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August 2017

Viewing posts from August , 2017

Blood & Soil BSers Look Back to Miserable Era

by Gene Berkman

Q:”Why do Nazis rally around statues of Confederate heros?”
A:”There are no statues of Hitler in Germany for Nazis to rally around.”

Now that civic and business leaders in the south are beginning to deal with the statues of confederate politicians and generals, some are defending the statues as more about nostalgia than about racism. Of course, it is hard to separate nostalgia for the old south from the racist society that it stood for.

At the recent “United the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA, another kind of nostalgia was on display. A couple hundred night-time marchers carried tiki torches and chanted “Blood & Soil” and anti-Semitic slogans, in a juvenile parody of a Nuremburg rally. Americans, in the early 21st Century, nostalgic for the Third Reich – National Socialist Germany.

The National Socialist Party held power in Germany for 12 years, from April 30, 1933 to June of 1945. When the National Socialist reign came to an end, German cities had whole neighborhoods turned to rubble. Millions of Germans were homeless – they even created their own party, Bund der Heimatlosen. Factories and shops were damaged, and people were reduced to selling anything they had or could find to occupation soldiers in the hopes of making a little money to make survival possible.

Today, Germany is a major economic power, producing and exporting precision equipment and high quality consumer goods. Each year, Germany exports almost a trillion dollars worth of products. Germans have the highest standard of living and lowest taxes in Europe, except for the Swiss. And millions of foreigners have found in Germany a place to live and be creative.

Germany has achieved its economic success by restoring the market economy that the Nazis had destroyed, by enacting guarantees for civil liberties, and adopting a foreign policy based on avoiding conflict. Modern Germany has made a clean break with the Nazi past, and it has prospered.

Only a fool with a very low IQ, or someone with serious psychological problems, would think that the Third Reich was a better place to live than contemporary Germany. In Germany only a real loser would be nostalgic for a system that destroyed their country. In America, we have losers too, and they were on display in Charlottesville just recently.

The losers in Charlottesville included some who carried confederate flags, and others who carried flags with swastikas, mixing two forms of nostalgia. And who can deny that in the southern states today, life is better for everyone than it was during the 4 years of the slaveholders rebellion? After 4 years of the confederacy, millions in the south were in want, their dreams of a prosperous life dashed in a war caused by the defenders of slavery. How can anyone be nostalgic for that?

I guess nostalgia just isn’t what it used to be.


Libertarians Call For Bail Reform

Californians charged with minor offenses are often kept in jail awaiting trial because they can’t afford even a small amount of bail. Often, this occurs in cases where there’s no threat to public safety. Libertarians are joining people from across the political spectrum to change this unfair system, which almost seems like a debtor’s prison. We support SB 10 and AB 42, currently working their way through the California Legislature with the backing of legislators from both major parties as well as civil rights groups like the ACLU.

Bail amounts should be decided by the likelihood of the accused to show up in court, not by a bureaucratic list with no tethers to individual circumstances. “Not only must taxpayers foot the bill for prisoners who should have been released on their own recognizance, but these detainees may lose their jobs, homes, and custody of their children if they are stuck in jail for even a week unnecessarily,” said Ted Brown, chairman of the Libertarian Party of California. And after all of that incarceration, one-third of felony charges are dropped or the defendant is found not guilty, according to the ACLU.

Poor people are treated abominably by the criminal justice system. They often have warrants against them for not paying previous traffic fines or fees, many of which are overly high to begin with. Courts don’t take into account ability to pay. “If people have to rot in jail just because they are poor, we haven’t come very far from the debtor’s prisons in England of 150 years ago,” said Brown. “Libertarians believe that no one should be in jail merely for being unable to make a payment.”

It’s understandable that state legislators and county supervisors don’t want to change this system for fear they’ll be blamed if even one suspect who is released commits a heinous crime. But each case is different and each person has specific circumstances which must be evaluated. Libertarians will always work to protect individual rights and advocate treating everyone as innocent until proven guilty.

The post Libertarians Call For Bail Reform appeared first on Libertarian Party of California.

Liberty Against Fascism:Open Letter from the Libertarian Movement

Today (August 12th, 2017), the “Unite the Right” rally is scheduled to proceed in Charlottesville, VA. The “Right” being united there isn’t just any “Right,” but one that welcomes white supremacists and self-described fascists. Multiple speakers will say this themselves, and the chants at a chaotic pre-event march the night before included Neo-Nazi slogans.

