LLR Pages

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:]

Listen to internet radio with LibertyCapTalkLive on Blog Talk Radio

[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.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Earmarks Racket

The Republicans' wailing over earmarks is laughable at best. That even goes for the mainstream media as well.

The claim that they are spreading is that earmarks account for 1% of the federal budget. That's hogwash! That's a cute ruse employed by the thugs in Washington to obfuscate the real picture of the budgeting itself. It's rather paramount to put this matter in its proper perspective. It actually accounts for 1% of discretionary spending, which only constitutes 37% of the entire federal budget. That said, earmarks only make up 2.70% of the budget itself. Still, that is a meager amount, and the elimination of them wouldn't make a dent in the entire spending whatsoever.

Another ruse that the media proliferates is that earmarking is spending, which is an absurd canard on its face. Earmarks are merely an allocation of appropriated ("assigned") tax ("stolen") funds to a politician's district for various political interests such as economic development, infrastructure, and other purposes. Remember the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" under former Governor Sarah Palin's watch?

Senate Republicans are already posturing as grand opponents of earmarks by signing on board with a two-year moratorium on the issue, although that is simply a farce by itself. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his fellow GOP colleagues are known on record for requesting earmarks for their districts. The Center for Public Integrity, which focuses on "investigative journalism for the public interest" by investigating congressional and senatorial politicians and their legislative records, points out that McConnell appeared on CNN in July of 2009, asserting the following:

The stimulus was a big mistake. I think we can fairly safely declare it now a failure.

The Center even went further:

Two months later [McConnell] signed five letters requesting funds from the Department of Transportation for a variety of stimulus projects, including a railroad rehabilitation program that he said could "attract industry, create jobs, and move goods through areas underserved by national highways."

At least one of McConnell’s requested projects was accepted, with $20 million being earmarked by the Department of Transportation for a bridge replacement between Milton, Ky., and Madison, Ind.

What's more, McConnell is also on record for requesting a $1 billion in pork for Kentucky. Now McConnell is having a crisis of morality years after supporting earmarks for his own district? Balderdash!

This is nothing more than political showboating and grandstanding from the Republicans as a way to snooker the public into believing that they are really cutting spending when that couldn't be further from the truth. Earmarks enable them to buy votes from their constituents and their special interests. The absurdity of their opposition to earmarks would be hilarious if it weren't terribly pathetic. Not that I'm defending this practice (as I really don't), but the reality is that, if they ban earmarking, it would destroy any political capital they could reap during every midterm and presidential election season.

Earmarks should absolutely be abolished; however, what the Republicans are calling for is nothing short of a racket. They must be called out on this fraud, which they are perpetrating.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bush Is A Liar and a War Criminal

Last week's Dateline NBC news correspondent and Today co-anchor Matt Lauer's highly-touted, highly-talked about hour-long interview with former President George W. Bush has sent attentive shock waves throughout the entire media establishment, the nation, and the world. More accurately, it has been a critical bust for the network and its show, considering it's accumulated a meager 7 million viewers, pushing it to fourth place.

More importantly, while it has been an eye-opener for the show's viewers, it hasn't been for its critics who finally see that Bush has admitted his war crimes against humanity -- waterboarding, the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, rape, sodomy, torture, homocide, and other forms of sexual assault against detained Iraqi insurgents ("freedom fighters" or "rebels" in the eyes of the Iraqi populace in their native homeland). (Sadly, President Obama has continued these atrocities which have been largely ignored by the establishment and its media cronies, but that's not a surprise because they are heavily in bed with one another.)

The Lauer-Bush interview, which was conducted to promote Bush's new book Decision Points, ought to give observers pause. (Many pundits refuse to buy into Bush's war criminal and warmongering propaganda and lies, except for the Fox News commentators who are smiling in the background.) When water-boarding is discussed, Bush responds with the following statements taken from the show's official transcript (which is available at the network's Decision Points website):

BUSH: We believe America's going to be attacked again. There's all kinds of intelligence comin' in. And-- and-- one of the high value al Qaeda operatives was Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the chief operating officer of al Qaeda… ordered the attack on 9/11. And they say, "He's got information." I said, "Find out what he knows.” And so I said to our team, "Are the techniques legal?" He says, "Yes, they are." And I said, "Use 'em."

LAUER: Why is waterboarding legal, in your opinion?

BUSH: Because the lawyer said it was legal. He said it did not fall within the Anti-Torture Act. I'm not a lawyer., but you gotta trust the judgment of people around you and I do.

