New Orleans War of 1812 Waterways Map – Conservatism is the Daily Denial of Basic Truths

New Orleans – Mississippi River chart circa 1812

This chart from the NOAA is part of a series of charts they are doing for the bicentennial of the War of 1812. While they are not up yet, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also has plans to put up charts for Boston, New York, Baltimore and Norfolk waterway charts. These were all important sea ports during the war. As avid boaters already know the NOAA is a great source for sea charts and maps. It sounds silly, but there is always that one person, they warn not to use these recreations of old charts for modern navigation. All of those waterways have changed a bit since 1812.

Seminole Josie Billie with Family and Dog.  Small, John Kunkel (1869-1938). By way of the State Library and Archives of Florida. Billie and his family are pictured in Florida’s Big Cypress Swamp in April 1921.  Billie was born 12-12-1887. That Billie and a small number of Seminole managed to stay in their native territory of Florida is remarkable considering the massive military effort that went into forcing the Seminole tribe to move to a reservation in Oklahoma during the Seminole Wars ( mid 19th century). The swamps became their refuge.  Billie was the son of the first Indian to receive a formal education in Florida. A Seminole medicine man and long-time public spokesman for the Florida Seminoles. He also became a Baptist minister. Billie and his family lived through some momentous changes in their own culture and in that of the USA. They lived long enough to become regular attendees of the Florida Folk Festival several times and continued to live on the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation until his death in 1980.

CORONER: No Drugs In Andrew Breitbart’s System, Supporters Double-Down On Claims He Was Murdered By Obama

As I reported here shortly after Breitbart’s shocking death, his backers immediately began claiming that he’d been murdered by agents of President Obama. Yesterday’s coroner’s report seems to have only inflamed these claims. From the comments on the above-linked item:

-There are numerous ways to disguise murder as a heart attack/failure. I find it extremely coincidental that our beloved Andrew died just before he was to begin the vetting of Barack Hussein Obama. If I were Sheriff Joe, I’d watch my back.

…-I find it suspicious that all the famous people dying lately do so mostly in Commiefornia: Dick Clark, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Steve Bridges the comic who made fun of Obama, Andrew Breitbart and even Mike Wallace. And a reminder the Coroner is elected. Wonder what Party holds the office? Read about communists – eliminating icons of society is something they do…they are the new saviors, they want people to forget the past.

There are hundreds of similar comments at

Have you all updated your e-mail addresses. I do not seem to be getting those marked for assassination lists. Clark could be a jerk sometimes but he liked rock and R&B so how bad could he be. Not bad enough to kill and why wait until he was 82. It seems like I read some years  back that Mike Wallace was a Republican, but he gave everyone fits over the course of his career, especially the early years of 60 Minutes. Looking back at some of the video he was closer to Bill Moyers or even Glenn Greenwald than even old liberals Republicans like Nelson Rockefeller. Conservatives are not big on rational empirical evidence. They believe something and that makes it a conservative meme. Thus anyone that feds, caters to, exploits and encourages  the fevered conspiracy theories of the far Right is bound to become an object of conservative idolatry – Some Breitbart cultist create some sixties style psychedelic art in his honor. Further insuring the image achieves instant golden glow of conservative mythology CNN’s current hack par excellence Dana Loesch created an Instagram.

Let me back up for moment to the Breitbart post about President Obama sending out assassination squads to kill pop icons plus Breitbart. Someone has to do it even though it ruined by beautiful misty spring morning. I went over to read some of the comments. The comment threads over there ramble on forever. There are several things to take away from what and how conservatives view the world. One constant is their bizarre versions of history. Many of the comments on the Brietbart autopsy thread sound a lot like Glenn Beck (Glenn Beck’s History Lesson: Amnesia and Conformity),  Jonah Goldberg(The Scholarly Flaws of “Liberal Fascism”) and the tea baggers. This is one confused comment from “John”,

I get laughed at when I explain to people that fascism is left wing. They have a confused look on their face, then they laugh. It was created by italian marxists who felt a few minor tweaks were needed to make the ideology ‘perfect’. Et voila (or whatever it is in italian) – fascism. There is a hair’s width between fascism and marxism. Ninety years of left-wing propaganda have resulted in it being painted as ‘right wing’. When the soviets and nazis went to war, it wasn’t two vastly opposing ideologies coming together in a great ‘war-of-the-ages’ scenario, it was two virtually identical ideologies fighting it out for control of the same space, and one had to lose.(all spelling and grammar per the writer)

Mussolini was expelled from the Italian Socialist Party. Mussolini had moved on to subscribe to Nietzsche’s übermensch concept(though most historians think Mussolini misinterpreted Nietzsche), ultra-nationalism and anti-egalitarianism. Both European and American liberalism subscribe to egalitarianism – the concept of equality in terms of human rights and legal justice. Not the forced equal outcomes that conservatism asserts. Just for the record The Italian Liberal Party under the leadership of Paolo Boselli promoted intervention in the war on the side of the Allies.

