Sunday, February 29, 2004

You can't be Here...

Coast Guard repatriates Haitians - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics

I used to stay after school for a writing club that I was president of, and often because it ended so early and I didn't drive I found myself without a ride home. Well the problem with this was that my school did not allow students to be inside the school after the final bell (which was at 3:30pm) without being supervised by a member of the faculty. So after my club was over I was required to go home because the teacher sponsoring my club was leaving. That would not have been a problem except that I had no way of getting in contact with my dad to tell him to stop by and pick me up. I would have asked him that morning but he would have simply told me not to go to the club if I couldn't get a ride with someone who was also going. If I couldn't find a ride with anyone there I had one solution: walking. Unfortunately it was forbidden by school rules to walk home unless you were nearby and had written permission on file to do so. Also the payphones were in a part of the school that was also off limits at that time of day and usually locked up anyway. So I found myself on several occasions with the security guard asking me where I'm "supposed" to be and informing me that I "can't be here." So I would tell them that my meeting had ended, and that I had been trying to find a ride. They would then promptly escort me to the sidewalk in front of the school (the pick-up area) to wait for my ride.

That's right they actually told me that if my meeting was over the only place I was allowed to be was up front waiting for my ride. I wasn't allowed to find a phone to call home, I wasn't allowed to go into any part of the school once my club sponsor had left, and I wasn't allowed to leave the premise of the schools until my parents or some other ride showed up to take me home. My solution was simple: I waited until the security guard left to scout some other part of the school and started walking the 3 miles home. That's what I think of when I think of immigration, and fleeing refugees. I think of the security guard that said to me both "Where are you supposed to be?" and "You can't be here;" in nearly the same breath, who wanted me to wait on the edge of a sidewalk for a parent who wasn't coming.

That sense of having no place, of being forbidden to be on the premises or off the premises of where I was at was summed up very well by the statement "you can't be here." And while it wasn't a life-or-death situation for me it was frustrating and nerve-racking nonetheless. To have this constant nagging sense that at least to the security guards and faculty still around your presence contradicts reality, and that the only way my presense could make sense was if I were on the front curb waiting for my ride. I'm serious about this... I told the security guard that I had no ride coming and it was irrelevant. I told her that I didn't have any change to call my father and was unlikely to get a hold of him anyway. Didn't matter... wait on the front curb for your ride.

I can only imagine what it would be like to have prison, misery, and/or death waiting for you at home, and to be in a place where much of the country has the "you can't be here" sentiment. I imagine that's what it's like to be "stateless." To be a refugee fleeing to somewhere like America. A country that is supposed to be a land of opportunity, founded by immigrants, and full of the descendents of those who fled poverty, war, and oppression in other countries to start a new life in the "home of the free."

Imagine if someone had told that to our ancestors... though someone likely did, where would we be now if someone had "repatriated" our great-grand parents? Would we even exist? I can't say if the U.S. is responsible for what is happening in Haiti, but I can say that regardless we have an obligation to open our doors to them, and to all those fleeing their homeland, or even if they are simply seeking a better life. They're not asking for your money, and they're not asking for your lawn, they are asking only for the same chance our forebearers had. There are already organizations, and individuals ready and willing to help them. We need merely open the door. Instead we're telling our fellow human beings that for the crime of accidentally being born in the wrong place at the wrong time "you can't be here."

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Okay here's my book though it took several attempts to get one that wasn't downright silly. Though I think it's supposed to be humorous anyway.

You're Stranger in a Strange Land!

by Robert Heinlein

Most people look at you and think of you as a Martian, even though you
were born on Earth. Silly Earthlings, er, people. Anyway, you've been telling people
about free love and relaxing like it's some radical idea. Most of them want you to go
back to the '60's (or Mars), but others are in your groove. Grok on!

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Well, considering the current debate about marriage. Y'all might find this interesting. Relationship LLC (R) Marriage Perfected

As for Rainbough and myself, we had already decided that we're not going to get a marriage license. There ain't nothing the state can provide us of value that we cannot achieve through contracts. If, perhaps, more people were accustomed to the liberty of contract, then people would realize how silly this all was.
I'm Rainbough's fiance, BilLee.

