LLR Pages

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lew Rockwell Is Right and Wrong About Spitzer

Libertarian-conservative political blogger, columnist, and commentator (not to mention President of the Mises Institute) Lew Rockwell opined about the Eliot Spitzer scandal on his blog early this morning, in which he noted the following:

Eliot Spitzer is not a good guy. He was, after all, a prosecutor. But that doesn't mean he was targeted for legitimate reasons by the Bush administration. First, from a states-rights standpoint, it is disturbing to see the central government bring down the governor of a state for unconstitutional victimless crimes. Yesterday on cable tv, we were assured time and time again that the FBI and US attorneys do not do political prosecutions. In fact, that is their major job. Spitzer was not 'caught up' in an investigation of a prostitution ring. The ring was caught up in a political investigation of Spitzer. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, but still the state-media two-minute hate has its worrisome aspects. Exactly why was he targeted for destruction? Not for his sins, we can be sure.

Lew is absolutely right to point out that Spitzer "is not a good guy." After all, that mongrel's record of abuses of power as a New York State Attorney General and a governor of the state precedes him. And yes, he was a prosecutor. That much is true.

But Lew gets it wrong on this point. He claims that the federal government didn't target Spitzer for legitimate reasons. First of all, at this point in the game, we don't know that. Unless Lew has some special inside knowledge of which I'm not aware, he cannot possibly know that.

Secondly, Spitzer spent a good remainder of his life persecuting and crucifying individuals, entrepeneurs, and other innocent individuals, all the while wielding so much power while being at the helm of the state. No prosecutor or state official was willing to take criminal action against him for his abuses of power at the state level. It wasn't until this scandal that people from all aisles of the political spectrum were calling for his head on a silver platter. Who was going to prosecute him at the state level? As far as I can tell (and what everyone knows), that was never going to happen, even if we wanted it to happen.

Thirdly, Lew points out that the Feds were possibly investigating him for political corruption, not for his acts of cavorting with known prostitutes employed at the widely-publicized Emperor's VIP Club. That is true. He has been probed long before the mainstream press and media got wind of this controversy, and that even goes for the prostitution ring as well. However, the reason I believe that so many investors and libertarian individuals are calling for his crucifixion is because of how he had engaged in these state-sanctioned vile acts of violence against innocent entrepeneurs, individuals, firms, etc.

This is where Lew gets it wrong: as long as the evil state exists along with its oppressive apparatus, Spitzer is to be held to the same standard as many law-abiding businesses and individuals are expected. As long as the legitimate state exists, our rulers, in the interim, need to play by the same rules that they've foisted upon us. I realize that will never happen, and perhaps I'm dreaming when I say that, but that's the way the cookie crumbles.

Moreover, his states' rights argument does not pass political muster. States, by their own nature, do NOT have rights; only individuals possess rights. This is the problem that I have with the ideology of federalism, because paleolibertarians treat this as if this construct carries some legitimacy of some kind, when it clearly does not.

However, that does not mean that I support laws against prostitution and financial privacy. I share Lew's concerns regarding those policies, and that is strictly why those edicts need to be repealed as soon as possible. Individuals should be free to keep their financial data from the prying eyes of the vile, demonic state and pursue any free market transaction, such as the exchange of money for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with the member of the fair sex.

I fathom perfectly where Lew is going with his concern. However, nothwithstanding the fact that I oppose the state in every area of our economy, especially at the state and local levels, I'm making this incident an exception and not the rule. Moreover, I don't feel sorry for Spitzer, given the fact that he has made his bed; now, his forced resignation notwithstanding, he must lie in it.

If You Taste the Rainbow, You Will Feel the State's Wrath

A New Haven, Connecticut eighth grade public "government" schooler has landed himself into trouble by the officious government school officials for buying a bag of Skittles from one of his classmates.

Read this disturbing excerpt of a CNN article:

Michael Sheridan was stripped of his title as class vice president, barred from attending an honors student dinner and suspended for a day after buying a bag of Skittles from a classmate.

This situation, like the other recent government school incident, is becoming more and more intolerable each day. So the kid broke the rule, not to mention the fact that he didn't know what the rule was. Big whoop!! Even if he did know the rule, there is no legitimate reason -- not to mention an excuse -- for meting out this kind of punishment to the kid, considering it's too extreme.

