Monday, November 30, 2009

Interview With Trevor Lyman Tonight

Tonight, at 8:30 pm Central Time on Monday Nov. 30, I will be interviewing Trevor Lyman, the organizer of the multi-million dollar single day fundraisers called "money bombs" for Ron Paul's presidential bid in 2007-08.

We will be discussing his new project, Teabombs.com.

You can listen to the interview live here.

Top 100 Libertarian Blogs and Websites List Revised Again

It has taken me two months of scouring the Internet off-and-on, waiting for more submissions, thinking, and over-thinking, but finally I have a result that I am quite happy to announce as the third incarnation of The Top 100 Libertarian Blogs and Websites List. Cato tops the list this time!

Do visit the link and check it out. I have added a whole lot of new libertarian blogs and websites (which does mean sadly, I have had to remove some). There were several glaring oversights and I am very happy to have rectified them.

I have also elected to start advertising on the top 100 page because it is the very first result on Google for the search term "libertarian websites" so libertarian advertisers might want to tap into that highly-targeted, very warm market to promote their websites. Visit here for details.

Please don't feel bad if yours didn't get included or got bumped from the list. No slight is intended. Use it as motivation to make your libertarian blog or website even better (and consider getting some professional help from a political blogging expert). This list is never final or set in stone (as evidenced by this second revision in one year).

I just want to make the list as helpful and comprehensive as possible, and my criteria and methodology are admittedly unscientific.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Why I Don't Heart Huckabee

I have a friend in Canada who sent me a message on Twitter asking about Mike Huckabee 2012. He said Huckabee was coming to his province for a speaking engagement and that he was being talked up really aggressively to libertarians there.

I'm glad he asked me so I can share the following information with you because a lot of people are asking and wondering: "Is Mike Huckabee a conservative? Is Mike Huckabee a progressive? Or could Mike Huckabee even be a libertarian??"

After following up with him very briefly to say that Huckabee is no friend to liberty, I sent him the following list of criticisms of Mike Huckabee based on his record as governor in Arkansas:

------------------------------

Here's a little more about Huckabee's record that worries me:

One of his first moves as governor of Arkansas in the 90s was to campaign hard for ballot Amendment 2 to increase the state sales tax to improve its park system, in essence, the destruction of private, productive capital to fund state projects.

He then moved to expand state spending by millions of dollars for medical entitlement programs and public schools, meanwhile signing a "faith-based initiatives"-style act that allowed religious organizations to contract to do social work for the state on the taxpayer's bill. While it may not be unconstitutional in a strict sense, I think such a policy is contrary to the principles of religious freedom.

Huckabee then made a highly politicized commutation of a convicted rapist's sentence, who then moved to Missouri and raped/killed a woman who lived near his home.

After being re-elected, he endorsed Lamar Alexander's exploratory bid for President in 1999 (a Republican Senator from my state who is extremely anti-Fed audit and who campaigned for Rand Paul's establishment opponent Trey Grayson at a DC fundraiser). Huckabee then changed his mind and endorsed George W. Bush- which I can forgive him for because at the time Bush was talking a lot like Ron Paul before going back on his word entirely as President.

Then Huckabee signed another tax increase on gasoline and diesel in 1999. He concurrently issued state bonds, which is just an IOU from the taxpayer to be paid in future taxes. At this time he also worked to establish a system of standardized state testing for students in Arkansas, and would remark years later during the Bush Administration that he strongly supported Bush's unprecedented and unconstitutional Federal takeover of education, No Child Left Behind.

In 2001, Hucakabee signed the Covenant Marriage Act, continuing the state's intrusion into the private institution of marriage, rather than working to reverse it.

In 2003, Huckabee mandated annual body mass index measurements for all public school children and tax increases on cigarettes and tobacco.

Then in 2005 Huckabee made illegal immigration a central issue, campaigning to make illegal immigrants eligible for state benefits like financial scholarships, calling opposition to his policy "un-Christian." He also apparently considers public drinking in entertainment districts un-Christian, because he vetoed a bill that would allow private citizens and businesses to make that decision for themselves.

The Club for Growth has called Mike Huckabee a "liberal" for fixing labor prices in Arkansas, opposing a repeal of the state sales tax on basic necessities like groceries, and being a tax hiker. And the libertarian Cato Institute gave Huckabee an F in its 2006 Fiscal Report Card. Perhaps the most telling endorsement Huckabee's received is being named one of the 5 best governors in 2005 by Time Magazine.

Huckabee is no friend to liberty!

The Truth About Rand Paul


Yesterday I published an article at the Daily Paul to remove any doubt that Rand Paul is in his U.S. Senate race for all the right reasons.

I've read both here at this blog and elsewhere, the comments of a few skeptics who worry that Rand is an opportunist. I can tell you with certainty and conviction (from first-hand experience) that this is untrue.

Read the article and find out why.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ron Paul vs. Sarah Palin

An illuminating video by the Southern Avenger:

Nader vs. Dodd = Peter Schiff!

That is correct. Ralph Nader is considering a run for US Senate on the Green Party ticket, challenging Christopher Dodd in Nader's home state of Connecticut (hat tip to the Left Coast Rebel for this excellent find):

"Ralph Nader says he wants to gauge the level of grass-roots support before deciding whether to make a bid to represent Connecticut in the Senate."

If Ralph Nader goes through with a potential 2010 Senate bid, it could be good news for Republican contender Peter Schiff, who has already raised over a million towards a 2010 run and was definitely right about the US economy's imminent recession years before it happened, when everyone else thought the party would last forever.

How incredibly iconic would it be for Peter Schiff to challenge and defeat Christopher Dodd, one of the chief architects of the bubble that popped so destructively and hurt so many Americans in the past couple years? And if Ralph Nader makes a run for it, he'll likely split a lot of votes with Chris Dodd and help Schiff out a ton.

RUN NADER, RUN!

The Health Care Bill and Your Rights as a Parent

Guest Post By: RJ Harris

The Ninth Amendment of the Bill of Rights protects your un-enumerated rights. The Supreme Court has held that the right to have children is a fundamental right and therefore is indeed protected by this amendment.

Hand in hand with this right, is the right to raise your children as you see fit according to your own beliefs, morals and standards so long as those do not infringe upon the child's own rights to life, liberty, property or unenumerated rights (remembering that you are the guardian of your children's rights until they reach the age(s) of consent).

As a parent then, and the legal guardian of your children's inalienable as well as constitutionally protected rights, what are you going to do when a panel of government bean counters says that you cannot have your baby, you MUST abort him, because he has Down Syndrome and he will present an unacceptable cost on the now socialized health care system?