The Book Quiz, by BluePyramid InterActive

You're Godel, Escher, Bach!

by Douglas Hofstadter

Despite being interested in things like mathematical theory and the
secret lives of numbers, you're actually quite popular. You carry on great dialogues,
though you keep asking people about their heel. When faced with a flight of stairs,
you always have great difficulty knowing where you'll end up, and have been known to
consult a calculator. Despite these oddities, what you say is relevant to the future.
Though the day Deep Blue beat Kasparov, you sure were surprised!

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Well, ain't that interesting.

Defining My Marriage

National debates are usually a good thing, and in a way the debate over gay marriage is. To think that a few decades ago we couldn't and wouldn't have had such a debate. To think that people just weren't comfortable or open enough to talk about it. Thus open discussion on such a subject is surely a good thing... but at the same time how we define the term "marriage" is a personal thing. This is like having a debate over how to define religion. It might be interesting, and beneficial to get our ideas out their and to hear the ideas of others on such a subject. It's certainly a good sign that we are not afraid to do so, but in the end religion is something we must all define for ourselves and so is marriage. I'm not gay personally, I'm bisexual, and perhaps its ironic that to me this debate though the subject is certainly significant is utterly meaningless.

Picture the most personal and intimate relationship you've ever had, picture the most meaningful if they are different. Picture your relationship to your parent, grandparent, sister, brother. Think of the most personally significant relationship you've ever had romantic or otherwise. Now imagine that there's a national debate about how to define the "nature" of your relationship. That's what this is... the conservatives have tried so hard to separate this issue from the personal relationships of those involved, in fact the gay communities have to some degree as well. It's about right's and privledges... right? It's about equal protection and equal status under the law, it's about joint checking accounts, health insurance, common property, and tax exemptions.

Yet the polls keep coming out about how people feel about gay marriage. A majority is opposed to it, but not opposed to Gay's having the same rights as traditional married couples. They are opposed to calling that union "marriage." That's right a majority, though a small one, has no problem with gays having the same rights and privledges of married couples as long as we call it a "civil union," or something of that sort. Why? If it is legally and effectively the same thing what difference does it make what we call it? It matters because the underpinning contoversy, is about What is, and what isn't Marriage.

We already know what is and isn't a marriage under the law. If the legislatures could answer that question for us this wouldn't be an issue at all. But they can't, precisely because might doesn't make right, whether it comes from a majority of votes or from the barrel of a gun. The purpose of a legislature is not to define and dictate reality, nor our personal relationships, but to protect us from those who would do so by force.

A name is an identifier. It can be a potent reflection of how we define something. In this case we already have a widely held definition for marriage, the issue is that if we use that term to describe unions between same-sex couples, then that widely held definition should be changed. So this issue is very much about defining marriage and thus ultimately the personal relationships that underpin them, which is why it matters what we call them. But in the end what I call marriage and what you call marriage need not match, anymore than what I call religion and what you call religion need to match. The problems is that too many of us have been relying for too long on the state to define these things for us, but the government is neither meant to be nor equipped to be an arbiter of meaning. With the exception of the courts determining what the legislatures meant by such and such statute etc.

Government has a specific function, and though it tends to exceed those fuctions quite often, composing lexicons and filling our words with conceptual meaning is not something it can nor should do. Anyone who has read 1984 will see the dangers of attempting to define, and limit reality by edict from above. Determining for example whether each personal relationship between it's citizens is romantic or platonic, is not something the government could ever hope to do.

For me, marriage is about commitment, partnership, and love, but it's not that for everyone. And I do believe that the government would have an easier time arriving at an accurate definition for "romance" than for "marriage." It's a personal issue, and ultimately such issues can only be determined for oneself. The government to even presume to determine this for others is an act of fraud.

