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:


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!

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