Sunday, September 09, 2018

Bootlickers Want YOU Out of Your Car

Eric Peters, a car enthusiast in Virginia, wrote on Sept 7, 2018, about something that's been gnawing at me too:

The average cost for insurance for a new teen driver is now north of $250 per month.

How is he supposed to get a car – or afford gas – when he is obliged to pony up $250 each month to the insurance mafia? ... How is a teenage kid working a minimum wage/part-time gig supposed to deal with it?

Faced with this extortion – and that’s exactly the right word; there’s no choice about paying the $250 per month, if the kid wants to drive legally – many simply opt out. A record-high percentage of 16-25-year-olds haven’t even got a driver’s license and forget the car. They stay home instead, game and text. When they need to get somewhere, they ride share or Uber or something that doesn’t require them to spend a minimum of 20-25 hours working at minimum wage (currently $10.50 er hour) gig hauling pizzas or some such just to tithe the mafia.... More and more of them just don’t care about cars – or driving.

Mission accomplished.

One way to get people out of cars – an agenda that has existed since at least the early ’70s in furtive “urban planning” circles but which has become aggressively obvious in recent years – is to make sure they never get into them. And the easiest way to do that is to make driving prohibitively and unavoidably expensive for new drivers especially. If they never learn to drive, they’ll never miss not driving.

I agree with Eric Peters that the dramatic increases in the cost of insuring new drivers is INTENTIONAL on the part of bureaucrats. It is government policy that allows insurance companies to do this. Just one of those policies is mandatory insurance -- which is nothing more than a massive subsidy to rent-seeking insurance companies.

It's many times more expensive to repair accident-damaged cars now than it was at the peak of Car Culture USA. That is again a direct result of federal policy: Cars must be built to federal standards, rather than customer standards. So what might have been a fender, hood, and grille replacement in 1968, now requires dozens of large and small parts, each one engineered to comply with federal crash standards, air bag systems (required by the feds), and crumple-zone standards -- and each one predictably pricey as a result.

Not long ago, there was an article in a car magazine where a GM engineer was reviewing past GM greats -- like the 1966 Chevrolet Malibu.  He said his department had actually studied the idea: that with the identical manufacturing, engineering, and features as one had in 1966, the same identical car would cost a buyer around $15,000 in today's dollars.

He also said that with modern regulation, all of the changes to every part of the car to comply with current regulations, you'd end up with a car that was almost unrecognizable, twice the weight, about the same power, and roughly three times the cost -- and either impossible to repair or horrendously expensive to repair.

The Murderous Left wants people out of cars. The single greatest liberator of all time -- the personal automobile -- is anathema to bootlickers who want to know who you are, where you are, what you're doing, who you're with, and what you have in your possession. AT ALL TIMES.

Bootlickers are control freaks who want the unwashed masses shuttled around in cattle cars that they can centrally shut down for whatever reason, and grab who or whatever they want.

They don't give a rat's ass about the environment, or deaths and injuries from accidents. All they are really after is CONTROL. And one way to get there is to make mobility-at-will all but impossible.

The Libertarian answer is to:

1) Abolish mandatory insurance requirements, like all other regulations

2) Abolish all government-issued identification regimes.

3) Eliminate all government-owned or operated transportation systems, and allow private ownership to mitigate the harm done by poor drivers.

4) Abolish government-operated police, and allow road owners to provide the kind of traffic control that suits them and their paying customers.

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Vote Libertarian * 800-ELECT-US * http://www.LP.org
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Written by Marc Montoni <AMCAmbassador@gmail.com>, September, 2018.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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Sunday, August 26, 2018

Pole-Shifting and Shifty Alarmists


Earth's magnetic poles are never stable; they move constantly -- and sometimes they flip altogether.  Which is understandable, because the earth's core is actually a giant spinning magnet.

Some scientists who study the earth's internal magnet have noticed that the magnetic poles have moved a lot over the last few years.  There is some speculation that the increased speed of their wandering means they are about to flip.

Check out this article about emerging science on pole shifts.  It's fascinating stuff.

