Our rights do not originate with government, but they are to be "secured" by government.
Formerly: Libertarian Party of Citrus county

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Great Event of 2010

Happy New Year Everybody. Celebrating some of the things government does do. This is a GREAT time lapse of STS 131's preparation... A must see!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Is Public Education A Failure?

There is no question that public education fails to impart knowledge and the ability to think critically to students. Private schools spending far less per student do a far better job. Homeschools spending thousands less than both public and private schools do far better. Research shows that homeschooled students are as much as a decade ahead of public school students in the ability to think.

Does this mean that public schools are a failure? That depends on what you believe is the goal of compulsory public education. Since the 1800’s when state-funded education was introduced, schools have mass-produced what society needs: relatively docile, compliant young citizens ready to slot straight into tedious jobs. In his 1990 New York City Teacher of the Year acceptance speech, John Taylor Gatto, clearly described the purpose of compulsory public education; "Schools were designed by Horace Mann and Barnas Sears and W.R. Harper of the University of Chicago and Edward Thorndike of Columbia Teachers College and other to be instruments for the scientific management of a mass population. Schools are intended to produce, through the application of formulas, formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled."

If that is the purpose and basis of compulsory public education, it is a success. In the US, as automation and other advances in technology allows us to manufacture far more with far fewer people, the need for more educated workers has decreased, and the need for more lower paid service people has increased. The type of worker we need, as seen by the massive amounts of illegal immigrants, are to do relatively low skilled low pay jobs. These are the jobs that some say Americans won’t do. A literate, well educated person is not going to settle for supporting themselves with a physically demanding, un-rewarding, labor intensive job like cleaning toilets, digging ditches, or picking food. A literate, well educated person is not going to accept the unreasoned excuses, and demonstrably false reasons the government uses to further reduce individual liberty.

Thus the government’s goal is not a critically thinking, self-reliant individual. Most European countries have outlawed home schooling and control what private schools can teach. Home schooling and self-education do not teach individuals to be compliant. In fact a school-free education gives children a taste of freedom and self-reliance, remote from performance-obsessed authorities. No need to ask permission for the toilet, no pressure to conform. If it catches on, it might result in fewer young people accepting the role of wage slave. It must seem like a dangerous trend to those responsible for running the national economy. Despite the clearly better performance and better proven education of home schooled children, the powers that be do not want you home schooling your child, or to even choose for your child to receive a private education outside of government controls.

"'Parent choice' proceeds from the belief that the purpose of education is to provide individual students with an education. In fact, educating the individual is but a means to the true end of education, which is to create a viable social order to which individuals contribute and by which they are sustained. "Family choice' is, therefore, basically selfish and anti-social in that it focuses on the "wants' of a single family rather than the "needs' of society." ~ Association of California School Administrators

Maybe a better question is; "How Did We Ever Come to Believe that the State Should Tell Our Children What to Think?" If the goal of education is to transfer knowledge and exercise young minds to be able to think clearly and logically, not to create compliant, obedient, masses the government can control, then we must change what we are doing. The foundation of the USA, was based on radical ideas and clarity of observation and thought by men with little or no formal education. It was after the age of enlightenment which created the Declaration of Indpendence, and US Constitution, and Bill of Rights, that compulsory schooling was instituted. Free thinking people are not conducive to government control.

The idea that compulsory schools are not an effective way to educate individuals is not new or radical.

“Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.” ~ Plato

“Just as eating against one’s will is injurious to health, so studying without a liking for it spoils the memory, and it retains nothing it takes in.” ~ Leonardo Da Vinci

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.” ~ Albert Einstein

"Schools have not necessarily much to do with education... they are mainly institutions of control, where basic habits must be inculcated in the young. Education is quite different and has little place in school." ~ Winston Churchill

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” ~ Isaac Asimov

To escape the trap we are now caught will require acts of courage and imagination: first – question the legitimacy of the school monopoly; Second – garner political resolve to deconstruct current model of schooling; Third – return education and schooling to real people and real communities taking it away from the abstract hands of the federal government.

Let’s start with the biggest lie, you need a formal education to be successful, and that because all parents won’t educate their children the state must do so. That we have a “collective responsibility” to fund and supply other peoples kids with an education because “they are our future”. This is collectivist thinking that has proven to fail throughout history. The "collective obligation" paradigm has failed so utterly in modern American schooling. We should shift our paradigm back to the paradigm that built this country and ushered in the industrial age; You have no obligation to educate anyone's offspring but your own.

This does not mean that you are not free to accept our natural feeling of charity by offering to voluntarily help fund the schooling of orphans and such. Unless we go back to the idea that as a nation we will only thrive again when we recognize, as our Chinese competitors realize, that this is a competition. You and I have a vested interest in seeing our children get the best education we can offer them, the better we educate them the more competitive they will be, and better prepared to provide for themselves and us in our old age.

In Massachusetts, prior to compulsory public education literacy was at 98%, it has never again reached greater than 91%. Obviously compulsory public education’s goal is not a literate thinking population, and has failed to produce such.

Proof that formal education is not necessary or in most cases desirable for success abound all around us. Bill Gates, arguably the most successful person of modern times is a college dropout. Don’t buy into the lie that he is an exception, when it comes to success Gates is not an anomaly of success but more the rule.

Here are a few famous dropouts:

• Thomas Sowell - Economist, author and political commentator. One of my favorite writers on political and economic philosophy.

• George Carlin - Comedian. One of my favorite comedians, especially because of his word play.

• Albert Einstein: Nobel Prize-winning physicist; "Time" magazine's "Man of the Century" (20th century) (after dropping out of high school, he studied on his own and passed the entrance exam on his second try to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)
• John D. Rockefeller Sr.- Self-made billionaire American businessman-philanthropist; co-founder of "The Standard Oil Company;" history's first recorded billionaire (dropped out of high school two months before graduation; took business courses for ten weeks at Folsom Mercantile College [a chain business school])

• Henry Ford: Self-made multimillionaire American businessman; assembly-line auto manufacturing pioneer; founder of the "Ford Motor Company"

• Walt Disney: Oscar-winning American film/TV producer; animation and theme park pioneer; self-made multimillionaire founder and spokesperson of "The Walt Disney Studios/Company; "Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; Congressional Gold Medal recipient; French Legion of Honor admittee/Medal recipient (received honorary high-school diploma from hometown high school at age 58)

• Abraham Lincoln: 16th President of the United States; (little formal education - Lincoln himself estimated approximately one year; home schooling/life experience; later earned a law degree through self study of books that he borrowed from friends)

• Carl Sandburg: Pulitzer Prize-winning American author (little formal education; later passed entrance exam to Lombard College and graduated)

• Diana, Princess of Wales

• George Burns: Oscar-winning actor/comedian (elementary school dropout)

• Dave Thomas: Self-made multimillionaire American businessman; founder-spokesperson of the "Wendy's" fast-food restaurant chain (equivalency diploma)

• Martin Van Buren: 8th President of the United States (little formal education; began studying law at age 14 while an apprentice at a law firm, later became a lawyer)

• Andrew Carnegie: Self-made multimillionaire American businessman and philanthropist (elementary school dropout)

• John Chancellor: American television journalist; evening news anchorman

• "Colonel" Harlan Sanders: Self-made multimillionaire American businessman; founder-spokesperson of the "Kentucky Fried Chicken/KFC" fast-food restaurant chain (elementary school dropout; later earned a correspondence course law degree)

• Samuel L. Clemens ("Mark Twain"): Best-selling American author and humorist (elementary school dropout)

• Christopher Columbus: Italian explorer (little formal education; home schooling/life experience; went to sea in his youth)

• Davy Crockett: Early American frontiersman; U.S. Congressman (Tennessee Representative); died at the battle of the Alamo (little formal education - less than six months; home schooling/life experience)

• Charles Dickens: Best-selling British author (elementary school dropout)

• Joe DiMaggio: National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient

• Sir Francis Drake: British explorer; knighted in the United Kingdom (little formal education; home schooling/life experience; went to sea in his youth)

• George Eastman: Self-made multimillionaire American inventor; founder of the "Kodak" roll film camera, corporation, and chemical company

• Thomas Edison: Self-made multimillionaire, most famous and productive inventor of all time; invented the filament electric light bulb, phonograph, and motion picture camera; electrical power usage pioneer; Congressional Gold Medal recipient; knighted (France: bestowed the rank of Chevalier, (had no formal education - home schooled)

• Benjamin Franklin: American politician - diplomat - author - printer - publisher-scientist - inventor; co-author and co-signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence; one of the founders of The United States of America; face is pictured on the U.S. one-hundred dollar bill (little formal education [less than two years]; home schooling/life experience)

• Clark Gable: Oscar-winning actor

• George Gershwin: Oscar-nominated and most celebrated American songwriter-and classical composer; Congressional Gold Medal recipient

• Amadeo Peter Giannini: American-born founder of "Bank of America"

• Cary Grant: Oscar-winning actor

• W.T.Grant: Self-made multimillionaire American businessman; founder of the "W.T. Grant Company" department store chain

• H.L. Hunt: Self-made billionaire American oil industrialist (elementary school dropout)

• John Huston: Oscar-winning American film director-actor (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen, etc.)

• Elton John: Oscar-winning songwriter-singer; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee; knighted by the United Kingdom

• Andrew Jackson: 7th President of the United States (no formal education; home schooling/life experience)

• John Paul Jones: Scottish-born American Revolutionary War U.S. navy commander; famous quote: "I have not yet begun to fight." (little formal education; home schooling/life experience; went to sea in his youth)

• Henry J. Kaiser: Self-made multimillionaire American businessman; founder of "Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation," "Kaiser Steel," etc.

