Tuesday, May 31, 2011
So how did we get here? Simply, every generation of politicians has built upon the proceeding generation's usurpation of liberty to create a a federal Leviathan that has an ever growing hunger for more and more power until it becomes the very thing that it was meant to defend against.
Ron Paul is one of the few people in our government that see the dangers in giving Leviathan unlimited power. He sees the danger in the precedent of the Obama administration's blatant disregard of the War Powers Resolution as it pertains to our current involvement in Libya and warns that "it would be incredibly naïve to think a dictator could not or would not wrest power in this country." He adds further, "Those in power right now might be trustworthy, upstanding people. But what of the leaders of the future? They will inherit all the additional powers we cede to the current position holders. Can we trust that they will not take advantage? Today's best intentions create loopholes and opportunities for tomorrow's tyrants."
And it is not just our foreign involvements that worry the Congressman. What about here at home? As he points out, it is not beneath the state to "treat all Americans as suspected terrorists". He later reminds us that our "constitutional rights no longer apply when the United States is "at war" with you."
These are sobering words and we are nearing the tipping point where we will one day awaken to the realization that our republic has turned into a police state where agents of the state do not need a warrant, only suspicion, to raid your property. We may soon find out that we do not have the right to resist or impede the state from entering our homes in the name of their safety. It may even come to pass that armed stormtroopers can gun you down in your home in the enforcement of a spurious warrant.
But this could never happen in our America, could it? Surly that only happens in other far away lands ruled by evil-doers.
Cross posted at the Left Coast Rebel
Last week I missed this floor speech from freshman senator, tea-party-favorite Mike Lee:
Senator Lee's statement is so commendable that I wanted to post the transcript here in it's entirety.
I thank the distinguished Senator from Kentucky for standing up for the fourth amendment principles that he's articulated today.
This is an important issue to all Americans.
Americans want to make sure that we can identify and apprehend those people who would harm us.
And at the same time Americans are firmly committed to the idea of constitutionally limited government.
The concept that regardless of how passionately we might feel about the need for certain government intervention, we can't ever allow government to be operating completely unfettered.
We have liberty in place whenever government is controlled by the people, and whenever there are certain things that are beyond the reach of the government.
Now, Senator Paul has helped identify some key areas of concern that have been implicated by the Patriot Act.
And he has suggested that we ought to, at a minimum have, a robust debate and discussion over some amendments that might be proposed to the Patriot Act before we proceed.
Three months ago we had a discussion, we had a vote and there were a few of us who voted against the Patriot Act.
We voted against it because we love America, because we believe in constitutional limited government, because we want to make it better, we want to make this something that can, at the same time, protect Americans but without needlessly trampling on privacy interests, including many of those privacy interests protected by the fourth amendment.
Bad things happen when we adopt a law without adequately discussing its merits.
Now, years ago when the patriot act was adopted, there were a number of people who raised some of these privacy concerns.
For that and other reasons, congress made the decision way back then, almost ten years ago to adopt the patriot act and adopt certain provisions of it, subject to some sun-setting provisions.
So congress would periodically be required to debate and discuss these provisions.
It does us no good if every time it comes up we're told you have to vote for it or against it, we can't really debate and discuss it, we can't really consider amendments to it. We were told three months ago that in May, toward the end of May, and we're now here -- we'd have an opportunity to debate, discuss, and consider amendments.
That opportunity has now been taken away from us, and with it the chance to address some of these important privacy implications, many of which do implicate the fourth amendment in one way or another.
Senator Paul has referred to some of them, including some of the implications of national security letters, which while not directly implicated by the expiring provisions at issue right now are inextricably intertwined with other issues in front of us including those related to section 215 issues and including the roving wiretap issue, itself up for reauthorization.
I speak in support of the idea of robust debate and discussion. Especially whereas here it relates to something that is so important in the American concept of limited government, so closely related to our fourth amendment interests, we ought to have robust debate, discussion, and opportunity for amendment.
And I thank Senator Paul for his leadership in this regard.
Hat tip United Liberty. Cross posted to LCR.
Monday, May 30, 2011
I hope that this all has something to do with the face lift and the shift in content since the beginning of the year but I also know that a large amount of the credit also goes to my good friend Tim, editor of the Left Coast Rebel who has added some timely and fantastic content here. Thanks for everything Tim.
Going forward I look to keeping The Libertarian Patriot as your source of current events from a libertarian point of view along with exposing topics that the LSM ignores. I might not always be right but I'll say what I feel and always welcome any feedback; good, bad or ugly.
So thanks again for your support, it makes the battle to take down Leviathan all that more fulfilling.
At the SRLC last year, Johnson finished with 1% of the first choice vote and 6% of the second choice vote in the straw poll. This year he needs a much stronger showing if he is to gain any traction for the Republican nomination. This will be tough since attendees are typically from the conservative wing of the party but with the large influx of Ron Paul supporters expected to be in attendance again this year he may be able to do better, particularly in the second choice ballot.
If you plan to attend or know someone who is attending, please support Gary Johnson in the straw poll. I'm not 100% if I can make it since I have business trips scheduled the weeks before and after the conference, but if you would like to make a donation to send me, The Libertarian Patriot, to this year's event please hit the tip jar or shoot me an email. I'll also be willing to share a room with someone to help defer costs.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
While the former NM Governor currently suffers from low name recognition and is considered by many to be Ron Paul-lite, when you look at his positions on abortion, immigration, gay rights, drugs and war; all social issues which are important to many Independents and center-left Democrats, Gary Johnson not only has the cross-over appeal that the other GOP candidates lack but he has the current occupant of the White House beat as well.