LAUER: You say it's legal. "And the lawyers told me."

BUSH: Yeah.

So, Bush claims that water-boarding is "legal" because his attorney said it was. That's an outright confession of a war crime right there (which he even openly let slip in his book). Bush, while using the excuse that his "attorneys" said that it was "legal" to do it, knows that just because it was legal to do it under American law at the time of that incidents doesn't mean they were legal internationally. The U.S. like every nation is subjected to international law, whether the hawks in his administration and his supporters like it or not. (Are Bush and Co. aware that the provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 1929 and 1949 mandate that prisoners of war (POWs) are to be "treated humanely" and that all acts of torture against them as well as homocide, rape, and all other vile atrocities are illegal under international law? I supect they do, but they apparently have no compunction in violating the terms of those treaties.)

The fact of the matter is that Bush and Co. had the legitimate power that they had given themselves to decide what is "legal" and what isn't. But, even when it was legal to employ such a horrendous technique, did it "keep America safe" as his defenders posited? Of course not! Everyone is well aware of the fact that, when a prisoner is subjected to water-boarding (which is the act of coercing the captive to believe that he or she is drowning when it is artificially, psychologically, and mentally induced, although water is sprayed or poured over his or her nostrils), no truly legitimate intelligence is extracted from the detainee. In the words of actor Jake Gyllenhaal's character CIA operative Douglas Freeman tells a U.S. government-backed Middle Eastern official in Northern Africa in the 2007 film Rendition:

In all the years you've been doing this, how often can you say that we've produced truly legitimate intelligence? Once? Twice? Ten times? Give me a statistic; give me a number. Give me a pie chart, I love pie charts. Anything, anything that outweighs the fact that if you torture one person you create ten, a hundred, a thousand new enemies.

Whether Bush, Obama, and Co. want to acknowledge it or not, he's right. As a matter of fact, the use of extraordinary rendition, which is the kidnapping of a citizen from one country and brought to another and kept at a clandestine location, as established by the Clinton administration, carried out by the Bush administration, and continued by the Obama administration has not come to a screeching halt. Although Obama has put a stop to extraordinary rendition via an executive order simply by allegedly ensuring that the practice is compliant under international and domestic law and establishing a Task Force, he has not put an end to "erroneous rendition" (the practice of kidnapping a citizen and employing extraordinary rendition due to mistaken identity).

Moreover, the use of water-boarding, even after the application of extraordinary rendition, does not result in attaining and obtaining reliable intelligence as stated above. The reason being? Captives who are held for these illegal proceedings will lie while being tortured just for the torture to stop. They will virtually say anything to get out of it. Besides, that unreliable data is inadmissible in a court of law. Japanese soldiers and officers who employed waterboarding on their American prisoners during World War II were tried for war crimes and hung in 1945, and our own courts set precedent for the criminal prosecution of those thugs by establishing water-boarding's status as torture. The real deep-seated message that Bush told Matt Lauer's viewers that night is, "Torture against our enemies is okay, as long as the state does it. If other governments do it to us, then it's not okay." This is nothing but purely blatant hypocrisy from Bush and his conspirators.

Of course, here comes this grotesque tidbit from the interview:

LAUER: Not everybody thought you should go to war, though. There were dissenters.

BUSH: Of course there were.

LAUER: Did you filter them out?

BUSH: I was-- I was a dissenting voice. I didn't wanna use force.

What's interesting is that the his following additional statements were deliberately omitted from the televised interview in contrast to the transcript that was leaked out to the press a few days before the telecast:

BUSH: I mean force is the last option for a President. And I think it's clear in the book that I gave diplomacy every chance to work. And I will also tell you the world's better off without somehow [or someone?] in power. And so are 25 million Iraqis.

(Why NBC omitted that bit from the aired interview when it was broadcast on the airwaves that night raises some eyebrows from a critical standpoint. I surmise that they didn't want the public to know that Bush was lying about giving "diplomacy a chance to work." That even includes his lie (which Bush apparently has made himself believe) that 25 million Iraqis are better off without Hussein in power.)

All of this is in reference to Bush's discussion of his claim that the CIA's "rock solid intelligence" showcasing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) were stockpiled and directly controlled by Saddam Hussein prior to and leading up to the War in Iraq. Bush purports that he wanted diplomacy "to work," which is in stark contradiction to his actions in 2002 and 2003, in which his team and he knowingly contrived a report allegedly put out by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that suggested that Saddam Hussein had violated U.N. resolutions by producing WMDs and having them in his possession, and that such weapons posed a threat to the national-security apparatus of the United States.

