Thu 27 Oct 2005
Posted by Greg Dirasian under News and Events Comments
I received a copy of the LNC Treasurer’s Report from a reliable (yet confidential) source. It is relatively short — I urge you to read it. The report is at:
The treasurer is another one who needs to be booted. According to the treasurer, paid staff refuse to do their job (as defined in the LNC policy manual). They are not preparing required reports (which previous staff prepared without hesitation).
Staff also refuses to follow directives and are putting us in jepoardy of violating FEC regulations. The few reports that they actually deliver seem to have impossible numbers. The treasurer’s report says:
The preliminary September membership report indicated a negative number of new subscribers. This is impossible, but staff defended the report.
Shane Cory, Robert Kraus, and Daniel Cloud must be FIRED IMMEDIATELY!!!
Chair Mike Dixon and Treasurer Mark Nelson must be removed from office IMMEDIATELY.
This cannot be mere incompetence — it can only be destruction of the Libertarian Party by design.
Mon 24 Oct 2005
Posted by Greg Dirasian under News and Events Comments
I’ve been on the road for the past couple weeks and unable to blog. I’ve barely kept up with my email. Over the weekend I began trying to catch up on my reading.
I realized that the October 20 had come and gone, so I checked the LNC’s October FEC report. Not so surprising (but still quite saddening) I discovered that the LP’s monthly receipts has fallen to $82,504.21. Mike Dixon must be removed from office and the LNC must do it at their upcoming November meeting.
When Dixon came into office, $150,000 per month was considered low and there were months when receipts were over $300,000. Dixon and his “reformers” who are trying to turn the Libertarian Party into “Republican-Lite” must be removed from office.
The decline has been on-going. Nobody is allowed to mention it on the LP blog — or they will get banned like I did. Nobody is allowed to ask about or they are considered a troublemaker. I can’t believe an individual could be this incompetent. Is it incompetence or is he deliberately destroying the Libertarian Party.
Shane Cory and Robert Kraus need to be removed as well. They are deliberately damaging the party from the inside with their incompetence and Republican-Lite policy pronouncements.
The membership needs to start DEMANDING ACCOUNTABILITY!!!
Sat 22 Oct 2005
A few years ago I began investigating the origins of aggressive military action by the U.S.
I came across this book:”A Review of The Causes and Consequences of the Mexican War”, by William Jay.
The author describes himself as “…a believer in the Divine authority of the Scriptures–he acknowledges no standard of right and wrong but the Will of God, and denies the expediency of any act which is forbidden by laws dictated by Infinite Wisdom and Goodness.”
Further in his introduction, he promises to diligently report the facts, and distinguish them from his opinions.I believe he succeeded in that and much more.
The central point of the book is that in his Monday,May 11,1846 message to a joint session of congress, in regards to the state of hostilies with Mexico, for the first time in American history, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES LIED TO GET CONGRESS TO AUTHORIZE AND FINANCE A WAR OF AGGRESSION AGAINST A FOREIGN NATION!
On pages 105-106, he quotes “the Rev. Dr. Channing of Boston on the annexation of Texas: “By this act…our country will enter on a career of encroachment and crime, and will merit the punishment and woe of aggravated wrong-doing…it will be linked …to long continued deeds of rapine and blood.Texas…and the annexation of it to our Union will be but the beginning of conquests…”.
This is the most expicit reference to the establishment of a pattern of imperialism in Washington, but this theme is an implicit, ever present sense of foreboding that permeates the book. It chills the spine and wets the eye to put down this book, originally published in 1849, and realize how saddening, but utterly unsurprising the history of the 20th century would have been to this contempory chronicler of what he seemed to know would only be the first of this country’s imperialist wars.
Viewed against this background, Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address is a virtual rehash of Polk’s aforementioned message to congress.
This pattern offers many examples over the course of American history.This article by Robert Higgs of the Independent Institute, is an excellent summary, he begins with:
“In 1898, President William McKinley, having been goaded by muscle-flexing advisers and jingoistic journalists to make war on Spain…”
Scott Ritter, the former U.N. weapons inspector, has anticipated the impending assault against Iran.
I’ve read some skepticism about his conclusions on Iran, in particular, from Free Market News Network, which ran an article based on my searches.But if his conclusions are wrong, then what was Rumsfeld doing in Iran’s obscure little neighbor to the north?
All this illustrates why we advocates of free market capitalism are such vehement opponents of agressive war; Fereric Bastiat, the 19th century free market economist remarked that “If goods do not across borders, armies will.”
War, as Randolph Bourne pointed out in his analysis of the causes of WWI (Trade conflicts between governments were a major factor) is the health of the state. A health achieved parasitically at the expense of the economic well-being of the populace of both the victim and the aggressor nation, as blatantly illustrated to us by the ongoing tragedy in Iraq.
