Brian Miller: ‘Libertarian National Committee Deathwatch Part 1’

Posted at Delaware Libertarian by Brian Miller. Excerpt:

As the LNC continues to lurch towards collapse, with the latest news of mass layoffs at HQ, I’ve decided to begin tracking those things leading the national party to irrelevance, even as state and local parties gain power. As news, rumors and rhetoric break out, I shall chronicle them in this ongoing series at Delaware Libertarian.

Organizations approaching failure have a number of characteristics. One of the most striking is renunciation of their purpose and effort to reinvent themselves as a “me-too” provider of services in the marketplace.

In this, the LNC has been on a collision course with destiny for a while now.

Recently, for example, it hired Republican Party web site developer TerraEclipse to redesign the LNC web site.

Terra created a web site very similar to those of the clients it brags most about — far-right Republican conservatives like Tom McClintock and BJ Lawson.

A quick look at the web site they built for the LNC is instructive. The tagline on the web site is “Smaller Government, Lower Taxes, More Freedom” — identical to right-wing Republican (and notorious culture-warrior) Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks web site, which advocates “Lower Taxes, Less Government, More Freedom.”

Article continues at http://delawarelibertarian.blogspot.com/2008/12/libertarian-national-committee.html

My questions, for the quoted section only:

“As the LNC continues to lurch towards collapse, with the latest news of mass layoffs at HQ”

Did I miss this news, and if so where can I find it? I am aware of one employee being fired, ambiguous discussions of staff cuts, and a budget shortfall which suggests there may be more employees fired – but nothing about any mass layoffs yet.


“Terra created a web site very similar to those of the clients it brags most about — far-right Republican conservatives like Tom McClintock and BJ Lawson.”

Is there something about the look of the website that is far right or otherwise ideological in nature? Or is it that Terra Eclipse determines content, not just design?


“A quick look at the web site they built for the LNC is instructive. The tagline on the web site is “Smaller Government, Lower Taxes, More Freedom” — identical to right-wing Republican (and notorious culture-warrior) Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks web site, which advocates “Lower Taxes, Less Government, More Freedom.””

Who made the decision of what tagline to put on the website? Terra Eclipse, LPHQ, LNC?

Asking these questions is not meant to presume I know the answers, which I don’t. If anyone does, please let us know in the comments.

47 thoughts on “Brian Miller: ‘Libertarian National Committee Deathwatch Part 1’

  1. Gene Trosper

    Certainly, “Smaller Government, Lower Taxes, More Freedom” would be an improvement upon what we are forced to deal with currently, but it’s not particularly inspiring.

    Joe Dehn told me once (before he went onto to become a square dancing aficionado) that the LP used to tout “Peace, Freedom, Prosperity” as it’s tagline. I believe this was before my time.

  2. paulie cannoli Post author

    I’m wondering how it got to be on the website though. Miller seems to imply, unless I misread his article, that the website design company chose the slogan.

  3. George Phillies

    Choose Peace. Choose Liberty. Choose Prosperity.

    ChooseGeorge.Org

    It seemed to be a message. Peace and Freedom have the internal rhyme. Liberty and Prosperity actually do rhyme.

  4. VirtualGalt

    “Smaller Government, Lower Taxes, More Freedom”

    I’ve seen more creativity on display at this site in the last month, for free, than I see coming from HQ, at a price.

    Unless the Koch brothers are about to toss a billion or 2 the LP’s way — which I doubt — I don’t see why the LP doesn’t go totally guerrilla/viral.

  5. paulie cannoli Post author

    I guess state/local parties can, or caucuses or individuals. If anyone wants to donate to such an effort – whether money or time – we can probably get it off the ground without waiting around on the LNC or HQ to do it.

  6. Ladygaura

    I’ll offer up the mantra of the S’Bernadino CA LP–

    Alive. Free. Happy.

    It’s a thought at any rate, and it’s simple enough that even a (non-gov’t educated) child can understand it.

  7. paulie cannoli Post author

    @ DL

    Me:
    Did I miss this news, and if so where can I find it?

    BM:

    The cuts were discussed in LNC “Executive Session,” and the line-item for salaries on the submitted budgets are very interesting too.

    Me:

    Is there something about the look of the website that is far right or otherwise ideological in nature?

    BM:

    Republicans retain Republicans for their web sites, not Democrats or Libertarians.

    Democrats retain Democrats for their web sites, not Democrats or Libertarians.

    Libertarians should retain Libertarians for their web sites, not Republicans.

