Libertarian Skeptics Network: New L.P. caucus formed

LSNprofile
Press Release:

For Immediate Release
Friday, January 1, 2016
Contact: Libertarian Skeptics Network
LPSkeptics@gmail.com | 870.329.7217

Libertarian Skeptics Network: New L.P. Caucus Formed

The new year brings with it a new effort inside America’s third-largest political party. Seeking to connect the principles of liberty to their Enlightenment heritage, and defend the Libertarian Party from entanglement in disreputable fringe issues, dozens of activists and candidates from around the nation have come together to form a new caucus: the Libertarian Skeptics Network. Taking their cue from Voltaire, L.S.N. has adopted as its motto: Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”

A five-member provisional board has been constituted, consisting of Andy Craig (LP-WI); Andrew Lea (LP-NV); Pearce Holland Barnum (LP-TX); Mike Warren (LP-IN); and Jason Weinman (LP-NV). State chapters are also being chartered, with a rapidly growing list of a dozen states already represented in the organization.

“Our provisional board will lay the groundwork for our first real meeting and election of officers, to be held at the Libertarian National Convention in Orlando, May 26-30.” says provisional chair Andy Craig, “We intend to make L.S.N. a regular presence at every national convention going forward, and in all 50 state parties.”

Joshua Katz, an elected Libertarian officeholder in Connecticut and member of the party’s national committee, says skepticism is integral to being a Libertarian, and that he defines the term as “one who seeks freedom from aggression, undue control, ignorance, and misinformation.” According to Andrew Lea, Youth Director for the Libertarian Party of Nevada, “The Libertarian Party has always been the party of innovation and market driven technological advancement. We are the party of science.”

Chuck Schilling, a member of the Libertarian Party of Wisconsin, agrees, “We’re for Libertarians who believe in science, not science-fiction. Who want to shrink government, without buying into every conspiracy theory under the sun.” Clayton Hunt, a Libertarian from Texas, insists “the champions of freedom should reject the fear and ignorance peddled by snake oil salesmen.”

To coincide with the formal launch of the organization on Jan. 1, 2016 the LSN released the following mission statement:

The mission of the Libertarian Skeptics Network, is to promote and defend libertarianism and the Libertarian Party within the Enlightenment traditions from which they arose, which value evidence, facts, science, reason, skepticism, progress, toleration, and objective truth.

We oppose pseudo-science, scare tactics, pop-culture conspiracy theories, medical fraud and quackery, scam artists, charlatans, false claims, and all other sorts of flim-flam and fakery, as being consistent with neither the purpose of, nor our desired future for, the Libertarian Party.

We oppose those who conflate these things with libertarianism, as unfit to be candidates or officers of the Libertarian Party.

We seek to cast a harsh light into the shadows of self-imposed obscurity, and reveal these tactics for what they are: damaging, disruptive, and counter-productive.

We believe libertarianism and the Libertarian Party can, at their best, offer a positive, hopeful vision for society, and that demagoguery based on fear and ignorance is best left to our opponents.

We act to protect and defend the reputation of a party and platform, which we hope to present to the nation as a credible, legitimate, viable alternative to the Republicans and Democrats.

We do so, because we desire a Libertarian Party that lives up to the true meaning of its purpose: “nothing more nor less than a world set free in our lifetimes.”

To that end, the Libertarian Skeptics Network shall act as our caucus within the Libertarian Party, consisting of a national organization and state chapters, to support and give voice to Libertarian Skeptics, all of whom are welcome to join in our efforts.

Those interested in joining the Libertarian Skeptics Network, are encouraged to contact the caucus at LPSkeptics@gmail.com, or on Facebook at FB.com/LibertarianSkepticsNetwork

191 thoughts on “Libertarian Skeptics Network: New L.P. caucus formed

  1. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Voltaire didn’t quite say that. That seems to be a popular translation, but the translation seems to have been “punched up” to make it sound better.

    According to Yahoo Answers, the original quote appears in Questions sur les miracles (1765) and says, in the original French: “Certainement qui est en droit de vous rendre absurde est en droit de vous rendre injuste.”

    A more accurate translation seems to be: “Truly, whoever is able to make you absurd is able to make you unjust.”

    See: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061108234607AA1lsIu

  2. langa

    I welcome the skeptics, but I will take what they have to say with a grain of salt. 😉

  3. Andy Craig Post author

    @RTAT

    It’s a less literal translation, but it’s also by far the more famous one, and I think is a better rendering of the context and connotations of the original. But as with any sentence, run it past a dozen translators and you’ll get at least twenty different variations on the precise wording.

  4. Libertarian Realist

    Joshua Katz is absolutely right: Libertarians are skeptical. That’s why those of us who know the government has lied to us distrust everything they tell us. It’s natural and healthy to ask questions and do research for oneself.

  5. Libertarian Realist

    It’s also interesting to find out that we’re “the party of science”. Whose science? Studies about pharmaceutical products funded by pharmaceutical companies, or studies by independent researchers?

  6. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    We oppose those who conflate these things with libertarianism, as unfit to be candidates or officers of the Libertarian Party.

    This sounds pretty intolerant. As if only skeptics (as defined by them?) are fit to be Libertarian candidates and officers.

    We oppose pseudo-science, scare tactics, pop-culture conspiracy theories, medical fraud and quackery, scam artists, charlatans, false claims, and all other sorts of flim-flam and fakery, as being consistent with neither the purpose of, nor our desired future for, the Libertarian Party.

    Medical fraud and quackery? Are people who believe in alternative health practices unfit to be LP candidates and officers? Some people think that vitamins and herbal supplements are quackery. Are they unfit to be LP candidates and officers?

    Conspiracy theories? Does that include people who think 9/11 was an inside job? What about people who merely believe that Cheney or the Mossad had advance knowledge and did nothing to stop 9/11? Is every “false flag” theory a conspiracy theory that renders a person unfit to be an LP candidate or officer?

    This new caucus isn’t only trying to recruit fellow skeptics into the LP — it’s trying to purge non-skeptics as being “unfit” candidates and officers of the LP.

  7. Libertarian Realist

    I’ve done a bit of research into the people involved with this caucus, and see nothing indicating they have special knowledge as to what’s accurate vs what isn’t. They seem to be people who just happen to have a pet peeve and want to impose their views on everyone else.

  8. Andy Craig Post author

    “”Medical fraud and quackery? Are people who believe in alternative health practices unfit to be LP candidates and officers? Some people think that vitamins and herbal supplements are quackery. Are they unfit to be LP candidates and officers?

    Conspiracy theories? Does that include people who think 9/11 was an inside job? What about people who merely believe that Cheney or the Mossad had advance knowledge and did nothing to stop 9/11? Is every “false flag” theory a conspiracy theory that renders a person unfit to be an LP candidate or officer?””

    If they conflate those things with libertarianism and present them as being the position of the L.P., then yes.

    “”This new caucus isn’t only trying to recruit fellow skeptics into the LP — it’s trying to purge non-skeptics as being “unfit” candidates and officers of the LP.””

    No. As an analogy: nobody objects to there being Libertarians who also faithful Catholics. But quite a lot of us would object if a candidate or officer of the party was going around saying that Transubstation and the Immaculate Conception are part of what the party is about, that it is part of our message.

    The purpose is indeed twofold, both opposition in some cases as well as promoting and recruiting in what we think to be a fertile overlap, but it is not with-us-or-against-us as you frame it. We are not making any demand that all Libertarians be skeptics, only that promoters of junk science and falsehoods not be given free reign to misrepresent the party.

    As for why an organized caucus: when it comes to certain issues, many of us find ourselves fighting the same battles repeatedly, in different states. We’d been discussing the possibility of putting together something more formal for it. This is just providing mutual support for those efforts, but it was already an existing tendency and disposition in the party. (As is its opposition).

    But, I don’t expect everybody to like it. If they were no opposition, there wouldn’t be any point. For those who think Libertarian candidates should be presenting such messages, that it doesn’t harm the party or drive away voters, we welcome the case to be made and the debate to be had, out in the open. But what it shouldn’t be, is Libertarians nominating a candidate or electing an officer only to find them making headlines and promoting positions for something our members did not sign up to support, and which isn’t in our platform.

  9. Pingback: IPR: Libertarian Skeptics Network: New L.P. caucus formed | American Third Party Report

  10. Libertarian Realist

    The arrogance that this group of people has decided they know what’s true and what isn’t is amazing. Since Andy mentioned the Catholic Church, why would you allow that to be acceptable when many Libertarians are atheists? Isn’t Catholic dogma near impossible for non Catholics to accept?

  11. Libertarian Realist

    Also, a better name for this group is Libertarian Gullible Caucus because you’re blindly believing what you’ve been told. The skeptics are the ones asking questions.

  12. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    If they conflate those things with libertarianism and present them as being the position of the L.P., then yes.

    Oftentimes unconventional and “irrational” beliefs do conflate with libertarianism.

    For instance, proponents of herbal supplements, unconventional cancer cures — or any number of unconventional medical beliefs — must fight the FDA or AMA for access to their treatments of choice. The FDA and AMA often label certain medical treatments as “quakery.” The libertarian position would be to fight FDA regulations and AMA-sponsored laws.

    As for “conspiracy theories” — governments often smear opponents of any “official version” of events as “conspiracists. I welcome Libertarian candidates who are not afraid to be labeled conspiracists, who are willing to challenge the government’s “official version” of events.

    It’s good to have outside-the-box thinking in the LP.

  13. Darcy G Richardson

    Just what the country needs. More self-appointed gatekeepers. That’s about the last thing one might have expected from those who claim to be libertarians.

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    Commenting to subscribe. The thread is already looking like great fun. I’ll be interested in whether the skeptics prove true to their stated mission (which would be great), or merely become a “we mustn’t say anything that might scare a housewife in Peoria” caucus (which would be par for the LP’s cargo cult caucuses’ course).

