Monday, May 31, 2010

5 Tips for Effective Political Blogging

This is as much for the benefit of my other contributors here at The Humble Libertarian as it is for all of you readers who have blogs of your own or contribute to blogs like The Daily Paul or Campaign for Liberty. The Leadership Institute's CampusReform.org has 5 tips for effective political blogging, and they are in short: frequency, links, graphics, wit, and brevity.



W. E. Messamore, Editor in Chief
Articles | Author's Page

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Live Show Tonight - The Humble Libertarian's Summer Kickoff Event

How's this for transparency? I wanted to have a meeting with The Humble Libertarian's contributors about our mission for The Humble Libertarian and our Summer plan to make it happen, and after considering some possible teleconferencing options, I decided to just broadcast the meeting live on BlogTalkRadio because you listeners are a major part of this, are invested (both financially and politically) in this, and are the key to our success.

This is about mobilizing and equipping you to take the message and political agenda of libertarianism to the world around you so that we can all live in a more free, prosperous, and peaceful world. Join us live tonight at 8:00 pm Central Time by visiting this page to stream the program live to your computer. The call-in number is 646.929.2657

Thanks so much!
Wes



W. E. Messamore, Editor in Chief
Articles | Author's Page

Headline Roundup (5/30/10)

Today's headline roundup includes a look at today's savvy young entrepreneurs, Obama's assent to the startling U.N. Small Arms Treaty to take away your handguns, more racism from the "progressive" left, a hilarious parody of Congressional micromanagement, a sobering look at the national debt, an expensive milestone for the wars in the Middle East, a mea culpa from the military for the civilian deaths of dozens of Afghans this February, and two examples of what I'm starting to suspect is an epidemic of police stupidity and ineptitude.

  • Meet the new young millionaires: "Forget Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. The founders of Facebook, YouTube, and other upstart companies are shaking up the business world -- and making millions along the way."
  • 2nd Amendment Alert! Is Barack Obama about to team up with the United Nations to take your guns away? "This week, the Obama administration announced its support for the United Nations Small Arms Treaty. This international agreement poses real risks for freedom both in the United States and around the world by making it more difficult -- if not outright illegal -- for law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms."
  • More progressive racism: Bill Maher says Obama isn't acting like a "real black president." Full quote: "I thought when we elected a black president, we were going to get a black president. You know, this [BP oil spill] is where I want a real black president. I want him in a meeting with the BP CEOs, you know, where he lifts up his shirt where you can see the gun in his pants. That's -- (in black man voice) 'we've got a motherfu**ing problem here?' Shoot somebody in the foot."
  • Hilarious video: Congressmen demand passage of the "IHOP Should Stay Open All Night Act" in an emergency session of Congress. (Sad fact: This is actually pretty much the kind of crap that Congress does all year in real life.)
  • National Insanity: Despite a national debt that just soared past $13 Trillion less than a week ago, Congress goes on a spending spree. "Taken together, the Democratic-led U.S. Congress is trying to find a way to pass about $300 billion more in unfunded spending before Memorial Day -- a spending spree that rivals anything drunken sailors have been accused of."
  • Wars' Price Tag Reaches $1 Trillion: "As of 10:06 on Sunday, May 30th, we will have spent $1 trillion in Iraq and Afghanistan. A trillion dollars is a baffling amount of money. If you write it out, use twelve zeros. Even after serving in Congress for over a decade, I, like most Americans, still have a hard time wrapping my head around sums like this."
  • Civilian Deaths: "A biting U.S. military report released Saturday criticized 'inaccurate and unprofessional' reporting by operators of unmanned drones for contributing to a mistaken February airstrike that killed and injured dozens of civilians in southern Afghanistan."



W. E. Messamore, Editor in Chief
Articles | Author's Page

No Shame: The Case Against Mitt Romney


Editor's note - In the following book review of No Apology: The Case for American Greatness by Mitt Romney (323 pages, $26.95), The Humble Libertarian's Carl Wicklander takes a critical look at the deep internal contradictions and phony intellectualism of one of the GOP's unlikely darlings (the architect of RomneyCare, a universal, single-payer system which formed the model for ObamaCare). With a great deal of humor and wit, Wicklander deftly exhibits the hollowness of Romneyism in the book review below (not that Romney made it difficult for him).



