Wednesday, December 30, 2009

California Libertarian Party Tried to Purge Antiwar Members in 2006

I found an interesting report about the infamous 2006 California Libertarian Party cruise convention on a Yahoo Group archive.

The author, "Paul," writes in part: "There was a transparant plan on the part of a small pro-war minority in the party to take over and toss our principles out the window. They planned this cruise to exclude as many real libertarians as they could and to outnumber us and outvote us. They succeeded and now the LP is dead."

That was in 2006. While the antiwar faction struck back in 2007, I don't think things have improved overall in the LP.

Read Paul's full report here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Money-Saving Libertarian Convention Tips

Can't afford to attend the Libertarian Party national convention in St. Louis this May? Thomas Knapp has some money-saving convention tips at: St. Louis on the Cheap.

Knapp's new site will help the LP's povertarians save money on hotel accommodations, restaurants, and transportation.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Palestinian Hip Hop Artists vs. The State

Tonight I saw Slingshot Hip Hop on The Sundance Channel. An amazing documentary whose overarching thems is Art vs. The State.

Art vs. The State is a theme that every libertarian should sympathize with. But in this case, The State is Israel, which will discomfort some "libertarians."

Even so, all true libertarians will be moved by this powerful documentary of young Palestinian musicians expressing their struggle against Occupation and Israeli Statism through music. (See, not all Palestinians are terrorists! -- And isn't it sad that some people need to have that pointed out!)

There's also a minor theme of female Palestinian hip hop artists struggling for equal recognition within their own patriarchal Arab culture.

Slingshot Hip Hop won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

U.S. Combat Veterans Renounce Their Past Actions

Returning American combat veterans condemn U.S. military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq:

This is an excerpt from a film produced by Displaced Films. More info at This Is Where We Take Our Stand.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Is Pentagon Lying About Afghan Casualties?

During the Vietnam War, the Pentagon would falsify the body count, to create a false appearance of U.S. victories on the battlefield.

It seems the Pentagon is yet again falsifying body counts. A blogger has notices the curious coincidence that every U.S. missile strike in Afghanistan results in exactly 30 casualties.

Yet there are still some so-called "libertarians" and "conservatives" who trust whatever the government says in matters of "national security." Go figure.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Cardinal John Foley Condemns Israeli Apartheid/Security Wall

Some call it a "security wall" meant to keep terrorists out of Israel.

Others call it an "apartheid wall" and a "land grab" meant to maintain a Jewish majority population in Israel, squeezing non-Jews into ever smaller, less sustainable bits of land. These critics observe that the wall is not built along the West Bank border, but cuts into the West Bank.

Catholic spokesman Cardinal John Patrick Foley gives Israel the benefit of the doubt, assuming that the wall really is about security. Even so, he calls for its end:

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Hidden Cost of War

A pretty good video on the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:

Have a Peaceful Christmas

You may have seen Paul McCartney's music video about the Christmas Truce of 1914, when enemy soldiers in World War One stopped fighting, crossed the trenches, and celebrated Christmas together.

The song (whose title I forget) appeared on McCartney's Pipes of Peace CD. But this historical event has also been written about in Christmas Truce: The Western Front December 1914 and in Silent Night: The Story of the World War One Christmas Truce, and recounted on the CD, Silent Night, Holy Night: The Story of the Christmas Truce.

Do you know any "Christians" who eagerly support our current wars? These books and CDs will make wonderfully appropriate Christmas gifts -- a great way to remind them that there's more to Christianity than bombing foreigners who never attacked us.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Obama Follows Root's Advice -- Root Livid

Last year, Wayne Allyn Root called for a military surge in Afghanistan.

Of course, now that we have a Democratic president calling for a surge, Root has done yet another flip-flop. Now Root is slamming Obama for calling for a military surge in Afghanistan. Shamelessly, Root ignores that Obama is merely following Root's advice.

Root also makes no mention of Afghan civilian victims of U.S. military intervention; they don't factor into his opposition to the Afghan War. Nor does Root hold the neocon media or war profiteers accountable. No, the Afghan War is all Obama's fault.

Like many pro-war "liberventionsts" and neocons, Root incessantly rewrites his history, trying maintain his creds with every shifting political wind.

Among his few consistencies is a mind-numbingly robotic bashing of Obama. This is similar to many leftist's mind-numbingly robotic bashing of Bush. Both ignore that neither Bush nor Obama, nor any president, is primarily responsible for U.S. foreign policy. There is an Establishment, with some powerful players.

It's not a Democrat vs. Republican vs. Libertarian thing. After all, there's not much difference between those three parties. Those three parties may talk differently, but none of them are especially principled.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Angela Keaton Calls for Peace at "End the Fed Rally"

Angela Keaton of attacks war and empire at last October's "End the Fed" rally.

Angela Keaton was purged from the LNC last year, partially because of her vocal antiwar stance.

Of course, now that (1) Iraq and Afghanistan are "Obama's wars," and (2) an overwhelming vast majority of Americans oppose these wars (instead of only a vast majority), many of these liberventionist chicken hawks are trying to reposition themselves as antiwar.

Never forget, though, that when it mattered, Angela Keaton, Ron Paul, and Karen Kwiatkowski were among those who opposed war. And when it mattered, Wayne Allyn Root, Brian Holtz, and Bruce Cohen were among those who supported war.

LP delegates should remember who stood where, and when, when it comes time to choose future LP candidates and officers.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wayne Allyn Root's Crass Theology

David Zander, writing for Asian Media Access, writes a hilarious review of Wayne Allyn Root's book, Zen of Gambling.

Some choice excerpts from Mr. Zander's review:

"But [Root] is at the other end of a continuum from any true practitioner of Zen. Wayne loves Las Vegas, not the Zen masters, zazen or the Naropa Institute. He describes Las Vegas as 'the sexiest city on earth,' and unabashedly writes how God has been good to him -– he prayed for a wife, and she appeared 'a statuesque blonde goddess out of the pages of Playboy.'

" 'God is great!' concludes Root.

"Is he a self-deluded charlatan, or are we witnessing some merger going on here between Christianity and Materialism?

"...if you want to understand why much of the world hates America, start with Mr. Root. In some ways he is the epitome of an ugly American, an entrepreneurial A-type personality sun-bathing in his own self-declared brilliance and egoism, with very little awareness of how others might perceive him as a crass, culturally insensitive, masquerader muddling the waters of those on a spiritual quest.

"...[Root] is a disturbing product of his culture. It's a disturbing glimpse of someone who has built a life based on sports betting."

Read the entire review.

Also read how crass and amoral Root comes across in this New York Times Magazine profile.

And read about Root's buffoonish comments about Obama.

Root was the Libertarian Party's vice presidential nominee in 2008. He's a possible candidate for LP national chair in 2010, and a presidential candidate for 2012.

That Root is considered a player in the LP is only one of many indicators of how trashy and unworthy of support the LP has become.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

More War Means More Taxes

U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D - Mich) is proposing an additional tax on the rich to fund new troops in Afghanistan.

