Archive for April, 2009

After the longest dry spell of work that I’ve had in my business since I’ve been in it (1998), where I have been sitting on my hands and pretty much living at IPR (not an actual paying job) since September, I’m finally hitting the road today. I don’t know how much internet I will have – I have no laptop – so call me if you need to get a hold of me.

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Posted at Progressive Historians by Winter Rabbit:

The sterilizations of indigenous women were covert means of the continuation of the extermination policy against the Indian Nations. At least three indigenous generations from 3,406 women are not in existence now as the result. The sterilizations were not unintentional or negligible. They were genocide. What would the indigenous culture and political landscape be now? One can only imagine, but the sterilizations like the relocations – were forced.

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h/t Cork

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I’m not going to do the LP’s work for them, but the gist of it is that they called the Obama cuts out as bullshit in their latest Monday message. And indeed it is:

Obama’s budget calls for around $11,755.00 in spending for every man, woman and child in America. But his “cuts” — which aren’t even new reductions — come out to only around 32.7 cents per person.

That much isn’t really news-the time has long since passed when the word “millions” as applied to the federal budget lost any real importance. However, what did catch my eye, after the usual dime’s-worth-of-difference propaganda, was the list of 12 specific items in the budget suggested as cuts:

Here are just a few of the reductions we back. You can find more in the Cato Institute’s “Handbook for Policymakers, Seventh Edition.”

• Avert the oncoming fiscal crisis in Social Security by indexing initial benefits to changes in prices, instead of wages. Saves $47 billion annually by 2018. Without reforms like this, the program will go bankrupt or force trillions of dollars in destructive new taxes or borrowing.
• Turn Medicare into a block grant and freeze federal spending, forcing states to pursue cost-cutting reforms. Saves $227 billion annually by 2018.
• Eliminate the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration, a $352 million corporate welfare program.
• Eliminate the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, another $369 million in corporate welfare.
• Eliminate the Energy Department’s nuclear energy research programs, $695 million in welfare that should be undertaken by nuclear energy investors.
• Turn Head Start over to private charities, saving $687 million annually. Since its inception Head Start has shown no substantive increase in inner-city literacy rates.
• Eliminate the Bureau of Indian Affairs, saving nearly $2.5 billion a year.
• Eliminate funding for the United Nations and other international programs, saving nearly $1.6 billion annually.
• Eliminate the Legal Services Corporation, saving $350 million annually.
• Eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, $278 million a year in welfare for wealthy arts patrons.
• Eliminate the Small Business Administration, $530 million in welfare for businesses.
• Eliminate the $935 million a year in Postal Service subsidies and force them to further privatize operations.

Those are just a few cuts, a “twelve step program” if you will, which alone save taxpayers $282.3 billion. That comes out to $921.78 in savings for every man, woman and child in America, and there would be a lot more savings than that to come with even more reductions.

Compare that to Obama’s piddling 32.7 cents.

That’s not bad, but I would submit that the math is a little fuzzy there. You can’t know exactly what the Medicare reform would save, especially since there would be fifty different solutions to how to deal with those block grants. Some states might choose to supplement falling federal funding with more state funding, keeping the net amount of taxation even or even increasing it as far as that state is concerned.

Also, I don’t particularly care how much a given plan saves me in 2018, I want to know what it saves NOW. I also want to know whether those numbers are accounting for inflation… is that $282.3 billion in today’s dollars or 2018 dollars?

Also, not every last one of those cuts is a good idea from a libertarian point of view. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is the price we rightfully pay every year for the intermontane West. The treaties concluded with those tribes guarantees them various payments in exchange for the cession of land. All I’m gonna say is that if you’re a libertarian and you believe in keeping your word, you can cancel that funding but be prepared to hand North and South Dakota over to the Lakota, Arizona to the Hopi and Navajo, etc. Those treaties are law, not polite suggestions to be ignored when they’re inconvenient for the budget.

I’m all for a general reformation of the way we treat Native Americans in this country, namely restoring to them whatever land and sovereignty we can via new treaties with their tribal governments. But that’s going to take a lot of research and a lot of negotiation and is beyond the scope of a single unilateral budget cut during a recession.

But anyway, my main point is that it looks like the Cato Institute is aiming to become the next Center for American Progress. CAP did a lot of homework for the incoming Obama administration, giving it several well-articulated policy proposals to implement. CAP won the war of ideas against the neocon think-tanks sometime in 2005, and more and more that intellectual reality became reality for the rest of us.

It is said that in the short term, the stock market is a voting machine; but in the long term it is a weighing machine. In that same sense, in the short term American politics is a battle of parties and personalities; but in the long term it is a battle of ideas. You can win for a time without ideas, so long as you have a well-oiled propaganda machine. The GOP proved this for the past 8 years. But you cannot hope to win in the long term without ideas on your side.

The Cato Institute has seemingly appreciated CAP’s role in the ascent of Obama, and is positioning itself to be the thinktank responsible for the eventual GOP comeback. I think this would be an excellent development, especially as the neocons are in disarray. I do believe that Obama will eventually discredit himself if he allows the spending to spiral out of control, and at that point, we have our moment, our victory in the war of ideas, and it’s just a matter of letting reality catch up.

(Crossposted at my personal blog)

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Tom Knapp for President campaign update

Posted by Tom Knapp at Kn@ppster. Reposted to IPR by Paulie.

