George Phillies leaks Shane Cory LNC memo about Mary Ruwart child pornography position, disputes being the source

From the desk of George Phillies

The following and many other things have recently poured across my transom. Apparently members of the LNC are really unhappy with each other. My comments precede the Cory memo in the following text. The memo authenticity I am inclined to believe but cannot verify. I am fairly sure his attack on me is not quite historically accurate.

Hello!

To judge from all the emails I am having forwarded to me by a large number of different people, I gather that the LNC is unhappy about something, since it has sprung more leaks than the Titanic after it hit the iceberg.

In any event, some of you may find interesting the following, which was forwarded to me. It appears to show that the LNC was told in advance by Mr. Cory that he would be putting out his notorious press release attacking by inference Dr. Ruwart’s book.

Mr. Cory also uses the memo as an opportunity to attack me. Because I have not previously seen this memo, I did not have an opportunity to defend myself from his false statement about me, a deficiency I will soon be correcting.

Most of you were not on the LNC last year, and therefore likely did not see the following.

By the way, I have also recently seen a report to you on a count of members. It is visible that at someplace in the middle of the graph the count of members has been replaced with a count of members and donors, making recent progress look better than is reasonable.

On the bright side, while Sarah Palin blew $150,000 on clothing, our Presidential candidate is only up to $18,000 on limousine services. It is good to see that Libertarian thrift and fiscal prudence are leading the way.

George Phillies

Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2008 17:27:26 -0400
From: shane.cory@lp.org
To: lnc-discuss@lp.org
Subject: [Lnc-discuss] Are we Anarchists or Libertarians?

— NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION —

Dear LNC members,

The comments from Mary Ruwart’s book that were recently found by George Phillies and publicized are now hitting the media. The top headline on the heavily trafficked site Politics1.com reads “Leading Libertarian Prez Candidate Defends Child Porn.” This is becoming an issue that cannot be ignored and does trouble myself and the rest of the staff.

For a quick recap, here are the comments from page 43 of Mary Ruwart’s book, “Libertarian – Short Answers to the Tough Questions”:

“How can a libertarian argue against child pornography?

Children forced to participate in sexual acts have the same rights and recourse as rape victims. We can, and should, prosecute their oppressors.

Children who willingly participate in sexual acts have the right to make that decision as well, even if it’s distasteful to us personally. Some children will make poor choices just as some adults do in smoking
and drinking to excess; this is part of life.

When we outlaw child pornography, the prices paid for child performers rise, increasing the incentives for parents to use children against their will.”

I spoke with Mary about this directly and was left reeling with the stupidity of an argument that defended a child being allowed to make their own “decisions” regarding sex, prostitution or the free-market notion of a child pornography industry, which again is very different to the adult pornography, websites similar to full tube xxx.

My discussion with her was not about the issue of consent of a 16 or 17 year-old, we were talking about children — 5, 6, 7. We were talking about my daughter.

In my mind, it is a clear bright line. You are either in favor of the government protecting children from predators and the outlaw of child pornography, or you are not. There is no free-market argument or way to wax philosophic so that I will somehow find it palatable to walk into my local Seven-Eleven and watch someone purchase kiddie porn. There should be a difference drawn between kiddie porn and regular porn found on websites like hdpornvideo xxx.

There is not a chance in hell that I’m going to smile and say “have a nice time” when my eight year-old son walks out of my front door for a date with a 50 year-old pedophile based upon his own supposed decision.

Forgive me for being so upset and so “American” about this, but I believe that our government does serve a purpose and at its core it is to protect the rights of the individual. That includes those who cannot help themselves. As a parent it is our responsibility to make everything safe for our children, that includes setting up parental controls on any computers they have access to, monitoring their emails and chat messages to make sure no-one sends them a message or email with links like visit this site right here porn7 or any other porn spam.

I find it deeply troubling that Mary and others would dance around this issue with theoretical nonsense. This goes far beyond what will happen in Denver and her being a current presidential candidate. Significant, long-term harm may come to our party because of the anarchistic views of
someone the media will portray as a party leader.

I have discussed this with our chair and in no uncertain terms, I will not defend Mary Ruwart or her stances to the media. I am not an anarchist hiding under the “purist” label, I’m a libertarian. I believe
in a small, efficient government that both respects and protects our liberties.

If, after all of this time, I have been somehow kidding myself in thinking that the the vast majority of the members of this party think the way I do, please let me know. If I am actually supposed to be
representing anarchism masked as libertarian “purism,” please, please let me know.

In the meantime, I will be doing what I believe is my obligation to the party and our members by going on the offensive to protect us from further fallout. Later today we may issue a statement addressing the issue of child pornography and will do more if necessary.

If you have any questions or concerns, please voice them on this discussion list.