This is the core strategy of the fascist economic system in force in the U.S. today. A state of affairs that is the inevitable evolutionary product of inappropriate involvement of government in economic matters
A global and GENIUNELY free market economy, where governmental agencies refrain from intervention in economic matters, would create so complex and compelling a state of interdependency, as to render the rationalization for war extremely difficult at best.
It is easy to demonize a people and or their government when subsidies, tariffs and embargoes are available to enforce isolation, or orchestrate artificially induced conflicts or rivalries.But with governments barred form engaging in such manipulations, the resultant free and volumnious interchange would serve to obviate and preempt support for wars of agression.
A REAL state of free trade CANNOT be orchestrated by inter-governmental agreements.The only address to free trade that governments, by their nature, can present is to interfere, or stay out of the way.
Indeed, it is government’s fundamental nature as an instrument of coersion that limits it’s proper role in economic issues to offering protection against fraud and theft and enforcement of contracts.
Fri 21 Oct 2005
Ok, so where are the contraditions in the rest of the natural world?
Man is a living, organic existant; everywhere you look in the earth’s bio-mass and find a species engaged in any sort of social behavior, you observe a pattern, an abstract structure that is comensurate and harmonious with that particular species’ nature.
Where is man’s license to flaunt his own nature?
Nature does not command man to PROMOTE Libertarianism, but it does command him to BE LIBERTARIAN!
In it’s promotion, Libertarianism cannot be externalized; it’s practice must go hand-in-hand with and not in belieance to it’s advocacy. So much for Mr. Gordon’s “…breathing room in the political arena..”
The need to promote Libertarianism is an aberant distortion of the norm imposed coercively by the success of statism.
To be successful, any attack on statism must at least implicitly address it’s fundamental perversity. Any pretense that Libertarianism is just a better mousetrap is doomed to failure. It is not a “better mousetrap”, rather it is the extinction of mice.
This seems to be a point too fine for our reformist brethren.
By what right does a creature of such unique and sophisticated a capacity for understanding and manipulating his physical enviornment QUA INDIVIDUAL frivolously and arbitrarily choose to structure it’s society in the pattern of social insects?
To be controlled, nature must be obeyed. Nature “orders” man,so to speak,to be Libertarian.That is why all other social structures must be coercively enforced upon man; Libertarianism is the default setting.
Those who would propose to promote libertarianism and ignore this fact are doomed to futility.
Yet Pragmatism demands that this fact be put aside, as it appears to have no immediate, concrete bearing on material strategies or procedures and thus can effectively be ignored.
Pragmatism is the derivation of principle from consequence; the failure to apply principle where it’s nature mandates application: at the onset of analysis.
Pragmatist perspective cannot see principle clearly, as it denies the efficacy of structure per se.
But it cannot deny principle exists, even as it denies the validity of the abstract, ignoring it’s own self-refutation by employing an abstraction.
Consequently, to complete it’s metaphysic and give it some semblance of coherence,it employs principle as an after-the-fact explanatory device.
Coincidentally, I was just reading in the October/November (2005) issue of Free Inquiry, the excellent and thought-provoking Secular Humanist bi-monthy, the most succinct definition of Pragmatism I’ve ever read,by Larry Hickman:”…the idea that the test of belief…lies not in origins but consequences.”
It’s vexing to me that this is too esoteric for the reformers to grasp.As with most people, they’ve been convinced by the government “education” system that abstract philosophical issues are both too difficult for the average person to grasp and irrelavant. They are, of course,neither.
But as with most people, this merely serves to leave them vulnerable to the abstract structures of Pragmatism, as intended.
And set them on the path away from their nature.
The nature of principle must be grasped, it’s application appropriate.When one measures a piece of wood for cutting, one commences by appling the abstract principle of length.When one makes a purchase, one employs the abstract principle of value as calibrated in monetary units.
Thus, we see that principle, by nature, must be taken to be absolute,not subject of compromise.
This is how we arrive at “COMPROMISE IS A LAST RESORT NOT A STRATEGY”.
Compromise, by nature, applies only to the material realm; it has no place in the formulation of strategy,let alone the application of principle.
Thu 20 Oct 2005
While driving home today I was listening to Michael Medved’s show on talk radio. I like his work. The movie reviews were always enjoying. Mike always showed a smug intellectuality in his comments. His talk show is especially interesting in that his conservatism is hardcore and he actually believes it all. (more…)
Thu 20 Oct 2005
Wed 19 Oct 2005
The first amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects,amongst others, freedom of speech and of the press.It’s a fairly expansive amendment.
Freedom of speech is a fundamental right directly based on the nature of the individual citizen, functioning in a free society.
But freedom of the press is of a differnet nature; it addresses an essential aspect of the structure of a free society, in that sense, it is just as crucial.
But it is not as fundamental. Until Johannes Gutenberg in the 1440s developed the technology, there was effectively no press to be free.
