Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Qadafi Is Ready For a Truce… NOT!

By Zach Foster

Breaking news from last night: the President of South Africa and Libyan despot-in-chief Muammar Qadafi have announced in a joint press conference that the great leader of the Libyan Socialist People’s Republic (the abbreviated name of the republic) is ready for a truce to bring an end to the civil war that has killed thousands (most of them unarmed civilian casualties inflicted by his loyalists).

South African President Jacob Zuma arrived in Tripoli to meet with Qadafi, and emerged from this meeting trying to assure the international community that the Libyan head of state—still unrepentant about slaughtering thousands of his own people for such insolence as speaking their minds—is “ready to implement the road map” [to peace].  According to an MSNBC report that was published to the web last night, “Zuma said Gadhafi insists that ‘all Libyans be given a chance to talk among themselves’ to determine the country's future.  He did not say Gadhafi is ready to step down, which is the central demand of the rebels.”

The same report said “In April... Gadhafi said he would accept the truce but quickly ignored it and resumed his attacks, while the rebels rejected the cease-fire out of hand because it did not include Gadhafi's exit from power. Since then many cease-fire efforts have failed for similar reasons.”

The rebel government and rebel forces are not at fault for the lack of a truce in Libya.  They have made it clear that they want Qadafi to step down.  They will most likely allow him to live in exile abroad without bringing him back to be tried for crimes against humanity, as long as it brings an end to the war.  Furthermore, every time Qadafi has announced ceasefires on his own, without attempting to reach the rebel leadership, he has promptly violated them, simply having lied in order to buy time to rearm, regroup, and move men and supplies in his fight to hold onto power.

The author never thought he’d write this, but Qadafi’s aggressive violations of ceasefires make the North Vietnamese look like rookies and pacifists.  Not only has Qadafi denied his citizens their most basic human rights, but he has delivered one lie after another to his people and the world.  Such lies include: 1) February, when he claimed that he was not the one ordering troops, police, and mercenaries to fire on the civilians, since he is only a figurehead leader; 2) February, when he said the riots that were turning into gun battles were being provoked by Al Qaeda; 3) March, when he threatened to join Al Qaeda if NATO got involved in the new civil war; 4) when he claimed that rebel forces were slaughtering civilians, not his loyalist troops.  The list goes on.

The rebel forces must continue to fight on.  Even though the initial NATO intervention was a necessary evil, simply for the sake of keeping the rebellion from being erased from existence by Qadafi’s loyalists, neither the U.S., the U.K., nor NATO can continue to hold the rebellion’s hand from a distance.  NATO either needs to get involved and commit combat troops, the way the United Nations intervened on behalf of South Korea in 1950, or NATO needs to allow the rebels to fight it out on their own.  It is one thing to make an advisory commitment by sending a handful of Special Forces troops to train their allies—the rebel forces, governed by the Interim National Council—but making this halfway no-fly-zone commitment that seems to have no end can only rob the rebel government of its sovereignty.

Furthermore, the rebel government needs to provide stability and rule of law in the areas it controls.  This means swearing the local police in allegiance to the new government, having the local police patrol peaceful areas while rebel soldiers patrol hazardous areas, and letting the citizenry rebuild their infrastructure and resume life as usual.  Furthermore, the old Constitution—dissolved by the “great leader” himself after the 1969 coup—needs to be re-evaluated and adapted to modern situations, and a new Constitution and Bill of Rights need to be brought into existence and enforced.  The current law of the land in Libya is the Green Book, Qadafi’s attempt at imitating Mao’s Little Red Book by drafting a pocket-sized guide that dictates public policy based on Arab nationalist socialism and his own personality cult.  This obviously no longer applies to the rebel-controlled areas.

The rebel government will be best off if it models its Constitution and Bill of Rights after the American counterparts.  Whatever the new law of the land will be in rebel territory, it must be all-inclusive, protective of civil rights and individual rights, and it must be put into effect quickly so that Libyans in territory held by Qadafi loyalists can draw hope from the freedom and prosperity the rebels have erected in spite of tyranny and death.

LP Monday Message: Memorial Day and Harry Browne

Dear Friend of Liberty,

Today, Memorial Day, millions commemorate fellow Americans who have served in our military and fallen in wars.

Addressing Memorial Day can be complicated for Libertarians, not because we don't love freedom and recognize that many have sacrificed their lives, but because we have opposed many of the policies that we feel have unnecessarily--even wrongly--put American soldiers in harm's way.

America was founded by men and women who wanted independence, and many lost their lives fighting for it in the Revolutionary War.

I haven't served in the military myself, but there was a time when I could say I probably didn't have a single "anti-war" bone in my body.

Up until my mid-twenties, I was an enthusiastic conservative Republican. Not a libertarian-leaning Republican, but a genunine right-wing conservative Republican.