As a parent then, what are you going to do when life saving treatment is refused to your child because it is deemed costly to the system or because it's chance of success is lower than what the newly commissioned "Federal Health Agency" believes is acceptable even if the doctors want to try and save your child's life.

As a parent then, what are you going to do when government bureaucrats, heavily lobbied by the pharmaceutical industry and under the authority about to be given to them by Congress through this bill, FORCE your children to have administered to them experimental vaccinations and inoculations as was done to hundreds of thousands of Desert Storm soldiers in 1990?

As a parent then, what are you going to do when the government uses hereditary dispositions and government mandated DNA testing to determine that your child's potential future medical conditions, as well as those he could pass on to his children, require that he be sterilized?

As a parent then, are you going to sit there and take this from a federal government whose only job is supposed to be to protect our individual liberty and state sovereignty? When you are in a government run neo-natal facility about to have your baby forcibly aborted…it will be too late to make your stand against these tyrannies.

When your child is turned away from a government cancer or heart defect facility…it will be too late to make your stand against these tyrannies. When you come home from work and find out that your child was vaccinated without your consent while she was at school…it will be too late to make your stand against these tyrannies.

When your child suffers horrible debilitating reactions to experimental inoculations, as did thousands of Desert Storm soldiers to their experimental anthrax inoculations…it will be too late to make your stand against these tyrannies.

When a routine check-up in a government run health clinic finds your child is a victim of a hereditary disease that could be wiped out if all carriers were sterilized…it will be too late for you to make your stand against these tyrannies.

You must make your stand now! Vote to replace any Congressman or Senator that voted/votes for this bill and make sure that they know now that that is what you’re going to do. Should this bill pass, call, email and write your Governor's office and tell her that you demand she protect the citizenry of your state from these unconstitutional tyrannies and if she refuses…then make sure you vote for a Liberty Candidate to replace her.

For example, State Senator Randy Brogdon, Candidate for Governor of Oklahoma, has said that he will block at the border all unconstitutional federal infringements into Oklahoma sovereignty and personal liberty that Washington foists upon the states.

I have said that as Congressman I will not vote for ANY unconstitutional legislation or spending. My friends, these are the leaders we need. Electing persons of courage and audacity to fight for us is how we make our stand against these tyrannies BEFORE they can gain a hold.

Fellow parents, if we allow this government to continue down this progressive road to socialism unchecked by our political force…it will take more than votes to make our stand against these tyrannies.

And when the fighting requires more than an appearance at a town hall meeting or some time to investigate the candidates or a donation to a Constitutional Conservative, we will have the awful shame of knowing that we were the generation that squandered our children's birthright of freedom bequeathed to them by the Spirit of the Founders.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Libertarian News (11/27/09)


A Libertarian Viewpoint
This new book comes to us from the pen of Douglas N. Merritt, a longtime Libertarian from Kansas who has distilled years of essays, speeches, and columns into a 460-page tome on Libertarian politics.


Is libertarianism the ideology of the future?
"Is libertarianism growing around the world in spite of the political dominance of its antithesis, big government socialistic type regimes everywhere? [Full Article]"


Liberty and Children
This libertarian asks a provocative and interesting question as an example of a classic libertarian problem- children, parenthood, and the state.


Where was the Libertarian Party?
"Election Day 2009 has come and gone. Relatively speaking, this election was as insignificant as any off-year election is, as opposed to a mid-term election, but it still could have been an important year for the Libertarian Party, if we had simply bothered to show up. There were six elections / ballot initiatives which could have possibly been affected by the Libertarian Party… if we actually had a long-term strategic plan. As it is, some things happened for which it is notable that the LP had no role in. In no particular order, let’s look at where we could have had real impacts this year. [Full Article]"


So Who Is Mean-Spirited?
"I have long been intrigued that when conservatives and libertarians frankly speak their minds regarding the threat our nation is facing from political forces on the far left that they are almost routinely called 'mean-spirited' (and if that doesn't shut them up, their sanity is called into question). [Full Article]"


Climate Researchers Target Cato Institute Fellow
Apparently in the recently hacked e-mails of a prominent climate research center, there are attacks on Patrick Michaels, a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute. He also sounds off on the controversy in this article.


The Orphan of the American Political Spectrum
"For a host of reasons, however, libertarianism in the US today is politically parentless, and largely unrepresented in most of our major cultural and educational institutions, a socio-political orphan. It's an odd state of affairs, and unfortunate as well. [Full Article]"

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Friday Shopping

Avoid the crowds and do some of your holiday shopping online! If you plan on purchasing any gifts online, please use the graphic below to visit Amazon.com and make your purchase there.

Any purchase you make after browsing to Amazon from the link below, goes to help support THL's mission to advance liberty and restrain tyranny:



You can also use the widget below to search for items on Amazon:


And if you keep checking back at this page, the widget below will be constantly updating with great deals from Amazon:


Thanks so much and have a fantastic time helping the cause while "stimulating the economy!"

Happy Thanksgiving Roundup

The libertarian Cato Institute's David Boaz wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving: "I spend most of my time sounding the alarm about the freedoms we're losing. But this was a good opportunity to step back and consider how America is different from much of world history -- and why immigrants still flock here."

The Independent Institute reminds us of "The Pilgrims' Real Thanksgiving Lesson," a lesson in economic incentives and the twin powers of liberty and responsibility. Meanwhile, Janice Shaw Crouse is thankful for the Internet, and after reading her article, I am too! Now while scanning through the rest of my picks for today, try listening to Beethoven's Hymn of Thanksgiving:



George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation makes for some good reading today- and you should check out this picture of the original manuscript he penned thereof. For more history, see how past U.S. Presidents celebrated Thanksgiving (when they weren't hard at work making sure Americans would have less and less each year to be thankful for).

And last of all is a Thanksgiving Healthy Eating Tip that should serve you well for the duration of this holiday season: "Worrying about carbs, calories and diets is one of the most unproductive things you can do on a holiday that celebrates thankfulness. Instead of giving you a list of healthy side dishes or tips on how to cut out calories, this Thanksgiving I offer just a single piece of advice: slow down."


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am so incredibly grateful to all of you for participating on my blog, sharing its contents, sending me news tips, and helping me to fight for a future full of ever more to be thankful for!

With Love and Gratitude,
Wes Messamore

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

10 Reasons I Am A Libertarian Christian

I found this excellent article entitled "10 Reasons I Am A Libertarian Christian." The author begins thusly:

"1. The Biblical maxim to 'love your neighbor' and the Libertarian principle of non-aggression are essentially synonymous.