He is also a fiscal warrior when it comes to spending, as his record during his two terms as Governor bears out. While in office he cut taxes 14 times, vetoed 750 spending bills from the Democrat controlled legislature, balanced the budget, left the state with a budget surplus, cut 1,200 state jobs and created 20,000 private sector jobs. How many of his opponents can boast of that?
As you can see, getting the economy back on track is right in the Governor's wheel-house and that plays particularly well to the Tea Party along with Independents who are concerned about our mounting government debt.
The tough part will be getting through the primaries for Johnson since his social positions may not sit particularly well with conservatives. He too will have a tougher time wooing the libertarian wing of the GOP away from Ron Paul, who has that group firmly in his camp.
But these are challenges that Gary Johnson welcomes and has overcome in the past. As a political neophyte in the Governor's race in 1994 he was told by NM GOP party operatives that he had no chance of winning the Republican nomination, let alone beating the Democratic incumbent. We know how that turned out.
What we have in Gary Johnson is a candidate that does not fit in perfectly with any one particular voting bloc but appeals to a broader group of Americans; whether they are Republicans, Democrats or Independents, who are weary of partisan politics (really politics in general) and want to see real change.
At the end of the day what we need in the POTUS is someone who has the best interest of the American people at heart and will not pander to one particular bloc or party but will return us to the limited government, personal liberty ideals that this republic is founded on. What we need is a candidate that speaks for all of the American people and will not be co-opted or maintain the status quo.
That candidate is Gary Johnson.
|Image: Rand Paul speaking to Iowa Federation of College Republicans annual convention in Des Moines, Iowa. Credit: Gage Skidmore|
I saw the headline at the New York Times this morning, "Senate Gadfly Who Isn’t Shy About Buzzing" and I instantly thought that the intended target of said piece was none other than Mr. Tea Party Senator, Senator Rand Paul.
I was right. From the NYT piece:
WASHINGTON — Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky did not come to this town to be quiet.It's a pretty good piece and there's lots more at the link but the point is fairly simple. Rand Paul is living up to what he said he would do and he's only been in office for four and a half months. It just goes to show what one determined, consistent individual can accomplish, even in our seemingly unreformable government, even during the times that we live in.
In the first six months of his tenure, he has designed his own budget (something, point of fact, that Senate Democrats have not accomplished), flirted with running for president and tormented Obama administration officials at a hearing over the fact that his toilets, hampered by federal water-use regulations, do not function properly.
This week, Mr. Paul’s parliamentary maneuvers nearly caused the Patriot Act to expire, and forced hundreds of colleagues in both chambers of Congress to reconsider their travel plans before a holiday weekend so he could fight for amendments to that bill.
In so doing, Mr. Paul, a Republican, managed to enrage Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic majority leader, who suggested on the floor of the Senate that Mr. Paul might not mind if terrorists get armed to the teeth. Nor did he thrill Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader and fellow Kentuckian, when he urged supporters to contact Mr. McConnell’s office with a message to get out of Mr. Paul’s way.
A senatorial peacock with a rust-colored crown, Mr. Paul stands out as someone who, at least for now, seems to be here less to make laws than points. His libertarian-leaning amendments — one would have made it harder for counterterrorism investigators to obtain firearms records and another would have relieved banks from their duty to report suspicious transactions — failed by wide margins, even among Republicans.
Remember this? We've come to take our government back:
Friday, May 27, 2011
Gary Johnson 2012
Gov. Johnson spoke with Sean Hannity on FOX News recently about free market economics; addressing the debt crisis; ending the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya; ending the War on Drugs; and the philosophy of liberty:
As I have said before, Mr Guerena may be guilty of the crimes he is alleged to have committed but that still does not justify the actions of the PCSD in the raid which resulted in the death of the ex-Marine.
So far it has been reveled that in addition to the AR-15 that Guerena is alleged to have pointed at officers, other evidence found in the house include a Colt .38-caliber handgun and financial records along with body armor in a hall closet and a US Border Patrol hat in the victim's garage. Nothing out of the ordinary although evidence including drugs, cash and weapons have been found in other homes raided as part of the PCSD investigation.
The question still remains, was this deadly show of force necessary? And with a child in the home. PCSD say that they gave notice with their siren and knocked on the door but as you can hear in the video the siren was on for 8 seconds and sounded more like a car alarm going off to me. PCSD SWAT acted more like an execution squad with a barrage of fire a mere 6 seconds after battering the door down than law enforcement serving a warrant.
As we see no end to the War on Drugs, Congress extending the PATRIOT Act for another 4 years and courts stripping away our Fourth Amendment rights, all giving the agents of the state free rein to abuse their power, incidents like this will become all the more common. The irony is that these are the same types of atrocities that we condemn other countries for allowing.
The rule of law in this nation is that we all are to be given the opportunity to face our accusers in court, however Jose Guerena will never get his.
This video, taken two days ago on the floor of the House of Representatives, reminds me of Dr. Paul's, "could it all be a bad dream" must-watch speech made during the nadir of the financial crisis.
Ron Paul asks, Who would have ever thought that the current generation and Congress would stand idly by and watch such a rapid disintegration of the American republic?
Every single one of Ron Paul's predictions have come true for this country. It's about time we start listening and turn the tide back. Or is it truly the last straw?
Cross posted to LCR and Rational Nation.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Sometimes, all it takes is one man standing up:
Youtube video of Rand Paul's speech yesterday on the floor of the United States Senate, hat-tip Matt Welch:
(WSJ) Sen. Rand Paul has single-handedly stopped the extension of three key provisions of the Patriot Act until after they expire at midnight Thursday. Unless he folds.
