Kubby: Legalization or Secession?

Topic: Crime and Punishment
Is “legalization” the right strategy?

 By Steve Kubby – Libertarian
Thursday, January 20, 2011

On January 29, 2011 the top guns of the marijuana legalization movement will be meeting in Oakland, California in an extraordinary event organized by California NORML. 

Many of my longtime friends will be there to come up with a strategy for finally legalizing cannabis.  It breaks my heart just to think about it.

Several years back, Ed Rosenthal and I wrote a popular book called, “Why Marijuana Should be Legal.”  You’d think the prospect of legalization being so close to reality would fill me with good cheer, but it doesn’t.

The legalization of cannabis sounds like a great idea, but there are serious issues that raise disturbing questions about the chaos and suffering that will ultimately result.  That’s because in the world of legalization, things are not as they appear.

For example, when people use the term, “legalization,” they mean anything from schemes to benefit and exempt corporate enterprises to ill-conceived laws that lure people into thinking they are legal, when they are simply set up for massive arrests and prosecutions. 

Unlike many others in this movement, when I use the term, “legalization,” I mean a law that makes it completely legal for everyone, without those nasty little rules that end up with people being convicted and punished for growing, possessing or selling a natural healing herb.

Another serious concern is that moderates will prevail in the drafting of a legalization initiative for 2012.  During the drafting of the Prop. 215 text for the initiative there were two groups, the moderates and the radicals.  The moderates were better organized, but their initiative was very limited and would, as Dennis Peron joked, “only allow medical marijuana for patients in their last half hour of life.”

Peron’s initiative was much more radical and specific.  It provided a legal exemption to the laws on possession and cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes.  It was short, sweet and without any limits.  Then, out of the blue, we found out that the moderates had secretly filed their initiative, beating our group to the start line. Unfortunately for them, they paid by check.  It was only because John Entwistle went to Sacramento, filed our version of the initiative and paid by money order that our version was adopted and became what we all know as Prop. 215, the Compassionate Use Act.

I would be concerned that a moderate based initiative would open up a Pandora’s Box of new tax crimes and add freakish rules and penalties for those who don’t cross every “T” and dot every “I”.  Worse, I would fear a moderate initiative that ignores those who are currently rotting in jail for nonviolent cannabis violations. Worst of all, I am concerned that “legal” pot will be consistently inferior to “illegal” pot and that we’ll still end up being on the wrong side of the law.

Now let’s talk about the 800 pound gorilla that everyone is ignoring.  The DEA has made it clear that they will vigorously oppose legalization.  That threat was recently backed up by the announcement that the DEA is now authorized to deploy National Guard units with Blackhawk gunships, which are further authorized to use lethal force on raids against medical marijuana patients. Such a raid was conducted just three weeks after the defeat of Prop. 19 in California, sending a clear message to anyone who was paying attention.

Fortunately, there is a way to completely block the DEA from opposing legalization within California, but it would require courage and vision like we saw in the Prop. 215 campaign and that we will not see in any moderate based initiative.

Don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends are moderates and I think the world of them.  The folks who will be attending the NORML conference later this month are hard working and dedicated individuals whom I respect.  However, I know how my moderate friends think and I can say with certainty that whatever initiative they adopt, it will not end the federal war on pot and thus it will not free us from violent drug raids and federal kangaroo trials.

My moderate friends believe that taxing cannabis is a good thing and that it makes us safer and more “legitimate.”  I disagree and remind my friends that Al Capone was not convicted of selling booze, but of not paying enough taxes.  I also remind them that the Feds can and will use tax returns against defendants in cannabis cases.

People need to understand that legalizing the medical use of cannabis is very different from legalizing any non-medical use.  That’s because under the principles of federalism, as upheld in several recent court cases, including Gonzales v. Oregon, (2006), states have the authority to write their own medical laws.  However, the Supreme Court has also ruled that Congress has the right to create and enforce its own laws on the non-medical use of cannabis.

So now you understand that legalizing cannabis for everyone will precipitate the full force and fury of the DEA and National Guard, unless whatever initiative we draft includes an effective means of blocking the DEA and National Guard from taking any offensive actions.  Any initiative that does not lawfully and effectively eliminate the threat of DEA and National Guard raids will only bring us more harm and suffering.

My moderate friends would undoubtedly disagree with my assessment.  They would argue that President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder are sympathetic to our cause.  They will tell you that the Democrats are ready to embrace legalization as a way to win the youth vote in 2012.  Yes, they will tell you this, even as their predictions of a turn out in the last election of the youth vote and the subsequant failure of that vote to materialize, is still fresh in our minds.

Is there really a way for us to craft an initiative here in California that would actually prevent the Federal government from taking any actions against us if we legalize? Yes, there is, but I guarantee my moderate friends are not going to like it.

Now remember, unless we can block Federal action, we are looking down the barrel of massive raids by violent drug police and the military, all perfectly legal under federal law and court decisions.

Last Sunday, January 16th President Barack Obama lauded a referendum held in Southern Sudan on its independence as “an inspiration to the world.”  Our President then went on to declare, that the peaceful polling process and the high turnout were “a tribute to the determination of the people and leaders of south Sudan to forge a better future.”

President Barack Obama is to be congratulated for his official endorsement of the right of a people to secede from their government, even if it is carefully couched in words like “referendum” and “forging a better future.”  Hidden in those words is the reality that the South is seceding from the North and will soon form an independent country.

