Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Conservatives Are Late to Attack TSA

Conservatives finally found the courage to mock the Transportation Security Administration for the TSA's asinine non-security measures. I've heard these so-called "conservatives" -- who claim to support small government -- on talk radio, mocking the TSA's porno-scanners and sexual assault pat-downs.

No, it's not "about time." It's long past "about time." Where were these "conservatives" when the TSA's measures first went into effect? Or when the ridiculous non-safety procedures piled on and on?

The truth is, anyone who criticized the TSA several years ago would have been derided by "conservatives" as a terrorist-lover. A supporter of "Islamo-fascism." Or as Ann Coulter might put it, a "cheese-eating surrender monkey."

For that matter, where were the progressives? I hear that Saturday Night Live ran a sketch criticizing the TSA last week. Yet years ago, many progressives too were afraid to criticize our current wars and non-security measures in public, lest the critics be called "anti-patriotic."

Yes, a minority of progressives, and even s few conservatives and libertarians, did criticize the TSA early on. But they were the relatively few, because it wasn't cool or safe to criticize the TSA.

Perhaps the earliest opponent of 9/11 hysteria was former Libertarian presidential candidate Harry Browne, who criticized the Afghan War on 9/12.

Now I'll blow my own horn. I marched against the Iraq War before it began, along with a minority of Americans who were ignored at the time. I participated in an antiwar play in 2005.

And in 2006 ... I wrote an antiwar/anti-Patriot Act -- and anti-TSA -- screenplay called Pentagon Possessed: A Neocon Horror Story. In 2007 it was a quarterfinalist in four screenplay contests. It's still available for production. (plug, plug)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Internet Censorship Halted -- Yet Govt Still Shutting Down Websites reports progress on the internet censorship bill that we previously reported:

On November 18, 2010, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to send the Internet blacklist bill to the full Senate, but it was quickly stopped by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) who denounced it as "a bunker-buster cluster bomb" aimed at the Internet and pledged to "do everything I can to take the necessary steps to stop it from passing the U.S. Senate."

Wyden's opposition practically guarantees the bill is dead this year -- and next year the new Congress will have to reintroduce the bill and start all over again. But even that might not happen: Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Hollywood's own senator, told the committee that even she was uncomfortable with the Internet censorship portion of the bill and hoped it could be removed when they took it up again next year!

This is incredible -- and all thanks to you. Just a month ago, the Senate was planning to pass this bill unanimously; now even the senator from Hollywood is backing away from it. But this fight is far from over -- next year, there's going to be hearings, negotiations, and even more crucial votes. We need to be there, continuing to fight.

Can you chip in a couple bucks so we can keep our lobbyist in DC?

We're doing everything we can: working with key staffers to remove the most egregious parts of the bill, lobbying more members of Congress to speak out against this bill, and insisting on hearings so the whole Senate can learn about how dangerous this is. And, of course, we'll keep working with you to make sure more people hear about this bill and tell their senators.

Keep on fighting,

-- Aaron Swartz, David Segal, and the Demand Progress team

P.S. Are you as outraged as we are at those new TSA scanners? Click here to write a letter to your state legislators asking them to ban the practice. We've already gotten a bill introduced in New York -- will your state be next?


Although the fed's latest internet censorship attempt has failed (for now), they're still shutting down internet sites suspected of piracy, despite a lack of evidence.

As with federal asset forfeiture laws, with suspected "internet piracy" it's guilty until proven innocent.

Once again, the feds are trashing the Constitution.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Los Angeles Libertarians -- Participate in National Opt Day!

Forwarded by Angela Keaton:

Hello We Won't Fly - Los Angeles Unscannables.

This message is going out to the Meetup as well as the Facebook group. Thank you all for stepping up. Please join both groups and continue to spread the word those not yet involved.