This is not entirely bad. Why? Because it would punish a lot of whiny, wealthy neocons and "liberventionists" who've been screaming for war.

It's an oddity that, among libertarians, the wealthier ones tend to support war, while povertarians oppose war. There are exceptions, but this is true as a general rule.

Some liberventionists have suggested that Iraq pay for its own "liberation" with oil money. But I'd rather impose crippling taxes on pro-war liberventionists.

The down side is, a "tax to fund the war" will not exclusively target warmongers. Still, it's nice to imagine neocons and liberventionists paying through the nose to fund their wars.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jews for Peace to Address Libertarians

A representative of L.A. Jews for Peace will address the libertarian Karl Hess Club on January 18, 2010.

That date is tentative, subject to scheduling. Like the Karl Hess Club, L.A. Jews for Peace meets on the third Monday of every month. But we're all trying to make this happen.

Yes, I was the promoter behind this event. I contacted L.A. Jews for Peace and the Karl Hess Club, and worked to bring them together. I think some of the hawkish libertarians at the KHC need to hear more peacenik voices.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

No Such Thing as Pro-War Libertarian

The Skeptical Eye has a great post. In addition to slamming pro-war Wayne Allyn Root, Skeptical Eye says:

Libertarians are militantly antiwar without exception. There is absolutely no such thing as a pro-war "libertarian."

If you've ever met a self-described "libertarian" who supported the invasion of Iraq (cough), guess what? He is just another delusional conservative who does not know the meaning of term.

"Libertarian" of course is just a word, and anyone can use a word. But anyone who is calling himself a "libertarian" while supporting wars of aggression, military intervention or foreign aid is in complete contradiction with the most basic tenets and history of libertarian philosophy.

Hell, even looking up the word "libertarian" in the dictionary is enough to show that a pro-war libertarian is a complete oxymoron if there ever was one.

Look hard enough and you probably be able to find a pro-war "libertarian," just as you may be able to find a pro-life Marxist. What more is there to say? They're freaks.


Read the entire post.

Wayne Allyn Root's Unsatisfied Costumer

Wayne Allyn Root loves to tout that he's an entrepreneur, Millionaire Republican, or small businessman, depending on which spin works best at the moment.

He ran a sports betting business, which he promoted through infomercials. Customers would call in to receive sports betting advice. That was Root's product. Root certainly made money on it (or at least, he claims to be a "Millionaire Republican" from his efforts.)

But how did it work out for others?

Here's what one unhappy customer has to say.

Root also left behind some unhappy employees.

And it doesn't look like Root's investors fared any better.

Well, who cares whether a business's customers, employees, or investors come out ahead? The important thing is, Root seems to have done okay.

Rumors are that Root may run for National Chair of the Libertarian Party in 2010. He's certainly a candidate for the LP's 2012 presidential nomination.

I'm confident that, even if Root harms the LP's reputation, Root will continue to come out ahead. His LP creds will help Root sell plenty of books, and may perhaps even land a paid media gig. That's the important thing.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Big Brother is Watching You -- And What Else Is New?

The "Justice Dept" is demanding that a private news website, Indymedia, hand over information about its visitors. The feds are also demanding that Indymedia not tell anyone about it.

I'd be outraged, except that this Soviet-style behavior by the U.S. government has become so commonplace.

Alas, many "conservatives" think it's all right, provided the feds want the data to fight "Islamic terrorism."

And many "progressives" think it's all right, provided the feds want the data to fight "domestic, right-wing terrorism."

And many "libertarians" think it's all right, because they fear the Libertarian Party might appear "too radical" and will thus "lose votes" if libertarians stand up to the government. Don't want to "scare" voters away by being too pro-liberty.

Yes, such libertarians exist. All too many.

If you want to see what the fuss is about, visit Apparently, the Justice Dept doesn't want you to.

Fortunately, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a pro bono, free speech, legal defense group, has defended Indymedia, and found the Justice Dept subpoena to be bogus.

Monday, November 09, 2009

I Am a Bad Influence

Last year I spoke at Glendale Community College about the Libertarian Party. I also handed out reading material and website lists.

On November 5, I received the following email from Vladimir:

"You may not remember me, but you once came to my class at GCC and espoused the ideas of libertarianism. I thought it was rather interesting, although a bit radical.

After you left, I decided to look into it a bit more and found out about Ron Paul, who was running as a Republican, but was really a libertarian. I really liked what I saw, and I have been sold on it ever since. I can say that your visit helped change my life.

Since then, I have delved much more into libertarianism, and have read many works by Mises, Rothbard, and others from the Austrian School. I first liked the ideas of classical liberalism, but as I read more, I converted to anarcho-capitalism.

And so, therefore, I would like to thank you for opening up my eyes to the wonderful world of anarcho-capitalism. If there are any cool activities that are happening in the So Cal area, keep me informed.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ron Paul on Obama's Nobel Peace Prize

Ron Paul accuses Obama of both continuing war, and of neutralizing the antiwar movement on the left:

Monday, October 05, 2009

Monterey County Peaceniks: End Afghan War!

From a press release, from David R. Henderson:

The Peace Coalition of Monterey County, CA, held a protest rally on Friday, October 2, 2009, calling for the U.S. government to exit Afghanistan rather than follow President Obama's strategy of expanding the Afghan War.

The demonstration was held at Monterey's Windows-on-the-Bay Park on Del Monte Avenue, from 5 to 7 p.m. It marked the 8th anniversary of the bombing of Afghanistan by the U.S. government.

Peace Coalition spokesman David R. Henderson said: "Eight years is enough. In fact, it's too much. The war should have ended on President Bush's watch. Now it's to up to President Obama to correct Bush's mistake."

Henderson said the original purpose of making war on Afghanistan was to capture Osama bin Laden, but now it is to nation-build. "Like many government programs, the program outlasts the original rationale and so the rationale keeps changing."

Henderson noted that historians call Afghanstan "the graveyard of empires," adding that, "Both Britain and the Soviets were hobbled by their attempts to colonize Afghanistan. Why does the U.S. government think it will fare any better?"

Sunday, October 04, 2009

California Freedom Suspended

The Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of California has suspended publication of California Freedom, indefinitely, due to financial constraints.

They hope to resume publication next year, after finances have improved.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Tea Party Boots Libertarians, Peaceniks

The following is written by Lawrence K. Samuels, editor and contributing author to Facets of Liberty: A Libertarian Primer, and co-chair of Libertarians for Peace of Monterey County:

Tea Parties have reconnected the cooperation between conservatives and libertarians that harks back to their mutual opposition to FDR's big government. But a host of these newly forged alliances have not taken hold. An undercurrent of ill-fitting philosophies and anti-intellectual clashes suggest that, at many Tea Parties, freedom is not always brewing.

In Monterey, California, one Tea Party recently divorced its libertarian brethren.

