Debate: Is ‘California Freedom’ too Antiwar?

Emailed to contact.ipr@gmail.com by current California Freedom editor Thomas Sipos. For some background on this discussion, see the comments at Thomas Sipos: On Angela Keaton and Ron Paul. Posted to IPR by Paulie. I have emailed Brian Holtz for a response, and have not yet heard back. If he chooses to respond by email or in the comments here, I can include one reasonably short response from Brian or Bruce in an update to the body of the post. Other than that, have at it in the comments!


Brian Holtz thinks that California Freedom, the newsletter of the Libertarian Party of California, which I edit, is “obsessed” with the antiwar issue.

Is it? Decide for yourself! Download FREE back issues of California Freedom at: http://www.ca.lp.org/cafreedom.shtml

I’ve been editor since June 2007. Bruce Cohen and Brian Holtz co-edited CF (with Bruce in the lead) before that. Compare their back issues with mine. Which is better? I think my issues are livelier and more interesting.

There are three libertarian meta-issues: Foreign affairs, economics, and civil liberties. The February California Freedom (which I turned in last week) has two foreign affairs articles, two economics articles, and three civil liberties articles (one each on gay marriage, medical marijuana, and internet privacy). Plus, articles on winning elections and fundraising.

Yes, I cover war and intervention almost every issue. And much else. If a libertarian publication has at least one economics article per issue, is it “obsessed” with economics?

Alas, some liberventionists are obsessed with silencing all talk of war, foreign aid, and intervention. They know that merely talking about these “divisive” issues will reveal them as being on the minority and losing side of this “divide.”

Anyway, download my back issues. Download Bruce & Brian’s back issues. Compare them. Which is better? YOU decide!

141 thoughts on “Debate: Is ‘California Freedom’ too Antiwar?

  1. Gene Berkman

    I applaud Thomas Sipos for his excellent work editing & publishing California Freedom.

    Of course opposing war & interventionism is an important part of the Libertarian message. Libertarians oppose war because it is the biggest, most expensive and most destructive government program. The Pre-emptive War doctrine of President Bush is particularly objectionable from the POV of the libertarian principle of non-initiation of force.

    Also, California Freedom is now more interesting than under any previous editor.

  2. Coming on the back of the LP

    There is no such thing as too antiwar. DUH.

    A Libertaryan is saying the party is “too antiwar”? On what planet?

  3. The Pattern

    As long as there are wars, there is no such thing as being too much antiwar. Coming on the back is exactly correct on this point.

    Holz is some sort of war monger. Is he also a war profiteer? He should come clean with a list of his investments in babykiller bomb manufacturers.

  4. Michael Seebeck

    Coming Back, that would be Planet Holtz…

    To be clear, let’s make sure we mean starting wars on others, not responding to the ones someone starts on us. I don’t mean self-defense of citizenry and country.

    Here, for shorthand, I take “anti-war” to mean “against starting wars”. I also take “pro-war” to mean “attack them before they attack you” in a pre-emptive, first-strike manner.

    If someone is complaining about the LP focus being too anti-war at ANY level during a war, then that person has been inhaling way too many Patriot missile exhaust fumes.

    Offensive war is the ultimate initiation of force on others by us, despite the “He hit me back first” argument of the pro-war crowd. That means anti-war is a fundamental libertarian position by definition and pro-war is not.

    Defensive war, by contrast, is a response to initiation of force by others on us, and is acceptable to support as a libertarian, even while disliking to outright despising the death and destruction.

    Cue the pro-war parrots now, but I think it’s safe to say that there is a big difference between shooting first and shooting back, in the actual, rhetorical, and every other sense.

    It’s OK to fight back as needed, but it’s not OK to start fights. Call it black-belt pacifism.

  5. Coming on the back of the LP

    Seebeck makes sense here.

    Too bad most of the rest of the LP does not anymore.

  6. Michael Seebeck

    I usually do, Coming, it’s just this time I’m a little clearer in saying it. 😀 Thanks for the compliments!

  7. Rachel H

    I’ve found Mr. Sipos’ editions to be interesting, readable and lively. I’d give a lot to have a newsletter as well done. Ours is well-written, but short and black & white.

    And contrary to what Mr. Holtz says, he doesn’t publish only anti-war articles. A few months ago, he published a column by an activist that called for war, more war. In the name of some mythical being.

    The only Libertarian war would be one of self defense. And we’re not doing that. We have bases in 135 countries, and we are not at war with any country.

    NAP doesn’t preclude self defense, just aggression.

  8. paulie cannoli Post author

    Just took a look at the Mar. 2007 and Dec. 2008 CF editions. Both looked pretty damn good compared to the current LP News or Alabama Liberty.

    I did not notice any excessive obsession with foreign policy in the Dec. 2008 issue. It was definitely included, just as it is in a city newspaper or national news broadcast. Along with many other issues.

  9. robert capozzi

    gene, by the numbers, war and military spending are not the “biggest, most expensive” aspect of government…you seem to overstate. ” Destructive”…yes. Military spending is probably the biggest target for plausible spending cuts in the short term, IMO.

  10. Bruce Cohen

    The joke of it all is not only the extraordinarily low quality of writing and layout… It’s the extreme way the current so-called ‘management’ has done, exactly like Democrats do, what they claimed others did. When I ran California Freedom, we never had ANY articles about the war at all. Period. So the liars who say Aaron or I are pro-war, are just, liars. And to those who say the paper was pro-war, are liars, too. In fact, just as I said to Ted Brown after Kookenaga’s election, they would turn it into an idealogical soapbox for their personal opinions.

    I was right.

    When Aaron was Chair, and I was Editor, we did not promote any particular agenda, but instead promoted the party and activism. Any advocacy for a position was strictly done on things that were ‘winning issues’.

    In other words, issues the party agreed on, and would appeal to.

    Instead, Sipos, 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.

    GOOD JOB, folks!

    The LP, where choice and free speech and good common business sense are the rule of the day in theory only, but the extremists actually censor and push out anyone who dares differ!

    Pretty funny, ain’t it?

  11. Trent Hill

    Got to agree with Cohen here, not that my opinion matters in LP matters. Cohen had better writing and editing, and it was more impartial to the various groups in the LP.

  12. libertariangirl

    BC:_When I ran California Freedom, we never had ANY articles about the war at all.

    You make some valid points but I don’t know that I would broadcast that you’d NEVER done an article about the war. Are you suggesting that the War is not important to Libertarians?

  13. paulie cannoli Post author

    When I ran California Freedom, we never had ANY articles about the war at all. Period.

    That seems like a pretty big issue to just completely ignore.


    So the liars who say Aaron or I are pro-war, are just, liars.

    To the best of my knowledge, Aaron Starr is currently against the war in Iraq, but used to be for it, and Bruce is still for it. I think both of them still support the war in Afghanistan. I don’t think either one supports war for the sake of war, a la Dondero.


    And to those who say the paper was pro-war, are liars, too. In fact, just as I said to Ted Brown after Kookenaga’s election, they would turn it into an idealogical soapbox for their personal opinions.

    I understand that there are strong feelings involved here, and California is not my sandbox so I’m really not the one to judge, but one thing I will say here is that as a general rule, I think it is disrespectful and counterproductive to abuse people’s names in discussions like this.

    Bruce calls California state chair Kevin Takenaga “Kookenaga” here. In email exchanges I have been copied on, Jake Witmer repeatedly calls Bruce “NeoCOheN” and “COheNFORMIST”….two examples of the way we should not treat each other – and, yes, I’ve been guilty of this, and am trying to change.


    When Aaron was Chair, and I was Editor, we did not promote any particular agenda, but instead promoted the party and activism. Any advocacy for a position was strictly done on things that were ‘winning issues’.

    I would think that the selection of winning issues is an agenda of sorts.


    In other words, issues the party agreed on, and would appeal to.

    In the future, I hope the Libertarian Party tries to – and succeeds in – bringing in a lot of Democrats, Greens and others whose views are similar to Mike Gravel. If this happens, I don’t expect them to be 100% libertarian down the line on issues like the minimum wage, education, environmental or consumer protection, or health care – and certainly not right away.

    However, I wouldn’t want the party to stop speaking out on those issues entirely, or cease to have a position on these issues, or downplay them or change our position in favor of more government-oriented solutions to these problems.


    And, they have turned it into a carbon copy of the Daily Kos, where any Libertarians that aren’t anarcho-extremists are unwelcome.

    I didn’t see anything that promoted anarchism, and I saw dissenting opinions printed in the sample issue I looked at.

    I’ll give the edge to Bruce and Brian in layout, but as I said before, either one is a good deal better than the current LP News, or my state LP paper (neither of which is currently being made available online).

  14. Trent Hill

    “You make some valid points but I don’t know that I would broadcast that you’d NEVER done an article about the war. Are you suggesting that the War is not important to Libertarians?”

    If it was controversial between the editor/chair and the memberships, or any significant parts of the membership–then it should be sidestepped.

  15. libertariangirl

    TH_If it was controversial between the editor/chair and the memberships, or any significant parts of the membership–then it should be sidestepped.

    that sounds a little overly politically correct and the exact kind of personal ideology promoting that Bruce was complaining about.

  16. S.H.M.

    Cohen would make an excellent editor of LP News but they should strive to soften their views on the war. Holtz should be the Libertarian National Committee. He is the nimblest thinker in the party but he comes off as strident on Iraq war.