The Senate voted to end debate on the measure, but Sen. Paul, a Kentucky Republican, is insisting the Senate debate the measure for a full 30 hours, which would extend beyond the midnight expiration. Mr. Paul’s tactic is procedural: By not agreeing to a request for unanimous consent to yield back debate time, he can insist the debate continues until 7a.m. Friday, past the midnight expiration of the provisions. Mr. Paul, a libertarian who opposes the Patriot Act, could change course and allow a vote before the provisions expire.
Senator Rand Paul has been all but alone in highlighting the most onerous and unconstitutional provisions of the PATRIOT Act.
For conservatives unaware of the perils therein of the PATRIOT Act, please watch this video, "The Patriot Act's Historical and Legal Context" with Judge Napolitano:
And an introduction by Judge Andrew Napolitano into why the PATRIOT Act is unconstitutional, given to the the Future of Freedom Foundation in 2007:
Via Memeorandum. Cross posted to Libertarian Patriot.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
In an interview with The Atlantic this is what Cain has to say about the PATRIOT Act,
I think that the PATRIOT Act is about 90 percent right on. I can't delineate to you exactly what I would want to change, but here again I would rather error on the side of caution and protection, rather than worry about that ten percent that I might have a problem with.But it gets worse. Cain, who says he believes in individual rights and privacy, seemingly has no problems with taking them away in the name of security.
I'm a little troubled by police officers being able to go into a home without a warrant or a court order. But that being said, I would rather error on the side of detection. If I have to choose between political correctness or doing what's right to protect us I'll go with doing what's right to protect us every time.With all due respect Herman, that political correctness you speak of is the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES, you friggin' moron. But what would you expect from a guy who thinks that Abraham Lincoln was one of the founding fathers?
Now, with this in mind, what do you think his position is when it comes to the War on Drugs? If you guessed that he is just another drug warrior who wants to see stricter enforcement, you win a cookie; or is it a pizza?
Crack down on the laws against illegal drug use. That's what you do.The more exposure he gets, the more we see that Herman Cain does not believe in the Constitution; he has no problem with taking away your Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures and is willing to sacrifice your freedoms to the power of the police state under the guise of security.
But fear not my friends, we have two men running for President that are staunch defenders of the Constitution. The first is the original Tea Party candidate Ron Paul and the other is the libertarian former Governor of NM Gary Johnson. If you believe as I do that the tyranny of Leviathan needs to be stopped, these are the men that you need to support.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The Washington Times
All told, government investigators found that during the period they examined, one out of every six stimulus contract or grant dollars went to a known tax cheat, according to Sen. Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican who, along with several colleagues, requested the GAO review.
The review found that at least 3,700 stimulus recipients owed a total of more than $757 million in taxes, but were awarded $24 billion in stimulus money.
GAO said the number of cheats and the total dollar amount of unpaid taxes is likely higher than their findings because IRS databases don’t record amounts owed by taxpayers who have not filed returns or who have not been assessed delinquent payments by the IRS.
The government investigators took a closer look at 15 stimulus recipients whose histories raised red flags. The 15 were responsible for $40 million in unpaid taxes, and had all engaged in potentially criminal activities, including withholding payroll taxes from employees but never sending the money to the IRS.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Gary Johnson: The Tax Cutting, Liberty Minded, Common Sense Talking 2012 GOP Candidate
Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson discusses foreign policy, the Middle East, and the war on terror with Stephen Kruiser and Tony Katz. He has a record of cutting taxes and delivering surpluses. Can Johnson repeat this success on the federal level?
Sunday, May 22, 2011
The Humble Libertarian
Looks like selling pizza doesn't necessarily qualify a man to handle the complexities of geopolitics and steer U.S. foreign policy in the right direction. In a recent foreign policy gaffe, Herman Cain demonstrated a knowledge of foreign policy that might even rival that of Sarah Palin's in terms of its vapidness.
ThinkProgress has the goods:
Previously, Cain has shown a lack of depth on foreign policy, stating at one point that he doesn’t know enough to say what he thinks about the Afghanistan war...
But this morning on Fox News Sunday, Cain showed just how limited his understanding is of the Middle East peace process. Asked by host Chris Wallace what he would be prepared to offer Palestinians as part of a deal, Cain responded, “Nothing.” Just moments later, Cain was dazed and confused when Wallace referenced the issue of “right of return” of Palestinian refugees:
WALLACE: Where do you stand on the right of return?
CAIN: The right of return? [pause] The right of return?
WALLACE: The Palestinian right of return.
CAIN: That’s something that should be negotiated. That’s something that should be negotiated.
Wallace then helpfully offered Cain a definition of “right of return” — “Palestinian refugees, the people that were kicked out of the land in 1948, should be able to or should have any right to return to Israeli land.” Cain again showed his lack of knowledge, veering completely off his pro-Likud script. “I don’t think they have a big problem with people returning,” Cain said.
EDITOR'S NOTE: I completely agree with Wes on this. Herman Cain is an empty suit who's lack of positions on most issues makes him about as qualified as the current occupant of the White House to be President. Do we really want another President who's only qualification seems to be that he gives really good speeches?
So can our economy survive without the Warfare State? Just think about the repercussions it would have on our economy if significant cuts were made. Unlike after WWII when military production was turned into domestic production, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people would be left unemployed.
It seems to me that we as a nation have boxed ourselves into an ugly corner where we have become too reliant on one industry for the well being of our economy and created a catch-22 from which there is no turning back.
Cross posted at the Left Coast Rebel
Now Obama does not feel as though he should comply with this law and has come up with the excuse that because the involvement of the US military is so "limited", he no longer needs Congress' approval.