It should have been obvious to me that using KN@PPSTER as a presidential campaign site wasn’t going to work, even from the start. That became more clear to me when I began planning campaign events and had to think about how attendees at those events would react after I (hopefully) wowed them in person, with professional literature, etc., then sent them here.

So, time to head back into “real campaign site” territory. It’s skeletal — I’ve just started populating it with some relatively recent articles and haven’t buckled down to getting my position paper suite together yet — but it’s there (and thanks to an in-kind contributor, the header image is great!).

Some updates:

– This weekend, I’ll be attending the Missouri Libertarian Party’s state convention and hosting a hospitality suite Saturday evening at the convention hotel. If you’re attending the convention, or just happen to be in the Jefferson City area, drop in for a drink and some conversation!

– OK, folks, you’re finally going to get a book out of me. Working title: Unnecessary Evils: Handbook for a New American Revolution. I’m already writing away at it and expect to publish it next spring.

Boston Tea Party at Kansas TEA Party

Posted by Jim Davidson at http://www.bostontea.us/node/663. Reposted to IPR by Paulie.

I attended the Tax Day Tea Party in Overland Park, Kansas on Wednesday. It was much fun.

According to the local Fox Snooze affiliate, there were a thousand people there. I did see a helicopter overhead, probably from Channel 9, so someone might even have counted the crowd.

There were all kinds of people there, from Vietnam veterans to Iraq war veterans in age, some very elderly, many young children. There were mostly white people, but the region is pretty pale. I did see a number of Hispanic folks and some other ethnic minorities.

My favorite protester war a pink pig outfit. It was fun to stand near the police and shout, “Look at the pig!” Then point at the one in the pink outfit. -smile-

I was able to pass out about 200 flyers for “Lawrencians for Liberty” including “Campaign for Liberty” and Boston Tea Party contact particulars. I also passed out around 200 flyers for http://www.alongsidenight.com/ the new agorism revolution project.

In Colorado Springs for the von Mises Circle earlier this month I was given by one of the organisers a stack of “Audit the Fed” flyers from the Campaign for Liberty, so I passed those out, too. Then it was off to the street to wave my sign at passing motorists. There was huge enthusiasm from the cars – lots of waving and horn honking and cheering.

My sign said, “No more taxes, No more wars, End the bailouts, End the war on drugs” on one side, and “Go Ron Paul” on the other.

Many people asked about the fliers and one had even read J. Neil Schulman’s book “Alongside Night.” She was excited to hear about the plan to make it into a film.

There were two sets of speeches, both with amplification. For a while, I stood between the two sets of speakers and had one blaring in my left ear, nearly canceling out every word blaring in my right. Many speakers introduced themselves and none stick out in my mind.

A politician was there with an “end the bailouts” petition. Many people signed that, including me, and many signed up at the Kansas City tea party booth, including me. So, I should get more e-mail, and that’s always swell.

There were many police but no violence. Many different messages were presented, and I was amused by quite a few.

If you missed out, and plan to be in the Kansas City area, check out the End the Fed rally coming up later this month.

If you plan to be in Lawrence, we’re doing two “Films for Action.” One is “America: Freedom to Fascism” this coming Sunday the 19th of April at the Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas student union. The other is some “Money Masters” thing, which is critical of the Federal Reserve but, as I recall, promotes the completely idiotic approach of having Congress print money.

You should really get involved. It is the revolution of our time.

Get a shirt or something to declare your affiliation:

Removal of Lee Wrights from Libertarian National Committee appealed to Judicial Committee

Emailed to contact.ipr@gmail.com. Posted to IPR by Paulie. See previous IPR coverage for background.


Subject: I have received an appeal to an action you have taken in your roles as Secretary and Chair of the Libertarian Party

Chair Redpath and Secretary Sullentrup,

In my capacity as Chief Justice of the Libertarian Party Judicial Committee, I am in receipt of an appeal of your actions suspending Lee Wrights from his position on the National Committee. I am forwarding the appeal and supporting documents to you in 3 additional emails.

Article 8, Section 5 describes the process we will be undertaking. Please send your responses to me and I will distribute them to the other members of the Judicial Committee. The sooner I receive your responses, the sooner we can move through the process, so I thank you for all due speed.

I will keep you appraised of our actions.

For Liberty,

Ruth E. Bennett

Chief Justice

Libertarian Party

Judicial Appeal

Jurisdictional Claim. Article 8, Section 5 and Article 9, Section 2c of the Bylaws of the Libertarian Party, give the Judicial Committee the power to hear appeals on the suspension of National Committee members-at-large. I was elected to an At-Large position at our 2008 Denver convention and was recently suspended without the prerequisite vote of the LNC. I am formally appealing this action.

Basis of Appeal On April 14 of this year, I was notified by the Secretary Bob Sullentrup (Exhibit 1 sent in follow-up e-mail) that 1) my membership dues ?lapsed? as of April 7; and 2) I was taken off the LNC as of April 8 because I was no longer a sustaining member as required by Article 8, Section 4 of the bylaws.

My suspension was not the result of a ?for cause? vote by the LNC, as required by Article 8, Section 5 of the bylaws. Instead, it apparently was made by the Secretary and affirmed by Chair Bill Redpath.

Libel and Slander. The advertising process for my replacement began within minutes of notifying me of my suspension (Exhibit 2 sent in follow-up e-mail) and included the Secretary?s notice to me (Exhibit 1). In that notice, the Secretary mentions a statement presumably made by me at the last LNC meeting that I ?would never again give a dime to this Party.? He concluded, based on that statement, that I deliberately withheld my dues. I never made such a statement.

