Friday, September 30, 2011

I Know of a Lot of American Police Who Could Use Some Hello Kitty Armbands

Seth Mydans reports for the New York Times (not The Onion):

'To Punish Thai Police, a Hello Kitty Armband

BANGKOK, Aug. 7 — It is the pink armband of shame for wayward police officers, as cute as can be with a Hello Kitty face and a pair of linked hearts.

No matter how many ribbons for valor a Thai officer may wear, if he parks in the wrong place, or shows up late for work, or is seen dropping a bit of litter on the sidewalk, he can be ordered to wear the insignia.

“Simple warnings no longer work,” said Pongpat Chayaphan, acting chief of the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok, who instituted the new humiliation this week.

“This new twist is expected to make them feel guilt and shame and prevent them from repeating the offense, no matter how minor,” he said. “Kitty is a cute icon for young girls. It’s not something macho police officers want covering their biceps.”

Ten of the armbands have been prepared, but so far none have actually been issued, according to an officer who declined to give his name while discussing this sensitive topic.'

I nominate Anthony Bologna:




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Repealed by Executive Order: 27 States Request Waivers to Opt Out of No Child Left Behind

Now this is interesting news:

"States are lining up to drop out of No Child Left Behind, the education initiative that was promoted as a historic achievement of the Bush administration.

Since President Barack Obama announced last month that he would sign an executive order allowing states to request waivers from mandatory participation in the program, at least 27 have signaled that they will ask to opt out, and most others are reviewing their options."

Too bad Congress won't just repeal it.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Video: What if we didn't live in a free country?

On Fox News Freedom Watch, Judge Andrew Napolitano asks some very difficult questions: "Is freedom in America a myth or a reality? Tonight: What if we didn't live in a free country...?"



Hat tip: Daily Paul


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Win a Silver Dollar Coin from Kristos Trading! Follow them on Facebook to enter the drawing

Kristos Trading is starting a Silver Dollar giveaway contest on October 1st, 2011 for their Facebook fans. The winner, based on a random drawing, will be rewarded with a free US Silver Dollar! (Drawing on 10/23/2011.)

This exclusive giveaway of gold and silver will only be available to their Facebook followers; so join today for your chance to enter this exciting contest and to keep up to date with the latest precious metals trends. Just follow the link to their page to "Like" them.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Video: Everything You Need to Know About the Solyndra Scandal in 2 mins

"The Obama Administration fast tracked Solyndra's loan application and now $535 million dollars of American tax payer money is gone along with 1,000 green jobs. How many more examples of green jobs failure do we need before we realize you can't centrally plan economic prosperity?"





Hat tip: Young Americans for Liberty


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Act Now! Ron Paul's Strategy for the Next 30 Days, and the End of Quarter Push

Here is a letter from Senator Rand Paul about the importance of the next (less than) forty-eight hours:

Dear Patriot:

The race for the Republican nomination for President is wide open.

And with the September 30 campaign finance reporting period rapidly approaching, it's CRITICAL you help my dad seize the momentum.

September 30 may very well be the most important day yet of my dad's entire campaign.

So won't you agree to your most generous contribution IMMEDIATELY?

It's vital that you do so.

You see, my dad has set a goal of raising another $1.5 million before September 30, and he's also planning to spend at least $2.5 million on TV ads, internet ads, phone outreach, and targeted voter mail over the next 30 days.

Only your support will enable Ron Paul to achieve these goals and further spread his message of liberty.

But it's important for another reason, too.

The media, voters, and potential donors and supporters will be paying close attention to what each candidate has raised when the September 30 reports are released.

The national media, pundits, potential donors, and new supporters will be pouring through the records to see which campaigns are gaining momentum – and which ones are slowly coming to an end.

It's up to you and me to PROVE the momentum is with Ron Paul!

The good news is that my dad is now consistently polling in third place behind two establishment candidates in most national polls, and another recent poll has my dad running second in New Hampshire!

Not only that, but a recent article I read in The Hill's "Pundit Blog" all but predicted my dad to become one of two candidates to fight it out for the Republican nomination for President!

