Archive for the ‘General Statements’ Category

Voting Your Hopes And Not Your Fears In 2016

November 4, 2016

The 2016 Presidential election is upon us, and once again the establishment parties are telling us that a vote for a third party candidate amounts to a vote for the “other candidate” who is supposedly much worse the their candidate.  If you’re excited about the prospect of a Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump Presidency, read no further; I’m not writing anything here that is likely to change your mind… Now for the rest of you…

If the thought of both a Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump Presidency turns your stomach, you may be thinking of voting for one of these two in order to stop the worst candidate from winning.  But don’t take the bait; this very thinking is the reason you are faced with such an abominable choice to begin with.

If you are leaning toward a third party candidate like Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Darrel Castle or somebody else, you have probably been approached by Hilary Clinton supporters who insist that a vote for your favorite candidate is a vote for Trump, and Donald Trump supporters who insist that voting your conscience is a vote for Hilary.  This is a logical fallacy. There are two possibilities, either your vote determines the outcome of the election, or it doesn’t.

If your vote (and the votes of others for the same candidate) is less than the margin of victory for either establishment party candidate, then at least you and your comrades sent a message that you want change in a direction that is consistent with the platform of your candidate and his or her party. A minor victory.  If you vote with either establishment party candidate, you would be giving a nod of approval to that candidate.  In the case of an over-whelming victory by the “lesser evil” you chose, you would be giving a “mandate” to enact that candidates policies. A lose-lose for you.

If your vote (and the votes of others for the same candidate) is more than the margin of victory for either establishment party candidate, then your vote is more powerful than ever!  Now you and your comrades have done much more than send a message that you want change in a direction that is consistent with the platform of your candidate and his or her party. You have become a voting block that the winning party must prevent the opposition from recruiting in the next cycle.  The winner must appease you by incorporating some of your policies.  At the same time the loser will actively seek out those who are of like mind to secure future victories, and this can only be accomplished by adopting some of the policy positions that your favorite candidate and party advocate.  A win-win for you.

The reason that the choices keep getting worse is because the establishment parties and their accomplices in the mass media have found a strategy that works.  Ironically, It only works with the acquiescence of those who are most disgusted by it.  As long as there is the illusion of only two choices a candidate only needs to show his or her opponent is so horrifying, that anyone is better… and there is only one other choice.  The media keeps emphasizing the bi-partisan horse race with rigged polls that leave demographics out of the sample who would vote for a third-party alternative, or the polls will only ask about two candidates at first.  So this way, frustrated third-party supporters will feel increasingly marginalized, and begin to think they are “throwing their vote away” by voting their hopes and not their fears.

Here’s where things get really ugly.  If the establishment parties candidates were simply lame, but not scary, then many voters might still be willing to “throw their vote away” to send a message, but not if they were horrified by one of the establishment candidates, then all that matters is stopping that candidate.  This goes both ways.  SO THE WORSE THE TWO ESTABLISHMENT PARTY NOMINEES ARE, THE MORE THEY CAN COUNT ON YOU VOTING FOR ONE OF THEM!!! Taking the bait and voting for a lesser evil out of fear of the greater evil reinforces this atrocious bi-partisan political machine, and drives a race to the bottom whereby we can keep expecting worse and worse candidates.

Now the above seems to imply some level of collusion which smells of tin-foil hats and conspiracy theories right?  Well sort of.  Wherever two people and greed are gathered there is a conspiracy, and yes, there is genuine collusion.  The most visible and obvious example of this collusion is the Commission on Presidential debates.  It was created by the establishment parties to keep out other candidates. Before then, the League of Women voters hosted the debates, but they were no longer willing to limit the forum to two candidates.  Since the time of Ross Perot they have raised the bar to prevent any future three-way debates.  However, even without planned collusion, this mindset is bound to be encouraged by each of the major campaigns, and the outcomes are likely to be just as abysmal as long as voters take the bait.

But isn’t this election different?  Are the stakes much higher than a few policy issues?  Absolutely!  Especially for libertarians.  If you are a libertarian it is absolutely essential that you cast a vote for the Libertarian nominee in this election.