Financial Endangerment of the Libertarian Party. The Secretary?s notice, along with the fabricated statement was sent out to the State Chair?s list asking for nominations for my ?vacated? seat. Consequently, as illustrated below, some individuals believed that I had was rebelling and decided to join me by repudiating their membership as well (http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/04/applicants-sought-for-lnc-vacancy/comment-page-1/#comment-54731):

John // Apr 14, 2009 at 7:22 pm
It?s about time a true radical showed some true leadership and told the LP to *&%$ off. What a brilliant move! The Boston Tea Party could do well with men like Lee at the helm.

Outlander // Apr 14, 2009 at 7:55 pm
Lee has always been one of my heroes, but never more than today! The national lp is not worth the money. I just sent an email to the national lp office resigning my membership too. If Lee goes to the boston tea party, I?ll follow.

beetlejuice // Apr 14, 2009 at 8:10 pm
Real leaders, like Lee, show the way by their principled actions, not by pontificating about what others should do. Either the LP will take this as a warning and give up trying to be Republican-lite or more long time activists will follow Lee, hopefully over to the BTP, but surely somewhere good in the libertarian movement.

Fearing an exodus of my supporters from the LP, I went on the blogs and explained that this was a clerical snafu; I had never gotten the snail-mail renewal notices because I?ve been moving around a lot lately. I even posted the confirmation notice I received from paying my dues on April 14, the date I was notified of the delinquency. Had I not done this, I fear that the false information conveyed by the Secretary would have resulted in a loss of membership and contributions for the LP.

Summation. I believe that my suspension from the LNC was in violation of our bylaws. The manner in which it was done endangered the Libertarian Party?s membership and financial roster and is still creating division.

Unfortunately, I have no choice but to appeal my suspension. An e-mail vote to overturn the Chair?s ruling or reinstate me takes at least 2 weeks; the bylaws give me one week to appeal.

In addition, I do not wish this precedent to permit a sitting At-Large member to face suspension because their dues are late. LNC members commit a great deal of time and money to serve; it seems illogical and unappreciative to overturn their election by convention delegates because of a late $25 dues payment.

If you require more information from me to facilitate this appeal, please do not hesitate to call (336-403-1036) or write ( rleewrights@gmail.com ).

Submitted respectfully to the chair of the LP National Judicial Committee,

R. Lee Wrights, At-large

Not my post, but me, Ross Levin and Gregg Jocoy on the first installment of IPR radio. If anyone else listens to it, I’d be interested in your take on the issues discussed. Some of the discussion takes place after significant dead air gaps.

Libertarian Party Newsletter California Freedom: Peace and Glasnost

Article published in California Freedom, the monthly newsletter of the Libertarian Party of California, by editor Thomas Sipos; found at his blog, Libertarian Peacenik. Posted to IPR by Paulie.

My editorial, in the April 2009 issue of California Freedom:

When Mikhail Gorbachev became Soviet dictator in 1985, he announced a policy of glasnost, which has been translated as “openness.” He meant that Soviet media should freely promote a diversity of opinions, rather than parrot the party line. Party decision-making should be transparent. Criticism of party leaders should be welcome. Citizens’ opinions should be heard, however “negative.”

I’ve been told that I shouldn’t discuss America’s foreign interventions. I should only print material that “all libertarians agree on,” otherwise I’m being “divisive.” I shouldn’t cover LNC meetings, or disagreements and embarrassments, or debate and discussion. I should only print “positive” stories. Doing otherwise violates CF‘s Mission Statement.

Yes, CF has a MS. Here it is:

CF is the official publication of the LPC. Its purpose is to promote and enhance the political success of the party. To accomplish this it provides an informative and entertaining blend of political news, analysis, features and advertising for its members. Its content focuses on: 1. California events, rather than national; 2, Externally oriented politics, not internal debate; 3. Our successes, rather than our disappointments; 4 Libertarian analysis of political positions enjoying support from the mainstream of California voters; 5. Practical guidance on winning elections and changing public policy.”

At the 2007 LPC convention, I asked Elizabeth Brierly about the MS’s origins. She told me that Bruce Cohen had asked her to draft a MS to guide future editors. Elizabeth prepared a first draft, which went round robin between herself, Bruce, and Aaron Starr, with the two gentlemen offering changes until the MS met their specifications.

ExCom approved the MS on August 20, 2005.

Like a Constitution, a MS must be interpreted. To say that CF‘s content “focuses on” X rather than Y can mean either that X articles/LTEs should predominate over Y articles/LTEs (the free speech-oriented interpretation); or that X should exclude Y (the restrictive interpretation).

It’s been suggested that my coverage of LNC activities violates the rule against “internal debate.” Why? Perhaps because it’s an “internal” (party business) rather than “external” (election campaign) matter.

But if we interpret “focus” so restrictively, CF could not promote or cover party conventions. Conventions are “internal.” Yet I assume that, even post-MS, CF always covered libertarian conventions, state and national.

Clearly, there is no absolutist ban on covering “internal” matters.

Perhaps the problem is with “debate”? I may cover “internal” matters, but not debate about internal matters. Actions by party leaders may be reported, but not questioned.

No, I can’t believe that’s what the 2005 ExCom intended, despite some party leaders distaste for glasnost. (One reason the LNC persecuted Angela Keaton was for her live blogging the September 2008 LNC meeting to the membership.)

I interpret the MS’s phrase “focuses on” to mean that X material should predominate over Y (comprising a majority of CF‘s content), but not exclude Y. Certainly, antiwar is a position “enjoying support from the mainstream of California voters.”