Sincerely,

Shane Cory
Executive Director
Libertarian National Committee

71 thoughts on “George Phillies leaks Shane Cory LNC memo about Mary Ruwart child pornography position, disputes being the source

  1. Trent Hill

    I know GE will light into me for this:

    But Corey was right here. He needed to combat the idea that the entire party endorsed the ideas,but was careful to avoid naming Mary specifically, it seems to be as little of an attack piece as possible while strenuously seperating the party from such a terrible policy-position. Furthermore, the idea that a 4 year old can “consent” to participate in sex with a 50 year old is LUDICROUS.

  2. Fred Church Ortiz

    When the anonymous poster on TPW began going off that Ruwart supported child porn, George Phillies seemed to be the only one to have a citation handy.

  3. George Phillies

    Of course, everyone with her book had the quote. However, it was clearly extremely damaging, and since I had a competent set of campaign supporters to warn me about these things, we had been ready to go for some time if it came up. We were equally ready to not go if it did not come up.

  4. paulie cannoli Post author

    George,

    Already emailed you about this, but you should take advantage of the Phillies in the World Series with a creative press release(s) to get campaign coverage.

  5. AnthonyD

    After re-reading Ruwart piece, all I can say is…thank christ that woman was not our nominee.

    Shane was absolutely correct; who knows what kind of permanent damage Ruwart could have done to the LP with her lunatic opinions on consensual sex between children and child porn.

    Had Ruwart been our nominee, the only supporter we’d have left would be NAMBLA members.

  6. AnthonyD

    Michael,

    Do you think the mainstream media, if it ever did cover the hypothetical Ruwart presidential campaign, would take the time and effort to read and report on that specific question in context of that entire chapter? Or do you think that they would report that the Libertarian Party nominated a candidate sympathetic to child pornographers who doesn’t believe in age of consent laws?

    Before answering the question, consider how the media handled the “lipstick on a pig” comment, the jeremiah wright sermons, and other issues of earth-shattering import in the Obama-McCain contest. Does this seem like the sort of entity prepared to read her question in context? Or would they maybe prefer ratings-grabbing headlines about a party stupid enough to nominate a child-porn sympathizer?

  7. sunshinebatman

    Yeah, but have you seen the pics that hit the web today of Obama’s nude teen mom? And all the questions about his paternity… Ruwart would have been on expert commentator on the deviant sex in the Dunham family.

    Barr would be a better candidate with Clinton as the nominee.

    Shane was absolutely correct; who knows what kind of permanent damage Ruwart could have done to the LP with her lunatic opinions on consensual sex between children and child porn.

  8. Michael Seebeck

    Anthony,

    You miss the point. This was LP-local news six months ago. It’s LP-past-history now. Who fucking cares about the corporatist media?

    My point was that rehashing a six-months old story about an incompetent boob of an ED (Cory) taking a quotation typed by another incompetent boob (the leaker, rumored to be several people) onto George’s thread and using it to shoot out a PR under LPUS label that was not only not apporved byt the LNC but was in direct contradiction to LP platform and violated LP policy, and led to that boob ED’s firing (sorry, Cory again, resignation in lieu of firing)–pause for a breath–all to smear a candidate (Ruwart) who eventually lost the nomination by 11 votes to a washed-up GOP drug warrior hack (Barr)–that rehash SERVES NO POINT IN OCTOBER!

    As for the rest, the media is just lazy, this is true. I’ll easily admit that. Had they not been lazy they would have known that:
    – McCain’s own advisor Jane Swift called Palin a pig.
    – McCain was born in Panama and was naturalized at 16.
    – Obama has his own citizenship problems.
    – Both of them are not fit to clean the gutters of my house.

    So, yeah, I’ll agree that the corporatist media is lazy. But do you honestly think that it would get any coverage at all? The rumor of a WaPo article on it at Denver was false and a red erring to derail Ruwart winning. Unfortunately, it worked on far too many delegates.

  9. AnthonyD

    Michael,

    You’re right. the whole issue is water under the bridge now. Or was until some folks apparently opened up the can of worms again.

    Bottom line? Res ipsa loquitur. The fact that just a rumor of a WaPo article was enough to scare the delegates at the convention (a group fantastically tolerant relative to the American public) tells you all need to know about what could have happened in the general electorate if Ruwart’s opinions on child sex/kiddie porn did get out, however unlikely that is.

  10. Fred Church Ortiz

    Yeah, but have you seen the pics that hit the web today of Obama’s nude teen mom?

    Obama’s mama was trash?

  11. George Phillies

    My complaint is that Cory informed the LNC that I was the original source, which is false and which remained unknown to me until a few days ago. As I said, the LNC has recently started leaking like the Titanic.

  12. P.I.A.

    Undoubtedly, anyone with any type of reading comprehension must acknowledge that at the very minimum, Ruwart was saying that children have the right to engage in sexual acts. Period.

    Shane did the right thing.

  13. Michael Seebeck

    No Anthony, it just shows that some people in the party will believe any rumor that comes along and can’t handle a little adversity.