I helped create a nine-member board for the Monterey County Tea Party after an April 15, 2009 demonstration that attracted 600 sign-carrying protesters. The match seemed perfect. We all agreed on a mission statement that supported smaller government, lower taxes, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

Libertarians wanted to include a non-interventionist plank, but, under pressure, were willing to forgo it for the sake of a peaceful alliance.

But after a successful Fourth of July Tea Party parade and Freedom Rally in Monterey, the cracks in the alliance split wide open.

I was accused of belonging to too many leftist organizations.

I am co-chair of the local Libertarians for Peace, which joined the 27-member Monterey County Peace Coalition to protest the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But Libertarians for Peace is neither Left nor Right.

The fur first hit the fan when Monterey CodePink asked to be one of the co-sponsors of the Tea Party Freedom Rally. I loved the idea of uniting the antiwar and anti-tax crowds. But this possible alliance alarmed conservatives.

Left and Right dehumanize each other daily on talk radio and cable news, so I should not have been surprised by the conservatives' determination to share no common ground with any leftist organization.

To calm their fears, I put the issue in perspective. Nationwide, CodePink follows a socialist agenda; no argument there. But the Monterey branch of CodePink has worked with libertarians on both antiwar and anti-tax issues for years. The local Monterey CodePink leader was one of the most active signature-gathers in trying to abolish the utility tax in Seaside.

Next, I was accused of being too involved with the Libertarian Party -- as if Libertarians were responsible for the financial meltdown, bailouts, and stimulus packages.

These conservatives wanted no association with Republicans or Democrats either, saying that both political parties had caused our current problems. But they were also upset with Tea Party Board members who held leadership roles in the LP.

It did not matter that libertarians were heavily involved in starting the Tea Party movement back in 2008 -- nor that the original 1773 tea partiers at Boston Harbor were classical liberals (libertarians), not Tories or conservatives.

These Tea Party conservatives were neophytes. Never before had they been involved in political activism. Some had never heard of Congressman Ron Paul.

Prof. David R. Henderson, one of the libertarian Tea Party Board members, described this curious phenomenon as "activism without ideals." I thought my phrase captured it best: "A cause without a rebel."

As demands intensified to purge libertarians, we got the feeling that the purgers fit the category of "reactionary" since they seemed to know only what they were against, not what they were for. They never pointed to any philosophical differences they found objectionable. It was as if they were devoid of ideas, marooned with empty rhetoric and no real solutions.

One of my major crimes was distributing copies of my book, Facets of Liberty. This occurred at a Tea Party event billed as a "mixer." I was later told that I should not have passed out educational material, nor mixed with the crowd.

Libertarians soon labeled this misnamed event, the "non-mixer mixer."

It did not help when we asked these rookies embarrassing questions. We asked them why they had done nothing when President Bush bailed out the banks and auto companies, spent money like a drunken sailor, bashed civil liberties, and advanced socialized medicine with the Medicare Prescription Drug law, a program that some in Congress estimated will have a price tag of $1.2 trillion by 2016.

Our questioning rubbed their noses too deeply in their ignorance.

The Monterey County Tea Party purged libertarians by dissolving the entire organization.

That failed to stop us.

Libertarians soon formed the Liberty Tea Party, and, to set up a large tent, invited everyone to join a more enlightened Tea Party.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Where's the September California Freedom?

If you've been wondering why you haven't received the September issue of California Freedom -- no, it's not lost in the mail.

The issue was set and sent to the printer several weeks ago. But it wasn't printed due to a budget shortfall.

It's since been retitled the "Sept/Oct" issue, but it still hasn't been printed.

When it will print, I don't know. That depends on the LPC's current financial strength.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Libertarian Nightingale Defects to Constitution Party?

Here's a news tidbit I recently discovered.

Art Olivier is a bigwig in the Libertarian Party. He was the LP's Vice Presidential candidate in 2000. He was also the LP's candidate for governor of California in 2006.

Well, turns out that his campaign manager, Chelene Nightingale, will be running for governor of California in 2010 -- on the American Independent Party. The Constitution Party also endorses Nightingale's candidacy. (The AIP was the CP's California affiliate, and some AIP members are trying to restore the affiliation.)

As Nightingale says on her campaign website: "Back in 2006, [Nightingale] was the campaign manager for California gubernatorial candidate Art Olivier. Two years later, she would meet with presidential candidate Ron Paul and officially endorse his campaign."

Is this true? Was Nightingale an active Libertarian who defected to the AIP? I've never heard of her, so I wonder just how active she was.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Why Canadians Don't Fear Terrorism

I was in Winnipeg last May to attend the World Horror Convention, which met in Canada this year. As I do at every convention, libertarian or otherwise, I spent a good portion of my time touring the host city. On May 3rd, I visited the Manitoba provincial capitol building, which is in Winnipeg.

It was a Sunday afternoon. I didn't expect anything other than to view the capitol from the outside. I found a typical government building, massive and fronted by white columns. I climbed the steps to the entrance, not really expecting to gain admittance.

To my surprise, the door was open. Inside, I found a solitary security guard behind a reception desk. I asked if tours were offered. Not on Sundays, I was told, but I was free to browse the building.

The guard was pleasant and all smiles. He asked for my name and city of origin. He wrote it in a visitor's log -- but he never checked my I.D. I didn't lie, but I could have.

I wore my usual weathered khakis. A camera hung from my neck.

I passed through no metal detectors. No X-rays. No searches.

The guard gave me a clip-on Visitor's badge. Then I was let loose in the provincial capitol, free to wander, free to photograph. Unescorted.

The capitol was deserted on a Sunday afternoon. I explored all four floors, from the basement to the top, clicking away with my camera. Most of the time I was alone, no one in sight. If there were any security cameras, I didn't see them. Even if I were being observed, no one rushed to stop my taking pictures. The level of trust placed in me, a foreigner (I'd truthfully told the guard that I was from California), was amazing.

I can't imagine that many key U.S. government buildings would place as much trust in Americans, much less foreigners. No I.D. No metal detectors. No X-raying bags. In the U.S., guards get suspicious if someone is seen taking photos outside a government building. Consider the security measures (and list of prohibited items) that visitors to California's state capitol museum in Sacramento must undergo.

Why do Canadians fear terrorists less than do Americans?

I suspect it's because Canada has a reputation for minding its own business overseas.

Canadian foreign policy has not been perfect. At times it's slavishly rubber-stamped British or American wars. The hallways of Manitoba's capitol are covered with plaques commemorating all manner of people and events, including such insanities as the Boer War and World War I.

Even so, Canadians have been minor followers of British and American imperialist policies, rather than policy-makers. Canada doesn't install foreign despots or fund ungrateful "allies" that oppress and kill innocent civilians. As a result, no one hates Canada for its freedom and prosperity. Its buildings are not terrorist targets.

Imperialism does not justify terrorism, but it does motivate terrorism. Creating enemies abroad spurs a police state at home. Imperialism diminishes freedom for both the conqueror and the conquered.

