Sad day indeed.
Sioux Indian rights activist, actor, and former seeker of the Libertarian Party’s presidential nod in 1988, Russell Means, has died at age 72 of esophageal cancer. He had shunned Western medicine in treatment of the cancer.
Sad day indeed.
Ben Swann one-on-one with Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson. I’ve personally not followed the career of Gary Johnson. Not that I disagree or dislike him, I just haven’t had the initiative to learn more about Johnson’s platform, however, I’ve been meaning to do so to at least formulate a somewhat educated opinion.
And/or Republi-crats and other Johnny-come-latlies.
Can anyone please answer a few questions I have regarding H.R. 459, also known as the “Audit the Fed” bill? Anyone?
Read the bill [HERE].
I read it. And from my loose interpretation, the way I see it, it’s the blind leading the blind. Or as I’ve put it a few times today, the corrupt auditing the corrupt. The Comptroller General? Because he’s running a tight ship over there in his own organization.
While I understand “ending the fed” is not going to happen, at least as far as I can see in the future. So is this a consolation prize? Schtick aside; serious question…is the battle to “End the Fed” turned into “looking into some past fraudulent activity and getting real mad about it”?
What is the end game? Why is this a victory? Is it fishy to ANYONE else that the mass of the GOP is all of a sudden on board with Ron Paul’s message? C’mon folks! John Boehner, Michelle Bachman, Lamar Smith!?! Where there’s shit smell, there’s generally a heaping pile of shit.
So what happens when they find some questionable doings by the Board of Governors, et. al.? What then? What happens when they find all is well and legit?
I guess since I’m not on a team here, I just don’t see this house vote today as anything more than typical posturing and semantics. Every bloody libertarian I follow/read may as well be shooting rifles up in the air doing the Pee-wee Herman dance celebrating this massive victory. Let’s step back into reality for a second to analyze what will actually come of this.
Or, am I completely wrong???
Possible, but history, track record, and any evidence backs ME up, unfortunately.
Libertarians, GMOs, and then my thoughts
Above is a tweet from a Libertarian, Julie Borowski, whom I follow and generally agree with some of what she posts, as I do with more than a few Libertarian views. However, this is one I vehemently disagree with. Here’s why. (Long, and perhaps off course a few times, but I hope it loops back to my eventual point…and mind my crap punctuation, as always)
While I understand the reason behind a viewpoint such as this, which is basically being against ANY government mandates, including ones which would presumably benefit everyone… the actual human people, not corporations as “people” that is. This is a point I also generally agree with. There are very few subjects I can personally justify supporting more government oversight. I am, in this instance, a realist. I am presented with facts, in this case the system as it is, and must be realistic when attempting to “right” the very many wrongs.
Let me explain a bit further. Plainly stated, whether you, I, or anyone likes it or not, this system we’ve allowed to get this bad is here to stay. While we can postulate the probability of some grand change, it aint gonna happen in my lifetime (I think “hope and change” has proven this). At least not on the scale of what I understand a traditional Anarchist would want, or even to a lesser scale, perhaps the Libertarian side. Nor would I generally want a massive immediate annihilation of our current system. To state otherwise, I believe, is highly ignorant and places far too much faith in the civility of the average human. In other words, the system disappears in an instance, chaos would immediately follow…and not an organized “Civil War” type either. A gradual education, and therefor subsequent change, is absolutely wanted and I believe is necessary for our survival. Yes, I believe on this current path, the United States as we know it will not last very much longer. Entirely another post…
That’s getting a bit off point; back on track. The system as it is now, protects the Big Food/Ag/Pharma/Chem industries as history has proven with allowing such products as BT corn, aspartame, GMO soy, etc…the list goes on and on and they are all interrelated. Not only are these corporations protected, they’re nearly forced on us, through targeted advertising, manipulation, and propaganda campaigns. Government officials and the so-called doctors conducting the research used for said officials to mandate these products as safe, are either paid indirectly, directly, or have/had direct affiliation with the same corporations. These are facts and mostly blatantly thrown in our face. There’s no need to hide as we (consumers) are helpless. This doesn’t even get into the Farm Bill, government subsides of corn and soy, et. al.
This is one instance where I am willing to concede that the system “is what it is” for lack of better term. I cannot sit back and watch our “representatives” continue to support the interests of these multinational corporations over the health and wellbeing of the people. All while we are duped into believing all is well and safe… all while cancer rates will continue to skyrocket along with obesity, diabetes, childhood diseases and allergies, all directly and/or indirectly caused by what we’re fed. And these are effects we know! Yes, we still have somewhat of a choice and ultimately it is up to us to learn and know what we’re putting into our bodies. However, we must be given the proper authority to do so; to know EXACTLY what is in our food. If that means forcing the hand of said corporations to at least be truthful about their products, so be it. What we have now is the complete opposite: dishonesty to outright lies and our politicians not only promote this behavior, THEY MANDATE IT! So given the choice between regulations against proper labeling, in favor of these corporations (and their $$$), or those requiring labeling
potentially harmful ingredients, obviously NOT in favor of the corporation but of the people, I’ll take the latter 100 out of 100 times.