So I hope you'll help my dad seize the momentum by making a generous contribution IMMEDIATELY.

I believe, with your help, my dad can win this race for President.

Like you, the American people are FED UP.

They're tired of the bailouts, the massive spending, huge deficits, and trillion dollar endless wars.

We can't let opportunities like this slip by.

So can my dad count on you to make a generous contribution to his campaign TODAY?

The deadline is fast approaching, so it's vital you act right away.

Together, you and I can Restore America Now!


For Liberty,
U.S. Senator Rand Paul, Kentucky

Meanwhile, Matt Collins posted a message to RonPaulForums.com yesterday with the inside scoop on the campaign's strategy for the next 30 days and how crucial your immediate donation is:

I wanted to let you all in on what I've heard is a bit of the campaign's strategy.

They are going to spend some money in the next few weeks to move up in the polls and become a serious contender in some specific states. The goal is to put Ron solidly into the #2 position. It's important to do this now before the other campaigns and their PACs begin to unload their warchests. If we can take 2nd place now it will be harder for them to unseat us from that position later on in the race. But starting in November there will be a lot of high-dollar marketing messages which we won't be able to compete with and if we don't move up soon that window may close and the opportunity could be lost forever. This is our chance!

But we need the money NOW if we are going to win this thing!

Rick Perry is teetering on the edge after his lousy performance at the previous debate. Many of his supporters have gone sour on him. To move up to and secure the #2 slot now the campaign must have the funds to do so. Ron Paul wins the Republican nomination by first doing well in Iowa and winning some of the the early states. This will create a snowball effect and as other candidates drop off we'll continue to be in the top tier and offer a choice against big-government Mitt Romney.

If you are going to give, give everything you've got BEFORE the 1st of October for the End of Quarter Push! It's do-or-die time. Step up to the plate and put your money where your mouth is if you want Ron to have a chance at winning this election! If you were holding back or planning to max out, now is the time!

Hat tip: Daily Paul.

If you're going to give more over the next few months to the Ron Paul campaign, please DON'T HOLD back and space out your donations. He NEEDS them right now. If it is possible within your budget to give the full amount you plan to donate by the end of this primary RIGHT NOW, then please do so!

Here's a ticker of just how close we are to reaching Ron Paul's goal of $1.5 million by the end of the day tomorrow (Sept 30th). As of this writing at 2:00pm Central Time on Sept 29th, you can see that we are over halfway there! That means a lot of Ron Paul supporters are rallying together to win this election, but their efforts will only bear fruit with your help to get us all the way to $1.5 million (and dare I hope?) beyond!







Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Study: Crime increased after closing of LA medical marijuana dispensaries

"Many critics of drug legalization worry that lifting the prohibition on illegal drugs like marijuana will increase crime and make our streets less safe. A recent study released this month, however, indicates that just the opposite might be true. Counter-intuitively, stricter drug policies might actually lead to an increase in crime."

Read all about the study in my latest CAIVN article.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A little satirical letter that gives me hope

Someone over at the Silver Circle Underground penned a humorous little piece recently as an open letter to the Federal Reserve's bureaucrats:

"If you’re reading this you were probably recently hired as part of the Federal Reserve’s new social media monitoring program. Chances are you’re a recent high school drop out, or part of some make-work federal job placement program. You probably don’t completely understand who it is that you’re working for, and what it is that you’re doing. So, I can’t really hold it against you. I’d like to welcome you to our little corner of the Internet, and offer you some sincere advice."

Throughout the letter, the author beautifully exposes just how dumb our government's bureaucracies are (correction: The Federal Reserve isn't part of the government... they're just friends with benefits). As I read it, I felt a glimmer of hope for our future on the basis of just how technologically illiterate our government is.

It's like when the Iranian government tried to shut down the Internet during the Green Revolution, but they were just too stupid to keep these 25-year-olds from getting pictures and video of their government's brutality on Twitter and YouTube for the world to see.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

One Little Change: The Power of Words

There is just one little change you can make to the language you use in discussing politics, history, and current events that will dramatically improve the precision of your thought, the clarity of your communication, and the effectiveness of your message. That one little change is to stop saying "we" or "America" when you really mean "Washington DC."