As this freedom is not intrinsic to the individual, unlike freedom of speech,it’s excercise must address the practical needs of maintaining a free society and cannot be claimed as an irreducible individual right,i.e., those engaging in it’s excercise must work within the context of maintaining and reinforcing it as an aspect of the social structure.
An essential component of the function of a free press that has recieved much attention lately is the privilege of professional journalists to protect confidential sources.
New York times reporter Judith Miller recently spent 85 days in jail, ostensibly to protect a confidential source.On Tuesday, October, 18th, she received a first Amendent Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.
This is typical of the reaction of the press to her actions.David Carlson, the SPJ’s incoming president said”…I don’t have any way of knowing what all of her motives were, but we do know that she spent 85 days in jail and that act drew great attention to the First Amendment.”But motive is crucial.
It seems the press is a bit confused about the nature of their privilege to grant confidentiality.They seem to think that because the maintence of a free press requires that they be able to offer anonymity,that this functions in the same broad context as the individual’s freedom of speech.
But it does not; rather,it must address it’s context on a case by case basis.Such factors as the motivations of the informer and the news-worthiness of the resultant publicised information must be accounted for.
In a case such as the one involving Ms. Miller, where criminal intent and breach of national security may be reasonably postulated by investigators, a journalist cannot be held to a vow of secrecy by a mal-intended source;it does not serve to carry on the proper function of a free press, but rather subverts it to criminal purpose.
This was established in the Supreme Court case Branzburg v. Hayes, decided on 6/29/1972.
If Miller truly wants to act to maintain a free press, perhaps she should consider repairing some of the damage she’s done, by exposing rather than protecting some of her confidential sources. Her employer, the N.Y. Times has already retracted stories leading up to, and encouraging acceptance of the invasion of Iraq:
Amongst the articles mentioned,”U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest For A-Bomb Parts,” Sept. 8, 2002, Judith Miller and Michael R. Gordon
A few quotes from that article:
“…Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons..Bush administration officials said today.”
“In the last 14 months, Iraq has sought to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes, which American officials believe were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium.”
“Iraqi defectors who once worked for the nuclear weapons establishment have told American officials that acquiring nuclear arms is again a top Iraqi priority.”
Rather than leave the aforementioned individuals idenitified only as “American officials” or “Iraqi defectors”,freedom of the press would be enhanced, not subverted,if we were informed as to the identities of these partys.
Whomever provided this misinformation should be exposed. Rather than having a “chilling” effect on the willingness of those who would communicate essential information anonymously to the public through journalists for legitimate purposes,it would only serve to discourage those who’s purpose is wicked.
As the matter was managed, this reporter effectively allowed herself to be used as a propaganda device for the initiation by this country of a monstrously unjust and unfounded war.
She goes on in that same article to write:
“Still, Mr. Hussein’s dogged insistence on pursuing his nuclear ambitions, along with what defectors described in interviews as Iraq’s push to improve and expand Baghdad’s chemical and biological arsenals, have brought Iraq and the United States to the brink of war”
We now know that it was disinformation and not”…Mr. Hussein’s dogged insistence on pursuing his nuclear ambitions” that brought “…Iraq and the United States to the brink of war”
Also, in that same article:”Bush administration officials are hoping to use what one official called a mosaic of disturbing new reports…to underscore their dire warnings about Iraq’s military ambitions.”
It would seem, for that abjectly bleak moment, that journalism was reduced to a mere tautological device by a government given to that mode for obfuscation. How many of those “disturbing new reports” were based on the confidential statements of those self-same “Bush administration officials”?
To bring these details to light at this point would serve to return freedom of the press to good standing, rather than the special-interest group privilege to which the SPJ would self-servingly reduce it.
Sat 15 Oct 2005
The following commentary to: 2005-09-27
4:23:24 am “Iraq: Gradual Withdrawal? Why? “:
rudy llanes Says: October14th,2005at1:29am
is a continuation of a discussion persuant(and attached) to:
” Staying or Leaving ”
Submitted by davidswanson on Sun, 2005-10-09 18:46. Congress
By Rep. Ron Paul (Republic, 14th Dist., Texas
Which may be viewed at:
(The animation referred to is):
Wed 12 Oct 2005
From the Libertarian Reform Caucus:
It’s Time to Win!
“We want to reform the platform so that Libertarian candidates can proudly quote our platform and still win elections.”
This seems to express the basic thesis of the reformers;The L.P. has “failed” because the message in the platform does not move voters to vote for L.P. candidates.
But this is a simplistic logic that conveniently bypasses both the unpleasantries and complexities of reality.
It begs a plethora of questions which it blythely ignores, but which must be faced and addressed before any meaningful changes can be validated.
Let’s touch on a few of them.