It’s hard to imagine a worse presidential contender than Mitt Romney. Yet, he nearly won the 2008 Republican presidential nomination and whether conservatives will admit it or not, Romney is the most likely member of the party to win the nomination in 2012.

The flip-flopping, status quo defending, conventional wisdom-spouting pol is certainly viewed as “safe” and “electable” by the Republican establishment and as a “tolerable Republican” by the Democrats. 1964 excepted, this is the course Republicans always take. Despite the grassroots’ anger over Romneycare becoming Obamacare, Republicans should get comfortable with a Romney candidacy.

Editors Rich Lowry and Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review, the so-called helm, of so-called conservatism, are still behind him. A Rasmussen poll shows that Romney, three years out, is the strongest Republican opponent to Obama -- a 45-45 statistical dead heat. The same poll says Obama would beat Sarah Palin 48-42. Mike Huckabee’s political star is fading and the party still refuses to acknowledge the existence of Ron Paul who will be 76 during the primary season.

Make no mistake, Mitt Romney is running for president. Nobody writes a book like No Apology unless they’re running for something. And Mitt Romney is always running for something. With entire chapters dedicated to topics such as health care, education, energy, and four chapters wailing about foreign policy, Mitt Romney intends to be president.

But if Romney thinks he will be able to effectively challenge President Obama in 2012, he does have some convincing left to do – and not just the Democrats he spent his pre-2008 political career trying to schmooze.

While he should face little resistance to his atrocious foreign policy, the GOP base is sure to have huge question marks about Romney’s unfolding positions on abortion, gay marriage, and the bank bailouts.

The American Conservative columnist Daniel Larison has quipped that Romney should just not talk about foreign policy because he seems hopelessly confused, conflating differing sects of Islam with each other, exposing inexcusable ignorance of the millennia-old rivalries between Sunni and Shiite. But as George W. Bush proved, simple regional and religious ignorance may be just part of the job qualifications.

The self-stated purpose of No Apology is that American greatness is inherent and there is no reason for America to feel sorry about anything ever, the meme used by statists in both parties to indicate that there is no difference between a government and its people.

Through this, it is implied that No Apology is the antithesis to the supposed “Apology Tour” of President Obama. In practice, the purpose seems to be that Mitt Romney believes he can take both sides of an argument at the same time and think that that makes him smart. Also, it becomes evident that in addition to offering no "I’m sorrys," Mitt Romney offers no justifiable defense, or apology, for past Republican failures he fully intends to repeat.

An example of this shows up in Chapter 2 when Romney gives a great deal of attention to why great nations fall, i.e. when they isolate themselves and refuse to accept the changes of modernity:

“While Europe embarked on the early stages of manufacturing, the Ottomans did not; . . . The Ottomans’ growing isolation from the dynamic world of manufacture and trade was reinforced by the conviction that their holy scriptures provided all the knowledge that was necessary; foreign technology was infidel technology. The empire banned the printing press for half a century.” (37)

And about China:

“For the Ottomans, the Qur’an contained everything that life required; for the Chinese, it was their ancient culture . . . But rather than viewing learning and innovation as paths to prosperity, [Mao Zedong] saw them as threats.” (39)

Remarkably, the author of No Apology wrote the following statements in Chapter 3:

“. . . Mao never really took to modernity and technology, and his military continued to reflect that prejudice, maintaining a massive four-million-soldier army as only a weak compensation for the nation’s obsolete or non-existent weapons systems and logistical support. It wasn’t until approximately twenty years ago that China decided to build a modern world-class military. . .”

“Rather than embracing discovery, the Islamic fundamentalists condemn it. For them, the Qur’an contains all information and learning that is needed, and everything that should be known. In this view, modernity itself is evil – contemporary law, business practices, social mores, tolerance, rationalism, and scientific inquiry are heresy. And as the world’s epicenter of innovation and intellectual discovery, America is emblematic of the world’s sinful pursuit of everything forbidden by Allah.” (64-65, 66)

It’s difficult to concisely summarize Romney’s cognitive dissonance. On the one hand he seems to argue that great and powerful nations fall when they refuse to adapt to change and embrace technology and modern innovations. He uses the dissolution of the grandest Islamic empire as evidence of that. But on the other hand, bands of terrorists who do not accept modernity and represent a backward worldview, are inexplicably more dangerous than the Ottomans themselves or Mao’s pre-modern military.

But this is also symptomatic of the fundamental phoniness of Mitt Romney.