The purpose of this letter is to clarify the role for libertarianism in this rally – which is no role at all.

That clarification is necessary because it might appear otherwise. Three of the listed speakers have at one time or another identified as libertarians: Mike Enoch, Augustus Invictus, and Christopher Cantwell. Mike Enoch previously called himself a libertarian, but now mocks the philosophy as “autistic.” Augustus Invictus previously attempted to run for Senate through the Libertarian Party. Recently, though, he publicly changed his registration to Republican in disgust. Christopher Cantwell now seems ambivalent about his relationship with libertarianism and anarchism, but his primary identification is with fascism.

Regardless of how any speakers or attendees have identified in the past or present, we want to make clear that this event is not in any way a place for libertarianism. Among libertarians, some identify as “right-wing,” some as “left-wing,” and some as “radical centrists.” Virtually the entire outside political spectrum is mirrored within libertarianism, and this makes for no shortage of infighting. One area where the undersigned have consensus, however, is in a rejection of any attempt to connect white supremacy and fascism to libertarianism. Libertarians, including those who see themselves as on “the Right,” have no interest in uniting with the horrifically authoritarian “Right” – often called the “Alt-Right” – rallying in Charlottesville.

All this should be exceedingly obvious from even a cursory glance at the two movements.

On a historical note, modern-day libertarianism largely took root in the English-speaking world through Jewish intellectuals, some of whom fled the Nazis. Our movement grew as a revolt against fascism, Communism, and early twentieth-century progressivism. As Thomas Leonard has shown in his Illiberal Reformers, that third enemy’s intellectual history is closely interwoven with eugenics.

On the level of philosophy, libertarianism stresses the freedom of individuals even when that freedom goes against some supposed collective will. The entire point behind a politics of white supremacy is to replace free association with endless central planning and regulation on collectivist racial grounds. “Unite the Right” speaker Richard Spencer actively seeks to turn the United States into a 100% white ethno-state. It is impossible to conceive of this happening without a return of the total state and its horrors.

Despite the obvious incompatibility of that totalitarianism and libertarianism (of any kind), an attempted association between the two is unsurprising. Attempts at rebooting authoritarian movements often operate through a tactic called entryism. Entryism is where a smaller political movement attempts to capture a larger one and seize its resources. In cases like fascism and Communism, the tendency towards entryism is probably a joint product of amoral opportunism and an inability to rationally defend their views.

It is necessary, then, for libertarians to restate the exceedingly obvious and insist on the stark differences between our views and those of anyone with any affinity for National Socialist Germany.

Source, with (growing) list of signers to this statement @ https://libertyagainstfascism.wordpress.com/


12 Activist Things To Do To Change The World

1. Make a bunch of digital 3D models of political figures, and distribute the models widely at obscenely low prices for use in computer games, ads, parodies, farces, and the like.

2. Program a powerful AI to analyze all the non-essential legislation in the world and figure out a way to make all the B.S. self-nullifying.

3. Start a social promise community.

4. Write a best-selling story about how a band of dedicated activists peacefully conquered evil across an empire. Then sell the movie rights to a major movie studio.

5. Found a thriving mutual aid society for ex-felons.

6. Contribute to the growing movement for building a political coalition for liberty by mutual acceptance of differing opinions.

7. Convince the Ex-Felon Mutual Aid Society to organize a sister society for homeless people.

8. Brilliantly defend the mutual aid societies from attacks by centralists and fascists.

9. Host a regular party to celebrate liberty and reinforce connections with like-minded people.

10. Pass legislation legalizing psychedelics for psychiatric uses.

11. Run a powerful campaign for U.S. President on a platform of Liberty, that unites conservatives, liberals, moderates and radicals, achieving groundbreaking results.

12. Do one less banal thing, and one more profound thing, on a fairly regular cycle.

12 Activist Things To Do To Change The World

1. Make a bunch of digital 3D models of political figures, and distribute the models widely at obscenely low prices for use in computer games, ads, parodies, farces, and the like.

2. Program a powerful AI to analyze all the non-essential legislation in the world and figure out a way to make all the B.S. self-nullifying.

3. Start a social promise community.

4. Write a best-selling story about how a band of dedicated activists peacefully conquered evil across an empire. Then sell the movie rights to a major movie studio.

5. Found a thriving mutual aid society for ex-felons.

6. Contribute to the growing movement for building a political coalition for liberty by mutual acceptance of differing opinions.

