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Freedom Zone Confronts City Council

“Let’s bring this meeting to order,” said the Mayor. “Order, please.” He banged the gavel. Quiet emerged in the packed City Council Chambers. Cameras flashed.

“All right, to begin, this is a highly informal meeting, at the request of a group which calls themselves the Freedom Zone. This group, and the area where they reside, have no legal basis, but the City has agreed to work with them informally, to move this forward and try to come to a resolution.”

In the back, somebody whispered “windbag.”

“hush” whispered another.

The Mayor continued. “I’d like to give the floor to our Finance Director, Sasha Baldwin. Sasha.”

Sasha rose. “You can read a summary of our findings up on screen. As you can see, landowners and retail establishments are in arrears on property taxes, sales taxes, and wage taxes. These property taxes are based on assessed values. The sales and wage figures are guesstimates, since the people in arrears have filed no reports; they have not complied with laws which require them to file tax forms. In addition, no fees have been paid for inspections, licensing, and other matters which are deemed vital for public safety.”

After further speechification and verbiage, the Mayor invited Troy Freeman-Li to the stand. An aide made an adjustment to the video projector; a map appeared, showing the informal Freedom Zone, and the words “Speaking: Troy Freeman-Li.”

About 1.9 meters tall, dark haired, athletic in build, wearing a bespoke suit, Troy commanded attention. He introduced himself in strong, confident tones. “Hello, my name is Troy Freeman-Li, of the Freedom Zone. I speak for myself and, by their request, the interests of the others who have been described by the finance minister as ‘in arrears.’ They remain free to speak for themselves or to separate themselves from my informal representation, should I depart from their intentions.” As he spoke, captions appeared, in sync; all of this video generated by Troy’s Interface.

The Mayor had scrawled “A kid?” on his scratch paper. His aide wrote “Owns 1/2 zone. Could buy 1/2 city. Respect.”

“I’d like to address two issues with the property tax. First, the assessed value; the City has raised appraised values by 140%, not because it spends more money on us in the Zone, but because the City believes that we have no choice but to pay; it seeks to charge the highest price that we will tolerate. Second, with respect to school tax: No child in Freedom Zone attends city schools, and some outside of this zone have chosen to study within it. Twelve thousand students are educated at our own expense. We see no reason to continue to pay City school taxes, nor to pay these huge increases, simply because of arbitrary increases in assessed value.”

Graphics compared the increases in assessed values and taxes, versus the drop in cost of actual services, since the Zone had begun providing better and cheaper alternatives.

Troy took a sip of water. “Furthermore, I’d like the Police Chief to speak a moment about crime statistics, and demand for police services in this Zone. Chief, please.”

The Police Chief stood. “It may cost my job to say this, but any of my officers will tell you the same story. There is hardly any violent crime in this area; it is a ‘Safe Zone.’ One officer has been killed in the past three years; it was found that he was attempting to rape a woman, who shot him. This was ruled a regrettable but justifiable homicide; no charges were filed. Two officers who were beating a homeless man, and got themselves a bit of a beat-down; they chose to file no charges. A few purses have been snatched; the perpetrators were caught, the property returned. In short, the zone does a great job of policing itself. Furthermore, ambulance services run out of a facility adjacent to ours. They report zero calls from this zone, the past three years. The same for fire services. This zone resolves their own problems.”

The Chief sat down. Troy continued. “To sum up our position, we hardly need the City; the City needs us. We’ve happily paid for and supported city water and sewage, which we do use. We have our own waste disposal firms. We police our streets. We educate our children. We are asking only to keep what is our own, and to put it to better use for our own purposes.”

A Council Member stood up: “You are asking for tax subsidies.”

“No. We are asking to be left alone. We have little need for your ‘services.” And I, personally, have offered to buy your decrepit water treatment facilities, improve them at my expense, and to sell better water to city residents at lower prices than they now pay.”

Another Council Member: “Your 12,000 children don’t seem to go to school at all. They’re in the streets and shops at all hours of the day.”

