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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wal-Mart Becomes Part of the Department of Homeland Insecurity

Wal-Mart's decision to ally itself with the State - i.e. the Department of Homeland Insecurity -- "to report suspicious activity in the stores or the parking lots" is another reason to call for the abolition of corporatism -- the unholy alliance between corporations and the State, especially, in this case, on the War on Terror.

Sadly, about 588 stores in 27 states will adopt the program in the form of "security announcements," although only 200 stores will willingly embrace this new measure in 24 hours.

According to MSNBC:

A short video featuring Napolitano will appear on TV screens at select checkout lanes, asking Wal-Mart shoppers to contact local law enforcement to report suspicious activity.

The company claims that the employees won't be "receiving any special training" to carry out the functions of the program. But it appears that the managers will work with local law enforcement to deal with the threat of "suspicious activity" itself that arises on the company's grounds, whether inside the stores or the parklots.

Wal-Mart spokesman Dan Fogleman, when asked about this plan, stated:

'We work with local law enforcement all the time,' Fogleman said. 'If someone needs help, we will certainly assist. If someone asks us to call police, we will call police.'

Here's the DHS video announcing the agency's partnership with the low-cost retailer, as evidenced by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano's statist comments on the matter:

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Smearing of Ron Paul Over The WikiLeaks Matter

CNN talking head John King and his panelists's conservative managing editor, blogger, and pundit Erick Erickson (who joined King's show as a CNN political contributor this year, by the way) and the network's liberal political contributor and syndicated columnist Roland Martin smeared Ron Paul over for his support for WikiLeaks. Paul tweeted his comments on the WikiLeaks matter, stating:

Re: Wikileaks- In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble.
7:25 AM Dec 3rd via web
Retweeted by 100+ people

Here's the video of the slam against Paul by the state-worshiping shills on King's show:

Listen to Erickson as he calls Paul a "nut" for sticking up for free speech and the truth. He also quips: "I believe [Paul] actually starred in a cartoon a while back as Marvin the Martian."

While you're at it, listen to Martin who sneers at Paul with these glib and slimy comments: "You know what? Being a native Texan, it's little hard somtimes for me to realize that Ron Paul is also a Texan."

Martin then grumbles:

I mean, what's the...? First of all, first of all...but here's the whole, here's the whole deal for, for, for Ron Paul. The members of the House on Intelligence Committee....they learn about things that are secret, and we don't know about. So, what is he, what is he saying? They should talk about those things? Come on, Congressman!

When King points out that, in reference to Paul and his supporters as well as everyone in the Liberty movement, "a lot of people who watch, who tweet, who follow, who email" what the two panelists (dingbats, as I call them!) say on TV will result in the network's inbox getting "higher and higher," Erickson says that he would have to change his phone number, while Martin says, "If you email me, I will email you back. So you go right ahead."

Memo to Martin: We'll be sure to do just that.

The height of hubris, vanity, and the self-aggrandizing and self-serving mindset from these apologists is just mind-numbing and putrid but not a surprise to all of us in the movement.

Good job, Ron Paul! More kudos to him! Hisses to the statists who want to destroy WL at all costs.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

To Boycott or Not to Boycott Amazon's most recent call to leave WikiLeaks in the dark is no doubt a paramount disappointment to libertarians, anarchists, anarcho-capitalists, left-libertarians, agorists, laissez-farists, and lovers of liberty of all stripes who have done business with the online retailer in the past. I certainly have done business with Amazon, buying books from them in the past. Their selection of products and services, no doubt, have been optimal and still proceed to remain that way on the front of the company's website. And yes, admittedly so, they do have low prices, and they do provide a supply of goods and services for the masses at large.

Putting those points aside, Amazon has undoubtedly put itself in a very volatile and very precarious situation. After the company gave WikiLeaks the boot, a number of libertarians objected to Amazon's response to the State's threats toward it. In response to Amazon's decision, libertarians like Eric Garris (the head of called for a boycott of Amazon for its wrongheaded immediate choice. On a blog post entitled "Boycott Amazon" (which is posted here in its entirety) dated December 1, Garris writes:

Earlier today, took down the cloud servers that were being used by WikiLeaks to serve their site. One of the products Amazon sells is space on their cloud servers at a very competitive rate. Thousands of websites, including WikiLeaks, use their service. gave no notice to WikiLeaks. Normally, in an ethical and legal business relationship, notice is given when contracts are terminated to allow for smooth transition. In fact, if WikiLeaks had chosen to terminate the contract with Amazon, they would have been required to give 30 days notice. gave no such notice, they just unplugged the servers. As a result, WikiLeaks was down for several hours today.

Why did they do this? got a call from Senator Joe Lieberman who threatened to start a boycott. Other officials reportedly leaned on Amazon. I can understand Amazon’s fear of the government, but that is no excuse to unethically target a customer without notice.

In the past year, has received about $10,000 from for referrals on the sale of books and merchandise. We cannot continue to profit from or deal with We are removing the Amazon ads and book widgets from our website, and urge other supporters of WikiLeaks to join the boycott.

Garris is spot-on. Amazon epically failed to furnish a written notice to WikiLeaks, as it would need to do to any customers who purchases a service from the firm. Usually, a company would have to provide to its customers a cancellation notice in writing of its service, whether the customer asked to cancel the service or not. In this case, Amazon, given that it entered into a legally-binding contract with WikiLeaks, neglected to do just that. Although Lieberman threatened to launch a boycott of Amazon (including a federal inquiry into the company's well-established rapport with WikiLeaks), it does not justify and rationalize the business's politically-coerced decision to sever its ties with WL without notice. This is an unethical business practice that should be frowned upon, and it is disheartening, disappointing, and troubling that numerous libertarians are automatically ganging up on those libertarians for excoriating the retailer's immoral and unethical business practice, especially when the company made the risky choice to enter in a formal agreement with WL in the first place.

On's site, Daniel Ellsberg, the famed U.S. military official who leaked out the Pentagon Papers which documented the U.S. federal government's lies about the reason why the United States went to war with Vietnam and the time line of events that led to the build-up of the war, wasted no time jumping onto the Blog and, in a blog post entitled "Daniel Ellsberg Says Boycott Amazon," writes an open letter to Amazon's Customer Service:

Open letter to Customer Service:

December 2, 2010

I’m disgusted by Amazon’s cowardice and servility in abruptly terminating today its hosting of the Wikileaks website, in the face of threats from Senator Joe Lieberman and other Congressional right-wingers. I want no further association with any company that encourages legislative and executive officials to aspire to China’s control of information and deterrence of whistle-blowing.

For the last several years, I’ve been spending over $100 a month on new and used books from Amazon. That’s over. I ask Amazon to terminate immediately my membership in Amazon Prime and my Amazon credit card and account, to delete my contact and credit information from their files and to send me no more notices.

I understand that many other regular customers feel as I do and are responding the same way. Good: the broader and more immediate the boycott, the better. I hope that these others encourage their contact lists to do likewise and to let Amazon know exactly why they’re shifting their business. I’ve asked friends today to suggest alternatives, and I’ll be exploring service from Powell’s Books, Half-Price Books, Biblio and others.

So far Amazon has spared itself the further embarrassment of trying to explain its action openly. This would be a good time for Amazon insiders who know and perhaps can document the political pressures that were brought to bear–and the details of the hasty kowtowing by their bosses–to leak that information. They can send it to Wikileaks (now on servers outside the US), to mainstream journalists or bloggers, or perhaps to sites like that have now appropriately ended their book-purchasing association with Amazon.

