Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday's healthcare meeting

Unfortunately, this meeting at the Unitarian church took place at the same time as the monthly LPAC meeting. Anyone who did attend and wants to share what they learned can comment below.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Santa Claus Is Coming To Indiana

He'll be staying in the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute.
From the national LP website:
Will the Feds Bust Santa Claus?
posted by Andrew Davis on Dec 25, 2008

by George Getz (former Director of Communications for the Libertarian Party)

When Santa Claus comes to town this week, he'd better watch out -- because the federal government may be making a list of his crimes (and checking it twice), the Libertarian Party warned today.

"Hark the federal agents sing, Santa is guilty of nearly everything," said Libertarian Party press secretary George Getz. "The feds know when Santa's been bad or good -- and he's been bad, for goodness sakes."

Does Santa belong in the slammer? Instead of stuffing stockings, should he be making license plates?

Yes, said Getz, if he's held to the same standards as a typical American. For example:

* Every December 25, the illegal immigrant known as Santa Claus crosses the border into the United States without a passport. He carries concealed contraband, which he sneaks into the country in order to avoid inspection by the U.S. Customs Service. And just what's in all those brightly colored packages tied up with ribbons, anyway? The Drug Czar and Homeland Security want to know.
* Look at how this international fugitive gets around: Santa flies in a custom-built sleigh that hasn't been approved by the FAA. He never files a flight plan. He has no pilot's license. In the dark of night, he rides the skies with just a tiny bioluminescent red light to guide him -- a clear violation of traffic safety regulations.
* Pulling Santa's sleigh: Eight tiny reindeer, a federally protected species being put to hard labor. None of these reindeer have their required shots, and Santa's never bothered to get these genetically- engineered animals registered and licensed. It's no wonder: He keeps them penned outside his workplace in a clear violation of zoning laws.
* But Crooked Claus the Conniving Capitalist harms more than just animals -- he's hurting hard-working American laborers, too. Isn't Santa's Workshop really Santa's Sweatshop, where his non-union employees don't make minimum wage and get no holiday pay? Add the fact that OSHA has never inspected the place, and you have a Third-World elf-exploitation operation that only Kathy Lee Gifford could love.
* No wonder Santa is able to maintain his monopoly over the toy distribution industry: He's cornered the Christmas gift market. Santa dares to give away his products for free in a sinister attempt to crush all competition -- just like Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Antitrust Lawsuit Memo to the feds: Is Santa Claus the Bill Gates of Christmas?

The bottom line, said Getz: "It might be tough sledding for Jolly St. Nick this Christmas if the government decides to prosecute him.

"We're just surprised it hasn't already happened. After all, Santa Claus is everything that politicians aren't: He's popular, reliable, and gives us something for nothing every December 25th -- instead of taking our money every April 15th," says Getz


I bet he left little lumps of an alternative to foreign oil in a lot of politicians stockings this year. Maybe that will earn him a pardon.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My prediction from January didn't pan out

Whoever wins the Iowa caucus will either lose their party's nomination or lose the general election. Since 1972, the year in which Iowa's caucus started to come first, only two non-incumbent candidates won both that state in the primary and the November election. George W. Bush won Iowa in 2000, and so did Carter in 1976. Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton all lost Iowa when they were running for their first terms in the White House.


Obama did win the Iowa caucus and was elected President. I still think the media blows that particular contest way out of proportion.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Miscellaneous bailout stuff

Slate has a fascinating guide that shows the scale of various bailout programs. According to Slate's guide, the government has only spent $1.604 trillion out of $5.568 trillion. Big 3 bailout supporters might argue that the $25 billion is pocket change compared with the total package. Maybe so, but when Congress voted to spent $600 billion on Fannie and Freddie, that means that the campaign contributions from those companies are worth 24 times as much to to members of Congress as the votes of autoworkers.

Much is being made of executives of bailed out companies still flying on corporate jets. But I would like to remind everybody that there is one organization that is $10 trillion in debt and its chief executive still has his own jet. While perks make up a small percentage of both corporate and government expenditures, cutting back on them is a great way to show you're serious about saving money. Maybe Obama can start telecommuting instead of flying back and forth.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

About the potential for a casino

I will give Mayor Henry credit for holding the line and insisting that no public money be used in building a casino in Fort Wayne. It is important to hold that line in bad economic times. It is also important to hold that line in good to mediocre economic times, since that kind of thing can lead to bad economic times. While I have nothing against casinos, it should be stressed that the primary economic beneficiaries of a casino are the owners. That is also true for most businesses, since businesses that do not benefit their owners typically close in short order.

I do have my doubts that a casino would have long term viability, but I welcome any potential casino investors to try their luck here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Bill of Rights: Preventing Government From Usurping The Peoples' Rights For 217 Years

George Mason, a member of the Continental Congress/Constitutional Convention, wrote, "The Eyes of the United States are turned upon this Assembly and their Expectations raised to a very anxious Degree." Mason had earlier written the Virginia Declaration of Rights that strongly influenced Thomas Jefferson in writing the first part of the Declaration of Independence. He left the convention bitterly disappointed, however, and became one of the Constitution's most vocal opponents. "It has no declaration of rights," he was to state. Ultimately, George Mason's views prevailed. When James Madison drafted the amendments to the Constitution that were to become the Bill of Rights, he drew heavily upon the ideas put forth in the Virginia Declaration of Rights. (Government Archives) They were originally introduced by James Madison in 1789 as a set of twelve amendments and came into effect on December 15, 1791, when they had been ratified by three-fourths of the States.(WIKI)

As most are aware one of my absolutely favorite of our previous Presidents of the United States is Honorable James Madison, Jr. of Virginia. His quote regarding religion and politics and civil society separation is on the header of my personal blog. He was the father of the Constitution, which we are currently allowing to be left on the floor like used bathroom tissue, as well as co author of the Federalist papers. It was his work during his time in the Colonial Legislature of Virginia and his strong oratory skills which gave us the benefits of the strongest ten protections from government intrusion into our lives and placing limits on the Constitutional authority or force that Government could exude against We The People without getting bitch slapped back in place by the Courts or the citizens.



Please take time to review and memorize these jewels of our liberty in law:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

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.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

We need to pay better attention to these Rights before we loose them, as they have already begun to be withered away and we have sat idly by and let it happen, for the sake of our national security and political stupidity. As Benjamin Franklin wrote in the Historical Review of Pennsylvania (1759), "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." If you don't believe me that we are getting ready to loose our rights or the Constitution all together read the article at the bottom that this latest resolution by the Libertarian National Committee is in response to:

RESOLUTION CONDEMNING DOMESTIC DEPLOYMENT OF THE U.S. MILITARY

WHEREAS, the domestic deployment of 20,000 uniformed military personnel planned by the United States government undermines the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which forbids the use of the military for domestic policing; and,

WHEREAS, such a deployment is an alarming example of the increasing militarization of our society; and,

WHEREAS, the increasing use of active duty military personnel, has led, and will lead, to the abuse of American civil liberties, such as violations of the Fourth Amendment; and,

WHEREAS, a state's National Guard – not active duty members of Army combat units – is the appropriate authority to handle local emergencies and disasters should they arise; and,


WHEREAS, the use of the 3rd Infantry Division 1st Brigade Combat Team during a time of war puts further tension on an already strained U.S. military.

THEREFORE, be it resolved, the Libertarian National Committee and its undersigned members hereby condemn the plans of the federal government to deploy 20,000 active duty members of the U.S. military to serve, for whatever reason, domestically in the United States. Furthermore, the Libertarian National Committee calls for the immediate abandonment of these plans, and instead suggests that should an emergency response team comprised of members other than local emergency responders (fire, police, HAZMAT) be developed and trained, it consist of members of the National Guard – not active duty personnel of the United States military.