It's silly, but Canada still enjoys a vicarious thrill from its ties to the defunct British Empire. One plaque in the Manitoba capitol "commemorates the arrival on Canada's soil of those British subjects whose loyalty to their King, faith in God, and courage to endure hardships caused them to sacrifice their homes in the American colonies, and to pioneer in the Canadian wilderness. The mark of Honour, U.E., established by Order-In-Council No. 25 passed at the City of Quebec on November 9, 1789, and approved in London in 1790, was conferred upon the Loyalists and their descendants."

This means that descendants of those Tories who fled the American Revolution for Canada get to affix U.E. after their names. U.E. stands for United Empire. Thankfully, now an empire in name only.

More silliness: Canadians still recognize Elizabeth II as their queen.

Okay, so Canadians are wrong about the American Revolution. And there are other things they can learn from us. Canadians are weaker on free speech ("hate speech" is a crime) and gun rights. Then there's their socialized medicine.

But there are things the U.S. can learn from Canada. War and empire do not make a nation safe. Peace and non-intervention bring safety and security.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bogus Afghan Elections

The below is written by Kevin Zeese, Executive Director of Voters for Peace, and reprinted by his permission:

Many view the August 20, 2009 election in Afghanistan as a fraud. The candidates are all approved by the U.S. There are no political parties. The Taliban cannot run candidates. The vote takes place under U.S. bayonets.

There have been reports of the presidential election sparking violence, corruption, vote buying, and alliances between Karzai and warlords.

One Member of Parliament, a woman who is the youngest Member, wrote that Afghans have "no hope" in this election. A fake election will not bring peace and stability.

President Obama has fully embraced the Afghan War, and done so when generals and DoD officials are acknowledging the U.S. is losing, deaths are mounting, and it's going to be a very long haul -- measured in years not in months. One general is saying four decades.

Those who oppose this war must organize. We need more people informed about the facts. More people involved in ending the war.

Please urge people to take action. Take action yourself. Urge President Obama to end the Afghan War. The U.S. cannot succeed in the graveyard of Empires and cannot afford to continue this war.

The Pentagon is spending nearly $5 billion per month in Iraq and Afghanistan, a pace that would bring yearly costs to almost $60 billion.

Military fatalities are consistently rising. Civilian deaths are rapidly rising due to drones and air attacks. These deaths are undermining support for the U.S.

Military leaders in both the U.S. and Britain are saying troops will be needed for years in Afghanistan. State Dept. officials are describing a lengthy occupation lasting many years. The U.S. is showing its intention by building huge bases in Afghanistan. There are calls for a vast increase in troops.

The U.S. is repeating mistakes of the Iraq War with very high civilian deaths and abusive prison camps. Afghan insurgents are winning and holding land. They are a very difficult enemy for U.S. troops. The Taliban is stronger than any time since the war began.

Afghanis are increasingly angry with the U.S. presence. In some cases, overcoming Afghan resistance seems insurmountable and the U.S. is considering pulling troops from some regions.

It seems as if the U.S. can neither define victory, nor measure success, nor does it have a clear objective in the Afghan War.

The Afghan War is increasingly unpopular at home, with only 41% supporting the war. Throughout the world, opposition to the war is increasing. Even soldiers see the war as futile.

The Obama administration is at a critical crossroads regarding Afghan policy. Please write the president and urge him to end the Afghan War. And urge everyone you know to do so.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Were Ron Paul's Votes Undercounted?

Independent Political Report says that:

The Federal Election Commission has released its "2008 presidential popular vote summary for all candidates listed on at least one state ballot." The results:

# Barack Obama (Democrat) 69,498,516 [52.93%]
# John McCain (Republican) 59,948,323 [45.65%]
# Ralph Nader (Independent, Peace and Freedom) 739,034 [0.56%]
# Bob Barr (Libertarian) 523,715 [0.40%]
# Chuck Baldwin (Constitution/Reform/U.S. Taxpayers) 199,750 [0.15%]
# Cynthia McKinney (Green, Independent, Mountain) 161,797 [0.12%]
# Write-In (Miscellaneous) 112,597 [0.09%]
# Alan Keyes (America’s Independent) 47,746 [0.04%]
# Ron Paul (Constitution, Louisiana Taxpayers) 42,426 [0.03%]
# Gloria La Riva (Socialism and Liberation) 6,818 [0.01%]
# Brian Moore (Liberty Union, Socialist) 6,538
# None of These Candidates [Nevada only] 6,267
# RĂ³ger Calero (Socialist Workers) 5,151
# Richard Duncan (Independent) 3,905
# James Harris (Socialist Workers) 2,424
# Charles Jay (Boston Tea Party/Independent) 2,422
# John Joseph Polachek (New) 1,149
# Frank Edward McEnulty (Unaffiliated) 829
# Jeffrey J. Wamboldt (Independent) 764
# Thomas Robert Stevens (Objectivist) 755
# Gene C. Amondson (Prohibition) 653
# Jeffrey “Jeff” Boss (Vote Here) 639
# George Phillies (Libertarian) 531
# Ted Weill (Reform) 481
# Jonathan E. Allen (Heartquake ‘08) 480
# Bradford Lyttle (U.S. Pacifist) 110

However, it seems from this the FEC only counted Ron Paul’s votes from states where he was on the ballot (Montana and Louisiana).

The FEC appears not to have included Paul-s write-in votes -- 17,006 officially certified write-in votes from California alone!

Paul insisted that he was not a candidate for president, yet his support is so strong, it seems he pulled nearly 60,000 votes just by not running.

Imagine if Paul had run, and was on every state's ballot!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wayne Allyn Root's Conscience of a Libertarian

Below is a review of Root's new book, written by Classical Liberal, which he permits me to reprint.

The Conscience of a Bullshit Artist

I have the unpleasant task of reading Wayne Root’s misnamed book, The Conscience of a Libertarian. The title is, of course, just a rip-off of The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater. There was no need to change titles since Root's work is clearly the work of a conservative, not a libertarian. Root remains a pretender, a conservative in libertarian clothing.

Early in the book Root defines himself as a "Libertarian conservative." That is more telling than he would care. First, note that the term "libertarian" is modifying the term conservative. His main identity is that of a conservative not that of a libertarian. A "conservative libertarian" is someone who says they are foremost a libertarian with some conservative sentiments. A "libertarian conservative" is the opposite: someone who is mostly a conservative with some libertarian sentiments.

There is another telling point to Root's self-labeling. He uses the term "Libertarian" instead of "libertarian." A big L libertarian is merely a member of the Libertarian Party and these days that is no indication as to whether or not they are libertarian in political terms. The small l libertarian is someone who is a libertarian philosophically.

Root identified himself as a "Libertarian conservative" not a "libertarian conservative." This is even weaker that what I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Here one is not actually claiming to be a libertarian philosophy, merely a Libertarian Party member who is a conservative.

Of course, the whole thing could be imprecise writing and bad editing. Root is no intellectual and it shows. He is a loud-mouthed, brash, self-promoting individual with all the charms of a cross between a used car salesman and Richard Nixon, just without the principles.