  15. Darcy G. Richardson

    If they’re really concerned about candidates who could “harm the party or drive away voters,” it’s fair to ask if this newly-organized caucus is actively opposing the U.S. Senate candidacy of delusional white nationalist Augustus Sol Invictus in Florida?

    We’ve witnessed some hand-wringing and flippant comments about him, but no concrete efforts to deny him the nomination.

    Actively thwarting such a candidacy — one that could potentially do tremendous damage to the party nationally — would seem to be a much better use of their time and energy.

    Just saying…

  16. Andy

    I like what Tom Woods said about those who call themselves “Skeptical Libertarians,” in that they are not really skeptical, they are state apologists who are most enraged by actual libertarians who question what the state says, as in they are enraged by actual skeptical libertarians.

    This group should be called Statist Libertarians, or maybe, Libertarians Who Parrot Government Propaganda And Who Attack Those Who Question What The Government Says.

    Declassified documents revealed that the CIA coined the term, “conspiracy theorist” to be used as a pejorative against those who question official government stories, and it was the CIA that injected this term into the mainstream media. Look up Operation Mockingbird, and you will see that the CIA has been in bed with the mainstream media for a long time.

    So anytime somebody tries to shut down debate, or discredit somebody by calling them a “conspiracy theorist,” keep in mind that they are repeating a CIA talking point.

    Reality is that people in government lie all the time. A conspiracy is when two or more people plan to commit a crime. Conspiracies happen all the time in government.

    The sinking of the Lusitania. Pearl Harbor. The Gulf of Tonkin. The JFK assassination. The sinking of the USS Liberty. Iran-Contra. The Gulf War. Ruby Ridge. Waco. The OKC bombing. 9/11. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Boston Bombing. Sandy Hook.

    These are just some of the things about which the US government has lied.

    Real skeptical libertarians are those who question what governments say. Real skeptical libertarians are like those in a group I founded called Libertarians for 911 Truth.

  17. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I am not a believer in any of the things primarily targeted by this caucus and whatever I might I wouldn’t conflate with libertarianism.

    But the witch hunt tone- no thanks. There is nothing in our SoP or founding docs etc that justify such a purge or telling people they are unfit. There are a few things to do that over but we just love expanding that list.

  18. Andy

    “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” Voltaire

    This is exactly what happened in regard to 9/11. Belief in the official government story about 9/11 led to millions of Americans going along with the unjust military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as an increase of the domestic police state. All of this based upon the government’s 9/11 lies.

    Funny how the official government story about 9/11 is a conspiracy theory, yet any who questions what the government says about 9/11 gets labeled as a “conspiracy theorist,” as if this is a bad thing.

  19. Thomas L. Knapp

    Yes, the official government story about 9/11 is a conspiracy theory, and there are problems with it.

    However, one of the defining characteristics of a theory is that it’s falsifiable. That is, there are conditions it must meet or be considered false.

    The “inside job” version of “9/11 Truth” isn’t a conspiracy theory because it’s not falsifiable. No evidence has ever been provided for it, and every time a piece of the stuff made up and presented as “evidence” for it is debunked, its promoters either just ignore the debunking and continue to pretend that they’ve got a theory (or a fact), or accuse the debunkers of being government agents, or back up a few steps and pretend that they’re just “questioning the official story” (and that anyone who “questions the official story” must support their story).

    Andy continually asserts that the government probably has agents planted in the LP to make it ineffectual. That he admits to having founded “Libertarians for 9/11 Truth” is at least as good a piece of “evidence” that he himself is such an agent as any piece of “evidence” he’s ever provided for the “inside job” hypothesis, which he claims defines anyone who doesn’t support it as a “fool.”

  20. Andy

    The notion that “talking about conspiracy theories” drives people away from the Libertarian Party is false. The type of people who are offended by questioning official government stories are people who the least likely to ever support the Libertarian Party anyway. These are people who are the most likely to be die hard Democrats and Republicans.

    I have been involved with the Libertarian Party for 19 1/2 years, and I cannot think of one person who left the party, or who said that they wanted to get involved with the party, but they did not, because some people in the party talked about conspiracy theories.

    People who are offended by “conspiracy theory” talk are just as likely to be offended by Libertarians saying that drugs should be legalized, or that the welfare state should be ended, or any other Libertarian stances.

    I find that among the general public, people who talk about “conspiracy theories” are more open minded, and are more likely to be leery of government power, and are more open to the Libertarian Party.

  21. Darcy G Richardson

    “Darcy, Does the Imperial Presence have an opponent?” – George Phillies

    Unfortunately, not, although dirty trickster Roger Stone has strongly hinted that he’s interested in seeking the party’s nomination.

  22. paulie

    Unfortunately, not, although dirty trickster Roger Stone has strongly hinted that he’s interested in seeking the party’s nomination.

    Speaking of which, copying yet again from a few past threads:


    Earlier we talked about (Invictus press secretary) Raquel Okyay being the hypothetical “missing link” between Stone and Invictus. A few days ago, I spoke with Ken Moellman who attended an LP Florida event. Invictus was there with his campaign manager. Ken did not remember the campaign manager’s name but did note that the man was a big Trump fan and a non-libertarian Republican. Okyay is also a Trump fan.

    So Invictus is surrounded by Trump fans as his campaign staff, and Stone is an advisor to and supporter of and decades long associate and friend of Trump. Stone also is known for decades of setting up dummy opposition to make himself and his clients seem less bad and thus more acceptable and electable by comparison, going back to at least high school.

    What ever happened to Mike Kane considering a run? There was also a rumor floated about a mystery other likely candidate to be announced “soon”, not Stone or Kane or Invictus, on one of the Florida LP facebook discussions, but I haven’t heard anything more about it since then.

  23. Caryn Ann Harlos

    FWIW I do not buy any of the current conspiracy theories. I qualified that some beliefs I have may be some opposed by the caucus only because I am religious. I don’t buy any of the other stuff such as 9/11, antivax, homeopathy etc.

    But I don’t believe in condemning people as unfit to be candidates or leaders if they are not violating our SoP.

    Refute their ideas. The purge mentality tends to be a fire that is never quenched.

  24. Andy Craig Post author

    @ Andy.

    Nobody said anything about trusting the government. That’s a strawman, cooked up by those who can’t prove their particular claims, and so tar everyone who doesn’t believe them as being either dupes or shills of The Conspiracy™. It is perfectly possible to be distrustful of the government, while also thinking the Alex Jones Fan Club is full of crap.

    You complain that you assume (correctly) that we oppose your usual list of everything-ever-was-a-false-flag-conspiracy. But making crap up and denying basic physics and documented history, and buying into any fictional story that makes the government the omnipotent omniscient bad guy responsible for any bad thing that ever happens… well, not only is that not a principled way to oppose the government, it is the least-effective way to “oppose” the government ever devised. If you could even call it opposing the government. since the real lessons of such fairy tales is not that government is bad, but just that the people currently running it are.

    Nor is the point to deny that real-world illegal conspiracies exist— of course they do, by definition, and they have next to nothing to do with so-called conspiracy theories. Conspiracists are about as good as identifying them before they are publicly revealed (by regular investigative journalists, historians, or whistleblowers), as pure random chance, which is to say not at all. So, yeah, you can point to X, Y, Z, bad secret government action in the past…. but that does bupkis to prove the *particular, individual* claims made about particular events. Which, even if you’re the die-hard most True Believer in whatever ‘theory’, still leaves the long list of ones you agree are nonsense. Defending conspiracism qua conspiracism is rather silly, because *nobody* believes in the whole litany of stories you can find out there. Rather, like the atheist said to the Christian, we’re not that different, the list of gods we don’t believe in is just one longer (or maybe in this case a dozen longer).

    But, as you noted, you have your group Libertarians for (so-called) “9/11 Truth.” Great, go for it. There’s a Libertarians for UFO Disclosure floating around out there too, and I’m sure there’s probably a Libertarians for David Ickes, as well. Maybe you can get the party to repeat its 2004 mistake of nominating a Troofer for President, though I thankfully doubt it. That same year, a guy who says the moon landings were faked was invited to speak at the national convention. We’ve had candidates talking about how they’ll fight the chemtrail menace if elected, and shut off the government’s weather-control machine, and reveal the “truth” about Roswell and how the CIA covers up alien abductions, and arrest vaccine manufacturers for “poisoning” people. There have been candidates and officers peddling snake oil and medical quackery, like “Dr.” Mercola’s snake oil, and then pointing to the existence of the FDA and its problems as if that somehow makes it “libertarian” for *us* to defraud the sick and dying. There was everybody’s favorite smurf, who drank too much colloidal silver before deciding his permanently-blue face be a good representative of the party. And, of course, there are the knee-jerk reactions that says every mass shooting or terrorist attack ever was planned and executed from D.C. (a claim that inevitably emerges before the bodies are even cold.) On the vaccine front, there have been those opposing new laws (great!) on the basis of ‘vaccines cause autism’ or ‘vaccines don’t really work’ — (simply untrue, and doubly ineffective because it is inviting the proponents of the laws to, quite easily, discredit their opposition as ignorant and delusional.)

    If you actually want the Libertarian Party to grow, to ever be more than the dead-end backwater of American politics, … then don’t take our serious and important positions about taxation and war and spending and regulation and size of government, and put it on stage next to “FEMA is spraying poisonous chemtrails, the Sandy Hook parents are liars, Bush did 9/11, the Fed are going invade Texas with Jade Helm, the CIA is in league with aliens, and Obama was born in Kenya.” And if you do, don’t be surprised when the party becomes better-known for its indulgence of the crazies, than for any semblance of libertarianism, and gets no more votes than the occasional trickle of random protest votes you can get just by putting a third name on the ballot.

    @08:57

    I would say yes, but also that the most objectionable part of Invictus (his racism), is thankfully not nearly as widespread of a problem in the LP. But, sure, pseudo-scientific racism would be the classic example of somebody first demanding you believe an absurdity, and then demanding you commit atrocities (/injustices) on that basis.

