LLR Pages

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).