I’ve mentioned before that I am not a fan of American liberals calling themselves the left even though they mean it as short hand for American liberalism – a tradition that extends back to Jefferson, Madison and Franklin. I’m a liberal or progressive to centrist Democrat, not a leftist in the European tradition of that term. In many European countries the political parties themselves make the distinction – to this day the Liberal party is just that and the Socialist party can be democratic socialists or lean further left. With that in mind it might be more helpful to understand what fascists did not like or stand for. The common thread? They did not stand for, nor could they abide liberalism – which is just another word for a political system that has a democratic republic framework. neither could communists.

“Fascism is definitely and absolutely opposed to the doctrines of liberalism, both in the political and economic sphere.” Benito Mussolini, Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions(p. 32). (emphasis mine)

The years which preceded the march on Rome [1922] were years of great difficulty, during which the necessity for action did not permit of research or any complete elaboration of doctrine The battle had to be fought in the towns and villages There was much discussion, but—what was more important and more sacred—men died. They knew how to die. Doctrine beautifully defined and carefully elucidated, with headlines and paragraphs, might be lacking; but there was to take place something more decisive—Faith! … It was precisely in those years that Fascist thought armed itself, was refined, and began the great task of organization. [It sought to solve] the problem of the relation between the individual citizen and the State, the allied problems of authority and liberty, political and social problems as well as those specifically national…. And all the while, it continued its struggle against Liberalism, Democracy, Socialism and Masonic bodies…. Fascism is now a completely individual thing, not only as a regime but as a doctrine. This means that today, Fascism … forms its own distinct and peculiar point of view … which confronts the world. – Benito Mussolini, Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions, 1935.

American liberalism has nothing to do with the hardcore left of Stalin or Mao. Conservatives can draw those unjustified lines all they like. Just is not so. Again, instead of reading conservative revisionism, read the source:

Liberalism is extreme]y harmful in a revolutionary collective. It is a corrosive which eats away unity, undermines cohesion, causes apathy and creates dissension. It robs the revolutionary ranks of compact organization and strict discipline, prevents policies from being carried through and alienates the Party organizations from the masses which the Party leads. It is an extremely bad tendency. – Mao Tse Tung, Ibid., p. 32. (emphasis mine). Sounds like one of the average conservative bloggers trashing liberalism. Liberalism has historically been a threat to every strain of authoritarianism or totalitarianism on the far Right or the far left. Thus both extremes do have several things in common, and one major trait of both the far Right and Left, is the demonizing of liberalism. Liberalism is freedom and respect for individual rights. It is the principle on which the U.S.A. was founded.

The Washington Free Beacon is a conservative noise outlet that writes its main news articles just like opinion pieces by conservative pundits. As usual this one is full of lies and spin –  New book claims FBI cover up of third gun in murder of border patrol agent

In response to an inquiry from the Free Beacon, a Justice Department spokeswoman said in an email that she “was told to direct your questions to the FBI, and also to provide you with a link to this story:”

The link was to a story at the George Soros-funded Media Matters for America supposedly refuting many of Pavlich’s claims. Media Matters is a partisan organization whose founder, David Brock, is also running a pro-Obama super PAC.

The far Right’s inquiries into fast and Furious have all the evidence that fuels their inquires into President Obama’s birth certificate. Why shouldn’t the DOJ – if in fact that is all they said – refer them to a web site that refutes all the shameless falsehoods conservatives have spread about Fast and Furious. The Beacon uses Katie Pavlich’s Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and Its Shameless Cover-up as its source of evidence. Pavlich is to Fast and Furious what Orly Taitz is to the birth certificate conspiracy theory crowd. The Beacon and Pylich smear Media Matters solely by accusing them of not be part of the conservative movement. That is a crime is conservative Amerika. If you do not buy into whatever wacko bullsh*t they’ll selling this week, nothing you say about the Theory of Gravity, that four plus one equals five is to be believed because such facts are, like all facts, part of the vast liberal conspiracy. Besides being a darling of the Beacon’s fact challenged editorial staff, where does Paylich find someone to pay for her tripe, the super conservative Town Hall. If you asked anyone at Town Hall what a fact checker was they’d have to check their dictionary. Fast And Fallacious: Pavlich’s Book On ATF Operation Filled With Falsehoods

In her new book, Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and its Shameless Cover-up, Townhall news editor Katie Pavlich offers up a number of false and misleading claims about the ATF’s fatally flawed Operation Fast and Furious. In doing so Pavlich baselessly suggests that high-ranking Justice Department officials were aware of that operation’s use of the tactic of gunwalking, in which agents knowingly allowed guns to be trafficked across the border to Mexico in order to identify other members of a trafficking network.

