Monday, March 31, 2008
As I wrote, in part, in an earlier blog entry about the Beatles and the Apocalypse of Love:
In 1964, at sixteen years, I had three experiences which helped me leave the constrictions of the Catholic faith. I read most of Ayn Rand’s novels, which raved against religion of any kind. I had my first spontaneous experience of the universe as being one connected consciousness and of my being part of that consciousness. And finally at the end of the summer of 1964 I saw the Beatles twice in person, August 30 in Atlantic City, New Jersey and September 20 in New York City. (Yes, I am one of the anointed ones!)
Before the latter concert four of us went exploring through the upstairs halls. We separated at a staircase when a guard appeared. Our friends who went down the staircase ended up at the entrance to the Beatles' reception room! They saw two live Beatles! My sister and I ran the other way and ended up in the lobby. I've always seen that as the great symbol of the many missed opportunities in my life.
Of course I say something more positive in the book which also is true: I think about it from time to time when I'm having decisions in my life - should I take the more conservative or aggressive route - and I think of those stairs and I think, "I gotta go down those stairs!" 'Cause I don't know what I'd miss if I don't.
Well, now that my arm is out of a cast and at least two fingers on my left hand can type, I've run out of excuses for laying on my butt watching TV all day. It's back to fulfilling my New Year's Resolutions!
Friday, March 21, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Here's some of what Spitzer wrote in the Washington Post.com February 14, 2008 in Predatory Lenders' Partner in Crime: How the Bush Administration Stopped the States From Stepping In to Help Consumers:
...Predatory lending was widely understood to present a looming national crisis. This threat was so clear that as
What did the Bush administration do in response? Did it reverse course and decide to take action to halt this burgeoning scourge? As Americans are now painfully aware, with hundreds of thousands of homeowners facing foreclosure and our markets reeling, the answer is a resounding no.
Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye.
Let me explain: The administration accomplished this feat through an obscure federal agency called the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The OCC has been in existence since the Civil War. Its mission is to ensure the fiscal soundness of national banks. For 140 years, the OCC examined the books of national banks to make sure they were balanced, an important but uncontroversial function.
But a few years ago, for the first time in its history, the OCC was used as a tool against consumers. In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks. The federal government's actions were so egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules.
Greg Palast has written more about this at DissidentVoice.Org: "The $200 billion bail-out for predator banks and Spitzer charges are intimately linked." So has F. William Engdahl at Global Research: "Why the Bush Administration 'Watergated' Eliot Spitzer."
Yup, one more reason to secede from our very crooked union.
Which reminds me, check out my most recent entries at my Vermont Commons "Secede and Survive" blog:
Secessionist Theory and News: a listing of links to theoretical works, plus links to and brief descriptions of a couple of secession news items of note.
Benefits of Secession for Minorities: The benefits of political decentralization to them are positive, similar to the benefits I described previously for women.
Secession and Sectarianism: Secessionists face the problem of sectarianism both from the most rabid unionists who oppose secession on ideological grounds and, contrarily, from those who support it as a means of advancing and even imposing their sectarian agenda, be it racial, ethnic, religious or ideological. ...So it is very important to build a secessionist movement that recognizes and has strategies for dealing with sectarianism.
Liberty and Democracy as Antidotes to Sectarian Secessionism: This is a continuation of my previous entry on “Secession and Sectarianism.” It details two important antidotes to the problem of sectarian conflict among secessionists - Liberty and Democracy.
Monday, March 17, 2008
In "Smearing Obama" Raimondo asserts that "Every antiwar candidate has to endure the same hate campaign." "With [Ron] Paul, it was tarring him with the brush of "white nationalism," even though any sort of nationalism – white, black, pink, or purple – is anathema to libertarians of Paul's ilk...In the case of Obama, the assault is taking the form of an attack on the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the now-retired pastor of Obama's church whom Obama describes as a religious "mentor" in his autobiography The Audacity of Hope. Again, the basic strategy is to make Obama answer for each and every one of Wright's pronouncements, no matter how wacky or lame-brained..."
Of course, what really upsets the establishment is the true things that Wright said which Obama, Raimondo and tens of millions of Americans agree with:
"We've got more black men in prison than there are in college. Racism is alive and well."
"America is still the No. 1 killer in the world…. We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns, and the training of professional killers…. We bombed Cambodia, Iraq, and Nicaragua, killing women and children while trying to get public opinion turned against Castro and Ghadhafi…. We put [Nelson] Mandela in prison and supported apartheid the whole 27 years he was there. We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God."
"We supported Zionism shamelessly while ignoring the Palestinians and branding anybody who spoke out against it as being anti-Semitic…. We care nothing about human life if the end justifies the means…"
Raimondo ends by saying:
"Clearly, Obama is the candidate the neoconservatives fear and loathe: the loathing is on account of his antiwar views, at least when it comes to Iraq, and the fear stems from the fact that campaigning against him will be difficult. Hillary they can handle: she'll mobilize the troops and weld together the fractured Republican coalition in opposition.