2. With the exception of defensive wars in the case of attack, war is an evil that plagues humanity; Christians are to be peacemakers and together with Libertarians should oppose national aggression."

And proceeds beautifully. Indeed there is no contradiction in being a devout, confessing Christian and a libertarian.

Read the whole list here.

Michael Scott from The Office



Editor's Note: Inspired by "Indexed"

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How High-Profile CEOs Could Revitalize the Libertarian Party

Article by: Carlos Watson
If the two-party system is ever going to be seriously challenged, this is the moment. The GOP, the stall-tactic party, is reeling. The Democratic administration is struggling to turn around the economy. And across the country, creative, engaged folks are increasingly feeling politically homeless. More Americans consider themselves independents (39%) than Democrats (33%) or Republicans (22%) -- and the gap is widening.

Who will fill that void? Sarah Palin is rumored to be mulling the idea of starting a third party, pulling together social and fiscal conservatives alienated from the GOP. The Blue Dog Democrats, turned off by President Barack Obama's spending, could reach across the aisle to moderate Republicans and try to attract independents. But the best third-party contender already exists. The Libertarians, like so many independents and disaffected Democrats and Republicans, are fiscal conservatives and social liberals -- and no one has yet built a lasting coalition out of this growing force.
[Read the full article here]

"Teabombs.com" Launches

Check out the following press release for Teabombs.com, a project of Trevor Lyman, who organized the multi-million dollar money bombs for Ron Paul in 2007. This thing is the real deal!

--------------------

"Teabombs.com" launches:
CREATORS OF THE 'MONEYBOMB' TAKE CONCEPT TO NATIONAL STAGE WITH NEW WEB SITE, NATIONAL TELEVISION AD


November 11, 2009 - Across the country, voters continue to speak out against runaway spending and government expansion that threaten freedom and prosperity - for today and for future generations.

Today, a new Web campaign is being launched by the award winning creators of the "moneybomb," the goal of which is to combine their proven and unprecedented fundraising results with the energy of Tea Party activists and other conservatives seeking real change in the nation's capital.

The new site, www.TeaBombs.com, gives participants a chance to choose incumbents that need to be sent packing, and then to pick a reformer challenger, in a patriot primary, to take their place. Then, on December 16, the top ranked challengers will be moneybombed by donors across the country, giving their campaigns a jumpstart and a new network of donors that will give them the winning edge on the opposition.

The site is being launched today, along with a national television ad.

The moneybomb was the online marketing achievement of Trevor Lyman, now one of the founders of teabombs.com. The first moneybomb was launched two years ago today, and raised over $4 million. The teabombs.com moneybomb is taking place on the second anniversary of the December 16, 2007 moneybomb, which raised $6 million and is said to hold the record for the largest single day internet fundraising effort ever.

"We've seen hundreds of thousands of Americans - from the tea parties to the 9/12 rally in Washington - who are tired of business as usual in Washington and who are ready for conservative change," said Lyman. "It's clear there is a lot of energy out there, and the goal of teabombs.com is to translate that energy into action."

"We are launching teabombs.com because it's become clear that with few exceptions, Washington politicians don't have the courage to govern on the principles they were elected upon. As a result, our generation and those to come are going to be on the hook for crippling debt that will bring our economy to standstill. We're faced with a clear choice - more government, or more liberty. We think that more and more Americans are waking up and realizing our nation is at a crossroads, and that it's time to choose," Lyman said.

# # #

W. E. Messamore at Nashville's End the Fed Rally and on Eric Dondero's Liberty Show

"Wesley Messamore, center, leads a chant of 'End the Fed' with protesters as they march through the streets of Nashville on Sunday in opposition to the Federal Reserve Bank. Protesters nationwide have called for an audit of the Federal Reserve. (JOSH ANDERSON / FOR THE TENNESSEAN)"

Hey folks! At this Sunday's nation-wide End the Fed protest, we had a great march in Nashville (here's a quick clip I filmed of it) and as it turns out, I got my picture in Tennessee's newspaper of record, the Tennessean. You can read the full article here:

The crowd listened to speakers for a half-hour before walking from the Federal Reserve building on Rosa L. Parks Boulevard to Broadway and then toward the Cumberland River. The group was greeted with shouts of encouragement, thumbs up and lots of horn honking.

PS: the sign in that picture says "Inflation is a Tax!" It's one of the very worst and most steeply regressive (hitting the poor harder than the rich) taxes we pay. Here are 76 Reasons to Audit and End the Fed.

Then yesterday, I was invited on Eric Dondero's Libertarian Politics show along with a panel of other bloggers to discuss current events. Listen to the show using the embedded player below and you'll get my take on indefinite detainment, Rand Paul's U.S. Senate campaign, Sarah Palin, 2010 elections I'm watching, and the health care monstrosity in the Senate:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Libertarian News (11/23/09)


Joe Kennedy running for Massachusetts Senator
I.T. professional Joe Kennedy (no relation to the American political family) is running to fill the vacant seat from Massachusetts left by the deceased Ted Kennedy.


Libertarian Reactions to Closing Guantanamo
Obama's decision to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center received mixed responses from notable libertarians. Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr and the founder of Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist came out in favor of Obama's move. And along with these two, American Conservative Union founder David Kean wrote a letter asking other conservatives to quit scaremongering about this issue. Meanwhile, 2010 US Senate candidate Rand Paul touched off a firestorm of controversy among his libertarian grassroots Internet base by strongly opposing Obama's decision.


Can the Libertarian and Green Party Work Together?
"I'm happy for us Libertarians to work with Greens on issues where we agree. I'm happy for Greens to be better civil libertarians, I'm happy for Libertarians to more green, and I'm happy for both to promote electoral reform, ballot access, and decentralizing government. But I'm against libertarian-leaning voters casting their vote in a way that announces they want less economic liberty or less personal liberty... [Full Article]"


What libertarians are looking for
"On November 10th, the Rainy Day Patriots (the group organized in conjunction with Birmingham Tea Parties) and Campaign for Liberty hosted a gubernatorial debate in Springville, Alabama... During the debate, Robert Bentley, Tim James and Bill Johnson all presented themselves as fiscal conservatives. However, one of these candidates decisively won the straw poll following the debate... [Full Article]"


Why Libertarianism Fails
This libertarian feels impotent against the entrenched wealth redistribution mindset. My response: Don't worry, sir! Populism is actually giving our side a boost at present (e.g. the Tea Parties among other things) as the government's redistribution seems to be steeply regressive these days. And with the resurgence of interest in libertarian thought, we may very well inspire an entire generation of "anti-redistributionists."


