Why I Don’t Support Huckabee

So I’ve been getting many questions lately in regards to this. Apparently, since I don’t support ALL of Ron Paul’s values, I am actually a closet Huckabee supporter. Let me tell you, it couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, I’m more likely to vote Kucinich then Huckabee(but not on an economical standpoint, simply on his civil rights viewpoints).

I’ll compose a simple list here.

1) He supports a nationwide smoking ban.
2) He’s a homophobe.
3) He (possibly)supports the death penalty(All I find in links to this is to the OnTheIssues.org page. If anyone knows if this is true or not, let me know).
4) He supports illegal immigration.
5) Possibly supports Iraq war and troops surge(same as number three).
6) He co-wrote the FairTax bill, which has, if at all possible, more loopholes than the current tax code.

I realize that some of these are part of the Republican platform, but that doesn’t mean I support them. Just putting this short list here to clarify my views for you, my readers.

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Waterboardin’ USA

Grabbed a video from MyDamnChannel.com. I think it addresses waterboarding fairly well, no?

Vodpod videos no longer available. posted with vodpod

A Figment of the Imagination?

While browsing today, I came upon a government website that just so happens to have what I’ve been looking for for a long time.
Irrefutable proof that the Superhighway is AT LEAST being considered.
And I now have that proof.
At a government website for Alberta they have posted the approximate locations for the the NAFTA Superhighway. Just in case they take down the page, I’m going to post screenshots here, along with the image of the map itself. This is probably know to most of the tinfoil network already, as much of this has already been affirmed, however the public at large does NOT know about this.
We need to make this an issue in order to save our homeland.

SCREENSHOT UPDATE:
Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2

Ryan Holiday’s Take on The Doctor

Why I Don’t Care About Ron Paul and Why He Has Nothing to Do with the Long Tail – November 21, 2007

Ron Paul is the one candidate able to unite the diverse elements in the Long Tail. His supporters range from strippers to evangelicals, from gun-totters to peaceniks , and yet his message is as mainstream as the Constitution. His libertarianism and federalism will drive crazy the busy-bodies on the left and the right who want to impose their vision on the rest of the country, but these same laissez-faire ideals will unite those in the Long Tail who simply want the federal government out of their lives.

Wishful thinking, but completely incorrect. The idealism here is admirable and yet the epitome of what causes most movements to fail. It’s too “inspired” to talk about strategy, or to look at facts, or to win with the help of reality–they’d rather die in spite of it. And it’s just total misinterpretation of the Long Tail. Because of this, not matter how much money he wins, Ron Paul is doomed to fail.
longtail.JPG

First, the Long Tail only applies when the fundamental market constraints have been removed. There is a reason that the Long Tail was recently published: It didn’t apply until the internet came along and created a new way to sell products. But it didn’t change the actual stores themselves. The Long Tail doesn’t exist inside Borders, it exist on the infinite shelf space of Amazon. The internet is not “abound with examples with the long tail” as the author claims, IT IS the long tail.

American politics faces the same basic problem. That we have just two dominant political parties has nothing to do with information costs or media attention or lack of funding–it is the physical constraints of the market. We call this Duverger’s Law. The principle states that in any plurality based voting system, elections eventually funnel towards two parties. Because of the district basis of the system, it is impossible for minor candidates to collect their small stakes in many communities into a significant voting block. Candidates win based on how many individual districts they can tally together, not how much overarching support they can garner. Third Parties exist as aggregates of minor factions spread throughout multiple constituencies but the electoral system doesn’t care about percentage of the whole, only percentage of the local. It is innately compartmentalized, tied to the part to the point where the whole doesn’t matter. Sound familiar? This is exactly what prevents a long tail economy from thriving in Borders or at a Tower Records.

On Amazon, the one person in every town that likes Finnish Death Metal can be aggregated into a sustainable consumer subset. Borders, however, can’t afford to stock product for a single fan. This naturally guides them towards products that appeal to blocs of people much in the same way that Durverger guides us to just Democrats and Republicans and leaves no room for Libertarians.