The Libertarian National Committee calls for the citizens of the United States to oppose this militarization of our society, and its encroachment on American civil liberties, to their local, state and federal representatives.


Pentagon to Detail Troops to Bolster Domestic Security
By Spencer S. Hsu and Ann Scott Tyson Staff Writers
The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials.

The long-planned shift in the Defense Department's role in homeland security was recently backed with funding and troop commitments after years of prodding by Congress and outside experts, defense analysts said.

There are critics of the change, in the military and among civil liberties groups and libertarians who express concern that the new homeland emphasis threatens to strain the military and possibly undermine the Posse Comitatus Act, a 130-year-old federal law restricting the military's role in domestic law enforcement.

But the Bush administration and some in Congress have pushed for a heightened homeland military role since the middle of this decade, saying the greatest domestic threat is terrorists exploiting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, dedicating 20,000 troops to domestic response -- a nearly sevenfold increase in five years -- "would have been extraordinary to the point of unbelievable," Paul McHale, assistant defense secretary for homeland defense, said in remarks last month at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. But the realization that civilian authorities may be overwhelmed in a catastrophe prompted "a fundamental change in military culture," he said.

The Pentagon's plan calls for three rapid-reaction forces to be ready for emergency response by September 2011. The first 4,700-person unit, built around an active-duty combat brigade based at Fort Stewart, Ga., was available as of Oct. 1, said Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr., commander of the U.S. Northern Command.

If funding continues, two additional teams will join nearly 80 smaller National Guard and reserve units made up of about 6,000 troops in supporting local and state officials nationwide. All would be trained to respond to a domestic chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive attack, or CBRNE event, as the military calls it.

Military preparations for a domestic weapon-of-mass-destruction attack have been underway since at least 1996, when the Marine Corps activated a 350-member chemical and biological incident response force and later based it in Indian Head, Md., a Washington suburb. Such efforts accelerated after the Sept. 11 attacks, and at the time Iraq was invaded in 2003, a Pentagon joint task force drew on 3,000 civil support personnel across the United States.

In 2005, a new Pentagon homeland defense strategy emphasized "preparing for multiple, simultaneous mass casualty incidents." National security threats were not limited to adversaries who seek to grind down U.S. combat forces abroad, McHale said, but also include those who "want to inflict such brutality on our society that we give up the fight," such as by detonating a nuclear bomb in a U.S. city.

In late 2007, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England signed a directive approving more than $556 million over five years to set up the three response teams, known as CBRNE Consequence Management Response Forces. Planners assume an incident could lead to thousands of casualties, more than 1 million evacuees and contamination of as many as 3,000 square miles, about the scope of damage Hurricane Katrina caused in 2005.

Last month, McHale said, authorities agreed to begin a $1.8 million pilot project funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through which civilian authorities in five states could tap military planners to develop disaster response plans. Hawaii, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Washington and West Virginia will each focus on a particular threat -- pandemic flu, a terrorist attack, hurricane, earthquake and catastrophic chemical release, respectively -- speeding up federal and state emergency planning begun in 2003.

Last Monday, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates ordered defense officials to review whether the military, Guard and reserves can respond adequately to domestic disasters. Gates gave commanders 25 days to propose changes and cost estimates. He cited the work of a congressionally chartered commission, which concluded in January that the Guard and reserve forces are not ready and that they lack equipment and training.

Bert B. Tussing, director of homeland defense and security issues at the U.S. Army War College's Center for Strategic Leadership, said the new Pentagon approach "breaks the mold" by assigning an active-duty combat brigade to the Northern Command for the first time. Until now, the military required the command to rely on troops requested from other sources. "This is a genuine recognition that this [job] isn't something that you want to have a pickup team responsible for," said Tussing, who has assessed the military's homeland security strategies.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the libertarian Cato Institute are troubled by what they consider an expansion of executive authority. Domestic emergency deployment may be "just the first example of a series of expansions in presidential and military authority," or even an increase in domestic surveillance, said Anna Christensen of the ACLU's National Security Project. And Cato Vice President Gene Healy warned of "a creeping militarization" of homeland security. "There's a notion that whenever there's an important problem, that the thing to do is to call in the boys in green," Healy said, "and that's at odds with our long-standing tradition of being wary of the use of standing armies to keep the peace."

McHale stressed that the response units will be subject to the act, that only 8 percent of their personnel will be responsible for security and that their duties will be to protect the force, not other law enforcement. For decades, the military has assigned larger units to respond to civil disturbances, such as during the Los Angeles riot in 1992.

U.S. forces are already under heavy strain, however. The first reaction force is built around the Army's 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team, which returned in April after 15 months in Iraq. The team includes operations, aviation and medical task forces that are to be ready to deploy at home or overseas within 48 hours, with units specializing in chemical decontamination, bomb disposal, emergency care and logistics.

The one-year domestic mission, however, does not replace the brigade's next scheduled combat deployment in 2010. The brigade may get additional time in the United States to rest and regroup, compared with other combat units, but it may also face more training and operational requirements depending on its homeland security assignments.

Renuart said the Pentagon is accounting for the strain of fighting two wars, and the need for troops to spend time with their families. "We want to make sure the parameters are right for Iraq and Afghanistan," he said. The 1st Brigade's soldiers "will have some very aggressive training, but will also be home for much of that."

Although some Pentagon leaders initially expected to build the next two response units around combat teams, they are likely to be drawn mainly from reserves and the National Guard, such as the 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade from South Carolina, which returned in May after more than a year in Afghanistan.

Now that Pentagon strategy gives new priority to homeland security and calls for heavier reliance on the Guard and reserves, McHale said, Washington has to figure out how to pay for it. "It's one thing to decide upon a course of action, and it's something else to make it happen," he said. "It's time to put our money where our mouth is."

Washington Post | 01 DEC 08

Need Ideas for LPAC Flier

To All,

For sometime now we have been working on a flyer for the Libertarian Party of Allen County to print and distribute. We look forward to sharing our views and information with the general public.

For a long time one of my concerns has been how we are perceived by the public. Many have heard of us but few really know what our agenda is (or is NOT).

I look forward to giving every Libertarian who lives in Allen County or NE Indiana the tools available to help us share a vision of government.

While this flier could be used anywhere we are focusing on Allen County.

One of the dilemmas has been the use of pictures to bring to the reader a sense of the county itself. Any ideas you may have of a photograph that would tell you "yep, this is my county" would be greatly appreciated!!!

So far I have come up with the idea of the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, however, I don't believe this is the best and it could be misinterpreted by a reader who may wonder what it has to do with Allen County. I am looking for a better idea of what you would see that would remind you of home. And not JUST Fort Wayne, but rather the entire county.

I don't know if such a location, building, or site even exists, but I do know that more people generating ideas is better than just the officers or the people who can make it to a meeting.

So think about it. You can post any idea you have here or Email me directly at Doug.Horner2@Verizon.Net.

Have a Happy Holiday Season!!!

Doug Horner

Saturday, December 13, 2008

"Freakonomics" author Steven Levitt on the economy

Here it is.
I like "Freakonomics" because it makes economics interesting to ordinary people. To most folks, the only thing more boring than politics is economics. Yet the way the former has it's greatest impact is through the latter. My advice to everybody: We got two years before the midterms, so take 12 months to learn more about the economy in depth. Do more than just read the newspaper or watch TV news, read something more in-depth. I would imagine that a lot of people will have a lot of time on their hands in the coming months. Instead of marching through the streets demanding that the government do something, first figure out what it is that you want the government to do (or refrain from doing), then ask them to do it (or stop doing it).