Now mind you that his initial notification to Congress didn't fully satisfy the reporting requirement of the resolution, specifically § 1543(b)(c), so it should come as no surprise that he has now chosen to ignore the rest of the law.
GOP candidate Gary Johnson calls out the President on his "blatant disregard" of the resolution in this Daily Caller piece.
Maybe, just maybe, they forgot. Or maybe they actually believe that what the U.S. is doing in Libya somehow doesn’t constitute the use of our armed forces — $750 million worth of bombs and missiles notwithstanding. Whatever the reason, it is obvious that the president has no intention of complying with the War Powers Act with regard to our military intervention in Libya.Via Memeorandum
This blatant disregard for the law must not go unchallenged. As several senators did this week, Congress must demand an explanation for the fact that, with no declaration of war, no authorization from Congress, and certainly no imminent threat to the U.S., our forces are today engaged in what is clearly a military conflict halfway around the world in Libya.
Specifically, the War Powers Act requires that the use of American forces in a conflict must be ended within 60 days of commencing — unless Congress expressly authorizes otherwise. In terms of our current engagement in Libya, Congress hasn’t authorized anything, nor has the president asked them to, and today, May 20, is the 60th day.
Perhaps we will be pleasantly surprised and the president will stop our military’s involvement in Libya today, but I rather doubt it. The War Powers Act was enacted almost 40 years ago for a reason. After fighting two costly wars, Korea and Vietnam, with no formal declaration of war, Congress acted to limit the authority of the president to engage the military in “open-ended” conflicts with no clear congressional consent. It was carefully crafted to allow the commander-in-chief to respond to attacks and otherwise take whatever action necessary to protect us. At the same time, it was obviously crafted to limit precisely the kinds of ill-defined and costly uses of our military that we are witnessing in Libya right now.
To be fair, this president is certainly not the first to disregard the War Powers Act. Some have even questioned its constitutionality. But until the courts or Congress deem otherwise, it is the law of the land — and in my opinion, a good one.
If there are compelling reasons — strategic, humanitarian or otherwise — to be doing what we are doing in Libya, then Congress will likely authorize it. If not, then perhaps we shouldn’t be firing those missiles and dropping those bombs — missiles and bombs financed with borrowed and printed money.
Either way, Mr. President, don’t treat today as just another deadline to ignore.
Cross posted at the Left Coast Rebel
Teapot Party Blog
"Gary Johnson is a great American. He will make a great president if elected. And I will support him all the way in the GOP primary. "Gov Johnson, for his part, made light of the situation in an interview with The Raw Story commenting that he still thought highly of Nelson and welcomed the attention that has come from it.
While we can all have a good chuckle over the events of the past week we should not lose sight of the fact that Gary Johnson is a serious candidate for 2012 with a proven track record of executive experience as a two-term Governor of New Mexico and as a successful businessman. No other candidate can boast of a resume to match that.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
|Picture from Pima County Sheriff's website|
A Tucson, Ariz., SWAT team defends shooting an Iraq War veteran 60 times during a drug raid, although it declines to say whether it found any drugs in the house and has had to retract its claim that the veteran shot first.Whether or not Jose Guerena was actually guilty of the crimes that police allege he took part in this sounds a little excessive doesn't it?
Jose Guerena, 26, died the morning of May 5. He was asleep in his Tucson home after working a night shift at the Asarco copper mine when his wife, Vanessa, saw the armed SWAT team outside her youngest son's bedroom window.
Vanessa Guerena thought the gunman might be part of a home invasion -- especially because two members of her sister-in-law's family, Cynthia and Manny Orozco, were killed last year in their Tucson home, her lawyer, Chris Scileppi, said. She shouted for her husband in the next room, and he woke up and told his wife to hide in the closet with the child, Joel, 4.
Guerena grabbed his assault rifle and was pointing it at the SWAT team, which was trying to serve a narcotics search warrant as part of a multi-house drug crackdown, when the team broke down the door. At first the Pima County Sheriff's Office said that Guerena fired first, but on Wednesday officials backtracked and said he had not. "The safety was on and he could not fire," according to the sheriff's statement.
SWAT team members fired 71 times and hit Guerena 60 times, police said.
An attorney for the police claim that the force used in the raid was justified, pointing to evidence found in the house; rifles, handguns, body armor and a portion of a law-enforcement uniform along with a portrait of Jesus Malverde, believed to be a "narco saint," found under Guerena's bed. The attorney also states that the team did not know how many other guns or "shooters" were in the house, justifying the 1 hour delay before paramedics were allowed in the house to tend to Guerena.
Sounds to me like someone is in full CYA mode since it has yet to be revealed if any drugs or further supporting evidence was present in the home. I would think that if there was, it would be made know in order to bolster their justification.
The facts according to the police, still do not lead me to believe that this show of force was necessary or that they needed to fire off 71 rounds. Think about this rationally for a moment. Jose Guerena was a Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq, had no criminal record and as far as we know was in legal possession of the firearms.
What would you do in this situation if you had been awakened by a loved one and told that there were armed men outside your house? Anyone, especially a veteran with combat training, would grab his weapon to defend his property and his family.
Now it may turn out that Guerena was a criminal and was guilty of the crimes alleged against him, which remains to be seen, but if the police were truly concerned that he posed a threat or that they would meet armed resistance by multiple armed people, why didn't they try to take him under safer conditions? They obviously had him under surveillance for some time and could have apprehended him at different time, such as stopping him on his way home from work. They also had to be aware that there would be children in the home which makes their actions even more questionable.