I would like to print more about county LP events and election campaigns, but I’m getting few submissions. I assume we’re in a post-election year doldrum. If you want to read about “California events,” then write it. I can’t publish what I don’t get.

Finally, I was told that CF should not print discussion or debate about contentious party issues, because those are properly left to the conventions. The problem is, many members aren’t aware of internal controversies unless they’re reported. If they don’t know, they may not attend the convention. This creates the risk that party business will be ceded to well-organized minority factions.

I have changed the tone of CF from two years ago. I hope I’ve brought glasnost to it. Transparency about party matters, and openness to debate, may bring “divisiveness” and “negativity.” But it would be ironic if a libertarian publication had less glasnost than the late Soviet Union.

* We’re All Demopublicans Now

On March 9, Donny Ferguson, LNC Director of Communications, sent out a mass email, writing: “the most important principle is winning” and “There is nothing more noble and principled than winning an election” and “winning elections is the most important libertarian principle there is.” These sentences were boldfaced and underlined to emphasize his theme.

Winning is also the Demopublicans’ most cherished principle; all other principles are negotiable. Seems the LNC has just equated Demopublicans with Libertarians.

Susan Hogarth reprints Ferguson’s article, with her reply.

* Libertarian Muslims

In every war, The Other is demonized. I’ve never confused Russians with Communists, or Germans with Nazis, yet always, some self-styled patriots will conflate the actions of some with an entire race, religion, or ethnicity.

It needs repeating: most Arabs and Muslims are not terrorists. Some are libertarians. Their website: Minaret.org.

* Independent Political Report

A critic accuses me of insisting on the last word. He’s miffed that I replied to one of his articles.

He’s also wrong. Many of my editorials are sprinkled with urls. Rather than have the last word, I often give you “heads up” on key issues, then send you off to research further.

I often refer you to Independent Political Report.

This is the current “hot spot” for discussions (and flame wars) about the LP. Party leaders post here. LNC meetings are posted — while in progress. The site is uncensored, unmoderated, and easy to post to. Anonymously, if you wish.

Glasnost indeed!

* Rob Power Resigns

Rob Power resigned from ExCom at the conclusion of their March meeting. He writes that he “went to Long Beach with every intention of resigning” and he “merely signed” his resignation letter at the meeting’s conclusion. He adds, “I’m going to be writing a detailed explanation of why I decided to resign.”

Power’s term was to expire in 2010. Now there’ll be an additional At-Large seat to fill at the Visalia convention.

* Late March Issue

The March CF went out late. I finished it in February, but I have no say when issues are printed or go online. Even so, I’m sorry the Riverside LP meeting notice ran late. I advise future LP event notices to be submitted way in advance.

* Libertarian Peacenik

If you can’t get enough of my long, rambling, “antiwar obsessive” editorials, visit me at: Libertarian Peacenik.

Peace. Glasnost.

Brian’s response. Actually, he posted it himself, which goes against IPR rules, so I had to switch in my name.

Libertarian Party of California Executive Committee member (and IPR reporter) Brian Holtz has published the following reply to the editorials in the last three issues of the LPCA newsletter California Freedom. The annual LPCA convention is April 24-26 in Visalia.

Tom Sipos was very careful in January to invest LPCA newsletter space in a picture of multi-decade LP activist/leader Aaron Starr with a Hitler mustache, but CF readers saw absolutely nothing there about the eight most serious charges against Sipos’s hero Angela Keaton (to each of which I give a paragraph at http://more.libertarianintelligence.com/2008/12/apology-angela-should-offer.html). Now Sipos claims he was practicing “glasnost” and “transparency” in his “reporting” about e.g. an LNC meeting he didn’t even attend (though held only a couple hours from where he lives). My own blog posting about the San Diego meeting (http://libertarianintelligence.com/2008/12/lnc-tightens-belt-defuses-keaton-bomb.html) was much more balanced and accurate than Sipos’s editorial, and I wasn’t even using LPCA paper/postage or drawing an LPCA paycheck.

Nobody has told Sipos he “shouldn’t discuss America’s foreign interventions”. During Bruce Cohen’s two-year tenure, CF ran five pieces featuring opposition to intervention, and zero pieces in defense of libervention in general or the Iraq invasion in particular. Sipos in his first three issues ran six anti-intervention pieces, and the two opposing pieces he ran were accompanied by two instant Sipos rebuttals — thus totaling 8 antiwar pieces in those 3 issues. His pace has continued unabated since then, and he has proudly said that this internally controversial subject will continue to be his editorial focus.

Nobody has Told Sipos he should “only print material that ‘all libertarians agree on'” or that “party leaders may not be questioned”. It’s even sillier to pretend that advice against emphasizing party schisms is somehow a ban on covering normal party business like conventions. These are all straw men crafted by somebody who never has to worry about the same-page instant-rebuttal that in CF he reserves for himself — sometimes taking even more space than what he is answering. (Don’t be surprised that if this message appears in CF it is accompanied by yet another same-page Sipos rebuttal of some sort. That’s the sort of “last word” I said he reserves for himself, and no other recent CF editor has assumed such same-issue rebutting privileges.)

