Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

Had to take a break from my vacation to register my disappointment in Obama’s selection of Biden.

I understand the rationale–Obama wants an attack dog to go after McCain while he appears to be above the fray. Biden also adds some foreign policy and Beltway heft to the ticket. The Beltway CW says this pick was safe, but not particularly bold. I think that’s about right.

But from a policy perspective, it’s a disaster. Biden has sponsored more damaging drug war legislation than any Democrat in Congress. Hate the way federal prosecutors use RICO laws to take aim at drug offenders? Thank Biden. How about the abomination that is federal asset forfeiture laws? Thank Biden. Think federal prosecutors have too much power in drug cases? Thank Biden. Think the title of a “Drug Czar” is sanctimonious and silly? Thank Biden, who helped create the position (and still considers it an accomplishment worth boasting about). Tired of the ridiculous steroids hearings in Congress? Thank Biden, who led the effort to make steroids a Schedule 3 drug, and has been among the blowhardiest of the blowhards when it comes to sports and performance enhancing drugs. Biden voted in favor of using international development aid for drug control (think plan Columbia, plan Afghanistan, and other meddling anti-drug efforts that have only fostered loathing of America, backlash, and unintended consequences). Oh, and he was also the chief sponsor of 2004’s horrendous RAVE Act.

Biden does appear to have eased up a bit in the last couple years, including taking a fairly strong position against federal raids on medical marijuana clinics (though he still opposes making marijuana available for medicinal purposes). But that’s little consolation for all the damage he’s done over the years.

Biden’s record on other criminal justice and civil liberties issues is just as bad. Opponents of the federalization of crime might note that the 1994 crime bill he sponsored created several new federal capital offenses. Biden also wants to expand federal penalties for hate crimes. He supports a federal smoking ban. His position on the federal drinking age is, and I quote, “absolutely do not” lower it to 18. He believes “most violent crime is related to drugs” (if he had said “drug prohibition,” he’d be closer to the truth). Biden also has an almost perfect anti-gun voting record. He said last year he favors “universal national service,” either in the Peace Corps or the military. Sounds like conscription to me. He says he’s opposed to the PATRIOT Act, but he voted for both the original bill and its re-authorization in 2005.

Foreign policy? Biden voted for the war on Iraq. Yes, he’s opposed to it now (and I like the partition plan he pushed in the primaries). But he didn’t vote correctly when it counted most. Biden also voted to send troops into Darfur. He wants to enlarge NATO. He voted in favor of the air strikes in Kosovo. He voted to strengthen the trade embargo against Cuba. His seems to be a meddling, interventionist, Clinton-esque foreign policy. His first instinct seems to be that the U.S. military’s objective include some vague notion of “doing good in the world.” Never mind the disastrous consequences that notion has reaped over the years.

I obviously disagree with Biden on a host of economic and regulatory issues, too (though he does seem to be fairly decent on free trade). But that’s to be expected. My problem with Biden is that he’s not even good on the issues the left is supposed to be good on. He’s an overly ambitious, elitist, tunnel-visioned, Potomac-fevered Beltway dinosaur, with all the trappings. He may well have been the worst possible pick among congressional Democrats when it comes to the drug war and criminal justice.

Your humble Agitator predicted the Biden pick last February. It was a prediction made mostly from cynicism. I wish I had been wrong.

On principle, Obama stumbles badly, here. I guess we’ll have to wait to see how it plays out on the electoral map.

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126 Responses to “Biden”

  1. #1 |  Billy Beck | 

    {shrug} That’s what I thought when I first saw you.

  2. #2 |  Zathael | 

    My parents were 60’s counterculture types involved in the creation of the good Dr.Timothy Leary’s Psychedelic religious movement, and were also involved in the civil rights movement, the antiwar movement, the evironmental movement, and many other worthy causes.
    All the causes they believed in were illegally infiltrated and neutralized during CoIntelPro’s reign of terror here in the US. The reason conservatives are always in power is that Left causes were supressed during illegal operations. Enter ‘Counter Intelligence Program New Left’ into your Google if you think I’m full of crap.
    The “war on drugs” is one last big CoIntelPro that keeps the left, minority ethnicities, and the poor down. Drug laws provide authoritarian society with an underclass of “undesireables” that can be exploited by the prison industrial/enforcement complex. Biden is to blame for today’s worst drug policies, policies which settle the question of whether or not the U.S. is a free country. It’s not. The U.S. gave up being a free country in order to pursue prohibition of drugs and sex, to appease powerful “neo-Puritans” with police state fantasies of cultural conformity.