So I cannot complain that this debate is taking place, though I lament that it is necessary. For it makes no more sense to determine by poll the nature of my relationship to my fiance than to determine by poll whether or not I exist.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Kerry's competence... - Politics - Ads For John Kerry Start Airing In Kansas City

I just saw John Kerry's new campaign ad. It was aired right at the end of Survivor. How's that for a prime-time spot? Anyhow in it one of his former men talks about how as his lieutenant Kerry made decisions that "saved the lives of his men." Well that's certainly admirable. But I find the message rather typical of John Kerry's campaign and career in general. A lieutenant is required to pass on the order of the officers above him, beyond that during a time of war when his men are in the warzone a lieutenant can make two kinds of decisions; those that get his men killed and those that don't. Sometimes a lieutenant doesn't have a choice in whether or not his men survive, but when he does keeping his men alive shows that he did his job that's it. I mean a good lieutenant/officer should be respected for doing their job well and they will certainly be respected by those below him. But those are the only real choices in war competent, or dead. So Kerry was competent during vietnam... I wonder how he is now as a senator...

Okay so next in the commerical he says it's important to "do the right thing" and it's "right" to roll back the "bush tax-cuts for the wealthy." You see what he just said... did you catch it? He said "I'm going to raise taxes." That's what "roll back tax-cuts" means. Either you cut taxes or you raise them. Then he says it's "right for all americans to have healthcare." You see I don't have healthcare so this seems pretty good. You know healthcare is one of the most heavily regulated industries in existence, at least in the U.S. I bet if the heavy hand of government weren't crushing innovation, and driving up costs in healthcare someone like me could afford it. What's Kerry's plan... raise taxes to fund a nationalized healthcare or some other nonsense. Look I'm 22 and I'd rather have no healthcare than healthcare guaranteed by force. In canada they have to wait 6 months to a year to get an MRI. And if you think bureuacracy is bad now... how's it going to be when we have to petition the government for dental care?

So I guess when it comes to political spin it's all about how you look at things. Combine an extreme simplification of major issues with political spin and you have the American tradition of political PR. It may seem like I'm splitting hairs but to me it is not that different from lying. Its intentionally misleading speech, intentionally broadcasting half-truths and interpreting those half-truths in a way to make a candidate appear favorable. To Kerry's credit he's not alone in this, every major politician, in every major race in the U.S. has done it since Thomas Jefferson. Republicans, democrats, and whigs alike. Even a few libertarians I must begrudgingly admit. But enough is enough... do they think the average voter is that stupid? Are we that stupid? Surely in the information age we could move politics beyond that. Though from what I've heard the republicans have already started the mudslinging so it's likely to only get worse from here on out.

and one more thing:

"It was after his service that Kerry first hit the spotlight as leader of the anti-Vietnam movement in 1971. He made news when he threw away his ribbons -- three Purple Hearts and a Silver Star -- to protest the war.

Kerry said that he kept the actual medals because he is proud of his service." -from the article linked above.

Can you say cop-out? Having your cake... and eating it too. I'm going to protest the war by giving away my medals without giving away my medals. Instead he takes the medals apart, removing the ribbons holding the medals and giving those away but keeping the actual medals. He didn't have to protest the war using his awards. He could of protested the war very effectively without bothering with them and no one would have thought less of him. The point of using them is to show that you are that serious about it that you would give away medals you earned in combat, that you fully deserved, and were important to you. It would be a powerful symbol, had he given them away, had he suffered that loss for the sake of making a statement. Did he? No. He could have held onto the ribbons as memorabilia and given away the medals and it might have actually been meaningful. I suppose it's a little too late to hold that against him now, but it seems rather typical of Kerry.

Claiming he's opposed to the Patriot Act, after helping to write it, and voting for it. Being both for and against gay marriage, while refusing to actually address the issue on his campaign. Being both for and against the war on Iraq depending on the political climate. Being the war-protesting pro-war vietnam vet. I suppose all those things make for "electability." They don't make for much else.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Federal Indecency

Shock jock Stern unplugged - TvRadio -

Hello... Free speech anyone? I don't like Howard Stern but honestly... Federal "decency" standards.
I mean if this were simply a company that decided that one of their shows had stepped over the line, they just didn't like it anymore, or just didn't want to carry the show anymore; it would be their choice, and their right. But Clear Channel Communications has announced a zero tolerance policy for shows that violate "federal decency standards." Shortly after congressional hearings on the matter. Are we supposed to believe these are unrelated? What are "federal decency standards?"

