The William Cooper Tragedy

July 3, 2011

This is a letter to the editor I sent in to the Virginian Pilot. Most people think botched raids are isolated incidents, but a quick tour of google news will show you these types of things happen regularly across the nation. With the Ryan Fredrick case and now the William Cooper incident here in Hampton Roads, I hope we can raise enough awarness that our local police forces will rethink there policies becasue they seem to think the status quo is a-ok.

How many “isolated” incidents that result in the death of an innocent man must occur before our local police departments question their tactics? Unfortunately, many people are not aware of the death of William Cooper due to lack of media coverage. Maybe it is not interesting enough to make the papers, since it is a sequel to the Ryan Fredrick case. Hampton police officers received a tip from an unnamed informant that Mr. Cooper, a 69 year old retiree with a laundry list of medical conditions, sold methadone from his home. Instead of investigating the claims to verify the tip or knocking on his door to serve a warrant, the police decided an armed assault was the best course of action. As they kicked in the door, Mr. Cooper pulled a weapon and was killed in a barrage of gun fire. A softball field is behind the house. According to witnesses, the game was called off after the 10 year old girls playing at the time of the raid hit the ground to dodge the bullets. Over 100 people, mostly children, were present. The police found no methadone, just one bottle of prescription OxyContin among his other pills, used to treat his numerous ailments. Now members of the Virginia Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Task Force, which includes the cities of Hampton and Newport News, The State Police, and local prosecutors, are divvying up the assets seized from his house. The Hampton Police Force is saying they did everything right and the issue should be dropped. Instead of shrugging the incident off and saying police work is dangerous, why not figure out a way to make it less dangerous and less deadly? When will we stop these armed raids? When will they stop trusting these informants? The public deserves answers.

ATLAS SHRUGGED Pt 1, a trailer for the book?

May 4, 2011

Bringing a book to the screen is always a difficult task, especially so for a 1200 page, deeply philosophical book. A 10 hour miniseries would have been a better vehicle for Atlas Shrugged than three movies to be released a year apart, but that is what we have.

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The Virginia Constitution Forbids Charity By Force

February 6, 2011

I know this notion ruffles the feathers of our state senators for Fairfax, but the rules are very clear. Ken Cuccinelli’s “opinion” was not earth-shattering or “irrelevant.” He simply quoted Article II section 16 of our Constitution. The General Assembly obeyed this section all the way up until 2006 (debunking our wonderful state senators’ claim that we have always done this) which prompted delegates to ask the Attorney General for a ruling on the matter. He sided with the Virginia Constitution and there are good reasons for him doing so.

In 2008, former national LP chairman Bill Redpath and Virginian came to speak to the Tidewater Libertarian Party. He was running for US Senate at the time and he said something that really stuck with me:

“We won’t begin to address the fundamental problem of government overspending until the American People position government as an agent for justice, not an agent for good, as there is an infinite amount of good to be done in this world”

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Political Super Fans

January 3, 2011

When I meet people, I like to ask the about their political beliefs without sharing mine. I probe their convictions with questions to try to understand their point of view. I have found talking to most people about politics is like talking to Bill Swerkski about sports. Of course Jordan is going to average 100 points per game and Da’ Bears are going to 8-peat as Super Bowl Champs. Who would win in a battle between a hurricane and Coach Ditka?? Ditka! No amount of evidence will make him consider otherwise. Individuals root for their team which can do no wrong and that they will support with their dying breath.

Look at all the Redskin fans here in Virginia or all the Raider fans in my native Northern California. It doesn’t matter what idiotic moves their front offices make, you’ll just hold out hope that a new coach or touted draft pick will turn around an otherwise bad and underperforming team. Support will not waiver. Works the same for the Republican and Democratic parties. At least with elected officials (unlike Dan Snyder and Al Davis), you get a chance to fire them, which may feel good but has done nothing to improve the team. They are replaced with a clone.

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Time to Increase Representatives in the House

December 23, 2010

The Commonwealth of Virginia has the same number of Representatives in the US House today as it did in 1990. That may not seem like too big of a deal, but in 1990, less than 6.2 million people lived in Virginia. That number now exceeds 8 million, which equates to a 29% increase in residents per Representative over the last 20 years. That number is only going to worse over the next decade.

So why are we fixed at 435 members in the US House? The only answer is because the Appropriations Act of 1911 says so. When the law was enacted, the US population was at 92.2 million and there were 46 states. We have more than tripled our population since then but we have not increased the number of people who are suppose to represent that population in our government. 435 Representatives may have been fine 100 years ago, but it is not fine now.

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Congressman Ron Paul Rips into the TSA & Government Groping!

November 24, 2010

Pres. Obama = Pres. G.W.Bush + Political Steroids

November 21, 2010

I know…..I know………Bush & Obama are supposed to be different. Pres. Obama did after all, promise us change.

Well, we’re supposedly out of Iraq, but we are still losing people there. We’re still in Afghanistan and years away from leaving and then still losing lives anyway. Pres. Bush ushered in the Patriot Act……….Pres. Obama signed its extension. Oh sure, the Democrats called Bush a Nazi all day long, but as bad as things were after 9-11, we didn’t have the body scanners or TSA heavy petting techniques. Hmm……….who ordered those body scanners? It wasn’t George Hitler Bush, it was Obama.

Where are the hypocritical freedom loving Democrats now? So, Bush was the anti-christ for doing this stuff, but now that their guy is in office, suddenly hypocrisey is cool?  Read the rest of this entry »

You Just Need to Shoot Straight

September 25, 2010

Earlier this week, the US Senate passed on an opportunity to rid our Military of a piece of discriminatory legislation still on the books.

In 1950, the Uniform Code of Military Justice placed a ban which disallowed a homosexual from serving in the US Military since it would create an “unacceptable risk to the high standard of morale, good order, and discipline”.

In 1993, The Clinton Administration began the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy which did not remove the ban, but put certain restrictions on how far Defense Officials could dig into your private life looking for evidence of your sexual orientation. This effectively didn’t change much, since homosexuals are still banned from service and had to hide the nature of their orientation before, just as they do now.  Between 2009 and the inception of DADT, 13,389 individuals were discharged from the service under the grounds of being homosexual. Many of those individuals served for years without jeopardizing the high standards of morale, good order and discipline.

We need to judge people’s fitness for service in the military based on their job performance, not based on their sexual orientation.

As Barry Goldwater correctly stated, “You don’t need to be straight to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight.”

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November Election Ballot Questions 2010

September 18, 2010

There are three proposed Amendments on the ballot this November, 2010,  in addition to the important Congressional and Council Elections. Changes to our constitution should not be taken lightly, as once ratified, they are very difficult to rescind.

You can read all three at the State Board of Elections Website In brief, The first allows localities to exempt property owned by senior citizens meeting locally determined financial hardship conditions from property tax, the second grants a statewide property tax exemption to certain disabled veterans, and the third increases the maximum size of the State’s Rainy Day Fund.

The Tidewater Libertarian Party takes no position on the increase in the Rainy Day Fund, but regardless of the worthiness of the beneficiaries, we must, in principle, strongly oppose the property tax exemptions. Read the rest of this entry »

Visitor Comments and Questions

September 5, 2010

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