Early in the book, Root dismisses discussing issues that separate libertarians from conservatives: social freedom. He does talk about taxes, and taxes, and more taxes.

Social freedom is not something he talks about, but then he doesn’t want his conservative, anti-libertarian views too obvious while he tries to con the desperate and dying Libertarian Party into nominating him for President. Consider how Root addresses social freedom:

"As a Libertarian, I believe that social and personal freedom issues are quite simply States’ Rights issues. …These issues are none of the federal government’s darn business. Voters should decide these issues on the state and local level."

There is nothing libertarian about that issue. That is a conservative through and through.

Libertarians, by which I mean philosophical libertarians not LP members, believe in individual rights not states’ rights. No decent libertarian would argue that the rights of anyone should be put up to majority vote of the public. But Root is no decent libertarian; hell; he’s not even an indecent libertarian.

What Root is doing is trying to hide social conservative values by sweeping that entire category of issues under the rug. We will hide social issues behind the mantra of "state's rights" instead of addressing them.

Libertarians have NEVER supported the violation of rights as long as it is the states that are violating those rights. That view is classic conservative thinking and was quite popular with the Dixiecrats, the racist Democrats who wanted to use state law to oppress blacks. Root is speaking in the tradition of Strom Thurmond not Lysander Spooner.

Root is also ignoring an important question: what should the states do about these matters? Even if he is merely a Libertarian, and not a libertarian, the LP still has state affiliates and those affiliates must take stands on censorship, equality of rights for gays, separation of church and state and other issues that Root ignores. What stand should they take, Mr. Root?

When Root first floated the idea that he was the great savior of the LP, his web site did take stands on social issues and the stands I saw were very conservative. That was losing Root some support. So he pulled the same sort of trick pioneered by that other social conservative, Ron Paul. He called social freedom a state’s rights issue and then ignored it.

Mr. Root also seems to be taken aim at the many agnostics and atheists that are in the Libertarian Party—including most of the LP presidential candidates until the conservatives took over.

Root says he is "comforted by the idea of our electing public official who are religious God-fearing and love men and women." Apparently atheists like John Hospers (the first LP presidential candidate) or Ed Clark (the most successful LP presidential candidate) make Root uncomfortable.

Worse, Root then equates morality with religion implying that non-religious people are immoral and corrupt. He says that electing "God-fearing" candidates is good for America "because moral people are less likely to bring about a corrupt government."

(Sort of like the non-corrupt, good government of George Bush, right Mr. Right?)

Never before has someone who was an LP national candidate taken a swipe at non-believers, implying that because they are not religious they are more likely to be immoral and corrupt.

Elsewhere, Root claims he is the perfect candidate because he isn't an atheist. "I'm the perfect political figure to lead this fight because of who I am. I'm not an atheist. I'm not a liberal, I'm not anti-religion. To the contrary, I'm a proud family man and patriot who strongly supports God, religion and prayer."

Notice he did not include, "I'm not a conservative."

Root then goes into a discussion of marriage where he proves he is historically as adept as he is philosophical adept. In other words he is total incompetent. He claims "After the abolishment of slavery, some states began licensing marriages in order to prevent blacks and whites from marrying each other. Prior to this, marriage was a religiously defined institution."

Both of these claims are false. State regulation of marriage goes back to the 1500s and was pushed by the Protestant Reformers who said marriage was a state institution more than a religious one. It was not the result of the abolition of slavery.

And prior to the Reformationists inviting the state to take over marriage was primarily a non-religious, secular event. It was governed by custom and the will of those involved but not regulated by either church or state.

Martin Luther wrote: "Since marriage has existed from the beginning of the world and is still found among unbelievers, there is no reason why it should be called a sacrament of the New Law and of the church alone."

Luther wanted state control over the matter but acknowledged it was primarily a non-religious institution predating the church. Root doesn’t know his history any more than he knows libertarianism.

In Root's long diatribe about God and morality he seems to be saying that it is a bad idea to have government enforce morality. But how does that jive with his claim that these are all state issues? At first it appears he is saying that government, at any level, should not take on the role of moral enforcer. But that is not the case. He actually qualifies his position by saying: "Do not ask or demand that the federal government impose your choice and values on the rest of us." It is only Nanny statism at the federal level that offends him.

This remains consistent with his stated position that voters have the right to dictate morality at the state level. In the world of Wayne Root, individual rights may be determined by popular vote at the state level.

Social freedom issues are not quite entirely ignored, though they may well have been. He has a short section on medicinal marijuana but little about the destructive effects of the war on drugs as a whole. There appears to be one paragraph in the entire book on this topic.

He does have a chapter called The End of Prohibition but that isn't about drugs. That is about the laws regulating gambling. Root is in the gambling business so his "principled" stand here is not surprising.

True principled libertarians defend the rights of people they don't like. Mr. Root never does that.

Root has almost nothing to say about civil liberties and social freedom. Also missing is any discussion of foreign policy and the war on terror. Surely the war and the hysteria about terrorists have justified more big brother measures in recent years than anything else. And Root has not a single word to say about them. He doesn't defend the traditional libertarian foreign policy of non-interventionism.

But then Root was a pro-war cheerleader before, who only shut up about it when he realized it might hurt his desire to be an LP candidate.

There is nothing [in his book] condemning the Patriot Act, nothing condemning torture of individuals by the US government, nothing about indefinite incarceration of prisoners by the federal government.

The only things Root talks about are conservative talking points. He avoids most social issues and all issues of foreign policy.

He will rant about affirmative action, which pales in significance to foreign policy.

He spends page after page on taxes but says nothing about repealing the Patriot Act and bringing the troops home.

Root's book is purely a marketing gimmick. It is not meant to explain libertarianism. How could it? Root has no idea what that term means. The whole purpose of the book is to convince conservatives to complete the take-over of the Libertarian Party and nominate the con man from Nevada for President.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Seaside Peaceniks Hold Obama Accountable

The following is written by Lawrence K. Samuels, who is the Chair of the Monterey County Libertarian Party:

Even before Anthony Gregory spoke at the Peace Resource Center in Seaside, CA, on June 20th, his topic was controversial.

Libertarians for Peace, and the Libertarian Party of Monterey County, wanted to see whether the 27-member Peace Coalition of Monterey County truly supported peace -- or were only interested in having Democrats in charge of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Gregory's speech was entitled: "Is the New Boss the Same as the Old Boss: Has Obama Kept his Promises?" The title alarmed a number of peace activists who were worried that Gregory, a research analyst at the Independent Institute, would go on an "Obama Bashing" tirade. But despite that concern, the Peace Coalition voted to be the main sponsor for Gregory's speech.

Promo flyers tried to downplay the controversy by asking: "Do all politicians promise reforms and then reform their promises, or is Obama the exception?"