I've heard today multiple times that we don't have a "right to have a radio show." That was on some show on MSNBC, they were refering to the DJ's. To which I respond: Why not? I mean of course you wouldn't have a right to be provided one by someone else... it's not like the right to live or a right one would have automatically. But I think if you owned a broadcast station, wouldn't you have a "right to have a radio show?" If you wanted one? I know "airwaves" are supposed to be a tricky issue, but since they are a local problem shouldn't regulating them be a states right issue at least?

But the bigger issue I see is what ever happened to those unnamed rights reseved to "the people." For instance those involving a technology that didn't exist when the Bill of Rights was written... I know the market could deal with the issue of airwaves better than any government could. But that's really not the issue here. The issue is what business does the government have setting "decency standards" for radio broadcasts? What exactly is "decency" anyways?
This reeks of 1960's television. CBS and the Smother's Brothers comes to mind. Don't they think we can figure out for ourselves what is and isn't "decent?"

I've never listened to Howard Stern, though I did watch part of his radio show once on cable TV. I found it interesting though not really worth making a point to tune into it. I can say honestly that I'm glad that kind of show is on regardless of whether I would actually watch it. It shows that the fear of offending others isn't enough to hold back those who have something to say regardless of how trivial those things might be. In an age when offending someone can cost you your job... and political correctness has gone far beyond reason. It's nice to see that a so-called "shock-jock" is still on the air. And if it were up to the market, he would probably be on the air for as long as he could hold listeners interest. But instead he's getting ousted from stations across the country because those stations who had no problem with Stern's "offensive" show before (and it pretty much has always been kind of offensive), are suddenly "concerned" about federal "decency" standards. In short congress and the FCC are interfering because it offends their delicate sensibilities about what is and isn't appropriate for publicly broadcasted speech.

Well to those busy bodies in congress who think they should be legislating "decency" for the rest of the country I have this to say: F**K YOU!!! See I censored myself because I'm trying to maintain a higher caliber of discourse on this blog. The marketplace works if you let it, even when there isn't money involved.

Badnarik for President

Michael Badnarik - 2004 Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate

Alright from what I have seen thus far of Michael Badnarik I like him a lot. He definitely passes the libertarian purity test. He bothers to go at all the major libertarian issues not just the ones most likely to be of interest to the major parties. And he doesn't try to spin anything either. I'm kind of sick of hearing all the rhetorical spin on everything all the time. This guy is straightforward precise, and thorough. He also seems to be the hardest working, busiest, and possibly the best campaigner of any of the Lp front runners. He also likely has the least amount of money and seems to be trailing both Russo and Nolan in popularity. I'm guessing that's because he's not as polished of a speaker as Gary Nolan, and doesn't have the financial and Media backing that Aaron Russo has. Which is unfortunate. I like his approach to the issues, I can respect his positions even the few that I don't agree with him on, he seems to know very well what he's talking about, he's well informed on all the major LP issues and is intimately familiar with the national platform. Oh yeah and he's an expert on the constitution. See that to me beats Aaron Russo hands down, though I doubt the race will turn out that way. I haven't looked at much of Gary Nolan's site so I have yet to form an opinion on him. I can say that Badnarik has the best organized, most thorough, and well presented website of any of the Lp candidates including the obscure ones. Its rather impressive. Anyhow I might critique Badnarik's position on a few issues though I doubt it, mostly because he was so thorough that there was little to critique him on (and I agreed with him for the most part). He's a consistent libertarian, and would make a better president than any candidate I've seen thus far (including most of the 2000 candidates). Still I don't suspect he'll get the nomination. The libertarians are salivating for a big media campaign one that has a chance, they believe, of rivaling that of the two major parties. After being promised one by the Browne campaigne and never getting one, I suspect they'll be a lot of delegates that want to make up for it this time. My suspicion for this other than following the campaigns last election, comes from the very fact that Aaron Russo is a front runner in this race. How could someone who does not explicitly oppose taxation (and he does not oppose it at all on his website), be a frontrunner for the nomination of a party whose one binding principle is the refusal to use or advocate the use of force for social and/or political ends? How? Because he's a hollywood producer. He has money, connections, and experience in media production. It remains to be seen whether the national Lp will sell out in hopes of attaining that long sought after prize of national media exposure. Personally I've put off joining the party for a long time. If when the convention rolls around they nominate someone willing to violate the non-coercion principle, or the constitution when it serves their own ends (or any time really) regardless of what those ends might be I just might put off joining indefinitely.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

