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Monday, March 29, 2010

A message from Ralph Nader

Here is an email from Ralph Nader criticizing the Democrats on the passing of Obamacare. I think it appropriate to foment this discontent from the Progressive statists.

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What do these people and organizations have in common?


Michael Moore
MoveOn
John Conyers
The Nation
Arianna Huffington
Daily Kos
Dennis Kucinich
AFL-CIO

What do they have in common?

They all put the demands of the Democratic Party ahead of the needs of the American people.

They all knew that the health care bill that just passed into law is a bad bill.

An insurance industry bailout.

But they all said - can't let the Democrats lose this one.

They all said - it doesn't matter what's in the health care bill.

Just as long as we pass something.

But of course, it does matter.

That's why Single Payer Action stood without compromise - against the Democrats' bailout bill.

And for single payer.

That's why we will keep exposing, agitating, and organizing for single payer.


District by district, neighborhood by neighborhood.

Until we prevail.

And we will prevail.

Why?

Because we will never put the interests of any political party ahead of the interests of the American people.

We will push aside the corrupt Democrats.

And build an uncompromising movement for single payer from the grassroots up.

To help us build, please donate now - whatever you can.

And if you donate $100 or more, we'll send you a copy of In the Shadow of Power - this poignant and haunting collection of photographs of the other Washington, D.C. - with an introduction by Ralph Nader.

And we'll send you a copy of In Pursuit of Justice - the classic collection of columns by Ralph Nader.

Both signed by Ralph Nader.

So, donate now - whatever you can.

And stand with us.

Against the insurance industry.

Against the Democrats and Republicans.

For single payer - health care for all, everybody in, nobody out.

Let's get 'er done.

Onward to single payer.

Russell Mokhiber

PS. Remember, only three days left on this special two book offer.

Offer ends 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, 2010.

So donate now.

Whatever you can afford.

And if you donate $100 or more, we'll ship you In the Shadow of Power and In Pursuit of Justice.

Both signed by Ralph Nader.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

No retreat.

No surrender.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Libertarians, third parties, and "splitting the vote"

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The Libertarian Party of Colorado just had a tremendous 2010 convention.

We nominated candidates for U.S Senate, U.S. Congress, Governor, Lt. Governor, Colorado Senate, Colorado House, CU Regent and county commissioners from Boulder to Mesa County. (Click here for more details).

For the first time, we will have a state wide primary election. It will be on Tuesday, August 10, 2010. We had candidates get at least 30% of the vote in three important elections at the convention. According to state statute, we must have a primary for those three nominations.

While primaries are a waste of taxpayer money (there is no reason each party should not pay for its own selection of candidates), we are forced to participate by law. Therefore, we will take full advantage of the process to spread the message of small government.

I have already heard the same tired nonsense about how we will sabotage the election of members of the Big Government duopoly . The arrogance behind that ridiculous assertion is astounding. Members of the two-party duopoly assume every vote belongs to them, and any attempt to change the status quo is blasphemy.

As you know, Libertarians do not vote for Big Government politicians. Every Libertarian vote is a vote AGAINST Big Government politicians of every stripe, from Barack Obama to George W. Bush to Bill Ritter to Bill Owens. The notion that every third party vote would have otherwise gone to the Big Government Duopoly is absurd. We offer voters that would otherwise stay home an alternative: Freedom.

Even if the assertion were true, it is beside the point. Members of the two-party duopoly make the rules. Plurality voting works for them to maintain a grip on power and it discriminates against third parties that actually have principles. Plurality voting is not in the Constitution. Neither is the two party system. Both can - and must - be changed.

If they think we can "spoil" an election, let them think so. For instance, if a Green Party candidate got 2% of the vote in a given race, and the Republican beat the Democrat by 1%, let the Democrats cry and whine. Then point out to them that they make the rules, and if they do not want their elections "spoiled" then they can adopt a different system, like Approval Voting. "Spoiling" an election is impossible under approval voting.

It is never a third-party's "fault" if they play by the rules forced on them by those in power. I hope every race between the Big Government Democrats and the Big Government Republicans is decided by a margin smaller than the number of votes received by a third party. Then maybe those in power will realize it is in their best interest to change the voting system.

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."
--John Quincy Adams

And Let Freedom Ring.


David K. Williams, Jr.
Libertarian Party of Colorado State Chair

Saturday, March 27, 2010

McCain is supported by the Tea Party movement?

According to a tease on page 2A of today's hard copy of the Denver Post for a story on page 6A:

"Everybody here today that supports John McCain is part of the Tea Party movement."

-- Sarah Palin, during a campaign rally for her former running mate.

The actual quotation is not to be found in the referenced story on page 6A. The actual quotation in the AP story is:

"Everyone here supporting John McCain, we are all part of that tea party movement."

The substance might be generally the same, but I thought quotation marks were for quotations, not paraphrases. Then again, I do not have a journalism degree. However, English is my mother tongue. But I digress....

If either statement is accurate, it means that the Tea Party movement is in favor of federal government bailouts of failed private business (which McCain supported) and against the First Amendment (see the McCain-Feingold Act).

I think Palin has confused the Tea Party with the Big Government Republican Party. If she's right, the movement is useless.

I hold out hope she's wrong.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Another Statist to English translation

The Denver Post (see "Qwest seeks grant for Net") reports, in classic Statist language, that

Qwest is seeking $350 million in federal stimulus grants to extend high-speed Internet service to more than 500,000 homes, businesses and schools in rural communities across its 14-state local phone service territory.

What this really means in English is that

Qwest, a private enterprise, is seeking $350 million of your money so that it can profit from an untapped market it does not wish to pay to enter.
Once again, in the name of "helping the poor," a huge company wants corporate welfare so it can profit. This is not capitalism. It is corporatism. It is immoral. Yet it has become so entrenched in our society, we accept the description of "federal grant" as if it were something other than a blatant redistribution of money from taxpayers to a private corporation.

Fight corporatism and corporate welfare.



Follow up to the Colorado caucus results

My predictions (as I predicted!) on the recent Colorado caucuses were mostly wrong. (See "The Big Government Republican Politburo has made its selections, but they'll let you vote anyway.")

I did not anticipate how well either Democrat Andrew Romanoff or Republican Ken Buck would do as the underdog in their respective Senate races. Romanoff beat Democratic establishment pick and incumbent Senator Michael Bennet, while Buck was in a virtual tie with Big Government Republican Politburo choice Jane Norton. (See "Underdogs Buck, Romanoff make strong inroads at caucuses.") (Although I did get the Republican governor's race correct - Dan Maes was stomped by Big Government Republican Politburo selection Scott McInnis).

I have learned a lesson. I learned that the caucuses are meaningless. In both of the major parties, the activists show up in force at the caucuses. They represent an almost insignificant number of voters, but they are active. Hence the name "activists."

Nevertheless, the Big Government Republican Politburo will not be defeated by mere activists. The BGRP has the money. The BGRP has the power. The BGRP's annointed one, Jane Norton, will be the Republican Party's nominee, regardless of the number of Ken Buck activists.

Likewise, Bennet will be the Democratic nominee. The irony is that I bet almost all of Buck's supporters would agree with my assessment of the Democratic primary, yet they fail to see the parallels within their own party.

If you want real choice and a return to limited government, work outside the two party system. (For that matter, if you want single payer health care, or even a public option, you will not get it from the Democrats. David Sirota and his progressive statists should work outside the two party system, as well.)

The Democrats and Republicans have had control of the government since the Civil War. Their is no rational basis to believe things will change in 2010. The government has consistently grown since the 1860's. The faith some have in the two party system to effectuate change is misplaced. And it is faith. It is not based on any objective standards.

Many in the Republican Party point to Ronald Reagan's two terms as a the height of Republican success. Yet the fact is government did not contract during Reagan's terms. It continued to grow. Is it not obvious? If the zenith of modern Republican success resulted in more Big Government, why support the party?

Seriously. Why?

I challenge the supporters of Ken Buck and Dan Maes to vote their consciences in November. Do not vote for BGRP choices just because they have an "R" by their name. That perpetuates the problem.

Be part of the solution. Reject the party apparatus that maintains the status quo.

A small, but important, bit of civil disobedience

According to the Denver Post ("Denver officials have goal of 10 new off-leash dog parks"), "there are about 177,000 dogs in Denver, 22,000 of which are licensed."

Excellent. This is a small, but important, bit of civil disobedience. 155,000 Denver residents are in defiance of an attempt by the city government to regulate private behavior.

People realize there is no need for the government, city or otherwise, to grant you permission to own a dog. People realize there is no need for the government, city or otherwise, to have your dog on an official list of approved pets. People realize there is no need for the government, city or otherwise, to take your money for official sanction to own a pet.

It is up to us to apply this principle to other areas where government intrudes on our private lives. It is up to us to spread the gospel of freedom. It is up to us to preach that life works without government involvement.

That life works without government involvement seems to be a foreign concept to many Americans. And that is sad.

Let's get happy. Let's fight government intrusion into our private lives at every level.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Big Government Republican Politburo has made its selections, but they'll let you vote anyway.

Each wing of the two-party duopoly will hold its statewide caucuses tonight.