  25. Darcy G Richardson

    Hi Paulie,

    I think Mike Kane has ruled out a U.S. Senate candidacy and is running for the state legislature instead.

    I’m not sure who the “mystery” candidate might be — if he or she exists at all — but this sort of abstruseness leaves a somewhat open field for a lunatic like Invictus, at least for the moment.

  26. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Maybe you can get the party to repeat its 2004 mistake of nominating a Troofer for President”

    And maybe you can quit repeating the false claim that it did.

    Badnarik signed a petition requesting a real investigation, and questioned certain elements of the “official account” (as does almost anyone who’s bothered to study that account.”

    The “Troofers” (e.g. the evidenceless “inside job” advocates) do their best, when their backs are against the wall on their lack of evidence, to identify themselves with such people and vice versa to enhance their own credibility. But it doesn’t fly when they try it, nor does it fly when you try it.

  27. Andy Craig Post author

    Perhaps Badnarik got unfairly roped into it in the way your describe. I had recalled his advocacy being a good deal more explicit than that, but perhaps not. You are absolutely right, that is a tactic they use. But, I’d have to dig back into the archives to read more on that particular incident. I do know him signing that petition was the object of some fair amount of controversy.

  28. Darcy G Richardson

    “I would say yes, but also that the most objectionable part of Invictus (his racism), is thankfully not nearly as widespread of a problem in the LP. But, sure, pseudo-scientific racism would be the classic example of somebody first demanding you believe an absurdity, and then demanding you commit atrocities (/injustices) on that basis.”

    @ Andy Craig

    You’re vastly underestimating the damage he can do — and, in fact, is already doing to the LP brand.

  29. Andy Craig Post author

    @11:31

    I don’t see how you get that. You asked if we would oppose him, I said yes. Personally, I think he’s an utter disaster for the LP (though I also think/hope the worst is already behind us). I was just clarifying that, though we are of course anti-racist, that isn’t really our point. If there were substantial numbers of Libertarians who need to have it explained why nominating a white supremacist neo-fascist is a bad thing…. well at that point I doubt the party would be worth trying to save. Luckily that is far, far from the case.

    LSN also has no dog in the fight in battles over radical vs moderate, AnCap vs. minarchist, abolitionist vs. incrementalist, etc. I’m not an AnCap, but plenty of skeptics are, and plenty of woo-peddlers aren’t. Promoting junk science and false claims isn’t an ideological disagreement, it’s just wrong, and it’s wrong even if it’s being done in ostensible support of a good and correct libertarian position.

  30. Darcy G Richardson

    Moreover, the Florida race — one of the few open seats in the country — will be one of the most widely-watched U.S. Senate contests in the country next year. Imagine Invictus as the party’s nominee. The mainstream media will have a field day with his candidacy.

    Just saying…

  31. Darcy G Richardson

    My apologies, Andy. I thought you were downplaying or minimizing his potential to damage the party by stating that his racism was “thankfully not nearly as widespread of a problem in the LP.”

    Maybe so. But as Austin Cassidy stated earlier this week, defeating Invictus should be a major priority for the national party.

  32. Thomas L. Knapp

    “defeating Invictus should be a major priority for the national party.”

    Only if you think the “national party” violating its own bylaws is a good idea. I don’t.

    Invictus is a Florida matter. Florida will either deal with that matter or not. It’s none of national’s business.

  33. Darcy G Richardson

    Also, while acknowledging that I’m not privy to internal LPF politics, what makes you think or hope “the worst is already behind us?”

    At this point, Invictus is the only declared Libertarian candidate for the U.S. Senate.

  34. Darcy G Richardson

    Tom,

    Good point, but I wasn’t referring to the LNC, but Libertarians — as individuals — across the country rallying support for a candidate to oppose Invictus in the August 30th primary.

  35. Darcy G Richardson

    I could be wrong, but I have a feeling Libertarians will rue the day they didn’t step up to oppose Invictus…

  36. Chuck Moulton

    I’m a libertarian skeptic. I’m not a conspiracy theorist or an anti-vaxxer, anti-GMO, etc. I agree it is deeply destructive to the LP when candidates or officers try to paint anti-science, crazy theories as being libertarian.

    However, I’m not sure if “skeptic” is the best word for what you are describing. That term has been largely co-opted to mean “atheist”. I’m an atheist myself, so that’s not a problem for me. I suspect people may perceive libertarian skeptics to be anti-religion. Are they? I’m anti-religion myself, but the context of your earlier remarks doesn’t suggest that thrust.

    I also agree with some commenters that the caucus may seem to be purging dissenters, which is not the best approach.

    What do libertarian skeptics think about global warming? I myself am very skeptical of global warming alarmism. I think that makes me a skeptic who engages in actual science (look at data, seek falsifiable theories to learn), but many would claim I am a denier and anti-science because I don’t bow to a vote of an intergovernmental panel of self-interested politicians and scientists. All that said, I don’t think it’s the place of politicians to say whether global warming exists or not — that is not a libertarian position either way. On the other hand, considering economic policies regarding climate change can involve libertarian positioning.

  37. Jill Pyeatt

    I make no secret of asking questions about what happened on 9/11. There are some things about the story that need clarification. There are many questions that have been asked by the family members of the victims which haven’t been answered, and think that’s wrong. Calling someone a “troofer” for doing that shows an IQ of about 50, but, whatever. (likewise the idiotic “tin-foil hat” comments which, thankfully, haven’t appeared on this thread yet).

    I keep this separate from my Libertarian activities because I understand this bothers some fellow activists. As an anti-war activist, however, I think it’s crucial to continue asking these questions about why exactly our liberties are being removed. It’s impossible not to discuss 9/11 in discussing what’s happening in our world.

    I’ll also tell you that many people in this movement understand liberty far better than some “Libertarians.” The quality of understanding of true libertarianism among these open-minded individuals is refreshing. Many of them readily identify as libertarians.

    Why aren’t they active Libertarians? Because of rigid gullibility and statism such as that presented on this thread..

    Are you unaware that fully half of the people in this country wish we’d have a true investigation into what happened that day?

    It’s also wrong to throw question-askers into one category. Not everyone believes in Alex Jones (I don’t), or that every shooting event is a false-flag. However, why someone accepts the mainstream media telling us what happened within a few short hours, that directly conflicts with what multiple eye-witnesses have said, is beyond me. (I’m referring to my local event, the San Bernardino shootings).

    Arrogant under-thirties without appropriate “scientific background” deciding they know more than me after the hours and hours of independent research I’ve done is beyond laughable. Your caucus will not change my behavior at all. It just makes me think less of you.

  38. Jill Pyeatt

    Also, having the good fortune to appear in Art Olivier’s movie “Operation Terror”, and actually having my name appear in the credits I consider to be of my proudest life experiences.

  39. Andy

    Jill, I did not know that you were in Operation Terror. Cool!

    I have only seen the few clips of Operation Terror that were posted online. It does not look bad for a very low budget film. It would sure be great if the film could be re-made with a big Hollywood budget behind it, but I am not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

  40. Andy

    I research into this kind of stuff on a regular basis, and I do think that all of – or almost all of – the mass shooting events that have happened over the last several years have in fact been government concocted hoaxes and/or false flags. These events are being staged by the government so they can pass more gun control and mental screening laws.

    Remember, this is the same government that got caught engaging in Operation Fast And Furious, where they shipped guns to Mexican drug cartels so they could use mayhem they caused with the guns as an excuse to crack down on the 2nd amendment.

  41. David Colborne

    Names are tricky things. We (I’m in the group as well) wanted to come up with a name that described who we were, what we stood for, and what we wanted to accomplish at a glance. “Skeptic”, in the Skeptic community sense, was, shall we say, “close enough for government work” since that community comes the closest to sharing our philosophical perspective. To narrow this down further, we’re probably universally the second and third types of skeptics described here:

    http://www.skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/2015/12/30/three-kinds-skeptic/

    Now, what are we trying to accomplish? Well, if you notice, there are quite a few Nevadans in leadership positions in the caucus, and that’s no accident. As recently as 2007, the LP Nevada used to hold official “Loose Change” screenings, hosted by the Chair and others, as party events. That’s precisely the sort of thing we’re trying to prevent – we don’t mind LP members (or even leaders) hosting such events (well, I don’t – can’t speak for everyone), but we do mind them passing them off as “official” LP events. More than a few Nevadans showed up to such events during the height of Ron Paul’s popularity and concluded, based on the evidence presented before them, that the LP Nevada was full of a bunch of crazy conspiracy theorists that were far more interested in fighting off the Illuminati or peddling their woo than taking meaningful political action against the State. We know this because current members, members who were skeptical when we started reaching out to them after a series of rather heated leadership changes, have told us as much.

    To prevent such occurrences in the future, we’re taking collective, coordinated action. We’re identifying people we want to see on the ballot and in LP leadership positions and, just as importantly, finding people we don’t want to see in such places (like Invictus). Then we’re going to do what everyone else in politics does (even in the LP – take the LP Radical Caucus, for example) – spread the word about the people we like and don’t like, make a case to like-minded supporters to support those we like and withhold support from those we don’t, and let the chips fall where they may.

  42. Andy

    So “Libertarian Skeptics” are trying to prevent people from showing films like Loose Change. Well that is just horrible that Loose Change was shown at an LP event. Can’t have anyone watching films that question official government stories. If we do that, some people might start questioning what the government says, and we can’t have that at an LP meeting! Oh, horror!

    I remember past LP conventions where “dangerous films” like Waco: The Rules Of Engagement, and Aaron Russo’s America: From Freedom To Fascism were shown.

    Maybe you “Libertarian Skeptics” should hold a conspiracy film burning rally, like the Nazis held book burning rallies.

