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Vermin Supreme – The Nation’s Funniest Presidential Candidate

The man’s name is Vermin Supreme and every moment in his presence is pure living theater. He has run for President several times, with each election cycle he gains more attention. He promises to implement a system of uniform dental hygiene laws, to revolutionize the world with free energy from zombies, and he extols the virtue of a combined pony based economy and federal identification program (you must have your pony with you at all times.) I got to talk to Vermin Supreme behind the scenes and see him in action in several venues. It feels like an experience worth sharing for the fun of it but also because for me, it forced some pondering on what success in politics really looks like.

An Introduction

Vermin Supreme made himself an Internet sensation in 2012 with this performance at the Democratic Party Primary Debates in New Hampshire. I invite you to watch it, all five minutes of it are a riot.

Not just a perennial wacky satirical Presidential Candidate, Vermin Supreme is a true showman, a professional; and as I have had the pleasure to find out, he is serious about his mission. I first saw the above video in 2012 while watching the race, rooting for Ron Paul to make the biggest splash he could. It cracked me up and so it did to many people. The YouTube video went viral and was even the feature of attention in several large forums.

If you are older than 35, you may not have heard much about him, but a lot of college aged kids sure got exposed to his plans for pony poop recycling. That video alone got over three million hits. A search on YouTube brings up a lot of material, all with decent showings. Vermin loves performing and has successfully kept an loyal internet following together between campaigns with interviews, biographies, and a string of political stunts. One video is of him playing with ponies, dancing and singing to his own autobiographical composition: “I’m a Meme“.

Dinner with a Meme

It was a set of interviews Vermin Supreme had scheduled in Los Angeles that gave me the opportunity to meet him in person. An activist here had contacted him, and arranged for him to be the host of a dinner fundraiser for the local Libertarian Party. In return, the activist (a young freedom fighter named Boomer Shannon) shuttled him around to his interviews, appearances, and street theater demonstrations for the week he was in town.

A Nice Restaurant on the Beach

The fund raiser, which I quickly bought a ticket to, was a small private dinner at a swanky place on the beach in Santa Monica. Chez Jay’s is a landmark, festooned on it’s outside with bright colors, cartoony underwater murals, flashing lights, and a giant concrete clam shell once part of a set that graced Santa Monica Boardwalk’s entrance. Looking inside it is crowded with two rows of tables between booths and the bar. All of the patrons all have designer shirts, many with ties; the ladies are bejeweled.

Vermin Supreme – The Nation’s Funniest Presidential Candidate

The setting is hard to describe. Chez Jay’s was one of the West Side’s swanky “dive bars”, an exclusive place where Los Angeles elite would dine and drink on the beach and party through the night. A wooden ship’s wheel stands in the entry. forcing people coming and going to squeeze between it and the crowded tables and booths. It seems to be giving the bartender and staff time to monitor guests coming and going. Over the bar hangs a decent sized tuna, the first fish that Gen. George S. Patton ever caught.

Our event was in the back, in a small room that once allowed celebrities to party it up in privacy long after last call. Rumor has it that Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedys would use that room to meet when the boys were in town. The hall to the restroom has an impressive array of photos showing Hollywood stars, politicians, and other celebrities partying it up.

The decor is the same as when it was first built. The seat covers are a little worn, but the city will not allow them to be replaced as they had once held some historically notable behinds in their cushions. The red leather benches run down each side of the wood paneled room we ate in, a long set of tables runs down the center. In this compartment eight excited guests, half of whom where under 30, and Vermin Supreme drank wine, dined on steaks, shrimp and enjoyed an appetizer made by the chef especially for the event: Cajun grilled octopus steak with shrimp on an etouffee to die for.

A Clown With a Boot on his Head

Vermin, in character the whole time, extolled the virtues of harnessing zombies for power, made serious demands about the promotion of oral health and sold us on the necessity for the country to adopt a pony based economy. In short, he proclaimed that this country can only be led by a friendly fascist prepared to grab problems by the gum line and floss them clean.

Vermin Supreme – The Nation’s Funniest Presidential Candidate

You have to imagine what the setting is like to understand the surreal nature of this dinner fundraiser in a restaurant within one of the most expensive parts of Los Angeles, literally on Silicon Beach. From standing in the park that surrounds the restaurant to the back, you can throw a stone and hit the any of thirty public tech companies, game design labs and the several of the world’s most elite sound production studios. The customers of the place have money, the food is not cheap, and in the back is a raucous party going on.  Hosted by a guy wearing eight ties under his long white Santa beard, a leather vest, sport jacket and a rubber boot on his head, a room full of people rolling in laughter, there is a party going that has clearly gone out of bounds. He entertains them and the entire establishment with a showman’s voice that echos from the doorway of the back room, over the crowd, and into the street – sardonic zany irreverence in every word.