The original intention of this experiment, which we’ve allowed to retarded itself into our current government, was to ensure that no one person or persons (YES, including corporations) has power over another’s individual liberty. What we have now is a near complete stranglehold on the food system in the United States by a very few. Ignoring that it exists, or worse yet, fighting to protect the rights granted to these corporations to maintain this stranglehold should offend everything that makes you Libertarians, Libertarian. Not the other way around. It is a direct affront to liberty in every way! Corporations are not people, nor should they be given constitutionally protected rights as such.
Again, I understand the sentiment. No government mandates for anything, free market, bla bla bla. But let’s work in the real world for a second. This is precisely why I will never join any political group. I cannot. Applying a broad-brush answer, carte blanche, to every conceivable issue just isn’t based in reality. Trust me, the last thing I want is more government mucking up anything. But as it stands now we must work with what we have to make positive changes. The very worst thing we can do right now is divide the only people who actually are learning about the state of our food system here in the US. We cannot afford to split the faction. FIXING THE SYSTEM OF CORRUPTION IS PARAMOUNT. A small, but integral, part of that relationship between our government and those running the food corporations.
While labeling may just seem like nit-picky nonsense for healthnuts, I can assure you it’s much more. Why hasn’t it happened yet? Because the more data people have to make informed decisions about their food, the more people will inevitably realize how bad our food actually is. Shit rolls downhill. People start asking questions of not only how did it get this bad, but why. Who is accountable? WHO HAS BENEFITTED? Wanna see mobs with stakes and pitchforks? EDUCATE PEOPLE… do not keep them in the dark. “Control the food, control the population”, look that one up; use it all the time. Wanna create real change, EDUCATE PEOPLE. How does a label do this? Perhaps it won’t. Perhaps it will do absolutely nothing on a grand scale. That’s not the overall point, though. It’s shouldn’t be about a possible ripple effect. If it informs one person to ask the question, “what the is a gmo, what the is it doing in my food; why; WHO BENEFITS?”, and therefor educates him/herself on the subject… That, in my book, is justification enough.
Global Warming and Climate Change skepticism examined. “Getting skeptical about global warming skepticism.”
A very good, and thorough, resource for those who still do not “believe” the science. While I tend to agree with many Libertarian values, this is one very important issue I most certainly do not see eye-to-eye with the status quo. There are many, of course, who probably do follow the science but do not advocate increased government involvement. This point I would agree on. However, a reluctance to increase government bureaucracy and regulation relating to climate change should not sway your interpretation of the evidence. Or rather, should not persuade you to ignore the evidence, as there’s not much of anything otherwise.
Either way, conservatives, religious nutters, Libertarian disbelievers, and any other science deniers alike- I would recommend finding your “token argument” on this site, read the rebuttal and perhaps the accompanying empirical evidence, then wake up and get with the program. It’s truly sad that subjects relating to anything science have become political fodder. Climate change, in particular, should have no bearing on your idiotic political beliefs (or vice-versa rather); all sides included! Just a thought.
In case you were wondering how Washington went down. According to NPR [HERE], Paul has come in second in 4 of 12 states. Not bad for a guy with “no chance”, and you certainly wouldn’t know it by any MSM reports. Actually a bit surprised he didn’t earn a higher % in WA. My guess is the folks up there would rather not vote than vote with (R) next to their names. Can’t blame them really.
Came across this article earlier today and thought it was worthy of passing along. Long but very interesting read. First, truth be told, I was kind of aware of what VA is doing but haven’t really immersed myself in reading up on the details. I’ll say I tend to agree with Mr. Kelly on much of his point. I tend to agree that there is no legitimate medical necessity to back this bill and that it is certainly a “punishment” measure from a well known uber-con state like VA… almost to be expected in that backwards-ass state. [Sadly, I could see the same bill here in TX as well]
I generally tend to agree that using the word “rape” is a very slippery slope. We should tread very lightly here. I think [hope] anyone would agree that there’s a difference between a piece of shit criminal forcing a sexual act on a non-consenting person and a medical procedure, albeit an improperly required one. Let’s back up here.