What message does this send to gun owners who simply want to defend their property and loved ones if you live in an area where home invasions are common and the perpetrators frequently dress as police? If you are wrong and it really is law enforcement you will be shot dead on the spot.
This is yet another blow to the protections that the Fourth Amendment bestows on us and another example that our country is turning into a police state where we are all guilty until proven innocent.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.Congress is quietly trying to push through an extension of the PATRIOT Act for four more years and there has been hardly a peep from the LSM. The ruling elite has even gone as far as attempting to limit debate on the matter; hoping to quell any resistance in their effort to pass this as quickly and as quietly as they can.
-Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Fortunately, we have members of Congress like Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky who oppose this assault on our liberties, but they can't do it alone and need your help.
Please contact you members of Congress and let them know that you will not tolerate this continued infringement of your Constitutional rights.
The United States is the land of liberty, not a police state where we are subject to the whims of the ruling class and the indignities that they wish to impose on us. The writers and ratifiers of the Constitution made it abundantly clear that we were to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by agents of the government and what this Congress is attempting, under the guise of national security, is take those freedoms away.
We must stand up and make our voices heard. We can never forget the words of Thomas Paine, "It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government." as that is what we patriots now need to do.
Enough is enough!
Cross posted at the Left Coast Rebel
Friday, May 20, 2011
Gary Johnson 2012
And this is not just talk of hope and change; Gary Johnson's record as a two-term Governor of New Mexico strengthens his case that he is the candidate that can get our economy back on track.
As governor, Johnson followed a strict small government approach. He vetoed 200 of 424 bills in his first six months in office - a national record of 48% of all legislation - and used the line-item veto on most remaining bills. In office, Johnson fulfilled his campaign promise to reduce the 10% annual growth of the state budget. In his first budget, Johnson proposed a wide range of tax cuts, including a repeal of the prescription drug tax, a $47 million income tax cut, and a 6 cents per gallon gasoline tax cut. However, of these, only the gasoline tax cut was passed. In 1998, Johnson ran for re-election as governor against Democratic Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez. In his campaign, he promised to continue the policies of his first term: improving schools; cutting state spending, taxes, and bureaucracy; and frequent use of his veto power. Fielding a strong Hispanic candidate in a 40% Hispanic state, the Democrats were expected to oust Johnson, but Johnson won by a 55% to 45% margin: making him the first Governor of New Mexico to serve two four-year terms after term limits were expanded to two terms in 1991.
Today I wrote a fairly simple piece about former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.
It parallels some of my thoughts on the Governor's presidential run recently and went up at the blog section of American Thinker.
From the piece:
Based on the erratic endorsement and subsequent non-endorsement -- not to mention the shady character involved -- Gary Johnson has nothing to lose in losing Willie Nelson's endorsement. However, we must not allow Governor Johnson's run to be swallowed up by a media-led version of a Cheech and Chong sequel, in which all anyone cares about vis-à-vis Johnson is his stance on marijuana. Instead, we should be highlighting the former governor's untarnished fiscal-conservative bona fides.
A President Gary Johnson would bring to the White House the same focus, seriousness, and provable results that he did from New Mexico. Nevertheless, proven fiscal-conservative accomplishments may be cast aside by the 24-hour-news-cycle, "the-more-salacious-the-better" mainstream media.
We shouldn't let this happen...
Please read it and pass it along. Thanks!
Thursday, May 19, 2011
For all I rant and rave about getting this country's financial house in order, none of that matters one iota in the grand scheme of things if at the end of the day we are forced to live in a perpetual warfare, police state where we have no freedoms or rights.
What's even worse is that the same people who support the "democratic" uprisings in the Middle East are the ones who are stripping away our liberties here at home in the name of safety and security.
Ask yourself this, are you any safer today than you were ten years ago? And at what cost?
Today the surveillance state can sexually assault you, listen to your phone calls, read your correspondence, track your every move and hold you without reason if they wish and there is nothing you can do about it. What's worse, you cannot even defend yourself if you are labeled a threat to national security.
If we allow this continued usurpation of our freedom and liberty, we will one day wake up to realize that the Orwellian nightmare of an all knowing, all seeing, all powerful government is our reality and we are nothing more than chattel subject to the whims of the ruling elite.
To quote Ben Franklin, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
My, if he could see us today.
Congressional leaders reached a deal Thursday to extend the Patriot Act, the set of antiterrorism laws passed in the wake of Sept. 11, with no oversight revisions, leadership aides in both parties said.Via Memeorandum
The plan, agreed to by House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), would extend the law until June 2015. The most controversial elements of the antiterrorism law were set to expire May 27.
When Congress last extended the provisions in February, the push hit significant resistance among House Republicans with libertarian leanings and some Senate Democrats. Both groups had privacy concerns.
The deal reached by congressional leadership does not address these concerns, and at least in the Senate, leaders are working out a way to limit debate to minimize controversy, a Democratic leadership aide said. A vote to cut off debate was scheduled for late Monday afternoon.
Cross posted at the Left Coast Rebel
Teapot Party Blog
On Tuesday, the Teapot Party announced our biggest endorsement yet – former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson for the Republican presidential nomination. This was done with great thought. Johnson has been courting the marijuana-reform establishment ever since he was governor from 1995 to 2003. With his position in favor of legalizing marijuana as an acting governor, Johnson was clearly blazing a new path. Since he left office, and especially during the last year, Johnson has attended and spoken at numerous marijuana events, including the NORML Conference, MPP Gala, Cypress Hill Smokeout, High Times Medical Cannabis Awards, Seattle Hempfest, Portland Hempstalk and the Austin Marijuana March & Rally.That's alright Gary, you still have my endorsement.