    Ironically, yes, OUR content and images have made it to Republican web sites. The TE look-and-feel from LP web sites have been making their way to GOP sites — complete with LP-style Statue of Liberty iconography and “libertarian Republican” nonsense that talks about how Libertarianism is all about taxes.

    Me:

    Who made the decision of what tagline to put on the website? Terra Eclipse, LPHQ, LNC?

    BM:
    Does it matter?

    The important thing is that it happened, it’s now part of official communications, objections to the LNC have been ignored, and it’s completely inadequate to describe the LP’s mission (they tried to change the mission statement in Denver too, BTW, to a similar Republican lite orientation).

    I suspect that if the Libertarian Party had changed the tagline to “End The War. Gay Marriage. More Freedom,” there’d be a bit more objection — but that tagline is as complete as the one they’re presently using.

    ————————————————-

    BM: “The cuts were discussed in LNC “Executive Session,” and the line-item for salaries on the submitted budgets are very interesting too.”

    Me: Saw both of those. Haven’t seen anything about more than one person being laid off yet, though.

    Me:
    Who made the decision of what tagline to put on the website? Terra Eclipse, LPHQ, LNC?

    BM: Does it matter?

    Me2: Yes, I’m interested in figuring out how the process works.

  8. JimDavidson

    How can the process work, Paulie, if they discuss strategy and tactics in executive session? Discussing a particular employee’s behavior or pay might be sequestered in executive session, though a commitment to openness and transparency ought to require just the opposite (the employees could be required to agree to a contract that places discussions of their contract, behavior, and pay in open sessions of the LNC, just as easily).

    A discussion of how many people the LP can afford to hire would seem to be a question of whether the LP is a going concern. I don’t see how that’s proper material for an executive session under current rules.

    And it isn’t going to make the LP better, soon.

  9. paulie cannoli Post author

    How can the process work, Paulie, if they discuss strategy and tactics in executive session?

    That is a separate question.

    The question I asked was who gets to decide on what a rather key element of the party communications conveys – the line that appears right under its name on the website, which is probably now the top way non-members investigate what the party is about.

    Miller’s article seemed to indicate that it was the website design company which picked the slogan, but he actually says he does not know yet, and I still haven’t heard back from anyone who does.

  10. paulie cannoli Post author

    By the way, when I say that I am interested in how the process works, that does not mean I am saying that it works well – if that is what you meant by your response “how can the process work…”

  11. JimDavidson

    Yes, I understand that you’d like to know how the process works. I think the related question of “does the process work” is involved in gaining that understanding.

    For example, no one seems to know how the GOP became responsible for designing the LP web site. I suspect that GOP sympathiser Andrew Davis was involved in the choice to use the GOP company to design the LP site. Oh, well.

  12. Michael H. Wilson

    @ #1 Gene is correct to a degree. As I recall it was “Peace, Prosperity and Freedom” up until some years ago. Maybe ten years.

    Personally I prefer “Civil Liberties, Economic Freedom & non Intervention”. But whadda I know?

  13. Michael H. Wilson

    As for designing a website we seem to have a lot of state parties that have nice site. I will grant you that some are too complicated and others not maintained, but there are some nice ones. Thus it does not seem to be a problem getting good design and maintenace at a low price. Maybe ya just have to ask. Like put an ad in the LPNews. Howz dat?

  14. Gene Trosper

    @7

    As much as I like and respect the Berdoo folk, I don’t find “Alive. Free. Happy” to be very forward looking or even an accurate description of our current state of being.

    Certainly, if we are reading this, we fit the criteria for being “alive”. But does that particularly make us free or happy? Perhaps after a wild, cocaine and booze filled night on the town, when one wakes up alive and not in jail, that would count as filling the criteria for “happiness”.

    Anyhow, we also must remember that happiness is a state of mind. We have no “right” to happiness, but we have the right to seek happiness and we have the right to fail at seeking it. Freedom does not guarantee happiness. I am more than certain that there are happy people who live in dictatorships…probably because they are weak minded individuals who WANT someone to rule over them.

    The LP needs to be forward thinking. being “alive” is hardly forward thinking if we are already living.

    Inspiring people to action comes from the possible.

  15. paulie cannoli Post author

    For example, no one seems to know how the GOP became responsible for designing the LP web site.

    The GOP as such is not involved in in designing the LP website.