My name is Hagen Gilbert and I'm working with Nick Hankoff to keep this a smooth and successful operation. National Opt-Out Day is Wednesday, November 24th, 2010. Here's the layout:

Where we're going: On Opt-Out Day Carpoolers should meet at Nick's place at 6 a.m. Nick and I will drive a total of 8 passengers to the airport. If you would like to get a ride with one of us, please contact one of us ASAP. Everybody participating on this day is expected at LAX at 7 a.m. We will be raising awareness about the naked scanners from directly outside the airport. It shouldn't take long to hand out all our materials and get one or two media interviews then celebrate with real breakfast somewhere.

What to bring: The best thing you can bring is a camera. The more of those, the merrier. Please do not bring large signs as we may be construed as a protest group. This is not a protest. Nick and I will supply handouts. Right now we are planning on handing out approximately 100 Reason magazines along with as many fliers as I can get printed. The fliers can be viewed here.

How to act: Smile and be happy! It is the holiday season after all and it will be National Opt-Out Day! By cheerfully saying "Happy National Opt-Out Day! Here's a free magazine to read!" you will attract more people’s curiosity about what’s going on. Once the magazine is in their hand, they will also have a copy of the flier (linked above). Feel free to add "You have a right to opt-out, read the flier before you go through any naked body scanner!"or something like that.

Likely you won't have much time at all as people hustle to their destination, but our objective on this day is to raise awareness about the TSA and (AIT) Advanced Imaging Technology, and how it affects people's health, family, security, and privacy. Our mission with Opt Out Day is for the expressed purpose above, it is NOT to raise awareness about 9/11 or other topics of concern.

We Won't Fly is emphasizing three major points:

1. Security

Security is important for everyone, but the new techniques being used by the TSA offer no improved security while it does entail the loss of personal privacy. A trade off that is not only unacceptable but continues the security theater that actually endangers us more than protects us.

2. Privacy

Strip searches and/or sexual assault on you or your family are a violation of the 4th amendment and should not be a requirement for air travel.

3. TSA

TSA screeners may even be at a higher health risk from these machines due to their constant radiation exposure. Unfortunately those working for $10/hr are not getting the whole truth from their employer.

As always, frequent We Won't Fly and Opt Out Day for continued information. Also feel free to Contact me or Nick with questions or ideas or anything that can help us with our endeavor.


Hagen Gilbert, hagenshape at gmail dot com

Nick Hankoff, nhankoff at gmail dot com

Studio City Peace Vigil -- Every Friday

Forwarded by Angela Keaton (who adds. "Highly recommend Frank Dorrel's Addicted to War List for the So. Cal area"):

Eight Year Anniversary for Studio City Peace Vigil

This FRIDAY, November 19th, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Neighbors for Peace & Justice, San Fernando Valley

Meet at NE corner intersection of Ventura and Laurel Canyon Blvds. Park behind the bank.

Eight years on the corner protestin' war and occupation. Every Friday, since November 2002. Banners, candles, bring your signs or use ours. Be there to demand an end to endless war. Bring All the troops home NOW!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fight Internet Censorship/Blacklist -- Congress Votes November 16th


Congress is bringing back the Internet blacklist bill for a vote on Thursday -- just a week from now! We've spent the week meeting people in DC and I can tell you our petition is definitely making a difference. This bill was supposed to pass without objection, but now even Politico is calling it "hotly debated" -- all thanks to you.

We've found the most effective way to get through to senators is for constituents to call in to Congress.

Remember, this bill--in blatant violation of the Constitution--would let the Attorney General create a blacklist of websites that every American ISP would be required to block. Wikileaks, YouTube, and others are all at risk. Human rights advocates, constitutional law experts, and the people who invented the Internet have all spoken out against this bill -- but some of the most powerful industries in the country are demanding that Congress rush it through. The music industry is even having all of their employees call Congress to pose as citizens in support of the bill.

-- Aaron Swartz, David Segal, and the Demand Progress team

P.S. Can you please forward our petition to your friends? So far over 250,000 people have signed. Can you help us hit 300,000 before the vote?


The music industry is supporting this bill, doubtless to make it easier to take down "pirate" sites. But if this bill passes, it can be used to censor any site that the military, or any politically well-connected group, wants to censor.