According to Gregory's speech, Obama is no exception. The 28-year-old libertarian editor of the Campaign for Liberty website spent over an hour listing dozens of broken promises by President Obama. Some of Obama's better-known broken promises include:

1. His promise of transparency, saying he would give the public a five-day public comment period;

2. His promise to quickly close Guantanamo;

3. His promise to oppose warrantless surveillance;

4. His promise to withdraw completely from Iraq;

5. His promise to stop unconstitutional actions such as "state secrets" and "immunity" claims;

6. His promise to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.

Unfortunately for peace defenders, Obama /has/ kept a number of promises -- which actually hurt peace:

1. Escalating the war in Afghanistan with 30,000 more troops;

2. Increasing the Pentagon military budget;

3. More deeply involving the U.S. with the war against the Taliban in Pakistan.

During the Q&A period, one Obama supporter said that, despite all of Obama's broken promises, the public should still support the President. His cited reasons were trivial, arguing that Obama has helped to heal American society, and has restored $50 million to the United Nations Population Fund.

Gregory countered by arguing that the U.N. was an imperialist cadre, initially organized by Stalin, dictators, and Western powers to the detriment of smaller nations.

Despite their fear of a harsh bashing of Obama, many local peace activists were impressed with Gregory's speech. Most understood that Obama is no friend to civil liberties, international peace, or transparency.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Israeli Peaceniks vs. Warlike American Jews

It seems that ever more Israelis perceive a militarization of Israeli society, and are refusing to serve in the military, and even going to prison for it.

Meanwhile, American Jews visiting Israel talk tough.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Monterey, CA Tea Party Unites Antiwar, Anti-Tax Protesters

The below was written by Lawrence K. Samuels, Chair of the Monterey LP, and is reprinted with his permission:

Hundreds of Tea Parties dotted the American landscape on April 15, 2009, confusing some and delighting others.

In Monterey County, the Libertarian Party and Libertarians for Peace helped organize a mostly spontaneous anti-tax protest, drawing some 600 teabaggers. I say "spontaneous" because we couldn't get any press to promote the event beforehand. Except for KION 1460 AM radio, and libertarian Mark Carbonaro's radio announcements, the public could only have learned of the tea party through word of mouth or the internet.

Teabaggers were upset over the skyrocketing debt, uncontrolled spending, higher taxes, socialized bailouts, and bloated government. We tried to maintain that theme, though some people had signs protesting Obama's administration.

Most attacks on Obama are misdirected. By criticizing Obama, rather than overall government coercion, teabaggers appear sympathetic to Republicans. We must dispel this mostly media-driven criticism of Tea Parties. One way is to set up tables, as did various Monterey libertarian groups, and distribute hundreds of libertarian buttons and flyers. We also brought pre-made signs, and a sign-making table with poster board and markers.

A few counter-protesters attended on the other side of the street. Ironically, they came because the local Peace Calendar had sent notices to protest the event -- yet Libertarians for Peace is a member of the Peace Coalition that runs the Peace Calendar.

Their website's anti-Tea Party notice was taken down soon after we complained.

We knew some of the counter-demonstrators from past antiwar demonstrations. We crossed the street and distributed antiwar literature to them, stressing that antiwar and anti-tax people are natural allies. Some of them lightened up, and accepted our invitation to our side of the street. After all, we were embracing our principles with "End the War, Cut Taxes" signs.

Counter-protesters did not have a single antiwar sign, only placards that said they were "proud tax-paying Americans," and Obama banners. One sign appeared to be pro-war, proclaiming: "Support the Troops: Pay Your Taxes."

Now that Obama is escalating troop strength in Afghanistan and asking for another $83 billion for both war zones, it seems that Democratic sympathizers in the various Peace Coalitions are less inclined to criticize the war. Seems it's okay for Democratic politicians to engage in war, but not for Republicans.

We soon hope to highlight this contradiction with a speech by co-founder and long-time libertarian, Eric Garris. The planned speech is entitled: "Is the new boss the same as the old boss?"

Libertarians must be in the forefront of this pro-taxpayer, pro-freedom protest movement. We must denounce both the past abuses of the recent Republican administration, and the new abuses of the current Democratic administration.

Teabaggers are talking about forming a Freedom Coalition, comprising dozens of local organizations, similar to the county-based Peace Coalitions that sprung up during the Iraq War.

As with the antiwar movement, the freedom movement will have a long and rocky road to travel. It makes for a better journey if we have a roadmap.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

West Virginia LP Demands End to Drone Attacks in Pakistan

I wish the national LP was more libertarian on foreign policy, but until it is, it's up to the state LPs to issue libertarian foreign policy statements.

I was glad to see the West Virginia LP issue the below press release:

Over the past few months, the United States military has been operating remote-controlled drones to attack targets inside of Pakistan, a sovereign nation. President Obama virtually promised such attacks to supporters during his campaign, stating that "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will."

Now he appears to be keeping at least one campaign promise. According to one report, 700 Pakistani civilians have been killed by these attacks, leading to outcry in Pakistan against the use of these attacks and encroachment into sovereign Pakistani airspace to attack what the US military believes might be terrorist targets.

There’s a catch, though. While the US government has succeeded in killing 700 innocent civilians, only 14 actual terrorist operatives have been killed. That's right -- for every suspected terrorist that's been killed by these strikes, 50 innocent civilians have died. The Libertarian Party of West Virginia finds this wholly unacceptable. While we oppose foreign intervention entirely as a mis-use of our nation’s valuable resources, racking up these unacceptable levels of civilian deaths must be vehemently opposed by all libertarians as inhuman, immoral, and evil.

As such, the Libertarian Party of West Virginia demands an immediate end to these attacks, across a sovereign border, violating Pakistan’s sovereignty, and killing innocent civilians.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wayne Allyn Root's Latest Shameless Whooper

A source emails me the following: "Wayne Root announced that he was the leader of the Antiwar wing of the party at the LPGA convention."


Who elected the recently pro-war Root the "leader" of the LP's antiwar wing?

Pro-war liberventionists like Bruce Cohen, Brian Holtz, and Eric Dondero continue to praise and support Root. Surely, the pro-war wing recognizes its own.

Rachel Hawkridge Addresses LNC Purge of Lee Wrights

With her permission, I repost what Rachel Hawkridge, Washington LP State Chair, and LNC member, says about the LNC's purge of Lee Wrights:

"Dear gentle, yet ferocious, freedom fighters :o) -

Once again, some of our National Committee is trying to expel a lifelong freedom fighter, dedicated activist, and Libertarian National Committee member.

First, it was Angela Keaton -- TWO valuable meetings were consumed with abusing her. Now the target is Lee Wrights. If you haven't heard -- the posted eMails from Secretary and Chair to Lee are factually correct here.

Within one hour, Lee was notified, and then his seat was offered up to the StateChairs list. Staff claims to have sent 2 snail mail notices, but Lee has moved recently. Meanwhile, other members receive eMail notifications that their memberships are about to lapse. And Lee's eMail address and phone number haven't changed in some time -- both Staff and the Committee have those ... they were on the LP Leadership page. By the time I got to the eMail that announced a vacancy (1 hour later), Lee's name and picture had already been removed from the website.