A complete flip from N to S is actually about 500,000 years overdue.

Shifting magnetic poles can change the climate immensely -- particularly, the amount of cloud cover (water vapor).  After the sun, more or less water vapor is the main determinant of temperature.

Which brings us to the politicization of the pole movement by the alarmist environmentalist left.

One would think that the climate models -- the ones the alarmist Left uses to blather up panic about the climate (and the taxpayer grants and book deals for their adherents) -- would have in included adjusting those models for the effect of magnetic pole shift .

So have they?  Have alarmists added the effect of moving magnetic poles into their models?

Not exactly.

They did the reverse: Now that acceleration of magnetic pole movement has become a topic of discussion, alarmist scientists have latched on and are suddenly claiming that melting glaciers and warmer temperatures on the surface are the drivers of the pole movement activity.

So someone else brings it up, whereupon it is adopted to mangle cause-and-effect into further support for their alarmist model -- even though there has been no connection yet proven.

Climate scientists -- at least the mainstream alarmist ones -- are inexcusably sloppy about their work.

Many of the earliest of the alarmists' models relied on data supplied by poorly-maintained weather stations, or stations where development, addition of a large parking lot, etc would rather obviously have had a significant effect on what data was recorded (see http://www.SurfaceStations.org/ ).  For years, the alarmist industry flat-out denied that those surface station assumptions needed to be tested or that the data they were supplying was unreliable.

It took a skeptic to start an audit movement.  Volunteers did all of the auditing because the multi-billion dollar alarmist-industrial complex couldn't be bothered to fund such an audit itself. 
Even gas stations have to get their measuring systems assessed and certified every few months -- but an alarmist industry that depends on the measuring instruments doesn't?

Come on.

Alarmist pseudoscience really got rolling in the late eighties and early nineties. Scientists looked at their data tables and saw that temperatures appeared to be climbing, and then they published, and started the cycle of alarm.

They forgot something major, however: The disappearance from the dataset of stations in more remote regions of Russia / USSR as the state collapsed and stopped maintaining, operating, and checking them, was not in any way accounted for.  Many of the abandoned stations were in Siberia.

If you have 1,000 stations all over the planet and 50 stations in some of the bitterest-cold areas on earth steadily drop out of the calculation, 5th grade math says the temperature average of the remaining stations will go up.

But alarmists glossed over it.

Alarmist scientists have also directly diddled with directly changing data tables they use in their models without either explaining the reasons for doing so or adjusting the assumptions the model builds on that data as a result -- and they pass off their diddled data and the conclusions they derive from it as "science" and claim anyone questioning it is just an apish knuckle-dragging throwback who has no place to talk.  Fudging data is in itself an academic and scientific crime for which none have been called to account.

But the real problem with alarmism is that the alarmist-industrial complex (a multi-billion dollar, taxpayer-funded white elephant), is that everything it "produces" is designed to affect government policy.

If you convince vote-happy politicians that the sky is falling, your budget for the following year will get a lot more lard slathered on it.  "Green" corporations and compliant scientists and other hangers-on get huge new government contracts and grants, while more efficient corporations using traditional energy sources or methods in their production, and skeptical scientists, are ignored.

I'm as concerned about the environment as anyone.  The biggest skeptic thinker I know is completely off-grid, uses solar for all of his home and business energy needs, and otherwise is completely self-sufficient.  Even his personal transportation is the ultimate in re-use: He buys ancient 50 mpg Geo Metros and fixes them up.  Compare the resources that went into his 1990 Metro to the local watermelon's brand-new 2018 Prius. The Prius can't quite beat the Metro on MPG, and its curb weight is roughly twice that of the Metro (twice the curb weight means at minimum twice the resources went into it).

I don't know a single watermelon writer or thinker who has as small a footprint.  I'm sure they exist.  But the mainstream watermelon is usually just the latest snob who moved into the local neighborhood of McMansions and wants to slam the door against anyone trying to follow him into that shiny new neighborhood -- as if taking a few plastic bottles to the curb once every two weeks makes up for the McMansion and the Prius.

