Publishers Weekly”Ukraine’s Vivat Publishing House Fights to Survive”

Vivat Publishing was established in 2013 after the merger of the two well-known Ukrainian publishers — Pelican and Argument-Print. Based in Kharkiv, Vivat is the second largest publishing house in Ukraine with approximately 3,000 titles in print. PW interviewed Vivat’s CEO, Julia Orlova, by email about how the company is trying to continue to work, despite its hometown having been under constant bombardment from Russia for the past three weeks and much of the city destroyed.

Are you safe?

You know, during these days of war in Ukraine, such a question, as well as simply asking, “How are you?,” is a expression of genuine love. Any support or care that is shown for us means a great deal and we are grateful to everyone for it. Naturally, talking about safety in the midst of the full-scale war is an arduous task: my colleagues and I are deeply concerned about our own safety and that of our loved ones. We are forced to live in shelters or else are fleeing the regions where there is fighting, but only when that is possible.

Photo Vivat

Vivat CEO Julia Orlova on one of the first days of the war in her basement.

Are you able to work?

Truth to be told, working is very difficult. Vivat Publishing has a fairly large structure, with more than 100 staff. Until now, only a few of my colleagues have stayed in Kharkiv, where for three weeks there has been daily, intensive bombing that has destroyed the city. The majority of my co-workers were forced to leave their homes and move to other, comparatively peaceful regions of Ukraine, or flee abroad. It is no surprise that some of them were unable to take any equipment needed for work — laptops, computers, tablets, etc. Most were leaving hastily and were emotionally overwhelmed. They grabbed only the most necessary documents. Some didn’t have any equipment to work at home at all. Right now, getting access to a high-speed Internet connection is very difficult, work servers are operating only intermittently, in a situation where almost everyone is forced to work remotely, in harsh conditions, in other cities or even countries, it is a significant challenge. But we are trying…

Full Story @ Publishers Weekly https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/international/international-book-news/article/88826-ukraine-s-vivat-publishing-house-fights-to-survive.html

Ominous Parallels – Iraq & Ukraine

by Gene Berkman

On February 24, 2022, under orders from President Vladimir Putin, Russian military forces undertook a violent invasion of independent Ukraine.

Another invasion. More people killed. There are lots of parallels with many previous invasions. Many times over many years, many countries have violently invaded their neighbors, or even countries far removed. Still some specific parallels come to mind.

In 2003, US military forces undertook a violent attack on Iraq, based on claims that the Hussein regime had or was developing atomic, chemical or biological weapons. Iraq, they claimed, posed a future threat to the US, despite no evidence of Iraqi nukes or poison gas.

To head off a future threat, President Bush announced a preemptive military strike on Iraq, called an “operation” not a war. Yet the announced goal of the “operation” went beyond disarmament. The goal was regime change.

When President Putin announced the Russian “operation” in Ukraine, the stated reasons include a charge that Ukraine might in the future join NATO – a move Putin considered a threat. To deal with this threat – still much in the future – Putin ordered a preemptive strike.

The US preemptive strike on Iraq began with a barrage of Tomahawk missiles and thousands of precision guided weapons. The Russian preemptive strike has relied on barrages of rockets that lack precision guidance. These Soviet era weapons cannot be precisely targeted, and some have blamed this lack of guidance for the many hits on civilian targets. Still, so many civilian targets have been hit by Russian rockets and artillery that such targeting cannot be dismissed as accidental.

Claiming that hits on hospitals or neighborhoods are “accidental” is no defense. If the actions of the Russians consistently result in new civilian casualties, the Russians are morally obligated to stop their murderous activity. If you accidentally kill someone because your car has faulty brakes, you don’t get to keep driving the faulty car. They do take your drivers license away from you.

Of course there is no license to kill civilians. It was wrong when the US military used precision guided weapons to destroy neighborhoods. It is wrong when the Russian military makes attacks on civilians and destruction of civilian infrastructure the main tactic of its invasion.

Russian forces have targeted civilians in past military actions – in Ukraine, in Georgia, in Chechnya, in Afghanistan and in Syria. In Russian military strategy, killing civilians is a feature, not a bug.