  43. Andy Craig Post author

    “I keep this separate from my Libertarian activities”

    Then don’t be so arrogant, to use a word you seem inordinately fond of, as to think this is about you.

    “”Arrogant under-thirties without appropriate “scientific background” deciding they know more than me is beyond laughable.””

    Laughably incorrect, sure. Perhaps a laughable lack of reading comprehension on top of it.

    But, if you want to toss out ridiculous and inaccurate insults based on age, go for it. If you know the ages of the other eight people mentioned in the release, you know more about their ages than I would ever bothered to find out, since I genuinely don’t care. I know for a fact not all of them are in their 20s, though, as if that were somehow a bad thing anyway. ‘Never trust anybody under 30’ is an odd maxim for a supposed Libertarian, much less one who wants the party to have any sort of future.

    “”Your caucus will not change my behavior at all.””

    I don’t recall us asking you to. That you instantly assume this must be targeted at you in particular, speaks volumes, but says nothing at all about our goals or motives.

    “”It just makes me think less of you.””

    And your response to it makes me think less of you, but I don’t expect you to care about that any more than I do about your personal opinion of me. You seem to want to make this into some kind of personality feud. It isn’t. If such silly ad-hominem is all you have to offer, knock yourself out. But don’t expect us to pay any heed to it.

  44. Andy

    Jill’s husband Allan is a member of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, but I suppose that according to the so called “Libertarian Skeptics,” Allan is just some crazy idiot “Troofer” who does not know about which he speaks and who bases nothing that he says on science.

  45. Andy Craig Post author

    @14:18

    Well put. And yes, “Skeptics” is an imperfect name. We bounced around a lot of different options, but ultimately it seemed the most accurate and the one whose intent was easiest to understand. And though people have focused on the negative, you’re entirely correct that it’s about the positive, too. About bringing into the party (in some cases, back into the party) the many libertarians who are kept away by our indulgence (and from some quarters, promotion and endorsement) of woo-woo and fanatical conspiracism. Nothing could send a louder message that not only we not serious about every trying to win an election, or effect any real change, we’re aren’t even serious about advocating libertarianism.

    Funny that our self-styled opposition adopted the “Realist” label, because that was another one we considered. Also Rationalist. Both also had their imperfections. But of course, I don’t expect them to concede any label we would use for ourselves as accurate, any more than I accept “Truth” as a correct label for 9/11 myths and fiction, or that “theories” are the correct term to describe conspiracist story-telling.

  46. Andy

    Remember not that long ago the Nevada State Chair threw a hissy fit about a press release from LP National that called for the CIA to be abolished, which is a perfectly Libertarian position, and was in fact a part of the LP National platform at one time.

    I really question how libertarian a person is who attacks other Libertarians for saying that the CIA should be shut down.

  47. Jill Pyeatt

    Andy, I’m surprised you haven’t seen “Operation Terror”. It’s a surprisingly well-done and interesting film. Alan and I only worked as unpaid extras, and didn’t have speaking parts. He and I are the first two people in the queue of being taken off the plane into our deaths. I ended up being used in a trailer.

  48. steve m

    I have inside knowledge that some members of the Alaskan Libertarian Party are in favor of Global Warming.

  49. Jason Weinman

    “Anyone who isn’t an anti-vax, anti-GMO, 9/11 Truther is a statist, and must be purged. Also, they’re obviously on a “witch hunt.”

    Cry bullying at its finest.

  50. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I am pro-vax, fine with GMOs, and don’t buy a 9/11 conspiracy theory. And yes, I see it as a witch hunt of people I don’t agree with.

  51. Andy Craig Post author

    @Caryn

    I think ‘witch hunt’ is a rather strong accusation against an organization that has existed for less than 24 hours and has not, as of yet, criticized any particular individual. Nor is the sentiment here a one-way street. As you can see in this thread, the mere announcement of the existence of Libertarians who don’t believe in conspiracism and psuedoscience, has itself provoked (long-repeated) complaints that anybody who doesn’t promote such things isn’t Libertarian, or at least isn’t as much of a Libertarian, and that such people should not even be recruited into the party, or encouraged to vote Libertarian, and those who are in the party should be treated as unwelcome dupes or shills if they complain that’s not what they signed up for nor what is contained in our platform.

    That sounds a lot more “witch hunt” like than anything we have proposed or are planning.

    We’re not asking that the party promote the philosophy of scientific skepticism per se, or go out there actively condemning the latest conspiracy tale of the month…. we want the Libertarian Party as such to be nothing more nor less than libertarian. We just want to keep the party focused on promoting our real-world policy positions and libertarian principles, and not engage in self-harm by discrediting itself with nonsense. A problem which has been frustratingly perennial, in many state parties and at times with the national party, and which drives many good libertarians away from the LP. So, we’re organizing to give voice to our common concerns, to not be ignored and written-off exactly like some in this thread would have the party do. No different than the Radical Caucus, or Outright Libertarians, etc.

  52. Jill Pyeatt

    Marc Montoni said: ” Anything involving Weinman has got to be a joke.”

    I agree. I’m sure I wouldn’t have reacted so strongly if Weinman hadn’t been involved.

  53. georgephillies

    Readers may readily search out a number of occasions on which I have said that Montoni has good ideas, for example about Convention Host Committees. According to Montoni, this Montoni dude must therefore be somehow quackery. Whatever. But he is still right about host committees. It is just that he is in part wrong about our national party in 1996-2002.

    Weinman had exposure to the truther characters who were wandering around his state party, and presumably noted that they were not a good thing.

  54. Mike K

    This thread is a joke. Without naming names, one of the founders of this caucus talks about Libertarians winning partisan races… Funny that in their mission statement they state:

    “We oppose pseudo-science, scare tactics, pop-culture conspiracy theories, medical fraud and quackery, scam artists, charlatans, false claims, and all other sorts of flim-flam and fakery, as being consistent with neither the purpose of, nor our desired future for, the Libertarian Party.”

  55. Mike K

    As for me, I’m spearheading a ballot initiative to allow Uber to operate here. Something that will actually bring freedom to 1000’s of people. I may also run a paper candidacy… or more. But haven’t decided yet. Nothing for U.S. Senate.

  56. Marc Allan

    You’ve got a conspiracy theory? Great. Stay vigilant.
    You don’t believe the conspiracy theory? Great. Stay skeptical.
    You don’t believe you’ve heard the whole story? Great. Stay engaged.
    Some people seem to think it is more consistent to be authoritarian about Libertarianism.
    I think it is more consistent to be libertarian about Libertarianism.
    “My whole take on Libertarianism is that I don’t know what is best for other people.”
    — Penn Jillette

  57. Ariostos

    I don’t believe the LSN is conducting some sort of witch hunt here as some suggest, but rather is attempting to shift influence within the Libertarian Party away from those who may hold views they oppose to those whose views they support, akin to a softer version of Roosevelt’s attempts to turn out his Party’s opponents in ’38. Then again that effort by and large fell flat.

  58. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Andy Craig: the mere announcement of the existence of Libertarians who don’t believe in conspiracism and psuedoscience, has itself provoked (long-repeated) complaints that anybody who doesn’t promote such things … should not even be recruited into the party, or encouraged to vote Libertarian,

    Straw man. Nobody said any such thing. Nobody said that anyone should be discouraged from voting Libertarian or being recruited into the LP.

    We just want to keep the party focused on promoting our real-world policy positions and libertarian principles, and not engage in self-harm by discrediting itself with nonsense.

    “Our” real-world policy positions? Whose? Yours? What “real-world policy positions” the LP should take depends on your definition of “nonsense.”

    Who decides what’s nonsense? I think “man-made climate change” is nonsense. I think to deny that Israel had advance knowledge of 9/11 is nonsense: http://www.amazon.com/Terror-Enigma-11-Israeli-Connection/dp/0595296823/

    So to my mind, to avoid “self-harm by discrediting itself with nonsense,” the LP must oppose policies aimed at mitigating climate change, and condemn Israel for not warning the U.S. about 9/11.

    If you disagree, then to my mind, you are discrediting yourself with nonsense.

  59. langa

    I have no problem whatsoever with the general concept of skepticism. On the contrary, I think it’s a very healthy attitude to have.

    On the other hand, I’m not a big fan of people who proclaim themselves skeptics, but display absolutely zero skepticism with regard to anything that has the Establishment’s official seal of approval, such as the “scientific consensus” regarding climate change, vaccines, and so forth.

  60. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy,

    ==I think ‘witch hunt’ is a rather strong accusation against an organization that has existed for less than 24 hours and has not, as of yet, criticized any particular individual. ==

    I take people at their word. The group says it intends on driving out people from positions who believe certain things that are not contrary to our SoP thus I think it is going overboard. And I agree with your scepticism on all those things. If you had omitted that statement – I would be fine. I support a healthy network of caucuses- this reads too much Iike a purge on secondary issues

  61. georgephillies

    Langa, Root, Your invocation of the American superstition that your opinion is as meritorious as everyone else’s, without regard to what your opinion is, is simply wrong.

    Caryn: Your suggestion that the statement of principles tells you everything is ludicrous.

    To take one issue, antivaxxers are not harmless. They get people killed just as certainly as if they were to wander about shooting up randomly chosen buildings.

    Tom Knapp has spent adequate time dissecting the more bizarre claims of the 911 folks and need not be repeated.

  62. georgephillies

    For example, the sincerely held belief that the earth is flat, because the round earth came from some government, is not contrary to the statement of principles. However, people who think it is therefore OK to put such people in leadership should be separated from leadership positions themselves, because they are not real bright.

  63. langa

    Your invocation of the American superstition that your opinion is as meritorious as everyone else’s, without regard to what your opinion is, is simply wrong.

    Your reading comprehension is simply terrible. I said nothing whatsoever about opinions, let alone the respective merits of differing opinions.

    I simply pointed out that if you are going to champion the virtues of skepticism, then you should actually practice what you preach, and do so consistently. Rigorously scrutinizing some claims, while uncritically accepting others, does not make you a skeptic. It just makes you a hypocrite.