Until now, the chilling reminder of 600,000 Americans slaughtered in a savage Civil War has discouraged any serious discussion of a state such as California from seceding. However, the new Obama Doctrine on secession changes all that. Now, a US President has gone on record, calling the Sudan vote to secede, “a tribute to the determination of the people and leaders of south Sudan to forge a better future.”

This new Obama Doctrine opens up an extraordinary window of opportunity to draft a voter initiative that amends the California state constitution to authorize an action that would lawfully, nonviolently and effectively block the enforcement of any federal laws in California.  That’s right, for the same effort, time, and money as would be required to legalize pot and precipitate federal retaliations, we could amend the state constitution to authorize independence and require our elected officials to take all appropriate actions to do so.

In California, voter initiatives can make law, like in the case of Prop. 215, or they can amend the state constitution with the same rules applying to both types of initiatives. So instead of a legalization initiative that is fatally flawed in inherently dangerous, we now have an opportunity to follow the Obama Doctrine and hold a voter referendum on independence as “an inspiration to the world.”

Wait, I see that a few of my moderate friends have turned blue and are experiencing apoplectic shock, so let me back up for a moment.

Contrary to the propaganda you were fed in school, everything you were told about secession is wrong. The notion that the US Constitution in any way prohibits the right of a state to secede is completely false.  The right of a state to secede is specifically protected by the 9th and 10th Amendments which requires that all powers not specifically enumerated in the Constitution for the Federal government are retained by the States and the People. Thus, the Federal government could not legally oppose the rights of Southern states to secede, peacefully, but when the Confederates attacked Fort Sumner, it became an armed rebellion. Once the South foolishly attacked, they gave the North the Constitutional authority to put down the rebellion and the rest is ugly history.

Some may argue that the Supreme Court settled the issue of secession in Texas v. White, (1869).  In that case, the central issue was repayment for some bonds issued by Texas, during the Civil War.  The Supreme Court decided to speculate on the issue of secession, noting that the US was formed to create, “a more perfect union,” which the court interpreted as excluding the right to secede, because it was so “perfect”.  Of course any real analysis of such an absurd speculation would be forced to recognize that any union in which one party is forbidden to leave can only be described as slavery. But no such serious analysis ever occurred because this was purely speculation, which had no actual bearing on the case before the Supreme Court. The fact is that federal prosecutors specifically avoided charging anyone in the Civil War for any crime involving secession, because they were afraid they would lose.

To further support this view, we have the July 22, 2010 decision by the World Court in the Hague that Kosovo’s unilateral secession from Serbia in 2008 did not violate international law,  “The court considers that general international law contains no applicable prohibition of declaration of independence,” Judge Hisashi Owada, president of the ICJ, said in the clear majority ruling delivered in a cavernous hall at the Hague-based ICJ.  “Accordingly it concludes that the declaration of independence of the 17th of February 2008 did not violate general international law.”

So, take some deep breaths and focus on the new reality that for California to pass an amendment to their state constitution authorizing independence is a lawful exercise of Constitutional and International law, as well as the recently articulated Obama Doctrine on Self Determination and Secession.

I see my moderate friends are very frustrated with me right now.  They cannot understand how I could seriously believe that mainstream voters in California would ever support such a stupid idea.  Indeed, just advocating such nonsense is enough to erode any remaining credibility I might have ever had with moderates.

How dare anyone suggest leaving the USA?  Sure, the US government has the highest incarceration rate in the world and heavily armed police who are authorized to kick in your door, shoot your dog and drag you off to prison, but is that any reason to secede? 

Mainstream voters are fed up with the reckless spending and frightening debts being created by the USA. Congressional approval ratings are below 20% and death threats against our representatives are at an all time high.  The potential for collapse, hyperinflation, civil turnoil and increased surveillance by Big Brother is a very real concern for everyone, including mainstream voters.

But, once again we must ask, is this any reason to secede?  Perhaps not, but consider this, independence would mean no longer having to pay federal income tax or a long list of other federal taxes on everything we consume.  Would mainstream voters be interested in the biggest tax break in their lifetime?  You bet they would.

My friends on the right are probably even more frustrated with me.  Don’t I realize that California is even worse than the USA?  The government here is bankrupt and a veritable cesspool of blue state thinking that is out of goose step with the rest of the country  Better a state like Texas or Nevada secede, but not all those nuts, fruits and flakes in grainola crazed California. 

But again, I disagree. California has always been the leader in crazy new ideas that are mainstream fifteen years later.  The time has come again for California to show the same kind of bold leadership and visionary thinking that has blessed this Golden State.

In fact, California began as the California Republic back in  June 15, 1846, when William B. Ide, President, of the California Republic wrote a proclamation that included these words:

‎”Government to be prosperous and happyfying in its tendency must originate with its people who are friendly to its existence… its Citizens are its Guardians, its officers are its Servants, and its Glory their reward.”

Happyfying?  Yes, that was President Ide’s vision for the California Republic and it still rings true today. But the new California Republic had no sooner won a happyfying independence from Mexico when it was invaded by the US army and forced to submit to American occupation and sovereignty.  Any honest account of California history must recognize that the US Army was only authorized by Congress to engage in a war against Mexico for control of California.

Once the citizens of California declared themselves a Republic, the Americans should have turned around or come to the assistance of the new Republic. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, but the official flag of the California Republic still lives on and is officially recognized by every government in the world, including the USA.

