The Lefty Libertarian

Political commentary from an askew angle.


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Tuesday, June 01, 2004
3:02 PM 
Just like to to point any people interested in further (if not exclusive) discussion of libertarian topics to my blog. I feel wierd posting stuff on here... where did LL go?

Fifty bucks says he joined the Army and is in Fallujah right now.... HAHAHA

That should smoke 'im out.


Wednesday, November 13, 2002
9:20 AM 
So.... I stopped blogging a while back. I discovered I just didn't have anything to say.

I'm talking again, though: bin Laden appears to be alive. What this means? The "War on Terrorism" is a failure, and the raids of Afghanistan were:

1> Too late
2> Inept

You don't think that bin Laden knew we were coming for him as soon as he heard the planes had hit the WTC? How long do you think it realy takes a person living that life to vanish? So... game on: let's see if we can't actually get the mofo this time.


Sunday, October 20, 2002
2:41 PM 
From the "What the hell were they thinking?" department
The efforts are in violation of a 1994 agreement under which the North pledged to abandon its nuclear program in return for U.S.-led aid in the construction of two light-water reactors.
That's right folks. The USA helped the north Koreans build nuclear reactors, and now they may have weapons. Somebody should go to the wall for this.


8:47 AM 
Somebody in an email asked me where I stood with respect to the globalization protesters and their stance. This is what I said:
-----------------------------
I'm not one of them, but we have much common cause.

The difference is that I'd like to see a lot more stuff like this: The Super Money Maker Irrigation Pump.

And most of them simply want to leave the poor buggers alone to rot.

So... the basic "ANTI" stance is this:

1> The IMF/World Bank's main purpose is to produce massive dollar-debt in third world economies to draw them into the role of raw materials providers for us in the first world. Compare to the balance-of-trade effect of the Opium Wars.

2> Corporations end-run around the labor and health and environmental practices forced upon them by first world nations, then sell the goods to us in the west. This is *slaughtering* people down south. And god-forbid you're a labor organizer in Laos, you know? They can't modernize by the struggles we had between the people and the owners in the labor disputes of England and America, because there are massive foreign powers backing up the owners. Imagine 1800's English labor practices **FOREVER**.

That's something to riot about.

3> The long term structuring of the trade-and-tariff system is intended to cement this state of affairs in place permanently by preventing capital flight to the second and third world.

Here's how it works:
Tax on bringing a ton of oranges into the USA: $1.
Tax on that same ton as juice: $5

So, you have to juice them here, keeping the capital cost of the plant, and all of it's secondary and tertiary economic benefits in the good ol' US of A.

And the entire fucking racket is set up that way: to try and prevent the second and third world nations either:

1> Ceasing to trade on a large scale with the west and trading among themselves, where there is less absolute advantage.

2> Modernizing and following us into prosperity.
--------------------------------------
I don't have much time to put into the blog at the moment, but I'll keep it up with snippets when I can.

LL.


Friday, October 18, 2002
8:13 AM 
Morning, all. First link 'o the day: Dark Horse 2000's Guide to Political Parties. There's some amazingly funny stuff here. There's also some incredibly disturbing stuff. Did you know there was an "American Nazi Party" (I'm not linking to it)?

Jesus, you'd think after all this time.....

... we might have stamped those motherfuckers out.


Thursday, October 17, 2002
10:02 AM 

25,000 killed in terrorist attacks all over the world

Seems different that saying 20,000 people died of hunger today, doesn't it. The money we spent in the war on Afghanistan could have saved a hundred million lives. War is wasteful and often unnecessary.



8:49 AM 

YAY! INSTAPUNDIT ON DEMOCIDE AND GUNS.

Just go read it. A quote
It seems to me that the human rights community has things exactly backward. Given that the efforts of the international community to prevent and punish genocide over the past several decades have been, to put it politely, a dismal failure, perhaps it is time to try a new approach. International human rights law is supposed to be a "living" body of law that changes with the needs of the times in order to secure important goals -- chief among which is the prevention of genocide. Given that the traditional approaches of conventions and tribunals have failed miserably, the human rights community should be prepared to endorse a new international human right: the right of law-abiding citizens to be armed.
Update: whoah... a link... ;-) I'm famous... I'd just like to thank the Academy......