He draws some comparisons from history and hopes the reader will accept Romney’s fa├žade of intellectualism at face value. How can Romney honestly think, six inches beneath his mound of hair gel, that 4 percent of GDP is required to battle an enemy that he has already explained has sown the seeds of their own futility by refusing to accept modern innovations?

Even on a subject about which Romney is generally accepted as having unique knowledge, the economy, he again rides both sides:

“It doesn’t make sense to bail out individual companies or banks or financial institutions that get in trouble. As we’ve seen, creative destruction is part of a growing, productive economy. Bailing out sick enterprises . . . merely prolong the final act.

“But Secretary Paulson’s proposal was not aimed at saving sick Wall Street banks or even at preserving jobs on Wall Street. . . . It did in fact keep our economy from total meltdown. (127-128)

Here Romney uncritically repeats the conventional wisdom used by both corporate parties to justify the largest redistribution of wealth in history. What’s worse is that he essentially repeats Bush’s lie that he had to abandon his free-market principles to save the free market.

This time it’s Romney who is fine with abandoning the concept of “creative destruction,” the way the market rewards good businesses and eliminates poor ones, for a titanic propping-up of the banks, as if their industry should have been immune from the laws of economics.

Apparently it has never occurred to ol’ Mitt that much of the American economy was already propped up by an illusion of wealth created by the Federal Reserve and that rescuing the banks only prolongs a tragic final act that is yet to come.

But perhaps Romney’s most brazen attempt at obfuscation is the most predictable one: Massachusetts health care.

It isn’t difficult to see why. Just as Romney’s amorphous position on abortion (one dependant on which office he’s seeking), might have been enough to derail his 2008 presidential bid, his signature achievement as governor of Massachusetts is what is temporarily angering conservatives in 2010.

He addresses the situation in Chapter 7, "Healing Health Care":

“In 2009, the national health-care policy supported by President Barack Obama was often and erroneously reported as being based upon the plan we had enacted in Massachusetts. There were some very big differences – in particular, our plan did not include a public insurance option.” (176)

On this much Romney is right. At the time of the book’s writing, the so-called Massachusetts Model, which mandated that all citizens purchase health insurance, was not the same as the public option plan that was eventually discarded.

However, since No Apology went to press, the new health care law, which mandates health insurance for all Americans, does more closely resemble the Massachusetts Model, casting the proverbial aspersions on Romney’s claim that his model is different and likely putting a smile on Obama’s face when he sees Romney’s blabbering doubletalk on TV.

Republicans salivating at the prospect of an inevitable Obama defeat in 2012 should exercise caution when assuming that any suit or skirt will win. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act might be ancient history by then and Mitt Romney is just unprincipled enough to play John Kerry to Barack Obama’s George W. Bush.

And there would be no apology big enough for that.



Carl Wicklander, Regular Columnist
Articles | Author's Page | Website

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Headline Roundup (5/29/10)

Today's headline roundup includes more questions and no new answers in Obama's evolving SestakGate scandal, another exception to Obama's transparency promises, child fingerprinting in the U.K. to check out library books, an indictment of the party duopoly's "mainstream" insanity, a touching video, two examples of Anti-Constitutionalism, the rightful pardon of two homosexuals jailed in Malawi for the "crime" of getting engaged, and 25 years of lies from the Associated Press.

  • More questions and no new answers in the brewing "SestakGate" scandal- allegations that the Obama Administration made an illegal job offer as a bribe to Congressman Joe Sestak in exchange for not challenging Obama-supporter Arlen Specter in the recent Democratic U.S. Senate primary.
  • Transparency- not: Remember back when people actually took Obama's transparency promises seriously? More stonewalling from the White House- this time on inquiries into the causes of the global economic crisis.
  • Police State: Children as young as four being fingerprinted to borrow books from the library in the United Kingdom.
  • Who you calling crazy? Glenn Greenwald argues that the "mainstream" two-party orthodoxy is full of plenty of crazy ideas, and that "mainstream" criticisms of "fringe" politics are fundamentally unserious. It's also a very sober look at the quite sane, very reasonable politics of Congressman Ron Paul. A must read.
  • This video will move you to tears: An 8 month old baby hears for the first time as his cochlear implant is turned on. We live in a truly amazing world. Technology and human imagination made it possible.
  • Pleading the First: Cops detain Colorado man for wearing "Yes We Cannabis" t-shirt at local mall. Details here and here.
  • Malawi Pardon's jailed gay couple: "A gay couple jailed in Malawi after getting engaged have been pardoned by President Bingu wa Mutharika."



