Friday, November 02, 2007

The David Kucinich AND Ron Paul Revolution.

Ron Paul Wins CLC Straw Poll in Northern Nevada

Presidential candidate Ron Paul has won the straw poll conducted at the Conservative Leadership Conference this weekend in northern Nevada. Paul finished with 33 percent of the vote, more than double his nearest contender....

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So, of course the cries will be that Ron Paul supporters showed up and that other supporters did not. And that is not just true, but so obvious it hardly needs observation.

The question should not be what's so remarkable about Ron Paul - because, historically, there's nothing at all remarkable about his stands. The question should be, what lack do all the other candidates have in common to promote such widespread disinterest? Well, on the right, it seems to be the complete lack of willingness to say anything remotely attributable to an understanding of the facts about the war, the economy, the moral and social implications of torture, the concept of "blowback" or a foreign policy based on mutual self-interest rather than power politics and Cold-War vintage "Right Thinking."

Meanwhile, the Democrats are trying to out-Regan Ronny on the "hot air and sunshine" front - for instance, there are fine words about "universal health care" - and not one word about paying for it, or the demographically inevitable collapse of social security.

But just as Ron Paul is a living reality check for the Right, Dennis Kucinich is his Lefty Twin on the Left. And boy, is HE out in Left Field. About as far as Ron is to the right - if you are using any sensible measure of left and right in an historical sense. And, despite being "too "out there to take seriously"...

Kucinich tops leading Dems in key CA straw poll

SAN MATEO, CA - Despite millions of campaign dollars being spent by the poll-leading Democratic Presidential candidates to woo California voters, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich scored a stunning second-place finish in a bellwether Presidential straw poll here today.

In a caucus-like setting open to all Democratic voters in the state, Kucinich came in significantly ahead of top-spenders Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and only slightly behind former U.S. Senator John Edwards.

Official results released by the San Mateo County Democratic Party this evening showed that Edwards received 29% of the total votes cast, Kucinich received just under 24%, and Obama and Clinton came in third and fourth, with 22.5% and 16.8% respectively. The other Democratic candidates were all in the low single digits.

And, unlike most all other campaigners for the office of President, neither one seems particularly fond of authoritarian systems of governance.

“But the difference between the Clinton neo-liberals and the Bush neoconservatives over America’s fundamental role in the world is quite small. The leadership of the two parties is in accord with notion that the American governing class has the authority and the obligation to police the world. They only differ on the question of tactics.” - Dennis Kucinich
Both could also be accused of having "wacky" ideas. Paul's "Hard Money" stance - or in other words, having a money supply that can't be fiddled with for private profit, or to benefit large corporate interests - is considered "wacky."

And I imagine, so is Kucinich's desire to recreate the WPA.

America needs a great new public works program to restore the dream of a full employment economy, to restore the physical health of our nation. On Labor Day, 2003, I announced a new initiative -- an initiative that will enable the United States to rebuild its cities in the same way that Franklin Roosevelt rebuilt America during the Depression. Through a WPA-type program, this initiative would rebuild our cities, our streets, our water systems, our sewer systems, and new energy systems, while simultaneously putting millions of people back to work.
A wacky idea - but considering the state of our public infrastructure, the impending collapse of many of our bridges, the pressing urgency of creating a "green" infrastructure and of course, the obvious necessity of either relocating entire populations or building huge levy systems - how the HELL are we going to accomplish this from a purely local standpoint, using only capitalistic urges? Hell, even IF we use as much capitalistic motivation as possible, this is something that really DOES have to be addressed centrally to a degree, just to prioritize the most critical infrastructure issues. Bridges in poor states and counties are still critical to the regional and national economies. Failing evies in poor areas tend to result in nearby rich folk getting wet.

Combining the number of unemployed and underemployed with the huge number of people returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts presents us with both a practical need and a moral obligation. Returning combat vets will need jobs and - let's be blunt - may be too impaired to return to the jobs and lives they had without a period of support in an ordered context. They will have the burning need to do something useful and creative, to redeem themselves in their own eyes with the equal need to spend as little time dealing with hassles and politics as possible. That's what PTSD does to you, and just about everyone returning from Peewee Bush's Great Adventure has a thousand-yard stare and memories that would gag a maggot. So we owe them. And it's a debt that we have no choice but to pay - one way or another, whether we are wise enough to realize there IS a debt or not.