An Independent Nader | Crashing the party once again

And another thing about Nader... I really can't help it... the Leftists and democrats are describing this as the low point of Ralph Nader's career. But this is the first time ever I've had any respect for him at all. This is his high point, and it is very telling that the democrats can't see that. I have to consider what it would be like if there were no libertarian candidate for president on the ballot. Presuming that I decided to turn out to vote who would I vote for? I've been debating that for a while in case the lp nominates someone I don't feel like I can vote for in good conscience (another Harry Browne perhaps?). My answer is either Mickey Mouse, or as a joke Al Gore. Not that I would ever want Al Gore to be president. I just thought it would be funny to write in his name. But that's kind of the point... if there were not a libertarian candidate on the ballot, or someone who explicitly believed in the non-coercion principle. I would not have anyone who I felt could represent my vote. I literally wouldn't be able to vote for president. I also know someone who told me that if Howard Dean were nominated she wouldn't be able to cast a vote for president precisely because no one would represent her. There would be no one she could vote for in good conscience. No one she could give that "mandate" to.
But there are those voters who will begrudgingly vote for the lesser of two evils given no other option. That's what the fight is over... can you believe the Democrats scratching, gnawing, and whining, about Ralph Nader taking away the votes of those who don't want to vote for them in the first place. The irony is that the Democrats, the supposed "party for the people," is so desperate to limit the choices in the democratic election of the highest office in the land. And the sheer self-righteous ferocity with which they argue it as if being the exclusive opposition to Bush's reelection were their God-given right. As if nominating and running the only viable left-wing candidate were their right. Says who?
Greens and libertarians have been hearing it for years... complaints that we spoiled this election and that election. But look at that... look at it! This is a democracy. What makes them think that the elections are their personal social clubs that no one else should be invited to? What makes them think that they have a right to exclusively represent this or that position? If they had it their way no one would appear on the ballot but the two major parties. Who are they to tell us that they have a right to our vote, that we should be forced to vote for the lesser of two evils or not at all? Why do they so righteously claim that Nader is an arrogant egotist... the elistist spoiler only interested in media attention. I think he's interested in putting more choices on the ballot... Which is what democracy is all about.

The democrats should change their name to the Politicrats or the aristocrats... something more akin to their actual nature. Their greatest fear is that Ralph Nader will do something they can't, represent the people. Of course he can't do that exclusively any more than the republicrats can... but more choices will mean better representation of the voters and that's exactly what the democrats don't want. They want all of those people who would stay home in a race without Nader to stay home... to stay disenfranchised for another 4 years... and stop spoiling their pristine little social.

The "electability" Vote

I've done it! I've finally done it! I've figured out what "electability" is. We'll have to call up the democrats and tell them so they can cultivate it more carefully in the future. It's actually a far simpler quality than I originally suspected. Here it's all outlined in this article: / News / Politics / Presidential candidates / John Kerry's shifting stands

That's right electability isn't straddling the fence... it's that rare talent for standing on both sides of the fence at the same time. Kerry's got Edwards beat on this one. From the looks of it no one has got more "electability" than Kerry. He's been practicing for years afterall.

