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Archive for October, 2006

Nope, not voting

Suffrage is a right not a privilege. This isn’t debatable as it’s enshrined into the U.S. Constitution. The right to vote, however, is also the right not to vote. As a citizen, I’m entitled to abstain if the candidates for office don’t meet my personal requirements as a citizen, regardless if they meet the requirement to hold political office. In Virginia, this is exactly the case.

The current incumbent Republican Senator Allen is in a race with Jim Webb, the Democratic challenger. After reading and considering both candidates’ platform and agenda, I have decided that neither one are worthy of my vote. My standards as a voting citizen are high and I don’t cast my vote lightly, but those standards aren’t out of anyone’s reach. Yet Allen and Web fall short of meeting the minimum requirements of:

  1. An immediate end to the Iraq war (bring the troops home now)
  2. A solution to the Southern border problem (build a complete fence, guarded by the U.S. military)
  3. Non-federal oversight of education and abolishing the ridiculous No Child Left Behind Act (each state decides and funds their own education program)
  4. A surplus (not balanced) budget to eliminate the national debt within 5-10 years.

Instead, the candidates offer rhetoric, lip-service to hot-button issues. They will tell you what they support and what they don’t support, while solutions to anything are few and far between. Therefore, while Virginians are at the polls on Election Day, I’ll be sipping a cup of fresh java while developing my own plan for debt-free living and higher education – areas where I have control.

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Ghosts you say?

A close friend of mine sent me this link to a video on ghosts, and since Halloween is only a few days away I thought I would share it. Some of you will find it fascinating and others will be skeptical. Either way, enjoy!


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I don’t think there’s anyway Justin escapes the wrath of the Jewish community abroad and those in Israeli proper after titling his new article “A Jewish Hitler – The rise of Avigdor Lieberman.” Justin presents a sound argument (as always) against such an unlikeable member joining the Israeli government, but also illustrates the similarities between previous National Socialist policies of the 40’s era and the one’s advocated by Lieberman. Yet it’s not the content of the opinion piece that will draw scorn and ridicule from both Jews and those that support Judaism’s political and religious claims of being chosen by God for favoritism (a racist-religious doctrine if there ever was one), it will be because Justin chose the specific title he did. It’s a shame that so many readers won’t get past the headline; a sad indictment of our species really. Prepare for the hysteria.

A Jewish Hitler?
The rise of Avigdor Lieberman

by Justin Raimondo

With the entry of Avigdor Lieberman into the government as deputy minister for “strategic threats” – essentially in charge of preparing for war with Iran – Israel makes a qualitative step toward a regime that increasingly resembles, in all its essentials, a rogue state, and, I might add, potentially a very dangerous one.

Lieberman’s views are notoriously racist, and his rhetoric is invariably violent. He called for the execution of Israeli Arab members of the Knesset who met with Hamas or didn’t celebrate Israel’s Independence Day. His party, Yisrael Beytenu (“Israel is our Home”), accuses Israeli Arabs of “dual loyalty” on account of their ethnicity, and advocates the complete separation of the Israeli and Arab populations in Palestine – in effect, forced transfer. Lieberman and his followers vehemently oppose the peace process, support the militant settlement movement, and are proud partisans of ethnic cleansing.

In 2002, Lieberman averred that he wouldn’t flinch at ordering the IDF into the occupied territories on the West Bank for 48 hours, an operation designed to “Destroy the foundation of all the [Palestinian] authority’s military infrastructure … not leave one stone on another. Destroy everything.” Civilian targets included: that same year he also argued the Israeli air force should bomb all Palestinian commercial centers, including banks and even gas stations.

Full story

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You can’t handle the truth

Over the last week or so, I have observed the tendency of individuals to hold on to beliefs, superstitions, and ideas as if they were a frightened child clinging to their mother. Desperate for security, the possibility of being wrong or changing their perspectives is more horrifying than any terrorist threat or mythological hell-being. No matter what, they not only can’t be wrong, they will not examine their own beliefs to check their validity or consider that growth through knowledge occurs under the intense pressure of scrutiny.

Previously, I stated the reason for this is because individuals don’t want to feel vulnerable. Being wrong, or holding a false idea, induces the feeling of vulnerability. Why, if they’re wrong about a deeply held conviction, or discovered that they have been lied to, what does the future bring? Vulnerability breeds uncertainty and both violate what seems to be an innate human characteristic of the need for security.

This desire for security involves itself in every aspect of life. From marriage to the Iraq war, art, and education, peoples thoughts, beliefs, and convictions can’t be challenged or the individual will no longer perceive the illusion of himself, but will now see himself for what he truly is.

Consider the dialog from the movie A Few Good Men, “You can’t handle the truth. Son, we live in a world with walls and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns.” This statement applies to national security, but it also describes the mindset of people who guard their views on life with utter ferocity and intellectual militarism.