7. Convince the Ex-Felon Mutual Aid Society to organize a sister society for homeless people.

8. Brilliantly defend the mutual aid societies from attacks by centralists and fascists.

9. Host a regular party to celebrate liberty and reinforce connections with like-minded people.

10. Pass legislation legalizing psychedelics for psychiatric uses.

11. Run a powerful campaign for U.S. President on a platform of Liberty, that unites conservatives, liberals, moderates and radicals, achieving groundbreaking results.

12. Do one less banal thing, and one more profound thing, on a fairly regular cycle.

Vice Chair Report Q1 2017

This is the first quarter after our 2017 convention April 28-30, so I'm calling it Q1. We got a nice energy boost from the convention. After the fatigue of hard work passed, people turned to their activism business, thinking ahead to next year or to building infrastructure and relationships for liberty. Our new Secretary and Treasurer have been diligent and hard working - not that others haven't been. We are fortunate to have such committed and capable people joining us.

There's no way I can report on all the swirling political currents, but here's a few. Jimmy Gomez ended up plastering false-Democrat Robert Lee Ahn by a 20% margin for the 34th Congressional District. It's pretty much a one-party state here in the Metropolis of Southern California, with just a few Republican enclaves holding on. The Commissariat is moving to take any further semblance of control over our own health care away from us, with California single-payer. In exchange they offer an illusion of adequate care for all. LA County passed a sales tax increase to fund special interests claiming sovereignty over homeless people. Darkness increases all around us, but we must nonetheless be sustained by genuine hope for true and lasting liberty.  

More towards the navel, Boomer made a trip to a recent San Diego supper club gathering. I'd like to hear his report after I'm done, if he's willing. If anyone else here was there, let's hear from them too. Michael Warnken is still considering the job of Chair Pro Tem in Santa Barbara. He needs to join the Central Committee first, we'll get that done if it's meant to be. If you know of anyone else interested in the job, let me know. If I understood her correctly, Gail Lightfoot hinted that the Ex Com should consider rescinding any prior disaffiliation of the last SLO County affiliate chaired by Gail. I will let Gail speak for herself because I am not sure I understood her meaning correctly. I'd prefer to see local activists hold an organizing convention in each of those Counties, after we help them by reaching out to libertarian voters with some of our newly exercised capabilities. The first part of that has to happen before the second can. The first ain't happening yet, apparently due to lack of interest.

The affiliate-organizing-by-convention business is putting the cart before the horse, if it lacks local support. Before visible affiliates can organically emerge, grassroots support must be cultivated. We need informal clubs that identify as libertarian and support one another. Just groups of friends, really, who identify with us and include members of our central committee. Friends will collaborate on ways to make friends and support one another without getting thumped by the powers-that-be. Once we have a friends network doing grassroots activism, the visible affiliates with spending power will emerge when they are needed. I'd like to hear your ideas and plans about how you are going to build your own libertarian club, and make it thrive wherever you are. And I encourage the Ex Com to support people who are doing such things without trying to control them. Let's set an example of mutual respect, non-aggression and group effectiveness for others. Let's make the Ex Com a group we are all honored and privileged to be a part of, because of the remarkably good things we accomplish and the great friends we make while working together.

There's a million other things to say, but I'm out of time.

Vice Chair Report Q1 2017

This is the first quarter after our 2017 convention April 28-30, so I'm calling it Q1. We got a nice energy boost from the convention. After the fatigue of hard work passed, people turned to their activism business, thinking ahead to next year or to building infrastructure and relationships for liberty. Our new Secretary and Treasurer have been diligent and hard working - not that others haven't been. We are fortunate to have such committed and capable people joining us.

There's no way I can report on all the swirling political currents, but here's a few. Jimmy Gomez ended up plastering false-Democrat Robert Lee Ahn by a 20% margin for the 34th Congressional District. It's pretty much a one-party state here in the Metropolis of Southern California, with just a few Republican enclaves holding on. The Commissariat is moving to take any further semblance of control over our own health care away from us, with California single-payer. In exchange they offer an illusion of adequate care for all. LA County passed a sales tax increase to fund special interests claiming sovereignty over homeless people. Darkness increases all around us, but we must nonetheless be sustained by genuine hope for true and lasting liberty.  

