Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hillary Clinton Censorship of Ron Paul at Denver Rally

It appears the events I reported in my earlier post are not anomalous; it is standard operating procedure at Hillary Clinton's rallys. And I don't believe that sort of attitude toward dissenting views will be limited to her "private" events... but rather that we can expect her public appearances to be every bit as scripted and censored as George W. Bush's have been. Indeed, I fully expect to see further expansion of government control over political speech.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ron Paul...Dirty secrets from the past...Treg

I want EVERYONE who thinks Ron Paul is somehow anti-American for being against the war to watch this.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Hillary Clinton Comes to Fresno

I attended Hillary Clinton's ralley over at Fresno High today. I must say, it was certainly a more interesting event than I expected.

Hillary seems to have finally adopted a position of withdrawal from the Iraq War. She's pretty late to that party, but it was a necessary change on her part, if she expects to win either the nomination or the election. Given the reputation of the Clintons when it comes to political speech, I fully suspect she is speaking on political calculation alone--once in office, she will likely keep the troops in Iraq for as long as she can, and ensure a continued military presence long after the bulk of the troops are withdrawn. I even fully expect some kind of military action in Iran, or maybe even Pakistan. After all, even if she does withdraw troops from Iran, the fight against "Islamic Extremism" must go on, right?

Let me be clear on what I mean by her speech being motivated by "political calculation": I am calling her a flat-out liar. It's sad that we can just assume that about politicians in general... and then turn around and vote for them anyway.

She also gave the usual talk about the poor, how we need to give them free medical care, help with their farm jobs and such, etc. Basically running through the who's who of local grievance groups. For the most part, the speech itself was uninteresting. What was interesting was some of the activity in the peanut gallery.

I was among a small group of Republicans standing holding signs, ensuring the alternative was seen at what was, apparently, not only expected to be a one sided rally, but in addition, the one-sidedness was vigorously enforced. The first thing I noticed was that nobody inside the cordoned area was allowed to hold signs other than the approved Hillary Clinton signs. This was not that big an issue for me, and for the most part, it was respected--we held signs from the street from outside. The group was pretty evenly split between mainline republicans holding orange signs stating things like "oppose socialism" and such, and our own group, holding Ron Paul signs. The numbers shifted as time went by, as my group picked up some new recruits.

It became increasingly clear that we were VERY much not welcome. There was a large group of students who put great effort into blocking the view of our signs with their own Hillary Clinton signs. They (and their adult backers) even went so far as to find a billboard-sized sheet of styrofoam or something, plastering a huge section of Clinton signs on it, and blocking us with that. There was also a group of adults (I don' t know who they were) prowling the grounds and practically assaulting anyone who dared show an unauthorized sign beyond the barrier.

There was one student of the high school (remember, the rally was held right in front of the campus), a kid named Joel Davis, who was holding one of the orange signs on the other side of the barricade. He was there for probably ten seconds when some woman raced over to him, literally grabbed him by the arm, physically dragged him and removed him from the premises. She also took his sign, tore it up, and threw it in the garbage. I expected she was a school official or someone else he knew, to take such liberties without so much as a preliminary "you can't hold that here." I asked him about it; she wasn't. Nobody knows who she was.

Shortly afterward, I began to notice a group of surly looking people hanging around our position, literally glaring at us. One of them was staring right at me, about three feet away. I just continued my usual grin and stared right back... he moved on. But there was another group of students standing around holding United Workers of the World flags. Most of them were on our side of the barricade, but one of them attempted to pass a flag to one of his friends on the other side. This surly group converged on him like a pack of wolves. Another woman actually had to come over and tell them that grabbing and shoving was not necessary. I repeat: These were not teenagers; they were not students. I don't know who they were.

Then I noticed an elderly fellow in a black suit trying to escalate the matter. He was not pleased by what was going on, and was particularly disgusted by the activities of the other teenagers who were deliberately attempting to block our signs. The last I heard he was on the phone with the Chief of Police, complaining about the matter. When I asked another attendee who he was, I was told his name was Charlie Waters, and that he was "a veteren. That's all you need to know about him." (I think it may have been the same woman that interceded on behalf of the UWW kid.) I probably should have followed up on that, but his attention was hard to get.

I ended the event by handing out a few "Democrats for Ron Paul" fliers (sorry, I couldn't find a copy to link to). I only had ten of them, but I had no trouble getting rid of them. I should have printed far more. People seemed interested.