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Do not forget this day, Tuesday, October 24, 2006. Tattoo it into your mind. For today is the day that the President of the United States of America, George W. Bush, signed into law the Military Commissions Act. And today is the day that America has forsaken any sense of decency, liberty, and human rights. The elected officials in Washington D.C. no longer inhabit the “shining city on a hill,”which stood as a beacon of light and justice for many in this deranged and delusional world, but instead they now govern from something that closely resembles the fiery pits of Tolkien’s Mordor. Gone forever is the moral high ground where America could stand tall. She has been perverted by her own officials into the torchbearer of indecency, inhumanity, and injustice.

The new act, which should be aptly named the Military Torture Act, legalizes the inhumane treatment of accused prisoners and enemy combatants. Accused is most significant here because the handlers of those kidnapped do not know if in fact their prisoner is actually a bona fide terrorist or has any information at all. Many of the people currently detained are only there due to some Middle Eastern style Salem witch hunt; for money or other bribes, denizens in Afghanistan and Iraq will point out someone, accuse them of collaborating with terrorists, of which the U.S. will then arrest, detain, and torture them. The prisoners, which could possibly include American citizens if they receive enemy combatant status (the IRS will have a lot of fun with that), will undergo a new life of barbarity they’ve never before seen.

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The mother of all heists

All conservatives love to talk about the corrupt U.N. Oil for Food program, and how only the United States is righteous enough to take care of international matters. Granted, the United Nations is corrupt, but the current United States government (Republicans and Democrats alike) is not only as corrupt, it is also negligent. From the president who campaigned that he didn’t believe in “nation building” comes a criminal tale of lies, deceipt, and thievery. American taxpayers have had $500 million of their money unconsistutionally taken from them and given to a nation (Iraq) that isn’t entitled to it. When Iraqi authorities received the money, there was no U.S. government oversight or programs in place to make sure the money was spent appropriately. So, Iraqi authorities took the money and fled the country, investigators believe. I think if investigators take a closer look, they may find the pockets of various U.S. officials a little fatter also.

Now, why does this bother me? Because it’s our money! $500 million dollars would go a long way in funding many programs at home. For example, the money could have been earmarked in a type of Reaganesque state block grant program, where each state would receive proportional funds to spend however they saw fit. Specific domestic programs could’ve also used the money. I’m certain research and development for alternative energy sources would like a half billion dollars in an attempt to end U.S. dependency on archaic Middle Eastern oil. Or take NASA’s astrobiology program, which came into development approximately ten years ago, who is having its funding cut by 50% in the 2007 budget.

The Mother Of All Heists

More than half a billion dollars earmarked to fight the insurgency in Iraq was stolen by people the U.S. had entrusted to run the country’s Ministry of Defense before the 2005 elections, according to Iraqi investigators.

Iraq’s former minister of finance says coalition members like the U.S. and Britain are doing little to help recover the money or catch suspects, most of whom fled the country. The 60 Minutes investigation also turned up audio recordings of a suspect who seems to be discussing the transfer of $45 million to the account of a top political adviser to the interim defense minister.

Correspondent Steve Kroft reports on this mother of all heists.

“We have not been given any serious, official support from either the United States or the U.K. or any of the surrounding Arab countries,” says Ali Allawi, who was confronted with the missing funds when he took over as Iraq’s finance minister last year.

He thinks he knows why Iraqi investigators have gotten little help. “The only explanation I can come up with is that too many people in positions of power and authority in the new Iraq have been, in one way or another, found with their hands inside the cookie jar,” says Allawi, who left his post when a new Iraqi government was formed earlier this year. “And if they are brought to trial, it will cast a very disparaging light on those people who had supported them and brought them to this position of power and authority,” he tells Kroft.

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Wrong move

The greatest mistake of the Iraq war is the fact that we’re fighting it. A trap was set on 9/11 and we fell for it hook, line , and sinker. Al Qaeda had stated repeatedly that its goal was to draw U.S. troops into the Middle East where it would bleed the United States dry, just like the mujahdeen had done to the Soviets during the 1980’s. It would be a war of attrition, one the United States couldn’t win. Economically, we would be ruined, casualties would escalate over time because our militarily would fight a war that it wasn’t designed nor equipped to fight. A protracted guerrilla war as opposed to a conventional confrontation is not our forte. Resolve, perseverance or blind faith in American superiority will not erase the lessons of history. And given the intelligence level of the individual occupying the White House, it’s no wonder a bearded, Arabian, isolated mountain-dweller would out-think our president. So, why hasn’t the United States been attacked since 9/11? Because there’s no need to, bin Laden has us right where he wanted us all along.

Since it’s the weekend and I’m looking forward to relaxing a little, please watch the nine minute clip below.


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