What works on the internet does not work in US political elections. That is what Ron Paul supporters don’t understand. They’re so accustomed to the new dimension that they are trying to project the new rules back at the old. It’s not that easy. The internet has empowered your voices but the system still disenfranchises your votes. The Cold War Kids might be selling fantastically on iTunes, but that’s only because the internet has allowed them to connect and collect people all across the country. The laws of physical reality remain unchanged–touring efficiently is impossible. The internet allowed Ron Paul supporters to connect, but their votes still face the insurmountable limitations of a SMDP (single member district plurality) system. To quote Nicholas Carr “You can try to change the structure, but if you can’t change the economics your efforts will likely go for naught.”

I’ll say it again for the 1,000th time. There is no honor in fighting a battle you cannot win. Your job as a revolutionary is to see the world where it is and then take it to where you want it to be. For Ron Paul supporters that means understanding the massive opportunities the internet offers along with its fundamental limitations. The goal is not always obvious victory. The Spartans at Thermopylae went in fairly certain that they would lose at the Hot Gates but win as their efforts unified Greece. The Polish Cavalry that charged German tanks, all they did was lose. See the difference? One was part of a campaign, the other was desperation.

Ron Paul supporters should be leveraging the media coverage and ability to efficiently raise money not to buy votes, but to force change from the candidates who can win. You are not encumbered with typical burdens of having to schmooze large donors or barnstorm the country. To attempt to compete head to head with Hillary Clinton or John McCain is the worst strategic error you can make–it is conceding to the dynamic instead of controlling it. That money can achieve a far greater ROI if you fight on your own terms, as a light-weight, unified and mobile unit. One that understands that goal is not to win districts but to seed discontent within the electoral system.

But from what I have seen, this isn’t about change, it’s about ego. “Finally we can get back at those people who have ignored us for so long.” That kind of mindset is inherently problematic. It leads you into believing your own rhetoric, overextending, not knowing when to retreat, trading potential power for personality—it does not breed victory in any form.

So fight this war on the terrain at which the battle has already begun on. Take the only victory that is possible on that field and use those gains to decide where you will fight the next war. In the case of Ron Paul, that means guiding the dynamic and opinion towards Libertarian policy as much as possible within the system. And then, maybe, you have a shot at changing the system; that is maybe, you can get rid of the Electoral College. Until then, it doesn’t matter. Your victory is literally impossible.

*I would like to note, however, that I don’t have any problems with Libertarian policy. I actually agree with most of his policies. But let’s be honest, he might be running in the Republican primary, but he’s doing it as a Libertarian, as a third party. So this isn’t a recycled argument or throwing your vote away, this is about analyzing the situation honestly and systematically. So even if he does win through some massive failure on someone else’s part, he hasn’t changed anything; a third party candidate would be no more viable four years later, all he’s done is change the guard in old model. He’s simply innovated instead of disrupted.

My Upcoming Lapse in Posts

Hey everybody, Mitch here. Just wanted to say that I will not be able to post anything today or tomorrow, as I promised my school’s drama club that I would work the sound board for their performance today and tomorrow. Posts will be back on schedule, every weekday, starting back up on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

US Claims Right To Kidnap Foriegners

London Times – AMERICA has told Britain that it can “kidnap” British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the United States.

A senior lawyer for the American government has told the Court of Appeal in London that kidnapping foreign citizens is permissible under American law because the US Supreme Court has sanctioned it.

The admission will alarm the British business community after the case of the so-called NatWest Three, bankers who were extradited to America on fraud charges. More than a dozen other British executives, including senior managers at British Airways and BAE Systems, are under investigation by the US authorities and could face criminal charges in America.

Until now it was commonly assumed that US law permitted kidnapping only in the “extraordinary rendition” of terrorist suspects.

The American government has for the first time made it clear in a British court that the law applies to anyone, British or otherwise, suspected of a crime by Washington.

Legal experts confirmed this weekend that America viewed extradition as just one way of getting foreign suspects back to face trial. Rendition, or kidnapping, dates back to 19th-century bounty hunting and Washington believes it is still legitimate.

The US government’s view emerged during a hearing involving Stanley Tollman, a former director of Chelsea football club and a friend of Baroness Thatcher, and his wife Beatrice.

The Tollmans, who control the Red Carnation hotel group and are resident in London, are wanted in America for bank fraud and tax evasion. They have been fighting extradition through the British courts.

During a hearing last month Lord Justice Moses, one of the Court of Appeal judges, asked Alun Jones QC, representing the US government, about its treatment of Gavin, Tollman’s nephew. Gavin Tollman was the subject of an attempted abduction during a visit to Canada in 2005.