In his March 17, 2003 "ultimatum speech" he delivered to the American people, Bush claimed the following:

[T]he Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq's neighbors and against Iraq's people.

The regime has a history of reckless aggression in the Middle East. It has a deep hatred of America and our friends and it has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of Al Qaeda. The danger is clear: Using chemical, biological or, one day, nuclear weapons obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions and kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country or any other.

The United States and other nations did nothing to deserve or invite this threat, but we will do everything to defeat it. Instead of drifting along toward tragedy, we will set a course toward safety.

In the same speech, Bush also declared:

In the case of Iraq, the Security Council did act in the early 1990s. Under Resolutions 678 and 687, both still in effect, the United States and our allies are authorized to use force in ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. This is not a question of authority, it is a question of will.

After listing Saddam's alleged possession of WMDs, Bush also warned at the time:

And this very fact underscores the reason we cannot live under the threat of blackmail.

This is, of course, the same Bush who also asserted the following canard in the same speech:

In one year, or five years, the power of Iraq to inflict harm on all free nations would be multiplied many times over.

More to the point, in his 2003 State of the Union speech, Bush painted Hussein as "[t]he dictator who is assembling the world's most dangerous weapons" and also concluded his anti-Saddam rant with the following:

A future lived at the mercy of terrible threats is no peace at all.

On August 26, 2002 former Vice President Cheney even peddled this political fraud by appearing before members of the Veterans of Foreign Affairs with the following assertion:

Many of us are convinced that Saddam will acquire nuclear weapons fairly soon.

Approximately two weeks later, with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair at his side, Bush, still peddling the lies about the WMDs, told reporters:

I would remind you that when the inspectors first went into Iraq and were denied -- finally denied access, a report came out of the Atomic -- the IAEA, that they were six months away from developing a weapon. I don't know what more evidence we need.

Cheney, appearing on NBC's Meet the Press on March 16, 2003, hocked the late show host Tim Russert the lie further with this new baseless claim:

[W]e believe [Saddam] has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."

What a sham it turned to be! The IAEA made no such claims whatsoever. Mohamed ElBaradei, the Director General of the agency, told members of the U.N. Security Council at their 4714 meeting:

First, there is no indication of resumed nuclear activities in those buildings that were identified through the use of satellite imagery as having been reconstructed or newly erected since 1998, nor any indication of nuclear-related prohibited activities at any inspected sites.

Secondly, there is no indication that Iraq has attempted to import uranium since 1990.

Thirdly, there is no indication that Iraq has attempted to import aluminium tubes for use in centrifuge enrichment. Moreover, even if Iraq had pursued such a plan, it would have encountered practical difficulties in manufacturing centrifuges out of the aluminium tubes in question.

Fourthly, although we are still reviewing issues related to magnets and magnet production, there is no indication to date that Iraq imported magnets for use in a centrifuge enrichment programme.

As I stated earlier, the IAEA will naturally continue further to scrutinize and investigate all of these issues.

After three months of intrusive inspections, we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear-weapon programme in Iraq.

This is scathing proof that Bush lied to his viewers and to Matt Lauer that night, knowing full well of the lies perpetrated on his side.

Bush furthers his lies by claiming that he felt "sick to his stomach" when reports of the abuses occurring at Abu Ghraib. The transcript from the interview goes like this:

LAUER: It was the spring of 2004 when you first learned that American soldiers operating as guards at a prison called Abu Gharib had terribly mistreated prisoners. Can you just give me your first reaction, your first emotions when you heard the--

BUSH: Yeah, I--

LAUER: --news?

BUSH: Sick to my stomach. Not only have they mistreated prisoners, they had disgraced the U.S. military and stained our good name.

If that's true, Mr. President, why didn't you go after them when you had the chance? Why weren't there calls for criminal prosecutions against those soldiers when the opportunity presented itself in the first place?

Why didn't he do this? Because what he said is a lie all by itself. Seymour Hersh, a progressive writer for the New Yorker, detailed the disgusting abuses transpiring at Abu Ghraib via a report (infamously known as "the Taguba Report") by Major General Antonio Taguba. Hersh writes in his May 10, 2004 report:

Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape; allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell; sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick, and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee.

It should be noted that, on the day of the publication of Hersh's article, General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Bush's administration, stated in a TV interview that he did not read the Taguba Report.