I wasn't a deep thinker in the area of foreign policy. I hadn't studied it much and never was a history buff. But I did understand and support free markets, and that's what I thought Republicans were for, that was the team I was on, and I reflexively defended the rest of the Republican agenda.

There wasn't a single American military action I didn't support, from the Vietnam War, to the marines in Lebanon, to the invasions of Panama and Grenada, arming the Contra rebels in central America, the first Gulf War, and all the rest.

Anytime I heard someone criticize America's military, I considered that critic an enemy, and I just tuned them out.

It wasn't until I found the Libertarian Party that I became a staunch non-interventionist.

Upon joining the Libertarian Party, I began reading much of the work by Harry Browne and other Libertarian leaders.

It seemed like for the first time I heard moral and practical arguments made against America's entry into many of our past wars. In particular, for the first time I heard rational arguments about how if America and some other countries had stayed out of World War I, then World War II and the Cold War might not have happened, and tens of millions of lives might not have been lost.

Harry Browne was the Libertarian nominee for U.S. President in 1996 and 2000. He died in 2006, but many of his articles are still available, and linked from this page. (Please be aware that some of the links on that page no longer work.)

In additional to commemorating fallen soldiers and their families, I feel it is appropriate on Memorial Day to remember people like Harry Browne who fought ideological battles in an effort to promote peace and avoid unnecessary and unjust wars and casualties.


Wes Benedict
Executive Director
Libertarian National Committee

P.S. If you have not already done so, please join the Libertarian Party. We are the only political party dedicated to free markets, civil liberties, and peace. You can also renew your membership. Or, you can make a contribution separate from membership.

President Obama in Joplin: "It's an Example of What the American Spirit is all About"

President Barack Obama greets Hugh Hills, 85, in front of his home in Joplin, Mo., May 29, 2011. Hills hid in a closet during the tornado, which destroyed the second floor and half the first floor of his house. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus Makes Key Convention Announcements

By Michael Short

WASHINGTON – Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus today announced new staff hires to manage the preparation and execution of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL. Bill Harris will serve as the Convention’s Chief Executive Officer, while Mike Miller will serve as Chief Operating Officer and Anne Stewart as Director of Delegate Services:

“I am pleased to announce these additions to our team in Tampa and look forward to working with them as we plan and execute the 2012 Convention,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. “The planning and preparation for the Convention is already off to a great start under the stewardship of Chairman Alec Poitevint, and Co-Chairmen Mary Buestrin and Jan Larimer. Bill, Mike and Anne possess a wealth of experience and leadership that will put us one step closer to making Barack Obama a one-term president.”

“I am extremely proud to be part of this outstanding team announced by Chairman Priebus,” added Committee on Arrangements Chairman Alec Poitevint. “Recruiting leadership of this caliber will allow us to put on the kind of world-class convention our nominee and our Party can be proud of.”

Note: The Committee on Arrangements is responsible for planning and managing the 2012 Republican National Convention.  The committee is composed of an Executive Committee, as well as at least one National Committee Member from each state and territory, which are appointed by the RNC Chairman.

Bill Harris, Chief Executive Officer
Bill Harris has served in leadership roles in the previous two Republican National Conventions beginning as the Chief Executive Officer in 2004.  In this capacity he planned, organized, and conducted one of the most successful conventions in the history of the Republican Party. In 2008, Harris served as the Convention Director for the McCain-Palin Campaign where he coordinated all convention-related activities for the campaign, including Program, Political, Logistics, and Communications. Harris has assisted every Republican presidential campaign since 1972 and as Executive Director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee he was instrumental in winning the Republican majority in the United States Senate in 1994. Harris also served as Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party from 1977- 1984.

Mike Miller, Chief Operating Officer
Mike Miller has held key positions in the past ten Republican National Conventions.  He was overall director of operations for the Conventions of 2008, 2004 and 1992 and was director of media operations for seven others.  He has served as a consultant to several site selection committees. Between Conventions, Miller manages his own consultancy, MVM Public Affairs, in the fields of public relations, media relations and major special events. Miller also served as editor of the President’s Commission report on the Pan Am 103 terrorist bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland.

Anne Stewart, Director of Delegate Services
Anne Stewart is an RNC veteran with nearly a decade of experience in Republican campaign politics.  In 2008, Stewart served as Deputy Director of Delegate Services for the 2008 Republican National Convention, directing a three-person team responsible for hotel assignments for 30,000 convention guests and 15,000 national and international media members. Previously, Stewart was a Special Assistant in the White House Social Office where she planned and supervised four state dinners, dozens of foreign dignitary visits, 40 White House holiday parties, two Kennedy Center Honor receptions, and all private Bush family events. Stewart also served on President George W. Bush’s Presidential Inaugural Committee following the 2004 election and was also the Northeast Deputy Events Director for the Republican National Committee during the 2004 cycle.