Suppose we impliment their proposed changes and we still don’t achieve their criteria for success? Then what? More “adjustments”to the message?
And just exactly what do they mean by “failure”?
It’s been suggested here that the recent history of the L.P. is one of success and not failure. But given that this is not a disagreement about the objective facts of what has transpired (i.e.,there is an nominal agreement about who ran for what office,and what result agrued,etc.)then it must a disagreement about the meaning of these objective facts, that is to say, what rational truths are to be formulated from the facts we more or less agree on?
To draw a “success” or “failure” conclusion, an objective standard must at the very least be clearly implied.On our side, I see frequent reference to the degree of difficulty in the current situation to getting the libertarian message accepted.This at least alludes to the objective degree of difficultly we are faced with.
On the reformer side,these same results are met with an arbitrary dissatisfaction that is a once vague and intense;We aren’t getting people elected often enough to high enough offices, therefore we MUST be doing something wrong.
This verily is the real and crucial failure on the reformer’s part: the failure to first establish an objective criteria upon which to base judgement before passing judgement.
If they would account for the degree of difficulty we face as Libertarians attempting to promote an ideology whose tenents have been so effectively propagandized against to the audience we address, perhaps,as I have suggested before, the mere survival of the L.P.would appear at least somewhat heroic.
Instead, they insist that as the message,as extant,has not produced whatever mimimum level of numerical “success” might meet with their acceptance, then the message must be changed.
Huh? I thought it was supposed to be about promoting the message.
Come to think of it, aren’t there already one or two political parties out there that are adept at adjusting their “message”so that people would vote for them?
I thought it was supposed to be about getting people to understand the unique value and meaning of the radical differences between Libertarianism on the one hand and varieties of statism they had been inculcated into believing to be their only range of choices on the other.
This can only be achieved by getting people to stop and do what made humanity a successful species, what they have been acclimated to not do, as least with regards the matters we address;THINK CLEARLY AND RATIONALLY,AND QUESTION THEIR ACCEPTED NOTIONS.
This cannot possibly be achieved by asking the reformer’s abjectly and shamelessly PANDERING question to the voters: what do I have to say to get your vote?
Sincere promoters of Libertarianism bring the message of a radical new way, and make no attempt to hide it, but rather dwell on why this new way is a better way.
Trying to advance without focusing on changing people’s perscpective is foolish, futile and hypocritical.
The reformer’s approach may possibly produce short term success at the ballot box.But that is an irrelavent speculation, as those would be uselessly pyrrhic “victories”.
No amount of sophisrty, salesmanship or obscuring of message can produce a desirable result if it does’nt lead a given person to change his mind, no matter what they do in the voting booth.
Without popular support, no reform has a chance; witness the fate of Bush’s social security “reform”.Electing “libertarian” candidates without promoting an acceptance of a comprehensive Libertarian agenda would produce the same futility, and might serve to undermine, rather than promote, libertarian philosophy.
Further, the reformers, without realizing it, it seems, having adopted electoral victory as an end in itself.In so doing, they have moved themselves another step towards conformity with their recently adopted Pragmatist philosophy; a perspective, as I have pointed out before,which can find no validity in Libertarianism.
Tue 11 Oct 2005
I agree that the insistence on strict application of Libertarian principle is not always practical. But the decision regarding the application must be limited to the individual office holders. They are the ones dealing with here and now politics. They are the ones we have entrusted with the protection and expansion of our values.
If they stray too far from the party standard then they won’t get a dime from our stalwarts. Nor will they receive any votes from those that elected them on their principles.
The market of ideas works as well as any other market.
Refomers worry about a Libertarian majority. You and I are not likely to live long enough to see such a thing. As long as the pragmatist statists control the education system we will have a major task in front of us. We have to work hard. What we can do is put our efforts into the local races, founding a base of Libertarian experience with both our officials and the electorate that they serve.
Our platform is a handicap to only those that don’t know how to defend it. In Troy Michigan, one of our city council candidates faced a challenge in his re-election bid from a well heeled Republican.
She confronted him on the dope and whores thing. We sued her, lost the case but gained front page headlines for our wronged candidate and won with a 75% vote total, dooming her to obscurity.
Our unyielding stance is our advantage. Is anyone unaware of the chaos in both wings of the government party? They are facing the hard consequences of their willingness to compromise their principles.
Reformers are willing to deal. So what makes you any different from our “would be” slave masters in Washington, or any state capital? What links you all is impatience.
The statists have no faith in mankind’s abilities to do anything. They have this marvelous vision of Utopia and we can have it NOW if we just trust them and give them with enough money.
History doesn’t work that way. Dramatic change takes time and the ground must be fertile for it to take root. It will take years of LP Party education and the continued example of Libertarian governance for our vision to take hold. We must hold to our principles, our foundation. That is what sets us apart. That is the tool of our victory.
— Next Page »