Was Dostoyevsky a libertarian?
"Dostoyevsky, like Huxley, sees that universal happiness is not the answer to the dilemma of human existence. He sees that the desire to systematically distribute 'happiness' throughout humanity is just as morally flawed as it is bound to fail. Most importantly, Dostoyevsky understands that despite however much one may claim to 'love' mankind (as an abstraction), that doesn’t mean he loves his fellow human beings on an individual basis (i.e. love his 'neighbor'). [Full Article]"


Libertarian calendar girls launch fundraiser
"LOLA, the Ladies of Liberty Alliance, have launched a fundraising effort to get their organization off the ground and into full pursuit of their primary goal, as stated on their website: 'Conspiring to attract libertarian women into the movement one activist at a time.' [Full Article]"

Ron Paul, Bipartisanship's Quiet Champion


By: Ryan Jaroncyk, THL Contributor

More and more Americans are growing tired of the bitter partisanship that has come to define our nation's politics. Republicans hate the Democrats, and Democrats hate the Republicans.

George W. Bush was supposed to be a "uniter, not a divider," yet he ended up bitterly dividing a nation. President Obama was supposed to heal those divisions, yet the nation seems even more polarized than ever under his leadership so far.

There is however, one individual who continues to buck the trend. This individual has demonstrated an uncanny ability to unite diverse political factions on a slew of critical issues. If there was ever a model for effective and principled bipartisanship, this individual fits the mold.

Most recently, this individual has united over 300 Republicans and Democrats on monetary policy reform. This individual has united two Democrats and two Republicans on potential war legislation. This individual has united diverse individuals, from the right and left, to consider an alternative strategy in Afghanistan.

Who is this mystery individual? Dr. Ron Paul. His Audit the Fed bill, H.R 1207 has garnered the support of every single House Republican, as well as over 100 Democrats in both the House and Senate.

On Afghanistan, he has joined one other Republican and two Democrats, so far, in proposing legislation for an immediate withdrawal. In addition, his concerns about the war in Afghanistan have inspired bipartisan criticism of the protracted effort.

For example, conservative commentator, George Will has issued a call for a much more limited and narrowly focused mission. Conservative Ret. Lieutenant Colonel, Ralph Peters has argued against further troop increases and has recommended far more limited objectives.

Richard Haas, a former Bush State Department official, has questioned the wisdom of committing more troops to an open-ended occupation. Robert Baer, a former CIA field operative, has called for a different strategy.

On the Democratic side, Vice President Biden appears to be offering significant resistance to more troops, and Arianna Huffington, the uber-"liberal", wrote an elegant, thought-provoking piece questioning the necessity of more troops and open-ended nation building.

On two of the most critical issues to our national security, Dr. Ron Paul has united individuals on the right and the left. On the issue of saving the U.S. Dollar, he has earned the support of over 200 Republicans and over 100 Democrats thus far. On Afghanistan, he has served as a catalyst for sparking a truly bipartisan critique of an eight-year war with no end in sight.

Now, many people disagree with Ron Paul. But, like or dislike him, his principled stands and ability to unite Republicans and Democrats on key issues are a breath of fresh air in a world dominated by rancorous, ineffective partisanship.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Republican Liberty Caucus Endorses RJ Harris

A couple days ago I was thrilled to learn that RJ Harris, US Congressional Candidate in Oklahoma's 4th District has been endorsed by The Republican Liberty Caucus.

Below is the RLC's letter of endorsement which you may also find at RJHarris2010.com:

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November 17, 2009

The Republican Liberty Caucus is pleased to announce its endorsement of R.J. Harris in his campaign to represent the 4th District of Oklahoma in the House of Representatives.

The RLC Board of Directors selected Mr. Harris as one of its first endorsed candidates for the 2010 primary season because of his issue stances in support of individual rights, limited government, and free enterprise. We believe Mr. Harris will be a strong defender of liberty as a member of Congress and an outstanding representative for the people of Oklahoma.

“As a soldier Mr. Harris has pledged his life to support and defend the Constitution. He has the character and integrity to be the next Congressman from Oklahoma because he has done something that most congressmen have not done, and that is he has actually reads and understands the Constitution,” said RLC National Committee member Dan Sheill.

Dave Nalle, of Texas, the national chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus, mentioned that “what separates R.J. Harris from most conservatives today is that he fully understands that respect for the 10th Amendment and federalism requires that Congress and the President cannot legislate social policy that is properly reserved to the states.”

The Republican Liberty Caucus wishes Mr. Harris good luck in his campaign, and will do everything in its power to promote him and Republican candidates like him to bring the Republican Party back to its core principles of individual liberty, limited government, and free enterprise.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rand Paul and Guantanamo Roundup

Photo By: Gage Skidmore

Clarifying Rand's Position on Guantanamo
After expressing my concern about Rand Paul's statements regarding Guantanamo, I got a message yesterday from Rand Paul 2010 spokesman Chris Hightower (whom I know personally and for whom I can vouch as a really great guy). He wrote to clarify Rand's position, and I've posted his clarifications to the Daily Paul here.


RJ's response to Rand's recent comments
"Rand, please reconsider your position on this issue. It is clear to me that now that you are the front runner some neo-cons have infiltrated your inner circle and tricked you with a false dichotomy choice to say that we either try the Guantanamo prisoners in civilian courts or hold them indefinitely in Gitmo. My fellow Patriots, even the greatest General commits errors in the rage of battle. Please give Rand an opportunity to retract these comments and clarify his position. Such is the size and scope of our legal errors prosecuting the "War on Terror" that they are nearly insurmountable. But if we will return to our founding principles, codified in the Constitution, the Spirit of the Founders will light our way." (full article)


Disagrees with Rand's Position. Still Supports Him.
"The mess of Guantanamo wouldn't have happened if we'd had a Rand Paul in the senate to force formal declaration at the time. (And yes. ONE Senator does have a lot more clout then one House Rep. Especially in an evenly divided Congress, I have no doubt a principled Senator could force the issue.) So when Rand Paul wins the US Senate race, he will be HANDS DOWN the most Small Government, non-interventionist individual in the US Senate." (full article)


This is what the Establishment wants
"Please, this is what the establishment wants. Divide and concur. Please don't let them succeed.

Trey Grayson attacked Rand on the issue because he knew it would be divisive. Trey new Paul either had to say one thing, and make the people of Kentucky very unhappy, or say another thing and cause problems in much of his national base.