    Joe Biden-I’ve hated him all my life. His policies make domestic enemies of our own enforcement and judicial apparatus. I’ll never forgive Obama for choosing this evil man, this known enemy of the people, to be our Vice President. I feared this would happen. I feared Obama would pick a serious enemy of the left. I feared that enemy would be Biden.
    Looks like I’m voting for Nader again. Nader created the EPA and the Freedom Of Information Act, doing great service to our country. Biden created the totalitarian Office Of National Drug Control Policy. I’m going to vote for the man who served our country.

  3. #3 |  Dirk Lamletter | 

    Electing Biden will get him out of the Senate? While I agree getting him out of the Senate is good, and figuratively speaking, running the two nutjobs on the Democratic ticket under a bus would be a step in the right direction, thinking that a Vice President is out of the Senate PROVES BEYOND ANY DOUBT that you know zilch. The Vice President of the United States is the President of the Senate. Time to bone-up on your civics lessons. Did you not take social studies in High School?…or were you just too busy trying to be the cool kid on the short, square bus?

  4. #4 |  Dirk Lamletter | 

    Ron Good: You are not very bright. You are arrogant and ignorant. Just because you don’t agree to be bound by the laws of land doesn’t mean you are not subject to them. It’s not up to you. Likewise, just because you don’t believe that doesn’t somehow make it untrue. Otherwise you wouldn’t exist because I don’t believe anyone could possibly be that stupid.

  5. #5 |  Honeyko | 

    The reason conservatives are always in power is that Left causes were supressed during illegal operations.

    News-flash! J. Edgar Hoover ain’t been around for what, thirty-five years? You’re going to need more excuses than CoIntelPro.

    What is the *real* reason conservatives are always in power? It’s because the Democrats simply cannot restrain themselves in their admiration for commie slime.

    — Didn’t they learn anything from Old Slick? To have a successful Presidency, you gotta whack the crap out of everybody who has any dirt on you.

    Obviously Kerry didn’t learn, because if the Swifties had been snuffed, they wouldn’t have been able to tell the world he was a lying phony. Equally obviously, Obama hasn’t learned from Kerry.


    ….CoIntelPro’s reign of terror….

    Clearly you do not know what a “reign of terror” actually resembles.

  6. #6 |  Ron Good | 

    It’s not up to you.

    Yeah, it is.

  7. #7 |  Ron Good | 

    Oh…but, Dirk, you can surrender anytime you want.

    Sounds like you already have.

  8. #8 |  Zathael | 

    Apparently you don’t actually know anything about CoIntelPro, the CIA’s terrorist “Chaos” program, project Merrimac or any of the rest of the ways in which conservatives permanently siezed power from the majority of the citizens, who were not very conservative at the time.
    If you knew a great deal about the subject, you would understand how vast and far-reaching these programs were. You would know thar reparations are owed. You would know they never really ended, but continue now under other names, including the “war on drugs” which is far more about suppressing permissive subcultures and denying liberals places to congregate for fear of drug raids than protecting people from excessively abusing drugs.

    You would know that the Left never really recovered its power after these illegal, terrorist acts of civil war.

    Due to things like CoIntelPro, the Left did not aquire any political power while its ideas were very popular. The Left was prevented from accumulating power right when their ideas could have become enduring. Right when their ideas could have become new policy and new legislation.

    After being illegally neutralized by the enemy combatants and infiltrators who made up the body of agents involved in things like CoIntelPro, the public was encouraged to believe that the Left had been a failure due to its own shortcomings, that the Left had “failed” because it was misguided on issues and not as large or as popular as it actually was. This is an outright lie I have dedicated my life to setting straight at all costs.

    I am the world’s foremost living expert on Counter Intelligence Program New Left. My father was one of the many founders of the New Left movement in the 1960’s (we’re talking original SDS). My inheritence and childhood education included vast amounts of information that was siezed from illegal terrorist CoIntelPro agents, most of which detailed plots against US citizens and their friends.