Ten days ago, Johnson was in Texas for the Austin Rally. That night, he attended Nelson’s show in New Braunfels, near San Antonio. I set up a meeting between Johnson and Nelson before the show. I wanted them to get to know each other. If Willie approved of Johnson, we would move ahead and endorse him.
Two days later, I received the following email from Nelson about Johnson: “I think we should endorse him.” I informed Johnson’s campaign and they happily provided an “acceptance” quote from the Governor: “I am truly gratified to have the endorsement of such an iconic entertainer, philanthropist, innovator and champion for individual rights as Willie Nelson. Not only is he a superstar talent, he is a bold advocate for social change. Americans are demanding the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams without interference from a heavy-handed government, and Willie Nelson lends a tremendous voice to those demands.”
Yesterday, both the Teapot Party and Gary Johnson 2012 sent out press releases announcing the endorsement. The media immediately jumped on it, with Politico, Fox and Raw Story leading the coverage. We were on a roll.
But not so fast. I sent the press release and coverage links to Nelson. His response took me by surprise: “My position is it too early for me to endorse anyone. And I think every one should vote their own conscience.”
I wrote back reminding him that he had approved the endorsement.
“I know I said that,” Nelson replied. “But I think I will wait and see where he stands on other things. My bad.
Early this week I wrote a piece about Ron Paul and defense issues that got published at American Thinker. This surprised me as it was a bit provocative and covers the taboo topic -- among Republican circles -- of cutting the Defense Department and realigning our priorities.
It's my first article at American Thinker. Could you please read the piece, let me know what you think, link and comment if you can?
Here's the opener and link after the excerpt:
Ron Paul's Controversial Statement Exposes Foreign Policy Rift
By Tim Daniel
Tea party favorite and libertarian stalwart Congressman Ron Paul fanned the flames of controversy last week, stating to WHO radio's Simon Conway that he in fact would not have ordered the Osama bin Laden kill, preferring, rather, an arrest and civilian-court trial for the 9-11 mastermind. Paul's statement was met with full-throated derision in GOP circles as the "crazy uncle in the attic" became all-the-crazier with his simple admission.Pulling the curtain away from the issue, did Ron Paul simply expose a giant chasm between two foreign policy trains of thought in the...
(Read Full Article)
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
May 17, 2011 – American music legend Willie Nelson recently met with former New Mexico Governor and current Republican presidential candidate Gary Johnson after a concert in Texas. The result of that historic meeting is today’s endorsement of Johnson by Willie Nelson’s Teapot Party.You can find more information on Gary Johnson at GaryJohnson2012.com
“I am truly gratified to have the endorsement of such an iconic entertainer, philanthropist, innovator and champion for individual rights as Willie Nelson,” Johnson says, accepting the endorsement. “Not only is he a superstar talent, he is a bold advocate for social change. Americans are demanding the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams without interference from a heavy-handed government, and Willie Nelson lends a tremendous voice to those demands.”
This is the first presidential endorsement for The Teapot Party, which was founded last November after Nelson was arrested for marijuana possession in Texas. “The purpose of the Teapot Party,” Nelson explains, “is to vote in people who believe the way we do and vote out the ones who don’t.”
My favorite part of the video is at the 4:15 mark. Nick Gillespie asks National Review's Kevin Williamson, "what's the continuing romance of socialism?" Williamson simply responds, "I think it is a form of perpetual adolescence..."
This truism -- the perpetual adolescence of advocates of socialism, especially in academia and the youth -- is absolutely spot on and something that I have witnessed over and over first hand. Socialist proponents (who hide under the veil of "progressive" today) exist in a pre-pubescent fairy-tale-land of candy-pooping unicorns and government-commanded utopia. "Just give up this freedom, here, and everything will be taken care of," they whisper in our ears. Too many of us fall for the ploy.
It's too bad that history is littered with the dead bodies, misery and poverty (both economically and spiritually) that socialism ushers in.
It's doubly frightful that we seem to have not learned from said history, or -- eve worse -- are willfully ignoring it in favor of a pie-in-the-sky adolescent vision -- a vision that both you and I know will have the precise same historical outcome here in the United States.
From Reason.tv's Youtube page:
What's the real definition of socialism? How is it distinct from regulation and a social welfare state? Why are intellectuals still enamored of a system that brought us Stalin, Hitler, and more recently Hugo Chavez and Kim Jong-Il? And what can the United States learn from Sweden about free enterprise and capitalism?Cross posted to LCR contributor sites.
Reason.tv's Nick Gillespie sat down with Kevin Williamson, who is deputy managing editor of National Review and author of a new book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism, to discuss the meaning of socialism in history and the current moment.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
When law enforcement officers who are not armed with a warrant knock on a door, they do no more than any private citizen might do. And whether the person who knocks on the door and requests the opportunity to speak is a police officer or a private citizen, the occupant has no obligation to open the door or to speak... And even if an occupant chooses to open the door and speak with the officers, the occupant need not allow the officers to enter the premises and may refuse to answer any questions at any time.Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was alone in her dissent and stated
Occupants who choose not to stand on their constitutional rights but instead elect to attempt to destroy evidence have only themselves to blame for the warrantless exigent-circumstances search that may ensue.
The Court today arms the police with a way routinely to dishonor the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement in drug cases. In lieu of presenting their evidence to a neutral magistrate, police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down, nevermind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant.Taken separately the Indiana and SCOTUS rulings are egregious enough but together they amount to the end of the Fourth Amendment.
How “secure” do our homes remain if police, armed with no warrant, can pound on doors at will and, on hearing sounds indicative of things moving, forcibly enter and search for evidence of unlawful activity?