Please read the two articles I've put together. This is definitely a very well orchestrated event by the Trey Grayson camp. And Rand, being a little green to the political process simply had trouble with handling it." (full thread)


Rand Paul and Gitmo Radio Show
Last night I did a radio show exclusively about this issue and talked with two callers about Guantanamo Bay. You can listen to the whole thing here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Is Beaman Automotive of Nashville Trying To Oust Matt Collins From the DCRP?

In a recent development regarding the attempted ousting of Constitutional Conservative, Matt Collins from the Davidson County Republican Party (more on this story here and here), it turns out that an e-mail of Mr. Collins' was leaked to a local online newspaper.

In it, Mr. Collins requests discovery of all e-mails regarding him and the potential removal of him from his position as First Vice Chair of the DCRP, listing several names of people personally and professionally involved in this matter.

What I found interesting was the name of Lee Beaman of Nashville's Beaman Automotive, who is listed as an Advisory Board member. As an adviser to Chairwoman Kathleen Starnes, whom Mr. Collins alleges has shown a deep personal animosity towards him, I am curious to know what role Mr. Beaman is playing in all of this.

I'm especially interested to know because part of the controversy over Matt Collins is his public refusal to shake hands with bailout voter, Zach Wamp. And if you examine the public records of Lee Beaman's donations, you'll find a trail of money that leads to "Friends of Zach Wamp."

Please bear in mind that I am not making an accusation here, but asking a legitimate and earnest question. I would really like to know. Is Lee Beaman of Beaman Automotive playing a role in the ousting of Matt Collins? Has he been advising Chairwoman Starnes to purge the County Party of Matt Collins and other "Ron Paul" Republicans? What does he think about all of this?

Why don't you consider e-mailing him and asking him? Especially if you're from Nashville Davidson County. I would be hesitant to purchase my next vehicle from Beaman Auto group before knowing where he stands on this issue, as he is a major voice in the local party.

Rand Paul on Guantanamo Bay


***Call in Radio Show on this issue tonight at 8 pm! Details below***

The Controversy


Many of Rand Paul's more libertarian supporters are concerned about his recent statements regarding the Guantanamo Bay detention center, though many of his more conservative supporters might be very pleased:

For Immediate Release
November 19, 2009

BOWLING GREEN, KENTUCKY – Leading United States Senate candidate Rand Paul today criticized the Obama administration’s decision to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center and try terrorism suspects in United States Civil Courts.

"Foreign terrorists do not deserve the protections of our Constitution," said Dr. Paul. "These thugs should stand before military tribunals and be kept off American soil. I will always fight to keep Kentucky safe and that starts with cracking down on our enemies."

This release yesterday has raised the ire of many of Rand Paul's supporters who align themselves closely with his father, Ron Paul's strict opposition to the continuing existence of the prison.

Reading through the comments at The Daily Paul or Mises Institute, it becomes apparent that Rand may have lost a large number of die-hard supporters over this controversy.


The Radio Show Tonight

Tonight I will be hosting a one hour, call-in radio show to get your thoughts about Rand's recent statements. The point of the show will be to have a real dialogue about this and to gather a representative sample of everyone's different thoughts- in part simply for Rand's benefit.

I will be e-mailing the recording of the show to Rand Paul's people so that they can put their finger to the pulse of what supporters think, from traditional "red-meat" conservatives to people in the Ron Paul R3volution camp.


Details

You can listen to the show live here, or here:

http://tinyurl.com/randpaulgitmo

It will be tonight (Fri, 11/20) at 8:00 PM Central Time

Call-in Number: (646) 929-2657

Depending on the volume of calls, I may not be able to get everyone on the show, but I will do my best to let as many people speak as possible while allowing each caller to have ample time to fully articulate their position. All thoughts and positions on this issue are welcome.


Disclosure

I am a strong Rand Paul supporter. I have worked actively to support and promote his campaign. I have donated a lot of money to his campaign.

I am a little shocked and worried about this development, but I also want to give Rand some time to fully explain and defend his position before making a judgment about it.

This whole situation carries a lot of nuance, so there's a lot of ground to be covered and questions to be asked.


Other info

Here are two great resources on this issue that offer two good arguments for closing down Guantanamo Bay, one Constitutional and one strategic.

Ronald Reagan's Greatest Disappointment


By: Ryan Jaroncyk, THL Contributor

Since 2007, the GOP has been prolifically citing President Ronald Reagan as its primary source of inspiration.

In 2007-2008, the presidential candidates mentioned Reagan a dizzying number of times in the debates, and popular conservative commentators such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity frequently appeal to him as the standard bearer of the Republican Party.

Reagan is viewed as the epitome of conservatism, a man whose tax cuts produced a veritable economic boom in the 1980s, whose foreign policy defeated the mighty Soviets, and whose philosophy of limited government, individual responsibility, and traditional family values shaped a nation.

While Reagan's reputation is unmatched in the conservative community, perhaps we should take a closer look at what he himself called his "greatest disappointment." For even great men make mistakes.

According to a Cato Institute analysis back in 1996, Reagan's fiscal policies generated a significant number of positive developments. GDP growth averaged 3.2% during his tenure, compared to 2.8% during the Ford-Carter years and 2.1% during the Bush I-Clinton years.

Real median family income rose by $4,000 during the Reagan years, while it remained static pre-Reagan, and fell by almost $1,500 post-Reagan. Interest rates, inflation, and unemployment fell faster under President Reagan than they did immediately before or immediately after his presidency.

Finally, the stock market rose by about 14% under his tenure. That's the good news. Now, here's the bad news.

Under Reagan, and a largely Republican Senate and Democratic House, budget deficits and national debt skyrocketed. During his presidency, the budget deficit ranged anywhere from $101 to $236 billion. Compare this with President Jimmy Carter, whose deficits ranged between $40-$74 billion.

On Reagan's watch, the national debt more than doubled, from about $1 trillion to a little over $2 trillion, in real terms. Federal spending grew by 22% in real terms, with military spending accounting for most of the increase. And finally, the US Dollar lost about 6% of its value.

So, as "conservatives" channel the Great Communicator as a catalyst for a GOP rebirth, perhaps they should reconsider. Does the GOP need another leader who increases federal spending, runs huge deficits, adds trillions to the national debt, and devalues the Dollar?

Didn't the GOP just go this route with George W. Bush? Bush, like Reagan, was a champion of tax cuts and limited government, yet he increased federal spending, ran huge deficits, added trillions to the national debt, and devalued the Dollar.

