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Libertarian Saturday
Author: TriSec    Date: 02/02/2008 13:51:43

Good Morning!

It's some days back now, but much like the Democrats, the Libertarian Party also issued a response to the State of the Union address. Unfortunately, this was distributed only on the internets, as third parties 'don't count' for the vast majority of Americans...

Following President Bush’s annual State of the Union Address, the Libertarian Party issued their response from National Chairman William Redpath:

Tonight’s State of the Union address went much as expected. Instead of calling for a more limited role of the federal government in American society, the President laid out plans that would only increase the government’s intervention into the realm of economics, health care, education and foreign policy. It is unfortunate to see that after seven years of increasing the size of government and increasing the government’s presence in the day to day lives of all Americans, the President refuses to limit the scope of the federal government, a once championed virtue of the President’s party. The President’s last State of the Union address encapsulated his legacy of an abandonment of the principles of limited government and individual freedom.

While the Libertarian Party applauds the President on taking a stand against wasteful government spending–though his administration has been a large contributor to this problem–and opening up more foreign markets to trade, we offer the following solutions to issues the President brought up in his address:

Economics: The President’s economic stimulus plan is based on a flawed and outdated economic premise. The best solution to an economic slowdown is increasing the ability for businesses to grow and reinvest in the economy. Instead of increasing the federal deficit by $150 billion dollars, the federal government should focus its energy on eliminating taxes that restrain economic growth. Eliminating taxes such as the death tax and capital gains taxes, and lowering income tax rates on private citizens, will free up vital capital that can be reinvested into the economy. Additionally, the federal government should remove all trade barriers that prevent free trade with other nations. This is a more sound economic policy that presents real solutions instead of the window-dressing that is the President’s stimulus package.

Education: The President’s ‘No Child Left Behind Act’ has failed from the very beginning, and its reauthorization would be a travesty to the American education system. Instead of unfunded, federal mandates with the intent of fixing our failing public schools, alternatives involving the private sector should be explored. Increased local control over public schools and the increased use of private alternatives will increase the quality of education for all American children. We call for abolishing the Department of Education and removing the federal government from educating our children.

Health care: Far too long have our politicians tried to find a government fix for the health care problem we have in America. Government interference in the health care system is the root of the problems we face. Only in eliminating government subsidies of health care will we find relief from increasing costs. The Libertarian Party calls for the elimination of all government entitlement programs related to health care.

Foreign Policy: America will spend more than $1 trillion dollars in foreign wars started during the Bush administration. Because of such, the economy is in jeopardy and America’s reputation abroad has suffered traumatic blows. On top of this, Americans have seen their civil liberties violated time after time. The Libertarian Party calls for a withdrawal from Iraq following the proper lines of withdrawal, executed by our commanders on the ground. We also call for an abandonment of the reckless policy of pre-emptive war, and a restoration of civil liberties lost under such laws as the Patriot Act and the amendments to FISA. The Libertarian Party reminds our leaders in power of the great words of Samuel Adams:

“The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.”

In this perilous time, when our freedom is attacked from both inside our borders by corrupt politicians and from outside by foreign aggressors, we call for prudence, wisdom and above all, an adherence to the United States Constitution, which reigns sovereign over all individuals of American society.

Redpath is a resident of Leesburg, Virginia, where he lives with his wife Melinda. Redpath has served as the Chairman of the Libertarian Party since 2006. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago.

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16 comments (Latest Comment: 02/03/2008 06:08:23 by Mondobubba)

We Are the Change
Author: BobR    Date: 02/01/2008 13:08:21

Everybody deals with bad situations in different ways. Some people lash out, some people withdraw. When I heard about Edwards suspending his campaign on Wed., I didn't know what to do with my feelings. I suggested to my love that she channel her feelings into her art. I decided to take my own advice, and channel it into music.

Understand that I studiously avoid trying to write political music. There are very few that can do that and make it work. There are SO many bad political songs out there...

But - I fell asleep Wednesday night with the beginnings of a song in my head, and woke up yesterday with it nearly finished. I haven't had a chance to really work out the music parts or record it, but I am sharing the lyrics (subject to change) with the blog today...
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172 comments (Latest Comment: 02/02/2008 05:13:37 by Mondobubba)

Breaking up is hard to do
Author: Raine    Date: 01/31/2008 13:23:40

I am single again. I won't tell you the sad story of how it happened because I myself am still not sure. I have my suspicions, but now is not the time or the place.