Another example of how over-broad intellectual property protection threatens free speech.


Monday, November 08, 2010

KHC Member Thomas M. Sipos Interviewed on "Horror Film Aesthetics"

Longtime KHC attendee Thomas M. Sipos has been interviewed by Theofantastique regarding his book, Horror Film Aesthetics.

Read the interview for a free peek into Sipos's views on the subject.

Or buy the book at!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Libertarian Party of Los Angeles Honors Richard (Dick) E. Venable

On October 27, 2010, the Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County announced the resolution in memory for Richard E. Venable, who passed away at the age 84 on October 20, 2010. The resolution was passed by acclimation at the monthly meeting of LPLAC Monday evening.

The resolution reads:

"Whereas Richard E. Venable was a dedicated champion of the libertarian cause and provided dependable service to the Libertarian Party, particularly at the statewide level and, notably as the longtime editor and publisher of the Los Angeles Libertarian newsletter.

"Whereas in that capacity, he was open-minded and allowed the expression of differing viewpoints from anyone willing to submit an article for publication--as long as it was not too long in coming past the deadline.

"Whereas the Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County was blessed by his steady stewardship for many years.

"Therefore, let it be known that Dick's calm, quiet, good-humored presence, his refinement, generosity, understanding, and wisdom will be missed at conventions, from national to local. Furthermore his absence will be felt at supper clubs, at other regional events, and in our mailboxes (both electronic and otherwise).

"Therefore the Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County wishes to express our deepest sympathy to Dick's and Gail Lightfoot's families."

Passed by acclimation this 25th day of October 2010.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Movie Muslims -- Films That Reflect Their Humanity

In this time of rising bigotry against our fellow Americans who happen to be of Muslim heritage (including some "libertarians" who engage in hate), it's good that Hollywood has produced some films that reflect the humanity of Muslims.

Monday, September 06, 2010

I'd Rather be in Libertopia...

Joseph Leibrandt requests that this be posted:

I'd Rather be in Libertopia...

Where peace, prosperity and freedom reign -- a voluntary society based on mutual respect for each individual’s ownership of his/her own body and property.

Libertopia is an annual festival of freedom, community and art for sovereign individuals. It is a unique experience -- a three-day gala packed with renowned speakers, banquets, parties, films, music, art and social networking.

Over thirty leading thinkers in the movement for a voluntary society include philosophers, economists, political scientists, law professors, entrepreneurs, and artists who give short, informative, exciting speeches with ample time for question and answer interaction.

There will be breakout sessions and time to visit the exhibitors’ hall. Social networking is emphasized and enabled in a number of ways, including time-outs for interaction and celebration.

Films, music, literature and art are shared. At a sumptuous awards banquet, three individuals will be recognized for their lifetime achievements in advancing the ideas of sovereign individuals, peace, freedom and a voluntary society.

Join us at Libertopia 2010 in Hollywood for the first time gathering of sovereign individuals. Whether you are a long-time freedom activist or someone who is brand new to these concepts, you are welcome to join us in the celebration of individual independence.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Moslems Welcome "Ground Zero Synagogue"

American bigots -- hiding under the labels of "conservative" or "libertarian" -- have a favorite talking point: "We'll let Them build a mosque in America, when They let Us build a church or synagogue in Saudi Arabia."

Yes, some bigots are saying "No mosques in America," not just on Ground Zero.

It's an absurd demand. Why? Because Germans, Russians, Italians, Chinese -- everyone -- have long come to America to escape more oppressive nations. We never said to Russians, "You can't enjoy free speech in the U.S. until Americans can enjoy free speech in the Soviet Union." We never before demanded that American immigrants live by the laws of their foreign homelands.

Why change that American standard for Americans of Muslim heritage? (That's right -- the "Them" and "They" are our fellow Americans.)

