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May 2016

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A Libertarian Guide To Chair Throwing

Earlier this year, delegates supporting Bernie Sanders grew disgusted at proceedings unfolding at the Nevada Democratic caucus.  Those unhappy delegates began throwing chairs and making death threats, or so it has been reported.

Just yesterday at the Libertarian Party's National Convention in Orlando Florida, a large and vocal minority of delegates were similarly dismayed by the nomination of William Weld for Vice President.  Weld, a former governor of Massachusetts, joined the Libertarian Party only two weeks ago.  These delegates did not trust Gov. Weld, and believed there were superior choices for the nomination.    Hundreds of delegates jeered loudly and waved their signs, once the results were announced.  I spotted an inverted chair parading over the heads of the delegates, accompanied by a long black inverted boot floating over a bush of kinky gray hair.  It turned out that Vermin Supreme was registering his displeasure by assertively carrying the chair around the floor.  This was learned from Vermin later, the reason for the floating chair being mysterious to me at the time.

James Weeks, delegate from Michigan and candidate for Chair of the Libertarian Party, registered his displeasure differently.  Granted a few minutes at the podium for his campaign speech, Mr. Weeks used his time to strip down to a jockstrap and shake his bearded Homer Simpson abundance at the assembled delegates and national television audience for what seemed like half of eternity.  He then withdrew from the race for Chair, and was escorted out of the convention hall by hotel security.

The purpose of Mr. Weeks' demonstration was not immediately apparent.  In hindsight, it can be inferred with confidence that it was meant as political protest.

A Libertarian Guide To Chair Throwing
I interviewed Mr. Weeks later that evening, and he confirmed that his striptease act was meant to protest the nomination of William Weld, which so richly deserved the contempt of the Party's radical wing.  Not only that -- and this I only half believe -- Mr. Weeks revealed that he sometimes strips professionally.  This seems incredible to me, but does explain his polished approach and use of professional tools.  I cannot imagine who would pay for services of such nature, but perhaps you can.

Why anyone would choose to protest a nomination by performing a striptease was beyond me.  The targeted effectiveness of Weeks' scud missile of gyrating, heavily bearded flesh became apparent later in the evening, after I heard an offended delegate complaining loudly and angrily that video of the performance was at the top of all the search results for "Libertarian Party Convention."   It was sort of an "aha"moment for me.

Weeks messed up the media coverage!  Righteous anger arises from desire to protect territory against trespass; in this case, the territory trespassed was a hope that the appearance of the convention would be sterile and complimentary.  No such territory exists that can be defended.  And yet, the Politician Weeks somehow managed to violate it, without breaking any of the Convention rules.  He was perfectly justified in exercising his political expression, exactly what the convention was held to do.  So he would receive no punishment.  He was asked to leave the convention hall, to prevent raucous infighting from getting out of hand.  There was a lot of stunned anger among the delegates, at the time.

It may be rumored that Weeks is a plant of the Trump campaign, sent to discredit the Libertarian Party and its nominee, Gary Johnson. This rumor is ridiculous.  From my interview of Weeks, I believe he is an honest, gentle man who has neither the desire nor the need to work for Trump or any other Machiavellian employer.  There is little more that can or need be said on the subject.

Some hope for the day that the Libertarian Party will grow up and become a serious broker of political power.  Not I.  The day that the Libertarian Party operates with great decorum and solemnity is the day I leave the Party.  May it ever be free, unpredictable, fun, and slightly ridiculous.  Only then will I trust that it is capable of performing that greatest political project ever attempted: ending all justifications for the application of coercion and fraud to achieve any social or political purpose.

Without further ado, we arrive finally at the Libertarian Guide to Chair Throwing: . . . don't, unless no one will be hurt by it.

A Libertarian Guide To Chair Throwing

Earlier this year, delegates supporting Bernie Sanders grew disgusted at proceedings unfolding at the Nevada Democratic caucus.  Those unhappy delegates began throwing chairs and making death threats, or so it has been reported.