• Kirk Kerkorian: Self-made billionaire American businessman

• Ray Kroc: Self-made billionaire American businessman; founder of the "McDonald's" fast-food restaurant chain

• Jerry Lewis: Actor-comedian-singer-entertainer-humanitarian; knighted (France: Chevalier [or Chev.] Jerry Lewis)

• John Major: British Prime Minister 1990-1997

• William Shakespeare: British playwright; best-selling British author

• George Bernard Shaw: Nobel Prize-winning Irish-born British playwright; best-selling author

• Frank Sinatra: Oscar-winning actor-singer; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; Congressional Gold Medal recipient

• John Philip Sousa: American composer-conductor (elementary school dropout)

• Zachary Taylor: 12th President of the United States (little formal education; home schooling/life experience)

• George Washington: 1st President of the United States; former general; Chairman of the Constitutional Convention; U.S. nickname: "The Father of Our Country"; face is pictured on the U.S. one dollar bill and twenty-five cent coin (quarter) (no formal education; home schooling/life experience; went to sea in his youth)

• William Faulkner: Nobel Prize-winning and Pulitzer Prize-winning American author; screenwriter (dropped out of high school in second year; later attended University of Mississippi but did not graduate)

• Herman Melville: Best-selling American author and writer of Moby Dick, arguably the greatest novel of all time.

• Liza Minnelli: Oscar-winning actress-singer

• Robert Mitchum: Oscar-nominated actor

• Claude Monet: French painter (elementary school dropout)

• David H. Murdock: Self-made billionaire American businessman

• Florence Nightingale: History's most notable nurse; best-selling Italian-born British nursing book author (no formal education; home schooling/life experience)

• Thomas Paine: American Revolutionary War era political theorist; best-selling British-born American author; famous quote: "These are the times that try men's souls." (little formal education; home schooling/life experience)

• Millard Fillmore: 13th President of the United States (little formal education - six months; home schooling/life experience; studied law while serving as a legal clerk with a judge and law firm; later became a lawyer)

• Will Rogers: American author-humorist-lecturer-actor-entertainer; famous quote: "I never met a man I didn't like."

• Frederick Henry Royce: Self-made multimillionaire British businessman; co-founder-designer of the "Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Company"; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Frederick Henry Royce) (elementary school dropout)

• Edmond Safra: Lebanese-born billionaire banker-philanthropist

• David Sarnoff: Russian-born American radio and television pioneer; given the title "Father of American Television" by the Television Broadcasters Association

• William Saroyan: Oscar-winning screenwriter; Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright

• Vidal Sassoon: Self-made multimillionaire British businessman; founder of "Vidal Sassoon" hairstyling salons, academies, and hair-care products

• Walt Whitman: Best-selling American poet (elementary school dropout)

• Orville & Wilbur Wright: Aviation pioneers; Congressional Gold Medal recipients

• Grover Cleveland: 22nd and 24th President of the United States; face is pictured on the one-thousand dollar bill, which is no longer printed; (dropped out of school to help family earn income; studied law while serving as a clerk at a law firm, later became a lawyer)

• Irving Berlin: Oscar-winning American songwriter-composer; film story writer; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; Congressional Gold Medal recipient

• Paul Allen, billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, founder of Xiant software, owner of Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers. Dropped out of Washington State to start up Microsoft with Bill Gates.

• H.G. Wells - best-selling British author (dropped out to help family earn income; later returned and went on to college)

• Jim Clark -self-made billionaire American businessman; founder of "Netscape"; first Internet billionaire (17, U.S. Navy)

• Jimmy Dean -..singer-songwriter-actor; self-made multimillionaire American businessman; founder of the "Jimmy Dean Foods" brand sausage business (16, U.S. Merchant Marines; 18, U.S. Air Force)

• Andrew Jackson......7th U.S. President; face is pictured on the U.S. twenty dollar bill (13, U.S. Continental Army; orphaned at 14; little formal education; home schooling/life experience; studied law in his late teens and became a lawyer)
• Leon Uris -..best-selling American author (Exodus, etc.) (17, U.S. Marines)

• Walter L. Smith.....former president of Florida A&M University (equivalency diploma, at age 23)

• W. Clement Stone....self-made multimillionaire (some sources indicate billionaire) American businessman-author; founder of "Success" magazine (elementary school dropout; later attended high-school night courses and then some college)

• Jack London - best-selling American author (dropped out at 14 to work; later gained admission to the University of California; left after one semester)

• Arthur Ernest Morgan....American flood-control engineer; college president-author; appointed by President Roosevelt to be director of the Tennessee Valley Authority public works project (left high school after three years; later attended the University of Colorado for six weeks)

• Ray Charles -.singer-pianist; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee

• Cher......Oscar-winning actress-singer

• Maurice Chevalier.... Oscar-winning actor-singer; French Legion of Honor inductee/Medal recipient (note: rank bestowed in 1938

• Pierce Brosnan - actor

• Ellen Burnstyn - Oscar-winning actress

• Raymond Burr - actor

• Sammy Cahn - Oscar-winning American songwriter-composer

• Michael Caine - Oscar-winning actor; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Michael Caine)

• Glen Campbell - country music star

• Daniel Gilbert - Harvard University psychology professor (equivalency diploma)

• Dizzy Gillespie - musician-composer (received honorary diploma from high school he attended)

• Patrick Henry - American Revolutionary War era politician; Virginia's first governor; famous quote: "Give me liberty, or give me death!" (little formal education; home schooling/life experience; later studied on his own and earned a law degree)

• Peter Jennings - Canadian-born American television journalist; evening news anchorman

• Ansel Adams - American wilderness photographer; photography book author; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient

• Julie Andrews - Oscar-winning actress-singer

• Louis Armstrong - singer-musician

• Brooke Astor -wealthy American socialite-philanthropist-author; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient

• Pearl Bailey - singer-actress; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient

• Lucille Ball -actress-comedienne-producer; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient

• Bill Bartman -self-made billionaire American businessman

• Count Basie -.bandleader-pianist

• Jack Benny - comedian-actor-violinist

• Humphrey Bogart - Oscar-winning actor

• Peter Bogdanovich - Oscar-nominated American film director-screenwriter (The Last Picture Show, Paper Moon, Mask, etc.)

• Whoopie Goldberg - Oscar-winning actress-comedienne

• Benny Goodman - bandleader-clarinetist

• Lew Grade -British film/TV producer (TV: The Avengers, The Saint, Secret Agent, The Prisoner, The Muppet Show, etc.); knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Lew Grade)

• Philip Emeagwali - supercomputer scientist; one of the pioneers of the Internet (high-IQ high-school dropout; left school in native Nigeria due to war conditions and lack of tuition money; continued to study on his own and earned an equivalency diploma; later won a scholarship to Oregon College of Education in the United States; transferred after one year to Oregon State University)

• Danny Thomas -actor-producer-humanitarian (actor: Make Room for Daddy/The Danny Thomas Show; co-producer: The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Andy Griffith Show, etc.); Congressional Gold Medal recipient

• Peter Ustinov - Oscar-winning actor

• Hiram Stevens - American-born engineering inventor; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Hiram Stevens)

• Patrick Stewart - actor-writer-producer-director; former captain of the Enterprise on TV's Star Trek: The Next Generation and in films.

• Kemmons Wilson - self-made multimillionaire American businessman; founder of the "Holiday Inn" hotel chain

• Kjell Inge Rokke.....self-made billionaire Norwegian businessman

• David Puttnam - Oscar-winning British film producer (Chariots of Fire, Midnight Express, etc.); knighted (United Kingdom: Sir David Puttnam)

• Anthony Quinn - Oscar-winning actor

• Julie London - singer-actress

• Sophia Loren - Oscar-winning actress; best-selling Italian-born author; former model (elementary school dropout)

• Joe Louis -..boxer; Congressional Gold Medal recipient

• Roy Rogers - actor-singer-guitarist

• Walter Nash - New Zealand Prime Minister 1957-1960; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Walter Nash)

• Olivia Newton-John - singer-actress; British-born Australian author

• Rosa Parks - U.S. civil rights activist-pioneer; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient; Congressional Gold Medal recipient

• Mary Pickford - Oscar-winning actress; early Hollywood pioneer; co-founder of "United Artists Corporation" (little formal education [six months]; home schooling/life experience)

• Sydney Poitier - Oscar-winning actor (elementary school dropout)

• Frederick "Freddy" Laker - self-made multimillionaire British businessman; airline entrepreneur; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Frederick [or Freddy] Laker)

• Tommy Lasorda - baseball team manager; National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee

• David Lean - Oscar-winning British film director (Lawrence of Arabia, DrZhivago, etc.); knighted (United Kingdom: Sir David Lean)

• Anton van Leeuwenhoek - Dutch microscope maker; world's first microbiologist; discoverer of bacteria, blood cells, and sperm cells)

• Richard Branson - self-made billionaire British businessman; founder of "Virgin Atlantic Airways," "Virgin Records," etc.; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Richard Branson)

• Isaac Merrit Singer - American sewing machine inventor; self-made multimillionaire founder of "Singer Industries," "I.M. Singer and Company," etc. (elementary school dropout)

• Alfred E. Smith - New York Governor; 1928 Democratic U.S. Presidential candidate (elementary school dropout)

• Charles Chaplin - Oscar-winning actor-writer-director-producer; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Charles [or Charlie] Chaplin) (elementary school dropout)

