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Updated: 2017-11-29T04:31:42.039-08:00

 



Questions for Elected Libertarians

2014-05-03T05:12:23.234-07:00

Answering an April 18 email from Carla Howell, Political Director of the LPUS:Dear Elected Libertarians,Thank you for running for and serving in office as a Libertarian. Your commitment to advancing liberty is greatly appreciated. In an effort to understand more about what it's like to be a Libertarian in office, I'd appreciate your sending me a quick reply summarizing the key issues you are dealing with, any successes you have had, the major obstacles you face, and how fellow Libertarians might be able to assist you in office. A few specific questions are listed below - or feel free just to send a quick statement on how you see things. Thank you for your time, and best of luck advancing your Libertarian agenda! ​Questions for Libertarians service in office​ 1. Do you have any specific goals for shrinking government in some way, e.g., repealing an ordinance, cutting a tax, cutting the level of total government spending? My goal is have Purissima Hills Water District effectively privatize itself, bydeclining to exercise its compulsory government powers e.g. to regulate water use;passing the district's water costs and purchase rights directly to our owner-ratepayers;declining to request or accept tax-financed aid from other government bodies; andcutting wasteful spending.2. Have you had any victories with the above?In 2009-2010 I proposed an incentive-based alternative to the state's onerous default water-conservation ordinance, and got my proposal passed by our city council.In 2014 the board was poised to adopt an ordinance imposing new water-use restrictions in case of drought, but I persuaded the board to instead use drought pricing that passes on to retail over-consumers the penalties the district pays for wholesale overuse.When I was elected in 2008, the board was planning a million-dollar permanent facility to use a local lake as an emergency water source. I successfully advocated for a radical downsizing of the project, replacing permanent facilities with inexpensive dual-use portable equipment, and increasing the operating capacity and seismic toughness of our storage tanks.3. Have you had any victories in stopping the growth of government, e.g. stopping a tax hike; blocking a new municipal building, project, or program; stopping a spending increase? See (2).4. What are the biggest obstacles you face as a Libertarian in advancing your agenda?The biggest obstacle so far has been the unquestioning acceptance of the ideas that regulation works better than incentives, that any power we have is ethical to use, and that we should treat our customers as our subjects rather than our shareholders.5. Is there anything that fellow Libertarians in your state or district could do to support your efforts?Show up!  Pick a local government body, and attend a meeting.  Once you are in the room, your Libertarian instincts will kick in.  You'll find yourself speaking up during public comments,  giving feedback to elected officials and their staff, and volunteering for openings on advisory committees.If you don't show up, you are guaranteed zero influence. If you just show up, you'll be surprised at the influence you can have.  Politicians assume that for every attendee, there are many many more voters not present who share the attendee's perspective.  The less principled they are, the more power they cede to you and your principles -- but only if you show up.6. Is there anything you recommend that Libertarians running for office do to better prepare themselves to advance liberty if elected? Show up!  (Also, watch any online videos of recent meetings of the body you're running for.)[...]



2014 LPCA Convention Day 2

2014-04-21T07:01:10.939-07:00

9:20 Ballot access hero Richard Winger spoke on Top Two to a highly-interested audience.  He cited the majority Democrat 31st congressional district in which 2 Republicans beat 4 Democrats, disenfranchising the majority party in the November ballot. He cited LPCA RegLib increase from 109K in Nov 2012 to 112.5K in Mar 2014, and pointed out that RegLib numbers are up in 21 out of 25 states that register Libertarians.  California’s increase of 3.5% is 20th out of those 21, just ahead of Oregon’s 3.4% increase to 16K.  The next two states with the most RegLibs were: #8 Pennsylvania up 25% to 45K, and #10 Arizona up 20% to 27K. Winger endorsed Californians For Electoral Reform, which helped him when a state court ordered him a some co-plaintiffs to pay opponents’ attorney fees. 10:20 Dave Curtis, Green candidate for Secretary of State, spoke for a few minutes about his campaign, saying he hoped to represent all alternative parties in the race. 10:30 Treasurer Brian Darby announced that Art Tuma had generously donated $1000 to the LPCA. 10:30 There was informal discussion about how to count how many delegates had (per convention rule 3.3) registered for today’s session. 10:35 2012 LP Presidential candidate Gary Johnson spoke via webcast. Enthusiastic about new California marijuana freedom.  He said Libertarians don’t win elections, but our issues are winning: marijuana, gay marriage, non-intervention. Our America Initiative is suing the presidential debates commission to force inclusion for any candidate registered in enough states to win the electoral college.  90% of the four years spent running for President was “wasted time”, so he’s not repeating those parts of his efforts.  Media is hungry for the libertarian perspective, but need to be corrected that libertarians are not a kind of conservative. “Libertarians are flaming liberals when it comes to civil liberties.”  Starchild questioned the hundreds of thousands paid to Ron Nielson by the Johnson Campaign. Johnson said Nielson’s firm lost hundreds of thousands on the campaign. His Fair Tax plan would cut federal spending by 25%.  If he were dictator, he could cut the 60% of federal spending required by replacing the income tax with nothing. 11:00 Convened with 46 delegates registered. Convention rule 3.3 was suspended and presence on the floor was considered signification of registration for the day.  (Matt Barnes objected that a non-debatable rule suspension was being combined with a debatable rule change, but he seems to have mistakenly thought that the rule change was permanent.) 11:12 Ted Brown nominated attorney (and Attorney General candidate) Jonathan Jaech for Southern Vice Chair. Elected by voice vote with one dissent. 11:24 ExCom voting.  Top 5 win 2-year ExCom terms, 6th finishes a 1-year vacancy, and 7th and 8th become alternates. 2:30 ExCom results announced: 39 Antoine Hage – founder of new California college libertarians group38 Leon Weinstein – fundraiser; active in the Russian community37 Kevin Duewel – Ron Paul activist, San Mateo County vice-chair36 Jim Hoerricks – appointed incumbent; elected water board member32 Jose Tovar – from Fresno; bilingual31 Dana McLorn – championed college libertarians; not happy with current LPCA energy25 Flavio Fiumerodo – worked on web site and Sacramento office; wants to make electronic newsletter more frequent24 Stephen Blakeman – Yolo County chair19 Jose Castaneda – long-time LPLAC and LPCA activist16 David McDonald – will keep county chairs informed; we are the party of capitalism2:40 Video tribute to Stephen Collette (1954-2013) 2:45 Judicial Committee nominees: Ted Brown, Aaron Starr, Jill Pyeatt.  Accepted by acclamation. They will have to appoint two other members. 2:50 LNC representative: Dan Wiener re-elected 32-25 over Dave Jones.  (Many voters may have thought they vote for both while ranking them, however rankings did not matter.) 3:30 LNC altern[...]