So, I support Kucinich's idea. I think it's a great idea. I'm not so fond of his ideas of paying for them, because it's essentially good old confiscatory taxation. I agree, corporate taxes have fallen way below what they probably should be. And certain salaries are obscene. And if it were my place to judge, I'd say there are people who have way too much money for their own good.

But I'm a Libertarian, so expressing my disapproval is as far as I can go in that direction. I also know something Dennis seems to have not learned. There's a Liberal maxim: "When you tax something, you get less of it." This is true, to a point, but it's not very far from no tax at all. Past a certain point, what you get is increasing levels of tax-evasion, non-compliance and outright criminality. Grey markets shade to black, and a widespread, pervasive and well-earned disrespect for Authority thrives and prospers. Not a wise thing in a well-armed society, as many a DEA agent has learned. Or for that matter, many a Prohibition Agent. Not wise to go looking for stills in the Blue Ridges, not without a lot of other men, dogs and helicopters. And even then, you might just step in a bear trap.

But that does not mean that it's impossible or should not be done. We just need to figure out a way to do it that is both conscionable and Constitutional. And, I observe that it's certainly no worse, constitutionally speaking, than a large standing army. But the point is, we must do it in a way that is not unfair, is not inequitable, and which does not reek of class warfare - and that's what confiscatory taxation amounts to, whatever fine-sounding words you clothe it in.

When the government "governs least," by deliberately avoiding as many restrictions on individual liberties as possible, and by firmly restraining those who aspire to levels of power in competition with government from limiting individual liberty for their own profit, choices are expanded, and solutions to common problems are solved in more organic ways.

Neither party supports candidates that favor that approach to leadership. All of the front runners - even the ones I actually like somewhat - are still obviously men and women of power and influence who want to have more power and influence, operating within a system that assumes that the pie is finite. In order for them to have more, YOU must have less.

You see, that's how they KNOW they have more power. Not so much by the positive and productive things they can do - but by token of the things they can get away with that you cannot. This attitude is particularly conspicuous among Republicans, but corrupt Democrats are not unknown, historically. Not even within my own memory. I remember Strom Thurmond, for example. Of course, he did switch parties in '64 or thereabouts.

Why is it that the more a candidate is touted as a "front-runner," the more dubious they seem? For instance, despite an overwhelming anti-war mandate from the Democratic base, neither Clinton nor Obama are actually on record as anti-war. Both voted for it, up to the point where it was completely unsustainable, politically. Nor is Clinton very eager to condemn the illegitimate expansion of powers undertaken by Bush, leading one to think that her only objection to it is that she doesn't have them yet.

And there's not a single public policy pronouncement from any of them that doesn't look like it won't cost you in terms of increased cost, time, inconvenience and erosion of privacy. There's a distinct lack of common sense and fact based argument - with two exceptions, who are being dismissed by all "legitimate media" as kooks.

Well, if paying attention to cause and effect is kooky, call me a kook! Here's Dennis on drug policy. Interestingly enough, on this issue he makes pretty much the same arguments that Paul does - and from a diametrically opposite political position.

I know that proponents of the Drug War will say that I am pro-drugs. I am not. As mayor of Cleveland, I saw first-hand the damage done by addiction to drugs, including alcohol. I also witnessed that the wasted resources and collateral damage did not promote a safe society. It is unconscionable that only one bed exists for every ten people that apply for drug treatment. Our priorities and our resources are being put in the wrong place. The primary job of law enforcement should be protecting our country and its citizens -- not protecting people from themselves.
Now, Kuchinich and Paul are so ideologically opposed that you might honestly expect them to explode like matter and antimatter on contact. It's quite interesting that they both get to the same conclusion from the same set of facts. This tells me that the facts are themselves unavoidably compelling. And yet it's only the "kooks" that will say out loud that which everyone knows: "the emperor has no clothes."

Yet again, we are in the process of being presented Hobson's Choice and yet again, the process is being engineered to forestall any candidate who will continue to support the obscure, complex, but massively lucrative trade, defense and economic policies that have beggared large portions of the world and are in the process of turning us into the peons of a corporate state.

We are being presented a choice of comfortable liars and panderers, nice people, some of them, but utterly committed to the interests of and service to a cultural "elite" that has few, if any concerns in common with thee and me.

The bribes they offer us for our votes differ - but they are comparatively insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Even universal health care is a tiny expenditure compared to the ongoing "wars on" various indefinables, like terror and drugs and crime, so if that's the price they must pay, they will pay it.