Perhaps the GOP needs to take a fresh approach as it chooses its next leader. How about a leader (or leaders) who champions tax cuts and limited government, AND reduces federal spending, balances the budget, lowers the debt, and increases the value of the Dollar?

How about a leader who can defend America without growing the size of government and exploding the size of the military budget? If the GOP is going to rail against Obama's excessive spending, deficits, debt, and Dollar devaluation, then how can it unreservedly fawn over a past icon who committed many of the same fiscal mistakes?

Is it because Reagan's spending, deficits, debt, and Dollar devaluation were merely less egregious than Obama's? Until the standard is raised, and until this contradiction is addressed in an honest manner, the GOP will continue to suffer a credibility problem on fiscal matters.

Perhaps the time has come for the GOP to seek a new brand of leadership that can build on Reagan's strengths and rectify his weaknesses. After all, even Reagan acknowledged that the increase in the national debt was his "greatest disappointment."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

All I want for Christmas is... OBAMACARE?


By: Heidi Moseley, THL Contributor

I think not. Nancy Pelosi said that she hopes to get her monstrosity of health care "reform" passed by Christmastime for the American people. Strange… I don’t remember sitting on Nancy Claus’ lap telling her I wanted a 1900 page bill that will cost the taxpayers (you and me) over a trillion dollars. I actually told Santa that I wanted brown leather boots for Christmas.

Why do Nancy and the rest of her cronies think that they know what I need better than I do? Because they are "Progressives" who think that We the People are stupid and cannot make good enough choices for ourselves so they must step in and do it for us. Speaker Pelosi: I do not want what you’re handing out for Christmas. My husband and I know what is best for our family, not you, Nancy. This is just one more example of Progressives thinking they know how to take care of us instead of letting us succeed or fail on our own.

Some people do make the choice to not have health insurance, but they still receive health care by paying for it themselves or using the emergency room as a Primary Care Provider. There is not a health care shortage. Yes, there are probably 8-10 million people out there who would like to purchase health insurance but are not able to due to pre-existing conditions, but not the 46 million President B. O. likes to tout.

When you take out those who choose not to have health insurance but can afford it and illegal aliens who should not receive taxpayer dollars, the numbers are much more manageable. Why would it take over $1,200,000,000,000.00 (that’s a lot of 0’s!) to cover 8-10 million people? It would be considerably more efficient, not to mention cheaper, to move those people onto the unconstitutional Medicaid program.

So Nancy Claus all I really want for Christmas is freedom. Freedom to choose my insurance provider. Freedom to choose to not have insurance. Freedom to choose if and when and how to be charitable to those less fortunate. Freedom to live my life as I see fit and deal with the consequences of my actions.

And I still want those boots too.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Obama = Bush 2.0, the Book


I am currently working on my first book, which is an expanded and comprehensive look at the many striking similarities between the Obama Administration and the Bush Administration it was elected to replace.

As it turns out, all of the biggest reasons for disliking Mr. Obama are the very same reasons Americans so strongly disapproved of George W. Bush at the time of his departure earlier this year.

Or to put it conversely, if you disliked George W. Bush and you take an honest inventory of the facts, you should dislike Obama's Administration too- maybe even more.

I plan to be done with my first draft of the book soon and sending queries to publishers shortly thereafter. In the meantime, here's a sneak peek at an excerpt from a rough version of my introductory chapter:


"It's too early to say" and other objections:

When I set out to write this book and started to share its ideas and content with others, I hit a lot of resistance from people who said "It's way too early to say anything about the Obama Administration. He's only been President for x months. You can't blame him for not fixing everything overnight. He inherited a huge mess of things from the Bush Administration. Rome wasn't built in a day, you know."

So allow me to begin by clarifying exactly why this is not the case and why this line of argumentation is predicated on a fundamental misconception of my entire thesis. It is not that Mr. Obama hasn't done enough to clean up "Mr. Bush's mess" in the last few months. My quarrel with Obama is that he has in fact done so much, so very radically much in such a short time, that not only continues all of the worst aspects of the Bush Administration, but in many cases does so at an accelerated rate, dwarfing by comparison the damage inflicted to our republic during the presidency of George W. Bush.

To use an analogy: Imagine that America is a house and for eight days, George W. Bush threw a wild and reckless party, trashing the entire property. If after one day of picking up litter and mopping away refuse, Barack Obama had a lot of straightening up left to do to make the house presentable again, he could be forgiven. A criticism of him would be unfair and premature, but throughout the rest of this book, you'll see how this is not the case.

In fact, what has happened is that the house's new resident has thrown an even wilder, more reckless party and trashed the place in much the same way its previous resident had- and astonishingly, has managed to do a comparable amount of "trashing" in a relatively much shorter period of time. In the end, I am not criticizing President Obama for "not doing enough good" in such a short period of time, but for somehow managing to "do so much bad" in a remarkably brief space. Thus, it is not too early to write this book. Instead, the sheer volume of criticisms I will be able to set forth so early on in Mr. Obama's Administration should be a further indictment against him.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Message for Mitt Romney


THL reader and commentator, Hans Mentha (whose flag I featured here earlier), sent me this copy of an appalling letter from Mitt Romney with Mr. Mentha's very appropriate response.

Here are the messages, Mentha's first:

Mitt -

These are not Republican victories so long as the GOP continues to support RINO candidates like Dede Scozzafava.

THESE ARE CONSERVATIVE VICTORIES of the grassroots movement.

Once we clean the Democrats out of office, we are coming after Republicans.

We are the people who vote NONE OF THE ABOVE to "party politics" and corruption in America.

When you run candidates who can articulate AND LIVE the message "I BELIEVE" (attached PDF), you may earn my vote.

Hans

Text from the attachment:

I BELIEVE :
…have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of…
Only if one believes in something can one act purposefully


1. An individual is the fundamental unit of human value, and society must be constructed only through appropriate aggregation of individuals.

2. The moral basis necessary for individuals to prosper in peace is completely defined by the “ideal laws for a civil society”:
  • Do not encroach upon others or their property
  • Do all that you agreed to do.
3. Negative rights, or rules against coercion, are the appropriate basis for establishment of relationships among individuals.

4. Natural rights, derived from 1,2 and 3, exist prior to establishment of law or government and define an individuals’ liberty, or freedom to:
  • Own, develop and dispose of property (products of labor)
  • Bear arms for defense of self, family and property
  • Establish free associations, contracts and self-government
  • Assemble, speak and petition to redress encroachments or breaches.
5. Capitalism is the only economic system that is compatible with liberty, and any attempt to incorporate altruism or collectivism is a violation of 1, 2, 3, 4.