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Illinois governor tried to sell US Senate seat

There is potential for corruption in any organization. The power of elected office makes it especially attractive to the corrupt among us. Keep this in mind before giving the government even more power to protect you from greedy corporations.

Friday, December 05, 2008

December 5th is Repeal Day!

Let’s end the war. Let’s end the war that has lasted over 35 years. Let’s end the war that neither side has a hope of winning. Let’s free the thousands of American prisoners held on US soil. Let’s end the war against ourselves. Like many Americans, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have served on both sides of this war. Let’s end the war on drugs.

Many of this blog’s readers would agree with the slogan “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” Well drugs don’t destroy lives. People destroy their own lives. Inanimate objects are not responsible for your actions, be it a gun, a rock of crack, or a Judas Priest album. More people die from heart attacks than drug abuse. Yet we don’t see headlines like “Feds Seize 50 Kilos of Ground Beef.”

Today is Repeal Day. Seventy-five years ago today, the 21st Amendment was ratified, the 18th Amendment was repealed, and America’s favorite drug was legalized. This ended all the alcohol-related violence and corruption that plagued the 1920’s. Alcohol taxes created a new source of government revenue.

There happens to be excise taxes imposed on illegal drugs, but of course hardly anyone pays these taxes. We can create new sources of revenue for cash-strapped state governments while simultaneously lifting a huge burden off of law enforcement and the prison system. Legalizing drugs is the single best thing that Obama can do for the economy.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

How Fort Wayne can benefit from the downturn

To be sure, Fort Wayne would be better off if the nation's economy were better off. We can't fix the US economy from where we're sitting, but here is how Fort Wayne can benefit:

1.Fort Wayne’s low cost of living will make this city attractive to those who have decreased earning potential.
2.Inflation will make municipal debt easier to pay off. This isn’t a reason to accrue more debt; it just mitigates previous mistakes.
3.The Internet is making geographic location less relevant. It’s impossible for an online company to be near to their customers, because their customers are everywhere. So a startup might just decide to go where they have the lowest costs. Having said that, a company building for the long term will want some reassurance that the land where their business is to be located won’t be seized on account that someone wants a new waterpark, casino, hotel, etc.
4.These external factors can be used as a face-saving pretext for canceling the proposed hotel. While I still maintain that the hotel would have been a bad idea even during an economic boom, the new contingencies should deter even the staunchest HS supporters from staying the course.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

F6 FWD: What have we done while slouching towards Bethlehem?

In Memoriam: His name was Jdimytai Damour of Jamaica, Queens, New York City!

I guess written words are to few to describe the horror of what took place last Friday. So much in fact, that as this was originally Saturdays second post (on my personal blog), it has taken me this long to write out anything substantial. I will first start with
Chris Thompson's response, as maybe that can begin to shed some sorrow on America's collective soul.



I realize this is going to be strict, and very Libertarian of me to suggest, but:
  • People who were involved in the stampede should be arrested for involuntary manslaughter. They don't need to serve time but this man deserves justice, especially since he was denied mercy.
  • They and Wal*Mart should be forced to pay for his death benefit to his family and for his children and the infant in the womb, if it survives, to go to college.
  • Change the way business is done in this country by forcing through your choice of patronage of establishments and where your money is spent!
  • Help for the family of the employee and the baby that was compromised.
  • We need to find out the man's name and quit objectifying this tragedy.
  • We should rename the Friday after Thanksgiving in his honor and memory
  • Never forget the tragedy that could have been prevented if we as one take a stand that we truly are a people of honor and sacrifice for our fellow man.
To read the entire original post click here please!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

No To the GM Bailout

What do I think about the proposed bailout? No. Never. Nada.

As someone who has a college education, I find it ridiculous that someone who never attended college makes more than I do. Doesn't this send a mixed message? I thought college grads were supposed to make more money than people who aren't college grads. It doesn¢t take a college degree to operate a robotic machine, and doing that task doesn¢t warrant a job that pays upwards of $25 an hour.

In an article in the November 12 Journal Gazette, Nancy Pelosi said any assistance to the auto industry should include limits to executive compensation. If the factory workers expect huge buyouts, do you think the executives are going to be any different? Hell no!

A free enterprise system doesn't rely on government to bail out businesses. If you can't run your business competently, you deserve to go under.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Terrorist attack in India

This is a horrific and tragic attack. At the same time, we need to realize that terrorists intend to have a psychological impact beyond the actual physical harm that they cause. It's important to understand their methods, motives, and mindsets just as a doctor strives to understand a disease.

This is early speculation, but I'm guessing that these particular terrorists have a bigger axe to grind against the Indian government than they did against the Americans and British that they were ostensibly targeting. I think that their goal is to scare Americans and British and keep them from traveling to India, thus damaging the Indian economy. According to the article, eyewitnesses said that the gunmen asked who had US and UK passports. Did they really expect everyone with those passports to raise their hands? Probably not, so I'm guessing that they wanted terrified survivors talking to reporters.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Despite the hype, there does appear to be a real threat

I've avoided linking to the sponsor, but here is some info on IN House Bill 1260:

http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo?year=2008&session=1&request=getBill&docno=1260

It's being pushed by an anti-2nd amendment PAC. Their slogan is, "Saving lives one bullet at a time". What this bill is proposing is that all ammunition have an encoding, in rough terms a serial number on each bullet, and that the cost of said encoding and tracking be passed on to the purchaser of the ammunition.

Off the top of my head the faults are:

1) Just because the bullet might be traceable to a particular batch of ammo or even a purchaser does not mean that its going to prevent anyone from being shot. It only offers a slim thread to track down the shooter after the fact

2) Criminals don't care. They're going to get ammo and they're going to use it to harm people. 

3) People who want to hide will always be able to manufacture their own ammunition and purchase old ammunition. Bullets keep for a long time and people have been making their own lead bullets for centuries, its not going away.

I expect this to die in committee, but its worth keeping an eye on. Write your House Rep and ask them to make this die. Its an excessive and unnecessary piece of legislation with a high cost and low benefit.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday humour

Quick before our guns get banned! http://truckbearingkibble.com/comic/2008/11/17/character-assassination/

With the holiday season fast approaching, what better to get as a backhanded compliment for your ultra-liberal cousins or a horrendous gag gift for your right-wing nut job in-laws!! Give a gift of laughter and pain with the Brack Obama Commemorative Plate! http://www.victoryplate.com/

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bush warns against protectionism

Whatever you think of Bush, this is still sound advice. His influence has reach a nadir, and the first impulse of a lot of people is to oppose anything Bush supports. Personally, I am disappointed that he didn't do more to promote free trade when he was popular. Subsidies to American agriculture and industry do almost as much damage to our image in other countries as the occupation of Iraq and detaining people without trial or POW status in Gitmo. Obama will have a very hard time making friends out of foreigners if he takes the advice of his SecState and takes a "free trade timeout".

Free trade is a tool and a weapon. If we don't like a country, our options prior to armed conflict is imposing an embargo. Countries that are economically interdependent are less likely to go to war. For that matter, a foreigner with a full time job is that much less likely to become a terrorist.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

F6 FWD: Michigan cant tell where Indiana is?

This is part of an F6 post I am working on still. This is the first portion.
I encourage you to go read the rest at your leisure, it should be completed sometime tomorrow.