Weekly Address: Biden on the American Auto Comeback

Vice President Joe Biden delivers the Weekly Address, celebrating the success of the American auto industry in the wake of Chrysler paying back their loans.

Watch the video at WhiteHouse.gov.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day and This Republic: From WWII to the War On Terror

By Zach Foster
Continued from Part 1: From the Revolution to WWI

World War II was a war the country tried to stay out of, but was provoked into.  Four long hard years and four hundred thousand deaths later, the United States brought an end to the wars in Europe and Asia with the help of its allies, and singlehandedly ended the war in the Pacific islands.  The survivors of the holocaust were freed, nations’ independence was restored, and a new weapon emerged which had the power to destroy the world several times over.  Despite growing fears, this weapon has yet to be used again since Nagasaki.  Despite many problems occurring as a result of the war, such as divisions of countries between north and south, east and west, arms races, and a series of “limited wars,” most survivors of the war have been better off since the rubble was cleared and civilizations rebuilt.  Despite the need to occupy and pacify Germany and Japan, these countries have advanced and flourished more beautifully than they could have under their old martial regimes, and those countries liberated by the U.S. military remember their rape and subjugation by the Nazi German and Japanese Empires, and to this day continue to erect monuments to their American liberators.  For this alone, all the men and women—the infantry troops, tank drivers, bomber pilots, sappers, medics, doctors, nurses, artillery troops, sharpshooters, and all others—who died at Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, New Guinea, Tarawa, Tinian, Tripoli, Algiers, Casablanca, Cairo, Baghdad, Anzio, Tuscany, Rome, Normandy, Brussels, Amsterdam, Saipan, Iwo Jima, Luxemburg City, in the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans, Berlin, and Okinawa, did not die in vain, and their legacy lives on.

The fact that South Korea still exists as a nation independent of Stalinism and the Kim Dynasty is testimony enough to the worthiness of the sacrifices made by Americans and their South Korean and United Nations allies at Incheon, the Chosin Reservoir, Seoul, Pyongyang, and Pork Chop Hill.  South Korea is free because of American service members.  They are free to travel where they please, free to read what books they want, free to love and hate whomever they will, free to pick any religion to practice, and free to vote for any candidate in any party.

The same mission applied to South Vietnam, who was being invaded by the North.  Despite the tragedy of April 1975, Americans fought tooth and nail to free Vietnam of the North Vietnamese and their Vietcong guerrilla faction, with the South Vietnamese, South Koreans, Australians, and New Zealanders at our side.  The war was won—by 1973 the North Vietnamese army was broken and crippled, Vietcong was all but wiped off the planet, and North Vietnam signed the Paris Peace Accords recognizing South Vietnam’s right to exist.  Furthermore, the sacrifices made by American troops in Laos and Cambodia helped keep those countries free of being Hanoi’s puppets.  It was an anti-war and anti-South Vietnam Congress that walked out on their commitment to South Vietnam which lost the victory.  However, to this very day, there are thousands of proud South Vietnamese patriots who have nothing but gratitude to the two million soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guardsmen who fought for their freedom.

In the Persian Gulf, Iraq under Saddam had literally occupied and annexed Kuwait.  It was a coalition with a majority of American troops that freed Kuwait, and to this day, Liberation Day is celebrated throughout the small country.

This country was attacked and over three thousand civilians were slaughtered by Al Qaeda on September 11, 2001, leading the nation’s cream of the crop to the desert once again, this time to fight Al Qaeda and their Taliban supporters.  Nearly ten years later, Americans are still at war in Afghanistan, though there is more stability there now than there ever was during the Soviet War and the reigns of terror from 1992-2001.  Ahmed Shah Massoud was the last holdout against the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and their Pakistani Army allies.  Massoud led the Northern Alliance against these jihadist armies, and under his administration, children were educated, women’s rights were upheld, and everyone’s human rights were upheld.  At the same time, bodies were regularly hanging from windowsills and light poles in Kabul where the Taliban ruled.  Massoud was killed one month before the U.S. invasion, but the spirit and traditions of the Northern Alliance continue.  Its civil leaders today hold many positions in the Afghan government, despite the corruption introduced by various ex-warlords.  Most of its guerrillas are proud members of the Afghan National Army.

In 2003 the, bad intelligence and poor Executive Branch leadership spawned the Iraq War.  The toppling of Saddam’s regime was easy.  Nation building was a nightmare, as an angry Al Qaeda ousted from Afghanistan and envious jihadists from around the Middle East now found a new battleground on which to wage their perverted holy war against America.  The war initially was a mistake, but Americans realized that they could not create chaos and then abandon an entire population; something had to come out of the Iraq War in order to stop April 1975 from ever happening again.  Eight years later, the United States and Iraq have paid a heavy price for freedom.  The rate of casualties dwindles as the Iraqi Army and Police are able to crush the dying insurgency on their own.