All governments should abandon all funding of science and limit their activities to their legitimate role of protecting individual rights (and with them, property rights).

Libertarians suggest that only freedom and a lack of government meddling will bring about the lasting change in individual behavior that is necessary to protect our environment.  Private individuals should be left free to engage in education and persuasion activities for better, more efficient practices.

Using the sledgehammer of government policy to get the compliance you want only breeds waste -- and, eventually, backlash.  Abolition of government spending, including that which goes towards so-called 'science', would actually do much to improve environmental health.

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Written by Marc Montoni <AMCAmbassador@gmail.com>, August, 2018.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Left's National Forest Reichstag Fires

Regarding the big wildfires in the American West this year:

A number of them are attributed to "pyroterrorism".  It's actually a real thing: USFS and other federal agencies have been holding training sessions and meetings about pyroterrorism at a more & more feverish pace the past few years...

Why?

Because jihadi groups have discovered that American forests have become supremely vulnerable -- and as a consequence, they can cost the US lives and billions -- for the price of a cellphone, a few ounces of gasoline, and a few matches.
 
The idea is not new: Hamas has been torching Israeli farm fields and nature reserves for many years in similar ways; and there is mounting evidence that the disastrous fires in Greece this year were largely a result of Turk and Muslim pyroterrorists who snuck into Greece alongside refugees & immigrants.

What's new, though, is that these extremists in America have begun training in remote-activated incendiary devices designed to ignite fires in fire-prone areas (think IED's for Smokey Bear).

Plus, stupid people are always around.

So why are American forest and grasslands are increasingly vulnerable?

One reason is that federal land policy has gotten trapped by lawsuits (many of which are funded by the forced "investment" by American taxpayers via the EAJA -- in other words a wholesale wealth transfer from taxpayers to the lawyer-industrial complex) which have done much to shut down logging on forests “managed” by the federal government, together with environmental activist political pressure to stop forest "management".   Land managers are increasingly restricted from setting up prescribed / controlled burns to eliminate fuel.  Nor can they contract out to resource (eg logging) companies to clear overgrown areas.

Besides the external pressure towards ignoring management, there is internal inertia trending in the same direction: older forest managers who understood that American forests and open land were supposed to be for a balance of uses, including recreation, wild areas, logging, mining, and drilling, and so on, are gradually being replaced by a newer generation of land managers who are increasingly opposed to any uses other than recreation -- or, better yet: human-prohibited wild space.

So a perfect storm is building bigger and bigger every year -- with increasingly devastating wildland fires as the predictable result.

Common sense says global warming isn't global if it's local.  However, environmentalists and their leftist brethren are now peddling the idea that global warming can occur in one small region, which is absurd.  Nevertheless it is the "logic" behind claims that local heat records are evidence of global warming.  This is how environmentalists play their game.

Suppose those of us who are not alarmists do the same?  Let's try it:

"Arsonist forest fires are definitely a sign that Man’s activities has increased local temperatures – as much as 800-1000 degrees C. If environmentalists' opposition to sensible forest management contributes to this 800 degree rise in the local temperature, they should pay for the damages they've caused."

That’s the way, right?

If, by your actions, you create conditions that result in the destruction of property, which includes causing "local" ... er... "global" warming by 800 degrees, then you can expect to bear the consequences in law and liberty:

Pay up, y'all.

But the real solution is to get politics out of the environment (and insurance), and thenceforth to protect property rights.

The fed should sell off the millions of acres it owns to the highest bidder, and from that point on, allow property owners to provide for the protection and management of their property.  How they do so will be managed by their insurers.  Such a regime will encourage proper management of forest resources and the mitigation of harmful practices.


Libertarians have called for the abolition of the BLM, USFS, NPS, and other alphabet-soup bureaucracies, and the wholesale privatization of government property.  We also call for the abolition of welfare for lawyers and political activists who profit endlessly by suing government.  If governments didn't own property, taxpayers wouldn't be left holding the bag on both sides of every argument over the environment.

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Written by Marc Montoni <AMCAmbassador@gmail.com>, August, 2018.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

How About A Real Compromise on Guns?


