AreYouLiberal.Com
6Apr/12Off

The Los Angeles Times Should Release the Khalidi Tape for Passover

Passover 2012, which started at sunset on Friday, April 6, will not be a particularly auspicious one for the Jewish people.
Despite being superficially strong in many ways, Israel — the sole Jewish state — and Jews in general face more determined opposition than they have at any time since World War II. From terrorists in the South of France to professors at Boston’s Northeastern University, anti-Semitism is rife.
Meanwhile, Iran, which repeatedly calls for the extermination of Israel, draws ever closer to nuclear weapons capability. And the once vaunted “Arab Spring” ...

6Apr/12Off

So What’s Wrong with Socialism? (Part 3) Zina Brodovsky

This interview is the third of a three-part series* on socialism. In this article, Brad Zinn interviews Zina Brodovsky, a naturalized US citizen who lived under the Soviet socialism and communism in the former USSR.

This interview is the third of a three-part series* on socialism. In this article, WFP’s Brad Zinn interviews Zina [...]

6Apr/12Off

Democratic National Convention to be lobbyist/corporate funded, after all.

And anybody who tells you that you can get money out of politics is either deluded, lying, or possibly both. Exhibit A: the upcoming Democratic convention in Charlotte, NC. The Democrats piously declared that of course no dirty, dirty corporate/lobbyist money would be allowed to be spent on putting the convention together. And everybody cheered… only, it’s now 2012 and there’s potentially a looming shortfall in fundraising. And lo! – here are some lobbyist and corporate donors.

Sure, they can’t contribute… under the old rules. But rules are flexible things, are they not? A corporation can’t contribute directly. But it’s all right for their executives to write large personal checks, or contribute the equivalent in goods and/or services, or launder it through a corporate charity. As for lobbyists… well. The DNC likes to see its friends happy – friends being defined as ‘people who bundle together a lot of personal contributions and/or corporate in-kind donations’ – and if VIP access and nice hotel rooms make friends happy, then that warm, happy feeling would be its own reward, yes?

I’m actually not particularly upset at the idea that the Democrats were dumb enough to take a policy position that would inevitably force them to become hypocrites. Aside from the sheer pleasure of watching them tie themselves in knots like this, there’s also the opportunity to make the whole thing into a teaching experience. To wit: money cannot be gotten out of politics. It never has in the past; it’s certainly not out of politics now; and it won’t be in the future. As soon as one way of injecting money into politics goes away, another one opens up. Because people want to inject money into politics, and they rather outnumber the people who do not.

This fact annoys certain elements of the Left no end. But not as much as the fact that the Right has noted that the standard progressive response to speech that they don’t like is some variant of a lynch mob; which fact is the primary pragmatic reason why we’re not moving towards an environment of greater transparency in donations. I may think that anonymous donations may be a truly regrettable necessity, but that does not mean that I don’t recognize that it is, in fact, a necessity.

None of this excuses the Democrats for their hypocrisy, of course. If you’re going to take the position that a donation is not a form of free speech explicitly protected by the Constitution, then you really should live by the implications of your own belief system. If you cannot, please do not insist that I live by them, either.*

(H/T: Instapundit)

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: You cannot get money out of politics.

*Mind you, I may not feel like living by the implications of your belief system even if you can, too.

6Apr/12Off

Wayne Root, former Libertarian Party Vice Presidential Candidate and Current Member of the LP’s National Committee: “It’s Gotta Be Romney, There is No Choice”

Wayne Root, who ran as Bob Barr's VP candidiate with the
Libertarian Party in 2008, currently a member of the Libertarian National Committee that
runs the Party, exhibits a lack of dedication to the LP by saying
this on a
Bill Cunningham podcast
, right in the first couple of
minutes:

I think the important thing now is to make sure Obama is not
elected,and that means in my mind, I would love for a libertarian
like Gary Johnson the two term governor of New Mexico would
actually get elected President, but I think we all know that’s not
going to happen so therefore it’s got to be Romney there is no
choice.