• Sean Connery -Oscar-winning actor; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Sean Connery)

• Jack Kent Cooke - self-made billionaire Canadian-born American media businessman

• Noel Coward - Oscar-winning actor-director-producer-playwright-composer; knighted (United Kingdom: Sir Noel Coward) (elementary school dropout)

• Joan Crawford - Oscar-winning actress; former dancer

• Charles E. Culpeper - self-made multimillionaire American businessman; early 1900s' owner and head of "The Coca Cola Bottling Company"

• Robert De Niro - Oscar-winning actor-producer; knighted (France: Chevalier [Knight] of the Legion of Honor; Chevalier [or Chev.] Robert De Niro)

• Gerard Depardieu - Oscar-nominated actor; knighted (France: Chevalier [or Chev.] Gerard Depardieu) (elementary school dropout)

• Richard Desmond - self-made billionaire British publisher

• Thomas Dolby - musician-composer; music producer

• Joe Lewis - self-made billionaire British businessman

• Carl Lindner - self-made billionaire American businessman

• John Llewellyn - U.S. Labor leader pioneer; for 40 years until his retirement, president of the United Mine Workers' Union

• Marcus Loew -self-made multimillionaire American businessman; early Hollywood pioneer; founder of the "Loews" movie-theater chain; co-founder of "MGM" studios (elementary school dropout)

• Mary Lyon -.American women's education pioneer; early American teacher; founder of Mount Holyoke College (America's first women's college)

• Sonny Bono - - singer-songwriter-actor; U.S. Congressman (California U.S. Representative)

• Duke Ellington - Oscar-nominated American composer-bandleader; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient

• Ella Fitzgerald - singer; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient

• Aretha Franklin - singer; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee

• Horace Greeley - American newspaper publisher-editor; U.S. Congressman; 1872 U.S. Presidential candidate; co-founder of the Republican party in the United States

• Thomas Haffa - self-made double-digit billionaire German media businessman

• J.R. Simplot - self-made billionaire American agricultural businessman

• Robert Maxwell - self-made billionaire British publisher

• Rod McKuen - best-selling American poet (elementary school dropout)

Monday, December 27, 2010

End of Checks and Balances

We have a unique country, one in which the government’s powers are divided. It is often difficult for the government to do some things because a judge may call it “Unconstitutional”, or a president might “Veto” a law congress wants, or Congress may not create a law the President wants, or the Senate may not “Consent” to a Treaty the president signed, etc. The idea being that our forefathers assumed that people are not “good,” that power corrupts, and that the best way to insure liberty for all people was to hamstring the government. This severely limited how the government could control individuals. Ruling elite, whether kings, or dictators, or presidents, or congressmen, have for two centuries chaffed at these severe limitations. It seems that the idea that a 20 year congressman can get kicked out by the voters if he votes for a law that the ruling elite think is best but the people don’t want is very frustrating.

It’s taken a couple centuries to corrupt the system that created the greatest, most charitable, strongest, society the world has ever known. This society where even the poor have indoor plumbing, TV’s, private cars, and an obesity problem, has one unforgivable trait, the “rulers” are limited, can’t rule by fiat, and have been held accountable to the same laws as the common man. The Rule of Law, and Checks and Balances, have made it very difficult for the ruling elite, but through bureaucratic regulations, and the power to ignore the rule of law, we are once again heading towards rule over the many by a few who control the force of government.

Ignoring several laws meant to protect the rights of individual citizens, in the name of “safety”, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) has filed for an emergency regulation requiring gun dealers to keep track of their customers and file special reports to ATF whenever a customer purchases more than one semi-automatic rifle within any 5-day period. This is gun registration pure and simple, is unconstitutional and violates statutory prohibition against firearms registration schemes.

The Firearm Owners' Protection Act (FOPA) as codified in Federal Law 18 U.S.C. 926 (2) (a)) states:

  • No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearms Owners Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established.

    This new regulation (not law) was obviously filed as an "emergency" simply as a means of bypassing Congress. The Obama administration knows that it could not pass such laws, so to bypass our system of Checks and Balances, Obama’s administration is using a bureaucratic fiat to create a “regulation” that avoids all that messy and controversial dealings with congress. This is the same way dictators create laws, not a democratic republic.

    Remember all the hoopla about government “death panels?” The uproar resulted in Democrats dropping “end of life counseling” from the monumental health care overhaul last year. The Obama administration still wants to counsel grandma to “take a pill” rather than get that expensive life extending surgery, but knows that getting it put into law won’t happen. Obama, failing to have the law he wanted, simply created it by fiat. New Medicare regulations issued December 3, include "voluntary advance care planning" that covers annual checkups, known as wellness visits. It goes into effect Jan. 1. Again the Ruling Elite have created a bureaucratic “regulation” to bypass congress and create something that the people through our system of Checks and Balances, was rejected.

    Our government has become too big and too powerful, and is now doing everything it can to bypass the will of the people. Consider the EPA, which is passing regulations far beyond what congress authorized, and is instituting provisions of both the rejected “Cap and Trade” legislation, and Kyoto protocols, despite Congress rejecting Cap and Trade legislation, and the Senate rejecting the Kyoto treaty. The people pressured their elected representatives to do their bidding, which the elites wanted. It is obvious that the ruling elite, are going to bypass representatives who are held accountable by the people to institute laws that they think is best regardless of the will of the people.

    The “Rule of Law” is the idea that the law should be applied to everybody equally, and that no person is above the law. Rule of law stands in contrast to the idea that the sovereign is above the law, thus even the president can be held accountable for breaking the law. Obama care had provisions that made mini-medical plans illegal. This was going to effect a significant number of Obama’s supporters. So to keep his supporters happy, Obama has suspended the “Rule of Law” and exempted several hundred companies from having to follow the law. Most of these companies are labor unions. Obama like a King or Potentate of old now picks and chooses who must follow the law, and who is given special privileges not afforded to the general public. Why should the people follow or respect the laws from Washington, if some can bribe, or otherwise gain favor of the ruling elite and be granted exemptions?

    Thus we are witnessing the end to both the Rule of Law and the system of Checks and Balances, and the dissent into tyranny for America.
  • Friday, December 24, 2010

    Feliz Natividad Merry Christmas Freedom and Full Life

    Extracted from the Wall Street Journal. This editorial was written in 1949 by the late Vermont Royster and has been published annually since.

    When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar.

    Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was so.

    But everywhere there was something else, too. There was oppression -- for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar. There was the tax gatherer to take the grain from the fields and the flax from the spindle to feed the legions or to fill the hungry treasury from which divine Caesar gave largess to the people. There was the impressor to find recruits for the circuses. There were executioners to quiet those whom the Emperor proscribed. What was a man for but to serve Caesar?

    There was the persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world?

    Then, of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's.

    And the voice from Galilee, which would defy Caesar, offered a new Kingdom in which each man could walk upright and bow to none but his God. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. And he sent this gospel of the Kingdom of Man into the uttermost ends of the earth.

    So the light came into the world and the men who lived in darkness were afraid, and they tried to lower a curtain so that man would still believe salvation lay with the leaders.

    But it came to pass for a while in divers places that the truth did set man free, although the men of darkness were offended and they tried to put out the light. The voice said, Haste ye. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you, for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.

    Along the road to Damascus the light shone brightly. But afterward Paul of Tarsus, too, was sore afraid. He feared that other Caesars, other prophets, might one day persuade men that man was nothing save a servant unto them, that men might yield up their birthright from God for pottage and walk no more in freedom.

    Then might it come to pass that darkness would settle again over the lands and there would be a burning of books and men would think only of what they should eat and what they should wear, and would give heed only to new Caesars and to false prophets. Then might it come to pass that men would not look upward to see even a winter's star in the East, and once more, there would be no light at all in the darkness.

    And so Paul, the apostle of the Son of Man, spoke to his brethren, the Galatians, the words he would have us remember afterward in each of the years of his Lord:

    Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

    Thursday, December 23, 2010

    2010 Census vs. Income Taxes

    2010 Census results are out. America voted with her feet. Americans free to move from state to state, and immigrants free to choose where to live have made a decision. The Northeast is no longer growing, people are escaping it and it's liberal laws.

    California once the fastest growing state in the union was stagnant over the last decade. For the first time in it's history it has not gained a house seat as the result of a census.

    Texas grew grew 21 percent, its business-friendly regulations, diversified economy, and low taxes have attracted not only immigrants but substantial inflow from the other 49 states.

    Here at home in Florida, we picked up two of New York's house seats. Where ever people can, they are moving away from high-tax pro-union states to low-tax pro-work states.

    South Dakota and New Hampshire had the fastest growth in their regions although not as fast as the seven other states which do not have income taxes. The other seven of the nine states all grew faster than the national average. In total 35% of the nations total population expansion occurred in the 9 states without income taxes. These states in 2000 only had 19% of the nations population.

    I think the power of the Northeast and industrial Midwest in winning the presidency is waning. The people of this country when given a choice, choose no income taxes. Next election will prove very interesting.

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    Libertarian Party of Florida Supports Ban on Red Light Cameras

    Winter Park, FL, December 15, 2010 - Through its Executive Committee, the Libertarian Party of Florida has voted to support future legislation to ban the use of red light cameras within the State of Florida.

    The cameras have been popping up in various communities throughout the state as local government coffers dry up. Recent support for the cameras by local governments seems to correlate to the reduction of regular tax revenues.

    The Libertarian Party of Florida has successfully lobbied the state legislature in past years to keep the state from approving their use and now seeks an all-out ban of the devices which create more problems then they solve.