Sipos selectively takes one sentence out of context from one of an entire series of LPHQ communications, and pronounces Donny Ferguson a “Demopublican”. Donny Ferguson is in fact a dedicated and talented young political operative who could be even more personally successful if he weren’t so principled and selective in his employment. Read the entire paragraph that Sipos butchers in order to smear Donny:

“Here’s the beautiful thing about having political power. It’s a zero-sum game. If you’re in office, even if you don’t have the votes to repeal anything, the high-tax Democrat or the deficit-spending Republican aren’t there to vote for more government. There is nothing more noble and principled than winning an election.”

Thus while Donny is in fact saying that the most principled thing is to stop Demopublican growers of government, Sipos wants you to think that Donny himself is no better than a Demopublican.

Mr. Sipos, let us not assassinate this lad further. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

Well, those are all my libertarian posts at IPR today. I did a bunch more on other parties. The fun part is the comments; check ’em out by going to the links for each article. And maybe leave some here too, while you are at it…

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Rick Perry has recently spoken out about Texas seceding from the Union. From the New York Times:

“When we came into the Union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “My hope is that America, and Washington in particular, pay attention. We’ve got a great Union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, who knows what may come of that?”

Democrats have already begun making disapproving noises:

State Senator Rodney Ellis, a Houston Democrat, said Mr. Perry had not only opened himself to ridicule but also evoked a time most Texans would rather forget. “Texas has become a hotbed of right-wing political activity,” Mr. Ellis said, “but I think even those folks on the far right think this is over the top.”

And Perry has already begun to backtrack:

After the rallies, Perry downplayed his secession comments, amending them in an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram to say, “I’m trying to make the Obama Administration pay attention to the 10th Amendment.”

So what’s the whole point of this? It’s just another Republican establishment figure going out on a limb to try to grab the Ron Paul constituency before what looks to be a nasty primary fight. Of course, the fact that at least part of the GOP now has to sound like hardcore libertarians on what used to be considered fringe issues can be considered encouraging to the movement.

I don’t know a whole lot about Perry’s record in Texas, so I don’t know if he’s a worthwhile politician and therefore worthy of our support. I would tend to suspect he’s not, just on general principle when dealing with Republicans.

But this, and the broader 10th Amendment movement in general, does represent a sea change in libertarian thought. Back in 2006, the Libertarian Party had a vicious fight between the Radical Caucus and the Reform Caucus. Reform ended up winning, but it seems like a lot of the people in the Radical Caucus ended up reappearing in Ron Paul’s presidential bid in 2008, in the GOP. And now, as an effective component of the Paul wing of the GOP, they are sounding more credible and wield more political power than they could have had by winning the fight for the LP in 2006. Maybe Michael Medved was right.

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Tea Party roundup

Posted at IPR here and here:

From The Raw Story by David Edwards and John Byrne:

As conservatives coalesce in nationwide protests against rising taxes, government spending and what they call the “bailout mentality” of President Barack Obama’s Administration, the ship appears to have sprung a leak.

Speaking on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show Tuesday evening, Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) media coordinator Steve Gordon decried what he characterized as an attempt by mainstream conservative Republicans to hijack a long-cherished libertarian cause. Paul was a longshot candidate for the Republican presidential nomination last year.

Gordon brought Maddow a gift of Southern tea bags — using them as a metaphor for what he said was a Southern version of conservatism, sweetened by taxes and deficit spending.

Gordon singled out former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Georgia native, and Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.

“Newt Gingrich is a good example,” Gordon said. “He could be one of these two tea bags because he likes his tea bags sweetened with TARP [Troubled Asset Relief Program] funding. This other one could be Mike Huckabee, ‘Tax Hike Mike’ because he likes his tea bag sweetened with tax increases. So you see we’ve got a bunch of republican, senior Republican officials in the deep south who can’t tell if their tea bags are swinging from the left or the right.”

Last year, supporters of Paul’s presidential campaign tried to fly a blimp to Boston, where they planned to dump tea in the Boston harbor.

The media coordinator for the Texas Republican says that Republicans have “co-opted” their message.

“Newt Gingrich of all people should not be involved in any movement to decrease deficit spending,” Gordon quipped.

Gordon spoke about a specific Alabama protest event where the conservative 501 (c)(3) Freedom Works tried to set up a rally in Birmingham where “nobody showed up,” but said that his own rally was more successful.

“It’s important the people at the grassroots level stick to our guns and say no when they try to co-opt our message,” Gordon said.

Gordon told The Washington Independent Tuesday, “Bringing in someone like Gingrich takes away from the message. Newt Gingrich enabled George W. Bush, he enabled the big spending, he lobbied conservative Republicans to compromise their principles and support Medicare Part D.”

This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast Apr. 14, 2009.

Download video via RawReplay.com

Here are some of the posters from the Georgia Libertarians discussed in the video, posted at Atlanta’s Creative Loafing:

Over at http://www.bostontea.us/, Jim Davidson writes

It is with a heavy heart that I report that one of our vice presidential candidates in 2008, Marilyn Chambers, has passed away.

Her story here.

Today we have 1,339 members on this site. We have 1,297 members of our largest Facebook group. Please ask your friends and family to join our party – committed to a smaller government on all issues and at all levels.

Many Tax Day Tea Parties are planned for this week, and another round of End the Fed rallies are planned next week. Get involved. The freedom you save might be your own.

Meanwhile, Carla Howell, a former Libertarian Party candidate who got 12% of the vote against Ted Kennedy for US Senate in 2000 and ran End The Income Tax initiatives in Massacusetts in 2002 and 2008, delivered this speech on April 15, 2009 at the TEA Party Event in Boston:

“I did NOT come here to Protest.