For the first time since the election of Abraham Lincoln, we have a chance to break the two party system for the foreseeable future!  Some might argue that Ross Perot’s Reform Party presented such a possibility and withered away quickly, but this is different. The Reform Party was really a ballot access vehicle for one independent candidate, whereas the Libertarian Party has been a nationally balloted party since 1972.  It has been on the vast majority of state ballots in every election since then and has been on the ballot in all fifty states on previous occasions.  Since the party’s founding about 600 Libertarians held elected or appointed offices . Since the party’s creation, 10 Libertarians have been elected to state legislatures. The Libertarian Party has a platform based on a specific ideology, libertarianism.

In Michigan, a political party whose top of ticket candidate earns over 5% of the vote caste for Secretary of State in the previous election is treated the same as a major party.  The only difference being that that Michigan election law reserves the phrase, “major party” for the top two vote getters, but other than that, there would be no difference.  So if Gary Johnson’s electors receive 154,040 votes in Michigan, the Libertarian Party of Michigan will effectively become a major party!  Most other states have similar laws.

In addition, Federal election laws will kick in that will make large sums of money available to the Libertarian Party thereby enabling it to overcome ballot obstacles in states where these problems still exist.  This last benefit is controversial among Libertarians, but I think Michael Emerling made the same points I would make.  Even being in the enviable position of being able to reject these funds would be a game changer. Being a federally recognized “minor party” is just a stones throw away from being a “major party.”

Having three major parties instead of two, would improve the candidates of the Republican and Democrat parties too; they would need to appeal to our hopes and not our fears.

Then there is the Holy Grail of Presidential elections… The Oval.  This is the first time in the Libertarian Party’s history when there is a reasonable probability of winning the election.  At first this claim may seem outrageous since even the most favorable polling doesn’t bring us to within a margin of error of earning a majority of electoral votes.  Here’s where the contingencies of the Twelfth Amendment of the US Constitution come into play.  If no candidate gets a majority of the electoral vote, then the election is up to the US House of Representatives, which must pick from the top three electoral vote getters. Given the fact that they are mostly Republicans who can’t stand Trump or Clinton, their would be a reasonable chance they would nominate a two-term Republican Governor turned Libertarian.  For the first time a number of Republican leaning major dallies, including the Detroit News, have chosen to endorse Gary Johnson because of their disgust with Trump.  Even former Republican nominee Mitt Romney who won’t vote for Trump, won’t rule out voting for Johnson.  So the idea of the House picking Johnson may not be that far-fetched.

How could Johnson get electors?  The untold story on the evening news is that there is enough support for Johnson in some states, that a plurality is not out of reach for the former New Mexico Governor.  Given the mass defections by Republicans who can’t stomach Donald Trump, a few disloyal electors can’t be ruled out either.

Another reason Republicans might settle on Johnson is that they would still be able to get their Vice Presidential nominee elected.  Under the Twelfth Amendment, only the top two electoral vote getters for Vice President could be considered.  This would probably be Mike Pence and Tim Kaine. The Republican Senate would probably choose Pence.  This leaves Bill Weld without a probable path to victory.

It is time to break the two party system and you have a chance to do it.  Furthermore, you would be voting for the most qualified candidate.  By himself, Governor Johnson has more executive experience than all of this years opposing Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates combined.  Unlike his opponents he is not likely to corner Russia and flirt with Nuclear war in Syria, nor is he a loose cannon who is likely to push the proverbial button in the midst of a temper tantrum.  Rather he supports a strong defense and a non-interventionist foreign policy. He is not under criminal investigation for endangering the national security or sexual assault. He has a positive message based on reducing the scope of government and affirming individual liberty.  He is a successful businessman who did not use repeated bankruptcies to avoid paying contractors.  He won’t be putting people in Prison for non-violent drug offenses.

He is a moderate, but here’s the biggest benefit to us more radical libertarians.  With the rise of the Libertarian Party, the new paradigm will no longer be left-versus right; rather it will be liberty versus authoritarianism, paving the way for a more clear cut ideological dichotomy moving forward.  Eventually this may devolve into another entrenched bi-partisan paradigm, but that tragedy is a way off.

Thomas Jefferson suggested that 20 years was too long to go without a revolution, the revolution we can win this Tuesday is way overdue.  Don’t blow this once in a lifetime opportunity by falling for the same old scare tactics.