    Some people are under the misguided idea the cameras will reduce accidents at intersections however the data shows a completely different picture. In only a handful of anecdotal of situations have the cameras helped while the overwhelming evidence clearly shows installation of the cameras make intersection less safe by creating more accidents, thereby using more rescue and police services.

    In 2010 the Florida legislature passed and Governor Crist signed HB 325 "Uniform Traffic Control" into law which will benefit Goldman Sachs financially and put more Floridians in the hospital. There is a reason AAA, the Libertarian Party of Florida, the National Motorists Association and many individuals vigorously attempted to block this poorly drafted legislation, however it was passed nonetheless.

    The Goldman Sachs connection is in relation to the 30%+ stake it has American Traffic Solutions. ATS and Redflex Systems will get most of the Florida contracts.

    The Libertarian Party of Florida does not condone running red lights and it is clear the installation of these cameras greatly increase the chances more Floridians will be sent to the hospital with debilitating injuries. Many studies on this phenomenon have been conducted over decades and the tend to come to the same conclusion - a dramatic increase in accidents where the cameras have been installed, increasing the yellow light change by one second dramatically reduces accidents, having a one second time sequence from red to green cross traffic dramatically decreases accidents and governments (in an attempt to raise revenue) have been found guilty of reducing the yellow signal time.

    Red light cameras have been banned in Connecticut, Nevada, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Mississippi and Minnesota. Some have been banned due to the safety issue, others due to a state supreme court finding them illegal and unconstitutional.

    Minneapolis, Minnesota is actually suing Redflex Traffic Systems for $3 million due to the refunds it has made to Minnesotans after their Supreme Court ruled the cameras illegal.

    The Washington Post reports that in Washington, DC, after sifting through its data and finding the cameras increased accidents, it continued the program anyway due to the revenue it brought in.

    The Virginia Department of Transportation conducted a study and subsequently followed it up two years later to confirm the cameras increased accidents at intersections with the cameras.

    The Libertarian Party of Florida encourages its membership and all Floridians to openly oppose red light cameras, and to fight citations they may receive through the court system. The LPF will also continue in its efforts to officially ban the use of red light cameras in the State of Florida.

    Thursday, December 9, 2010

    True Loyalty vs. TSA Treason

    December 6, 2010
    By Wesley Strackbein

    Face reality, good citizens. It’s not wise to question the tyranny behind the TSA’s groping of innocent travelers or gawking at your loved ones’ naked bodies. Never mind the Constitution; we must abridge your liberties in order to protect you from harm. Show loyalty to America—these new measures are for your good.

    We live in a world turned upside down. Our rights are being violated in the name of keeping us safe. And in this new Orwellian reality where civil liberties are being trampled on in the name of the Patriot Act, and loyalty to our country is being measured in terms of willing compliance with tyrants, we must wake from our confused stupor and look to the past.

    What Americans need to know is this: Our Founding Fathers decried these specious arguments and warned the citizenry not to fall prey to them.

    As England grew increasingly despotic toward Americans in the days leading up to 1776, liberty-minded patriots rose up in opposition to violations of their rights. Their response was not well-received by the King and Parliament who demanded slavish fealty to the British Crown. The patriots insisted on loyalty to the law instead. Boston patriot Sam Adams declared:

    True loyalty . . . cannot subsist in an arbitrary government, because it is founded in the love and possession of liberty. . . . it is the scourge of the griping oppressor and haughty invader of our liberties. . . . Whoever, therefore, insinuates notions of government contrary to the constitution, or in any degree winks at any measures to suppress or even weaken them, is not a loyal man. Whoever acquaints us that we have no right to examine into the conduct of those who, though they derive their power from us to serve the common interests, make use of it to impoverish or ruin us, is, in a degree, a rebel to the undoubted rights and liberties of the people.

    Adams’s point was clear: Fidelity to fundamental laws, not fealty to a despotic state, is what defines true loyalty, and anyone who seeks to subvert constitutional rights for some pretended greater good is a traitor. Those who would silence objections to tyranny are rebels. Those truly loyal to the Constitution must resist.

    James Otis, a fellow Boston patriot, agreed with Adams’ point. When Parliament issued the Writs of Assistance in 1760 which established general warrants which authorized customs officials to search for smuggled material within any American colonists’ premises—regardless of whether there was probable cause for wrongdoing or not—Otis objected, describing England’s policy as an “[instrument] of slavery on the one hand and villainy on the other. . . . It appears to me the worst instrument of arbitrary power, the most destructive of English liberty and the fundamental principles of law that ever was found in an English law-book.”

    While Otis acknowledged in a five-hour speech that special search warrants were at times necessary to fight crime, he staunchly opposed general warrants that allowed for officers to indiscriminately search homes, stating: “the writ … being general, is illegal. It is a power that places the liberty of every man in the hands of every petty officer.”

    We must not equate lawless policies with liberty, Otis maintained, arguing that England’s formal policy to molest law-abiding colonists without just cause under the guise of nabbing traitors to the English Crown was an illegal act of villainy. His battle against the Writs of Assistance, in time, led to the establishment of the 4th Amendment to the Bill of Rights:

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    The new search-anybody policy instituted by the TSA—apart from probable cause or even reasonable suspicion—is an old lawless ploy which directly violates Americans’ 4th Amendment right against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” The disloyal Americans are those who condone and carry out this breach of liberty, not those who question it.

    The TSA’s policy to violate Americans’ 4th Amendment liberties has shown them to be petty tyrants. The TSA—and those who support their intrusive tactics—are rebels to the law and traitors to the Constitution.

    As freedom-loving Americans, what should our response be? According to Senator Jay Rockefeller, we must “face reality” and dutifully comply: “There really isn’t any choice. Others have learned how to live with this, and I think we can too.” Rockefeller, who chairs the Commerce Committee, stated these exact words in response to those who are outraged at the TSA’s invasive new measures.

    Rockefeller is wrong. If we acquiesce to traitors, we cease to be loyal Americans. Our 4th Amendment right to be “secure in [our] persons” is being egregiously violated by the TSA, and fealty to the Constitution, in Sam Adams’ words, requires that we be “the scourge of the … haughty invader of our liberties” by contending for our rights.

    This must be done prudently and lawfully, yet fight we must, lest our families be abused under the guise of safety and tyrants prevail.

    True loyalty requires nothing less.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    Democrats not very Democratic

    The Democrats made a big mistake when they thought that their election to power in both houses and the executive branch of the federal government was a mandate by the American people to be allowed to control our lives. Their win in 2008 was not a vote for Democrats, but a vote against Bush and the Republicans.

    The actions of the Democrats since taking power in 2008 were not that of a party given a chance because the GOP blew theirs, but that of a child who is finds himself in charge. In General the Dems no longer rule using the principles of their name sake. They are very non-democratic.

    Rather than rule by consensus, they generally prefer to rule by dictate. Their arrogance and disrespect for the voting public is palpable. When they don’t get their way their response to everything is always explained in terms of race, hate, and stupidity instead of ideas or principles. They would rather use a bureaucracy than create a law to get what they want done, or better yet create a new position that is unaccountable to the people, or in the case of Obama, and new Czar that need not be confirmed by the Senate.

    The rise of the TEA Party and their historic lose of power in the 2010 election should be seen not as success of the GOP, but as a call to accountability by the people. The people want and demand equality, liberty, and the rule of law. They do not want some elitist snobs from either party telling them what to do and are trying to put the federal government back to the limited role it once had. Look at the number of new laws, law suits, and proclamations that the states are making based on the 10th Amendment. California pretty much thumbs it nose at the Federal Government concerning marijuana. Montana has made the agents enforcing some federal laws on intrastate commerce punishable by fines and imprisonments.

    Obamacare with Its provisions that don’t allow elected officials to countermand the mandates of unelected bureaucrats is one of the straws that have broken the camel’s back. What neither of the old parties does is democracy. They lie to get into power, then use on courts and administrative mechanisms, institutions, treaties, etc. to mandate to the people what they should do insulating themselves from the actions the people don’t want through massive bureaucratic control.

    What neither party seems willing to do is build a consensus for their policies and create laws to implement those policies. The Democrats are particularly evil about is not accepting that what they think is best even if the people don’t want it. They try to find some way around creating a consensus to get what they want, even if they can’t get the votes. If this country is to become united again both parties must go back to doing the painstaking work of building up a consensus and implementing laws. Politicians need to rely less on bureaucratic insulation from their actions like the EPA claiming authority to push through policies to deal with global warming. Both parties must stop legislation that is force-fed against obvious public disapproval. Creating laws that do not apply to themselves or their favored corporate backers has led the majority of the public not trusting either party.

    The November 2010 election was a loss for the elitists in Washington and corporate America; elitists that the people resent. The people of this country don’t trust either party, and as long as they continue to mandate instead of legislate, exempt themselves and their cronies from what they impose on the populace, spend without regard to who pays for it, and ignore the plain language of the constitution, we can expect the country to remain very divided, very angry.

    We used to have a system of checks and balances that kept our republic, free of too much government. The elitists have forgotten why the people instituted the government; they have forgotten that the people not the elitists in Washington are sovereign. Through the lack of vigilance of the people, our democratic institutions have become plutocratic. We need our legislature to legislate, not delegate their authority to bureaucrats. We need our administration to administer not legislate. We need our courts to judge not administer or legislate. Democrats need to become democratic in how they do things, and accept when the majority tells them no. The Republicans need to represent the people not the crony corporations who feed them. Because I do not believe either the socialist elites of the Democrats nor protectionist elites of the Republicans will condescend to actually do the will of the people, this may be a time for the people who want liberty, equality, rule of law, and opportunity to abandon the old elitist parties and look for a party of principle.