  14. chuckmoulton

    Putting this in context, the LNC was not shown the press release beforehand, nor did the above email cause me or other LNC members to believe such a horrible release was forthcoming.

    Shane overstepped his authority, produced an un-libertarian press release, and interfered with our nomination process. LPHQ could have insulated itself from the child pornography landmine without being un-libertarian or hanging Ruwart out to dry.

    Hopefully most libertarians can make the distinction between the reprehensible crime of exploiting children in the production of child pornography and the victimless act of looking at pictures that are classified as child pornography. Ask yourself if it should be a crime to look at a picture of someone shot by a gun.

    “What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that they don’t like something to saying that the government should forbid it. When you go down that road, don’t expect freedom to survive very long.” — Thomas Sowell

  15. Michael Seebeck

    Who did more damage: an out-of-context Ruwart quote from ten years ago, or the inmates-running-the-asylum Barr campaign?

    The latter, without any doubt.

  16. songster7

    The mere fact that Cory would interpret Mary’s book entry as endorsing 4-year-olds “choosing” to have sex with 50-year-olds just proves once again how fucking stupid the boy is! (OR, it shows how willing he is to distort the truth, in order to smear someone with more integrity her little finger than he has in his whole corpus …

    Thea point she made was, there is a point at which we individual humans each reach the capacity for making choices in our lives — and it’s not based solely on the chronology of our time spent in human form.

    I would venture to guess that there may be some “children” who COULD be deemed at least as capable of such decisionmaking (due in part to their raising, but also from their inherent level of “good sense”). I am even more sure that the vast majority of what we persist in calling “children” (ages, say, 12 through 17?) are at least as capable of making such considered choices (if not moreso?) as are about half the “adults” posting on this list! I would also speculate that a lot of folks on this same list would defend “emancipation” of certain youths from their abusive, oppressive parents … well before the usual “age of majority” (which I’d remind you ranges in the US from 14 to 18, depending on what state you are in …)

    But this is about SEX, Steve … and all rules suddenly get thrown out on that topic …

    Balderdash! But If you insist on establishing some standard, consider the one my good friend and colleague Tom Knapp has proposed elsewhere: Let the legal standard for “consent” have a boundary of, say, 12 … under that age it is up to the defense of an alleged “pedophile” to prove consent; at or above that age it is up to the prosecution to prove there was none …

    Mary Ruwart was presenting a philosophical discussion, dealing with the issue of whether or not the LAW should draw these lines absolutely, or if there should be some flexibility based on the individual(s) involved. We now have laws that make “Sexual predators” out of teens who have sex with one another — and in one recent case, a young teenaged girl took a picture of herself nude on her cellphone camera … sent it to a couple of friends as a joke of sorts … and may now be getting prosecuted for child porno, along with all the friends who received the “text message” …

    Shane Cory not only overreacted, but he used that idiotic misinterpretation to trash the woman who by rights SHOULD have been the LP Presidential nominee this year …

  17. Trent Hill

    “Children who willingly participate in sexual acts have the right to make that decision as well, even if it’s distasteful to us personally. Some children will make poor choices just as some adults do in smoking
    and drinking to excess; this is part of life.”

    Im sorry–but that IS an endorsement of legalized child porn, NOT a statement about changing the fluidity of age of consent. She says “some children will make poor decisions” and shrugs it off just like that.

  18. Thomas L. Knapp

    Cory was in a hurry to get out there and repudiate Ruwart for something he didn’t like in a “how to argue the libertarian side of these questions” book from a decade before — a book that had circulated almost entirely internally to the libertarian movement.

    Meanwhile, mere months before, Bob Barr had publicly advocated government distribution of child pornography on demand in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution … but this appears to have troubled Cory not at all. So little, in fact, that when he left the LP, his next employment stop was the Barr campaign.

    We now have evidence as to what the media impact is: The mainstream media has given precisely zero attention to Bob Barr’s 2007 public advocacy of government distribution of child porn on demand. Why would anyone believe that they’d have been any more hyperbolic about Mary Ruwart’s 1998 non-advocacy of child porn?

  19. svf

    The mainstream media has given precisely zero attention to Bob Barr’s 2007 public advocacy of government distribution of child porn on demand. Why would anyone believe that they’d have been any more hyperbolic about Mary Ruwart’s 1998 non-advocacy of child porn?

    True, but only becuase the mainstream media would have given precisely zero attention to Mary Ruwart at all.

    Barr hasn’t been a media phenom or anything, but he has certainly made more inroads than any previous LP candidates, at least since Ed Clark… true, it hasn’t translated into a viable campaign for countless reasons, but I think it’s safe to say that Ruwart (or anyone else up for the nom in 2008 for that matter) would have been a mere blip on the media radar (comparable to Chuck Baldwin at best).

  20. svf

    I don’t know that Barr’s media has been any more impressive than Harry Browne’s.

