. You may win or lose, but you will have your day in court.

Mr. Root could have asked me for clarification of my positions and I would have gladly given it to him. In spite of repeated efforts by phone and e-mail to persuade me to drop my presidential bid and run in coordination with him for VP, Mr. Root did not ask me to enlighten him on my views. I can only assume that truth doesn’t matter to him – or at least that it doesn’t matter as much as the prospect of getting rid of a competitor does.

Mr. Root concludes his latest press release with this question: 'No matter how one might attempt to present the position, do you believe we will grow the Libertarian Party, or damage it, by promoting the removal of the age-of-consent laws or any other laws that the vast majority of Americans believe protect innocent children from adults who would sexually exploit them?'

For the record, I have never 'promoted' the removal of the age-of-consent laws. I discussed the issue ten years ago in a book written to help libertarians deal with some of the tough questions we get. It is Wayne Allyn Root, not I, who has made these issues campaign centerpieces -- after telling me in writing that he wanted the issue to go away and wasn’t responsible for earlier statements made by his campaign manager or the posting on his web site asking me to withdraw from the presidential race.

Do we want a presidential candidate who highlights issues he himself says are damaging to our party … if he thinks he can use those issues to drum an opponent out of the race? Do we want a presidential nominee who won’t take responsibility for his own campaign’s actions and statements?

We have always been able to grow the Party and get millions of votes. The choice has always been ours; all we’ve ever needed to do was sell out. All we’ve ever needed to do is denounce liberty so that we could avoid scorn and ridicule. All that has ever been required of us is that we stop being the Party of Principle and become the Party of Expediency. All we’ve ever needed to do was stop telling the truth to the American people, stop trying to help them understand the price they pay when they fall for statist propaganda. All that was ever needed was to support bans that harm our children, but give us the illusion of protecting them.

If I and other Libertarian candidates had taken this path years ago, the Libertarian Party might be bigger and more popular than it is today. In all likelihood, however, discussions about doing away with the War on Drugs or getting rid of gun bans wouldn’t be part of the agenda. If we hadn’t talked about liberty when it was unpopular to do so, Ron Paul wouldn’t have been so well received in his grassroots presidential campaign. Instead, we would be talking about protecting and enriching ourselves, and sacrificing our children on the altar of appearance to do so.

Is that the kind of future we want for the LP? If so, we have several candidates ready and willing to take us down the path of least resistance. Wayne Allyn Root isn’t the only 'establishment-lite' candidate running. He’s not the only one who wants to keep the truth from the American people, to soft-sell our message, to denounce our most cherished values in order to make ourselves look 'mainstream.' He’s not the only candidate ready to sacrifice our children so that we can have the illusion of heroism without the substance.

I’m not interested in that kind of future for our party. If we really care about the children, then we’ll tell the truth about liberty until the American public hears us instead of selling out for fifteen minutes on Fox News and the occasional mention in Jay Leno’s monologue.

For decades, Libertarians like Steve Kubby and I have told the truth about liberty. We’ve held our party’s beliefs high instead of hiding like cowards behind America’s children, even when it meant we might be subject to abuse or ridicule. Mr. Kubby has put his life, his fortune, and his family on the line for liberty –and because he did so, his fellow Californians and Americans in several other states now have access to a healing plant that relieves their suffering. If my fate is to take some slings and arrows from my fellow presidential hopefuls, the price I pay for speaking the truth of liberty is indeed small.

I’m not about to start lying to my fellow Americans now, not after all these years of telling the truth, not after seeing Ron Paul inspire so many people with an uncompromising message of freedom. 2008 is a year for us to strike while the iron is hot -- to stand on our record of speaking truth to power.

We were right on the war on drugs – and now that fact is almost universally acknowledged. Around the country, states are legalizing medical marijuana, cities are telling their police forces to go after real criminals instead of drug users, and the masses are revolting against a 'justice' system that now imprisons more people than any other nation on earth, mostly for victimless 'crimes.'

We were right to stand firm against victim disarmament – and over and over the correctness of our stand has been proven on America’s streets. What was once our courageous minority stand is quickly becoming the conventional wisdom.

We’re right to stand up for a non-interventionist foreign policy and against the war on Iraq. The American people are already with us on that one.

We’re right to stand up for getting the market back into health care and the government out of it. The American people were with us when 'Hilary care' was proposed in the 1990s---and will be once again.

And yes, when the issue is discussed, we are right to stand up against the arbitrary and capricious age of consent laws that make our young men and women into 'criminals' while saving not a single child from rape or molestation. I don’t see that issue as a major presidential campaign theme, but if Wayne Allyn Root or anyone else expects me to sacrifice liberty, truth and our children to public relations considerations, think again. It’s not going to happen.

Do you believe in liberty enough to join me?

Our national convention in Denver will be a fight for the heart and soul of the Party. Will we remain the Party of Principle or will we sell out for a few more votes and a few more television shows? Will we stop telling the American people about liberty in the vain hope of gaining a bit of fleeting popularity for ourselves?

Do you believe in liberty? If so, now is the time to show it!

What an outstanding piece! I wonder how the collectivists will respond to this now.

[H/T to TPW for first reporting this.]

Christine Smith: Mary Ruwart "Is An Anarchist" And "Lives In A Fantasy World"

LP presidential contender Christine Smith launched a despicable and repugnant attack on Mary Ruwart over her alleged support of child pornography on the internet talk radio show SPOX Listen to the show here.

Smith's attack on Ruwart basically comprises a great deal of crud that you expect from a LINO presidential candidate. Smith:

  • Calls Ruwart "an anarchist";

  • Says that Ruwart "lives in a fantasy world";

  • Defends LP National Executive Director Shane Corey's press release on child pornography, saying that Corey "didn't overstep his bounds";

  • Shoddily defines her view of the proper role of government;

  • Calls Wayne Allyn Root a neocon and takes a potshot at his support of John McCain and Joe Lieberman;

  • AND

  • Notes Greens running as Libertarians on the party's banner

Because of her collectivistic attack on Mary Ruwart, she WILL NOT be securing the Party delegates' votes on the week of May 22 (which is coming up fast).