Yes you heard correctly fellow Libertarians, according to a recent post over at Indiana Law Blog, sourcing a story from The Associated Press, Michigan told Indiana that after four years it cant figure out where the 104 mile long border is between the two States. They lost most of the wooden survey markers due age and degradation over time. Who was the idiot, even back in 1827, that decided to mark out the Border of the State with wooden stakes? Especially in this climate, at least use concrete and metal to begin with.

Apparently the only thing signifying where the border is a possible few marker posts and one lone confirmed marker they found in the middle pointe of the border. Here are some statements of interest from the article:
  • Michigan reset its lines in the early 1900's with Wisconsin and Ohio.
  • Professional surveyors can only recover and confirm original markers.
  • Those that are lost can only be replaced by a joint action of the Indiana and Michigan legislatures or, if those bodies cannot agree on the border's location, the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Once that happens, property that for years was believed to lie in one state could turn out to be in another, creating quandaries regarding property and income taxes, police jurisdictions, school districts and numerous other matters.
  • When the state line is re-established, it could end up moving north or south up to a few hundred feet
Why did Michigan wait until an entire century later to refortify its border with Indiana? Also another statement from the personal interest profile part of the story, The State of Michigan does not charge income tax on disability checks but Indiana does. Isnt that just wrong? The very nature of a disability check is already a. taxpayer money and b. a reduced rate of income so why are we charging people income tax on very little to begin with, they can barely survive on disability income. Yet we say as a State we want some of it back?

Sounds a little hypocritical to me. Then again I am a Libertarian and we dont believe in high taxes or income taxes or government assistance. Which I do disagree with The Party on the last one in most situations. Poor relief doesnt belong primarily in the Churches either because of historical and current ritual abuse and proselytizing. It belongs in the Township level of government but as Citizens never fund it fully, well that is another discussion for later.....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Uncertainty is bad for the economy


Note: This video was posted on ReasonTV on Halloween, so when he talks about 6 weeks ago, he is talking about September.

Uncertainty is bad for the economy. Some parts of the future are easy to predict: The sun will rise in the morning. The Detroit Lions aren't going to the playoffs. And prices, wages, and the stock market usually go up. Crisis and disasters, whether real or imagined, can cause investors to be a whole lot more cautious with their money. They pull their money out of stocks and put it into bonds. Or they pull it out of bonds and put it into gold.

To give a example from the 90's, remember when Clinton finally admitted to the affair? In hindsight, that was a big nothing. But as he was confessing his sins on TV, CNN had a stock ticker with a red arrow pointing down. People didn't know what was going to happen, so they expected the worst.

Monday, November 17, 2008

One thing that Obama can do to promote corporate responsibility

Having the current Congress and administration teach fiscal responsibility to companies would be like Bill Clinton teaching a course on abstinence. The government can and should lead by example. Obama gets to start with a clean slate. If he can keep spending under control and reform the government's accounting practices, that will go a longer way towards reforming Wall Street than any new regulation would.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Smoking ban may go statewide

From the Journal Gazette

Folks, if they can outlaw smoking in private establishments on public health grounds, they can outlaw outdoor grilling on the same grounds:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Melissa Etheridge says she won't pay California taxes anymore

Hat tip to the Reason Hit and Run blog

A majority of California supported Prop 8, a state constitutional ban on gay marriage. So Melissa Etheridge says she refuses to support California's social programs. She certainly has a right to be upset. She is being refused a marriage license in a state that normally allows Hollywood celebrities to get married.

I would imagine that rather than openly flout the state's tax codes, she'll probably just claim residency in another state. Anybody serious about attracting young people to a state should be talking about granting recognition to same-sex marriages. (Speaking of which, CFW has been silent for a while. All this history taking place and not a peep out of him.)

The End of the War to End All Wars: 90 Years Ago Today

Cessation of operations by land and in the air six hours after the signature of the armistice.
Ninety years ago, an armistice was signed that ended combat in the First World War. One year later, November 11th was celebrated as Armistice Day. Two wars later, the day became known as Veterans Day.

Veterans are like mothers. Nowadays, some people are both. Often, people become veterans or mothers through the failure of diplomacy or contraception. But you don't have to be one to honor them.

LPAC blog listed as 17th top 100 Libertarian blogs across the Country!

I just received word that a non political blog Web Designs School Guide listed this blog, yes this blog!, as the 17th Best Libertarian blog in the Country....woohooo! and yehhaw! We also made the top of the list for Local Libertarian Blogs.

Pardon me while my inner black woman and ghetto redneck queenish self parties down like there is a barn in the way and a church roof that needs a raisin'! I'm such a blog whore. Thank you Kelly.

To be fair and balanced though other Libertarians in the State also made the list:
4th, The Bell Curve by Rex Bell; 24th & 100th, Electing Libertarians by Mark Rutherford; 90th, We Declare and 91st, Horning for Governor by Andrew Horning; 94th, Angleton's Rants by Ed Angleton; 95th, Justice and Fortitude by Timothy Maguire;

STATE NEWS - Technically Jon should be writing this as he is in charge of the Third District for the State.

For other information for all Libertarians across the State of Indiana, as most insiders and avid bloggers already are aware Chris Spangle former Producer for the Abdul In The Morning Show on AM1430 in INDY is now the Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of Indiana. He hit the ground running approximately three weeks before the election and has been working hard to network the County Parties and Local Libertarian organizations together.

Recently, Chris started a new networking site FREE HOOSIERS with NING software and hosting for the entire LPIN Network that has already garnered the different County Parties officials to start talking to each other with greater ease of communication and exchange of resources. The Libertarian Party of Indiana is in a direct line to make a massive wave of change in 2010 and 2012. Watch out because here we come!

I would also like to take this time to welcome Howard County into the fold.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Sophmore graduation

I like this idea. Letting kids graduate early would save money, reduce the dropout rate, and would provide an additional incentive for academic achievement. If a felon can get a 4 year sentence cut in half if he behaves himself, why not make the same offer for high school students?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

'Marks For Distinction' Left By Libertarians In Races This Year

Folks this election may not be over we are still missing up to a third of the nationwide and statewide race results across the State. If anyone knows of updates to these lists below please let me know promptly via comments on this post or email. There is more election information on my personal blog F6.

Thank you to all those whom put their honour on the line to make our State a beacon of Liberty! The fight doesnt end here it is just beginning. I have two questions for you all. Does this years results help or hurt us for 2010? What can we as a Party do to improve upon the presentation of our message, especially for 2010? We have a year to figure out a plan and work hard to implement it folks. Lets get to work and win!

Now for the NEW RESULTS!

They are still Tentative but please right click here and open the new chart into a new tab. If anyone knows of updates to these lists enclosed please let me know promptly. Again to the Citizens of Indiana, thank you for your vote and all the support of the party for the people!!

No votes? What happened?

There are several contest which do not have data yet on the Secretary of State's website among them are State Representative Districts 37, 41st, 99th, and 100, and the twenty Counties of Bartholomew, Crawford, Delaware, Hancock, Harrison, Jennings, Madison, Marion (INDY), Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Noble, Parke, Posey, Putnam, Spencer, Tippecanoe, Vermilion, and Vigo.

Favorite catchphrase of the year

"Injecting capital" became the new way of saying "pay". This is often used in conjunction with "incentive".

Example:

DEFENDANT: All I did was inject capital into her subprime market.
PROSECUTOR: So you are admitting that you paid her for sex?
DEFENDANT: That was the incentive for participation in the program.

The bailout happened in October in a presidential election year; not the best time for level-headed thinking. A lot of people, and this probably includes Souder and Obama, supported the bailout out of fear. Now that the dust has settled, let's hope that the corporate gravy train makes its last stop.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Take an hour and hear the other 3 candidates for POTUSA

For those whom care to watch here is the Presidential Debate from earlier this week between Bob Barr (L), Ralph Nader (G), and Chuck Baldwin (C) @ the City Club in Cleveland, Ohio.