    I don’t know of a study, but having been quite involved in HB 96 and 00 I am pretty confident saying Barr has gotten far more substantial media coverage, especially in what qualifies as “mainstream”.

    Lengthy Newsweek, New Yorker, Time pieces on Harry Browne would have been unthinkable, for starters.

  21. paulie cannoli Post author

    Looks like a pretty good list, and keep in mind there are a lot more news/talk shows and outlets now than there were then.

    I liked this, from

    http://www.harrybrowne.org/2000/media.htm

    IMPORTANCE OF RUNNING A PURE LIBERTARIAN CAMPAIGN

    I think this points up as well the importance of our candidates running a pure libertarian campaign.

    What distinguishes us from other parties is not that we have nicer, smarter, more efficient candidates — but rather that we really do believe you should be free to live your life as you think best. And to whatever extent we compromise that basic principle, we make ourselves indistinguishable from other parties — taking away from people their only reason to join us or vote for us.

    If, for example, our candidates promote a simpler, fairer, more efficient tax system, how does that spread the libertarian idea that you should be able to keep everything you earn? If we advocate a gradual weaning away from Social Security, how do we differ from Republicans — and why should anyone believe it will ever lead to significantly more freedom, since no other “incremental” approach has ever led to less government? And if a candidate hides his Libertarian affiliation, what groundwork has he laid for future candidates running with the Libertarian label?

    This brings us back to my TV and radio appearances.

    In all my interviews, I had the opportunity to tell Americans that there is a much better life, a much freer society available to us:

    *

    One in which their children and grandchildren wouldn’t have to face the crushing burden of taxation that they’ve faced all their lives;
    *

    One in which they could be free of Social Security and plan a secure retirement for themselves;
    *

    One in which the liberties that made America unique wouldn’t be tossed away on behalf of a futile Drug War;
    *

    One in which their children would be safe from foreign wars and terrorist attacks because their government would no longer roam the world looking for trouble.

    More than anything else, I had the opportunity to show that there are far better alternatives than those being offered by the old parties. In other words, millions of Americans were able to hear that it doesn’t have to be this way.

    What a waste of resources it would have been if, instead, I had used those opportunities to try to show the audience that we Libertarians are as reasonable and respectable as Republicans and Democrats. In that case, what would have been the point of my running for President in the first place?

  22. svf

    Looks like a pretty good list

    I agree, but what you don’t learn from the list is how many of these appearances were passing mentions or under 5 minute media soundbites. I was there, and every time HB sent out a media alert, I was all over it. Unfortunately, the MSM failed to do any substantive interview or profile that I can recall about Harry.

  23. svf

    IMPORTANCE OF RUNNING A PURE LIBERTARIAN CAMPAIGN

    Hey, I’m all for that but unless we try something a little different now and then how will we ever learn?

  24. paulie cannoli Post author

    The preamble to the piece explains,

    “These lists cover publicity events in which I participated from February 14, 2000 (the official beginning of the presidential campaign) through Election Day, November 7.

    Even though there are 852 events shown, this list isn’t complete. There were additional articles written about the campaign that either didn’t come to the attention of the campaign staff or that didn’t involve a personal interview. In fact, we’re aware of 1,655 references in the printed press – articles in which I was mentioned or even covered fairly extensively, but that may not have involved an interview.”

  25. paulie cannoli Post author

    Hey, I’m all for that but unless we try something a little different now and then how will we ever learn?

    Good point. The Barr campaign can serve as a sort of “what not to do 101” for future LP candidates.

  26. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Barr hasn’t been a media phenom or anything, but he has certainly made more inroads than any previous LP candidates, at least since Ed Clark… true, it hasn’t translated into a viable campaign for countless reasons, but I think it’s safe to say that Ruwart (or anyone else up for the nom in 2008 for that matter) would have been a mere blip on the media radar (comparable to Chuck Baldwin at best).”

    I disagree.

    The Paul phenomenon virtually guaranteed that whomever the Libertarian nominee was would get a shot at bigger media than usual. Perhaps not as big an initial shot as Barr’s name recognition provided, but at least the proverbial “15 minutes.”

    Barr got more than the “15 minutes” and has apparently done not much worthwhile with it (unless you consider blaming everyone except himself for his votes for the Iraq war, the Patriot Act, etc., and passing off DOMA as “states rights … the essence of libertarianism” worthwhile).

    Another, lesser-known candidate would have started off with a longer shot — but with a shot that he or she might have made better use of in terms of content and of parlaying it into more substantial coverage of said content.

    The big disappointment of the Barr campaign to me is at least as much strategic as it is ideological.

    The Barr campaign basically comes down to feelgood cargo cultism (“we’ll try to look and act like the Big Dogs, and hope the media pretends that means we’re really in the running with those Big Dogs … is the limo ready?”).

    It may be that a “protest party” won’t get anywhere, but I submit that that’s obviously true of a “poser party” as well … and the “poser party” is prone to trade away substance for image, since image is everything to it.