These people have become, in practice, a ruling class, with all the power of Earls, Barons and Princes, with a sense of entitlement that entire sectors of our economy are more than happy to pander to.

One only has to read Forbes or audit The Wealth Channel to note this; the idea that wealth itself makes one superior to the common herd, above common considerations and entitled to deferential treatment. And there is much profit to be made by tugging one's forelock with hand stretched out, so much profit that it's compromised our ideals of citizenship.

Don't get me wrong - I'm no Leveler. I don't believe that a wealthy man's money belongs in my pocket, nor would I stoop to taking advantage of a person's absurdly inflated idea of their own place to profit. To me, it's ethically equivalent to rolling a drunk, though I humbly observe that if they are ethically equivalent, and IF one must compromise one's ethics to survive, being a member of Snoop Dogg's posse or cleaning pools in Kennebunkport is better than rolling drunks.

I don't even object to wealthy people having people serve them. I just want them to remember that those who serve have their own inherent worth and dignity - after all, if they have not earned that themselves, what's the point in having them underfoot?

Our government is in large part defined for us by those who belong to or who are closely affiliated to the power elite. And more or less due to that, it treats us all as barely competent savages, not quite capable of wiping our own butts without instructions on the toilet paper, in need of being reminded of our "place" and certainly not worthy of wandering the streets of the gated communities in which they live.

And when the peons get uppity, well, those who work for the lords and barons tend to haul out their Tasers to "teach us a lesson," as I've observed before in Kerry Triangulates New Failure.

I've learned the obvious lesson - or rather, it's been reconfirmed for me. I've learned to reflexively question authority - and let the answer be an instruction to all.

If questioning EITHER president Bush or John Kerry, the man who provably should be in office both lead to detention, arrest and tasering, it's highly probable the results would not have changed things in an way that would be of significant benefit to 85 to 90 percent of US citizens. We would simply have been consenting to being ruled by which King - not electing a President. Probably, as I suspect was the case with Bob Dole before him, Kerry was a well-paid actor in a timeless charade.

Hence the popularity of Kucinich and Paul - and the desperate attempts to silence and discredit both of them. Neither is entirely likable; both have warts and bumps - but neither is trying to blow smoke up your bum about anything. What you see is what you get, and if that's somewhere short of professionally-coiffed perfection, I can live with that. I can live with either man gaining office. But what I'd really like to see is this: the promise of each to support the other in getting as close as possible, and if necessary, running as a team. And likewise, I'd suggest that if sending 100 bucks to Ron Paul on November 5 is a good idea, sending a hundred bucks to EACH campaign is an even better one.

Hey, when was the last time the field narrowed down to two really great candidates, as opposed to a choice between who sucked least?

Both Paul and Kucinich are in agreement on the single most important concern of the day, at least to me; a return to constitutional government. The rest is all details and philosophy, trivia in comparison to that one grand point of agreement. And on that point, that overriding point, the ultimate "litmus test" for any Citizen - they stand alone, each in isolation on their respective "sides."

The realities that face us today are stark enough that we don't have the luxury of dealing with the little stuff. Anything that is a go or no-go depending on your political philosophy is a sheer luxury this nation cannot afford; we have wasted to many years with such partisan crapola while issues that matter desperately rotted for lack of will, intelligence, guts and comprehension. The place to start is to return to the basis of our Republic and consider every aspect of government and governance in light of what the manual says. From now on, if we don't like what it has to say, instead of ignoring it, we either pass an amendment, or stop whining about it.

And since they both stand for that, I hope both are placing a priority on excellent personal security.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Grand Old Perverts : Outed in the Worst Way.

State Representative Richard Curtis says he's not gay, but police reports and court records indicate the Republican lawmaker from southwestern Washington dressed up in women's lingerie and met a Medical Lake man in a local erotic video store which led to consensual sex at a downtown hotel and a threat to expose Curtis' activities publicly. KXLY4's Jeff Humphrey reports.(video)

Cross-Dressing Republican Caught With Male Hooker Resigns, But Still Won't Admit He's Gay: resigned. From "I'm not gay" to "I resign" in 24 hours is pretty good... for a Republican.
"Today I submitted my letter of resignation to Governor Gregoire effective immediately. While I believe we've done some good and helped a lot of people during the time I served in the Legislature, events that have recently come to light have hurt a lot of people. I sincerely apologize for any pain my actions may have caused.
"This has been damaging to my family, and I don't want to subject them to any additional pain that might result from carrying out this matter under the scrutiny that comes with holding public office."