Just yesterday at the Libertarian Party's National Convention in Orlando Florida, a large and vocal minority of delegates were similarly dismayed by the nomination of William Weld for Vice President.  Weld, a former governor of Massachusetts, joined the Libertarian Party only two weeks ago.  These delegates did not trust Gov. Weld, and believed there were superior choices for the nomination.    Hundreds of delegates jeered loudly and waved their signs, once the results were announced.  I spotted an inverted chair parading over the heads of the delegates, accompanied by a long black inverted boot floating over a bush of kinky gray hair.  It turned out that Vermin Supreme was registering his displeasure by assertively carrying the chair around the floor.  This was learned from Vermin later, the reason for the floating chair being mysterious to me at the time.

James Weeks, delegate from Michigan and candidate for Chair of the Libertarian Party, registered his displeasure differently.  Granted a few minutes at the podium for his campaign speech, Mr. Weeks used his time to strip down to a jockstrap and shake his bearded Homer Simpson abundance at the assembled delegates and national television audience for what seemed like half of eternity.  He then withdrew from the race for Chair, and was escorted out of the convention hall by hotel security.

The purpose of Mr. Weeks' demonstration was not immediately apparent.  In hindsight, it can be inferred with confidence that it was meant as political protest.

A Libertarian Guide To Chair Throwing
I interviewed Mr. Weeks later that evening, and he confirmed that his striptease act was meant to protest the nomination of William Weld, which so richly deserved the contempt of the Party's radical wing.  Not only that -- and this I only half believe -- Mr. Weeks revealed that he sometimes strips professionally.  This seems incredible to me, but does explain his polished approach and use of professional tools.  I cannot imagine who would pay for services of such nature, but perhaps you can.

Why anyone would choose to protest a nomination by performing a striptease was beyond me.  The targeted effectiveness of Weeks' scud missile of gyrating, heavily bearded flesh became apparent later in the evening, after I heard an offended delegate complaining loudly and angrily that video of the performance was at the top of all the search results for "Libertarian Party Convention."   It was sort of an "aha"moment for me.

Weeks messed up the media coverage!  Righteous anger arises from desire to protect territory against trespass; in this case, the territory trespassed was a hope that the appearance of the convention would be sterile and complimentary.  No such territory exists that can be defended.  And yet, the Politician Weeks somehow managed to violate it, without breaking any of the Convention rules.  He was perfectly justified in exercising his political expression, exactly what the convention was held to do.  So he would receive no punishment.  He was asked to leave the convention hall, to prevent raucous infighting from getting out of hand.  There was a lot of stunned anger among the delegates, at the time.

It may be rumored that Weeks is a plant of the Trump campaign, sent to discredit the Libertarian Party and its nominee, Gary Johnson. This rumor is ridiculous.  From my interview of Weeks, I believe he is an honest, gentle man who has neither the desire nor the need to work for Trump or any other Machiavellian employer.  There is little more that can or need be said on the subject.

Some hope for the day that the Libertarian Party will grow up and become a serious broker of political power.  Not I.  The day that the Libertarian Party operates with great decorum and solemnity is the day I leave the Party.  May it ever be free, unpredictable, fun, and slightly ridiculous.  Only then will I trust that it is capable of performing that greatest political project ever attempted: ending all justifications for the application of coercion and fraud to achieve any social or political purpose.

Without further ado, we arrive finally at the Libertarian Guide to Chair Throwing: . . . don't, unless no one will be hurt by it.

Boaz:”A Libertarian Ticket Sane Republicans Can Get Behind”

Lots of Republicans are looking for a sane alternative to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and it looks like the Libertarian Party has just given it to them, now that former Massachusetts Governor William Weld has joined former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson’s ticket.

It’s the first time two governors have shared a presidential ticket since Republicans Thomas E. Dewey of New York and Earl Warren of California narrowly lost to incumbent President Harry Truman in 1948.

Many observers think experience as a governor is the best preparation for the job of president. Johnson and Weld would bring 14 years of gubernatorial experience to the White House, while neither Trump nor Clinton has ever served as governor or even mayor.

Johnson and Weld were both elected and re-elected in Democratic states, and dealt with heavily Democratic legislatures.