    The LP website was designed by a private company, Terra Eclipse, which also did web pages for Ron Paul and various Ron Paul Republicans, which Miller does not distinguish from other kinds of Republicans, as well as for Libertarians.

    http://www.terraeclipse.com/portfolio:

    Ron Paul 2008
    No link, but most of have been there before

    Tom McClintock
    http://www.tommcclintock.com/

    Freedom Advocates
    No link; the portion visible in the portfolio screencap describes them as a grass roots non partsan civil liberties group.

    BJ Lawson for Congress
    http://www.lawsonforcongress.com/

    LP.org

    Bob Barr 2008

    So, other than the national LP, their clients – or at least the ones they showcase – are either Republican-leaning Libertarians or libertarian-leaning Republicans.

    That is not the same thing as “the GOP (being) responsible for designing the LP website.”

  16. paulie cannoli Post author

    Perhaps after a wild, cocaine and booze filled night on the town, when one wakes up alive and not in jail, that would count as filling the criteria for “happiness”.

    I’ll drink to that.

  17. JimDavidson

    @16 I guess exaggeration and sardonicism are somewhat lost on this crowd. Heh.

    I note with amusement, wry at times, that the North Carolina affiliate of the Boston Tea Party, just before Isaiah Simpson our guy there dropped completely out of sight (shortly after moving into a homeless shelter, so I’m thinking his laptop might have been stolen, sad) endorsed BJ Lawson.

    It goes to show that anything is possible.

  18. johncjackson

    Terra Eclipse seems to be making mad money off recycling the Ron Paul site design style and components over and over. That aspect of a website, IMHO, is just about the least valuable part of the internet marketing business. I guess they became the GoTo people and organizations want to throw a lot of money for some recycled template. If it were my decision, I would rather show some libertarian spirit and outsource it ( perhaps in multiple elements/jobs) to some freelancers.

    On the other hand, perhaps they are providing some essential services in addition to the website design ( which is not very important anyway) that make it worthwhile.

    In case anyone doesn’t realize it, Ron Paul’s popularity and fund raising had nothing to do with the appearance of his website. And the web people are far from the only people who have built a resume off the Ron Paul campaign and will fail to live upto expectations for future clients.

  19. johncjackson

    I realized that my comment about “outsourcing to freelancers” could technically describe the situation with Terra Eclipse. I mean more like to libertarians or other individuals with certain talents and regardless of nationality, local wage laws,etc.

  20. johncjackson

    Right. The GOP is not handling the website. Perhaps the handling of the website and various other activities by the LP are GOP/DEM-like in their attitude, presentation, process. Much like Libertarian Bob Barr is/was “Republican” in more ways than just his previous party label. They embrace the GOP way of doing things.

  21. G.E.

    RE: Tera Eclipse — I inquired about Web design on behalf of Scotty Boman. I was told that for a non-statewide campaign (they must have thought he was running for state senate), their prices started at $20,000.

    Ha. I know Indians who would do the job for well under 1/10 of that. As it was Scotty’s Web design cost $35.

  22. G.E.

    I mean more like to libertarians or other individuals with certain talents and regardless of nationality, local wage laws,etc.

    That’s what the Boman campaign did.

  23. MBarnes

    “As much as I like and respect the Berdoo folk, I don’t find “Alive. Free. Happy” to be very forward looking or even an accurate description of our current state of being.”

    Alive Free Happy is definitely “forward” thinking.

    Libertarians become Libertarians generally because there are evil people trying to deprive them of their pursuit of these things. Something made them take notice and thats why they are Libertarian instead of one of the apathetic masses. Alive Free Happy appeals to those who are seeking to regain what has been lost and the use of the slogan looks forward to the future as these things become more poignant.

    Alive Free Happy is forward thinking for anyone who claims that they are “not” any one of these things. Anyone is not in control of their life, their actions, and their state of mind, are backwards thinking incarnate.

    For those of us who are Alive Free and Happy, it is what drives our work into the future, there is no better motivation for success than success itself.

  24. Mik

    Alive, Free, and Happy seems pretty similar to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. There is no need to be redundant.

    What about Individual Liberty, Personal Responsibility and Limited Government?

  25. paulie cannoli Post author

    The ideas for slogans are fine, but what about the decision process? Supposing we come up with a great slogan here. Who gets to decide whether to implement it or not?

  26. JimDavidson

    Each of us gets to implement his ideas on his own site. Unfortunately, those of you who paid for life memberships in the LP do not, as it turns out, have any property interest in the LP. Rough rocks.