Even so, it seems that some foreign, Muslim nations are more tolerant than is the U.S. Here's a must-read peace about Lebanon's Ground Zero Synagogue.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Reagan Worse Than Obama on Unemployment

Wes Benedict, Executive Director of the Libertarian Party, released this interesting factoid on the LP's Monday Message:

"In the first 18 months of Obama's presidency, unemployment increased from 7.7% to 9.5%. During the first 18 months of Reagan's presidency, unemployment increased from 7.5% to 9.8%. That's even worse, but I don’t hear a lot of Republicans mentioning it."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Libertarian Actress Darcey Halsey's New Gig

Actress Darcy Halsey, a registered Libertarian and avowed peace activist, has a new gig -- helping travelers find the information they need at Los Angeles's Traveler's Bookcase, 8375 West Third Street.

The store has an intimate setup, offering a comfort zone where people can sit, sip tea or coffee, and discuss travel and books about travel.

"I've seen the owner spends hours with some customers, sharing travel advice and helping them with their upcoming trips," says Halsey.

But it's not only about travel -- Traveler's Bookcase has a sideline devoted to mystery books about travel. Mystery fans can prepare for upcoming trips by reading some sleuthing tales set along their itinerary.

"We have a mystery table with mysteries set around the world," says owner Natalie Compagno. "We've had two signings recently -- Michael Genelin and Cara Black, both hugely successful. We'd love to have more events.

"We also have lots of coffee table books for gifts," she says. "And I just got pulled onto a gift basket project for E Entertainment, and had to make some books happen!"

Store hours are Monday 11-7, Tuesday through Saturday 10-7, and Sunday 11-5. Open every day except July 4th, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year's.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Smuggling Gaza Floatilla Footage Out of the Israeli State

I remember the anti-Communist Reaganism of the 1980s. One of conservativism's points of evidence against Communism was the Soviet State's attempt to suppress free expression. Book, photos, film footage had to be smuggled out of the Soviet Union.

Conservatives regarded it as a "given" that if people had to smuggle information out of a country, that alone was enough to indict the country's government. Didn't matter how accurate the information was -- that was for the viewer or reader to decide. Free nations did not suppress information.

Shortly after Israel attacked the Gaza Aid Floatilla, killing 9 aid workers, talk radio in Los Angeles, almost unanimously, defended Israel's attack. Soon afterwards, Israel released footage of the attack, which its defenders claimed "proved" that armed Israeli commandos were merely defending themselves against civilian aid workers.

But as The Guardian reports:

"Michalis Grigoropoulos, who was at the wheel of the Free Mediterranean, said: 'We were in international waters. The Israelis acted like pirates, completely out of the normal way that they conduct nautical exercises, and seized our ship. They took us hostage, pointing guns at our heads; they descended from helicopters and fired tear gas and bullets. There was absolutely nothing we could do … Those who tried to resist forming a human ring on the bridge were given electric shocks.'

"Grigoropoulos, who insisted the ship was full of humanitarian aid bound for Gaza 'and nothing more', said that, once detained, the human rights activists were not allowed to contact a lawyer or the Greek embassy in Tel Aviv. 'They didn't let us go to the toilet, eat or drink water and throughout they videoed us. They confiscated everything, mobile phones, laptops, cameras and personal effects. They only allowed us to keep our papers.'

Now, you can prove almost anything depending on how you edit footage. Israel had all the footage -- its own and that which it confiscated. Any conservative, or libertarian, who is consistent, would at least doubt the footage released by any government, especially if that government had confiscated its opponent's footage.

Fortunately for the truth, some footage has been successfully smuggled out of Israel. (And what does it say about a nation, that one must "smuggle" footage out of it?)

Here's some of it now:

And part two:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

KHC Guest Eddie McMullen's Universal Dead

KHC attendees may remember horror journalist Eddie McMullen, who writes for and appeared at last March's KHC meeting.

Eddie was the art director on Universal Dead, a newly released webisode series:

Eddie is currently trying to raise money to direct a horror feature film.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hollywood Witches Satirizes Industry Hypocrisies

Hollywood says it loves equal opportunity and multicultural diversity. Development executive Diana Däagen thinks the studio's hiring is based more on ageism, sexism, and nepotism.