A New Low for the Left News | Nader's nadir

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.... I can't believe how up in arms the democrats are about Nader running for president. I mean I would never vote for nader he's about as libertarian as Pat Buchanan. But I honestly have to feel a little respect for him now that he's decided to run again, especially as an independent. I mean the way the leftists are freaking out is hillarious. They're all convinced that Nader cost Gore the last election and that if he runs again he could cost the democrats this one. Then of course there are republicans claiming that they are glad he's running precisely because he will cost the democrats the election. Honestly they need to get real, perhaps they could start taking responsibility for their own campaigns once in a while. The democrats look back at the past election and nearly salivate at the over 2 million votes that Nader garnered in the last election. But what the democrats don't want to admit is that nader brought out voters that wouldn't have voted otherwise. And who did those many voters whom would have likely not shown up had nader not been there, voted for in other races... The Democrats perhaps? Ralph Nader is not a Democrat. He does not like the stance of the democratic party... he does not like party politics... he does not like the two party system... and he thinks that both of the major parties have sold out to special interests and big corporations... And so do I... maybe I should vote for him. I would if he weren't such a frickin' socialist. He might as well have a sign on his chest that says "I'll make government bigger in the name of protecting the consumer from big-government" he he he... yeah that's him alright. But you gotta love this spectacle. I mean the leftists are just falling all over themselves over this. Through all these primaries the biggest concern has been nominating someone with "electability." Which means that the democrats are at the point that they would nominate mussolini if it meant getting Bush out of office. They've sold out... of course they did that a long time ago. The funny thing is watching them desperately sell out their principles and ideas for an elusive quality they can't even define namely "electability." Of course they're squirming over Nader running. Not because of all the voters that will come out to vote for him... and would have never voted for a John Kerry anyway... but because he'll make the democrat nominee look like the unprincipled worm that he is. And nothing can pull voters away from the major parties like a reality check. Go Nader! It's high time somebody represented the left in this race. Its about to become painfully obvious that just to the left of G.W. Bush is still in the center. As a libertarian I must say quite emphatically: Well duh!
Politics1 - Guide to the 2004 Libertarian Presidential Candidates

Woohoo... Here I go ripping and tearing, and I would expect nothing less of everyone else should I ever run for president. There's no use being soft on people vying for the most demanding, least rewarding, and potentially most important job in the land... now is there?
And another thing about Mr. Russo, though I hope this will be my last critique until I've given equal attention to a few of the other candidates: How exactly does he plan on "revoking" the patriot act? He says he's going to if elected: Russo for President. He says he's going to uphold the constitution and the bill of rights. If that's true how does he plan on revoking an act of congress that has already been passed into law by a previous administration. That does not fall under the scope of presidential powers. I mean is he going to sponsor a new bill to repeal it? He can't simply "revoke" it. I guess its all campaign promises. You know those pie-in-the sky promises you make without any concern about whether you can actually do it or not... until and unless you actually get elected. I'd like to see someone ask him though. I'm curious as to whether he actually has a plan for how to do that. Also I'm curious as to whether he'll fall into what I like to call the Harry-Browne-syndrome, that's where you throw the term "executive order" out every chance you get, as a cure all for big government. Unfortunately not all executive orders are constitutional. Those that apply to things under the juridiction of the executive branch, that is literally "executive decisions" are. Though Harry browne called presidential pardons "executive orders" they are not really. They are simply presidential pardons and are explicitly included in the constition. What is falling under the term "executive order" nowadays is effectively presidents creating laws without the need of a legislature. Which translates to unconstitutional... illegal and should be struck down...etc. I'd hate to see a libertarian presidential candidate advocating measures that would trample on the constitution they are claiming to uphold and vowing to protect. Checks and balances are there for a reason. And even though I'd prefer a system with no formal government (if possible) as long as we are using this one we have an obligation to respect its restraints lest we set the precedent for worse tyranny than that we are seeking to end.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Russo for President...?

Woohooo! My new blog. What to rant about first?

There are so many things... Okay I'll start with the libertarian nominees for president.