Root tried to defend himself in this
Independent Political Report comment thread
:

I said in a perfect world I’d like to see Gary Johnson elected
President, he’d be the best choice out there…I also said several
times on the call that Mitt Romney is a big spending, big
government Northeast liberal…that he will make very little
difference because of this…

And that the difference between Obama and Romney…

Is that Romney will slow down our path off a cliff just a
bit…and Obama will take us off the cliff in a matter of
minutes.

But neither is good enough to save USA from long decline towards
mediocrity.

And that Romney’s victory will most probably prove that neither
party can change our problems enough to save the economy…so
hopefully it will lead to a serious Libertarian third party threat
in 2016…of which I plan to be the Presidential candidate.

It's true, he did say the above. But before saying all that, he
said that "it's got to be Romney, there is no choice." 

That quote is accurate, and is clearly an LP official telling
the world it has no choice but to vote for a GOP candidate--even if
he goes on to say that GOP candidate is highly flawed.

The great advantage of telling the world there is no point in
voting for his own party's candidate in 2012? It leaves the
possibility of voting for his party's candidate in 2016--when Root
predicts it will be him. I daresay this statement makes that far
less likely.

Reason on
the Libertarian Party.


6Apr/12Off

Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Puts Up Pro-Legalization Billboard

First
NORML put one up in Florida
, now RegulateMarijuana.com has one
for Colorado; perhaps billboards can win the war against marijuana
prohibition? No, probably not without some help. Nevertheless, Raw
Story has the scoop on a shiny new $5,000 billboard,
prominently placed near Denver's Mile High Stadium.

The group's official name is the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana
Like Alcohol and as Jacob Sullum has previously noted, it has
thrown its support behind a ballot initiative to fully
legalize marijuana in 2012.
Colorado has had legalized medical
marijuana since 2001
, but that doesn't stop the state from
staging the occasional
SWAT raid on legal users just in case they're using slightly more
weed than is allowed.

This organization's name kind of makes me twitch, if only
because I have an aversion to overtly advocating for
regulation. But regulation would of course be a damn
sight better than illegality
. And look! Look at the
normal-looking lady! She's probably someone's mom or
something! 


Take it away, Raw Story:

“That’s what we want to talk to Coloradans right now,” Betty
Aldworth, advocacy director for the campaign, told Raw Story on
Friday. “We’re trying to educate them about why it is that
marijuana is safer than alcohol. If you look at every objective
study comparing the safety of the two, you’ll see that marijuana is
clearly safer than alcohol.”

Not only is the billboard near Mile High Stadium, it’s also
right next to Mile High Liquors. The group said
on its website
 that the location was optimal because it
will force some drinkers to confront their bias toward marijuana
users. It was also a good deal, too: the campaign told Raw Story
that their sign only cost $5,000.

Their claims aren’t just a clever pitch for the drug, either:
Marijuana has in fact been shown to be less
addictive than alcohol
, and its more enthusiastic users tend to
exhibit fewer adverse
health effects
 than alcoholics. It is also impossible to
overdose on marijuana, which its adherents see as an advantage over
the relative ease of alcohol poisoning.

That’s the message the campaign is trying to bring to
Coloradans, and Aldworth explained that they’ve only just begun.
“We’re asking volunteers to talk to their neighbors, their family
members — and particularly aunts, uncles, parents and grandparents,
people in the next two generations up,” she said. “Young people,
for the most part, get it, they’ve seen their friends use marijuana
and alcohol, and how they affect people. They understand… There is
no logical reason to punish people for marijuana.”

Young people definitely do support legalization at a much

higher rate than senior citizens.
 And though the the
Florida NORML campaign linked to above actually involved trying to
change elderly minds about the devil weed, the children may be, in
the cause of anti-prohibition, the future.

As for Rocky Mountain high, commentators, including the Raw
Story editor, seem to think that Colorado's 2012 legalization
chances are pretty good. But Jacob Sullum has previously reported
on the trials and tribulations and
general confusion of state legalization
and licensing
of medical marijuana
in Colorado in a post-Gonzales
vs. Raich
era. And particularly under Obama's Department
of Justice, it seems like state
legalization doesn't matter much at all.

