WRAL excludes Libertarians from videos

WRAL.com just debuted a section called MyBallot where voters can view a side-by-side comparison of the response from the candidates who’ll be on their ballot. It includes some 147 candidates in 87 races.

This is a very good resources, and it does include Libertarians. However, WRAL continues its discriminatory policy of excluding all but the establishment parties from its primary news coverage. They invited the major party candidates to record a short video, but did not invite third party candidates.

While predictable its a curious and inconsistent development,  since I did record a video for the primary even though there was no Libertarian primary.

Chatham Partnership for Children

A special thanks to the Chatham Partnership for Children for recording these remarks I made Sept. 24 at their candidate forum.

Interventionism serves no national interest

Libertarian presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson believes, as I do, that the Bush-Obama-and-now-Romney interventionist foreign policy is getting Americans killed and contributing to the bankruptcy of our nation without clear sight of our national interests.

Writing in an op ed published in the Huffington Post, Johnson said, “Foreign policy is supposed to make us safer, not get Americans killed and bankrupt us.

“Yet, even as we mourn the loss of four Americans in Libya and watch the Middle East ignite with anti-American fervor, our leaders don’t get it,” he said.

As someone who grew up during the Cold War, when the United States and the Soviet Union vied for the allegiance of so-called Third World nations, seeing mobs attack American businesses and sack American embassies is nothing new.

It was the price the United States paid for supporting dictators and oligarchies who were supposedly “anti-communist,” no matter have much they oppressed, starved, imprisoned or murdered their people. When you support the “lesser of two evils” — either in foreign policy or at the ballot box – all you get is evil.

During the Vietnam War, and whenever American troops were sent to “restore order” or “secure democracy” in any foreign nation from Latin America to the Middle East, inevitably there were anti-American demonstrations.

Certainly, the Soviets encouraged and financed many of them, just as the State Department and CIA encouraged and supported anti-Soviet demonstrations, and helped overthrow foreign rulers who weren’t “anti-communist” enough.

But the root cause of most of these demonstrations was blowback from American interventionism, the inevitable result of the arrogance and hubris perpetrated by successive Republican and Democratic administrations.

The demonstrations now sweeping the Middle East are not about any video.

The forgotten war and the forgotten debt

Just before the Republican National Convention, the 2,000th American solider was killed in Afghanistan. The death went unnoticed. Afghanistan has become another “forgotten war.”

As the Democratic National Convention opened this week, the U.S. debt topped the $16 trillion mark. That event also went unnoticed.

What’s the connection? Both Republicans and Democrats are complicit in turning the state of our union a perpetual and universal state of war that is driving America deeper and deeper into debt.

It does not matter which of the two major party candidates is elected president in November. America will remain at war, and probably go to war with yet another country, and the debt will keep increasing.

Don’t be fooled by the talk of “cuts” in military spending, Medicare, Social Security or any other federal government program that either the Democrats or Republicans propose. That is another charade, a shell game, in simple terms – a lie. These so-called cuts are not cuts at all. All the are is less of an increase.

It’s like trying to convince your wife to let you buy boat you can’t afford and will have to borrow money to purchase. You tell her you’ll cut spending by buying a $20,000 model instead of the one that costs $30,000.

Another Congressional Re-Run

When I was growing up one of the things I enjoyed about summer was TV re-runs. I could catch up on missed episodes of my favorite programs, particular The Twilight Zone and Star Trek (the original) and watch the best episodes again.

TV doesn’t operate that way anymore. But the U.S. Congress does. In fact, it has re-runs all year round. Right now, we’ve witnessing the re-run of another economic “crisis” manufactured by the inability of the power parties to avoid the sequestration of Defense Department funds which will supposedly occur if they don’t reach an agreement over the extension of tax cuts.

“Some members of Congress are anxious to undo sequestration, ignoring the inconvenient fact that they created the process in the first place,” writes Christopher Preble in Cato@Liberty. “Instead of accepting responsibility, they are proposing legislation that would force the White House to outline the effects of the cuts. And people wonder why Congress’s approval rating is at an all-time low.”

Sen. Patty Murray says Democrats won’t agree to a deal that “throws the middle-class families under the bus.” They want the wealthy to pay their “fair share.”

Republican leader Sen. Mitch McConnell replies that Democrats are playing “a high-stakes game of chicken with the single-minded goal of taking more money from the people who earn it for the government to waste.”