Think about it for a second, if the Indiana ruling stands (and after the decision in King I have no reason to believe that it will be overturned) what are your options if the agents of the state come knocking on your door? Tell them to go away? Let me know how that works for you. What about opening the door? The Indiana justices view that as an invitation to come in.
I don't know about you but I think I would take the advise of that great American, Elmer Fudd and "be vewy, vewy quiet!"
If one wants to catch a glimpse inside the House that Paul Built that explains the dynamics behind his incredible level of enthusiastic support (especially among the youth), look no further than Dr. No's appearance on Fox News Sunday yesterday with Chris Wallace.
In an interview ranging from the IMF's totalitarian global finance schemes, American sovereignty, basic constitutional principles, what he would do as president (1:30 on the dial), moral hazard, original intent, the upcoming financial crisis....Ron Paul hits the ball out of the park on each and every issue.
Paul also clarifies his Osama bin Laden kill mission stance later in the video (8:30), which stirred controversy last week.
Cross posted to LCR.
I still have a headache from my previous post about big-government charlatan Newt Gingrich but this Jack Hunter video just may be the ideal palate cleanser.
Hunter simply asks, "who's a republican?"
Look, I'm not as anti-war as Jack Hunter and Ron Paul. Regardless, they both make good points though on the runaway, interventionist nature of our country's foreign policy.
However, on the issue of constitutional government, spending and the blurred delineation between the two parties (on socialism, spending, ruling-class tyranny, et al.), Congressman Paul's bona fides are without equal.
On Islamo-fascism, I find myself in between libertarians and strong defense, Goldwater conservatives. I want a strong defense but am leery of the neoconservative stance.
When we are engaged in a war, I want a formal congressional declaration of war (Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution) and I want us to kick ass and get the hell out of the area of engagement.
I don't think our nation has any defined interests in Libya and I think we lost Iraq and Afghanistan the moment our missions turned into nation-building endeavors. We need to have an exit strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan and we need to stick to it, end of story.
On foreign policy I'm closer to Ayn Rand's views than most libertarians (she famously called libertarians the "hippies of the right") but that doesn't mean that I don't understand where they are coming from or that they don't make incredibly good points, given the financial place that we find ourselves in today.
And yes, most "top-tier" GOP candidates in the 2012 race have socialistic baggage. Candidates like Romney, Gingrich, Pawlenty, Huntsman, etc. are not consistent on socialism and will be destined to fail tea party-inspired patriots.
And, given the dire position that this nation finds itself in, trustworthiness on the issue of cutting government spending and scaling back the big-government Leviathan is the most important issue.
Cross posted to LCR contributor sites.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Ah, politics as usual in the heart of Leviathan.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a favorite son of the Tea Party, wanted a seat on the Senate Budget Committee, but was passed over in favor of a more junior colleague.Via Memeorandum
The decision was made by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who instead picked Sen. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), the only member of the Senate Republican conference with less seniority than Paul. (Paul and Ayotte entered the Senate the same day, but Paul has more seniority by draw.)
A Senate GOP aide familiar with Paul’s ambitions said Paul asked for the Budget seat that was to become vacant after Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) announced his resignation last month.
Paul’s spokeswoman Moira Bagley said her boss asked for a seat on the Budget Committee at the beginning of the year. She declined, however, to comment about whether he reiterated his interest after Ensign revealed his plans to step down.
The Senate aide familiar with the behind the scenes jockeying said Paul did indeed make that request.
A second Senate aide questioned the decision: “I don’t know why he’d skip Rand Paul, I don’t know anyone better to have on the Budget Committee than Rand Paul.”
Paul has introduced the only budget plan in Congress that would balance the budget in five years, the span set forth by the Senate GOP’s proposed balanced budget amendment.
Ron Paul Can Win in 2012
By Walter E. Block
If Ron Paul can somehow win the presidential nomination of the Republican Party, he will have an excellent chance of beating Barack Obama in November 2012. He will of course face great obstacles in the Republican primaries, but, if he can overcome them, it ought to be downhill after that.
Why will the congressman from Texas have a good shot at beating a sitting President during (non-declared) war time?
Paul can out-left Obama on foreign policy and personal liberties, and thus make gigantic inroads on the latter’s base, while at the same time maintain his right wing credentials on economics.
Not only has Obama not withdrawn the U.S. from Iraq, as promised, he has involved us in yet another undeclared war in Libya. He has expanded the hostilities from Afghanistan to Pakistan, utilizing drone strikes. He has presided over the murder of dozens of Yemenis, none of whom posed any threat to our shores. He has allowed torture for the WikiLeaker, and on U.S. territory. Obama is responsible for the biggest military spending in the history of the world, has bailed out fat cats from Wall Street to Detroit, and still has not closed down our torture chamber in Cuba, again as promised. Ron Paul, in contrast, opposes corporate welfare, and would not only exit, and forthwith, from Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, but would do so for hundreds (yes, hundreds) of other nations ranging from Germany to Japan to vast parts of South America, Asia, and Africa. What on earth are we still doing in all these faraway places, the left wing of the Democratic Party might well ask?
A Paul Administration would hack away heavily at the previously sacrosanct military budget, radically tackling our financial crisis without any need to raise our debt ceiling once again. In contrast, it will be the same old, same old, from Obama. The deficits will continue to be monetized by the Fed, creating inflation, and thus exacerbating poverty (Isn’t the left supposed to be against poverty?) and further decreasing the value of the sinking dollar.
