I hope everyone that celebrates it is having a pleasant and spiritual Holy Week....
For the rest of us, it's spring now. Where are the flowers and chirping birds?
We'll start out this morning by checking on the party. Like everyone else, the National Libertarian Party had to put in it's two cents on the 5th anniversary of war...
Washington, D.C. - On the five-year anniversary of the beginning of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Libertarian Party offers the following statement by Executive Director Shane Cory:
It is with a heavy heart that I woke up on March 19, 2008, in a country still at war in Iraq, now five years after it first began. It is also with great disappointment that neither Republicans nor Democrats have provided a plan to end what is shaping up to be a "forever war." On this five-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, the Libertarian Party renews our call to bring American troops home without undue delay. May the courage and sacrifice of the 3,990 soldiers who have died in Iraq while serving their country never be forgotten.
Short, but to the point.
Of course, we're about the only political party in the United States that has issued an actual policy statement
about Iraq that is concise, measurable, and achieveable.
The national Libertarian Party (LP) organization has taken their strongest position in favor of withdrawal from Iraq. At their national committee meeting yesterday in Las Vegas, the following resolution passed overwhelmingly.
WHEREAS the government of the United States should return to its historical libertarian tradition of avoiding entangling alliances, foreign quarrels, and military adventures and;
WHEREAS the armed forces of the United States have invaded Iraq, a foreign nation that neither directly attacked nor imminently threatened to attack the United States and;
WHEREAS the injustice and imprudence of this invasion cannot be undone by the continued presence of the armed forces of the United States in Iraq and;
WHEREAS the stability and security of Iraq lie outside the jurisdiction of the government of the United States;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Libertarian Party National Committee calls on the government of the United States to withdraw the armed forces of the United States without undue delay.
Former GOP Congressman Bob Barr, now a member of the LP national committee, strongly supported the resolution. Barr is essentially a “born-again libertarian” who has reversed his statist positions. He now strongly supports ending the US occupation of Iraq and opposes further adventurism in Iran and elsewhere. He now works as a lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union and the Marijuana Policy Project.
Barr is rumored to be considering a Libertarian Party run for President this November. The LP nominating convention will be held in late May.
UPDATE: Bob Barr issued this statement following the passage of the resolution:
“Given the lack of action by both the Democrats and Republicans to find a swift and safe conclusion to American adventurism in Iraq, it is imperative that the Libertarian Party stand resolute in its calls for ending the war without undue delay. The Libertarian Party refuses to back down on this paramount issue, even if we are the only Party standing up for the safety of our troops, the respect of our nation, and the stability of our economy. If President Bush wants this war, then he needs to go through Congress, as the Constitution requires the president to do. The lives of our troops and the wealth of our nation need protection from the adventurous whims of single individuals. Our current course of foreign policy jeopardizes the future of this great nation, and as long as the Libertarian Party has a voice, we will continue to fight to bring our men and women in uniform home as quickly and as safely as possible.”
Turning to the economy...it's tax season! Hopefully most of us are getting some kind of refund, but undoubtedly some among us will end up owing Uncle Sam some money. I wouldn't worry about it. The "president" is giving me some of my grandchildren's money in May. The whole thing is built on a house of cards
, isn't it?
Washington, D.C. - The Libertarian Party is warning against excessive and rash government intervention in the U.S. economy in response to recent market woes. Libertarian Party National Chairman William Redpath commented today:
"It is almost as if Congress and the President set out to do something half-baked and cheesy in response to this nation's economic problems. They won't give serious solutions the time of day, such as substantially reducing government spending, reducing taxes and reforming the tax code. If the government really wanted to fix the economy, they would start by getting rid of the junky hodge-podge of deductions and credits, lowering tax rates to stimulate entrepreneurial activity and risk taking, and addressing the trillions of dollars of unfunded entitlements in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. If these problems are not substantively addressed soon, foreigners through the world's financial markets may ultimately make the tough decisions for this nation. Let's hope economic sensibility and spine become the order of the day in Washington before then."
Professionally, Redpath is a Vice President with BIA Financial Network, Inc., which offers merchant banking and financial and strategic advisory services for the media, telecommunications, and related industries.
The Libertarian Party's platform calls for a separation of "economy and state," saying, "the only proper role of existing governments in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected."
Executive Director of the Libertarian Party, Shane Cory, stated:
"The idea that the federal government can micromanage the world's largest economy is absurd, but this is exactly what the Bush administration is trying to do. The best option for long-term economy growth is to keep the government out of the economy by reducing taxes and eliminating regulations of American businesses. Of course, tax reductions need to be offset by reductions in spending, which is something the Bush administration has struggled with for the past seven years. However, as more people look to the government for help with the economy, the worse the situation will become."
Turning to the elections...Sen. Obama has certainly been in the crosshairs all week hasn't he? The debate on some networks
has sunk to such a level that the anchors are sniping at each other, and one even walked off the set mid-show this week. It's the old 'guilt-by-association' ploy. I'm Spanish, so I must be an illegal immigrant. You're a woman who likes short skirts, so you're a tramp. He's a short-haired man in a pastel shirt and flashy tie, so he's gay. It never seems to end.Charley Reese
has written his opinion on the entire affair, and I'll leave you with his thought to end today.
I saw and heard something remarkable this past week. I saw Barack Obama deliver a courageous and eloquent speech that he actually wrote himself.
A politician who can write his own speeches and not sound like the idiot he usually is has become a rarity in American politics since the Madison Avenue types took over the political process. The typical political speech is a product of the staff and has been carefully crafted to appeal to all the points brought up by pollsters and focus groups.
Obama was victimized by the old guilt-by-association ploy. Somebody dug up some video clips of Obama's minister making some strong criticisms of America, as if Obama were responsible for the words of another person. The implication of such specious criticism is that since Obama didn't draw a pistol and shoot his pastor dead, he must agree with what the pastor said.
And, naturally, the clips are sound bites taken out of context. Who among us is responsible for what somebody else says or thinks? I hear people all the time with whom I disagree. I'm sure many people disagree with my opinions. No one in the normal world thinks it is necessary to "denounce and reject" someone else's opinion just because you disagree with it.
Yet it was clear that political operatives, including the talking heads on television, were going to crucify Obama for something his pastor said. Obama stepped up to the challenge and met the subject of race and racism head-on. Most politicians avoid the subject like the bloody pox. He rejected the pastor's comments in question. He called them stupid. But, shades of Harry Truman, he did not reject his former minister, who has since retired. This pastor, an ex-Marine, has been a father figure to Obama for 20 years. Obama, unlike most of the cynical cowards in politics, was not going to throw a man who had been a friend to the wolves.
When Truman was vice president, a political boss in Kansas City died. This man, Tom Pendergast, had been a friend of Truman and helped him when he needed it. Truman's aides had fits when he said he was going to the man's funeral. It would be bad public relations. Truman's foes were already slandering him by painting him as a puppet of the Pendergast Machine. Truman was adamant. He was not going to turn his back on a friend, and to hell with the political consequences. He went to the funeral. The press crucified him, but Truman didn't care. As he said later, what kind of man wouldn't go to his friend's funeral just because he'd be criticized for going?
Well, Obama put his political ambition on the line. He laid down a challenge to the American people. Do you want authenticity? Here it is. Do you want somebody with the courage to make a tough decision that's going to cost him politically? Well, here I am.
So, instead of caving in to political expedience, he explained why many blacks of his minister's generation have that anger born of their experience with racial prejudice. Then he explained why many whites are also angry because of what they perceive as injustices caused by affirmative action and favoritism. People should have stood up and cheered.
A president doesn't need the kind of courage it takes to charge a machine gun or to dodge missiles in a fighter plane. The kind of courage a president needs is the fortitude to make the right decision even when it will be politically unpopular, as Truman demonstrated time and again.
Barack Obama just demonstrated that he has that kind of courage. My estimation of him went up, because I'm sick and tired of these weasels who avoid anything that their staff says might cause them to be a shade less popular. You want a real man with guts in the White House? Well, Obama fits the bill.
Speaking of which...with my candidate endorsing the Senator from Illinois yesterday, that's enough for me. I was leaning that way for a while, but call me officially "Obamatized".