  64. Marc Allan Feldman

    @georgephillies 0615 writes: ” antivaxxers are not harmless. They get people killed just as certainly as if they were to wander about shooting up randomly chosen buildings.”

    Unscientific, irresponsible demogoguery.

    There are several purposes to vaccination programs. The most important public health issue is to increase the level of immunity in the population to prevent epidemics. That effect is maximized at 80-92% of the population, depending on aspects of the population and the disease. Greater levels of vaccination provide no additional benefit to public health. There will always be some percentage of the populaton who cannot be immunized due to health issues, or a lack of response to the vaccine. Adding some level of people who are philosophically opposed to vaccination adds no stastically significant risk.

    On the other hand, as a physician with training in public health, in order to assess the risks and benefits of vaccines over long periods of time, it is very helpful to have an unvaccinated control group.

    To suggest that being unvaccinated is like “shooting up randomly chosen buildings” is irresponsible. If there is a child with a mild immune deficiency who cannot be vaccinated, should that child be allowed to be “shooting up” playgrounds, schools, and movie theaters? Every day of life entails a small risk of death, a risk that eventually increases to 100%. It is important to weigh real risks and benefits in making public health decisions. Fear mongering is unacceptable.

  65. Thomas L. Knapp

    “To take one issue, antivaxxers are not harmless. They get people killed just as certainly as if they were to wander about shooting up randomly chosen buildings.”

    And so do pro-vaxxers.

    An informed consent disclosure for a child vaccination would go something like this:

    a) If you do not vaccinate your child for X, there is a small chance that at some unknown point in the future, the child will contract X, and a small chance that the child will spread X to others, and a small chance that your child or others will die from X.

    b) If you do vaccinate your child for X, there is a small chance that at some point between 30 seconds and 72 hours in the future, your child will suffer a harmful and possibly fatal reaction to the vaccine.

    Pro-vaxxers claim the authority to impose choice (b) on the parent with little or no responsibility or liability assigned to themselves should their imposition result in harm or death to the child.

    Anti-vaxxers believe that parents should be free to assess the risks themselves and choose between (a) and (b), quite possibly with some responsibility and liability assigned to themselves should they choose incorrectly.

    Or, to put it differently, pro-vaxxers are authoritarians and anti-vaxxers are libertarians. Which is not the same thing as saying that pro-vaxxers are wrong and anti-vaxxers are right.

  66. Andy Craig Post author

    “Instead of trying to silence or ignore the crazies in our midst, we ought to confront them and expose the lunatic fringe for what they really are: peddlers of fear, falsehood, and paranoia, just like the politicians they claim to oppose. We cannot sit passively next to the people in tinfoil hats screaming about chemtrails and FEMA camps and still expect to be listened to when we try to speak about our real concerns on foreign policy or personal liberty.”

    http://blog.skepticallibertarian.com/2012/06/29/why-we-oppose-conspiracy-theories/

    That’s what it about. There is no big-tent neutrality here. Either the LP promotes that sort of thing or it promotes liberty. Either the LP lets itself be held back by those whose advocacy has nothing to do with liberty, and everything to do with being attracted to the marginal fringes, or it doesn’t. It’s two mutually exclusive options. There is no “well let’s just have both”— and if Libertarian candidates and officers want to promote such views, that are opposed and rejected by many libertarians, as if they were Libertarian Party positions, then they shouldn’t whine that it’s unfair they face criticism from within the party for it.

    This is politics, you’re running for public office, voluntarily making yourself a public figure: you aren’t entitled to be shielded from complaints, nor are you entitled to the unquestioning support of every Libertarian. And if they continue regardless, and refuse, those candidates shouldn’t expect to get votes from either many libertarians, or the general electorate (and indeed they rarely do, usually underperforming even the expected baseline LP vote).

    @6:07 Caryn

    “”The group says it intends on driving out people from positions who believe certain things that are not contrary to our SoP thus I think it is going overboard””

    That is not what it says. It says that we oppose as unfit people who *misrepresent* the party by *conflating* those beliefs with libertarianism and presenting them *as if* they were the position of the Libertarian Party. In other words, it’s much narrower than what you are objecting to.

    Folks can believe whatever you want, I genuinely don’t care. But if you go around telling people the Libertarian Party is *for* conspiracism and psuedo-science, then yes, we will oppose that, and say such people are unfit to represent the party. Is that a witch hunt, or is it just insisting the SoP & platform you hold so dear not be lied about by those in the position of upholding it? Do you consider it a “witch-hunt” when Outright opposes homophobes in the party, or when the Radical Caucus speaks up against its opponents? Do you not think it is part of their purpose to do so?

    @6:18 George Phillies

    I would go even further than that hypothetical, and posit a “Libertarian” candidate who pledges to reveal “the Truth” about the government conspiracy covering up the Flat Earth. Are we still not allowed to object? After all, the platform/SoP doesn’t *condemn* flat-earth!

    Nobody really disagrees with the premise that the line has to be drawn. Nobody really thinks the party should nominate people who ramble about shape-shifting reptilians, or who think the Global Jewish Conspiracy is kidnapping Christian children to drink their blood. Everybody draws the line *somewhere* — so it’s hard to take seriously complaints that the line shouldn’t be drawn at all. We’re just discussing where that line should be drawn, and our answer is that the Libertarian Party shouldn’t be in the business of spreading fear, paranoia, and falsehoods at all, ever.

    At the very least, it is not an illegitimate debate to have in the party.

  67. Andy Craig Post author

    There is no general “vaccine mandate” in the United States, and it’s pretty dubious that one would ever be upheld even if it was somehow passed. Most of this “debate” centers around a hypothetical law that is 100% fictional.

    What there is, is a condition of attending government schools. Which granted, is not an exactly a free choice what with the taxation-funding involved, but even if it is an unfairly weighted choice, it is a choice, and one that almost all private schools would (and do) also adopt as policy. You can keep you kid unvaccinated all you like— you just can’t then send them into a school environment that is responsible for protecting the other children present. It is no different than saying your kid has to have a backpack and uniform and school supplies and a lunch. If you reject those things, fine. You have the constitutional right to not send your children to public schools, and instead make other arrangements for their education.

    But, policy debate aside, the key point is that whatever your position is, it should be supported by facts and evidence, not myths and fearmongering. You can oppose any particular government law or policy, on both rights-based and utilitarian grounds, without resorting to easily debunked lies. That’s neither principled, nor effective. You can oppose whatever law or policy regarding vaccination, without “Vaccines cause autism!” “Vaccines are poison!” “Vaccines don’t work!” etc.

    @8:58

    The problem there, and why that wouldn’t fly as informed consent, is that you are presenting the two as equally likely. As if it was flipping a coin between a) and b). They’re not. A serious vaccine complication is far, far less likely, and that is an extremely relevant fact to know. Which is indeed what the doctors will tell anybody who asks.

  68. Caryn Ann Harlos

    George,

    I never said it contained *everything* – it does contain the meager items to claim essentials on. And I am glad there are meager foundational items.

    == That is not what it says. It says that we oppose as unfit people who *misrepresent* the party by *conflating* those beliefs with libertarianism and presenting them *as if* they were the position of the Libertarian Party. In other words, it’s much narrower than what you are objecting to.===

    And I have seen no one of note do thus narrow thing. It appears your definition of conflation is so broad it is a witch hunt. Because any advocacy – it seems to me for you – is conflation.

    ===Folks can believe whatever you want, I genuinely don’t care. But if you go around telling people the Libertarian Party is *for* conspiracism and psuedo-science, then yes, we will oppose that, and say such people are unfit to represent the party.===

    I have not seen this happen to be such an alarm. I have seen Libertarian advocates of such things but they can’t point to anything that says one must believe this and you can’t either that they mustn’t – to be candidates or leaders.

    If their ideas are bad- it has nothing to do with some Libertarian Party conflation. Making this about the Party concerns me. And I agree with your science positions!

    == Is that a witch hunt, or is it just insisting the SoP & platform you hold so dear not be lied about by those in the position of upholding it?===

    Where do they lie about it? Show me and you have a staunch ally.

    ===Do you consider it a “witch-hunt” when Outright opposes homophobes in the party, ==

    That is the best point you have made- though I haven’t seen Outright do such a thing. I haven’t seen many bigots in the Party either but I would say they have a stronger stance as our Platform speaks to this. But fair point.

    ===
    or when the Radical Caucus speaks up against its opponents?===

    The LPRC doesn’t call for people to be unfit entirely if they hold to the SoP. We just prefer ones who represent us better. We call for alliances with those who are more moderate wherever possible. If we got to the point we didn’t, I wouldn’t be involved. I am not interested in Party Purges over non-essential things.

  69. Thomas L. Knapp

    Andy,

    I agree, there is no general vaccine mandate. Nor should there be.

    And I agree, if you don’t want to vaccinate your kids, fine, don’t send them to government schools.

    You do seem to have the risk assessment backward, though. In a society with a high level of general vaccine acceptance, the chances of death from reaction GREATLY outpace the chances of death from the disease.

  70. Andy Craig Post author

    “”And I have seen no one of note do thus narrow thing. It appears your definition of conflation is so broad it is a witch hunt. Because any advocacy – it seems to me for you – is conflation.””

    You have impressive insight into the things we have not done yet. I’d ask that you wait and see what standard we apply, before complaining that it is too broad.

    “”I have not seen this happen to be such an alarm.””

    Many of us have. That’s what brought us together.

    “”I have seen Libertarian advocates of such things but they can’t point to anything that says one must believe this and you can’t either that they mustn’t – to be candidates or leaders.””