Let's remember that this is all because of the idiotic, wicked "zero tolerance" policies that have been put into place in the schools for years. Keep in mind that this policy in question has been on the books since 2003. In the old days, if you were caught with munching on candy, the school officials or the teachers would confiscate your candy and warn you not to pull another stunt like this again. If you repeated the same offense, the punishment would be more severe, but that would have required well over a dozen incidents to warrant a punishment like this.

Thanks to these loopy policies, that's why the schools are experiencing a crisis of untold proportions more than ever. And this latest incident is only the tip of the iceberg. What's next? You'll be expelled for hawking (or even buying) home-made cookies and pastries at the cafeteria and even between and during classes? What about student-made t-shirts, letterman's jackets, and sweatpants showing the school's name? Are those activities grounds for expulsion as well?

It's ok to give out free condoms to encourage students to have safe sex or sign abstinence pledges (which only result in students becoming sexually active in other ways), but it's evil to buy (or even sell) candy or any item that isn't given its seal of approval by the state. How pathetic!

No Government School Lunch Permit, No Teenage Entrepeneurship

The state of Missouri's public "government" school thugs are at it again by suspending a teenage government school student for selling tasty, fresh gourmet sandwiches to his fellow peers. Why? Because the adolescent entrepeneur committed two of the gravest of all government sins: not having a permit and not abiding by health regulations.

Because of the vile, diabolical actions of this putrid state, the student's desire for entrepeneurship may have been eviscerated. It's obvious that the students were buying the teenager's sandwiches because, like most other public "government" schools, the school lunch served at their cafeterias is horrendous and terrible. Moreover, the school district's assault on this student's right to start up his own private enterprise and pursue free market alternatives to the disgusting public "government" school lunches showcases the evils of officious government school bureaucrats who are immune to the forces of the marketplace. It shows that they share an immense contempt for the free market and their loving embrace of socialism, which they have been trying to instill in the minds of so many government school students, past and present.

Additionally, this nonsense that he didn't have a permit is ludicrous, because the cost to actually getting a permit is so prohibitive that the student wouldn't be able to afford it. That cost alone would come out of his profits that an artificial increase in his prices would be incurred. That's anti-consumer and anti-free market as well.

The health code violation is also balderdash. The foods prepared at the public schools aren't exactly up to code and aren't even fresh. Plus, the health and working conditions at these schools are questionable, considering these bureaucrats simply couldn't careless about the quality of their own foods, let alone their own schools.

Super Sheep Outruns German Police Thugs

An uber sheep outruns a gang of German police goons after beating up their police dogs. Now the cronies of the state are in pursuit of the animal's owner.

Here's a brief excerpt:

German police are trying to trace the owner of a sheep which outran police patrol cars and beat up a police dog.

Police in the northern German village of Guester say the sheep ran through the streets of the town at more than 30mph.

It reportedly leapt over the bonnets of police cars used as a road block to cut off its escape and even chased off pursuing police dogs with a few well aimed head butts.

Don't Think About Dyeing Your Pet

A Boulder, Colorado woman has been slapped with a $1,000 fine by the state thugs just for dyeing her poodle. She stained her dog's hair color pink to commemorate the awareness of breast cancer.

Here's an excerpt of the piece:

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS) ― A Boulder, Colo. woman charged with dyeing her poodle pink will have to wait for her day in court. Joy Douglas asked a judge Tuesday morning to reschedule her hearing after she hired an attorney.

Douglas, a hair stylist, said she colored Cici, her white poodle, pink to help raise awareness about breast cancer. Authorities in Boulder said she has gone too far and the coloring could cost her $1,000.

Douglas is charged with violating a city ordinance that prohibits the coloring or dyeing of animals. It was passed several years ago to discourage families from dyeing rabbits and chicks for Easter.

Three More Soldiers' Lives Claimed in Iraq

Three more soldiers are blown to kingdom come by a rocket in Southern Iraq, bringing the total body count to 12.

The State Is Created to.....

.....micromanage a restaurant for all of our sakes simply by ensuring that we all have an adequate supply of toilet paper.

Canadians Are Freer Than Americans

Canadians pay less taxes than Americans.

Ron Paul on the Global Currency Debasement

Ron Paul appeared on Neil Cavuto's business show on Fox News, opining on the disastrous global currency debasement.