In the world of trade and commerce, in which California is now the eight largest economy in the world, the Golden State has what is known as “branding.”  People around the world not only recognize the uniqueness of California, they seek it out.

Yes, the state government here is bankrupt and despised, but the people are prosperous, industrious and still know how to have fun.  The people of the California Republic could unleash a tsunami of prosperity if freed from the shackles of the United States.  That would benefit everyone, including what remains of the USA.

By now my Libertarian friends are equally frustrated with me.  Don’t I know about “Nullification”?  That was what the Colonies did when King George sent over laws they didn’t like.  In theory, California could avoid secession and simply opt for an initiative that would authorize the state to officially nullify Federal laws on cannabis.

The problem with nullification is that it still recognizes the authority and supremacy of the Federal government, which ultimately places the debate in the hands of a very conservative Supreme Court that would not be favorable to anything that diminishes the reach of the federal government.

Like it or not, the time has come for the legalization movement to take a careful look at what it hopes to achieve and what path gets us there with the least threat of violence and the greatest prospect for a happyfying new lease on life. 

Passing an amendment to the California constitution to declare independence is our best shot at a peaceful end to prohibition. Furthermore, it would serve as a model for other states to follow if the USA doesn’t mend its ways.

Anything less than Independence for the California Republic will only cause far more harm than good.

The Flag of the California Republic is officially recognized by governments around the world and by the United States.

The legalization of cannabis sounds like a great idea, but there are serious issues that raise disturbing questions about the chaos and suffering that will ultimately result. That’s because in the world of legalization, things are not as they appear.

92 thoughts on “Kubby: Legalization or Secession?

  1. Ross

    Very interesting. Steve, if you read this, you should check out the Second Vermont Republic (if you don’t know about it already). It’s an effort in Vermont for peaceful secession from the US.

  2. Darryl W. Perry

    I support (or at least support allowing the people to vote for) independence for all U.S. States that were formerly independent, all Native American Tribes & all U.S. territories/possessions.

  3. Michael H. Wilson

    Steve this could be fun. Just the idea backed up with the legal points you have made regarding Sudan and Kosovo make for interesting debate. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    On a related issue if I may is that when people discuss legalization they are most often talking about it for those 18 or 21 years of age and up. The failure to address the impact of the laws on those under 18 or 21 as the case may be is one of the largest overlooked problems with the issue. Young people once caught up in the web, that is the judicial system in this country often find it hard to get out. At some point in time the hotshot need to address this end of the issue.

  4. Mark Seidenberg

    Back in 1846, the Third Kamahamaha sent Capt. Paty (a street in Honolulu has his name)
    to extend diplomatic recognition of the
    California Republic.

    Hawaii was still upset with Mexico over the
    help it gave England circa 1843, on the take-over of the Goverment of the Hawai’ian Kingdom.

    It should be remembered that William Ide
    make his way down to Los Angeles via ship
    to San Pedro as an able body seaman because
    he had no money to buy a fare on that voyage.

    Once he arrive in San Pedro, he began his
    tour going “on progress” of the southern
    part of the Republic. In those days even
    Yuma was part of California.

    Back in 1901, the United States District Attorney for the Territory of Hawaii in
    the cases of U.S. v. Ching Tai Sai & U.S. v.
    Ching Tai Sun, 1 Ryan 118, tried to get
    the US District Court to ignore the acts
    of the severalKamehameha’s in meeing of the Hawaiian Privy Council under the Hawaiian
    Constitution, viz., he wanted to limit historical
    laws to only acts of the Republic of Hawai’i.
    Judge Estee, rejected that view point and
    the decrees of the Kamehameha’s are laws today.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg,
    Vice Chairman, American Independent Party

  5. David K. M. Klaus

    Of course, if a local sheriff had the courage, he or she could arrest federal agents and hold them for indictment and trial for violating state laws against armed robbery and assault when they raided California businesses operating lawfully under California law. The same would be possible in Colorado and any other state with a compassionate use law.

  6. paulie

    Great article, Steve!

    Gotta pick a nit though…I’m addicted to nitpicking 🙂

    Thus, the Federal government could not legally oppose the rights of Southern states to secede, peacefully, but when the Confederates attacked Fort Sumner, it became an armed rebellion. Once the South foolishly attacked, they gave the North the Constitutional authority to put down the rebellion and the rest is ugly history.

    The south could not have allowed Ft. Sumter to be reprovisioned and credibly pretend to be a separate country at the same time. Ft. Sumter contained a customs house, enforcing a very hefty tariff on all commerce coming through one of the major ports of the confederacy. They could either shut it down or say “Oops, sorry. Practical joke. We’re not really seceding,” but they could not allow the north to collect tariffs on them, as a supposedly independent nation.

  7. Steve

    Great article Mr. Kubby!

    I’d have never thought to bring international law precedent into the case for secession, but it makes perfect sense and a good thing to bring up to our political class.

    I think you’re mistaken about your friends on the right though, they might be your biggest allies because they could say “good riddance” to the leftists in CA and the looming potential that the rest of us may have to bail their government out after years of Republican and Democrat mismanagement. Then again, if California elects a good President (perhaps Mr. Kubby will run for the job) they really could prosper.

  8. Ted Brown

    When George Bush was re-elected in 2004, I was quite upset and started thinking about secession at that time. In fact, there was a secession group in California already. The main reason to secede, I believe, is not the drug war (though it is indeed a good reason), but foreign policy. I can’t imagine that the California Republic would participate in all of these foreign wars and adventures. I am with Steve on this one. Let’s get an initiative started to put independence on the ballot. Wow, will that get a lot of attention!

