Steve G.

$6,000 Challenge: Bald is Ruwartiful!

In Libertarian on July 9, 2008 at 8:31 am

Have the Republicans and Democrats let you down?  Probably.  Has the Libertarian Party let you down too?

Don’t blame me!  I voted for Mary Ruwart.

I donated to her campaign, too!  (Full disclosure: I donated to Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root as well.)

I don’t know for sure what the future holds for the Libertarian Party. Some people are excited to have Bob Barr as the nominee and think he’s our silver bullet for success, while others think that nominating a recent former Republican with a conservative voting record in Congress will destroy the Libertarian Party.

While I gather that hundreds if not thousands of Americans have strong opinions on this, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the vast majority of the nearly 300 million Americans couldn’t care less who the Libertarian Party nominee is or what the Libertarian Party is about.

I’m not saying that’s a good thing.  I’m just saying that’s the way things are until a lot more people get involved.  The Libertarian Party is quite small and has only a small impact on public policy, and I think that will be the situation we’ll find ourselves in come January 2009 as well, despite some of the bold predictions of record success or eminent demise. It will take lots of hard work on the right things to change that, but that’s for a future post.

Back to the Mary Ruwart campaign.

Mary jumped into the race at the urging of quite a few people (including myself).  On just a shoestring budget of about $20,000, she came within about 4% of winning the Libertarian Party nomination for President against a former Congressman who had former billionaire Ross Perot’s presidential campaign manager, Russ Verney, working for him.

Even though Mary didn’t win the nomination, I think by being in the race she forced Bob Barr, even if only temporarily, to lean a lot more libertarian than he might have otherwise.

The moderate reformist faction of the Libertarian Party got their way at the Denver 2008 convention, but just barely. And, we’ll all get to see how this plays out at the polls in just a few months.

Again, the votes were close in Denver plus the turnout was quite low and I expect the same in the near future.  That tells me a small dedicated effort can still quite easily affect the direction of the Libertarian Party.

I recently contributed $200 to Mary Ruwart’s campaign (on top of $500 I previously donated) to help pay off some of her debt which is still above $6,000.  If you’d like to see Mary run for president again in 2012, or at least show your appreciation to her and encourage real libertarians to run in the future, please visit her website and make a contribution of $500 or $200 or whatever you can do:  http://votemary2008.com/

If by next Monday Mary raises $6,000, I’ll shave my head bald again as it was in 2002 when we had a radical platform.  Please help.  People are complaining about the little hair I’ve got.

  1. Nice picture and creative photoshop! A breath of fresh air. Yes, it seems like Libertarians are about split in the middle – also in the polls – between a “conservative rightwing-leaning libertarian” position and a more “liberal leftwing-
    libertarian” position. What the future after November holds, nobody can really say.
    From his recent interview, it does not seem like Barr will be a candidate in 2012 and he is not on the LNC anymore – as I understand it – being the presidential nominee. If Barr would be perceived as preventing a McCain win in November, the current GOP will never welcome him back, even if he had the intention of returning. IMHO, he will only return to the GOP if it really return to constitutional and libertarian principles it previously had, e.g. the sort of change Ron Paul & Co. is seeking within the GOP. I think what happens after November will depend on the outcome of the election as well as further discussions between the various caucuses within the LP. Perhaps it would be a good idea if Barr would run for congress in 2010. If Barr is proverbially spoken given the finger after November, he cannot also return to the GOP either, and it would make the best sense starting a new party, with perhaps some merger with the CP, but more on the basis of the “Jefferson Republican Party” than the current CP base.

    Mary Ruwart should also run for congress where she has a chance of winning within a 3 or 4 party race. I think a lot will depend on how especially which direction the GOP, but also the Democrats develop after the election. If the GOP continues in its authoritarian big government direction, there would be a huge field for the LP to cover and it could really win a few seats in congress in 210. Note that the approval rating for congress has fallen into the single digits, even much lower than Bush. If the GOP goes back to its roots, e.g. Ron Paul & Co. shows some success, then possibly Barr and many Libertarians may re(join) the GOP. And this will also be good for the “anarchist Libertarians” as it will mean society moves closer to more liberty, even though they may not be satisfied with the pace in change.
    The LP could then remain as a political party as well, but with very limited support and could rather act like a pressure/lobby group and can be more “inactive” and remain a vehicle for alternative.