“I did NOT come here to try to change the minds of Democratic or Republican officeholders in Washington – or on Beacon Hill.

“I came here to change politics in America – just like the American Patriots who gave us the first Boston Tea Party.

“The Original Boston Tea Party was NOT a Protest.

“Let me say that again: the Original Boston Tea Party was NOT a Protest.

“The Patriots did NOT just hold up signs, give speeches, and complain.

“The Patriots stopped British ships from unloading Monopoly British Tea – their version of AIG.

“The American Patriots blocked the collection of taxes.

“That is why the Boston Tea Party mattered – and why we remember it today.

“Because it was direct political action, not just protest.

“And it was action that made government smaller.

“Those great American Patriots realized that
what they said and what they wrote – changed nothing.

“But action changes everything.

“Not just any action. Action that shrinks Big Government.

“They were right!

“Deeds, NOT just words.

“Direct political action, NOT just protest.

“Action that moves us forward, that moves us closer to small government – NOT the no-win strategy of holding the line, or just opposing more Big Government.

“This is the lesson of the first Boston Tea Party.

“Now it is our turn to live the lesson.

“Let me ask you a few questions.

“Do you believe that the Wall Street bailout is insane?

“Do you believe that the massive federal government borrowing is hurting your business and your family?

“Do you believe that government is too big?

“Do you believe government debt is too high?

“Do you believe government spending is too high?

“Do you believe taxes are too high?

“Now let me ask you the questions inspired by the Original Boston Tea Party:

“Are YOU willing to take political action?

“Are YOU willing to END the Big Government Insanity – and start voting to make government smaller than it is today?

“Are YOU willing to vote against every Big Government candidate – in every election?

“Now here’s the really hard question: Are you willing to vote against them even when you hate the other Big Government candidate more?

“Are you willing to vote FOR small government candidates and FOR small government ballot initiatives?

“Most political candidates who tell you they’re against Big Government, who tell you they are for ‘smaller government’ talk your way — and vote the opposite. They vote for tax increases, debt increases, spending increases, and more Big Government programs. They vote for each year’s higher government spending. Their votes raise your taxes.

“The only way we can protect ourselves against these phonies and fakers is to ASSUME THAT EVERY ELECTED OFFICIAL IN AMERICA IS GUILTY OF VOTING BIG GOVERNMENT – UNTIL OR UNLESS HE PROVES HIMSELF INNOCENT by showing you his voting record. By proving to you that he voted small government while in office.

“Are you willing to vote against every officeholder who refuses to show you their voting record?

“To reclaim the American Dream, we must vote out every Big Government officeholder in our federal, state, and local governments. Every one. Democrat AND Republican.

“But we must NOT stop there.

“We must vote FOR candidates who campaign for, promise, and vote to reduce and remove today’s Big Government social and economic programs – and GIVE BACK EVERY DOLLAR SAVED TO THE TAXPAYERS.

“We must vote for candidates who campaign for, promise, and vote to reduce and END government borrowing, reduce and remove government overspending and waste. Starting now. Small government candidates who will give back every dollar saved to the taxpayers.

“We must vote for small government candidates.

“We must vote FOR ballot initiatives that shrink Big Government.

“Candidates and ballot initiatives that cut or end taxes.

“Candidates and ballot initiatives that drive down today’s Big Government spending.

“Just protesting Big Government will never give us what we want. Voting against Big Government will. Voting FOR Small Government will.

“Every Election. Every time. No exceptions. No excuses.

“This is the ONLY way we can fulfill the promise of the Original Boston Tea Party.

“I’m Carla Howell. I head the Center For Small Government. We’re on your side. Please join us.

“Because ‘small government is possible’.”

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I’m back.

Hi dudes. I’m Stu, the guy who founded Last Free Voice. After an extended sabbatical from blogging, I’m back and ready to rumble.

I’ll be blogging here and on my new personal blog, and maybe, God willing, on Last Free Voice too. Politically, I guess I’d be best described as a left-leaning geolibertarian. I generally either vote Libertarian, don’t vote at all, or vote for Ron Paul and his supporters in the GOP. That said, I’ve got quite a bit of respect for Obama, and occasionally agree with him from time to time. I’m a utilitarian, a rationalist and a skeptic except in matters of religion, and I look forward to posting up some articles here and getting back into the swing of things.

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The Antelope Valley Tea Party – Or – A Republican Circle Jerk

I hope that in other parts of the country tea parties are more representative of a true anti-tax or anti-government attitude than they are here. In spite of the best efforts of the Campaign for Liberty and the Libertarian Party to focus the Antelope Valley Tea Party in Lancaster, California, this one was little more than a pep rally for mainstream Republican Party members.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have expected much given that prominent local politicians were involved. In attendance were two State Assemblymen and one State Senator, all Republican, as well as the chairman of the local Republican Party. While the mayor of Lancaster was supposed to have been there but had to bow out at the last minute, conspicuous by his absence in any of the event literature was the mayor of Palmdale, a relatively better sort of Republican. (Not better enough to be Libertarian, but better than the average Republican … kind of like saying “taller than Deep Roy” but I mean it in a nice way.) Then again, he did have the gall to oppose a ruling family Republican in a primary race not long ago.

The event planners ensured that there would be no official question and answer session. I should have known that the politicians would not have shown up had they been faced with the risk of an unprepared question while the press was there to cover it.

I handed out fliers with twelve very pointed questions about the Republican Party’s support for the recent California tax increases and the ballot proposition that would extend those increases from two years to four years. I was told that if I was handing out fliers I could not do it in the official tea party area but had to do it out in the parking lot.