A boy stood and requested attention. He looked to be about twelve years old. He approached the mike. Troy stepped aside.

“Hello everyone. My name is Isaac Kaplan. I don’t go to school, because I want to learn all the time, every day. I learn when I read at the library; I learn when I play with my friends; I learn when I visit with Rabbi Small; I learn when I work in my Aunt Tilda’s book store. I’m learning right now, and I don’t need somebody to make this an ‘assignment’, nor to tell me to write a report. I’ll write my own report in a newsletter for my paying customers, and the better I write, the more I get paid. I write for incentives which are real to me, not for gold stars.”

Audience members applauded.

Another Council Member rose. “What about drugs and prostitution?”

Troy answered. “Both are openly available, of high quality, offered under conditions which are safe for both customers and providers.”

“What about licensing and code enforcement?”

“Were somebody to explain the benefits of specific programs, we would be more than happy to find ways to provide better services at lower cost. In fact, as a landlord, I fund inspectors who examine every property I own, and fix problems so that my tenants and I can have a good working relationship in a safe and healthy environment. This is how we do things in the Zone.”

The audience ooohed. The Mayor called for order. “Anything further, Mr. Freeman-Li?”

“To sum up, the City has broken faith with us. It collects taxes under false pretenses. These taxes, we have been told, are merely the ‘price we pay for civilization’; the price for safe street, for good schools, for paved roads, and so forth. By any honest assessment, the City has hardly ever delivered on its promises. Any contract between equal parties would be voided by such egregious non-performance, but the City claims special status – the power to demand taxes without actually having to deliver on its side of the bargain. I ask that a new bargain be struck, a bargain which more fairly reflects the interests of those who carry the burden and bear the costs.”

“We choose to protect our neighbors because we want to live in a clean and safe neighborhood. We provide food, health, and lodging for the indigent because they are our neighbors, and when we help them, we help all of our neighbors. And we are able to do this because we have refused to been pay millions of dollars in unjust taxes for services which the City is actually not providing. I’d be happy to sit down and talk with the folks in your city who provide services which we do use – such as water and sewage – and find ways to pay a reasonable price for reasonable service. But the attitude of the city is not based upon service, nor upon voluntary exchange; it is based upon their determination to use law suits and the threat of police action and account seizures to pick a price – your price, not ours – and to demand it, whether or not we even wish to be included with what you have decided is the “right” package of goods and services.”

“As I said earlier, we do not use your schools. If your city had to pay for the 12,000 childdrenn within our boundaries, you’d have even worse finanical problems – and both parents and children would be deeply unhappy with your services.”

“This young man” – Troy put an arm around Isaac – “can run rings around most of your high school graduates, and he is six years younger than they. Neither he, nor his parents, nor I wish to pay top-drawer prices for bottom-drawer goods.”

“So I conclude. Please let me know when we can negotiate terms which respect our needs and wants, where you and we are not enemies, nor master and subjects, but voluntary, equitable partners. Until this happens, we will not send a dime to the City, except for the water and sewage.”

“Is that an ultimatum?” asked the Mayor.

“It is what it is – a reasonable position which we hope that any reasonable person would at least consider.”

“Or else?”

“Or else, we will leave. You can have your empty property. We will take ourselves away. You’ll not be bothered by our presence. You’ll have empty land and buildings, and nothing to show for it.”

Behind Troy, people began to disappear, one by one. Seats emptied. Only Troy and Isaac remained, calmly gazing at the Mayor and City Council.

An Aide to the Mayor spoke in a stage whisper. “I wasn’t kidding about Wallenberg. Troy Li-Freeman is the brother of the girl who invented the teleporters, and their father helped to organize the evacuation of Wallenberg, the Rapture.”

“I thought that was a tabloid story.”

“My dad was there, sir.”

The Mayor stood. “I take your point, sir. My council and I will withdraw and consult amongst ourselves. Thank you for your time.”

“One more thing, please.”

Isaac walked up to the Mayor, and hung a bright golden sun amulet around the Mayor’s neck, and proceeded down the line.