Interestingly enough, Bush and Co. implemented damage control on their end, purporting that the leaked photos revealing the abuses were nothing short of aberrations stemming from a handful of sexually deviant National Guard soldiers. What they fail to understand is that Hersh's anonymous informant, who happened to be a military consultant who worked closely with the officials at the Pentagon, went on record with Hersh, telling him that the photographs were principally and specifically intended to be be used to blackmail the abused prisoners "to create an army of informants, people you could insert back in the population." After that sentence, Hersh notes:

The idea was that they would be motivated by fear of exposure, and gather information about pending insurgency action, the consultant said. If so, it wasn’t effective; the insurgency continued to grow.

Hersh even pointed out:

The notion that Arabs are particularly vulnerable to sexual humiliation became a talking point among pro-war Washington conservatives in the months before the March, 2003, invasion of Iraq.

That's proof that Bush didn't feel "a sickness in his stomach" when he saw the photos. He had plotted this all before the invasion and occupation of the Iraqi homeland. Again, it is more proof that Bush is a liar.

With all of these points put into their proper perspective, Bush is a definite candidate for prosecution for committing war crimes against humanity. He's a liar and a war criminal. Case closed. End of story.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tonight's George Bush Interview

I'll be watching (and DVRing at the same time) George Bush's interview on Dateline NBC at 8 p.m. EST tonight. I'll be drawing some conclusions of my own following the broadcast.

In the meantime, check out the preview of the interview here.

Here's an excerpted clip of tonight's interview:

George W. Bush: War Criminal

George Bush writes in his new presidential memoirs Decision Points (which is due out tomorrow, November 9) that he did authorize the CIA to employ "enhanced interrogations," also known as water-boarding, of detained "enemy combatants," a.k.a. war-on-terror suspects (such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) at the height of his second presidential term. Water-boarding is the practice of torturing a prisoner simply by pouring water over his nostrils and face, forcing him to think that he is drowning when simply he is not. It produces an automatic gag reflex that is accompanied by physical symptoms such as deprivation of oxygen to the brain, pain, dry drowning, catastrophic damage to the lungs, and psychological trauma.

The practice is a crime under American and international law. When will charges of war crimes be brought against him? And what will it take to press those charges? His accomplices such as former Vice President Dick Cheney and former U.S. Attorney John Ashcroft should be slapped with the same charges.

It would behoove President Obama not to be viewed as one simply by ordering U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to prosecute that case.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ron Paul on Scoreboard: Rand and I Will Introduce Legislation to End the Fed

Ron Paul appears on Fox Business' Scoreboard, telling host David Asner that he and Rand will introduce a new bill to call for eliminating the Federal Reserve.

While this is encouraging across the board, I'm unconvinced as to whether they can achieve and attain a great amount of success in their bold effort to pull the plug on the Fed. I'll reserve judgment for the time being.

Until then, color me skeptical.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bush Defends His Decision to Invade Iraq

Former President George W. Bush, in an upcoming interview he gave with Today Show host Matt Lauer to tout his new presidential memoirs Decision Points, defended his decision to invade and occupy Iraq, all the while claiming that he was a "dissenting voice" against the war establishment's push for the invasion and occupation of that homeland.

Not everybody thought you should go to war, though. There were dissenters.

Of course there were.

You know, there were questions at the Pentagon. Colin Powell had questions. Brent Scowcroft, your father's former National Security Advisor, and dear friend, wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, I'm paraphrasing here, saying, "It's not a good idea to go to war in Iraq." So there were dissenting voices.

I was a dissenting voice. I didn't want to use force. I mean force is the last option for a President. And I think it's clear in the book that I gave diplomacy every chance to work. And I will also tell you the world's better off without somehow [or someone?] in power. And so are 25 million Iraqis.

Funny enough, he ends up contradicting himself, as evidenced in this following exchange with Lauer:

You know the question. If you knew then what you know now--

That's right.

--you would still go to war in Iraq?

I-- first of all, didn't have that luxury. You just don't have the luxury when you're President. That's a very hypothetical question. I will say definitely the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power, as are 25 million people who now have a chance to live in freedom.

History judges you on the decisions you make. Sometimes history doesn't judge you on the absence of a decision. And I believe Saddam Hussein in the Middle East today, if he were there in power he would be enriched, he'd be emboldened. He would still have the capacity to make weapons of mass destruction, whether we found the vats of weapons of mass destruction. And I believe it's likely you'd be seeing a nuclear arms race between Iran and Iraq. And the world would be much more unstable. And America would be-- less secure.

Your words. "No one was more sickened or angry than I was when we didn't find weapons of mass destruction." You still have a sickening feeling when you think about it.

I do.

