Friday, May 16, 2008

The California Supreme Court Abolishes Marriage

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court abolished the legal institution of marriage in the state of California, and erected in its place a new, sex-neutral institution with the same name, thus pulling the rug out from every married couple in the state, who were under the apparent misimpression they were choosing to participate in a uniquely heterosexual institution.

The 4-3 ruling by the California Supreme Court is preposterous on its face, as it claims to be based on some devotion to the principle of equality, yet instead allows for a radical redefinition of our institution of holy matrimony in order to meet the unorthodox desires of a tiny minority of people apparently suffering from a genetic mental disorder that causes them to orient sexually and romantically upon members of their own sex. And while these unfortunates ought to be free to live their lives in the manner they see fit (as they already are permitted to do), that does not imply any requirement on the larger society to reshape its vital institutions in order to accommodate their maladaptation.

The popular term "gay marriage" is itself a logical impossibility. Marriage is a union between a man and a woman, thus contrary to popular, liberal mythology, homosexual men and women have never been discriminated against with respect to the institution of marriage, but rather they have always been free to marry each other. But as it happens, homosexual men and lesbians do not wish to marry each other. Perhaps that is unfortunate, or feels "unfair" to those beings who are driven solely by their own emotional needs and selfish desires, but the fact remains that two men can not be married, likewise two women. It is simply impossible for two men or two women to form a union of one man and one woman, and since that is what marriage is, the idea of "gay marriage" constitutes the most errant nonsense. Two men, or two women, should no more be issued a marriage license by which to sanctify their relationship than the owner of an elephant should be able to license his pet as "a dog."

While the social phenomenon of homosexuality is very destructive within the community at large, there is no rational reason to bear ill will towards individual homosexuals, who are themselves the greatest victims of this psycho-sexual maladjustment disorder. There is every reason, however, to stand up to the organized homosexual political activists and their politically correct allies, and to firmly and resoundingly tell them "No." Just as we would not let young children play with loaded pistols, we are under no obligation to cater to the outrageous demands of much of the homosexual community.

The good news, however, is that a movement is already afoot to rectify this horrific decision on the part of the California Supreme Court. Eight years ago, California voters passed Proposition 22, which is just fourteen words long ("Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California"), and was the principal statutory basis for the legal definition of marriage as a heterosexual union. It passed with 61.4% of the voters in favor. Now the same 14 words will once again be submitted before the voters this November, but not as an initiative statute, as was the case for Proposition 22, but rather as an initiative constitutional amendment. Unlike a mere statute, a constitutional amendment can not be overturned by the state supreme court, for a constitutional amendment is, by definition, a part of the constitution as a whole, and no constitution can ever be in violation of itself. A motion has already been filed with the state supreme court requesting the new ruling be stayed until after the November election.

It appears the victory of the homosexual "rights" lobby may be very short-lived indeed.

--Jake Featherston

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Why the Libertarian Party Should Nominate Bob Barr for President

The number one reason is because in 2004, Libertarian Party Presidential nominee Michael Badnarik won fewer than 398,000 votes (out of over 122 million cast), for just 0.32% of the total.

Ever since David Bergland won the 1984 LP Presidential nomination, the party has been more-or-less on a downward spiral with regard to its ability to field national candidates that have attracted a significant number of votes, as well as significant media attention. The high water mark of the national LP was Ed Clark's 1980 run for President, in which he received over 921,000 votes, for just slightly over 1% of the total. In Alaska, he scored an astounding 11.7% of the vote, and actually edged out independent John Anderson for third place. 28 years later, Ed Clark's record has never even been approached.

Clearly, its time for a slightly different strategy, emphasis on "slightly." Because contrary to the propaganda from the purist wing of the LP, Bob Barr is pretty libertarian. Now please don't think I have anything against fine men like Michael Badnarik or David Bergland. Although I doubt he remembers me, my then-girlfriend and I actually had lunch with Mr. Bergland and his charming wife back in 1994. I remember him as a splendid fellow, and if he were the nominee of the LP this year, I would seriously consider voting for him. But I wouldn't want him to be the nominee in 2008, with all due respect (and in fairness, I don't think he'd want to be either), because we've tried nominating obscure, Libertarian activists, generally with positions a bit farther outside the mainstream than is absolutely necessary, in the last six elections, and it hasn't worked very well. Why not another tact? Just this one time, perhaps, you know, in order to see how it goes. Let's see just how well it works to nominate a significant national figure with whom we share many ideals, one who has a proven track record of actually winning elections.