W. E. Messamore, Editor in Chief
Articles | Author's Page

Rasmussen Poll: 80% Favor Auditing the Fed

"Eighty percent (80%) of Americans now agree with Congress that auditing the Federal Reserve Board is a good idea, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Just nine percent (9%) oppose an audit of the Fed, and 12% more are not sure." So why hasn't Congress ACTED yet!!?



Matt Collins, Regular Columnist
Articles | Author's Page

Relevant Reverence: Indie-Rock Music From a Christian Libertarian



There seem to be two major “religious” sides in the American Libertarian community. Ayn Rand vs. Jesus. And while I’m a proud political Randian, it’s my Christian faith that started me down a path looking for a consistent political philosophy to match it.

For those of you with similar stories, I wanted to shamelessly plug my latest musical effort. “The Fallen Cry” is my band’s attempt to bring back honesty to the worship experience in the Americanized Church. Unlike today’s wholly positive anthems, David’s original Psalms ranged the full spectrum of human emotions, including frailty, weakness and doubt. Yet, we avoid these, and instead sing along to song lyrics that don’t always reflect the reality of our hearts.

If you like indie-rock instrumentalism and hate typical church music, visit www.relevantreverence.com and listen to a few tracks off the new record. And as a special offer, if you decide to buy the album on iTunes, e-mail me your receipt at eric@relevantreverence.com, and I’ll send you our first album, “Still Running”, a musical interpretation of the parable of the prodigal son, absolutely free.

Now go and continue your search for freedom in every aspect of your life.



By: Eric Olsen, Regular Columnist
Articles | Author's Page | Website

Friday, May 28, 2010

Headline Roundup (5/28/10)

Today's headline roundup includes updates on the evolving "SestakGate" scandal (was Bill Clinton involved?), the U.K.'s enthusiastic reception of the iPad's launch, some very unsettling news about the Census Bureau and ObamaCare, the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the EPA's unconstitutional bid to become our dictators, a look at the upcoming X-Men prequel, an absolutely crucial video about the banking crisis, and something that would be so cute if it weren't so sad.

Originally posted at Young Americans for Liberty:

  • Culture of Corruption: Joe Sestak isn't the only Democrat claiming that the Obama Administration illegally offered him a job as a bribe not to run in the country's recent U.S. Senate primaries.
  • Clinton, Obama- Partners in Crime? "Senior White House advisers asked former President Bill Clinton to talk to Joe Sestak about whether he was serious about running for Senate, and to feel out whether he'd be open to other alternatives, according to sources familiar with the situation."
  • Welcome to the USSA: Census workers can enter your apartment in your absence! "What many Americans don’t realize, is that census workers — from the head of the Bureau and the Secretary of Commerce (its parent agency) down to the lowliest and newest Census employee — are empowered under federal law to actually demand access to any apartment or any other type of home or room that is rented out, in order to count persons in the abode and for 'the collection of statistics.' If the landlord of such apartment or other leased premises refuses to grant the government worker access to your living quarters, whether you are present or not, the landlord can be fined $500.00."
  • Don't Ask, Don't Tell was repealed by a 234 - 194 vote of the U.S. House of Representatives. Ron Paul voted for the repeal, earning the scorn of The Steady Conservative, who argues essentially that conservatism means conserving ancient Hebrew theocracy rather than Jeffersonian Democracy.
  • The Green Revolution: "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is carrying out one of the biggest power grabs in American history. The agency has positioned itself to regulate fuel economy, set climate and energy policy for the nation, and amend the Clean Air Act—powers never delegated to it by Congress."
  • The X-Men Prequel has its new Professor X in James McAvoy. The X-Men comics and movies were major social commentaries on issues like the Civil Rights movement, AIDS epidemic, and tolerance for homosexuality.
  • Video: Is there a banking crisis? "Hedge fund manager Hugh Hendry, a fan of Jesus Huerta de Soto, takes on Jeffrey Sachs. He makes a strong case for purging the system. Sachs is not pleased." This is a really important video for you to watch. Hendry makes an eloquent case for sanity.
  • Something fun to do with all those Federal reserve notes once they become worthless: money origami.