  27. svf

    The Barr campaign can serve as a sort of “what not to do 101″ for future LP candidates.

    To be fair, I’m sure there are some aspects of the campaign that will be considered sucessful. It’s just a whole lot easier to focus on the fuckups.

  28. paulie cannoli Post author

    Kubby could have played up the medical marijuana angle, and there is a big constituency for that.

    Either Kubby or Ruwart would have done well riding the Ron Paul wave. The wave crashed in a lot of ways because none of the parties really ran anyone appealing to many of the Ron Paul supporters who are too socially liberal for Baldwin, and too radical for Barr. They were the heart of the revolution, and could have really gotten behind Ruwart or Kubby.

  29. George Phillies

    On some past occasions, I have been modestly critical of Harry Browne’s presidential campaigns, with respect to their financial efficiency. (Not, however, with respect to their ideological stands.)

    The Bob Barr 2008 campaign makes Browne 2000 look like a miracle of fiscal efficiency.

    Having said that, it does not occur to me that the hypothetical Ruwart campaign would have done better than Barr 2008 is doing.

  30. AnthonyD

    Harry Brown, in the article in post #34, asked, “what would have been the point of my running for President in the first place?”

    Perhaps it was meant rhetorically, but I’ll answer the question. And I’ll answer it with his very own words from the very same article. To wit, “…there are far better alternatives than those being offered by the old parties.”

    Precisely, there are far better ALTERNATIVES. Note his use of the plural. The purist posits that there are only two alternatives: the state or no state. Social security or its elimination. Total drug prohibition or complete drug legalization. Laws regulating sex acts and the sex trade or no laws with regard to sex and sex products with people of any age depicting any act.

    The moderate argues otherwise: There are better ALTERNATIVES. Not just the singular alternative of no state. Any movement towards a smaller state is good. A social security system allowing people to invest 10% of their FICA funds is better than what we have now. Allowing the states to determine drug laws is better than what we have now. Decriminalizing sex acts and the sex trade between consenting ADULTS is better than what we have now.

    The purist refuses to acknowledge this. Incredibly, the American electorate probably agrees with Harry Browne, R.I.P: There are better ALTERNATIVES. But in the ultimate irony, the purist then tells the wanting American public that there actually is not, in fact, better ALTERNATIVES. There is one: no state at all. Either we live in a nation where there are no laws regarding sex acts, even among children, or we might as well live under Taliban rule. How absurd, indeed!!!

    The proponent of intelligent design gruffly asks the evolutionist, “What good is 10% of an eye.” The obvious rejoinder, “Its better than no eye at all.”

    Fight for complete privitization of social security? Thats easy. Show me the guy who is willing to fight for even 10% of his money. Thats the true warrior for liberty.

  31. paulie cannoli Post author

    Anthony,

    I think you missed Harry Browne’s point. No one is against incremental moves towards liberty. But freedom has never been truly won through incrementalism.

    When you have a seat at the table, there is room to negotiate. We don’t have a seat at the table, and no one is negotiating away anything except us. Incrementalist rhetoric does not inspire, therefore it will never lead to a seat at the table.

    As slavery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison said, absolutism in theory is gradualism in practice, and gradualism in theory is perpetuity (of tyranny) in practice.

  32. José C

    One poster says:

    So, yeah, I’ll agree that the corporatist media is lazy. But do you honestly think that it would get any coverage at all?

    Would Mary’s words get any coverage if she were the nominee? Of course.

    And another poster says:

    Why would anyone believe that they’d have been any more hyperbolic about Mary Ruwart’s 1998 non-advocacy of child porn?

    Of course.

    Look at what the liberal media and liberal elite have done to Sarah Palin. They criticize her glasses, hair, marriage, children, . . . They are know attacking her because money was spend on updating her wardrobe for the compaign.

    They have lied about her opposition to the “bridge to no where.” They have lied saying she attempted to ban books when she was mayor. They have lied saying Wasila did not give certain services to rape victims when she was Mayor. They have hacked and stolen her private E-mail and one of the blogs where the hacked E-mail was posted arrogantly proclaimed they would not take down the E-mail.

    One of Obama’s supporters moderated the Vice-presidential debate and arrogantly used the race card when she was criticized for her bias and conflict of interest.

    One of the pro abortion rights group did an editorial proclaiming Sarah Palin’s choice to have Trig, her son with Downs Syndrome, has set back abortion rights because they would have made a different choice by killing Trig. To Sarah Palin Trig is a life that has value even though he has special needs. To the pro abortion movement he has no value and should have been aborted.

    So these facts show the liberal media and the liberal elite would have pounced on Mary’s words and set back the Libertarian Party for years and years. They would have said Mary’s words meant she supported the rights of a 50 year old man to have sex with a six year old girl. They would have said the Libertarian Party wanted to abolish all age of consent laws. Peace, prosperity, freedom . . . no. The campaign would have been about sex, children, and creepy old men.