Why not?

Some people might claim we already tried that with Ron Paul in 1988, and it didn't really work out all that better than with candidates like Mr. Bergland, Mr. Badnarik, Andre Marrou, and the late Dr. Harry Browne. To them I would say that while I have enormous respect and affection for Ron Paul (I even changed my registration to Republican last December in order to vote for him in the California Presidential Primary election, and have been somewhat active in support of his campaign - Hell, if the truth be told, I wish Ron Paul were seeking the LP nomination this year, but alas, he is not), he was not a very well-known member of Congress twenty years ago (his race for the GOP Presidential nomination this year has greatly increased his public profile and national stature).

Bob Barr was a prominent Congressman from the great state of Georgia. He was so reviled by the Democrats, that the Georgia Legislature actually used the corrupt, "gerrymandering" tactic to re-district him right out of his Congressional seat in 2002. Now if that's not a badge of honor, I don't know what could be. He was one of the House Managers who prosecuted President Bill Clinton in his Impeachment Trial before the United States Senate (where, sadly, President Clinton was acquitted of the crimes he did, in fact, actually commit, in an unjust fit of partisan-induced Senatorial jury nullification). It might be an exaggeration to describe Bob Barr as an American hero, but it wouldn't be a Hell of a big one.

The most recent Zogby Poll showed Bob Barr attaining the historic level of 4% of the popular vote in a race between John McInsane and Hillarious Clinton (while he achieved 3% support in a perhaps far more likely race between McInsane and Senator Obama).

That is the only time any potential LP nominee has ever shown up in the national polls, with the possible exception of Ed Clark in 1980.

Now if some neo-"conservative," typical Republican Party hack officeholder were seeking the LP nomination, I'd say "No way!" But Bob Barr is not some GOP infiltrator; he's a libertarian (and a Libertarian). He's been a member of the party since 2005, and a member of its National Committee since 2006 (he even contributed $9,500 to the LP National Committee). He also endorsed the Presidential candidacy of 2004 Libertarian Party nominee Michael Badnarik, back when he was still a Republican. And let's face it, the fact that Bob Barr's views, while very much within the freedom-loving tradition of Robert Taft, Barry Goldwater, and Ron Paul, aren't quite as doctrinaire as those of some of the other party candidates, is actually something of a strength. Its the other factor that will enable him to reach out to more voters than any previous LP nominee. While it does constitute a compromise, its only a slight one, and not a fundamental one at all, and the potential pay-off is enormous. And hey, we can always nominate someone like our last six nominees in 2012, if we decide the Barr nomination was a mistake. Although I suspect most Libertarians will agree it wasn't one, even the ones who opposed his candidacy at the National Convention.

Its true, he's not quite as good on some issues as are people like Mary Ruwart and Steve Kubby. But his positions on the issues are good ones. Some might say they aren't quite good enough, but then good enough for what? Good enough to get zero national media attention and go down to ignominious defeat? Sure, Bob Barr ain't going to win the election this year, but he might well wrack up a couple of million votes, and thus help to continue the work of the Ron Paul Revolution. He may also be able to attract so many libertarian, paleo-libertarian, and yes, even paleo-conservative voters, so as to be able to spoil the election for that awful man from Arizona. And that, my friends and neighbours, is what we call The Big Time.

When a minor political party can dictate the results of the national election, by preventing someone horrible from winning (due to being able to take advantage of dissatisfaction among traditionally GOP voters), that is when a minor party starts to bridge the gap between minor and major party status. Its only one step, but its a doozy. And Ms. Ruwart, Mr. Kubby, Sen. Gravel, etc., well, they just can't do that. They don't offer the LP the chance to become, for the first time in its 37-year history, a true force in American national politics. And Bob Barr does.

--Jake Featherston

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Why Barack Obama is the Lesser of Two Evils, Part II

We previously discussed the reasons why John McInsane himself is the number one reason why Barack Obama is the lesser of two evils. Almost anyone would be the lesser of two evils when compared to that ghastly, war-mongering poltroon from Arizona. I can't think of many benchmarks lower than better-than-McInsane. Despite that, Barack Obama has a couple things to recommend himself. Not that I plan to vote for him. I could see voting for him if I lived in a so-called "swing state," and I wouldn't criticize anyone who made such a choice. But I think we can do better than the lesser of two evils. More on that later.