The Taliban are not yet defeated, though more desert and return home every day.  Someday the war will be over, and decades from now Iraq and Afghanistan will be to the Middle East what South Korea is today in East Asia: prosperous and democratic, all at a heavy price.

Memorial Day is about those who fought and died for America’s freedom, and so that other oppressed people around the world may know a similar freedom.  Remember that those who came home missing arms, legs, and eyes, and those who never made it home at all, were somebody’s loved ones.  They were OUR loved ones.  They were our fathers, sons, brothers, husbands, sisters, mothers, and daughters.  They are still loved by those they left behind, and it is the responsibility of every American, as well as every person whose freedom came from America, that some nineteen year old kid enlisted and fought, and died in a mud hole so that we wouldn’t get drafted; so that we could spend Memorial Day barbequing hamburgers and hot dogs with our families instead of spending every day in a labor camp, or dead under six feet of earth.

Most Americans have read the following poem, but have usually taken it for granted.

It is the VETERAN,
Not the preacher,
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN,
Not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN,
Not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN,
Not the campus organizer,
Who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the
Not the lawyer,
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN,
Not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the VETERAN
Who salutes the Flag.

It is the VETERAN
Who serves under the Flag,


“If you are able,
save them a place
inside of you
and save one backward glance
when you are leaving
for the places they can
no longer go.
Be not ashamed to say
you loved them,
though you may
or may not have always.
Take what they have left
and what they have taught you
with their dying
and keep it with your own.

And in that time
when men decide and feel safe
to call the war insane,
take one moment to embrace
those gentle heroes
you left behind.”

--MAJ Michael Davis O’Donnell, KIA 24 MAR 1970, Cambodia

It is time to bring this Memorial Day message to a close so that this author may spend the afternoon with his family.  To all those who fought and died so that others may simply have a chance… thank you.

Memorial Day and This Republic: From the Revolution to WWI

By Zach Foster

No one ever thought the U.S.A. could handle nine and a half years of war—ten years this October—but somehow the country has muddled through it.  America can be proud of her sons and daughters, who continue to enlist, continue to serve, continue to fight, and continue to die.  Memorial Day is a special day in the year when all citizens are to pause and contemplate the price of freedom.  No, this is not just another tired and hollow patriotic slogan, though many have made it that way.

People need to think hard about what it is that makes this country—this republic and its citizens—so great.  People also need to stop and think why this country seems to be at war every generation.  Far left-wingers may put down their copy of Das Kapital long enough to spout some hateful slogans about U.S. imperialism and oil profits, etc., while far right-wingers may wave their flags in one hand and Bibles in the other, talking about how it’s our mission from God to democratize the whole planet, etc.  But really, what is it that the U.S. military accomplishes?

The Revolutionary War was a war that granted independence to thirteen North American colonies who no longer wished to be a part of their mother country.  It was largely a popular movement, though many Americans fought tooth and nail to keep the Crown in North America.  Their descendants are patriotic citizens of Canada.

The War of 1812 was a war of defense against obvious violations by the old mother country.  It was a just cause and a just war.  The Indian Wars were a mix of tragedies—some wars provoked by native tribes, and some wars provoked by settlers. Some tribes were wiped from existence or relocated, while other tribes fought old enemies side by side with the U.S. Army.  The result of the Indian Wars was the subjugation of countless nations that left many on reservations and most integrated in Western society.

The Civil War’s meaning highly depends on what region of the country the beholder is from, and what the beholder’s belief is.  To some, the Republic and the Union had to be preserved at all costs.  To others, independence from a new government ever-resembling Great Britain was a worthy cause.  To all, the war was a tragedy which literally pitted brother against brother and father against son.  Regardless of ideology, the men and women—soldiers, sailors, surgeons, and nurses both in blue and in gray, at Manassas, Shiloh, Gettysburg, Spotsylvania, Indian Territory, New Mexico, Nashville, Chicamauga, Fort Wagner, Fort Fisher, and Petersburg—fought and struggled with honor for what they believed in.  After the end, they did their best to pick up the pieces.  The country’s scars are only beginning to heal, and such a conflict—such fratricide—must never happen again.

The Mexican and Spanish wars were wars of empire, in which eager administrations wanted to flex their muscles, in which countries and peoples found themselves liberated from one master only to be ruled by a new one.  Outside the arena of politics, the American soldiers who fought in those wars were honorable soldiers who answered the call to service.  They fought hard, many of them died, and they did their duty.  There is nothing more a government can ask of its people.  Furthermore, their sacrifice led to a higher living standard for those who were brought under the stars and stripes.