    Well, I have. I don’t know what else to say about it. I’ve seen ticket-topping candidates say we’re only interested in running 9/11 Truthers for Congress in a given state, and quoted in newspapers saying the LP is for 9/11 CTs. As noted above, others have seen their state party promoting screenings of “Loose Change.” We’ve seen candidates pledge to fight the chemtrail menace and pledge to reveal the truth about UFOs and arrest vaccine manufacturers for “poisoning” people. There have been candidates who jumped in on the “Jade Helm” hysteria. There have been candidates who have insulted and belittled not just other Libertarians who don’t share their opinions, but also actual voters! In 2008, the national party literally had the Face-On-Mars guy speak at the national convention about how NASA has been covering up aliens! That’s just a small sampling.

    All of these things and more are real things that have happened, and they really do negatively affect the reputation of the party. As an example:

    http://www.dailybulldog.com/db/opinion/politics-other-mistakes-return-of-the-mothership/

  71. NewFederalist

    Let’s start up a Libertarian Cynics Network. I’m skeptical that it will work but…

  72. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Andy Craig: you’re running for public office, voluntarily making yourself a public figure: you aren’t entitled to be shielded from complaints, nor are you entitled to the unquestioning support of every Libertarian.

    Argue with yourself often?

    Once again, you’re setting up your own straw men, then knocking them down.

    Nobody ever said that any Libertarian should be “shielded from complaints” or that they were “entitled to the unquestioning support of every Libertarian.

    Nobody even came close to saying that.

    You set up a caucus, then defend it against arguments that nobody ever made. Yes, I know. It’s easier to “win” an argument when you can script both sides of that argument.

  73. F the Skeptics Caucus/distraction?

    “We oppose those who conflate these things with libertarianism, as unfit to be candidates or officers of the Libertarian Party.”

    To that I say – Who are they to decide if I run or not, I decide, they can go F themselves. Also Jason Weinyman from NV thinks he knows whose best to run and he thinks we shouldn’t run candidates unless he thinks they can win. Jason can go f himself. I rather start up a Libertarian Skeptics can go F themselves club. Do these clowns really have time for this crap right in the middle of election season or are they just wasting precious time with this lame distraction. Monday Jan. 3rd Congressional and Senatorial candidates in California need to get down to the elections office and register to be on the ballot in 2016. THAT’s more important than the this new Skeptic/distraction. Also the SoCal Libertarian regional conference will stream live on Jan 23rd at http://www.LPinfoNOW.com F these clowns who think they know who should run.

  74. Andy Craig Post author

    @RTAT

    If you had actually read the post I was responding to, instead of editing out the one line you decided you wanted to attack, you would have seen that I was responding to somebody saying that *only* a supposed violation of the Statement of Principles (not even the platform) should be sufficient cause to withdraw support from a Libertarian candidate or would-be officer. That objecting on any other basis, shouldn’t be done.

    My entire point, was that nobody actually believes that.

  75. Lance Beverley

    Why so up in arms? This club will be forgotten/abandoned by next week. Just let it die.

  76. Andy Craig Post author

    “”Who are they to decide if I run or not””

    Nobody is saying you can’t.

    “” I decide, they can go F themselves. “”

    You decide whether or not to run. The party decides whether or not to nominate, endorse, or support your run.

    “” Jason can go f himself.””

    I neither know nor care what your beef with him is, particularly not since you attempt to air it from behind a contrived pseudonym.

    “”I rather start up a Libertarian Skeptics can go F themselves club””

    Be my guest.

    “”Do these clowns really have time for this crap right in the middle of election season or are they just wasting precious time with this lame distraction. “”

    Glad to know you’re so concerned about how other people spend their time, and what other people find worthwhile.

    “”Monday Jan. 3rd Congressional and Senatorial candidates in California need to get down to the elections office and register to be on the ballot in 2016. “”

    So?

    “”THAT’s more important than the this new Skeptic/distraction. “”

    And yet here you are.

    “”Also the SoCal Libertarian regional conference will stream live on Jan 23rd at http://www.LPinfoNOW.com“”

    Good to know. Not particularly relevant, but good to know.

    “”F these clowns who think they know who should run.””

    I know, how presumptuous of people to decide who they’re going to support. Because true libertarians must be nihilists, I guess? I hope you’re not planning on casting a vote in Orlando, since you think it so awful for Libertarians to tell anybody they “can’t run.” (i.e. won’t get our support).

  77. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy,

    ==You have impressive insight into the things we have not done yet. I’d ask that you wait and see what standard we apply, before complaining that it is too broad.==

    I think I can “complain” about how it appears to me considering this is a press release implicitly inviting public comment, and as one who happens to agree with you on the scientific claims. Thus I am somewhat of a natural ally, I would hope you would care how it appears.

    ==Many of us have. That’s what brought us together.==

    I am new, okay. But in my short 15 months, I have immersed myself in LP culture. And I haven’t seen it. I have seen Libertarians, certainly, that believe some alarming things. But not conflation.

    I will wait and see. Thank you for hearing me out with respect.

  78. Andy

    This group is complete bullshit. There is no problem in the LP with people talking about “conspiracy theories” or anything like that. Even with people like myself, it is not like this is all we talk about, not even close. I have been in the LP for 19 1/2 years, and I am not aware of one person who quit, or who did not join, the LP because some people in the party talked about “conspiracy theories”.

    The comment somebody made above about Ron Paul supporters not getting involved with the LP because of some LP members talking about “conspiracy theories” is also complete bull. I was heavily involved in the Ron Paul r3VOLution, and I attended multiple Ron Paul Meet Ups, Campaign for Liberty meeting, Young Americans for Liberty meetings, Ron Paul speeches, and End The Fed rallies, In 10 states (Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, Illinois, Arkansas, North Dakota, Arizona, and California), and I can assure everyone that the comments made above are bullshit.

    These people are inventing a problem where a problem does not exist. They are trying to control discussion and silence people who say things with which they disagree. This has got absolutely nothing to do with growing the LP or making the LP more successful, and if anything, their agenda will have the opposite effect.

  79. Andy Craig Post author

    “”I am not aware of one person who quit, or who did not join, the LP because some people in the party talked about “conspiracy theories”.””

    Then your experience is not as comprehensive or representative as you think.

    “”This group is complete bullshit.””

    Uh-huh. How dare people who disagree with you about something form a group!

    “”They are trying to control discussion and silence people who say things with which they disagree””

    Speaking of bullshit…..

  80. Andy Craig Post author

    @Caryn

    “”Thank you for hearing me out with respect.””

    Always. I’m honestly rather amused by those in thread who take it so personally, as if we’d put out a press release insulting their mother. My point, was that we have not actually highlighted any of the particular worst examples as of yet. When we do (and you’ll know about it), we will have an internal process with my thumb firmly on the side of the scale against calling anybody out, unless it is an example that strictly qualifies as promoting woo *as if was the Libertarian position*. I have no regards for a “witch hunt” or “purge” or even that all Libertarians be skeptics.

    But…. some particular candidate or officer doesn’t like that we call them out and bring attention to them embarrassing the party? Tough cookies.

    “”I am new, okay. But in my short 15 months, I have immersed myself in LP culture. And I haven’t seen it. I have seen Libertarians, certainly, that believe some alarming things. But not conflation.””

    I think you can see it right here in this thread, but that aside I assure you there are plenty out there insisting that [fill-in-the-blank woo] is demanded by Libertarian principles. Often by means of “transparency” by which they mean demanding the government produce evidence of their personal fantasy, and that when the government refuses it’s evidence that it’s a “transparency” problem. e.g. “Why won’t the government admit THE TRUTH about the secret treaty Eisenhower made to allow for alien abductions?!?!” It’s just another form of the ‘I’m just asking questions!’ fallacy.

    There are candidates (and officers) out there saying ‘Libertarian principles’ compel their opposition to [whatever fictional nonsense]— those are all too plenty. They absolutely do exist, as do the voters and libertarians they drive away. I’ve seen it happen, and so have the rest of us. This didn’t just come out of nowhere because we decided we wanted to pick a good fight. This is far, far, far from a new complaint about the L.P.

  81. paulie

    As for me, I’m spearheading a ballot initiative to allow Uber to operate here. Something that will actually bring freedom to 1000’s of people.

    I’d be interested in learning more details about that.

    I may also run a paper candidacy… or more. But haven’t decided yet. Nothing for U.S. Senate.

    Very unfortunate on the second part. We need to have someone willing to run for that. The money can be raised after announcing. Invictus doesn’t have his money together yet either as far as I know, and may never get it, but that’s not stopping him. Can you recruit a candidate if you won’t do it yourself? Letters, calls and emails to see who would be willing to run?

  82. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Andy,

    == we will have an internal process with my thumb firmly on the side of the scale against calling anybody out,==

    I trust you so that is very good to hear.

  83. trying again

    To avoid confusion, this group should consider renaming themsevles the Gullible Statist Dipshit Assholes Caucus.

  84. Andy

    The name for this group suggested by trying again would certainly be more honest and accurate.

  85. langa

    In all seriousness, I would argue that the most accurate name for this group would be something like the “Libertarian Pseudo-Skeptic Network”, since what they appear to be advocating is not true skepticism, but rather, some sort of intellectual gatekeeping role.

    True skeptics (who are, by the way, quite rare) are characterized by their penchant for critically examining all claims, not just those that are considered outside the mainstream. They rigorously scrutinize all claims, not just those that challenge conventional wisdom.

    True skeptics do not uncritically accept some ideas as “obviously” correct, while automatically rejecting other ideas as “obviously” wrong. Instead, they try to evaluate all ideas on the basis of facts, evidence, logic, and so forth, without regard to public opinion.

    Note: I am not saying that the process I just described is necessarily the best approach to take. I am merely saying that it is, in fact, the approach taken by actual skeptics, and thus, if this new group chooses to take a different approach, they should also choose a different name.

  86. Andy

    The name for the group suggested by langa is good as well, but I still prefer the suggested name from trying again.