    As I see it, this is very simplified and generalized – thus not 100% factual – possibly most or all moderates as well as the “Rothbard radicals in the LP voted for Paul. Some said it is about 70% of the LP.

    I do want to mention that the fact that Barr has the most name recognition of all the LP candidates, does save the LP a lot of money. In the Ron Paul campaign, a lot of money had to be spent just to get name recognition. As Wes said, most people did not even knew about the LP or if they knew, they could have some one-sided impression of the LP in any case.

    With the Greens, they accepted CYnthia McKinney as candidate and probably nominee even though she is in the GP for only a few months. But with Barr this does not seem to be the case, although he joined 2 years ago already….

  2. Wes,

    Some wise stuff there!

    One thing you’re right about (although you didn’t put it this way): The effects of this year’s LP presidential nomination campaign are far more internal to the LP than external to the electorate, the policymakers, etc.

    I can’t help but think that’s a good thing, at least this year.

  3. OT:
    Check out this on FISA and contact your local congress representative and senator and take action. This is a very important issue on liberty every Libertarian should take:
    http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2008/07/07/what-every-american-needs-to-know-and-do-about-fisa-before-tuesday/

  4. Thomas: Exactly! This is what I am trying to say. No average voter who has not voted for the LP before would know or be interested in say the differences between Barr and Ruwart or between Barr and Root (luckily the VP candidate plays about zero influence, as I have problems with Root’s foreign policy understanding)

    They only care about basic things, an alternative to the big parties, and the limited government, lower taxes, civil liberties approach should be welcome. The issue is getting the basic message out to most voters. Some people may also just vote a protest vote. They may only look closer in detail to policy if the Lp fares better than expected and become a viable alternative, which is exactly one of Barr’s major goals.

  5. Wes is saying what many of us have been thinking. Just as a butterfly flapping in the Amazon has no effect on the weather in Des Moines, so doesn’t the jaw-flapping within the LP between Barr and anti-Barr forces effect Joe Sixpack and how he is going to vote in November. Should Bob Barr attract a horde of quasi-libertarian or “true conservatives” to consider the LP, then the LP has to be prepared with internal education efforts to move their thinking in a more mainstream libertarian path. One way would be for the LP News to feature monthly “Principles of Basic Libertarianism” articles. Another would be to set up a Speakers Bureau which could send people like Mary Ruwart on state tours to grassroots LP clubs. (Since a tiny minority of members attend state conventions, we need to explore ways for speakers to appear at county meetings.)

  6. Stefan Says:
    July 9, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Yes, it seems like Libertarians are about split in the middle – also in the polls – between a “conservative rightwing-leaning libertarian” position and a more “liberal leftwing-libertarian” position.

    No, there is the Barr/W.A.R. “conservative rightwing” faction, which isn’t libertarian, and the Ruwart/Kubby “Libertarian” faction.

    Mary Ruwart is NOT left wing! Neither is Steve Kubby. They are both Libertarian! The fact that people from the left are attracted to their messages in no way diminishes the appeal that these folks have for some who are “right-leaning” as well . . . and to libertarians in general.

    The only truth that can be drawn out of what Stefan has stated is that Barr/W.A.R. have nearly ZERO appeal to the left leaning electorate.

    And make no mistake about it, Barr will be back in the Republican Party within 2 years. His days as a Libertarian are numbered . . . 118 days and (hopefully/thankfully) counting down.

  7. And make no mistake about it, Barr will be back in the Republican Party within 2 years. His days as a Libertarian are numbered . . . 118 days and (hopefully/thankfully) counting down.

    Steve, you may be right that Barr’s days as a Libertarian are numbered, but I have difficulty imagining a scenario where he would be welcomed back in the Republican Party. He’s running on an all but explicitly stated goal of torpedoing the Republican presential campaign.

    I could see him milking his raised public profile by hitting the conservative/Christian speaking circuit, selling a newsletter, writing a book, renting his mailing list, etc., but he has to be a dead man to the GOP itself.

  8. Jim,
    I think that even though McCain is likely to lose in November, it will not be because of Barr. Yes, some in the Republican Party will be less than exstatic about having Barr back, but the “true conservatives”, whom Barr is trying so hard to get support from, will be very warm in welcoming him back.

    With the help of these “true conservatives”, Barr is likely to run for president as a Republican in 2012. I have yet to see if there is a Senate seat in Georgia up for election in 2010, but if there is, Barr is likely to run for that seat before seeking the presidency as a Republican in 2012. Just my own thoughts, but I give this a high probability of happening.