Was there ever any consideration of apologizing to the American people?

I mean apologizing would basically say the decision was a wrong decision. And I don't believe it was the wrong decision. I thought the best way to handle this was to find out why. And what went wrong. And to remedy it. And that's why we had the Silverman Robb Commission.

So let me get this straight: Bush was a "dissenting voice" in moving the U.S. into a war with Iraq, yet he doesn't "believe it was the wrong decision"?

After what's been leaked out thus far, I'm voting for the latter. According to Iraq Body Count, the number of deaths have now reached between 98,585 and 107,594 civilian casualties from 2003 to 2010, which he and President Obama combined now both have blood on their hands.

This claim that he had tried to employ diplomacy is a baldfaced lie. There is no evidence of any kind that he used this tactic to avoid launching his invasion and occupation. This is evidenced by the fact that Bush, his pro-war cronies, and their American allies claimed that Hussein was producing "weapons of mass destruction" (WMDs) that purportedly jeopardized the national-security state of the U.S. Bush and former VP Cheney alleged in 2002 and 2003 that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) claimed in an alleged report asserting that Hussein was manufacturing "chemical and biological weapons" -- a document that the IAEA subsequently denied in the first place. In other words, that "report" was an outright fraud upon the American people, and Bush and Co. knew it the entire time. Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter has been on record stating that, while it is true that Hussein and his regime failed to abide by the United Nations Security Council resolutions calling for WMD disarmament, there were no WMDS found in his possession. Even if there had been, the stockpile would have been virtually useless because of years of deterioration and had become harmless.

[*Note: See Jim Bovard's piece "Bush's WMD Flimflam," which is an excellent piece that goes into great detail about the lies of the Bush administration and its flimflam that he and his ilk perpetrated on the American people.]

After all has been said and done, what kind of fools does Bush truly take us for?

29% of Americans Voted in Midterm Elections

It turns out that the voter turn-out at Tuesday's midterms on a national level was not as high as observers and analysts predicted would be.

According to Channel 7 in Bozeman, Montana:

Nationally, voter turnout was higher Tuesday than for the mid-term elections four years ago....The turnout is projected at 42 percent of registered voters. That translates to about 90 million people, 6.2 million more than in 2006. [Emphasis added.]

To analyze it much further, the break-down of the math is like this:

  • According to the Midterm Elections 2010 Rates data table at the United States Elections Project website, 90,504,100 registered voters showed up to vote at the polls on Tuesday. That's 90.5 million voters casting their votes for Highest Office (which is the highest vote counted for Governor, U.S. Senator, and combined House of Representatives). The Voting-Eligible Population (VEP), which is the number of eligible registered voters for this year's 2010 midterms, is 218,054,301. Divide the Highest Office by the VEP, and what you end up getting is 42% of the total number of minority eligible registered voters electing the 112th Congress to office via pluralities/majorities.

  • According to the Census Bureau's U.S. Population Clock, there are exactly 310,636,612 Americans living in the United States. If one takes the total number of eligible registered voters -- that being 90.5 million -- who showed up to vote on Tuesday and divide it by the total U.S. population count (as given by the Clock), only 29% of the entire population, whether they are registered to vote or not, cast their votes, thereby electing the 112th Congress to office via pluralities/majorities.

That leaves 71% of Americans either choosing not to vote or being unable to vote because they were prohibited from doing so (because they were convicted of a felony which legally prevents and prohibits them from voting, they were under the age of 18, or they were fundamentally and legally disenfranchised). Furthermore, that percentage alone is not an indicator of why those who opted out of voting this year chose not to engage in the process. Thus, "apathy" is not the reason for those who embrace non-voting as a means to reject the political process; on the contrary, "non-consent," which is the tacit choice not to be governed by the ruling elite, is the reason for those who have turned their backs on voting.

For the next two years, the congressional and senatorial establishments will "represent" (rule) us, meaning that he or she, regardless of whether either he or she has an R or D next to his or her name, will have the legitimate power to have authority over us.

Quite par for the course.

[H/T goes to Tom Knapp of KN@PPSTER and the creator of the newly-formed Ⓧ2012 Project for bringing this to everyone's attention in the Liberty movement.]

Senator-elect Rand Paul Chooses Campaign Aide as Chief of Staff

Senator-elect Rand Paul, who won his senatorial race in Kentucky against Democratic opponent Jack Conway, has chosen campaign aide Doug Stafford, a long-time GOP political consultant, to be his Chief of Staff who will be responsible for assembling a Senate staff. reports:

Stafford serves as vice president of National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and as a consultant to the Campaign for Liberty, an organization chaired by Paul’s father, Ron Paul, a Texas congressman and former GOP presidential candidate.

