Archive for September, 2007

Does Hillary Believe in Anything?

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

Several times during the Democratic Party debate last night.

I can understand Hillary Clinton’s position refusing to answer possible hypotheticals but Hillary should at least be able to come up with a favorite sports team.

When Hillary Clinton was asked if she would support the Yankees or Cubs in a hypothetical series Hillary said “Well, I would probably have to alternate sides.” It is scary that someone who waffles on her favorite sports team may one day be “alternating sides” on her policy positions.

Marijuana Arrests Hit Record Level For 2006

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

The U.S. Department of Justice 2006 Uniform Crime report shows a record number of arrests for marijuana. 829,625 persons were arrested for marijuana violations in 2006. Marijuana arrests now make up about 44% of all drug arrests. Despite consistent use rates of marijuana arrests rates have gone up 188% over the last 15 years.

Of those charged with marijuana violations, approximately 89 percent, 738,915 Americans were charged with possession only. The remaining 90,710 individuals were charged with “sale/manufacture,” a category that includes all cultivation offenses, even those where the marijuana was being grown for personal or medical use. In past years, roughly 30 percent of those arrested were age 19 or younger.

Arrests for marijuana now outnumber arrests for all violent crimes combined.

Policy makers need to make decisions on how to adequately use the resources available. Even if you do not support legalizing drugs, it does not make sense to increase arrests for marijuana use while decreasing arrests for cocaine and heroin.

Prosecution of the drug war also has financial costs. According to NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre, “Enforcing marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers between $10 billion and $12 billion annually and has led to the arrest of nearly 20 million Americans.” The American taxpayer could use this money a lot more efficiently.

US Marijuana Arrests 1965-2005

Peolosi Plasses The Blame

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Nancy Pelosi has recently taken to blaming the Republicans for the Democrat’s inaction on Iraq:

In an hourlong interview with the editorial board of The Boston Globe, Pelosi said responsibility for the war no longer lay just with President Bush but with her Republican counterparts on Capitol Hill, who she said are more interested in protecting Bush than working to redeploy the 169,000 American troops now in Iraq.

“We have to make it very clear to the American people that it was George Bush’s war [but] it is now the Republicans in Congress’s war,” she said.

The Republicans may be inactive in ending the Iraq war but the Democrats have not been much better. Pelosi needs to take some of the responsibility, the Democrats do control both houses of Congress. And the plan Pelosi proposed by the President is a similair table for withdrawl.

Ron Paul and Hip-Hop

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Trying to connect hip-hop and libertarianism is often a futile task but the Ron Paul video below does a pretty good job.

The video is by rappers Cerebral and King Koopa out of Orlando, Florida rapping as The Knights of Liberty. The song is produced by Ink Well of The Philosofists

Link via Andrew Sullivan

Here is another YouTube hip-hop video endorsing Ron Paul:

Rapped by: Roy Shivers
Trumpet: Christian Scott
Produced by: King Solomon, Talent & R.T. For Day Break Productions
Mixed By: R.T. @ The Armory Studios

Chavez Threatens To Nationalize Private Schools

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

When Chavez was first elected President of Venezuela,I hoped his populist campaign was nothing more than rhetoric. Chavez’s statest ideals have turned out to be reality.

Hugo Chavez has threatened to close all schools that do not abide by the state sanctioned curriculum. Zulay Campos, a member of a Bolivarian State Academic Commission that evaluates compliance with academic guidelines, told the Associated Press recently. “If they attack us because we’re indoctrinating, well yes, we’re doing it, because those capitalist ideas that our young people have — and that have done so much damage to our people — must be eliminated.”

New college curriculum will include increased emphasis on the writings of Karl Marx and the speeches of Communist leaders like Fidel Castro.

The ideological indoctrination through education is an important step in the development of an authoritarian government.

Deporting All 12 Million Illegal Aliens Would Cost $94 Billion

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Julie Meyers, the head of the ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told a Senate committee recently , that the cost of deporting all 12 million illegal aliens would be at leats $94 billion Americans.

The expected cost of deporting illegal aliens of $94 billion did not include related court costs and the expensive cost of illegal aliens

Republican politicians have talked about securing the border but they may not be ready to make the financial equipment that is actually needed to secure the border. $94 billion is a lot of money. $94 billion is more than twice the cost of the Department of Homeland Security’s annual budget.

CIA decides to end use of waterboarding

Friday, September 14th, 2007

According to, the CIA has decided to ban the use of waterboarding as an interrogation technique.

Waterboarding is an interrogation technique that consists of immobilizing an individual and pouring water over his or her face to simulate drowning. Waterboarding has been used to obtain information, coerce confessions, punish, and intimidate. However, it is also used in some military training. It elicits the gag reflex, and can make the subject believe his or her death is imminent while not causing permanent physical damage.

Some Republicans have supported the use of waterboarding claiming that is not torture. John McCain, the Senator from Arizona, who was tortured during Vietnam views things differently: “

For instance, there has been considerable press attention to a tactic called “waterboarding,” where a prisoner is restrained and blindfolded while an interrogator pours water on his face and into his mouth—causing the prisoner to believe he is being drowned. He isn’t, of course; there is no intention to injure him physically. But if you gave people who have suffered abuse as prisoners a choice between a beating and a mock execution, many, including me, would choose a beating. The effects of most beatings heal. The memory of an execution will haunt someone for a very long time and damage his or her psyche in ways that may never heal. In my view, to make someone believe that you are killing him by drowning is no different than holding a pistol to his head and firing a blank. I believe that it is torture, very exquisite torture.

Warterboarding has probably been used by on least five suspects. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, one of the masterminds behind September 11th spoke to authorities after waterboarding.

Waterboarding is a despicable technique and it is a smart decision by CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden. This is one step in the right direction towards repairing the reputation of the United States around the world.

Space Flight To The Moon, May Return Thanks To Google

Friday, September 14th, 2007

Google has announced a $25 million prize for lunar space research. According to the New York Times “

The “Google Lunar X Prize” was announced yesterday in Los Angeles at the Wired magazine’s NextFest. The contest calls for entrants to land a rover on the moon that will be able to travel at least 550 yards and send high-resolution video, still images and other data back home.

The X Prize Foundation saw the new contest as one of “the grand challenges of our time that we can use to move people forward,” said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, chairman and C.E.O. of the foundation.

The prize for reaching the moon and completing the basic tasks of roving and sending video and data will bring the winner $20 million, according to the contest rules. An additional $5 million would be awarded for other tasks that include roving more than 5,500 yards or sending back images of artifacts like lunar landers from the Apollo program.

The $20 million grand prize will be available until Dec. 31, 2012, and then will drop to $15 million for two years. The contest would be likely to end after that time, though Google and the foundation would be able to extend it.

Carnegie Mellon University has already agreed to enter the competition. NASA originally created the idea for the competition and assumed at least six or seven competitiors.

It is good to see companies like Google furthering space research. Creating incentives for non-governmental entities to be involved in space exploration will push space research along faster than any amounts of funding given to NASA.