Reminder you can still vote early on Monday between 8a-Noon @ City County Building Room 136

3rd District Congressional Debate

Screw it. The election is over and I got tired of hearing commercials for auto mechanics, so I took down the video.

JUST TO UPDATE NEWS COVERAGE: THE NEWS SENTINEL ACTUALLY HAD A REALLY GOOD ARTICLE COVERING THE DEBATE. SHAME GOES TO INDIANA'S NEWS CENTER FOR REPEATEDLY NOT PROVIDING COVERAGE OR BLATANTLY IGNORING WILLIAM LARSEN'S CANDIDACY. <=F6'S EDITOR wrote this part out=

Fozy, we have been getting more media coverage than we have in the past. As we start running more active campaigns, we will be getting as much coverage as the Democrats.

Friday, October 31, 2008

In less than a weeks time we will see what has been accomplished


LPAC OFFICER'S NOTE:
Libertarian
William Larsen will be debating his opponents incumbent Mark Souder (R), and Mike Montagano (D) today at IPFW Rhinehart Recital Hall @ 1:30p. Doors open @ 12:30p and close @ 1p. The debate will be streamed LIVE and rebroadcast Sunday on WANE-TV (Broadcast 15, Comcast and FiOS 2) at 11a after Face The Nation.

AND NOW A MESSAGE FROM MR. LARSEN

It has been a long journey and in seven days we will see just what we have accomplished. The tens of thousands of emails, handouts, talking to people and helping with signs has just been tremendous. I have received more emails in the past three weeks than all my previous three campaigns. As we go into this last week, I would ask that each of you speak with two more people and tell them about my campaign.

For those who are new to this blog and like my position on the issues, you too can help. Go to www.justsayno.50megs.com. Under the heading issues is a link to my pdf position paper. Please save it and email to your friends and families.

I hear every day people say how ridiculous it is to have campaigns spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Obama campaign has raised over $600 million and McCain has raised $375 million! My two opponents have raised over $400,000 combined and use this not to speak out on their position on issues, but to sling mud at each other.

This campaign is about issues. It is about the economy, energy, deficits, taxes, immigration and jobs. They are all interrelated. On this blog and at my website you can find out what my positions are. Feel free to email me at LarsenForCongress@gmail.com

REMINDER: EARLY VOTING OPPORTUNITIES
There are three days left to do so via the Allen Co. Election Board @ City County Building Room 136, before Tuesday. Today from 8a-5p, Saturday from 9a-4p, and Monday from 8a-Noon

PERSONAL NOTE: To read my personal endorsement of Bill Larsen and Mike Pence please right click here and scroll down. To read my other endorsements for this election cycle please right click this link and scroll down as well.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why I'm voting for Barr

This question was posed to the politically vocal members over on a non-political forum I frequent. I felt my answer was topical to the LP so here is a reprint. Apologies if I ramble a bit. Comments welcome.

"Why Jon is voting for Barr: 

This is the first vote I have cast to stick to the party line as well as the first vote I have cast as "not the other choices". I disagree with Barr, far too socially conservative even with his recent repentances. I also distrust many of the candidates we had in our primary, because they had jumped to the LP from the other parties either out of spite or just to make one last fleeting swipe at the presidency. I don't like my party being used for ballot access. 

I would also like to add that our "primaries" are taken care of at our national convention, for dues paying members of our party, not the general public based on checking one box or the other. I think that the other parties should go back to that and see what kind of candidates we end up with and what it does to the money that goes into campaigns. The average voter only gives a **** about politics now because it gives them something to root for, if the barrier to entry were as minimal as paying party dues or attending a party meeting participation would plummet. 

The two party system has failed. The GOP and the Democrats are no longer debating over significant differences in policy. They are fighting over single digit percentages. Either party will take your money and piss it away on mostly the same things, the only difference is that a small percentage of that will go to minor projects that you may or may not support. 

What makes it even more distasteful is that while really arguing over minor points, they get the proles so riled up that people who get along just fine for 3 years, turn into rabid haters for the season. Its like pro sports, no one really gives a **** they just want to compete without ponying up and making the effort on the field. 

I would have voted for Paul and work closely with many of the remaining "Paulies". Ron Paul is a libertarian who has held office and done what should have been done and I have great respect and admiration of that even if he is not a Libertarian. 

So I guess the short version is: In the presidental race, I'm voting none-of-the-above to the world and I -still-support-the-party to my associates. "

Bob Barr to Debate Ralph Nader and Chuck Baldwin Tonight!

There will be a webcast of it at 4:30 pm. You can watch it here.

Coverage of Jack Evans in the 83rd

http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081029/NEWS/810290330

Just a quick bump to an article covering the race in the 83rd district. Thanks to Jack for running and thanks to the News Sentinel for covering all of the candidates on the ballot.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Does one vote count?

There are articles written by intelligent, educated people arguing that it does not make sense to vote. The argument goes something like this: Even in a close election that is decided by a handful of votes, a single vote will only increase or decrease the margin of victory by exactly one vote. So the time, effort, and gasoline that you spend registering to vote, getting informed about the candidates, and casting a ballot are ultimately wasted because your vote did not change the outcome.

Some argue that if you do not vote, you have no right to complain. Yet there is no legislation prohibiting nonvoters from complaining. Should police officers check voter registrations of protesters? You have a constitutionally protected right to complain about anything you want, but it certainly hurts your credibility if you did not do anything to prevent or correct the situation that you are protesting.

Voting is only one part of the democratic process. It’s how we keep score. Talking with your friends, family, and Internet trolls about the candidates and issues is more important than the simple act of voting. But when you tell your circle about how its important to oppose or support a particular candidate or policy, it carries more weight when you vote. You cannot expect others to care when you do not vote.

Ultimately it boils down to symbolism, which matters more than one might think. Symbols show that you care, and influence others to care as well. If you’re willing spend $20 on a flag to show you care, take the time to fill out a form and press a few buttons for the same reason.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bailouts and subsidies

I'm tired of denouncing each new bailout. Yet they still need to be denounced. So for the time being, I'm just going to leave a blanket statement on the left side of the blog. If anyone needs to be reminded about my position on propping up companies with taxpayer, it appears under General Wayne's portrait.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Find your ballot

With all the attention on the Presidential race I have slipped and not kept pace with the lower offices. Obviously I'm supporting Libertarian candidates with my vote or with my time/money, Andy Horning, Jack Evans, Bill Larsen, Rex Bell, Eric Schansberg, and many others.

But we don't have LP candidates for all the races, so I sat down tonight to find out exactly who was on the ballot so I could research them. The process wasn't hard, but was more complicated than I thought it would be.

So heres a short primer on how to get a sample ballot, its aimed at Allen County, but should apply anywhere in Indiana:

1. Ignore anything that isn't an official State or County Board of Elections site. I found a few unofficial sites with mistakes on thier ballots. 

2. Confirm #1, if you didn't get to it through the Secretary of State or your County Board of Elections, you can't be sure its right.