It hardly seems worth adding anything to this, but it's my blog and I gotta. But I'll keep it pithy and to the point; is it not remarkable how much "Republican Family Values" seems to represent repression and screaming denial?

And just as a cross reference (ehheh), here's a cogent post linking Dominionist and Evangelical Conservative religious upbringing with tortures at Abu Ghrab. And no, it's not a stretch.

For ONCE I agree with Bush

WASHINGTON (yahoo/AP) - President Bush compared Congress' Democratic leaders Thursday to people who ignored the rise of Lenin and Hitler early in the last century, saying "the world paid a terrible price" then and risks similar consequences for inaction today.

Bush accused Congress of stalling important pieces of the fight to prevent new terrorist attacks by: dragging out and possibly jeopardizing confirmation of Michael Mukasey as attorney general, a key part of his national security team; failing to act on a bill governing eavesdropping on terrorist suspects; and moving too slowly to approve spending measures for the Iraq war, Pentagon and veterans programs.

"Unfortunately, on too many issues, some in Congress are behaving as if America is not at war," Bush said during a speech at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. "This is no time for Congress to weaken the Department of Justice by denying it a strong and effective leader. ... It's no time for Congress to weaken our ability to intercept information from terrorists about potential attacks on the United States of America. And this is no time for Congress to hold back vital funding for our troops as they fight al-Qaida terrorists and radicals in Afghanistan and Iraq."

Ironic that he should make that comparison to "ignoring Hitler and Stalin." Ordinarily, I try to avoid such comparisons, but Geez, George - YOU are the only one in the equasion with verifiable stocks of nuclear weapons and the will to use them. So if people are going to be comparing world leaders and fugitive ter'rust leaders with Hitler and Stalin - guess who's name is gonna come up first?

And yes, I agree with you about the Congress. They ARE gutless wonders and shoulda done something to put a stop to you as a New Year's Gift to the American People. ALL American People. You got a whole hemisphere chewing their nails, wondering what they are gonna have to do about you if Congress doesn't do it's duty.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Don't Arguew/the gay flight attendant

Just for comic relief...
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Don't Argue With The Gay Flight Attendant

My flight was being served by an obviously gay flight attendant, who seemed to put everyone in a good mood as he served us food and drinks.

As the plane prepared to descend, he came swishing down the aisle and told us "Captain Marvey has asked me to announce that he'll be landing the big scary plane shortly, so lovely people, if you could just put your trays up, that would be super."

On his trip back up the aisle, he noticed an extremely well-dressed and exotic young woman hadn't moved a muscle. "Perhaps you didn't hear me over those big brute engines but I asked you to raise your trazy-poo, so the main man can pitty-pat us on the ground."

She calmly turned her head and said, "In my country, I am called a Princess and I take orders from no one."

To which the flight attendant replied, without missing a beat, "Well, sweet-cheeks, in my country I'm called a Queen, so I outrank you. Tray up, Bitch."

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How To Talk To A Social Conservative (If You Really Must)

The article is worth reading too.
clipped from

  • Comment by B Moe
    October 25, 2007 @ 6:51 am

    We know from multiple personal reports (and some public demonstrations) that Bush and Cheney take pleasure in humiliating others and forcing them into shows of submission.

    Like getting them to crawl under the desk and suck their dicks? No, wait, that was the other guy.

  • Comment by Jim Henley
    October 25, 2007 @ 7:29 am

    As a guy, I like getting blow jobs from chicks. I’d appreciate it if you would not make that harder by talking as if the act were something onerous and disreputable. Gives the ladies mixed messages.

  •  blog it

    Rumsfeld Flees France Fearing Arrest

    Of course, the French did not catch him. But then, the unresolved situation as it stands is so very much more elegant than the potential unpleasantness and paperwork involved in actually catching and prosecuting him, which would have allowed Bush to do something.

    This situation leaves the White House impotent - and leaves Rumsfeld an official fugitive from justice.

    Of course, the honorable thing would have been to INSIST that the matter be resolved before a court. But under Napoleonic Law, you have to establish your innocence, rather than our system, where the prosecution has to prove your guilt.

    I can understand why Rummy might prefer a venue with different standards.

    A FISA court, for instance.
    clipped from

    Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld fled France today fearing arrest over charges of "ordering and authorizing" torture of detainees at both the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the US military's detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, unconfirmed reports coming from Paris suggest.