6. Liberty can remain secure only if government is so limited that it cannot infringe upon the natural rights of an individual or the capital markets.

7. These United States should be restored to a limited Federal government as defined in the US Constitution and its’ first Ten Amendments.

8. Once restoration has been achieved, the Constitution should be reviewed and edited, to eliminate ambiguities of language and make structural corrections to prevent the re-growth of National government. Examples:
  • Explicit definitions for “common good” and “commerce” clause
  • Limits on the scope and authority of the Supreme Court
  • Establishment of term limits; prohibition of political parties.

Now Mitt's message:

Hans,

What a great election yesterday! It's exhilarating to wake up to headlines of conservative victories in the battleground elections in Virginia and New Jersey. The American people have sent a very strong message to the liberals in Washington, DC that big government is not the answer, and that conservatism is still alive and well.

With your help , we've been working hard at my Free and Strong America PAC to spread the core principles that are at the heart of making America a stronger nation and which fortify our party -- that a competitive America is one where taxes are low and government is small, that our military superiority must never be compromised, that our cultural values need to be cherished and that unleashing the power of the free market is key to our economic future.

We worked extremely hard on behalf of Bob McDonnell and the entire Republican ticket in Virginia, and helped him close strong with a full day of campaigning in the final week; in New Jersey, we endorsed Chris Christie early and made sure he had the resources to be competitive against his better-financed opponent; in Michigan, we raised money for Republican Mike Nofs, who captured a key State Senate seat previously held by a Democrat; and we worked tirelessly for our friend and ally Barbara Comstock, a leading fixture in the conservative movement, who won an uphill fight for a House of Delegates seat in Virginia, where she'll be a reliable vote for Governor-elect McDonnell's conservative agenda.

We didn't stop there. So far in 2009, my PAC has donated nearly $120,000 to candidates and conservative causes around the nation, including a last-minute $5,000 donation to Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in New York's 23rd congressional district. I've given speeches at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the Club for Growth, the Values Voter Summit, the Heritage Foundation, the Foreign Policy Initiative conference and the AIPAC National Summit. Each of these events helped promote our shared conservative ideals and hopefully influenced the debate on the critical issues facing us.

We should be proud of what we have accomplished together; but this is no time to rest on our laurels. We must begin building upon these victories today to ensure that we have the resources we need to take back the Congress in 2010. Next year I'll also be traveling the country talking about my upcoming book, "No Apology: The Case for American Greatness," which will be published in March. I believe that the decisions we make today will determine what course America takes, and I want to make sure we remain the world's economic and military superpower.

Hans, will you stand with us by making a contribution of $25, $50, $100, $250, $1,000 -- all the way to the maximum of $5,000 -- toward this effort?

Republicans are well positioned to show new strength as a party this year. We will take that momentum into the crucial 2010 mid-terms. Our work begins anew. With you by our side, we are sure that today's victories are the first of many to come.

Best,

Mitt Romney

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lip Service


Editor's Note: Inspired by "Indexed"

National Security Alert: The US Dollar is in Serious Trouble

A 50 million mark Weimar Republic banknote worth $1 USD

By: Ryan Jaroncyk, THL Contributor

I'm not one to be an alarmist, but this is serious folks.

Over the last few months, central banks around the world put a whopping 63% of their cash into Euros and Yen, instead of the U.S. Dollar. Though not widely reported, this is a seismic shift. Normally, the U.S. Dollar is the top choice for central bank reserves.

Overall, the US Dollar represents 62% of the currency reserves at central banks, an all-time record low, and this percentage continues to precipitously drop. What does this all mean?

It means the US financial system may be about to receive the shock of its life, making the "Panic of '08" look like a stroll in the park.


How did we get here?

To make a long story short, the recent pace of Dollar devaluation began to accelerate under President Bush, a Republican-led Congress, and Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan. Insistent on stimulating the economy out of the 2000-2001 recession, the Federal Reserve began lowering interest rates to artificial levels.

The Federal Government began borrowing and spending gargantuan amounts of money. Huge deficits began to emerge, and trillions were added to the national debt. American consumers were also busy spending themselves into oblivion.

Then, in the latter part of Bush's term, Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke pushed the Dollar to an all-time record low with vast amounts of money printing and record low interest rates. A Democratic-led Congress further accelerated out-of-control spending from 2007-2008.

Finally, the "Panic of '08" struck, the Federal Government was bailing out Wall Street, and the Federal Reserve was printing trillions of dollars out of thin air to prop up the system.


What's happening now?

President Obama and a Democratic-led Congress have exploded the budget deficit to stratospheric levels and added trillions more to the national debt in a short period of time. After a brief rise during last year's panic, the Dollar is once again approaching its 2008 record low.

Due to a fragile economy and 10% unemployment, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke remains resistant to raising interest rates anytime soon. Gold is setting new, nominal records. Global markets, particularly in China, Russia, India, and Brazil, are experiencing monstrous rebounds, much more significant than our own 55% rally off the March low.

The international community is beginning to express grave concern over the value of the US Dollar due to unsustainable debt levels and inflationary policies at the Fed.


What happens if the Dollar drops rapidly?

Prices of goods and services will skyrocket, oil prices will surge, investment portfolios will lose tremendous value in actual terms, and the U.S. market will experience unprecedented panic. Civil unrest could ensue.

The U.S. Dollar is the lifeblood of our economy. When a nation's currency becomes utterly devalued, the standard of living plummets. America's superpower status would be in serious jeopardy.


What can we do about it?

First, listen to those who predicted the crisis in the first place. Just like in the scientific world, valid models make accurate predictions. Gerald Celente, one of the world's top trends forecasters, specifically predicted the "Panic of '08".

US Senate candidate and investment guru, Peter Schiff, is famous for predicting a stock, credit, and housing collapse. Jim Rogers, the billionaire investor, called it. Nouriel Roubini, an NYU economist, warned of a serious recession.

Marc Faber, a top investment analyst, was sounding the alarm bells. And of all the 2008 presidential candidates, both Republican and Democrat, only one warned about a Dollar crisis and an imminent, severe recession: Dr. Ron Paul.

All of these individuals were ridiculed, scoffed at, or second-guessed, right up until the time their prescient forecasts were fulfilled. Now, these guys are hot commodities on all the major news networks. And what are most of them warning about now? The collapse of the Dollar. Look them up and take the necessary, precautionary steps.

Second, take this threat seriously. This is nothing less than the most pressing national security concern. Climate change, health care, cap and trade, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are all critical issues, but, they are all dependent on the health of the Dollar.