You would think the management would be ready to toss these loud, imposing jokers out on the street. The staff was all smiles though. The big room out front picked up its own volume, laughter and giggles filled the establishment for the show going on. The tinkling of glasses and cheers demonstrating that happiness is contagious, and the Los Angeles elite love a good show as much as the next guy. Vermin Supreme was a hit, and the maître d came in with a bottle of a lovely Cabernet compliments of the house. “That was nothing you should have seen the outrageousness that Steve McQueen would conjure up,” he would tell us later. Indeed, on the restaurant’s web site there is a picture of Steve McQueen passing a joint to the owner, taken back in a time when that bit of marijuana was worth 6 years in a California Penitentiary.

Never out of Character

Vermin Supreme did not break character once all night. After dinner, a break for the smokers, and then desert, we lingered together in the parking lot.  The energy did not dissipate. Vermin kept up the show, entertained the valet, signed autographs for new fans, diners leaving the restaurant posed for pictures with him as we did.

Vermin Supreme – The Nation’s Funniest Presidential Candidate

Everybody had a great time and Vermin Supreme helped the Libertarian Party of Los Angeles raise a bunch of money for their part of a co-hosted activist conference in January. Even with tickets at a couple hundred bucks a piece, the fund-raiser sold out in just two days. Limited seating meant people missed out if they didn’t answer their phone and had to call back. I was really impressed with the experience, the food, the organization, and especially the entertainment. I wanted to find out more about Vermin Supreme and arranged some time with him at a private party two nights later and got a few minutes to talk. I learned a lot from him that evening, mostly delivered through his quickness of wit.

Even in personal circumstances, with no cameras or microphones around Vermin Supreme rarely drops his character. Talking to him is a conversation of sound bites but through it, I got to see the fascinating person behind the fascinating personality.

The Meme is a Man

I learned some interesting things about his campaign. Vermin Supreme has been doing this shtick for 24 years. His first run was in 1992. He was a clown candidate (really… He has formal training) and did not get a lot of attention at first, but persistence has paid off for him. From the spark of internet memedom, he has been doing interviews and franchising his universe. He has worked with comic book artist Digger Mesch who is publishing a series with Vermin as it’s base. He is even writing a novel set in the Dystopian future that exists after his election. Vermin read from the novel for a group of young freedom fighters at the party. I also got to learn a little about the man behind the beard himself.

An Anarchist of the Far Left Sort

“I am a socialist,” Vermin said with a voice that was not his normal showman’s delivery. His face had gone serious. He had also indicated that he was a “very libertarian person” with the same tone of firmness. After a pause to let it set in he said, “I believe in mutual aid.” Then he was right back into character. A little while longer, one of the young people present asked him if he might run as a Libertarian. He indicated that he was not opposed to the idea. He intended to run under several parties already. He said that if he did run as a Libertarian, unlike Harry Browne, he would likely take matching funds and to promote his campaign to the fullest.

Vermin Supreme – The Nation’s Funniest Presidential Candidate

Vermin Supreme is one of those far left anarchist types. The Rainbow Family outing attendee is perfectly happy living in New Hampshire among other independent minded people. He loves his privacy, and his individualism, but he also loves people. He is not wealthy by any stretch of the word except in friends. He believes in and loves community, but only the voluntary sort, and only the free sort where participation or non-participation is up to the individual and one where goodwill drives public interaction. People like him for his earnestness, they trust him and that translates into real political effect.

Like the Pied Piper of Hamlen Town, Vermin rallied and led the kids at the game night party on one of his missions the next morning. Up early blinking a short night’s sleep out of their eyes, nearly a dozen young activists met up early, downed a couple of pots of coffee and caravan-ed out to the beach a few miles north of where Vermin’s fund raiser was two nights before.

Freedom in the Sun

Venice Beach is at the north end of swanky Santa Monica, just south of the $25,000/month mansions that run along PCH and the exclusive beach cliffs that run up to Malibu. It is a piece of Los Angeles history, a place that was once run by a street gang known as V13. It was where the muscle builders hung out and as Santa Monica gentrified it remained wild, untamed and relatively impoverished for the surrounding area. It was a neighborhood of artists and musicians, junkies and surf bums.