  9. ecstatic, not exstatic

  10. Here’s the dope . . . There IS a Senate seat election in Georgia for 2010, and here is what is said about it in Wikipedia:

    “There had been some speculation that freshman Republican senator Johnny Isakson might run for Governor of Georgia to succeed Republican Sonny Perdue, who is term-limited.”

    This info just might give strong credibility to my assertion of Barr running for the US Senate seat in Georgia in 2010 (can anyone say primary?), then run in the GOP primary in 2012.

  11. Wow–Mary has really been able to pull the wool over some eyes!! And that has nothing to do with the child porn issue. There are more skeletons than that in her closet. Running in 2012 would not be a wise decision on her part–and she knows it. Stay tuned.

  12. Steve, if you do not see that Barr’s rhetoric signals a clear break with the GOP, you aren’t paying attention.

  13. Barr is trying, IMHO to move the Republican Party back to a more “conservative” posture. True enough, many conservatives do not see the GOP with any future following the McCain lead.

    Wartman, if you don’t see that the Barr campaign is explicitly geared to solicit conservative support/votes, most of whom are in the GOP, YOU sir are more than not paying attention, you are blind!

  14. Karl Says:
    July 9, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Wow–Mary has really been able to pull the wool over some eyes!! And that has nothing to do with the child porn issue. There are more skeletons than that in her closet. Running in 2012 would not be a wise decision on her part–and she knows it. Stay tuned.

    Spoken like a true psychic! I sure am glad that “Karl” has the inside track and that Mary “knows it”!

  15. Or, Maybe Barr will run for Governor of Georgia (as a Republican) in 2010 when Sonny Perdue is term-limited out. Possible, but less like in my view, than Barr running for Senate.

  16. Stefan proposes: “As I see it, this is very simplified and generalized – thus not 100% factual – possibly most or all moderates as well as the “Rothbard radicals in the LP voted for Paul. Some said it is about 70% of the LP.”

    For donors, there is real information available. The Paul campaign was kind enough to put out a large part of their total donor list, name and city, in press releases.

    Knowing the full size of their donor list, it is ease to make the needed correction.

    I ran a comparison of their Massachusetts list with the full list of present and former National party members in Massachusetts. The overlap was small. Extending out to the full donor list, about 10% of the current and former National Party members were Paul donors. This result is roughly consistent with the straw poll at the LPIL convention, ‘please raise your hands if you were a Paul donor’, in which 14 or 15 of about 75 attendees in a state that was a hotbed of Paul activity raised their hands.

    I find it unsurprising that the fraction of people who supported Ron Paul’s actual stands, within our party, was small.

  17. Steve LaBianca Says:
    “No, there is the Barr/W.A.R. “conservative rightwing” faction, which isn’t libertarian, and the Ruwart/Kubby “Libertarian” faction.”

    No, if you are going to call the Barr faction right wing, you should call the Ruwart/Kubby faction ‘anarchist’, and they are about equally close to the Libertarian message, which is to say, not quite as perfectly close as they each think.

  18. Mr Phillies, Mr. Kubby has stated unequivocally that he is NOT an anarchist (see his post on TPW in early May).

    Whether you agree with anarchy or not, radical minarchists and anarchists generally see themselves as “in the same camp”, at least within the LP.

    Also, though I thought of it after posting, I could have said that there is also a “moderate” faction, which includes you, George. My apology for not being inclusive of that. My comment was only meant in response to Stefan, to his error of the “dichotomy” of the 2 factions he differentiates.

  19. “Mary Ruwart is NOT left wing! Neither is Steve Kubby. They are both Libertarian!”

    That’s like saying:

    “Mary Ruwart is NOT a mammal! Neither is Steve Kubby. They are both bears!”

    To the extent that “left” and “right” are applicable (and they are, whether we like it or not), libertarianism is a left-wing political impulse, and has been since the whole “left-right continuum” thing came into existence based on the seating arrangements in the 1789 Estates-General.

  20. George, are those press releases with the Ron Paul donor lists archived anywhere? I’d like to see the list for New York. Thanks.

  21. I hope that Bob Barr and his ilk do leave the party right after November and he can take those on the “retard caucus” with him. Maybe after that and a change at LPHQ, will I rescind my comments about leaving the party.