  17. libertariangirl

    new paragraph between sidestepped , the last word in TH post and my first word , that.

  18. paulie cannoli Post author

    If it was controversial between the editor/chair and the memberships, or any significant parts of the membership–then it should be sidestepped.

    See response to this point above in part of comment 13.

    [Brian Holtz] is the nimblest thinker in the party but he comes off as strident on Iraq war.

    As someone who has disagreed with Brian on the invasion and occupation of Iraq, I don’t agree with this characterization. Brian’s opinion has been backed up with facts and logic – even if I disagree on many of the facts, and I do. He has always been willing to engage his views in reasoned debate, and over time has changed some of them – including, if I understand it correctly, currently opposing the continued occupation of Iraq.

  19. Trent Hill

    “that sounds a little overly politically correct and the exact kind of personal ideology promoting that Bruce was complaining about.”

    How would you suggest fixing it? If the editor is pro-war, as is a minority of the membership, and majority is anti-war—would should he write on the issue?

  20. paulie cannoli Post author

    new paragraph between sidestepped , the last word in TH post and my first word , that.

    Fixed, I think.


    “that sounds a little overly politically correct and the exact kind of personal ideology promoting that Bruce was complaining about.”

    How would you suggest fixing it? If the editor is pro-war, as is a minority of the membership, and majority is anti-war—would should he write on the issue?

    The editorial page should reflect the views of the party. However, there should certainly be op-eds and LTEs for opposing viewpoints.

    I grant that this is far from being an easy thing to work out the details of.

  21. The Pattern

    Failing to present the libertarian case against wars of aggression and occupation is not a good policy. It is a pro-war policy. Knowing he would lose support from the vast majority of members of the party, Cohen chose not to print pro-war articles, either. No word on letters to the editor or editorials, though.

    Holz attempts to present himself as cogent and quick-witted, but much of his rhetoric is very tiresome. He likes to change the subject being discussed to one he thinks he’s already won. He likes to pull traffic off the page where the discussion is located to one of his pet sites where he’s marshaled what he has in the way of thinking and data. Very often he simply repeats his claims and says he’s won a point when he hasn’t proven anything.

    I agree with SHM that Holz comes off as vociferously, irrationally pro-war in spite of his efforts to pretend that there is some rationale or another for this or that activity. He has, of late, suggested that those who cannot prove that the Bush lies that started the war were knowing and deliberate cannot object to any aspect of the war.

    His views seem to be extremely cavalier about the blood shed and the lives lost. This attitude is especially unfortunate from anyone misrepresenting himself as libertarian.

  22. Michael Seebeck

    Bruce, just because Takenaga got elected in an overwhelming slate at San Ramon, and when it happened you looked like you had your birthday revoked because your own rumored run for chair was ended before it started, doesn’t mean you should call him names. You can disagree with his policies and practices all you want, but when you revert to name calling, it makes you look bad.

  23. Lidia Seebeck

    It’s really simple, everyone.

    Right now the wars in Iraq and elsewhere (and the attendant “required” security precautions) are a HUGE cause of the budget woes in Washington.

    Right now the war debate is second only to the economic debate here in America.

    To NOT cover the war debate from a (hopefully) Libertarian angle would be tantamount to not reporting some of the top stories out there.

    Furthermore California is a huge nest of anti-war resistance. After all, we have Cindy Sheehan (yeah she’s a greenie but she does like anti-war liberty lovers too) and the Santa Monica crowd. Covering the war debate will help to bring in new Libertarians over time.

    Obviously we need to be sharing our views on other matters– the budget, the continuing post-Prop-8 mess, and whatever else seems apropos– but the war and economic matters had better be covered or we will be dangerously off the pulse of this state.

  24. The Pattern

    Lidia, agreed.

    The only thing I would add to your comments is that the cost in treasure is huge, while the cost in lives and in permanent, life-changing injuries, is immeasurable. We can arguably get more money somewhere, someday. We’ll never replace the lives lost.

    When libertarians stand up and say, “War is wrong,” it is not merely an economic argument.

    I agree that defensive wars are justifiable. But the only libertarian war is a war to overthrow tyranny and replace it with individual liberty. And the only people who are competent to choose to engage in such a war are those who seek to be free. The concept of “libervention” is meaningless because an outsider cannot “make you free.”

    Those who want freedom must gain it for themselves. And those who want to promote libertarian answers should keep in mind the loss of lives and the terrible consequences of warfare.

  25. Coming on the back of the LP

    Hey, what a great idea, let’s just sweep the war under the rug!

    Homeless veretans with PTSD? In the dustbin!

    Trigger happy and increasingly well armed gang bangers, prison guards and cops, all with war flashbacks? In the dustbin!

    Defense contractors raking in the billions while the country and your state are going broke? In the dustbin!

    Military surplus hardware sold to police departments? Army divisions being brought in to the “homeland” for riot duty? The FBI and NSA monitoring your email, phone calls, library checkouts….sweep it under the rug, it’s all war related.

    Military recruiters prowling the schoolyards? Not a problem! Disabled war veterans living in their own filth in the VA? Look, why are we talking about that? Let’s discuss estate taxes!

  26. Michael H. Wilson

    Bruce writes: “In other words, issues the party agreed on, and would appeal to.”

    How did you determine what issues the party agreed on?

  27. Gene Trosper

    While I may disagree with Sipos at times, I really appreciate his antiwar editorials.

    Our governments may regulate our behaviors, arrest us for doing naughty things, give us speeding tickets and tax us at the level of grand larceny, but they hold power over the one thing we all hold most dear: our lives. War is the ultimate destroyer. In a matter of 2 hours, this world could be wiped out due to some grand standing politicians. It is of the utmost importance to oppose war and intervention.

  28. Robert Capozzi

    Gene, while I’m directionally with ya, I do think that Ls need to lose this narrative. It simply doesn’t follow that avoiding apocalypse (good) necessarily means avoiding war, or even intervention. My sense is that the vast majority believe that intervention is designed to AVOID apocalypse. I do believe we should make the case that intervention is almost always destabilizing, when Ls use your narrative, many people won’t listen.

    Absolutism is a set up for failure, IMO.

  29. Trent Hill

    “fair . balanced , differing views and without personal attacks”

    This is “fair”–but it is not good for party building or party harmony. First of all, someone will ALWAYS be accusing the editor of swaying to one side. It would be easier to leave the issue alone and concentrate on the vast number of issues both factions agree on, especially when using official party organs. This doesnt mean each side cant agitate for their position–you’re libertarians afterall, arguements and debates will happen.

  30. Trent Hill

    “To NOT cover the war debate from a (hopefully) Libertarian angle would be tantamount to not reporting some of the top stories out there.”

    Lidia, this is obviously true. But what happens when the party has a very large “neolibertarian” wing? Im as antiwar as just about anyone, but even I can see the importance of cohesiveness in a party. Each party can agitate on their issues–but keeping the party organ nuetral on the debate between the two factions–thats the best way to nuetralize factionilization.

  31. Susan Hogarth

    Each party can agitate on their issues–but keeping the party organ nuetral on the debate between the two factions–thats the best way to nuetralize factionilization.

    If issues where libertarians have profound differences are not addressed, we won’t talk about anything 🙂

    I think a better way to address factionalization is to openly discuss the issue that creates the factions, giving air to all or most sides but not being afraid to take an editorial stance (assuming we’re talking about the newsletter still). On a broader level, the LP needs to not avoid taking positions on issues simply because there is internal disagreement – what we need to do is (1) stick to the non-initiation of force pledge in all our policy prescriptions, (2) have a clear and specific platform so that our activists and interested people can work out for themselves easily enough our policy on particular issues, and (3) have leaders that are willing to take a strong stand that is consistent with the pledge and platform and publicize it regarding any current big news issue.

    If we lack those things – as we do now, I beleive – we wind up in the situation where staff members make their personal opinions into de facto policy statements because of a lack of leadership within the Party. I think this is the (unfortunate) place we are at now.

  32. Robert Capozzi

    This post makes the case for ending internal pubs, IMO. The opportunity cost of periodicals seems huge on its face, both in resources and friction.

  33. Susan Hogarth

    Absolutism is a set up for failure, IMO.

    But you only have that opinion some of the time, right? Elsewise you’d be ‘absolutist’ on the subject.

  34. Susan Hogarth

    This post makes the case for ending internal pubs, IMO. The opportunity cost of periodicals seems huge on its face, both in resources and friction.

    This strikes me as very much a tossing the baby with the bathwater sort of opinion.

    Newsletters are a wonderful way of connecting longtime activists, engaging new folks, and giving a sense of cohesion to the Party organization. Just because something is difficult or has -potential- drawbacks is no reason to avoid it. If that were the case, the LP ought to simply fold up and stop operating, because -everything- we do is difficult and has potential drawbakcs.

  35. Thomas L. Knapp

    The Libertarian Party has a process for determining what its positions are. Nothing gets into the platform without the support of 2/3+1 of voting delegates on the convention floor (at the national level — the process might be different in various states).

    Once something HAS been put into the platform through that process, it IS the party’s position, and it IS the job of the party’s communications organs, etc. to promote that position.

    Doing so is not “divisive.” The whole point of the platform process is to create a single, i.e. “unified,” position which the party will support. “Division” occurs when the faction which lost the fight on what the party’s position will be on issue X agitates for the party to refrain from promoting that position, or for “equal time” in party organs for the losing position.

  36. Trent Hill

    Tom,

    and if the platform said nothing of war? Or was so vague that the issue could be interpretted widely?