    The treatment Sarah Palin has received are all the evidence any one needs showing this is true.

  33. AnthonyD

    paulie,

    I appreciate your reasoned response.

    Now, how, pray tell, would the American electorate be able to tell that we are ready to accept incrementalism if you insist on purity? If we nominate a purist, I can see no other way for a voter to look at it. Can you?

    Further, are you to have me believe, that by nominating Ruwart (for example), who says, (and I quote),

    “Children who willingly participate in sexual acts have the right to make that decision as well…”

    we are expressing to the American public that what we really want is no laws against consensual sex between ADULTS, and we are just taking the position of decriminalizing child sex for “bargaining purposes.” Do you think that would make us look any better?

    One other question: how far do you think William Lloyd Garrison would have gotten with his movement to abolish slavery if he not only argued that slavery should be abolished, but that the black man should be allowed to vote, own property, and marry white women?

  34. G.E.

    Child rapists should be executed.

    There’s no need for “age of consent” laws to dole out this justice.

    “Age of consent” is about as irrational as the Supreme Court’s “trimester” rules on infanticide. You cannot obtain the “right” to consent on X birthday. These are fictitious, manmade, evil laws, and to hell with anyone who cowers in the face of evil and calls that “incrementalism.”

    The state is beyond redemption.

  35. G.E.

    “Children who willingly participate in sexual acts have the right to make that decision as well…”

    Poor choice of words by Dr. Ruwart. Children, by definition, cannot consent to sex. She should have said “young people.”

  36. songster7

    she was merely using the conventional term for “underaged” humans: “children” …

    if our society were only capable of comprehending variant terms — infant, preteen, adolescent, younfr adult — to describe the emerging stages of human development … this whole issue would dry up and blow away.

    Mary was talking about the principle of opposing government interference in what should be an individual decision.

    In many cases, a parent takes on the responsibility for decisionmaking for his/her “child” — up to some point where that “child” has developed (and or been raised to have) the capacity for “willingly” participating in … [fill in the blank]!

    The fact that this discussion involves “child pornography” is of less concern to me than that it addresses the issue of when a “child” may become capable of personal/rational choice … this is NOT a matter of chronology, but one of maturity …

    I would also note that when speaking of adolescent “children” our society brands them as “incompetent” to decide to have consensual sex … but will try them as adults for murder and other crimes allegedly requiring malice aforethought …

  37. paulie cannoli Post author

    I would also note that when speaking of adolescent “children” our society brands them as “incompetent” to decide to have consensual sex … but will try them as adults for murder and other crimes allegedly requiring malice aforethought …

    Great point!

  38. songster7

    one more thing: the key word in Ruwart’s statement is not “children” — it’s “willingly” …

    If one believes that a person defined as a “child” by his/her community laws (which change across state-borders in this nation-state), has attained a level of personal competence, responsibility and awareness, such that CHOICE is potentially possible … the rules should also change, insofar as prosecuting others for becoming involved with such a “child” — whether it is sexuality, business-dealings or whatever. We “protect” children (as we should); we don’t excuse them for committing real crimes, and we should not persecute them for acting “willingly” … if that is indeed possible.

    I would submit that a 4-year-old likely lacks the perspective to “choose” much of anything beyond whether or not to obey a parent (with the resultant consequences) … A 16 year old? much more likely … a 12 year old? Still possible (recall that a little over 100 years ago, such “kids” were raising families and running farms )

  39. AnthonyD

    Messrs songster7, paulie, and G.E.,

    As you may or may not know, there are engineers at GM, Ford, and the other automobile companies whose job it is to develop prototype cars, in an effort to push the envelope in design, propulsion, interior layour, etc. They do this even though almost all their designs will never see the light of day. At best, the production lines will take the best ideas from the cars these theoretical engineers create, and put them in pedestrian vehicles like a Taurus, an Accord, or an F150. On an extremely rare occasion, one of those cars will make it to production. Even those are modified for consumer use.

    I am sure you guys know where I am going with this at this point. Its safe to say that as valuable as those engineers are, no car company would be foolish enough to put one of those engineers in charge of what cars a company mass produces. Their minds are too theoretical, they look at problems in the automobile industry from a skewed perspective. That is a good perspecitve for their job; it is a disasterous perspective for the mass production lines.

    It is good there are theoretical politicians like Mary Ruwart who are there pushing the envelope, even on ultrasensitve topics like age of consent laws. It is good that there are folks like yourself who do the same in the blogosphere.

    But we cannot select a “theoretical politician” like Ms. Ruwart for a job like practical politics. For that, we need a practical politician who understands what the public is ready to accept. We need Mary Ruwart to argue that all drugs should be legalized, who could care less what the voters think and argues her position well. We need someone like Bob Barr to take those ideas, and MODIFY, yes, I said MODIFY them according to his skills: knowing what the American people are ready to accept.