  27. paulie cannoli Post author

    I’m not talking about our own sites. I am asking about the LP site. Is that decision made by the website company, staff, or by the national committee?

  28. Michael H. Wilson

    Write to your respective LNC rep and get them to champion a change in the motto, slogan or whatever it may be called this week.

  29. paulie cannoli Post author

    Yes, but that does not really say much.

    The LNC decision could have been an informal one to delegate to staff. If that was the case, then staff may have made the decision themselves, or decided the website company was most competent to determine the most marketable phrase. On the other hand the LNC may have decided directly; if so, was it by a recorded vote, or some informal process?

  30. MBarnes

    “The ideas for slogans are fine, but what about the decision process? Supposing we come up with a great slogan here. Who gets to decide whether to implement it or not?”

    The people elected at the national convention to take care of or delegate operational details. If you want to be that person, bring people to the next convention.

    “The ideas for slogans are fine, but what about the decision process? Supposing we come up with a great slogan here. Who gets to decide whether to implement it or not?”

    All that politics is, has people as the foundation. You must recruit and organize and you have to do it better than the other person.

    May the best slogan (and other marketing/recruiting efforts) win.

    Matthew Barnes
    Alive Free Happy – Libertarian

  31. JimDavidson

    @32 Matthew, would that be people like, say, Angela Keaton, elected by a substantial number of delegates at the convention in Denver?

  32. MBarnes

    I was in San Diego as an observer and found only a few LNC members I would re-elect based on that limited exposure. Summed up over those two days, the gestalt of the LNC amounted to not much more than petulance and strife.

    I cannot condone the tactic of destroying your allies that are not your ideologues. It is inappropriate what Angela did in a few instances, but appropriateness is not why she was elected; fire in her heart was.

    Never the less, I cannot point to any of the protagonists nor antagonists involved in that escapade and say that they acted appropriately.

    That being said, I will not dwell on the childish actions of childish people. Human nature is what it is and I expect people to learn and grow from their mistakes. What I would talk about is the correct way to such handle situations without destroying your organization.

    When a candidate is selected, the time for competition is over. The only responsible action to take is to either put efforts into helping the team win, or do a better job of putting someone more appropriate to your taste in next time. Scandalizing and vandalizing your own team is extremely unhealthy.

    The onus of sexual harassment was raised in this. California is a state that requires sexual harassment training for management in companies of 50 employees or more. Having had to go through numerous trainings (every 6 months), I can tell you right now, that the LNC handled the potential issue this time in a way that could raise more liability rather than protect the organization.

    Sexual harassment must be handled with as much tact for the person being complained about as the person complaining.

    It is incumbent on the organization to counsel each person involved with discretion, compassion and understanding and to stick strictly to the behavior and expectations and completely avoid the discussion of personalities.

    Public fiasco opens the party to liability from everyone witnessing the drama but I think that there is a more important issue in all of this.

    The authority and responsibilities of the LNC are matters of trust granted to them by the membership. There is nothing appropriate about trying to remove someone’s membership much less unseat them from a responsibility that others had placed them in. It is a heinous act to “excommunicate” someone, and the tactic of purging is specifically unjust and un-libertarian.

    Leave that nonsense to the communists and fascists who revel in stealing other peoples work for themselves or destroying them when they do not tow the line.

    I, as a member, am extremely displeased with the whole charade and will seek representatives in St. Louis that understand two things:

    1. How to win and how to lose a point or a vote with grace and decorum.

    2. How to settle interpersonal friction without involving others (Much less using the power trusted to them by a group to destroy the group from within.)

    So back to my main point: If you want to make those “slogan” decisions, you will need have people and you will have a plan and friends running with you.

    If you want my support (for what it is worth) I suggest presenting it as a positive endeavor and completely avoid the criticizing of other’s hard work. I find that sort of promotion, distasteful and a poor indicator for success.

  33. JimDavidson

    Okay, so you said that the people who handle operational details are picked by the people who are chosen at the convention. Then I said that the person I supported in getting elected to the LNC was Angela Keaton, but, guess what, she didn’t stay around to let them put chains on her and throw her in the lake to see if she floats. So, eh, fail, you are mistaken. The people elected in Denver do *not* all get to choose who implements the details like web site slogans.

    Now you say, “What I would talk about is the correct way to such handle situations without destroying your organization.”

    Not to put to fine a point on it, Matt, but the LP is not my organisation. I suspect that Jake Witmer is correct in supposing that it belongs to an insider clique right now, and not to the members as a whole. I got fed up in 1998 and stopped paying for these lunatics to waste my money.