    It’s funny you should say it’s been 35 years since Hoover, as I turn 35 later this year. I grew up in fear, not just knowing that “they” were plotting against us like many of the Left, but actually knowing a lot of the whos and whys and what they did and who gave them the orders. And knowing it was all quite real, not some nutjob conspiracy theory nonsense. And a lifetime of seeing so few of them punished, while conservatives get more powerful every year with no actual Left to oppose them.

    The Democratic Party would never have the courage to put forward someone like Joe Biden, an avowed enemy of modern culture and a police state nut, if the Republicans and the richer, more right wing Democrats hadn’t had a little “favor” done for them by the US’s secret police. The Left among the Democrats who were not really just social conservatives in disguise could easily have prevented someone like Joe Biden from being chosen-if they had the power they would have had today if it weren’t for things like CoIntelPro.

    Most people involved in CoIntelPro rose to very high positions after the official revealing of the terrorist operations against american political activists. I have a long list of prominent people who were involved in CoIntelPro right here in fact. Many of them are judges who sentenced people to long terms for crimes the judge knew they did not commit. Some are police or other agents involved in planting false evidence or producing false charges. Many of wrongfully collect retirement or other benefits.

    No one who was involved in the CoIntelPros or similar ops should be walking around free, voting, living in a house, or collecting either retirement or medical benefits for their “service”.

    We need to make a very brutal example of the men that were involved in these operations. Many of us did not get to live in a democracy because of them, the only viable choices at the polls being “Very Conservative” or “Even More Conservative”.

    Because the Left does not have the power that the cultural legacy of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s should have provided it, the Left just gets to watch while they are constantly marginalized, in spite of being numerous. The objective of CoIntelPro was to make anyone who was not conservative give up trying to become involved in policy.

    Because this strategy worked, it is not clear if the government actually has legal soveriengity over the Left. The US government’s power to govern citizens from the Left did not come from the Democratic Process, since liberal activists were prevented from successfully exercising their civil right to advocate their causes and gain representation through the normal channels.

    So does the US government have actual jurisdiction over people from the Left, so that they are bound to obey laws written by the conservative-only Senate and Congress? Does the US government have the legal authority to punish a citizen who sympathizes with the New Left or other suppressed Left cause when they break a law written by the conservative-only Senate or Congress?

    No. Because the various branches of secret and local police participated in a vast, inarguably real and proven-to-exist conspiracy to prevent the Left from aquiring political power, the government does not have authority over the Left or enough legitimacy to claim such authority.

    You might say, they may not have the legal right to rule over you, but de facto they will. I grant that they have the physical power to punish us for not obeying their (not our) government, but not any legal right to do so. Until we have a social contract with the conservatives who forced the Left out of US policy, the US can enforce jurisdiction, but not legally claim jurisdiction, over us.

    As far as I’m concerned, there IS NO GOVERNMENT and NO LAW for people who are not conservative. The US government abdicated its authority to rule over the Left in order to suppress it.

    I want to thank you for helping me to decide something. I’m going to restart the New Left via the creation of a New Left Party. I am going to insist that the personal assets and stocks owned by those involved in things like CoIntelPro New Left are siezed and used to fund our campaigns. By taking the income that ex-CoIntelPros are paid for say, medical benefits or housing, and by siezing all their assets, we could quickly accumulate enough money to get back on track as a major power in modern politics.

    Remember that conservatives used the profits from the “war on drugs” to fund their own agendas.

    I have an extensive list of financial assets currently in the possession of men who were involved in things like CoIntelPro New Left. Some are quite wealthy because they were encouraged to steal money from activist groups and to do business with organized crime. We need that money back even if we need to sell these guys’ organs to raise it.

    The Patriot Act eliminated the statute of limitation protections for crimes commited as part of a terrorist plan. CoIntelPro and operation Chaos legally qualify as terrorist operations against the US for the purposes of the Patriot Act. This means we can legally hunt down and neutralize anyone who knowingly and willingly had anything to do with things like CoIntelPro.
    Since the Posse Commitatas Act of 1878 has been repealed, we can even direct the military to use its might against them, even on US soil, completely legally. They, after all, guilty of plotting to take over the US government. The only real reason they haven’t been charged is because they were successful, and therefore control the legal apparatus that was supposed to destroy them.