2014 LPCA Convention Day 1

2014-04-21T07:01:27.085-07:00

The Libertarian Party of California convened today in Visalia.09:15 Came to order with 44 delegates. Kevin Duewel elected Secretary Pro Tem.09:45 Chair’s report by Kevin Takenaga. Registered Libertarians count is up, surpassing Greens for the first time since c. 1990. Highlighted elected officials and a new College Libertarians group, which held its first convention here yesterday.10:00 N. Vice Chair’s report by Gale Morgan. Yolo and MadisonPlacer county affiliates activated. San Mateo county endorsed Doug Radtke for City Council, and has been energized by new Secretary Kevin Duewel. We had 98000 Reglibs in Aug 2013. Set a goal for increase, it’s already been surpassed.10:11 Treasurer’s report by Brian Darby. $12K operating loss was due to a large donor re-targeting donations to the county level. Switching from DonorPerfect to Neon will cut labor costs from $20K in 2013 to $4500 in 2014. 793 members currently. Cutting convention budget (i.e. floor fees, and thus cutting convention profit from $7000 to $700) did not appreciably increase attendance.10:20 LNC Representative’s report by Dan Wiener. LNC is purchasing an $825K office ($300K down-payment) to replace Watergate rental office. Will save about $5K/month in cash flow. National convention is in June in Columbus Ohio. LP candidate for VA governor (Sarvis) got 6%. LNC social media outreach is active. Hired Wes Benedict as Executive Director, moved Carla Howell to Political Director.10:40 College Libertarians founder Antoine Hage spoke. Created 3 campus clubs in 3 months. Focus on local elections.10:47 Gale Morgan, Treasurer of Candidate Support Committee. Spent $25K fighting Top Two. Donated to several campaigns. Balance is $15K.10:50 Officer Q&A. Jose Castenada asked about the lack of state-level candidates. Takenaga answered: Top Two. 10,000 signatures needed to waive filing fee, and doesn’t guarantee spot on November ballot. Gale Morgan: RegLib count is high enough that we no longer need 2% in the gubernatorial election.11:00 Brian Darby: 2012 convention earned $7K profit. 2013 had lower floor fees, earned $700 profit, but no increased attendance. Starchild asked for more spending details.11:05 Mark Hinkle: we had 3992 members in 1992, but 793 now. Takenaga: RegLibs matter more than paying memberships. LPUS and LPCA used to have joint membership. Hinkle: “you guys are failing”.11:10 Aaron Starr: Membership revenues discrepency. Brian Darby: page-1 figures are net, combining income and expense. Roughly $6K revenue shared to counties, not shown in data.11:14 Takenaga explains Coffee Club donor program, says it hasn’t been pushed and has probably gone down.11:15 Brian Darby: would need a Bylaws change to allow teleconference meetings.11:18 Q&A extended 10 minutes. Matt Barnes asked what members can do to help. Antoine Hage asked for help for College Libertarians. Darby and Morgan emphasized local politics. Wiener: recruit from new RegLibs.11:26 Castenada asked about Candidate Support Committee. Morgan: guidelines are: candidate has to be on ballot, endorsed by county, and have a web site.11:28 Morgan: county chairs association has been meeting by Google hangout.11:30 Morgan began the Platform report with Proposal 1 to rewrite IV-5 Immigration & Citizenship. Aaron Starr moved to strike 3rd paragraph about “sovereignty of California”. Amendment failed narrowly. Proposal failed 25 for, 14 against.12:00 Lunch.2:15 Democracy.com: amy@democracy.com promoted free campaign websites for candidates.2:20 Libertarian city council members: John Inks of Mountain View, Susan Marie Weber of Palm Desert, Jeffrey Hewitt of Calimesa.Weber: Everything you do is a chance to promote libertarianism. I’m a tax accountant who tells people that taxation is theft.Hewitt: I’ve had more libertarian impact as appointed planning commissioner than as elected city councilman, so volunteer for local boards. Libertarians are the mainstream. I’d like to sell legalized drugs [...]



2013 LPCA Convention Day 2

2013-04-07T20:06:32.350-07:00

59 delegates convened for the officer elections this morning.  On the last day of his term as Northern Vice Chair before devoting himself to his new job as LPWA executive director, C. Michael Pickens nominated Janine Kloss for Chair.  He praised her for the work she put into strategy and marketing documents for the LPWA.  Kloss told the delegates: "I'm not coming with a plan, but a question: what can the Executive Committee do for you?" A letter from Kloss distributed on the convention floor did not mention any LPCA office or plans, aside from saying "It is now the time to grow the LP by sharing the morality of the non-aggression principle." Her nomination was seconded by Mark Hinkle, who said she also had the support of Ted Brown and Mary Gingell.  (All three are former LPCA Chairs, and Hinkle and Gingell are past LNC Chairs.)

Three-term incumbent Chair Kevin Takenaga spoke on the need for a Chair to build a team and to focus on specific goals.  He said that in his most recent term, fighting Top Two had been a higher priority than increasing dues-payers. He said the LPCA was on course to maintain party status via its increased registration numbers, which was necessary now that Top Two keeps the LP off of the November ballot.  After Takenaga's speech, Kloss supporter Starchild perhaps hurt her chances by moving to suspend the rules so that the candidates could be questioned for ten minutes.  Kloss said under questioning that she had only joined the LP in December, and that she didn't know which California counties were the most active.

Takenaga won by 38 votes to 26, with 3 for NOTA. (More delegates had been credentialed since the start of the session.)  Gale Morgan was elected by acclamation as Northern Vice Chair, and Glynda Perrotte was similarly elected as Southern Vice Chair.  Kloss then narrowly defeated Jose Castenada for Secretary, 33 to 31.  Brian Darby was re-elected Treasurer by acclamation.

Ten candidates were nominated for 6 open at-large seats on the Executive Committee:
  • Jose Castenada
  • Judd Weiss
  • Starchild
  • Grant Huihui
  • Nancy Zardeneta
  • Josh Famestead
  • Brian Thiemer
  • Bill Lopez
  • Shawn Fox
  • Armando Romero
(image)



2013 LPCA Convention Day 1

2013-04-06T18:11:59.670-07:00

Libertarian Party of California delegates began their convention in Sacramento this morning with a keynote speech by Steven Greenhut, a Libertarian journalist well-known for exposing abuses of government power in California. Greenhut described the rent-seeking practiced by the two incumbent parties, and said that the LPCA "can be one important vehicle for saving the state" if it unites around libertarian common ground. He cited the 19th-century Free Soil Party as an example of an alternative party that influenced public policy without winning the highest elective offices. (The Free Soil Platform had significant overlap with geolibertarian ideas.)

56 delegates were credentialed as Kevin Takenaga began his Chair's report. He celebrated Gary Johnson's impressive results in California, and two Libertarian wins in city council races: John Inks in Mountain View (pop. 74K), and SusanMarie Weber in Palm Desert (pop. 48K).  He credited some of the 15% pre-election spike in LPCA voter registration to the introduction of online registration, and noted that due to campaign finance laws the LPCA "didn't really have an active voter registration campaign".  Takenaga also cited press coverage of the recent move of the LPCA office: Libertarians move in as CA GOP scales back in Sacramento.