Nothing unusual will happen with the Democrats.

Unfortunately, I predict nothing unusual will happen with the Republicans, either. (Of course, I also predicted that North Carolina would finish in the top half of the ACC, so my clairvoyance is quite limited.)

I foresee that, despite the recent "Tea Party" and related phenomena, it will be business as usual for the Republicans. All of the Tea Party support for governor candidate Dan Maes will be dwarfed by the establishment support of Scott McInnis. Likewise for Tea Party favorite Ken Buck in the Senate Race. The grassroots support for Buck will be stomped on by the Republican establishment support for Jane Norton.

The status will remain quo.

As a Libertarian, I find it amusing when Republican Dan Maes' supporters tell me I'm wasting my vote because Libertarians "can't win." There is no more accurate description of Dan Maes than "can't win."

The Republican Politburo has annointed Jane Norton and Scott McInnis as the candidates that will represent the party. And they will. The Soviet Union had elections, too, and the outcome was just as certain.

The sad part is that all too many Maes' supporters will then perpetuate the problem by holding their noses and voting for Big Government Republican Scott McInnis. Likewise for the Ken Buck supporters (and Tom Weins and Cleve Tidwell supporters) that decide they owe their vote to Big Government Republican Jane Norton out of some misguided sense of "party loyalty."

Loyalty is owed to principle, not party. Loyalty is owed to the country, not party. Loyalty is owed to the Constitution, not party. Loyalty is owed to freedom, not party. Most importantly, loyalty is owed to yourself, not party.

I hope my predictions are wrong. We shall see.

But for those that actually believe small government principles are more important than their Big Government Republican Party, they have a home.

And we welcome you. Don't waste your vote on Big Government Republicans. Vote Libertarian.

And let freedom ring.

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Californication of Colorado continues

In its zeal to collect more and more tax money, the Colorado legislature recently passed new sales tax regulations for online transactions in the state. They assumed this would have no impact on the number of online sales in Colorado, and the State would take a cut of each transaction, and revenue would be raised for government programs. Oh, the ignorance.

Not only will the State not get a cut of each transaction - because some online companies will no longer do business in the State - but now the State can't tax the extra income of Colorado residents who are no longer able to transact commercial business online.

So, in its unquenchable desire for money money, the State has driven business out of Colorado and cost Coloradans an untold amount of income.

This letter from one of the largest online businesses in the world shows exactly how this works:


Dear Colorado-based Amazon Associate:

We are writing from the Amazon Associates Program to inform you that the Colorado government recently enacted a law to impose sales tax regulations on online retailers. The regulations are burdensome and no other state has similar rules.

The new regulations do not require online retailers to collect sales tax.

Instead, they are clearly intended to increase the compliance burden to a point where online retailers will be induced to "voluntarily" collect Colorado sales tax -- a course we won't take.

We and many others strongly opposed this legislation, known as HB 10-1193, but it was enacted anyway. Regrettably, as a result of the new law, we have decided to stop advertising through Associates based in Colorado. We plan to continue to sell to Colorado residents, however, and will advertise through other channels, including through Associates based in other states.

There is a right way for Colorado to pursue its revenue goals, but this new law is a wrong way. As we repeatedly communicated to Colorado legislators, including those who sponsored and supported the new law, we are not opposed to collecting sales tax within a constitutionally-permissible system applied even-handedly. The US Supreme Court has defined what would be constitutional, and if Colorado would repeal the current law or follow the constitutional approach to collection, we would welcome the opportunity to reinstate Colorado-based Associates.

You may express your views of Colorado's new law to members of the General Assembly [ http://www.leg.state.co.us/Clics/CLICS2010A/csl.nsf/directory?openframeset=]

and to Governor Ritter [ http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/GovRitter/GOVR/1177024890452 ], who signed the bill.

Your Associates account has been closed as of March 8, 2010, and we will no longer pay advertising fees for customers you refer to Amazon.com after that date. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned prior to March 8, 2010, will be processed and paid in accordance with our regular payment schedule.

Based on your account closure date of March 8, any final payments will be paid by May 31, 2010.

We have enjoyed working with you and other Colorado-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program, and wish you all the best in your future.

Best Regards,

The Amazon Associates Team

Saturday, March 06, 2010

A Catholic Church Gets It Wrong

What would Jesus do?


As a private institution, the church and school have, and should have, the legal right to accept whomever they chose into their membership.

That is not the issue here. The issue is Christianity.

Did Jesus only teach to believers? No, that kind of defeats the point.

This church could have taken the opportunity to immerse this child in a loving Christian environment. They chose not to do so. They shunned an innocent child.

What would Jesus do in this situation?

He told us: “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14