The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Killing in the Name of Democracy

by James Bovard
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President George W. Bush perpetually invokes the goal of spreading democracy to sanctify his foreign policy. Unfortunately, he is only the latest in a string of presidents who cloaked aggression in idealistic rhetoric. Killing in the name of democracy has a long and sordid history.

The U.S. government’s first experience with forcibly spreading democracy came in the wake of the Spanish-American War. When the U.S. government declared war on Spain in 1898, it pledged it would not annex foreign territory. But after a swift victory, the United States annexed all of the Philippines. As Tony Smith, author of America’s Mission, noted,

Ultimately, the democratization of the Philippines came to be the principal reason the Americans were there; now the United States had a moral purpose to its imperialism and could rest more easily.

William McKinley proclaimed that in the Philippines the U.S. occupation would “assure the residents in every possible way [of the] full measure of individual rights and liberties which is the heritage of a free people, substituting the mild sway of justice and right for arbitrary rule.” He also promised to “Christianize” the Filipinos, as if he did not consider the large number of Filipino Catholics to be Christians. McKinley was devoted to forcibly spreading American values abroad at the same time that he championed high tariffs to stop Americans from buying foreign products.

The “mild sway of justice” worked out very well for Filipino undertakers. The United States Christianized and civilized the Filipinos by authorizing American troops to kill any Filipino male 10 years old and older and by burning down and massacring entire villages. (Filipino resistance fighters also committed atrocities against American soldiers.) Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos died as the United States struggled to crush resistance to its rule in a conflict that dragged on for a decade and cost the lives of 4,000 American troops.

Despite the brutal U.S. suppression of the Filipino independence movement, President Bush, in a 2003 speech in Manila, claimed credit for the United States’s having brought democracy to the Philippines:

America is proud of its part in the great story of the Filipino people. Together our soldiers liberated the Philippines from colonial rule.

Perhaps Bush believes that subservience to the U.S. government is the highest freedom that any foreign people can attain. His comments illustrated the continual “1984”-style rewriting of American history.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Voters agree: American political system is broken

Well duhh...
Voters agree: American political system is broken
By Rasmussen Reports

A plurality of voters in each of 32 states agree that the political system in the U.S. is "badly broken." Percentages range from a high of 63% in Vermont to 47% in Nebraska, but all point in the same direction. The Rasmussen Reports surveys were conducted as part of a series of Election 2006 polls on Senate and Governor's races across the nation.

An earlier, national, survey found that just 48% of American adults believe that elections are generally fair to voters. That number has been fairly consistent since we began polling on the topic in the mid-90s. The only change has been the partisan details. In the 1990s, with a Democrat in the White House, Democrats were more likely than Republicans to believe that elections are fair. Now, with a Republican in the White House, the partisan perspectives have reversed.

That earlier survey also found that, by a 68% to 29% margin, American adults believe that election ballots should be printed in English only rather than English and Spanish. A look at the state-by-state results shows, not surprisingly, great divides along geographic lines.

In 22 of the 32 states, at least 60% of voters favored English only ballots. Topping this list were Tennessee (77%), Montana (72%), West Virginia (71%) and Alabama and Georgia (70%).

Vermont, at 49%, had the lowest support for English only ballots. Forty-seven percent (47%) of voters in Howard Dean's home state disagree and want bilingual ballots. Texas, New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland were the only other states where more than 40% of voters favor bilingual ballots.

There was little geographic difference on the question of whether individuals should be required to present photo identification (such as a driver's license) when they go to the polls. Support for this approach ranged from 60% in Vermont to 92% in Florida.

Maine was the only other state to register below the 73% level of support for requiring photo ID's.

Discussions of voter fraud sometime revolve around assumptions of voter suppression-people who should be allowed to vote but are prevented from doing so. Other times, people express concern that people vote who are not eligible. In eighteen states, more voters are concerned to ineligible voters are allowed to cast ballots. In twelve states, more voters are concerned about people prevented from voting.

Voters in New York are more likely than in any other state to express a concern about voter suppression. Thirty-four percent (34%) of Empire State voters hold this view.

Washington and Arizona are tops when it comes to concerns about ineligible people casting ballots. In Washington, that may be the result of controversies in the election for Governor. In Arizona, it is more likely tied to concerns about illegal immigrants.

Rasmussen Reports has also released data on state-by-state assessments of the most important issues in Election 2006, whether the Bible is literally true, and preliminary Presidential match-ups for Election 2008.

Each state survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted between July 15-August 14, 2006. The margin of sampling error for each survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

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Monday, August 28, 2006


I've been listening to the new Slayer album and am highly impressed. This band has been around for a long time - almost as long as other old-school metal bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.

This album shows the age of the a good way. They haven't lightened up any since their beginnings and have grown immensely not only as musicians, but also in the subject matter of their music. In the early days, they were all about Satan and blood and gore and the usual early heavy metal schtick.

They've been steadily growing into something more thoughtful, however, and have culminated that growth with this latest album Christ Illusion. With songs like Confearacy, Cult, Jihad and others, they fight the illusion of organized religion and the evils it perpetrates in the name of God.

The cover art has changed with the older version (which I have) depicting the corpse of Christ rotting amongst the severed heads of the fallen to the one shown at right. The original cover (not to mention the music on the album) has generated a huge amount of controversy. Just what you'd expect from Slayer! Definitely worth checking out if you're into thoughtful, hard music.

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Publik Skool Books

The following books will be available in the library of your local publik skool:
Learn to PimpHorton Hires a HoC Is For Condoms
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