As John Edwards suspended his campaign yesterday, I immediately felt a real shift in the political landscape. (ok, it actually felt like someone punched me in the gut. The last time I remember feeling like that was the very last broadcast of *UnFiltered*) I suspect all of us who felt passionately about a candidate have felt this so far, unless you felt that way about our 2 remaining candidates that is.

That means you still have a date to the prom.
I don't. :(

And the MSM pundits felt the shift too. The question of the night was who will Edwards endorse? Where will his supporters go?

Suddenly last night I felt like a prize to be taken instead of earned. There were reasons why I supported John Edwards, it was not just because his speeches inspired me. It wasn't because he was something perceived as different. It wasn't the work he did for the poor and underserved. I supported John Edwards because he supported the causes that I truly care about in this country, and he made them the centerpieces of his campaign. He talked substance. He gave answers and he did not waiver in his convictions.
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217 comments (Latest Comment: 02/01/2008 03:43:37 by livingonli)

Report from an Edwards Rally
Author: BobR    Date: 01/30/2008 13:15:42

From Guest Blogger (and 4F member) Faye (m-hadley):
This morning I got up, checked my e-mail over my morning coffee, posted an entry to my blog that I had written the night before (see the following critique of Bush's last SOTU address), and headed out the door to a rally being held in North Tulsa at the Transportation Workers Union Local #514 Hall. The rally was being held for John Edwards. I realize that I may be perceived to be somewhat of a flip-flopper on my presidential choice for 2008. As I have explained to anybody who will listen, I know myself too well, and I know that once I choose a candidate, it will be very hard for me to switch my allegiance to another candidate come Convention time in Denver. So although I have posted entries on my blog that suggest that I am supporting Barack Obama (and I am impressed with his eloquent style, his vision of hope and unity, and his ability to inspire us to be our very best selves), and I have been vocal about my misgivings about Hillary Clinton, I am also a realist, and I know that whoever gets the nod in July from the Democratic Party is the candidate I will support in November. I have survived the ravages of a senseless, remorseless, ugly, and fear-based republican administration, and I will not in good conscience support any candidate that even hints at continuing any of Bush/Cheney's horrendous policies.
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204 comments (Latest Comment: 01/31/2008 02:47:04 by livingonli)

Ask a Vet
Author: TriSec    Date: 01/29/2008 11:41:44

Good Morning.

Today is our 1,777th day in Iraq.

We'll start this morning as we always do, with the latest casualty figures in the warron terra, courtesy of Antiwar.com:

American Deaths
Since war began (3/19/03): 3940
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 3801
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 3479
Since Handover (6/29/04): 3081
Since Election (1/31/05): 2503

Other Coalition Troops: 307
US Military Deaths - Afghanistan: 481

We find this morning's cost of war passing through: $ 489,803,250,000.00

In doing some research for more sources, I've found some more veterans sites...so this morning we'll turn to a new one, Iraq Veterans Against the War. They too have a multitude of veterans to tell their stories...and there are some slightly different points of view. But in the end...a soldier's story is often one of frustration.
A lot of this will be no surprise to those of you still in the service. These are things that everyone complains about, but that largely don't make it to the public for several reasons. One is the 'camouflage wall of silence', similar to the police's 'blue wall', which translates in the vernacular into a lot of 'Only I can beat up my brother'. Military members have years to start disliking the press, and believing that civilians can never understand their issues. And to be honest, a lot of the issues are pretty hard for civilians to understand.

Such as the No Specialist Left Behind program. Yes, the Army was hurting for good NCOs, particularly NCOs that had seen combat. The Army was bleeding good NCOs like nobody's business. They saw the way the wind was blowing, and many didn't want to stay in. Big Army, in its infinite wisdom and under pressure to deliver in Iraq, decided that the answer was clearly a problem promotion system. The problem wasn't that there weren't enough NCOs! The problem was that good, deserving specialists were somehow languishing in obscurity! Well, you don't have to listen to me tell you that was a bad idea. You can listen to the retired CSM tell you at the link above. Or you can listen to me tell you that when you promote people who aren't ready for it, you get bad, inexperienced NCOs, who are going to lead their troops to trouble. I had to teach one of my NCOs once how to fill out a basic 4856. One of my NCOs. Not one of my specs bucking for their stripes, one of my existing NCOs. And the problem doesn't stop there-when you see some units making four-year staff-sergeants that can't find their own ass with both hands, you know that things are broken.

You know things are hurting when the Army is so desperate for new bodies to send to Iraq that new kids coming in, who haven't even made it through Basic yet, can sign up for $40,000 bonuses, while twelve-year combat veterans go begging looking for some chump change to give the next eight years of their life to the military. I'm not saying it's all about money, because it's not. But I'm saying that we're setting the wrong priorities there.