Neither Johnson nor Weld is a purist libertarian, and both have come under fire within the Libertarian Party, which will nominate its candidates in Orlando over Memorial Day weekend. Johnson displeased many libertarians (including me) by saying that government should ban discrimination on the basis of religion, including requiring a Christian baker to bake and decorate a cake for a same-sex wedding. Weld has supported some gun control measures.

But they will present a clear alternative to Trump and Clinton: strong and coherent fiscal conservatism, social liberalism, drug-policy reform, criminal-justice reform, reining in mass surveillance, ending executive abuse of power, and a prudent foreign policy that is neither promiscuously interventionist nor erratic and bombastic — all grounded in a philosophical commitment to liberty and limited government.

Full Commentary by David Boaz @ The Cato Institute http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/libertarian-ticket-sane-republicans-can-get-behind


When All Else Fails… Adapt

A political landscape like no other… I keep hearing that over and over, but what does that mean? This is a year that has left the status quo in the dust. A fight exists between the perceived establishment and the wild card rebels. America is in a state of unrest with millennials, who have one of the oddest political makeups in recent history, and the previous generations, who had become adapted to a relatively static political environment. No one quite knows how to predict the outcome of this perfect storm.

But what is glaringly obvious is that now is a time to build a third party. This third party, to be exact. With muddled lines between the top two parties and the internal fights that are tearing apart coalitions under each umbrella, now is the time to build the Libertarian Party. It holds much of the values of each larger party without inclusion of the biased coercion of the seedy underbelly. We promote fiscal responsibility and social freedom… Less government and more individual choice. With the bloated, intrusive government we currently have, very few moderate Americans would argue with these concepts. These moderate Americans are the people who are re-registering in droves as “politically homeless” because the two major parties aren’t representing the people any longer.

The general vibe is that this is the year of ‪Hillary‬. Terrifying! Even for ‪Bernie‬ supporters. Word is, the ‪GOP‬ would rather sabotage ‪Trump‬ than support his candidacy. I’m happy to build a third party in this environment because it’s the time to build… But the sway towards ‪Libertarian‬ism will actually help Hillary (unless Bernie supporters also revolt). The first female ‪POTUS is slated to be this woman. After all these years and my whole life waiting for this moment. And it’s her. ‪But still, we build. Because revolutions are not won on the battlefield or in a split second. They are won, inch by inch, through the constant tug-of-war that takes place during times of chaos when people wake up to the truth and begin to move in one direction or another. It’s time we determine that direction.

Cruz’s departure from the race has caused a flurry of activity throughout the political world. Somehow, even though Cruz was intended to be the rebel candidate, he became the status quo, establishment candidate when Trump arrived and now we’re seeing a burst of activity on the Libertarian front. Headlines include such verbiage as, “Google Searches for ‘Libertarian Party’ Surge After Ted Cruz Drops Out” “Live Free or Trump” and “Libertarian Party Membership Applications Double After Trump Becomes Nominee.” All I have to say is, keep searching, keep signing up, get involved, and help us change politics! It’s time.

The best part is that we don’t have to agree on every issue. When you subscribe to a philosophy that doesn’t attempt to use coercion in order to impose one’s moral values on other people, you no longer need to seek complete agreement. You can have your values and I can have mine and we can coexist. And that’s okay. So let’s stop getting jerked around by people who don’t have our best interest at heart and let’s begin to rebuild America. Like I said, it’s time.

-Janine Kloss
Executive Director, Libertarian Party of California

 

While largely politically minded, Janine’s most recent efforts have been geared towards nonprofit work focused on cultural changes that will bring light to the connection between how we behave in our personal lives and what behaviors we accept from and expect from our political leaders. She is a colleague with the Foundation for Harmony and Prosperity (a nonprofit organization assembled to persuade people to act in concert with social principles that advance human happiness, harmony and prosperity), the Chairman and CEO for Vote LP Today (a general committee that supports the development of Libertarian candidates in California), and the Executive Director for the Libertarian Party of Sacramento County (a well-rounded, county-wide political party organization rooted in the Libertarian philosophy) as well as The Libertarian Party of California. She is passionate about working through communities in order to change the culture of local government and beyond.

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