  87. Stop these Nimrods

    Hello Everyone,

    I am starting the “ANYTHING GOES and F the anyone who is a Libertarian skeptics club.” Jason Winnyman and Andy Craig are trying to start up an inside caucus of a holes. Nice try Andy but we ain’t buyin it. Vote for the NEW CLUB, the “Anything goes club”. We consist of everyone who thinks Jason and Andy are f heads. Jason doesn’t believe in putting candidates on the ballot he doesn’t approve of and this club looks like an extension of his and Andy’s SICK imagination to influence the party. Sorry Andy but you can put your bs on Craigslist. OH btw, these are the same clowns who support the FOR PROFIT PRISON SYSTEM spokeswhore Gary Johnson.

  88. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Andy: “”This group is complete bullshit.””

    Andy Craig: Uh-huh. How dare people who disagree with you about something form a group!

    More straw men.

    Yet again, Andy Craig is putting words into his opponent’s mouth, rather than argue against what was actually said.

    Andy did not say “how dare” you form this group, which would imply that you shouldn’t be able to do so. He merely said that your group was bullshit. Which it is.

  89. Andy Craig Post author

    I am not, to my knowledge, any relation of Craig Newmark (nor Doug Craig of GA nor Kevin Craig of MO nor Andy Craig of OK nor Scottish Rugby player Andy Craig, just for clarification while we’re on the subject).

    But, any of the above are more than welcome to support our efforts if they feel so inclined.

  90. Andy Craig Post author

    @RTAA

    Well, not surprisingly, I think his and your whining about it is bullshit.

    Gee, wasn’t that productive and insightful?

  91. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    I think Thomas Knapp touched on the truth of this Skeptic’s Caucus. It’s yet another manifestation of Cargo Cult Libertarians. The return of the Reform Caucus under a different name.

    Yet another creation of those libertarians who are ashamed of the more “extreme” elements within the party. They want a “respectable” LP. An LP that isn’t “scary.” An LP that is well within the mainstream. That will allow them to rub elbows with Republicans and be invited to major political functions. An LP that emphasizes “safe” issues that “most Americans can agree upon.”

  92. Andy Craig Post author

    Weren’t you just complaining about “putting words in [somebody else’s] mouth” and attacking “strawmen”?

    As for “extreme” elements, that of course has nothing to do with this. Plenty of skeptics are radical AnCaps, and plenty of woo-peddlers are not. I’m not one of them, but I have no problem with radicals or purists or AnCaps per se, or however else you want to put it.

    But, to get to the gist of your implicit accusation: you’re damn straight we care about the Libertarian Party not being content to sit at <1% forever, a perpetual circle of self-congratulation for how much better we are than the other 99.5% of the nation. If you take it is a point of pride that you think most Americans would never vote Libertarian, then what you want is not a political party. It's a supper club. That you hurl out 'These people just want to win elections and get more votes!' as if that was a bad thing….. well, I think that speaks volumes.

    As for being ashamed, those who are not ashamed of their actions, aren’t afraid to comment under their real name.
    Just sayin’.

  93. Andy

    Root’s Teeth, in other word, their goal for a “safe” LP is also a goal for an ineffective LP, whether they realize it or not.

  94. Jill Pyeatt

    As far as I know, Roots Teeth Are Awesome has always commented here under that name. Perhaps it it his real name.

    His comments here are always lucid and appropriate. That’s more important to me than whatever is on his birth certificate.

  95. Andy Craig Post author

    And I don’t mind if people choose to do that as regular commenters, for whatever reason they have in mind.

    However, if they’re going to hide behind it to accuse others of being “ashamed” of their publicly stated actions and political affiliations, to which our actual real-world identities are signed, then I’m going to point out the hypocrisy of that.

  96. langa

    As for being ashamed, those who are not ashamed of their actions, aren’t afraid to comment under their real name.

    There’s this little concept called “privacy” — maybe you’ve heard of it?

    Or maybe you wouldn’t mind having cameras installed in every room of your house, with the feed being streamed to the Internet?

    After all, if you’ve got nothing to hide…right?

  97. Thomas L. Knapp

    RTAA,

    So far, they aren’t looking very cargo cultish to me. But I suppose you could be right. I’ll be interested to see what things they do and/or try, and how things go with and for them.

  98. NewFederalist

    “As for being ashamed, those who are not ashamed of their actions, aren’t afraid to comment under their real name.” – Andy Craig

    What would be your test of a “real name”? One that sounds plausible? I could post under the name Jack Knauff and that would sound plausible. In fact, I actually knew a poor soul who had that name. I have no idea what his parents were thinking but his name was not John but Jack. Would that make it better? How about Davy Jones or Fred Schwindinger? Happy now? How do we know your name is really Andy Craig? Would you care to post your birth certificate and social security card here so we can be sure?

  99. NewFederalist

    See… just what I thought! His real name is Andrew! How can we believe ANYTHING he says? 🙂

  100. langa

    George, what are you commenting on?

    I don’t think he was really commenting on anything. He seemed to be expressing his frustration at being unable to provide a logical defense of his position. It seems to be a recurring problem for him. Good thing he majored in physics, instead of logic.

  101. Libertarian Realist

    He’s also a physics professor who believes fire alone can can a skyscraper to collapse.

  102. Jill Pyeatt

    LR said: “He’s also a physics professor who believes fire alone can can a skyscraper to collapse”

    Hmmm, has that building on fire in Dubai collapsed yet?

    Oh, wait, the only time it ever happened was on 9/11.

  103. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Paulie,

    ==Caryn, off topic, but are you still planning to post the Kerbel article you have in drafts?==

    I have no idea what happened there but I deleted it. I think my computer froze in the middle of drafting. So no.

  104. steve m

    Skepticism without being willing or able to understand the cause of the flaw or the mistake is pretty worthless.

    There are significant differences between the Dubai High Rise fire and the Twin Tower Fires.

  105. Libertarian Realist

    I’m not talking about the twin towers, which were hit by airplanes. I’m talking about Tower 7, which was not hit by an airplane.

  106. Thomas L. Knapp

    Right, that would WTC 7, which collapsed over the course of more than three hours (not at “the speed of gravity”) after having one of its faces gouged out to 25% depth on 10 floors, shifting all the weight to too few trusses in too few places, right? Or are you going to pretend that the “official account” claims it was fire that collapsed that building?

  107. Andy

    Is Tom going to pretend that there were not multiple accounts of bombs going off in the WTC buildings before the collapse?

    Also, funny how other buildings that were closer to the Twin Towers and received more damage than WTC 7, which was further from the Twin Towers, did not collapse.

  108. steve m

    Yep building 7 wasn’t hit by an airplane but it was standing about 400 feet away from the other 2 buildings that were burning at nearly 3000 degrees C. The other two collapsed and rained burning debris on building 7 from over 500 feet higher, causing it to collapse.

    So what about it?

  109. georgephillies

    Is Andy going to keep ignoring the multiple reports that the buildings were all rammed by flying saucers with airline silhouettes painted on their hulls?

    By comparison with Andy, Robert Milnes is highly sensible.

  110. steve m

    There is a difference between healthy skepticism and willful ignorance.

    How does this network propose to be the first and not the latter?

  111. Andy

    Funny how the other buildings which were closer to the Twin Towers and which got hit by more debris than WTC 7 did not collapse.

  112. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Funny how things that didn’t happen didn’t happen.”

    There, fixed that for ya.

    WTC 7 took considerably more debris damage than the building between it and the towers because it was taller and took the brunt of the ejecta between its 10th and 18th floors.

    I remain open to the “inside job” hypothesis if its proponents ever present evidence for it. “Shit we made up because it supports our hypothesis” isn’t evidence.

  113. steve m

    read the pdf I linked too. you do understand the building 7 was the third tallest building… it was very close by, it took a massive hit from the collapse of one of the others. So specifically which other building are you referring too? the report is very detailed about all the buildings in the area.

  114. georgephillies

    “Funny how the other buildings which were closer to the Twin Towers and which got hit by more debris than WTC 7 did not collapse.” Andy, that’s a bald faced lie, starting with the Greek Orthodox church — crushed flat — and large parts of multiple nearer buildings, which did indeed collapse.

    My message on Andy is therefore: Don’t believe it, He just makes stuff up, or falls for what other people have made up.

    This is why sane people do not debate global warming deniers, 9’11 characters, etc. It’s a waste of time. The conspiracy folks just make stuff up as they go along, but finding the actual facts requires detailed research.

  115. Steve m

    And that is the difference between the healthy skepticism and willful ignorance.

    The first questions and searches for evidence the second just believes what ever they want and damn the evidence.

    If I thought that building 7 was brought down by explosives I would be looking for traces of explosive residuals.

  116. wolfefan

    I express no opinion on 9/11, but I remember asking Andy once (very politely) if there were any large tragedy in recent years that he did not think was a conspiracy or a false flag operation. He refused to answer. There may be such conspiracies (although a government that can’t set up a website probably couldn’t pull them off so successfully) but if everything is a conspiracy then it’s hard to know how to respond to anything.

  117. Andy

    “wolfefan

    January 4, 2016 at 08:04

    I express no opinion on 9/11, but I remember asking Andy once (very politely) if there were any large tragedy in recent years that he did not think was a conspiracy or a false flag operation. He refused to answer. There may be such conspiracies (although a government that can’t set up a website probably couldn’t pull them off so successfully) but if everything is a conspiracy then it’s hard to know how to respond to anything.”

    I don’t recall “refusing to answer” anything.

    Have there been any large tragedies over the last several years that were not part of a conspiracy? Probably. Part of this depends on how you define a large tragedy.

    I have no doubt that there are natural disasters and other tragic things that just randomly happen, but this does not mean that there are not lots of things that happen as a result of conspiracies (which is two or more people plotting to commit a crime), both big and small, as well.

    Like I said above, the evidence which I have spent a lot of time examining clearly indicates that most, or maybe even all, of the mass shooting incidents that have happened in recent years have been staged hoaxes and/or false flags. Funny how it always seems that the feds just happen to be running drills during the same time and area as when these shooting incidents have taken place. Coincidence?