Yours (no longer),
Daniel Ellsberg

Ellsberg is fundamentally spot-on here. Amazon's actions are "cowardly" and laden with "servility," simply because it didn't remotely bother to stand up to the State and its thugs, never minding the fact that Lieberman and his goons didn't promise not to go after them legally and intended to act on and carry out their threats simply by asking the company the business relationship that it had with WikiLeaks. The fact that it threw WL under the bus by simply ending its business agreement with a much-hated news organization in the manner it pursued and failed to provide WL an explanation as to why their site was being pulled is an indication that it panicked too easily and that it neither gave WL a chance to pull their files off the company's servers nor a choice to end its relationship with Amazon and act accordingly after the fact. Yes, there are those who will wave the pro-Amazon flag, saying once and for all that the firm was in a tough predicament, and it was forced to choose between having its business taken down by the State or walking away from a business deal it had made with a customer. Certainly they are free to make that point, and Amazon certainly reserves the right to accept or reject doing business with any customer and treat its customers accordingly in any way it sees fit. That said, that talking point shouldn't be construed to mean or tacitly insinuate that Amazon was IN the right for rejecting to do business with an organization like WikiLeaks. There is in reality no middle ground in this context or any other context known in existence.

(By the way, it should be known that Lew Rockwell, Michael S. Rozoff, Stephan Kinsella, David Kramer, Butler Shaffer, and other Rockwellers at the Lew Rockwell Blog are foolishly siding with Amazon's decision on the issue, even while they tacitly mock those who are permanently refusing to do business with the retailer.)

On December 1, the British newspaper The Guardian reported this in part:

The US struck its first blow against WikiLeaks after pulled the plug on hosting the whistleblowing website in reaction to heavy political pressure.

The company announced it was cutting WikiLeaks off yesterday only 24 hours after being contacted by the staff of Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate's committee on homeland security.

WikiLeaks expressed disappointment with Amazon, and insisted it was a breach of freedom of speech as enshrined in the US constitution's first amendment. The organisation, in a message sent via Twitter, said if Amazon was "so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books."

While freedom of speech is a sensitive issue in the US, scope for a full-blown row is limited, given that Democrats and Republicans will largely applaud Amazon's move. Previously a fully fledged Democrat, Lieberman won re-election to the Senate in 2006 as an independent; his status is that of an independent, albeit with continued close associations with the Democratic party's Senate contingent.

The question is whether he was acting on his own or pressed to do so by the Obama administration, and how much pressure was applied to Amazon.

Skip Oliva wrote in response in part on the Ludwig von Mises Institute website:

In response, I’ve seen a few libertarians who are now calling for their own boycott of Amazon — 'I won’t be shopping there this holiday season,' etc. — to protest the company’s capitulation. I’m sorry, but that’s childish and stupid. First of all, you’re adopting the very tactics the state used against Amazon. Second, what you’re basically saying is that you’re going to let statists like Joe Lieberman decide where you will and won’t shop. That’s asinine. Third, it’s one thing to boycott a firm that actively colludes with the state or, say, lobbies for political favors; Amazon was a victim here, not a belligerent.

My response to Oliva is pure and simple. Who is he to tell these libertarians (who are very likely the left-libertarian types) whether they can refuse to shop or refuse to not shop at Amazon? He calls the decision "childish and stupid." Ok, Mr. Oliva, where were you when the Bush administration directed the hands of the National Security Agency (NSA) to strong-arm telecommunication carriers like AT&T Corp., Verizon, and BellSouth into handing over private customer call data to these thugs as part of its wiretapping program, all in the name to monitor domestic calls by instituting an international and domestic call database program despite their promises to the contrary?

Did you object to those phone carriers willingness to assist the Bush administration in that wiretapping scheme by boycotting their services or did you call anyone in the Liberty movement "childish and stupid" for voluntarily refusing to do business with them because those poor carriers were just "victims" of the State's strong-arming? More to the point, have you forgotten that telephone carrier Quest Communications refused to join in on the spying of Americans, resulting in the company being the lone holdout in joining in the scheme despite the NSA threatening the powers-that-be at the firm that they would cancel their government contracts with them (which led to many libertarians and civil libertarians praising them for their wise decision)? They didn't cave in, despite the threats and calls made to them by the State, and they protected their clients' privacy. What do you say to that?

The only ultimate price Quest paid was that its former CEO Joseph Nacchio was convicted on 19 counts of violating insider trading laws in 2007, which resulted in him being incarcerated in 2009 for six years. Why? Because his employees and he refused to kowtow to the demands of the statists who wanted his customer call records. Was Quest wrong to not cave in to the demands of the State? The company paid a steep price for this, but to him and his team it was well worth the risk. Were you cheering him on for opposing the mandate, knowing full well that he was risking the loss of his company, or did you think he was "childish and stupid" for doing what he felt was the right thing?

I don't know about you, but the answer is this: Nacchio did the right thing. The government would have gone after Quest anyway EVEN IF it cooperated, simply by auditing its tax records, its books, and what not. As a corporation, a company is under the direct thumb of the State. It's under a huge microscope. You and I know this to be true. If one digit in its SEC filings is off, the armed goons of the State can pursue the firm, and we both know this. When you incorporate your firm by inserting into the clutches of the State (making it an arm of the creature), you create an unholy alliance with the State. Once your firm goes public, it has access to the State's guarantees, privileges, special regulatory and tax breaks, and subsidies that it otherwise wouldn't have if it were still a privately-held enterprise. After all, corporations are not a free market specimen but rather a spawn of the State, contrary to what libertarians like Stephan Kinsella, Walter Block, J.H. Huebert, and Brad Edmonds of LvMI assert.

Of course, Oliva also erroneously asserts this Neanderthalic point, which should be construed as an insult to left-libertarians and the entire movement in its entirety:

First of all, you’re adopting the very tactics the state used against Amazon.

Sorry, but that's just flat-out wrong. What the State employed against Amazon was the threat of violence if it didn't cooperate. What the left-libertarians did (and are still doing) is voluntary, non-violent against Amazon. Simply put, we choose not to do business with Amazon.

And, please, drop the hypocrisy here. Your side of the pro-Liberty aisle boycotts companies all the time in private for all sorts of reasons: you didn't like the service, you didn't like how the business was treating its customers and employees, you didn't like the tone and attitude of the managers, you didn't like the quality, prices, and appearance of the products, the location of the particular company, the limited selection of products and services, the unethical business practices, etc. Whatever the personal reasons you have and why you didn't like the company, you stopped shopping there. Whether you see it or not, you sent messages to those companies that you weren't happy with the customer service, the products, the attitudes of the employees and the service they provided you, and so on. It's called freedom of association. We consumers choose which companies to do business with and which ones we don't want to do business with, and we're a fickle bunch. No one in an authoritarian manner tells us where we can and cannot shop. We all have our own reasons for doing what we do, rightly or wrongly.

And, let's make ourselves crystal clear: the State is still going after Amazon, despite the company's cooperation with Lieberman and his goons. Here's a case in point from a sentence in Lieberman's statement to the press:

I will be asking Amazon about the extent of its relationship with Wikileaks and what it and other web service providers will do in the future to ensure that their services are not used to distribute stolen, classified information.' [Emphasis added.]