    Friday, December 3, 2010

    News Flash: Earth stops rotating as full impact of libertarians agreeing with Socialist Dianne Feinstein is realized.

    Oh my god, I don't know if I can live with myself. I find myself in full agreement with Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein.

    At the stroke of midnight on December 31 of this year, the 45¢ per gallon Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC), commonly known as the blender’s credit, and the 54¢ per gallon tariff on imported ethanol, will expire.

    Sen Feinstein with 17 other bi-partisan senators say it’s time for these special-interest giveaways to go gently into the night. A broad coalition of environmental, taxpayer, hunger, free market, and food industry organizations are urging House and Senate leaders to let the VEETC meet its statutorily appointed fate.

    Ethanol as a fuel is a loser on many levels (Real Science - Ethanol is a loser). But this is just further proof that we have Too Much Government! Letting the VEETC expire will save us $25-30 billion over the next five years and relieve the upward pressure on food prices that using crops and crop land for fuel has caused.

    Even Al Gore agrees that Ethanol is a loser and that he promoted it to get corn votes (read about it here).

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Feds Mandate Your Town Replace It's Road Signs

    The Rule of Law is a fundamental principle that our country was founded on. The rule of law respects us as equals. It allows us to organize our lives, plan our futures, and resolve disputes in a rational way. In our country laws are created by elected representatives through a system of checks and balances. This method was created so that the law makers were accountable to the people. Make bad laws and get voted out of office.

    Being held accountable for the laws you vote for while a member of congress puts extreme limits on what representative is willing to vote for. Over the years this has proved annoying for Congressmen, Senators, and the President who may want to enact laws that the people don’t want. In the last election we saw the result of congress passing many laws, including a Healthcare bill, that the people clearly didn’t want; the largest single change in the House of Representatives about 75 years. This is a good thing as it allows the people to hold their elected representatives accountable. To get around voting for unpopular laws, congress has delegate it’s law making authority to bureaucrats. This allows unpopular laws, termed regulations, to be enacted without the elected official having to be held accountable for the creation of a new law the people don’t want. Worse yet this allows large corporations to force laws that will benefit the large corporation at the expense of the people without having to have a new law passed.

    Case in point: ABC’s Jonathan Karl Reported that The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) is ordering all local governments -- from the tiniest towns to the largest cities -- to go out and buy new street signs. 3M one of the few makers of reflective sign material successfully lobbied the FHA to change the regulations to include:

  • Whenever street name signs are changed for any reason, they can no longer be in ALL CAPS.
  • Increase the size of the letters on street signs from the current 4 inches to 6 inches on all roads with speed limits over 25 miles per hour by January 2012.
  • Install signs with new reflective letters more visible at night by January 2018.

    In Dinwiddie County, Virginia -- with lots of roads but not many people -- the cost comes to about $10 for every man, woman and child.

    "The money is better spent on education, or the sheriff's department or on public safety than something like that," said Harrison Moody, chairman of the Dinwiddie Board of Supervisors.

    Many local residents in Dinwiddie say their current street signs work just fine, and they see no reason to change them.

    "There are a lot of people out there that are hungry," said Dinwiddie resident Thomas Davis. "Why spend [money] on street signs when everybody can read a street sign or, if you don't know where you're going, get a GPS."

    This is a prime example of Too Much Government, and the mentality of ruling elite who think they know what is best for everybody. Don’t think this is Obama or Democrat bashing. These changes to the law were originally started under Bush. Changes in bureaucratic regulations are changes in laws, laws should have to voted on by the Senate, House, and signed by the President. We have allowed our elected officials to horribly overstep their bounds and responsibilities, creating institutions that can create laws, tax the public, and limit individual liberty without being held accountable to the voter.

    Who knows better how local dollars should be spent, the federal government or local government? This is a case where the federal government is forcing local government to spend money they don’t have on things that may be good, but take away from much more urgent needs. In Milwaukee this will cost the cash-strapped city nearly $2 million -- double the city's entire annual for traffic control.

    This is not an example of the Rule of Law, but an example of am unaccountable bureaucratic dictate. What this change in the law amounts to, is a transfer of wealth from the citizens to 3M. This is a typical and predictable unintended consequence of liberal ideology trying to make everybody “safer” for their own good. The idea that because people might vote out a representative who makes an unpopular vote or decision, it is necessary to create bureaucracies to insulate elected officials is now the preferred method of liberal ruling elites to circumvent the will of the people. The FHA mandates to change signage is an example of an unfunded, unaccountable mandate of elitist big government working with elitist big business to take your money and avoid being held accountable.

    What would you tell your elected representative if he/she came back from Washington having voted to force your local town to change and update all its signs during these hard economic times?
  • Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    Senate passes Food Safety Bill unconstitutionally

    The senate passed the "Food Safety Bill" with lots of fanfare and hoopla. The problem is the Bill they passed is unconstitutional and the House by constitutional law will not take up that same bill.

    You see there is a provision in the constitution referred to as the "origination clause." Article 1, Section 7, Clause 1, of the US Constitution reads, "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills."

    The reasoning for revenue generating bills originating from the House is evidenced by the last election, in which the Tax-and-Spend democrats were kicked out. The idea being the House with only 2 year terms could be quickly changed by the people if the House failed do the bidding of the people. The Senate with his longer terms (and original selection by the States not the people) is more insulated does not have to be as responsive to the will of the people. The Origination Clause stems from an English parliamentary requirement that all money bills start from the House of Commons; it was intended to ensure that the "power of the purse" lies with the legislative body closer to the people. The clause was also part of a compromise between small and large states: the latter were unhappy with equal representation in the Senate.

    Section 107 of the "Food Safety" bill includes fees that are classified as revenue raisers, hence the Senate originated a bill that raises revenues, clearly unconstitutional. The House Ways and Means Committee will use the "blue slip process" to block completion of the bill in the house. In the House, the blue slip process refers to the rejection slip given to Senate tax and spending bills which have not originated in the House in the first place, per the House's interpretation of the Origination clause.

    Nice to see the constitution works as intended.

    Tuesday, November 30, 2010

    Al Gore Admits Ethanol as Fuel is a Loser.

    Even Al Gore agrees with my previous articles on Ethanol

    Real Science - Ethanol is a loser


    The Great Ethanol Scam

    Today Debra Saunders writes a great article about Al Gore admitting he promoted ethanol for political not scientific reasons, and that the points I've been making for years on ethanol are correct.

    Originally published at Townhall.com

    You Can Stop Paying for Al Gore's Mistake

    Nov. 30, 2010
    By Debra J. Saunders

    In Greece earlier this month, Al Gore made a startling admission: "First-generation ethanol, I think, was a mistake." Unfortunately, Americans have Gore to thank for ethanol subsidies. In 1994, then-Vice President Gore ended a 50-50 tie in the Senate by voting in favor of an ethanol tax credit that added almost $5 billion to the federal deficit last year. And that number doesn't factor the many ways in which corn-based ethanol mandates drive up the price of food and livestock feed.

    Sure, he meant well, but as Reuters reported, Gore also said, "One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president."

    In sum, Gore demonstrated that politicians are lousy at figuring out which alternative fuels make the most sense. Now even enviros like Friends of the Earth have come to believe that "large-scale agro-fuels" are "ecologically unsustainable and inefficient." That's a polite way of saying that producers need to burn through a boatload of fossil fuels to make ethanol.

    Gore also showed that most D.C. politicians can't be trusted to put America's interests before those of Iowa farmers. But there is one pursuit in which homo electus excels: spending other people's money.

    Beware politicians when they promise you "the jobs of the future." Last week, the Washington Post ran a story about a federal grant program in Florida designed to retrain the unemployed for jobs in the growing clean-energy sector. Except clean tech isn't growing as promised. Officials told the Post that three-quarters of their first 100 graduates haven't had a single job offer.

    In May, President Obama came to a Fremont, Calif., solar plant where he announced, "The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra." This month, Solyndra announced it was canceling its expansion plans. The announcement came after voters rewarded the green lobby by defeating Proposition 23 -- which would have postponed California's landmark greenhouse gas reduction law AB32 -- because voters bought the green-jobs promise.

    Back to Gore. There is a movement in Washington to end Gore's mistake. Republican Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Jim DeMint of South Carolina have proposed ending the 45-cent-per-gallon subsidy on corn ethanol, which is set to expire on Dec. 31 unless Congress extends it.

    As DeMint explained in an e-mail to the Washington Post's Greg Sargent, "Government mandates and tax subsidies for ethanol have led to decreased gas mileage, adversely effected the environment and increased food prices. Washington must stop picking winners and losers in the market, and instead allow Americans to make choices for themselves."

    That's what free-market types who oppose corporate welfare -- like me -- have been saying for years.

    So the question is: Will this new batch of Republicans have the intestinal fortitude to buck the farm lobby and agribusiness by weaning them from the public teat? Or are they no better than the farm-lobby-pandering Al Gore?

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Thanksgiving - thankful for what?

    As you know the original colony to Plymouth celebrated thanksgiving with the Indians in November of 1623. The Pilgrims arrived in December of 1621, and began their colony as a commune, and organized their farm economy along communal lines. The goal was to share the work and produce equally. This experiment again proved what the ancient Greeks observed eons before. As Aristotle wrote, "That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it."