  9. paulie

    Let’s say for the sake of discussion that you are already on the committee. What are your ideas for bringing together the kind of resources that it takes to realistically qualify a California statewide initiative for the ballot?

  10. Jill Pyeatt

    That’s a huge question, Paulie, about how to go about putting together a campaign. We couldn’t accomplish anything without educating the citizens of California about this option. I’d probably start with a massive letter-writing campaign for newspapers, and there would have to be people trained to speak at Kiwanis meetings, city council meetings, and such. Also, we’d have to reach out to all parties, and not make this a partisan issue.

    Many Californians are willing to give Jerry Brown a few months to see how he does, but my guess is we’ll know in a few months what will happen to California, good or bad. Probably bad.

  11. FYI! [More Don Lake]

    Ted Brown // Jan 21, :

    “……. Bush was re-elected in 2004, I was quite upset and started thinking about secession at that time. In fact, there was a secession group in California already ………..”

    [Lake: nay, not really. They did absolutely nothing in the Governor Davis recall in 2003. They were gasping for breath in 2002 and half of that in 2005.]

  12. Ted Brown

    @17
    True, I just mentioned that group to show that I wasn’t the first person to think about it.
    @16
    To put this on the ballot, we need more than just libertarian-minded people. If there was a coalition of a lot of different groups across the spectrum, a volunteer effort could get it on the ballot. Then, we’d be doomed in the election without some rich patrons to stave off the crazy, irrational, emotional campaign against it.

  13. Andy

    “If there was a coalition of a lot of different groups across the spectrum, a volunteer effort could get it on the ballot.”

    The initiative would be highly unlike to gather enough signatures to make it on the ballot unless some money was raised.

  14. Robert Capozzi

    P6: The south could not have allowed Ft. Sumter to be reprovisioned and credibly pretend to be a separate country…

    Me: Yes. “Pretend” is a good word choice. It was a weak authority at best. 10A is non-explicit, yet Article I, Section 8 IS explicit…Congress has the authority to put down insurrections. SC was a majority slave state, further weakening tortured 10A arguments. Ft. Sumter was federal property with federal men and munitions. Even if we bought this notion that the US was a confederation that could be unilaterally broken with no predetermined terms and conditions, there was no provision for unwinding the mere “contract” among states. If a contract is vague and then one party attacks another without even attempting to negotiate, is it any surprise that the counter-party would respond in kind?

    Yes, you COULD argue that slaves had no standing, but of course they DID have standing — in the contract. If the Constitution is viewed as a mere “contract,” the contract said at the time that representation and direct taxes were to be apportioned by “three fifths of all other Persons.” The “other Persons” were not asked whether they wished to invoke the (dubious) 10A interpretation. The “whole number of free Persons” denied the contract’s terms to interested parties, rendering the entire (insane) effort an illegal act. This “secession” was nothing more than elite gangsters manipulating legalisms in a futile attempt to maintain an deeply repugnant institution, as well as to evade taxes.

    Why should we respect the SC’s attempt at secession on procedural grounds? Would Revisionists say that if SC’s Governor Pickens had unilaterally declared SC out of the union that that would be legal and proper? If not, why should secession conventions that lacked representation of a majority of the population be considered legitimate? Inventing law on the fly is highly questionable indeed!

    If they had a case, warring over a contract dispute represented profound (and ill-fated) ill will. If they SC elites wanted to press their case that they had the power and contractual authority to secede, they could have displayed good will during the transition. Instead, they acted precipitously and violently. Resolving a contract dispute with violence is not justified, IMO.

  15. paulie

    The initiative would be highly unlike to gather enough signatures to make it on the ballot unless some money was raised.

    I have never seen or heard of any initiative, that needs even close to the number of signatures it takes to qualify an issue for the ballot in California, come even close to qualifying for the ballot, in any state in any year, without a significant part – usually the vast majority – of the signatures coming from professional signature gatherers. Yes, volunteers do collect signatures, and I have collected thousands of volunteer signatures myself, but generally speaking they give up quickly or just don’t find the time to do much.

    As Ted Brown also notes, even if you somehow manage to reinvent the wheel (everyone always tries, despite the benefit of all past experience, and keeps reinventing the flat tire), even if you somehow manage to get on the ballot, you have to have vast resources to wage an ad campaign in order to have a chance of winning.

    And that is if the courts even allow it.

    Just because Obama talks about the right of oppressed people to self-determination in select parts of the world, as US and other leaders always have when it suits them, does not mean they will allow that principle to be applied domestically.

  16. paulie

    It was a weak authority at best. 10A is non-explicit

    Seems pretty explicit to me, especially given the historical context in which it was written.

    If a contract is vague and then one party attacks another without even attempting to negotiate, is it any surprise that the counter-party would respond in kind?

    No, which was exactly my point. Once South Carolina declared its independence, war was inevitable. By its internal logic, the federal government had to continue to collect its tariff. And by its internal logic, the confederate government could not allow the yankee tariff to be collected on its commerce. The idea that South Carolina could somehow have seceded and allowed Ft Sumter to be reprovisioned was what I was arguing against. Whether it could “legally” secede or not is a separate question we have discussed before, but if you insist…

    Yes, you COULD argue that slaves had no standing, but of course they DID have standing — in the contract. If the Constitution is viewed as a mere “contract,” the contract said at the time that representation and direct taxes were to be apportioned by “three fifths of all other Persons.”