  22. Thomas L. Knapp Says:
    July 9, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    To the extent that “left” and “right” are applicable (and they are, whether we like it or not), libertarianism is a left-wing political impulse

    Tom, I am simply addressing Stefan, as I believe he means left-liberal in the modern-day, distorted and somewhat socialist sense.

    I totally agree (if you had seen my post yesterday indicating that the libertarian movement is grounded, historically in the left) with your left characterization. However, I don”t believe that Stefan meant it in that sense, so I was addressing that modern American “leftist” notion.

  23. Steve,

    You are perfectly right. I could have said anarchist/purist/plumbline/Rothbardian faction, all different but able to coexist, ditto for the pragmatist/right-leaning/republican/conservative faction, not to mention of course the people who are fond of conspiracy theories involving 911, the Fed, metal coins, the Council for Foreign Relations, and the Knights Templar.

  24. Steve “I know all about Mary Ruwart” La Bianca wrote–
    “Spoken like a true psychic! I sure am glad that “Karl” has the inside track and that Mary “knows it”!”

    Nothing psychic about it. Candidates with secrets like hers have no business running for anything. If you think you know her so well—ask her about her dirty little secret. And no–I’m not a Bob Barr supporter.

  25. Yes, George, because the “true libertarian” message is protectionism, immigration restriction, fiat money, and liberal “constitutional law.”

  26. Mary represents the bullshit wing of the Libertarian Party. As in: “if we bullshit the voters correctly, we can make them accept anything.”

    A taxonomy:

    Rothbard purist: “Liberty is the only value worthy of political consideration. Anyone who sacrifices even an ort of liberty for some other moral or economic value is a damn socialist.” Read Lewrockwell.com or Strike the Root.

    Consequentialist libertarian: “The free market works better for a wide variety of situations. Here’s where and how.” Think Friedman, Cato, etc.

    Mixed libertarian: “Liberty works better here. Over there, liberty comes at a price, but I’m willing to pay it. But way out yonder, the value of government is high enough to justify a small loss of liberty in return for other values.”

    Bullshit libertarian: “The free market works better in these situations therefore it works better in all situations.” Harry Browne and Mary Ruwart epitomize this line of non-thinking. Murray Rothbard was a member of the bullshit school when it came to foreign policy.

  27. Karl Says:
    July 9, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Steve “I know all about Mary Ruwart” La Bianca wrote–

    regarding what I said:

    “Spoken like a true psychic! I sure am glad that “Karl” has the inside track and that Mary “knows it”!”

    There is nowhere in my posts, here, at TPW, IPR, or anywhere else where I say (neither do I believe) that “I know all about Mary Ruwart”.

    My comment was directed at you, who alleges that YOU do. Well if you do, why not say it?

  28. Carl Says:
    July 9, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Mary represents the bullshit wing of the Libertarian Party. As in: “if we bullshit the voters correctly, we can make them accept anything.”

    Carl, do you care to officially label such a “wing”, and name names? Do you want to put me in your newly designated “official wing”?

    If I had to make a judgment, I’d be way more inclined to believe that Carl, (an intelligent person) thinks that with his superior intelligence, he can “bulls**t” the rest of us with elaborate, convoluted analysis and verbiage. Humble yourself, Carl, talk to the rest of us average folk in ways that we can understand, and then what you say may be a lot less likely to be labeled “bulls**t”.

  29. Karl Says:

    Well, does NOT say who he is. Karl who?

    I stand by what I say . . . I am wrong sometimes just like everybody is, butr I don’t hide behind “Steve”, who could be anybody.

    Come on Karl, come out of the closet. If you don’t or can’t, then you are just another blowhard.

  30. Steve: it’s not about intelligence; it’s about not drinking the Kool Ade. Joe Six Pack can see through the BS. Go out on the street and say “Government doesn’t work” (a la Harry Browne) and you’ll get instant disrespect from most people. Why? Government works. Mail arrives. Criminals get prosecuted. Roads get built.

    Government does not work perfectly. And in many areas the private sector could do a better job (like education!). But it does work. This is common sense. It takes a cult-like mentality to fail to see this. This is why some conservatives label libertarians “Marxists of the Right.” BS libertarians block out inconvenient truths just as bad as diehard Marxists.

    For an example of non-BS libertarianism, read David Friedman’s “The Machinery of Freedom.” Friedman is an anarchist, but unlike many, he faces the hard questions and looks for answers, instead of going into hissy fits when confronted with inconvenient facts.