  37. Libertarian Joseph

    “Libertarians oppose war because it is the biggest, most expensive and most destructive government program.”

    Nah. I think it shouldn’t be opposed to in a system where the government can’t print up more money whenever it wants to. That takes away the ability to hold politicians accountable.

  38. Robert Capozzi

    Susan: Newsletters are a wonderful way of connecting longtime activists, engaging new folks, and giving a sense of cohesion to the Party organization.

    Me: Could be. I’ve seen very little evidence of cohesion, however, generally or specifically from newsletters.

    Susan: Just because something is difficult or has -potential- drawbacks is no reason to avoid it.

    Me: Agree. I made 2 points: newsletters drain financial resources (my stronger point) and can create contention (my ancillary point).

    Susan: If that were the case, the LP ought to simply fold up and stop operating, because -everything- we do is difficult and has potential drawbakcs.

    Me: Newsletters seem very 20th century to me. Outreach can be done without the burden and cost of contentious newsletters. What ISN’T done because of the newsletter is a matter of judgment about opportunity costs. Your and my opinions may well differ on those costs, but I don’t feel strongly about the matter.

  39. libertariangirl

    II wish Nevada still had a monthly newsletter , but budget concerns have made us table it for awhile.

    I absolutely DO NOT AGREE with never reporting on the war . It is way too important to ignore.
    However ,just as I vehemently opposed the ridiculous ‘discipline of Angela’ I also oppose the continuation of the drama by reprinting the story and the photo-shop of Angela and Aaron.

    It seems to me if one thinks the drama was a waste of time to begin with then its continuation is also a waste of time .

  40. Robert Capozzi

    Knappster: The Libertarian Party has a process for determining what its positions are.

    Me: Not exactly. It has a process for its PLATFORM. The LP — and most if not all parties — have a history of candidates taking positions at odds with its platform. I admire your BTP platform because it’s SO flexible.

    Importantly, there’s no meaningful mechanism to police thought. If, for ex., Susan is successful in adding a unilateral disarmament plank, I suspect some of our candidates may take public positions at odds with her plank. I’m unaware of a history of repudiating candidates who take positions at odds with the platform. And I’d suggest that’s good, since such policing could easily get out of hand, with literalistic purity police invoking any repudiation mechanism frequently.

  41. Robert Capozzi

    susan: But you only have that opinion some of the time, right? Elsewise you’d be ‘absolutist’ on the subject.

    me: Love is an absolute, yes, Susan, but that’s the only exception I can think of. Do you know of others? If absolutism worked, I’d be for it, but, alas, other than love “conquering” all, I also know of no absolutist position that works. Do you?

  42. paulie cannoli Post author

    Hey, what a great idea, let’s just sweep the war under the rug!

    Homeless veretans with PTSD? In the dustbin!

    Trigger happy and increasingly well armed gang bangers, prison guards and cops, all with war flashbacks? In the dustbin!

    Defense contractors raking in the billions while the country and your state are going broke? In the dustbin!

    Military surplus hardware sold to police departments? Army divisions being brought in to the “homeland” for riot duty? The FBI and NSA monitoring your email, phone calls, library checkouts….sweep it under the rug, it’s all war related.

    Military recruiters prowling the schoolyards? Not a problem! Disabled war veterans living in their own filth in the VA? Look, why are we talking about that? Let’s discuss estate taxes!

    I think those are important issues to discuss.

  43. paulie cannoli Post author

    He likes to change the subject being discussed to one he thinks he’s already won. He likes to pull traffic off the page where the discussion is located to one of his pet sites where he’s marshaled what he has in the way of thinking and data.

    If the traffic issues is a problem for you, just let me know and I’ll copy and paste Brian’s post(s) that he refers to in discussion to the comments here, so you can respond to them here. Or you could do it yourself.

  44. paulie cannoli Post author

    those who cannot prove that the Bush lies that started the war were knowing and deliberate

    Of course they were knowing and deliberate.

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20040329/scheer

    http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/03/07/22_lies.html

    http://www.bushlies.net/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xz9Ew1UBBj0

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x249g4_cia-whistleblower-on-wmds-iraq-and_news

    http://terrasol.home.igc.org/IraqLies.htm

    http://www.motherjones.com/bush_war_timeline/

    http://projects.publicintegrity.org/WarCard/

    http://www.bushwatch.com/bushlies.htm

    http://www.alternet.org/story/16274/

    http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0716-12.htm

  45. Michael Seebeck

    @34:

    Absolutism is a set up for failure, IMO.

    But you only have that opinion some of the time, right? Elsewise you’d be ‘absolutist’ on the subject.

    Absolutely. 🙂

  46. Michael H. Wilson

    In the platform in section 3.3 it reads ” We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid.”

    I tend to believe that this is pretty clear. Based on this I believe that the Libertarian Party would be against the war in Iraq. Secondly the Congress never bothered with a declaration of war prior to the invasion, thus it is illegal.

  47. paulie cannoli Post author

    In the platform in section 3.3 it reads ” We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid.”

    I tend to believe that this is pretty clear. Based on this I believe that the Libertarian Party would be against the war in Iraq. Secondly the Congress never bothered with a declaration of war prior to the invasion, thus it is illegal.

    True!

  48. paulie cannoli Post author

    Right now the wars in Iraq and elsewhere (and the attendant “required” security precautions) are a HUGE cause of the budget woes in Washington.

    Right now the war debate is second only to the economic debate here in America.

    To NOT cover the war debate from a (hopefully) Libertarian angle would be tantamount to not reporting some of the top stories out there.

    Furthermore California is a huge nest of anti-war resistance. After all, we have Cindy Sheehan (yeah she’s a greenie but she does like anti-war liberty lovers too) and the Santa Monica crowd. Covering the war debate will help to bring in new Libertarians over time.

    Obviously we need to be sharing our views on other matters– the budget, the continuing post-Prop-8 mess, and whatever else seems apropos– but the war and economic matters had better be covered or we will be dangerously off the pulse of this state.

    I agree. Peace issues are inextricably linked with economic and civil liberties issues.

    As Randolph Bourne pointed out, war is the health of the state“.

  49. paulie cannoli Post author

    Gene Trosper: Our governments may regulate our behaviors, arrest us for doing naughty things, give us speeding tickets and tax us at the level of grand larceny, but they hold power over the one thing we all hold most dear: our lives. War is the ultimate destroyer. In a matter of 2 hours, this world could be wiped out due to some grand standing politicians. It is of the utmost importance to oppose war and intervention.

    Robert Capozzi: Gene, while I’m directionally with ya, I do think that Ls need to lose this narrative. It simply doesn’t follow that avoiding apocalypse (good) necessarily means avoiding war, or even intervention. My sense is that the vast majority believe that intervention is designed to AVOID apocalypse. I do believe we should make the case that intervention is almost always destabilizing, when Ls use your narrative, many people won’t listen.

    Paul: Not every appeal we make necessarily has to be to the majority. Some of our appeal can be to those who are radically enough dissatisfied with the status quo to take an extreme step such as supporting and joining an alternative party which has “no chance to win.” But I also agree that different Libertarians should make different arguments, including the destabilization argument you cite, to appeal to different audiences. Both moral and consequentialist arguments have their place.

    Absolutism is a set up for failure, IMO.

    I agree.

  50. paulie cannoli Post author

    This is “fair”–but it is not good for party building or party harmony. First of all, someone will ALWAYS be accusing the editor of swaying to one side. It would be easier to leave the issue alone and concentrate on the vast number of issues both factions agree on, especially when using official party organs. This doesnt mean each side cant agitate for their position–you’re libertarians afterall, arguements and debates will happen.

    To say that we should leave alone issues where factions of the party disagree is merely to reward imbalanced recruiting that took place in the past. I hope that in the future, we recruit many people from the left/libertarian border. That does not, however, mean that we should stop talking about issues where they do not immediately agree with us, or cease taking a stand on such issues altogether, if we succeed in such recruiting endeavors.

  51. paulie cannoli Post author

    But what happens when the party has a very large “neolibertarian” wing?

    Recruit more “Mike Gravel Libertarians”.

    Im as antiwar as just about anyone, but even I can see the importance of cohesiveness in a party. Each party can agitate on their issues–but keeping the party organ nuetral on the debate between the two factions–thats the best way to nuetralize factionilization.

    On the contrary; internal and external education, and letting all factions have their say, seems like a far better policy to me.

  52. paulie cannoli Post author

    If issues where libertarians have profound differences are not addressed, we won’t talk about anything 🙂

    I think a better way to address factionalization is to openly discuss the issue that creates the factions, giving air to all or most sides but not being afraid to take an editorial stance (assuming we’re talking about the newsletter still).

    Exactly!

  53. paulie cannoli Post author

    This post makes the case for ending internal pubs, IMO. The opportunity cost of periodicals seems huge on its face, both in resources and friction.

    Whether the information dissemination organs we have are a dead tree newsletter, party blog, internet TV station, or whatever, the same content issues still exist.

  54. paulie cannoli Post author

    and if the platform said nothing of war? Or was so vague that the issue could be interpretted widely?

    Then we’d need to work on fixing the platform.

  55. The Pattern

    “and if the platform said nothing of war? Or was so vague that the issue could be interpretted widely?”

    Then neo-conservative war mongers would be happy in the LP and actual libertarians would not be.