It was good to see that people were heckling Assemblyman Steve Knight. He voted to put the tax extension proposition on the ballot. The next speaker was Assemblyman Cameron Smyth who, seeing the way Knight was fiercely heckled, instead talked entirely about our valiant troops overseas defending our freedom. Trying to get him to explain why he voted to put the tax extension proposition on the ballot by my own heckling led to someone nearby hushing me for not showing support for the troops.

Most of the rally afterwards centered on how illegal immigrants were to blame for all of our financial problems, or how we should concentrate all our attention on the Democrats in Washington. There was almost no attention paid to the Republicans and Democrats in Sacramento. It would seem natural for local politicians to discuss local issues, but that would reflect too poorly on their own behavior.

The last thing on anyone’s mind (except for the LPers and the C4Lers) was how the Republican Party contributed to this mess. This pep rally was for the Republicans to convince themselves that they are not to blame for the mess they made. Sorry, I didn’t fall for it. I hope other Tea Parties are better, but the Antelope Valley is were ideas go to die.

I did corner Assemblyman Knight after the rally.  Apparently he knows my name because as soon as I introduced myself he talked to everyone but me.  But I can be quite patient and after every single last distraction had finished talking to him he was willing to angrily defend his voting to put the tax hike on the ballot.  Apparently the bill had some good stuff and some bad stuff, and for the sake of the good stuff he voted for the bill with the bad stuff in it.  Also he angrliy said he does indeed endorse the Republicans who voted to raise taxes because otherwise the Democrats would get 2/3 in the legislature and taxes would be raised.

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Posted at IPR. See comments/discussion there.

From: Robert Kraus
Subject: LPHQ Attendance at Left of Center Conferences


Please feel free to share this email.

We have been asked by several LP Members to look at “left of center” or “alternative” conferences in the DC area which we could attend to counter the image that we only attend CPAC like events (8,500 attendees).

We have assigned several interns to review the more than 700 such conferences and conventions in the Mid-Atlantic area to determine what might be best for us to attend.

The list includes:

· Powershift 2010 (Powershift 2009 had over 10,000 attendees)

· ACLU Membership Conference (over 5,000 attendees)

· Netroots 2009 (over 2,000 attendees)

· America’s Future Now (formerly Take Back America which had a little under 2,000 attendees)

· National Young Women’s Leadership Conference (500-1000 attendees)

We estimate the cost of attending one of these events at $1500-2500 including booth and materials. We are looking for sponsors who will at least pay for the booth or arrange for a free booth. Obviously the better attended events, which in turn draw more media attention, would be our preferred option.

We are currently scheduled to attend these two “alternative” events (which we already have a sponsor for):

· Capital Pride in DC (200,000 attendees)

· Equality Forum 2009 in Philadelphia (75,000 attendees)

We encourage our regional reps to ask their state chairs to also look at events other than the typical gun show or “CPAC” type conventions as well. The office is here to support them in promoting their event to our email and media lists, on our events page, and enlisting volunteer support. Please remind your states to let us know about their events by simply sending an email to events@lp.org and to email Austin at Austin.petersen@lp.org if they need assistance in staffing their booths.

Thank you!


Robert S. Kraus

Acting Executive Director


Libertarian National Committee

2600 Virginia Ave NW #200

Washington, DC 20037

Ph: 202.333.0008 x 231

Fx: 703.935.8015

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For far too long the union movement has been hampered from growing into the large retail sector by the ridiculous reason that their employees don’t want to be in a union. Thanks to the efforts of the unions to support the Employee Free Choice Act, such petty reasons to not form a union will finally be dispensed with.

In our current unfair system, once a sufficient number of employee check card signatures are gathered a period of campaigning begins, during which time the employer is allowed to try to give reasons why a union would be bad for the employees, but is not allowed to make threats or to make bribes. Nor is he allowed to fire union organizers without exceedingly good cause. The union is able to make promises of higher wages or better working conditions. Then a secret ballot election ensues, monitored by the government to ensure it is fair.

The secret ballot is horribly unfair, it allows employer to intimidate the employees even though the employer has no way of knowing who voted which way. Instead we can have the intimidation free union recruiting when Sal the Shiv, Moose, and Knuckles walk up to an employee and say “Youze gonna sign this union card? Youze gonna sign it cause youze don’t want no ‘accidents’ to happen.”

Some contrary types are going to claim they were threatened, from the safety of the anonymity of police protection. They are going to claim that their health or life or family were threatened. We know they’re actually just trying to cause trouble. The only reason they are anonymously reporting that their life was threatened was to ensure that they don’t get served court papers for defamation after they drag the good name of Bruno the Bruiser through the mud. If they really meant what they were saying they’d be proud to say it publicly.

Under the current unfair system, the initial round of union talks require both sides to act in good faith and gives both sides time to prepare for the initial negotiations. If the EFCA passes, a union can organize in secret (and it had better be in secret says Kneecapper Gus) and present its demands as a fully formed union at the negotiation table as the first indication that a union is forming in the first place – and good faith won’t even be demanded of the union. Unions always negotiate in good faith, they never make unrealistic or unreasonable demands.