And so, surrounded by followers of Wicca, astrology, Native American shamans, telephone psychics, UFO prophets, a channeled warlord from Atlantis, and the alchemy of Hermes Trismegistus, Diana's coven of New Age witches hatch a plot to infiltrate and diversify the entertainment industry until Hollywood "looks like America" -- no matter how many eggs must be broken along the way.

Only the intrepid supermarket tabloid reporters of the Hollywood Investigator and Weekly Universe family of family publications can stop Diana's path toward world media domination.

Hollywood Witches is an urban fantasy/satire, debuting as an Amazon Kindle ebook. Look for a paper edition later in 2010.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Libertarians Should Welcome New Anti-Torture Play

Robert Johnson of the New Jersey Star-Ledger reviews An American Rendition, a new play that tackles America's pro-torture policy in the "War on Terror":

"Americans would rather not consider the suffering of people water-boarded, beaten and deprived of sleep as part of our government's so-called war on terror.

"Choreographer Jane Comfort tackles what she calls this 'collective unwillingness to look' in 'An American Rendition,' a grimly mocking work of contemporary dance-theater coming to the Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College on Saturday.

"The piece recalls the by-now much publicized activities of government agents who sequestered individuals without trial and have subjected them to practices explicitly prohibited under U.S. and international law.

"While 'An American Rendition' focuses on the plight of a fictional character mistakenly detained and transported to a U.S.-operated black site, the piece ironically juxtaposes the gruesome incidents of his captivity with weirdly light-hearted scenes inspired by reality television."

Read the rest of the article.

Also read: Pentagon Possessed: A Neocon Horror Story.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

An Easy Way to Promote Peace

Jon Rainwater suggests an easy way to donate money to the peace movement -- and it costs you nothing:

Your smarts can be put to good use AND help Peace Action West raise some money, quickly and easily.

Our friends at CREDO, the progressive mobile phone company, have figured out a way to put all those crazy things the right wing nuts say to work for good causes like us. They put together a quiz to test you on the latest conservative claptrap – it's called OMG GOP WTF?!

Every time you answer a question correctly, we get 10 cents. There are five questions, so that means that if we get 1000 people to take the quiz and you score okay…we get $500 dollars. Check out the quiz:

But, you’ll want to act fast. The quiz only benefits Peace Action West from February 15 to February 21. Next week, it will be a new quiz and a new organization, so don’t wait!


Jon Rainwater
Executive Director, Peace Action West

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Anti-Iraq War Satire on Kindle

Back in the summer of 2006, I wrote a screenplay, Pentagon Possessed: A Neocon Horror Story.

In 2007, it was a quarterfinalist in four screenplay contests: the Fade-In Magazine Screenplay Contest; Writers on the Storm; the AAA Screenplay Contest; and The Writer's Network contest.

Pentagon Possessed is an X-Files parody set against recent history. In my script, two FBI agents discover that dark supernatural forces were behind the Patriot Act, and America's entry into the Iraq War.

A reader for the Slamdance Screenplay Competition wrote in the coverage report: "The writer's awesome research into the details of the disinformation generated by the Neocon cabal within the government, in order to justify the invasion of Iraq, suggests strongly this should be a television docudrama, as the genesis of the Vietnam War was treated in John Frankenheimer's HBO presentation, The Path To War (2003). The scenes in the script based on this research are quite good, with a strong accent of mockery of the participants that is quite entertaining. For entertainment value, such a docudrama would beat Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 all to hell."

Pentagon Possessed is a satirical horror story that reminds us that governments will use fear of a foreign enemy to suppress civil liberties at home. That war is the health of the state. And that questioning authority is patriotic.

Despite some favorable attention in Hollywood, Pentagon Possessed was never bought or produced. Perhaps someday...

But in the meantime, I am making Pentagon Possessed available to the general public as an Amazon Kindle ebook.