    Women and people under the age of 21 were also counted for the purpose of representation, but were not allowed to vote on the representatives. I’m not sure for how long, but at one time non-property owners were also not allowed to vote. None of these people were consulted when the US seceded from Britain, or when the South seceded from the North.

    The “whole number of free Persons” denied the contract’s terms to interested parties, rendering the entire (insane) effort an illegal act.

    Yes, and they were not consulted regarding the US Declaration of Independence, either.

    Why should we respect the SC’s attempt at secession on procedural grounds?

    I hadn’t made a case either way as to whether we should or not here. But since you ask, why should we respect the US secession from the UK?

    Would Revisionists say that if SC’s Governor Pickens had unilaterally declared SC out of the union that that would be legal and proper? If not, why should secession conventions that lacked representation of a majority of the population be considered legitimate?

    Women are a slight majority of the population, and as far as I know at that time were not allowed representation anywhere in the world. Does that mean that no secession anywhere could have been legitimate prior to women being given the vote?

  17. Conservative Tea Party Patriot

    As a former confederate territory, Arizona should secede from the union and round up and deport all the Mexicans. Then, since, slave holders were never compensated for having their slave property seized, the descendents of slaves living in Arizona should pay reparations to the descendents of slave owners.

    The ones that don’t have the money to do so should be put to work as cooks, maids and gardeners, since we won’t have the Mexicans around anymore.

  18. Alaska Constitution Party

    #23 Are you for real? Or just an agent provocateur? I suspect yours is a campaign of disinformation and inflammatory rhetoric to smear conservatives, tea party people and patriots. How cynical and disingenuous of you.

  19. paulie

    I suspect yours is a campaign of disinformation and inflammatory rhetoric to smear conservatives, tea party people and patriots.

    I suspect it’s actually a campaign of disinformation to make liberals, progressives and leftists look childish and ill-mannered in their attempted use of satire.

  20. Mark Seidenberg

    Alaska Constitution Party

    In your post #24 you asked if post #23 was for
    real. I would say was not, but he or she knows
    some of Arizona History. When Arizona was
    admitted to the union (next year 100 year) I
    plan to go there with 150 year signs and sell
    my Confederate Battle Flag Jewish skull caps.
    This because when Arizona was admitted into
    the Union as a State it was do on the 50 anniversity day of Arizona Territory being
    admitted into the Confederate States of America.

    Like the Republic of Rough and Ready secession
    from the United States on April 7, 1850, Arrizona Territory seceeded from the United
    States during the War Between the States.

    Remember February 14, 1862 and February 14, 2012. It will be 150 years.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg,
    Vice Chairman, American Independent Party

  21. Mark Seidenberg

    Alaska Constitution Party

    I have been planning for August 24, 2o12 to mourn the events of August 24, 1912 in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau, with
    people wearing black armbands, viz., mourning
    the loss of human rights in Alaska when it
    was admitted as a Territory of the United States.

    Do you think members of the Alaska Independence Party and the members of the
    Alaska Constitution Party want to do some “street theatre” with the Alaska Flag
    at half staff, black armbands. coffins with
    pall bearer, etc.?

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg
    Vice Chairman, American Independent Party

  22. paulie

    Steve Kubby: One issue candidate

    He says his “one issue” is freedom, but that’s simply not true.

    Actually, it is true.

    If the Ku Klux Klan supported legalization of pot, Kubby would be hiding under a white sheet.

    There’s nothing that is necessarily racist about supporting secession. There are secession movements all over the world, and have been throughout history, and most of them have nothing to do with racism.

  23. Observer

    If that’s the way you feel, Mike, perhaps it’s a good thing that you’ve distanced yourself from the Libertarian party. I’ve seen nothing in Mr Kubby, or in many other committed Libertarian activists, to support Fransisco Guiccardini’s statement.

  24. paulie

    I could readily – though I will not – go down a list of activists who flock to the LP and its related organizations simply because they see in it an excuse for their own vices.

    In what way, shape or form is Mr. Kubby’s use of medicine to literally save his life a vice?

    And why would your characterization of certain repressed behaviors as vices, in those cases where they lead some people to extrapolate from the specific to the general to become libertarians, cast any shadow on their genuine love of liberty – whether that which they partake of personally or otherwise?

  25. Observer

    Mike and his girlfriend seemed to have had a very bad experience with the Libertarian party. I’m sorry for that. I’m not sure what good insulting those choosing to remain and fight will do, however.

  26. Bruce Cohen

    Look, everyone has their ‘specialty’ or pet issue.

    Steve’s is Marijuana and specifically medical pot. And yes, poltics makes strange bedfellows. Libertarians and Liberals on this one, for example.

    But so what?
    He’s pro-freedom, and he’s very much above so much of the nasty internal LP Party poltics we see across the country, especially in California.

    And Mike @43?
    “Steve Kubby: One issue candidate

    He says his “one issue” is freedom, but that’s simply not true. If the Ku Klux Klan supported legalization of pot, Kubby would be hiding under a white sheet.”

    That’s a pretty strong statement to make and while it’s a powerful allogory, it’s wrong, it’s untrue, it’s hurtful and it’s really beneath you.

    As far as blaming the party for negative experiences, well, it’s not the party. The negative experiences you or anyone else might or might not have is because of the PEOPLE, not the Party.

