Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Stateside with Rosalea: Convention Watch

Stateside with Rosalea

Dam Busters In Atlanta Take Aim At Welfare Queens

You have to love those Libertarians. On a Memorial Day holiday weekend when the airwaves are dominated by reminiscences about WWII because of the dedication of the new memorial in DC, they're holding their national presidential nominating convention in Atlanta, Georgia. Well, I suppose it's fitting -- like the bomber pilots of dam buster fame, the Libertarians are seemingly determined to stay below the radar.

In a recent press release entitled A welfare-free convention, the party's national chair, Geoffrey Neale, declares that "The evidence is clear: The two biggest welfare queens in the United States are John Kerry and George Bush." This is because the Democratic and Republican national conventions will each get $14.5 million from the Federal Election Commission to finance their events, and a further estimated $25 million in security costs will have to come out of municipal budgets in Boston and New York where those two conventions are going to be held.

"Because the Democratic and Republican nominees are both known in advance, their conventions are just obscenely expensive, taxpayer-financed political ads," says Neale, who also points out that both those conventions are invitation-only events, closed to the general public. "Now there's an entitlement program with a twist," Neale said. "Politicians are taking $79 million of your money for a private party that you're not even allowed to attend!"

The Libertarian convention is by contrast paid for by private funds. The party is touching a deep well-spring of suspicion here in the States when it opposes publicly funded political campaigns, something which most other democracies in the world take for granted. Another way in which this convention highlights the different style of democracy you have here is that they bill one of their speakers as "Libertarian Congressman Ron Paul."

Paul represents the 14th Congressional district in Texas - the rich cropland between the big metropolitan areas of Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Corpus Christi, which voted 66 percent for George W. Bush in 2000. In The Almanac of American Politics, from which I'm taking this information, Paul appears with an (R) by his name, but his politics are definitely Libertarian. In fact, he ran for president on the Libertarian ticket in 1988 and came third.

Although he's not going to be the Libertarian presidential nominee this time around, he has a strong following and his record in the House is "anything but rock-solid Republican." For instance, he was the only Republican to vote "present" (ie, abstain) on the resolution expressing support for the military forces at the start of the war on Iraq.

Both CBS and CNN have recently done stories about how the Libertarian nominee might cost Bush this election because of voter dissatisfaction with both the cost of war and the erosion of civil liberties -- another key Libertarian platform -- that the war on terror has caused. For example, another speaker at the convention, Dean Cameron, is well known not just as an actor but for having created the Bill of Rights, Security Edition for travelers.

This consists of the first 10 Amendments to the US Constitution printed on sturdy, playing card-sized pieces of metal. The product is designed to set off the metal detectors in airports and force airport security to take away your Bill of Rights.

The convention is being covered by C-SPAN, which you can watch on-line if your pipes are big enough at http://www.c-span.org. The acceptance speech of the presidential nominee will be broadcast at 6.30pm ET today, Sunday, May 30. Which is Monday, May 31, at 10.30 am in New Zealand.

The Libertarian Party website is at http://www.lp.org/

**** ENDS ****

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news