Did Lieberman say he would back off from pursuing Amazon after it pulled WikiLeaks' account? No, it didn't. He said that he would be asking -- meaning he would vehemently pursue a criminal investigation against Amazon in a governmental and legal fashion -- Amazon what its relationship with WikiLeaks was. That means the State will be investigating Amazon and having its armed cronies meeting with and interrogating the powers-that-be at the Amazon offices, demanding to know why it had established a rapport with WikiLeaks in the first place. If you think the State will back off now, then you're either deluded or naive or both.

Here's the third point Oliva makes:

Second, what you’re basically saying is that you’re going to let statists like Joe Lieberman decide where you will and won’t shop.

Again, wrong. We're telling Joe Lieberman and Amazon that we're not doing business with a company and the thuggish State that can dictate to us who we can and cannot support and what organizations we can and cannot financially and politically support. By supporting Amazon, we would be essentially saying that what Amazon did was ethically right and supporting the company would be an automatic endorsement of what Lieberman and Amazon did by default. Oliva can spin this any way he wants, but he doesn't get to speak for everyone in the movement, dictate to the left-libertarians and other opponents of Amazon's actions what they are allowed to and not allowed to do, and so on.

Who is he to tell those libertarians who they can do and not do business with? It's none of his business anyway. What does he care if they refuse to cater to Amazon again? There are other firms from which individuals can purchase products and services that are comparable to what Amazon sells. Granted, they are not as well known as Amazon, but so what? There's, which sells the same products and similar services like Amazon. The real free market is on the Web, and there are plenty of alternatives to Amazon to choose from. One must know where to find them if they want the best deals, and more often than those other firms offer better deals than Amazon.

Third, it’s one thing to boycott a firm that actively colludes with the state or, say, lobbies for political favors; Amazon was a victim here, not a belligerent.

It is true that Amazon didn't "actively collude with the State or lobby for political favors," but that's not the point, Skip, and you very well know it. Amazon made its choice, and it was the wrong one indeed. Now it will have to live with the consequences of its decision, whether the firm likes it or not. You, the Rockwellers and other libertarians who want to condemn our side for opposing Amazon's actions keep saying that Amazon "was a victim here." That statement alone is nothing but intellectually dishonest pabulum. Amazon was not a "victim" here. It is disappointing to see libertarians in that camp playing the victim card on Amazon's behalf, politically speaking. The real victim here is WikiLeaks, because it was never contacted by Amazon with a statement, saying that it longer wanted its customer's business in the first place. How do I figure? Let me explain.

Amazon knew fully well what WikiLeaks was and what kind of a business deal it was getting into from the beginning. The company knew (or at least had to have known) for months that WikiLeaks was depised and wanted by the American Empire for releasing the classified videos and documents on its website. After all, the website had been and still continues to be a source of much great controversy, even months after being a topic of widely-held public discussion.

Are you telling me that the powers-that-be at Amazon didn't know what they were walking into the second they inked the deal with WikiLeaks to host its website onto the firm's own servers? Are you also telling me that they didn't somehow know that they were taking a huge risk for having WikiLeaks in their system and that they were inviting the federal government to come after them, which the State in fact did? If anything, they set themselves up for that likelihood in the first place. Perhaps they didn't think it through before they inked the deal with WL, but it was a risky business to which they agreed. It's not as if they weren't aware of the potential risks and probability of their decision to have WL as a customer. And, despite all that, they ended up probed by the State. They invited the investigation and threats of the State the second the word got out. Perhaps they didn't mean for it to happen, but that's irrelevant. (I'm not really buying that argument anyway, but I'm certain someone is bound to be making it, so it's fair to use it in a theoretical sense.)

Amazon was faced with a choice: either fight for its customer WikiLeaks, tell the State to stick it, fight for its survival, and still be persecuted by the State's goons, or drop its client, fight for its survival, and still be persecuted by the State and its goons. It was going to lose either way. It was presented with a "damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't" scenario. If I were Amazon and I had to pick one of those items on the menu, I'd choose "damned-if-you-don't." I'd still lose, I'd still be persecuted by Amazon, but at least I tried to fight back, even if the odds were stacked against me. At least I would have preserved my dignity as a company, even if it were an uphill battle for me.

KN@PPSTER's Tom Knapp incidentally isn't buying into Amazon's story over the WikiLeaks affair in the form of a statement to the press as reported by The Wall Street Journal. What is Amazon claiming? It's undeniably pathetic, amusing, theatrical, and illogical at the same time: Inc. Inc. says it stopped hosting WikiLeaks from its Web servers this week because the controversial group violated its terms of service.

It was 'inaccurate' to claim that pressure from the U.S. government or large-scale attacks by hackers caused the company to discontinue its service of WikiLeaks, said Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener in a statement.

Responding to pressure from members of Congress, Amazon stopped hosting WikiLeaks on its servers Wednesday. Geoff Fowler explains to Stacey Delo why Amazon was hosting the sensitive documents and whether Amazon will see a backlash for pulling them.

Earlier in the week, WikiLeaks had turned to Amazon's Web services after its servers in Sweden were hit by computer attacks. On Tuesday, staff from Sen. Joe Lieberman's office said they contacted Amazon to ask why the Seattle-based company was providing Web hosting services to the group, which recently released a trove of sensitive U.S. State Department documents.

Amazon said its decision was based on the fact that WikiLeaks broke its rules. Amazon, which rents Web infrastructure on a self-service basis, 'does not pre-screen its customers' but does reserve the right to discontinue service if its terms aren't followed, said Mr. Herdener.

WikiLeaks 'doesn't own or otherwise control all the rights to this classified content,' one of the stipulations of Amazon's contractual terms, he said.

Mr. Herdener said that Amazon's terms of service also require that content 'will not cause injury to any person or entity.' Yet he said 'it is not credible that the extraordinary volume of 250,000 classified documents that WikiLeaks is publishing could have been carefully redacted in such a way as to ensure that they weren't putting innocent people in jeopardy.'

First, Amazon's claim is false, because the State DID go after it. Putting the entire onus on WikiLeaks by saying that it had violated its terms of service agreement because WL as an organization had in its possession declassified government files that were protected by IP laws (which is not true) and saying that media group did not "have a right" to those files are just utterly ludicrous. Why did Amazon approve of WL's account if that were true? Oh wait, Amazon says that it doesn't pre-screen its prospective clients before it approves them. Well, that's its fault, not WikiLeaks'. Amazon staff members could have reviewed WikiLeak's application before approving them if that were the case, but they didn't. It is highly unfair to blame WikiLeaks for that, not to mention extremely retarded.

(Thankfully, Knapp, who had originally awaited an explanation from the firm, made his temporary boycott permanent. Kudos to him for doing that.)

Even Wendy McElroy's husband Brad objected to Amazon's decision, saying that it was a bad call on the company's part, urging everyone to boycott it and announcing that he would be joining it as well.

Here's Amazon's lying, deceptive denial of the State coercing it to remove WikiLeaks from its servers:

There have been reports that a government inquiry prompted us not to serve WikiLeaks any longer. That is inaccurate.