Here's the video for it:

Ron also notes that he is not dropping out of the race as long as there is continual support for his campaign and continue to campaign for as many votes and many delegates as possible, in response to Neil's question as to whether he would be dropping out. Cavuto responded sharply by saying that the GOP has already chosen its candidate, unless there's been a reverse in the decision. Ron responded by saying that it's important to change the direction of the country and get the GOP back to its traditional roots.

The Resignation of Eliot Spitzer

The mainstream media (MSM) in New York and in the District of Criminals are celebrating the resignation of New York Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer, who, for those who haven't been paying attention to the debacle, has been investigated by the Bush administration for alleged money laundering. The same can't be said for the New York Times, its breaking of the never-ending scandal notwithstanding.

Here's the entire text of Spitzer's publicized resignation:

In the past few days I have begun to atone for my private failings with my wife, Silda, my children, and my entire family. The remorse I feel will always be with me. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for the love and compassion they have shown me. From those to whom much is given, much is expected. I have been given much: the love of my family, the faith and trust of the people of New York, and the chance to lead this state. I am deeply sorry that I did not live up to what was expected of me. To every New Yorker, and to all those who believed in what I tried to stand for, I sincerely apologize.

I look at my time as governor with a sense of what might have been, but I also know that as a public servant I, and the remarkable people with whom I worked, have accomplished a great deal. There is much more to be done, and I cannot allow my private failings to disrupt the people’s work. Over the course of my public life, I have insisted, I believe correctly, that people, regardless of their position or power, take responsibility for their conduct. I can and will ask no less of myself. For this reason, I am resigning from the office of governor. At Lt. Gov. Paterson’s request, the resignation will be effective Monday, March 17, a date that he believes will permit an orderly transition.

I go forward with the belief, as others have said, that as human beings, our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. As I leave public life, I will first do what I need to do to help and heal myself and my family. Then I will try once again, outside of politics, to serve the common good and to move toward the ideals and solutions which I believe can build a future of hope and opportunity for us and for our children. I hope all of New York will join my prayers for my friend, David Paterson, as he embarks on his new mission, and I thank the public once again for the privilege of service.

Here's the video of Spitzer announcing his resignation.

The Wicked, Diabolical Paradigm of "Money Laundering"

State-worshipping, Big Government-loving, and pro-Eliot Spitzer thug Philip Weiss is dumbfounded and infuriated at the prospect that spending your hard-earned money (which happens to be your private property) -- money that is honestly earned yet dishonestly stolen (in the form of taxation) -- can land you in a federal slammer because of an arbitrary federal felony charge. What he fails to fathom is the fact that spending $10,000 or more of your own financial property (money) without filing a government form that enables them to have unfettered access and control of your cash is a federal "government-constructed" crime.

It should be of no surprise to anyone that spending smaller amounts of your money is a prosecutable offense as well -- that is, if the amounts add up to more than $10,000. Of course, the god whom we call the state tells us that this vile, diabolical draconian, police-state measure is necessary to fight the War on Terror. Of course, similarly the late former President Ronald Reagan was the one who pushed for the creation of these draconian laws in the 1980s by masking them in the form of a lame excuse to combat the War on Drugs. But neither was true then, and it is the same now.

This is a statist effort to monitor and control every dime and penny you spend via the coercive power of taxation. Thankfully we have Ron Paul who fought for our privacy and property rights then and fights for them once again now.

After all, he fought Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and now Bush II by opposing their statist efforts to create the victimless crime we call "money laundering." Ron means what he says on the need for government in constitutional chains and the expansion of human liberty, not the other way around.

Ron Paul's Support of an anti-Bush Torture Bill

Here's Ron Paul's publicly-stated opposition to Bush's veto of H.R. 2062, also known as the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2008:

'Mr. Speaker, I rise in somewhat reluctant support of this vote to override the President's veto of H.R. 2062, the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2008. Although I voted against this authorization when it first came to the floor, the main issue has now become whether we as a Congress are to condone torture as official U.S. policy or whether we will speak out against it. This bill was vetoed by the President because of a measure added extending the prohibition of the use of any interrogation treatment or technique not authorized by the United States Army Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collector Operations to the U.S. intelligence community. Opposing this prohibition is tantamount to endorsing the use of torture against those in United States Government custody.