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Transracial People Define Themselves

June 17, 2015

Define yourself, or be defined
-Cass Corridor sidewalk graffiti-

I am deeply disturbed by lack of sensitivity people have shown toward Rachel Dolezal. For those unfamiliar with her plight, Rachel Dolezal was a Spokane Washington NAACP President who considered herself to be “African-American” or “black.” Recently, it became apparent that her biological parents considered themselves to be “White,” and using reasoning derived from Public Enemy’sFear of a Black Planet” lyrics, “White man, white woman, white baby” journalists concluded that if she was born “white” she must still be “white.” Next came accusations that she was lying about her race, and that her “True race” was “white.”

The implication here is that a person can’t change his, her, or its demographic. Put another way, the paradigm at work here dictates that you’re personality must adapt to the body you were born with, and any attempt to modify your body to externalize one’s inner sense of identity is somehow phony or dishonest. Most people are comfortable in their own skin and don’t wish to change it, but that isn’t any reason to be so harsh on people who are not so fortunate.

To some extent, changing the way one looks, in ways that bypass heredity, is common and accepted. Genetics determines hair color, but people who feel they are more blond, brunet, or red head can chose to be that. Even then there is a bit of snobbishness. Ever see a blond rolling her eyes as another one passes and remark “She’s not a natural blond.” When I was first asked to fill out an application for my drivers permit I was confused, because it asked for eye color. Knowing that my eyes changed color (normally based on what I was wearing), I asked nearby people what color my eyes were. After receiving multiple answers I was tempted to write “rainbow” in on the form, but was later urged to call them “hazel” Since then I have seen people with purple and yellow eyes. There are contact lenses for that.

Switching other traits is much more controversial. This may be because they are groups that politicians like to pander to; the divide and conquer strategy of the establishment depends on a lack of mobility between demographic groups. In these united states of America collectivist politicians love the categories of “race” and sex.

Mobility between sexes has achieved an unprecedented level of acceptance. Lately there has been a lot of buzz about Decathlon gold medalist Bruce Jenner having sex reassignment surgery and changing her name to “Kaitlyn,” but Jenner walks a path that has been blazed and cleared by a variety of other individuals. One of those people was, the tennis player Richard Raskind. While he was successful as a man, he chose to become a woman. She went on to be the Tennis player Rene’e Richards. When Richards was first outed as being born a male, she faced criticism that was very similar in content to the rhetoric used against Rachel Dolezal now. Richards was accused of pretending to be a woman in order to get an advantage by playing against male rather than female athletes. They would say she lied about her sex. Athletic organizations banned Richards from playing her favorite game because the United States Tennis Association, established an unprecedented women-born-women policy.

Of course Richards laughed off the notion that men would be lining up for the emasculating surgery so they could play professional tennis against men. Of course transsexual and transgender people face different challenges then transracial people. [Side note: Gender is not the same thing as sex. “Masculine” and “feminine” are genders, “male” and “female” are sexes.]

One distinction is that there are structural, functional and chromosomal differences that delineate sexes (though many people are born as hermaphrodites with intermediate or combined sexual traits). Race, on the other hand is a social construct, or a look. The belief in distinct races is a myth largely promoted by the likes of eugenicists and slavery apologists, to serve their particular agendas. Modern humans don’t exist as distinct subspecies, like say wolves and coyotes. So it would seem that changing races is even easier than changing sexes. From a medical perspective this is certainly the case, but social acceptance has ironically proven more difficult.

While Richards scoffed at the idea that someone would have a sex-change simply to gain some advantage, it is possible that someone would, but so what? As a libertarian I believe in peoples right to do as they wish with their property, and the most valuable piece of physical property individuals can own is their own bodies. As a matter of enlightened self-interest, I would hope that anyone choosing to change ones physical identity to such a degree, would be doing so to be true to one’s self. However, that’s not up to me. There are other cases where people have “passed as” members of another race in order to gain an advantage. Examples include Carol Channing, and reputedly Dinah Shore. By “passing” they were able to perform in venues that were off limits to those who held onto the look that was then called “negro” or “colored.” While this is less ideal then people taking on a look that matches their sense of self, such pragmatic “passing” is still morally defensible. If it is to ones advantage to change one’s sex or race, then it seems to me the fault is in the society that makes these changes advantageous, not in the character of the person who is trying to better one’s self.

I don’t know Ms. Dolezal personally, but it is my distinct impression that she is transracial. That is to say, that she has chosen a racial identity that differs from the one that she was supposedly born with. If this is the case, then she can’t be said to have lied about her race. She simply changed her public identity to harmonize with her inner self. I have often been confused when looking at Federal forms that ask people to categorize themselves into narrow racial categories. This is probably more confusing to an educated person who knows that race is mythical then it is to a person who has been duped by racialist politicians. There it defines black as follows, “A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.” These forms also ask what one considers oneself, rather than what one is. By the aforementioned definition, any human could honestly answer “yes,” based on current paleontological and mitochondrial evidence, which shows modern humans to have a common ancestry in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dolezal’s parents showed an attitude similar to the attitudes people used to have toward members of the LGBT community.  They said, “We hope she gets the help she needs.”  The implication was that she was sick, and needed professional “help.”

There is one thing I have put on the back burner: She lied about her father. Lying is wrong and I don’t wish to defend it, but it is understandable. In an age of discrimination against transracial people, as is evidenced by the harsh rhetoric she has faced, she may have felt compelled to lie about her past. I suspect many transsexuals may hesitate to tell people they used to be a different sex, often as a matter of self-preservation. Perhaps unintentionally, Ms. Dolezal has opened the way for another wave of diversity acceptance. People who have been labeled “Oreos,” “wanabees,” and “wiggers” for instance, may soon be recognized as transracial. At least, that is, until we move past this categorical mentality altogether, and see people as individuals, and not members of politically defined categories.

My Choice for President (The Sequel)

June 22, 2012

June 22, 2012

In February, I endorsed libertarian-Republican Ron Paul.  My confidence that, if elected, he would be the best president in generations is unshaken.  Naturally, I voted for him in Michigan’s presidential primary.  Unfortunately, by Dr. Paul’s own admission, his nomination at the Republican Convention in Tampa is extremely unlikely.  In fact nothing short of Romney’s exit from the contest would make it possible.

I don’t wish to discourage Ron Paul delegates.  They have an unprecedented opportunity to give the Republican Party a more libertarian national platform, and they have the numbers to do it; delegates are committed to a candidate on the first ballot, but no such restraints apply to matters of policy.

So where do we go from here? There will be a number of choices on the ballot.  The typical approach for supporters of a Republican candidate is for those people to rally around their party’s nominee, but Ron Paul supporters are not motivated by a love of politics as usual.  Rather, they are motivated by a message of maximum liberty in the context of a constitutionally limited republic, and a desire to elect a president who feels as they do.

Gary Johnson and Scotty Boman

Gary Johnson and Scotty Boman at Libby Fest.

The good news is that they still have an opportunity to elect such a president! The Libertarian Party has nominated New Mexico’s former two-term Governor Gary Johnson as their presidential candidate.  Governor Johnson has been the most libertarian governor in United States history:

  • He vetoed 750  of the bills that were passed by the New Mexico legislature; more than all other governors combined.
  • He cut over 1,200 government jobs without firing anyone.
  • He got government out of the way thereby allowing for the private creation of 20,000 more jobs.
  • He left New Mexico with a budget surplus.
  • He cut taxes 14 times while never raising them.

…the list goes on.  Throughout the early Republican campaign for the nomination he repeatedly advocated libertarian solutions for national problems, and as a two-term governor he enters the race with stronger political credentials then any other Libertarian nominee, and he has more executive experience then Barack Obama and Mitt Romney combined.

Furthermore, a vote for Gary Johnson is a vote for the party of principal.  The Libertarian Party has been the choice for advocates of individual liberty and limited government for 40 years.  Many of it’s founders were Goldwater Republicans who were disgusted with Nixonian statism.  In 1988 Ron Paul was the Party’s nominee President.  At the 2012 convention, delegates nominated Judge Jim Gray as Gary Johnson’s running mate.  Judge Gray is an outspoken critic of the war on drugs.

For these reasons, I wholeheartedly endorse the Libertarian candidate, Governor Gary Johnson, as my choice for President of these United States.

Tea Party Welcomes Boman. Hoekstra Snubs Tea Party.