EDIT: According to Teresa Fierro, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Fresno County, the people organizing the blockade and standing around "staring us down" (those were her words) were a group called “Fighting Machinists International Association of Mechanics.” No, I don't know who they are.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Illegal Drugs and Pharmaceutical Substitutes

There is a rather interesting series about "tolerated lawbreaking" that plays as large a role in defining our legal system as legislation and judicial decisions. The second part points out our drug laws: while things like opium, cocaine, and such are illegal, there is for just about any illegal drug a pharmaceutical substitute, which is a way America is kind of "getting around" the drug laws without confronting them directly.

I wonder if it has occurred to the author that, in this manner, drug laws benefit the pharmaceutical industry very directly, by increasing the cost of acquiring what would otherwise be very cheap pharmaceuticals such that patented (and therefore monopoly) medicines can compete in the marketplace. I wonder if he can connect the current difficulty of overturning drug laws with the fact that the the pharmaceutical industry, including Du Pont Chemical in particular, has been financing drug prohibition lobbying efforts from the beginning?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ron Paul on PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer 1 of 2 10-12-2007

This is only the first part. Both parts can be found linked at http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/016076.html.

This is, by far, the best interview I've yet seen, and I hope a lot of people saw it. However, one thing that should be noted is who broadcast this video (on the air, not online): PBS. That is the Public Broadcasting System. It is somewhat ironic that PBS is among the organizations that, under a Paul administration, could see its funding cut yet further.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am an enthusiastic supporter of Dr. Paul. I am quite grateful for the coverage-so grateful, in fact, that I am probably going to convert some of the money I currently have going toward Dr. Paul's campaign to NPR when this is all over. (I'd donate to PBS, but I don't watch TV.) I hope many other Paul supporters will do the same, and as a result, PBS and NPR (both of which have done some excellent interviews) won't need government support, or rather will be even more independent.

There's government owned media and there's corporate owned media, and neither of them are all that great, when it comes to doing more than playing the same songs over and over again and selling trinkets-and the political establishment. Listener supported media is, in my mind, a very good thing.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Ron Paul Believes Terrorists Are Real

The following is a response I posted to some of the responses to this article.

For those of you who think Ron Paul is among those who don't believe in terrorism, I suggest you examine his rhetoric more closely. He has repeatedly stated that those who committed the crime of 9/11 should pay for their crimes. He acknowledges that whatever we do from here on, we will still have enemies as a result of previous bad foreign policy.

What he is saying is that it just doesn't make any sense to make thousands-if not millions-of new enemies while in the process of defeating our existing enemies, which the usual policy of indiscriminate violence does. Remember, he voted in favor of the Afghanistan operation, even though he disagreed with the notion of using a military invasion for what he thought ought to be treated as a crime. His preference was to use not war, but the fully legal and constitutional principles of the letter of marque and reprisal, which means rather than authorizing the president to kill and destroy whatever he feels like within a given area, instead means giving various individuals the authority and incentive to go after specific targets.

And that's how it should have been done. Instead of spending billions of taxpayer (and newly printed inflationary) dollars, killing hundreds of thousands of innocents, and making hundreds of thousands of new enemies in the process, we should have simply conducted an investigation to nail down our prime suspects, sent a few good men over there to apprehend the suspects quietly (preferably with, but possibly without the complicity of the area's government), and otherwise focused our efforts on our individual enemies, rather than provoking the enmity of entire nations.

I do not believe the hard-core terrorists would have anywhere near the influence and resources they do were it not for our foolish, arrogant and murderous foreign policy. I also don't believe their power would suddenly go away if we withdrew, paid some reparations, and issued an apology, but at least we would stop making new enemies. It might even take a couple generations for the anger our government has stirred against us to die out, but if we couple a refusal to get involved in dispute external to the United States, a broad policy of free trade (of the laissez-faire variety, not the false free trade that involves the creation of supergovernments), and extreme care to minimize harm to non-targets on the occasion we must exert force abroad with a firm resistance of any who would attack us directly, I believe the world would be a much more peaceful place.

By refusing to involve ourselves in internal disputes, we provoke no enmity. Free trade ties the economic interests of foreigners with those of our own citizens, making them dread war every bit as much as we should. Firm resistance of anyone who would attack us without provocation puts a high cost on doing so, and I believe a nation that serves as the nexus of world trade and the neutral ground in all disputes would have both the wealth and the power to put a very fierce resistence. But in doing so, we must be very careful to avoid harming bystanders, lest they mature into future enemies.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

New revelations in Israeli attack on American spy ship

Israelis knew they were attacking USS Liberty in 1967 and U.S. covered it up, an investigation of classified documents reveals.

This is an article I believe to be very important. Apparently the attack on the USS Liberty was quite deliberate. One question is: why did they do it? An even better one is: why did the White House do absolutely *nothing* about it, going so far as to recall jets sent out by subordinates to drive off the Israeli attackers? I've even heard that President Johnson himself was quoted as saying "I want that damned ship going to the bottom!"

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