3. Go to "Find your Election Information", the link is on the left hand side of the Allen County Board of Elections. Direct link is http://www.co.allen.in.us/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=376&Itemid=700

4. Open the link to IndianaVoters in a new window or tab. That is endorsed by both Allen County and the Secretary of State. Direct link is http://www.indianavoters.com/PublicSite/PublicMain.aspx

5. Click on "Polling Place" and enter your information. 

6. The search results should show your info. The number you need is the PRECINCT. Mine is #214.

7. Go back to the Allen County Board of Elections page and click on "Ballot Style Variations" to download a PDF. http://www.co.allen.in.us/images/stories/Election_board/2008/2008G%20Ballot%20Styles%20Web.pdf

8. Skim through that and look for your precinct, next to it is a "Ballot Style Number". Remember that number.

9. Go back to the Allen County BoE page and click on the link to your ballot style. Mine is #11, http://www.co.allen.in.us/images/stories/Election_board/2008/Ballot%20Style%2011.pdf

10. Thats it. You now have a sample ballot. You can see exactly who you can vote for.

I always have nothing but praise for the staff at the Board of Elections. They do a pretty good job at making it easy for Hoosiers to vote and for candidates to get the info we need to stay legal while we run for office, but having to go through that many hoops to get a sample ballot is a bit troubling. 

I hope this helps illustrate the problem so that the Secretary of State and County Board of Elections can use the off-year in 2009 to streamline the process. That this information is online at all puts Indiana light years ahead of other states, but I think both the voters and the staff at the BoE would have a much better time in 2010 if this got tightened up a bit.

Now that I've got my ballot, I'm off to do some homework.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Calendar Update all the way into November

EARLY VOTING OPPORTUNITIES
Allen Co. Election Board @ CITY COUNTY BUILDING One Main Street Room 136, Fort Wayne, Indiana
23rd Thursday 8A-7P; 24th Friday 8A-5P; 25th Saturday 9A-4P;
27th Monday 8A-5P; 28th Tuesday 8A-7P; 29th Wednesday 8A-5P;
30th Thursday 8A-7P; 31st Friday 8A-5P
November 1st Saturday 9A-4P; 3rd Monday 8A-12N

Protect Your Rights!
Participate in the Process!
Now is the time for a true change you can actually see not just believe in!
Vote Libertarian!

ELECTION DAY
TUESDAY, November 4th 6:00a.m.-6:00p.m
To find out more information about your precinct or
to resolve issues please contact the
Election Board

VETERANS DAY
TUESDAY, November 11th ALWAYS REMEMBER & HONOR THOSE BRAVE MEN & WOMEN
WHOM OFFERED THEIR LIVES FOR YOUR FREEDOM AND THIS COUNTRY'S LIBERTY!


NOVEMBER BUSINESS MEETING
WEDNESDAY, November 19th 7:00-9:00p.m.
Allen Co. Public Library Main Branch (Tentative)

Monday, October 20, 2008

What does the fiscal crisis say about us?

Slate.com has an article entitled "The End of Libertarianism". This article is like a autopsy performed on a live person. Since this was done prematurely, the conclusion is questionable. The author of this article greatly overestimates Libertarians' influence over US fiscal policy. The whole world is in a financial crisis and he's blaming a small but growing US political movement.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

October Business Meeting

October Business Meeting

WEDNESDAY, October 22nd
6:30-8:30p.m. (Starts @ 7p.m.).

New Haven Branch
Allen Co. Public Library
648 Green Street,
@ Dawkins Road/Lincoln Hwy E./ SR14
New Haven, IN 46774

Directions:

The Branch is located near the northwest intersection of Green Street @ Dawkins Road/Lincoln Hwy E./ SR14 which is Two and one half blocks north of SR930 or Nine and one half blocks south of Rose Ave/Old US24/Exit 19 of I-469 or Six blocks east of Broadway (the main drag) which is Landin Road@ Lake Ave./N. River Rd. and is known in Ft. Wayne as Trier Rd. (Hall's Triangle Park) @ Coliseum Blvd. (East of Crescent/Stellhorn/SR37)

Friday, October 17, 2008

An appeal to my fellow Libertarians and my Democratic friends

All of the state representative seats around Fort Wayne are considered safe. In fact, most of the incumbents are unopposed. But I just got a fundraising letter from Rex Bell who is running for the State House in the 54th District. Whether you are a Democrat or a Libertarian, this is your opportunity to reduce the number of Republicans in the State House.

Dear Friends of Liberty,

For years, our friends and neighbors have cited their main reason for not voting Libertarian is that we cannot win. I am dropping you a note to let you know that we Libertarians are VERY close to changing this perception forever in Indiana. Rex Bell is running for the Indiana House of Representatives in District 54 against Republican Tom Saunders. Saunders is in a very weak position. He isn't getting the same amount of financial support that he normally would, and many of the GOP base are defecting to Rex Bell. Why? He was opposed to making the Governor's property tax caps constitutional, and is in favor of keeping our current property tax system in place. Rex Bell supports the repeal of property taxes.

There is no Democrat in this race. It is Bell vs. Saunders. As a result, many Democrats are actively working to elect Rex Bell. So it seems that if there is one thing Democrats AND Republicans agree on in District 54, it's Libertarian Rex Bell.

As Libertarians, we know the difficulty of beating the two party system, so a gift like this race comes along once rarely. To make history in Indiana, we need to band together as Libertarians, and do two things:

1. Donate Money. Rex is currently running radio ads, has up billboards, distributed yard sings and literature, and sent out a direct mail piece to Democrats. The next piece of the puzzle is a direct mail piece to Republicans in the district. The cost is a little over $3000 by NEXT Wednesday. In two days, Libertarians from across the state have raised $2,300 for Rex. That means we have $700 to go. Please go to www.electrexbell.com, and donate $30 or $40. For the price of a meal for two at Chili's, you can help change to course of LPIN and Statehouse history forever. If we raise more than $3,000, Rex can begin running television ads, and his radio ads on additional stations.

2. Donate Time. Standing outside of the polls on election day can win races. In 2006, Jon Elrod beat Ed Mahern in House District 97 by EIGHT votes. This was a direct result of Elrod having 90% of his polling places staffed by volunteers handing out cards.

3. Tell your friends. Forward this email to your Liberty-loving friends, and ask them to check out www.electrexbell.com.

Sincerely,
Rex Bell

Why the recession makes the Fair Tax even more important

The Fair Tax is a proposed federal sales tax on new consumer goods. It would not apply to basic essential items such as food and diapers, nor would it apply to used items. So this would encourage conservation when we need it most. Under the Fair Tax system, it would be theoretically possible for a middle-class person to go without paying any federal taxes at all so as long as he only buys used items and doesn't own a car.

This raises the value of used goods, which has several benefits:
1. People will take better care of the things that they already own.
2. They would receive more money in return when they pawn or resell a used item.
3. Less energy and resources are used, bringing down the price of oil.
4. We import fewer goods from overseas, reducing or even eliminating the trade deficit.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Libertarians At Large Live Tonight

Libertarians At Large airs on channels Comcast 57 and Verizon 27, from 7-8 p.m., every third Thursday of the month. Tune in tonight as this month's guest will be Libertarian, Herbert "Jack" Evans, candidate for State Representative for the 83rd District, this November 4th. Call in to ask questions or just let us know you are listening. Contribute to the conversation.

As always the Libertarian Party of Allen County would like to thank Access Fort Wayne and The Allen County Public Library for providing us these opportunities to serve the public and promote the discussion at all levels of government about what is best for the future of of our communities, state, and nation.

For a list of all Libertarian Candidates available for local voters to choose click here please.

Pot calling the kettle "red"

Chavez: "Bush is to the left of me now" (Hat tip to Reason)

Even with the big bailout/buyout mess that is going on, it isn't fair to compare Bush to Chavez. I still found this to be hilarious.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Republican Case Against the Republican Party

From the national LP blog:
The Republican Case Against the Republican Party
posted by Andrew Davis on Oct 13, 2008

To be sure, Senator Barack Obama is certainly to the left of Senator John McCain; however, it's not a stretch to say that the real John McCain has more in common with Barack Obama than he does with his own party. In fact, McCain frequently drew the ire of his party for many of his supposed "maverick" votes in the Senate.