C. Michael Pickens gave the Northern Vice Chair report, and noted that he recently became the executive director of the LPWA.  He cited cloud-based call centers as an example of an LPWA innovation that he hopes to set up for the LPCA.  He hopes that the LPWA bylaws will be changed to allow Libertarian endorsement of candidates from other parties.

The Southern Vice Chair is empty. Treasurer Brian Darby was questioned closely on dues revenue and how dues are split between the LPCA and its county affiliates.  Darby asked the delegates to approve a Bylaws Committee recommendation to simplify the state/county dues split formula.

Inks and Weber joined two Libertarian water district directors (Jim Hoerricks and Brian Holtz) in a panel about Libertarians' service in government office.

Delegates approved all five of the Bylaws Committee recommendations:
  • Make the LPCA membership pledge against force initiation match that of the LPUS, by changing "I do not believe in or advocate" to "I oppose".
  • Require the Secretary to maintain a manual that compiles all procedures created by the Executive or Operations Committees.
  • Remove the route to LPCA membership via government-hosted elections to the State Central Committee.  Because of the new Top Two law, the government no longer hosts such elections anyway.
  • Change the state/county dues split to 50/50, in place of a 60/40 split in favor of whichever side processed the dues.
  • Limit nomination of NatCon delegates to those who have confirmed to the Secretary their acceptance of their nomination.
Tomorrow will be all officer elections, and consideration of the Platform Committee's sole recommendation (about increasing the size of the state legislature). (image)



The First Coming

2013-04-07T18:22:01.164-07:00

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The Chair cannot hear the motion-maker;
Elections fall apart; the recount cannot be held;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the convention,
The flyer-choked tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is shouted down;
The rule-followers lack all conviction, while the violators
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the First Coming is at hand.
The First Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Bylaw 11.8
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with human body and the head of no man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert delegates.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That four decades of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a suspended rule,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Las Vegas to be not-elected? (image)



2012 Convention Election Predictions

2013-04-07T18:22:32.699-07:00

Gary Johnson will win the presidential nomination on the first ballot, with about 55% of the votes.  If the rumors are true that Jim Gray is Johnson's running mate, then he will win the vice-presidential nomination. I'm guessing Lee Wrights will selflessly agree to run against Gray for the hopes of his supporters to balance the ticket, even though it would be an uphill struggle.

I'm not sure whether Mark Hinkle or Mark Rutherford will be elected Chair.  Hinkle as the incumbent will have the inside track, but the election could very well be tipped by how deftly he handles the gavel during parliamentary conflicts over registration fees and credentialing Oregonians.  Wes Wagner will win less than 20% of the votes.

Bill Redpath may end up unopposed for Vice Chair, but if the 2nd-place Chair candidate runs against him then it's a toss-up. My guess is that the 2nd-place Chair candidate would just run for LNC and not risk losing both Chair and Vice-Chair.

Alicia Mattson will easily win re-election as Secretary.

Starr vs. Phillies for Treasurer will be close.  Phillies will do much better than the 8-10% he's recently received in Chair and POTUS races, but will not do nearly as well as the 70% that his slate-mate James Oaksun received against Starr in the 2010 Treasurer race. Starr will emphasize that he's done the job well in the past, and that Oaksun joined a series of non-Starr Treasurers who had difficulty completing even one term.  I'm guessing Starr wins.

The race for LNC At-Large representatives (top 5 elected) will probably finish in an order like this:
  • Hinkle or Rutherford
  • Wayne Root
  • Lee Wrights
  • Mary Ruwart
  • Kevin Knedler
  • Rebecca Sink-Burris
(image)



Platform Committee Adopts Report

2012-05-04T09:03:12.599-07:00

The Libertarian Party Platform Committee met in December in Las Vegas.  It adopted 16 proposals, two of which include "pending amendments".  (A pending amendment is subject to an initial majority vote by the convention delegates before the proposal it amends receives its usual up-or-down 2/3 vote.)  This wiki page shows how the PlatCom proposals would change the platform.  Highlights:1.0 Personal Liberty.  PlatCom offers two alternative rewrites to this plank. Both say that "the right to make a choice depends on both understanding that it has consequences and accepting responsibility for them". This will help defend LP candidates from charges that we demand adult freedoms for children.1.2 Privacy and Self-Ownership is the proposed new title for this plank, which is broadened to the scope that was originally intended in the 2008 platform rewrite. 1.1 is about freedom of one's own mind, 1.2 is about freedom of one's own body, and 1.3 is about the freedom to have relations with others. PlatCom here generalizes the "drugs" language to include all "substances".1.4. Abortion would explicitly "welcome both pro-life and pro-choice members", and oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.1.6. Self-Defense would clarify gun freedom on private property, and rework some clumsy phrasing inherited from the 1976 platform. However, I worry that this proposal is imperiled by replacing the classic "ammunition or firearms" in favor of "personal defense weapons".2.4 and 2.5 are rewrites that add more complaints about taxes and subsidies. They add language about "hardworking Americans" and "the American dream", while deleting explicit mentions of the IRS,  Balanced Budget Amendment, currency freedom, and banking.2.6 Labor Markets is rewritten, with a focus on government employee unions and pensions.2.8 Education gets some polishing, and loses an out-of-scope rhetorical aside.3.4 Free Trade and Migration is also polished, and it too gets a mention of "the American dream".3.5 Rights and Discrimination. PlatCom proposes to replace the condemnation of bigotry with a denial that a "natural can ever impose an obligation upon others to fulfill that right".  A separate 3.5 proposal qualifies parenall rights when "a jury finds abuse, neglect, or reckless endangerment".The following table gives the PlatCom votes for each proposal, along with my analysis of whether the proposal will be approved in convention. Proposal Vote My Analysis Odds 1.0 responsibility requires understanding 12-0-0 drops force initiation, adds govt role 30% 1.0 American liberty 12-1-0 too jingoistic 5% 1.2 Self-Ownership, risk-taking 13-0-0 good generalization of "drugs" to "media and substances" 80% 1.2 individuals -> adults 13-0-0 gives LP cover for kids+drugs 80% 1.4 welcome pro-life & pro-choice 9-4-0 fig leaf for our extremist pro-choice position 60% 1.4 no tax-funded abortion 13-0-0 slam dunk 99% 1.5 restitution of/to 13-0-0 obvious grammar fix 99% 1.6 guns on private property 11-1-0 good but imperiled by changing "ammunition or firearms" to "personal defense weapons" 60% 2.4 taxes imperil American dream 12-1-0 too jingoistic; delays income tax repeal; drops IRS & BBA references 25% 2.5 against fraud and bailouts 11-1-0 good change imperiled by dropping references to banking & currency 40% 2.7 govt employee unions/pensions 9-4-0 good language, but backsliding toward excess detail 70% 2.8 rewrite education w/o "moral values" 12-0-0 good rewording; radicals won't like dropping "like any[...]