It is disgrace that exchanges of fear-mongering clichés like this are what poses as political discourse in the Congress today. Both major parties ought to be ashamed of themselves, but unfortunately, they lack the underpinning of a moral belief system needed in order to feel shame.

For the record, I agree with Mr. Preble’s title: Let sequestration happen. It’s not the best way to cut the bloated defense budget, but it appears it’s the only way it can happen.

America’s First ‘War of Choice’

As far as I know, there isn’t a book entitled “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the War of 1812.” There should be. This week marked the 200th anniversary of the beginning of that conflict, yet there has been barely a mention in the news media about it.

A cursory look at the background and history of the War of 1812 gives you a clue why. Despite being later billed as America’s Second War for Independence, it was no such thing. The War of 1812 was America’s first “war of choice,” notes Jefferson Morley. Richard Hofstadter, one of America’s most notable historians, called it a “a ludicrous and unnecessary war.”

It was instigated by the rabble-rousing of politicians and Congressman, who historians labeled “war hawks,” who wanted to conquer Canada and subjugate the Native American nations on the western border of the United States.

The alleged casus belli for war was the impressment of U.S. sailors by the British. Yet the British ended that policy five days after war the United States declared on June 18. And the first major American military action wasn’t at sea, but on land, an attempt to conquer Canada.

All three attempts on Canada were utter and complete failures, primarily due to the ineptness and incompetence of the American commanders, but also because many of the state militias, to their credit, refused to invade another country.

If someone were to write a politically incorrect guide to the War of 1812, it would include some of these points as well:

Impressment was a common practice of the Royal Navy, especially during wartime, and most men impressed were taken off British merchant ships. But the practice was also used by the Continental Navy during the American Revolution.

The Battle of New Orleans, the most famous battle of the war which made Andrew Jackson a national hero, was fought after the peace treaty had been signed.

Both the French and the British harassed American shipping during the Napoleonic Wars. In fact, in the early 1800s, other war hawks were clamoring for war with France.

By European standards of war, the United States lost because the British burnt our capital.

The first attempt by a group of states to secede from the Union occurred during the war – in New England.

The treaty of peace did not mention impressment, the alleged cause of the war, or involve any territorial changes. It was basically a status quo ante bellum (return to the state of things before the war.)

The Guilford County Courthouse flag, popularly thought of as having flown at that Revolutionary War battle in North Carolina, actually was probably a state militia flag used during the War of 1812.

 

Further reading:

America’s First Neocon War
Happy Birthday, War of 1812
War of 1812 on History.com

Lee Wrights Message to Military Fathers

My good friend, brother and fellow veteran Lee Wrights, former candidate for the Libertarian presidential nomination and current LP vice chair, sent this message to all military fathers:

You don’t know me, but I am one of the men who sought the Libertarian Party nomination for President of the United States. I lost that bid about a month ago. I am writing today to say how truly sorry I am you have to spend another Father’s Day away from your blessed children. It truly is to weep.

I ran for president so I could bring you home. It sorrows me that I will not be able to do that this time around. But I promise you; I will keep fighting to bring all of you home. I promise you that the Libertarian Party and its nominee Gary Johnson will not stop fighting to bring each of you home.

As a fellow veteran and father myself, you have my solemn pledge, president or not, my mantra will remain… Stop All War! Have a nice Father’s Day and know someone at home is trying to reunite you with your children. Keep your heads down.

To which I can alone add my fervent amen!

 

The Real Crime is Abuse of Power

“What kind of politicians complain about truthful revelations of unconstitutional behavior by the government, but not about death and destruction, and, let’s face it, criminal abuse of power by the president? Only cynical power-hungry politicians who have disdain for the Constitution they have sworn to uphold could do this with a straight face.”
– Judge Andrew Napolitano

Sadly, the answer to the judge’s question is simple most, if not all, Democratic and Republican politicians. Rather than investigating the “leaks,” Congress should be investigating President Obama’s “kill list” and his acts of war against other nations.

Read more.

Join The Million Vote March: Vote Libertarian to Stop All War

BURNET, Texas (Feb. 23) – The Lee Wrights for President campaign has launched another project to help win votes for the Libertarian Party and Libertarian candidates in 2012. The Million Vote March is an effort to achieve a historic one million votes for the Libertarian candidate for President, and to encourage people to vote for all Libertarian candidates on the ballot.

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