I will admit that, while Conway was worse than Paul on a number of key issues, Rand has made me feel uncomfortable throughout the election season with his comments on a handful of issues that obviously paint him as a social conservative on that front. His troubling positions, as best as I can assemble them, include his positions on gay marriage and medical marijuana, Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act* (specifically because of his poorly-argued, poorly-worded semi-libertarian defense of private racist proprietors who refused service to people on the grounds of their skin color), his defense of the War on Terror (specifically his opposition to closing down Guantanamo Bay a.k.a. Gitmo and trying the "enemy combatants" in New York that issue became the center of a much-publicized controversy), his polarizing stances on illegal immigration and birthright citizenship, abortion, transferring some functions like disbursing student loans and Pell Grants of the Department of Education (which he does favor ending, and I concur with him on this) to other departments and agencies in lieu of eliminating them, to name a few. Additionally, his comments on the recent BP oil spill, in which he called Obama's criticism of BP "un-American," rankled me because, although I oppose the federal government's involvement in the clean-up, BP ought to have been held responsible for the spill and be forced to pay for the clean-up costs.

I'm willing to reserve judgment and see how he handles his first six-year term. But don't expect me to hold my breath either.

[*Note: While I agree in principle that racist proprietors have a right to be racist and do have a right to exclude anyone for any reason (even if it has to do with that individual's skin color) because of my support for freedom of association, that does NOT translate into me saying that I condone the behavior. I am a much bigger fan of community organizing (like Obama is), and I do favor boycotts, sit-ins, non-violent and voluntary ostracism, and other forms of non-violent protests aimed at private statist employers who use their bigotry as a moral and rational justification for averting non-violent customers from entering their establishments. Such criticisms of these grotesque practices are valid and widely accepted in the Liberty movement. It is regrettable that Paul had to reverse his position on that provision of the bill due to the ugly fall-out of his comments which were clearly poorly-constructed and ill-thought out.]

The GOP Reneges on Promises of Huge Spending Cuts

Except for the Senate, the Republicans have complete control of the House. While the Tea Partiers are stoked over their newly-backed GOP congressional line-up and its "pledge" to "pare down" federal spending, "balance" the federal budget, and "slashing" the federal deficit, their enthusiasm for the new Congress after last night's election results will be short-lived.

House Republican leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, who's poised to become the next House Majority Leader and with congressional Republicans flocking to his side, has gone on record saying that his conservative colleagues and he will be pursuing "across-the-board" cuts in "discretionary spending" and cuts in the state's payroll. He has come out noting that he wants such spending levels pared down to 2008 levels not excluding defense, which is nonsensical because the GOP, especially prior to Election Day, has been vague on specifics on the budget, aside from talks about "saving" taxpayers $100 billion a year (which is meaningless). After all, Cantor has shown no interest in gutting discretionary spending at all, before and after the elections. (The GOP's only achievement so far is the push of a spending cap that would cut the outlay by $20 billion as opposed to what Obama wanted, but talk is cheap in the political scheme of things.)

Discretionary spending is a form of outlay that Congress authorizes by "appropriating" (stealing) taxpayer monies every fiscal year. This is separate from "mandatory spending" - another outlay specifically set (by default) to allocate stolen taxpayer funds to the entitlement programs for retirees and needy who are dependent on and can't live without their Medicare, Social Security, and food stamps.

Most Americans are not aware that discretionary spending (and this is what the two major parties don't want them to know) only accounts for approximately 33 percent of the entire federal budget. This translates into meaning that the GOP is only interested in a that minute amount of spending. They are set only on those cuts, the GOP pledging that military (defense) and "homeland security" spending are off-limits notwithstanding. So much for the "huge spending cuts" that the Republicans promised the Tea Partiers throughout the election year.

In other words, the GOP has just reneged on their promises of huge spending cuts - promises to which they made to the Tea Partiers. Their so-called referendum against Obama has, for all intents and purposes, gone up in smoke.

With all of this in mind, the only message that one can deliver to the Tea Partiers is this: don't you feel better now that the Big Statist Republicans whom you passionately and excitedly elected have your best interests at heart?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Yesterday's Midterm Elections

My good friend and mentor Sheldon Richman is absolutely spot-on: elections are the American people's opiate. The political process may make you feel so special about yourself, but once you cast your vote for your "preferred candidate," you end up leaving the polls (and, if you're lucky, you may respond to the exit poll surveys they always give you), and go home and return to your daily business (whatever it was what you were doing). Then, as the obedient slave whom you're expected to be, you doze off until the next event comes. The magnificent state will coddle you, protect you, and be there for you while you're asleep.