LP Officer Elections Analysis and Predictions

2013-04-07T18:23:15.338-07:00

The Chair debate on Saturday evening produced no major surprises. Root made an impassioned plea for delegates to grow the party by bringing in new members who aren't as far along on their libertarian journeys as the delegates are. Root's closing statement was built around a sports analogy -- Canada's performance in the recent winter Olympics -- that seemed to fall somewhat flat with the audience.  Root opponents in the crowd loudly pounced when his answer to a question about immigration went on too long and he specifically criticized the open-borders position that the LP removed from its Platform in 2006. Myers handled this hot potato with a shorter answer that ended with a rousing call to end the welfare state and the war on drugs and open the borders -- effectively restating Root's position. Myers spoke well, but not well enough to put himself ahead of Hinkle as the leading unity candidate.  Hinkle emphasized his experience and his ability to work with all factions within the party, and managed to avoid being the least dynamic speaker of the evening.Phillies' performance did not fully exhibit the speaking skills that he had honed in his 2008 presidential campaign.  On a couple of questions he awkwardly failed to end his answer on an applause line. When he said that Angela Keaton asking him was the reason he was running, it's not clear how many delegates knew who the absent Keaton is -- or that this was George's fourth or fifth consecutive campaign for Chair.  Phillies was able to reference his New Path Plan several times, but the debate format did not allow him to get into the details of it.Hancock gave a spirited performance that was on track to avoid all the land mines that his critics had documented him planting in his own path.  He responded to Root's big-tent rhetoric by saying that newcomers "are welcome to join us, but are not welcome to change us".  Hancock's opponents had not mentioned either his advocacy against voting or his conspiracy theories, but Hancock himself alluded to both in his closing statement.  He talked about "the New World Order", and gave a lengthy justification for  why his 2006 Secretary of State campaign was built around the question "Still Voting?".During the Chair nominations, Root followed good speeches by running-mate Rutherford and his daughter with an even better pitch for his own election.  For the first time in his Chair campaign, Root declared that as Chair the buck will stop with him: he will take responsibility for delivering results in membership, fundraising, and candidate support.  Both Myers and one of his nominators gave a very explicit plea to make Myers the delegates' second choice, and this probably was not a good strategy for claiming the unity vote from Hinkle.  Hinkle gave all his time to an impressive lineup of nominators, and LP founder David Nolan delivered a very well-received endorsement. In contrast to Root, Phillies was not nominated by his New Path Vice-Chair running mate, but rather by three supporters with LPMA connections.  New Path Secretary candidate Rob Power awkwardly attacked the sincerity of his fellow PlatCom member Chris Barber, who had sent a letter to delegates revealing that Phillies had filed a criminal complaint with the FEC against the LPUS.  Hancock's nominations were highlighted by a solid speech by Barry Hess.  2004 LP presidential nominee Michael Badnarik's speech would surely have been more effective if he had identified himself to the audience. Hancock himself merely said: "Freedom's the answer. What's the question?"The first round of voting resulted in Root 200 (38%) Hinkle 113 (21%) Hancock 82 (15%) Myers 70 (13%) Phillies 56 (11%)  NOTA 10.  Phillies did not endorse any competitor, but Myers foresaw the inevitable and withdrew from the race [...]



Comparing Web Site Templates of LNC Chair Candidates

2013-04-07T18:23:52.394-07:00

Two of the candidates for Libertarian National Committee Chair are running on platforms that include providing campaign site templates for Libertarian candidates. A third Chair candidate uses such a template for his own State Senate candidate site.  This article compares the three templates.John Jay Myers says "I also propose to create easily customizable website templates so that states, counties, and candidates can quickly and inexpensively gain a professional web presence."  He is Vice Chair of the LP Dallas, whose web site lists 19 candidates in the current election cycle in that county.  Five of them have custom campaign sites, another five use a common LPDallas.org template, and the remaining nine are not listed as having any web site at all.The New Path plan of George Phillies says "We should offer a good set of downloadable templates for web pages", and that "Web Templates, disk, downloadables are high priority". Phillies points to a template made available by New Path LNC candidate Jake Porter. Phillies is Treasurer, Membership Secretary, and Editor of the LP Massachussetts.  The LPMA candidates page lists two candidates. Neither uses the Porter template, and one of the two sites is very simple.Mark Hinkle does not list web sites for candidates among his goals as Chair. However, his current and previous campaigns for state legislature have used the "campaign-site-in-a-box" template offered under the DefendsLiberty.com domain.This table compares various features of these templates. Domain of expected integrations LPDallas.org LPMA.us DefendsLiberty.com Candidate integrations found 5/14 (* * * * *) 0/2 4 (* * * *) 3D/rounded visual design Y Y N Free candidate domain Y N? Y Free hosting Y? N? Y Campaign blog N Y Y Accepts credit cards N N Y Displays libertarian feeds N N Y Libertarian videos linked N embedded Candidate video linked N N Slate issue statement Y N Y Slideshow/gallery N N Y Nav bar Buttons Buttons Menus Nolan quiz N N Y Debt clock N N Y Meetup/Facebook N/N N/N Y/Y Email sign-up N N Y Email the candidate Y Y? Y Leave a comment N N? Y Join/Register Libertarian N/N N/N Y/Y Links to other LP candidates N N Y Link to an LP platform N N Y LP graphical branding N N Y Horizontally resizable N N Y Stats counting N? N Y A few problems are noticeable on the five LPDallas.org campaign sites:The "Donate" and "Join Us Now" buttons do nothing"Stay informed" page is under construction3 inoperative header links ("Life Liberty Property") at the top of every pageThe Porter/New Path template is a Drupal template.  Since no live candidate sites appear to be using it (at least in Phillies' state), it can't be rated as providing support for most of the features in the table above. However, none of these features are impossible to implement after a candidate adopts the Porter template.[...]