'Mr. Speaker, we have all read the disturbing reports of individuals apprehended and taken to secret prisons maintained by the United States Government across the globe, tortured for months or even years, and later released without charge. Khaled al-Masri, for example, a German citizen, has recounted the story of his incarceration and torture by U.S. intelligence in a secret facility in Afghanistan. His horror was said to be simply a case of mistaken identity. We do not know how many more similar cases there may be, but clearly it is not in the interest of the United States to act in a manner so contrary to the values upon which we pride ourselves.

'My vote to override the President's veto is a vote to send a clear message that I do not think the United States should be in the business of torture. It is anti-American, immoral and counterproductive.'

(Incidentally, Ron voted in favor of the bill, in case anyone would like to know.)

(Thanks to Lew for originally leaking this onto his blog, which made the first headline. It merely allowed me to follow suit in Ron's honor.)

A Tale of Two Rights

Pro-Russell Kirk and Pro-Ron Paul columnist Jack Hunter on William Buckley and the damage done to the modern (yet morally-and-ideologically bankrupt) conservative movement.

Salon's Juan Cole: "McCain = Bush"

Salon writer Juan Cole sums it up for McCain's quest for the Presidency: "John McCain is George Bush."

Here's an excerpt of the article here:

March 12, 2008 | The most important thing about the endorsements proffered to John McCain by George W. Bush and evangelist John Hagee last week was McCain's reaction to them. The freshly minted Republican nominee for president, who has had harsh words in the past for both Bush's policies and evangelical 'agents of intolerance,' meekly accepted their support. He knows he cannot win in November if the evangelicals and pro-war conservatives stay home. How far will McCain go in presenting himself as Son of Bush in order to energize his party's base? To date, based on his willingness to embrace the Bush agenda and to associate with religious extremists, the answer seems to be pretty far indeed.

When John McCain went to the White House last week, President Bush seemed to be offering him an out. Bush 'welcomed' McCain as 'the Republican nominee' in his official statement, but didn't initially use the word 'endorse.' It was McCain who leapt for the e-word. 'Well, I'm very honored and humbled,' said McCain, 'to have the opportunity to receive the endorsement of the President of the United States, a man who I have great admiration, respect and affection [for].'

McCain's strategists, meanwhile, are said to be privately plotting how best to deploy the deeply unpopular Bush, perhaps by quietly sending him to host fundraisers deep inside red states where he would not risk alienating the general population from McCain. But McCain is hewing so faithfully to Bush's legacy he may need no help from the man himself in alienating the population.

Whereas in his 2000 presidential bid, the Arizona senator sharply criticized Bush for appearing at the anti-Catholic Bob Jones University, which at that time also still banned interracial dating, he is less vocal about such matters now. He is himself behaving as Bush did then. McCain once dismissed evangelicals such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson as 'agents of intolerance.' But last week the senator embraced Hagee's endorsement. Talk about an agent of intolerance! Hagee is like Pat Robertson on steroids.

Mississippi's Republican Warmonger Primary Vote

Here's Mississippi's Republican Primary Vote:

McCain 78.9%
Huckabee 12.46%
Paul 3.87%
Romney 1.52%
Thompson 1.50%
Giuliani 0.66%

Reason's Take on the Spitzer Scandal

Reason's Paul Karl Lukas issues his scathing insights on the Eliot Spitzer ruckus.

Here's an excerpt from the piece:

Many publications (reason included) are feasting this week on the all-but-cooked political carcass of New York’s law-and-order governor, Eliot Spitzer. The crusading former attorney general was brought low by the New York Times’ revelation yesterday afternoon that federal wiretaps caught him allegedly arranging an assignation with an overpriced prostitute last month at a Washington hotel. (When news of the underlying federal investigation broke last week, The Smoking Gun website posted screen grabs of the service’s web page, including photos of alleged talent and a price list that ran up to $3,100 an hour.)

If the allegations are true (and Spitzer’s statement that he 'acted in a way that violates my obligation to my family' certainly sounds like an admission), the governor’s hypocrisy—and his belief that there is one set of laws for the little people and another set for Great Men like himself—is obvious. As attorney general and leader of the state's organized crime task force, Spitzer spearheaded the prosecution of two alleged prostitution rings, according to the Times.

But Spitzer’s moralistic crusade against paid sex (by non-Spitzers, at least) wasn’t confined to New York or even the United States of America. As far as Spitzer is concerned, he has the right to prevent people from exchanging cash for cuddles anywhere in the world.