Especially when we're hurting for bodies so badly that we don't let our drill sergeants do their jobs and impart discipline to the soldiers. Got a buddy on the trail? Talk to them next time about how much they're pushed to let dirtbag would-be soldiers squeak through, because the Army can't afford to replace them. Or talk to a recruiter friend about how much they're pushed to make quota, and the consequences if they don't.
There's more at the source; including some embedded links...check it out.

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197 comments (Latest Comment: 01/30/2008 06:48:58 by livingonli)

What's the state of YOUR union?
Author: TriSec    Date: 01/29/2008 00:42:31

Sweeter words have never been spoken. "Tonight is President Bush's last State of the Union Address"

Come and join us this evening...compare and contrast the state of your union to the ‘vision’ the "President" has.

There will be drinking games, fellowship, and a shared feeling of anguish.

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229 comments (Latest Comment: 01/29/2008 06:05:31 by livingonli)

Four Freedoms Cocktail and Beer Blog
Author: Raine    Date: 01/28/2008 20:15:40

Hey everyone! This is the official F4 Cocktail blog, a clearing house for members and friends to share and retrieve some of our favourite cocktails.
We even have an official list for the perfect progressive bar, so come inside, and share yours here!

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20 comments (Latest Comment: 09/10/2012 01:54:00 by TriSec)

SOTU SnNAFU, not FUBAR - yet
Author: Raine    Date: 01/28/2008 13:28:10

Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution:
"He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."

Tonite, the pResident will give his final State of the Union Address to a Joint Session of congress. Final. Can you say that with me? This is the last time George W. Bush will give a SOTU address!

Ladies and Gentlemen. The state of our union is in trouble. It pains me to say this, but after 7 years , as progressives, as liberal, as activists, and people who wanted to stop all the damage that has been done to this country, after being mocked by the right wing as loons, and extremists, it pains me to say... We were right all along. I really wanted to be wrong.
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103 comments (Latest Comment: 01/29/2008 01:50:14 by Raine)

Start Complaining
Author: velveeta jones    Date: 01/27/2008 13:29:56

"Be happy with what you’ve got”
“Not another word out of you”
" Life’s a bitch….”
“Don’t interrupt”
"Simmer down”
“Nobody asked you”,
“Stop complaining”

We started this life learning to “toe the line”, and respect our elders and our leaders.

But as adults it is now our responsibility to stand up and speak! Lately it seems we now have things that stand in the way of our ability to take actions. These things infest us and lure us into into complacency, we have Play Stations and Xbox’s and Ipods, and cell phones with camera's, and all sorts of do-hickies to occupy our time and dull our senses.

At the same time, we are told that we are important, that your opinion counts; and indeed, there are people that claim to want to know exactly what you are thinking! All the news outlets have countless analysts and pollsters who tell us who we are by race, gender, ethnicity and religion and who we are going to vote for, what car we’ll drive who we’ll sleep with, what we’ll die of, and what we wear, buy, eat, and how often will poop it all out. Politicians and corporations hire strategists who run amok gathering this information so they can tell the politician what to sell and the corporation what to say and vice versa.
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31 comments (Latest Comment: 01/28/2008 04:27:05 by livingonli)

Libertarian Saturday
Author: TriSec    Date: 01/26/2008 14:13:15

Good Morning!

Well, by now I'm sure you've all noticed the new buttons at the bottom of each and every blog (Fark, Digg, Technorati, etc.) Well, there's yet another one I've been using for a while called "del.icio.us". It's more of a bookmarking site; you can tag a page and go back to your 'own' bookmark page and pick up all this stuff at any time. (Admin's tip: it's great for blogging. If something looks interesting, I'll tag it and go back and read it later.)

But there's also a terrific RSS reader out there called "Bloglines" (sorry for the wiki link; I couldn't figure out how to log out and then get back to the generic home page.) You can pick and choose what you want to see; set it up with just headlines, summaries, or the whole shebang. That too is a terrific tool...if you see something that you like, you can just click on the "subscribe" button and it will search the entire page you're browsing for a feed...

Anyway, I was cleaning my bloglines up recently, and getting rid of a few things I never had the chance to read, despite subscribing with all the best intentions. But I did add a new one, and it's one of the better services I've ever found. Check out Rational Review sometime....you might be surprised at what you find.

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115 comments (Latest Comment: 01/27/2008 04:02:33 by livingonli)

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