8:41 AM 
I'm an American sick of American lies. Woody Harrelson weighs in. Some of his figures are urban legends, but his heart is in the right place.

Sunday, October 13, 2002
9:14 PM 
The Australians are beginning to understand the shock of having your people killed in a terror attack. It's a blog, with a discussion which is largely made up of people wishing the Aussies well and offering condolences. And then there's me, being an over-political loudmouth.

Some kid (I assume) was trying to turn the whole thing into a "So now you're with us, right? Let's go kick some ass!" . I just snapped at him. Not even at what he said: I re-read his original post, he doesn't even mention Iraq. But the tone...

The young man ready to kill and die for his people. And wrong.

I'm almost certainly stereotyping a perfectly reasonable human being and putting words in his mouth. But there's so much of it around. I just wish I'd picked a better venue and better words.

Anyway, I wanted to repost what I said there, because... this is how I really feel. For the first time I've really dug down to some clarity about this whole issue, and this is it:
James L: I just re-read what you wrote. Knock it off, man. If you're baying for blood, remember:

* 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi
* The Saudis donated over $1.5 million dollars a month to support Al Quada before the attacks

I think you'll find *zero* of the hijackers were Iraqi, and we've yet to see numbers for Hussain's financial support for the terrorists.

You know? I'm still waiting for a convincing case for war on Iraq. The *CIA* are saying "we think the case for war is overstated". The freaking CIA. "Even if Hussain has weapons, he won't use them unless provoked".

Please, if you're going to call for war, for battle:

1> Enlist. Really. Put your life where your mouth is. Want war? Go fight it yourself.
2> Figure out exactly what you're asking us to kill for: Iraq? Oil? Terrorism?

Then figure out if WAR is the answer to the question you have posed.

Historically, terrorists have only been defeated when they lost popular support. When nobody would hide them, feed them, arm them, fund them, they dry up and go away.

Nobody have ever bombed, shot, stabbed or killed terrorism away. The Israelis have been doing more-or-less a perfect job of trying to destroy terrorism by attacking terrorists, and they are still beset, right and left, by terrorism.

It just does not work.

You have to win hearts and minds; to sway the common people, to win against this kind of threat.

And bombing the shit out of Iraq isn't going to help that.

Now, that still leaves the questions about whether Iraq is a worthwhile military target. That's a legitimate question. But invading Iraq is not about terrorism.

You want to bust Al Quaeda's ass? Start follwing the money back into Saudi Arabia. Find out exactly where every single rotten stinking dollar which fueled those people came from and put the various Saudi princes, oil barrons and business men who were actually funding the attacks on trial.

That would be a war against terrorism I'd fight.

Anyway, sorry to be dumping this kind of crap in your thread. I know you Aussies are just coming to terms with what is going on and you don't want to hear us yanks bickering.

My appologies,
The Lefty Libertarian.
So that's what I said. And if you followed me here to find out what kind of a butthead would shoot his mouth off half way through people mourning, it was this kind of a butthead: me.


7:13 PM 
Ok, anybody know anything about these folks?
This book is the culmination of a 25 year investigation into computer vote fraud. Journalists James and Kenneth Collier answer the question. “Why can't we vote the bastards out?” And the answer is, “Because we didn't even vote the bastards in!”

“Votescam” will fill in the blanks for anyone who senses their vote is worthless, but doesn't know why. It tracks down, confronts, and calls the names of Establishment thieves who elegantly steal the American vote for their own profit.
I got the link from the Fringe Folk's page on the Gore victory. I normally wouldn't give this kind of thing a second glance: I think the established facts are pretty clearly more than I know how to deal with. Can you really say that you've integrated the existence of Operation Northwoods into your daily viewpoint on the world? Or that we got into Vietnam on a presidential lie? I can't. I struggle to understand what it means more-or-less daily. Betrayal of the public trust on that scale.... it seems to make almost anything possible.