    “When a candidate is selected, the time for competition is over.”

    Spoken very expediently. On the shifting sands of expedience you would build your house. And when the flood waters rise, when the wind blows, how stands your house? It stands not at all.

    “The only responsible action to take is to either put efforts into helping the team win, or do a better job of putting someone more appropriate to your taste in next time.”

    You say that as though we are all playing football here. Which we are not. Some of us are playing at moral philosophy as well as at living our lives. Others are playing a game called politics, where they assert that they can demand our loyalty since we call ourselves libertarians. Happily, our loyalty comes at a much higher price.

    “Scandalizing and vandalizing your own team is extremely unhealthy.”

    Supporting a nationalist socialist war mongering corrupt contract allocating whore is also extremely unhealthy. When the nominee of her party left the convention in Denver, he went on television and told the world that Angela Keaton’s lifestyle is immoral, and Barr’s “defense of marriage act” would set things right at the state level.

    Personally, I think her rebukes of him were mild and rational.

    “The onus of sexual harassment was raised in this. California is a state that requires sexual harassment training for management in companies of 50 employees or more.”

    Oh, gosh. First, the LP isn’t a California company. Second, I would be hard pressed to identify 15 employees of it, let alone 50. Third, I don’t think the People’s Republik of Kalifornia is any model for how people should live their lives.

    “Having had to go through numerous trainings (every 6 months), I can tell you right now, that the LNC handled the potential issue this time in a way that could raise more liability rather than protect the organization.”

    No kidding. Given Angela’s extensive legal training, and her family’s wealth, I have little doubt that it could. It might, still. And that would be fun. Few people more richly deserve to have his crap fed to him than Stewie Flood.

    “Sexual harassment must be handled with as much tact for the person being complained about as the person complaining.”

    Quite.

    “It is incumbent on the organization to counsel each person involved with discretion, compassion and understanding and to stick strictly to the behavior and expectations and completely avoid the discussion of personalities.”

    Well, hallelujah. And the LP wins the boobie prize for worst treatment of the lady with the best boobies.

    “Public fiasco opens the party to liability from everyone witnessing the drama but I think that there is a more important issue in all of this.:

    Oh, good.

    “The authority and responsibilities of the LNC are matters of trust granted to them by the membership. There is nothing appropriate about trying to remove someone’s membership much less unseat them from a responsibility that others had placed them in. It is a heinous act to “excommunicate” someone, and the tactic of purging is specifically unjust and un-libertarian.”

    Quite. Not to mention expedient and therefore founded on sand rather than on the firm bedrock of principle.

    “Leave that nonsense to the communists and fascists who revel in stealing other peoples work for themselves or destroying them when they do not tow the line.”

    Toe. Toe the line. As in putting your toe on the line. Not tow as in putting a line on a boat and towing it. Sorry.

    “I, as a member, am extremely displeased with the whole charade and will seek representatives in St. Louis that understand two things:”

    Who was that Greek dude with the lamp, looking for an honest man?

    “1. How to win and how to lose a point or a vote with grace and decorum.”

    I know this chick Grace. But never heard of the dude. lol

    “2. How to settle interpersonal friction without involving others (Much less using the power trusted to them by a group to destroy the group from within.)”

    Well, um, you must be expecting that there are people seeking power within the LP who do not desire its destruction. Most of the people I know who don’t want it destroyed at this point also don’t want their names associated with it at the management level. Hard cheese.

    “So back to my main point: If you want to make those “slogan” decisions, you will need have people and you will have a plan and friends running with you.”

    Well, sure. Nice notion.

    Personally, I don’t want to make those slogan decisions for the LP. I’m much happier making up slogans for the Boston Tea Party. See some of my favorites at
    http://www.cafepress.com/bostontee

    See, in the BTP, I don’t need anyone’s permission.

    “If you want my support (for what it is worth) I suggest presenting it as a positive endeavor and completely avoid the criticizing of other’s hard work. I find that sort of promotion, distasteful and a poor indicator for success.”

    Well, sure, why not. I want your support. I want you to join the Boston Tea Party.

  34. JimDavidson

    “1. How to win and how to lose a point or a vote with grace and decorum.”

    I know this chick Grace. But never heard of the dude. lol

    Still laughing. I nominate it for quote of the day.

  35. Michael Seebeck

    Jim, I have heard of the “dude” and break bread with him regularly. Matt Barnes is highly respected in CA LP circles.

    Show some tact, man.