Hat tip to commenter jasno

Reason on
drug policy


6Apr/12Off

Property Renter Forced to Remove U.S. Flag and POW/MIA Flag from Premises

A bar in Charleston, South Carolina has been forced by the company that owns the property upon which the business sits to remove an American flag and the popular black flag that honors Vietnam POWs and MIAs that the bar manager had raised months ago.
Imagine in this day and age when we have soldiers in harm’s way in foreign lands this property management company is so unpatriotic like this!
In October of last year Hope and Marty Young, owners of the Chucktown Tavern, were asked by local military vets to raise ...

6Apr/12Off

National Review’s John Derbyshire Publishes Stunningly Racist Article at White Nationalist Site

National Review writer John Derbyshire has outdone himself this time. This article at TakiMag.com (more on this later) is his version of "the talk" black parents have with their children to warn them about the existence of racism -- and it's overtly racist, paranoid, and frankly deranged: The Talk: Nonblack Version - Taki's Magazine.

An excerpt:

(9) A small cohort of blacks—in my experience, around five percent—is ferociously hostile to whites and will go to great lengths to inconvenience or harm us. A much larger cohort of blacks—around half—will go along passively if the five percent take leadership in some event. They will do this out of racial solidarity, the natural willingness of most human beings to be led, and a vague feeling that whites have it coming.

(10) Thus, while always attentive to the particular qualities of individuals, on the many occasions where you have nothing to guide you but knowledge of those mean differences, use statistical common sense:

(10a) Avoid concentrations of blacks not all known to you personally.

(10b) Stay out of heavily black neighborhoods.

(10c) If planning a trip to a beach or amusement park at some date, find out whether it is likely to be swamped with blacks on that date (neglect of that one got me the closest I have ever gotten to death by gunshot).

(10d) Do not attend events likely to draw a lot of blacks.

(10e) If you are at some public event at which the number of blacks suddenly swells, leave as quickly as possible.

(10f) Do not settle in a district or municipality run by black politicians.

(10g) Before voting for a black politician, scrutinize his/her character much more carefully than you would a white.

(10h) Do not act the Good Samaritan to blacks in apparent distress, e.g., on the highway.

(10i) If accosted by a strange black in the street, smile and say something polite but keep moving.

(11) The mean intelligence of blacks is much lower than for whites. The least intelligent ten percent of whites have IQs below 81; forty percent of blacks have IQs that low. Only one black in six is more intelligent than the average white; five whites out of six are more intelligent than the average black. These differences show in every test of general cognitive ability that anyone, of any race or nationality, has yet been able to devise. They are reflected in countless everyday situations. “Life is an IQ test.”

That's just part of it. Derbyshire's sources for these claims are his own personal experiences (or what he says are his experiences), other racists, and the infamous book The Bell Curve.

But almost more damning than this sick piece of bigoted writing is the website at which it appears: "Taki's Magazine."

Often described as "libertarian," TakiMag.com is in reality an extreme right, openly racist website, with a list of contributors that reads like a who's who of white nationalists, white supremacists, and upper-class pseudo-intellectual bigots, including Pat Buchanan, Steve Sailer, Peter Brimelow, Richard Spencer, Jared Taylor, and of course, Robert Stacy McCain.

TakiMag.com is often cited at the Internet's most vile sites such as Stormfront, because they put a thin veneer of academic pretension over the racist sludge. Neo-Nazis think it makes them look smarter, because TakiMag doesn't toss around the N-word with abandon (although Derbyshire does complain in this article that as a white man, he's not allowed to say it).

The Trayvon Martin case has really turned over a right wing rock, revealing all kinds of slimy creatures underneath.


6Apr/12Off

Reason Writers at the Movies: Peter Suderman Reviews The Hunter

Senior Editor Peter Suderman reviews
The Hunter, an indie thriller about a mercenary sent to hunt down a
species of tiger long though to be extinct, in today's
Washington Times:

There’s a scene in “The Hunter” when Martin (Willem
Dafoe
), the titular gunman, helps a family string loudspeakers
from a giant tree near their Tasmanian home before letting music
blast through the countryside. It’s a strangely beautiful moment,
and it says plenty about the movie and its interests: “The Hunter”
is deeply attuned to the music of the planet, and lush with
environmental metaphor.