World War I was a war of entanglement.  Every major power seemed to be in an alliance that eventually forced them into a war of prestige—whose army and country was the strongest—that eventually yanked the United States into the bloodiest war in human history thus far.  Many bad things happened after the war—not because our soldiers fought so bravely and selflessly—but because world leaders threw away a hard-won peace, allowing it to fester into a new hatred and a new war.  Still, it is without a doubt that the sacrifices made by American service members literally saved Paris from German occupation and liberated Belgium and Luxemburg from German subjugation.  Because of these selfless sacrifices that saved so many people, the blood and tears of the sailors who drowned in the Atlantic, the soldiers in shallow graves in Blanc Mont Ridge, and the Marines yet unidentified in Belleau Wood will never be in vain.

Continued in Part 2: From WWII to the War on Terror

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Planned Parenthood Debacle

By Zach Foster

One of the latest sessions of hand-to-hand combat in the arena of American politics is the recent butting of heads between Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz and Republican National Committee Co-Chair Sharon Day.  This all started when the DNC Chair accused Congressional Republicans of declaring a “war against women” through efforts to de-fund Planned Parenthood.  What a glittering example of partisan bickering!

Realistically, Congressional Republicans have not declared a war against women, especially since many women in Congress happen to be Republicans.  Realistically, militias in the Sudan have declared a war against women, demonstrated by shooting and butchering their husbands and children, raping them, and in many cases, maiming or killing them as well.  Efforts in stopping federal funds to a non-government organization are not a war against women.  Such casual use of such martial rhetoric is dangerous (case in point: the Arizona shooting).

The DNC Chair may or may not have noticed, but Congressional Republicans are making efforts to reduce funding for EVERYTHING IN THE BUDGET.  These de-funding efforts are not meant to explicitly attack Planned Parenthood nor to wage a “war against women,” but to decrease the amount of funding allotted to every federal expenditure.  These Republicans are not sexist; they simply have a problem with the fact that the country is FOURTEEN TRILLION DOLLARS in debt.  Massive cuts are being made across the board.  For the DNC Chair to accuse an entire group for sexism that isn’t there is nothing short or irresponsible behavior and outright lying.

The RNC Co-Chair proceeded to list off several actual concerns women today have other than Planned Parenthood, including high unemployment, maintaining a roof over their heads and their families’ heads, and gas prices.  These are very real concerns and are probably much more prevalent in the minds of women than less important matters like a family planning charity.  The RNC Co-Chair then blames these problems solely on Barack Obama (not surprising, since just about everyone in the RNC seems to have the President’s picture on their dartboards).

While Co-Chair Sharon Day was correct in calling for the DNC Chair to focus on important issues and not trivial ones, few would understand why the reduction (or even complete defunding) of Planned Parenthood would actually be beneficial.  The number one reason is the national debt; the federal government simply needs to spend less, and by no means is Planned Parenthood the only organization whose funding is being reduced or cut.  The second reason (the more logical one) is that the federal government simply needs to stop giving money to private organizations.  Yes, a possible defunding will initially hurt and cause the organization some panic, but the organization needs to not expect government money during a time or historic debt, massive inflation, and economic recession.

Contrary to popular belief, the majority of Planned Parenthood’s funding does NOT come from the federal government.  Federal funds account for less than a third of Planned Parenthood’s funding.  More than two thirds of funding comes from donations from the private sector, and twenty-five percent of total funding comes from private individuals.

Planned Parenthood is a necessary charity organization.  Contrary to right-wing propaganda, only three percent of the organization’s services are abortions.  The author disagrees with abortion and believes that it is a crime against human life, but also recognizes that what a woman does with her body—even poisoning it to terminate a pregnancy—is her right and hers alone.  The only reasons for supporting this charity are that contraception methods keep souls from being born to economically disadvantaged parents who can’t afford them, and more importantly, it keeps innocent souls from being born to downright irresponsible parents whose failure to raise a child will waste his life and throw away his future.

Planned Parenthood will have to cut back its operating expenses, but it will most likely be able to make up for the loss of federal funding through passionate appeals to the private sector.  Because it is a non-government organization that upholds women’s freedom from government intervention in choosing whether or not they will use their bodies to give life, both the organization and its clients should be completely emancipated from the government.  This is not a war against women.  It is liberation.

Attack on UNIFIL

Mark C. Toner
Deputy Spokesman
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 27, 2011

The United States condemns the attack on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Our condolences go out to the victims of this attack, Italian nationals serving the cause of peace and two Lebanese civilians. We call on the Government of Lebanon to conduct a full investigation into the circumstances of the attack and ensure the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice.

The United States continues to support UNIFIL’s mandate to monitor the cessation of hostilities between Israel and Lebanon; accompany and support the Lebanese Armed Forces as they deploy throughout southern Lebanon; facilitate humanitarian access to civilian populations and the safe return of displaced persons; and assist the Lebanese Armed Forces to establish an area free of unauthorized armed personnel, materiel, and weapons.

