Archive | September, 2015

I’m glad the Pope Francis is gone

30 Sep
I understand Pope Francis’s visit to America was historic.

I understand many people felt it was meaningful that he came.  (I don’t. I’m not Catholic, except ancestrally, and even then several generations back.)

He seems to have taken out House Speaker John Boehner.  (Leading some wags to ask how soon they could schedule a completely private session, one on one, between Pope Francis and Barack Obama.)

So for that last one, I’m tipping the scale and saying I’m glad he came.

But I’m glad he’s gone.

I didn’t like that three major American cities were turned into mini-police states for several days each.

In Washington, D.C., where I viewed the papal parade on the Mall, the TSA agent who directed me through the metal detectors told me she had been flown up from Florida the night before.  Apparently D.C. didn’t have enough security personnel of its own to staff the papal visit.  Who paid for that?  And was it necessary?  Or was it just overtime pay and free vacations for bureaucrats?  (The other TSA agent who inspected my backpack, demanding I turn on all my electronics, took an accidental selfie with my smart phone.)

After the Pope’s procession, the ATF and other police agencies blocked the crowd between the White House and the Washington Monument from leaving via 17th Street NW to the nearest Metro stop (and not because it was one of the ones burning that day), even though the Pope was long gone, and made the crowd, including elderly, infirm, and obese people, go back down to Constitution Avenue, go back out the TSA checkpoint, and walk several blocks down the Mall, to get out.

At the TSA exit choke point, we got to see anti-Papists with giant posters proclaiming that all Catholics are going to Hell (who’d been there on my way in) have a shouting match with illegal immigrants demanding citizenship.  The latter had bullhorns and were chanting in Spanish; the Westminster Baptist church knockoffs shouted back “be respectful, speak English.”  It was all very edifying.  God was there.

I’m tired of hearing an adult man, one who I am sure like many Jesuits is multilingual and has advanced degrees, speak with the English proficiency and oratorical skills of a mentally challenged child.

I’m tired of seeing Pope Francis visit prisons in America and not even inquire about incarcerated dissidents in Cuba (though I suppose merely visiting Cuba counts as a prison visit).

Most of all I am tired of liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, telling me how the Pope supports their politics (although to be fair, conservatives and the GOP were completely incompetent at this hucksterism, while the leftovers proved themselves to be the superior capitalists at producing infomercials for fraudulent wares).  I am a Carsonite on this.  I don’t care about the Pope’s notions about the afterlife, the everafter, or the supernatural, and don’t think anything revealed to him from those regions is politically relevant or outweighs the Constitution.

Buh bye!

Have a nice trip!

Google Engineers Invent New Body Part To Strap Gadgets Onto

30 Sep

Interview with Ruben Moor of Hamburg, DE

29 Sep

Argentina

29 Sep

Gary Johnson’s fair debate law suit

29 Sep
You can read the full text of the lawsuit here that Bruce Fein filed today in federal court.

An extremely impromptu interview with Libertarian candidate Austin Petersen

29 Sep

Austin Petersen, a former producer at Judge Andrew Napolitano’s FreedomWatch, and a former Libertarian National Committee staffer, is running for the LP nomination.

We conducted an accidental and spontaneous interview with him (he may not have even known we were thinking of publishing it) from our studio in the smelly Computer Commons at D.C.’s MLK Library, until our hour and 10 minutes of MAC time was up and we were disconnected.

but we need to be out front and commanding the dialogue

and that’s not happening
or if Gary won’t do it because he loses his suit and someone has to save us from XXXYXZ
yea

Dude…

If gary loses he probably won’t run

that’s a shame

I think Johnson is gonna lose that lawsuit bruce
here is a joke you cant attribute to me that I ———-

hahaha
well, Bruce Fein did have a hand in undoing the Fairness Doctrine

Yes but this case is without merit

It’s an antitrust case

I know it is
the consultant class and the parties are a multi-billion dollar business in restraint of trade
I say f*ck statists with their own weapons

I get it. I don’t think the courts will

I’m not saying I won’t be happy if they win

but if they lose it just makes us look like hypocrites
you mean they will paper over it because of their class interests

yes

like they did with Bob Barr in Texas in 2008
maybe you should write an article about it?

they flat out denied his request

I did a podcast on it today
what’s your position on water boarding
suspected terrorists captured on a battlefield

It’s a form of torture.
what do you think of Trump’s tax plan

the math doesn’t make sense

I prefer Rand’s
will you do your own eventually?

Yes I’m assembling a team of scholars to put one together
who is your favorite current radio talk show?