9 Facts LP Delegates Should Know About Ernest Hancock

2010-05-24T07:44:03.376-07:00

[I sent this letter to 1500 delegates of the current and recent Libertarian national conventions. It invites delegates to view the following videos.] Dear fellow Libertarian delegate,I'm writing to share with you some information about one of the candidates for Chair of the Libertarian National Committee: Ernest Hancock. I won't presume in this letter to suggest who to vote for or against in this race, because I have profound confidence in the judgment of our delegates. Indeed, because there is more than one good candidate in this race, I will not be endorsing any of them. I won't pretend I don't have a firm opinion about Hancock's candidacy, but I will let the following facts about him speak for themselves:Hancock boasts publicly that he hasn't voted since 2002, argues that voting "legitimizes" government, and even used free TV airtime as an LP candidate to say "I'm asking you to not vote". Hancock signed a "Declaration of Independence" from the LPUS in 2000, which said that "No principled libertarian can associate with the LPUS without compromising the libertarian principle." Hancock repeatedly questions whether the LPUS should exist, and said in 2009 that he is "getting very close to targeting the national Libertarian Party as an enemy of freedom". Hancock questioned the libertarian credentials of the 2008 LP presidential nominee, but in 2008 called the Constitution Party nominee "a good hardcore libertarian".  Constitution Party nominee Chuck Baldwin ran on a platform of outlawing all abortion and assisted suicide, opposing gay marriage, "closing the borders", jailing employers of illegal immigrants, “stopping the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S.”, "vigorously enforcing our laws against obscenity”, and imposing tariffs “no less than the difference between the foreign item’s cost of production” and U.S. costs. Hancock is a "9/11 Truth" advocate who distributes DVDs saying that the Lincoln and JFK assassinations were conspiracies of international banking interests. He says that “if we’re not out there telling the Truth on things like 9/11″ then the LP is “not relevant”. Hancock says that "if you're not at least a little uncomfortable with your position, it isn't radical enough". His idea of a radical-enough candidate is Vin Suprynowicz, the candidate for Vice President in 2000 nominated only by the Arizona LP, who says LP candidates should advocate the right to "personal nuclear weapons". In Hancock's outreach efforts he vouches for the personal character of fundamentalist preacher Steven Anderson.  Anderson calls Obama a "devil" who should be "aborted on national television" and who "promotes a sodomite agenda". Hancock publicly predicts that bloodshed and violent revolution in America is inevitable: "There will be some bloodshed, just how much -- are you sure you want to go this far?" Hancock defends the 1994 Arizona LP candidate who as a member of the Viper Militia was sent to prison in 1996 after stockpiling ammonium nitrate explosives and conducting video surveillance of federal buildings.I realize many of these claims seem too outrageous to be true. I imagine any fair-minded person would want to see more than a letter and examine the supporting evidence.You don’t have to take my word for it. You can see for yourself. At http://TruthButton.org/hancock you can read the declaration Hancock signed for item 2, and watch videos documenting the rest of these facts. If you have any questions for me about this, feel free to contact me at brian@holtz.org.Brian HoltzLife member of the LP si[...]



$100 Contest: Ernest Hancock or Timothy McVeigh?

2010-05-20T21:01:13.498-07:00

Ernest Hancock said recently on his radio show that he's considering sending to each Libertarian NatCon delegate a copy of the conspiracy-theory video Invisible Empire.  One of the video's claims is that Timothy McVeigh was a government "black operations" agent and that the Oklahoma City bombing was a "false flag" operation designed to "demonize critics of world government". (The video also talks about “implantable brain chips” and says: “Imagine: a planet where every human being is required to be chipped at birth. This would be the final tool implemented in a command-and-control world government system in which the elite rule the masses with total control of their lives.”)The quiz below tests how good a job McVeigh did in impersonating someone like Ernest Hancock, whose Viper Reserves web site said “the likely perpetrators [of the OKC bombing] had closer ties to the police state and NO ties to any militia group”. Viper Reserves was set up to defend Viper Militia members like Dean Pleasant, a 1994 LP candidate in Arizona who was jailed in 1996 after stockpiling ammonium nitrate and creating a videotape surveilling federal buildings and advising how explosives could bring them down.  The New York Times quoted Hancock defending the videotape as "educational".See if you can tell which statements were made by McVeigh, and which by Hancock.  Post your guesses in the comments where you see this contest, and I'll score them. The first person who scores 100% can decide which Hancock opponent in the Chair race gets my $100 donation.If you're not at least a little uncomfortable with your position, it isn't radical enough.  Take the most extreme position you can.I'm concerned about a United Nations takeover and establishment of a single world government designed to place severe limits on individual freedom.There will be some bloodshed -- how much?  Are you sure you want to go this far?  It's not a battle of who has the most guns. It's a battle of who has the most heart, and who has the most will.There will be a single currency, a single police force -- one all-powerful central government for everyone on the planet.So now it's how many cans of Campbell's Soup can you get? How much water do you got? How many friends do you have? How much land can you plow? What's coming can not be stopped.There are over 300,000 names on a Cray Supercomputer in Brussels of "possible and suspected subversives and terrorists" in the U.S., all ranked in order of threat.It's gonna get to the point of Big Brother. It's gonna get that bad. And if it's not done with video and audio, it may be with electromagnetic waves, are they gonna have a certain frequency on your power grid?At Waco, the feds picked a windy day on purpose so the building would catch fire quickly. They want the building to go down. They need a bridge to blow up. It justifies their existence.The CIA flies drugs into the U.S. to fund many covert operations.The Declaration of Independence had absolutely nothing to do with voting. It was all about what happens when voting doesn't work. You will never vote yourself free.This quiz was inspired by the Al Gore Or The Unabomber? quiz. See also my Rothbard or the Unabomber? article.As a bonus, here is video that was a front-page "featured article" on Hancock's FreedomsPhoenix site.  It was an attempt to "pre-empt" the "lies and propaganda" of the recent MSNBC documentary featuring McVeigh's extensive jailhouse confessions. [...]



The State and Its Future

2010-05-20T20:26:30.703-07:00

[These essay excerpts have been edited somewhat so they do not match the original version that can be looked up using search engines. Without using a search engine, can you correctly identify the libertarian radical who wrote that original essay?]The State has been a disaster for the human race. It has destabilized society, made life unfulfilling, subjected human beings to indignities, led to widespread psychological suffering and has inflicted severe damage on the natural world. The continued development of statism will worsen the situation. It will certainly subject human beings to greater indignities and inflict greater damage on the natural world, it will lead to greater social disruption and psychological suffering, and lead to increased physical suffering.The State cannot be reformed in such a way as to prevent it from progressively narrowing the sphere of human freedom.  The State cannot be reformed in favor of freedom because modern statism is a unified system in which all parts are dependent on one another. You can't get rid of the "bad" parts of the State and retain only the "good" parts.It is not possible to make a lasting compromise between the State and freedom, because statism is by far the more powerful social force and continually encroaches on freedom through repeated compromises.  No social arrangements, whether laws, institutions, customs or ethical codes, can provide permanent protection against the growth of the State.The only way out is to dispense with the State altogether. This implies revolution, not necessarily an armed uprising, but certainly a radical and fundamental change in the nature of society.  People tend to assume that because a revolution involves a much greater change than reform does, it is more difficult to bring about than reform is. Actually, under certain circumstances revolution is much easier than reform. The reason is that a revolutionary movement can inspire an intensity of commitment that a reform movement cannot inspire. A reform movement merely offers to solve a particular social problem. A revolutionary movement offers to solve all problems at one stroke and create a whole new world; it provides the kind of ideal for which people will take great risks and make great sacrifices. For this reason it would be much easier to overthrow the whole statist system than to put effective, permanent restraints on it.Revolutionaries should not expect to have a majority of people on their side. History is made by active, determined minorities, not by the majority, which seldom has a clear and consistent idea of what it really wants. Until the time comes for the final push, the task of revolutionaries will be less to win the shallow support of the majority than to build a small core of deeply committed people. As for the majority, it will be enough to make them aware of the existence of the new ideology and remind them of it frequently; though of course it will be desirable to get majority support to the extent that this can be done without weakening the core of seriously committed people.The revolutionaries should even avoid assuming political power until the State is stressed to the danger point and has proved itself to be a failure in the eyes of most people.  The destruction of the State must be the revolutionaries' only goal. Other goals would distract attention and energy from the main goal. More importantly, if the revolutionaries permit themselves to have any other goal than the destruction of the State, they will be tempted to use the State as a tool for reaching that other goal. If they give in to that temptation, they will fall right back into the statist trap, because modern statism is a [...]