Yes, we can have a conversation about gun violence.

But not one based on lies.

And definitely not one where the only outcome you will accept is the gun confiscation you really want but which you refuse to admit.

There is NO "compromise" on banning guns. Modern gun control hysteria seeks ONE thing and one thing only: complete confiscation. Registration is not confiscation, true enough. It is, however, the beginning of a database of gun owners, so the next administration has a list of homes to break into when confiscation does come.

You know this.

You know it from history, both in the US and abroad.

Please don't pretend you don't know it, because when you start a conversation with that kind of basic dishonesty, everyone can see right through it.

You're just going to have to be up-front and admit it: Your goal is to use gun registration as a preliminary step to CONFISCATION.

You are also aware that a "compromise" is where the sides all give up something.

But that's not what you're after, is it?

You want gun owners to give up their property and leave their homes vulnerable to every thug that comes along -- all while you give them NOTHING in return.

That's not a compromise.

How about this for a compromise:

Gun owner registration. Add a code to state driver's licenses indicating that person is qualified to be a gun owner. You can even keep your silly training requirements. The state already knows who 95% of gun owners are, anyway, through the forms people fill out during gun purchases.

If that person then commits a crime, then the code-enabled driver's license must be turned in and a new one issued without it, until that person has earned all of his rights back.

In exchange: 1) The code serves as a concealed permit (no additional permit required). 2) full and absolute recognition of carry permits in all 50 states plus any territories with a zip code ("full faith and credit"); and 3) the abolition of all federal agencies and laws regulating guns, including full-auto and sawed-off firearms.

Now there is a compromise. You get something, and we get something.
 
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Written by Marc Montoni <AMCAmbassador@gmail.com>, for the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus.  May, 2018.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Proven strategies for LP Membership Building #1: The 1989-1992 Example

There was a rise in National LP membership in 1988-1992 (from ~8500k to about 13k).

Most of the increase was mostly after the Ron Paul campaign, and peaked as of the Andre Marrou campaign. It was unfortunate that the Paul campaign did not share its donor or prospect lists with the LP (the Paul campaign kept it to use for fundraising for Paul's subsequent House campaign(s)), but the LP managed to work around it anyway.

The donor increase during this period was driven by five main tools, beginning in ~1989:

1) Better advertising of the 800 number ("acquisition");

The LP had a toll-free number for as long as I can remember. The LP 800 number was given out several times during the Clark campaign's 1980 Election Eve five-minute infomercial, and I was one of the callers that evening.

What the LP lost from 1980 to 1988, though, was a comprehensive system of responding to inquiries coming in from the 800 number. That was addressed finally in 1988 and the 800 number started getting pushed on literature, commercials, and by candidates (but not by the Paul campaign). Despite the handicap of being left out of presidential inquiries, the LP's own number still generated a lot of traffic during the campaign. Then, we worked on capitalizing on the thousands of new inquiries that came in from 1988 and the four years following.

2) Better marketing to new LP prospects from the 800 number and other sources ("development").

LP office staff developed a four or five-letter series to new prospects including a big first packet that went out the day the inquiry came in and then several follow-ups spaced a few weeks apart (to maximize recruitment).

The fast turn-around on the first response was key.

The most flagrant reason the LP is right now pretty horrid at "conversion" rates is the lag between the time a new prospect comes to our attention, and the time a human being then reaches out to them and welcomes them (and puts an membership application /donor form under their nose).

In any case, we made a big effort to get those first-response packets out within hours rather than weeks.

Predictably, enough joined (~2% IIRC) as a result of the first packets, that the LP broke even on the packet costs -- and any of those new members who renewed or donated in subsequent years of membership represented revenue that could be sent downline to projects and candidate support.

3) Better renewal marketing ("customer retention").

LP office staff developed a series of seven renewal direct mail letters. We sent these out in succession every month beginning three (maybe four??) months before their expiration date. The earlier a customer got a renewal notice, themore likely they would renew. The series reduced attrition to the absolute minimum.

4) Better general and project fundraising activities.