You know? I've got a lot of comments and feedback on my position on firearms and stuff like that, but nobody wants to talk about the elephant in the corner: we got into Vietnam and WWII via Presidents lying to us about what was going on in ways which ended up costing thousands and thousands of American lives....

Blows your mind when you think about it. It's like the bleedin' Matrix.

So, anyway, normally I ignore conspiracy theory. But this... I dunno, has a certain ring to it? It looks a little like the sorts of things which show up, eventually, as history.


What do you think? Is it legit, or bullshit? Is massive, systematic voter fraud a part of the way this country works, or isn't it? At this point, I know the Republicans out there are yelling: "Bush won, deal with it".

Well, you know what? Ask the 48,000+ black voters who were "mistakenly" identified as fellons and denied their votes what they think of Bush's "victory" And yes, it did happen, and yes, it's legit. The NAACP just settled the case. Once again, ugly truths covered over by the mainstream media: BUSH CAME TO POWER BY CHEATING BLACK PEOPLE OF THEIR RIGHT TO VOTE. And I mean that in the most literal sense: those votes, mostly democratic by the demographic, would have made Gore the President. This is how Bush came to power: by blatantly illegal racial gerrymandering.

There, stick that in your goddam republican pipes and smoke them!

Bastards. How dare they do that in our democracy? And where's the outcry? The massive campaigns in the street from both Black and White, protesting this kind of violation of the basic rights of the people to choose their leader? You tell me. I'm indoors writing a blog post about it, not out there protesting.

What are you doing?


6:49 PM 
As detailed in Kwangju Diary (UCLA Asian Pacific, 1999), a text that I co-translated with Kap Su Seol and that was based on Jae-Eui Lee’s bestselling first-hand account, the city of Kwangju then began reorganizing its own economy and social life in the crucible of an armed uprising and general strike. Fuel and arms were rationed democratically, half-trained militias defended the city while townspeople prepared communal meals for hundreds in city parks, and nearby factories were plundered for vehicles and material to help spread the revolution.
Another little speck of forgotten history.

Makes me sad. You read these accounts every so often of democratic uprisings - people universally treat eachother well. For a while. And then they either get swept away, or normality resumes and the first movers get dug in and politicized and corrupt.

It does give me hope, though, that people are in essence decent. That when the chips are down, we take care of eachother by instinct. Not because of our philosophy or politics, but by intuition.


10:29 AM 


Environmentalists have been bitching about government sabotage of funding and research on renewable energies for decades. Little stuff like putting the agency for developing renewable energy under the agency responsible for developing nuclear energy, or mis-estimating the efficiency of wave power systems by a factor of four, then ruling them too inefficient to be worthy of further study.

There is a solution to our current problems in this direction. Let's pay it some attention: reducing our dependence on oil cuts our foreign policy liabilities dramatically. Use less oil. It's patriotic - and it's one in the eye for BushCo!



9:41 AM 
So, on to a different tack.

Let's talk about how dreams inform reality. Let's talk about the Cuban missile crisis.

Think about this for a moment: USSR Vs. US. Cuba with nuclear weapons is the threat of the day. We were this close to nuclear war, which in those days would probably have been total and annihilated life on earth. We pulled through by genius and luck.

Everybody involved put the welfare of the people first, and this is why we survived. The US not over-escalating, the USSR backing down - it looks like force, but at some profound level it is and was cooperation. To value the lives of your countrymen, and the fellow citizens of the world, over some local goal.

Why is Bush so worried about Oil? It's simple: we need it to survive. Supplies will, one day, be scarce, and exactly when that day is nobody knows. Could be twenty years, could be fifty.

As long as you ignore the probability of oil being made obsolete by technologies like fuel cells, this looks like a sensible strategy if you put the welfare of American people before that of everybody else.