Please read why in the rest of my
article at Young Americans for Liberty.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Ron Paul's Daily Show Interview and How Libertarians Should Answer Objections

Jon Stewart's recent interview with Ron Paul was an incredible opportunity for the Texas Congressman to share and defend the idea of Liberty to millions of people interested in what he has to say. What made the opportunity so incredible was Jon Stewart's truly earnest dialogue with Ron Paul-- he really wanted to hear Ron Paul's answers.

(Watch the full video of Ron Paul's Daily Show interview with Jon Stewart at LibertyPulse.com)

Stewart is so enamored of Ron Paul's consistency and integrity that you could not miss noticing how desperately the comedian wanted to be convinced by the Republican presidential candidate. He wasn't throwing objections out there to refute and trip up liberty's most visible spokesman of our day. No, Stewart wanted to hear his objections compellingly refuted. He has his honest doubts, but he wants to believe.

That's what made Ron Paul's performance-- and it pains me to say this-- all the more disappointing. The good doctor was funny, friendly, got in a few good quips, and won some audience approval with his opposition to the War on Drugs and open-ended warfare overseas, but when Jon Stewart gave him the opportunity to really defend Liberty itself as a meta-political principle-- repeatedly saying the history of the 1800s makes unrestrained markets difficult to swallow-- Ron Paul didn't give very compelling answers.

To begin with, watch the interview and then try to summarize Ron Paul's argument. You might find it wasn't very memorable, punchy, or coherent, certainly not as much as Jon Stewart's (already almost universally-accepted) objection that the 1800s are a perfect example of unrestrained capitalism run amok. Paul did try to articulate that there wasn't unrestrained capitalism in the 1800s, but hardly defended his claim, using only a brief and poorly-explained reference to "the railroads."

Despite an unmatched record of reaching people-- especially young people-- with the message of Liberty, Ron Paul still has a lot of polishing to do. Another example comes from a recent Republican primary debate. Roderick T. Long has an excellent breakdown of Ron Paul's argument about health care and exactly how it follows the classic(ly wrong) libertarian answer to questions about health care in a libertarian society:

The Libertarian Three-Step Program

Wolf Blitzer: You’re a physician, Ron Paul, so you’re a doctor. You know something about this subject. Let me ask you this hypothetical question.

A healthy 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides: “You know what? I’m not going to spend $200 or $300 a month for health insurance because I’m healthy, I don’t need it.” But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it. Who’s going to pay if he goes into a coma, for example? Who pays for that?

This is the kind of question that libertarians usually give stupid answers to. Their first impulse is to stress that no one has the right to force other people to pay her medical bills – which is true enough, but a weird place to start. This answer in effect treats the free market as the present system minus welfare, and so takes for granted that the problem described is likely in a free market. It also casts the sick person as a threat to others’ liberty rather than as a person who can be better helped by libertarian methods than by statist ones. If someone is looking to smear libertarians as people who want to let sick people die, this hands them the opportunity on a platter. (Of course it doesn’t help if your alleged supporters are actually yelling in the background that the patient should die.)

Most libertarians’ second impulse is to mention charity. And their third impulse, if they ever get around to it, is to mention the point they should have led with – that the high cost of health care is a product of state regulation.

In the last Republican debate (transcript here), Ron Paul went through the three stages in depressingly predictable order.

Read the rest of the article (really-- read it-- this should be mandatory reading for every libertarian) for a transcription of Ron Paul's answer and Long's analysis.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

The Economy: It's Only Going to Get Worse

In the opinion pages of the New York Times, David Brooks writes:

"The prognosis for the next few years is bad with a chance of worse. And the economic conditions are not even the scary part. The scary part is the political class’s inability to think about the economy in a realistic way."

Yup. Hat tip: Memeorandum.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Three wealthy Californians launch transpartisan advocacy group

From my most recent article at CAIVN:

'A group of three wealthy Californians: a Republican, a Democrat, and an Independent (registered "decline-to-state") have launched a new group to steer California public policy by focusing supporters on state politics and working to elect state legislators with the "courage" to solve California's problems. The group is called Govern for California.'