Resistance to the EFCA shows that employees really don’t know what they want, and need to be told to be in a union even if they mistakenly think that they don’t want to be in one. They just don’t know what is in their own best interests, no matter how much they think they do. Who cares if less people are hired due to higher union wages? They’ll be compensated with welfare that is probably higher than what any non-union employer would pay. It doesn’t matter where people get their money, as long as they get it, so it will all work out. Plus they’ll need those higher welfare payments to afford the higher prices at the now-unionized stores. If they ever wished they could afford expensive items their wish will be granted as the items they shop for will be the expensive items.

Knowing all of that, there is no reason for anyone to oppose the act which gives Unions the free choice of Employees.  And they’d better know there’s no good reason to oppose this if they know what’s good for them.

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The former colonial powers of the world are feeling a consequence of colonialism in the relocation of formerly colonized people to their own shores: Asians and Africans to Europe, Latin Americans to the United States.

In Russia, many of the people who are the scapegoats and bogeymen of the anti-migration nationalists come not only from the now independent former Soviet Republics and Soviet client states in places like Africa, but also from areas which are still part of Russia, and which Russia is still fighting to control – Chechnya, Dagestan, etc. In Moscow, the rallying cry of the xenophobic separatists is not just “Russia for Russians,” but also “Moscow for Muscovites.”

And that brings in mind a point….will migration control freaks in other countries also soon seek to restrict internal migration? Do the arguments they make for restricting migration freedom apply equally to movement between states, counties, cities, neighborhoods, blocks, or even houses?

It’s not as if anti-internal migration sentiments would be entirely new in, for example, the US. Northerners moving to the south are still sometimes called carpetbaggers, many Western states disparage “californication,” Floridians have “Florida Native” car decals, California once grappled with Okies in the first great depression.

With another depression showing signs of getting underway, will the US once again see efforts to restrict movement of people from parts of the country that are harder hit?

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At least The Flagstaff police seem to have been pretty laid back about it.

At 3 p.m. on March 28, 40 people dressed in black and red arrived with a shopping cart blaring music in tow at Flagstaff’s Heritage Square and began swinging cushions at each other. The feathers and fluff flew, but the mass of people also collided with the cops.

Part protest, part pillow fight, the event aimed to raise awareness of and protest the arrest of the “Republican National Convention Eight” (the RNC8).

The RNC8 protested the criminalization of dissent in Minneapolis and St. Paul during the 2008 Republican National Convention.

They were charged under the Minnesota PATRIOT act in response to their political organizing. They all face up to seven-and-a-half years in prison under the terrorism enhancement charge, which allows for a possible 50 percent increase in the maximum penalty. The legal expenses for those involved with the RNC8 are estimated to be $250,000.

The last time such charges were brought under Minnesota law was in 1918, when Matt Moilen and others organized labor unions for the International Workers of the World, also known as “the Wobblies.”
[. . .]
Aaron Levy, a second-year English graduate student at NAU donning a cat-ear cap, stood atop one of the Square’s benches and gave a speech through a megaphone.

“When we come to the pillow fight today, we want to show the world there is a better way to do things,” Levy shouted into his bullhorn. “You don’t need guns, you don’t need Tasers, you don’t need handcuffs, you don’t need politicians and we don’t need anybody but ourselves to operate in a world of peace and justice.”

The crowd cheered, and the cops crossed their arms.
[. . .]
The cops took Levy aside and began to question him about the complaints they received.

“You just gonna leave that out there?” Officer Condon pointed to the chalk.

“It will just kinda take care of itself,” Levy said.

“Nobody wrote anything vulgar or anything?” Condon asked.

“No sir. It’s just peace, love,” Levy said.

The cops let Levy go, and the group began to clean up the mess with borrowed brooms and bare hands.

Troy Farah and Matt Roberto, “Protestors ‘resist state terrorism’ with pillows“, JackCentral (NAU online news), April 2, 2009


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h/t Delaware Libertarian

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In a move that few, if any, people saw coming, former US President William J. Clinton is set to announce today that he is joining the Libertarian Party. Clinton first hinted at his new political direction back in 1997, but Libertarians didn’t believe him, and not long afterwards called for his impeachment.

“What really did it for me this time was the recent “Monday message” from LP communications director Donny Ferguson that said winning is the most important principle,” President Clinton told IPR’s Paulie over a few lines of coke in a Bessemer, Alabama truck stop restroom. “That’s been my view for many years, and I’m glad to finally find a political party with the balls to say it openly.”

Clinton acknowledged that people may be skeptical of his conversion, but he pointed out “look at my old nemesis Bob Barr. Back in 2002 y’all were working to get him out of Congress. By 2006 he was on your national committee, and two years later he’s your Presidential candidate. If Ol’ Bob can do it, why can’t I?” He also pointed out that former Democratic US Senator Mike Gravel switched from running for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination to that of the Libertarian Party just last year while remaining consistent in his views.

Bill mentioned that he is working on getting his wife Hillary to switch as well, pointing out that she was a Goldwater girl in 1964, and that her best bet to beat Obama in 2012 will be in the general election rather than in the primaries. He also sent a shout out to Alan Greenspan for introducing him to the works of Ayn Rand.

Asked about his future political plans, Clinton told Paulie that he was considering running for LNC as well as a future run for US Congress, and will be starting a new civil rights organization to repeal the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution. “I was hoping to be appointed Ambassador to the UN, but Obama’s being a total dick about it,” he said. “Just because I was the real first black President doesn’t mean he has to be that way.”

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You’ve probably seen it already, but it’s worthy of note just the same:

Blowing It Out Of Lenin’s Ass

It seems there hope in this world yet. Is there an award for the best use of a shaped charge? Somebody deserves to receive it for this.

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