RNC Co-Chairman Sharon Day Responds to Attacks by DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz

By Michael Short

WASHINGTON – Republican National Committee (RNC) Co-Chairman Sharon Day of Florida today issued the following statement in response to an interview by new DNC Chairman, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman in which she claims Republicans have declared a “war against women” because of de-funding efforts on Planned Parenthood:

“As a mother, a grandmother, and a fellow Floridian, Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz’s comments clearly show she is out of touch with women, and with her south Florida constituents.

The number one issue for women is jobs, like the rest of America. Women, especially in the Congresswoman’s district where unemployment is over 9%, are worried about getting or keeping their job because of what the Obama Administration has done to businesses in this country.

Women are worried about keeping a roof over their heads for themselves and their families, especially in the Congresswoman’s district where foreclosures are close to the highest in the state and in the nation.

Women, unlike what the Congresswoman may think, are more concerned about the unconscionable debt that this President is putting on our children and grand-children. The Obama Administration’s reckless spending sells our future generations short.

Women, like everyone else in this country, are worried about keeping gas in their cars so they can get to work, get to the soccer games, get to the doctors, and do all the other things that keep their family going.

Women are especially concerned about the safety of their family and their country.

Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz is representing neither women, nor her constituents, when she makes statements like this. She’s only representing a Democrat President who has waged war against job makers and taxpayers.”

Libertarians say restore freedom, repeal Patriot Act

WASHINGTON - Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle issued the following statement today:

"Yesterday, Republicans and Democrats in Congress joined hands to renew several provisions of the Patriot Act. These provisions are unconstitutional and violate our right to freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.

"These provisions should be repealed, and if they're not repealed, they ought to be ruled unconstitutional by the courts.

"Anyone who believes that Democrats care more about civil liberties than Republicans ought to be disillusioned by this renewal. It has become painfully clear that the Obama administration is indistinguishable from the George W. Bush administration.

"The plain injustice of these search provisions is compounded by the secrecy that surrounds them. In some cases, Americans -- even members of Congress -- aren't permitted to know the legal interpretations that govern how these searches may be implemented. And of course there is the infamous 'library records' provision, which prohibits targets from telling anyone that they were ordered to turn over records to the government.

"I don't believe that these violations of our rights are making us any safer. I think it's security theater. And I'm certainly reminded of Benjamin Franklin's words, 'Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.'

"Our Constitution guarantees our rights. It doesn't make an exception for 'fear of terrorists.' It's time to end these violations of our rights, and repeal the Patriot Act.

"We can never perfectly protect ourselves from foreigners who hate us. One useful thing we can do is to try to stop antagonizing foreigners. Our government should stop invading and bombing their countries and stationing troops in them. It's time for a non-interventionist foreign policy."

For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.

The LP is America's third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets, civil liberties, and peace. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.

P.S. If you have not already done so, please join the Libertarian Party. We are the only political party dedicated to free markets, civil liberties, and peace. You can also renew your membership. Or, you can make a contribution separate from membership.

Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s on Gov. Pawlenty’s Support to End Medicare as We Know it

By Josh Cohen

Today, former governor and current Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty said he would sign the Republican plan to end Medicare as we know into law if elected president. In response, Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said:

“Just two days after the people of New York’s solidly Republican 26th Congressional District roundly rejected the Republican plan for ending Medicare, Governor Pawlenty said that he would sign such a plan into law – a plan even Newt Gingrich called ‘radical.’

Governor Pawlenty has ducked questions of his support for the Ryan plan since joining the campaign – but now it’s clear that he would ignore the wishes of the American people and the best interests of this nation and its seniors in order to win the approval of the far right. Governor Pawlenty may have passed his party’s primary litmus test by voicing his approval of a plan to end Medicare – but he has failed a critical leadership test.

If he can’t stand up to the far right of his party on issues as central to Americans’ well-being as Medicare, how does he expect us to believe he would exercise independent, reasoned judgment as president? It’s clear that if Governor Pawlenty were elected president he would embrace far-right Republican policies, piling additional burdens on America’s seniors, young people, and working families in order to provide additional benefits to big oil and the wealthiest few.”

Weekly Update From Rep. Jeff Denham

Dear Friend,
Before I update you on my week, I want to ask you all to join me this Memorial Day weekend in remembering the courageous individuals who have lost their lives defending our great country. Our brave service members remind us that freedom is not free and we owe our country's safety and its liberties to their courage. This Memorial Day we not only honor the sacrifices they made, but we are also reminded of the importance of our commitment to our fallen service members.  As Presidents Washington and Lincoln stated, taking care of our service members who fought to defend our country should rank among the highest of national priorities.  

I was pleased to bring our community together last week in Modesto for a Veterans Roundtable meeting to discuss the regulatory obstacles service members face every day.  I am proud to say this week that I voted on four pieces of legislation on the House Floor to improve and expand the care we provide our Veterans.  All bills passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and now head to the Senate for consideration. To learn more about the bills click here. 

