- Anarcho-capitalist: 67%
- Agorist 67%
- “Small L” libertarian: 58%
- Paleo-libertarian: 42%
- Geo-libertarian: 42%
- Libertarian socialist: 8%
- Neo-libertarian 0%
Archive for the ‘politics’ Category
Who says Congress is can’t come together for the common good?
Yesterday, in a rare display of bipartisanship, Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Scott Brown (R-MA) and Congressmen Jason Altmire (D-PA) and Charlie Dent (R-PA) introduced the Terrorist Expatriation Act.
It should be renamed the American Citizen Expatriation Act.
The bill aims to strip Americans of their citizenship if suspected of affiliating with a foreign terrorist organization and are apprehended abroad. It would amend the 1940s bill, 8 USC 1481, which gives the federal government the power to strip Americans of their citizenship if they choose to fight for a foreign military force. So far, the White House appears to not support the bill.
Senator Joe Lieberman, the bill’s main architect, wants to expand 8 USC 1481.
“Because it just seems to me if you basically declare yourself to be an enemy of the United States you’re no longer entitled to the rights of citizenship,” he said.
While civil liberties groups are rightfully crying “unconstitutional” and pointing to the bill’s disregard for due process, Lieberman’s remarks reveal a more serious, and dangerous, assumption: That the rights of Americans are dependent on their status as citizens and therefore, may be taken away.
Deceased controversial comedian George Carlin is rolling over in his grave:
“Rights aren’t rights if someone can take them away, they’re privileges. That’s all we’ve ever had in this country is a bill of temporary privileges.”
But the U.S. Constitution wasn’t meant to protect “temporary privileges” — it was meant to recognize already existing human rights. Having these rights declared in the first ten amendments of a document doesn’t make them valid.
Actually, the Bill of Rights doesn’t even bother differentiating between citizens and non-citizens. Like the freedoms of expression and religious conviction, justice is not some privilege to be revoked. It is an inherent right — one that suspected terrorists own.
Democrat, Republican, progressive, libertarian, conservative, communist — so many labels that only serve to divide. Yet people cling to these categories as if their very identities depended on them. For some, it does.
Politics becomes more than just a necessary evil their sense of civil duty requires them to take part in. It is a game, a lust for political banter, partisanship and identity.
But do politics really matter and, if so, why?
Political junkies can regurgitate the latest national news or recite the who’s who in Washington, yet most can’t recall the reason they became involved in politics to begin with. Was it a concern for free markets? A desire to protect family values? The environment perhaps?
The truth is, these “junkies” have lost sight of what really matters — namely, people. If human beings do not matter than no issue, whether it be marriage, energy, or the economy, is of any importance.
Hearing political pundits refer to the “tea baggers” or discuss Nancy Pelosi’s Botox injection is wearisome. Such matters are trivial when compared to real, human issues such as the effects of the “war on drugs” or the genocide in Darfur. It’s an embarrassment we even discuss them.
All of us, whatever our political identity, need to remember what truly matters in this game called politics. Otherwise we have no business playing.
“The question itself could be construed as a slap in the face of every patriotic American who fervently believes the innumerable lies constantly told with a straight face by our government leaders.” — Huffington Post columnist Mike Green
On Saturday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Centers was a “complicated intelligence scenario and act.”
“September 11 was a big lie and a pretext for the war on terror and a prelude to invading Afghanistan,” he said.
But as Huffington Post columnist Mike Green points out, the Iranian president’s accusations echo the suspicions of many Americans.
“In less than two minutes I can produce a list that will keep every mainstream journalist busy for a week.” Green said. “Yet, these growing lists of legitimate voices with legitimate concerns cannot be heard in a country that prides itself on freedom of speech and freedom of the press.”
According to a 2006 Zogby poll, 42 percent of Americans believe the U.S. government and the 9/11 commission covered up evidence regarding the Sept. 11 attacks. Hopefully Ahmadinejad’s confession brings more media attention to the official story and the growing public unrest.
To say the least, I was shocked. “Ron Paul wins straw Poll,” read the caption as MSNBC flashed images of Glenn Beck and CPAC banners across my TV screen.
“Are Republicans sick? Is this some kind of trick?” I thought to myself.
On Saturday, Paul received an astonishing 31 percent of 2,395 CPAC votes, ending Mitt Romney’s three-year winning streak. Although only 25 percent of attendees participated in the poll, voter turnout was a record high. Romney came in second with 22 percent of the votes and conservative darling Sarah Palin with a weak 7 percent.
Perhaps conservatives have seen the “libertarian light?”