The first reason why Obama actually stands out as better than McInsane (leaving aside the fact that Barack Obama does not come across as an unstable lunatic) is that he does not appear to have any enthusiasm for taking our nation into an unnecessary and potentially quite disastrous war against Iran. In the Fall of 2002, when he was still a member of the Illinois state senate, he loudly condemned those Democratic members of the U.S. Senate (such as a certain Mrs. Clinton from New York) who voted with all but one Republican (the Hon. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, to give credit where it is due), in order to authorize the use of force against Iraq. He also (unlike Senator Clinton) voted against the ridiculous Senate Resolution declaring the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to be a "terrorist organization."

Whatever one many think of Iran and its government (and I, for one, would argue its not quite the same irrational gang of lunatics we perceived it to be back in 1979; the Ayatollah Khomeini has been dead for 22 years now, and all revolutions moderate over time, besides which, the Shi'ite Muslims of Iran are a very different kettle of fish as compared to the Sunni Wahhabist nutjobs of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province/Waziristan, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban, although there will be plenty of time for me to write on that subject later), the simple fact of the matter is that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards are a fully legal and incorporated segment of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran. To declare them to be "terrorists" would be no different than if North Korea declared the United States Marine Corps to be a "terrorist organization." Both claims are patently absurd. And the clear and obvious purpose behind that Senate Resolution was (and is) a neo-"conservative" plot to legitimize a war against the so-called "terrorists" of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. The Resolution passed, so it may still be used in the closing months of the Bush/Cheney administration, but it stands Senator Obama in excellent stead that he chose to vote against it. If he becomes President next year, he can be relied upon to ignore it, unlike John McInsane, who was one of its principal backers in the Senate.

That, to me, is Barack Obama's signature appeal ie., if he becomes President, we probably won't have to go to war with Iran, while if he does not, we almost certainly will. And contrary to what many people seem to believe, Iran is not some weak, primitive country like we'd turned Iraq into during the 1991 war. Iran has a very sophisticated network of surface-to-surface missiles intended to do one thing, and one thing only: Destroy our naval vessels in the Persian Gulf. In the last two war games conducted by the Pentagon, Iran won. I'm not even kidding. In both war games, conducted over the last 3-4 years, they sunk our Aircraft Carrier. In the most recent war game in particular, it was just one of 16 U.S. Naval vessels they sunk in the first 24 hours of the war! Estimated deaths were well over 5,000. That's over 20 percent more guys dead in the very first day, then in almost five-and-a-half years of war in Iraq! And I must ask you, for what?

The CIA doesn't even believe Iran is building nuclear weapons. And even if they are, they won't have any for another ten years. I'd just as soon no country have nuclear weapons, but as long as that genie is out of the bottle, we have to learn to live with it, and to behave rationally in accordance to the conditions which actually prevail. And the fact of the matter is that Pakistan, a much more unstable and militant regime by any reasonable standards, has had nuclear weapons since at least 1998, and probably going back all the way to the 1980s. Its an imperfect situation, I'll grant, but its one we've been able to live with. And if the cost of going to war to prevent Iran from joining the nuclear club is arguably the single most disastrous U.S. military defeat of all time (which is exactly what the loss of our of our Aircraft Carriers would be; 5,000 men is more than we lost at Pearl Harbor, too), then I suggest the price is much too high. If the human race is going to survive and prosper in the future, we need to be smart. And attacking Iran just isn't smart. That's a 19th century solution to a 21st century problem, and like breaking an egg with a sledge hammer, it will cause more problems than it could ever hope to solve.

So again, that's one pretty solid reason to hope for an Obama victory in November.

But there's another. And Obama's supporters in the Democratic Party aren't going to like it.

Its called "backlash." You remember when Bill Clinton first became President, and tried to govern this country as a liberal Democrat, and basically shot himself in the foot so many times he was hobbling around on bloody stumps (so to speak)? Remember that incredible reaction in 1994, when not only did both Houses of Congress switch from Democrat to Republican (for the first time in 40 years), but all across America, Governors, Lieutenant Governors, State Treasurers, and entire State Legislatures themselves, some of whom had been under the control of the Democrats since before the Civil War, were swept away in a whirlwind of Republican electoral triumph? And two years later, Patrick J. Buchanan, the closest thing we had to Ron Paul in the 1990s, nearly took the Republican Presidential nomination away from tired, old, conventional Bob Dole (he came a lot closer than Ron Paul did, I'm afraid). Why do you suppose that happened?