There have also been reports that it was prompted by massive DDOS attacks. That too is inaccurate. There were indeed large-scale DDOS attacks, but they were successfully defended against.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) rents computer infrastructure on a self-service basis. AWS does not pre-screen its customers, but it does have terms of service that must be followed. WikiLeaks was not following them. There were several parts they were violating. For example, our terms of service state that 'you represent and warrant that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to the content… that use of the content you supply does not violate this policy and will not cause injury to any person or entity.' It’s clear that WikiLeaks doesn’t own or otherwise control all the rights to this classified content. Further, it is not credible that the extraordinary volume of 250,000 classified documents that WikiLeaks is publishing could have been carefully redacted in such a way as to ensure that they weren’t putting innocent people in jeopardy. Human rights organizations have in fact written to WikiLeaks asking them to exercise caution and not release the names or identities of human rights defenders who might be persecuted by their governments.

We’ve been running AWS for over four years and have hundreds of thousands of customers storing all kinds of data on AWS. Some of this data is controversial, and that’s perfectly fine. But, when companies or people go about securing and storing large quantities of data that isn’t rightfully theirs, and publishing this data without ensuring it won’t injure others, it’s a violation of our terms of service, and folks need to go operate elsewhere.

We look forward to continuing to serve our AWS customers and are excited about several new things we have coming your way in the next few months.

— Amazon Web Services

Yeah, right, Amazon. Uh huh. Sure. (More will be explored in another blog post at a later time.)

Even Brad isn't swallowing Amazon's line of reasoning here.

All in all, it is up to the individual to decide whether he or she should continue to do business with No one -- not even Wendy McElroy, her husband Brad, Tom Knapp, and/or I -- can force one to not purchase goods and services from Amazon or purchase anything from any other alternative out there. One must make the decisions based on how much he or she values Amazon's service despite all this evidence against the company. But I do strongly urge people to think about it before they even consider buying from Amazon, whether they are first-time customers or returning customers.

No one says that Amazon doesn't have the right to terminate its relationship with its customers any way it wishes; it does. Again, that doesn't by default translate into meaning that it's made the right choice.

Friday, December 3, 2010

WikiLeaks Looks to Swedish ISP BahnHof to Host Its Site After More Denial-of-Service, Political, and Ideological Attacks

WikiLeaks, which was recently dropped by after Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) called the online retailer's offices with tacit threats and demands to know the exact rapport of the "terrorist organization" and issued a press release stating that the government would be pursuing Amazon even as it had severed its ties to the group, has been switched to a Swedish server last night. (The New York Times provides more coverage on this as well.)

After a reported "denial-of-service" attacks and a series of political and ideological attacks aimed at the stateless group, the website's DNS host kicked the site off of its servers by killing its domain last night, thereby enabling WikiLeaks to post an update tweet on its Twitter page, in which it states:

WikiLeaks,org domain killed by US after claimed mass attacks KEEP US STRONG
about 11 hours ago via web
Retweeted by 100+ people

(By the way, the French government, in a letter dispatched to Reuters, is looking to coerce French ISP hosts from hosting WL, considering the organization had its site hosted partially by French enterprise OVH.)

Because of these attacks, WikiLeaks is now up and running again via Swedish internet service provider (ISP) Bahnhof that employs the Internet country code top-level domain .ch, which enables WL to host it on their servers. thus making it very complicated for the U.S. federal government to attack the site because of the fact that it's no longer being hosted on any server on American soil. (When a Web surfer goes to the site, the URL will show up as That number in the URL is actually the website's actual assigned IP address that serve as a cyber "telephone number" to WL's DNS host and its servers, allowing the Web surfer to access the organziation's site. (The IP addy is mainly represented by the hostname of the site, which is, in this case,

Perhaps the statists in the U.S. federal government haven't figured out (or perhaps they have!) that WL is now operating its site via an ISP that operates out of a former bomb shelter - an ultra-secure location - in Sweden's Pionen White Mountains. How they are going to shut the website down after having moved to its server there is beyond me. But one thing is certain: WL isn't going away.

Not now and not in the forseeable future.

Here's a YouTube of Jon Karlung, CEO of BahnHof, describing the construction of the facility as "the heart of civil defense of Sweden":

[H/T to the L.A. Times for providing the YouTube video.]

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The State's Impending Assault on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks, the renown international news media organization of ill repute for its role in declassifying the American Empire's top secret government documents and videos of the Empire's Wars with Iraq and Afghanistan that were clandestinely hidden from the American public, is once again in the cross-hairs of the vile State and its hawkish shills on both sides of the ideological and political aisles. Statist conservatives and liberals are by and large outraged at the organization for its latest release of a set of ten documents unveiling more than 250,000 diplomatic cables.

It is no secret that WikiLeaks is the most reviled, the most despised, the most defamed, and the most uproarious entity by the United States government. The organization is known not only to the U.S., but also to the entire world. Why? Simply because it has the gall to open and disclose files, videos, and other documented evidence of criminal wrongdoing by the American Empire that many libertarians, anarchists, anarcho-capitalists, minarchists, constitutionalists, voluntaryists, left-libertarians, agorists, and other free agents in the libertarian movement have known about for years. Interestingly enough, other governments of many other nations have remained silent on their sentiments over the hubbub, yet that was to be expected nonetheless. To paraphrase blogger Glenn Greenwald (who made this a vital point in his post yesterday), this shows that no other organization has generated this much fury, rage, and contempt for an entity as much as the organization's nasty, diabolical critics have. It goes further than that. Groups that expose clandestine evidence of the United States partaking in criminal wrongdoing are more despised than those in power who commit vile and diabolical war criminal acts utilize secrecy as a formidable weapon to preserve, shield, protect, defend, and guard their supreme legitimacy.

The statist conservatives are fired up over the release of these documents, which they claim should have remained clandestine and left alone. These thugs are now calling for the murder of WikiLeaks head honcho Julian Assange without any criminal charges pending against him, due process, an arraignment, and a fair trial. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin lashed out at him by turning to her Twitter page, caterwauling in part:

Inexplicable: I recently won in court to stop my book "America by Heart" from being leaked,but US Govt can't stop Wikileaks' treasonous act?
6:25 AM Nov 29th via Twitter for BlackBerry® Retweeted by 100+ people

Then she writes a Facebook note titled "Serious Questions about the Obama Administration's Incompetence in the Wikileaks Fiasco," in which she whines in part:

[Assange's] past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?

It's quite convenient for Palin to libel, smear, and lie about Assange with this following statement:

He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands.

(Interestingly enough, the Pentagon responded to that claim, rejecting it because it is simply untrue. Perhaps someone should send Palin a memo about that.) statist conservative columnist John Hawkins published a column yesterday morning entitled "5 Reasons The CIA Should Have Already Killed Julian Assange," in which he enumerated 5 reasons why the CIA should have already taken out Assange in broad daylight. Other statist conservative critics such as Seth Lipsky (whose column was posted by Jeffrey Goldberg) [who also accused the WikiLeaks founder of "treason" illiterally]), Mark Thiessen, Congressman Pete King, National Review's Jonah Goldberg, and yesterday's Wall Street Journal branded Assange as a "traitor" and should be assassinated without a trial or due process of law.

Speaking of Goldberg (who asserts that he opposes fascism), he inquired more than two weeks ago as to why Assange wasn't killed in the first place. In case anyone didn't catch it the first time around, he asked again:

Why wasn't Assange garroted in his hotel room years ago?