Long stretches feature little or no dialogue, replaced instead
with the crackle and song of the woods. Director Daniel
Nettheim
 frequently frames a tiny Mr.
Dafoe
 against grand natural backdrops. The state of the
natural world provides a sort of chorus to the main story, changing
with the movie’s mood, commenting on the action with heavenly rays
of sunshine or foul grey storms. Staged as a brooding,
conspiratorial thriller, this quiet, intense, and surprisingly
affecting movie is more of a naturalistic tone poem. The scenery
isn’t merely the background; it’s the subject.


Whole thing here.
 


6Apr/12Off

An Invitation to Tune In on Good Friday

As regular readers know, I have a political talk show on WSB Radio out of Atlanta each weeknight from 6pm to 9pm. It’s the nation’s largest talk radio station and I figure if I have to work on Good Friday, I might as well use the platform well.

So each Good Friday night, we play the music a bit longer, actually play the words, and throw in some Johnny Cash. We talk about higher order topics, matters of faith, matters of good and evil, and personal stuff. It’s the one show i dread doing each year and the one I feel most compelled to do.

You are invited to tune in tonight and, if you feel like it, join in.

The WSB signal is so strong, you may be able to pick it up in your car. It is out of Atlanta, but I know people in Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Virginia pick it up pretty well on the AM band. The signal comes from 750 AM and 95.5 FM. Online works well too. There’s also an iPhone app and you can get the Erick Erickson Show podcast via iTunes.

You can listen live tonight on the WSB live stream starting at 6:00 p.m. ET tonight going until 9:00 p.m. You can call in at 1-800-WSB-TALK.

Consider this an open thread and this post will float up the site throughout the day.

6Apr/12Off

Dick Durbin: Buy hybrid cars or get killed by tornadoes

**Written by Doug Powers

If CNN ever needs a guest meteorologist, they’ve found their man:

Sen. Dick Durbin reacts to the tornadoes in Dallas, Texas earlier this week. Durbin calls for more laws regulating carbon output while he sends a dire warning that we must convert to hybrid cars or lose our life. Durbin says we must spend money now to fix the problem.

“It’s your money or your life,” he said a press conference. “We are either going to dedicate ourselves to a cleaner, more livable planet and accept the initial investment necessary or we’re going to pay a heavier price in terms of loss of human life, damage and costs associated with it.”

Language that makes the forced funding of a “clean energy future to be named later but paid for now” sound like a mugging at gunpoint is actually one of Durbin’s more honest moments. Big-spending “clean energy” politicians armed with junk science are the highwaymen of the 21st century.

Click the pic to roll tape at RCP:

null

From Dick Durban’s book of facts: At the beginning of the movie The Wizard of Oz, if you listen closely as the tornado approaches the house, Dorothy can be heard to say “this wouldn’t be happening if we’d have bought a Volt, Toto!”

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

6Apr/12Off

Matt Welch Talks Pot Raids, Gun Sales, and Stones Songs on Varney & Co.

This morning I appeared on Fox Business Network's Varney
& Co
.
to discuss the
federal government's raid
on the medical marijuana normalizers
at Oaksterdam University, the private sector's gun-purchase binge,
and the Rolling Stones' best (or at least best unknown) song. Less
than four minutes of your time:

OK, OK, here's the Stones:


6Apr/12Off

Augusta National

I am not a member of Augusta National and I’m pretty terrible at golf, though getting better. I have a net in the back and relaxation involves beer and hitting golf balls.

Nonetheless, the left is absurdly irate that I or anyone else would dare say I have no problem with Augusta National being an exclusively male golf club. They’re also laughing that I said “the Masters” on the radio, though I certainly meant the Club, not the tournament.

In any event, who cares?

There are all female colleges and there are all female gyms. The Junior League does not admit men either. Why should Augusta National be forced to admit women?

The left will surely drag Augusta National into its “War on Women” mythology. I hope, however, that yet again Augusta National keeps its head up.

There is nothing wrong with either men or women choosing to have their own clubs. But there is a sad, pathetic need by the left to turn every single thing in America — from a Happy Meal to the Masters and Augusta National — into a political issue.

Look! Caterpillars!