It was the inevitable backlash against any liberal Democratic President. The Republicans lost the Congress in 2006, and if they lose the White House in 2008, they're going to be in disarray, and ready for someone (probably not Ron Paul; I suspect he's too advanced in years at this stage to make another run) to move in and reclaim that party for authentic, patriotic, Constitutional conservatism. Think about it: Bill Clinton was a Southern White Governor with a "moderate" political image during the 1992 Presidential election, and yet he inspired the biggest electoral backlash we've seen since the Great Depression nearly destroy the Republican Party in the elections of 1930 and 1932. Now think about Barack Hussein Obama. Nice fellow, but he's the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate according to various bodies which rate these things (such as Americans for Demcratic Action), he'll be coming into office as a potentially catastrophic economic and currency crisis looms, in the midst of an unpopular war that he either won't be able to end at all, or will end on conditions not seen as favorable to the United States (I tend to agree with the generic pacifists that we should just get out of Iraq ASAP, but where I disagree with the generic pacifist perspective is their cherished belief that all the predictions about Iraq disintegrating into a civil war, and being taken over by a regime hostile to our country is just so much militaristic propaganda; on the contrary, that's EXACTLY what's going to happen - I just happen to be one of the relatively few people willing to acknowledge that reality, and say well, let's do it anyway). So he'll be facing twin disasters on the economic and foreign policy fronts, while at the same time being the most liberal President in American history, plus the added bonus that he's a Black dude with a foreign-sounding name. Now I like to think I'm a little too sophisticated to hold a fellow's name against him, or likewise the fact his daddy was born in Kenya, and you probably are too, but not everyone is quite so open-minded as we are. This is America, remember, not Canada, Sweden, or New Zealand. And people are going to be pissed. And if you think 1994 was a big deal, wait'll you see 2010.

And after 2010, comes 2012. The Democrats are liable to renominate Obama, but the Republican candidate is likely to be cut from a very different cloth as opposed to corporate cyphers like Bush, McInsane, Cheney, Romney, Dole, etc. Whether he'll be more on the libertarian, Ron Paul/Barry Goldwater right, or the populist Patrick Buchanan/Ross Perot right, remains to be seen. My guess is, he'll be something of a fusion of both tendencies, a sort of big tent for the Angry White Male, if you will. He might not even be a Republican at all. He might be an independent, or the leader of some new political party born of the turmoil and troubles we're likely to see irrespective of who wins the next Presidential election. One thing is for damn sure, his arrival will be very welcome indeed to those of us who have already become disgusted with the last twenty years or Bush/Clinton/Bush rule.

Barack Obama said he's going to bring change to America, and he is. Boy, oh, boy, is he ever! He's going bring change BIG-TIME!

Just not quite the change he and his liberal supporters are presently envisioning (although I imagine we'll win a few of them over to our cause in 2012 too).

--Jake Featherston

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Why Barack Obama is the Lesser of Two Evils

Because he's running against John McInsane, that's why.

What's wrong with McInsane, you might ask? Plenty.

First off, he's simply not tempermentally suited to the White House. Since at least his high school days, McInsane has been known as a hot-tempered and vindictive person. He is an angry paranoid who equates any disagreement with him as some sort of betrayal. Hell, his own wife (who frankly looks like a caricature of a demented Stepford bride) is said to have compiled a lengthy list of people she imagines are their enemies (she calls it her "grudge list"), against whom they apparently intend to abuse the office of the Presidency in order to wreak vengeance upon. McInsane himself frequently loses his temper, and and even shouts obscenities at his fellow Senators. The Arizona Senator was also diagnosed by Naval doctors as suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, a potentially quite severe and chronic mental disorder.

This is the man who thinks going to war with Iran, which would surely lead to the deaths of many thousands of Iranian children, women, and other civilian non-combatants, as well as Lord only knows how many American military service personnel, is simply hilarious. This is also the man who apparently doesn't realize the Cold War ended almost 20 years ago, as he intends to make confronting Russia and China one of the cornerstones of his administration. I don't know about you, but I'm not very comfortable with a hot-headed mental defective, who wants to take us into a new and much larger war in the Middle East (against Iran), and who wants to antagonize Russia at every turn (such as by expelling them from the G8 group of industrialized democracies), having his finger on the nuclear button.