His legislative masterpiece, the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, is generally regarded as one of the most egregious attack on free speech in modern history. Yet, McCain brags about his close relationship with Senator Feingold, as well as the likes of Senator Ted Kennedy and Joseph Lieberman.

Bipartisanship is an admirable trait in any politician willing to set aside partisan bickering, but not when it is for legislation that harms Constitutional liberties and puts taxpayers in danger, such as when both Senators McCain and Obama voted for the taxpayer-subsidized bailout.

Working together against liberty is no more virtuous than working alone for the same ends.

Senator McCain's record—one that he has vigorously tried to recreate with euphemisms like "maverick," "bipartisan" and "reformer"—has made him a darling of the left and a pariah of the right; at least until he became the GOP's nominee for president. McCain may be the new front man for the Republican Party, but it is too late to teach the old dog new tricks.

Republicans, coming to realize the true folly of their choice, try to excuse a vote for McCain by comparing the damage McCain will do to that of an Obama presidency. They will say, "McCain isn't great, but Obama is a socialist." Even when faced with a viable alternative, such as Bob Barr, who better represents the fiscal conservative/limited government philosophy that once used to define the Republican Party, Republicans choose instead to abandon principle for the sake of preserving whatever hollow illusion of capitalism that managed to escape eight years of the Bush administration.

These Republicans are right, in part. Obama is no friend to the businessman or the free market. The legislation he would push through Congress would have a detrimental impact on the American economy, and will undoubtedly be difficult to undo following his departure from office.

However, an Obama presidency would not usher in a new era of government regulation—it would simply be the continuation of a trend started with his predecessor. Republicans who are fearful of an Obama presidency and his alleged "socialism" are either ignorant, or in denial, of the vast expansion of federal power under President George Bush.

It should be stated that this environment of big government—both economic and social—was not created and executed by Bush without lack of support by so-called "conservatives" in Congress. But by every objective measure, the Bush administration has been the single biggest catalyst of government growth since FDR.

Republicans admit they may not agree with 100 percent of what Bush does or did (a positive sign that at least Republicans do have some lasting semblance of a conscience), but the symptom of big government is not just particular to the Bush administration. Object as they may to the creeping dangers of Barack Obama, the abandonment of everything fiscal or limited in the last eight years of government growth has been with the full knowledge and consent of the Republicans in Congress, and the Republican Party members who keeping voting these same politicians back into power.

Maybe, the trepidations of Republicans are valid. Maybe, this era of capacious government is all the fault of liberals. If this were the case, then it would be the liberalism of the new GOP.

The frontrunner of the GOP is no nascent liberal. McCain has long been a blacksheep of the right, most recently evidenced by the prevalence of this attack throughout the Republican primary. This criticism of McCain came from many of those that now support him.

But to complain about this "liberal heyday" of government regulatory power that Obama would create is to complain about eight years of an ever-expansive Bush administration and the cowardice of a GOP refusing to stand up to him—including that of Senator John McCain. For all that McCain says of his "maverick" status, he has either voted with the Bush administration in expanding government's power, or worked with Democrats to do the same.

So what are Republicans to do, faced with two choices that so clearly represent the antithesis of fiscal disciple and limited government?

McCain himself has proven that the premise that one must vote for him to save the country from Obama is misinformed. McCain's commitment to a paternalistic government, for whatever justification, is no different from the same aim as Obama's. It is merely to what extent they are willing to take it. Using Bill Clinton and Bush as barometers as to what one might expect from either an Obama or McCain presidency respectively, the idea that somehow McCain is the best bet for a restrained government is even more absurd.

A vote for McCain is to acquiesce to all the ills of the GOP, and to accept its current, vacuous state (just as a vote for Obama is to approve of the Democratic Party's impotence). It is time to accept that the GOP is a zombie that stumbles awkwardly forward, refusing to die, but unable to live. Its soul has long perished, and what is left is a hollow shell of a body.

McCain will not win in 2008 because he has neither the faculties of a statesman nor the support to stand up against an energized Democratic Party. While the GOP elite will support whomever stands at the front, rank and file Republicans, who have long grown weary with the path the Party has chosen, will not swallow more of the same rancid milk that has been poured for them these past eight years.

A McCain vote is the quintessential wasted vote because it will neither elect a president nor demand reform within the Party. So long as Republican members continue to cast votes for those Republicans they find absolutely repugnant, Republicans will continue to lose elections.

This was the case in 2006, and it shall be in 2008.

If there need be any more evidence of this fact, simply look to the pitiful state of McCain's campaign. Knowing that he can't beat Obama on the issues—mainly because there is so little difference between them—McCain has resorted to stoking the fires of racism and paranoia among his supporters in hopes of winning on emotion, rather than policy.

In 2008, there is only one logical choice for fiscal conservative and champions of the free market: Bob Barr and the Libertarian Party. A vote for Bob Barr is not only one placed for a proven capitalist, fiscal warrior and enemy of big government, but it also sends a message to the Republican Party that cannot be ignored.

McCain will not win, and a vote for him is one wasted. McCain will bring no change from the last eight years, and will only continue the trend of bigger government and higher spending. His "reformer" rhetoric is as hollow as his campaign.

The Libertarian Party will not play spoiler to the Republican's presidential aspirations this year, for there is nothing to spoil. McCain will lose because Republicans chose to support someone who better represented the fiscal values of forgotten GOP heroes like Barry Goldwater. So long as the GOP continues to run people who fail to inspire the base of the Republican Party, they will lose elections, as more and more disenchanted Republicans will drift to the Libertarian Party.

----

Author's note: If you agree with the contents of this article, I ask that you please forward this on by email or whatever means. This message must be heard, and must be spread if we hope to at all reverse the course of this nation taken in the last eight years. Thank you very much.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thought for the day...

Isn't accusing someone else of being negative a form of negativity? Try to imagine a world without negativity:

PROSECUTOR: I intend to prove that Mr. Doe killed his wife.
DEFENSE: Oh, you're just being negative. Why bring up the past?
PROSECUTOR: You're right. I'm sorry. The state drops the charges.

Any new law, spending project, or candidate will have an upside and a downside. Conversely, not passing the law, project, or not electing the candidate will have an upside and downside as well. Both sides of any controversy have to talk about the positive and the negative of the issue at hand.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Reason TV's solution to the healhcare crisis


Basically the video says that most, if not all, of those without health insurance either can afford it or are eligible for existing government programs.

Monday, October 06, 2008

What is short selling?

Short selling is what investors do if they expect the value of a stock to decline and want to profit from it. It works this way: The investor borrows shares of a company, then sells them at market value. After a short period of time, the investor buys them back and returns them to the entity that loaned him the shares. If the stock price goes down far enough, the investor makes a profit.

So let's say I hear about WalSoft's new gaming console. I read the reviews and I think its a dud. I think that the holiday sales will be so awful that it will hurt the stock price. So the day before Thanksgiving I borrow 100 shares of WalSoft stock from an investment firm. I agree to return them within 10 days. I sell them all at $50 a share.
So I have $5000. The following Monday, the evening news features a story about WalSoft consoles catching fire when plugged in. On Tuesday, WalSoft drops to $40 a share. I figure that the price won't get much lower, so I buy 100 shares at that price. I give the shares back to the investment firm, pay them a $500 fee, and keep the $500 that is left over.