    Mary has one skill (the theoretical), Bob has a different skill (the practical). They are both necessary in the fight for liberty.

  40. Thomas L. Knapp

    Quoth AnthonyD:

    “The purist posits that there are only two alternatives: the state or no state. Social security or its elimination. Total drug prohibition or complete drug legalization. Laws regulating sex acts and the sex trade or no laws with regard to sex and sex products with people of any age depicting any act.

    “The moderate argues otherwise: There are better ALTERNATIVES. Not just the singular alternative of no state. Any movement towards a smaller state is good.”

    OK, so now that you’ve endorsed the Boston Tea Party, what next?

  41. svf

    Mary has one skill (the theoretical), Bob has a different skill (the practical). They are both necessary in the fight for liberty.

    so … “why can’t we all just get along?”

  42. Steve LaBianca

    First, the Ruwart detractors miss the point she made on page 43 of her book, “Short Answers to the Tough Questions”? How can a Libertarian argue against child pornography?

    You may not agree with her argument (which she states is not THE MAIN argument), but she IS trying to make an argument AGAINST child pornography!

    BTW, for those who doubt my premise of Ruwart’s ” main argument” of this issue, in the “Author’s Preface” on page 4, Ruwart says :

    “the first paragaph of each short answer is DESIGNED TO STAND ALONE and can be used as a ‘sound bite’ for candidates. If you have more time, you can continue on to the next paragraph, then the next. “ (emphasis added)

    Secondly, I have it on good information that Cory NEVER had this conversation, with Mary Ruwart, as he alleges.

    Thridly, Cory is NOT a libertarian . . . he is a conservative.

    Fourth, how is her passage about arguing against “child pornography” turned into an alleged 50 year old pedophile having relations with an 8 year old? At minimum, this a Cory fabrication.

    It is certainly a Cory slander of Ruwart at the least, and many of you bought into it.

    Lastly, it is well documented that it was Aaron Starr, in alliance with Mark Schreiber (W.A.R.’s campaign manager) who purchased this book “post haste” with an $80+ shipping rush delivery to see in black and white, what Mary says in her book. Nearly immediately after, a troll named “Ruwarchy” started posting on TPW, which began the smearing of Mary Ruwart. If George Phillies had anything to do with this, it was only in a capacity of “piling on”. Please note that I say “If”, regarding Phillies.

    If any of you are concerned about “bad” publicity, then why not just take “mainstream” positions. Oh, right, on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer, Barr makes that point, and takes milquetoast positions. Since when do libertarians shy away from taking principled, and yes, tough positions?

  43. Steve LaBianca

    In my mind, if Mary Ruwart is guilty of anything, she uses a poor choice of words, most especially the word “children”. “Children”, are generally believed to be between 0 and 18 years of age. Simply applying a “one size its all” standard regarding sexuality for 5 year olds and 17 year olds is ludicrous, and Mary knows that. Using “children” is way too vague a word for this topic. That, I contend, is where Mary Ruwart went wrong in her book. Construing anything else is simply ridiculous. But then, it is ridiculous that Cory calls himself a libertarian.

  44. Steve LaBianca

    To Fred Church Ortiz:

    Regarding where it is documented – First, Schreiber said so at the Libertarian Heartland Conference in late April. You’ll have to dig out the videos of this conference, and also speak with the folks who heard Schreiber say this, several of whom were part of Mary’s campaign staff.

    Secondly, I have an email from a source close to the book purchase who confirms this. Sorry, though, I am not going to divulge the name of this person. However, I am not the only one who received this email.

  45. Steve LaBianca

    AnthonyD // Oct 23, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    After re-reading Ruwart piece, all I can say is…thank christ that woman was not our nominee.

    Shane was absolutely correct; who knows what kind of permanent damage Ruwart could have done to the LP with her lunatic opinions on consensual sex between children and child porn.

    AnthonyD is an idiot. He has no idea what he is saying. He has completely lost, and has not a clue what Mary Ruwart’s position is. Or, maybe he is just another troll, like “Ruwarchy”.

  46. Steve LaBianca

    In case I was not clear enough –

    “the first paragraph of each short answer is DESIGNED TO STAND ALONE and can be used as a ’sound bite’ for candidates. If you have more time, you can continue on to the next paragraph, then the next. “ (emphasis added)

    For this issue the first paragraph states, “Children forced to participate in sexual acts have the same rights and recourse as rape victims. We can, and should, prosecute their oppressors.”

    THIS, is the main, stand alone argument. The others are designed to work for various “audiences”. Again, using the word “children” and applying a one size fits all standard for 0 to 18 year olds was not, IMO, Mary’s intention.

  47. Imperial

    I don’t agree with Mary’s position here, but I think we have wasted our time going over this again…Since we know this is a tiny issue that would be blown up by the media, why don’t we just act like it never happened? Overrall, I think Ruwart would be better than any of the Republocrats. Keeping it alive only hurts her chances if she seeks and wins the nomination in 2012. Not to say I would support her; this is just looking ahead.