Honestly I haven't looked deeply into all of them yet, so there will be more to come later. But I did look at Aaron Russo's website the other day. And honestly I don't think he knows what he's talking about. I'm tired of having candidates for president that I honestly believe would be very bad to elect. I know running for president, especially within the LP is about more than just getting elected. It has to be. It's too unlikely they'll get elected. But there are some of us who have to consider "would it really be a good thing for this person to be elected?" And if the answer is no... should we vote for them? Should we encourage others to vote for them? It's all fine and good when there is little chance of them being elected. Then we're sending a message. We're making the other parties consider libertarian issues, and ideas. Like the socialist party did in the early part of the 20th century. But... um... if your not sure it would work out well for them to actually get elected... how do you encourage others to vote for them. I guess Aaron Russo's not bad, the info on his site is just a little choppy. It's hard to figure out if he actually understands what he's talking about when there are so many short quotes and soundbites. Here's his initial message when you visit his website:

"America’s in crisis and we’re facing great danger from our own government. I’ve identified twelve points every American should be alarmed about. Let’s examine what they are, and see what our government is doing:

1. Both political parties lie to us, and neither can be trusted.

2. Our economy is a disaster.

3. We’re losing our right to free speech.

4. Both parties passed the Patriot Act, a crime against all Americans.

5. Both wage war against medical marijuana and alternative medicine.

6. Both attack our right to bear arms.

7. Both parties overtax, overspend, and over-regulate.

8. Where is the gold owned by the American people? Neither party will address this issue and we need answers.

9. Both parties station our troops around the world rather than protecting our borders from terrorism and illegal immigration.

10. Both parties are guilty of starting the war in Iraq.

11. Both parties want to keep our troops there indefinitely.

12. Both parties are equally guilty for America’s youth dying there for no reason."

Those are the twelve points, he has a little conclusion about how he'll "do this and do that" like all politicians do. Go to his website (as linked above) if you want to see the whole thing. So what strikes me first about this is this sense of urgency he is trying to instill. I'm an anarcho-capitalist and I find it lacking in credibility. "America is in Crisis" "The economy is a disaster" "We're losing our right to free speech." Okay the patriot act was clearly very bad... but look at what free speech was previous to the 1960's, really previous to the 1980's. I mean free speech is better now than it's ever been. And while the patriot act is certainly a step backwards and should be fought... it's not like people are being imprisoned for advocating miscegenation (interacial marriage). There was a time in America's history, though it would have been regionally specific, when that would have happened. So how is America's economy a "disaster" certainly it could use improvement, and certainly it could be better without the government having it's hands in it. But we're not even in a recession, we're growing. The increase in jobs is slow, but so what. When the increase in jobs was quick in the late 90's thousands of people got laid off when the recession hit. Why? Because many companies had hired far more people than they actually needed. Slow job creation is a good thing... it means companies are being more realistic, and more cautious. Now honestly it could also say that not enough small businesses are being started which is interesting given the low interest rates currently. Perhaps that is something we should be concerned about... but certainly not "alarmed." In the Great Depression the economy was a disaster, what it is right now is growing and that's a good thing.

Let's look at this point by point:

"1. Both political parties lie to us, and neither can be trusted."

Individuals lie... libertarian candidates have lied before that doesn't mean the party "lies." Is there evidence that the parties have actually lied? I mean a majority of their members definitely. But have the parties themselves lied? Have they lied with their platforms, their official statements, their actions? Maybe the answer is yes... but a blanket statement like that without any accompanying proof seems unfair. I know there are people within both parties who do not lie and who are in favor of decreasing government and increasing liberty. I mean do I trust the Republicrats? Absolutely not... but let's see some support for those allegations how about it? "neither can be trusted" is kind of a serious assertion to make, and if they lie as much as I think they do it shouldn't be that hard to support.

"2. Our economy is a disaster."

See above.

"3. We’re losing our right to free speech."

See above.

"4. Both parties passed the Patriot Act, a crime against all Americans."

Okay that's true, they did both pass it and much of the act should be considered criminal.