Talk show on the radio? Mostly radio I listen to music for

sirius xm

I listen to CNN and Fox News on my sirius
what is your next public appearance

LibertyFest in NYC October 11th
who would you pick as a veep candidate

A couple of people have asked me about it, but I haven’t thoroughly vetted them yet. My ideal candidates are already committed to the GOP this cycle unless Rand drops out so I have to protect their anonymity for now.
Are there any Democrats or independent or Greens not already in the LP supporting you?

I have many people who have identified themselves as liberals or former Democrats or left libertarians who are joining the LP in order to become delegates, or volunteering for my campaign

One notable person you might speak to is —-

A California liberal who sympathizes with libertarians and now that I’m running has decided to jump in and help organize the delegate strategy

Are there any deep pockets people behind you like the ones who got behind Robert Sarvis?

there are no big deep pocketed donors officially committed. Some unofficially and some will become official according to promises that they have made depending on what happens with Rand.

I’m starting at square one and I’m transparent about that.
What will the three top issues of 2016 be?

I can’t predict what they will be, but I will tailor a message in order to be timely, as well as continue to press my reform plan which will focus on the five most corrupt agencies of government.
What are they? IRS?
EPA?

The IRS, Veteran’s Affairs, and the EPA are the three I’ve decided.

The other two I am still narrowing down.
Just don’t forget what they are during a debate.
If you get the nomination and someone other than Rand is the GOP nominee, who will Andrew Napolitano endorse?

That’s a good question. I’ve asked for his endorsement. I don’t know what he will do ultimately, but it’s entirely possible I will get it.
How old were you when you became a Libertarian?

party member or philosophy?
both

Party member would have been in 2008 so… around 28 for the LP
What was your military service?

and a philosophical libertarian, probably since forever

I did not serve in the US military.
After you and Gary Johnson, who is the best candidate seeking the LP nomination and why?

I have not thoroughly vetted them all and won’t speak on them until I have knowledge of their character and platforms
Who are the ideal GOP and Dem opponents from an LP presidential candidate perspective?

Ideal in terms of giving the best shot for an LP candidate probably Trump and Sanders.
Really? Not Jeb and Hillary?

That would be good too, but not the best

Trump would rip the GOP in two

Neocons might actually support a third party candidate

Sanders is unelectable and would be offputting to moderate voters
You don’t think Trump would rip the GOP in half but add part of the Dems and independents to it?

I’m not sure what you mean
Trump might realign the parties and pull new people into the GOP?

No sir. Not when his supporters are empowered and the US people see them up close.
What are his worst aspects?

White identity politics isn’t a pretty sight. Tribalism, nativism, all these things enflame a certain sector of the electorate.

He invokes national pride based on symbolism over substance.

It’s a dead end politically, and morally in my opinion.

El hombre es no conservador

said Jeb Bush
What do you think of Terry Michael’s argument that Bernie Sanders is a viable option for libertarian voters (made in reason magazine)?

I completely disagree. Sanders lies at the heart of the corruption that the United States has suffered since the height of the Progressive era

Sanders means well, but we have many well intentioned people in government whose do-gooder instincts have disastrous consequences for the rest of us

You cannot have social liberty without economic liberty. The two must go hand in hand.

Besides, he’s not honest. He betrayed Ron Paul over the audit of the fed.

When he had a chance to reach across the aisle, he slapped our hand away
Who would be better for the country and for the Democratic Party. Hillary or Biden?

For the country and the party, I think Biden is better.

I wish he could be VP for life.
If he doesn’t get his party’s nomination, would you try to get him on the Mike Gravel path?

I haven’t considered that strategy as of yet.

Libertarians and the Iran Deal

29 Sep
Why libertarians can’t have nice things.


It seems like President Obama will get his Iran deal, with Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, the Senate’s longest serving closeted lesbian, announcing that she will provide the tipping point in support of it.  Senator Ted Cruz is still holding a rally against it September 9th on Capitol Hill, with Glenn Beck, Donald Trump, and the Tea Party Patriots group cheering on the deal’s opponents.

Earlier this week I argued that advocates of a non-interventionist foreign policy (particularly libertarians) shouldn’t support Obama’s Iran Deal – and chided them for making the error of giving Obama the benefit of the doubt, something many had done during the 2008 election.

My argument was that the deal was mainly a boon to the Iranian government and government-to-government transfers among statist, centrally planned economies – and hence in no way libertarian because:

1) It allows the Iranian state to access $150 billion in frozen assets (for comparison, 50 times the annual U.S. military aid to Israel) rather than have them remain frozen or pay them out as damages to Iranian dissidents and refugees abroad;

 2) It lifts sanctions on European, Chinese, and Russian (but not American, the fine print reads) businesses that invest in or sell to and buy from Iranian entities;

3) It produces a pretense of weapons inspections of Iranian nuclear plants, in which Iran may inspect itself, and has many days notice to schedule such inspections, at which no Americans are to be allowed.