A Humorous Review of What We've Learned About Hancock

2010-05-16T00:50:11.335-07:00

For the last five weeks, I've been shining some light into the darker corners of Ernest Hancock's record.  Now that all this illumination has been supplied, it's time for a humorous review of all the facts we've learned.

This first video is a riff on the Verizon "iDon't" commercial that highlighted certain facts about the iPhone.

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This next video is an example of a Downfall parody. I recently reported on IPR that Downfall parodies are getting taken down from video-sharing sites, so watch this one quick before it gets memory-holed.

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Phoenix Freikorps from Brian Holtz on Vimeo.(image)



Hancock on the virtue of extremism in freedom outreach

2010-05-09T19:55:16.338-07:00

I've been releasing a  a series of reports trying to answer 10 questions posted on IPR for Libertarian National Committee Chair candidate Ernest Hancock.  In researching those reports, I've discovered material that I hadn't yet found when I composed those questions. This new material invites delegates to consider Hancock's judgment in what he thinks constitutes good outreach for the freedom movement.

The article before this one examined Hancock's endorsement of the character of Pastor Steven Anderson.  In his church (where he says "only men speak"), Anderson preaches that God should strike down President Obama for (among other sins) promoting a "sodomite" agenda.  Hancock embraces Anderson for resisting an unjustified search of his vehicle at a highway checkpoint.

The next video focuses on some guns-rights street theater that Hancock cleverly staged on Aug. 17 outside an Obama town hall meeting in Phoenix. In an Aug. 18 interview about it on CNN, Hancock without prompting brought up his involvement in the "Viper Militia" case of 1996. On Aug. 19, MSNBC aired a story about Hancock and the Viper Militia, which below is interleaved with various Hancock comments about revolutionary violence and the importance of being "at least a little uncomfortable" with how radical your positions are:

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Note that Hancock's AR-15-toting friend Chris later went on the Alex Jones radio show to say that he "proudly" attends Pastor Anderson's church, which he calls "the best church in the world".

Hancock himself is a big fan of the Alex Jones DVD Obama Deception, of which he has distributed tens of thousands of free copies as part of his outreach work. For anyone who hasn't seen the whole thing, the following seven minutes might be the parts that make Libertarians "a least a little uncomfortable":

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My question is simple: if Hancock is elected Chair, will Pastor Anderson and the Viper Militia and Obama Deception's conspiracy theories become part of the LP's outreach strategy?(image)



LNC Chair candidate Hancock endorsed character of death-to-Obama preacher

2010-05-06T07:16:59.677-07:00

I've been releasing a  a series of reports trying to answer 10 questions posted on IPR for Libertarian National Committee Chair candidate Ernest Hancock.  In researching those reports, I've discovered material that I hadn't yet found when I composed those questions. The video below interleaves excerpts from 1) Hancock video and radio shows about Pastor Steven Anderson and 2) a YouTube exposé about Anderson. It asks you to consider Hancock's judgment in what he thinks constitutes good outreach opportunities for freedom-oriented activism.

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Update: below are comments I sent to a writer at IPR who considers the above video not to be fair.

My question is simple: with Hancock as Chair, is there a chance that Pastor Anderson is going to show up on LP.org as a poster child for Fourth Amendment rights?

IPR reporters need to ask themselves: is this not a legitimate and fair question to ask in the Chair race?
If the LP were the ACLU, I would of course say that the LP/ACLU should defend Anderson in court.  That's hardly the same thing as saying that this is the case around which the LP should build its public Fourth Amendment advocacy -- as Hancock demonstrably does.

Hancock has at least twice run 10-minute video/radio pieces promoting Anderson as a Fourth Amendment poster child, without a single word describing why Anderson is controversial -- even as he says he gave his audience "a little bit of the background of the type of person" Anderson is.

My video forthrightly quotes Hancock's summary of why Anderson is his Fourth Amendment poster child, and then tells you the things about Anderson that Hancock apparently doesn't want you to know.

My video is not reporting, it's advocacy. That's why I posted it on my blog, and not as an IPR news article. Before delegates give Hancock the authority to put Anderson on LP.org as a Fourth Amendment poster child, I think they deserve to know the whole story about Anderson. IPR will have to decide if they disagree.

If IPR reports on my advocacy, it is of course free to fill in any context that they think is missing from my blog article.

If you don't think the delegates and IPR readers should know about both 1) Hancock's promotion of Anderson's story and 2) Anderson's controversial background, then I guess we just disagree.

If you do agree they should know about it, then I'm agnostic about how that information reaches them.

One way to provide context would be to also include the entire Hancock interview of Anderson (at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Z_tDivKVcQ), and show how Hancock spends 10 minutes talking about Anderson's "character" without mentioning the elephant in the room.(image)



9/11 Truth Becoming An Issue In LNC Chair Race

2010-05-02T10:39:09.094-07:00

A story yesterday on Independent Political Report about the Libertarian National Committee Chair's race has generated a lot of discussion about Chair candidate Ernest Hancock's statement that “if we’re not out there telling the Truth on things like 9/11″ then the LP is “not relevant”.  Here is a comment by Jill Pyeatt, who is on the Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party's largest affiliate, California:We shouldn’t stay away from the 911 Truth issue because it is becoming a force that WILL be reckoned with, sooner or later. Out of respect for a mentor of mine in the party, I kept my 9/11 beliefs quiet when I ran for office in 2008. I find it increasingly difficult to do so, though, because our Iraq and Afghanistan wars are closely tied to the events of that day, and the abominable Patriot Act is also a direct result. Since anti-war is the focus of my activities, I simply won’t keep quiet about the subject any longer.As the new chair of Region 63 (which is the Pasadena/Glendale area of CA), I organized an event last month where an engineer came out from Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth and gave a presentation of WTC Tower 7 and its baffling collapse. We had more guests that night than we have in months, maybe years in Region 63, and many of them were new to the group and the Libertarian party. We made $80, as well! The subject is no longer “verboten”.Tom Blanton was on the LP Virginia Central Committee as recently as 2006, and later was national Chair of the Boston Tea Party.  He wrote in the same discussion:The events of 9/11 have unleashed a shit storm of unprecedented proportion. The size, scope and power of the government has increased at a rate not seen in most of our lifetimes, justified solely on 9/11. The facts of what lead up to 9/11 and why remain shrouded in a cloak of mystery because of government obfuscation. Even if you believe the cover-up exists merely to minimize government incompetence and blowback caused by bad policies, the truth should be known. To say there is no libertarian principle involved in this issue is to say that government accountability should not be addressed.The profile of 9/11 Truth within the LP had already been raised somewhat last October, when Las Vegas police shot and wounded former LP Nevada Chair Jim Duensing, who founded the Libertarians For Justice caucus demanding a new investigation into 9/11.Hancock has long been an advocate for 9/11 Truth, and apparently believes the government can and has purged selected information about 9/11 from the Internet. On Hancock's 2004-05-07 radio show, he talked about the  recollections of air traffic controllers that were recorded soon after 9/11, and how the tapes were soon destroyed by government agents: Then you start doing some searches, and I can't find anything. You see on airlinesafety.com, you go to these obscure things that deal with air traffic, and they'll have a reference to a report that kinda sorta looked at it, but they don't really get into the meat of the story. It's like it's been purged from the Internet, and I'm wondering can they do that? Well, of course they do it. If they can, will they? Of course they will.Two new 9/11-themed posters for the Hancock campaign are now available online:[...]