It gets worse. Today former Arkansas Mike Huckabee has urged for the execution of Assange, further stating that the release of the embassy documents has placed "American lives at risk." According to, Huckabee states in part:

'Whoever in our government leaked that information is guilty of treason,' Huckabee said. 'I think anything less than execution is too kind a penalty.'

Additionally, he asserts:

They’ve put relationships that will take decades to rebuild at risk, and they knew full well that they were handling sensitive documents, they were entrusted and anyone who had access to that level of information was not only a person who understood what their rules were, but they also signed under oath a commitment that they would not violate it. They did.

Furthermore, he opines:

'And I believe they have committed treason against this country, and any lives they endanger, they’re personally responsible for and the blood is on their hands,' he added.

Tom Flanagan, a political scientist who is a former adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper, even called for Assange's murder on CBC News Network, which prompted a shocked and dumbfounded reply from the anchor of the show that was heard as saying, "Tom, that's pretty harsh stuff! Just for the record, that's pretty harsh stuff!"

Here's a YouTube of Flannigan's remarks, which have been regarded as a "shockingly flippant" fatwa against Assange that aired on Canadian television yesterday at 8:38 a.m.:

Interestingly enough, Flannigan recanted his statement hours later:

'I regret that I made a glib comment about a serious issue,' Flanagan said Tuesday in a statement to CBC News. 'If Mr. Assange is arrested on the recently announced Interpol warrant, I hope [he] receives a fair trial and due process of law.'

A "glib comment," huh? Really, Mr. Flannigan? That's a pathetic excuse, considering you just called for violence against a peaceful individual who believes in honest transparency from not only the U.S. government but all governments throughout the world. Perhaps you should have thought of that before you made that outrageously disgusting statement on the Canadian airwaves. That statement alone, while not covered by the First Amendment in the U.S. because he made the comments on Canadian TV in his native homeland (where there is no First Amendment-protected right to free speech), is tantamount to using free speech as an excuse to incite violence against a human being who has not committed violence against other individuals in any way.

The reason these vile, despicable jackbooted thugs want Assange dead is clear: the WikiLeaks leader had the gall to release the State's own documents to the public, as he and many advocates of Liberty believe the public has the right to know what vital information the files contain. That data pertains to the U.S. government's illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the diplomatic discussions between various embassies around the world, and the truth about the various actions of the State which the government wants to conceal from the American people. Tyrants like Jonah Goldberg, Lipsky, Flannigan, Palin, King, Huckabee, Jeffrey Goldberg, Mark Theissen, John Hawkins, and many others on that side of the aisle will do whatever it takes to get rid of Assange, Private First Class Bradley Manning (who gave Julian the 260,000 embassy cables documents and the Collateral Murder a.k.a. the July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike and Granai airstrikes videos), and any one who stands in their way to protect "national security," which is really the State's security.

Here are the Collateral Murder and Granai airstrikes videos:

The other group of people who want Assange and WikiLeaks on the chopping block is the statist progressives, who are the angriest and most incensed of the bunch. For instance, Hillary Clinton, who according to the WikiLeaks documents has been allegedly engaging in espionage against the United Nations, calls the cables release:

[A]n attack on the international community, the alliances and partnerships, the conventions and negotiations that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity.

It gets uglier between Assange and Clinton. Assange called for Clinton's resignation, which alarmed White House press secretary Robert Gibbs who vehemently called it "absurd." It's apparent that the statists are becoming exceedingly desperate that they have shut down public access to the files stored in the State Department's computers, which have resulted in cutting WikiLeaks off from the U.S. government's servers. In response, WikiLeaks was forced to rent's computer servers so that its website could resume operations at once. Why? Because the U.S. government launched attacks on the stateless-supporting organization's website, effectively rendering it neutralized. This is the Empire's massive attack on free speech yet, although this wasn't the first time that has transpired.

To make matters worse, Interpol has called for the arrest of Assange to face allegations of rape charges brought by two Swedish women. According to The New York Times:

The accusations were first made against Mr. Assange after he traveled to Sweden in mid-August and had brief relationships with two Swedish women.

According to accounts they gave to the police and friends, each had consensual sexual encounters with Mr. Assange that became nonconsensual. One said that Mr. Assange ignored her appeals to stop after a condom broke. The other said that she and Mr. Assange had begun a sexual encounter using a condom, but that Mr. Assange did not comply with her appeals to stop when it was no longer in use.

The charges certainly are serious but are rather dubious at the same time. It seems very convenient for these two women to charge him with rape on the heels of the cables release if these two women actually exist, and if these incidents really happened the way they described it. Assange himself denies the accusations, which is fathomable given the odd timing of the release of the charges pending against him and that his relationships with the women were, according to him, consensual. Even former Australian intelligence official and current independent member of the Australian Parliament Andrew Wilkie doesn't buy into the charges, theorizing that they "could definitely be a set-up."

Currently, the Obama administration wants to prosecute him for espionage under the Espionage Act of 1917, due to the fact that he can't be tried for "treason," because he's not an American citizen. Extradition may be difficult as Assange's whereabouts are primarily unknown, even though speculation has it that he is living somewhere in the UK.

Even if the Department of Justice wants him on a governmental silver platter, prosecuting him on the grounds of espionage alone will be extremely difficult. Greenwald notes on his Twitter that MSNBC commentator Chuck Todd is correct on this:

He's right: RT @emptywheel "To his credit, @ChuckTodd noted that any prosecution of Assange would justify prosecution of Woodward, too."

The idea that the State has a "right" to privacy is laughable. After all, the attempt to take out WL is not about protecting the lives of all Americans. It's about protecting the life of the State from any political elephants or eggs it always has on its face.

But more importantly, it sends a disturbing message to us all: "You can't make some omelets without cracking a few governmental eggs." Can the statists stop it? They could, but it will be so unlikely, given that they hardly ever care what happens in the final analysis and the ends always justifies the means. That should never be discounted for any reason.

No matter how you slice and dice it, this is the state's impending assault on Julian Assange and his stateless organization known simply as WikiLeaks. Obama, the Democrats, and the Republicans are for the outright crucifixion and persecution of Assange, WikiLeaks, and all who have been and are a part of it must be called on it at any time whatsoever.

The future of human liberty largely depends on it.

Update:, which picked up WikiLeaks yesterday after the State Department shut down its entire mainframe thereby cutting the stateless-supporting organization from continuing to hack into its server and retrieve more classified and videos from the system, has decided to drop WikiLeaks from its rent-a-server system, because it caved in to political pressure from the U.S. federal government. According to The New York Times:

The move to drop WikiLeaks came shortly after members of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee pressed the company to explain its relationship with WikiLeaks. The site WikiLeaks had previously been using went down for several hours after an Internet attack over the weekend, prompting the group to switch over to an Amazon host site, which rents out bandwidth and other services.

Apparently, dark forces within the government has begun to direct its attack on the company. It appears that Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) issued a statement to the press, in which he is taking legal and political action against Amazon for its rapport with the organization. He decrees in the following:

WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., Wednesday issued the following statement after decided to terminate its relationship with Wikileaks. After reading press reports that Amazon was hosting the Wikileaks website, Committee staff contacted Amazon Tuesday for an explanation.