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

The US government sent teams of inspectors to many parts of Iraq from 2003 to 2005, searching for weapons of mass destruction, or programs to develop WMD. No nukes were found. No chemical weapons were found – just fertilizer and pesticides.

When Russia began its invasion on February 24, WMD were not mentioned. When Ukraine gained independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union, there were Soviet missiles located at bases in Ukraine. These missiles were believed to have nuclear warheads. Ukraine contacted international agencies and asked to have the nuclear tipped missiles removed from its territory. The missiles were returned to Russia, the successor state of the USSR.

The USA and Russia agreed to guarantee the security of Ukraine. Russia is clearly in violation of that agreeement.

Ukraine is the only country that has had possession of nuclear weapons and given them up. The only country to implement nuclear disarmament.

Putin and the Russian general staff know that Ukraine does not possess nuclear weapons. So they felt safe invading with superior conventional forces. President Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld all knew that Iraq did not possess nukes -or poison gas. They felt an invasion – excuse me, an “operation” in Iraq with superior conventional forces would prevail.

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its third week, mass popular resistance continues against Russian forces. Russian attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure have increased as the Russian advance has stalled. And now, the Russian foreign minister and other Russian spokesmen have made claims about WMD in Ukraine. They claim that Ukraine has petitioned international authorities for permission to weaponize plutonium produced in its nuclear power plants. No Russian spokesman has presented evidence to support this claim.

Russian spokesmen have also made claims that Ukraine has a research program for developing biological weapons. It does appear that Ukraine is engaging in medical research on viruses – as many institutes throughout the world are. There is no evidence that Ukraine has developed or is developing biological or chemical weapons, or has any program to do so. Russia’s claims are war propaganda, intended to convince the rest of the world that Russia’s brutal incursion in Ukraine is justified.

Russia does have nuclear weapons, and Putin has made statements that imply a willingness to use them. He has threatened any country that would help Ukraine defend itself. Putin has repeated his threats on more than one occasion in recent weeks. The USA has had nuclear weapons since 1945, and used them on Japan. The USA did not make threats to use nuclear weapons in Iraq, in Yugoslavia or in Afghanistan, so that parallel breaks down.

Russia has chemical weapons, which it has used against Chechen rebels, and in Syria against opponents of the Assad regime. The USA does appear to have chemical weapons, which many Americans oppose. The US military has not used chemical weapons in any conflict since World War II.

PEOPLES WAR IN FINLAND AND UKRAINE

In other specifics, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has different parallels. The resistances of the Ukrainian people has prevented a Russian victory for 3 weeks. The people’s war carried on by Ukraine has parallels to Finland’s defiance of Soviet Russia in 1940. Finland too faced long odds, going against the Soviet Red Army which was bigger and had many tanks, more artillery and more planes than did Finland. In 3 months, the Finns convinced Stalin he should end his intervention. Stalin relied on the intimidating power of Russian military strength to force Finland to give up its independent foreign policy, which seems to be the most minimal of Putin’s goals for Ukraine.

The Finns put on a mighty struggle against a stronger power, and did better than anyone expected. Ukraine has advantages that Finland did not have:

(1) International sanctions on Russian state enterprises and state banks, along with voluntary boycotts and withdrawal from the Russian market by numerous American and European companies.

(2) Other countries are providing defensive weapons to Ukraine. When American B-52s were raining destruction on Hanoi and the countryside of Vietnam – north & south – the Democratic Republic of Vietnam was able to obtain surface to air missiles from East Europe, to defend itself from bombardment. Now Ukraine is being supplied with Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to enable its defense against air attack, and with Javelin anti-tank missiles to deal with Russian armor.

(3) Ukraine has something going for it that Finland also had -the Russian army is dispirited, soldiers are badly treated by their government, and they are equipped with inferior Russian made equipment.

It is clear that Russia cannot conquer Ukraine, cannot impose a new state on the people of Ukraine. The main question is how many innocent Ukrainians will die, how many Russian conscripts will die in a war they don’t understand, and how much of Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure will be destroyed by the invading Russian army.