  36. MBarnes

    #36 “Well, sure, why not. I want your support. I want you to join the Boston Tea Party.”

    Thank you for the invitation. I am honored.

    For now, I will stick with the “People’s Front of Judea” as I feel that switching to the “Judean Peoples Front” creates more problems than it solves.

    Personality conflicts and adolescent political tactics are easy to obviate. The trick is to not engage in them yourself and not to approach solving them with anything other than determination and patience.

    #35 I wish you had not found it entertaining to pick and quote every paragraph. Some of what you responded with is good discussion but there is so much ad hominem and straw man attack I am having trouble pulling out what are credible points.

    >>On one bright, clear day, Diogenes was walking up and down the market place, holding a lighted lantern high in front of him and peering around as if searching for something. When people gaped and asked him what he was doing, he replied, “I am looking for an honest man.”

    Honesty, goodness and principled outlook is extant within almost all people. Diogenes the Cynic was not “unable” to find an honest man, he simply defined honesty beyond human capacity, it made him feel superior.

    Finding and fostering the honesty in all Greeks is not something that a dogged individualist like him could begin to accept as a strategy for finding honesty. But he did have the wisdom to realize that his specifically antisocial cynicism was incompatible with political action. He satisfied himself with public philosophic masturbation.

    He tried to make people think through shock value but they would forget the lesson even before they finished laughing because he offered them no practical or enduring value. He did not change a damned thing. He simply liked debasing other peoples work for his own personal enjoyment.

    >>The city was under seige. Everyone was busy fortifying the walls – some were carrying stones, others were patching the walls, yet others were building battlements. Diogenes, not wanting to appear idle while everyone around him was working so frantically, diligently rolled his barrel back and forth along the battlements. The city fell.

    Regarding your bemoaning of an “insider clique” within the Libertarian party. You can always expect an insider clique in any organization. Matter of fact you can expect several, and that they will wax and wane in influence. The cliques that can persist will not take on an air the air of exclusivity.

    Robert Anton Wilson in an interview once said he had never encountered a “conspiracy” that ever lasted for more than a few years before the participants got to stabbing each other in the back and blowing the whole thing to hell.

    Culture and ideology are the realms in which cooperative teamwork for long term goals can be fostered and maintained. You can foster these only with principled participation and leadership.

    Myself, I am unconcerned by “insiders” and I pay them no heed. Nor would I banally blame conspiracies to explain away my own troubles with success. I would seek a new strategy and check carefully to make sure I hadn’t redefined success into something unattainable.

    >> Once Diogenes was going into the theater just as everybody was coming out. When asked why he did this, he answered, “Opposition has been my manner. It is what I have been doing all my life.”

  37. songster7

    the slogan they used at the Anaheim 2000 convention — Liberty, Responsibility, Community — still rings as true as any. I used to use it a lot, with the qualifiers:

    Individual Liberty, Personal Responsibility, Voluntary Community

    It covers the bases almost as well as the original LP credo:

    Civil Liberties, Economic Freedom & Non-Intervention Abroad

  38. JimDavidson

    “Diogenes, not wanting to appear idle while everyone around him was working so frantically, diligently rolled his barrel back and forth along the battlements. The city fell.”

    My goodness, if ever a post hoc ergo propter hoc argument were sillier, I do not recall it.

  39. MBarnes

    #42 “if ever a post hoc ergo propter hoc argument were sillier, I do not recall it.”

    Tell me about it. Diogenes was more interested in proving everyone who was not exactly like him a fool.

    Diogenes was not seeking truth, he was seeking power. The weakness of the cynic is that they are prone self-delusion and their solution is to resort to theater to win their argument.

    >Plato was discoursing on his theory of ideas and, pointing to the cups on the table before him, said while there are many cups in the world, there is only one `idea’ of a cup, and this cupness precedes the existence of all particular cups.

    >”I can see the cup on the table,” interupted Diogenes, “but I can’t see the `cupness'”.

    >”That’s because you have the eyes to see the cup,” said Plato, “but”, tapping his head with his forefinger, “you don’t have the intellect with which to comprehend `cupness’.”

    >Diogenes walked up to the table, examined a cup and, looking inside, asked, “Is it empty?”

    >Plato nodded.

    >”Where is the `emptiness’ which procedes this empty cup?” asked Diogenes.

    >Plato allowed himself a few moments to collect his thoughts, but Diogenes reached over and, tapping Plato’s head with his finger, said “I think you will find here is the `emptiness’.”

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