You could also argue that America is the world's best defence against Fascism and democidal regimes, and that for us to remain strong in some ways guarentees the welfare of the world. I can just about hear Chompsky spinning in his grave, but this is not an entirely flag-waving argument. Overall, we do pretty good.

Either way, it's possible to construe the actions of the government as being in the "good but misguided" category, rather than the "flat-out evil armaggedon monkeys".

Below, I've argued extensively for awareness of the potential for democide and oppression in our current political situation. Now I want to add a proviso: if nothing bad is happening, a heavilly armed population will make the Government more likely to slip into fascism. Not less, more. Our fear of them increases their fear of us increases their tendancy to cover their asses and you get into this kind of weird feedback loop.

The pictures of eachother we paint in our mind construct the fabric of our reality.

I don't know how to integrated my political and spiritual consciousnesses in these times.

What would it take for peace to break out, and BushCo to simply be made irrelevant?

Perhaps nothing. Perhaps it's already happened.

If you knew the future was going to be perfect how would you act in the present?

Consciousness matters: not to be blind to the bad, but not to be blind to the good either. Life on the planet appears to have been getting better for the average human being for most of recorded history. The curve is up, and I'm not convinced BushCo are anything other than a part of that process. Perhaps we just needed to be awakened to our reponsibility to rule our government and hem them in with our doubts. And everything I've said about democide exists in this context: we also got antibiotics and super-abundent food in the 20th century.

Fuel cells. Methanol engines. Solar panels. Those are tools of peace these days - throwing snow on the fires of war requires little more than energy efficiency.

So, buy a rifle and stop driving your car. Check out how cheap solar systems are these days. Envisage a reality where we are no longer dependent on oil, and start putting your dollars where your hopes are: on a future where people like Bush cannot exist because there is no scarcity for them to exploit and no division for them to pour salt into.

This is the long term answer: peace through fair prosperity.

We've poured a lot of money into developing fusion reactors. Turns out that they're incredibly expensive and difficult to operate if they are too small. The right size for a fusion reactor is 1,391,000km in diameter. All we need to do is pick up the radiated energy and use it.

Do you see what I'm saying? Fighting over scarce resources will always cause trouble, and all forms of sharing require politics to try and achive consensus or fairness. The long-term solution to war is to move our economy away from dependence on scarce resources on to dependence on plentiful ones: if we had viewed removing our dependence on oil as a national security priority and poured a hundred billion dollars into it over the past twenty years, do you really think we would be in this mess today?

But that requires breaking out of history, out of the patternen of fighting over scarcity.

Create abundence. In the long term it is the answer to war.

Update:
Energy Victory. Don't agree with everything they say, but they get it.
Energy payback time for photovoltaics is now between three and eight years.


Saturday, October 12, 2002
4:27 PM 
We stand at a pivot point in history.

In some ways, we all do, in every day of our lives. But these days are special. Our world hangs in the balance, as it always does, but now it's our turn to tip it one way or the other, by action or inaction.

A big part of this is belief, faith. We only have so many facts, and the grey zone between truth and lies is 90% of our world. Are the Iraqis trying to blow us up? Is President Bush a hopelessly corrupt tool? We don't, and can't know for sure. We do not have enough data.

How you fill the gaps between your datapoints: that's the key to all simulation, to all thought.

I've spent a lot of time in the darkness. I've been reading Rummel's stuff on democide, sketching in my own mind the outlines of what would happen here if those social forces arise.

I don't like it.

Now I feel a turning. Having looked into the darkness, I want to envisage a different future. One filled with hope, light and life.

Here's how it goes: Lessig wins Eldred Vs. Ashcroft and the entire cultural content of the 1960s enters into the public domain on the spot. All of the Beatles. All of the Doors. All of LOVE. All the movies, all the art. But especially all of the music.

And it changes us.

Suddenly being reconnected to the protest against the vietnam war - to this mysterious outpouring of love which threatened all established powers with turning the world into a garden - to the vision and hope of humanity freed - to a spirituality which manifested as community, sharing and love - to the presence of god in every child, Vietnamese, Iraqi or American.