More towards the navel, Boomer made a trip to a recent San Diego supper club gathering. I'd like to hear his report after I'm done, if he's willing. If anyone else here was there, let's hear from them too. Michael Warnken is still considering the job of Chair Pro Tem in Santa Barbara. He needs to join the Central Committee first, we'll get that done if it's meant to be. If you know of anyone else interested in the job, let me know. If I understood her correctly, Gail Lightfoot hinted that the Ex Com should consider rescinding any prior disaffiliation of the last SLO County affiliate chaired by Gail. I will let Gail speak for herself because I am not sure I understood her meaning correctly. I'd prefer to see local activists hold an organizing convention in each of those Counties, after we help them by reaching out to libertarian voters with some of our newly exercised capabilities. The first part of that has to happen before the second can. The first ain't happening yet, apparently due to lack of interest.

The affiliate-organizing-by-convention business is putting the cart before the horse, if it lacks local support. Before visible affiliates can organically emerge, grassroots support must be cultivated. We need informal clubs that identify as libertarian and support one another. Just groups of friends, really, who identify with us and include members of our central committee. Friends will collaborate on ways to make friends and support one another without getting thumped by the powers-that-be. Once we have a friends network doing grassroots activism, the visible affiliates with spending power will emerge when they are needed. I'd like to hear your ideas and plans about how you are going to build your own libertarian club, and make it thrive wherever you are. And I encourage the Ex Com to support people who are doing such things without trying to control them. Let's set an example of mutual respect, non-aggression and group effectiveness for others. Let's make the Ex Com a group we are all honored and privileged to be a part of, because of the remarkably good things we accomplish and the great friends we make while working together.

There's a million other things to say, but I'm out of time.

Message From The Chair – 8-6-17

I hope you are all having a great summer.  In the world of politics, we have to think a few months ahead.  Campaign 2018 is coming up very soon.  With all of the dysfunction in Washington and the left-wing insanity in Sacramento, Libertarians are needed now more than ever to provide a principled alternative.

A lot of offices are up for election in 2018.  There are all the statewide offices, like Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Controller, Treasurer, Insurance Commissioner, and Superintendent of Public Instruction.  Dianne Feinstein’s U. S. Senate seat is up, along with all 53 congressional districts.  For state offices, all 80 State Assembly seats and the 20 even State Senate seats will be voted on.

One of my main projects as a Libertarian activist for over 30 years has been to recruit Libertarians to run for office.  I believe it’s the best way to us to get our views out before the public.  That’s because most people don’t pay attention to politics outside of election season.   We used to have a lot of candidates.  That changed starting in 2012, after voters passed Proposition 14 to create the “Top Two” voting system in California.  As you know, it has been difficult to get past the primary and be one of the top two candidates in the November general election.

But we are certainly not giving up.  Libertarians need to run for as many offices as possible.  So I am asking you to step forward and volunteer for this important task.  Please contact me at tbrown@ca.lp.org if you are interested, and we can talk about what office is the best fit for you.

Not only do we need candidates, we also need funds to help candidates pay their filing fees, candidate statement fees, and general campaign expenses.  The Libertarian Party of California has a separate political committee called the Candidate Support Committee (CSC) to raise money and then spend it to support Libertarians running for state and local office.   We are embarking on a fundraising effort to raise money for the CSC and to have funds available to back our dedicated Libertarian candidates in the 2018 election cycle.

Baron Bruno, who ran a great Libertarian campaign in coastal Los Angeles County last year, has volunteered to raise funds to help our candidates.  You will probably be hearing from him in the near future.  But there’s no need to wait for Baron’s call.  You can contribute online right now.  Any amount will be helpful to our candidates.  Just go to:

http://csc.ca.lp.org/

Our state convention was only 3 months ago, but planning for the next one is important as well.  The 2018 Libertarian Party of California State Convention will be held April 27-29, 2018 at the Long Beach Airport Marriott, 4700 Airport Plaza Drive, in Long Beach.  If you know already that you plan to attend, you are in luck.  That’s because there is early bird pricing for convention packages.  You can save a bundle now.  And then you won’t have to worry about paying next April.  The convention committee, headed by Mimi Robson, has already signed up a few great speakers, including Judge Jim Gray, former Congressman Tom Campbell, and Matt Welch of Reason Magazine.   Be one of the first to sign up for this great event.  Just go to:

https://ca.lp.org/convention/

If your membership in the Libertarian Party of California has expired or soon will, please be sure to renew it.  Just go to:

http://ca.lp.org/membership/

For liberty,

Ted Brown

Chair, Libertarian Party of California

tbrown@ca.lp.org

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