    The Pilgrims faked illness rather than working the common property. Some even stole, despite their Puritan convictions. The result was as winter of 1622 set in, they did not have enough food and provisions set for the winter and famine and privation ran rampant by the spring of 1623 only 5 women had survived. Gov. William Bradford wrote in his diary, "So as it well appeared that famine must still ensue the next year also, if not some way prevented.

    The problem is that when people can get the same return with less effort, most people make less effort. This was an early harsh and historically repeated lesson that socialism and communism result in less production even to the point of starvation. Thus again proving that the rules set to us by God are best to live by. 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15

    Later of the colonists, Bradford said, they "began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length after much debate of things, (I with the advice of the chiefest among them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land. . . This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been. By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many."

    Because of the change, the first Thanksgiving could be held in November 1623. Because of the abundance the Pilgrims not only were able to feed themselves, but to take care of those among them who try as they might failed to do so. It was private charity that took care of those less fortunate.

    Thanksgiving is clear proof and evidence of the triumph of private property, connecting effort to reward, demonstrating that when everything is “shared equally” it incentivizes each person to contribute as little as possible to get their “equal” share. Whereas with every pilgrim given private property produced abundance which they could then trade with others for things they lacked. The free mutual exchange for mutual benefit makes the entire community richer.

    We should all be thankful that we do not have to learn the lessons of protecting private property in the same deadly way that the pilgrims. Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday, copied by many other countries; it is a polar opposite of May Day. On Thanksgiving, we celebrate the fall of communism and are thankful for the abundance God provides through the free market.

    Friday, November 19, 2010

    LP Citrus Holiday Social at Sporsters

    Your invited to the Libertarian Party of Citrus County holiday social, Tuesday December 7th, from 6 to 9 At Sportster’s on US 19 in Crystal River. Come on out, enjoy a wing or three, and meet fellow Citrus County Libertarians. We will have special guest Alex Snitker, this year’s Libertarian candidate for US Senate. This is your chance to meet the candidate and ask his views on the future of the Florida Libertarian Party, and what you can do to promote Liberty in Citrus County, Florida and the USA.

    If you’d like For more information please drop me an email.

    If you can RSVP on Facebook - CLICK HERE

    Tom Rhodes
    Vice Chair, Citrus County Libertarian Party.

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    Crime, Punishment and Justice

    On November 15, 2010 the Associated Press reported the following:

    DETROIT -- Michigan high school teacher Jay McDowell says he didn't like where the discussion was going after a student told his classmates he didn't "accept gays."

    So McDowell kicked the boy out of class for a day.

    In return, the teacher was suspended for a day without pay for violating the student's free speech rights...

    The Constitution of the United States, includes a Bill of Rights, which doesn’t grant rights to anybody, but assumes people have the rights and severely limits the government from infringing on those rights. The US Constitution is not politically correct and does not place the ideas and speech of some people’s values over the ideas and speech of others. Wanting to instill a value of “tolerance” does not give the government or any of its agents, the right to stifle speech they don’t approve. That is exactly what Jay McDowell did when he threw the student out of class because he didn’t like the “where the discussion was going.”

    It is a shame that a teacher was so intolerant and thought he had the right to punish a student for exercising his right to free speech. What is good is that he was rightly reprimanded and punished proportionately.

    Far too often do we see disproportionate punishment for "crimes." The reason for a fine or punishment is to deter future bad behavior and offer restitution to the victim. In this case Justice was served; the minimal punishment did both. It affirmed that student's right to free speech, it sent the message to other students that the school would protect their basic civil rights, and deterred not only the McDowell but other teachers from infringing on the rights of other students in the future. More severe punishment would have been counterproductive, costly, and unjust.

    Compare that to the punishment another student received when she had a plastic butter knife in her lunch box. The typical punishment for that offence is expulsion from school for having a weapon. This zero tolerance nonsense is not proportionate to what reasonable people would not even consider a crime. Whereas McDowell, as an agent of the government, clearly violated the civil rights of the student, in the other case a powerless minor committed no crime. It seems the punishment associated with zero tolerance government rules for minors is to instill a fear, and belief that the government has the authority and right to force you to obey any rule or regulations they want, and failure to obey will be severely punished.

    We must as citizens all try to hold our government accountable, even the petty tyrants in our public school systems. We can and did hold our government officials accountable as reported in the news this week in the story of a middle school boy who was ordered to remove an American Flag he put on his bike to honor veterans.

    Friday, 12 Nov 2010, 5:05 PM EST
    SACRAMENTO - A boy in California is now allowed to ride to school with an American flag. Earlier this week, a middle school told 13-year-old Cody Alicea to take the flag off his bike. He was carrying the flag to honor veterans, like his own grandfather. He had been riding his bike with the flag for about two months.

    The school district says the boy was asked to remove the flag because some students complained about it and apparently made threats.

    School officials worried students would come to school with flags from other countries, sparking racial tension and possible violence. . .
    Thank God for the uproar of the American people. The uproar forced the California school board to reverse its decision. I read in one account where a US Soldier in Afghanistan called the school board to complain. It was absurd for the government agents to think that they can deny a boy his civil rights because others didn’t like his expression. This is the so called hecklers veto. The first action should have been to focus on those students who made threats, not take away the rights of the student who violated no laws, nor rules, nor rights of another. But the government now says that because your exercise of your civil rights may upset others, and those others may do criminal things, you are responsible for the criminal actions of people who don’t want you to express an opinion or idea they don’t like.

    How did this country get to the government that thinks it can silence citizens who express non politically correct ideas? It is hard to fathom how and why we accept a government that punishes a child who is threatened rather than hold accountable those who do the threatening.

    We are teaching our children that their rights are not important, and that the government can take them away at will, without due process, without proof, without cause, just because zero tolerance and other stupid school rules make it easier for the school to maintain order. Contrary to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law which says you have a right to defend yourself, the general rule in most schools that if you are caught fighting you are suspended. So if a high school bully with failing grades who doesn’t care about learning decides to pick on a good kid and the kid defends himself (or worse yet steps in to defend a smaller weaker kid from the bully), the victim (or defender) gets punished along with the bully. If you’re a white middle class kid, who’s only hope at college is an academic scholarship, then that 5 day suspension could cost you your GPA and thousands of dollars of scholarship funds and the bully gets what he wanted, out of school. The victim is assumed guilty and there is no due process, and no defense. The zero tolerance for fighting policy of most Florida schools punishes victims, and violates the civil rights of students. We are teaching our children: that they don’t have basic civil rights, that they must be cowards, they must never stand up for themselves or others, and meekly obey the government tyrants, or be punished. Regardless of what our Constitution says, our actions and the actions of our government are teaching our youth that the government does not protect individual civil rights, and that punishments are drastically disproportionate to the crime, if the crime is failure to obey the government.

    This zero tolerance policy has but one purpose, to teach our children that they never have the right to use force for any reason and that the government (school) has a monopoly on the use of force, and that there are no limits to what authority can do. This zero tolerance policy also teaches that justice does not exist, and can be denied for the convenience of the authority. This is contrary to the US and Florida constitutions and laws but is exactly what the ruling elite what the public to believe. The idea that no individual has the right to use force for any reason is contrary to the Constitution, Declaration of Independents and even the Libertarian Party Platform; which states “The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights — life, liberty, and justly acquired property — against aggression. This right inheres in the individual, who may agree to be aided by any other individual or group. . . . and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of selfdefense.”

    There is a need for legitimate authority, our children should be taught to respect those in authority, and obey all legitimate requests of that authority, BUT they should also be taught there are limits to government authority, what those limits are, how to respectfully stand up to the illegitimate exercise of authority, and when if necessary to use force to defend themselves or others. As citizens and parents, we must stand up for the rights of our children against the tyrannical excess of authority. If we want our future to have liberty, not an all controlling socialist nanny state, then this is where we start. Educating our children and protecting their rights. If students now coming of age and future generations believe that only the government has a legitimate claim to the use of force, that the government can silence ideas and speech they don’t like, and that it can deny justice for convenience, then we are no longer the home of the free and the brave, but the home to slaves.

    I’m encouraged by the national uproar that forced one small government school district to uphold the civil rights of one boy. That uproar should be happening in every school district across the country. We must end the systematic attacks on civil rights, end stupid zero tolerance rules and insist that our schools teach the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the true meaning of Liberty and Justice for all.

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    LPF Calls for Resignation of Wayne Allyn Root, Director LNCC

    WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of Florida Executive Committee is committed to the platform of the Libertarian Party; and

    WHEREAS, Libertarian National Congressional Committee chairman, Wayne Allyn Root made the undisputed quote in the November 11-17, 2010 issue of weekly magazine Vegas Seven, "I'm kind of re-creating libertarianism. I'm just not going to follow the traditional roots. I'm a Ronald Reagan libertarian. Traditional libertarianism mixes in too many things that are liberal"; and

    WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of Florida Executive Committee finds Mr. Roots comments found above will confuse the general public as to what the Libertarian Party's official positions are; and

    WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of Florida Executive Committee finds Mr. Roots comments highly offensive and in direct contrast to the Libertarian Party's message and platform; and

    WHEREAS, Mr. Root has supported Republican candidates for public office while in his position on the Libertarian National Congressional Committee; and

    WHEREAS, Mr. Root has made similar and consistent comments noted above.

    NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Libertarian Party of Florida fully repudiates Mr. Roots comments as described above and strongly feels Mr. Root should be replaced and removed from his position in any official capacity with the Libertarian National Committee, inclusive of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee.