"5. Both wage war against medical marijuana and alternative medicine."

Also correct... um but what about recreational drug use? Isn't it also bad to wage war against people who are trying to have a good time... or how about a spiritual experience... what about sacramental and religious use. Why do we have to justify our use of a given substance when we are only using it on ourselves and for our own purposes. I don't think Mr. Russo really understands this issue. Though this isn't exclusively directed at him, I'm tired of hearing about "medical marijuana" because many of it's supporters act like it's okay to ban marijuana as long as it's being used for non-medical purposes. You have accepted the premises of the conservatives, that there is something immoral about using chemicals to alter your state of mind for whatever purpose. I find this frustrating to say the least, and a bit of a cop-out for candidates who tackle the drug war issue exclusively from the perspective of medical usage. If you think we own our own bodies why not take it all on. Why not stand by the principle that our bodies our own and that we have a right to do with them what we wish regardless of whether the medical establishment declares that we "need" it.

"6. Both attack our right to bear arms."

I'm not sure what the official platforms of either of the major parties are, but there voting records by and large support this statement.

"7. Both parties overtax, overspend, and over-regulate."

I agree with this, but as a libertarian its a little redundant to say "overtax" if you don't think taxation should exist. Which brings me to my next question: Exactly what is Mr. Russo's position on taxation in general? As for the "over-regulate" exactly what would be an appropriate amount of regulation?

"8. Where is the gold owned by the American people? Neither party will address this issue and we need answers."

What?!? I own gold? no I don't. This is such an alarming issue I'm not entirely sure what your refering to. I mean I know a little about the gold-standard and presume that's what your refering to but is it possible that the major parties won't address this issue because they don't know what your talking about either?

"9. Both parties station our troops around the world rather than protecting our borders from terrorism and illegal immigration."

And here is why I would never ever ever vote for Mr. Russo. Just like most of the current political establishment you make no distinction between peaceful and non-peaceful immigrants. Certainly we should not allow known criminals and enemy combatants to cross our borders. What about those just trying to make a better life for themselves? What about those who are fleeing tyranny and oppression. We need to guard our borders against refugees, families, workers, students...? There should be no such thing as an "illegal immigrant." There should be criminals who have been found guilty of crimes and are fleeing prosecution, terrorists who intend to commit acts of terror or who previously have, and peaceful immigrants. And would it honestly be such a good idea to just pull our troops back from around the world. I mean I'm in favor of us not being involved in other countries, but we already are. Aren't there some places where "pulling out" now would do more harm than had we never been there? Iraq perhaps?

"10. Both parties are guilty of starting the war in Iraq."

Yeah well I can think of worse wars both parties started...

"11. Both parties want to keep our troops there indefinitely."

Says who? Really? Who says that? I haven't heard that...

"12. Both parties are equally guilty for America’s youth dying there for no reason."

For no reason? I think there were some good reasons for troops to die there... maybe it shouldn't have been Americans... Maybe it should have been other arabs defending their neighbors, or maybe the Iraqis themselves. But certainly there was a reason and a good reason regardless of whether you think we should have been there.

Yeah, so I think electing this guy would not only be bad, but I also think he's not a very libertarian libertarian. I know campaign speeches are supposed to be simplified, but his borders absurditiy. He sounds like dozens of other people who have run for office throughout america's history that always try to convinces us of this crisis, or that crisis. And that they are the man to solve the problem.

In fact Nicollo Machiavelli said that in order to remain in power you must convince the people that they need you in both times of war and in times of peace. That translates to democracy something like this: if people are convinced that they need you in both times of peace and war they will elect you. Or in the case of G.W. Bush they will re-elect you. Honestly if we really want someone to change america, to change the lying and deceit of party politics can we rely on someone playing the same sort of games. Maybe a libertarian who was blunt, honest, and knew what he was talking about without playing rhetorical games would never ever get elected. So what? If election were necessary to change America, we wouldn't have social security. I'd vote for Nader (::gag::) before I'd vote for another party politician... regardless of what party he's in.