The related question: how many Americans who claim to oppose war will jettison the non-aggression principle to become defenders of and apologists for Putin’s War of Choice?

Birthplace of Ludwig von Mises under attack

Russian military forces are now attacked civilian infrastructure and other civilian targets in Lviv, using long range surface to surface missiles. in western Ukraine. Russian missiles have totally destroyed the Lviv airport, a civilian facility used to bring in food and medicine to the besieged residents of Lviv. There are no military installations in Lviv, and apparently no military units to defend the city from the Russian brutality.

Until the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, Lviv was an ethnically diverse city called Lemberg, in Galicia, a province of Austria. Lemberg had a mixed population of Poles, Germans, Ukrainians and Jews. In 1881, Ludwig von Mises was born in Lemberg, and he grew up in the small city before moving to Vienna.

Ludwig von Mises was the most widely read scholar associated with the Austrian School of free market economics. The works of Ludwig von Mises have been used to teach economics to generations of libertarians. You can read a brief history of the life and teachings of Ludwig von Mises here:

https://www.antiwar.com/berkman/mises.html

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Libertarian Party Statement on First Anniversary of U.S. Capitol Riot

The following is a statement released by the Libertarian Party recognizing the anniversary of the January 6, 2021 Capitol Riot…

It was on this day last year that months of lies and provocation created a powder keg that culminated in the violent and embarrassing insurgence at the U.S. Capitol, sadly resulting in loss of life.

While January 6, 2021 is remembered for the actions of right-wing rabble-rousers, perpetuating hate and stoking division is hardly a habit limited to the GOP. Both establishment parties actively expand the rift in our society, pushing many to the brink of violence.

Sadly, those intent on leading this country appear to have learned no lessons from the events of Jan 6th.

Initiating violence runs counter to seeking a world of peace and liberty. It is perhaps for that very reason that so many Americans are no longer able to find a home in the Republican Party or the Democratic Party.

Despite every attempt by the duopoly to keep competition and any alternative voices out of the political conversation for decades, Americans are realizing that they do not want to live in fear and anger – and realizing that there is another way.

The Libertarian Party does not offer an option for those who want to demonize their fellow humans; we do not offer a place where nuance is rejected and thoughts or opinions must conform to the whims of one man or woman.

What we offer is a commitment to defending each person’s right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and a rejection of the use of force to achieve political or social goals.

Libertarians stand on principles derived from mutual respect between individuals. We seek peace for all people and believe that only through real freedom can peace be realized.

This past year, we have all come to ask, “What has our country become?” Let’s turn our focus to what our country is to be.

Let January 6, 2022 be remembered for something very different. Make this the day that you reject those who exploit us to attain more power. Reject the establishment parties once and for all, and join us in bringing forth a future of liberty and of peace.

More information on The Libertarian Party @ http://www.lp.org

LPC Chair:Recall Not Just for Republicans

Mimi Robson, Chair of the Libertarian Party of California, published this commentary in the Orange County Register:

At the end of last month I was asked to write a declaration to be used in a lawsuit against Gov. Gavin Newsom and California Secretary of State Shirley Weber by the proponents of the Recall Newsom effort.

This lawsuit was regarding the inclusion of governor’s argument in the voter guide that will be sent to all registered voters in California, that the recall is a partisan Republican effort.

Superior Court Judge Laurie M. Earl decided to reject the lawsuit, writing, “As persuasively demonstrated by Governor Newsom, the recall effort was clearly spearheaded by Republicans.”

It appears that she didn’t give any weight to the declarations of five registered voters in the state of California, which includes me, who are clearly not Republicans and who have strongly supported the recall. I am the chairperson of the Libertarian Party of California, and although I don’t agree with many supporters of the recall effort for their reasons for recalling the governor, I truly believe that the governor should be removed.

The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in the United States and achieved permanent ballot status in California in 1978.  We are one of only three political parties in the country to have our presidential candidate on every ballot in the past two presidential elections. The Libertarian Party of California is an affiliate of the National Libertarian Party, and is not a part of, nor influenced by, any other political party.

Since March of 2020, residents and businesses have fled the state due to the restrictive environment caused by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Countless businesses have had to close their doors forever due to the government deeming them to be “non-essential.”