A more likely explanation for the Paul upset was the age of the attendees — poll results show that more than half were between 18 and 25 and 48 percent of registered voters were students. Paul has been a favorite of both college students and military personal.
But even more revealing are the results of a CPAC poll question asking voters to define their ideology. An overwhelming 80 percent of those polled said their most important goal is to “promote individual freedom buy reducing the size and scope of government and its intrusion into the lives of its citizens.” The conservative talking-point-issues of gay marriage, abortion and national defense seemed unimportant.
Video coverage of the event clearly shows Paul’s notoriously zealous supporters in attendance. And evident by the expressions on the faces of the older, established conservatives, not all in attendance were happy with the results.
In a phone interview with FOX News following the event, 74-year-old Paul attributed his popularity to his message of liberty.
“The principles of liberty is a very young idea, we haven’t had freedom for the individual much more than a couple hundred years,” Paul said. “We have to be young at heart.”
Glenn Beck and FOX News have a new left wing enemy — the progressives. Much of the rhetoric that was aimed toward Democrats in previous years is now being used against the supposedly sinister grandchild of the Bull Moose Party.
Most historians trace the beginnings of the progressive movement to Teddy Roosevelt’s resignation from Republican ranks and formation of his own Bull Moose Party. A party which advocated things such as minimum wage laws and prohibition.
Beck and FOX are correct that the Progressive Party and modern progressives are in favor of increasing the scope of the national government — but all for the “common good.” Basically, a progressive sees things that are wrong within a society and attempts to make them right through the force of government.
While I don’t agree with much of the progressive platform, I do admire its concern and commitment to the downtrodden. The modern progressive movement is not some left wing, God-hating crusade that wishes to steal your children from you and place them in fascist indoctrination institutions. On the contrary, the progressives gave us things like child labor laws and women’s suffrage.
Perhaps what disturbs me most about (mainly) Beck’s anti-progressive banter, is that it distracts Americans from the real issue. How often do we hear Beck and other conservative media pundits claiming that it’s not about left versus right, Democrat versus Republican? And yet, they continually play the fear card, saturating their viewers with an us-versus-them mindset.
The progressives are not “evil” as some would have you believe. They are not what threatens America or the world. But neither is the Tea Party movement, moral majority, conservatism, communism or socialism. As long as Americans of all political ideologies are fed and accept the divisive rhetoric that causes them to see a targeted group as the “enemy” we will never be free.
On Monday, Sarah Palin endorsed Rep. Ron Paul’s son, Rand Paul, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat in Kentucky.
Ron Paul supporters everywhere are crying.
After all, it was the libertarians and Republican party deserters who gave Dr. Paul his momentum in 2008. The only thing Ron Paul supporters hated more than an interventionist foreign policy was, well, the Republican Party. And although Rand isn’t his father, they were probably hoping the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
I’ve had my doubts about Rand. Unlike his poorly spoken father, Rand is a politician — polished and poised. He’s less focused on “liberty” and more on being a “conservative” — something FOX News picked up on a long time ago. Rand, unlike his father, is a favorite of the network.
Perhaps to outsiders, the Palin endorsement appears to make sense. After all, Rand, like his father, is a member of the Republican Party. But Palin’s radical nationalism, socially conservative beliefs and war trumpeting all fly in direct contrast to the libertarian-leaning Ron Paul. Rand, on the other hand, seems to be catering more to the Tea-Party conservatives.
The Palin endorsement is just the latest in a series of red flags. Will Rand Paul follow in the politically unpopular footsteps of his father? Only time, and a win in Kentucky, will tell.
The tragedy of Fort Hood, like Sept. 11, 2001, is being turned into another excuse to partake in anti-Muslim rhetoric and to call for the infringement on the civil liberties of Muslim Americans. So too, may the tragedy be used as a catalyst to infringe on the privacy of non-Muslim Americans.
Consider the following statements by conservative darling Sarah Palin in a recent interview with Fox News:
“Profiling in the sense of finding out what his radical beliefs were. Profiling, in the context of doing whatever we can to save innocent American lives, I’m all for it then.”
And this statement by Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) in a recent interview with CNN:
“I’m not only worried about these types of people potentially being in the military, I’m concerned about these folks being everyday Americans, around America, living among us who may have become or are in the process of becoming radicalized.”
This kind of fear-inducing rhetoric is nothing new in American politics. It was used to rally the America people against American Japanese during World War II and to justify their relocation to internment camps. Similar rhetoric was also used during the “Red Scare.” Americans need to realize that if they do not believe in civil liberties for those they fear, they do not believe in them at all.