We used many excuses to invite buy-in from our donors. If a project came along we thought the members would like and support, we sent out a call to do exactly that: Invite them to support the project.

Initially we were of the mindset that frequent fundraising burned out donors. However, we were persuaded -- by a professional fundraising consultant -- that this idea was a myth.

Successful nonprofits are active, and active nonprofits need money. The good ones generally use a 5-week fundraising schedule with direct mail, slightly more often with email and other online pitches.

The main thing to remember is that the people on your mailing list have different reasons for supporting the LP, and not every appeal is going to resonate with every member. A good fundraising message will generate about a 5% response rate. The rate will be similar on the next good fundraising message, but the respondents will often be different names.

5) A regular newsletter filled with content that would interest our audience.

Prior to '87, the LP national newsletter had suspended issues and was otherwise an unreliable "touch" for our members.

An effort was made to get it out monthly, and fill it with content that Libertarians would enjoy reading, and make sure it was on-time every month.

Many of our members are *never* contacted by their state or local parties, and there were no local affiliates or candidates within reach. Therefore, for weeks at a time, LP News was the only reassuring "touch" they received, to let them know there were others standing aside them; that they were not alone.

Lessons for Today

In the age of email and web, the idea that direct mail is dead and that state and local parties only need a Facebook page and an email list is a myth.

Your state & local parties can *still* use the above methods -- *plus* email and web equivalents -- to gain and retain members.

LP leaders at the state and local level are far too reliant on social media and such. The know-how to do basic membership building and donor development has been almost completely lost.

Try it.

Write a fundraising letter, and send it to your state LP mailing list.

Write a renewal letter series, and send them to your expiring national and state members, and invite them to renew.  You can do this via email also -- but don't neglect the opportunity to do it first via regular mail -- and scribble a handwritten personal note on the renewal, with your name and phone number, to increase their engagement.

The results might surprise you.

Personal agency: It's actually a thing.  And all individuals have it.

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Written by Marc Montoni <AMCAmbassador@gmail.com>, for the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus.  May, 2018.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Welcome to the Libertarian Party, 2018

To all the new people who have discovered an interest in the Libertarian Party these past few weeks:

Welcome!

There are nearly half a million registered Libertarians in the 27 states where it is not illegal to register as a Libertarian.

What makes us different from the other parties? Well...

We have called for the repeal of all Drug Prohibition since our founding in 1971.

We have called for abolishing the income tax and eliminating the IRS, and have said that "Taxation is Theft", since our founding in 1971.

We have called for replacing inefficient, wasteful, and brutal government "services" -- yes, even those flashing-lights emergency services -- with private-sector alternatives since our founding in 1971.

We have called for abolishing government indoctrination centers (public schools) since our founding in 1971.

We have called for an end to all foreign aid, regardless of how evil or good the recipient nation is, since our founding in 1971.

We have called for an end to all military adventurism, and the removal of all US military assets from foreign lands, since our founding in 1971.

We have called for the repeal of all regulations on guns, including regulations on modified and automatic weapons, since our founding in 1971.

We have called for the abolition of the Federal Reserve and for sound, free-market money since our founding in 1971.

We have called for the elimination of all corporate and individual welfare and subsidies since our founding in 1971.

We have called for the privatization of transportation infrastructure since our founding in 1971.  Where we're going, we don't need "roads".

We have called for the complete separation of government and health care, and for abolishing medical regulation and licensing, since our founding in 1971.

We have called for an end to government meddling in private voluntary agreements, such as minimum wage laws and requirements that businesses recognize unions, since our founding in 1971.

We have called for eliminating all restrictions on the right of people to cross imaginary lines since our founding in 1971.

We have called for private property rights to be fully respected by governments, and for the repeal of land-use regulations and zoning, since our founding in 1971.

We have called for an end to all marriage regulation and licensure, as well as for an end to all *government* discrimination for or against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans individuals -- and heterosexuals -- since our founding in 1971.  And we actually mean it.  In 1972, our very first national Platform stated our support for the rights of sexual minorities (http://www.lpedia.org/1972_Libertarian_Party_Platform#Crime .