'This morning Amazon informed my staff that it has ceased to host the Wikileaks website. I wish that Amazon had taken this action earlier based on Wikileaks' previous publication of classified material. The company’s decision to cut off Wikileaks now is the right decision and should set the standard for other companies Wikileaks is using to distribute its illegally seized material. [Emphasis added.] I call on any other company or organization that is hosting Wikileaks to immediately terminate its relationship with them. [More emphasis added.] Wikileaks’ illegal, outrageous, and reckless acts have compromised our national security and put lives at risk around the world. No responsible company – whether American or foreign – should assist Wikileaks in its efforts to disseminate these stolen materials. I will be asking Amazon about the extent of its relationship with Wikileaks and what it and other web service providers will do in the future to ensure that their services are not used to distribute stolen, classified information.'

In other words, Joe Lieberman is the reason why Amazon backed off on its support for WikiLeaks out of fear of governmental reprisal from the statists in power. Amazon didn't want to take the potential legal and political risks that would more than likely arise in the fall-out, and it more than likely didn't want to be legally charged with "aiding and betting a 'terrorist' organization," so it took the easy way out and give in to the state, without considering that the First Amendment protects them and WikiLeaks on constitutional grounds.

But still, it doesn't excuse Amazon's decision to drop WikiLeaks, even if the State would have gone after them or anyone who supported the news organization in any form. To retreat from supporting, assisting, and helping the group when the U.S. government and the entire world are at a critical juncture is a sign that Amazon is nothing but a whore for the State, not to mention a coward. As WikiLeaks said about Amazon's call to remove the organization's account on their servers on its Twitter page:

If Amazon are so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books.

Hear, hear WikiLeaks! You won't get an argument from me on that standpoint alone!

Update II: WL has now returned to its original Swedish host Banhof.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Nation's Katrina Vanden Heuvel Issues Mediocre Apology to John Tyner

The Nation editor Katrina Vanden Huevel issues a mediocre apology to freedom-loving hero John Tyner for its direct hatchet/smear job targeting him. The reason I say it's "mediocre" because her apology does not extend to her rag's attack on renown occasional Free Talk Live co-host and blogger Meg McLain, who yesterday issued a very much-justified counter-assault on Yasha Levine and Mark Ames (the hack journalists responsible for their notorious and odious smear job that was in part aimed at her but mostly at Tyner).

Her apology would be more meaningful if it were also directed at Meg McLain, because Levine and Ames smeared her by tacitly and simply portraying her as part of an Astroturf operation that was a central thesis of The Nation hatchet job/hit piece. Her apology would be even more meaningful to's Pete Eyre, who was also a target in the article. Lumped in with McLain as purportedly being on the Koch brothers' payroll, the piece in part nastily writes about Eyre in the following context:

One of the libertarians that McLain met with, Peter Eyre, has spent much of the past five years on a variety of Koch payrolls: as an intern at the Koch-founded Cato Institute, a "Koch Fellow" at the Drug Policy Alliance and nearly three years as director for the Koch-funded Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University, home also to the Koch-funded Mercatus Center.

Eyre has since issued an outstanding "take-no-prisoners" rebuttal against the shoddy smear job.

George Donnelly, a co-founder of (as well as a good friend of mine), was also a target, although he was merely mentioned in one paragraph. He was unfairly lumped in with McLain in the following excerpt:

George Donnelly, a libertarian colleague of McLain's who writes that he "loves" her traveling libertarian friends in Florida and "learned a lot" from them, also happens to be one of two men behind the, one of the main websites pushing the "National Opt-Out Day" movement. The domain was registered on November 3, 2010, five days before McLain's fake airport incident. Donnelly provided McLain with the funds to return back to her libertarian commune in Keene, New Hampshire, after the (fake) incident.

Donnelly has leveled a brilliant attack on the rag with a blog piece, castigating them for tacitly framing him as a "Kochtopus."

Nonetheless, here is Heuvel's substandard apology in its entirety:

At we make it a point to practice fearless, bold, timely journalism that raises critical issues ignored by the mainstream press. On very rare occasions that ambition leads to mistakes, and when it does, we're committed to acknowledging them and setting the record straight. Unfortunately, a recent article by Mark Ames and Yasha Levine, "TSAstroturf: The Washington Lobbyists and Koch-Funded Libertarians Behind the TSA Scandal," was one such moment.

As Glenn Greenwald of Salon quickly pointed out (and as other writers echoed), the article wrongly suggested that John Tyner, the libertarian citizen-activist who coined the "don't touch my junk" protest against the TSA's security procedures, might be linked to an Astroturf operation. Ames' and Levine's article didn't directly call Tyner a plant, and they didn't say that he was funded by the Koch brothers. Nonetheless, their article gave that impression--by placing Tyner in the article's lead and by using a generally disparaging tone to refer to him. The article also used innuendo to cast doubt on Tyner's motives, and when Tyner denied any connections to lobbyists and to Koch-funded organizations in an interview, we printed his denial--but we didn't press hard enough to get clarity on his actions and intentions. We should have stopped and done just that, and if Tyner's story checked out, we should have removed him from the piece.

We have published a reply by Ames and Levine that acknowledges some of these problems, but as editor of The Nation, I also want to apologize to John Tyner. The Nation hasn't been--and never will be--in the business of muffling citizen protest.

We are, however, committed to bold reporting and to airing intelligent debates even--or especially--when they challenge our preconceptions and make our readers uncomfortable.

Citizens from across the political spectrum are right to call out the TSA's invasive procedures and the threat to civil liberties they represent. We have long opposed, and exposed, the continuing encroachments of the national security state, though we also think that those who applauded each sacrifice of liberty for security under the Bush administration should expect to be regarded with skepticism if the presence of a Democrat in the White House suddenly prompts libertarian concerns. As John Tyner pointed out, this issue "isn't Republican and it isn't Democratic." It is also simply a fact that the backlash against TSA procedures has led to calls for racial profiling and for the privatization of the agency.

I believe the furor over the TSA scans warrants further reporting and analysis. We do, however, pledge to do it with the care and integrity that marks The Nation's best journalistic traditions.

Now, if she would kindly extend her apology to Tyner to McLain, Eyre, and Donnelly, then my fellow lovers of Liberty and I would be doing the happy dance. But we won't be holding our breath. Until then, her apology is second-rate at best.

Free Talk Live's Meg McLain Versus Yasha Levine and Mark Ames of The Nation

Occasional Free Talk Live co-host and blogger Meg McLain, who was recently smeared (along with another hero John Tyner) by The Nation (specifically the rag's writers Yasha Levine and Mark Ames) in a piece entitled "TSAstroturf: The Washington Lobbyists and Koch-Funded Libertarians Behind the TSA Scandal," has authored a response to the statist liberal clods behind their invective-laced hit piece.

Incidentally, on November 24 (exactly on National Opt-Out Day), The Nation's top blogger Jeremy Scahill lambasted the writers for engineering this pathetic-joke-of-a-smear via a tweet on his Twitter page,in which he writes:

The article my magazine, The Nation, published about John Tyner is a shameful smear.

(More to the point, these ludicrous, irresponsible, and unfair acts of name-calling, libeling, and smearing show how partisan and political Ames and Levine really are and are endemic of the so-called journalists' ulterior motives.)

(Thankfully, Glenn Greenwald of authored a blog post to chime in on the uncalled-for smearing of McLain, Tyner, and the vile authors' libelous, pernicious, and baseless smears aimed at other libertarians in the movement over the TSA hubbub. Levine and Ames followed up with a response to Greenwald's piece, in which they claim that they didn't intend to smear Tyner, which is a baldfaced lie. Greenwald rebuts their rebuttal perfectly in Update III of his blog post, exposing their hateful, spiteful, and malicious lies, ill-intentions, and partisan biases all the way.)