LNC Chair candidate Hancock on the hardcore 2008 Paul campaign

2010-04-28T22:54:34.057-07:00

Libertarian National Committee Chair candidate Ernest Hancock responded to 10 questions posted on IPR for him by saying they will be answered by videos on a DVD he will be mailing to LP national convention delegates. This is the sixth in a series of reports that will use public video and audio archives to anticipate how those questions could be answered.

Question 7 asked about the libertarian credentials of Ron Paul. This video contrasts 1) what Hancock says about how radical the Ron Paul campaign was with 2) statements Ron Paul made in 2008 about entitlements, gay marriage, sales taxes, abortion, immigration, and defederalizing the drug war.

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Disclaimer: I, Brian Holtz, will likely not be endorsing any candidate in the 2010 LNC Chair race. My articles on that race are intended to address specific concerns that I think many readers and LP delegates would share about the candidates. I of course cherry-pick the material that I report. As a fellow libertarian, I agree with the vast majority of what I’ve read and heard from the Chair candidates in the dozens of hours I’ve spent reviewing their public record. All my reporting has been biased toward highlighting or correcting their possible deviations from what I think a typical big-tent LP member supports. At the same time, my reporting has been entirely factual and never misleading.
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LNC Chair candidate Hancock on Baldwin

2010-04-23T16:59:26.109-07:00

Libertarian National Committee Chair candidate Ernest Hancock responded to 10 questions posted on IPR for him by saying they will be answered by videos on a DVD he will be mailing to LP national convention delegates. This is the fifth in a series of reports that will use public video and audio archives to anticipate how those questions could be answered.

Question 7 asked: Do you still think that in 2008 the Constitution Party nominated “a good hardcore libertarian”? The following video contrasts
  • Hancock talking about the threshold for being considered libertarian
  • Hancock talking about whether 2008 CP nominee Chuck Baldwin is a libertarian
  • various statements and positions taken by Baldwin in his 2008 campaign.
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Note: I will not be endorsing any candidate for LNC Chair. The articles and videos from this series of reports are collected here. The facts in these reports are accurate, but they have obviously been chosen and arranged to highlight concerns about the Chair race that a big-tent LP member (like me) might have.(image)



Geolibertarian Answers To Tough Questions About Libertopia

2010-02-22T08:37:29.891-08:00

http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2010/02/libertarians-criticize-cpac-conservatives/ 1) Government libraries should be privatized by incorporating each of them and distributing the shares among the residents (ideally, the landowners) of the neighborhood/community it serves. If local landowners agree that the library's contribution to their property values is worth its operating costs beyond its usual fees and donations, they can vote to be assessed an ad valorem tax on their land, which re-captures the value the library allegedly adds. If a library is not-for-profit and open to the public, then it would be exempt from the land-value taxes that finance most of government in Libertopia. 2) Along the same lines as government libraries, each government park should be privatized by distributing shares to the residents/landowners of the area it serves.  Conservation groups could buy up shares of parks they are especially interested in preserving.  Not-for-profit parks open to the public would be exempt from land value taxes. Government land that is not already serving as a park should be opened up for homesteading, with homesteaders bidding for leaseholds and subsequently paying a land value tax based on their lease.  If someone offers them more than their current basis for their land-value tax, they either have to sell or raise their land-value tax basis to match the offer.  This of course is the general model of land-value taxation in Libertopia. 3) Pollution is aggression, and should be policed at the most-local practical level of government with Pigovian taxes.  Also, depletion of a natural commons -- oil, minerals, wildlife, aquifers, streams, lakes -- should require a fee paid to the most local level of government that represents the people most impacted by the depletion. 4) There would be no such advantage for wealthy corporations as long as 1) existing assets are distributed as shares to the members of the relevant community  and 2) the natural commons is protected with taxes on pollution, depletion, and site monopolization.  (Taxing "site monopolization" means a land-value tax.) 5) Artificial monopolies, e.g. on oil, are not sustainable and never last.  Natural monopolies -- on physical networks like streets, pipes, and wires -- should indeed be regulated by local associations of the landholders that those monopolies serve.  The distinction between "government" and homeowners' associations will then be -- and indeed should be -- quite blurry. 6) According to the geoist analysis, much of existing inequality stems from 1) appropriation/pollution/depletion of the natural commons without adequate compensation to those whose access rights are thus impaired, and 2) labor being taxed to fund public goods/services that increase the value of land which is mostly owned by non-laborers.  Depending on how the transition is done, the standard anarcholibertarian scenario would indeed very likely bless and exacerbate these two kinds of inequality.  By contrast, the geolibertarian policies described above are designed expressly to restore everyone's equal liberty and equal right of access to the natural commons. For more on geolibertarianism, see http://earthfreedom.net/. [...]



Reagan Libertarianism

2010-02-17T11:03:01.601-08:00

From an interview with Ronald Reagan in the July 1975 issue of Reason magazine: REAGAN: The very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is. Now, I can’t say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call themselves Libertarians in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any political movement there are shades, and there are libertarians who are almost over at the point of wanting no government at all or anarchy. I believe there are legitimate government functions. There is a legitimate need in an orderly society for some government to maintain freedom or we will have tyranny by individuals. The strongest man on the block will run the neighborhood. We have government to insure that we don’t each one of us have to carry a club to defend ourselves. But again, I stand on my statement that I think that libertarianism and conservatism are traveling the same path.The first and most important thing is that government exists to protect us from each other. Government exists, of course, for the defense of the nation, and for the defense of the rights of the individual. Maybe we don’t all agree on some of the other accepted functions of government, such as fire departments and police departments–again the protection of the people.REASON: Are you suggesting that fire departments would be a necessary and proper function of government?REAGAN: Yes. I know that there was a time back in history in which fire departments were private and you insured your house and then had an emblem on the front of your house which identified which company was responsible for protecting it against fire. I believe today, because of the manner in which we live, that, you can make a pretty good case for our public fire departments–because there are very few ways that you can handle fire in one particular structure today without it representing a threat to others.REASON: How would you distinguish “socialized” fire departments and “socialized” fire insurance companies? Or would you be in favor of socialized fire insurance also?REAGAN: No. Nor am I in favor of socialized medicine. But, there’s bound to be a grey area, an area in there in which you ask is this government protecting us from ourselves or is this government protecting us from each other. I don’t believe in a government that protects us from ourselves. I have illustrated this many times by saying that I would recognize the right of government to say that someone who rode a motorcycle had to protect the public from himself by making certain provisions about his equipment and the motorcycle–the same as we do with an automobile. I disagree completely when government says that because of the number of head injuries from accidents with motorcycles that he should be forced to wear a helmet. I happen to think he’s stupid if he rides a motorcycle without a helmet, but that’s one of our sacred rights–to be stupid.REASON: Would you allow anything to go by way of hard core pornography as long as there are willing and consensual buyers?REAGAN: I didn’t want the picture industry doing it. I just think it’s bad business. But I’m opposed to outside censorship.[...]