Big Apple Oriental Tours was a Queens-based travel agency with an angle: it marketed vacations for men to destinations such as Angeles City, Philippines, a jurisdiction in which adult prostitution is nominally illegal but is condoned and regulated by the government because of the money it brings in. The militant feminist group Equality Now had been agitating for prosecution of Big Apple Oriental Tours since at least 1996, but had never found a prosecutor willing to take the case. (Big Apple Oriental Tours has never been linked to child prostitution, which would be another matter entirely.)

Reason on Ron Paul - Evolution of a Revolution

Reason's Dave Weigel, a former Ron Paul supporter, takes a gander at the Ron Paul Revolution and to where it's headed. (Remember, this is the same Weigel who, with Julian Sanchez, unearthed evidence of Lew Rockwell's alleged ties to the infamous newsletter scandal that targeted the Ron Paul 2008: Hope for America campaign.)

Here's an excerpt of the piece:

The most libertarian candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, began 2008 with an army of 100,000 enthusiastic donors. Before the primary season began, many of his fans clung to the hope that polls showing Paul stuck in single digits were cooked. Many, more pragmatically, hoped he’d play the kind of role Sen. Eugene McCarthy filled 40 years ago in the Democratic primaries, shaking his party out of its hawkish stupor and relocating its soul.

Neither of those scenarios unfolded. Nowhere was the disappointment greater than in the 'Live Free or Die' state of New Hampshire, where the large independent vote and Paul’s substantial war chest were primed to shock the political system. Before the election, pollsters such as John Zogby and Scott Rasmussen thought Paul might come in third place. ABC News embedded a reporter with the campaign just to see if lightning might strike, and CNN sent cameras to cover Paul’s election night party live.

But Paul finished in a momentum-sapping fifth place, polling worse than he did in Iowa even after spending $3.6 million in the state. Only a second-place showing in Nevada relieved the doldrums of a bleak winter: 6 percent in Michigan, 4 percent in South Carolina, and 3 percent in the make-or-break state of Florida. When the winner-take-all states of Super Tuesday rolled around, Paul placed no better than a second- place showing in Montana and media interest in his movement faded away.

The chance of a Paul nomination, never likely to begin with, became mathematically impossible. Once that became clear, interest turned naturally to the members of Paul’s decentralized, ad hoc movement—often dubbed the rEVOLution, after a slogan coined by Arizona libertarian Ernie Hancock. The big surprise is how many of his supporters want to scrap parts of Paul’s campaign platform. The big question is how many of them will stick around for whatever comes next.

The divisions were already obvious before New Hampshire’s crucial primary. Operation Live Free or Die, a grassroots Paul group founded by ex-Google whiz kid Vijay Boyapati, rented 14 friendly homes and opened them up to Paul volunteers to use as a base for door-to-door campaigning. In one house, a snowy 45-minute drive from the campaign headquarters in Concord, Paul workers from all over the country cooked food, drank beer, and talked about libertarian philosophy and economics.

Top Anti-Iran War Commander Admiral William J. Fallon Is Canned

U.S. Admiral William J. Fallon, the top pundit of the entire, impending neocon aggression against Iran, has been given the axe. This comes in the wake of a piece that was published in the pages of Esquire Magazine last week, a piece in which Fallon was identified by the author known to his Esquire readers as Thomas P.M. Barnett.

According to the Washington Post on the Esquire matter:

The Esquire article, written by Thomas P.M. Barnett, a former Naval War College professor, asserted that if Fallon left his job anytime soon, it could signal that Bush intends to go to war with Iran. Asked about that yesterday, Gates called it 'just ridiculous.'

The next paragraph of the Post piece continued with the following:

Several Democrats were quick to accuse the [Bush] administration of not tolerating dissent. 'It's distressing that Admiral Fallon feels he had to step down,' said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.). 'President Bush's oft-repeated claim that he follows the advice of his commanders on the ground rings hollow if our commanders don't feel free to disagree with the president.' Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) asked whether Fallon's resignation is a reflection that the administration is hostile to 'the frank, open airing of experts' views.'

With that in mind, now that Fallon is out of the way, The Great Leader will continue to not only engage in more acts of violence against foreigners, but he'll also kill them more than ever.