Archive for December, 2008
A certain former Libertarian Party employee has chosen to violate my well-considered privacy, using my full real name in an article (thus placing my life in more danger); I’m thinking of deleting my online presence as a result, but I haven’t made a final decision.
Sean’s article reveals a portion of my criminal past that I generally neither conceal nor advertise. I can’t argue that I was not on that train. I wasn’t driving it, and I was under considerable duress, but yes, I was at fault for allowing myself to be psychologically manipulated into behaving unethically over a period of time. I shouldn’t have gotten on the train, I should have jumped off many times; but it had considerable momentum and I stayed on it all the way through to the wreck. Everything that happened there would have happened with or without me, but I should not have been there.
Sean claims I am eternally discredited as a result. Of course, some people say the same about him. I don’t think anyone is irredeemable. I’ve gathered from a number of people that I am not so thoroughly discredited as Sean claims. While Sean and some others are free to believe that me falling off the wagon and having a major relapse several years ago, and acting badly as addicts often do, nullifies everything good I have done or could do before or since as a petitioner, activist, or writer, not everyone feels that way.
Personally, I am a great believer in the certainty that all of us are sinners, and all of us can be redeemed – even me, and even Sean. I’ve heard that Christians, of whom if I understand it correctly Sean claims to be one, believe something similar. Not that the concept is limited to one religion.
I’m in the political struggle for my friends who have lost their lives, limbs, liberty, homes, kids, minds, and more in the “war on drugs,” of which there are many. Friends I have lived and laughed with and loved, some of whom saved my life more than once. I want to put my energy into something that will help end that suffering, the police-prison-industrial complex and the closely linked military-industrial-congressional complex, and the whole force-based political paradigm that makes them possible.
I don’t know how Gary and Sean trying to destroy each other, and putting me in the crossfire, possibly helps my goals. As I commented on IPR,
OK, gotta admit this.
This whole thing is wearing me down pretty bad.
I probably shouldn’t say this to give my haters another reason to gloat, but oh well.
I’m in a bad place now with my finances, health, emotionally…and things are looking to get a lot worse.
I’m trying hard to be positive, and failing.
If I have any real friends or people who care about me who are reading, other than the ones I have been talking to already, please give me a phone call.
For those of you who hate me, congratulations.
Go ahead, gloat away.
Since then, several people have contacted me, and have been helpful. I am grateful for their help.
I’m in no way trying to deny my share of the blame in anything. Just trying to do better. I hope everyone else at least tries to, as well.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Festivus for the rest of us, or solstice holiday of your choice, and a better new year to all you saints and sinners; thanks for reading, and be blessed.
Exchange with Dave Schwab at GreenChange.
Subject: Libertarian Greens?
I just read the commentary you posted about the Libertarian Party turning into a free-market conservative vehicle. Very interesting. I’ve noticed that you post both Green and Libertarian related articles – do you belong to both?
p] I’m a life member of the Libertarian Party and a region rep for several counties in Alabama.
I don’t formally belong to any Green Party organization right now, but I’ve been getting more involved with Green activities the last few months – attended the national meeting in Chicago, write articles at IPR and sometimes GPW. You should be aware however, that not all articles I post at IPR represent my own views – I post a variety of opinions from and about independents and alternative parties.
As it so happens, I do indeed share the concerns of the author of that article, except that he has already quit the LP and I am still involved in it. But I make no secret of being involved in other parties as well. I’m also a petitioner, and I have worked with the Greens – I and people I brought in got Arkansas Greens on the ballot in 2006 and 2008, and I tried to help out the Utah Greens, but got there too late to make the difference.
I’ve heard of left libertarians, are there also green libertarians?
p] Yes. Roderick Long has a couple of good articles that address these two topics. They are long, but I highly recommend reading them:
deals with left and right issues relating to libertarianism in a way I agree with
relates to Green-Libertarian fusion – the short summary I would provide is that libertarianism is a philosophy of means: the non-initiation of coercion principle, see
whereas Green politics is defined by ends: the ten key values, and the best application of both is using libertarian means to achieve green ends – in other words, there is no contradiction. Long goes into detail about how exactly this works.
I also studied environmental geography in college and belonged to an environmental club in college, and worked briefly for a PIRG going door to door back in 1989 when I was 17 years old – so I have been into environmental issues for a long time.
I’ve sometimes wondered about making the Green Party appealing to Libertarians, but I always figured that issues like climate change and free trade would preclude much cooperation.
p] It depends on what you want to do about climate change – I don’t think the government is the best organization to solve any real problem we have. For instance, I would agree that terrorism, poverty, and drug abuse are real problems, but I don’t see all the government money spent to solve them as doing so.
On the other hand, there is much that government could do by way of getting out of the way to help solve climate change and other environmental problems: ceasing actions such as corporate welfare, corporate personhood, nonconcensual limited liability, military-industrial complex actions on behalf of petrochemical interests, prohibition of hemp…and less obvious ones, such as the disproportionate impact taxes and regulations have on new and startup businesses that could challenge prevailing ways of doing things.
As for free trade, I’m for it – but not globally managed trade, with book-length agreements and enforcement bureaucracies, which is deceptively called free trade, and not with the aforementioned corporate personhood, non-concensual limited liability, corporate welfare, etc., that in my view greatly distorts the would-be natural ecology of a true free trade system.
On the other hand, if it’s true that the LP is following in the footsteps of Mr. Barr, then I can see left libertarians finding the GP to be a stronger advocate for equal rights, civil liberties, ending the drug war, reproductive choice, and other issues that people care about.
What do you think?
p] I think there is much in the way of potential there, but it would by no means be easy. With your permission, I would like to post our exchange thus far.
Dave writes back:
Thanks for the reply, and the links. I look forward to reading them soon.
Feel free to post our exchange on the sites you mentioned. It seems like the fur is still flying at LP meetings, but if the right-wingers take over, it might be worth looking into how to welcome left libertarians into the Green tent.
I also wonder about issues like a carbon tax, progressive taxation schemes, and fuel efficiency requirements, and the general preference among Greens for community decision-making in areas that recent government actors have treated as the domain of private interests, such as logging in public forests or offshore drilling. Basically, if government intervention is the only feasible way to conserve the environment, can libertarians make peace with that?
The LNC resolution which “calls on the government of the United States to withdraw the armed forces of the United States from Afghanistan, without undue delay”, is at http://www.lp.org/news/press-releases/lnc-passes-afghanistan-resolution:
At the September meeting of the Libertarian National Committee, the following resolution was passed:
WHEREAS the government of the United States should return to its historical libertarian tradition of avoiding entangling alliances, foreign quarrels, and military adventures; and
WHEREAS the stability and security of Afghanistan lie outside the jurisdiction of the government of the United States; and
WHEREAS the Libertarian Party recognizes that the only legitimate role of the military is to defend America against direct attack or the imminent threat of attack;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Libertarian National Committee calls on the government of the United States to withdraw the armed forces of the United States from Afghanistan, without undue delay.
At LewRockwell.com blog, Eric Garris writes:
Today the Libertarian Party national website, LP.org, has posted a poll on their front page:
Should more troops be sent to Afghanistan?
The correct libertarian position is, of course, withdraw US troops from Afghanistan. This is not an option on the poll. Someone who holds the correct libertarian position must be satisfied with voting “no,” along with those who want to “stay the course” in Afghanistan.
Does this mean we can expect coming LP polls like this:
Should income taxes be increased?
Should penalties against marijuana users be increased?
If you are an LP member, you might want to tell the national office and the national national committee members (two totally separate entities) how you feel about this: