Categories

Links

Sun, 18 May 2008

I'm Running For Office

The reason I haven't had a recent post is that I've been busy. I'm running for local office. I'm running committee member for the county Republican Party. It's as low as you can get on the ballot. Even dog catcher is higher! I'm doing this because I think the Republican Party is going in the wrong direction.

I'm a write-in candidate. I've collected my necessary signatures, and if I can get the necessary votes on June 3rd, I'm in.

Thu, 07 Feb 2008

Election Post Mortem

Super Tuesday and the California primaries are over. Ron Paul only earned 4% of the popular vote, and none of the delegates. I saw this coming in advance, and now that it has happened, let me offer up a blunt post mortem analysis.

Why we lost:

Lack of Central Leadership
From the beginning the official campaign kept a hands-off attitude towards the grassroots Meetup organizations. Ostensibly this was so that the campaign would not be responsible for the actions of the Meetups. But in retrospect it meant that there never was a local campaign. The Meetups were composed of volunteers with zero political experience, trying to figure this all out on their lonesome.

Unresponsive Campaign
When the Meetup did need seek guidance or help from the official campaign, the response was either non-existant or very slow. The best example I had of this was in trying to get the county voter registration data. The campaign never provided any help in getting this data, despite repeated requests from several people and myself.

Acting Like a Cult And Not a Campaign
This blame goes to the grassroots Meetups. We spent way too much time trying to find committed activists, and way too little time trying to find voters. We waved signs and hung banners instead of going door to door. I sent out repeated calls for telephone canvassing throughout the month of January and first of February, but out of several hundred Meetup members, I only got four respondents. Door to door canvassing was slightly better, but was still woefully short of the effort needed.

Libertarian Naivete
Political inexperience has always afflicted libertarian campaigns. We don't know what we are doing, are unwilling to compromise a minor principle to achieve a greater political gain, and have this bizarre belief that if only we can get our message out people will automatically vote for us. We need to grow up and get a clue.

Ignoring Republicans
As amazing as it may seem, the grassroots and campaign seemed to ignore Republicans, even though Ron Paul is himself a Republican running in Republican primaries. Way too much emphasis was placed on converting Democrats and independents. We expected that they would change their registration. Stupid. In the meantime, we never did any outreach to actual Republicans.

I have other criticisms, but those are the main ones. Already I am hearing people cry conspiracy that Ron Paul did not win. But it was no conspiracy that lost him Super Tuesday, it was old fashioned poor campaigning. We need to learn from our mistakes.

Sun, 03 Feb 2008

The Dondero Meltdown

Eric Dondero, former libertarian leaning Republican, finally melts down into a puddle of frothing hate. In response to a perfectly ordinary article talking up at Third Party Watch, Mr. Dondero has this to say [redacted]:

A BIG FAT <bleep> YOU FROM A FORMER FRIEND. DONT YOU EVER <bleep>ING CALL ME OR CONTACT ME FOR ANYTHING EVER AGAIN. YOU HATE AMERICA AND EVERYTHING IT STANDS FOR YOU <bleep>.

This rant and several more like it in subsequent posts came out of nowhere. This jerk is seriously unstable. Any respectability he had in the libertarian movement has just evaporated.

Fri, 25 Jan 2008

Too Many Anarchists!

You would think that anarchists would be a fairly homogenous group. They might favor different bands, watch different television shows, and partake of different cuisines, but politcally they would all pretty much be the same. I mean, once you separate the anti-state anarchists from the anti-hierarchy anarchists, there don't seem to be more faults to cleave.

But you would be wrong. In a post in the comment section of his "Take the A-Train" article, RadGeek lists an impressive number of them:

So the term includes not only Rothbardian anarcho-capitalists (which I'm not one of), but also agorists (such as Brad Spangler), voluntaryists (such as Wendy McElroy), Proudhonian anarchists, American equitists and mutualists such as Josiah Warren or Stephen Pearl Andrews, and the voluntary socialism or free market anti-capitalism of individualist anarchists such as Benjamin Tucker, Lysander Spooner, Voltairine de Cleyre, or - to move ahead to the modern day - Kevin Carson or Joe Peacott.

And that's just the market anarchists!

Fri, 11 Jan 2008

Are you, or Have You Ever Been, a Paleolibertarian?

The Ron Paul newsletter has been all but ignored by the mainstream media. But the cosmotarians have picked up on this as an excuse for an all out purge of the less-than-moderates in the libertarian ranks.

There is list of the witch hunters on Timothy Sandefur's blog. Reading through those postings, how can you call it anything other than a purge? They are calling for the ousting of everyone associated with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, stretching so far as to include even Walter Williams in that group, for daring to write the introduction to Thomas DiLorenzo's book. Even the father of the modern libertarian movement, Murray Rothbard, is not immune. This isn't new of course. Many of the same players were involved in the 1984 split in the Libertarian Party.

I hate taking sides, but that does not stop me from looking on in horror at the cosmotarians gathering faggots for the stakes. God forbid that a libertarian message escape their cloisters.

Cosmotarian

Main Entry: cosmotarian
Etymology: fusion of cosmopolitan and libertarian
Function: noun
Date: 2008

1: Tolerant cosmopolitan.

2: Libertarian living in a diverse upper class Washington D.C. neighborhood, works for vaguely market-oriented policy institute, blogs on esoteric ecumenicalist musings, actively disdains provincial individualists, wholly uninterested in political activism. Frequently seen eating their young.

See also: CATOmite, Reasonoid

Tue, 08 Jan 2008

The Ron Paul Smear

The mainstream media thrives on controversy, fashions itself a kingmaker, and is biased towards big government. So it was only a matter of time before big media decided to turn its attention to the Ron Paul campaign. That was today, with the New Republic's smear piece by James Kirchik. I won't link to it here, it's too distasteful. It alleges racism, bigotry, and "neo-confederacy".

Here's the nuts: A long time ago Ron Paul lent his name out to a newsletter; someone ghostwrote a racist article using Dr. Paul's name; Ron Paul neglected to read the article before it went out in his name. Years later they came up in his congressional campaign, and he disavowed them. Then again. And again. The media is only able to find one ball of mud to throw at Ron Paul, but it keeps throwing it over and over again.

Here is his response:

"The quotations in The New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed. I have never uttered such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts."

... "When I was out of Congress and practicing medicine full-time, a newsletter was published under my name that I did not edit. Several writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have publicly taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name."

Anyone who knows Ron Paul or has followed his career with any attention, knows that he is not a racist or bigot. His error in this episode is only that he has not rent his beard and put on sackcloth and ashes to validate the smearmongering (as some in the libertarian quarter are demanding of him). I fear that this may be the crippling blow to his campaign. I hope I am wrong.

Tue, 27 Nov 2007

Dondero's Head Explodes

Breaking news! Eric Dondero, an infamous advocate for military interventionism, had his head explode today. In response to a post by yours truly on Reason's Hit & Run blog, Mr. Dondero's head exploded in an overload of rage.

Brandybuck <bleep> YOU. YOU ARE <bleep> SUPPORTING ISLAMO-FASCISM IF YOU DON'T SUPPORT THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAND AND IRAQ.

You're as good as <bleep>ing Osama Bin Laden's <bleep>, if you oppose the War on Islamo-Fascism. Stop with all the bull<bleep> you little <bleep>ing coward.

See full unexpurgated post here.

Mon, 05 Nov 2007

Don't Celebrate Today

Today is Guy Fawkes Day. Please don't celebrate it.

For some bizarre reason, libertarians have adopted this day as their own. I'm not sure they know what it means. For several centuries in England, it was an anti-Catholic holiday. Then along came the graphic novel and movie , "V for Vendetta", and suddenly Guy Fawkes became a libertarian hipster. His attempt to blow up parliament would have killed many innocents not party to any wrongs he had suffered. This is what many misguided libertarians are celebrating, violent nihilist revolution.

It is justified to meet violence with violence. One may legitimately use force to defend themselves against government tyranny. But the force of the defense must be proportional to the force of the offense! If we want to change our government, we must do it at the ballot box and with the soapbox. Not by murdering people with bombs.

Celebrating Guy Fawkes Day is as stupid as celebrating Timothy McVeigh Day.

Tue, 11 Sep 2007

Stepping Down From Meetup

I'm stepping down from the Silicon Valley Ron Paul Meetup after only two meetings. My stated reasons are lack of time and organizational skills. Another reason, and the emotional impetus, are all the conspiracists. There are enough of them in the grassroots that my comfort level is exceeded.

Sat, 14 Jul 2007

Ron Paul Rally

I got to the rally early, and helped direct traffic. There was some confusion from Google Security as to where we could park, but that situation was resolved. When Ron Paul arrived and parked, I headed down to the rally. Joe Banister was finishing up, and Mr. Griffin started. He talked about damned conspiracy crap. At least he was only allowed to spew for ten minutes. Then Justin Raimondo spoke, to bring back some sane rhetoric.

Then Ron Paul came down! People stood and cheered. The good Dr. Paul talked on the proper role of the President and Federal Government, the monetary system, foreign policy, government secrecy, and individual liberty. "The purpose of government is to protect that right [life and liberty], not to meddle in it!"

After his speech, there was a lunch fundraiser at Michael's Restaurant at Shoreline Park. Ron Paul spoke again, talking about the campaign and growing support.

Fri, 13 Jul 2007

Ron Paul Briefing

I'm at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Foster City with Ron Paul and thirty to forty supporters in a private campaign briefing. Earlier today Dr. Paul took a tour of Google. I have heard that there were one thousand Google employees there!

Burt Blumert and Lew Rockwell introduced Ron Paul, who then told us of the campaign and its building momentum. There were lots of pictures and videos taken of this event, so you may see some of them here soon.

Tomorrow is the Big Rally in Mountain View! I will try to make some blog entries during the rally.

Wed, 11 Jul 2007

Palo Alto Ron Paul Meetup

Silly me, I've gone and signed up to take over the Palo Alto Ron Paul Meetup. There's a big rally this weekend at Google, and I'm planning to semi-live blog it. There are several related events Friday and Saturday, so I'll be quite busy.