    Of course, it’s pretty infected now and you’re not the only one to be staying away, especially in California.

    Let’s all play nice here on IPR folks, and I thank you all in advance.

  27. disgustedwithbruce

    Bruce @ 44: “Let’s all play nice here on IPR folks”.

    That would include not making things up, Brucie-Loosy (as in loose, lying lips).

  28. paulie

    I would request that the comment @42 be removed. My willingness to post under my own name is not license for others to post information about my history, relationships, or truly anything else

    I took out her name. Good enough?

  29. Robert Capozzi

    p22: Yes, and they were not consulted regarding the US Declaration of Independence, either….. why should we respect the US secession from the UK?

    me: Yes, this opens up the nub of any analysis of history. Some revisionist Ls — perhaps not you — make the case that secession was “legal” and “Constitutional.” They don’t seem willing to admit that the technicalities can be read either way.

    We may, for ex., see the Dec. of Ind. as a positive step for liberty, therefore we find the arguments persuasive, perhaps even “moral.” Our opinions about liberty and relative steps toward liberty bias our analysis.

    My opinions about the CSA’s secession affect my interpretation of the laws at play in that fact set. I submit that revisionists are just as biased.

    When I confront revisionists about their biases, they often deflect, and counter that I am ultimately suggesting that might makes right. I’m not, actually. I’m saying that “right” is open to interpretation, and might is a consideration.

  30. paulie

    I’d say that what is good for the goose is good for the gander, and that might makes no part of right.

    As for the CSA – I’d say their secession from the USA was procedurally legal, in the sense that I believe that states do have the right to leave the US. However, I also agree that it was an irrational attempt to preserve slavery, even though Lincoln was willing to enshrine in it in the constitution permanently with a new amendment to save the union, and even though slavery was doomed anyway without the fugitive slave laws.

    Furthermore, I believe pro-union portions of confederate states, such as the counties that became West Virginia and at least one county in Alabama, likewise had a right to secede from the confederate states, and that slaves had a right to “secede” (escape) from plantations.

    More importantly, I don’t think their attempt at secession should continue to define secession as a whole. As a general idea, secession is a pro-liberty concept, although the reasons for particular secession movements vary – some are better than others.

  31. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie @46,

    “I took out her name. Good enough?”

    Actually, too much.

    The information in question was not something unknown or for which there was some existing reasonable expectation for others to preserve the confidentiality of.

    Let’s not set slippery slope precedents in which IPR personnel have to be Winston Smith, constantly “rectifying” Person B’s posts to reflect Person B’s preferences.

  32. paulie

    The information in question was not something unknown or for which there was some existing reasonable expectation for others to preserve the confidentiality of.

    You may be right. However, I really don’t see why who he is dating is anyone’s business if he doesn’t want it discussed, even if it’s well known.
    And it was just her first name, which seems pretty innocuous to me. But taking it out did not change the comment substantially, so I don’t see it as a big deal either way.

    It seemed like Mike’s comment about Steve was pretty strong, too.

    Yes, but it did not reveal any personal information.

  33. Robert Capozzi

    p48: As a general idea, secession is a pro-liberty concept, although the reasons for particular secession movements vary – some are better than others.

    me: Yours is a thoughtful take…kudos. I’d frame it that self determination movements are generally pro-liberty, but not always. Smaller-territory states that are highly tyrannical are not preferable over larger-territory states where government control is checked and smaller.

  34. paulie

    This site is on shaky ground as it is.

    If this “subpoena” type talk keeps up, it may get closed down completely. They are already trying to sell it because there has been too much of that.

    Since Mike feels so strongly about not having his partner’s name posted, please don’t post it.

    I’m getting really tired of this sort of thing. I don’t think I’ll keep doing this much longer, the way it’s going.

  35. Jill Pyeatt

    It seems to me that the same person is causing trouble on several threads. He has undoubtedly read your thread @ 58, then gone on to a couple of other threads to make trouble.

    Is it possible he really doesn’t get it?

  36. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie @ 58,

    Usually when someone suddenly starts playing weird control games, the smartest response is to refuse to play. Otherwise they’ve got you by the balls and will lead you around for as long as you let them.

    Mr. McMahon’s relationship with Ms. Marbry has never been treated as a secret before by anyone, including the two of them. I see no reason to let him force me or anyone else to make it one now, and a lot of reasons not to (STARTING with the fact that it’s a bullshit attempt to assert control over others’ discussions) and I hope you won’t assist him in doing so.

  37. NewFederalist

    “This site is on shaky ground as it is.

    If this “subpoena” type talk keeps up, it may get closed down completely. They are already trying to sell it because there has been too much of that.

    I’m getting really tired of this sort of thing. I don’t think I’ll keep doing this much longer, the way it’s going.”

    Not a particularly good selling point, paulie. If you really want to assist in the sale of this site I would suggest this sort of information (and these sort of feelings) be kept private. Just my $.02 worth.

  38. paulie

    I’m not trying to “assist the sale of this site.” Trent’s boss, whom I’ve never actually corresponded with in any form, reportedly decided to sell it because he got sued once (copyright shakedown) and got threatened with another lawsuit (alleged defamation, in the comments).

    He wants an amount of money for it that is far beyond what is reasonable or likely. If he can’t sell it for what he thinks it’s worth and gets another lawsuit threat or subppoena, maybe he’ll shut it down or sell it to a domain cybersquatter for whatever he can get. I’m not saying I know this for a fact or anything.