Wow. What a great, noble system. Not!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hypocrisy and Absurdity Reign in This Election Season

Today is Election Day, and nothing can be worse than the incessant impetus of the state-worshiping electorate swarming into their local voting precincts, whether they are public "government" schools, firehouses, and other state-approved municipalities, to cast their state-sanctioned, state-endorsed, and state-approved votes for their preferred candidates for public "government" office. This even entails their votes for or against state-approved measures on the ballot.

The Tea Parties' call for constitutional government, tax-and-spending cuts, no cap and trade, fiscal accountability, and a repeal of the recently-passed, Obama-approved health care program, as stated in its recently-circled "Contract from America" document which has been pushed and lobbied by many of its backers, rings hollow in comparison to their steadfast backing of the establishment's Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and controlling and their need to militarize the borders between the U.S. and Mexico. One must include their lack of condemnation of the former Bush administration's profligate spending (although some of them like conservative The Dana Show host Dana Loesche have skewered W.'s domestic agenda). Last but not least, they have not even bothered to deplore the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration checkpoints' thoroughly invasive search and frisking procedures commonly known as "enhanced patdowns" along with its utter disregard and violation of passengers' privacy and civil liberties via its screeners' use of naked body scanners at nearly every airport across the country. (Ironically, the Bush and Obama administrations "informed" us that the scanners wouldn't record our images, but the recently-leaked photos of the scanners prove otherwise. Even the U.S. Marshalls Service admitted it.) Given that the conservatives' "revolutionary" movement has put Congressmen John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and nearly the entire GOP in the House and the Senate "on probation," should we seriously take them at their word?

The "Contract from America" document is a de facto embarrassment and fraud on the American electorate, its semi-libertarian undertones notwithstanding. It's nothing more than a descendant of Newt Gingrich's 1994 "Contract with America," although a number of GOP'ers more or less liken the GOP's "Pledge to America" document to it. No where in this newest proposal does it tacitly say anything about repealing nearly every federal agency, regulation, and a host of entitlement programs. There is no call to end the U.S. federal government's disastrous energy and foreign policies (which go hand-in-hand in reality). For example, the manifesto calls for an "Pass an 'All-of-the-Above' Energy Policy," which mandates the following:

Authorize the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries and reduce regulatory barriers to all other forms of energy creation, lowering prices and creating competition and jobs.

Even worse, there is no call to repeal the federal income tax, the capital gains tax, the estate tax, and repeal all the federal spending (which constitutional scholars on the laissez-faire/minarchist side would deride as "unconstitutional"). Only a mention of a "moratorium on all earmarks" unless a balanced budget appears, but why a moratorium? Why not outright abolition of the earmarks and the spending? In the interim, a gutting of the spending would be much preferable to that option, but obviously this is done specifically to pander to a base of conservatives who really don't want cuts in or repeal of entitlement, pork, and defense spending out of fear that such moves would affect their piece of the welfare-warfare pie. After all, there's nothing better than a conservative politician who is buying votes from blocs of welfare-worshiping, warfare-worshiping Tea Party activists and their voting base who are primarily interested in and defensive of propping up and maintaining their hegemonies of the Middle East.

One would think that the Tea Parties would field GOP candidates who are solid on pro-peace, pro-civil liberties platforms. With the possible exception of Ron Paul, the idea of said candidates is an oxymoron in terms. The vast majority of the Republican establishment is a warmongering outfit, and one can include all the Tea Parties on that column. Republican congressional candidates running on anti-war and national-security state platforms might have been worthy of consideration for the electorate (despite the likelihood of grumblings from the Tea Partiers), given that it might have energized scores of Americans who have been increasingly viewing the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as both fiscal albatrosses and embarrassing quagmires. But don't count on that. The Tea Party is fundamentally opposed to that idea, and their conservative underlings would scream bloody murder at the prospect of an anti-war, anti-state Republican in their midst. Thank you Tea Partiers and Republicans. Your pro-war, anti-civil liberties records have emboldened President Obama to magnify his assaults on the peoples in Afghanistan, Iraq, the entire Middle East, and on our own shores as well and bolster international support for global hegemony. Obama's barbaric policies, which were carried over from the Bush administration and made into his own, ought to incite anger from every American.