  56. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 39 Robert writes: “Newsletters seem very 20th century to me. Outreach can be done without the burden and cost of contentious newsletters. ”

    Sure outreach can be done without the burden and cost of a newsletter, but a good news letter can prove to be an asset to any outreach program and even pay for itself.

    I can send a newsletter to the local library and ask them to place it in the periodical section. I can leave a stack of copies at the table out front which many libraries have for public information. I can send a copy to all the college news papers in my area. I can send a copy to all the political reporters in the state. I can also send an envelope out with each copy and ask for a donation. I know of one state that does this and has paid for the newsletter for some time and it ain’t the state I’m living in. I can print six or more issues in a news letter cheaper than I can as pamphlets and get the word out. And I can lay in bed and read it. Stick it in my pocket and take it on the bus, etc.

    Personally I think the LNC should push to have most of the state do one and should share info between them. Maybe even offer a reward for states that set the standard for excellence in newsletter work.

    It is just one tool in the outreach tool box that we should be using.

    MW

  57. Thomas L. Knapp

    Robert,

    You write:

    “Knappster: The Libertarian Party has a process for determining what its positions are.

    “Me: Not exactly. It has a process for its PLATFORM. The LP — and most if not all parties — have a history of candidates taking positions at odds with its platform.”

    What you say doesn’t conflict with what I said.

  58. Robert Capozzi

    Tom, yes, it’s NOT a conflict. Conflict is the root of all evil in my book.

    My point is that we have platform which sometimes is tantamount to a “position” on an issue of the day, and sometimes its more like a long term goal.

    To illustrate, some Ls advocate the FAIR tax (not me). Some read the platform and say: FAIR taxers are not L. Violation! It perpetuates initiation of force!

    Others could read the platform and say, “well, it does call for abolition of the income tax, so FAIR taxes get to stay in the tent.”

    I find this purity policing phenomenon dysfunctional.

  59. Robert Capozzi

    Michael @ 59. Those things all sound good to me. I am asking the questions: Are state and national LPs doing those things? Is it working? Are the newsletters of high enough quality to bring in new prospects and members? Are there higher and better uses of the current resources spent on newsletters?

  60. Susan Hogarth

    If, for ex., Susan is successful in adding a unilateral disarmament plank, I suspect some of our candidates may take public positions at odds with her plank.

    Susan doesn’t plan to propose such a plank, so no one should be surprised when it doesn’t happen.

    Susan is thinking now that a simple statement that ‘the LP supports people peacefully breaking unjust laws’ will turn out to be ridiculously controversial, and that her time is better spent working on that fundamental statement – as well as trying to make an unassailably anti-tax tax plank.

    Susan is wondering why she feels compelled to write in the third person this morning.

    Susan is only halfway through her second cup of coffee.

  61. paulie cannoli Post author

    some Ls advocate the FAIR tax (not me). Some read the platform and say: FAIR taxers are not L. Violation! It perpetuates initiation of force!

    Others could read the platform and say, “well, it does call for abolition of the income tax, so FAIR taxes get to stay in the tent.”

    I find this purity policing phenomenon dysfunctional.

    If they advocate adding a sales tax (getting rid of the income tax is much harder, no matter the stated goals), I would certainly say they are not libertarian on that issue.

    We can quibble as to whether the sales tax would be better or worse than the income tax if we really could have only one or the other. I happen to think the sales tax would be worse, but that’s a more complicated issue.

    We can go down that tangent if anyone wants to, though.

    Overall, I don’t want to run people out of the party completely just because they disagree on any one issue, but I would ask that we keep a completely anti-tax official stance as a party (although that does not mean it has to demand zero taxes tomorrow or nothing, at least it should call for no new or increased taxes), and that our candidates and party officers who take different positions from the party at least make an effort to distinguish their position from that of the party in their official capacity as candidates and/or party spokespeople.

    Would you say that is a reasonable compromise?

  62. robert capozzi

    susan, bob supports susan’s decision to not propose a unilateral disarmament plank that susan had included in her draft planks when susan applied for platcom, as bob recalls..

  63. libertariangirl

    could somebody please get rid of ‘cult of the omnipotent state’ , its really the only part i seriously hate

  64. Susan Hogarth

    susan had included [a unilateral disarmament plank] in her draft planks when susan applied for platcom, as bob recalls..

    Incorrect recall, though understandable. I only threw that into a post at LFV for purposes of discussion. It was not part of my application.

  65. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    I think you’re missing the point here.

    Yes, some LP members are going to disagree with some parts of the platform, or take positions that just aren’t covered in the platform.

    HOWEVER, the party itself, in its official communications, should support and promote the positions in the platform, not positions that conflict with the platform or that aren’t covered by it.

    It is not “divisive” for those who, in their role as party officials, activists, etc. to use those communications for that purpose. That’s the purpose they’re there to be used for.

    While party members, candidates, etc. are free to disagree with the party’s positions, or take positions not covered by the party’s platform, it IS “divisive” for them to expect the party’s communications apparatus to NOT promote the party’s positions that they dissent from, or to give “equal time” to dissent versus positions that have been established through the platform process, etc.

    I’m not a “democratic centralist” a la Lenin, who held that once the party had decided it was every member’s duty to support the party’s position. I don’t think it controversial, however, to assert that once the party as an organization has assumed a position, it should promote use its assets to promote that position rather than some other position and rather than promoting no position at all.

  66. robert capozzi

    pc, an “anti-tax” stance is a great one. if I get what you’re saying, though, I find that compromise a set up for failure. pols don’t typically say “my position is X, the party’s is Y.” the game’s not played that way. it’s actually kinda weird and robotic.

    my hope is that anyone who wants to be an official L, they’d articulate a view that taxes are WAY too high and then leave it to the candidate to define his or her own positioning within that constraint.

  67. paulie cannoli Post author

    Well, yes. The question is how to dissociate the party from candidates who don’t take a position that taxes are way too high: for example, by supporting the supposedly “revenue neutral,”
    national “fair” sales tax.

    If they are libertarian on 80% or 90% of the issues, I don’t see it as a huge problem, but I don’t want Joe Citizen to get the idea that this what we are about, join (or not join) because of that, and (for those that do join) change our platform to actually say that next year, or three or five years from now.

    See what I’m getting at?

  68. Susan Hogarth

    pols don’t typically say “my position is X, the party’s is Y.”

    That’s because typical politicians aren’t part of a broader ideological movement (as we libs see it – perhaps they do view themselves that way), but are instead simply seeking to get elected. Getting elected should, in the main part, be seen as the *effect* of having people understand and agree with libertarianism, not the *cause* of them coming to understand and agree with us -of course the process feeds back on itself, and there’s nothing wrong with having someone get elected because he’s well known, liked, and respected in his community, and then demonstrating how increased freedom benefits folks.

    my hope is that anyone who wants to be an official L, they’d articulate a view that taxes are WAY too high and then leave it to the candidate to define his or her own positioning within that constraint.

    And this distinguishes Libertarians from Republicans (and many Democrats) exactly how?

    People can already get that ‘product’ at the GOP Superstore – why would they want to shop for the same thing at the more expensive Mall Kiosk of the Libertarian Party?

  69. robert capozzi

    Paulie, yes, I do. For me, that should be left to the state LPs to decide how to screen prospective candidates.

    btw, while I’m NOT a Fair tax advocate, I might support one. It depends an other factors…views on spending (the more important issue), social and foreign policy views, articulateness, etc.

  70. robert capozzi

    susan, I don’t agree that Rs generally advocate MUCH lower taxes. but I’m not sure that differentiation is necessarily BEST done by staking out the most extreme issue on every issue.

    I can’t think of any Rs who want much lower taxes + pro choice + out of Iraq + legalizing marijuana. in the real world, that’s quite differentiated, I’d submit.

  71. Susan Hogarth

    I’m not sure that differentiation is necessarily BEST done by staking out the most extreme issue on every issue.

    I think ‘extreme’ is used too often as a scare-word, and by perpetuating that usage, we do ourselves and everyone else (except the fear-mongers) a disservice.

    I simply want the LP to always advocate the most extremely correct position on each issue.

    Of course, others may prefer to advocate something merely *approximately* or *close to* correct, because they have bought into the knee-jerk fear of ‘extremism’ so popular these days.

  72. robert capozzi

    susan, please school us on what a “correct position” is. I can’t I’ve ever seen such an animal.

    And also school us on how a party qua party takes positions. I view a party as like-minded people advocating a range of ideas that point in a certain direction, not a Borg-like entity in which the members of the collective are not able to speak for themselves, to frame issues in ways that they think best speaks to the concerns of the voters in their districts.

  73. Gene Trosper

    @29

    I speak as a father, a husband and someone who is going to be a grandfather in August (poor kid!).

    This is my own personal belief. I didn’t say that LP “must”, but certainly, I think the LP “should” hold that position, or something closely resembling that position.

    While I generally agree with your position on absolutism, I believe that taking a very diffrent stance on war and internventionism allows for a much needed debate and perhaps gives more credence to those working within the framework of public policy by presenting solutions that appear “acceptable”, but still hold to principles of noninterventionism.

    If I could wave a magical wand today and end all war, I would. But I can’t. Radical positions make moderate positions look much more workable…and I’d rather have moderate steps toward eliminating interventionism than nothing at all.

  74. Susan Hogarth

    susan, please school us on what a “correct position” is.

    As I’m a l/Libertarian, my understanding of ‘correct’ (in the political sense) is that which doesn’t involve aggression against others – well-stated in the platform preamble as “We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.”