It seems to point to a systematic purge. And sets a precedent -- if some of the Committee don't like you, no matter that you were elected by a majority at National Convention, that you have poured heart, soul, Time, Treasure and Sacred Honor into the movement, the party, the people -- you can be picked off, expelled by someone who feels that they have the authority to decide.

You, or your favorite activist, could be elected to LNC, dedicate vast amounts of Time, Treasure and Sacred Honor to Liberty, and then have staff either lose your contact information, or lose your dues check, or forget to change your renewal date, and open your eMail one day to find you've been expelled.

Whether you like Lee Wrights or not -- and those of you on the original distribution of this eMail all value him and/or Angela -- I am looking for contact information (names, eMail addresses (preferred), or phone numbers) for people who are sick of the controversy.

If you are someone who values the old LP, the current LP, the movement, or the activists -- I need to hear from you, and all your friends and contacts.

Please take some time to put together a list of contacts, and send it to me, AND then send this letter to them.

We need to build a network of people who are ready to help fix the LP. To return it to its roots, founding principles, to the vision of David Nolan ... to a place where free people can work together to achieve more freedom. Where acts of aggression are not welcome.

This is a tipping point, I believe -- the freedom movement is gaining speed again. We lost ground during the Campaign for Liberty/Ron Paul controversy, and lost a valuable opportunity. Let's not miss this one!

Help us to build a party, rather than destroy one?

Act In Liberty,

Rachel Hawkridge
Chair, Libertarian Party of Washington
Libertarian National Committee
Region 7 Representative

Office Hours: Wednesdays 10 - 2 p.m., 206-769-2492 cell

"When the truth is replaced by silence," the Soviet dissident Yevgeny Yevtushenko said, "the silence is a lie."

Why Radicals Resign, and Reformers Stick Around Like a Bad Cold

Radicals are more willing than Reformers to resign from the Libertarian Party, because Radicals care about principles, and you don't need a party for that.

But many Reform types are in it for personal validation. They want party titles, and respect from the outside world. That's one reason they'll sacrifice principles for votes; and why they're so mortified about being embarrassed by Radicals. "What will talk radio say? What will people think?"

Radicals can walk away from the LP. I don't think many Reform types can walk away. Their LP titles are their identity.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

LNC's Pro-War Faction Purges Lee Wrights

After harassing Angela Keaton to the point that she'd resigned from the Libertarian National Committee, the LNC's pro-war (ehr, excuse me ... "pro-defense") faction is now attempting to purge antiwar libertarian, Lee Wrights.

Details at this thread on

Friday, April 17, 2009

Peace and Glasnost

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:

* 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.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wayne Allyn Root's Boiler Room, Part 3

I've found yet another thread from people in the sports betting world, exposing Root's sleazy business.

With all these bailouts, America's getting sick of sleazy businessmen. The LP needs to tout noble businessmen, not make poster childs out of sleazoids who exploit suckers.

Yeah, I know. In a free market people have the liberty to exploit suckers. Which is why so many voters reject the LP.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Is California Freedom Too Antiwar?

Paulie Cannoli posted my January editorial at The thread soon became dominated by whether CF is too antiwar, and how my tenure compares to that of Bruce Cohen and Brian Holtz before me.

This led to another thread, explicitly on the issue of whether California Freedom is too antiwar.

Too much to summarize -- 331 posts, so far!

Former Orange County LP Chair Bruce Cohen once again shows what a class act he is, saying among other things (in the second thread): "Sipos, [Ted] Brown and Kookenaga have turned the paper into a quality level a High School Journalism class couldn’t get a C with. And, they have turned it into a carbon copy of the Daily Kos, where any Libertarians that aren’t anarcho-extremists are unwelcome."

By "Kookenaga," Bruce means California LP Chair Kevin Takenaga.

Bruce is very antsy about his "copyrights," but of course, federal copyright law permits me to quote excerpts from his public postings. It's called Fair Use. If Bruce doesn't like it, well, the law isn't on his side, so tough.

But check out that second thread to read all of Bruce's fulminations.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wayne Allyn Root Closes His Gambling Business

If Root had advance inklings of this, it supports my theory that Root was looking to use the LP to build his "libertarian creds" so he could leverage that into a book deal and/or radio/TV show. When one ship is burning, it helps to have another waiting nearby.

I received this via email, on January 10th. Only now got around to posting it:

"Wayne Root Reportedly Closes Shop Countless reports have indicated to that former US Libertarian Vice Presidential running mate and sports handicapper, Wayne Root, has shut down his sports service call center in Las Vegas this week.

'Nobody has answered the phones since Sunday,' one sports handicapper told 'This is unheard of during an NFL Playoff Weekend.'

This individual also told us that three of his employees had approached a car dealership about employment over the past few days.

'The story I hear is that he (Wayne Root) came in, told everyone he was closed, get there stuff together and leave,' according to one poster on the MajorWager website.

It was not immediately clear how many customers, if any, were affected by the apparent closure or if Root planned to open back up this weekend. The Super Bowl is traditionally the largest revenue day for sports handicapping services.

On May 25, 2008, Root made it to the fifth ballot at the 2008 Libertarian National Convention before being eliminated and endorsing Bob Barr, who went on to the party's presidential nomination. In the third round of voting, he was successful in the race for the vice presidential nomination, beating Steve Kubby.

In September 2008, Root offered to give up his VP slate on the Libertarian ticket to make room for Ron Paul, as the LP received feelers that the former Republican presidential candidate may have been interested in getting on a strong third party ticket, as there remained a strong following behind him. Paul declined the offer, and denied any intention of running on a third-party presidential ticket.

-- Christopher Costigan,, Publisher"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Massachusetts LP Chides LNC for Angela Keaton Witch Hunt

Libertarians around the country remain upset by the LNC's witch hunt against Angela Keaton.

The following was sent out by George Phillies, Treasurer of the Massachusetts LP:

"The Massachusetts LP State Committee, having read in detail of events at the December LNC meeting, has passed a resolution responding to the LNC actions. The resolution was drafted by a committee of the whole, and passed without objection.