The "Pledge to America" manifesto is worse than the above-mentioned one. It gives lip service to slashing spending and paring down the deficit, but it barely elaborates on some specifics. The Republicans' conservative base and the Tea Party are heavily putting an enormous amount of stock in the GOP to retake the House (which is very likely after today) and possibly conquer the Senate to carry their agendas, but they are foolish to do such a thing. The GOP is asking the Tea Party and their conservative supporters to have faith in their fiscal restraint, but what do they have to show for it after Bush's rampant spending during his years in the Oval Office? After being wiped out politically in 2008, their credibility and respectability have been virtually obliterated beyond repair. Even their support for the War on Drugs, the War on Poverty, and other pervasive government programs have never wavered. What will it take for the Tea Party candidates to wake up and realize that, despite one of their concerns is cuts in entitlement spending (despite the fact that 63 percent of the movement is opposed to that), Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are also government programs? Even the Pentagon and the Military Industrial Complex are programs too.

And what of the Democrats? The Democrats have come off as absurd hypocrites on the home and war fronts without question. President Obama has broken more than a handful of promises to the American people, promises that he made to his constituency and his base who backed him to deliver his promise of "change" to the U.S. His promises, such as making his administration transparent to an already-skeptical, already-cynical American public, ending the Bush-propped, Bush-backed War in Iraq (which he's failed to do twice in a row), digging the economy out of the Bush-imposed recession, and ending Washington's culture of interest interests and lobbyism, were never intended to be delivered. After all, he has already backpedaled on his intentions to end the military's old "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy (twice in a row, point of fact), and his appeal to a federal appeals court that overturned that Clinton-era executive order has already enraged his gay progressive Democratic base. Oh, and his expensive stimulus and Cash-for-Clunker programs and bailouts of GM and Chrysler have really bloated the deficit even further, which have become fodder for the right-wing talking heads on Fox News.

Obama has already embroiled the nation further in the Iraqi and Afghani conflicts than Bush ever had. After all, we are talking about the same current president who has proceeded with Bush's war policies by amplifying his genocidal killings in the Muslim nations and blatantly declared war on our civil liberties and the Constitution. Unlike Obama, Bush did not so much possess a morsel of authority to engage in assassinations of Americans in the name of the War on Terror without a shred of due process. His pledge to pull the plug on Guantanamo Bay -- that is, releasing all Americans imprisoned as "enemy combatants" who would be tried by a an American criminal court in New York (given that they are constitutionally accorded with the right to due process and a right to a speedy trial) in lieu of a U.S. military tribunal without the presence of a jury of their peers and the right to a defense by an attorney on their behalf -- was rescinded due to conservative outcries because expressions of sympathy and empathy for "terrorists" would be tantamount to appeasing and treason. Such a move would give the loopy fringe right wing plenty of ammunition, thereby denouncing Obama as a supporter of terrorism. Obama's backpedaling on reversing Bush's foreign policy would enable the Republicans to brand the President sympathetic to the terrorists' cause. Can you imagine how that would play out for Obama's re-election chances? Those labeled slapped on him and the Democratic Party would make the Democrats' chances for re-election to the House and the Senate more problematic than it is now.

Americans who are convinced that the country is moving towards the wrong direction should realize that the GOP's power grab of the House and possibly the Senate won't do anything to unroot the manifestation, cause, and flow of statism in this country and abroad. The state's tentacles have reached every facet of American and international lives as we know it. Republicans who claim that this election is about a "referendum against Obama" are deluding themselves because it's truly a referendum to exact more control of American lives and wiping away more of our freedoms than ever Republican-style. The Democrats are at least honest about not being in favor of laissez faire and individual liberty; after all, they have never believed in the individual, just only in the collective. But the Republicans' incessant claims of championing those values are not worth the campaign literature on which they are printed. Every statist action from exacting conquest of other nations (including the Muslim world) to engineering government-mandated pensions and medical care for retired and poor people must be scrapped. The much-worse welfare-warefare state that has inundated the United Kingdom and Europe will soon metastasize to our soil. The welfare-warfare statism in our homeland is untenable and unmanageable.

All the odious signs of the Republicans are there. Once they are in power (and after tonight, they will be), they will proceed with the War on Drugs and be more aggressive with their xenophobic, nationalistic, and jingoistic anti-immigration zealotry. All the campaign rhetoric notwithstanding, the Tea Parties and their Republican operatives will conquer and rule the American people like their Democratic counterparts in a statist conservative Republican manner.

Hypocrisy and absurdity surely reign in this election season. Especially on Election Day today.