Vermin Supreme – The Nation’s Funniest Presidential Candidate

During the weekend, the boardwalk in Venice has been and still is a carnival. Some things have changed there compared to when I hung out as a kid. The character of the place has not changed much per se. The same people are there doing the same stuff, artists on blankets selling their stuff, street performers juggling flaming bowling balls, drum circles chorusing complicated rhythms, dancers shaking, splitting and synchronizing to various styles of music. I once made a couple hundred dollars a day getting petitions signed on the boardwalk; which is how, personally I got turned on to the Philosophy. I was recruited to registering to vote as a Libertarian over 25 years ago by a guy with horned rimmed glasses and a Nolan Chart whom congratulated me on my 100/100 score with a voter registration form and a pen.

One thing has changed. You used to buy weed in Venice in a back alley. Now you walk into a store front. The Green Doctors was one of the first medical marijuana doctor’s offices in the state to blatantly hang out a shingle after proposition 215 in 1995 changed the law in California. Not at all typical of the practice in the state where most prescriptive recommendations are in traditional doctor’s offices. The Green Doctors is typical Venice, bright paint, bold psychedelic sign, and nurses in short uniforms. You can’t buy the weed there, but on the other side of the boardwalk from them is muscle beach and waiting along the chain link boundary of the weights area, there is a couple of people who happen to know where the closest dispensary is. The boardwalk, as it always has been, is packed with people gawking and shopping.

Vermin Supreme – The Nation’s Funniest Presidential Candidate

Here Vermin is among his kind of people. The denizens of Venice and tourists alike eat him up. His clowning gathers crowds. He makes people look and listen with his uncompromising professional delivery and powerful engagement. He entertains and he resonates. Everyone that hears him walks away laughing and thinking. The world is his stage and he commands it with his performance.

Since the Dinner, a few weeks ago, Vermin Supreme has officially entered the race for President in 2016. I am looking forward to see what he does but it does raise a question for me. One that is looming larger in importance the more I consider it.

The World Needs More Showmen (and Less Suits)

For me, politics is about people. The philosophy is not politics. Anarchism and Libertarianism are social ethical constructs. But, the effort to inculcate those mores in society is all about politics. It is not merely about elections or government. Politics is about connecting with people and getting them to consider society in new ways, to motivate them to join in a change. Elections demonstrate some aspect of present social trajectory. Politics is the effort to change that trajectory by engaging your fellow man.

On the front of engagement, the Libertarian Party was once a fun group to be a part of. They were the party party. It was among the freaks and geeks of Venice Beach that I was hooked as a college kid. My environmental club’s sponsor exploited us for signature gathering and thanks to him and his side business, I became dedicated to Freedom. Registering to vote put me on a mailing list and I liked the radical stuff I read from the LP as a young man. I had known the truth of liberty all my life, but here were people putting it down in plain language and actually engaging the system, throwing themselves on the gears of the machinery in a sense. From there I read Ayn Rand and Robert Anton Wilson and I loved every word of it as i graduated to Lysander Spooner and Larkin Rose.

Vermin Supreme – The Nation’s Funniest Presidential CandidateThe old LP was full of Vermin Supremes, back when we had 10 times our numbers. That is a significant thing to understand. The people who really make other people look and get socially involved, they are a mixed bag of nuts. Not all of them run for President. Some do, but many are artists and engineers – people who live creating new things – free thinkers. Societies producers, the ones that Ayn Rand illustrated in her novels were not suit wearing normal people. They were self defining people who rejected imposed ideals from all institutions.

Today the party, in an effort to look more mainstream on one hand, and in an effort to maintain “purity” on the other has gutted its soul. I try to imagine what it might be like for someone like Vermin Supreme to be a part of the Party today and it is not pretty. LP conventions are run by people who learned politics from the GOP, there is not a lot of fun going on on the floor.

The Libertarian Party used to be a place where the wild people went. Our conventions were booming and costumes, laughter and pot smoking in the hall was common place despite the hazard of far stricter laws. The artists and communicators used to flock to the party bringing their wide audiences with them, but the Party is devoid of their boon now. Once the people of Venice Beach, the Burning Man throngs, the agorists, the voluntaryists and the anarcho-whichevers all called themselves Libertarians and the party was larger by an order of magnitude.  Where are they now?