“This State has a Sunshine Law. In the interests of Sunshine, I’ve made it easy for you to keep a transparent and open record of all your conversations. Thank you very much for your time. I look forward to our next meeting.”

The Mayor looked at the amulet with some distaste. But he did not remove it. He nodded his head, and watched as Troy and Isaac winked out.


#DrainTheTSA

Can we #DrainTheTSA? I write in response to an article about a $100 million cocaine ring, which included at least two TSA agents.

Now, as a libertarian, I do believe cocaine should be legal; it should be transported as cargo, just the same as many other products. There would then be no payoff for corrupt TSA agents, baggage handlers, customs inspectors, border guards, police, judges, DEA agents, and so forth.

These folks would then have more time and resources to focus on the matter of actually protecting the public from crimes which are malum in se – actions which are bad in and of themselves, to such a degree that your random jury of twelve would unanimously believe such actions to be bad, statute or no statute.

Meanwhile, given that the TSA fails at its intended job – stopping explosives from getting on planes – maybe we should just #DrainTheTSA as part of the pursuit to a smaller, leaner, less burdensome government. The agency has caught exactly zero terrorists, but has slowed down travel for millions of ordinary, peaceful people, all the while running little side businesses like this cocaine ring.


Dude, California Radical

http://www.lpcevent.com

I Grew into Being a “Radical”

When I first got into helping move our freedoms forward in a more determined fashion, I joined the LP. I found a lot of friends and people who truly believed in Liberty. A great number of them far better learned in the philosophy than I. They gave me an education. The LP made me a California Radical.

Among some of those people who truly believed in Liberty and inspired me was a man who had been a part of the Party from the beginning. Ted Brown is one of those stalwarts that has been working in one way or another for freedom, engaging the electoral process for 40 years. A genuinely nice guy that only a most pathological madman could criticize. The Golden State’s Libertarians are lucky to have him.

He recently replaced a more “pragmatic” chair, who had grand plans, and unfortunate tactics for trying to make the party a bit more mainstream. Our ballot statements were dry; our platform was going fallow, our ability to put people on the ballot in disrepair for the drag of party leadership in the face of “Top Two”. But all of that has changed in California.

Radical California

I wanted to share with you what it looks like when you have a polished radical leading a ballot qualified party in the most populous and electorally rich state in the US:

Libertarians stand for something: Freedom.

We believe that the most peaceful, most prosperous, most socially fair and tolerant and progressive society is one that solves its problems without government force. We believe that social woes like inaccessible healthcare, inadequate social justice, economic instability, and racial disparity are caused and perpetuated by officials who would rather increase their power instead of truly solving any problems.

We believe in all freedoms. For over four decades, the Libertarian Party has been the feet on the ground advancing once radical issues like marijuana legalization, gay marriage, gun rights, closing the Federal Reserve, school choice, transportation competition, ending mandatory minimum sentences, and ending eminent domain. We oppose foreign wars and want to bring our troops home from overseas.

We want to end graft that robs the poor, destroys honest businesses and corrupts education, police, courts and elections. We believe that Americans are being taxed to death to support a failed system full of waste and corruption.

We must stop giving money and power to the same people who have caused the problems we face today.

It’s time for a big change. If you are tired of throwing away your vote, send a message

– Vote Libertarian.

Ted Brown, Chair

Libertarian Party of California

That is a party that understands that politics follows the people. That to reach out and educate, to take radical stances and stand by them, to speak the truth and to not apologize for it, is what has made Libertarians win policy change even if the rules of the ballot are stacked against them. To win the hearts and minds of millions of people is a generational endeavor, and no matter what barriers are placed in front of you, there is always a way for a radical to punch through.

A Gathering of Radicals

The Libertarian Party of California has it’s Annual Convention starting April 1st, 2016 and it is a great opportunity to make friends. I guarantee an excellent time.