Pavlich Dubiously Played Up Importance Of Holder’s “Brief[ings]” On Fast And Furious

Pavlich Falsely Claimed AAG Breuer Admitted Knowing Gunwalking Tactics Were Used In Fast And Furious

Pavlich Misleadingly Highlighted Briefings On Operation Received By DOJ’s Grindler

Pavlich’s Citation Disproves Her Claim That AAG Breuer “Carefully Review[ed]” Letter To Grassley

Pavlich Falsely Claimed Former ATF Chief Melson Said A “Smoking Gun” Report Detailed DOJ Leaders Who Approved Fast And Furious Tactics

Pavlich Falsely Claimed ATF Agents Who Headed Fast And Furious Were “Promot[ed]”

Pavlich Falsely Claims “Liberal Media” Called The Fast And Furious Story A “Conspiracy Theor[y]”

Pavlich Falsely Claimed Holder Said School Massacres Proved Second Amendment Should Be Read As Collective Right

Pavlich Falsely Claimed Part Of Wildlife Refuge Was Closed By Obama Administration

Pavlich, the Beacon, Hot Air and assorted propaganda outlets will be apologizing for all the lies they have spread about Fast and Furious ( which was a dumb idea) about the same time they apologize for sending over 4,000 Americans to their deaths based on lies.

I haven’t picked on conservative libertarians lately, Independent and Principled? Behind the Cato Myth

It would all be good for a laugh, if the spin hadn’t succeeded in conning the media and confusing the public, even roping in some well-meaning progressives like Common Cause [3], who defended Cato’s “independence.”

But in order for progressives and others to make an honest and practical assessment about the Cato Institute and its battle with the Kochs, we need to first set the record straight about some of the claims being spun.

Cato Claim #1: The Cato Institute was one of the earliest and most principled critics of the Bush Administration’s wars abroad and attacks on civil liberties at home (here [4] and here [5]).

Fact: The Cato Institute’s actual record during the Bush Administration years was anything but principled and far from heroic.

John Yoo, author of the notorious “torture memo,” [6] served on the Cato Editorial Board [7] for Cato Supreme Court Review during the Bush presidency. At the same time, Yoo was writing the Bush administration’s legal justifications for waterboarding, Guantanamo, warrantless wiretapping and more. Yoo also contributed articles [8] to Cato Supreme Court Review and a chapter to a Cato book titled The Rule of Law in the Wake of Clinton [9] criticizing President Clinton’s “imperial presidency.” [10]

The “Cato Policy Report” attacked progressive critics of Bush’s War on Terror as “Terrorism’s Fellow Travelers [11]” in its November/December 2001 issue. Former Vice President of Research Brink Lindsey wrote, “Most of the America haters flushed out by September 11 are huddled on the left wing of the conventional political spectrum.”

Another Cato executive, Ted Galen Carpenter [12], former VP for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, enthusiastically supported Bush’s war on terror and called on Bush to invade Pakistan [13].

The Cato Institute advised the 2002-04 Republican-dominated Congress to commence military strikes in Pakistan in its Cato Handbook for Congress [14] arguing, “Ultimately, Afghanistan becomes less important as a place to conduct military operations in the war on terrorism and more important as a place from which to launch military operations. And those operations should be directed across the border into neighboring Pakistan.”

Another Cato Institute executive, Roger Pilon [15], vigorously supported Bush’s attacks on civil liberties. Pilon, Cato’s VP for Legal Affairs and founding director of the Cato Institute’s “Center for Constitutional Studies,” supported expanded FBI wiretapping in 2002 [16] and called on Congress [17] to reauthorize the Patriot Act as late as 2008.

While it’s true that compared to other pro-Republican think-tanks, Cato did have periods when it was critical of Bush’s wars and attacks on civil liberties, those attacks weren’t consistent and showed every sign of being subordinated to the Cato Institute’s political demands.

Conservative libertarians cannot be trusted. Like the conservative movement they do not have much in the way of historically consistent political theory. They have no successes they can point to – and say see this country, conservative and libertarian, look how free and prosperous they are. Their vision for the USA and Europe is something pre Age of Reason – in this case the new age royalty – the Koch brothers, the millionaires associated with CATO will rule without pesky things like labor laws, minimum wage, health care insurance, workman’s compensation, environmental laws against dumping toxins into your drinking water – because all those terrible things do indeed cut into their extraordinary profits.