Here’s my real problem with the use of the word rape. What I fear is that not only words like rape, but what actually constitutes the act, will become political fodder. That is very dangerous. Hear me out, it’s already sliding down that slope. We have the liberal side claiming this bill is mandated state-sponsored rape. Then we have Fox News, the neo-con side, douche Liz Trotta basically saying military women should expect to be raped [HERE]. These are just two examples. I would hate to see a political world where rape is debated as legitimate or illegitimate or what does and does not constitute an actual rape. Politicians take their sides and argue their worthless points, all meanwhile, it’s still one of the most serious and disgusting acts a human can inflict upon another human.
I tend to think, debate the legalities of this bill, however, I do not agree with it personally. Just be very careful with the use of the word rape. In fact leave it out! The bill is a farce without it.
Shady campaign finance operations.
What stands out? ONE presidential nominee who DOES NOT use bundlers: Ron Paul. Whaddya know, he’s running a clean, legit operation. Damned honest SOB, who does he think he is!?!?
Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy breaks it down… with neato pictures and all! Keep on denying.
***Side note: the disrespect of climate change and environmental issues is one glaring fallacy of the majority of the Libertarian side. I could be wrong on that but it’s not what I’ve seen. One of the few reasons I will never subscribe to one political party. I urge everyone, on all sides, take a look at the facts and draw your conclusions based upon said facts. Do not follow your “party” just for the sake of following. Learn for yourself.
Why shelving SOPA/PIPA is not enough.
Have you ever heard the term, “throw enough shit against the wall, hope some of it sticks”?
Make no mistake, this is a tactic our government uses against us. President Obama’s alleged shutdown of SOPA and Sen. Reid’s proclamation that they’ll delay the vote on PIPA ARE NOT victories, folks. To me, the fact that these bills were even drafted is a serious problem we should all be alarmed about. Then add the NDAA, the Enemy Expat. Act, the assassination of US citizens, the mysterious death of an Iranian scientist. Look at this trend. Take away the reality and you’d think I’d be explaining Stalin’s USSR, or even worse, some extreme fictional authoritarian government.
Unfortunately I cannot eliminate the reality of it all. This is our United States of America; our “federal republic”; our bastion of freedom! Ironically, we lose our freedom in order to “protect” our freedoms.
So while we may have seemingly won this small battle regarding SOPA/PIPA, it is a long war. Whether you are willing to admit it or not is irrelevant, it is us against them. They have the power and the money, we have the strength in numbers. Numbers are worthless if we’re unwilling, or too stupid to realize what is happening in this country.
It is past time to wake up.
Letter from my “representative”:
A wonderful, canned, bullshit response from my rep [italics to emphasize irony] Lamar Smith. What a joke. To sum up, I sent a letter to each of my senators as well as Mr. Smith, all of whom supported the NDAA. Consequently, I’m fairly certain they’ve all supported SOPA as well. I know Mr. Smith did. I was pleased to see that each congressperson included a blatant lie about the NDAA regarding the detention of US citizens. Well, let me take that back, coupled with the Enemy Expatriation Act, I reckon the rulers will first eliminate your citizenship before detaining you, therefore I suppose it’s not quite a lie, yet that is. Either way, here it is:
January 13, 2012
Mr. James Cowan
San Antonio, Texas
Dear Mr. Cowan,
Many thanks for your recent letter regarding the fiscal year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (FY12 NDAA). I appreciate hearing from you.
The FY12 NDAA provides funding and policy direction for the Department of Defense. This bill originally passed the House on May 26, 2011, by a vote of 322-96. The Senate passed their version on December 1, 2011, and a Conference Committee was appointed to work out differences between the House and Senate versions. The Conference Report passed both chambers of Congress and was signed into law by the President on December 31, 2011.
This comprehensive bill reduces funding by $19 billion from the previous year but maintains a number of provisions to provide our troops around the world with necessary equipment, resources, and training needed to successfully complete their mission.
The final version of this legislation authorizes the Armed Forces to detain non-citizen, non-resident individuals who have planned, committed or aided terrorist attacks by al Qaeda, the Taliban or affiliated organizations. Contrary to various media reports, this bill does not provide new authority to detain U.S. citizens or affect existing laws pertaining to the detention of U.S. citizens.
In addition, I share your concerns about how deficit reduction efforts scheduled to begin in 2013 may affect our military veterans programs. I have a strong record of supporting veterans and our service men and women. Please be assured I will continue to work for America’s veterans.
Member of Congress
A Vulgar Display of Power (pt 2)
(Only part two as I’ve used the title before)
As you’ve probably not heard (no mention from MSM), as most Americans have their head in the sand, your House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1540) by a sickening 2-1 margin. Simultaneously, President Obama has backed off on his promise to veto the bill, which comes as no surprise. In one fell swoop our government has rendered the basis of the entire Constitution null and void. I’ve outlined a number of times my thoughts on this bill among others. Deep down I had hoped this group of individuals would come to their senses and realize the magnitude of passing this bill. I’ve a few more thoughts concerning the current and future state of the U.S.A.