    US embassy officials whisked Rumsfeld away yesterday from a breakfast meeting in Paris organized by the Foreign Policy magazine after human rights groups filed a criminal complaint against the man who spearheaded President George W. Bush's "war on terror" for six years.

    Under international law, authorities in France are obliged to open an investigation when a complaint is made while the alleged torturer is on French soil.

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    Follow the Money: The root cause of war, poverty and discontent

    How Benjamin Franklin Made New England Prosperous « Friends of the American Revolution:

    Before the American War for Independence in 1776, the colonized part of what is today the United States of America was a possession of England. It was called New England, and was made up of 13 colonies, which became the first 13 states of the great Republic. Around 1750, this New England was very prosperous. Benjamin Franklin was able to write:

    “There was abundance in the Colonies, and peace was reigning on every border. It was difficult, and even impossible, to find a happier and more prosperous nation on all the surface of the globe. Comfort was prevailing in every home. The people, in general, kept the highest moral standards, and education was widely spread.”

    And when England's bankers discovered this, they put a stop to it immediately. Hence the Revolutionary war - according to Franklin himself and other historians of the day. The history of the uneasy relationship between the US people and the banks is recorded in even greater depth here.

    A comment on that link at Digg underlines the importance of this topic:

    Not only is this subject not discussed but neither is the debt, the falling dollar or the deficit. The nimrods running for president seem to think that imposing mirror tarrifs(sic) on China (and others) will solve all of our problems. Money policy will be THE issue for the next several decades. The fact that they are focusing on everything but is indicative of thier ignorance and that they are ill-equipped to run the country.
    Friends of the American Revolution and the other link, entitled "AMERICA'S FORGOTTEN WAR AGAINST THE CENTRAL BANKS " seem to suggest government issued "scrip" - essentially printing money according to the demands of the economy for circulating money.

    Ron Paul, and other hard currency activists advocate what seems the direct opposite - a return to a currency with a one-to-one reference to an actual stockpiled commodity - such as Liberty Dollars.

    But both concepts contain the essence of the same idea - take the money supply out of the hands of those who might be tempted to control it for their own interests. In fact, Paul welcomes the idea of competing currencies - which, with current computer systems, would not be the pain in the tochis that it sounds like. Indeed, there are already viable competing currences. (See Links below.)

    Please ignore the "jew banker" nonsense that inevitably crops up in these discussions. Yes, the House of Rothschild figures prominently in all things monetary in Europe, and later in the Americas , going back to the middle ages, when a doctrinal matter essentially gave Jews a monopoly on finance - and few other options. In other words, another case where religious doctrine trumped common sense.

    But to suggest that the Rothschilds are interchangeable with "Jews" is laughable. There are poor Jews. And there are immensely wealthy bankers who are not even ethnically Jewish. The canard distracts from the real principle at hand - that it's unwise to tempt anyone's ethics to the degree that the current ability of bankers - especially central bankers - are privileged to enjoy, and that relying on the religious morality of any person - faced with SUCH a pile of lucre - is hardly the safeguard we need.

    But on the other hand, we do need some way of addressing the need a Central Banking system was created to deal with - the Boom and Bust cycle. But clearly, the system we have brings greater dangers.

    It seems to me that by taking the idea that Ron Paul has thrown out there - a number of different currencies (with different sorts of backing) freely competing against each other, including a federal "hard money" standard reference dollar - we could have have a self-correcting system, based on a wide variety of different sorts of commodities, futures, debts, bonds, real estate holdings, fractional corporate shares and much much more. In other words, a monitory system - indexed to silver and convertible into gold - that is nonetheless directly representative of the economy as a whole.

    There would have to be guidelines, of course. And those would have to be Federal guidelines - but they should be simple and direct. And remember, that "this note is legal tender for all debts, public and private" does not preclude other mediums of exchange. It simply establishes that this ONE particular currency is a default currency that is "legal tender," and it is the currency that public debts are monetized in and which all domestic governments will accept (exclusively, at the moment).


    Sunday, October 28, 2007

    How to Stop the War (and Bush at the Same Time)

    A simple Congressional strategy that could be devastatingly effective, and could change Administration course in (my guess) less than a month. All it takes is some spine. I was enamored enough of this idea to spread it all around, and I'm not going to swipe the author's thunder by quoting from it. You need grasp it as a whole to see how well it could work.

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