Thursday, February 19, 2009

This Can't Be True

This is a hoax, right? Mencken and the 'Bathtub Hoax', but more mean-spirited, right? From the Lafayette Journal & Courier:
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Police say an upstate New York television executive who sought to improve the image of Muslims in the media beheaded his wife after she filed for divorce.

Muzzammil Hassan (moo-ZAHM'-mel HAH'-sahn) is charged with murdering his wife, Aasiya (AH'-see-ya) Hassan. Police say she had an order of protection against her husband and he had been kicked out of the house they shared in Orchard Park, near Buffalo.

They accuse the 44-year-old Hassan of cutting off his wife's head at the TV station where he launched his Bridges TV network in 2004. In an AP interview, he said he hoped the network would balance negative portrayals of Muslims following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

I'd say that if true, his TV work pretty much was in vain.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ed Coleman Press Conference Audio

It is available now, in an unedited form, on the latest podcast.

Ed Coleman is now recognized as the highest-ranking elected Libertarian in the USA.

Here is the statement of welcome, from Libertarian National Committee Chair William Redpath:
"I commend Ed Coleman on his courage and his recognition that the Libertarian Party is the only political party in Indiana and the United States that truly stands for limited, fiscally responsible government and real respect for civil liberties. I gratefully welcome him, as I hope to do with other elected officials who are tired of the now clearly unaffordable politics as usual, and who yearn to join 'The Party of Principle.'"
No Change Chronicles

I was discussing with a friend Bush's Shock Doctrine, as described by Naomi Klein. Darned if the tactic doesn't seem exactly what Obama used to promote the 'stimulus'.

Yesterday's Cato Daily Podcast discusses exactly this, with David Boaz citing Rahm Emanuel, Paul Krugman, and Arianna Huffington promoting crisis as a political opportunity. I love Boaz's line about Obama's tenor:
Hope helps you get elected, but fear helps you get your program through.

Excellent. He also calls this the "Bush-Obama Era". So far, I have to agree. Check out the Cato Podcast for Feb 17 2009 via their archive.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Podcast With Ed Coleman

I was able to sit down with Ed Coleman this afternoon, to discuss his defection from the Republicans to the Libertarians. Coleman is a sitting Indianapolis City-County Councilor, who was elected 'at-large' in 2007.

Welcome Home, Ed!

In about an hour, sitting Indianapolis City-County Council member Ed Coleman will take the podium at a press conference, announcing his switch from the Republican Party, to the Libertarian Party. From Coleman's press release statement:
This is not a decision I take lightly, nor did I come to it without deep reflection. I have found that the direction of the Republican Party has changed, and it is not the same party I joined many years ago. Nor do I believe its current leaders truly represent the ideals that the party markets and advertises to voters.

Both of the old two parties have forgotten their ties to the common man, and instead focus on power and control as elitists. I am a common man, I campaigned for the common people, and I still represent the common people; the voters and taxpayers.
I have come to find that my politics are actually more aligned with the Libertarian Party than any other; a party that still allows free thought, a party where dissent is not necessarily a dirty word.

Both of the old parties endeavor to silence dissent. During the Council’s previous period of Democrat control, the majority’s powers were used to silence Republicans. Now, under Republican control, the Council majority abuses their power to weaken Democrat influence. Over the past year I have been criticized for votes I made in response to the concerns I heard from my constituents. As a leader I have spoken out again the secretive and expensive affairs of the Capital Improvement Board; but the two old parties want obedient followers, not leaders.

Indy Star article. I can understand those kinds of thoughts. The Republican Party has changed its' direction more than any other party over the years. The Democrats have been steady on the march to socialism. The Libertarians have been steady on the march to liberty. The Republicans? They go from Nixon's Keynesism to Reagan's quasi-Goldwaterism, and back to George W. Bush's Keynesism. Locally, they seem even more rudderless. You could take a certain 'my way or the highway' if there was some consistent direction you could get behind, but there isn't. The one area where Republicans show some consistency, the Republican Liberty Caucus, is treated like the the red-headed stepchild. There is clearly no room for libertarian thought in the GOP, so why stay there?

I will be most interested to sit down with Ed to get the full story for the podcast!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Old Boss, New Boss Chronicles

The more I see of President Obama, the more I think he's the four-year extension of the Bush Administration McCain was supposed to be. Likewise, the Democratic Congress. I love this passage, from a NY Post article:
The push to get the bill through before the holiday weekend was so frantic, members of Congress didn't have a chance to read all 1,071 pages of the document before they could vote.

"In a perfect world it would have been nice to have had more time to process it," said Ilan Kayatsky, a spokesman for Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).

Perfect? Heck, in a good world, we read the bills we're voting on. Is there a Democrat out there who, with a straight face, can express joy over not reading the bill prior to voting? You want to open the door to corruption? This is a GREAT way to do it. Allow staffers to write god-knows-what, and then vote on it.

Well, this is as good a chance as any to remind you of Downsize DC's "Read The Bills Act".
There's a basic principle at stake here. America was founded on the slogan, “No taxation without representation.” A similar slogan applies to this situation:
“No LEGISLATION without representation.”

We hold this truth to be self-evident, that those in Congress who vote on legislation they have not read, have not represented their constituents. They have misrepresented them.

Obama's promise to post bills for five days before passage is nice, but it's empty transparency. Posting the stimulus five days before VOTING on it would have been the real deal. It kinda reminds me of my favorite Che Guevara quote:
"We can hold the trials any time, so long as the executions happen now".

Honest government is unafraid of debate, unafraid of scrutiny, and is in no rush to get the signatures on the dotted lest anyone read the fine print. Alas.