My Two Cents on the LP Chair Race

2010-02-16T13:55:45.781-08:00

Here's my current two cents on the Chair race.

I love George's centrist libertarianism, and I like a lot of George's ideas about focusing resources on practical politics, but his over-the-top criticisms of other LP leaders (and Ron Paul) have made him a divisive figure -- and not even on ideological grounds.

Mark is more radical than I, but he's a big-tent inclusivist who seems to have little interest in re-opening the ideology/platform wars. I love his description of the LPUS as a service organization, that should cater to more than one type of Libertarian customer.

Wayne is libertarian enough for me if you pick the best passages from his book, and I would love to see him be the LP's chief salesman for a more balanced/centrist libertarianism a la Phillies. Whether the LP should use him as a chief salesman for "Reagan libertarianism" basically depends on how ideologically well-grounded you think the LP is. I know of only one person (Rothbard) who was ever able to personally move the LP's ideology, and Root is no Rothbard. I think the LP's ideology can easily survive Root, but I do worry that he doesn't correctly brand libertarianism as an alternative to both liberalism and conservatism. Also, I worry that he lacks the LP-internal experience to handle the administrative and mediating responsibilities of Chair.

The good that Hancock does for the movement is best done the way he's been doing it, through Freedom's Phoenix. As Chair he would be ideologically and factionally divisive, and there's little reason to think that he could (or should) turn the LP into another Freedom's Phoenix operation.

So my ideal Chair would have Root selling Phillies-style centrist libertarianism while channeling many of Phillies' practical proposals through a Hinkle avatar with Mark's administrative and mediating experience. :-)

But no such candidate is running. So I wonder: can Root be trained to position the LP brand appropriately, and can the LNC/HQ function effectively with him as Chair? People worry about whether Root is using the LP, but I don't worry about that very much at all. Libertarians of all people should recognize that voluntary association is positive-sum. We should blatantly "use" Root as long as we think he is a net positive for LP outreach and branding, and if he stops being so, then we should not hesitate to disca -- I mean, disassociate from him. :-)

I also wonder: why can't Wayne be chief salesman as a Vice Chair? He's already making an impressively prodigious sales effort with no LNC portfolio whatsoever. Hinkle would be much more able than Phillies or Hancock to use Root for LP outreach, and Hinkle would be the least divisive choice for Chair -- and a safe choice as an administrator.

Root was very smart to effectively renounce a 2012 presidential run. If he can improve his antennae about Libertarian branding, and convince us that he can run the LNC/LPHQ, then he will be unstoppable for Chair, and deservedly so. As it stands now, it seems like a toss-up between Root and Hinkle.(image)



Why So Few Women LP Activists?

2010-01-03T14:01:35.415-08:00

http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2010/01/womens-issues-and-third-party-politics/

Carolyn is too polite @6 to describe how bad it can be for single female Libertarians.  And unless she's used surveillance equipment, she probably doesn't even know just how differently many Libertarian men behave around/toward them. But these issues aren't at the beginning of the lines of causation here.  It starts with a culture built around individualism, survivalism, evolutionary psychology, guns, science fiction/fantasy, engineering, computers, technicalities, polemics, one-upsmanship, iconoclasm, conspiracy theories, paranoia, the narcissism of small differences, factionalism, purity-testing, etc.  The end result are demographics and norms so skewed that many Libertarian men wouldn't even understand why our few women aren't flattered by how solicitous some of our men are toward them.

The dynamic seems very similar to that of the engineering/technical world here in Silicon Valley. It's surely exacerbated by the fact that Libertarians explicitly question most of the legal and social norms that our patriarchal society uses to protect/repress females.  Thus I'm impressed that @3 Carolyn can stand up and Just Say No to identity politics.  Still, all of the above shows why it's very important for Libertarian women to seek each other out, both for support and for outreach.  The same is true for Libertarian parents, which reminds me I still need to try to organize a "play date" for other local LP parents of young children.

If (passion for) technology is one of the underlying problems here, perhaps it can help towards a solution, too.  After having worked on Yahoo Personals for eight years, I'm confident that Libertarians could improve our gender ratios through more intensive use of online dating.  Perhaps this advice is itself symptomatic of the problem here, but it's hard to dispute that Libertarians should get better at mating and breeding.
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Michael Badnarik Hospitalized After Heart Attack

2009-12-22T17:45:09.614-08:00

http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/12/breaking-badnarik-reported-hospitalized-after-heart-attack

Michael has been a great advocate for liberty and a great teacher about the Constitution. I hope his heart comes back stronger than ever, so he can keep “lighting the fires of liberty, one heart at a time”.
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Questions For George Phillies

2009-12-21T11:11:34.697-08:00

http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/12/george-phillies-announces-for-national-chair-of-libertarian-party

George, this all sounds very good. I agree with many of your ideas for improving how we spend our money. I also like almost all of what you advocate as Libertarian Centrism. But I’m extremely disturbed when you write things like this (referring to Ron Paul):

As was well known prior to the discovery of his racist newsletters, he is a homophobic bigot, an antiabortionist, a Christian dominionist who believes the Bible trumps the Constitution, an opponent of the Constitution who rejects the 14th amendment etc.

More important, though unsurprisingly, he is a Republican.

The Libertarian Party was founded to establish a party separate from all others. Attempting to use party resources to support a Republican was a gross breach of the fiduciary duties of the national committee.

The LNC had a choice as to whether or not to support homophobia, racism, dominionism, seeking the death of our daughters via back room abortions, not to mention attaching ourselves to a candidate who courted the conspiracy folks on Alex Jones.

They made the wrong choice.

They also sought to recruit this person as our party’s presidential nominee.

They, not Ms. Keaton, should be expelled from the LNC.

My questions:

1) Given your harsh attacks on Ron Paul such as above, how would you be able to position the LP to work with the Tea Party movement, the Campaign For Liberty, etc?

2) You’ve criticized “conservative bigots bleating about ‘Federalism’ and their Jim Crow ’states rights’ doctrine”. Do you believe a libertarian can advocate federalism and decentralism without being a “conservative bigot”?

3) In Dec. 2007 you called for the mass resignation of the LNC for inviting Ron Paul to seek the LP nomination, and said the LNC is guilty of “theft and fraud”. Can you tell us which of the current LNC reps, if any, you do not oppose being re-elected?


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