Salon: Communism’s Just Misunderstood

The athletes are beginning to arrive in Sochi, and with them a different kind of protest than the ones seen in Russia leading up to the games. The local Communist Party, it seems, prefers a quieter tack than the protestors that took to the streets in the preceding months in the frozen land to the north:

About 12 kilometers (seven miles) from the nearest Olympic venue, a handful of curious onlookers, a few mothers pushing young children in carriages, two TV cameras and a sprinkling of uniformed and plain-clothed police were there to witness Igor Vasiliev, leader of Sochi Communist Party Branch, and six supporters stage a peaceful rally on Saturday.

Russian authorities are allowing public demonstrations during the Olympics, but there’s unlikely to be massed angry mobs of people protesting against the kind of issues in Russia that have gained international attention ahead of the games.

It’s Time For Libertarians To Clean Our Own House

It seems like the biggest winner in the GOP presidential primaries this year, other than the loser who will eventually be nominated, is libertarianism. Even Charles Krauthammer, one of the smartest and best writers in America, agrees.

Right now the man who is carrying libertarianism banner is none other than Congressman Ron Paul. To say that Ron Paul that has baggage however is an understatement of the decade. There is, of course, the infamous Ron Paul racist newsletters that he of course knows nothing about. There is the continued association with the likely writer of the aforementioned newsletters, Lew Rockwell. There is the troubling lack of understanding, to put it mildly, about the origins of the Civil War and the Confederacy.

Finally, there is just that damn inability to communicate which has allowed the enemies of libertarianism to define its ideas. In order to build on the momentum we have, we need to purge this cancer that is the Paul-Rockwell strain of “paleolibertarianism”.

Standing up for principles isn’t a conservative position apparently

As a libertarian, I’m obviously a fan of Ron Paul.  I don’t agree with everything he says, but I think he brings up some valid points.  He’s also known for sticking to his principles.  Because of this, the Young Americans for Freedom have “purged” him from their advisory board due to his anti-war stance.

From the group’s press release:

(Washington DC – 2/12/11) The National Board of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF)—America’s oldest conservative-libertarian activist group—has, per curium, voted to purge Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) from YAF’s National Advisory Board.

YAF’s concern with Rep. Paul stems from his delusional and disturbing alliance with the fringe Anti-War movement.

“It is a sad day in American history when a one-time conservative-libertarian stalwart has fallen more out of touch with America’s needs for national security than the current feeble and appeasing administration,” said YAF’s Senior National Director Jordan Marks.

Paul, who had served on the YAF Advisory Board for more than two decades, was awarded with YAF’s highest honor, the Guardian of Freedom award, an honor Rep. Paul has touted on his biography for many years. Only a decade ago, Dr. Paul praised YAF’s work on the House floor. Paul called YAF’s founding document, the Sharon Statement “a great document explicating the philosophy of freedom.”

The Sharon Statement, clearly states: “American foreign policy must be judged by this criterion: does it serve the just interests of the United States?”

Hey, Jay Carney, communism isn’t cool

Soviet dictator Josef Stalin is responsible for the deaths of at least 20 million people — through purges, famine, and other government policies — during his 30-year communist regime. The death toll on his watch put him behind only Mao Zedong as the most murderous dictator in history.

Despite the death toll under communist regimes, which were responsible for the deaths of 94 million people in the 20th Century, the ideology has been embraced, so to speak, in pop culture. Because cool, or something.

You’ve no doubt seen people wearing t-shirts featuring Che Guevara’s likeness. Known as the “Butcher of La Cabana,” this murderous thug oversaw the execution of some 2,000 people.

This author saw a tourist sporting apparel with a Soviet hammer and sickle outside the White House just this past weekend. You can even buy clothing with Mao’s image, lest you be without a shirt featuring a dictator whose regime killed 45 million people.

UPDATE: Education Department Website Quotes Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong

UPDATE: Via Chris Moody of Yahoo! News, the NCES has removed the Mao Zedong quote from its website. The “Quote of the Day” section now says, “Sorry there is no quote of the [day] today.”

UPDATE II: Via Andrew Kaczynski at BuzzFeed, the NCES has now updated the website once again with a quote from Abraham Lincoln.

UPDATE III: The NCES has removed the “Quote of the Day” section from its “Kid’s Zone” website. Click here to see the latest screen shot. Andrew Kaczynski has an official statement from the Department of Education.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a part of the Department of Education, has a section on its website dedicated to kids. The site has various facts and resources that kids may find interesting. It also has a “Quote of the Day” section.