The response from my fellow libertarians has been underwhelming, though revealing.

My favorite response was from my internet pen pal Angela Keaton, a fundraiser and activist for  Antiwar.com.  Ms. Keaton wrote: “ You know it is only because I am on [a] fast from everything that I didn’t write some comedy about y[ou]r Iran piece in Breitbart.  In fact, I am not supposed to read anything this month so that unfortunately will be the only thing I read this month that doesn’t involve prayer, fasting, and meditation.”  Ms. Keaton and I may not agree on everything about what a libertarian foreign policy would be (we rarely discuss it), though we do discuss how we agree that anti-Semites should not be welcome in the libertarian movement.

Unfortunately, another “libertarian” correspondent, Juan Garofalo disagreed:  “tell us bruce, how much money does a neocunt like you get from the jew mafia?”

But the bulk of libertarians had responses in between these two, and those responses seemed to me to betray a lot of confused thinking, reading comprehension failures, inability to grasp distinctions, smugness, projection, and appeals to various logical fallacies, particularly false assertions of moral equivalency.

The issue (and my article) was taken up at the libertarian run Independent Political Report, where a number of local Libertarian Party activists weighed in.

 George Phillies, a retired physics professor, who a few years ago ran to be an officer in the Libertarian Party nationally, begins the moral equivalency, asserting that the Iranian regime needs nuclear weapons as other states do to prevent itself from being invaded: “The Iranians like several other countries do have a use for nuclear weapons, namely it makes it unlikely they will be invaded. The late dictator of Libya gave up this possible use to his ultimate misfortune. The South Africans thought it was useful. India, Pakistan and Israel are in similar boats.”  One wonders if Dr. Phillies would generalize this argument – that anything a State needs and has a “use for,” from tax monies, to conscripts, to seized assets – justify its having them?  It’s a whole new world for libertarianism!


Joshua Katz, a mathematics graduate student and local elected Libertarian in Connecticut, who seems to think he might be viable as a presidential candidate, is also unhappy with me, and insists in the yahoogroup for “LeftLibertarians” (where Mr. Garafalo contributes),  that he is not asserting a moral equivalence between the U.S. and Iranian regimes, even as he does it: “Government property is, in reality, owned in common by the citizens who are forced to pay for it – nothing about that is ideal, and it creates plenty of confusion as to property rights.  It in no way empowers a different government to come inspect that property.  Every complaint about governments not having rights applies equally to the inspecting nation as to the inspected.  Moral equivalence has nothing to do with it.  How you treat someone, outside of specific defense against a specific aggression, has nothing to do with your moral judgment of that person.  How governments interact has the same rule.  

Quick – name 5 countries invaded recently by Iran.  Then do the same for the US.  Name the countries Iran has dropped nuclear bombs on, then the countries the US has dropped nuclear bombs on, and explain why the US gets to be “in the club” and Iran doesn’t.  


Don’t bother, I’ll write your response for you:
This is gibberish.  Iran is bad.  The US is good.  Rah, rah.  Obama is a tyrant. 

I find Mr. Katz’s writing turgid and his thinking hard to follow – good thing he’s studying math I guess, and not English literature.  He goes on at length with what I think he thinks is conclusive and intelligent commentary, but one part is most telling.  When I observe that Iran theocracy executes gays, maintains an internet Iron Curtain to prevent Iranians from reading the world wide web, calls for death to Israel and the U.S., is keeping Americans hostage, and shot into a crowd of protesters as recently as 2009, killing Neda Soltan, Katz responds that Iran should have nuclear weapons because the U.S. is no better, what with detaining suspected terrorists at Guantanamo:  “…it’s not a matter of moral equivalence, because my point there is that the moral equivalence claims are pointless and stupid – of course we treat different actors equally, even if we judge them morally to be different (I’ll go to Guantanamo and ask about human rights records), if the moral difference is not salient to the case in point, which it isn’t.  If we restrict our attention to nuclear weapons, who comes off looking better?”  It’s difficult to read his prose and make out his meaning, but he does recur again and again to citing (supposed) sins of the American government to justify the Iranian government having nuclear weapons.

At both Breitbart and IPR other libertarians begin to babble about “rights” that governments have, to own weapons, or not be inspected, or to have access to assets, because … the United Nations says they have rights or because previous American Presidents signed treaties that created those rights.  Another advance in libertarian theory, which previously argued that rights had something to do with human nature and how individual freedom promoted a peaceful and prosperous society.

I’m waiting this week for some libertarians to endorse the election of Hillary Clinton on the grounds that her private server was private property and her selling uranium to Putin and god knows what else to whom else were voluntary capitalist acts between consenting adults.


If these people end up being influential in the Libertarian Party then it too will at most be the lessor evil among the electoral choices.