    Either way, I’m getting very tired of some of the games people play here, this being just the latest example. It seems that the noise to signal ratio is getting worse and worse all the time.

    I’m not getting paid to do this and it’s probably not a wise decision for me to spend so much of my time on it. And since I can’t seem to limit how much time I spend to do it in moderation, my only recourse may have to be to go cold turkey.

  39. NewFederalist

    I can understand your frustration. For whatever it is worth I think you do an excellent job but I can see it is very time consuming. Best of luck to you in whatever you decide.

  40. paulie

    It seems to me that the same person is causing trouble on several threads. He has undoubtedly read your thread @ 58, then gone on to a couple of other threads to make trouble.

    I’m not sure what you mean. #58 was posted at 2:35 AM Eastern time this morning, and #59 quoted above was posted a little over an hour later. What got posted in the time in between that would fit your criteria? Did the troublemaker read my comment, jump in his DeLorean, and go back in time to post annoying comments? Or, are you predicting things that have not yet happened?

  41. paulie

    “Don’t believe those who so fervently preach liberty. Nearly all of them – probably every single one of them- has his own particular interests in mind. Experience proves beyond any doubt that if they thought they would be better off under an absolute government, they would rush into it as fast as they could.”

    Patently false in my case among many others. And even if it were true, that would still not mean that liberty is not the best policy. Why would the fact that many oppressed people stand up against their own oppression first and foremost in any way justify their continued oppression?

  42. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie @66,

    Agreed.

    In point of fact, I suspect that I would be economically far better off under the “Fair” Tax especially, but probably under virtually any “replace the income tax with a sales tax” scheme, than I am now.

    But, if you look at the selling points for that shift, they come down to “the state would be better off with this.”

    I don’t want the state to be better off. I want the state destroyed. And I’m willing to put up with a certain amount of actual or potential trouble for myself to see that happen, or even to preserve/expand the possibility of it eventually happening.

  43. Gains

    Francesco Guicciardini (spelled correctly) didn’t care about liberty in the least. He was an agent saboteur for the Medicis in Florence who is considered pivotal in infiltrating and destroying the Florentine Republic, heralding in the end of the Italian Renaissance and expanding Papal rule. He is most renowned for his capacity for treachery and duplicity, even having been implicated in a conspiracy that killed his own uncle for a failed shot at position.

  44. Thomas L. Knapp

    @69,

    Bullshit.

    One a public figure — for example a candidate for political party office — has printed a fact in publicly distributed literature (as, for example, at http://www.libertyforamerica.com/carolyn1.pdf), it’s absurd to pretend that that fact is thereafter “private” or that mention of it constitutes an “invasion of privacy.”

    The only ethical failing here is your control complex.

  45. Robert Capozzi

    fg: Don’t believe those who so fervently preach liberty. Nearly all of them – probably every single one of them- has his own particular interests in mind. Experience proves beyond any doubt that if they thought they would be better off under an absolute government, they would rush into it as fast as they could.

    me: Hmm, can’t say I agree. Of course, in my case, being fervent is not my bag, except, perhaps, when it comes to love and peace. Political liberty seems the most loving and peaceful civil order I can think of, so my default political view is for liberty. Since my approach is to compare notes vs. preach, I can’t relate to FG’s words. Indeed, I do my best to practice humility, so I’m unsure of what my “interests” actually are. Instead, I love what is, though I sometimes have suggestions for making things a bit better.

    As for experience “proving” anything — especially beyond a doubt — I’ll have to let Sipos tell us that one! 😉 More seriously, it’s obvious to me that “experience” is formed by “perception,” which is a mighty faulty tool, near as I can tell.

  46. paulie

    Would the moderator please remove Mr. Knapp?s invasion of my privacy @60.

    There are numerous people who can act as moderators, including Mr. Knapp himself. The list is at

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/?page_id=2

    IPR Admins
    Chris Martin ? Owner & Publisher
    Trent Hill ? Editor-in-Chief

    Contributors
    Paulie
    Fred Church Ortiz
    Ross Levin
    Tom Knapp
    Darcy G. Richardson
    Kimberly Wilder
    Morgan Brykein
    Brian Holtz
    Daniel Surman
    Dave Schwab
    Damon Eris
    Bruce Cohen
    Red Phillips
    Mike Theodore
    Chuck Moulton
    Aaron Starr
    Gene Berkman

    Even if one of us did as you ask Knapp, or any of the others, could go in and change it right back. However, just because someone can do something does not mean that they should. IE: No one should post information about you that you don’t want posted, and you shouldn’t subpoena or do any of a number of things you can do.

    There is a link at https://independentpoliticalreport.com/removal/ where you can ask that particular comments be removed which goes to the site’s owners, bypassing the level of people like myself and Tom Knapp that write here.

    I would suggest you use that link. I am not interested in having a “moderator” role in the sense that you are using it. I signed up to write at IPR so I could post new stories, not so I can police a playground.

    Please deal with Trent Hill on any further questions of what should be allowed to be posted in the comments, using the link at https://independentpoliticalreport.com/removal/ .

  47. Jill Pyeatt

    Our Libertarians friends are always welcome to our house. Just give us some warning, so the coffee can be ready!

  48. Thomas L. Knapp

    Nobody published Mr. McMahon’s Social Security Number, unlisted phone number, medical records, etc.

    The particular information in question has been published elsewhere — campaign literature, state party newsletters, etc. — not only without audible objection from Mr. McMahon, but with what appeared to be his open support.