    ADOPTED November 14, 2010

    Libertarian Party of Florida
    Vicki Kirkland, Chair

    The Image and Effectiveness of the Libertarian Party

    The last election is over, we have given ourselves enough rah-rah cheering and phony congratulations, as Libertarians now is the time to take a good look at ourselves and ask critical questions. If we wait until the next election we will be to late. Are we effective as a party? Do we present something the American people want? Do we have effective leadership? Clearly the answer to all these questions is no. The rise to power of TEA Party and its effectiveness cannot be discounted. The TEA Party clearly embraces the Philosophy of Liberty and more than ½ the country associates itself with the TEA Party movement. The Libertarian Party (LP) claims to be the party of principle, specifically the Philosophy of Liberty; yet unlike the TEA Party which has no real structure or leadership, the LP with decades of structure and elected leaders is not effective.

    The Libertarian Party has two major problems it must overcome to effective. First we must end the elitist attitude of the current party leaders or remove elitist snobs in leadership who don’t want to change the LP. Second we must change our militant anti-moral image dramatically. If the LP doesn’t change and maintains the same elites at the top, and embrace the current amoral image, the LP will continue to produce the same results it has for decades; An American Populace that doesn’t trust or want the LP to have any power.

    The LP is no different that the GOP and Dem’s when it comes to the elitist attitude of the people at the top. Those at the top truly don’t get it. I have personally heard and seen the people at the top getting mad and upset because of new people trying to motivate and make real progress in the Libertarian Party hadn’t “put in their time”, or “didn’t understand how things are done”, or other variation on the theme that they as elites have earned and deserve a place in leadership. Even in our state, Florida, we see a snobbish elite attitude by Libertarians at the top. The current Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) Chair person who whenever she feels challenged always lectures on her pedigree, not her accomplishments. Her primary accomplishment seems to be getting into a leadership position in the LPF, not actually setting a vision and goals for the LPF, nor articulating to the membership what the LPF is nor what it does, nor improving the membership of the LPF, nor getting Libertarians elected at either the state or federal level. As a regular person, or a regular member of the LPF, or even Officer in an LPF county affiliate, can you name any of our current chairperson’s accomplishments? Can you state her vision for the LPF? Can you articulate any of the goals for the LPF she has presented? Do you even know her name? Anybody? The LPF executive council acts like a snobbish super secret club whose activities and actions remain a mystery to the average lowly LPF member, much less the people of Florida.

    Obama’s and the Democrats general perception of the last election is that they failed to articulate their message, and the people just didn’t understand. That is crap, we do completely understand the message of Obama and company, and reject it. It’s not that the people don’t get it, they just don’t agree with Obama’s message. Like Obama, the leaders in the LP think the same way, that In a recent discussion a mover and shaker in the LP, Daniel Williams, who says he is someone who was as responsible as anyone for putting Wayne Alan Root on the 2008 Libertarian ticket, says: "It's true Libertarians have been their own worst enemy - but it's been a problem of articulation, not ideology.”

    He is wrong; we have planks in our platform that we articulate very well which the American people soundly reject every chance they get. These planks contradict the Philosophy of Liberty, and clearly contradict the LP claim to being the party of principle.

    This leads to the second major problem the LP must address if it wants to become relevant. The image of the LP is militantly anti-moral. "Atheistic Anarchists" is a term I’ve heard to describe the beliefs of the LP. Consider a recent poll that asked, "What is our greatest hope for the future of this nation?" The most popular answer was, "Return to traditional moral values." This response was selected 3 times more often than the next most popular answer and was selected by 49% of the people polled. The clearly articulated message and values presented by the LP, "Atheistic Anarchists," is a message America understands and rejects.

    Wayne Alen Root’s (WAR) bid to be head of the LP typifies both the elitist and image problems of the LP. During the first balloting he garnered 43% of the vote for Chair of the LP. Virtually double every other contender, a clear plurality and nearly a clear majority. The other old guard elitist Libertarians, worked together to insure that this new upstart who quit the Republican Party would not become the LP Chair, the mantra appeared to be “anybody but Root.” They were successful and after a few more rounds of balloting, Hinkle was selected. Hinkle is a not a bad man but is among the old school LP elite. He is not the visionary leader that WAR is. Members of own LPF leadership, said that “I was hopeful that time on the LNC would bring Root inline with core party principle.” If the core party principle is unacceptable to the vast majority of Americans then maybe we need to look at the core party principles. Daniel Williams also says, “I'm of the belief that re-creating libertarianism, as Wayne believes is his calling, isn't what's needed. “ Mr. Williams is wrong, if the LP is to be something other than a home to extremists, and to be a viable alternative presenting the Philosophy of Liberty in a way that is palatable to the entire nation, Libertarianism must be recreated as WAR suggests. If it isn’t and the LP continues on the path it has for decades, it will continue to garner the same results; rejection by the American people.

    The fact that half the population of the US believes the best hope for the country is a return to traditional moral values is not surprising. The rise of the TEA Party, a true grass roots uprising of the American People, is a prime example. As J. Farah of WND.com suggests, both of the major parties, pragmatically present nothing buy materialism to the American people. Both fail to accept and realize that Americans are a people who still believe in principles. At the polls Bush was rejected over principles as was Obama. The majority of Americans believes in the Liberty, and in the writing of our forefathers. Including that fact that they believed that the constitution was not sufficient for an immoral people.

    The LP platform starts “As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.” LP Platform section 1.3 Personal Relationships which reads "Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government's treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships." This platform position legitimizes the unequal treatment of individuals under the law and throws homosexual behavior into the face of America, a behavior which most Americans tolerate, but don’t condone. The LP is basically saying if necessary we will condone the use of the full force of the government to make everyone accept homosexual relations as morally equivalent to traditional heterosexual relationships. A belief that the American people do not accept, and if not for political correctness run amok, would clearly be articulated. But when the people can vote in secret outside of the politically correct boundaries of the media and ruling elite, the American people clearly support traditional Judeo-Christian values. The people of Iowa, generally considered a liberal state, did something in the last election that rarely if ever happens. They fired three of their state Supreme Court justices who suddenly discovered a constitutional right for men to marry men and women to marry women? Also think about the fact that state initiatives to ban same-sex marriage have been approved in all 31 states where they faced voters, even California. The vast majority of Americans, even the religious right, don’t want to outlaw or make homosexuality illegal, but the people also don’t want the immoral values of a few forced down their throats by the government. Homosexuals are a powerful and vocal minority of people, who are willing to use force to make all of America change the definition of marriage, hardly a libertarian ideal.

    A marriage is between a man and a woman. Homosexuals want to change the definition of marriage sacrificing the traditional values of Americans for their benefit, because it is not fair that the types of relationships they desire do not receive the legal benefits of marriage. The real problem isn’t that homosexuals don’t receive the benefits of marriage; it’s that people are not treated equally under the law. Why should anybody be given special rights, privileges, or treatment because of any personal relationship, including marriage? To be true to libertarian principles and to allow a moral America to embrace the LP, this platform position should be re-titled “1.3 Equality under the Law” and read, "Every person should be treated equally under the law. No laws, not even tax laws, should exist that grant anyone a benefit or punishes anyone differently for any reason, including but not limited to their sex, wealth, race, color, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference, office, or personal relationships." LP Platform plank 1.3 would then protect minorities like homosexuals, yet embrace the high moral standards of the American people. The LP can take a stance that protects the rights of homosexuals, by taking the higher more principled stand of upholding the rule of law for everybody equally.

    Can anyone give me any reason that doesn’t compromise an individual’s liberty that tax laws of any kind should be based on a person’s personal relationship such as marriage?

    Now consider LP Platform Plank 1.4 Abortion which reads, "Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration." If you believe that the most fundamental right of any person is their right to life, and if you also believe that life begins at conception, then you cannot support this LP platform plank, as this plank says does not recognize as it says “people can hold good-faith views on all sides”, but embraces the idea that the government should allow people to decide that it is acceptable to take another’s life if that other is not sufficiently developed; Completely ignoring those people who hold good-faith views that consider abortion a form of infanticide. This plank totally ignores the idea that “individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others” as it grants one individual the right to force another to sacrifice not only their values but their very life for the benefit of another. Consider the fact that more than half of all Americans would restrict abortion to cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother, and that 80% of Americans are ready to limit it to the first three months of pregnancy at most. The LP platform plank on abortion is at odds with 80% of America.

    To be true to libertarian principles, and to the constitution and since “people can hold good-faith views on all sides,” the LP should either remove this plank entirely, or at least take a pro-tenth amendment stance and say that it is outside of the enumerated powers of Federal Government.

    The natural home for people, who are a part of the non-partisan TEA Party, should be the Libertarian Party, it is not the home of the TEA Party because of the LP’s image. The American people believe in the Philosophy of Liberty, but the image of the LP is not the Philosophy of Liberty, but that of “Atheistic Anarchists” an image which must be changed. The elitist snobs at the top of the LP embrace the image of they have carefully cultivated, an image the American people have continually rejected. I am and will remain a member of the LP, I believe it is the political party best represents both Christian principles and the principles this country was founded. As such I will work at making the LP successful and a true bastion of liberty in the US. But to be successful the LP must be true to libertarian principles not its traditional immoral anarchist roots. Its current leadership at both the state and national level are elitist snobs, who protect their positions, actions and vision. Actions and vision that have lead the LP to become the home of crackpots, anarchists, and immoral people, whom the American people have soundly rejected. We need new visionary leaders that will remain true to principles of liberty and re-create Libertarianism, so that the vast majority of Americans who are fed up with both the Republicans and Democrats have a real viable alternative.