Another area in which Obama’s base will actually prefer Paulian policy is drug legalization. Disproportionate numbers of young black men are now in jail for engaging in this victimless crime, and all too many others of them have perished from violence due to prohibition (Aren’t “progressives” supposed to favor the black community?). Have we learned nothing from our dire experience with the prohibition of alcohol? The country to the south of us is unraveling at a ferocious pace due to these self same drug laws, and we ourselves cannot much longer remain immune from this whirlwind this legislation has created.
Of course, Paul’s policies on eliminating U.S. imperialism abroad and saving us from the scourge of drug prohibition at home will not resonate too well with the conservative Republicans, who are pretty rabid in the wrong direction on both issues. And, while Representative Paul has made great strides in denigrating the central planning Fed and promoting the 100% gold backed dollar as a method of quelling the business cycle with its heightened unemployment and bankruptcies, it cannot be said that this is at all acceptable to the party faithful on either side of the aisle. (Do both the left and the right favor our current depression?)
Dr. Paul is particularly vulnerable on the question of Israel, in the view of some people. He wants to end so called “foreign aid” (more accurately and less pejoratively translated into “government to government transfers of funds,” which does not at all imply program benefits). But this would mean that the only functioning democracy in the Middle East would have its financial support taken away from it. However, U.S. transfers of funds to Israel’s enemies in the Arab world vastly outweigh that given to this country alone. This home of the Jewish people would have less money (private donations would of course be unaffected) from the U.S. government absolutely, but relative to its enemies it would actually gain. As well, these funds render the Israeli economy less efficient than would otherwise be the case. These points have recently been appreciated by the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies. For more on why Ron Paul should be greatly appreciated by the Jewish community, see here, here and here.
Social security, too, is a sacred cow amongst the Republicans. So much for their adherence to the philosophy of free enterprise. But this is actually a vast left wing conspiracy (FDR inaugurated it). Bernie Madoff just went to prison for something very much along these Ponzi scheme lines. The idea behind this “third rail” of American politics is that people are too stupid to save for their old ages and the state must force them to do so, for their own good. But if the electorate is that deranged, how can we allow them to vote at all, let alone to expect them to mark their ballot boxes wisely. And, how is it that they are so wise so as to elect politicians who will then correct these errors of theirs? No, this policy rends asunder family ties between the younger and older generations, and is not needed. Just because some few will act in a silly manner is no reason to forcibly victimize all of us with the Ponzi scheme. Ron will end this sacred cow, but the Republicans, to say nothing of the Democrats, will not like it one bit.
But at least this statesman from Texas is not a socialist like Romney with his medical plan for Massachusetts which anticipated Obama’s compulsory support for the health insurance industry. Dr. Paul would rely, instead, on a truly free market in medicine to drive prices down to reasonable levels, as this system has done in all other industries that have been left relatively free. Capitalism works for everything else, why not health care? Nor is Congressman Paul a theocratic imperialist as is Mike Huckabee, nor is he a lightweight of the order of Sarah Palin, nor is he a flake like Donald Trump, whose main accomplishment in politics is to force Obama to release his birth certificate. So, will Ron win the Republican nomination, and then go on to victory in the next election?
All we can say for sure is that the next political cycle is likely to be fought over ideas and philosophies, not personalities as in the past, if Paul gets the nod from the Republican
(A truncated version of this article appeared in the Loyola University Student Newspaper, The Maroon, on 5/6/11)
I don't know what's worse, the majority's decision to blatantly disregard Forth Amendment protections or that the court as a whole agrees that in certain situations that the Fourth Amendment doesn't apply.
If this decision stands, we are just one step closer to a police state where any Constitutional protections are null and void.
In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer's entry.
"We believe ... a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence," David said. "We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest."
David said a person arrested following an unlawful entry by police still can be released on bail and has plenty of opportunities to protest the illegal entry through the court system.
Justice Robert Rucker, a Gary native, and Justice Brent Dickson, a Hobart native, dissented from the ruling, saying the court's decision runs afoul of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
"In my view the majority sweeps with far too broad a brush by essentially telling Indiana citizens that government agents may now enter their homes illegally -- that is, without the necessity of a warrant, consent or exigent circumstances," Rucker said. "I disagree."
Rucker and Dickson suggested if the court had limited its permission for police entry to domestic violence situations they would have supported the ruling.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
But does Cain really represent what we want or need in a President? This libertarian says no and gives you the reasons why.
Herman Cain supported the Wall Street bailouts and TARP in 2008 as he wrote here and here
Herman Cain is a former board member (1992), Deputy Chairman (1992-94) and Chairman (1995-1996) for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and opposes any audit of the Fed.
Herman Cain is all for a national sales tax.
Herman Cain has not come out and stated where he stands on foreign policy but would rather dodge the issue, claiming he is not informed enough but he would "[l]isten to the military experts. That’s my approach to handling war and international conflict." In other words, maintain the status quo.
Herman Cain endorsed Mitt Romney in 2008 calling him "the best hope of a leader with substance, and the best hope for a good president who could turn out to be great."
While Herman Cain may be a great speaker, a successful businessman and even a nice guy, if you judge the man on his words, it's easy to see that he will fit in nicely in DC.
What's even more telling is that he has not provided any real solutions other than his stance on the Fair Tax and we have yet to hear from him on anti-liberty issues like the War on Drugs and the Patriot Act. My guess is that he supports both but that's just my opinion.
What Herman Cain really seems to be telling us is that we should vote for him to find out what he will do for us, which to me sounds a lot like what Pelosi, Reid and Obama said about ObamaCare. Sorry, but anyone with half a brain didn't fall for it then and shouldn't fall for it now.
If what you are searching for in the next President is a candidate who truly supports limited government and individual liberty, you need look no further than Ron Paul or Gary Johnson.