    Alas for anarchy, Friedman’s case is not airtight. National defense is a public good. Economies of scale for protection services could very well lead to local monopolies (i.e., governments). This does not disprove the possibility of anarcho-capitalism, but it does indicate it would require positive effort to maintain.

    Also, the workability of anarchy is not proven, and there is much data to suggest the contrary. Villifying non-anarchic freedom lovers is morally equivalent to criticizing the Pilgrims for travelling by sailboat instead of flying saucer.

  31. While I am here can we get the Milton Friedman/ Robert Nozick/Isabel Paterson wing of the party included in this as well?

  32. Milton Friedman was solidly in the consequentialist wing. Don’t know enough about Nozick or Paterson to say.

    (I am in the mixed area. I am closer to Rothbard than Friedman was. I agree with Rothbard that pure consequentialism offers a tepid case for liberty. However, I inspire more ire on the part of Rothbardian and similar libertarians because I infringe more on their turf and point out the weaknesses in their arguments. Heretic vs. outsider, if you will.)

  33. […] Party of Texas Executive Director Wes Benedict, who now writes for Last Free Voice, has posted a challenge to Libertarians to help retire Mary Ruwart’s debt. Dr. Ruwart, who led on the fifth ballot […]

  34. Mr. Labianca–
    If Mary tries to run for any type of office—you and everyone else will know who I am, and will understand why I have written what I have written.
    Karl who? Karl Smith—-happy?

  35. Let Mary retire her own debt.

  36. Karl Says:
    July 10, 2008 at 12:39 am

    Karl who? Karl Smith—-happy?

    Hmmm. If I google you, what will that tell me? I know if you google me, you will get a decent idea of what I have written, and what I have been a part of.

    I imagine that “Karl Smith” will yield results which are all over the map. So, nice try Karl, but you are still hiding behind the non-descript “Smith”.

  37. Are you:

    Karl A. Smith

    Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor

    Professor of Civil Engineering

    Civil Engineering

    Institute of Technology
    University of Minnesota

  38. Or maybe you are:

    Karl Smith
    Wet behind the ears Professor of Economics and Government at the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  39. Or, Google gave me this link about Karl Smith:

    http://blogs.phillyburbs.com/karl-smith

    That’s three different “Karl Smith” links, and I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of where the 60,000 links for “Karl Smith” takes me to.

    Go ahead . . . google “Steve LaBianca”. See what you find. One thing is for sure; there ain’t much out there but ME!

  40. Karl Says:
    July 10, 2008 at 12:39 am

    Mr. Labianca–
    If Mary tries to run for any type of office—you and everyone else will know who I am, and will understand why I have written what I have written.

    Why don’t you email Mary yourself . . . Mary@Ruwart.com, and tell her yourself. If you are going to threaten, why not threaten the person herself?

  41. I’m pro-skeleton in and out of the closet. It’s the people without skeletons I don’t trust. They’re schmoozers, do-nothings, and risk-averse followers if not liars. It’s nice to hear Mary has at least a doozie or two. When people put her on a pedestal, the way the Retard Caucus has done with Barr, I worry about a big ole ker-splat!

  42. Karl.

  43. On the bright side, Bob Barr’s been slashed and burned all over the place, so he probably doesn’t have too much new to worry about. Same goes for Root. Actually, same goes for Hillary. To some degree even McCain. Obama probably has some more people don’t know about. Skeletons seemed to help propel Schwarzenegger to victory and kept Bill Clinton in office.

  44. There have been times when I’ve thought the child porn smears against Mary actually galvanized her supporters and resulted in her doing better than she might otherwise have done without all of that.

  45. It would take some king-hell bad shit to significantly damage my respect for Dr. Ruwart. I’ve always found her to be not just a good libertarian, but a good person. It’s possible to be one or the other but not both.

    And, of course, Wes is correct … anyone who’s done one good thing of consequence, ever, has probably also done at least two things he or she would be embarrassed to have to discuss again. You either keep going and keep trying to do better, or you let your mistakes freeze you like a deer in some 18-wheeler’s headlights.

    If I had to guess, I’d guess that the scandal Karl is referring to is that Dr. Ruwart lives in Texas … voluntarily! That’s surely good for a 24-hour psychiatric hold in any police station in the non-Texas US, and maybe even the full 30-day workup if one has been observed actually eating the stuff they try to pass off as barbecue down there.

