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Monthly Archives: April 2008

Sometimes the hypocrisy emanating from the mouths of politicians is so brazen, that it’s nigh on impossible to keep a straight face after hearing it.

By now, everyone knows about the trials and tribulations of the poor Olympic torch. In city after city, its presence has been met with protests and condemnations of the 2008 Summer Olympics host country, China.

China’s human rights violations have been cited by newscasters and politicians aplenty as reasons why President Bush should boycott the opening ceremonies of the games. Protesters are also demanding that Tibet be freed from Chinese government control.

Funny but, I haven’t seen any massive demonstrations to condemn the American government’s mass slaughter of innocent Iraqis that’s been happening every day since March of 2003. And where’s the outrage over the American government’s support for the murderous sanctions against Iraq throughout the 1990’s? And while we’re on the subject, what about the American government’s indiscriminant killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese in 1945, with atomic bombs, no less?

Of course, when the government of the United States violates human rights around the world it is necessary to “protect our freedoms.” Only communist and “islamofascist” countries are interested in global military hegemony. And only those sinister nations would employ any barbaric means to achieve those ends. Only they would stoop so low as to engage in the wanton annihilation of innocents simply to arrogate more power for themselves. For we must remember that our enemies are irrational. They just don’t think “right,” like we do. They’re crazy. They have no respect for human life. They practice evil religions and speak weird languages. We just can’t trust them. So, in order to preserve our freedom we must eliminate them before they destroy us. Because they really do want to wipe us off the map! Really, they do!

At least that’s what we’re supposed to believe. Now back to the China situation.

On Wednesday, Congress overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for China to end its crackdown on Tibet. As an aside, I’d like to mention that Ron Paul, Dr. No himself, cast the only vote against this resolution. And it’s not because he favors the Chinese crackdown on Tibet. Simply put, the Constitution does not give Congress the authority to pass resolutions condemning the governments of foreign countries .

Now, returning to those members of Congress for whom the Constitution apparently means nothing, I found this statement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to be rather interesting:

“It is long past time for Beijing to reassess its failed policy to attack and demonize the Dalai Lama, and show the world it can have civilized discussions as a responsible world power.”

Is it just me, or is there something terribly hypocritical about that type of statement coming from a high ranking member of the United States government? Actually, with a few simple word changes that statement would apply perfectly to the United States government’s policy toward Iran since the late 1970’s. How about this?

“It is long past time for Washington D.C. to reassess its failed policy to attack and demonize Iran, and show the world it can have civilized discussions as a responsible world power.”

Talk about a perfect fit!

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Ex-professional wrestler and ex-governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura, appeared on the Larry King Live show on CNN last week. He appeared just yesterday with Wolf Blitzer in The Situation Room, also on CNN. Ventura is not one to mince his words when it comes to the current state of American politics. His opinions will certainly not find favor between the ears of any well behaved establishmentarian.

To put it mildly, let’s just say that the man who used to go by the nickname “the body” offered a scathing indictment of the entire body of American politics. I have to admit that most of what he said was like sweet music to my ears. He slammed the “two party dictatorship ” of the Democrats and the Republicans. He actually said that he would like to see political parties disappear altogether, as a matter of fact! And all I can say to that one is AMEN! I love his description of the two major parties:

“You know, as I would get in trouble with before, I used to call them the Democrips and the Rebloodlicans. They’re the same as the street gangs, only these guys wear Brooks Brothers suits.”

Ventura even mentioned the enormous debt that’s been racked up by our government since Nixon dealt the final blow to the gold standard! Oh no! Not the gold standard! Could it be? Is Ventura one of those crazed “Ron Paulians?”

He might just be. Turning to the topic of the Iraq War, and specifically ending it, Ventura says:

“Look it, OK, 2006 — the voters clearly sent a mandate to the spineless Democrats. They sent a mandate to them saying get us out of Iraq.
Have they done it? No. Are they even close to doing it? No. All we’re getting is cheap talk from them.”

So how does Ventura think the war should be ended:

“I agree with Ron Paul, we marched in there, we can march out.”

I don’t even know Jesse Ventura that well. I certainly have not followed his political career. And I am not saying that if he ran for president, I would vote for him. BUT, it is so refreshing to hear anyone lambaste the entire American political system on national television when most politicians and commentators are only too willing to glorify it.

Ventura even suggested that voters should have a “none of the above” option when they go to their polling places on election day. Yikes! Talk about heresy! How can he even suggest something so preposterous? Doesn’t this guy know the rules? Trash one party or the other. But never speak ill of the sacrosanct institution that is American democratic elections. Even if all of the candidates are awful, every voter must fulfill their obligation to select the “lesser of the evils.”

I even heard one CNN pundit refer to a vote for “none of the above” as a “populist copout.” Strange, but the “copout,” if you ask me, is in voting for a candidate you don’t like, just because you have been told that you must vote for someone.

Thank you, Jesse Ventura, not only for not worshiping the State but, for your unflinching denouncement of its corrupt elections.

I was reminded last week about this saying: “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” A friend of mine was bemoaning high gas prices. Now, that by itself is not very remarkable. After all, isn’t everyone doing that these days? What was interesting, however, was the solution he proposed for this problem. He suggested that President Bush should issue an executive order to begin drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, better known as ANWR. I should make clear at this point that I have no problem with drilling in ANWR. I do, however, have a major problem with “executive orders.”