The War Party is in full battle mode, and it is determined to destroy Obama. Will it succeed? Stay tuned…"
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
But what about "law and order" prosecutors and attorney generals who have prosecuted sex workers (and occassionally clients)? What about elected governors of states overseeing thousands of police and prosectors who harrass arrest, prosecute, jail and imprison sex workers? What happens when such a prosecutor turned governor breaks both state and federal prostitution laws - crimes which do lead to 5 or more year sentences for others? Should libertarians support prosecution of such hypocritical bastards? It's so tempting to prosecute for the "crime" of hypocrisy. But I'll leave a discourse on this topic for another place and time.
Let me quote a Manhattan libertarian's blog - linked from the Libertarian Party of New York site on that topic:
Happy Days Are Here Again!
Eliot Spitzer caught with his pants down! I love it!! Expect the man who shall forever after be known as Client 9 to resign shortly.
That he was a patron of a prostitution ring with a name like The Emperors Club VIP makes it even more fitting. These guys really do think of themselves as emperors and the rest of us as serfs, above the laws they use to oppress the masses.
As attorney general, Spitzer prosecuted at least two prosecution rings — callously ruining dozens of lives over the quintessential victimless crime. Now he reaps what he sowed.
It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Wish I knew their sex and neuter status. All neutered males certainly would suggest one conclusion - all non-neutered females another. However, it also suggests that even animals can overcome primal negative emotions through training and experience. Something humans SHOULD be even more capable of. Why do you think there is so much brainwashing in religion, politics and the media to keep us scared and distrustful of each other?
We even see it with Hillary "the monster" Clinton (and all right wing talk radio) trying to scare people about whether Barack Obama is a secret Muslim. Of course, if she's nominated they'll start speculating about whether she's really a wiccan "witch."
John Lennon needed another verse: "Imagine we're all conscious."
Friday, March 07, 2008
Mr. Speaker: I rise in opposition to H. Res. 951, a resolution to condemn Palestinian rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. As one who is consistently against war and violence, I obviously do not support the firing of rockets indiscriminately into civilian populations. I believe it is appalling that Palestinians are firing rockets that harm innocent Israelis, just as I believe it is appalling that Israel fires missiles into Palestinian areas where children and other non-combatants are killed and injured.
Unfortunately, legislation such as this is more likely to perpetuate violence in the Middle East than contribute to its abatement. It is our continued involvement and intervention – particularly when it appears to be one-sided – that reduces the incentive for opposing sides to reach a lasting peace agreement.
Additionally, this bill will continue the march toward war with Iran and Syria, as it contains provocative language targeting these countries. The legislation oversimplifies the Israel/Palestine conflict and the larger unrest in the Middle East by simply pointing the finger at Iran and Syria. This is another piece in a steady series of legislation passed in the House that intensifies enmity between the United States and Iran and Syria. My colleagues will recall that we saw a similar steady stream of provocative legislation against Iraq in the years before the US attack on that country.
I strongly believe that we must cease making proclamations involving conflicts that have nothing to do with the United States. We incur the wrath of those who feel slighted while doing very little to slow or stop the violence.
Sunday, March 02, 2008
The Hebrew word shoah, or holocaust, is not used casually in Israeli society. Occasionally, it is employed to denote a massive disaster...In what may prove to be a significant miscalculation, Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai on Friday used the term in warning of more military action in Gaza. By allowing constant rocket barrages from Gaza on nearby Israeli cities, the Palestinians, Vilnai said, were "bringing upon themselves a greater shoah because we will use all our strength in every way we deem appropriate, whether in airstrikes or on the ground." As the three-day death toll in Gaza climbed toward triple digits, senior Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal accused Israel of "implementing a real holocaust against the Palestinian people for the past 60 years. What is happening today in Gaza is a new holocaust." The nongovernmental Palestinian Information Center issued a statement calling Vilnai's words "the first indirect admission by an Israeli official that what Israel is conducting against the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is a holocaust, albeit a slow-motion one." Given the Arab reaction and the rising Palestinian death toll, Vilnai's use of the word is proving controversial within Israel as well...
John McCain must be creaming in his 72 year old jeans. Meanwhile 74 year old Arab-American Ralph Nader is running for president very explicitly - as he revealed last week on "Meet the Press" - to make almost half-Arab Barack Obama feel guilty for dropping his past criticisms of Israel's barbarism; he evidently does still support publicly an undefined just peace for the Palestinians.
Of course, Obama has to hide his true feelings or he'd be assassinated before he had a chance to win. The Mossad probably will take him out if he wins. He can have a nice talk on the other side with JFK and RFK about the good old days where the Mossad just had the Meyer Lansky gang and their leftist patsies and/or their brain-washed Arab employees do it. However, World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein and his Mossad buddies have brought assassination to a whole new level, so expect the assassination to be part of some catastrophic terrorist act blamed on Muslims or Arabs.
Ouch. Think of all the broken bones that will entail!