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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pauleroids Live! 

Intercepted e-mail, from the Ron Paul remnant on the ASU Campus (and all hail, student action!):
From: appliberty
Date: Sun, Mar 22, 2009 at 7:48 PM
Subject: Action Item

Hello members of political action clubs,

This is an announcement of an event taking place on April 15th, 2009 (Tax Day). Various people with differing opinions have at least one thing in common: they don't like the direction our country is going in. Whether it is the bailouts, the ballooning national debt, the dollar crisis, the encroachment of the federal government on individual liberties, the failure to hold the Bush and Obama administrations accountable, increasing taxes, the deployment of troops on American soil, or the failure of our government to represent the people's interests, we can all agree that there are huge problems with our nation's current trajectory.

So "We the People" have an option to legally and effectively make our voices heard. We will do this by striking at the real power structure of the current system, economic dominance by fiat money, financiers, and the wage system.

Here is the plan. On April 15th, all participants will do at least one (hopefully all) of the following:

1) Refuse to go to work.

2) Refuse to go to class.

3) Do not buy anything.

4) Withdraw all your money from the bank and keep it withdrawn for a couple of days.

5) Send a tea bag to your representatives in government, from the highest to the lowest. They will get the message.

6) Wear a white armband or wristband on you right arm to show that you are participating.

Two thousand years ago, a Roman Senator suggested that all slaves wear white armbands to better identify them. "No," said a wiser Senator, "if they see how many of them there are, they may revolt."

Members of our club will be participating, and it would be great to see people from all different political and social backgrounds coming together, despite their differences, to bring the message to the government that "We the People" are not happy and that the ultimate power over the course of our nation belongs to us.

--The ASU Campaign for Liberty

I'm down with taking it to the streets. If we can agree on who's responsible for this fine kettle of fish. The ASU Campaign for Liberty uses a curious choice of words to describe "the enemy" in the memo above -- "fiat money, financiers, and the wage system." Well now, I'm totally ready to burn those guys at the stake!

Fiat money. I don't think they're talking about a certain Italian automobile company, but who they mean, we dunno.

Whoever they mean by "fiat money" specficially, they're talking against Obama generally, because he's not Ron Paul, and therefore he's the proximate cause of everything that's just wrong. Sorry, but I can't go there. The ASU Campaign for Liberty doesn't like the president, and I do, although I care a good deal less for the Wall Street dudes the president's hired to advise him. Getting him unstuck from those particular men-in-suits may be difficult, though protests like this might help. Who knows? Might not, too. Because this particular call to arms seems a trifle ... blunt-edged, if you know what I mean. "Burn the whole place down" has never much appealed to me as a tactic, even back in the 1960s when, indeed, they were burning the whole place down. Didn't much work then, either.

The line that might give the ASU Young Republicans some pause, prior to buying in to this protest against Obama: "the failure to hold the Bush and Obama administrations accountable." "Bush and Obama"? That's a lopsided formulation if there ever was one, since Bush had eight years to be held accountable for, and Obama, a few weeks, but the ASU Liberty Fighters have balanced the two presidents as pure equals in evil in that particular sentence. And that's a problem, dudes, if you're really looking for bipartisan involvement in your protest.

First you slap a Republican ("prosecute Bush"), and then you hug a Republican with that mention of sending a tea bag to our public officials. That tea bag gesture is a pure piece of grand larceny from the conservative Republican playbook. The only federal Rep. we have is Virginia Foxx, and she's not going to like getting a bunch of tea bags.

There's just one other phrase in the call to action that has me a little concerned: "the deployment of troops on American soil." Uh, where? Are we talking Green Beret assault on the Ron Paul compound in Texas, or just some National Guard action in the flood zone in South Dakota? That's a phrase that can't just be allowed to slip by unquestioned.

Whatever. Have a productive Tax Day, and we hope your employers are liberals.

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Palin: Libertarian on Everything But Women's Rights 

If John McCain is elected president on November 4, Sarah Palin could become president in precisely four and a half months. When's the last time you remember a presumptive president being kept in seclusion because any question about her record, her preparation, her competence is considered "sexist"? Because the news media is not allowed to question her, it falls to ordinary citizens.

While advocating the power of the State to force women to give birth, Palin is very supportive of the consumption of alcohol. While mayor of Wasilla in 1996, Palin opposed a city ordinance that would have required bars and liquor stores to close at 2:30 a.m. on weekdays (3:00 a.m. on weekends) and stay closed until 8:00 a.m. At that time – and still? – Alaska state law allowed bars and liquor stores to stay open until 5:00 a.m. (Wasilla Frontiersman, 28 Aug. 1996).

(She took her stand on open bars shortly before receiving campaign contributions from local bar owners: "Within two weeks of her vote, the Mug-Shot contributed $200 and Wasilla Bar $500 to Palin's campaign for mayor" – Wasilla Frontiersman, 13 Dec. 1996.)

In 2001, when a law was introduced in the Alaska state legislature to limit the open hours of bars and liquor stores, Palin signed a resolution opposing it (Wasilla City Council resolution 01-07, 26 Feb. 2001).

Because the chief of police in Wasilla supported restricting bar hours as a way to combat alcohol-related traffic accidents, and because he opposed Palin's administrative policy allowing citizens to carry firearms in city hall and the library, the chief of police supported Palin's opponent in her reelection campaign for mayor of Wasilla. After Palin won, she fired the police chief. She eventually hired as his replacement a new chief who boasted that he had no interest in limiting bar hours, because "I don't think the answer to crime is restricting people's freedom more and more" (Anchorage Daily News, 28 March 1997; Frontiersman, 4 July 1997).

And by the way: Palin admitted in 2006 in she had smoked pot: "Palin said she has smoked marijuana – remember, it was legal under state law, she said, even if illegal under U.S. law – but says she didn't like it and doesn't smoke it now. 'I can't claim a Bill Clinton and say that I never inhaled' " (Anchorage Daily News, 6 Aug. 2006).

Sources: The Book on Sarah Palin

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Analysis of What Went Wrong with Conservatism 

Conservatives have been "cocooning," that's what. Encasing themselves in their own aromas of righteousness and letting nary a stray thought intrude into their crystalline palace.

Well, we got a glimpse of what was gestating inside that cocoon, and it wasn't a thousand years of Republican rule, charted by Karl Rove. Instead, out stepped something supposedly blessed by Saint Ronnie but looking a lot like Wilfred Brimley and sounding suspiciously like Jerry Falwell come again. Despite what happens in November, there's likely a revolution coming among conservatives, despite what the remnants of the Republican Party decide to do.

That's some of the insight offered by this profile piece and by Ed Cone's interview with Jon Henke, one of the founding bloggers of "The Next Right."

Common to both pieces is the largely unrecognized arrival on the cusp of power of the new libertarians, the younger "conservatives" who have no particular use for the old face of conservativism, the anti-abortion and anti-gay crusaders (nor do they have all that much tolerance for marijuana laws) and who particularly abhor the expansionist militarism of the neo-con wing of Republicanism.

More power to 'em.

Now if they can just figure out where to bury all the victims of laissez-faire economics, without drawing undue attention, they'll be on their way!

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