    On the Barr campaign, I think somebody made a good point Ruwart or Kubby would have rallied the base. I have held for a long time Barr should have made a deal with Ruwart in the case it came down to them and WAR. Which was an easily predictable scenario, as every source I saw could safely bet who the 3 frontrunners were. And, it was obvious Barr didn’t like Root.

    In the end, I think the whole situation accidentally imploded. Barr was desperate and made a deal with the devil after no response from Ruwart. Ruwart had been busy.

    He probably should have rejected any deal, but the vote came pretty close to the wire. I can understand his fear. I’d be willing to say Root played off that fear. I know being in that situation I might try to play kingpin too.

    I can only dream today if we had gotten a Barr/Ruwart or Barr/Kubby ticket. The ticket would have gotten so many Ron Paul write-in or minor third party candidates.

  48. paulie cannoli Post author

    Update from Phillies via email:

    A noted LNC member called to my attention a memo. He sent me the memorandum that Shane Cory sent the LNC noting Cory’s discontent with then-recent discussions of one of Mary Ruwart’s books. (Actually, I am
    being sent huge amounts of information these days, because the usually secretive National Committee has sprung more leaks than the Titanic after the bow broke off.) Cory’s memo, as seen on Independent Political Report, opened

    “Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2008 17:27:26 -0400
    From: shane.cory@lp.org
    To: lnc-discuss@lp.org
    Subject: [Lnc-discuss] Are we Anarchists or Libertarians?

    – NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION –

    Dear LNC members,

    The comments from Mary Ruwart’s book that were recently found by George Phillies and publicized are now hitting the media.”

    I had not previously been aware of this memo, so I had no opportunity to correct the record before our convention. In any event, the claim by Cory that it was I who “found” “the comments from Mary Ruwart’s book” and “publicized’ them was false.

    In fact, the peculiar quotes had been found by source “Ruwarchy”, and referenced in his statements on Third Party Watch on April 22nd, 2008 at 12:18 pm and (same statement, different thread) April 22nd, 2008 at 5:26
    pm. Ruwarchy repeated the age of consent reference on April 22nd, 2008 at 6:59 pm and in different forms at 10:51 pm and 10:54 pm. The issue was taken up by others, using the discussion thread on my statement on National Defense, with remarks by Jose C. on April 23rd, 2008 at 10:55 am and by LifeMember on April 23rd, 2008 at 11:05 am. I did respond, finally, on April 23rd, 2008 at 2:07 pm, because various people were using the thread on one of my statements to discuss another candidate.
    I wanted to be sure that our stands were kept distinct. I quoted the full question form her book, and then gave my very different position on the same topic, while replying to poster “Life Member”.

    Cory’s claim, namely that I found and publicized the comments, is refuted by the record.

    # George Phillies Says:
    April 23rd, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Life Member,

    There is a record here, from Ruwart’s book Short Answers to the Tough Questions, page 43. Ruwart asks:

    How can a libertarian argue against child pornography?

    Ruwart: Children forced to participate in sexual acts have the same rights and recourse as a rape victim. We can and should prosecute their
    oppressors.

    Children who willingly participate in sexual acts have the right to make that decision as well, even if it’s distasteful to us personally. Some
    children will make for choice is just as some adults do in smoking and drinking to excess; this is part of life.

    What we outlaw child pornography, if the prices paid for child performers rise, increasing the incentives for parents to use children against their will.

    Phillies: I would give a quite different answer.

    The notion that a five or ten-year-old child can give meaningful consent to participating in sexual acts is absurd. Children don’t have the
    knowledge or experience to make adult decisions. That’s why parents protect their children. That’s why legal jurisdictions set ages of consent. That’s why some jurisdictions have processes for establishing emancipated minor status.

    Children are unable to give informed voluntary consent because they don’t understand what is being asked of them. Furthermore, most children cannot give voluntary consent to most adults. Children are sufficiently habituated to doing what they are told, even when the request is punctuated by “Please” and phrased as a question, that they will interpret nominal requests as binding orders

    To protect children, countries around the world make it a crime for adult perverts to prey upon children. These laws correctly identify as
    these acts of sexual predation as crimes against people who are unable to protect themselves.

    It’s your call. Which message do you want in front of the voters?

  49. Trent Hill

    A Barr/Ruwart or Barr/Kubby ticket would’ve been the best thing for the LP and would’ve killed the BTP before it got started. A Barr/Gravel ticket also would have been good–but only if both men tried to play up the more libertarian aspects of their positions.

  50. paulie cannoli Post author

    Ruwart ruled out being on the same ticket with Barr, and Gravel was too egotistical to consider the #2 spot (since he had been a Senator and Barr was only in the House, etc.)

    Kubby would have been the way to go.

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