"The resolution as passed reads:

'Whereas, the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts and five other state affiliates of the national Libertarian Party urged the Libertarian National Committee -- in the words of the Libertarian Party of Nevada -- to drop its vendetta against Angela Keaton and -- in the words of the Libertarian Party of Tennessee -- turn its attention to proper and necessary Libertarian Party business such as membership growth, finances, campaigns, advancing public policy in a libertarian direction, and increasing awareness of Libertarianism, and,

'Whereas furthermore, the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire categorically and unambiguously informed the Libertarian National Committee that the charge against Keaton related to New Hampshire was totally false and devoid of merit, and

'Whereas furthermore, the Libertarian National Committee took no notice in its meeting of these recommendations, and

'Whereas furthermore, the actions of the Libertarian National Committee drove National Committee At-Large member Angela Keaton to resign from the Committee, and

'Whereas furthermore, the Libertarian National Committee passed a new budget providing nothing for Affiliate Support, Ballot Access, Brand Development, Campus Outreach, or Lobbying, and next to nothing for Candidate Support, therefore

'Mindful of its historical leadership role within the libertarian movement, a role readily traced back to the battles of Concord and Lexington and the abolitionist movement, not to mention Massachusetts's record as the first state to abolish slavery, legalize gay marriage, and its recent success in decriminalizing marijuana possession, the Libertarian Party of Massachusetts therefore resolves:

'First, we counsel the Libertarian National Committee that, for the good of the Party, the Libertarian National Committee should ensure in appointing Keaton's replacement that the replacement is as anti-war and as socially liberal as Ms. Keaton, so that the balance on the National Committee between the party's various factions and interests is not altered and continues to reflect the mixture of votes cast at the most recent National Convention, and

'Second, we urge supporters of the libertarian political movement to respond to the Libertarian National Committee's actions by redirecting your future donations away from the Libertarian National Committee. Donate instead to libertarian groups that do real politics and political education, such as your state Libertarian Party, and national groups such as Freedom Ballot Access and the Advocates for Self-Government.' "

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

On Angela Keaton and Ron Paul

My editorial in the January 2009 issue of California Freedom, which subscribers should have received by now:

Some of our best libertarians -- our most principled and productive libertarians -- are outside the party. For instance, Ron Paul. And joining him now, Angela Keaton.

* Angela Keaton

Angela Keaton resigned her At-large seat on the LNC shortly after their December meeting, during which she was subjected to a silly and unimportant disciplinary hearing, orchestrated by LNC Region 4 Representative Stewart Flood. Michael Seebeck reports on the meeting on page 1 of this issue, along with links.

Most of the charges against Angela were of her publicly criticizing the LP and its leaders, with her usual irreverent wit. She'd also joined a Boston Tea Party Facebook account, thus lending support to a competing political party. (Whereas Bob Barr only contributed millions of PAC dollars to GOP candidates running against LP candidates, while he sat on the LNC. Small potatoes compared to a Facebook account.)

Yes, Angela speaks freely and doesn't care if she offends. She can be abrasive and blunt and impolitic. She does not easily tolerate fools. She asks tough questions of LP leaders, and demands strict adherence to principles. A no-nonsense nun, ever ready to smack mushy-headed libertarians with her ruler. Or with a funny zinger.

I wasn't at the LNC meeting, but like others, I followed it live on IPR eyewitnesses reported that, as Flood presented his "evidence," attending activists began to laugh. So did some LNC members. Flood grew ever more irate, which increased the laughter, which further incensed Flood.

Judging by the laughs, the funniest exhibit in Flood's case against Angela was a photoshopped image of her and LP Treasurer Aaron Starr, posted on Angela's Anarchist Bitch blog, captioned: "Luka Skywalker meets her father, Darth Herr Vader."

In describing the event, Thomas Knapp said: "Stewart Flood's presentation of 'charges' and 'evidence' against Ms. Keaton came off as the clown show it was. Accounts from on the spot describe open laughter from the audience and a public near-nervous-breakdown on the part of Flood himself. Keaton acquitted herself quite well, speaking in her own defense... She denied the LNC's authority to dictate what opinions she would express or how she would express them,"

Flood's resolution moved to suspend Angela's LNC membership, to be rescinded upon her submitting a letter, for publication in the LP News, apologizing for a laundry list of alleged misdeeds.

Rather than suspend or clear Angela, the LNC sent the matter to committee for further investigation. To which Angela replied: "I will under no circumstances submit to any committee investigation."

Angela resigned a day or so later. She cited health reasons. Eric Garris, her boss at, issued a letter saying that Angela's LNC work was interfering with her duties at, and she must choose one or the other.

I've heard rumors that Garris was merely offering Angela a gracious excuse to exit. One longtime Los Angeles LP officer opined to me, "I think Angela just got tired of all the petty b*llsh*t on the LNC, and said 'to hell with it.' And I don't blame her."

Angela Keaton will now devote her full time to and the cause of world peace. The LP's loss is humanity's gain.

* Ron Paul

On December 13, 2008, the California Secretary of State issued the official results for the 2008 presidential race, write-in votes included. They are:

Barack Obama ..... 8,274,473
John McCain ..... 5,011,781
Ralph Nader ..... 108,381
Bob Barr ..... 67,582
Alan Keyes ..... 40,673
Cynthia McKinney ..... 38,774
Ron Paul ..... 17,006
Chuck Baldwin ..... 3,145
James Harris ..... 49
Frank Moore ..... 36

The top six names appeared on the California ballot as candidates for the Democratic, Republican, Peace and Freedom, Libertarian, American Independent, and Green Parties, respectively. The latter four were officially certified write-in candidates.

Most Californians were unaware that Ron Paul was a certified write-in candidate and that votes for him would be counted. Even so, Paul pulled over 17,000 votes -- without appearing on the ballot, without a current campaign, without the public even knowing that he was a viable option.

Imagine how many votes Paul would have won had the public known that write-in votes for him would count?

And how many additional votes had Paul been on the ballot?

Even many Libertarians were unaware of Paul's official write-in status. Some told me after the election: "I'd have voted for Paul, had I known my vote would count."

Chuck Baldwin was the Constitution Party's write-in candidate. The American Independent Party (which had been the CP's California affiliate) split over the war issue. Baldwin supported the CP/AIP's traditional noninterventionist position. Alan Keyes was the choice of the pro-war faction. A California court ruled that the Keyes faction was the legitimate AIP representative, so Keyes's name appeared on the ballot.

James Harris ran on the Socialist Workers Party. Frank Moore ran on the Just Makes Sense Party. Moore has been described as a "performance artist," so his campaign might have been an extension of that, rather than a serious political endeavor. His running mate was cable access TV "sex therapist," Dr. Susan Block.

Curiously, both Harris and Moore received under 55 write-in votes. One must obtain signatures from 55 pledged electors to be a certified write-in candidate in California, so it seems that even their electors didn't want to "waste their votes" on Harris and Moore.

On December 14, the Constitution Party's Bill Lussenheide reported on "There were three counties in California that did NOT count the write in votes for either Chuck Baldwin or Ron Paul. [And presumably, not for Harris and Moore.] Their totals should not be considered complete. [They are] Del Norte County, Mono County and San Benito County."

So it seems that Paul received more votes than recorded in the state's "official" report. Which is somehow poetically appropriate, considering the candidate and the state.

As Joseph Stalin reputedly said: "It's not who votes that counts. It's who counts the votes."

* LP Conventions

I congratulate the LNC on one good decision. The 2010 LP national convention will be held in St. Louis. Good choice. A cheap locale for most povertarians, conveniently situated in the middle of the continental U.S., and not in some pricey state like Hawaii, or on an expensive cruise ship. Room rates are $109 a night.

The LPC state convention will be held this April, in Visalia, California. That's near Fresno.

Saturday, January 17, 2009