    I might be proved wrong, but that’s a risk anyone takes when taking a stand. I don’t believe I *am* wrong, because if I did, I wouldn’t be working (more-or-less) hard at convincing others to agree with me. At any rate, as a *L*ibertarian, that is my Party’s stand (for now, than the heavens), and that is what I will continue to promote.

    I can’t I’ve ever seen such an animal.

    Really? How bizarre.

    How, then, do you decide how to support something or not? Just based on how you happen to feel about it at the moment? Flip a coin? Listen to what someone else says about it?

    I don’t really understand these assertions of people who say they don’t think there is absolute right or absolute wrong, but by gum they’re gonna stand up and fight for what they think is mostly-sorta-kinda right! It just seems … bizarre.

    And also school us on how a party qua party takes positions.

    That is one function of the Platform. The Party can/should also take positions (I think) through its leadership issuing position statements on issues of greater immediacy than the Platform is able to address (of course these statements must be in line with the Platform itself).

    I view a party as like-minded people advocating a range of ideas that point in a certain direction…

    That’s fine, unless you start confusing the direction with the destination. For me, I view a Party as a group of people sharing the same basic ideology but with varying ideas of how to interpret it. Frankly, from what you said above, I’m not even sure what you mean by ‘a certain direction’. It seems you’re not willing to say that this ‘certain direction’ is even the *correct* direction. I guess it’s just the direction that happens to appeal to you more … perhaps because it seems pleasanter or something at a particular moment.

  75. robert capozzi

    susan, how I personally decide what I support is whether X reduces coercion. I also take into account what’s likely to resonate with voters. The Munger campaign seemed to do a great job in this regard.

    I’ll leave it to theorists to determine abstract destinations to put up on chalkboards. Fine stuff for academic discussion; irrelevant to virtually all voters, therefore not politics, in my view…more like posturing.

  76. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    You write:

    “And also school us on how a party qua party takes positions. I view a party as like-minded people advocating a range of ideas that point in a certain direction, not a Borg-like entity in which the members of the collective are not able to speak for themselves, to frame issues in ways that they think best speaks to the concerns of the voters in their districts.”

    You’re excluding the middle.

    A party COULD be “like-minded people advocating a range of ideas that point in a certain direction” (the BTP is a party that advocates a direction and leaves defining the range of ideas up to those who support that direction)…

    … but there are respects in which the Libertarian Party is NEITHER just “like-minded people advocating a range of ideas that point in a certain direction” NOR “a Borg-like entity in which the members of the collective are not able to speak for themselves.”

    There ARE issues on which the LP as an organization DOES take a position, and I find it odd that you’d pretend to be unfamiliar with that process, having engaged in it (platform committees, delegate votes, etc.).

    Does the fact that the LP takes positions as an organization, through a defined process, mean that individual party members can’t hold positions which differ from the organization’s positions? No.

    What it does mean, however, is that the party as an organization should support, promote, etc., the positions it has taken, rather than remaining silent on those positions (perchance to soothe the ruffled feathers of dissenters from those positions) or promoting the positions that lost, rather than the positions that won, in the process of position determination.

  77. Susan Hogarth

    how I personally decide what I support is whether X reduces coercion.

    So that’s the ‘correct position’, then? You said you didn’t think there was such an animal- that’s what I found confusing.

  78. robert capozzi

    susan, I’m far too humble to ever claim that I — or anyone else — has stumbled upon OR deduced a “correct” position. I learned this in the process of deprogramming myself from Randian Rothbardianism. I once agreed with them that fetuses are parasites. I’m embarrassed to say that I too thought that was the correct position. While I remain pro choice, I realize that to be a profoundly narrow minded conclusion, and a dogmatic way of thinking.

    Deontological absolutism doesn’t work for me, and I suspect it won’t work for most voters, who are pragmatic and relativistic. Negotiating for change seems to require a recognition that change happens at the margins, but not the extremes.

    I’d like Ls to be more open to experimental approaches, and more tolerant and flexible about other strategies.

  79. robert capozzi

    tom, I don’t see the platform as positions, but rather an intermediate to long range illustration of L values and principles. Positions are more detailed and specific, articulated by candidates.

  80. robert capozzi

    Tom, I see fine, though I do wear glasses. But thanks for your comcern.

    Have you considerd yoga? It helps with flexibility.

  81. Susan Hogarth

    I once agreed with them that fetuses are parasites. I’m embarrassed to say that I too thought that was the correct position. While I remain pro choice, I realize that to be a profoundly narrow minded conclusion, and a dogmatic way of thinking.

    I see. So now you don’t think of fetuses as parasitical, but you’re still OK with the option of killing them. But you’re not sure it’s *really* OK, just that you have a preference for it currently.

    Progress, I guess :-/ Now you can hold a position and not have to explain -why- you hold it – you can just say that it’s how you -feel- about things (currently), or that it ‘works’ (whatever that might mean in the context of, say, abortion).

    It seems to me that what you’ve learned wasn’t so much that you happened to be mistaken or incorrect, but that you can’t possibly ever be right or correct.

  82. Michael H. Wilson

    Washington has a news letter, but it is not onine at the moment. Print edition only.

    MW

  83. Michael H. Wilson

    @ 62 Robert ask: “Michael @ 59. Those things all sound good to me. I am asking the questions: Are state and national LPs doing those things? Is it working? Are the newsletters of high enough quality to bring in new prospects and members? Are there higher and better uses of the current resources spent on newsletters?”

    Robert I don’t know the answer to your question. I wish Wes Benedict would jump in, or anyone from the Texas camp and let us know what is happening there on this issue.

    I do know, and I have a strong opinion on this, that the national LP needs to put more effort into getting the state parties to develop their resources instead of expection national to be all for us.

    MW

  84. robert capozzi

    susan, kinda, sorta. Not how I’d put it, though. My view – all things considered – is the pursuit of precision is folly in an imprecise world. I form opinions and positions based on a number of factors, logic, ethics, practical considerations and, yes, feelings. Don’t you? Don’t most people?

    Being simplistic and formulaic doesn’t work for me, and really most of humanity, near as I can tell. I am persuaded, for ex., that the Roe decision balanced the rights of the mother and the rights of the fetus pretty well, although I believe the means of the Supremes were out of bounds. But yes, I do reserve the right to adjust my views on this issue in the future. I’m with Emerson on foolish consistency!

  85. robert capozzi

    more to susan: btw, your comment has a tone that implies that I take positions whimsically and flippantly. I don’t, I’d say. I’ve been an L for 30 years!

    I will cop to evolving my views, and I put that one in the “strengths” column. The opposite sounds either highly evolved or ossified. I’d venture to say that most people’s views evolve over time to some extent, even Rothbard’s did. 20 year olds generally lack life experience, knowledge and wisdom to think through all their beliefs in sustainable ways, yes?

  86. Robert Capozzi

    susan, fetuses actually ARE parasitical, but we’re all former fetal parasites. I don’t find the idea of “parasites” to be relevant or insightful, esp. in the case.

    Beauty–and truth–really are in the eye of the beholder. How we FRAME the truth has lots and lots of latitude.

    Ayn and Murray had some VERY eccentric ways of framing things.

  87. paulie cannoli Post author

    Washington has a news letter, but it is not onine at the moment. Print edition only.

    I realize that some states (including, as I mentioned, Alabama) have state newsletters that are not online.

    There are also some, such as New York, that allegedly have current issues viewable on the web by subscription only. I was not curious enough, for the purpose of this exercise, to sign up for any more yahoo groups or other subscriptions.

    Also, there are some states, such as Texas, which had email-only subscriptions to their newsletter, with no pointer that I found to an online archive. I also did not include those, either.

    Finally, there may be some states which used to have newsletter archives on old versions of their site, which can be seen through the wayback machine (archive.org), but not on their current site. Such is, I know for a fact, the case with the national party’s LP News.

    If anyone wants to sign up for subscription sites or email lists, or scour the wayback machine, have at it. I did as much as I would like to do at this time – but, given that not all these newsletters were in obvious places on their state websites, there may be some I missed.

    The reason why I looked these up is that if we are going to compare the newsletters that Holtz and Cohen produced with the ones that Sipos is putting out, it might make sense to also compare them with newsletters from other state LPs.

    There are other factors which can be brought into such a discussion. Very few state LPs have paid staff anymore – I’m not sure if California has an executive director who is paid any longer, and I just learned that Mr. Sipos is getting some money for California Freedom, although it’s not anything like a fulltime job salary. Indiana and Texas are, I think, the only states left with paid staff, but I could be wrong. There used to be a dozen or so about ten years ago.

    So, if anyone would like to compare state newsletters, see comments 65, 69, and 73-76, and follow the links.

  88. Robert Capozzi

    Susan: I don’t really understand these assertions of people who say they don’t think there is absolute right or absolute wrong, but by gum they’re gonna stand up and fight for what they think is mostly-sorta-kinda right! It just seems … bizarre.

    Me: Circling back to this — let me help you understand, then. You seem to buy into a dualistic worldview. Things are black and white, it appears…right/wrong; good/bad; moral/evil. As a Randian Rothbardian in recovery, that’s certainly my recollection of that thought system.

    But – and be honest, we’re among friends – is that what you observe and perceive in the world? I can’t be 100% sure (of anything, actually), but that’s not the movie I’m watching. You?