    It is, in other words, not “private information.”

    I admit that I don’t see why it’s relevant information.

    I’d also be more than happy to refrain from mentioning it upon polite request by Mr. McMahon, precisely because I don’t see its relevance or consider it important and because I like to be helpful and cooperative in most cases.

    On the other hand, when people start throwing around bullshit allegations of “invasions of privacy” and attempting to have discussions manipulated via authority, my helpful and cooperative side takes a vacation.

  49. Gains

    MM @70: “Your statements, if intended to be taken as an attempt to discredit Signore Guicciardini, qualify as an appeal to emotion.”

    I disagree. My statements pointed out that S. Guicciardini was a professional liar and duplicitous person that worked to foil the Republic of Florence. He sought to bring free(er) men into the rule of the papal crown. He was the enemy of liberty. I think it reasonable to presume that he would have little good to say about liberty in any form except to undermine it.

    Perhaps a little more context would help, do you have a reference?

  50. Thomas L. Knapp

    Mr. McMahon,

    When I refer to “polite requests,” I mean requesting that people not speak of X, not requesting that others use positions of authority to alter writings without the authors’ permission and for no good reason on the basis of a false assertion that those writings contain “private information.”

    The piece of information in question has appeared in campaign brochures, on the web sites of political party newsletters, etc., and so far as I can tell you voiced no objection whatsoever when it so appeared.

    Therefore, while particular formattings of the information may be protected by copyright, the information itself is now irrevocably part of the public domain.

    Even prior to the Internet age, it was common knowledge that things said are difficult if not impossible to un-say, and doubly so when they’ve been said in a very public way.

    It’s unreasonable to expect IPR’s editors (and now, I’m given to believe, others) to act as your personal IngSoc rectification/memory hole service with respect to public information. Spite has nothing to do with it.

  51. Observer

    I didn’t say anywhere that I supported Mr Knapp’s behavior. I simply pointed out that perhaps your attitude set the rest of us a little off, and made several of IPR’s readers a little defensive.

    Take a couple of days off, and, when you’re not so angry, read Saturday’s threads. I think you might realize you didn’t come off as Prince Charming.

  52. Gains

    What the Medicis wrought on the world is in no way admirable. They stifled the Renaissance and weakened all of Florence destabilizing it for French conquest.

    Case in point: Michelangelo’s brilliant works came to a standstill under Leo X. He was over promised and underpaid. Working under Medici “patronage” meant dealing with unrestrained egos, deception, and danger. After all was said and done the insertion of a Medici into his life long works led to unfinished grand projects that took decades to not complete.

    Control destroys all that is creative and the Medicis were control freakiest of them all. Guicciardini was one of their control freak wizards that helped direct (and on the side meticulously cataloged) their machinations.

  53. paulie

    OK, that does it. Posting the same link on what, ten or twenty posts in a row, where it’s not related….that is spam IMO, and if you do that again don’t be surprised if some of those comments get deleted.

  54. Down and Out in Dixie

    Speaking of kinky, I think the only way to settle the argument between Knapp and McMahon may have to be for them to get out their cocks and measuring tape.

  55. FYI! [More Don Lake]

    Jill Pyeatt // Jan 24, 2011:
    “………. friends are always welcome to our house. Just give us some warning, so the coffee can be ready!”

    [Lake, Hostess with the Mostess: also non caffeine tea[s] and non alcoholic apple cider. Jill, did the American Zionist stuff arrive in the mail?]

  56. Thomas L. Knapp

    Down and Out in Dixie @94,

    1) There is no “argument” between myself and Mr. McMahon. An argument presuppposes a proposition which is not absurd on its face. “Information which has been publicly discussed in numerous venues for years without objection from me is now private information because I want it to be” isn’t even close to being such a proposition.

    2) I’d probably lose the contest you suggest. Mine is only about as big around as a beer can … but it’s pretty long.

  57. longtime reader x-time alias

    For someone who has allegedly forsworn electoral politics, Knappy sure seems worked up over long-past internal LP machinations.

    Shouldn’t he be firebombing the Capitol or something?

  58. Thomas L. Knapp

    Lake@98,

    1) There’s no “allegedly” about it. I’m no longer running for office, no longer endorsing/supporting candidates for office, and no longer affiliated with a political party.

    2) I’m not sure what “internal LP machinations” you think I’m “worked up” about. If the information being discussed here had related to some party other than the LP, it would be of equal interest from my standpoint, because my standpoint is simply that it’s not an IPR editors’ job to attempt to make public information be treated as private information just because the subjects of the public information have, for whatever reason, decided they don’t like it being public information any more.

    3) Firebombing the Capitol is soooo 1983. My preference is that it be put up for auction. I’ll probably put in a bid, as it seems like the perfect home for my contemplated American Museum of Organized Crime.

  59. Thomas L. Knapp

    Addendum to Comment 100:

    With regard to electoral politics I do still accept writing/consulting jobs — but these days I don’t do so on the basis of ideology. I’ve done some “cash and carry” work, and some work for long-time friends, but it’s definitely the back office stuff. I don’t plan to stump for — or vote for — candidates again.

  60. paulie

    References to comment numbers are off now since someone (Chris Martin or Trent Hill, I’m guessing) removed all instances of MCM’s name, either as the person who posted a comment or referred to in a comment by name, including in old threads, probably due to a “request for removal.” What I meant is that I don’t think longtime reader x-time alias is Lake.

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