W. E. Messamore, Editor in Chief
Articles | Author's Page

Subpoenaed traffic cameras didn't show up to court!

Apparently an attorney tried to face his accuser in court by subpoenaing the traffic cameras that automatically generated him a ticket. The cameras did not show up in court. The hilarity ensued! Read the entire story here.



Matt Collins, Regular Columnist
Articles | Author's Page

Illegal Immigation: Libertarians vs Paleocon

Check out this video of Jack Hunter vs Don Boudreaux in a discussion over illegal immigration. Personally, I see valid points on both sides of the discussion. I see illegal immigration as trespassing. However I also understand that a free market in labor should exist and that the government is not the best entity to determine the supply of labor necessary to meet demand.

Watch video here.

Regardless of whatever happens, turning the country into a police state (REAL-ID, E-Verify, PASS-Act) to deal with the illegal immigration issue is not acceptable.



Matt Collins, Regular Columnist
Articles | Author's Page

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Headline Roundup (5/27/10)

Today's headline roundup covers the global financial crisis and its causes, Apple's meteoric rise, what could be President Obama's very own "Watergate scandal" and sliding poll numbers, and allegations of fraud against the TSA, after a woman lost a $24,000 watch at a government security checkpoint in an airport.

  • Financial Crisis: Is Europe heading for a meltdown? This financial crisis is worse than the sub-prime crash of 2008 because the sums are so much bigger and it is governments that are in dire straits. Edmund Conway explains the dangers.
  • How Central Planning Fails: In diagnosing the problems with Venezuela's economy, the Mises Institute offers some valuable insight into the European and United States economic crises.
  • Obama's Watergate? "An e-mail from Rep. Darrell Issa's (R-Calif.) campaign suggested Wednesday that the controversy over Rep. Joe Sestak's (D-Pa.) alleged administration job offer could be President Barack Obama's Watergate scandal."



W. E. Messamore, Editor in Chief
Articles | Author's Page

Culture of Corruption: Second Democrat Claims Obama Offered Him A Job

Has Barack Obama's corrupt, Chicago-style politics finally caught up with him? Joe Sestak isn't the only Democrat claiming that the Obama Administration illegally offered him a job as a bribe not to run in the country's recent U.S. Senate primaries. There's also Andrew Romanoff in Colorado:

On Sept. 27, 2009, the Denver Post reported that the Obama administration offered Senate candidate Romanoff a position if he canceled plans to run for the Democratic nomination against incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet.

The paper said the job offer, which specified particular jobs, reportedly was delivered by Jim Messina, Obama’s deputy chief of staff. One position the Post cited was a job at USAID, the foreign aid agency.

Messina contacted Romanoff soon after news leaked in August 2009 that Romanoff, former Colorado House speaker, would make a primary run against Bennet.

Romanoff turned down the offer and announced his candidacy. Obama then endorsed Bennet, who had been appointed in January 2009 to fill the seat vacated when Ken Salazar became secretary of the Interior.

But Romanoff trounced Bennet at last weekend's Colorado Democratic assembly, winning the top line on the August primary ballot.

The White House denied that Romanoff had been offered a job.

Who's lying? Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff, or Obama?



W. E. Messamore, Editor in Chief
Articles | Author's Page

Young Americans (Video)

Here's a little video I made yesterday for Young Americans for Liberty. In my opinion, one of the very most important things the libertarian movement in the United States can do is reach university students, who are bright, intelligent, savvy, hardworking, and intuitively see that something has gone terribly wrong with our society. They will be our nation's future, and they are the most receptive to our movement's ideas. Check it out:



If you enjoyed this video- please spread it far and wide!



W. E. Messamore, Editor in Chief
Articles | Author's Page

Could Governor Gary Johnson Become President?

The question is asked. To find out more about Gary Johnson, the small business owner-turned Republican Governor of New Mexico for eight years in the 1990s, visit Our America Initiative, and see what solutions he has to bring to the table.



Matt Collins, Regular Columnist
Articles Author's Page

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Headline Roundup (5/26/10)

Today's roundup covers Obama's most recent and very serious corruption scandal, more lies from the government about job creation, the unintended consequences of Arizona's illegal immigration crackdown, the Republicans' dire lack of solutions or substance, a cheap jab at Dick Cheney (but those are so fun), reasons why Facebook users are considering leaving, the national debt passing the 13 trillion dollar mark, and some libertarian solutions to fix our out-of-control health care system.