6Apr/12Off

Newt Gingrich Apparently Still Running, Obama Just Loves Those Jobs Numbers, Afghanistan Faces Big Challenges After U.S. Leaves: P.M. Links

  • Insert sound of crickets, hereMy campaign isn't dead yet,
    insists
    Newt Gingrich.
  • Obama
    says he's thrilled
    about not-so-thrilling jobs numbers.
  • Afghanistan
    may not
    be quite poised to thrive after the U.S. pulls
    out.
  • New Mexico mayoral election results in an empty office after
    the winner
    runs into a little trouble
    involving blackmail and lap
    dances.
  • Same-sex marriage may get a boost in Maryland, courtesy of a

    divorce case
    .
  • British granny bounced from doctor's office because her
    two-mile roundtrip drive
    makes Mother Earth cry
    .

Do you want hot links and other Reason goodies delivered
to your inbox twice a day? Sign up here for
Reason's morning and afternoon news updates.


6Apr/12Off

Anthony Randazzo on How Laundry Soap Became the New Sound Money

Over the past few months, the police force in
Prince George’s County, Maryland has been dealing with a strange
rash of robberies. Thieves have been going into grocery stores and
drug stores, loading their carts up with Tide laundry soap, and
then rushing out the door where they have a get-away car waiting.
As Anthony Randazzo explains, it turns out that the detergent is
street currency for buying pot and cocaine. Briefcases full of cash
are being cast aside in favor of blaze-orange containers of laundry
soap. Tide, as the money gods would have it, carries nearly all the
characteristics of sound money.

View this article.


6Apr/12Off

Debt and Loving It, Fiscal Year 2012 Edition

Trillion dollar budget deficit,
here we come...again. According to a new report from the
Congressional Budget Office
, the federal government racked up a
$780 billion deficit during the first half of the 2012 fiscal
year—yet another reminder that the feds are well on the way to
another fiscal gap that well exceeds the $1 trillion mark; CBO
projects that this year the deficit will hit $1.2 trillion.

If there's good news, it's that the deficit during the same
time-frame last year was slightly larger, by about $53 billion.
This time around, the federal government spent slightly less on a
few programs and took in slightly more in corporate tax revenues.
But given the scale of the deficits Washington has been running for
the last few years, and the trillions in debt that federal
policymakers have piled on in the process, this hardly counts as a
significant improvement. We moved an inch when we needed to move a
mile. 


6Apr/12Off

This Should Help: Armed Neo-Nazis Patrolling Sanford, Ready for Race War

You know all that rhetoric about "race war" that's showing up at Breitbart.com and many other right wing sites these days? It's not just rhetoric. There are some people in Sanford, Florida right now who are taking it very seriously indeed: Armed Neo-Nazis Now Patrolling Sanford, Say They Are 'Prepared' for Post-Trayvon Martin Violence.

Click to enlargeNeo-Nazis are currently conducting heavily armed patrols in and around Sanford, Florida and are "prepared" for violence in the case of a race riot. The patrols are to protect "white citizens in the area who are concerned for their safety" in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting last month, says Commander Jeff Schoep of the National Socialist Movement. "We are not advocating any type of violence or attacks on anybody, but we are prepared for it," he says. "We are not the type of white people who are going to be walked all over." ...

Schoep, whose neo-Nazi group is based in Detroit, tells Riptide the patrols are a response to white residents' fears of a race riot.

A group called the New Black Panther Party recently offered $10,000 for a citizens' arrest of George Zimmerman, Martin's shooter. Schoep said the bounty is a sign that "the possibility of further racial violence... is brimming over like a powder keg ready to explode into the streets."

The patrols are comprised of between 10 and 20 locals and "volunteers" from across the state, including some from Miami, he added. He couldn't go into specifics on what kind of firepower, exactly, the patrols had with them.

"In Arizona the guys can walk around with assault weapons and that's totally legal," Schoep said, referring to the group's patrols of the US-Mexico border. "What I can tell you is that any patrols that we are doing now in Florida are totally within the law."

Asked if the patrols wouldn't just make things worse -- spark a race riot, for instance -- Schoep insisted they were simply a "show of solidarity with the white community down there" and "wouldn't intimidate anybody."

"Whenever there is one of these racially charged events, Al Sharpton goes wherever blacks need him," Schoep said. "We do similar things. We are a white civil rights organization."