Yeah, April Fools Day was neither a mistake nor a joke. There is irony in it reflected against the farce of voting and the organizers have  sweet sense of humor. It is a presidential election year and guys like John McAfee are going to be there. I am hoping for a presidential steel cage death match for Friday Night.

I’ve sent like 15 letters to the convention committee recommending it. I bought 6 rolls of hurricane fence, 16 steel posts and 8 cubic feet of gravel and QuickCrete just in case there is a last minute approval for my plan. I’ve also reached out to both John McAfee and Austin Petersen to see if they might contend in the Main Event. I figure they were a good match up. Gary Johnson would annihilate any of ’em if we let him in.

There has been no response from our hopeful contenders either, but they are probably waiting on a committee decision with me. No doubt they are secretly training so as not to be caught napping. If it happens, I have $50 to put on McAfee and another $20 says he wins with an eye gouge.

I hear Vermin Supreme wont make it out to this convention though he has declared himself a Libertarian candidate. Love that guy. He would have been an excellent referee.

A Great Program

As far as the already scheduled activities go, the party has a bunch of great speakers lined up. It’s a great list from across the spectrum. David Nott who is the President of the Reason Foundation will be there. Angela Keaton from AntiWar.com too. The one I want to hear most of all is Lily Tang Williams from Colorado. She is featured above with a very alluring pose if I may say so.

Mrs. Williams escaped communist China, came to America, and then was horrified when she found out that her daughter’s Common Core education was identical to the Maoist travesty she ran away from. California, espeically Los Angeles is pretty cosmopolitan and so is the State Party. The leaders of both The Libertarian Party of Canada and the Libertarian Party of Mexico will be speaking. The program has a bunch more. But speakers are only the cake. The icing comes at night.

A Great Opportunity to Make Friends

The California Libertarian Party is renown for it’s parties. The banquet is going to be great, and the night gets kewler with the hospitality suite rocking late into the night. I can tell you some epic stories… Do bring a check book. Make donations at the festivities. It is well directed money and someone bought all that free booze. It is only right to give back.

If you have misgivings about voting. That’s kewl. Come to just make a friend or six. If you are on the fence let me repeat this tidbit of stolen wisdom: If voting could change the system, it would be illegal and if not voting could change the system it would be illegal. Right? Well, electoral politics on its own wont do any good for moving society in the right directions. We all know it. Evil lives in those halls of power and taking a seat there is a dangerous proposition at the least and a corrupting one most likely.

But, the electoral system is a great place to get a handful of statist nutsack and wrench.

Check out the website.

The tickets are cheap. You are going to make a lot of great friends.

The banquets cost extra -totally worth the price – but the parties are free, in every sense of the word. You don’t want to miss it.

http://www.lpcevent.com

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The Mean Streets and Private Police

A community fires its police force for private security. Is this a manifestation of freedom?

Article on The Blaze

When considering this question, I asked myself a different query than I think most libertarians might: How well might this work out in South Central Los Angeles? It is a tough place full of racial tension and strife. For fans of trivia it may interest you to know that Los Angeles is the 10th most segregated city in the US.

Racial Segregation

http://static.atlantablackstar.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Los-Angeles-map1.jpg
The blue dots are South Central.

In South Central one ethic group, the majority of the residents, rent their homes and apartments and do not find a lot of local jobs.  All of the stores in the area are run by another exclusive ethnic group (green dots) that treats the residents like they are less than human.  They hire only family and treat their captive customer base like dog shit.

Yet another ethnic group (pink dots) owns nearly all of the property and manages it through companies. Off in the distance, a mega-city city council manages all of the services, including police that treat the neighborhood as a training ground. Every couple of decades the locals raize the place in defiance to oppression, some injustice sparking the ever drying tinder. Like the chaparral in the hollywood hills, South Central has to burn when the dead wood stacks too high. People ask, “how can they burn their own homes? How can they rob the stores they shop in?” They have never lived in South Central or in a rent only neighborhood. They have never shopped in stores that transact with you only though an inch of Plexiglas.