    You also seem to have an OK Corral worldview, with gunslingers in white and black hats “standing” and “fighting.” Relativists recognize that all things pass; that things sometimes seem to go “well” and other times “not so well.” So, it seems that resistance is indeed futile, yet that doesn’t mean we don’t share ideas about what is functional and what is dysfunctional. In my case, more liberty works better than less liberty. At the moment of decision, I choose more, until it stops working. My guess at the moment is it would likely stop working when we transition over to Acme Defense and Justice Corp., but maybe not!

    Rothbard certified Lao Tsu as the first libertarian. [Apparently Murray was more forgiving than you are about who is L and who not 😉 ] I would recommend The Tao for a more thorough elaboration.

  89. Thomas M. Sipos

    Robert: “Rothbard certified Lao Tsu as the first libertarian. [Apparently Murray was more forgiving than you are about who is L and who not ;-)”

    My impression is that almost all libertarians, including Susan, are equally “forgiving.”

    “I find this purity policing phenomenon dysfunctional.”

    It would be, were there such a thing.

    But there is no Purity Police. No Purity Patrol. It’s a bogeyman that guilty libs see under their beds and in their closets.

    Some views are unlibertarian. Libervention is unlibertarian.

    Saying so doesn’t make the accuser a member of a mythical Purity Patrol, nor does it mean that the accuser wants a purge.

    The only Purity Police is the sound of your own conscience. If you’ve heard from the Purity Police, it’s time to examine your conscience, and ask why you’re accusing yourself.

  90. Robert Capozzi

    Tom: What it does mean, however, is that the party as an organization should support, promote, etc., the positions it has taken, rather than remaining silent on those positions (perchance to soothe the ruffled feathers of dissenters from those positions) or promoting the positions that lost, rather than the positions that won, in the process of position determination.

    Me: I agree with this. The organization SHOULD reflect the platform as best it can. How that reflection manifests could take myriad forms. But I’d also say the organization should be mature enough to recognize that some issues are contentious, and deal with that in a balanced way.

    For ex., the old platform said that no weapons could be outlawed because they are dangerous (the infamous implicit private nukes clause that you seem to bristle at when I bring up). LP newsletters COULD pound home that point, issue after issue. They could have highlighted the profound injustice of the denial of Americans inalienable right to pursue the happiness of having a nuke in one’s garage.

    Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed, and that fringey idea didn’t become a front-and-center issue.

    That’s an extreme example, obviously. But it applies for, say, the life issue. If every newsletter held high the pro-choice banner without even recognizing that many Ls (and the broader population) are pro-life, don’t you agree that that would be an imbalanced presentation?

    This all said, I’d prefer to see the LP’s general perception being pro peace. I’m not sure that state parties should emphasize such an issue, for jurisdictional reasons.

    Mostly, I’d prefer to make candidates the primary spokespeople for the party. Staff should be staff.

  91. Robert Capozzi

    Sipos: My impression is that almost all libertarians, including Susan, are equally “forgiving.”

    Me: No, I can’t say I agree. She has publicly refused to say that anyone who is a non-NAP-adherent is L, including me.
    That seems unforgiving to me, but you apparently have a different take.

    Sipos: But there is no Purity Police. No Purity Patrol. It’s a bogeyman that guilty libs see under their beds and in their closets.

    Me: I didn’t suggest a formal “Purity Police” force was in fact out there. For an ex. of the phenomenon, I’d cite the savaging of Barr on the DOMA issue. I disagreed with Barr, but I found the attacks on his federalist views disproportionate and nasty. I’m pleased he has moved off his position post-election.

    Sipos: Some views are unlibertarian. Libervention is unlibertarian.

    Me: I’m not in the liberventionist camp, I think it’s fair to say. But some who call themselves liberventionists have demonstrated a commitment to reducing the net incidence of coercion, so I can’t say I agree with you, Tom.

    Sipos: The only Purity Police is the sound of your own conscience. If you’ve heard from the Purity Police, it’s time to examine your conscience, and ask why you’re accusing yourself.

    Me: Wow, can you read minds? I’ve not “heard from” the Purity Police…they don’t exist, near as I can tell. I do examine my conscience regularly, and, yes, it’s not perfect, but I’d say it’s in a pretty darned good place. I wish at least that for you as well. Thanks for your service to the cause of liberty as you see it.

  92. paulie cannoli Post author

    Paulie: The question is how to dissociate the party from candidates who don’t take a position that taxes are way too high: for example, by supporting the supposedly “revenue neutral,”
    national “fair” sales tax.

    If they are libertarian on 80% or 90% of the issues, I don’t see it as a huge problem, but I don’t want Joe Citizen to get the idea that this what we are about, join (or not join) because of that, and (for those that do join) change our platform to actually say that next year, or three or five years from now.

    Robert: Paulie, yes, I do. For me, that should be left to the state LPs to decide how to screen prospective candidates.

    OK – but the trouble is, what about when they don’t screen them? And when it is becomes pervasive that, in fact, enough people filter in based on that mistaken understanding of what the party is about, that the next step is to say we can’t discuss the issue at all (because it’s too divisive) and/or that we will change our platform stance completely, or at least not have one?

    Also: it’s not just candidates, despite how I worded it above. What about state party officials in interviews in their official party capacity, state newsletters if we have them (or websites, email blasts, or any other method of disseminating information which we use even if we no longer have newsletters), etc?

    And it’s not just the tax issue. Take your pick…if they promote us as a pro-war, anti-abortion, “fair” taxing, anti-immigrant party long enough and persistently enough, sooner or later that becomes true. And what about after that: are drug laws, gay rights, legalizing prostitution, flag desecration laws, school prayer, and other issues that separate libertarians from conservatives going to become next on the “too internally divisive to talk about” list?


    btw, while I’m NOT a Fair tax advocate, I might support one. It depends an other factors…views on spending (the more important issue), social and foreign policy views, articulateness, etc.

    I might support them as the lesser evil, but it’s a major strike against them as far as I am concerned.

  93. Michael H. Wilson

    Just a little nit to pick this a.m. before taking in real life.

    We like to toss around words like extremist, or phrases like the purity police in the LP. We see the same response in discussions outside libertarian circles when we discuss the role of the marketplace in society, people are called extremist.

    However, I have never seen anyone called and extremist when discussing freedom of religion, or freedom of speech.

    Seems to me that we use those words, or phrases to color the debate without going into the details of the issue.

  94. paulie cannoli Post author

    I’m not sure that differentiation is necessarily BEST done by staking out the most extreme issue on every issue.

    On one hand, you’re right. On the other, sometimes it makes sense to introduce an extreme position into a debate, so that what was an extreme position before that becomes more moderate by comparison.

  95. paulie cannoli Post author

    Robert I don’t know the answer to your question. I wish Wes Benedict would jump in, or anyone from the Texas camp and let us know what is happening there on this issue.

    Texas has an email subscription blast. If they have any other newsletter, it’s not online.

    I do know, and I have a strong opinion on this, that the national LP needs to put more effort into getting the state parties to develop their resources instead of expection national to be all for us.

    I think they are waiting for state parties to that for themselves…LOL

  96. Robert Capozzi

    PC: OK – but the trouble is, what about when they don’t screen them?

    Me: I’m open to formalizing a conflict-resolution mechanism. Another approach is to “criticize by creating” — offering a better alternative approach.

  97. paulie cannoli Post author

    My impression is that almost all libertarians, including Susan, are equally “forgiving.”

    Not equally. I don’t think anyone who seriously wants to be part of something larger than “libertarian, party of one, your table is ready” can be completely unforgiving. On the other hand, anyone who seriously wants to be part of a libertarian party, rather than, “Party X”, with no ideology whatsoever, has to be somewhat unforgiving at some point. The only questions is where exactly such a point (or continuum) is, or should be. The answers differ from person to person, as well as for each person over time.

  98. paulie cannoli Post author

    That’s an extreme example, obviously. But it applies for, say, the life issue. If every newsletter held high the pro-choice banner without even recognizing that many Ls (and the broader population) are pro-life, don’t you agree that that would be an imbalanced presentation?

    If abortion was the issue of the decade, with millions taking to the streets on a regular basis, and was the central point of debate in internal discussions, I could not realistically expect any state LP to completely avoid the issue in its publications and public statements.

    This all said, I’d prefer to see the LP’s general perception being pro peace. I’m not sure that state parties should emphasize such an issue, for jurisdictional reasons.

    There are several reasons why it is a legitimate state issue. One is the ways it interweaves inextricably with important economic and social/civil liberties issues (several comments above address that, which no one has responded to yet).

    Another is that state parties run candidates for Congress – 53 of them, I think, is the current number in California. They also spend some of their resources promoting the presidential candidate.

    Also, state LP publications can serve as a general membership education tool. Someone joins the LP based on a combination of dissatisfaction with the big box parties and hearing some things they liked from a candidate – but they may well be hazy or wrong about a lot of the details of just what this means, especially given some of the candidates we are running. So how do they come to learn more about the philosophy of liberty and how it applies to current issues?

    LP News does not seem to be very useful here lately. State newsletters may have to take up the slack, which is not necessarily a bad thing – it may give individual members more opportunity to interact with their leadership one on one, and more frequently in person as opposed to email or the phone.

    California is a state where the peace issue is particularly relevant – it has some of the biggest peace demonstrations; it used to have some of the biggest military contractors (not sure how many are left, though). It has some of the biggest issues with gangs, prison guards and police (see comments by, I think, COTBOTLP above). And so on.