The Libertarian Party of California supports the recall based on our party platform, beliefs and the actions of Gov. Newsom.

Read full commentary by Mimi Robson @ The Orange County Register: https://www.ocregister.com/2021/08/14/newsom-is-wrong-to-describe-the-recall-as-just-a-republican-led-effort/

Mitchell:”Big-Government Republicans Enable Big-Government Democrats”

 GOP politicians often pay lip service to the principles of limited government, they usually increase spending even faster than Democrats.

Indeed, Republicans are even worse than Democrats when measuring the growth of domestic spending!

This is bad news because it means the burden of government expands when Republicans are in charge.

And, as Gary Abernathy points out in a column for the Washington Post, Republicans then don’t have the moral authority to complain when Democrats engage in spending binges.

President Biden is proposing another $3 trillion in spending… There are objections, but none that can be taken seriously. …Republicans had lost their standing as the party of fiscal responsibility when most of them succumbed to the political virus of covid fever and rubber-stamped around $4 trillion in “covid relief,”… With Trump out and Biden in, Republicans suddenly pretended that their 2020 spending spree happened in some alternate universe. But the GOP’s united opposition to Biden’s $1.9 trillion package won’t wash off the stench of the hypocrisy. …I noted a year ago that we had crossed the Rubicon, that our longtime flirtation with socialism had become a permanent relationship. Congratulations, Bernie Sanders. The GOP won’t become irrelevant because of its association with Trump, as some predict. It will diminish because it is bizarrely opposing now that which it helped make palatable just last year. Fiscal responsibility is dead, and Republicans helped bury it. Put the shovels away, there’s no digging it up now.

For what it’s worth, I hope genuine fiscal responsibility isn’t dead.

Full Post by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2021/03/29/big-government-republicans-enable-big-government-democrats/?utm_source=feedotorg&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=fee_partners

Jo Jorgensen on Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was an accomplished woman and a trailblazer, breaking barriers in a male-dominated world. Born in an age when women’s rights had yet to be fully acknowledged — both culturally and in law — she fought passionately for equal treatment for women. But she also saw the unfairness of an Oklahoma law that gave women the right to drink at age 18 while men were not allowed to drink until age 21. She saw this as a denial of equal treatment and facilitated its defeat.

Among her accomplishments in support of personal freedoms, Ginsberg was in the majority in the 2015 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. She was also the first Supreme Court Justice to preside over a same-sex wedding ceremony.

She wrote the majority opinion against the publicly-owned Virginia Military Institute, ending its male-only admissions policy on equal protection grounds.

She voted to uphold the Fourth Amendment in a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling that stopped the federal government’s warrantless use of thermal imaging to detect marijuana inside of a house.

I appreciate Justice Ginsberg’s bravery and all her actions in support of civil liberties. Her contributions to the rigor and analysis that is required at the highest court will be missed. May she rest in peace.

Source:https://jo20.com/jo-jorgensen-quotables/

Jo Jorgensen: “It’s high time we cut the Military–Industrial Complex down to size”

Libertarian presidential nominee calls for Pentagon’s accountability to taxpayers

GREENVILLE, S.C.; September 17, 2020—  “If the Pentagon were a private business—or an ordinary taxpayer—it would be guilty of federal crimes,” charged Dr. Jo Jorgensen, Libertarian for President. “It spends trillions of taxpayer dollars with virtually no accountability for how that money is spent.”

For decades, military bureaucrats have defied the law and refused to comply with congressional mandates to be audited. They finally conceded in 2018—and failed that audit miserably.

“Democratic and Republican politicians fund military spending to the tune of over $1 trillion every year—and don’t give a whit that the Pentagon can’t—and won’t—pass an audit,” she said. “Yet those same politicians authorize the IRS to audit you, then hound you and garnish your wages unless you comply with their every order.”

Not only have congress and every modern-day president allowed the Pentagon to go unaudited, but they have given it more money every year—in spite of the fact that stories occasionally surface showing that the Pentagon has been unable to account for—not thousands, not millions, not billions—but trillions of taxpayer dollars.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld admitted in 2001, “According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.”