The seventies was a hangover, the 80s a bad dream, and the 90s a slow reawakening.

This is the twenty first century. It is a time of light, life and hope. Don't believe anybody who tells you differently.


4:17 PM 
Lessig's report of what happened before the supremes.

I'm so excited about this I can't say a word.



10:38 AM 
Awww, shit.... Looks like we might have managed to destabilize Pakistan (yes, they do have nuclear weapons) in our efforts to round up Mullah Omar and bin Laden (the President hasn't said bin Laden's name in public in seven months. Perhaps that's because we failed to catch him after swearing we'd have his head on a plate).
But the main surprise in Thursday's poll was a stunning performance by a grouping of firebrand Islamic parties, which tapped anger over the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan to virtually sweep the board in two conservative western provinces.
...
"We will stop the ongoing pursuit of Taliban and al Qaeda when we form the government," he said. "Taliban and al Qaeda members are our brothers."
Now this? This sucks. Nuclear-powered muslim fundamentalism is the VERY LAST THING IN THE WORLD WE WANT and it looks like our inept administration is well on the way to producing it.

BushCo: lousy at peace, worse at war, just say no in November.


10:24 AM 
WorldRun. Anybody remember that? Click on the link, you'll see a map of the world with current news events indicated with icons. Apparently it parses newsfeeds to prepare this thing in real time. Pure brilliance. Somebody get these guys som money to hire a graphic designer, and wire the back end to Google News!
[via Boing Boing's Guest Bloggers]


9:42 AM 
Next topic: those manic monkeys in the White House.

The National Security Strategy of the United States of America

The National Strategy For Homeland Security

Over the next few days I'm going to be reading these august documents and trying to make some sense of what's going on. I'd invite you to join me and post your thoughts on the subject. Let's try and encourage some democratic debate on the stated policies of our government.

Anybody want to join me?

Although not an official document, the ever-popular Rebuilding America's Defenses is fairly short and worth a look first, just so you can see where these guys are coming from.

It's a challenging task: these documents are long, wordy and written in Presidentialese, but I think we really owe it to ourselves to get informed enought to take part in this debate.

Let's read the official strategy of the Government together. It'll be fun. We'll learn something.

Probably a lot of things we'd rather not know, but then, that's the point of this isn't it. To be informed citizens of our Republic. Blog away.


9:29 AM 
Ok, barring anything revolutionary happening in the blogosphere, I'm done with guns. I'll be glad to continue conversations and refine my position, but I'm bored with the topic. It's pretty easy, you know? You read the democide stories, you wonder if it could happen here, and the decision tree is pretty simple:
  1. Do you believe that Government sometimes turns on The People and massacres them?
    No: 2, Duh!: 3
  2. Read Rummel and start over, or go home because you're an idiot.
  3. Do you believe that there is a zero chance of that happening where you live, within your expected lifespan or that of your offspring?
    Yes, we're safe here: 4, No, there's a tiny chance it could happen here: 5.
  4. Ok, one name: Jose Padilla. Held indefinitely without trial on Presidential say-so, against our every consitutional principle. Do some reading and get back to me. While you're at it, cover the Gulf of Tonkin, Operation Northwoods and Pearl Harbor. Let me know how safe you feel, OK?
  5. Do you believe that having 10% of the populace armed with, say, a rifle each would make any difference in the event of a democidal scenario?
    No, the Army or Brownshirts or Whoever would overwhelm us: 6, Yes, and what's more I'd rather die trying, 7.
  6. Fair enough, you might even be right. But don't deprive others of their right to try.
  7. So, welcome to the Folks Who Think The Second Amendment Means Something Club. Glad to have you aboard.


I mean, yes, this essentially self parody and oversimplification, but that's essentially it.

Given our history of democide in the last century, and the role that disarming the populace has played in those slaughters, I believe it is the right of all adults to arm themselves against this turn of affairs. Although the odds of it happening again are very, very small, nobody can say there is no chance whatsoever, and therefore the Second Amendment should be respected.

And that's it. That's all I had to say about guns.




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