Nonetheless, here's Meg's wonderfully-drafted response to The Nation regarding their hit piece targeting her in part.* (While there are some grammatical errors in the piece, and she didn't proofread it, that's not a major concern to me, as she brilliantly gets her message across to her readers about her experiences with the TSA [which I will include in a follow-up blog post about the TSA] and sets the record straight on the accusations that have for nearly a month sullied her good name.)

My Response to The Nation's TSA Articles

by Meg McLain

I was appalled at the absolute strait out lies The Nation found the balls to print about me, and I thought I would finally sit down and respond, both publicly and to the writers/editors at this abysmally written rag.

As there are now 2 articles (one making bold face lies about me, and another confirming their position on those lies); I have decided to start this response with a line-by-line deconstruction of the section that mentions me in the 2nd article. This pretty much sums up their stance in the first article, so I can give the broader answers here.

The Nation: "We also documented the story of the first “victim” of the TSA—a libertarian named Meg McLain"

First line, first lie. I am not a libertarian. I do not claim to be a libertarian. At no point during any interview did I say I was a libertarian. I find party politics of any kind to be repugnant, and 'libertarians' are a political party. I consider myself to be a sovereign human being who interacts with people on a voluntary and consensual basis. Politics have nothing to do with me, and I want nothing to do with them.

The Nation: "—who was found to have lied about being sexually molested by TSA agents."

I never stated, insinuated, claimed, or even came close to accusing the TSA of sexually molesting me. The whole reason I was kicked out of the Florida airport was because I was uncomfortable with the new "enhanced pat-downs", and I attempted to ask some questions to see if we could come to a compromise that would show I wasn't a threat but not require me to endure something I was personally not ok with. After asking the questions, the TSA blew things out of proportion, and assumed I had refused the pat down, so I was eventually escorted out for not completing screening. Moreover (and to the great embarrassment of this magazine's crap 'journalists') the TSA never claimed I lied about them sexually molesting me. Because I never said they did.

After my incident became public, the TSA posted up two security videos from my encounter with the TSA. They never outright said my story was untruthful; however, they insinuated it by saying something to the effect of "We'll let you [the viewer] decide what happened." The only problem is these two videos do not cover the entire encounter. The portion missing includes a few of the events I had spoken about on the radio that were never captured in the two videos posted (both from cameras angled away from that area). Nothing I said was a lie; however, much of what I said was misquoted, distorted, or even made up by the media.

I attempted to make a clarification after I listened to my original interview (which I had done less than an hour after the incident occurred). This was not to "cover up a lie", but rather to explain that when I said "nobody else was taken through the advanced screening" or sometime like that, I was trying to convey that nobody else was brought into the secondary screening area I was in. This was not an admission of lying, this was an attempt to clear up something that I misspoke on and could have worded differently to be better understood. But because I was telling the truth, the TSA and police couldn't even say I was lying when asked point blank. All they said was, "We cannot confirm or deny anything". It was purely an attempt on someone's part to sway the discussion of my incident from the real issue at hand to whether or not my story was even real. It was. And if you're going to take two videos without timecodes or full coverage of the incident as evidence of a "lie", at least have the intelligence to figure out the lie I'm accused of making.

*I would also like to add that the entire description of my version of what happened is so appalling misquoted, and so far off from what I actually said that I'm really wondering if the "journalist" even bothered to listen to the audio, or if he just read things and made it up himself. I also find it comical that the author was too stupid to realize he based the claim that nobody screamed "Opt Out" by referencing a video with no sound.

The Nation: "Before Tyner, McLain was being heralded by the same right-wing PR network, particularly Matt Drudge and Koch-funded libertarians, who later promoted Tyner to fame and who last year led the PR drive promoting the Tea Party movement. McLain’s ties to the Koch brothers are well-documented in our piece—and Greenwald, for reasons unclear, studiously avoids rebutting any of our evidence."

I have no idea who any of these people are, with the exception of John Tyner, whom I first discovered and met online well after both our incidents occurred.

Now here are some additional quotes from The Nation's original article that give more detailed lies to it's readers.

The Nation: "McLain is an occasional co-host of a libertarian radio show out of a libertarian quasi-commune located in Keene, New Hampshire."

I do not believe Free Talk Live is a libertarian radio show. It is the show a friend of mine hosts, and I enjoy the discussions and subject matter, so I sit in as a co-host from time to time. I have no idea where this quasi-commune thing came from. I live in a damn house with a roommate and a dog. Since when is that a commune? Because I have a roommate? Because once in a while we share our food? Really? Thats just flat out stupid writing intended to be offensive for no reason, and with no basis.

The Nation: "As reported in theWashington City Paper, the libertarian "Free Keene" movement where McLain makes her home is yet another libertarian project tied to the billionaire Koch brothers, the prime backers of the Tea Party campaign, through the Koch-funded Mercatus Center at George Mason University."

How exactly is Free Keene tied to these guys I've never heard of? Does it go any further than 'the Koch brothers have mentioned it once'? If they do have some financial ties with Free Keene, I would like to know, cause I am poor as crap and don't make a dime off that website.

The Nation: "By her own account, McLain was down in Florida visiting a pair of traveling libertarians who were spreading the word of libertarianism in what they billed as "Liberty On Tour," funded at least partly by Koch-backed organizations like "Students for Liberty."

The Nation: "George Donnelly, a libertarian colleague of McLain's who writes that he "loves" her traveling libertarian friends in Florida and "learned a lot" from them, also happens to be one of two men behind the, one of the main websites pushing the "National Opt-Out Day" movement. The domain was registered on November 3, 2010, five days before McLain's fake airport incident. Donnelly provided McLain with the funds to return back to her libertarian commune in Keene, New Hampshire, after the (fake) incident."

You know why I was in Florida? The trip was an f-ing birthday gift from my mother, so I could visit a boy I had a crush on. I was going to see a boy I liked. Thats it. And it actually didn't work out that well for me in the end, in case you'd like to rub some salt in that wound too.

Before I had booked the trip, I checked on the TSA's website to determine which airports had body scanners, and Ft. Lauderdale was not listed. I had actually gone to the airport assuming I had done my due diligence to ensure I wouldn't have to encounter one of these machines. When I was chosen for the body scanner, I honestly had no intention of not going through screening; however, I WAS very nervous and uncomfortable with both the options the TSA were giving me, so I attempted to ask a few questions to remedy my discomfort. What happen as a result of those questions was not only unintended, it was downright frightening.

I didn't even know if the friends I was visiting were still in the area, and I could have easily gotten stuck sitting outside the airport with no money, and nowhere to go. I was lucky enough to get ahold of them, and they rescued me from the horrible incident. I was asked to call in to Free Talk Live shortly after and tell the story of what had just happened to me, so I did. I never expected it to be put in the media spotlight, as I didn't think it was that big of a story.