  46. Wes,

    You write:

    “There have been times when I’ve thought the child porn smears against Mary actually galvanized her supporters and resulted in her doing better than she might otherwise have done without all of that.”

    I think she would have done quite well regardless, but the smear campaign certainly helped. If nothing else, it put the final nix on Wayne Allyn Root’s chances of getting the top slot. Regardless of who lit the fuse (the anonymous “Ruwarchy”), it ended up exploding in Root’s face.

  47. Knapp, if you’re trying to convince people not to move to Texas, you probably just made 22 million friends–all of them Texans. You also made a half-million enemies: the governor of Texas plus members of the chambers of commerce and construction firms, all of whom love raising taxes on Texans to give subsidies to people (especially Californians–oh my gawd!) to move to Texas.

    We Texans should have slammed the border shut right after I was paid by other Texas tax-payin’ dupes to move here from Louisiana.

    I spent 3 years in Michigan. It was hard to sleep over the sound of the road salt chomping away at my car at night. I can see why a Michigander would want to leave that nightmare.

  48. I Love Michigan!!!

    That is, until I can afford to move to Vegas….

  49. Mr. LaBianca—
    Mary and I have already had the conversation you elude to—on the phone.

  50. If barbecue is an important criteria for where you choose to live, well, that’s your choice. If great food was so important to me, I’d have stayed in Louisiana.

    Personally, I’m a proud member of the fast food nation, and that’s where Michigan fall short. From what I remember, you can’t get Dr. Pepper at most fast food restaurants in Michigan other than Taco Bell, but in Texas, you can get regular Dr. Pepper at almost all of them and Diet Dr. Pepper at some of the best.

  51. Karl,

    Seems like you’re itchin’ to give a hint or two.

  52. Wes,

    The only time I’ve ever been in Michigan was a brief changeover stop at the Detroit airport en route between St. Louis and New York (unless the ice pack on the Illinois side of Lake Michigan is part of Michigan rather than Illinois).

    I’m Missourian by residence, Tennessean by birth, and Tennessean/Arkansan by barbecue preference, except where the barbaric custom of topping otherwise perfectly good barbecue with slaw is adhered to. If you want good barbecue, you’ll find it located in the area lying between Corky’s (formerly Porky’s until Warner Brothers sued) in Memphis and Mclard’s in Hot Springs.

    In Texas’s favor, I had some damn good Mexican food when I visited Austin to work on Badnarik’s campaign in 2004, and Alan Weiss actually treated me to some eminently passable barbecue … but I think he had it FedExed over from Arkansas. And if you can get Dr. Pepper there but not in Michigan, well, there’s another point in Texas’s favor.

    Vis a vis barbecue, it’s not really that the Texas stuff is bad food, it’s just that it tends toward beef brisket in a mesquite sauce. Real barbecue is pork in a semi-sweet (sorghum, honey or brown sugar based) sauce. I’m pretty sure something about that was on one of the tablets that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai, and it may have been reiterated in the Declaration of Independence.

  53. Hot Karl!

    Marx?

    FL?

  54. Wes: Your sacrifice is an interesting one. Had we not just donated what we could to Antiwar.com we’d be donating. Sigh. If gas was a good bit lower we’d be donating too. And let’s face it it will end any rumors of a toupee.

    Texas: Slam the border shut after us, okay? We promise to be good Texans (with an I in there if you prefer, I do have connections) and we promise to not bring any desires for anything Califonria besides citrus (which do grow in Texas too, so….) and the occasional online order back to Riverside (gotta keep Gene solvent somehow)(unless an LPTX member has a bookstore?)

    Texan food: I don’t mind decent non-pork BBQ and I’m told that some of the lemonade back there is every bit the competition for mine. I don’t eat tofu. Texan/Mexican is okay although I have to say that growing up in Colorado means my taste buds do prefer the type of heat in Pueblo and Hatch type chilies. I like a balance of calor to sabor.

    Then again Wes, you might not like me after all– I don’t eat a whole lot of fast food anymore. Out there we hope to grow a significant chunk of our own food.

    We can always try to rescue LPEP back in Colorado….

  55. wo…

    Not to sound like a friggin’ genius, but I just realized that all the Wes’s are spelling Mary. I thought they were just scattered.

    Need new glasses…

  56. You can get Dr.Pepper at every McDonalds in Southwest Michigan.

    I’d rather wade through a sewer than purposely step foot in Detroit.