We have called for an end to all government sex discrimination since our founding in 1971.  We actually walk the talk, too: our very first nominee for Vice President, Tonie Nathan, was the first woman to receive an Electoral College vote.

We believe all individuals should be treated equally by governments. Unlike the Johnny-come-latelys, Libertarians actually take the idea of equal rights seriously -- and we started that conversation long before Democrats opportunistically embraced it.

We have called for the abolition of all laws restricting Freedom of Association, and for the elimination of all subsidies, regulation, special rights, privileges, penalties, preferential treatment, either for or against any subset of individuals or "favored" groups, since our founding in 1971.

We have called for an end to all government interference in the freedom of religion and conscience since our founding in 1971.  We don't want churches taxed -- we want taxes abolished.

So, welcome to the Libertarian Party.

Leave those big-party ideologies at the door -- you won't be needing them any more.

Cast off those chains!

Remember -- those stale old ideas have turned the United States into a police state.

Libertarians believe people should be able to marry who they want, gamble if they want, party with a hooker, smoke weed or partake of other recreational drugs, live as a woman (or a man) if they want ... but they should also be left free to start a business without asking for "permission", keep their money and property, travel without papers, and enjoy any guns they can afford.

Enjoy your freedom, and we're glad you're here.

VOTE LIBERTARIAN * 800-ELECT-US or http://www.LP.org/

Get active! http://www.LP.org/volunteer

-- end --

Personal agency: It's actually a thing.

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Written by Marc Montoni <AMCAmbassador@gmail.com>, for the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus.  Revised April, 2018.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Libertarian Weenie Pipe Dream

The Libertarian Weenie Pipe Dream is a modern fantasy peddled by "pragmatic" Libertarians.  It goes like this, with some regional and/or chemically-induced variations:

a)  Get ourselves elected to local office without saying anything scary.

b)  Build our political resumes, all the while continuing to hide our true nature.  Presumably by "playing the game" and voting for fatter government.

c)  Get elected to slightly higher office (still somehow hiding our true goals).

d)  When there are enough of us, take our hats off for the Big Reveal Day.

e)  Then at long last, we will be able to make more significant changes.

Of course, assuming we still remember what they were supposed to be.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Very sorry - rest assured that there are many, but we can't tell you who they are. It's a secret -- that's the whole idea. If we told you, or if they ever said anything libertarian in public, they would no longer be stealth, and people would stop voting for them. This would ruin the grand plan to have them all rise up out of their wheelchairs in 2079 and unanimously vote to abolish government.  'Nuff said.]

But in all seriousness, generations of new activists have been brought into the party being fed this same ludicrous model of how we are going to build a free society.

Here's a clue: If someone says either "The only thing that matters is getting elected," or "First we actually have to get elected", then they're delusional simpletons who have no commitment to the reasons why we try to get elected.

[Partly paraphrasing Joe Dehn]


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For more information about the Radical Caucus, see www.LPRadicalCaucus.org or see the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2497146127/  .
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Originally written April 2018, by Marc Montoni, for the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus.  This version released 2018.
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Anarchophobia

Anarchophobia: The ignorant fear of anarchists.

Anarchophobia is normally used as an excuse to paper over the fact that almost all Libertarian candidates fail to seek adequate volunteer and donor support for their campaigns, to explain away the reason more Libertarians are not being elected to office.

Most anarchophobes are clueless about:

- ballot access censorship and judicial bias favoring the D/R monopoly of the ballots in all states.

- the many extensive contributions anarchists have made to the modern Libertarian Party.

- the fact that anarchists were among the founding members of the Libertarian Party, and,

- the fact that anarchists comprise a large fraction of the current donating membership of the Libertarian Party.

[paraphrasing D. Frank Robinson]

FACT: Until ballot bias is eradicated, the votes cannot come.

FACT: When the votes come, the money will follow.

FACT: When the money arrives, oaths of office will administered.


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For more information about the Radical Caucus, see www.LPRadicalCaucus.org or see the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2497146127/  .
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Originally written April 2018, by Marc Montoni, for the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus.  This version released 2018.
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 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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