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

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

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Republicans Will Betray the TEA Party

I usually don’t make predictions, I hope and pray that I am wrong but I do not believe we will see much if any change in our government even if there is a GOP landslide tomorrow. The mainstream press has convinced the majority of the American electorate that there is a right-left struggle going on between the Democrats and Republicans. They even favor the left. They have it wrong. The struggle in the USA is between a few ruling elite (regardless of party) and the average person. The Democrats headed by President Obama are openly socialistic, and make no bones about taking away individual liberty for the good of society (better known as their corporate sponsors). The Republicans pay lip service to being conservative, but their actions are far from it. They simply put a conservative spin on their fascist and socialist policies dictated by their corporate sponsors.

Observing the actions of both parties, one would almost suspect that they would prefer feudalism, with themselves as the benevolent ruling elite. None of the actions of either party reflect a belief that the government is or should be of the people, by the people and for the people. Look at the viscous attacks made at average people who dare to run against the ruling elite. The response of the GOP to O’Donnell and Angle are prime examples. You can feel the disdain from the party for the people who would dare not choose the ruling elite’s anointed candidate. Make no mistake about it the Republicans and Democrats are run by bluebloods who do not want and will actively attempt to stomp out any opposition that isn’t from their ruling elite club (or at least bought and paid for by the bluebloods).

The TEA Party, is an honest grass roots uprising of the American populace that originated as a non-partisan tax revolt targeted at too much government spending. Voxday in is weekly column said “The tea partiers are political innocents, for the most part, which is why they are now being so easily co-opted by a Republican establishment that has expertly harnessed the energy of tumult among the grassroots in decades past.” He also predicts that the TEA Party may be one of the GOP’s biggest enemies by 2012. I agree, because the GOP has repeatedly shown that it is only loyal to the dollar and keeping power and not to principle.

I predict that the Republicans will betray the TEA Party once they are back in power because they will not address the most pressing problems facing the nation; namely the restoration of individual private property rights, root causes of our economic down turn, rule of law, immigration, and our constant state of war. I believe they may exacerbate many of the problems facing the nation.

1) Private property rights. Republicans offer nothing on this, they can and will work to protect corporate property rights, but when it comes to individual rights they remain silent or worse yet rule against the individual. They routinely support taking property from people without due process, where it is cash (which they say must be drug money with no proof), or excessive regulations which limit what you can do with your property, they do not stand for individual property rights. Their lips say they support your rights but their deeds say they support more government.

2) The economy. Republicans voice nothing but empty and meaningless double talk. There is not a single word from a Republican leader on the secrecy of the Fed, pension-fund shortages and state bankruptcies. With a rare exception of Ron Paul the GOP does not support a fiscally sound dollar, and it appears that they plan on printing more money to pay off the national debt. Do you believe that the Republicans will let California go bankrupt, let the tens of thousands of California government workers lose their pensions, and use it as an example for other states to adopt smaller government and lower tax models like Texas’ or do you believe they will work with the Democrats to find some way to have the federal taxpayer (that’s you) bailout California, and the other states which are technically bankrupt?

3) Rule of Law. The Republicans defense of big banks when caught committing massive mortgage fraud, is a clear indicator that the GOP will actively protect the big banks from being forced to suffer the clear legal consequences of their criminal actions. They do not support the rule of law. They are no different in acting like elitist snobs who consider themselves above the law, than the Democrats. They have been just as likely as the Democrats to exempt themselves and their cronies from laws that everybody else must follow.

4) Immigration. Clearly the Republicans are talking out both sides of their mouth. They won’t vote for securing the border, or for limiting social welfare programs for immigrants, or support enforcing existing immigration laws. The GOP wants open borders for a differ reason than the Democrats, but the result is the same. The GOP want to keep a surplus of low skilled labor in the country to keep labor prices down for their corporate sponsors, while the Democrats want more low income people to add to the government dole eager to increase voters who support bigger government. Although theoretically open borders is the most libertarian of ideas, the reality is that no country that doesn’t defend its borders and control immigration lasts for long. Its enemies have easy access and its will lose its cultural identity, and those who immigrate who don’t have a culture of libertarian ideas, will soon suppress liberty. The message on what immigrants who want to be successful in America should do is “Learn English and adopt American Values.” The old model of a melting pot was superior to and more successful than the current “cultural diversity” model.

5) Constant State of War. The Republicans use a constant state of war, whether real or artificially created, to justify massive expenditures, and intrusive control of the US population. They support invading and occupying other nations regardless of the cost, and rationale. It is better to fight terrorism outside US borders, but nation building is not and should not be the goal of our country. If the people of another country want liberty and democracy, they let them get it the same way we got it; Fight for it themselves. Our military should be given clear military objectives, not social engineering objectives. The military’s job is, and should be limited to, defending the USA and its allies, or conquering our enemies. Nation building, social engineering, and other non-military objectives should not be a part of our Military. The Military is a tool of FORCE, period. If the objective is not to use FORCE then it should not be the Military’s job. They are not called the armed FORCES for nothing. The constant state of war, is not only hugely expensive, but provides an excuse to trample the rights of the American people. The Republicans who brought us the unPatriot Act are not going to try and end our constant state of war which gives them so much power.

The Republicans don’t have a Philosophy of Liberty anymore than the Democrats. Their loyalty is to their power and the good of their sponsors, this will become evident in due time. Because their loyalty is not to the people of the USA, my prediction is the result of tomorrows election will put the GOP in control of congress which will tehn betray the TEA Party who elected them. When they do, ask your self is there a political party of principle? Is there a political party that believes you know what’s best for you, not some ruling elite in Washington? Is there a political party that actually espouses the values that this country was originally founded?

Please watch this video The Philosophy of Liberty. If Liberty and what it means is something you believe in and would rather have than some “Nanny State” taking care of you; then support your local TEA Party (which is not a political party) and examine the platform and beliefs of some of the third parties, and help end the Republican and Democrat strangle hold on American politics. The Republicans and Democrats are just two sides of the same big government coin, and like that coin are becoming worth less and less. The Republicans will betray you, I for one hope that after you see that GOP has betrayed you that you look at the party of principle, the Libertarian Party.

Since when you vote tomorrow your individual vote is not of any real significance (no one person’s vote can or will change an election), then why not vote for your heart ,take a principled stand and vote for anybody besides a Democrat or Republican, preferably a Libertarian. But send a personal one vote message to both major parties that you’re fed up with them, and vote for a third party, the Libertarian Party, Constitution Party, Green Party, an independent, - Hell, vote for the “Rent is Too Damn High” party. Just don’t vote Republican or Democrat if you have a choice, you’ll feel better for sending the message. You don’t need to feel guilty, sense it’s obvious that the Republicrats and Demicans don’t worry about you, you don’t need to worry about them.