  57. Karl Says:
    July 10, 2008 at 3:27 am

    Mr. LaBianca—
    Mary and I have already had the conversation you elude to—on the phone.

    Oh, so you’ve actually threatened Mary! Good for you!

    I can’t help but think, with this real or imagined threatening “evidence”, what is Karl’s motivation to air this out, here at LFV?

    Plus, I notice that “Karl’ has not provided more discrete info about who he is. I maintain that this “Karl” is a blowhard, hiding behind the anonymity of the internet.

    BTW Karl, learn the language. The correct word is “allude”, as in refer to. Elude is correctly used as a synonym of “avoid’.

  58. Wes –

    Bald looks great on you! :o)

    And Lidia –

    Are you all moving to Texas? What part? And DO NOT miss what I think are called “Armadillo Eggs”! Fresh raw jalapenos, stuffed with sausage & onions, battered and fried. Fried catfish, with hush puppies, homemade tartar sauce, green tomato relish.

    Did y’all REALLY have to start in with the food discussion this early in the a.m.?

  59. Vis a vis barbecue, it’s not really that the Texas stuff is bad food, it’s just that it tends toward beef brisket in a mesquite sauce. Real barbecue is pork in a semi-sweet (sorghum, honey or brown sugar based) sauce.

    Knapp, you have just proven that you don’t know what the hell you are talking about. First, you are correct that if it ain’t pig (and slow cooked, at that), then it ain’t barbecue. Even a blind squirrel … yadda, yadda. However, everyone that matters knows that sugar-ketchup (what you call semi-sweet sauce) destroys perfectly good pig. The rules are simple: if it never oinked and it isn’t swimming in vinegar, then it isn’t real barbecue.

    And while we’re on the subject, Dr. Pepper is OK and far better than Coke or Pepsi. I have a bottle of the stuff on my desk right now. However, Cheerwine has the good Dr. beat. Take Dr. Pepper, add more cherries and let it sit open a day or two and you’ve got yourself a bottle of Cheerwine.

  60. Pork, Beef, Chicken barbecue . . . it all pretty much tastes the same as the seasoning/sauce is what gives it the flavor. The key is the flavoring. All are good for my palate!

  61. Steve: just to clear up, no I did not mean Mary is in any case socialist leaning… the labels can lead to a lot of misunderstanding. I meant she is more “anarchist” leaning, some has described anarchism as a very “rightwing ideology”, I heard the other day… The constitution was a revolutionary document, and in that time a very “liberal” policy, while today adherence to the constitution is actually a “conservative policy”. Well, all politicians should adhere to the constitution, but as you know there are different interpretations among the judges, some “constructionist” and other “activist” as well as “moderates” (“in between”).

    Mary did mention once in a radio interview “restitution” towards women and minorities…and I was wondering what she meant by that? WOuld this restitution be legalized/law?

    As to Barr, he does attract votes from Democrats and Greens already, and with Obama’s yes vote to FISA and the destruction of the 4th Amendment, he has a lot more potential among them. He had a blogginghead TV interview with Jane Hamsher of firedoglake.com and they have agreed to work together on civil liberties. Libertarian Ron Paul Republicans have agreed to work with the left, set up a PAC and pressure group. This seems to me much more productive than bitching about the elected nominee and labels he may use.
    BTW: Ron Paul describe himself as “the most conservative” also, and you have said you would describe him as 85% libertarian. Paul and Barr obviously mean
    fiscal “conservative”. Libertarians are for free trade, and that is economically “liberal” again. Paul and Barr are personally socially conservative, but other than some other conservatives, they know you cannot legislate morality and all your own views upon others by law. I think they are both realistic to know they have radical changes to make, but that you can make these changes incrementally, you cannot change the system and congress and senate overnight.

    I think in the end everybody has to admit there are very different flavors of libertarianism. Everyone wants to absolutize his/her definition of libertarianism.

    I hope Dr. Ruwart can get her campaign debt repaid. It would have been the best if she declared herself willing to be Barr’s VP. Then everyone would have been much happier and it would have been a unified ticket. Barr and Root are not similar at all. Kubby said Root also said before he would not be interested in the VP slot, which he did want in the end. As Knapp said, luckily Root did not get the nomination. In this campaign the VP slot would not get much attention also. Well, for Dr. Ruwart it is good that she is on the LNC. After the election, as I see it, Barr and Root will have no official/formal role with the LP. Root should go for mayor of a city in Nevada, if he can really win it.