    Now “liberal ” is a dirty word, due to disinformation and infiltration campaigns, and also due to illegal assistance to conservative groups and causes on the part of the terrorist agents.

    The US government is a bit divided. Some would like to have at least some semblance of legitimacy. They can aquire that legitimacy by conquering those involved in things like CointelPro and siezing their wealth.
    I have a sizable part of the data necessary to direct loyal agents of our intelligence community in thier quest to restore legitimacy by neutralizing their illegal CoIntelPro counterparts.

    If the revived New Left Party gets anywhere, we will at least have a domestic anti-terrorism policy that actually makes sense and deals with real threats. Like the “war on drugs” much of the early stages could be funded via siezures of the assets and property of the guilty. Little Brother can show Big Brother all he’s learned living in his evil older brother’s shadow.

    So you understand: I am not a conspiracy theory nut, I am a conspiracy fact vindicator. CoIntelPro ruined my life and took away my faith in representative democracy almost completely. The last shred of that faith will go into making a Partnership For A CoIntelPro-Free America.

    Without breaking a single law, the political New Left will rise again. I have enough credibility in counterculture circles to get started. But people who want a break from guys like Joe Biden and William Bennet are going to have to get involved.

    If this doesn’t work, we can finally talk seriously about independence from conservatives and what that would entail. Because the Left was forced out of politics illegally, we have every right to propose a plan by which we can aquire the political representation denied us and get out from under the most totalitarian laws. It would NOT be sedition or treason for people from the cultural groups and causes suppressed by CoIntelPro to seek independence, because they were denied the right to influence policy through the exercising of their civil rights.

    A lot of US citizens fall under the dark shroud of CoIntelPro. Several racial ethnicities, including but not limited to Native Americans, African Americans, and Latin Americans, were plotted against for struggling for equality. They also plotted against the Environmental Movement, the Anti-War Movement, the Labor Movement, the Women’s Movement, the Gay Rights Movement, the Psychedelic Movement, and many others.

    When you add it all up, if you do not think it qualifies as civil war, then nothing qualifies as civil war. A civil war using the tactics of the Cold War. A Civil Cold War that we CAN and WILL punish them severely for engaging in.

    We will make a land where liberal and conservative are equal under the law, which is not the current situation.

    Look for the New Left soon. We’re coming back. We’ll be coming to your town to ask, “Do any CoIntelPros live in YOUR neighborhood?”

    Hasn’t it always been a mystery to you how the most politically active generation in the history of civilization had the least impact on policy of any major movement? CointelPro is the missing link. CoIntelPro is one of the many heads of a terrible hydra.

    Once again, if you think I am basically full of crap, enter Counter Intelligence Program New Left into your search engine. Or Counter Intelligence Program Black/White Hate. It’s all real, and all still unpunished. And the consequences of these programs have never been addressed. Efforts to investigate them were suppressed. They even destroyed the careers of elected politicians who tried to stop it. This fact is documented in great detail and these accusations are not denied by the government. Everyone who is anyone in the intelligence world knows all about this. So much of it is now public record, declassified, that they cannot even try to deny it.

    Enter CIA Operation Chaos into your search engine and see what you get. I dare you.

  9. #9 |  Honeyko | 

    If you’re going to compare the WoD or CoinTelPro to an actual “reign of terror”, then you’re simply fucking insane, and I see no further point in conversation.

    …Look for the New Left soon. We’re coming back. We’ll be coming to your town to ask, “Do any CoIntelPros live in YOUR neighborhood?”

    Bullshit. The so-called “New Left” is interested in exactly one thing and one thing only: bossing everybody else around. In short, they want to be everything, and more, that they assert their enemies are.

    This is a *libertarian* blog. Why are you here?

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  11. #11 |  Zathael | 

    I’m here because many Libertarians are concerned with things like the impact of CoIntelPro and the need to totally destroy it. I’m here because many libertarians are concerned about the police occupation called Prohibition.
    Your knee-jerk reactions don’t seem to have content. The libertarians’ positions have also been affected by the influence of CoIntelPro types.
    As for it being what it was, a reign of terror if you were actually Left, it’s clear you haven’t studied the subject in exaustive enough detail to realize its paramount importance as an issue.
    Deep down, you’re glad the real Left was neutralized. That’s why you don’t care.