Re-posted from Young Americans for Liberty:

  • Corruption: Has Barack Obama committed an impeachable offense? Congressman Joe Sestak claims that he was offered a job by the Obama Administration to stay out of the Democratic Senate Primary with Obama-supporter Arlen Specter.
  • Unintended Consequences: "Arizona's new crackdown on illegal immigration will increase crime in U.S. cities, not reduce it, by driving a wedge between police and immigrant communities, police chiefs from several of the state's and the nation's largest cities said Tuesday"
  • Have $117,000? Because that's how much you owe as a taxpayer now that the national debt clock has hit 13 trillion dollars ($13,000,000,000,000)!
  • Libertarian Solutions: What's Really Wrong with the Health Care Industry? The real problem with the American healthcare system is that prices are continually rising, making healthcare unaffordable to an ever-increasing fraction of the population. And recent healthcare legislation has addressed none of the causes of high prices.



W. E. Messamore, Editor in Chief
Articles | Author's Page

Did Barack Obama Commit A Felony?

The World Net Daily reports: "The controversy revolves around an oft-repeated statement by Rep. Sestak, D-Pa., that he had been offered a job by the Obama administration in exchange for dropping out of the senatorial primary against Obama supporter Sen. Arlen Specter."

And if Congressman Joe Sestak "is to be believed, there's someone in the Obama administration who has committed a crime – and if the president knew about it, analysts say it could be grounds for impeachment." Could this be the beginning of the end of the Obama Administration? Have his corrupt, Chicago-style politics finally caught up with him?

Discussing the issue with Sean Hannity, former White House adviser to President Bill Clinton, Dick Morris said:

"This scandal could be enormous. It's Valerie Plame only 10 times bigger, because it's illegal and Joe Sestak is either lying or the White House committed a crime. Obviously, the offer of a significant job in the White House could not be made unless it was by Rahm Emanuel or cleared with Rahm Emanuel... that is a high crime and misdemeanor."

The video everyone should see and think about:





W. E. Messamore, Editor in Chief
Articles | Author's Page

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Headline Roundup (5/25/10)

Today's roundup covers a possible end to "don't ask, don't tell," the next big bailout, Jerry Springer's thoughts on Sarah Palin, 2010's historic shift in our nation's economy, Obama's low approval ratings, horrific police brutality, the next big celebrity to endorse pot legalization, a libertarian way to stimulate the economy, and ten awesome companies started by teenagers:

Double-posted from Young Americans for Liberty:

  • An End To Don't Ask, Don't Tell? The Pentagon, White House, and Congress have reached a consensus on language for a bill to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy which restricts homosexuals from openly serving in the military. The bill could come up for a vote in the House as early as this Thursday.
  • The Next Bailout: "A Democratic senator is introducing legislation for a bailout of troubled union pension funds. If passed, the bill could put another $165 billion in liabilities on the shoulders of American taxpayers." How many unemployed black teens- who suffer disproportionately because of union labor cartels- will get to see any of that money?
  • Police Brutality: A tragic story and the lessons we can learn from it- how aggressive SWAT tactics contributed to the death of 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones, who was shot through the throat by Detroit police.
  • Libertarian Solutions: Stimulus by Spending Cuts - The Cato Institute's exit strategy from the unsustainable fiscal and monetary stimulus of the last two years. History clearly shows the government that stimulates the best, taxes, spends, and intrudes the least.



W. E. Messamore, Editor in Chief
Articles | Author's Page

The Smear Bund Reloads

“I abhor racism; I think it’s a bad business decision to ever exclude anybody from your restaurant - but at the same time I do believe in private ownership, but I think there should be absolutely no discrimination in anything that gets any public funding.”

- Rand Paul, May 20, 2010

Fresh off a resounding primary win, Rand Paul didn’t leave himself much time for a “honeymoon” this week when he inadvertently uttered one of the Things You’re Not Allowed To Say.

Just what did he say? Did he espouse the merits of racism? Did he lament that the country did not elect Strom Thurmond’s Dixiecrats in 1948? Did our good and benevolent media handlers, who cannot possibly have an agenda of their own, catch Rand changing out of his surgical scrubs and into his Klan hood?

No. Rand Paul simply made a statement intolerable to our political and cultural elites when he suggested that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was not infallible.