Said Jorgensen, “Even if you could justify operating more than 800 American military bases in foreign countries around the world; starting wars based on false pretenses; putting our servicemen and -women in harm’s way, where some get killed or badly injured; and causing immense personal and property damage overseas, there’s never an excuse for spending taxpayers’ hard-earned money with no accountability.”

“Democrats and Republicans, the Pentagon, and price-gouging defense contractors are a big part of our country’s spending problem,” she said. “It’s high time we cut the military-industrial complex down to size.”

“The fastest way to make the Pentagon auditable is by simply downsizing it,” said Jorgensen. “And if it continues to fail audits, downsize it even more. It ought to face at least as much scrutiny as those who are paying its bills.”

Source:https://jo20.com/jorgensen-its-high-time-we-cut-the-military-industrial-complex-down-to-size/

Jo Jorgenson on the Record of Sen. Kamala Harris

On Tuesday August 11, presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden announced that he would Sen. Kamala Harris (California) is his choice for the nomination for Vice-President. Jo Jorgenson, the Libertarian nominee for President has released this commentary on Sen. Harris:

Joe Biden is making the worst mistake of his Presidential campaign today.

Kamala Harris is officially his selection for Vice President.  

Her 28 year long career as an Attorney General and prosecutor in the state of California is a COMPLETE miscarriage of justice. 

  • Kamala Harris helped put THOUSANDS of men and women in jail for pot related charges… and proceeded to laugh about smoking marijuana on a podcast during her failed campaign.
  • After being ordered to release inmates by the Supreme Court, Harris used her position as Attorney General to prevent inmates from being paroled so she could use them for cheap labor… including using them to fight forest fires.
  • Harris has also demonstrated her willingness to use “third strike laws” in order to extend unfair prison sentences. 

While millions of Americans are crying out for criminal justice reform, Joe Biden has selected a running mate with an abysmal record of fighting for justice and working people. 

Biden, an architect of the War on Drugs with a known history of racial “gaffes” or “media mistakes,” has demonstrated a TOTAL disregard for those in his base demanding criminal justice reform. 

I WILL NOT LET BIDEN NOR KAMALA HARRIS ESCAPE THEIR RECORD OF TRAGIC INJUSTICES AGAINST MILLIONS OF PEOPLE.

Biden is LYING to the American people and to millions of Democrats who are counting on him to enact REAL change. 

To put it bluntly, I am angry. 

There is a fire in my belly and I want to shout it from the rooftops, “Joe Biden is lying to you about criminal justice reform!” 

Let’s fight back. 

I am asking all of my supporters to use this opportunity to teach millions of Americans the truth about Biden and Harris’ record on criminal justice and let them know they should vote for OUR campaign in November. 

To find out more about Jo Jorgenson, Libertarian for President go to https://jo20.com/

Reason:”Joe Biden’s ‘Bold’ Thinking Shredded Civil Liberties and Destroyed Lives”

Justin Monticello @ Reason looks at the record of the presumptive Democrat Nominee for President:

“Joe Biden became the presumptive Democratic nominee in the 2020 election by running as a moderate unifier, hoping to win over voters with the promise of business-as-usual politics from the pre-Trump era.

Now the COVID-19 pandemic has led him to rethink his platform of a return to the days of bipartisan consensus, and his campaign is seizing the opportunity to offer what the Los Angeles Times described as “bold change” on such issues as climate change, health care, social welfare, and infrastructure.

But it’s worth remembering that in his 44 years in the Senate and then as vice president, Biden repeatedly took advantage of moments of crisis to push through policies that have exacerbated some of the most critical problems afflicting American society.

Biden has been a prominent figure in the bipartisan War on Drugs for decades, he helped the Clinton administration pass disastrous crime and immigration bills, he laid the foundation for the PATRIOT Act, he assisted the George W. Bush administration in making the case for the war in Iraq, and then as vice president he oversaw the deportation of a record number of people.”

Full Post with Video @ Reason https://reason.com/video/joe-bidens-bold-thinking-shredded-civil-liberties-and-destroyed-lives/