May 23, 2012

5/22/2012

Shelby Township, MI – United States Senate candidate, Pete Hoekstra backed out of a candidate forum after

Boman Speaks as Hoekstra looks on in Grandville on May 14th.

Boman Speaks as Hoekstra looks on in Grandville on May 14th, at the Eternal Word Church.

learning he would have to face Libertarian hopeful Scotty Boman.  The forum was held by the Romeo Area Tea Party at the Palazzo Grande in Shelby Township and was moderated by WJR Radio Personality Frank Beckmann.

During introductory statements, Beckmann explained the absence of former Congressman Pete Hoekstra by saying that Hoekstra was uncomfortable with the format, and objected to the inclusion of Scotty Boman in the forum.  Boman commented that he expected Hoekstra to have a “…thicker skin than that.”  The following morning (May 22nd) Beckmann addressed the snub again during the first segment of his 9:00 AM to Noon radio program on WJR AM.  He specifically cited comments made by Boman at a forum held on May 14th as making Hoekstra uncomfortable.

At the May 14th forum in Grandville, Boman speculated on who he would vote for in the Republican Primary if he didn’t qualify to be in it saying, “We’re still a little short and if these are the only candidates I have to choose from, I’m going with Clark Durant…He’s a person that really sticks to principle. He’s a man who has professional talent to get things done.” This forum, at Eternal Word Church, was only attended by Pete Hoekstra, Gary Glenn, Randy Hekman, Clark Durant, and Scotty Boman. Peter Konetchy (who qualified for the Republican primary) did not attend.

On his May 22nd radio broadcast, Beckmann said Hoekstra viewed Boman and Durant as “a slate,” due to Boman’s favorable remarks about Durant.  When asked, Boman has clarified this as a comment about his Republican Primary preference and that he would be voting Libertarian in November.

In September of 2011 libertarian activist, Scotty Boman announced his effort to seek the Republican Party nomination for United States Senate, but fell short of the 15,000 signatures needed to file for the Republican Primary.  As a result, Boman’s name cannot appear on the Republican Party’s Primary ballot.

In 2008 Boman was on the general election ballot as a Libertarian.  He placed third in the election.  Libertarians nominate their State-wide candidates by a self-funded convention rather than a tax-payer funded primary. As a result, Libertarians can select their candidates at conventions, while also voting in major party primaries.

The Libertarian Party will hold it’s convention on June 2nd at:  Embassy Suites Livonia/Novi. 19525 Victor Parkway. Livonia, MI 48152

Another candidate, Erwin Haas, is also seeking that nomination.

My Choice for President

February 27, 2012

I am a Republican candidate for United States Senate as well as a Precinct Delegate.  I have been a delegate at the last two Republican State conventions.  Prior to being a Republican candidate, I ran for a variety of public offices as a Libertarian. I first met Ron Paul in 1988 when he ran for President as a Libertarian.  I worked on his Republican campaign in 2008, and have been knocking on doors and phoning from home to get him elected in 2012.

 

Many people campaign on a platform of liberty, and many others get elected to public office.  Ron Paul not only speaks about liberty, he has manifested it through his service as a veteran, and his voting record in Congress; always standing on the side of right even when he must stand alone.  He is the only viable candidate who stands consistently for free markets, honest money, and a non-interventionist foreign policy in a constitutionally limited Republic.

 

I proudly accept responsibility for any of my political opinions, and am not acting as the spokesperson for any employer or organization I am involved with.

12-28 Scotty Boman – WSPD-AM

December 28, 2011

It was a pleasure to speak to Charlie Earl again.

12-28 Scotty Boman – WSPD-AM.

Heed the Wake-Up Call from Space

August 13, 2009
The collision between Earth and an asteroid a few kilometers in diameter may release as much energy as several million nuclear weapons detonating, one after another.

The collision between Earth and an asteroid a few kilometers in diameter may release as much energy as several million nuclear weapons detonating, one after another.

Carl Jung once coined the phrase “Synchronicity” to describe meaningful coincidences.  July 20th was the fortieth anniversary of the first manned moon landing, the 33rd anniversary of the first robotic Mars landing, the 15th anniversary* of the first time humans saw a comet hit a planet, and the date upon which the second such impact was observed.  Of these four events two are especially meaningful.

Fifteen years ago a comet named Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacted the planet Jupiter.  It left a scar in the Jovian atmosphere the size of the Earth.  Jupiter’s powerful tidal forces broke the comet into pieces that hit the planet in a volley of impacts.  If Earth had been hit by a comet that massive, life as we know it would be over.  One would think that would be a wake-up call.  Perhaps people would mobilize to prevent such an event from taking us out.

Such was not to be the case, other than a select few, humanity at large has lived in denial: Being more afraid of gays exchanging vows or cattle passing gas, then of a preventable phenomena that could cause our extinction.  But perhaps I am over-reacting here.  Shoemaker-Levy 9 was the only impact of such a massive object with a planet to be observed in recorded history.  Besides, Jupiter is the most massive planet in the Solar system, so it is more likely to attract objects like comets and asteroids.

One common reason to not be alarmed was the notion that such events are rare.  So rare that it had only happened once in recorded history.  That the most recent extinction level impact hit the Earth 65 Million years ago.  So most people (at least those with no concern for future generations) could smugly assume that no such impact would happen in their lifetime.

Well this past July 20th a discovery was made that should have been the ultimate wake-up call.  It put the infrequency argument to rest.

That is what makes this the most meaningful coincidence.

An amateur astronomer photographed a new dark spot on Jupiter. Within a day, an infrared photograph showed the glow of heat emitted from the same spot.  The consensus among astronomers is that this is the impact scar of a large asteroid or comet.

Just as disturbing as the severity of the damage is that no one even saw it coming.  This was a complete surprise.  The fact that we over-looked this object, raises the specter of other such objects being on a collision course with the Earth, but not yet discovered.

Clearly there is a need for improved detection; an Earth-bound comet or asteroid can be diverted from it’s collision course if immediate action is taken well in advance of the would-be impact.  The principle is similar to making a shooter miss her target.  If she is far enough away, a little wind or a twitch of the wrist by a fraction of a degree can make her miss, however this is not the case at point blank range.

So defending the planet has two key components: Detection and response.

While it is clear what needs to be done, it is not so clear who should do it, or how it should be done.  At present, very little is being done by anyone.

Too often people pass their responsibility on to the government, but this may be one area where it is at least constitutional.  The preamble of the Constitution of the United State of America includes providing for the common defense as one of the reasons for it being established.  Article I, Section 8, authorizes Congress to do a number of things (not all good) including provisions for the common defense.

Protecting the Earth from impact hazards, contrasts drastically from other NASA activities:  Astronomical research, space stations, and future exploitation of lunar resources are all activities that would be better left to the free market.  Furthermore, there is no Constitutional sanction for such activities.

Some might argue that the founders didn’t have impact hazards in mind, and that such an interpretation violates the principle of original intent.  Personally, I doubt the founders would want a military that could defend us from the weapons of 1700’s, but require a Constitutional amendment to protect ourselves from nuclear weapons or asteroids?

Another objection, in relation to original intent, is that asteroids differ from other threats in that we would be defending other nations in the process of defending our own.  I don’t think the founders would object to defending our country from absolute destruction by a foreign threat on the basis that doing so would have the undesirable side effect of saving billions of other people from death, and millions of other species from extinction.

All of the above statements may give the impression that I think such a defense must be provided by the government.  I don’t.  In fact I think it is entirely possible that a better defense could be developed by private corporations, in a perfectly free-market voluntary system.

A persuasive argument for such an absolutely Laissez-Faire Society is made by Linda and Morris Tannehill in their book, The Market for Liberty.  But this is a matter to be discussed if we are at the brink of moving from minarchy to anarcho-capitalism.  Clearly, this is not our present condition.

I have yet to meet a libertarian who would suggest that we make our nation vonerable to foreign invasion until we achieve a free market Utopia.  Likewise, if we require a free society as a prerequisite to avoiding extinction, then we may not live to witness such freedom.

I would love to see a society free of any coercive monopoly, but so long as we have a Constitutionally limited republic in which providing for the common defense is a core government function, it is the duty of our public officials to see that we are protected from deadly impacts.  Such an initiative should also encourage amateur astronomers, scientists, engineers, and aerospace businesses to play a key roll.

We are all in this together.

* Shoemaker-Levy 9 broke into fragments that hit Jupiter over a period of days: From July 16 through July 22, 1994.