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The Libertarian Party SoCal Conference Opens Tickets to Activists First

The Libertarian Party in Southern California Holds its Seventh Annual Conference

The Libertarian Party Southern California Regional Conference has been a fun and fantastic experience for seven years running. This coming year’s tickets have finally gone on sale and organizers are encouraging stalwart attendees to get tickets now.

No speakers have been announced yet but early purchase tickets have been made available to Libertarian activists ahead of time to allow pre-purchase. There is some concern this year that the conference may out-sell it’s venue with some big names. Last month internet sensation Vermin Supreme did a fund raiser for the conference, raising money to defray costs, but it is not known if the conference will bring the satirical candidate out from New Hampshire.

Traditionally the conference is an outreach event and candidates are not a focus. The organizers, a caucus of Libertarians from multiple Southern California Counties, have concentrated on getting speakers from outside the LP to talk to Libertarian activists and also in finding speakers and workshops that encourage and instruct strong activism for liberty. They also keep the price reasonable in the extreme: $35 for a day of speakers and lunch is included.

Privacy, the Death Penalty and the End to Marijuana Prohibition are sure to be hot topics this year in California. While we wait for a speakers list to be announced, we can only guess whom may be headlining this year’s conference. It ought to be great!

Tickets are available here on Event Bee:
7th Annual Southern California Libertarian Party Conference

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How I Found Justice and What I Used the Blindfold for when I Got Her

“Perhaps moving voluntary law forward in the real world could be promoted as a solution for larger more generalized rules in larger looser organizations like a coalition groups or other non-profit oriented organizations that have more distributed, organic, non-hierarchical structures.”

Voluntary Law Guy posted one of his excellent articles on voluntary law and within the ensuing conversation a point was drawn that I wanted to share. It has to do with how to get voluntary law recognized by people on the whole for the purpose of justice. I think one of the strongest strategies is to point out that voluntary law does already exist–that it is far more prevalent in society than realized and is stronger than the government brand for organizing communities. You can read the Original Post Here.

Voluntary Law does Exist and is Extant

Rules, even for justice, tend to be best implemented among people of the libertarian stripe as convention based on needs; we almost never have to write them down to have them communicated and followed. At Liberty.me, the NAP is strong. This leads to my real point: Voluntary law exists all around us, all the time.

We human beings create voluntary associations and law as a matter of course. The term “voluntary law”, I think, is a bit of a neo-colloquial for processes that are natural to people and have always existed. If you stop and consider it, every relationship two people make has within it a whole host of negotiated rules. When groups get together likewise, the rules and conventions of the group, ad hoc or persistent, start developing on their own as manifestations of the rules among the members and higher level rules that exist in the group.

Any time we get hired on at a new company, join a congregation, sign up as a member of a professional or fraternal organization, or really, in any venue where larger groups of people work towards purpose, there are voluntary laws that get created, written down, enforced and adjudicated. Justice is a basic need of all relationships.

Making Justice a Little More Voluntary

Differentiating voluntary law from already existing conventions, one might say that the pursuit has more to do with replacing criminal law usually reserved for government. It feels to me like the pathway toward more voluntary law and justice is to illustrate and leverage the existence of those conventions as the basis of how we get along already; that it is remarkably successful, and that we need to move more of our “relationship management” conventions and rules back into these voluntary associations as a society. One very strong example we can hold up and maybe also use as a pathway for extending this convention is the use of private arbitration services.

Many people and organizations when you sign a contract with them will include a provision for resolving conflicts through a private adjudication service. This is a for manifest system of justice that we already accept in a wide spread way. Perhaps moving voluntary law forward in the real world could be promoted as a solution for larger more generalized rules in larger looser organizations like a coalition groups or other non-profit oriented organizations that have more distributed, organic, non-hierarchical structures. These organizations need internal conflict resolution that sometimes touches on larger issues of convention or security. Many of these sorts of organizations solve as many problems internally as they can, or try to and it can be burdensome. It may be a hook for larger voluntary law-like structures to become manifest and accepted among people to see if the scope of voluntary law and arbitration be accentuated in those venues with more regularity.

What organizations have you belonged to that would benefit, or maybe more poignantly should benefit, from better voluntary law structures instead of, or above, government provided justice services?

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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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GMO Foods and Principle

Something bothers me around the GMO Foods discussion in libertarian circles and that is that there does not seem to be enough treatment to what responsible and ethical action looks like with the ability to author life and living structure.
I make no arguments that anyone should mistake as a need for government regulation. I am putting out a cry that if we do not better understand how ethical action is manifest in these technologies that pitfalls will not be well understood until too late.