Rand Paul’s entire campaign thus far has been about keeping government out of the lives of private citizens. Do the liberals (and a conservative establishment altogether unhappy with Rand's success) want us to believe that Rand’s whole campaign, nay, whole life dedicated to preserving the privacy and rights of the individual was just part of a grand scheme to reinstitute segregated lunch counters?

It wasn’t enough to say that racism is wrong. It wasn’t enough to point out the economic stupidity inherent to discrimination practiced by business owners. Rand Paul’s detractors, both Left and Right, show us that the only acceptable way to be absolved or recused of racism is to faithfully recite the court history.

Always tenuous in his relationship with the Republican Party, whose full support he needs, a chastened Dr. Paul, with all the passion of a church heretic choosing expediency over burning at the steak, has backpedaled by saying that he would have undoubtedly supported the Civil Rights Act, a position he implied in the first place. Perhaps now that he says he believes all the articles of the government catechism, the Inquisition of Acceptable Opinion will pull back on the reins.

But this is unlikely to end as this is only the second act of a play we’ve already seen before.

The Democrats have naturally lacerated Rand. They are loathe to ever pass up an opportunity to project their bloated sense of moral superiority at anyone who disagrees with them by labeling them a racist or bigot. Perhaps even less surprising is how the GOP has turned its back and tepidly cheered on the Left’s hysterics.

The Republicans, who are none too happy that Rand pummeled their candidate of choice, finally have a reason to throw him to the wolves. For a candidate whom they have no passionate attachment to, cutting the rope comes naturally and easily. Therefore, it is unsurprising that the party who left Jim Bunning to twist in the wind has given the same treatment to his potential successor.

While there is a fair amount of criticism about Rand Paul’s campaign, particularly among libertarians, the fact that he is so reviled by his party’s establishment, both before and after a landslide primary victory, shows that his enemies still see him as a legitimate threat to party orthodoxy. And that is what cannot be tolerated.

Despite all of this, it’s still doubtful this will sink the 25-point lead Rand currently holds over his opponent. Try as they might, the Democrats cannot put “macaca” in his mouth. Rand Paul is naturally strong in this race. He’s the indisputably conservative candidate in an indisputably conservative state.

“Gotcha” questions like these will come up again. The successful distraction caused by this kerfuffle only proves that it will come up again because the more time we spend talking about 46-year-old legislation that is not about to be repealed means there will be less time to talk about dangerously inflated budgets that are sinking the economy.

Rand Paul needs to get together with his team to prepare for every possible contingency because the next irrelevant question is already being cooked up.

Otherwise, damage control will have to be added to his list of talking points.



Carl Wicklander, Regular Columnist
Articles | Author's Page | Website

Property Rights and Racism

I recently took to the streets to film a video for Young Americans for Liberty, asking people if they thought that a black restaurant owner should be forced to serve a Klansman or if he has the right to refuse in his own establishment. Here it is:



So far this video has been picked up by LewRockwell.com (thanks, David Kramer!), with the following commentary: "Apropos Jacob Hornberger’s excellent excoriation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, here’s a video that takes it to the street. Why Rand Paul didn’t use this sort of argument—except replacing Black owner/Klu Klux Klan customer with Gay (like Maddow) Owner/Homophobic customer—is beyond me. I guess Paul was blindsided. He’ll know for the next time."

I must say, David, that I hope Rand Paul is too smart for there to be a next time. Let pundits like me make these arguments and defend libertarian beliefs- Paul should stick to his core Tea Party platform (less spending, lower taxes, and more accountable government) and politely brush aside all attempts to get him off message.

Also picking up the YAL video and elucidating its content quite eloquently, is Jack Hunter, the Southern Avenger:



Jack writes:

In the wake of Rachel Maddow’s interrogation of Rand Paul and his stance on the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Young Americans for Liberty blogger Wesley Messamore posed a few choice questions for the MSNBC host: Would it be moral to force black restaurant owners to serve former Ku Klux Klansman, David Duke? If Fred Phelps, of “God Hates Fags” fame, walks into a gay bar, does he have the “right” to a Cosmopolitan? Considering that Phelps’s Westboro Baptist Church spends most of its time protesting military funerals, should this unpatriotic “preacher” be allowed to hoist red, white, and blue ribbon beer alongside Vietnam veterans at the local VFW, by force of law?

I wish I had said it so well myself the first time. Thanks, Jack!