This is definitely something worth looking into. These guys are saying some really shocking (in a good way) things.



Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

"In less than 12 months... the savings of millions of people is going to vanish."

This is a video in which the BBC interviewers are visibly shaken by a market trader's assessment of the economy's dire state.

Money quote:

"This economic crisis is like a cancer, if you just wait and wait thinking that this is going to go away, just like a cancer it is going to grow and it's going to be too late! What I would say to everybody is: Get prepared. This is not a time right now to-- wishful thinking-- the government is going to sort things out. The governments don't rule the world. Goldman-Sachs rules the world."



Hat tip: Zero Hedge


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fingers Crossed: How a Chris Christie Candidacy Could Help Ron Paul's Campaign

My debut article as Political Editor at The RevoluTimes: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's potential entry into the 2012 race for the GOP's presidential nomination... and why Ron Paul supporters should cross their fingers that he actually does throw his hat in the race.

Read it all at The RevoluTimes.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

#MusicMonday: "Gimme All Your Lovin'"

No political message here. Just sharing this for this week's #MusicMonday feature because it's brilliant, and bizarre, and makes me smile, and I love the music. Enjoy:




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Has Egypt's revolution become a military coup?

Jon Jensen writes at The Global Post:

"CAIRO, Egypt — Just days after the departure of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11, the nation’s new, self-appointed military leaders pledged, within six months, a swift transition to civilian rule.

Crowds of the same protesters that demanded Mubarak’s ouster cheered as their army said it would steer the nation toward a “free, democratic system.” Seven months later, however, many Egyptians are finding that little has changed.

As the so-called Supreme Council of the Armed Forces increasingly cements, and in some cases flaunts, its firm grip on power, the revolution that inspired a region is beginning to look more like an old-fashioned military coup.

Military trials of Egyptian civilians persist and the military leadership has expanded and extended the 30-year-old, widely criticized Emergency Law once used by Mubarak to justify his authoritarian tactics."

Pay attention, neoconservatives: this is why U.S. intervention overseas to aid regime change (such as that in Libya) is always a bad idea-- it is impossible to know how these things are going to turn out. Even with the best intentions, getting involved in foreign civil wars and revolutions is always at best, a gamble... a gamble with the lives of our troops, the lives of foreign civilians, the international prestige and honor of the United States, and untold millions, billions, or even trillions of dollars extorted from the American economy.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Video: Peter Schiff's Full Testimony Before Congress on the Economy and Job Creation

If you haven't yet watched the full video of Peter Schiff's testimony before the Congressional Committee of Oversight & Reform's Sub-Committee on Regulatory Affairs & Fiscal Oversight, the following version on YouTube is one of the most thorough and precisely edited offerings of Schiff's excellent testimony:



Peter David Schiff is an American investment broker, author, and financial commentator. President and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital Inc., a broker-dealer based in Westport, Connecticut; Schiff supports the Austrian business cycle theory, a theory which proposes that market regulatory and monetary manipulation is a fundamental tool for the misappropriation of investment capital.

He is known for his bearish views on the dollar and dollar denominated assets, while bullish on investment in tangible assets, as well as foreign stocks and currencies.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Monopoly Money and Federal Reserve Notes side by side-- you won't believe it

Someone at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing has a sick sense of humor... and the joke's on you. It's all monopoly money. Worthless. There may have been a little bit of photoshop magic on the image above, but if you look at an image of all the dollar banknote denominations, it's really not too far off at all:


And never, ever forget that in the official rules for Monopoly:

"The Bank 'never goes broke.' If the Bank runs out of money, the Banker may issue as much as needed by writing on any ordinary paper."


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Occupy Wall St. Protest Continues

The occupy Wall Street protest taking place in New York's financial district rages on, though with diminished numbers. Russia Today reports it started out with about 2000 people, but over the past couple of days those numbers have dwindled down to a few hundred.