In a nutshell, here’s my friend’s take on this matter. He believes drilling for oil in the ANWR would benefit everyone in our country. Everyone else who doesn’t happen to share his opinion, he believes, is just too naive on this matter. So, according to my friend, it’s up to the president to take action and force everyone else to go along. Well, I believe drilling for oil would be beneficial as well, as it would probably lead to drastically lower gas prices at the pump. Additionally, if we combined drilling for oil in the ANWR with the repeal of the environmental regulations that have resulted in the manufacture of ZERO oil refineries in the United States since 1976, that would be even better. But, it would be a major violation of my libertarian principles to favor an executive order that would compel all Americans to accept my views as the only correct ones. We should never allow the president to assume dictatorial powers. Whether the president is a Republican or a Democrat, unchecked Executive power will lead us down a slippery slope to totalitarianism. We already have a president who has referred to himself as “The Decider.” Is this not a suitably poignant illustration of the dangerous direction we are taking in this country?

Of course, there could also be some unintended consequences when a politician my friend doesn’t support comes to power as president. My friend despises Hillary Clinton and all Democrats, for that matter. Well, suppose Hillary receives her party’s nomination and wins the general election in November. What if, upon taking her post in the Oval Office, Mrs. Clinton issues an executive order to stop drilling in the ANWR? She could cite the actions of the Bush administration and say they set a precedent that she is simply following. And just like that, it’s all over.

Furthermore, Mrs Clinton has made it perfectly clear that she favors universal health care. I know my friend does not support this type of insurance but, so what!? Hillary wouldn’t have to worry about anyone who doesn’t want universal health care. She could simply issue an executive order to make it all happen.

Unfortunately, my friend, who most of the time sounds “libertarian-esque”, seems to be calling for a dictator in this instance. With a catch, however. If the dictator forces everyone else to do things he (my friend) believes are correct, then there’s no problem. We’ll then have a nice, happy dictatorship. Turn the tables around, however, and then we have a problem.

Basically, what it boils down to is this: Republican dictators are acceptable. Democrat dictators are not.

Anyone who values their freedom, though, rejects ALL dictators, regardless of their party affiliation.

Imagine for a moment that you are someone who has not paid attention to the 2008 presidential campaign at all. You have no idea who the three leading candidates are. You also have no knowledge of the candidates who were in the race. You never tuned in for any of the televised debates. You never read any of the magazine articles. You never read any newspapers. Now imagine that the first time you see any of the 2008 presidential candidates, it is when you tune in to Glenn Beck’s television program on April 1, 2008. On this program he has a guest named Ron Paul, who he introduces as a Republican candidate for president. Mr. Beck asks Paul about the big profits for big oil, the plan to give the Federal Reserve much greater power over the economy, and the general problems relating to the Fed’s ability to secretly control- along with private banks- all of the finances of the United States. It’s a well done interview. You would probably come away from it thinking that this Ron Paul guy has some interesting points. Even if you didn’t agree with him, you would probably conclude that he at least deserves some respect. Why?

Well, quite simply, it’s all in the way Beck treated Ron Paul. He was fair. He allowed Paul to finish his sentences. He gave the viewer the impression that Ron Paul actually knows what he’s talking about when it comes to economic matters. Of course, anyone who knows Glenn Beck also knows that he is vehemently opposed to Ron Paul’s foreign policy of nonintervention. However, unlike Bill O’Reilly, who had Ron Paul on his program just to yell at him, and give the viewer the impression that he is crazy, Beck spoke with Ron Paul in a civilized manner concerning a topic on which he and Paul agree.

In January of this year, Glenn Beck interviewed Ron Paul on his radio show. Once again, it was very well conducted and even ended with Beck paying Dr. Paul this compliment:

“I mean, you know, we just — I just happen to disagree with you, but I respect you, sir, for your opinion. I have said this, you know, behind your back. So let me say it to your face. I think you are the closest we have running to a founding father. You seem to be the only guy who has actually read the federalist papers. So I appreciate your efforts, sir.”

Furthermore, back in December, 2007, Mr. Beck interviewed and debated Ron Paul on television for the entire length of his (Beck’s) program!

How about that!? Where was Fox News for that kind of “fair and balanced” coverage? This is precisely the kind of debate we should be having in this great “democratic” country of ours. There’s nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone’s positions on war, the economy, or anything. There is something wrong, however, with eschewing real debate in favor of flinging epithets at each other as if the discussion was between 9 year olds in a grade school playground.

To be fair, from a left wing perspective I have to compliment Bill Maher for his treatment of Ron Paul as well. After the Republican debate in which Rudy Giuliani and Dr. Paul had this memorable confrontation, Paul appeared as a studio guest on Maher’s television program. Maher even referred to Ron Paul as his “new hero.”

Just imagine what might have happened over this past year if more people in the mainstream media would have given Ron Paul fair coverage. Just imagine what might have happened if the mainstream media actually encouraged real debates on the issues, instead of having their microphones and cameras ready only for political pablum and jingoistic slogans.

Finally, just as Glenn Beck and Bill Maher disagree with Ron Paul on many issues, I disagree with Beck and Maher on many issues. However, I appreciate the fact that both of them treated Ron Paul with respect, and allowed him plenty of time to state his case.

That’s more than I can say for most of the other political commentators.