    Not that it has a monopoly on any of these issues, at all.

  99. paulie cannoli Post author

    Sipos: Some views are unlibertarian. Libervention is unlibertarian.

    Capozzi: I’m not in the liberventionist camp, I think it’s fair to say. But some who call themselves liberventionists have demonstrated a commitment to reducing the net incidence of coercion, so I can’t say I agree with you, Tom.

    That’s only necessarily a disagreement if you posit that someone can only be a libertarian if they are libertarian on all issues. Otherwise, you can both be correct on this.

  100. paulie cannoli Post author

    However, I have never seen anyone called and extremist when discussing freedom of religion, or freedom of speech.

    I have, frequently. Whether it’s militant atheists, coercive fundamentalists, radical feminists, nazi demonstrators, abortion protesters, extreme pornographers, those pushing the outer limits of artistic expression, on, and on and on – all sorts of people, on different sides, have been called extremists on these issues.

  101. robert capozzi

    PC, I wouldn’t at all suggest avoiding abortion. In fact, I’d suggest that one of the biggest prospect-audiences for the LP are R and R leaners who are fiscally conservative and pro choice. The LP, being fiscally conservative and tolerant of both pro choicers and lifers, could be a great voice for this large group.

    The GOP is now dogmatic on this issue, to their electoral detriment.

    HUGE opportunity for us.

  102. paulie cannoli Post author

    Another approach is to “criticize by creating” — offering a better alternative approach.

    There, we agree.

    However, I’ve noticed that the times I have proposed doing so, no action has taken place. Some of that is my fault – I’m good for proposing stuff, and good for joining in with an existing team and helping implement such ideas, but bad at getting the ball rolling on anything by myself, as well as lacking in the skills department to implement many of the things I want to be done.

  103. paulie cannoli Post author

    I wouldn’t at all suggest avoiding abortion. In fact, I’d suggest that one of the biggest prospect-audiences for the LP are R and R leaners who are fiscally conservative and pro choice. The LP, being fiscally conservative and tolerant of both pro choicers and lifers, could be a great voice for this large group.

    The GOP is now dogmatic on this issue, to their electoral detriment.

    HUGE opportunity for us.

    I agree. I also think another huge opportunity group are young people.

    I have literally personally collected a 5-figure number of data points (IE people I quizzed in person) at college OPHs. The biggest cluster is left-center-libertarian, and one of their biggest issues is antiwar.

    Not that it’s just college students: professors, artists, musicians, writers, teachers, film makers…there are numerous people “on the left” (or relatively uninvolved in politics, compared to how they could be if someone got them excited) who are there primarily because of peace and civil liberties issues.

    They may have no economic positions at all (especially the case with young people, many of whom have never really had to earn a living yet), or a weakly held big government left position on economic issues that they have adopted only because it is part of the left’s “package deal” and because no one who has shown them that they are on their side on issues they care the most about – peace and civil liberties issues – has taken the time to try to present smaller-government economic views to them in language that makes sense to them. In many cases, they may already have smaller government economic views, but have never really taken to developing or expressing them in their social milieu.

    The opportunities for outreach there are huge, but very little has been done in terms of actually trying, or – especially – of presenting libertarianism in terms that make sense to these folks.

    My point above was not about abortion per se, so much as a response to your earlier hypothetical about a state newsletter that talks about abortion too much.

  104. Gene Trosper

    @112

    I think we can all identify with that statement to one degree or another. Either we don’t get the ball rolling, or we do and nobody else really cares. I believe it’s because the LP tends to attract “thinkers”, not “doers”. In comparison to the Democrats & Republicans (and even the Greens), the LP is not action oriented to the degree those other parties are.

    For ten years, I have been arguing that the LP needs to change it’s internal culture (The W. Edwards Deming fan inside of me is speaking) if it wants to make real advances toward liberty. Bookish people tend to focus on bookish things. That not a knock, it’s a fact. If the party was founded primarily by street activists, then our LP would be a very different creature.

  105. paulie cannoli Post author

    I think we can all identify with that statement to one degree or another. Either we don?t get the ball rolling, or we do and nobody else really cares. I believe it?s because the LP tends to attract ?thinkers?, not ?doers?.

    But, I am a doer. It’s just that, as I said, I find it a lot easier to be a doer when other people are working on a given project side by side with me.

    For example, I mentioned doing a lot of college OPHs above. A big chunk of that was with Scott Kjar and Dick Clark in Alabama (and sometimes neighboring states – Georgia, Florida). Now, not having that team, I’m not nearly so motivated to go out by myself and do an OPH.

    The Ron Paul campaign actually had me go do literature distribution door to door; something I would never normally go out and do by myself.
    But having a team made it OK.

    Unfortunately, the process works in reverse too: many of the scummy things I have done in my life was because I fell in with a crowd of people, partner or team that was engaging in wrongdoing.

    So, I’m fairly useful on two ends of the spectrum: proposing ideas, and being a team grunt. Not so good in the intermediate step(s).

    For ten years, I have been arguing that the LP needs to change it?s internal culture (The W. Edwards Deming fan inside of me is speaking) if it wants to make real advances toward liberty. Bookish people tend to focus on bookish things. That not a knock, it?s a fact. If the party was founded primarily by street activists, then our LP would be a very different creature.

    I’ve been making the same arguments. I think I know some good ways we can get this done, too.
    I don’t think the problem is libertarian ideology.

    Ironically, the Ron Paul campaign, which was more socially conservative than the LP on several key issues (immigration, abortion, gay rights..), got the left-leaning, artistic and antiwar youth and street activists (that the LP has failed to attract) involved. I don’t think it was because of these socially conservative issues.

    I think emphasizing the peace issue in a big way was a huge jumping-off point for Ron Paul. There was also the organizational issue: when you join your typical LP, you are asked to…attend a (usually monthly) sit around and complainfest, contribute money, and sign up for email lists where people diss each other a lot. When joining Ron Paul groups, people were asked to wave signs on corners (granted, probably not the best move, but better than what the LP is [or more accurately, isn’t] doing), distribute literature door to door, make creative videos, songs, websites, handout materials, etc., send info out to their non-campaign supporter friends and neighbors as well as post and distribute it in public places,
    and so on. Meetings and money were part of the deal, but not the whole deal.

    The LP needs to do stuff like that. I can be a grunt in getting it done. But I need a team to work with.

    See

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/01/george-donnelly-seeks-to-turn-over-transparency-caucus-other-libertarian-party-projects/

    Where we left off:

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/01/george-donnelly-seeks-to-turn-over-transparency-caucus-other-libertarian-party-projects/#comment-37883

    and

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/01/george-donnelly-seeks-to-turn-over-transparency-caucus-other-libertarian-party-projects/#comment-38272

  106. Robert Capozzi

    Paulie, I’m not sure what the “issue of the decade” is/was. Iraq might have been, but that seems to be fading. Abortion wasn’t, except that my sense is the GOP cemented its litmus-test status at the national level. Iraq, abortion dogmatism, and corporate cronyism COULD be the top three reasons why the GOP is so wobbly at the moment. A vacuum is being created, one that a libertarian party could fill.

    Even if I were a Rothbardian, I would admit that a Rothbardian LP is highly unlikely to challenge in any meaningful electoral sense. My take is Rothbardians are more interested in promoting their ideas as part of a longer term intellectual struggle.

    That’s grand, but those who are not Rothbardian are not interested in that effort. I’m surely not.

    I do think that a “peace” message could resonate with young people, and I agree that the young have probably been disproportionately overlooked TO THE EXTENT the LP markets to any sub-group.

    I’m all over the “peace” theme: internally and externally. I once proposed, btw, that the LP have a series of “teach ins” in concert with the Greens probably, to be done on college campuses. Something like: Are third parties the best path to peace?

    My focus in recent years is to open the LP up to alternative approaches to what it means to be libertarian. It appears that effort has been reasonably successful, so perhaps now’s the time for the next leg…

  107. paulie cannoli Post author

    Iraq, abortion dogmatism, and corporate cronyism COULD be the top three reasons why the GOP is so wobbly at the moment.

    Growing government spending at a faster rate than any administration after FDR (until Obama) probably had something to do with it, as was going completely insane in trashing the constitution in the “war on terror”/”heimland security” (use-a-patriot act, military commissions, rendition, torture, absolute executive authority, wiretapping, secret prisons, etc, etc).

    Yes, all these issues are closely related with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – both the spending and civil liberties issues. I think immigration becoming such a boogeyman had a lot to do with 9/11 related fears as well. Tracking, monitoring and questioning folks (roadblocks, REAL ID…) are closely related, since terrorism and “illegal” immigration (along with drugs) are the usual excuses.

    The paramilitarization of police (and now army divisions being shipped to the “homeland’ for riot duty), and the escalating arms race between cops and gangs in the drug war are closely related to the war issue as well – surplus military hardware and military training/combat experience are prevalent on all sides in this domestic war.

    All of this international intrigue and domestic security state apparatus cost a lot of money, which has a lot to do with the economic crisis.

    Taken together as a closely interlinked whole, I would argue that these are the issues of our decade.

    I’m glad you brought up corporate cronyism. Much of that is in defense and ‘homeland security’ contracts, police/prison/industrial complex contracts, financial institution (see above about how these issues are closely linked with the country going broke), the energy sector (see: “war for oil”), and big government construction contracts – many of them overseas.