There are countless reasons why this bill is completely wrong and unconstitutional. I wanted to outline another point however. What they’ve essentially done and continue to show is that “I [the US government oligarchy] can do whatever I want, whenever I want, to whomever I want, regardless of co-called constitutional boundaries, regardless of what is in the best interest of the United States of America, and regardless of what is best for and what the mass majority of citizens want.” And that, folks, is the vulgar display of power.
People (us) are failing on many accounts. First and foremost, are we that naive or that ignorant to believe the U.S. cannot completely morph into a totalitarian state? Look at history folks. Why are we immune? We are bred to believe we are untouchable as a nation. Is it this attitude that will lead to our downfall? We are NOT IMPERVIOUS to tyranny. It’s happening right before our eyes and WITH OUR CONSENT! Sounds similar, it should.
Our second major failure is to recognize the significance outlined in the paragraphs above. We are too nearsighted. We tend to think about what this administration will/can do. It’s not about now, even though in one decade they’ve advanced leaps and bounds…all the way to actually assassinating American citizens. Either way it’s about the precedence. It’s about self preservation as an American aristocracy and all about creating a new normal. Look at us now, we don’t even question that our rights completely disappear just because we want to step onto an airplane to visit grandma for Xmas. That’s normal to us. So what’s next? A few “detentions” based on so-called terrorist connections? It may or may not be a slow crawl.
Mark my words: we will see an egregious effort to suppress information. It’s already began. Wikileaks, SOPA, etc… It’s the modern version of book burning. Think about it. Congress will continue to present bills to advance their control of information. From there, who knows, an American Iron Curtain. Unfortunately I’m quickly coming to the conclusion that there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. A new administration of “change” will only further their own powers and the powers for future administrations. The ONLY saving grace is an old piece(s) of paper from the 18th century. When that is completely incinerated by the flame of bills and executive orders, then what?
You can’t make this shit up. It sure sounds like it though, right? Thanks to The Irish Savant for the post. Scary.
Letter to my senators:
This will be sent to my two Texas senators, John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison regarding the NDAA. I have a revision or two to make but figured, as with every other important event, to post on tumblr first! Please use as a template, reblog to pass on, or just read for informational purposes.
Dear Senator …. -
I am fully aware this letter will more than likely find its way to a large pile of unread correspondence rather than where it should be, on top of your desk. It saddens me to be at wits end, to have to produce a letter to both of my state representatives not as a letter of gratitude for serving us, the nation, and the State of Texas, but a letter of admonishment and disgrace for your complete disregard of the aforementioned service. I am clearly writing about your vote for the National Defense Authorization Act. I can only conclude that either you have completely lost your respect for our Constitution and everything it stands for or that you, along with every other ‘yes’ vote in the Senate, are attempting to wield an authority no government should ever have over the people who empower them. Sadly enough it is probably both. No explanation will be necessary as there is no legitimacy to such a bill. Under no circumstances shall the powers that you and your counterparts are seeking ever be granted. I fear we are encountering dangerous times in the United States of America. The threat, however, is not an “evildoer” from a foreign land rather the greatest dangers lie within our own government.
I am forced to admit something I never before had fathomed, in fact it has never even crossed my mind: I am ashamed to be an American right now with the current state of our foreign affairs, perpetual war, our dire financial crisis, and most of all, the domestic policy currently forced upon us. Every single problem we face is and has been entirely avoidable. The facts are we are represented by an American aristocracy only willing to self-preserve their seat to spread their power and the American Empire. Dismissal of our Constitution, our liberties, and the very foundations this great nation were built upon is the unfortunate byproduct of this government’s negligence to do what is right for Americans and Americans only. It is your only reason for existence.
Please allow me to explain I am not what you would consider a crazy person. I am an 11-year veteran of the United States Air Force. I served eight years as a federal agent. I was honorably discharged completely by choice to continue my service in the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State. I resigned from federal service for many reasons including ones above but also to fulfill a career change and continue my education in a full-time graduate program. Please understand I only mention this to proclaim that I have “walked the walk” if you will. While every American still has the right to such a protest I recognize the unfortunate fact that some are taken more seriously than others. I certainly hope that is not true in your case.
Lastly, I do not expect anything other than the form email reply thanking me for caring and for my time sending this letter. If by some miracle this message does meet your eyes the only thing I would ask is that you reconsider every piece of legislation that does not strictly adhere to our Constitution, most importantly, do everything in your power to eliminate the NDAA in its entirety. There is no place in the U.S.A. for such legislation.
Thank you for reading.
James M. Cowan