We also voted in the House this week on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, H.R. 1540.  In this time of grave economic uncertainty, every department and agency must closely and prudently scrutinize its expenditures. My colleagues on the Armed Services Committee undertook the considerable task of analyzing possible savings from the DoD, and H.R. 1540 presents not only a strong, but efficient plan to keep America safe.  I will continue to support legislation that takes care of our troops, makes our nation safer, and reduces the regulations and inefficiencies in our government. The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act is a positive step in this direction.

Last week, I received praise in the district for my new bill, the Civilian Property Realignment Act (H.R. 1734). I'm happy to report that the bill passed my Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management by a voice vote on Wednesday.  The legislation would establish an independent commission, similar to the BRAC commission, to review our federal assets and develop recommendations that will allow us to maximize real savings and efficiencies. Watch my remarks explaining how the bill, by employing a BRAC-like process to civilian properties, will reduce the federal footprint and save taxpayers billions of dollars. Keep up with me on facebook and twitter throughout the week for updates. 

While the week was full of votes and a lot of committee activity, the main focus was on the importance of job creation.  I know the only way to grow the economy and provide long-term stability is fostering an environment where businesses small and large can succeed. At several small business listening sessions in Fresno and Modesto  last week, I talked with small business owners about how burdensome regulations and taxes are inhibiting their business and as a result, the growth of the local economies. 

Concerns about burdensome federal regulations harming the economy and hindering job growth are being voiced all across the country. That is why House Republicans are including regulatory reform in the Republican Plan for America's Job Creators which will make it easier for businesses to grow and create jobs.

You sent me to Washington to get our fiscal house in order, grow the nation's economy and put Californians back to work. The Republican plan for job creators and economic growth does exactly this. In the short time I have been in office, Republicans have already changed the culture of spending in Washington. However, I know that we must also grow the economy through small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country. There are 3.2 million small businesses in California alone and we need to create an environment where these job creators can start hiring again.

Want to keep up with me throughout the week? There are many ways to stay up to date with my activity: you can "like" my facebook page, follow me on twitter, visit my website and sign up for this weekly update! 

This Memorial Day weekend I encourage all Americans across the nation to find a way to remember all of our fallen service members and join me in honoring the extraordinary sacrifice they have made for our great country. Let us always keep those service members fighting overseas today and pray for their safe return. 
I look forward to seeing you soon.


United States Representative

West Wing Week: "OCONUS III: A Homecoming of Sorts"

West Wing Week is your guide to everything that's happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This week, President Obama embarked on a six-day trip to Europe, visiting Ireland, the United Kingdom, France and Poland to engage our allies in the region on a host of issues. While overseas, the President pledged support for those back home affected by devastating tornadoes in Missouri and across the Midwest. Before leaving, the President met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and went to the CIA Headquarters in Langley, VA. That's May 20th to the 26th, or "OCONUS (Outside the Continental United States) III: A Homecoming of Sorts."

Watch the video at WhiteHouse.gov.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dialogues with Socialists: Red Fiction, part 2

By Zach Foster
Continued from Part 1

As soon as I asked what the Communist revolution would do with bigots once it came to power (a jab to expose the bigotry of Marxism), Soviet immediately dodged any and all moral accountability by claiming that the “majority vote decides what to do with these people, not ‘my government.’”  The majority vote would be that of the workers’ councils or soviets, which are the governing bodies under a Marxian system.  Realistically, it truly is Soviet’s government that would decide what to do with bigots.  Soviet is simply mistaking government for Statehood.

After giving a less-than satisfactory answer in which any moral accountability is dodged, Soviet turns the issue back to racism, while avoiding any mention of Ron Paul.  The new race card being played is Islamophobia.  “…Islamophobia and xenophobia have once again become very real and all inclusive in our society which denotes racism ever present here.”  First of all, no it doesn’t.  Islamophobia is paranoia over a particular religion, Islam, while xenophobia is an aversion to cultures other than the Anglo culture dominant in the U.S.  Most if not all modern “xenophobes” have no problem with immigrants making their home in the U.S. as long as they speak English in public and adopt the Anglo culture as their dominant one.  They cite the slogan on the Seal of the United States, “E pluribus unum,” meaning “Out of many, one.”  I believe that these people are misinterpreting the slogan, but they certainly aren’t racist.

In response to the cry of Islamophobia, I countered that in my response. “FACT: Biggest Islamophobes I've ever encountered and whose works I've read are non-Muslims from the Middle East. Many are Jews and some are Christians. They find nothing wrong with Quranic teaching, especially since Surah Al Baqrah 2.62 teaches that all Muslims, Christians, Jews and Sabyans who believe in God will get into heaven. What they do have a problem with is the spread of medieval Islam, the way it’s practiced in Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, etc., because medieval Islam is still in the crusader mindset and has ignored its own peaceful scripture.”  Moderate agreed with what I wrote.  What no one knows is that some of the non-Muslim Middle Easterners to whom I refer are militia veterans who have repeatedly fought Hamas and Hezbollah jihadists who repeatedly attack their towns and cities, or the family members of those who have fought.  The only crime these people have committed is being non-Muslim.  Though I disagree with their Islamophobia, it is certainly understandable why they feel the way they do.  The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of Muslims are not radicals and disagree with the violent radicals, but do not speak up due to fear of reprisal.  My only regret is that there has yet to emerge a Muslim figurehead who speaks loudly of coexistence with non-Muslims and who decries the terrorism of jihadists and medieval Islam.

Soviet then swerved the argument away from Islamophobia (where it never belonged in the first place) and accused me of changing the subject.  “…we aren't speaking of violence and ‘gradual change’… we are talking about racism and on if the Libertarian Party can provide. Stick with it. Stop attempting to find random opportunities to red bait.”  No we weren’t, the Libertarian Party was never brought up in this dialogue.  Ron Paul holds many Libertarian ideas for government, which certainly can improve conditions in the U.S., and one of those is stopping federal government intervention so that change can be slow, peaceful, and all-inclusive.  Anyone can recall that the implementation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act sparked violence between police and protestors, National Guards and pro-segregationists, and also sparked a wave of violence on black Americans.  Any claim that “we aren’t speaking of violence and ‘gradual change’ is either a misinformed statement influenced by amnesia, or a lie.  We now can conclude that Ron Paul and his ideas—the main topic of the discussion—are based in freedom from government, pacifism, AND non-racism.

I was also accused of “Red baiting.” Red baiting is literally the act of accusing, denouncing, or persecuting an individual as being communist or socialist, or a communist sympathizer.  This is a false accusation against me.  I couldn’t have been Red baiting because everyone knows that Soviet Socialist is a dedicated communist.  I never denounced or persecuted Soviet for being a communist.  What I did was ask a direct question which would force Soviet to come to grips with the inherence of violence and intolerance in Marxist theory, which Soviet is fully aware of but still actively avoids admitting.  It’s much easier to call someone a Red baiter than it is to admit that under Marxism, groups of people need to disappear.  My reason for bringing this up was not to deviate from the main topic of the debate, Ron Paul, but to turn around the socialists’ accusations of bigotry against Congressman Paul and in doing so, exposing the hypocrisy in their argument.

Soviet then went on to name a few despots throughout history and then talk about CEOs (obviously equating CEOs with dictators like Hitler, Stalin, and Franco).  Nice try.  My reply dissected the myth that CEOs and heads of state don’t work as hard as single mothers, third world workers, etc.  I stand by my claim that heads of state, even dictators, work just as hard and as long as Soviet’s oppressed demographics.  Soviet’s argument is flawed because the type of labor heads of state and CEOs do are different from the types of predominantly blue collar labor Soviet was alluding to.  I also took the list of despots and added the names Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, Nicolai Ceaucescu, Tito, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara—all Communist despots—in order to illuminate the lack of integrity in the CEOs-are-Fascist accusation.

The next blind swing was naming some of history’s great minds—Homer, Voltaire, Aristotle, Steinbeck, and Frederick Douglass—and by throwing in two other great minds, W.E.B. DuBois and Albert Einstein—dedicated socialists—implying that all of the above were socialists.  Falsehood!  I refuted that in the debate.

Throughout the entire debate, Soviet used flawed arguments full of fallacies and falsehoods.  My personal favorite was the inclusion of Jesus at the end of the list of great minds, in order to paint him as some kind of a socialist or communist, and probably also to appeal to me as a Christian, as if implying that the man I worship as the Son of God was a socialist will make me all of a sudden see the darkness of Marxism in a new light instead of for what it really is.

“Jesus of Nazareth, known by over a billion as the Christ, and by an additional billion as a holy prophet, advocated kindness and HOLINESS because it is the will of GOD. Jesus the rabbi taught that GOD made things good, therefore we as His creations ought to be good. He also taught loyalty and fidelity to GOD (not the dialectic), to be a city on the hill and a bright shining light in order to help others return to the grace of GOD. He also said RENDER TO CAESAR THE THINGS THAT ARE CAESAR'S (i.e. taxes, citizenship, community service, etc.) AND TO GOD THE THINGS THAT ARE GOD’S…”

The debate slowed from there and the climax was reached.  “CONCLUSION: Many of your above-used analogies are marred with fallacies and are erroneous. I will now divert this conversation back to the MAIN IDEA: RON PAUL and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

Soviet came back to the debate several days later and expressed indignation as well as announcing the formation of a rebuttal.

UPDATE: Soviet Socialist completed the rebuttal and it can be read here.  Soviet has to be the third or the fourth person to create a new Blogger profile just for the sake of trying to refute me, so I must be writing engaging pieces. As a writer and a thinker who enjoys a challenge, this trend pleases me.