  118. Andy

    CNN Fake Newscast Best Quality

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTWY14eyMFg

    Video description:

    “Charles Jaco was the CNN reporter famous for covering the 1990 Persian Gulf War.

    The first part of this video shows the stage set he was on, and he was clowning around with fellow CNN staff. The Saudi Arabian “hotel” in the background were fake palm trees and a blue wall in a studio. This clip was leaked by CNN staff.

    The second part of this video was a live CNN satellite feed recorded onto VHS showing the final cut. Charles Jaco was wearing a different jacket, but he had the same act. The acting was terrible as Charles Jaco wore a gas mask, and his fellow correspondent Carl Rochelle wore a helmet. The sirens and missile sound effects are part of the stage set. The camera never pans out or shows the sky.

    These clips are the highest quality of this newscast and behind the scenes.

    Yes, Charles Jaco was a reporter for CNN. Google his name and read the results.

    This is the reason why I don’t trust mainstream news. It is all theater and it’s completely staged. I only use the news as a guide to get an idea of what is going on, and then I do further research myself.”

  119. Andy

    Description of video below: “Do you remember Gulf War 1?

    Behold the lie that put the public behind the war – The Kuwaiti Incubator Babies…LIE. This entire story was manufactured. The “innocent” girl who testifies “tearfully”, is, in reality, a member of the Kuwaiti royal family and her “story” has been given to her – she was coached.

    Behold the former head of the CIA and then current President of the United States, George H.W. Bush,…LIE…through his teeth, about the incubator babies. Do you think that the former head of the CIA would make up such a story?

    The Incubator babies of 1990 – LOL!!!

    How many lives and how many bilions did this lie cost?”

    The Kuwaiti Incubator Babies – LIE

  120. wolfefan

    Hi Andy –

    Thanks for your reply. Instead of “refused to answer” maybe I should have just said “didn’t answer,” although I think they are practically the same thing. Thanks also for your further explanation in your reply to me and the variety of videos.

    Best wishes…

  121. langa

    Whatever one’s beliefs regarding aliens, conspiracies, and so forth, The X-Files is one of the most libertarian shows ever, as it consistently emphasized the necessity of questioning authority, which ironically, is not only one of the hallmarks of libertarianism, but also one of the hallmarks of true skepticism, as opposed to the pseudo-skepticism of this new caucus.

  122. Jill Pyeatt

    I agree, Langa, that asking questions is a pretty natural thing for Libertarians.

    As I said earlier, this caucus won’t change my behavior at all.

  123. Thomas L. Knapp

    langa,

    I’m skeptical of your claim that the LSC are pseudo-skeptics.

    But then, that’s kind of the position I’ve come to expect to find myself in. I’m generally too friendly to “conspiracy theorists” for the skeptics, and to friendly to the skeptics for the “conspiracy theorists.” I guess I’d have to classify myself as a cynical (in both the ancient Greek philosophical and modern vulgar senses) fallibilist.

  124. langa

    TK, the funny thing is that I don’t even consider myself a conspiracy theorist. I just don’t think this new caucus knows/cares what skepticism actually entails. At best, they seem to be using a vulgar definition of “skepticism” as meaning: “Opposition to unpopular or controversial ideas.”

    In reality, actual skeptics question all claims, not just those that fall outside of the “mainstream” view. A true skeptic couldn’t care less about public opinion, and is just as likely, if not more so, to question the conventional wisdom as to question “wacko” conspiracy theories.

    For what it’s worth, I think genuine skepticism can be a very healthy attitude, provided that it’s applied in moderation. (Taking it to an extreme often results in the kind of nihilistic navel-gazing in which people like RC love to indulge.)

  125. Robert Capozzi

    Langa, I actually do agree. Moderation in one’s skepticism sounds wise.

    Navel gazing has its place, too, e.g., radical enquiry to establish one’s core beliefs.

  126. Jim Duensing

    I must respond to this nonsense.

    First, this group of “skeptics” justifies Nevada being the focal point of its existence because as David Colborne said earlier in this lengthy thread,

    “As recently as 2007, the LP Nevada used to hold official “Loose Change” screenings, hosted by the Chair and others, as party events.”

    This statement is patently false. The LPNV never hosted such a screening. Since David Colborne (and the other founding “skeptical” Libertarians) were not involved in the LPNV in 2007, I do not know the source of this assertion. Although it does have as much merit as many of the claims they believe without question.

    In 2007, I was chair of the LPNV and an organizing member of the Las Vegas chapter of We Are Change. LVWAC did host such screenings and there was a number of people involved in both groups (though they were not the same). Some Truthers were democrats or greens or apolitical, though most thought the solution to big evil unaccountable officials in government was a reduction in the size and scope of government along the lines of libertarian philosophy. And, there were Libertarians who were not Truthers.

    The only official LP event that featured 9/11 Truth was the State Chairs’ Conference in Vegas where Dylan Avery, director of Loose Change, was the lunch speaker. As part of that conference there were also screenings of Aaron Russo’s last interview, Freedom to Fascism, Waco Rules of Engagement as well as other films. This was part of the State Chairs’ Conference not the LPNV.

    In 2004 and 2008, the LPNV ran coordianted campaigns with a common platform. “A new investigation into 911” or some such was not on it.

    That these “skeptics” are trying to stop nonexistent windmills from the past from spinning into the future is indicative of their mental state on the issue. They are simply new-age bigots pushing a politically correct LP; scared of a shadow. They are afraid something that didn’t happen will happen again. Like being worried that unless we give up our freedom terrorists might pulverize into dust three more steel buildings with two more aluminum planes. Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

    Secondly, this group is not a political caucus in the traditional sense. A political caucus pushes a political agenda. Abolition. Silver Money. Tax Reform. Marriage Equality. A Woman’s Right To Infanticide. Etc.

    Instead, this “caucus” is pushing a sort of dogmatic faith-based worship of government approved science and historical interpretations, with no political policy obective at all.

    All of this is irrelevant to politics – especially Libertarian politics. Whether vaccines are good or not would be the most important thing to statist politicans who believe that the state ought to impose the “right” choice upon the public for its own good. Libertarians have a different perspective. They look at issues in terms of rights. Do Jehovah’s Witnesses have the right to refuse medical treatments that the majority find beneficial because it conflicts with their conscience? The effectiveness of the treatment is really irrelevant in libertarian politics.

    Similarly, whether Monsanto’s GMO food is superhealthy or some kind of gilded poison is irrelevant to a libertarian. A libertarian considers whether people have the right to eat either. A libertarian would say eat GMOs if you want. Eat organic if you want. The Monsanto Protection Act is bad policy (even if GMOs are good). Big corporations should not be able to buy legislators and exempt themselves from tort liability that everyone else is subject to.

    The only issue raised by these “skeptics” that has a bearing on libertarian politics is one’s understanding of 9/11. And, even that doesn’t really change a libertarian’s foreign policies, merely his understanding of the grand chesboard.

    If a libertarian believes that 19 muslims with box cutters hijacked some planes and thwarted America’s air defenses (while Cheney had personal control of the airways during a military drill – a fact which is not questioned by anyone) libertarians do not support giving folks like Cheney more power as they were obviously inept in using the massive power they already had to stop this low tech attack. Libertarians would support bringing those responsible for the attacks to justice through the legal processes already in place, like letters of marque and reprisal and trials in front of fully informed juries.

    If a libertarian believes that freedom hating terrorists used positions of trust to murder thousands of Americans and advance their previously stated political agenda (PNAC’s Rebuilding America’s Defenses) libertarians still would not support giving the state more power and would support bringing those responsible for the attacks to justice through the legal processes already in place, like letters of marque and reprisal and trials in front of fully informed juries.

    Thirdly, and finally, this group is a continuation of the “growth by subtratcion” policy of those who want to “redefine” libertarian to “exclude” people who don’t watch too much tv. People who do their own research and come to conclusions different from those reached by John Stossell or Reason Magazine are the target of this caucus. In short, independant original thinkers. Some might say “skeptics”.

    This is not an attempt to advance a political goal. This is an attempt to purge a political party of undesirables. Now “truthers” are supposedly the reason “respectable” candidates like Patriot Act author, drug warrior, and cia operative Bob Barr was not embraced by the masses. Truthers are the reason CFR frontmen like Gary Johnson were not embraced by the remnants of the Ron Paul Revolution on his platform complete with an Israel first foreign policy, private prisons, and government printing of paper money. It is still my contention that Badnarik was the last Libertarian Presidential candidate the party has run. Maybe the last the party will run. I don’t really know Badnarik’s position on 911, but I know that down to his marrow he opposes the cult of the omnipotent state.

    But at least, with the above mentioned candidates, you knew where they stood. These “skeptics” are only for removing certain intellectually undesirable elements from positions of power within the LP.

    If anything, this “caucus” leads more credence to the widely held belief that Jason Weinman is one of Cass Sunstein’s cognitive infiltrators (universally held by all respondents to a scientific poll of the issue by Vegas libertarians – no one voted (not eveb Weinman) that Weinman was categorically not a cognitive infiltrator.

    Perhaps, this treatise by Obama’s Information Czar should be adopted as the offical doublethink statement of the dogmatic “Skeptic” caucus at the convention in May.

    http://www.law.uchicago.edu/files/files/387.pdf

    In Liberty, with Eternal Vigilance,

    Jim Duensing

  127. Andy

    http://911blogger.com/topics/michael-badnarik

    Submitted by jamartellxiv on Mon, 01/28/2008 – 8:48am

    Michael Badnarik Meets the Student Scholars for 9/11 Truth

    Michael Badnarik
    Student Scholars for 9/11 Truth

    2004 Libertarian Presidential Candidate, Michael Badnarik explains why he doubts the official account of 9/11 as well as Oklahoma City:

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