I was born in 1970, so I can recall when we lived under the constant specter of global thermo-nuclear war. I can also remember when that threat receded during the late 1980s and early 1990s, and how it was the single greatest event to occur during my lifetime. But now John McInsane threatens to bring that nightmare back. I'm not saying he'd intentionally take us into a nuclear conflagration with Russia and/or China (although once we go to war with Iran, there's just no telling where things might lead), but I do think its eminently plausible he might hot-headedly miscalculate the strength of Russian (or Chinese) resolve on some issue or another, and inadvertently plunge us into the nuclear abyss. OK, sure, there's easily a 90 percent chance that wouldn't happen. But are you willing to risk that ten percent chance it just might? I know I sure as Hell am not!

Col. Larry Wilkerson (retired), former top aide to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, had this to say about the senior Senator from Arizona: "No dissent, no opinion to the contrary, however reasonable, will be entertained. Hardheaded is another way to say it. Arrogant is another way to say it. Hubristic is another way to say it. Too proud for his own good is another way to say it. It's a quality about him that disturbs me." United States Senator Thad Cochran, a Republican from Mississippi, said this of his Arizona colleague: "The thought of his being President sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper, and he worries me." The thought sends a cold shiver down my spine as well.

But wait! There's more!

He also sponsored the bill to give amnesty to as many as twenty million illegal aliens, and is an advocate for de facto "open borders" with Mexico. And he angrily denounces anyone who doesn't share this view, as fellow Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas was made rudely aware, when McInsane yelled at him to "Fuck off! ," during a closed Senatorial hearing. He also informed his Senatorial colleagues that "I know all on immigration." Sounds like just the sort of psychological persona to be leading this country. Not to mention the fact the American people don't want amnesty for illegal aliens, as every public opinion survey has indicated.

And then there's the USS Forrestal incident.

The fire aboard the USS Forrestal killed 134 U.S. Sailors (and maimed numerous others), and cost over 72 million dollars to repair, crippling a U.S. Aircraft Carrier in the middle of the Vietnam War. No definitive cause for the fire has ever been made public, although one thing that is not in dispute is that our future Arizona Senator was in the cockpit of his jet, and was about to take off, at the moment the fire erupted a few feet away. Some eyewitnesses claim that the fire started due to McInsane's having initiated what is know as a "wet start." This is a particular maneuver wherein fuel is allowed to pool in the engine prior to ignition, thus sending a burst of flame out the tailpipe. The burst of flame is said to have "cooked off" the Zuni rocket in the plane directly behind him (the pilot of which was killed, so we can't ask him what occurred), thus triggering the calamitous fire.

What we do know is that McInsane was the only able-bodied crewman to be immediately evacuated upon the arrival of the USS Oriskany, which when combined with the fact he was present just a few feet away from where the fire started at the time of the initial conflagration, does seem rather to imply that he was whisked off the ship in order to ensure his physical safety. There are rumours of a secret Naval report that indicate his guilt in this matter, but as his father, Admiral John Sidney McCain, would become Chief of Pacific Naval Operations just a few months after the incident, its not difficult to imagine how such a report might have been suppressed from public attention. Perhaps tellingly, Admiral McCain was also involved in the attempted cover-up of the USS Liberty incident.

In any event, one has to come to one's own conclusion about John McInsane's involvement in the Forrestal Fire, as I have come to mine. I believe his reckless initiating of a "wet start" did indeed lead to the deaths of 134 innocent Sailors, and that his status as a son of privilege is the only thing which kept him from justice.

The picture that emerges of John McInsane is that of a mentally unstable, reckless individual, and a bit of a clown, who does not belong anywhere near the levers of power. His foreign policy record suggests a dangerous war monger who can't be trusted with this nation's security. His record as a "maverick," "moderate," "neo-conservative," and all-around darling of the national press corps, seems to demonstrate his domestic policies won't be that different from those of Senator Obama. Peope who are counting on John McInsane to nominate the Supreme Court Justice who will provide the fifth vote against Roe vs. Wade, for example, are likely to be sorely disappointed. But at least with Barack Obama, we should be able to avoid World War III (or even "just" a war with Iran).

The Presidential candidacy of Senator Obama clearly represents the lesser of two evils, due to the terrifying specter of a McInsane Presidency (the Mayan calendar has been interpreted as indicating an apocalyptic end to Humanity itself will occur on December 21st, 2012, so perhaps John McInsane is destined to play out the role of a veritable Anti-Christ). Yet there may actually be some reasons why an Obama administration might be a good thing in and of itself, although they are certainly not the reasons he and his supporters would indicate. More on that later.

--Jake Featherston