    BTW, capitalist leaning libertarians: Trapping large segments of the poulation on very high rent land while they are stuck at very low wage jobs IS a form of slavery. When the US abolished slavery, they just rethought it.
    “We technically can’t own the slave, but if we own all the houses the lower class lives in and all the businesses that they can work for, it amounts to the same thing.” This was the thinking of conservative business men during the Reconstruction after the Civil War. Their objective was to create a form of capitalism that would not really benefit those who provided the labor.

    No, I’m no classical Marxist type, but a system does need to be found in which the poor cannot be forced off the land they occupy simply because they have run out of currency. the constant threat of homelessness means that the lower class cannot properly negotiate the value of their labor, because they are desperate for rent. That system just doesn’t work over time-an increasingly disenfranchised class grows while land ownership is collected in a handful of banks and real estate companies (who care nothing for our civilization). “Dollars” are just points in an economic game with little bearing on the actual situation with resources.
    The rent system we’re familiar with is designed to guarantee a supply of involuntary labor to get more rent money. It doesn’t make sense, and it’s not meant to.

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  14. #14 |  Honeyko | 

    Zatheal: BTW, capitalist leaning libertarians: Trapping large segments of the poulation on very high rent land …

    Oh, Jesus Christ…..

    I didn’t realize I was wasting my time talking to a flat-out Marxist.


  15. #15 |  Zathael | 

    Honeyko: I said I was NOT a classical Marxist, did you not read the whole sentence?

    However, the human race wouldn’t have survived the Ice Age if tribesmen didn’t own their own spears and huts. That means that even the least important person in the tribe had a hut and their own spear.

    Our involuntary labor-for-rent system uses up the human lifespan. Original Debt has replaced Original Sin as a method of absolute control over the working class.

    We’re not supposed to be born and come of age already disenfranchised. Economically, too many of us begin where the the Roman, Norman, or similar conquests left us-trapped in a world that already belongs to someone else.

    An economy that made sense wouldn’t work like this. Since each generation has to reinvent the wheel economically, and since each generation has to win their civil rights back all over again, this civilization is a failure.

    For example, we had a revolution in which we finally established freedom of speech. Today, however, censorship is an extremely serious problem. We were the winning side, yet now we must eliminate censorship all over again.

    Another example: we established a legal system where you had to have a warrant to engage in searches. Now, with an avalanche of warrantless spying going on (most of it for illegal CoIntelPro-like agendas), we have to win that battle all over again from scratch.

    I’ll say it again: getting the working poor trapped onto land they don’t own, and working for businessess whose policies they cannot influence, is the keystone of modern slavery. You get them stuck in a situation where companies cooperate with politicians to hold down wages and benefits, while on the other side rent and costs go up and up. And the harder the lower class works, the more the profits are spent on increasing the gap. The profits the worker’s labor generates is used to buy up more land and resources, for resale to the workers after a large markup.

    The poor pay for everything twice: first their labor buys the land or resource for the classes above them, then they must buy it again from what’s left over after the rent in order to get access to it themselves.

    This is an extension of the medieval system of serfs, except that the masters are no longer directly responsible for the well being of the serf. Instead they are only responsible for the profitability of the estate.

    The underclass will never be able to aquire political influence as long as the majority of their lives’ productivity is wasted on next month’s rent money.

    Prohibition is lagely a political tool that prevents the Left from safely gathering together in numbers. Get five thousand liberal peaple in the same place, and one of them is going to light up a joint. This fact is used to crack down on the lot.

    The Rave Act isn’t about drug use, it’s about making people afraid to attend liberal-oriented events-while evil fundamentalists use their churches for Nazi-like hate rallies unmolested under the guise of protection of religious freedoms. More than a few liberals, and very much to my surprise a tiny number of conservatives, believe that the Psychedelic Experience is just as legitimate as a means of religious revelation as some evil conqueror’s Bible.

    We need to be on the same side, friends. I had a couple talks with Harry Brown when I was younger, and it made me feel like a bridge could possibly be built between the Libertarians and the rest of who who are opposed to the direction “our” country took after Kennedy’s death.

  16. #16 |  john | 

    Zathael, you paint a scary picture dude

    thanks for opening my eyes

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