    Certainly, issues closely linked to the war, and ones that the LP should be pressing our opposition to corporate welfare and non-contractual limited liability on to the max. What do we do instead? Peddle the “big business as Randian hero” line – even when it comes to the compensation of bank managers currently on the “bailout” ripoff dole – and write opposition to noncontractual limited liability out of our platform.

    Even if I were a Rothbardian, I would admit that a Rothbardian LP is highly unlikely to challenge in any meaningful electoral sense. My take is Rothbardians are more interested in promoting their ideas as part of a longer term intellectual struggle.

    That’s grand, but those who are not Rothbardian are not interested in that effort. I’m surely not.

    I think we can multitask. Sometimes, I can be pleasantly surprised – who would have expected that a Republican congressman in his 70s would get young people excited about monetary policy, of all things? And that the LP would back-pedal peace and opposition to fiat money/central banking as campaign issues after they had just been the cornerstone of a “top five” Republican presidential nomination campaign?

    I think that Rothbardians see the role of an LP as putting issues on the table so that larger parties can begin to discuss them and adopt more moderate versions of our proposals eventually to head us off at the pass, which has frequently been the role of alternative parties in the US winner takes all political system (rarely is it to challenge the big parties in any meaningful electoral sense).

    I’ve also frequently made the argument that a political party is not the best mechanism promoting ideas as part of a longer term intellectual struggle – other aspects of the movement can do that better. Still, they do represent a way to make some of that message reach audiences which will never on their own, e.g., read Rothbard’s books or even LewRockwell.com, or for that matter Liberty or Reason, but might, for instance, tune in to Harry Browne or Ron Paul on CSPAN or Meet The Press and then perhaps attend a campaign rally or fundraiser with the candidate.

    Perhaps, given that introduction, they will eventually read Liberty, Reason, LewRockwell.com, and then maybe even Rothbard, Nozick, Friedman, Rand, Boaz, Konkin, Hess, etc.

    I do think that a “peace” message could resonate with young people, and I agree that the young have probably been disproportionately overlooked TO THE EXTENT the LP markets to any sub-group.

    Very true. And not just them. People in the hood who have felt state oppression first hand. Drug users, sex workers, small business owners, and many others who have experienced state oppression personally. Immigrants. Artists and musicians, creative people of all types. There are so many groups we can reach!

    I’m all over the “peace” theme: internally and externally.

    Excellent! That is, after all, the topic of this thread…


    I once proposed, btw, that the LP have a series of “teach ins” in concert with the Greens probably, to be done on college campuses. Something like: Are third parties the best path to peace?

    Great proposal!

    If the LP and GP are interested, I could even travel around the country, help get them both on the ballot, and at the same time help set up and strengthen campus clubs for both, and get these debates set up. Of course, I can’t self-finance. Perhaps they can find someone who can, or someone who is better at this than me. In which case – great! – do it. This isn’t about me making a living, I just want to see stuff like this actually being done.

    My focus in recent years is to open the LP up to alternative approaches to what it means to be libertarian. It appears that effort has been reasonably successful, so perhaps now’s the time for the next leg…

    It’s as good a time as any, and I don’t know how much time we have left. I’m open to concrete proposals and action.

  108. robert capozzi

    pc, to be clear, I’d agree with Rothbardians about the LP’s highest and best use would be to put ideas on the table. IMO, that experiment failed. Putting mainstream L ideas on the table through electoral means could prove far more productive.

    Very remote chance for winning federal elections.

  109. paulie cannoli Post author

    IMO, that experiment failed.

    Not completely. Many issues, while not yet mainstream, can at least be discussed in polite company, which we couldn’t before – ranging from SS privatization to ending the drug war to bringing US troops home from all over the world. I think the LP advocacy of the extreme versions of these issues has something to do with more moderate versions coming to be discussed by mainstream policy people.

    Putting mainstream L ideas on the table through electoral means could prove far more productive.

    Maybe it could. Maybe as L, maybe as dissident candidates within the bigger parties, maybe a mix of both.

    The question is whether, if we do it through LP, radical libertarians have a place as well. There are other questions too: how to keep the deradicalization from becoming a chain reaction that reaches critical mass to where there is no distinctive ideology left at all is one. How to keep it balanced so it does not move too far to the right (or in a future hypothetical, possibly even too far to the left). Whether, or how, to keep (a) radical splinter party or parties from splitting off.

    Most important: nuts and bolts stuff. Gets ignored in the whole “how radical should we be” discussion that takes up so much of our time. For most people who are not altpolitics junkies, a candidate’s or party’s ideology is maybe item 9 or 10 on judging them, somewhere between hair and makeup.

    Very remote chance for winning federal elections.

    With the current equilibrium, yes. But there could be a punctuated equilibrium situation – say, economic crisis, major party collapses – that could promote a radical party or ideology to the mainstream. It could be us, or someone very different.

  110. paulie cannoli Post author

    Clarification on 115:

    For example, I mentioned doing a lot of college OPHs above. A big chunk of that was with Scott Kjar and Dick Clark in Alabama (and sometimes neighboring states – Georgia, Florida). Now, not having that team, I’m not nearly so motivated to go out by myself and do an OPH.

    However, lest anyone be tempted to conclude that this distribution is unique to the south, and that students in other parts of the country are more in far left or authoritarian left territory, I have gotten about this same (clustered left-center-libertarian) distribution at colleges in every part of the US.

  111. Robert Capozzi

    Paulie, fair point…the experiment may not have completely failed…I overstated.

    And, yes, stranger things have happened. 1860 happened, for ex.

  112. Robert Capozzi

    PC: how to keep the deradicalization from becoming a chain reaction that reaches critical mass to where there is no distinctive ideology left at all is one.

    Me: A shared concern, but we have LOTS of room to approach the mainstream and yet not lose distinction. We’re on the moon now; the stratosphere’d be nice, IMO.

  113. paulie cannoli Post author

    I’d rather talk about nuts and bolts stuff. I liked your idea about the campus debates. We could get campus Ds and Rs to participate with existing as well as knew L and G clubs all over the country, for example.

  114. Gene Berkman

    Having thought about it overnight, I must respond to Bruce Cohen’s claim that under his editorship, California Freedom did not run pro-war articles.

    In fact, in 2002 and 2003, California Freedom published a number of columns by Aaron Starr and Art Tuma supporting Bush’s war in Iraq. Mr Tuma suggested that since prominent Democrat Senators backed the war, that was proof that they had seen the real evidence of WMDs in Iraq, and that we could therefore take Bush’s claims of WMD as “stipulated.”

    During the same period, no antiwar pieces were published in California Freedom.

  115. Robert Capozzi

    Paulie, nuts and bolts make all the difference. In my case, I note I didn’t use the word “debate”…far too dualistic. I said “teach ins.”

    I’d exclude R and D speakers…they get too much airplay as it is. Maybe they can be commenters, though.

    The idea is that a Third Way is coming. Will it be peace & liberty or peace through force, the latter of which doesn’t work for me?

  116. paulie cannoli Post author

    In my case, I note I didn’t use the word “debate”…far too dualistic. I said “teach ins.”

    I call ’em whatever gets the crowds in.

    I’d exclude R and D speakers…they get too much airplay as it is. Maybe they can be commenters, though.

    I’m flexible, but my thinking is that if they agree to do it, it will draw more attendance. After all, if the Libertarians and Greens have the choice of …teach-ins, debates, whatever….during a general election with

    A) Only each other

    B) Each other, plus the big boys,

    “B” seems like the easy pick.

    Maybe the evening could be divided into B followed by A? Just a thought…

  117. paulie cannoli Post author

    peace through force,… which doesn’t work for me?

    I don’t think it would work for anyone. Some people may want to achieve it that way, but I don’t think it would work – violence begets violence.

  118. Gene Berkman

    Paulie, thanks for posting the link to California Freedom archives. I did look through them, but the articles I remember in favor of the war were all published before the actuall start of the war in March 2003. So I would need access to earlier issues to find them.

  119. Lidia Seebeck

    @124

    Art is an interesting creature. We were effectively blocked from doing effective lobbying on SB1499 because he actually aupported the mylar balloon ban. Very strange.

  120. Robert Capozzi

    Paulie @ 128

    When I say “violence,” I’m referring to “coercion.” I’d agree that violence begets violence, but at the same time there is always some coercion somewhere.

    That’s the beginning of my narrative to liberals. Can’t we agree that violence/coercion should be checked and limited to the what is absolutely necessary for domestic tranquility?

  121. paulie cannoli Post author

    When I say “violence,” I’m referring to “coercion.”

    Me too.

    I’d agree that violence begets violence, but at the same time there is always some coercion somewhere.

    Agreed.


    That’s the beginning of my narrative to liberals.

    Good starting point.


    Can’t we agree that violence/coercion should be checked and limited to the what is absolutely necessary for domestic tranquility?

    Absolutely. I happen to think that the amount which is necessary for domestic tranquility is zero, and I respect that you don’t – which I find to be a rather esoteric argument to spend our time on, given our present circumstances.

  122. paulie cannoli Post author

    @ 126-127

    More than that we do so perfectly, I’d like to see some effort actually made. Even a hastily built shelter provides more rain cover than the most elaborate blueprint.

    Anything you, or others, can do to facilitate it actually happening, directly or indirectly, would be worth a whole year of us trading comments here and then some.

  123. Robert Capozzi

    PC, I’ll float it to Donny, since we know each other a bit.

    Hopefully that won’t make me complicit with the backsliders and grifters 😉

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