It wasn't until the next day that I even "met" (online only) George Donnelly, who had heard me on FTL the night before, and made the audio into a video for his website. While I didn't mind him doing that, I didn't want the attention of the media (The Nation's article is a glaring example of why entering the public eye is a horrible idea). I did the first few interviews simply as a way to raise funds so I could get back home, by promoting a chip-in that many people were kind enough to donate to. However, after the media started, I began getting thousands of emails. While many of them were less that friendly, much more of them were from victims of TSA abuses writing to tell me about their experiences and offer their moral support. It was these hundreds of heart breaking responses that made me continue responding to media after raising the money to get home. These people were hurting, and they had no voice to express that. I didn't want to be that for them, but I had to do something. If nothing else, shed light on the issue. I was fully aware that it meant more long hours, headaches, and enduring more of the most hurtful and mean things ever said to and about me.

This whole thing was never an intention. I never sought out fame over a situation I never wanted to be in to begin with. I haven't gained anything from it. And I sure as hell was never asked to do it, or offered payment for it. I have had weeks of stress, hate mail, heartbreak, and a massive loss in productivity, which has taken a financial toll on me. I marvel that The Nation would be so brazen and heartless to make up an entire story about a nice young girl from a little town in Oregon, and turn her into some key player of a domestic terrorism conspiracy, which now puts me at risk for any number of horrific consequences including government investigations, personal attacks, and other such nightmares. All this without making one effort to contact me to confirm the facts.

So all I have left to say to The Nation Magazine is:

Your journalistic integrity is an embarrassment, and you should be ashamed.

[*Note: Thanks is given to Meg for allowing me to reprint her piece on my blog.]

Friday, November 26, 2010

ABC's The View and Whoopie Goldberg Brand George Donnelly and James Babb of "Terrorists"

Renown statist liberal Hollywood actress and The View co-host Whoopie Goldberg, along with her statist cohorts statist liberal "journalist" Barbara Walters, statist conservative Republican dingbat Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and statist liberals Sherri Shepherd and Joy Behar on the air, branded founders George Donnelly and James Babb "terrorists" for simply pushing National Opt-Out Day, which was a huge success on November 24 (a day before Thanksgiving).

Just for the record, Goldberg thinks that NOD is, to her, "an act of terrorism." Hasselbeck mentions George and Jim's names on the air, inquiring why their names are not on the terrorist watchlist. Behar says they should be on the list. Even Ron Paul was mentioned on the show, and they seriously took issue with Ron's opposition to the TSA's pedophiliac and sexually assault-inducing "security." I assume they think he is "a terrorist" too now?

What about the 94% (originally reported as 92%) of the public at large who opted-out of flying a day before Thanksgiving? I suppose they're all terrorists too, right? That's right. If you don't submit to being molested, raped, groped, and manhandled by the State, you must be a domestic terrorist.

Whoopi and her pathetic thugs on the show -- including her mindless, zombie-like viewing audience who eats up the show in droves -- might as well label me a terrorist for simply refusing to fly because I don't want my nude pics of my corpulent body showing up on the Internet or saved on file or being fondled by a grotesque-looking TSA agent who would definitely get off on it.

In any event, here's the video clip of Goldberg and The View hosts' comments that was put on Donnelly's YouTube channel:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

R.I.P. David F. Nolan (1943-2010)

I was shocked and horrified to hear of the sudden demise of Libertarian Party founder David F. Nolan, who passed away last night of "unknown causes," as reported by LP activist and medical marijuana advocate Steve Kubby, after having heard about it and confirmed it from Nolan's wife Elizabeth, on his Facebook wall. (Italian pro-Liberty activist Luca Fusari was the one who had heard about it and told me on Facebook but wasn't it was true or a joke. It is sadly true, as I have confirmed it from Lidia Seebeck and Kubby themselves.) Tom Knapp has reported on IPR and KN@PPSTER it as well.

Here's what Kubby wrote on his Facebook wall about an hour ago:

Steve Kubby DAVID NOLAN R.I.P. - Libertarian Party Founder David F. Nolan died last night of unknown causes. I just spoke to Elizabeth Nolan who confirmed David's passing.

According to David Euchner (who also spoke with Elizabeth) on his FB wall:

David Euchner
I just got off the phone with Elizabeth. David was feeling ill from valley fever and was driving to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription - a neighbor found him slumped over the wheel about a block from the house, off the road. He never re...gained consciousness.

We usually go out for dinner and a beer for our birthdays this week, so this was not the news I was expecting when I saw his phone number appear.See More
15 minutes ago · Like

Nolan was an interview guest in Episode 7 of Liberty Cap Talk Live with former panelist Jakki Smith, pro-Liberty friend and panelist Virginia Tuckey, Boston Tea Party member and former California BTP Chairman Joy Waymire, and long-time libertarian movement activist Donald Meinshausen and my co-host Jim Landrith, Jr. on the show, which aired on September 8, 2009 on He was on for a 51-minute interview on the show, which was a great interview that he had given because the panel, my co-host, and I asked him some great questions about the state of the LP, the race for LP Chair between Mark Hinkle and Wayne Allyn Root, and so on. Sadly, it remains as one of the last few interviews he gave before his untimely death. To me it's one of my favorite interviews of all time.

According to Kubby, Nolan was being treated for early stages of prostate cancer*, as he was getting his lab and other medical tests, blood checked regularly, etc. Unfortunately, until more facts are discovered after an autopsy is done on him, the cause of his death will remain unknown. What's worse is that, according to Kubby and a couple of people with whom I spoke on the phone, Nolan's birthday is coming up this Tuesday.

I can only imagine how his wife and family must be feeling right now. I wish them my condolences.

I had the pleasure to know Dave a bit. I confess that I didn't know him THAT well, but he was for better or worse the most influential person not only to the activists in the LP and the libertarian movement, but also to me. He was the one who helped shaped my ideas and thinking as an ideological purist not only in the LP but also in the movement. He's had a profound impact on my life, for which I will never, ever be ungrateful.

Soon there will be a tribute to Nolan by the members of both the Party and the movement.

Dave, we love you and miss you. You are our light and our inspiration in our movement, which is still not a huge movement at all. But you contributed to the pavement of its evolution and its growth, which will be handed over to generations for posterity.

You will be missed. Wherever you are, I hope you are at peace.

*Note: Paulie Cannoli told me he died of pancreatic cancer, but I'll take Kubby's word at this point.

[Update: Here's the video player for Dave's appearance on my show, dated October 8, 2009:]

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[Update II: I forgot to mention that Dave was 66 at the time of his death. This Tuesday he would have been 67 years old. Still, what a young age to die in this day and age.]

[Update III: I also forgot to mention that Dave was the creator of the Nolan Chart, which is used by The Advocates for Self-Government. Again, thanks Dave!]

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wesley Snipes to Serve Three Years for Tax Evasion

In case anyone hasn't noticed, actor Wesley Snipes, who is a renown tax protester, has been sentenced to three years for tax evasion. Incidentally, the federal judge presiding at his trial has declined his appeal for a new trial.

'The defendant Snipes had a fair trial ... The time has come for the judgment to be enforced,' U.S. District Judge Terrell Hodges said in his ruling.

Revoking bail for the 48-year-old star of the 'Blade' trilogy, the judge ordered him to report to prison as directed by the U.S. Marshals Service or Bureau of Prisons.

"Fair trial"? What drug has this judge been smoking? The high-profile felony case was a joke to begin with, simply because the court refused to allow Snipes to meet with jurors for interviews and would not allow motions for a new trial.

And he calls it a "fair trial."

While I disagree with Snipes' tax protester arguments (which basically state that the federal income tax isn't legal), I agree that income taxation employed by the State is coercion. If anything, it amounts to nothing but thievery by the vile hands of the State.