While this section may occasionally provide insightful and otherise worthwhile quotes, today’s quote is from a historical figure isn’t exactly a role model. Here’s the quote directly from the website:

“Our attitude towards ourselves should be ‘to be satiable in learning’ and towards others ‘to be tireless in teaching.’” — Mao Zedong

Justin Amash stays popular back home

Justin Amash

Last month, a group of fiscal conservatives were unceremoniously kicked off of their committee assignements by House Speaker John Boehner. The purge highlighted the schism between GOP leadership and fiscal conservatives in the House and set off the grassroots in their defense.

While these members may eventually find themselves facing primary challenges because of their willingness to stand strong on fiscal issues, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) is finding that standing by his principles is resonating well at home:

On Wednesday night, Amash took questions at a town hall meeting at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, a place that honors the presidency and long congressional career of a consummate party loyalist and legislative consensus builder.

Amash, born three years after Ford left the White House, is taking a different path — bucking the GOP leadership on issue after issue, including last week’s challenge to Boehner’s re-election as speaker.

A crowd of about 175 people turned out for the town hall in downtown Grand Rapids.

“It’s been a very eventful last month or two in Congress, to say the least,” Amash said, alluding to his newfound notoriety. “Even I’m sick of seeing myself in the paper.”

But the very warm reception was also a reminder that for a conservative Republican elected from a conservative district, being labeled a troublemaker by the establishment is not necessarily bad politics back home.

Justin Amash says Boehner will not be welcome in his district

Justin Amash

While the removal of four fiscally conservative members of key committees, House Republican leadership — a decision presumably made by Speaker John Boehner — has made it clear to the rest of their caucus — principled, outspoken members will not be tolerated in positions that could influence a potential “fiscal cliff” deal.

One of the members removed by House Republican leadership, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), the only member of Congress who explains each one of his votes, isn’t sitting silently. In fact, speaking out even louder than before.

Yesterday, Amash dropped a couple of tweets noting that, despite the hand wringing and public back-and-forth between Boehner and President Obama, there really isn’t much a difference between the budgets put forward by the two:

Ben Swann on the House GOP purge

Last week, House Republican leadership made new by removing four fiscally conservative members — Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Walter Jones (R-NC), and David Schweikert (R-AZ) — off of key committees. House Speaker John Boehner, who was already being criticized for his willingness to raise tax revenues, was accused of leading a purge of conservatives from positions of influence.

Is Boehner leading a purge of fiscal conservatives? Ben Swann, host of the “Reality Check” segment on Cincinnati-based Fox 19, weighs in:

Conservative group: House Republicans should replace John Boehner

John Boehner

Conservatives are increasingly unhappy with House Speaker John Boehner. Within days of the presidential election, Boehner had once again signaled a willingness to raise tax revenues. To make matters worse, House leadership punished fiscally conservative members of the GOP caucus by removing them from key committee assignments.

The reaction from conservatives has been one of anger, and understandbly so. They’re concerned about Boehner’s leadership in the “fiscal cliff” debate, worried that House Republicans are ready and willing to sellout their principles to cut a deal. Some conservatives are even going as far as calling for him to be ousted. American Majority Action (AMA), a conservative group which launched the #FireBoehner hashtag on Twitter, is asking House Republicans to replace to Boehner:

The president and CEO of conservative group American Majority Action (AMA) is demanding Republicans band together to fire House Speaker John Boehner.

“Speaker Boehner has been an abysmal failure as speaker, and his latest purge is the nail in the coffin for conservatives,” AMA’s Ned Ryun said in a statement. “Boehner has never won a negation battle with the White House or Senate—and he’s been nothing short of an embarrassing spokesman for the Conservative Movement. It’s time for him to go.”

Conservatives Bash Boehner Over Purge…But What About Paul Ryan?

Written by Tad DeHaven, a budget analyst at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.

Conservatives are hammering House Speaker John Boehner over the purging of reliably limited government Republicans who weren’t afraid to buck the GOP leadership. But what about Paul Ryan?

There were two Republicans on the House Budget Committee – chaired by Ryan – who voted against Ryan’s budget last spring: Rep. Justin Amash and Rep. Tim Huelskamp. Amash and Huelskamp were just kicked off the Budget Committee, which Ryan is going to continue to chair.

Now consider this quote from an unnamed House GOP leadership aid as reported by The Hill: “Changes are made for a variety of reasons, most often at the request of committee chairs.” That makes it pretty clear that Ryan played a role – if not the role – in getting rid of Amash and Huelskamp. Yet – to my knowledge – conservatives haven’t trained any of their fire on Ryan.

How come?

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