W. E. Messamore, Editor in Chief
Articles | Author's Page

Monday, May 24, 2010

New At YAL's Foreign Policy Handbook: Why Conservatives Should Hate Our Foreign Policy

In my most recent contribution to YAL's Foreign Policy Handbook, I examine some main-stays of conservative thought: three total non-negotiables in the conservative worldview from old standard-bearers like William F. Buckley, right on down to the present-day Tea Party movement. Then I demonstrate how all three principles are being violated by our present foreign policy.

You can read my article in YAL's most recent Foreign Policy Handbook here or here.



W. E. Messamore, Editor in Chief
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A Learning Moment: Deconstructing Rand Paul's National Debut

Over at Young Americans for Liberty, Don Rasmussen opines on Rand Paul's recent national debut following his record-setting "Randslide" victory in Kentucky. He breaks things down into three important lessons to learn from the recent flap, as well as gives the Rand Paul campaign due credit for running what has actually been a very phenomenal campaign:

"If you have followed me for some time then you know that what drives me is arming the freedom movement with the tools, skills, and experience necessary to drive political success. That is one of the reasons that this is such an exciting moment.

The Rand Paul primary campaign has been an exercise in message discipline, image control, and managerial competence that should be broadly admired and studied within the movement. It also makes the last week somewhat puzzling, but does provide some important lessons for aspiring political strategists and campaign staffers."

Read the rest of the article here.



W. E. Messamore, Editor in Chief
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Rep. Alan Grayson Introduces the "War is Making You Poor" Act

In this video, Congressman Alan Grayson introduces the "War is Making You Poor" Act on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, to cut the cost of U.S. spending overseas. He helps listeners visualize the sheer disproportion of U.S. military spending with graphs. Hat tip: Young Americans for Liberty





W. E. Messamore, Editor in Chief
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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rand Paul and the Zombies

Tom Woods has a fantastic article up at The American Conservative about all the recent sanctimony over the 1964 Civil Rights Act:

The Left is going after Rand Paul over the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Why, Rand Paul secretly wants to repeal it, they say, which means we’d have segregated restaurants all over again. Now any non-hysteric knows a segregated restaurant would be boycotted and picketed out of existence within ten seconds, but we’re supposed to fret about fictional outcomes from the repeal of a law that will never be repealed. And certainly we cannot question the 1964 Act, since our betters have decided the matter is closed.

You absolutely must finish reading this article at The American Conservative. There are only two more paragraphs and they are absolute must-reads.

Photo by Gage Skidmore



W. E. Messamore, Editor in Chief
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Obama Calls for a New "International Order"

From the Washington Post:

WEST POINT, N.Y. -- President Obama on Saturday pledged to shape a new "international order" as part of a national security strategy that emphasizes his belief in global institutions and America's role in promoting democratic values around the world.

Speaking to the graduating class at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point -- the ninth wartime commencement in a row, he said -- the commander in chief who is leading two foreign wars expressed his faith in cooperation and partnerships to confront the economic, military and environmental challenges of the future.

"The international order we seek is one that can resolve the challenges of our times,'" he said in prepared remarks.

Read the whole article here.



W. E. Messamore, Editor in Chief
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No Room for the Tea Party in the Two-Party System


“I hate both parties, and can’t vote for either.” I completely empathize with that statement, and yet, I still believe in the two-party system. Here’s why.

Just this past week in Michigan, a group petitioned to get a third-party “Tea Party” candidate on the ballot. The problem was – no one from Michigan’s Tea Party was behind this.

Right now, it looks like the effort came from a progressive democrat group. Why? Because Democrats know that a Tea Party candidate is likely to siphon votes from the Republican side in this political climate.

Now, this strategy isn’t new. It’s been done countless times before. By both parties. Republican groups worked to get Nader on tickets during “Bush v. Kerry” because of how significant a role Nader played in the “Bush v. Gore” outcome.

So, the reason I believe in the two-party system is because the party I like least doesn’t want me to. My goal then becomes to reform both existing parties. Convince Republicans to take their beliefs on economic freedom and make them consistent across the social sphere. Convince Democrats to take their beliefs on personal freedom and make them consistent across the economic sphere.

It’s tempting to want to throw in the towel with these two parties and start over. But all that really means is letting the party you like least win without a fight.




By: Eric Olsen, Regular Columnist
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