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Dear Ron Paul Bashers: Name Calling is Juvenile

Julie Borowski writes:

The name calling towards Ron Paul and his supporters must end. I constantly see tweets in my timeline from self-declared conservatives and Tea Partiers who call him a “crazy uncle” or an “anti-Semite.” Enough with the ad hominem attacks. It reminds me of liberals who falsely accuse the Tea Party Movement of being racist. Why then are some Tea Partiers calling Ron Paul and his supporters “anti-Semitic” with no substance to back it up? Does the GOP want the youth vote or not? Stop trying to alienate us.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Peter Schiff's Special Report on Buying Gold and Silver (while avoiding scams)

A friend of mine in the liberty movement recommended I take a look at Peter Schiff's special report on buying gold and silver without getting ripped off, especially as more scammers are taking advantage of people who are smart enough to buy some inflation-proof gold and silver.

I read through it today and for anyone who is interested in buying a little gold or silver, but has absolutely no idea where to begin and feels a little bewildered by all the options out there: this is a great little report to help you get started. Obviously it's also an advertisement for Schiff's coin and bullion selling company EuroPacificMetals, but the information in it is definitely valuable and worth reading if you're a total noob thinking about buying some gold or silver.

You can read the report here.
Schiff also has a Facebook page here.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

10 YAL Campaign Bootcamps This Fall: Two Down, Eight More To Go! Register now.

Last month, Young Americans for Liberty announced something incredible: It would be running TEN campaign bootcamps for youth activists all around the country to learn the skills they need to mobilize the philosophy of liberty into a political movement that makes real changes happen to restore our republic.

With eight left to go, October is going to be a busy month for the YAL crew and if there is a bootcamp anywhere in your area, you should strongly consider signing up to learn everything you can about successful political activism. As an attendee of multiple bootcamps, I can tell you this training is incredibly valuable and very high quality.

Read more about it at Young Americans for Liberty's website.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Perry Slumps, Christie Surges

Kudos to Humble Libertarian contributor Carl Wicklander for totally calling the demise of Rick Perry's candidacy. Just hours before the Republican primary debate Thursday, I published a piece by Wicklander predicting the implosion of Perry's candidacy:

"But the clock is ticking on Perry because he faces the possibility of flaming out Fred Thompson style.

Four years ago the actor and former senator was supposed to be the savior for disgruntled conservatives. But Thompson waited and waited and by the time he entered the race he was in over his head. He didn’t have even a rudimentary grasp of the issues and all the other candidates pounced on him for all the preferential treatment he received when he wasn’t yet running. Now the man who would have been president is doing reverse mortgage commercials."

Then after Thursday's debate, the blogosphere was unequivocal in its criticism of Perry's debate performance. He bombed:

"The conservative commentariat spoke with near-unanimity Friday on Rick Perry’s debate performance: The Texas governor didn’t just lose, he bombed.

Meanwhile, The Politico also reports:

"Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s candidacy has failed to clear a basic bar with elites and some donors, and his shoddy debate performance in Orlando has only highlighted the window for someone who Republicans searching for a Mitt Romney alternative can rally around."

This in an article that says Perry's slump has rocketed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie back into the spotlight as he reconsiders running for the GOP's nomination. If that ends up happening, I predict that Christie's candidacy will bomb for the same reasons that Wicklander predicts Perry's crash and burn... only the disadvantages and their effects this late in the game will be even more pronounced.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Friday, September 23, 2011

Elizabeth Warren’s Social Contract Non Sequitur

Make yourself a cup of tea. Sit down. Follow this link to The Freeman Online. Then, settle down to some real, solid libertarian philosophizing on the nature and role of society and government. I should be featuring (and writing) more stuff like this in addition to covering electoral politics as heavily as I have been doing of late. This is just as important. Enjoy! (PS: The tea's not really necessary; the article isn't that long, but you might find yourself quite provoked by it-- thought provoked that is.)


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

GQ Article: Is Gary Johnson the Sanest Man Running for President?

GQ's recent piece about Gary Johnson is a pretty long article and I sat and read all of it straight through-- it's absolutely fascinating reading about "the most compulsively honest Republican in the race." Read it all at GQ.com.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page