This is something that happens a lot when the stock market is going down. But it is not the cause of the disease, merely the symptom. If there is short selling going on, we don't need to stop it but instead figure out why it's going on. Investors sell short when they think a stock is overvalued.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Poll Closed

Look at that. 25 people voted, and none of them support the bailout. I actually wanted to hear from bailout supporters. I always hope that either I've proven right and the other guy learns something, or I'm proven wrong and I learn something. To be sure, the latter has never happened on this blog, but I'll give anyone the opportunity to be the first.

Anyway, since we're all in agreement on the bailout, let's all vote against those who voted for it. Bob Barr and Bill Larsen both oppose the bailout. I'll open the thread up to anyone who wants to endorse an anti-bailout candidate, or wants to explain why people should vote for bailout supporters anyway.

What next?

If the economy gets worse:
ME: I told you this wouldn't work.
THEM: It's a good thing we did this, or else things would be a lot worse.

If the economy somehow gets better:
THEM: I told you this would work.
ME: Turns out this wasn't needed after all.

Causality can be hard to establish in economics. But our goal now is to monitor the effects of history's most expensive October surprise. The government will have to either raise taxes, go deeper into debt, inflate the dollar even more, or a combination of all three. We might very well see a short term boost in the economy, but the long term effects will outweigh it.

It's rather like taking steroids and saying "I'm getting stronger, this stuff must be good for me." But in the long run, the steroids can kill the person using them.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Second attempt at passing the bailout

Some more thoughts on the bailout.

>The bailout is so wildly unpopular that the Senate has added a bunch of tax breaks to try to get it to pass the House. Putting popular provisions on a bad bill is like putting frosting on a turd. The bad parts outweigh the good parts so much that you just shouldn't swallow it.

>The bailout is totally unnecesary and harmful to boot. There are still financial institutions that are solvent, so individuals and companies can still get credit. Instead the bailout will help failing companies to continue their irresponsible practices.

>Both bailout proponents and opponents agree that there will be a recession no matter what Congress does, but there still seems to be an impulse to do something drastic. It's like using electroshock therapy to treat a cold. The patient will get better on his own, but the doctor still wants to do something to justify his hefty bill.

>Ever stop to think what kind of precedent this could set? Unprofitable companies in every sector will have their hands out looking for a bailout. I suspect that it may even cause a few well-off corporations to cook their books to include red ink so that they can qualify for a subsidy.

Monday, September 29, 2008

See checks and balances do work but only when the Speaker pisses off over half the House

A deeply divided U.S. House has narrowly rejected a massive taxpayer bailout of the troubled financial sector. President Bush pushed hard for the roughly 700-billion dollar bailout, warning that there could be dire consequences for the national economy without it. Though there was considerable crossover in the votes, most Democrats voted for it, while most Republicans voted against it. The Dow responded by dropping like a stone, losing more than 600 points at one point.

Stay with
Newstalk 1190 WOWO for the latest developments
Ironically Republican incumbent Representative Mark "my small town values" Souder who has so much experience in Congress that he decided not to stand up and represent his constituents in his legacy vote regarding the Administration's welfare benefits package for corporations, and instead tried to structure his argument for the legislation as inevitable and capitulate by marking the legislation as "put(ting) a finger in the dike".

Sorry Mark, a dike doesn't cost 250-700 billion dollars to build, or repair.
Monday he called it "a bold bill that will help keep the crisis in our financial system from spreading throughout our economy." Souder said he was concerned abut the effect of the economic turmoil on northeast Indiana jobs. If jobs leave the area, he said, "they won't come back. We have more at risk than other areas." Souder said his office has been flooded by calls from constituents who oppose the bailout and said a "yes" vote is unpopular with voters. "Sometimes you got to gut it out," he said. "I don't like it," Souder said of the bill. "I tried to delay it" to allow for more discussion. Last week Souder said he was leaning toward voting against the bill, but Monday he said the revised legislation was better than Paulson proposed last week.
Mr. Souder, if citizens get frustrated enough, they might just have the guts to send you back home for good.

Here is a breakdown of the vote: There are 435 members in the House of Representatives in the United States Congress. The EESA 08 was defeated 205-228 (note that is more than half against); 65 Republicans and 140 Democrats who voted "yes"; 95 Democrats and 133 Republicans voted "no". There were one or two Representatives missing from the vote.

WOWO NEWS UPDATE 6pm:
6 out of 9 Representatives from Indiana voted against the EESA.
The DOW has closed @ 777 pointes down today in response to the vote.

To Watch It Unfold Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D) Ohio | Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) California Speech
After The Vote Rep. Barney Frank (D) Massachusetts | The Republican House Leadership
Source: TowleRoad

FURTHER READING:
Fort Wayne Politics | Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (pdf) |
Souder bucks GOP on bailout | Fort Wayne News | Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D) California speech text

TO SEND MARK SOUDER HOME LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR CANDIDATE FOR CONGRESS
LIBERTARIAN WILLIAM LARSEN WEBSITE | BLOG | PLATFORM | SOCIAL SECURITY |

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Libertarians Handle Equality Issues & Assure The Rights Of All Persons

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is excerpted and modified from F6 ~ Queer Views of Life Along Our Three Rivers', post last Wednesday. The topic was both timely and multifaceted, and my commentary I feel, should be brought over here to expand the conversation/debate.
We all know that life isn’t the way it should be for people who are GLBT. We also know that real change is possible - that it can be better. So now what?

We begin by electing fair-minded, equality candidates to office - from Barack Obama, Jill Long-Thompson, and Michael Montagano, right through to locals Kevin Knuth and Maria Parra -
all of whom have reached out to us, fight for us, and who genuinely care about us as human beings. These people have consistently put their beliefs in action, and now it’s time for us to do the same.

~Linda Bentz, HRC FW Lead, (Reality Magazine, volume 2, issue 9, page 3)
The problem with the above scenario, which repeats almost every election cycle in some regard, comes into play because, while Libertarians are pro equality, we operate under a different paradigm based on the individual's merit versus a collective privilege. Even though we strive to reach the same goals, it seems like die hard Republicans or Democrats can't handle the philosophical differences/challenges of just treating all persons as individuals, with the self evident truth that they were created equally and entitled to a free life with full liberty and the ability to pursue their own happiness with whomever or however many persons they choose to share it with in common bonds. The Libertarian Party Platform specifically reads in regards to marriage equality,
"government does not have the authority to
define, license or restrict personal relationships."
This self evident truth, of all persons being created equal, was declared by our Founding Fathers in The Declaration of Independence, which is also encased in the very beginning of the United States Code under Organic Laws of the United States, and just needs to be properly interpreted by The Supreme Court, and applied into law by The United States Congress, and enforced by the Executor of the Constitution and Commander In Chief.

The problem wont be solved by new laws but by first cleaning up and throwing out the unconstitutional laws that already exist. Then we can worry about adding new laws to the books. If we don't clean up the books soon, we might find ourselves having to write a new constitution though. That is a process that no one wants to go through and I don't think we have the courage to do so either.

Wouldn't it be better to preserve this nation rather than watch it die slowly and outside of our control?

Take a moment and think about it before you decide which candidate is just the lesser of two evils. Take a moment a think about what a third party candidate can bring to the legislative table and the marketplace of ideas. Diversity for one is for all equality!

RESOURCES: To visit LP of Allen Co. website; or the LP of Indiana website; or the LP National website. To find out more info about OUTright the GLBT Caucus's website or blog, click on the correct links.

Reminder: The deadline to register to vote is the 6th of October.
Here is the most current list of all LP Candidates up for election for voters to choose locally.