    Steve, Barr is not happy with the GOP already since years. Think about it, he has positions int he Reagan and Bush 1 administrations. He was well known and liked witht he CLinton impeachment among conservative, yet he got NO position in the Bush 2 administration, where the neocons dominated more than ever in
    the past. Why did he not get any position? This should tell you something…. It seems some want to get rid of him after the election. That be so, he should join the “campaign for liberty” and can continue with his work/lobby against the Patriot Act, for medicinal marjuana (there are 10 states that allows it, yet federal law overrule the law in the state), FISA etc. As to positical post one has to see. He will not be not be easily accepted within the GOP. He should most possibly see in which direction the GOP moves, as it has to move in one direction. Dr. Paul could possibly ask him to join, once the GOP set its sights on returning to its roots. Otherwise he will not return, and Dr. Paul may not stay either…

  62. Wes: Your governor Rick Perry was a Democrat, until he became the GOP governor. This explains a lot why your taxes are going higher, instead of lower.
    Scenario: Victor Bugliosi’s action leads next year to Bush’s imprisonment, and then the whole Bush influence will be diminished. Dr. Paul could in such a scenario become governor, and then your tax will become the lowest ever…:-) One also has to see what happens with Karl Rove, if action can be taken against him in the following months, a lot may change (for the better).

  63. Your governor Rick Perry was a Democrat, until he became the GOP governor. This explains a lot why your taxes are going higher, instead of lower.

    Yeah, I mean Republicans never raise taxes. They just spend massive amounts, deficit spend, and ensure long-term tax rates are higher to pay the interest (and that we’re indirectly taxed through currency depreciation).

    *chuckles*

  64. the “true libertarian” message is protectionism, immigration restriction, fiat money, and liberal “constitutional law.”

    The irony here is that your Hero Ron Paul is all for labor protectionism, immigration restriction, and weird “constitutional law”… while George is for free trade, immigration liberalization, common sense currency policies, and common sense constitutional law.

  65. Stefan makes an important positive point “I hope Dr. Ruwart can get her campaign debt repaid. It would have been the best if she declared herself willing to be Barr’s VP….”

    Namely, if Ruwart had become the VP candidate, her campaign account including the debts would automatically under Federal law have merged with the Presidential campaign account, and her debts would have been debts for the one campaign.

    This rule was enough by itself to insure that I had no interest at all in becoming VP, because the $100,000+ of my money that my campaign had in the bank would have gone over to the Barr Presidential effort.

  66. I must say, George, that I am pleased by the result you obtained in not becoming VP. You make a fine presidential candidate for those states where you are running, though. Good luck!

    Say, where do you stand on smaller government? Because, you are on the ballot in two states. If you support a smaller gov’t in all areas and a larger gov’t in none, the Boston Tea Party could consider endorsing you. I don’t think Jay/Knapp can get on the ballot in Mass or NH, which should mean no conflict of interest. Hmmmmm. Something to ponder.

  67. “However, Cheerwine has the good Dr. beat.”

    I actually had my first bottle of Cheerwine the other day, and heartily concur — made with cane sugar instead of HFCS, and a great flavor. Also, it still comes in a tapered glass bottle like a proper soft drink should.

    “Pork, Beef, Chicken barbecue . . . it all pretty much tastes the same as the seasoning/sauce is what gives it the flavor. The key is the flavoring.”

    Seasoning/sauce is part TWO of good barbecue. Part one is slow cooking at a low temp with lots of smoke. If you just plopped a piece of meat on the grill, burned it to a crisp and drowned it in “barbecue sauce,” it might be quite good, but it isn’t barbecue.

  68. Tom,

    I know that “barbecue” is slow cooked for hours. I’ve never done it myself but I have friends who have. However, thank you for elaborating on the slow cooking as part of the barbecue process. I have had chicken barbecue, slow cooked, and wit the seasonings/sauce, I couldn’t tell what meat it was.

  69. Y’all ever do beer can bar-b-que? Where you stick a full can of beer up the backside of a chicken and let the beer steam its way through the chicken, or how about that South Seas type where you place a whole pig in the ground a slow cook it for a day? Mmmm Umm!

    Screw the Dr. Pepper. How about a bottle of good cold beer? Like Lone Star in the long neck. Y’all still have that in Texas?

    MHW

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