Jones replied that it was acceptable under American law to kidnap people if they were wanted for offenses in America. “The United States does have a view about procuring people to its own shores which is not shared,” he said.

He said that if a person was kidnapped by the US authorities in another country and was brought back to face charges in America, no US court could rule that the abduction was illegal and free him: “If you kidnap a person outside the United States and you bring him there, the court has no jurisdiction to refuse – it goes back to bounty hunting days in the 1860s.”

Mr Justice Ouseley, a second judge, challenged Jones to be “honest about [his] position”.

Jones replied: “That is United States law.”

He cited the case of Humberto Alvarez Machain, a suspect who was abducted by the US government at his medical office in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1990. He was flown by Drug Enforcement Administration agents to Texas for criminal prosecution.

Although there was an extradition treaty in place between America and Mexico at the time – as there currently is between the United States and Britain – the Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that the Mexican had no legal remedy because of his abduction.

In 2005, Gavin Tollman, the head of Trafalgar Tours, a holiday company, had arrived in Toronto by plane when he was arrested by Canadian immigration authorities.

An American prosecutor, who had tried and failed to extradite him from Britain, persuaded Canadian officials to detain him. He wanted the Canadians to drive Tollman to the border to be handed over. Tollman was escorted in handcuffs from the aircraft in Toronto, taken to prison and held for 10 days.

A Canadian judge ordered his release, ruling that the US Justice Department had set a “sinister trap” and wrongly bypassed extradition rules. Tollman returned to Britain.

Legal sources said that under traditional American justice, rendition meant capturing wanted people abroad and bringing them to the United States. The term “extraordinary rendition” was coined in the 1990s for the kidnapping of terror suspects from one foreign country to another for interrogation.

There was concern this weekend from Patrick Mercer, the Tory MP, who said: “The very idea of kidnapping is repugnant to us and we must handle these cases with extreme caution and a thorough understanding of the implications in American law.”

Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty, said: “This law may date back to bounty hunting days, but they should sort it out if they claim to be a civilized nation.”

The US Justice Department declined to comment.

Sharif Blocked From Pakistan Election

AP – ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Opposition leader Nawaz Sharif risks disqualification from Pakistan’s crucial parliamentary elections after an official rejected his nomination papers Monday.

The decision could deepen the political crisis that has engulfed Pakistan since President Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency rule one month ago.

Sharif was to meet later Monday with fellow opposition leader Benazir Bhutto to discuss whether to jointly boycott the Jan. 8 elections.

Raja Qamaruz Zaman upheld objections from other candidates to Sharif’s candidacy.

A lawyer for Sharif said they were considering an appeal to a tribunal composed of senior judges.

“This decision has been made under pressure. This shows how free and fair the elections will be,” said the lawyer, Imtiaz Kaifi.

Sharif, a two-time former prime minister who returned from exile late last month, is pressing for the opposition to unite and boycott the ballot because of Musharraf’s use of emergency powers to purge the judiciary and secure his own continued rule.

Candidates seeking to contest the same National Assembly seat in Lahore had complained that Sharif was ineligible because of a conviction on charges related to the 1999 coup, in which Musharraf ousted his government.

A court convicted Sharif of hijacking and terrorism charges for trying to prevent a plane carrying Musharraf back from a foreign trip from landing in Pakistan, despite a shortage of fuel.

A year later, Sharif agreed to go into exile for 10 years to avoid a life sentence in prison.

Rivals also complained about Sharif’s alleged default on a bank loan and an incident in 1997 in which Sharif’s supporters stormed the Supreme Court.

Zaman said only that the objections were “accepted” and provided no details.

The opposition demands that Musharraf, a close U.S. ally, rescind the state of emergency, under which he fired independent-minded Supreme Court judges, muzzled the media and detained critics.

However, Bhutto’s party is reluctant to boycott the ballot, saying it would hand pro-Musharraf parties a walkover.

“The regime does not need to rig elections that are boycotted,” Bhutto told The Associated Press, forecasting that her party will win a fair election.

“But we still have the option later of protesting a rigged election, so we would rather all the political parties take part,” she said after talks with visiting Turkish President Abdullah Gul in Islamabad.

A boycott would be a serious blow to U.S.-backed efforts to return Pakistan to democracy after eight years of military rule. Musharraf has promised to lift the emergency — as demanded by Washington and the opposition — on Dec. 16.