How does a neighborhood like this do a damn thing about private security? That is the real problem we are dealing with. I think that the fact that these people are used as an anti-paragon, held up as the dregs of society is really profitable for a lot of people. These people have no political influence. Who is going to give them the clout to determine their own policing?

Private Police on the Mean Streets

I thought about the effects. If private policing could take hold in South Central, it would be tremendous. If local residents hired security for the neighborhood there would be a major challenge at least at first. I believe the real challenge would be to keep neighborhoods from seeking to hire a company affiliated with one group of “local entrepreneurs” and then used as a tool against rival “business interests”.

I think that it could be possible. If the neighborhoods were small enough, and the security firms held to the law, I think that graft or aggression would balance out very quickly. Perhaps the role for government police would be oversight of the actions of the firms. That might be a huge savings all around but I still think we miss the point.

Even if this libertarian utopia could exist in South Central, who would let them? I think that there is a multi-headed powerful interest for keeping the area, oppressed, pissed off, poor and consuming massive quantities of bad ideas in a bottle or bag. I think that there is a powerful political interest in keeping the area dangerous and the residents frightened and the HUD dollars flowing. I think that there is also an unfortunate and shameful racially biased feeling of self righteousness derived from the situation perpetuated by ethnic groups that identify the residents as less than human. They exploit their misery with a relish of satisfaction.

Privatization does not Equate to Freedom

While these wealthy folk in a gated community have the pleasure of tossing off their local police; and certainly enjoying a freer lifestyle than most, how could our brothers and sisters in a place like South Central ever hope to be able to secede from the city of Los Angeles? Self determination? Not for these people, forget it.

In autocratic nations the privileged always have their own protection. This private police force is not an ideal of Capitalism, it isn’t a manifestation of freedom either, freedom that has to be bought isn’t freedom, it is Fascism.

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Party Party PARTY – So Cal Conference Does its 6th Year

The ALIVE FREE HAPPY Libertarians in Southern California hold a great conference each year and the next one is coming up on the 31st of January. 2015 will be the 6th year they do this event and if you want a feeling for its flavor, all you need to know is that this particular bunch of Libertarians refer to themselves colloquially as the Party Party.

While still very erudite, their events are a lot of fun, high energy and inspiring. Their forum concentrates on local activism and networking.

For my happily shared and biased opinion, the So Cal Conference always has a great lunch, a terrific bar tender, and a surprisingly eclectic and representative speaker list included for a very reasonable ticket price. The local Libertarians in San Bernardino County and in Los Angeles County have hosted the event for more than several years now and subsidize conference expenses to keep the price accessible. Who can beat $35?

The event is pretty popular as the group invites speakers from all corners of the movement. I recommend getting your tickets presale, though tickets will be available at the door with overflow available.

From the LP of Los Angeles County Web Page:

The San Bernardino County Libertarian Party and the Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County are proud to invite one and all to the 6th Annual Southern California Libertarian Regional Conference. Please join us at 11am – 6pm on January 31, 2015 at Geezer’s 12120 Telegraph Rd., Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670.  Networking will likely continue after that, so plan to stay later if you can.

Our Conference will include a line-up of knowledgeable activists, prominent Libertarians and lunch buffet. Throughout the day you will have the opportunity to talk with the speakers, meet and mingle with other Libertarians and liberty-minded friends. There are games planned and, as always, a chance to leave with great new friends, prizes and a call to action for the promotion of liberty in our state.

This year’s speakers include 2012 Vice Presidential candidate Judge Jim Gray, author/activist Norma Jean Almodovar, Craig Beresh of the California Cannabis Coalition, author/activist/LPC Executive Committee member Leon Weinstein, Women’s Rights activist Alexandra Goldburt and current Libertarian National Committee Chairman Nicholas Sarwark.

Tickets for the entire day’s events are $35 per person and can be purchased in advance, or at the door. For advance tickets and to reserve your spot NOW, go to Eventbee .

Don’t miss out on the very first big Libertarian event of 2015!

– See more at: http://lplac.org/#sthash.ADNP6JtX.dpuf

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