Are there legitimate questions of principle for how GMO Foods are or are not labled?

It is reasonable to assume in light of some 100+ years of fascist implementation that GMO products could be an issue that is used to destroy freedoms wholesale. We know what happens when someone’s irresponsible action causes so much fear in so many that principled social reaction will be impossible. Progressives have already begun influencing the debate and we are failing to answer it. I think that people who express concern over GMOs are doing so on grounds that the liberty movement should be owning, and developing on our own terms.

Let me pose a series of generalized solutions for consideration. Which is more principled? Forced labeling of GMOs, or a social recognition that selling “not salmon” as “salmon” is fraud on the face of it? Is allowing GMO products to be sold as if they were natural products principled?

Currently the law gives genetically modified products the cover of law for selling itself as the natural counterpart as long as they are aesthetically the same. This does not seem like a rational definition of fraud to me… matter of fact it seems like the definition of fraud turned upside down for the convenience of pathological liars. It is glaring in its inconsistency with principled action.

To say that GMO should be able to be sold as its natural look alike, you would have to contend that “natural” versus “not natural” is not a value component of people’s market decisions. For me, just on the face of it “natural” versus “not-natural” is a significant value in that market. The anti-GMO movement is a manifestation of that being true.

The need for principled positions and education

I will leave it to the reader to decide for themselves on GMO marketing, but I also invite you to, while considering a position, that you may have to let go of some perceptions inculcated by the defense of free business. Businesses especially bleeding edge ones are vulnerable to heavy handed regulation. I argue that we libertarians need to find answers to these problems that do NOT involve government action before the progressives use them to erode our rights, and the rights of innovators in the bio-tech space.

Consumers do have a right to demand truthfulness in labeling, and they should be able to seek damages if they are defrauded. But if we do not first, before the fascists do, cause people to feel secure in their market actions we will lose this fight. We must find a principled position on the matter of GMO products, we must find a bright line for what fraud is and is not on the question and educate people on ethical recourse.

Beyond labeling there are other issues that require real examination, what is the principled reaction to weaponized organisms, or organisms that turn out to be dangerous in unexpected ways? What about intellectual property injustices that are widely reported by farmers oppressed by GMO manufacturers using the law for market subjugation – What about the contamination of seed stock with GMO pollen or other such unwanted invasions of genetic material into populations? Is not the legal potential for government licensed monopolization of the food supply not a freedom issue? Where is the libertarian discussion for principle on these subjects?

If we are not more proactively forming solid positions on GMO ethics, I am afraid that we are going to hand the ball directly into the hands of the bad guys on this one, and it is going to entrench government and fascist institutions into greater privilege over an increasingly powerless people stripped of their rights by an incapacity to assert them. It seems like it would behoove us, while we are celebrating these revolutionary technologies and the great men and women who are bringing them; that we should also reflect on how their discoveries are considered within the ethics and responsibilities of releasing forms of automata into the world.

Discussion, and careful, thoughtful responses need formulation

I believe that our ethics are greatly strengthened if we ask some of the tougher questions at our principled allies in these technologies as softballs and get those great minds to demonstrate how common and natural law is enough to protect the public from duplicity in their less principled peers. Moreso, we should invite them to reflect on the ethics of their market interaction, if willing, to set examples of how the good guys do it without guns to their heads.

I would also invite my freedom minded friends to engage in honest rational discussion about what is principled action in the market where engineered lifeforms are introduced as products; and what are the ethical bright lines concerning organisms introduced to the genetic pool of life in general. The war for public opinon on this one is looming. I feel it is going to be critical to our movement’s success with a large segment of people that thoughtful and considered answers are well vetted, understood and ready for memespace.

I might start such a discussion with a strawman assertion such as:

“I contend that if genetic patterns are allowed to have the government privilege of patent, that to maintain the intellectual property, the owner of the privilege must mark all packaging with the patent, and license its use only with the condition that the patent be likewise displayed on the label to maintain the patent from the public domain.”

Then I might promptly abandon that thought as too weirdly close to condoning IP. Thanks all the strawman is burned. IP is too ooky for me to want to even tangentially condone it.

I think that the fraud angle has more merit. I assert this:

“A good piece of fish can be really expensive. If I buy salmon that turns out to be an Eel-Sea Urchin-Salmon homonculous, I should be able to sue the thieves that cheated me.”

Any takers?

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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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