If the Dollar falls, there will be no funding for any of these other endeavors. And if you think it can't fall, recall how only a year before the "Panic of '08" hit, the U.S. stock market had been at an all-time record high.

Third, take a proactive approach. Educate yourself about the Federal Reserve. Read some history about empires and nation-states that experienced currency crises and inflationary outbreaks. Scour the Internet for those who predicted the current crisis. Watch them on YouTube.

Put the next round of candidates to the test. If they have previously held office, how did they vote on fiscal matters? If they ran as candidates, did they predict the crisis? Are they talking about the US Dollar now? What are their specific proposals to head off a disastrous currency collapse?

America, the clock is ticking! A grave threat to our national security is knocking at the door. Unless we act soon, we may find ourselves in the graveyard of empires.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Libertarian News (11/15/09)


"Glibertarianism" and Knee-Jerk Anti-Leftism
Interesting thoughts in this article, which warns that "In what they argue about, how passionately they argue about it, what hills they decide to die on, many libertarians care far more about resisting what they perceive to be a dogmatic or empty liberal agenda far more than they care about implementing their own agenda."


Libertarian Scholar Backs Drug Legalization

"Rooting his talk in the tenets of libertarianism, scholar Walter Block advocated last Thursday for the legalization of all drugs as the solution to eradicating the negative repercussions of government regulation. In place of the current legal regime, he argued for a competitive market."


Libertarian litigators challenge Dallas sign ban
"The Texas Chapter of the Institute for Justice, a nonprofit libertarian organization based in Washington DC, filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday against the city of Dallas' sign ordinance. The ordinance, according to a Dallas Morning News article, restricts where and how many signs stores can post in their front windows, glass doors, and on the building's fa├žade."


Glenn Beck Responds to South Park
Glenn Beck reminds us that the South Park creators are libertarians before playing clips from their most recent episode, which parodied him:



And oh snap! Alex Jones' website says Beck shouldn't be surprised that he's being parodied by the South Park guys because he's not a true libertarian.


Left nor Right embracing liberty
What a breath of fresh air this article is! It's rare and deeply satisfying to read someone write about liberty, "the left," and "the right" in a way that isn't entirely muddle-headed.


The Rand Renaissance?
Campus Progress takes a look at the burgeoning libertarian youth movement on America's college campuses from a "progressive" perspective.


Want to Run on the Libertarian Party Ticket?
Here's how.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Small Mindedness


Inspired by a comment left by my friend from Poli-Tea.

Open Thread 11/14/09

Whatever you want to gab about, folks!

Lay it on me...

Climate Change Quote of the Day


A "scientific consensus" is not science. "Consensus" is a political word. Politicians reach "Consensus." Scientists reach "factual conclusions" based on evidence.

Source: "Climate Change is All About Power"

Friday, November 13, 2009

Funny Picture of John McCain


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Uh yeah- this John McCain pic is the most hilarious thing I've seen all week (and simultaneously the most truly frightening). Hat tip: to @mparent77772 for tweeting it. I have a suspicion it's less appealing to the "Hannah Montana" demographic than this:



But in all seriousness, if I had to "index" this, I'd draw something like this:



So please comment and tell me which this John McCain picture is more of- scary or funny. I'm going to have to go with funny here, but the kid in the pic would probably disagree.

Why So Many Conservative Sex Scandals?

With interest in Carrie Prejean soaring to new highs after her "sex tape" controversy and odd behavior on Larry King Live, some people may find themselves asking the question: "Why do conservatives always get caught up in sex scandals?"

It seems every time you turn around, another conservative preacher is tearfully apologizing for committing adultery, or another Republican politician is under investigation for committing some crime related to a scandalous affair.

There's Larry Craig, the Republican Senator from Idaho; there's Republican Senator John Ensign of Nevada; then there's the very strange affair of Mark Sanford, the Republican Governor of South Carolina; and among (many) others, now there's conservative crusader Carrie Prejean, who's under fire for a nude video she filmed of herself years ago.

Indeed, it seems that there are as many conservative sex scandals as there are Democrat tax scandals! But why? There may be a clue in the biology and neuroscience of human sexuality.

The renowned psychiatrist, neuroscientist, and brain-imaging specialist, Dr. Daniel Amen may have the answer. In his book, Making a Good Brain Great, Dr. Amen explains that your "sexiest" organ is your brain, that in fact while it may feel genital, sex actually "happens" in your brain. Your right hemisphere, Amen says, is the most associated with sexual feelings and orgasm according to several studies.

Interestingly the same part of your right hemisphere that is most closely associated with sexuality, is the part that lights up the most during brain imaging when you have spiritual or religious feelings. In fact, by stimulating it, scientists have been able to produce feelings of spirituality and "closeness with God" in subjects.

It is also the right hemisphere that is the most visceral, instinctive, and deeply emotional. An overactive right hemisphere may induce you to inappropriately yell "You lie!" during a Presidential speech for instance, or show up to town hall meetings fired up and angry about government excess. It's the part of the brain that is deeply moved by patriotic music and imagery.

Is a picture starting to emerge? Perhaps it's no mistake that conservatives are considered "right-leaning" as they may have more dominant right hemispheres as a group. This is why "conservatives" tend to be more religious than the rest of the population. This graph by the Pew Research Center tells the whole story:


And this might be the very same reason that religious conservatives always seem to be getting themselves caught up in controversial sex scandals. As a group, conservative brains may just tend to be more active in the key center of the brain that controls religious feelings, deep emotions, and yes- sexuality.

Strangely enough, people like Carrie Prejean who are devoutly religious and define themselves as more conservative, may also have a much higher libido and deeper fixation on sexuality than their "less pious" peers, and for the very same reason as they are likely to go to church or pull the level for Republican candidate.

This may also account for other empirical phenomena. Right-hemisphere dominance may interestingly lead "conservatives" to be more warm and empathetic, which is why it is documented that they tend to be more charitable in their alms-giving than "liberals."

It may also be the reason why conservatives are fixated on sex in general. If they're not having it with their mistresses in Argentina on the dime of South Carolina taxpayers, they're still talking about it, worrying about it, and regulating it.

This theory also accounts for the University of Chicago's comprehensive study on American sexuality, The Social Organization of Sexuality, which found that religious women were having better sex than their non-religious peers, and that the more religious and more conservative the women- the better the sex (as measured in orgasms)!

Interesting huh? Of course this is all conjecture, and I am no expert in neuroscience myself. It does however, seem striking and even elegant in its explanatory power doesn't it? The pieces just seem to fit together when you remember that the "God center" in the right hemisphere of the brain is also the "sex center."


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