    I believe that the Libertarian Party can reform its image and remain principled and steadfast it's support of Liberty. As Libertarians if we continuing to do what we have been, and continue to embrace values which most Americans think of as immoral, we will continue to garner the same results. We will continue to lose at the polls, and have little or no acceptance by the population at large. To keep doing the same things and expect different results is the very definition of insanity; most of America thinks the LP is insane, we must change that image.

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Are we a Serious Political Party?

    It’s the Day after the election, the Libertarian Party, and the Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) specifically performed as expected. We lost. Actually we didn’t lose; we weren’t even in the game. Not a surprise, not a shock, not a setback. No rational person would have expected any less, the leadership in the LPF keeps doing what it’s always done and keeps getting the same results. Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” The LPF keeps doing the same thing and keeps getting the same result. Either as Libertarians we are insane or we don’t want to be a serious political party and win elections.

    The Libertarian Party of Florida is run by the Executive Committee (EC). This consists of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, directors at large, and area representatives. The LPF cannot fill all the area representative positions, because that position requires a large expenditure of personal time and money. The State party doesn’t even cover the mileage area representatives put on their cars doing party business. As I’ve said before the LPF and EC acts more like a social debate club than the third largest party in the Great State of Florida. The EC meets regularly but if you are a mere LPF member or even an officer in a county affiliate you would never know. Since the beginning of 2009, as an officer of the Libertarian Party of Citrus County, I can attest that our local affiliate received exactly ZERO communications from the EC.

    After the election of Obama, it became obvious that change was necessary because both the major parties were leading us down the road to socialism. So I like a lot of people decided to do something. The TEA party hadn’t started, I’d been a registered Libertarian for decades, so I decided to go to an LP meeting and get involved. I left that meeting as the affiliate treasurer and committed to creating a webpage/blog for the county affiliate. Now the Citrus County Libertarian Party, is very small, Citrus County has only about 150 registered libertarians, and fewer than ½ a dozen want to be active. I’m now the Vice Chair, and the Chair is Greg Lennon. Once our affiliate became real, both Greg and I started hitting the LPF for help, we were totally new to politics, and were hoping for some help. There wasn’t any help from the state. The state wanted our help, but offered nothing. Greg kept driving and driving the LPF to become more professional, asking hard questions and offering solutions, and put in countless hours to gather information. I don’t know all the ins and outs but before you know it, Greg was secretary of the LPF. His hard driving has forced some changes. In January 2010, at his request I researched and presented a plan to help the county affiliates look more professional, it was a small gesture to supply professional looking 10X10 canopies from EZ-Up so that the affiliates would present an uniform image of the LPF, look professional at political rallies, and so that the LPF would demonstrate some support for the affiliates. Because it was not free the EC shot it down completely. For an example of how do-nothing the LPF is, try to find a single expenditure for a table, booth, or participation in any rally, gun show, state fair, or convention of any sort in the state of Florida. Zero - Zip - Nada participation. When former the Region 2 Director asked why, the answer from the current LPF Chair Vicki Kirkland was “Because the LPF is too cheap.” At least it was an honest answer.

    At the 2010 state convention the treasures report for the 2009 fiscal year indicated that the LPF spent a whopping $2400 in 2009. The State of Florida has the third largest number of registered Libertarians in the nation, and the party did all its business, support, advertising, and everything else spending less than $2500 all year, and still had about the same $50,000 in the bank it had at the end of 2008; clearly the party did not waste funds. So when the opportunity from the floor of the State Convention to comment came, I openly accused the EC of fiscal malfeasance. Not for miss use of LPF funds but for failure to use the funds entrusted to grow, promote, and further the LPF. Jesus told a parable about that, Mathew 25:14-30, Christ calld the man who did nothing with the gold he was entrusted, a “You wicked, lazy servant!” In no way could the third largest political party in the State of Florida be considered a serious political party and spend a less than $2500 in a year. Zero dollars were spent supporting candidates. Zero dollars were spent fund raising. The only money spent was to cover minimal administration costs. This includes all money the state party spent on the annual state convention. The leaders of the LPF have shown themselves to be wicked, lazy servants to the members of the Libertarian Party of Florida.

    At the end of the summer I saw a new picture on the LPF web page for our chair person but it still had JJ’s name. Because Greg was secretary, and I’m fairly active, I know a couple of members of the EC. I called and found out that the EC forced the resignation of former Chair JJ McCurry. I asked a couple EC members why there was no news of this to the county affiliates and why the web page had a new picture for the chairperson with the old name. Within a day or two there was a brief welcome letter from the new chair and the web page was fixed, I called the Chairs of all the major metro area county affiliates, and of a few minor county affiliates, to find out if any of them had heard that our Chairperson had resigned (or if they knew he had been forced to resign)? None knew, in fact none had ever received any communications from the EC for years until this year when our secretary send out administrative requests for county affiliation. I was told by virtually all the active Libertarian Party county affiliates that they simply ignore the state, as it never does anything (see LPF financial reports for verification). Since we have gotten a new party chair, there have been a handful of emails from the Chair to the entire LPF email list. No details of EC meetings, or what the EC is doing but it is an improvement. The EC still totally ignores its county affiliates, and if not for the works of some new blood in the party would still do totally nothing. That might be unfair, the EC meets a lot, and probably does stuff, but it is not visible to the public, the libertarian party membership, or the leaders of Libertarian County Affiliates. So whatever it is that the EC does do is totally invisible.

    Over the past two years the shinning achievement of the EC, and LPF leadership was to recruit Alex Snitker to be a Libertarian. Alex Snitker this year’s LP Candidate for U.S. Senate, has done more for the LP and motivated more LP members to be active, than the LPF leadership has done in several decades. At this year’s state convention, the members and representatives from the local counties, and Snitker had to shame the EC into doing anything to help local chapters, they committed to purchasing the canopies that they had earlier turned down, and getting T-Shirts to help with fund raising. The EC did let loose of $9,999 to help Alex Snitker pay the state fee and get on the Florida Ballot. The EC did not appear happy that the membership was forcing them to do something that they had previously decided they didn’t want to do.

    So when I accused the EC of fiscal malfeasance, I was told that 2009 was not an election year, and we’d see the action and activity in 2010. Well it’s the day after the election and the LPF has around $35K in the bank. It looks like other than the $10K to Alex Snitker to get on the ballot, the money for rally canopies and some T-Shirts that the affiliates forced the EC to spend, and the usual minimal administration expenses; all financial indicators show that the LPF has again done nothing. This year we have all seen the people of the nation and State of Florida horribly upset at both the GOP and Democrats, the opportunity to expose the LPF to the citizens of Florida and have the message of Liberty heard has never been better. The current leadership of the LPF failed to act. Since they have shown that they can run the state party on a mere $2500 a year, what excuse do they have not to have spent every penny in the treasury to do everything they could to show Florida that the LPF is a serious party, with serious ideas, and a serious mission to protect the Liberty for every Florida citizen. The only visible activity of the EC has been lots of changes in EC membership, so it appears that the only visible actions of the Executive Council members have been political fighting amongst themselves.

    Like I said at the start it’s the day after the election, the Libertarian Party, and the LPF specifically performed as expected. We lost. The LPF keeps doing the same thing (nothing) and getting the same results. Why? I believe it is because the LPF has poor leadership, and the majority of the EC just want a social debate club not a serious political party. The EC has done nothing to expose the members of the Libertarian party to the libertarian message much less the citizens of Florida. The EC has no vision: If the EC does have a vision it clearly hasn’t articulated it, and isn’t ineffective at reaching whatever that vision might be. The Executive Committee of the Libertarian Party of Florida with very few exceptions doesn’t do anything unless forced to. From inside the EC Greg Lennon is trying to make the LPF a professional political party; from outside the EC Alex Snitker and his campaign is trying to make the LPF a professional political party. Some members of the EC are good people trying to do the best they can, but they are not leaders, and are ineffective. The distinct lack of professional fund raising, the distinct unwillingness to take any actions, the political back stabbing in the EC against anybody who does try to do anything or who tries to make change, and the general elitist attitude expressed by “old guard” LPF leaders who don’t want to be held accountable, are all signs that EC has failed the LPF.

    I was at last night’s “victory” party for Alex Snitker. Alex Snitker proudly, loudly, and assuredly proclaimed that he is and will remain a Libertarian. No attacks on anybody, no name calling, just a clear vision for Liberty and Freedom that the LPF leadership lacks. He also announced that he will be going after Bill Nelson’s U.S. Senate seat in 2012. Alex is a leader. The LPF needs leaders, not administrators. I’m sure he won’t take the job as LPF Chair because it would make running for office impossible, but we need Alex or somebody like him heading the LPF. There are people who hold titles at the top of the LPF, many of them may be capable administrators, who do the minutia of administering the party, but there is no leader, no visionary, no person to proudly and loudly proclaim what the Libertarian Party of Florida is and where it is going, and leads to that goal.

    If the Libertarian Party of Florida is to be successful at the April 2011 state convention we must end the insanity. We must elect leaders with vision and drive, who will unite and energize the party. We must change the image of the LP in the eyes of the public. We must end the reign of the wicked and lazy Executive Council that has made the LPF appear to the public to be nothing more than an insignificant little debate club for crackpots and not a serious political party. If we the members and county affiliates of the Libertarian Party in Florida keep doing what we’ve always done and elect the same people we have for years, then we can expect the same results. We will continue to lose at the polls.

    Tom Rhodes
    Vice Chair Libertarian Party of Citrus County